In a Situation of Mind only rendered supportable by the long & painful state of Misery & Suspense we have suffered on his Account how shall I address my dear, my fondly beloved Brother! how describe the Anguish we have felt at the Idea of this long and painful separation, rendered still more distressing by the terrible Circumstances attending it! Oh! my ever dearest Boy, when I look back to that dreadful Moment which brought us the fatal Intelligence that you had remained in the Bounty after Mr. Bligh had quitted her & were looked upon by him as a Mutineer! when I contrast that Day of Horror with my present Hopes of again beholding you such as my most sanguine Wishes cou'd expect. I know not which is the most predominant sensation — pity Compassion & Sorrow for your sufferings, or Joy & Satisfaction at the prospect of their being near a Termination; & of once more embracing the dearest Object of our Affections!
I will not ask you my beloved Brother whether you are innocent of the dreadful Crime of Mutiny — if the Transactions of that Day were as Mr. Bligh represented them, such is my Conviction of your Worth & Honor, that I will without Hesitation stake my Life on your Innocence. If on the Contrary you were concerned in such a Conspiracy against your Commander I shall be as firmly persuaded his Conduct was the Occasion of it. But alas! cou'd any Occasion justify so attrocious an Attempt to destroy a Number of our fellow Creatures? — No — my ever dearest Peter — nothing but Conviction from your own Mouth can possibly persuade me that you cou'd commit an Action in the smallest Degree inconsistent with Honor & Duty; & the Circumstance of your having swam off to the Pandora on her Arrival at Otaheite (which filled us with Joy to which no Words can do justice) is sufficient to convince all who know you that you certainly stay'd behind either by Force or from Views of preservation.
How strange does it seem to me that I am engaged in the delightful Task of writing to you! — Alas! my lov'd Brother — two years ago I never expected again to enjoy such a Felicity: & even yet, I am in the most painful Uncertainty whether you are alive — Gracious God grant that we may be at length blessed by your return — but alas! the Pandora's people have been long expected & are not even yet arrived! — shou'd any Accident have happened after all the Miseries you have already suffered, the poor Gleam of Hope with which we have been lately indulged will render our Situation ten thousand Times more insupportable than if Time had inured us to your Loss. — I send this to the Care of Mr. Hayward of Hackney Father of the young Gentleman you so often mention in your Letters while you were on board the Bounty & who went out as third Lieut. of the Pandora — a Circumstance which gave us infinite satisfaction as you wou'd on entering the Pandora meet your old Friend. On discovering old Mr. Hayward's residence I wrote to him as I hoped he cou'd give me some Information respecting the Time of your Arrival, & in return he sent me a most friendly Letter, & has promised this shall be given to you when you reach England, as I well know how great must be your Anxiety to hear of us & how much satisfaction it will give you to have a Letter immediately on your return.
Let me conjure you my dearest Peter to write to us the very first Moment — do not lose a post — tis of no Consequence how short your Letter may be if it only informs us you are well — I need not tell you that you are the first & dearest Object of our Affections — think then my adored Boy of the Anxiety we must feel on your Account — for my own part, I can know no real Joy or Happiness independent of you, & if any Misfortune shou'd now deprive us of you, my Hopes of Felicity are fled for ever!
We are at present making all possible Interest with every Friend & Connection we have to ensure you a sufficient support & protection at your approaching Trial, for a Trial you must unavoidably undergo in order to convince the World of that Innocence which those who know you will not for a Moment doubt — but alas! while Circumstances are against you the generality of Mankind will judge severely — Bligh's representations to the Admiralty are I am told very unfavorable & hitherto the Tide of public Opinion has been greatly in his Favor.
Tis now Time dear Peter to give you some Account of our own Family — if you have not already heard it, be not too much shocked when I tell you that we have no longer the Blessing of a Father — Alas! my beloved Brother, he did not live to hear (& fortunately for himself he did not, for it wou'd have broke his Heart) the fatal Account of that horrid Mutiny which has deprived us of you so long — His severe Fits of the Gout & the Distress of his Mind from the repeated Disappointment he has met with Feb 6, 1790 put an End to his Existence on the 6th. of Feb. 1790 — he died blessing you & incessantly talked of the pleasure he shou'd feel if he lived till your return. My Mama is at present well, considering the Distress she has suffered since you left us for Oh! my dearest Brother we have experienced a complicated scene of Misery from a Variety of Causes which however when compared with the sorrow we felt on your Account was trifling & insignificant — that Misfortune made all others light; & to see you once more returned & safely restored to us will be the summit of all earthly Happiness! — All your Brothers & Sisters are well and longing to embrace their dear Peter with the most ardent Expectation — I will not now enter upon particulars as I hope soon to have the Felicity of writing you another Letter for it certainly cannot be long before you arrive in England — a Moment which we wait with almost dying Expectation! — Mr. Heywood by whose Interest you first went into the Navy has written us a most kind Letter & has faithfully promised he will do his utmost on your Arrival to serve you essentially & certain I am your own Conduct will in every respect justify his goodness.
Farewell my most beloved Brother — God grant this may be soon put into your Hands! perhaps you are at this moment arrived in England & I may soon have the dear Delight of again beholding you! — My Mama Brothers & Sisters join with me in every Sentiment of Love & Tenderness — write to us immediately my ever lov'd Peter & may the Almighty preserve you till you bless with your presence your fondly affectionate Family & particularly
your unalterably faithful
Friend & Sister