1 January 1843. I am now about to commence on thy pages, the events which are to transpire in the ensuing year. Who can tell what may occur, in the short space of the coming year, who can tell what will be recorded in thy pages, ah, no one. Look back upon what has transpired in the year just closed, of those who were with us then, how many have done with all the hopes of the living. We look around for those whom we were wont to see, some hoary honored heads are gone, some who have long been with us, as dear friends and relatives are here no more. Some in the midst of life bearing "the heat and burden of the day" are gone, some too with whom life was in its morning are gone and all their earthly hopes are buried. So it will be in the year now advancing along that deep obscure plan of the future. The voice of the departed year resounds with solemn echoes, "Prepare, for we know not what this year may bring forth."
The revolving seasons have again brought round the day, and it is now buried in oblivion, on which "glad tidings" were proclaimed to man. Universal Christendom hailed the day, which is to it the memorial of its redemption. Angels first sang the song of praise and thanksgiving, and countless myriads of the human race have caught the glad refrain. That day has been set apart from time immemorial as the one on which joy should reign alone.
Friends and relatives meet to share each other's happiness. The brow of age is smoothed, the gay laugh of happy childhood rings upon the ear, and the heart-spoken wish of a "Merry Christmas" is a thousand times repeated. While all is sunshine and happiness with those upon whom Providence has showered its kind gifts, let them not forget that there are many to whom Christmas brings few joys. Whilst around their well-filled boards or glowing hearths they listen with ready ear to the patter of their children, or watch with parental care their many gambols, let them remember the secret agencies which in many a room of this proud city are issuing from hearts bowed to the very dust by penury and disease. Whilst they are reveling in every luxury that wealth can procure, let them not forget in how many abodes of want crying children ask in vain for food and fuel. Let them remember that He whose natal day they celebrate has commanded them to be ready to distribute to those that need.
The birth day of the religion of charity is the most appropriate season for its blessed exercises. In commemorating the greatest of events, that which made all men brothers, who can fail to remember that
"Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;
A brother to relieve how exquisite the bliss."
After the festivities of the day of social intercourse are over, after the luxurious sons and daughters of idleness have had their full joy, e'er their pleasure wearied heads seek the pillow, they should respond to the evocation of the poet, and "in charitable thought intent" dream of good deeds to do on the morrow.
"O ye, who sunk in beds of down
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
Think for a moment in his wretched fate
Whom friends and fortune quite disown.
Ill-satisfied keen nature's clam'rous call
Strech'd on his straw, he lays himself to sleep.
While thro'the ragged roof and chinkey wall
Chill o'er his slumber piles the drifty heap."
It is at all times an unpleasant duty to record the departure from the world of one with whom we have been acquainted. The duty becomes doubly painful when the one taken from "time to eternity" has been an intimate friend, a bosom companion; one that has known our joys and sorrows, has been with us in our reveries; one that has helped to build our airy castles, has participated in the high visions of our dazzling dreams, has heard the crash of the former whenever they came in contact with the reality, has witnessed the rapid flight of the latter, as their owner, meeting naught but care on every side, advanced along the rugged paths of the world, finding briars where he expected to crush beneath his feet only the violet and the lily, thorns where he thought to gather flowers, enemies instead of friends, sorrow in the face of joy, and trouble where pleasure should have been. With the sad feelings created by the loss of such a friend, I have to record the death of one, well known, and beloved by all of us.
The practice of writing eulogiums and panegyrics upon the departed may be beneficial when kept within proper limits, when the conscience of the living is not violated to make saints of the dead; yet it too frequently happens that some kind friend, knowing the character of the deceased while living was not such as to descend to posterity, attempts by a laudatory obituary to obliterate the past and give the attributes of an angel to one who, had the hangman not been deprived of his due, would have died upon a gallows. Therefore that I may
"Nothing extenuate, nor set down ought in malice"
that I may keep clear of undue praise, and without being subject to unjust censure, I shall merely state that last night at the twelfth chime of the State House bell,(1) the year Anno Domini One thousand eight hundred and forty two departed from this mundane sphere, to the undiscovered country "from whose bourn no traveler returns," dark oblivion, Death.
I attended Grace Church(2) this morning. Mr. Suddards delivered an eloquent and affecting sermon, reviewing the many events that have transpired in the year past, and also the deaths of some who have been connected with our congregation. Miss Margaret Hedges and David Weatherly dined with us, and after dinner Weatherly and I went down to the office, I to write to Henry Borden(3) , and he for reading. Remained there until about 1/4 of 4 when we went down to Miss Craycroft's, spent the rest of the afternoon.
In the evening attended the new Presbyterian Church(4) at the S.E. corner of Broad and Olive Streets, Penn Square. It was dedicated to the service of Almighty God last evening with the usual religious ceremonies, and was open today for the first time. The Reverend Henry A. Boardman(5) preached, and delivered an impressive and well written sermon. The novel, impressive and beautiful style of architecture which characterizes this edifice has attracted the notice and enlisted the admiration of many of our Citizens, who have already classed it as one of the chief ornaments of the City. The edifice was designed by and erected under the care of Napoleon LeBrun,(6) A.D. Caldwell being the contractor.
The whole was constructed in the remarkable short space of seven months. The principal facade on Broad consists of a Corinthian portico resting on a rustic basement, and is approached by a steep flight of 13 steps (granite). The columns are so disposed as to surround a part of the massive foundation intended for the steeple. The interior is furnished in an elegant and chaste style, the architecture being in strict harmony with the exterior. The pulpit presents an imposing appearance. It rests upon a basement of 4 feet in height supporting a screen of 4 columns with a rich entablature extending to the ceiling.
This day is clear, cold, and pleasant, just such a one as the fair sex wish for to make a promenade, although they cannot indulge in one, on account of its being the Sabbath, the day on which all mankind, and every other living object ought to rest. But I am sorry to say, in a measure it is not so, for upon the streets and upon the corners may be seen groups of idle young men, loitering, swearing, and perhaps insulting all good folks on their way to church. And then again as you pass the tavern you hear loud voices, singing and reveling. Could all these things be dispensed with it would be a great blessing on our country, our dearly loved country, "the land of the free, and the home of the brave" - America. Wind fresh and bracing from the W. by S.W. Thermometer 8 a.m. 25, at 1/4 past 32, at 10 p.m. 30. After returning home from church this evening remained up reading until 1/4 past 10 o'clock p.m. Got up at 1/4 past Seven a.m. and to bed at 1/2 past 10 p.m.
2 January 1843. Chestnut Street in the afternoon was crowded with the beauties of the City, each countenance lit up with a smile, as if in praise to a beautiful and balmy afternoon, which had been given or, I may say, purposely cleared off to afford them an opportunity of promenading. At the office part of the morning for I could not resist the temptation of paying a visit to one or two of the fair ones. In the afternoon about 4 o'clock took a stroll up Chestnut Street. It presented almost an unbroken line of human beings from the Delaware to Broad Street, all ages and all sexes were there, struggling and jostling their way through the mass of human beings that well nigh blocked this thoroughfare of fashion.
3 January 1843. In the afternoon Mr. Burr and myself took a little recreation by indulging in that healthful exercise of skating on the Schuylkill above the dam. The skating was fine, but the wind being strong, could not make much headway up the river; towards the latter part of the afternoon it subsided.
4 January 1843. Jack Frost seems to be in earnest and we may anticipate a plentiful harvest of ice. The Delaware is full of ice, and the navigation much impeded. The Schuylkill is closed both above and below the dam, with fine skating above. The ice cutters are busily employed, cutting and stowing away that commodity which is to be so great a luxury in the ensuing summer, and of which we were deprived last.
Evening went down with David Weatherly to attend a party to which we had been invited through two notes which had been left at our house last evening. We had some suspicions of the validity of them, but we thought it would not cost us much trouble to dress, &c. We would take a stroll down that way and if there should prove to be a party, we would pass perhaps a very pleasant evening. But upon arriving at the door we were almost certain of its being a hoax, for upon its opening nothing but Miss Craycroft met our eye, sewing, instead of, as we expected, the gay and laughing girls, the music, dancing, singing, &c. We however walked in as if we had been paying some other calls, threw our cloaks off, nothing daunted, and sat down as if nothing out of the way was going on. Presently Miss Fannie Craycroft presented herself, and after the usual salutations, &c., she enquired of us whether we knew she was to have a party. We of course denied knowing anything of it, although it was as much as either of us could do to keep from laughing, and after a little cross-questioning, we allayed all suspicions and from the conversation we had, it appears that we were not the only ones that were duped by the false invitations, for Miss E. Mercer(7) and also the Misses Coates' had received them, and Miss Mercer had gone so far as to prepare a dress for the occasion.
5 January 1843. The Delaware was filled with heavy floating ice which is driven in the Jersey Channel, and also in the Pennsylvania channel from Kensington down to Spruce Street; but from the latter named point down some distance below the Navy Yard, it was standing during the afternoon. Towards the latter part of the afternoon a large flow of ice separated from the rest, with a number of skaters upon it, then floated up as far as Chestnut Street. For a time they were in great peril, but the ice being driven in toward shore, and also some other loose floating cakes, all landed in safety, after having a pleasant, though dangerous, ride of about 3 squares, much to their fright and to the amusement of the crowd along the wharves.
6 January 1843. Evening attended a Lecture at the Mercantile Library Company(8) with Miss Mary Cuthbert and Lydia.(9) The Reverend Doctor Davis lectured on his subject, "The Ancient Egyptians," which he discussed in a very instructive and entertaining manner. He treated briefly the religious polity and the arts and sciences of the Egyptians, showing what progress that ancient people had made in the modes of civilized life. The Lecture was entertaining and instructive, a great many interesting facts being told in connection with their palaces, tombs, &c. which enlisted the attention of the large and fashionable audience who were in attendance.
7 January 1843. Was as warm as a day in May. There was an occasional light sprinkle of rain at different periods of the morning, one of which came just as the good folk had got clearly on their "homeward track" from Grace Church, and then such a running, jostling, and pushing I never did see to save the pretty bonnets and artificial flowers that decked the heads of the fair ones. The only thing that I have to regret was not having a hundred umbrellas, for it's my opinion I could have done efficient service with them, and perhaps made many a fair friend and had many a sweet smile bestowed upon me from those sweet creatures, heaven's sweetest gifts, the ladies, bless them.
9 January 1843. The weather is a strange thing, nothing affords a more fruitful theme for chit-chat and prophecy than the weather. The most curious speculations, however, are usually to be found at the commencement of each winter, as to the character of the coming season. The auguries are derived from as many sources as there are prophets. One judges from the flight of birds, another from the care taken by amphibious animals to provide shelter for themselves, another from the character of the closing season, and another from the clearing up of autumn and early winter storms. These are, however, all liable to error, but there is one method which is indisputable, and which will afford an unerring test, and that is the heart bone of the goose - if that is clear, or but slightly clouded, the winter will be warm, if the reverse, the winter will be cold. One caution they say, however, is to be observed. You are to be sure that your goose is a young one, of the same year, and above all it must be a Jersey goose.
11 January 1843. At the office all day. Evening at home(10) reading in "Buonaparte's expedition into Russia." Ma,(11) Pa(12) & Grandma(13) were up at Mr. Elliott's to tea, and also spent the evening.
12 January 1843. My much admired and highly esteemed beauty, Miss Edith Baily, was married last evening to a Mr. (?) from New York. It was rather unexpected to her, for it was not to have happened until the 17th, but on account of some misunderstanding, he came on, together with his groomsmen and several friends, and of course it could not be delayed.
There was a considerable riot(14) up town last night among the weavers. The sheriff(15) went up with a posse of about 200 men but was beaten off. The Sheriff, I believe, was much injured by being struck with a heavy club, and also by several bricks. His posse behaved very cowardly and deserted him, leaving him to the mercy of an enraged mob. It is only a wonder that he got off with so little bodily injury. There is several military companies ordered to hold themselves in readiness to march to the scene of disturbance at a moment's warning this evening, and I believe a company of horsemen has gone up to station themselves upon the Ground.
14 January 1843. I took a walk up as far as 11th Street, but found it too unpleasant to walk long, although the fair faces with smiling countenances that I met at every step almost made me continue my walk, but thinking the Athenaeum(16) would be far more comfortable I stepped in there and safely ensconced myself in one of the large arm chairs, picked up the "Post," and soon lost all thoughts of the ladies outside.
16 January 1843. In the evening David Weatherly, Jr. called for me for the purpose of going down to the office to peruse Blackstone,(17) but night being so beautiful and the moon so brilliant, we could not resist the temptation of taking a stroll to see the ladies.
17 January 1843. Evening attended a lecture delivered before the "American Institute" by the Reverend H.W. Bellows.(18) The subject was "The capacity for Indefinite Education, the distinguishing attribute of man." It was an original and exceedingly beautiful and eloquent discourse. The idea of the title was first illustrated and enforced. The necessity, right and true dignity of intellectual culture, the unfolding of the faculties, the extension of the ability to observe and reason and to discover truth were successively exposed, and urged upon the consideration of the audience. A distinction was then lucidly drawn between mere learning, the knowledge of books or languages, and actual wisdom, the wakening of the mind to a sense and the use of its investigating powers. Various other topics were unfolded in the course of the lecture and especially the intimate connection between human liberty and genuine education. A series of practical suggestions closed the address. This lecture was in every respect sound in principle and luminous in exposition, and gave further evidence of the very high talents which Mr. Bellows has exhibited in his former discourses to Philadelphia audiences.
18 January 1843. In the evening after waiting upon Grandma down to Mrs. Reiford 's, who is boarding at the S.E. corner of Walnut and 6th Streets, went up to Menagerie where we met William Bird. After satisfying our curiosity by taking several strolls around to see the animals we took our station on some steps a little elevated above the rest to see the performance. It consisted of Herr Dresbach being attacked by a leopard and having a tussle with him; he finally became victorious which showed what perfect command he had over his animals. He also was drawn by a large lioness harnessed to a chariot, and afterwards by a large tiger. He went through a number of other feats, showing the docility of his animals. There was some little alarm caused towards the latter part of the performance by a leopard, which they were exhibiting on the back of the elephant, becoming restive. They, however, succeeded in securing him after a little tussle and some roaring by the elephant, but not without a great scampering of the audience.
19 January 1843. At the office all day, evening at home reading Blackstone. Ma, Grandma, & Lydia were up at Mr. Sewell's this evening, I believe there was a company there for the purpose of sewing carpet rags.
