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VOYAGE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC:
WITH NOTES ON
CANADA & THE UNITED STATES;
RETURN TO GREAT BRITAIN,
BY GEORGE MOORE, ESQ.
PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION
Printed by Palmer and Clayton, Crane-court, Fleet-street.
THIS LITTLE VOLUME
IS MOST AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
Having a large circle of friends who feel interested in my American
trip, the propriety of publishing my observations, to avoid going over
the same ground again and again, was suggested by one of them--a hint
with which I have complied.
I can say, with the strictest truth, that I have not revised or altered
any impression formed at the moment. Indeed, I never saw these Notes
from the time they were written till they passed through the press.
Change of scene, and a new current of thoughts, with the blessing of
Providence, have worked a considerable improvement in my health--a mercy
for which I shall ever feel grateful; and while I prize the high
privileges of the land of my birth, and feel proud to be an Englishman,
I hope ever to regard our Transatlantic brethren with respect, and do
full justice to the extensive wonders of America.
_London, April 30, 1845._
_Saturday, 17th August, 1844_, One o'clock, P.M.--Left Liverpool in the
_Great Western_ steamship, Captain Mathews, for New York, with 138
passengers. Wind N.W., blowing a strong gale. In two hours very few
passengers on deck, the ship rolling heavily. At four discharged the
pilot. At half-past twelve passed Holyhead. Went to bed rather squeamish
_Sunday_ morning.--Rose at seven; was awakened by the stopping of the
engine, from breaking a new wheel which had been put up to work the
blowers for the fires. Detained an hour and half in consequence. Passed
Tuskar at ten. Had public worship at one: the Church of England service,
in which the name of the President of the United States was introduced:
about seventy attended. No sermon, there being no minister on board, and
the Captain not prepared.
The routine of each day appears to be this:--The gong sounds at
half-past seven to rise; breakfast at nine; at twelve lunch; at
half-past three dress for dinner; at four dine; half-past seven tea;
very few take supper at ten; lights put out at eleven punctually.
At seven P.M. passed Cork; at nine Kinsale. 165 miles. Latitude,
51 deg. 58' N.: Longitude, 6 deg. 34'.
At three o'clock on _Monday_ morning, the 19th, passed Cape Clear; and
when I got on deck only a distant view of the most rugged part of
Ireland to be seen. It is now eight o'clock, and the passengers are
beginning to show themselves, the sea having gone down, and the ship
going on smoothly 9-3/4 knots. Laid down the following rules, which I
hope to be able to keep:--Rise at half-past seven; walk on deck till
breakfast; read at least six chapters in the Bible the first thing after
breakfast; then walk on deck for an hour till lunch; afterwards write
for an hour; then walk on deck for another hour; then read any books I
have till dinner; between dinner and tea walk and talk, and take stock
of the passengers, being some of all sorts here; after tea whist till
ten, and then turn in.
The weather continues very calm, and the sea smooth. This steamer,
without exception, the easiest and most comfortable I have ever sailed
in. About 100 dined to-day, and the general appetite appeared to be in
a satisfactory state.
211 miles. Lat. 51 deg. 32' N.; Long. 11 deg. 59'.
_Tuesday_, the 20th, seven A.M.--A most beautiful morning. Spent the day
as usual. During dinner the wind changed to E.N.E. Set all sail below
and aloft, and the engine made 12 revolutions in the minute. It was now
that I became acquainted with our worthy Captain, whom I found to be a
gentlemanly, courteous, obliging little fellow. Heard some German,
Irish, English, and Yankee songs; and turned in at half-past ten.
193 miles. Lat. 51 deg. 26' N.; Long. 17 deg. 3'.
_Wednesday_, the 21st.--Rose at my usual time. Fine weather. For the
first time saw a sail, a brig, standing to the south, but too distant to
exchange signals. The wind fair, but very light: the engine making
12-1/2 revolutions a minute, or 94 knots an hour. Spent the day as
228 miles. Lat. 51 deg. 24' N.; Long. 23 deg. 6'.
_Thursday_, the 22nd.--The wind changed to south; and the passengers all
on deck. The sea smooth; and the engine, after being well coaled, made
14 revolutions per minute. Some heavy card-playing on board, and
imprudent losses, which I much regretted to see.
220 miles. Lat. 51 deg. 5' N.; Long. 28 deg. 54'.
_Friday_, the 23rd.--The ship rolling from a south swell; and a very
small muster at breakfast. The ladies generally ill. The wind S.E., and
the ship covered with canvas. Rate 11 knots by the Log. Wind freshened
up to a sharp breeze from the West; and it is now nearly three days
since I have been able to put pen to paper. During dinner all the sails
taken in; and the heavy pitching of the ship sent all the grumblers from
259 miles. Lat. 50 deg. 33' N.; Long. 34 deg. 59'.
_Saturday_ morning, the 24th.--Read; talked; walked; lunched; walked and
read again. At nine drank "wives and sweethearts;" and then to bed.
239 miles. Lat. 49 deg. 27' N.; Long. 40 deg. 55'.
_Sunday_, the 25th.--A beautiful morning, but rather foggy, as we began
to approach the Banks of Newfoundland. Had a very pleasant day of
reading. Had public service at one: sang the hymn of "Greenland's rocky
mountain;" and Mr. Dodge, of New York, read a sermon of the Rev. Thos.
Spencer's, written when he was sixteen years old, from the text "God is
love." The sea calm, but very damp.
211 miles. Lat. 48 deg. 15' N.; Long. 45 deg. 51'.
_Monday_, the 26th.--A dense fog about the middle of the banks. Sea
smooth. Going 9-1/2 knots. Spent the day as usual.
212 miles. Lat. 47 deg. 5' N.; Long. 50 deg. 44'.
_Tuesday_, the 27th.--Still foggy and dark, cold and comfortless. Saw
lots of porpoises and whales, who walked away from us at their leisure,
the steamer making miserable progress from want of steam, though wind
and sea were favourable. Spent the day as usual.
209 miles. Lat. 45 deg. 43' N.; Long. 55 deg. 10'.
_Wednesday_, the 28th.--Sky beautifully clear; but the usual fog came on
at ten, and the engines were stopped for soundings: 77 fathoms, white
sand. Cape Race distant 60 miles.
229 miles. Lat. 44 deg. 44' N.; Long. 60 deg. 25'.
_Thursday_, the 29th.--Wind dead a-head, with a heavy sea. Only 7 knots;
and many passengers in bed. At four o'clock the wind changed round, the
sea smoothed down, and we had the most brilliant sunset I ever saw: it
was past all description! It gave me a good impression of an American
sun. The Yankees broke out into applause, and welcomed the face of Sol
as that of an old and tried friend. Had a grand state-dinner to-day; and
the passengers appeared to do ample justice to the viands. Passed a
200 miles. Lat. 43 deg. 4' N.; Long. 64 deg. 14'.
We presented Captain Mathews with a memorial, signed by all the
passengers, on his first trip as commander, he having been first mate to
Capt. Hoskin in the _Great Western_ ever since she was launched. He
richly deserved a more substantial mark of our regard for his
The following was the Bill of Fare:--
Beefsteaks 4 Omelets 8
Mutton Chops -- Boiled Eggs 100
Pork Chops 4 Homony 6
Ham and Eggs 10 Hash --
Fried Bacon 6 Mush --
Fricasee Chicken -- Fried Fish (Soles) 5
Veal Cutlets 4 Do. Potatoes --
Soup--Mock Turtle 6 Boiled Fowls 3 pair
Boiled Fish--Salmon Corned Beef 1
and Lobster Sauce 4 Corned Pork --
Baked Fish -- Ham 1
Roast Beef 3 Tongues 2
Saddles of Mutton 2 Fricandeau --
Roast Lamb 2 Mutton Cutlets 8
Roast Turkey 2 Macaroni 4
Roast Veal -- Curry --
Roast Pig 1 Irish Stew --
Olive Ducks 3 pair Calf's Head 2
Roast Fowls -- Roast Hare 5
Roast Geese 1 Lobster Patties 6
Boiled Mutton 2 Chicken Salad 8
Gullenteen Turkeys 4
Plum Pudding 5 Mince Pies 6
Apple Dumpling 8 Damson Pies --
Raspberry Rollers 2 Cherry Pies 4
Baked Apple Pudding 5 Rice Pudding 8
Apple Pies 7 Orange ditto 5
Cranberry Pies 7 Custard ditto --
Raspberry Puffs 8 Bergnets --
Plum Pies 7 Brandy Fruits 8
WINES, JELLIES, AND BLANCHEMANGE.
August 29th, 1844.
* * * * *
_Friday._--Saw land to-day for the first time since we left Cape Clear;
and heartily sick of the Atlantic. Saw Lantucket at two P.M. The
atmosphere mild and warm. Paid my wine-bill to Crawford, the head
steward, a black; who, by the way, had got well threshed for
nigger-driving the second steward. Finished my letters for England in
hopes of catching the Boston steamer, which leaves New York at five P.M.
210 miles. Lat. 41 deg. 18' N.; Long. 68 deg. 18'.
_Saturday._--A beautiful morning. The wind changed. All the passengers
on deck. The pilot (who had come out 160 miles to get the job, a very
intelligent fellow) lent me a New York paper. A good many vessels in
sight. Came close to Long Island. All bustle and confusion packing. Our
boat did her best, but we saw we should be too late for the mail. Got to
Sandy Hook at five; the Narrows at six; and up the East River at seven.
Passed Fort Hamilton; and at half-past seven landed in New York.
The confusion on landing baffled all description. Hundreds of
pickpockets were on the look-out. We sojourned at the Astor House Hotel.
Had a warm-bath, and retired to rest grateful that I was once more on
265 miles. Passage altogether 3022 miles in fourteen days.
_Sunday_, 1st September.--Rose at six. Took a car with my companion, Mr.
K----, of Liverpool, and went down to the _Great Western_ for our
luggage. We met with great civility from the Custom-house officers.
They would not allow luggage to pass after sunset the previous evening.
After breakfast we heard service at Dr. Spring's Chapel, a Presbyterian:
a beautiful chapel, and a respectable congregation, and all in their
pews before the minister ascended the pulpit: the text was, "The Lord
reigneth:" the singing was good: the service terminated at twelve. The
weather awfully hot: the thermometer stood at 92 deg. in the shade. Dined at
half-past two: 300 sat down to a splendid dinner, everything that could
tempt the appetite or please the epicure. Tea at seven; and supper at
ten, if required.
I may here remark that Astor House is the largest hotel in the world.
They make up five hundred beds regularly, but could make up eight
hundred: about sixty waiters; five regular clerks; twenty-one
washerwomen; five manglers (all of which is done by steam); twelve
cooks. Take it for all in all,
"I ne'er shall see its like again."
Their system is as much carried out as Morrison's, Fore-street. You
never have occasion to ring the bell twice: they have twenty rotunda men
who do nothing else but answer bells and carry out parcels. My first
impression of New York on the Sunday morning was that it resembled
Population, 350,000. Lat. 40 deg. 42' N.; Long. 74 deg. 2-1/2'.
I here subjoin the Bill of Fare. For eating and bed two dollars per
day, including servants.
Mock Turtle Soup.
Baked Black Fish, Claret sauce, Clam Chowder.
Corned Beef, Chickens and Pork,
Ham, Smoked Corned Beef,
Tongue, Leg of Mutton.
Cold Pressed Corned Beef, Cold Corned Leg of Pork,
Cold Roast Beef, Cold Roast Lamb.
Lobster Salad, Small Birds, Port Wine sauce,
Mutton Chops, breaded, Small Oyster Pies,
Rib of Beef, Champagne sauce, Ducks, Spanish sauce,
Pigeons with fine Herbs, Veal, Tomato sauce,
Broiled Chickens, Steward's Macaroni,
sauce Eels, Cold Sauce,
Calf's Head, Brain sauce, Beans and Pork.
Boiled Potatoes, Onions, Boiled Rice,
Corn, Turnips, Beets,
Fried Egg Plants, Shelled Beans.
Pig, Geese, Lamb and Mint sauce.
Peach Pie, Kisses, Lemon Pudding,
Custard Pie, Fruit Jelly.
Filberts, Almonds, Raisins, Oranges, Figs, Plums,
Apples, Pears, Melons, Peaches, &c.
