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Qass K.lAfl 

Book 1^^ 



A. bAilV yuBLlC>Tlor/ Of TKE Qg^ CU^K^^/V e^.^TA^<JMT<I> 1-iTERj^TUR.e 

•^ Vol. 5, No. 

210, Sept. 17,1883, Annual Subsci-iptlon, $50.0 




iterwl at the Post Office, N. Y., ag second-class matter. iM§ 
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Hyperion, "by H. W, Lonpfellow. .20 62. 
Outre-Mur, by U. W. LoiigfeiJow.J^O 

The Happy Boy, by BjOrusoii 10 

Arne, by BjOruffon 10 63. 

Ffankonstciu, by Mrs. Shelley. ..10 64. 

The Laf^t of the Mohicans 20 

Clytie, by Joseph Hatton 20 65. <-olUn8,P'tI.Te 66, 
TheMooii(;i<jne,byColliue,P'tn.lO 67, 
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickentj.liO 

The Coining Race, by Lytton 10 

Leila, by Lord LyttOD 10 

The Three Si^aniarda, by Walker. 20 70. 
ThuTricksofthcGreeksUnveiled.aO 71 
L'Abbe Constantiu, by Halevy,.20 72. 
Freckles, by R. F Redcliffi.. ..20 7.3. 
The Dark Colieeu, by Harriett Jay.20 74 
They Were Married! by Waller 

Besant and .Tameg Rice. J 10 

Seekers afar God, by Farrat 20 

The Spanish Nnu. byDeQiliucey.lO 

The Green Mountain Boys 20 

Fleurette. by Eugene Scribe 20 

Second Thoughts, by Broughton.20 80. 
The New Magdalen, by Collins. .20 81 

Di voree, by Margaret Lee 20 82. 

Life of Wasrhiugton, by Henley. .20 83. 
Social Etiquette, by Mrs. Saville.15 
.Single Heart and Double Face.. 10 84. 

Irene, hf Carl Belief ^.0 j 

\'ioe Vere'i, by P. Anstey 20 8r 

P>ueet Maltjravers, by Lord Lytton20 8b. 
The Haunted House and Cuiderou 8'. 

the Courtier, bv Lord Lytton.. 10 
John Halifax, by'Miss Mulock. ..20 

800 Leagues on the Amazon 10 I DO. 

The Crypto;^'ra:n, by Jules A^erne.lO ; l»i . 

Life of Marion, by'Horry 20 

P.iui and Virginia 10; 'M. 

Tale of Two Cities, by Dickens. .2 "• ; l>3. 

The Hermits, by Kiugsley 20 94. 

An Adventure in Thule, and Mar- ' 

riage of Moira Fergus, Black .10 ! 95. 

A'Marriage in High Life 20 i 

liobin, by Mrn. Parr. 20 1 9fi. 

Two on a Tower, byThoo. Hardy.20 I 97. 

Itasselas, by Samuel Johneon 10 { 98. 

Alice; or, the Mysteries, being j 99. 

Part IL of Ernest Multravers. .20 100. 
Duke of Kandos. by A. Mathey...20 

Barf)n Munchausen 10 101. 

A l^rincesa of Thule, by Black.. 20 102. 
The Secret Bcppatch, by Grant, 20 
Early Days of Christianity, by 103. 

Canon Farrar. D L>., Part I 20 

Early Days of Christianity, Pt. 11.20 104. 
Vicar of Wakefield, by Goldsmith. 10 
Progress and Poverty, by Henry 105, 

George 20 

The Spy, by Cooper 20 106, 

Ea-t Lynnc. by Mr^. Wood... 20 

A Srrantre Story, Dy Lord Lvtton.. .20 107. 

Adam Bede, by Eliot, Parti 15 Bede, Part II 15 108, 

The Golden Shaft, by Gibbon. . . .20 } 109. 

Portia, by The Duchess 20 i 110. 

Last Days of Pompeii by Lytton, .20 111. 
The Two Duchesses, by Maihey. .'>0 ' 112. 
Tom BrowuB School Da- 

The Wooing O't, by Mrs. Alex- 
ander, Parti 15 

The Wooing O't, Partll 15 

The Vendetta, by Balzac 90 

Hypatia, by Kingsley, Part II — 15 

Selma, by Mrs. J.G.Smith 15 

Margaret and her Bridesmaids. .60 
Horse Shoe Robinson, Part I — 15 
Horse Shoe Robinson, Part II. . . 15 
Gulliver's Travels, by Swift.... .26 
Amos Barton, by George Eliot... 10 

TheBerber, by W. E.Mayo 20 

Silas Mamer, by George Eliot. . . 10 

The Queen of the County 20 

Life of Cromv.ell, by Hood... 15 
Jane Evra, by Charlotte Bronte. 20 

Child's'History of England 20 

Molly Lawn, by The Duchess. . .20 

Pillone, bv William BergsOe 15 

Phyllis, by The Duchess 20 

Romola, by Geo. Eliot, Part I. . .15 
Romola, by*Geo. Eliot, Part II.. .15 
Sciencfe in Short Chapters... .v. 20 

Zanoni, by Lord Ly Uoh 20 

A Daughter of Heth .20 

The Right and Wrong Uses of C 
the Bible, R. Heber Newton. ..20 

Night and Mornine:. Pt. 1 15 

Night and Morning, Part II 15 

Shandon Bells, by Wm. Black. .20 

Monica, by the Duchess 10 

Heart and Science, bv Collins. . .20 
The Golden Calf, by Braddon. . .20 

The Dean's Daughter 20 

Mrs. Geoffrey, by I'he Duchess.. 20 

Pickwick Papers, Part 1 20 

Pickwick Papers, Part 11 20 

Airy. Fairy Lilian, The Duchess. 80 
McLeod of Dare, by Wm. Black.20 
Tempe.«t Tossed, by Tilton. P'tl.20 
Tempest Tossed, by Tilton, P'tllSO ^ 
Letters from High Latitudes, by ^ 

Lord Dufferin ' 20 

Gideon Flevce, by Lucy 20 

India and Ceylon, by E. Hieckel . .20 

The Gypsy Q.ueen 20 

The Admirars Ward 20 

Nimport, by E. L. Byuner, P't I . .15 
Mimport. by E. L Bynner, P't 11.15 

Harrv Holbrooke 20 

Tritons, by E.L. Bvnner,P'tl. ..15 ■ 
Tritons, by E. L. Bynner, P til. .15 
Let Nothing You Dismay, by 

Walter Be,>-ant 10 ' 

LadyAudley's Secret, by Miss i 

M. E. Braddon 20 1 

Woman's Place To-day, by Mrs. | 

Lillie.Devereux Blake 20 | 

Dunallan, by Kennedy, Parti... 1.1 • 
Dunallan, by Kennedy, Part II. . ]5 
Housekeeping and Home-mak- 
ing, by Marion Ilarland 15 

No New Thing, by W. E. Norris. 20 ! 

The Spoopendyke Papers 20 I 

False Hopes, bvGoldwin Smith. 15 

Labor and Capital 20 

Wanda, by Ouida, Part 1 15 

Wanda, bv Ouida, Partll 15 

American Notes 



14 AND 16 Vesey Street. 


My readers have opportunities of judging for themselves 
whether the influences and tendencies which I distrusted in 
America had, at that time, any existence but in my imagina- 
tion. They can examine for themselves whether there has 
been anything in the public career of that country since, at 
home or abroad, which suggests that those influences and 
tendencies really did exist. As they find the fact, they will 
judge me. If they discern any evidences of wrong-going, in 
any direction that I have indicated, they will acknowledge 
that I had reason in what I wrote. If they discern no such 
indications, they will consider me altogether mistaken — but 
not wilfully. 

Prejudiced, I am not, and never have been, otherwise 
than in favor of the United States. I have many friends in 
America, I feel a grateful interest in the country, I hope and 
believe it will successfully work out a problem of the highest 
importance to the whole human race. To represent me as 
viewing x\merica with ill-nature, coldness, or animosity, is 
merely to do a very foolish thing : which is always a very 
easy one. 


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113. More Words About the Bible, 

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115. An Outline of Irish History, by 

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116. The Lero nge Case, by (jiaboriau. . 'JO 

117. Paul Clifford, by Lord Lytton. . .20 

118. A New Lease of Life, by About. .20 
110. Bourbon Lilies -^'0 

120. Other People's Money, Gaboriaii.iJO 

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12.'). Haunted Heart?, by Siv 

126. Loys, Lord Beresford, 


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Mr Scarborough'sFainily. PtII 1.5 
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lo7. Oruei London, by Jot'eph riatton.20 

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Ivanhoe, by Scott, Part 11 25 

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149. Janet's Kepentance. by Eliot... 10 

150. Barnaby Ruilge. Dicken.-, Pt I . . 15 
BarnaViy Kud!,'e, Part II 15 . 

151. Felix Holt, by Geor<,ni Eliot. .. .20 ! 

3 "i . nichelieu, by Lord I^ytton lO i 

1.' :. Sunrise, by Wm. Hlnck. Part l..l.»i i 

Sunrise, by Wm. Black. Part II. LS ' 
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1.55. Mystery of Orcival. Gaborlau. . 
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Thackeray ! 10 

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maid, by Thomas Hardy 10 * 

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David Copperfield. i 'art IT 20 I 

160. Hienzi, by Lord Lytton, Part I. .15 j 
Pie-izi, by Lord Lytton, Part II. 15 

161. PrO'nise of Marriage, Gaboriau..lO 

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• 164. 


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Barry Lyndon, by Thackeray. ... 20 

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Hard Times, by Charles Dickens. 20 
Tom Crintrlft's Lnc, byM. Scott.. 20 
Vanity Fair, by W.M.'Thackeray.20 
Under£ro;uid Russia, Stepniak..20 
Middleraarch, bv Elliot, Pt I.. . .20 

Middleraarcb. Part ,11 20 

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Pclhani, by Lord Lytton Ji/ 

The Story of Ida .'. ■;> 

Madca'p Violet, by Wm. Black, .-.'u 

Tho; Little Pilgrim ] , : 

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Venie, Part I....: • 15 

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Tom Brown at Oxford. Part 11. .15 
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In Silk Attire, by Wm. Black. . .20 
Scottish Chiefs.Jaue Porter, Pt.1.20 

Scottish Chiefs, Part II 20 

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Poems, by George Eliot 20 

Cast Up by the Sea. Baker 20 

Mill on the Floss, Eliot. Pt. i. ..15 

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I SHALL never forget the one-fourth serious and three 
fourths comical astonishment, with which, on the morning o\' 
the third of January eighteen-hundred-and-forty-two, I opened 
the door of, and put my head into, a " state-room " on board 
the Britannia steam-packet, twelve hundred tons burthen per 
register, bound for Halifax and Boston, and carrjdng Her 
Majesty's mails. 

That this state-room had been specially engaged for 
" Charles Dickens, Esquire, and Lady," was rendered suffi- 
ciently clear even to my scared intellect by a very small manu- 
script, announcing the fact, which was pinned on a very flat 
quilt, covering a very thin mattress, spread like a surgical 
plaster on a most inaccessible shelf. But that this was the 
state-room concerning which Charles Dickens, Esquire, and 
Lady, had held daily and nightly conferences for at least four 
months preceding : that this could by any possibility be that 
small snug chamber of the imagination, which Charles Dickens, 
Esquire, with the spirit of prophecy strong upon him, had 
always foretold would contain at least one little sofa, and which 
his lady, with a modest yet most magnificent sense of its 
limited dimensions, had from the first opined would not hold 
more than two enormous portmanteaus in some odd corner 
out of sight (portmanteaus which could now no more be got 
in at the door, not to say stowed away, than a giraffe could 
be persuaded or forced into a flower-pot) : that this utterly 



imi^racticable, thoroughly hopeless, and profoundly preposter- 
ous box, had the remotest reference to, or connection with, 
those chaste and pretty, not to say gorgeous little bowers, 
sketched by a masterly hand, in the highly varnished litho- 
graphic plan hanging up in the agent's counting-house in the 
city of London : that this room of state, in short, could be 
anything but a pleasant fiction and cheerful jest of the cap- 
tain's, invented and put in practice for the better relish and 
enjoyment of the real state-rooln presently to be disclosed : — ■ 
these were truths which I. really could not, forihe moment, 
bring my mind at all to bear upon or comprehend. And I sat 
down upon a kind of horsehair slab, or perch, of which there 
were two within ; and looked, without any expression of 
countenance whatever, at some friends who had come on 
board with us, and who were crushing their faces into all 
manner of shajDCs by endeavoring to squeeze them through 
the small doorway. 

We had experienced a pretty smart shock before coming 
below, which, but that we were the most sanguine people liv- 
ing, might have prepared us for the worst. The imaginative 
artist to whom I have already made allusion, has depicted in 
the same great work, a chamber of almost interminable per- 
spective, furnished, as Mr. Robins would say, in a style of 
more than Eastern splendor, and filled (but not inconveniently 
so) with groups of ladies and gentlemen, in the very highest 
state of enjoyment and vivacity. Before descending into the 
bowels of the ship, we had passed from the deck into a long 
narrow apartment, not unlike a gigantic hearse with windows 
in the sides ; having at the upper end a melancholy stove, at 
v.'hich three or four chilly stewards were warming their hands ; 
while on either side, extending down its whole dreary length, 
was a long, long table, over each of which a rack, fixed to the 
low roof, and stuck full of drinking-glasses and cruet-stands, 
hinted dismally at rolling seas and heavy weather. I had not 
at that time seen the ideal presentiment of this chamber which 
has since gratified me so much, but I observed that one of 
our friends who had made the arrangements for our voyage, 
turned pale on entering, retreated on the friend behind him, 
smote his forehead involuntarily, and said below his breath, 
" Impossible ! it cannot be ! " or words to that effect. He 
recovered himself however by a great effort, and after a pre- 
paratory cough or two, cried, with a ghastly smile which is 
still before me, looking at the same time round the walls. 

GOING A WA v. rSj 

" Ha ! the breakfast-room, steward— eh ? " We all foresaw 
what the answer must be : we knew the agony hx suffered. 
He had often spoke of f/ie saloon ; had taken in and lived upon 
the pictorial idea ; had usually given us to understand, at 
home, that tp form a just conception of it, it v;ould be neces- 
sary to multiply the size and furniture of an ordinary drawing- 
room by seven, and then fall short of the reality. When tlie 
man in reply avowed the truth ; the blunt, remorseless, naked 
truth ; " This is the saloon, sir "—he actually reeled beneath 
the blow. 

In persons who Avere so soon to part, and interpose be- 
tween their else daily communication the formidable barrier 
of many thousand miles of stormy space, and who were for 
that reason anxious to cast no other cloud, not even the pass- 
ing shadow of a moment's disappointment, or discomfiture, 
apon the short interval of happy companionship that yet re- 
mained to them — in persons so situated, the natural transition 
from these first surprises was obviously into peals of hearty 
laughter, and I can report that I, for one, being still seated 
upon the slab or perch before-mentioned, roared outright until 
the vessel rang again. Thus, in less than two minutes after 
coming upon it for the first time, we all by common consent 
agreed that this state-room was the pleasantest and most 
iacetious and capital contrivance possible ; and that to have 
had it one inch larger, would have been quite a disagreeable 
nnd. deplorable state of things. And with this ; and with 
showing how, — by very nearly closing the door, and twining 
in and out like serpents, and by counting the little washing 
slab as _ standing-room,^-we could manage to insinuate four 
people into it, all at one time ; and entreating each other to 
cbierve how very airy it was (in dock), and how there was a 
beautiful port-hole which could be kept open all day (weather 
permitting), and how there was quite a large bull's-eye just 
over the looking-glass which would render shaving a perfectly 
easy and delightful process (when the ship didn't roll too 
much) ; we arrived, at last, at the unanimous conclusion that 
it was rather spacious than otherwise : though I do verily 
believe that, deducting the two berths, one above the other, 
than which nothing smaller for sleeping in was ever made 
except cofiins, it was no bigger than one of those hackney 
cabriolets vdiich have the door behind, and shoot their fares 
out, like sacks of coals, upon the pavement. 

Having settled this point to the perfect satisfaction of al] 


parties, concerned and unconcerned, we sat down round the 
fire in tl' ^ ladies' cabin — just to try the effect. It was rather 
dark, certainly ; but somebody said, " of course it would be 
light, at sea," a proposition to which we all assented ; echoing 
" of course, of course ; " though it would be exceedingly diffi- 
cult to say why we thought so. I remember, too, when we 
had discovered and exhausted another topic of consolation in 
the circumstance of this ladies' cabin adjoining our state-room, 
and the consequently immense feasibility of sitting there at all 
times and seasons, and had fallen into a momentary silence, 
leaning our faces on our hands and looking at the fire, one cf 
our party said, with the solemn air of a man who had made a 
discovery, " What a relish mulled claret will have down here ! '"' 
which appeared to strike us all most forcibly ; as though then* 
were something spicy and high-flavored in cabins, which 
essentially improved that composition, and rendered it quitii 
incapable of perfection anywhere else. 

There was a stewardess, too, actively engaged in produc- 
ing clean sheets and tablecloths from the very entrails of the. 
sofas, and from unexpected lockers, of such artful mechanism, 
that it made one's head ache to see thepi opened one after 
another, and rendered it quite a distracting circumstance tc» 
follow her proceedings, and to find that every nook and corner 
and individual piece of furniture was something else besides 
what it pretended to be, and was a mere trap and deception 
and place of secret stowage, whose ostensible purpose was itr 
least useful one. 

God bless that stewardess for her piously fraudulent ac 
count of January voyages ! God bless her for her clear recol • 
lection of the companion passage of last year, when nobody 
was ill, and everybody dancing from morning to night, and it 
was " a run " of twelve days, and a piece of the purest frolic, 
and delight, and jollity ! 'All happiness be with her for her 
bright face and her pleasant Scotch tongue, vv'hich had sounds 
of old Home in it for my fellow-traveller ; and for her predic 
tions of fair winds and line weather (all Avrong, or I shouldn't 
be half so fond of her) : and for the ten thousand small frag- 
ments of genuine womanly tact, by which, without piecing 
them elaborately together, and patching them up into shape 
and form and case and pointed application, she nevertheless 
did plainly show that all young mothers on one side of the 
Atlantic were near and close at hand to their little children 
left upon the other ; and that what seemed to the uninitiated 



a serious journey, was, to those who were in the secret, a 
mere frolic, to be sung about and whistled at ! Light be her 
heart, and gay her merry eyes, for years ! 

The state-room had grown pretty fast ; but by this time it 
had expanded into something quite bulky, and almost boasted 
a bay-window to view the sea from. So we went upon deck 
again in high spirits ; and there, everything was in such a 
state of bustle and active preparation, that the blood quick- 
ened its pace, and whirled through one's veins on that clear 
frosty morning with involuntary mirthfulness. For every gal- 
lant ship was riding slowly up and down, and every little boat 
was splashing noisily in the water ; and knots of people stood 
upon the wharf, gazing with a kind of "dread delight" on the 
far-famed fast American steamer ; and one party of men were 
" taking in the milk," or, in other words, getting the cow on 
board ; and another were filling the icehouses to the very 
throat with fresh provisions ; with butchers'-meat and garden- 
stuff, pale sucking-pigs, calves' heads in scores, beef, veal, and 
pork, and poultry out of all proportion ; and others were coil- 
ing ropes and busy with oakum yarns' ; and others were lowei ■ 
ing heavy packages into the hold ; and the purser's head wa:? 
barely visible as it loomed in a state of exquisite perplexity 
from the midst of a vast pile of passengers' luggage; and 
there seemed to be nothing going on anywhere, or uppermost 
in the mind of anybody, but preparations for this mighty voy- 
age. This, with the bright cold sun, the bracing air, the 
crisply-curling water, the thin white crust of morning ice upor. 
the decks which crackled with a sharp and cheerful sound 
beneath the lightest tread, was irresistible. And when, again 
upon the shore, we turned and saw from the vessel's mast her 
name signalled in flags of joyous colors, and fluttering by 
their side the beautiful American banner with its stars and 
stripes, — the long three thousand miles and more, and, longer 
still, the six whole months of absence, so dwindled and faded, 
that the ship had gone out and come home again, and it was 
broad spring already in the Coburg Dock at Liverpool. 

I have not inquired among my medical acquaintance, 
whether Turtle, and cold Punch, with Hock, Champagne, and 
Claret, and all the slight et cetera usually included in an un- 
limited order for a good dinner — especially when it is left to 
the liberal construction of my faultless friend, Mr. Radley, of 
the Adelphi Hotel — are peculiarly calculated to suffer a sea- 
change ; or whether a plain mutton-chop, and a glass or two 

5 9 o A ME RICA N NO TES. 

of sherry, would be less likely of conversion into foreign and 
disconcerting material. My own opinion is, that whether one 
is discreet or indiscreet in these particulars, on the eve of a 
sea-voyage, is a matter of little consequence ; and that, to use 
a common phrase, "it comes to very much the same thing in 
the end." Be this as it may, I know that the dinner of that 
day was undeniably perfect ; that it comprehended all these 
items, and a great many more ; and that we all did ample 
justice to it. And I know too, that, bating a certain tacit 
avoidance of any allusion to to-morrow ; such as may be sup- 
posed to prevail between delicate-minded turnkeys, and a 
sensitive prisoner who is to be hanged next morning ; we got 
on very well, and, all things considered, v/ere merry enough. 

When the morning — the morning — came, and we met at 
breakfast, it was curious to see how eager we all were to pre- 
vent a moment's pause in the conversation, and how astound- 
ingly gay everybody was : the. forced sjDirits of each member 
of the liLtle party having as much likeness to his natural mirth, 
as hot-house peas at five guineas the quart, resemble in flavor 
the growth of the dews, and air, and rain of Heaven. But as 
one o'clock, the hour for going aboard, drew near, this volu- 
bility dwindled away by little and little, despite the most per- 
severing efforts to the contrary, until at last, the matter being 
now quite desperate, we threw off all disguise ; openly specu- 
lated upon where we should be this time to-morrow, this time 
next day, and so forth ; and entrusted a vast number of mes- 
sages to those who intended returning to town that night, 
which were to be delivered at home and elsewhere without 
fail, within the very shortest possible space of time after the 
arrival of the railway train at Euston Square. And commis- 
sions and remembrances do so crowd upon one at such a time, 
that we were still busied with this employment when we found 
ourselves fused, as it were, into a clense conglomeration of 
passengers and passengers' friends and passengers' luggage, 
all jumbled together on the deck of a small steamboat, and 
panting and snorting off to the packet, which had worked out 
of dock yesterday afternoon and was now lying at her moor- 
ings in the river. 

And there she is ! all eyes are turned to where she lies, 
dimly discernible through the gathering fog of the early win- 
ter afternoon ; every finger is pointed in the same direction ; 
and murmurs of interest and admiration — as " How beautiful 
she looks ! " " How trim she is ! " — are heard on every side. 


Even the lazy gentleman with his hat on one side and his 
hands in his pockets, who has dispensed so much consolation 
by mquiring with a yawn of another gentleman whether he is 
"going across " — as if it were a ferry — CA^en he condescends 
to look that way, and nod his head, as who should say, " No 
mistake about that: " and not even the sage Lord Burleigh in 
his nod,_ included half so much as this lazy gentleman of might 
who has made the passage (as everybody on board has found 
out already ; it's impossible to say how) thirteen times with- 
out a single accident ! There is another passenger very much 
wrapped-up, who has been frowned down by the rest, and 
morally trampled upon and crushed, for presuming to inquire 
with a timid interest how long it is since the poor President 
went down. He is standing close to the lazy gentleman, and 
says with a faint smile that he believes She is a very strong 
Ship ; to which the lazy gentleman, looking first in his ques- 
tioner's eye and then very hard in the wind's, answers unex- 
pectedly and ominously, that She need be. Upon this the 
lazy gentleman instantly falls very low in the popular. estima- 
tion, and the passengers, with looks of defiance, whisper to 
each other that he is an ass, and an impostor, and clearjy 
don't know anything at all about it. 

But we are made fast alongside the packet, whose huge 
red funnel is smoking bravely, giving rich promise of serious 
intentions. Packing-cases, portmanteaus, carpet bags, and 
boxes, are already passed from hand to hand, and hauled on 
board with breathless rapidity. The officers, smartly dressed, 
are at the gangway handing the passengers up the side, and 
hurrying the men. In five minutes' time, the little steamer 
is utterly deserted, and the packet is beset and over-run by 
its late freight, who instantly pervade the whole ship, and 
are to be met with by the dozen in every nook and corner ; 
swarming down below with their own baggage, and stumbling 
over other people's ; disposing themselves comfortably in 
wrong cabins, and creating a most horrible confusion by 
having to turn out again ; madly bent upon opening locked 
doors, and on forcing a passage into all liinds of ou'.-of-the- 
way places where there is no thoroughfare ; sending wild 
stewards, with elfin hair, to and fro upon the breezy docks on 
unintelligible errands, impossible of execution : and in bhort, 
creating the most extraordinary and bewildering tumul:. In 
the midst of all this, the 4-azy gentleman, who seems to have 
no luggage of any kind — not so much as a friend, c. en — ■ 



lounges up and clown the hurricane deck, coolly puffing a 
cigar ; and, as this unconcerned demeanor again exalts him 
in the opinion of those who have leisure to observe his pro- 
ceedings, every time he looks up at the masts, or down at the 
decks, or over the side, they look there too, as wondering 
whether he sees anything wrong anywhere, and hoping that, 
in case he should, he will have the goodness to mention it. 

What have we here? The captain's boat! and 'yonder 
the captain himself. Now, by all our hopes and wishes, the 
very man he ought to be ! A well-made, tight-built, dapper 
little fellow ; with a ruddy face, which is a letter of invitation 
to shake him by both hands at once ; and with a clear, blue, 
honest eye, that it does one good to see one's sparkling 
image in. " Ring the bell ! " " Ding, ding, ding ! " the very 
bell is in a hurry. ''Now for the shore — who's for ths 
shore?" — "These gentlemen, 1 am sorry to say." They ar.e 
away, and never said, Good-b'ye. Ah ! now they wave it 
from the little boat. "Good-b'ye! Good-b'ye!" Three 
cheers from them ; three more from us ; three more from them : 
and they are gone. 

To* and fro, to and fro, to and fro again a hundred tim^es ! 
This waiting for the latest mail-bags is worse than all. If we 
could have gone off in the midst of that last burst, we should 
have started triumphantly : but to lie here, two hours and 
more in the damp fog, neither staying at home nor going 
abroad, is letting one gradually down into the very depths 
of dulness and low spirits. A speck in the mist, at last ! 
Tliat's something. It is the boat we wait for! That's more 
to the purpose. The captain appears on the paddle-box with 
his speaking trumpet ; the officers take their stations ; all 
hands are on the alert ; the flagging hopes of the jDassengers 
revive ; the cooks pause in their savory work, and look out 
with faces full of interest. The boat comes alongside ; the 
bags are dragged in anyhow, and flung down for the moment 
anywhere. Three clieers more : and as the first one rings 
upon our ears, the vessel throbs like a strong giant that has 
just received the breath of life ; the two great v/heels turn 
fiercely round for the first time ; and the noble ship, with 
wind and tide astern, breaks proudly through the lashed and 
foaming water. 




We all dined together that day ; and 'a rather formidable 
party we were : no fewer than eighty-six strong. The vessel 
being pretty deep in the water, with all her coals on board 
and so many passengers, and the weather being calm and 
quiet, there was but little motion ; so that before the dinner 
was half over, even those passengers who were most distrust- 
ful of themselves plucked up amazingly \ and those who in 
the morning had returned to the universal question, " Are 
you a good sailor t " a very decided negative, now either 
parried the inquiry with the evasive reply, " Oh ! I suppose 
I'm no worse than anybody else ; " or, reckless of all moral 
obligations, answered boldly '^ Yes : " and with some irrita- 
tion too, as though they would add, " I should like to know 
what you see in fiie^ sir, particularly, to justify suspicion ! " 

Notwithstanding this high tone of courage and confidence, 
] could not but observe that ver}- few remained long over 
\ heir wine ; and that everybody had an unusual love of the 
(pen air j and that the favorite and most coveted seats were 
invariably those nearest to the door. The tea-table, too, was 
liy no means as well attended as the dinner-table ; and there 
v/as less whist-playing than might have been expected. Still, 
with the exception of one lady, who had retired with some 
precipitation at dinner-time, immediately after being assisted 
to the finest cut of a ver}^ yellow boiled leg of mutton with 
very green capers, there were no invalids as yet ; and walk- 
ing, and smoking, and drinking of brandy-and-water (but 
always in the open air), went on with unabated spirit, until 
eleven o'clock or thereabouts, when "turning in" — no sailor 
of seven hours' experience talks of going to bed — became the 
order of the night. The perpetual tramp of boot-heels on 
the decks gave place to a heavy silence, and the whole 
human freight was stowed away below, excepting a very few 
stragglers, like myself, who were probably, like me, afraid to 
go there. 

To one unaccustomed to such scenes, this is a very strik- 
ing time on shipboard. Aften^ards, and when its novelty 



had long worn off, it never ceased to have a peculiar interest 
and charm for me. The gloom through which the great 
black mass holds its direct and certain course ; the rushing 
water, plainly heard, but dimly seen ; the broad, white, glis- 
tening track, that follows in the vessel's wake ; the men on 
the look-out forward, who would be scarcely visible against 
the dark sky, but for their blotting out some score of glisten- 
ing stars ; the helmsman at the wheel, with the illuminated 
card before him, shining, a speck of light amidst the darkness, 
like something sentient and of Divine intelligence ; the mel- 
ancholy sighing of the wind through block, and rope, and 
chain ; the gleaming forth of light from every crevice, nook, 
and tiny piece of glass about the decks, as though the ship 
were filled with fire in hiding, ready to burst through any out- 
let, wild with its resistless power of death and ruin. At first, 
too, and even when the hour, and all the objects it exalts, 
have come to be familiar, it is difficult, alone and thoughtful, 
to hold them to their proper shapes and forms. They change 
with the wandering fancy ; assume the semblance of things 
left far away ; put on the well-remembered aspect of favorite 
places dearly loved; and even people them with shadows. 
Streets, houses, rooms ; figures so like their usual occupants, 
that they have startled me by their reality, which far exceeded, 
as it seemed to me, all power of mine to conjure up the ab- 
sent ; have, many and many a time, at such an hour, grown 
suddenly out of objects with whose real look, and use, and 
purpose, I was as well acquainted as Avith my own two hands. 
My own two hands, and feet likewise, being very cold, 
however, on this particular occasion, I crept below at mid- 
night. It was not exactly comfortable below. It was decicj- 
edly close ; and it was impossible to be unconscious of the 
presence of that extraordinary compound of strange smells, 
which is to be found nowhere but on board ship, and which 
is such a subtle perfume that it seems to enter at every pore 
of the skin, and whisper of the hold. Two passengers' wives 
(one of them my own) lay already in silent agonies on the 
sofa ; and one lady's maid {tny lady's) was a mere bundle on 
the floor, execrating lier destiny, and pounding her curl-papers 
among the stray boxes. Everything sloped the wrong way : 
which in itself was an aggravation scarcely to be borne. I 
had left the door open, a moment before, in the bosom of a 
gentle declivity, and, when I turned to shut it, it was on the 
summit of a lofty eminence. Now every plank and timber 



creaked, as if the ship were made of wicker-work ; and now 
crackled, hke an enormous fire of the driest possible twigs. 
There was nothing for it but bed ; so I went to bed. 

It was pretty much the same for the next two days, with a 
tolerably fair wind and dry weather. I read in bed (but to 
this hour I don't know what) a good deal ; and reeled on 
deck a little ; drank cold brandy-and-water with an unspeak- 
able disgust, and ate hard biscuit perseveringly ; not ill, but 
going to be. 

It is the third morning. I am awakened out of my sleep 
by a dismal shriek from my wife, who demands to know 
whether there's any danger. I rouse myself, and look out of 
bed. The water-jug is plunging and leaping like a lively 
dolphin ; all the small articles are afloat, except my shoes, 
which are stranded on a carpet-bag, high and dry, like a 
couple of coal-barges. Suddenly I see them spring into the' 
uir, and behold the looking-glass, which is nailed to the wall, 
sticking fast upon the ceiling. At the same time the door 
entirely disappears, and a new one is opened in the floor. 
Then I begin to comprehend that the state-room is standing 
on its head. 

Before it is possible to make any arrangement at all com • 
patible with this novel state of things, the ship rights. Before 
one can say " Thank Heaven ! " she wrongs again. Before 
owQ. can cry she is wrong, she seems to have started forward, 
and to be a creature actually running of its own accord, with, 
broken knees and failing legs, through every variety of hok 
and pitfall, and stumbling constantly. Before one can sc 
much as wonder, she takes a high leap into the air. Before 
she has well done that, she takes a deep dive into the water. 
Before she has gained the surface, she throws a summerset. 
The instant she is on her legs, she rushes backward. And 
so she goes on staggering, heaving, wrestling, leaping, diving, 
jumping, pitching, throbbing, rolling, and rocking : and going 
through all these movements, sometimes by turns, and some- 
times altogether : until one feels disposed to roar for mercy. 

A steward passes. " Steward ! " " Sir 1 " " What ts the 
matter ? what do you call this ? " " Rather a heavy sea on, 
sir, and a head-wind." 

A head-wind ! Imagine a human face upon the vessel's 
prow, with fifteen thousand Samsons in one bent upon driving 
her back, and hitting her exactly between the eyes whenever 
she attempts to advance an inch. Imagine the ship herself, 


with every pulse and arter}' of her huge body swollen and 
bursting under this maltreatment, sworn to go on or die. 
Imagine the wind howling, the sea roaring, the rain beating ; 
all in furious array against her. Picture the sky both dark 
and wild, and the clouds, in fearful sympathy with the waves, 
making another ocean in the air. Add to all this, the clatter- 
ing on deck and down below ; the tread of hurried feet ; the 
loud hoarse shouts of seamen ; the gurgling in and out of 
water through the scuppers ; with, every now and then, the 
striking of a heavy sea upon the planks above, with the deep, 
dead, heavy sound of thunder heard within a vault ; — and 
there is the head-wind of that January morning. 

I say nothing of what may be called the domestic noises 
of the ship : such as the breaking of glass and crocker\% the 
tumbling down of stewards, the gambols, overhead, of loose 
casks and truant dozens of bottled porter, and the ver}^ re- 
markable and far from exhilarating sounds raised in their 
various state-rooms by the seventy passengers who were too 
ill to get up to breakfast. I say nothing of them : for although 
I lay listening to this concert for three or four clays, I don't 
think I heard it for more than a quarter of a minute, at the 
expiration of which term, I lay down again, excessively sea- 

Not sea-sick, be it understood, in the ordinary acceptation 
of the term : I wish I had been : but in a form which I have 
•never seen or heard described, though I have no doubt it is 
very common. I lay there, all the day long, quite coolly, and 
contentedly; with no sense of weariness, with no desire to 
get up, or get better, or take the air ; with no curiosity, or 
care, or regret, of any sort or degree, saving that I think I 
can remember, in this universal indifference, having a kind 
of lazy joy — of fiendish delight, if anything so lethargic can 
be dignified with the title — in the fact of my wife being 
too ill to talk to me. If I may be allowed to illustrate my 
state of mind by such an example, I should say that I was 
exactly in the condition of the elder Mr. Willet, after the in- 
cursion of the rioters into his bar at Chigwell. Nothing 
would have surprised me. If, in the momentaiy illumination 
of any ray of intelligence that may have come upon me in 
the way of thoughts of Home, a goblin postman, with a scar- 
let coat and bell, had come into that little kennel before me, 
broad awake in broad day, and, apologizing for being damp 
through walking in the sea, had handed me a letter directed 

THE PA SSA GE ■ O UT. ^ ^ ^ 

to myself, in familiar characters, I am certain I should not 
have felt one atom of astonishment : I should have been per- 
fectly satisfied. If Neptune himself had walked in, with a 
toasted shark on his trident, I should have looked upon the 
event as one of the very commonest everyday occurrences. 

Once — once — I found myself on deck. I don't know 
how I got there, or what possessed me to go there, but there I 
was ; and completely dressed too, with a huge pea-coat on, 
and a pair of boots such as no weak man in his senses could 
ever have got into. I found myself standing, when a gleam 
of consciousness came upon me, holding on to something. I 
don't know what. I think it was the boatswain ; or it may 
have been the pump : or possibly the cow. I can't say how 
long I had been there ; whether a day or a minute. I recol- 
lect trying to think about something (about anything in the 
whole wide world, I was not particular) without the smallest 
effect. I could not even make out which was the sea, and 
which the sky, for the horizon seemed drunk, and was flying 
wildly about in all directions. Even in that incapable state, 
however, I recognized the lazy gentleman standing before 
me : nautically clad in a suit of shaggy blue, with an oilskin 
hat. But I was too imbecile, although I knew it to be he, to 
separate him from his dress ; and tried to call him, I remem- 
ber. Pilot. After another interval of total unconsciousness, I 
found he had gone, and recognized another figure in its 
place. It seemed to wave and fluctuate before me as though 
I saw it reflected in an unsteady looking-glass ; but I knew it 
for the captain ; and such was the cheerful influence of his 
face, that I tried to smile : yes, even then I tried to smile. I 
saw by his gestures that he addressed me ; but it was a long 
time before I could make out that he remonstrated against 
my standing up to my knees in water — as I was; of course I 
don't know why. I tried to thank him, but couldn't. I 
could only point to my boots — or wherever I supposed my 
boots to be — and say in a plaintive voice, " Cork soles : " at 
the same time endeavoring, I am told, to sit down in the pool. 
Finding that I was quite insensible, and for the time a maniac, 
he humanely conducted me below^ 

There I remained until I got better : suffering, whenever 
I w^as recommended to eat anything, an amount of anguish 
only second to that which is said to be endured by the ap- 
parently drowned, in the process of restoration to life. One 
gentleman on board had a letter of introduction to me from a 



mutual friend in London. He sent it below with his card, on 
the morning of the head-wind ; and I was long troubled with 
the idea that he might be up, and well, and a hundred times 
a day expecting me to call upon him in the saloon. I im- 
agined him one of those cast-iron images — I will not call them 
men— who ask, with red faces, and lusty voices, what sea-sick- 
ness means, and whether it really is as bad as it is repre- 
sented to be. This was very torturing indeed ; and I don't 
think I ever felt such perfect gratification and gratitude of 
heart, as I did when I heard from the ship's doctor that he 
had been obliged to put a large mustard poultice on this very 
gentleman's stomach. I date my recovery from the receipt 
of that intelligence. 

It was materially assisted though, I have no doubt, by a 
heavy gale of wind, which came slowly up at sunset, when we 
were about ten days out, and raged with gradually increasing 
fury until morning, saving that it lulled for an hour a little 
before midnight. There was something in the unnatural re- 
pose of that hour, and in the after gathering of the storm, so 
inconceivably awful and tremendous, that its bursting into full 
violence was almost a relief. 

The laboring of the ship in the troubled sea on this night 
I shall never forget. " Will it ever be worse than this ? " was 
a question I had often heard asked, when everything was 
sliding and bumping about, and when it certainly did seem 
difficult to comprehend the possibility of anything afloat being 
more disturbed without toppling over and going down. But 
ivhat the agitation of a steam vessel is, on a bad winter's 
night in the wild Atlantic, it is impossible for the most vivid 
imagination to conceive. To say that she is flung down on 
her side in the waves, with her masts dipping into them, and 
that, springing up again, she rolls over on the other side, until 
a heavy sea strikes her with the noise of a hundred great guns 
and hurls her back — that she stops, and staggers, and shivers, 
as though stunned, and then, with a violent throbbing at her 
heart, darts onward like a monster goaded into madness, to 
be beaten down, and battered, and crushed, and leaped on by 
the angry sea — that thunder, lightning, hail, and rain, and 
wind, arc all in fierce contention for the mastery — that every 
plank has its groan, every nail its shriek, and every drop of 
water in the great ocean its howling voice — is nothing. To 
say that all is grand, and all appalling and horrible in the last 
degree, is nothing. Words cannot express it. Thoughts 


cannot convey it. Only a dream can call it up again, in all 
its fur}-, rage, and passion. 

And yet, in the very midst of these terrors, I was placed 
in a situation so exquisitely ridiculous, that even then I had 
as stronge a sense of its absurdity as I have now, and could 
no more help laughing than I can at any other comical inci- 
dent, happening under circumstances the most favorable to 
its enjoyment. About midnight we shipped a sea, which 
forced its way through the skylights, burst open the doors 
above, and came raging and roaring down into the ladies' 
cabin, to the unspeakable consternation of my wife and a lit- 
tle Scotch lady — who, by the way, had previously sent a mes- 
sage to the captain by the stewardess, requesting him, with 
her compliments, to have a steel conductor immediately at- 
tached to the top of every mast, and to the chimney, in order 
that the ship might not be struck by lightning. They and' 
the handmaid before-mentioned, being in such ecstasies of 
fear that I scarcely knew what to do with them, I naturally 
bethought myself of some restorative or . comfortable cordial; 
and nothing better occurring to me, at the moment, than hot 
brandy-and-water, I procured a tumbler full without delay. 
It being impossible to stand or sit without holding on, th(^y 
were all heaped together in one corner of a long sofa — a fix- 
ture extending entirely across the cabin — where they clung to 
each other in momentary expectation of being drowned. 
When I approached this place with my specific, and w;ts 
about to administer it with many consolatory expressions to 
the nearest sufferer, what was my dismay to see them all roll 
slowly down to the other end. And when I staggered to that 
end, and held out the glass once more, how immensely baffled 
were my good intentions by the ship giving another lurch, 
and their all rolling back again ! I suppose I dodged them 
up and down this sofa for at' least a quarter of an hour, with- 
out reaching them once ; and by the time I did catch them, 
the brandy-and-water was diminished by constant spilling, to 
a teaspoonful. To complete the group, it is necessary to 
recognize in this disconcerted dodger, an individual v^rj pale 
from sea-sickness, who had shaved his beard and brushed 
his hair, last, at Liverpool : and whose only article of dress 
(linen not included) were a pair of dreadnought trousers ; a 
blue jacket, formerly admired upon the Thames at Richmond j 
no stockings ; and one sUpper. 

Of the outrageous antics performed by that ship next 

6 oo A ME RICA .V yO TES. 

morning ; which made bed a practical joke, and getting up, by . 
any process short of falling out, an impossibility ; I say no-: 
thing. But anything like the utter dreariness and desolation 
that met my eyes when I, literally " tumbled up " on deck at 
noon, I never saw. Ocean and sky were all of one dull, 
heavy, uniform, lead color. There was no extent of prospect 
even over the dreary waste that lay around us, for the sea ran 
high, and the horizon encompassed us like a large black 
hoop. Viewed from the air, or some tall bluff on shore, it 
would have been imposing and stupendous, no doubt j but 
seen from the wet and rolling decks, it only impressed one 
giddily and painfully. In the gale of last night the life-boat 
had been crushed by one blow of the sea like a walnut-shell ; 
and there it hung dangling in the air : a mere faggot of crazy 
boards. The planking of the paddle-boxes had been torn 
■sheer away. The wheels were exposed and bare ; and they 
whirled and dashed their spray about the decks at random. 
Chimney, white with crusted salt; topmasts struck; storm- 
s^iils set ; rigging all knotted, tangled, wet, and drooping : 
a gloomier picture it would be hard to look upon. 

I was now comfortably established by courtesy in the ladies' 
cabin, where, besides ourselves, there were only four other 
passengers. First, the little Scotch lady before mentioned, 
on her way to join her husband at New York, who had settled 
there three years before. Secondly and thirdly, an honest 
young Yorkshireman connected with some American house ; 
domiciled in that same city, and carrying thither his beautiful 
}/oung wife to whom he had been married but a fortnight, and 
who was the fairest specimen of a comely English country 
g;irl I have ever seen. Fourthly, fifthly, and lastly, another 
couple : newly married too, if one might judge from the 
endearments they frequently interchanged : of whom I laiow 
no more than that they were rather a mysterious, run-away 
kind of couple ; that the lady had great personal attractions 
also ; and that the gentleman carried more guns with 
him than Robinson Crusoe, v;ore a shooting-coat, and had 
two great dogs on board. On further consideration, I re- 
member that he tried hot roast pig and bottled ale as a cure 
for sea-sickness ; and that he took these remedies (usually in 
bed) day after day, with astonishing perseverance. I may 
add, foB the information of the curious, that they decidedly 

Th(£ v/eather continuing obstinately and almost i.nprecc- 


dentedly bad, we usually straggled into this cabin, more or 
less faint and miserable, about an hour before noon, and lay 
down on the sofas to recover ; during which interval, the 
captain would look in to communicate the state of the wind, 
the moral certainty of its changing to-morrow (the weather" 
is always going to impro^'e to-morrow, at sea), the vessel's 
rate of sailing, and so forth. Observations there were none 
to tell us of, for there was no sun to take them by. But a 
description of one day will serve for all the rest. Here it is. 
The captain being gone, we compose ourselves to read, if 
the place be light enough ; and if not, we doze and talk alter- 
nately. At one, a bell rings, and the stewardess comes down 
with a steaming dish of baked potatoes, and another of roasted 
apples ; and plates of pig's face, cold ham, salt beef ; or per- 
haps a smoking mess of rare hot collops. We fall to upon 
these dainties ; eat as much as we can (we have great appe- 
tites now) ; and are as long as possible about it. If the fire 
will burn (it zuill sometimes) we are pretty cheerful. If it 
won't, we all remark to each other that it's very cold, rub our 
hands, cover ourselves with coats and cloaks, and lie down 
again to doze, talk, and read (provided as aforesaid), until 
dinner-time. At five, another bell rings, and the stewardess 
reappears with another dish of potatoes — boiled this time — 
and store of hot meat of various kinds : not forgetting the 
roast pig, to be 'taken medicinally. We sit down at table 
again (rather more cheerfully than before) ; prolong the meal 
with a rather mouldy dessert of apples, grapes, and oranges ; 
and drink our wine and brandy-and-water. The bottles and 
glasses are still upon the table and the oranges and so forth 
are rolling about according to their fancy and the ship's way, 
when the doctor comes down, by special nightly invitation, to 
join our evening rubber : immediately on whose arrival we 
make a party at whist, and as it is a rough night and the 
cards will not lie on the cloth, we put the tricks in our pock- 
ets as we take them. At whist we remain with exemplary 
gravity (deducting a short time for tea and toast) until eleven 
o'clock, or thereabouts ; when the captain comes down again, 
in a sou'-wester hat tied under his chin, and a pilot-coat ; 
making the ground wet v/here he stands. By this time the 
card-playing is over, and the bottles and glasses are again 
upon the table ; and after an hour's pleasant conversatioD 
about the ship, the passengers, and things in general, the cap- 
tain (v/ho never goes to bed, and is never out ot humor; turns 

6 o 2 A ^ '/^ A' /CA N . \ O TES. 

up his coat collar for the deck again ; shakes hands all round; 
and goes laughing out into the weather as merrily as to a 
birthday party. 

As to daily news, there is no dearth of that commodity. 
This passenger is reported to have lost fourteen pounds at 
Vingt-et-un in the saloon yesterday ; and that passenger drinks 
his bottle of champagne every day, and how he does it (being 
only a clerk), nobody knows. The head engineer has distinctly 
said that there never was such times — meaning weather — and 
four good hands are ill, and have given in, dead beat. Several 
berths are full of water, and all the cabins are leaky. The 
ship's cook, secretl}^ swigging damaged whiskey, has been 
found drunk ; and has been played upon by the fire-engine 
until quite sober. All the stewards have fallen down stairs at 
various dinner-times, and go about with plasters in various 
places. The baker is ill, and so is the pastry-cook. A new 
man, horribly indisposed, has been required to fill the place 
of the latter officer ; and has been propped and jammed up 
with empt}^ casks in a little house upon deck, and commanded 
to roll out pie-crust, which he protests (being highly bilious) 
it is death to him to look at. News ! A dozen murders on 
shore would lack the interest of these slight incidents at sea. 

Divided between our rubber and such topics as these^ we 
were running (as we thought) into Halifax Harbor, on the 
fifteenth night, with little wind and a bright moon — indeed, 
we had made the Light at its outer entrance, and put the 
pilot in charge — when suddenly the ship struck upon a bank 
of mud. An immediate rush on deck took place of course ; 
the sides were crowded in an instant ; and for a few minutes 
we were in as lively a state of confusion as the greatest lover 
of disorder would desire to see. The passengers, and guns, 
and water-casks, and other heavy matters, being all huddled 
togetlier aft, hov\^ever, to lighten her in the head, she was soon 
got off ; and after some driving on towards an uncomfortable 
line of objects (whose vicinity had been announced very early 
in the disaster by a loud cry of " Breakers-a-head ! "') and 
much backing of paddles, and heaving of the lead into a con- 
stantly decreasing depth of water, we dropped anchor in a 
strange outlandish-looking nook which nobody on board could 
recognize, although there was land all about us, and so close 
that we could plainly see the waving branches of the trees. 

It was strange enough, in the silence of midnight, arid the 
dead stillness that seemed to be created by the sudden and 



anexpectecl stoppage of the engine which had been clanking 
and blasting in our ears incessantly for so many days, to 
watch the look of blank astonishment expressed in every face : 
beginning with the officers, tracing it through all the passen- 
gers, and descending to the very stokers and furnacemen, who 
emerged from below, one by one, and clustered together in a 
smoky group about the hatchway of the engine-room, compar- 
ing notes in whispers. After throwing up a few rockets and 
firing signal guns in the hope of being hailed from the land, 
or at least of seeing a light — but without any other sight or 
sound presenting itself — it was determined to send a boat on 
shore. It was amusing to observe how very kind some of the 
passengers were, in volunteering to go ashore in this same 
boat : for the general good, of course : not by any means be- 
cause they thought the ship in an unsafe position, or contem- 
plated the possibility of her heeling over in case the tide were 
running out. Nor was it less amusing to remark how desper- 
ately unpopular the poor pilot became in one short minute. 
He had had his passage out from Liverpool, and during the 
whole voyage had been quite a notorious character, as a teller 
of anecdotes and cracker of jokes. Yet here were the very 
men who had laughed the loudest at his jests, now flourishing 
their lists in his face, loading him with imprecations, and de- 
fying him to his teeth as a villain. 

The boat soon shoved off, with a lantern and sundry blue 
lights on board ; and in less than an hour returned ; the offi- 
cer in command bringing with him a tolerably tall young tree, 
vdiich he had plucked up by the roots, to satisfy certain dis- 
taistful passengers whose minds misgave them that they were 
to be imposed upon and shipwrecked, and v/ho would on no 
other terms believe that he had been ashore, or had done any- 
thing but fraudulently row a little way into the mist, specially 
to deceive them and compass their deaths. Our captain had 
foreseen from the first that we must be in a place called the 
Eastern passage ; and so we were. It was about the last 
place in the world in which we had any business or reason to 
be, but a sudden fog, and some error on the pilot's part, were 
the cause. We were surrounded by banks, and rocks, and 
shoals of all kinds, but had happily drifted, it seemed, upon 
the only safe speck that was to be found thereabouts. Eased 
by this report, and by the assurance that the tide was past 
the ebb, we turned in at three o'clock in the morning. 

I was dressing about half-past nine next day, when the 



noise above hurried me on deck. When I had left it over- 
night, it was dark, foggy, and damp, and there were bleak 
hills all round us. Now, we were gliding down a smooth, 
broad stream, at the rate of eleven miles an hour ; our colors 
flying gayly ; our crew rigged out in their smartest clothes • 
our officers in uniform again ; the sun shining as on a brilliant 
April day in England ; the land stretched out on either side, 
streaked with light patches of snow ; white wooden houses ; 
people at their doors ; telegraphs working ; flags hoisted ; 
wharfs appearing ; ships ; quays crowded with people ; dis- 
tant noises ; shouts ; men and boys running down steep 
places towards the pier : all more bright and gay and fresh to 
our unused eyes than words can paint them. We came to a 
wharf, p^ved with uplifted faces ; got alongside, and were 
made fast, after some shouting and straining of cables ; 
darted, a score of us along the gangway, almost as soon a.s it 
was thrust out to meet us, and before it had reached the ship 
— and leaped upon the firm glad earth again ! 

I suppose this Halifax would have appeared an Elysium, 
though it had been a curiosity of ugly dulness. But I carried 
away with me a most pleasant impression of the town and its 
inhabitants, and have preserved it to this hour. Nor was it 
without regret that I came home, without having found an 
opportunity of returning thither, and once more shaking hands 
with the friends I made that day. 

It happened to be the opening of the Legislative Council 
and General Assembly, at which ceremonial the forms ob- 
served on the commencement of a new Session of Parliament 
in England were so closely copied, and so gravely presented 
on a small scale, that it was like looking at Westminster 
through the wrong end of a telescope. The governor, as her 
Majesty's repieseiitative, delivered what may be called the 
Speech from the Throne. Ele said what he had to say man- 
fully and well. The military band outside the,buildmg struck 
up " God save the Queen " with great vigor before his Ex- 
cellency had quite finished ; the people shouted ; the in's 
rubbed their hands; the out's shook their heads; the Govern- 
ment party said there never was such a good speech ; the 
Opposition declared there never was such a. bad one; the 
Speaker and members of the Elouse of Assembly withdrew 
from the bar to say a great deal among themselves and do a 
little : and, in short, everything went on, and promised to go 
on, just as it does at home upon the like occasions. 


The town is built on the side of a hill, the highest point 
being commanded by a strong fortress, nor yet quite finished. 
Several streets of good breadth and appearance extend from 
its summit to the water-side, and are intersected by cross 
streets running parallel with the river. The houses are 
chiefly of wood. The market is abundantly supplied ; and 
provisions are exceedingly cheap. The weather being un- 
usually mild at that time for the season of the year, there was 
no sleighing: but there were plenty of those vehicles in yards 
and by-places, and some of them, from the gorgeous quality 
of their decorations, might have "gone on" without altera- 
tion as triumphal cars in a melo-drama at Astley's. The day 
was uncommonly fine ; the air bracing and healthful ; the 
whole aspect of the town cheerful, thriving, and industrious, v 

We lay there seven hours, to deliver and exchange the' 
mails. At length, having collected all our bags and all our 
passengers (including two or three choice spirits, who, having 
indulged too freely in oysters and champagne, were found 
lying insensible on their backs in unfrequented streets), the 
engines were again put in motion, and we stood off for Boston. 

Encountering squally weather again in the Bay of Fundy, 
we tumbled and rolled about as usual all that night and all 
next day. On the next afternoon, that is to say, on Saturda\', 
the twenty-second of Januar}^, an American pilot-boat came 
alongside, and soon afterwards the Britannia steam-packe:, 
from Liverpool, eigl]teen days out, was telegraphed at Bostor .. 

The indescribable interest with which I strained my eyes 
as the first patches of American soil peeped like molehills 
from the green sea, and followed them, as they swelled, by 
slow and almost imperceptible degrees, into a continuous line 
of coast, can hardly be exaggerated. A sharp keen wind 
blew dead against us ; a hard frost prevailed on the shore ; 
and the cold was most severe. Yet the air was so intensely 
clear, and dry, and bright, that the temperature was not only 
endurable, but delicious. 

How I remained on deck, staring about me, until we came 
alongside the dock, and how, though I had had as many eyes 
as Argus, I should have had them all wide open, and all 
employed on new objects — are topics which I will not prolong 
this chapter to discuss. Neither v/ill I more than hint at my 
foreigner-like-mistake, in supposing that a party of most active 
persons, wdio scrambled on board at the peril of their lives as 
we approached the wharf, were newsmen, answering to that 


industrious class at home ; whereas, despite the leathern 
wallets of news slung about the necks of some, and the broad 
sheets in the hands of all, they were Editors, who boarded 
ships in person (as one gentleman in a worsted comforter 
informed me), "because they liked the excitement of it." 
Suffice it in this place to say, that one of these invaders, with 
a ready courtesy for which I thank him here most gratefully, 
went on before to order rooms at the hotel ; and that when I 
followed, as I soon did, I found myself rolling through the 
long passages with an involuntary imitation of the gait of Mr. 
T. P. Cooke, in a new nautical melo-drama. 

" Dinner, if you please," said I to the waiter. 

" When ? " said the waiter. 

" As quick as possible," said I. 

" Right away ? " said the waiter. 

After a moment's hesitation, I answered "No," at hazard. 

"iV^^'Z right away?" cried the waiter, with an amount of 
surprise that made me start. 

I looked at him doubtfully, and returned, " No ; I would 
rather have it in this private room, I like it very much." 

At this, I really thought the waiter must have gone out of 
his mind : as I believe he would have done, but for the inter- 
position of another man, who whispered in his ear, " Directl}'." 

"Well ! and that's a fact ! " said the waiter, looking help- 
lessly at me : " Right away." 

I saw now that " Right away " and ". Directly " were one 
and the same thing. So I reversed my previous answer, and 
3at down to dinner in ten minutes afterwards ; and a capital 
dinner it was. 

The hotel (a very excellent one) is called the Tremont 
House. It has more galleries, colonnades, piazzas, and pas- 
sages than I can remember,' or the reader would believe. 



In all the public establishments of America, the utmost 
courtesy prevails. Most of our Departments are susceptible 
of considerable improvement in this respect, but the Custom- 

BOSTON. 607 

house above all others would do well to take example from 
the United States and render itself somewhat less odious and 
offensive to foreigners. The servile rapacity of the French 
officials is sufficiently contemptible ; but there is a surly 
boorish incivility about our men, alike disgusting to all persons 
who fall into their hands, and discreditable to the nation that 
keeps such ill-conditioned curs snarling about its gates. 

When I landed in America, I could not help being strongly 
impressed with the contrast their Custom-house presented, 
and the attention, politeness and good-humor with which its 
officers discharged their duty. 

As we did not land at Boston, in consequence of some 
detention at the wharf, until after dark, I received my first 
impressions of the city in walking down to the Custom-house 
on the morning after our arrival, which was Sunday. I am. 
afraid to say, by the way, how many offers of pews and seats 
in church for that morning were made to us, by formal rote 
of invitation, before we had half finished our first dinner iin 
America, but if I may be allowed to make a moderate guess, 
without going into nicer calculation, I should say that at least 
as many sittings were proffered us, as would have accommo- 
dated a score or two of grown-up families. The number of 
creeds and forms of religion to which the pleasure of our com 
pany was requested, was in very fair proportion. 

Not being able, in the absence of any change of clothes, 
to go to church that day, we were compelled to decline these 
kindnesses, one and all ; and I was reluctantly obliged to forego 
the delight of hearing Dr. Channing, who happened to preach 
that morning for the first time in a very long interval. I men- 
tion the name of this distinguished and accomplished man 
(with whom I soon afterwards had the pleasure of becoming 
personally acquainted), that I may have the gratification of 
recording my humble tribute of admiration and respect for 
his high abilities and character; and for the bold philanthropy 
with which he has ever opposed himself to that most hideous 
blot and foul disgrace — Slavery. 

To return to Boston. When I got into the streets upon 
this Sunday morning, the air was so clear, the houses were so 
bright and ga}^ ; the signboards were painted in such gaudy 
colors ; the gilded letters were so very golden ; the bricks 
were so very red, the stone was so very white, the blinds and 
area railings were so very green, the knobs and plates upon 
the street doors' so marvellously bright and twinkling ; and all 


SO slight and unsubstantial in appearance — that every thor« 
oughfare in the city looked exactly like a scene in a panto- 
mime. It rarely happens in the business streets that a trades- 
man, if I may venture to call an3^body a tradesman, vv'here 
everybody is a merchant, resides above his store ; so that many 
occupations are often carried on in one house, and the whole 
front is covered with boards and inscriptions. As I walked 
along, I kept glancing up at these boards, confidently expect- 
ing to see a few of them change into something ; and I never 
turned a corner suddenly without looking out for the clown 
and pantaloon, who, I had no doubt, were hiding in a doorway 
or behind some pillar close at hand. As to Harlequin and 
Columbine, I discovered immediately that they lodged (the}^ 
are always looking after lodgings in a pantomime) at a very 
small clockmaker's one story high, near the hotel ; which, in 
addition to various symbols and devices, almost covering the 
whole front, had a great dial hanging out — to be jumped 
through, of course. 

The suburbs are, if possible, even more unsubstantial- 
looking than the city. The white wooden houses (so. white 
that it makes one wink to look at them), with their green jalou- 
sie blinds, are so sprinkled and dropped about in all direc- 
tions, without seeming to have any root at all in the ground ; 
and the small churches and chapels are so prim, and bright, 
and highly varnished ; that I almost believed the whole affair 
could be taken up piecemeal like a child's to}^, and crammed 
into a little box. 

The city is a beautiful one, and cannot fail, I should im- 
agine, to impress all strangers very favorably. The private 
dwelling-houses are, for the most part, large and elegant ; the 
shops extremely good ; and the public buildings handsome. The 
State House is built upon the summit of a hill, which rises 
gradually at first, and afterwards by a steep ascent, almost 
from the water's edge. In front is a green enclosure, called 
the Common. The site is beautiful : and from the top there 
is a charming panoramic view of the whole town and neighbor- 
hood. In addition to a variety of commodious offices, it con- 
tains two handsome chambers ; in one the House of Represen- 
tatives of the State hold their meetings : in the other, the Sen- 
ate. Such proceedings as I saw here, were conducted with 
perfect gravity and decorum ; and were certainly calculated to 
inspire attention and respect. 

There is no doubt that much of the intellectual refinement 

BOSTON. 609 

and superioriiy of Boston, is referaule to the quiet inliuence 
of the University of Cambridge, which is within three or four 
miles of the city. The resident professors at that university 
are gentlemen of learning-^and varied attainments ; and are, 
without one exception that I can call to mind, men who would 
shed a grace upon, and do honor to, any society in the civil- 
ized world. Many of the resident gentry in Boston and its 
neighborhood, and I think I am not mistaken in adding, a 
large majority of those who are attached to the liberal pro- 
fessions there, have been educated at the same school. What- 
ever the defects of American universities may be, they dis- 
seminate no prejudices ; rear no bigots ; dig up the buried 
ashes of no old superstitions ; never interpose between the 
people and their improvement ; exclude no man because of his 
religious opinions ; above all, in their whole course of study 
and instruction, recognize a v*?orld, and a broad one too, lying 
beyond the college walls. 

It was a source of inexpressible pleasure to me to observe 
the almost imperceptible, but not less certain effect, wrought 
by this institution among the small community of Boston ; 
and to note at every turn the humanizing tastes and desires 
it has engendered ; the affectionate friendships to which it has 
given rise; the amount of vanity and prejudice it has dis- 
pelled. The golden calf they worship at Boston is a pigmy 
compared with the giant effigies set up in other parts of that 
vast counting-house which lies beyond the Atlantic ; and the 
almighty dollar sinks into something comparatively insignifi- 
cant, amidst a whole Pantheon of better gods. 

Above all, I sincerely believe that the public institutions 
and charities of this capital of Massachijsetts are as nearly 
perfect, as the most considerate wisdom, benevolence, and 
humanity, can make them. I never in my life was more af- 
fected by the contemplation of happiness, under circumstances 
of privation and bereavement, than in my visits to these 

It is a great and pleasant feature of all such institutions in 
America, that they are either supported by the State or as- 
sisted by the State ; or (in the event of their not needing its 
helping hand) that they act in conce'rt with it, and are emphati- 
cally the people's. I cannot but think, with a view to the 
principle and its tendency to elevate or depress the character 
of the industrious classes, that a Public Charity is immeasur- 
ably better than a Private Foundation, no matter hov/ m.unifi- 

6 1 o A A/ ERICA A' NO TES. 

cenlly the latter may be endowed. In our own country, where 
it has not, until within these later days, been a very popular 
fashion with governments to display any extraordinary regard 
for the great mass of the people or to recognize their exist- 
ence as improveable creatures, private charities, unexampled 
in the history of the earth, have arisen to do an incalculable 
amount of good among the destitute and afflicted. But the 
government of the country, having neither act nor part in 
them, is not in the receipt of any portion of the gratitude 
they inspire ; and, offering very little shelter or relief beyond 
that which is to be found in the workhouse and the jail, has 
come, not unnaturally, to be looked upon by the poor rather 
as a stern master, quick to correct and punish, than a kind 
protector, merciful and vigilant in their hour of need. 

The maxim that out of evil cometh good, is strongly illus- 
trated by these establishments at home ; as the records of the 
Prerogative Office in Doctors' Commons can abundantly prove. 
Some immensely rich old gentleman or lady, surrounded by 
needy relatives, makes, upon a low average, a will a-week. 
The old gentleman or lady, never very remarkable in the best 
of times for good temper, is full of aches and pains from head 
to foot ; full of fancies and caprices ; full of spleen, distrust, 
suspicion, and dislike. To cancel old wills, and invent new 
ones, is at last the sole business of such a testator's existence ; 
and relations and friends (some of whom have been bred up 
distinctly to inherit a large share of the property, and have 
been, from their cradles, specially disqualified from devoting 
themselves to any useful pursuit, on that account) are so often 
and so unexpectedly and summarily cut off, and re-instated, 
and cut off again, that the whole family, dov*'n to the remotest 
cousin, is kept in a perpetual fever. At length it becomes 
plain that the old lady or gentleman has not long to live ; and 
the plainer this becomes, the more clearly the old lady or 
gentleman perceives that everybody is in a conspiracy against 
their poor old dying relative ; wherefore the old lady or gen- 
tleman makes another last will — positively the last this time 
— conceals the same in a china tea-pot, and expires next day. 
Then it turns out, that the whole of the real and personal 
estate is divided between half-a-dozen charities ; and ihat 
the dead and gone testator has in pure spite helped to do a 
great deal of good, at the cost of an immense amount of evil 
passion and misery. 

The Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for 

BOSTON. 6il 

the Blind, at Boston, is superintended by a body of trustees 
who make an annual report to the corporation. The indigent 
blind of that State are admitted gratuitously. Those from the 
adjoining State of Connecticut, or from the States of Maine, 
Vermont, or New Hampshire, are admitted by a warrant from 
the State to which they respectively belong ; or, failing that 
must find security among their friends, for the payment ot 
about twenty pounds English for their first year's board and 
instruction, and ten for the second, " After the first year," 
say the trustees, " an account current will be opened with 
each pupil ; he will be charged with the actual cost of his 
board, which will not exceed two dollars per week j " a triflti 
more than eight shillings English ; " and he will be credited 
with the amount paid for him by the State, or by his friends ; 
also with his earnings over and above the cost of the stock 
which he uses; so that all his earnings over one dollar per 
week will be his own. By the third year it will be known 
whether his earnings will more than pay the actual cost of his 
board ; if they should, he will have it at his option to remain 
and receive his earnings, or not. Those w^ho prove unable 
to earn their own livelihood will not be retained ; as it is not 
desirable to convert the establishment into an almshouse, or 
to retain any but working bees in the hive. Those who by 
physical or mental imbecility are disqualified from work, are 
thereby disqualified from being members of an industrious 
community ; and they can be better provided for in establish- 
ments fitted for the infirm." 

I went to see this place one very fine winter morning : an 
Italian sky above, and the air so clear and bright on every 
side, that even my eyes, which are none of the best, could 
follow the minute lines and scraps of tracery in distant build- 
ings. Like most other public institutions in America, of the 
same class, it stands a mile or two without the town, in a 
cheerful healthy spot ; and is an airy, spacious, handsome 
edifice. It is built upon a height, commanding the harbor. 
When I paused for a moment at the door, and marked how 
fresh and free the whole scene was — what sparkling bubbles 
glanced upon the waves, and welled up every moment to the 
surface, as though the world below, like that above, were 
radiant with the bright day, and gushing over in its fulness 
of light : when I gazed from sail to sail away upon a ship at 
sea, a tiny speck of shining white, the only cloud upon the 
still, deep, distant blue — and, turning, saw a blind boy v/itb 

6 1 2 ^ M ERICA N NO TES. 

liis sightless face addressed that way, as though he too had 
some sense within him of the glorious distance : I felt a kind 
of sorrow that the place should be so very light, and a strange 
wish that for his sake it were darker. It was but momentary, 
of course, and a mere fancy, but I felt it keenly for all that. 

The children were at their daily tasks in different rooms, 
except a few who were already dismissed, and were at play. 
Here, as in many institutions, no uniform is worn ; and I was 
very glad of it, for two reasons. Firstly, because I am sure 
that nothing but senseless custom and want of thought would 
reconcile us to the liveries and badges we are so fond of at 
home. Secondly, because the absence of these things presents 
each child to the visitor in his or her own proper character, 
with its individuality unimpaired ; not lost in a dull, ugly, 
monotonous repetition of the same unmeaning garb : which is 
really an important consideration. The wisdom of encourag- 
ing a little harmless pride in personal appearance even among 
the blind, or the whimsical absurdity of considering charity 
and leather breeches inseparable companions, as we do, re- 
quires no comment. 

Good order, cleanliness, and comfort, pervaded ever}^ 
corner of the building. The various classes, who ^^cere 
gathered round their teachers, answered the questions put to 
them with readiness and intelligence, and in a spirit of cheer- 
ful contest for precedence which pleased me very much. 
Those who were at play, were gleesome and noisy as other 
children. More spiritual and affectionate friendships appeared 
to exist among them, than would be found among other young 
persons suffering under no deprivation ; but this I expected 
and was prepared to find. It is a part of the great scheme 
of Heaven's merciful consideration for the afflicted. 

In a portion of the building, set apart for that purpose, 
are workshops for blind persons whose education is finished, 
and who have acquired a trade, but who cannot pursue it in 
an ordinary manufactory because of their deprivation. Several 
people were at work here ; making brushes, mattresses, and 
so forth ; and the cheerfulness, industry, and good order dis- 
cernible in every other part of the building, extended to this 
department also. 

On the ringing of a bell, the pupils all repaired, v/ithout 
any guide or leader, to a spacious music-hall, where they took 
their seats in an orchestra erected for that purpose, and 
listened with manifest delight to a voluntary on the organ 

BOSTON. 613 

played by one of themselves. At its conclusion, the per- 
former, a boy of nineteen or twenty, gave place to a girl ; and 
to her accompaniment they all sang a hymn, and afterwards a 
sort of chorus. It was very sad to look upon and hear them, 
happy though their condition unquestionably was ; and I sav/ 
that one blind girl, who (being for the time dejDrived of the 
use of her limbs, by illness) sat close beside me with her face 
towards them, wept silently the while she listened. 

It is strange to v/atch the faces of the blind, and see how 
free they are from all concealment of what is passing in their 
thoughts ; observing which, a man with eyes may blush to 
contemplate the mask he wears. Allowing for one shade of 
anxious exjDression which is never absent from their counte- 
nances, and the like of which we may readily detect in our own 
faces if we try to feel our way in the dark, every idea, as it 
rises within them, is expressed with the lightning's speed and 
nature's truth. If the company at a rout, or drawing-room at 
court, c^uld only for one time be as unconscious of the eyes 
upon them as blind men and women are, what secrets v/ould 
come out, and what a worker of h3^pocrisy this sight, the loss 
of Vv'hich we so much pity, would appear to be ! 

The thought occurred to me as I sat down in another 
room, before a girl, blind, deaf, and dumb ; destitute of smell ; 
and nearly so of taste : before a fair young creature with every 
Iiuman faculty, and hope, and power of goodness and affection, 
inclosed within her delicate frame, and but one outward sense 
■ — the sense of touch. There she was, before me : built up, 
as it were, in a marble cell, impervious to any ray of light, or 
particle of sound ; with her poor white hand peeping through 
a chink in the wall, beckoning to some good man for help, 
that an Immortal soul might be awakened. 

Long before I looked ujDon her, the help had come. Her 
face was radiant with intelligence and pleasure. Her hair, 
braided by her own hands, was bound about her head, whose 
intellectual capacity and development were beautifully ex- 
pressed in its graceful outline, and its broad open brew; her 
dress, arranged by herself, was a pattern of neatness and' 
simplicity; the work she had knitted, lay beside her; hei 
writing book v/as on the desk she leaned upon. — From the 
mournful ruin of such bereavement, there had slowly risen up 
this gentle, tender, guileless, grateful-hearted being. 

Like other inmates of that house, she had a green ribbon 
bound round her eyelids. A doll she had dressed lay near 

6 1 4 '^ M ERIC AN NO TES. 

upon the ground. I took it up, and saw that she had made 
a green fillet such as she wore herself, and fastened it about 
its mimic eyes. 

She was seated in a little enclosure, made by school-desks 
and forms, v/riting her daily journal. But soon finishing this 
pursuit, she engaged in an animated communication with a 
teacher who sat beside her. This was a favorite mistress 
with the poor pupil. If she could see the face of her fair in- 
structress, she v/ould not love her less, I am sure. 

I have extracted a few disjointed fragments of her history, 
from an account, written by that one man who has made her 
what she is. It is a very beautiful and touching narrative ; 
and I wish I could present it entire. 

Her name is Laura Bridgman. '' She was born in Han- 
over, New Hampshire, on the twenty-first of December, 1829. 
She is described as having been a very sprightly and pretty 
infant, with bright blue eyes. She was, however, so puny and 
feeble until she was a year and a half old, that he* parents 
hardly hoped to rear her. She was subject to severe fits, 
which seemed to rack her frame almost beyond her power of 
'endurance : and life M'as held by the feeblest tenure : but 
when a year and a half old, she seemed to rally ; the danger- 
ous symptoms subsided ; and at twenty months old, she was 
perfectly well. 

" Then her mental powers, hitherto stinted in their growth, 
rapidly developed themselves ; and during the four months of 
health which she enjoyed, she appears (making due allowance 
for a fond mother's account), to have displayed a consider- 
able degree of intelligence. 

" But suddenly she sickened again j her disease raged 
with great violence during five weeks, when her eyes and ears 
were iniiamed, suppurated, and their contents were discharged. 
But though sight and hearing w-ere gone for ever, the pool 
child's sufferings were not ended. The fever raged during 
seven weeks ; for five months she was kept in bed in a dark- 
ened room ; it was a year before she could walk unsupported, 
and two years before she could sit up all day. It was now 
observed that her sense of smell was almost entirely destroyed, 
and, consequently, that her taste was much blunted. 

" It was not until four years of age that the poor child's 
bodily health seemed restored, and she v/as able to enter upon 
her apprenticeship of life and the world. 

" But what a situation was hers ! Hie darkness and the 

BOSTOiV. 615 

silence of the tomb were around her : no mother's smile called 
forth her answering smile, no father's voice taught her to imi- 
tate his sounds : — they, brothers and sisters, were but forms 
of matter which resisted her touch, but which differed not 
from the fumiture of the house, save 'in warmth, and in the 
power of locomotion 3 and not even in these respects from the 
clog and the cat. 

" But the iron-iortal spirit which had been implanted within 
her could not die, nor be maimed nor mutilated ; and though 
most of its avenues of communication with the world were 
cut off, it began to manifest itself through the others. As 
soon as she could walk, she began to explore the room, and 
then the house ; she became familiar with the form, density, 
weight, and heat, of ever}^ article she could lay her hands upon. 
She followed her mother, and felt her hands and arms as she 
v/as occupied about the house ; and her disposition to imitate, 
led her to repeat everything herself. She even learned to 
sew a little, and to knit." 

The reader will scarcely need to be told, however, that the 
opportunities of communicating with her, were very, very lim- 
ited ; and that the moral effects of her wretched state soon began 
to appear. Those who cannot be enlightened by reason, can 
only be controlled by force ; and this, coupled with her great 
privations, must soon have reduced her to a worse condition 
than that of the beasts that perish, but for timely and unhoped- 
for aid. 

" At this time, I was so fortunate as to hear of the child, 
and immediately hastened to Hanover to see her, I found 
her with a well-formed figure ; a strongly-marked, nervous- 
sanguine temperament ; a large and beautifully-shaped head ; 
and the whole system in healthy action. The parents were 
easily induced to consent to her coming to Boston, and on 
the 4th of October, 1S37, they brought her to the Institution. 

" For a while, she was much bewildered ; and after wait- 
ing about two weeks, until she became acquainted with her 
new locality, and somewhat familiar with the inmates, the at- 
tempt was made to give her knowledge of arbitrary signs, by 
which she could interchange thoughts with others. 

" There v/as one of two ways to be adopted ; either to go 
on to build up a language of signs on the basis of the natural 
language which she had already commenced herself, or to 
teach her the purely arbitrary lanijuage in common use : that 
is, to give her a sign for every individual thing, or to give her 

6 1 6 ^ ME/UCA iV A'O TKS. 

a knowledge of letters by combination of which she might 
express her idea of the existence, and the mode and condition 
of existence, of any thing. The former would have been easy, 
but very ineffectual ; the latter seemed very difficult, but, if 
accomplished, very eiiectual. I determined therefore to try the 

" The first experiments w-ere made by taking articles in 
common use, such as knives, forks, spoons, keys, &:c., and 
pasting upon them labels with jtheir names printed in raised 
letters. These she felt very carefully, and soon, of course, 
distinguished that the crooked lines spoon, differed as much 
from the crooked lines key, as the spoon differed from the key 
in form. 

" Then small detached labels, with the same v/ords printed 
upon them, were put into her hands ; and she soon observed 
that they were similar to the ones pasted on the articles. She 
showed her perception of this similarity by laying the label 
keyvc^QW the key, and the label spoon upon the spoon. She 
was encouraged here by the natural sign of approbation, pat- 
ting on the liead. 

" The same process was then repeated wdth all the articles 
which she could handle ; and she very easily learned to place 
the proper labels upon them. It was evident, however, that 
the only intellectual exercise w-as that of imitation and mem- 
ory. She recollected that the label book v/as placed upon a 
l^ook, and she repeated the process first from imitation, next 
from memory, with only the motive of love of approbation, 
but apparently v/ithout the intellectual perception of any rela- 
tion between the things. 

"After a while, instead of labels, the individual letters 
were given to her on detached bits of paper ; they were ar- 
ranged side by side so as to spell book, key, &c. ; then they 
v.ere mixed up in a heap and a sign was made for her to ar- 
range them lierself so as to express the Vv^ords book, key, &c. ; 
and she did so. 

" Hitherto, the process had been mechanical, and the sue- 
cess about as great as teaching a very knowing dog a variety 
of tricks. The poor child had sat in mute amazement, and 
patiently imitated everything her teacher did ; but now the 
truth began to flash upon her : her intellect began to work : 
she perceived that here wms a way by which siie could herself 
make up a sign of anything that was in htr own mind, and 
shov/ it to another mind ; and at once her countenance lighted 



up with a human expression : it was no longer a dog, or parrot : 
it was an immortal spirit, eagerly seizing upon a new link of 
union with other spirits ! I could almost fix upon the momerit 
when this truth dawned upon her mind, and spread its light 
to her countenance ; I saw that the great obstacJe was over- 
come ; and that henceforward nothing but patient and perse- 
vering, but plain and straightforward, efforts were to be used. 

" The result thus far, is quickly related, and easily con- 
ceived ; but not so was the process ; for many weeks of ap- 
parently unprofitable labor were passed before it was effected. 

" When it was said above, that a sign was made, it was in- 
tended to say, that the action was performed by her teacher, 
she feeling his hands, and then imitating the motion. 

" The next step was to procure a set of metal types, v/ith 
the different letters of the alphabet cast upon their ends ; 
also a board, in which were square holes, into which holes 
slie could set the types ; so that the letters on their ends 
could alone be felt above the surface. 

"Then, on any article being handed to her, for instance, 
a pencil, or a watch, she would select the component letters, 
and arrange'them on her board, and read them with apparent 

" She was exercised for several weeks in this way, until 
her vocabulary became extensive ; and then the important 
step was taken of teaching her how to represent the different 
letters by the position of her fingers, instead of the cumbrous 
apparatus of the board and types. She accomplished this 
speedily and easily, for her intellect had begun to work in aid 
of her teacher, and her progress was rapid. 

" This was the period, about three months after she had 
commenced, that the first report of her case was made, in 
wliTch it was stated that ' she has just learned the manual 
alphabet, as used by the deaf mutes, and it is a subject of de- 
light and wonder to see how rapidly, correctly, and eagerly, 
she goes on with her labors. Her teacher gives her a new 
object, for instance, a pencil, first lets her examine it, and get 
an idea of its use, then teaches her how to spell it by mak- 
ing the signs for the letters with her own fingers : the child 
grasps her hand, and feels her fingers, as the different letters 
are formed ; she turns her head a little on one side like a per- 
son listening closely ; her lips are apart ; she seems scarcely 
to breathe ; and her countenance, at first anxious, gradually 
changes to a smile, as she comprehends the lesson. She then 


holds up her tiny fingers, and spells the word in the manual 
alphabet ; next, she takes her types and arranges her letters \ 
and last, to make sure that she is right, she takes the whole 
of the types composing the word, and places them upon or in 
contact with the pencil, or whatever the object may be.' 

" The whole of the succeeding year was passed in gratify- 
ing her eager inquiries for the names of every object which 
she could possibly handle ; in exercising her in the use of the 
manual alphabet ; in extending in every possible way her 
knowledge of the j^hysical relations of things ; and in proper 
care of her health. 

"At the end of the year a report of her case was made, 
from which the following is an extract. 

" ' It has been ascertained beyond the possibility of doubt, 
that she cannot see a ray of light, cannot hear the least sound, 
and never exercises her sense of smell, if she have any. Thus 
her mind dwells in darkness and stillness, as profound as that 
of a closed tomb at midnight. Of beautiful sights, and sweet 
sounds, and pleasant odors, she has no conception ; never- 
theless, she seems as happy and playful as a bird or a lamb ; 
and the employment of her intellectual faculties, or the ac- 
quirement of a new idea, gives her a vivid pleasure, which is 
plainly marked in her expressive features. She never seems 
to repine, but has all the buoyancy and gayety of childhood. 
She is fond of fun and frolic, and when playing with the rest 
of the children, her shrill laugh sounds loudest of the group. 

" ' When left alone, she seems very happy if she have her 
' knitting or sewing, and will busy herself for hours ; if she 
have no occupation, she evidently amuses herself by imaginary 
dialogues, or by recalling past impressions ; she counts with 
her fingers, or spells out names of things which she has re- 
cently learned, in the manual alphabet of the deaf mutes. "In 
this lonely self-communion she seems to reason, reflect, and 
argue ; if she spell a word wrong with the fingers of her right 
hand, she instantly strikes it with her left, as her teacher 
does, in sign of disapprobation ; if right, then she pats her- 
self upon the head, and looks pleased. She sometimes pur- 
posely spells a word wrong with the left hand, looks roguish for 
a moment and laughs, and then with the right hand strikes 
the left, as if to correct it. 

" * During the year she has attained great dexterity in the 
use of the manual alphabet of the deaf mutes ; and she spells 
out the words and sentences which she knows, so fast and so 

BOSTON. 619 

deftly, that only those accustomed to this language can fol- 
low with the eye the rapid motions of her fingers. 

" 'But wonderful as is the rapidity with which she writes 
her thoughts upon the air, still more so is the ease and ac- 
curacy with which she reads the words thus written by another ; 
grasping their hands in hers, and following ever}^ movement 
of their fingers, as letter after letter conveys their meaning 
to her mind. It is in this way that she converses with her 
blind playmates, and nothing can more forcibly show the 
power of mind in forcing matter to its purpose than a meeting 
between them. For if great talent and skill are necessary for 
two pantomimes to paint their thoughts and feelings by the 
movements of the body, and the expression of the counte- 
nance, how much greater the difficulty when darkness shrouds 
them both, and the one can hear no sound. 

*' ' When Laura is walking through a passage-way, with 
her hands spread before her, she knows instantly every one 
she m.eets, and passes them with a sign of recognition : but 
if it be a girl of her own age, and especially if it be one of her 
favorites, there is instantly a bright sm.ile of recognition, i?, 
twining of arms, a grasping of hands, and a swift telegraph^ 
ing upon the tiny fingers ; whose rapid evolutions convey thv; 
thoughts and feelings from the outposts of one mind to those 
of the other. There are questions and answers, exchanges 
of joy or sorrow, there are hissings and partings, just as be- 
tween little children with all their senses.' 

" During this year, and six months after she had left home, 
her mother came to visit her, and the scene of their meeting 
was an interesting one. 

" The mother stood some time, gazing with overflowing 
eyes upon her unfortunate child, who, all unconscious of her 
presence, was playing about the room. Presently Laura ran 
against her, and at once began feeling her hands, examining 
her dress, and trying to find out if she knew her ; but not 
succeeding in this, she turned away as from a stranger, and 
the poor woman could not conceal the pang she felt, at find- 
ing that her beloved child did not know her. 

" She then gave Laura a string of beads which she used to 
wear at home, which were recognized by the child at once, who, 
with much joy, put thenj around her neck, and sought me 
eagerly to say she understood the-String was from her home. 

" The mother now sought to caress her, but poor Laura 
repelled her, preferring to be v/ith her acquaintances. 

6 2 o ^ M ERICA N NQ TES. 

" Another article from home was nov/ given her, and she 
began to look much interested ; she examined the stranger 
much closer, and gave me to understand tliat she knew she 
came from Hanover ; she even endured her caresses, but 
v\^ould leave her with indifference at the slightest signal. The 
distress of the mother was now painful to behold ; for, al- 
though she had feared that she should not be recognized, the 
painful reality of being treated with cold indifference by a 
darling child, was too much for woman's nature to bear. 

" After a while, on the mother taking hold of her again, a 
vague idea seemed to flit across Laura's mind, th^t this could 
not be a stranger ; she therefore felt her hands very eagerly, 
while her countenance assumed an expression of intense in- 
terest ; she became very pale ; and then suddenly red ; hope 
seemed struggling with doubt and anxiety, and never were 
contending emotions more strongly painted upon the human 
face : at this moment of painful uncertainty, the mother drew 
her close to her side, and kissed her fondly, when at once 
the truth flashed upon the child, and all mistrust and anxiety 
disappeared from her face, as with an expression of exceed- 
ing joy she eagerly nestled to the bosom of her parent, and 
yielded herself to her fond embraces. 

" After this, the beads were all unheeded ; the playthings 
wliich were offered to her were utterly disregarded ; lier play- 
mates, for whom but a moment before she gladly left the 
stranger, now vainly strove to pull her from her mother ; and 
though she yielded her usual instantaneous obedience to my 
signal to follow me, it was evidently with painful reluctance. 
She clung close to me, as if bewildered and fearful ; and 
when, after a moment, I took her to her mother, she sprang 
to her arms, and clung to her with eager joy. 

" The subsequent parting between them, showed alike the 
affection, the intelligence, and the resolution of the child. 

" Laura accompanied her mother to the door, clinging, 
close to her all the wa3% until they arri\ed at the threshold, 
where she paused, and felt around, to ascertain who was near 
her. Perceiving the matron, of whom she is very fond, she 
grasped her with one hand, holding on convulsively to her 
mother with the other; and thus she stood for a moment : tlien 
she dropped her mother's hand ; put her handkerchief to her 
eyes ; and turning round, clung sobbing to the matron ; while 
her mother departed, with emotions as deep as those of her child 


BO.STCV. 621 

"It has been remarked in former reports, that she can dis- 
tmguish different degrees of intellect in others, and that she 
soon regarded, almost with contempt, a newcomer, when, 
after a few days, she discovered her weakness of mind. This 
unamiable part of her character has been more strongly de- 
veloped during the past year. 

" She chooses for her friends and companions, those chil- 
dren who are intelligent, and can talk best with her ; and she 
evidently dislikes to be with those who are deficient in intel- 
lect, unless, indeed, she can make them serve her purposes, 
which she is evidently inclined to do. She takes advantage 
of them, and makes them v/ait upon her, in a manner that she 
knows she could not exact of others ; and in various ways 
shows her Saxon blood. 

" She is fond of having other children noticed and caressed 
by the teachers, and those whom she respects ; but this must 
not be carried too far, or she becomes jealous. She wants to 
have her share, which, if not the lion's, is the greater part ; 
and if she does not get it, she says, ' My mother will love ■me.'' 

" Her tendency to imitation is so strong, that it leads her 
to actions which must be entirely incomprehensible to her, and 
which can give her no other pleasure than the gratification of 
an internal faculty. She has been known to sit for half an 
hour, holding a book before her sightless eyes, and moving 
her lips, as she has observed seeing people do when reading. 

" She one clay pretended that her doll was sick ; and went 
through all the motions of tending it, and giving it medicine ; 
she then put it carefully to bed, and placed a bottle of hot 
water to its feet, laughing all the time most heartily. When I 
came home, she insisted upon my going to see it, and feel its 
pulse ; and when I told her to put a blister on its back, she 
seemed to enjpy it amazingly, and almost screamed Vv-ith de- 
light. ^. . . " 

" Her social feelings, and her affections, are very strong; 
and when she is sitting at v/ork, or at her studies, by the side 
of one of her little friends, she will break off from her task 
every few moments, to hug and kiss them with an earnestness 
and warmth that is toucliing to behold. 

''When left alone, she occupies and apparently amuses 
herself, and seems quite contented ; and so strong seems to 
be the natural tendency of thought to put on the garb of lan- 
guage, that she often soliloquizes in the/tjiger language^ slow 
and tedious as it is But it is onlv when alone, that she is 

522 AMER/CAA .\ O n-.S. 

quiet : for if she becomes sensible of the presence of any one 
near her, she is restless until she can sit close beside them, 
hold their hand, and converse with them by signs. 

'■' In her intellectual character it is pleasing to observe an 
insatiable thirst for knowledge, and a quick perception of the 
relations of things. In her moral character, it is beautiful to 
behold her continual gladness, her keen enjoyment of exist- 
ence, her expansive love, her unhesitating confidence, her 
svmpathy with suffering, her conscientiousness, truthfulness, 
and hopefulness." 

Such are a few fragments from the simple but most inter- 
esting and instructive history of Laura Bridgman. The name 
of her great benefactor and friend, who writes it, is Doctor 
Howe. There are not many persons, I hope and believe, 
who, after reading these passages, can ever hear that name 
with indifference. 

A further account has been published by Dr. Howe, since 
tlie report from which I have just quoted. It describes her 
rajDid mental growth and improvement during twelve months 
more, and brings her little history down to the end of last 
year. It is very remarkable, that as we dream in words, and 
carry on imaginary conversations, in which we speak both for 
ourselves and for the shadows who appear, to us in those vis- 
ions of the night, so she, having no words, uses her finger 
alphabet in her sleep. And it has been ascertained that when 
her slumber is broken, and is much disturbed by dreams, she 
expresses her thoughts in an irregular and confused manner 
on her lingers : just as we should murmur and mutter them 
indistinctly, in the like circumstances. 

I turned over the leaves of her Diary, and found it written 
in a fair legible square hand, and expressed in terms which 
were quite intelligible without any explanation. On my say- 
ing that I should like to see her write again, tlie teacher wlio 
sat beside her, bade her, in their language, sign her name 
upon a slip of paper, twice or thrice. In doing so, I observed 
that she kept her left hand always touching, and following up, 
her right, in which, of course, she held the pen. No line v/as 
indicated by any contrivance, but she wrote straight and 

She had, until now, been quite unconscious of the presence 
of visitors ; but, having her hand placed in that of the gentle- 
man who accompanied me, she immediately expressed his 
name upon her teacher's palm. Indeed her sense of touch is 



now so exquisite, that having been acquainted with a person 
once, she can recognize him or her after ahiiost any interval. 
This gentleman had been in her company, I iDelieve, but very 
seldom, and certainly had not seen her for many months. My 
hand she rejected at once, as she does that of any man who 
is a stranger to her. But she retained my wife's with evident 
pleasure, kissed her, and examined her dress with a girl's 
curiosity and interest. 

She v/as merry and cheerful, and showed much innocent 
playfulness in her intercourse with her teacher. Her delight 
on recognizing a favorite playfellow and companion — herself 
a blind girl — who silently, and with an equal enjoyment of the 
coming surprise, took a seat beside her, was beautiful to v.'it- 
ness. It elici!:ed from her at first, as other slight circum- 
stances did twice or thrice during my visit, an uncouth noise 
which was rather painful to hear. But on her teacher touch- 
ing her lips, she immediately desisted, and embraced her laugh- 
ingly and affectionately. 

I had previously been into another chamber, where a 
number of blind boys were swinging, and climbing, and en- 
gaged in various sports. They all clamored, as we entered, to 
the assistant-master, who accompanied us, " Look at me, Mr. 
Hart ! Please, Mr. Hart, look at me ! " evincing, I thought, 
even in this, an anxiety peculiar to their condition, that their 
little feats of agility should be see^i. Among them was a 
small laughing fellow, who stood aloof, entertaining himself 
with a gymnastic exercise for bringing the arms and chest 
into play; which he enjoyed mightily; especially when, in 
thrusting out his right arm, he brought it into contact with 
another boy. Like Laura Bridgman, this young child was 
deaf, and dumb, and blind. 

Dr. Howe's account of this pupil's first instruction is so 
ver)^ striking, and so intimately connected with Laura herself, 
that I cannot refrain from a short extract. I may premise 
that the poor boy's name is Oliver Caswell ; that he is thir- 
te&n years of age ; and that he was in full possession of all 
his faculties, until three years and four months old. He was 
then attacked by scarlet fever ; in four weeks became deaf ; 
in a few weeks more, blind ; in six months, dumb. Lie showed 
his anxious sense of this last deprivation, by often feeling the 
the lips of other persons when they were talking, and then 
putting his hand upon his own, as if to assume himself that 
he had them in the right position. 



" His thirst for Imowledge," says Dr. Ho\ve, "proclaimed 
itself as soon as he entered the house, by his eager examina- 
tion of every thing he could feel or smell in his new location. 
For instance, treading upon the register of a furnace, lie in- 
stantly stooped dov/n, and began to feel it, and soon dis- 
covered the way in which the upper plate moved upon the 
lower one ; but this was not enough for him, so lying down upon 
his face, he applied his tongue first to one, then to the other, 
and seemed to discover that they were of different kinds of 

" His signs were expressive : and the strictly natural lan- 
guage, laughing, crying, sighing, kissing, embracing, &c., was 

" Some of the analogical signs which (guided by his faculty 
of imitation) he had contrived, were comprehensible ; such as 
the waving motion of his hand. for the motion of a boat, the 
circular one for a wheel, &c. 

" The first object was to break up the use of these signs 
and to substitute for them the use of purely arbitrary ones. 

" Profiting by the experience I had gained in the other 
cases, I omitted several steps of the process before employed, 
and commenced at once with the finger language. Taking 
therefore, several articles having short names, such as key, 
cup, mug, &c., and with Laura for an auxiliary, I sat down, 
and taking his hand, placed it upon one of them, and then 
v.'ith my own, made the letters k ey. He felt my hands eagerly 
with both of his, and on nry repeating the process, he evi- 
dently tried to imitate the motions of my fingers. In a few 
minutes he contrived to feel the motions of my fingers with 
,one hand, .and holding out the other he tried to imitate them, 
laughing most heartily when he succeeded. Laura was by, 
interested even to agitation ; and the two presented a singular 
sight : her face was flushed and anxious, and her fingers twin- 
ing in among ours so closely as to follow every motion, but so 
lightly as not to embarrass them ; while Oliver stood atten- 
tive, his head a little aside, his face turned up, his left hand 
grasping mine, and his right held out : at every motion of my 
fingers his countenance betokened keen attention ; there was 
an expression of anxiety as he tried to imitate the motions ; 
then a smile came stealing out as he thought he could do 
so, and spread into a joyous laugh the moment he succeeded, 
and felt me pat his head, and Laura clap him heartily upon 
the back, and jump up and down in her joy. 



" He learned more than a half-dozen letters in half an hour, 
and seemed delighted with his success, at least in gaining ap- 
probation. His attention then began to flag, and I com- 
menced playing with him. It was evident that in all this he 
had merely been imitating the motions of my fingers, and 
placing his hand upon the key, cup, &c., as part of the pro- 
cess, without any perception of the relation between the sign 
and the object. 

" When he was tired with jDlay I took him back to the 
table, and he was quite ready to begin again his process of 
imitation. He soon learned to make the letters for key, pen, 
pin ; and by having the object repeatedly placed in his hand, 
he at last perceived the relation i wished to establish between 
them. This was evident, because, when I made the letters 
pin, or pen, or cup, he v/ould select the article. 

" The perception of this relation was not accompanied by 
that radiant flash of intelligence, and that glow of joy, which 
marked the delightful moment when Laura first perceived it. 
I then placed all the articles on the table, and going away a 
little distance with the children, placed Oliver's fingers in the 
positions to spell key, on which Laura went and brought the 
article : the little fellow seemed much amused by this, and 
looked very attentive and smiling. I then caused him to make 
the letters bread, and in an instant Laura went and brought 
him a piece : he smelled at it ; put it to his lips ; cocked up 
his head with" a most knowing look ; seemed to reflect a mo- 
ment ; and the laughed outright, as much as to say, ' Aha ! I 
understand nov/ how something may be made out of this.' 

" Tl vv^as now clear that he had the capacity and inclina- 
tion to learn, that he was a proper subject for instruction, and 
needed only persevering attention. I therefore put him in the 
hands of an intelligent teacher, nothing doubting of his rapid 

Well may this gentleman call thai; a delightful moment, in 
which some distant promise of her present state first gleamed 
upon the darkened mind of Laura Bridgman. Throughout 
his life, the recollection of that moment Vvill be to him a 
source of pure, unfading happiness ; nor will it shine less 
brightly on the evening of his days of Noble Usefulness. 

The affection v/hich exists between these two — the master 
and the pupil — is as far removed from all ordinary care and 
regard, as the circumstances in which it has had its growth, 
arc apart from the common occurrences of life. He is occu-. 



pied now, in devising means of imparting to her, higher knowl- 
edge ; and of conveying to her some adequate idea of the 
Great Creator of that universe in which, dark and silent and 
scentless though it be to her, she has such deep delight and 
glad enjoyment. 

Ye who have eyes and see not, and have ears and hear 
not ; ye who are as the hypocrites of sad countenances, and 
disfigure your faces that ye may seem unto men to fast ; learn 
healthy cheerfulness, and mild contentment, from the deaf, 
and dumb, and blind ! Self-elected saints with gloomy brows, 
this sightless, earless, voiceless child may teach you lessons 
you will do well to follow. Let that poor hand of hers lie 
gently on your hearts ; for there may be som.ething in its heal- 
ing touch akin .to that of the Great Master whose precepts 
you misconstrue, whose lessons you prevent, of whose charity 
and sympathy with all the world, not one among you in his 
daily practice knows as much as many of the worst among 
those fallen sinners, to whom you are liberal in nothing but 
the preachment of perdition ! 

As I rose to quit the room, a pretty little child of one of 
the attendants came running in to greet its father. For the 
moment, a child with eyes, among the sightless crowd, im- 
pressed me almost as painfully as the blind boy in the porch 
had done, tv/o hours ago. Ah ! how much brighter and more 
deeply blue, glowing and rich though it had been before, was 
the scene without, contrasting with the darkness of so many 
youthful lives within ! 

At South Boston, as it is called, in a situation excellently 
adapted for the purpose, several charitable institutions are 
clustered together. One of these, is the State Hospital for 
the insane ; admirably conducted on those enlightened prin- 
ciples of conciliation and kindness, which twenty years ago 
would have been worse than heretical, and which have been 
acted upon with so much success in our ov/n pauper Asylum 
at Hanwell. " Evince a desire to show some confidence, and 
repose some trust, even in mad people," said the resident 
physician, as we walked along the galleries, his patients flock- 
ing round us unrestrained. Of those who deny or doubt the 
wisdom of this maxim after witnessing its effects, if there be 
such people still alive, I can only say that I hope I may 
never be summoned as a Juryman on a Commission of Lunacy 
whereof they are the subjects ; for I should certainly find 
them out of their senses, on sucli evidence aldne. 



Each ward in tliis institution is shaped like a long gallery 
or hall, with the dormitories of the patients opening from it 
on either hand. Here they work, read, play at skittles, and 
other games ; and when the weather does not admit of theii 
taking exercise out of doors, pass the day together. In one 
of these rooms, seated, calmly, and quite as a matter of 
course, among a throng of mad-women, black and white, 
were the physician's wife and another lady, with a couple oi 
children. These ladies were graceful and handsome ; and it 
was not difficult to perceive at a glance that even their pres- 
ence there, had a highly beneficial influence on the patients 
who were grouped about them. 

Leaning her head against the chimney-piece, with a great 
assumption of dignity and refinement of manner, sat an 
elderly female, in as many scraps of finery as Madge Wildfire 
herself. Her head in particular was so strewn with scraps of 
gauze and co,tton and bits of paper, and had so many queer 
odds and ends stuck all about it, that it looked like a bird's- 
nest. She was radiant with imaginary jewels ; wore a rich 
pair of undoubted gold spectacles ; and gracefully dropped 
upon her lap, as we approached, a very old greasy newspaper, 
in which I dare say she had been reading an account of her 
own presentation at some Foreign Court. 

I have been thus particular in describing her, because she 
will serve to exemplify the physician's manner of acquiring 
and retaining the confidence of his patients. 

^' This," he said aloud, taking me by the hand, and ad- 
vancing to the fantastic figure with great politeness — ncC 
raising her suspicions by the slightest look or whisper, or any 
kind of aside, to me : " This lady is the hostess of this man- 
sion, sir. It belongs to her. Nobody else has anything 
whatever to do with it. It is a large establishment, as yoq 
see, and requires a great number of attendants. She lives, 
you observe, in the veiy first style. She is kind enough to 
receive my visits, and to permit my wife and family to reside 
here ; for which it is hardly necessary to say, we are much 
indebted to her. She is exceedingly courteous, you per- 
ceive," on this hint she bowed condescendingly, " and will 
penmit me to have the pleasure of introducing you : a gentle- 
man from England, Ma'am : newly arrived from England, 
after a very tempestuous passage : Mr. Dickens, — the lady 
of the house ! " 

We exchanged the most dignified salutations with pro- 

(,2S ''^' VI ERICA A ' A 'O 7 'ES. 

found gravity and respect, and so went on. The rest of the 
madwomen seemed to understand the joke perfectly (not 
only in this case, but in all the others, except their own), and 
be highly amused by it. The nature of their several kinds of 
insanity was made known to me in the same way, and we 
left each of them in high good-humor. Not only is a 
thorough confidence established, by those means, between 
the physician and patient, in respect of the nature and extent 
of their hallucinations, but it is easy to understand that op- 
portunities are afforded for seizing any moment of reason, to 
startle them by placing their own delusion before them in its 
most incongruous and ridiculous light. 

Every patient in this asylum sits down to dinner every 
day with a knife and fork ; and in the midst of them sits the 
gentleman, whose manner of dealing Avith his charges, I have 
just described. At every meal, moral influence alone re- 
strains the more violent among them from cutting the throats 
of the rest ; but the effect of that influence is reduced to an 
absolute certainty, and is found, even as a means of restraint, 
to say nothing of it as a means of cure, a hundred times 
more efficacious than all the strait-waistcoats, fetters,"^ and 
hand-cuffs, that ignorance, prejudice, and cruelty have manu- 
factured since the creation of the world. 

In the labor department, every patient is as freely trust.ed 
with the tools of his trade as if he were a sane man. In the 
gaiden, and on the farm, they work with spades, rakes and 
hoes. For amusement, they walk, run, fish, paint, read, and 
ride out to take the air in carriages provided for the purpose. 
They have among themselves a sewing society to make 
clothes for the poor, which holds meetings, passes resolu- 
tions, never comes to iisty-cuffs or bowie-knives as sane as- 
semblies ha\e been known to do elsewhere ; and conducts all 
its proceedings with the greatest decorum. The irritability, 
v/hich would otlierwise be expended on their own flesh, clothes, 
and furniture, is dissipated in these pursuits. They are cheer- 
fui, tranquil, and healthy. 

Once a week they ha\ e a ball, in which the Doctor and 
his fannly, with all the nurses and attendants, take an active 
paiu Dances and marches are performed alternately, to the 
enli\ening strains of a piano; and now and then some gentle- 
man or lady (whose proficiency has been previously ascer- 
tained) obliges the company with a song : nor does it ever 
degenerate, at a tender crisis, into a screech or howl ; wherein, 

BOSjX^X. 629 

1 must confess, I should have tliought the danger lay. At 
an early hour they all meet together for these festive pur- 
poses ; at eight o'clock refreshments are served ; and at nine 
they separate. 

Immense politeness and good -breeding are observed 
throughout. They all take their tone from the Doctor ; and 
he moves a very Chesterfield among the company. Like 
other assemblies, these entertainments afford a fruitful topic 
of conversation among the ladies for some days ; and the 
gentlemen are so anxious to shine on these occasions, that 
they have been sometimes found " practising their steps " in 
private, to cut a more distinguished figure in the dance. 

It is obvious that one great feature of this system, is the 
inculcation and encouragement, even among such unhappy 
persons, of a decent self-respect. Something of the same 
spirit pervades all the Institutions at South Boston. 

There is the House of Industry. In that branch of it, 
which is devoted to the reception of old or otherwise helpless 
paupers, these words are painted on the walls : *' Worthy of 
Notice. Self-Government, Quietude, and Peace, are 
Blessings." It is not assumed and taken for granted that 
being there they mxust be evil-disposed and wicked people, 
before whose vicious eyes it is necessary to flourish threats 
and harsh restraints. They are met at the very threshold 
with this mild appeal. All within-doors is very plain and 
simple, as it ought to be, but arranged with a view to peace 
and comfort. It costs no more than any other plan of ar- 
rangement, but it speaks an amount of consideration for 
those who are reduced to seek a shelter there, which puts 
them at once upon, their gratitude and good behavior. In- 
stead of being parcelled out in great, long rambling wards 
where a certain amount of weazen life may mope, and pine, 
and shiver, all day long, the building is divided into separate 
rooms, each with its share of light and air. In these, the 
better kind of paupers live. They have a motive for exertion 
and becoming pride, in the desire to make these little cham- 
bers comfortable and decent. 

I do not remember one but it was clean and neat, and 
had its plant or two upon the window-sill, or row of crockery 
upon the shelf, or small display of colored prints upon the 
whitewashed wall, or, perhaps, its wooden clock behind the 

The orphans and young children are in an adjoining 


building ; separate from this, but a part of the same Institu- 
tion. Some are such little creatures, that the stairs of Lilli- 
putian measurement, fitted to their tiny strides. The same 
consideration for their years and weakness is expressed in 
their very seats, which are perfect curiosities, and look like 
articles of furntuire for a pauper doll's, house. I can imagine 
the glee of our Poor Law Commissioners at the notion of these 
seats having arms and backs ; but small spines being of 
older date than their occupation of the Board-room at Som- 
erset House, I thought even this provision verv merciful and 

Here again, I was greatly j^leased with the inscriptions on 
the wall, which were scraps of plain moralit}', easily remem- 
bered and understood : such as " Love one another " — " God 
remembers the smallest creature in his creation : " and straight- 
forward advice of that nature. The books and tasks of these 
smallest of scholars, were adapted, in the same judicious m^an- 
ner, to their childish powers. Vv'hen we had examined these 
lessons, four morsels of girls (of whom one v/as blind) sang 
a little song, about the merry month of Ma}-, which I thought 
(being extremely dismal) would have suited an English iVo- 
vember better. That done, we went to see the sleeping-rooms 
on the floor above^ in which the arrangements were no less 
excellent and gentle than those we had seen below. And after 
observing that the teachers were of a class and character 
well suited to the spirit of the place, I took leave of the 
infants with a lighter heart than ever I have taken leave of 
pauper infants yet. 

Connected with the House of Industry, there is also an 
Hospital, which was in the best order, and had, I am glad to 
say, many beds unoccupied. It had one fault, however, which 
is common to all American interiors : the presence of the 
eternal, accursed, suffocating, red-hot demon of a stove, whose 
breath would blight the purest air under Heaven. 

There are two establishments for boys in this same neigh- 
borhood. One is called the Boylston school, and is an asylum 
for neglected and indigent boys who have committed no crime, 
but who in the ordinary course of things would very soon be 
purged of that distinction if they were not taken from the hun- 
gry streets and sent here. The other is a House of Reforma- 
tion for Juvenile Offenders. They are both under the same 
roof, but the two classes of boys never come in contact. 

Tlie Boylston boys-,- as may be readily supposed, have very 

SOSTO.V. 631 

much the advantage of the others in point of personal appear- 
ance. They were in their school-room when I came upon 
them, and answered correctly, v/ithout book, such questions as 
where was England ; how far was it ; what was its population ; 
its capital city ; its form of government ; and so fortn. They 
sang a song too, about a farmer sowing his seed : with corre- 
sponding action at such parts as "'tis thus he sows," "he 
turns him round," "he claps his hands ;" which gave it 
greater interest for them, and accustomed them to act together, 
in an orderly manner. They appeared exceedingly well-taught, 
and not better taught than fed ; for a more chubby-looking 
fuU-waistcoated set of boys, I never saw. 

The juvenile offenders had not such pleasant faces by a 
great deal, and in this establishment there were many boys of 
color. I saw them first at their work (basket-making, and the 
manufacture of palm-leaf hats), afterwards in their school, 
where they sang a chorus in praise of Liberty : an odd, and, 
one would think, rather aggravating, theme for prisoners. 
These boys are divided into four classes, each denoted by a 
numeral, Vv^orn on a badge upon the arm. On the arrival of a 
newcomer, he is put into the fourth or lowest class, and left, 
by good behavior, to work his way up into the first. The de- 
sign and object of this Institution is to reclaim the youthful 
criminal by firm but kind and judicious treatment ; to make 
his prison a place of purification and improvement, not of 
demoralization and corruption ; to impress upon him that 
there is but one path, and that one sober industry, which can 
ever lead him to happiness ; to teach him how it may be 
trodden, if his footsteps have never yet been led that way ; 
and to lure him back to it if they have strayed : in a word, to 
snatch him from destruction, and restore him to society a pen- 
itent and useful member. The importance of such an estab- 
lishment, in every point of view, and with reference to every 
consideration cf humanity and social policy, requires no com- 

One other establishment closes the catalogue. It is the 
House of Correction for the State, in which silence is strictly 
maintained, but where the prisoners have the comfort and 
mental relief of seeing each other, and of working together. 
This is the improved system of Prison Discipline which we 
have imported into England, and which has been in successful 
operation among us for some years past. 

America, as a new and ndt over-pbpXilated country, has in 



all her prisons, the one great advantage, of being enabled to 
find useful and profitable work for the inmates ; whereas, with 
us the prejudice against prison labor is naturally very strong, 
and almost insurmountable, when honest men who have not 
offended against the laws are frequently doomed to seek em- 
ployment in vain. Even in the United States, the principle 
of bringing convict labor and free labor into a competition 
which must obviously be to the disadvantage of the latter, has 
already found many opponents, whose number is not likely to 
diminish with access of years. 

For this very reason though, our best prisons would seem at 
the first glance to be better conducted than those of America. 
The treadmill is conducted with little or no noise ; five hun- 
dred men may pick oakum in the same room, without a sound ; 
and both kinds of labor admit of such keen and vigilant super- 
intendence, as will render even a word of personal communi- 
cation amongst the prisoners almost impossible. On the 
other hand, the noise of the loom, the forge, the carpenter's 
hammer, or the stonemason's saw, greatly favor those oppor- 
tunities of intercourse — hurried and brief no doubt, but oppor- 
tunities still — which these several kinds of work, by rendering 
it necessary for men to be employed very near to each other, 
and often side by side, without any barrier or partition between 
them, in their very nature present. A visitor, too, requires to 
reason and reflect a little, before the sight of a number of men 
engaged in ordinary labor, such as he is accustomed to out of 
doors, will impress him half as strongly as the contemplation 
of the same persons in the same place and garb would, if they 
were occupied in some task, marked and degraded everywhere 
as belonging only to felons in jails. In an American State 
prison or house of correction, I found it difficult at first to 
persuade myself that I was really in a jail : a place of ignomin- 
ious punishment and endurance. And to this hour I very 
much question whether the humane boast that it is not like 
one, has its root in the true wisdom or philosophy of the 

I hope I may not be misunderstood on this subject, for it 
is one in which I take a strong and deep interest. I incline 
as little to the sickly feeling which makes every canting lie or 
maudlin speech of a notorious criminal a subject of newspaper 
report and general sympathy, as I do to those good old cus- 
toms of the good old times which made England, even so 
recently as in the reign of the Third King George, in respect 

BOSTON. 633 

of her criminal code and her prison regulations, one of the 
most bloody-minded and barbarous countries on the earth. 
If I thought it would do any good to the rising generation, I 
would cheerfully give mv consent to the disinterment of the 
bones of any genteel Iiighwayman (the more genteel, the more 
cheerfully), and to their exposure, piecemeal, on any sign-post, 
gate, or gibbet, that might be deemed a good elevation for the 
purpose. My reason is as well convinced that these gentry 
were as utterly worthless and debauched villains, as it is that 
the laws and jails hardened them in their evil courses, or that 
their wonderful escapes were effected by the prison-turnkeys 
who, in those admirable days, had always been felons them^ 
selves, and were, to the last, their bosom friends and pot-com- 
panions. At the same time I know, as all men do or should, 
that the subject of Prison Discipline is one of the highest im- 
portance to any community ; and that in her sweeping reform 
and bright example to other countries on this head, America has 
shown great wisdom, great benevolence, and exalted policy. In 
contrasting her system with that which we have modelled upon 
it, I merely seek to shov/ that with all its drawbacks, ours has 
some advantages of its own. 

The House of Correction which has led to these remarks, 
is not walled, like other prisons, but is palisaded round about 
with tall rough stakes, something after the manner of an en^ 
closure for keeping elephants in, as we see it represented in 
Eastern prints and pictures. The prisoners wear a parti- 
colored dress \ and those who are sentenced to hard labor, 
work at nail-making, or stone-cutting. When I was there, the 
latter class of laborers were employed upon the stone for a 
new custom-house in course of erection at Boston. They 
appeared to shape it skilfully and with expedition, though 
there were very few among them (if any) who had not acquired 
the art within the prison gates. 

The women, all in one large room, were employed in 
making liglit clothing, for New Orleans and the Southern 
States. They did their work in silence like the men j and 
Jike them were overlooked by the person contracting for their 
labor, or by some agent of his appointment. In addition to 
this, they are every moment liable to be visited by the prison 
officers appointed for that purpose. 

The arrangements for cooking, washing of clothes, and so 
forth, are much upon the plan of those I have seen at home. ^ 
Their mode of bestowing the prisoners at night (which is of 


general adoption) cUiTers from ours, and is both simple and 
effective. In the centre of a lofty area, lighted by windows in 
the four walls, are five tiers of cells, one above the other; 
each tier having before it a light iron gallery, attainable by 
stairs of the same construction and material : excepting the 
lower one, which is on the ground. Behind these, back to 
back with them and facing the opposite wall, are five corre- 
sponding rows of cells, accessible by similar means : so that 
supposing the prisoners locked up in their cells, an officer 
stationed on the ground, with his back to the wall, has half 
their number under his eye at once ; the remaining half being 
equally under the observation of another officer on the oppo- 
site side ; and all in one great apartment. Unless this watch 
be corrupted or sleeping on his post, it is impossible for a 
man to escape ; for even in the event of his forcing the iron 
door of his cell without noise (which is exceedingly improba- 
ble), the moment he appears outside, and steps into that one 
of the five galleries on which it is situated, he must be plainly 
and fully visible to the officer below^ Each of these cells 
holds a small truckle bed, in which one prisoner sleeps ; 
never more. It is small, of course '; and the door being not 
solid, but grated, and without blind or curtain, the prisoner 
within is at all times exposed to the observation and inspec- 
tion of any guard who may pass along that tier at any hour or 
minute of the night. Every day, the prisoners receive their 
dinner, singly, through a trap in the kitchen wall ; and each 
man carries his to his sleeping cell to eat it, where he is locked 
up, alone, for that purpose, one hour. The whole of this 
arrangement struck me as being admirable ; and I hope that 
the next new prison we erect in England may be built on this 

I was given to understand that in this prison no swords 
or lire-arms, or even cudgels, are kept; nor is it probable 
that, so long as its present excellent management continues, 
any weapon, offensive or defensive, will ever be required 
within its bounds. 

Such are the Institutions at South Boston ! In all of them, 
the unfortunate or degenerate citizens of the State are care- 
fully instructed in their duties both to God and man ; are 
surrounded by all reasonable means of comfort and happiness 
that their condition will admit of ; are appealed to, as menv 
bers of the great human family, however afflicted, indigent, or 
tallen ; are ruled by the - strong Heart, and not by the strong 

BOSTON. 635 

(though immeasurably weaker) Hand. I have described them 
at some length ; firstly, because their worth demanded it ; 
and secondly, because I mean to take them for a model, and 
to content myself with saying of others we may come to, 
whose design and purpose are the same, that in this or that 
respect they practically fail, or differ. 

T wish by. this account of them, imperfect in its execution, 
but in its just intention, honest, I could hope to convey to my 
readers one-hundredth part of the gratification, the sights I 
have described, afforded me. 

lb an Englishman, accustomed to the paraphernalia of 
Westminster Hall, an American Court of Law, is as odd a sight 
as, I suppose, an English Court of Law would be to an American. 
Except in the Supreme Court at Washington (where the judges 
wear a plain black robe), there is no such thing as a wig or 
gown connected with the administration of justice. The gen- 
tleman of the bar being barristers and attorneys too (for there 
is no division of those functions as in England) are no more 
removed from their clients than attorneys in our Court for the 
Relief of Insolvent Debtors are, from theirs. The jury are 
quite at home, and make themselves as comfortable as cir- 
cumstances will permit. The witness is so little elevated 
above, or put aloof from, the crowd in the court, that a 
stranger entering during a pause in the proceedings would 
find it difficult to pick him out from the rest. And if it 
chanced to be a criminal trial, his eyes, in nine cases out of 
ten, would wander to the dock in search of the prisoner, in 
vain ; for that gentleman would most likely be lounging 
among the most distinguished ornaments of the legal profes- 
sion, whispering suggestions in his counsePs ear, or making a 
toothpick out of an old quill with his penknife. 

I could not but notice these differences, when I visited 
the courts at Boston. I was much surprised at first, too, to 
observe that the counsel who interrogated the witness under 
examination at the time, did so sitting. But seeing that lie 
was also occupied in writing down the answers, and remem- 
bering that he was alone and had no "junior," I quickly con- 
soled myself with the refiection that law was not quite so 
expensive an article here, as at home ; and that the absence 
of sundr)^ formalities whicii we regard as indispensable, had 
doubtless a very favorable influence upon the bill of costs. 

In ever}' Court, ample and commodious provision is made 

636 'i M ERICA X N07 ES. 

for the accommodation of the citizens. This is the case all 
through America. In every Public Institution, the right of 
the people to attend, and to have an interest in the proceed- 
ings, is most fully and distinctly recognized. There are no 
grim door-keepers to dole out their tardy civility by the six- 
penny-worth ; nor is there, I sincerely believe, any insolence 
of office of any kind. Nothing national is exhibited for 
money ; and no public officer is a showman. We have begun 
of late years to imitate this good example. I hope we shall 
continue to do so ; and that in the fulness of time, even deans 
and chapters may be converted. 

In the civil court an action was trying, for damages sus- 
tained in some accident upon a railway. The witnesses had 
been examined, and counsel was addressing the jury. The 
learned gentleman (like a few of his English brethren) was 
desperately long-winded, and had a remarkable capacity of 
saying the same thing over and over again. His great theme 
was " Warren the hAgine driver," whom he pressed into the 
service of every sentence he uttered. I listened to him for 
about a quarter of an hour ; and, coming out of court at the 
expiration of that time, without the faintest ray of enlightenment 
as to the merits of the case, felt as if I were at home again. 

In the prisoners' cell, waiting to be examined by the 
magistrate on a charge of theft, was a boy. This lad, instead 
of being committed to a common jail, would be sent to the 
asylum at South Boston, and there taught a trade ; and in 
the course of time he would be bound apprentice to some 
respectable master. Thus, his detection in this offence, 
instead of being the prelude to a life of infamy and a misera- 
ble death, would lead, there v/as a reasonable hope, to his 
being reclaimed from vice, and becoming a \vorthy member 
of society. 

I am by no means a v/holesale admirer of our legal 
solemnities, many of which impress me as being exceedingly 
ludicrous. wStrange as it may seem too, there is undoubtedly 
a degree of protection in the Vv^ig and gown — a dismissal of 
individual responsibility in dressing for the part — which en- 
courages that insolent bearing and language, and that gross 
perversion of the office of a pleader for The Truth, so fre- 
quent in our courts of law. Still, I cannot help doubting 
whether America, in her desire to shake off the absurdities 
and abuses of the old system, may not have gone too far into 
the opposite extreme ; and whether it is not desirable, espe* 

BOSTON. 637 

cially in the small community of a city like this, where each 
man knows the other, to surround the administration of jus- 
tice with some artificial barriers against the " Hail fellow, 
well met " deportment of everyday life. All the aid it can 
have in the very high character and ability of the Bench, not 
only here but elsewhere, it has, and well deserves to have; 
but it may need something more : not to impress the tbought- 
ful and the v/ell-informed, but the ignorant and heedless ; a 
class which includes some prisoners and many v/itnesses. 
These institutions were established, no doubt, upon the prin- 
ciple that those who had so large a share in making the laws, 
would certainly respect them. But experience has proved 
this hope to be fallacious ; for no men know better than the 
Judges of America, that on the occasion of any great popular 
excitement the law is powerless, and cannot, for the time, 
assert its own supremacy. 

The tone of society in Boston is one of perfect politeness, 
courtesy, and good breeding. The ladies are unquestionably 
very beautiful — in face ; but there I am compelled to stop. 
Their education is much as with us ; neither better nor worse. 
I had heard some very marvellous stories in this respect ; but 
not believing them, was not disappointed. Blue ladies there 
are, in Boston ; but like philosophers of that color and sex in 
most other latitudes, they rather desire to be thought superior 
than to be so. Evangelical ladies there are, likewise, whose 
attachment to the forms of religion, and horror of theatrical 
entertainments, are most exemplary. Ladies who have a 
passion for attending lectures are to be found among all 
classes and all conditions. In the kind of provincial life 
which prevails in cities such as this, the Pulpit has great in- 
fluence. The peculiar province of the Pulpit in New England 
(always excepting the Unitarian ministry) Avould appear to be 
the denouncement of all innocent and rational amusements. 
The church, the chapel, and the lecture-room, are the only 
means of excitement excepted ; and to the church, the chapel, 
and the lecture-room, the ladies resort in crowds. 

Wherever religion is resorted to, as a strong drink, and as 
an escape from the dull monotonous round of home, those of 
its ministers who pepper the highest will be the surest to 
please. They who strew the Eternal Path with the greatest 
amount of brimstone, and who most ruthlessly tread down 
the flowers and leaves that grow by the way-side, will be 
voted the most righteous \ and they who enlarge with the 


greatest pertinacity on the difficulty of getting into heaven, 
will be considered by all true believers certain of going there : 
though it v/ould be hard to say by what process of reasoning 
this conclusion is arrived at. It is so at home, and it is so 
abroad. With regard to the other means of excitement, the 
Lecture, it has at least the merit of being always new. One 
lecture treads so quickly on the heels of another, that none 
are remembered ; and the course of this month may be safely 
repeated next, with its charm of novelty unbroken, and its 
interest unabated. 

The fruits of the earth have their growth in corruption. 
Out of the rottenness of these things, there has sprung up in 
Boston a sect of philosophers known as Transcendentalists. 
On inquiring v^'hat this appellation might be supposed to 
signify, I was given to understand that whatever was unin- 
telligible would be certainly transcendental. Not deriving 
much comfort from this elucidation, I pursued the inquiry 
still further, and found that the Transcendentalists are fol- 
lowers oi my friend Mr. Carlyle, or I should rather say, of a 
follower of his, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. This gentleman 
has written a volume of Essays, in which, among much that is 
dreamy and fanciful (if he will pardon me for saying so), there 
is much more that is true and manly, honest and bold. 
Transcendentalism has its occasional vagaries (what school 
has not ?), but it has good healthful qualities in spite of them ; 
not least among the number a hearty disgust of Cant, and aji 
aptitude to detect her in all the million varieties of her ever- 
lasting wardrobe. And therefore if I were a Bostonian, I 
think I would be a Transcendentalist. 

The only preacher I heard in Boston was Mr. Taylor, who 
addresses himself peculiarly to seamen, and who was once a 
mariner himself. I found his chapel down among the ship- 
ping, in one of the narrow, old, water-side streets, with a gay 
blue flag waving freely from its roof. In the gallery opposite 
to the pulpit were a little choir of male and female singers, a 
violoncello, and a violin. The preacher already sat- in the 
pulpit, v/hich was raised on pillars, and ornamented behind 
him with painted drapery of a lively and somewhat theatrical 
appearance. Ele looked a weather-beaten hard-featured, 
of about six or eight and fifty ; witli deep lines graven as it 
were into his face, dark hair, and a stern, keen eye. Yet the 
general character of his countenance was pleasant and agree- 
able. The service commenced with a hymn, to which sue- 



ceecled an extemporary prayer. It had the fault of frequent 
repetition, incidental to all such prayers ; but it was plain 
and comprehensive in its doctrines, and breathed a tone of 
general sympathy and charity, which is not so commonly a 
characteristic of this form of address to the Deity as it might 
be. That done he opened his discourse, taking for his text a 
passage from the Songs of Solomon, laid upon the desk 
before the comm.encement of the service by some unknown 
member of the congregation: "Who is this coming up from 
the wilderness, leaning on the arm of her beloved ! " 

He handled his text in all kinds of ways, and twisted it 
into all manner of shapes; but always ingeniously, and with 
a rude eloquence, well-adapted to the comprehension of his 
hearers. Indeed if I be not mistaken, he studied their sym- 
pathies and understandings much more than the display of 
his own powers. His imager}' was all drawn from the sea, 
and from the incidents of a seaman's life ; and was often re- 
markably good. He spoke to them of '' that glorious man, 
Lord Nelson," and of Collingwood ; and drew nothing in, as 
the saying is, by the head and shoulders, but brought it to 
bear upon his purpose, naturally, and with a sharp mind to 
its effect. Sometimes, when much excited with his subject, 
he had an odd way — compounded of John Bunyan, and Bal- 
four of Burley — of taking his great quarto Bible under his 
arm and pacing up and down the pulpit with it ; looking 
steadily down, meantime, into the midst of the congregation. 
Thus, when he applied his text to the first assemblage of his 
hearers, and pictured the wonder of the church at their pre- 
sumption in forming a congregation among themselves, he 
stopped short with his Bible under his arm in the manner I 
have described, and pursued his discourse after this manner : 

" Who are these — who are they — who are these fellows .'* 
where do they come from ! Where are they going to ? — Come 
from ! What's the answer ? " — leaning out of the pulpit, and 
poniting downward with his right hand : " From belov/ ! " — 
starting back again, and looking at the sailors before him : 
" From below, my brethren. From under the hatches of sin, bat- 
tened down above you by the evil one. That's Vv'here you came 
from ! " — a walk up and down the pulpit : " and where are you 
going " — stopping abruptly : "where are you going ? Aloft ! " 
— very softly, and pointing upward : " Aloft ! "' — louder : 
"aloft!" — louder still. "That's where you are going — with 
a fair wind — all taut and trim, steering direct for Heaven in 

640 ^4 M ERICA N jVO TES 

its gloiy, where there are no storms or foul weather, and where 
the wicked cease from troubUng, and the weary are at rest." 
— Another walk : " That's where yo're going to, my friends. 
That's it. That's the place. That's the port. That's the 
haven. It's a blessed harbor — still water there, in all 
changes of the winds and tides ; no driving ashore upon the 
rocks, or slipping your cables and running out to sea, there ; 
Peace — Peace — Peace — all peace ! " — Another walk, and pat- 
ting the Bible under his left arm : " What ! These fellows 
are coming from the wilderness, are they ? Yes. From the 
dreary, blighted wilderness of Iniquity, whose only crop is 
Death. But do they lean upon anything — do they lean upon 
nothing, these poor seamen ? " — Three raps upon the Bible : 
" Oh yes. — Yes. — They lean upon the arm of their Beloved " 
— three more raps : "upon the arm of their Beloved " — three 
more, and a walk : " Pilot, guiding-star, and compass, all in 
one, to all hands — here it is " — three more : " Here it is. 
They can d« their seaman's duty manfully, and be easy in 
their minds in the utmost peril and danger, with this " — two 
more : " They can come, even these poor fellows can com.e, 
from the wilderness leaning on the arm of their Beloved, and 
go up — up — up ! " — raising his hand higher, and higher, at 
every repetition of the word, so that he stood with it at last 
stretched above his head, regarding them in a strange, rapt 
manner, and pressing the book triumphantly to his breast, 
until he gradually subsided into some other portion of his dis- 

I have cited this, rather as an instance of the preacher's 
eccentricities than his merits, though taken in connection with 
his look and manner, and the character of his audience, even 
this was striking. It is possible, however, that my favorable 
impression of him may have been greatly influenced and 
strengthened, firstly, by his impressing upon his hearers that 
the true observance of religion v\'as not inconsistent with a 
cheerful deportment and an exact discharge of the duties of 
their station, v/hich, indeed, it scrupulously required of them ; 
and secondly, by his cautioning them not to set up any monop- 
oly in Paradise and its mercies. I never heard these two 
points so wisely touched (if indeed I have ever heard them 
touched at all), by any preacher of that kind before. 

Having passed the time I spent in Boston, in making my- 
self acquainted with these things, in settling the course I 
should take in my future travels, and in mixing constantly 

BOSTOiW 641 

with its society, I am not aware tiiat I have any occasion to 
prolong this chapter. Such of its social customs as I have 
not mentioned, however, may be told in a very few Vvords. 

The usual dinner-hour is two o'clock. A dinner party 
takes place at five ; and at an evening party, they seldom sup 
later than eleven ; so that it goes hard but one gets home, 
even from a rout, by midnight. I never could find out any 
difference between a party at Boston and a part}^ in London, 
saving that at the former place all assemblies are held at more 
rational hours ; that the conversation may possibly be a little 
louder and more cheerful ; and a guest is usually expected to 
ascend to the very top of the house to take his cloak off ; 
that he is certain to see, at every dinner, an unusual amount 
of poultry on the table ; and at every supper, at least two 
mighty bowls of hot stewed oysters, in any one of which a 
half-grown Duke of Clarence might be smothered easily. 