24 January 1843. In the evening about 6 o'clock our neighborhood was thrown into quite a hassle by the cry of fire. Upon going to the door found rather a dense smoke was issuing from the house situated at the S.E. corner of 3rd and Chestnut Streets. Being too much engaged to go out I cannot speak for the damage done, although I believe it to be considerable, owing to the great quantity of water thrown upon the premises, although not much by the fire.
In the evening took a walk down for the purpose of having a tete-a-tete with my friend William Hanley, but on entering I was told there was several young ladies up in the Parlor and was invited to go up, which I of course accepted. After conversing for a while, dancing was introduced, which soon wore off that reserve which generally characterizes a fast introduction, and we were soon tripping it on the light fantastic toe as one of the Misses Danali's discoursed beautiful music on the piano.
26 January 1843. I went up with Ma to make a call on Mr. and Mrs. Chameaux at 160 Marshall Street. Evening at home reading until about 8 o'clock when Pa came in and commenced overhauling some jewelry, which of course put an end to it. He kindly made me a present this evening of several articles, which I will here name: a large gold seal ring with claret colored stone, a pearl handled boot knife, two pen knives, one a pearl and the other a buck handle, and also a small set containing 6 pieces of conveyancer tools.
3 February 1843. Rather a cool and uncomfortable day, and the keenness of the air caused the noses of the outdoor people to assume a bluish tint. Pedestrians moved along the narrow thoroughfares at almost railroad speed, the wood dealers anticipated a rise in fuel, the hot muffin man had the contents of his basket enfolded in double wrappers, the bright-eyed belles sported their tippets and muffs, and dandies and loafers were especially careful to keep on the sunny side of the street.
6 February 1843. The streets are in a pretty fair sleighing condition, and the belles accompanied by their beaus are making fine use of them, and the sidewalks are in prime order for breaking bones.
7 February 1843. The present month seems determined that the well established character of winter shall not suffer by inconstant behavior, so accordingly we are visited with weather calculated to enhance the profits of dealers in flannels and fuel. On Sunday we had a very decent example of a driving sleet storm, which made locomotion quite unpleasant and caused thin congregations at most of the churches. Yesterday and today we had strong breezes from the N.W., bringing with them quite a suffocation of cold from the frozen regions, and causing a demand for overcoats, well filled grates, and hot coffee. The sleet of Sunday still remains.
The Delaware was, last evening at 5 o'clock, clear of ice. This morning at 11 o'clock, it was frozen tight at several points from shore to shore and throughout the day was full of ice. Remarkably seasonal weather! It puts the "oldest inhabitant" in mind of the days of his boyhood. I noticed today in the Philadelphia Gazette,(19) an account of "one of the oldest inhabitants," who stopped in their office to say that just 132 years ago, i.e. on the 6th of February 1713, he remembered just such a night as the last, and then added with a sigh, "Ah, we had no ice boats in those days to destroy the enjoyment the river offers us."
Although hereabouts the snow has been no "great shakes," yet the cold has been enough to shake the stoutest frame when exposed to its influence. In every direction around our City, however, the snow has fallen to a great depth. I learn from the papers that at Harrisburg the snow fell to the depth of 15 or 18 inches, and that in the county surrounding that place it was deeper. On the railroad between this City and Lancaster,(20) the snow in some places drifted to a depth of 2 or 3 feet, and cars were unable to force their way through. The line from the West has been more fortunate, and though it did not reach here on Monday evening, came through in good season today. In the vicinity of Reading, the fall of snow was heavy, and the drifts in some places impeded travel. Six locomotives were constantly running up and down, together with a number of teams and snow ploughs, which kept the track pretty clear, but not sufficiently to enable a train to depart without being clogged. The mails from the East are all behind time; the mails which left New York yesterday at 9 A.M. and 5 P.M., and that which left this morning at 9 have not one of them arrived.
In the evening went down to see Hanley, remained there but a short time, and then strolled down to Miss Elizabeth Mercer's. She not being in, went around to the Misses Coates' where I met two ladies whose names I do not remember. During the course of conversation, I was a little astonished to hear of the elopement of Miss Sarah Mercer yesterday morning. It appears she went down to her sister's early yesterday morning for the purpose of spending the day, but did not remain there long. She has not returned home since, and was last seen in Chestnut Street yesterday afternoon walking with a Mr. Heberton who they have since arrested. They are in contemplation of arresting five others, who are cognizant to the elopement. A few minutes previous to my leaving the Misses C's, we were informed that she was found in a state of mental derangement in the house in the neighborhood of 12th and Pine Streets. What caused this derangement, I cannot tell, although I have my own private thoughts on the subject which I do not think confident to place on the pages of my journal. But, I suppose more of this anon, which perhaps may be near and on the pages of this book, although I cannot say it will add much to the interest of it. But as the world goes and it must be placed among the often strange things that have been recorded before. So enough for the present....
10 February 1843. The abduction or elopement case of Miss Mercer which I mentioned on the pages of this book on Tuesday last has terminated in a horrible tragedy. It appears that Hutchinson Heberton, the person who it was reported (nothing proved) had abducted the young lady, fell by the hand of her brother this evening about 6 1/2 o'clock. It is said he (her brother) has been watching Heberton for the last few days, and I believe presented him with a challenge which he promptly refused; and this evening as Heberton was about leaving the City by way of Camden, and seated in a closed carriage on board of the boat, Mercer in a hellish, fiendish and cowardly manner fired at him from behind a coal box, four times, with one of the patent six barreled revolving pistols. Two of the balls took effect, the first just under the left shoulder blade, and the second entered at the body and the third and 4th entered the door of the carriage. He was carried into a tavern near at hand and expired almost immediately. I cannot find words enough to express my thoughts of this cowardly, hellish, fiendish, and dastardly act committed on a man that has had nothing yet proved upon him. I hope that justice may have its due and he may be punished.
11 February 1843. In the evening I accompanied Lydia to Mdme Hazard's(21) cotillion party to which place we were admitted by tickets procured through the kindness of Miss Adriana Brinckl. On entering the room, and for sometime afterward, I was under the impression that it would be rather a dry affair for me, for I had been told visitors were not permitted to dance. I, however, was determined to dance, if I could possibly get permission, which I did after having a little confab with Mr. Hazard.
17 February 1843. I went up town to see the funeral of the gallant sailor, Commodore Isaac Hull.(22) His remains were deposited in a vault in Christ Church,(23) to be removed hereafter to Laurel Hill.(24) The windows of the houses and stores in the streets in different parts of the City were chiefly closed, and a long line of military and citizens followed his body to its resting place. The tomb now contains all of his mortal remains, but his name will continue to bloom green and fresh in the tree of glory long after those who now mourn his departure shall have gone to give an account of their deeds. The body of the deceased was laid in the coffin attired in blue pantaloons, buff undress military vest, and undress military coat, with wrapper and blue cloth coat, stockings and slippers.
The military were in strong force, and formed a very striking feature in the pageant. Upon the coffin were laid the uniform coat, epaulets, and sword of the deceased, whilst the stars of the country waved over his head. The flags of the shipping were displayed at half mast. The solemn tolling of the bells from the steeple of the State House and several of the churches added to the solemnity of the scene. The population of the City seemed to have emptied itself in the streets through which the procession passed, the other portions of it being almost entirely deserted. I rarely remember having seen greater demonstrations of popular feeling, than that called forth by the solemn occasion of this day.
21 February 1843. There met this evening at the Roberts' Inn(25) on 9th Street, their select club, if so I may call it, for that is the appellation they have given it. It is rather a strange affair, and I cannot make out what it is. It may be a select party of some half dozen families who have formed into a club (mark the name) to give parties around, to the exclusion of all their most intimate friends, which I must say exhibits them in rather a mean, a debasing light. They (the girls in 9th Street) have behaved rather strangely for some time back, for what reason I cannot comprehend. They, some few weeks since, gave an eggnog drinking party to which all their most intimate friends had an invitation with the exception of our family, and Miss Elizabeth Roberts. I did not think so much of this as it was rather old company. But this club, ha, ha, ha, I cannot keep from laughing, makes it worse than ever. It is composed principally of young company, and I excluded. I who have been acquainted and on the most friendly terms with the family since the youngest days of my childhood. I who have on every occasion it was in my power escorted and took Sarah to concerts and places of amusement, have waited upon her when she has gone out of an evening, called for her when required, and I am excluded from this club! What is the meaning of it? It is a difficult task to tell. I cannot think of it without laughing, a club, what of? Ladies I suppose, for I do not know of any gentlemen that belongs to this so-called association, but enough for the present. I hope they may enjoy themselves at their respective clubs (ha,ha,ha, only think of the name for a private association of ladies and gentlemen). But one thing I know, if I enter the doors of their houses again very soon, it will be one of the strangest things that has happened for many a long day -- enough said.
22 February 1843. Today is the One hundred and eleventh anniversary of the birth of Washington, and was celebrated by a portion of the military parading through the Streets, although they were in an exceedingly bad condition on account of its having commenced snowing about 12 Noon and continued falling through the remainder of the day. The pavements and streets being damp made it very slushy. The birth day of Washington should always be kept alive in the memory of Americans, and the virtues of the Father of his Country be perpetuated. The event which this day marks should be dear to every citizen of the republic, and the rejoicing should be general, that in the time of peril such a man was found, who through good and evil report, ever had his country's honor and his country's prosperity nearest to his heart, and so directed his actions and his energies as to advance her interests. And in order to keep alive the feelings of regard for our country's institutions we should remember the actions of those who contributed to make her what she is.
23 February 1843. Ma, Pa, Grandma and Lydia went around this evening to a company, party, club, or whatever you might call it at the Roberts. They, I believe, enjoyed themselves much. I had an invitation, but in accordance with the resolve made a few days since, at the time of the other club, did not go, for I did not think Sarah treated me at all like she should have, after I have bestowed so much attention upon her.
24 February 1843. At the office all day, and about 6 o'clock went up to Mrs. Stroud's in 5th Street opposite Parrish Street, having an invitation together with the rest of our family to supper. The delicacies were high heaped upon the table, and it actually groaned under the weight. Finished supper about 1/4 of 9, and then returned to the parlor where, upon being introduced to the Misses Zell's and Miss Mackey, the evening began to pass very pleasantly. Checkers, Backgammon, and Chess were introduced, and I had several very pleasant games of the former with one of the Misses Zell, when soon that reserve, which characterized the former part of the evening, wore off with us all and it was with reluctance that I took my hat and cloak to leave, although I believe the greater part of the company made their exit when we did.
25 February 1843. I went up this morning about ten o'clock with Mr. Bird to see one of the greatest curiosities of the age, it, or he, being nothing more or less than a dwarf(26) commonly called "Tom Thumb" - who is 11 years old, but 22 inches high and weighs 15 pounds. He is without exception the greatest curiosity that has or ever will be exhibited in this city. He appeared to be very lively, active, and playful, bestowing on every new visitor, if it were a lady, a kiss, and if a gentleman a hearty shake of the hand. He was dressed in a blue coat with metal buttons la John Bull,(27) red vest, light breeches with buckles at the knees, with fair top boots, presenting an appearance of a real old English gentleman.
26 February 1843. In the afternoon after church, Hanley, Dr. Dickey and myself took a walk down to the wharf. The river was, and had been throughout the day, clear of ice, in consequence of which a large number of vessels came up to the city among which were the barque Swan from New Orleans and the Ship Susquehanna from Liverpool. The wharves now present quite a lively appearance, being lined with vessels, whose masts form quite a forest. I have since learned that towards evening, large quantities of ice came floating down with the tide, from which I infer that the warm weather has broken up the River where it has been frozen tight for the last week. We may expect the River to be full of floating ice tomorrow which will again give the ferry boats hard work. The Schuylkill River, I believe, still remains closed above the dam, judging from a small paragraph in the Chronicle which stated there was a number of persons skating on it yesterday.
28 February 1843. February has slipped away in much quicker time than her old sisters, but has left many mementos of her visit. She has been rather an inconsistent jade, assuming at times the demeanor of a prude, frowning with coldness and giving icy looks to those whom she chanced to meet in the street, and wearing blandishing smiles, wooing many a gay, gallant and blooming belle from the fireside. To many she has been bitter in her prosecutions, tripping up their heels, pinching their noses until they become blue, and disturbing their slumbers by the mournful music brought from the frozen regions of the north. She has made many a child of poverty shiver in his shoes, put sleighs and skaters' legs in motion, tried her hand in the formation of icicles, and astonished our Citizens with Millerism and meteors, earthquakes and Court Martials. Her entrance upon society was loudly puffed by Old Boreas, and her exit was made in the midst of a fall of snow, and few will mourn her departure.
3 March 1843. The Schuylkill River is again filled with ice and I would not be surprised if it would close again if this weather continues.
At the office all day, and in the evening took a walk down to see Miss Elizabeth Mercer to allay the monotony of the last week. Met Miss Lydia Coates there, and remained for about an hour, when all three of us went around to Miss Coates', and spent the rest of the evening very pleasantly, with several little games for amusement which were introduced. Met Miss Emma Simmons and Mr. Hubbard at Miss Coates'.
4 March 1843. I took a stroll up and down between the hours of 4 and 5 and my heart fairly leaped with joy, to have an opportunity of witnessing so many fair faces, each one lit up with a rich sweet smile, while their cheeks were slightly tinged with red, which looked like that beautiful flower the rose, of a spring morn, when the sun is just peeping above the horizon and throwing her gentle radiance over its fair face.
At the office the principal part of the day and in the evening was at the office preparing a draft of a Lease for Pa until about half past 9 when I went up home.
5 March 1843. At Grace Church in the morning and afternoon. Mr. Suddards preached in the morning and Mr. N.S. Harris(28) in the afternoon, and in the evening attended the Unitarian Church(29) at the N.E. corner of 10th and Locust Street. Mr. Furness(30) preached. At all these Churches I accompanied Miss Margaret Gibbons and Lydia. Miss Gibbons took dinner and tea with us and I escorted her down to her brother, Charles Gibbons, after Church.
6 March 1843. Clear and cold all day and very pleasant over head and under foot, but the wind blew a perfect hurricane from the N.W. throughout the day and evening, dashing the awnings and sign boards to pieces, handling the dresses of the fair ones rudely, blowing the men's cloaks from off them, and last but-not-least blinding every person that was so unlucky as to be in the streets with dust that it dashed about, with little consideration of whether it was acceptable or not.