Seister Water Price per bottle, 0 75
Moselle, 1831 1 50
Sauterne 1 00
Morton's Y. Chem 2 00
Pints 1 00
Markgraefer, delicate 1 00
Rudeshoimer, 1834, pints 1 50
Marcobrunner 2 00
Steinberger Cabinet, 1831 2 50
Sparkling Hock 2 00
Ausbruck Cabinet Rothenberg of 1831 3 00
Ausbruck Cabinet Graffenburg, 1831 4 00
Ausbruck Cabinet Rothenburg, 1822 4 00
Cabinet Schloss Johannisberger, 1822 5 00
Prince Metternich's Castle, bottled, yellow seal, 1831 5 00
Metternich's Castle, bottled, red seal, 1822 5 00
Prince Metternich's celebrated Castle, bottled, gold
seal, Johannisberger vintage 1822 8 00
Schreider 2 00
Napoleon 2 00
Cliquot 2 00
Heidsieck 2 00
Ruinart 2 00
Perriot 2 00
Star 2 00
Venoge, J.T.B. 2 00
Duc de Montabello, dry 2 00
Do. do. sweet 2 00
Do. do. Ladies' wine 2 00
Pints do. do. 1 00
Table Claret 0 50
Do. do. 0 75
Pints of Barsolou 1 00
St. Estephe, V. Barsalou 1 00
St. Julien, do. 1 25
Leoville, do. 1 50
Pontet Canet, do. 1 50
Chateau Latour, do. 1 75
Battailly, Barton, and Guestier, 1834 1 50
Chateau Beychevelle, do. 1834 2 00
Mouton, do. 1834 2 50
Latour, do. 1834 3 00
Chateau Lafitte, do. 1834 3 00
Chateau Margeaux, do. 1834 3 00
St. Julien, in pint bottles, V.B. 0 75
Leoville do. do. 0 75
Pontet Canet, do. do. 0 75
Latour, do. do. 1 00
Lafitte 1 00
Particular 2 00
Tower 2 50
Brazil 2 50
Macon 1 50
Do. pints 0 75
Pouilly, White Burgundy 1 50
Do. do. pints 0 75
Pomard 2 50
Chambertin 3 00
Romanee 3 00
Vosne 3 00
Harmony, Amontillado, delicious 3 00
Sherry, Pale, N.O. 1 00
Sherry, S.S. 1 00
Yriarte, Pale, delicate 2 00
Yriarte, Gold G. 2 00
Crowley (Sayres) Gold 2 50
Do. do. Brown, extra 2 50
Do. do. Amontillado 3 00
Imperial, Pale 4 00
Brown, imported in glass 4 00
Romano, do. very old 3 00
Romano, Pale, very old 3 00
Lobo, Brown, FO, long bottled 3 50
Ne Plus Ultra 4 00
Henry Clay, imported into Boston in 1826. 3 00
Madeira, F.B. 1 00
Madera Oliveiro 1 50
L.P. Madeira 2 00
Blackburne's 2 00
Blackburne's Reserve 2 50
Howard, March, and Co.'s Madeira, imported for the
Astor House, F. 2 00
Newton, Gordon, and Murdock's (GM) 2 00
Oliveires Reserve, 17 years old 2 50
E.I. Leacock, old, dry 2 50
Leacock, M.L., imported, 1826, into New Orleans 3 00
Murdock, Yuille, and Woodrope, MY 3 00
Yellow Seal, original N.G.M. delicate 3 00
D.V. Sercial, very delicate 3 00
Brazil, V.I. very old, a favourite wine 3 00
Brown Seal, old Monteiras, 'superior' 3 00
Nabob 3 50
Red Seal, old, bottled, East India 3 50
Eclipse Madeira 4 00
Rapid, imported 1818 4 00
Green Seal, Virginia Madeira, light and very delicate 4 00
White Top, very old and delicate 4 00
Thorndike, very old and 'superior' 4 50
Edward Tuckerman, Esq., Scott, Laughnan, Penfold,
and Co.'s, imported 1820, P.M. 5 00
Gratz, yellow seal, 1806 5 00
Do. green seal, 1806 5 00
Do. black seal, 1806 5 00
Do. red seal, bottled 1806 5 00
Wanton, exceedingly delicate, thirty years in wood, W. 5 00
John A. Gordon's Madeira, imported into Philadelphia
1798 5 00
Caroline, an old family-wine 5 00
Gordon, Buff, Inglis, and Co.'s, imported by H.G.
Otis and Edward Tuckerman, Esq., 1811, G. 5 00
Stalk's Madeira, bottled in Calcutta, imported 1825 6 00
Hurd's Madeira, bottled in 1822 in Calcutta 5 00
Essex, Jr., imported 1819 6 00
Smith and Huggins, Dyker's White top, bottled in
1800 in St. Eustatia 7 00
Tuckerman's B., 1810 7 00
Thorndike's A., 1809 8 00
Wedding Wine 8 00
Gov. Philip's Wine 9 00
Gov. Kirby's original bottles, OO 12 00
* * * * *
_Monday_ morning, the 2nd.--After breakfast despatched three-quarters of
a hundred newspapers to my old and valued friends in England. They keep
no stock on hand for promiscuous sale: they printed them on purpose for
me. After which I visited the business parts. All the streets filled
with empty cases, which they had just cleared for the Fall trade:
auctioneers hammering away in all corners, knocking goods about as if
they cost nothing. In the stores there appears no system--all is
confusion. The heat was awful till seven P.M., when the rain came down
in torrents: at the same time the atmosphere was brilliantly lighted by
flashes of electric fire. Took Mr. and Mrs. Green to the Park Theatre,
to patronize Anderson as _Othello_, Miss Clara Ellis as _Desdemona_, and
a Mr. Dowsett as _Iago_, all of whom crossed with us. A poor set out.
Theatrical property in the States, I understand, is at a greater
discount than in England. Poor Mr. Simpson, whom I sat next to in my
passage, is the proprietor--a worthy man, and much esteemed. To bed at
_Tuesday._--A long day of business. Observed with regret their loose
mode. All busy; and they appear to think good times will last for ever.
Nearly all have failed at one time or the other. Bankers discounting
liberally at present; and all appear to be trying who can sell cheapest.
Retired to rest at eleven, lost in amazement, and the reflection that
this state of things cannot last long.
_Wednesday._--Ascertained the geography of the town pretty well; and so
I ought, for I walked till I was nearly red in the face, and my shirt
wet through. Engaged at the present moment, ten P.M., writing this, with
all my bedroom windows open, and in my shirt. _Hot!_ HOT!! VERY HOT!!!
_Thursday._--Called upon Mr. J.J. Echalaz, at Goodhue and Co.'s, where I
received marked attention from both Mr. E. and his employers. When I
introduced my letters from E.B. Webb, at Baring's, got some valuable
information, and letters of introduction to Philadelphia, Boston,
Baltimore, Washington, and Canada. Afterwards took a turn amongst the
retail-shops, to see their system. Mr. Stewart, Broadway, and a few
others, are done upon the London style, but the lower class take any
price they can get. Disco-
[Transcriber's Note: One page of text is missing here (page 15 in the
superintendent has a higher object than his pay. God grant that he may
long be spared!--We then saw the avenues; and, as "variety is charming,"
we then visited Niblo's Theatre--something like what Vauxhall was: lots
of handsome girls performing nonsense; and two or three men, more
particularly one named Mitchell, kept us in roars of laughter. Bussed it
home: no conductor: the driver has a strap with which he shuts and opens
the door, and you pay him through a hole in the roof. To bed at eleven.
Began to like my companion very much: found him a sober, religious,
industrious man, who studies to make himself agreeable.
_Friday_ morning.--Bought a lot of books, new publications, at
desperately low prices: bought also a capital map of the United States
and Canada for 10 dollars to send to Bow Churchyard, to show my
_journey_ when I return to Europe. Afterwards had a long consultation
with my old friend and fellow-apprentice, Joseph Blane, who is in
prosperity, esteemed by all who know him, and in possession of the best
information about the standing of the different parties in the dry-goods
trade. Spent the remainder of the day with George Pearce, and was rather
favourably impressed with the object I had in view in taking this
voyage. It is now ten, and I smoke my solitary cigar, having confined
myself to one since my arrival.
_Saturday_ morning.--Full of business all day. Had interviews with
Brown Brothers, (the Rothschilds of America,) from whom I received
marked kindness and attention, and most liberal offers to transact our
money operations. Also spent an hour with Pickersgill and partners, who
had been doing our business, and was much pleased with their
straightforward manner. Also saw Mr. Ebbets, at the Union Bank, whom I
found a business man. Heard all their propositions, and reflected upon
them. Dined with Mr. Pearce, and stuck to my writing till seven o'clock.
Then called upon Mr. Green; and he came and had an oyster supper with
me. And I may here observe, they beat us altogether in cooking oysters:
they fry, stew, roast, boil, and have every imaginable way of cooking
them. Took a warm-bath to finish the week, and not before I required it,
as I have been wet through every day with perspiration since I came
here. To bed at ten.
_Sunday_ morning.--Rose fresh. Had my head shampooed and cleaned in a
most extraordinary manner. Breakfasted, and to St. John's Episcopal
Church, and heard a very good sermon by Dr. Milliner: I forget the text,
although I was much impressed with the discourse. Returned to the Astor,
where my old friend, Joseph Blane, was waiting to take me to his house
to dine. He has the best house I had been in yet--774, Broadway; not
living, like most of the New York merchants, at hotels, lodgings, or
boarding-houses. Introduced to his wife, whom I found a delightful
woman--of French extraction, but Yankee-born. Was introduced to Mr.
Deseze, Mrs. B.'s brother-in-law, a Frenchman, who fought under Napoleon
at Waterloo, and was offered to retain his commission by Louis XVIII.,
but he declined it. This was one of the pleasantest days I had spent
since I left my own fireside. It brought old recollections to my memory
that had long been buried--scenes of my boyhood, when Blane and I were
serving our apprenticeship in Wigton. In the evening we went to Palmo's
Opera-house, to hear Dr. Lardner, of Heaviside notoriety. It was his
second lecture on the "Evidences of Religion afforded by the Phenomena
of Nature, and the Consistency of Science with Divine Revelation." We
were much pleased. He is the most complete elocutionist I ever heard,
and impressed a crowded audience with his sublime subject. What a
melancholy loss to England by his one false step, that degraded him in
moral society! Walked to the Astor, and took one cigar each, when Mr. B.
told me he was collecting charity for the poor widow of H. W----s, who
had left her without a shilling to support four helpless children. He
had 6000 dollars a year, and Mr. F. discharged him for intemperance. He
took to his bed, and died of a broken heart. I envied this man, when I
lived with him at F.'s, for his position. Gave his widow 50 dollars;
and to bed.
_Monday_ morning.--Had a long interview with Prime, Ward, and King, the
first house here whom I had letters to from Barings and Overend, and
Gurney. They gave me all the information in their power, and introduced
me to Mr. Halford's agent, a bill-broker, 46, Wall-street. Was occupied
till dinner writing to Bow Churchyard, and had Mr. Pearce to dine with
me. Dr. Keene called in the evening, and we took steam-boat (as large as
six of the Margate boats) to Holboken. Had a delightful walk by the
Hudson River, and saw some Indians, real Natives, with whom I was much
struck. Returned by a steam-boat, still larger and more crammed: I
should think there must have been 2000 souls, with lots of
trotting-horses, and gigs from 70 lbs. to 120 lbs. weight each,
returning from a trotting-match. Heard some extraordinary grasshoppers,
which repeated "Kate she did!" and "Kate she didn't!" quite distinctly.
Thence, for the first time, to a mobocracy meeting, where they expressed
awfully Liberal opinions--"Polk and Dallas for ever!" The room, a very
large one, was crammed to suffocation: I should think there were 5000
wedged in, and I should say the thermometer stood at 106 deg.. Liberal as I
am, I went no length to them. Beat all the speeches I ever heard. Dan.
O'Connell, Tom Duncombe, and the late Hunt and Cobbett were fools to
them. Home again with a wet shirt, and to bed.
_Tuesday_ morning.--Received letters of introduction from Goodhue and
Co. to Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Canada, and Washington. Had a
long talk with Mr. M., 60, Cedar-street. Introduced by Pearce, about my
intended trip: found him very useful. Received an order from a good
house, without soliciting them. Wrote and finished my letters home per
_Great Western_. Mr. Blane, and my old friend Brough, the performer,
dined with me. Was introduced to Capt. M'Lean, of the _Swallow_, running
to Albany; and then walked with Mr. R., of Manchester, down to the
Battery: a beautiful walk. To the Castle Garden, where there was another
Polk meeting, which I should think 10,000 people attended. Lots of
Liberality again. The Fort close to this is a splendid affair. Came by
White Hall back to the Astor, and wrote a long letter to my wife; and,
as it is just now ten o'clock, good night!
_Wednesday_ morning.--Bought three splendid racoon skins--one each for
Mr. Groucock, Mr. J. of Liverpool, and self, for our carriage
driving-boxes (Mr. J. having put upon my finger a magnificent diamond
ring very unexpectedly when I was leaving my native shore, as a mark of
gratitude for a disinterested act on my part towards him long, long ago,
which he considered had been the groundwork of his fortune:) also some
tobacco to pack in them, to prevent them spoiling. Then saw over the
Custom-house, which is a very fine building; and the Exchange. Business
is not done here as it is in London. Mr. Vyse, Mr. Palin, and I then
visited the Tombs. Prisoners do not remain here long. If the sentence is
long, they are sent to Blackwood's Island. The prisoners here are kept
clean, have well-aired cells, and are allowed to walk about at their
pleasure. They get only two meals a day: a quart of coffee or more, and
as much bread as they can eat. Dinner at three, with plenty of beef and
bread. For very long sentences they are sent to Sing-Sing, up the North
River, and Auburn state-prisons. We then visited the Sessions-house,
where there is no distinction between judges, counsel, or prisoners--all
are in plain dress, spitting about in all corners. Heard an eloquent
counsel defending a prisoner. Saw the lock-up, the warder's and grand
jury rooms. Altogether the Tombs is a very fine building. Saw where the
memorable J.C. Colt destroyed himself immediately after he was married,
and two hours before he would have been hanged. We passed Washington
Hall, where many a fine fellow has been ruined by gaming and drinking;
and dined at Astor House, where I was told it for a positive fact they
take 500 dollars a day ready money for drinks of brandy by people
standing. They pay 40,000 dollars a year rent. We then took a drive,
saw Mr. Vyse's fine horse and sulky, and spent an hour at his
apartments, which are first-rate: then to Trenton Hall to see a Mr.
Green, a reformed gambler, who exposed the rascality of gaming of all
sorts, and taught me how to know the cards by their backs. I was much
interested, and bought his "Life," with its scandalous exposures. Saw
Captain M'Arthey, who shot his brother in a duel, and has been
distracted ever since. To bed at eleven o'clock.
_Thursday_ morning.--Called upon Prime, Ward, and King, for letters of
introduction for my future route. Read P. and S.'s articles of
partnership. Wrote another long letter to my wife. Put Mr. Dowden's
commission into Mr. Pearce's hands, and Mr. Carrick's into Mr. Brough's,
who has friends at Vicksburgh. Bought my wife a handsome rocking-chair.
