Below is as close as I can come to a letter that I found in an old book. I tried to spell the words the way they are written and the writing is such that there are words I can not make out, for these I placed a ??. Sounds like he was a sailor with some education. The I's were mostly not caps and there is not any punctuation.
Court of Florida
Sunday March 30 1812
Dear Sir i received your letter in good time and was very happy to hear from you but was very sorry to hear that you had not received that half pay order i sent it to my Wife telling her to keep it till she saw you herself but i expect you have received it by this time I hope that you will not come to want i should rather see all of Duxbury starve then you for you ar the only man in the world that ever befriended me except Doctor Wiles if God spares my life you shal not loose any money by me i am living on my rashons now about 7 (??) per month that is all the money anyone can draw from the ship till he is discharged from her and if you can let my Wife have say one half that you draw it would make me feel much easier I can tell you I shal not be in Duxbury till I am discharged from the service we ar about half way from St Augustine now bound to Port Royal we have been to Margurite inlet they had a (???) ashore there the day before we got there the Capt of the Penguin and the Capt of the Andrews with about 10 men were shot going up the sound I saw the men the next day the Capt of the Penguin was perfectly (???) by (??) we are going to ?envoy some troops there from Port Royal there ar about 600 of them there you will get the news in the paper before you get this letter we have been up to St. Marie most? 3 weeks? to (???) the place i have got plenty of China Ware that i got up there and some other things will send you some of the rebel money that i got there i was very much surprised to see Capt Smith out hear i was on board his boat in (?Fermondina) the other day he has got employment out hear in the ?? survey Business for Capt Boutell I get along first rate and give better satisfaction then I expected to when I shipped we expect to be ordered to Wasaw? Sound when we get to Port Royal the rebels ar giving us some trouble in Quarter I have not much news to tell you now but hope we shal have some fun prety soon then if I come out safe and sound you shal hav the (???) write to me soon thay think that I am somebody to have letters from the State House tell Mr Alden to tell my Wife that I am well thay will not giv half Pay orders for only 1 year at a time so when the year is up I will send you the other one good by till the next mail
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