Page images
PDF
EPUB

History Southern

Giderman's 9.10.1 15618

MY AMERICAN TOUR.

BY D. THOMAS.

pas

August 30, 1865.--Left bome early this was felt to be very unpleasant, especially morniug, with the intention of making an during the prevalence of bad weather, when American tour. The time had arrived when it would be impossible to remain on deck, the fondest dream of my life was about to be and inconvenient to go below. The ship was realised; for the most ardent longing of my comparatively new, as this was only its fourth heart for many years had been to see the voyage from Europe; and as its sailings had beautiful land across the broad Atlantic. already secured for it a high reputation, there favourable combination of circumstances were many disappointed when they found brought me to immediate decision, for I was that all the berths were taken up. The pronot only placed in a position which gave me bability was that if the ship had possessed command of the necessary time, but the double the capacity, every berth would have recent conflict in America tinged with a been secured. As a set-off to some of the deeper interest than usual everything per- small discomforts of which a few of the taining to the country, and furnisbed me with sengers complained, may be mentioned that an additional motive for prompt action. The the captain was a most affable and agreeable day was brilliantly fine; and after bidding gentleman, the stewards were civil and farewell to my friends (a task which could obliging, and the seamen (ninety in number) not be accomplished without some degree of were very attentive to their duties. It is no emotion), I started on my journey towards small thing to say, that during the whole pasLiverpool. On arrival, a very brief prepara- | sage I never heard a sailor swear an oath, nor tion sufficed for the voyage, and on the same saw him perform a discourteous act. day I embarked in the steamship City of New August 31.—Much of the pleasure of a York, belonging to the Inman line of voyage depends upon the moral and intellecsteamers. The ship was full of passengers, tual character of the passengers, and in this and many applications for berths had been

respect, with very few exceptions, there was refused, although higher rates of fares had abundant reason to be highly gratified. We been offered by persons anxious to secure ac- had on board the proprietor of an influential commodation. The saloon appeared to be newspaper, four Catholic priests, a professor adapted for about 100 passengers, but as of moral philosophy, the wife of a missionary, there were 140 who had taken cabin berths, the United States' Consulat Antwerp, a the saloon was too small to accommodate the number of American merchants, who had whole party at once, and the consequence was

been to England to make purchases, a party that we had to sit down to meals at two dif- of Latter Day Saints, who were in their way ferent times, the first breakfast hour being to the Salt Lake City, and four Confederate eight, and the second nine o'clock. The same officers, three of whom had been wounded, rule was adopted with respect to all the other and one had been wounded three times. One meals, and those who dined the first one day, gentleman had studied medicine, ano. would be the last the day after.

This ar-
ther was

a lawyer, and another was rangement was perhaps the best which could preacher amongst the Scotch Presbyterians. have been made under the circumstances, yet We arrived at Queenstown at 3 15 this afterit was attended with considerable incon- noon, having been about twenty-three hours venience, for it converted the saloon into a in accomplishing the voyage from Liverpool. perpetual dining hall during the passage, Having received the Irish mails and pasgiving the stewards double the usual amount songers, we left Queenstown harbour, and of labour. Many of the passengers were proceeded on our watery way towards the obliged to leave the saloon on the conclusion West, and soon lost sight of land. Have of each moal to make room for others. This had no sea sickness yet, and the weather

[ocr errors]

e Sept. 5 – The weather much calmer, the

continues splendidly fine. From associating of having public service was abandoned. with the passengers, I found that the zoology Sept. 4 – The sea was still much agitated, of America was about to be improved by the and there was plenty of sea-sickness on introduction of seven skylarks, and one

board. Sometimes flocks of stormy petrels, thousand canaries, which we had on board or what are commonly known at sea as I am told that iu America there are neither “ Mother Carey's chickens," were seen flying larks nor sparrows.

about, although we were about 1,000 miles Sept. 1.- Frequent thick fogs to-day.

from shore. Many porpoises playing in the water attracting much attention. Fog-signals were deck more througed with passengers, and sounded to prevent accident by collision No there was a general interchange of complivessels sighted to-day until about seven

ments. Every one seemed wishful to con. o'clock in the evening, when two were seen tribute to the happiness of the rest. What about the same time. The steamer exchanged a delightful change a few hours could accom. signals with one of the vessels, which was plish. During the storm very little converbound for Montreal.

