1838 - 1840 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A TORTURED, CONFUSED, RELIGIOUS ENGLISHMAN AS HE ARRIVES IN HONDURAS SEEING THE SIGHTS, VISITING THE SICK, LUSTING AFTER THE COLONEL'S WIFE MERE DAYS AFTER HONDURAS DECLARES INDEPENDENCE2214
On offer is a fascinating, original, significant 1838 - 1840 manuscript diary of an unidentified Englishman in the Central American country of Honduras. (While the author is unidentified we believe that there is a familial connection to Lt.-Col. Hugh Guin Macdonnel [also spelled Macdonald along other connected family lines] whose later 1870s diary while he was a diplomat in Argentina we list separately. Both diaries came from the same estate. The family connection would appear to fit well with his time spent in Honduras with the MacDonalds.) Using a 7½ x 9 inch coverless, sewn ream of paper, he begins writing 21 pages from November 28th 1838 through to January 19th 1840 the author details his times living and traveling in Honduras. Historians and researchers of the Central American country recognize by the dates that the writer has arrived in Honduras at a key moment in the country's history as mere days earlier Honduras had left the Central American Federation after 17 years and becoming an independent and sovereign state in October. While the country's evolving independence is the backdrop the diary reveals a man in turmoil struggling to reconcile his deep feelings and sometimes innermost thoughts with his religious beliefs making for an unusual sharing of those emotions with pen to paper: writing about his frequent companions the Colonel and Mrs. Macdonald: "I rode with Mrs Macd' in the morning....some impure thoughts......... I confessed the sin on uncleanliness and prayed for forgiveness.....Vanity - I felt sorry that no one witnessed me giving an old man a flannel frock". [Casual research reveals this to be Colonel Alexander Macdonald of the Royal Artillery, her majesty's Superintendent in Honduras.] He writes of his day to day life "Went to the hospital in the morning to visit a sick man. I am afraid he will die. What an awful consideration as I fear he was an habitual drunkard. I prayed for him with Mr Newport (who seems to have been the settlements chaplain) in his boat....I dined at the barracks...sent a letter about coming home by Patsy Blount...a great deal of work in the office....on Christmas day I rowed poor Ed Strangeways on board the schooner in a little boat to make the men on board a present of two bibles. I observed something very odd in his manner and on landing begged Mr Newport to observe him...We both agreed he was not right in the mind....the most alarming symptoms; on Monday he was bled in both arms...Determined on going home on the Guatemala packet...today the packet has bought me accounts from home and of my brother Neil." He then travels on the Nina and stops briefly in New Orleans. He writes of going to the Theatre there and being "much disquieted with the constant use off the name of God" before returning to England, where he states that he has been found a place a Magdalen College, Cambridge by his uncle Edward. Overall G+.
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