September 18, 1812

awoke today to find that sleeping on the ground did not suit me in an way. I was quite cold and stiff and had a fitful night's rest but it could not have dampened my spirits for all its discomforts.

I did; however, discover that in the rather cramped space it was terribly difficult to dress and it took me much longer than anticipated. I took into consideration today's attraction of the archery competition and chose my dress for the day accordingly. I dressed in my olive green muslin with brown silk trimmings and matching brown velvet Spencer and silk beret, as any other hat with a brim would hinder my sights in shooting. I felt even finer today than I did yesterday, and felt I did the fashions I chose justice whilst I wore them.

When finally I had finished preparing myself for the day (no small feat) I met with the Doctor by his tent and he walked with me to the archery field with something rolled and tucked beneath his arm. I could not guess what it was but suspected it involved the archery and waited as I knew I would find out soon enough.

As we reached the grounds there was still ample time before the tournament was to begin, and many of the ladies had already begun to gather, so whilst Mrs. Cooper finished her preparations it was suggested that the ladies present take a bit of practice. At this prompting, the Doctor who during this time was quietly speaking with Mr. Cooper stepped forward to pin what he had beneath his arm to the bales of hay before us. He had painted yet another novelty target for us to shoot and to all of our amusement and delight this particular target was a portrait of none other than Napoleon! We all had a splendid time taking shots at his smirking likeness and one of my shots even pierced him directly through the lips which brought forth from the Doctor a hearty cheer and lusty laugh from Mr. Cooper. I tried not to be too pleased with myself but I was unable to completely hide my smug smile.

When Mrs. Cooper was ready to begin, she gathered the ladies about her and read to us the rules of the competition whilst Mr. Cooper replaced Napoleon with a proper archery target for scoring and prepared for us bits of straw in varying lengths to help decide which of us would go first. After we all compared it was determined that I was to shoot third in line behind Mrs. Graham and Mrs. Dubbeld.

As I rose to shoot I could immediately feel my hands begin to shake. I risked a glance over my shoulder, catching the Doctor's eye. I cannot say if I imagined it, but I was almost convinced he bestowed upon me a small smile of encouragement and a nod, but as soon as it was noticed by me it was gone and he had already directed his attention elsewhere. No one else seemed to notice what had passed but I fear it had such an effect on my concentration that my very first shot was sent wildly to the left and the arrow was lost among the underbrush of the forest just beyond our archery range. I was mortified and felt my cheeks burn in embarrassment. I said nothing but lined up my second and third shot, both hitting the target. I silently put the bow into the rack and sat back down to watch without a single word still, my face continuing to burn while the gentleman searched for the wayward arrow among the brush. As I sat with my hands folded in my lap and eyes upon them I felt a gentle hand suddenly upon my shoulder and looked up startled to see the Doctor! He lifted his eyebrows at me and removed his hand to beckon me aside. Out of earshot he quietly chided me for being so cross and suggested I not to lose confidence, as he had not lost his in my ability yet. He looked down upon me and raised one eyebrow as if to say "do we have an understanding?" I bowed my head and he turned away from me to watch the rest of the first round of ladies.

This left me with quite an impression and did indeed help with my confidence, for as the tournament continued each of my sets proved better and better until with the last round I shot, I successfully marked the very center circle with an arrow. Alas, the Doctor had left before he could be witness to this shot as he was obliged to present yet again his craft.

During his absence, Sgt. Williams appeared stumbling down the small hill from the direction of the tents looking quite obviously into the drink, and took such abhorrent liberties with his tongue the likes of which I have never and wish to never be witness to again! I was terribly offended and upon expressing my horror at his lack of decency before ladies he proceeded to mock me and to fling the most abominable insults at me. I was quite beside myself and beseeched Mr. Cooper and Mr. Dubbeld who both had witnessed the entire event unfold to aid me, but both only shook their heads and told me he could not be altered in this state. Thankfully, the Doctor was seen walking down the hill from the pavilion towards us and I immediately stood and briskly went to meet him, imploring him to put Sgt. Williams right and stand for me. The Doctor turned coolly to Sgt Williams after my tale and proceeded to call the man out for actions, and it was decided between the two of them that a duel was to be the methods in which to settle this dispute and at four o'clock justice would be seen.

All through the tea that was provided for by the lively and generous Lady Rockhold I could scarce think of anything else but what the Doctor had willingly laid down for my sake, or so it seemed in my eyes. It followed me all through the dance lessons and I moved through each one without thought to conversation or anything but what was about to take place until I was brought out of my dark broodings as my hand was gently squeezed. I looked up as we circled to see the Doctor watching me, and it was his hand that was holding mine. I almost though I had imagined this too but this time I knew for certain it had happened. He continued to watch me through the progression of the dance until he no longer could and I felt very unsettled, unable to make sense of it.

The hour of the duel was upon us before I felt I had time to guard myself against it, and with an overwhelming sense of dread I clung to Mrs. Cooper arm, feeling my heart drop lower and lower as they turned and paced off, the Doctor standing tall and straight with no sign of fear, and Sgt. Williams wavering in his own steps. I could not look away though I wanted to see no more. Mrs. Cooper tried to reassure me in the Doctors aim and Sgt. Williams inebriation but I could not be convinced nor placated. They faced off and took aim, and for a moment the world held its breath, and a shot was fired. To my absolute horror it was Sgt. Williams who had shot! I almost lunged forward with a cry of terror if Mrs. Cooper had not detained me by the hand and bade me observe the Doctor, who seemed entirely unscathed and was looking at his pistol which would not fire with his usual cool manner. Sgt. Williams had missed! If ever there was a time I was to bless the drink it would have been that moment for it spared the Doctors life.

