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. • • • 




' • 

Baggage & Boots ; 




$hh'iy-ni»a Xllu$i>|diion$. 





In the following pages I have endeavoured to give a brief 
sketch of a tour in the United States of America^ together with 
some description of the peculiarities (from an Englishman's 
point of view), in the hotels, modes of conveyance, travelling, 
manners and customs, <&c., of our American Cousins. 

It is hoped that the younger members of society, for whom 
the narrative has chiefly been written, will find much in it to 
interest, instruct and amuse ; and if they will take the trouble 
to follow the course of our Tourist on a good map, cannot fail to 
add to their geographical knowledge. Geography learnt in this 
way, i.e,f associating the localities with a good descriptive 
narrative of actual personal experience, is probably more firmly 
fixed in the memory, than in any other, with perhaps the single 
exception of visiting the places one's-self; while certainly the 
former has the advantage of being by far the cheapest mode of 
the two. 

The description of some of the great American high and 



low pressuie rivei steamboats, also of the telegraph, telephone, 
and fire-engine arrangements, will, I hope, prove of general 
interest. Possibly in Ho one thing is the difference between the 
English and the Americans so marked, as in our respective rail- 
road arrangements, and as this is a subject in which so many 
take an interest, I hope the reader will forgive the large 
amount of space I have> devoted to it, and things incidental 
thereto, such as the American system of jobbing railroad 
tickets, known as " Scalping." Should any of my readers be 
contemplating taking a trip across the Atlantic themselves, the 
information on the above subjects, together with that concern- 
ing the hotel accommodation and charges, the time occupied on 
various journeys, fiares, &c., will, I trust, prove of advantage 
to them. 

Some of the illustrations have appeared previously in 
" Picturesque America '* ; and are reproduced here by permission 
of the publishers of that work. 

A wprd of explanation ought perhaps to be given with regard 
to the title selected for this book. Sometimes a very small thing 
is capable of causing a great amount of vexation. The two 
things that annoyed our Tourist, more possibly than anything 
else, were, the great nuisance he found it, to be encumbered 


with more luggage than he could cany in his hand — in America 
invariably called " baggage" — and the price expected by the 
street shoeblacks — over there called " shiners '* — for their work. 
Of course these charges form but a small item in the cost of a 
lengthy tour ; but sometimes little things of this kind cause as 
much annoyance and irritation, as some far more substantial 

A. B. 


June, 1883. 




































"scalpers" — CHICAGO, cUioS ** PORCOPOLIS " — PIG-KILLING 





















. 269 

. 273 

. 287 
. 295 
. 30O 
. 310 
. 314 
. 335 
. 341 
. 343 
. 345 
. 347 
. 351> 
. 384 







Which tells how Smith came to go — He loses his situation —Is nn- 
successfol in obtaining another — ^Visits his friend Will Brown, 
who advises him to take an American tour — Determines to go^ 
Engages a berth on Ocean Steamer — General preparations. 

SMITH! felt in an awfully bad humour, and dis- 
inclined to be sociable and agreeable with anybody 
or anything. The fact was, he was out of a situation, 
and was learning by aggravating experience that 
^^remunerative situations are more easily lost than 
obtained.^ ^ 

Every day thousands of men and women, and younger 
persons too, are finding out the truth of this statement, 
and with very many their troubles are embittered by 
the consciousness that it is entirely through their own 
fault that they have lost their previous engagements, 
and are now wearing out feet and shoe-leather, brains 

and temper, in their search for another. 


10 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

With Smith, however, this was not the ckse. Although, 
hke most other people, he had had many things to 
put up with that he did not like, he had long ago 
determined that it should have to be something very- 
serious indeed amiss before he would take umbrage 
at it, as he thoroughly believed in the truth of the old 
proverb which advises people not to quarrel with their 
1)read and butter. 

For all that, he was quite alive to better his position, 
and always on the look out with that end in view, but 
was nevertheless determined not to leave his employment 
of his own accord until he had the definite offer of a 
better one. 

Notwithstanding all this our friend was out of a 
situation. To do him justice it was through no fault of 
his own. It came about through the large commercial 
house, in whose service he had been for several years, 
failing in business. In consequence, the employees, high 
and low, one and all, received notice that their valued 
services were no longer required ; and our friend Smith 
had, of course, to depart with the rest. 

Since then, for some weeks, he had been seeking 
another appointment, but it seemed a futile undertaking. 
Each day he returned to his apartments with the word 
^^Disappointment" plainly marked upon his brow. 
Every morning he searched the columns of " Situations 
Vacant " in the daily papers. Wherever he applied 
personally he foimd dozens of others, each eager after 
the place ; some of them, even in spite of a good 
education (which used thirty years ago to be considered 
the un&iling stepping-stone to success), evidently so 

Smith's First Peep at America. 11 

very hard up that they would gladly accept anything ; 
even at a remuneration so small that it would go but 
little further than providing them with a good meal to 
comfort them internally and a new suit of clothes to 
comfort them without. 

Smith, who had of late been receiving a very respect- 
able salary, soon grew tired of applying after places 
where he saw so many others waiting for an " interview,'* 
as, even when he was in eyeiy other respect fiilljr 
qaalified to undertake the duties required, he was in- 
variably underbid as regards remuneration by others 
more hungry than himself; who had never laid by 
against a rainy day ; perhaps had never had a chance 
of doing so. 

Many of the advertisements read, " Apply by letter 
only, stating full particulars" — "No personal applications 
attended to," &c., &c. Even in answering these Smith 
was no more successful. 

To some seventy-seven letters he wrote,he only received 
answers from three. The first offered a salary of just one 
fourth the amount he had recently been receiving 5 the 
second less still, the advertiser at the same time intima- 
ting that he had received over a hundred applications 
for the vacancy, and that the remuneration he named 
would command the markets considering the very de- 
pressed state of trade, &c. With the third there was 
no such difficulty as regards wages, as that was put at 
a very tempting figure. The objection here rose from 
quite another cause. The letter stated that Messrs. Try- 
it-on. Catch & Bolt, wanted a gentleman for a place 
of great responsibility, previous knowledge of the 

12 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

business was nofc necessary, but as ifc was a place of 
trust they required a small deposit of £200 to be 
placed in their hands as a security. Smith, however, 
had earned his money slowly, and did not feel inclined 
to deposit £200 of it in anybody's hands as a security 
against defalcations, until he had satisfied himself that 
the parties he deposited it with were not themselves 

Although well acquainted (by name at least) with 
most of the city houses he did not remember ever 
having heard of Messrs. Try-it-on, Catch & Bolt, 
so turned to find the name in the London Directory ; 
but he searched in vain, for that firm had only taken a 
single room on the 3rd floor of a building of city oflSces 
the day they inserted the advertisement which brought 
them in communication with our friend. 

There was one more resource left open to Smith, viz. 
to advertise for a situation, which he did. The result, 
however, was much about the same. To a series of ex- 
pensive advertisements he only obtained six answers, 
five of them from agents requesting particulars of his 
requirements for insertion in their books, the other from 
the proprietor of a small grocery shop, trying to increase 
his trade by calling the place a co-operative store, 
which, however, was merely the private adventure of a 
small tradesman already on the verge of bankruptcy. 
As he did not know this at first, he went to the 
^' manager " (?) and learnt that the hours of business at 
the " store" were from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays till 
midnight ; and that the wages paid were in inverse 
ratio to the time and labour expected of the assistants. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. .13 

He could not submit to those terms, so wished the 
proprietor " Good-day," and walked out 

And so at the end of April he found himself just 
where he was two months before, so far at least as 
obtaining remunerative employment went. 

We commenced by stating that Smith was in an 
awfully bad humour ; and so indeed ho was ; as he 
walked slowly home from the interview with the 
" manager " of the "store "just alluded to, soliloquising 
by the way on the dulness of trade and things in general, 
and on bis own misfortunes in particular. 

On arriving at his apartments, he found a letter 
waiting for him, which proved to be an invitation from 
an old schoolfellow, William Brown, urging him to 
come round and spend the evening at his house. At 
first he felt little inclined to do so ; but, on second con- 
sideration, he thought that possibly his friend might 
have heard of a vacant situation that he wished to tell 
him about ; so he determined to go. 

On reaching Mr. Brown's house, his friend opened 
the door to him, himself. " Well, John, old chap, how 
pale you look ; here, let me hang your hat and coat up. 
Now, step into the parlour. I'm afraid you're not well." 

^* No, indeed, I know I am not in my temper — ^that 
is very bad indeed." 

" How comes that about ? " laughingly said his friend. 

'^ Why ! through trudging one's legs ofi^, and wearing 
one's fingers and brains out, answering useless adver- 

" Is that conducive to a bad temper? " asked Brown. 

"Indeed, Will, it is," replied Smith, "and if you ever 

14. Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

go through the same experiences that I have had daring 
the last eight weeks^ pardon my saying^ I think that 
you, or any one else, would catch the disease." 

'' Well, perhaps I should, but now I have a sugges- 
tion to make." 

" Oh I I am glad of that," he said, brightening up. 
*^ What is it ? Have you heard of anything you think 
might suit me ? " 

*^ No, it is not that ; and even if I had, you do not 
seem to me to be in a fit state of health to do anything. 
My idea is that you should give up all thoughts of 
looking for a situation, for the present, while trade 
continues in such a depressed state, and in the meantime 
take a tour through the United States and Canada, the 
same as I did a few years ago." 

" Oh, but look at the expense." 

" The cost will not ruin you. It is not a tour that you 
will be wanting to take every year ; and even if it was, 
you might not be in a position to do so. You would, in 
all probability, be engaged in business, and unable to 
leave for several months right off. Or you might have 
entered into the state of matrimonial bliss, as I have 
now done ; in which case you would find the expense 
vastly increased were you to take your wife and family, 
and perhaps after all they would not care to go." 

"Well, I should enjoy the trip, I'm certain of 

*^ Yes, indeed, old boy, I know you would ; and 
while you are away I will keep a good look out ; and 
if I see anything going in your line, I will endeavour to 
secure it for you till you come back." 

SmitKs First Peep at Afnerica. 15 

" Many thanks, Will ; you're a right down good old 
friend to me." 

" And when you get back trade will be better ; and 
the remuneration better ; and your health better ; and 
the bad temper you complained of — ^well ! I don't know 
about that, as on that score you appear to me to be well 

And so it was definitely arranged that Smith should 
leave ofi^ searching the daily papers for vacant situations, 
and instead, set to work and make the necessary prepa- 
rations incident to a four-months' tour, away from 

One of the first things he had to do was to engage a 
berth on one of the Ocean Steamers crossing the 
Atlantic. A choice of routes presented themselves. He 
could start either from London, Southampton, Bristol, 
Liverpool, or Glasgow ; and could select, as his port of 
entry into the New World, either Quebec, St. John's, 
Halifax, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore. 

The largest and most superbly-fitted passenger 
steamers afloat sail between Liverpool and New York ; 
and as Smith thought it probable he might never go 
again, he made up his mind to pay the highest price, 
and cross in one of the best. He chose the White Star 
Line ; and called at the London ofiice to select a berth 
in their vessel, sailing the following week. To his 
astonishment he found that all the best rooms had 
already been taken, and that in order to secure a good 
one by any of the leading lines, it is necessary to book 
your berth a month or fo in advance. 

As Smith was going entirely for pleasure, there was 

16 Baggage and Boots ; or 

no necessity for him to cross on that particular date ; so, 
instead of taking a berth he felt sure he would not like, 
he postponed the date of his departure a week or two, 
and selected a berth on the "Britannic," whose 
departure was fixed for the following Thursday three- 

Besides calling at the steamboat office, he had also to 
visit his hosier, boot-maker, hatter, and tailor ; 
cautioning the latter, in particular, that he wanted 
some clothing of the lightest possible description, as, 
although the winter in the northern states is so rigorous, 
the heat in summer is far greater than anything 
experienced in England. 

During the interval that elapsed between finally 
deciding upon taking the tour and actually starting, 
Smith called several times upon his friend William 
Brown, as he was naturally anxious to obtain from 
him any information that might prove of service, and 
which his friend was of course very willing to impart 
Among other things he recommended him to take a 
folding-cane, or carpet-garden chair, for use on the 
ocean voyage, and which he would have no trouble 
with while touring from place to place in the States, as 
on arrival at New York he need not take it from the 
quay, as he could book it there, and leave it with the 
company, who would take care of it until he returned, 
free of charge. At Brown's suggestion also, before the 
day of sailing came, he called at the Bank, and obtained 
through the manager a Banker's circular letter of 
credit, so as to be able to draw small sums of money 
from difibrent banks in the various American cities 

'Smithes First Peep at America. 17 

he purposed visiting, as he shonld require it. This 

arrangement obviated the undesirable necessity of 

carrying large sums of money about with him when 


« « « « 

In the following chapters we will describe Smith's 
adventures, and the impressions that his American 
tour made upon him in his own words, as related to 
the author by him on his return to England. 



at last— Easton iSqaare — Prince's Landing Stage, Liver pool — Ocean 
Steamer, ''Britannic"— Reception of saloon passengers — ^Adiea 

to friends — Smith and his ** Compagnonde voyage" introduce 
themselves to each other — American cutlery — The first meal — 
Seats at Table — Arrangement of state-rooms and sleepine berths 
— Robinson's tequest, as he sleeps in the lower berth — Noise of 
machinery — Breakfast — Queenstown Harbour — Waiting for the 
Mail from London — It arrives, and moi'e passengers — The 
** Britannic " departs. 

I'' HE day of departure arrived in due course. After 
- breakfast I settled up with my landlady, and entered 
the cab which the servant-girl had called from a 
neighbouring rank. My luggage consisted of two 
portmanteaux^ and the steamer chair (that I had been 
ad^ised to take). 

As the cab drove off Mrs. Brown waved a last good- 
bye, and twenty minutes later I found myself at Euston 
Square Terminus. A six hours' train ride landed me 
at Lime-street Station, Liverpool; and another cab 
ride of ten or twelve minutes conveyed me to the 
Prince's Landing Stage. This, together with the 
adjoining St. George's Stage, forms the longest and 
largest floating stage in the world. 

Several ocean steamers were lying in the stream, all 
about to sail with the tide. The steam tenders of the 
various companies were moored along the Prince's 
Landing Stage waiting to convey passengers and their 
luggage to their respective ships. Punctually to time 




i 1 


Smith's First Peep at America, 21 

one of the " White Star" Company's tenders left the 
wharf with their passengers and friends, the luggage 
following in another. The " Britannic " looked very 
grand as she lay in the river; so majestic and motionless, 
that it seemed impossible that any sea, however stormy, 
could have much effect on her. 

The steerage passengers, numbering several hundreds, 
were already there, they having been conveyed on board 
some hours before. The ship's officers were standing 
near the gangway to receive the passengers as they came 
on deck, and stepped forward and fc^hook hands with 
several they recognised as having crossed with them 

The two dozen or so stewards all looked very prim, 
in their dark blue suits, with gilt buttons, as they stood 
in single file all together, drawn up in regimental order. 
The passengers for the most part made at once for the 
companion way, and down stairs ; and after a peep at 
the grand saloon, went off in search of their various 
state-rooms in order to dispose of small handbags, 
umbrellas, &c., out of the way. 

In about ten minutes a bell rang for those who had 
only come to see friends off to return to the tender ; 
and in a few minutes more they were conveyed back to 
the shore. 

It took nearly an hour to get all the luggage on deck, 
from off the other tender; the last being put on board a 
few minutes after five, when the signal was immediately 
given to steam ahead slowly. 

Soon after starting I went below, and found that the 
childr^, among the passengers, and their attendants 

22 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

were having their evening meal. At 5.30 p.m. a gong 
was sounded for the other passengers to prepare for 
dinner ; so I went to my state-room^ as I was wanting 
to have a good wash after my long railway journey. 
I was also anxious to ascertain who my " compagnon de 
voyage " was to he^ as each state-room has at the least 
two berths in it, so that unless you have a friend with 
you, or pay a fare and a half to secure the room to y oar- 
self, you have to share it with a stranger ; and the 
comfort of the voyage depends very much on what sort 
of person he happens to be, and whether he is a good 
sailor, or given to '^ malrde~mer,^^ 

Since I first peeped into my room on coming on board, 
someone else had evidently been there, for I now found 
in the lower berth a leather hat-box, and a small 
travelling box, both labelled, " J. H. Robinson, 
Sheffield." While I was arranging things in general, 
and my own toilet in particular, a gentleman peeped in 
at the door. 

"Mr. Robinson, I presume," I said. 

" Yes, that is my name, how did you know ?" 

" Why, I see it there, on your luggage, and since you 
and I have got to share the same cabin together for the 
next ten days, whether we like each other or not, I 
think we had better shake hands and be friends at once." 

" With all my heart." 

" I see your luggage is marked * Sheffield :' lUved in 
Sheffield, for a short time, some few years ago ; are you 
in business there ?" 

" Not for myself, I am traveUing for a cutlery firm 

Smithes First Peep at America. 23 

"Why, is there much English cutlery sold in the 
States ?" 

" Yes, a good deal." 

" Why, I thought the Yankees were so clever that 
they cut us out of the market altogether, with their 
hatchet heads, and the Uke." 

" Oh well, I don't know. It is table cutlery, almost 
exclusively, that our firm goes in for, and if you come 
across a dinner knife at any of the hotels there that will 
cut, you may be sure it comes from England. Why, 
you might just as well try to shave with a wooden 
razor as to cut hot bread, or even meat, with an 
American made knife." 

'^ Well, I should not have thought it." 

" But I am hindering you, and as there is not room in 
this scrap of a cabin for both of us to dress at the same 
time, I will leave you now and return again in a few 

The ship's purser appointed the passengers their 
seats at table. Of course he did his best to accommo- 
date those who had a preference for any particular seat. 
The passengers keep the same seat at each meal during 
the voyage. As I had never been on an ocean voyage 
before, and did not know how I should stand it, I 
selected a seat as near the centre of the ship as I could. 
1 thought that, if the ship rolled much, I should have 
less motion to withstand there than at the side of the 
vessel. I also chose a seat at the end of one of the 
tables, near one of the doors of the saloon, in order that 
I might slip out and on deck easily, should I be com- 
pelled to do so. I found, however, that there was no 


Baggage and Boots ; or. 

need to select an end seat in order the more easily to 
leave the table, as each passenger had an arm chair to 
himself or herself, which tnmed on a pivot like a masic 
stool, BO that wherever your seat might be, you co uld 
come or go without disturbing yoor neighbours. 


At six o'clock the gong sonnded again for dinner, 
when a goodly company assembled and an excellent 
repast was 3erved,equal in every respect to the t(Me d'hSte 
at any first-class hotel on shore. It lasted for about an 
hour, after which most of the passengers found their 
way to the promenade deck ; folding chairs were got 
out, and their owners made themselves easy, resting 
comfortably there in the light of the setting sun, and 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 25 

breathing in the pnre sea air ; while others preferred to 
walk up and down, or to gaze upon the Welsh moun- 
tains on the port horizon,the summits of which the solar 
orb was tinging with his setting rays. As it got dark 
the passengers, one by one, went below, and most of 
them turned in early to bed. It was a splendid moon- 
light night, and the good ship steamed across St. 
George's Channel as steadily as if it were but a river, 
although there was a strong westerly wind blowing. 

When I retired to rest I thought I should have little 
chance of sleeping with those engines going bump, 
bump,' bump, bump, incessantly. But Robinson com- 
forted me by saying that I would soon get used to the 

" Have you noticed those push stops to ring for the^ 
steward if you want him ?" asked Robinson. 

" Yes," I replied ; " What a fine idea it is to have an 
electric bell to each berth, and fixed so nicely, too, so 
that you can ring it as you lie in bed." 

" Yes ; but what I wanted to say was this, if you feel 
at aU ill in the night, please do not hesitate to ring for 
the steward at once^ because remember I am in the berth 
underneath you." 

" All right ; that was the only consolation I had when 
I found that I was unable to get a lower berth ; viz., 
that should we be both ill, I am on the top, and 
someone else below. A true case of top sawyer, I think 
you might call it." 

" Oh, well, I hope we shall neither of us be troubled 

that way, though, speaking for myself, I feel rather 



26 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

Having bid good-night to my companioi^, I tried to 
go to sleep, but the bumping noise made by the engines 
kept me awake for a long time. The sensation, as heard 
and felt in my state-room, could best be imitated by 
knocking on the centre of your dining-room table with 
your closed fists at the rate of some seven thumps 
iu two seconds. At last, however, Morpheus had pity 
on me, overcame all obstacles, and took me into his 

When I opened my eyes the following morning I 
could see, as I lay in my berth, we were coasting along 
the South of Ireland. Not feeling inclined to get up 
just then I turned over and tried to go to sleep again. 
Presently, however, I heard the "getting-up gong"sound ; 
the noise got louder and louder until it was evidently 
being sounded just outside my room. 

'^ Halloa 1" thought I, "it's eight o'clock, I had 
better get up." So scrambling down from my little 
shelf, I dressed myself quickly, and was able to go for a 
short walk on deck, before the breakfast gong went at 
8.30. After breakfast a mail bag was hung up in tiie 
saloon, and a good many of the passengers set to work 
letter-writing, as it would be the last opportunity they 
would have of communicating with their friends for 
some time. 

The letter writing was not all on love affairs, some 
were evidently writing on business matters, &c. 

At 10 a.m. the "Britannic" entered Queenstown 
Harbour, and soon after dropped anchor, about a mile 
and a half from the wharf. The company's tender came 
alongside and those of the saloon passengers that liked 

SmiiJCs First Peep at America. 27 

were allowed to go on shore^ as they had to wait there 
for the mails from London and the Continent, which 
were not due until 3.30 p.m. Most of the passengers 
availed themselves of this opportunity to see a little of 
Queenstown. TJie most prominent building is the 
Eoman Catholic Cathedral, which stands out well on the 
side of a hill, sloping down to the bay. Queenstown is 
but a small place comparatively speaking. 

A good many of the passengers took the 11.30 a.m. 
boat up to Cork, returning from that city by the train 
that brought the mails. The train was late in arriving 
the mail matter being unusually heavy in consequence 
of having the New Zealand as well as the usual 
American letter bags. This resulted in a still further 
delay in transferring them from the train to three large 
carts, and again from the carts to the steamship tender, 
there being no less than 216 sacks; so that it was nearly 
five o'clock before we left the wharf. As soon as the 
officers of the " Britannic " saw the tender coming, the 
vessel was got under way ; and steamed slowly ahead. 
The tender overtook her, was lashed alongside, and 
mails and passengers were transferred without any delay 
as they both continued steaming ahead. The most 
interesting sack was a small one containing letters for 
the passengers and crew of the " Britannic " which was 
opened immediately, distributed, and in some cases 
answers actually written and popped into the mail bag 
(which was still hanging in the saloon) before it was 
tied up and given to the agent who returned with it to 
Queenstown in the tender. 

I noticed a sailor taking down a flag with the number 

28 Baggage and Boots, &c, 

36 on it ; and found, on enquiring, that it was the num- 
ber of the pilot we had on board, and whose boat, with 
five men in it, was being towed alongside, ready to take 
him to the shore as soon as we were once more in open 

The 6 o'clock gong having sounded for dinner, the 
passengers went below. I determined to go in for a 
right down substantial dinner, as I had some misgivings 
that it might be the last meal that I would perhaps feel 
well enough to take for the next day or two. Judging 
from appearances I was by no means alone in my 
opinion. An hour afterwards, when the passengers 
began to re-appear on deck, the pilot boat was no longer 
alongside, the pilot having completed his duties, and 
returned to the shore. 


On the Atlantic ocean — Sunday at sea — ^Table racks — Church Service 
— After all, a lonely path — ^A sail in sight— Steam versus wind — 
Description of the *' Britanoic*' — How passengers fare — Calm and 
mist — The steam fog-horn — The value of a thermometer — Icebergs 
— Remedies for sea-sickness— ^ails in sight—The New York pilot 
— ^Tbe news— Fire Island Lighthouse — Crossing the bar — Anchor 
dropped — All to bed. 

117HEN I awoke the following morning, I could 
' ^ tell without doubt that I was at last upon the 
ocean, and no mistake. Every few seconds the great 
Atlantic waves came sweeping along the side of the 
vessel, smothering the closed port holes, although only 
for an instant. There was a stiff westerly breeze and 
the long heavy ocean swell caused even the " Britannic " 
to pitch very considerably. 

All day the ship continued to steam against a strong 
head wind ; the spray from the water that came over 
the bows being sometimes blown as much as 200 feet 
before it fell on the promenade deck. 

The noon-day observations showed a distance run of 
271 knots from Queenstown. The next day was Sunday. 
The " Britannic " was now no longer pitching fore and 
aft, but rolling tremendously in the trough of the sea. 
On entering the saloon I found that the ''racks" had been 
put on the tables. These are an apparatus to prevent 
the plates and dishes from slipping off during meals. 
Notwithstanding this, a good deal of glass and china 

30 B(^gg(^g^ ^^d Boots ; or J 

came to grief during the day. At half past ten, the 
ship's bell tolled for a few minutes for service, which 
was held in the saloon ; permission being given to those 
among the steerage passengers who wished to attend. 
Only three, however, availed themselves of the oppor- 
tunity to do so. Church of England prayers were read 
by the purser, and the doctor read the lessons for the 
day ; two hymns were sung, and at the close a collection 
taken up for the Liverpool Sailors' Orphanage.' There 
were about sixty-five passengers present altogether, and 
there was no other service whatever for the rest of the 
day. The usual midday observations showed a run qf 
302 knots (about 340 miles) since the previous noon. 

Although there is such an enormous traffic between 
England and America, yet by Monday afternoon I had 
come to. the conclusion that notwithstanding, it was, 
after all, a very lonely path to traverse, as I had not seen 
a vessel of any kind since the day we left Queenstown. 
Soon, however, one of the passengers came down to the 
saloon and announced ^^ A sail in sight." Slight as 
the announcement was, it took all the passengers on 
deck. I looked round but could see nothing but sea and 
sky until a tiny speck was pointed out to me on the fiu* 
horizon, miles ahead. 

" Why 1 what a tiny thing to be out in mid-Atlantic 
It can't be larger than a small fishing smack with a lug 
sail." A quartermaster who was standing by, over- 
heard the remark, and I saw that he was evidently 
much amused, and that seafaring men evidently did not 
share my opinion that it was a fishing smack blown off 
the Newfoundland Bank by the strong westerly winds. 

SmittCs First Peep at America. 31 

In about an hoar the steamer had came up with it, when 
it proved to be a large three-masted ship, outward bound, 
beating about against contrary winds. In another hour, 
it again appeared but a speck on the horizon, aud I could 
not help sa^dng, ^' I should not like to cross the Atlantic 
in a sailing ship ; at the rate she is going now she will 
not reach New York — if that is her port of destination 
— until next year." 

The afternoon I spent pleasantly enough in conver- 
sation and indoor games with some of the other passen- 
gers, especially Kobinson, with whom I became very 

In the evening after a sharp walk up and down the 
promenade deck for half an hour I went below and 
occupied the time in writing a long letter to my friend 
Brown. In it I said " The ' Britannic ' is a magnifi- 
cent steamer, and by far the largest that I have ever 
travelled on, although some of the other leading trans- 
Atlantic companies have been building some which, in 
point of size, far surpass even this one. It is 3,125 
registered tonnage, and 5,503 tons shipbuilders' measure- 
ment, and is certified to carry 194 saloon, and 1,076 
steerage passengers. This voyage we have 176 saloon, 
and 870 steerage. The saloon is toward the 
forward end of the vessel, quite removed from the noise 
and vibration of the engines, which is a great convenience. 
The ship is 455 feet long, and 44 feet wide at the 
broadest part, and has four masts and two funnels. 
There are three decks, exclusive of the hurricane or 
promenade deck. The steerage passengers are berthed 
principally on the lower deck^ also on the main deck, at 

32 ^^g^^gi^ ^^ Boots ; or^ 

the fore and aft end of tiie ship. The centre portion of 
the main deck (whidi, bj-the-bye) manj landsmen would 
consider the first floor down stairs) is oocnpied bj the 
saloon, state-rooms^ bar, pantiy,and all the appurtenances 
for the use and comfort of the saloon passengers, 
including ladies' bath room, &c. I forgot to mention 
that the gentlemen's bath rooms, the barber's shop, the 
lower priced saloon berths, the baggage room, &c., are 
on the deck below, underneath the saloon. Next to the 
main deck comes the upper deck, both ends of which 
are completely covered in, for a distance of some fifty or 
sbdy feet, to preyent the great Atlantic waves from 
making a complete sweep of the deck. Along the centre 
are a series of deck-houses some twenty-five feet in 
width. The first is a lounging room placed immediately 
over the grand saloon, and to which it forms a sort of 
gallery, there being a large opening in the centre, with 
banisters round. This gives a very lofty and elegant 
appearance to the main saloon, it hereby having a height 
in tlie centre of some seventeen feet or so. Next to 
the lounging room comes a very large companion way, 
some 18 feet by 25 feet, and on the further side of this 
from the lounging room, are the smoking room, 
lavatories, &c., &c. Next comes the cook's galley (or 
kitchen), the bakery, the entrance to the firemen's and 
engineer's departments, and many other things. There 
is also on this deck a small hospital, in order to isolate 
any case of infectious disease, should it break out while 
on the voyage. On each side of these various deck- 
houses there is a width of eight or nine feet, and, of 
course, in between there is the whole width of tte vessel, 

Smith's First Peep at America. 33 

which is about 42 feet tit the centre oa this deck, and 
Jess, of course, towards each end. It is here the steerage 
passengers air themselves. Above this again, there is 
still another deck, occupying, however, only the middle 
portion of the ship, for about 180 feet. Along the centre 
of this deck are the wheel-house, with the chart room 

immediately behind, the captain's rooms, the smoke 
stacks, the "fiddler" (to let light and air down to the stock- 
hole), the skylights over the engines, Ac. This deck is 
kept scrupulously clean, like the deck of a maa-of-war ; 
and here the saloon passengers promenade, or rest them- 
selves in their comfortable sea chairs (i.e., when the 

34 Baggage and Boots ; ^r, 

weather does not prevent)^ quite separated from their 
fellow travellers in the steerage ; in fact, they need 
scarcely know of their existence. 

"With regard to the provisioning department, anyhow 
for the saloon passengers, I had no idea that persons 
fared so snmptaonsly when travelling on the ocean. For 
instance, the bill of fare for dinner this evening included 
two sorts of soup, two of fish, four entrees^ several joints, 
besides Turkey, ducks, chickens, tongue and ham, &c, 
several vegetables, four kinds of sweets, three of cheese, 
followed by dessert with tea and coffee. So you see 
there is no need to fear we shall suffer for want of good 
things to eat." 

As I had no opportunity of posting my letter imtil 
the vessel should arrive at New York, I left it open and 
added a little to it day by day, until it became quite a 
long epistle. 

Even on the Atlantic it is not always rough ; and on 
the fourth day after leaving Queenstown the wind and 
sea moderated a good deal, and the former somewhat 
changing its direction, some sail was set. Early in the 
afternoon, however, it was furled again, and the wind 
died away to a calm. The change in the weather enabled 
a good many passengers (who had hardly shown them- 
selves for the last two or three days) again to take their 
seats at table. By the evening every vestige of cloud 
had disappeared ; there was a perfectly smooth sea, 
clear sky, and lovely sunset. 

The following day the sea was again perfectly calm, 
but the beautiful sky had disappeared, having given 
way to mist and rain. About noon they commenced 

Smith! s First Peep at America. 35 

blowing the fog-horn (an apparatus consisting of three 
large whistles^ one an enormous size). It blew for 
about five seconds, every half-minute or minute, ac- 
cording to the thickness of the fog. The vessel in no way 
slackened her pace but steamed ahead at foil speed, as, 
should another ship be within hearing, it would reply to 
their whistle, when both vessels would stop, if from the 
sound they were nearing each other. With the smooth 
sea, our daily run had- greatly increased, and at noon 
was 375 knots, as compared with 342 the previous day, 
and 309 the day before that. During the afternoon, the 
weather being very damp and unpleasant outside, most 
of the passengers betook themselves to indoor games 
and amusements. A -little knot of four or five were 
conversing together when* one remarked what an awful 
row the steam fog-horn made. 

'* Yes," I remarked, *' it's very unpleasant, no doubt, 
but at the same time very necessary." 

^' I don't know that ; it has been blowing on and o£P, 
now, for hours, and I don't believe a soul has heard it 
outside the persons on this ship, anyhow nothing has 
responded to us," said Robinson. 

'^ Then we may rest assured that we can steam ahead 
in safety, without risk of collision," I added. 

'^ That is a mistake ; at this time of the year, there is 
always risk of collision during a fog, with something 
that could not reply to our whistling," interposed Mr. 
Fox, one of the passengers. 

^* What is that ?" enqtlired several voices. 

*^ An iceberg," said Mr. Fox. " In the spring the ice 
breaks up on the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland, 

36 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

and the icebergs which have been formed in the Polar 
regions, and have broken away and drifted south a few 
miles each simimer, at last break away from the floe ice 
altogether, and drift into open sea and southward ^ 
along the edge of the Newfoundland bank, gradually 
melting away as they travel towards warmer latitudes, 
until at last they disappear altogether at about 40 deg. 
N. Lat. 

One of the ladies said, *' Mr. Fox, you make me 
feel very nervous, I do not like their steaming ahead 
at full speed in a fog after what you have said." 

" Do not make yourself uneasy," said Mr. Fox, " the 
officers would not run the least risk with a ship of 
this class, and so many lives on board. In warm 
weather they are always able to detect the proximity 
of icebergs, even in the thickest fog ; and, as a matter 
of fact, we are only travelhng half-speed now, although 
the fog is by no means dense." 

"Then are we near ice? How do they tell?" I 

" By the temperature of the sea. You see the mass 
of ice in a berg is so great that it aflPecks the temperature 
of the water for miles round. You have, no doubt, seen 
the quarter-masters standing on the promenade deck 
and dipping those little canvas buckets into the sea and 
testing the water they bring up with a thermometer. 
Well ! this morning it stood at 48 deg. when I saw them 
take it, and since luncheon it has gone down nine 
degrees in the space of half-an-hour ; that is why we 
are on half-steam. Should the temperature of the sea 
decrease much more, or the fog get thicker, we shall 

Smitlis First Peep at America. 37 

probably be put at .a quarter speed, or perhaps stop 
altogether. But hark ! there goes the gong to prepare 
for dinner ; we'll meet again by-and-bye." 

After dinner I put on my overcoat, and went on deck, 
half in hopes of seeing an iceberg. I found that the look- 
out watch had been doubled and that there were now 
four look-out men on the forecastle, peering into the 
mist, and two officers instead of one on the bridge. A 
few other passengers, with plenty of wraps on, made 
their appearance. It was so very damp and chilly that 
I soon went below. About eight o'clock, just as it was 
getting dark, a gentleman came running down the com- 
panion TVay, and called out, "Where's my mother? 
quick, there's an iceberg. It will be gone in a minute." 
Instantly there was a rush for the deck. 

" Where is it? — where is it ?" was the general cry, as 
those who had just emerged from the well lighted 
saloons gazed round but could see nothing. 

"There, there! don't you see it? it's close to us," 
replied those who had been staying on deck and were 
now intently peering into the mist, " not the length of 
the ship from us ; don't you see it ? It's getting less dis- 
tinct now, it's fading away in the fog ; it will be gone in 
an instant." 

" Where ? where ?" said one and another. 
" Why there, — there, — it's too late now; it's gone." 
Noticing a sailor, taking the temperature of the water, 
I went and asked him quietly what it was. "Thirty-four 
degrees," was his reply. 

The engines were now put to a quarter speed and re- 
mained going at that rate until about eleven o'clock, 

38 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

when, some sniall pieces of ice being observed to pass 
close to the vessel, they were stopped altogether and the 
huge ship lay motionless upon the ocean. Of course 
this event caused considerable excitement among the 
passengers, and a few chose to stay up and pace the 
decks all night ; some from fear, and some in the hope 
of seeing an iceberg. Robinson asked me if I intended to. 

" Not I. In the first place if they are in fear of the 
vessel striking an iceberg and foundering, and think 
they will save their lives by being on deck, I'm sure 
they'll not, with the water at freezing pohit, a thick fog, 
and no chance of being sighted for days or weeks. If 
good swimmers, they might perchance prolong their 
lives by some ten minutes or so, but I would sooner go 
to bed and chance it, and if the ship goes — which I don't 
expect — ^go down in her. If, on the other hand, it is in 
the hopes of seeing an iceberg, well ! I would join them 
if I thought we were likely to ; but I'm sure they will 
not, in this fog, even if one were within half-a-mile of 
us. So all things considered, 1 mean to go to bed at 
once, and in consequence of the noise and vibration of 
those engines having stopped, I expect to sleep better 
to-night than I have done all the voyage." 

At daybreak those who had paced the deck all 
night, in the hope of seeing an iceberg, had their patience 
rewarded, for the fog somewhat lifted, and disclosed to 
them its probable cause, in the form of a huge berg not 
far from the steamer. The engines were put in motion 
and the vessel steamed safely away from it ; and in two 
or three ,hours the weather got sufficiently clear for 
the ship again to proceed under full steam. The 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 39 

weather continned dull all day, bat cleared np towards 

The next morning (Friday) was a lovely one, and 
what with the delightful change in the weather, and the 
prospect of arriving in port in two days, the passengers 
were in very gleeful spirits, and two or three, who had 
kept their berths nearly the whole voyage, at last put in 
an appearance on deck and at the meal table, which are 
by far the two best remedies that can be taken for sea- 

Shortly before luncheon, I was standing in the com- 
panion way, copjring the result of the mid-day obser- 
vations that had just been taken, on to my little chart, 
when a gentleman (who had never been seen during the 
whole voyage without a cigar in his mouth) accosted me 
with *^ Splendid run, is it not ?" 

" Yes," I replied, " 390 since noon yesterday ; just 16 
knots an hour." 

" ril lay you an even bet of five shillings that we'll do 
over that to-morrow," continued he. 

" No thank you, I never bet," I responded. 

^' Why not ?" said he, " I've made twenty-five shillings 
already to-day." 

^* Then," I returned, "someone else has lost it; it 
is not money made in the true sense of the word ; but 
how did you get it?" 

" Why, whether we should speak to that Itah'an 
bark we sighted this morning, or not. But why don't 
you accept a wager, or go in for a sweepstake ?" 

I told him, " because I earned my money too slowly 
to waste it in that way." 

40 Baggage and Boots; or, 

" Waste it," said he, " why you might win ; you stand 
as good a chance as anyone else. Come now, we've got 
a pool on, as to what time we take the pilot on to- 
morrow. Ten shillings each. Tjet me put your name 

" No, thank yon," I said, " more lose than win. Look 
at Mr. Plompboy, why he lost £75 on Wednesday in 
one day's betting." 

ts* "COHFABiOH WAT;" OB, Gkuid Btaiboi^b OF S. B. "KirrtBKic' 

" Oh 1" he continued, " that was at poker with 
Deveral and those other two ; this is something qnite 
different. You can't lose more than ten shillings, and if 
we get fifty or sixty to join, you might win twen^-fivo 
or thirty pounds. Why it would pay your passage 
across, fees to stewards and all, and leave you something 

SmitKs Fifst Peep at America. 41 

over besides. Some fellows get over in that way with 
out any expense at all." 

" True," I replied, ^^ I don't doubt your word, for 
one moment, for I've been informed that some success- 
ful card sharpers and bookmakers make their livings 
crossing and re-crossing in these and other vessels, and 
betting with the passengers." 

He did not continue the conversation further, but com- 
menced whistling, turned on his heel, and walked away. 

The following morning, when I went on deck, I could 
count no less than five schooner yachts in sight. Each 
one had a number painted on the sails. On enquiry, I 
learned that they were pilot-boats. Each yacht is 
shared by a number of New York pilots, and a dozen or 
more will come out in her, and she remains at sea for a 
week or longer cruising about until she has found them 
each a job. At noon, the distance run since the 
previous observation was 371 knots, leaving only 
187 more to Sandy Hook, and 207 to New York 
city. Shortly after, a pilot-boat, with a large figure 
1 on the mainsail, was observed standing right ahead 
in the steamer's course. A small boat put oft from her 
containing two men and a boy. One of the former 
was a pilot, who was quickly transferred to the 
*^ Britannic," and both proceeded on their way. The 
pilot brought a few New York papers with him, which 
were distributed among the passengers, and eagerly 
read by them. The news that seemed most to interest, 
yet most to trouble the ladies, was the great heat that 
the New Yorkers were experiencing ; resulting in 
several fatal cases of sunstroke. In the afternoon I 

42 Baggage and Boots, &c. 

observed a New York young lady looking very dolefol, 
and enquired what was amiss. 

" Oh, Mr. Smith, is there not enough to make me 
sad ? Only thinks the thermometer 90 deg. in May ; 
what will it be in two months' time ? and I cannot endure 
the heat, I always feel ill in the summer time, not fit for 
anything until the end of September, and by that time I 
shall be melted down to grease at this rate ! " 

'^ Then pray send me a pot of the pomade." 

The passengers spent the evening in letter writing, 
and packing up in anticipation of an early disembarka- 
tion the following morning. Shortly after nine o'clock, 
the bright light from the lighthouse on Fire Island, on 
the southern shore of Long Island, became visible. I 
hailed it gladly, as being the first thing on terra-firma 
that I had seen for over a week, which seemed to me a 
long time, though nothing to those who had travelled to 
Australia, or across the Pacific in a sailing ship. Soon 
the lights at Sandy Hook came in sight. Although late, 
a good many passengers stayed on deck, some to get 
their first glimpse of the new world, others who were 
returning home, pleased to give any information they 
could to their English fellow-voyagers. The sand bar 
at Sandy Hook was safely crossed at half-past eleven, 
and the ocean voyage was now regarded as over. 

After an hour's steam up the beautiful Bay of New 
York, the ^* Britannic " dropped anchor for the night 
off Staten Island ; and those few passengers who still 
lingered on deck, at last turned into bed, which 
they had to do in the dark, the lights in their state- 
rooms having been extinguished an hour before. 


New York Bay — Examination of steerage passengers — Declaration of 
excisable belongings — The steamer proceed to the city — The 
landing and examination of baggage —New York " Express " — 
"Hackmen" — Elevated railroad — Hotels, American plan and 
European plan— Broadway Congregational Church — Tall hats and 
stoye-pipes — Luggage ^and baggage — Express charges — Descrip- 
tion of the Park Avenue Hotel— Dinner— ^mith don't know 
what to order — Coloured waiters — American wastefulness — Cold 
tea — Madison Avenue — "Church of the Disciples" — The service — 
" Programme " of the proceedings. 

AS soon as I awoke I scrambled down from my berth 
to get my first day-Kght view of the New World. 
During the night there had been a complete change in 
the weather, and there was now a steady down-pour of 
rain, which, however, had the desirable effect of cooling 
the atmosphere, and rendering the heat less oppressive. 
Early in the morning the " health officer " came on 
board, and the 870 steerage passengers were marched 
past him, in single file, for inspection. As there had 
been no deaths on the voyage, and as there was no case 
of fever or serious illness, he gave the captain the usual 
certificate, and the ship was allowed to proceed. So the 
anchor was weighed, and she steamed slowly across the 
Bay •toward New York city. While the saloon 
passengers were engaged in hastily devouring a seven 
o'clock breakfast, a steam tender conveying some 
Custom House officials, and a few passengers' friends 
came alongside. The former soon set to work, and the 
passengers had one and all to sign a declaration on oath 

44 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

that they had no contraband or excisable articles with 
them. Having done so, they were warned that should 
any such be found in their " baggage " (otherwise than 
what they had in writing acknowledged to, and paid 
duty on), such goods were liable to confiscation. 

While this business was going on below, the 
*' Britannic " had reached New York, and was now 
steaming up the Hudson River (which forms the 
Western side), to the White Star Company's wharf 
which is about two miles up the stream from the 
•southern extremity of the city, and where the 
passengers were landed a little before nine o'clock. 

As soon as the steamer had been safely moored in her 
•berth, the stewards and sailors made themselves very 
•husy carrying passengers' luggage on shore, and 
depositing it in the great shed that extended the whole 
length of the quay, I followed my portmanteaux to 
where they were set down, and patiently waited for the 
Customs examination, which I knew there would be 
before I would be allowed to proceed off the quay with 

What a busy scene that wharf presented that Sunday 
morning; passengers' luggage being opened in all 
directions, their personal effects being searched by the 
Custom House officials, and their private belongings 
exposed to the eyes of the curious. 

The United States Government are very prohibitory 
in their import duties, especially on silks, jewellery 
wearing apparel, and on manufactured commodities, 
generally. As a sequel, the Custom House Executive 
have to be proportionately rigid in their examination of 

SmitJis First Peep at America. 45 

everything arriving from abroad ; for the higher the 
duty the greater the temptation to smuggle ; for it is 
evident that if a foreign article is put into the American 
market at all, in the ordinary course of trade, it must be 
cheaper in the country it comes from than in the United 
States by at least the amount of the duty (whatever that 
may be), plus freight and other charges, 

Americans are not, as a rule, given to own any 
superiority of usages and customs in the English or in 
foreigners generally ; and therefore I was the more 
pleased to hear an American lady remark that she had 
travelled a good deal in England and on the European 
Continent, and passed through many Custom Houses in 
passing from one country to another, yet nowhere were 
they • so inquisitive and so extortionate, and nowhere 
did she so much dread the ordeal as each time she 
returned to her native land. 

After waiting a considerable time, the chief Custom 
House ofBcer put the declaration paper (that I had 
signed on board the ship) into the hands of a 
subordinate, and directed him to search my luggage. 
Nothing contraband was found therein, and in about an 
hour from my first stepping on to the quay I was at 
liberty to go where I pleased. 

While I was cogitating what to do with my luggage, 
I was accosted by a man with the word " Express " 
worked on his cap in silver letters. 
- "Express," said the man, at the same time putting his 
hand on a portmanteau ; " How many pieces of taggage 
have you, and where to ? " 

"No, I'm not going by express train or any other 

46 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

anywhere just yet ; I purpose staying in New York for 
the next week, at any rate." 

" Yes, I understand ; which hotel do you wish your 
baggage sent to ? " 

"I don't know, I'm at my wits' end, I don't know one 
from another ; and, besides, when I have discovered 
where to go to, what is that to you ? What have you to 
do with it?" 

^* Why? you'll want your baggage sent up, I guess ; 
you'll not be able to carry it." 

" I'm not going to try. I shall take it in a cab." 

"A hack you mean; that will cost you three 

" What ? three dollars to ride from here to an hotel ?" 

Just at this juncture a New York gentleman — one of 
my fellow voyagers, came to my relief. He assured me 
that what I had just heard with regard to the hacks 
was correct, and that the cheapest and usual way was to 
deliver all one's baggage into the hands of an *^ Express 
Agent," who would give me a ^^ check " (acknowledg- 
ment) for the same, and deliver it to any address 

'^ Which hotel are you going to ?" 

" I don't know." 

" Well I We have so many it is difficult to recommend 
any in particular; it depends much in which part of the 
city you wish to be most ; however, suppose you try the 
Park Avenue Hotel. It was built by A. J. Stewart, for 
women only, but failed as a women's hotel, and is now 
an ordinary family hotel. It is quiet and select, and I 
think you wiU like it." 

Smithes First Peep at America, 47 

'^ Thank you, I will try it anyhow; if I do not, I can 
but change." 

^* How many pieces of baggage have you?" 

" Those two leather portmanteaux, my travelling rug 
and steamer chair*" 

" Oh I you had better leave the chair here ; it will 
soon cost you more to take it about than you paid for 

" Leave it ? Where can I warehouse it ?" 

^' Why, take it into that office, and they will book it 
and put a number on it and take charge of it for you 
gratis until you return. They have hundreds upstairs, 
I warrant." 

Having thanked my fellow-passenger for the in- 
formation he had imparted, I recalled the Express man, 
gave the portmanteaux and rug into his charge, and 
received a check for the same." 

" Where to ?" again asked the agent. 

^* Park Avenue Hotel. When shall I get them?" 

" Your baggage will be there almost as soon as you 
are, perhaps before. We go ahead in this country." 

After leaving my chair, as directed, in the company's 
office, I, at last, stepped into the street, where I was at 
once surrounded by a crowd of hackmen, like a pack of 
hungry wolves, all anxious to obtain a fare. I, however, 
pushed my way through them, ftdly determined, after 
what I had heard of the charges, not to set my foot in 
a hack while I remained in New York. 

Crossing West Street, on which the quays abound, I 
walked up 10th Street, and almost immediately came upon 
the Greenwich Street Branch of the New York Elevated 

48 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

Bailroad. At this point 10th Street turns at a sharp 
angle to the right, and runs due east and west at right 
angle to the avenues, all of which run due north and 
south. Three blocks further on I saw an enormous iron 
building, though, however, painted white to resemble 
stone. It was evidently what an Englishman would 
call a large retail shop, and, although no name appeared, 
I at once correctly guessed it to be the world-renowned 
store of the late A. J. Stewart. 

In coming thus far I had crossed Avenues, Five, and 
Six and several other streets, but I did not notice 4th 
Avenue. On enquiring a passer by very kindly directed 
me one block further and then saw me into a car that 
w ould pass my hotel. After a ride of about a mile and 
a half I reached it, entered and walked up to the 

*^ What are your prices at this honse ?" I asked. 

" Three dollars, fifty, per day," replied the clerk. 

" What for ?" 

'' Everything included, except wines and spirits." 

"Don't you charge separately for room and for 
meals ? Because I shall usually be out all day, and do 
not want to pay for what I do not have." 
' " No, we do not do that sort of thing here. If you 
want that sort of accommodation you must go to an 
hotel on the European plan. In American hotels 
we charge from the time you sign on, to the time you 

I was puzzled what to do on account of my luggage 
which I had already directed to be delivered at the Park 
Avenue Hotel. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 49 

After a minute's consideration I determined to stay 
where I was for the present, so signed the visitors' book, 
and was shown by a coloured attendant to a very com- 
fortable bedroom on the second floor, with inside 
Venetian shutters to the windows to let in the air ; 
without letting in the glare and heat of the sun. Both 
hot and cold water and gas were laid on to each bed- 
room. An electric bell communicated with this office, 
and a small card was fastened to the wall stating how 
many times the bell push was to be pressed for various 
wants, ^.^., Once for bell boy, twice for ice- water, 
three times for boots, four times for chambermaid, 
five times for laundrymaid, six times for meals in 
room, seven times for porter. 

I did not forget that it was Sunday morning, so after 
having a good wash, I walked up 33rd Street, to where 
Broadway crosses the 6th Avenue, and dropped into the 
Broadway Congregational Church. Inside, I found it 
is a splendid edifice, with a great organ and beautiful 
stained glass windows ; which, however, made it rather 
dark. The pews were upholstered to match ; cushions 
and backs, and also the back of pew before you, in a 
fawn-coloured rep ; and in addition to hymn books, fans 
were provided for the use of minister, choir and 
congregation. The service was more than half over 
when I entered, and the pastor was delivering a far^ 
well sermon to his flock, before setting sail on the 
following Wednesday, on a visit to Europe. The 
reverend gentleman had a good flow of language, but 
the discourse was very unUke an orthodox English 
sermon, and to me it appeared little else than an 

50 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

olaborately worded thanksgiving speech to the congre- 
gation for a " purse of gold " which they had presented to 
their pastor wherewith to take his tour abroad. The 
moment the benediction was pronounced, the gentlemen 
all seized their hats, and there was such hurry to be gone, 
as though they were all trying who could get out first. 

Outside, a number of private carriages were waiting 
to convey their owners home. It did not seem at all 
essential with the New York gentlemen, or their coach- 
men either, to wear a tall hat on Sundays; in fact, it 
seemed the exception rather than the rule to do so. The 
little street arabs designate tall hats "stove-pipes." 
On returning to the hotel, I asked the clerk if my lug- 
gage had arrived. 

" Liiggage ! Baggage, I suppose you mean. No, it 
has not come yet." 

^* How much will it be ? Shall I give you the money 
now ? " 

After looking at the check I had received from the 
Express man, the clerk said : — ^*T\fO valises and one rug, 
one dollar, twenty, that is, forty cents apiece ; but you 
need not pay now, we will book it to your account." 

Forty cents apiece ? surely they will never charge 
that for the rug ? " 

*^ That is the usual charge, it is an all round price, 
whatever the size of the package." 

" In that case, it is more economical to have all your 
belongings in one great trunk if you have to move 
from place to place." 

" That is what people here do," 

" Well ! I suppose I shall learn by experience." 

SmitlCs First Peep at America. 51 

As I made for the dining-room, I could not help 
saying to myself, *' Well ! they know how to charge 
over here ; one dollar, twenty cents, just five shillings 
English, for conveying my luggage hy a parcels' delivery 
company, from the wharf to the hotel. Why ! in Lon- 
don I could have rode up in a cab and brought it all 
with me for half that sum." 

The dining-room was a spacious hall about 100 feet long 
by 30 wide, with a lofty ceiling and tesselated floor of 
black and white marble. There were thirty round tables, 
each covered with a clean white cloth and each set for 
five guests, and at each stood a coloured waiter. A 
black man, standing at the door, took my hat as I 
entered, and the head waiter (also a coloured man), 
waving his hand to me as a sign to follow, showed me 
to a seat. While the waiter went to fetch the viands 
selected (which by the bye he took an immense while to 
do) I had ample opportunity to look about. My seat was by 
«n open window, which looked into a courtyard, about 
100 feet square, surrounded on all sides by the hotel. 
A fountain was playing in the centre, and there were 
some tastefully laid out flower-beds. There were, how- 
ever, no gravel paths, the rest of the courtyard being 
flagged with stone. A verandah ran along two sides of 
the hotel, under which a few persons were sitting, the 
gentlemen smoking vigorously while they poised their 
chairs on the two hind legs only, and rested their own 
legs and feet on the hand-rail in front of them. One 
or two children were racing round the garden on a 
smaU, bicycle and tricycle, while one or two more still 
smaller ones were playing with their dolls and chattering 

52 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

to their coloured nurse-maids. Over head, high above 
the fountain, and supported by wires stretched from 
the upper windows of the hotel, was an electric lamp, 
with which the court is brilliantly illuminated of an 

Luncheon over, I walked up stairs and through the 
drawing-room. It was the same size as the dining-room 
below, and was well supplied with substantial furniture, 
including a grand piano and a carpet as sofl as down to 
the feet. The windows were all on one side, looking 
into the courtyard mentioned above, and the opposite 
wall was hung with large and well-executed pictures in 
massive gilt frames. 

Afc first I thought I was the only occupant of the 
room, but I soon discovered that there were four or five 
persons sitting in some of the window recesses, which 
the heavy hangings concealed from view. There, how- 
ever, did not appear to be any ink about, or tables 
suitable for letter writing, and as I was anxious to write 
letters for England I inquired where I could do so, and 
was told I would find every convenience in the library, 

The library corresponded in size exactly with the 
drawing-room, and with a carpet as soft to the tread as 
the one in the room 1 had just quitted. Between each 
window was a neat double writing-desk, suitable for two 
persons to sit at, facing each other, one on each side. 
Each desk was supplied with ink and pens, blotting-pad, 
stationery, &c. Against the opposite wall were fixed a 
series of book-cases, with glass doors, containing 
thousands of valuable volumes, among others works by 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 53 

Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Smiles, and many 
other standard and favourite English writers. The book- 
cases were locked, but any work could be had by any 
guest in the hotel by applying to the librarian. This 
was a very comfortable and pleasant room for letter- 
writing or reading, and on this particular afternoon I 
spent some hours there. 

After writing what I considered some very long epistles 
(although I afterwards found their length by no means 
satisfied my correspondents), I went down to dinner, 
which is served from five to seven o'clock. A bill of fare 
was placed before me, but I was puzzled a good deal 
about what to order, as some of the things I had never 
heard of before. However, I "drew a bow at a venture " 
and ordered some Consomm^ Rachel to commence with, 
to be followed by a little fish. While eating the latter, 
the waiter again placed the bill of fare before me and 
leant down his head in order the better to hear. " Capon 
stuffed, aujus^'* said I, reading off the bill, and without 
the shadow of an idea of what it was, but prepared to 
learn by personal experience. 

" And " -said the waiter. 

" Summer squash," I replied, again perfectly ignorant 
of what " squash " was, but anxious to learn. 

"And " said the waiter. 

Now, I thought that, with what I had already eaten, 
I had ordered a very good dinner ; however, I thought 
I would surely satisfy the waiter by adding " mashed 
potatoes and stewed tomatoes " to the order already 
given. Still the negro waited, attentively listening. 

" And " 

54 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

" Nothing else ; I've ordered enough, I'm sure. 

The waiter howed and went to execute his commands, 
and as he walked away down the long room I caught 
sight of his face reflected in the large silvered mirror at 
the end. It was all on the grin, with a mouth from ear 
to ear, showing two rows of pearly white teeth. I felt 
satisfied, from the man's evident amusement, that I 
must have ordered things not usually eaten together, or 
was in some way partaking of my dinner not ^ la mode 
de New York. My suspicions were confirmed when I 
noticed that in a few minutes I was an object of 
amusement, not only to the negro attending on me, but 
to all the waiters in the room. 

" There is no help for it just now, no doubt I shall 
find out and know better when I have been here a few 
days, and if I had these fellows in London, why then 
I'm sure I would have the laugh of them. However, 
all I can do at present is to watch the Yankees and see 
what they order and how they eat it." 

Just then the head waiter placed an American gentle- 
man at the table. Now, I was as attentive as the waiter 
while that individual gave his order. To my surprise 
it embraced nearly the whole bill of fare. " Well," 
I thought, " he has not dined for a week, and if he eats 
it all, he won't need to do so again for another." 

The table was soon covered with little dishes, and the 
new comer set to work. He messed everything about 
so that it could not be put before anyone else ; ate very 
rapidly, a little of this and a little of that, never finishing 
anything, often hardly eating any, and in a few minutes 
got up and left. 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 55 

" Well, what waste," thought I. " I remember that, 
when a child, anything I left at one meal, even to the 
crust off my bread, was always put away in a cupboard 
for my next, and I had no other food until I got hungry 
enough to eat it ; and that into the bargain I had to 
learn the famous lines of Dr. Watts : 

' Wilful waste makes woeful want. 

