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Title: The Sailor Boy, or The First and Last Voyage of Little Andrew

Date of first publication: 1843

Author: Anonymous

Date first posted: October 28 2012

Date last updated: October 28 2012

Faded Page eBook #20121039

This eBook was produced by: David Edwards, Joke Van Dorst & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

(This project has been created using images provided by the courtesy of the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room, Information Sciences Library, University of Pittsburgh.)

No. 9.











The alphabet


In a village in New Hampshire, there lived a little boy, named Andrew, who, having lost his parents while he was yet young, was kindly cherished and comfortably maintained by an aged grandmother, who often sent him into town, which was a seaport, to sell the stockings which she so well could knit, and with the avails thereof to purchase such necessaries as she might need.

This journey was always a treat to Andrew, for he saw much bustle and gayety, always pleasing to the young mind; besides, the shopkeeper, who bought his stockings, never let him depart without a penny for himself. One time he came[4] home in high glee. His grandmother looked at him with surprise.

"What is the matter, Andrew?" said she.

"Why," said he, "I have been down taking a look at the beautiful ships and the merry sailors. O how nice they did look in their blue jackets and trowsers! I saw one not bigger than myself—he was dressed up like a man! He talked with me, and said he had been many hundred miles across the seas, even when the wind was blowing a tempest, and the waves were as big as mountains, and he was not afraid. And when he had got to the place on the other side of the sea, it was filled with black people; they spoke to him in English, and were quite good natured. And what do you think he brought home? Fine large cocoa nuts and[5] sweet things in a jar! If I go to town on Monday week, he says he will give me some of both, and tell me a great deal more about this strange place that he has seen."

The old woman smiled as she listened to this account of wonders; but she told Andrew, she feared his new friend had not told the worst part of the story.

Andrew could not believe that there was any thing bad to tell; and in short, was so pleased with the young sailor's account of his voyage, that he longed for the time when he was to hear more; and on the wished-for day, was up and dressed before any other boy in the village had opened his eyes.

"Take care," said the old lady, "that you do not forget my errands, in running after the sailor boy. All the sweets he may give you, will[6] not make worsted for my stockings; and unless I knit them quickly, we shall be badly off, I can tell you."

"No, no," said little Andrew, "I shall never neglect your orders, my dear grandmother—but I may as well hear the great news, when it is in my way; and I should like to taste of some of the sailor boy's sweet-meats, and bring you some, or they would not be sweet to me."

The second interview with the young stranger, whose name was Joseph Carr, made them like old friends, and Andrew talked about him as if they had been well acquainted together all their lives. Andrew brought home some cocoa-nuts, and some tamarinds, which were to cure his grandmothers cough; and he had so many wonders to relate, that the clock struck nine before he had told one half.


From this day Andrew began to think the village a very dull place, and his former play-mates very stupid. He said there was no pleasure to be taken with them; and as his poor grandmother was growing old, she must need a load of comforts, which could not be gained by knitting stockings. What was to be done? At last, Andrew thought that if, like his friend Joseph, he went to sea, he might earn a deal of money, and in time become a great Captain, keep a fine house for his grandmother, and have a plenty of sugar to eat with his puddings.

All these thoughts made a great bustle in his little head. He was restless, and did not eat his meals as he used to. The good woman noticed the change, and it grieved her kind heart; she at first thought[8] Andrew was sick, but on inquiry he made known his wishes—to go to sea. This news made her quite sorrowful, for she thought the boy's head was turned.

Andrew could talk of nothing else but the sea; and even his books seemed to give him no pleasure. His face grew pale and thin, which made his grandmother very uneasy; so she bade him cheer up, and she would see what could be done for him.

He was taken to a Captain, who was pleased with his smart appearance; but he told Andrew that he was yet too young; he must wait another year, learn to read that he might be a bright seaman, become a Captain, and make his fortune.

Andrew was very sorry to wait so long; but as he could not have his own way, he went home, took[9] his books, and went to school every day, in order to qualify himself for the duties of a sailor boy.

When the year was nearly gone, Andrew felt very sorry on parting with his grandmother; but a sailor, he said, must have a stout heart, and he swallowed his grief like a man.

When ready for a start, she gave him a farewell kiss, and Andrew was on his journey. A few hours brought him on board the ship, at the structure and arrangement of which he was greatly amazed, to the delight of the joking sailors. At night, he slept in a bed hammock, which is suspended from the ceiling by a rope at each end. The truth is, Andrew wept bitterly, when he got into this strange swing couch for repose. He thought of all he had left behind; but he said his[10] prayers, prayed God to protect his dear grandmother, and make him a good boy. Poor Andrew stood in need of something to recruit his spirits; for here he was among entire strangers, with no one to attend to his wants; and when he thought he might never return, it[11] made him grieve for a while. But the idea of bringing home cocoa-nuts, sweet-meats, and sugar for his grandmother, made him feel cheerful again.