Beyond the crowds hearing words were exchanged and Sgt. Williams grabbed the blade at his feet and made to lunge at the Doctor who had made no movement to sink to Sgt. Williams’ level. Thankfully Sgt. Williams was detained by Mr. Cooper who had acted as his second in the duel and there would be no more acts of violence that day.

Upon his return to the pavilion, as quickly as I could within the constraints of propriety I approached the Doctor and could say nothing, only reach out a trembling hand and touch his arm.

Quite suddenly, the excitement and the heat took me and I was quite overcome, nearly fainting at the Doctors feet. For the first time since my arrival a look of surprise and concern crossed his face and he slipped for a brief moment out of his perpetual unruffled state. Bless Mrs. Cooper for being so directly on hand as I fear the Doctor was at an immediate loss of what to do! Mrs. Cooper knew exactly what to do to recover me enough to get me in a condition to be moved, and called upon the Doctor who carried me back to my tent and laid me down ever so carefully upon my makeshift bed.

He insisted upon staying by my side to see after my health and bathed my brow and neck with a cold wet cloth. He spoke very little, but there was a perpetual crease in his brow that said plenty. My condition prevented me from being able to exercise any sort of clear thinking, and I begged the Doctor to explain the correspondence I had seen the day before between him and my Aunt. After his unwavering show of heroism and kindness towards myself that day, I so desperately wanted him not to be a partner in my Aunt’s meddling ways.

He looked away and said nothing for some time, considering my request, and finally reached into his pocket where he had been keeping the letter and handed it to me to read. With some effort I propped myself up as to better read it and with hesitation opened it, bracing against what I may discover in the contents.

I was not, however, prepared for what was revealed to me. My Aunt had written to him the grossest and most hurtful exaggerations and tales of Mr. Brennan and myself, explaining to the Doctor that my name and reputation was in danger from various acts of impropriety I never participated in and accusing Mr. Brennan of being false in any affection he showed me and the and the most base of men, begging the Doctor to watch over me for my own protection like one of his own! I read the letter aloud and as I continued down the page began to work myself into such a furious state the Doctor had to calmly remove the letter from my hands until I had calmed myself enough to continue.

When I had concluded the awful thing and put it aside, my face burned with shame and anger. The doctor looked down at me and quietly said to me “Now Miss Waterman, I hope that this eases your mind and aids your understanding of both our situations.” I could say nothing and turned my face away from him lest he see the angry tears pricking my eyes, ashamed of my rage and the false idea the Doctor must have had of me.

With this he observed I was out of immediate danger to my health and allowed me some moments of solitude to assure all those concerned of my condition being on the mend. By the time of his return I had read the letter again, and was feeling my physical health returned but my heart was troubled with my mind. I look now upon the Doctor with new feelings that I could not fully understand nor describe, but they have made me almost shy of him, and any feelings of ill I had previously are all vanished.

It was suggested since I was well enough to be walking about without the aid of an arm that a few rounds of Blind Man’s Bluff, a favorite of mine, be played in the open space amongst the camps. I participated as much as I was able and even the Doctor joined in for a brief time, and I was pleasantly shocked to watch him laugh and carouse with the rest.

As the sun faded and darkness made conditions unfit to continue, Captain Cushing announced that there was to be an impromptu and rather informal country dance in the pavilion. I was keen to experience at least a couple dances unconcerned with the potential of impending violence, and the Doctor was kind enough to escort me though there were a number of others who could have done the task as well.

I danced only two dances before I discovered the events of today left me by far too exhausted to continue, and we stayed for a moment to watch the others continue, and it was quite a joy to see so much laughing and smiling, and I felt a weight no longer pressing on my shoulders and I was able to join in the laughter and the merriment unhindered.

Before long, I begged the Doctor to accompany me back as the darkness made it quite unsafe for me to make the walk alone, and presently I write wrapped comfortably in a quilt with what little light I have left, and can only wonder what tomorrow will bring in the light of what has unfolded today, and with the new knowledge I possess. America is proving to be more exciting than I could have hoped.

September 17, 1812

f only my travel from England to America had been as pleasant as my travel from New York south to the Doctor in Tennessee. It was entirely devoid of incident or issue and almost perfectly pleasant but for the early hour of departure. I was entirely at peace until the last five or so miles of when the reality of my situation made my heart quicken. In a short time, I was to meet who I felt and suspected was the catalyst for my entire life's upheaval. I could not sit still at all, and almost worried a hole in my new cream gloves, yet another new addition to my wardrobe courtesy of Mrs. Hegwood. Despite an entire new outfit of clothing; she concluded that I needed specifically three of the best outfits she could get for me for my introduction to some society in America. I feel her and my Aunt speak more than I had originally guessed. I was sent to the Doctor in fine snow white muslin with a matching white hat with small ostrich plume, complete with a lightweight russet cotton Spencer; and despite my nerves and anxious state I felt very fine indeed.

At precisely Nine of the clock the Hegwood's carriage arrived at a perfectly charming home and beautiful garden with large trees casting cool shadows across the lane, and there was the Doctor, waiting by with a lovely coach pulled by a team of beautiful bays.