Then walked down to see the _Queen of the West_, the finest packet-ship
I ever saw. Visited the different markets: saw lots of fruit, but do not
think they touch us in anything but apples; tasted a large pumpkin, but
did not like it. Dined at the Astor; paid my bill, and packed up. To bed
MY JOURNEY SOUTH.
_Friday_ morning, the 13th October.--I left New York at nine A.M., and
crossed the North River per steam-boat to New Jerseytown, to the
Philadelphian railway. Each carriage held about eighty; still they were
comfortable with the windows up; and cheap--four dollars for 100 miles.
No second or third class. Six carriages, all crammed. The first station
we stopped at was Rohaio; thence to Elizabethtown; thence to New
Brunswick; then crossed the Delaware to Trenton, Pennsylvania state, and
to Bristol ferry, to the new Philadelphia steam-boat, waiting to take us
down the Delaware to Philadelphia. The country is fertile, capable, with
good farming, of producing good crops, which it has, of buckwheat,
Indian corn, and peaches--any quantity. We passed the seat of Joseph
Bonaparte; and also the notorious Nicholas Biddle's, who was President
of the United States Bank for twenty years, whose stock is now worth L5
that sold once for L140. I was much interested on my journey with a
gentleman from Heilderberg region, in the Rensselaer country, where the
native Indians, as they call themselves, assemble masked; and on one
occasion tarred and feathered the sheriff for attempting to enforce the
rents of the Van Rensselaer family estates, the deluded beings having
persuaded themselves they had as much right to the property as the
family that had it confirmed to them by the law of the land. When will
the _Locofocos_ be satisfied? Nearly opposite Philadelphia is a smart
town called Camden, where the wealthy merchants reside. We saw lots of
people shooting reed-birds on the banks of the Delaware. This is about
ninety miles from Cape Mare: then it is open sea to England. I was
struck with the town of Philadelphia. The streets all run in triangular
directions, and, as in New York, are called First, Second, and so on;
and many by such names as Cedar, Pine, Walnut, Chestnut, Mulberry, &c.
The ruined United States Bank is really a fine building of marble,
uninhabited. The Exchange is worthy of remark. The receiving-room, where
the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, is magnificent. It
has a statue of Washington, and a portrait of William Penn, the first
white man as a settler in 1661. This building was erected in 1733. The
Pennsylvanian Bank is a fine building. The Post-office small and
inconvenient. I then visited the Sessions-house, and heard them trying
the rioters. Home to bed at eight, tired out.
_Saturday_ morning.--Walked the Market-street, being the market-day. Was
much gratified with the immense quantity of domestic articles of every
description, particularly fruit: water-melons as big as 16 lbs. or 20
lbs. weight, and the finest of peaches selling at 1 s. per bushel. I
then called upon all the commercial people I wished to see, and found
they depended upon New York for supply. Found an old neighbour, Lewis
Brown, from Rose Castle, Cumberland, who arrived here without a penny,
and is now worth 150,000 dollars. Returned to Jones's Union Hotel to
dinner. I may observe, it is the best-conducted house I ever saw, and
the cleanest, situated in Chestnut-street, opposite the Arcade. After
dinner, Matthew Williams drove me to the water-works, Fairmount, where
there is a magnificent view of the town. Philadelphia is most
bountifully provided with fresh water, which is showered and jerked
about in all directions. The Water-works are no less ornamental than
useful, being tastefully laid out as a public garden, and kept in the
best order. The river is dammed and forced by its own powers into
certain high tanks or reservoirs, whence the whole city, to the top
stories, is supplied at 5 dollars a tap. It was a fine evening, and we
took a long drive, always passing everything on the wrong side. Very bad
roads, and quite new scenery to me. Returned over a wooden bridge,
covered, as they all are; and crossed the Schuylkill river, which runs
parallel with the Delaware, distant about seven miles, and joins it
there, which makes Philadelphia, like New York, almost an island.
_Sunday_ morning.--Heard a splendid sermon from Mr. Barnes, at his
Presbyterian chapel, Washington-square; text 4th chap. of Philippians,
and 8th verse: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any
virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." We then
walked to Christ Church burying-ground, and saw the grave of the
immortal Franklin. George III. built Christ Church. After dinner took
another drive to Girard College, a splendid unfinished marble structure:
when completed will be the richest edifice of modern times. Girard was a
banker, and died worth 10,700,000 dollars, two millions of which were
left to educate and provide for orphans of all classes. He was a poor
French tobacconist, and rose through trading with the West Indies. We
then drove to the Laurel Hill Cemetery, a beautifully situated place or
plot of ground, by the Schuylkill river: there is the figure of Sir
Walter Scott's Old Mortality cut out of solid stone. The cost for
interment is 3s. 6d. per square foot. We then drove up the
Wissiocou-road to German Town, where they beat us in making woollen
drawers, stockings, &c., owing to our laws and the American high tariff.
Came home by the West, having now driven all round--East, North, and
South. Had tea; and went to St. John's Episcopal Church, and heard a
good sermon from the rector, the Rev. Mr. Newton; text, Hebrews i. 11:
"They shall perish, but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as
doth a garment." It was most eloquent. With a population of 250,000,
they have 250 churches of different sects, and nearly all talented men
for preachers--indeed, Philadelphia has ever been known for its learning
and benevolence since its rise. I forgot to say we crossed a _wire
bridge_, the only one in the world that would bear 80 tons. Home, and to
_Monday_ morning.--Took a regular turn through all the commercial houses
again, and like their system better than New York. Lunched off peaches,
and then drove off to the Mint--not worth seeing. Thence to the Eastern
Penitentiary, where they have 360 prisoners. The solitary system is
abominable. I could not walk a happy man beneath the open sky by day, or
lay me down upon my bed at night, with the consciousness that one human
creature, for any length of time, lay suffering this unknown punishment,
and I the cause, or consenting to it in the least degree. The building
is very large, and kept in perfect order: it cannot be praised too
highly. We entered into a large chamber, from which seven long passages
radiate; on either side of which is a long row of low cell-doors,
numbered. Standing at the central point, and looking down these dreary
passages, the dull repose and quiet that prevails is awful. I was much
interested with one prisoner that had nearly completed his seven years,
who stated that he had been guilty of stealing 100 dollars, and that,
his conscience upbraiding him, he took them back previous to being found
out: still he was sentenced. He had a loom, had extracted some colours
from the yarn, and painted his room all over. But enough. I left it
labouring under a feeling of melancholy, and visited the Blind Asylum,
where we saw the system of reading by raised letters beautifully carried
out. A little girl and boy, about nine, who had been there only one
year, could read the Bible well: a young lady from Gloucester (England)
could tell you the latitude and longitude of any place upon a raised
map; and two others could sing and play well, thoroughly understanding
music. They take thirty boys and thirty girls upon the charity, and
educate them so that they can get a living in after-life; and others
they take at 200 dollars a-year for any period. Strange to say, they
sometimes get married. I bought some of their work, and printed some of
the raised letters. Contributed to the charity, and left much pleased.
And I may here observe--Jones's, the Union Hotel, is very first-rate. He
is from Warwickshire: all black servants, with a first-rate system. Got
a good dinner; and then saw the process of hatching chickens by steam. I
regretted I saw this, as I think I shall never like eggs again. We ought
to have visited the City Almshouse, Navy Yard, Marine Hospital, Widows'
Asylum, and many more places, but had not time. We then visited the
Pennsylvania Hospital, established by William Penn. His statue is
erected in the front, where he is represented as treating with the
Indians, after his mission from Charles II. After seeing the patients,
which are taken free to the number of 200, (others are paid for by
different institutions,) we saw the splendid painting by West, "Christ
healing the Sick." We then visited the Musical Fund Hall, and heard the
far-famed Ethiopian serenaders, Messrs. German, Hanwood, Harrington,
Warren, and Pelham, upon the accordion, banjo, congo-tambo, and
bone-castanets, in all of which they stand unrivalled in the world. They
were representing Niggers' lives, with songs, &c. Home and to bed, tired
_Tuesday._--Started for Baltimore at eight, per rail: crowded as usual.
Horses drag you out of the different towns: thence steam. The first
station was Chester: thence across the Schuylkill and Potomac to
Wilmington; and crossed the Delaware and Susquehanna into Maryland--the
first _slave_ state I had been in. A shudder involuntarily came over me.
Having worked up my imagination, I fancied every black I saw was a
slave. We crossed Havre de Gras, and two or three other beautiful lakes,
with bridges of wood over, to save us some miles round, exclusively for
the rail, and arrived at Baltimore Exchange Hotel to dinner. Afterwards
strolled about the town; and passed the house of Jerome Bonaparte, who
lives in the park quite retired. All the houses here appear as if built
within the last few years: the bricks are quite red, and apparently new.
The women, as in Philadelphia, are very handsome, except their bosoms,
which are quite flat. I climbed to the top of Washington's Monument. It
is 180 feet high. The enclosure is flagged with white marble. It was
erected by the slave state of Maryland. The inscriptions are: "Born 22nd
Feb., 1732. Died 14th Dec., 1799, aged 67. Commander-in-chief of the
American army 15th June, 1775. Commission resigned at Annapolis 23rd
Dec., 1783. Victorious at Trenton 25th Dec., 1776; and conquered Lord
Cornwallis at York Town Oct., 1781. President of the United States 4th
March, 1789. Retired to Mount Vernon 4th March, 1797, and died as
above." It cost half a million dollars. Home and to-bed, tired as
_Wednesday_ morning, the 18th Sept.--Satisfied myself about business,
which appears to be in a thriving state. I then visited the Catholic
Cathedral, which cost 300,000 dollars; St. Paul's Church; and several
other public buildings; the City Fountain, which supplies the town
plentifully with spring water; the Battle Monument, erected to the
memory of those who fell in the defence of Baltimore in 1814--James
Madison president at the time. Gen. Jackson conquered Sir Henry
Pakenham at New Orleans in the same year. Jackson was president in 1832,
and re-elected. This battle took place in the 39th year of Independence.
General Ross was killed in 1816, at North Point battle, after bombarding
Fort M'Henry. The army in the United States is only 6000, commanded by
Major-Gen. Scott. The President is the nominal Commander-in-chief. We
visited the Race-course, and saw a couple of bad races: it is a
burlesque after England. After dinner we proceeded per rail to
Washington City, through Delaware, another slave state; but am happy to
say both this and Maryland are wearing out--that is, they will soon be
free. The market-price in these two states is, for men, from 5 to 10
dollars; and women about half the price. The contrast is great between
the States and England in regard to windows. Here they cram as many
windows into a house as it will hold, as there is no duty or tax upon
anything but business or real property--very wise and just tax. Retired,
at Brown's Hotel, Washington, at ten, used up, as usual, with the heat.
_Thursday._--Rose early, much refreshed--as I forgot to mention that,
although our beds at Baltimore were entirely covered with net, I was
afraid I should have been eaten alive with mosquitoes. Washington is
called a capital, having a portion taken from Virginia and Maryland for
the senators' use. It is a long straggling town, with very wide streets;
called by some the city of magnificent distances, but, more properly
speaking, it might be called the city of magnificent intentions. It is
located in the district of Colombia--a territory of ten miles square,
formed into a separate and detached jurisdiction by the constitution of
the United States. The city was laid out by General Washington, and
Congress took up its abode there in 1800. The Capitol is situated in an
area of twenty-two and a half acres; is a splendid building, on an
eminence close to the Potomac river. The Hall of Representatives is in
the second story of the south wing, and is of the form of the ancient
Grecian theatre. There are twenty-four columns of variegated native
marble from the banks of the Potomac. There is a splendid portrait of
Lafayette, and another of Washington, by Vanderlyn. Their present
speaker is Mr. White--elected the same as ours. The rotunda is very
imposing. In its centre stands the great statue, by Greenough, of
Washington; and around the walls are the various pictures ordered by
Congress--"The Declaration of Independence," "The Surrender at
Saratoga," "The Surrender and Capitulation at York Town," and
"Washington resigning his Sword at Annapolis," all by Trumbull. I was
much struck with Chapman's great picture of "The Baptism of the Indian
Princess Pocahontas, before her Marriage with Rolph, the Englishman."
The Vice-President of the United States presides in the Senate-house:
his salary is only 5000 dollars, and the President's 25,000 dollars. In
the library are portraits of Tyler, Adams, Jefferson, Washington,
Madison, Munro, and Peyton; also Randolph, the first president in 1774
and 1775, and Hancock, the second. Congress meets on the 1st December,
and sits till June. Representatives are paid two dollars a-day. The
rotunda has been the inaugural scene of General Jackson, Van Buren, and
General Harrison. It was here Lawrence, the maniac, attempted the life
of General Jackson. The statuary in the rotunda is, "William Penn's
Treaty with the Indians:" he is in the act of delivering the treaty to a
couple of chiefs. There is "The Indian Princess Pocahontas rescuing
Capt. Smith from the Indians." There is "Boone's Combat with the
Indians;" and over the eastern door is represented "The Landing of the
Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth." They were persecuted in England, and fled
to New England, amongst wild savages, enemies to civilization and
Christianity. The Puritans landed at Plymouth (Massachusetts), and
commenced the first English settlement. The Capitol cost 3,000,000
dollars. There are fifty-two senators, and twenty-two representatives.