7 March 1843. Today was clear and cold with a strong wind from the N.W. which again gave us a plentiful sprinkling of dust. At the office all day and in the evening accompanied Lydia to a concert at the Museum Saloon given in celebration of the 3rd Anniversary of the National Literary Institute. Upon entering the room and just before we were about taking our seats, I met Mr. Hallowell, a friend of mine, who introduced me to a Miss Morrell, a lady brought by him, whom he was obliged to leave in my charge, as he was necessitated to return to the store until about 1/2 past 8. She was very pretty and with the slight conversation I had with her, found she was intelligent and interesting which added materially to the pleasure of the evening.
The concert passed off very pleasantly until Charles West Thomson, Esq.(31) commenced delivering his beautiful poem, when some part of the audience in the back part of the room became dissatisfied on account, I suppose, of not being able to hear, and commenced stamping, clapping and hissing, which prevented him from going on for a while, which placed him in rather an unenviable position. After quiet was restored, Mr. T. stated to the audience that he had come there to deliver his poem entirely in opposition to his own feeling, and would desist if the audience wished it. When numerous cries of go on, go on, were heard, he again proceeded for a while, when the audience again commenced disturbing him and he retired away.
There were several fights after this and we left at the commencement of the 3rd part, heartily glad to get off safe. I think this will be the last time I ever will take a lady to a 12-1/2 cent concert if this is the manner they conduct themselves, which is a disgrace to all respectable society and a high insult to the society who gave the concert.
9 March 1843. At the office all day and in the evening accompanied Lydia to a party given for Miss Elizabeth Elliott in West Penn Square. My apprehensions previous to going were that I would not enjoy myself much, on account of the disparity of the ages of Miss Elliott(32) and her company and myself, but I am glad to have it to record that I was agreeably disappointed and enjoyed myself as much, if not more than I have at any party this winter.
Dancing was introduced in a short time after the company made its appearance in the parlor, which is one of the most pleasant amusements that can well be offered to make an evening pass off pleasantly. It wears off that reserve which is generally manifested by both sexes upon first entering the room, while it adds elasticity and vigor to the body, making rose-like tint appearances on the cheeks of the fair ones, which gives them the appearances of fresh roses, just plucked in the soft rosy blush of the morn, casting their fair leaves on the beau who claims their hand in the dance.
Among the prettiest of the ladies there, I may class Miss Wallace, Miss Witman, Miss Blackwood, and one other whose name I cannot remember. These fair creatures lit up the room as it were by magic, with smiles, which came from their exquisitely formed mouths and piercing eyes which inspired all the poor fellows that were in reach of their charms with jealousy and love. At about 11 o'clock had a most sumptuous supper, with all the delicacies that could be obtained.
There was no liquors of any kind used, and I believe it has gone entirely out of fashion for I have found them at but two parties this winter, when it used to be had at every one, and appeared to be an article which could not be done without. So much for the Temperance Society and the reformation which they are making. After the supper we had another cotillion and then the Virginia reel, which ended this pleasant evening entertainment, and I have no doubt that no one who was there but enjoyed themselves to their heart's content, especially if fond of dancing, which was the principal amusement.
11 March 1843. At the office during the morning, and in the afternoon was there until about 1/2 past 3 when I went up to Pa's office in Arch Street below 5th, to assist him in arranging some articles which he had been removing there, until 5 when I took a stroll up Chestnut Street and was really astonished to see the vast variety of beauty and fashion that were promenading there. It seemed that the City had emptied itself of the fair ones into this great thoroughfare of fashion, and it was with difficulty you could pass at times. However, they seemed to get along amicably and I dare say each one returned home with freshened spirits, highly elated with the pleasant Saturday afternoon promenade.
12 March 1843. I was at Grace Church in the morning with Lydia and heard an eloquent and well delivered sermon from a Mr. Jones. In the afternoon was at St. Philip's Church(33) with Mr. Hanley, but left at the commencement of the sermon for the reason we found that the Rev. N.S. Harris was going to deliver the same sermon he delivered at our Church last Sunday, and I was not desirous of hearing it over again.
13 March 1843. At the office all day, and in the evening at home reading until half past 8 when Pa and I went down to his new office in Arch below 5th, which he opened today, to arrange some little matters, remained there until about 10 o'clock.
14 March 1843. Verily it seems that March does not intend giving up winter so tactfully as she generally does. She grapples with it like a drowning man at a straw, she casts her thrilling blasts to the very heart of the poor pedestrian, and blows a perfect hurricane from the icy regions of the North into the faces of those in the Streets.
Took a stroll down to Hanley's at 7th and Lombard. Remained a short time, and then went down to Miss E. Mercer's. Found her out, as usual, and from there continued my walk to Miss Coates where I met Miss M. and also found the 3 Misses Ces in. After sitting for a while Mr. Haskins came in, and we spent the rest of the evening pleasantly, enjoying several very hearty laughs at a game we were playing called "Consequences."
15 March 1843. At the office all day and in the evening went up to Grace Church where I met James Stewart. We both went in and took a seat together in a pew and heard a beautiful, eloquent and interesting discourse from Mr. Neville. After church, took a walk down to Pa's office, where we went in and sat for about an hour in a pleasant tete-a-tete.
16 March 1843. Cloudy throughout the morning with every appearance of snow, and we were not disappointed, for about 10 o'clock it commenced and such a storm we have not experienced for many years. The snow came down you might almost say in one thick sheet while a tremendous strong wind from the N.E. dashed it from the housetops in every possible direction, blinding every person that was on the streets, and causing them to run into each other like ships in a storm. It was impossible to carry an umbrella and when not having this protection the snow almost cut the face off of you, as it was hurled like small shot from a gun.
Evening out for about an hour when I went around to hear an oration delivered by David Paul Brown(34) in the Hall of the University(35) but it was postponed on account of the inclemency of the weather. Got back about 8 o'clock and remained in the rest of the evening heartily glad to get out of the storm.
17 March 1843. Sleighs were whizzing through the streets in all directions, their inmates evidently delighted and disposed to be pleased with the rapid motion. A few sham fights with snow balls for weapons were got up by amateurs, and many a worthy person practiced attitudes on the pavement that were not taught him by a dancing master. Capsizes were frequent, and sundry work in the shape of contusions and bruises were out for a few druggists.
At the office all day and in the evening went up to Grace Church and heard a sermon delivered by the Reverend Stephen Tyng.(36) After Church walked down to Pa's office with Tim Stewart and sat there for about an hour talking.
18 March 1843. In the evening was at a lecture delivered by the Reverend Mr. Neville on the subject of preparing for Confirmation at St. Philip's Church. James Stewart was in the Lecture Room.
19 March 1843. At Mr. Neville's Church in the morning with Stewart. Bishop Onderdonk(37) delivered the sermon and the Rite of confirmation was administered to 54 afterward.
Previous to my going to church in the evening I called for Miss Mary Hebron to accompany me but she could not on account of having to attend to her lessons. I met Miss Ellen Wilcox there, and was introduced. I have, I may say, known her for the last three years but could not speak on account of not being introduced, but now it is over. I hope our acquaintance may prove something more than mere speaking.
20 March 1843. At the office all day and in the evening, accompanied by Miss Margaret Gibbons, attended an oration delivered by David Paul Brown, before the Philomathean Society in the Hall of the University. He commenced his address by a rather lengthy prelude, though eloquent and well delivered, but the flattery of the audience was not much relished. Towards the latter end of the prelude he introduced the subject of his oration, which was "Speech and Eloquence." He handled his subject with great fluency, and delighted his hearers with numerous bursts of eloquence. His discourse was varied, making many quotations from Shakespeare, his favorite author, and many extenuated comparisons to illustrate the numerous arguments brought forth in support of his assertions. He said not merely speaking was eloquence, but painting, not the mere daub, but that which fairly speaks from the canvas. Sculpture, action, and even dancing were eloquence, although making a rather long leap from the head to the heels. He continued his remarks for about 1 1/4 hours, and delighted the audience with numerous other beautiful sentiments, written in his pleasant style, showing the indices of a mind of high intellectual character.
21 March 1843. At the office all day and in the evening went to a little party or company, given by Richard Christiani(38) and Miss Rosina Christiani at their house in 5th Street, Number 89, below Walnut. Dancing, Cards, Checkers, &c. were the order of the evening, all of which contributed to the pleasure of the evening, not forgetting the beautiful singing of the Misses Christiani and Grigg. I was introduced to a Miss May Nutly with whom I was much blessed as she was both pretty and intelligent. Had quite a tete-a-tete with her in the latter part of the evening, or I might more properly say early in the morning. At the witching hour of 12 a.m. I had also the pleasure of dancing.
22 March 1843. The evening afforded us a fine view of the comet,(39) which has been visible for the last 2 or 3 weeks. In evening called for Mr. Dickey according to a previous engagement, for the purpose of his accompanying me in making a call on the Misses Darragh's, I feeling a delicacy on my part in calling alone, not having a very intimate acquaintance with them, and never having been in the house but once. We only found one of the sisters in, Miss Mary Ann [Darragh], who entertained us very pleasantly, with a good stock of conversation, and also several of her beautiful pieces on the piano, which combined made the evening pass off quick and pleasant. Elizabeth and Anna (40) Roberts spent the evening and took tea with Lydia.
26 March 1843. After church walked home with Miss Emma Maxwell who resides in Arch below 9th Street, South side. I was introduced to her by Lydia this morning, who also accompanied me while escorting her home. Miss M., in the short conversation with her, I found to be pleasing in her manner, intelligent and pretty, which combined rendered her very agreeable.
In the afternoon, after church accompanied Miss Mary Nutly home, while my friend Richard Christiani waited upon a friend who was with her, to the same place. Went in and sat until near 6 o'clock. During the course of conversation made an engagement to call up there again after supper with Miss Rosina Christiani, for the purpose of attending St. Timothy's Church. As Miss Nulty stated, Mr. Milner intended calling for her, and we might all go together, which of course would make the walk much pleasanter, as it was rather long, being in Spring Garden Street below 12th.
According to engagement, after leaving Dick, hurried home, got supper and forthwith went down to Miss Christiani's. Waited a short time until she got ready, and immediately proceeded up to Miss Nulty's, where we found the beautiful and innocent little creature (by the by I have taken a great fancy to her) waiting for us. Mr. Milner had not come and she expressed a desire to go without him for what ever reason I did not know. However I waited a little while and in a short time he arrived, when, after sundry fixings of the ladies, we started. We had hardly gotten half a square when we were taken all aback by her step brother, Courtland Howell, overtaking us in great haste and by at once saying, "Mary, do you remember the engagement you made with me for this evening, it cannot be broken and you must return." She, poor girl, did not know what to say. I pitied her to the bottom of my heart. She wished to go I know, but I suppose was obliged to return, which she did hesitatingly but not willingly. Afterwards, Mr. Milner said that he thought it was done to spite him, on account of Howell not being on very good terms with him. But I do not think it was a gentlemanly act of Howell's under any circumstances to act in this way because it not only hurt the feelings of Milner, but made his sister feel very unpleasant, and also Miss Christiani and myself. It was offering an insult to all three of us.
27 March 1843. At about 1 o'clock commenced snowing, which continued with occasional intermission until towards dark, when it commenced raining, snowing and hailing exceedingly hard, and continued through the whole evening.
The firemen had a beautiful procession today, which was in every respect marked with beauty and grandeur. There was seen throughout the line numberless banners, all of which were beautiful. Several had been presented early this morning by the ladies of the different districts to the Companies stationed in their vicinity.
The engines and hose carriages were principally new, which together with many of them being drawn by horses and led and rode by Negroes dressed in the costume of the Turk, made the procession grand in every particular when it first started. But when the snow came in it caused a number to leave the ranks taking many of the most beautiful banners with them for fear of injury, which lessened the beauty and interest of the procession considerably. During the morning the whole population of the city, composing men, women and children, appeared to be emptied into Arch Street. It was a perfect sea of heads from Broad Street down to 4th - all eager to catch a glance of the great pageant - for more of the particulars of the procession see the Public Ledger, Vol. 15 No 3. It was 1 hour and twenty minutes passing.
28 March 1843. Serious apprehensions were had this morning that there would be a great freshet in the Schuylkill, as the waters were running over the wharves and still rising, and the works at Fairmount(41) were obliged to stop. No doubt we may hear of great damage being done the state Improvements and along the whole line of the Susquehanna from the head waters to the mouth.
30 March 1843. I was prevented from taking a stroll this afternoon on account of being very much engaged in making copies of two deeds to be read at Mercer's trial tomorrow, from James Duke of York and Albany and Earl of Ulster to William Penn, one for the Town of New Castle and the circuit of twelve miles around, and the other for the Counties of Kent and Sussex in Delaware. Both Deeds dated August 24th, 1682.
31 March 1843. In the evening at home engaged in playing whist(42) with Lydia, Miss Margaret Gibbons, and Miss Louisa Wood.
1 April 1843. Today is all fools day, a rather ancient appellation. I cannot tell how it came but so it is, and many a fool and much fun was had with the ruinous notes that fly to and fro through the post office and by many other various ways. Many the person today has received a note through the post office who, together with the family, have had a merry laugh over, although at his expense in two ways, that is of the pocket and his feelings. But it is a day set apart for fooling, and therefore any little fun that is made on this day must be taken in good part, and while they laugh at us, we join with them, and then for our turn with others. I have made several April fools today, and have been fooled myself in several instances. In one, I received a letter through the post office, and in another was sent down to Mrs. Charles Gibbons by Miss Margaret Gibbons to get her gloves, which made an April fool of both Mrs. Gibbons and myself. But as I said before my fun came afterwards, for Mrs. G. wrote a letter up to Miss G. and after I got home we all had a regular laugh of about half an hour at the fools we made of each other adding, to be sure, a few more happy moments to our existence and at no serious expense to anyone. I was very much amused and laughed heartily after I went home this evening at Miss Gibbons and Lydia throwing packages out on the pavement to the unconscious passersby. They would come along, give a very grave look at the package and perhaps a kick when they would pick it up, pocket it and go off with much pleasure as if they had found something very valuable.
In the evening at home playing whist with Miss Gibbons, Miss Baker and Lydia. Miss Baker is a young lady who has lately come to board next door to our house, and is an acquaintance of Lydia's.
2 April 1843. In the morning attended Baptist Church(43) in Sansom Street with Margaret Gibbons and Lydia. After the services were over the Rite of baptism was administered to 25 persons by the Reverend Mr. Burroughs.(44) It was a solemn and impressive scene, well calculated to bring one's mind to spiritual things, and to a knowledge of Christ and his sufferings.
