In his diary he indicates that he was a member of the German nobility, sailor, immigrant to the United States, confederate soldier (including saying that he was at Fort Wagner), farmer, and even on one occasion claims that he smuggled slaves from Africa to South America past the British. Although some have doubted whether everything in his diary was entirely 100% factual.
Clarification of Opening Statement about William Henry von EbersteinEdit
In the brief description given about him, William Henry von Eberstein was shown to be a "slave smuggler." Because of the way Political Correctness has run amuck today, as a Great-Great Grandson, I felt this needed to be clarified.
As a seaman, von Eberstein always wanted to be Master of a ship and after arriving in Cape Town, he found the opportunity to do so. The Spanish brig, Le Bonnie Esperanza, was in port and the owner's agents were seeking a new Master as the former one had died aboard ship from African Fever during its last voyage. Only knowing that he would be paid very well and receiving a percentage of the cargo's profit, von Eberstein signed on as the ship's new Master. It wasn't until he was three days out of port at sea that he was able to open his sealed orders to discover what his cargo would be, where he was supposed to pick it up, and where it was to be transported to. At that time, slavery had been outlawed in England, most of the European countries, and the United States. However, it had not been abolished by Portugal whose colony in Africa was the pickup location, nor by Brazil, the destination for his cargo. As noted in his memoirs, von Eberstein stated that after this voyage, he realized it was a "fool hardy" thing to do.
Also omitted in the opening description of von Eberstein was any mention of his many other voyages, such as a whaling expedition, transporting convicts from England to Australia, or being one of a few shipwrecked survivors having to live on an island for months until rescued. --Decora 17:26, April 24, 2010 (UTC)