There are two theatres in Boston^ of good size and con- 
struction, but sadly in vvant of patronage. The few ladies who 
resort to them, sit, as of right, in the front rows of the boxes. 

The bar is a large room with a stone floor, and there 
people stand and smoke, and lounge about, all the evening ; 
dropping in and out as the humor takes them. There too the 
stranger is initiated into the mysteries of Gin-sling, Cock-tail, 
Sangaree, Mint Julep, Sherry-cobbler, Timber Doodle, and 
other rare drinks. The house is full of boarders, both 
married and single, many of whom sleep upon the premises, 
and contract by the week for their board and lodging : the 
charge for which diminishes as they go nearer the sky to 
roost. A public table is laid in a very handsome hall for 
breakfast, and for dinner, and for supper. The party sitting 
down together to these meals will vary in number from one to 
two hundred : sometimes more. The advent of each of these 
epochs in the day is proclaimed by an awful gong, which 
shakes the very window-frames as it reverberates through the 
house, and horriblydisturbs nervous foreigners. There is an 
ordinary for ladies, and an ordinary for gentlem.en. 

In our private room the cloth could not, for any earthly 
consideration, have been laid for dinner without a huge glass 
dish of cranberries in the middle of the table ; and breakfast 
would have been no breakfast unless the principal dish were 
a deformed beef-steak v;ith a great flat bone in the centre, 
swimming in hot butter, and sprinkled with the very blackest 
of all possible pepper. Our bedroom was spacious and airy, 

41 . 

642 ^i M ERIC A .V XO TES. 

but (like ever)' bedroom on this side of the Atlantic) very bare 
of furniture, having no curtains to the French bedstead or to 
the window. It had one unusual luxury however, in the shape 
of a wardrobe of painted wood, something smaller than an 
English watch-box ; or if this comparison should be insufficient 
to convey a just idea of its dimensions, they maybe estimated 
from the fact of my having lived for fourteen days and nights 
in the firm belief that it was a shower-bath. 



Before leaving Boston, I devoted one day to an excursion 
to Lowell. I assign a separate chapter to this visit ; not 
because I am about to describe it at any great length, but 
because I remember it as a thing by itself, and am desirous 
that my readers should do the same. 

I made acquaintance with an American railroad, on this 
occasion, for the first time. As these works are pretty much 
alike all through the States, their general characteristics are 
easily described. 

There are no first and second class carriages as with us ; 
but there is a gentlemen's car and a ladies' car : the main 
distinction between which is that in the first, everybody 
smokes ; and in the second, nobody does. As a black man 
never travels with a white one, there is also a negro car ; which 
is a great blundering clumsy chest, such as Gulliver put to sea 
in, from the kingdom of Brobdingnag. There is a great deal 
of jolting, a great deal of noise, a great deal of wall, not much 
window, a locomotive engine, a shriek, and a bell. 

The cars are like shabby omnibuses, but larger : holding 
thirt}^, forty, fifty, people. The seats, instead of stretching froin 
end to end, are placed crosswise. Each seat holds two per- 
sons. There is a long row of them on each side of the 
caravan, a narrow passage up the middle, and a door at both 
ends. In the centre of the carriage there is usually a stove, 
fed with charcoal or anthracite coal ; wdiich is for the most 
part red-hot. It is insufferably close ; and you see the hot 


air fluttering between yourself and any other object you may 
happen to look at, like the ghost of smoke. 

In the ladies' car, there are a great many gentlemen who 
have ladies with them. , There are also a great many ladies 
who have nobody with them : for any lady may travel alone, 
from one end of the United States to the other, and be cer- 
tain of the most courteous and considerate treatment every- 
where. The conductor or check-taker, or guard, or whatever 
he may be, wears no uniform. He walks up and down the 
car, and in and out of it, as his fancy dictates ; leans against 
the door with his hands in his pockets and stares at you, if 
you chance to be a stranger ; or enters into conversation with 
the passengers about him. A great many newspapers are 
pulled out, and a few of them are read. Everybody talks to 
you, or to anybody else who hits his fancy. If you are an 
Englishman, he expects that that railroad is pretty much like 
an English railroad. If you say "No," he says " Yes 1 " (in- 
terrogatively), and asks in what respect they differ. You 
enumerate the heads of difference, one by one, and he says 
" Yes ? " (still interrogatively) to each. Then he guesses 
that you don't travel faster in England ; and on your replying 
that you do, says " Yes 1 " again (still interrogatively), and it 
is quite evi'dent, don't believe it. After a long pause he re- 
marks, partly to you, and partly to the knob on the top of his 
stick, that "Yankees are reckoned to be considerable of a 
go-ahead people too ; " upon \^\{\q\\ you say " Yes," and then 
he says "Yes" again (affirmatively this time); and upon 
your looking out of window, tells you that behind that hill, 
and some three miles from the next station, there is a clever 
town in a smart lo-ca-tion, where he expects you have con- 
cluded to stop. Your answer in the negative naturally leads 
to more questions in reference to your intended route (always 
pronounced rout) ; and wherever you are going, you invaria- 
bly learn that you can't get there without immense difficulty 
and danger, and that all the great sights are somewhere else. 

If a lady take a fancy to any male passenger's seat, the 
gentleman who accompanies her gives him notice of the fact, 
and he immediately vacates it with great politeness. Politics 
are much discussed, so are banks, so is cotton. Quiet people 
avoid the question of the Presidency, for there will be a new 
election in three years and a half, and party feeling runs very 
high : the great constitutional feature of this instit-ution being, 
that directly the acrimony of the last election is over, the 

644 ^^ MEKICA N NO TES. 

acrimony of the next one begins j whicii is an unspeakable 
comfort to all strong politicians and true lovers of their coun- 
try : that is to say, to ninety-nine men and boys out of every 
ninety-nine and a quarter. 

Except when a branch road joins the main one, there is 
seldom more than one track of rails ; so that the road is very 
narrow, and the view, where there is a deep cutting, by no 
means extensive. When there is not, the character of the 
scenery is always the same. Mile after inile of stunted trees ; 
some hewn down by the axe, some blovni down by the wind, 
some half fallen and resting on their neighbors, many mere 
logs half hidden in the swamp, others m.ouldered away to 
spongy chips. The very soil of the earth is made up of min- 
ute fragments such as these ; each pool of stagnant Y,ater has 
its crust of vegetable rottenness ; on every side there are the 
boughs, and trunks, and stumps of trees, in every possible 
stage of decay, decomposition, and neglect. Now you emerge 
for a few brief minutes on an open country, glittering with 
some bright lake or pool, .broad as many an English river, but 
so small here that it scarcely has a name ; now catch hasty 
glimpses of a distant town, with its clean white houses and 
their cool piazzas, its prim New England church and school- 
house ; when whir-r-r-r ! almost before you have seen th.em, 
comes the same dark screen; the stunted trees, the stumps, 
the logs, the stagnant water — all so like the last that you 
seem to have been transported back again by magic. 

The train calls at stations in the v,-oods, wliere the wild 
impossibility of anybody having the smallest reason to get 
out, is only to be ecjualled by the apparently desperate hope- 
lessness of there being anybody to get in. It rushes across 
the turnpike road, where there is no gate, no policeman, no 
signal : nothing but a rough wooden arch, on v/hich is painted 
" When the bell rings, look out for the Locomotive." 
pn it whirls headlong, dives through the woods again, emer- 
ges in the light, clatters over frail arches, rumbles upon the 
heavy ground, shoots beneath a wooden bridge which inter- 
cepts the light for a second like a v/ink, suddenly awakens all 
the slumbering echoes in the main street of a large town, and 
dashes on haphazard, pell-mell, neck-or-nothing, dov/n the 
middle of the road. There — with mechanics working at 
their trades, and people leaning from their doors and win- 
dows, and boys flying kites and playing marbles, and men 
smoking, and women talking, and children crawling, and pigs 


burrowing, and iiiiaccustoraecl liorses plunging and rearing, 
close to the very rails — there — on, on, on — tears the mad 
dragon of an engine with its train of cars ; scattering in all 
directions a shower of burning sparks from its wood fire ; 
screeching, hissing, yelling, panting ; until at last the thirsty 
monster stops beneath a covered way to drink, tlie people 
cluster round, and you have time to breatlie again. 

I was met at the station at Lowell by a gentleman inti- 
matel}'' connected with the management of the factories tiiere ; 
and gladly putting myself under his guidance, drove off at 
once to that quarter of the towai in which the works, the ob- 
ject of my visit, were situated. Although only just of age — 
for if my recollection serve me, it has been a manufacturing 
town barely one-and-tw^enty years — Lowell is a large, popu- 
lous, thriving place. Those indications of its youth which first 
attract the eye, give it a quaintness and oddity of character 
v/hich, to a visitor from the old country, is amusing enough. 
It was a very dirty winter's day, and nothing in the whole 
town looked old to me, except the mud, which in some parts, 
was almost knee-deep, and might have been deposited there 
on the subsiding of the waters after the Deluge. In one 
place, there was a new wooden church, which, having no 
steeple, and being yet unpainted, looked like an enormous 
packing-case without any direction upon it. In another there 
was a large hotel, whose walls and colonnades were so crisp, 
and thin, and slight, that it had exactly the appearance of 
being built v/ith cards. I was careful not to draw my breath 
as we passed, and trembled when I saw a v/orkman come out 
upon the roof, lest v/ith one thoughtless stamp of liis foot he 
should crush the structure beneath him, and bring it rattling 
down. The very river that moves the machinery in the mills 
(for they are all worked by water power), seems to acquire a 
new character from the fresh buildings of bright red brick and 
painted wood among which it takes its course ; and to be as 
light-headed, thoughtless, and brisk a young river, in its mur- 
mur] ngs and tumblings, as one would desire to see. One 
would .swear that every " Bakery,'' " Grocery," and " Book- 
bindery," and other kind of store, took its shutters down 
for thfr first time, and started in business yesterday. The 
golden pestles and mortars fixed as signs upon the sun-blind 
frames outside the Druggists', appear to have been just 
turned out of the United States' Mint ; and when I saw a 
l^aby of some week or ten davs old in a vroman's arms at a 
28 ' ■ ■ 

6 46 ^ MERICA N XO TES. 

street corner, I found myself unconsciously wondering where 
it came from : never supposing for an instant, that it could 
have been born in such a young town as that. 

There are several factories in Lowell, each of which be- 
longs to whajt we should term a Company of Proprietors, but 
what they call in America a Corporation. I went over several 
of these ; such as a woollen factory, a carpet factory, and a 
cotton factory ; examined them in every part ; and saw them 
in their ordinary working aspect, with no preparation of any 
kind, or departure from their ordinary every-day proceedings. 
I may add tliat I am well acquainted with our manufacturing 
towns in England, and have visited many mills in Manchester 
and elsewhere in the same manner. 

I happened to arrive at the first factory just as the dinner 
hour was over, and the girls were returning to their work ; in- 
deed the stairs of the mill were thronged with them as I as- 
cended. They were all well-dressed, but not to my thinking 
above their condition ; for I like to see the humbler classes of 
society careful of their dress and appearance, and even, if they 
please, decorated with such little trinkets as come within the 
compass of their means. Supposing it confined Vv'ithin reason- 
able limits, I v.'ould always encourage this kind of pride, as a 
worthy element of self-respect, in any person I employed ; 
and should no more be deterred from doing so, because some 
wretched female referred her fall to a love of dress, than I 
would allow my construction of the real intent and meaning 
of the Sabbath to be influenced by any warning to the well- 
disposed, founded on his backslidings on that particular day, 
which might emanate from tlie ratber doubtful authority of a 
murderer in Newgate. 

These girls, as I have said, were ail well dressed : and 
that phrase necessarily includes extreme cleanlmess. They 
had sendceable bonnets, good v,'arm cloaks, and shawls ; and 
were not above clogs and pattens. Moreover, there were 
places in the mill in which they could deposit these things 
without injury; and there were conveniences for washing. 
They were healthy in appearance, many of them remarkably 
so, and had the manners and deportment of young women : 
not of degraded brutes of burden. If I had seen in one of 
those mills (but I did not, though I looked for something of 
this kind with a sharp eye), i\\(t most lisping, mincing, affected, 
and ridiculous young creature tliat my imaiiination could ^w^- 
gest, I shotild ha\e thought of the careles>, moping, sl.ittemly, 


degraded, dull reverse (I Jiai:e seen that), and siiould have 
been still well pleased to look upon her. 

I'he rooms in which they worked, were as well ordered as 
themselves. In the v/indows of some, there were green 
plants, W'hich were trained to shade the glass ; in all, there 
was as much fresh air, cleanliness, and comfort, as the nature 
of the occupation would possibly admit of. Out of so large 
a number of females, many of whom were only then just 
verging upon w^omanhood, it may be reasonably supposed that 
some were delicate and fragile in appearance : no doubt there 
were. But I solemnly declare, that from all the crovvd I saw- 
in the different factories that day, I cannot recall or separate 
one young face that gave me a painful impression ; not one 
)oung girl whom, assuming it to be matter of necessity that 
she should gain her daily bread by the labor of her hands, I 
would have removed from those works if I had had the 

They reside in various boarding-houses near at hand. The 
owners of the mills are i3articularly careful to allow no per- 
sons to enter upon the possession of these houses, whose 
characters have not undergone the most searching and thor- 
ough inquir}-. Any complaint that is made against them, by 
the boarders, or by any one else, is fully investigated ; and if 
r:^ood ground of complaint be shown to exist against them, 
the)' are removed, and their occupation is handed over to some 
more deserving person. There are a few children employed 
in these factories, but not many. The law^s of the State for- 
bid their working more than nine months in the year, and re- 
quire that they be educated during the other three. For this 
purpose there are schools in Lowell ; and there are churches 
and chapels of various persuasions, in which the young women 
may observe that form of v/orship in which they have been 

At some distance from the factories, and on the highest 
and pleasantest ground in the neighborhood, stands their 
hospital, or boarding-house for the sick: it is the best house 
in those parts, and w^as built by an eminent merchant for his 
own residence. Like that institu_tion at Boston, which I have 
before described, it is not parcelled out into wards, but is di- 
vided into convenient chambers, each of which lias all the 
comforts of a very comfortable home. The principal medical 
attendant resides under the same roof; and vrere the patients 
members of his own familv, thev could not be better cared 


for, or attended with greater gentleness and consideration. 
The weekly charge in this establishment for each female 
patient is three dollars, or twelve shillings English \ but no 
girl employed by any of the corporations is ever excluded for 
want of the means of payment. That they do not very often 
want the means, may be gathered from the fact, that in July, 
1841, no fewer than nine hundred and seventy-eight of these 
girls were depositors in the Lowell Savings Bank : the amount 
of whose joint savings was estimated at one hundred thou- 
sand dollars, or twenty thousand P^nglish pounds. 

I am now going to state three facts, which will startle a 
large class of readers on this side of the Atlantic, very much. 

Firstly, there is a joint-stock piano in a great many of the 
boarding-houses. Secondly, nearly all these young ladies sub- 
scribe to circulating libraries. Thirdly, they have got up 
among themselves a periodical called The Lowell Offering, 
" A repository of original articles, written exclusively by 
females actively employed in the mills," — which is duly printed, 
published, and sold : and whereof I l^rought away from Lowell 
four hundred good solid pages, which I have read from l^e- 
ginning to end. 

The large class of readers, startled by these facts, will ex- 
claim, with one voice. '• How very preposterous ! " On my 
deferentially inquiring why, they will answer, " These things 
are above their station." In reply to that objection, I would 
beg to ask what their station is. 

It is their station to work. And they do work. They 
labor in these mills, upon an average, twelve hours a da}', 
which is unquestionably work, and pretty tight work too. Per- 
haps it is above their station to indulge in such amusements, 
on any terms. Are we quite sure that we in England have not 
formed our ideas of the '.'station" of working people, from 
accustoming ourselves to the contemplation of that class as 
they are, and not as they might be 1 I think that if v/e ex- 
amine our own feelings, we shall find that the pianos, and the 
circulating libraries, and even the Lowell Offering, startle us 
by their novelty, and not by their bearing upon any abstract 
question of right or wrong. 

For myself, I know no station in which, the occupation of 
to-day cheerfully done and the occupation of to-morrovv cheer- 
fully looked to, any one of these pursuits is not most human- 
izing and laudable. I know' no station which is rendered more 
endurable to the person in it, or more safe to the person out 


of it, by having ignorance for its associate. I know no sta~ 
tion which has a right to monopolize the means of mutual 
instruction, improvement, and rational entertainment; or 
vv^hich has ever continued to be a station very long, after seek- 
ing to do so. 

Of the merits of the Lowell Offering as a literary produc- 
tion, I will only observe, putting entirely out of sight the fact 
of the articles having been written by these girls after the ar- 
duous labors of the day, that it will compare advantageously 
v/ith a great many English Annuals. It is pleasant to 
find that many of its Tales are of the Mills and of those 
who work in them ; that they inculcate habits of self-denial 
and contentment, and teach good doctrines of enlarged be- 
nevolence. A strong feeling for the beauties of nature, as 
displayed in the solitudes the writers have left at home, 
breathes through its pages like wholesome village air; and 
though a circulating library is a favorable school for the 
study of such toj^ics, it has very scant allusion to fine 
clothes, fine marriages, fine houses, or fine life. Some 
persons might object to the papers being signed occasionally 
with rather fine names, but this is an American fashion. One 
of the provinces of the state legislature of Massachusetts is to 
alter ugly names into pretty ones, as the children improve 
upon the tastes of their parents. These changes costing little 
or nothing, scores of Mary Annes are solemnly converted into 
Bevelinas every session. 

It is said that on the occasion of a visit from General 
Jackson or General Harrison to this town (I forget which, 
but it is not to the purpose), he walked through three miles 
and a half of these young ladies dressed out with parasols 
and silk stockings. But as I am not aware that any worse 
consequence ensued, than a sudden looking-up of all the 
parasols and silk stockings in the market; and perhaps the 
bankruptcy of some speculative New Englander who bought 
them all up at any price, in expectation of a demand that never 
came ; I set no great store by the circumstance. 

In this brief account of Lowell, and inadequate exjDres- 
sion of the gratification it yielded me, and cannot fail to 
afford to any foreigner to whom the condition of such people 
at home is a subject of interest and anxious speculation, I 
have carefully abstained from drawing a comparison between 
these factories and those of our own land. Many of the cir- 
cumstances whose strong influence has been at work foi 


years \\\ our maniU.aclurlng towns have not ari-.en here ; and 
there is no manufacturing i^opulation in Lowell, so to speak : 
for these girls (often the daughters of small farmers (come 
from other States, remain a few years in the mills, and then 
go home for good. 

The contrast would be a strong one, for it would be be- 
tween the Good and Evil, the living light and deepest shadow. 
I abstain from it, because I deem it just to do so. But I 
only the more earnestly adjure ail those whose eyes may rest 
on these pages, to pause and reflect upon the difference be- 
tween this town and those great haunts of desperate misery : 
to call to mind, if they can in the midst of party strife and 
squabble, the efforts that must be made to purge them of their 
suffering and danger : and last, and foremost, to remember 
how^ the precious Time is rushing by. 

I returned at night by the same railroad and in the same 
kind of car. One of the passengers being exceedingly anx- 
ious to expound at great length to my companion (not to me, 
of course) the true principles on w4iich books of travel in 
America should be written by Englishmen, I feigned to fall 
asleep. But glancing all the way out at window from the 
corners of my eyes, I found abundance of entertainment for 
the rest of the ride in watching the effects of the wood fire, 
wdiichhad been invisible in the morning but were now brought 
out in full relief by the darkness : for we ^vere travelling in a 
whirlwind of bright sparks, which shov/ered about us like a 
storm of fieiy snow. 



Leaving Boston on the afternoon of Saturday the fifth of 
February, we proceeded by another railroad to Worcester ; a 
pretty New England town, where we had arranged to remain 
under the hospitable roof of the Governor of the State, until 
Monday morning. 

These towns and cities of New England (many of which 


would be villages in Old England), are as favorable speci- 
mens of rural America, as tlieir people are of rural Ameri- 
cans. The well-trimmed lawns and green meadows of home 
are not there ; and the grass, compared with our ornamental 
plots and pastures, is rank and rough, and wild : but delicate 
slopes of land, gently-swelling hills, wooded valle3^s, and 
slender streams, abound. Every little colony of houses has 
its church and school-house peeping from among the white 
roofs and shady trees ; every house is the whitest of the 
white ; every Venetian blind the greenest of the green ; every 
fine day's sky the bluest of the blue. A sharp dry wind and 
a slight frost had so hardened the roads when v/e alighted at 
Worcester, that their furrowed tracks were like ridges of 
granite. There was the usual aspect of newness on every 
object, of course. All the buildings looked as if they had 
been built and painted that morning, and could be taken 
down on Monday with very little trouble. In the keen even- 
ing air, every sharp outline looked a hundred times sharper 
than ever. The clean cardboard colonnades had no more 
perspective than a Chinese bridge on a tea-cup, and appeared 
equally well calculated for use. The razor-like edges of the 
detached cottages seemed to cut the very wind as it whistled 
against them, and to send it smarting on its way with a 
shriller ciy than before. Those slightly-built wooden dwell- 
ings behind which the sun was setting with a brilliant lustre, 
could be so looked through and through, that the idea of any 
inhabitant being able to hide himself from the public gaze, or 
to have any secrets from the public eye, was not entertainable 
for a moment. Even where a blazing fire shone through the 
uncurtained windows of some distant house, it had the air of 
being newly lighted, and of lacking warmth ; and instead of 
awakening thoughts of a snug chamber, bright with faces that 
first saw the light round that same hearth, and ruddy with 
warm hangings, it came upon one suggestive of the smell of 
new mortar and damp walls. 

So I thought, at least, that evening. Next morning when 
the sun was shining brightly, and the clear church bells were 
ringing, and sedate people in their best clothes enlivened the 
pathv^^ay near at hand and dotted the distant thread of road, 
there was a pleasant Sabbath peacefulness on everything, ' 
which it was good to feel. It would have been the better for 
an old church : better still for some old graves ; but as it 
was, a wholesome repose and tranquillity per^•aded the scene. 


which after the restless ocean and the hurried city, had a 
doubly grateful influence on the spirits. 

We v/ent on next morning, still by railroad, to Springfield. 
From that place to Hartford, whither we were bound, is a 
distance of only five-and-twenty miles, but at that time of the 
year the roads were so bad that the journey would JDrobably 
have occupied ten or twelve hours. Fortunately, however, 
the winter having been unusually mild, the Connecticut 
River was ''open," or, in other words, not frozen. The cap- 
tain of a small steamboat was going to make his first trip 
for the season that day (the second February trip, I believe, 
within the memory of man), and only waited for us to go 
on board. Accordingly, we went on board, with as little 
delay as might be. He was as good as his word, and started 

It certainly was not called a small steamboat without 
reason. I omitted to ask the question, but I should think it 
must have been of about half a pony power. Mr. Paap, the 
celebrated Dwarf, might have lived and died happily in the 
cabin, which was fitted with common sash-windows like an 
ordinary dwelling-house. These windows had bright-red cur- 
tains, too, hung on slack strings across the lower panes ; so 
that it looked like the parlor of a Lilliputian public-house, 
which had got afloat in a flood or some other water accident, 
and was drifting nobody knew where. But even in this cham- 
ber there was a rocking-chair. It would be impossible to 
get on anywhere, in America, without a rocking-chair. 

I am afraid to tell how many feet short this vessel was, or 
how many feet narrow ; to apply the words length and width 
to such measurement would be a contradiction in terms. But 
I may state that we all kept the middle of the deck, lest the 
boat should unexpectedly tip over ; and that the machinery, 
by some surprising process of condensation, worked between 
it and the keel : the whole forming a warm sandwich, about 
three feet thick.- 

It rained all day as I once thought it never did rain any- 
where, but in the Highlands of Scotland. The river was full 
of floating blocks of ice, which were constantly crunching and 
cracking under us ; and the depth of water, in the course we 
•took to avoid the larger masses, carried down the middle of 
the river by the current, did not exceed a few inches. Neverthe- 
less, we moved onward, dexterously ; and being well wrapped 
up, bade defiance to the weather, and enjoyed the journey. The 


Connecticut River is a line stream; and the banks in summei- 
time are, I have no doubt, beautiful : at all events, 1 was 
told so by a young lady in the cabin ; and she should be a 
judge of beauty, if the possession of a quality include the ap- 
preciation of it, for a more beautiful creature I never looked 

After two hours and a half of this odd travelling (including 
a stoppage at a small town, where we were saluted by a gun 
considerably bigger than our own chimney), we reached Hart- 
ford, and straightway repaired to an extremely comfortable 
hotel : except, as usual, in the article of bedrooms, which, in 
almost every place vv^e visited, were very conducive to early 

We tarried here, four days. The town is beautifully sit- 
uated in a basin of green hills ; the soil -is rich, well-wooded, 
and carefully improved. It is the seat of the local legislature 
of Connecticut, which sage body enacted, in bygone times, the 
renowned code of " Blue Laws," in virtue whereof, among 
other enlightened provisions, any citizen who could be proved 
to have kissed his wife on Sunday, was punishable, I believe, 
with the stocks. Too much of the old Puritan spirit exists in 
these parts to the present hour ; but its influence has not 
tended, that I know, to make the people less hard in their 
bargains, or more equal in their dealings. As I never heard 
of its working that effect anywhere else, I infer that it never 
will, here. Indeed, I am accustomed, with reference to great 
professions and severe faces, to judge of the goods of the 
other world pretty much as I judge of the goods of this ; and 
whenever I see a dealer in such commodities with too great a 
display of them in his window, I doubt the quality of the 
article within. 

In Hartford stands the famous oak in which the charter 
of King Charles was hidden. It is now inclosed in a gentle- 
man's garden. In the State House is the charter itself. I 
found the courts of law here, just the same as at Boston ; the 
public institutions almost as good. The Insane Asylum is 
admirably conducted, and so is the Institution for the Deaf 
and Dumb. 

I very much questioned within myself, as I walked through 
the Insane Asylum, whether I should have known the attend- 
dants from the patients, but for the few words which passed 
between the former, and the Doctor, in reference to the per- 
sons under their charse. Of course I limit this remark merely 

6 j; 4 .-/ MKR TCA .V ,\ \ i / 7-:.b . "^ 

to their books ; for the conversation of tlie mad people was 
mad enough. 

Tiiere was one little prim old lady, of very smiling and 
good-humored appearance, who came sidling up to me from 
the end of a long passage, and with a curtsey of inexpressible 
condescension, propounded this unaccountable inquiry : 

'• Does Pontefract still flourish, sir, upon the soil of Eng- 

" He does, ma'am," i rejoined, 

*' When you last saw him, sir, he was — " 

'' Well, ma'am," said I, " extremely well. He begged 
me to present his compliments. I never saw him looking 

At this, the old lady was very much delighted. After 
glancing at me for a moment, as if to be quite sure that 1 was 
serious in my respectful air, she sidled back some paces ; 
sidled forward again ; made a sudden skip (at which I precipi- 
tately retreated a step or two) ; and said : 

"/am an antediluvian, sir." 

I thought the best thing to say was, that 1 had suspected 
as much from the first. Therefore I said so. 

" It is an extremely proud and pleasantthing, sir, to be an 
antediluvian," said the old lady. 

"I should think it was, ma'am," I rejoined. 

The old lady kissed her hand, gave another skip, smirked 
and sidled down the gallery in a most extraordinary manner, 
and ambled gracefully into her own bed-chamber. 

In another part of the building, there was a male patient 
in bed ; very much fiushed and heated. 

" Well," said he, starting up, and pulling off his night-cap : 
" It's all settled at last. I have arranged it with Queen Vic- 

" Arranged what ? " asked the Doctor. 

"Why, that business," passing his hand wearily across his 
forehead, " about the siege of New York." 

" Oh ! " said I, like a man suddenly enlightened. For he 
looked at me for an answer. 

" Yes. Every house without a signal will be fired upon by 
the British troops. No harm will be done to the others. No 
harm at all. Those that v/ant to be safe, must hoist flags. 
That's all they'll have to do. They must hoist flags." 

Even while he was speaking he seemed. I thought, to have 
some faint idea that his talk was incoherent. Directlvhe had 


said these words, he lay down again ; gave a kind of a groan ; 
and covered Jiis hot head with the blankets. 

There was another : a young man, whose madness was 
love and music. After playing on the accordeon a march he 
had composed, he was very anxious that I should walk into 
his chamber, v/hich I immediately did. 

By way of being very knowing, and humoring him to the 
top of his bent, I went to the window, which corrimanded a 
beautiful prospect, and remarked, with an address upon which 
I greatly plumed myself : 

" What a delicious country you have about these lodgings 
of yours." 

" Poh ! " said he, moving his fingers carelessly over the 
notes of his instrument : '^ Well enough for such an Institution 
as this ./" 

I don't think I was so taken aback in all my life. 

"" 1 come here just for a whim," he said coollv. "That's 

"Oh! That's all" said L 

"Yes. That's all. The Doctor's a smart man. He quite 
enters into it. It's a joke of mine. I like it for a time. You 
needn't mention it, but I think I shall go out next Tuesday ! " 

I assured him that I would consider our interview perfectly 
conhdential ; and rejoined the Doctor. As we were passing 
through a gallery on our way out, a well-dressed lady, of quiet 
and composed manners, came up, and proffering a slip of 
paper and a pen, begged that I would oblige her with an au- 
tograph. I complied, and we parted. 

" I think I remember having had a few interviews like that, 
with ladies out of doors. 1 hope she is not mxad ? " 

" Yes." 

" On what subject ? Autographs ? " 

"' No. She hears voices in the air." 

" Well ! " thought I. " it would be well if we could shut 
up a few false prophets of these later times, who have pro- 
fessed to do the same ; and I should like to try the experi- 
ment on a Mormonist or two to begin witli." 

In this place, there is the best Jail for untried offenders 
in the world. There is also a very well-ordered State prison, 
arranged upon the same plan of that at Boston, except that 
here, there is always a sentry on the wall with a loaded gun. 
It contained at that time about two hundred prisoners. A 
spot Vvas shown m.e in the sleeping ward, where a watchman 

656 ^ ME RICA N NO TES. 

was murdered some years since in the dead of night, in a 
desperate attempt to escape, made by a prisoner who had 
broken from his cell. A woman, too, was pointed out to me, 
who, for the murder of her husband, had been a close prisoner 
for sixteen years. 

" Do you think," I asked of my conductor, " that after so 
very long an imprisonment, she has any thought or hope of 
ever regaining her liberty ? " 

" Oh dear yes," he answered. " To be sure she has." 

** She has no chance of obtaining it, I suppose .'' " 

''Well, I don't know;" which, by the bye, is a national 
answer. " Her friends mistrust her." 

" What have they to do with it.-* " I naturally inquired. 

"Well, they won't petition." 

" But if they did, they couldn't get her out, I suppose ? " 

" Well, not the first time, perhaps, nor yet the second, but 
tiring and wearying for a few years might do it.'' 

"Does that ever do it ? " 

"Why yes, that'll do it sometimes. Political friends '11 do 
it sometimes. It's pretty often done, one M^ay or an'other." 

T shall always entertain a very pleasant and grateful recol- 
lection of Hartford. It is a lovely place, and I had many 
friends there, whom I can never remember with indifference. 
We left it with no little regret on the evening of Friday the 
nth, and travelled that night by railroad to New Haven. 
Upon the way, the guard and I were formally introduced to 
each other (as we usually were on such occasions), and ex- 
changed a variety of small-talk. We reached New Haven at 
about eight o'clock, after a journey of three hours, and put 
up for the night at the best inn. 

New Haven, known also as the City of Elms, is a fine 
town. Many of its streets (as its alias sufficiently imports) 
are planted with rows of grand old elm-trees ; and the same 
natural ornaments surround Yale College, an establishment 
of considerable eminence and reputation. The various de- 
partments of this Institution are erected in a kind of park or 
common in the middJe of the town, where they are dimly 
visible among the shadowing trees. The effect is very like 
that of an old cathedral yard in England ; and when their 
branches are in full leaf, must be extremely picturesque. 
Even in the winter time, these groups of well-grown trees, 
clustering among the busy streets and houses of a thriving 
city, have a very quaint appearance : seeming to bring about 


a kind of compromise between town and country ; as if each 
had met the other half-way, and shaken hands upon it ; which 
is at once novel and pleasant. 

Aftei: a night's rest, we rose early, and in good time went 
down to the wharf, and on board the packet New York/^^r 
New York. This was the first American steamboat of any 
size that I had seen ; and certainly to an English eye it was 
infinitely less like a steamboat than a huge floating bath. I 
could hardly persuade myself, indeed, but that the bathing 
establishment off Westminster Bridge, which 1 left a baby, 
had suddenly grown to an enormous size ; run away from 
home ; and set up in foreign parts as a steamer. Being in 
America, too, which our vagabonds do so particularly favor, 
it seemed the more probable. 

The great difference in appearance between these packets 
and ours, is, that there is so much of them out of the water ; 
the main-deck being enclosed on all sides, and filled with 
casks and goods, like any second or third floor in a stack of 
ware-houses ; and the promenade or hurricane-deck being a- 
top of that again. A part of the machinery is always above 
this deck ; where the connecting-rod, in a strong and lofty 
frame, is seen working aw-ay like an iron top-sawyer. There 
is seldom any mast or tackle : nothing aloft but two tall black 
chimneys. The man at the helm is shut up in a little house 
in the fore part of the boat (the wheel being connected with 
the rudder by iron chains, working the whole length of the 
deck) ; and the passengers, unless the weather be very fine 
indeed, usually congregate below. Directly you have left the 
wharf, all the life, and stir, and bustle of a packet cease. 
You wonder for a long time how she goes on, for there seems 
to be nobody in charge of her ; and when another of these 
dull machines comes splashing by, you feel quite indignant 
with it, as a sullen, cumbrous, ungraceful, un shiplike levi- 
athan : quite forgetting that the vessel you are on board of, 
is its very counterpart. 

There is alvvavs a clerk's office on (he lower deck, where 
you pay your fare ; a ladies' cabin ; baggage and stowage 
rooms ; engineer's room ; and in short a great variety of per- 
plexities which render tiie disco\"ery of the gentleman's cabin, 
a matter of soiriC difficulty, it ofren occupies the whole 
length of the boat (as it did in this case), and has three or 
four tiers of berths on each side. When I first descended into 
the cabin of the New York, ]■; looked, in my unaccustomed 
eves, about a: Ion-'" ■: • I'le j~rr'i:ir:t^-'- Arcade. 



The Sound which has to be crossed on diis passage, is not 
ahvays a very safe or pleasant navigation, and has been the 
scene of some unfortunate accidents. It was a wet morning, 
and very misty, and we soon lost sight of land. The day was 
calm, however, and brightened towards noon. After exhaust- 
ing (with good help from a friend) the. larder, and the stock 
of bottled beer, I lay dowii to sleep : being very much tired 
with the fatigues of yesterday. But I woke from my nap ii. 
time to hurry up, and see Hell Gate, the Hog's Back, tlie 
Frying Pan, and other notorious localities, attractive to all 
readers of famous Diedrich Knickerbockers History. Vv'e 
were now in a narrovv channel, with sloping banks on either, 
side, besprinkled with pleasant villas, and made refreshing to 
the sight by turf and trees. Soon v/eshot in quick succession, 
past a lighthouse ; a madhouse (hov/ the lunatics flung up 
their caps and roared in sympathy \vith the headlong engine 
and the driving tide 1) ; a jail ; and other buildings : and so 
emerged into a noble bay, whose waters sparkled in the now 
cloudless sunshine like Nature's eyes turned up to Heaven. 

Then there lay stretched out before us, to the right, con- 
fused heaps of buildings, with here and there a spire or 
steeple, looking down upon the herd belov/ ; and here and 
there, again, a cloud of lazy smoke ; and in the foreground a 
forest of ships' masts, cheery with flapping sails and waving 
flags. Crossing from among them to the opposite shore, were 
steam ferry-boats laden wdth people, coaches, horses, wagons,, 
baskets, boxes : crossed and recrossed by other ferry-boats : 
all travelling to and fro : and never idle. Stately among 
these restless Insects, were two or three large ships, moving 
with slow majestic pace, as creatures of a prouder kind, dis- 
dainful of their puny journeys, and making for the broad sea. 
Beyond, were shining heights, and islands in the glancing 
river, and a distance scarcely less blue and bright than the 
sky it seemed to meet. The'city's hum and buzz, the clinking 
of capstans, the ringing of bells, the barking of dogs, the 
clattering of wheels, tingled in the listening ear. All of which 
life and stir, coming across the stirring water, caught new life 
and animation from its free companionship ; and, sympathiz- 
ing with its buoyant spirits, glistened as it seemed in sport 
upon its surface, and hemmed the vessel round, and plashed 
the water high about her sides, and, floating her gallantry 
into the. dock, flew off again to welcome other comers, and 
speed hefoi-e them to the busy port. 





The beautiful metropolis of America is by no means so 
clean a city as Boston, but many of its streets have the -same 
characteristics ; except that the houses are not quite so fresh- 
colored, -the sign-boards are not quite so gaudy, the gilded 
letters not quite so golden, the bricks not quite so red, the 
stone not quite so white, the blinds and area railings not quite 
so green, the knobs and plates upon the street doors, not 
quite so bright and twinkling. There are many by-streets, 
almost as neutral in. clean colors, and positi\e in dirty ones, 
as by-streets in London ; and there is one quarter, commonly 
called the Five Points, whicli, in respect of filth and wretched- 
ness, may be safely backed against Seven Dials, or any other 
part of famed St. Giles's. 

The great promenade and thoroughfare, as most people 
know, is Broadway ; a Vv'ide and bustling street, which, from 
the Battery Gardens to its opposite icrmination in a coun- 
try road, may be four miles long. Shall we sit down in an 
upper floor of the Carlton House Plotel (situated in the best 
part of this main artery of Nev.- York), and when we are tired 
of looking down upon the life below, sally forth arm-in-arm, 
and mingle with the stream ? 

Warm weather ! The sun strikes upon our heads at tliis 
open window, as though its rays were concentrated through a 
burning-glass ; but the day is in its zenith, and the season an 
unusual one. Was there ever such a sunny street as this 
Broadway ! The pavement stones are polished with the tread 
of feet until they shine again ; the red bricks of the houses 
might be yet in the dry, hot kilns ; and the roofs of those om- 
nibuses look as though, if water were poured on them, they 
would hiss and smoke, and smell like half-quenched fires. 
No stint of omnibuses here ! Half-a-dozen have gone by 
within as many minutes. Plenty of hackney cabs and coaches 
too ; gigs, phaetons, large-wheeled tilburies, and private car- 
riages — rather of a clumsy make, and not very different from 
the public vehicles, but built for the heavy roads beyond the 


city pavement. Negro coachmen and white ; in straw hats, 
black hats, white hats, glazed Cc^)s, fur caps ; in coats of drab, 
black, brown, green, bkie, nankeen, striped jean and linen ; 
and there in that one instance (look while it passes, or it will 
be too late), in suits of livery. vSome Southern republican that, 
who puts his blacks in uniform, and swells with Sultan pomp 
and power. Yonder, where that phaeton with the well-clipped 
pair of grays has stopped — standing at their heads now — \:, a 
Yorkshire groom, who has not l)een very long in these parts, 
and looks sorrowfully round for a companion pair of toi>boots, 
which he may traverse the city half a year without meeting. 
Heaven save the ladies, how they dress ! We have seen more 
colors in these ten minutes, than we should have seen else- 
where, in as many days. What various parasols ! what rain- 
bow silks and satins ! what pinking of thin stocking, and 
pinching of thin shoes, and fluttering of ribbons and silk tas- 
sels, and display of rich cloaks with gaudy hoods and linings ! 
The young gentlemen are fond, you see, of turning down their 
shirt-collars and cultivating their whiskers, especially under 
the chin ; but they cannot approach the ladies in their dress 
or bearing, being, to say the truth, humanity of quite another 
sort. Byrons of the desk and counter, pass on, and let us 
see what kind of m.en those are behind ye : those two laborers 
in holiday clothes, of whom one carries in his hand a crumpled 
scrap of paper from which he tries to spell out a hard name, 
while the other looks about for it on all the doors and win- 

Irishmen both ! You might know them, if they were 
masked, by their long-tailed blue coats, and bright buttons, 
and their drab trousers, which they wear like men well used 
to working dresses, who are easy in no others. It would be 
hard to keep your model republics going, without the country- 
men and countrywomen of those two .laborers. For who else 
would dig, and delve, and drudge, and do domestic work, and 
make canals and roads, and execute great lines of Internal 
Improvement ! Irishmen both, and sorely puzzled too, to 
find out what they seek. Let us go down and help them, for 
the love of home, and that spirit of liberty which admits of 
honest service to honest men, and honest work for honest 
bread, no matter w'hat it be. 

That's well ! We have got at the right address at last, 
though it is written in strange characters truly, and might 
have been scrawled with the blunt handle of the spade the 

xi:iv vva'a: 66 i 

writer better knows the use of, llian a pen. Their way lies 
yonder, but what business takes them there ? They carry 
savings : to hoard up ? No. They are brothers, those men,. 
One crossed the sea alone, and working very hard for one 
half year, and li\dng liarder, saved funds enough to bring the 
other out. That done, they worked together side by side, 
contentedly sharing hard labor and hard living for another 
term, and then their sisters came, and then another brother, 
and lastly, their old mother. And what now ? Why, the 
poor old crone is restless in a strange land, and yearns to lay 
her bones, she says, among her people in the old graveyard at 
home : and so they go to pay her passage back, and God help 
her and them, and every simple heart, and all who turn to the 
Jerusalem of their younger days, and have an altar-fire upon 
the cold hearth of their fathers. 

This narrow thoroughfare, baking and blistering in the sun, 
is Wall Street : the Stock Exchange and Ivombard Street of 
New York. Many a rapid fortune has been made in t!:i.; 
street, and many a r.o less rapid ruin. Some of these very 
merchants whom you see hanging about here now, have locked 
up money in their strong-boxes, like the man in the .Arabian 
nights, and opening them again, have found but withered 
leaves. Below, here by the water side, where the bowsprits 
of ships stretch across the footway, and almost thrust them- 
selves into the windows, lie the noble American vessels Vvhich 
have made their Packet Service the finest in the world. 
They have brought hither the foreigners who abound in all the 
streets : not, perhaps, that there are more here, than in other 
commercial cities ; but elsewhere, they have particular haunts, 
and you must find them out ; here, they pervade the town. 

We must cross Broadway again ; gaining some refreshmeiit 
from the heat, in the sight of the great blocks of clean ice 
which are being carried into shops and bar-rooms ; and the 
pine-apples and water-melons profusely displayed for sale. 
Fine streets of spacious houses here, you see ! — Wall Street 
has furnished and dismantled many of them very often — and 
here a deep green leafy square. Be sure that is a hospitable 
house with inmates to be affectionately remembered always, 
where they li^'e the open door and pretty show of plants 
within, and where the child v/ith lauo;hing eyes is peeping out 
of window at the little dog belou^ You Vv'onder what may be 
the use of this tall flagstaff in the by-street, with something 
like Liberty's head-dress on its top : so do I. But there is a 

(362 AMERJCA\ XOJ-Ju-^. 

passion for tall tiagstaffs hereaboui:^, and you may see its 
twin brother in five minutes. If you have a mind. 

Again across Broadway, and so — passing from the many- 
colored crowd and glittering shops — into another long main 
street, the Bowery. A railroad yonder, see, where two stout 
horses trot along^ drawing a score or two of people and a 
great wooden ark, with ease. The stores are poorer here ; 
the passengers less gay. Clothes ready-made, and meat ready- 
cooked, are to be bought in these parts; and the lively 
whirl of carriages is exchanged for the deep rumble of carts 
and wagons. These signs which are so plentiful, in shape 
like river buoys, or small balloons, hoisted by cords to poles, 
and dangling there, announce, as you may see by looking up, 
''- Oysters in every Style." They tempt the hungry most 
at night, for then dull candies glimmering inside, illuminate 
these dainty words, and make the mouths of idlers water, as 
they read and linger. 

What is this dismal-fronted pile of bastard P^gyptian, like 
an enchanter's palace in a melodrama ! — a famous prison, 
called The Tombs. Shall we go in ? 

So. • A long narrow lofty building, stove-heated as usual, 
with four galleries, one above th.e other, going round it, and 
communicating by stairs. Between the two sides of each 
gallery, and in its centre, a bridge, for the greater convenience 
of crossing. On each of these bridges sits a man : dozing or 
reading, or talking to an idle companion. On each tier, are 
two opposite rows of small iron doors. They look like fur- 
nace-doors, but are cold and black, as though the fires within 
had all gone out. Some two or three are open, and women, 
with drooping heads bent down, are talking to the inmates. 
The whole is lighted I33' a skylight, but it is fast closed ; and 
from tlie roof there dangle, limp and drooping, two useless 

A man with keys appears, to show us round. A good- 
looking fellow, and, in his way, civil and obliging. 

" Are those black doors the cells ? ■' 


" Are they all full ? '' 

'•'Well, they're pretty nigh full, and that's a fact, and no 
tv.-o ways about it." 

" Those at the bottom are unwholesome, surely 1 " 

" Why, we do only put colored people in 'em. That's the 
truth." . V 

A'7?/r YORK. 66.3 

" When do the prisoners take exercise V'' 

*' Well, they do without- it pretty much." 

" Do they never walk in the yard ? " 

*' Considerable seldom." 

" Sometimes, I suppose ? " 

" Well, it's rare they do. They keep pretty bright with- 
out it." 

" But suppose a man were here for a twelvemonth. I 
know this is only a prison for criminals who are charged with 
grave offences, while they are av/aiting their trial, or under 
remand, but the law here affords criminals many means of 
delay. What ^yith motions for new trials, and in arrest of 
judgment, and what not, a prisoner might be here for twelve 
months, I take it, might he not ? " 

" Well, I guess he might." 

"Do you mean to say that in all that time he would never 
come out at that little iron door, for exercise ? " 

" He might walk some, perhaps — not much." 

"Will you open one of the doors 1 " 

"All, if you like." 

The fastenings jar and rattle, and one of the doors turns 
slowly on its hinges. I/Ct us look in. A small bare cell, 
into which the light enters through a high chink in the wall. 
There is a rude means of wa,shing, a table, and a bedstead. 
TJpon the latter, sits a man of sixty ; reading. He looks up 
for a moment ; gives an impatient dogged shake ; and fixes 
his eyes upon his book again. As we withdrew our heads, 
the door closes on him, and is fastened as before. This man 
has murdered his wife, and will probably be hanged. 

" How long has he been here .'' " 

" A month/' 

"When will he be tried?" 

" Next term." 

" W^hen is that ? " 

" Next month." 

" In England, if a man be under sentence of death, even 
Jie has air and exercise at certain periods of the day." 

" Possible t " 

With what stupendous and untranslatable coolness he 
says this, and how loungingly he leads on to the women's 
side : making, as he goes, a kind of iron castanet of the key 
and the stair-rail I 

Each cell door on this side ha? a square aperture in it 


Some of the women peep anxiously through it at the sound of 
footsteps ; others shrink away in shame. — For what offence 
can that lonely child, of ten or twelve years old, be shut up 
here ? Oh ! that boy ? He is the son of the prisoner we saw 
just now; is a witness against his father; and is detained 
here for safe keeping, until the trial ; that's all. 

But it is a dreadful place for the child to pass the long 
days and nights in. This is rather hard treatment for a 
young witness, is it not i* — What says our conductor ? 

"Well, it an't a very rowdy life, and thafs a fact ! " 

Again he clinks his metal Castanet, and leads us leisurely 
away. I have a question to ask him as we go, 

'• Pray, why do they call this place The Tombs ? " 

" Well, it's the cant name." 

" I know it is. Why ? " 

" Some suicides happened here, when it was first built. I 
expect it come about from that." 

" I saw just now, that that man's clothes were scattered 
about the floor of his cell. Don't you oblige the prisoners to 
be orderly, and put such things away .'' " 

" Where should they put 'em ? " 

" Not on the ground surely. What do you say to hanging 
them up ? " 

He stops and looks round to emphasize his answer : 

" Why, I say that's just it. When they had hooks tltey 
would hang themselves, so they're taken out of every cell, 
and there's only the marks left where they used to be ! '' 

The prison-yard in which he pauses now, has been the 
scene of terrible performances. Into this narrow, grave-like 
place, men are brought out to die. The wretched creature 
stands beneath the gibbet on the ground ; the rope about his 
neck ; and when the sign is given, a weight at its other end 
comes running down, and swings him up into the air — a 

The law requires that there be present at this dismal 
spectacle, the judge, the jury, and citizens to the amount of 
twenty-five. From the community it is hidden. To the dis- 
solute and bad, the thing remains a frightful mystery. Be- 
tween the criminal and them, the prison-wall is interposed as 
a thick gloomy veil. It is the curtain to his bed of death, his 
winding-sheet, and grave. From him it shuts out life, and all 
the motives to unrepenting hardihood in that last hour, which 
its mere sight and presence is often oil sufiicient to sustain. 



There are no bold eyes to make him bold : no ruffians to up- 
hold a ruffian's name before. All beyond the pitiless stone 
wall, is unknown space. 
- Let us go forth again into the cheerful streets. 

Once more in Broadway ! Here are the same ladies in 
bright colors, walking to and fro, in pairs and singly ; yonder 
the very same light blue parasol which passed and repassed 
the hotel-window twenty times while we were sitting there. 
We are going to cross here. Take care of the Pigs. Two 
portly sows are trotting up behind this carriage, and a select 
party of half-a-dozen gentlemen hogs have just now turned 
the corner. 

Here is a solitary swine lounging homeward by himself. 
He has only one ear \ having parted with the other to va- 
grant-dogs in the course of his city rambles. But he gets on 
\^ery well without it ; and leads a roving, gentlemanly vaga- 
bond kind of life, somewhat answering to that of our club- 
men at home. He leaves his lodgings every morning at a 
certain hour, throws himself upon the town, gets through his 
day in some manner quite satisfactory to himself, and regu- 
larly appears at the door of his own house again at night, 
like the mysterious master of Gil Bias. He is a free-and- 
easy, careless, indifferent kind of pig, having a very large 
acquaintance among other jjigs of the same character, whom 
]ie rather knows by sight than conversation, as he seldom 
troubles himself to stop and exchange civilities, but goes 
grunting down the kennel, turning up the news and small- 
talk of the city in the shape of cabbage-stalks and offal, and 
bearing no tails but his own : which is a very short one, for 
his old enemies, the dogs, have been at that too, and have 
left him hardly enough to swear by. He is in every respect 
a republican pig, going wherever he pleases, and mingling 
with the best society, on an equal, if not superior footing, for 
every one makes way when he appears, and the haughtiest 
give him the wall, if he jDrefer it. He is a great philosopher, 
and seldom moved, unless by the dogs before mentioned. 
Sometimes, indeed, 3^ou may see his small eye twinkling on a 
slaughtered friend, whose carcase garnishes a butcher's door- 
post, but he grunts out " Such is life : all flesh is pork ! " 
buries his nose in the mire again, and waddles down the gut- 
ter : comforting himself with the reflection that there is one 
snout the less to anticipate stray cabbage-stalks, at any rate. 
They are the city scavengers, these pigs. Ugly brutes 

666 '< .\fER/CAX AX) TES. 

they are ; having, for the most part, scanty brown backs, like 
the lids of old horsehair trunks : spotted with unwholesome 
black blotches. They have long, gaunt legs, too, and such 
peaked snouts, that if one of them could be persuaded to sit 
for his profile, nobody would recognize it for a pig's likeness. 
They are never attended upon, or fed, or driven, or caught, 
but are thrown upon their own resources in early life, and 
become preternaturaily knowing in consequence. Every pig 
know^s where he lives, much better than anybody could tell 
him. At this hour, just as evening is closing in, you will see 
them roaming towards bed by scores, eating their way to the 
last. Occasionall}', some 3'outli among them w^ho has over- 
eaten himself, or has been worried by dogs, trots shrinkingly 
homeward, like a prodigal son : but this is a rare case : per- 
fect self-possession and self-reliance, and immovable com- 
posure, being their foremost attributes. . 

The streets and shops are lighted now; and as the eye 
travels down the long thoroughfare, dotted with bright jets 
of gas, it is reminded of Oxford Street, or Piccadilly. Here 
and there a flight of broad stone cellar-steps appears, and a 
painted lamp directs you to the Bowling Saloon, or Ten-Pin 
alley ; Ten-Pins being a game of mingled chance and skill, 
invented w^hen the legislature passed an act forbidding Nine- 
Pins. At other downward flights of steps, are other lamps, 
marking the whereabouts of oyster-cellars — pleasant retreats, 
say I : not only by reason of their w^onderful cool^rv of oys- 
ters, pretty nigh as large as cheese-plates (or for thy dear 
sake, heartiest of Greek Professors!) but because of all kinds 
of eaters of fish, or flesh, or fowl, in these latitudes, the swal- 
lowers of oysters alone are not gregarious ; but subduing 
themselves, as it w^ere, to the nature of what they work in, ancl 
copying the coyness of the thing they eat. do sit apart in cur- 
tained boxes, and consort by twos, not by two hundreds. 

But how quiet the streets are ! Are there no itinerant 
bands ; no wind or stringed instruments ? No, not one. By 
day, are there no Punches, Fantoccini, Dancing-dogs, Jug- 
glers, Conjurors, Orchestrinas, or even Barrel-organs ? NvO, 
not one. Yes, I remember one. One barrel-organ and a 
dancing-monkey — sportive by nature, but fast fading into, a 
dull, lumpish monkey, of the Utilitarian school. Beyond that, 
nothing lively ; no, not so nuich as a white mouse in a tv.-irl- 
ing cage. 

Are there no arAusemv?nt> ? Ye:~>. Tlicre i> a lecture-room 

NEW VOKJiT. 667 

across the way, from uhicli that i^lare of light proceeds, and 
there may be evening service for the ladies thrice a week, or 
oftener. For the young gentlemen, there is the counting- 
house, the store, the bar-room ; the latter, as you may see 
through these windows, pretty full. Hark ! to the clinking- 
sound of hammers breaking lumps of ice, and to the cool 
gurgling of the pounded bits, as, in tJie process of mixing, 
they are poured from glass to glass ! No amusements ? What 
are these suckers of cigars and sv/allovvers of strong drinks, 
whose hats and legs we see in every possible variety of twist, 
doing, but amusing themselves ? What are the fifty news- ; 
papers, which those precocious urchins are bawling down the 
street, and which are kept filed within, what are they but 
amusements .'' Not vapid waterish amusements, but good 
strong scuff ; dealing in round abuse and blackguard names ; 
pulling off the roofs of private houses, as the Halting Devil 
did in Spain ; pimping and pandering for all degrees of vi- 
cious taste, and gorging with coined lies the most voracious 
maw ; imputing to every^ man in public life • the coarsest and 
the vilest motives ; scaring away from the stabbed and pros- 
trate body-politic, every Samaritan of clear conscience and 
good deeds ; and setting on, with yell and whistle and the 
clapping of foul hands, the vilest vermin and worst birds of 
prey. — No amusements ! 

Let us go on again; and passing this wilderness of an 
hotel with stores about its base, like some Continental thea- 
tre, or the London Opera House shorn of its colonnade, 
plunge into the Five Points. But it is needful, first, that we 
take as our escort these two heads of the police, whom you 
would know for sharp and well-trained officers if you met 
them iii the Great Desert. So true it is, that certain pursuits, 
wherever carried on, will stamp men with the same character. 
These two might have been begotten, bo'rn, and bred, in 
Bow Street. 

We have seen no beggars in the streets by night or day ; 
but of other kinds of strollers, plenty. Poverty, wretched- 
ness, and vice, are rife enough where w^e are going now. 

This is the place : these narrow ways, diverging to the 
right and left, and reeking e^^erywhere with dirt and filth. 
Such lives as are led here, bear the same fruits here as else- 
v/here. The coarse and bloated faces at the doors, have coun- 
terparts at home, and all the wide world over. Debauchery 
has made the very houses prematurely old. See how the 

668 ^ M ERIC AN NO TES. 

rotten beams are lumbling down, and liow the patched and 
l)roken windows seem to scowl dimly, like eyes that have been 
hurt in drunken frays. Many of those pigs live here. Do 
they ever wonder why their masters walk upright in lieu of 
going on all-fours ? and why they talk instead of grunting ? 

So far, nearly every house is a low tavern ; and on the 
bar-room v/alls, are colored prints of Washington, and Queen 
Victoria of England, and the American Elagle. Among the 
pigeon-holes that hold the bottles, are pieces of plate-glass 
and colored paper, for there is, in some sort, a taste for dec- 
oration, even here. And as seamen frequent these haunts, 
there are maritime pictures by the dozen: of partings be- 
tween sailors and their ladv-loves, portraits of William, of the 
ballad, and his Black-Eyed Susan ; of Will Watch, the Bold 
Smuggler ; of Paul Jones the Pirate, and the like : on which 
the painted eyes of Queen Victoria, and of Washington to 
boot, rest in as strange companionship, as on most of the 
scenes that are enacted in their wondering presence. 

What place is this, to which the squalid street conducts 
us .^ A kind of square of leprous houses, some of which are 
attainable only by crazy wooden stairs without. What lies 
beyond this tottering flight of steps, that creak beneath our 
tread ? — a miserable room, lighted by one dim candle, and 
destitute of all comfort, save that which may be hidden in 
a v/retched bed. Beside it, sits a man ; his elbows on his 
knees : his forehead hidden in his hands. " Vv^hat ails that 
man?" asks the foremost officer. '' Fever," he sullenly re- 
plies, without looking up. C.'onceive the fancies of a fevered 
brain, in such a place as this ! 

Ascend these pitch-dark stairs, heedful of a false footing 
on the trembling boards, and grope your way with me into 
this wolfish den, where neither ray of light nor breath of air, 
appears to come. A negro lad, startled from his sleep by the 
officer's voice — he knows it well — but comforted by his as- 
surance that he has not com.e on business, officiously bestirs 
himself to light a candle. The match flickers for a moment, 
and shows, great mounds of dusky rags upon the ground ; 
then dies away and leaves a denser darkness than before, if 
there can be degrees in such extremes. He stumbles down 
the stairs and presently conies back, shading a flaring taper 
with his hand. Then the mounds of rags are seen to be astir, 
and rise slowly up, and the floor is covered with heaps of ne- 
gro women, waking from their sleep : their white teeth chat- 

.V£ir YORK, 


tering, and their bright eyes gUstening and winking on all 
sides with surprise and fear, like the countless repetition of 
one astonished African face in some strange mirror. 

Mount up these other stairs with no less caution (there are 
traps and pitfalls here, for those who are not so w^ell escorted 
as ourselves) into the .housetop ; where the bare beams and 
rafters meet overhead, and calm night looks down through 
the crevices in the roof. Open the door of one of these 
cramped hutches full of sleeiDing negroes. Pah ! They have 
a charcoal fire within : there is a smell of singeing clothes, or 
flesh, so close they gather round the brazier ; and vapors 
issue forth that blind and suffocate. From every corner, as 
you glance about you in these dark retreats, some figure 
crawls half-awakened, as if the judgment-hour were near at 
hand, and every obscene grave were giving up its dead. 
Where dogs would howl to lie, women, and men, and boys 
slink off to sleep, forcing the dislodged rats to move away in 
quest of better lodgings. 

Here too are lanes and alleys, paved with mud knee-deep, 
underground chambers, where they dance and game ; the 
walls bedecked with rough designs of ships, and forts, and 
flags, and American eagles out of number : ruined houses, 
open to the street, whence, through wide gaps in the walls, 
other ruins loom upon the eye, as though the world of vice 
and misery had nothing else to show : hideous tenements 
which take their name from robbery and murder : all that is 
loathsome, drooping, and decayed is here. 

Our leader has his hand upon the latch of " Almack's," 
and calls to us from the bottom of the steps ; for the assembly- 
room of the Five Point fashionables is approached by a de- 
scent. Shall Vs^e go in } It is but a moment. 

Heyday ! the landlady of Almack's thrives ! A buxom 
fat mulatto woman, with sparkling eyes, v/hose head is dainti- 
ly ornamented* with a handkerchief of many colors. Nor is 
the landlord much behind her in his finery, being attired in a 
smart blue jacket, like a ship's steward, with a thick gold ring 
upon his little finger, and round his neck a gleaming golden 
watch-guard. Flow glad he is to see us ! What will we 
please to. call for ? A dance ,'' It shall be done directly, sir : 
" a regular break-dov/n." 

The corpulent black fiddler, and his friend who plays the 
tamborine, stamp upon the boarding of the small raised 
orchestra in which they'sit, and plav a livelv measure. Five 



or six couple come upon the floor, marshalled by a lively 
young negro, who is the wit of the assembly, and the greatest 
dancer known. He never leaves off making queer faces, and 
is the delight of all the rest, who grin from ear to ear in- 
cessantly. Among the dancers are two young mulatto girls, 
with large black, drooping eyes, and head-gear after the 
fashion of the hostess, who are as shy, or feign to be, as 
though they never danced before, and so look down before 
the visitors, that their partners can see nothing but the long 
fringed lashes. 

But the dance conin.iences. Every gentleman sets as long 
as he likes to the opposite lady, and the opposite lady to him, 
and all are so long about it that the sport begins to languish, 
v/hen suddenly the lively hero dashes into the rescue. In- 
stantly the fiddler grins, and goes at it tooth and nail ; there is 
new energy in the tamborines ; new laughter in the dancers ; 
new smiles in the landlady ; new confidence in the landlord ; 
new brip-htness in the verv candles. Sins,'le shuffle, double 
shuffle, cut and cross-cut ; snapping his fingers, rolling his 
e3'-es, turning in his knees, presenting the backs of his legs in 
front, spinning about on his toes and heels like nothing but 
the man's fingers on the tamborine ; dancing with two left 
legs, two right legs, two wooden legs, two wire legs, two spring 
legs — all sorts of legs and no legs — what is this to him .? And 
in what walk of life, or dance of life, does Aan ever get such 
stimulating applause as thunders about him, when, having 
danced his partner off her feet, and himself too, he finishes 
by leaping gloriously on the bar-counter, and calling for some- 
thing to drink, v.ith the chuckle of a million of counterfeit 
Jim Crows, of one inimitable sound! 

The air, even in these distempered -^arts, is fresh after 
the stifling atmosphere of the houses ; and now, as we emerge 
into a broader street, it blows upon us with a jDurer breath, 
and the stars look bright again. Here are The Tombs once 
more. The city watch-liouse is a part of the building. It 
follows naturally on the siglits we have just left. Tet us see 
that, and then to bed. 

What ! do you thrust your common oftenders against the 
police discipline of the town, into such holes as these .'' Do 
men arid women, against whom no crime is proved, lie here 
all night in perfect darkness, surrounded by the noisome va- 
pors which encircle that flagging lamp you light us with, and 
breathinof this filth v and offensive stench I Whv, such inde- 


cent and disgusting dungeons as tliese cells, would bring dis- 
grace upon the most despotic empire in the world ! Look 
at them, man — you, who see them every night, and keep the 
keys. Do you see what they are ? Do you know how drains 
are made below the streets, and wherein these human sewers 
diiler, except in being always stagnant? 

Well- he don't know. He has had five-and-twent}' young 
women locked up in this very cell at one time, and you'd 
hardly realize what handsome faces tliere were among 'em. 

In God's name ! shut the door upon the wretched creature 
who is in it now, and put its screen before a place, quite un- 
surpassed in all the vice, neglect, and devilry, of the worst 
old town in Europe. 

Are people really left all night, untried, in those black 
sties t- — ^^Every night. The watch is set at seven in the even- 
ing. The magistrate opens his court at five in the morning. 
That is the earliest hour at which the first prisoner can be re- 
leased ; and if an officer appear against him, he is not taken 
out till nine o'clock or ten. — But if any one among them die 
in the interval, as one man did, not long ago ? Then he is 
half-eaten by the rats in an hour's time ; as that man was : 
and there an end. 

What is this intolerable tolling of great bells, and crashing 
of v/heels, and shouting in the distance ? A fire. And what 
that deep red liodit in the opposite direction t Another fire. 
And what these "Riarred and blackened walls we stand before ? 
A dwelling where a fire has been. It was more than hinted, 
in an official report, not long ago, that some of these con- 
flagrations Vv'ere not wholly accidental, and that speculation 
and enterprise found a field of exertion, even in flames : but 
be this as it may, there was a fire last night, there are two to- 
night, and you may lay an even w-ager there will be at least 
one, to-morrow. So, carrying that with us for our comJart. 
let us say, Good-night, and climb up stairs to bed. 

One day, during my stay in New York, I paid a visit to 
the different public institutions on Long Island, or Rhode 
Island : I forget which. One of them is a Lunatic Asylum, 
The building is handsome ; and is remarkable for a spacious 
and elegant staircase. The whole structure is not yet finished, 
but it is already one of considerable size and extent, and is 
capable of accommodating a very large number of patients. 