The next morning, all things being ready, the wind fair, and the sails unfurled, the Captain came on board, and ordered them to weigh anchor; and the vessel soon glided out to sea. Andrew kept his eyes on the land till it vanished in the distance.


For many days they had beautiful weather, when a storm came up. Andrew was taken very sick, and for a week was unable to do any thing. When he got better, he found he was far away from home, crossing the wide ocean with many masters to obey, and, at their head, a cross captain.

Andrew had soon a sample of a sailor's life. The first thing in the morning, the deck of the vessel had to be cleaned and scrubbed, and then thoroughly rinsed with water. He had no leisure time, as might have been expected—for it seemed to be the constant aim of the officers to find something for the men to be doing; and their commands were not given in the kind manner to which Andrew had been accustomed, but in the stern voice of command, and with the tone of a[13] superior; frequently accompanied with curses, and blows with a rope's end, to make the men more active. Rain or shine, hot or cold, day or night, the men must turn out at the word of command, climb up the rigging as high as the top of the largest house, and alter the sails, even when blowing a hurricane. If they should in the least lose their hold, they would be precipitated into the raging deep, without the least hope of rescue. This is a small sample of a sailor's life, which many of our roving youth so ardently long for.

Week after week passed away, and Andrew thought he was never more to see land, till at length the joyful sound of "Land ahead!" was heard.

Like the rest of the crew, he rejoiced to enter the wished-for port;[14] but for many days he was not allowed to go ashore.

In a short time the season changed, and the scene lost its charms. The sun was so hot that it made him sick. Storms of rain came on, accompanied with thunder and lightning. The sailors took the fever, and many died. At last, the vessel was ready to sail. Andrew hurried on board, taking with him a parrot and monkey.

The voyage was terrible. The ship sprang a leak, and all was despair. Amidst the tumult Andrew was in the cabin on his knees, saying his prayers. A loud shout from the deck made him start upon his feet. He groped his way upon deck, and, hearing that the ship would soon go to pieces, was about to get into the boat; when a large wave dashing on the deck, swept[15] off the boatswain and Andrew into the sea. As the boatswain was a good swimmer, he succeeded in saving poor Andrew from a watery grave, by keeping him up till the boat came. For two days and nights they were tossed to and fro, exposed to wet and cold, without any thing to eat, till they were relieved by a merchant ship bound to New York. Here they were kindly treated, and soon arrived safely in port.

How little Andrew's heart beat when he saw the green fields of his dear native land! The land whereon rested the humble cottage of his beloved grandmother! Many miles yet lay between him and home. With the Parrot in one hand, and a string to lead the Monkey with in the other, he walked off, till he came in sight of his native village.[16] He could not be tempted to sell his Poll, which was to make the girls and boys laugh, by its prattle; nor the Monkey, which would please them with his funny tricks.

At length our ragged sailor boy reached his grandmother's cot. It was a meeting of sincere love, and both shed many tears; but hers were soon dried up, when Andrew assured her that he never would go to sea again. "O grandmother," said he, "I have been through such shocking scenes, that I was fearful I never should see you again. But God, in his great goodness, has brought me home in safety. And now I am a great boy, I must think of a trade, which will be much better than going to Tobago after sweet-meats. One voyage is enough for little Andrew, the Sailor Boy!"



Published by RUFUS MERRILL & CO.


Series No. 2, or two cent Toys, containing 12 Nos. as follows, viz.

No. 1,  History of Beasts.
2,  Description of Various Nations.
3,  History of Animals.
4,  The Child's Book about Moses.
5,  My little Song Book.
6,  Nursery Rhymes.
7,  History of Birds.
8,  The Child's Book about Birds.
9,  The Sailor Boy.
10,  The Child's Book about Whales.
11,  History of the Bible.
12,  Life of Joseph.

R. M. & Co. also publish Webster's First Book, or the Elementary Primer, being an Introduction to the Spelling Book. By Noah Webster. Price 6 cents single.

They have also in press a Series of No. 1, or one cent Toys, containing 12 Nos. of amusing and instructive matter for the young Child; also a series of No. 4 or six cent Toys, on the Natural History of Birds, Beasts, Reptiles, and Plants, and the Character of different Nations. To be illustrated with engravings, and executed in beautiful style.

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious printing errors are corrected.

The author's inconsistent spelling has been retained (e.g. cocoa nuts and cocoa-nuts).

[The end of The Sailor Boy, or The First and Last Voyage of Little Andrew by Anonymous]