In the afternoon attended Grace Church with Margaret, Lydia, and Ma. We came near having quite a scene enacted in our pew just as the sermon had closed, in which Miss G. would have performed the most conspicuous part. She has not enjoyed good health for some time back, and when she becomes a little warm, immediately gets sick, and if not speedily removed will faint, which was the case this afternoon. She fortunately got me to go out with her in time, and just as she got outside of the door, at once sat down on the steps, her strength having entirely failed her. In the evening was down at Trinity Church(45) with Margaret.
3 April 1843. Clear, warm and pleasant throughout the day, and one suitable for a promenade on Chestnut Street which was embraced by the ladies, and innumerable quantities of them were seen, each tripping along gaily dressed in the height of fashion as if hard times had never been heard of. But so it is and so it will ever be, as long as time lasts and nothing will change this strange notion of fashion; let it be ever so ridiculous or handsome, the dress will be worn by all who intend appearing on the streets or in private.
4 April 1843. About dark it came on heavily to snow. In the evening at home reading, it being too unpleasant to go out, and keeping Ma company, who is confined to her bed, sick. Pa left for Baltimore today and expects to return on Friday or Saturday next.
5 April 1843. The snow of today has been the 22nd of this season, surely enough for any rational person.
In the evening called down for Miss Rosina Christiani & her brother to accompany me to a wedding party given by Miss Grigg (Sarah) for Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey. We left their house about 1/4 of 8 and after sundry dodging and jumping over of mud puddles &c. arrived there, although a little the worse off for mud. Surely our boots did not look quite so clean as we wished but there was no help for it, so we entered the room. The first thing that attracted my attention was the bride and groom who were seated together on a sofa, she dressed in white with numerous folds of lace hanging and festooned about her person, which added considerably to her personal appearance.
The next person that attracted my attention, if I can say next, for my eyes fell upon her almost as soon as I entered, was a Mrs. Reynolds, certainly the greatest prodigy I have met in company this winter. She was a perfect prude, loquacious, and as to whether agreeable, I cannot tell, for I had no desire to gain an introduction to her. She was as homely as Adonis was handsome, and tripped about like a young girl of 16, much to the amusement of all setting about the room. It was much regretted that Mr. Grigg would not permit cotillions, so that we might laugh and criticize upon her dancing, as she was perfectly original in all her movements and ways. I dare say she would have exhibited some novel ideas of the way of dancing. Her dress was perfectly ridiculous for a woman of her age (I suppose about 40 and with several children), it being a light striped silk or satin, I could not tell which, made up in the most fantastical way imaginable, with strange looking puffed up short sleeves. It makes me now laugh to think of her waist drawn up to the smallest possible shape, giving her the appearance of an old wasp. Her movements were so strange, I would have liked to have done the ungentlemanly act of laughing in her face, and would have been forced to it if she had addressed me. All her good and bad qualities, eccentricities, originalities, &c. combined, made her one of the most ridiculous creatures I have come across or met in company for a long time.
The amusements of the evening were principally tete-a-tetes, singing, playing and promenading, but would have been much pleasanter had we had a dance occasionally through the evening. But as Mr. Grigg is a clergyman I think it was perfectly right he refused letting us dance, as it would have been a subject of remark and would not have been consistent with his profession.
We parted at about 1/4 of 1 a.m.
6 April 1843. I am glad to find that this "Mercer Tragedy" has ended in the way it has, viz., that Mercer has been acquitted by a jury of 12 impartial and uninterested men, before the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Gloucester County, New Jersey. I have altered my mind materially, since I first heard of this revolting case, and read the evidence as reported in the papers, which shows that Heberton was a perfect brute and richly deserves what he got, as he not only decoyed Mercer's sister from her relatives and her home, but actually forced her, by presenting a pistol, to consent to his hellish plans. It was one of the most revolting and heart-rending cases that has ever been brought up before a court. It is difficult to conceive with what keenness of anguish her poor heart-stricken parents must feel this disgrace, as it will forever blast the fair name of this family, and forever prevent them from associating with the same circle they have heretofore.
8 April 1843. About 1/2 past 9 a.m. went down on board the steamer Rainbow(46) for Wilmington. This boat is built more like one of our club boats, and is reported to be the fastest boat on the River, but this is not my opinion for I have made quicker trips by far.
We left Philadelphia at 10 minutes past 10 a.m. and passed the Fort(47) at 20 minutes of 11, arrived at Chester at 17 minutes past 11, at Marcus Hook at 25 minutes of 12, and at Wilmington at 25 minutes of 1 p.m.
We would have made the trip much sooner, but just after entering the coach, met with an accident which detained us some time. It was caused by the breaking of a connecting rod which works the air pump.
After my arrival in Wilmington, I went up to see Henry Borden. Remained with him a short time and made an engagement to meet him at half past 2. I then went up to Dr. Gibbons, where after making the customary salutations and having a chat, sat up and took dinner. After dinner, sat chatting with the family until about 2 o'clock, when agreeably to the appointment, called down for Henry Borden. We both took a walk down the rail road as far as the old church.(48) Looked through the graveyard, and then up to town again where we made a call on Mrs. Reynolds and Mr. Hedges. After leaving Mr. Hedges, walked around to a restaurant and got our tea, sat for a while. Then went around to Mr. Williamson,(49) the Mayor of Wilmington, for the purpose of seeing his daughters, but had the bad luck of finding them out. After leaving the house and upon proceeding up Market Street, we overtook them and after Henry gave me an introduction, we continued our walk as far as a Mrs. Jones. Went in and remained there a short time and met Miss Thompson. Upon leaving, accompanied them home and spent the evening. Found them both pretty and pleasing in their manners. I was much pleased with the way I spent my evening. Left 1/2 past 9 and after taking a short stroll around, went home with Henry.
11 April 1843. This was my first visit at Miss Martin's. We enjoyed ourselves exceedingly by dancing &c. until half past 11 o'clock, which I think is entirely too late to stay for two reasons, viz., that it does not look well, and returning home at twelve o'clock is not altogether the right thing. I am now resolved to leave hereafter at about 10 when visiting in this section of the city.
13 April 1843. Cloudy throughout the morning, and about 2 p.m. commenced raining. The rain was cordially welcomed on account of the dryness of the ground and the dust on the streets. Every little puff of the winds almost blinded the pedestrian on the street, and made him look more like a flour merchant than a gentleman promenading for pleasure.
14 April 1843. Today is Good Friday, the one on which our Savior was crucified and suffered on Mount Calvary. It is one well adapted to reflection on our future state, and upon Him who died that we might be saved. The Episcopal Churches were all open. The courts were all closed in honor of the day, which I hope will be remembered as long as this world lasts, and be commemorated in the manner suitable for one that so deservedly requires it.
At the office all day, and in the evening at Grace Church, and heard a very plain and sensible sermon preached by Bishop Onderdonk. The text was taken from the 4th Chapter of Job, the 17th verse. After the sermon was concluded, he delivered a short address to those who were to be confirmed, entreating them to remain firm to the cause which they had so nobly espoused, and never to waver nor be led off by the giddy caprices of the world. When finally they should be called to that eternal city, where peace and happiness forever reign, they should yield up their souls to Him who gave them without trepidation or fear. The Rite of confirmation was administered to 26 men and 53 women.
My thoughts during the whole of the ceremony were, I might say, composed in one, and that one was that I might shortly be classed among the number of the members of the church that I was then in, for I think that there is nothing that becomes a young man so much as embracing religion in early life, or in the morning of his days. It strengthens him in his weaknesses and troubles, it is his counselor. It is never backward in administering balm and quietness to his drooping spirits when dealt with by the rough hand of disappointment with the vexations of this world. Many of my companions have taken up the good cause, and are now entreating me to join them. They take every interest in me, as regards my spiritual welfare, and I hope this endeavor will not be in vain. I have been trying for a long time to bring my mind to a sense of religion, and ere many more months roll around I hope I may conquer.
15 April 1843. In the evening I was home writing a couple of agreements for Mr. Charles Elliott, Sr.
16 April 1843. Got up this morning at 10 minutes past six and went immediately to work at the Agreements I had commenced last night, although writing on Sunday did not altogether agree with my respect for the Sabbath, but the excuse I have to offer is that Mr. E. said he must have them by Monday morning, and there was no help for it. Finished about half past 9. I went upstairs, dressed, and then up to Mr. Suddards's church.
17 April 1843. In the evening about 8 o'clock called upon Mrs. Amanda White from Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is stopping at Mr. Kinsey's, Chestnut below 2nd Street. I was very much pleased in calling, for it not only afforded me the pleasure of seeing Mrs. White, but meeting the two Misses Bricks, who I have been waiting to meet for some time. They are old acquaintances of mine - I used to visit them when my friend Chester White was in the city. But since he left, our intimacy has dropped. Last winter I met them at a party, where I had a formal introduction, which only ended in a recognition of each other on the street. But now that I have made the first visit, I am in hopes I may be able to continue them, for I consider them both interesting and pretty, and would like to class them among my female acquaintances, a large circle of which adds greatly to the chastity of a man's character.
19 April 1843. The horse chestnuts at the corner of 8th and Chestnut Street have opened their buds in sort of defiance to the N.E. storms. The old weather-beaten tree makes a bold appearance, and even the little one at its side, as if conscious of its relationship, puts out its leaflets in a sort of jaunty pride that seems to say "We are not accustomed to be behindhand." Even the lilac at the S.W. side of the horse chestnut has clambered up to the top of the wall.
21 April 1843. Clear, warm and delightful and the ladies appeared as if they were going to take possession of Chestnut Street to the utter exclusion of any of the male sex. I can scarcely remember when so much beauty and fashion was out. Surely judging from the atmosphere of today, Spring, the much sung season, the period of health and hope and joyousness, has returned. Herbs and fruits and flowers are timidly relaxing their fibers, and modestly opening their heads to the warm advances of an April sun. The bird's gay carol, fraught with love and gladness, charms the ear of the lovers of Nature, teaching him contentment and philosophy. Even the denizens of the City, though less fortunate than their country neighbors, can enjoy the pleasant influence of returning summer. Though the strip of sky which meets their vision is bounded by brick walls, and its brightness somewhat obscured by the smoke and mist which always hang over their congregated habitations, yet it also is blue and beautiful, and chequered with many a floating cloud sailing gracefully along as if bound upon some pleasant mission.
We have our merry songsters in the town also, who chirp and twitter as heartily as if they were skimming lightly on their native heaths. They too should teach us a lesson of wisdom, should enforce the dictum of the poet, that "all places that the eye of heaven visits are to the wise man ports and happy havens." The wind today was changeable, I believe in almost all parts of the compass.
22 April 1843. In the afternoon until about 1/4 of 4, Bird and I took a walk down as far as the Navy Yard,(50) looked around the new frigate Princeton(51) which they are now building. In the evening went up to Prayer meeting with Ma, which was held in the school room at our church.
I will conclude today's sketch by a few remarks on "tomorrow." The most pointed prophecy of Mr. Miller(52) has reference to the 23rd of April, 1843, as that of the final consummation of all earthly things. Tomorrow, then, according to him, will close the probation of men, and the sun that shall rise upon us in the morning shall not go down. How few believe this prophecy? Not half so many, certainly, as will tomorrow, with the final end of all that concerns them on earth. Lightly as one may be disposed to treat these vain expositions of the mysterious utterances of the divine oracle, it cannot be denied that they have been productive of great evil, by disturbing the weak and credulous, and in inviting them away from that confidence in the promise of seed time and harvest, which is at once an invitation to, and a reward of, piety. We live in an age of credulity. True to the precocity of the time, one excitement is scarcely allowed to gain extensive influence before another is called up and put into profitless operation. And the excitement that is made to depend upon belief in the exposition of Scriptural promise, is the more dangerous, because the disappointment will be likely to lead to a distrust of the oracles, rather than of their expounder. The reaction from excessive credulity may result in the opposite extreme of doubts and skepticism, or of negligence at least, the last, perhaps, the most dangerous of all. Those who depend upon the teaching of the prophet of destruction will perhaps look with the gloomy bodings on the dawn of the Sabbath. Their confidence in reservation has failed, and their faith in the fulfillment of prophecy will be lost. But those who learn of Providence, without rash inquiries, will find in all that is good for them and others, in all that makes for their good and the good of mankind, "that tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant."
23 April 1843. During the rain and in the afternoon we had several flashes of lightning, followed by thunder, which was the first this season and, I have no doubt, gave to the followers of Miller some more faith in prophecy, but as it is, the day has passed off without the world burning up.
26 April 1843. The trees in front of our door and, in fact, a number of others on Arch Street, are out in small leaf, which now begins to bring to our mind that spring is really upon us, although she has been rather dilatory in coming. But now she has made some advances, and I hope will not be retarded, for the prospects for fruit at present is most gratifying and we shall probably have an abundance of all kinds in our markets the coming summer if we are not visited by another cold spell of winter. For several years past, fruit, particularly apples, has in a great measure failed, and in the country where it is almost considered one of the necessaries of life, it has been a severe problem.
27 April 1843. In the evening called down for Miss Christiani to accompany her to a small company to be given by Miss Ella. The amusements of the evening were singing, playing and dancing. Some of the younger ones tried to be introduced to that childish game of "Copenhagen," but, I was glad to find, without success.
30 April 1843. At about 12 Noon it commenced raining. I can with truth say that many a fair lip pouted this morning on getting up and seeing the state of the weather. Many a lady was disappointed in not being able to put on her new spring bonnet, &c. These were the ones who perhaps had hurried to the poor milliner to complete what they might wear and make a fine show in church.
"I come! I come! from the flowery South,
With the voice of songs and the shout of mirth;
I have wandered far, I have wandered long,
The Valleys and the Hills of the South among;
On woodland and glen, on mountain and moor,
I have smiled, as I smiled in days of yore;
In emerald green I have decked them forth,
And I turn again to my home in the North."
1 May 1843. Today was well suited for a May day; it was clear, warm and pleasant, although a fleeting cloud would occasionally obscure the disk of the sun as it passed, bound perhaps on some pleasant mission through the vast expanse that is continually spread to our view. I remember in my schooling days how anxiously I looked forward to the first of May, weeks, nay months, before I had in contemplation where I would go, & so it is, I suppose, with the school boy and girl of the present day. They all look forward with pleasure to its arrival, and I dare say, though the ground was wet and few plants were out to greet the eye or regale the nose with their sweet perfume, they were pleased.
The Squares were all open today, and many a romp will be there during the ensuing summer, many a gay young heart made glad by the pleasant gambols they will have, and remembered when they have their children to greet them in their older and more quiet and sedate days.