I was fortunate enough to have glimpsed him before he noticed my arrival, and this allowed me to formulate an image and impression of him unhindered. I found him to be not at all what I had previously imagined in my mind, though I cannot truly say what it is I had imagined in the first place. At first I was surprised to see how youthful he struck me. With four children I expected a man of greater years, or at least the impression of such. Secondly, I was struck immediately by his eyes. I had never seen eyes such as his, so deep and clear, full of a something I could not place my finger upon. They held my attentions as I tried to decide in my head what it was that captivated me so, I fear I let my glance linger too long and he noticed my stare when finally he was notified of my arrival by my coachman.

However fine his features, though, I was to discover his personality was not matching. He was quite polite and courteous to me, of that there was no doubt, but any warmth I had detected in all of his correspondence must have been entirely imagined Regardless, I did my best to put it out of my mind as he informed me there were to be many introductions to many different people and to prepare myself if necessary.

The time passed quickly in his coach, despite the lack of conversation as we sat facing the other in an awkward silence, and when it was safe i snuck as many glances in his direction and came to the conclusion quickly that he was indeed handsome, strikingly so I would even venture to say, and not a finer gentleman could be found in this country and would easily rival any man I knew back in England. Though, he was no match or Mr. Brennan. I will say, despite myself and despite his rather cool and distant demeanor, I felt fine to be in association with him.

When finally we did arrive my breath was all but stolen away by the charm and beauty of the location in which we were to spend our next few days.

the quaint and charming house was located on the banks of a wonderful and quiet river, with a charming garden to one side and sprawling grounds as far as the eye could see. Near to the house were rows of charming little tents set up to provide guests with sleeping arrangements as part of the weekend's attractions, and the Doctor presented me with my very own! What a novelty, to sleep in a tent.

After these arrangements were made I was obliged to accompany the Doctor and sit by while he demonstrated his practice to many large and sometimes unruly groups of school children. During the first wave I was too entranced and often horrified by what the Doctor described to pay attention to anything around me, but after his first presentation concluded I took the liberty whilst the Doctor spoke with Captain Cushing to peruse the strange implements and possessions he has strewn across the table. Two things almost immediately stood out amongst the rust and metal; the first being a small portrait of a beautiful woman who I could only conclude as his lately departed wife, and a stack of letters, the top most being a letter from my very own Aunt Elizabeth! I could hardly believe my eyes, yet there it was, as if to mock me.

By this time I could feel the Doctor's eyes upon me and I broke my attention from the letter to appear as if it did not hold my interest at all, yet I knew by his look that he had seen me discover the letter and I noticed thereafter that my hand had reached for it and was almost atop it by the time I realized what I was doing. With nothing else to lose, I asked as frank as I could "Doctor, is that a letter from my very own Aunt Elizabeth, or am I mistaken?" My hand had still remained over it, and slowly I withdrew it. The Doctor watched my hand, and seemed to weigh the wisest thing to say. He responded with only "It is, and is my own personal correspondence." To that, I could say no more, and he offered no more, only instead he changed the topic in an effort to distract me and direct my attention to elsewhere. I, too meek towards him to be stubborn, obliged, though my mind boiled with speculations and suspicions. He was no longer in my eyes a poor hapless pawn in my Aunt's devices, but now an accomplice.

Suddenly; I could no longer bear to be in the Doctor's presence and asked that he excuse me to take a turn by the river. He regarded me with a crooked brow and expressed his uncertainty in letting me go unaccompanied. I politely pointed out to him that from where he stood in the pavilion I would not be out of his sights. He found no fault in this argument, and released me.

I enjoyed the quiet moments near to the river, and when that no longer suited my attentions I found for myself a pleasant bench to sit at and watched for a spell the birds snatching insects out of the air and in my own silent way I raged. For the next three days I was bound to my Aunt's handsome and cunning accomplice, and felt so ill used against my own will and above my knowledge.

I was not given much time to brood as the Doctor found himself with time for leisure and bade I take a turn with him through the grounds. Attempted polite conversation was had regarding the weather and the current surroundings and all that occupied it. I endeavored to remain courteous as I could and before long we were approached by a couple who were introduced to me as Mr. and Mrs. Cooper. Mrs. Cooper and I took leave of the gentleman for quite some time and I found her company to be refreshing and entirely charming.

When finally we did cross paths with Mr. Cooper and the Doctor, Mrs. Cooper informed me that tomorrow there was to be a lady's only archery competition. This positively delighted me and Mrs. Cooper suggested that we take a bit of practice as the weather had cooled down enough by that time as to allow for such vigorous activity, and we were graciously presented with an amusing portrait of Cupid with which to take our aim, painted by the Doctor himself. I report with much pride that I was the first to strike Cupid, and with such a blow as to cause the gentlemen to laugh uproariously and myself to blush. Only one arrow was lost by myself; yet I was not at all feeling confident about my chances of performing well tomorrow.

By this time it was suggested that a small group of us dine together and such a charming meal I have never had. I sat across from Mrs. Cooper and the Doctor sat immediately to my right but it was the wonderful Mrs. Cooper who gained all my attentions through the meal.

By the time we returned to the neat little area of tents the sun was beginning to set, and I spent the last moments writing in the fading sunlight in the company of the Doctor, Captain Cushing, and Sgt. Williams, who put me terribly ill at ease with his comments and looks, but as the Doctor showed no sign of discomfort by him I said nothing.

The Doctor was even kind enough to let me use his lovely mechanical quill which I found was an absolute delight to write with and will be making a purchase of one upon my return to New York.