And I may live to say, 
Oh I how I wish I had that crust 

That once I threw away.' 

If what I have just seen is customary in this country, 
and judging from others in the room it appears to be, 
food must be very cheap and labour abundant and well 
paid, to enable a nation to grow into habits of such 
wanton wastefulness." There was one thing, however, 
that struck me very favourably in comparison with what 
is usually seen in English hotels and dining rooms. 
That was the absence of alcoholic liquors. I looked all 
round the room and there did not appear to be a single 
guest taking either beer or wine with his dinner. An 
old gentleman sitting at the next table appeared to be 
partaking of something of the sort, with ice in it, or 
else calves' foot jelly half melted ; I was not sure which, 
but curiosity prompted me to ask the attendant standing 
behind me. 

" That, sir, is cold tea," replied the waiter, evidently 
very much amused at his customer's ignorance, ^^ shall 
I bring you some ? It is very refreshing in hot 

" Yes, please, I should like to try it" 

The tea was brought, but I did not like it. I however 

56 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

got to like it before I returned to Europe, and found it 
a most cooling and refreshing drink in very hot weather. 

While I was finishing my dinner, with a champagne 
jelly and an ice cream, the coloured waiter asked me if 
I was a stranger in this part of the country. 

^*Yes," I replied. 

" Do you come from the South? " 

" Oh no 1 I'm not an American at all ; I come from 

" Oh ! from England. Have you been here long, 
sir i 

*^ No, I only arrived this morning." 

" Oh, then you do not know our ways yet ; I suppose 
you have different ways in England ? " 

" I should rather think we have." 

^^ You have had a very poor dinner to-day, sir." 

" Do you think so? I thought otherwise." 

" Yes, sir, very poor ! very poor ! Will you be staying 
here long? " 

" Some days." 

" Then to-morrow you get the head waiter to seat you 
at this table ; let me bring you a good dinner, very 
good ! you leave it to me, and I will bring you nice 
things, very nice ; the best things, and you will like 
what I bring very much." 

" Oh I very well, to-morrow I will let you serve me 
up a real American dinner." 

In tbe evening I walked up Madison Avenue, a good 
broad street, with substantial private residences on either 
side About eight o'clock I saw persons entering the 
Church of the Disciples, so followed ihem, and found to 

SmitlCs First Peep at America. 57 

my surprise that the service had not even commenced. 
I soon ascertained that 7.45 p.m. was the usual time for 
commencing evening service in that and most New York 
places of worship; and that this evening being the 30th of 
May there was to be a special soldiers' service, the body 
of the building being reserved for their exclusive use. 

Not understanding the connection between the 30th of 
May and a special service for soldiers, I explained to my 
informant that I was a foreigner,and asked an explanation. 

" Certainly ! Do you not remember that the 30th of 
May was the day on which General Lee, of the rebel 
forces, surrendered to General Grant, and thereby closed 
our civil war ? Ever since we keep the date as a public 
holidaj', when all the banks and government buildings^ 
are closed ; and when the relatives and friends of those- 
who fell in the war go in thousands out to the cemeteries- 
to decorate their friends' graves with flags and everlasting 
flowers. To-morrow you will see some grand pro- 
cessions, and the streets lined with thousands of 
spectators ; such crowds about, as I guess you never 
saw before.'* 

I smiled, but said nothing, and my informer continued: 

" During the war our pastor was chaplain in the 
army, and so every year about this date We hold a 
special service for the soldiers, which we invite them ta 

The conversation was here interrupted by the arrival 
of the soldiers, who at once marched to the seats reserved 
for them, and all vacant seats were speedily filled up by 
strangers and others, who had been standing aside untit 
it was seen what amount of room the soldiery would require 


58 Baggage and Boots, &c. 

While persons were seating themselves, I had time to 
look round. Had I not been otherwise informed, I 
might easily have mistaken the place for a building con- 
secrated for the service of the Greek Church, as several 
oil paintings decorated the walls. They were, however, 
not of the saints, but of General Grant, President 
Lincoln, &c. ; while behind the pulpit there were the 
standards of the regiments engaged in the conflict, some 
of them proving by their torn and tattered state, that 
they had been in the thick of the strife. Before the 
pulpit was the representation of a sarcophagus, which 
was completely covered with flowers. 

The organist (who had donned a soldier's uniform) 
commenced the service by playing a funeral march, by 
Baptiste, which was followed by a short prayer or invo- 
cation, by the pastor, who also wore epaulettes and a 
military belt. The minister did not announce what 
hymn or chapter came next ; in fact there was no need, 
as a black edged programme of the proceedings was 
widely circulated throughout the pews. 

The programme consisted of several organ recitals, and 
pieces for the choir only ; also two solos. 

The minister took no iexiy and his address appeared 
to me a mere eulogy on the courage and valour of the 
Northern army. When the service was over, I could 
not remember having heard — either in the prayers or 
the sermon, the name of the Great Master (for whose 
worship the building had presumably been erected) — 
once mentioned ; and I came away with a feeling that in 
New York, at any rate, the religious life of the 
Americans was of but a very superficial character. 


Bank Holiday In New York — "Commemoration Day" — American 
breakfast — Broadway— 6th Avenue — Description of Elevated 
Railroad, and trains — 155tli Street — An unexpected shower- 
bath — View from the " High Service Reservoir " — Harlem River 
and High Bridge — Smith sells his English money — Battery Park 
— Castle Garden — Sharks on land — Intending emigrant's mis- 
takes — A New York swimmiug bath — Boots — Smith engages in 
an argument with a " Shiner." He learns the value of a " niclde," 
a ** dime," and a ** quarter." 

IITHEN Morpheus relieved me from his embrace the 
^ following morning, I was at a loss to remember 
where I was. The voyage of the last ten days had 
so innred me to the motion of a ship at sea, that (like 
many others have done) I experienced the sensation of 
being still afloat ; my bed seemed to heave up and 
down, and to and fro, until a conviction came over my 
mind that I had not yet landed, and that the impression 
of having spent yesterday in New York was but a dream 
that had probably passed through my brain within 
perhaps the last ten minutes. 

I, however, soon missed the incessant thud of the 
engines and said half aloud, " Oh ! the engines have 
stopped ; more fog and ice, I suppose ; unless it is that 
we have arrived during the night. I'll look out and see 
if New York harbour is like it appeared in my dream." 
I felt for the hand rail, which I used to find of great 
assistance in clambering from my berth, to the cabin 

60 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

floor. Bail there was none. I then stared about the place, 
expecting to see the nsual limited dimensions of a state- 
room aboard ship ; and I started with astonishment and 
again wondered where I was, to see the comfortable 
appointments of a bedroom in a first class American 

Although evidently on land, I think it would be no 
paradox to say tliat I was also at sea. However, while 
thoroughly rousing myself by yawning and rubbing my 
knuckles into my eyes, I had time to collect my 
thoughts and to convince myself that my reminiscences of 
yesterday were no dream of the past night, but that I had 
in reality already spent one day in New York and that 
it was now Monday morning and also a " Bank Holiday ''^ 
in the United States. 

At no meal perhaps is there a more marked difference 
in what is set on the table in England and America than 
at breakfast ; and I was agreeably surprised, on taking 
my seat, to have a plate of strawberries and cream set 
before ine to commence my repast with. I noticed, 
however, that some of the guests preferred eating raw 
tomatoes sliced, with pepper and salt. 

" What would you like for your breakfast ?" asked 
the same coloured man that had waited on me the pre- 
vious day. 

" Bring me what you like, and don't be long." 

*' Good, sir ; very good ; let me bring you a nice 
breakfast, t?^y nice." 

He departed and was gone so long that I beckoned to 
the head waiter, and asked if the man had forgotten me. 

" Oh no, sir, he has not forgotten ; what have you 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 61 

ordered? he is only waiting for it while it is being 
cooked, and you will have it as soon as it is ready." 

" What have I ordered ? I've ordered nothing, except 
tliat he should not keep me waiting long." 

" No donbt he will be here directly ; I'll go and hurry 

Presently I saw the waiter returning ; his left hand 
resting firmly on his hip for support, while with his right 
hand he poised a tray high above his head, and on which 
were a number of small dishes, which he soon arranged 
on the table. 

The waiter had selected cod-fish balls, sirloin steak, 
link sausages, mash, omelette with ham, potatoes 
(all cut up into little strips like candied peel, ready for a 
cake, and baked until they were as hard as chips) ; also 
raw tomatoes sliced, cracked wheat (boiled in milk ), 
buckwheat cakes, corn cakes, and American hot rolls, 
together with a cup of good coffee. Enough, you would 
doubtless say, yet with all I was not satisfied. 

^* Waiter, let me have some bread." 

In reply he placed the plates containing the cakes and 
rolls closer to me, which, of course, necessitated moving 
other things further off^ to make room. 

" Do you call these little hot, flaky, puffy things, the 
size of a chestnut and as soft as a sponge cake, bread ?" 

" Do not gentlemen in England like that sort of 

" I don*t ; let me have some plain bread, oflT a good 
quartern loaf of household ; and stale, if you have it." 

As I sat eating my breakfast I could hear the distant 
music of a passing band, which again reminded me that 

62 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

it was a high day and holiday in the commercial capital 
of the New World, and that it would be as well to be 
out and about, and see what was to be seen. They 
declined at the hotel office to change the English money 
I had about me, but said that I would be able to sell it 
in Wall Street when I went down town. 

" Well ! but the banks will not be open to-day, being 
a public holiday, and I want to go out and about ; and 
I cannot pay railway and 'bus fares with English money, 
what am I to do ?" 

" I cannot say ; only I guess the manager would not 
approve of my changing it, as if I did we should only 
have to send some one down town on purpose to sell it, 
and besides I do not know what the rate of exchange is," 
said the cashier. 

** Well, fortunately, I have a small amount of American 
money that the purser on board the steamer changed 
for me. I suppose I must manage to make it last out 

" I walked up 32nd Street to Broadway and Sixth 
Avenue, in both of which thoroughfares the principal 
shops were closed, which in many cases was done by 
simply turning the key in the door, there being neither 
shutters nor even inside window blinds. 

Strings of flags were stretched across the roads in 
many places, and among them, as a matter of course, 
the stars and stripes bore the most conspicuous place. 
There were many banners with mottoes, &c., on them, 
such as, 



SntitKs First Peep at America. 63 

Processions were being formed in many of the streets 
abutting on Madison Avenue, which appeared to be one 
of the principal localities for the crowds of spectators 
to gather, in order to see the various processions march 
past. The principal rendezvous for the soldiers' friends 
who made up the various processions, appeared to be 
Union and Washington Squares, and after having 
formed and spent the greater portion of the morning 
in promenading the principal thoroughfares, they, for 
the most part, went off to the suburb of Fairfield on the 
eastern side of the Harlem River, in order to 
decorate the soldiers' graves there with little flags, 
in the way I had been informed of the previous 

To see crowds of people about was to me no novelty, and 
as the principal business establishments, manufacturers, 
and places of interest were closed I determined to 
follow the holiday-makers into the suburbs. Being 
anxious to travel on the celebrated New York Elevated 
Railroad, I proceeded to the 6th Avenue and took 
the train from 33rd Street to 159th Street on the 
Harlem River. Before starting out I had taken the 
precaution to purchase, at the newspaper and bookstall 
in the hotel, the " New York Guide," which is got up 
in the form of a newspaper, about the size of the 
London ^ Globe." The outside sheet contains a map 
of New York, while, as its name implied, the innklf) 
sheets contain a mass of information regarding tho 
various sights of New York, also Bailroad and HU)arfi« 
boat Hme Tables, and other items of information of 
great use to a stranger. I found it an invalimtilif nofri« 


6i Baggage and Boots ; or, 

paoion, and considered it the cheapest ten ceDts worth 
I boaght in the States. 

The Elevated Railroads of Now York mn dowa the 
centre of some of the principal streets, only over head. 
They are supported on iron colamns, placed (in the 
narrower streets) in die stone kerb on each side of the 
road, and abont twelve or fifteen yards apart These 


columns snpport iron girders which are thrown across 
the road, and on which the railroad is constructed, 
about on a level with the first-floor windows of the ad- 
joining houses, and in some parts considerably higher ; 
whiJe the persons riding in the cars have a good Tiew 

Smith's First Peep at America. 65 

of what is going ou in the second-floor front rooms, 
unless the inmates keep the blinds down. The railroad 
has no groundwork between the sleepers. That is, in 
order to let more light through to the roadway beneath ; 
which is almost invariably laid down with a double line 
of tramrails and traversed by ordinary horse-cars where- 
ever the railroad goes above. In the broader Avenues, 
the supporting columns are not placed in the side kerb, 
but nearer the centre of the road, leaving amply 
sufficient room for a vehicle to pass between them and 
the footpath. I went upstairs at 33rd Street and took 
my ticket ; there was only one class of carriage, and a 
bystander told me that was first class ; and also there 
was only one fare (10 cents; , whatever the distance 
travelled. The bookino: clerk tore the ticket off^a soit 
of long tape of them, and while waiting for the change 
I lost a train, which, however, was of no consequence, 
as the next one came up in less than two minutes, while 
two more could be seen following that, they being timed 
to start every minute and a half. After passing two 
stations, the train suddenly turned round a sharp corner 
and ran down 53rd Street, exactly at right angles to the 
avenue it had just been traversing. It ran along this 
street, crossing 7th and 8th Avenues, and on 
reaching 9th Avenue, it again turned at right angles 
to the right, and resumed its northerly course, as easily 
or more so than an ordinary street tram-car would do. 
In going round these sharp curves, the train necessarily 
passes very close to the comer house, so close, that if 
you are seated near the centre of the long cars, you 
could almost (if not quite) touch the building. Although 

66 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

on looking at a map of NeiY York, almost the whole 
of Manhattan Island is marked out in avenues and streets, 
I found that with regard to the upper portion of it, it 
was on paper only, the neighbourhood consisting of only 
a few houses here and there. On reaching 159th 
Street, close to the Harlem River, I got out of the 
train and descended the station stairs to the road beneath. 
There was a cloudless sky, and the scorching rays of 
the sun were very oppressive, so I stepped to the centre 
of the road, in order to obtain whatever benefit was to 
be derived from the shade from the railroad overhead. 
The road was very muddy, notwithstanding all around 
things were being baked in the sun ; and clouds of dust 
were blowing in alldirections,althoughit was still only the 
month of May. " Oh ! how I could enjoy a swimming 
bath," I said to myself, " even a shower bath would be 
refreshing, such an afternoon as this/' My desire was 
soon granted, for the wish had hardly shaped itself into 
words, when I was drenched with a deluge of water, 
that came pouring down on me from overhead. Instantly 
forsaking the shade of the line, and looking up to 
ascertain the cause of the wetting I had just received, 
I saw that one of the small locomotives was being 
supplied with water, and the water having filled the 
tank) had begun to overflow, and as I was standing 
exactly underneath the spot, I, of course, received the 
benefit of the overplus. 

After this little adventure I made for the Edgecomb 
Eoad, and walked about a milo to the High Service 
Reservoir, which commands a magnificent view for 
miles round, including a large portion of New York 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 69 

and Brooklyn, the ^reat East River Suspension Bridge, 
&c., &c. Of course Manhattan Island forms far too 
small a watershed for the supply of a city containing 
over a million of inhabitants. The water is therefore 
brought from Fairfield, on the main land, and crosses 
the Harlem River at High Bridge, by a lofty aqueduct 
that gives the name to the locality. The aqueduct has 
been bricked over on the top, and a substantial railing, 
put each side, forming a good broad path, which has 
been thrown open to foot passengers, free of toll. From 
the centre of this bridge is obtained a very picturesque 
view, both up and down the river— a number of 
pleasure boats, one or two small steamers, the High 
Bridge Hotel and gardens, and the line of the New 
York and Hudson River Railroad running alonor the 
east bank close to the water, and following the 
windings of the river, forming together a very pretty 

The next day not being a public holiday, business in 
the city was resumed as usual, and I made it my first 
business to go to Wall Street (the Lombard Street of 
New York), and change the English money that I had 
about me into American coin. I ascertained that my 
quickest way was to take the 3rd Avenue Branch of 
the Elevated Railroad from 34th Street to Hanover 
Square Depot, when I would be close to the banks. At a 
money broker's in Wall Street I sold my English 
cash, receiving four dollars eighty-eight cents to the 
English pound, being a premium of eight cents on each 
sovereign. With the exception of a few odd cents, I 
was paid entirely in paper money^ which I felt half 

70 Baggage and Boots ; ofy 

inclined to refose to accept, as I feared I might find 
persons unwilling to accept it in payment, except at a 
*' Can't you pay me in gold," I asked. 
" You can have it in silver if you like." 
" What is the rate of exchange to take it in hard 

" It makes no diflFerence ; paper money is at par, 
and has been so now for a long time ; since January 
" I think I would sooner take it in silver." 
" All right, I'll fix it for you that way if you prefer, 
but I guess you'll find it a rare lump to carry about. 
We, in this country, always prefer paper ; it is so much 
lighter to carry." 

"But will it pass as readily?" 

The clerk burst out laughing. '* I guess you haven't 
been across this side long, or you'd have no need to 
ask that. See here what it says on each note: 
^ Redeemable in silver at the United States Treasury.' " 
I was satisfied at this explanation, and left the office. 
From Wall Street I went to the " Battery," a small 
park of about four acres, and which forms the 
southernmost point of New York City. It is a lovely 
little spot, and commands a splendid view of the Bay of 
New York. In this park, by the water's edge, is the 
Emigrant Depot, so well known as '^Castle Garden," 
which has been erected by the Government, with a view 
to protecting emigrants, as far as possible, from falling 
into the jaws of the land sharks that abound in New 
York, and who used to get hold of the poor foreigners 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 71 


immediately they landed, and, under the pretence of 
being able to obtain them employment, take them to 
low lodging houses, and other places, and in one way or 
another, with or without the aid of accomplices, swindle 
them out of the small amount of hard earned savings 
with which they usually landed, and then taking them 
up one street, and down another, until they were 
utterly bewildered and quite lost, would leave the poor 
emigrant, with perhaps a wife and several children, 
penniless and forsaken, without a roof to shelter 
them, or a friend to apply to for assistance and 
information ; strangers in a strange city, in a foreign 

On arriving at New York, emigrants are now taken at 
once to Castle Garden, where they can receive correct and 
reliable information as to the best and cheapest way of 
proceeding to the destination they are bound for. Here 
also they frequently meet with large employers of labour 
who come to Castle Garden to engage hands. Many 
poor people in England and Ireland seem to think that 
if they can but scrape the cash together, wherewith to 
pay the ocean fare across the Atlantic, and land them in 
the New World, that success is certain ; although they 
land penniless. This is quite a mistake, as anyone 
taking a walk to Castle Garden, and seeing the numbers 
of poor wretches anxiously longing to be engaged, would 
soon discover. The fact is that the New York labour 
market is overcrowded with this class of persons ; and 
to ensure obtaining remunerative employment, the 
emigrant should supply himself with at least four 
guineas more than is required for the ocean fare, in 

72 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

order that he may be able at once to push on westward 
for a thousand miles at least, until he reaches a district 
where labour is in good demand, and consequently well 

In walkins: round the Battery Park I saw some free 
swimming baths built out in the water. The day was 
very oppressive, and I longed to have a plunge in the 
liquid element, yet feared to do so there, as I felt assured 
that, in consequence of the price, the compa^}y I would 
find would be anything but desirable. 

A little further on were some more swimminor baths, 
with an admission fee of twenty-five cents. This sum I 
very gladly paid ; but, on entering, found the accom- 
modation exceedingly poor, consisting of a square space, 
open to the sky, surrounded by a wooden platform, 
built out into the bay, and on which were fixed a number 
of dressing rooms, very small, and built in the roughest 
possible manner. " Well," thought I, *' in London I 
can go to splendid baths, with glazed roofs and respect- 
able accommodation for dressing, and pure clean water, 
instead of this muddy stuff to swim in, and where they 
provide infinitely better towels than they do here, and 
yet charge less than half the price of this place into the 
bargain ; although at home the proprietors have to pay 
a very heavy water rate, while here you are simply 
bathing out of doors, in New York Bay, only with this 
boarding round you. I wonder I should not find better 
accommodation than this, in the largest city in the 
United States." However the morning was very sultry 
and oppressive, and despite my grumbling, I felt all the 
cooler and more comfortable for my dip in salt water. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 73 

and determined^ in my own mind, to come again another 
day, if I could not find a better place. 

On leaving the baths I met a Brooklyn gentleman 
i?irho had been a fellow passenger with me across the 
ocean ; and who now invited me to come and lunch at 
his house, 

I thanked him, and said, ^^ I shall be pleased to do so, 
bnt I must first get my boots blacked, if I can find 
a shoeblack. Do you have such beings in this country?'* 

" Yes, plenty of them ; but why do you not let the 
* boots ' at your hotel shine them for you, while you are 
dressing ? It would save you time when you are out." 

" I don't think the * boots ' at my hotel is up to his 
"work; I have put my boots outside my bedroom door 
each night, when I went to bed, and in the morning 
have found them there just in the same state that I left 
them, without having been cleaned at all." 

^* I wonder that you found them there at all, or that 
you ever saw them again." 

'' How so ? " 

" Why ! our hotels are so large, and there are so many 
persons constantly in and out, that it is the easiest thing 
in the world for a stranger to walk round and pick up 
anything he sees lying about in that way, and still easier 
for anyone staying in the house to do so ; and in a large 
hotel there are persons of all sorts — good, bad, and 
indifierent — among the guests. The hotel proprietors 
will not hold themselves responsible for thefts of that 
kind ; nor even for things stolen from your bedroom, if 
you leave your room without locking the door, or go 
downstairs leaving the key in the door. In many 

74 B^gg<^g^ ^^d Boots ; of^ 

hotels put up notices to that effect in each bedroom* 
You see we are a go-ahead people, and do things on a 
big scale here. Why, we're leaving you old fogies in 
England all behind." 

^* Thank you. Go-ahead the Americans may be, and, 
according to your own showing, at taking other people's 
goods and chattels into the bargain." 

" Oh I I did not say these hotel thieves were 
Americans. We have persons from all parts staying 
in our hotels ; foreigners — some Britishers, who have 
followed pursuits that your Government have signally 
disapproved — ticket-of-leave men, &c." 

" Thank you, you're very polite ; I hope your 
insinuations are not directed against present com» 

" Not in the least ; such a thought never crossed my 
mind. It was certainly very thoughtless of me. I 
beg your pardon." 

" Granted. And now tell me how do you get your 
boots cleaned in your hotels ? " 

" Why, I guess you ring for the ^ boots,' and give him 
the pair you want cleaned. He takes them and doe» 
them at once, and brings them back to you, when you 
pay him for the shine, which I guess squares you, does 
it not?" 

" Oh ! do you pay the man, don't they put it down in 
the hotel account?" 

** No. I found by experience when I was in England 
that you do things differently there. I did not 
know at first, and paid the ^ boots ' each time he 
shined a pair for me, and that was four, and was 

Smith's First Peep at America. 75 

quite astounded when I came to pay mj bill to see down 
* Boots, two shillings.'" 

'^ As I am a long way from the hotel, I want to find a 
street shoeblack/' 

^* There are two shiners over there, sitting on their 
boxes reading their newspapers. The boys here are 
great politicians, and you often have to kick them off 
their blocks in order to be attended to. I will rest 
myself on this seat till you return." 

I walked to the spot indicated ; had my boots cleaned 
by one of the urchins, and paid him two cents, and was 
walking off when the boy called after me : *^ Hi, 
gov'nor, look what you've given me." 

I returned and looked at the money, thinking I might 
accidentally have handed the lad English half-pence by 
mistake ; but found I had not. 

"The money is right enough. What's the matter 
with it?" 

" Right enough, indeed ! I guess it's not. Why, 
there's only two cents here, I want eight more," 

'^ Then you'll not get it. What I ten cents for 
blacking boots in the street ? I never heard of such a 

'' That's the price. Down south the shiners get a 

'< What's a quarter?" 

At first the boy thought I was foohng him, but 
finding I was in earnest, and that I really asked for 
information, he replied : *' I guess ye're a stranger 
here, gov'nor, I mean a quarter dollar, twenty-five 

76 Baggage and Boots, &c. 

" I don't believe you ; you never get a quarter, I'll 

^^ Oh, yes, I guess I did, last week, from a real gent. 
We shiners usually get a dime, and never less than a 

^^ What is a dime^ and how much is a nickle ? " 

The lad was much amused at my extreme igno- 
rance of American coinage, but informed me that a dime 
was ten cents, and a nickle half that sum. 

^^ I guess you seldom get more than a nickle." 

" Oh yes, we do," (then turning to his mate) " Don't 
we, Jack?" 

Jack assented with a-^" I guess we do." 

" I wish I had you lads where I came from. There 
you would get two cents, and be glad to get it." 

The boys looked at each other, and stared with 
astonishment. " Where's that ? " 

" Oh never mind, it does not signify. However, from 
what I can make out, the usual fee here is five cents, 
and that is what you will get now, although it is the 
first time in my life I have paid two-pence half-penny 
for having my boots blacked in the streets." So saying 
I crossed to where my friend was sitting, somewhat 
impatiently awaiting my return. 

" Mr. Smith, you appeared to be having quite an 
animated discussion with those boys ; what was it about, 

" No ; Domestic Economy." 


Fulton Ferry— Ferry steamer— Prospect Park— A novel remtta— Green- 
wood Cemetery — Monuments, &c — Brooklyn — Bast Biver Sospen* 
sion Bridge — Central Park ; its natural and artificially improved 
beauties— American birds— English colonists of the feather tribe 
introduced— They learn bad manners— Zoological collection at 
Prospect Park— The Mall, Central Lake, and rambles— The cross 
roads— Fireflies. 

"PROM Battery Park, I went with my friend to 
-^ Fulton Ferry, a distance of about a quarter of a 
mile. Passing through the toll gate we paid the fiire 
(two cents each) and entered a waiting room, where a 
number of other passengers were sitting or standing 
about. In a minute or so a bell rang, a gate leading to 
the dock was thrown open, and we all passed out. The 
large ferry steamer was before us ; not sideways to the 
pier, but end on ; the boat being made just to fit the 
dock into which it runs, and is drawn quite close to the 
pier by means of chains and windlasses, in order that 
horses and carts may run on and off the steamer without 

These ferry steamers are about 150 feet long, by 50 
feet wide. The hull is occupied by the boilers and 
stoke hole, and on the main deck, in the centre, is 
placed the cylinder of the large overhead-beam engine, 
which appears to be the only design of marine engine used 
by the Americans for their paddle steamers plying on 
the rivers, and round the coasts and sounds of the New 

78 Baggage and Boots ; or 

York and New England States. On each side of tbe 
engine is a sort of roadway, on to which vehicles, horses, 
and cattle are driven. On the ontside of these again is 
the accommodation for the foot passengers ; the whole 
being covered over for protection from the weather. On 
the top of the roof are placed one, and sometimeB two, 
small roond wheelhonses, from which the vessel is 
steered, and the oi-ders telegraphed to the engineer. 

The passage across the river occopied abont three 
minutes ; and on arrival at the Long Island side, the 
other end of the boat fitted into a dock just similar to 
the one described above- — both ends of the steamer 
being made alike, to prevent the necessity of having to 
turn the boat ronud each time of crossing. 

Smithes First Peep at America, 79 

On arriving Mr. Wilmot escorted me to his home, 
and introduced me to his wife, a good looking 
American lady of easy yet graceful manners, and 
evidently very young. 

During luncheon Mr. Wilmot asked me what I 
purposed doing with myself in the afternoon. 

'^ I have no plan in particular, but as I want to make 
^he most of my time, I think I may as well see what is 
to be seen in Brooklyn and its vicinity, now I am here. 
Perhaps you can direct me how to go about it." 

** With the greatest of pleasure, and as I have a 
leisure afternoon I will go with you, unless you 

" Of course not ; I shall be very pleased." 

So, after luncheon, I put myself under Wilmot's 
guidance, and we went by a " Flatbush Avenue horse- 
car " up to the noted Prospect Park. At the entrance 
ihere were public wagonettes in waiting, to make the 
tour of the park, which is 550 acres in extent. This is 
perhaps the pleasantest way of seeing it on a scorchingly 
hot afternoon. It is situated at a considerable elevation, 
and commands splendid views of Brooklyn and New 
York cities, and harbour. In the park I noticed a 
number of masts and sails moving to and fro as though 
a regatta was taking place. On nearer approach, 
however, the masts proved to be fixed in a very long 
circular trough, some fifty or sixty feet in diameter, and 
about three feet wide by eighteen inches deep. The 
trough floated in the water, and was kept in its place 
by lines attached to a post fixed firmly in the bed of the 
lake, and round which the trough revolved like the tire 

80 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

of a huge wheel round its axle. Seats were placed 
across this trough like those in a row-boat, and were 
occupied by several ladies and children, taking a sail in 
this very limited area. There are a number of deer in 
Prospect Park, which, however, are confined to certain 
preserves, divided oflT by lofty fencing of stout wire. In 
another part of the park, there is situated a sort of farm 
yard. Among the stock are a few sheep from Southern 
Africa, of a very rare and peculiar breed. 

" Well, what do you think of our park ? " 

" Oh, it's very much like an EngUsh Park. You do 
not, however, go in so largely for flowers and bedding 
out plants of variegated coloured leaves, as we do in our 
London parks." 

'^ I guess its early yet, so if you have seen enough of 
this, we have time to visit Greenwood Cemetery, It is 
no great distance from here, and we can soon get 
there, if you would like to go. Of course you 
have heard of it ; it is the most noted cemetery in the 

^' Yes, I've heard of it, and should very much like to 
see it." 

Greenwood Cemetery is situated to the west of Prospect 
Park, and about half way beween it and New York Bay. 
It embraces above 500 acres of land, and was first 
opened as a cemetery in 1842. 

A quarter of an hour's walk brought us to it. 

" Whatever are these garden chairs stuck about here 
among the tombs for?" 

" I guess they're put there by the friends of the 
deceased, in order that they may have somewhere to 

Smithes First Peep at America. 81 

rest^ when they come to spend an hoar or two watching 
by the graves of their departed ones.'^ 

" Oh, what a taste ! It would be a long while before 
yon would catch me dwelling among the tombs in that 
way. Why ! I have always looked on graveyards and 
cemeteries as places rather to be avoided than otherwise." 

^' No wonder; so should I if I lived in England, and 
saw nothing but those horrid flat headstones you seem 
so fond of over there, all crowded together in miserable 
doleful places, where you make no attempt at flower 
gardening, or smoothly-mown lawns, or anything to 
render the place attractive and cheerful." 

'^ What a splendid monument that is, over there ? " 

'' Yes, I guess it is. Oome and have a look at it. It 
is erected to the memory of Charlotte Cauda, a young 
lady who died on the very day that had been fixed for 
her wedding." 

^^ That was very sad. Over there I see a statue 
representing a captain, taking an observation at sea. I 
suppose a seafaring man is buried there." 

^^ Oh ! an old sea captain had that erected long 
before he died. It is a statue of himself, and he used to 
come here frequently, when his ship was in port, and 
sit on a chair, such as you were remarking about just 
now^ and spend his leisure time watching and admiring 
it from positions where he could obtain a good view." 

^* Well, I never heard of such a thing before." 

" The same thing is frequently done in this country 
by those in a position to aflbrd it." 

After spending over an hour in the cemetery, we 
made our way to the East entrance, in order, as Wilmot 

82 Baggage and Boots ; or 

said, that I might see the way it was decorated ; from 
thence we returned by horse car to the city. En route^ 
Wilmot pointed out the Court House, a large building 
with white marble front, and a very fine portico, and an 
iron dome ; and fisicing it, the City Hall, also of white 
marble, surmounted by a belfry with a four-dial clock ; 
also several other public buildings of less importance. 

Declining Mr. Wilmot's kind invitation to return with 
him to his house to spend the evening, I continued my 
journey in the tram-car, right to Fulton Ferry, As I 
crossed the water, the glorious rays of the evening sun 
bea'utifally illuminated the great East River Suspension 

This stupendous engineering work crosses the East 
River, here over a quarter of a mile wide, in one span. 
On either side of the river are two towers, of massive 
masonry, each 268 feet high, over the top of which are 
stretched the massive cables from which the bridge is 
suspended. The exact span between the towers on 
either side is 1,595 feet. The bridge is 85 feet wide, 
and consists of two lines for horse-cars (tram-cars), four 
carriage ways, and two foot-paths. It was commenced 
in 1871, and has cost more than 10,000,000 dols. There 
was a great deal of opposition to its erection, especially 
from ship-owners, and wharfingers, whose wharves lay 
on the East River, above the bridge, as their vessels 
have to take down their topmasts before they can pass 
under, and several accidents have occurred. 

On landing I walked up Fulton Street, and took the 
Elevated Railroad to 3rd Avenue and 34th Street, 
from whence I had but four or five minutes' walk to 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 83 

reach my hotel. On arriving, I found a large number 
of the guests staying in the house twere assembled in 
the drawing-room, where a pleasant social entertain- 
ment was going forward, consisting of readings and 
recitations, interspersed with vocal and instrumental 

The next morning I went up 6th Avenue for a mile 
or so, until I reached Central Park, which I entered by 
what is known as the Artists' Gate, which, however, is 
merely an entrance place, the gate being missing. 

Central Park is rectangular in shape, and contains an 
area of just one and a quarter square miles; being two 
and a half miles long, by half a mile in width. It is 
situated, as nearly as possible, in the centre of Man- 
hattan Island, the whole of which, to the south of the 
park, is thickly built over ; the mile or so of land on 
either side of it (to the Hudson and East Rivers respec- 
tively), less so, especially on the western side ; while to 
the north, although maps of New York show the island 
ruled out in avenues and streets, some of these as yet 
exist only on paper. 

Central Park is totally unlike Prospect Park, and to 
an EngUshman's way of thinking, vastly superior. 
Nature has been assisted by art to render it a most 
charming spot. The thick foliage in every direction, the 
jutting rocks, the shaded walks and trellis-work arbours, 
very extensively and thickly overgrown witL American 
Tine (or Westeria) are very enjoyable. There are 
several sweetly pretty, though small, ornamental sheets 
of water. In addition to these, there are some very 
large reservoirs of water, for the supply of the city. 

84 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

situated abont the centre of the park. The southem 
end is by far the most visited (or patronized, as our 
American cousins say), and consequenUy more care and 
attention have been expended on this portion. In parts^ 
the rocks and lakes^ with pines^ and other trees of the 
fir tribe^ together combining to make the visitor forget 
he is really in the midst of a large city, and requiring 
but little imagination to picture himself transplanted to 
some' lovely nook in Switzerland. In the early month 
of summer the visitor finds the magnolia tree with its 
large white tulip-shaped blossom in full bloom. On the 
more open parts are to be seen gorgeous peacocks^ 
strutting about the grass ; while as the visitor wanders 
about among the thickets of the less frequented parts^ 
he, every now and then, starts a rabbit or a squirrel. 
Blue birds, jays, and other bright specimens of the 
feathered tribe ilit from tree to tree ; while the familiar 
sparrows are here in thousands. 

Twenty years ago, they were unknown in America. 
A few years later, however, a few pairs were imported 
from England, and let loose in Central Park, in the 
hope that they would be able to do, what none of the 
beautiful birds indigenous to the locality seem able to 
accomplish, viz.: — to keep under the swarms of grubs, 
caterpillars, and insects with which the place was 

The plan, however, appeared a failure, as instead of 
multiplying, in a few months the new colonists all dis- 
appeared ; probably succumbing to the severity of their 
first North- American winter ; unless, indeed, they met 
with a more violent death at the hands of the native 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 85 

tribes of the feathered race, to whom they were foreigners 
and enemies. 

In the following year, however, the experiment was 
tried again, another twenty-five pairs being imported 
from the old country, and let loose in Central Park. 
They ftirthermore received legal protection, it being 
made a punishable oiBPence to kill an English sparrow ; 
anyone so transgressing being made liable to a fine of five 
dollars. This time the result surpassed the most 
sanguine expectation of the promoters of the idea. Not 
only did the new comers hold their own against other 
birds, but they multiplied rapidly, and ^to general 
astonishment survived the severity of the vrfnter months, 
and soon became thoroughly acclimatized. As their 
numbers increased, they ftilfilled all that their advocates 
had promised for them. Under the incentive *of their 
hungry little stomachs, and vigilant search, the plague 
of insects was rapidly reduced. Not content with this, 
they went far beyond what was required of them. In 
the same way that the aboriginal races disappeared before 
the advance of the white man, so, no sooner were these 
Anglo-Saxon sparrows firmly established in their new 

colony, than they made war, and drove out before them 
thousands of the smaller birds indigenous to the land. 
'* I never saw such little creatures to fight," said an 

old man, who had been relating the above facts to me. 

" I come from the old country, and can remember the 

sparrows at home weD, but I never saw them fight there 

like they do here." 

'^ I'm afraid they have learnt bad manners off the 

Americans," I replied. *^ When they see the head of 

86 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

the animal world carrying pistols about in order to 
avenge any and every little insult no wonder they learn 
to be pugnacious.'' 

"Why, see them down town," continued the old 
man, " in front of the City Hall, there, how bold and 
impudent they are ; they will hop about the path, quite 
close to you. Why, when persons are sitting on the 
seats there, eating biscuits or what not, I've actually 
seen them come and pick up the crumbs they have 
dropped, and fly off with them with all the impudence 
in the world, and not seem in the least afraid."* 

"They are not the only inhabitants of New York 
that have plenty of cheek," I laughingly interposed. 

" I guess they remind me of those pigeons I remember 
seeing many a time in London, that would almost trip 
you up when you crossed the courtyard in front of the 
Guildhall. Are they there still ? " 

" Well, perhaps not the identical pigeons you re- 
member, but their descendants are. You know the 
City Companies are very conservative, and I presume the 
company of pigeons that inhabit the precincts of the 
Guildhall, among the rest. Now, can you tell me what 
is best worth seeing here ? " 

" I guess there is a collection of wild animals, out 
here in the south-eastern corner of the park, and then, 
a little to the north, is the museum. Then, about a 
mile further to the north, is the new museum ; there 
you have to pay twenty-five cents for admission on 
Mondays and Tuesdays ; the other days are free." 

" Thank you, I'm much obliged, I'll wish you good- 
morning." The zoological collection alluded to above, 

SinitKs First Peep at America, 87 

I found to be very small and poor ; especially when 
compared with the splendid collection at Regent's Park, 
London, and I could not help thinking it rather a dis- 
credit to so large a city as New York, that that should 
be the sole collection they could boast. There was on& 
large African elephant there ; it was confined in a cage, 
so small that it could scarcely move round, in addi- 
tion to which, it was tantalized by being chained by a 
leg. The polar bear, also, was basking in a tempera- 
ture of nearly ninety degrees, without any water to dis- 
port himself in, other than that which flowed from an 
indiarubber hose, temporarily inserted into his cage. 

Pursuing my rambles northward, I came to a broad 
gravel walk called the Mall, up and down which 
little children were being driven in goat chaises at five 
cents a " ride." On either side of this path are pedestals,^ 
sarmounted by statues of various American and British 
celebrities in the political and poetical world ; such as 
Shakespeare, Burns, Scott, &c., including a pedestal, a 
sort of " reserved seat," the inscription on which informs 
the visitor that it is intended for a statue of Daniel 
O'Connell. Across the northern end of the Mall is an 
erection of masonry, called the Terrace, with a broad 
Alight of steps by which the visitor descends to a small 
sheet of water, twenty acres in extent, called Central 
Lake, on which row-boats can be hired at fifty cents per 
hour. Beyond the lake, to the north, the visitor can 
take an enjoyable stroD, through a part very appro- 
priately called the '* Rambles," and a little beyond you 
reach the reservoirs for the low-service water supply to 
the city. They are two in number, the smaller one 

^8 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

occupying thirty-five acres^ and the larger, one, one 
hundred and six. 

To the north of the large reservoir but Kttle has been 
done in the way of artificial improvement. In fact, on 
many acres of this public property a large crop of barley 
was being reared, for whose especial benefit I could not 

There are four roads across the park, for the accom- 
modation of the street traffic from one side to the other. 
In order that this should not mar the rural features of 
the park, they cross in deep cuttings ; the park drives 
and walks being carried over, on broad bridges, with 
banks of shrubs on either side, so that any stranger 
making the "tour " of the park by the broad carriage- 
drive is hardly aware of their existence. The two upper 
ones especially, seem however, to be but little used. 
In the north-east comer of the park is a small but 
pretty sheet of water, called the Biirlem Lake. I was 
in no hurry to return to the hotel ; so spent the whole 
day " exploring " the place. As evening came on, I 
could not make out whatever was the matter with my 
eyes. I appeared to see little sparks of light every few 
seconds give a momentary flash and disappear. Now 
here, then there, I was at first sorely puzzled to account 
for it ; I felt no pain, and^knew of nothing amiss with 
my eyesight. Presently I became convinced that it 
was, after all, no defect in my vision, but that the 
sparks of light were really among the grass and bushes. 
Suddenly it dawned upon me that I was now beholding 
for the first time an insect that I had sometimes read 
about, but had never seen,namely the fire-fly. I wanted to 

Smithes First Peep at America, 89 

examine one, but found them difficuU to catch, as I could 
only tell their whereabouts by their little lantern, which 
flashed forth in the mpst unexpected places^ and was out 
in an instant. However, I succeeded at last, and im- 
prisoned one in my handkerchief untU I should have an 
opportunity of examining it under a gas-lamp. It was 
long and narrow, about three-quarters of an inch in 
length, and in appearance considerably resembled the 
insect commonly called a *^ soldier " by country children 
in England. It is the wnder part of the body from 
which the flashes of light are given forth every few 
seconds ; so that it is only when on the wing that you 
notice it, as its little lamp is hid by its body and wings 
when resting on the ground. 



Jersey City — Wood-framed Villas — Coloared Domestic Servants — 
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity —Sheets and Table-cloths— New York 
City Hall — G. P. 0. arrangements — ^The leading Newspaper Offices 
— Western Union Telegraph Office — Telegraphic arrangements — 
Trinity Church— Wall Street— United States Sub-Treasury — 
Custom House — Stock Exchange scene — Street paving — Local 
excursions — The Cooper Institute — New York street vendors — 
Smith buys a banana, and does not know what it is. 

ANE afternoon I went, by invitation, across to Jersey 
" City to spend the evening with an American 
gentleman, whose acquaintance I had made while on the 
voyage. Meeting this friend by arrangement, at the depot 
of the Jersey Central Railroad, at the foot of Liberty 
Street, we crossed the river in one of tlie huge ferry 
boats, and proceeded one mile further by train, to 
•Communipaw, once an old Indian village. Here I was 
surprised to find how large a number of the private 
houses are built of wood. On further acquaintance, I 
found them very comfortable inside ; where you would 
not know but that you were in a brick or stone built 
house. In most cases the street door stood wide open. 
There was, however, an outer door with panels of wire 
gauze, which reminded me of large meat safes. These 
are kept closed, to keep out the mosquitoes, while yet 
allowing the house to be thoroughly ventilated by the 
passing breezes. 

I was also surprised to find that among private 
families, negresses were as largely engaged as domestic 

Smithes First Peep at America. 91 

servants as their black brothers were at the hotels ; and 
was much amused at seeing, for the first time, a coloured 
maid waiting upon the family at meals. The white 
people look upon their darker skinned brethren with a 
good deal of contempt ; as though a black skin could not 
contain a generous heart, or an enlightened mind ; and 
though acknowledging that they make good servants, at 
the same time are careful to add that that is only as long 
as you keep them in their place, and make them feel 
the inferiority of race. The negro population, on the 
other hand, by no means appear to acknowledge this 
inferiority, nor that a black skin is any less beautiful 
than a white one ; indeed, they are often exceedingly 
vain of their personal appearance, and spend much time 
before the looking glass. I spent a very pleasant 
evening, and at the pressing invitation of my host and 
hostess stayed the night. The next morning my friend 
asked me if I slept well, and found my bed comfortable. 

I thanked him, and said I was very comfortable indeed. 

" Then you were more fortunate than a gentleman 
was who slept in that room one night last autumn. My 
wife and daughter were away at the time, up in New 
Hampshire somewhere ; and feeUng like a poor forlorn 
bachelor, I had accepted my friend's invitation to go 
with him to an entertainment up town. It was very late 
when it was over, and I persuaded him to come home 
with me and sleep here, as he lived much further off, 
and, being a single man, had no wife to be uneasy at his 
non-appearance. It was past midnight when we arrived 
and the maids had gone to bed long before. So after 
rummaging about in the larder for something to eat, I 

92 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

gave him some matches^ and directed him to our visitors* 
room, where you slept last night ; and was just turning 
into my room, which is the one below, when I heard 
him shaking his sides with laughter. So I called out to 
him * Whatever is the matter with you ? what have you 
found up there? ' to which he replied, 'You had better 
come up and see for yourself.' So I went up, and found 
him still in convulsions of laughter, when he pointed to 
the bed ; where, to my astonishment, a dark little head, 
with fuzzy black hair, was peeping out from between 
the bedclothes. It was one of our maids, who, taking 
advantage of my wife's absence, and never dreaming of 
anyone coming upstairs, had taken possession of the best 
bedroom. I did feel so angiy with her. I sent my 
visitor down stairs again, and ordered her to get up and 
take the sheets o£f the bed ; and although it was past 
the middle of the night, I made her take them down to 
the wash-house and wash them, then and there. Then 
what to do with my guest, I hardly knew. However we 
went to my wife's linen cupboard, and got out another 
pair of sheets ; and together, he and I somehow made 
up. the bed, and he retired to rest. In the morning I 
asked him how he had slept, to which he replied, ^ Fairly 
well, only I guess I found those sheets precious stiff.' 
A few days after, when my wife returned home, she was 
almost as angry with me as I had been with the maid, 
as she informed me that I had placed my visitor to sleep 
between two of her best table-cloths." 

After breakfast I returned to the city with my friend 
who kindly spared an hour from business in order to 
show me about a bit. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 93 

Walking down town the first object he pointed out 
was the City Hall ; a substantial building, with front 
and sides of white marble, and occupied by offices and 
courts, for civic and judicial purposes. It stands some 
distance back from the Broadway and sideways to it, 
its front, which looks towards the south, facing a nice 
open square, laid out in grass, and crossed by concreted 
footpaths. On the opposite side of this open space 
stands the Greneral Post Office, an immense, four- 
storied erection, built entirely of granite, at a cost of 
7,000,000 dols. It occupied a plot of ground nearly 
triangular in shape ; the small park just alluded to 
forming the base, while Broadway on one side and Park 
Eow on the other, joining at the southern end, form the 
two sides. On entering I was surprised to find how 
largely the New Yorkers went in for the box system, 
which can be rented from three dollars per quarter, and 
of which there were several thousand. I also observed 
that the officials left a great deal of the letter sorting to 
be done by those who posted them, there being a separate 
posting place for each state, which arrangement was 
further divided by having special boxes for all the great 
cities. This system causes the office to present a very 
animated appearance* ; clerks, with a number of letters 
to post dodging from pillar to post, and pushing by one 
another like bees in a hive, according to the destination 
of the correspondence. After dark the building is lit up 
by the electric light. 

Near the Post Office, on the Park Row side, is the 
lofty red brick office of the ** Tribune Newspaper," and 
a little ftirther down that of the " New York Herald.'* 

94 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 


I was grieved to learn that both these newspapers are 
published on Sunday just as on any other day ; and 
that their offices are open then for the receipt of 
advertisements and all ordinary business. 

Opposite the " Herald " office is St. Paul's Churchy 
and also the noted Astor House, a first-class hotel, and 
very centrally situated, but expensive. 

A little lower down Broadway are the '* Western 
Union Telegraph Offices/' a lofty red brick building of 
ten stories and surmounted by a clock tower. The base- 
ment is used as an office for receiving messages for trans- 
mission. It also contains, under glass cases, some o 
the earliest instruments and machines used for tele- 
graphic purposes, long since superseded by more perfect 
inventions. Ascending in an elevator to the top of the 
building, the visitor enters the battery room, where is- 
a steam engine working three dynamo machines for the 
production of electricity. There are also thousands of 
glass bottles there, where the electric agent was beinor 
generated by means of chemical action. You can then 
pass on up another flight of stairs into a small gallery 
overlooking the operating room ; where a large number 
of young ladies and gentlemen are busily employed 
receiving and transmitting messages from and to all 
parts of the continent. From the receiving office, in 
the basement, to the operating room, the messages are- 
conveyed by means of pneumatic tubes. 

In America the telegraphs are not worked in with 
the Post Office, nor do they form a Government 
monopoly as in England, but the service is undertaken 
by public companies, of which there are several, th^ 

Smith's First Peep at America. 95 

Western Union being the largest and most important. 
The result of this is, that where there is much opposition 
between any two places, the rate of telegraphing is very 
low. The companies also undertake the transmission of 
night telegrams at reduced rates ; usually • half-price. 
Messages thus designated can be given in at any time, 
but are not delivered specially, but by a regular morning 
delivery similar to a postal delivery. 

Biiving satisfied my curiosity at the telegraph offices 
I pursued my walk down the Broadway. A little 
further on is the splendid granite built building of the 
Equitable Life Insurance Company on the left, and 
immediately beyond the noted Trinity Church on the 
right. It was begun in 1839 and completed in 1846. 
Trinity parish is the oldest in the city, and the present 
Church is most wealthily endowed; the lands from 
which its income is derived having risen to a fabulous 
value, since the first Church was built in 1696, and which 
was destroyed by fire in 1776. 

I had just bidden good-bye for the present to my kind 
friend, who was compelled to leave me on account of 
business engagements he was obliged to attend to, and 
was walking slowly along, noticing the various public 
buildings, and was just opposite Trinity Church, when I 
was accosted by another New York gentleman, a Mr. 
Kellog, whose acquaintance I had made during the 
voyage across. After a few general remarks he asked 
me where I was going. 

'' Nowhere in particular," I answered, " I am only 
strolling about to see your principal public buildings 
and such like." 

96 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

'^ Have you been into Trinity Church ?" 

'' No." 

^' Then come with me. There is something there I 
should like to show you. I guess it will amuse you," 

We accordingly entered. The church is large and 
handsome, and has rich stained glass windows. Mr. 
Kellog conducted me to a small vestibule at the further 
end, and, pointing to a broken tablet inserted in the 
wall, said, '^ Look at the spelling and division of words 
there." It reads as follows : — 

Co tfie iEemorSi 9ct.f 
Of OBASIAH HUME, with Us Wife, SUSAiniH, 

From Credly in Hearifordaheir in OJdinglandy 

&c., &c. 

We then climbed over three hundred steps up to the 
steeple, but were well repaid for our exertion by the 
splendid view of the city and harbour we obtained. 

On leaving Trinity Church, Mr. Kellog said, ^' Now, 
I guess there is no need to follow the Broadway further ; 
beyond this it consists principally of the offices 
of the various steamboat companies and shipping 
merchants, and leads down to the battery. • Let us go 
down this street opposite ; it is Wall Street, the great 
street for our large bankers and financial agents. There, 
on the left, at the corner of the next block, is the United 
States Sub-Treasury, where the Government banking 

SmttKs First Peep at America, 97 

business is transacted ; and a little beyond is the Custom 
House ; there is but little in there that you will care to 
see ; but if you will come this way, it is just the busy 
time on the Stock Exchange, and I guess you will be 
interested in seeing how excited the brokers get over 
their buying and selling." We accordingly made our way 
into the strangers' gallery, when I looked down upon 
the greatest hubbub I had ever seen in my life. The 
pulling and pushing and shouting at the top of their 
voices of about a couple of hundred persons united 
to create a scene of the wildest confusion. 

" Well ! what do you think of it ? " 

" Why, that it's the nearest approach to an Irish row 
I ever saw in my life." 

'^ I guess a good many of them descend from that 
nationality. In matters of local management also, the 
Irish have it pretty much their own way in this 

" Perhaps that may account for your streets being so 
badly paved." 

** Do you think they are ? " 

** Certainly, why as 1 walk along in the evening I 
keep catching the toe of my boot against projecting 
flags, which upset my equiUbrium every other minute." 

" But look at the frost we get here every winter." 

" I don't see what that has to do with it." 

" Everything. When the frost comes, it cracks the 
earth and bulges up the paving stones in the way you 
see. Nothing will prevent it, and to keep them in the 
way you think they ought to be kept, it would require 
them to be relaid every spring. We do not stumble as 

98 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

you describe ; you should lift your feet a litde more as 
you walk, and then you would be all right." 

" Oh ! I see now what causes the New Yorkers to be 
such proverbial * high steppers.' " 

" I should have liked to have spent the day with you, 
showing you about and teaching you the ^ American 
step ' ; but business must be attended to, so I guess I 
must leave you to find your way about by yourself." 

*' Many thanks for the trouble you have already 
taken ; where do you recommend me to go this afternoon 
so as to use the limited time I have to the best advan- 

** I guess you might take the ferry-boat from pier 22 
or 24, and go up the East Eiver to Harlem or High 
Bridge. That would give you an opportunity of seeing 
some of our war ships, Jying otf the United States Navy 
Yard, on the Long Island shore ; as also of the asylums 
and Government Buildings on Blackwall Wards and 
Randall's Islands. There are ferries to these islands, 
but if you want to visit them you must first get an 
order from the Commissioners of Public Charities, at 
the comer of 3rd Avenue and 11th Street: or if you prefer 
the sea, Brighton Beach and Coney Island are most 
enjoyable, only it is almost as well to make a day of it 
when you go there. You might, however, take the 
steamer from No. 1 pier. East Biver, and spend an hour 
or two at Staten Island. It contains some nice walks 
and drives and many pretty villas, belonging to mer- 
chants in New York. It is the largest of the islands in 
the bay, of which you obtain a fine view in running 
-^own and back on the steamer. Then, in the evening 

Smithes First Peep at America. 99 

yon tniglit take a walk aloDg Bottt^'', which is the great 
shopping thoronghfare for the lower classes ; and see what 
an amoant of trade is done there on Saturday night. 
Or you might be interested in visiting the Cooper 
Institute, which is a philanthropic institntion, containing 
a free library and reading room, and where a free night 
school is held for the very poor classes, to whom free 
lectures are also given. It is a very large bailding, 

occupying an entire block between 3rd and 4 th Avenues, 
and 7th and 8tJi Streets. By the way, what do yon 
intend to do with yourself to-morrow, Sunday ? " 

*' I proposed to hear the Reverend Ward Beecher 
preach. I would have gone last Sunday but could not 
very well, only landing that morning." 

" Is that so ? I can't make it out. All the English- 
men that come over here are mad to run after Ward 

100 l^cLggage and Boots ; or^ 

Beecher, the first thing. Why! although I* live in 
Brooklyn, it is ten years since I was in his churcL'* 

" A prophet is not without honour save in his own 

" K you will cross by Fulton Ferry about ten o'clock 
in the morning I will meet you on the other side, and we 
will go together and hear Mr. Beecher; I see he is ad- 
vertised to preach to-morrow." 

" Many thanks for your kindness. I shall be sure to 


" Well, I must be ofi^ at once, I guess. I'll see you 
again to-morrow morning. Fulton Ferry — ^Ten o'clock 
—Don't forget." 

" All right, thank you, I'll remember." 

After watching the tumult beneath for a minute or 
two longer I left the strangers' gallery of the Stock 
Exchange, and again made my way into the Broadway. 
There were a number of hawkers standing at the edge 
of the pavement selling all sorts of small trinkets in the 
same manner as I had ever remembered them doing at 
home, only the price was usually, ** Only five cents, sir ; 
only five cents "; whereas, at home, this class of vendors 
nearly always cry their goods at a penny. The greatest 
novelty to me was the fruit on the costermongers'barrows 
in size and shape a good deal resembling a large pork 
sausage. I wondered whatever it could be, ticketed 
two, three, and five cents apiece. I fain would have 
asked what they were but did not like to betray my 
ignorance. I had seen them occasionally in London, 
and wondered how it was they had never excited my 
curiosity before, but concluded it was their great 

Smiths First Peep at America, , 101 

abundance here that so attracted my attention. I had 
an idea that they were plantains, and wonld have bought 
one and tried it, only I did not know how to eat it, 
whether to bite it through just as it was as one would 
an apple, or if there was any peel or rind to come off 
first. Again, I did not like to ask, but, as my in- 
qnisitiveness increased, I determined to stay about near 
a barrow full of them and watch, until I had seen some 
one else buy and eat one, that I might know how to set 
about it. As ill-luck would have it no purchasers 
patronised the stock I was watching for some time, and 
I got so jostled about by the passing crowd that I took 
refuge a few paces down a side street, at the corner 
of which the costermonger was standing with his goods. 
After waiting a few minutes a young man stopped and 
selected one, and I saw him burst open the soft outer 
rind by giving it a slight pinch which split it from 
end to end, take out the soft pithy fruit inside and begin 
to eat. 

'^ Thank you, my worthy friend, I can do that," so I 
immediately went up to the barrow, purchased one, and 
followed my instructor up the Broadway. I, however, 
was still unaware of what I had got, but came to the 
conclusion that as I should have to confess my ignorance 
to some one before I could find out I might as well ask 
the young man before me, who was eating the one he 
had just bought. So touching him on the shoulder I 
enquired the name of the fruit he was eating. The man 
I touched turned round, when, to my utter astonish- 
ment, I found it was not the one I intended to ask, and 
that I must have lost my man in the crowd, for the 

102 Baggage and Boots ^ &*€; 

person I toaohed was eating an apple. I was, there- 
fore, unable to put my query in the form I had 
intended, namely, " Would you kindly inform me the 
name of the fruit you are eating?" I felt that I 
would be mistaken for a lunatic to ask such a childish 
question, although to the New Yorker the question I 
did ask was equally as absurd. Holding out my purchase 
I said, " What is the name of this fruit ?" 