sation was heard, but now every one was as Sept. 2-Early on deck this morning, the loquacious as possible. We held public disweather being beautifully fine. Had an inter

cussions on deck, and every one who felt esting conversation with the consul, during disposed took part in the proceedings. As which I remarked that formerly the appear

might be expected, the leading topic was anoe of a shoal of porpoises was regarded as

the American war and its results. One of a certain indication of an approaching storm;

the late Confederate officers was a lawyer, but, as the porpoises made their appearance

and took a leading part in the discussion. A on the previous day, and no tempest bad fol- gentleman from New Orleans, and another lowed, it was clear that such a storm-signal

from Petersburg, near Richmond, also spoke was not to be relied upon. It was only neces

well on the question.

Much was said upon sary to wait a few hours to show how prema

the Personal Liberty Bill, and other points ture was the judgmont I had formed. Before

of a kindred nature. One thiug was very night-fall a terrible storm came on, and the

observable, and that was, that those who seamen had to be alert in taking in suil

took the side of the Contederates never reWhile the storm was raging, I saw a seaman

presented that the matter at issue between ascend to the top-gallant mast, and take

the North and South was a tariff question. down the pennant from the very tip. I gazed They complained that they had not been upon the foam of the white-crested billows permitted to take their “property" anyuntil I was almost overpowered with a sense

where, and one of them instanced the fact of the magnificence of the scene. Nothing,

that on one occasion a negro nurse accomin my opinion, can possibly transcend the panied his family when taking an excursion, glorious sublimity of

and he had great difficulty in preventing her The mighty sea,

from gaining her liberty. He also urged Which rolls the great eternal bass,

that slavery was sanctioned by Scripture, and In Nature's anthem.

was the happiest condition for ihe negro Our gallant ship rode the billows most

race. The question was well argued on both majestically, furnishing a spectacle of power sides, the discussion was conducted with which might have calmed to serenity the good temper, and on one or two occasions most timorous mind. Never for a moment it continued till long after sunset. On the did I experience a feeling of peculiar danger, side of the North the American Consul although one gentleman said that he had

came out most boldly, defending the policy crossed the Atlantic fourteen times, and had of the United States Government with great never seen the sea so rough before. We were

tenacity. His conversational powers are of only making about seven knots per hour. The

a high order, and he was listened to with deck was almost clear of passengers, and

great attention. I found that the Consul there was a great amount of sea-sickness

was well known in the United States, and below. I was not sick during the time the had been a member of Congress four years. sea was lashed into fury, and during the Sept. 6 -Had an iuteresting conversation entire passage I had very little sickness, al- with the Consul, during which he complithough I had frequently an indescribable

mented me for the part I took in the discussensation, feeling too well to be sick, and too sion on the previous evening. Subsesick to be well,

quently, he gave me his card, and offered, Sept. 3.–Sunday.—Divine service was ap- during my stay in the United States, to pointed to take place in the saloon at 10 30 render me all the assistance in his power. I this morning, but in consequence of the thanked him for his kindness, although it sea not being sufficiently calm, the intention did not appear to me probable that his as

was.

sistance would be required, During my nearly at the same time. The phosphorio walks on deck I met with a Frenchman, who light marked the pathway of the ship, and intimated to me that he wis not able to the bright constellation of golden stars speak a word in English. I undertook to seemed to give more than usial light. We give him lessons, and in teaching him the were favoured with a beautiful exhibition of numerals, had considerable difficulty to the aurora borealis, and a splendid sight it make him pronounce correctly the word The weather also is becoming warmer “one."