2 May 1843. At the office all day, in the evening called up to see Miss Elizabeth Ella. She not being in, called up to see the Misses Leeds, where I found Miss Ella. They informed me they were just going around to Miss Bradford's (No. 135 N. 11th Street(53) ) and invited me to accompany them, which I of course, with pleasure acceded to. I cannot say that I spent a very pleasant evening at Miss Bradford's on account of the ladies getting into one of those strange kinds of moods to which they are so often prone. That is, short cutting conversation, laughing, whispering, &c., which combined made me at times feel very unpleasant, as I was a stranger, and my first visit to the house. I being the only gentleman in the room among six ladies, it rendered me at times ridiculous, especially when conversation, such as it was, would drop for a while. Feeling no desire to renew it, it was with some degree of pleasure that I took up my hat to leave. To take any of the ladies singly, they are very agreeable and pleasant, but the girls are strange things sometimes, and are hard to be understood, which was the case this evening, and I suppose I must forgive them as nothing was meant but fun.
3 May 1843. Jacob Ridgway,(54) the richest man of this City or State (being worth about $6,000,000) was buried today. There was about forty carriages at his funeral, all full.
4 May 1843. Pa and Ma went up to Burlington this afternoon for the purpose of seeing Sarah Ellis(55) about taking board. I did not want to leave Grandma at home alone as late as 12 o'clock.
6 May 1843. Took a stroll up Chestnut Street to see the beauty and fashion that was there congregated. On our return we walked around through Washington Square, where we were attracted by the groups of children. Some trundled their hoops, others darted by skipping with their ropes, and others pursued each other in the noisy amusement of the chase. We mourned that our City was not studded in every corner with like spots, where health could be reinvigorated and the tender frames, weakened by the close confinement of a crowded neighborhood, be strengthened and renewed. The few places which we have of this kind are public blessings, and the multiplication of them, if it were possible, much to be desired. As I fear it is not, it would be well for the Citizens to make the best use of those we have by permitting their children to chase away their idle hours in these, our best substitutes for the Country.
9 May 1843. In evening about 8 o'clock Benjamin S. Russell called for me and we both went up to see Charles West Thomson, Esq. I have been acquainted with this gentleman all my life, though not intimately, and this was my first visit. He is a gentleman of about 45 and a bachelor, but his associates are young men ranging between the ages of 15 and 25. He appears to have a great attachment for all of them as they visit his house regularly. In many cases he has been principally instrumental in bringing their minds to a knowledge and belief in the Savior by sympathy and kind conversations, which is one of the principal traits in his character. He was finally rewarded for his labors and his untiring mercies by inspiring them to embrace religion and join the Church. My visit was principally on this subject, on which we had some conversation, and from which I judged, that if there ever was a man calculated to win a person over, he was the very one. His conversation was so mild and entreating it brought my mind to that state which showed me that embracing religion when young is one of the most pleasant things a person can do. It is conducive to happiness, always affording comfort when troubled, and finally when you are about to depart from this world, it administers balm to your soul, quieting all fears in the knowledge that you will soon be gathered among the angels in heaven, and there will be rejoicing at your coming.
I met at Mr. Thomson's my old friend Thomas Gillespie who has lately embraced religion and given up the vain follies of the world. He, I remember, a few months since, was as wild a young fellow as would be found anywhere, but I believe has been reclaimed principally through the instrumentality of Mr. Thomson.
12 May 1843. At the office through the day until about 1/4 of 4 p.m. when Pa and myself went over to Camden for the purpose of making some arrangements in regard to moving up to Burlington.
I went up to see the Misses Leeds. On every visit I make I become more fond of these ladies, and am almost persuaded to think that if I do not keep my visits "few and far between" I will become too much attached to leave off, they are just such as please my fancy. I hardly know which pleases me most, and would like to find one to share with me the lot of this world.
13 May 1843. Walked up Chestnut as far as 12th and then down. There was a great quantity of beauty and fashion there congregated, which inspired a poor fellow with love and jealousy as he took his stroll unaccompanied by one of those fair creatures which he was constantly meeting and admiring.
14 May 1843. At Grace Church in the morning. Accompanied Miss Ellen Wilcox home. In the afternoon, after having taken a nap of about half an hour, called down to Christiani. We took a walk up around through Washington Square, but did not find much to attract, went up Sixth Street as far as Franklin Square, and passed through, finding, as in Washington Square, nothing but rowdies.
Went over to St. Philip's Church, and heard a very beautiful sermon delivered by Mr. Neville. After church Christiani went home with me and took tea, when we took a walk up Arch Street as far as 13th, down 13th to Walnut, tipping our hats to Miss Nulty on the road, and out Walnut to Schuylkill, and then in again as far as Washington Square, where we parted. Walnut St. from Broad out to Schuylkill of a Sunday afternoon is a very fashionable promenade, and it was for this purpose and of seeing the ladies that we took this long walk. In the evening accompanied Lydia up to Miss Adriana Brinckl's and we then went around to Grace Church.
15 May 1843. It was warm enough today to suit the taste of the most fastidious. White pants were plenty, and thin coats and summer hats were in great demand. We had no fire in the grate for the first time this season.
16 May 1843. In the afternoon about 2 o'clock Ma and myself started on board the steamer Trenton(56) for Burlington for the purpose of transacting some business in regard to cleansing the house previous to our moving, which it is now our intention of doing. We arrived in Burlington about 1/4 past 3 after a very pleasant trip, and with quite a number of passengers. On our arrival went up to Mr. Ellis's, where we remained for about an hour, when Mrs. Ellis, Ma and myself went around to look at the house which it is our intention to occupy. I was much pleased with it as the situation, to all appearances, is delightful and there appears to be every convenience connected with it.
After satisfying our curiosity at the house, took a walk up Broad Street, a considerable distance. Then we returned to Mrs. Ellis's. At about 6, Pa and Mr. Ellis came up from the City, when, in a short time we took supper, after which I took a stroll down on the banks. This walk is most delightful, as you have the waters of the Delaware rolling at your feet in noble grandeur, with the numerous vessels loitering in the calm, while every now and then a boat shoots out from the bank, flying across the water like a thing of life. In the distance is the beautiful town of Bristol, with its spires and white houses, giving the whole scene a rich and delightful appearance, well calculated to give the observer a rich treat in the way of rural scenery.
After my walk to the bank returned to Mr. Ellis' when we all started out for the purpose of finding some persons with whom we might conclude the arrangements of cleansing the house, &c.
18 May 1843. Mrs. White left this City for Fredericksburg yesterday. I think it is very doubtful whether she will ever reach there alive, as she is very much affected with the dropsy and scarcely able to walk.
We were obliged to have fire made up again in the office today.
20 May 1843. Bird and myself took a walk down to the Navy Yard and took a look through the frigate Raritan, a vessel that has been on the stocks for a number of years, and which it is intended to be launched in a short time. She is a noble craft, and one, judging from appearances, well calculated to stand a pretty severe engagement. The Princeton, a steam vessel, is fast approaching completion.
I left Chestnut Street rather earlier than usual for the purpose of preparing my dress a little, previous to my going to Mr. Cross's(57) complimentary concert in the evening. The concert was fashionably attended, but was not near so full as I expected.
21 May 1843. Met at Miss Coates, Messrs. Way, Jones, Woodward, and that mean, contemptible and debased fool Dave Weatherly. I did not speak, but treated him with the same contempt that I would the commonest cur that runs the street. I think that he would be a fit subject for the dog catchers, as there is many a dog far more valuable than he that is killed. He left a short time after I came in.
22 May 1843. This afternoon between the hours of 5 and 6 took a walk over to the Washington Square where all the Sunday school children were walking. They were divided into their respective schools, and headed by a tastefully decorated banner, with some appropriate device written upon it in celebration of their anniversary. It was a pleasing sight, to see so many gathered in celebration of so good a cause, and to hear the merry peals of laughter which rang through the air, when some gayer than the rest would pass. Then again some would come along singing hymns, in praise of the blessings that were daily afforded them.
I forgot to note previously that we have had strawberries in our market since last Thursday, the 18th inst.
24 May 1843. Called upon Miss Knowland. She is not pretty but very pleasant in her manners, which, of course, removes the dislike a person naturally takes to one that is homely. I met Miss Rosina Christiani there, and in some 15 or 20 minutes after our appearance into the parlor "whist" was introduced. Had several games which made the evening pass quickly and pleasantly. After becoming tired of "whist" had several games of "Old Maid."
26 May 1843. In the evening went down to Bell's Auction Rooms at the N.E. corner of 7th and Market Streets with Pa.
28 May 1843. In passing Shanklands in Queen Street saw Miss Sarah G. Mercer sitting at their window; it is the first time I have seen her since her abduction and seduction.
29 May 1843. A raw, damp, disagreeable and rainy day, one well calculated to give a person the glooms. It was astonishing to see how white pants and summer hats disappeared. Indeed to look out upon the Streets you might, with little trouble, imagine it was a day in November rather than one in May. Overcoats and cloaks were quite plenty and I for my part wore one all day. We again had fire in the office, and I can say without hazarding much as regards truth, it was very acceptable, and one would be more fully convinced to see the people coming and rubbing their hands and running to the fire, at the same time saying how cold it is, the fire feels quite comfortable. In going through the market this morning I noticed a quantity of cherries and strawberries; they did not look very tempting. In the evening at home talking over matters and things concerning our move to Burlington, which it is our intention of doing this week.
In going up from the office this afternoon about 2 o'clock my attention was drawn by an immense mass of smoke occasioned by the burning of some sheds and mahogany in the yard attached to the steam saw mill of Mr. McFadden,(58) in Sterling Alley, between Cherry and Race and 3rd and 4th Streets.
30 May 1843. In the afternoon went up to Burlington on the Steamer Trenton for the purpose of attending to some matting that belonged to us. About 9 o'clock Mr. Ellis and I walked down to the cars, and in a short time we started. The cars arrived about 20 m. past 9, and at 25 m. past 9 we started and arrived at Camden precisely 25 m. past 10 and in the City at 25 m. of 11.
31 May 1843. This morning was the commencement of our moving, and such a time we had turning out old things never did I witness. I shall be heartily glad when it is over. Aunt Eliza Erwin was here, and kindly volunteered her services, and packed the whole of our glassware and china aided by Grandma. I do not think ever I worked as hard as I have today. Oh dear me, how my sides and back ache but it will be worse tomorrow for I have to take the most of the bedstead down. This afternoon Pa and myself went up with the goods on board of the boat to Burlington, and arrived there about 1/4 past 3, when we had them taken up to the house and then went to work arranging. At about 7 went over to Mr. Ellis who had kindly invited us over to tea, and who has behaved in a very friendly manner since we have been coming up whenever we were in the town.
When the brooks have voice
Like a seraph fair
And the songs of birds
Fill the balmy air
When the wild flowers bloom
In the wood and dell
And we feel as if lost
In a magic spell
'Tis June, bright June!
1 June 1843. We went into moving in grand style today. All the parlor and most of the upstairs furniture was taken though the morning, though with a great deal of trouble. The first two loads got to the landing just as the New York passengers were passing. At 2 o'clock we, that is Pa, Lydia, Aunt Eliza Erwin,(59) Emma Erwin(60) and myself left in the Steamer Trenton for Burlington. Arrived there about 1/4 past 3, just as our furniture arrived by the railroad. We went forthwith to work aided by several colored men, and moved it from the cars (which were left in front of the door) into the house. After having them moved went to work and put up the bedsteads which we accomplished by the time supper was ready. We took supper at Mr. Ellis's, after which we remained sitting and talking until near 9 o'clock when we went over to the house and went to bed, it being the first night we ever slept in the house.
2 June 1843. Clear and very cool, and I believe a little ice made early this morning in the country, according to the statements in the papers. Got up this morning about 1/2 past 5, and in a short time went over to Mr. Ellis's to breakfast, after which went down to the boat and started for the city, where we arrived about 1/4 past 9, after a very cool passage. It was astonishing to see the passengers with their cloaks and overcoats, all hanging around the stove as if in midwinter, on the second day of summer. On our arrival in the City, went up to the house, and I went forthwith to work in carrying and taking down the bedsteads, &c. After the cars were loaded, &c., had to prepare for going up to the boat again, at 2. Left Grandma, Pa, Flora and Lib at the house when I started up for the boat. Pa intends coming up at 5, and Flora and Lib will have to remain in the house, which I think will be rather tough, as there is neither bed nor anything to eat there. How they will make out I know not.
Left the City at 2 o'clock for Burlington. There were a great many passengers on board, and we arrived safely about 1/4 past 3. I went forthwith up to the house to attend to the cars when they came in and to have the furniture carried into the house. They arrived in a few minutes. We, that is 4 black men and myself, after a good deal of tugging and hauling, made out to get them in, when I again had to go to work at arranging the things and putting up the bedsteads until about 7 o'clock. Then we went over to Mr. Ellis's to tea, after which came over to the house and soon went to bed, which was about 9 p.m.
3 June 1843. Pa and I started for the city this morning at 8 o'clock in the boat, a quarter of an hour later than usual, because the Bolivar(61) coming before, could not gain the wharf, which together with a tremendous strong wind, obliged her to back about 1/4 of a mile up the river, and then run down and round to. There were a great many passengers on board, and we did not get down until quarter of ten on account of the heavy wind and the swells it occasioned, which would constantly dash into the cabin windows.
On my arrival in the city went up to the house and had the rest of the things put into the furniture car and sent down to the railroad, when, after doing several little matters, we all left for the boat, that is Grandma, Flora, Lib and myself. On our arrival in Burlington we, along with a great number of other passengers (as it was an excursion afternoon, and there were about 400 on board), had to land in the midst of the rainstorm.
4 June 1843. This morning I went to the Episcopal Church (St. Mary's)(62) and heard an address delivered by Bishop Doane.(63)
I took a nap until about 1/4 past 3, when Pa and myself took a walk down to the banks for some distance and then up to the church. After the usual prayers for the afternoon, the Bishop examined a class about Pentecost and Whitsunday, and on several other subjects connected with the Bible. After church went home. Mr. Ellis and his son accompanied us, came in and sat for awhile, and then left, when we took supper. After supper, Lydia and myself took a walk up Broad Street as far as the bridge and then returned home for a few minutes, when we took another little stroll down Broad Street. When we came back to the house, I left Lydia and then went around to Mr. Ellis's where I remained for about half an hour. When I left, I strolled down to the River, and up as far as Broad Street, and up Broad as far as the Methodist(64) and Baptist(65) churches. I took a peep in both and returned home. Found Pa, Ma & Lydia had gone around to Mr. Ellis's. Went around there, remained about 15 minutes, and then all came home.