The man stared at me in blank astonishment." 

** I guess you're escaped from Ward's Island ; or else 
ye're trying to make a fool of me." 

'^ No, indeed I am not. I do not know what I have 
got, and ask for information." 

" Well, then," remarked the stranger as he passed on, 
" I don't know where you can come from ; but I guess 
ye're the first man I ever saw grow up so ignorant. How- 
ever, if ye really don*t know I guess I'll tell ye. It's a 
banana, sometimes called a plantain." 


Sunday in Brooklyn — Plymoath Church — Floral Decorations — Fans — 
The Rev. Ward Beecher's discourse — Some American Sunday 
Schools — Black Sklos and White Skins — Smith argues their 
Equality — Goes to Plymouth Church again in the e7ening. 

AN Sunday, I met Mr. Kellog, as arranged, and we 
^ went together to hear the Rev. Ward Beecher. 

With the size and architecture of his church I was 
much disappointed. The exterior is a very meagre 
looking structure, of red-brick, coming within six feet 
or so of the public roadway, and forms part of a terrace 
of houses, in a quiet, but respectable side street. Nor 
was the inside so large as 1 had expected to find. I had 
anticipated that the great American preacher held forth 
in a building, and to an audience, as large as his con- 
temporary's in Newingfcon Butts, London ; and was sur- 
prised, on entering, to find myself in a building, nearly 
square, and surrounded by one deep gallery, and 
seating, at a rough guess, not more than half as many 
people as the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The platform 
was splendidly decorated with flowers, for which the con- 
gregation vote a sum of 500 dollars per annum (over 
£100) ; and in the midst of the floral show sat the 
reverend orator, lustily fanning himself with a Japanese 
palm leaf. The worthy deacons, who were showing 

104 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

strangers to seats, were also doing the same. The 
service was commenced without any announcement from 
the minister, by the choir rising and singing : " Who 
are these in wHte raiment and whence came .they?" 
After a short opening prayer, the congregation joined in 
singing, ^* How did my heart rejoice to hear," &c. The 
minister then read the thirteenth chapter of Paul's first 
Epistle to the Corinthians, which was followed by 
another prayer, and then the collection, a part of the 
programme never omitted from an American service. 
The hymn, '* When all Thy mercies, my God," was 
then sung, followed by the sermon. The reverend 
gentleman took for his text the third verse of Jude's 
Epistle : "Earnestly contend for the faith which was once 
delivered unto the saints." He commenced by saying 
that pride, arrogance, perverted conscience, evil 
speaking, slander, and many other sins, people try to 
shelter under this verse ; but Jude was speaking of that 
faith which brings newness of life. We are to contend 
for the faith by a Christian life, and walk, and con- 
versation. It was a false assumption that the church 
was authoritative ; and that to its edicts men must im- 
plicitly yield the dictates of their own consciences. It is 
a false theory of the duties of conscience, if we 
think it is our duty to domineer and rule over the con- 
sciences of those who differ from us. This false theory 
has, before now, led to the persecution, imprisonment, 
and martyrdom, of some of the best men and women 
who overlived. The spirit of judgment, and of criticism, 
and of dislike, is anti-Christian. Men attempt, by 
machinery, to promote piety. Such eflfbrts are always 

Smith's First" Peep at Amzrica. 105 

fatile ; and instead of attaining their object, engender 
only infidelity and atheism. 

The service was concluded by a short prayer ; and 
after the hymn commencing, " Daughter of Zion, from 
the dust," had been sung the congregation was dis- 
missed with the benediction. 

Mr. Kellog's house was a long way from Plymouth 
Church, and on our way there he asked me how I liked 
what I had Seen and heard. 

"I liked Mr. Ward Beecher's sermon very much, 
and also his bearing, and manner of conducting the 
service. What a venerable looking old gentleman he is, 
with his long silvery hair nearly on to his shoulders. He 
is evidently an older man than I had expected to find." 
*' Now, this afternoon I propose taking you to see 
some of our Sunday Schools, if you would like to do so. 
You know we, here in America, are strong on Sunday 

** Yes, I know you are ; and I should like to see how 
vou manage.*' 

In fulfilment of this promise, Mr. Kellog took me 
to see two Sunday Schools. On entering the 
first, we sat down on a bench reserved for visitors. Our 
entering did not attract the children's attention, as it 
would in an English Sunday School ; as visitors, parents 
of the scholars, and others, are constantly coming and 
going, listening for a few minutes to what is going 
forward, and then taking iheir departure again. After 
staying some little time in the main school, we went 
into a nice light room adjoining, tastefully decorated, 

where a large number of infants were being taught a 


106 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

new hymn. After a few minutes' stay here, we took oiy 
departure in order to visit the Sunday School in con- 
nection with a neighbouring Congregational Church. 
We arrived in time to hear the closing exercises, and 
the superintendent give out a long string of notices, the 
most interesting to the children evidently being one 
about their annual excursion, which was to take place 
that week. It was a splendid large school-room, situated 
upstairs ; lofty and well lighted, and provided with a 
deep gallery round the further end. The furniture of 
the school also showed the care and attention that was 
bestowed on the comfort of the scholars. As we walked 
home, Mr. Kellog asked me, " How I liked American 
Sunday Schools ?" 

" Oh, you do indeed have splendid accommodation, 
but there are one or two things that do not seem to me 
quite the thing." 

" Such as r 

"Well, for instance, in that school we have just left, 
close to the back, where we were sitting, there was a 
coloured gentleman teaching a class of black boys and 
girls mixed. I don't see why they should be made in a 
separate class by themselves." 

" I suppose, because so few colouried children come to 
that school that it is not worth while to make a separate 
class for the boys and another for the girls ; that is why 
they are mixed, or it may be that they have not another 
coloured teacher." 

*' That is not my meaning at all. Why are they not 
put here and there, in different classes with the other 
children, according to their sex, age and ability ? " 


SmitKs First Peep at America, 107 

'^ I don't suppose the other children would like it, nor 
their parents either ; and besides, I guess the coloured 
children would not like it either. The other children 
would be sure to keep a3 far off them as they could, and 
give them the cold shoulder, and they would feel the 
difference much more than when they have a class to 
themselves, as at present." 

"The difference, indeed, what difference? Wherein 
does it lie? Is it in the colour of their skin? The 
other children need not fear that it will come off and 
black their pretty white muslin dresses. Is it that they 
are less clever ? Their bright, intelligent faces tell a 
different tale from that. Is it that they are less 
attentive ? As I looked at the various classes there, I 
could see none that were paying more attention to 
what their teacher was saying to them, or that sang 
more heartily, or that were more devout during prayer, 
than they. Do the others consider them to belong to a 
lower order of beings, or more degraded than them- 
selves ? I hope not. But if they do, what is it they 
come to Sunday School for ? Is it not to learn that God 
sent His Son to save the degraded, the lost, the despised ? 
They should remember that ' The Lord seeth not as man 
seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but 
the Lord looketh on the heart.* " 

" My dear Mr. Smith, I had no idea you could fire 
up so. I think you judge rather harshly. You know 
there are Sunday Schools devoted entirely to coloured 
children, where there are no whites. They should 
attend them." 

" There ought to be no need for such places. Why, 

108 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

as I sat there, in that school, with all its admirable 
arrangements, I could not help feeling indignant at a 
distinction being drawn between the colours of the 
children's skin. I only know that if I were a teacher 
there, I would sooner take that class of young coloured 
people than any other in the school." 

" They might not be willing to have you. You have 
only been in the country a few days ; were you to stay 
a twelvemonth you would discover that there are 
many difficulties in the way of that perfect equality 
which at present you think should exist. But now 
to change the subject, what would you like to do this 
evening ? Shall we go to Plymouth Church again, or 
shall we take a stroll, or would you like to go and hear 
Dr. Talmage, now you are in Brooklyn ? " 

" Thank you, I think I should prefer to go to Ply- 
mouth Church again." 

Accordingly, in the evening, we again made our way 
to Plymouth Church. The service was commenced by 
the choir singing to the congregation, " Lift up thine 
eyes," &c., and after the usual preliminary exercises, Mr. 
Beecher preached from Romans v. 20, 21 ; " More- 
over the law entered that the offence might abound. But 
where sin abounded, grace did much more abound," &c. 
The reverend gentleman commenced by remarking 
that in the physical law, " intent '* had no place in influ- 
encing the penalty. In the moral law it has. He went 
on to observe that in God*s law, real repentance 
obtains immediate and fall forgiveness. God has said,, 
"the soul that sinneth, it shall die," yet when a sinner 
truly repents, God does not quote that text to him 

SmitlCs First Peep at America, 109 

and say, " Now, in order to forgive you and keep My 
word, you must go through a certain prescribed ordeal 
and penance." No ! such is not God's way of for- 
giveness. God meets true penitence with free and 
immediate and complete forgiveness. 

I left the church much interested and impressed. 
Mr. Kellog insisted on accompanying me as far as the 
ferry, where we parted after obtaining a promise that 
I would be sure to call on him in the city before 
leaving New york. 


A New York Public School — The " Baggage " nuisance again — Rail- 
road ticket agents — The hotel clerks sell them on commission — 
Courtland Street Dep6t— Checking the baggage — Ferry — Clocks 
at Grand Central "Depot, Jersey City— Different standards of 
time adopted by various lines — American railroad cars — 
Description of locomotives — Speed of travelling, &c — Philadelphia — 
— Convenience of the American '* check" system — Independence 
Hall—Custom Hotise— Carpenter's Hall— The Mint — Bank Notes 
for 25 cents — Franklin's grave — Girard College — Fairmount Park 
Water- works and pumping machineiy — A Trip on the Schuykill 
— Centennial Exhibition Buildings— Skating Kink — Temperature 
90 decrees — Philaddphia Zoological Gardens — The "Dextrel" 
Mausoleum at Woodlands Cemetery — ^Arch Street Methodist 
Church and Schools — Arrangements for infant class, &c. 

T^HE Americans and the English differ very widely as 
regards the education of the children of the middle 
and upper classes. In England the Public Board Schools 
are looked upon as only intended for the children of the 
lower classes; while in America, private schools are almost 
unknown, and not at all popular ; the children of high 
and low, rich and poor, studying together in the Public 
Schools. I visited the school in 12th Street, and 
asked permission to see what was going on. I was 
very poUtely received, and shown all over the building. 

The 12th Street Public School is for girls only, of 
whom there were about six hundred on the books. The 
teachers were all ladies, the hall porter appearing the 
only representative of the male sex connected with the 
establishment. The scholars looked intelligent and 
attentive, and nothing calculated to assist the intellect 

SmittCs First Peep at America. Ill 

to understand, or the mind to remember, was wanting. 
Good order was maintained, the girls doing everything 
in unison ; such as marching to and from their respective 
classes, which they did to the time of a military air (or 
other piece of music, where the time is well accented) 
played upon the pianoforte by one of the young ladies 
themselves. The girls were well dressed, and were 
evidently, for the most part, daughters of persons in 
comfortable circumstances. The education received^ 
together with books, stationery, and every requisite, 
were all supplied free of charge, the whole of the 
expenses being paid out of the public revenue ; the 
United States Government evidently believing that if 
a man has a large family to bring up, he is doing his^ 
quota towards the public weal, and should be relieved of, 
or at least assisted in, the expense of educating them ; 
furthermore, that this expense can best be met, and is 
not contrary to national polity, by levying taxes, 
largely subscribed to by old maids and bachelors. 

It was Wednesday afternoon when I left New York 
for Philadelphia. 

As I found it a great nuisance to be cumbered with 
so much luggage, I determined* to take with me no more 
than I could comfortably pack in one moderate-sized 
portmanteau, and to leave the rest at the hotel until 
my return, an arrangement to which they were quite 
agreeable, as it secured my custom again when I came 
back. The porter, therefore, attached small metal cheques 
to each piece, and stowed them away in the baggage 
room, giving me the tallies. 

The clerk asked me if I had purchased my ticket. 

112 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

" No, not yet, I will buy it at the station." 

" You may as well have it of me, it will cost you no 

^' Oh, I see ; I suppose the Railway Company give 
you a commission. Well, will it cost me any less by 
having it of you? " 

" Not on so short a journey. The companies cut it 
very fine now. I shall only get a quarter (i.«., of a 
dollar) on this ticket. Where are you going after 
Philadelphia ? for if you like to buy your ticket of me 
for the whole route, I don't mind sharing the com- 


" Oh no! I don't care to do that, I may wish to diverge 
from my intended route, and then I should lose instead 
of gain ; but I don't mind having the Philadelphia 
ticket of you." 

The hotel clerk sent the " boots" out to buy the ticket 
from an agent's, a few doors off; and he soon returned 
with one by the Pennsylvania Central route, for which 
I paid two and a half dollars. I then went down to the 
depot, at the foot of Courtland Street, where I found 
my portmanteau, which had preceded me an hour before 
by '^ express." The porters did not label my luggage as 
in England, but strapped a small metal check, stamped 
with a number, to the handle ; at the same time giving 
me a duplicate, engraved with the same numeral, and 
punching the letters B. C. (baggage checked) out of 
my ticket. I then went on board one of the company's 
great ferry steamers, and in a few minutes was conveyed 
across the river, to the Jersey City Grand Central 
Depot of this great trunk line. 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 113 

All over Great Britain we fiad it advantageous to 
set our clocks to correspond with one another, and in 
consequence of the comparative smallness of the countrj-, 
the slight incorrectness of such time, in places lying east 
or west of the meridian of Greenwich, and the true local 
time of such places, causes us no inconvenience. 

But, in the United States, the country is so vast, and 

embraces so many degrees of longitude, that such an 

arrangement is totally impracticable. For instance, 

between the port of Boston, on the Atlantic coast, 

and that of San Francisco, on the Pacific, there 

is a difference of over fifty degrees of longitude, 

representing a difference in time of three hours 

and twenty minutes. Local time is, therefore, adopted 

in all the large cities throughout the Republic; 

and when travelling west, unless you bear this fact in 

mind, you are apt to be sorely puzzled by finding the 

train timed to reach a certain place before it has, 

according to the time table, passed the preceding station. 

Not that the train is travelling so fast that you have 

overtaken the sun, by any means. The fact is simply 

that some of the smaller intermediate places adopt the 

time of some city lying to the east of them ; while a 

short distance further on, the good folks are regulating 

their clocks by those of a city miles to the west of them. 

In the dep6t at Jersey City I was amused to notice 

no less than six clocks round the walls of the bookin<r 

office, all going, but the hands nevertheless all pointing 

in different directions, and indicating the time of day at 

as many different cities, the name of such city being 

painted on each clock. 

114 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

In consulting American railway time tables, therefore, 
it is necessary to notice by what time the line at that 
part is being worked ; as, if by that of a city to the east 
of you, you may, on arriving at the depot, in good time 
as you think, find that your train has gone. On lines 
working by only two times, between which there is not 
much difference, it is only necessary to add a second 
minute hand to the station clocks; as, for instance, 
between New York and Philadelphia, which are eight 
minutes apart. 

From the booking office I passed on to the trains. 
The carriages are totally different in build and arrange- 
ment to those on English railways. In external 
appearance they have some slight resemblance to huge 
tramcars, though without any seats on top. There is a 
small platform at each end, and an aisle runs down the 
centre of each car, so that you can pass on from car ta 
car throuorh the whole length of the train. On account 
of their great length, each car is on bogies, to enable it 
to pass with ease round a sharp curve. Each car, 
therefore, rests on at least eight wheels, four at each 
end, while many have twelve and a few of the drawing- 
room and sleeping cars as many as sixteen, eight at 
each end. The interior of the car I entered was very 
lofty and elegantly decorated. 

The passengers do not sit opposite to each other as in 
a tramcar, nor as they do in an English railway carriage ; 
but all sit on short, cushioned benches on either side of 
the central aisle, each seat arranged for two passengers, 
facing the direction the train is travelling in. One 
corner of each car is partitioned off, as a ^' convenience,'* 

ImIj wj 

% 15 



ril 1 


f w 

"1 )H "•)!! 








SmitKs First Peep at America, 117 

a very desirable arrangement when persons are taking- 
a lengthy journey of many hours' duration. The opposite 
comer, at the further end, is sometimes also devoted to 
the same purpose. A third corner is supplied with a 
stove for heating the car in cold weather, while in the 
fourth is placed a filter of iced water, wherewith 
travellers parched with the heat may quench their thirst. 
The stuffed backs to the seats are all made to swing over 
either way, so that, on the arrival of the train at its 
destination, they are all reversed, that passengers, on the 
return journey, may still face the engine. The travelling 
compares favourably with that in England, both as 
regards the distances traversed between two stoppages, 
and the speed ; the first stop being made at Trenton, a 
distance of 57 miles from Jersey City, and which was 
run over in one hour and nine minutes, being a speed 
of 49 J miles per hour. The cars are somewhat wider 
than an English railway carriage, as, although on most 
of the lines the gauge is the usual English one of 
4 feet 8 J inches, the cars overhang the rails more than 
those on British railroads. 

The design and build of the engines differ as much a& 
the carriages do from those on English lines. Fixed in 
front of each locomotive is a contrivance called a " cow- 
scraper," which is for the purpose of sweeping the track 
of any cattle, pigs, geese, or anything else in the way 
that should be cleared off; and before I returned home 
1 came across the case of two servant girls who had been 
crossing the line and were cleared off by this locomotive 
crinoline. The "cow-scraper" is wedge-shaped in 
construction, so as to push the obstacle to either one side 

118 . Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

or the other. Lying down the centre of it is a stoat 
iron bar, which is to attach it to any train when the 
locomotive is travelling backwards ; as, in conseqnence 
of the " cow-scraper," the engine is unable to come close 
up to its work when in that position. The funnel is very 
much larger at the top than at the bottom, truly funnel 
shaped, having the contracted end inverted into the 
boiler ; though the object in such a design I could not, 
for certain, discover. 

In front of the funnel is always fixed an enormous 
head-light ; the lantern being amply big enough for a 
child to be shut up in it, in fact, bigger than the large 
ornamental tea canisters often seen on the shelves of 
grocers' shops. On the top of the boiler is fixed a big 
bell, and which, by means of a cord attached, it is the 
duty of the stoker or bell boy on the engine to toll the 
whole of the way, in order to warn persons of the 
approach of the train, and that they will be removed 
from the track unceremoniously by the ^* cow-scraper " 
unless they choose to depart of their own free will, for 
American lines generally are not fenced in and guarded 
in the way they are in England. 

I never saw a notice board on any line there saying 
" Trespassers will be prosecuted," — but — " Persons 
trespassing after this notice do so at their own risk." 

The driver and stoker on an American engine are 
well cared for, and comfortably housed in from the 
inclemency of the weather. On the Pennsylvania Eail- 
road the express locomotives take up water while 
travelling, on the same principle as on the London and 
North Western Railway. 

SmitJCs First Peep at America. 119 

The train landed its passengers at the main depdt in 
Philadelphia punctually at five minutes to six. From 
there I took a Chestnut Street car to 8th Street, and 
walking up two blocks into Arch Street, took up my 
quarters at the St. Cloud, a very comfortable and well- 
appointed commercial hotel, with a fixed tafriff of two 
and a-half dollars per day. I had not troubled about 
my portmanteau on the arrival of the train, I now gave 
the check to the hotel clerk, who sent for it, together 
with the baggage of other an'ivals, and for which fifty 
cents apiece was charged. 

The following morning I visited the principal 
buildings of this city, at one time the capital of the 
Republic. The first I went to was Independence Hall, 
a modest looking red brick building in Chestnut Street, 
with a wide forecourt paved with flagstones. Although 
of no architectural pretensions, this building is looked 
upon by all Americans with feelings of reverence, 
almost of devotion, for it was here that, on the 4th of 
July, 1776, the declaration of independence from 
England was adopted, and publicly proclaimed the same 
day. The room it was signed in looks the same now as 
then. The furniture, even the very chairs occupied by 
the senators, are preserved with the greatest care. 

A little lower down Chestnut Street stands the 
Custom House ; while a short distance beyond, up a 
narrow courtway, stands Carpenter's Hall, a very 
meagre looking building, but immortalised as the 
meeting place of the first United States Congress that 
ever assembled. 

I was much struck with the freedom with which 

120 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

marble is used for buildiog purposes in Philadelphia. 
Not only are many of the banks faced with it, (where not 
entirely erected of marble or granitej ; but the door- 
steps, window-sills, thresholds and copings in rows of 
houses, are of the same material. I followed Chestnut 
Street down to the Delaware, where a busy shipping 


scene presented itself. Then retracing my steps up 
Chestnut Street as far as the Mint, I found that no 

Smith's First Peep at America. 121 

obstacle was placed in the way of the public being shown 
over it between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 noon. I 
entered and was nrach interested in inspecting the 
various processes of coining. After showing me round, 
the attendant left me to examine at my leisure a large 
ooUection of the coins of all nations^ from the earliest 
ages dcwTi to the present date. 

The amount of gold in circulation in the States is very 
small indeed ; and from the time I left the Mint until 
my return to Europe, the following autumn, I never 
received or handled a piece of gold ; nor did I (with one 
exception only) ever see a gold coin. in the possession of 
anyone else. 

Paper money is used for everything ; and notes are 
still issued for as low a sum as 25 cents (Is. OJd.). 

Near the hotel in Arch Street, is a quiet graveyard, 
and looking through the railings on one of the tombs I 
read the names of Benjamin and Deborah Franklin, 
with the date 1790. 

One afternoon I took a Ridge Avenue car, and rode 
out to the world-renowned Girard CoUeoce. It is an 
orphan asylum for boys, of whom there are now some 
eight hundred and seventy on the books. The main 
building is erected entirely of pure white marble, the roof 
even being formed of great marble slabs. The institution 
was built, and very largely endowed, by Stephen Girard, 
a native of France, but who settled in Philadelphia, and 
carried on the business of a banker, and who died there 
in 1831. 

Visitors are admitted to the college and ground by 

tickets, which strangers have no difficulty in obtaining, 


122 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

as they are supplied grataitouslj to the leading hotels, 
for the use of their guests. 

A janitor shows parties over the building, and 
conducts them at last out on. the marble roof, from 
which, as the collega Is built on high ground, splendid 
views are obtained of the city, and also of the 
Burrounding country. 


One curiooa request in the founder's will is, that no 
clergyman or minister of any religious denomination, 
should ever be allowed within the gates ; the reason 
being " that while there remained so much diversity of 
opinion between religious sects, as to what was orthodox, 
he thought it best that the youthful mind should not be 
biassed by bearing the partizan views of any ; but left to 
choose for itself, when it grew to years of discretion." 

The Bible, however, is not excluded altogether ; and 

Smith's First Peep at America. 123 

at the close of afternoon school^ at four o'clock, visitors 
can see the boys emerge from their various school 
buildings, and march in good order to the chapel, 
where the Principal reads a portion of Scripture, hymns 
are sung, and prayer offered. 

After leaving the college grounds, I wandered into 
Fairmount Park, which is a pretty place, winding for 
miles along the banks of the Schuykill, a picturesque 
river, about the size of the Trent at Nottingham ; and 
which skirts the west side of Philadelphia, about two 
miles from the Delaware River. The lower end of the 
park is beautifully laid out as a horticultural garden ; at 
the southern extremity of which are situated the city 
waterworks; advantage being taken of a fall in the 
river, at this point, of about twelve or fifteen feet, to 
work all their pumping machinery at this station, by 
means of three enormous turban waterwheels. 

In the park, there were quite a row of boating- 
houses, very ornamental in design and workmanship, 
belonging to various rowing and sailing clubs. There 
was also a small steamboat landing near the water- 

The next day I went from here up the river, in a 
small steamer, worked with one paddle, placed at the 
stem of the boat, to a little place called Wissakickon at 
the further end of Fairmount Part. The passengers 
were landed at some tea-gardens sort of place, belonging 
to an . hotel, and which seemed to form the chief 
attraction of the locality. 

About half an hour here sufficed, and as it was too hot 
to enjoy a six mile walk back through the park, however 

124 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

picturesque the scenery, I returned in a small screw- 
steamer by the same road that I had come. 

On arriving at Belmont, I visited the grounds and 
buildings of the late Centennial Exhibition. The 
Horticultural Society's building bore some slight 
resemblance to the new Palm House in Kew Gardens, 
only not nearly so good nor so well kept. From the 
west door of this structure ran a broad wall, bordered 
on each side by sunken beds, containing a goodly show 
of flower and leaf bedding plants. 

The main exhibition building is over one third of a 
mile in lenorth. The exact length of the nave is 1876 
feet, being the same number of feet as the date of the 
year in which the exhibition was held ; in that respect, 
copying the plan that was adopted by the promoters of 
the first great International Exhibition held in Hyde 
Park in 1851. In some slight degree it resembles the 
Crystal Palace, at Sydenham ; but it is not nearly so 
lofty, nor so pretty, having a gable instead of an arched 
roof. The main, and now the only entrance used, is in 
the transept ; and immediately before you, on entering, 
is a very large and ornamental fountain. It is, however, 
made of iron, painted green. There is also a very large 
organ at the opposite end of the transept. Despite the 
thermometer standing at about 90 degrees, a number of 
young persons were actively engaged amusing them- 
selves with wheeled skates, on the skating rink, between 
the organ and the fountain. In spiteof the forlorn look of the 
place,there were a number of vendors of ice and iced drinks 

On enquiring what there was to see, as I did not pay 
twenty-five cents to watch persons selling lemonade, if 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 125 

people would but purchase, — I could see that trade 
being carried on more briskly outside without paying, — I 
was informed that there were theatrical entertainments 
each aflbemoon at two o^clock. As far as the exhibits 
go, I found nothing whatever there worth going to see ; 
so soon took my departure fully convinced that it could 
only be that, and the skating rink, that kept the place 
going at all. 

From the Exhibition Buildings, I went to the 
Zoological Gardens, which adjoin the Park, on the west 
bank of Schuykill. The collection of animals here is 
very large, and very complete ; and the general 
arrangements for their comfort and health reflect great 
ingenuity and skill on those who had the designing and 
carrying out of the works. The "Carnivora'^ house 
is specially worthy of mention. The place is well worth 
a visit, especially of New Yorkers, when they go to* 
Philadelphia, as it is infinitely superior to the small* 
collection in Central Park, or to any other that they 
have to show. 

When dressing that morning, I observed that my 
pocket aneroid stood exceedingly low. The sky, how- 
ever, was so clear and the sun shone so brightly, that I 
could not credit its reading ; but thought the instrument 
must have got out of order. Yet such was not the case, 
for while at the Zoo a violent storm, preceded by a 
hurricane of wind and dust, came on, detaining me in 
the monkey house for a longer time than I had ever 
spent at any one time before with the Darwinian pro- 
genitors of our species. On the storm somewhat abating, 
I returned to the city by tram-car. 

126 ^^gg^5^ CLnd Boots ; or^ 

The storm allayed, to a considerable extent^ tbe 
oppressive heat ; so, in the evening, I went by Darby- 
road horse cars, to Woodlands cemetery, in order to 
see the Dextrel Mausoleum, said to be the costliest ia 
America. It is built entirely of white marble, and is 
surrounded by an ornamental barrier of the same. The 
cemetery, however, lies so fer from the business and 
hotel quarter of the city, and there is so little else there 
of interest, that I did not think it repaid the time 
occupied in going. 

On Sunday morning I visited Beth-Eden Baptist 
Church. It is considered a splendid place ; is very 
handsomely decorated, has stained glass windows (which,, 
however, make the interior very dark) and a profusely 
emblazoned organ. The church is built of a greenish 
<;oloured stone. In the afternoon I went to see the 
schools in connection with Arch Street Methodist 
Ohurch. Both the church and schools in the rear, 
forming one building, are of white marble. The school 
«,nd class-rooms are all carpeted and supplied with 
•cushioned seats with padded backs. In the infant class- 
room each child is seated in a separate Uttle armchair 
with cane bottom, very low to suit little legs. These 
chairs are arranged on semi-circular tiers, one behind 
another ; the teacher and the harmoniumist being on the 
floor, in the centre. 

There is a large Ubrary, placed in a separate room, de- 
voted exclusively to that purpose. It is conducted on the 
pigeon-hole system, i.^., a separate place for each book. 
This plan greatly expedites the exchange of books. By 
this system it is possible to work the library without any 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 127 

entering of the books lent into a register. In fact, the 
shelves themselves form the register, as each space is 
numbered the same as the book, and when a scholar has 
out a volume his or her library card, containing name 
and address, is placed in the vacant space until the work 
is returned. 

The adjoining church was as sumptuously furnished 
as the schools, if not more so. The aisles, and all the 
pews, were carpeted to match ; while the minister's 
platform was profusely decorated with costly plants and 
flowers. That morning a stranger from England 
had preached, but in the evening I had an opportunity 
of hearing the regular minister, the B«v.O.H.Tiffanny, 
who spoke such good English that I concluded he must 
be an Irishman, 


The plan of Philadelphia — Mode of nambering streets and houses — 
The ** Natatorium " — A trip on the Delaware— Academy of Fine 
Arts — Smith leaves Philadelphia — The Susquehanna River— An 
American "Runner" — A long r^dlway ride — Smith gets a 
** wrinkle" — Railroad cars cross the Patapsco River on ferry 
steamer — The train proceeds through the streets of Baltimore — 
" Coloured " tram cars— Prices of provisions in Baltimore Market 
—Maryland Institute — ^The City Hall— View from dome — Fort 
Hfnry— A cheap ride— Druid Hill— A" buggie "—Fast driving- 
Smith proceeds to Washington— First view of the capital and the 
Capitol— The Grand Depot. 

rpHE mode of numbering the houses in Philadelphia is 
■^ unique and very ingenious. The city is regularly 
laid out, the streets crossing each other at right angles^ 
those running north and south parallel to the Delaware- 
River, being numbered consecutively, with the exception 
of 14th Street, which is usually called Broad Street, a 
name which it well deserves, being 113 feet wide. The 
streets running at right angles to the Delaware are 
named, the broadest being Market Street, one " block " 
to the north of Chestnut Street, on which are most of 
the public buildings ; not quite all, however, as where 
Market and Broad Streets cross each other a large square 
has been formed, on w^hich the vast " Public Building "^ 
— occupied as law courts and public offices — has been 
erected of white marble. Market Street divides the 
numbered streets into north and south ; and, in a like 
manner, the named streets are called east or west^ 

Smith's First Peep at America. 129 

according to whether they are east or west of 

Broad Street The numberinor of the houses is also 

systematically carried out, the low numbers of all streets 

running east and west commencing at the Delaware 

River and running westward ; all the odd numbers, on 

the north side and all the even on the south. Thus, the 

numbers of all the houses in any street between the 

river and the first street are under 100, between that 

and 2nd Street between 100 and 200. As soon as that 

is crossed, the numbering commences at 201, 202, the 

intervening figures being omitted ; there seldom being 

a hundred houses between any two streets. The streets 

running north and south are arranged on the same plan ; 

the numbers commencing at Market Street, and skipping 

all the numbers up to the next hundred each time a cross 

road is reached. By this simple arrangement a perfect 

stranger to the city can fiad his way to any address with 

the greatest ease ; and, moreover, as there are about 

fourteen blocks to the mile, he can easily reckon the 

distance. Thus, if the address is 1,336 North 7th Street, 

he knows at once it is a house on the left hand side about 

one mile north of Market Street, half way between the 

Delaware River and Broad Street, and about a mile and 

a half from the new Public Buildings. 

The summer heat of Philadelphia is sultry and 
oppressive in the extreme, and I was compelled to invest 
in some alpaca and cotton print jackets weighing but 
a few ounces apiece, cloth clothes being simply un- 

The discomfort the broiling rays of the sun occasioned 
me quite took away my inclination for sight-seeing and 

130 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

made me feel disinclined to do anything, unless, indeed, 
it were to pass the middle part of the day at least, 
sporting myself in and out a cold water swimming bath. 
With that end in view I wended my way to a place in 
Broad Street called the Natatorium^ oi^b'^ however, to be 

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the place was reserved for 
ladies. Single admission tickets not being issued, three 
being the smallest number sold, the price for which was 
a dollar. 

As I turned disappointed back into the broiling sun, 
I vowed that if ever I were to emigrate from the old 
<;ountiy, and settle in Philadelphia, I would erect two 
swimming baths — one for ladies and the other for gentle- 
men — ^that should be open all day long, and where any- 
one might sport themselves in the liquid element at any 
time, and at a charge of sixpence or eightpence, as at 
the finest swimming baths in London. 

I felt convinced that the exorbitant charges, and 
limited hours, in vogue at the place I had just quitted, 
must necessarily restrict many persons from frequently 
patronising the baths ; and that, in consequence of the 
great summer heat in American cities, a more liberal 
policy, both as regarded hours and prices, would so 
vastly increase the numbers of the bathers and the fre- 
quency of their visits, that it would be found to be the 
most profitable to the owners in the end. 

As I could not go in the water, I determined to at 
least go on, so taking the tram to South Street, I pro- 
ceeded by boat a short distance down the Delaware 
River to the village of Gloucester,on the New Jersey side. 

Smitlis First Peep at America. 131 

The Delaware is a noble river, nearly half a mile in 
width, and at Gloacester has suoh a fine sandy shore, that 
a short sighted person, who could not see the opposite 
bank, migh<; well imagine that he was standing at the 
edge of the ocean on a calm day. 

From Gloucestsr, I returned by a railway of only 
three feet gauge, to West Darby, then crossed by 
ferry to the city and visited the Academy of Fine Arts 
in Broad Street. Among the paintings at the Academy 
is one of Windsor Castle ; there was also a model of 
Westminster Abbey, executed in cork, besides a model 
of St. Peter's, at Bome. 

That afternoon I left Philadelphia for Baltimore. The 
principal objects of interest en route, is where the train 
crosses the Susquehanna River by a wooden bridge 
about twelve or fifteen feet above the water, and nearly 
a mile in length. On the way, I got into conversation 
with a commercial traveller (called in America a 
" runner *'), who, on finding that I was a stranger, took 
great pleasure in pointing out objects of interest that 
the cars passed within sight of, and from whom I 
obtained some useful suaorestions as resrarded travel- 

" I suppose you sometimes take very long journeys, 
and are in the train for many hours right off?" 
I asked. 

" Well ! I guess I do, I am going now to New 
Orleans ; stopping over at each of the principal cities 
for about a day ; and then, when I have done my 
business there, I come straight back to Philadelphia, 
without any stop-over at all, 1,605 miles." 

132 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

" How long does the train take to do that distance ? '' 

" About two and a half days." 

" Don't you get tired of being such a long time in 
the train ? " 

" No. I'm used to it ; I spend nearly half my life 
travelling, and can live and sleep as comfortably on the 
cars as anywhere else." 

" In this guide book it puts for the prices charged at 
the different hotels two-and-a-half to four dollars or 
three to five dollars, as the case may be ; I don't quite 
understand it. I thought you paid the same whatever 
you had." 

" So you do, the difference consists in your bedroom, 
and in nothing else. If yoa must do the grand, and 
have a bedroom on the first floor, you pay the highest 
price ; but if you are content with a room on a higher 
floor, the price is less." 

" Is there no other difference, as well ? " 

" None whatever ; you use the same reception rooms, 
dine at the same table, and have whatever you like ; 
whatever part of the house your bedroom is situated in, 
that does not in the least matter, and, as you 
always ride up and down in the elevator the waiters 
in the dining-room do not know which floor you come 
from. You may be the wealthiest guest in the house^ 
for aught they know, or the poorest ; thpy cannot tell. 
Of course, when you are travelling with a lady, you 
may prefer to pay a little for show ; but if you are alone 
you don't need to go that expense. At a good house, 
any room, whether on the first floor or on the fifth or 
sixth, is sure to be clean and comfortable ; and for 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 133 

my part I prefer sleeping on the top floor in hot weather 
because you get the breeze better up there, besides 
probably having a more extended view than you would 
if you were paying one or two dollars a night more 
down below." 

I took the hint, and frequently profited by it during 
the remainder of my tour. 

On nearing Baltimore the train was divided, and half 
of it ran bodily on to a large ferry steamer on the 
Patapsco River, moored end on, to the shore. The 
steamer then started immediatelv for the other side, 
where the cars would be met by another locomotive, 
and continue their journey to Washington, and the 
South. The remaining portion of the train then pro- 
ceeded to the city, the line running, to my astonishment, 
down the centre of the streets, where little children were 
so engrossed playing with dolls, or marbles, or making 
mud pies in the gutter, that they took not the slightest 
notice of the train steaming down the road; and persons 
crossed the street just in front of the engine as though 
it were but a tram-car coming along. Of course they 
travelled very slowly through the city — only about 
eight or ten miles an hour — but still to me it seemed 
rather a dangerous arrangement, especially when, as 
they were preceding along Canton Avenue, a trades- 
man's cart came dashing at a furious pace down 
South Washington Street, and the driver had a near 
escape from running against the train ; when one or 
other must have come to grief. However, a miss is as 
good as a mile, and in three minutes more the train ran 
from the centre to the side of the road, and pulled up at 

134 Ba^age and Boots ; or, 

the dep6t, much in the same way that a stage coach, in 
Wales or Scotland, would draw up in front of a wayside 

Following the direction of the "runner," whose 
acquaintance I had made, I stepped into a Baltimore 
Street horse-car, and proceeded in it to the Carrolton 
House Hotel, at the corner of Light Street, which is a 
large, well appointed, and very comfortable establish- 

In Baltimore mules were very largely employed, 
especially in the street tram-cars. When horse-cars 
were first started in Baltimore, about the close of the 
Civil War, there was great antipathy felt there, as in all 
the southern cities, towards the newly liberated slaves ; 
and so separate cars were provided for their use. Were 
a coloured man to have attempted to enter any other 
car, he would have been kicked off immediately by the 
other passengers. However, it frequently happened 
that in the morning, when gentlemen were hurrying to 
business, they would jump on to a car provided for 
coloured people, should that be the first to overtake 
them, and, of course, the whites would never brook the 
same handling from the coloured occupants that they 
would have meted to them, had the case been reversed. 
So the plan of having diflferent cars for the blacks fell 
through, though even now, when a coloured woman gets 
into a car, the Baltimore ladies put their handkerchiefs 
to their noses, as though they smelt a very disagreeable 
odour, and shrink away from their dark complexioned 
sister, and draw aside their dresses, as though the black 
skin of their fellow passenger was caused by the 

Smithes First Peep at America, 135 

accumalation of dirt, that might come off and stain their 
clothes or white skin by contact. 

The following morning I took a walk through the 
market, when I soon discovered that if many things 
were dearer in the States than at home, food was 
certainly cheaper— especially meat. Beef was to be had 
from four cents (2d.) per lb. The sirloin, and just the 
choicest cuts, fetched, however, twenty-five cents. 
Bump steak sold at fifteen cents per lb. (7Jd.). Good 
dairy butter fetched from fifteen to twenty cents per 
lb. (7Jd. to lOd.). With fruit there was not so much 
difference, though even here the difference was on the 
side of the American market. At Baltimore, the upper 
part of the market buildings is called the Maryland 
Institute ; and contains a large hall for lectures, enter- 
tainments, &c. Retracing my way a few steps, I visited 
the City Hall, a magnificent erection, well worth seeing, 
built entirely of white marble. I wandered about, 
without let or hindrance, and ultimately reached the 
summit of the dome, from whence I obtained a 
magnificent view of the city and harbour, and 
surrounding country. I was there a long while, ' by 
myself, and was surprised to think that no one else 
should think it worth while to mount up there, when 
their trouble would be amply rewarded by the splendid 
view when they reached the top. When I went down, 
I observed a notice-board, stating that visitors were 
only admitted to tlie dome on the first and last Mondays 
of each month, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., 
which the day in question was not. 

Tourists cannot expect the weather always to be that 

136 Baggage and Boots ; of, 

which they would choose. Sometimes it will persist in 
pouring with rain just when they had planned to have 
a picnic. At others the sun persists in beating down 
his scorching rays from a cloudless sky, just when they 
are at some part where the surroundings are moor, or 
heather, or sea beach and sand, and where a cool, shady 
spot is not to be found for miles round. 

I was no exception to the rule, and my sightseeing 
was a good deal interrupted by heavy showers of rain. 
Yet still they were not altogether unwelcome to me, 
as they cooled the air very considerably, which I felt to 
be a great relief. 

In a day or two the rain ceased, and I resumed my 
wanderings, in order to see the principal buildings and 
monuments, of which Baltimore can boast a goodly 

I also had the pleasure (?) of riding in a South 
Baltimore tram-car, over the worst laid line I had ever 
been on, a distance of about two-and-half-miles, to 
Fort Henry. This fort is to protect the ^ressels in the 
harbour in time of war ; and. is built on a small 
isthmus of rising ground, which forms the southern 
side of the harbour. It was unsuccessfully bombarded by 
the British troops in the war of 1812. Besides having 
had a very rough ride, I had been nearly an hour 
reachinor the fort, and so asked a soldier if there was 
not some other and better way to return to the city. 

" I guess so. You see that small steamer lying 
down there ? She goes up the harbour at one o'clock, 
and you can go in her, and it will land you at Light 

Smith- s First Peep at America. 137 

" What's the fare ? " 

" Nothing, that I know of. I never saw anyone pay. 
It's for anyone that wants to go to the city, or that 
wishes to come and see anyone here." 

1 thanked him, but thought he must be mistaken, 
and that, if correct about no money being taken, then 
they would probably refuse to carry anyone except 
the military, or those who had authorised business at 
the fort. However, I could but try, so I went on 
board. A few soldiers were on; also a young man 
carrying a butcher's basket. Soon a gentleman and 
two ladies came on board, and at the last minute a 
military officer, and the little steamer left her moorings. 
This little trip affi)rded me a good opportunity of seeing 
the harbour and the shipping. In about twenty minutes 
we reached Light Street, at the head of the harbour, 
and the passengers were all landed, I being agreeably 
surprised at the cheapness of the ride (free, gratis, and 
all for nothing), and still more so to find that I was 
close to my hotel, as it was dinner time, and I felt 
quite ready to do good justice to a hearty meal. 

Later on in the day I took a Madison Avenue horse- 
car to Druid Hill Park, about two miles out. There is 
a handsome entrance to the Park, and after passing it, 
I found myself on a broad carriage drive, flanked on 
the left by a well gravelled foot-path, and a long row 
of twenty-two mammoth vases on pedestals, and standing 
about twelve feet high, and which were well stocked 
with flowers. On the right, a grassy slope led down to 
a large reservoir, for the storage of water for the city. 
In the middle of the lake a fountain was sending a large 


138 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

jet of water to a considerable height. The park is very 
extensive, and contains many pleasant drives and 
walks ; and has a collection of small animals. About 
the middle of the park is a large building, used as a 
restaurant, &c*, in front of which a number of hackmen, 
with chaises of various sorts and kinds, were touting 
for hire. The favourite drive from here is either round 
the lake just alluded to, or to a rising ground at the 
further end of the park, and about a mile from the 
restaurant. From here is obtained a splendid view 
of the country, and of the picturesque village of 
Woodbury,lying close to the park, at the foot of the hill. 

From the notices in various parks, forbidding racing 
or fast driving, and also from what I personally saw 
and heard, I learnt that the favourite amusement of the 
young men of America was to possess or hire a fast 
horse, and in a light four wheeled chaise, called a 
" buggie," to drive about the parks as though their 
success in life depended on the speed they could make 
the poor horse to go at. 

The next morning I left by the 9.15 train, on the 
Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road for Washington. 
For a CDnsiderable distance the train passed through 
cuttings and tunnels, under the city, after the English 
style of taking a railway through a town. 

It is only of late years that the Americans have 
awoke to the desirability of forcing such arrangements 
upon the railway companies, when they wish to carry 
their line through thickly populated cities, so that these 
tunnels are regarded as among the wonders of 

SmiiKs First Peep at America. 139 

The Potomac Bail Road is but a single line, and passes 
through a very sparsely populated portion of the State 
of Maryland, in the forty-three miles between Baltimore 
and Washington. On nearing the Republican capital, 
the magnificent pile of the white buildings of the 
Capitol, standing on the summit of Capitol Hill, 
arrested my attention, as it must that of every traveller 
arriving for the first time by daylight. At this end of 
the Potomac Rail Road, the line is not carried through 
cuttings and tunnels, but after emerging from a 
short one in the suburbs, passes across and along various 
streets and avenues, and at length comes to an end 
close to the principal avenue in Washington, (called 
Pennsylvania Avenue), at the " Grand Dep6t," which, 
however, was smaller and had less accommodation than 
many a country station in England. 


Washington guides — Site of Washington— Plan of the City — Descrip- 
tion of the Capitol — The Botanda — Hall of Representatives — 
Supreme Court — Senate Chamber — View from the top of the 
Dome — Mount Vernon — ^The Americans' Mecca — Smith says it is 
not his — Washington — Botanical Gardens — U. S, Arsenal — U. S. 
Treasury— Smith mistakes Riggs* House Hotel for Riggs* Bank — 
Lafayette Square — The White House — Smith's reception^Tho 
Grand Parlour — The Blue, Green, and Red Rooms — Buildings of 
the U. S. War and Navy departments — The Cocoran Art Gallery 
— The Smithsonian Institute — D.C., District of Columbia — Smith 
receives and answers a love letter — The Patent Office and Model 
room — The Dead Letter Office — Dangerous travellers — TJ. S. 
Navy yard — Smith leaves Washington — Old Point Comfort — 
Norfolk, Virginia — Up the James River — Disadvantages of 
travelling by a mail steamer. 

T^HE train from Baltimore arrived in Washington 
-*- punctually to time ; and as the passengers emerged 
from the ticket office they were accosted by men who 
wore numbered badges, with " Licensed Guide '' 
engraved on them, all anxious to conduct the stranger 
round the city, and point out the principal objects of 
interest, the fee for their services being 40 cents per 
hour. Declining their assistance, I went at once to the 
National Hotel, in Pennsylvania Avenue, almost 
opposite the station. It is a rambling, old-fashioned 
sort of house, and appeared to have been enlarged at 
various times by taking in adjoining premises, as the 
floors were on different levels, up a few steps, and then 
down again, and the "elevator " was in a most peculiar 
position, and had evidently been inserted years after the 

Smii/is First Peep, at America. 141 

original building was erected. I was " fixed " in a very 
nice sleeping apartment, containing, besides the nsnal 
bed-room fhrniture, a very comfortable so&, easy chair^ 
rocking chair, and writing table; the place being largely 
patronised by congressmen, while the Houses are 
sitting. The sanitary arrangements were, however, very 
unpleasant, both to nose and comfort generally. 

Of course I was most desirous of seeing the Capitol, 
which is, par excellence, the finest pile of buildings in 
America — ^Americans say in the world ; so, after a 
refreshing wash, I bent my steps in that direction. The 
principal streets of Washington are asphalted, and the 
tram-rails are well-laid ; more like a European dty^ 
and very different from either New York, Philadelphia, 
or Baltimore ; especially the former, where the road 
paving is in many places more like that of an English 
stable yard, and the tram-rails project a full inch above 
the road surface. 

When the site of the present city of Washington was 
fixed on, at the latter end of last century, as a suitable 
position for the future capital, it was then a mere village^ 
so that the surveyors were able utterly to disregard the 
few straggling roads that then existed, and at once to 
devise, and lay out a new plan, on the supposition that 
the fact of making it the seat of government would 
naturally lead to a great city growing up there. The 
position and direction that the future streets were to 
take was therefore devised by Andrew Ellicott, under 
the direction of Washington himself. The plan is unique, 
and is described in Appleton's Guide Book as that of 
'* Philadelphia, griddled across the city of Versailles." 

142 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

The buildings of the Capitol do not form the centre oF 
the city, various causes having led to a far more rapid 
growth on the Western than on the Eastern side, the- 
latter being quite suburban. 

The grounds of Capitol Hill, about fifty acres \rh 
extent, are well laid out as a public garden. Th& 
buildings of the Capitol are 751 feet in length, with a 
depth varjring from 121 to 140 feet. The original 
building is of yellow sandstone, surmounted by an iroi> 
dome, 135 feet in diameter, and 307 feet from the base 
line of the building; the whole painted white, to- 
harmonise with the two wings of the edifice, which arfr 
of more recent erection, and built of white marble. The 
main front is towards the east, and is adorned with three- 
grand porticoes, of Corinthian columns. Groups of 
statuary embellish the grand flights of steps, and the 
grounds in front. On entering, I found myself in the 
Hotunda, immediately under the dome. Bound the 
rotunda are eight large pictures, illustrating scenes in 
American history. At a height of 107 feet from the 
floor is a series of flgures partly surrounding the Hotunda^ 
that I thought were in bas-relief so vividly did they 
appear to stand out. But I was informed, to my 
astonishment, that they were not sculpture work at all; 
but paintings to represent bas-relief. This work of art 
is, however, left unfinished, the artist having died while 
his work was yet in progress. In walking from the 
Botunda to the old Hall of Bepresentatives I passed — 
what ? an old apple woman, who had set up a stall for 
the sale of very inferior fruit and sweetmeats in that 
magnificent building. " Well, old lady, this is a free 



StnitKs First Peep at America. 143 


and easy countiy, for you to be able to rig up that ram- 
shackle affair in here." The old Hall of Representatives 
is now used as a Statuary Hall ; each state being 
allowed to send statues of two of its most eminent men. 
Farther to the South a corridor leads to the present Hall 
of Representatives; which is 139 feet long^ 93 feet wide, 
and 36 feet high. The ceihng is of ironwork, with forty- 
five stained glass panels, on which are painted the arms 
of the States. A gallery extends entirely round the 
apartment. Part is devoted to the press reporters, and 
to diplomatic bodies. The rest is open to strangers. 
There being such ample accommodation for visitors, no 
restriction is put on persons coming, nor is a member's 
card requisite : but anyone can walk in without let or 
hindrance, and hear what is going forward. Unfor- 
tunately, I was disappointed in seeing the house in 
session, as it had broken up for its vacation somewhat 
abruptly the day before. The Speaker's desk is of 
white marble, and the wall behind is decorated with 
four very fine oil paintings — two landscape scenes, and 
a full length portrait of Washington, and another of 
Lafayette. The Senate Chamber (the American upper 
house), is in the north wing of the edifice, and is not 
quite so large as the lower chamber. The halls and 
staircases leading to the Strangers' Grallery here are 
exceedingly grand, being of coloured marbles. The 
Supreme Court, a semi-circular building, decorated with 
columns of Potomac marble, is also situated in the 
Capitol, between the Senate Chamber and the Rotunda, 
Before the wings were built it formed the Senate 

144 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

After spending some honrs, wandering at leisure 
through the buildings, I went up to the very top of the 
dome. From there, I obtained a superb view of the 
city, the Potomac River, and the surrounding country. 
The view of the city was particularly interesting, and 
the traffic in the streets could be well seen ; the air being 
very clear and free from black smoke ; and the main 
avenues very broad, and pointing in straight lines to the 
dome of the Capitol. While gazing at the panorama 
spread out before me, a gentleman offered the loan of 
his field glass, at the same time asking if I lived in 
Washington, or if I \i^ere, like himself and wife, a 
stranger to the place. 

^' Oh I I am quite a stranger ; I was never here in 
my life until to-day." 

^' Have you visited Mount Vernon, yet? " 

" No, Where's that ? and what's to be seen there ? 

"Whatl have you never heard of Mount Vernon? 
Then you're not an American, I'm sure." 

" No, I'm an Englishman." 

'' Mount Vernon is about fifteen miles from here, down 
the river ; and there is a boat leaves every morning at 
ten o'clock for there, returning in the evening. You 
must be sure and go there, whatever else you miss ; it 
is where Washington lived, and is buried." 

" Oh, if that is all, I shan't trouble to visit ihe place; 
I am rather pressed for time, and have so much I want 

to see." 

" What I come to the capital, and not visit Mount 
Vernon, the tomb of Washington? Why I it is the 
Americans' Mecca." 

SmWCs First Peep at America, 145 

" That may be, but it is not mine." 

^' Ah, I see. Your chief remembrance of Washington 
is that he thrashed you Britishers, out and out ; and you 
think we are rather hard on you, now you have come 
over on a visit to our country, to expect you, forthwith, 
to go and fall down and worship before his shrine. Is 
that it ? '* 

« Exactly." 

"Then, under the circumstances, I guess we must 
excuse you. But where do you go after leaving 
Washington ? Will you embrace Chicago in your tour ? 

" Yes, I expect to be there in about a month." 

" Well, then, take my card — Mr. Lee, solicitor. State 
Street — and if you will call on us as soon as you arrive, 
I will show you how to go about to see the city 
thoroughly. You know we are the most go-ahead city 
in the world. Now you will be sure to come, will you 

In this invitation Mrs. Lee joined, and I thanked 
them for their kindness, and promised to do so. After 
a little further conversation, Mr. and Mrs. Lee departed; 
but it was a full hour before I could tear myself away 
from the glorious view. 

Before retumimg to the hotel, I went across to the 
Botanical Gardens, which face the grounds of the west 
side of the Capitol. The gardens only comprise a very 
few acres, and the conservatories are very small and 
insignificant for a national affair. The place seemed 
devoid of visitors, and in a few minutes the gardener told 
me to go, as he wanted to shut up, it being 5 o'clock. 

As most of the Qovemment Buildings are only open 

146 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

to visitors in the forenoon, or from two to five o'clock, 
I vas unable to see any more that daj ; bo, after dining, 
I took a walk down 4th Street, and round the groonds 
of the U.S. Arsenal, at the junction of the eastern and 
western branches of the Potomac River. No ordnance 
are tnanafactared here, the narrow isthmus being 
occQpied for barracks and tor the storage of reserve 
anmoanted cannon and shot. 


The next morning I took the tram along Pennsylvania 
Avenue, in the opposite direction to which the Capitol is 
situated, and visited the United States Treasary. It is 
a massive, three-storied building, with a frontage of 
468 feet, and a depth of 264 feet The building contains 
about 200 rooms ; there were no large halls, however, 
or anything of special interest to a stranger, except the 
" cash room " ; the walls of which are empanelled, from 
top to bottom, with coloured marbles, six different sorts. 
OQie lact of seeing banking business going on in this 

Smithes First Peep at America. 147 

room reminded me that mj funds were rather low, and 
that it would be as well to replenish them. 

Before leaving England, I had obtained a circular 
letter of credit from Messrs. Brown, Shipley & Co., 
the bankers ; and on turning up " Washington," on the 
alphabetical list of bankers (printed on the fly-leaf of 
the letter) with whom they correspond, I found the 
name of Biggs & Co. I therefore enquired for their 
establishment, and was informed that I would find it 
across the road, at the comer of the next block. Opposite 
the Treasury, I saw " Eiggs' House," over the entrance 
to a large establishment that I at first took to be an 
hotel. As, however, I could not find any other bmlding 
where I was directed to that at all looked like a banking 
establishment, I concluded that Biggs' House must 
undoubtedly be the place, and that I had at last found, 
in America, a bank more resembling the palatial edifices 
of Lombard Street and Threadneedle Street than I had 
as yet seen. So entering, and walking up to the office 
counter, I said, ^' I wish for ten pounds, English, on 
that letter of credit, if you please." 

The clerk looked at me, in a perplexed way, as though 
he did not understand, and I repeated my request. 

" I do not understand you. What is this paper?" 

"It is a letter of credit, on Brown, Shipley & Co., 
of London, and I want ten pounds on it. You are 
their agents, are you not ? " 

^' I never heard of them ; I guess I do not understand 
you. " 

" Well, your name is down on this printed list. This 
is Biggs' Bank, is it not? " 

148 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

^' No ; this is not a bank, at all. This is Biggs' House 
Hotel. You will find Riggs' bank at the opposite comer 
of the next block." 

'^ I've been to the comer, and I can't find any bank 
there* There is only a quiet place, painted yellow, with 
a. door in the middle, and a window each side. That, 
surely, can't be it. It looks like a private house." 

^^ I guess it is, though, and one of the oldest and 
safest banks in the city. You go in, you'll find it all 

Accordingly, I went out much amused. " What queer 
folks these Americans are ! Such grand hotels, and such 
paltry lookiiig banks. They reverse our English order 
of things in nearly every way." 

I got my ten pounds, receiving, however, only four 
dollars eighiy cents to the sovereign. On asking if it was 
correct, the bank clerk said — " I guess so. How much 
did you expect to get ?" 

'' In New York I got 4-88 ; and in Philadelphia 4-87." 

".We can't give that here. When was it you got 

*^ Oh, two or three weeks ago." 

"The rate of discount was exceptionally high just 
then. It has come down again now." 

Pursuing my way along Pennsylvania Avenue, I now 
had Lafayette Square on my right. It is the finest park 
in the city, and tastefully laid out with trees and shrubs^ 
and winding paths. On the opposite side of the road, 
and standing back, with a broad carriage sweep in 
front, is the Executive Mansion, so well known as the 
White House, the official residence of the President 

Smithes First Peep at America. 149 

during his tenn of office. I had heard Enghsh tourists 
speak of visiliiig the White House, and certaiuly thought 
I should much like to see the state apartments, &0., but 
did not know Trhether it was open to the pubUc when 
the President was at home, if he were so now, and 
whether it was necessary to obtain a visitor's order first, 
as the public visiting Windsor Castle have to do ; and 
if so, to whom must 1 apply for the necessary permit. 
I was a great mind to put a bold face on the matter, 
walk up to the front door, and enqaire there ; but had 


hardly sufficient courage to do so. After spending a 
long time deliberating with myself, if I should do so or 
oot, I at last summoned up my courage, walked along 
the carriage drive and under the massive portico, 
supported by eight colnmns, to the entrance. 

" Is there any admission here ? " I asked. 

" Certainly ; walk this way into the parlour," replied 
the hall-porter as he led me into the east room, and, after 
asking me to take a seat, lefl me and returned to the hall. 

I found myself in a samptnonsly furnished room. 

150 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

eighty feet long by forty wide, and very lofty. The carpet, 
as well as the sofas and chairs, were as soft as down. 
The mantel-shelves were surmounted by large pier 
glasses, while from the ceiling were suspended several 
massive chandeliers, that appeared a complete mass of 
gas globes and glass prisms. I sat there for a minute or 
two, wondering what the next move was to be, and if 
any of the other apartments were open to visitors. One 
or two ladies and their children were alternately resting 
on the settees, or walking about the room, and I thought 
I could not do better than to follow their example. 