In teaching him English I was and pleasanter as we approach the Americompelled to rub up my French, so that I can shore. Life on deck becomes more and fully realised the truth

more charming, and speeches and recitations Teaching we learn, and giving we receive. are continued till near the midnight hour. He lent me a copy of Goldsmith's “ Vicar of

Sept 10, Sunday. - The balmy soft sea Wakefield," in French, and in looking over

breeze is unspeakably pleasant. Met the the introduction I found that the work of Oliver City of Baltimore steamship proceeding toGoldsmith was held in very high estimation,

wards Liverpool. Atiended Divine Service for it was set before Shakespere's tragedies or

in the saloon, which was crowded with perMilton's Paradise Lost ” I regarded it as

sons from different countries England, exaggerated praise, but I was nevertheless

India, France, Germany, America, &c. glad to find an evidence that Goldsmith was

The Church of England service was read, well liked on the continent of Europe. The

and a sermon was preached by a Scotch day was wet and uncomfortable, and caused

Presbyterian minister.

He read his sermon, a greater number than usual to remain in

and sat while he read it, although a portion the saloon amusing themselves with chess,

of his audience was standing around him. draughts, cards, reading, &c.

He spoke with a low voice, and consequently Sept. 7.-Crossing the bank of New- few could hear. Those who beard not suffoundland, and was much pleased to find

fered lit:le loss, for a more inappropriate that in this foggy region the weather was

discourse I never listened to; it was a golden nice and clear. The intense blue colour of opportunity thrown away, and time literally the water, which is acquired by the great

wasted. Early in the evening there was an depth of the ocean, is now changed to a

interchange of rockets, and presently after beautiful green, the depth of the water being

the pilot was received on board. only about thirty or torty fathoms. The Sept. 11.--Arrived about one o'clock this bank is perhaps seventy miles broad, and morning off Sandy Hook, and cast anchor till more than three hundred in length. We

daylight. We were only about twenty miles did not see any fishing vessels, nor any

from New York, and when the bright beams whales, but there appeared to be many

of the sun had dissipated the morning mist,

it disclosed some of the most lovely scenery dolphins. There was much pleasant conversation on board, and a variety of health the eye can behold. New York bay is ex

tremely beautiful, and especially so at this ful games were indulged in on the main

time of the year.

The rich tints of autumn deek. The interest was increased by exciting a competitive feeling, by dividing the

had given variety of colouring to the foliage, company into parties, Sometimes it was

while the numerous villa residences on Long

Jsland to the right and Staten Island to the England against America, sometimes North

left, furnished continually new objects for the agaiust South, Kentucky v. Connecticut, Richmond o. New York, and so on. The

eye to rest upon and the mind enjoy ; New

York, with its stately houses and lofty spires, games were very exciting, and produced

soon presented itself to our view, and, withquite a glow of animation both amongst the

out much loss of time, we were conveyed in performers and the spectators.

a tug boat to one of the piers, where custom Sept. 8.-It was intended to have delivered

were about 18 miles distant, as the wind was con

and was performed with care. trary, the captain decided to pursue his sive war which has just been brought to a course towards New York, and thus save

close has ren lered heavy taxation a necessity, time. In the evening passed a steamer

and has, probably, caused custom-house going east, supposed to be the Persia for

officers to be more particular than usual in Liverpool. Rockets were sent up.

making their examinations. One gentleman Sept. 9 - Beautiful weather. During the

had more to pay for duty than the goods had day we sailed 312 miles. It has been a cost him in England. The inspection over, lovely sight to bebold the moon rising re

I was greeted by about twenty Jehus, each splendantly as if from the bosom of the anxious to take care of my baggage. At deep, and, being the barvest moon, for length, one of them succeeded in thrusting a several evenings in succession it has risen card into my hand and then all the rest ceased

despatches

at Cape Race, but, although only bar luggagers withis was a tedious operation,

The expen.

room.

to tease me.

On asking the fare to the hotel that the cost of cleansing them was double where I intended to stay, which I knew to be the amount paid in Manchester. This I can only about a mile distant, I was told it was readily conceive to be the case, when the five dollars. A sovereign for a ten minutes' difference in the price of labour is taken into ride was a luxury I did not relish, and be- consideration. The cost of cleansing the lieving it to be an imposition, I declined to streets of New York is 498,300 dols. a year, pay, and, ultimately, another coachman was yet many of the streets are an inch thick in willing to accept two dollars and a half, which unctuous mud, and many persons do not was paid to him.

