Part 7 out of 8
ever committed. Its enormity was represented as a proof of temporary
insanity--the great argument, now-a-days, of our lawyers--and he was
set free by the governor, after remaining a few months in prison. He
shows himself again among the wealthy classes, and is as kindly
received by them as he would have been had he never forged notes to the
amount of several millions of dollars--so deeply-rooted in the American
people is the feeling of tolerance, and especially when those who are
the objects of it are millionaires, or in a fair way to become so.'
* * * * *
At this moment, we noticed some excitement among a few young ladies
standing near a songstress who had just been rapturously applauded. A
gentleman of commanding appearance, but deadly pale, was speaking to
her, in a tone loud enough to be heard by those standing by. 'You are
certainly much indebted to Madame Killer,' said the gentleman, 'but I
wonder how you can sing in a house where you brought to death an
innocent being!' And, bowing low to Madame Killer, he disappeared among
the bewildered assembly.
"'Ah!' said Asmodeus, with a sarcastic smile, 'the wronged husband
tells his false wife some bitter truths.'"
[Illustration: Scene at the "Wickedest Woman's"]
HOW SHE CONDUCTS HER BUSINESS.
The wickedest woman lives in a magnificent house, in a fashionable
street. A part of her fortune was made as a female physician. She made
money rapidly. The police were frequently called on to arrest her for
child murder, but she always managed to escape conviction and
punishment. After several years of profitable practice, she opened a
home for unfortunate women. She advertised her business extensively,
and soon became well known. Women who wished to conceal the results of
their shame, sought her out, and found a tender and thoughtful friend
during their period of trial. Such conduct, on her part, brought her a
constant run of custom, and paid well.
Her present business is conducted upon the same system. Her rooms are
elegant, and perfectly secluded. Her patients have every comfort, every
care, bestowed upon them. The doctress is gentle and considerate in
everything, and her patients soon learn to love her as a friend. She
charges heavily for all this, and her fees are usually paid, in full,
in advance. Sometimes the party engaging the rooms gives no name,
sometimes an assumed name is given. The wickedest woman asks no
Honest wives, in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by love and
respect, shrink from that hour of trial and anguish, which is at once a
woman's cross and crown. How sad, then, is the trial of the erring
creature in this splendid mansion. Terror, anguish, despair, remorse,
and shame, struggle at her heart, and deprive her of courage, prudence,
and almost of reason. At such times, few can resist the appeal of the
wickedest woman, to confide in everything to her. The poor sufferer
reveals her whole history, her name, and that of the father of her
child. The wickedest woman, while soothing her, listens attentively,
and carefully records the whole story, with all the names. If the child
is born alive, it is faithfully attended to, and every precaution is
taken by the doctress to have it reared in health. The mother knows
nothing of its fate, and, with recovered health, goes back to her
position in society, carrying with her the assurance of the wickedest
woman that her secret is safe.
The wickedest woman never loses sight of either patient. As those who
seek her assistance are apt to be persons of means, she has a motive in
doing so. It may be one or ten years after her services were rendered,
but, at what she considers the proper time, she renews her acquaintance
with them. She will startle them by a call, or a note, recalling to
them the events they would gladly forget, and soliciting a loan for a
short time. The appeal is generally made to the man, and is sustained
by such strong proofs that he dares not refuse to comply with the
demand. Of course he knows that the wickedest woman will never return
his money, but he is forced to send whatever sum she pleases. The
child, which has been carefully reared, is a living witness against
him, and the wickedest woman threatens to produce it if her demands are
refused. Every year the demand is renewed. Men have been driven to
bankruptcy, to ruin, and to death, by these heartless extortions.
Still, the wickedest woman continues her course. She boasts that
society in New York cannot do without her, and the facts seem to
justify this boast.
A recent number of a city journal, contained the following account of
the system of bringing up and adopting out illegitimate children in New
York. We present it in place of any description of our own.
FEMALE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENTS.
[Footnote: The writer of this article is a woman.]
Having read in the English and Scottish journals of the day a great
deal of curious and startling matter in reference to the practice of
'baby-farming,' as it is called, and having constantly accumulating
proof submitted to our eyes and understandings of the existence of
similar practices in our midst, here, in this great Christian city of
New York--having also read with mingled shame and wonder, and with
suspended judgment (as to the vital question whether, as the world goes
and must go, they were criminally injurious or socially beneficial)
concerning the numerous private establishments where wounded love and
brazen immorality alike find refuge and concealment, and where the true
orphans of life, those innocents who know not and who can never know,
their fathers or their mothers, find a temporary home, prior to their
entrance upon life and their struggle with the world--a married lady
friend of mine and myself determined recently to personally inquire
into these subjects and to investigate their condition and practical
workings, so far as possible, and to make public our investigations for
the benefit of the world at large and of all whom it may concern.
Having arrived at this determination, the next morning we glanced over
the advertising columns of the papers, and having read and reread the
'Important to females. Dr. and Mrs.----(20 years' practice) guarantee
certain relief to married ladies. Patients from a distance provided
with board, nursing, etc. Private advice letter free. Office,----. New
We resolved to visit this establishment that very day.
We found it located upon Third Avenue, near----street, over a shop, and
situated in the neighborhood of a number of little stores, sandwiched,
as it were, between all varieties of trades. A sign on the exterior of
the building directed us to pull the bell and walk up stairs. This
injunction was probably designed to give the parties notice of the
approach of persons desirous to see them, and to put them, and whoever
might chance to be with them at the time, on their guard. The
correctness of this view was proved by the fact, that, as we entered,
we saw a woman peering at us from the floor above, who immediately
withdrew on seeing us. We were shown into what had evidently been
intended for a hall bed-room but now served the purpose of a reception
room or office. Here we were, in a few moments, waited upon, by the
very lady or woman who had just peered down upon us, but who, of
course, assumed to be totally unconscious of this fact. She was neatly
dressed, and of quiet manner; and bowing, awaited our introduction of
the object of our visit. We made a poor enough show, doubtless, in our
pretended statement of our design in calling, but between us we gave
her to understand, as we had previously arranged, that we acted in
behalf of a lady friend of ours who had been 'unfortunate,' and who
desired nursing, medical attention, and above all, secrecy. Mrs.----
listened to our statement in a matter of fact way, as though our story
was 'as familiar as household words,' and then, it must be confessed,
kindly enough, with more delicacy and feeling (or show of it) than we
would have, _a priori_, given her credit for, explained to us the
_modus operandi_ to be pursued. No patients were received at the office
in Third Avenue; they were all sent to another branch of the
establishment in----street, presided over by a Dr.----.
The terms were in all cases strictly the same. Twenty five dollars per
week were charged for board and lodging, or one hundred dollars for the
month, 'payable invariably in advance.' The fee for nursing and medical
attendance was one hundred dollars; while the charge made for receiving
and taking care of the child reached the same figure--making in all the
considerable sum of three hundred dollars, for which amount it was
guaranteed to furnish the most comfortable lodging, the best
professional skill, and the most inviolate seclusion--certainly a
convenient arrangement on both sides of the transaction.
"It must be here mentioned that no pay whatever, not even in the shape
of presents or equivalents, is received from the parties who 'adopt'
the children thus confided to the care of Mrs.----and Dr.----. On the
contrary, this amiable couple are only too glad to get rid of the
'infant darlings' in some lawful way, and thus to avoid any further
expense or delay upon their account. Those to whom the children are
really indebted for their birth are required to bear the expense,
which, as just stated, is fixed at one hundred dollars. And the only
fear entertained by the madame and the doctor is, that 'people will not
apply fast enough for the babies,' who are, from the day of their
birth, sent at once to wet-nurses dispersed over the city, who, if the
regular methods fail, are themselves allowed to adopt the children, or
to dispose of them, by 'adoption,' to other parties."
But few of these "private establishments" are well managed. The
majority are conducted by ignorant, avaricious quacks, who have no
knowledge of surgery or medicine, and who either kill or injure their
victims for life. Frequent arrests of these people are made every year,
but the punishment is seldom inflicted as it should be. It is, as a
general rule, only in such first-class establishments as that of the
wickedest woman that patients are well treated or skilfully served. In
the majority of them the most horrible suffering and certain death
await the poor creatures who enter them. There are very few exceptions
to this rule. The newspapers are full of the advertisements of the
wretches who conduct these establishments, and there are always an
abundance of applications from unfortunate women. They come here from
all parts of the country. In the best establishments nature is allowed
to take its course. In the others, the ignorant quacks attempt to
hasten the result by artificial means. The end in such cases is death.
A JUVENILE ESTABLISHMENT.
You will see in almost any city paper a number of such advertisements
"ADOPTION.--Two beautiful infants, male and female, five and six months
old. Call upon Mrs.----, No. 25 E.----th street."
The following will show the meaning of such advertisements:
There is located on 19th street, New York city, a large establishment
devoted to the obtaining and preparing of infants for 'adoption.' This
Temple of the Innocents is presided over by a Madam P----, and combines
with the features common to the establishments elsewhere referred to,
the new and novel feature of a 'nursery' in which the innocents are
kept, nursed, and clothed, after a fashion, until they are 'adopted.'
The babies are housed in a large and airy room, plainly but neatly
furnished, and are attended by a corps of nice-looking nurses. Each
babe has its own cradle, and a rattle or toy or two, and the little
creatures are really well attended to, as it is evidently and directly
the interest of Madam P----to have her stock in trade as healthy-
looking as possible, in order to dispose of them rapidly and to
advantage. Madam P----is a stout brunette, gaily dressed, and has made
a great deal of money by the practice of her peculiar 'profession.'
She possesses a large wardrobe of baby-dresses, in which the infants
are attired when 'presented,' in order to look as captivating as
possible; and the lady is a thorough 'artist' in her way. She has been
'assaulted' by the papers, and 'interfered with' by the police, but,
nevertheless, the facts are stated as we have found them.
"Another institution, located near that portion of the metropolis
denominated Yorkville, is of a much more nefarious description. Here
children are left by their unnatural parents to be 'disposed of,' and
'disposed of' they are--not killed outright, but neglected--given to
suspicious characters, to mere strangers, and never heard from or
thought of afterwards. A pensive-seeming, expressively-faced young
woman clad in black, with a shawl thrown over her person, is engaged
occasionally to appear as 'the mother'--'the poor, heart-broken mother'
of the babies. By her appearance and well-feigned tears, she excites
the sympathies of such ladies (few in number) as visit the
establishment in good faith for the purpose of 'adopting' infants, and
her bursts of maternal tenderness and grief when imprinting a 'farewell
kiss, forever' upon the lips and cheeks of her departing darling,
seldom fail to draw an extra fee from the benevolent pocket of the
Many mothers offer their children for adoption, simply to get rid of
the trouble and expense of supporting them. Others part with them with
tears and heart pangs, in the hope that the little one's future will be
bettered by the change. Various causes are assigned for such acts.