The grand parlour was lit with three lofty windows at 
each end, hung with rich curtains. Those at the further 
end overlooked the gardens and grounds, which consist 
of about 79 acres in all, extending right down to the 
river's edge. Beyond, on a piece of ground projecting 
into the river, stands an ugly square tower ; the com- 
mencement of what was to have been a colossal monu- 
ment, 600 feet high, to Washington. After spending 
230,000 dollars in rearing it to its present height of 174 
feet, the funds gave out, and, like many other national 
monuments in America that have been conceived on too 
big a scale for the liberality of the public pocket, it 
has remained for years in an unfinished condition. 

Beyond the monument, a fine view is obtained from 
the parlour windows of the wooden bridge, nearly a 
mile in length, by which the Washington and Alexandra 
Rail Road crosses the Potomac River. 

Presently I heard a voice, saying, " Walk this way, 
ladies and gentlemen." So, following the attendant, the 
party were conducted into three rooms, very much 

Smithes First Peep at America. 151 

flmaller than the grand parlour, and called the " Blue, 
Bed, and Green " rooms, respectively. These apart- 
ments take their names from the colour of the wallpapers, 
carpets, curtains and upholstery -with which each is 
furnished. The attendant pointed out where the Presi- 
dent and his lady stand to receive the guests at a hve&y 
£c. The company were then conducted hack to the 
entrance hall, and took their departure after signing 
their names in the visitors' book. 

Just to the west of the White House is another vast 
pile of buildings, which, together with the White House 
and the United States Treasury Buildings, form, as it 
were, three sides of a sqnare. In the new edifice which 
is for the State, War, and Navy Departments, there is a 
splendid stone sfaircaae with' massive bronze balustrades, 
and surmounted by an elegant skylight of coloured 
glass. The southern portion of the building, which is 
already finished, is now being occupied by the Depart- 
ment for State Affairs. The library is a very ornamental 
room, with a gallery round, and is two stories in height. 

I next visited the Cocoran Art Gallery, which faces 

152 Baggage and Boots; or, 

tha new buildings just described. It was founded by . 
the banker of that nams, who richly endowed it, and, at 
his death, left it a legacy to the people. It contains a 
good collection of oil paiatings and statuary, some of the 
pieces being beantifully executed. 

After returning to the hotel to dine, I again sallied 
out and risited the Smitlisonian Institute, founded by a 
fellow-countryman of mine, a James Smithson. It 
somewhat resembles the British Museum on a small 

"amTHsosiAK nisirnrrB." 

scale, and consists of stuffed birds, animals, and reptiles, 
birds' eggs, specimens of minerals, i&c., and a glass case 
of live reptiles. The specimen which interested me most 
was the great meteorite mass which fell at Tuscon, in 
the State of Arizona, and which weighs no less than 
1,400 lbs. 

The city of Washington is situated in what is called 
the District of Columbia, a tract of land about ten miles 
square, cat out of the State of Maryland, and which 

SntitKs First Peep at America. 153 

forms a tiny State for which Congress itself is the 
legislative body. This was done as it was considered 
undesirable that the mnnicipal affairs of the seat of 
Goyernment should be under the administration of any 
one State. 

In the eveninor I called at the Post Office to see if 
there were any letters for me from England. One was 
handed to me, and as the initial as well as the surname 
were correct, I never doubted but that the letter was 
for me. On opening it, however, I found it was from a 
young lady whom I had never heard of, complaining 
bitterly to her young man of his neglect of her, in that 
he should have sailed to America and left her behind, 
and begging to know if he had forsaken her altogether. 

" Oh I " thought I, ^* here's a go ; this is too good a 
joke to be lost." So, writing across the back of the 
envelope '' Opened in error by J. Smith, of London,'* 
I handed it back to the Post Office clerk ; not, however, 
until I had made a careful note of the name and address 
of the writer. As it had commenced to rain, I returned 
to my hotel and spent the rest of the evening writing a 
long epistle of consolation to the unknown lady, deeply 
grieving with her in her troubles and disappointments, 
and adding that, should the original J. Smith never 
return, I would in the autumn, and should be happy to 
make her acquaintance. 

The next morning I was up in good time, as there 
were still a great many places I had not visited, and 
I was anxious to push on with my tour. I first visited 
the Patent Office, which is built of marble, freestone, and 
granite, in the Doric style, and occupies two entire 


156 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

fort, where the James River flows into Chesapeake Bay. 
Here I went on shore, and spent a quiet Sunday at the 
Hygeia Hotel, adjoining the landing stage. The place 
is a narrow isthmus of land, running out into the bay, 
and connected with the main land by a very narrow 
causeway about half a mile in length. The isthmus is 
occupied by a military fort, which, together with the 
hotel, and a sprinkling of private houses, form the whole 
of the settlement. It is, however, a favourite resort for 
the citizens of Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond ; 
the chief attractions being bathing, boating, and Ashing. 
Although such an out-of-the-way spot, the hotel was 
supplied throughout with gas ; manufactured on the 
premises from c^rosceneoil. 

The following morning, I proceeded in the steamer 
^^ Accomach," to Norfolk, arriving there in about two 
hours. At Norfolk there is literally nothing worth 
going to see, the only public building worthy of the 
name being the Custom House and General Post OflSce 
combined, which is buUt of granite, and situated in 
Maine Street. Of course Norfolk is important as a port, 
the principal commodity of shipment being cotton, from 
the Southern States. At 6 o'clock, the following morning, 
I left in the " Ariel," for Richmond. To my surprise, 
the first place it went to was Fort Monroe, where 
I had been the day before. As she waited there for the 
arrival of the boat from Baltimore, which was not yet 
in sight, I availed myself of the opportunity to go on 
shore, and have a bathe in the sea ; which was very 
enjoyable, the water being beautifully clear, with a sandy 

SmitKs First Peep at America^ 157 

The *^ Ariel " is the mail steamer on the James River, 
and had on board a post office, where a Government 
official sorted the letters received on board at diffisrent 
landings, and made up the mail bags for the various 
villages en route. The Uni^ States mail bags are long, 
narrow saoks^ of stout leather ; and judging from the 
bulk of those received on the " Ariel," the good folks in 
that part of the country seem to be very poor corres- 
pondents, as the bags appeared in many cases to be 
quite empty. The landing stages on the James River 
are of the most primitive description, having no balus- 
trades ; and the floor planking being of every conceivable 
length; and the whole in many cases in a most dilapidated 
condition* Wood was burnt on the " Ariel" for keeping 
up the ftimace fires, and a considerable time was spent 
at some of the landings in taking on a supply of that 
fuel. The fact of the " Ariel " being a mail steamer, by 
no means indicated despatch and rapid transit ; rather 
the reverse, as it had to call at no less than nineteen 
landings, whether there were any passengers or not \ so 
that it was five o'clock before the passengers were, at 
last, put on shore at Richmond. 

160 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

" Yes, so I did ; they were smoking hot ; that is why 
I bought them. I only ate two or three, however ; I 
thought them so nasty ; yet either they, or the fried 
oysterd at breakfast, or that wretched soup on the 
steaiiief to-day — ^perhaps all three combined — together 
with this oppressive heat, greater than I have ever 
experienced before, have quite upset me, and I feel 
thoroughly sick." 

" I don't think it can be the pea nuts ; oysters you 
should not eat now ; it is the wrong time of year. As 
for the soup, I quite agree with you, I thought it seemed 
flavoured with turpentine, and was obliged to leave it. 
However, I hope you will be better after a good night's 

The next day, instead of being better, I was much 
worse ; quite unable to go out, and violently sick so 
many times that I had to send for a doctor, who wrote 
a prescription, which the hotel clerk sent out and had 
made up immediately. The doctor also recommended 
me to go to the White Sulphur Springs, or other cool 
mountainous regions, for a few days, which he said 
would do more than anything else to set me up again. 

In accordance with the doctor's advice, I lay down 
again until late in the evening, when I left in the hotel 
'bus, and went about a quarter of a mile to the dep6t of 
the Chesapeake and Ohio Bail Road, which I found a very 
paltry, tumble-down sort of a shed for the terminus of 
a railway 421 miles in length without branch lines. The 
hotel 'bus turned round on the line and drew up* close 
behind the train, so that if the engine in being attached 
had pushed the cars back even a yard or two, the last one 

SmitKs First Peep at Atnerica, 161 

must inevitably have smashed the omnibus. I took a 
ticket to White Sulphar, and also paid an extra dollar to 
have a berth in the sleeping car. On first entering I 
found it very close ; the black attendant, however, told 
me it would be better as soon as the train started, which 
it did at 11 p.m. The train made numerous stoppages* 
At about 2*30 a.m., when it stopped at Gordonsville 
Junction, a few passengers entered who had come from 

" Oh," thought I, '* what a pity I did not do so too^ 
and have cut out the last few days' joumeyings where 
there has been nothing worth visiting, and where I have, 
moreover, only made myself ill into the bargain." 

At Staunton, sixty miles further on, the line joins that 
of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Boad, and from there, the 
whole remainder of the route to Huntingdon, on the 
Ohio River, a distance of 285 miles, it has no branch or 
connection with any other railroad, except a few short 
private lines leading to mines or quarries adjacent te 
the railroad. As the train gradually climbed the passes- 
of the Alleghany Mountains, I felt a cool breeze coming 
through the cars, which was exceedingly refreshing, and 
seemed to put new life into me. 

The sleeping car contained sixteen berths, eight 
on each side ; two rows of four each, placed one 
row above the other. One end of the car was par- 
titioned oflp and fitted up as a lavatory, with a good 
supply of water, towels, combs and brushes, &c., and 
also with iced water for drinking. I was unable to 
sleep more than an occasional doze, no doubt partly 
from the novelty of the situation (it being the first 

162 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

time I had ever tried a sleeping berth on a train), and 
partly due to my sickness, so I pushed open the 
window shutter a little way that I might see out. It was 
a beautiful moonlight night, but the steam from the 
locomotive prevented my seeing much of the country. 
Being the height of summer it began to get light about 
half-past three, and I felt for my pocket aneroid, which 
I found registered an elevation of 1,500 feet above 
Richmond ; after this the line descended some 500 feet 
to Staunton ; after which it aorain commenced to ascend 
tantil at Alleghany Station it reached the highest 
elevation of 1,650 feet. 

About six o'clock the passengers commenced, one by 
one, to wash and dress ; and, having done so, took their 
departure to other cars in the train. As each did so, the 
coloured attendant made up the beds ready for the 
return journey on the following night ; as the berths 
in these cars were fixed, and not like some of 
Pulipan's sleeping cars, where the shelving and bedding 
can be entirely packed away somewhere in the roof, 
in order that the same car may be used by day as 
well as by night. 

At Covington the train stopped twenty minutes to allow 
passengers to breakfast. A number of coloured people 
brought baskets of meat, and fruit pies, &c., to sell to 
passengers, but I could not fancy them ; and preferred, 
with a few others, to breakfast at the small hotel 
abutting on the line. At half-past nine, Alleghany, 
the highest pass, was reached, where we passed the 
corresponding train in the opposite direction ; and four 
miles beyond I was very glad to alight at the White 

SmiiKs First Peep at America. 163 

Sulphur Springs, where I hopled that nearly a week's 
rest would thoroughly restore me to health. 

The springs are extensively advertised by the 
proprietors of the hotel accommodation there, and in 
whose grounds the Sulphur Spring is situated. In a 
pamphlet written by the resident doctor, it says, the 
springs, tlie hotel, and the gay throng of company to 
be met there, make the place at once ^' the Saratoga of 
the South ; the Athens and the Paris of America." 

A rickety 'bus conveyed me and another guest from 
the station to the hotel, some two or three hundred yards. 
On alighting, I said to the driver, " Well, I'm glad 
you've landed us safely ; this old stage is so shaky that I 
did not think it would hold together till we got out." 

" We are to have a new one shortly," he replied. "It 
has been ordered." 

" And none too soon, either." 

On entering the office, I was surprised to learn that 
the guests did not sleep in the house, but in smalls 
two-roomed cottages, built in rows round the grounds. 
The pamphlet before alluded to says, "The cottage 
system has proved a complete success, and greatly con- 
tributes to the home-like comforts and sociability of 
the numerous families assembled here." One in "Georgia 
Row " was appropriated for me. It was a miserably 
furnished, white-washed room, with brick floor, without 
any carpet, except a narrow slip by the side of the bed ; 
and behind, a still smaller room, with only a bed and a 
<;hair (intended, I presumed, for your coloured servant, 
if you kept one), and only divided from your own apart- 
ment by an unpanelled, white-washed door, without 

164 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

lock or key, and tbat looked as if it had been intended 
for some cellar. " Oh/' thought I, " ihu is not very in- 
viting accommodation for either the invalids or the 
grand society spoken of in the advertisements." 

After a wash, I went in search of the spring, which 
gives the name to the locality. It is situated at the 
lower end of the hotel grounds, and is, of course, free 
to the guests of the establishment. There is, however, 
an attendant, always present, who persists in drawing 
the water for you, when you would much sooner da 
it for yourself. He has a plate, containing a few 
nickle coins, and a much larger number of silver ones, 
which is his stock-in-trade, as the earliest visitor to the 
springs never finds it empty, and to which he expects 
you to contribute for his unsolicited services. 

With regard to the water itself I have nothing to say, 
except that it is exceedingly disagreeable to the taste, 
and very purgative in its eflfects. Among the recent 
improvements to the property, the pamphlet mentioned 
a contract with a Baltimore firm for sewerage and 
drainage. So far as I could discover this still remained 
to be carried out, as the sanitary arrangements, as I 
found them, I could not otherwise describe than as 
disgusting and abominable. Besides all this, there was 
a wretched table kept, the worst of any hotel I had as yet 
stayed at. Fruits and ices, even an orange or a banana, 
were not to be had for love nor money ; nor even salad 
or green meat of any kind, not even a lettuce or a 
water-cress, but only things smeared with fat, enough 
to make anyone sick, and especially an invalid. Added to 
all, the place was in a complete upset, with carpenters, 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 165 

painters, and others, doing extensive alterations for the 
season. I begged for a lemon, bat could not obtain one ; 
and ou enquiring of some of the coloured folk about, 
if there was not some store in the neighbourhood where 
the J were to be had, was informed that the news-boy, 
who travelled with the mail train, usually had a basket 
of oranges, and that was the only way of getting any 
fruit they knew of. 

Although the surrounding scenery was very beautiful, 
the hills and mountains being verdure clad and thickly 
wooded to their very summit, still I felt that a pro- 
longed stay, far from recruiting my health, would, with 
such dietary, soon prove fatal to me ; so I decided to 
leave in the morning. 

After passing one night at the ^^ White Sulphur," 
throughout which an interminable concert was kept up 
by the croaking of innumerable frogs and toads, in a 
neighbouring swamp, it was with a feeling of great 
relief that I again resumed my journey, by the same 
line of railroad, en route for Cincinnati. The train con- 
tinued the descent of the magnificent mountain passes ; 
following the course of the Greenbrier River for over 
150 miles, until from being a small mountain stream, 
near the White Sulphur, it had grown into a mighty 
torrent, rushing madly along over crags and boulders, 
at Hinton, and sixty miles beyond, at Kanawha Falls, 
gave a final plunge, and then become a navigable river ; 
flowing peacefully on, under the name of the Kanawha, 
through Charlestown, until it at last empties itself into 
the Ohio Biver, at Point Pleasant. At Kanawha, the 
train stopped twenty minutes, to allow passengers to 

166 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

dine. A very enjoyable meal was served at the hotel 
adjoining the Une at fifty cents per head, the railroad 
conductor having gone through the cars, some two or 
three hours before, toenquire of the passengers, and wired 
on the number they were to provide for. 

On this railroad journey, the whole of which, from the 
White Sulphur, lay through the state of West Virginia^ 
I passed large crops of Indian maize, which I saw grow- 
insr for the first time ; also a sort of silver ash or birch 
tree, with a conical shaped flower, all matted together, 
like a coxcomb flower, and which looked very effective ; 
also, of course, Virginia Creeper. Throughout West 
Virginia there appears to be a great lack of capital. The 
houses are, almost without exception, built of wood, 
and are very small, mere huts most of them ; and of 
the sparse population the blacks appear to be more 
numerous than the whites. 

Punctually at 7 p.m. the train reached Huntingdon, 
having been twenty hours in coming through from 
Richmond, a distance of 421 miles. Here, those 
passengers whose destinations lay further west (and that 
included nearly all) went on board the steamer "Bostona,'* 
which was in waiting, and which at once started on its 
journey down the Ohio. 

The vessel was like an enormous flat barge, com- 
pletely boarded over, and having both boilers and 
engines, and all the cargo, on deck. Above this was 
another deck, supported on pillars (so as to leave the 
sides of the cargo-deck open); and on this upper deck 
was placed the saloon and passengers' state-rooms, the 
pantry, cook's galley, barber's shop, and lavatories. 

Smith''s First Peep at America. 167 

the steamboat clerk's ofEce, and saloon passengers* 
accommodation generally. This, again, was all covered 
in, so that it was possible to walk on a deck still 
higher ; above which, again, was placed the wbeelhonse, 
Ihe saloon was very long and narrow, extending nearly 
the whole length of the vessel, and on either side of it 
were the passengers' state-rooms. Each of these little 
rooms contained two berths, and at night received a 


dim secondarylight from the lamps in the saloon, shinino- 
throagh a fanlight of figured glass over 4e door. 
Besides the door leading into the saloon, each state- 
room had another on the opposite side, the apper half 
of which was glazed to admit the daylight; bet was 
also provided with a muslin curtain, for privacy's sake. 
This door opened on to a promenade, about six feet in 

168 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

width, .that passes entirely round the vessel, and is 
covered in by a verandah for protection from the rays 
of the sun, and from the charcoal cinders constantly 
falling from the funnels, wood being used as fuel. From 
the verandah were suspended plants, and flowers 
growing in pots, which gave a very tasteful and 
pleasant aspect to the promenade deck. 

I was heartily glad again to be travelling by water, 
where, beside being cooler, I could take more exercise, 
and have a thorough good wash in the lavatory, in an 
unlimited supply of water, the only objection to which 
was, that it was dreadfully muddy, being thrown up 
from the river by the paddle-wheel, and not in any way 
Altered. I was also agreeably surprised to find that the 
nine dollars, fifteen cents^ I had that morning paid at 
the White Sulphur for my ticket to Cincinnati, not only 
included a state-room on the steamer, for which I had 
expected to be charged extra, but also supper on board 
the steamer, which I had not at all anticipated. This 
meal was served soon after leaving Huntingdon, after 
which I went on to the lower deck to have a look 
at the engines. The steam was generated in four 
long cylindrical boilers, placed side by side ; and in 
appearance much like that of a locomotive, only very 
much longer (about foriy feet). These were sup- 
ported, about three feet above the deck, so that you 
could, if you wished, crawl clean under them, from 
one side of the vessel to the other. The engines also 
were totally unlike those on English steamboats. 
The paddle-wheels were disconnected, and worked 
entirely independently of each other ; each being 

Smith's First Peep at America. 169 

driven by a single high - pressure engine, placed 
almost horizontally, with a cylinder not unlike that 
of a locomotive engine (only very much longer, having 
a stroke of eight feet), and working up to a pressure 
of 1501bs. to the square inch. As the engines were 
disconnected from each other, they often worked at 
slightly different speeds, and being high pressure, and 
the steam, after being used, discharging into the air 
like that of a locomotive, the result sounded very 
peculiar ; the loud puffs, for half a minute or so, being 
regular, alternately from each engine; then, as one 
gradually overtook the other, the puffs would become 
very irregular, until they were emitted from each 
engine at the same moment like one blast with, of 
course, double interval of time between each, after 
which again the snorting would gradually resolve itself 
into distinct puffs, as the precise moment of escaping 
from the cylinder differed in each engine. The paddle- 
wheels are very large, and each engine has a separate 
driver to attend to it, who sits in a little house built out 
over the water and against the paddle-box, where he 
can have a good view of what the vessel is approaching. 
Besides the engines and boilers, the fuel was also 
strewn about this deck, together with the cargo and 
emigrant passengers. The steamer made several calls 
in its journey down the river, and passed several other 
steamers, all paddle. In some of these, however, there 
was only one paddle, which projected from the stern of 
the boat, and had no paddle-box but only a splash-board. 
A few of these were large tug-boats taking barges of 
coal, timber, or other freight up or down the river. 

170 Baggage and BootSy &c. 

The barges, which were usuaDj in fleets of ten or 
twelve, were kshed, four or five abreast, and the tug,, 
instead of towing them with ropes as with us, pushed 
them along from behind, like a nurse-girl wheeling a 

I wondered that none of the passengers went on to 
the top deck. On trying to do so myself I soon dis- 
covered that it was strewn thick with ashes falling from 
the funnels, which were placed one on either side of the 
vessel against the paddle-box. 

I turned into bed early, and soon came to the 
conclusion that my room must be close to the funnel, or 
some of the steam-pipes, as it was as hot as an oven* 
This, combined with the unearthly snorting of the high- 
pressure engines, and the frequent sounding of the 
steam-whistle, was not at all conducive to sleep in the 
uninitiated, so I went and asked the clerk to give me 
a different room, but was peremptorily refused, so had 
to make the best of it. 

At nine o'clock the next morning the steamer arrived 
at Cincinnati, and there, by the advice of a fellow 
passenger, who had long lived in that city, I went at 
once to the Gibson House, a large, well-appointed, and 
exceedingly comfortable hotel and very centrally situated* 
Here, with abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and 
ices, combined with a cooler atmosphere, caused by 
torrents of rain falling, I soon recovered my wonted 
health, and could again enjoy the strange sights and 
sounds with which I was surrounded. 


Cincinnati — Tyler-Davidson Fountain — The Exposition Buildings— 
Surface drainage — An American prison — American prisoners — 
** Durance vile " — Lynch Law — Ill-feeling towards negroes — The 
largest Sunday School in the world — ^Bridges over the Ohio at 
Cincinnati — Waterworks and pumping machinery — Eden Park 
— Cincinnati Inclined Planes — Zoological Gardens — German 
population — Beer gardens — Cincinnati hack driver — "Why, man, 
I don't want to buy your hack '* — Bad water supply — Where 
ignorance is bliss, 'tis foolish to be wise — Floating swimming 
bath— Smith proceeds to LouisviUe— The Louis vme Railroad 
bridge — ^American railroad conductors — Baggage master— Church 
sextons — Green com — How to eat it — New Albany— Cave Hill 
Cemetery — City Hall — Dep6t of the Louisville and Great Southern 
Bailroad — Waiting rooms — "What is the fare ?" — Louisville hack 
fares— Smith departs from Louisville. 

T^HE Gibson House Hotel is in Walnut Street ; and just 
roundthe corner in SthStreetis a sort of public square, 
a regular rendezvous for the horse-cars to and from all 
partsof the city, which, on arriving,from whatever quarter, 
pass round the square (instead of removing the horses 
to the other end of the car), and then depart again in 
the direction they came from ; reminding me of the 
advent of a comet into our solar system, its rush round 
the sun, and its disappearance again into boundless space. 
In the middle of this square, on an esplanade, 400 feet 
long, by 60 wide, stands the Tyler-Davidson fountain, 
in the centre of a basin 40 feet in diameter. It consists 
of a group of figures cast in bronze, the top one being 
that of a gigantic female figure, with outstretched arms, 
through which the water is carried, and pours down in 

172 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

fine spray, from the perforated fingers. Also in 5th 
Street, ou the further side of Wahiut Street, a massive 
granite edifice is in course of erection, which will, when 
completed, be occupied by the Post Office, Custom 
House, and United States Courts. 

Through the streets of the city runs the world renowned 
Miami Canal ; a broad, shallow ditch of slimy black mud, 
devoid of water, that element having all run off through 
the breakage of a viaduct, about twenty-five miles from 
the city, some short time before, and which had not been 
repaired, leaving the empty bed of the canal gradually 
drying in a scorching sun ; a ripe breeder of disease and 
pestilence to those dwelling along its course. Many of 
the streets of Cincinnati, too, large and important as the 
city is, are only surface drained ; at all times a very 
undesirable arrangement, in any town, especially at such 
a latitude. In the evening I went to see the shopping, 
being Saturday night. Many of the streets were lined 
with barrow-men, and thronged with marketers, buying 
and selling provisions and merchandise of every descrip- 

The next morning a gentleman told me that if I 
would like to visit an American prison, a service was 
conducted every Sunday morning at 9.30, at the County 
Court Jail, and that he would give me a note that would 
gain me admission. This I gladly accepted, as I was 
anxious to see all I could. The place was conducted very 
difierently to an English prison. For instance, at the 
close of the service, which lasted about an hour, I found 
the prisoners sitting and walking about the hall, just 
where they liked. One immediately took possession of 

Smith's First Peep at America, 173 

the harmonium^ which had been used for leading the 
hymns, and oommenced singing some revival hymns, 
and playing the accompaniment on the instrument very 
fairly. Others produced packs of cards and commenced 
playing with them. None of them wore any prison 
dress ; all being dressed in their own clothes, just as 
they pleased, and many of them sporting a watch and 
chain. Nor did they seem to stand in much awe of the 

*^ Where are my shoes ? " demanded one of the 

** I don't know," replied the attendant. 

^* Then look for them, sharp, and bring them to me 
at once, or I'll know the reason why," said the prisoner. 

Prisoners also get up little plays and entertainments, 
from time to time, which they act for the amasement 
of one another, as I discovered from the following 
paragraph, which I happened to light upon some time 
after in the "Detroit Free Press." It is evidently 
considered, by the culprits at least, as hard enough 
punishment to be kept in "durance vile," without 
having it added to by being kept under a stem 
discipline while there. 

"House of Corrkction Notes. — ^^Superintendent 
N— — yesterday received a pardon from the President 

for H C , who was sentenced from Kansas to 

four years' imprisonment. had an excellent 

prison record, and utilised his spare time in writing 
essays, which were read at the entertainments given to 
the convicts." 

Lynch law is very prevalent in many of the 

174 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

southern and western states, as will be seen from the 
prosaic *^ every-day occurrence " sort of way, in which 
the following, taken from the " New York Herald," is 
related : — 

" A Negro Lynched. — Guthrie^ Ky., August 27. — 
On Tuesday morning a coloured man, named Green 
Ellis, assaulted Mrs. Duncan, two miles north of here, 
withjintent to commit robbery. After beating her 
severely, and taking 12 dols. that were on her person, 
he left her for dead. She recovered sufficiently to get 
home and report the facts. Ellis was caught here 
yesterday and had his trial, and was to have been sent 
to the County Jail to-day. Last night, about ten 
o'clock, between twenty-five and fifty men rode into 
town, overpowered the guard, and quietly removed 
Ellis. He was hanged not far from the town." 

The above, astounding as it may appear, is by no 
means an isolated case. When a person is lynched it 
is usually a coloured man. In fact, very much bad 
feeUng is still shown to the negro race, who are 
sometimes subject to the most wanton outrage, as the 
following paragraph which appeared on the same day 
as the one above, will illustrate : — 

"Two Men Killed. — Atlanta, Ga., August 27.— On 
Wednesday night, near Uochran, Ga., four young white 
men disguised themselves, went to a negro cabin, 
broke down the door, and commenced firing into it. 
The occupant, John Brown, seized his double-barrelled 
gun, which was loaded with buckshot, and fired both 
barrels, killing two brothers, named Dykes. The tops 
of their [heads were. blown off. The negro made his 

SmitKs First Peep at Atnerica. 175 

escape. The Coroner's jury returned a verdict of 
justifiable homicide/' 

This time such cowardly assault met with a just 
retribution ; and this time the law did the negro justice 
in the verdict of the jury; but although the law 
justifies him, he still has to flee, from fear of further 
violence from his murderous enemies. 

That afternoon, I visited, first, a Coloured Sunday 
School, intended for negro children exclusively ; and 
subsequently the ^' Bethel Mission," facing the public 
landing — the largest Sunday School in the world, 2,042 
being present that afternoon, which number was 
somewhat below the average. 

The Ohio, at Cincinnati, is about the width of the 
Thames at London, and is crossed by two fine bridges. 
The first reached in coming down the river is a 
railroad bridge, carried over between huge iron girders 
of lattice work. It supports a single line of rail, and on 
either side has a roadway, just wide enough for an 
ordinary vehicle, and also a narrow footpath, about 
two feet inw idth. The other is a suspension bridge, 
very wide and handsome, and besides broad footpaths 
and roadway, the latter is laid down with a double line 
of tram rails for the horse-cars to the opposite suburbs 
of Covington and Newport. On Monday morning, I 
went to see the vast pumping machinery, situated at 
the east end of the city, for forcing water, drawn from 
the river, up to the reservoirs in Eden Park, for the 
supply of Cincinnati. Here, as at almost all public 
and municipal works in the United States^ I found 
I could go about where I liked among the machinery. 

176 Baggage and Boots; or, 

Tiridiout let or hindrance. From here I had a 
tiring walk and climb, up to the reservoirs ; and 
afterwards a stroll about the Park. Although the sun, 
just then, was beating down with terrific heat, 
it was for all that very muddy under foot, it having 
rained heavily during the night and that morning. 
Presently, I espied a tram-car coming along a road in 
the park with " Tyler Davidson Fountain " on it ; so I 
jumped in to go to the city, feeling quite ready for my 
dinner. Presently the car drove into a yard covered 
with a glazed roof, and I wondered how we were going 
to continue our journey, the line apparently coming 
to an end« Besides, we had now come to the verge 
of a precipitous ridge overlooking the city, the house 
roofs of which were far below us. The horses, how- 
ever, knew far better than I did. They drew the car 
into a sort of cradle where it was fixed by the wheels 
being blocked. In a few seconds I heard a gong sound 
on an electric bell ; and, looking out, saw an engineer 
pull over a lever, and the whole concern, cradle, horses, 
car and passengers, just as they were, began rapidly to 
descend the face of the hill over an inclined railway, at 
an angle of nearly 40 degrees. As we went down,, 
another cradle and car came up the incline, passing, of 
course, exactly half-way. On reaching the bottom, the 
gates in front of the horses were thrown open, and the 
car resumed its journey through the city. There are 
three other inclined planes, the city being in a sort of 
amphitheatre surrounded by a steep semi-circular 
plateau, on the top of which the suburbs and best 
private residences are built, and which are difficult of 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 177 

access in any other way. None of the other inclines 
take up the cars in the way just described, although one 
or two of them take up and down ordinary street traffic ; 
and at a much less rate than a foot passenger, who is 
charged five cents, whereas a cart containing a ton or two 
of coals, with horses and driver, is conveyed for twenty- 
five cents. The longest and steepest of these railroads 
is Price's Incline at the West end of Cincinnati, whidi 
is 825 feet long, and has a gradient of h\ inches to the 

In the afternoon I took the Maine Street car and 
Mount Auburn inclined plane out to the Zoological 
Garden ; a very good collection though not so large as- 
that at Philadelphia. It included the largest crocodile 
I had ever seen alive, and the most peculiar monkey I 
had ever met with, having blue cheeks and a red 
nose, exactly resembling morocco leather, and a coat of 
long fur, which blended all the colours of the rainbow, 
behind. There was also a capital aviary, and several 
bear pits containing some very fine specimens. 

Cincinnati contains over 100,000 Q-ermans out of a 
total population of 300,000. These form a complete 
colony by themselves on the further side of the Miami 
CanaL Here German is the language spoken, advertise- 
ments placarding the walls are in German, a German 
newspaper is published, and, in fact, all the surroundings 
would make a German feel as though he had been 
suddenly transplanted to the " father land." 

At the top of each of the inclined planes is an exten- 
sive Beer-Garden, where Germans of all classes resort on 
Sunday afternoons, drinking lager-beer and conversing 

178 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

or playing cards, while their children amuse themselves 
and playmates about the grounds. 

The next morning I visifced the Emery Arcade to 
purchase photographs, &c. ; also the Masonic Temple, 
visitors being admitted to view the decorations at ten 
o'clock each morning ; also St Peter's Cathedral, the 
Jews' Synagogue, St. Paul's Church, and several other 
very fine buildings ; and afterwards to the depot of the 
Cincinnati, Hamilton and Drayton Bailroad, as I thought 
I should like to see if Cincinnati could not show some- 
thing better in this line than Huntington, Bichmond, or 
€ven Washington itself. Just as I was leaving, a 
gentleman drove up in a hack, and on Tilighting, asked 
the driver how much he had to pay. 

^^ Three and a half dollars." 

" Three dollars and a half? " repeated the passenger ; 
^^ I'm sure that's wrong." 

« No, it's not. That's what I want." 

^^ Three dollars and a half for riding from the other 
•depot ? Why, man, I don't want to buy your hack." 

" That's what you've got to pay ; I won't put your 
baggage off my hack till you do." 

The passenger here beckoned a policeman from across 
the road and appealed to him. 

" Where have you come from ? " 

"The Little Miami Eailroad Depot. I guess the 
fare's not three and a half dollars, for that short .^ 

distance ? " leli 

^' I guess not, nor half either ; if you give one and a ^^ 

half dollars, it will be sufficient, and then I shall want % 
bim round at the police-station." m^] 

Smith's First Peep at America, 179 

The hackman looked rather disconcerted, lifted down 
the baggage, and took his fare. The policeman then 
jumped on the box by his side and they drove oflF. 

The drinking water supplied to Cincinnati, as in most 
southern cities, is exceedingly discoloured and none too 
good to the taste, although the inhabitants expressed 
their surprise at me for thinking so ; and said that they 
had always considered it excellent and particularly 
pure and wholesome. I could not help comparing 
the statement to the description in Bunyan's " Pilgrim's 
Progress " of the old man, grovelling with his muck- 
rake; and also those lines of Gray, " Where ignorance 
is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." 

On one occasion I was much disappointed on a 
scorching aflernoon, after politely accepting what I 
thought to be a glass of delicious lemonade, to find, on 
putting it to my lips, that it was but water, and that 
of a very indifferent kind. 

On enquiring if there was not a swimming bath in 
Cincinnati, I was directed to the floating bath near the 
landing stage. It is, of course, needless to say that the 
water here was worse than that supplied to the city for 
drinking purposes, in fact, no better than that supplied 
for washing purposes on the OMo steamer. 

On the following afternoon I left Cincinnati for 
Louisville in the steamer " United States." I went down 
in the ^^ hotel stage," an omnibus that called at various 
hotels for passengers, and the driver of which charged 
each passenger half a dollar, for the ride of something 
under half a mile. This time I was fortunate in securing 
a much cooler state-room, so that I enjoyed a good 

180 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

night's rest, and when I awoke the next morning 
found that the vessel had already arrived at Louisville. 

Leaving my portmanteau on the boat, they having 
checked the baggage on the same principle as the 
American railways, I took a walk along some of the 
main streets and then fixed my quarters at the '^ Gralt 

It rained heavily throughout the morning, but in the 
afternoon it ceased for a short time and I took a car 
down to the 14th Street Depot, in order to walk over 
the magnificent railway bridge that crosses the river 
at this point and connects the state of Kentucky 
with that of Indiana. It is an enormous work, nearly a 
mile in length with a single, line of rail, carried 
sometimes on tho top, and in some parts at the bottom^ 
of deep lattice work girders of wrought iron. On 
either side of the line is a good wood-planked path 
for foot passengers. The bridge is carried over at a 
great height above the water, though I could not see 
that there was much need for such an arrangement, 
as the river, just at this part, has a fall of several 
feet and is very shallow, and goes surging along over 
the rocks at a great rate. The traffic on the river 
has to pass through locks and along a ship canal one 
and a quarter miles in length to get by. 

In Louisville, as in Cincinnati, mules are very largely 
used in the tram-cars. A number of the streets are 
lined with avenues of trees which cast a pleasant 
shade on a hot day. On arriving, I was struck with 
the number of business advertisements done out in 
bright letters, fixed to wire gauze or net banners 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 183 

and stretched across the street. At first, I thought 
that I had arrived on a grand gala day, and that the 
citizens were decorating the streets for a procession. 
On reading some of them, however, I soon discovered 
tdlj mistake. On looking in at the depot of the 
Louisville and Cincinnati Bailroad, I was mnch 
amused to see the names of the train conductors 
chalked up on a blackboard against the departure of 
their respective trains. They are much more important 
personages, anyhow in their own opinion if not in the 
directors', than a railway guard is in England. They 
take the passengers' tickets, and the fares of those 
who have taken no tickets or who get in at a way- 
side station where there is no booking office or ticket 
agent, and, on some Unes, give no receipts either; they 
ascertain where each passenger is bound for, and when 
approaching a station call out the name of the place, 
and if any one wishes to aUght pull a cord which rings 
a bell on the engine as a signal to the driver to pull up. 
The conductor has nothing to do with passengers' 
luggage, that department being in the hands of quite a 
different man called the baggage master, who sits on 
a Windsor armchair in the doorway of the baggage 
car, the side entrance to which is usually very large 
and closed (t.«., when it is shut at all) with a sliding 

Another peculiarity I observed in Louisville was that 
none of the places of worship there had any tablet or 
notice board to inform the stranger the name and 
denomination of the church. Every one is supposed 
to know. Even the name of the church's undertaker 

184 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

did not appear, a very unusual thing in America, as, 
in New York and New England States generally, every 
church patronises some particular sexton and undertaker, 
whose names and addresses are painted on the notice 
hoard outside, whether the minister's name appears or 

At different hotels, in different parts of the country, 
and as the summer season advanced, I was constantly 
finding new things down on the hills of fare that I had 
never tasted in England. This evening, at dinner, I 
saw " Green corn" down on the bill of fare amongst 
the list of vegetables, it having just come into season ; 
so I ordered the waiter to bring me some. When it 
was brought, I found it was young Indian maize, 
boiled in the ear. I remembered having heard that the 
usual mode in which Americans eat it was to take it up 
in their hand, and, while twisting the ear round, 
holding it at each end with their fingers to gnaw the 
grains ofi* with their teeth. To me, however, this 
seemed such a barbarous mode that although I thought 
it possibh a negro might eat it in that way, still I 
thought it could not but be considered very vulgar in 
good society ; and as the Gait House was quite the tip- 
top hotel, and had a superior class of guests, I did not 
wish to scandalize the company present by making 
any great hole in my manners. So I determined to 
leave the com for a minute, and watch how others did. 

I looked round the room in vain, however. No one 
but myself appeared to have ordered green corn. Just 
as I was feeling in a great dilemma, a gentleman sitting 
opposite asked me to pass the bill of fare, and in another 

Smithes First Peep at America. 185 

second, I rejoiced to hear him say : ^* Waiter, I'll take 
some green corn." It was brought, and the guest tried 
to stick his fork into it, and cut the corn ofF the 
husk with his knife. I thought, "There, no doubt 
that's the proper way," so tried to do Ukewise, but 
soon gave up the attempt, as neither could I fix the 
fork in the ear, nor were the corn grains to be 
removed by scraping them with a knife, they adhering 
to the husk far too tightly for that. The guest opposite 
was no more successful, and soon called the waiter. 

" Waiter, this corn is not done." 

" Is that so ? I'll bring you another ear." The fresh 
corn was brought ; and the strange guest again applied 
his knife and fork, and with the same result. 

" Waiter, this corn is as bad as the last." 

This time the waiter had been watching the visitor 
from behind, and making signs to the other black boys,^ 
who were on the grin all over the room. He was at a 
loss, however, how to reply to this last remark ; so, 
coming round the table, and holding a bill of fare before 
me, he said out loud — " What will you take next, sir? " 
— and then in a low tone, — ^' I wonder where the gentle- 
man has grown ; he has never seen an ear of corn. Do 
show him how to eat it." 

This request took me greatly by surprise, and put me 
in a greater dilemma than I was before. However, I 
replied out loud — ^* Certainly not : show him yourself 
for I can't. I don't know myself. Show us both." 

The waiters could no longer suppress their amusement 
and turned their backs in order to hide the broad grin 
on their coloured features. The foreign gentleman 


186 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

looked up, and the waiter I had just spoken to dis- 
appeared in an instant. 

This Uttle episode had attracted the notice of some of 
the other guests, and was evidently causing them some 
little amusement A gentleman, however, very kindly 
came across from another table, and after saying : — ^^ I 
guess you're strangers to our country," explained that 
it was usual, in that part, after smearing the ear over 
with butter, and salt and pepper, to one's liking, to hold 
it at each end by the fingers, and bite the corn off in the 
way described. 

The next morning I took a Main Street car to the 
extreme west end of the city, some three miles or so, 
and crossed by ferry steamer, to New Albany. There 
are some large iron foundries here ; also, at the east end 
of the Albany, some good private residences. Most of 
the private houses in Albany are built of wood. Those 
built of brick are either white-washed or else painted a 
Ught chocolate cream colour all over. Some of the gardens 
contained beautiful oleander trees, in full flower ; also a 
flowering shrub, called the Rose of Sharon, which is 
indigenous to Indiana. I returned to Louisville by train, 
crossing the Ohio by the magnificent bridge before 
described. The trains pass oyer very slowly; the one 
I was in taking 7^ minutes to cross. 

In the afternoon, I went by car to Cave Hill Cemetery, 
quite in the eastern suburbs of Louisville. On arriving, 
I found that an order for admittance was required. 
However, after some demur, the gate keeper allowed me 
to take a walk round. I thought it the most beautiful 
cemetery I had ever seen. There is scarcely a monu- 

SmitKs First Peep at America* 189 

ment that is not either of granite or marble, and the 
variety of designs is really wonderful. The spot, too, 
is extremely picturesque — rocks and valleys, and a 
small lake, and many large and beautiful trees. The 
footpaths, too, are bordered with a neat kerbing, on 
either side, of white stone. No flat head stones are 
allowed, which is a wonderful improvement as regards 

The main thinor that brouorht me to Louisville, was that 
it was en route to the world-renowned Mammoth Cave, 
situated on the Green Biver, in the south of the Kentucky 
State. The nearest railway point to the cave is Cave 
City, on the main line of the Louisville and Great 
South Eailroad. I did not know the times of the trains 
or fares, so thought it as well to go down to the depdt, 
to enquire, being unaware that, near the hotel, the 
company had a ticket agency office, at which I could 
have obtained all the necessary information. The depdt 
was further off than I had expected, fully a mile and a 
half. On the way, I passed the City Hall, the most 
pretentious looking building in Louisville. It is of stone, 
and has a clock tower at one corner, the dials of the 
clock being illuminated at night. Probably the most 
costly edifice in the city is the Court-house ; a massive 
granite structure, on JeflFerson Street. On arriving at 
the railway depdt, I could find nobody about, although 
it was the terminus of a long and important line of rail- 
way. I knocked loudly at the window of the ticket 
office, but could obtain no answer. Adjoining the platform 
were three waiting rooms. The first had up, " Ladies' 
Waiting Room" ; the second, "Gents' Waiting Room"; 

190 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

while over the other one it said ^^ Color'd People*^ 
Waiting Room." They were all empty, except the last^ 
in which a black man was sprawling on the table^ fast 
asleep. At any English railway station I could have 
found out all I wanted for myself, by consulting the 
time-tables, and lists of fares, in the booking-office. 
But here there were neither, I searched up and down 
the platform, and in all the waiting rooms, but could 
not find a single time-table, of any part of the company's^ 
train-service. There were, indeed, one or two posters, 
of "Bapid Transit Trains," but these were only the 
advertisements of more enterprising companies, whose 
lines were, however, hundreds of miles away. 

With regard to putting up a list of fares by the side of 
the booking office window, such an arrangement seems 
to be unknown on any line in the United States, with 
perhaps the single exception of the Erie Bailway. On one 
occasion before this I had accidentally discovered that 
I had been overcharged, but having no means of check- 
ing the ticket agent, had supposed, at the time, the fere 
charged was correct, and was hundreds of miles away 
when informed that it was too much. 

After waiting about some time, a man came down the 
platform, carrying a signal lamp, and I asked him where 
the ticket agent was. 

"If he is not in there, he's gone home to get his 

" There's no one there. How soon will he be back ? " 

" About ten o*clock, I guess, the train from Paducah 
comes in then." 

"What time did the last train from Paducah come in ?'* 

Smithes First Peep at America. 191 

*^ Ten o'clock last night : there's one train a-day." 
" How often do they run to Cave City ? " 
" There are three trains a-day ; but if you want to go 
there, you can get tickets and every information at the 
office in Main Street." 

** Why, I wish I had known that before ; I've just 
come from there ; and might have saved my time and 

The next morning I bought my ticket at the office 
named, and having settled my hotel account drove to the 
depdt in a hack. Here there was no fear of being imposed 
upon by the driver. They used to do so to such an extent, 
especially with strangers, that at last people would stand it 
no longer. The City Council took it up, and decreed that 
the fare from any railroad depdt, steamboat landing, or 
hotel, to any other depdt, landing, or hotel, should be half- 
a^oUar; a rule, the strict enforcement of which has 
proved a great boon, to strangers especially. I obtained a 
cheque for my baggage, stepped on the cars, and in a few 
minutes the train started and I bid good-bye to 


Cave City— Nine miles by stage —The Mammoth Cave— William, the 
Guide — The temperature— Saltpetre Pits— Ruius of Consumptive 
Hospital— "The Theatre "—** I'll never marry the man on the 
face of the earth ** — The Star Chamber — Tall man's misery — Stout 
man's misery — Extent of the Cave — Persons lost in the Cave — ^The 
Echo River — The Corkscrew — Out again — No chance for the 
'* Long Route " — Only rattlesnakes — " What our hogs feed on" — 
American Railroad Signalling — Shunting arrans^ements — Smith 
persists in going the wrong way— Bowling Green — Bed without 
supper — Commemoration Day — Smith asks for a time-table — 
Result— Off again— Train stops for breakfast — Smith almost 
left behind — McKenzie— The " Block System " not needed — 
Cattle on line — Hickman — ** Good gracious, it's your boat '* — Too 
late — Yes — No — The Missisippi iSver — Floating timber — Cairo 
— Slow Travelling — Taking on Fuel — Illinois harvesting— Burn- 
ing the straw. 

CAVE CITY is a small place, of 375 inhabitants, as 
proved by the last Government census taken. It is 
85 miles from Louisville; and after a ride of three hours 
and a half, I was landed there. The " stage " to convey 
' passengers to the Mammoth Cave, which is nine miles 
distant from the station, was in waiting. It consisted of 
a light, small four-wheeled covered cart, drawn by a 
couple of strong cobs, driven by a negro. It was rain- 
ing fast, and the first three miles of the road were the 
worst I had ever travelled, and took an hour to get 
over. I could only compare it to being driven over the 
crab-rocks, at some sea-side place, in a bathing machine. 
However, it was passed at last,' and after giving the 
horses a short rest the drive was resumed. The road 
for the rest of the way was a much better one, and 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 193 

after a ride of about two hours and a half, we reached 
the large hotel, situated near the mouth of the wondrous 

In the Mammoth Cave, at no very great distance 
from the mouth, the galleries divide into two main 
routes, known as the long and the short respectively. 
I was desirous to traverse them both, especially the 
former, as on that route you had to cross in a punt a 
subterraneous river, sometimes called the Styx, and 
sometimes the Echo Biver. Here the roof of the cave 
descends very close to the water ; in fact, after rainy 
weather, the water rises quite to the roof, thus obstruct- 
ing a passage in that direction at all. After passing 
this point, in taking the long tour, the guide frequently 
entertains the visitor with a thrilling and most vivid 
description of all the horrors and dangers they would 
experience should they on their return find that the 
waters had, in the mean time, risen, and cut oflF their 
retreat. You may then hear a graphic delineation of 
the lamps burning dim, and at last going out, and of the 
horrors of a slow death by starvation, in a darkness that 
might be felt. 

On the arrival of the " stage," William, the coloured 
guide, got ready at once, and accompanied me, and two 
other visitors, to the cave. The mouth of the cave is 
reached by passing down a wild rocky ravine, just 
beyond the kitchen garden connected with the hotel. The 
entrance is gained by clambering down an irregular, 
iiinnel-shaped opening, overhung by the luxuriant 
foliage of the ravine. As soon as I commenced to 
descend, I exclaimed, " Oh, how cold ! " The guide then 

194 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

called me back a minute, to point out the sharply-defined 
and flat layer of steaming vapour, where the cold air 
from the cave struck the warm moist air of the ravine - 
He then stood me in a position where, when I let my 
hand hang by my side it was in the cold air, and felt 
quite chilly ; but when I held it up, it was like plunging^ 
it into a warm element at once. We then proceeded 
into the cave, at the mouth of which is a strong gate, 
securely padlocked ; as the cave is private property, and 
a fee of two dollars for the short route, and 3 dollars for 
the long, is charged to each visitor. About half a mile 
from the entrance, we came to a large subterranean hall, 
where still remain the vats used during the war of 1812, 
for the extraction of saltpetre for the manu&cture of 
gunpowder. Since then, other places have been found 
where it exists in greater abundance, so that the manu- 
facture at the cave has long since been discarded. The 
remains of the stabling for the horses used is still 
visible. A Kttle further on are the remains of a row of 
cottages, that were erected as a sort of hospital for con- 
sumptive patients ; it being thought that the uniformity 
of the temperature in the cave, viz : — at 59 deg., what- 
ever the heat or cold without, would be very beneficial 
to persons suffering from diseases of the lungs. The 
result, however, did not fulfil these expectations, and 
proved that light and sunshine are as essential to life 
and health, as air and food ; everyone of the patients 
dying in a few months, either in the cave, or soon after 
being removed, the looked-for benefit being thus proved 
to be illusionary. 

The various galleries and chambers have each their 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 195 

respective names, suggested by various places with which 
the imaginations of bygone visitors have connected them ; 
such as the theatre^ with stage, gallery, and pit ; which, 
in itself, is a large cavern, capable of seating several 
hundred spectators, and where, before now, pieces have 
been enacted, when the cave has been visited by a large 
touring pariy. Another portion is designated the church; 
and the curious, isolated rock in the centre, it of course 
follows, is thje pulpit. Several weddings have actually 
been celebrated in this underground cathedral ; one, 
where the lover was highly disapproved of by the young 
lady's mamma. The mother not only refused her consent, 
but so fearful was she that that would be insuj£cient to 
restrain her daughter, that she pressed her to take an 
oath never to marry the man. The daughter, who had 
no intention of making any such promise, or of keeping 
it if she did, was in a fix. At last, she conceived a plan 
by which, as she thought, she could do as her mother 
asked, and yet marry her lover. So she swore " she 
would never marry the man cm the face of the earth.^* 
The mamma was satisfied ; but the girl informed her 
sweetheart that she would never have taken the oath, 
but that she knew of a place not on the face of the earth, 
where weddings had been celebrated, and could be so 
again. That place was the Mammoth Cave. They 
eloped together, and were married at the diurch in the 
bowels of the earth. 

The part of the cave with which I was most pleasedr 
is that known as the '^ Star Chamber." Here the cave 
is very lofty, with precipitous sides overhanging their 
base, and supporting a perfectly flat roof. This roof is 

196 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

lamp black, but studded all over with stalactites, which 
reflect the light from the visitors' lamps, like diamonds. 
The effect of this is, that the explorer can hardly believe 
himself under ground, but rather in a deep ravine, 
looking up into a star-lit sky. 

At this point, the guide asked us to rest ourselves on 
a rock, while he took away our lamps, that we might 
see lights and shadows on the rocks at a distance. Soon, 
he disappeared entirely, and we were left in complete 
darkness — a darkness that might be felt. The stalactite 
stars ceased to shine, and a terror and dread stole over 
each visitor, as we began to realize the helplessness of 
our position, and the utter impossibility of ever dis- 
coverinor the exit to those undersround regions without 
a guide. Presently the sound, as of a cock crowing, fell 
upon our ears, followed by the dim reflection upon the 
roof of the cave of a light, from the opposite direction 
to that in which William had departed. It resembled 
the gradual dawn of day, on the eastern horizon ; but, 
strange to say, instead of extinguishing the light of the 
stars, here the effect was to cause them .to shine again. 
The cave has been formed by the action of water, in ages 
past, which element is still at work, as, in places, you 
can hear it rushing and gushing in unseen springs and 
falls. The floor of the cavern is, for the most part, a 
deep bed of sand. One part of the cave is called '^ Tall 
Man's Misery," on account of the roof being so low, 
that you have to proceed, for some distance almost on 
hands and knees. In another part the channel cut by 
the water is only a foot wide, and designated, accordingly, 
^^Stout Man's Misery." In one party that William showed 

■iMHOTB dys. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 199 

ihrough, consisting of father, mother, and daughter, the 
pater-familias (probably an alderman") was so corpulent 
that he stuck there, and could not, by any means, be 
got through. It is very dangerous to wander away from 
the guide and party, partly on account of the numerous 
pits and holes of water, but more especially on account 
of the many divergent galleries, so that, although no 
part of the cave is believed to extend more than 2^ miles 
from the mouth, yet, without a guide, you might wander 
about for days together, until your lamp went out, and 
you died of starvation, without being able to find the 

Several skeletons have been found in the cave. Those 
of an Indian woman and her babe were found many 
years ago, lying in a crevice about half a mile from the 
entrance. She had doubtless entered, to escape from 
some pursuers, and after the danger had passed had 
not been able to discover the mouth. Only about six 
years ago, a skeleton was discovered at a much greater 
distance from the entrance. It was apparently that of 
a young person, and the hair was still in a good state of 

Our guide took us down to the edge of the " Echo 
River " ; it appeared but a muddy pool of water, and 
was quite impassable, it having risen, in consequence of 
the recent rains, quite to the roof of the cave in that part; 
so that it was impossible to cross, in order to explore the 
" long route." In its waters is found a small fish ; not 
only blind, but positively eyeless ; also an eyeless cray- 
fish. Other fish with eyes, but blind, have also been 
caught here. Beside these, blind spiders, also bats and 

200 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

rats, are known to exist in the cave. Tlie guide brought 
us through a new way he had himself discovered, and 
christened the " Corkscrew." He went first, and we 
followed, one by one, squeezing through the cracks 
formed by great boulders, and dropping from stone to 
stone, lodging our feet on little niches, to the right or 
left, as we were du-ected, or rather, where he pulled our 
legs to. After a descent of some thirty feet, in this 
manner, we reached a large tunnel not far from the salt- 
petre pits, and in another ten minutes w^e clambered 
out of the funnel-shaped mouth, and were once more 
directly under the sky of heaven, after having spent 
four hours in the cave, and wandered about in it for some 
seven miles. It was now night, and pitch dark, so 
different from when we entered I could scarcely credit 
we had again emerged. We followed the guide to the 
hotel, where, after a hearty supper, I retired early to rest. 

I hoped, by staying until Monday, the w^ater in the 
cave would, by that time, have receded sufficiently to 
allow of the ^' long route " being visited. On Sunday, 
however, the rain poured in torrents ; so much so, that 
the guides were of the opinion that there would be little 
chance of being able to get by the Echo river for ten 
days or a fortnight, so that on Monday I resumed my 

Remembering the exceedingly rough ride I had had 
in coming up in the ^' stage," I determined to return on 
foot to Cave City. The road lay, for the most part, 
through a wood ; and I frequently left the path, in order to 
pick blackberries, and walk under the trees, for the benefit 
of the shade they thi'ew. Presently it crossed my mind 

SmitK s First Peep at America. 201 

that perhaps it was hardly safe, as I was not now in 
England or in New England either ; and that possibly the 
woods of Kentucky contained wild boars, or some other 
wild animal I might not like to meet. By and bye, I came 
to a small hamlet, and seeing a blacksmith at work at 
a forge by the road side, I stopped to enquire, and to 
rest myself awhile. 

" I like walking along these woods. I suppose it's 
quite safe ; no wild ai^mals in them ? " 

" No. It's quite safe." 

** I mean, no wild boars, or snakes, or anything of 
that kind ? " 

" I guess there are no wild boars. There are rattle- 
snakes, though, but there are not so many of them now 
as there used to be. We are getting them under." 

" How do you manage that ? " 

" We turn the hogs out on them, and they eat thenv" 

** Eat them I Why, I should have thought they would 
have killed a hog, with their sting." 

'^ I guess not. Nothing seems to come amiss to pigs. 
Wherever they see a snake, they run after it directly, 
and gobble it up ; and it does them no harm." 

" Well ! I am surprised 5 and then, by and bye, you 
eat the pigs." 

" Not all of them ; most we send to Louisville, or 
Cincinnati, to be killed and packed for Europe." 

" Goodness gracious, I'll never eat pork again." 

'* I guess you've been up to see the cave ? " 

" Yes. What a wonderful place it is ! " 

*^ I guess so. People come from all parts of the world 

to see it Did you see those large piles of stones down 


202 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

there, in one part, with the names of different countries 
on ; and every visitor adds a stone to the pile built by 
his countrymen ? " 

" Yes, I did ; and added my stone to that of England, 
though I think some people must put more than one 
stone each. There was quite a large pile to represent 
Japan, for instance ; and even the Isle of Man has a 
cairn of its own. By the way, the dep6t we passed on 
the railway before Cape City is called "Horse Cave "; 
I suppose there is a Cave there, as well ? " 

" Yes, a very large one; only this one, up here, beats 
the lot. This part of the country is full of caves, in 
every direction. Why, there's one down in that hollow, 
there, where you can go in for about half a mile." 

Having rested myself, I bid the blacksmith good-day, 
and continued my walk. After this I kept more closely 
to the road, the last three miles of which were very 
rough. In due season I arrived at the station ; not, 
however, until I had been four hours and a half on the 
road, and had torn a sole off one boot into the bargain. 
I had some time to wait for the train, during which 
time I got into conversation with the clerk at the small 
hotel adjoining the platform. 