As my candle is now burning low and I can hear the Doctor approaching to no doubt insist upon my gaining rest, I will finish with the promise to report again tomorrow evening with the day's activities, and there promises to be no shortage of them.

August 31, 1812

esterday provided us with safe arrival in New York! In such a state of exhaustion I was, I could not help but be amazed at what was before me and all around. So very similar to England in some ways and yet so drastically different. I am sad to confess though, that I recall little and cannot properly describe my first impressions as I was so taken with my weakened state and the excitement that I recall only color and noise, so much noise! So different from the redundant and repetitive noises of the ocean and the ship. People calling, horses, carriages, dogs, animals, so much noise! It made my ears ring and my head spin and if it was not for Abigail I would have surely fainted in a heap.

I was much relieved and put at ease when Abigail directed me to Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood. Such wonderful and sweet people I have never seen! I feel I have greatly wronged them in my previous assumptions of their character, for more amiable, neat, and charming people I could not have wished for. Mrs. Hegwood instantly became my replacement mother hen and nursed me back to near perfect health all through the night, sitting up with me at all hours to ensure my comfort and sending Abigail directly to bed and to rest. I rose in the morning feeling almost entirely mended and wonderfully and deliciously steady upon my feet again. Mrs. Hegwood, seeing me rise and come to breakfast unaided was positively delighted, and suggest immediately that we replenish my wardrobe which she took the liberty of claiming it unfit for me and dumped it all. She stated firmly that the mildew and the ocean smell was unable to be mended and they were no longer fit for me to wear; bonnets, gowns, shawls and all!

I was admittedly put out; they were my last remnants of home, yet at the same time I was excited. What lady in their correct senses would turn down a proposal to spend someone else's' coin on one's appearance and self? However it was not to be today, as Abigail forcefully implored Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood they not take me on this journey just yet until I was entirely mended and able to withstand the strain and excitement. Mr. Hegwood was in complete agreement, and with some convincing Mrs. Hegwood agreed to keep me at home but only on the promise we would venture out tomorrow.

The estate in which I will be provided for is such a grand and splendid arrangement, and I am in the understanding that Mr. Hegwood has fixed for himself a considerable fortune in some trade or another in New York and he and Mrs. Hegwood have secured for themselves considerable comfort, and being childless themselves delighted by my presence and by my company.

I was doubly pleased this morning to discover for myself a wealth of letters from home, and even one from the infamous Doctor himself! I surprised myself to discover that my heart beat quickened upon discovering his letter; and I felt a distant touch of home and normalcy run through me upon handling it. Was it not just before I left I received a similar letter with similar beautiful script in warm brown ink? Tears blurred my vision momentarily, but I did not let them fall. I am here now; and am bound to accept this as it comes, and cannot continue to dwell on what I cannot change.

He has been so kind as to readily offer me invitation to a wonderful gathering near to his location, and one that he describes as providing all manners of diverting activity. Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood have apparently known for some time of it; as upon his receiving of my letter he promptly asked for their consent in letting me travel that far. The arrangement have been made, and on the 17th of September I am to arrive in the area of Kentucky and be face to face with this phantom author and in his company for three days. I admit I am very nervous, but my curiosity overshadows it. I am intrigued to see more of this country; and will bring my sketching implements that Kathryn gave to me upon my last visit to her and try to put as much as I see down on the pages.

I am unsure how to receive the addition to the letter the Doctor sent to me; a length of wonderful purple silk ribbon. It is indeed very lovely, and a shade that I happen to be very fond of. Mrs. Hegwood has already decided upon at least three uses for it, and I shall let her do with it as she pleases. I do not feel entirely comfortable accepting such a gift; but it warms my heart for the kindness behind it.

I do not; however, look forward to be once more planted amongst people I do not know; and fear I will be attached to my journal the entire time as Mrs. Hegwood cannot spare Abigail to go with me. I am frightened by this; but I shall endeavor to put on a brave front, and not disappoint the Hegwoods and the Doctor.

August 23, 1812

am very sorry to report that the young lady died late last night. The crew called her Bess, so I can only assume her name was Elizabeth. It stuck me harder than I had thought when I learned her name; we could have had much to discuss and I would have enjoyed her company solely for the fact that her name brought images of my home. The doctor did all that he could for her; and in the end I believe it was more than just the fever that took her. She was with a child; and I believe it was her heart that could not bear to live any longer; for it seems she was treated so ill by someone; and her escape to America would have been such a welcome new start. Unfortunately; there is little information about her circulating, so we put her at rest with what we know, and pray that she finds peace at last.

Abigail helped to dress and support me as we slowly made our way to the deck to pay our respects as she was given a proper ocean burial. I gathered strength enough to sing her a short farewell; and she was so unceremoniously pitched over. Life on the ocean seems to be a very unforgiving mistress; and I felt heartsick and tired by the end of it all; and went back to my room to weep, and weep bitterly I did. I wept for my home so far away now, I wept for what could have been, I wept that I may never see anyone I love again, and I wept for poor Bess, who had not a soul in the world who could have cared for her but for the crotchety old doctor who shed not a single bit of humanity upon her dying heart, and I wish I could have known her and provided her with some comfort. Abigail did what she could, for not a living being could turn away her kindness or be immune to it; but I, selfish and unknowing, slept through the entire incident without pause.

The Captain has told us we will be arriving in New York in seven days. I am counting them down as each passes, and they cannot go quickly enough, nor can they go slowly enough. I am torn between wanting to be free of this place, and feeling like perhaps I deserve it. I beg for this misery to end.