"A French schoolmistress, a pretty young woman, who taught her native
language to the younger scions of several of our 'first families,'
having been brought to Dr.----'s establishment, expressed her
willingness to allow her child to be adopted, and it was accordingly
placed at the disposal of a fashionable lady and her husband, who
visited the establishment, and were about to bear the child away, when,
suddenly, the poor young mother rushed down stairs, and, seeing her own
flesh and blood, her own baby, clasped in another's arms, and about to
be torn from her heart and her grasp forever, fell at the feet of the
lady of fashion, and plead piteously, passionately, desperately, for
permission to retain her child. In vain the lady of fashion
remonstrated; in vain she argued the matter; in vain she offered the
girl-mother money; in vain, too, were the upbraidings of the astonished
housekeeper and her assistant; nature would have its way, and the
mother would have her child, and the contest of Gold _versus_ God
terminated, as all such struggles should, in the victory of God and
Heart, and the French mother kept her child."
A FASHIONABLE "INNOCENT."
Some strange, almost romantic incidents have occurred in the history of
the 'patients' of the establishment of Dr.----.
"A lady of the highest fashion, residing in Madison Avenue, accompanied
by her husband, (not like the poor girl, who, seeking a refuge, must
come secretly and alone,) called, one day, in reference to the
receiving within the accommodating shelter of the asylum, her own
sister, who had been 'unfortunate,' as women go. The 'sister'--a fair-
haired brunette, with exquisite eyes--was accordingly admitted, (it
being announced to her circle, the curled darlings of society, that the
young lady would be 'out of town, visiting some of her friends in the
country' for a limited period.) In three months, the young lady
returned to her admirers, and a delicious cherub (given out to nurse)
is at the present writing almost daily visited by a beautiful young
lady, 'who has conceived a great liking for it,' and by an older and
more matronly lady, who speaks of, at some future time, 'adopting' the
little darling (who, _apropos_, bears a strong resemblance to the
younger lady) for her own."
Some years ago, a handsome young woman, of respectable parentage,
sought the shelter of the convenient establishment of Dr.----. The lady
subsequently married a well-to-do farmer, from the West, and in the
full confidence of the marriage state, trusting to the passionate
devotion of her husband, she revealed the secret of her early
misdemeanor to her liege lord, who proved himself well worthy of her
confidence. The wife, who resided in Illinois, came to New York;
visited Mrs.----, (the lady who acted as Dr.----'s agent, and a call
upon whom has already been described,) and begged Mrs.----to restore
the child, who had been separated from her and 'adopted' by other
parties, years before. With this request Mrs.----refused to comply. She
knew the whereabouts of the child well enough, but she also knew that
it was now the _protege_, the pet, the heir of a wealthy old couple,
who were devotedly attached to it, and whose hearts would be almost
broken by parting with it, while the worldly interests of the child
would also be materially injured by the removal. Above all, the
revealing of the child's _locale_ would be a violation of a
'professional obligation,' and would be initiating a very dangerous
precedent in matters of this kind; and so Mrs.----'s lips were sealed,
and to this day the real mother knows naught of her own child; would
not even be able to recognize her offspring, if they were to meet face
to face in the streets of New York.
"A rising young politician of this city has recently married a lady,
whose early history resembles that of the mother just mentioned. But
the politician is of a different mould from the Western husband, and
having ascertained the 'little episode' in his wife's history, is now
negotiating with her for a separation. Unlike the mother just alluded
to, however, the politician's wife has recovered her child, and finds
consolation in the fact, even in view of the contemplated separation.
"A terrible scandal, which was on the verge of becoming the property of
the greedy public of New York, compromising a young Jewess of great
wealth and high social position, has been recently, and let us trust,
finally 'hushed' through the invaluable aid of Dr.----'s establishment.
A horrible revelation of domestic depravity has thus escaped
publication, and a woman who would otherwise have been an outcast from
her circle, and a blot upon the religion of her people, is now, thanks
to skill, secresy, and money, the admired wife of a leading Hebrew
THE FIRST DIVISION, NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD.
The City is very proud of its military organization, and both the
municipal and State governments contribute liberally to its support.
The law organizing the First Division was passed in 1862, when the old
volunteer system was entirely reorganized. Previous to this, the
volunteers had borne their entire expenses, and had controlled their
affairs themselves. By the new law, important changes were introduced.
The division consists of four brigades, and numbers thirteen thousand
men. This includes a proper force of field artillery and cavalry. The
United States provides the arms and uniforms, which are, when furnished
by the General Government, those prescribed by the army regulations.
The best regiments, however, prefer a handsomer dress, and provide
their own uniforms. The city makes an appropriation of five hundred
dollars per annum for each regiment, for an armory. The cost of
parades, music, etc., is paid by the regiments themselves. Each
regiment has its armory, in which are deposited the arms and valuable
property. An armorer is in charge of the building, and it is his duty
to keep the guns in good order. A reading room and library are attached
to some of these armories, and are used as places of social reunion for
the members of the command. Drills are held at stated times, and a
rigid discipline is maintained. The men are, as a general rule, proud
of their organizations, and enthusiastic in military matters. They are
well drilled, and will compare favorably with any troops in the world,
in both appearance and efficiency. Nearly all saw service during the
late war, and there is not a regiment, we believe, that does not
treasure some smoke-begrimed, bullet-rent flag, as its most precious
possession. Out of the thirteen thousand men comprising the force, nine
thousand were in the field, in active service, at one time during the
war, and the division gave the country three thousand seven hundred and
eighty officers for the struggle.
These troops are always ready for duty. They are scattered all over the
city, pursuing various useful callings, but at a certain signal,
sounded by the City Hall bell, they will rally at their armories, and
in an hour, there will be thirteen thousand disciplined troops ready to
enforce the laws in any emergency. The past services of the division
prove that it can always be relied upon.
[Illustration: Old Bowery Theatre.]
PLACES OF AMUSEMENT.
The peculiar character of the population of New York, together with the
immense throng of strangers always in town, makes it possible to
sustain a great many places of amusement in the city.
THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC, on fourteenth street and Irving Place, comes
first on the list. It is generally occupied by the Italian Opera, but
lately has been used for various purposes. It is one of the largest
public halls in the world, and is handsomely fitted up.
PIKE'S OPERA HOUSE, on Twenty-third street and Eighth Avenue, rivals
the Academy in the beauty and taste of its internal arrangements. The
entrance is through a magnificent marble building, also the property of
Mr. Pike, which is one of the ornaments of the city.
BOOTH'S THEATRE, on Twenty-third street and Sixth Avenue, is a handsome
freestone edifice. It is the property of Mr. Edwin Booth, the famous
tragedian. It is devoted exclusively to the legitimate drama, and will
be conducted in a style worthy of the fame of its distinguished
BROUGHAM'S THEATRE, in the rear of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, was used
during the war for the night sessions of the Gold Board. It is a
handsome little building, elegantly arranged internally, and is
conducted by Mr. John Brougham, the famous comedian and author.
WALLACE'S, on the corner of Broadway and Twelfth street, is one of the
coziest and best conducted places of amusement in the city. It is the
property of Mr. Lester Wallack, and is devoted to the legitimate drama.
It has the best company in the city, and the two Wallacks are to be
seen here alone.
THE OLYMPIC was built for Laura Keene, but has now passed into other
hands. It is a well arranged, pleasant hall, and for the last year has
been famous as the headquarters of that eccentric individual called
"Humpty Dumpty." It is in Broadway below Bleecker street.
NIBLO'S, is in the rear of the Metropolitan Hotel. It is a large
comfortable hall, handsomely fitted up. It is devoted entirely to the
sensational drama. It was here that those splendid spectacles, the
"Black Crook" and the "White Fawn," were produced in such magnificent
THE BROADWAY, in Broadway below Broome street, is the property of
Barney Williams. The Irish drama is its specialty. It is well
THE OLD BOWERY, in the Bowery below Canal street, is the only old style
theatre in the city. Its audiences come from the east side. The place
occupied in modern theatres by the parquette, is here devoted to an old
fashioned pit, into which the juveniles of the Bowery region are packed
like sheep. One has a fine chance to study humanity in this place. It
is managed well, and is devoted to the sensational drama.
THE STADT THEATRE, nearly opposite the OLD BOWERY THEATRE, is the
largest in the city. It is the property of Germans, and its
performances are in that language. It is well supported.
WOOD'S THEATRE, corner of Broadway and Thirtieth street, is a popular
establishment. It is very high up town, but the manager has made it so
attractive that it has drawn excellent houses. It has a museum, the
successor of Barnum's American Museum, attached to it, and is very
popular with the young folks.
Besides these there are several second and third class theatres, many
negro minstrel halls, concert rooms, and other places of amusement for
all grades and classes. The majority advertise in the daily journals,
and by consulting these monitors, one can always find the means of
passing a pleasant evening in the Great City.
FORTUNE TELLERS AND CLAIRVOYANTS.
The city journals frequently contain such advertisements as the
"A TEST MEDIUM.--THE ORIGINAL MADAME F----tells everything, traces
absent friends, losses, causes speedy marriages, gives lucky numbers.
Ladies fifty cents; gentlemen, one dollar. 464----th Avenue."
"A FACT--NO IMPOSITION. The Great European Clairvoyant. She consults
you on all affairs of life. Born with a natural gift, she tells past,
present, and future; she brings together those long separated; causes
speedy marriages; shows you a correct likeness of your future husband
or friends in love affairs. She was never known to fail. She tells his
name; also lucky numbers free of charge. She succeeds when all others
fail. Two thousand dollars reward for any one that can equal her in
professional skill. Ladies fifty cents to one dollar. Positively no
gents admitted. No. 40----Avenue."
It seems strange that, in this boasted age of enlightenment, the
persons who make such announcements as the above, can find any one
simple enough to believe them. Yet, it is a fact, that these persons,
who are generally women, frequently make large sums of money out of the
credulity of their fellow creatures. Every mail brings them letters
from persons in various parts of the country. These letters are
generally answered, and the contents have disgusted more than one
simpleton. The information furnished is such as any casual acquaintance
could give, and just as trustworthy as the reports of the "reliable
gentleman just from the front," used to prove during the late war. The
city custom of these impostors is about equal to that brought to them
from the country by means of their advertisements. Some of them make as
much as one hundred dollars per day, all of which is a clear profit.