Presently a train whistled, and looking up, the clerk 
exclaimed, " Hallo, a red light ; let's come and see what's 


" Yes, I can't make your signals out ; they either show 
a red light both ways, or a white both ways. Why I on 
these single lines, if it is all right for a train one way, it 
surely must be danger the other ; otherwise two trains 
might meet, and there would be a collision." 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 203 

" Oh no ; that is not it. When a white light is shown, 
it means that the line is all working correctly to time, 
and that the trains are to pass at the usual places. A 
red light signifies that the working has got out, and the 
driver is to stop for orders. Let's come and see what 
they are at." 

A long goods train, called in America "a freight 
train " was slowly drawing up at the station, as the hotel 
clerk and I entered the small wooden hat, used at once 
as booking office, telegraph ofiice, and signal box. The 
driver jumped down from his engine, and came pushing 
in behind exclaiming, " What's up ? " 

^^ No. 5 down freight, 35 minutes late, at Elizabeth 
Town. You are to proceed to Horse Cave, and pass it 
there," said the clerk. 

" Who says so ? " said the driver. 

'' Thompson, I suppose ; here's the order, wired from 

^^ Then Thompson's a fool. If No. 5 is 35 minutes 
behind at Elizabeth Town, I know I can get to Mun- 
fordville before 1 shall meet her." So saying, he jumped 
in his engine again, and commenced some shunting 

" Who gives these orders ? Don't you signal the trains 
on from station to station as they pass ? " I enquired. 

*' No. We have no signaling at all to do when the 
trains are running on time. If there is a break-down, 
or delay anywhere, it is wired to the train runner, who 
sits at the head ofiice in Louisville, and he sends down 
these orders, saying what is to be done." 

I then left the office, to watch the shunting arrange- 

204 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

ments. American freight trains consist, almost invariably, 
of covered cars, very long and bnlky, on two four-wheeled 
bogies, one at each end ; and in appearance more like a 
Cheshire salt-van than any other railway vehicle which 
we use ; only it is three to four times as big. Each car is 
provided with a break, worked by means of a wheel placed 
horizontally, on the top of a vertical axle, and projecting 
about a foot above the roof of the car. A plank is fixed 
along the top of every car, and along these, the porters 
run, jumping from car to car, when shunting is going 
forward, and signaling to the driver or switchman, 
with their lamps, and applying the breaks as required. 
The freight and passenger cars too, have only one buffer 
at each end, placed in the centre. This buffer is nearly 
square, having a sort of open, bell-shaped mouth, into 
which the connecting link with the next car is thrust, 
and secured with a peg. 

On returning to the office, I asked for a ticket for 
Bowling Green. 

The hotel-clerk who was still there said : — " I thought 
you told me you were going to St. Louis ; if so, by far 
your best way is to take the 8.40 p.m. train back to 
Louisville, where you will arrive before midnight, and 
leave again by the early morning train, and be in St. 
Louis by this time to-morrow.*' 

^' Yes, I know that would be the quickest, but I want, if 
possible, to see cotton growing ; which I may, a little 
further south; also, I do all the travelling I can by water, 
I want to go on the Mississippi." 

" As you like, of course, only it will take four times 
as long." 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 205 

I arrived at Bowling Green at ten o'clock, and went 
to an hotel for the night. To my dismay, I had to go 
to bed supperless, in consequence of all the coloared 
servants having a holiday, and being oat on the spree, 
letting off sqnibs and crackers in the street, and in other 
ways giving vent to their joy in celebration of Emanci- 
pation Commemoration Day, which had fallen on the 
previous day — Sunday. 

Being sorely at a loss for a good time-table, I asked 
at the dep6t for one, and was told the Company did not 
issue schedules for the use of the public, as they would 
not understand them if they did. 

" What am I do, then ? there appear to be no time- 
tables about." 

" Tell me where you want to go to, and I will tell you 
vjhen you can go." 

" McKenzie." 

" That's on the Memphis road ; there's a train at 5.40 
to-morrow morning." 

In the morning I was up betimes, and left by that 
train ; feeling dreadfully hungry, only having time to 
swallow a bun and a cup of coffee at the dep6t refresh- 
ment room. 

At Erin, ninety-one miles from Bowling Green, the 
train stopped twenty minutes for breakfast, for which 
my long fast had well whetted my appetite. Whether 
it was I ate very slowly, or that I ate more than anyone 
else, I could never discover, but certain it was that in 
what seemed an incredably short space of time I looked 
up, and to my astonishment found I was sitting at the 
table alone. Just at that moment, I heard the bell on 

206 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

the engine tolling again, and looking out, saw the train 
moving off. Quick as thought, I sprang through the 
window and made a rush at the train, and was fortunate 
enough in seizing the handrail, and swinging myself on 
to the steps of the last car. 

At McKenzie, I changed on to the Nashville Chat- 
tanooga and St. Louis Rail Road, by which I travelled 
to Hickman, a small town on the Mississippi River. 
The train, with about a dozen passengers in it, was some 
two hours late in arriving. Although the line is not 
worked on the block system, there was no fear of being 
run into by a succeeding train ; as, on the last portion 
of the way there is but one train a day, freight and 
passengers combined. There was far more fear of running 
over the cattle feeding on the line. The engine screamed 
in vain for one old cow to move out of the way. Instead 
of doing so, she commenced running down the track in 
front of the train, with her tail stuck up in the air, no 
doubt to scare and shock the engineer. 

On arriving at Hickman, my first enquiries were as 
to the next boat for St. Louis, and after some discussion 
among the bystanders, I was informed that one was due up 
the river that night, and would probably pass about 
midnight. It being then five o'clock, I gave my port- 
manteau to a porter to carry, and went to an hotel. 
After a six o'clock supper, 1 unpacked my luggage, ta 
re-arrange my belongings, and while I had them all 
strewed about I heard the uncouth, sonorous, horn-like 
blast of a steamboat whistle. I started up in surprise, 
and said, " I hear a steamboat whistle ; is that the St. 
Louis boat, do you think ? " 

Smithes First Peep at America. 


*' No. It can't possibly be qp for hours yet ITiis 
must be the Ohio boat, for Louisville. Let's go and see 
her in." 

As we walked to the landing-stage, the clerk said, 
" Whatever boat can ahe be ? I can't make her out at 
all, she seems to have lost her funnels." 

In another minntes h« exclaimed — "Good giaidons I 


Why: I do declare it's the 'City of Greenfield' j your boat. 
I did not expect her for hours yet." 

I stayed to hear no more, but ran oEF to the hotel aa 
hard as I conld go. Before, however, I had time to 
squeeze my things into my portmanteau and get back 
to the landing the boat was off. 

208 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

A small crowd had assembled^ near the landing stage, 
to see the boat ; and as I came running back, followed 
by a boy wheeling my portmanteau on a truck, they 
shouted to me, *^ It's no good, you're too late, she'll not 
wait, she's off," and true enough, there was the huge 
yessel steaming a^ay. 

^'What a frightful nuisance baggage is in this blessed 
land. If it had not been for that, and a pair of boots 
of mine, that that lad was cleaning, I should not have 
lost the boat ; or if I had only a small valise, that I could 
carry in my hand I should have caught it easily. 
When is the next ? " 

(Several voices.) " There's nothing due for a couple 
of days." " But look," added one of them, ^^ the pilot 
sees you ; they are going to pick you up off the bank." 
And so it was. At the head of the boat were two masts 
abreast one on either side. Each of these supported, 
by means of ropes and pulleys, one end of a broad 
planking, about fifly feet long ; the other end resting on 
the deck. The great steamer came close to the bank of 
the river ; one of these was let down and swung out, so 
that the outer end rested on the grass ; and I jumped on 
to it, while one of the coloured crew jumped oflF, and 
seizing up my portmanteau, followed me on board, and 
the vessel proceeded on her course. I was very glad to 
be again afloat ; and was soon fixed in a comfortable 
state room, with nothing to worry me for the present, 
as I would have no more changes to make all the way 
to St. Louis. The Mississippi Biver is very wide and 
very muddy, with large quantities of floating timber, 
drifting down it Sometimes the steamer would pass 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 209 

through qnite a shoal of trunks and branches^ the larger 
ones striking it with great force. During such times, 
we could hear constant signals being given to the 
engineers, by means of bells, to ease first one paddle and 
then the other, in order that the floats of the paddle- 
wheel should not be broken by some extra large piece of 
drift timber they were about to strike. 

About ten o'clock we called at Columbus, and two 
hours later reached Cairo, where we stayed for an hour 
or more while some damage that had occurred to one of 
the paddle-wheels, in the way above described, was set 
to rights. 

During that night, and the whole of the next day, the 
boat was pursuing her course towards St. Louis. It 
was slow work travelling against the stream, which 
runs very rapidly ; so much so, that at one point, round 
which the current flowed with peculiar force, the steamer 
appeared for some time to make no headway at all, and to 
be at a complete standstill, although the engines were 
working at full speed. Although the steamer was very 
large, 1,800 tons, still she only drew three feet six inches 
of water ; as, although the Mississippi is very wide, it is 
here and there very shallow. Many of the Mississippi 
steamers have good passenger accommodation; they 
are now, however, but little patronised, although at one 
time the case was very different. Since the introduction 
of railways into those parts the steamers have been cut 
out as regards their passenger traffic ; the diflference of 
time, especially in travelling up the country, being so 
very great, the trains running through from New 
Orleans to St. Louis in a little over thirty hours^ 

210 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

whereas the steamers take a week. About thirty-five 
miles below St. Louis, the " City of Greenfield " ran 
into the blackberry bushes and wild vines growing by 
the water's edge in order to take on board a supply of 
wood for fuel, that had been collected and stacked on 
the river bank. While the firemen were at this work, 
the passengers amused themselves picking the black- 
berries and grapes as they stood on the deck of the 
steamer. The former were delicious, but the latter were 
sour, not worth eating. A little farther on I noticed 
huge fires and clouds of smoke in the distance, I 
wondered if it were a prairie on fire, but was informed 
that the harvest was taking place, and that the large 
fires I saw were merely the burning of the straw after 
threshing out the wheat ; the straw being of too little 
value to pay freight even to St. Louis. I thought of 
some of the London dairy sheds, where the poor cows 
have nothing better than a little saw-dust or sand (and 
that in a filthy state) to lie in ; and what a boon a little 
of it would be to them. 

It was nearly midnight when the steamer arrived at 
St. Louis. Very few of the passengers went on shore 
immediately, as most of them had retired to bed, where 
they remained until the following morning. 


The great St Lonis Bridge — Mercantile Library — View from Cupola 
of Court H0QB6 — Chamber of Commerce — " Bafrgage steward's " 
fees — Baggage and Boots — Lower Grove Park — Shaw*s Botanical 
Grardens---Lafayette Park— Ladies' and children's dresses — 
American stores — Haberdashery versus "notions' — St. Louis 
Waterworks — Belle-fontaine Cemetery — ^Egg Plant Fruit — 
Peaches — No Saturday Half-holiday — • * Too hot to go to church " — 
The preacher's remarks thereon — Job railway tickets — ** Chicago 
very cheap" — Ticket scalpers — "Thank you, I'm very much 

T WAS awoke the following morning by a coloured 
steward knocking at the door of the cabin to know 
if I would breakfast before leaving the vessel. I said I 
might as well do so, and then dressed and stepped out 
on to the promenade deck to have a first look at th6 city 
of St. Louis. Before me, on the top of a steep bank, 
was a broad road called the Levee, running parallel to 
the river, the further side of which, facing the water, 
was lined with large brick-built warehouses of merchants 
and shippers. The shore was lined with large covered 
landing stages, floating in the stream, alongside one of 
the largest of which the ^* City of Greenfield " was 
moored. Looking up the river the great St. Louis 
Bridge stretches across in three enormous spans, two of 
which are 500 feet, while the centre one is 520 feet in 
the clear, the piers which support the iron girders being 
built of granite and limestone. Two distinct roadways 
cross the river by this bridge, an upper and a lower one. 
The bridge is a very good width, the upper roadway 

212 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

being wide enough for four vehicles to pass abreast, 
besides having two sidepaths for foot passengers. A 
double "line of tramrails for horsecars to cross the bridge 
are also laid down on this roadway. On the St. Louis 
side of the river a viaduct of five arches terminates the 
bridge at Washington Avenue, while on the Illinois side 
a viaduct of considerable length carries the traffic over 
the marshy ground into East St. Louis. The lower 
bridge is for railroad trains, and carries a double line of 
rails, and trains coming to St. Louis, immediately on 
crossing the bridge, pass through a tunnel nearly a mile 
in length, under the streets of the city leading to the 
Grand Union Dep6t. The bridge and tunnel were 
completed in 1874, at a cost of over 10,000,000 dels. 
Financially it is a complete failure, as, a short time 
since, it was sold for one fourth of that sum. 

After breakfast I went on shore and entered my name 
at one of the leading hotels. After handing the clerk 
my baggage check, and asking him to send for my 
portmanteau, I went out to have a look round. The 
first place I visited was the Mercantile Library on 5ih 
Street, where I spent some time in the reading room, 
which is well supplied with the principal newspapers 
from all parts of the North American Continent. A 
little fiirther on, on the same street, is the Court House, 
the finest public building in the city, and occupying a 
whole block. I entered, and at a door leading to a 
narrow flight of stairs I saw a small notice board, saying 
it was the way to the dome. So up I went, no man 
forbidding me, as would have been sure to be the case 
anywhere in England. After dimbing a great many 

Smithes First Peep at America. 215 

stairs, I at last arrived on the narrow balcony round the 
cupola surmounting the dome. From here is obtamed 
a splendid view. Before the visitor lays the river, with 
its floating wharves, and lines of huge river steamers ; 
while looking up it, to the left, is the great bridge 
stretching across it, and connecting the State of Missouri 
with that of Illinois. Some two or three miles further 
on can be seen the large pumping houses, surmounted 
by the lofty chimney stacks of the St Louis Water- 
works. Across the river, the low-lying districts of St. 
Glair and Madison Counties stretch as far as the eye can 
reach, while all around lay the substantial buildings of 
this, the oldest city of the West. After having spent 
nearly an hour on the top of the dome I at last came 
down, and next visited the Chamber of Commerce, very 
near the Court House, and which is the great com and 
flour exchange of Missouri and the Western States. 
The merchants transact their business in a large and 
splendid hall at the top of the building. It is surrounded 
on all sides by a gallery, to which there is free admission, 
and from which I looked down on a busy scene of buyers 
and sellers, dealing principally in corn (Indian maize) 
wheat, and other grains ; flours, and grasses. 

By-and-bye I returned to the hotel to dine, and on 
going to my room to have a wash, found my 
portmnnteau had not arrived, so rang the bell to 
inquire the reason. 

" The baggage steward on the steamer would not let 
our porter have it ; as he said you had not paid the fees. ' 

" What fees ? I paid my fare, and paid for my meals ; 
I know of no other fees." 

216 Baggage and Boots; or, 

*^The fees the baggage steward is entitled to, for 
handling the baggage." 

" Fees he is entitled to I What does the fellow mean ? 
Why, he belongs to the ship, and receives his wages, 
does he not? and as to moving abont the baggage, I 
never troubled him at all ; I don't know who he is." 

" The baggage stewards on the Mississippi boats are 
entitled to 25 cents, for each trunk or portmanteau, and 
10 cents for each valise or small package ; whether they 
are required to move it about or not. There is a notice 
up on the boats to that eJ9Pect." 

" I never heard o^ such a thing. You folks, out in 
these regions, have strange ways of doing things, and 
set strange values on things. Why, here I see peaches 
are only five cents a dozen ; while if you just get your 
boots blacked, the lad wants ten cents for the shine ; and 
on the steamer they charged me fifteen. And now some 
unknown person wants twenty-five cents in respect of 
my baggage. Baggage and Boots again ; but there, if 
it is the custom here, I suppose there is no help for 
it but to pay, so here is the money, and tell your 
porter to get my portmanteau up as quickly as he can, 
as I want it at once." 

In the afternoon, I went by tram-car to Tower 
Grove Park, in the South- Western extremity of the 
city. It is 277 acres in extent, and is well kept, and has 
more the appearance of an English crown park than 
anything I had yet seen, having substantial entrance 
gates and park-keepers' lodges, broad gravel drives 
and foot-patibs, &c.. At the fturther end of the park is a 
splendid bronze statue to Humboldt, cast in Munich ; 

Smithes First Peep at America. 217 

there is also another to Shakespeara In this park I 
noticed for the first time a very pretty flowering plant 
called the Althia shrub. 

Leaving the park bj the gates fiirthest from the city, 
I next visited Shaw's Botanical gardens, about a 
quarter of a mile beyond. They belong to a private 
gentleman of that name, who has very generously 
thrown them open to the public. Besides the gardens 
and conservatories, there is a small botanical museum 
in the grounds. A line of public wagonettes run from 
the entrance to the gardens, through Tower Grove 
Park, to the starting point of the horse-cars. It being a 
very hot day, I gladly availed myself of one of these 
when I returned. Here, as in other American Parks, I 
observed notices up, forbidding racing and fast 

On the way back to the hotel, I got out of the car as 

it passed Lafayette Park, and stayed awhile listening to 

the splendid band that was playing there. It is a small 

square park, of some thirty acres or so, but beautifully 

laid out ; quite a master-piece of landscape gardening, 

and contains a tiny ornamental lake, besides a pond, 

surrounded by grotto work, with a fountain playing 

in the middle. The park is situated in a fashionable 

quarter of the city, and is surrounded on all sides by 

private residences. There were crowds of people there, 

listening to the brass band. Most of the young ladies 

and little girls were dressed in white, with bright 

coloured silk sashes round their waists, which gave to 

the whole a very gay and holiday like appearance. 

The next day, I had to make a few purchases. The 


218 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

weather was so fearfully hot that I required another 
alpaca coat or two. I had already bought several 
washing jackets during my tour, having brought 
nothing from England light enough in weight to endure 
on an American summer's day. They had, however, 
got dirty, and I knew by experience that, at the hotels, 
the charge for washing them was often more than half 
the original cost ; besides which, they never looked so 
well after they had once ' been through the laundress's 
hands. I had, therefore, given them away, and now 
wanted some more. So I went to a large clothier's 
store, and made my purchases. In the centre of the 
establishment, on the ground floor, was a fountain, 
shooting a column of fine spray from the top of a pile of 
artificial rockwork, which cooled the air, and had a very 
refreshing appearance ; while about twenty canaries, 
each in a separate cage, were singing in different parts 
of the building. 

Every tourist will tell you that there are other 
inconveniences you are sure to experience besides that 
of clothes getting dirty. Buttons come off, socks wear 
out, clothes get torn, and if you are travelling alone 
there are all these little things to see to, unless you are 
contented to stalk about in a slip-shod, slovenly 
appearance. I, however, determined to have a 
mending-up day, and try my hand at sewing on shirt 
buttons, &c., although very inexperienced. So I next 
went to a draper's and asked the shopwalker for the 
haberdashery department. 

" The what, did you say ? " 

*^ The haberdashery department." 

SmitKs First Peep at Ameri:a. 219^ 

** What's that? I don't understand you. We have 
no such department in our store." 

" Oh, then I have made a mistake ; I must try 
another shop. Can you tell me where I can buy some 
needles and cotton, buttons, and thread ? " 

" Certainly, step this way, we keep them all." 

^' You just now told me you did not !" 

" No, I did not. We keep notions. You asked me 
for haberdashery. I don't know what that is." 

"And I've no notion what you mean by notions." 

" I guess you have. Buttons, needles, cottons, tapes, 
the things you've just asked for." 

" Oh, what a notion to call such things notions. I 
have seen up the word ^ notions ' in many draper's 
windows, but my notion of what yon meant by it has 
been very erroneous ; until now I thought you meant 
fancy dress materials, the latest fashion, or something 
of that kind." 

" I never heard of haberdashery before. Where do 
use that word for notions ? " 

I told him, and having thus come to an explanation, 
my small purchases were soon completed, when I 
returned to the hotel, and shut myself up in my room, 
and spent an hour sewing on buttons, and pricking my 
fingers, as I had quite forgotten to buy a thimble, and 
perhaps could not have worked with it if I had. 

In the afternoon I paid a visit to the Pumping 
Houses of the St. Louis Waterworks. The water is 
drawn from the river, and forced to an elevated 
reservoir, about a mile inland. The magnificent 
machinery required for this purpose is very large and 

220 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

Teiy powerful, having a total pumping capacity, so the 
engineer said, of 40,000,000 gallons per day of twenty- 
four hours. 

Now I was out at the north end of the city, I 
proceeded a mile or two farther, by a line of horse-cars, 
commencing where that from the city terminated, to 
Belle-fontaine Cemetery, which is much larger, though 
not so beautifal or well kept as that of Cave Hill, in 
the suburbs of Louisville. 

At Belle-fontaine, several of the monuments consist of 
fall length statues of the deceased, and, in the case of 
children, a glass case containing the child's toys some- 
times heads the grave. This last idea apphes stiU more 
in the Roman Catholic cemetery of Calvary, adjoining. 

On Saturday morning, I took the tram-car up to the 
Fair Ground, and visited the Zoological Grardens there. 
The collection is not so large nor so good as that at 
Philadelphia or Cincinnati, though much better than at 
Central Park, New York. Although about a thousand 
miles from the sea in any direction, two fine specimens 
of the walrus, or sea-horse, had been conveyed to the 
gardens, and the creatures appeared in very healthy 

In the afternoon and evening I amused myself about 
the city, visiting the markets, noticing the prices of 
provisions, &c. Here I saw the egg-plant fruit for the 
first time. It is about the size of a West Indian pine 
apple, is exactly the shape of an egg, quite smooth and 
of a very dark plum-colour, almost black. They sold 
for about 25 cents apiece, are used in tarts, and some- 
times sliced and fried and ate with sugar and lemon ; or 

Smith's First Peep at America, 221 

as a yegetable, but never raw. I was astonished at 
the extreme cheapness of peaches. They dtood in pails, 
full outside the fruiterers' shops, or ranged on the 
pavement in the market. These pails were made of 
broad shavings, or rushes, in the same way that 
strawberry baskets are in England, and the tops 
were covered with pink gauze, to keep the flies from 
the fruit. Instead of taking home a lobster, a young 
turbot, or salmon trout, as with us, lots of gentlemen 
returning from business could be seen carrying home a 
pail full of peaches for home consumption. It was not, 
however, until the evening that the markets presented 
their busiest scene, as the Saturday half-holiday for 
mechanics and labourers does not exist in these parts. 

The next day I was trying to find a certain church, 
and accosted a young man in the street and asked him 
to direct me. 

'* Certainly, it is close by; in fact, it is where I 
attend myself." 

^' Then perhaps we may have the pleasure of walking 

'^ Oh I I'm not going there now. It's much too hot 
to go to church such a day as this." 

I was surprised at such a line of reasoning. We, 
however, came to the place, and I was glad to enter 
into the refreshing shade, while the stranger passed on 
in the broiling sun. 

During the service, I found that " being too hot to 
attend church " was by no means an isolated idea in 
that part of the world ; for, in his sermon, the worthy 
pastor thus addressed the audience — '^ It is ridiculoua 

222 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

to hear the way some young men talk, now-a-days, about 
it's being too hot to come to church, when a young 
man can come in here, and sit in those pews there, and 
have a good fan, and fan himself, and be as comfortable 
here as anywhere else." 

If you went to reside in St. Loais, and wished to find 
out who your neighbours were, you would not have the 
slightest difficulty in seeing them ; as it is an American 
custom, even among the well-to-do classes, for the 
whole family to sit on the doorstep in the cool of the 
day. About sunset I took a walk along Washington 
Avenue, the upper end of which is lined with gentlemen's 
residences, and at almost every house the master and 
mistress of the establishment were to be seen, each in a 
rocking chair, just outside the street-door, reading a 
newspaper or book ; while on either side, down the 
flight of steps leading thereto, were seated the younger 
members of the company, some occupied in a similar 
manner ; while the elder girls were watching to pass 
recognition nods and glances with any of their young 
gentleman favourites who might pass by. 

On Monday afternoon, as I was passing along 4th 
Street, I was attracted by a notice board outside the 
store of a ^' coupon ticket broker," announcing cheap 
railroad tickets for sale to all points, north, south, east, 
and west. Besides the blackboard on which was painted 
a long list of places and cities to which they regularly 
kept tickets in stock, there was also another on which 
was chalked a few specialities in the way of railroad 
tickets that they had for disposal, and among these it 
said, " Chicago very cheap." 

Smithes First Peep at America. 223 

" Oh I" thought I, " that is just where I am off to 
to-night ; I may as well save a dollar if I can." I was 
about to enter the office when I thought '' I had better 
find out first what the regular fare is, or I may get 
taken in, instead of purchasing a bargain, after all." So 
I first went to the city ticket office of the St. Louis, 
Alton, and Chicago Railroad, which was only a few 
doors off, and there ascertained that the fare was eight 
dollars seventy cents. Armed with this piece of 
information I returned to the broker's office. " I see 
you have chalked up, outside there, ' Chicago very 
cheap.' What do you call very cheap ?" 

" Yes, sir, very cheap ; seven dollars fifty. You're 
going to-night, are you not ?" answered the scalper. 

" Yes ; but what has that to do with it ? Will not the 
ticket be available to-morrow, or any other time ?" 

" Oh," said the scalper, " it is all right if you are 
going to-night," at the same time popping the ticket 
as quick as lightning into an envelope ; and, as he 
slapped it down on the counter before me, again 
repeating, " Seven dollars fifty." 

" Wait a minute ; not quite such a hurry please, I 
want to see that it is all right first." 

" Certainly, sir," said the ticket broker more quietly, 
as I opened the envelope and examined its contents. I 
found there two tickets ; on one it said, '^ St. Louis to 
East St. Louis,*' and covered that portion of the journey 
through the tunnel under the city and across the great 
bridge over the Mississippi ; the other said on it, '' East 
St Louis to Chicago " and was the remaining coupon of 
a ticket first issued in Kansas City, and covered the rest 

224 Baggage and Boots^ &c. 

of the way. The scalper having tried to " rush " me had 
made me suspicious lest the tickets he had so hurriedly 
thrust into the envelope were not genuine, or if they 
covered the whole of the journey. On examining them, 
however, I could detect nothing amiss, so counted out 
Seven dollars and a half and laid it on the counter. 

^^ Thank you, sir, I'm vert/ much obliged," said the 
scalper, as he took up the money. 

In a moment I felt convinced I had paid too much or 
that there was something wrong, and that I had been 
dnped in some way or other. It was the first time in 
my tour that I had ever heard an American storekeeper 
say to a customer that he " was very much obliged.*' I 
knew, however, that it would be no use to ask for the 
money back again, so left the office wondering how 1 
would get on that night when the conductor came along 
the cars to inspect the tickets. 


Smltli leaves St Louis by the ** Lightning Express ''—Springfield- 
Night in a Pollman Palace Sleeping Car— Fixing the Berths — 
Lavatory accommodations — ^Arrival at Chicago— -ralmer House 
Hotel — ^The Workhouse on Clark Street — ^The oppressive heat — 
Smith visits Mr. and Mrs. XiCe — Fishing from the Breakwater in 
the Lake — Mr. Lee explains the St. Louis Scalper s thankfulness 
— Limited and Unlimited Tickets — Mr. Lee points out to Smith 
the chief Buildings of Chicago— The Fire Brigade — Theyvisit 
No. 1 Station—" How long "—" Twelve Seconds"— The Union 
Stock-yards — *• Porcopolis ** — A " Popular " Name — House 
Removing — Flushing the Sewers — Descriptions of the Stock- 
yards and of the processes of Pig Killing, Curing, and Packing — 
''Piggy I how do you like it?'* — Glue, Phosphorus, and Lard 

Boiling South Park — " Dummies " — Excursion to Wankegan 

— ^Ticketing the Babies. 

TT was about half-past seven when I arrived at the 
-■- Grand Union Depdt, and I left St. Louis by the 7.50 
*^ Lightning Express," for Chicago. The dep6t is a 
very large one, but very unlike an English railway station* 
There are no platforms whatever ; the whole depdt 
was, however, floored over between the rails, and the 
passengers crossed the metals, and walked about where 
they pleased ; in fact, they had to do so, to get to their 
respective trains ; and had at the same time to keep a 
sharp look-out, to see they were not standing on the 
track) and did not get run over by cars that were being 
shunted. At the dep6t, I paid two dollars extra in 
order to have a berth in one of Pullman's palace sleep- 
ing cars. These tickets are issued quite distinct from 
those for the actual travelling, and are purchased at a 
separate booking-oflSce. I then went " aboard " the 

226 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

train, and sought the berth that corresponded with the 
number on the ticket This sleeping car was very unlike 
the one I had travelled in from Richmond, Virginia, as 
in that the berths were fixtures, and could not be taken 
down ; whereas, when I entered this one, no bedding 
apparatus was visible, and the car seemed of similar 
arrangement to any ordinary American passenger car, 
only very richly upholstered, and beautifully decorated* 
In a few minutes, the conductor called out, '^ All 
aboard ; " the big bell on the engine commenced tolling, 
and the " lightning express '* left the dep6fc. 

After passing through the tunnel, and crossing the 
great bridge, the train turned to the north, and followed 
the course of the Mississippi as &r as Alton, a distance of 
about twenty-five miles, where the river takes a turn 
to the west, while the line runs nearly due north, to 
Springfield, the capital of the state of Illinois. Soon 
after the train started, the conductor came through to 
examine the tickets, and I felt rather uneasy as I handed 
him mine. He took the one for the bridge, and having 
examined the date when the other was issued in Kansas 
City, punched it, and returned it to me. It is all right, 
then, thought I, the ticket is genuine, and I have saved 
five shillings English ; I wonder what made that man 
I bought it of so unusually polite. 

By-the-bye, I have the card in my pocket of a Mr. 
and Mrs. Lee, whom I met in Washington, and who 
urged me to be sure and call on them, if I came to 
Chicago. I will do so to-morrow, and then I will ask 

Very soon, a lady with three young children called 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 227 

ihe sleeping-car attendant, and requested him to fix 
their berths for them ; and her request was soon followed 
by one and another of the passengers. It took full two 
hours to fix all the berths in the car ; and I was very 
interested in the operation, it being the first time I had 
seen anything of the sort. The attendant first pulled 
down the window shutters, and then climbed up and 
unfastened the panels that formed the slanting roof, and 
which are fastened by hinges attached at the lower edge, 
to the side of the carriage. To my surprise, on these 
being let down, I found they did not form the real roof 
of the car, but enclosed quite a large space, which was 
stuffed full of bedding, blankets, sheets, pillows,etc., and 
also contained movable mahogany partitions, about half 
an inch in thickness, which fitted into grooves between 
each berth, so as to divide them, instead of being, as 
the upper ones would otherwise be, but one long shelf^ 
The outer edge of each of the &lse roofing panels was 
supported by strong cords to the real roof of the car, 
and formed the upper berth. Two short pieces of wood 
were fitted between the seats of the carriage, and the 
two cushioned backs, which were movable, were taken 
out, and rested on them, which then exactly filled up 
the space between the seats, and so formed the lower 
berth. The beds were then made up, the curtains hung 
to the brass rods that ran along near the roof of the car, 
and all was ready for the passengers to retire to rest* 
After taking off your boots, coat and vest, if you wish to 
undress further you clamber into your berth, pull the 
curtains to, and wriggle out of the rest of your clothes 
as best you can. 

S28 Baggage and Boots ; or. 

In flie morning, you dress, of course, by reversing 
tihis operation. Shortly after the train had stopped at 
Springfield, I retired to rest, but was, for a time, kept 
awake by the squall of a fretful baby some lady had got, 
but after awhile I fell into a sound sleep, and was 
unconscious of anything ftirther, until I felt somebody 
shaking me by the shoulder, and heard the black atten- 
dant say, *' It's time to get up, sir." 

I looked at my watch. It was a little after six. 
'* Oh !'* I replied, *' I shan't get up yet a while, it's early 

In a few minutes, the negro came again : ^* You'd 
better get up, we're near Chicago." 

I did not believe him, but as he would not let me 
sleep unmolested, I thought I might as well get up and 
see the country. The fact was, the attendant had all the 
berths to replace before he was off duty, and that was a 
work of two or three hours, so that he was anxious to 
get all he could done before the train arrived, so as to 
be able to go home as soon after as possible. 

At each end of the car was a small lavatory, beauti* 
fully fitted up^ one for ladies and the other for gentle- 
men ; with a good supply of water, scented soap, towels^ 
hair and clothes brushes, &c. My boots had been 
mysteriously cleaned during the night* While taking a 
wash in the lavatory I asked a fellow passenger, who 
was brushing his hair before the looking glass, the n^me 
of the lar«e town we were approaching. 

" Chicago, I guess," was the reply. 

" Surely not," I exclaimed ; "the train is not due 
until 7.25, and it is not a quarter to, yet." 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 229 

" Perhaps not, by St. Louis' time," was the rejoinder, 
'^ but Chicago time is a quarter of an hour faster ; and we 
are only in the suburbs as yet, so I 'guess it will be about 
the time when we reach the main dep6t." The train 
travelled but slowly through the city, and very 
punctually to time landed its passengers at their 
destination. Chicago being so large a city, I determined 
only to engage a room at an hotel on the European 
plan, as I felt certain I should often be too far away to 
return to meals ; and if not, that it was more 
economical to take them at dining rooms in the city, 
than pay the prices usually charged at hotels. I decided 
to go to the *^ Palmer House," on State Street, as I was 
desirous to stay at the place advertised as " the finest 
hotel in the world." It is certainly a sumptuous edifice. 
The entrance hall, the lavatories and staircases, are all 
of marble, as is also the floor of the grand dining room 
on the first floor ; the halls and passages, on this floor, 
are also empanelled with a wainscotting of coloured 
marbles, brought from Italy. On this floor also, 
opposite the dining hall, are a suite of bedrooms of 
peculiar grandeur ; one, especially so, and which is 
designated the bridal chamber. In conjunction with it 
is a private sitting or writing room for the happy pair ; 
also a bath room. They are fitted up in a sumptuous 
manner, and are charged for at the rate of 24 dollars 
(£5) per day. 

After entering my name on the hotel register, I went 
to the post o£Sce to inquire for letters. It is combined 
with the Custom House, and is a massive granite 
structure, occupying a whole block. From there I took 

230 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

a walk down Clark Street, and soon came upon a 
splendid edifice having ornamental colnmns of polished 
red granite. 

"What building is that," I enquired of a passer by. 

*^ Workhouse/' the person addressed replied, without 
deigning to stop. 

" Workhouse, indeed," said I, " you'd be glad enough 
to have a lodging there," I guess. 

Another gentleman more politely informed me that 
it was the new City Hall and the County Court House, 
and that the Chicago citizens declare it to be the finest 
building in the United States next to the Capitol at 
Washington. He also pointed out that, although from 
Clark Street it appeared to be one edifice, occupying an 
entire block, yet by walking a few yards down 
Washington Street I would see it was two distinct 
buildings, designed alike in all the main features, having 
a narrow space between them, and a courtyard in the 
middle, and only connected by a tower at the back. 

It was now eleven o'clock, and the heat was some- 
thing fearful, and I thought it would be far better to 
return to the hotel, or to call on the lady and gentleman 
whom I had met in Washington, and who had given 
me their address and urged me to visit them as soon as 
I came to Chicago, than to wander about in the dreadful 
heat, and very possibly get sunstroke. From the papers 
next morning I found that this was no imaginary fear, as 
that day there were no less than twenty-three cases of 
sunstroke in the city, of which fourteen proved fatal. 

When I called on Mr. and Mrs. Lee they at once 
recognised me and made me exceedingly welcome. 

SmitJCs First Peep at America, 233 

They advised me to stay in the hotel during the middle of 
the day because of the sun ; then, in the evening, to take 
ihe Randolph Street cars up to Union and Douglas Parks. 

The next morning I was up early, and went in a steam 
launch out to the breakwater. It is over half-a-mile long, 
and is constructed by driving wooden piles into the bed 
of the lake, and filling in the space with heavy unhewn 
blocks of stone. The entire length of the breakwater, 
■and half its width, are planked over, making a first-rate 
promenade. There is a lighthouse at the southern end. 
A number of persons were already out on the break- 
water, most of whom were fishing for perch, with which 
the lake swarms. Some of the fishers had caught quite 
a large quantity. After returning and taking breakfast 
I again called on my friends, when I asked them about 
the men who deal in railway tickets. 

^' ' Scalpers,' we call them ; don't you have them in 
England ? " said Mr. Lee. 

" No, certainly not. I never heard of such a business 
until I came here. Outside a ' scalper's ' in St. Louis 
I saw chalked up on a board ^ Cheap Tickets — Chicago 
very cheap ; ' so I went in and asked what he meant 
by very cheap. He said he meant seven dollars and a 
half ; so I bought the ticket, and as he picked up the 
money, he said ' Thank you, sir, I'm very much 
obliged.' I felt convinced at once that I had been tricked 
in some way; yet I came all right with the ticket, I 
<^n't make it out." 

"Was it a limited ticket?" 

" It was the last coupon of a ticket that had been 
issued in Kansas city, two days before. I think it 


234 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

did say limited on it, but I don't know what it 

" Just this ; most of the railroad companies issue two- 
sorts of tickets ; limited and unlimited. An unlimited 
ticket is good until used, however long you may keep 
it. A limited ticket is issued at a somewhat less 
price, but must be used within a certain time^ 
otherwise it is void, and the fare paid for it is lost. When 
the person who bought that ticket in Kansas Citjr 
reached St. Louis, for some reason or other he wished 
to stop over, and found himself unable to complete his- 
journey within the time, so sold his ticket to a * scalper,' 
who d.oubtless paid him precious little for it, as unless 
he found an immediate customer whatever he paid 
was lost. Possibly the train you came by was the very 
last one for which the ticket was available," 

" Before the ticket-agent sold it to me, he said, ^ You're* 
going to-night, are you not ? ' " 

" Then doubtless it was, and sooner than you should 
have gone out of the office without purchasing it, he 
would have sold it to you for five dollars, or possibly 
even less. That is what made his heart throb with 
thankfulness when you paid him all he asked." 

" Thank you ; another time I shall be up to them." 

Mr. Lee then took me out to " show me round," as he 
called it. He pointed out to me the Public Library, the 
leading newspaper offices, the principal theatres, 
Tremont House, Sherman House, and several of the 
leading hotels. On Washington Street we passed the 
Chamber of Commerce, and he told me to take an 
opportunity, before I left, of going into the ladies'* 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 235 

gallery, any day between eleven and one, when I would 
have an opportunity of viewing a busy scene of 
merchants on the floor below, besides examining the 
handsome frescoes and decorations of the hall itself. 
Mr. Lee also pointed out to me several traces of the 
fearful fires which ravaged the city in 1871 and 1874* 

"Since then," he added, "we have learnt wisdom, 
and have now organised such a fire brigade as is not to 
be matched anywhere in the world ; so that it would now 
be a matter of impossibility for a like catastrophe to 
happen again. If you like, I propose now to take you 
to one of our fire-engine stations, that you may see the 
arrangements. ' ' 

I of course consented, and we went together to No. 1 

" I've brought an English friend of mine, and I want 
you to show him how quickly you can get the engine 
out, that he may see that we are not the slow old coaches 
they are, on their side of the Atlantic, but that we're a 
go-ahead people out West, and can lick the Britishers 
all to fits," said Mr. Lee. 

At this speech, the whole party joined in a little 
laugh, and the captain of the brigade replied,"Certainly, 
Mr. Lee, we shall be very pleased to do so." 

The engine itself was a steam one, and not unlike 
those built by Merry weather & Sons, of Long Acre, 
London. At the back of the engine house were four 
stalls for horses, three of which were occupied. A pole 
went through a trapdoor in the ceiling, leading to the 
upper part of the building, where the firemen slept ; the 
idea being that, when an alarm of fire was received, it 

236 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

ivas a quicker way of descent to slide down it than to 
come down by the staircase in the ordinary fashion. 

The harness for the horses was hanging from catches, 
fastened to rafters in the ceiUng, and arranged just over 
the spot the animals should occupy when they stood in 
the shafts of the engine, and the hose carriage. The 
collars were made in two halves, hinged together at the 
top, and made to fasten with a snap under the horse's 
neck, like a lady's necklace, instead of having to twist it 
over the creature's head, separately, before attaching 
the traces. This arrangement, of course, saves 
considerable time, as each piece of the harness is 
strapped or buckled in its right position, and the whole 
hung from the roof, in such a manner that when the 
horse is underneath, a trigger can be pulled, which 
causes the whole to fall immediately on to the animal's 
neck and back. An electric fire alarm stood in the office, 
which not only announced a fire, but also indicated the 
precise quarter of the city the engine was to proceed to. 

I was shown how to set the bell ringing, as though for 
a fire, and then asked to hold my watch in my hand, 
and without giving them any warning, to ring the bell, 
and see how quickly the horses would be harnessed, and 
all ready to start. Presently, when the men were 
talking to Mr. Lee, and had apparently forgotten me, I 
did so. The same current that rang the bell, the same 
instant unlatched all the stable doors, by means of 
electro magnets. They flew open, and tho horses pranced 
out, and of their own accord took up their places exactly 
under the harness, two at the engine, and one in the 
hose-carriage. A fireman pulled a cord, and the harness 

SinitKs First Peep at America. 237 

fell ; the traces were quickly attached, and the collars 
snapped under the horses' necks. One or two men, who 
were resting np-stairs came sliding down the pole, and 
all were ready to start. 

" Ready," shouted the fireman : " how long? " 

*^ Twelve seconds," I replied. 

The men were dissatisfied. " You made a mistake ; 
you mean ten ; that is what we reckon to do it in." 

I said I had made no mistake. The men wanted to 
repeat the feat to show they could do it in ten seconds, 
but I was quite satisfied with the achievement already 
performed and thought it a marvel of alacrity, and 
suggested that if the horses were again duped the}^ 
might not be so prompt in answering a real alarm of 
fire. After thanking the firemen for what we had seen 
we took our departure and made our way to De Koven 
Street, where Mr. Lee pointed out the spot v/here the 
great fire had originated, and which, it is said, had its 
commencement in a cow-shed, through an old woman 
upsetting a small karoscene lamp alight among the 
straw when she went, after night-fall, to milk her cow. 
Mr. Lee then said, " I am sorry business will prevent 
my spending the day with you, but now you are out in 
this quarter of the city it will be a good opportunity for 
you to visit the Union Stock Yards." 

"What are they ?" I asked. 

" What I have you never heard of the Union Stock 
Yards and pork packing establishments of Chicago? 
Why, here we kill and pack more pigs than any other city 
in the world, on an average about 100,000 per week all 
the year round. That is why Chicago is often called 

238 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

Porcopolis. See, here is a note that I wrote before 
breakfast this morning to introduce you to a dealer in 
the market up there who will show you how to go about 
it ta «ee the process. By-the-bye his name is Smith, 
some name-sake of yours, evidently." 

" Oh I is Smith a common name in America the same 
as it is in England ?" 

" My dear sir, you must not talk in that way here. 
In this country we do not speak of a name being 
common. When a name is largely patronised we call 
it popular." 

" Oh I then I am proud to feel I have a popular 
name ; until to-day I always thought it was a common 

" This is Halstead Street, and if you take this car 
that is now coming this way, as far as it goes, you will 
then have but a very little way to walk, and when 
you've seen all you wish to there, you might take a 
' cross country car ' and spend an hour in South Park 
before returning to the city." 

*^ Thank you, I am very much obhged." 

The city of Chicago is very flat, and consequently 
very difficult to drain effectually. In travelling along 
Halstead Street the car soon came to a place where a 
man-hole was open in the centre of the road leading 
down to the sewers, and over it was standing a large 
hydraulic van drawn by four horses. The bottom of 
this van was suppUed with a large valve and when they 
had adjusted this exactly over the sewer-trap the valve 
was opened and the contents of the water van let down 
with a rush to flush the sewer. 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 239 

A little farther on I found a honsehold in the act of 
moving, not the furniture only, but the house as well. 
It was a large wooden one of two floors, and was being 
moved by crowbars, by means of rollers running, on 
scaffolding boards laid down for the purpose. It quite 
^filled up the roadway of the street it was in, so preventing 
4iny vehicles from passing. 

I found the Union Stock Yards very similar to the 
Cattle Market in the Caledonian Road, London. Besides 
innumerable pens, there was a large brick building, 
where the dealers had their offices, and in which were 
•also post and telegraph offices, banking establishments^ 
•dining and refreshment rooms, &c. Unfortunately for 
me, the man with a popular name had gone home to 
lunch, and would not return to business again that day. 
His partner, however, directed me to one of the largest 
packing establishments, and said that if I enquired at 
the office they would be sure to grant me permission to 
see all I wished. The horses, cattle, sheep and pigs, 
4irrive at the Union Stock Yards by train, from all the sur- 
rounding States. The pigs are turned out, and lie about 
by hundreds, in deep mire, in large pens, adjoining the 
slaughter houses, until they are ready for them. 
They are then driven up an inclined plane, to the top 
floor of the building, where a man slips a small chain 
over the hind leg of each pig. The animal is then hoisted 
from off the floor, head downwards, and the short chain 
attached to a pulley running on an inclined steel rail, 
fixed to the rafters of the building, and the pig, by mere 
force of gravitation, begins to move along this novel 
railway. The pig by no means admires this treatment,. 

240 l^^gg^g^ ^^^d Boots ; or, . 

and grunts and squeaks tremendouslj'. But this is only 
the beginnin^y of the animal's troubles. Two lightly 
swung doors are in his path, to hide what is in store* for 
it. The pig bumps against them in his journey, and they 
open to him, and let him pass. Immediately behind, 
stands a nearly naked mau, up to his ankles in a larg& 
trough of blood, with the butchering knife in his hand 
which he plunges into the pig's throat, as it passes him. 
If the animal did not like the previous arrangements 
this is ten times worse ; and its squeals are in proportion,. 
However, another and another followed on, to keep it 
company ; and still they come, thousands per day being 
slauorhtered in a sinsle establishment. After chokinor 
and gasping and plunging for a few seconds all is over ; 
a catch is pulled, and the body drops from the rail, into- 
a long trough of boiling water ; here the hogs lie, side- 
by side, and are pushed along, from the shallow to the 
deep end of the trough, where Lhey are hoisted out, and 
thrown on to a long counter, also on the incline, down 
each side of which stand a number of men and youths,, 
each having his own particular work to perform. Here, 
the animal is thoroughly scraped of all hair and bristles^ 
its trotters are cut oflp, its knees cut, it is decapitated, and 
finally huns: on to another steel rail, and disembowelled* 
By its own weight, it then runs along this inclined raily 
to the next department ; where each hind leg is made 
secure to a separate rail ; a man comes behind with 
a hatchet, and with great dexterity, divides the carcase, 
down the back bone, into two. It then travels on " to 
the freezing chambers, where the meat is next frozen 
for forty-eight hours. From here, it slides down a shoot, 

SiniiKs First Peep at America, 2il 

on to a block, in the *' mcating " room. Two men, with 
hatchets, stand by this block, and as each side arrivesr 
it is cut up by one stroke, from each, into hand, leg and 
loin. The latter is sometimes sub-divided. Youths in 
attendance snatch up each joint, and run off with them^ 
and stack them ready for packing. Those intended to 
be cured for hams are then taken to kilns, where they 
are hung up in the smoke of wood fires. When sufficiently 
cured, they are tightly wrapped round in brown paper, 
sewn up in calico, and then plunged into a vat of yellow 
ochre and flour, to form a coating over the joint im- 
pervious to the atmosphere. They are then hung up, and 
when sufficiently dry are ready for exportation. 

The fresh joints are packed in strong cases, along with 
quantities of salt, and fastened up under hydraulic 
pressure. The pigs' trotters, the blood, and the entrails^ 
are melted down in boilers, to make glue and phosphorus, 
and the blubber is also boiled down for lard in another 
set of vats. The sickening stench in this department is 
enough to knock a strong man down, and I was obliged 
to seek the open air as quickly as possible. 

From the Stock- Yards, I went to South Park, which 
is well laid out, and kept, and possesses a small collection 
of wild animals and birds. The park is approached by 
handsome boulevard?, on which are erected many 
fine residences, occupied by the merchant princes of 

The eveninor was now coming on, but* before returninor 
to the city, I spent a pleasant hour down by the shore 
of the lake ; and at sunset, returned to the city by a local 
train on the Illinois Central Railroad, which here runs 

242 Baggage and Boots, &c. 

by the edge of the water. There was no booking office 
.at Oakland Station, where I got " aboard " the train, 
and the fares were collected by the conductor, as on an 
English omnibus. In America, local trains such as this 
was are called " Dummies." 

The next day I went a steamboat excursion, in the 
^^ Flora," to Waukegan, a town of about 6,000 in- 
<habitants, about forty miles to the north of Chicago- 
The landing stage is of a very poor description. The 
^flooring planks are of every conceivable length, some 
projecting over the water, far beyond others, and are 
full of big holes, and are very treacherous, not being 
•securely fastened ; so that if you carelessly step on an 
overhanging plank the other end is as likely as not to 
spring up and let you into the water. There are ex- 
tensive sands at Waukegan, just the place for young 
children. I noticed a great many of these wore a necklace 
with a little flat piece of gold or silver dangling from 
it, on which was engraved the child's name and birth- 
day, in the same way that people in England engrave 
the name and address on the collar of a pet dog, in case 
it should get lost. The "Flora!' is a very old steamer and 
very slow, so that it was half-past eleven at night before 
she landed her passengers at Clark Street Bridge, on 
-returning to Chicago. 


The Telephone— Its unirersal use— Prices changed — Consulting the 
doctor — Chicago Waterworks — The Lake "Crib" — ^Viewfrom Tower 
— Lincoln Park — The Nursery Jetty " — La Salle Street Tunnel 
— Raising a "block" — ^Feeding pigs on peaches — Price of gas 
— Grain elevators — Chicago dimng rooms — Moody and Sankey*s 
Church — An "Upstairs'* Church — Smith leaves Chicago — Storm 
on Lake Michigan — ^Arrival at Milwaukee — The Court House — 
Iron blasting and rolling mills — A night on the Lake — The 
lemonade trade — Grand Haven — A railway chair car — Detroit 
"Baggage Express." 

T^H E one thing that possibly more than anything else in 
-^ America astonished me was, the universal use there 
made of the telephone. In the large cities of the United 
States, the Telephone Exchange is not only subscribed to 
by large commercial firms, but by every tradesman who 
makes any claim to doing anything of a business, besides 
the hotel proprietors, ticket brokers, and all the leading 
private inhabitants. 

For instance : the day following my excursion to 
Waukegan, I again called on my friends the Lees. Mr. 
Lee was engaged with a client, and while I was waiting 
in the parlour Mrs. Lee came in, went up to the tele- 
phone which was fixed there, and signaling to the 
central office, desired to be connected with Messrs. 
Carrots & Turnip, the greengrocers. The connection 
was made, and in a few seconds Mr. Turnip's voice was 
heard saying " Yes, who is it speaking ? " 

** Mrs. Lee, of State Street. Have jon any nice radishes 

244 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

"Yes, ma*am, some fresh in this morning." 

" I wish you would send me round a bunch." 

" Yes, ma'am ; and the next thing ? " 

" Nothing else, only I forgot the radishes when I 
ordered the potatoes and cauliflower of Mr. Carrots 
just now." 

Mrs. Lee then gave the signal, " j&nished," to the 
central office, and left the room. Just at that moment 
Mr. Lee entered, having transacted his business with 
his client. 

" Good morning, Mr. Smith, how are you? You look 
uncommonly pleased about something or other, what is 
it? Just received a long letter from some charming 
young lady in England, eh ? " 

" No, nothing of the kind. I am so amused at hearing 

Mrs. Lee use the telephone, to order a bunch of radishes.'^ 

" Why ! Have you not got the telephone in England 

^'Oh, yes, we have it, but they charge such an 
exorbitant price for it, that it is but little used, except by 
stock and share brokers, and a few large commercial 
and banking firms, and the like." 

" Is that so ? Well, I'm surprised that people in 
England endure to let such a state of things exist, or if 
they do exist, to let them continue for another day. I'm 
sure it would lead to riot and outbreak, almost to civil 
war, were the free use of the telephone at a low rate 
taken away from the people here. How much do they 
charge in England to belong to the Telephone Exchange?'* 

" Well, you see, so few comparatively are connected 
with it that I hardly know, but I think it is twenty 

SmWis First Peep at America, 245 

pounds per annum, if you are within a mile of the 
•central exchange, and five to seven pounds a year extra 
for each additional mile of wire." 
" How many dollars is that ? '* 
" Twenty pounds is just ninety-six dollars." 
" Is that so ? People here would not put up with that 
rate for a single week, I'm sure. Why, I pay fifteen 
dollars per annum. Besides, it appears to me that they 
are cutting their own throats in fixing such prices. 
When the price is low, see how many more will jjin. 
Here, in Chicago, we have several thousand members 
connected with the Telephone Exchange, with any one of 
whom I, for instance, can immediately be placed in direct 
communication. And see what an immense accommoda- 
tion it is. If I am going a journey by boat or rail, 
without going from my house, by means of the telephone, 
' I enquire the times and rates, and engage a berth, and 
it is reserved for me. If my wife wishes to visit a friend, 
she enquires first through the telephone if she is at 
home, in order that she may not have her journey for 
nothing. She also gives invitations to her friends to 
visit her here, through the same medium, besides giving 
Jier orders to the tradespeople, as you just now heard." 

*^ I think that must tend to make American ladies 
very lazy, besides which, they get ill from want of 
exercise, and then you have to send for the doctor." 

*' No, we do not have to send at all ; nor he to come 
either. Our doctor lives three miles off, and if we are 
ill we consult him through the telephone ; we are then 
disconnected, and he is then joined to a druggist in the 
city near here, and dictates a prescription to him, and 

246 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

tells him where to send it. The druggist mixes it, and 
sends it round, and it is all done without anyone going 
out, except the apothecary's boy, and all within an hour." 

" Including getting well again ?" 

" I did not say that ; but last spring my young 
daughter was taken very bad, one drenching wet night, 
with the muUy-ginibs or something, and we, and the 
doctor too, found the telephone a wonderful boon on that 
occasion. You see, the telephone is a great improve- 
ment over the telegraph, in more ways than one. In 
the first place, it saves all the time that the telegraph 
messenger takes in carrying the message from the 
terminal office to the address of the person you send it 
to ; even if it is forwarded the very minute you hand it 
in, which often it is not. Then again, and this is a still 
greater advantage, you can ask questions, and receive 
replies, then and there ; and in endless succession \ in* 
fact, carry on a conversation as easily as we are now 
doing in this room. Another thing is that the telephone 
transmits the inflections and modulations of the voice, so- 
that if you wish to speak to a person whom you know well 
you can tell that it is his voice answering you, and no 
one else assuming to be the one you want, for the pur- 
pose of leading you astray." 

^* Yes, the telephone is certainly a marvellous inven- 
tion, and I only wish the price in England was suffi- 
ciently low to allow of its being used as miiversally aa- 
with you." 

" I'm glad you have come in this morning, because I 
have a leisure day and can go about with you a bit." 

" Thank you. It is very kind of you."^ 

SmitJis First Peep at America. 247 

Mr. Lee put on his hat, and we both went out, and 
took the " stage " (omnibus) to Rush Street, and visited 
the waterworks. Here is some very fine pumping 
machinery, though not so large and powerful as at 
St. Louis or Cincinnati. Opposite the engine-house is a 
tower, from the summit of which we obtained a magnifi- 
cent view of the city and Lake. The waterworks stand 
upon the shore of the Lake in the northern portion of 
the city; and right out in the Lake, at a distance of nearly 
two miles, is an erection that has somewhat the appearance 
of a martello tower, with a dwelling and a light-house 
upon it. From this erection called a *^ crib," pure water 
is drawn from the Lake to the pumping houses, through 
a tunnel about five feet in diameter, bored through the 
bed of the Lake, and brick lined. Another still longer 
tunnel, seven feet in diameter, conducts water from th© 
same crib to the south-western portion of the city. 

From the top of the water-tower, Mr. Lee pointed 
out all the principal buildings and churches of the city^ 
also the large and costly Marine Hospital, on the Lake 
shore to the north of the city. From the tower we- 
walked along the Lake Shore Drive to Lincoln Park.. 
At the southern end are two jetties into the lake. The 
end of one of these is covered, for protection from the 
weather, and fitted up as a sort of nursery for sick 
babies and invalid children. Here are fixed swings,. 
and camping-nets (in which they lay the babies to- 
sleep), and everything that is requisite. A small 
screw-steamer was lying alongside the jetty, between 
which and Clark Street Bridge (near the centre of the 
city), it makes several trips daily, and is paid for by 

248 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

the Corporation to convey poor children to and from 
the park gratis. Lincoha Park is very prettily laid out, 
with small ornamental sheets of water, and a goodly 
5how of flower and leaf ffardeninor. In the northern 
part of the park is another small zoological collection. 
The park has a frontage of about a mile, to the Lake 
shore, where children can play on the sands, as at the 

We returned to the city by Clark Street cars. 
When we reached the harbour, however, we found the 
traffic was temporarily stopped, as the swing bridge 
across the Chicago River was open to allow some ship- 
ping to pass. Sooner than wait, we got off the car, 
walked one block west, into La Salle Street, and walked 
through the tunnel by which that street is conducted 
under, instead of over, the river. There are two of 
these tunnels in Chicago, which cost an immense sum to 
construct, but appear to be but little used ; people, 
whether they are walking or driving, preferring to 
cross by the bridges if they can. 

I told Mr. Lee about having seen a house being 
moved bodily, two days before. 

^* Oh, that's nothing," he replied. " Why, close by 
where we are now is a whole row of brick and stone 
built buildings, that we raised bodily, a few years ago, by 
means of screw jacks. Come with me ; I'll point them 
out to you." 

On the way, Mr. Lee stopped to purchase a few 
peaches of a barrow man. When we had passed on, I 
remarked how exceedingly cheap peaches were. 

" Yes, they always are with us, though this year they 

Smith's First Peep at America, 249 

are not nearly so abundant as they were last. Last year 
they were so plentiful that it hardly paid to bring them 
to market. I know a man, a few miles out, who gave 
up sending them; the price was so low. He then threw 
open his orchard, and let people gather them for them- 
selves, and pay him five cents a bushel ; and when he 
could no longer get customers, even at that rate, he 
turned the hogs and pigs in, to feed on the windfalls." 