I cannot say that I^derived4nuch comfort from the inspec- 



lion of this charity. The different wards might have been 
cleaner and better ordered ; I saw notJiing ot that salutary 
system which had impressed me so favorably elsewhere • and 
everything had a lounging, listless, madhouse air, which was 
very painful. The moping idiot, cowering down with, long 
dishevelled hair ; the gibbering maniac, with his hideous laugh 
and pointed finger ; the vacant eye, the fierce wild face, the 
gloomy picking of the hands and lips, and munching of the 
nails : there they were all, without disguise, in naked ugliness 
and horror. In the dining-room, a bare, dull, dreary place, 
with nothing for the eye to rest on but the empty walls, a 
woman was locked up alone. She was bent, they told me, on 
committing suicide. If anything could have strengthened her 
in lier resolution, it would certainly have been the insupport- 
able monotony of such an existence. 

The terrible crowd with which these halls and galleries 
were filled, so shocked me, that I abridged my stay within the 
shortest limits, and declined to see that portion of the build- 
ing in which the refractory and violent were under closer re- 
straint. I have no doubt that the gentleman who presided over 
this establishment at the time I write of, was competent to 
manage it, and had done all in his power to promote its use- 
fulness : but will it be believed that the miserable strife of 
Party feeling is carried even into this sad refuge of afflicted 
and degraded humanity ? Will it be believed that the eyes 
which are to watch over and control the wanderings of minds 
on which the most dreadful visitation to which our nature is 
exposed has fallen, must wear the glasses of some wretched 
side in Politics ? Vv'iUit be believed that the governor of such 
a house as this, is appointed, and deposed, and changed per- 
petually, as Parties fluctuate and vary, and as their despicable 
weathercocks are blown this way or that? A hundred times 
in every week, some new most paltry exhibition of that nar- 
row-minded and injurious Party Spirit, which is the Simoom 
of America, sickening and blighting e\-erything of wholesome 
life within its reach, was forced upon my notice ; but I never 
turned my back upon it with feelings of such deep disgust 
and measur-less contempt, as when I cror=sed the threshold 
of this madhouse. 

At a short distance from this building is another called 
the Alms House, that is to say, the workhouse of New York. 
This is a large Institution also : lodging, I believe, when I 
was there, nearly a thousand poor. It was badly ventilated. 



and badly lighted ; was not too clean ; and impressed me, on 
the whole, very unQomfortably. But it must be remembered 
that New York, as a great emporium of commerce, and as a 
place of general resort, not only from all parts of the States, 
but from most parts of the world, has always a large pauper 
population to provide for ; and labors, therefore, under pecu- 
liar difficulties in this respect. Nor must it be forgotten that 
New York is a large town, and that in all large towns a vast 
amount of good and evil is intermixed and jumbled up to- 

In the same neighborhood is the Farm, where young or- 
phans are nursed and bred. I did not see it, but I believe it 
is well conducted ; and I can the more easily credit it, from 
knowing how mindful they usually are, in America, of that 
beautiful passage in the Litany which remembers all sick per- 
sons and young children. 

I was taken to these Institutions by water, in a boat be- 
longing to the Island Jail, and rowed by a crew of prisoners, 
who were dressed in a striped uniform of black and buff, in 
which they looked like faded tigers. They took me, by the 
same conveyance, to the Jail itself. 

It is an old prison, and quite a pioneer establishment, on 
the plan I have already described. I was glad to hear this, 
tor it is unquestionably a very indifferent one. The most is 
made, however, of the means it possesses, and it is as well 
regulated as such a place can be. 

The women w^ork in covered sheds, erected for that pur- 
pose. If I remember right, there are no shops for the men, 
but be that as it may, the greater part of them labor in certain 
stone-quarries near at hand. The day being very wet indeed, 
this labor was suspended, and the prisoners were in their cells. 
Imagine these cells, some two or three hundred in number, 
and in every one a man locked up ; this one at his door for 
air, with his hands thrust through the grate ; this one in bed 
(in the middle of the day, remember) ; and this one flung 
down in a heap upon the ground, with his head against the 
bars, like a wild beast. Make the rain pour down, outside, 
in torents. Put the everlasting stove in the midst ; hot, and 
suffocating, and vaporous, as a witch's cauldron. Add a col- 
lection of gentle odors, such as would arise from a thousand 
mildewed umbrellas, wet through, and a thousand buck-baskets, 
full of half-washed linen — and there is the prison, as it w^as 
that day. 



The prison for the Staie at Sing Sing, is, on the other 
hand, a model jail. That, and Auburn, are, X believe, the 
largest and best examples of the silent SA'Stem. 

In another part of the city, is the Refuge for the Destitute : 
an Institution whose object is to reclaim youthful offenders, 
male and female, black and white, without distinction; to 
teach them useful trades, apprentice them to respectable 
masters, and make them worthy members of society. Its de- 
sign, it will be seen, is similar to that at Boston ; and it is a 
no less meritorious and admirable establishment. A suspi- 
cion crossed my mind during my inspection of this noble 
charity, whether the superintendent had quite sufiicient knowl- 
edge of the world and worldly characters ; and whether he 
did not commit a great mistake in treating some young girls, 
who were to all intents and purposes, by their years and their 
past lives, women, as though they were little children ; which 
certainly had a ludicrous effect in my eyes, and, or I am much 
mistaken, in theirs also. As the Institution, however, is always 
under the vigilant examination of a body of gentlemen of great 
intelligence and experience, it cannot fail to be well conducted ; 
and whether I am right or wrong in this slight particular, is 
unimportant to its deserts and character, which it would be 
difficult to estimate too highly. 

In addition to these establishments, there are in New York, 
excellent hospitals and schools, literary institutions and libra- 
ries ; an admirable fire department (as indeed it should be, 
having constant practice), and charities of every sort and kind, 
in the suburbs there is a spacious cemetery ; unfinished yet, 
but every day improving. The saddest tomb i saw there was 
'' The vStrangers' Grave. Dedicated to the different hotels in 
this city." 

There are three principal theatres. Two of them, the 
Park and the Bower}', are large, elegant, and handsome build- 
ings, and are, I grieve to write it, generally deserted. The 
third, the Olympic, is a tiny shov,--box for vaudevilles and bur- 
lesques. It is singularly well conducted by Mr. Mitchell, a 
comic actor of great quiet humor and originality, who is well 
remembered and esteemed by London playgoers. I am happy 
to report of this deserving gentleman, that his benches are 
usually well filled, and that this theatre rings with merrimient 
e\'ery night. I had almost forgotten a small summer theatre, 
called Niblo's, with gardens and open air amusements attached ; 
but I believe it is not exempt from the general depression 

under which Theatrical Property, or what is humorously called 
by that name, unfortunately labors. 

The country round New York, is surpassingly and exquis- 
itely picturesque. The climate, as I have already intimated, 
is somewhat of the warmest. What it would be, without the 
sea breezes which come from its beautiful Bay in the evening 
time, r will not throw myself 01' my readers into a fever by in- 

The tone of the best society in this city, is like that of Bos- 
ton ; here and there, it may be, with a greater infusion of the 
mercantile spirit, but generally polished and refined, and 
always m.ost hospitable. The houses and tables are elegant ; 
the hours later and more rakish ; and there is, perhaps, a 
greater spirit of contention in reference to appearances, and 
the display of w^ealth and costly living. The ladies are sin- 
gularly beautiful. 

Before I left New York I made arrangements for securing 
a passage home in the George Washington packet ship, wdiich 
was advertised to sail in June : that being the month in which 
I had determined, if prevented by no accident in the course of 
my ramblings, to leave America, 

I never thought that going back to P^ngland, returning to 
all who are dear to me, and to pursuits tha.t have insensibly 
grown to be a part of my -nature, I could have felt so much 
sorrow as I endured, when I parted at last, on board this 
ship, with the friends who had accompanied me from this 
city. I never thought the name of any place, so far away and 
so lately known, could ever associate itself in my mind with 
the crowd of affectionate remembrances that now cluster about 
it. There are those in the city who would brighten, to me, 
the darkest winter-day that ever glimmered and went out in 
Lapland; and before whose presence even Home grew dim, 
when they and I exchanged that painful word which mingles 
with our every thought and deed ; which haunts our cradle- 
heads in infancy, and closes up the vista of our lives in age. 




The journey from New York to Philadelphia, is made by 
railroad, and two ferries ; aiid usually occupies between five 
and six hours. It was a fine evening when we were passengers 
in the train : and watching the bright sunset from a little win- 
dow near the door by which we sat, my attention was attracted 
to a remarkable appearance issuing from the windows of the 
gentlemen's car immediately in front of us, which I supposed 
for some time was occasioned by a number of industrious per- 
sons inside, ripping open feather-beds, and giving the feathers 
to the wind. At length it occurred to me that they were onl}'- 
spitting, which was indeed the case ; though how any number 
of passengers which it was possible for that car to contain, 
could have maintained such a playful and incessant shower of 
expectoration, I am still at a loss to understand : notwithstand- 
ing the experience in all salivator}^ phenomena which I after- 
wards acquired. 

I made acquaintance, on this journey, with a mild and 
modest young quaker, who opened the discourse by informing 
me, in a grave whisper, that his grandfather was the inventor 
of cold drawn castor oil. I mention the circumstance here, 
thinking it probable that this is the first occasion on which the 
valuable medicine in question was ever used as a conversa- 
tional aperient. 

We reached the city, late that night. Looking out of my 
chamber-window, before going to bed, I saw, on the opposite 
side of the v/ay, a handsome building of white marble, v/hich 
had a mournful ghost-like aspect, dreary to behold. I attrib- 
uted this to the sombre influence of the night, and on rising 
in the morning looked out again, expecting to see its steps and 
portico thronged with groups of people passing in and out. 
The door was still tight shut, however ; the same cold cheer- 
less air prevailed ; and the building looked as if the marble 
statue of Don Guzman could alone have any business to trans- 
act within its gloomy walls. I hastened to inquire its name 
and purpose, and then my surprise vanished. It was the 


Tomb of many fortunes ; the Great Catacomb of investment \ 
the memorable United States Bank. 

The stoppage of this bank, with all its ruinous consequences, 
had cast (as I was told on every side) a gloom on Philadelphia, 
under the depressing ellect of which it yet labored. It cer- 
tainly did seem rather dull and out of spirits. 

It is a handsome city, but distractingly regular. After 
walking about it for an hour or two, I felt that I would have 
given the world for a crooked street. The collar of my coat 
appeared to stiffen, and the brim of my hat to expand, beneath 
its quakery influenj:e. My hair shrunk into a sleek short crop, 
my hands folded themselves upon my breast of their own 
calm accord, and thoughts of taking lodgings in Mark Lane 
over against the Market Place, and of making a large fortune 
by speculations in corn, came over me involuntarily. 

Philadelphia is most bountifully provided with fresh water, 
which is showered and jerked about, and turned on, and 
poured off, everywhere. The Waterworks, which are on a 
height near the city, are no less ornamental than useful, being 
tastefully laid out as a public garden, and kejDt in the best 
and neatest order. The river is dammed at this point, and 
forced by its own pov/er into certain liigh tanks or reservoirs, 
whence the whole city, to the top stories of the houses, is sup- 
plied at a very trifling expense. 

There are various public institutions. Among them a 
most excellent Hospital — a quaker establishment; but not 
sectarian in the great benefits it confers ; a quiet, quaint old 
Library, named after Franklin ; a handsome Exchange and 
Post Office ; and so forth. In connection with the quaker 
Hospital, there is a picture by West, which is exhibited for 
the benefit of the funds of the institution. The subject is, cur 
Saviour healing the sick, and it is, perhaps, as favorable a 
specimen of the master as can be seen anywhere. Whether 
this be high or low praise, depends upon the reader's taste. 

In the same room, there is a very characteristic and life- 
like portrait by Mr. Sally, a distinguished American artist. 

My stay in Philadelphia was very short, but what I saw of 
its society, I greatly liked. Treating of its general characteris- 
tics, I should be disposed to say that it is more provincial tlian 
Boston or New York, and that there is afloat in the fair city, 
an assumption of taste and criticism, savoring rather of those 
genteel discussions upon the same themes, in connection with 
Shakspeare and the Musical Glasses, of which we read in the 


Vicar of Wakefield. Near the city, is a most splendid unfin- 
ished marble structure for the Girard College, founded by a 
deceased gentleman of that name and of enormous wealth, 
which, if completed according to the original design, will be 
perhaps the richest edifice of modern times. But the bequest 
is involved in legal disputes, and pending them the work has 
stopped ; so that like many other great undertakings in Amer- 
ica, even this is rather going to be done one of these days, 
than doing now. 

In the outskirts, stands a great prison, called the Eastern 
Penitentiary : conducted on a plan peculiar to the State of 
Pennsylvania. The system here, is rigid, strict, and hopeless 
solitary confinement. I believe it, in its effects, to be cruel 
and wrong. 

In its intention, I am well convinced that it is kind, hu- 
mane, and meant for reformation ; but I am persuaded that 
those who devised this system of Prison Discipline, and those 
benevolent gentlemen who carry it into execution, do not 
know what it is that they are doing. I believe that very few 
men are capable of estimating the immense amount of torture 
and agony which this dreadful punishment, prolonged for 
years, inflicts upon the sufferers ; and in guessing at it myself, 
and in reasoning from what I have seen written upon their 
faces, and what to my certain knowledge they feel within, I 
am only the more convinced that there is a depth of terrible 
endurance in it which none but the sufferers themselves can 
fathom, and which no man has a right to inflict upon his 
fellow-creature. I hold this slow and daily tampering with 
the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any 
torture of the body : and because its ghastly signs and tokens 
are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars 
upon the flesh ; because its wounds are not upon the surface, 
and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear ; therefore 
I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment which slum- 
bering humanity is not roused up to stay. I hesitated once, 
debating with myself, whether, if I had the power of saying 
" Yes " or " No," I would allow it to be tried in certain 
cases, where the terms of imprisonment were short ; but now, 
I solemnly declare, that with no rewards or honors could I 
walk a happy man beneath the open sky by day, or lie me 
down upon my bed at night, with the consciousness that one 
human creature, for any length of time, no matter what, lay 
suffering this unknown punishment in bis silent cell, and I 
the cause, or I consenting: to it in the least drrrree. 


I was accompanied to this prison by two gentlemen offi- 
cially connected with its management, and passed the day 
in going from cell to cell, and talking with the inmates. 
Every facility was afforded me, that the utmost courtesy could 
suggest. Nothing was concealed or hidden from my view 
and every piece of information that I sought, was openly and 
frankly given. The perfect order of the building cannot be 
praised too highly, and of the excellent motives of all who 
are immediately concerned in the administration of the system, 
there can be no kind of question. 

Between the body of the prison and the outer wall, there 
is a spacious garden. Entering it, by a wicket in the massive 
gate, we pursued the path before us to its other termination, 
and passed into a large chamber, from w^hich seven long pas- 
sages radiate. On either side of each, is a long, long row of 
low cell doors, with a certain number over every one. Above, 
a gallery of ceils like those below, except that they have no 
narrow yard attached (as those in the ground tier have), and 
are somewhat smaller. The possession of two of these, is 
supposed to compensate for the absence of so much air and 
exercise as can be had in the dull strip attached to each of 
the others, in an hour's time every day ; and therefore every 
prisoner in this upper story has two cells, adjoining and com- 
municating with, each other. 

Standing at the central point, and looking down these 
dreary passages, the dull repose and quiet that prevails, is 
awful. Occasionally, there is a drowsy sound from some 
lone weaver's shuttle, or shoemaker's last, but it is stifled by 
the thick walls and heavy dungeon-door, and only serves to 
make the general stillness more profound. Over the head 
and face of ever)^ prisoner who comes into this melancholy 
house, a black hood is drawn ; and in this dark shroud, an 
emblem of the curtain dropped between him and the living 
world, he is led to the cell from which he never again comes 
forth, until his whole term of imprisonment has expired. He 
never hears of W'ife and children ; home or friends ; the life 
or death of any single creature. He sees the prison-officers, 
but Vv'ith that exception he never looks upon a human coun- 
tenance, or hears a human voice. He is a man buried alive ; 
to be dug out in the slow round of years ; and in the mean 
time dead to everything but torturing anxieties and horrible 

His name, and crime, and term of suffering, are unknown, 

68o AMEJ-IjCAX X0 7-ES. 

even to the officer wlro delivers liim his daily food. There 
is a number over his cell-door, and in a book of which the 
governor of the prison has one copy, and the' moral instructor 
another: this is the index of his history. Beyond these 
pages the prison has no record of his existence : and though 
he live to be in the same cell ten Weary years, he has no 
means of knovv'ing, down to the ver}^ last hour, in what part 
of the building it is situated ; what kind of men there are 
about him ; whether in the long winter nights there are living 
people near, or he is in some lonely corner of the great jail, 
with walls, and passages, and iron doors between him and 
the nearest sharer in its solitary horrors. 

Every cell has double doors : the outer one of sturdy oak, 
the other of grated iron, wherein there is a trap through 
which his food is handed. He has a Bible, and a slate ancV 
pencil, and, under certain restrictions, has sometimes other 
books, provided for the purpose, and pen and ink and paper. 
His razor, plate, and can, and basin, hang upon the wall, or 
shine upon the little shelf. Fresli water is laid on in every 
cell, and he can draw it at liis pleasure. During the day, his 
bed-stead turns up against the wall, and leaves more space 
for him to work in. His loom, or bench, or wheel, is there ; 
and there he labors, sleeps and wakes, and counts the seasons 
as they change, and grows old. 

The first man I saw, was seated at his loom, at work. 
He had been there, six years, and was to remain, I think, 
three more. He had been convicted as a receiver of stolen 
goods, but even after his long imprisonm.ent, denied his guilt, 
and said he had been hardly dealt by. It his second 

He stopped his work when we vrent in, took off his spec- 
tacles, and answered freely to everything that was said to 
him, but always with a strange kind of pause first, and in a 
low, thoughtful voice. He wore a paper hat of his own 
making, and was pleased to have it noticed and commended. 
He had very ingeniously manufactured a sort of Dutch clock 
from some disregarded odds and ends ; and his vinegar- 
bottle served for the pendulum. Seeing me interested in 
this contrivance, he looked up at it with a great deal of pride, 
and said that he had been thinking of improving it, and that 
he hoped the hammer and a little piece of broken glass be- 
side it '• would play music before long." He liad extiacted 
some colors from the yarn with which he v;orked, and painted 


a few poor figures on the M'all. One, of a female, over the 
door, he called " The Lady of the Lake." 

He smiled as I looked at these contrivances to wile away 
the time ; but when I looked from them to him, I saw that 
his lips trembled, and could have counted the beating of his 
heart. I forgot how it came about, but some allusion was 
made to his having a wife. He shook his head at the word, 
turned aside, and covered his face with his hands. 

" But you are resigned now ! " said one of the gentlemen 
after a short pause, during which he had resumed his former 
manner. He answered with a sigh that seemed quite reck- 
less in its hopelessness, " Oh yes, oh yes ! I am resigned to 
it." "And are a better man, you think.? " "Well, I hope 
so : I'm sure I hope I ' may be." " And time goes pretty 
quickly ? " " Time is very long, gentlemen, within these four 
walls ! " 

He gazed about him — Heaven only knows how wearily ! 
as he said these Avords ; and in the act of doing so, fell into 
a strange stare as if he had forgotten something. A moment 
afterwards he sighed heavily, put on his spectacles, and went 
about his work again. 

In another cell, there was a German, sentenced to five 
years' imprisonment for larceny, two of which had just ex- 
pired. With colors procured in the same manner, he had 
painted every inch of the walls and ceiling quite beautifully. 
He had laid out the few feet of ground, behind, with exquisite 
neatness, and had made a little bed in the centre that looked 
by the bye like a grave. The taste and ingenuity he had dis- 
played in everything were most extraordinary ; and yet a more 
dejected, heart-broken, wretched creature, it would be difficult 
to imagine. I never saw such a picture of forlorn affiiction 
and distress of mind. My heart bled for him ; and when the 
tears ran down his cheeks, and he took one of the visitors 
aside, to ask, with his trembling hands nervously clutching at 
his coat to detain him, whether there was no hope of his dis- 
mal sentence being commuted, the spectacle v/as really too 
painful to witness. I never saw^ or heard of any kind of mis- 
ery that impressed me more than the wretchedness of this 

In a third cell, was a tall strong black, a burglar, working 
at his proper trade of making screws and the like. His time 
was nearly out. He w^as not only a very dexterous thief, but 
was notorious for his boldness and hardihood, and for the 


number of his previous convictions. He entertained us with 
a long account of his achievements, which he narrated with 
such infinite rehsh, that he actually seemed to lick his lips as 
he told us racy anecdotes of stolen plate, and of old ladies 
whom he had watched as they sat at windows in silver specta- 
cles (he had plainly an eye to their metal even from the other 
side of the street) and had afterwards robbed. This fellow, 
upon the slightest encouragement, would have mingled with 
his professional recollections the most detestable cant ; but I 
am very much mistaken if he could have surpassed the un- 
mitigated hypocrisy with which he declared that he blessed 
the day on which he came into that prison, and that he never 
would commit another robbery as long as he lived. 

There was one man who was allowed, as an indulgence, to 
keep rabbits. His room having rather a close smell in conse- 
quence, they called to him at the door to come out into the 
passage. He complied of course, and stood shading his hag- 
gard face in the unwonted sunlight of the great window, 
looking as wan and unearthly as if he had been summoned 
from the grave. He had a white rabbit in his breast ; and 
when the little creature, getting down upon the ground, stole 
back into the cell, and he, being dismissed, crept timidly after 
it, I thought it would have been very hard to say in what re- 
spect the man was the nobler animal of the two. 

There was an English thief, who had been there but a few 
days out of seven years : a villainous, low-browed, thin-lipped 
fellow, with a white face ; who had as yet no relish for vis- 
itors, and who, but for the additional penalty, would have 
gladly stabbed me v/ith his shoemaker's knife. There was 
another German who had entered the jail but yesterday, and 
who started from his bed when we looked in, and pleaded, in 
his broken English, very hard for work. There was a poet, 
who after doing two days' work in every four-and-twenty 
hours, one for himself and one for the prison, wrote verses 
about ships (he was by trade a mariner), and " the madden- 
ing v/ine-cup," and his friends at home. There were very 
many of them. Some reddened at the sight of visitprs, and 
some turned very pale. Some two or three had prisoner nurses 
with them, for they were very sick ; and one, a fat old negro 
whose leg had been taken off within the jail, had for his at- 
tendant a classical scholar and an accomplished surgeon, him- 
self a prisoner likewise. Sitting upon the stairs, engaged in 
some slight work, was a pretty colored boy. " Is there no 


refuge for young criminals in Philadelphia, then ? " said I. 
" Yes, but only for white children." Noble aristocracy in 
crime ? 

There was a sailor who had been there upwards of eleven 
years, and who in a few months' time would be free. Eleven 
years of solitary confinement ! 

" I am very glad to hear your time is nearly out." What 
does he say ? Nothing. Why does he stare at his hands, 
and pick the flesh upon his fingers, and raise his eyes for an 
instant, every now and then, to those bare walls which have 
seen his head turn gray ? It is a Kvay he has sometimes. 

Does he never look men in the face, and does he always 
pluck at those hands of his, as though he were bent on part- 
ing skin and bone ? It is his humor : nothing more. 

It is his humor too, to say that he does not look forward 
to going out ; that he is not glad the time is drawing near ; 
that he did look forward to it once, but that was very long 
ago ; that he has lost all care for everything. It is his humor 
to be a helpless, crushed, and broken man. And, Heaven be 
his witness that he has his humor thoroughly gratified ! 

There were three young women in adjoining cells, all con- 
victed at the same time of a conspiracy to rob their prosecu- 
tor. In the silence and solitude of their lives they had grown 
to be quite beautiful. Their looks were very sad, and might 
have moved the sternest visitor to tearsj but not to that kind 
of sorrow which the contemplation of the men awakens. One 
was a young girl ; not twenty, as I recollect ; whose snow- 
white room was hung with the work of some former prisoner, 
and upon whose downcast face the sun in all its splendor 
shone down through the high chink in the w^all, where one 
narrow strip of bright blue sky was visible. She was very 
penitent and quiet ; had come to be resigned, she said (and I 
believe her) ; and had a mind at peace. " In a word, you 
are happy here ? " said one of my companions. She struggled 
— she did struggle very hard — to answer, Yes ; but raising 
her eyes, and meeting that glimpse of freedom overhead, she 
burst iato tears, and said, " She tried to be ; she uttered no 
complaint; but it was natural that she should sometimes long 
to go out of that one cell : she could not help t/iat,'^ she 
sobbed, poor thing ! 

I went from cell to cell that day ; and every face I savv-, 
or word I heard, or incident I noted, is present to my mind in 
all its painfulness. But let me pass them by, for one, rnor« 

6 S 4 A MERIL 'A X A 'O TES. 

pleasant, glance of a prison on the same plan which I after- 
wards saw at Pittsburg. 

When I had gone over that, in the same manner, I asked 
the governor if he had any person in his charge who was 
shortly going out. He had one, he said, whose time v/as up 
next day ; but he had only been a prisoner two years. 

Two years ! I looked back through two years of my own 
life — out of jail, prosperous, happy, surrounded by blessings, 
comforts, good-fortune — and thought how wide a gap it was, 
and how long those tvv^o years passed in solitary captivity 
would have been. I have the face of this man, who was going 
to be released next day, before m.e now. It is almost more 
memorable in its happiness than the other faces in their mis- 
ery. How easy and how natural it was for him to say that 
the system was a good one ; and that the time went '' pretty 
quick — considering ; " and that when a man once felt that he 
had offended the law, and must satisfy it, " he got along, 
somehow : " and so forth ! 

" What did he call you back to say to you, in that strange 
flutter ? " I asked of my conductor, when he had locked the 
door and joined me in the passage. 

" Oh ! That he was afraid the soles of his boots were not 
fit for walking, as they were a good deal worn when he came 
in ; and that he would thank me very much to have them 
mended, ready." 

Those boots had been taken off his feet, and put away 
with the rest of his clothes, two years before ! 

I took that opportunity of inquiring how they conducted 
themselves immediately before going out ; adding that I pre- 
sumed they trembled very much. 

" Well, it's not so much a trembling," was the answer — 
" though they do quiver — ^as a complete derangement of the 
nervous system. They can't sign their names to the book ; 
sometimes can't even hold the pen ; look about 'em without 
appearing to know why, or where they are ; and sometimes 
get up and sit down again, twenty times in a minute. This 
is when they're in the office, where they are taken ivith the 
hood on, as they were brought in. When they get outside 
the gate, they stop, and look first one way and then the other ; 
not knowing which to take. Sometimes they stagger as if 
they were drunk, and sometimes are forced to lean against 
the fence, they're so bad : — but they clear off in course of 



As I walked among these solitary cells, and looked at the 
faces of the men within them, I tried to picture to myself the 
thoughts and feelings natural to their condition. I imagined 
the hood just taken off, and the scene of their captivity dis- 
closed to them in all its dismal monotony. 

At first, the man is stunned. His confinement is a hideous 
vision ; and his old life a reality. He throws himself upon 
his bed, and lies there abandoned to despair. By degrees 
the insupportable solitude and barrenness of the place rouses 
him from this stupor, and when the trap in his grated door is 
opened, he humbly begs and prays for work. " Give me 
some work to do, or I shall go raving mad ! " 

He has it; and by fits and starts applies himself to labor ; 
but every now and then there comes upon him a burning 
sense of the years that must be wasted in that stone coffin, 
and an agony so piercing in the recollection of those who are 
hidden from his view and knowledge, that he starts from his 
seat, and striding up and down the narrov/ room with both 
hands clasped on his uplifted head, hears spirits tempting him 
to beat his brains out on the wall. 

Again he falls upon his bed, and lies there, moaning. 
Suddenly he starts up, wondering whether any other man is 
near ; whether there is another cell like that on either side of 
him : and listens keenly. 

There is no sound, but other prisoners may be near for 
all that. He remembers to have heard once, when he little 
thought of coming here himself, that the ceils were so con- 
structed that the prisoners could not hear each other, though 
the officers could hear them. Where is the nearest man — 
upon the right, or on the left ? or is there one in both direc- 
tions ? Where is he sitting now — with his face to the light ? 
or is he walking to and fro ? How is he dressed ? Has he 
been here long } Is he much worn away ? Is he very white 
and spectre-like ? Does he think of his neighbor too t 

Scarcely venturing to breathe, and listening while he 
thinks, he conjures up a figure with his back towards him, 
and imagines it moving about in this next cell. He has no 
idea of the face, but he is certain of the dark form of a stoop- 
ing man. In the cell upon the other side, he puts another 
figure, whose face is hidden from him also. Day after day, 
and often when he wakes up in the middle of the night, he 
thinks of these two men until he is almost distracted. He 
never changes them. There they are always as he first irn- 

68 6 -'^ MKkh -AX .\ O TI'S. 

agined them — an old man on the right ; a younger man upon 
the left — whose hidden features torture him to death, and 
have a mystery that makes him tremble. 

The weary days pass on with solemn pace, like mourners 
at a funeral ; and slowly he begins to feel that the white walls 
of the cell have something dreadful in them : that their color 
is horrible : that their smooth surface chills his blood ; that 
there is one hateful corner which torments him. Every 
morning when he wakes, he hides his head beneath the cover- 
let, and shudders to see the ghastly ceiling looking down 
upon him. The blessed light of day itself peeps in, an ugly 
phantom face, through the unchangeable crevice which is his 
prison window. 

By slow but sure degrees, the terrors of that hateful 
corner swell until they beset him at all times ; invade his 
rest, make his dreams hideous, and his nights dreadful. At 
lirst, he took a strange dislike to it ; feeling as though it gave 
birth in his brain to something of corresponding shape, which 
ought not to be there, and racked his head wdth pains. Then 
he began to fear it, then to dream of it, and of men whisper- 
ing its name and pointing to it. Then he could not bear to 
look at it, nor yet to turn his back upon it. Now, it is every 
night the lurking-place of a ghost : a shadow : — a silent 
something, horrible to see, but whether bird, or beast, or 
muffled human shape, he cannot tell. 

When he is in his cell by day, he fears the little yard 
without. When he is in the yard, he dreads to re-enter the 
cell. When night comes, there stands the phantom in the 
corner. If he have the courage to stand in its place, and 
drive it out (he • had once : being desperate), it broods upon 
his bed. In the twilight, and always at the same hour, a 
voice calls to him by name ; as the darkness thickens, his 
Loom begins to live ; and even that, his comfort, is a hideous 
figure, watching him till daybreak. 

Again, by slow degrees, these horrible fancies depart from 
him one by one : returning sometimes, unexpectedly, but at 
longer intervals, and in less alarming shapes. He has talked 
upon religious matters with the gentleman who visits him, 
and has read his Bible, and has written a prayer upon his 
slate, and hung it up as a kind of protection, and an assurance 
of Heavenly companionship. He dreams now, sometimes, of 
his children or his wife, but is sure that they are dead, or 
have deserted him. He is easily moved to tears ; is gentle. 


submissive, and broken-spirited. Occasionally, the old agony 
comes back : a very little thing will revive it; even a familiar 
sound, or the scent of summer flowers in the air ; but it docs 
not last long, now^ : for the world wdthout, has come to be the 
vision, and this solitaiy life, the sad reality. 

If his term of imprisonment be short — I mean compara- 
tively, for short it cannot be — the last half year is almost 
worse than all ; for then he thinks the prison will take fire 
and he be burnt in the ruins, or that he is doomed to die 
within the walls, or that he w411 be detained on some false 
charge and sentenced for another term : or that something, 
no matter what, must happen to prevent his going at large. 
And this is natural, and impossible to be reasoned against, 
because, after his long separation from human life, and his 
great suffering, any event will appear to him more probable 
in the contemplation, than the being restored to liberty and 
his fellow-creatures. 

If his period of confinement have been very long, the 
prospect of release bewilders and confuses him. His broken 
heart may flutter for a moment, when he thinks of the world 
outside, and what it might have been to him in all those 
lonely years, but that is all. The cell-door has been closed 
too long on all its hopes and cares. Better to have hanged 
him in the beginning than bring him to this pass, and send 
him forth to mingle with this kind, who are his kind no more. 

On the haggard face of every man among these prisoners, 
the same expression sat. I know not what to liken it to. It 
had something of that strained attention which we see upon 
the faces of the blind and deaf, mingled with a kind of horror, 
as though they had all been secretly terrified. In every little 
chamber that I entered, and at every grate through which I 
looked, I seemed to see the same appalling countenance. It 
lives in my memory, with the fascination of a remarkable 
picture. Parade before my eyes, a hundred men, with one 
among them newly released from this solitary suft'ering, and 
I would point him out. 

The faces of the women, as I have said, it humanizes and 
refines. Whether this be because of their better nature, 
which is elicited in solitude, or because of their being gentler 
creatures, of greater patience and longer suffering, I do not 
know^ ; but so it is. That the punishment is neverthek^ss, to 
my thinking, fully as cruel and as wrong in their case, as in 
that of the men, I need scarcely add. 

638 -^ xrERicA X y 'o tes. 

My iirni conviction is that, independent of the mental 
anguish it occasions — an anguish so acute and so tremen- 
dous, that all imagination of it must fall far short of the real- 
ity — it wears the mind into a morbid state, which renders it 
unfit for the rough contact and busy action of the world. It 
is my fixed opinion that those who have undergone this pun- 
ishment. MUST pass into society again morally unhealthy and 
diseased. There are many instances on record, of men who 
have chosen, or have been condemned, to lives of perfect 
solitude, but I scarcely remember one, even among sages of 
strong and vigorous intellect, v/here its effect has not become 
apparent in some disordered train of thought, or some gloomy 
hallucination. What monstrous phantoms, bred of despon- 
dency and doubt, and born and reared in solitude, have 
stalked upon the earth, making creation ugly, and darkening 
the face of Heaven ! 

Suicides are rare among these prisoners : are almost, 
indeed, unknown. But no argument in favor of the system, 
can reasonably be deduced from this circumstance, although 
it is very often urged. All men who have made diseases of 
the mind their study, know perfectly well that such extreme 
depression and despair as will change the whole character, 
and beat down all its powers of elasticity and self- resistance, 
may be at work withm a man, and yet stop short of self-de- 
struction. This is a common case. 

That it makes the senses dull, and by degrees impairs the 
bodily faculties, I am quite sure. I remarked to those who 
were with me in this very establishment at Philadelphia, that 
the criminals who had been there long, were deaf. They, 
who were in the habit of seeing these men constantly, were 
perfectly amazed at the idea, which they regarded as ground- 
less and fanciful. And yet the very first prisoner to whom 
they appealed — one of their own selection — confirmed my im- 
pression (which was unknown to him) instantly, and said, 
with a genuine air it was impossible to doubt, that he couldn't 
think how it happened, but he 7vas growing very dull of hear- 

That It is a singularly unequal punishment, and affects the 
worst man least, there is no doubt. In its superior efficiency 
as a means of reformation, compared with that other code of 
regulations which allows the prisoners to work in company with- 
out communicating together, I have not the smallest faith. All 
the instances of reformation that were mentioned to me, were 


of a land that might have been — and I have no doubt what- 
ever, in my own mind, would have been — equally well brought 
about by the Silent System. With regard to such men as the 
negro burglar and the English thief, even the most enthusiastic 
have scarcely any hope of their conversion. 

It seems to me that the objection that nothing wholesome 
or good has ever had its growth in such unnatural solitude, 
and that even a dog or any of the more intelligent among 
beasts, would pine, and mope, and rust away, beneath its 
influence, would be in itself a sufficient argument against this 
system. But when we recollect, in addition, how very cruel 
and severe it is and that a solitary life is always liable to 
peculiar and distinct objections of a most deplorable nature, 
which have arisen here, and call to mind, moreover, that the 
choice is not between this system, and a bad or ill-considered 
one, but between it and another which has worked well, and 
is, in its whole design and practice, excellent ; there is surely 
more than sufficient reason for abandoning a mode of punish- 
ment attended by so little hope or promise, and fraught, 
beyond .dispute, with such a host of evils. 

As a relief to its contemplation, I will close this chapter 
with a curious story arising out of the same theme, which was 
related to me, on the occasion of this visit, by some of the 
gentlemen concerned. 

At one of the periodical meetings of the inspectors of this 
prison, a working man of Philadelphia presented himself 
before the Board, and earnestly requested to be placed in 
solitary confinement. On being asked what motive could 
possibly prompt him to make this strange demand, he an- 
swered that he had an irresistible propensity to get drunk ; 
that he was constantly indulging it, to his great misery and 
ruin ; that he had no power of resistance ; that he wished to 
be put beyond the reach of temptation ; and that he could 
think of no better way than this. It was pointed out to him, 
in reply, that the prison was for criminals who had been tried 
and sentenced by the law, and could not be made available 
for any such fanciful purposes ; he was exhorted to abstain 
from intoxicating drinks, as he surely might \i he would ; and 
received other very good advice, with which he retired, ex- 
ceedingly dissatisfied with the result of his application. 

He came again, and again, and again, and was so very 
earnest and importunate, that at last they took counsel to- 
gether, and sard, " He will certainly qualify himself for ad- 


mission, if we reject him any more. Let us shut him i;p. 
He will soon be glad to go away, and then we shall get rid of 
him." So they made him sign a statement which would pre- 
vent his ever sustaining an action for false imprisonment, to 
the effect that his incarceration was voluntary, and of his own 
seeking \ they requested him to take notice that the officer in 
attendance had orders to release him at any hour of the day 
or night, when he might knpck upon his door for that purpose ; 
but desired him to understand, that once going out, he would 
not be admitted any more. These conditions agreed upon, 
and he still remaining in the same mind, he was conducted to 
the prison, and shut up in one of the cells. 

In this cell, the man, who had not the firmness to leave a 
glass of liquor standing untasted on a table before him — in 
this cell, in solitary confinement, and working every day at 
his trade of shoemaking, this man remained nearly two years. 
His health beginning to fail at the expiration of that time, the 
surgeon recommended that he should work occasionally in 
the garden ; and as he liked the notion very much, he went 
about this new occupation with great cheerfulness. 

He was digging here, one summer day, very industriously, 
when the wicket in the outer gate chanced to be left open : 
showing, beyond, the well-remembered dusty road and sun- 
burnt fields. The way was as free to him as to any man 
living, but he no sooner raised his head and caught sight of 
it, all shining in the light, than, with the involuntary instinct 
of a prisoner, he cast away his spade, scampered off as fast as 
his legs would carry him, and never once looked back. 




We left Philadelphia by steamboat, at six o'clock one very 
cold morning, and turned our faces towards Washington. 

In the course of this day's iourney, as on subsequent oc- 
casions, we encountered some Knglishmen (small farmers, 
perhaps, or country publicans at home) who were settled in 



America, and were travelling on their own affairs. Of all 
grades and kinds of men that jostle one in the public convev- 
ances of the States, these are often the most intolerable and 
the most insufferable companions. United to every disagree- 
able characteristic that the worst kind of American travellers 
possess, these countrymen of ours display an amount of inso- 
lent conceit and cool assumption of superiority, quite mon- 
strous to behold. In the coarse familiarity of their approach, 
and the effrontery of their inquisitiveness (which tliey are in 
great haste to assert, as if they panted to revenge themselves 
upon the decent old restraints of home), they surpass any 
native specimens that came within my range of observation : 
and I often grew so patriotic when I saw and heard them, 
that I would cheerfully have submitted to a reasonable fine, 
if I could have given any other country in the whole world, 
the honor of claiming them for its children. 

As Washington may be called the head-quarters of tobacco- 
tinctured saliva, the time is come when I must confess, with- 
out any disguise, that the prevalence of those two odious 
practices of chewing and expectorating began about this time 
to be anything but agreeable, and soon became most offensive 
and sickening. In all the public places of America, this 
nlthy custom is recognized. In the courts of law, the judge 
lias his spittoon, the crier his, the witness his, and the pris- 
oner his ; while the jurymen and spectators are provided for, 
as so many men who in the course of nature must desire to 
spit incessantly. In the hospitals, the students of medicine 
are requested, by notices upon the wall, to eject their tobacco 
juice into the boxes provided for that purpose, and not to dis- 
color the stairs. In public buildings, visitors are implored, 
through the same agency, to squirt the essence of their quids, 
or ''plugs," as I have heard them called by gentlemen learned 
in this kind of sweetmeat, into the national spittoons, and not 
about the bases of the marble columns. But in some parts, 
this custom is inseparably mixed up with every meal and 
morning call, and with all the transactions of social life. The 
stranger, who follows in the track I took myself, will find it in 
its full bloom and glory, luxuriant in all its alarming reckless- 
ness, at Washington. And let him not persuade himself (as I 
once did, to my shame) that previous tourists have exaggerated 
its extent. The thing itself is an exaggeration of nastiness, 
which cannot be outdone. 

On board this steamboat, there were two young gentlemen 

(\'y2 JMERJCAX \()T.f-:s. 

with shirt-collars reversed as iu,ual, and armed with \ery big 
Vv'alking-sticks ; who planted two seats in the middle of the 
deck, at a distance of some four paces apart ; took out their 
tobacco-boxes ; and sat dov/n opposite each other, to chew. 
In less than a quarter of an hour's time, these hopeful 3-outh5 
had shed about them on the clean boards, a copious shower 
of yellow rain ; clearing, by that means, a kind of magic circle, 
within whose limits no intruders dared to come, and which 
they never failed to refresh and re-refresh before a spot was 
dry. This being before breakfast, rather disposed me, I con- 
fess, to nausea ; but looking attentively at one of the expec- 
torators, I plainly saw^ that lie was young in chewing, and felt 
inwardly uneasy himself. A glov/ of delight came over me at 
this discovery ; and as I marked his face turn paler and paler, 
and saw tne ball of tobacco in his left cheek, quiver v^ith his 
suppressed al^ony, while yet he spat, and chewed, and spat 
again, in emulation of his older friend, I could have fallen on 
his neck and implored him to go on for hours. 

We all sat down to a comfortable breakfast in the cabin 
below, where there Avas no more hurry or confusion than 
at such a meal in England, and where there was certainly 
greater politeness exhibited than at most of our stage-coach 
banquets. At about nine o'clock we arrived at the railroad 
station, and went on by the cars. At noon wc turned out 
again, to cross a wide river in another steamboat ; landed at 
a continuation of the railroad on the opposite shore ; and went 
on by other cars ; in wdiich, in the course of the next hour or 
so, we crossed by wooden bridges, each a mile in length, two 
creeks, called respectively Great and Little Gunpov^'der. The 
water in both was blackened with (lights of canvas-backed 
ducks, Avhich are most delicious eating, and abound here- 
abouts at that season of the 3'ear. 

These bridges are of w^ood, have no parapet, and are only 
just wide enough for the passage of the trains ; which, in the 
event of the smallest accident, would inevitably be plunged 
into the river. They are startling contrivances, and are most 
agreeable when passed. 

We stopped to dine at Baltimore, and being now in Mary- 
land, were waited on, for the first time by slaves. The sensa- 
tion of exacting any ser^ace from human creatures who are 
bought and sold, and being, for the time, a party as it were to 
their oondition, is not an enviable one. The institution exists, 
perhaps, in its least repulsive and most mitigated form in such 



a town as this ; but it is slavery ; and though I was with 
respect to it, an innocent man, its presence filled me with a 
sense of shame and self-reproach. 

After dinner, we went down to the railroad again, and 
tooic our seats in the cars for Washington. Being rather early, 
those men and boys who happened to have nothing particular 
to do, and were curious in foreigners, came (according to cus- 
tom) round the carriage in which I sat ; let ■ down all the win- 
dows ; thrust in their heads and shoulders ; hooked them- 
selves on conveniently, by their elbows ; and fell to compar- 
ing notes on the subject of my personal appearance, with as 
much indifference as if I were a stuffed figure. I nevergained 
so much uncompromising information with reference to niy 
own nose and eyes, and various impressions wrought by my 
mouth and chin on different minds, and how my head looks 
when it is viewed from behind, as on these occasions. Some 
gentlemen were only satisfied by exercising their sense of 
touch; and the boys, (who are surprisingly precocious in 
America) were seldom satisfied, even by that, but would 
return to the charge over and over again. Many a budding 
president has walked into my room with his cap on his head 
and his hands in his pockets, and stared at me for two whole 
hours ; occasionally refreshing himself with a tweak of his 
nose, or a draught from the water-jug ; or by walking to the 
windows and inviting other boys in the street below, to come 
up and do likewise : cr}dng, " Here he is ! " " Come on ! " 
"Bring all your brothers ! '' with other hospitable entreaties of 
that nature. r 

We reached Washington at about halfpast six that even- 
ing, and had upon the way a beautiful view of the Capitol, 
which is a fine building of the Corinthian order, placed upon 
a noble and commanding eminence. Arrived at the hotel ; 
I sav/ no more of the place that night ; being very tired and 
glad to get to bed. 

Breakfast over next morning, I walk about the streets for 
an hour or two, and, coming home, throw up the window in 
the front and back, and look out. Here is Washington, fresh 
in my mind and under my eye. 

Take the w^orst parts of the City Road and Pentonville, or 
the straggiling outskirts of Paris, where the houses are smallest, 
preserving all their oddities, but especially the small shops and 
dwellings, occupied in Pentonville (but not in Washington) by 
furniture-brokers, keepers of poor eating-houses, and fanciers 



of birds. Burn the whole clown ; build it up again in wood 
and' plaster; widen it a little; throw in part of St. John's 
Wood ; put green blinds outside all the private houses, with a 
red curtain and a white one in every window ; plough up all 
the roads ; plant a great deal of coarse turf in every place 
where it ought not to be ; erect three handsome buildings in 
stone and marble, anywhere, but the more entirely out of 
everybody's way the better ; call oni the Post Office, one the 
Patent Office, and one the Treasury ; make it scorching hot 
in the morning, and freezing cold in the afternoon, with an 
occasional tornado of wind and dust ; leave a brick-field with- 
out the bricks, in all central places where a street may 
naturally be expected : and that's Washington. 

The hotel in which we live, is a long row of small houses 
fronting on the street, and opening at the back upon a com- 
mon yard, in which hangs a great triangle. Whenever a ser- 
vant is wanted, somebody beats on this triangle from one 
stroke up to seven, according to the number of the house in 
which his presence is required ; and as all the servants are 
always being wanted, and none of them ever come, this enli- 
vening engine is in full performance the whole day through. 
Clothes are drying in the same yard ; female slaves, with cot- 
ton handkerchiefs twisted round their heads, are running to 
and fro on the hotel business ; black waiters cross and recross 
with dishes in their hands ; two great dogs are playing upon 
a mound of loose bricks in the centre of the little square ; a 
pig is turning up his stomach to the sun, and grunting "that's 
comfortable ! " ; and neither the men, nor the women, nor the 
dogs, nor the pig, nor any created creature, takes the small- 
est notice of the triangle, which is tingling madly all the time. 

I walk to the front window, and look across the road upon 
a long, straggling row of houses, one stor}' high, terminating, 
nearly opposite, but a little to the left, in a melancholy piece 
of waste ground with frowzy grass, which looks like a small 
piece of country that has taken to drinking, and has quite lost 
itself. Standing anyhow and all wrong, upon this open space, 
like something meteoric that has fallen down from the moon, 
is an odd, lop-sided, one-eyed kind of wooden building, that 
looks like a church, with a Hag-staff as long as itself sticking 
out of a steeple something larger than a tea-chest. Under 
the window, is a small stand of coaches, whose slave-drivers 
are sunning themselves on the steps of our door, and talking 
idlv tOEfether. The three most obtrusive houses near at hand 


are the three meanest. On one — a shop, which never has any 
thing in the window, and never has the door open — is painted 
in large characters, *' The City Lunch." At another, which 
looks like a backway to somewhere else, but is an independ- 
ent building in itself, oysters are procurable in every style. 
At the third, which is a very, very little tailor's shop, pants 
are fixed to order ; or in other words, pantaloons are made to 
measure. And that is our street in Washington. 

It is sometimes called the City of Magnificent Distances, 
but it might with greater propriety be termed the City of Mag- 
nificent Intentions ; for it is only on taking a bird's-eye view 
of it from the top of the Capitol, that one can at all compre- 
hend the vast designs of its projector, an aspiring French- 
man. Spacious avenues, that begin in nothing, and lead no- 
\\here ; streets, mile^long, that only want houses, roads and 
inhabitants ; public buildings that need but a public to be 
complete ; and ornaments of great thoroughfares, which only 
lack great thoroughfares to ornament — are its leading features. 
One might fancy the season over, and most of the houses 
gone out of town for ever with their masters. To the admirers 
of cities it is a Barmecide Feast : a pleasant field for the im- 
agination to rove in ; a monument raised. tO a deceased pro- 
ject, with not even a legible inscription to record its departed 

Such as it is, it is likely to remain. It was originally chosen 
for the st^at of Government, as a means of averting the conliict- 
ing jealousies and interests of the different States ; and very 
probably, too, as being remote from mobs : a consideration not 
to be slighted, even in America. It has no trade or commerce 
of its own : having little or no population beyond the Presi- 
dent and his establishment ; the members of the legislature 
who reside there during the session ; the Government clerks 
and officers employed in the various departments ; the keep- 
ers of the hotels and boarding-houses ; and the tradesmen who 
supply their tables. It is very unhealthy. Few people would 
live in Washington, I take it, who were not obliged to reside 
there ; and the tides of emigration and speculation, those 
rapid and regardless currents, are little likely to flow at any 
time towards such dull and sluggish water. 

The principal features of the Capitol, are, of course, the 
two houses of Assembly. But there is, besides, in the centre 
of the building, a fine rotunda, ninety-six feet in diameter, 
and ninety-six high, whose circular wall is divided into com- 


partments, ornamented by historical pictures. Four of these 
have for their subjects prominent events in the revolutionary 
struggle. They were painted by Colonel Trumbull, himself a 
member of Washington's staff at the time of their occurrence ; 
from which circumstance they derive a peculiar interest of 
their own. In this same hall Mr. Greenough's large statue of 
Washington has been lately placed. It has great merits of 
course, but it struck me as being rather strained and violent 
for its subject. I could wish, hovv^ever, to have seen it in a 
better light than it can ever be viewed in, where it stands. 

There is a very pleasant and commodious library in the 
Capitol ; and from a balcony in front, the bird's eye view, of 
which I have just spoken, may be had, together with a beau- 
tiful prospect of the adjacent country. In one of the orna- 
mented portions of the building, there is a figure of Justice ; 
whereunto the Guide Book says, " the artist at first contem- 
plated giving more of nudity, but he was warned that the pub- 
lic sentiment in this country w^ould not admit of it, and in his 
caution he has gone, perhaps, into the opposite extreme." 
Poor Justice ! she has been made to wear much stranger gar- 
ments in America .than those she pines in, in the Capitol. 
Let us hope that shcl has changed her dress-maker since they 
were fashioned, and that the public sentiment of the country 
did not cut out the clothes she hides her lovely figure in, just 

The House of Representatives is a beautiful ancLspacious 
hall, of semicircular shape, supported by handsome pillars. 
One part of the gallery is nppropriated to the ladies, and 
there they sit in front rows, and come in and go out, as at a 
play or concert. The chair is canopied, and raised consider- 
ably above the floor of the House \ and every member has an 
easv chair and a writins: desk to himself : which is denounced 
by some people out of doors as a most unfortunate and inju- 
dicious arrangement, tending to long sittings and prosaic 
speeches. It is an elegant chamber to look at, but a singularly 
bad one for all purposes of hearing. The Senate, which is 
smaller, is free from this objection, and is exceedingly well 
adapted to the uses for which it is designed. The sittings, I 
need hardly add, take place in the day ; and the parliament- 
ary forms are modelled on those of the old country. 

I was sometimes asked, in my progress through other 
places, whether I had not been very much impressed by the of the la'vmakers at Washington; meaning not their 


chiefs and leaders, but literally their individual and personal 
heads, whereon their hair grew, and whereby the phrenologi- 
cal character of each legislator was expressed ; and I almost 
as often struck my questioner dumb with indignant consterna- 
tion by answering " No, that 1 didn't remember being at all 
overcome." As 1 must, at whatever hazard, repeat the avowal 
here, I will follow it up by relating my impressions on this 
subject in as few words as possible. 

In the first place — it may be from some imperfect devel- 
opment of my organ of veneration — I do not remember hav- 
ing ever fainted away, or having even been moved to tears of 
joyful pride, at sight of any legislative body. I have borne 
the House of Commons like a man, and have yielded to no 
weakness, but slumber, in the House of Lords. I have seen 
elections from borough and county, and have never been im- 
pelled (no matter which party won) to damage my hat by 
throwing it up into the air in triumph, or to crack my voice by 
shouting forth any reference to our Glorious Constitution, to 
the noble purity of our independent voters, or the unimpeach- 
able integrity of our independent members. Having withstood 
such strong attacks upon my fortitude, it is possible that I 
may be of a cold and insensible temperament, amounting to 
iciness, in such matters ; and therefore my impressions of the 
live pillars of the Capitol at Washington must be received Avith 
such grains of allowance as this free confession may seem to 

Did I see in this public body an assemblage of men, bound 
together in the sacred names of Liberty and Freedom, and so 
asserting the chaste dignity of those twin goddesses, in all 
their discussions, as to exalt at once the Eternal Principles to 
which their names are given, and their own character and the 
character of their countrymen, in the admiring eyes of the 
whole world ? 

It was but a week, since an aged, gray-haired man, a last- 
ing honor to the land that gave him birth, who has done good 
service to liis country, as his forefathers did, and who will be 
remembered scores upon scores of years after the worms bred 
in its corruption, are but so many grains of dust — it was but 
a week, since this old man had stood for days upon his trial 
before this very body, charged with having dared to assert 
the infamy of that traffic, which has for its accursed merchan- 
dise men and women, and their unborn children. Yes. And 
publicly exhibited in the same city all the while ; gilded, 

698 AM ERIC AX A 'O T£S. 

framed and glazed ; hung up for general admiration ; shown 
to strangers not with shame, but pride ; its face not turned 
towards the wall, itself not taken down and burned ; is the 
Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of 
America, which solemnly declares that All Men are created 
Equal ; and are endowed by their Creator with the Inalien- 
able Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness 1 

It was not a month, since this same body had sat calmly 
by, and heard a man, one of themselves, with oaths which beg- 
gars in their drink reject, threaten to cut another's throat 
from ear to ear. There he sat, among them ; not crushed by 
the general feeling of the assembly, but as good a man as any. 

There was but a week to come, and another of that body, 
for doing his duty to those who sent him there ; for claiming 
in a Republic the Liberty and Freedom of expressing their 
sentiments, and making known their prayer ; would be tried, 
found guilty, and have strong censure passed upon him by the 
rest. His was a grave offence indeed ; for years before, he 
had risen up and said, '' A gang of male and female slaves 
for sale, warranted to breed like cattle, linked to each other 
by iron fetters, are passing now along the open street beneath 
the windows of your Temple of Equality ! Look ! '' But 
there are many kinds of hunters engaged in the Pursuit of 
Happiness, and they go variously armed. It is the Inalien- 
able Right of some among them, to take the field after their 
Happiness equipped with cat and cartwhip, stocks, and iron 
collar, and to shout their view halloa ! (ahvays in praise cf 
Liberty) to the music of clanking chains and bloody stripes. 

Where sat the many legislators of coarse threats ; of words 
and blows such as coalheavers deal upon each other, when 
the}" forget their breeding ? On every side. Every session 
had its anecdotes of that kind, and the actors w^ere all there. 

Did I recognize in this asseml^ly, a body of men, who, ap- 
plying themselves in a new world to correct some of the false- 
hoods and vices of the old, purified the avenues to Public 
Life, paved the dirty ways to Place and Power, debated and 
made laws for the Common Good, and had no party but their 
Country ? 

I saw in them, the wheels that move tJie meanest perver- 
sion of \-irtuous Political Machinery that the worst tools ever 
wrought. Despicable trickery at elections ; under-handed 
tamperings witli public officers; cowardly attacks upon oppo- 
nents, \\ith scurrilous nev.^papers for shields, and hired pens 


for daggers ; shameful trucklings to mercenary knaves, whose 
claim to be considered, is, that every day and week they sow 
new crops of ruin with their venal types, which are the 
dragon's teeth of yore, in everything but sharpness ; aidings 
and abettings of every bad inclination in the popular mind, 
and artful suppressions of all its good influences : such things 
as these, and in a word. Dishonest Faction in its most de- 
praved and most unblushing form, stared out from every corner 
of the crowded hall. 

Did I see among them, the intelligence and refinement : 
the true, honest, patriotic heart of America ? Here and there^ 
were drops of its blood and life, but they scarcely colored the 
stream of desperate adventurers which sets that way for jDrofit 
and for pay. It is the game of these men, and of their profli- 
gate organs to make the strife of politics so fierce and brutal, 
and so destructive of all self-respect in worthy men, that sensi- 
tive and delicate-minded persons shall be kept aloof, and they, 
and such as they, be left to battle out their selfish views un- 
checked. And thus this lowest of all scrambling fights goes 
on, and they who in other countries would, from their intelli- 
gence and station, most aspire to make the laws, do here re- 
coil the farthest from that degradation. 

That there are, among the representatives of the people 
in both Houses, and among all parties, some men of high 
character and great abilities, I need not say. The foremost 
among those politicians who are known in Europe, have been 
already described, and I see no reason to depart from the 
rule I have laid down for my guidance, of abstaining from all 
mention of individuals. It will be sufficient to add, that to 
the most favorable accounts that have been written of them, 
I more than fully and most heartily subscribe ; and that per- 
sonal intercourse and free communication have bred within 
me, not the result predicted in the very doubtful proverb, but 
increased admiration and respect. They are striking men to 
look at, hard to deceive, prompt to act, lions in energy, 
Crichtons in varied accomplishments, Indians in fire of eye 
and gesture, Americans in strong and generous impulse ; and 
they as well represent the honor and wisdom of their country 
at home, as the distinguished gentleman who is now its Min- 
ister at the British Court sustains its highest character abroad. 

I visited both houses nearly every day, during my stay in 
Washington. On my initiatory visit to the House of Repre- 
sentatives, they divided ag^ainst a decision of the chair ; but 

y oo -^ - MERICA . V . \ ■(') 7 'FS. 

the chair won. The second time I went, the member who 
was speaking, being interrupted by a laugh, mimicked it, 
as one child would in quarrelling with another, and added, 
" that he would make honorable gentlemen opposite, sing out 
a little more on the other side of their mouths presently." 
But interruptions are rare ; the speaker being usually heard 
in silence. There are more quarrels than with us, and more 
threatenings than gentlemen are accustomed to exchange in 
any civilized society of wdiich we have record ; but farm-yard 
imitations have not as yet been imported from the Parliament 
of the United Kingdom. The feature in oratory which ap- 
pears to be the most practiced, and most relished, is the con- 
stant repetition of the same idea or shadow of an idea in fresh 
words ; and the inquiry out of doors is not, " What did he 
say .-* " but, " How long did he speak ? " These, however, are 
but enlargements of a principle which prevails elsewhere. 

The Senate is a dignilied and decorous body, and its pro- 
ceedings are conducted with much gravity and order. Both 
houses are handsomely carpeted ; but the state to which these 
carpets are reduced by the universal disregard of the spit- 
toon with which every honorable member is accommodated, 
and the extraordinary improvements on the pattern which are 
squirted and dabbled upon it in every direction, do not admit 
of being described. I will merely observe, that I strongly 
recommend all strangers not to look at the floor ; and if they 
happen to drop anything, though it be their purse, not to pick 
it up with an ungloved hand on any account. 

It is somewhat remarkable too, at first, to say the least, 
to see so many honorable members with sv/elled faces ; and 
it is scarcely less remarkable to discover that this appearance 
is caused by the quantity of tobacco they contrive to stow 
within the hollow of the cheek. It is strange enough too, to 
see an honorable gentleman leaning back in his tilted chair 
with his legs on the desk before him, shaping a convenient 
"plug " with his penknife, and when it is quite ready for use, 
shooting the old one from his mouth, as from a pop-gun, and 
clapping the new one in its place. 

I was surprised to observe that even steady old chewers 
of great experience, are not always good marksmen, which has 
rather inclined me to doubt that general proficiency with the 
rifle, of which we have heard so much in England. Several 
gentlemen called upon me who, in the course of conversation, 
frequently missed the spittoon at five paces ; and one (but he 



was certainly short-sighted) mistook the closed sash for the 
open window, at three. On another occasion, when I dined 
out, and was silting with two ladies and some gentlemen 
round a fire before dinner, one of the company fell short of 
the fire-place, six distinct times. I am disposed to think, 
however, that this was occasioned by his not aiming at that 
object ; as there was a white marble hearth before the fender, 
which was more convenient, and may have suited his purpose 

The Patent Office at Washington, furnishes an extraor- 
dinary example of American enterprise and ingenuity ; for 
the immense number of models it contains, are the accu- 
mulated inventions of only five years ; the whole of the 
previous collection having been destroyed by fire. The 
elegant structure in-which they are arranged, is one of design 
rather than execution, for there is but one side erected out of 
four, though the works are stopped. The Post Office is a 
very compact and very beautiful building. In one of the de- 
partments, among a collection of rare and curious articles, are 
deposited the presents which have been made from time to 
time to the American ambassadors at foreign courts by the 
various potentates to whom they were the accredited agents 
of the Republic ; gifts v/hich by the law they are not permitted 
to retain. I confess that I looked upon this as a ver}- painful 
exhibition, and one by no means flattering to the national 
standard of honesty and honor. That can scarcely be a high 
state of moral feeling which imagines a gentleman of repute 
and station, likely to be corrupted, in the discharge of his 
duty, by the present of a snuff-box, or a richly-mounted sword, 
or an Eastern shawl ; and surely the Nation who reposes con- 
fidence in her appointed servants, is likely to be better served, 
than she who makes them the subject of such very mean and 
paltry suspicions. 

At George Town, in the suburbs, there is a Jesuit College \ 
delightfully situated, and, so far as I had an opportunity of 
seeing, well managed. Many persons who are not members 
of the Romish Church, avail themselves, I believe, of these 
institutions, and of the advantageous opportunities they afford 
for the education of their children. The heights of this neigh- 
borhood, above the Potomac Ri\'er, are very picturesque : and 
are free, I should conceive, from some of the insalubrities of 
Washington. The air, at that elevation, was quite cool and 
refreshing, when in the city it was burning hot. 


The President's mansion is more like an English club- 
house, both within and without, than any other kind of estab- 
lishment with which I can compare it. The ornamental 
ground about it has been laid out in garden walks ; they are 
pretty, and agreeable to the eye ; though they have that 
uncomfortable air of having been made yesterday, which is far 
from favorable to the display of such beauties. 

My first visit to this house was on the morning after my 
arrival, when I was carried thither by an official gentleman, 
who was so kind as to charge himself with my presentation to 
the President. 

We entered a large hall, and having twice or thrice rung 
a bell which nobody answered, walked without further cere- 
mony through the rooms on the ground floor, as divers other 
gentlemen (mostly with their hats on, and their hands in their 
pockets) were doing very leisurely. Some of these had ladies 
with them, to whom they were showing the premises ; others 
were lounging on the chairs and sofas ; others, in a perfect 
state of exhaustion from listlessness, were yawning drearily. 
The greater portion of this assemblage were rather asserting 
their supremacy than doing anything else, as they had no par- 
ticular business there, that anybody knew of. A few were 
closely eyeing the movables, as if to make quite sure that the 
President (who was far from popular) had not made away 
with any of the furniture, or sold the fixtures for his private 

After glancing at these loungers ; who were scattered over 
a pretty drawing-room, opening upon a^ terrace which com- 
manded a beautiful prospect of the river and the adjacent 
country ; and who were sauntering too, about a larger state- 
room called the Eastern Drawing-room ; we went up stairs into 
another chamber, where were certain visitors, waiting for au- 
diences. At sight of my conductor, a black in plain clothes 
and yellow slippers who was gliding noiselessly about, and 
whispering messages in the ears of the more impatient, made 
a sign of recognition, and glided off to announce him. 

We had previously looked into another chamber fitted all 
round with a great bare wooden desk or counter, whereon lay 
files of newspapers, to which sundiy gentlemen were referring. 
But there were no such means of beguiling the time in this 
apartment, which was as unpromising and tiresome as any 
waiting-room in one of our public establishments, or any phy- 
sician's dining-room during his hours of consultation at home. 



There were some fifteen or twenty persons in the room. 
One, a tall, wiry, muscular old man, from the west ; sunburnt 
and swarthy ; with a brown white hat on his knees, and a giant 
umbrella resting between his legs ; who sat bolt upright in his 
chair, frowning steadily at the carpet, and twitching the hard 
lines about his mouth, as if liC had made up his mind " to fix " 
the President on what he had to say, and wouldn't bate him a 
grain. Another, a Kentucky farmer, six-feet-six in height, 
with his hat on, and his hands under his coat-tails, who leaned 
against the wall and kicked the floor with his heel, as though 
he had Time's head under his shoe, and were literally " killing " 
him. A third, an oval-faced, bilious-looking man, with sleek 
black hair cropped close, and whiskers and beard shaved 
down to blue dots, who sucked the head of a thick stick, and 
from time to time took it out of his mouth, to see how it was 
getting on. A fourth did nothing but whistle. A fifth did 
nothing but spit. And indeed all these gentlemen were so 
very persevering and energetic in this latter particular, and 
bestowed their favors so abundantly upon the carpet, that I 
take it for granted the Presidential house-maids have high 
wages, or to speak more genteelly, an ample amount of " com- 
pensation : " which is the American word for salary, in the 
case of all public servants. 