The majority earn from three to six dollars per day. Servant girls are
profitable customers. Indeed, but for female credulity the business
would go down.
Still, there are many male visitors. Speculators, victims of the gaming
table and the lottery, come to ask for advice, which is given at
random. The woman knows but little of her visitors, and has no means of
learning anything about them. Sometimes her statements are found to be
true; but it is by the merest accident. The clairvoyants do not
hesitate to confess to their friends, in a confidential way, of course,
that their pretensions are mere humbuggery, and they laugh at the
credulity of their victims, whilst they encourage it. It seems absurd
to discuss this subject seriously. We can only say to those who shall
read this chapter, that there is not in the city of New York an honest
fortune-teller or clairvoyant. They knowingly deceive persons as to
their powers. It is not given to human beings to read the future--
certainly not to such wretched specimens as the persons who compose the
class of which we are writing. The only sensible plan is to keep your
money, dear reader. You know more than these impostors can possibly
Many of these fortune-tellers and clairvoyants are simply procuresses.
They draw women into their houses and ply them so with temptations,
that they frequently ruin them. This is the real business of most of
them. They are leagued with the keepers of houses of ill-fame. No woman
is safe who enters their doors.
These parties will also offer for sale "amulets," "charms," or
"recipes," which they say will enable a person to win the love of any
one of the opposite sex, and excite the admiration of friends; or "to
give you an influence over your enemies or rivals, moulding them to
your own will or purpose;" or to "enable you to discover lost, stolen,
or hidden treasure," etc., etc. For each or any of these charms the
modest sum of from three dollars to five dollars is demanded, with
"return postage." All these, as well as "love powders," "love elixirs,"
etc., are either worthless articles, or compounds consisting of
dangerous and poisonous chemical substances. Many of the men who deal
in them have grown rich, and the trade still goes on. The world is full
of fools, and these impostors are constantly on the watch for them.
The harbor of New York comprises the Hudson or North River on the west
side of the island, the East River on the east side, and the inner bay
lying between the mouth of the Hudson and the Narrows. Beyond the
Narrows is the lower bay, which is little more than an arm of the sea,
though the anchorage is good and secure.
The harbor contains the shipping of all civilized nations, and the
flags of some of the barbaric powers are often to be seen at our piers.
The North River piers are devoted to the great ocean steamship lines,
and the steamers to domestic ports, while the East River is occupied by
the old sail-vessels almost entirely. Each river has its peculiar
characteristics, so that in leaving the water on one side of the
island, and passing over to it again on the other side, one might
easily imagine himself in a different port from that he has just left.
The harbor is always full of vessels, and sometimes as many as fifteen
first-class steamships will sail from the bay in a single day, bound
for foreign and domestic ports. This is exclusive of the large number
of river and sound steamboats, and sail-vessels, that arrive and depart
THE HARBOR POLICE.
The peace and safety of the harbor are watched over by a police force,
whose head-quarters are on a steamer. The force is composed of resolute
and daring men, as the persons they have to deal with are mostly
hardened characters, reckless sailors and the like. There are twenty-
five men in the whole force, under the orders of a Captain and two
Sergeants. They have charge of the two rivers and the upper and lower
bay, and are constantly moving to and fro in their steamer and row-
boats. The headquarters steamer is a gloomy looking black craft, called
the "Metropolitan," which may be seen at all hours of the day and night
moving swiftly around the city. The harbor police render efficient
service during fires in the shipping, and are often called upon to
suppress crime and violence, which are attempted beyond the reach of
the patrolmen on shore.
THE RESCUE STATIONS.
Accidents are common in every large port, but the peculiar construction
of the New York ferry houses renders the number of cases of drowning
doubly great. In order to guard against this, and to afford timely
assistance to persons in danger of drowning, "rescue stations" have
been established along the water front of the city. There is one at
each ferry house, and the others are located at the points where
accidents are most likely to occur. These stations are each provided
with a ladder of sufficient length to reach from the pier to the water
at low tide, with hooks at one end, by means of which it is attached
firmly to the pier; a boat hook fastened to a long pole; a life
preserver or float, and a coil of rope. These are merely deposited in a
conspicuous place. In case of accident any one may use them for the
purpose of rescuing a person in danger of drowning, but at other times
it is punishable by law to interfere with them, or to remove them. The
station is in charge of the policeman attached to the "beat" in which
it is located, and he has the exclusive right in the absence of one of
his superior officers to direct all proceedings. At the same time he is
required to comply strictly with the law regulating such service on his
part, and to render every assistance in his power. The law for the
government of those using the "rescue apparatus" is posted
conspicuously by the side of the implements, as are also concise and
simple directions as to the best method of attempting to resuscitate
drowned persons. These stations have been of the greatest service since
their establishment, and reflect the highest credit on those who
originated and introduced them.
Many years ago a sharp-witted scamp appeared in one of the European
countries, and offered for sale a pill, which he declared to be a sure
protection _against earthquakes_. Absurd as was the assertion, he sold
large quantities of his nostrum, and grew rich on the proceeds. The
credulity which enriched this man, is still a marked characteristic of
the human race, and often strikingly exhibits itself in this country.
The quack doctors, or medical impostors, to whom we shall devote this
chapter, live upon it and do all in their power to encourage it.
There are quite a number of such men in New York, and they offer to
cure all manner of diseases. Some offer their wares for a small sum,
others charge enormous prices. Frequently one of these men will
personate half a dozen different characters. The newspapers are full of
their advertisements, some of which are really unfit for the columns of
a respectable journal. Besides these, they send thousands of circulars,
through the mails, to persons in various parts of the country, setting
forth the horrors of certain diseases, and offering to cure them for a
fixed sum. The circular contains an elaborate description of the
symptoms or premonitory signs of these diseases. A very large number of
persons, reading these descriptions, really come to the conclusion that
they are affected in the manner stated by the quack. So great is the
power of the imagination in these cases, that sound healthy men are,
sometimes, absolutely led to fancy themselves in need of medical
attention. A short conversation with their regular physicians, would
soon undeceive them, but they foolishly send their money to the author
of the circular in question, and request a quantity of his medicine for
the purpose of trying it. The nostrum is received in due time, and is
accompanied by a second circular, in which the patient is coolly
informed that he must not expect to be cured by one bottle, box, or
package, as the case may be, but that five or six, or sometimes a dozen
will be necessary to complete the cure, especially if the case is as
desperate and stubborn as the letter applying for the medicine seems to
indicate. Many are foolish enough to take the whole half dozen bottles
or packages, and in the end are no better in health than they were at
first. Indeed they are fortunate if they are not seriously injured by
the doses they have taken. They are disheartened in nine cases out of
ten, and are, at length, really in need of good medical advice. They
have paid the quack more money than a good practitioner would demand
for his services, and have only been injured by their folly.
It may be safely said that no honest and competent physician will
undertake to treat cases by letter. _No one worthy of patronage will
guarantee a cure in any case_, for an educated practitioner understands
that cases are many and frequent where the best human skill may be
exerted in vain. Further than this, a physician of merit will not
advertise himself in the newspapers, except to announce the location of
his office or residence. Such physicians are jealous of their personal
and professional reputations, and are proud of their calling, which is
justly esteemed one of the noblest on earth. They are men of humanity
and learning, and they take, perhaps, more pleasure in relieving
suffering than in making money. If a patient cannot pay for their
services, they give them free in the name of the Great Healer of all
ills. They have no such things as private remedies. They use their
knowledge for the good of mankind, and are prompt to make known their
discoveries, so that all the world may enjoy the benefit, they
themselves being rewarded with the fame of their inventions.
Not so with the quacks. A few have some medical knowledge, and are even
graduates of regular colleges, but the majority have neither medical
knowledge nor skill. They know their remedies are worthless, and they
offer them only to make money. They know in many cases that their
nostrums will inflict positive injury upon their victims; but they are
careless of the harm they do. They live upon human misery.
We may safely assure the reader that not one single physician, so
called, who conducts his business by means of advertisements or
circulars, is really competent to treat the cases he professes to cure,
and that no one knows this better than himself. Do not answer any
advertisement you may see in the newspapers. They are worthless. Above
all do not take the medicines sent you by the advertisers. Some of them
are poisonous substances. If you doubt this assertion, take the
compound to any druggist of your acquaintance, and ask him to analyze
it, and tell you what it is worth as a healing agent. If you need
medical advice, go to some physician that you know and have confidence
in. Don't put yourself in the hands of a man you know nothing of, who
would just as soon poison you as heal you, and who pursues his calling,
in most cases, in violation of the laws of the land. Let quack doctors,
or, in other words, advertising doctors, alone_.
As a general rule, the various medicines advertised as "specifics," or
"panaceas," for various ills, are humbugs. They are worthless. Many of
them are made up of harmless drugs, which can do no harm, if, as is
very certain, they do no good; but others are composed of very
dangerous substances. The remedies advertised for "private diseases"
rarely fail to make the patient worse, either by aggravating the
disease itself, or by permanently injuring the constitution. The
"Elixirs of Life," "Life Rejuvenators," "Vital Fluids," etc., are
either dangerous poisons, or worthless draughts. They contain mercury
to a very large extent; and anyone acquainted with the properties of
this substance can easily understand how great is the danger of using
them. The certificates accompanying them, as testimonials of their
merits, are simply forgeries. Some rascally proprietors have not
hesitated to use the names of prominent public men, without either
their knowledge or consent, in this way. Some of these forgeries have
been discovered and exposed, but the majority pass unnoticed. Rest
assured, dear reader, that men of character are very chary of such use
of their names.
The various bitters which flood the country are only cheap whiskey, or
rum and water, made nauseous with drugs. They have no virtue whatever,
as medicinal agents, and merely injure the tone of the stomach. Their
chief result is to establish the habit of intemperance. They are more
fiery than ordinary liquors, and more destructive in their effects.
The various medicinal wines which are offered for sale, are decoctions
of elderberry juice and kindred substances, and are more hurtful than
The "washes," "lotions," "toilet fluids," etc., are generally apt to
produce skin diseases. They contain, in almost every instance,
substances which are either directly or indirectly poisonous to the
The "tooth washes," "powders," and "dentrifices," are hurtful. They
crack or wear away the enamel of the teeth, leave the nerve exposed,
and cause the teeth to decay. If you are wise, dear reader, you will
never use a dentrifice, unless you know what it is made of. The
principal constituent of these dentrifices is a powerful acid, and
there are some which contain large quantities of sulphuric acid, one
single application of which will destroy the best teeth in the world.
