Tampico, Mexico

Sunday 27th May – fine weather. At 1 up anchor and set sail for Tampico with a fresh and favourable breeze in company with the United States Sloop of War the Fairfield. [5] She was a fine vessel, and beat us hollow in sailing so that we fully expected to find her anchored at Tampico when we arrived.

Monday 28th – cloudy weather all day fine in the evening with very heavy dew – light and favourable breeze. Saw a small schooner which did not at first attract much notice till we approached her. Her decks seemed crowded with men & her guns were visible. Upon this hoisted our ensign & pennant – ran out our two poppers, displacing two Quakers to make room for them – and handed on deck balls – grape – canister & chain shot with every other appurtenance – all ready – every man at his station because in these seas schooners alone are employed as Piratical vessels. When she passed us to leeward she fired a blank shot to windward and hoisted Mexican colours.

Tuesday 29th – at 8 A.M. came to anchor off Tampico – found there the American Schooner Grampus and learnt that the schooner [we fell] in with yesterday was one belonging to S. Anna & had brought money from Vera Cruz to Tampico. No word of the Fairfield which delighted us much as we had thus an opportunity of crossing over the Yankee, if not for superior sailing, at least for superior seamanship. Capt.went on shore with the Mail and did not return till we put to sea again. One of our men being unwell [I] did not accompany him – for which not sorry as I was more comfortable on board. At 3.45 P.M. arrived the American Sloop of War Fairfield – at 7 some of the middies came on board, found that from fear of dealing with the shore they had stood to the Northward whilst we kept boldly to the Southward.

We remained at anchor with fine weather till Saturday, and occasionally heard from the shore. All there was bustle and activity. The people were in high spirits, because they had successfully repelled an attack of the Government troops. The soldiers were drilled every day, & guards posted in all directions. Business was at a complete stand, and whereas we had expected to receive here 3, or 4,000,000 dollars on freight, we did not receive one, it being unsafe to send them down in the disturbed state of the country. Nay so great was the scarcity of coin that the common rate of interest was 8 per cent per month, and money was scarcely to be had even at that extortionate usury. All the old Spaniards had been ordered to quit the country but were allowed 20 days to sell of their goods and effects. Instead of a forced sale many entrusted their property to English & native merchants to be disposed of at leisure to the best advantage, in the latent hope that by gaining a little time they might still be able to settle in Mexico. Others again sustained considerable losses in parting with their wares at so short a notice – and many glad to get off with whole bones.

Saturday 2nd June – being by this time heartily [tired] of our long detention (48 hours only being allowed) at Tampico, it was with no little satisfaction that this day at 2.30 P.M. we weighed anchor and left Tampico for Vera Cruz. Fine weather – foul wind & moderate.

Sunday 3rd – very little wind in the forenoon – in the afternoon fresh & more favourable. Fine weather.

Monday 4th – fine weather – light winds in the day – fresher at night.

Tuesday 5th – fine weather. Light and favourable breeze.

Wednesday 6th – calm in the forenoon with extremely hot weather. Moderate & nearly favourable breeze in the afternoon. Much rain during the night.

Thursday 7th – very light & foul breeze in the morning – calm all day – cloudy weather.

Read on … Veracruz, Mexico