5 June 1843. Surely summer is now really upon us. It is almost hot enough to roast the poor pedestrian on the streets, and to fry a beefsteak on an anchor, as I have been told they do down south. Whew, it is so hot I hardly can write. The ladies in the street look rather red in the face, which at any other time might be indicative of drinking too hard. What I am about to say is the ladies look like they have been drinking. But no matter, it does not hide their charms, their pretty looks, &c. Those coquettish little sun shades do a great deal in that way; but where am I wandering to, I know not where for I am almost melted into my boots. I am sorry I have not got my thermometer agoing.
Got up this morning at half past four, dressed and went down in the yard to make a commencement in the way of Gardening. After trying for some time, and skinning my hands considerably, found I could make no headway and will have to hire a man to make a commencement as it has had nothing done to it for several years, and is very much overgrown with grass.
Got breakfast about 6 o'clock, and after doing a number of little matters about the house, Pa and myself went down to the boat and started from Burlington for the City at 1/4 of eight and arrived there at 25 m. past 9.
There were a number of lady passengers on board, and some very pretty ones. Today we commence our regular trips to and from the City in a day, and from the impression now formed, I think it will be delightful as long as summer lasts and perhaps through the winter. They, no doubt, will be very conducive to health as the river air is generally considered very beneficial, and the variety of persons you will be brought into contact with will render it at all times pleasant and agreeable.
At the office through the day, that is, from 1/2 past 9 a.m. until 1/4 of 5 p.m., when I went down to Walnut Street (accompanied by Pa, who met me at the office door as I left) for the purpose of taking passage for home. Left Walnut Street Wharf and Camden at 17 minutes past 5, arrived at Burlington at 10 minutes past 6 precisely, making the trip, 20 miles, in 7 minutes less than an hour.
Went over to the boys' boarding school(66) nearly opposite to hand a letter to Algernon Roberts(67) who is at school there. Got to bed at 9 1/2 p.m.
6 June 1843. Got up this morning at 1/4 of 5 and sat down to read but was soon called by Ma to put up some blinds and do other little matters, which occupied my attention until breakfast time, and in fact until the time of starting for the city.
After supper this evening took a stroll down as far as the River where I lit my cigar and then walked slowly along the bank as far as Bishop Doane's,(68) where I remained for about 15 minutes enjoying the beauties of the scenery.
7 June 1843. Got up this morning at 1/4 of 5 and went to work putting down stair rods, which is not very pleasant work.
8 June 1843. At the office as usual. Pa stopped in about 1 o'clock and told me I would be obliged to go up to the boat at 2 o'clock to attend to the receiving of our parlor and other glasses(69) which he had sent up by the Rail Road Line. Accordingly at 2 I left the City in the Steamer for Burlington.
There was a little incident that occurred this afternoon which might have resulted in the death of the person who figured so conspicuously in it. It was caused by a man who rows out from one of the stations on the river to take passengers from the boat. He ran his boat forward of our boat's wheels which at once forced it under them. He would have been swamped at once, or drowned, or killed by the wheels, if they had not immediately been stopped. He however, succeeded in short time in getting from under the wheels unhurt, but was much frightened and trembled in every limb. It caused great excitement for a few minutes, and there was a general rush to the side of the boat which made it all the worse for him under the wheel as it kept him from shoving out. We arrived safe and without any other incident.
I went immediately up home and found the cars had just arrived, had the glasses taken out and carried into the house. They were, to our great pleasure, unbroken, and not injured in the least. After the bustle of taking in the glasses, &c., I went to work at a deed which Pa wished me to write for him, and by supper time had it completed with the exception of the receipt and acknowledgement.
After supper all of us went to work and put up the parlor and other glasses besides sundry pictures and a pair of blinds. We succeeded admirably in putting up the large parlor glasses much better than we expected. Emma Erwin spent the evening, and stayed all night with us.
9 June 1843. Clear and extremely warm, decidedly the warmest day we have had this season, every pedestrian looks like he was going to melt into his boots and the ladies all looked half dead with heat in their clothing. Panama hats, and ice water were in great demand.
The acting President(70) of the United States, with his son Robert, passed through the City today. They had a large military escort and passed through a number of the principal streets. There was very little enthusiasm shown, there being no cheering or any mark of honor paid to the man himself, but it was to the office that it was shown. In personal appearance he is not very fine and his face is extremely homely, as his nose (to use a common expression) is knocked to the N.E. He intends remaining in the City through tomorrow to receive the calls from his fellow citizens.
Left this afternoon as usual in the cars for Burlington, though I was afraid all the passengers would be left, as the engine started off without the train, it having become detached by some accident. After proceeding about a mile on the road the engineer found he did not have the train! He returned and we went off in fine style.
After supper went down to Mitchell's and hired a boat, and then went out to the Island where I took a swim. I enjoyed it exceedingly, as the water was in a very fine state. The row was the first of the season, so I had to work rather hard for I have had no practice for several years & of an evening like this it is not what it is cracked up to be.(71)
10 June 1843. Left this evening as usual in the boat from the Walnut Street wharf for Burlington. After passing through the canal in the Jersey channel, an amusing and laughable scene occurred, which afforded mirth for the whole of the passengers. It was occasioned by a heavy swell which struck the boat on her starboard bow, which threw a complete shower of water over some dozen passengers setting on that part of the boat. Some fared rather worse than the rest, as they were completely drenched, looking as if they had been thrown overboard and pulled out again. It occasioned a general burst of laughter throughout the boat at the ducked fellows' expense.
Another incident occurred in going up on the cars, about two or three miles from VanCouver's Creek. The engine ran over a cow or calf, I could not tell which. It did not cause any detention as the "cowcatcher" as they call it, that runs before the engine, soon threw it off. But it presented a horrid spectacle as it lay on its back, with it legs all broken, and the bones protruding through the flesh.
11 June 1843. Went to St. Mary's church this morning with Lydia and Sarah Roberts. Bishop Doane delivered an address to a man who, by the ceremony of this morning, was made a deacon.
The services were very long and I became very tired before they were ended. It came on to rain while we were in Church, and continued when it was out, which made it rather unpleasant for us, as we had no umbrellas. Pa soon came and provided us, so we got home with but a slight sprinkling.
In the evening at home until about 1/2 past 9, when I accompanied Emma Erwin and Mrs. Elizabeth Hendricks home. They had stopped in a short time previously on their return from church.
Bishop Doane made his first call upon us yesterday, accompanied by Mrs. Dr. Ellis.(72) He, I believe, is very agreeable.
12 June 1843. Got up this morning about 5, dressed and went down stairs for the purpose of arranging some flowers to bring to town, after which got breakfast and at about half past 7 went down to the boat accompanied by Sarah Roberts, Pa and Lydia.
At the office as usual through the day and at 5 p.m. when we left for Burlington. We met the train that conveyed the Acting President from Princeton where he has been since Saturday last. We had to back for about a mile to permit it to go through. I do not think this should have been, as it not only delayed the mail, but passengers who were anxious to get into New York at an early hour, when this return train was in no hurry and had nothing of importance to carry, the only occupants of the car being a band of musicians.
Ma, Pa and Lydia went to make the first call on our next door neighbors,(73) Mr. and Mrs. Sterling.(74) Grandma and myself remained at home.
13 June 1843. It had the appearance of rain at several periods through the day, but managed to hold up much to the pleasure of many persons, on account of the launch, of which I will speak hereafter.
Went down to the boat, as usual, for the purpose of going to town. There was an immense number of passengers on board this morning, principally men, though there was a goodly number of ladies, a great many of whom I suppose were going down to see the launch.
At the office until half past 1 p.m. when I left for the purpose of going down to see the launch of the frigate Raritan.(75) Upon getting into 2nd Street I joined with the tide of human beings that all appeared to have but one point to which they were bound. Old and young, rich and poor, gay and sorrowful, all appeared to join heart and hand in the pleasure of seeing one more of our noble craft launched into her destined element, to be a proud monument in distant lands of our naval defense, and to protect our commerce in distant waters.
Upon gaining the Navy Yard, found thousands of persons there before me, of all ages and sexes all with countenances lit up with smiles, and appearing glad that they were permitted to see the great launch. After jostling through the crowd for a while I obtained a situation, though a very unpleasant, warm and crowded one. But now for a peep around, at the numerous odd things among the people that are going on. Now there is a laugh by the multitude, what can it be? After looking around my eyes are attracted to the cause of it. It is a boy "skinning" it up a single rope onto the shears, much to the discomfiture of his shins I expect, and affording much mirth to people around. Again, there goes another fellow "crab fashion" up a pole onto the shears. He hugs the pole like he loved it, and the multitude shouts, he gains the top nearly. But he is obliged to retreat, the position being rather uneasy and his strength having failed, much to the amusement of the spectators. And so they amused themselves until 1/4 of 3, when visible preparations were made for the launch, indicated by the drawing in of numerous legs that were hanging over the stern of the frigate.
At 11 m. of 3 p.m. she moved, and a breathless silence ensued. When she glided gracefully into her destined element, the whole multitude shouted their cheers as if in one voice, welcoming her as she glided into the bosom of the Delaware. This mighty shout was followed by the discharge of a Nautical Salute from a steam vessel (the Union) and one from the Navy Yard which almost deafened me, as the guns were fired in quick succession.
The river previous to the launch presented an animated and beautiful appearance. The whole surface was covered with vessels from the smallest row boat up to the largest steamer, all seeming anxious to get an eligible situation. There were a great number of steamboats laying off the Navy Yard, all loaded down to the waters edge with human beings, some perhaps containing upwards of 6 or 700 persons. Among the number were the Ohio,(76) Robert Morris, Trenton, Kent, Virginia, John Smith, Bolivar and a number of ferry boats whose names I do not remember. Immediately after the launch the great multitudes began to move off, I among them.
On my way down passed Thomas Mercer's, and saw Sarah Mercer, the victim of Heberton, standing at the door. She looked very pretty and smiling, and as if nothing had ever happened.
14 June 1843. After leaving the office in the evening went down to Christiani's where I remained with him until about 8 o'clock. We left to go up to the Misses Leeds', according to an engagement for the purpose of accompanying them to a wedding party. Arrived at the Misses Leeds' about half past 8, and upon being introduced into the parlor, found Miss Grigg who was waiting to accompany us. The Misses Leeds' soon made their appearance dressed tastefully in white, and really looking most beautiful. In a few minutes we left the house to go to a party which was given at the house of Mr. (?), nearly opposite, for the reception of the calls of the bride and groom, Mrs. and Mr. Fuller. (Mr. Pliny B. Fuller is of New York and was married to Miss Louise S. Shugart of this city today, the 14th inst.)
Upon entering the room we were introduced to the bride and groom, and after giving the usual salutations I began to look around me, at the beauty that was seated around the room. The first object that attracted my attention in regard to beauty was the bride. Her rich dark ringlets hung gracefully on her neck. They contrasted strongly with the whiteness of her almost alabaster neck, while the fire from her dark piercing eye seemed to light up the countenance of each one, judging from the smiles that constantly fell upon her from the numerous guests that were introduced. Her form was faultless and she had much grace in her movements, which was materially aided by the beauty of her dress which hung with exquisite elegance around her fair form, while from her head hung a rich fall of lace, which added much to her appearance.
One of her bridesmaids was very pretty, resembling the bride very much. There were several very pretty girls there, among them Miss Hamer and the Misses Carpenteres, though the latter were rather coarse beauties. But seriously speaking I think Christiani and I bore off the palm in regard to beauty with the two Misses Leeds, as I think they were the finest looking and prettiest ladies in the room.
Left about 11 p.m. when we accompanied our ladies home. We strolled leisurely down to 5th and Spruce to Dick's store, where I shall lodge for tonight.
15 June 1843. Got up this morning about 6 o'clock, read the Ledger.(77) About 1/4 past 7 went with Christiani to his residence to take breakfast. He kindly invited me, lodging with him, last night. These will place me under obligations to him, which I am now anxious to reciprocate. Christiani has, since his return from the West, invariably treated me with much respect, and more like a friend than all my relations. He has invited me to lodge with him and take my meals whenever I am in town, which none of my relations have, as yet, done. But what more can I expect of them as they are generally selfish, and attending to their own comforts. They will come and stay with you, and make a convenience, and not even give you an invite to their house, or, if it is given, it is done in such a manner that you can at once see that you are not wanted. Give me one faithful friend, and I would not give him for all my relations among the Roberts put together for kind treatment and favors. But, I am going too far on this subject and it will be quite as pleasant for me to drop it, as it is not altogether right to write about the faults of our relations in a journal that may hereafter be seen, perhaps, by them.
The ride up this afternoon was very unpleasant on account of its being exceedingly dusty. It came into the cars in such quantity that I could scarcely breath. When I got out, I could scarcely distinguish the color of my coat, as it was completely covered with dust.
After supper this evening took a stroll down on the banks with Lydia, and there met the Misses Nesbit. On our return, Emma Erwin joined us, and we walked up home. At about 8 o'clock accompanied Ma and Lydia to Dr. Ellis's, it being our first call. Found the Dr. and Mrs. Ellis very pleasant. In a short time after we were there, Mrs. Nesbit and her two daughters came in. We were introduced, and I found them very agreeable, and judging from their appearance on meeting them on the banks, very pretty.
16 June 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual, with Ma and Grandma and Lydia. A great many passengers were on board, but their pleasure was materially dampened by the heavy shower of rain that came on when we were about halfway down to the City. Previous to the rain it began to blow rather hard which caused a swell in the river, and when the boat was rounding to, made her rock very much, which produced sickness with many of the ladies for a few minutes. But it was over soon as we came to, much to their comfort, as it is not a very pleasing sensation. I had a little touch of it at sea last summer.
At the office as usual through the day, but did not feel much like doing any business. I was very unwell, having a bad headache, cold and little touch of fever, which made me feel glad when the hour of five arrived that I might go home, although I hardly felt able to go.
After taking supper I laid down on the sofa being too unwell to sit up, and fell asleep until about 9 o'clock when Mrs. Nesbit and her daughter called. It was their first visit. They remained but a very short time, not more than twenty five minutes. I accompanied them home, and then returned, my head being very bad after the exertion of talking and accompanying them home.
17 June 1843. Left Burlington as usual this morning. Grandma went down, and also Lib, who is to go out to the Almshouse(78) today, to remain until the birth of her child.
I was only at the office from half past 9 until 2, when I left on account of not feeling very well. There was some 3 or 400 passengers on board this afternoon, as there is an excursion trip, which returns at about half past 5.