We had not waited in this room many minutes, before the 
black messenger returned, and conducted us into another of 
smaller dimensions, where, at a business-like table covered 
with papers, sat the President himself. He looked somewhat 
worn and anxious, and well he might ; being at war with every- 
body — but the expression of his face was mild and pleasant, 
and his manner was remarkably unaffected, gentlemanly, and 
agreeable. I thought that in his whole carriage and de- 
meanor, he became his station singularly well. 

Being advised that the sensible etiquette of the republican 
court, admitted of a traveller, like myself, declining without 
any impropriety, an invitation to dinner, which did not reach 
me until I had concluded my arrangements for leaving Wash- 
ington some days before that to which it referred, I only 
returned to this house once. It was on the occasion of one 
of those general assemblies which are held on certain nights, 
between the hours of nine and twelve o'clock, and are called, 
rather 9ddly, Levees. 

I went, with my wife at about ten. There was a pretty 
dense crowd of carriages and people in the court-yard, and so 


far as 1 could make out, there were no very clear regulations 
for the taking up or setting down of company. There were 
certainly no policemen to soothe startled horses, either by 
sawing at their bridles or flourishing truncheons in their eyes ; 
and I am ready to make oath that no inoffensive persons were 
knocked violently on the head, or poked acutely in their 
backs or stomachs ; or brought to a stand-still by any such 
gentle means, and then taken into custody for not moving 
on. But there was no confusion or disorder. Our carriage 
reached the porch in its turn, without any blustering, swearing, 
shouting, backing, or other disturbance : and we dismounted 
with as much ease and comfort as though we had been 
escorted by the whole Metropolitan Force from A to Z 

The suit of rooms on the ground-floor, were lighted up ; 
and a military band was playing in the hall. In the smaller 
drawing-room, the centre of a circle of company, v/ere the 
President and his daughter-in-law, who acted as the lady of 
the mansion ; and a very interesting, graceful, and accom- 
plished lady too. One gentleman who stood among this group 
appeared to take upon himself the functions of a master of the 
ceremonies. I saw no other officers or attendants, and none 
were needed. 

The great drav.'ing-room, which I have already mentioned, 
and the other chambers on the ground-floor, were crowded 
to excess. The company was nor, in our sense of the term, 
select, for it comprehended persons of very many grades 
and classes ; nor was there any great display of costly attire : 
indeed some of the costumes may have been, for aught I know, 
grotesque enough. But the decorum and propriety of be- 
havior which prevailed, w^ere unbroken by any rude or dis- 
agreeable incident ; and every man, even aiTiong the miscel- 
laneous crowd in the hall who were admitted without any 
orders or tickets to look on, appeared to feel that he M^as a 
part of the Institution, and was responsible for its preserving 
a becoming character, and appearing to the best advantage. 

That these visitors, too, whatever their station, vv-ere not 
without some refinement of taste and appreciation of intellec- 
tual gifts, and gratitude to those men who, by the peaceful 
exercise of great abilities, shed new charms and associations 
upon the houses of their countrymen, and elevate their char- 
acter in other lands, was most earnestly testilied by their re- 
ception of Washington Irving, my dear friend, who had re- 

irAs/i/Xin'Ox. ■ yo5 

cently been appointed Minister at tlie court of Spain, and who 
was among them that night, in his new character, for the first 
and last time before going abroad. I sincerely believe that in all 
the madness of American politics, few public men would have 
been so earnestly, devotedly, and affectionately caressed, as 
this most charming writer : and I have seldom respected a 
public assembly more, than I did this eager throng, when I 
saw them turning with one mind from noisy orators and 
officers of state, and flocking with a generous and honest im- 
pulse round the man of quiet pursuits : proud in his promo- 
tion as reflecting back upon their country : and grateful to 
liim with their whole hearts for the store of grateful fancies 
he had poured out among them. Long may he dispense such 
treasures with unsparing hand ; and long may they remember 
him as worthil)^ 

The term v/e had assigned for the duration of our stay in 
Washington, was now at an end, and we were to begin to travel ; 
for the railroad distances we had traversed yet, in journe}ing 
among these older towns, are on that great continent looked 
upon as nothing. 

I had at first intended going South — to Charleston. But 
w'hen I came to consider the length of time v/hich this journey 
v/ould occupy, and the premature heat of the season, which 
even at Washington had been often very trying ; and weighed 
moreover, in my own mind, the pain of living in the constant 
contemplation of slavery, against the more than doubtful 
chances of my ever seeing it, in the time I had to spare, stripped 
of the disguises in which it would certainly be dressed, and so 
adding any item to the host of facts already heaped together 
on the subject ; I began to listen to old whisperings which 
had often been present to me at home in England, when I 
little thought of ever being here ; and to dream again of cities 
grovvdng up, like palaces in fairy tales, among the wilds and. 
forests of the west. 

The advice I received in most quarters when I began to 
yield to my desire of travelling towards that point of the com- 
pass was, according to custom, sufficiently cheerless : my com- 
panion being threatened v/ith more perils, dangers, and dis- 
comforts, than I can remember or vrould catalogue if I could ; 
but of which it will be sufficient to remark that blowangs-up 
in steamboats and breakings down in coaches were among 
the least. But, having a western route .sketched out for me 

y o6 • ^ MERICA X XO TES. 

by the l)cst and kindest authority to which I could have re- 
sorted, and putting no great faith in these discouragements, I 
soon determined on my plan of action. 

This was to travel south, only to Richmond in Virginia ; 
and then to turn, and shape our course for the Far West ; 
whither I beseech the reader's company, in a new chapter. 



We were to proceed in the first instance by steamboat ; 
and as it is usual to sleep on board in consequence of the 
starting-hour being four o'clock in the morning, we went down 
to where she lay at that very uncomfortable time for such ex- 
peditions when slippers are most valuable, and a familiar bed, 
in the perspective of an hour or two, looks uncommonly pleas- 

It is ten o'clock at night : say half-past ten : moonlight, 
warm and dull enough. The steamer (not unlike a child's 
Noah's ark in form, with the machinery on the top of the roof) 
is riding lazily up and down, and bumping clumsily against the 
wooden pier, as the ripple of the river tritles with its unwieldly 
carcase. The wharf is some distance from the city. There 
is nobody down here : and one or two dull lamps upon the 
steamer's decks are the only signs of life remaining, when 
our coach has driven away. As soon as our footsteps are 
heard upon the planks, a fat negress, particularly favored by 
nature in respect of bustle, emerges from some dark stairs, and 
marshals my wife towards the ladies' cabin, to which retreat 
she goes followed by a mighty bale of cloaks and great-coats. 
I valiantly resolved not to go to bed at all, but to walk up 
and down the pier till morning. 

I begin my promenade — thinking of all kinds of distant 
things and persons, and of nothing near — and pace up and 
down for half-an-hour. Then I go on board again • and get- 


ting into the light of one of the lamps, looked at my watch 
and think it must have stopped ; and wonder what has become 
of the faithful secretary whom I brought along with me from 
Boston. He is supping with our late landlord (a Field Mar- 
shal at least, no doubt) in honor of our departure, and may be 
two hours longer. I walk again, but it gets duller and duller : 
the moon goes down : next June seems farther off in the dark, 
and the echoes of my footsteps make me nervous. It has 
turned cold too ; and walking ujd and down without my com- 
panion in such lonely circumstances, is but poor amusement. 
So I break my staunch resolution, and think it may be, per- 
haps, as well to go to bed. 

I go on board again ; open the door of the gentleman's 
cabin ; and walk in. Somehow or other — from its being so 
quiet I suppose — I have taken it into my head that there is 
nobody there. To my horror and amazement it is full of 
sleepers in every stage, shape, attitude, and variety of slumber : 
in the berths, on the chairs, on the floors, on the tables, and 
particularly round the stove, my detested enemy. I take an- 
other step forward, and slip on the shining face of a black 
steward, who lies rolled in a blanket on the floor. He jumps 
up, grins half in pain and half in hospitahty ; whispers my 
own name in my ear : and groping among the sleepers, leads 
me to my berth. Standing beside it, I count these slumbering 
passengers, and get past forty. There is no use in going 
further, so I begin to undress. As the chairs are all occu- 
pied, and there is nothing else to put my clothes on, I deposit 
them upon the ground : not without soiling my hands, for it 
is in the same condition as the carpets in the Capitol, and from 
the same cause. Having but partially undressed, 1 clamber 
on my shelf, and hold the curtain open for a few minutes while 
I look round on all my fellow-travellers again. That done I 
let it fall on them, and on the world : turn round : and go to 

I wake, of course, when we get under weigh, for there is a 
good deal of noise. The day is then just breaking. Every- 
body wakes at the same time. Some are self-possessed 
directly, and some are much perplexed to make out where 
they are until they have rubbed their eyes, and leaning on one 
elbow, looked about them. Some yawn, some groan, nearly 
all spit, and a few get up. I am among the risers : for it is 
easy to feel, without going into the fresh air, that the atmos- 
phere of the cabin is vile in tlic last degree. I huddle on mj 

clothes, go down into the fore-cabin, get shaved by the barber, 
and wash myself, 'llie washing and dressing apparatus for tlie 
passengers generally, consists of two jack-tow^eis, tliree small 
wooden basins, a keg of water and a ladle to serve it out with, 
six square inches of looking-glass, two ditto ditto of yellow 
soap, a comb and brush for the head, and nothing for the teeth. 
Everybody uses the comb and brush, except myself. Every- 
body stares to see me using my ow-n; and two or three gentle- 
men are strongly disposed to banter me on my prejudices, but 
dont. When 1 have made my toilet, I go upon the hurricane- 
deck, and set in for two hours of hard walking up and down. 
The sun is rising brilliantly ; w^e are passing Mount Vernon, 
where Washington lies buried ; the river is wide and rapid ; 
and its banks are beautiful. All the glory and splendor of 
the day are coming on, and growing 1:>righter e\ery minute. 

At eight o'clock, we breakfast in the cabin where I passed 
the night, but the windows and doors are all thrown open, and 
now it is fresh enough. There is no hurry or greediness 
apparent in the despatch of the meal. It is longer than a 
travelling breakfast with us ; more orderh% and more polite. 

Soon after nine o'clock we come to Potomac Creek, where 
we are to land ; and then comes the oddest part of the jour- 
ney. Seven stage-coaches are preparing to carry us on. 
Some of them are ready, some of them are not ready. Some 
of the drivers are blacks, some whites. There are four horses 
to each coach, and all the horses, harnessed or unharnessed, 
are there. The passengers are getting out of the steamboat, 
and into the coaches ; the luggage is being transferred in 
noisy wheelbarrows ; the horses are frightened, and impatient 
to start ; the black drivers are chattering to them like so many 
monkeys ; and the white ones w'hooping like so many drovers : 
for the main thing to be done in all kinds of hostlering here, 
is to make as much noise as possible. The coaclies are some 
thing like the French coaches, but not nearly so good. In 
lieu of springs, they are liung on bands of the strongest leather. 
There is very liitle choice or diPference betw^een them ; and 
they may be likened to the car portion of the swings at an 
English fair, roofed, put upon axle-trees and wheels, and 
curtained with painted canvas. They are covered with mud 
from the roof to the wheel-tire, and have never been cleaned 
since they were first built. 

The tickets w^e have received on board the steamboat are 
marked No. i, so we belong to coacli No. t. I tlirow mv 


coat on the box, and hoist my wife and her maid into the 
inside. It has only one step, and that being about a yard 
from the ground, is usually approached by a chair : when 
there is no chair, ladies trust in rrovidence. The xoach holds 
nine inside, having a seat across from door to door, v/herc \ve 
in England put our legs : so that there is only one feat more 
difficult in the performance than getting in, and that is,' rc^ 
ling out again. There is only one outside passenger, and 1 
sits upon the box. As I am that one, I climb up ; and while 
they are strapping the luggage on the roof, and heaping it 
into a kind of ray behind, have a good opportunity of looking 
at the driver. 

He is a negro — very black indeed. He is dressed in a 
coarse pepper-and-salt suit excessively patched and darned 
(particularly at the knees), gray stockings, enormous unblacked 
high-low shoes, and very short trousers. He has two odd 
gloves : one of parti-colored worsted, and one of leather. He 
has a very short whip, broken in the middle and bandaged up 
with string. And yet he wears a low-crowned, broad-brimmed, 
black hat : faintly shadowing forth a kind of insane imitation 
of an English coachman ! But somebody in authority cries 
" Go ahead ! " as I am making these observations. The mail 
takes the lead in a four-horse wa;;on, and all the coaclies 
follow in procession : headed by No. i. 

By the way, whenever an Englishman would cry " All 
right ! " an American cries " Go ahead ! " which is somewhat 
expressive of the national character of the two countries. 

The hrst half mile of the road is over bridges made of 
loose planks laid across tv/o parallel poles, which tilt up as 
the w^heels roll over them ; and in the river. The river has 
a clayey bottom and is full of holes, so that half a horse is 
constantly disappearing unexpectedly, and can't be found 
again for some time. 

But we get past even this, and conie to the road itself, 
which is a series of alternate svv^anjps and gravel-pits. A 
tremendous place is close before us, the black driver rolls his 
eyes, screws his mouth up very round, and looks straight 
betvveen the two leaders, as if he were saying to himself, " We 
have done this often before, but no2u I think we shall have a 
crasl^" He takes a rein in each hand; jerks and pulls at 
both ; and dances on the splashboard with both feet (keeping 
1:1'^. seat, of course) like the late lamented Ducrow on tv.-o of 
h if; fiery coijrser?^. We comet .• the spot, sink down in the mire 


nearly to the coach windows, tilt on one side at an angle of 
forty-five degrees, and stick there. The insides scream dis- 
mally ; the coach stops ; the horses flounder ; all the other six 
coaches stop ; and their four-and-twcnty horses flounder like 
Vv'ise : but merely for compan\', and in sympathy with ours." 
Then the following circumstances occur. 

Black Driver (to the horses). '' Hi ! " 

Nothing happens. Insides scream again. 

Black Driver (to the horses). " Ho ! " 

Horses plunge, and splash the black driver. 

Gentleman inside (looking out). "Why, what on 
airth — " 

Gentleman receives a variety of splashes and draws his 
head in again, without finishing his question or waiting for 
an answer. 

Black Driver (still to the horses). " Jiddy ! Jiddy 1 " 

Horses pull violently, drag the coach out of the hole, and 
draw it up a bank ; so steep, that the black driver's legs fly 
up into the air, and he goes back among the luggage on the 
roof. But he immediately recovers himself, and cries (stfll to 
the horses), 

u Pill I >» 

No efi;ect. On the contrary, the coach begins to roll back 
upon No. 2, which rolls back upon No. 3, which rolls back 
upon No. 4, and so on, until No. 7 is heard to curse and swear, 
nearly a quarter of a mile behind. 

Black Driver (louder than before). " Pill ! " 

Horses make another struggle to get up the bank, and 
again the coach rolls backward. 

Black Driver (louder than before). " Pe-e-e-ill ! " 

Horses make a desperate struggle. 

Black Driver (recovering spirits). " Hi, Jiddv, Jiddy. 

Horses make another effort. 

Black Driver (with great vigor). " Ally Loo ! Hi. 
jiddy, Jiddy. Pill. Ally Loo ! " 

Horses almost do it. 

Black Driver (with his eyes starting out of his head). 
•' Lee, den. Lee, dere. Hi. Jiddy, Jiddy. Pill. Ally Loo. 
Lee-e-e-e-e ! " 

They run up the bank, and go down again on the other 
side at a fearful pace. It is impossible to stop them, and at 
the bottom there is a deep hollow, full of water. The coach 


rolls frightfully. The insides scream. The mucl and water 
fly about us. The black driver dances like a inadman. Sud- 
denly we are all right by some extraordinary means, and stop 
to breathe. 

A black friend of the black driver is sitting on a fence. 
The black driver recognizes him by twirling his head round 
and round like a harlequin, rolling his eyes, shrugging his 
shoulders, and grinning from ear to ear. He stops short, 
turns to me, and says : 

" We shall get you through sa, like a fiddle, and hope a 
please you when we get you through sa. Old 'ooman at home 
sa : " chuckling very much. " Outside gentleman sa, he often 
remember old 'ooman at home sa," grinning again. 

" Ay ay, we'll take care of the old v/oman. Don't be 

The black driver grins again, but there is another hole, 
and beyond that, another bank, close before us. So he sfops 
short : cries (to the horses again " Easy. Easy den. Ease. 
Steady. Hi. Jiddy. Pill. Alh'. Loo," but never " Lee ! " 
until vv'e are reduced to the very last extremity, and are in the 
midst of difficulties, extrication from which appears to be all 
but impossible. 

And so we do the ten miles or thereabouts in two hours 
and a half ; breaking no bones, though bruising a great many \ 
and in short getting through the distance, " like a fiddle." 

This singular kind of coaching terminates at Fredericks- 
burgh, whence there is a railway to Richmond. The tract of 
country through which it takes its course was once productive : 
but the soil has been exhausted by the system of employing 
a great amount of slave labor in forcing crops, without 
strenghtening the land : and it is now little better than a sandy 
desert overgrown with trees. Dreary and uninteresting as its 
aspect is, I was glad to the heart to, find anything on which 
one of the curses of diis horrible institution has fallen ; and 
had greater pleasure in contemplating the withered ground, 
than the richest and most thriving cultivation in the same 
place could possibly have afforded me. 

In this district, as in all others where slavery sits brood- 
ing, (I have frequently heard this admitted, even by those 
who are its warmest advocates :) there is an air of ruin and 
decay abroad, wliich is inse'parable from the system. The 
barns and outhouses are mouldering av/ay ; the sheds are 
patched and half roofless ; the log cabins (built in Virginia 

^12 ^ ME RICA N NO TES. 

with external chimneys made of clay or wood) are squahd in 
the last degree. There is no look of decent comfort any- 
waiere. The miserable stations by the railway side ; the great 
v:ild w^ood-yards, whence the engine is supplied with fuel ; the 
negro children rolling on the ground before the cabin doors 
with dogs and pigs ; the biped beasts of burden slinking past 
gloom and dejection are upon them all. 

In the negro car belonging to the train in which we made 
this journey, were a mother and her children who had just 
been purchased ; the husband and father being left behind 
with their old owmer. The children cried the whole way, and 
.the mother was misery's picture. The champion of Li.c, 
Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, w^ho had bought them, 
rode in the same train ; and, every time we stopped, got 
down to see that they were safe. The black in Sinbad's 
Travels vv^ith one eye in the middle of his forehead which 
shone like a burning coal, was nature's aristocrat compared 
with this w'hite gentleman. 

It was between six and seven o'clock in the evening, when 
v/e drove to the hotel : in front of which, and on the top of 
the broad flight of steps leading to the door, tvvo cr three 
citizens were balancing themselves on rocking-chairs, and 
smoking cigars. We found it a very large and elegant estab- 
lishment, and were as well entertained as travellers need 
desire to be. The climate being a thirsty one, there was 
never, at any hour of the day, a scarcity of loungers in the 
spacious bar, or a cessation of the mixing of cool liquors : 
but they were a merrier people Iiere, and had musical instru- 
ments playing to them o' nights, which it was a treat to hear 

The next day, and the next, we rode and walked about 
the town, which is delightfully situated on eight hills, over- 
hanging James River; a^sparkling stream, studded here and 
there with bright islands, or brawling over broken rocks. 
Although it yet but the middle of March, the weather in 
tins southern temperatin-e was extremely warm ; the peach- 
irces and m.aqnolias were in full bloom ; and the trees were 
green. In a low ground among the hills, is a valley known 
a:. •• J3iocdy Run," from a terrible conflict with the Indians 
W'hlch once occurred there. It is a good place for such a 
struggle, and, like every other spot I sav/ associated with any 
^.egend of that wild people now so rapidly fading from the 
earth, interested me very much. 

A Niam ' S TEA MER ON J HE I'D 7 OJJA C KI VER. j i j 

The city is tb.e seat of the local parliament ci A'lrginia ; 
and ill iis shady iegishaLi\e hails, some orators v/ere drowsily 
holding forth to the liot noon day. By dint of constant repe- 
tition, however, these constitutional sights had very little 
more interest for me than so many parochial vestries ; and I 
was glad to exchange this one for a lounge in a well-aVranged 
public library of some ten thousand volumes, and a visit to a 
tobacco manufactory, where the workmen were all slaves. 

I sav/ in tliis place, the whole process of picking, rolling, 
pressing, drying, packing in casks, and branding. All the 
tobacco dealt with, was in course of manufacture for 
chewing; and one would ha\'e supposed there was enough in 
that one storeh.ouse to have filled even the comprehensive 
jaws of, Am.erica. In this form, the ^veed looks like the oil- 
cake on which we fatten cattle ; and even without reference 
to its con&equences, is sufiiciently uninviting. 

Many of the workmen appeared to be strong men, and it 
is hardly necessary to add that they were all laboring quietly, 
then. After two o'clock in the day, they are allowed to sing, 
a certain number at a time. The hour striking while I was 
there, som^e twenty sang a hymn in parts, and sang it by no 
means ill ; pursuing their work meanwhile. A bell rang as I 
was about to leave, and they all poured forth into a building 
on the opposite side of the street to dinner. I said several 
times that I should like to see them at their meal ; but as the 
gentleman to whom I mentioned this desire appeared to be 
suddenly taken rather deaf, I did not pursue the request. Of 
their appearance I shall have something to say, presently. 

On the following day, I visited a plantation or farm, of 
about twelve hundred acres, on the opposite bank of the 
river. Here again, although I went down with the owner of 
the estate, to " the quarter," as that part of it in which the 
slaves live is called, I was not invited to enter into any of 
their luits. All I sav/ cf them, was, that they were very crazy, 
wretched cabins, near to which groups of half-naked children 
basked in the sun, or Avallow^ed on the dusty ground. Eut I 
believe that this gentleman is a considerate and excellent 
master, wlio inherited his fifty slaves, and is neither a buyer 
nor a seller of human stock ; and I am sure, from my own 
observation and conviction, that he is a kind-hearted, v\-orthy 

The planter's house was an airy rustic dwelling, that brought 
Defoe's description of such places strongly to my recollec- 

yi^ A MERICA .\ ' NO PES. 

tion. The day was very warm, but the bhnds behig all closed, 
and the windows and doors set wide open, a shady coolness 
rustled through the rooms, which was exquisitely refreshing 
after the glare and heat without. Before the windows was an 
open piazza, where, in what they call the hot weather — what- 
ever that may be— they sling hammocks, and drink and doze 
luxuriouslv. I do not know how their cool refections may taste 
within the hammocks, but, having experience, I can report 
that, out of them, the mounds of ices and the bowls of mint- 
julep and sherry-cobbler they make in these latitudes, are re- 
freshments never to be thought of afterwards, in summer, by 
those who would preserve contented minds. 

There are two bridges across the river : one belongs to 
the railroad, and the other, which is a very crazy affair, is the 
private property of some old lady in the neighborhood, who 
levies tolls upon the townspeople. Crossing this bridge, on 
my way back, I saw a notice painted on the gate, cautioning 
all persons to drive slowly : under a penalty, if the offender 
were a white man, of five dollars ; if a negro, fifteen stripes. 

The same decay and gloom that overhang the way by 
v/hich it is approached, hover above the town of Richmond. 
There are pretty villas and cheerful houses in its streets, and 
Nature smiles upon the country round ; but jostling its hand- 
some residence, like slavery itself going hand in hand with 
many lofty virtues, are deplorable tenements, fences unre- 
paired, walls crumbling into ruinous heaps. Hinting gloomily 
at things below the surface, these and many other tokens of 
the same description, force themselves upon the notice, and 
are remembered with depressing influence, when livelier fea- 
tures are forgotten. 

To those who are happily unaccustomed to them, the 
countenances in the streets and laboring-places, too, are 
shocking. All men who know that there are laws against in- 
structing slaves, of which the pains and penalties greatly ex- 
ceed in their amount the fines imposed on those who maim 
and torture them, must be prepared to find their faces very low 
in the scale of intellectual expression. But the darkness — 
not of skin but mind — which meets the stranger's eye at every 
turn ; the brutalizing and blotting out of all fairer characters 
traced by Nature's hand ; immeasurably outdo his worst belief. 
That travelled creation of the great satirist's brain, who fresh 
from living among horses, peered from a high casement down 
upon his own kind with trembling horror, was scarcely more 



repelled and daunted by the sight, than those who look upon 
some of these faces for the first tup.e must surely be. 

I left the last of them behind me in the person of a 
wretched drudge, who, after running to and fro all day till 
midnight, and moping in his stealthy winks of sleep upon the 
stairs betweenwd:iiles, was washing the dark passages at four 
o'clock in the morning ; and went upon my way with a grate- 
ful heart that was not doomed to live where slaveiy was, and 
had never had my senses blunted to its wrongs and horrors in 
a slave-rocked cradle. 

It had been my intention to proceed by James River and 
Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore ; but one of the steam-boats 
being absent from her station through some accident, and the 
means of conveyance being consequently rendered uncertain, 
we returned to Washington by the way we had come (there 
were two constables on board the steamboat, in pursuit of 
runaway slaves, and halting there again for one night, went 
on to Baltimore next afternoon. 

The most comfortable of all the hotels of which I had any 
experience in the United States, and they were not a few, is 
Barnum's, in that city : where the English traveller will find 
curtains to his bed, for the first and probably the last time in 
America (this is a disinterested remark, for I never use them) ; 
and where iie will be likely to have enough water for washing 
himself, which is not at all a common case. 

This capital of the State of Maryland is a bustling busy 
town, with a great deal of traffic of various kinds and in particu- 
lar of water commerce. That portion of the town which it most 
favors is none of the cleanest, it is true ; but the upper part 
is of a very different character, and has many agreeable streets 
and public buildings. The Washington Monument, which is 
a handsome pillar with a statue on its summit ; the Medical 
College ; and the battle Monument in memory of an engage- 
ment with the British at North Point ; are the most conspicu- 
ous among them. 

There is a very good prison in this city, and the State 
Penitentiary is also among its institutions. In this latter 
establishment there were two curious cases. 

One, was that of a young man, who had been tried for the 
murder of his father. The evidence was entirely circumstan- 
tial, and was very conflicting and doubtful ; nor was it possible 
to assign any motive which could have tempted him to the 
commission of so tremendous a crime. He had been tried 



twice ; and on tlie second occasion the jury felt so much hesi 
tation in convicting him, tliat they found a verdict of man- 
slaughter, or rr.ucder in the second degree ; v.Lich il ccukl net 
possibly be, as there i^sad, beyond all doubt, been no qwarielcr 
provocation, and if he were guilty at all, h.e was unquestion- 
ably guilty of murder in its broadest and worst signiiicaticn. 

I'he remarkable feature in the case was, that ii" tic unfor- 
tunate deceased were not really murdered by tlvis own son of 
his, he must liave been murdered by his own brother. The 
evidence lay in a most remarkable manner, between those two. 
On all the suspicious points, the dead man's brother was the 
witness : all the explanations for the prisoner ( some of them 
extremely plausible) went, by construction and inference, to 
inculcate him as plotting to fix the guilt upon Ins nephew. It 
must have been one of them : and the jury had to decide be- 
tween two sets of suspicions, almost equally unnatural, unac- 
countable, and strange. 

The other case, v/as tliat of a man who once v/ent to a 
certain distiller's and stole a copper measure containing a 
quantity of liquor. He was pursued and taken v;ith the prop- 
erty in his possession, and w^as sentenced to two years' im- 
prisonment. On coming out of the jail, at the expiration of 
that term, l.e went back to the same distiller's, and stole the 
same copper measure containing the same quantity of liquor. 
There was not the slightest reason to suppose that the man 
wdshecl to return to prison : indeed everything, but the com- 
mission of the offence, made directly against that assumption. 
There are only two ways of accounting for this extraordinary 
proceeding. M^ne is, that after undergoing so much for this 
copper measure he conceived he had established a sort of 
claim and right to it. The other that, by dint of long thinking 
about, it had become a monomania with him, and had acquired 
a fascination which he found it impossible to resist : swelling 
from an Earthly Copper Gallon into an Ethereal Golden Vat. 

After remaining here a couple of days I bound myself to a 
rigid adherence to the plan I had laid down so recently, and 
resolved to set forward on our western journey wdthout any 
more delay. Accordingly, having reduced the luggage within 
t'le smallest possible compass (by sending back to New 
York, to be afterwards fowarded to us in Canada, so much of 
it as was not absolutely wanted); and having procured the 
necessary credentials to banking-houses on the way ; and 
having moreover looked for two evenings at the setting sun, 



with as well-defined an idea of tlie country before us as if we 
had been going to travel into the very centre of that planet; 
we left Baltimore by another railway at half past eight in the 
morning, and reached the town of York, some sixty miles off, 
by the early dmner-time of the Hotel which was the starting- 
place of the four-horse coach, wherein we were to proceed to 

This conveyance, the box of which I was fortunate enough 
to secure, had come down to meet us at the railroad station, 
and vv-as as muddy and cumbersome as usual. As more pas- 
sengers were waiting for us at the inn-door, the coachman 
obser\'ed under j-^is breath, in the usual self-communicative 
voice, looking the while at his mouldy harness as if it were to 
that he. was addressing himself. 

'• I expect we shall want the big coach." 

I could not help wondering within myself what the size of 
this big coach might be, and hovv^ many persons it might be 
designed to hold ; for the vehicle which was too small for 
our purpose was something larger than two English heavy 
night coaches, and might have been the twin-brother of a 
French Diligence. My speculations were speedily set at rest, 
however, for as soon as we had dined, there came rumbling 
up the street, shaking its sides like a corpulent giant, a kind 
of barge on wheels. After much blundering and backing, it 
stopped at the door ; rolling heavily from side to side when 
its other motion had ceased, as if it had taken cold in its 
damp stable, and between that, and the having been required 
in its dropsical old age to move at any faster pace than a 
walk, were distressed by shortness of wind. 

" If here ain't the Harrisburg mail at last, and dreadful 
bright and smart to look at too," cried an elderly gentleman 
in some excitement, " darn my mother ! " 

I don't know what the sensation of being darned may be, 
or whether a man's mother has a keener relish or disrelish of 
the process than anybody else ; but if the endurance of this 
mysterious ceremony by the old lady in question had de- 
pended on the accuracy of her son's vision in respect to the 
abstract brightness and smartness of the Harrisburg mail, 
sh'j would certainly have undergone its iniiiction. However, 
they bvoked twelve people inside ; and the luggage (including 
such trifles as a large rocking-chair, and a good-sized dining- 
tabley being at length made fast upon the roof, we started o£t 
in great state. 



At the door of another hotel, there was another passenger 
to be taken up. 

■ , "Any room, sir? " cries the new passenger to the coach- 

"\\'e]l there's room enough," repUes the coachman, with- 
out getting clov,-n, or even looking at him. 

" There an't no room at all, sir," bawls a gentleman in- 
side. Which another gentleman (also inside) confirms, by 
predicting that the attempt to introduce any more passengers 
" won't fit nohow." 

The new passenger, without any expression of anxiety, 
looks into the coach, and then looks up at the coachman : 
" Now,' how do you mean to fix it ? " says he, after a pause : 
*'for I must go." 

The coachman employs himself in twisting the lash of his 
whip into a knot, and takes no more notice of the question : 
clearly signifying that it is anybody's business but his, and 
that t!ie passengers would do well to fix it, among themselves. 
In this state of things, matters seem to be approximating to a 
fix of another kind, when another inside passenger in a cor- 
ner, who is nearly suffocated, cries faintly, "I'll get out." 

This is no matter of relief or self-congratulation to the 
driver, for his immovable philosophy is perfectly undisturbed 
by anything that happens in the coach. Of all things in the 
world, the coach would seem to be the very last upon his 
niind. The exchange is made, however, and then the passen- 
ger who has given up his seat makes a third upon the box, 
seating himself in what he calls the middle ; that is, with half 
his person on my legs, and the other half on the driver's. 

"Go a-head, cap'en," cries the colonel, who directs. 

" Go-lang! " cried the cap'en to his company, the horses, 
and away we go. 

We took up at a rural bar-room, after we had gone a fev; 
miles, an intoxicated gentleman who climbed upon the roof 
aniong the luggage, and subsequently slipping off without 
hurting liimself, was seen in the distant perspectix'e reeling 
back to the grog-shop where we had found him. We also 
parted with more of our freight at difierent times, so tliat 
when we came to change horses, I was again alone outside. 

Tr.e coachmen always change, with the horses, and are 
usually as dirty as the coach. The first v/as dressed like a 
very shabby Enr^ilish baker ; the second like a Russian peas- 
ant ; for he wore a loose purple camlet robe, with a fur col- 


iar, tied round his waist with a parti-colored worsted sash ; 
gray trousers ; light blue gloves ; and a cap of bearskin. It 
had by this time come on to rain very heavily, and there was 
a cold damp mist besides, which penetrated to the skin. I glad to take advantage of a stoppage and get down to 
stretch my legs, shake the water off my great-coat, and swal- 
low the usual anti-temperance recipe for keeping out the cokL 

When I mounted to my seat again, I observed a new par- 
cel lying on the coach roof, which I took to be a rather large 
fiddle in a brown bag. In the course of a few miles, however, 
I discovered that it had a glazed cap at one end and a pair of 
muddy shoes at the other; and further observation demon- 
strated it to be a small boy iu a snuff-colored coat, with Ms 
arms quite pinioned to his sides, by deep forcing into his 
pockets. He was, I presume, a relative or friend of the 
coachman's, as he lay a-top of the luggage with his face 
towards the rain ; and except when a change of position 
brought nis shoes in contact with my hat, he appeared to be 
asleep. At last, on some occasion of our stopping, this thing 
slowly upreared itself to the height of three feet six, and fix- 
ing its eyes on me, observed in piping accents, with a com- 
plaisant yawn, half quenched in an obliging air of friendly 
patronage, " Well now, stranger, I guess 3^ou find this a'most 
like an English arternoon, hey ? " 

The scenery which had been tame enough at first, was, 
for the last ten or twelve miles, beautiful. Our road wound 
through the pleasant valley of the Susquehanna; the river, 
dotted with innumerable green islands, lay upon our right ; 
and on the left, a steep ascent, craggy with broken rock, and 
dark with pine trees. The mist, wreathing itself into a hun- 
dred fantastic shapes, moved solemnly upon the water ; and 
the gloom of evening gave to all an air of mystery and silence 
which greatly enhanced its natural interest. 

We crossed the river by a wooden bridge, roofed and 
covered in on all sides, and nearly a mile in length. It was 
profoundly dark ; perplexed, with great beams, crossing and 
recrossing it at every possible angle ; and through the broad 
chinks and crevices in the floor, the rapid river gleamed, far 
down below, like a legion of eyes. We had no lamps ; and 
as the horses stumbled and floundered through this place, 
towards the distant speck of dying light, it seemed intermin- 
able. I really could not at first persuade myself as we 
rumbied heavily on^ filling the bridge witli holldw noises, and 

720 '4 ^!ER/CA X NO TES. 

I held down my head to save it from the rafters aboa^e, but 
that I was in a painful dream ; for I have often dreamed of 
toiling through such places, and as often argued, even at the 
time, " this cannot be reality." 

At length, however, we emerged upon the streets of Har- 
risburg, whose feeble lights, reflected dismally from the wet 
ground, did not shine out upon a very cheerful city. \Ve 
were soon established in a snug hotel, which though smaller 
and far less splendid than many we put up at, is raised above 
them all in my remembrance, by having for its landlord the 
most obliging, considerate, and gentlemanly person I ever 
had to deal with. 

As we were not to proceed upon our journey until the 
afternoon, I v/alked out, after breakfast the next morning, to 
look about me ; and was duly shown a model prison on the 
solitary system, just erected, and as yet without an inmate ; 
the trunk of an old tree to which Harris, the first settler here 
(afterwards hurried under it), was tied by hostile Indians, 
with his funeral pile about him, when he was saved by the 
timely appearance of a friendly party on the opposite shore 
of the river ; the local legislature (for there was another of 
those bodies here again, in full debate) ; and the other curio- 
sities of the town. 

I was very much interested in looking over a number of 
treaties made from time to time with the poor Indians, signed 
by the different chiefs at the period of their ratification, and 
preserved in the office of the Secretary to the Commonwealth. 
These signatures, traced of course by their own hands, are 
rough drawings of the creatures or weapons they were called 
after. Thus, the Great Turtle makes a crooked pen-and-ink 
outline of a great turtle ; the Buffalo sketches a buffalo ; the 
War Hatchet sets a rough image of that weapon for h.ismark. 
So with the Arrow, the Fish, the Scalp, the Big Canoe, and 
all of them. 

I could not but think — as I looked at these feeble and 
tremulous productions of hands which could draw the longest 
arrow to the head in a stout elk-horn bow, or split a bead or 
feather with a rifle-ball — of Crabbe's musings over the Parish 
Register, and the irregular scratches made with a pen, by men 
who would plou2;h a lengthy furrow straight from end to end. 
Nor could 1 help bestowing many sorrowful thoughts upon 
the simple warriors whose hands a:vd hearts were set there, in 
all ttiatii and honesty; and who only leanied in courstj oi; 



time from white men how to break their faith, and quibble out 
of forms and bonds. I wondered, too, how many times the 
credulous Big- Turtle, or trusting Little Hatchet, had put his 
mark to treaties which were falsely read to him ; and had 
signed away, he knew not what, until it went and cast him 
loose upon the new possessors of the land, a savage indeed. 

Our host announced, before our early dinner, that some 
members of the legislative body proposed to do us the honor 
of calling. He had kindly yielded up to u? his v/ife's own 
little parlor, and when I begged that he would show them in, 
I saw him look with painful apprehension at its pretty carpet ; 
though, being otherwise occupied at the time, the cause of 
his uneasiness did not occur to me. 

It certainly would have been more pleasant to all parties 
concerned, and would not, I thin];, have compromised their 
independence in any material degree, if some of these gentle- 
men had not only yielded to the prejudice in favor of spittoons, 
but had abandoned themselves, for the moment, even to the 
conventional absurdity of pocket-handkerchiefs. 

It still continued to rain heavih-, and when we went down 
to the Canal Boat (for that was the mode of conveyance. by 
which wa were to proceed) after dinner, the v^?eather.was as 
unpromising and obstin^ately wet as one would desire to see. 
Nor was the sight of this canal boat, in which we were, to 
spend three or four days, by any means a cheerful one ; as it 
involved some uneasy speculations concerning the disposal of 
the passengers at night, and opened a wide field of inquiry 
touching the other domestic arrangements of the establish- 
ment, which was sufficiently disconcerting. 

However, there it was — a barge with a little house in it, 
viewed from the outside ; and a caravan at a fair, viewed 
from within : the gentlemen being accommodated, as the 
spectators usually are, in one of those locomotive museums 
of penny wonders ; and the ladies being partitioned off by a 
red curtain, after the manner of the dwarfs and giants in the 
same establishments, vv^hose private lives are passed in rather 
close exclusiveness. 

Vve sat here, looking silently at the row of little tables, 
which extended down both sides of the cabin, and listening 
to the rain as it dripped and pattered on the boat, andplasiied 
with a dismal merriment in the water, un.t^il the arrival 01 the 
railway train, for v;hose final contribution to our stock of pas- 
seii^'ers, our departure wai aioiae claferred^ It brou^^ht a g^eat 



many boxes, which were bumped and tossed upon the roof, 
ahnost as painfully as if they had been deposited on one's 
own head, without the intervention of a porter's knot ; and 
several damp gentlemen, whose clothes, on their drawing 
round the stove, began to steam again. No doubt it would 
have been a thought more comfortable if the driving rani, 
v/hich now poured down more soakingly than ever, had ad- 
mitted of a window being opened, or if our number had been 
something less than thirty; but there was scarcely time to 
think as much, when a train of three horses was attached to 
the tow-rope, the boy upon the leader smacked his whip, the 
rudder creaked and groaned complainingly, and we had begun 
our journey. 



As it continued to rain most perseveringly, we all remained 
below : the damp gentlemen round the stove, gradually be- 
coming mildewed by the action of the lire ; and the dry 
gentlemen lying at full length upon the seats, or slumbering 
uneasily with their faces on the tables, or walking up and 
down the cabin, which it was barely possible for a man of the 
middle height to do, vv'ithout making bald places on his head 
by scraping it against the roof. At about six o'clock, all the 
small tables were put together to form one long table, and 
everybody sat down to tea, coffee, bread, butter, salmon, 
shad, liver, steaks, potatoes, pickles, ham, chops, black pud- 
dings, and sausages. 

" Will you tiy," said my opposite neighbor, handing nie a 
dish of potatoes, broken up in milk and butter, " will you try 
some of these fixings 1 " 

Thiere are few words which perform such various duties as 
this word "fix." It is the Caleb Quotem of the American 
vocabular)'. You call upon a gentleman in a country town, 
and his help infonas yOu that he is ''tixiiig himself '* just now, 


but will be clown directly : by which you are to understand 
that he is dressing. You inquire, on board a steamboat, of a 
fellow-passenger, whether breakfast will be ready soon, and 
he tells you he should think so, for when he was last below, 
they were " fixing the tables : " in other words, laying the 
cloth. You beg a porter to collect your luggage, and he en- 
treats you not to be uneasy, for he'll " fix it presently : " and 
if you complain of indisposition, you are advised to have re- 
course to Doctor so and so, who will "fix you " in no time. 

One night, I ordered a bottle of mulled wine at an 
hotel where I was staying, and waited a long time for it ; at 
length it was put upon the table M'ith an apology from the 
landlord that he feared it v/asn't "fixed properly." And I 
recollect once, at a stage-coach dinner, overhearing a very 
stern gentleman demand of a waiter who presented him witli 
a plate of underdone roast-beef, "whether he called that, 
fixing God A'mighty's vittles ? " 

There is no doubt that the meal, at which the invitation 
was tendered to me which has occasioned this digression, was 
disposed of somewhat ravenously ; and that the gentlemen 
thrust the broad-bladed knives and the two-pronged forks 
further down their throats than I ever saw^ the same weapons 
go before, except in the hands of a skilful juggler ; but no 
man sat down until the ladies were seated ; or omitted any 
little act of politeness which could contribute to their comfort. 
Nor did I ever once, on any occasion, anywhere, during my 
rambles in America, see a woman exposed to the slightest act 
of rudeness, incivility, or even inattention. 

By the time tiie meal was over, the rain, which seemed to 
have worn itself out by coming down so fast, was nearly over 
too ; and it became feasible to go on deck : which was a great 
relief, notwithstanding its being a veiy small deck, and being 
.rendered still smaller by the luggage, which w-as heaped to- 
gether in the middle under a tarpaulin covering ; leaving, on 
either side, a path so narrow, that it became a science to 
walk' to and fro without tumbling overboard into the canal. 
It was somewhat embarrassing at first, too, to have to duck 
nimbly every five minutes whenever the man af the lielm 
cried " Bridge ! " and sometimes, when the cry Vv'as " Lev/ 
Bridge," to lie dov/n nearly fiat. But custom familiarizes 
one to an.ytliing, and there w^ere so many bridges that ir took 
a very short lime to gti used to this. 

i\% nl-^ht came on, and we drew in siv^ht of the first rancre 


AMIlRICA.V xotls. 

of hills, which are the outposts of the Alleghany -Mountains, 
the scenery, which had been uninteresting hitherto, became 
more bold and striking. The wet ground reeked and smoked, 
after the heavy fall of rain ; and the croaking of the frogs 
(\vhose noise in these parts is almost incredible) sounded as 
though a million of fairy teams with bells, were travelling 
through the air, and keeping pace with us. The night was 
cloudy yet, but moonlight too : and when we crossed the Sus- 
(juehanna river — over which there is an extraordinary wooden 
bridge with tv/o galleries, one above the other, so that even 
there, two boat teams meeting, may pass without confusion 
— it v.'as wild and grand. 

I have mentioned my lia\ ing been in some uncertainty 
and doubt, at first, relative to the sleeping arrangements on 
board this boat. I remained in the same vague state of mind 
uniil ten o'clock or thereabouts, v,'hen going belovv, I found 
suspended on either side of the cabin, three long tiers of hang- 
ing book-shelves, designed apparently for volumes^ of the 
small octavo size. Lookinj^ with "Teater attention at these 
contrivances (wondering to find such literary preparations in 
such a place), I descried on each shelf a sort of microscopic 
sheet and blanket ; tlKn 1 began dimly to comprehend that 
the passengers were the library, and that they were to be ar- 
ranged, edge-wise, on these shelves, till morning. 

I vvas assisted to this conclusion by seeing some of them 
gathered round the master of tlie boat, at one of the tables, 
drav.-ing lots with all the anxieties and passions of gamesters 
depicted in their countenances ; while others, with small 
pieces of cardboard in their hands, were groping among the 
shelves in search of numbers corresponding with those they 
had drawn. As soon as any gentleman found his number, 
he took possession of it by immediately undressing himself 
find crawling into bed. The rapidity with which an agitated 
[.ambler subsided into a snoring skimi^erer, was one of the 
moL-t singular effects I have ever witnessed. As to the ladies 
t'ley were already abed, beh.ind the red curtain, which was 
arc'uHy drawn and pinned up ihe centre ; though as every 
■3u.^h, or .'^nec7e, or v/nisper, behind this curtain, was per- 
^crly audible before it, v/e had still a lively consciousness of 
ibeir socictv. 

'I"kc pchleness of the person in authoiity had secured 
to n;e a kYx^A in a nook near this red curtaii^i, in some degree 
removed from ihe rreat b©dy of sleeperi. : to which place i 

THI:: CAXAI-IJd.: f. 

retire! v.iili many acknowledgments to him for his attentic;,. 
I lou-.-id ii, on after-measurement, just the width of an cix'! 
nary sheet of Bath post letter-paper ; and I was at first in scnvc 
uncertainty as to the best means of getting into it. But the 
shell; being a bottom o-^<::, I linally determined on lying upc;- 
the iloor, rolling gently in, stopping immediately I touched 
the mattress, and remaining for the night v;ith that sideuppci- 
most, wljatever it might be. Luckily, I came upon my back 
at exactly the right moment. I w^as much alarmed on looking 
upward, to see, by the shape of Ins lialf yard of sacking (which 
his weight had bent into an exceedingly tight bag), that there 
was a very hea\y gendeman above me, wdiom the slender 
cords seemed quite incapable of holding ; and I could not 
help reflecting upon the grief of my wife and family in the 
event of his coming down in the night. But as I could not 
have got up again without a severe bodily struggle, which 
might have alarmed the ladies ; and as I had nowhere to go 
to, even if I had ; I shut my eyes upon the danger, and re- 
mained there. 

One of two remarkable circumstances is indisputably a 
fact, with reference to that class of society who travel in these 
boats. Either they carry their restlessness to such a pitch 
that they never sleep at all ; or they expectorate in dreams, 
which would be a remarkable mingling of the real and ideal. 
All night long, and every night, on this canal, there was a 
perfect storm and tempest of spitting; and once my coat, 
being in the very centre of the hurricane sustained by live 
gentlemen (which moved vertically, strictly carrying out Reid's 
Theory of the Law of Storms), I \vas fain the next morning 
to lay it on the deck, and rub it down with fair water before 
it was in a condition to be worn again. 

Between five and six o'clock in the morning we got up, 
and some of us went on deck, to give them an opportunity of 
taking the shelves down ; while others, the morning being 
very cold, crowded round the rusty stove, cherishing the new- 
ly kindled fire, and filling the grate with those voluntary con- 
tributions of which they had been so liberal all night. The 
washing accommodations were primitive. There was a tin ladle 
chained to the deck, with which every gentleman who thought 
it necessary to cleanse himself (many were superior to this 
weakness), fi.shed the dirty water out of the canal, and poured 
it into a tin basin, secured in like manner. There v;as also a 
jack-icv;ei. And, hanging up before a little looking-glass in 



the bar, in the immediate vicinity of the bread and cheese 
and biscuits, were a iDubUc comb and hair-brush. 

At eight o'cloclv, the shelves being taken down and put 
away and the tables joined together, ever3'body sat down to 
the tea, coffee, bread, butter, salmon, shad, liver, steak, pota- 
toes, pickles, ham, chops, black-puddings, and sausages, all 
over again. Some were fond of compounding tliis variety, 
and having it all on their plates at once. As each gentleman 
got through his own personal amount of tea, coffee, bread, 
butter, salmon, shad, liver, steak, potatoes, pickles, ham, 
chops, black-puddings, and sausages, he rose up and v/alked 
off. When everybody had done with everything, the frag- 
ments were cleared away: and one of the v;aiters appearing 
anew in the character of a barber, shaved such of the com- 
pany as desired to be shaved \ while the remainder looked 
on, or yawned over their newspapers. Dinner was breakfast 
again, without the tea and coffee ; and supper and breakfast 
vvere identical. 

There was a man on board this boat, with a light fresh- 
colored face, and a pepper-and-salt suit of clothes, who v;as 
the most inquisitive fellow that can possibly be imagined. 
He never spoke otherwise than interrogatively. He was an 
embodied inquiry. Sitting down or standing up, still or mov- 
ing, walking the deck or taking his meals, there he was, with 
a great note of interrogation in each eye, two in his cocked 
ears, two more in his turned-up nose and chin, at least half a 
dozen more about the corners of his mouth, and the largest 
one of all in his hair, which was brushed pertly off his fore- 
head in a flaxen clump. Every button in his clothes said, 
" Eh t What's that ? Did you speak ? Say that again, will 
you ? " He was always wide awake, like the enchanted bride 
v/ho drove her husband frantic ; always restless ; always 
thirsting for answers ; perpetually seeking and never finding. 
There never was such a curious man. 

I v/ore a fur great-coat at that time, and before we were well 
clear of the wharf, he questioned me concerning it, and its 
price, and where I bought it, and when, and what fur it was, 
and what it v/eighed, and what it cost. Then he took notice 
of my watch, and asked m.e what that cost, and whether it was 
a French watch, and vvhere I got it, and how I got it, and 
whether I bought it or had it given me, and how it went, and 
where the key-hole was, and v;hen I wound it, ever}' night or 
every morning, and whetlier I ever forgot to wind \\ at all, and 



if I did, what tlien ? Wliere had I been to last, and where was 
I going next, and where was I going after that, and had I 
seen the President, and what did he say, and what did I say, 
and what did he say when I had said that ? EIi ? Lor nov/! 
do tell ! 

Finding that nothing would satisfy him I evaded his ques- 
tions after the first score or two, and in particular pleaded 
ignorance respecting the name of the fur whereof the coat 
was made. 1 am unable to say whether this was the reason, 
but that coat fascinated him afterwards ; he usually kept close 
behind me as I walked, and moved as I moved, that he might 
look at it the better ; and he frequently dived into narrow places 
after me at the risk of his life, that he might have the satisfac- 
tion of passing his hand up the back, and rubbing it the wrong 

We had another odd specimen on board, of a different 
kind. This was a thin-faced, spare-figured man of middle 
age and stature, dressed in a dusty drabbish-colored suit, such 
as I never saw before. He was perfectly quiet during the 
first part of the journey: indeed I don't remember having so 
much as seen him until he was brought out by circumstances, 
as great men often are. The conjunction of events which 
made him famous, happened, briefly, thus. 

The canal Extends to the foot of the mountain, and there, 
of course, it stops ; the passengers being conveyed across it 
by land carriage, and taken on afterwards by another canal- 
boat the counterpart of the first, which awaits them on the 
other side. There are two canal lines of passage-boats ; one is 
called the Express, and one (a cheaper one) The Pioneer. 
The Pioneer gets first to the mountain, and waits for the Ex- 
press people to come up ; both sets of passengers being con- 
veyed across it at the same time. We were the Express com- 
pany ; but when we had crossed the mountain, and had come 
to the second boat, the proprietors took it into their heads to 
draft all the Pioneers into it likewise, so that we were five- 
and-forty at least, and the accession of passengers was not at 
all of that kind which improved the prospect of sleeping at 
night. Our people grumbled at this, as people do in such 
cases : but suffered the boat to be towed off with the v^hole 
freight aboard nevertheless ; and av/ay we went down the 
canal. At home. I should have protested lustil)-, but being a 
foreigner here, I held my peace. Not so this passenger. He 
cleft a path among the peopie on deck (we were nearly ail on 

728 ^ ME RICA N NO TES. 

deck), and without addressing anybody whomsoever, solilo- 
quized as follows : 

"This may -EixixX. yoii^ this may, but it don't suit me. This 
may be all very well with Down Easters, and men of Boston 
raising, but it won't suit my figure no how ; and no two ways 
about that; and so I tell you. Now! I'm from the brown 
forests of the Mississippi, / am, and when the sun shines on 
me, it does shine — a little. It don't glimmer where / live, 
the sun don't. No. I'm a brown forester, I am. I an't a 
Johnny Cake. There are no smooth skins where I live. 
We're rough men there. Rather. If Down Easters and men 
of Boston raising like this, I'm glad of it, but I'm none of 
that raising nor of that breed. No. This company wants a 
little fixing, // does. I'm the wrong sort of man for 'em, / am. 
They won't like me, ilicy won't. This is piling of it up, a 
little too moiintainous, this is." At the' end of every one of 
these short sentences he turned upon his heel, and walked 
the other way ; checking himself abruptly when h.e had finished 
another short sentence, and turning back again. 

It is impossible for me to say what terrific meaning was 
hidden in the words of this brown forester, but I knovv^ that 
the other passengers looked on in a sort of admiring hor- 
ror, and that presently the boat was put back to the wharf, 
and as m^any of the Pioneers as could be coaxed or bullied 
into going away, were got rid of. 

When we started again some of the boldest spirits on 
on board, made bold to say to the obvious occasion of this 
improvement in our prospects, " j\Iuch obliged to you sir;" 
whereunto the brown forester (waving his hand, and still 
walking up and down as before) replied, " No you ain't. You're 
none o' my raising. You may act for yourseh-es, you may. I 
have pintedout the way. Down Easters and Johnny Cakes can 
follow if they please. I an't a Johnny Cake, / an't. I am 
from the brown foi-ests of the Mississippi, /am " — and so on, 
as before. Me was unanimously voted one of the tables for 
his bed at night — there is a great contest for the tables — in 
consideration for his public services : and he had the warmest 
corner by the stove thrifRghout the rest of the journey. But I 
never could find out that he did anything except sit there \ nor 
did \ hear him speak again until, in the midst of the bustie 
and turmoil of getting the luggage ashore in the dark at Pitts- 
burg, I stumbled over him as he sat smoking a cigar on the 
cabiii steps,' aii4 litjard i^^ii.uiutt'eiiiij^ id liuiisdf, witk a siiOrt 


laugh of defiance, "I airt a Johnny Cake, /an't. I'm from 
the brown forests of the Mississippi, / am, damme ! " I am 
inchned to argue from this, that he had never lelt off saying 
so; but I could not make an affidavit of that part of the 
story, if required to do so by my Queen and Country. 

As we had not reached Pittsburg yet, hov.ever, in the 
order of. our narrative, I may go on to remark that breakfast 
was perhaps the least desirable meal of tlie day, as in ad- 
dition to the many savory odors arising from the eatables 
already mentioned, there were whiiis of gin, whiskey, brandy, 
and rum, from the little bar hard by, and a decided seasoning 
of stale tobacco. Many of the gentlemen passengers v.-ere 
far from particular in respect of their linen, which was in 
some cases as yellow as the little rivulets that had trickled 
from the corners of their mouths in chev;ing, and dried there. 
Nor was the atmosphere quite free from zephyr whisperings 
of the thirty beds which had just had been cleared away, and 
of vvhich we were further and more pressingly reminded by 
the occasional appearance on the table-cloth of a kind of 
Game, not mentioned m the Eili^of Fare. 

y\nd yet despite these odditie's— and even they had, for me 
at least, a humor of their own— tiiere was much in this mode 
of travelling which I heartily enjoyed at the time, and looked 
back upon with great pleasure. Even the running up, bare- 
necked, at five o'clock in the morning, from the tainted cabin 
to the dirty deck ; scooping up the icy water, plunging one's 
head into it, and drawing it out, all fresh and glowing with 
the cold ; was a good thing. The fast, brisk walk upon the 
towing-path, between that time and breakfast, when every 
vein and. artery seemed to tingle with health ; the exquisite 
beauty of the opening day, when light came gleaming off from 
everything ; the lazy motion of the boat, when one lay idly on 
the deck, looking through, rather than at, the deep blue sky ; 
the gliding on at night, so noiselessly, past frowning hills, 
sullen with dark trees, and sometimes angry in one red burn- 
ing spot high up, where unseen men lay crouching round a 
lire ; the shining out of the bright stars undisturbed by noise 
of wheels or steam, or any other'sound than the limpid rip- 
pling of the water as the boat went on : all these, were pure 
delights. . : . 

Then there were new settlements and detached log-cabins 
and frame-houses, full of interest ^for strangers from an old 
country: caUas witli dimply- oveas^ outbade, m.a^iu of jsiay ; 



and lodgings for the pigs nearly as good as many of the 
human quarters ; broken windows, patched with worn-out 
hats, old clothes, old boards, fragments of blankets and pa- 
per ; and home-made dressers standing in the open-air with- 
out the door, whereon was ranged the household store, not 
hard to count, of earthen jars and pots. The eye was pained 
to see the stumps of great trees thickly strewn in every field 
of wheat, and seldom to lose the eternal swamp and dull 
morass, with hundreds of rotten trunks and twisted branches 
steeped in its unwholesome water. It was quite sad and 
oppressive, to come upon great tracts where settlers had been 
burning down the trees, and where their wounded bodies lay 
about, like those of murdered creatures, while here and there 
some charred and blackened giant reared aloft two withered 
arms, and seemed to call down curses on his foes. Some- 
times, at night, the way wound through some lonel}^ gorge, 
like a mountain pass in Scotland, shining and coldly glitter- 
ing in the light of the moon, and so closed in by high steep 
hills all round, that there seemed to be no egress save through 
the narrower path by which we had come, until one rugged 
hill-side seemed to open, and shutting out the moon-light as 
w^e passed i^ito its gloomy throat wrapped our new course in 
shade and darkness. 

We had left Harrisburg on Friday. On Sunday morning 
we arrived at the foot of the mountain, which is crossed by 
railroad. There are ten inclined planes ; five rt-scending, and 
five //cscending ; the carriages are dragged up the former, and 
let slowly down the latter, by means of stationary engines ; 
the comparatively level spaces betv/een, being traversed, 
sometimes by horse, and sometimes by engine power, as the 
case demands. Occasionally the rails are laid upon the ex- 
treme verge of a giddy precipice ; and looking from the car- 
riage window, the traveller gazes sheer down, without a stone 
or scrap of fence between, into the mountain depths below. 
The journey is very carefully made, however ; only two car- 
riages travelling together ; and while proper precautions are 
taken, is not to be dreaded for its dangers. 

It was very pretty travelling thus, at a rapid pace along 
the heights of the mountain in a keen wind, to look down 
into a valley full of light and softness ; catching glimpses 
through the tree-tops, of scattered cabins ; children running 
to the doors : dogs bursting out to. bark, whom we could see 
without hearing ) terrified pigs scair.pering homewards j fanii- 

THE CA NA L-B OA 7\ 7 » i 

lies sitting out in their rude gardens ; cows gazing upward 
with a stupid indifference ; men in their shirt-sleeves lookinr: 
on ar their unfinished houses, planning out to-morrow's work : 
and we riding onward, high abo'\'e them, like a whirlwind. It 
was 'amusing, too, when we had dined, and rattled down r. 
steep pass, having no other moving power than the weight of 
the carriages themselves, to see the engine^ released, Ion;- 
after us, come buzzing down alone, like a great insect, itr. 
back of green and gold so shining in the sun, that if it had 
spread a pair of wings and soared away, no one would have 
had occasion, as I fancied, for the least surprise. But it 
stopped short of us in a very business-like manner v;hen we 
reached the canal : and, before we left the wharf, v;ent part- 
ing up this hill again, v/ith the passengers who had waited 
our arrival for the means of traversing the road by which we 
had come. 

On the Monday evening, furnace fires and clanking hairi- 
mers on the banks of the canal, v/arned us that we approached 
the termination of this part of our journey. After going * 
through another dreamy place — a long aqueduct across the 
Alleghany River, which was stranger than the bridge at Har- 
risburg, being a vast low wooden chamber full of Vv-ater — we 
emerged upon that ugly confusion of backs of buildings and 
crazy galleries and stairs, which always abuts on water, 
whether it be river, sea, canal, or ditch : and were at Pitts- 

Pittsburg is like Birmingham in England ; at least its 
townspeople say so. Setting aside the streets, the shops, the 
houses, wagons, factories, public buildings, and population, 
perhaps it may be. It certainly has a great quantity of smoke 
hanging about it, and is famous for its iron-works. Besides 
the prison to which I have already referred, this town con- 
tains a pretty arsenal and other institutions. It is very beau- 
tifully situated on the Alleghany River, over which there are 
two bridges ; and the villas of the wealthier citizens sprinkled 
about the high grounds in tlie neighborhood, are pretty 
enough. We lodged at a most excellent hotel, and were ad- 
mirably served. As usual it was full of boarders, was very 
large, and had a broad colonnade to every story of the house. 

We tarried here, three days. Our next point was Cincin- 
nati : and as this was a steamboat journey, and western 
steamboats usually blov/ up one or two a week in the seas&n, 
it was advisable to coliec: opinions in reference to the com- 

732 '-i --lEI^ICA N NO TES. 

parative safety of the vessels bound that way, then lying in 
the ri\er. One called the Messenger Vv-as the best recom- 
mended. She had been adverlised to start positively, every 
day for a fortni;^ht or so, and had not gone yet, nor did her 
captain seem to have any very fixed intention on the subject. 
But t'iiis is the custom : for if the law were to bind down a 
free and independent citizen to keep his word with the public, 
what would become of the liberty of the subject ? Besides, it 
is in the way of trade. And if passengers be decoyed in the 
v/ay of trade, and people be inconvenienced in the way of 
trn le, v/hat man, who is a sharp tradesman himself, shall say 
" We must put a stop to thi.^ 1 " 

Impressed by the deep solemnity of the public announce^ 
rr-ent, I (being tlien ignorant of these usages) was for hurr}-- 
ing on board in a breathless state, immiediately ; but receiving 
private and confidential information that the boat would cer- 
tainly not start until Friday, April the First, we made our- 
seh-es very comfortable in the mean while, and went on board 
at noon that dav. 



The Messenger was one among a crowd of high-pressure 
steamboats, clustered together by a wharf-side, which, looked 
down upon from the rising ground that forms the landing- 
place, and backed by the lofty bank on the opposite side of 
the river, appeared no larger than so many floating models. 
She had some forty passengers on board, exclusive of the 
poorer persons on the lov;er deck ; and in half an hour, or 
less, proceeded on her way. 

We had, for ourselves, a tiny state-room with two berths 
in it, opening out of the ladies' cabin. There was, undoui^t- 
edly, something satisfactory in this "location," inasmuch as 
it was in tb.e stern, and we had been a great maiw times vei^ 
gravely recommended to keep as lar aft as possible, '' because 
the steamboats eeneraliv blew .ud forward." Nor was this 

CjW'CI.VA'A 77. ' T.x 

an unnecessary caution, as the occurrence and circumstances 
cf more than one such fatality during cur stay cufficienlly 
testified. Apart from this source cf cclf-con^ratulation, it was 
an unspeakable relief to liave any place, no niatter how con- 
fined, where one could be alone : and as the row of little 
chambers of winch this was one, had each a second giass- 
door besides that in the ladies' cabin, v/hkli opened on a 
narrow gallery outside the vessel, w-here tl:e other pasrengers 
seldom came, and where one could sit in peace and gaze upon 
the shifting prospect, we took possession of our new quarters 
with much pleasure. 

If the native packets I have already described be unlike 
anything we are in the habit of seeing on water, these western 
vessels are still more foreign to all the ideas we are accus- 
tomed to entertain of boats. I hardly know what to liken 
them to, or how to describe them. 

In the first place, they have no mast, cordage, tackle, rig- 
ging, or other such boat-like gear ; nor ha\-e they anything in 
their shape at all calculated to reniind one of a boat's I^ead, 
stern, sides, or keel. Except that they are in the water, and 
display a couple of paddle-boxes, they might be intended, for 
anything that appears to the contrary, to perform some un- 
known service, high and dr}-, upon a mountain top. There is no 
visible deck, even : nothing but a long, black, ugly roof, cov- 
ered wdth burnt-out feathery sparks ; above which tower two 
iron chimneys, and a hoarse escape valve, and a glass steer- 
age-house. Then, in order as the eye descends towards the 
water, are the sides, and doors, and windows of the state- 
rooms, jumbled as oddly together as though they formed a 
small street, built by the varying tastes of a dozen men : the 
whole is supported on beams and pillars resting on a dirty 
barge, but a few inches above the water's edge : and in the 
narrow space between this upper structure and this barge's 
deck, are the furnace fires and machineiy, open at the sides 
to every wind that blows, and every storm of rain it drives 
along its path. 

Passing one of these boats at night, and seeing the great 
body of fire, exposed as I have just described, that rages and 
roars beneath the frail pile of painted wood : the niachiner}-, 
not warded ofT or guarded in any w^ay, but doing its v/ork in the 
midst of the crowd of idlers and emigrants and children, w^ho 
throng the lower deck : under the management, too, "of reck- 
le-ss men whose acquaintance w^ith its mysteries may have 

7 - 4 .'/ M ERIC A .\ ' A V TES. 

been of six months' standing : one feels directly that the 
wonder is, not that there should be so many fatal accidents, 
but that any journey should be safely made. 