The President's house is in the western part of the city; and stands on
a plot of twenty acres, forty-four feet above the Potomac. It is 170
feet front, and eighty-six deep; built of freestone, with Ionic
pilasters. It was shown to us by one Martin Renehan, an Irishman; and as
the President was absent, we visited all the rooms, which were meanly
furnished--indeed, carpets and chair-bottoms worn out; a common pine
dining-table, which the Prince de Joinville, Lord Ashburton, Lord
Morpeth, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Pakenham, our present minister, with others,
to the number of forty-four (they never have more), dined off. My house
is much better furnished; and the President only keeps eighteen
servants, including master of the household, &c. The private
drawing-room is the best, but that is bad. We saw the bed General
Harrison died in. We visited the Treasury department: this is a noble
structure, 457 feet in length, and after the architecture of the temple
of Minerva, at Athens. There are 250 rooms. It is adjoining the
department of state. The Post-office is of the Corinthian style, marble
front. The plan is a parallelogram, 204 feet in extent, and sixty-five
wide. The Patent-office is 280 feet in length, and seventy in depth,
where patents are taken out at the cost of 30 dollars. We saw one that
astonished us not a little--a machine for making railways, called a
Pile-driver, which makes a railway over a lake, swamp, or forest, and
finishes it straight away. It is in operation in the southern states,
and found to answer, at one-tenth the cost in England. It is so
incredible, I will not describe it. There is another, called the
Excavator, that bores through hills, &c. and quickens the work fiftyfold
to manual labour. Both these are worked by steam, and the most
incredible inventions I ever saw. Otis is the inventor of the latter.
There is also a screw-patent in operation in Rhode Island. In the
spacious room above are preserved Washington's equipments in war-time.
They are uncostly, plain, and humble, showing the unostentatious mind of
the great man. Here are all the presents from different courts: members
of the United States Government are not allowed to keep them. There is a
costly diamond snuffbox from the Emperor of Russia; and a large bottle
of pure attar of roses, three times the price of gold. There are
portraits of Gortez, conqueror of Mexico in 1521; of Columbus, the
discoverer of America; of Cuvier, the French naturalist; and one I was
much struck with, by Spagnoletti, of Job and his three friends (see Job
xiv.): also one of Wat Tyler!
We visited the old departments of Government, State, War, and General
Government. The rooms of the various secretaries are furnished plainly.
We were disappointed at the Navy Yard--no appearance like England. The
first object introduced was a piece of cannon taken from the English
fleet when Sir George Cockburn came up the Potomac. The sight of this
gave me a chill, as it was the first time I had ever seen England's arms
in other powers' possession. The name of Sir George Cockburn is hated,
as he would have destroyed recklessly, had not Ross, a Fifeshire man,
restrained him. Ross's memory is as much loved as the other's is hated.
This was in 1814. On the left is the house of the commandant of the
yard--a captain in the navy. They make anchors, blocks, and tackle of
all sorts for ships' use. There are several hundred men usually employed
at the yard. Several first-rate vessels have been built here. They told
us that they sunk several of their vessels here when they heard of their
defeat at Bladensburg; but I guess it was the English that sunk them.
There are many more sights, but our time would not allow us to tarry.
I had much wished to have gone down to Charlestown, and then into the
far West; but the contemplation of slavery, the pain of living in the
constant intercourse with slave servants, and the awfully hot weather,
which might have caused me to take the fever--added to all, my great
anxiety to receive letters from England--particularly from my wife,
from whom I had now been absent five weeks without hearing--the
pleasures of memory having almost kindled into the charming
reminiscences of my first love--decided me to take my course North
again; and I must acknowledge I left Washington with regret, and the
contemplation that, ere many years roll over, it will be a magnificent
city. I may here remark there is a telegraph, or galvanic power, fixed
between the Capitol and Baltimore, that takes the news forty miles in a
second. This is a good line of single rails, which they all are. At
Baltimore we took steam up the Pennsylvanian states to Frenchtown--about
sixty miles; and thence rail twenty miles to Newcastle; thence steam up
the Delaware to Philadelphia; thence rail to Amboy, through Burlington,
Bordingtown, and Hidestown. Amboy is only five miles from the Atlantic,
where we came in from England. We came up Staten Island Sound, with New
Jersey on the left, and passed Elizabeth Port and Payrosville, and saw
Newark and the Pacific river about eight miles in the distance: then
passed the Narrows, Governor's Island, Ellis and Gibbet Islands, and
arrived at the Battery at seven, after travelling 400 miles in
twenty-seven hours. Received my letters at the Astor, and was pleased
with their news: retired to rest very tired, after my companion had read
two chapters in the Bible to me, which has been our custom since we
I have now seen enough of the independent states of America to convince
me that Henry Clay is the proper man for President. The whole tenor of
his life has been for his country's good. He feels the moral degradation
the states of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and Mississippi have
brought upon his country by repudiation; and he would, if returned,
advocate appropriating the waste lands to paying their debts. He would
also _veto_ annexing Texas and the Oregon territory, and by such means
keep the southern and northern states from collision. My humble opinion
is, if the southern states get hold of Texas, as their interests are
diametrically opposed to the interests of the North, all they require is
a little more strength to set about a separation.
_Saturday_ morning.--Rose dissatisfied with the Astor, they having
placed us four stories high to sleep. Called upon several friends in the
course of the day. Nothing particular in view. In the evening visited
the Chatham Theatre, a regular Yankee place, to see the original Mr.
Rice perform a burlesque _Othello_!! and the farce _Here's a Go_! He
acted to admiration, and sang lots of Nigger songs, amongst which his
masterpiece, "Jump Jim Crow," was encored three times. He placed us in a
private box, and we spent half an hour with him. A more gentlemanly man
I never met. He is retiring upon a fortune made of L10,000. Home and to
bed at eleven.
_Sunday_ morning.--Mr. Pearce called for me to go and spend the day at
Staten Island, at the Pavilion, where, he was stopping. We took a long
drive past the Quarantine, where the doctor boarded the _Western_. Saw
the Hospitals, Fort George, the Telegraph, and the very handsome
buildings of Mr. Goodue and Mr. Brown, and a magnificent marble building
called "The Sailor's Snug Home:" an Englishman left the money to build
it. And I was then introduced to the Flandens, Mr. Pearce's family, and
Mr. De la Forest, the French consul, a relative. Dined, and returned to
the Astor. Paid my bill, and ready to start up the North River for
Albany in the morning.
VISIT TO THE CANADAS;
RETURN TO NEW YORK & BOSTON;
_Monday, September 24, 1843._--We proceeded on board the _Empire_, Capt.
S.K. Roe, bound to Troy and Albany. Her length is 330 feet,
one-sixteenth of a mile; breadth of beam, 30 feet; extreme width, 62
feet; burden, 1040 tons; and 600-horse power: only draws 4 ft. 10 in.
water. She is past all description. The Hudson River, the sources of
which are in 44 deg. N. lat., was discovered by Henry Hudson in 1609. We
passed Jersey City and Stevens's Seat, celebrated for American
steam-boats. The mantle of Fulton may be said to have fallen upon him.
We then passed West Hoboken and the Beacon Race-course. Seventeen miles
down we passed Philipsburgh, an old Dutch settlement. At the Tappan Sea
the river is three miles broad. The Sing-Sing state-prison is in view at
Nyack; and the Croton River comes in about two miles from here. Thence
Vrededicker Hook, on the top of which there is a clear crystal lake of
three or four miles circumference. Thence we pass Stony Point. It really
is past description, and would occupy a book to do justice to the
magnificent scenery. Passed Anthony's Nose, Buttermilk Falls, Sugar
Loaf, West Point scenery, and the Capitol Hotel. There is a public
edifice for 250 cadets. The academy was built in 1802. We then pass West
Point Foundry. The highland scenery is sublime. We then pass Newburgh,
and come in sight of the Catskill mountains, the highest (say 3000 feet)
in the States: we did not ascend them, although report says we should
have been repaid. We arrived at Albany at six o'clock. Population of
Albany, 25,000; the capital of New York State.
_Tuesday_ morning.--Looked through the State House--a fine building. The
Congress Hotel we found comfortable. Nothing worth noticing in the town.
We took stage and passed Rensselaer's Estate all the way to Troy. The
cause of dispute is the doubt the farmers have that one of the Dutch
kings did not give and covenant the seestates, which the Van Rensselaer
can prove by parchment: thus the tarring and feathering is done. Troy
population is 40,000: a nice town, with a splendid arsenal, 156 miles
from New York. The Hudson is navigable no farther. We took a chaise to
the Shaker Village of Watervleit, where we found a Shaker settlement of
about 120 people: there are three more in the neighbourhood; in all
about 400. At this place they have 2000 acres of good land, their own:
they grow everything they eat, and are all teetotallers. We entered the
house where the Shaker manufactures are sold. We purchased a few
dollars' worth, and they politely presented my friend and I with a book
each. The old gentleman and lady were very civil, and showed us over the
gardens, where they grow seed for sale, which is sold by Wilcox, London.
They are famed for it all over the world. Pine-apples are growing in
abundance; also water-melons, tomatoes, &c. The place was in beautiful
order, and they appeared happy. They declined to show us the chapel, or
the lady Shakers. They all live in single blessedness, and devoted to a
life of celibacy. They are called Shakers from their peculiar form of
adoration, which consists of a dance, performed by the men and women of
all ages, advancing and retiring in a preposterous sort of trot. All the
possessions and revenues of the settlement are thrown into a common
stock, which is managed by the elders. They are capital farmers, and
good breeders of cattle; honest and just in their transactions; and are
the only class of people, either gentle or simple, that can resist
_thievish_ tendencies in horse-dealing. We returned to Lansingburgh,
where packers of beef live, or rather butchers, where they kill and cut
bullocks up by steam, as many as 20,000 in the season. At Cincinnati in
the West they kill 3000 pigs a-day, or 1,000,000 a-year, in the same
way. Back to Troy to dinner, and took railway to Saratoga Springs. This
is a beautiful place, and the water is most beautiful. From every part
of the states they flock here for three months in the Summer. Population
of residents, 2500. New York drapers open stores here. I tasted the
Congress spring, Colombian, the Putnam, and one other, all of which
tasted very much like German Seltzer water, but very purgative. The
United States Inn was our quarters, kept by Mr. Murvin and Judge Murvin.
They dine in the season 1000 and 1100 a-day, and lodge regularly between
600 and 700. I cannot speak too highly of this house. Mr. Murvin
accompanied us next morning by stage to White Hall, along with Mr.
Blanchard, the proprietor of all the stages on this line--a fine fellow.
We went along the Champlain Canal, which connects the Hudson River and
Lake Champlain, past Glen's Falls. We passed through the region of
Burgoyne's operations, near the place of his surrender; Fort Miller, and
Fort Edward, where Miss M'Crea was murdered; and the tree to which
General Putnam was bound in 1757. This fifty miles was the most
frightful travelling I ever had. Great black bears prowl here. Trees and
planks were frequently laid across the road to fill up holes; and
frequently there would be openings in bridges that a horse could have
gone slap into. After many, as I supposed, hairbreadth escapes, going
two or three feet into holes, &c., we arrived at White Hall--at the
junction of the canal and lake navigation--a place of business before
the revolution. Major Skeen lived here. We took the steam-boat
_Saranac_, Capt. Lathorp, who politely gave my companion and I a
state-cabin. This lake, for beauty of scenery and historical incident,
is one of the most interesting in America. It is close to Lake George,
which lake, I regret to say, the boats were taken off for the winter.
Lake Champlain was discovered by Samuel Champlain in 1609, and extends
to St. John's, Canada, 120 miles. We passed Ticonderoga, which was an
important military post during the colonial wars. General Abercrombie
was defeated here, with the loss of 1941 men, in 1758. Burgoyne was
here. We then passed Crown Point, where the British Government expended
two millions sterling. We met the Burlington steamer, the most neat and
beautiful boat in the United States: were introduced to Captain R.W.
Sharman, the beloved commander. This is halfway--an important town of
3000 people. It is the seat of the University of Vermont, as we are now
in that state. We then passed Port Kent, Valcour Island, and
Plattsburgh, which is situated at both sides of the Saranac River. It is
a military post. Here there was a great battle both by land and water:
the British land-force was commanded by Sir George Prevost, and the
naval by Commodore Downie; the Americans by land General Macomb, and
water Commodore M'Donough. They fought two hours and twenty minutes, and
the British surrendered. We passed Cumberland-house to the United States
line, which has recently been settled by treaty by Lord Ashburton and
We here entered Canada, and laid quiet till morning, it being foggy. The
Isle Aux Noix is the first military post of the English. We arrived at
St. John's at seven. This is the extremity of Lake Champlain, which is
here checked by the commencement of the Chambly Rapids to the St.
Lawrence. We visited the British barracks. The 81st Regiment was
stationed here. This fort sustained a siege of six weeks before it
surrendered to General Montgomery in November, 1775. We breakfasted, and
proceeded to Montreal by railway, or rather to Laprairie, a dirty town,
and crossed the St. Lawrence in a steam-boat. Montreal has 40,000
inhabitants, and is the seat of the Provincial Government. It looks like
an old English town.
I may observe that the thermometer stands here to-day at 50 deg., and was a
week ago at 94 deg.. The sudden change has nearly knocked me up. Starved to
death, and no fires, except on the floor. Not much comfort in the
Exchange Hotel; dirty bedrooms and small. Admired the Roman cathedral:
the bell is seven tons weight: it is one of the finest in the world. And
the docks are first-rate, with lots of shipping. All bustle and
business. Walked about the town. Saw the Courthouse, the Parade-ground,
and all the principal buildings. To bed--tired, cold, and weary.
_Friday_ morning, September 27th.--This being mail-day, wrote several
letters to England, and forwarded some newspapers. In the afternoon
called upon several customers, and found out the stores of all. Rickards
and Leeming dined with me. To bed early. Still a bad cold.
_Saturday_ morning.--A regular day of business. Called upon every
customer, and found them most civil and polite. I may mention Mr.
Cuvillier, sen.; Mr. Masson, of Robertson and Co.'s; Mr. Colquhoun, of
Scott, Tyer, and Co.'s; and Mr. Paterson, of Gillespie, Moffat, and
Co.'s--four of the largest houses;--indeed, I cannot speak too highly
of all. Dined, and took steam-vessel, _The Queen_, to Quebec. A cold,
foggy night. Turned in at seven.