August 15, 1812

here have been nothing but storms it seems every day and night for the past two weeks. Most of my time was spent in a daze and sometimes mercifully asleep due to the doctor's concoctions, so I recall very little. Today it is still raging; but either I am acclimating to the harrowing conditions or it is not nearly as bad as I make it to be outside. The infuriatingly cross doctor has shown a tiny streak of humanity, and implored me to continue my rest; and I have stubbornly refused and chosen not only write but to slowly dress with the aid of Abigail and sit at the closest thing to a desk I have to write at. I may regret the decision in a short time, but the days upon days upon even more of inactivity has left me almost entirely out of my mind.

During my slumber through the worst of the conditions, Abigail informs me that I avoided the better part of the excitement aboard the ship. It seems during the worst of the storm; one of our crew had climbed high among the rigging as he was instructed to do to relieve some tangled ropes for whatever purpose, and when a frighteningly strong gust of wind blew up, he was almost instantly snatched from his lofty perch and tossed cruelly to the waves far below. Abigail reports there was no effort to rescue him; as apparently there was nothing to recover at that point, he was quite gone. Thankfully, that was the only casualty, and I was greatly relieved to hear that the two young boys; Matthew and Jacob, were not foolish enough to be running about on deck in curiosity during.

Even Abigail, who to me seems unshaken by any of the worlds terrors seemed grey faced and unsettled; and informs me it was the single most terrifying experience in all of her years. It made me feel very low that she had been forced by the winds and tides of my Aunt to be in this position as well as myself; and she is such a dear woman it broke my heart to put her in any sort of danger and discomfort. She has been such a comfort to me in these days I cannot express.

The unaccompanied young lady of seventeen who has said very little to any of us since we first were thrown together has taken ill, Jacob informed me yesterday. The doctor now has his hands full with the both of us; though it is reported to me that she does not bear the same illness that I do. Instead; she has a fever that will not abate despite the doctors best efforts. We are all beginning to worry for her health; and for our own, but we are assured that it is not catching and she will recover within the week.

The captain has informed me just a moment ago that we should be arriving in New York within the month; and even more in just two weeks. My heart leaped within my breast upon hearing this, and I ache to feel the ground beneath my feet where it does not roll with my every breath and creak with my every thought. My trepidation upon meeting these new people grows with every moment; and I fear in my weakened state I will provide more of a burden for them than I already am.

I can only will the ship and the winds faster with my mind; and hope that they respond.

July 28, 1812

cannot even begin to recall the past two weeks. The vile sea-sickness has been so unbearable as to leave me so weak that I have been unable to do anything but struggle to sleep, and when I can eat and drink blessed Abigail has been by my side day and night to ensure my comfort and any health she can offer. She has even been so desperate as to beseech the churlish old doctor in providing for me something to aid in my sleep and to ease my insistent discomfort. Thus far it has indeed provided me with some level of ease, but I desperately every moment crave to be back home with Mama and Papa.

Some days ago, I did in fact resolve to tell Mr. Brennan of my feelings and impressions towards him. At our last port, I could not name it if I wanted as I recall very little through my haze of illness and whatever it was the doctor had given me, I resolved to send it with the rest of the letters being dropped for the next ship bound for England. I sent Abigail to ensure that the letter would reach proper hands with an extra urge of importance that nothing happen to it, as it contained, what I told her, the rest of my heart that was left. She assured me no harm would come, and bade me rest my mind and body lest I cause myself more harm in my weakened state.

Again the fickle oceans provided me with a much needed and greatly appreciated pause in its temper and allowed me time enough to gather strength to rise from my blanketed prison and gather some much needed fresh air with the supportive arm of Abigail. The damp and dark cabin below deck is doing little to help my poor spirits, and the combination of my physical state left me so puny I was only able to stand for short minutes at a time, and am too exhausted to stand or walk on my own. One of the crew was obliged after a short while to even carry me back to my bed, and back was I confined to the oppressive atmosphere.

The woman with the two young boys and unfortunate means has sought me out to befriend me, and who am I to turn her away? Wretched and low as I am. We are all bound to one another in our own separate world on the sea, and though she may be far beneath my notice in the world of solid ground, in the secluded wooden world we find ourselves currently, we are all equals. That being said, it has done my heart some good to have people to converse with and I have even begun to teach the eldest son, Jacob, what little French I can teach myself. He is a quick study and has proven to be a polite and patient pupil. Most of the time, though, the lessons are abruptly ended as the slightest provocation of any sudden movement of the ship leaves me unable to be before others, and rendering me quite unable to carry on.

My days have begun to blend together into a stream of damp dark and miserable dreams, and as I have oft mentioned before, I find my anticipation growing and will be intensely pleased, overjoyed even, to be rid of this creaking, smelling, and miserable style of living.

July 15, 1812

have been on this wretched ship three days and am wishing vehemently each hour for this nightmare to end.

I shall start from my first exposure the surroundings I am bound to for the next fifty days. I arrived to the ship at six in the morning clinging desperately to Abigail, the one servant my mother willingly parted with for my benefit of a companion and guardian on this journey, and we were both greeted with the most offending and gruff manners imaginable and looks that made my very flesh crawl, as if we were nothing but chops ready for supper! The only other passengers on this trip were an old ill mannered diminutive doctor, a mother with two young boys of unfortunate means and an unaccompanied young lady, who must have been no older than seventeen, and looked as though her life gave her the appearance of one much older and was by no means easy. Abigail and I felt terribly out of place, but were graciously provided with a room that occupied no others but ourselves.