'^ I never heard of such a thing. It is better, how- 
ever, than letting them fatten on rattle-snakes, as they 
do down South." 

" Is that so ? " 

'* Yes, down in Kentucky, they told me that was how 
they kept the snakes under." 

" We have very fine stores on State, Clark, Washing- 
ton, and the adjacent streets. Do you not think so ? *' 

" Yes, you have ; so fine that I am astonished to see 
many of them lit with oil lamps after dark, and can 
only conclude that with all your cheap peaches, and 
telephones, gas must be exceedingly dear out here." 

" Well, of course, I guess, it is dearer than oil." 

" It ought not to be. How much do you pay ? " 

" Three dollars per thousand." 

" Outrageous ! Why, when I lived in the south of 
London, I paid three shillings; that is seventy-two 
cents per thousand, and it is now less than that, and in 
the great towns in the north of England it is only about 
one-fifth of the price you are paying here." 

"Is that so?" 

" Yes, indeed it is. American people are very fond 
of telling me that they wonder we English submit to 

250 Baggage and Boots ; &c. 

this, that, and the other ; they would not, for a single 
day. You said so yourself just now, with respect 
to the telephone ; and now I am sure I can well turn 
the tables, and say the same to you about the gas." 

" Well, certainly, I guess you have tha advantage of 
us there." 

" What are those lofty wooden structures that I see 
80 many of along the banks of the Chicago River ? " 

** They are grain elevators. You should visit one of 
them. The com arrives by train, from the grain grow- 
ing districts, and is emptied into a sort of pit, at the 
bottom of the building. From there, it is carried to 
the top at a great rate, by means of a very broad end- 
less belt, with buckets attached. Arrived at the top, it 
is shot into immense bins for storage. Some of these 
bins will hold sixty and eighty thousand bushels ; and 
a single ^ elevator ' will have ten or twelve such bins 
for the storage of different sorts and qualities of com 
and grain. When sold it is transferred from here by 
similar means, to ships and steamers, for conveyance 
down the great lakes. But here are some dining rooms. 
Let us go in and get some dinner, for I'm hungry, and 
should think you're the same." 

One thing I noticed at American dining-rooms was 
that at none of them did they bring you the meat you 
called for on the plate you were expected to eat it off of, 
but always on another, or a small dish ; and usually 
without gravy or the merest apology therefor. A great 
deal of milk and butter-milk, and cold tea with sugar 
and ice is drunk at dinner, as well as other meals. It 
is very rarely that you see an American take either beer 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 253 

or wine with his food. Foreign wines and beer are 
exceedingly dear in the States on account of the very- 
high tariff levied on them by the customs ; and as for 
American made, it is not worth drinking. 

On Sunday evening I visited the church built for 
Messrs. Moody and Sankey, who were not there. The 
service consisted of short stirring addresses by several 
speakers. The church is a large semi-circular building 
which the congregation did not more than half till. At 
the corner of Clark and Washington Streets, in the 
very centre of the city, a congregation of Methodist 
Episcopalians have erected a building, the ground floor 
of which is constructed and let off for stores ; the first- 
floor as offices, while above they have erected their 
church and schools. Of course the rents received from 
the commercial speculation underneath greatly assist 
the church funds. 

In Chicago, except in quite the main streets, the side- 
walks are of wood planking, raised a foot or two above 
the level of the roadway. 

On Monday morning I left Chicago for Milwaukee in 
the steamer "Sheboyan." There was quite a storm 
on the Lake, and many of the passengers were sick. 
The distance is about ninety miles, and the steamer, 
which was due about five o'clock, was so hindered by 
the roughness of the weather that it was nearly ten at 
night before the passengers were landed. 

The next morning I visited the Court House, from 
the cupola of which I obtained a splendid view of the 
lake, the city and surrounding country, including the 
water works to the north, and the iron blasting mills 

254 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

to the south. The houses in Milwaukee are built largeljr 
of a light cream-coloured brick, which gives the city 
a very clean appearance, looking down on it from the 
dome of the Court House. I thought the streets of 
Milwaukee better paved than those of any other United 
States city I had ever seen ; and some of the roads 
about the Court House are well shaded with avenues of 
trees, I was also successftd in obtaining permission to 
See over the great flour mill of Messrs. Sanderson & Co., 
with which I was much interested. In the afternoon I 
went over the iron blasting and rolling mill, where I saw 
the blast-furnaces run ; there are two of them, and they 
make about sixty-four tons of pig-iron every twenty-four 

That evening I left Milwaukee in the screw-steamer 
*^ Menomonee," having come across nothing particular 
except an organ-grinder. This event was chiefly and 
solely remarkable from being the first of these familiar 
European characters that I had seen in the United 
States. I could only account for it on the supposition 
that when any of them made sufiicient money in Europe 
to pay their passage money across the Atlantic, and 
chose to do so, they soon found that there many other 
businesses paid far better than turning the handle of a 
barrel-organ ; such, for instance, as squeezing half a 
lemon into a glass with a little sugar and crushed ice, 
filling it up with water, and charging from five to ten 
cents for it. During the hot weather numbers of men, 
and sometimes women, have a small street-stall, and 
drive a thriving business at lemonade making and selling^ 
in this simple way. 

Smithes First Peep at America. 255 

At 4.30, the next morning I was aroused by the 
coloured steward to find that the steamer had already 
arrived in the harbour of Grand Haven, a muddy little 
creek on the opposite shore of the Lake. The passengers 
for the most part breakfasted at the railroad depot, and 
then proceeded by train to their various destinations. 
The train for Detroit left at six o*clock; and for the 
small extra fee of only twenty-five cents I obtained a 
reclining chair in the parlour car. These chairs are 
very comfortable, and have high cushioned backs, that 
can be fixed at any angle, by means of a rackwork, so 
that you can either sit up, or almost lie down in them. 
In this way I travelled, most comfortably, right across 
the State of Michigan, and arrived in Detroit soon after 
noon. Shortly before arriving, an ^' Express " man 
came through the train, to check passengers' " baggage " 
to their private residences or hotels. I handed him my 
check, and directed him to send up my portmanteau to 
the Russel House ; and received an acknowledorment in 
return, to be given up when the baggage was delivered. 
This, however, took them eleven hours to accomplish. 
I concluded their only possible excuse could be the dis- 
tance the hotel was from the depot, viz., something 
under half a mile. 


Windsor— The British flag— "What have you there ?"— Trans- 
shipping a train — Making wheels for railroad cars — Basket 
parties — Belle Isle — Lost in a wood — View from City Hall — 
Woodward Avenue — More Sulphur Springs— Cleveland — Absence 
of garden walls— Euclid Avenue — Lake View Cemetery — 
Headstones and grave-mounds discountenanced — Costly monu- 
ments—Euclid Avenue Park— Germans and German sausage — 
"Saloons" — Cask making by machinery — The reservoir and 
pumping houses — Bridge across the valley — Smith learns more 
about railway ticket scalping — He proceeds to Erie — Massassanga 
— Cheap gas and firing — Cruising in Erie harbour — Departs for 

T'HE streets^of Detroit are wide and well paved, many 
"^ of tliem being shaded by avenues of trees; and 
there is also a good service of tram-cars in all directions. 
Bussel House^^is very centrally situated, being on 
Woodward] Avenue, opposite the City Hall and the 
Opera House, from which point any part of the city 
is easily accessible by means of the horse-cars. 

After luncheon I took the ferry steamer, which plies 
every ten minutes, and crossed the Detroit River, to 
Windsor, on the opposite shore, and so was once more 
under the protection of the British flag. " What have 
vou there ?" I heard a voice say to a buxom dame, who 
had returned in the steamer from marketing in Detroit. 
" Only some butter, eggs and groceries; do you wish to 
see ?" was the reply. I turned round, and saw a Custom 
House official peering into the old lady's basket. He 
appeared satisfied, and let her pass, and accosted 

SinitfCs First Peep at America. 257 

another^ a man who had crossed on the steamer with a 
light cart. The inspection here was not so satisfactory, 
and he had to march into the Custom House. 

In Windsor, I noticed one or two little things that 
showed how much more closely the Canadians follow 
English manners and expressions, than their English 
speaking neighbours in the States. For instance, I 
saw a board, at an empty house, stating, " This house to 
let," whereas, in the States, it is universally, ^* This 
house for rent"; and they also in letting apartments 
say, " A flat for rent ;" instead of " A floor to let," as 
we should. Again, at the Windsor railway terminus, 
(that of the Great Western of Canada), a table of faros 
to every station on the line was hung up in a position 
where the public could inspect it. I saw a train come 
in, when part of it was run on to a large ferry steamer, 
fixed in a dock, by the water's edge ; and was, in this 
manner, taken across the river, to continue its journey 
through the State of Michigan to Chicago, without the 
passengers or the baggage being moved, except so far 
as they may be disturbed by the United States' Custom 
House Officers. 

Unlike Philadelphia or Washington, Detroit has no 
public buildings of any great political or historical 
interest ;. and it derives its importance partly from its 
geographical position, and partly from the extensive 
manufacturing enterprises carried on in and near it. One 
of these, the Car Wheel Works of the Michigan Central 
Bailroad Company, I obtained an order to inspect. 
They are about three miles from the city Court House, 
and are well worth a visit. A wheel made of hard wood 

258 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

is pressed into a paste bed made of sand and flour^ 
mixed with clay and water. This is allowed to dry, and 
another mould to form the back of the wheel is made in 
the same way, and carefully fitted over the first Nearly 
five hundred weight of molten iron is then poured into 
the united mould, and kept in slight motion, by a man 
pushing an iron rod up and down in it until it begins 
to settle. This takes place in about two or three 
minutes. After about ten minutes the mould is broken 
up, and the wheel, in a state of brilliant red heat, placed 
into a brick lined pit, about fifteen feet deep. Another 
and another are placed on the top, until they reach to 
within four feet of the surface ; when they are covered 
over, and the pit filled in with sand, and the wheels are^ 
allowed three days to cool. If they were not thus 
tempered, but allowed to get cold more rapidly, they 
would turn out brittle, and be liable to fly when in use, 
should they strike against a stone, or any other uneven- 
ness on the railroad. 

In the Detroit River, opposite the northern extremity 
of the city is a small island, about three miles long by 
one broad, called Belle Isle, and which is much visited 
by picnic or " basket " parties, — a great American 
institution everywhere. It is so thickly wooded, that 
I managed to lose myself there; I got quite alarmed at 
the prospect of being unable to regain the pier in time 
for the last return ferry, and so having to spend the 
night there. I pushed on and on, evidently, however^ 
not in a straight course, although that is what I was 
trying to do. It seems so absurd to be lost in a wood, 
when the whole island that it is on is as small as Belle 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 259* 

Isle. Anyone, however, who has had a similar experi- 
ence, will know that in a forest, on a dull, cloudy day or 
night, with dense foliage over head, or thick underbush 
all about you, withont a compass, it is a matter of great 
difficulty to travel in a straight line. After wandering 
about a long while, I at last emerged from the wood, 
and was rejoiced to see the river before me. On which, 
side of the island I had come out of the wood I could 
not tell, as I was unable to discover in which direction 
the river was flowing. I, however, followed along the 
water's edge, until I again caught sight of the landing 
'stage. A steamer was just coming up to it, which, by dint 
of hard running, I was just able to catch. The city 
authorities hare recently purchased the island, with the 
idea of converting it into a public park. As yet, how- 
ever, but little has been done in that direction. 

The next morning I went to the top of the tower that 
surmounts the City Hall, from whence can be obtained 
a splendid view of the plan of the city. It lay spread 
out like a map beneath me. I could also see the ship- 
ping on the river, and the Canadian shore beyond. A 
watchman is stationed up there day and night, who 
takes note of all that passes on the river. He is also 
placed in direct telephonic communication with the fire- 
engine stations of the city, as from his elevated position,. 
he is often the first to detect a fire, and is able to signal 
its locality to the fire brigade. 

Woodward Avenue is the principal road in Detroit. 
Commencing at the river, it runs at right angles to it,. 
in a westerly direction for miles, with a gradual gentle 
rise the whole of the way. At the lower end are situated! 

260 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

the principal stores, hotels, and public buildings ; while 
further on, it is lined by private residences belonging 
to the leading inhabitants. Some of these have their 
name cut on the stone mountain step, at the edge of the 
roadway, in front of their gate. 

In Detroit the letter carrier collects as well as 
delivers, people running out and handing him their 
letters as he passes, which he pops into an extra bag, 
slung round his neck for that purpose. 

I left Detroit that evening in a fine steamer of 
1,094 tons, called the " City of Detroit." I had 
a state room to myself, where I enjoyed a good 
night's rest, and when I awoke at six o'clock next 
morning, I found the steamer was in the harbour of 

The streets and roads of Cleveland, even in the 
suburbs, are laid down with wood paving blocks, which 
cause the traffic to pass comparatively quietly. Many 
of the private residences here, in the best quarter of the 
city, hrwve no fencing whatever to divide the garden 
surrounding the house from the road, nor to divide 
one garden from that of the next door neighbour. It has 
a very novel but at the same time a very social appear- 
ance to see a number of houses, standing in a row, on 
one great lawn. 

Cleveland is often called the city of trees, on account 
of most of the streets being lined, on either side, with 
long rows of them. 

In the centre of the city is a nice open space, sur- 
rounded on all sides by " stores '* and offices, and cut up 
by roads. It is called the " Public-square," and is laid 

SmttKs First Peep at America, 261 

out as an ornamental garden ; and at night is illumi- 
nated by the electric light. 

There are some fine streets of private residences in 
Cleveland. One in particular, called Euclid Avenue, 
has a world-renowned reputation. Some of the houses 
on this road are very large and handsome, standing a 
good way back from the roadway, with spacious and 
well-kept lawns, and gardens in front, beautified with 
statuary, and casts of dogs, stags, &c. From there, I 
proceeded by tram to the most beautiful cemetery I 
think I have ever seen. It is called Lake View, and is 
about five miles from the city. The head gardener (a 
Scotchman) when he found that I was on a visit from 
the old country, took special interest in pointing out 
the natural and artificial beauties of the place. 

" Well, Mr. Gardener, this is a beautiful place, totally 
unlike any cemetery I ever saw in England ; and yet, 
for the life of me, I can't tell wherein the difierence 
lies. I wish you'd inform me." 

" Certainly. In all the graveyards in the old country 
you have great, ugly, flat headstones, leaning about in 
all directions. They are very unsightly when first put in, 
and they soon get out of the perpendicular, and become 
a greater disfigurement still. Here, we allow nothing 
of the sort. There is not a flat head-stone anywhere 
in the grounds. If the relatives of the deceased can- 
not afford, or do not choose, to erect a monument that 
shall be ornamental and pleasant for the eye to rest on, 
they have the option of not marking the grave at all, 
or if they do, the headstone must not exceed fourteen 
inches above the ground ; and if you look round you 

262 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

will see they are nsaally of marble, and very thick. 
The other great difference is that here we allow no 
^ave mound to exceed three inches above the level of 
the snrroanding surface, and we prefer that there should 
l)e none at all. At home you pile a great heap of 
^arth on the top, as though you were anxious to keep 
the persons you have laid underneath the sod down, 
but were afraid they would rise again, and meet you 
before the judgment day. See what an improvement it 
is to do away with such an absurd disfigurement. Why, 
it makes the place look like the lawn of a gentleman's 

" Some of the monuments here are very fine." 
" Yes, we have a few fine ones ; but as yet the 
cemetery is comparatively new, only having been 
opened in 1870. In a few years' time it will be much 
improved. Still we have some very costly ones. This 
mausoleum, with a statue inside of a young girl 
kneeling on a cushion in the attitude of prayer, is 
erected to the memory of a young lady, the only 
daughter of one of our wealthy citizens, who died at 
school in Paris (France) when only sixteen years of 
age. It cost 16,000 dollars, and is the most costly 
monument we have as yet. Over there is the Rev. 
Mr. Goodrich's monument ; the son of that author of 
books for boys who wrote under the name of * Peter 
Parley,' and yonder is where President Grarfield is 

On the way back to the city I took a walk round 
Euclid Avenue Park. It is the property of a private 
gentleman who has very munificently thrown it open to 

SmiMs First Peep at America, 263 

the pujblic. There is no attempt at flower gardening 
there, but there are some delightful drives. A small 
stream runs through it, and there are some pretty 
cascades, which have been artificially improved. 

There is a large German population in Cleveland, and 
on Saturday night the market on Ontario Street is 
thronged with them, both buyers and sellers ; bargaining 
in the German tongue over American-made German- 
sausage, &c. 

I was painfully struck with the large number of low 
beer-shops in America called " saloons." On Ontario 
Street, in a row of nine consecutive houses, four of 
them were saloons, where on Saturday night they had 
cither a fiddle or a concertina going to attract customers. 
On the other side of the street, nearly opposite this 
TOW, I counted three houses adjoining that were all 
saloons. Beershops and also waiting-rooms at railroad 
stations, &c., are all called saloons in the States. During 
my short stay in Cleveland I managed to pay a visit to 
the cooperage works of the Standard Oil Company. 
They are well worth going to see, but it is necessary to 
get an admission order from the office in the city first. 
I 3aw them making fifty-gallon casks in which to store 
the petroleum oil, when purified, at the rate of 5,000 
casks a day, or about seven per minute. The great 
circular wheel-planes, by which the straight boards 
were shaped into cask staves, astonished me most. The 
•oil wells are many miles from Cleveland, and the 
petroleum is forced through pipes the whole way to the 
company's works, where it is refined and barrelled. The 
reservoir is situated in the western portion of the city 

264 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

across the Cayahoga River. It is a very small affair 
considering the size of the city that is supplied from it, 
and in tlie event of a large quantity of water being 
required to extinguish some great conflagration, would be 
exhausted in a few hours. Bound the top of the dam 
which forms the reservoir, is a public promenade, which, 
being situated at the highest point of the city, commands 
an extensive view. The water is drawn through a tunnel 
extending under the Lake for over a mile,and terminating 
in a crib, the same as at Chicago. 

I afterwards visited the pumping houses, which are 
down near the shore of the Lake, and which, as at all the 
other American cities, are open, and perfectly free for 
the public to walk through. 

The river, which divides the east and west portions 
of the city, runs through a deep valley over half a mile 
wide, the general level of the city on either side being 
about a hundred feet above the water. The river and 
valley have been spanned by a splendid stone viaduct, 
with an iron swing bridge, where it crosses the river, 
to allow of the tall masts of ships, going father up the 
harbour, passing. It was completed in 1878, at a cost 
of nearly half a million pounds English. 

Purposing to leave Cleveland early the following 
morning for Buffalo, I thought of the purchase I had 
made a fortnight before, when travelling from St. Louis 
to Chicago, and the five shillings I had saved through 
buying my ticket off a scalper. So I took a walk round 
to see if any of the ticket agents in Cleveland had a 
ticket to Buffalo to sell cheap, as I thought that after 
the information I had received from my friend Mr. Lee, 

Smithes First Peep at America. 265 

at Chicago, I would now know how to go about it, and 
to strike a better bargain. I looked on the notice boards 
of several, but none had any particular bargains to offer 
for where I wanted, that I could see, so at last I went 
into the store of one in Superior Street, and enquired. 

" No, iVe none to Buffalo only, but if you like to 
speculate about sixteen or seventeen dollars, I have one 
to New York ria Buffalo, by which you will save a 

"But I don't want to go to New York : I have a lot of 
places I wish to visit first, the rest of the ticket will be 
of no use to me." 

** I know that; but I will give you an order on an 
agent in Buffalo, and when you get there, you take the 
remainder of the ticket to him, and he will refund the 
difference, and you will save a dollar on the fare between 
here and Buffalo." 

^' But perhaps he won't ; or, will offer to buy it at a 
price at which I shall lose instead of gain." 

^* Oh no, you will not. Perhaps you do not under- 
stand our system." 

"No indeed, I think I do not. When I was at 
Milwaukee last week, I went to a scalper to buy a ticket 
to Detroit, and he had not one, but wanted me to buy 
one for beyond, and get the difference refunded at a 
place he told me of, in Detroit, and 1 would have 
nothiug to do with it. I thought the party he named 
might not be willing to refund so much as he said he 

" Oh yes he would ; you would have found it all right. 

I will explain. We have a Ticket Agents* Association, 


266 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

with about two hundred members altogether, at different 
cities, all over the United States. Wten I sell you a 
ticket that extends beyond the place you are going to, 
I give you an order on a member of the association at 
that city, to refund you so much on the remainder. 
Tou take him the ticket and the order, and he will hand 
you over the amount stated, without any difficulty 
whatever. If the sum is wrong it makes no difference 
to you, as he pays it without any demur, or even in- 
forming you that it is wrong. The agent who sold you 
the ticket is responsible for that, and if it is too much, 
it is he who makes it good." 

I left Cleveland at half-past seven the next morning, 
and reached Erie in about three hours, where I ^^ stopped 
over " for a day. The town is a very dull, quiet little 
place. After an early dinner or luncheon, I walked 
down to the harbour. It is a beautiful bay on the shore 
of Lake Erie, about five miles long, and by one to two 
broad, and is formed by a narrow arm of land, stretching 
out into the great lake, from the western end, and 
nearly encircling this inner sheet of water, leaving only 
a small entrance on the east side. I went in a small 
screw steamer to Massassanga, at the further end of the 
inner water, and about four miles distant. Here there 
is an hotel, and a sort of tea and pleasure gardens, and it 
is a very favourite place for picnic parties fromErie. There 
is a large supply of natural gas here, issuing from a well 
sunk by the hotel proprietor, at the cost of seven hundred 
dollars. It is a gas generated from petroleum oil, with 
which this end of the state of Pennsylvania, in which 
^rie is situated, abounds. The top of the well is bricked 

Smith's First Peep at America, 267 

over^ and a pipe inserted^ thns forming a sort of sub- 
terranean gasometer. Not only do they use the gas for 
lighting the hotel throughout, and for doing the whole ot 
the cooking by, but also to illuminate the outbuildings 
and g^rounds, in the most extrava£:ant manner, it beiD&r 
.eft irng awy in fl.M» a A lo,«, in l»o«i day* 

Erie harbour forms a first rate place for trying one's 
skill in navigating small sailing yachts, as it is sheltered 
from the storms often experienced on the great lake 
beyond. This form of amusement is consequently very 
popular in Erie, and that afternoon and the next 
morning, I spent a very enjoyable time sailing about the 
bay, in a small quarter-deck yacht of about three tons 
burden* Delightful as the amusement was, I knew I 
must not stay long to indulge in it, or I would be 
compelled to return to England without visiting many 
places and scenes that I longed to see. I therefore said 
good-bye that afternoon to Erie and the boating, and 
continued my journey by train to Buffalo, arriving there 
in about two-and-a-half hours. 


Buffalo — Diacharging a cargo of com— City Hall — ^Excnrsion to Grand 
Island — International railroad bridge — Proceeds to Niagara 
Village — Depot arrangements — Niagara hackmen — Groat Island — 
The Bapids— The Three Sisters— The tragedy here in 1879— The 
American Fall — Luna Island — *' I'm going t« throw you in** — 
The Canadian or Horseshoe Falls. 

AT Bafialo^ I was once more in New York State, 
although over four hundred miles by rail from the 
commercial capital of the Eepublic that bears that name. 
Buffalo is a great port for the transhipment of grain 
(that has been brought down the lakes from the western 
States)^ from the vessels to the railroad cars, or Erie 
Canal barges, for transfer to New York or other ports. 
I took a walk among the grain elevators, down by the 
harbour, and was much interested in watching the great 
rapidity with which a cargo of com was transferred 
from the hold of a "lake steamer " to the bins of the 
elevator. A long wooden contrivance, like a cattle 
drinking trough, boarded over, is let down obliquely 
from the top storey of the building, into the grain in 
the vessel ; at each end of this trough is a roller, over 
which a broad band is stretched. Tin buckets are 
attached to this band at about a foot apart ; the whole 
is set in rapid motion, and thousands of bushels are soon 
transferred from the boat to the bins of the elevator, 
"^rom the harbour I walked round the city to see the 

Smiths First Peep at America. 271 

principal fonildings. After a peep in at St. Joseph's 
Cathedral and St. Paul's Church, I yisited the new 
City Hall and Court House, which is an imposing 
building, both inside and out Besides the council 
chamber and court of justice rooms, it possesses an im- 
posing staircase, lit by a beautiful sky-light in the roof 
of the building. 

In the afternoon I took a trip by an excursion 
steamer to a favourite picnicing spot for Buffido holiday 
makers called Niagara View (t.«., of the river, not of 
the Falls). It is on an island in the Niagara Biver 
called Grand Island, which is about seven miles in 
diameter, and is formed by the Niagara dividing into 
two rivers, which meet again about two miles above the 
Falls. Where Lake Erie enters Niagara River the 
stream is very rapid. The river has a fall of several feet 
to the mile, and the current runs at some six and a 
half miles per hour; consequently it is only steamers 
with powerful engines that are able to return against 
it. Opposite Niagara View, is the town of Tonawanda, 
the greatest lumber mart in the states. In going and 
returning, the steamer passed the magnificent Inter- 
national Bailroad Bridge, which connects the tJnited 
States Railways with those of the Canada Southern and 
Grand Trunk. 

From Buffiklo I proceeded to Niagara Falls, and a 
railroad ride of about fifty minutes landed me within half 
a mile of the greatest wonder of the world. The New 
York and Hudson River Bailroad has a good depot at 
Niagara Village, suitably arranged for exceptional 
excursion traffic at times. Inside the station yf 

272 Baggage and Boots ; or ^ 

there was no crowding of conveyances, plying for hire, 
with drivers impeding your progress, and thronging 
ronnd you, all endeavouring to obtain you as a fare ; 
the only vehicles allowed there being some half dozen 
stages (omnibuses) belonging to the principal hotels. 
Outside the depot it was difierent, but I had been 
previously informed that the Falls, the depot and the 
hotels were all close together, so that it was quite 
unnecessary to ride. I had also heard so much about 
the extortions practised on visitors by the Niagara hack- 
men that I had fully determined not to set my foot in 
a hack the whole of the time I was there, a vow which 
I managed to keep, although I found it very hard to 
•do so. 

I entered my name at one of the hotels, and, after a 
refreshing wash, determined to go out at once, and 
•obtain my first view of the Rapids and Falls. In the 
bedroom a card was hung, asking visitors requiring 
hacks or carriages to engage them at the hotel-office, 
so as to be protected from the extortions for which 
outside hackmen were so notorious. No sooner had I 
made my appearance downstairs, than a man accosted 
me with, 

** Are you going for a drive, sir ? " 

" No, I am not. I'm going for a walk," I replied, 
and passed out. 

The fly-proprietor followed. 

" You'll not see nearly so much bv walking as you 
can if you ride." 

" Oh, indeed, I thought it was just the reverse." 

" I guess not It stands to reason you can get over 

'^^r -^fc. 

.::;M*«. .: 



Smithes First Peep at America. 275 

more ground riding than if yon walk ; besides whidi^ 
if yon are a stranger, my man who drives yon will be 
able to explain everyihing yon pass." 

" When I require your services, I'll come to you. 
Yon need not foUow me about in this way; you'll gain 
nothing by it." So saying I stopped short to look at 
the things exposed for sale in the window of a fimoy 
store, more to shake my tormentor off than anything 

But it was no good. No sooner did I stop than the 
fly proprietor stopped to look in the same store window. 

.^^ Those photographs are well taken, are they not ? " 

" Yes." 

** It's a beautiful afternoon for a drive." 

Turning round sharply, I exclaimed, ^^ Just you look 
here. You are only wasting your time. I do not 
mean to set my foot inside a hack <moe while I am at the 

** Indeed, how is that ? " 

** Why 1 I have been told over and over again to be 
sure not to do so, or I shall be fleeced through thick 
and thin, and I believe it is correct, for either you must 
make an exorbitant profit out of your customer, or 
else you must be half-starved, to follow a person so per- 
sistently to obtain a single fare." 

" Whoever told you that has probably hired a hack of 
some irresponsible hackman out in the road. When 
persons do that they may expect to get imposed upon. 
When you hire it from the hotel nothing of the kind 
can take place. When yon return there is no squabble 
about fare, as there usually is with outsiders. You 

1276 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

don't pay the hackman, or me either; nothing is said 
about it It is booked to your account with the hotel, 
and you pay when you leave." 

" Well, it is no use to-day, I can assure you/' 

The fly proprietor saw that I meant what I said, and 
that it would probably do more harm than good to press 
the matter further, at this time, so he let it drop with 
simply saying, " Perhaps, sir, another time you may be 
requiring a carriage, when I shall be glad if you will 
have it of me," and then went in search of a fare who 
would better repay his eloquence in arguing. 

I was glad to get rid of him, but immediately another 
man followed me to the comer, sitting on the box of his 
hack, and talking in the same strain as regards the 
advantages of riding over walking. A ffw yards 
further on, I was accosted by another. 

" My good friend, it's perfectly useless; why, a chap 
up there, outside the hotel, has been wasting about ten 
minutes, trying to get me into a hack, but it's no good, 
I'm not going to trouble you gentlemen at all while I 
am here, for I can't afford it." 

" No ; and no wonder if you engage a hack at the 
hotel, for they charge about double what we do," said 
the hackman. 

" Up at the hotels there are notices hung in the bed- 
rooms, stating just the reverse; and advising visitors to 
hire them at the office to prevent being imposed upon 
by outside hackmen." 

*^ It's nothing of the kind, sir. It is not we who 
impose upon the visitors. It is at the hotels, where they 
cut the visitors' throats. I'll tell you how it is. A man 

SmitfCs First Peep at America. 277 

who owns about a dozen hacks or so will pay to an 
hotel a thousand dollars for the season, to be allowed to 
loaf about in the office and entrance, and tout for fares 
from their customers/' 

*^ Oh ! is that it" 

^^ Yes, sir. So you see it stands to reason that a 
^ boss/ who has to make up that amount for the hotels 
besides paying the men he employs to drive, before ho 
has a dollar for himself, cannot afford to do it as cheaply 
as we can, who have nothing of the kind to pay. He 
has large expenses to meet, which he must make up 
from somewhere ; and of course it is those who ride 
in his hacks that have to pay for it. If you will get in 
my hack I will take you all round for two dollars, 
including Goat Island, and Table Rock, and the 
Burning Spring, and explain everything to youaswe go.'* 

" No, I told you it's no good." 

" I'll take you for a dollar." 

" It's perfectly useless." 

" Fifty-cents. There, sir, step in, I want a fare." 

*' You're only wasting your time." 

" Come, sir, get in, I'll take you a ride for ten cents." 

I shook my head. ** It's useless, I've made a vow 
not to set my foot in a hack as long as I'm here." 

" How is that ? see I'll take you for nothing, if you 
will only come. You can't say that is unreasonable." 

" Indeed I can, for that would not pay you." 
* " Well, perhaps not ; but if I choose to do it — ^there 
I'll leave it to yourself, whatever you like to give me." 

I was more determined than ever not to go with the 
man ; and was heartily glad to escape him by crossing 

278 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

the bridge over the rapids to Goat Island, where my 
tormentor could not follow without paying a heavy 

About half-a-mile above the FaUs, the Niagara Biver 
is divided into two^^ by what is known as Goat Island. 
Between the upper end of this island and the edge of 
the Falls, the bed of the river has a fall of fifty-feet, 
which of course causes the water to surge along at a 
fearful velocity. Besides Goat Island, there are in 
these rapids several otlier rocks and islets, known as 
Bath Island, Luna Island, the Three Sisters, &c. A 
good bridge, three hundred and sixty feet in length? 
across the rapids at their most impetuous point, connects 
the main land on the America side with Bath Island, on 
which there is a large paper mill. This is soon crossed, 
and another and much irhorter bridge continues the 
roadway on to Goat Island. This island divides 
Niagara into two separate falls, that known as the 
American Falls, being over 1,000 feet across, while 
the Canadian or Horse-shoo Fall, so called from its 
semi-circular form, is about double that distance round. 
Crossing Goat Island by a path through the wood, with 
which it is covered, I found before me a river three times 
the breadth, with rapids if anything grander than those 
I had already crossed in coming from the main land. 
Some distance to the right, a cloud of spray, curling 
like wreaths of smoke high into the air, indicated the 
spot where the Canadian rapids terminated, with a 
grand final plunge at the Horse-shoe Fall. I decided 
however, to defer seeing that impressive spectacle for a 
little while, lest it should take off from the enjoyment I 

Smiths Eirsi Pe^ at America. 279 

felt in watching the surging torrents of the rapids before 
me as the water raced by. So I turned to the left, and 
visited three small islet rocks called the Three Sisters, at 
the Northern end of Goat Island, and connected with it 
and with each other by bridges. These islets are each 
about a hundred yards long, by tweniy in width, and 
thickly wooded. Standing at the edge of these, and 
looking up the river, one can see where the rapids 
commence, by the water passing over a ridge across the 
river, about 200 yards before you, thus giving the 
appearance of a horizon at sea. The bed of the river 
descending very rapidly from this point, the water 
comes furiously on, as though it would sweep the little 
islets before it, but instead, passes round and between 
them like a millstream. They are a favourite resort for 
visitors, who spend whole mornings or afternoons there 
reading newspapers or books, or doing fancy needle- 

In June, 1879, a lady and her husband came to spend 
a few days at Niagara Falls. Among other spots of 
interest, they one morning visited the Three Sisters. In 
an hour or two the husband returned to the hotel alone, 
and announced that he should have to leave at once as 
his wife liad slipped into the water, and he was afraid she 
had gone over the Falls. He thereupon went upstairs, 
packed up his baggage, together with his wife's jewellery, 
which, by some unaccountable omission, she had 
neglected to put on that morning, paid his hotel account, 
left thirty dollars to bury her with, should her body be 
found ; then took his departure, and has never since been 
heard of. The strange part of the story is^ that although 

280 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

there must have been people about, as there always 
are during the visiting season, he did not cry for help, 
or call anyone's attention to the accident at the time, 
but returned composedly to the hotel, without telling 
anyone of those he must have pd,ssed on the way, as one 
would have naturally expected a loving husband, in his 
anguish, to have done ; nor did he return to take his 
proper place as chief mourner at the iuneral of his wife's 
body, which was found shortly after, below the Falls. 

From the Three Sisters, I continued my walk round 
the upper end of Goat Island, and along the other side 
following the American Hapids, until they come to the 
final precipice. At the lower end of Goat Island, called 
the Hog's Back, on emerging from the wood, a mag- 
nificent view burst upon me. The grandest waterfall 
by iar that I had ever beheld. A river over 1,100 feet 
in width, rushing furiously along, here gives a headlong 
plunge of 164 feet. The depth it is difficult to realize, 
as a dense and incessant cloud of fine spray is constantly 
rising from the rocks beneath, thereby obscuring the 
foot of the fall. After gazing for some time in silent 
wonder and awe, I descended the flight of steps that led 
to the water's edge above the Falls, and crossed by a 
small bridge that led to a tiny islet named Luna Island, 
which is situated in the American Rapids just at the edge 
of the fall, and so diverts a small portion of it from the 
main stream. The small portion thus diverted is still 
sufficient of itself to form a splendid fall, probably 
exceeding in grandeur anything the British Isles can 
show, even that of the Foyers. 

It is from Luna Island that the nearest and £:randf st 

SmWCs First Peep at America. 281 

view of the American Fall can be obtained. A strong 
iron rail surrounds the rock, so that visitors can approach 
the very edge yrithout danger. It was here that a 
tragedy, probably the most mournful that ever happened 
at the Falls, occurred. A party consisting of a Mr. 
De Forest and family, together with a friend, named 
Mr. Charles Addington, were viewing the falls from this 
spot, on June 21st, 1849. The party, in high spirits, 
were about leaving the island, when Mr. Addington 
playfully caught up one of Mr. De Forest's children, a 
little girl named Annetta, saying, " I'm going to throw 
you in " ; at the same time lifting her lightly over the 
iron rail that surrounds the rock. The child was 
frightened, and wriggled, and writhed so that he was 
unable to hold her, and she slipped from his hands, and 
fell into the wild current of the rapids. ' With a shriek 
the young man sprang to her recovery ; but before the 
terror-stricken group on the island had time to speak or 
move, they had both been swept over the precipice. 
The crushed remains of the little girl were found the 
same afternoon, in the " Cave of the Winds," which is 
underneath that comparatively small portion of the fall 
which Lana Island cuts off from the main stream. The 
body of the unfortunate Charles Addington was likewise 
recovered a few days afterwards. 

Returning from this spot to Goat Island, I continued 
my walk and soon came to ** Biddle's Stairs," where a 
notice board outside the ofSce at the entrance announced 
was the way to the " Cave of the Winds " ; and that 
dressing rooms were provided, and oilskin dresses were to 
be had, to enable visitors to pass right under that portion 

282 Baggage and Boots^ &c. 

of the Falls, for a fee of one dollar. A little farther on 
I obtained through the trees my first view of the 
Canadian Fall, and a few yards further I saw the steep 
path by which visitors are enabled to descend to the 
water's edge. Some light foot-bridges with hand-rails, 
provide a way to pass to sundry rocks at the edge of the 
precipice, some distance out in the stream, on one of 
which a tower used to stand, but has now been demolished, 
in consequence of there being signs of the foundations 
giving way. 

The fall is majestic and grand to the extreme. From 
its semi-circular outline, it is often called the Horse-shoe 
Fall, and used to describe that figure more perfectly than 
it does now, but a few years since an immense mass of 
the rock gave way, and fell with the noise of thunder, 
leaving a triangular shaped gap about the centre of the 
curve. The Canadian Fall is about 2,000 feet round, 
and the mass of water that passes over is three or four 
times as great as that over the American Fall. Here, 
in parts, the water as it passes over, assumes a brilliant 
emerald green colour, which indicates a great depth, 
experts estimating it at twenty feet in thickness. From 
the immense cauldron formed by this circular fall, over 
a third of a mile round, a great cloud of spray rises in 
wreaths high into the air, like clouds of smoke issuing 
from the crater of an active volcano; and floats away on 
the wind, to fall in copious showers a mile or two off. 
On the rocks, at the very verge of the Horse-shoe Fall, I 
stayed entranced, until the shades of evening coming on 
warned me that it was time to return to the hotel. 


General flow of the Niagara Riyer — ^The SnspenBion Bridge— A foolish 
wager — Prospect Park — ^Another tragedy — ^View from the Park 
— ^The missing pot of gold — The elevator — ^The ''Shadow of the 
Bocks "— Under tne Falls— A Bathe in NUgara Riyer— '* You 
spes^ snch broken English '* — View from the Canadian side — 
Dalrymple's experiences — Cost of a grataitons ride — A "free 
yiew" — Camera-obscnra yiew of the Falls — Indiim trophies — 
Cost of a day's outing — ^Niagara City — Railroad Suspension 
Bridge — ^Water-Mills at Niagara — ^The Whirlpool Rapids ^Cana- 
dian spelling — *' No, I can get rice at home *' — Caye of the 
Winds — Circular rainbows — Bathing at the Foot of the Falls — 
Eyening at Prospect Park — Electric coloured lights — Illumina- 
tion of the Falls, Sec. — Smith remoyes to Prospect House — Table 
Rock — Horse-shoe Falls from below — The Burning Spring — View 
from Great Western Railway — A Yankee's idea of seeing "all 
round *' — Departure. 

A LTHOUGH the general run of the Great Lakes is 
^ from west to east, that of the Niagara River, which 
connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario, is &om south to 
north; while at that portion just above the Falls it is 
actually flowing from east to west. At the Falls the 
river turns at right angles to the north. The result of 
this is that on the American side^ you are only able to 
get a side view of the Falls ; and that in order to get a 
full front view, it is necessary to cross the river to the 
Canadian side. This is easily done, as there is a good 
suspension bridge across the deep chasm through which 
the Niagara runs for some miles after going over the 
great Falls. This bridge is very narrow, having a width 
of roadway just sufficient for one vehicle, and a very 
narrow footpath on one side only. The ravine is 1,190 

284 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

feet across from cliff to cli£P, and the bridge is 1^268 
feet from tower to tower, and the roadway is 190 feet 
above the water. While it was in coarse of erection, a 
foolish mati, for a heavy wager, actually dropped from it 
into the river below. Nearly four seconds elapsed from 
the time he let go till he disappeared in the water. In 
a few seconds more he appeared on the surface, terribly 
bruised. A small boat was taken out to him immediately 
in which he rowed himself to the shore, and thus won his 
wager, but was ill in consequence for months after. 
The river at this point is of great depth, and in accept^ 
ing to undertake such a hazardous feat, the man calcu- 
lated on being able to dive to a great depth when he 
entered the water. 

The Suspension Bridge is certainly a great convenience 

in giving easy access from one side of the river to the 

other, and must be specially appreciated at the beginning 

of winter, when the ice forming prevents the passage of 

rowing boats across ; and again in the spring when the 

thaw is breaking it op, so that it is unsafe to walk on it. 

The most disagreeable part connected with using the 

bridge is that there is a toll of twenty-five cents to pay, 

each and every time you walk across, and more if you 

ride, beside the liability of being searched as soon as 

you reach the other side by the Custom House officials 

of the country you are entering, to see if you are 

bringing any contraband merchandise into the land. 

On the mainland abutting on the American Fall is a 

pleasure garden, which in 1872 was purchased by a 

company, much improved and beautified, and is now 

called Prospect Park. It is of no great size, about four 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 287 

acres in extent, and is bounded on one side by the rapids 
above the Falls, on another you look over a precipioe, 
and view the river flowing through the gorge that the 
Falls have themselves cut in ages past. I entered my 
name in a book at the entrance gate, and paid the seventy- 
five cents for a &ee pass for the season, as I felt I should 
like to feel free to come and go whenever I liked while I 
stayed at Niagara ; and that it was much better than 
paying twenty-five cents admission each time I entered 
the park. The place is prettily laid out with flowers 
and trees, while a small stream diverted from the river 
a short distance up the rapids runs through the grounds 
supplying sundry fountains and ponds, and then into 
the engine-house to drive the machinery for working thp 
elevator, which I will describe presently, and also the 
dynamo machine for generating the electric light, with 
which the park and fountains together with the 
rapids and the edge of the Falls, are illuminated 
after dark. Prospect Park has already witnessed 
two or three mournful tragedies. Not so very long 
ago a young man paid the entrance fee at the gates, 
and then walking deliberately to the river, took 
off his coat, and plunged into the mighty rushing 
torrent of the rapids, and in a few seconds was swept 
over the edge, and dashed to pieces on the rocks 
below. One corner of Prospect Park is at the very edge 
of the Falls, and has been rendered perfectly safe by a 
low brick wall having been built round, so that you 
can stand there and see the never ceasing falling sheet 
of water, and be close enough to touch it at the very 
€idge that it falls over, with a walking stick or umbrella 

288 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

in perfect security. Standing in the comer, the visitor 
has to his left, the rapids, coming tumultaously on; while 
straight before him, stretching &om the spot where h& 
stands for 1,100 feet across to Luna Island, this mighty 
torrent ever plunges headlong 164 feet on to the rock» 
below, where it again unites with the waters that have 
come over the Horse-shoe Falls, and flows off at right 
angles to the American Rapids ; only again to be caught 
in more rapids a mile and-a-half lower down, and to 
go surging along through a ravine more or less deep 
and grand, for seven miles further to Lewistown. On 
the rocks at the water's edge below the Falls, the Pros- 
pect Park Company have erected a long corridor-shaped 
building, with a many-coloured dome at one end. It 
is reached from above by an inclined railway plane, 
something like those at Cincinnati, only worked by 
water power, and the cars running under cover all the 
way down. The building below is called the " Shadow 
of the Bocks." Looking at it from above, I found it 
almost obscured from view by the clouds of spray from 
the Falls, which a southerly wind was driving in that 
direction. The sun was shining brightly, forming a 
brilliant rainbow that I looked down on. One end of 
it appeared to rest on the galvanized roof of the " Shadow 
of the Rocks." That I could see very distinctly, and at 
once thought that it would be a good opportunity to 
recoup myself the expenses of my lengthy tour from 
the pot of gold proverbially to be found there. 

It is needless, however, to add that I searched for it 
in vain ; as, on this particular occasion, it was, for some 
unaccountable reason, missing. 

Smithes First Peep at America. 289 

After gaziDg at the grand spectacle before me for 
an hour or more, I thought I would go down to the 
rocks beneath, where I could now and again see persons 
crawling about like drowned rats, and view the mighty 
cascade from below. So, paying the fees in the office 
at the head of the inclined plane, I stepped into one 
of the cars, and was quickly lowered to the bottom of 
the cliflP. The interior of the " Shadow of the Rocks '* 
is a corridor about 60 feet long, with dressing rooms on 
either side, for those who, like myself, wished to scramble 
over the rocks, and pass behind and under the fall for 
a little way. At the end of the corridor, under the 
painted dome is a circular room, surrounded by windows 
of plain and coloured glass, for viewing the Falls without 
getting wet. A south-westerly wind was, however, driving 
the spray so violently againstthemtliat little could be seen. 
I next gave one of the guides my ticket for a bathing 
suit, wherewith to go out on to the rocks, and was shown 
into one of the dressing rooms, and directed to divest 
myself of every article of my own clothing ; as, despite 
every precaution, I would be drenched to the skin. I 
soon re-appeared, attired in a pair of very coarse blue 
serge pants, a yellow oilskin coat with a hood, and a 
pair of felt slippers, to prevent the feet from slipping on 
the wet rocks. Another gentleman emerged at the 
same moment from another dressing room, and we 
followed the guide, who was similarly dressed. He took 
us first to a prominent rock standing out before the 
falls, for the sake of the view ; which, however, it was 
impossible to get, by reason of our eyes being instantly 
blinded by showers of spray every time we ventured to 

290 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

look np. The guide then beckoned ns to follow bim, 
and gaided ns over the rocks, and along a plank foot- 
path that led behind the sheet of falling water. I kept 
squeezing the water out of my eyes with my knuckles. 
To look up was impossible, to look before me was almost 
as bad. It was difficult to see where I was stepping. 
The guide did not speak, but merely made signs, as the 
roar of the falling torrent rendered it impossible to hear 
a word. When either of us held back, afraid to proceed 
further, the guide took us firmly by the hand and drew 
us on. A narrow plank footpath passed right under the 
falls for a short distance. Along this the guide took us 
singly as far as it went, drawing us backwards ; and 
passing along in the same position himself, in conse- 
quence of the still heavier splashes of water with which 
we were now deluged. He then, by signs, bade us look 
at the falling sheet of water, suspended like a living 
curtain of whitish green before us. In returning, he 
pointed out how the sun, shining on the spray, caused 
rainbows to appear wherever a dark back ground could 
be obtained. Before we again dressed, he pointed out 
a spot in the river where it would be quite safe to bathe, 
as it was surrounded by a railing fixed in the water, to 
prevent persons being carried away, should they be 
unable to swim against the current. Here, however, 
owing to the great depth of the river further out from 
the shore, it is not so strong as one would be led to 
expect, after viewing the rapids from above. Being a 
very hot day, we gladly availed ourselves of the oppor- 
tunity of taking a swim. While doing so we got into 
conversation, and very soon the strange gentleman, 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 291 

whose name was Dalrymple, said to me, ^^Yoa're a 
foreigner, are you not ? You're certainly not a Yankee, 
and I guess you're not an American at alL" 
" Are you sure ? " I replied. 
" Positive, for you speak such broken English." 
" If you wish to learn pure French, where would you 
go to pick it up ? To lower Canada ? '* 
" I guess not. I guess I'd go to Paris." 
" Very well. If you acknowledge that French people 
should speak the best French, you certainly should 
accord the same to England and the English." 

" Oh, I guess by that that you're an Englishman." 
From this introduction, an acquaintance sprang up 
between us, which lasted during our stay at the Falls. 
When we had again dressed, we crossed in a row-boat 
to the Canadian side, where we were met, on landing, by 
several importunate hackmen, who followed us with their 
buggies up the steep winding road that lead to the top 
of the diff ; each trying, by arguments similar to those 
I had heard on the other side, to induce us to ride. 

*^ You're only wasting your time, for I am fully 
determined not to set my foot in a hack, while I am at 
the Falls," I said. Then turning to Dalrymple I said 
quietly, ^' I can't make those men out at alL Yesterday 
a man, afber boring me for ever so long to ride, at last 
offered to take me about for nothing. I did not believe 
him, because that would not pay him." 

" Oh, yes, it would," replied he. " Not but that he 
would have finely abused you at the end of the ride all 
the same. I tried it the other day, and in a few yards 
he drew up at a place with a few shells and trinklets in 

292 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

the window and said, ^ You must go in here, Sir, they 
have here some genuine articles of real Indian manu- 
facture.' I said I did not wish to buy anything of that 
sort ; but he was extremely solicitous, and their touter 
ran to the hack, and assisted with his solicitations to get 
me in. A hundred yards farther on, he drew up again 
at a shooting gallery, and asked me if I did not wish to 
try my hand at a shot. He next drew up at a petty 
fogging place, where he declared they had some Indian 
curiosities of great value. Admission to view, only 25 
cents. From there we crossed the Suspension Bridge, 
for which I had to pay half a dollar each way. He then 
drew up again at Dr. Somebody's Museum, whi6h we 
shall pass directly, and then at another fancy store place. 
Further on the hackman drove me to see the burning 
spring, for which there was another fifty cents, to pay. 
It is, however, a great curiosity. But it soon became 
evident to me, from the great interest the hackman took 
in inducing me to spend as much money as possible, 
that he received a large commission from the proprietors 
of these various establishments, on the amount of custom 
he brought. When we returned, however, he was by 
no means prepared to fulfil his promise of the ride being 
a gratuitous one, bat demanded three dollars; and was 
somewhat abusive because I would not pay him more 
than two, and reminded him of his promise to take me for 
nothing, so that, altogether, with the money I spent, 
and the bridge tolls, Ac, I thought the ride cost me 
quite enough." 

"Indeed, I should think it did." 

1 conversation, we had reached the top of 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 293 

the cli£F^ where there was a small Custom House, about 
the size of a garden summer house, and opposite, across 
the road, stood the *^ Clifton House," the grandest hotel 
at the Falls. Turning to the left, we wandered along 
the carriage drive, towards the Horse-shoe Falls, stop- 
ping now and again to admire their beauty, as seen from 
different points as we approached them, as also that of 
the American Falls, of which we now had a full front 

Presently we reached the edge of the Horse-shoe Falls, 
which are grand in the extreme, and sat down on a beam 
of timber for a while, to watch the ever falling, mighty 
torrent of water. Soon a touter came up, and tried to 
induce us to pay a dollar each for a bathing suit, and to 
view the Falls from below. We, however, declined on this 
occasion, having just had one wetting. We also declined 
the offer of a " free view " from the top of an adjoining 
house, as we certainly had a nearer view from where we 
were sitting. We, however, agreed to see a picture of 
the Falls, as thrown on the table of a camera obscura, 
for 25 cents each^ and a small fee to the attendant. 
After spending some time at this spot, we returned by 
way of the Suspension Bridge, to the American side, 
Dalrymple all the while entertaining me with amusing 
anecdotes of persons who came to the Falls, and spent 
money there, quicker than they earned it at home. 

It appears that a great many persons who come to the 
city of Buffalo on business, take the opportunity, as they 
are then so near the Falls, of running over by train, and 
after spending the day at Niagara return to Buffalo 
again in the evening. When staying at Buffalo a few 

294 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

days before, a party of commercials, or " runners," as 
the Americans say, had taken a day's holiday in this 
manner. In the evening they all returned in high glee, 
one of them in particular, more merry than sober. 
When he came in he was loaded with a bow, arrows, 
shield, tomahawk, scalping-knife, etc., that he had 
been induced to buy, as being of real Indian 
Tnanufo/cture^ and very rare and valuable; although, 
in all probability, they had been made in New York 
State, and could be replaced by the gross at any time. 
Under his arm he carried a bottle of wretchedly poor 
champagne, which someone at Niagara had induced him 
to pay eight dollars for, and his friends said he had 
drunk more than he brought home ; under the influence 
of which he had probably been induced to purchase this 
eight-dollar bottle, together with the Indian trophies. 
At the hotel his friends persuaded him at once to go to 
bed, which he did. The following morning he knew 
better what he was about, when on counting over his 
money, discovered that one way and another, his day's 
excursion to the Falls had cost him forty-seven dollars, of 
which one only went for the railway fare. He certainly 
had in return the so-called Indian-made goods, and his 
bottle of bad champagne. These, however, only added 
to his vexation, as they caused him to be the laughing- 
stock of the guests at the hotel, the other runners 
plaguing his life out for the " authentic history '* of the 
manu&cture and career of his ^^ Indian " bow, shield, 
and scalping knife. 

After luncheon Dabymple and I again met by appoint* 

ment, and took a walk along the banks of the river, 

' the FaUs to Niagara City, about a mile and a half 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 297 

from Niagara Village. Near the latter place are some 
iarge mills, worked by water power ; the water is taken 
from the river, near the head of the rapids, and brought 
bj a canal, nearly a mile in length to this spot, 
where it branches right and left to the various mills, and 
ultimately pours agam into the river, from tunnels bored 
in the face of the rock, about . half way up. One of 
these mills is fitted with three turban water-wheels, each 
of 1,000 horse power, working under eighty feet head 
of water. At Niagara City is another and vfery much 
more substantial suspension bridge. It is 800 feet across, 
and connects Niagara City with the town of Clifton, on 
the Canadian side. The bridge is a double one, the upper 
roadway being used by the trains of the Great Western 
of Canada Railway, the lower, being for foot and 
ordinary street tra£Sc. 230 feet below, the Niagara is 
here again seething along in a most tumultuous torrent. 
On both sides of the river are elevators, worked by 
water power, where for a fee of fifty cents the visitor 
can descend to the water's edge. We crossed by the 
suspension bridge, which is somewhat cheaper than the 
other one, as the fee of 25 cents franks one back again, 
any time the same day, without further payment We 
then followed the course of the rapids, intending to walk 
to the whirlpool, about a mile below, and just above which 
the river contracts to a width of only 220 feet, where, 
surging through the rocks, it sweeps completely round 
a small circular bay on the left, forming a sort of whirl- 
pool, and then turns sharply to the right. It is stated 
that any floating substance caught in this whirlpool will 

frequently revolve about the centre of it for weeks 


298 Baggage and Boots; or, 

together. We did not reach the spot so easily as we 
expected, as when we were nearly there, we found the road 
turned sharply to the left, inland, and we were faced by 
a field, on the fences of which was painted, ^^ Take liead 
not to trespas,'*'* " Notice : — Not too cross the fences." 
" Trespassers will be deU with according to law," &c. 
We were so frightened by these alarming threats, and 
still more astounding spelling, that we actually followed 
the road for about a quarter of a mile round this field, 
until it led to a spot where it was possible to descend to 
the water's edge, and where a house had been erected, 
and a fee of fifty cents each demanded for so doing. 

On our way back to the hotel that evening I asked 
my companion if he considered himself a Yankee. 

" No, I guess not, I live in Atlantic City, New Jersey 
State," was the answer I received. 

'^ Are the folks there as cute as those here ? " 

" I guess we're not far behind. Why, the other day 
my motlier had a little boy to dinner from just across the 
road. The child is only four years old, but at the same 
time was 'cute enough to let us know that when he 
came we had a visitor in the house, and should provide 
accordingly. My mother, considering how juvenile our 
guest was had not troubled herself to prepare anything 
extra, which seemed rather to annoy Master Charlie, for 
when he had finished his meat, and she asked him if he 
would like some rice, he instantly replied, " No, I can 
get that at home." 

One afternoon we went together to the dressing-rooms 
on Goat Island, at the top of Biddle's Stairs, and 
having put on the usual coarse serge pants and shirt. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 301 

and oilskin coat, descended the wooden spiral staircase, 
to a ledge of rock about forty feet above the riyer. 
Following the patb^ we came to a place known as the 
Caye of Winds, and which is exactly nnder the place 
where that portion of the American Fall which is cutoff 
by Luna Isle from the main body comes shooting down 
from an overhanging ledge of rock above. The guide 
takes the visitor right under this portion of the Fall and 
out on the other side, returning in front of the Fall, over 
the great masses of &llen rock, through which the 
water is rushing like mountain torrents, to join the main 

The amount of air carried down with the falling water 
is so great as almost to take away the breath of 
those who attempt to pass behind the liquid curtain, 
hence the name by which the spot is known. Before 
coming down we had declared that we would not require 
a guide, as we would find our way by ourselves. 
The attendant, however, knew better, and as we were 
turning back, afraid to proceed further, in consequence 
of the path contracting to a ledge, only a few inches 
wide, and in parts covered with the eddies formed by 
the backwater of the Falls, we found the guide was close 
behind us. He now passed to the front and drew us 
with a firm hand, one at a time, past the point we feared 
to pass, pointing out where we could place our feet on 
firm spots which we could not see, being covered with 
the boiling eddies. We both felt a sense of relief when 
we emerged on the other side, and the guide conducted 
us to the front, and from rock to rock, crossing in some 
places by light foot-bridges with a handrail, that had 

302 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

been erected for the accommodation of visitors. • It was 
about four o'clock in the afternoon — ^I had purposely 
chosen* that hour, as I had learnt that on a sunshiny 
afternoon rainbows, forming complete circles, were to be 
seen here in the clouds of spray, and that from three to 
five o'clock was the most likely time to see this pheno- 
menon. I was rewarded on this occasion by seeing many 
such, some appearing so close as almost to touch my 
f^t. Presently the guide pointed to a squarish-shaped 
pool among the rocks. I could see nothing in particular 
only a rapid torrent of water rushing through and over 
a wooden barrier at the further end ; so I shook my 
head to indicate I did not understand. The guide then 
shouted in my ear, ^^ Your bath, sir." Dalrymple and 
I thereupon threw aside our oilskin capes and hoods, 
and dived in, and soon fixed ourselves in firm 
positions, where we enjoyed for the next five minutes 
a rush of water over our shoulders, and down our backs. 
There is no danger, as should the bathers be swept 
away by the torrent they would be stopped by the 
wooden barrier erected by the guides. 

