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Historic Families of Scotland, Vol. 2


Search for Wilson


page 358

In February, 1867, he resided for some time in Boston, assiduously studying navigation at the Nautical College there, and obtained from the college authorities a certificate of his possessing the requisite skill and judgment for the first officer of any ship in the merchant service. Early in that year he sailed from New York to Galveston, Texas, with 'a good Boston captain,' named John Wilson, who was a Baptist and a teetotaller. On the 12th of August he wrote from New York to his mother, mentioning that he had just arrived from Mexico, and giving a vivid description of the imminent danger to which his vessel had been exposed, 'a whole night and part of a day bumping on a sandbank, in a sea full of sharks, on an inhospitable and dangerous coast. where sandflies, horseflies, and mosquitos abound, and where at night can be heard the savage roar of the tigers and wild animals which inhabit the impervious tropical jungle which lines the coast and comes right down to the beach.' He made another narrow escape in the Gulf Stream on New Year's Eve, described in a letter to his mother dated 10th February, 1868. Another letter to Lady Aberdeen, dated 1st December, 1868, gives an account of his deliverance from a still more imminent danger.






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