_Sunday_ morning.--Found we had lain-to since one o'clock on account of
the fog. Had a most refreshing sleep, and rose at seven to breakfast. I
could not but admire the St. Lawrence River--the beauty of this noble
stream at all points is enchanting. We passed Richelieu, where the corn
is grown, in part, that is sent into England. We passed the lovely
island of St. Helen's, and over the rapids of St. Mavey, Richelieu, 45
miles from Montreal. Thence Lake St. Peter, nine miles wide. The St.
Lawrence does not average more than one mile. We then approach the
Richelieu Rapids. The river again becomes interesting. The churches
appear with their tin domes and spires. The rafts, with houses built
upon them, are floating down the river like some moving world. We left
the eastern townships on the right, south of the St. Lawrence, which
join the State of Maine and Vermont on the left, or north. We pass Cape
Health River, thirty miles behind which is Jackcartier, a settlement for
the Irish. At Chasidiere, six miles from Quebec, we pass some great
lumber or wood establishments, where ships load for England. We pass
Daleam's Island and Point Levi, and approach the harbour, where forests
of British shipmasts are seen along the shore, with Orleans Island
a-head. Lumber coves abound here. The grim and powerful batteries, where
all the ingenuity of military skill has been exhausted to produce
another Gibraltar, are seen on the left.
Two o'clock, P.M.--We sojourned at Payne's Hotel. He is an Uxbridge man,
and most attentive. We took a carriage to Montmorence Falls, and were
much pleased. Straggling, snow-white cottages abound here for miles.
Quebec, lat. 46 deg. 59' 15"; long. 71 deg. 13'.
I may here observe, that Lower Canada, embracing and including Montreal
to the Gulf, about 400 miles down, has a population of from 600,000 to
700,000: Quebec and its suburbs has about 30,000. The vessels resorting
to this port are about 1000 during the short season of five months.
Quebec is situated on the north-west side of the St. Lawrence, with the
River St. Charles on the north. The volume and depth of the St. Lawrence
is unequalled: it moves with a speed of three or four miles an hour. The
oceanic influence is great. To-day it is 30 deg. below zero, and in the
summer it is sometimes 100 deg. above (Fahrenheit's scale).
We returned to the Plains of Abraham, where Wolfe fell, and a paltry
monument is erected. This is a fine view. Near this is the cove where
General Wolfe and the British troops crept and scrambled up to the
summit of the heights, which resulted in the defeat of Montcalm in 1759,
and the prostration of French power in Canada.
_Monday_ morning.--Attended to business till one. Then took a drive to
see the Indian village of Lorette. The squaws are not to my mind,
although admired by others. The men get their living by hunting racoons,
&c. They make beautiful work, some of which we bought, and returned. I
had a beautiful drive on the St. Foy Road; quite in the English
style--both houses, fields, gardens, and stables; decidedly the
prettiest drive since I left England. I observed all the windows were
double, and double doors, as the snow remains on the ground for six
months together. To the Exchange and Library, where we had free access.
The inclined plane leading to the citadel is 500 feet. On the top of the
bastion is a covered way and gravel walk, with cannon pointing in every
direction. Here is a fine view of the harbour and surrounding panorama.
Within the citadel are the magazines, armoury, storehouses, &c., and the
messrooms and barracks for the officers, covered with tin. This fortress
combines every invention of science and precaution of art that
consummate skill and ingenuity could suggest, for the protection and
security of the city and garrison; and I should say the D---l could not
force it. The area of the space and works within is forty acres. The
fortifications are continued all round the upper town, in bastions and
solid masonry, and ramparts from 25 to 30 feet high, and of equal
thickness, bristling with heavy cannon. There is a beautiful esplanade,
or public promenade, which is much frequented. The guard are very
strict, owing to Americans prying about very suspiciously at times.
_Tuesday_ morning.--Finished my business satisfactorily. We visited the
old Parliament-house, now a library and museum. There is also the French
Roman Catholic cathedral in the Marketplace, and the English cathedral.
The monument to Wolfe and Montcalm, the most noble general France ever
Mortem virtus communem;
Monumentum posteritas dedit.
Valour gave a common death;
History a common fame;
Posterity a common monument.
is situated on the west side of Des Carriere's-street, leading from the
Place d'Armes to the glacis of Cape Diamond. In front is a broad walk
overlooking the Castle-gardens, the harbour, and the shore of Orleans.
We had not time to visit the Chaudiere Falls, but took the fine steamer
_Montreal_, and found ourselves at Montreal at seven on Wednesday
morning, where we sojourned Tetue's Hotel, being sickened of the
Exchange, at as they wanted to rob us. Attended to business all day, and
had Mr. Kidson (Glasgow), Mr. Redpath, Mr. Hall, Mr. Easton, and Mr. A.
M'Farlane to dinner.
_Thursday._--At business all day. Rained incessantly. Dined with Mr.
Geddes, who treated me like a prince. He has a nice wife and an amiable
family. Supped and spent the evening with Mr. and Mrs. Leeming, and
appointed him our agent for the retail trade. Home, and to bed, and had
a good night's rest.
_Friday._--Rained incessantly. Found the benefit of my new rig-out of
flannel and India-rubber boots. Visited the House of Assembly. The
Speaker, my kind friend Mr. Cuvillier, had given me an order. He has
L1000 a year, and the representatives two dollars a day. The Legislative
Council Chamber is worth seeing. I spent the evening with Mr. Rickards.
I finished up the most satisfactory business I had done in any town
since I left home. Montreal is very flourishing--the metropolis of
Canada--and will double its population, now 50,000, ere long, if Sir
Charles Metcalfe is supported; but the French Canadians, and the Irish,
who abound, led by their priests, are brewing dissatisfaction and
discord. His councillors have just resigned, and a general election is
taking place. May he succeed is my earnest wish!
_Saturday_, 6th.--We left Montreal at twelve at noon per stage to
Lachine. We passed the mountains and Sir C. Metcalfe's private house on
the road. We took a steamer (the _Chieftain_) here to Dickenson's
Landing, thirty-eight miles. We passed on the left, at starting, an
Indian village, called Cachnawago, where the Ojibbeway tribe live. We
saw several in their canoes. On the left, just before we landed, we saw
the Beauharnois Canal, of E.G. Wakefield notoriety. He must either have
been bought, or, if not, he certainly must have been a fool to allow the
canal to be cut on the American side of the St. Lawrence. The Yankees
are thirsting for British blood; and, should they be successful in
Canada, this costly canal goes. We now took stage for sixteen miles, on
a planked road, and with a first-rate team. On the left were the rapids
of the St. Lawrence, or Cascades. I would not have believed had I not
seen a small steamer, drawing about four feet of water, going down at an
awful rate. I expected every minute it would have been dashed to atoms.
How they escape, eight or ten a day, as they go up the canal and return
that day, is astonishing. This is the most incredible sight I have
witnessed. Roebuck, the Member for Bath, was born here. On arriving at
Chateau-du-Luc we got on board a very fine boat, the _Highlander_,
Captain Stearns--a fine fellow. After proceeding forty-one miles, we
reached the Cornwall Canal, where we were much impeded by seven locks.
This splendid canal, the finest in the world, is one hundred feet wide,
and the locks fifty-two: it is twelve miles long, and about fourteen
feet deep. We now pass from Lower to Upper Canada, direct from east to
west; and about six miles forward we find the State of New York on the
left. About thirty miles farther we call at Ogdensburgh, on the American
side, and Prescott right opposite, where the windmill stands dilapidated
from the skirmish the patriots had here, when the English demolished the
lot. We called at Maitland for wood, and thence to Brockville, and
glided up the Thousand Islands: there really are a thousand islands
between here and Kingston. The foliage on the trees was grand--all
colours. It passed all description; and the trees actually grow out of
the rocks with which all the islands are covered. About ten miles from
Kingston, on one of the islands, lives the notorious Bill Johnston, the
patriot. We arrived at Kingston at four P.M., 216 miles in twenty-eight
_Sunday._--Sojourned at Lambton-house for the sake of its name, and
walked about this very poor town. It is a straggling place. The late
Government-house is neither elegant nor commodious, and is now a
Sunday-school: still it is the only house of any importance in the
neighbourhood. We walked down to a spring of mineral water, resembling
Harrogate, and one spring much stronger--kept by a hearty couple, Bone
and his wife, from Plymouth. They propose getting a large hotel built by
next year, to vie with Saratoga. I wish them success. They were very
kind. Mr. King came and spent the evening with me.
_Monday._--Found the tradesmen of the right sort: still their operations
are confined. They bitterly complain, and I think _justly_, of Lord
Stanley removing the seat of government. Rents are reduced half, and
many houses are standing empty, and are likely to remain so. Many had
built and enlarged their premises, through the assurance of Sir C.
Metcalfe that the Government would not be removed. Perhaps it was not
his fault: his councillors became, or rather wished to become, his
masters; and the removal took place during the illness of Sir C. Bagot.
There is a faction in these provinces who will bring about rebellion and
an outbreak worse than those of 1837 and 1838. I hope I may be deceived.
One thing is certain, the Governor will not get a majority, he having
dissolved his Parliament; and if he continues to govern it must be with
his Council, without representatives. My warm-hearted Herefordshire
friend, Mr. Wilson, drove me to see the gaol, which is well and wisely
governed, and excellently regulated in every respect. The men are
employed as shoemakers, ropemakers, blacksmiths, tailors, carpenters,
and stonecutters, and are building the prison, which is far advanced.
The net profits the last year were L3000, after paying all expenses. The
female prisoners are occupied in needlework. Among them was a beautiful
girl of twenty, who had been there nearly three years. She acted as
bearer of secret despatches for the self-styled patriots on Navy Island
during the Canadian insurrection; sometimes dressed as a girl, and
carrying them in her stays; sometimes attired as a boy, and secreting
them in the lining of her hat. In the latter character she always rode
as a boy. She could govern any horse that any man could ride, and could
drive four in hand with the best whip in those parts. Setting forth on
one of her patriotic missions, she appropriated to herself the first
horse she could lay her hands on; and this offence had brought her where
I saw her. She had a lovely face, though there was a lurking devil in
her bright eye. I dined with my friend, and went on board the steamer
_Princess Royal_, for Toronto, at eight.
_Tuesday_ morning, six o'clock.--We had arrived at Coburg, a thriving
town on Lake Ontario, where I left letters for the importers of lace. It
is a rising town of 3000 inhabitants, and will soon rank high in Upper
Canada. We passed Port Hope, another rising town; and on the right
Bondhead and Windsor. Lake Ontario is a wonder indeed--216 miles long,
and 90 miles wide--a truly magnificent sheet of water, very rough at
times. We arrived at Stone's Hotel, Toronto, at three o'clock, P.M. The
country round is flat, and bare of scenic interest; but the town itself
is full of life, motion, bustle, and business. The streets are well
paved and lighted with gas--the only place in Canada, except Montreal,
where gas is introduced; the houses large and good; the shops
excellent--many of them may vie with the best shops in thriving
country-towns in England. There are a handsome church, courthouse, and
public offices, and many commodious private residences. It is matter of
regret that here, too, political differences run high. I visited the
Reform Association, where the noted Baldwin was holding forth, and
preaching sedition under pretence of abusing the Governor-General. This
body are spreading discord, by their branches, all through Canada: where
it will end is to be seen. I saw all the importers, and retired to rest
tired, at eleven o'clock.
Population of Toronto, 20,000.
_Wednesday._--This town must rise in commerce, and must stand second to
Montreal. They are active business men, and have lots of back-country to
depend upon--good land, and the farmers of the old Dutch sort. The
women must necessarily wear more clothes than in England, in
consequence of the climate. At two o'clock I took the _Eclipse_
mail-boat, Captain John Gordon, from Aberdeen; and let me observe, all
these captains of steamers here are fine fellows, not very well
paid--salary not more than L300 a year. We were again on Lake Ontario,
and passed Port Credit, Oakville, and Wellington-square on the right:
healthy towns, but small. The farmers here all reserve a good portion of
wood for fire, and rails and planks for domestic purposes. At the bottom
of the lake we passed through a short canal into Burlington Bay--a
beautiful sheet of water; and arrived at Hamilton, at the terminus of
_Thursday_ morning.--Hamilton is a rising new town with about 6000
inhabitants. It has many advantages, and must increase rapidly. There is
the store of J. Buchanan and Co., where my friend Mr. Harris is a
partner, as large as 5, Bow-churchyard, and they have about fifty
branches. I found them all busy. I attended a cattle-show which pleased
me much: some very fine cattle competed for the different prizes. There
is a good walk above the town which, commands a fine view of the
distant country. I walked to Dunedern, the mansion of Sir Allan M'Nab,
who made such a formidable stand for the constitution against the rebels
L.J. Papineau, Lafontaine, and Baldwin.
_Friday._--Returned by the same steamer to Toronto, and finished up my
business satisfactorily. Took a walk with Mr. Fisken to see the new
college, which is at a stand-still for want of funds, and saw the
Government observatory; and then visited the stone prison, which I did
not like, as there is no work for the prisoners--all lying idly
about--great contrast to Kingston. The town all in confusion nominating
the candidates. In Toronto all the footpaths are planked with wood,
which is very comfortable to walk upon.
_Saturday._--Took a steamer at seven, A.M., for Niagara. Arrived at that
town, of 1800 inhabitants, about twelve. A small place, of 3000
inhabitants, on the left, is Young's-town, on the American side, where
their flag was flying in opposition to our union-jack. There is a fort
at both places. Seven miles farther up the Niagara river, which we were
now in, having left Ontario, we landed at Queenstown, a small place
right opposite Lewistown, U.S. Here Brock's monument was erected and
blown up. We then took rail seven miles, passed Drummondsville
battle-ground, and arrived at Clifton-house.