The "hair dyes," advertised under so many different names, contain such
poisons as nitrate of silver, oxide of lead, acetate of lead, and
sulphate of copper. These are fatal to the hair, and generally injure
The "ointments" and "onguents," for promoting the growth of whiskers
and moustaches, are either perfumed and colored lard, or poisonous
compounds, which contain quick lime, or corrosive sublimate, or some
kindred substance. If you have any acquaintance who has ever used this
means of covering his face with a manly down, ask him which came first,
the beard, or a troublesome eruption on the face.
One of the popular "dodges" of the rogues who sell such compounds as we
have been describing, is to insert such an advertisement as the
following in the newspapers of the country.
"A RETIRED PHYSICIAN, of forty years' practice, discovered, while in
India, a sure remedy for consumption, bronchitis, colds, etc. Having
relinquished his practice, he has no further use for the remedy, and
will send it free on receipt of a three cent stamp to pay return
Sometimes the advertisement is that of a "retired clergyman," and
sometimes it is in the following form:
"A lady who has been cured of great nervous debility, after many years
of misery, desires to make known to all fellow sufferers, the sure
means of relief. Address, enclosing a stamp, Mrs.----, P. O. box--, New
York, and the prescription will be sent free by return mail."
A single moment's reflection ought to convince any sensible person that
the parties thus advertising are humbugs. It costs a great deal to
advertise, and as the announcements we refer to can be seen in every
paper in the land, it is safe to say that the "retired physician" and
"clergyman," or the "nervous lady," expend each from five to ten
thousand dollars per annum in advertising. The reader will see at a
glance, that, however benevolent such parties may be, they cannot
afford to give away so much money every year. The manner in which the
business is managed is as follows:
The "retired physician" and "clergyman," and the "nervous lady," are
one and the same individual. The man personating them is an ignorant
knave. He scatters his advertisements broadcast over the land. Letters
come, asking for his valuable recipe. He sends the prescription, and
notifies the party asking for it, that if the articles named in it
cannot be procured by him at any drug store convenient to him, he, the
"retired physician," "clergyman," or "nervous lady," will furnish them,
upon application, at a certain sum, (generally averaging five dollars,)
which he assures him is very cheap, as the drugs are rare and
expensive. The articles named in the prescription are utterly unknown
to any druggist in the world, and the names are the production of the
quack's own brains, and, as a matter of course, the patient is unable
to procure them at home, and sends an order for them with the price, to
the "retired physician," "clergyman," or "nervous lady," and in return
receives a nostrum compounded of drugs, which any apothecary could have
furnished at one half the expense. In this way the "benevolence" of the
quack is very profitable. Men have grown rich in this business, and it
is carried on to an amazing extent in this city. It is done in
violation of the law, and the benevolent individual not unfrequently
falls into the hands of the police, but, as soon as released, he opens
his business under a new name. As long as there are fools and dupes in
the world, so long will the "retired physician" find an extensive
Any one who chooses to do so, can verify our statement by a simple
application at the police headquarters of this city. The accomplished
and energetic Superintendent of the Metropolitan force is a stern foe
to swindlers of all kinds, and he can furnish any one who desires it
with more interesting details on this subject than we can possibly
give. One proof of our assertions is the fact that these quack doctors
and patent medicine proprietors rarely use their own names in their
business. They operate under a variety of _aliases_.
The old "Fashion Course," on Long Island, which was formerly the scene
of the triumphs of the monarchs of the turf, has of late been eclipsed
by the course at "Jerome Park," in West Chester county. This course is
situated near Fordham, and is the private property of Mr. Leonard W.
Jerome. The grounds are large, and handsomely ornamented, and the race-
course has been prepared with great care and skill. The meetings of the
American Jockey Club are held here. They attract vast crowds. The best
points of view, and the most beautiful parts of the grounds, are
reserved exclusively for the use of the members of the club and their
friends, and the remainder of the enclosure has been thrown open to the
public. Mr. Jerome's liberality is appreciated by the outside throng,
and the races are not marred with any act of rowdyism or lawlessness.
The races are the occasion of a great deal of money changing hands.
Bets are freely offered and taken on the various horses, and the
struggle of the noble beasts is watched by thousands of anxious eyes.
The greatest excitement prevails amongst the _elite_ in the private
stands, as well as throughout the common herd below. Every eye is
strained to watch the swift coursers as they whirl down the track, and
when the quarter-stretch is gained, the excitement is beyond all
control. The victor steed flashes with lightning speed by the judges'
stand amidst a storm of cheers and yells of delight. Bayonet, Bonnie
Lass, and Stonewall Jackson, are the favorites, and the winning horses
during the present season.
The course is still new, but the system which it has inaugurated is
becoming more thorough every year. The management is in the hands of
gentlemen of character, who are seeking to make at least one place in
the country where the blackguards and reckless gamblers who disgrace
the American turf shall be powerless to control affairs. The benefits
of this management will be very great. The stock of the State will be
vastly improved, and the metropolis, especially, will be able to boast
some of the finest blooded racers in the world.
During the meetings, the road from the city to the course, which lies
through the Central Park, presents a scene richly worth witnessing. It
is thronged with brilliant equipages, and some of the finest and most
dashing horses to be seen in America. All classes are represented. You
will see Commodore Vanderbilt, with his fine buggy and splendid
trotters, while, behind him, follows hard a butcher's cart and its
merry occupants, the fiery little cob throwing the dirt in the eyes of
many a Fifth Avenue team. The greatest good humor is manifested on all
sides, and all press forward eagerly to witness the sport in store for
them at "Jerome Park."
In almost any New York journal you will find such advertisements as the
"An honorable gentleman, established in business, desires for a wife a
lady of means and respectability. Address M. J. P., Station D, New
"A gentleman of the highest respectability, who has lately come into
possession of a large fortune, desires to make the acquaintance of a
lady with a view to matrimony. Must be handsome, accomplished, amiable,
healthy, and pious, and not over twenty-five. Address Husband, Herald
It is probable that some of the parties thus advertising may be in
earnest, but it is very certain that matrimony is the last intention of
the majority of them. There are not many persons who will care to marry
a woman won through the columns of a newspaper. Such simpletons would
deserve whatever trouble or shame such an alliance would bring about.
Many young men and women insert these advertisements for the sake of
"having a little sport," though, as we shall show, the sport thus
produced is of a very dangerous character.
A DANGEROUS PLEASURE.
A young man, not long since, advertised for a wife through the columns
of a city paper, merely designing the affair as a piece of sport. His
communication was answered by a woman, whose handwriting was that of an
educated person. Several letters passed between the parties, and the
young man, wishing to see his unknown correspondent, asked an interview
with her. She demanded to know if he really meant to marry her. She
would not see him without a positive answer on this point. She enclosed
him her photograph. The picture was that of a young and beautiful
woman, and of course inflamed the young man's desire to see the
original. It would have been well for him if he had dropped the
correspondence at once, but he foolishly allowed himself to be led on
farther, and wrote to the woman, declaring that he was serious in his
intentions, and would marry her if she would have him. He consoled
himself with the thought that he had signed a fictitious name to the
letter. The next day he received a communication from the woman, asking
him to call upon her at her residence, which was given. He did so. He
found that her picture had not deceived him--that she was both young
She received him graciously, and in the course of the conversation
asked him if the letters she held in her hand, were his. He glanced at
them, and assured her that they were. After a short interview, he took
his departure, promising to visit her the next day. Judge his surprise
when she saluted him, upon his return, by his proper name. In great
confusion, he denied his name, but she quietly told him that he had
been followed from her house by friends of hers on the previous night.
She had taken good care to establish his identity. Besides that, she
had had two witnesses concealed behind the heavy window curtains during
the previous day, who had overheard his acknowledgment of his written
offer of marriage. She told him frankly that she had no wish to marry
him, and would surrender to him his letters, and leave him in peace, if
he would pay her five thousand dollars. If he refused, she would bring
suit against him for ten thousand dollars damages for a breach of
promise. He refused her demand, and left the house. He went immediately
to a lawyer and laid his case before him. The lawyer consented to see
the woman, and report the result of his interview. He did so, and the
result was that, finding the woman to be one with whom no man's name
ought to be associated in such a matter, and seeing that her case was
so strong, he advised his client to comply with her demand, and receive
back his letters. This advice was taken, and the young man, who was,
fortunately for him, quite wealthy, and able to pay the money, secured
his letters and lost his money. He has not advertised for a wife since
Men, however, are not often caught in this way. The victims are chiefly
young girls, who think it a fine thing to answer an advertisement. One
of these foolish girls, living in a neighboring State, once answered an
advertisement for a wife, thinking it would be fine fun to carry on
such a correspondence. She received and replied to several letters, but
as she signed her true name to none of her own, considered herself
safe. She was surprised one day by being summoned into the parlor by
her father. She there found a villainous looking fellow, who announced
himself as her correspondent. He had come from New York with his last
letter, and had watched the post-office, until he heard the young girl
call for it, and had followed her home. He had all her letters with
him, and demanded five hundred dollars as the price of them,
threatening, in case he was refused, to make the matter public in the
town. The girl was overwhelmed with shame and confusion at her folly,
and her father was very angry with her. He threatened to have the man
arrested for endeavoring to extort money in such a manner, but the
fellow reminded him that such a course would only make the scandal
greater. There was no help for it. The girl had been foolish, but had
done nothing to merit the scandal which would ensue if the matter were
made public, so the father bought back the letters at the scoundrel's
price, and the affair was hushed up. The girl was cured of her folly,
and will never again commit so thoughtless and foolish a blunder.
By far the greatest number of advertisements of this kind are inserted
by persons who wish to levy black mail upon those who are foolish
enough to reply to them. Persons unaccustomed to these wretches cannot
imagine how patiently and persistently they will work to discover the
names of their correspondents. Distance is no obstacle to them, for
they can follow a letter anywhere. The best plan is not to notice
matrimonial advertisements at all.
There are several women in the city who advertise to introduce
strangers into the best society, and to procure wives and husbands from
the same element for their customers. As a general rule, these women
are simply procuresses. If, however, a man desiring to marry a woman in
this city, seeks their aid, they will always find some means of
assisting him. The charge for their services is either a percentage on
the lady's fortune, or a certain specified sum. The woman, or broker,
will devise some means of making the acquaintance of the lady against
whom her arts are to be directed, and will proceed cautiously, step by
step, until she has caused her victim to meet the man for whom she is
working. The arts used vary according to circumstances, but they rarely
fail of success. Men who wish to accomplish the ruin of some innocent
girl, also seek the aid of these brokers, and frequently, through their
assistance, effect their purpose. If it is necessary, the victim, after
being allured to the broker's house, is drugged. These women are the
vampires of society. It is very difficult for the authorities to make a
case against them, and they generally go unpunished.