Mrs. Reiford came up, I believe to look for board, but upon her coming up to our house with Anna Ploughman, Ma persuaded her and Anna Roberts to stay until Monday. At about 1/4 past 5 walked down with Anna Ploughman as far as the wharf but the boat not having come, continued our walk along the banks as far as Bishop Doane's residence. When we returned, the boat was near at hand, and soon arrived. After seeing her on board, and getting my journal, which I had left on board when I came up this afternoon, I went up home.
18 June 1843. After church went home, took dinner and then a nap of about half an hour, when I went down to the boat for the purpose of coming down to the city.
Nothing occurred worthy of note until we stopped at Bridesburg to put off some passengers in a small boat. I was sitting on the larboard side of the boat, pretty well aft, talking to Nelson Burr (who I met in Burlington and came down with me) when the engine was stopped as usual, so that the boat might come to. Suddenly I heard a crash, and saw the people rush to the starboard side of the boat, and I among them. Upon looking over the side I saw the small boat turned bottom upwards floating up the river, and a man's hat after it. The owner of it, as the boat went over, fortunately caught on the steps and there hung like a good fellow. This saved him from drowning until they could get a rope around his body, which they soon accomplished and brought him on board safe although without quite as dry a shirt as when he came out to meet the Steamer. It appears that this accident happened by his letting his boat's broadside strike the steps of the steamer while coming to, and while she was still under headway, which at once threw her over.
20 June 1843. The ladies were out in great numbers promenading on Chestnut Street. Though it was rather warm, they generally take it coolly, and walk so slowly they do not generally experience the power of the sun upon them, as do the poor fellows who have to hurry about to transact their various affairs of business.
After passing the Fish-House(79) noticed a large party of ladies and gentlemen, all seeming, with the view I had of them, to be enjoying themselves. As we passed they gave us a hearty cheer, as if wishing us happiness and safety on our onward course. There is scarcely a day that we pass this delightful spot that there isn't a large party of gentlemen, or of ladies and gentlemen, always seeming to enjoy themselves to the fullest extent.
It was so cold this evening I had to sit with the windows down. All of our family went to the City today, Flora included, and returned, except Grandma.
21 June 1843. Left Burlington this morning and arrived at the City about 20 minutes past 9 but we were not able to land until 10 or 15 minutes afterwards on account of the U.S. steamer frigate Union making a trip up the river which, with several other vessels, were in our way. The progress of the steamer was not as fast as I expected. She presented a very pretty appearance, and, I believe, leaves for Norfolk today.
At the office from the time I arrived in the City until half past 6, when I took a stroll up Chestnut Street as far as 10th and then down around through Independence and Washington Squares, to see the ladies that were promenading.
22 June 1843. Got up about 1/2 past 6, dressed, and came down into the store, remained there a few minutes, then took a walk around into Washington Square. Found no ladies there, and after taking a little stroll around Independence Square, returned to the store, where I remained until 8 o'clock. Then I went up with Christiani and took breakfast with him.
At home in the evening until about 1/4 past 8 when I took a stroll up Broad Street as far as the railroad bridge, whence I found a number of young fellows enjoying themselves in the healthful and pleasing exercise of swimming. Remained there for about half an hour. My only regret was that I could not participate on account of having a very bad cold which would, I suppose, have made it worse. Mrs. Reiford came up yesterday and has taken boarding at the Temperance House(80) at the corner of Main(81) and Broad Streets. I believe she intends spending the summer here in Burlington.
23 June 1843. We were obliged, in going over this afternoon, to run down around the lower end of the bar, the tide being so low we could not venture through the canal, which detained us considerably.
After supper took a walk down on the bank for the purpose of obtaining Mr. Israel's(82) boat, but the tide having left her high and dry, gave up my intentions, it requiring too much exertion to work her off this warm evening.
24 June 1843. Surely it is warm enough to melt a fellow today. It is clear and hot, the thermometer at 2 o'clock, on the south side of Chestnut Street, stood at 96¡, almost hot enough to melt all the pedestrians on the streets and completely exterminate the City.
Left Burlington this morning usual, but by myself, Pa not being able to come down on account of having a severe attack of the influenza, which is now the prevailing epidemic. This afternoon the boat made an excursion trip, and of course there was a good number of passengers on board, principally ladies. It is hard for me to tell what pleasure may be found in these trips by ladies, for they are all packed away as it were in a closely confined boat. The thermometer must range at 100¡, among the squawking of dozens of children, seeming as if each was trying to out vie the other in the loudness of its crying organs. There is no room to move about, nor even to see what is going on, or the beautiful scenery that we pass on the river. I think if I were a lady I would employ my time in a much pleasanter way than taking a Saturday afternoon excursion on one of these boats. I suppose I ought not to say anything, because if they did not go, the boat would not be supported, and sundry other mishaps might take place. Let those that like them enjoy themselves.
Dick Christiani accompanied me up this afternoon. We arrived in Burlington about 1/4 of 4, when he and I went up to our house. Remained there a short time, and then took a stroll down along the banks as far as Bishop Doane's and then returned home. Upon passing the girls' boarding school(83) noticed fine display of beauty, as the principal part of the young ladies were out at the door. But what considerably amused us, and made Dick and myself almost crack our sides a laughing, was to see an old beggar fellow with one of the legs of his pants rolled up as far as he could get it, showing it to the ladies, it having a large sore on it, and soliciting charity.
Upon returning home took some lemonade, &c. I went out to the bank and sat down until the boat came. Dick went on board and we left for the City. In the evening at home writing a deed from Samuel H. Erwin(84) to Eliza Erwin. Got up at 5 1/2 a.m. and to bed at 10 1/2 p.m.
25 June 1843. Got up this morning at 6 o'clock, came down- stairs and finished the deed that I commenced last evening and prepared a draft for another, which occupied my time until half past 10. I went upstairs, dressed and then walked down as far as the church, where I remained in waiting until it was out, when I accompanied Ma and Lydia home.
After dinner laid down on sofa where I fell asleep and did not wake until about 4 o'clock, when I got up and walked down as far as the church with Mrs. Reiford. Did not go in, and returned home, but afterwards concluded to go. Heard a very good sermon delivered by the Bishop, and after Church accompanied Mrs. Reiford home.
26 June 1843. About 8 o'clock Ma, Lydia and myself went over to pay our first visit to Mrs. Nesbit and daughters. On our first going in met no person but Mrs. Nesbit and I began to think we were doomed not to spend a very lively evening, and I would be cut out of my wish to be introduced to the Misses Nesbit. But in about 10 minutes I was agreeably disappointed by the appearance of three of her daughters, who are all very pretty, especially the younger one, who attracted my attention considerably. After chatting for a while it was proposed to take a walk out in the garden, which I gladly acceded to. We all started, and after strolling around for a while, came across the swing, where each of the ladies took a turn in this amusement. When we returned slowly to the house, and were just about seating ourselves to have a chat, Ma, much to my displeasure, said she wished to go which of course cut off all further pleasure of their company this evening. I hope it will not end here, as the Misses Nesbit, one and all, particularly please my fancy. They all appear to be pretty, accomplished and well educated young ladies. The younger is particularly attractive in regard to beauty and pleases my taste in that respect precisely.
27 June 1843. Clear through the morning but in latter part of the afternoon clouded over and through the evening it had the appearance of rain though we were not favored with it, as the farmers desire. The county is now suffering very much for rain, as there has not been any, of any account, for some time.
Left for Burlington this evening at 5 p.m. as usual. Arrived there about 1/4 past 6 when we had supper, after which I sat down and read for a while, when I concluded to take a little exercise in rowing. Went down to the banks for that purpose, but the tide being very low, and the boats lying some distance from the water, concluded not to go, as there would be some difficulty in getting the boat off.
28 June 1843. In going up in the cars this evening there were several young fellows that were pretty well "fuddled." It caused a great deal of amusement to some of the passengers, and a great deal of trouble to others. Two of these fellows appeared to be considerably anxious to stand on the outside of the cars, which would have placed their lives in great danger as they were not at all able to stand alone. They would have likely been hitched off the car. At one time I thought there would be a fight, as one of these characters seemed determined to go on the outside of the car, while a passenger sitting by the door was determined not to let him out. They, however, settled it amicably and he returned to his seat. The last I saw of them was just as the cars were leaving Burlington, when the agent was trying to get them in the cars. How he succeeded I know not as I then left.
Mrs. Mary Roberts(85) and her baby(86) came up this afternoon and intends remaining a day or so. In the evening, after Mrs. Roberts, Ma and Lydia went down on the banks, I took a stroll down and borrowed Mr. Israel's boat, who has kindly offered the use of it to me at any time I wish it. After getting it off I rowed down as far as the Bishop's Wharf where I met Ma, Lydia and Mrs. Roberts. In a few minutes the Misses Clara and Elizabeth Nesbit came up. After a little persuasion I prevailed upon Lydia and Miss Elizabeth Nesbit to get in, then I rowed up to the upper end of the bank, and took the other Miss N. in. We rowed down a considerable distance below the Bishop's, and then returned. It was pretty dark, and near to 9 o'clock. After landing the ladies, rowed down to where I got the boat, but the tide having got so low I had to pull around to end of Mr. Israel's wharf and leave the boat there, and then climb up the wharf, which occupied some time, and prevented me from walking up with the Miss N's.
29 June 1843. I noticed one of the largest men I ever saw in my life in the cars this evening. He occupied, when sitting down, two seats. He must of been seven feet high and could not have weighed less than 350 pounds. Coming into the car he had to come edgewise through the door.
This evening went down on the banks and continued my walk as far as the Bishop's where I met the three Misses Nesbit, Miss Mitchell and Lydia. Joined them and walked up home. I was much surprised at the Misses Nesbit as was also Lydia. They did not introduce us to Miss Mitchell, whether by neglect or intention I cannot say.
30 June 1843. After supper went down to the banks, and got Mr. Israel's boat in turn to take a row, as I had made an engagement to take the Misses Nesbit and Lydia last evening. I had got the boat off, and had rowed about a little, and had backed up to the stairs, when they made their appearance. Much to my surprise, Lydia told me that a note had come to the house to inform me I could not have the boat as Mr. Israel wished to use it. It made me feel very unpleasant as two of the Misses Nesbit were standing by. To make the best of it I went up to Mr. Israel and offered him the boat, which he would not accept telling me that it was too late and as I had the boat to go ahead which I did. We had a very pleasant row, getting back about 9 o'clock. It was Miss Helen and Elizabeth that went with us and one of her smaller brothers. After putting the boat away went home and remained in the rest of the evening, feeling considerably worried at taking the boat. Got up 5 1/2 and to bed at 10 1/4.
1 July 1843. Clear and extremely warm all day with the wind from the S.W. The thermometer was at 7 a.m. 76¡, at 2 p.m. 88¡, at 7 p.m. 86¡. At Mr. McAllister's on the shady side of Chestnut Street near 2nd at 1 1/2 p.m. 107¡. I left the house as usual this morning for the purpose of going to the City, but when Pa and myself were on the way down we were informed that the boat had changed her hour to 1/4 past 7, instead of 1/4 of 8 as heretofore, and were therefore left. Pa concluded to go down in the Bolivar. Thinking that I would be rather late before she got down, and not having much to do in the City, remained up. Took a walk a short distance out of town, and then returned as far as the bridge on the creek in the upper end of the town, where there was a man fishing. Having a line in my pocket, thought I would try my luck for a short time. The fishing was very good, but I became tired, because the sun was very hot. I continued my walk up the creek and enjoyed very delightful swim of about half an hour when I returned home and took a nap until dinner time.
Cecilia Erwin came up with Pa this afternoon and intends staying until Monday. Pa also brought up with him this afternoon Joseph Stratton, a little colored boy, who is to remain with us if he likes the place.
2 July 1843. In the morning went into Quaker meeting(87) , heard a sermon delivered by an old French Quaker,(88) about one word in ten of which I could understand.
4 July 1843. Cool, clear and very pleasant throughout the whole of the day, with the wind from the S.W.
Today is the 67th anniversary of American Independence, and it will be observed with the usual celebrations and festivities besides innumerable private parties, and individual commemorations. It is necessary to remind ourselves of the great occasion which calls forth such general demonstrations of joy, and whose anniversary is always so heartily and patriotically greeted. The event is familiar to the mind of every school boy, and its history is the earliest lesson which is taught him. While he continues to have such lessons instilled in him, there will never be a time when the event that established the independence of this country will cease to be remembered, or the great principles of civil and religious liberty upon which the government of the country is founded will cease to be respected.
The annual celebration of the illustrious act which separated us from the mother country conduces to the preservation of such principles, and keeps alive the sacred flame of patriotism. So long as the heart of an American beats with an impulse of feeling, so long will he remember with grateful recollections the deeds of his fathers, so long will he endeavor to emulate their example, and so long will he take pride in transmitting unimpaired to future generations the proud heritage of freedom which he has received. Let our observance of the day then be such as will try to establish a brotherhood of feeling throughout this vast republic. As we enjoy together the blessings of one country and of one government, let us seek to establish a common union of respect and affection among the citizens of this diversified land, which will unite us in one people, having but one interest, the perpetuation of our free institutions throughout all time.
Today was a spent by me very pleasantly. I got up about 1/4 past 6 a.m., when, after taking breakfast, William H. Hanley and myself went up to the office where we remained until about 1/2 past 8, then we walked slowly down to Walnut Street wharf for the purpose of going up to Burlington. When we got down to the wharf found the boat had not yet come down, remained lounging there until she came. In the interim saw the Rainbow and also the Balloon(89) start for Wilmington both loaded in such a manner that I would not like to have trusted myself on them.
The Boat arrived about 9 o'clock (the time she was advertised to leave). Went on board and got started about 1/2 past 9. There was about 500 passengers on board, and to enliven them there was a band of music to perform on the way up. Met on board Edward Jones, McKinley, and George Way. Arrived at Burlington about 11 o'clock when we posted off among the great concourse that left at this place. We, that is, Jones, McKinley, Way, Hanley, and myself, concluded to take a stroll up the Street, which we did until we came to Broad Street, and then came to a stand. It was then proposed to take a swim, which was acceded to by all parties, and off we started. I led the way up to the place of bathing on the creek, when there was another halt and argument about going in, but we finally concluded all to go in with the exception of Hanley who had a bad cold. Had a delightful swim of about 20 minutes. When we came out, we dressed and went into town as far as Broad and High Streets where Hanley and I left the rest of the party to meet again at 2 o'clock, they to go to the Hotel for dinner and Hanley and myself on the same mission to our house.