Oh my God! how I was stunned and unable to comprehend the vastness of
the scene! It was not until I reached Table Rock, and looked upon the
fall of bright green water, that it came upon me in its full might and
majesty. Niagara was at once stamped upon my heart an image of beauty,
to remain there changeless and indelible until it ceases to beat. It is
overpowering to think that the outpourings of lakes Superior, Huron,
Erie, Michigan, and St. Clare, covering a surface of 150,000 square
miles, all roll down this 157 feet fall, with, it is said, sixteen times
the power, deducting one-third for waste, of all the water-power used in
Great Britain. I wandered to and fro, and saw the cataracts from all
points of view. At the Great Horseshoe is decidedly the best view, near
Table Rock: you can see the rapids approaching the verge as if gathering
strength to take the giant leap. When the sun shines the rainbow appears
like molten gold upon the spray; and when the day is gloomy it crumbles
away like snow, or like the front of a great chalk cliff. But always
does the mighty stream appear to die as it comes down. The rise of spray
is great at times. But enough.
_Sunday_ morning, very early, I went down a spiral staircase leading to
the foot of the Horseshoe Fall, where I could have passed 153 feet
behind the falling sheet, but I soon got wet, and returned. Table Rock
projects out many feet above this place, and will come down ere long, as
it is much cracked. I then visited an Episcopal church at
Drummondsville, where the desperate battle was fought--a beautiful
village above the Falls--and heard a good sermon. Returned to
Clifton-house, and ascended to the promenade on the top, which is very
commanding. After dinner, with Mr. Parker, from the Caledonia Springs,
on the Ottaway River--with whom, and his lovely daughter, I had
travelled from Toronto--I started by the ferry-boat for the American
side. This gave me another fine view, as we went close under them. On
landing at the other side, we had to ascend a ladder about 200 feet
high. We ordered a carriage at the Cataract Hotel, and drove to the
whirlpool, four miles down the Rapids. This is an awful place, and
indescribable. We then walked over Bath Island and Iris (or Goat)
Island: here again is a splendid view. We saw Gull Island, where man has
never been; and in the Rapids we saw the hull of the ship Detroit,
fitted up in 1841 for the purpose of being sent over the Falls, but she
went to pieces before she got over the Rapids. It got dark, and
descending those long stairs, and crossing the Niagara River, was not to
my mind. However, we landed safe. Tired, and to bed.
_Monday_ morning.--Visited Mr. Barnett's Museum. Bought some sticks
peculiar to Niagara, and Indian curiosities; and looked into the large
camera obscura, which reproduced every sight at the Falls. Ascertained
from Mr. B. that the Canada Fall is half a mile in circumference, and
the American a quarter of a mile. The depth of the water on the verge of
the Horseshoe Fall is twenty feet. The Falls can be heard from five to
twenty miles, according to wind and atmosphere: it is said they have
been heard at Toronto, forty miles. The quantity of water supposed to go
over the Falls in one hour is 102,093,750 tuns. I must now take my leave
of the Falls with regret, as my friend Mr. Stephenson called, and drove
me to see a Canadian farmer. I was much pleased with his farm and
husbandry, and his domestic fireside. He makes L50 a year by his bees,
and grows almost everything that the family eats. We then drove to the
burning springs in the Niagara River, and over to Chippeway, where Mr.
S. has a saw-mill, of twenty-horse power, that will cut up 11,000
superficial feet of wood a day. Chippeway has 700 inhabitants. We left
it per steamer, and saw the Rapids to great advantage before they dashed
over the Falls. Here, to the right, is Navy Island, of 304 acres, which
was occupied by Mackenzie, Van Ransselaer, and about 400 Patriots, in
1837-8, for five weeks. Their object was to collect recruits to
revolutionize Canada. On the American shore, on the left, is Schlosser
landing and wharf, where the _Caroline_ was moored when Capt. Drew, the
commander of a squadron of five steamers, cut her out, towed her into
the stream, set fire to her, and sent her over the Falls blazing. The
patriots fled after this. M'Leod was tried by the Americans, and
acquitted. Opposite Navy Island was the place where poor Usher lived
that was shot by two Yankees, who suspected he knew of the _Caroline_
affair. About thirty miles up the Niagara River we got into Lake Erie,
300 miles long; and on the right (Canada side) is the Welland Canal,
which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, a splendid undertaking by
Government, 32 miles long. Here you can see the mist that is caused, or
spray rising from the chasm of the Falls, at this distance. On the left
is the Erie Canal, which conveys all traffic to and from New York; and a
little farther we arrive in the busy, bustling harbour of Buffalo,
whence ships and steamers sail for all parts of the far West and
Southern states. We drove to the United States Hotel, and to bed.
Population of Buffalo, 25,000.
_Tuesday_, the 15th.--This is the queen of the lake cities, admirably
situated at the outlet of Lake Erie, and the head of the Niagara River.
All produce and traffic of every description for the Western country
must go here, to be reshipped from the canal boats. The Erie Canal is
eighty feet wide, and thirteen deep. The streets are broad, and
intersect at right angles. The buildings are in general decent--some are
splendid: the stores recently erected are four and five stories high;
and, strange to say, not a single dry-goods importer in the town. We
drove round the neighbourhood, and examined a poor-house of paupers and
lunatics. I left at four, East for Rochester--population, 23,000: 75
miles; and Auburn, 78 farther--population, 7000. Visited the New York
State Prison, the largest in the world: they make here, as at Kingston,
every description of article: about 800 convicts at work daily. Lett,
who blew up Brock's monument, is here: I saw him daily. I was really
more pleased here than at any previous sight. The discipline,
cleanliness, and behaviour were astonishing. At twelve they marched to
dinner in Indian files, with a simultaneous lock-step, eyes to their
overseer, head erect. The muffled bell strikes at four, and labour is
suspended. I bought some very good cutlery manufactured by the convicts.
Auburn is two miles from Lake Cuyaga. Left here at two for Syracuse--26
miles: population, 8000. Thence to Utica--53 miles: population, 14,000.
Broke down on the road, and, detained three hours, was obliged to stop
till four in the morning. Thence for Schenectady--78 miles: population,
5000; and to Albany--16 miles (326 miles). The most tedious journey I
ever had in my life. I had a long talk on the way with a very
intelligent farmer, who told me the best breed of sheep they get from
England are called esquirol or merino; mugs do not answer; and that best
parts of mutton were sold at 3 cents per lb. Cattle, the short-horned,
they imported, and the meat sold at 2-1/2 cents; pork, 4 cents; cheese,
6-1/2 cents; and butter, 11 cents. They are far behind us in horses. In
Long Island and Rhode Island they are improving the breed. Arrived at
Albany at eleven, A.M. Found there were no lace-importers here--all buy
in New York. Saw the State-house--a noble building, where the
representatives and state senators deliberate. Also was shown over the
Government buildings for the management of the state; and took my
departure on board the _Knickerbocker_, a new steamer, most
magnificently fitted up, 325 feet long, and painted in the most superb
style. We had about 700 passengers, and plenty of berths for all.
Arrived at the Globe Hotel at seven.
_Friday_ morning.--A regular wet day. Got a bad cold. Made several
calls. Visited the American Institution or Exposition in the evening,
where all descriptions of domestic manufacture, implements, &c., are
exposed for inspection and prizes: also cattle, horses, and a ploughing
match: 30,000 people had attended during the week. Such expositions are
very desirable. Spent the evening with Mr. and Mrs. Green, and retired
to rest at eleven.
_Saturday_, the 19th.--No mail, although fifteen days out. Took leave of
all customers, finished my business, and satisfied myself that there are
not more than six lace-importers in New York whom I would trust, most of
whom we shall have arranged with Mr. S. Pickersgill for our future
journey. Visited Barnham Museum, the owner of Tom Thumb; and found out
he is an English-bred boy, and no American giant. Spent a quiet evening
with Mr. and Mrs. Pearce. Retired to bed early: could not sleep for
_Sunday_ morning.--No mail. Most anxious for my despatches. Dr. Keen
called, and had a walk. Paid a visit to Dr. Dewey's handsome Unitarian
chapel, and heard an excellent sermon. Spent an hour more with Dr. Keen,
and dined with W.C. Pickersgill, Esq., our banker, a most intelligent,
well-informed man. He is the partner of Fielding Brothers, Liverpool,
and married Miss Riggs of Baltimore. Took tea and spent the evening with
A.T. Stewart and his wife, my fellow-passengers out, and first-rate
people; and retired to my bedroom to read the Bible at nine.
_Monday._--A most unpleasant journey. Took the Philadelphia rail to
Elizabethtown. Thence to Sommerville, and to Clover-hill per waggon, in
search of Mr. D----'s brother. Arrived at three o'clock, and found he
was from home: waited at a farmhouse till ten, when he arrived, and I
soon found out that the American atmosphere had contaminated him. A
regular thief!--would not pay his brothers (B---- and D----) a cent out
of L300 he owes them. Although I was miserable both in body and mind, I
benefited by what I saw at this humble place. I saw happiness without
ostentation: a good husband and amiable wife. They strove to make me
comfortable. I had mush and milk for supper, lapped myself up in a
blanket, and laid down till five in the morning. Moses M. Bateman drove
me back 16 miles, and I returned to New York (70 miles) after a
_Tuesday._--Found my letters per _Acadia_: they gave me much domestic
gratification. Two I had from my wife, and one from Bow Churchyard.
These were in answer to my first despatches. I dined and spent a quiet
evening with Mr. and Mrs. Pearce and Mr. Flanden, and retired to bed
_Wednesday._--A great Clay and Frelinghuysen day. A grand procession of
the Whigs of many thousands. Mr. Pearce and I visited the Creton
Aqueduct for supplying New York with water. It is 1826 feet long, and
836 feet wide, and covers 35 acres. It comes down a tunnel of 35 miles,
part of which distance is an aqueduct. We walked to the East River and
Astoria, and returned to meet Mr. Blane, Mr. Brough, Mr. C. Vyse, and
Mr. Palin, whom I had asked to dine with me at five. We had one of Mr.
Blankard's best dinners, and spent a pleasant evening: were joined by
Dr. Keen and Mr. Green. Brough sang us three excellent songs. They left
at ten; and I to bed.
_Thursday._--I finally finished my mission with Mr. Pearce most
satisfactorily. Visited Mr. Bach, distiller, Brooklyn--my first time
there. Dined with C. Vyse, at Dalmonico's. Met Mr. Blane, Palin, and
Bund. A most sumptuous dinner: would cost at least 50 dollars. Left at
nine, and spent my last evening at New York with Mr. and Mrs. Pearce.
Paid my bill at the Globe, 49 dollars, 75 cents for the week; and to
bed. Could not sleep: a restless, disagreeable night.
_Friday._--Started at eight per Long Island Rail-way to Boston,
Brooklyn, and Greenport, ninety-five miles; per rail thence to
Stonington, thirty-two miles; per steamer in the Bay Sounds thence to
Providence--a town of 15,000 inhabitants, where H.W. Doe is confined;
and to Boston, forty-four miles: in all 218 in ten hours--the quickest
travelling I have had; and proceeded to the Tremont-house. Read the
English papers; and saw the account of my old friend T. Sidney being
made sheriff and alderman in the same week, with the likelihood of his
being Sir Thomas before I return. "Some men are born great, and others
have greatness thrust upon them."
Population of Boston, 50,000.
_Saturday_ morning.--I visited the Custom-house, by previous
arrangement, to clear some pattern-cards. I could not help being
strongly impressed with the contrast their Custom-house presented, when
compared with some I could mention, and the attention, politeness, and
good-humour with which its officers discharged their duties. They saw
the force of my arguments at once, and let me have the books free of
duty; and at their particular request I promised the Custom-house
examiners one. They offered me any amount of money for it, which I
declined to take. They are building a new Custom-house upon a large
scale. The air here is very piercing--easterly winds prevail a great
deal. The houses are bright, and have a gay appearance, the signboards
are painted in such gaudy colours; the gilded letters are so very
golden; the bricks so very red; the blinds and area-railings so very
green; the plates upon the street-doors so marvellously bright and
twinkling--and all so slight and unsubstantial in appearance. The
suburbs are, if possible, more unsubstantial-looking than the city. The
city is a beautiful one, and cannot fail to impress all strangers very
favourably. The State-house is built upon the summit of a hill, which
rises gradually by a steep ascent almost from the water's edge--a fine
building, where all government operations are carried on, as at Albany,
and elsewhere in the different states. From the top there is a charming
panoramic view of the whole town and neighbourhood. In front is a green
inclosure called the Common, a great benefit to the town. The docks are
not very good: a great many ships lay over at East Boston. The Exchange
is a very fine building, where the merchants congregate; but in fair
weather a great deal of business is done in the streets. I wrote about
thirty circulars to St. John's and Halifax, instead of going myself; and
retired to rest at eleven.
_Sunday_ morning, October 27th.--Attended the Trinity church, and heard
a most impressive sermon by Bishop Eastburn, Ephesians iv. 17: "This I
say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as
other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds." A wet, nasty day;
read the Bible till dinner-time; thence to St. Paul's church to hear Dr.
Vinton: he spoke so Yankee-like, I could not understand him at the
distance I was. Very handsome churches they have here. Took a long walk
all round the city; admired the neat houses they are building in all
directions; and felt that the State of Massachusetts stood the highest
in my estimation of any of the states I had yet visited. Spent the
evening with Mr. Schofield, of Henry and Co.'s, Manchester--the most
decided man of business I had met with for many a long day. It had been
previously arranged that he should carry our patterns through all the
states and Canada.
_Monday_ morning.--Took a regular turn through amongst the importers of
lace, and was thunderstruck at the enormous quantity of
highly-respectable importers, certainly far exceeding New York and
Philadelphia. They are first-rate business men: _no auctions_, which I
detest: no overstocks, which will be the ruin of New York; well
assorted, and in good condition. In fact, I felt as if I had been in an
English town, for the men of business are more like English than
Americans. They nearly all import--at least thirty first-rate men
import--our goods. I experienced a great deal of civility from Mr. W.