We set sail at half past seven and by one in the afternoon I was struck quite ill and bedridden by what the crew described in jeering tones as sea-sickness, and laughed at my delicate state. I was unable to eat and only able to drink very little, and Abigail, bless her, insisted upon the doctor seeing to me many times through the night, though each time he was more and more communicative with his displeasure in being constantly roused from his bed, that finally Abigail sent him off out of irritation and resolved to care for me herself, of which I was most grateful for her presence by my side than that ill mannered little man.

I spent all day in my bed yesterday as the weather made for such terrible conditions I felt even wore off than before. Thankfully, today, we are blessed with fine weather and much calmer seas. Enough, in fact, that I was able to rise from my bed, take some tea and broth, and even braved the leers and comments from the crew to take a few turns on the deck. The air was quite refreshing, and I felt almost renewed, but as the night came upon us, the seas became less friendly and I find myself currently confined again in my bed. I am well enough in strength still to find the time to write, and have spent these last few hours writing to my Mama and Papa. I have begun following our travels across the ocean, and the captain has been kind enough t point out to me the distance covered each time I have been well enough to see him. How tiny the progress it seems! I am so terribly disheartened that today, even though my body was strong enough, my heart could not bear to see the ocean and the air that has so consumed my life now.

Before I left England, I slopped to our footman a note to take to Madeline's. I received nothing by day's closing, and hope that my letter was received, and I will find one waiting for me in New York; both from Madeline and a response to the second letter slipped inside the first addressed for Mr. Brennan. I find as I write it, and think upon it, my eyes prick with bitter tears. Will I ever see them again? If I had been more forward; and less timid and said something to dear Madeline of my affections, could this have been prevented? I fear I shall never know, and have resolved to write solely to him, and finally express my admiration to him. Perhaps he will find he feels the same, and will rescue me from this wide open prison I find myself in. These are happy delusions, and I know deep down I could never act upon them, but this past month has shown me that life is so unpredictable and a mystery to us all no matter how we think we know the routines. Perhaps it would not be as ill conceived as I think it? My mind is in a turmoil and I cannot escape it. It roils with the ship's movements, and will give me not a moment's peace.

July 10, 1812

am in such a state of agitation I hardly know that I can write. The strange behaviors of my aunt have been now explained to me, and I wish so fervently that I could change the hands of time and make it to never have happened. For the past month or more, Aunt Elizabeth has been needling, badgering, pestering, and bullying Papa and Mama to permit my departure immediately to America. I don't know what it finally took, but Papa acquiesced and once again relinquished his power to her and let her do what she pleases with his family and their lives! I am to be sent in but two days from now, and must fore go saying farewell to anyone. It is almost as if my aunt chose it that way. Word will get out somehow; I am sure of it.

I sent a note to the Doctor the moment I heard; and I fear he may be unable to read it as my hands shook so terribly whilst writing it and the entire time I fought back tears, and I am sure to positivity Aunt Elizabeth's devices are upon us meeting. I am almost suspicious of him as well, perhaps he has played his own part in my harsh and abrupt uprooting from my home to some distant plot of land I know nothing about and not a living soul in. And the travel! How will I ever endure it? The only details I have thus been graced with are that I leave at or near dawn the day after tomorrow and I am to arrive in America God knows how long from then, in the care of a Mr and Mrs Hegwood, who I of course know nothing about other than my aunt's assurances that they are both kind, just, and wonderful people. For all I know, the are complete heathens and wretched people. I am trying to trust in those involved, and Papa and Mama who I must remember always have my best interests at heart and in their minds, but I am so terribly frightened. There is no determined date or idea of my return, but I pray so desperately that it is not a long one. I shall write again as soon as find peace enough to, as of now there is so much running about and action in preparation that I can hardly think a complete thought, and the tears are to such a state I can no longer see the pages.

July 5, 1812

received today a response from the mysterious Doctor, so he must actually exist outside of paper. Of course, I was not the first nor even the second set of eyes to see the contents, and though I expected as much, I confess I was agitated by my Aunt and parent's conduct. Aunt Elizabeth, as if she predicted the very day of the arrival, paced to and fro before the floor all morning long. When the post did arrive, she snatched it from Abigail's hand as she was bringing it to me faster than a cat snatching a falling baby bird from the air, and took it away immediately to mama and papa, once more proceeding to barricade themselves in papa's study for hours. When I finally did get to read the letter for myself, I was at liberty to enjoy its contents in peace.

I found it very enjoyable, despite my expectations otherwise. The Doctor has a wonderful hand, fluid and easy to read, though his letter was cramped in the margins with sketches and notes, which I found at times more interesting than the contents. What a fascinating and interesting person! Not at all dull and dry as I had imagined and prepared for. Though I was allowed some information Aunt Elizabeth sparingly doles out, she was so kind as to neglect to inform me that the poor Doctor is a widower! With four daughters! The poor soul must find himself occasionally out of his senses, but I admire him greatly for his dedication. A singularly magnificent person he must be fore it.

I wonder how in the wild and untamed continent of America he has any society at all, but he assured me there is plenty to be had, I get the feeling more than he desires at times. I must admit, now that there are words to follow this mysterious person, he has become in a sense more tangible, and my curiosity grows.

After another unfortunate bout of dreary weather, yesterday provided with better conditions, and I was able to enjoy some hours outside again without the aid of a coat or shawl. The sun in the morning was very fine, and since I was alone I even hazarded the removal of my hat so as to better absorb the morning beams.