The first column of the _Herald_, and a prominent column of nearly all
the city papers, bears the above heading. The advertisements in these
columns are curiosities in their way. The most confidential
communications are inserted here without fear of detection. Where
meetings are desirable, and letters would be read by parties interested
in preventing such meetings, these personals accomplish the object
quickly and without danger. The vilest and most infamous transactions
are thus arranged. Roues make appointments with their victims, thieves
announce to each other some plan of action for a daring robbery, and
false wives notify their lovers of the time and place of a future
meeting. All classes use the personal column for all purposes. Some of
the advertisements are utterly unintelligible to any but those for whom
they are intended. Others are easily deciphered.
"SERVED HIM RIGHT."
The following, which we clip from a city paper, will explain one use to
which the personal column is put. We need hardly say that all such
affairs do not end so harmlessly:
A few months ago, the following personal advertisement appeared in one
of our morning papers:
'SWEET FACE AT THE WINDOW.--Will the beautiful young lady who smiles
nearly every morning upon the gent who rides past her house on the
Eighth Avenue cars, have the kindness to address a note to "Admirer,"
Station "E," stating when and how an interview may be had?'
Chancing to know the smitten youth, who inserted this amorous
'personal,' we resolved to see what came of it. He was what is
generally termed a quiet man, and the last person in the world to
engage in a flirtation. It seemed even strange that he should venture
to such an extreme in order to make the acquaintance of any lady, and
that he must have been desperately in love with that 'sweet face at the
window' was the only conclusion that we could arrive at.
The next day he received nine different letters in answer to this
advertisement, showing beyond a doubt that there was more than one
'sweet face at the window' that smiled on some fortunate passenger or
other, every morning, and who undoubtedly imagined that her face was
the one alluded to by this advertiser.
Our friend was in a quandary. Some natures would have embraced them
all, but his heart only sought the one 'sweet face' that had haunted
him so long, and in his perplexity he sought our counsel. It was
finally arranged that he should answer the entire lot, and appoint a
meeting with each at a well-known restaurant, where, unknown to all
save the one he sought, he could not only have an opportunity of
viewing the other 'sweet faces,' but see and recognize the one he
sought for without disturbing the expectations of the others.
The evening came, and our friend entered the saloon and took a position
at a table where he could observe all who entered. As the hour
approached, quite a number of ladies came in, and took seats at various
tables. They each bore on their 'sweet faces' looks of expectancy, and
after taking a good observation of each gentleman present, they placed
themselves in such positions as to be able to see whoever entered after
them. There might have been a question about the peculiar 'sweetness'
of all of them, but there could be none relative to their matrimonial
desires. They all, or a majority of them, had passed that bewitching
period when woman's charms are the most enticing, and seemed anxious
not to pass into the sere and yellow leaf without some one on whom they
could lean for support.
Finally his eye fell upon the object of his search. He left the table
and his refreshments, and approached her as she came toward him. The
meeting was as cordial as might have been expected, and even more so.
He led her back to the table he had just left, and, ordering more
refreshments, he fell to talking in the most cordial manner, while the
other 'waiting ones' looked on in wonderment. To a few of them the
truth was plain, but a majority still lingered in hopes of being made
as happy as the other young lady now appeared to be. But our friend
soon sought the open air with his fair companion, leaving the others to
whatever fate might be in store for them.
She was really a fine looking woman, and those qualities, taken in
connection with a good education and a quaint brilliancy of
conversation, would have made her really attractive to any man of
taste, and, on this occasion, completely carried our poor friend's
heart by storm. The hours glided by, like the silvery chime of bells,
and before ten o'clock, the hour mentioned as the one bordering her
furthest stay, she had completely won our bachelor friend, and counted
him among her jewels new.
So sincere and true is he that he is too apt to look for the same
qualities in others, and, in this instance, he bared his whole heart
and confessed his love. But she had such a delightful way of laughing
off a serious proposition, and of disserting that the lover was only
trying to make himself agreeable, (which, under such circumstances, was
perfect justifiable, she thought,) and that he would probably forget
her when out of sight, and in the presence of a handsomer face; that,
to say nothing of their short acquaintance, it could not be that he
really meant anything of the kind, so that by the time he had arrived
at the location of where they were to part, she had completely dazed
the poor lover, and leaving him with a kind good-night, he stood
riveted to the spot, gazing after her as one gazes on the track of a
No sleep for him that night. The next morning, as he rode down to
business, that 'sweet face at the window' greeted him, more radiant
than ever, but at the same time more puzzling; for mingling with the
ripple of her smile, there was something that looked like triumph on
her face. At all events, from the first hour of their meeting a capital
flirtation was kept up on her part, although her victim was in
downright earnest, and deeply in love.
With all the ardor of Romeo, he sought to win her love; to turn her
from the lightness and frivolity of coquetting, to the more womanly
aspirations of home and marriage, and to penetrate the veil of mystery
and doubt in which she seemed enfolded, and into which she plunged
herself the more closely if followed. But all to no purpose. Weeks and
months passed away, and she seemed to be enjoying her new sensation
hugely. Drives through the park, excursions to the suburbs, balls,
operas, theatres, all, all in the same mode, and all seemingly looked
upon as the adjuncts of a splendid flirtation.
At last he awoke from the spell she had cast so bewitchingly around
him, and openly accused her of trifling with his affections, and of
caring nothing whatever for him beyond the part he acted as beau and
cavalier, which part he had become tired of acting. To this she plead
not guilty in such eloquent terms, bringing to her aid a woman's most
powerful auxiliaries, her tears, that the poor dupe repented of his
accusations, and was ready to fall upon his knees and crave her pardon.
She loved him, she said, but why should either of them rush madly and
blindly into matrimony, without considering or knowing each other? How
could either of them be sure that their present love would continue
beyond a honeymoon? In this way she paved the road for another six
months' flirtation, during the continuation of which she managed to
conceal her identity as effectively as ever.
But there came a time when the mask fell, and the veil was rent in
twain. A gentleman waited upon him one evening, an entire stranger,
having in his hand a small box, which he placed upon the table, and
accepted a seat with coldness and importance. He was, he said, and
perhaps unfortunately, the husband of the young woman to whom our
friend had been paying his attentions for quite a time, and, as he had
been convinced that he was acting innocently and in the dark, he had
come to make an explanation.
The poor fellow attempted to speak, but some emotion choked his
utterance; and he reseated himself in the chair from which he had
arisen. The man went on to state that he had become acquainted with his
wife in a similar way to the one which had brought them together; that
he had married her, and had been compelled to witness the continuation
of her flirtations, and acknowledged that our friend was not the only
one with whom she was maintaining such relations even then. He then
coolly opened the box and handed him back the various presents he had
bestowed upon his wife, after which he retired as politely as possible.
"The lover was cured. He patronizes another line of horse cars, and to
this day never allows himself to be led into another flirtation,
however attractive may be a 'sweet face at the window.'"
You may see at certain points on Broadway, maimed and battered
veterans, sitting through the whole day grinding a hand-organ for a
living. These men have heard sterner music than that by which they earn
their scanty subsistence, and have participated in a nobler struggle
THE STORY OF A PATRIOT.
In the spring of 1861, there went through the States of the Union a cry
that had never been heard in them before. It was the thrilling appeal
of the Union for aid against its foes. How it was answered, how
thousands of warriors started forth at the call, all men know.
Among those who responded to this call, was a young man just entering
upon the great drama of life. He had worked hard during his boyhood,
and was at this time one of the most promising and skilful mechanics in
one of our eastern cities. It was a great sacrifice for him to abandon
all the bright prospects before him; but the love of country was warm
in his breast, and he made the sacrifice cheerfully.
John Williams saw his first active service in the numerous outpost and
picket encounters, which marked the autumn and winter of 1861, while
the army under General McClellan was organizing on the banks of the
Potomac. There he distinguished himself by his firmness and vigilance,
as well as by his unfaltering courage.
[Illustration: The Soldier Minstrel.]
When the campaign of the Peninsula began, he was with the advance of
the army, and participated in the great reconnoisance of the 5th and
6th of April, 1862. At Williamsburg he was wounded in the arm, and did
not return to the army until the great battles of 'the seven days' had
commenced. He bore himself bravely through the whole of this trying
time, and came out of the fights unhurt.
During the retreat through White Oak Swamp, it was necessary to destroy
a small foot-bridge over a little watercourse. The enemy were pressing
on behind, and the task of demolishing the bridge was one of great
danger. General Sumner, seeing the condition of affairs, called for one
volunteer to cut away the log that still supported the structure. John
Williams sprang forward, and, seizing the axe which was held out to
him, dashed towards the bridge. In another instant his heavy blows were
falling on the log, sending its chips right and left. He had scarcely
begun when the enemy's skirmishers appeared on the other side of the
stream. Seeing him thus engaged, they opened a rapid fire upon him. The
balls flew all around him, two went through his hat, and his comrades
looked every moment for his death. But he did not shrink from his post.
He only brought the axe down heavier and faster upon the log. A minute
of painful suspense to his friends went by, and then the bridge fell,
with a crash, into the stream. Waving his cap triumphantly, the brave
fellow rejoined his company. For this gallant deed Private Williams
was, at General Sumner's special request, made a corporal.
From Harrison's Landing he went with the army to the Potomac again, and
followed McClellan to South Mountain and Antietam. Here his conduct
again drew upon him the notice of his officers; and when the army lay
at Harper's Ferry, preparatory to its advance into Virginia, he
received his sergeant's warrant, and a flattering note from General
Sumner, who, although wounded himself, had not forgotten him.
He was at Fredericksburg, and there lost his left arm. It was a severe
trial to him, for in the trade to which he had been trained, and to
which he hoped to return at the close of the war, both arms were
necessary. Nevertheless, he bore up against everything, and submitted
to his long and painful suffering as only a brave man can. When the
wound was healed, he went back to his command. He had no idea of
claiming his discharge for the loss of only one arm. He said,
cheerfully, he would only leave the service when the other arm, or a
leg, went from him.
He was well enough to participate in the battle of Chancellorsville,
but not sufficiently restored to health to meet the fate which there
befell him, for, toward the close of the second day's engagement, he
was taken prisoner. A few days later he was marched to Richmond, and
there became an inmate of the famous 'Libby prison.' A dreary attack of
sickness followed his arrival there, and lasted several months.
Hospital life, even among one's own friends, is not pleasant. To a
prisoner, among his enemies, even though they be kind and humane, it is
horrible. He is constantly haunted by the fear that he will die there,
and that his fate will never be known to his friends at home. So, in
spite of the bravery of Sergeant Williams, this feeling constantly
preyed upon him and retarded his recovery.
