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John II's World Cruise

USS IroquoisJohn's reluctance to stay in school and his very active social life—especially his avid interest in girls—caused his father much concern. In 1871, Elijah arranged for Captain Adams to employ John as a secretary during a three-year around-the-world cruise on the USS Iroquois. In January 1872, Elijah wrote to John: “You must rather attempt to play the man, than play the lover, and be only the attendant of a lady, or allow the thoughts of them to occupy your whole time as it did too much while at home. I was desirous that you should see something of the world.”

John did see much of the world, with stops at Gibraltar; Malta; and Port Said, with a visit to Cairo and the Pyramids. The ship traveled through the Suez Canal (rough weather in the Arabian Sea made John sick), and then to Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong. John developed a friendly relationship with the midshipmen on the Iroquois and joined them at parties, balls, and other social activities at the various ports of call. He thus was unable to as much of his salary as his father had hoped. When the tour ended in San Francisco in the summer of 1874, John did not have sufficient funds to return home. Captain Adams arranged transportation for him. After a visit to the family at The Hermitage, John settled in Philadelphia for a number of years.

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