1830’s – The Baptist Missionary Magazine

The Baptist Missionary Magazine (1836)
by American Baptist Missionary Union. Executive Committee, Baptist General Convention. Board of Managers

Extracts from the journal of Mr. Dean

16th July 1835. At 7 o’clock this morning, just one week from the time we left Singapore, we came to anchor near the bar at the mouth of the Meinam river. Here we overtook the “Hind,” the only vessel that left Singapore for this place during our residence there. Here we also met the “Lord Eldon,” an English ship, returning from Bankok. A few small junks are seen leaving and entering the river. At the right of us the island “Se-chang,” rising in three broken points, presents a striking contrast to the monotonous level of the main land, which from this distance has the appearance of a regular line of bamboo hedge bounding the water’s edge.

After breakfast, in company with Mr. Jones and the naquodah, I took the long-boat for Pak-Nam, a town of four or five thousand people, situated on the east side of the river, about 2 miles from its mouth. Here, after stipulating with the Rajah for the passage of the ship, the naquodah took Mr. Jones and proceeded to Bankok, leaving me in the custom office with the expectation of returning to the ship at 12 o’clock in company with the pilot.

The most interesting objects of the scenery of this place, and indeed the only things which have any semblance of neatness and decency, are its forts, built of brick and overlaid with a kind of cement made in part of shell-lime. There are two rows of these fortifications, one on each side of the river, in addition to a circular one standing on an island nearly at its centre. This presents a beautiful appearance to one coming up from the mouth of the river. It is built of the same materials as the others, with three tiers of guns. The island is 70 or 80 feet in diameter, having in the rear of the fort some small trees, which give to the whole a tasteful appearance. On another island, just above this, is a pagoda 100 or 150 feet in height.

17th July 1835. Instead of leaving Pak-Nam at 12 o’clock, according to appointment, with great difficulty I succeeded in starting the pilot at 5 o’clock this morning, and after beating about the bar in a most perilous manner, in consequence of a violent storm, reached the ship at 2 1-2 P. M.

18th July 1835. Learning that the ship must be detained a week or more for high water we took the long-boat for Bankok – about forty miles distant. We were obliged to stop at Pak-Nam to leave our names on record, as subjects of his majesty’s dominions, after which we were allowed unmolested to proceed on our way.

Passing several brick forts, containing from twenty to fifty English guns each and frequent canals intersecting the river, we came to ?a?-late, a town containing 15,000 Peguans, besides a few Siamese, Chinese and Burmans, situated 10 or 12 miles from the mouth of the river. By taking a canal in sight of this place, we crossed a bend in the river, by which we saved a distance of 12 or 15 miles, and arrived at Bankok at 8 o’clock this evening.