The weeks and months went by slowly, and at last the long imprisonment
came to an end. The sick man was sent back to the North, among a number
of others, who were exchanged under a special arrangement. A furlough
was granted him to go home and recruit his health. He was so weak and
thin when he went back to his old home, that his friends scarcely knew
him. But his native air, and the cheerful home scenes, soon brought him
up again, and when he returned to his regiment, he was as well and as
hearty as ever. He reached the army just after Grant had taken command
of it, and was reorganizing it for the last grand campaign against
He began the march with a light heart and happy anticipations. They
were cut short at Cold Harbor, where he lost his right leg. His days of
service were now over, and he went into the hospital to await his
recovery, when he would have to go back to the world unfitted for
almost any avocation. Still he consoled himself with the hope that the
people for whom he had fought and suffered, would not let him lack for
some means of employment.
When he was able to leave the hospital, the war had been decided, and
the great struggle was over. He received his honorable discharge from
the government, and transportation to the city where he had enlisted.
After a brief rest, he set about looking for employment.
It was a harder task than he had anticipated. No one had anything for
him to do, 'Times were so dull,' 'there was so little to do,' that no
one could think of employing him. In vain he urged his services to the
country and for them. They were very sorry for him. They would help him
if they could; but really it was impossible.
Every day his small stock of money grew smaller, and with it his hopes
grew fainter. At last he disappeared from the notice of his friends, to
re-appear again in a short time under different circumstances.
One day his friends were attracted by the sight of a crowd collected
around a cracked and ricketty hand-organ. Approaching it they found
that the organ-grinder was no less a person than Sergeant Williams. He
was clad in his suit of faded blue, with his sergeant's chevrons and
all. He was grinding away at his old hand-organ as the last means left
him for support. Every day he may be seen along the principal streets
of the city, patiently and sadly earning his pittance in this way--a
mode so very repugnant to one's manhood.
This is the end and reward of his services and sufferings. In a land so
prosperous, so favored as our own, a soldier of the Union, in his garb
of honor, who has given for his country everything but his life, is
forced to resort to an avocation formerly considered only fit for
vagrants. It is no discredit to him, for he bears himself there as
proudly as he did when following the old flag; but there is a bitter,
burning sense of wrong in his heart. Perhaps you may know, dear reader,
who is responsible for it.
Formerly the city was much injured and rendered unhealthy, by the
practice of killing animals for market in the crowded sections. In the
summer these slaughtering establishments were perfect pesthouses. Now
the slaughtering is done almost entirely at the abattoirs, or slaughter
houses, at Communipaw, New Jersey. The buildings used for this purpose
are large, and are fitted up with every convenience. The cost of
killing is slight, and the butchers are well repaid by having their
meat sent to them in excellent condition. The abattoirs are situated on
the shore of the bay, where the pure sea breezes keep them fresh and
healthful, and the refuse matter and filth are thrown into the water
and carried off by the tide.
The mode of slaughtering is by machinery, as far as possible, and is a
great improvement on the old method. Any one who has witnessed the
slaughtering of animals in our small butcher shops could not fail
noticing that more brutality was used upon the creatures than was
necessary to secure death. According to methods which were formerly
general in their application, and now are by no means exceptions to the
practice, beeves were killed with heavy hammers, the butcher pegging
away upon their heads until insensibility ensued; and sheep and hogs
were either pounded to death or see-sawed across the throat until their
heads were nearly severed from their bodies. When the bodies were
shipped for market, much, difficulty was found in effecting a ready
sale, on account of their bruised and bloodless appearance. The system
by which the work is performed at the abattoirs is as humane and
painless to the animal as the taking of life can be; and as a large
portion of the business is done by machinery, the bodies are not
subject to contusions, and, consequently, present a fresh, healthy
appearance after death. To show the superiority of the new system over
the old method of slaughtering was the object of our former
illustrations. Upon recent observation, we found that where the average
weekly number of cattle killed, dressed, and shipped was about fifteen
hundred, that of hogs was nearly ten times as great, and we now give a
faithful representation of this portion of the work.
"The apartment in which hogs are slaughtered is upon the second floor
of the building, and our first scene is that of the pen into which the
animals are driven from their quarters. A chain clasp, patented by Mr.
P.W. Dalton, who superintends this department, is fastened to one of
the hind legs, and this being attached to a rope connected with a huge
wheel, the hog is raised from the floor and swung to a stand, where a
ring of the clasp is caught on a large hook descending from the axle of
a sheave or wheel, which runs along a railway, and the hog is pushed
through a small passage-way into a second pen.
"By the time it has reached this place, its excitement has subsided,
and it hangs in a comparatively quiet manner. The butcher watches a
fitting opportunity, and cuts the hog's throat with a sharp knife, and
swings it further along on the railway.
"As soon as each sheave is used the hogs are lowered into the scalding-
tub, which is about fourteen feet long, four feet wide, and three and a
half feet deep. They are allowed to remain in boiling water one minute,
and are then turned out upon the scraping-bench by an instrument
extending across the tub, and furnished with several long teeth. At
this bench are about fourteen men, each of whom has something to do on
every hog that is sent down. The first two on each side, technically
known as scuddlers, scrape the bristles from the head and shoulders;
the next four shave, with long knives, the remainder of the body, and
roll it to the end of the bench, where a final scraping takes place; a
gambrel is inserted in the hind legs, and the hog is forwarded on a
sheave to the dressers' table.
"For this work there are several men, each one having a special portion
assigned to him. As soon as the entrails have been removed, and the
body properly cleansed, it is removed to the drying apartment, where it
remains suspended on parallel 'runs' until the following day, when it
is weighed, and then delivered to the wagons from windows, by means of
shoots. The entrails, and other portions removed from the bodies, are
taken to another part of the building, where a most extensive and
complete lard manufactory is in constant operation.
"Here are eight monster iron caldrons, into which the raw material is
thrown; a powerful current of steam is introduced from beneath, and the
fat is rapidly reduced to a liquid state. It is then run off into
smaller vats, where it remains to settle and cool sufficiently to be
packed for shipping. During the busy season one hundred and twenty
tierces of pure lard and forty tierces of soap grease are drawn off
daily. The sediment at the bottom of the vats is removed, and assists
in filling up the Hackensack river.
"With all the hurry and confusion incident to the immense amount of
work done, it is remarkable how the building can be kept in so
inoffensive a condition, and all the labor performed in such a quiet
and orderly manner. The most scrupulous cleanliness is observed in
every department, and the ventilation is perfect."
There is located on the East river side of the great city, an
establishment which has been but lately introduced. It is the Morgue,
or Dead House, and is modelled after the famous place of the same name
in Paris. Bodies found in the streets, or in the harbor, are brought
here and left a certain time for identification. Each article of
clothing found upon them, or any trinket, or other property, which
might lead to the discovery of the name and friends of the dead, is
carefully preserved. Bodies properly identified are surrendered to the
friends of the deceased. Those unclaimed are interred at the expense of
the city, and their effects are preserved a much longer time for
purposes of identification.
It is a gloomy looking building, this Morgue, and it is rarely empty.
In a dark, cheerless room, with a stone floor, there are rows of marble
slabs supported by iron frames. Over each one of these is a water jet.
Stretched on these cold beds, are lifeless forms, entirely covered with
a sheet except as to their faces, which stare blankly at the dark
ceiling. A constant stream of fresh water falls on the lifeless
breasts, and trickles over the senseless forms, warding off decay to
the latest moment, in the vain hope that some one to whom the dead man
or woman was dear in life may come and claim the body. It is a vain
hope, for but a few bodies are claimed. Nearly all go to the potter's
field, where they sleep well in their nameless graves.
The dark waters of the rivers and bay send many an inmate to this
gloomy room. The harbor police, making their early morning rounds, find
some dark object floating in the waters. It is scarcely light enough to
distinguish it, but the men know well what it is. They are accustomed
to such things. They grapple it and tow it in silent horror past the
long lines of shipping, and pause only when the Morgue looms up coldly
before them in the uncertain light of the breaking day. The still form
is lifted out of the water, and carried swiftly into the gloomy
building. It is laid on the marble slab, stripped, covered with a
sheet, the water is turned on, and the room is deserted and silent
again. Shall we tell you the story, reader, of this unfortunate man.
Step back with us, and look at the face lying so cold and white under
the trickling water. It is that of a young man; there is a deep gash in
the forehead, and the sheet over the breast is stained with blood.
Only two days ago this young man, in high health, and full of life and
spirits, left his home in a neighboring State for a visit to the great
city. A mother's blessing and a sister's kiss hallowed his departure,
and even his faithful dog seemed loth to part from him. He laughed at
the fears of his dear ones, and gayly promised a speedy and safe
return. [Footnote: The reader will find this story told with inimitable
fidelity in our illuminated title page, the scenes embodied in that
engraving explain themselves, and convey no uncertain warning.] He
reached the city, and his business was soon transacted. He had heard
much in his country home of the dangers to which unsophisticated
strangers were apt to fall in the Metropolis, but he had laughed at the
idea of his being so silly as to allow himself to be treated so. He
would take just one glance at the shady side of city life, to satisfy
his curiosity, and have something to talk about at home, and would then
start on his return. He would merely be a looker on.
A gaudy transparency in front of a cellar caught his eye, and invited
him to come and enjoy the hospitalities of Madame X----'s Varieties. An
inward voice bade him shun the place, but as he was only going for
curiosity, he silenced the faithful monitor, and boldly entered. He
would not have liked to have any friend see him there, and he entered
the hall timidly. Not knowing what else to do, he seated himself at a
neighboring table. The room was full of girls, whose very appearance
made him blush for shame, and with men who eyed him with no friendly
looks. In a moment, two girls came and seated themselves beside him,
and bade him "be sociable." Not wishing to appear "verdant," the young
man, whose rusticity was evident to every one in the room, threw off
his timidity, and boldly ordered liquor. He drank deeply, to keep up
his courage, and, determining to "have his fun out," commenced a lively
conversation with the girls. A man and a woman soon sought the same
table, and the party became the very merriest in the room. The young
man, who had come only through curiosity, was determined to enjoy
himself. At a late hour, he left the hall, with just enough of reason
remaining to know what he was doing. As he reached the street he was
joined by two men, who had followed him from the saloon. Accosting him,
they told him they were glad he had left the hall.
"Why?" he asked in surprise.
"Because," he answered, "those girls you were with had laid a plan to
make you drunk, and rob you. They know you are a stranger in the city,
and they are after your money."