Of course this was the perfect moment for Madeline and Mr. Brennan to ride up our front walk and there was I, sitting upon my favorite bench with my legs stretched before me and my face turned skyward like some overgrown muslin clad lizard. What a sight I must have been in their eyes! Graciously, neither of them made a
single mention of it, and I was invited even to accompany them on a short morning ride before the heat of the day became unfit to be in. Papa permitted me to go very readily, as I was to discover on our departure,
Aunt Elizabeth was to be calling again, and Papa felt enough mercy in his heart to spare me her company this time.

What freedom I was awarded that day! Oliver, my sweet-natured gelding was in his usual gentle state, and nothing short of an angel and joy to be atop. Poor Madeline suffered many slights and agitations from her miserable and boorish little mare, so much that we oft had to stop so that Mr. Brennan could put her right again. When noon finally did cross the sky, the heat became so much that we made with as much haste as suitable to Madeline’s home, where we were kindly supplied with tea and a reprieve from the heat. I found it the most charming way to spend the morning and early part of the afternoon, and Mr. Brennan looked especially fine on his newest mount.

Again, though, I found myself at a complete lack of things to converse with him about, as my normal topics of discussion posed no interest to him. In the end, it seemed he was most content to talk of his business and of this account or another, and of all of his success. Madeline and I were no addition to this line of talk, as if we would know how to contribute in the first place, but he seemed perfectly content with the sound of his own voice and I confess I tolerated is quite well myself.

As I was returning and handing Oliver to the stable hands, Aunt Elizabeth passed by me on her departure from the house. She passed a look between myself and Mr. Brennan,who had accompanied me to the stables. I could plainly read the calculations on her face and it made my heart tremble. She knows obviously of my feelings, and I fear to think upon what works behind those suspicious eyes, and I shan’t think anymore upon it if I need not.

June 28, 1812

y days have been such a level of activity these past weeks I cannot even begin to properly describe them. I shall start with the evening gathering I last mentioned.

At the beginning I found myself incredibly out of place and awkward but dear Madeline, always so obliging with my rather pathetic public inadequacies, brought me around to each and every person there who I was not yet acquainted with an did not once leave my side. If she was called upon to dance she would immediately secure me a partner and position nearest to her. Due to this wonderful show of friendship and loyalty, I spent most of my evening on my feet and quite in a merry state.

Even more pleasing, the general approval and praise of my newest frock received put my spirits on their highest level though as the usual situation, I was no match for Madeline. She is by far, and always is, the loveliest of creatures in every regard, and this was no exception; floating about the dance floor in a gown of silk gauze in the palest of greens with ribbons of the richest gold silk. Her jet hair was adorned with pink silk flowers and the most delicate strings of pearls I had ever seen. I am of the opinion that every man in attendance fell madly in love with her the minute they laid eyes uponher.

Mr. Brennan looked his usual handsome and charming self. I previously though him unable to be more so, but was pleasantly proved otherwise. He even honored me with two dances, and was as graceful as I ever imagined him to be; and so polite and understanding of my inexperience.

However much I enjoyed myself, though, I was constantly plagued by a lingering shadow; Aunt Elizabeth was my chaperon, and trailed me like a hound, watching my every movement and hearing my every word. I scarcely had a moment's peace! Her behavior was very distracting, and I fear that she has confirmed her own suspicions in my affections of Mr. Brennan. She will find some way to shine an ill light to him if he is not to her liking, and my dear father, bless him, is perpetually at her mercy, and her hold over my dear mama no better. How Kathryn escaped her matchmaking devices remains a mystery to me still.

The sun finally broke through the prison of clouds over our humble home, and I am feeling in lighter spirits because of it. I have been able to restart my daily walks among our gardens again. I discovered a nest of ravens in our hedgerows just yesterday and am slowly gaining the trust of the lone parent. Mama more than once tried to dispose of them, claiming them to be an ill omen, but each time I have luckily usurped the servants and sent them off. I am hoping my good fortune in the matter can continue until they have fully grown and I can, in the mean time, continue my study of them without bother.

I have tried to discuss all manners of nature with Mr. Brennan, though I am sensing it is a lost cause. He is entirely disengaged with the subject, and seems to bore quickly. It is disheartening, I will admit, though I know that not every person is exactly alike in interests and temperment, and we must choose which in a person we desire most. Madeline thinks that ideal silly and depressing, but I know better than to get my hopes up too highly for perfection in a partner.

June 13, 1812

 find my days to be either a perpetual flurry of chaos or completely the contrary and entirely devoid of any interest. It is finally silent in my house this afternoon for once in what seems like an eternity, as Aunt E has refrained from making her visit today. I am unsure whether to rejoice in this or to be wary and suspicious. I do love my aunt very much, but I find her temperament and energy and wild ideas a bit taxing at times. Not to mention the arguments recently sparked between her and my usual gentle parents. I am still very much in confusion about what is going on behind the closed doors of my father's study, and against my normal behavior of letting sleeping dogs lie, I have begun to dig for answers with the household servants. Much to my dismay, like the good loyal beings they are, they will not let slip a single word of what they hear or know, if anything. Even dearest Abigail, who has been like a sister to me these past few weeks, has said nothing to me! I believe the truth of the matter will eventually find its way to me, though I am feeling my patience wane.
The summer weather has been unseasonably miserable these past days. The sky perpetually feels as though it is weighing down upon us with thick blankets of clouds and fog. Even the bright and cheery birds of our own gardens who will normally find something to sing about have grown dull and silent. Lately I have had to escape the wretched dullness of it all in the comfortable home of my dearest sister; whose smiles and laugh cannot possibly be dimmed by a spell of poor weather. She is so happy in life now, and her husband is such an amiable and kind man. I hope that one day I will endeavor to deserve a man such as he.

