Isaak Iselin in Hawaiʻi, 1807
Comparing sources II
Apart from his journal, Isaak Iselin also wrote extensive letters to his brother Dietrich (1780–1859) during the voyage. Isaak Iselin's copies of these letters have been preserved in the Iselin private archive in Basel.
The fifteen letters, totalling 63 pages, are a precious addendum to the journal. Written in English « [...] as it may be an exercise for us both» (p. 15), the letters address topics omitted from the journal: the political context, the slow–going trade, discouraging weather conditions, changes in schedule, crew morale, and not least homesickness. Whereas the (edited) journal was a more self–consciously objective account of the journey, meant for a general audience, the letters tell us something about Isaak Iselin's moods and feelings. At times they even resemble the sentimental literary prose of the time.
In this exercise, you will compare an account from the journal to the corresponding passage in a letter.