The young man's liquor had robbed him of his discretion, and he
answered, thickly, that he had over two hundred dollars with him, that
he had collected that day. A look of intelligence passed between the
two men. One of them asked the young man if he would not go into a
neighboring barroom and drink with them. He muttered something about
wanting to go to his hotel, but they assured him that, after a friendly
drink, they would take him there. He went with them. Glasses were
filled and drained, and the young man was in high spirits with his new
friends. If the bar-keeper suspected anything, he held his peace.
The three men then left the "Gin palace" together, and the young man,
relying upon their promise to conduct him to his hotel, went with them
without suspicion. They led him down dark, crooked streets, assuring
him that he was almost at his lodgings. The air grew fresher and
fresher, and at last the low ripple of the waves was heard as they
dashed in upon the shore. A momentary ray of prudence flashed through
the drunken helplessness of the doomed man, and, alarmed by the
strangeness of the scene and the sight of the river, he stopped short,
and declared he would go no further.
His prudence came too late. In an instant, he was felled to the ground
by a heavy blow from one of his companions. At the same moment, they
were joined by two other men, who came up so suddenly that they almost
seemed to spring out of the darkness. A handkerchief was tied tightly
over the victim's mouth, and, catching him up in their arms, the four
men bore him rapidly out to the end of one of the most deserted piers.
The sense of his danger roused the poor fellow from his drunken stupor,
and almost sobered him. He struggled violently to free himself from his
assassins, but they held him down with grips of iron. A heavy blow on
the forehead from a "billy," rendered him senseless, and a well-aimed
knife-thrust sent him into eternity. The murderers, accustomed to such
work, quickly rifled his pockets of money, watch, and other valuables.
Then there was a heavy splash in the dark water, and the secret was
confided to the keeping of the silent stars.
The harbor police found the body, as we have described, and conveyed it
to the Morgue.
Weary with waiting and watching, the friends of the young man will come
hurriedly to the city, and the police authorities, who know well where
to look for such missing ones, will take them to the Morgue, where
their lost darling lies waiting for them.
Young man, if curiosity tempts you to seek to penetrate the secrets of
the great city, remember that you may learn them only to your cost.
THE OLDEST MAN IN NEW YORK.
Strangers visiting the Church of the Ascension, in New York, cannot
fail to notice the presence of an old gentleman, who occupies an arm-
chair immediately in front of the chancel, in the middle aisle, and who
gives the responses to the service in a very loud and distinct manner.
This is, perhaps, the oldest man of the entire million of New York city
inhabitants. It is Captain Lahrbush, formerly of the British army, but
for the last twenty years a New York resident. He was born in London,
on the 9th of March, 1765. It is not extravagant to say, that his life
has been more remarkable, embracing more various and extraordinary
experiences, than that of any one now living, in any quarter of the
globe. He entered the military service of Great Britain, October 17,
1789, and fought, under the Duke of York, with the Sixtieth Rifles, in
Holland, in the campaign of 1793. Five years later, he was present when
Humbert surrendered to Lord Cornwallis, at Pallinauck, in Ireland. In
1801, he was with Lord Nelson at the taking of Copenhagen. In 1806-7,
he was an attache of the suite of Lord Castlereagh, at Vienna; and on
the 22d of June, of the latter year, he witnessed the memorable
interview between Napoleon and Alexander, at Tilsit. During the next
two years, he was with the Duke of Wellington, in the Spanish
peninsula, and was knighted at Talavera, having received promotion for
distinguished gallantry at Busaco. In the year 1811, he was sent to the
Cape of Good Hope, and bore a prominent part in the Caffre war of 1813.
When Napoleon was imprisoned at St. Helena, Captain Lahrbush was
charged with his personal custody, as commander of the guard, a
delicate and responsible duty, which he performed for the greater part
of 1816-17. The following year, wearying of the military profession, he
sold his commission in the Sixtieth Rifles, and retired to private
life, but subsequently went to Australia, in the capacity of
superintendent of a convict station at Cathure; and in 1837, at the age
of seventy-one, removed to Tahiti. From this point he made many
voyages, to the East Indies, to China, and to different parts of South
America. In 1842, in consequence of having taken sides with the
Protestant missionaries against the Roman Catholic propaganda, he was
forcibly removed from Tahiti to France, and took occasion of this
removal to travel on the continent. In 1847, when eighty-one years of
age, he undertook the management of Lord Howard de Welden's estate, in
the Island of Jamaica; and, in 1848, came with his widowed daughter and
grandson to New York. Both mother and child died soon after their
arrival, leaving him, at his advanced age, lonely indeed. But the old
man has lived on, to the present moment, in the enjoyment of
unimpaired, and a truly wonderful degree of bodily health. In 1867, he
celebrated his one hundred and first birthday, at a breakfast in the
house of an eminent gentleman of New York, where many officers and
citizens were invited to meet him. His appearance is that of a hale
man, and, as seen in church, he looks the junior of many others in the
congregation. The most surprising fact connected with the old
gentleman's prolonged life, is, that for many years he was in the habit
of taking seventy-five grains of opium--and, on one occasion, he took
one hundred and fifty grains in a dose. Though he has long abandoned
the use of the drug, he feels certain he could drink half a pint of
laudanum with impunity. Captain Lahrbush is said to retain, with
surprising freshness, the scenes and events of some of the grandest and
most imposing of modern history of which he has been the eye-witness.
He speaks of Blucher as having been very good company, but a heavy
drinker, who swore terribly at Napoleon. Louisa, the Queen of Prussia,
he thought the handsomest woman of her time, and Alexander, of Russia,
the most elegant-looking man in Europe. As for Napoleon, whose face he
had an abundant opportunity to study, he declares that no likeness that
was ever taken of him, conveys the proper idea of his features and
their expression. The closest resemblance, he says, is that of the
coins of the empire, especially the profile upon the five franc pieces.
In any issue of certain city newspapers, you will see such
advertisements as the following:
"Absolute divorces legally obtained, in New York, and States where
desertion, drunkenness, etc., etc., are sufficient cause. No publicity;
no charge until divorce obtained; advice free. M----B----, attorney,
The persons so advertising are called divorce lawyers. They make a
specialty of putting asunder "those whom God hath joined together."
The laws of New York specify but one ground for a complete divorce,
adultery; but in spite of this these lawyers encourage persons to apply
for a sundering of their matrimonial bonds.
A man or woman, wishing to get rid of his or her partner, applies to
one of these lawyers, and a bargain is drawn up, signed and sealed,
pledging the payment of a good round fee in case a divorce is obtained.
The first step on the part of the lawyer is to obtain a thorough
knowledge of the habits and movements of the person against whom the
proceedings are directed. Private detectives, who also make a specialty
of this kind of business, are set to watch the wife or husband. Every
movement is observed, and every act tortured into meaning something
unlawful. Sometimes a trap is laid in which the person is led and
caught. Or, if evidence of a truthful nature cannot be procured; it is
manufactured for a given price.
When everything is ready, a suit is brought in the proper Court.
Charges are made against the fidelity of the party from whom the
separation is desired. These charges may be true or false. If true,
they are the result of the system of espionage carried on by the
private detectives. If false, they are sustained by the testimony of
suborned witnesses. It is the custom of the Courts not to try these
applications openly, but to refer them to some lawyer of ability, who
hears the evidence in chambers, and reports the result to the Court,
with a recommendation either in favor of or against the divorce.
Lawyers of ability are not always men of integrity. It is owing to this
fact, doubtless, that the referee generally reports in favor of the
divorce, which the Court grants upon the strength of this report.
However this may be, there is no doubt of the fact that divorces may be
easily obtained by those who are willing to pay for them. There are
many secret methods of procedure known only to the initiated, but there
can be no doubt of the fact that justice has become so corrupt, in both
this city and State, that its acts have lost that moral force which is
so necessary to the national prosperity. Men of wealth can accomplish
anything, and are sure of success from the moment their causes are
presented in the Courts, while those who have not the means to pay for
their freedom must remain yoked to their partners until death parts
The sign of the three gilt balls is very common in the Great City, and
where the ancient badge of the pawnbroker is not seen, the words
"Exchange Office" answer the same purpose. The law recognizes the fact
that in all large communities, these dealers are a necessary evil, and
while tolerating them as such, endeavors to interpose a safeguard in
behalf of the community, by requiring that none but persons of good
character and integrity shall exercise the calling. In New York, the
Mayor alone has the power of licensing them, and revoking their
licenses, and none but those so licensed can conduct their business in
the city. "But Mayors of all cliques and parties have exercised this
power with, apparently, little sense of the responsibility which rests
upon them. They have not, ordinarily at least, required clear proof of
the integrity of the applicants; but have usually licensed every
applicant possessed of political influence. There is scarcely any
instance where they have revoked a license thus granted, even when they
have been furnished, with proofs of the dishonesty of the holders."
[footnote: Report of the Prison Association.]
As a consequence, the pawnbrokers of the city are, with a few
exceptions, a most rascally set. They are little more than receivers of
stolen goods. The police frequently trace stolen property to them. Upon
one occasion a whole basket of watches was found in one of these
establishments. Another possessed a diamond worth over seven hundred
dollars, which had been pawned for two dollars and a half. It had been
stolen by a servant girl.
Goods taken to these men are received by them without question. They
advance a fraction of the value of the article which is to be redeemed
at a certain time at a high rate of interest. If not redeemed, the
article is sold. Some of these dealers do not wait for the expiration
of the time when an article of value is concerned, but sell it at once,
and flatly deny ever having received it. The rate at which all articles
are taken is sufficiently low to render it certain that the sale of it
will more than cover the advance.
The principal customers of these men are the poor. Persons of former
respectability or wealth, widows and orphans, are always sure to carry
with them into their poverty some of the trinkets that were theirs in
the heyday of prosperity. These articles go one by one to buy bread.
The pawnbroker advances not more than a twentieth part of their value,
and haggles over that. He knows full well that the pledges will never
be redeemed, that these unhappy creatures must grow less able every day
to recover them. Jewelry, clothing, ornaments of all kinds, and even
the wedding ring of the wife and mother, come to him one by one, never
to be regained by their owners. He takes them at a mere pittance, and
sells them at a profit of several hundred per cent.
You may see the poor pass into the doors of these shops every day. The
saddest faces we ever saw were those of women coming away from them.
Want leaves its victims no choice, but drives them mercilessly into the
clutches of the pawnbroker.
The majority of the articles pawned are forced there by want,
undoubtedly, but very many of them go to buy drink. Women are driven by
brutal husbands to this course, and there are wretches who will
absolutely steal the clothing from their shivering wives and little
ones, and with them procure the means of buying gin. God help them all,
the sinner and the sinned against.
