In December 1812, I found a schooner fitting out of Salem as a privateer. She had only four carriage guns and ninety men. By the fifth of January, 1813, she was ready to sail and only wanted some young man to go as assistant surgeon of her. The offer was made to me, when without much reflection or consultation of friends, I stepped on board her in that capacity, with no other ideas than that of a pleasant cruise and making a fortune. With this in view we steered for the coast of Brazil, which we reached about the first of February.
Our first land-fall was not the most judicious, for we made the coast in the night, and in the morning found ourselves surrounded with breakers. Fortunately for us a Portuguese schooner was outside of us, and we hoisted out our boat and went on board her and received from her commander and officers directions for clearing ourselves from these dangerous breakers. We were then about sixty miles below Cape St. Roque. The captain of the Portuguese vessel kindly informed us where to get water, in a bay then before us. We had English colours flying, and all this time passed for a British vessel.