New York was very full hesitate to declare that it is the filthiest city of visitors, and the hotels much crowded. in America. The olfactory nerves are freThree dollars per day for three meals a day quently disgusted with a most horrible stench. and a bed was the ordinary charge; but there Stagnant water, broken pavement, decaying were extras to pay for which could not be fruit, rotten vegetables, dirty gutters, offenavoided, and which tended to make living in sive garbage, death-breeding filth, and masses New York very expensive. Even the shoe- of putrid decomposing substances present blacks in the streets demanded ten cents for themselves to the view with most loathpolishing a pair of boots, and if done at the some prominence in the poorer and more hotel, the charge was still higher, Peaches neglected portions of the city. None but eyewere two or three cents each, apples five witnesses would be prepared to believe that cents, and oranges twenty cents. Everything in this wealthy city, where millionaires spring else was dear in proportion. Took stroll up like mushrooms, there may be found crazy through some of the principal streets of the tenements affording miserable shelter to six city, and was soon recognized by a person or even sixteen families a-piece. Yet such named Seddon, who formerly lived in Lap- is certainly a fact, and if the cholera, which is cashire, Passed down Fulton-street, where now traversing Europe with a fearful stride, William Cobbett, formerly M.P. for Oldham, were to visit this continent, death would hold once kept a seed shop. In the evening, went a carnival at New York. In the streets there over to Brooklyn. On arriving at the East is not only apparent a great amount of filth River Ferry, I passed into the ladies' waiting but also a great deal of slovenliness. It is as

American gentlemen are supposed to if the occupiers of the different stores had be very gallant towards the ladies, and it was obtained a license to convert the footpath, and preferable to sit with the latter, because, in even a portion of the carriage way, into a the first place, no smoking was allowed in warehouse for their goods, for almost everythere apartment; and, in the second place, where may be seen baskets, boxes, bales, and there was a printed notice in the room re

barrels, and a multitude of heterogeneous questing gentlemen, out of respect for the packages piled together in a confused heap, ladies, not to spit on the floor. “After wait-obstructing foot passengers and vehicles to a ing as I supposed for the steamer to arrive to considerable extent.

In Manchester private take me across the river, I was surprised to

interest has to give way to public convenience, find that I had already nearly accomplished but in New York the reverse is the case, or the voyage. What I took to be waiting rooms

at least so it appears to me.

Went to Sing were, in fact, a portion of a huge floating Sing, in Winchester county, where there is a palace, the middle area of which was devoted state prison containing 1,000 cells. The prito the accommodation of carriages of all soners earn a subsistence by working in the sorts. By this arrangement gentlemen in the

marble quarries, which are very extensive, city riding in their own carriages can cross

and the marble is of an excellent quality. the broad river without ever leaving their

Even the prison workshops are built of mar. seats.

ble. Sing Sing is a most picturesque spot. Sept. 12.-My first impressions respecting

Went to Croton, about thirty-six miles from New York were not of the most favourable New York. Near this place are the extencharacter. I expected to find Broadway as

sive waterworks by which New York throng, busy, and bustling, as the corner of

is supplied with water of a very pure St. Paul's, or Fleet-street, and the Strand, quality, and in great plentiness. Went to London, whereas it was not near so busy as Peekskill, a picturesque village, on the Market-street, Manchester. True, Broadway

eastern bank of the River Hudson, fortyis several miles in extent, and this ought to

tbree miles from New York. Two gentlemen be taken into consideration when forming from Western Pennsylvania, both of whom comparisons. There is no uniformity in any.

were barristers, arrived at the same time. thing. Its architectural appearance is not of Their object was to have an interview with a commanding character, the houses present- Dr. Grant, an eminent horticulturist, who ing every variety of elevation. Many of the had paid great attention to the cultivation of streets of New York are exceedingly dirty the grape vine. It is supposed that there and ill-paved, yet I was assured by a citizen are about 5,000 different varieties of grapes

