This letter was written by Commander in Chief, George Washington Storer, U.S.N., (1789-1864). He was a career Naval officer entering in 1809 as a mid shipman, commissioned as a lieutenant in 1813, served on the ship “Independence” on the Mediterranean station in 1815-1816, Commanded the schooner “Lynx” on New England coast in the Gulf of Mexico in 1817, Cruised on frigate “Congress” and “Jabar” in the West Indies in 1818 & 1819, served on the frigate “Constitution” in the Mediterranean in 1820-1824. He was commission Master Commandant April 1828, Captain in 1837 and commanded the received ship “Constellation” at Boston in 1839. The frigate “Potoma” of Brazil station in 1840-1842 and in the Navy Yard in Portsmouth in 1843-1846. He was Commander in Chief of the Brazil squadron in 1847-1850, and was President of the Board of Inquiry and in 1855-1857 he was Governor of the Naval Asylum in Philadelphia.
The U. S. S. Brandywine was a wooden-hulled, three-masted Frigate of the United States Navy bearing 44 guns. On 13 September 1847, the U. S. S. Brandywine set sail for the Brazil Station where she cruised for more than three years protecting United States interests in the region.
Storer wrote the letter to his wife, Mary Lear Blunt (17xx-1868) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Addressed to Mrs. Mary G. W. Storer, Care of Commander Storer, U. S. Navy, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
U. S. Brandywine
Rio de Janiero
April 17, 1848
My beloved Mary,
The Ship Courier sailed yesterday for New York with Purser [Joseph H.] Terry [1815-1853] & our Minister’s family as passengers. I sent a letter by her for Lincoln and two boxes directed to Geo. L. Storer, New York with a request that he would forward them by a packet to Portsmouth.
I regret to say that Mr. Terry’s health is far from good, but hope he may recover ‘ere he reaches his home. He is a most worthy & upright man; & has been particularly friendly to Jacob [J. Storer] & myself.
I hope you will receive the documents I sent by a previous vessel in good time. I have just received a letter from Jacob dated Montevideo, April 2nd. He was very well & pleased with his situation. He intended to go to a ball (given by General Oribe of the besieging army outside Montevideo) that evening. I had received an invitation to attend the same before I left the River.
It is believed that a peace will soon be concluded between France & Buenos Ayres & that the late revolution in the former country will be an inducement to conclude it without delay.
I have felt quite lonesome since Jacob left the ship, but I think I have been fortunate in getting my Fleet Surgeon as a messmate (Dr. Bache). He is very intelligent & gentlemanly, and takes charge of all men affairs &c. ¹
I hope after affairs are settled in the River La Plata that I shall be able to see more of Jacob, but as we are now situated, it is necessary to have at least one vessel in the River to look out for our interests there.
18th. A vessel will sail for Montevideo tomorrow. I shall write to Jacob by her & am sorry that I cannot tell him that I have had letters from home as I have not received once since my arrival from the La Plata, but hope to by the next arrival from the U. States.
I am anxious to hear how sister Eliza’s health is. I trust your eye is nearly recovered ‘ere this. Why does not Mary W. & Lincoln write oftener? I think they could find time to write to me at least once a week. The weather here at this season is delightful but rain is very much wanted.
A vessel sails early tomorrow morning for Baltimore by which I shall send this. My love to all sisters, Elizabethm and remembrance to Mrs. Chamberlain & all our friends.
Your affectionate husband, — Geo. W. Storer
¹ Benjamin Franklin Bache (1801-1881) was a surgeon in the United States Navy before and during the Civil War. He was a great-grandson of the Revolutionary War statesman and author, Benjamin Franklin. Born in Monticello, Virginia, Bache graduated from Princeton University in 1819, and from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1823. He entered the Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1824, and in 1828 was promoted to the rank of surgeon. From 1838 to 1841 he served as fleet surgeon of the Mediterranean Squadron simultaneously serving as professor of natural science at Kenyon College, Ohio. Bache was in charge of the Philadelphia Naval Asylum from 1845 to 1847. He then served as fleet surgeon of the Brazil Squadron from 1848 to 1860, and at the Naval Hospital in New York from 1850 to 1854, serving as director of the medical laboratory of the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1855 to 1872. During the Civil War, the laboratory provided medical supplies to the Union army. Bache retired on February 1, 1868, and in 1871 was appointed medical director with rank of Commodore. Commodore Bache died at his home on 283 Henry Street, New York, after a short illness on November 1, 1881.