This is a copy of the letter received by Richard Shandon eight
Aberdeen, August 2, 1859.
Mr. Richard Shandon, Liverpool.
Sir,—This letter is to advise you of a remittance of £16,000,
deposited with Messrs. Marcuart &
Co., bankers, at Liverpool. Enclosed
you will find a series of
drafts, signed by me, which will
enable you to draw upon Messrs. Marcuart
& Co. to the amount
You do not know me. No matter;
I know you, and that is enough.
I offer you the position of mate on board of the brig Forward, for a
voyage which may be long and perilous.
If you decline, well and good. If you accept, five hundred pounds
will be assigned you as salary, and at the end of each year of the voyage
your pay will be increased one tenth.
The brig Forward does not exist. You will be obliged to have it
built so that it will be possible to set to sea in the beginning of April,
1860, at the latest. Enclosed is a drawing with estimates. You will
follow them exactly. The ship will be built in the stocks of Scott &
Co., who will arrange everything with you.
I beg of you to be specially cautious in selecting the crew of the
Forward; it will consist of a captain (myself), a mate (you), a second
mate, a boatswain, two engineers, an ice-master, eight sailors, two
stokers, in all eighteen men, including Dr. Clawbonny of this city, who
will join you at the proper time.
Those who are shipped on board of the Forward must be Englishmen,
independent, with no family ties, single and temperate; for the use
of spirits, and even of beer, will be strictly forbidden on shipboard:
the men must be ready to undertake and endure everything.
In your selection you will prefer those of a sanguine temperament,
and so inclined to maintain a higher degree of animal heat.
You will offer the crew five times their usual pay, to be increased
one tenth at the end of each year. At the end of the voyage each one
shall receive five hundred pounds, and you yourself two thousand.
The requisite sum shall be deposited with the above-named Messrs. Marcuart
The voyage will be long and difficult, but one sure to bring renown.
You need not hesitate, then, Mr. Shandon.
Send your answer to the initials K. Z., at Gottenburg, Sweden,
P. S. On the 15th of February next you will receive a large Danish
dog, with hanging lips, of a dark tawny color, with black stripes
running crosswise. You will find place for him on board, and you will
feed him on barley bread mixed with a broth of lard. You will acknowledge
the receipt of this dog by a letter to the same initials at
The captain of the Forward will appear and make himself known
at the proper time. As you are about setting sail you will receive new
Captain of the Forward.