The evening we spent among the company congregated 
at Prospect Park, watching the beautiful efiect caused 
by throwing various coloured lights upon the Bapids 
and Falls. Far less grand, but if anything more beauti- 
ful, was the result of similar coloured lights (placed out 
of sight behind some rockwork) thrown on to three 
fountains of very fine spray, situated in the centre of 
the park itself, and reflecting in turn all the colours of 
the rainbow. 

The following day I removed from the American to 

Smith's First Peep at America. 303 

the Canadian side for a brief sojourn. I fixed my 
quarters at a small hotel called Prospect House. It is 
well named, as it commands a magnificent view of 
both Falls, which I could actually see as I lay propped 
up in bed. 

The roadway from this hotel to the edge of the 
Horseshoe Falls goes by the name of the Table Rock. 
It received that name in consequence of the cliff, at 
this point, overhanging its base very considerably, like 
a table-flap. Of late years, however, this overhanging 
ledge has broken away, piece by piece, and fallen into 
the river, and has now entirely disappeared. 

Near the hotel is another spiral staircase, leading to 
a ledge at the base of the cliff, and passing to the edge 
of the Fall. A notice at the fancy stall opposite an- 
nounced, ^^ Suits and Guides to pass under the Fall, 
One Dollar." I went ; as, although I had heard from 
others that it was nothing after those on the other side, 
I was determined to see for myself. I had, however, 
been correctly informed, as, although I had dressed in 
the orthodox oilskin cape and serge pants, that made 
me look like a monster Colorado beetle, I found, in this 
case it was quite unnecessary, as I was unable to pass 
under the Fall, like on the American side^ and therefore 
need not get wet at all. In fact, there were several 
persons there who had not changed their clothes at all, 
and who, instead of paying a dollar, and feeing the 
guide, had only paid twenty-five cents for the use of 
die stairs. After having changed the oilskin suit for 
my own clothes aorain, I followed the course of the 
river for about a mile and a half, and across some sniall 

304 Baggage and Boots ; cry 

islands in the rapids, connected by light bridges, in 
order to visit the Burning Spring, with which I was 
very pleased. It is situated close to the river, just at 
the head of the rapids, and is a natural spring, thd 
waters of which are highly charged with sulphur, 
hydrogen, and magnesia ; and when toached with % 
lighted taper, a blaish-coloured flame is instantlr 
kindled, and plays over the sarfacQ, burning as though 
methylated spirit had been poured on the water. T^ 
heighten the efiect a small house has been built over 
the spot, so as to exhibit the phenomenon in a darkened 
room. The gases come bubbling through the water^ 
and are liberated on the surfisu^e. The attendant has 
a conical- shaped receiver (the shape of a sugarloaf, 
only much larger) standing about four feet high. This 
is open at the lower end, the other being closed, and 
having a half inch tube inserted. This he places over 
the bubbling water, and in a few minutes it gets filled 
with gas, which issues from the tube at the top, and 
when ignited, produces a flame about two feet long, 
which continues to bum for about twenty minutes after 
the receiver has been removed from the water, the 
flame gradually dying down, until it, at last, goes out. 

The Great Western Railway of Canada passes close 
to the Niagara Biver, just at the Horseshoe Falls, and, 
being at a high elevation at this point, commands a 
splendid view. The depot is about a mile off ; but the 
Company have erected a platform at this point, and 
every passenger train that passes during the day-time 
stays here five minutes in order to allow the travellers- 
a view of these majestic, world-renowned Falls. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 305 

I had been six days at the Falls ; and although I 
conld have well enjoyed six weeks^ felt that it ^eas time 
I continued mj tour ; so^ that afternoon, I packed up 
baggage and took my departure. While waiting at the 
depot for the train, I entered into conversation with a 
young New-Englander, who was out for a fortnight's 
holiday. Having nothing much in common to talk 
about, our conversation naturally was about the Falls, 
which the Yankee assured me he had seen from every 
point, as well as exploring the whole surrounding 
neighbourhood thoroughly. 

" Have you ever been here before ? " I asked. 

" No, it is my first visit." 

" I suppose, then, you have made a pretty long stay, 
as you say you have seen all that is to be seen." 

"No, not very long. I arrived in Rochester last 
night, and slept there. This morning I got up early, 
and saw all round Bochester, and then came on here. 
I have been round, and seen all I want to here ; and 
now I am ofi^ to Buffalo." 

As Bochester is a city of near 100,000 inhabitants, 
seventy-seven miles from the Falls, and containing 
much to interest the visitor, I was at a loss to conceive 
how any one could see both thoroughly^ and then pro- 
ceed to Buffalo, all in one day ; which is, however, a 
fair example of American touring. As the train had 
arrived I was unable to continue the conversation ; and 
soon obtained my last view of Niagara from the rail- 
road cars, as they bore me away. 

306 Baggage and Boots; or^ 


AvAhtr's Note — Crossing tlie Boundary Line— Oostom-hoase Officials 
— Smith argaes for Free Trade — Boiise*8 Point — Plattsbuig — ^Port 
Kent — Birmingham Falls — ^Au Sable Chasm — Remarkable Optical 
Illusion — ^Lake Champlain — Fort Ticonderoga—Lake St* deoTfBb 
— Sogers' Rock— Smith's Ticket diminishes in length — Oleu Falls 
— When will we reach Saratoga ? — " Saratoga I Saratoga ! ! " — 
Phila Street — Early Suppers^-Saratoga Hotels — ^The "United 
States" Hotel— The Grand Union Hotel— Great Picture, "The 
Union of the Nations" — Prospect Park — Mineral Springs— An 
Indian Camp— The Geyser and Champion Springs — The Doctor's 
services anticipated — Sarato^ Lskke — Firewor& and Illumina- 
tions — " Free " Springs — Smith proceeds to Albany — ^New State 
Capitol — City Hall — Baggage — ^An American's experience in 
England — Checks no "clwrm" against loss — ^The Hudson River 
— Hudson City— Catskill Mountains — West Point— Traffic 
between Albany and New York — Description of the new Steamer, 
the " Albany" — Arrival in New York. 

npHE next ttree weeks after leaving the falls I spent 
-*- visiting places of interest in Canada. I will not, 
on the present occasion, however, tire you with a 
description of my rambles in the large provinces of 
Ontario and Quebec, but will resume my narrative at 
that point where, near the head of Lake Champlain, I 
again crossed the boundary line and re-entered the 
United States. 

It was a hot summer's morning, towards the end of 
August. I was seated in a train on the Grand Trunk 
Bailway, that had left Montreal some two hours before, 
en route for New York. I noticed a small knot of men 
standing on the track, some distance ahead. The 

-nne-driver slackened the speed of the train as he 
'd them ; and, as it passed, they clambered 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 307 

^^ aboard," and the train resumed its usual speed, 
without having stopped. 

'^ Halloo ! Wliat's up ? " said I, to a passenger 
sitting by my side, with whom I had been having some 

'^ Those men are some of the United States Customs 
officers," was the reply. " I guess we've just crossed 
the boundary." 

"Well," said I, "they're sharp enough after the 
revenue, to board the train in this way, and not even 
wait till it arrives at a station. Is the United States 
Government hard up for money ? " 

" I guess not ; only we do not mean to have the 
trade of the country injured by the competition of 
Canadian and English manufactures." 

^'Whether that would be the result is questionable. 
It is, however, certain that where a foreign commodity 
can be placed in the American market, despite an ex- 
orbitant tariff, however small a proportion the quantity 
imported may bear to the whole consumption of the 
country, the American consumer pays the American 
manufacturer an eatra profit, equal in amount to the 
import tax, and that from this great burden laid upon a 
large class of its subjects, the Government reap no 
benefit whatever." 

*^ Oh, I guess you're a Britisher. With a large class 
of Englishmen ^ free trade ' is a passion — almost a 
religion. We look at the matter from quite a different 

The conversation was here interrupted by two of the 
Customs o£Scers coming into the car in which we 
were riding. 

308 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

" Whose Is this ? *^ said one of them^ at the same time 
taking a small satchel from the netting ; while his com- 
panion commenced similar proceedings on the other 
side of the carriage. 

« Mine," said I. 

"What have you in it?" 

" Only a brush and comb, a guide-book, and some 

^^ Let me see, please," replied the officer. 

I opened the bag, and the veracity of the assertion 
was proved to the satisfaction of the Government official^ 
who then passed on to others, in the same way. 

In a few minutes more the train stopped at Rouse's 
Point, where the whole of the trunks and portmanteaus 
were turned out of the baggage van, and all that did 
not bear the Government mark as having been exa- 
mined in Montreal, before the train started, (by the 
officers there employed for that purpose by the United 
States Government), had now to be opened by the 
owners and the contents examined before they could be 
allowed to proceed further. 

This occupied about twenty minutes, when the train 
resumed its journey, and thirty-two miles farther on 
arrived at Flattsburg. Here the traveller journeying 
south has the choice of proceeding either by train, or by 
boat on Lake Champlain, his ticket being good for 
either, as both are worked by the Delaware and 
Hudson Canal Company. 

I continued in the train for another thirteen miles, to 
Port Kent, where I broke my journey, or " laid over," 
as the Americans call it, in order to visit the Au Sable 

312 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

seeing is believing ; and we are so nsed to believing 
our eyesight that it is di£Scnlt to convince ourselves 
that a thing is not as we appear to see it* Yet such is 
the case here, the strata of the rock being not quite 
level, although very nearly so, and declining slightly in 
the direction of the current of the stream, creates the 
illusory appearance of the river either flowing up-hill, 
or else in the opposite direction to its real course ; the 
water at this part being sixty feet deep, and so placed 
as to prevent the error being readily perceived. 

Leaving Lake View House the next morning, I 
returned by the "stage" to Port Kent, and from 
there proceeded down Lake Charoplain in the steamer 
" Vermont." The vessel made several calls, the most 
important place being Burlington, on the eastern shore 
of the lake. At half-past eleven a capital dinner was 
served at a dollar per head ; and soon after twelve we 
arrived at Fort Ticonderoga, beyond which place the 
steamers do not go, as, although the lake continues for 
another twenty miles, it becomes narrow and shallow, 
and the navigation is di£Scult. 

Fort Ticonderoga was first built by the French, in 
1756. The English captured it from them in 1759, 
and then enlarged and greatly strengthened the two 
fortifications at an outlay of nearly two million pounds. 
After the French ceded Canada to them in 1763, this 
fort was allowed to fall into partial decay, and was one 
of the first places captured by the Americans in the 
War of Independence, which commenced in 1776. The 
following year it was re-captured by the English ; but at 
the close of the war the fort was dismantled, and from 

Smithes First Peep at America, 313 

that time the works have been suffered to fall into ruin 
and decay. They are situated on the summit of a small 
hill, a mile or two to the north of the steamboat landing. 
At Fort Ticonderoga, persons travelliog south have 
to resume their journey by train. Most of the tourist 
pasengers, as well as myself, had tickets that permitted 
them to take a short branch line — four miles — to a place 
called Baldwin, at the head of Lake Q-eorge, in order 
to enable them to visit that most charming and pic- 
turesque of American inland sheets of water. The 
steamer ^^ Horicon " was in waiting, and, as soon as the 
passengers and their ^^ baggage " had been transferred 
from the train, at once started. ^^ Horicon " is the old 
Indian name for Lake George. On the right is Bogors' 
Bock, a steep promontory about 400 feet high, down 
which the Lidians, to their great bewilderment, sup- 
posed the bold ranger. Major Rogers, to have slid when 
they pursued him to the brink of the cliff. Lake 
George is thiriy-three miles in length and very narrow 
— in some places more resembling a river than a lake. 
The shores are well wooded, and with the exception of 
Sogers' Bock, slope in gentle undulations to the water's 
edge. There are many hotels and gentlemen's re- 
sidences along the shore ; and little islets dotted about 
in the lake, especially towards the southern end, among 
which small steam launches may be seen plying hither 
and thither. In about three hours the steamer arrived 
at Caldwell, at the southern end of the lake ; and here 
I was glad enough to part with a large and somewhat 
noisy touring party, numbering about seventy, who 
bad come on board the Lake Champlain steamer that 


314 Ba^age and Boots; or, 

moming at Barlington, and who had been travelling over 
the same ronte as I had. Here, however, they soam- 
pered off to the Fort William Henry Hotel, yelling and 
shonting to their friends, who had ^ready arrived in 
another detachment, while most of the other passengers 
resumed their journey by coaches to GHen Falls, a dis- 
tance of nine miles from CaldwelL 


At each stage of the journey some railway conductor, 
steamboat clerk, sta^ guard, or other official detached a 
coupon from my pass ; and the ticket, which was nearly 
half a yard long when I bought it in Montreal, to 
cany me through to New York, was now reduced to 
about half that length. 

At Qlen Falls the Hudson Biver leaps over a cataract 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 315 

some fifty feet high. The place is of peculiar interest 
as the scene of some of the most thrilling incidents in 
Cooper's romance, " The Last of the Mohicans." 

From Glen Falls I proceeded six miles by a branch 
line, and then, at Fort Edward, changed into a train 
on the main line, and continued my journey southwards 
for another sixteen miles to Saratoga. 

Saratoga is noted for its mineral springs, of which 
there are as many as twenty-eight. The surrounding 
country is flat and uninteresting, and the springs alone 
could have been the first attraction. Ilow, however, 
the grandeur of its hotels and the gaiety of the company 
annually attract tens of thousands that are already in 
good health and have not the slightest expectation of 
the mineral waters having any effect on them, unless 
it is to make them sick and bilious. Saratoga is, in 
fact, the American belle's elysium, who, if she is not 
already possessed of a sweetheart, never expects to come 
away without an engaged ring on her finger. 

*' Oh dear 1 How much further is it to Saratoga? " 
asked one and another of such young ladies of the train 
conductor, each time he passed through the car we 
were riding in. 

Presently, on leaving Gransevoort, the conductor, as 
is the custom in America, opened the door of the car 
to announce the name of the next stopping place. 
After saying in his ordmary voice, " The next depot 
is — " he made a pause, and altering his voice to the 
lowest pitch he could produce, shouted through his nose, 
^^ Saratoga I" and immediately disappeared, slamming 
the door after him. At the same instant, the door at 

316 Baggage and Boots; or^ 

the other end of the car opened, and a breaksman, in 
a voice as high and squeaky as any female could 
produce, repeated, " Saratoga next depot" 

The train arrived shortly before seven, and instead of 
going to one of the very grand hotels, I fixed my quarters 
at a very comfortable boarding-house on Phila Street, that 
I had been recommended to by a lady and gentleman I 
had met on a St. Lawrence steamer a fortnight before. 
Phila Street almost consists of boarding-houses. I was 
well satisfied with the one I went to, the accommodation 
being more homely than at the large hotel8,to which I did 
not at all object ; and the expense less than half, which 
was a very satisfactory aspect of the arrangements. 

I was ravenously hungry, for I had been travelling 
the whole of the day, and had nothing whatever to eat 
since the half-past eleven dinner on board the Lake 
Champlain steamer. The first thing I did, therefore, 
was to request the landlady to get me a good supper, 
which meal I partook of all by myself, as Americans in 
private life do not, as a rule, have late suppers like their 
English cousins, but take their last meal, which they 
call supper, about six o'clock. 

During the evening I made the acquaintance of some 
of the other visitors ; and the following morning I went 
with two others to explore the neighbourhood. 

Facing Phila Street is the United States Hotel, an 
immense edifice containing 1,000 rooms, and accommo- 
dation for about twice that number of guests. Adjoining 
it is another, equally as large, called the Grand Union, 
built by the late A. J. Stewart, the wealthy merchant of 
New York. We entered and took a walk round, as the 

StnitKs First Peep at America. 317 

Yankees look upon hotels almost as public property, and 
walk in and out as freely as Englishmen do a railway 
station, no man forbidding them. The drawing-room 
is most sumptuously furnished, the dining-room wiU 
accommodate about 500 guests at a time, and considering 
the number of persons about, I was quite unable to see 
what there was in an hotel conducted on the American 
plan, by which to detect and prevent outsiders sitting 
down and having a sumptuous dinner fit for an 
alderman, and afterwards walking out again without 
paying. The Grand Union Hotel forms three sides of 
a square round the hotel grounds, which after dark are 
illuminated by the electric light. At the further end 
is a very fine ball-room, and large placards in the hotel 
entrance and outside announced that there would be a 
grand " hop " there that evening, commencing at eight 
o'clock. At one end of the ball-room was hung an 
immense picture, the largest I remembered ever having 
seen. It is entitled the " Union of the Nations," and 
was painted to Mr. Stewart's order at a cost of 
60,000 dollars ; and is a symbolical picture intended to 
represent the " March of Liberty " as exempUfied in the 
American nation. A coloured attendant stays there 
whenever the room is open to see that no damage is 
done to it, and he will, for a fee of half-a-dollar or 
so, explain in a very lucid and eloquent manner 
the meaning of the various emblems therein repre- 

Opposite the Grand Union is another very large 
hotel, called the Congress Hall ; and there are several 
others, some of which, although not so large, are if any- 

318 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

thing still more aristocratic ; so that at no place in the 
United States can the visitor see American hotel life to 
such perfection as at Saratoga. On the Broadway, at 
the comer next Congress Hall, is the entrance to 
Prospect Park, a small pleasure ground in the shape 
of a horseshoe, round the base of a low hill, and con- 
taining two mineral springs. We paid the fee (ten 
cents each), and entered, and tried the waters of the 
springs. In every pint of the Congress spring waters 
there is 75 grains ofmineral matter, and 49 cubic inches 
of carbonic acid gas. In the ingredients of the other 
spring more iron is found. After strolling about the 
park for a short time we quitted it, and next paid a 
visit to. another mineral spring, only 200 yards away, 
on the other side of the Broadway. A short distance 
from Prospect Park, on the outskirts of the village, is 
the Indian Encampment, which is very much like a 
gipsy encampment ; and where those that care for such 
things, can disport themselves with swings, round- 
abouts, shooting galleries, and purchase all manner of 
things in the basket, fan, toy and general small ware 
way. The Indians come every summer, and camp here in 
tents during the visiting season ; and their quarter has 
much the appearance of an English country fair. From 
the Indian camp we took a walk to the Gteyser spring, 
about a mile and a half from the village. The waters 
of this spring issue through a pipe from a closed 
chamber, and the pressure is so great as to form a 
fountain, the water spouting several feet into the air. 
A house has been built over this spring ; and in it some 
men were at work, filling grosses of bottles by 

Smithes First Peep at America. 319 

machinery with the waters, and packing it in cases for 
carriage to New York and other cities. Near by is 
the Champion spring, with a bottling establishment in 
connection. Here also the waters spout through a pipe 
with a quarter inch nozzle to a height of thirty-five feet 
or so into the air ; and it is said, will shoot a hundred 
by unscrewing the nozzle from the pipe through which 
the water rises. The carbonic acid gas generated in 
the well below is so powerful as to create a pressure 
of forty-two pounds to the square inch, thus causing it 
to shoot to such a height into the air. At both these 
sprmgs the water is so highly charged with carbonic 
acid gas, that it foams like soda water when drawn 
from a faucet. 

At dinner, the landlady, who was presiding at the 
head of the table, said, " Well gentlemen, have you 
tried any of the springs yet?" 

" Any ?" I replied, " yes, a lot. Did we not ?" I con- 
tinued, addressing the two persons who had accompanied 

At this there was a general laugh ; and a chorus of 
voices said, " Then you three are in for it ; you'll want 
the doctor soon ; we wonder you feel able to come to 
dinner at all, after that.*' 

^^ How so ?" I asked ; whereupon the landlady ex- 
plained that some of the springs were so very powerful, 
and had such very opposite effect3, that it was very un- 
desirable to drink from several springs in one day ; 
the orthodox way being to try one, or at the most two, 
one day ; and then try one or two others the next ; and 
so on. 

320 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

" Well, for my own part, I feel no ill effects as yet, 
though after what you have said, it will be as well to 
avoid taking any more to-day and to find some other 
amusement for this aflemoon." 

After dinner, in accordance with this sentiment, we 
same three hired a buggy, and drove to Saratoga Lake, 
four miles out, where we amused ourselves for a couple 
of hours tacking about in a small sailing yacht. 

Ihe Lake is a pretty sheet of water, eight miles long 
by about two wide ; and two or three times a day a 
steam launch makes a trip to the other end and back 
with excursionists. 

After having returned to '^ supper," we again wended 
our way to Prospect Park, where we found the admission 
was now fifty cents, in consequence of there being a 
grand display of fireworks that evening. There were 
present a large company of visitors, many of the ladies 
being attired in evening dress, without either hat or 

During the display an ornamental pond in the centre 
of the park was illuminated with Chinese lanterns, 
which had a very pretty effect, their reflection in the 
water making them appear a double row. 

The next day we took a different route, and visited 
some of the other springs. This time, however, we did 
not try so many, as, although we had not had to send 
for a doctor in the night, we had not felt altogether 
comfortable. Most of the springs are supposed to be 
free ; however, wherever there is no fixed charge you 
are sure to find a collection-plate in charge of some lad 
or girl, and as they look for at least a nickle (2|d.), it 

Smithes First Peep at America. 321 

comes no cheaper than having bottled soda-water at your 
own home. 

Immediately after tea (or the six o'clock supper) I went 
o(F to the depot, and left Saratoga for Albany, arriving 
at the latter place in something under two hours. 

Prom the depot I went direct to the Delevant House 
Hotel, and feeling very tired, retired at once to bed. 

Albany is the capital of the New York State, and I 
was anxious to see the principal public buildings, and as 
much of the city as I could in the time at my disposal, 
which, indeed, was exceedingly limited, as I had made 
an engagement with an English tourist I had met, to 
accompany him to New York the following day by the 
steamer which leaves Albany at half-past eight every 
morning. Under these circumstances I was up by 
times and out quite early. 

By iar the largest, handsomest, and most costly 
building in Albany is the New State Oapitol* It is of 
granite, and is .said to be the largest and grandest 
building in America next to the Federal Capitol at 
Washington, though I remembered the citizens of 
Chicago told me the same with regard to their new 
Court House. 

I was too early for the regular hours of admitting 
the public, but, by a little persuasion, induced the 
door-keeper to let me in. The senate chamber is 
upstairs, and is a very richly adorned apartment, and 
contains two massive columns of red-polished granite. 

The next most important building in Albany is the 
City Hall, which is built of white marble, and has a rich 
Ionic portico in front. 

322 ii^gg^g^ cind Boots ; or^ 

After returning to the hotel and settling my account^ 
I hurried ofr to the steamer, where I met my friend, and 
we both at once adjourned to the dining saloon to take 
breakfast. Fortunately, I had no further luggage than 
a small hand-bag, which I carried in my hand, as, when 
leaving Saratoga, I checked my baggage right through 
to New York, to prevent the bother and expense of 
shifting it about to and from the hotel in Albany for one 
night only. I held the tally-check for my portmanteau, 
and admitted to an American fellow-passenger that in 
that respect their system had advantages over the English 
plan, though I did not neglect to add that it was no 
absolute protection against persons losing their baggage 
all the same^ as I had met with those who had. 

"Oh but," said the American, "it must be more 
satisfactory to have a check given you when you hand 
your baggage over to the care of the railway company. 
I have been to England, and I know that the first 
railroad journey I took — it was from Liverpool to 
London — I was in a great way because they would not 
give me a check for it. I went to Lime Street Dep6t, I 
think you call it." 

" No, we don't, we call it station, we never speak of 
railway depots for passengers, only for goods and coals ; 
but I beg your pardon, interrupting you, pray proceed." 

" Well, Lime Street ; that is right is it not? " 


" And I bought a ticket for London, and the railway 
porter, instead of attaching a check, pasted on a paper 
label, and was wheeling oflF my trunk when I stopped 
him for the check. He did not understand me, and 

StnitKs First Peep at America. 323 

said so ; and when I explained, he said they did not 
give checks. I insisted they conld not have my luggage 
without they gave me a check or receipt. He said I could 
have neither unless I sent it by jfreight train." 

"Luggage train." 

" I guess that was the expression he ujsed. I did 
not want to do that^ and yet I thought that I was most 
certainly going to be robbed of my baggage. So I 
watched where he put it, which was in a small baggage 
compartment in the middle of a passenger car. I 
then got into the compartment next to it, and at every 
depot the train stopped at by the way . I put my head 
out of the carriaore window to watch that no one stole 
my trunk." 

" Oh 1 there was no occasion for that, it was quite 

" So I found, afterwards. Yet, in all my railway 
journeys over there I always felt uneasy about my 
baggage, and wished I could have a check." 

^* We never think of such a thing ; and for my own 
part, I have never lost anything yet." 

"And if you had, and the railway company disputed 
it, what proof have you to show, when they do not give 

" And here, where they do, and anything is lost, what 
proof have you of the value of your property ? You 
might declare it to be a large trunk, contain two hundred 
dollars* worth of property. If the company disputed it, 
and said you only handed in a small worthless valise, 
what proof have you to offer to the contrary ? Nay, 
more ; some dishonest employe, or other person, might 

324 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

be able to exchange your check for one of their own ; 
stamped for some intermediate town, and when you 
arrived at yonr destination, you might find some small, 
worn out old satchel, stutFed with rags, for you." 

'^ That is not very Ukely.'' 

" Perhaps not; only as far as safety is concerned, 1 do 
not see that one system is better than the oUier." 

From Albany to Hudson, a distance of twenty-three 
miles, the river is very shallow ; and the navigation is 
difficult in consequence. The scenery about here, also 
is somewhat flat and uninteresting. Below Hudson city, 
the river becomes deeper, and the surrounding country 
more picturesque. Four miles lower down, the steamer 
calls at Oatskill; firom whence ^^stages" convey passengers 
twelve miles, to Mountain House Hotel, in the far-famed 
Catskill Mountains. As you descend the river, the 
scenery on either side becomes increasingly grand ; 
especially for a few miles both above and below West 
Point, at which place there is a very large Military 
School; and again, near New York, where for twenty 
miles the western bank consists of almost precipitous 
cliffs named the Palisades. 

The traffic, during the summer months, between New 
York and Albany is very great ; there being two night 
boats, and one day boat, each way, daily. These steamers 
are very fine ; the one I travelled by was named the 
^^Albany." It was splendidly fitted and furnished 

The dining room was on the main deck, and had large 
glazed windows all round. The whole of the upper 
saloon was handsomely carpeted, and supplied with 


SmitKs First Peep at America. 327 

luxurious easy chairs, settees, &c.; all covered in Utrecht 
velvet, to match, and supplied with antimacassars, &c. 
The panelling round the engine space, and paddle boxes, 
and staircases, instead of being of some plain wood, 
grained and varnished, was inlaid with real cherry, maple, 
and other variegated woods, richly polished. Several 
good oil paintings were also hung about the saloon. I 
could not help noticing a very selfish trait in the Yankee 
character. On first coming on board, they would place 
a water-proof or satchel in an easy chair, and consider 
that they had thereby reserved it for the whole way, and 
although they might not want to use it for the hour to- 
gether, would be quite cross if they saw another 
passenger make use of it. 

The steamer arrived in New York about six o'clock ; 
and my friend and I went at once to the hotel at whicli 
I had left some of my luggage, nearly three months before. 
I presented the check they had then given me, and now 
had it placed in the room allotted to me. I also gave 
them the check I had received at Saratoga, in order that 
they might send for my other portmanteau, from the 
steamboat wharf. 

328 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 


Coney Island — Manhattan Beach Railway and Hotel — Clams — 
Nominate your poison — A short Railroad — Brighton Beach and 
Pier — The Five Points House of Industry — I^^utes from New 
York to Boston— Hell-Gate— The steamers ".Bristor* and 
"Providence"— Fall River— Martha's yineyard-~Cottage City— 

ANE of ihe most popniar resorts of New Yorkers, for 
^ picnics, Ac, is Coney Island. It is about ten miles 
from New York, and is an extensive sandy beach, abont 
four miles long, jnst outside the Bay of New York, and 
on the south shore of Long Island, of which it in reaUty 
forms a part, being only divided from it by some salt 
marshes. The easternmost end of Coney Island is called 
Manhattan Beach, and the central part Brighton Beach ; 
while the name Coney Island is now usually confined to 
the western portion, which is not so much visited as the 
other parts. 

There are several ways of reaching Coney Island from 
New York, and the one Mr. Brown and I took was by 
ferry, from No. 1 pier. East River to Bay fiidge, about 
three miles down New York Bay, and thence by train. 
The gauge of the Manhattan Beach Railway is only three 
feet, and the cars have transverse seats, running right 
across, and arranged for the passengers all to face the 
way they are travelling. There are no doors, the sides 
of the cars being quite open ; and supplied with curtains 


SmitKs First Peep at America, 329 

of tent canvas^ to be stretched across and buttoned down 
in case of wind and rain. The cars overhang the rails 
very much ; as, although the gauge is so narrow, each 
seat accommodates as many passengers as in an English 
Railway carriage. A ride of some twenty-five minutes 
in the train landed us at a good depot, adjoining the 
Manhattan Beach Hotel, a large pavilion sort of place, 
with accommodation for dining fifteen hundred guests 
at a time, either indoors or outside under the deep 

" Come, before we go any further, let's provide some 
stay for the inner man," said my friend. 

" With all my heart," I replied ; " let us take a seat 
at this table. See, here is a bill of fare. What shall we 

" Clam Chowder, Clams fried, Clams baked. Clams 
stewed, Clam fritters, &c. Well, this place is clammy 
enough. What are clams ? " asked my companion, after 
reading the bill of fare. 

" I don't know ; something in the fish line, I believe." 

" Hard shell crabs, soft shell crabs, lobsters, Bluefish, 

Striped Bass, Baked Halibut, and wine sauce, &c. . Well, 

this place is fishy enough ; what will you have ? " 

continued my friend. 

" Oh 1 I'd sooner have a steak, or something of that 
kind. Is there any down on the bill ? " 

" Yes, and the prices too, * Porterhouse steak, seventy- 
five cents to three dollars.' " 

" What I three dollars for a steak, when the finest 
sirloin of beef can be had in the market at twenty-five 

cents a pound ? " 


330 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

At this moment a waiter came up, and asked what he 
could bring us. 

^^ Why, certainly not a Porterhouse steak/' I replied. 

" What are clams ? " asked my friend. 

The waiter looked astonished, but I afconce explained 
our ignorance of American dishes, byteUinghimthatwe 
were Englishmen. 

" So am I ; " replied the waiter, " or rather was, for I 
have been nationalized now. Clams are a shell fish, 
something like oysters, and are a very great institution in 
America. Shall I bring you some ? " 

" Yes, you may as well." 

** How will you have them ? Baw, or in a soup, or 
boiled, fried, baked, or frittered ? " 

While we were practically discussing the quality of 
boiled clams, we were unexpectedly joined by the 
American, who, the previous day, had been discussing 
the " baggage check " system with me. 

'^Well, gentlemen, what do you think of Coney 

" We've seen precious little of it, as yet." 

"Ah, prudently fortifying yourselves first for the 
exploration, I see. Well, I am glad to meet you again, 
under such auspicious circumstances. Come, gentlemen^ 
nominate your poison." 

" What ever do you mean ? " 

" Don't you understand that expression ? Then I will 
put it into the English form, and say, ' What will you 
have to drink ?• " 

After we had satisfied our hunger, we all three took a 
walk along the promenade by the sea, in front of the 

Smithes First Peep at America. 331 

Oriental Hotel. The beach consists of a very fine silvery 
sand, on which little children were playing, and building 
fortifications and moats, with little wooden spades and 
pails ; while the broad ocean, then very calm, rippled 
gently before them. A few sailing boats plying up and 
down, with one or two steamers passing in the distance, 
completed a scene very &miliar to any who frequent our 
own most visited watering-places. 

After resting ourselves on the promenade benches, 
and breathing in the sea-breezes, while watching the 
scene before us, our American companion suggested 
that we should wend our way westward, to Brighton 
Beach, as that was the most " patronized " part of Coney 
Island. I suggested we should go by train, to which the 
others agreed. After retracing our steps about half a 
mile, we reached the terminus of the Brighton Beach 
Bailway, paid our fare, and entered the cars. After a 
ride of about a quarter of a mile, the train stopped, and 
the passengers, myself excepted, got out. 

" Come along, the train goes no farther," said the 

^' You don't mean to say we are at Brighton Beaeh, 
already?" I exclaimed. 

" As near to it as the line goes." 

" Why I we've not come five hundred yards." 

" I guess that is so ; but if you don't get out quick, 
you'U be taken back again." 

" Well, then, if that is the total extent of the Brighton 
Beach Railway, Til lay any wager its the shortest line 
in the world ; and I wonder they can get people to pay 
five cents each to be carried such a little distance ; and 

332 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

I don't think they could, in any other country but the 
United States." 

On emerging from the depot, we found more large 
hotels, close to the sea, with dining, drinking, and 
billiard saloons, &c., together with dressing-rooms, for 
persons wishing to take a dip in the ocean. The 
Americans follow the French custom, of ladies and 
gentlemen bathing together, each of course being dressed 
in fall bathing costume. From here to Brighton Pier, 
nearly a mile beyond, the shore presents the appearance 
of a fair, with round-a-bouts, shooting-galleries, and 
trumpery exhibitions and entertainments of the cheap- 
jack or " penny gaff" class. 

Brighton Beach Pier is a handsome jetty about the 
length of the Brighton Beach Railway. It forms a splendid 
promenade, whatever the weather, as it is very broad, 
and has a roof throughout its entire length, the sides, of 
course, being open, except at the end, where it expands 
into quite a large hall, surrounded by glazed windows, 
and fitted up with the usual small round marble-topped 
tables, as there is a buffet attached. Here visitors love 
to sit, eating ices, or drinking lager beer, or iced 
lemonade, and smoking, while they listen to excellent 
music, discoursed by a good band, in the centre of this 
^' hall on the sea." Brighton Pier is a sort of double 
one, having a lower floor or deck, fitted up with twelve 
hundred dressing rooms, for bathers, ladies and gentle- 
men, who descend by steps into the water, and, unless 
they are strong swimmers, bathe near the shore, in a 
portion enclosed by ropes, to prevent them from being 
swept away by the tide. 

Smithes First Peep at America. 333 

In one of the lowest portions of New York — a part 
corresponding to Seven Dials^ London, England, — some 
benevolent Christian .men and women have erected a 
Befhge for the destitute gutter children of that great 
ciiy. The building is called the Five Points House of 
Industry, and is conducted somewhat after the siyle 
of Dr. Barnado's Home for Destitute Boys at Stepney 
Green, London. As soon as ever they are old enough 
the boys are taught a mechanical trade, or sent out to 
situations as errand boys, and such like, returning each 
night to the House of Industry, until they are old enough 
to earn sufficient to entirely provide for themselves. 
Those who are taught bootmaking and tailoring make 
the clothing for the whole of the boys. The girls do 
the same, on their side, and ai-e trained for domestic 
service. In the building is a chapel, which, through 
the munificence of a kind-hearted gentleman, has been 
provided with an organ. Each Sunday afternoon an 
hour's service of song is held here, to which the public 
are admitted. At the suggestion of a gentleman staying 
at the hotel I availed myself of this opportunity of 
seeing the place and the children ; so shortly before the 
appointed hour I wended my way thither. After a pre- 
liminary voluntary the gentleman who presided at the 
organ commenced playing " The Church's One Founda- 
tion," to which tune the children came trooping in twp 
abreast, and took their places in the orchestra, on either 
side and in front of the organ, all the while singing and 
marking time with their feet, with the exception of one 
poor little boy, who hobbled in on crutches, and there- 
fore could well be excused doing so. With the ex- 

334 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

ception of two short prayers and Scripture-reading, the 
whole time was occupied by the children, who sang in 
parts, and very well. Many of them were without shoes 
and stockings, that not being considered a necessity for 
many of the younger boys, who did not have to go out 
to work. At the conclusion of the service a collection 
was made on behalf of the school ; and the children 
then marched from the hall to their supper room, 
singing, as they filed out in good order, the hynm, 
" We are Marching Onward." Visitors were invited to 
inspect the premises, and see the children have their 
supper, which they do at five o'clock, after which they 
go to bed. The very young children had theirs by 
themselves, in a separate room, and were attended to by 
some of the elder girls. I was much amused to see 
some two dozen of these tiny mites, mostly under three 
years of age, and one or two not half that, sitting in 
little chairs, only a few inches high, round a table about 
a foot from the ground, eating their supper of bread and 
milk. Some of them were so young that they could not 
manage to find how to put the food in their mouths with 
n spoon, so gave up the attempt ; and when they had 
satisfied their hunger by clawing the sopped bread out 
of the basin with their hands, offered to share the re- 
mainder with the visitors around them. 

The traffic between New York and Boston, especially 
during the summer season, is immense ; and the 
traveller has the choice of some half-dozen different lines 
to select from. Several are by steamboat, from New 
York, either to Stonington, Providence, Newport, or 
Pall River, proceeding the rest of the way by train. In 

Smith's First Peep at Apterica. 335 

each of these cases the boat portion of the journey is 
invariablj a night one. The last-named route is the 
most popular ; the two steamers employed on this line, 
namely, the " Bristol " and the " Providence," in size 
and Inxnrionsness probably surpassing all the many 
splendid steamers that ply on American rivers and bays. 
On Monday afternoon I left New York in the steamer 
" Bristol," of this line. The Company's wharf is on 
the Hndson Kiverj which, locally, is nsaally designated 
the North Biver. After nmning down to the southern 
extremity of the city, the steamer rounded the point at 

" Bill GAia." 
Battery Park, and proceeded up the East Biver, passing 
under the colossal Fulton Saspension Bridge, and by 
the United States Navy Yard, and Blackwell's Island ; 
and after a ran of about seven miles, reached the 
passage through into Long Island Sound, called Hell 
Gate, on account of the extreme danger attending its 
navigation, until the last few years. At this point the 
great strength of the tide, surging along among sunken 
rocks, was a terror to navigators, and proved the 

336 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

destraciion of many a vessel. Of kte years, however, 
iihe channel has been much improved by the removal of 
the most dangerous rocks by means of dynamite, this 
spot having been made the scene of some of the most 
gigantic attempts at marine blasting the world has ever 
witnessed. The " Bristol " passed through at half 
speed, and soon emerged into the placid waters of Long 
Island Sound, between the island of that name and the 
main shore of Connecticut. 

The " Bristol," and its sister boat, the ^* Providence,** 
are both of enormous size,. each being 373 feet long and 
83 feet beam, and 3,000 tons register. In each steamer 
the grand saloon is about seventeen feet in height, and 
has a double tier of state rooms, one above the other. 
It is surrounded by a gallery, by which the upper tier 
of rooms are reached. They are lighted by gas, steered 
by steam, and each cost 1,250,000 dels. (£262,250). 
During the season a good string band accompanies each 
steamer, and discourses a good selection of music from 
eight o'clock till ten. I obtained a comfortable state 
room, and enjoyed a good night's rest. About five 
o'clock I awoke, and was conscious that the vessel had 
arrived at Fall River, as the machinery had stopped, 
and I could hear a bell ringing, and some one shouting^, 
" The Boston express leaves in twenty minutes." 

" Oh, does it," thought I ; " then it can go without 
me ; I'm not going to get up yet, and when I do I 
mean to have a look round this place first now I am 
here." I was unable to get much more sleep, however, 
as every now and again a coloured steward came round 
knocking at the doors of those cabins that were still 

SntitKs First Peep at America. 337 

closed^ and announcing to the sluggards who still lay 
in bed, that they had arrived at Fall B.iver, and that it 
was time to get up. 

Fall River is a prosperous city of 45,000 inhabitants; 
and the great industry is the manufacture of cotton 
fabrics, some of the mills here being very large. The 
streets are regularly laid out, and the houses well built, 
some of the public offices being of granite. The private 
houses are, many of them, of imposing appearance. The 
gentlemen's villas are mostly built of wood, and painted — 
some white, some yellow, and some drab. 

From here, I proceeded by train fourteen miles to 
New Bedford, and thence by steamer to the Island of 
Martha's Vineyard. This is the place where the great 
camp-meetings of the Baptist and Methodist Connexions 
are held. Every year 20,000 to 30,000 persons visit 
the island, specially to d.ttend these meetings. On 
arriving, the steamer calls first at a jetty, called The 
Baptists' Landing, and then proceeds to the Methodists* 
Landing, alias Oak Bluffs or Cottage City. Although I 
did not belong to either of these worthy bodies, I felt I 
must land somewhere, so went on shore at the latter 
place ; and left the pier without meeting with any inter- 
rogation as to my religious views. I now found myself in 
the most comical place that ever I was in. Cottage City it 
might well be called, for there are rows of tiny houses that 
are but mere summer houses, and appeared to have but 
two rooms each. The outer one is invariably entered by 
a doorway in the middle, usually of Gothic shape, with 
a small casement window on either side. The orthodox 
furniture for this room is a tiny round table in the centre^ 

338 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

a amallsofa^ two chairs, and oneor two roddng chairs. The 
small room behind is only divided from the one in front 
by a cnrtain ; and in some cases the beds appeared to be 
ranged one above the other on either side like berths in 
a ship. These cottages had just the appearance of doll's 
houses. The roads were asphalted, and after dark were 
Ut by oil lamps, on dwarf wooden posts, only five and a 
half feet high. In many parts there was no distinction 
between the carriage way and footpath, it being but 
one asphalted path, about fifteen feet wide. Many of 
the cottages had a couple of shrubs, or flowering plants, 
in large pots, one on either side of the doorway. They 
mostly stand on grass-plots, but without any divisions 
between them and the pathway, or their neighbour's 
plots, which gave them still more the appearance of 
a collection of doIVs houses. The majority of them had 
no kitchen, or even a fire-place of any sort or kind, so 
that the families who took lodgings there had to get all 
their meals out at dining-rooms, of which there were 
several. What astonished me more than perhaps any- 
thing, was that at some of these little summer-houses, 
that already appeared to be full of visitors, boards were 
exhibited, announcing " Rooms for Bent." 

The great Methodist Meetings, which take place here 
every August, are held on a large circular plot of ground, 
in the centre of which is a big covered erection, but with 
the sides perfectly open, and fitted with a platform for 
the speakers, and benches for the audience. I did not 
see anything of them, as the last had taken place two 
days before I arrived, and the visitors who had been 
attracted by them were now leaving daily in swarms. 

StnitKs First Peep at America. 339 

The following day I proceeded to Nantacket, an 
island thirty miles to the east of Martha's Vineyard. It 
is flat, and has bat few trees, although when first dis- 
covered by Europeans, in 1602, it was covered with 
forest trees. In 1641 it was deeded to a certain Mayhew 
and Son, by Lord Sterling, and in 1659 sold by them 
for £30 and two beaver hats to a company of ten 
proprietors. There were then about seven hundred 
Indians inhabiting the island. The race is now quite 
extinct, the last having died in 1822. 

By degrees the principal industry of the island be- 
came whale-fishing, and in 1820, the inhabitants 
possessed a fleet of no less than seventy-two vessels en- 
gaged in this trade. In 1846, a great fire ravaged the 
port, destroying an immense amount of property ; &om 
which time the whale-fishery steadily declined, and the 
prosperity and population of the island with it, the latter 
from 8,779 in 1850, to 3,201 in 1875. It is now some- 
what improving, on account of becoming a &vourite 
summer resort. Afler staying a short time at a comfort- 
able boarding house there, I returned in the ^^ Island 
Home," one of the regular steamers plying between 
Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and New Bedford, to a 
place called Wood's Hole, from whence I proceeded by 
train to Boston. 


Boston — The Common and Pabllc Garden — Commonwealth Ayenae 
•—The State Hoose— The City Hall— Old Sonth Church— Faneail 
Hall — Bowdy-dowdy meetings — Banker's Hill monument— 
Plymouth — ^Museum at Pilgrim Hall^Precious chips of rock — 
The Court House — Barly legal documents — Six shares in the 
** Red Cow " — The yeritable rock — Leyden-street and Coles* Hill 
Burial Ground — Roger Williams and Providence City — ^Liberty 
Hill — American national monuments— Return to New York — 

ON arriving at Boston,! entered my name at the United 
States Hotel, a very comfortable establishment, close 
to two of the principal termini, and then made my way 
to Washington Street, on which are situated the largest 
and best retail stores in Boston, one of which I entered 
as I had a letter of introduction to the proprietor. This 
gentleman, Mr. Dunlop, welcomed me very cordially, 
and after giving a few directions to his manager, put on 
his hat and came out with me. We first visited the 
" Common," a well-shaded park near the centre of the 
city, forty-eight acres in extent. It has been considered 
public property for nearly two hundred and fifty years, 
and by the City Charter is reserved to the people for 
ever. Adjoining the Common, and only separated from 
it by Charles Street, is a rectangular park, twenty-two 
acres in extent, called the Public Garden. It is beauti- 
fully laid out, and presents one of the most successful 
attempts at flower gardening to be seen anywhere. In 
'^e centre of the Park is a small ornamental lake of 

Smith's First Peep at America, 341 

ioUT acres, across wtiicli is a foot-bridge of pretty design. 
Beveral handsome stataes adorn Uie gardens, the finest 
of which is one of Washington on horse-back, and 
altogether it is a lovely spot. As the Fnblic darden and 
the Common are amroanded on all sides by land thickly 


btiilt orer, they are an immense boon to the citizens of 
Boston, and snch an one as could not now be obtained 
except at an enormous cost, on acconnt of the great 
valne land so near the centre of the cily has now 

Beyond the Pnblio Garden to the west, are the town 

342 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

residences of the most wealthy citizens — ^the Belgravia 
of Boston^ in &Gt. The land on which it is built has 
been reclaimed from the broad and shallow Charles 
Biver, which flows along the north side. The houses 
in this quarter of the city are all very large and hand- 
some^ and are all built either of red brick or else red 
sandstone. The broadest and handsomest street of them 
all is called Commonwealth Avenue. Many of the 
houses were shut up, the families being away from town, 
so that the neighbourhood had somewhat a deserted and 
desolate appearance. 

We next visited the State House, Boston being the 
capital of the State of Massachusetts. It faces the 
eastern side of the Common, and is surmounted by a 
gilded dome, from the summit of which is obtained a 
splendid view of the city and harbour. In the entrance 
hall, a recess is glazed off in which is displayed a 
collection of banners — ^trophies of wars in whidi the 
Bepublic has engaged. 

Passing down School Street, Mr. Dunlop pointed out 
the City Hall, a handsome edifice built of white Concord 
granite, and then on to Washington Street, where he 
pointed out an episcopal edifice, called the Old South 
Church, on the opposite side of the way, and told me 
that the congregation formerly meeting there had now 
erected a new and very handsome church a little frirther 

" That is like it is in London," I remarked, " so few 
church-going people live in the City (now that rail- 
ways render it so easy to reside a few miles out, and run 
to and fro daily), that the Ciiy churches are almost 

SmiiA's First Peep at America. 


empiy. 80 several of them have been demolished, and 
land in ibe City sells for such a fabnlons amount, that 
the snni realized by the sale of the site 13 snfficient to 
build a larger and bandsomer church in tlie snborbs, 
where a ooDgregation can be obtained, and pay for the 
land required into the bargain. I suppose ihey mean to 
do the same with this one." 


" Oh dear me, no, nothing of the kind. Apropositioa 
of that sort was started some years ago, bnt there was 
a great ontcry against it, and a anbsoription vraa set on 
foot to preserve it to the pnblic." 

" Whatever for ? Can't they get a bishop to nncon- 
seorate it for them ? " 

344 Baggage and Boots ; or 

^^ That's just the grievance. You wretched Britishers 
have stepped in without asking, and done that for them. 

" They * boarded ' their horses there during the War 
of Independence, and the Christians of this dtjr wish 
the American people never to forget it. Bead what 
it says on that marble slab over the porch." 

I read. It was an inscription to the effect that the 
church was erected in 1729, and desecrated by the 
British troops in 1776—77. 

^^ I think the bishops would draw a distinction between 
un-consecrating and desecrating. Besides, if the British 
troops had not done so, I should think some one else has, 
for look at those turnstiles in the porch, with a collector 
there, taking a toll of 25 cents off each person that 
passes in to some show or bazaar that appears to be 
taking place inside." 

^' I guess it has been used for lots of things since. 
Since the great fire of 1872, the Post Office has had it 
for some years ; while the magnificent new edifice on 
Milk Street has been building, and which is only just 
completed. I do not approve of what your soldiers did, 
but at the same time, I guess there is now no reason for 
trying to i^erpetuate the event." 

" Come, that's right I'm glad to hear you say so." 

As we were walking past Quincey Market, Mr. Dunlop 
pointed to a red brick building just beyond, and asked 
me if I knew what it was. 

" No," I said, " I do not." 

" £[ave you never heard of Faneuil Hall ? " 

" Oh, yes. It is where you hold your rowdy-dowdy 
meetings, is it not ? " 

Smith's First Peep at America. 


" Howdy nJowdy meetings indeed. That Hall, sir, is 
the cradle of freedom ; the most interesting building in 
t^ United States, unless it be 'Independence Hall,* in 
Philadelphia. It was here that, in 1776, meetings were 

FAHmiL Hill— BOBtOt 

held and speeches were made, denymg the right of 
England to tax as withoat our consent , and where the 
first steps were taken towards freemg onrselves from her 
yoke. It was here also that, in later times, Mr. G^arrison 
lifted np his voice on behalf of another great stride in 
the cause of freedom, — the abolition of slavery." 

346 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

^' Yes, true enough ; but for all that, the meetings 
have often been very uproarious, and excited fanatics 
have had their feelings worked up to such a pitch, that 
ihej have gone and wreaked their excitement in acts of 
wanton destruction of public or private property, if not 
of personal violence even." 

^^ No great reform was ever yet accomplished without 
the movement was aided, at its commencement, by 

" I don't feel so sure of that." 

" Now I guess we just have time before the sun sets 
to take a Charlestown car, and visit the monument at 
Bunker's Hill. You know what that commemorates ?" 

" Yes, -the batfle of Bunker's Hill, fought in 1775. 
Who erected the monument ? " 

" I guess the Americans, of course." 

" Really that's very kind of you, for I always heard 
we won the battle." 

" Oh, did you though ! To say the least, it remains 
a disputed point." 

*^ Then I'm sure I should not have troubled to erect a 

Bunker's Hill monument is an ugly, plain obelisk, very 
much resembling ^^Cleopatra's Needle," on the Thames 
Embankment— only, of course, not one block of stone, as 
that is— and is very much larger, being 221 feet high, 
and standing on a base 30 feefc square. Near the top 
are four square openings, one on each side, which have 
very much the appearance of eyelet holes, only, unfor- 
tunately, they are placed at the wrong end of the needle. 

Every now and then persons' heads could be seen. 

SmiiA's First Peep at America. 


poering out of these eyelets, as there is 8 spiral stair- 
case up the inside, by which Yisitors can ascend to a 
small chamber near the top, from which a very extensive 
view is obtained. 

BOiiESB'a Hill HOKtmsKl. 

The following morning I was up by times, and oft by 
the eight o'clock train, in order to visit Plymontli, the 
place where the early Pilgrim Fathers landed, and 
conuuenced the first English settlement in New England; 

348 Bctggci>ge and Boots ; or^ 

which has grown and spread, with such marvellotis 
rapidity, over the North American Continent. 

Plymouth is thirty seven miles from Boston, and is % 
toi^Ti of about 7,000 inhabitants. On arriving, I first 
visited Pilgrim Hall, which is on Court Street near to 
the railway depot, and in which are sundry relics of 
those first settlers who crossed the Atlantic in the 
"May-flower/* There is the cradle in which the first 
baby was rocked : the barrel of an old gun, wherewith 
Miles Standish (the man whom the holy Puritans 
brought over to do their fighting for them,) shot King 
Philip, an Indian chief. There are also various articles 
of cabin furniture, from the '^May-flower," together with 
sundry pots and pans used by the emigrants during the 
voyage, and after their arrival, and various small Indian 
implements and curiosities. A few good oil paintings 
of more modern origin — (one representing the departure 
from England, and bidding farewell to friends at Ply- 
mouth, and another depicting their landing, in deep 
snow, and their pleading with the menacing Indians te 
be allowed a footing) — about complete the museum. 

In a glass case on the wall were various small pieces 
of granite rock for sale, varying in size from half a 
cherry to a walnut, and priced from 25 cents to two 
dollars. These were said to be chips from the veritable 
rock on which the Fathers first stepped from their boat 
when they landed, but although I had no reason to 
doubt the assertion, I felt I might have much difficulty 
to prove the fact to an incredulous hearer, and that even 
were I able to do so, my listener might still feel very 
indiflferent as to whether they were genuine or not, 

Smith's First Peep at America. 349 

seeing that it Tvould be easy enough to pick up similar 
looking pieces in almost any quantity. Under these 
circumstances I thought it just as well not to trouble 
the janitor in charge of the room, but to let the dollars 
remain in my pocket, and the chips of rock on the shelves 
in the glass case. 

On the plot of ground in front of Pilgrim Hall is a 
large mass of rock, which is a portion of that on which 
the Fathers first trod, and from which it was accidentally 
broken off. It is surrounded by strong iron railings, so 
that there is no opportunity of breaking still smaller 
pieces off to carry away as relics, instead of buying them 
off the shelves in the glass case, at the Museum. 

The names of twelve of the early Fathers are worked 
in iron letters on small iron shields forming part of the 
fence surrounding the precious stone. 

A little further along Court Street, on the opposite 
side of the way, is the Court House ; in a back room of 
which is a cabinet, containing some of the earliest legal 
documents of these early emigrants. Among others, the 
visitor is shown one which is very amusing. It is an 
agreement, duly signed and witnessed, by which certain 
of the Fathers sold to Miles Standish " six shares in the 
Red Cow." The ^* Red Cow " was not the sign for a 
public-house or roadside inn, American '^ saloons," 
being of later origin. No, the Red Cow was a veritable 
live quadruped. It appears that there were, at first, 
thirteen owners of this said cow ; anyhow, the joint 
ownership was divided into thirteen shares. As the 
colony grew, some of the more adventurous wished to push 
on to odier parts, and among them some of the owners 

350 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

of the Bed Cow; so that the poor creatare was in danger 
of being pulled in different directions at once by the 
contending proprietors. The only way that conld be 
fonnd to settle the difficulty, was for some of them to 
give np their claim to any portion of the creature. 
Accordingly they sold out, and Miles Standish became 
the purchaser of six-thirteenths of the Bed Cow. 

A short distance from the Court House, a street leads 
down to the water-side, at the identical spot where the 
emigrants stepped on shore. The noted Plymouth Bock, 
on which they first set foot, is not now by the water's 
edge, as coal wharves have been built, and a short pier 
run out into the Bay in front of it. The rock has also been 
raised several feet, although it still remains exactly over its 
original position. It was during the process of raising 
that the mass now in front of Pilgrim Hall became 
detailed. A granite canopy has been erected over the 
portion by the water-side. The top constitutes a 
sarcophagus, which now contains the bones of some of 
the Fathers. 

Not far from the rock, and running from the water's 
edge straight inland, is Leyden Street, the first street 
ever built in New England. Near by is Coles Hill, the 
Pilgrims' first burial ground. Here, in less than six 
months from their arrival, they laid nearly half their 
number, who died under the severities of that first 
terrible winter. No headstones marked the graves ; and 
in the spring they sowed the place over with com, for 
fear lest the Indians, discovering what fearfril havoc death 
had wrought among them,shouldnowattack their reduced 
numbers and annihilate the rest. Beligious persecution 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 351 

at home drove these Puritans to seek a refuge on such 
an inhospitable shore. Their hardships, however, did not 
seem to teach ihem what in Europe they thought was so 
sorely needed, viz., reUgious toleration; for when, a few 
years later, a Quaker named Eoger Williams sought a 
home among them,* they drove him out on account of the 
different views they and he held on certain religious 
topics. He wandered forth and sought an asylum among 
the Indians, although in so doing he went with his life 
in his hands, as the chances of being massacred by them 
in retaUation for the depredations of Miles Standish, (the 
Brethren's fighting man,) were very great. Williams' 
conciliatory inoffensive manners, however, preserved 
him, and the Indians suffered him to live. He founded a 
settlement about thirty-five miles from Plymouth, which, 
in remembrance of the Divine care that had preserved 
him through so many dangers, he named Providence. 
Providence is now the second city of the New England 
States, both in wealth and size, having a population of 
over 100,000. On a small prominence at the back of 
Plymouth called Liberty Hill, a monument was com- 
menced that was designed to be a ^^ National Memorial 
to the Pilgrims." In order to carry out American 
ideas, it was planned of course to be of colossal pro- 
portions. On a massive granite base, 40 feet high, stands 
a mammoth statue of granite, intended to represent 
Faith. An inscription below informs the reader that 
the Memorial has been erected by the voluntary sub- 
scriptions of a " grateful nation,'* &c. As the Irishman 
however, would say, " the grateful nation is very back- 
ward in coming forward," for the funds gave out long 

352 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

before it was completed; probably it would bo more 
correct to say, they never came in, and although it was 
commenced twenty-four years ago, it still remains in an 
unfinished condition. 

I was informed that it would be a rare job to raise 
the necessary funds to complete it ; and in no sense can it 
be regarded as a national monument, raised by the whole 
of t^e American Republic, as nobody outside the New 
England States cares a pin about it. The Americans 
are not, as a nation, the descendants of the Pilgrim 
Fathers, nor are they by any means exclusively of 
English origin. Manhattan Island, for instance, on 
which New York now stands, was colonised by a party 
of Dutch emigrants before ever the voyagers in the 
*^ Mayflower " set foot in the New World. 

A few miles from the unfinished monument, on 
Liberty Hill, on some rising ground on the opposite side 
of Plymouth Bay, is another monument to Miles Stan- 
dish, also left unfinished. America is a land of unfinished 
monuments. Their ideas are at present far too big for 
their pockets. The great monument to the ever illustrious 
Washington, at the Federal Capital was to have been 
600 feet high, nothing lower being sufficiently lofty 
for the flight of the American mind. They had not, 
however, raised it one^third of this height (174 feet) 
when the funds gave out, and it has long remained, an 
ugly square tower without finish, grace, or beauty, but, 
on the other hand, quite a disfigurement to the otherwise 
beautiful city of Washington. 