Despite my best efforts against it, my curiosity about this gentleman my aunt brought up, a Doctor even, has been growing and I find myself impatient to receive some sort of response. To think of the things he must witness every day in America -such a foreign world to me. I would happily trade his place given the option. I fear I have little taste for London society these days, as more and more it has been forced heavily upon me, and without Kathryn's comforting presence at my side, I am quite lost among the people. Mama says it is only practice that will set me correct in their company, but I find her greatly mistaken. I am by far too shy and quiet to ever be at true ease among strangers.

Upon the topic of strangers, Madeline has invited me to an evening gathering at her Uncle's city estate in London. She has promised it to be a wonderful affair, full of all the people "I must know", though still an intimate gathering. Of this fact I am relieved, Madeline's familial ties far exceed mine in income and title, and if the gathering promised to be any larger I would be swallowed up entirely! Mama of course insists I go, assuring me that Mr. Brennan will be in attendance.

As perceptive as ever I believe mama has found me out in my admiration of Mr. Brennan. Mama has promised me that should I choose to go, she will have a new gown purchased for me in whatever fabrics and style I so desire. With an offer such as that, I could hardly turn it down and at once wrote off a note to Madeline assuring her of my attendance. I have chosen a trained gown of the softest and ethereal muslin with white-work embroidery of birds along the hem and up from the sleeves which I have chosen to be elbow length and straight. In addition I will add a teal blue ribbon about my waist and wreathed in my hair with pearls and flowers. She has also promised me matching gloves of teal silk! With my new attire, I am certain to catch the eye of Mr. Brennan, and perhaps even a dance, or dare I say it, two?
I can only say, I find myself quite besotted with Mr. Brennan, and oft find myself thinking, 'Dear Charles, do you ever think of me?' I can only hope that he does.

June 8, 1812

fter much persistence and insistence, I have finally acquiesced and let my mama purchase for my enjoyment a diary. Those are, of course, her words and not my own. For myself, I see very little enjoyment in wasting my leisurely hours writing down my day-to-day life; but Mama insists upon my improvement of penmanship. To her, all fine ladies strive to perfect every aspect of their lives.

To the other side of the situation, I see a great deal of good keeping words between me and a confident that is unable, under any circumstances, divulge my secrets.
Upon that subject, my Aunt Elizabeth has come up with yet another scheme for me, since my dearest sister is now out of her grasp, wedded and immune to the plots. Since I am the last left, all of her efforts are pinned upon me, and there seems to be some sort of race starting to see me happily married off. I am but two-and-twenty, and am frankly in no rush to be attached, but she is, after all, my father’s sister and not to be trifled with or dissuaded. Such being the case, she has seen herself fit to ensnare a poor “friend of a friend of a friend or distant relation”, whichever it may be, into her ideas, and I feel I must be as courteous and kind on his behalf more than my own. It is beyond my understanding why, but this gentleman she has chosen to be a second pawn in her game resides across the oceans in America, of all places. Why ever she thought to engage me in written conversation with such a far-flung gentleman is entirely beyond me. That being the situation, I resolved to write this gentleman and this morning handed off a brief letter to be dropped in the post. I am unsure how long the letter will take, but will not anticipate any response in the near future if at all. Who knows what the man will think of me? I am almost embarrassed for my aunts sake as well as my own.

In other recent news, not relating to Aunt E, my dearest and only sister Kathryn to my combined pride and sorrow has just been married and is now no longer part of our happy home. I feel her absence quite sharply, as we share an uncommon bond of twin sisters. My soul comfort is knowing how much they do dote upon one another and love each other completely. She requested that I accompany her for the last week of her honeymoon and from there travel with her and her new husband to their new home in London, to assist her in adjusting to her new home. It is a very charming home to behold, and is fitting for the new life, and if i may be so bold to say wealth that she has come into. For my pleasure and much to my joy, amongst her rose gardens she has placed multiple bird houses and bird baths for me to observe and sketch in the quiet hours of the morning, as she knows I love to do. She also presented to me, upon my arrival, two blank notebooks for my to fill with drawings and observations! She truly is the most caring and considerate of creatures. I spent three happy days in their company, and was heartbroken as I was called away by mama and father. I believe their loneliness in our large empty house was beginning to weigh heavily upon them, and one daughter is better than none.

Yesterday, upon her request, I paid a visit to my dearest friend Madeline as her brother has just returned from the coast where he has spent the past four years. According to Madeline, he has found himself a great fortune in trade. Unfortunately, I have to admit, I heard not a single word that was said in this discussion for I found myself quite distracted with her brother, Mr. Brennan. I have been well acquainted with the Brennan family since I was but a child, and the memories I have of Mr. Brennan are of an awkward and quiet youth. I never expected him to grow so handsome and confident from home, developing a charming and sharp wit. He seems to have just improved with his success. Madeline informed me that he is currently unattached, and understands that there is no one holding his current interest. I said nothing to her short of a smile and a nod, as I could never voice my admiration for Mr. Brennan, even to my closest friend. What would she possibly think of me? I daren’t even wonder, I am much too shy to admit to anyone my growing fondness for Mr. Brennan.