THE SHIP REINDEER, of Boston, in August, 1850, while on the passage from San Francisco to Manila, was dismasted by a typhoon, and was subsequently towed into port by a Spanish war steamer. The owners of the Reindeer, who are Boston merchants, as a testimonial of gratitude for the services rendered their vessel, presented to the Spanish commander a rich and beautiful salver, bearing the following inscription upon it: "To Don Manuel di Quesada, Commander-in-chief of the Marine, at Manila, from the grateful owners of the American ship Reindeer, which, by his prompt and efficient aid, was rescued from imminent danger when dismasted in the Straits of San Bernadino, the 31st of August, 1850." They also presented him with two paintings of the ship, one representing her as she lay in the river Pasig, under jury masts, and the other as she lay at Whanpoa, ready for sea. Acknowledging the receipt of these tokens of gratitude, the Spanish Commander wrote as follows: "Gentlemen, I have done nothing to merit such proofs of gratitude, having only fulfilled a duty of humanity and mutual aid due between nations. Nevertheless, I accept, with thanks, and shall preserve with pride, this honorable testimonial of your regard."
The owners of the Reindeer are well known in this community, as gentlemen who can confer a favor as well as appreciate one when received from another. Not long since one of their vessels rescued a foreign crew from impending destruction, clothed and kept them during five weeks, but generously declined proffered compensation. The government to which these ship-wrecked mariners belonged, since the owners refused compensation, gratefully acknowledged its obligation to them. Such examples are worthy of all praise.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.