in America, and it has been found by culture most an entire absence of floral decoration that the Catawba grape, which was formerly in the park. This is the spot for loungers held in high repute, is not the best for table. to visit, and thousands upon thousands purposes, the Isabella having superseded it. take advantage of it. Here may be seen The gentlemen to whom I have already persons driving in almost all kinds of vealluded took so deep an interest in the culti-hicles, whether the Wide World, Legion vation of the vine that they had come all the Gem, Pride of the South, Queen's Phaeton, way from Western Pennsylvania in order that Jocelyn No Top, Gipsy Top, Georgia, Cane by personal observation their knowledge Side Buggy, City No Top, Sporting Wagon, might be increased. One of them (Mr. Tontine Top, Excelsior, French Jump Seat, Richards) made me promise that it at all World's Fair Buggy, Montgomery Tup, Florconvenient I would pay him a visit before I ence, Imperial, Premium, Mobile, Eureka, left the country. West Point is only about Antique, Park, Victoria Buggy, Plantation, seven miles distant, and is chiefly noted for Medium, Cut Under, Farmer's Buggy, Cash, its military academy, which was established Student, New Orleans, Barouche, Quinnhere more than 60 years ago. It was here piack, Road Sulky, Whitney, Boston Chaise, where General Lee, late commander of the Gazelle, Champion, Jagger, Dayton Bret, Confederate army at Richmond, was edu- Crescent, Cabriolet, Slide, Coupe Rockaway, cated. General Grant, and other celebrated Spring Coach, Hamilton, Lawrence, Crane military men connected with the United Neck, Livery, Shifting Front, Panel Quarter, States army, received their military training Brewster Calash, Fall Scroll, Charriottee, here

Houston, Continental, Dog Cart, GermanSept. 12-My chief object in visiting Peeks- town, Yorktown, Loop Calash, Brougham, kill was to have an interview with the Rev. Alabama, Turn Over, Perch, and other kinds Henry Ward Beecher, with whom I had of carriage peculiar to the United States. become slightly acquainted during his recent Sept. 14.-Being anxious to see everytour in England. He is minister of Ply- thing which is newly brought out by the mouth Church, Brooklyn, but as he has a inventive genius of America, I called at the farm at Peekskill, it forms a very convenient Tribune office to ask if any composing retreat from city life, where he can rusticate machine was in use in New York. I was at pleasure. His house is beautifully situ- immediately conducted upstairs, where I saw ated on the slope of a hill which commands the machine in operation. Many persons in & view of the river Hudson, and is about 3 England have an objection to the introduction miles distant by the high road, but measur- of labour-saving machinery, believing that its ing, as the crow flies, much less. I found tendency is to lower the rate of wages paid Mr. Beecher suffering from opthalmia, to to working men. I entertain a different which he is periodically subject.

He was

opinion, for there has been more machinery nevertheless cheerful, affable, and communi- iutroduced into England during the last fifty cative. Amongst other topics we conversed years than has been the case in any previous about the war of independence over 80 years century, yet wages are higher now than they ago, when Arnold, one of the American ever were before. I have faith in the "good generals, became a traitor with the intention time coming," and hail with pleasure every of delivering West Point and the Peekskill new invention which can be made serviceable district into the power of the English ; but to man. No person can consistently argue the scheme turned out a miserable failure, against the use of machinery, unless he be although Arnold received £10,000 for his willing to throw away his garden spade and complicity. Mr. Beecher told me that only scratch mother-earth with his finger nails. ten days before my visit a cannon ball was On entering the room where the machine dug up on his farm, which had probably re- was in operation, I saw a young lady in a mained there undisturbed for more than black silk dress, wbite muslin jacket, gold eighty years.

rings on her fiugers, hair dressed up in the Sept. 13.–Visited the Central Park, which most fashionable style, and everthing about is supposed to be one of the largest parks in her person as neat and prim as if she had only the world, containing more than 840 acres. just stepped out of the drawing room. She The attractions consist of the old arsenal was engaged in setting up a leading article buildings, parade ground, botanical gardens which bad to appear in the Now York Trivista rock, &c. The pedestrian will here bune on the following day. The machine find plenty of scope for exercise, the walks only occupies a small amount of space, and extending over twenty-one miles. The bridle is composed entirely of iron, steel, silver, and paths are five miles in exteut, and the car- brass. By a wonderful contrivance it sets riage drives nine miles. I considered it a up and distributes type with a degree of acvery great defect that there should be al

curacy never before attained. The operator

« EelmineJätka »