Within, there is one long narrow cabin, the whole length of 
the boat ; from v/hich the state-room. s open, on both sides. 
A small portion of it at the stern is partitioned off for the 
ladies ; and the bar is at the opposite extrenie. There is a long 
table down the centre, and at either end a stove. The v\-ash- 
ing apparatus is forward, on the deck. It is a little better 
than on board the canal boat, but not much. In all modes 
of travelling, the Amicrican customs, with reference to the 
means of personal cleanliness and v.'holesome ablution, are 
extremely negligent and nlthy ; and I stron.rrly incline to the 
belief that a considerable amount of illness is referable to this 

We are to be on board the Messenger three days ; arriv- 
ing at Cincinnati (barring accidents) on Monday morning. 
There are three meals a day. Breakfast at seven, dinner at 
half-past tv/elve, supper about six. At each, there are a great 
many small dishes and plates upon the table, with very little 
in theni ; so that although there is every appearance of a 
mighty "spread," there is seldom really more than a joint : 
except for those who fancy slices of beet-root, sh^-eds of dried 
beef, complicated entanglements of yellow pickle ; m.aize, 
Indian corn, apple-sauce, and pumpkin. 

Some people fancy all these little dainties together (and 
sweet preserves beside), by way of relish to their roast pig. 
They are generally those dyspeptic ladies and gentlemicn who 
eat unheard-of quantities of hot corn bread (almost as good 
foi the digestion as a kneaded pin-cushion), for breakfast, 
and for supper. Those who do not observe this custom, and 
who help themselves several times instead, usually suck their 
knives and for];s meditatively, until they have decided what 
to take next : then pull them out of their mouths : put them 
in the dish ; h.elp themselves ; and fall to work again. At 
dinner, there is nothing to drink upon the table, but great 
jugs full of cold water. Nobody says anything, at any meal, 
to anybody. All the passengers are very dismal, and seem 
to h.ave tremendous secrets weighing on their minds. There 
is no conversation, no laughter, no cheerfulness, no sociality, 
except in spitting ; and that is done in silent fellowship round 
the stove, when the meal is over. Every man sits down, dull 
and languid ; swallov/s his fare as if breakfasts, dinners, and 



suppers, were necessities of nature never to be coupled with 
recreation or enjoyment ; and leaving bolted his food in a 
gloomy silence, bolts himself, in the same state. But for these 
animal observances, you might suppose the whole male por- 
tion of the company to be the melancholy ghosts of departed 
bookkeepers, who had fallen dead at the desk : such is their 
weary air of business and calculation. Undertakers on duty 
would be sprightly beside them ; and a collation of funeral- 
baked meats, in comparison with these meals, would be a 
sparkling festivity. 

The people are all alike, too. There is no diversity of char- 
acter. They travel about on the same errands, say and do the 
same things in exactly the same manner, and follow in the same 
dull cheerless round. All down the long table, there is scarcely 
a man who is different in anything from his neighbor. It is 
quite a relief to have sitting opposite, that little girl of fifteen 
with the loquacious chin : who, to do her justice, acts up to it, 
and fully identifies nature's handwriting, for of all the small 
chatterboxes that ever invaded the repose of drowsy ladies' 
cabin, she is the first and foremost. The beautiful girl, who sits 
a little beyond her — farther down the table there — married 
the young man with the dark whiskers, who sits beyond her, only 
last month. They are going to settle in the very Far West, where 
he has lived four years, but where she has never been. They 
were both overturned in a stage-coach the other day (a bad 
omen anywhere else, where overturns are not so common), 
and his head, which bears the marks of a recent woi!nd, is 
bound up stilL She was hurt too, at the same time, and lay 
insensible for some days ; bright as her eyes are, now. 

Further down still, sits a man who is going some miles 
beyond their place of destination, to " improve " a newly-dis- 
covered copper mine. He carries the village — that is to be — 
with him : a few frame cottages, and an apparatus for smelt- 
ing the copper. He carries its people too. They are partly 
American and partly Irish, and herd together on the lower 
deck ; where they amused themselves last evening till the 
night was pretty far advanced, by alternately firing off pistols 
and singing hymns. 

They, and the very few who have been left at table twenty 
minutes, rise, and go away. We do so too ; and passing 
tlirou^-h our little state-room, resume our seats in the quiet 
gallery without. 

A fine broad river always, but in some parts much widcj 

736 ^ ME RICA N NO TES-. 

than in others : and then there is usually a green island, cov- 
ered with trees, dividing it into two streams. Occasionally, 
we stop for a few minutes, maybe to take in wood, maybe for 
passengers, at some small town or village (I ought to say 
city, every place is a city here) ; but the banks are for the 
most part deep solitudes, overgrown with trees, which, here- 
abouts, are already in leaf and very green. For miles and 
miles, and miles, these solitudes are unbroken by any sign 
of human life or trace of human footstep ; nor is anything 
seen to move about them but the blue jay, whose color is so 
bright and yet so delicate, that it looks like a flying flower. 
At lengthened intervals, a log cabin, with its little space of 
cleared land about it, nestles under a rising ground, and 
sends its thread of blue smoke curling up into the sky. It 
stands in the corner of the poor field of wheat, wdiich is full of 
great unsightly stumps, like earthy butchers'-blocks. Some- 
times the ground is only just now cleared : the felled trees 
lying yet upon the soil : and the log-house only this morning 
begun. As we pass this clearing, the settler leans upon his 
axe or hammer, and looks wistfully at the people from the 
world. The children creep out of the temporary hut, which 
is like a gypsy tent upon the ground, and clap their hands and 
shout. The dog only glances round at us, and then looks up 
into his master's face again, as if he were rendered uneasy by 
any suspension of the common business, and had nothing 
more ^o do with pleasurers. And still there is the same, eter- 
nal foreground. The river has washed away its banks, and 
stately trees have fallen down into the stream. Some have 
been there so long, that they are mere dry grizzly skeletons. 
Sonie have just toppled over, and having earth yet about their 
roots, are bathing their green heads in the river, and putting 
forth new shoots and branches. Some are almost sliding 
down, as you look at them. And some were drowned so long 
ago, that their bleached arms start out from the middle of the 
current, and seem to try to grasp the boat and drag it under 
the water. 

Through such a scene as this, the unwieldy m.achine takes 
its hoarse sullen v»'ay : venting, at every revolution of the pad- 
dles, a loud high-pressure blast; enough, one would think, to 
waken up the host of Indians who lie buried in a great mound 
yonder: so old, that m.ighty oaks and other forest trees have 
struck their roots into its earth ; and so high, that it is a hill, 
even among the hills that Nature planted round it. The ver^ 



nver, as though it shared one's feeUngs of compassion for the 
extinct tribes ^vho lived go pleasantly here, in their blessed ig- 
norance of white existence, hundreds of years ago, steals out 
of its way to ripple near this mound : and there are few places 
where the Ohio sparkles more brightlv than in the Big Grave 

All this I see as I sit in the little stern-gallery mentioned 
just now. Evening slowly steals upon the landscape and 
changes it before me, w4:ien we stop to set some emigrants 

Five men, :is many women, and a little girl. All their 
worldly goods are a bag, a large chest and an old chair : one, 
old, high-backed, rush-bottomed chair : a solitary settler in it- 
self. They are rowed ashore in the boat, while the vessel 
stands a little off awaiting its return, the water being shallov.'. 
They arc landed at the foot of a high bank, on the summit of 
which are a few log cabins, attainable only by a long v;inding 
path. It is growing dusk ; but the sun is very red, and shines 
in the water and on some of the tree-tops, like fu'e. 

Tlie men get out of the boat first \ h>elp out the women ; 
take out the bag, the chest, the chair ; bid the rowers " good- 
by;"' and shove the boat off for th.em. At tk.e first plash 
of the cars in the water, the oldest woman of the party sits 
down in the old chair, close to the v\'ater's edge, without speak- 
ing a word. None cf the others sit down, though the chest is 
large enough for many seats. They all stand where they 
landed, as if stricken into stone ; and look after the boat. So 
they remain, quite still and silent : the old woman and her 
old chair, in the centre ; the bag and chest upon the shore, 
without anybody heeding them : all eyes fixed upon the boat. 
It comes alongside, is made fast, the men jump on board, the 
engine is put in motion, and we go hoarsely on again. There 
they stand yet, without the motion pf a hand. I can see them 
through my glass, when, in the distance and increasing dark- 
ness, they are mere specks to the e3'e-; lingering there still : 
the old woman in the 'old chair, and ail the rest about her ; 
not stirring in the least degree. And thus I slowly lose them. 

The night is dark, and we proceed within the shadov/ cf 
the wooded bank, vvhich makes it darker. After gliding past 
the somh)re maze of boughs for a long time, w^e come upon an 
open space where the tall trees are burning. The shape cf 
every branch and twig is expressed in a deep red glov/, and 
as tlie liglit v/ind stirs and ruff-es it, they seem to vegetate in 

738 ^ ME RICA .\ ' XO TES. 

fire. It is such a sight as we read of in legends of enchanted 

forests : saving that it is sad to see these noble works w^asting 
away so awfully, alone ; and to think how many years must 
come and go before the magic that created them will rear 
their like upon this ground again. But the time will come : 
and when, in their changed ashes, the growth of centuries un- 
born has struck its roots, the restless men of distant ages will 
repair to these again unpeopled solitudes ; and their fellows, 
in cities far away, that slumber now, perhaps, beneath the 
rolling sea, will read in language strange to any ears in being 
now, but very old to them, of primeval forests where the axe 
was never heard, and where the jungled ground was never 
trodden by a human foot. 

Midnight and sleep blot out these scenes and thoughts : 
and when the morning shines again, it gilds the house-tops of 
a lively city, before whose broad paved wharf the boat is 
moored ; with other boats, and flags, and moving wheels, and 
hum of men around it ; as though there were not a solitary or 
silent rood of ground v/ithin the compass of a thousand miles. 

Cincinnati is a beautiful city ; cheerful, thriving and ani- 
mated. I have not often seen a place that commends itself 
so favorably and pleasantly to a stranger at the first glance 
as this does ; with its clean houses of red and white, its well- 
paved roads, and foot-ways of bright tile. Nor does it become 
less prepossessing on a closer acquaintance. The streets are 
broad and airy, the shops extremely good, the private resi- 
dences remarkable for their elegance and neatness. There is 
something of invention and fancy in the varynig st3des of these 
latter erections, which, after the dull company of the steam- 
boat, is perfectly delightful, as conveying an assurance that 
there are such qualities still in existence. The disposition to 
ornament these pretty villas and render them attractive, leads 
to the culture of trees and flowers, and the laying out of well- 
kept gardens, the sight of Which, to those who v/alk along the 
streets, is inexpressibly refreshing and agreeable. I was 
quite charmed with the appearance of the town, and its ad- 
joining suburb of Mount Auburn : from vdiich the city, lying 
in an amphitheatre of hills, forms a picture of remarkable 
beauty, and is seen to great advantage. 

There happened to be a great Temperance Convention 
held here on the day after our arrival ; and as the order of 
march brought the procession under the windows of the hotel 
in which we lodged, when they started in the morning, I had 


a good opportunity of seeing it. It comprised several thou- 
sand men ; tiie members of various " Washington Auxiliary- 
Temperance Societies ; " and was marshalled by officers on 
horseback, who cantered briskly up and down the line, with 
scarves and ribbons of bright colors fluttering out behind 
them gayly. There were bands of music too, and banners out 
of number : and it vras a fresh, holiday-looking concourse al- 

I was particularly pleased to see the Irishmen, who formed 
a distinct society among themselves, and mustered very strong 
wuth their green scarves; carrying their national Harp and 
their Portrait of Father Mathew, high above the people's 
heads. They looked as jolly and good-humored as ever ; and, 
working (here) the hardest for their living and doing any kind 
of sturdy labor that came in their way, were the most inde^ 
pendent fellows there, I thought. 

The banners were very well painted, and flaunted dov^/n 
the street famously. There was the smiting of the rock, and 
the gushing forth of the v/aters ; and there was a temperate 
man with " considerable of a hatchet" (as the standard-bearer 
would probably have said), aiming a deadly blow at a serpent 
which was apparently about to spring upon him from the top 
of a barrel of spirits. But the chief feature of this part of the 
show was a huge allegorical device, borne among the ship- 
carpenters, on one side whereof the steamboat Alcohol was 
represented bursting her boiler and exploding with a great 
crash, while upon the other, the good ship Temperance sailed 
away with a fair wind, to the heart's content of the captain, 
crew, and passengers. 

After going round the town, the procession repaired to a 
certain appointed place, where, as the printed programme set 
forth, it w^ould be received by the children of the diiferent 
free schools, " singing Temperance Songs." I was jDrevented 
from getting there, in time to hear these Little Warblers, or 
to report upon this novel kind of vocal entertainment : novel, 
at least, to me : but I found in a large open space, each soci- 
ety gathered round its own banners, and listening in silent 
attention to its own orator. The speeches, judging from the 
little I could hear of them, were certainly adapted to the oc- 
casion, as having that degree of relationship to cold vvater 
which wet blankets may claim : but the main thing was the 
conduct and appearance of the audience throughout the day; 
and that was admirable and full of promise. 

y 40 A M ERIC A iV NO TES. 

Cincinnati is honorably famous for its free-schools, of 
which i.^ lias so many that no person's child among its popula- 
tion can, by possibility, want the means of education, which 
are extended, upon an average, to four thousand pupils, an- 
nually. I was only present in one of these establishments 
during the hours of instruction. In the boys' department, 
which was full of little urchins (varying in their ages, I should 
say, from six years old to tenor twelve), the master offered to 
institute an extemporary examination of the pupils in algebra ; 
a jDroposal, which, as I was by no means confident of my 
ability to detect mistakes in that science, I declined with some 
alarm. In the girls' school, reading was proposed ; and as I 
felt tolerably equal to that art, I expressed my willingness to 
hear a class. Books were distributed accordingly, and some 
half-dozen girls relieved each other in reading paragraphs 
from English History. But it seemed to be a dry compila- 
tion, infinitely above their pov/ers ; and when they had blun- 
dered through three or four dreary passages concerning the 
Treaty of Amiens, and other thrilling topics of the same 
nature (obviously vvithout comprehending ten words), T ex- 
pressed myself quite satisfied. It is very possible that they 
only mounted to this exalted stave in the Ladder of Learning 
for the astonishment of a visitor.; and that at other times they 
keep upon its lower rounds ; but I should have been much 
better pleased and satisfied if I had heard them exercised in 
simpler lessons, which they understood. 

As in every other place I visited, the Judges here we^e 
gentlemen of high character and attainments. I was in one 
of the courts for a few minutes, and found it like those to 
which I have already referred. A nuisance cause was trying ; 
there were not many spectators ; and the witnesses, counsel, 
and jury, formed a sort of family circle, sufficiently jocose and 

The society with which I mingled, was intelligent, cour- 
teous, and agreeable. The inhabitants of Cincinnati are proud 
of their city as one of the most interesting in America : and 
with good reason : for beautiful and thriving as it is novr, and 
containing, as it does, a population of fifty thousand souls, but 
two-and-fifty years have passed away since the ground on 
which it stands (bought at that time for a few dollars) was a 
wild wood, and its citizens were but a liandful of dwellers in ^ 
scattered log huts upon the river's shore. 

S7: LOUIS. 741 



Leaving Cincinnati at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, we 
embarked for Louisville in the Pike steamboat, which, carry- 
ing the mails, was a packet of a much better class than that 
in which v^e had come from Pittsburg. As this passage does 
not occupy more than twelve or thirteen hours, we arranged 
to go ashore that night : not coveting the distinction of sleep- 
\\-\<i^ in a state-room, v/hen it was possible to sleep anywhere 

There chanced to be on board this boat, in addition to the 
usual dreary crowd of passengers, one Pitchlynn, a chief of 
the Choctaw tribe of Indians, v/ho sent in his card to me, and 
with whom I had the pleasure of a long conversation. 

He spoke English perfectly well, though he had not begun 
to learn the language, he told me, until he v.-as a young man 
grown. He had read many books ; and Scott's poetry ap- 
peared to have left a strong impression on his mind : especially 
the opening of The Lady of the Lake, and the great battle 
scene in Marmion, in which, no doubt from the congeniality 
of the subjects to his own pursuits and tastes, he had great 
interest and delight. He appeared to understand correctly 
all he had read ; and whatever fiction had enlisted his 
sympathy in his belief, had done so keenly and earnestly. I 
might almost say fiercely. He was dressed in our ordinary 
every-day costume, which hung about his fine figure loosely, 
and with indifferent grace. On my telling him that I regretted 
not to see him in -his own attire, he threw up his right arm, for 
fi moment, as though he were brandishing some heavy weapon, 
and answered, as he let it fall again, that his race were losing 
many things besides their dress ; and would soon be seen 
upon the earth no more : but he wore it at home, he added 

He told me that he had been away from his home, west of 
ihe Mississippi, seventeen month:. : ?(x\A was now returning. 
He Jiad been chiefiv at \^'ashing:ton on some negotiatinn?* 


pending between his Tribe and tiie Government : which were 
not settled yet (he said in a melancholy way), and he feared 
never would be : for v*^hat could a fev/ poor Indians do, against 
such v;ell-skilled men of business as the v/lntes ? He had no 
love for Washington ; tired of towns and cities very soon; and 
longed for the Forest and the Prairie. 

I asked him v/hat he thought of Congress ? He answered, 
Vvdtii a smile, that it vv^anted dignit}^, in an Indian's eyes. 

He would very much like, lie said, to see England before 
he died ; and spoke with much interest about the great things 
to be seen there. When I told him of that chamber in the 
British Museum vv'herein are preserved household memorials 
of a race that ceased to be, thousands of years ago, he was 
very attentive, and it was not hard to see that he had a refer- 
ence in his mind to.the gradual fading av/ay of his own people. 

This led' us to speak of Mr. Catlin's gallery, which he 
praised highly : observing that liis ov/n portrait was among 
the collection, and that all the likenesses were "elegant." 
Mr. Cooper, he said, had painted tlie Red Men well ; and so 
would I, he knew, if I would go home with him and hunt 
buffaloes, wdiich he was quite anxious I should do. When I 
told him that supposing I went, I should not be very likely to 
damage the buffaloes much, he took it as a great joke and 
laughed heartily. 

He was a remarkably handsome man ; some years past 
forty I should judge ; with long black hair, an aquiline nose, 
broad cheek bones, a sunburnt complexion, and a very bright, 
keen, dark, and- piercing eye. There w-ere but twenty thou- 
sand of the Choctaws left, he said, and their numJoer w'as 
decreasing every day. A few of his brother chiefs had been 
obliged to become civilized, and to m^ake themselves acquainted 
with what the whites knew, for it was their only chance of 
existence. But they w^ere not many ; and the rest were as 
they always had been. He dwelt on this : and said several 
times that unless they tried to assimilate themselves to their 
conquerors, they must be swept av.-ay before the strides of 
civilized society. 

When w'e shook hands at parting, I told him he must come 
to England, as he longed to see tlie land so much ; tliat I should 
hope to see him there, one day : and that I, could promise 
hirn he would be well received and kindly treated. He was 
evidently pleased by this assurance, tliough he rejoined with 
SL ii'oo<'l-humored .smile and an arch shake of hr^ head, that the 

ST. LOUIS. 743 

English used to be vet}* fond of the Red Men when they 
wanted their help, but had not cared much for them, since. 

He took his leave ; as stately and complete a gentleman 
of Nature's making, as ever I beheld ; and moved among the 
people in the boat, another kind of being. He sent me a 
lithographed portrait of himself soon aftenvards ; veiy like, 
though scarcely handsome enough ; which I have carefully 
preserved in memory of our brief acquaintance. 

^ There was nothing very interesting in the scenery of this 
day's journey, which brought us at midnight to Louisville. 
We slept at the Gait House ; a splendid hotel ; and v/ere as 
handsomely lodged as though vve had been in Paris, rather 
than hundreds of miles beyond the Alleghanies. 

The city presenting no objects of sufficient interest to de- 
tain us on our way, we resolved to proceed next day by an- 
other steamboat, the Fulton, and to join it, about noon, at a 
suburb called Portland, where it would he delayed some tim.e 
in passing through a canal. 

The interval, after breakfast, we devoted to riding through 
the town, wliich is regular and cheerful : the streets being 
laid out at -right angles, and planted with young trees. The 
buildings are smoky and blackened, from the use of bitumi- 
nous coal, but an Englishman is well used tQ that appearance, 
and indisposed to quarrel with it. There did not appear to 
be much business stirring ; and some unfinished buildings and 
improvements seemed to intimate that the city had been over- 
built in the, ardor of " going-a-head,'' and was suffering under 
the re-action consequent upon such feverish forcing of its 

On cuir way to Portland, we passed a '' Magistrate's office," 
which amused m^e, as locking far more like a dame school than 
any police establishm.ent : for this av;ful Institution was noth- 
ing but a little lazy, good-for-nothing front parlor, open to the 
street ; wherein two or three figures (I presume the magistrate 
and his m.yrmidons) v/ere basking in the sunshine, the very 
euigies of languor and repose. It v.'as a perfect picture of 
justice retired from business for want of customers ; her 
sword and scales sold off ; napping comfortably vath her legs 
upon the table. 

Here, as elsewhere in these parts, the road v/as perfectly 
alive with pigs of all ages ; lying about in every direction, fast 
asleep ; or granting along in quest of hidden dainties. I had 
alv-'ays a sneakin*?" kindness for these odd animals, and- found 

a constant source of ainuscnient. when all others failed, in 
watching their proceedings. As we were riding along this 
morning, I observed a little incident between two youthful 
pigs, which was so very human as to be inexpressibly comical 
^nd grotesque at the time, though I dare say, in telling, it is 
tame enough. 

One young gentleman (a very delicate porker with several 
straws sticking about his nose, betokening recent investiga- 
tions in a dunghill), was walking deliberately on, profoundly 
thinking, Vvhen suddenly his brother, v/ho was lying in a miry 
hole unseen by him, rose up immediately before his startled 
eyes, ghostly with damp mud. Never was pig's whole mass 
of blood so turned. He started back at least three feet, gazed 
for a moment, and then shot off as hard as he could go ; Ins 
excessively little tail vibrating with speed and terror like a 
distracted pendulum. But before h.e had gone very far, he 
began to reason with himself as to the nature of this fright- 
ful appearance ; and as he reasoned, he relaxed his speed by 
gradual degrees; until at last he stopped, and faced aboui. 
There was his brother, with the mud upon liim glazing in tlie 
. sun, yet staring out of the very same hole, perfectly amazed 
at his proceedings ! He was no sooner assured of this ; and 
he assured himself so carefully that one may almost say he 
shaded his eyes with his hand to seethe better ; than he cam.e 
back at a round trot, pounced upon him, and summarily took 
off a piece of his tail ; as a caution to him to be careful what 
he was about for the future, and never to play tricks with his 
family any more. 

We found the steamboat in the canal, waiting for the slow 
process of getting through the lock, and went on board, where' 
we shortly afterwards had a new kind of visitor in the person 
of a certain Kentucky Giant whose name is Porter, and who 
is of the moderate height of seven feet eight inches, in his 

There never was a race of people who so completely gave 
the lie to history as these giants, or whom all the chroniclers 
have so cruelly libelled. Instead of roaring and ravaging 
about the world, constantly catering for their cannibal larders, 
and perpetually going to market in an unlawful manner, they 
are the meekest people in any man's acquaintance : rather in 
clining to milk and vegetable diet, and bearing anything for 
a quiet life. So decidedly are amiability and mildness their 
characteristics, that I confess T look upon that youth who dis- 



tinguislied himself by uie slaughter of tliese inoffensive per- 
sons, as a false-hearted brigand, who, pretending to philaii- 
thropic motives, was secretly influenced only by the wealtii 
stored up within their castles, and the hope of plunder. And 
1 lean the more to this opinion from finding that even the 
historian of those exploits, with all his partiality for his hero, 
h fain to admit that the slaughtered monsters in question were 
of a very innocent and simple turn ; extremely guileless and 
ready of belief ; lending a credulous ear to the most improb- 
able tales ; suffering themselves to be easily entrappecl into 
pits ; and even (as in the case of the Welsh Giant) with an 
excess of the hospitable politeness of a landlord, ripping 
themselves open, rather than hint at the possibility of their 
guests being versed in the vagabond arts of sleight-of-hand 
and hocus-pocus. 

The Kentucky Giant was but another illustration of the 
truth of this position. He had a weakness in the region of 
the knees, and a trustfulness in his long face, which appealed 
even to iive-feet nine for encouragement and support. He 
was only twenty-five years old, he said, and had grown re^ 
cently, for it had been found necessary to make an addition 
to the legs of his inexpressibles. At fifteen he was a short 
boy, and in those days his English father and his Irish mother 
had rather snubbed him, as being too small of stature to sus- 
tain the credit of the family. He added that his health had 
not been good, though it was better now ; but short people 
are not wanting who whisper that he drinks too hard. 

I understand he drives a hackney-coacli, though how he 
does it, unless he stands on the footboard behind, and lies 
a)(|ng the roof upon his chest, with his chin in the ■ box, it 
would be difficult to comprehend. He brought his gun with 
him, as a curiosity. Christened "The Little Rifle," and dis- 
played outside a shop-window, it would make the fortune of 
any retail business in Holborn. When he had shown himself 
a.nS talked a little while, he withdrew with his pocket-instru- 
ment, and went bobbing down the cabin, among men of six 
feet high and upwards, like a lighthouse walking among lamp- 

Within a few minutes afterwards, v/e were out of the canal, 
and in the Ohio river again. 

The arrangements of the boat v/ere like those of the Mes- 
senger, and the passengers were of the same order of people. 
We fed at the same times, on the same kind of viands, in the 

746 A M ERIC A ,V A'O TES. 

same dull manner, and with ilie same observances. The coin< 
pany appeared to be oppressed by the same tremendous con- 
cealments, and had as little capacity of enjoyment or light- 
heartedness. I never in my life did see such listless, lieavy 
dulness as brooded over these meals : the very recollection cf 
it v/eighs me down, and ]m-?k£s me, for the moment, wretched. 
Reading and writing on m.y knee, in our little cabin, I realiv 
dreaded the coming of the hour that summoned us to table : 
and was as glad to escape from it again, as if it had been a 
pennace or a punishment. Healthy cheerfulness and good 
spirits a part of the banquet, I could soak my crusts 
in the fountain with Le Sage's strolling player, and revel in 
tlieir glad enjoyment : but sitting down with so many fellow- 
anim.als to ward off thirst and hunger as a business ; to empty, 
each creiture, his Yahoo's trough as quickly as he can, and 
then slink sullenly away : to have these social sacraments 
stripped of everything but the mere greedy satisfaction of the 
natural cravings ; goes so against the grain with me, that I 
seriously believe the recollection of these funeral feasts will 
be a Vv-aking nightmare to me all my life. 

There was some relief in this boat, too, which there had 
not been in the other, for the captain (a blunt good-natured 
fellow), had his handsome wife with him, who was disposed 
to be lively and agreeable, as were a few other lad3^-passen- 
gers who had their seats about us at the same end of the table. 
But nothing could have made head against the depressing 
influence of the general body. There was a magnetism of 
dulness in them which would have beaten down the most face- 
tious companion that the earth ever knew. A jest v»ould 
have been a crime and a smile would have faded into a grin- 
ning horror. Such deadly leaden people ; such systematic 
plodding weary insupportable heaviness ; such a mass of ani- 
mated indigestion in respect of all that was genial, jovial, 
frank, social, or hearty ; never, sure, v^'as brought togeU^er 
elsewhere since the v/orld began. 

Nor was the scenery, as we approached the junction of the 
Ohio and Mississippi rivers, at all inspiriting in its influence. 
The trees were stunted in their growth ; the banks were lov/ 
and flat ; the settlements and log cabins fewer in number : 
their inhabitants more wan and w-retched than any we had 
encountered yet. No songs of birds were in tlie air, no jDleas- 
ant scents, no moving lights and shadows from swift passing 
clouds. Hour after hour, the changeless Mare of the hot, 



unwinking sky, shone- upon the same monotonous objects. 
Hour after hour, the river rolled along, as wearily and slowly 
as the time itself. 

At length, upon the morning of the third day, we arrived 
at a spot so much more desolate than any we had yet beheld, 
that the forlornest places we had passed, were, in comparison 
with it, full of interest. At tlie junction of the tv/o rivers, on 
ground so fiat and low and marshy, that at certain seasons of 
the year it is inundated to the house-tops, lies a breeding-place 
of fever, ague, and death; vaunted in England as a mine cf 
Golden Hope, and speculated in, on the faith of monstrous 
representations, to many people's ruin. A dismal swamp, on 
which the half-built houses rot away : cleared here and there 
for the space of a fev/ yards ; and teeming, then, with rank 
unwholesome vegetation, in whose baleful shade the w-retchcd 
wanderers who are tempted hither, droop, and die, and lay 
their bones ; the hateful Mississippi circling and eddying before 
it, and turning off upon its southern course a slimy monster 
hideous to behold ; a hotbed of disease, an ugly sepulchre, a 
grave uncheered by any gleam of promise : a place without 
one single quality, in earth or air or water, to commend it : 
such is this dismal Cairo. 

But what words shall describe the Mississippi, great father 
of rivers, who (praise be to Heaven) has no young cliildren 
like him! An enormous ditch, sometimes two or three miles 
v/ide, running liquid mud, six miles an hour : its strong and 
frothy current choked and obstructed everywhere by huge 
logs and whole forest trees ; now twining themselves together in 
great rafts, from the interstices of which a sedgy lazy foam 
works up, to float upon the water's top ; now rolling past like 
monstrous bodies, their tangled roots shov/ing like matted 
liair .; now glancing singly by like giant leeches ; and now 
writhing round and round in the vortex of some small whirlpool 
like wounded snakes. The banks low, the trees dwarfish, the 
marshes swarming with frogs, the WTCtched cabins few and far 
apart their inmates hollow-cheeked and pale, the weather very 
hot, musquitoes penetrating into every crack and crevice of 
the boat, mud and slime on everything : nothing pleasant in 
its aspect, but the harmless lightning which flickers every 
night upon the dark horizon. 

For two days we toiled up this foul stream., striking con^ 
stantly against the floating timber, or stopping to avoid those 
more dano^ernus obstacles, the snags, or sawyers, which ara 


A }r ERICA A' XO 7^ES. 

the hidden trunks of trees that have their roots below the tide. 
\Vhen the nights are very dark, the look-out stationed in the 
head of the boat, knows by the ripple of the water if any great 
impediment be near at hand, and rings a bell beside him, 
which is the signal for the engine to be stopped : but always 
in the night this bell has work to do, and after every ring, 
there comes a blow which renders it no easy matter to remain 
in bed. 

The decline of day here was very gorgeous ; tinging the 
firmament deeply with red and gold, up to the very keystone 
of the arch above us. As the sun went down behind the bank, 
the slightest blades of grass upon it seemed to become as 
distinctly visible as the arteries in the skeleton of a leaf ; and 
when, as it slowly sank, the red and golden bars upon the 
water grew dimmer, and dimmer yet, as if they were sinking 
too ; and all the glowing colors of departing day paled, inch 
by inch, before the sombre night ; the scene became a thou- 
sand times more lonesome and more dreary than before, and 
all it influences darkened with the sky. 

We drank the muddy water of this river while we were 
upon it. It is considered wholesome by the natives, and is 
something more opaque than gruel. I have seen water like it 
at the Filter-shops, but nowhere else. 

On the fourth night after leaving Louisville, we reached 
St. Louis, and here I witnessed the conclusion of an incident, 
triiiing enough in itself, but very pleasant to see, which 
interested me during the whole journey. 

There was a little woman on board, with a little baby ; and 
both little woman and little child v/ere cheerful, good-looking, 
bright-eyed, and fair to see. The little woman had been 
passing a long time with her sick mother in New York, and 
had left her home in St. Louis, in that condition in which 
ladies who truly love their lords desire to be. The baby was 
born in her mother's house ; and she had not seen her hus- 
band (to whom she was now returning), for twelve months : 
having left him a month or two after their marriage. 

Well, to be sure, there never was a little woman so full of 
hope, and tenderness, and love, and anxiety, as this little 
woman. was : and all day long she wondered whether " He " 
would be at the wharf ; and whether '' He '' had got her letter ; 
and whether, if she sent the baby ashore by somebody else, 
'' He " would know it, meeting it in the street : which, seeing 
that he had never set eyes upon it in his life, was not \Qr: 



likely in the abstract, but was probable enough, to the }oung 
mother. She was such an artless little creature • and was in 
such a sunny, beaming, hopeful state ; and let out all this 
matter clinging close about her heart, so freely ; that all the 
other lady passengers entered into the spirit of it as much as 
she ; and the captain (v.'ho heard all about it from his wife), 
was wondrous sly, I promise you : inquiring e\-ery time wc 
met at table, as in forgetfulness, whether she expected any- 
body to meet her at St. Louis, and whether she would want 
to go ashore the night we readied it (but he supposed she 
wouldn't), and cutting many other dry jokes of that nature. 
There was one little weazen, dried-apple-faccd old woman, 
who took occasion to doubt the constancy of husbands in such 
circumstances of bereavement ; and there was another lady 
(with a lap dog) old enough to moralize on the lightness of 
human affections, and yet not so old that she could help 
nursing the baby, now and then, or laughing with the rest, 
when the little woman called it by its father's name, and 
asked it all manner of fantastic questions concerning him in 
the joy of her heart. 

It was something of a blow to the little woman, that when 
we were within tw^enty miles of our destination, it became 
clearly necessary to put this baby to bed. mj^wX. she got over 
\'i with the sanie good-humor ; tied a handkerchief round her 
head ; and came out into the little gallery with the rest. Then 
such an oracle as she became in reference to the localities ! 
and such facetiousness as was displayed by the married ladies ! 
and such sympathy as was shown by the single ones ! and 
such peals of laughter as the little woman herself (who would 
just as soon have cried) greeted every jest with ! 

At last, there were the lights of St. Louis, and here wa^ the 
v;harf, and those were the steps : and the little woman cover- 
ing her face with her liands, and laughing (or seeming to 
laugh) more than ever, ran into her own cabin, and shut her- 
self up. I have no doubt that in the charming inconsistency 
of such excitement, she stopjDed her ears, lest she should hear 
*' Him. " asking for her : but I did not see her do it. 

Then, a great crowd of people rushed on board, though 
the boat was not yet made fast, but was w^andering about, 
among the other boats, to find a landing-place : and everybody 
looked for the husband : and nobody saw him : when, in the 
midst of us all — Lleaven knows how she ever get there — there 
was the little clinging with both arms tight round the 


neck of a fine, good-looking, sturdy young fellow ! and in a 
moment afterwards, lliere she was again, actually clapping her 
little hands for joy, as she dragged him through the small 
door of her small cabin, to look at the baby as he lay asleep ! 

We went to a large hotel, called the Planters House : biiik 
like an English hospital, with long passages and bare walls. 
and skylights above the room-doors for the free circulation cf 
air. There were a great many boarders in it : and as ''many 
lights, sparkled and glistened from tlie windows down into the 
street below, when we drove up, as if it had been illuminated 
on some occasion of rejoicing. It is an excellent house, and 
the proprietors have most bountiful notions of providing the 
creature comforts. Dining alone with niy wife in our own 
room, one day, I counted fourteen dishes on the table at 

In the old French portion of the town, the thoroughfares 
are narrow and crooked, and some of the houses are very 
quaint and picturesque : being built of wood, with tumble- 
down galleries before the windows, approachable by stairs or 
rather ladders from the street. There are queer little barbers' 
shops and drinking-houses too, in this quarter ; and abundance 
of crazy old tenements with blinking casements, such as may 
be seen in Flanrters. Some of these ancient habitations, with 
liigh garret gable-windows perking into tlic roofs, have a kind 
of French shrug about them ; and being lop-sided with age, 
appear to hold their heads askev/, besides, as if they were 
grimacing in astonishment at the American Improvements. 

It is hardly necessary to say, that these consist of v/harfs 
and warehouses, and new^ buildings in all directions ; and of a 
great many vast plans which are still " progressing." Already, 
however, some very good houses, broad streets, and marble- 
fronted shops, have gone so far a-head as to be in a state of 
completion ; and the tov.-n bids fair in a few years to improve 
considerably : though it is not likely ever to vie, in point of 
elegance or beauty, with Cincinnati. 

The Roman Catliolic religion, iiitroduced liere bvtheeiirly 
French settlers, prevails extensively. A.mong tl^ie public in- 
stitutions are a Jesuit college ; a convent for ''the Ladies cf 
the Sacred Heart ; " and a large chapel attached to tl:e col- 
lege, which was in course of erection at the time cf iry visit, 
and v/as intended to be consecrated on the second of Decem- 
ber in the next year. The architect of this building, is one 
cf the reverend fathers of the school, and the works proceed 



under his sole direction. The organ will be sent from Bei- 

In addition to these establishments, there is a Roman 
Catholic cathedral, dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier; and a 
hospital, founded b}- the munificence of a deceased resident, 
who was a member of that church. It also sends missionaries 
from hence among the Indian tribes. 

The Unitarian church is represented, in this remote place, 
as in most other parts of America, by a gentleman of great 
worth and excellence. The poor have good reason to remem- 
ber and bless it ; for it befriends them, and aids the cause 
of rational education, without any sectarian or selfish views, 
it is liberal in all its actions ; of kind construction ; and of 
wide benevolence. 

There are three free-schools already erected, and in full 
operation in this city. A fourth is building, and will soon be 

No man ever admits the unhealthiness of the place he 
dwells in (unless he is going away from it), and I shall there- 
fore, I have no doubt, be at issue v.'ith the inhabitants of St. 
Louis, in questioning the perfect salubrity of its climate, and 
in hinting that I think it must rather dispose to fever, in the 
summer and autumnal seasons. Just adding, that it is very 
hot, lies among great rivers, and has vast tracts of undrained 
swampy land around it, I leave the reader to form his own 

As I had a great desire to see a Prairie before turning back 
from the furthest point of my wanderings ; and as some gen- 
tlemen of the town had, in their hospitable consideration, an 
equal desire to gratify me ; a day was fixed, before my depart- 
ure, for an expedition to the Looking-Glass Prairie, which is 
within thirty miles of the town. Deeming it possible that my 
readers may not object to know what kind of thing such a 
gypsy party may be at that distance from home, and among 
what sort of objects it moves, I will describe the jaunt in an- 
other chapter. 




T MAY premise that the word Prairie is variously -^ro- 
wonxiccd paraaer, parearer, Tixid paroarer. The latter mode of 
pronunciation is perhaps the most in favor. 

We were fourteen in all, and all young men : indeed it is 
a singular though very natural feature in the society of these 
distant settlements, that it is mainly composed of adventurous 
persons in the prime of life, and has very few gra}^ heads among 
it. There were no ladies : the trip being a fatiguing one : and 
we were to start at live o'clock in the morning punctualh/. 

I was called at four, that I might be certain of keeping 
nobody waiting ; and having got some bread and milk for 
breakfast, threw up the window and looked down into the 
street, expecting to see the whole party busily astir, and great 
preparations going on below. But as everything was very 
quiet, and the street presented that hopeless aspect with v/hich 
five o'clock in the morning is familiar elsewhere, I deemed 
it as well to go to bed again, and went accordingly. 

I awoke again at seven o'clock, and by that time the party 
had assembled, and were gathered round one light carriage, 
with a very stout axle-tree ; one something on wheels like an 
amateur carrier's cart ; one double phaeton of great antiquity 
and unearthly construction ; one gig with a great hole in its 
back and a broken head ; and one rider on horseback who 
was to go on before. I got into the first coach vrith three 
companions ; the rest bestowed themselves in the other vehi- 
cles ; two large baskets were made fast to the lightest ; two 
large stone jars in wicker cases, technically known as demi- 
johns, were consigned to the " least rowdy " of the party for 
safe-keeping ; and the procession moved off to the ferry-boat, 
in which it was to cross the river bodily, men, horses, car- 
riages, and all, as the manner in these parts is. 

We got over the river in due course, and mustered again 
before a little wooden box on v^'heels, hove down all aslant in 
a morass, with " merchant tailor " painted in very large 
letters over the door. Having settled the order of proceed- 
ing, and the road to be taken, we started off once more and 

L O OKL\ 'C- GL A SS PR A IRIE. y- 5 3 

began to make our way through an ill-favored Black Hollow, 
called, less expressively, the American Bottom. 

The previous day had been — not to say hot, for the term 
is weak and lukev;arm in its power of conveying an idea of 
the temperature. The town liad been on fire ; in a blaze. 
But at night it had come on to rain in torrents, and all night 
long it had rained without cessation. We had a pair of ver}- 
strong horses, but travelled at the rate of little more than a 
couple of miles an hour, through one unbroken slough of 
black mud and water. It had no variety but in depth. Now 
it was only half over the wheels, now it hid the axletree, and 
now the coach sank down in it almost to the windows. The 
air resounded in all directions with the loud chirping of the 
frogs, who, with the pigs (a coarse, ugly breed, as unwhole- 
some looking as though they were the spontaneous growth of 
the country), had the whole scene to themselves. Here and 
there we passed a log hut : but the wretched cabins were 
wide apart and thinly scattered, for though the soil is very 
rich in this place, few people can exist in such a deadly at- 
mosphere. On either side of the track, if it deserve the name, 
v/as the thick " bush ; " and everywhere was stagnant, slimy, 
rotten, filthy water. 

As it is tiie custom in these parts to give a horse a gallon 
or so of cold water whenever he is in a foam with heat^ we 
halted for that purpose, at a log inn in the vv'ood, far removed 
from any other residence. It consisted of one room, bare- 
roofed and bare-walled of course, with a loft above. The 
ministering priest was a swarthy young savage, in a shirt of 
cotton print like bed-furniture, and a pair of ragged trousers. 
There were a couple of young boys, too, nearly naked, lying 
idly by the well ; and they, and he, and the traveller at the 
inn, turned out to look at us. 

The traveller was an old man v/ith a gray gristly beard 
two inches long, a shaggy mustache of the same hue, and 
enormous eyebrows ; which almost obscured his lazy, semi- 
drunken glance, as he stood regarding us with folded arms : 
poising himself alternately upon his toes and heels. On being 
addressed by one of tke party, he drew nearer, and said, rub- 
bing his chin Cwhich scraped under his horny hand like fresh 
gravel beneath a nailed shoe), that he was from Delaware, 
and had lately bought a farm '' down there," pointing into 
one of the iriarshes v.l^ero the stunted trees were thickest. 
He was "goin;:."' l-c nndc^!, '-> St. Louis, to fetch his family, 



whom he had left behind; but he seemed in no great hurry to 
bring on these incumbrances, for when we moved .away, he 
loitered back into the cabin, and was plainly bent on stopping 
there so long as his money lasted. He was a great politician 
of course, and explained his opinions at some length to one 
of our company ; but I only remember that he concluded 
with two sentiments, one of which was, Somebody for ever ; 
and the other, Blast everybody else ! which is by no means 
a bad abstract of the general creed in these matters. 

When the horses \vere swollen out to about twice their 
natural dimensions (there seems to be an idea here, that this 
kind of inflation improves their going), we went forward 
again, through mud and niire, and damp, and festering heat, 
and brake and bush, attended always by the music of the 
frogs and pigs, until nearly noon, when we halted at a place 
called Belleville. 

Belleville vv^as a small collection of wooden houses^ huddled 
together in the very heart of the bush and swamp. Many 
of them had singularly bright doors of red and yellow ; for the 
place had been lately visited by a travelling painter, " who 
got along, " as I was told, " by eating his way." The crimi- 
nal court was sitting, and was at that moment trj'ing some 
criminals for horse-stealing : with whom it would most likely 
go l:iard : for live stock of all kinds being necessarily very 
much exposed in the woods, is held by the community in 
rather higher value than human life ; and for this reason, 
juries generally make a point of finding all m.en indicted for 
cattle-stealing, guilty, whether or no. 

The horses belonging to the bar, the judge, and witnesses^ 
were tied to temporary racks set up roughly in the road ; by 
which is to be understood, a forest path, nearly knee-deep in 
mud and slime. 

There was an hotel in this place, which, like all hotels in 
America, had its large dining-room for the public table. It 
was an odd, shambling, low-roofed out-house, half-cowshed 
and half-kitchen, with a coarse brown canvas table-cloth, and 
tin sconces stuck against the walls, to hold candles at supper- 
time. The horseman had gone fonvard tp have coilee and some 
eatables prepared, and they were by this time nearly ready. 
He had ordered " wheat-bread and chicken-fixings," in prefer- 
ence to "corn-bread and common doings." The latter kind 
of reflection includes only pork and bacon. The former com- 
prehends broiled ham. sausag'es. veal cutlets^ ^^te.aks, and 


such other viands of tiiat nature as may be supposed, b}' a 
tolerably wide poetical construction, " to fix " a chicken com- 
fortably in the digestive organs of any lady or gentleman. 

On one of the door-posts at this inn, was a tin plate, 
v/hercon w-as inscribed in characters of gold. " Doctor Cro- 
cus;" and on a sheet of paper, pasted up by the side of 
this plate, was a written announcement that Dr. Crocus v/ouki 
that evening deliver a lecture on Phrenology for the benefii 
of the Belleville puUlic ; at a charge, for admission, of ro 
much a head. 

Strayirig up stairs, during the preparation of the chicken 
fixings, I happened to pass the doctor's chamber ; and as the 
door stood wide open, and tlie room w^as empty, 1 made bold 
to peep in. 

It Y/as a bare, unfurnished, comfortless room, vvith an un- 
framed portrait hanging up at the head of the bed ; a like- 
ness, I take it, of the Doctor, for the forehead was fully dis- 
played, and great stress was laid by the artist upon its phren- 
ological developments, '^he bed itself was covered with an 
old patch-work counterpane. The room v/as destitute of car- 
pet or of curtain. There was a damp lire-place without any 
stove, full of wood ashes ; a chair, and a very small tabic ; 
and on the last-named piece of furr !:•::- w::; displayed, in 
grand array, the doctor's library, con:;i:t::v; of some half-dozen 
greasy old books. 

Now, it certainly looked about the last apartment on the 
wdiole earth out ot v/hich any man would be likely to get any- 
thing to do him good. But the door, as I have said, stood 
coaxingly open, and plainly said in conjunction with the chair, 
the portrait, the table and the books, " Walk in, gentlemen, 
walk in ! Don't be ill, gentlemen, v.hen you may be well in 
no time. Doctor Crocus is here, gentlemen, the celebrated 
Dr. Crocus ! Dr. Crocus has come all this way to cure you, 
gentlemen. If you haven't heard of Dr. Crocus, it's your 
fault, gentlemen, who live a little way out of the vvorld here : 
not Dr. Crocus's. Walk in, gentlemen, w'alk in ! " 

In the passage below, when I went down stairs again, v/as 
Dr. Crocus Iiimself. A crov/d had flocked in from the Court 
House, and,:a voice from among them called out to the land- 
lord, "Colonel! introduce Doctor Crocus." 

■ " Mr: Dickens," says the colonel, '• Doctor Crocus." 

X'poiT -which Doctor Crocus, who is a tall, fine-lcoking 
Scotchman, but rather fierce and warlike- in appearance for a 


professor of the peaceful art of healing, bursts out of the con- 
course with his right arm extended, and his chest thrown out 
as far as it will possibly come, and says : 

'' Your countryman, sir I" 

Whereupon Doctor Crocus and 1 shake hands ; and Doc- 
tor Crocus looks as if I didn't by any means realize his expec- 
tations, which, in a linen blouse, and a great straw hat, with 
a green ribbon, and no gloves, and my face and nose pro 
fusely ornamented with the stings of musquitoes and the bites 
of bugs, it is very likely I did not. 

" Long in these parts, sir ? " says I. 

" Three or four months, sir," says the Doctor. 

" Do you think of soon returning to the old country 1 " 
says I. 

Doctor Crocus makes no verbal answer, but gives me an 
imploring look, which says so plainly "Will you ask me that 
again, a little louder, if you please ? "' that I repeat the ques- 

"Think of soon returning to the old country, sir!" re- 
peats the Doctor. 

" To the old cou.ntry, sir," I rejoin. 

Doctor Crocus looks round upon the crowd to observe the 
effect he produces, rubs his hands, and says, in a very loud 
\'oice : 

'* Not yet awhile, sir, not yet. Vou v.on't catch me at 
that just yet, sir. I am a little too fond of freedom for f/iaf, 
sir. Ha, ha ! It's not so easy for a man to tear himself from 
a free country such as this is, su". Ha, ha ! No, no ! Ha, 
ha ! None of that till one's obliged to do it, sir. No, no ! " 

As Doctor Crocus says these latter words, he shakes his 
head, knowingly, and laughs again. Many of the bystanders 
shake their heads in concert with the doctor, and laugh too, 
and look at each other as much as to say, '" A pretty bright 
first-rate sort of chap is Crocus ! " and unless I am very much 
mistaken, a good many people went to the lecture that 
rJght, who never thought about phrenology, or al.:)out Doctor 
(-.'rocus either, in all their lives before. 

From Belleville, w^e went on, through the same desolate 
kind of waste, and constantly attended, without the inter\-al 
of a moment, by the same music ; until at three o'clock in the 
afternoon, we halted once more at a village called Lebanon 
to intiate the horses again, and give them some corn besides ; 
of whicli they stood much in need. Pending this ceremony, 


I walked into the village, where I met a full-sized dwelling- 
house coming down-hill at a round trot, drawn by a score or 
more of oxen. 

The public-house was so very clean and good a one, that 
the managers of the jaunt resolved to return to it and put up 
there for the night, if possible. This course decided on, and 
the horses being well refreshed, we again pushed forward, 
and came upon the Prairie at sunset. 

It would be difficult to say why, or how — though it was 
possibly from having heard and read so much about it — but 
the effect on me was disappointment. Looking towards the 
setting sun, there lay, stretched out before my view, a vast 
expanse of level ground ; unbroken, save by one thin line of 
trees, w4iich scarcely amounted to a scratch upon the great 
blank ; until it met the glowing sky, wherein it seemed to dip : 
mingling with its rich colors, and mellowing in its distant 
blue. There it lay, a tranquil sea or lake without water, if 
such a simile be admissible, with the day going down upon it: 
a few birds wheeling here and there : and solitude and silence 
reigning paramount around. But the grass was. not yet high ; 
tliere vrere bare black patches on the ground ; and the few 
wild flowers that the eye could see, were poor and scant}'. 
Great as the picture was, its very tiatness and extent, which 
left nothing to the imagination, tamed it down and cramped 
its interest. I felt little of that sense of freedom and exhil- 
aration which a Scottish heath inspires, or even our English 
downs awaken. It was lonely and wild, but oppressive in its 
barren monotony. I felt that in traversing the Prairies, I 
could never abandon myself to the scene, forgetful of all else ; 
as I should do instinctively, were the heather underneath my 
feet, or an iron-bound coast beyond ; but should often glance 
towards' the distant and frequent^ '.'-receding line of the hori- 
zon, and wish it gained and passed. It is not a scene to be 
forgotten, but it is scarcely one, I think (at all events, as I 
saw it), to" remember with much pleasure, or to co\'et the 
looking-on again, in after life. 

We encamped near a solitar)' log-house, for the sake of its 
water, and dined upon the plain. The baskets contained 
roast fov.'ls, buffalo's tongue (an exquisite dainty, by tlie way 1, 
ham, bread, cheese, and butter ; biscuits, champagne, sherry ; 
lemons and sugar for punch ; and abundance of rough ice. 
The meal delicious, and the entertainers were the soul of 
kindness and good-humor. I have often recalled that cheer 

y ^ 8 A ME RICA X jVO TliS. 

Inl party to my pleasant iccollection since, and shall nov 
easily forget, in junketings nearer liome with friends of older 
date, my boon companions on tiie Prairie. 

Returning to Lebanon that night, we lay at the little inn 
at which. we had halted in the afternoon, in point of clean- 
liness and comfort it would have suffered by no comparison 
with any I£nglish alehouse, of a homely kind, in England. 

Rising at five o'clock next morning, I took a walk about 
the village : none of the houses were strolling about to-day, 
but it was early for' them yet, perhaps : and then amused my- 
self by lounging in a kind of farm-yard behind the tavern, of 
Vvhich the leading features Avere, a strange jumble of rough 
sheds for stables ; a rude 'colonnade, built as a cool place of 
summer resort ; a deep v\'ell ; a great earthen mound for 
keeping vegetables in, in winter time ; and a pigeon-house, 
whose little apertures looked, as they do in all pigeon-houses, 
\ery much too small for the admission of the plump and sv/el- 
ling-breasted birds who were strutting about it, though they 
tried to get in never so hard. That interest exhausted, I 
took asurvey.of the inn's two parlors, v/hich were decorated with 
colored prints of Washington, and President Madison, and of 
a vv'hite-faced young lady (much speckled by the flies), who 
held up her gold neck>chain for the admiration of the specta- 
tor, and informed all admiring comers that she was "Just 
Seventeen : " although I should have thought lier older. In 
the best room were two oil portraits of the kit-cat size, repre- 
senting the landlord and his infant son ; both looking as bold 
as lions, and staring out of the canvas with an intensity that 
v;ould have been cheap at any price. They were painted, I 
think, by the artist who had touched up tlie Eelleville doors 
with red -and gold ; for I seemed to recognize his style imme- 

After breakfast, v/e started to return by a different v.ay 
from that which we liad taken yesterday, and coming \:p at 
ten o'clock with an encampment of German emigrants carry- 
ing their goods in carts, vv'ho had made a rousing fire which 
they v/ere just quitting, stopped there to refresh. And very 
pleasant the fire was ; for, hot though it had been yesterday, 
it vv-as q'-iite cold to-day, and the vand blev/ l;eenly. Loaming 
in the distance, as v;e rode along, was another of the ancient 
Indian burial-places, called The Monks' Mound ; in mc'n^.or^^ 
of a body of fanatics of the order of La Trappe, v;ho founded 
a desolate convent there, many years ago, when there were ii'o 



settlers within a thousand- miles, and were all swept off by tlie 
pernicious climate : in which lamentable fatality, few rational 
people will suppose, perhaps, that society experienced any 
very severe deprivation. 

The track of to-day had the same features as the track of 
yesterday. There was the svv^amp, the bush, and the perpet- 
ual chorus of frogs, the rank unseemly growth, the unwhole- 
some steaming earth. Here and there, and frequently too, 
we encountered a solitary broken-down wagon, full of some 
new settler's goods. It was a pitiful sight to see one of these 
vehicles deep in the mire ; the axle-tree broken ; the wheel 
lying idly by its side ; the man gone miles away, to look for 
assistance \ the woman seated among their wandering house- 
hold gods with a baby at her breast, a picture of forlorn, de- 
jected patience ; the team of oxen crouching down mournfully 
in the mud, and breathing forth such clouds of vapor from 
their mouths and nostrils, that all the damp mist and fog 
around seemed to have come direct from them. 

In due time v/e mustered once again before the merchant 
tailor's, and having done so, _ crossed over to the city in the 
ferry-boat ; passing, on the way, a spot called Bloody Island, 
the duelling ground of St. Louis, and so designated in honor 
of the last fatal combat fought there, which was with pistols, 
breast to breast. Both combatant's fell dead upon the 
ground ; and possibly some rational people may think of them, 
as of the gloomy madmen on the Monks' Mound, that they 
were no great loss to the community. 



As I had a desire to travel through the interior of the 
state of Ohio, and to "strike the lakes," as the phrase is, at 
a small town called Sandusky, to which that route would con- 
duct us on our way to Niagara, we had to return from St. 
Louis by the way we had com.e, and to retrace our fonnet 
track as far 3s Cincinnati. 

•jf,o A M ERICA X . \ O TKS. 

The day on which we were to take leave of St. Louis being 
very fine ; and the steamboat, which was to have started I 
don't know how early in the mornin«:, postponing, for the 
third or fourth time, her departure until the afternoon ; we 
rode forv/ard to an old French village on the river, called 
properly Carondelet, and nicknamed Vide Poche, and arranged 
that the packet should call for us there. 

The place consisted of a few poor cottages, and two or 
three public-houses ; the state of whose larders certainly 
seemed to justify the second designation of the village, for 
there was nothing to eat in any of them. At length, however, 
by going back some half a mile or so, we found a solitary 
house where ham and coffee were procurable ; and there we 
tarried to await the advent of the boat, which would come in 
sight from the green before the door, a long way off. 

It was a neat, unpretending village tavern, and we took 
our repast in a quaint little room with a bed in it, decorated 
with some old oil paintings, which in their time had probably 
done duty in a Catholic chapel or monastery. The fare v/as 
very good, and served with great cleanliness. The house was 
kept by a characteristic old couple, with whom we had a long 
talk, and who were perhaps a very good sample of that kind 
of people in the West. 

The landlord was a dry, tough, hard-faced old fellow (not 
so very old either, for he was but just turned sixty, I should 
think), who had been out with the militia in the last war with 
England, and had seen all kinds of service, — except a battle ; 
and he had been very near seeing that, he added : very near. 
He had all his life been restless and locomotive, with an 
irresistible desire for change ; and was still the son of his old 
self : for if he had nothing to keep him at home, he said 
(slightly jerking his hat and his thumb towards the window of 
the room in which the old lady sat, as we stood talking in front 
of the . house), he would clean up his musket, and be off to 
Texas to-morrow morning. He was one of the very many 
descendants of Cain proper to this continent, v/ho seem 
destined from their birth to serve as jDioneers in the great 
human army : who gladly go on from year to year extending 
its outposts, and leaving home after home behind them ; and 
die at last, utterly regardless of their graves being left thou- 
sands of miles behind, by the wandering generation v/ho 

His wife was a don.iesticatcd kind-hearterl okl soul, who 



had come with him, " from the queen city of the world," which, 
it seemed, was Philadelphia ; bnt had no love for.this Western 
country, and indeed had little reason to bear it any ; having 
seen lier childreij, one by one, die here of 'fever, in the full 
prime and beauty of, their youth. Her heart was sore, she 
said, to think of them ; and to talk on this theme, even to 
strangers, in that blighted place, so far from her old home, 
eased it somewhat, and became a melancholy pleasure. 

The boat appearing towards evening, we bade adieu to the 
poor old lady and her vagrant spouse, ar^d making for the 
nearest landing-place, were soon on board The Messenger 
again, in our old cabin, and steaming down the Mississippi. ' 

If the coming up this river, slowly making head against the 
stream, be an irksome journey, the shooting down it V\dth the 
turbid current is almost worse ; for then the boat, proceeding 
at the rate of twelve or fifteen miles an hour, has to force its 
passage through a labyrinth of floating logs, which, in the 
dark, it is often impossible to see beforehand or avoid. All 
that night, the bell was never silent for five minutes at a time \ 
and after every ring the vessel reeled again, sometimes 
beneath a single blow, sometimes beneath a dozen dealt in 
quick succession, the lightest of which seemed more than- 
enough to beat in her frail keel, as though it had been pie- 
crusj:. Looking down upon the filthy river after dark, it 
seemed to be alive with monsters, as these black masses 
rolled upon the surface, or came starting up again, head first, 
when the boat, in ploughing her way among a shoal of such 
obstructions, drove a few among them for the moment under 
water. Sometimes the engines stopped during a long interval, 
and theii before her and behind, and gathering close about 
her on all sides, were so many of these ill-favored obstacles 
tliat she vvas fairly hemmed m ; the centre of a floating island ; 
and was constrained to pause until they parted, somewhere, 
as dark clouds will do before the wind, and opened by degrees 
a channel out. 

In good time next morning, however, we came again in 
sight of the detestable morass called Cairo ; and stoppmg 
there to take in wood, lay alongside a barge, whose starting 
timbers scarcely held together. It was moored to the bank, 
and on its side Vv^as painted " Coffee House ; " that being, I 
suppose, the floating paradise to which the people fly for 
shelter when they lose their houses for a month or two be- 
neath the hideous v/aters of the Mississippi. But looking 



southward from this point, we had the satisfaction of seeing 
that intolerabje river dragging its slimy length and ugly freight 
abruptly off towards New Orleans ; and passing a yellow line 
Vv'hich stretched across the current, vv"ere again upon the clear 
Ohio, never, I trust, to see the Mississippi more, saving in 
troubled dreams and nightmares. Leaving it for the company 
ot its sparkling neighbor, was like the transition from pain to 
case, or the awakening from a horrible vision to cheerful 

We arrived at Louisville on the fourth night, and gladly 
availed ourselves of its excellent hotel. Next day we went 
on in the Ben Franklin, a beautiful mail steamboat, and 
reached Cincinnati shortly after midnight. Being by this time 
nearly tired of sleeping upon shelves, v/e had remained awake 
to go ashore straightway ; and groping a passage across the 
dark decks of other boats, and among labyrinths of engine- 
machinery and leaking casks of molasses, we reached the 
streets, knocked up the porter at the hotel where we had 
stayed before, and were, to our great joy, safely housed soon 

We rested but one day at Cincinnati, and then resumed our 
journey to Sandusky. As it comprised two varieties of stage- 
coach travelling, which, with those I have already glanced at, 
comprehend the main characteristics of this mode of transit in 
America, I will take the reader as our fellow-passengen and 
pledge myself to perform the distance with all possible de- 

Our place of destination in the first instance is Columbus. 
It is distant about a hundred and twenty miles from Cincinnati, 
but there is a macadamized road (rare blessing ! ) the whole 
way, and the rate of travelling upon it is six miles an hour. 

W^e start at eight o'clock in the morning, in a great mail- 
coach, whose huge cheeks are so very ruddy and plethoric, 
that it appears to be troubled with a tendency of blood to the 
head. Dropsical it certainly is, for it would hold a dozen 
passengers inside. But, wonderful to add, it is very clean 
and bright, being nearly new ; and rattles through the streets 
of Cincinnati gayly. 

Our way lies through a beautiful country, richly cultivated, 
and luxuriant in its promise of an abundant harvest. Some- 
times we pass a field where the strong bristling stalks of 
Indian corn look like a crop of walking-sticks,- and sometimes 
an f^nclosure Vvhere the ^reen wheat i.s springing up among a 

J^El'rR.V TO C/.VC/A'A'.-i 7V, ETC. 763 

labyrinth of slumps ; the prirnUlve worrn-fence is universal, 
and an ugly thing it is ; but the farms are neatly kept, and, 
save for these differences, one might be travelling just now in 

We often stop to water at a roadside inn, which is hvays 
dull and silent. The coachman dismounts and fills his b icket, 
;and holds it to the horses' heads. There is scarcely e\ r any 
one to help him ; there are seldom any loungers sti- iding 
round; and never any stable-company with jokes to crack. 
Sometimes, when we have changed our team, there is a diffi- 
culty in starting again, arising out of the prevalent mode of 
breaking a young horse : which is to catch him, harness him 
against his will, and put him in a stage-coach without further 
notice : but Ave get on 5omehov\^ or other, after a great many 
kicks and a violent struggle ; and jog on as before again. 

Occasionally, when we stop to change, some two or three 
half-drunken loafers will come loitering out win their hands 
in their pockets, or v/ill be seen kicking their heels in rock- 
ing-chairs, or lounging on the window-sill, or sitting on a rail 
within the colonnade :■ they have not often anything to say 
though, either to us or to each other, but sit there idly staring 
at the coach and. horses. The landlord of the inn is usually 
among them, and seems, of all the party, to be the least con- 
nected with the business of the house.. Indeed he is with 
reference to the tavern, what the driver is in relation to the 
coach and passengers : whatever happens in his sphere of 
action, he is quite indifferent, and perfectly easy in his mind. 

The frequent change of coachmen works no change or 
variety in the coachman's character. He is always dirt}^, sul- 
len, and taciturn. If he be capable of smartness of any kind, 
moral or phy^i::al, lie has a faculty of concealing it which is 
truly marvellous. He never speaks to you as you sit beside 
hin'^ on the box, and if you speak to him, he answers (if at all) 
in monosyllables. He points out nothing on the road, and 
seldom looks at anything: being, to all appearance, thoroughly 
weary of it and of existence generally. As to doing the hon- 
ors of his coach, his business, as I have said, is with the 
horses. The coach follows because it is attached to them 
and goes on wheels : not because you are in it. Sometimes, 
towards the end of a long stage, he suddenly breaks out into 
a discordant fragment of an election song, but his face never 
sings along with him : it is only his voice, and not often that. 

He alv/ays chews and alv/ays spits, and never encumbers 

7 6 J. 


himself with a pocket-handkerchief. The consequence:^ to 
the box passenger, especiall}- when the wind blows towards 
him, are not agreeable. 

Whenever the coach stops, and you can hear the voices of 
the inside passengers \ or whenever any bystander addresses 
them, or any one among them ; or they address each other ; 
you will hear one phrase repeated over and over and over 
again to the most extraordinary extent. It is an ordinary 
and unpromising phrase enough, being neither more nor less 
than " Yes, sir ; " but it is adapted to every variety of circum- 
stance, and fills up every pause in the conversation. Thus : — • 

The time is one o'clock at noon. The scene, a place 
where we are to stay and dine, on this journey. The coach 
drives up to the door of an inn. The day is warm, and there 
are several idlers lingering about the tavern, and Avaiting for 
the public dinner. Among them, is a stout gentleman in a 
brown hat, swinging himself to and fro in a rocking-chair on 
the pavement. 