Appleton, and Mr. Ward, Barings' agent; and altogether was much pleased
with my reception. Had not Mr. Schofield undertaken to receive our
orders, I could have done a very large trade. I may here observe, the
Tremont is one of the best houses in the states in every respect.
Buckwheat cakes to breakfast; and they use the incredibly large quantity
of 45 tons of butter per year.
_Tuesday_ morning, the 29th.--A regular wet day; rained incessantly.
Called upon all the lace-importers, and found them thorough men of
business--very prompt: came to an understanding with nearly all that
they would order through Mr. Schofield, of Henry and Co.'s, Manchester.
_Wednesday_ morning.--Received my despatches per _Great Western_, and
proceeded to Lowell per rail. I forget whether I described an American
railroad before. There are no first and second class carriages, as with
us, but gentlemen's cars and ladies' cars; and, as a black man never
travels with a white one, there is a negro car. Each car holds from
thirty to fifty. There is a stove blazing hot. Except where a
branch-road joins the main one, there is seldom more than one track of
rails. They rush across the turnpike-road, where there is no gate, no
policeman, no signal. There is painted up, "When the bell rings, look
out for the locomotive." I was met at Lowell by my fellow-passenger in
the _Western_, Royal Southwick, intimately connected with the factories
there. The first we visited was a cotton cloth and drill factory, where
they make about 50,000 yards per day, all by water-power (the
Merrimack), and have a couple of hundred girls employed. The good order
and clean appearance of both factory and girls contrasted greatly with
both in Lancashire. There are twenty-five mills here. We then visited a
carpet manufactory, by machinery that reduces labour 75 per cent., and
where some of the many girls employed make a dollar a-day. There is no
manufactory like this in the world: there is a patent taken out by E.B.
Bigelow to protect the carpet power-loom manufactory. They must be
making money fast here. We then visited a cloth manufactory upon a large
scale, where they employ about 800 hands; and the excellency of the
cloth surprized me. They will have no occasion for English cloths much
longer. All by water-power. The last place was a large cylinder
print-works, where they produce some first-rate goods, and, I think, as
cheap as ours. There are several factories in Lowell, each of which they
call a corporation, as they are chartered. They employ about 8000 girls,
who make 3-1/2 dollars per week, or 14 s. Their neat, clean, and healthy
appearance pleased me much: they are well dressed; and, meeting them
out, you would take them to be of a higher grade. They pay 1-1/2 dollar
per week for lodgings, which are situated near, and belong to the
different corporations. They are strictly moral and virtuous, and all
contribute to a monthly publication called "The Lowell Offering," well
worth reading. I saw the principal editors (young ladies), and ordered
it for next year. The rooms in which they work are well arranged; and
green plants are trained to shade the glass windows. The laws of the
state forbid their working more than nine months in the year, and
require that they shall be educated during the other three. There is a
hospital or boarding-house for the sick, at 3 dollars per week: they do
not often require its assistance, for in 1841 they had 100,000 dollars
in the savings-bank. We visited the Mechanics' Reading-room--a large
building, with papers from all parts.
The population of Lowell is 25,000; one of the most rising towns in the
states. There are also Fall River, Taunton, Manchester, Great Falls,
Dover, New Hampshire--all rising manufacturing places. In New England
state there is no coal, which is a great drawback. I returned to Boston,
and spent the evening with some friends.
_Thursday._--Mr. Hanson drove me to Cambridge, to see the Universities.
This is a clean, well-built town, with 8000 or 9000 inhabitants. The
expense of education is 300 dollars; and if that cannot be paid, the
students are educated free, subject to instructing others a little.
There is no barrier here to the poorest man's son becoming the
President, as free-schools abound. We then drove to Mount Auburn, a
cemetery delightfully situated about five miles from Boston. They pay
4000 dollars for a lot for a family burying-place. Here some eminent men
are interred. There are some beautiful walks over this one-hundred-acres
plot of ground. We then drove round by Charlestown, a place of 10,000
inhabitants, where the Bostonians reside, well-situated; and so on to
Bunker-hill Monument, where the battle was fought in 1775, when General
James Warren fell: it is a very substantial mark of Jonathan conquering
John. Bull. I then visited the Massachusetts State-house: the
Congress-house and Representatives are very commodious. I ascended the
top, which gives a most commanding view of the whole city: it was very
clear, and the view was most extensive. Like New York, it is upon an
island, surrounded (except a few yards) with the River Charles and the
Ocean. Home to dinner, and gave my friends T. Cochrane and Mr. Schofield
two bottles of champagne, it being my last day in the States. We then
proceeded to Perkins's Institution for the Blind, managed by my
fellow-passenger, Dr. Howe. We saw the gifted Laura Bridgman, whose
biography I give elsewhere.[A] She is an interesting-looking girl,
fifteen years old, deaf, dumb, blind, and no smell: still Providence
makes her contented and happy: she can read and write, and understand
geography with her fingers, and is blessed with the knowledge of Divine
grace. It was truly interesting and gratifying to see the blind girls
read and write and work, all so clean and neat in their persons, and
apparently happy. Also the boys are instructed in a similar way, and,
when ready, put out to some trade; and, if no master can be found, they
instruct them in the institution to make mattresses, chair-bottoms, &c.,
several of whom I saw working. We then visited South Boston State
Hospital for the Insane, at the head of which is Dr. Stedman, who
conducts it admirably on the enlightened principles of conciliation and
kindness, and evinces a confidence and apparent trust even in mad
people. Each ward in this institution is shaped like a long gallery or
hall; and, as we walked along, the patients flocked round us
unrestrained, with all sorts of stories. I had ten minutes' talk with an
elderly lady, who had a great many scraps of finery, of gauze, &c.,
which gave her a strange appearance: she fancied she was the hostess of
the mansion. Another I talked to said she was Queen of the States.
Another poor fellow, gentlemanly in appearance, said it was a hard run
between him and Prince Albert who should have the Queen of England. He
had written and received several letters from her. I discovered they had
all some weak point, and the doctor gave me the cue. I felt quite at
ease amongst them: nearly all are unrestrained; and, strange to say,
they never talk to each other, or molest each other in any way. We then
visited the House of Correction for the State, where about three-fourths
of the expenses are paid by the prisoners' industry. It is a
well-managed prison, with strict discipline: no conversation allowed,
and all kept at work, both men and women: the latter are very bad to
manage. Comfort and cleanliness are very apparent. We then visited the
Orphan Asylum and House of Reformation for young offenders, and for
neglected and indigent boys who have committed no crimes, but perhaps
soon would if they were not taken from the hungry streets and sent
here: this is called the Boylston School. There is the House of
Industry for old, helpless paupers: these words are painted on the
walls--"Self-government, quietude, and peace are blessings." This was a
clean, neat place, with a plant or two on the window-sill, a row of
crockery upon the shelf, or small display of coloured prints upon the
whitewashed wall. We have no such sights in our unions.
[Footnote A: See Appendix.]
I left South Boston much gratified with all I had seen; but pleasure
must have an alloy. My companion drove up against a cart in the dark,
broke both shafts, the horse kicked the vehicle all to pieces, and how
we escaped is wonderful. I got my knee bruised, and that was all. I
retired to rest, grateful to Providence for my narrow escape.
_Friday, and last day in America._--Saw the famed Dr. Channing's
Unitarian chapel; and witnessed such a demonstration the previous night,
with at least 10,000 boys, non-electors, parading the streets with
torches, crying "Clay, of Ashland, near Lexington, Kentucky!" I really
feel that I am leaving Boston with regret: I never was more pleased with
any town, both in a business and social point of view. I have many kind
and intelligent friends that I shall leave with regret. The Bostonians
are more English in idea, smart to a degree, and well situated for
commerce. The town and suburbs abound with charitable institutions of
every description; and every article of living is half the price it is
in England. I visited Famenil Hall, the oldest building in the town, and
famed in American history.
In conclusion, my feelings prompt me to acknowledge, with a deep sense
of gratitude to Messrs. Overend and Gurney, the very sympathetic and
high-character letter they gave me to Messrs. Prime, Ward, and King, of
New York, as I had taken the journey to recruit my health. From that
letter emanated others to every town I visited, which at once placed me
in communication with the most intelligent of men. I am further bound to
add, contrary to the general opinion formed in England, that I met with
the most open, frank, communicative people I ever came in contact with;
and further I am bound to add, I frequently had occasion to blush for my
own ignorance, both about Europe and America. To use a vulgar
expression, they are a wide-awake people. Their cheap publications,
their thirst for knowledge, and their naturally quick perceptions, place
them above the level in society. That America must rise, and become a
great country, is my earnest wish and belief. I do not like to
individualize, but I feel an inward gratitude to many kind and dear
friends whom T made in my short sojourn, whose study it was to make me
happy, and my journey a pleasing one.
At one o'clock I paid my bill, and proceeded to East Boston, on board
the _Acadia_; and set sail exactly at two o'clock, P.M., for England,
with 25 passengers.
On leaving the harbour, on the right, we passed several small islands,
and the Liverpool light and Dorchester heights, where the Orphan Asylum
is situated on a lofty eminence. On the left we passed Lynn and Salem,
and steamed it along in good style during the night.
_Saturday_ morning, the _2nd November_.--Spoke the _Hibernia_ at eight
o'clock, A.M.: about 130 passengers, all on deck, with whom we exchanged
cheers as she passed. I was struck with the warlike appearance she had:
whether it has been contemplated or not, I discovered that all these
mailsteamers are admirably adapted for war: all they require are
port-holes for cannon. They are made to Admiralty order, and cost
L60,000 each. At six P.M. we passed the Devil's Limb, a rock close by
Seal Island, where the _Colombia_ was lost. The coast is dangerous
between Boston and Halifax. The captain was up both nights.
_Sunday_ morning, at seven.--I was aroused by the discharge of a brace
of cannon, and on coming on deck I found we were in Halifax harbour.
Population of this place is 20,000. Governed by Lord Falkland. Nova
Scotia is about 300 miles in circumference. Staple of the town, fish: I
should have thought dogs, for I saw some hundreds. It is a mean-looking
town: nearly all wood houses: a very good fort and government-house. St.
John's, New Brunswick, is 250 miles from here: population, 35,000:
governed by Sir W. Colebrooke: staple, timber and deals, and
whale-fishing. I intended visiting St. John's, but had not time. It was
fortunate, as I should have been left behind. Owing to some breakdown,
the mail did not arrive in Halifax in time for us: neither did the
Quebec mail, by the Gulf of St. Lawrence, from Quebec, _via_ Picton, 120
miles from Halifax, arrive; and, because Captain Harrison would not wait
for these mails, the Governor would not allow him the Halifax: so we
started at half-past ten, leaving them all behind. At Halifax I made the
acquaintance of Mr. Howe, late of the Executive Council, and Collector
of Excise, which he resigned: salary, L700 a year. He is now editor of
the Nova Scotia newspaper. I shall not forget his politeness, although
he is a red-hot Radical. They send whalers from Halifax to the South
Seas. Opposite Halifax is Dartmouth, a town of 15,000 inhabitants,
whence they send plaster and rum to the States. We passed St. George's
Island, a battery, and the Thumb Cap, where the _Tribune_ was lost. We
also passed the Curzon and Devil's Island Beacon, and were much
gratified by passing a fleet of men-of-war, the largest of which, the
_Illustrious_, 74 guns, 700 hands, was in full sail, with a band of
music playing and singing "_Home, sweet home_," which went to my very
soul. They were bound for Bermuda, West India Islands. Their Admiral,
Sir C. Adam, was on board, with sixteen officers. At five P.M. we were
out of sight of land, steaming it along at ten knots.
PASSAGE HOME PER ACADIA.
Nov. 1st.--Light westerly winds, with fine clear weather. All sails set.
Lat. 42 deg. 57'; Long. 66 deg. 57' 87".
2nd.--Westerly winds, steady, with clear weather, and smooth water.
Passed the _Hibernia_ at eight A.M., from Liverpool, bound to Boston. At
four saw Seal Island, bearing north: distance about seven miles. At
daylight made Halifax harbour.
Lat. 42 deg. 20'; Long. 71 deg. 4'.
3rd.--At seven landed the mails. At eleven cast off from the wharf, and
proceeded to sea. Light winds, westerly, with smooth water. All sails
394 miles. Lat. 44 deg. 39-1/2'; Long. 62 deg. 33-3/4'.
4th.--Winds from S.W. to N.W., light, with hazy weather, and small rain.
231 miles. Lat. 45 deg. 17'; Long. 58 deg. 0'.
5th.--Wind N.E., light, with fine clear weather, and smooth water. At
eleven Cape Race, 10 miles distance, bearing to the east. At four
exchanged signals with the brig _Mary and Martha_. Wind standing to the
241 miles. Lat. 46 deg. 30'; Long. 52 deg. 47'.
6th.--Strong easterly gales, with dark cloudy weather, and a heavy sea
202 miles. Lat. 47 deg. 10'; Long. 47 deg. 56'.
7th.--Moderate breeze, and clear weather: wind easterly, with a head
178 miles. Lat. 48 deg. 12'; Long. 44 deg. 17'.
8th.--Strong S.E. gales: dark gloomy weather, and heavy N.E. swell.
214 miles. Lat. 49 deg. 0'; Long. 39 deg. 0'.
9th.--Winds strong N.E. breezes, with drizzly rains: dark cloudy
weather: heavy northerly swell running.
238 miles. Lat. 50 deg. 19'; Long. 33 deg. 12'.
10th, _Sunday_.--Light baffling winds, and clear weather, with a heavy
northerly swell or sea. Performed Divine service at eleven A.M. This
put me in mind of the pilot's song--
"Fear not, but trust in Providence,
Wherever you may be."
256 miles. Lat. 50 deg. 31'; Long. 26 deg. 30'.
