On his proposing to accept a free passage to Valparaiso, that he might accompany thither his eldest son Reuben, and then return to his people, the whole of his adopted countrymen came and begged that it might not be so, as they could not bear to part with their pastor and friend. This appeal prevailed; and, on Reuben's quitting the island for Valparaiso to settle in the world, the father gave the whole of the money he possessed, amounting to eight dollars, to his son. All the families joined in fitting the youth out to the best of their power, furnishing him with a supply of clothes, and making up altogether a purse of more than forty dollars, several contributing every cent they had.
Mr. Nobbs afterwards received, by Commander Dillon, of the Cockatrice schooner, in 1851, several gratifying letters from Reuben. This young man had acquired the esteem and confidence of his employers, merchants at Valparaiso, and was much valued by all who knew him. But it was deemed right, after a few years' residence there, that he should return to Pitcairn's Island, in compliance with the wish of his mother, who had been very unhappy in consequence of his absence; and thither he accordingly went in the spring of 1853. He afterwards took the opportunity of returning with Captain Morshead, in the Dido, to Valparaiso, where he resumed the duties of a responsible mercantile situation. But his friends having heard with deep regret, that his health had been much impaired, it was found necessary to remove him once more from Valparaiso to his native island. He was afflicted with lameness, in consequence of an accident from a gun. To this, as well as to his illness and death, allusion will be made in the progress of this work.