As the coach stops, a gentleman in a straw hat looks out 
of the window : 

Straw Hat. (lo the stout gentleman in the rocking- 
chair.) I reckon that's Judge Jefferson, an't it? 

Brown Hat. (Still swinging ; speaking verv slowly ; and 
without any emotion whatever.) Yes, sir. 

Straw Hat. Warm weather, Judge. 

Brown Hat. Yes, sir. 

Straw Hat. There was a snap of cold, last week. 

Brown Hat. Yes, sir. 

Straw Hat. Yes, sir. 

A pause. I'hey look at each other, very seriously. 

Straw Hat. I calculate you'll have got through th^t 
case of the corporation, Judge, by this time, now t 

Brown Hat. Yes, sir. 

Straw Hat. How did the verdict go, sir t 

Brown Haj'. For the defendant, sir. 

Straw Hat. (Tnterrogatively.) Yes, sir.^ 

Brown Hat. (Affirmatively.) Yes, sir. 

]]orH. (Musingly, as each gazes down the street.) Yes, 

Another pause. They look at each other again, still 
more seriously than before. 

Brown Hap. This coach is rather behind its time to- 
dav, I guess. 


Straw Hat. (Doubtingly.) Yes, sir. 

Brown Hat. (Looking at his watch.; Yes, sir; nigh 
upon two hours. 

Straw Hat. (Raising his eyebrows in very great sur- 
prise.) Yes, sir. 

Brown Hat. (Decisively, as he puts up his v.atch.) 
Yes, sir. 

All the other inside Passengers. (Among the;n- 
selves.) Yes, sir. 

Coachman. (In a very surly tone.) No it a'nt. 

Straw Hat. (To the coachman.) Well, I don't know, 
sir. V\^e were a pretty tall time coming that last fifteen mile. 
That's a fact. 

The coachman making no reply, and plainly declining to 
enter into any controversy on a subject so far removed from 
his S3mipathies and feelings, another passenger says, "Yes, 
sir ; and the gentleman in the straw hat in acknowledgment 
of, his courtesy, says " Yes, sir," to him, in return. The straw 
hat then inquires of the brown hat, whether that coach in 
which he (the straw hat) then sits, is not a nev/ one ? To 
which the brown hat again makes answer, " Yes, sir." 

Straw Hat. I thought so. Prettv loud smell of varnish, 

Brown Hat. Yes, sir. 

All the other inside Passengers. Yes, sir. ' 

Brown Hat. (To the company in general.) Yes, sir. 

The conversational pov/ers of the company having been by 
this time pretty heavily taxed, the straw hat opens the door 
and gets out ; and all the rest alight also. We dine soon 
afterwards with the boarders in the house, and have nothing 
to drink but tea and coffee. As they are both very bad and 
the water is worse, I ask for brandy ; but it is a Temperance 
Hotel, and spirits are not to be had for love or money. This 
preposterous forcing of unpleasant drinks dov/n the reluctant 
throats of travellers is not at all uncommon in America, but I 
never'' covered that the scruples of such wincing landlords 
inji>fced them to preserve any unusually nice balance between 
i^^Q^ quality of their fare and their scale of charges : on the 
contrary, I rather suspected them of diminishing the one and 
exalting the other, by way of recompense for the loss of their 
profit on the sale of spirituous liquors. After all, perhaps the 
plainest course for persons of such tender consciences, would 
be a total abstinence from tavern-keeping. 



Dinner over, we get into another vehicle which is ready at 
the door (for the coach has been changed in the interval), and 
resume our journey ; which continues through the same kind 
of country until evening, v/hen ^ve come to the town v\here v.c 
are to stop for tea and supper ; and having delivered the mail 
ba^^s at the Post-office, ride through the usual wide street, lined 
with the usual stores and houses (the drapers ahvays having 
hung lip at their door, by way of sign, a piece of bright red 
cloth), to the hotel where this meal is prepared. Tiiere being 
many boarders here, we sit down, a large party/and a very 
melancholy one as usual. But there is a buxom hostess at the 
head of the table, and cpjDOcite, a simple Welsh schoolmaster 
with his wife and child ; who came here, on a speculatioii of 
greater promise than perfol'mance, to teach the classics : and 
th.ey are sufficient subjects of interest until the meal is over, 
and another coach is ready. In it we \i\o on once more, lighted 
by a bright moon, until midnight ; when we stop to change 
the coach again, and remain for half an hour or so in a mis- 
erable room, with a blurred lithograph of Washington, over 
the smoky fire-place, and a mighty jug of cold water on the 
table : to which refreshmicnt the moody passengers do so ap- 
ply themselves that they would seem to be, one and all, keen 
jjatients of Dr. Sangrado. Among them is a very little boy, 
v;ho chews tobacco like a very big one ; and a droning gen- 
tleman, \Vho talks arithmetically and statistically on all sub- 
jects, from poetry dov^'nwards ; and who always speaks in the 
sam.e key, with exactly the same empliasis, and with very grave 
deliberation. He came outside just now, and told me hov/ 
that the uncle of a certain young lady who had been spirited 
av.T.y and married bv a certain captain, lived in these parts ; 
and how this uncle was so \-aliant and ferocious that he 
shouldn't wonder if he were to follov/ the said captain to Eng- 
land " and shoot him down in the street wherever he found 
him /' in the feasibility of which strong m.easure I, being for 
the moment rather prone to contradiction from feeling half 
asleep and very tired, declined to acquiesce : assurij^^";-, him 
that if the uncle did resort to it, or gratified any other' r^v^-^le 
v/liim of the like nature, he Vv^ould lind h.imself one morning 
prematurely throttled at the Old Bailey : and that he would 
do well to make his v/ill before lie went, as he v/ould certainly 
want it before he had been in Britain ^'ery long. 

On we go all night, and by and by the day begins to break, 
rind presently th? first cheerful rays «^f the warm sun come 


slanting on us bright!)-. It sheds its light upon a niiserable waste 
of sodden grass, and dull trees, and squalid liuts, whose as- 
pect is forlorn and grievous in the last degree. A very desert 
1:1 the wood, vv'hose growth of green is dank and noxious like 
that upon the top of standing water : where poisonous fungus 
grows in the rare footprint on the oozy ground, and sprouts 
like witches' coral, from the crevices in the cabin wall and 
floor; it is a hideous thing to lie upon the very threshold of a 
city. But it was purchased years ago, and as the owner cannot 
be discovered, the State has been unable to reclaim it. So there 
it remains, in the midst of cultivation and improvement, like 
ground accursed, and made obscene and rank by some great 

We reached Columbus shortly before seven o'clock, and 
stayed there to refresh that day and night : having excellent 
apartments in a very large unfinished hotel called the Neill 
House, which were richly fitted with the polished wood cf 
the black walnut, and opened on a Iiandscme portico and 
stone- veranda, like rooms in some Italian mansion. The 
town is clean and pretty, and cf course is " going to be "' 
much larger. It is the seat of tlie State legislature of Ohio, 
and lays claim, in consequence, to some consideration and 

There being no stage-coach next day, upon the road v;e 
wished to take, I hired "an extra," at a reasonable charge, to 
carry us to Tiffm ; a small town from whence there is a rail- 
road to Sandusky. This extra was an ordinary four-horse 
stage-coach, such as I have described, changing horses and 
drivers, as the stage-coach v/ould, but was exclusively our ovvii 
for the journey. To ensure our having horses at the proper 
stations, and being incommoded by no strangers, the proprie- 
tors sent an agent on the box, who was to accompany us the 
whole way through ; and thus attended, and bearing with us, 
besides, a hamper full cf savory cold meats, and fruit, and 
v.'ine ; v/e started off again in liigh spirits, at half-past six 
o'clock next morning, very mucli delighted to be by ourselves, 
and disposed to enjo}' even llie rougliest journey. 

It was well for us, that v/e v;crc in this hum.or, for the road 
we w'ent over that day, was certainly enough to liave shaken 
tempers that were not resolutely at Set Fair, down to seme 
inches below Stormy. At one time we were all flung together 
in a heap, at the bottom of the coach, and at another we were 
crushing our heads against the roof. Now, one side was down 



deep in the niire, and we were holding on i(a) ilie other. Now, 
the coach was lying on tlie tails of the two wheelers ; and 
now it was rearing up in the air, in a frantic state, with all 
four horses standing on the top of an insurmountable emi- 
nence, looking coolly back at it, as though they would say 
" Unharness us. It can't be done." The drivers on these 
roads, \A\o certainly get over the ground in a manner which 
is quite miraculous, so twist and turn the team about in forcing 
a passage, corkscrew fashion, through the bogs and swamps, 
that it was quite a common circumstance on looking out of 
the window, to see the coachman with the ends of a pair of 
reins in his hands, apparently driving nothing, or playing at 
horses, and the leaders staring at one unexpectedly from the 
back of the coach, as if they had some idea of getting up be- 
hind. iV great portion of the way was over what is called a 
corduroy road, v/hich is made by throwing trunks of trees 
into a marsh, and leaving them lo settle there. The very 
slightest of the jolts with which the ponderous carriage fell 
from log to log, was enough, it seemed, to have dislocated all 
the bones in the human body. It would be impossible to ex- 
perience a similar set of sensations, in any other circumstances, 
unless perhaps in attempting to go up the top of wSt. Paul's in 
an omnibus. Never, never once, that day, was the coach in 
any position, attitude, or kind of motion to which we are ac- 
customed in coaches. Never did it make the smallest 
approach to one's experience of the proceedings of any sort 
of vehicle that goes on wheels. 

Still, it was a fine day, and the temperature was delicious, 
and though we had left Summer behind us in the west, and 
were fast leaving Spring, we were moving towards Niagara and 
home. We alighted in a pleasant wood towards the middle 
of the day, dined on a fallen tree, and leaving our best frag- 
ments with a cottager, and our worst with the pigs (who swarm 
in this part of the country like grains of sand on the sea-shore, 
to the great comfort of our commissariat in Canada), we went 
forward again gayly. 

As night came on, the track grew narrower and narrower, 
until at last it so lost itself among the trees, that the driver 
seemed to find his \vay by instinct. We had the comfort of 
knowing, at least, that there was no danger of his falling 
asleep, for ever}^ now and then a wheel would strike against 
an unseen stump with such a jerk, that he was fain to hold on 
pretty tight and pretty quick, to keep himself upon the box. 


Nor was there any reason to dread the least danger from 
furious driving, inasmuch as over that broken ground the 
horses had enough to do to walk ; as to shying, there was no 
room for that ; and a herd of wild elephants could -not have 
run away in such a wood, with such a coach at their heels. 
So we stumbled along, quite satisfied. 

These stumps of trees are a curious feature in American 
Lravelling. The varying illusions they present to tlie unac- 
customed eye as it grov/s dark, are quite astonishing in their 
number and reality. Now, there is a Grecian urn erected in 
the centre of a lonely field ; now there is a woman weeping 
at a tomb ; now a very common-place old gentleman in a 
v.aistcoat, with a thumb thrust into each arm-hole of his coat ; 
now a student poring on a book ; now a crouching negro ; 
now, a horse, a dog, a camion, an armed man ; a hunch-back 
throwing off his cloak and stepping forth into the light. They 
were often as entertaining to me as so many glasses in a 
magic lantern, and never took their shapes at myl^idding, but 
seemed to force themselves^^ upon me, whether I would or no ; 
and strange to sa}', I sometimes recognized in them counter- 
parts of figures once familiar to me in pictures attached to 
childish books, forgotten long ago. 

It soon became too dark, however, even for this amuse- 
ment, and the trees were so close together that their dry 
branches rattled against the coach on either side, and obliged 
us all to keep our heads within. It lightened too, for three 
whole hours ; each flash being very bright, and blue, and 
long; and as vivid streaks came darting in among the 
crowded branches, and the thunder rolled gloomily above the 
tree tops, one could scarcely help thinking that there were 
better neighborhoods at such a time than thick woods af- 

At length, between ten and eleven o'clock at night, a few- 
feeble lights appeared in the distance, and Upper Sandusky, 
an Indian village, where we were to stay till morning, lay be- 
fore us. 

They were gone to bed at the log Inn, vvhich was the only 
house of entertainment in the place, but soon answered to 
our knocking, and got some tea for us in a sort of kitchen or 
common room, tapestried with old newspapers, pasted against 
the wall. The bed-chamber to which my wife and I v/ere 
shown, w^as a large, low, ghostly room ; v;ith a quantity of 
withered branches on the hearth, and tv>'o doors without any 



fastening, opposite to each otiier, both opcuiiig en the black 
night and wild country, and so contrived, that one of them 
always blew the other open : a novelty in domestic architec- 
ture, which I do not remember to have seen before, and which 
I v/as somewhat disconcerted to have forced on my attention 
after getting into bed, as I had a considerable sum in gold 
for our travelling expenses, in my dressing-case. Somic of 
die luggage, however, piled against the panels, soon settled 
this difficulty, and my sleep v/ould not have been very much 
affected that night, I believe, though it had failed to do so. 

My Boston friend climbed up to bed, somewhere in the 
roof, where another guest was already snoring hugely. But 
being bitten beyond his pov/er of endurance, he turned out 
again, and fled for shelter to the coach, which was airing 
itself in front of the house. This was not a very politic step, 
as it turned out ; for the pigs scenting him, and looking upon 
the coach as a kind of pie with some manner of meat inside, 
grunted round it so hideously, that he was afraid to come out 
again, and lay there shivering, till morning. Nor was it pos- 
sible to wann liim, when he did come out, by means of a glass 
of brandy : for in Indian villages, the legislature, with a very 
good and wise intention, forbids the sale of spirits by tavern 
keepers. The precaution, however, is quite inefficacious, for 
the Indians never fail to procure liquor of a worse kind, at a 
dearer price, from travelling pedlers. • 

It is a settlement of the Wyandot Indians who inhabit 
this place. Among tlie com.pany at breakfast was a mild old 
gentleman, who had been for many years emjDloyed by the 
United States Government in conducting negotiations with 
tlie Indians, and who had just concluded a treaty with 
these people by which they bound them.selves, in considera- 
tion of a certain annual sum, to remove next year to some 
land provided for them, west of the Mississippi, and a little 
v;ay beyond St. Louis. He gave me a nioving account of 
their strong attachment to the familiar scenes of their infancy, 
and in particular to the burial-places of their kindred ; and of 
their great reluctance to leave them. He had witnessed 
many such removals, and always v/ith pain, though he knev/ 
that they departed for their own good. The question whether 
this tribe should go or stay, had been discussed among tliem 
a day or two before, in. a hut erected for the purpose, the logs 
of which still lay upon the ground before -the inn. When the 
speaking was done, the ayes and noes were ranged on oppo- 



site sides, and e\^ry male adult voted in his turn. The mo- 
ment the result was, known, the minority (a large one) cheer- 
fully yielded to the rest, and withdrew all kind of opposition. 

We met some of these poor Indians afterwards, riding on 
shaggy ponies. They were so like the meaner sort of gypsies, 
that if I could have seen any of them in England, I should 
have concluded, as a matter of course, Ihat they belonged to 
that wandering and restless people. 

Leaving this tov/n directly after breakfast, we pushed for- 
ward again, over a rather worse road tlian -yesterday, if possi- 
ble, and arrived about noon at Tiffin, where we partecl vvith 
the extra. At two o'clock we took the railroad ; the travel- 
ling -on which v/as very slow, its construction being indifferent, 
and the ground v/et and marshy ; and arrived at Sandusliy 
in time to dine that evening. Vv'e put up at a comfortable 
little hotel on the brink of Lake Erie, lay there that night, 
and had no choice but to wait there next day, until a steam- 
boat bound for Buffalo appeared. The tov/n, vvhich was slug- 
gish and uninteresting enough, was something like the back 
of an English watering-place out of the season. 

Our host, who v/as very attentive and anxious to make us 
comfortable, was a handsome middle-aged man, who had 
come to this town from New England, in which part of the 
country he was "raised." When I say that lie constantly 
walked in and out of the room with his hat on ; and stopped 
to converse in the same free-and-easy state ; and lay down on 
our sofa, and pulled his newspaper out of his pocket, and 
read it at his ease; I merely mention these traits as charac- 
teristic of the country : not at all as being matter of com- 
plaint, or as having been disagreeable to me. I should un- 
doubtedly be offended by such proceedings at home, because 
they are not the custom, and v/here they are not, they; would 
be impertinencies ; but in America, the only desire of a good- 
natured fellow of this kind, is. to treat his guests hospitably 
and well \ and I had no more right, and T can truly say no 
more disposition, to measure his conduct by our English rule 
and standard, than I had to quarrel with him for not being 
of the exact stature vv^hich v/ould qualify him for admission 
into the Queen's grenadier guards. As little inclination had 
I to lind fault v.dth a funny old lady v/ho was an upper do- 
mestic in this estabirshment, and who, when she came to vv^ait 
upon us at any meal, sat herself down comfortably in the most 
ron\'enior>t chair, and producinr; a lar^e pin to pick her teeth 


with, remained performing tliat ceremony, and steadfastly re- 
garding us meanwhile with much gravity and composure (now 
and tlien pressing us to eat a little more), until it was time to 
clear away. It was enough for us, that whatever we wished 
.done w^as done with great civility and readiness, and a desire 
to oblige, not only here, but everywhere else; and that all our 
-wants were, in general, zealously anticipated. 

We were taking an early dinner at this house, on the day 
after our arrival, which was Sunday, when a steamboat came 
in sight, and presently touched at the w^harf. As she proved 
to be on her way to BuiTalo, we hurried on board with all 
speed, and soon left Sandusky far behind us. 

She was a large \'essel of five hundred tons, and hand- 
somely fitted up, though with high-pressure engines ; which 
always conveyed that kind of feeling to me, which I should be 
likely to experience, I think, if I had lodgings on the first- 
floor of a powder-mill. She was laden with flour, some casks 
of which commodity w^ere stored upon the deck. The captain 
coming ui> to have a little conversation, and to introduce a 
friend, seated himself astride of one of these barrels, like a 
Bacchus of private life ; and pulling a great clasp-knife out of 
his pocket, began to " whittle '' it as he talked, by paring 
thin slices off the edges. And he w'hittled with such industry 
and hearty good-will, that but for his being called aw^ay ver}' 
soon, it must have disappeared bodily, and left nothing in its 
place but grist and shavings. 

After calling at one or two flat places, with low dams 
stretching out into the lake, whereon w^ere stumpy light- 
houses, like windmills without sails, the whole looking like a 
Dutch vignette, we came at midnight to Cleveland, where we 
lay all night, and until nine o'clock next morning. 

I entertained quite a curiosity in reference to this place, 
from having seen at Sandusky a specimen of its literature in 
the shape of a newspaper, which was ver}- strong indeed upon 
the subject of Lord Ashburton's recent arrival at Washington, 
to adjust the points in dispute between the United States 
Government and Great Britain : informing its readers that as 
America had " whipped " England in her infancy, and 
whipped her again in her youth, so it was clearly necessary 
that she must whip her once again in her maturity : and 
pledging its credit ta all True Americans, that if Mr. ^V'ebstcr 
did his duty in the approachin;:? negotiations, and sent ib' 
English Lcrd home again in double quick time, th^-; :■ ; nul'J. 

RETURX 'JV C/A CJjVA'A 7'/, E7^C. 


williin two years, sing '• Yankee Doodle in Hyde Park, and 
Hail Columbia in the scarlet courts of Westminster!" I 
found it a joretty town, and had the satisfaction of beholding 
thiC outsirje of the office of the journal from which I h.cvc just 
quoted. I did not enjoy the delight of seeing the v/it wk.o 
indited the paragraph in question, but I have no doubt ];c i •, 
a prodigious man in his way, and held in high repute l:^;,- n 
select circle. 

There Yv^as a gentleman on board, to w^hom, as I unin- 
tentionally learned through the thin partition v/hicli divided 
our state-room from the cabin in which he and his v/hc con- 
versed together, I was unwittingly the occasion of very great 
uneasiness. I don't l;no\v wh.y or wherefore, but I appeared 
to run in his mind perpetually, and to dissatisfy him very 
much. First of all I heard him say : and the most ludicrous 
part of the business was, that he said it in my very car, and 
could not have communicated more directly with me, if he had 
leaned upon my shoulder, and whispered me : " Boz is on 
board still, my dear." After a considerable pause, he added, 
complainingly, " Boz keeps himself very close ; " which was 
true enough, for I was not very well, and was lying down, 
with a book. I thought he had done with me after this, but 
I v/as deceived ; for a long interval having elapsed, during 
which I imagine him to have been turning restlessly from side 
to side, and trying to go to sleep ; he broke out again, with 
" I suppose that Boz v/ill be writing a book by and by, and 
putting all our names in it ! " at which imaginary consequence 
of being on board a boat with Boz, he groaned, and became 

We called at the town of Erie, at eight o'clock that night, 
and lay there an hour. Between five and six next morning, 
we arrived at Buffalo, where we breakfasted ; and being too 
near the Great Falls to wait jDatiently anywhere else, we 
set off by the train, the same morning at nine o'clock, to 

It was a miserable day ; chilly and rav/ ; a damp mist 
falling ; and the trees in that northern region quite bare and 
v/intry. Whenever the train halted, I listened for the roar; 
and v/as constantly straining my eyes in the direction where 
1 knew the Falls must be, from seeing the river rolling on 
towards them -every moment expecting to behold the spray. 
Within a few minutes of our stopping, not before, I saw two 
great white clouds rising up slowly and majestically from tho 



depths of the earth. That was all. At length we alighted ; 
and then for the first time, I heard the mighty rush of water, 
and felt the ground tremble underneath my feet. 

The bank is very steep, and was slippery with, rain, and 
half-melted ice. I hardly know how I got down, but I was 
soon at the bottom, and climbing, with two English officers 
who were crossing and had joined me, over some broken 
rocks, deafened by the noise, half blinded by the spray, and 
wet to the skin. We were at the foot of the American Fall. 
I could see an immense torrent of water tearing headlong 
down from some great height, but had no idea of shape, or 
situation, or anything but vague immensity. 

When we were seated in the little ferry-boat, and were 
crossing the swollen river immediately before both cataracts, 
I began to feel what it was : but I was in a manner stunned, 
and unable to comprehend the vastness of the scene. It was 
not until I came on Table Rock, and looked — Great Heaven, 
on what a fall of bright-green water ! — that it came upon me 
in its full might and majesty. 

Then, when I felt how near to my Creator I was standing, 
the first effect, and the enduring one — instant and lasting — 
of the tremendous spectacle, was Peace. Peace of Mind, 
tranquillity, calm recollections of the Dead, great thoughts of 
Eternal Rest and Happiness : nothing of gloom or terror. 
Niagara was at once stamped upon my heart, an Image of 
Beauty : to remain there, changeless and indelible, until its 
pulses cease to beat, for ever. 

Oh, how the strife and trouble of daily life receded from 
my view, and lessened in the distance, during the ten 
memorable days we passed on that Enchanted Ground! 
What voices spoke from out the thundering water ; what 
faces, faded from the earth, looked out upon me from its 
gleaming depths ; what Heavenly promise glistened in those 
angels' tears, the drops of many hues, that showered around, 
and twined themselves about the gorgeous arches which the 
changing rainbows made ! 

I never stirred in all that time from the Canadian side, 
whither I had gone at first. I never crossed the river again ; 
for I knew there were people on the other shore, and in such 
a place it is natural to shun strange company. To wander to 
and fro all day, and see the cataracts from all points of view ; 
to stand upon' the Q(}ig& of the great Horse Shoe Fall, marking 
the hurried water gathering strength as it approached the 

IN CA A' A DA , K TC. 77^ 

verge, yet seeming, too, to pause before it shot into the gult 
below ; to gaze from the river's level up at the torrent as it 
came streaming down ; to climb the neighboring heights and 
watch it through the trees, and see the wreathing water in the 
rapids hurrying on to take its fearful plunge ; to linger in the 
shadow of the solemn rocks three miles below ; watching the 
river as, stirred by no' visible cause, it heaved and eddied and 
awokv,' the echoes, being troubled yet, far down beneath the 
surface, by its giant leap ; to have Niagara before me, lighted 
by the sun and by the moon, red in the day's decline, and 
gra)' as evening slowly fell upon it ; to look upon it every day, 
and wake up in the night and hear its ceaseless voice : this 
was enough. 

I think in every quiet season now, still do these waters 
roll and leap, and roar and tumble, all day long ; still are the 
rainbows spanning them, a hundred feet below. Still, when 
the sun is on them, do they shine and glow like molten gold. 
Still, wliBn the day is gloomy, do they fall like snow, or seem 
to crumble away like the front of a great chalk cliff, or roll 
down the rock like dense white smoke. But always does the 
mighty stream appear to die as it comes down, and always 
from its unfathomable grave arises that tremendous ghost of 
spray and mist which is never laid : which has haunted this 
place Vvdth the same dread solemnity since Darkness brooded 
on the deep, and that first flood before the Deluge — Light — 
came rushing on Creation at the word of God. 


in canada ; toronto ; kingston ; montreal ; quebec j st. 
John's, in the united states again ; Lebanon ; the 


I WISH to abstain from instituting any comparison, or 
drawing any parallel whatever, between the social features of 
the United States and those of the British Possessions in 
Canada. For this reason, I shall confine myself to a very 
brief account of our journeyings in the latter territory-. 

But before I leave Niagara, I must advert to one dis' 

776 '^ M ERIC A N NO TES. 

giisting circumstance which can hardly have escaped the 
observation of any decent traveller who has visited the Falls. 

On Table Rock, there is a cottage belonging to a Guide, 
where little relics of the place are sold, and where visitors 
register their names in a book kept for the purpose. On the 
wall of the room in v/hich a great many of these volumes arc 
preserved, the following request is posted : " Visitors will 
please not copy nor extract the remarks and poetical effusions 
from the registers and albums kept here." 

But for this intimation, I should have let them lie upon 
the tables on which they were strewn with careful negligence, 
like books in a drawing-room : being quite satisfied with the 
stupendous silliness of certain stanzas with an anti-climax at 
the end of each, which were framed and hung up on the wall. 
Curious, however, after reading this announcement, to see 
what kind of morsels Avere so carefully preserved, I turned a 
few leaves, and found them scrawled all over with the vilest 
and the filthiest ribaldry that ever human hogs delighted in. 

It is humiliating enough to knov/ that there are among 
men, brutes so obscene and worthless, that they can delight 
in laying their miserable profanations upon the very steps of 
Nature's greatest altar. But that these should be hoarded up 
for the delight cf their fellow-swine, and kept in a public place 
where any eyes may see them, is a disgrace to the English 
language in which they are written (though I hope fev/ cf 
these entries have been made by Englishmen), and a reproach 
to the English side, on which they are preserved. 

The quarters of our soldiers at Niagara, are finely and 
airily situated. Some of them are large detached houses on 
the plain above the Falls, which were originally designed for 
hotels ; and in the evening time, when the women and children 
were leaning over the balconies watching the men as they 
played at ball and other games upon the grass before the dcor, 
they often presented a little picture of cheerfulness and 
animation which made it quite a pleasure to pass that way. 

At any garrisoned point where the line of demarcation 
between one country and another is so very narrow as at 
Niagara, desertion from the ranks can scarcely fail to be of 
frequent occurrence: and it may be reasonably supposed that 
when the soldiers entertain the wildest and maddest hopes cf 
the fortune and independence that await them on the other 
side, the impulse to play traitor, v;hich such a place suggests 
to dishonest minds, is not weakened. But it very rarely 



happens that the men who do desert, are happy or contented 
afterwards ; and many instances have been known in which 
thiey have confessed their -grievous" disappointment, and their 
earnest desire to return to their ohl service if they could but 
be assured of pardon, or lenient treatment. Many of their 
comrades, notwithstanding, do the like, from time to time ; 
and instances of loss of life in the effort to cross the river 
v/ith this object, are far from being uncommon. Several men 
v/ere drowned in the attempt to swim across, not long ago ; 
and one, who had the madness to trust himself upon a table 
as a raft, was swept down to the whirlpool, where his mangled 
body eddied round and round some days. 

I am inclined to think that the noise of the Falls is very 
much exaggerated ; and this will appear the more probable 
when the depth of the great basin in which the water is 
received, is taken into account. At no time during our stay 
there, was the wind at all high or boisterous, but we never 
heard them, three miles off, even at the very quiet time of 
sunset, though we often tried. 

Queenston, at wh-ich place the steamboats start for To- 
ronto (or I should rather say at which place they call, for their 
wharf is at Lev/iston, on the opposite shore), is situated in a 
delicious valley, through which the Niagara river, in color a 
very deep green, pursues its course. It is approached by a 
road that. -takes its winding way among the heights by which 
the town is sheltered ; and seen from this point is extremely 
beautiful and picturesque. On the m.ost conspicuous of these 
heights stood a monument erected by the Provincial Legis- 
lature in memory of General Brock, who was slain in a battle 
with the American forces, after having won the victory. Some 
vagabond, supposed to be a fellow of the name of Lett, who 
is now, or who lately was, in prison as a felon, blew up this 
monument two years ago, and it is now a melancholy ruin, 
with a long fragment of iron railing hanging dejectedly from 
its top, and waving to and fro like a wild ivy branch or 
broken vine stem. It is of much higher importance than it 
may seem, that this statue should be repaired at the public 
cost, as it ought to have been long ago. Firstly, because it is 
beneath the dignity of England to allow a memorial raised in 
honor of one of her defenders, to remain in this condition, 
on the very spot where he died. Secondly, because the sight 
of it in its present state, and the recollection of the unpunished 
outrage which brought it to this pass, is not very likely to 


soothe down border feelings among English subjects here, or 
compose their border quarrels and dislikes. 

I was standing on the' wharf at this place, watching the 
passengers embarking in a steamboat which preceded that 
whose coming we awaited, and participating in the anxiety with 
Y/hich a sergeant's wife was collecting her few goods together 
— keeping one distracted eye hard upon the porters, who v.'cre 
hurrying them on board, and the other on a hoopless washing- 
tub for which, as being the most utterly worthless of all Iier 
movables, she seemed to entertain particular affection — when 
three or four soldiers with a recruit came up and went on 

The recruit was a likely young fellow enough, strongly 
built and well made, but by no means sober : indeed he had 
all the air of a man who had been more or less drunk for some 
days. He carried a small bundle over his shoulder, slung at 
the end of a walking-stick, and had a short pipe in his mouth. 
He was as dusty and dirty as recruits usually are, and his shoes 
betokened that he had travelled on foot some distance, but 
he was in a very jocose state, and shook hands with this 
soldier, and clapped that one on the back, and talked and 
laughed continually like a roaring idle dog as he was. 

The soldiers rather laughed at this blade than with him : 
seeming to say, as they stood straightening their canes in their 
hands, and looking coolly at him over their glazed stocks, 
"Go on, my boy, while you may! you'll know better by and 
by : " ■when suddenly the novice, who had been backing 
towards the gangway in his noisy merriment, fell overboard 
before their eyes, and splashed heavily down into the river 
between the vessel and the dock. 

I never saw such a good thing- as the change that came 
over these soldiers in an instant. Almost before the man 
was down, their professional manner, their stiffness and con- 
straint, were gone, and they were filled with the most violent 
energy. In less time than is required to tell it, they had him 
out again, feet first, with the tails of his coat flapping over 
his eyes, everything about him hanging the wrong way, and 
tlie water streaming off at every thread in his threadbare 
dress. But the moment they set him upright and found that 
he was none the worse, they were soldiers again, looking over 
their glazed stocks more composedly than ever. 

The half-sobered recruit glancecl round for a moment, as 
if his first impulse were to express some gratitude for his 


preservation, but seeing them with this air of total unconcern, 
and having his wet pipe presented to him with an oath by 
the soldier who had been by far the most anxious of the 
party, he stuck it in his mouth, thrust his hands into his 
moist pockets, and without even shaking the water off his 
clothes, walked on board whistling ; not to say as if nothing 
had happened, but as if he had meant to do it, and it had 
been a perfect success. 

Our steamboat came up directly this had left the wharf, 
and soon bore us to the mouth of the Niagara ; where the 
stars and stripes of America flutter on one side and the 
Union Jack of England on the other : and so narrow is the 
space between them that the sentinels in either fort can often 
hear the watchword of the other country given. Thence we 
emerged on Lake Ontario, an inland sea ; and by half-past 
six o'clock were at Toronto. 

• The country round this town being very flat, is bare of 
scenic interest ; but the town itself is full of life and motion, 
bustle, business, and improvement. The streets are well 
paved, and lighted with gas ; the houses are large and good ; 
the shops excellent. Many of them have a display of goods 
in their windows, such as may be seen in thriving country 
towns in England ; and there are some which would do no 
discredit to the metropolis itself. There is a good stone 
prison here ; and there are, besides, a handsome church, a 
court-house, public offices, many commodious private resi- 
dcHces, and a government observatory for noting and record- 
ing the magnetic variations. In the College of Upper Canada, 
which is one of the public establishments of the city, a sound 
education in every department of polite learning can be had, 
at a very moderate expense : the annual charge for the instruc- 
tion of each pupil, not exceeding nine pounds sterling. It 
has pretty good endowments in the way of land, and is a 
valuable and useful institution. 

The first stone of a new college had been laid but a few 
days before, by the Governor General. It will be a hand- 
some, spacious edifice, approached by a long avenue, which 
is already planted and made available as a public Vv^alk. 
The town is well-adapted for wholesome exercise at all sea- 
sons, for the footways in the thoroughfares which lie beyond 
the principal street, are planked like floors, and kept in very 
good and clean repair. 

It is a matter gf deep regret that political differences 



should haveiun high in this place, and led to most discredit- 
able and disgraceful results. It is not long since guns were 
discharged from a window in this town at the successful 
candidates in an election, and the coachman of one of them 
was actually shot in the body, though not dangerously 
wounded. But one man was killed on the same occasion ; 
and from the very window whence he received his death, the 
very flag which shielded his murderer (not only in the com- 
mission of his crime, but from its consequences), was dis- 
played again on the occasion of the public ceremon}'' per- 
formed by the Governor General, to which I have just 
adverted. Of all the colors in the rainbow, there is but one 
which could be so employed : I need not say that flag was 

The time of leaving Toronto for Kingston is noon. By 
eight o'clock next morning, the traveller is at the end of his 
journey, which is performed by steamboat upon Lake Grii- 
tario, calling at Port Hope and Coburg, the latter a cheerful 
thriving little town. Vast quantities of flour form the chief 
item in the freight of these vessels. We had no fewer than 
one thousand and eighty barrels on board, between Coburg 
and Kingston. 

The latter place, which is now the seat of government in 
Canada, is a very poor town, rendered still poorer in the 
appearance of its market-place by the ravages of a recent 
fire. Indeed, it may be said of Kingston, that one half of it 
appears to be burnt down, and the other half not to be built 
up. The Governmefit House is neither elegant nor commodi- 
ous, yet it is almost the only house of any importance in the 

There is an admirable jail here, well and wisely governed, 
and excellently regulated, in every respect. The men were 
employed as shoemakers, ropemakers, blacksmiths, tailors, 
carpenters, and stonecutters ; and in building a new prison, 
which was pretty far advanced towards completion. The 
female prisoners were occupied in needlework. Among them 
was a beautiful girl of twenty, who had been there nearly 
three years. She acted as bearer of secret dispatches for 
the self-styled Patriots on Navy Island, during the Cana- 
dian Insurrection : sometimes dressing as a girl, and carry- 
ing them in her stays ; sometimes attiring herself as a boy, 
and secreting them in the lining of her hat. In the latter 
character she always rode as a boy would, which was nothing 


to her, for she could govern any horse that any man could 
ride, and could drive four-in-hand with the best whip in 
those parts. Setting forth on one of her patriotic missions, 
she appropriated to herself the first horse she could lay her 
hands on ; and this offence had brought her where I saw 
her. She had quite a lovely face, though, as the reader may 
suppose from this sketch of her history, there Vv^as a lurking 
devil in her bright eye, which looked out pretty sharply from 
between her jorison bars. 

There is a bomb-proof fort here of great strength, which 
occupies a bold position, and is capable, doubtless, of doing 
good service ; though the town is much too close upon the 
frontier to be long held, I should imagine, for its present pur- 
pose in troubled times. There is also a small navy-yard, 
where a couple of Government steamboats where building, 
and getting on vigorously. 

We left Kingston for Montreal on the tenth of May, at 
half-past nine in the morning, and proceeded in a steamboat 
down the St. Lawrence river. The beauty of this noble 
stream at almost any point, but especially in the commence- 
ment of this journey when it winds its way among the Thou- 
sand Islands, can hardly be imagined. The number and 
constant successions of these islands, all green and richly 
wooded ; their fluctuating sizes, some so large that for half 
an hour together one among them will appear as the opposite 
bank of the river, and some so small that they are mere dim- 
ples on its broad bosom ; their infinite variety of shapes ; and 
the numberless combinations of beautiful forms which the 
trees growing on them present : all form a picture fraught 
with uncommon interest and pleasure. 

In the afternoon we shot down some rapids where the 
river boiled and bubbled strangely, and where the force and 
headlong violence of the current were tremendous. At seven 
o'clock we reached Dickenson's Landing, whence travellers 
proceed for two or three hours by stage-coach : the navigation 
of the river being rendered so dangerous and difficult in the 
interval, by rapids, that steamboats do not make the passage. 
The number and length of those portages, over which the 
roads are bad, and the travelling slow, render the way between 
the towns of. Montreal and Kingston, somewhat tedious. 

Our course lay over a wide, uninclosed tract of country at 
a little distance from the river side, whence the bright warn- 
ing lights on the dangerous parts of the St. Lawrence shone 


vividly. The night was dark and raw, and the way dreary 
enough. It was nearly ten o'clock when we reached the 
wharf where the next steamboat lay ; and went on board, and 
to bed. 

She lay there all night, and started as soon as it was day. 
The morning was ushered in by a violent thunderstorm, and 
was very wet, but gradually improved and brightened up. 
Going on deck after breakfast, I was amazed to see floating 
down with the stream, a most gigantic raft, with some thirty 
or forty wooden houses upon it, and at least as many flag- 
masts, so that it looked like a nautical street. I saw many 
of these rafts afterwards, but never one so large. All the 
timber, or " lumber," as it is called in America, which is 
brought down the St. Lawrence, is floated down in this man- 
ner. When the raft reaches its place of destination, it is 
broken up ; the materials are sold ; and the boatmen return 
for more. 

At eight we landed again, and travelled by a stage-coach 
for four hours through a pleasant and well-cultivated country, 
perfectly French in every respect : in the appearance of the 
cottages ; the air, language, and dress of the peasantry ; the 
sign-boards on the shops and taverns ; and the Virgin's 
shrines, and crosses, by the wayside. Nearly every common 
laborer and boy, though he had no shoes to his feet, wore 
round his waist a sash of some bright color : generally red : 
and the women, who were working in the fields and gardens, 
and doing all kinds of husbandry, wore, one and all, great 
flat straw hats with most capacious brims. There were 
Catholic Priests and Sisters of Charity in the village streets ; 
and images of the Saviour at the corners of cross-roads, and 
in other public places. 

At noon we went on board another steamboat, and 
reached the village of Lachine, nine miles from Montreal, by 
three o'clock. There, we left the river, and went on by lancl. 

Montreal is pleasantly situated on the margin of the St. 
Lawrence, and is backed by some bold heights, about which 
there are charming rides and drives. The streets are gener- 
ally narrow and irregular, as in most French towns of any 
age : but in the more modern parts of the city, they are wide 
and airy. They display a great variety of very good shops ; 
and both in the town and suburbs there are many excellent 
private dwellings. The granite quays are remarkable for 
their beautv, soliditv, and extent. 

/X CAXADA, ETC. yg^ 

There is a very large Catholic cathedral here, recently 
erected ; with two tall spires, of which one is yet unfinished. 
In the open space in front of this edifice, stands a solitary/, 
grim-looking, square brick tower, v/hich has a quaint and re- 
markable appearance, and which the wdseacres of the place 
have consequently determined to pull down immediately. 
The Government House is very superior to that at Kingston, 
and the town is full of life and bustle. In one of the sub- 
urbs is a plank road — not footpath — five or six miles long, 
and a famous road it is too. All the rides in the vicinity 
were made doubly interesting by the bursting out of spring, 
which is here so rapid, that it is but a day's leap from barren 
winter, to the blooming youth of summer. 

The steamboats to Quebec, perform, the journey in the 
night; that is to say, they leave Montreal at six in the even- 
ing, and arrive at Quebec at six next morning. We made 
this excursion during our stay in Montreal (which exceeded a 
fortnight), and we were charmed by its interest and beauty. 

The impression made upon the visitor by this Gibraltar of 
America ; its giddy heights ; its citadel suspended, as it were, 
in the air ; its picturesque steep streets and frowning gate- 
ways.; and the splendid views which burst upon the eye at 
every turn : is at once unique and lasting. 

It is a place not to be forgotten or mixed up in the mind 
with other places, or altered for a moment in the crowd of 
scenes a traveller can recall. Apart from the realities of 
this most picturesque city, there are associations clustering ^ 
about it which would make a desert rich in interest. The 
dangerous precipice along whose rocky front, Wolfe and his 
brave companions climbed to glory ; the Plains of Abraham, 
where he received his mortal wound ; the fortress so chival- 
rously defended by Montcalm ; and his soldier's grave, dug 
for him while yet alive, by the bursting of a shell ; are not 
the least among them, or among the gallant incidents of his- 
tory. That is a noble monument too, and worthy of two 
great nations, wdiich perpetuates the memory of both bra^ e 
generals, and on which their names are jointly written. 

The city is rich in public institutions and in Catholic 
churches and charities, but it is mainly, in the prospecl: from 
the site of the Old Government House, and from the citadel, 
that its surpassing beauty lies. The exquisite expan: c of 
country, rich in field and forest, mountain-height and \.n.ler, 
which lies stretched out before the view, with miles of Lan.T.' 



dian villages, glancing in long white streaks, like veins along 
the landscape ; the motley crowd of gables, roofs, and chim- 
ney tops in the old hilly town immediately at hand ; the beau- 
tiful St. Lawrence sparkling and flashing in the sunlight ; and 
tlie tiny ships below the rock from which you gaze, whose 
distant rigging looks like spiders' webs against the light, 
while casks and barrels on their decks dwindle into toys, and 
busy mariners become so many puj^pets ; all this, framed by 
a sunken window in the fortress and looked at from the 
shadowed room within, forms one of the brightest arid most 
enchanting pictures that the eye can rest upon. 

In the spring of the year, vast numbers of emigrants who 
have newly arrived from England or from Ireland, pass be- 
tween Quebec and Montreal on their way to the backwoods 
and new settlements of Canada. If it be an entertaining 
lounge (as I very often found it) to take* a morning stroll 
upon the quay at Montreal, and see them grouped in hun- 
dreds on the public wharfs about their chests and boxes, it is 
matter of deep interest to be their fellow-passenger on one of 
these steamboats, and mingling with the concourse, see and 
hear them unobserved. 

The vessel in which we returned from Quebec to Mon- 
treal was crowded with them, and at night they spread their 
beds between decks (those who had beds, at least), and slept 
so close and thick about our cabin door, that the passage to 
and fro was. quite blocked up. They were nearly all English ; 
from Gloucestershire the greater part ; and had had a long 
winter-passage out ; but it was wonderful to see how clean 
the children had been kept, and how untiring in their love 
and self-denial all the poor parents were. 

Cant as we may, and as we^shall to the end of all things, 
it it very much harder for the poor to be virtuous than it is 
for the rich ; and the good that is in them, shines the brighter 
for it. In many a noble mansion lives a man, the best of 
husbands and of fathers, whose private worth in both capaci- 
ties is justly lauded to the skies. But bring him here, upon 
this crowded deck. Strip from his fair young wife her silken 
dress and jewels, unbind her braided hair, stamp early 
wrinkles on her brow, pinch her pale cheek with care and 
much privation, array her faded form in coarsely patched 
attire, let there be nothing but his love to set her forth or 
deck her out, and you shall put it to the proof indeed. So 
change his station in the world, that he shall see in those 


young thin ~r3 who climb al^ont liis knee: not records of his 
v.'ealth .incl nnmc : but; little wrestlers with him for his daily 
bread ; so many poachers on his scanty meal : so m_any units 
to divide his every smn of comfort, and farther to reduce its 
small amount. In lieu of the endearments of childhood in 
its sweetest aspect, heap upon him all its pains and wants, its 
sicknesses and ills, its fretfulness, caprice, and querulous en- 
durance : let its prattle be, not of engaging infant fancies, but 
of cold, and thirst, and hunger ; and if his fatherly affection 
outlive all this, and he be patient, watchful, tender ; careful of 
his children's lives, and mindful always of their joys and sor- 
rows ; then send him back to Parliament, and Pulpit, and to 
Quarter Sessions, and when he hears fine talk of the deprav- 
ity of those v.-ho live from hand to mouth, and labor hard to 
do it, let him speak up, as one who knows, and tell those 
holders forth that they, by parallel with such a class, should 
be High Angels in their daily li^•es, and lay but humble sie,r;e 
to Heaven at last. 

Which of us shall say what he would be, if such realitie,?, 
with small relief or change all through his days, were his ! 
Looking round upon these people : far from home, houseless, 
indigent, wandering, weary with travel and hard living : and 
seeing how patiently they nursed and tended their young 
children : how they consulted ever their wants first, then half 
supplied their own ; what gentle ministers of hope and faitli 
the women were ; how the men profited by their example ; 
and how very, very seldom even a moment's petulance or harsh 
complaint broke out among them : I felt a stronger love and 
honor of my kind come glowing on my heart, and wished to 
God there had been many Atheists in the better part of 
human nature there, to read this simj^le lesson in the Book of 

We left Montreal for New York again, on the thirtieth of 
May ; crossing to La Prairie, on the opposite shore of the St. 
Lawrence, in a steamboat ; we then took the railroad to St. 
John's, which is on the brink of Lake Champlain. Our last 
greeting in Canada was from the English officers in the pleas- 
ant barracks at that place (a class of gentlemen who had 
made every hour of our visit memorable by their hospitality 
and friendship) ; and with " Rule Britannia" sounding in our 
ears, soon left it far behind. 

But Canada has held, and always will retain, a foremost 


place in my remembrance. Few Englishmen are prepared to 
find it what it is. Advancing quietly ; old differences settling 
down, and being fast forgotten ; public feeling and private 
enterprise alike in a sound and wholesome state ; nothing of 
flush or fever in its system, but health and vigor throbbing in 
its steady pulse : it is full of hope and promise. To me— 
who had been accustomed to think of it as something left 
behind in the strides of advancing society, as something neg- 
lected and forgotten, slumbering and wasting in its sleep — the 
demand for labor and the rates of wages ; the busy quays of 
Montreal ; the vessels taking m their cargoes, and discharging 
them ; the amount of ship|5ing in the different ports ; the 
conunerce, roads, and public works, all made to last ; the re- 
spectability and character of the public journals ; and the 
amount of rational comfort and happiness which honest indus- 
try may earn : were very great surprises. The steamboats 
on the lakes, in their conveniences, cleanliness, and safety ; 
in the gentlemanly character and bearing of their captains ; 
and in the politeness and perfect comfort of their social regu- 
lations ; are unsurpassed even by the famous Scotch vessels, 
deserrvedly so much esteemed at home. The inns are usually 
bad ; because the custom of boarding at hotels is not so 
general here as in the States, and the British officers, who 
form a large portion of the. society of every town, live chiefly 
at the regimental messes : but in every other respect, the 
traveller in Canada will find as good provision for his comfort 
as in any place I know. 

There is one American boat — the vessel which carried us 
on Lake Champlain, from St. John's to Whitehall — which I 
praise very Jiighly, but no more than it deserves, when I say 
that it is superior even to that in which we went from Queen- 
ston to Toronto, or to that in which we travelled from the 
latter place to Kingston, or 1 have no doubt I may add to 
any other in the world. This steamboat, which is called the 
Burlington, is a perfectly exquisite achievement of neatness, 
elegance, and order. The decks are drawing-rooms ; the 
cabins are boudoirs, choicely furnished and adorned with 
prints, pictures, and musical instruments ; every nook and 
corner in the vessel is a perfect curiosity of graceful comfort 
and beautiful contrivance. Captain Shennan, her commander, 
to whose ingenuity and excellent taste these results are solely 
attributable, has bravely and worthily distinguished himself 
on more than one trying occasion : not least among them, in 


having the moral courage to carry British troops, at a time 
(during the Canadian rebelhon) when no other conve3'ance 
was open to them. He and his vessel are held in universal 
respect, both by his own countrymen and ours ; and no man 
ever enjoyed the popular esteem, who, in his sphere of action, 
won and wore it better than this gentleman. 

By means of this floating palace we were soon in the 
United States again, and called that evening at Burlington ; 
a pretty town, where we lay an hour or so. We reached 
Whitehall, where we were to disembark, at six next morning ; 
and might have done so earlier, but that these steamboats 
lie by for some hours in the night, in consequence of the lake 
becoming very narrow at that part of the journey, and difficult 
of navigation in the dark. Its width is so contracted at one 
point, indeed, that they are obliged to warp round by means 
of a rope. 

After breakfasting at Whitehall, we took the stage-coach 
for Albany : a large and busy town, where we arrived between 
five and six o'clock that afternoon ; after a very hot day's 
journey, for we were now in the height of summer again. At 
seven we started for New York on board a great North River 
steamboat, which was so crowded with passengers that the 
upper deck was like the box lobby of a theatre between the 
pieces, and the lov»:er one like Tottenham Court Road on a 
Saturday night. But we slept soundly, notwithstanding, and 
soon after five o'clock next morning reached New York. 

Tarrying here, only that day and night, to recruit after 
our late fatigues, we started off once more upon our last 
journey in America. We had yet five days to spare before 
embarking for England, and I had a great desire to see "the 
Shaker Village," which is peopled by a religious sect from 
whom it takes its name. 

To this end, we went up the North River again, as far as 
the town of Hudson, and there hired an extra to carry us to 
Lebanon, thirty miles distant : and of course another and a 
different Lebanon from that village where I slept on the night 
pf the Prairie trip. 

The country through which the road meandered, was rich 
and beautiful ; the weather very fine ; and for many miles the 
Kaatskill mountains, where Rip Van Winkle and the ghastly 
Dutchmen played at ninepins one memorable gusty afternoon, 
towered in the blue distance, like stately clouds. At one 
point as we ascended a steep hill, athwart whose base a rail 


road, yet constructing, took its comse, wc came upon an Irish 
colony. With means at hand of building decent cabins, it 
was wonderful to see how ckunsy, rough, and wretched, its 
hovels were. The best were poor protection from the 
weather ; the worst let in the wind and rain through wdde 
breaches in the roofs of sodden grass, and in the walls of 
mud ; some had neither door nor window ; some had nearly 
fallen down, and were imperfectly propped up by stakes and 
poles ; all were ruinous and filthy. Hideously ugly old 
women and very buxom young ones, pigs, dogs, men, children, 
babies, pots, kettles, dunghills, vile refuse, rank straw, and 
standing water, all wallowing together in an inseparable heap, 
composed the furniture of every dark and dirty hut. 

Between nine and ten o'clock at night, we arrived at Leb- 
anon : which is renowned for its warm baths, and for a great 
hotel, well adapted, I have no doubt, to the gregarious taste 
of those seekers after health or pleasure who repair here, but 
inexpressibly comfortless to me. We were shown into an 
immense apartment, lighted by two dim candles, called the 
drawing-room : from which there was a descent by a flight of 
steps, to another vast desert, called the dining-room : our bed 
chambers were among certain long rows of little white-washed 
cells, which opened from either side of a dreary passage ; and 
were so like rooms in a prison that I half expected to be 
locked up when I went to bed, and listened in\ oluntarily for 
the turning of the key on the outside. There need be baths 
somewhere in the neighborhood, for the other washing ar- 
rangements were on as limited a scale as I ever saw, even in 
America : indeed, these bed-rooms were so very bare of even 
such common luxuries as chairs, that I should say they were 
not provided, with enough of anything, but that I bethink my- 
self of our having been most bountifully bitten all night. 

The house is very pleasantly situated, however, and we 
had a good breakfast. That done, we went to visit our place 
of destination, which was some two miles off, and the v;ay to 
which was soon indicated by a finger-post, whereon was 
painted, " To the Shaker Village." 

As we rode along, v/e passed a party of Shakers, who were 
at work upon the read ; who wore the broadest of all broad- 
brimmed hats ; and were in all visible respects such very 
wooden men, that I felt about as much sympathy for them, 
and as much interest in them, as if they had been so many 
figure-heads of ships. Presently we came to the beginning of 

JN CAXApA. f.rC. y^ 

the Village, and alighting at the door of a house wliere the 
Shaker 'manufactures are sold, and Vv'hich is the head-quar- 
ters of the elders, requested permission to see the Shaker 

Pending; the conveyance of this request to some person in 
authorit\^ v;e walked into a grim room, where several grim 
bais were hanging on grim pegs, and the time was grimly told 
b,' a grim clock, which uttered every tick with a kind of strug- 
gle, as if it broke the grim silence reluctantly, and under pro- 
test. Ranged against the wall were six or eight stiff high- 
backed chairs, and they partook so strongly of the general grim- 
ness, that one would much rather have sat on the floor than 
incurred the slightest obligation to any of them. 

Presently, there stalked into this apartment, a grim old 
Shaker, with eyes as hard, and dull, and cold, as the great 
round metal buttons on his coat and waistcoat ; a sort of calm 
goblin. Being informed- of our desire, he produced a news- 
paper wherein the body qf elders, whereof he was a member, 
had advertised but a few days before, that in consequence of 
certain unseemly interruptions which their worship had re- 
ceived from strangers, their chapel was closed to the public 
for the space of one year. 

As nothing was to be urged in opposition to this reason- 
able arrangement, we requested leave to make some trifling 
purchases of Shaker goods ; wliich was grimly conceded. 
We accordingly repaired to a store in the same house and on 
the opposite side of the passage, where the stock was pre- 
sided over by something ali\e in a russef case, which the 
elder said was a woman ; and which I suppose icas a woman, 
though I should not have suspected it. 

On the opposite side of the road was their place of wor- 
ship : a cool, clean edifice of wood, with large windows and 
green blinds : like a spacious summer-house. As there was 
no .G:etting into this place, and nothing was to be done but 
walk up and down, and look at it and the other buildings in 
the village (which were chiefly of wood, painted a dark red 
like English barns, and composed of many stories like Eng- 
lish factories), I have nothing to communicate to the reader, 
beyond the scanty results I gleaned the while our purchases 
were making. 

These people are called Shakers from their peculiar form 
of adoration, which consists of a dance, performed by the 
men and women of all ages, who arrange themselves for that 

79 o ^ M ERICA N NO TJ£S. 

purpose in opposite parties : the men first divesting them- 
selves of their hats and coats, which they gravely hang against 
the wall before they begin ; and tying a ribbon round their 
shirt-sleeves, as though they were going to be bled, They 
accompany themselves with a droning, humming noise, and 
dance until they are quite exhausted, alternately advancing 
and retiring in a preposterous sort of trot. The effect is said 
to be unsjDeakably absurd : and if I may judge from a print of 
this ceremony which I have in my possession ; and which I 
am informed by those who have visited the chapel, is perfectly 
accurate ; it must be infinitely grotesque. 

They are governed by a woman, and her rule is under- 
stood to be absolute, though she has the assistance of a coun- 
cil of elders. She lives, it is said, in strict seclusion in certain 
rooms above the chapel, and is never shown to profane eyes. 
If she at all resemble the lady who presided over the store, it 
is a great charity to keep her as close as possible, and I can- 
not too strongly express my perfect concurrence in this Ije- 
nevolent proceeding. 

All the possessions and revenues of the settlement are 
throv/n into a common stock, which is managed by the elders. 
As they have made converts among people who are well to do 
in the world, and are frugal and thrifty, it is understood that 
this fund prospers ; the more especially as they have made 
large purchases of land. Nor is this at Lebanon the only 
Shaker settlement : there are, I think, at least three others. 

They are good farmers, and all their produce is eagerly 
purchased and highly esteemed. " Shaker seeds," " Shaker 
herbs," and " Shaker distilled waters," are commonly an- 
nounced for sale in the shops of towns and cities. They are 
good breeders of cattle, and are kind and merciful to the 
brute creation. Consequently, Shaker beasts seldom fail to 
find a ready market. 

They eat and drink together, after the Spartan model, at 
a great public table. There is no union of sexes, and every 
Shaker, male and female, is devoted to a life of celibacy. 
Rumor has been busy upon this theme, but here again I must 
refer to the lady of the store, and say, that if many of the sis- 
ter Shakers resemble her, I treat all such slander as bearing 
on its face the strongest marks of wild improbability. But 
that they take as proselytes, jiyersons so young that they can- 
not know their ov.-n minds, and cannot possess much strength 
of resolution in this or any other respect, I can assert from 

IN CA NA DA, ETC, 791 

my own observation of the extreme juvenility of certain youth- 
ful Shakers whom I saw at work among the party on the 

They are said to be good drivers of bargains, but to be 
honest and just in their transactions, and even in horse-deal- 
ing to resist those thievish tendencies which would seem, for 
some undiscovered reason, to be almost inseparable from that 
branch of traffic. In all matters, they hold their own course 
quietly, live in their gloomy silent commonwealth, and show 
little desire to interfere with other people. 

This is well enough, but nevertheless I cannot, I confess, 
incline towards the Shakers ; view them with much favor, or 
extend towards them any very lenient construction. I so ab- 
hor, and from my soul detest that bad spirit, no matter by 
what class or sect it may be entertained, which would strip 
life of its healthful graces, rob youth of its innocent pleasures, 
pluck from maturity and age their pleasant ornaments, and 
make existence but a narrow pathway towards the grave : that 
odious spirit which, if it could have had full scope and sway 
upon the earth, must have blasted and made barren the imag- 
inations of the greatest men, and left them, in their power of 
raising up enduring images before their fellow-creatures yet 
unborn, no better than the beasts : that, in these very broad- 
brnnmed hats and very sombre coats — in stiff-necked, solemn 
visaged piety, in short, no matter what its garb, whether it 
have cropped hair as in a Shaker village, or long nails as in a 
Hindoo temple — I recognize the worst among the enemies of 
Hea\-en and Earth, who turn the water at the marriage feasts 
of this poor world, not into wine, but gall. And if there must 
be people vowed to crush the harmless fancies and the love 
of innocent delights and gayeties, which are a part of human 
nature : as much a part of it as any other love or hope that is 
our common portion : let them, for me, stand openly revealed 
among the ribald and licentious ; the very idiots know that 
they are not on the Immortal roac|, and will despise them, and 
avoid them readily. 

Leaving the Shaker village v/ith a hearty dislike of the old 
Shakers, and a hearty pity for the young ones : tempered by 
the strong probability of their running away as they grow 
older and wiser, which they not uncommonly do : we returned 
to Lebanon and so to Hudson, by the way we had come upon 
the previous day. There, we took the steamboat down the 
North River towards New York, but stopped, some four 


hours' journey short of it, at West Point, where we remained 
that night, and all next day, and next night too. 

In this beautiful place : the fairest among the fair and lovely 
Highlands of the North River : shut in by deep green heights 
and ruined forts, and looking down upon the distant town of 
Newburgh, along a glittering path of sunlit water, with here 
and there a skiif, whose white sail often bends on some new 
tack as sudden flaws of wind come down upon her from the 
gullies in the hills : hemmed in, besides, all round with memo- 
ries of Washington, and events of the revolutionary war : is 
the Military School of America. 

It could not stand on more appropriate ground, and any 
ground more beautiful can hardly be. The course of educa- 
tion is severe, but well devised, and manly. Through June, 
July, and August, the young men encamp upon the spacious 
plain whereon the college stands ; and all the year their mili- 
tary exercises are performed there, daily. The term of study 
at this institution, which the State requires from all cadets, is 
four years ; but, whether it be from the rigid nature of the 
disci'pline, or the national impatience of restraint, or both 
causes combined, not more than half the number who begin 
their studies here, ever remain to finish them. 

The number of cadets being about equal to that of the 
members of Congress, one is sent here from every Congres- 
sional district : its member influencing the selection. Commis- 
sions in the service are distributed on the same principle. The 
dwellings of the various Professors are beautifully situated ; and 
there is a most excellent hotel for strangers, though it has the 
two drawbacks of being a total abstinence house Twines and 
spirits being forbidden to the students), and of serving the 
public meals at rather uncomfortable hours : to wit, breakfast 
at seven, dinner at one, and supper at sunset. 

The beauty and freshness of this calm retreat, in the very 
dawn and greenness of summer — it was then the beginning of 
June — were exquisite indeed. Leaving it upon the sixth, and 
returning to New York, to embark for England on the suc- 
ceeding day, I was glad to think that among the last memor- 
able beauties which had glided past us, and softened in the 
bright perspective, were those whose pictures, traced by no 
common hand, are fresh in most men's mind ; not easily to 
grow old, or fade beneath the dust of Time : the Kaatskill 
Mountains, Sleepy Plollow, and the Tappaan Zee. 




I NEVER had SO much interest before, and very likely 1 
shall never have ,so inuch interest again, in the state of 
the wind, as on the long-looked-for morning of Tuesday the 
Seventh of June. Some nautical authority had told me a day 
or two previous, '' anything with west in it, will do ; " so when 
I darted out of bed at daylight, and throwing up the window, 
was sfikited by a lively breeze from the northwest which had 
sprung up in^^l^^t^^ight, it came upon me ?o fr-eslrl), rustling 
with so many liappy associations, tn^.t I conceived upon the 
spot a special regard for all airs blowing from that quarter of 
the compass, which 1 shall cherish, I dare say, until my own 
wind has breathed its last frail puff, and withdrawn itself for 
ever from the mortal calendar. 

The pilot had not been slow to take advantage of this 
favorable weather, and the ship which yesterday had been in 
such a crowded dock that she might have retired from trade 
for good and all, for any chance she seemed to have of going 
to sea, w^as now full sixteen miles away. A gallant sight she 
was, when we, fast gaining on her in a steamboat, saw her in 
the distance riding at anchor : her tall masts pointing up in 
graceful lines against the sky, and every rope and spar ex- 
pressed in delicate and thread-like outline : gallant, too, when, 
we being all aboard, the anchor came up to the sturdy chorus 
" Cheerily men, oh cheerily ! '' and she followed joroudly in the 
towing steamboat's wake : but bravest and most gallant of 
all, when the tow-rope being cast adrift, the canvas fluttered 
from her masts, and spreading her white wings she soared 
away upon her free and solitary course. 

In the after cabin we were only fifteen passengers in all, 
and the greater part were from Canada, where some of us had 
known each other. The night was rough and squally, so 
were the next two days, but they flew by quickly, and we were 
soon as cheerful and snug a party, with an honest, manly- 
hearted captain at our head, as ever cam.e to the resolution of 
being mutually agreeable, on land or water. 

We breakfasted at ei.eht, lunched at twelve, dined at three, 

794 '^ -'^^'" i^^CAX XO TES. 

and took our tea at half-past seven. We had abundance of 
amusements, and dinner was not the least among them : 
firstly, for its own sake ; secondly, because of its extraordi- 
nary length : its duration, inclusive of all the long pauses be- 
tween the courses, being seldom less than two hours and a 
half ; which was a subject of never-failing entertainment. By 
way of beguiling the tedioiisness of these banquets, a select 
association was formed at the lower end of the table, below 
the mast, to whose distinguished president modesty forbids 
me to make any further allusion, which, being a very hilarious 
and jovial institution, v/as (prejudice apart) in high favor with 
the rest of the community, and particularly with a black stew- 
ard, who lived for three weeks in a broad grin at the marvel- 
lous humor of three incorporated worthies. 

Then,' w^vxacl-ch ess for those wl^a y'hcyid it, whist, crib- 
bage, books, backgamnTon, and shovelboard. In all weathers, 
fair or foul, calm or windy, we were every one on deck, walk- 
ing up and down in pairs, lying in the boats, leaning over the 
side, or chatting in a lazy group together. We had no lack 
of music, for one played the accordion, another the violin, 
and another (who usually began at six o'clock a.m. the key- 
bugle : the combined effect of v.'hich instruments, when they 
all played different tunes in different parts of the ship, at the 
same time, and within hearing of each other, as they sometimes 
did (everybody being intensely satisfied with his own perform- 
ance), was sublimely hideor.s. 

When all these means of entertainment failed, a sail would 
heave in sight : looming, perhaps, the very spirit of a ship, in 
the misty distance, or passing us so close that through our 
glasses we could see the people on her decks, and easily make 
out her name, and whither she was bound. For hours to- 
gether we could watch the dolphins and porpoises as they 
rolled and leaped and dived round the vessel ; or those small 
creatures ever on the wing, the Mother Carey's chickens, 
which had borne us company from New York bay, and for a 
whole fortnight fluttered about the vessel's stern. For some 
days we had a dead calm, or very light winds, during which 
the crew amused themselves with fishing and hooked an un- 
lucky dolphin, who expired, in all his rainbow colors, on the 
deck ; an event of such importance in our barren calendar, 
that afterwards we dated from the dolphin, and made the day 
on which he died, an era. 