11th.--Strong southerly winds, with dark hazy weather, and a heavy sea
running. Saw a vessel in distress. Hove-to, and found she was the _John
and Mary_ of Dublin, a perfect wreck, and deserted, the sea running over
her, and for some minutes out of sight, except the masts.
244 miles. Lat. 50 deg. 30'; Long. 20 deg. 10'.
12th.--Strong breezes from the west: dark cloudy weather and rain, and
heavy sea running.
280 miles. Lat. 50 deg. 54'; Long. 12 deg. 44'.
13th.--Strong breezes: thick hazy weather, with rain. At six A.M. made
the land (Irish). Kinsale Light bearing North: distance, 10 miles. Noon,
fine clear weather, with heavy southerly swell. Waterford Harbour Light
bearing north: distance, 12 miles. At four P.M. spoke the _Alexander
Grant_, from Quebec. Passed the _Coningsby_ light-ship and Saltee
Islands. Thence Cansore Point, county of Wexford, and Holyhead at
14th.--At seven A.M. arrived in Liverpool, and made the town echo with
BIOGRAPHY OF LAURA BRIDGMAN.
She was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, on the 21st December, 1829. She
is described as having been a very spritely and pretty infant, with
bright blue eyes. She was, however, so puny and feeble until she was a
year and a half old, that her parents hardly hoped to rear her. She was
subject to severe fits, which seemed to rack her frame almost beyond her
power of endurance, and life was held by the feeblest tenure; but when a
year and a half old she seemed to rally, the dangerous symptoms
subsided, and at twenty months old she was perfectly well. Then her
mental powers, hitherto stinted in their growth, rapidly developed
themselves; and during the four months of health which she enjoyed she
appears (making due allowance for a fond mother's account) to have
displayed a considerable degree of intelligence. But suddenly she
sickened again: her disease raged with great violence during five weeks,
when her eyes and ears were inflamed, suppurated, and their contents
were discharged. But, though sight and hearing were gone for ever, the
poor child's sufferings were not ended. The fever raged during seven
weeks: for five months she was kept in bed in a darkened room. It was a
year before she could walk unsupported, and two years before she could
sit up all day. It was now observed that her sense of smell was almost
entirely destroyed, and consequently that her taste was much blunted.
It was not until four years of age that the poor child's bodily health
seemed restored, and she was able to enter upon her apprenticeship of
life and the world. But what a situation was hers! The darkness and the
silence of the tomb were around her;--no mother's smile called forth her
answering smile; no father's voice taught her to imitate his sounds:
brothers and sisters were but forms of matter which resisted not her
touch, but which differed not from the furniture of the house save in
warmth and in the power of locomotion, and not even in these respects
from the dog and the cat.
But the immortal spirit which had been implanted within her could not
die, nor be maimed, nor mutilated; and, though most of its avenues of
communication with the world were cut off, it began to manifest itself
through the others. As soon, as she could walk she began to explore the
room, and then the house. She became familiar with the form, density,
weight, and heat of every article she could lay her hands upon. She
followed her mother, and felt her hands and arms as she was occupied
about the house; and her disposition to imitate led her to do everything
herself. She even learned to sew a little, and knit. The reader need
scarcely be told, however, that the opportunities of communicating with
her were very, very limited, and that the moral effects of her wretched
state soon began to appear. Those who cannot be enlightened by reason
can only be controlled by force; and this, coupled with her great
privations, must soon have reduced her to a worse condition than that of
the beasts that perish, but for timely and unhoped-for aid. At this time
I was so fortunate as to hear of the child, and immediately hastened to
Hanover to see her. I found her with a well-formed figure, a
strongly-marked, nervous-sanguine temperament, a large and
beautifully-shaped head, and the whole system in healthy action. The
parents were easily induced to consent to her coming to Boston; and on
the 4th October, 1837, they brought her to the Institution. For a while
she was much bewildered; and after waiting about two weeks, until she
became acquainted with her new locality and somewhat familiar with the
inmates, the attempt was made to give her knowledge of arbitrary signs,
by which she could interchange thoughts with others. There was one of
two ways to be adopted--either to go on to build up a language of signs
on the basis of the natural language which she had already commenced
herself, or to teach her the purely arbitrary language in common use:
that is, to give her a sign for every individual thing, or to give her a
knowledge of letters, by combination of which she might express her idea
of the existence, and the mode and condition of existence, of anything.
The former would have been easy, but very ineffectual: the latter seemed
very difficult, but, if accomplished, very effectual. I determined,
therefore, to try the latter.
The first experiments were made by taking articles in common use, such
as knives, forks, spoons, keys, &c., and pasting upon them labels with
their names printed in raised letters. These she felt very carefully,
and soon, of course, distinguished that the crooked lines _spoon_
differed as much from the crooked lines _key_ as the spoon differed from
the key in form. Then small detached labels, with the same words printed
upon them, were put into her hands, and she soon observed that they were
similar to the ones pasted on the articles. She showed her perception
of this similarity by laying the label _key_ upon the key, and the label
_spoon_ upon the spoon. She was encouraged here by the natural sign of
approbation--patting on the head. The same process was then repeated
with all the articles she could handle, and she very easily learned to
place the proper labels upon them. It was evident, however, that the
only intellectual exercise was that of imitation and memory. She
recollected that the label _book_ was placed upon a book; and she
repeated the process first from imitation, next from memory, with only
the motive of love of approbation, but apparently without the
intellectual perception of any relation between the things. After a
while, instead of labels, the individual letters were given to her on
detached bits of paper: they were arranged, side by side so as to spell
_book, key_, &c.; then they were mixed up in a heap, and a sign was made
for her to arrange them herself, so as to express the words _book, key_,
&c., and she did so. Hitherto the process had been mechanical, and the
success about as great as teaching a very knowing dog a variety of
tricks. The poor child had sat in mute amazement, and patiently imitated
everything her teacher did; but now the truth began to flash upon
her--her intellect began to work. She perceived that here was a way by
which she could herself make up a sign of anything that was in her own
mind, and show it to another mind; and at once her countenance lighted
up with a human expression: it was no longer a dog or parrot: it was an
immortal spirit eagerly seizing upon a new link of union with other
spirits! I could almost fix upon the moment when this truth dawned upon
her mind. I saw that the great obstacle was overcome, and that
henceforward nothing but plain and straightforward efforts were to be
used. The next step was to procure a set of metal types, with the
different letters of the alphabet cast upon their ends: also a board in
which were square holes, into which holes she could set the types, so
that the letters on their ends could alone be felt above the surface.
She was exercised for several weeks in this way; and then the important
step was taken of teaching her how to represent the different letters by
the position of her fingers, instead of the cumbrous apparatus of the
board and types. This was the period, about three months after she had
commenced, that the first report of her case was made, in which it is
stated "that she has just learned the manual alphabet as used by the
deaf mutes; and it is a subject of delight and wonder to see how
rapidly, correctly, and eagerly she goes on her with labours." At the
end of the year a second report of her case was made, from which the
following is an extract:--"It has been ascertained, beyond the
possibility of doubt, that she cannot see a ray of light--cannot hear
the least sound--and never exercises her sense of smell, if she have
any. Of beautiful sights, and sweet sounds, and pleasant odours she has
no conception: nevertheless, she seems as happy and as playful as a bird
or a lamb; and the employment of her intellectual faculties, or the
acquirement of a new idea, gives her a vivid pleasure, which is plainly
marked in her expressive features."
She chooses for her friends and companions those children who are
intelligent, and can talk best with her; and she evidently dislikes to
be with those who are deficient in intellect, unless, indeed, she can
make them serve her purposes, which she is evidently inclined to do. She
takes advantage of them, and makes them wait upon her in a manner which
she knows she could not exact from others; and in various ways she shows
her Saxon blood.
* * * * *
Such are a few fragments from the simple, but most interesting and
instructive, history of Laura Bridgman. The name of her great benefactor
and friend who writes it is Dr. Howe. There are not many persons, I hope
and believe, who, after reading these passages, can ever hear that name
Indian corn--58 lbs. to the bushel: price, 49 c.
Columbus discovered America in 1492.
Mr. Rathbourn projected the City of the Falls, and built Buffalo; and
was confined afterwards seven years for forgery.
Sir C. Metcalfe, Governor of Canada.
Lord Falkland, " " Nova Scotia.
Sir W. Colebrooke, " " New Brunswick.
Sir John Harvey, " " Newfoundland.
Captain Fitzroy, " " Prince Edward Isld.
_Latitude_ is North and South: _Longitude_ East and West.
A _Geographical Mile_ is one-seventh more than a statute mile.
A _Knot_ is a geographical mile.
Price of Negroes, 8 dollars to 1200 dollars.
Females, 4 dollars to 600 dollars.
Tobacco is grown at--
Richmond } Virginia.
Maryland and Kentucky.
Lower and Upper Canada were united three years ago into one province.
There are also St. John's, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island,
Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.
In Lower Canada eight-tenths are French, and in Upper Canada about
500 bales of cotton are said to be used in New York yearly for ladies'
fronts and bustles.
Soldiers in the States enlist for five years only.
G.M. weighed to-day, October 9, 149 lbs., or 10 st. 9 lbs.
Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Superior contain half the fresh water in
Taxes on good land, say 50 dollars per acre, are as follows: State-tax,
15 cents per acre; county, 15 c.; road, 7 c. to 15 c.; horse, 30 c,.
cow, 15 c. each; servant-man, 1 d. 50 c.; waggon, 2 d. 50 c.; dog, 50 c.
If sheep are killed the State pays.
Representatives are for four years; get 4 dollars per day: State
Senators for one year, 6 d.: Representatives to Congress, four years,
8 d.: Congressional Senators, four years, 12 d.: Governor of a State,
two years, 5000 d. a year: has power of pardoning criminals, calling
military out, &c.; Lieut.-Governor, two years, 2500 d. a year: he is
Chairman of State Senators. Each State has a state attorney, secretary
of state, treasurer, &c.
Barrel of wheat flour into Canada 2 s. for 196 lbs.
Thence into England 7-1/2 d. for do.
Price of Wheat in the States 3 d. 75 c. per 60 lbs.
Barley 3 d. 75 c. "
Oats 3 d. 75 c. "
Wheat from Canada pays 3 s. per qr. (stationary).
Kingston, Price in Price in
Upp. Can. Canada. U.S.
s. d. s. d. s. d.
3 6 Wheat, 60 lbs. or 32 qts. 3 9 3 0
1 6 Barley, 48 lbs. or 32 qts. 2 4 2 0
0 10-1/2 Oats, 36 lbs. or 32 qts. 1 3 1 0
Rye, 56 lbs. or 32 qts. 2 9 2 3
Flour, 196 lbs., 15 s., 18 s. 9 d., 2 1 s. 3 d., Montreal: 17 s.,
A Cord of Wood is eight feet long, four wide, and four high, or 128
square feet: worth at Brockville, 1 d.; at Montreal, 3 d.
POPULATION OF THE STATES.
_Free, or New England._
Maine 13 501,793
New Hampshire 8 284,547
Vermont 14 291,948
Massachusetts 14 737,699
Rhode Island 5 108,830
Connecticut 8 309,978
North, New York 58 2,428,921
New Jersey 18 373,306
Pennsylvania 54 1,724,033
Delaware 3 780,085
Michigan 32 212,267
Ohio 79 1,519,467
Indiana 87 686,866
Illinois 87 476,183
Missouri 62 383,702
SOUTHERN SLAVE STATES.
Maryland 20 469,232
Virginia 119 1,239,797
North Carolina 68 753,419
South Carolina 29 594,398
Kentucky (S.W.) 90 779,828
Tennessee 72 829,210
Georgia 83 691,392
Alabama 79 590,756
Mississippi 56 375,651
Louisiana 39 352,411
Arkansas 39 97,574
District Columbia (Slave) 2 43,712
Iowa Territory 18 43,112
Wisconsin Territory 22 30,945
Florida Territory (Slave) 20 54,447
CERTIFICATE OF NATURALIZATION.
"Be it remembered, that at a Nisi Prius, holden by one of the Justices
of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, in the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in and for the Eastern District, a Court
of Record, on the tenth day of October, in the year of Our Lord One
thousand eight hundred and forty-two, Edwin Williams, a native of
England, exhibited a petition, praying to be admitted to become a
Citizen of the United States; and it appearing to the said Court that he
had declared on oath, before the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of
Pennsylvania for the Eastern District, on this day, that it was _bona
fide_ his intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and to
renounce for ever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince,
potentate, state, or sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to the
Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, of whom he was
at that time a subject; and the said Edwin. Williams having on his
solemn oath declared, and also made proof thereof according to law, to
the satisfaction of the Court, that he had resided within the limits and
under the jurisdiction of the United States of America three years next
preceding his arriving at the age of twenty-one years, and continued to
reside therein to the time of making his application; that, including
the three years of his minority, he had resided one year and upwards,
last past, within the State of Pennsylvania, and within the limits and
under the jurisdiction of the United States five years and upwards; and
that during the three years next preceding it had been _bona fide_ his
intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and that during that
time he had behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the
principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed
to the good order and happiness of the same; and having declared on his
solemn oath, before the said Court, that he would support the
Constitution of the United States, and that he did absolutely and
entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every
foreign prince, potentate, state, and sovereignty whatsoever, and
particularly to the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, of whom he was before a subject; and having in all respects
complied with the laws in regard to Naturalization, thereupon the Court
admitted the said Edwin Williams to become a Citizen of the United
States, and ordered all the proceedings aforesaid to be recorded by the
Prothonotary of the said Court, which was done accordingly.
"In witness whereof I have hereunto affixed the seal of the said Court
at Philadelphia, this tenth day of October, in the year One thousand
eight hundred and forty-two, and of the Sovereignty and Independence of
the United States of America the sixty-seventh.
"J. SIMON COHEN, _Prothonotary_."
* * * * *
Palmer and Clayton. Crane-court, Fleet-street.