That afternoon I returned to Boston, where I remained 
some days, visiting the various sights, and places of 
note, in the surrounding districts. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 353 

It was a lovely September afternoon when I took my 
seat in the six o'clock '^boat express " from Boston to 
Fall River. The run of forty-nine miles was accom- 
plished in one hour and twenty minutes, and the 
passengers for New York walked on board the 
'^ Providence " — the sister boat to the " Bristol," which 
I have already described. I was unable to obtain a 
state room, the whole of them, about two hundred in 
number, having been previously engaged. I, however, 
came off better than I expected, for instead of having 
to sit up all night, or sleep on a mattress on the floor of 
the saloon, I found that my passage ticket provided for 
a berth downstairs, in one of a set of comfortable cabins 
placed round the supper saloon, in the hold of the 
vessel, the principal difference being that I did not have 
the room to myself, but had to share it with two others. 
When I made my appearance on deck the following 
morning, about half-past seven o'clock, I found the 
" Providence " had completed her journey, and was 
already moored in her berth, along pier No. 28, North 
Biver, New York. 

One of the first things to do was to visit the office of 
the " White Star Company," and exchange my return 
ticket for a passage ticket. It is alwaj's advisable 
to do this as long beforehand as possible, in order to 
obtain a good state-room, although so late in the 
season there was no fear of every berth having 
been taken, as the exodus of Americans to Europe 
takes place earlier, to avoid the oppressive heat of the 
United States summer. 
The vessel was advertised to sail the following Satur- 

354 Baggage and BootSy &*c,^ 


day morning at ten o'clock, with the United States 
mails, &c.) and all passengers were requested to be on 
board by nine o'clock at the latest. This is a very 
necessary direction, as there are some people who do not 
seem to understand punctuality, and are always behind, 
especially when they are cumbered with luggage ; and 
who, if they have not crossed before, are unaware that 
with the Mail Steamers between England and America, 
ten o'clock means ten o'clock, and not half-past, or five 
minutes past, or one minute past either. 


Smith starts for Home — Pnnctoal Departure— The Golf Stream- 
Little Feathered PrisoDers — " Purgatory ** and •* Paradise " — "Big 
America — Sickly Americans — Dmggists versiiB Saloon-keepers — 
Patients who don*t wish to be cored — ^Medicine to suit the Taste 
—The Ship's Doctor prescribes — Catting off the Gulf-Stream — 
The Icebere Hoax — Faying to pass ^^mple Bar — Shipboard 
Games, Bull-board, Shuffle-board, and Quoits — Conversation 
about Montreal — The Boman Catholic Cemetery thiere — The 
Pourteen Stations to the Cross — Joseph Guibord — ^Buried under 
solitary Escort— Winter Funerals in Lower Canada— A Heavy 

IT was a beantifal antnmnal day^ that on which I 
foBnd myself stending on the promenade deck of 
the White Star steamer, ^' Celtic/' watching the final 
preparations that were goin^ forward for the ocean 
voyage before ns. It was about half-past nine o'clock^ 
and apparently the passengers had all arrived in good 
time, in accordance with the notice on their passage 
tickets, that stated they should be on board by nine 
o'clock at the latest. But no, another hack drives on 
to the Company's quay, with some more passengers and 
their baggage, who, if they had not been told to be on 
board an hoiir before the sailing, would probably have 
been later still, and left behind. 

About a quarter to ten a two-horsed dray drove up 
with the mail-bags, about seventy in number. The 
mails fix>m America to England are never so heavy as 
mee versaj as the United States government ^' patronise " 

356 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

five different lines of steamers to send their letters by, 
while the British Post Office only employ three of these 

The ship's bell now commenced to ring, and the 
quarter-masters to call out, " Now for the shore." Last 
" Good-byes " and " Farewells " were hurriedly taken, 
and full half the apparent number of passengers proved 
to be only friends come to see the voyagers off, as they 
streamed on to the quay. One or two more passengers 
arrived, and were hurried on board at the last minute. 

" What's the time," called the Captain to one of the 

" Ten o'clock, sir," was the reply. 

"Pull in that gangway. Sharp. Do you hear? 
Let go that cable." 

The pilot, who was standing on the bridge with the 
Captain, now took command, and the vessel slowly 
backed out into the stream just as the neighbouring 
clocks were chiming the hour of ten. 

The " Celtic " proceeded very cautiously along among 
the shipping and ferry steamers plying hither and thither 
on the Hudson or North River, until it reached Battery 
Park, and then increased its speed as it steamed away 
past the various small islands in the beautiful bay of 
New York, In about two hours we had passed safely 
over the noted Sandy Hook Bar at the entrance to the 
bay, and the pilot then left, and returned in the small 
boat that had been in tow alongside. 

The surrounding country about here is flat, and in 
less than an hour the last sight of land had disappeared 
from the view of those on board the steamer, who 


SmitKs First Peep at America, 357 

iLOW adjonmed to the saloon as the gong sounded to 
announce to the passengers that it was one o'clock^ and 
that lunch was ready ; after which they began to shake 
down into the regular routine of Atlantic steamer life 
by taking an afternoon nap in their state-room^ or 
spreading their steamer chairs on the deck and lolling 
there, half asleep, with a book in their hand or a cigar 
in their mouth. 

The next day the steamer entered the Gulf Stream, 
which was easily ascertained by the temperature of the 
water and the quantity of seaweed floating on the 
surface. Being Sunday, the usual regulation service 
was held in the saloon at half-past ten. There was no 
sermon or address of any kind, nor was there any other 
service held in the after part of the day. 

On the previous afternoon, a few hours after we lost 
sight of land, several small birds came flying to the 
vessel, which the second mate said had doubtless been 
blown off Long Island in the gale of the day before, 
and were unable to regain their home. They remained, 
clinging to the rigging or flying to and fro, for the rest 
of the day, every now and then darting down to pick 
up any crumbs of food they could spy about the deck. 
One of them, a pretty little creature, very swift on the 
vnng, and with a pretty little tuft on the crown of the 
head, was still flying about the ship. It appeared to 
be of the woodpecker tribe, as it would cling to the 
cordage and peck into the tarred ropes, evidently in 
search of insects for food. The other two had dis- 
appeared, and on enquiry I learned that ihay had been 
caught, but were not likely to live^ as they had been 

358 • Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

too used to a life of freedom long to sarvive a caged 
existenoe. The following day the third little visitor had 
disappeared, and had probably died, as it did not come 
to feed on the crumbs thrown about for it. 

Among the passengers I soon made several acquaint- 
ances. In the first place there was Mr. Standish, the 
gentleman who shared the same state-room, and who 
had just come right through from San Francisco, having 
been eight days and nights in the train, which he 
described as « purgatory," wearying in the extreme (as 
doubtless it was), and declared the longest sea-voyage, 
on board a splendid steamer, like the one we were 
travelling on, to be " paradise " by way of comparison. 
Another passenger I already had some slight acquaint- 
ance of, as we had crossed together on board the 
*' Britannic," in the previous May. He was a Mr. 
West, a Canadian gentleman in the timber trade, and 
was now crossing the Atlantic for the seventy-seventh 
time, as he came to Europe on business twice every 
year, and had done so for the last nineteen years. 

Another acquaintance that I made on board, was that 
of a Mr. Bums, a Louisville gentlemen, who was pleased 
to find that I had visited Kentucky in my tour through 
the States. 

One evening, after dinner, a small party consisting of 
the above and one or two others, had adjourned to the 
Smoking Boom, where we were sitting cracking nuts, 
and sipping our after dinner coffee, when one of them 
asked what brought me to the States. 

" Oh, I came simply on pleasure, to have a look 
round, as I think you American gentlemen would call it" 

Smith's First Peep at America. 


" Well, I guess you've enjoyed your tour," said Mr. 
Jefferson, a New Yorker. 

" Yes, indeed. I Iiave, immensely." 

" We are a big people, and live in a big country, do 
we not?" asked Mr. StondisL 

''As fortbe size of ^le people, they're much about 
the same stature, as far as I can see, as the human race 
generally. You certainly have a large coantry to live 
in, too big for you, ever so much," I replied. 

" How so ? " exclaimed several voices. 

: "----J 



^^ : _^ 

s Atlabtio Stmaubb. 

" "Why, I mean too big to be success&lly ruled by 
one government. The interests of east, south and west, 
are so very different." 

" But don't yon know each State make its own laws ? 
What is legal in one State, is often illegal in the next. Onr 
Government is a confederaUon of independent States, 

360 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

for militaiy purposes and* foreign relationships/' said 
Mr. Jefferson. 

" Yes, I know that ; but even in military affairs it is 
necessary that they should be in harmony with the 
general feeling of the people. For instance, you would 
never draw soldiers from the Western States, where the 
interests of the inhabitants dictate a free trade policy, to 
light in the cause of the high tariff and protective policy 
that New Englanders seem so mad on.'^ 

^^ Mad on, indeed. There is a large class of people in 
England who are mad on ^ free trade,' — make it almost 
their religion, and, in fact, I guess you must be one of 
them," said Mr. Jefferson. 

^* Come, gentlemen, don't get to quarrelling. Well, 
Mr. Smith, tell us what you liked best of all you 
saw in our big country," put in Mr. Standlsh. 

" Niagara, undoubtedly. I could have well enjoyed 
a month there," I answered. 

" I heard you say you visited the Mammoth Cave ; . 
what do you think of that? Some people say they prefer 
it even to Niagara," interposed Mr. Bums. 

" Yes, I know, one of the party who went through at 
the same time I did expressed those views. For my own 
part, however, I cannot share in such an opinion." 

" Did you visit Cave Hill Cemetery, when you were 
at Louisville ? " 

^^ Yes, I did, and thought it was the most beautiful I 
had ever seen." 

'^ I guess that is so, after your ugly, doleful English 
churchyards, with those large, unsightly headstones, 
many of them leaning twenty or thirty degrees from 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 361 

the perpendicular; and the ground banked up, as though 
to keep the dead ones from escaping from their graves 
before the appointed time." 

" I quite agree with you, as I have seen many 
English cemeteries. I have often, however, been amused 
with the inscriptions I have seen on the head stones, in 
some of the country places/' said Mr. Wesfc. 

'* Tell us some of them," demanded several listeners. 

" Oh, I forget them. The only one I can remember 
just at the present moment was on a tombstone in a 
small country churchyard, which read as follows : — 

^ I was ill; — Sent for the doctor, 
Took physic ; — And died.* 

'* I oTiess that was not much of an advertisement for 
the village doctor," interposed Mr. Raynor (of Boston). 

*^If I had been he, I guess I should have at once 
struck out for another locality. I've heard say the doctors 
and the undertakers are in league together." 

" I think the Americans must be a sickly lot, especially 
down Kentucky way," I said. 

*^ How so ? " asked Mr. Burns. 

*^ Why, because of the flourishing state of all the 
druggists* stores. In all the country villages that I 
visited the druggist appeared to prosper, even if no one 
else did, not even the publicans — saloon keepers you 
call them." 

^^ That is so, and shall I tell you why ? " 

" Please do, for it was an inexplicable mystery to me- 
I saw their stores apparently full of customers, when 
every other store was empty." 
'^ That is simply because they sell spirits, the same as 

A A 

362 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

the saloon keepers, and at the same time stand at a 
much greater advantage to the latter, as they do not 
have to take out a license." 

" Then why don't the saloon keepers call themselves 
druggists, and do the same ? Why should a chemist be 
able to evade the law, by simply painting up the word 
^Druggist,' on the facia over his store ? " 

^^ Oh, but it is only as a medicine that the druggist is 
allowed to supply anyone with spirits. If he sold them 
to any casual customer that might step into his store, he- 
would then be infringing the law. He can only supply 
spirits ^ as a medicine,' and the customer has to bring a 
doctor's prescription to that effect." 

'^ But how can a person who is not ill get a doctor 
to write him out a prescription ? If he went to a 
doctor with a tale that he was ill, in nine cases out of 
ten the prescription would not contain what he really 
wished for ; and even if he could make sure of all these- 
things, I should not have thought it would have paid 
to go and visit a doctor first each time he wanted a ten* 
cent glass of alcohohc hquor." 

^* That is so, of course it would not ; but this is the 
way it is managed. The intending patient goes to the 
doctor, and tells his tale. Of course the doctor sees 
through the disguise, and knows very well what he 
really wants, and writes out a prescription that will suit 
the taste of his patient. If he did not, it is very certain 
his customers would soon leave him, and he would have 
to strike his tent and be off to another State, as he most 
certainly would never prosper in Kentucky. The 
^ patient ' then goes to the druggist to have his pre- 

SmitKs First Reep at Ajnerica. 363 

scription ^made up,' which he does times without 
number, as the same paper is allowed to remain in force 
for a twelvemonth." 

" Why, in England, if the doctors did not cure their 
patients quicker than that, they would soon lose their 

" No, I guess they would not, if they prescribed the 
same as ours do. With us, the experience is quite the 
reverse ; after taking their medicine most diligently, and 
persistently, for a whole year, the patients invariably 
return to the doctor to have the same prescription renewed 
quite satisfied with the results, although not cured." 

During the above conversation the ship's doctor had 
joined the group, and was apparently much interested in 
what was being said. Mr. Eaynor here broke in : — 
^*Well, doctor, what do you say to all this ? Is that the 
way you prescribe for your patients ? " 

" Well, gentlemen, IVe been thinking how bad you 
all look, and that I had better prescribe for you a brandy 
cock-tail all round, or whiskey for those who prefer it, 
to be drunk at once on the premises." 

A general laugh greeted this *^ all round " prescrip- 
tion, and Mr. Jefferson replied, " Well, doctor, for my 
own part I quite agree with you, and I think we all do, 
and you'll join too, will you not? " 

" Well, thank you, I have no objection, and shall be 
very pleased to do so." 

Immediately followed a general chorus of "steward." 
A steward at once came forward for orders. 

•^ Two whiskey cock-tails, three brandy dittos, and one 
soda-water with brandy," said Mr. Jefferson. 

364 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

While the waiter had gone to fiilfil this order, the 
conversation turned on the weather, and the speed of 
the ship. 

" Doctor, weVe got beautiful weather, and ought to 
make a quick passage. When do you think we'll arrive/' 

" Oh, that is difficult to say. The weather has been 
good at present, but we can't tell what may be before 
us. If it continues as it is now, I should say we shall 
be in Liverpool on Tuesday morning of next week." 

" What course are we running — East ? " asked Mr. 

^^ No, that I know we're not," I exclaimed. ^^ East- 
north-east would be nearer the mark. Why the most 
southern part of England is nearer the North Pole than 
the northern shore of Lake Superior ; although people 
in general don't seem to recognize the fact." 

Mr. Jefferson (who always enjoyed a rap at me, when 
he could get an opportunity), "Yes, those wretched little 
British Islands, enveloped in choking fog, and chilling 
mists and rain, why they would be totally uninhabitable, 
frozen up altogether, if it were not for the warm 
water we send you across the Atlantic from our Gulf. 
So you see you have America to thank for all you get." 

*' Y(m send, indeed 1 Well, then, cut it off. I know 
you would if you could." 

The laugh was now turned upon Jefferson, but he 
was not to be done so easily, for he promptly replied, 
^' Yes, we are going to. A company is being formed 
down south for that purpose." 

" Mr. Smith, when you came across in the spring, 
what sort of passage did you have ? As good as this ? " 
asked Mr. Raynor. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 365 

*^ No, it was much colder and rougher." 

^* You might cross twenty times and not have so cahn 
a passage as we are having now," said Mr. West. 

I added (giving a nod to Jefferson), " And as we 
neared the American shore, it got colder still, with chilly- 
mist and fog off the Newfoundland bank, so that we 
were nearly running into an iceberg." 

^' I will still maintain that was British weather, as 
Newfoundland is not under the Stars and Stripes, but 
under the Union Jack," said Mr. Jefferson. 

'^ I know that," I replied, ^^but it is American land for 
all that ; and I am quite positive that even if the Stars 
and Stripes floated there, the fogs, and mists, and rain 
would still continue, in spite of United States legislation." 

" That remains to be proved." 

" Did you see the iceberg ?" asked Mr. Burns. 

" No. We passed it very early one morning, but a 
few of the passengers did, and determined to have a lark 
with some of the others. So they clustered in the 
companion way, and as one and another made their 
appearance, they pretended to be in earnest conversation 
between themselves. ^ Yes, and was it not an enormous 
size ? ' one would say. ^ Indeed it was,' another would 
reply. ^ What is it your talking about ? ' the new 
arrival would be sure to ask. ^ Oh, don't you know ; 
did you not see the iceberg ? ' ' No, have we passed 
one ? When ? Where ? ' ^ Yes, this morning,' * Yes, 
and was it not a size ? ' would chime in another. ' Yes, 
you could not see the summit, it was lost in the fog.' 
' Yes/ added a companion, ' and did you not see the 
polar bear sitting on the top ? ' ^Yes, and it was sitting 

366 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

on its haunches.' 'Yes, and did you not see the captain 
shoot at him ?' and so on." 

*^ And was that really so ? " asked Mr. Standish. 

" At first I did not know what to believe. I knew 
that polar bears were sometimes found on ice-floes, but 
had never heard of their being seen on the top of an 
iceberg, ' sitting on its haunches, looking over the edge,' 
as they said, but when they asserted that the' captain 
fired at it, as far as I was concerned I felt convinced 
that if the ship had been as near an iceberg as all that, 
the captain would have something else to think about 
than to go beai^shooting, even had there been a hundred 
there. At last, however, the whole tale exploded by one 
of the fellows so overstretching the mark as to say, ^ Yes, 
and it was singing Rule Britannia.' " 

'^ It was a pity that young chap should have spoilt the 
fun in that way, but I suppose they were trying how 
much the English passengers would swallow. I've heard 
they will credit the most extraordinary statements," said 
Mr. Raynor. 

"Not more than other people," I replied. "Why, 
when I was in Boston, I met a man who had been to 
London, and who told me how he had been sucked in bv 
an omnibus driver. He and a friend got up on a 'bus 
in the Strand to ride to the city, and took their seats on 
the knife-board, by the side of the driver, in order that 
they might ascertain from him the names of the public 
buildings they passed. Presently they came to an ugly 
structure built across the road, with one central arch for 
the road traffic, and a smaller one on each side for the 
foot passengers. I will tell you the rest in our Boston 
friend's own words. 

Smith's First Peep at America. 367 

^^ Coachman, what is this we're coming to ? " 

'* This is Temple Bar, and marks the entrance to the 
Oity of London. You pay sixpence to pass here. Even 
the Queen never passes without permission from 
the Lord Mayor, and he - and the Aldermen come to 
escort her through the City.' ^ Who do we pay the six- 
pence to ? ' I asked. To which the driver replied, * To 
me.' So my friend and I each forked out sixpence, 
which we gave to him. He looked very smiling, but 
put the money in his pocket, and a few minutes later we 
arrived at St. Paul's Catheda-al, when we got down, and 
the 'bus drove on. 

"As we walked into the Cathedral, I said, ' What did 
you give that man sixpence for?' and. he replied, 
* Because you did ; but I guess we had no need to do 
so, for I saw no one else pay anything, whether riding 
or walkinor.' So we came to the conclusion that we had 
been done, and afterwards made some enquiries, and 
found it was so, and gol; a good deal laughed at." 

"And serve them right," interposed Mr. Raynor. 
"^^I don't believe, however, that the men were born 
Yankees, although they may live in Boston." 

'^ Doctor, what has become of that letter that was 
lying on the mantelshelf, here, for two or three days ? 
Have you found the owner ? " asked Mr. Standish. 

" Yes, I believe so," said the doctor, " I understand 
it was for one of the steerage passengers, although being 
addressed Esquire, we never thought to ask in that 


" When I came over in the spring," said Mr. West, 
"at Queenstown a telegranf came on board for one of 

368 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

the passengers, and was put on the mantel-pieoe, and he 
never noticed it until the next morning, when we were 
at sea. It was to tell him to return on most important 
business. He was in a great way about it, and Baid he 
would give a thousand pounds- to be put on shore ; but 
of course it was useless, as we were many miles away. 
So he had to go all the way across the Atlantic, only to 
start back again by a vessel of another line, sailing the 
day after we arrived." 

It was now gettmg late, and the company having 
paid for and taken the " physic " ordered by the doctor, 
separated, some to the smoking-room, others to their 
staiiC-rooms, or else for a sharp walk up and down the 
promenade deck, before tummg in for the night, it being 
a beautiful moonlight evening. 

The principal ouWoor games provided for the amuse- 
ment of the passengers during the voyage, are known 
as bull-board, shuffle-board, and quoits. The bull-board 
is a large flat board, about the size of an ordinary 
kitchen-table, and covered with black canvass stretched 
tightly over it, and nailed at the edge or back. White 
lines are painted across the face of the board, dividing 
it into twelve squares, on each of which a number is 
clearly painted. The game is played as follows : — ^The 
board is laid on the deck, and something usually placed 
under the further end, to raise it about a foot. A chalk 
mark is drawn a few yards off, and the object of the 
game is to throw small leaden weights, about the size 
of an old-fashioned turnip watch, on to the prize squares, 
a bystander keeping account of the scores made by the 
respective players. Of course the rules of this game 
can be varied almost indefinitely. 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 369 

Ship's quoits are made of rope, covered with canvas, 
and the game is played somewhat in the same way as 
land quoits. In the game of Shuffle-board, squares are 
chalked out on deck resembling those drawH by the 
London Board School children on the street pavements 
for the game they call ^* Hop-scotch." Shuffle-board is 
played somewhat in the same way as bull-board ; only, 
instead of throwing any thing, • the players are provided 
with a sort of wooden spade, and standing at a certain 
distance endeavour to shove round discs, made of india* 
rubber, on to the squares marked with the highest 
numbers, while your opponents in their turn endeavour 
with their discs to send yours off again. 

One afternoon I and some others had been trying our 
hand at each of these games in turn, but had grown tired, 
and were standing by, having a chat, while watching 
some others play, who had staked half-a-crown a-piece 
on the issue, and were therefore somewhat inclined to be 
contentious whenever an opportunity for dispute arose. 

" I believe you visited Montreal in your tour. What 
did you think of it ? " said Mr. West to me. 

" I think the situation is beautiful, with that glorious 
Mount Royal for a back-ground, towering seven hundred 
feet above the city, and thickly wooded to the summit. 
It is a capital idea to have reserved it as a public park 
for the inhabitants." 

^* Did you visit the Boman Catholic Cemetery, on the 
further side of the mountain ? " he asked 

" Yes, and saw the fourteen Stations to the Cross." 

" What are they ? " enquired Mr. Baynor. 

" It is evident you do not belong to the Boman 

370 Baggage and Boots ; or. 

Church, or you would know. The fourteen Stations to 
the Cross are representations of some of the leading 
events in the life of our Saviour; such as the Feast at 
Cana of Galilee, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, 
which, by the bye, is the thirteenth, while the last is the 
empty tomb, intended to represent the Resurrection. At 
the Cemetery at Montreal, each of these events is depicted 
by models and bas-relief representation, carefully pro- 
tected from the weather, and preserved under arches of 
stone, built up at the back, and glazed in front. This 
does not apply to the thirteenth, as the Crucifixion is 
shown by life sized figures to represent Christ and the 
two thieves, hanging on crosses about twenty feet high, 
implanted on a rising mount at the further end of the 
Cemetery. On Good Fridays and other fast days, 
thousands of devout Catholics make the ' tour,' as it is 
called, falling down on their knees before each station 
as they come to it, to say an Ave-Maria or Pater-Noster, 
however bad the weather." 

^' I'm sure you cannot but admire their devotion, 
however much you may disapprove of the form their 
religious opinions take/' said Mr. Standish. 

Mr, West then enquired if I saw Joseph Guibord's 
tomb, when I was in the Soman Catholic Cemetery at 

*^Yes, you mean the grave covered with a massive 
block of granite, the shape of an enormous coffin, with a 
small slab of white marble inserted in the top containing 
the name of the deceased, and date of his death. It has 
however, been so mutilated, that I could scarcely read 
it, and the block of granite also has been so chipped 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 371 

about in all directions, as to be almost undefinable in 


"How has that come about? Is it an old tomb? 
inquired several of the listeners. 

" Oh dear, no," said Mr. West " Mr. Guibord only 
died in 1875. He was a Roman Catholic gentleman 
residing in Montreal, and became a member of the 
Montreal Institute, a high-class literary society. In 
consequence of the society, although nominally Catholic, 
choosing to admit on to the shelves of its library certain 
works forbidden by the Pope, he condemned the Insti- 
tute, and all true Catholics were called upon to sever 
their connection with it. Mr. Joseph Guibord declined 
to do so, and in the end he was excommunicated. 
Previously to this he had purchased a plot of ground in 
the Roman Catholic Cemetery ; and when he died, in 
1875, his family wished to bury him there, but the priests 
refused to allow it, on the ground of his excommunica- 
tion. The Montreal Institute took the matter up, and 
determined to try the case ; and after passing through 
all the Canadian courts it was transferred across the 
Atlantic for final decision in the mother country; as 
then we had no supreme court sitting at Ottawa, as we 
have now. In England it passed from court to court, 
until it was finally decided by the Privy Council or the 
House of Lords, I forget which." 

" And what was the verdict they finally arrived at ? " 

" A decision that I thought a very just one. They 
said that the priest could not be forced to read a burial 
service over him, but that the sale and purchase of the 
grave was a civil transaction, which no change of reli- 

372 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

gious opinions on the part of the contracting parties icb 
the least affected, and that, therefore, the family of the- 
deceased had a right to bnry him in the grave he had 

^^ I guess that then the poor man was at last put under 
the ground, "without more ado," said Mr. Standish. 

" Not without a good deal of disturbance," replied 
Mr. West. " The priests vowed that, despite the decision 
of the judges, the body of the heretic should never be 
buried among those of the tnie sons of their church ;. 
and from the pulpit, and in the confessional, instigated 
the Catholics to organise an armed resistance. The law 
could not, of course, be allowed to be set at defiance, 
and had now to be carried into effect by main force. 

*^ The Lieutenant-Governor — Lord Dufferin — ordered 
some of the military from Quebec and from Ottawa,, 
beside those who were already garrisoned at Montreal. 
The Catholics gave out that the ground around the 
grave had been undermined, and that if the interment 
were attempted, the whole funeral party should be blown 
up. ; Precautions were taken, and this was proved to 
be false. It was, however, thought desirable to pl^ce 
cannon on various commanding positions in the Ceme- 
tery, besides other places; and the road and grounds 
were kept by the royal forces, and the funeral party 
escorted by a detachment of the same," 

" Where had the dead man been lying all this 
while ? " 

" Why, during the months all this litigation must 
have taken, his remains must have gone putrid," I said. 

To which Mr. West replied, " In Montreal, and the 

SmWis First Peep at America. 373 

whole of Lower Canada, we never bnry during the 
winter ; it is impossible to do so." 

" How is that ? " I asked. 

" Why, the ground is completely ice-bound by the 
severe frost, which lasts for five months without a 

'^ But people die in the winter, I suppose, in Canada, 
the same as other places. Then what do you do with 

" That is so ; and we do not keep them in our houses, 
you may be sure. We take them to the Cemetery just 
»the same then as at any other time, only the hearse and 
coaches are on runners instead of wheels. At the 
Cemetery the coffins are placed in a general catacomb 
tuntil the spring, when the frost breaks and the ground 
<5an be opened, and the bodies finally buried. Besides, 
in Guibord's case, the priests had no objection to 
his being buried in a portion of the Cemetery that 
they regarded as unconsecrated, and set apart for the 
interment of heretics, and those who had died without 
receiving the rites of the church ; so that this funeral, 
under military escort, Mas only the removal of the body 
-from one part of the Cemetery grounds to another. As 
the Catholics gave out that even if buried by force of 
arms the body should never remain there, the Govern- 
ment placed upon the coffin two immense blocks of granite j 
so as to make it impossible to remove it without adequate 
appliances for the purpose, and the expenditure of so 
much time and labour that it could not be done in a 
hurry or secretly. Guibord's remains, therefore, lie 
there, but every Catholic considers it a meritorious act 

374 , Baggage and BootSy &c. 

to mutilate thcf tomb with hammer and chisel as much 
as possible." 

"Have you many Eoman Catholics in Canada?" 
asked Mr. Burns. 

" In Montreal the Protestants and the Catholics are 
about equal in numbers," said Mr. West. '^ In Ontario, 
and the whole of Upper Canada, the Protestants greatly 
predominate ; but eastward of Montreal — in Quebec and 
the whole of Lower Canada — ^they disappear almost 
entirely, the population being Roman Catholic, largely 
of French origin, and speaking the French language. 
Both in Montreal and Quebec there is a large Irish 
element, who are also Homan Catholic in religion." 

'^ Does not this diiference of religion, when so evenly 
balanced as in Montreal, frequently lead to serious 
brawls or riots among the lower classes?" continued 
Mr. Bums. 

" Yes," I interposed, " I know it does." And I was 
about to give an instance that was told me a few weeks- 
before, when the gong sounded to prepare for dinner ;. 
so Mr. Jeiferson suggested that it might be as well to 
postpone hearing the anecdote until the next day, to 
which the rest agreed ; and we then dispersed to our 
respective state-rooms to wash and dress for dinner. 


When are games not worth playing? — The Orangemen and the Catholic 
Union of Montreal — Breaches of the peaces-Murder of an Orange- 
man — ^Great excitement — Class hatred between French and Irish 
Catholics — ^The dock labourers of Quebec — Injurious trade's union 
regulations — The French Labourers' Union — A fatal fray — Quebec 
in a state of tenor — Tin Boofs — Saintly street nomenclature — 
Enlightened and benighted — Short of gaslight — A Kentucky 
sermon — Plain preaching — How to get a good collection — Pulpit 
notices — Spitting in Church. 

ONE afternoon after the " Celtic " had been at sea for 
about a week, I had unfolded my sea chair on the 
upper deck, and was sitting comfortably there reading a 
book, when someone tapped me on the shoulder, and on 
looking up I saw Mr. Standish beside me. 

" It is a beautiftil day is it not; come and sit down on 
this next chair for a while, and let us have a chat," I 

" No, thank you, not now. In fact, I have been sent 
to seek for you, as some of us want to hear what you were 
about to tell us when the gong went for dinner yesterday." 

"Oh, very well, I will do so. If you will lead the way 
I'll foUow." 

We accordingly adjourned to the Smoking-room, where 
the others were seated round a small marble topped table, 
on which stood several empty glasses and a pack of cards, 
while the players were now counting their money, and 
making a reckoning of their gains and losses. 

" Well, Mr. Smith where have you been all this while ? 
Why don't you join us in a rubber at whist sometimes ?" 

376 Baggage and Boots; or, 

" Because I make a rule of never playing for money. " 

*' Is that so ? Why, I have won ten shillings this lasfc 
half hour, and we have only been playing for shilling 
stakes," said Mr. Jefferson. 

" And some one else has lost as much, that is equally 
certain ; and for my own part I have no money to fool 

" Well, I have been one of the losers this time, but 
the amount is not much, and I may win it back another 
time, and I guess it gives a little excitement to the game 
when you have some money staked on it, however small 
the amount," said Mr. Raynor. 

" Oh, do you think so," I asked, "for my own part I 
always consider that if a game is not of sufficient interest 
in itself, without the stimulus of a money wager on the 
issue, it is not worth playing at all." 

" Is that so ? Well, I guess we are not going to play 
any more just now, as we want to hear what you were 
about to]jtell us yesterday ; and for my own part I pro- 
mise not to stake anything on the issue," repUed Mr. 

"Very well, gentlemen, I'll commence at once. 
Yesterday Mr. Burns was asking if there were not 
sometimes serious party disputes between the Protestants 
and the Roman Catholics in Montreal, and I was about 
to tell you of one, by way of illustration, which occurred 
only comparatively recently, and since the disturbance 
about Joseph Guibord's burial. I must tell you that in 
Montreal the Orangemen, the ultra-Protestants, princi- 
pally from the north of Ireland, are a very numerous and 
powerful body. In England, at the present time, we 

Smiilis First Peep at America. 377 

hear but little of Orangemen, but that society seems 
to thrive greatly on the western side of the Atlantic, and 
nowhere more so than at Montreal. There, however, 
they are met by an opposing society, equally as power- 
ful, called the Catholic Union, and consisting of ultra 
Romanists. Whenever one party was to have a fete-day 
or procession, the other got up a counter demonstration, 
and breaches of the peace so frequently ensued, that at 
last after some difficulty an arrangement was entered 
into between the leaders of both societies, by which they 
each agreed to cease having street processions, and out- 
door demonstrations altogether. This was strictly 
observed for two or three years, though not without much 
discontent on the part of many members, both among 
the Orangemen and the Catholic Union. The agreement 
of course did not prevent them from holding any number 
of meetings they liked in public halls or any other 
building. On the particular occasion that I am now 
referring to, the Orangemen had a fete, taking place at 
a hall in the citv, and as one of their number was on 
his way thither he was set upon by a mob of Roman 
Catholic roughs, on account of the orange coloured 
favour that he had imprudently pinned to his breast before 
leaving home, instead of waiting until he arrived at the 
place of assembly. He took refuge in a tobacconist's 
shop, on Victoria Square, the principal square in the city. 
The mob called upon the tobacconist to give him up to 
them, and threatened immediately to demolish his house 
about his ears if he did not do so. The terrified shop 
keeper accordingly turned the poor young fellow out. He 
fled across the Square hotly pursued by the yelling crowd 


378 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

who pinned him against a wall on the opposite side, and 
fired six shots at him, of course killing him on the spot.'* 

" Oh, how dreadful," remarked several of my 

« That is the result of allowing persons to carry fire- 
arms about with them. It naturally makes them too 
apt to resent an insult, and to make use of that means of 
revenging themselves on the spur of the moment, and in 
most cases have bitterly to repent it afterwards," said 
Mr. Standish. 

" Well, I am surprised to hear you say so, above every- 
body. I thought that everyone in California carried 
fire-arms. I know I was told I must not think of 
venturing further west than Kansas City, without doing 
so," I replied. 

" That is so," said Mr. Standish, " but for my own 
part, I highly disapprove of it, and think the Govern- 
ment ought to put a stop to it. If nobody were allowed 
to carry fire-arms, people would be equally as safe as 
when all do, and safer too ; but when some do, why the 
immediate result is that all must^ or those who were 
known not to, would at once become the butt of insult and 

" Well, I am very glad you don't, seeing I share the 
same state-room with you." 

" What was done about this Montreal murder ? " 
asked Mr. Bums. 

*^ Of course the whole Protestant population of the 
city were indignant at such a brutal outrage, and 
determined to show the Catholics that they had made a 
very great mistake in what they had done, by giving 

Smithes First Peep at America. 379 

the murdered Orangeman such a funeral as had never 
been seen in Montreal. Every Protestant in the city 
was urged upon to follow the corUge^ in fact they 
wanted very little urging, as they all felt it was high time, 
by a vast public procession, to show their numerical 
strength and sympathy with the victim. The leaders 
of the Catholic Union saw that their more ignorant 
followers had, in their fii.naticism, perpetrated an act that 
had done incalculable injury to their own side, as it at 
once made them abhorred in the eyes of thousands who 
hitherto cared very little for either party. They dreaded 
the result of feeling which the proposed demonstration 
would call forth, and did all in their power to prevent 
its taking place. They appealed to the leaders of the 
Orangemen, and quoted the agreement both sides had 
•entered into against holding street processions. But it 
was evident that all such agreements were for ever at an 
•end. They appealed to the authorities to forbid the 
demonstration, but the authorities were powerless in 
the matter, as the excitement of public feeling was so 
intense, that nq prohibitions would have prevented 
-thousands from following the funeral procession to the 
Oemetery . All that the Government could do was to take 
•every precaution in its power to prevent any further 
breach of the peace. With this view, the Montreal 
military were again had out, beside some from Quebec 
and from Ottawa, to line the route to the Cemetery ; as, 
ahouldsomezealousbutmisguided fanaticfire ashot atany- 
one in the procession (a contingency which was but too 
probable), a general fray and much bloodshed must have 
inevitably been the result." 

380 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

" And was there ? " eagerly asked Mr. Standish. 

^' No, althoagh at one moment it was feared that there 
would be, as dome mad Romanists pushed their way 
through the crowd and shook their fists at the coffin, a? 
the hearse passed. They were at once seized by some 
Orangemen, and trouble was expected ; the police, how- 
ever, promptly interfered, and a riot was prevented." 

" Did many follow ? " asked Mr. Bums. 

"Yes. Every Protestant felt it a duty incumbent 
upon him to do so. The shops along the whole line of 
route were closed, and the hearse was followed by a 
procession of thousands; such a funeral has never been 
witnessed either before or since in Montreal." 

" Did not the Catholic Union get up a counter demon* 
stration ? " 

" No, their leaders felt their cause was justly disgraced^ 
and that it was not the occasion for such a demonstration. 
Besides, when the funeral came off, they were so aston- 
ished at the numerical strength of their opponents and 
their sympathisers, that they kept quiet for a long while 
after that, seeing that their own members had made the 
Union so unpopular." 

" I guess now the Catholics and Protestants in 
Montreal hate one another pretty heartily," said Mr. 

*^ I guess that is so, but there is a class hatred in 
Montreal and Lower Canada, more bitter than that even,"^ 
said Mr. West. "It is the hatred with which the 
French Boman Catholics and the Irish Boman Catholics 
regard one another." 

" Yes," I added, "when I was in Quebec a gentleman 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 381 

there was telling of the fatal riot they had there in Jnne^ 

1879, between the French and Irish dock labourers." 

" That," said Mr. West, " was a trade dispute, not a 
religious quarrel." 

^^ That is so, but the &ct that both French and Irish 
profess the same faith did not lessen their hatred of each 
other," I said. 

*' What was it all about? '* asked Mr. Burns. 

^' Why, in Quebec there is a Dock Labourers' Trade 
Union. Not content with having procured a rate of 
pay that would perfectly astound the dock labourers of 
London or Liverpool, they proceeded to make and 
enforce rules forbidding any work after six o'clock under 
any circumstances. The working of this rule proved 
exceedingly irksome to the shippers, as it often occurred 
that a ship was prevented from sailing with the tide her 
owners intended her to, and was detained a whole day, 
simply because when six o'clock struck there remained a 
few planks or other cargo to be shipped, and the labourers 
refused to work another minute although half an hour's 
work would complete the whole." 

" In such cases were I the captain of the ship, I should 
direct my own sailors to bring the goods on board," 
remarked Mr. Bums. 

"They could not, for the Union men were like the * dog 
in the manger.' They would not do it themselves, nor 
would they let any one else, deterring them by actual 
violence. Such rules and regulations were a very short- 
sighted policy, as all artificial restrictions to the free 
development of any trade are ; and in the present case 
ship owners soon began to leave Quebec for other ports, 

382 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

where snch harassing restrictions did not exist ; and the 
timber shipping trade of the city rapidly diminished. 
The French labourers soon perceived this, and were- 
brought to believe in its true cause. They wanted some- 
alterations made in the rules of their Union, but wer& 
out-voted by the others. So a large number of them 
determined on withdrawing from the old Union, and 
creating a French Dock Labourers' Union, with suck 
alterations in the old rules as they thought would be- 
beneficial. They notified the shippers of what they had 
done, and offered to tender for the loading of cargoes.. 
The merchants were willing enough to employ them^ 
but were afraid to do so, as they expected it would 
result not only in violence to the persons of the French 
labourers, but also in wilful damage to the goods and 
shipping of those who employed them. The poor fellows- 
were left, therefore, without work. In order to show that 
they were not afraid, and that the masters need not fear 
to entrust work to them, they arranged to have a pro- 
cession to show their numerical strength, and, not content 
with promenading the principal business streets, they 
very foolishly determined to finish up with a march 
through Champlain Street down by the water side, audi 
the residential quarter and strong-hold of the Irish Dock 

Mr. Raynor here interposed, " Anyone might have 
guessed that would lead to a row." 

*' Yes, it did. The Irish heard of the intended visits 
and resolved to receive them in a way anything but 
brotherly. They fetched an old rusty cannon that was- 
lying about, and placed it on Champlain Street below 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 385 

the citadel, and loaded it with powder and small iron 
chain off the docks, which they determined to fire into 
the procession as soon as it should arrive past the curve 
in the road which would bring them within sight and 

"Iron chain! What fearful havoc that must have 
caused. Were many killed ? " 

"No, for it was never fired. So mad were the Irish 
at the prospects of a row, and so anxious to assist in the 
work of slaughter, that a number of them assembled on 
Durham Terrace, a broad promenade on the cliff over- 
hanging Ghamplain Street, and nearly two hundred feet 
above it, in order that they might add to the havoc 
caused by the cannon by hurling down great stones on 
the panic stricken demonstration. And it was this very 
thing that saved them from a dreadful slaughter. The 
French procession came, quite unconscious of the recep- 
tion that had been prepared for them as soon as they 
should reach the bend in the road. Fortunately, however, 
they did not get so far, as the excited Irish, who were up 
above them on Durham Terrace, were so anxious to 
begin the fray that they would not wait for the appointed 
signal, but commenced pelting down the great stones 
they had collected, before the members of the new Union 
had come within sight or range of the old piece of 
ordnance. This was the first intimation the French 
received that serious injury was intended them. A few 
of their number were struck, and one or two killed. 
This was quite a definite notice enough that it would 
be sheer madness to proceed further, and that they had 
already come too far. The demonstration at once came 

386 Baggage and Boots ; or 

to an end, and the panic stricken members fled in dismay, 
hotly pursued by a mob of excited Irish." 

" Then the Irish got the best of it ?" 

"Yes, for a short time, and put the city into such a state 
of terror, that the French and Protestant English went in 
dread of their lives for the next two or three days, fear- 
ing to venture out of their houses especially after dark." 

" I guess you found the place quiet enough when you 
were there, did you not ? " 

" Oh, yes, there was nothing of the kind going on then, 
I am thankful to say, or I should soon have decamped." 

" What sort of city is Quebec?" 

" A somewhat quaint old fashioned town, very strongly 
fortified, in fact, the citadel is considered to be all but 
impregnable, so that it is often called the Gibraltar of 
Canada. Almost all the churches, besides a large number 
of the private houses ar^ roofed with wood, covered Mrith 
tin plates, which glitter in the sunlight and give the_place 
a somewhat remarkable appearance, judging from 
the names of the streets I should take the inhabitants to 
be very religious, seeing the large number of saints they 
have called to their assistance in the nomenclature of 
their thoroughfares. For instance, the only line of tram- 
way they have runs along Saint Peter, Saint John, and 
Saint Joseph's Streets." 

" Is that so? Then I am sure Quebec ought to be*^ 
very enlightened city, when so many saints possess the 

" I am afraid the facts do not warrant the belief. Be 
that as it may however, I am quite sure that a little more 
material light in the way of gas for street illumination 

Smithes First Peep at America, 387 

would prove a blessing. When I was there, there was 
no moon, and I had the greatest difficnlty to find an 
address I wished to call at one eveninor after dark.'' 

^* How is that ? Are they so uncivilized in that region 
of the world as not to have gas even yet ? " 

" There is a gas company at Quebec, and there are gas 
lamps in the streets, but when I was there they had not 
been lit for three weeks in consequence of a disagree- 
ment between the company and the corporation." 

" What about ?" 

" About the price. The city authorities had come to 
the conclusion that they had been paying too much and 
wished to reduce it, to which the Gas Company would 
not agree, and had refused to supply the Corporation, so 
for three weeks the streets had been left in complete 
darkness afl;er sunset." 

" That is a strange way of doing things ; we manage 
our afiairs better in Kentucky," said Mr. Bums. 

^^ Possibly so in Louisville, but in some of the country 
parts of Kentucky they say and do some of the strangest 
thinors I ever came across." 

" Is that so ? Give us an example." 

" Well, for instance, in the Sunday discourses of some 
of your ministers, and the mode in which they take up 
a collection at church." 

" What is that? Tell us how they do it," eagerly-enquired 
several. Mr. Burns lit a fresh cigar, and was just walking 
off" when the others called him back. " Mr. Burns, don't 
go away just this minute, stay and hear this description 
of a Kentucky collection, that we may have your 
testimony as to its correctness." Mr. Burns complied, 

388 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

and I began. *' Well, gentlemen, as the collection was 
preceded by a sermon, I think I will tell you a little 
about thai first, as I thought it rather a remarkable one. 
The minister selected for his text, ^ We beseech you, 
brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are 
over you in the Lord, and admonish you ; and to esteem 
them very highly in love for their work's sake.' 

" The preacher did not mince matters, but from the 
verses I have just quoted, delivered the most out-spoken 
plea for a better support of the ministry that I ever heard 
from the pulpit I have not the slightest doubt of his 
hearty belief in all he said on that occasion, and which 
thousands of other ministers from among all denomi- 
nations would like to say to their congregations had 
they only the courage. 

** *Now,' he proceeded, * I know very well what you 
will say, Oh yes, it is all very well for him to talk thus, 
because it is for his own benefit. Well, I am not the 
first to say it. The great Apostle himself preached it 
before me. The Bible is as clear on this point as on any 
other, and so I will say it to you ' " &c., &c. 

" I guess that was plain enough preaching anyhow. 
How did the collection proceed ? " asked Mr. Ba-ynor. 

"Towards the end of his sermon he took out his 
pocket knife and began cutting up some paper, and 
sharpening some lead pencils, in the pulpit, while he 
informed his hearers that he had some notices to give 
out. ^One of them,' he remarked, ^I know you 
will like, and another you will net like at all. Now 
I know what it will be. If I tell you the one 
you will like first, then you will get up and go before 

SmtttCs First Peep at America. 389 

we can attend to the other, so I had better tell you the 
one you will not like first, as I can then make sure of 
you staying to hear all about something you will like. 
The first notice, then, is that there is to be a collection, 
which will be taken up woir.' 

*^ Now I know very well what you will say, Oh I but 
you should have told us before, we have brought no 
money.' Not a bit of it, I know you too well for that ; 
if I had told you last Sunday you would not have come 
this, and as to having no money with you, that does not 
signify one bit. If you have none with you now, you 
can just put down on this paper what you will give — it 
will do any time between now and this day month." 

Then addressing himself to the two belles of his con- 
gregation, who were sitting in the body of the church, 
he said,^ Miss Ley land and Miss Angelina,will you kindly 
borrow two gentlemen's hats and take up the collection.' 
The young ladies addressed borrowed two hats, took the 
paper and penc'ls which the reverend gentleman handed 
to them from the pulpit, and commenced with those sit- 
tincr in the pews nearest to them. * No ladies,' broke in 
their pastor, ' kindly commence at the other end of the 
church if you please, or I know very well what it will 
be, before you get to the further end those men sitting 
near the door will slip out.' This remark created a 
slight commotion, but the preacher, addressing those 
spoken of said, ' It is all very well for you to laugh, but 
I know you of old, I have not lived in the world all these 
years without finding out what human nature is.' " 

"And was the collection a good one?" 

" Yes, fairly so, and I think it was to be attributed to 

390 Baggage and Boots ^ 6^^., 

the wise selection of collectors made by the preacher. 
The young ladies would not take ^ No ' for an answer, 
but if anyone shook their head, argued the claims of the 
<;ause^ and held the pencil and paper before them, until 
it was impossible to resist such pleading any longer." 
■ ^' And what was the other announcement, the one the 
reverend gentleman said they would all like? " 

" That on that day three weeks they were to have a 
^ Basket Sunday. * A tent was to be erected on the 
small green outside the church, where the horses of those 
who had come from a distance were then grazing, 
tethered to stakes fastened in the ground, while their 
owners every now and then got up and peered out of 
the church windows to see that they were all right. On 
Basket Sunday every one was to bring his or her dinner 
with them, as it would be a sort of pic-nic interspersed 
with religious exercises." 

'^ What you heard has evidently made a great im- 
pression on you, seeing you have not yet forgotten it 
I hope you enjoyed the exercises " (services). 

" Yes, and would have done so still more if a man 
before me, lounging all the while with his arm over the 
back of his pew, had not so dreadfully annoyed me by 
constantly spitting during the whole service, sometimes 
in his own pew, but mostly turning round and doing so 
into the pew in which I was sitting." 

" What of that, don't people spit in England ? " 

^' Not in church, certainly. It would be considered 
most disgusting to do so." 


The CSaptain's dinner — English and American dishes — ^Last day of the 
voyage — Calling off Qneenstown — ^Mr. Boms seeks information 
how trayellersmanage with their ''bagg^ige" — Some people seem to 
prefer checks to ba^^gage — Berolyer carrying — Preaching and 
practice — Arrival at Liverpool — Jonmey to London — End of all 
troubles Re *' Baggage and Boots/ 


TT was Sunday afternoon. The '' Celtic " had now been 
^ eight days at sea, and the passengers were looking 
forward to seeinor land the followinor morning. Mr. 
Burns and I had both been enjoying ourselves on the 
promenade deck, taking it easily, resting ourselves in our 
steamer chairs, each with a book borrowed from the ship's 
library. Presently I said, " Why,it is half-past five already, 
there goes the gong to prepare for dinner. I wonder 
whether we are to have the wedding breakfast this 
evening or to-morrow." 

^* What do you call the wedding breakfast ? " 
" Why, the last dinner of the voyage is usually an 
«xtra grand one. The provisions are even more sump- 
tuous than usual and covered with ornaments as though 
they had just been sent in from a first-class pastry-cook's, 
and stuck over with little Enorlish and American flags. 
The cakes are covered with splendid ornaments just like a 
bride's cake, and bon-bons are placed by the side of your 
plate. That is why I call it the wedding breakfast, 
although it is,I believe,usually called the Captain's dinner. 
Of course we do not expect to land until Tuesday, but 

392 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

the passengers for Ireland will probably have left before 
this time to-morrow." 

" The provisioning has been verj good throughout 
the voyage, any one not satisfied must indeed be hard to 

*' I think so too. Here we have had both English and 
American dishes." 

**I8 there much difference between the food in American 
and in English hotels ? " 

" Yes, I noticed several things that to me at least were 
novel. For instance Clam Chowder soup, or, in fact, 
clams in any form, then Blue fish, Bass fish, and soft 
shelled crabs, also the bear flesh, that was occasionally 
to be had at the tip-top hotels ; and the large variety of 
hot bread that you eat, and which, for the most part, I 
did not like at all; besides sundry vegetables and fruit 
quite new to me. " 

" Such as what ? " 

*' Well, Green-com,for instance, is quite unknown with, 
us, and theli, again, the immense number of tomatoes the 
Americans eat quite astonish an Englishman. Tomatoes 
for breakfast, tomatoes for luncheon, tomatoes for dinner, 
tomatoes for supper, tomatoes raw, tomatoes boiled, 
tomatoes baked, tomatoes stewed, tomato sauce, tomato 
soup, &c., in fact tomatoes everywhere and always. JThen^ 
again the great abundance of peaches, sweet melons, and 
canteloupes, which I thought very nice, as also the blue 
berries, so plentiful during August in Lower Canada. 
There was another thing with which I was agood'deal 
struck, and that was the number of eggs you use, and 
the great variety of ways in which you cook and eat 

SmitKs First Peep at America, 393 

ithem. Eggs boiled^ fried^ poached^ shirred, dropped, 
^scrambled. Omelettes plain, omelettes with sagar, 
with herbs, with parsley, with cheese, with ham, 
with kidneys, with onions, with jelly, and with your 
everlasting tomatoes." 

" Are peanuts ate as largely in England as with us ? " 

" No, indeed, they are almost unknown, and not much 
of a miss either, for I think them no better than acorns, 
and cannot imamne what makes the Americans so fond 
of them." 

" Is that so? Well now, let us come below and see the 
decorations before the company take their places for 

We accordingly did so, and found the tables beautifully 
arranged, and ornamented in a manner reflecting great 
credit on the stewards. 

The following morning the first thing I did on waking 
was to jump up and look out of the porthole of my state 
room to see if land was in sight. I hardly expected 
it would be, and was much surprised to find that the 
vessel was steaming along quite close to the wild, rugged 
clifi^s that form the coast line of the south-west of Ireland. 

I dressed quickly, and hurried on deck in order to 
obtain a more extended view just in time to see a string of 
colours denoting the number of the ship, &c., run up the 
mizzen mast, and which were soon answered by a signal 
from the coast guard station on shore, and from where 
the arrival of homeward bound ships is telegraphed to 
the owners' agents in Queenstown or elsewhere. 

After breakfast a mail bag was hung up in the saloon 

for the reception of passengers' letters intended to be 

c c 

394 Baggage and Boots ; or^ 

posted in Qaeenstown, and telegraph forms were laid on 
the table for those who wished to advise their friends 
either in England or America of their safe arrival. 

Abont noon the *' Celtic " reached the entrance to 
Queens town harbour,where she was met by the company *» 
tender, which brought out the pilot who was to navigate 
the ship into the port of Liverpool, and to which were 
transferred the whole of the mails brought by the ^^Celtic"^ 
and the passengers bound for Ireland, together with the 
letters and telegrams written by the passengers. This 
operation only occupied about ten minutes, during which 
both steamers had continued travelling in order that not 
a minute of time should be lost. As soon as it wa» 
completed, the tender let go the cables with which she 
was lashed to the ocean steamer, and turned her head 
towards Queenstown, while the other pursued her course 
for the St. George's Channel. 

That afternoon, as Mr. Bums and I were taking a 
"constitutional'* up and down the promenade deck, he 
said, *^ I have never crossed before, and should be glad 
if you would give me a little information on one or two 

" I shall be pleased to do so, if it is in my power." 
** One thing I want to know is, on landing do I give 
my baggage to an * express- man' to convey to the rail- 
road depot for me ? " 

" No, indeed, as soon as you set foot on our happy 
shore the American miseries of ' Baggage and Boots ^ 
will disappear like snow in the sun. As soon as your 
luggage has been examined by the Custom house officials 
Vou hail a hack — ^we call them cabs — and you and your 

SmitKs First Peep at America. 395 

luggage go together wherever you want, at about one 
third the price charged for the same services in the 
United States." 

" And at the depot I suppose I can get my baggage 
<5hecksd through to London ? ** 

"Not in the American sense of the word, as our 
Eailway Companies never give any tallies in exchange, 
AS with you." 

'^ Is that SO ? I wonder the people will put up with 
that, 1 should expect to have my baggage stolen very 


" You need not fear that. Show the porter your 
ticket, and he will paste a paper label with the name of 
the station you have booked for on to your luggage. 
When you have seen that done, you need trouble no 
more about it, it is quite safe, and safer too, as you have 
no check to lose, and you will find it all right at your 

" I don't like that plan, I should prefer a check." 
I laughingly said, "It is, I suppose, what we have been 
dsed to. The Americans are so passionately fond of 
<5hecks that they seem to prefer them to their luggage. 
I know one, in fact, who came from New Hampshire 
to New York some weeks ago, having first checked his 
baggage ; he has the check now, but where the baggage 
18 no one knows. He said to me, ' Where would he be 
without the check T and I told him, as well off as with 
it, and that for my own part I should prefer to lose the 
check than lose my luggage." 

" Did you wire to your friends from Queenstown ? " 
" I sent a telegram to my former landlady to know if 

396 Baggage and Boots ; or, 

she had any apartments yacanty and could again receive 
me. I directed her to write to-night^ and I shall find the- 
letter at the Liverpool Post Office to-morrow morning." 

^^ I wish to go on to London at once^ and if yon intend 
to do the same perhaps we may travel together." 

'^ I shaU be very pleased to do so. By the bye, da 
you remember Mr. Standish rmining down the practice 
of carrying pistols, and I told him I was glad he held 
those views, seeing he shared the same state-room ? '^ 

« Yes. " 

" Then judge of my surprise this morning to see the 
handle of a revolver projecting from a pocket at the back 
of his pants. I had not observed it before, as until to-day^ 
he had not got up until I was dressed and gone. I toaa 
surprised after the way we had heard him talk.'' 

" Were you? I should not have been, for I never yet 
met a man from California who did not carry fire-arms 
about him." 

When the passengers awoke the following morning 
they found that they had arrived in the Mersey during 
the night, and that their voyage was now finished, and 
the *^ Celtic " was lying quiefly at anchor in mid stream 
opposite the Prince's Landing Stage at Liverpool, where, 
after an early breakfast, the passengers were landed icu 
the ** White Star " Company's tender. The inevitable 
Custom House ordeal occupied some little time, after 
which many good-byes were said, and the passengers 
separated hither and thither, in the majority of cases 
never to meet again, but for the most part carrying 
away with them many pleasant recollections of the tea 
days during which they were necessarily thrown so- 

SmttKs First Peep at America. 397 

mucli into each others' company in their voyage across 
the Atlantic. 

Hailing a cab^ Mr. Barns and I went together to 
Lime Street Station, calling on the way at the Qeneral 
Post Office, where I fonnd the letter I expected. 

After a rapid railway journey of five hours only, we 
arrived in the " Metropolis of the world," and alighted 
from the train in Euston Square Station, where we at 
last had to bid each other good-bye, Mr. Bums pro^ 
misingsoon to come and spend an evening with me and 
tell me his first impressions of London and the English. 

As I drove through the familiar streets I could not 
help noticing the eagerness with which the shoe-black 
boys looked out for jobs at a penny a pair, and 
comparing them with those of the same '^ profession " in 
Chicago, who sit on their boxes reading their newspaper, 
and have to be kicked off to transact business at ten 
cents a ** shine." Again, as to my luggage, I knew that 
to be all right on the top of the cab I was travelling in, 
and felt it a relief to be able to dispense with the services 
of the American '^Express Baggage Agent." 

Very soon the cab drew up at my old address, and 
in answer to my knock and ring my former landlady 
opened the door with many expressions of welcome and 

of congratulation for my safe return. 

* * ♦ ♦ * 

Thus ended Smith's first American tour, which I havo 
endeavoured to tell as nearly as possible in his own 
words, and must now bring to a close my tale entitled 



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