Besides all this, whSn we were five or six days out, there 



began to be much talk of icebergs, of which wandering islands 
an unusual number had been seen by the vessels that bad come 
into New York a day or two before we left that port, and of 
whose dangerous neighborhood we were warned by the sudden 
coldness of the weather, and the sinking of the mercury in the 
barometer. While these tokens lasted, a double look-out was 
kept, and many dismal tales were whispered after dark, of 
ships that had struck upon the ice and gone dawn in the 
night ; but the wind obliging us to hold a southward course, 
we saw none o^them, and the weather soon grew bright and 
warm again. 

The observation every day at noon, and the subsequent 
working of the vessel's course, was, as may be supposed, a 
feature in our lives of paramount importance ; nor were there 
wanting (as there never are) sagacious doubters of the cap- 
tain's calculations, who, so soon as his back was turned, would, 
in the, absence of compasses, measure the chart with bits of 
string, and ends of pocket-handkerchiefs, and points of snuff- 
ers, and clearly prove him to be wrong by an odd thousand 
miles or so. It was very edifying to see these unbelievers 
shake their heads and frown, and hear them hold forth strongly 
upon navigation : not that they knew anything about it, but 
that they always mistrusted the captain in calm weather, or 
when the u'ind was adverse. Indeed, the mercur)'' itself is not 
so variable as this class of passengers, whom you will see, 
when the ship is going nobly through the water, quite pale 
with admiration, swearing that the captain beats all captains 
ever known, and even hinting at subscriptions for a piece of 
plate ; and who, next morning, v/hen the breeze has lulled, 
and all the sails hang useless in the idle air, shake their de- 
spondent heads again, and say, with screwed-up lips, they hope 
that captain is a sailor — but they shrewdly doubt him. 

It even became an occupation in the calm, to wonder when 
the wind ivould spring up in the favorable quarter, where, it 
was clearly shown by all the rules and precedents, it ought to 
have sprung up long ago. The first mate, who whistled for it 
zealously, was much respected for his perseverance, and was 
regarded even by the unbelievers as a first-rate sailor. Many 
gloomy looks would be cast upward through the cabin sky- 
lights at the flapping sails while dinner was in progress ; and 
some, growing bpld in ruefulness, predicted that we should 
land about the middle of July. There are always on board 
ship, a Sanguine One, and a Despondent One. The latter 

796 aMEK/CA.V XOTf^S. 

character carried it hollow at this period of the voyage, and 
triumphed oxer the Sanguine One at every meal, by inquiring 
where he supposed the Great Western (which left New York 
a week after us) was /Knc : and where he supposed the Cu- 
nard ' steam-packet was nozo : and what he thought of sailing 
vessels, as compared with steamships 7107a: and so beset Ins 
Ih'c v.i:h pestilent attacks of that kind, that he too was obliged 
to a.Tect dt spondency, for very peace and quietude. 

These vv'cre additions to the list of entertaining incidents, 
but there was still another source of interest. ^We carried in 
th.e steerage nearly a hundred passengers : a little world of 
poverty : and as we came to know individuals among them by 
siglit, from looking down upon the deck where they took the 
air in the daytime, and cooked their food, and very often ate 
it too, we became curious to know their histories, and with 
what expectations they had gone out to America, and on what 
errands they were going home, and what their circumstances 
were. The information we got en these heads from the car- 
penter, who had charge of these people, was often of the 
strangest kind. Some of them had been in America but three 
days, some but three months, and some had gone out in the 
last voyage of that very sliip in which they were now return- 
ing hom.e. Others had sold their clothes to raise the passage 
money, and had hardly rags to cover them ; others had no 
food, and lived upon the charity of tlie rest : and one man, it 
v;as discovered nearly at the end of the voyage, not before — 
for he kept his secret close, and did not court compassion — 
had had no sustenance whatever but the bones and scraps of 
fat he took from the plates used in the after-cabin dinner, 
when they vv^ere put out to be washed. 

The whole system of shipping and conveying these unfor- 
tunate persons, is one that stands in need of thorough revi- 
sion. If any class deserve to be protected and assisted by 
the Government, it is that class who are banished from their 
native land in search of the bare means of subsistence. All 
that could be done for these poor people by the great com- 
passion and humanity of the captain and officers was done, 
but they require much more. The law is bound, at least upon 
the English side, to see that too many of them are not put on 
board one ship : and that their accommodations are decent : 
not demoralizing and profligate. It is bound,-too, in common 
humanity, to declare that no man shall be taken on board 
without his stock of provisions being previously inspected by 


some proper ofiicer, and pronounced moderate])- sulxicient for 
his support upon the voyage. It is bound to provide, cr to 
require that there be provided, a medical attendant ; v.hereas 
in these .ships th.ere are none, tiiough sickness of aduL's, and 
deaths of children, on the passage, are matters of the \<::\\ 
commonest occurrence. Above all it is the duty of any Gov- 
ernment, be it monarchy or republic, to interpose and put an 
end to that system by which a firm of traders in emigrants 
purchase of tlie owners the whole 'tween-decks of a ship, and 
send on board as many wretched people as they can lay hold 
of, on any terms they can get, without the smallest reference 
to the conveniences of the steerage, the number of berths, the 
slightest separation of the sexes, or anything but their own im- 
mediate profit. Nor is even this the worst of the vicious sys- 
tem : for, certain crimping agents of these houses, who have a 
percentage on all the passengers they inveigle, arc constantly 
travelling about those districts where poverty and discon- 
tent are rife, and tempting the credulous into more misery, by 
holding out monstrous inducements to emigration which can 
never be realized. 

The liistory of every family we had on board was pretty 
much the same. After hoarding up, and borrowing, and 
begging, and selling everything to pay the passage, they had 
gone out to New York, expecting to lind its streets paved v;ith 
gold ; and had found them paved vv'ith veryhard and very real 
stones. Enterprise was dull ; laborers v/ere not wanted ; jobs 
of work were to be got, but the payment was not. They v/ere 
coming back, even poorer than they went. One of them was 
carrying an open letter from a young English artisan, who had 
been in New York a fortnight, to a friend near Manchester, 
who n he strongly urged to follow him. One of the officers 
brought it to me as a curiosity. " This is the country, Jem," 
said the writer. " I like America. There is no despotism 
here ; that's the great thing. Employment of all sorts is going 
a-begging, and v/ages are capital. You ha\"e only to choose a 
trade, Jem, and be it. I haven't made choice cf one yet, but 
I shall soon. At present I haven't quite made up n:y whid 
IV Ii ether to he a ca?penter — or a tailor^ 

There was yet another kind of passenger, and but one 
more, who, in the calm and the light winds, vv-as a constant 
theme cf conversation and observation among us. was 
an English sailor, a smart, thorough-built, English man-cf- 
war's-man, from his hat to his shoes, who was serving in the 



American navy, and having got leave of absence was on his 
way home to see his friends. When he presented himself to 
take and pay for his passage, it had been suggested to him 
that being an able seaman he might as well work it and save 
the money, but thisu piece of ad^ ice he ver}'- indignantly re- 
jected : saying, " He'd be damned but for once he'd go aboard 
ship as a gentleman." Accordingly, they took his money, but 
he no sooner came aboard, than he stowed his kit in the fore- 
castle, arranged to mess with the crew, and the very first time 
the hands were turned up, went aloft like a cat, before any- 
body. And all through the passage there he was, first at the 
braces, outermost on the yards, perpetually lending a hand 
everywhere, but always with a sober dignity in his manner, 
and a sober grin on his face, which plainly said, " I do it as a 
gentleman. For my own pleasure, mind you 1 " 

At length and at last, the promised wind came up in right 
good earnest, and away we went before it, with every stitch 
of canvas set, slashing through the water nobly. There was 
a grandeur m the motion of the splendid shii3, as overshad- 
owed by her mass of sails, she rode at a furious pace upon 
the waves, which filled one with an indescribable sense of 
pride and exultation. As she plunged into a foaming valley, 
how I loved to see the green waves, bordered deep with white, 
come rushing on astern, to buoy her upward at their pleasure, 
and curl about her as she stooped again, but always own her 
for their haughty mistress still ! On, on we flew, with chang- 
ing lights upon the water, being now in the blessed region of 
fleecy skies ; a bright sun lighting us by day, and a bright 
moon by night ; the vane pointmg directly homeward, alike 
the truthful index to the favoring wind and to our cheerful 
hearts ; until at sunrise, one fair Monday morning — the 
twenty-seven til of June, I shall not easily forget the day — - 
there lay before us, old Cape Clear, God bless it, showing, in 
the mist of early morning, like a cloud : the brightest and 
most welcome cloud, to us, that ever hid the face of Heaven's 
fallen sister — Home. 

Dim speck as it was in the wide prospect, it made the 
sunrise a more cheerful sight, and gave to it that sort of 
human interest which it seems to want at sea. There, as 
elsewhere, the return of day is inseparable from some sense 
of renewed hope and gladness ; but the light shining on the 
dreary waste of water, and showing it in all its vast extent of 
loneliness, presents a solemn spectacle, which even jiight, 


veiling it in darkness and uncertainty, does not surpass. The 
rising of tlie moon is more in keeping with the sohtary ocean j 
and has an air of melancholy grandeur, which in its soft and 
gentle influence, seems to comfort while it saddens. I recol- 
lect when I was a very young child having a fancy that the 
reflection of the moon in water was a path to Heaven, trodden 
by the spirits of good people on their way to God ; and this 
old feeling often came over me again, when I watched it on 
a tranquil night at sea. 

The wind was very light on this same Monday morning, 
but it was still in the right quarter, and so, by slow degrees, 
we left Cape Clear behind, and sailed along within sight of 
the coast of Ireland. And how merry we all were, and how 
loyal to the George Washington, and how full of mutual con- 
gratulations, and how venturesome in predicting the exact 
hour at which we should arrive at Liverpool, may be easily 
imagined and readily understood. Also, how heartily we 
drank the captain's health that day at dinner ; and how rest- 
less we became about packing up : and how two or three of 
the most sanguine spirits rejected the idea of going to bed at 
all that night as something it was not worth while to do, so 
near the shore, but went nevertheless, and slept soundly ; and 
how to be so near our journey's end, was like a pleasant dream, 
from which one feared to wake. 

The friendly breeze freshened again next day, and on we 
went once more before it gallantly : descrying now and then 
an English ship going homevv^ard under shortened sail, while 
we with every inch of canvas crowded on, dashed gayly past, 
and left her far behind. Towards evening, the weather turned 
hazy, with a drizzling rain; and soon became so thick, that 
we sailed, as it were, in a cloud. Still we swept onward like 
a phantom ship, and many an eager eye glanced up to where 
the Look-out on the mast kept watch for Holyhead. 

At length his long-expected cry was heard, and at the same 
moment there shone out from the haze and mist ahead, a 
gleaming light, which presently was gone, and soon returned, 
and soon was gone again. Whenever it came back, the eyes 
of all on board, brightened and sparkled like itself : and there 
we all stood, watching this revolving light upon the rock at 
Holyhead, and praising it for its brightness and its friendly 
warning, and lauding it, in short, above all other signal lights 
that ever were displayed, until it once more glimmered faintlj' 
in the distance, far behind us. 

Then, it was lime to lire a guii, for a pilot ; and almost 
before icS smoke had cleared away, a little boat with a light 
at i:er mast-head came bearing down upon us, through the 
darkness, swiftly. And presently, our sails being backed, she 
ran alongside ; and the hoarse pilot, wTapped and muffled in 
pea-coats and shawls to the ver}- bridge of his weather-plough- 
cd-Lip nose, stood bodily among us on the deck. And I think 
ii' that pilot had wanted to borrow fifty pounds for an indefi- 
nite period on no security, we should have engaged to lend it 
to I';im, among us, before his boat had dropped astern, or 
(which is the same thing) before every scrap of news in the 
paper he brought with him had become -the common property 
of all on board. 

We turned in pretty late that night, and turned out pretty 
early next morning. By six o'clock we clustered on the deck, 
prepared to go ashore ; and looked upon the sjoires, and roofs, 
and smoke, of Liverpool, By eight v;e all sat down in one of 
its Hotels, to eat and drink together for the last time. And 
by nine M"e had shaken hands all round, and broken up our 
social company for ever. 

The country, by the railroad, seemed, as we rattled 
through it, like a luxuriant rorden. The beauty of the fields 
(so small they looked !), the hedge-rows, and the trees ; the 
pretty cottages, the beds of flowers, the old churchyards, the 
antique houses, and every well-known object ; the exquisite 
delights of that one journey, crowding in the short compass 
of a summer's day, the joy of many years, with the winding 
up with Home and all that makes it dear ; no tongue can tell, 
or pen of mine describe. 



The upholders of slaver-y in America — of the atrocities of 
which system, 1 sr.all iiot Avrite one wcn-d fcr v/hich I liave 
not ample proof and warrant — may be divided into three 
great classes. 

The first, are those more moderate and rational owners of 

SLA]^ERY. 8oi 

human cattle, who nave come into the possession of them as 
so many coins in their trading capital, but who admit the 
frightful nature of the Institution in the abstract, and perceive 
the dangers to society with which it is fraught : dangers which 
however distant they may be, or howsoever tardy in their 
coming on, are as certain to fall upon its guilty head, as is the 
Day of Judgment. 

The second, consists of all those owners, breeders, users, 
buyers and sellers of slaves, who will, until the bloody chapter 
has a bloody end, own, breed, use, buy, and sell them at all haz- 
ards ; who doggedly deny the horrors of the system in the teeth 
of such a mass of evidence as never was brought to bear on 
any other subject, and to which the experience of every day con- 
tributes its immense amount ; who would at this or any other 
moment, gladly involve America in a war, civil or foreign, pro- 
vided that it had for its sole end and object the assertion of their 
right to perpetuate slavery, and to whip and work and torture 
slaves, unquestioned by any human authority, and unassailed by 
any human power ; who,' when they speak of Freedom, mean 
the Freedom to oppress their kind, and to be savage, merci' 
less, and cruel ; and of whom every man on his own ground, in 
republican America, is a more exacting, and a sterner, and a 
less responsible despot than the Caliph Flaroun Alraschid in 
his angry robe of scarlet. 

The third, and not the least numerous or influential, is 
composed of all that delicate gentility which cannot bear a 
superior, and cannot brook an equal ; of that class whose 
Republicanism means, " I will not tolerate a man above me : 
and of those below, none must approach too near ; " whose 
pride, in a land where voluntary servitude is shunned as a 
disgrace, must be ministered to by slaves ; and whose inalien- 
able rights can only have their growth in negro wrongs. 

It has been sometimes urged that, in the unavailing efforts 
which have been made to advance the cause of Human P>ee- 
dom in the republic of America (strange cause for history 
to treat of !), sufficient regard has not been had to the exist- 
ence of the first class of persons ; and it has been contended 
that they are hardly used, in being confounded with the 
second. This is, no doubt, the case ; noble instances or 
pecuniary and personal sacrifice have already had their growth 
among them ; and it is much to be regretted that the gulf 
between them and the advocates of emancipation should have 
been widened and deepened by any means : the rather, as 


there arc, beyond dispute, among these slave-owners, many 
kind masters who are tender in the exercise of their unnatural 
power. Still, it is to be feared that this injustice is insepara- 
ble from the state of things with which humanity and truth 
are called upon to deal. Slavery is not a whit the more 
endurable because some hearts are to be found which can 
partially resist its hardening influences ; nor can the indignant 
tide of honest Vv'rath stand still, because in its onward course 
it overwhelms a few who are comparatively innocent, among a 
host of guilty. 

The ground most commonly taken by these better men 
among the advocates of slavery, is this : " It is a bad system ; 
and for myself I would willingly get rid of it, if I could ; most 
willingly. But it is not so bad, as you in England take it to 
be. You are deceived by the representations of the emanci- 
pationists. The greater part of my slaves are much attached 
to me. You will say that I do not allow them to be severely 
treated"; but I will put it to you whether you believe that it 
can be a general practice to treat them inhum.anly, when it 
vv^ould impair their value, and would be obviously against the 
interests of their masters." 

Is it the interest of any man to steal, to game, to waste his 
health and mental faculties by drunkenness, to lie, forswear 
himself, indulge hatred, seek desperate revenge, or do murder t 
No. All these are roads to ruin. And why, then, do men 
tread them ? Because such inclinations are among the vicious 
qualities of mankind. Blot out, ye friends of slavery, from 
the catalogue of human passions, brutal lust, cruelty, and the 
abuse of irresponsible power (of all earthly temptations the 
most difficult to be resisted), and when ye have done so, and 
not before, we will inquire whether it be the interest of a 
master to lash and maim the slaves, over whose lives and 
limbs he has an absolute control ! 

But again : this class, together with that last one I have 
named, the miserable aristocracy spawned of a false republic, 
lift up their voices and exclaim "Public opinion is all sufficient 
to prevent such cruelty as you denounce." Public opinion ! 
Why, public opinion in the slave States is slavery, is it not ? 
Public opinion, in the slave States, has delivered the slaves 
over, to the gentle mercies of their masters. Public opinion 
has made the laws, and denied the slaves legislative protec- 
tion. Public opinion has knotted the lash, heated the brands 
ing-iron, loaded the rifle, and shielded the murderer. Public 


opinion threatens the aboHtionist with death, if he venture to 
the South ; and drags him with a rope about his middle, in 
broad unblushing noon, through the first city in the East. 
Public opinion has, within a few years, burned a slave alive at 
a slow fire in the city of St. Louis ; and public opinion has to 
this day maintained upon the bench that estimable Judge who) 
charged the Jury, impanelled there to try his murderers, that^ 
their most horrid deed was an act of public opinion, and being 
so, must not be punished by the laws the public sentiment had 
made. Public opinion hailed this doctrine with a howl of 
wild applause, and set the prisoners free, to walk the city, men 
of mark, and influence, and station, as they had been before. 

Public opinion ! what class of men have an immense pre- 
ponderance over the rest of the community, in their power gf 
representing public opinion in the legislature ? the slave 
owners. They send from their twelve States one hundred 
members, while the fourteen free States, with a free population 
nearly double, return but a hundred and forty-two. Before 
whom do the presidential candidates bow down the most 
humbly, on whom do they fawn the most fondly, and for 
whose tastes do they cater the most assiduously in their servile 
protestations t The slave owners always. ,,^ 

Public opinion ! hear the public opinion of the free South, 
as expressed by its own members in the House of Represen- 
tatives at Washington. " I have a great respect for the chair," 
quoth North Carolina, " I have a great respect for the chair 
as an officer of the house, and a great respect for him person- 
ally ; nothing but that respect prevents me from rushing to 
the table and tearing that petition which has just been pre- 
sented for the abolition of slavery in the district of Columbia, 
to pieces." — " I warn the abolitionists," says South Carolina, 
_" ignorant, infuriated barbarians as they are, that if chance 
shall throw any of them into our hands, he may expect a 
felon's death." — " Let an abolitionist come within the borders 
of South Carolina," cries a third ; mild Carolina's colleague ; 
" and if we can catch him, we will try him, and notwithstand- 
ing the interference of all the governments on earth, including 
the Federal government, we v;ill hang him." 

Public opinion has made this law. — It has declared that 
in Washington, in that city which takes its name from the 
father of American liberty, any justice of the peace may bind 
with fetters any negro passing down the street and thrust him 
into jail : no offence on the black man's part is necessar}^ 


A M ERIC A A ' A O T£S. 

The juclice says ! " I choose to think this man a runaway : " and 
locks him up. PubUc opinion impowers the man of iaw when 
t!:i3 13 done, to advertise the negro in the newspapers, warning 
Ijis owner to come and claim him, or lie will be sold to pay 
the jail fees. But supposing he is a free black, and has no 
ov/ner, it may naturally be presumed that he is set at liberty. 
been done again, and again, and again. He has no means of 
proving his freedom ; has no adviser, messenger, or assistance 
of any sort or kind ; no investigation into his case is made 
or inquiry instituted. Pie, a free man, who may have served 
for years, and bought his liberl^% is thrown into jail on no 
process, for no crime, and on no pretence of crime :-and is 
^old to pay the jail fees. This seems incredible, even of 
America, but it is the law. 

Public opinion is deferred to, in such cases as the follow- 
ing : Vv'hich is headed in the newspapers : — 

" Interesting Law-Case. 

" An interesting case is novv^ on trial in the Supreme Court, 
arising out of the following facts. A gentleman residing in 
Maryland had allowed an aged pair of his slaves, substantial 
though not legal freedom for several 3-ears. While thus living, 
a daughter was born to them, who grew up in the same liberty, 
until she married a free negro, and went with him to reside 
in Pennsylvania. They liad several children, and lived unmo- 
le;^ted until tl:e original ovv'ner died, when his lieir attempted 
to regain them ; l^iit the magistrate before whom they were 
brought, decided that he had no jurisdiction in the case. TIi: 
oivncr seized the ivoman and Iier eJiildren in the night, and ear- 
ried the?n to Maryland.^' 

" Cash for negroes," ''t.ash for negroes," " cash for negroes, "^ 
is the heading of advertisements in great capitals dov;n the 
long columns of the crowded journals. Woodcuts of a run- 
away negro with manacled hands, crouching beneath a blufi 
pursuer in top boots, who, having caught him grasps him by. the 
throat, agreeably diversify the pleasant text. Tl:e leading 
article protests against " that abominable and hellish doctrine 
of abolition, which is repugnant alike to every lavv' of God and 
na':ure." The delicate mama, who smiles her acquiescence in 
this sprightly writing as she reads the paper in cool piazza, 
quiets her youngest child who clings about lier skirls, In- 



promising the boy " a whip to beat the little niggers with." 
— But the negroes, little and big, are protected by public 

Let us try this public opinion by another test, which is inlR 
portant in three points of view : first, as showing how desper- 
ately timid of the public opinion slave owners are, in their 
delicate descriptions of fugitive slaves in widely circulated 
nev/spapers ; secondly, as showing how perfectly contented the 
slaves are, and how very seldom they run away ; thirdly, as 
exhibiting their entire freedom from scar, or blemish, or any; 
mark of cruel infliction, as their pictures are drawn, not by 
abolitionists, but by their own truthful masters. 

The following are a few specimens of the advertisements./ 
in the public papers. It is only four years since the oldest 
among them appeared ; and others of the same nature con- 
tinue to be published every day in shoals. 

" Ran away, Negress Caroline. Had on a collar with one 
prong turned down." 

" Ran away, a black woman, Betsy. Had an iron bar on} 
her right leg.'" 

'' Ran away, the negro Manuel. Much marked with- 

" Ran away, the negress Fanny. Had on an iron band 
about her neck." 

" Ran away, a negro boy about twelve years old. Plad 
round his neck a chain dog-collar with ' De Lampert ' engraved 
on it." 

" Ran away, the negro Hown. Has a ring of iron on| 
his left foot. Also, Grise, his wife, having a ring and chain 
on the left leg." 

" Ran away, a negro boy named James. Said boy was 
ironed when he left me." 

" Committed to jail, a man who calls his name John. He 
has a clog of iron on his right foot which will weigh four or 
five pounds." 

" Detained at the police jail, the negro wench, Myra. 
Has several marks of lashing, and has irons on her feet." 

" Ran away, a negro woman and two children. A few 
days before she went off, I burnt her with a hot iron, on the 
left side of her face. I tried to make the letter M." 

" Ran away, a negro man named Henry ; his left eye out, 
some scars from a dirk on and under his left arm, and much 
scarred with the whip." 

8 o 6 ' -^ - ?/^Vv'/C -^ X XO TFS. 

"" One hundred dollars reward, for a negro fellow, Pompey, 
40 years old. He is branded on the left jaw." 

"Committed to jail, a negro man. Has no toes on the 
left foot." 

" Ran away, a negro woman named Rachel. Has lost all 
her toes except the large one." 

" Ran away, Sam. He was shot a short time since 
through the hand, and has several shots in his left arm and 

" Ran away, my negro man Dennis. Said negro has been 
shot in the left arm between the shoulder and elbow^, which 
has paralyzed the left hand." 

" Ran away, my negro man named Simon. He has been 
shot badly, in his back and right arm." 

"Ran away, a negro named Arthur. Has a considerable 
scar across his breast and each arm, made by a knife ; loves 
to talk much of the goodness of God." 

" Twenty-five dollars reward for my man Isaac. He has 
a scar on his forehead, caused by a blow ; and one on his back, 
made by a shot from a pistol." 

'"^ " Ran away, a negro girl called Mar}-. Has a small scar 
over her eye, a good many teeth missing, the letter A is branded 
on her cheek and forehead." 

" Ran away, negro Ben. Has a scar on his right hand ; his 
thumb and forefinger being injured by being shot last fall. A 
part of the bone carrie out. He has also one or two large 
A scars on his back and hips." 

' " Detained at the jail, a mulatto, named Tom. Has a scar 
on the right cheek, and appears to have been burned with 
powder on the face." 

" Ran away, a negro man named Ned. Three of his 
fingers are drawn into the palm of his hand by a cut. Has 
a scar on the back of his neck nearly half round, done by a 

"Was committed to jail, a negro man. Says his name is 
Josiah. His back very much scarred by the whip ; and branded 
on the thigh and hips in three or four places, thus (J. M). The 
rim of his right ear has been bit or cut oft'." 

" Fifty dollars reward, for my fellow Edward. He has a 
scar on the corner of his mouth, two cuts on and under his 
arm, and the letter E on his arm." 

" Ran away, negro boy Ellie. Has a scar on one of his 
arms from the bite of a dog." 


" Ran away, from the plantation of James Surgette, the 
following negroes : Randal, has one ear cropped ; Bob, 
has lost one eye ; Kentucky Tom, has one jaw broken." 

" Ran away, Anthony. One of his ears cut off, and his 
left hand cut with an axe." 

" Fifty dollars reward for the negro Jim Blake. Has a 
piece cut out of each ear, and the middle finger of the left 
hand cut off to the second joint." 

" Ran away, a negro woman named Maria. Has a scar 
on one side of her cheek, by a cut. Some scars on her 

^' Ran away, the Mulatto wench Mary. Has a cut on the 
left arm, a scar on the left shoulder, and two upper teeth 

I should say, perhaps in explanation of this latter piece of 
description, that among the other blessings which public 
opinion secures to the negroes, is the common practice of 
violently punching out their teeth. • To make them wear iron 
collars by day and night, and to worry them with dogs, are 
practices almost too ordinary to deserve mention. 

" Ran away, my man Fountain. Has holes in his ears, a 
scar on the right side of his forehead, has been shot in the 
hind parts of his legs, and is marked on the back with the 

" Two hundred and fifty, dollars reward for my negro man 
Jim. He is much marked with shot in his right thigh. The 
shot entered on the outside, half way between the hip an<^ 
knee joints." \ 

'' Brought to jail, John. Left ear cropt."-^ 

" Taken up, a negro man. Is very much scarred about 
the face and body, and has the left ear bit off." 

" Ran away, a black girl, named Mary. Has a scar on 
her cheek, and the end of one of her toes cut off." 

" Ran away, my Mulatto woman, Judy. She has had he^^ 
right arm broke." 

" Ran away, my negro man, Levi. His left hand has been 
burnt, and I think the end of his forefinger is off." 

'• Ran away, a negro man, named Washington. Has lost 
a part of his middle finger, and the end of his little finger." 

" Twenty-five dollars reward for my man John. The tip 
of his nose is bit off." 

" Twenty-five dollars reward for the negro slave, Sally. 
Walks as though crippled in the back." 

8o8 '-^ M ERICA \ ' XO TES. 

" Ran awa}^ Joe Dennis. . Has a small notch in one of 
his ears." 

" Ran away, negro boy, Jack. Has a, small crop out of 
his^left ear." 

" Ran away, a negro man, named Ivory. Has a small 
piece cut out of the top of each ear." 
j • While upon the subject of ears, I may observe that a dis- 
I tinguished- abolitionist in New York once received a negro's 
\ ear, which had been cut oflf close to the head, in a general 
\ post letter. It was forwarded by the free and independent 
: gentleman who had caused it to be amputated, with a polite 
■request that he would place the specimen in his *' collection." 
; I could enlarge this catalogue with broken arms, and 
; broken legs, and gashed flesh and missing teeth, and lacerated 
. backs, and bites of dogs, and brands of red-hot irons innumer- 
able : but as my readers v/ill be sufficiently sickened and re- 
pelled already, I will turn to another branch of the subject. 

These advertisements, of which a similar collection might 
be made for every year, and month, and week, and day ; and 
which are coolly read in families as things of course, and as a 
/part of the current news and small-talk ; will serve to show 
f how very much the slaves profit by public opinion, and how 
'..tender it is in their behalf. But it may be worth while to in- 
quire how the slave owners, and the class of society to which 
great numbers of them belong, def£:r to public opinion in their 
conduct, not to their slaves but to each other ; how they are 
^customed to restrain their passions ; what their bearing is 
^mong themselves ; whether they are fierce or gentle ; whether 
their social customs be brutal, sanguinary, and violent, or 
bear the impress of civilization and refinement. 

That we may have no partial evidence from abolitionists 
in this inquiry, either, I will once more turn to their own 
newspapers, and I will confine myself, this time, to a selection 
from paragraphs which appeared from day to day, during my 
visit to America, and which refer to occurrences happening 
while I was there. The italics in these extracts, as in the 
foregoing, are my own. 

These cases did not all occur, it will be seen, in territory 
actually belonging to legalized Slave States, though most, and 
those the very worst among them did. as their counterparts 
constantly do ; but the position of the scenes of action in 
reference to places immediately at hand, where slavery is the 
law ; and the strong resemblance between that class of out- 


rages and the rest ; lead to the just presumption that the 
character of the parties concerned v/as formed in slave dis- 
tricts, and brutalized by slave customs. 

'''' Hor7-ible Tragedy. 

'' By a slip from The Southport Teleg7'aph^ Wisconsin, we 
learn that the Hon. Charles C. P. Arndt, Member of the 
Council for Brown county, was shot dead 011 the floo?' of the 
Council chamber-., by James R. Vinyard, Member from Grant 
county. The affair grew out of a nomination for Sheriff of 
Grant county. Mr. E. S. Baker was nominated and supported 
by Mr. Arndt. This nomination was opposed by Vinyard, 
who wanted the appointment to vest in his own brother. In 
the course of debate, the deceased made some statements 
v/hich Vinyard pronounced false, and made use of violent and 
insulting language, dealing largely in personalities, to which 
Mr. A. made no reply. After the adjournment, Mr. A. 
stepped up to Vinyard, and requested him to retract, which 
he refused to do, repeating the offensive words. Mr. Arndt 
then made a blow at Vinyard, who stepped back a pace, drew 
a pistol, and shot him dead. 

" The issue appears to have been provoked on the part of 
Vinyard, who was determined at all hazards to defeat the ap- 
pointment of Baker, and who, himself defeated, turned his ire 
and revenge upon the unfortunate Arndt." 

" The Wisconsin T'agedy. 

" Public indignation runs high in the territory of Wiscon- 
sin, in relation to the murder of C. C. P. Arndt, in the Legis- 
lative Hall of the Territory. Meetings have been held in 
different counties of Wisconsin, denouncing the practice oj 
secretly bearing arms i?i the Legislative cha7Jibers of the coimtry. 
We have seen the account of the expulsion of James R. Vin- 
yard, the perpetrator of the bloody deed, and are amazed to 
hear, that, after this expulsion by those who saw Vinyard kill 
Mr. Arndt in the presence of his aged father, who was on a 
visit to see his son, little dreaming that he was to witness his 
murder. Judge Dunn has discharged Vinyard on bail. The 
Miners' Free Press speaks in terms of merited rebuke at the 
outrage upon the feelings of the people of Wisconsin. Vinyard 
was within arm's length of Mr, Arndt, when he took such 

8 1 o A ME RICA A^ NO TES. 

deadly aim at him, that he never spoke. Vinyard might at 
pleasure, being so near, have only wounded him, but he chose 
to kill him." 

" Murder. 

"By a letter in a St. Louis paper of the 14th, we notice a 
terrible outrage at Burlington, Iowa. A Mr. Bridgman having 
had a difficulty with a citizen of the place, Mr. Ross ; a 
brother-in-law of the latter provided himself with one of Colt's 
revolving pistols, met Mr. B. in the street, a7id discharged the 
co?ite?its of five of the barrels at hhn : each shot taking effect. 
Mr. B., though horribly wounded, and dying, returned the fire 
and killed Ross on the spot." 

" Terrible death of Robert Potter. 

"From the 'Caddo Gazette,' of the 12th inst., we learn 
the frightful death of Colonel Robert Potter. =***=* He was 
beset in his house by an enemy, named Rose. He sprang 
from his couch, seized his gun, and, in his night-clothes, rushed 
from the house. For about two hundred yards his speed 
seemed to defy his pursuers ; but, getting entangled in a 
thicket, he was captured. Rose told him that he intended to 
act a ge7ie?'ous pa?'t, and give him a chance for his life. He 
then told Potter he might run, and he should not be inter- 
rupted till he reached a certain distance. Potter started at 
the word of command, and before a gun was fired he had 
reached the lake. His first impulse was to jump in the water 
and dive for it, which he did. Rose was close behind him, 
and formed his men on the bank ready to shoot him as he 
rose. In a few seconds he came up to breathe ; and scarce 
had his head reached the surface of the water when it was 
completely riddled with the shot of their guns, and he sunk, 
to rise no more ! " 

" Murder in A?'ka7isas. 

" We understand that a seve?'e ?'e?icontre came off^2i few days 
since in the Seneca Nation, between Mr. Loose, the sub-agent 
of the mixed band of the Senecas, Quapaw, and Shawnees, 
and Mr. James Gillespie, of the mercantile firm of Thomas G. 
Allison and Co., of Maysville, Benton County, Ark., in which 

SLA VER Y. 8 1 1 

the latter was slain with a bowie-knife. Some difficulty had 
for some time existed between the parties. It is said that 
Major Gillespie brought on the attack with a cane. A severe 
conflict ensued, during which two pistols were fired by Gilles- 
pie and one by Loose. Loose then stabbed Gillespie with 
one of those never-failing weapons, a bowie-knife. The death 
of Major G. is much regretted, as he was a liberal-minded 
and energetic man. Since the above was in type, we have 
learned that Major Allison has stated to some of our citizens 
in town that Mr. Loose gave the first blow. We forbear to 
give any particulars, as the iJiattcr will be the subject of judicial 

" Foul Deed. 

" The steamer Thames, just from Missouri river, brought 
us a handbill, offering a reward of 500 dollars, for the person 
who assassinated Lilburn W. Baggs, late Governor of this 
State, at Independence, on the night of the 6th inst. Gover- 
nor Baggs, it is stated in a written memorandum, was not 
dead, but mortally wounded. 

" Since the above was written, we received a note from the 
clerk of the Thames, giving the following particulars. Gov. 
Baggs was shot by some villain on Friday, 6th inst., in the 
evening, while sitting in a room in his own house in Indepen- 
dence. His son, a boy, hearing a report, ran into the room, 
and found the Governor sitting in his chair, with his jaw fallen 
down, and his head leaning back ; on discovering the injury 
done to his father, he gave the alarm. Foot tracks were found 
in the garden below the window, and a pistol picked up sup- 
posed to have been overloaded, and thrown from the hand of 
the scoundrel who fired it. Three buck shots of a heavy load, 
took effect ; one going through his mouth, one into the brain, 
and another probably in or near the brain ; all going into the 
back part of the neck and head. The governor was still alive 
on the morning of the 7th ; but no hopes for his recovery by 
his friends, and but slight hopes from his physicians. 

" A man was suspected, and the sheriff most probably has 
possession of him by this time. 

" The pistol was one of a pair stolen some days previous 
from a baker in Independence, and the legal authorities have 
the description of the other." 

8 1 2 AMEniCAN XO TES. 

" Re?iconfre. 

" An unfortunate a fair took place on Friday evening in 
Chatres Street, in which one of our most respectable citizens 
received a dangerous wound, from a poignard, in the abdo- 
men. From the Bee (New Orleans) of yesterday, we learn 
the following particulars. It appears that an article was pub- 
lished in the French side of the paper on Monday last, con- 
taining some strictures on the Artillery Battalion for firing 
their guns on Sunday morning, in answer to those from the 
Ontario and Woodbury, and thereby much alarm was caused 
to the families of those persons who were out all night pre- 
serving the peace of the city. Major C. Gaily, Commander 
of the battalion, resented this, called at the office and de 
manded the author's name ; that of Mr. P. Arpin was given to 
him, who was absent at the time. Some angry words then 
passed with one of the proprietors, and a challenge followed ; 
the friends of both parties tried to arrange the affair, but failed 
to do so. On Friday evening, about seven o'clock. Major 
Gaily met Mr. P. Arpin in Chatres Street, and accosted him. 
'Are you Mr. Arpin ? ' 

"'Yes, Sir.' 

" ' Then I have to tell you that you are a — ' (applying an 
appropriate epithet). 

" ' I shall remind you of your words, sir.' 

•' ' But I have said I would break my cane on your shoul- 

" ' I know it, but I have not 3-et received the blow.' 

" At these words, Major Gaily, having a cane in his hands, 
struck Mr. Arpin across the face, and the latter drew a poig- 
nard from his pocket and stabbed Major Gaily in the abdo- 

" Fears are entertained that the wound will be mortal. 
We imderstcwdthat Mr. Arpin has given security for his appear- 
ance at the Criminal Court to anszacr the cha?'ge.^' 

" Affray in Mississippi. 

" On the 27th ult., in an affray near Carthage, Lake county, 
Mississippi, between James Cottingham and John VVilburn, 
the latter was shot by the former, and so horribly wounded, 
that there was no hope of his recovery. On the 2d instant, 
there was an affray at Carthage between A. C. Sharkey and 


George Goff, in which the latter was shot, and thought mor- 
tally wounded. Sharkey delivered himself up to the author- 
ities, but changed his ??iind and escaped ! " 

" Persoiial E7icowife}\ 

" An encounter took place in Sparta, a few days since, 
between the barkeeper of an hotel, and a man named Bury. 
It appears that Bury had become somewhat noisy, ajid that 
the barkeeper, determined to preserve order, had threatened to 
shoot Bu7y, whereupon Bury drew a pistol and shot the bar- 
keeper down. He was not dead at the last accounts, but 
slight hopes were entertained of his recovery." 

" Duel 

" The clerk of the steamboat Tribune informs us that an- 
other duel was fought on Tuesday last, by Mr. Robbins, a 
bank ofhcer in Vicksburg, and Mr. Fall, the editor of the 
Vicksburg Sentinel. According to the arrangement, the 
parties had six pistols each, which after the word ' Fire ! ' 
they were to discharge as fast as they pleased. Fall fired two 
pistols without effect. Mr. Robbins' first shot took effect in 
Fall's thigh, who fell and was unable to continue the combat." 

" Affray in Clarke County. 

" An unfortunate affray occurred in Clarke county (Mo.), 
near Waterloo, on Tuesday the i9tii ult., which originated in 
settling the partnership concerns of Messrs. M'Kane and 
M'Allister, who had been engaged in the business of distilling, 
and resulted in the death of the latter, who was shot down by 
Mr. M'Kane, because of his attempting to take possession of 
seven barreis of whiskc}^, the property of M'Kane, which had 
been knocked off to M'Allister at a sheriff's sale at one dollar 
per barrel. M'Kane immediately lied and at the latest dates 
had not been taken. 

This unfortunate affray caused considerable excitement in 
the neighborhood, as both the parties were men with large 
families depending upon them and stood well in the com- 

I will quote but one more paragraph, which, by reason of 


its monstrous absurdity, may be a relief to these atrocious 

" Aj^air of Honor. 

" We have just heard the particulars of a meeting which 
took place on Six Mile Island, on Tuesday, between two 
young bloods of our city : Samuel Thurston, aged fifteen^ and 
William Hine, aged thirteen years. They were attended by 
young gentlemen of the same age. The weapons used on the 
occasion, were a couple of Dickson's best rifles ; the distance, 
thirty yards. They took one fire, without any damage being 
sustained by either party, except the ball of Thurston's gun 
passing through the crown of Hine's hat. Through the inter- 
cession of the Board of Hon or ^ the challenge was withdrawn, 
and the difference amicably adjusted." 

If the reader will picture to himself the kind of Board of 
Honor which amicably adjusted the difference between these 
two little boys, who in any other part of the world would have 
been amicably adjusted on two porters' backs and soundly 
flogged with Joirchen rods, he will be possessed, no doubt, 
with as strong a sense of its ludicrous character, as that which 
sets me laughing whenever its image rises up before me. 

Now, I appeal to every human mind, imbued with the 
commonest of common sense, and the commonest of common 
humanity; to all dispassionate, reasoning creatures, of any 
shade of opinion ; and ask, with these revolting evidences of 
the state of society which ^xists in and about the slave dis- 
tricts of America before them, can they have a doubt of the 
real condition of the slaves, or • can they for a moment make 
a compromise between the institution or any of its flagrant 
fearful features, and their own just consciences ? Will they 
say of any tale of cruelty and horror, however aggravated in 
degree, that it is improbable, vv^hen they can turn to the public 
prints, and, running, read such signs as these, laid before 
them by the men who rule the slaves : in their own acts and 
under their own hands ? 

Do we not know that the worst deformity and ugliness of 
slavery are at once the cause and the effect of the reckless 
license taken by these freeborn outlaws ? Do w^e not know 
that the man who has been born and bred among its wrongs ; 
who has seen in his childhood husbands obliged at the word 
of command to flog their wives; women, indecently compelled 


to hold up their own garments that men might lay the heavier 
stripes upon their legs, driven and harried by brutal overseers 
in their time of travail, and becoming mothers on the field of 
toil, under the very lash itself; who has read in 3^outh, and 
seen his virgin sisters read, descriptions of runaway men and 
women, and their disfigured persons, which could not be 
published elsewhere, of so much stock upon a farm, or at a 
show of beasts : — do we not know that that man, whenever 
his wrath is kindled up, will be a brutal savage ? ^ Do we not 
know that as he is a coward in his domestic life, stalking 
among his shrinking men and women slaves armed with his 
heavy whip, so he will be a coward out of doors, and carrying 
cowards' weapons hidden in his breast, will shoot men down and 
stab them when he quarrels ? And if our reason did not teach 
us this and much beyond ; if we were such idiots as to close 
our eyes to that line mode of training which rears up such 
men ; should we not know that they who among their equals 
stab and pistol in the legislative halls, and in the counting- 
house, and on the market-place, and in all the elsewhere 
peaceful pursuits of life, must be to their dependants, even 
though they were free servants, so many merciless and unre- 
lenting tyrants ? ' • 

What ! shall we declaim against the ignorant peasantry 
of Ireland, and mince the matter when these American task- 
masters are in question ? Shall we cry shame on the brutality- 
of those who ham-string cattle : and spare the lights of Free- 
dom upon earth who notch the ears of men and women, cut 
pleasant posies in the shrinking flesh, learn to write with pens 
of red-hot iron on the human face, rack their poetic fancies 
for liveries of mutilation which their slaves shall wear for life 
and carry to the grave, breaking living limbs as did the 
soldiery who mocked and slew the Saviour of the world, and 
set defenceless creatures up for targets ! Shall we whimper 
over legends of the tortures practised on each other by the 
Pagan Jndians, and smile upon the cruelties of Christian men ! 
Shall we, so long as these things last, exult above _ the scat- 
tered remnants of that race, and triumph in the white enjoy- 
ment of their possessions ? Rather, for me, restore the forest 
and the Indian village ; in lieu of stars and stripes, let some 
poor feather flutter in the breeze ; replace the streets and 
squares by wigwams ; and though the death-song of a hr.:::dred 
haughty warriors iill the air, it will be music to the shriek of 
one unhappy slave. 

8 f 6 '^ MERICA X NO TES. 

On one theme, which is commonly before our eyes, and 
in respect of which our national character is changing fast, 
let the plain Truth be spoken, and let us not, like dastards, 
beat about the bush by hinting at the Sp'aniard and the fierce 
Italian. When knives are drawn by Englishmen in conflict 
let it be said and known : " We owe this change to Republi- 
can Slavery. These are the weapons of Freedom. With 
sharp points and edges such as these. Liberty in America 
hews and hacks her slaves ; or, failing that pursuit, her sons 
devote them to a better use, and turn them on each other." 



There are many passages in this book, where I have been 
at some pains to resist the temptation of troubling my readers 
with my own deductions » and conclusions : preferring that 
they should judge for themselves, from such premises as I 
have laid before them. My only object in the outset, was, 

. to carry them with me faithfully wheresoever I went : and 
that task I have discharged. 

. But I may be pardoned, if on such a theme as the general 
character of the American people, and the general character 
of their social system, as presented to a stranger's eyes, I de- 
sire to express my own opinions in a few words, before I 
bring these volumes to a close. 

■ *■ They are, by nature, frank, brave, cordial, bospitable, and 
affectionate. Cultivation and refinement seem but to enhance 
their warmth of heart and ardent enthusiasm ; and it is the 
possession of these latter qualities in a most remarkable de- 
gree, which renders an educated American one of the most 
endearing and most generous of friends. I never was so won 
upon, as by this class ; never yielded up my full confidence 
and esteem so readily and pleasurably, as to them ; never can 
make again, in half-a-year, so many friends for whom I seem 

V to entertain the regard of half a life. 

These qualities are natural, I implicity believe, to the 
whole people. That they are, however, sadly sapped and 


blighted in their growth among the mass ; and that there are 
influences at work which endanger them still more, and give 
but little present promise of their healthy restoration ; is a 
truth that ought to be told. 

It is an essential part of every national character to pique 
itself mightily upon its faults, and to deduce tokens of its 
virtue or its wisdom from their very exaggeration. One great 
blemish in the popular mind of America, and the prolific 
parent of an innumerable brood of evils, is Universal Distrust. 
Yet the American citizen plumes himself upon this spirit, even 
when he is sufficiently dispassionate to perceive the ruin it 
works ; and will often adduce it, in spite of his own reason, 
as an instance of the great sagacity and acuteness of the peo- 
ple, and their superior shrewdness and independence. 

" You carry," says the stranger, '* this jealousy and dis- 
trust into every transaction of public life. By repelling 
worthy men from your legislative assemblies, it has bred up a 
class of candidates for the suffrage, who, in their every act, 
disgrace your Institutions and your people's choice. It has 
rendered you so fickle, and so given to change, that your in- 
constancy has passed into a proverb ; for you no sooner set 
up an idol firmly, than you are sure to pull it down and dash 
it into fragments : and this, because directly you reward a 
benefactor, or a public servant, you distrust him, merely be- 
cause he is rewarded ; and immediately apply yourselves to 
find out, either that you have been too bountiful in your ac- 
knowledgments, or he remiss in his deserts. Any man who 
attains a high place among you, from the President down- 
v/ards, may date his downfall from that moment ; for any 
printed lie that any notorious villain pens, although it militate 
directly against the character and conduct of a life, appeals 
at once to your distrust, and is believed. You will strain at 
a gnat in the way of trustfulness and confidence, however 
fairly won and well deserved ; but you will swallow a whole 
caravan of camels, if they be laden with unworthy doubts and 
mean suspicions. Is this well, think you, or likely to elevate 
the character of the governors or the governed, among you ? " 

The answer is invariably the same : " There's freedom of 
opinion here, you know. Every man thinks for himself, and 
we are not to be easily overreached. That's how our people 
come to be suspicious." 

Another prominent feature 1.3 the love of '' smart " deal- 
ing which gilds over many a swindle and gross breach of 


8 1 8 A ME RICA N A 'O TES. 

trust ; many a defalcation, public and private ; and ei^ables 
many a knave to hold his head up with the best, who well de- 
serves a halter; though it has not been without its retributive 
operation, for this smartness has done more in a few years to 
impair the public credit, and to cripple the public resources, 
than dull honesty, however rash, could have effected in a cen- 
tury. The merits of a broken speculation, or a bankruptcy, 
or of a successful scoundrel, are not gauged by its or his ob- 
servance of the golden rule, " Do as you would be done by," 
but are considered with reference to their smartness. I recol- 
lect, on both occasions of our passing that ill-fated Cairo on 
the Mississippi, remarking on the bad effects such gross de- 
ceits must have when they exploded, in generating a want of 
confidence abroad, and discouraging foreign investment : but 
I was given to understand that this was a very smart scheme 
by which a deal of m^ey had been made : and that its smart- 
est feature was, that they forgot these things abroad, in a 
ver)' short time, and speculated again, as freely as ever. 
The following dialogue I have held a hundred times : *' Is it 
not a very disgraceful circ\imstance that such a man as So 
and So should be acquiring a large property by the most 
infamous and odious means, and notwithstanding all the 
crimes of which he has been guilty, should be tolerated and 
abetted by your Citizens ? He is a public nuisance, is he 
not.? " Yes," sir." " A convicted liar ? " " Yes, sir." " He 
has been kicked, and cuffed, and caned ? " '' Y'es, sir." 
" And he is utterly dishonorable, debased, and profligate ? " 
"Yes, sir." "In the name of wonder, then, what is his 
merit? " " Well, sir, he is a smart man." 

In like manner, all kinds of deficient and impolitic usages 
are referred to the national love of trade ; though, oddly 
enough, it would be a weighty charge against a foreigner that 
he regarded the Americans as a trading people. The love of 
trade is assigned as a reason for that comfortless custom, so 
very prevalent in country towns, of married persons living in 
hotels, having no fireside of their own, and seldom meeting 
from early morning until late at night, but at the hasty public 
meals. The love of trade is the reason why the literature of 
America is to remain for ever unprotected : " For we are a 
trading people, and don't care for poetry ; " though we do, by 
the way, profess to be very proud of our poets : while health- 
ful amusements,, cheerful means of recreation, and wholesome 
fancies, must fade before the stern utilitarian joys of trade. 

cojVcl udinc rem a RK-S. 8 1 9 

These three characteristics are strongly presented at 
every turn, full in the stranger's view. But, the foul growth 
of America has a more tangled root than this ; and it strikes 
its fibres, deep in its licentious Press. 

Schools may be erected, East, West, North, and South ; 
pupils be taught, and masters reared, by scores upon scores 
of thousands ; colleges may thrive, churches may be crammed, 
temperance may be diffused, and advanx^ing knowledge in all 
other forms walk through the land with giant strides : but 
while the newspaper press of America is in, or near, its pres- 
ent abject state, high 'moral improvement in that country is 
hopeless. Year by year, it must and will go back ; year by 
year, the tone of public feeling must sink lower down ; year 
by year, the Congress and the Senate must become of less 
account before all decent men ; and year by year, the memory 
of the Great Fathers of the Revolution must be outraged 
more and more, in the bad life of their degenerate child. 

Among the herd of journals which are published in the 
States, there are some, the reader scarcely need be told, of 
character and credit. From personal intercourse with accom- 
pHshed gentlemen connected with publications of this class, I 
have derived both pleasure and profit. But the name o^ 
these is Few, and of the others Legion ; and the influence of 
the good, is powerless to counteract the moral poison of the 

Among the gentry of America ; among the well-informed 
and moderate : in the learned professions ; at the bar and at 
the bench : there is, as there can be, but one opinion, in refer- 
ence to the vicious character of these infamous journals. It 
is sometimes Contended — I will not say strangely, for it is 
natural to seek excuses for such a disgrace — that their influ- 
ence is not so great as a visitor would suppose. I must be 
pardoned for saying that there is no warrant for this plea, and 
that every fact and circumstance tends directly to the opposite 

When any man, of any grade of desert in intellect or char- 
acter, can climb to any public distinction, no matter what, in 
America, without first grovelling down upon the earth, and 
bending the knee before this monster of depravity ; when any 
private excellence is safe from its attacks ; when any social 
confidence if left unbroken by it, or any tie of social decency 
and honor is held in the least regard ; when any man in that 
free country has freedom of opinion, and presumes to think 

8 2 A. M ERICA . \ ' . \ 'O TES. 

lor himself, and speak for himself, vvithout humble reference 
to a censorship which, for its rampant ignorance and base 
(Hshonesty, he utterly loathes and despises in his heart ; when 
those who most acutely feel its infamy and the reproach it 
casts upon the nation, and who most denounce it to each 
other, dare to set their heels upon, and crush it openly, in the 
.^ ight of all men : then, I will believe that its influence is les- 
rening, and men are returning to their manly senses. But 
while that Press has its evil eye in every house, and its black 
hand in every appointment in the stat^ from a president to a 
postman ; while, with ribald slander for its only stock in trade, 
it is the standard literature of an enormous class, who must 
find their reading in a newspaper, or they will not read at all ; 
so long must its odium be upon the country's head, and so 
long must the evil it works, be plainly visible in the Republic. 

To those M'ho are accustomed to the leading English jour- 
nals, or to the respectable journals of the Continent of 
Europe ; to those who are accustomed to anything else in 
print and paper ; it would be impossible, without an amount 
of extract for which I have neither space nor inclination, to 
convey an adequate idea of this frightful engine in America. 
But if any man desire confirmation of my statement on this 
head, jet him repair to anyplace in this city of London, where 
scattered numbers of these publications are to be found ; and 
there, let him form his own opinion.* 

It would be well, there can be no doubt, for the American 
people as a whole, if they loved the Real less, and the Ideal 
somewhat more. It would be v/ell, if there were greater en- 
couragement, to lightness of heart and gayety, and a wider 
cultivation of what is beautiful, without being eminently and 
directly useful. But here, I think the general remonstrance, 
"we are a new country," which is so often advanced as an 
excuse for defects which are quite unjustifiable, as being, of 
right, only the slow growth of an old one, may be very rea- 
sonably urged : and I yet hope to hear of there being some 
other national amusement in the United States, besides nev/s- 
paper politics. 

They certainly are not a humorous people, and their tem- 
perament always impressed me as being of a dull and gloomy 

* Note to the Original Edition. — Or let him refer to an able, and perfectly 
truthful article, in The Foreign Quarterly Review, publisiied in the present month of 
October ; to whicli my attention has been attracted, since these sheets have been passing 
through the press. He will find some specimens there, by no means remarkable to any 
man who has been in Ameri«a, but sufficiently striking to'one who has not. 


character. In shrewdness of remark, and a certain cast-iron 
quaintness, the Yankees, or people of New England, unques- 
tionably take the lead ; as they do in most other evidences 
of intelligence. But in travelling about, out of the large 
cities — as I have remarked in former parts of these volumes 
— I was quite oppressed by the prevailing seriousness and 
melancholy air of business : which was so general and un- 
varying, that at every new town I came to, I seemed to meet 
the very same people whom I had left behind me, at the last. 
Such defects as are perceptible in the national manners, 
seem, to me, to be referable, in a great degree, to this cause : 
which has generated a dull, sullen persistence in course 
usages, and rejected the graces of life as undeserving of at- 
tention. There is no doubt that Washington, who was always 
most scrupulous and exact on points of ceremony, perceived 
the tendency towards this mistake, even in his time, and did 
his utmost to correct it. 

I cannot hold with other writers on these subjects that 
the prevalence of various forms of dissent in America, is in 
any way attributable to the non-existence there of an estab- 
lished church : indeed, I think the temper of the people, if it 
admitted of such an Institution being founded amongst them, 
would lead them to desert it, as a matter of course, merely 
because it 7i>as established. But, supposing it to exist, I 
doubt its probable efficacy in summoning the wandering sneep 
to one great fold, simply because of the immense amount of 
dissent which prevails at home ; and because I do not find in 
America any one form of religion with which we in Europe, or 
even in England, are unacquainted. Dissenters resort thither 
in great numbers, as other people do, simply because it is a 
land of resort : and great settlements of them are founded, 
because ground can be purchased, and towns and villages 
reared, where there were none of the human creation before. 
But even the Shakers emigrated from England ; our country 
is not unknown to Mr. Joseph Smith, the apostle of Mormon- 
ism, or to his benighted discijDles ; I have beheld religious 
scenes myself in some of our populous towns which can 
hardly be surpassed by an American camp-meeting ; and I 
am not aware that any instance of superstitious imposture on 
the one hand, and superstitious credulity on the other, has 
had its origin in the United States, which we cannot more 
than parallel by the precedents of Mrs. Southcote, Mary 
Tofts the rabbit-breeder, or even Mr. Thorn of Canterbury ; 


which latter case arose, some time after the dark ages had 
passed away. 

Tlie RepubUcan Institutions of America undoubtedly lead 
the people to assert their self-respect and their equality ; but 
a traveller is bound to bear those Institutions in his mind, 
and not hastily to resent the near approach of a class oi 
strangers, who, at home, would keep aloof. This characteris- 
tic, when it was tinctured with no foolish pride, and stopped 
short of no honest service, never offended me ; and I very 
seldom, if ever, experienced its rude or unbecoming display. 
Once or twice it was comically developed, as in the following 
case ; but this was an amusing incident, and not the rule, or 
near it. 

I wanted a pair of boots at a certain town, for I had none 
to travel in, but those with the memorable cork soles, which 
were much too hot for the fiery decks of a steamboat. I 
therefore sent a message to an artist in boots, importing, with 
.my compliments, that I should be happy to see him, if he 
would do me the polite favor to call. He very kindly re- 
turned for answer, that he would "look round " at six o'clock 
that evening. 

I was lying on the sofa, with a book and a wineglass, at 
about that time, when the door opened, and a gentleman in a 
stiff cravat, within a year or two on either side of thirty, en- 
tered, in his hat and gloves ; walked up to the looking-glass \ 
arranged his hair ; took off his gloves ; slowly produced a 
nieasure from the uttermost depths of his coat pocket ; and 
requested me, in a languid tone, to " unfix '' my straps. I 
complied, but looked with some curiosity at his hat, which 
was still upon his head. It might have been that, or it might 
have been the heat — but he took it ofif. Then, he sat himself 
down on a chair opposite to me ; rested an arm on each 
knee ; and, leaning forward very much, took from the ground, 
by a great effort, the specimen of metropolitan workmanship 
which I had just pulled off : whistling, pleasantly, as he did 
so. He turned it over and over ; surveyed it with a contempt 
no language can express ; and inquired if I wished him to fix 
me a boot like that'l I courteously replied, that provided 
the boots were large enough, I would leave the rest to him ; 
that if convenient and practicable, I should not object to their 
bearing some resemblance to the model then before him ; but 
that I would be entirely guided by, and would beg to leave 
the whole subject to, his judgment and discretion. '" You 


an't partickler, about this scoop in the heel, I suppose then ? " 
says he : ''we don't foller that, here." I rej^eated my last 
observation. He looked at himself in the glass again ; went 
closer to it to dash a grain or two of dust out of the corner of 
his eye \ and settled his cravat. All this time, my leg and 
foot were in the air. " Nearly ready, sir ? " I inquired 
" Well, pretty nigh," he said; "keep steady." I keep as 
steady as I could, both in foot and face ; and having by this 
time got the dust out, and found his pencil-case, he measured 
me, and made the necessary notes. When he had finished, 
he fell into his old attitude, and taking up the boot again, 
mused for some time. " And this," he said, at last, " is an 
English boot, is it ? Thii is a London boot, eh ? " " That, 
sir," I replied, " is a London boot." He mused over it again, 
after the manner of Hamlet with Yorick's skull ; nodded his 
head, as who should say, " I pity the Institutions that led to 
the production of this boot ! " ; rose ; put up his pencil, notes, 
and paper — glancing at himself in the glass, all the time — put 
on his hat ; drew on his gloves very slowly ; and finally walked 
out. Wlien he had been gone about a minute, the door re- 
opened, and his hat and his head reappeared. He looked 
round the room, and at the boot again, which was still lying 
on the floor ; appeared thoughtful for a minute ; and then 
said " Well, good arternoon." " Good afternoon, sir," said 
I : and that was the end of the interview. 

There is but one other head on which I wish to offer a 
remark ; and that has reference to the public health. In so 
vast a country, where there are thousands of millions of acres 
of land yet unsettled and uncleared, and on every rood of 
which, vegetable decomposition is annually taking place ; 
where there are so many great rivers, and such opposite vari- 
eties of climate ; there cannot fail to be a great amount of 
sickness at certain seasons. But I may venture to say. after 
conversing with many members of the medical profession in 
America, that 1 am not singular in the opinion that much of 
the disease which does prevail, might be avoided, if a few 
common precautions were observed. Greater means of per- 
sonal cleanliness, are indispensable to this end ; the custom 
of hastily swallowing large quantities of animal food, three 
times a-day, and rushing back to sedentary pursuits after each 
meal, must be changed ; the gentler sex must go more wisely 
clad, And take more healthful exercise ; and in the latter 
clause, the males must be includcfl also. Above all, in public 

824 ^ ME RICA N NO TES. 

institutions, and throughout the whole of every town and city, 
the system of ventilation, and drainage, and removal of im- 
purities requires to be thoroughly revised. Thero is no local 
Legislature in America which may not study Mr. Chadwick's 
excellent Report upon the Sanitary Condition of our Labor- 
ing Classes, with immense advantage. 

I have now arrived at the close of this bool^. I have 
little reason to believe, from certain warnings I have had 
since I returned to England, that it will be tenderly or favor- 
ably received by the American people ; and as I have written 
the Truth in relation to the mass of those who form their 
judgments and express their opinir>ns, it will be seen that I 
have no desire to court, by any adventitious means, the pop- 
ular applause. 

It is enough for me, to know, that what I have set down 
in these pages, cannot cost me a single friend on the other 
side of the Atlantic, who is, in anything, deserving of the 
name. For the rest, I put my trust, implicitly, in the spirit in 
which they have been conceived and penned ; and I can bide 
my time. 

I have made no reference to my reception, nor have I suf- 
fered it to influence me in what I have written ; for, in either 
case, I should have ofTered but a sorry acknowledgment, 
compared with that I bear within my breast, towards those 
partial readers of piy former books, across the Water, who 
met me with an open hand, and not with one that closed upon 
an iron muzzle. 



At a Public Dinner given to me on Saturday, the rStli of 
xA.pril, 1868, in the City of New York, by two hundred repre- 
sentatives of the Press of the United States of America, I 
made the following observations among others : — 

" So much of my voice has lately been heard in the land, 
that I might have been contented with troubling you no fur- 
ther from my present standing-point, were it not a duty with 
which I henceforth charge myself, not only here, but on every 
suitable occasion, whatsoever and wheresoever, to express my 
high and grateful sense of my second reception in America, 
and to bear my honest testimony to the national generosity 
and magnanimity. Also, to declare how astounded I have 
been by the amazing changes I have seen around me on every 
side, — changes moral, changes physical, changes in the 
amount of land subdued and peopled, changes in the rise of 
vast new cities, changes in the growth of older cities almost 
out of recognition, changes in the graces and amenities of life, 
changes in the Press, without whose advancement no advance- 
ment can take place anywhere. Nor am I, believe me, so 
arrogant as to suppose that in five-and-twenty years there 
have been no changes in me, and that I had nothing to learn 
and no extreme expressions to correct when I was here first. 
And this brings me to a point on which I have, ever since I 
landed in the United States last November, observed a strict 
silence, though sometimes tempted to break it, but in refer- 
ence to which I will, with your good leave, take you into my 
confidence now. Even the Press, being human, may be some- 
times mistaken or misinformed, and I rather think that ! have 
in one or two rare instances observed its mfcrmaiio:v to be 
not strictly accurate with reference to myself. Indeed, X 


-.5 rosj^scAvri: 

have, now and again, been more surprised by printed news 
that I liave read of myself, than by any printed news that I 
have ever read in my present state of existence. Thus, the 
vigor and perseverance with which I have for some nionths past 
been collecting materials for, and hammering away at, a new 
book on America has much astonished me ; seeing that all that 
time my declaration has been perfectly well known to my pub- 
lishers on both sides of the Atlantic, that no consideration on 
earth wolfld induce me to write one. But what I have in- 
tended, what I have resolved upon (and this is the confidence 
I seek to place in you) is, on my return to England, in my 
own person, in my own Journal, to bear, for the behoof of my 
countrymen, such testimony to the gigantic changes in this 
country as I have hinted at to-night. Also, to record that 
wherever I have been, in the smallest places equally with the 
largest, I have been received with unsurpassable politeness, 
delicacy, sweet temper, hospitality, consideration, and with 
unsurpassable respect for the privacy daily enforced upon me 
by the nature of my avocation here, and the state of my 
health. This testimony, so long as I live, and so long as my 
descendants have any legal right in my books, I shall cause 
to be republished, as an appendix to every copy of those two 
books of mine in which I have referred to America. And 
this I will do and cause to be done, not in mere love and 
thankfulness, but because I regard it as an act of plain justice 
and honor." 

r said these words with the greatest earnestness that I 
could lay upon them, and I repeat them in print here with 
equal earnestness. So long as this book shall last, I hope 
that they will form a part of it, and wall be fairly read as in* 
separable from my experiences and impressions of America. 

Charles Dickens. 
May, 1868. 






TIN-WA , . 





The demands now made hy an educated musical public are so 
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Pricesas reasonableasconsistent 
tyith the Highest Standard. 


l49tQ 155 East 14th St.,N.Y. 

hat constitutes the perfect piano, and it li 
^iven the SOHMER itslionorable positioi 



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More Words About the Bible 29 


Nimport, Part 1 15 

Part II 15 

Tritons , Part 1 15 

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Partll 10 

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Irene, or the Lonely Manor 20 


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Pickwick Papers, Parti 20 

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A Marriage in High Life 20 

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L' Abbe Constantin 20 

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Money 10 

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The Berber 20 

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The Rig it and W^rong Usee of the 
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Harry Holbrooke 20 

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