The best class of pawnbrokers lend money only on such securities as
jewels. These are known as diamond brokers, and of course are
patronized only by the upper classes, both respectable and
'The tricks in trade,' practiced in connection with gems and precious
stones, are almost infinite in variety, and the shifts of individuals,
who are as extravagant personally as they are needy pecuniarily, to
obtain them, are really wonderful in ingenuity and impudence.
To illustrate by a case in point: A diamond broker, whose office is
located on the central portion of Broadway, was recently visited by a
remarkably handsome and elegantly attired young lady, who at once
entered upon business in a straightforward style, which greatly
impressed the broker in her favor, he being a thorough business man
himself. She wished to negotiate for a loan upon some diamonds in the
possession, at that moment, of 'a Safe Deposit Co.,' where he could
obtain a view of them, if the 'preliminaries' to this step were
satisfactorily arranged. These 'preliminaries' consisted in information
as to the amount of money the broker could at once advance, what rate
of interest he would charge, how and when payments were to be made,
etc., etc. These matters were pleasantly and precisely settled by a
conversation of some ten minutes, during which the lady looked at and
examined, merely with a natural feminine curiosity, a number of
precious stones, pearls, etc., which were displayed in the broker's
cases for sale or show purposes. At last the lady rose to depart,
appointing the hour of eleven the next morning as the time for their
next meeting, when the lady would exhibit to the broker her diamonds,
upon which, if they were as valuable as she represented, she was to
obtain the agreed upon amount of money, on the terms already arranged.
As she rose to leave, however, the quick eye of the broker noticed that
a valuable pearl was missing, and at once he 'made up his mind' as to
the true character of his fair visitor, and the whereabouts of the
missing pearl. He rushed to the door, barred the 'lady's' exit, and
said, quietly but firmly, 'You have a pearl about your person which
does not belong to you--restore it.' The lady assumed the looks and
attitudes of the most virtuous and violent indignation, but in vain.
The broker was inexorable and still barred the door of departure. 'You
have been too light-fingered for me, I confess, madam. You are an
accomplished woman, and have thrown me off my guard, but I must have my
The lady still protested; the broker still persisted; finally the
former, with a mingled aspect of wounded modesty and triumphant
innocence, said: 'Sir, you may search my person if you like, and
convince yourself of your gross mistake, but remember that you shall
bitterly atone this outrage to which I am now forced to submit.'
Without further parley the broker took the lady at her word, and
searched her person--delicately or indelicately as you are disposed to
regard it--but thoroughly, certainly. No pearl was found, and the
lady, imagining her innocence to be hereby established, expected to
find the broker overwhelmed with confusion; but, on the contrary, the
gentleman referred to simply handed the woman a bottle, and coolly and
firmly commanded her to drink therefrom. 'And wherefore should I
drink?' asked the astonished woman. 'Because it is an emetic,' was the
broker's reply. 'And what has the fact of this bottle containing an
emetic to do with my swallowing its contents?' inquired the lady. 'Why,
everything, answered her involuntary host, quietly; 'you have
_swallowed_ my pearl, and _this_, being a powerful emetic, will compel
you to disgorge it. Come now, no nonsense, madam,' (still more quietly
and _still_ more firmly,) 'or you will compel me to communicate with
the police.' The word police, that magically terrible word to the evil-
doer, terminated the dialogue. The woman (who proved to be an
adventuress of the most 'fashionable' order, whose very professional
existence depended upon the 'secresy' in which she 'operated,') was
alarmed by the threat of publicity, and the criminal court, swallowed
the emetic, and--need we say more than that the broker recovered his
pearl, and the 'lady' left New York for a period.
Two thirds of the people of New York deal with "corner groceries" and
"provision stores," consequently there are very few markets in the
city. The principal are the Fulton Market on East River, at the foot of
Fulton street; the Washington, at the end of Fulton street, on North
River; the Jefferson, at the corner of Sixth and Greenwich Avenues; and
the Tompkins Market, opposite the Cooper Institute. The Washington
Market is more of a wholesale than a retail establishment, as is also
the Fulton Market. The supplies of meat, fish, and vegetables brought
to the city, are originally sent to the wholesale dealers at these
markets, to be sold on commission. The dealers will frequently go into
the country and engage a truckman's entire crop of vegetables or
fruits, and then retail them out to the city dealers at their own
The streets in the vicinity of the markets on the two rivers are always
dirty and crowded. The buildings themselves are outwardly dirty and
uninviting. The interior, however, presents a sight worth witnessing.
In the spring and summer it is filled with the most tempting displays
of fruit and vegetables. One can hardly imagine that all this immense
quantity will be eaten, but it does not require more than a day to get
rid of the whole display. Fruits are high in the city and sell readily.
The market is never overstocked. The same may be said of vegetables.
Good vegetables are always in demand. All such things have to be
brought so far to market, that by the time they reach the consumer's
kitchen they are almost half-decayed. Those who can furnish pure fresh
vegetables, or animal food, are always sure of doing a profitable
business in the city.
Almost anything can be found in the Fulton Market. There are all kinds
of provisions, eating-stands abound, bar-rooms are located in the
cellars, cheap finery is to be seen in the stalls, books, newspapers,
and periodicals are to be had at prices lower than those of the regular
stores, ice creams, confections, and even hardware and dry goods are
sold in the booths. The oysters sold here have a world-wide reputation.
_Dorlan's_ oyster-house is the most popular. It is a plain, rough-
looking room, but it is patronized by the best people in the city, for
the wares sold here are famous. Ladies in full street dress, and young
bloods in all their finery, come here to eat one of the proprietor's
Dorlan began business in New York more than thirty years ago; and has
made a handsome fortune. He has done so by keeping the very best goods
in the market. He is one of the best-known men in the city, and is
deservedly popular. He is conscientious and upright in the minutest
particular, and gives his personal attention to every detail of his
business. Although wealthy to-day, he may be seen at his stand, in his
shirt-sleeves, superintending the operations of his establishment,
setting an excellent example to younger men who are seeking to rise in
The public buildings of New York are many, and, as a general rule,
handsome. They are widely scattered over the island, and our limits
forbid more than a notice of the principal structures.
THE CITY HALL.
This building is located in the Park, and is nearly opposite Murray
street. It faces the south, and the ground line is perpendicular to
Broadway. It is too small for the present uses of the city, having been
built between the years 1803 and 1810. The front and ends are of
marble, but the rear is of brown stone. It is said that the city
fathers, at the time of its erection, thinking that the town would
never extend beyond the lower line of the park, were anxious to save
the additional cost of the marble at this side.
The clock-tower, and upper portions of the building, were set on fire
by the pyrotechnical display in honor of the Atlantic Telegraph of
1859. They were rebuilt soon afterwards, in much better style.
[Illustration: The Bible House.]
Previous to the completion of the new cupola, our city fathers
contracted with Messrs. Sperry & Co., the celebrated tower-clock makers
of Broadway, to build a clock for it, at a cost not exceeding four
thousand dollars, that our citizens might place the utmost reliance
upon, as a time-keeper of unvarying correctness. During the month of
April the clock was completed, and the busy thousands who were daily
wont to look up to the silent monitor, above which the figure of
Justice was enthroned, hailed its appearance with the utmost
satisfaction. It is undoubtedly the finest specimen of a tower-clock on
this side of the Atlantic, and, as an accurate time-keeper, competent
judges pronounce it to be unsurpassed in the world. The main wheels are
thirty inches in diameter, the escapement is jewelled, and the
pendulum, which is in itself a curiosity, is over fourteen feet in
length. It is a curious fact that the pendulum bob weighs over three
hundred pounds; but so finely finished is every wheel, pinion, and
pivot in the clock, and so little power is required to drive them, that
a weight of only one hundred pounds is all that is necessary to keep
this ponderous mass of metal vibrating, and turn four pairs of hands on
the dials of the cupola. The clock does not stand, as many suppose,
directly behind the dials, but in the story below, and a perpendicular
iron rod, twenty-five feet in length, connects it with the dial-works
The building contains the offices of the Mayor and city officials.
In the rear of the City Hall is the new County Court House, which, when
completed, will front on Chambers street, and constitute one of the
handsomest edifices in the city. It is built of white marble.
THE PARK BANK,
Situated on Broadway, below Ann street, is a magnificent white marble
edifice, ornamented with a profusion of statuary and carving. The bank-
room is a model of beauty. The vaults are the most perfect and secure
in the city.
THE ASTOR LIBRARY,
In Lafayette Place, is a substantial building of red brick. The
property, and the library, are the gift of John Jacob Astor to the
trustees, for the benefit of the cause of education throughout the
land. The interior is in keeping with the exterior. It is simple and
elegant, and contains a collection of over one hundred thousand
volumes, carefully and judiciously selected. It is free to all persons,
on condition of good behavior and careful usage of the books. The
officers are courteous and obliging, and every care is taken to make
the institution meet the wishes of its founder.
THE COOPER INSTITUTE,
In Astor Place, is a handsome freestone building, devoted to science
and art. It occupies an entire block, and is the gift of Peter Cooper,
Esq., to the public. It contains lecture rooms, rooms for experiments,
free schools of science and art for the working classes, a reading
room, and a library. The street floor and that, above are rented out
for stores and offices, and yield an annual income of from twenty-five
to thirty thousand dollars.
THE BIBLE HOUSE,
Faces the Cooper Institute, and occupies a whole block, being bounded
by Third and Fourth Avenues, and Eighth and Ninth streets. It is an
immense structure, nearly triangular in form. It is the property of the
American Bible Society, and was erected at a cost of three hundred
thousand dollars. The revenue of the society is about five millions of
dollars annually. Thousands of copies of the Bible are printed here
annually, and sold or distributed in all parts of the world. The Bible
has been printed here in twenty-four different dialects, and parts of
it have been issued in others still.
[Illustration: Cooper Institute.]
About six hundred persons find employment in this gigantic
establishment. Of these about three hundred are girls, and twenty or
thirty boys. The girls feed the presses, sew the books, apply gold-leaf
to the covers ready for tooling, etc. About a dozen little girls are
employed in the press-room in laying the sheets, of the best description
of Bibles, between glazed boards, and so preparing them for
being placed in the hydraulic presses. Every day there are six thousand
Bibles printed in this establishment, and three hundred and fifty
turned out of hand completely bound and finished. The sheets of the
Arabic Bible, which has been so long in preparation, are now exhibited
to visitors, and elicit universal admiration, both on account of the
peculiarity of the character, and the striking neatness and elegance
which the work exhibits. A large edition of this translation has just
been forwarded to Constantinople. Much of the mechanical portions of
this admirable work has been executed by children. They are fairly paid
by the Society, and appear to be very happy and comfortable at their
THE ACADEMY OF DESIGN,