After dinner went down according to appointment and met the rest of the company. We all strolled up to the Burlington Garden, looked into the nine pin alley, and then took some refreshments. Afterwards we cut about for a while having considerable fun and then wended our way along the banks. Upon passing the boarding school we feasted our eyes on a number of beautiful girls, among the great concourse of boarding school misses that were out at the door of the hall. By this time we began to feel rather tired and by mutual consent took a seat on the banks where we lounged until near 5 o'clock. Then we strolled up again to the steamboat landing, and in a short time the New Philadelphia(90) came up from the City. Jones, Way and McKinley got on board and left for Bristol. Hanley and myself remained behind. After their leaving went in search of a boat to hire for the evening. We succeeded, and then went home to tea. After tea Hanley and myself got the boat and rowed down along the banks across the River, &c., where we landed for the purpose of witnessing the display of some fire works that were set off on Mrs. Chester's place. They presented a handsome appearance, and were witnessed by a great number of persons that were collected on the bank. After this display was over we took our boat and rowed out to a party of ladies and gentlemen that were singing when we rowed up to the place we had hired the boat. The evening was delightful, it being moonlight and of the right temperature for rowing. Our pleasure was a little ruffled by coming near being run down by a schooner, but "a long pull and a strong pull" shot us out of the way. Got to bed about 1/4 past 10 p.m.
5 July 1843. In the evening out on the River rowing until near 9 o'clock. When I came home, got a cigar and went over to the hotel, to wait until the cars came in. They were about 1/4 an hour later than usual. A New York Fire Company came which detained the train on account of being so unusually long. Met the Misses Nesbit at the corner listening to the music from the cars. Had a chat and walked home with them.
6 July 1843. After supper went down to Mr. Israel's to see if I could obtain his boat for this evening, which I did. Then I went up and told Lydia, who went around to the Misses Nesbit for them. Then returned to the River and got the boat off with some difficulty and just in time to be in readiness for the ladies. Only two of the Misses Nesbit came down, namely Ellen and Elizabeth. Clara being unwell could not come.
In going up this afternoon and also yesterday, I noticed the farmers were all busy cutting their wheat and rye, and in fact, going pretty strong for harvesting.
8 July 1843. At the office until 2 p.m. when I left with Pa for Burlington again. The boat was literally crowded with men, women and children, all seeming anxious to participate in the excursion. I, for my part, cannot tell what pleasure can be found in going up the river in a crowded boat surrounded by crying children, with the thermometer ranging at about 100. But, so it is and I suppose they think they realize some pleasure with a little pure air for their children, which is considered conducive to health.
Went up to see the cars come in, which were to bring the New York firemen. They did not arrive until near 7 o'clock, 3/4 of an hour after their time. I was very much amused at these firemen when the cars stopped, as they all rushed into the public house at the corner to get a drink, but it was a temperance house. They all came rushing out like a parcel of sheep, and looking very much like these animals, having been made perfect fools of. I spent the greater part of the evening sitting on the steps gazing at the moon and talking to Lydia and Mrs. Sterling.
9 July 1843. In the morning went to church with Ma and Lydia, and occupied the pew we rented for the first time today. Bishop Doane preached a rather longer sermon than pleases my taste. In fact the whole service was longer than what I have been used to, it being from 1/2 past 10 until 10 minutes of 1. After church went home, took a hearty dinner, laid down on the sofa, and slept until about 20 minutes of 4, when I went to church. Bishop Doane preached, and again made the service very long, it being from 4 until 10 minutes of 6.
10 July 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual and arrived at the wharf about 1/4 of 9, but were not able to land until nearly 10 minutes past, on account of a schooner that got in our way. We very nearly ran against the Steamer Rainbow,(91) and obliged her to push off before her time. That caused her to run into the ship Shenandoah, which tore away her aft flag staff, and also the railings around the after part of the promenade deck. Our boat escaped without injury.
11 July 1843. Arrived home at 1/2 past 5, and sat down to write a few lines to Algernon Harrison.(92) Was soon called by Pa to go try to find his gold spectacles which he had left in the Cabin of the boat. I got down to the boat just as she was coming to, leaped aboard and requested the captain to hold on a few minutes. He politely said he would. I ran down to the cabin, where I found the glasses on the floor, much to my pleasure.
13 July 1843. We had a little excitement in Burlington this morning, occasioned by a fire breaking out in the store of Jones and Dutton on the Main Street. They succeeded in getting it out without much damage to the building, though not without a great deal of damage to the goods. It is supposed to have originated in a desk the night previous, and was burning the whole night, though it did not break out until morning.
14 July 1843. I was up at the Recorder's Office(93) the greater part of this morning searching a title, first one I ever attempted. In the afternoon at the office until 5 when I left to go down to the boat to start for Burlington. There were quite a number of passengers who went up in the cars this afternoon. I noticed in going up the farmers, generally speaking, have their grain in, and the country looks much better since the rain.
15 July 1843. Cloudy throughout the day with the wind from the S.E. About 3 o'clock the clouds became much more dense and it commenced blowing very hard, which was succeeded by a heavy shower of rain lasting about three quarters of an hour. The wind, which lasted throughout the rain, did much damage to the awnings in the City and to shipping along the wharves. It capsized a schooner up the River, which immediately sunk.
20 July 1843. After supper walked around to Mr. Woolman's with Rebecca Gibbons and Lydia where, according to previous engagement, we were to meet for the purpose of starting on a little boating excursion over to Bristol. Upon stopping at Mr. W's found all ready but waiting for Emma Erwin. She came in about 15 minutes. After taking our seats we found we numbered 11, that is 7 ladies, 3 gentlemen and the man to row the party. There were: the 2 Misses Woolman, the 2 Misses Knight, Miss Emma Erwin, Miss Rebecca Gibbons, Lydia, and Messrs. Wright and Woolman and myself.
We arrived at Bristol about 1/4 of 8, landed and took a stroll through town. When we returned to the boat we rowed over again and then down along the banks and up again. When we landed it was near to 10 o'clock. On our way across the river we had several songs from the Ladies and we were favored by hearing several beautiful airs played by a person on a bugle in the neighborhood of where our boat was sailing.
23 July 1843. After Church went home, took dinner, and then laid down on the sofa until near 3 o'clock when I went around for Hugh Nesbit to take a walk. We walked about a mile out the Mount Holly Road and then over into a woods where we strolled through them and then finally got out onto the Mount Holly Road again. We returned to the Nesbit's house where we went into the yard and commenced an attack on the pears which were ripe. They have an abundant supply; two or three trees are full.
After remaining there for about an hour and a half, went around to the Church for the purpose of seeing the people come out but were rather late, then returned home and got tea. After tea took a walk down on the banks with Nesbit where we met a young man by the name of Lippincott, who Nesbit introduced me to. In a short time we met Nesbit's younger brother and Ken, took up our station on a log, and had a chat of about an hour.
25 July 1843. Left the wharf at 10 m. past 4 and arrived in Burlington about 1/4 of 6. There were about 300 passengers on board, and the boat was accompanied by a band, which enlivened the party by a number of very pretty pieces of music. Percival Roberts(94) went up with me this afternoon. After landing, Percival and I went to obtain a boat, as it was our intention to take a row this evening. We soon succeeded in engaging one, then went home for tea, after which went down and got the boat. We rowed around on the banks and took Rebecca Gibbons, little Addie Roberts(95) and Lydia in. Then we went a considerable distance down the river and returned, landing the girls at about 1/2 past 8. We rowed around to the ferry boat slip, being attracted there by a person reciting Shakespeare, and remained listening to him for nearly half an hour, or until the tide had come up sufficiently to take the boat in. After landing went up home and after eating some baloney went to bed.
Scarcely had we got comfortably fixed, when we heard the cry of fire. I immediately jumped up, and upon looking out the window saw a great light, which at once convinced me it must be pretty bad. Percival and I hurried on our clothes, and went in search of it. The flames proceeded from a large carpenter shop, on the west side of the Main Street a couple of Squares above Broad Street. When we got there the building was wrapt in one immense sheet of fire, and the heat was so intense that it was difficult to remain within a hundred yards of it. There was serious apprehension about a number of frame buildings in the vicinity, particularly one that was within twenty yards of it. They succeeded, however, in saving the surrounding buildings, but the carpenter shop is a total loss. Neither the house nor the materials contained in it were insured. Before we left it had fallen and was pretty nearly out. The quiet City of Burlington seemed to be rather disturbed by the occurrence for they all seemed to turn out. Men, women and children were all congregated at the fire, but the greater part of them did not seem to care to help.
26 July 1843. After supper went down and got Moyer's boat, but had great difficulty in getting her off as she was aground. Did not remain out long for I wished to put the boat in before dark, as the tide was very low. This evening was the first time I had Moyer's boat, and is the commencement of the week that I have hired it from him.
28 July 1843. Clear and exceedingly hot all day, with the wind from the S.W. Thermometer at 1/4 of 7 a.m. 74¡, at 9 a.m. 86¡, at 1 p.m. 89¡, at McAllister's at 1 p.m. 98¡.
Got up this morning at 1/4 past 4, got Moyer's boat and started for Bristol. I had to pull against the tide but got over there in about 20 minutes. It was delightful as it was before the sun was up, and all nature seemed as if wrapped in quiet slumber. On and on, some bird would utter its sweet notes as if in praise of the glorious sun which was just emerging from the distant hills. As it rose it caused the ripples of the river to sparkle like so many diamonds. It was beautiful, and I felt rejoiced that I had gotten up from my bed to gaze upon the beauties around me.
I left Bristol about 10 minutes past 5, and got over to Burlington in 10 minutes. I made my boat fast and went up home, redressed and took breakfast, for which I had a good appetite after the morning's exertions. Left Burlington as usual for the City.
30 July 1843. After a nap, I got up, put on my coat, &c., and went over to Mrs. Nesbit's. After a few minutes conversation with the young ladies, they went up to prepare for Church. Hugh and I went out into the Garden, and fell to work at the pears. Remained there lounging about until about 5 o'clock when it commenced raining and we went into the house. In a few minutes took our umbrellas and went over to the Church to take the ladies home.
31 July 1843. After supper took little Charlie Ellis(96) & Charlie Burr over to the Island in the boat and went for a swim. After-wards came home, went into Mrs. Sterling's and had a dance.
2 August 1843. After supper went down and got my boat and rowed around to the opposite bank where I let my boat lay, while I watched the progress of the sun as it sank below the horizon. The scene was really superb. After watching about 15 minutes, Lydia and the two Misses Mitchell came down, she having invited them in the afternoon. After getting them safely in and seated, pushed off, and rowed several times up and down the bank. Remained on the water until about 1/2 past 8, when a heavy cloud obscured the sight of the moon, which had been shining in all her grandeur, and we concluded to land.
There was one little incident which marred my pleasure, as well as the ladies, and that was their dresses getting wet from water that came through the boat after we started. I am in hopes they will not take cold of the wetting. After taking the boat to its moorings, went up home where I remained for a while. Then I went down to see the excursion boat, New Philadelphia, come up. But after waiting until about 1/4 past 10 went up home with the conclusion that she would not be up.
3 August 1843. In coming down the river this morning met the tow boat towing the Steamer New Philadelphia up to Bordentown. She had broken her shaft at 5 mile point, while coming up with the excursion passengers, which was the cause she did not arrive at Burlington as expected. It must have been a sore disappointment to Mitchell the Confectioner, as he had provided a large quantity of ice cream, cakes, &c., for the passengers. Since they did not arrive, was rather a dead loss.
Was at the office until 4 p.m., when I left for Burlington in an extra train of cars, provided in the stead of the New Philadelphia. Arrived in one hour and five minutes from the time we left Walnut Street ferry wharf, including a stoppage of 5 minutes at Camden, 5 minutes at the Rancocas, and a detention in having to run slow on account of meeting a locomotive which had to run backwards until she came to a turn-out.
After supper went down and got my boat, rowed around to the banks and took Lydia and Emma Erwin in. Then rowed down a considerable distance, being in company of Theodore Mitchell(97) the greater part of the time, who had his two sisters and two younger brothers in a boat with him. Upon returning to the bank the girls were a little frightened by the boat tossing a great deal in the swell of the steamer Trenton which went down to the City to take the New York Bay passengers down. After the steamer passed, Mitchell and I, thinking the night was so beautiful, concluded to go over to Bristol, which we accomplished in a short time as the tide was running up. Upon arriving there landed, took a walk up through the town and returned to our boats, and then started for Burlington. Found it rather more difficult going back on account of going against the tide. Arrived at the banks again about 1/4 past 9, landed the ladies, and then put our boats away. I went home, changed my dress a little, called for Mitchell and we both went up to the creek and took a bath. The water was rather cool. Afterwards went home.
4 August 1843. After supper went down, got my boat and took Mr. Ellis, his son Charles and daughter May(98) and Charles Burr out with me. We were back by quarter past 8. I went home, remained there a few minutes, and then accompanied Lydia around to see Miss Wetherill. She is rather a strange kind of girl, though pleasant and lively. Met there Miss Kidd and Mrs. Mitchell.
5 August 1843. Today was very unpleasant. It commenced raining(99) about 7 or 8 o'clock this morning and continued almost without intermission throughout the day and in the evening until about 9 o'clock. In Philadelphia from 7 until after 9 p.m. the storm raged tremendously, tearing off the roofs of houses, uprooting 30 trees, tearing down awnings, &c., while the rain which poured in perfect torrents deluged everything. The streets were two or three feet deep in water, and the cellars in different parts of the City were filled. The basement stores at the N.W. corner of 4th and Market Streets suffered materially, being filled with water which damaged all the goods. A number of the bridges in the vicinity of the City were carried away. Much damage was done and lives lost when small houses on the banks of neighboring creeks were carried away. The storm is supposed to be far more destructive than the one of July 1, 1842. In Burlington we had none of these disastrous effects, nothing more than a tremendous hard rain.
6 August 1843. After taking dinner (which I enjoy of a Sunday, having no regular one through the week), took a nap.
After Church walked home with Miss Caroline and Miss Virginia Mitchell. They are both very pretty and fine ladies. While taking tea, Nesbit stopped around for me and we took a stroll down on the banks. Met Mitchell down there. The night was very fine and moonlit. Nesbit and I concluded to get the boat and go over to Bristol. Mitchell did not wish to go. The boat was aground but we got her off with little difficulty, and rowed over. After being there a while, and looking around, the steamer Trenton came up much to the joy of the persons of Bristol and Burlington, as she was supposed to have been lost in the storm of yesterday.
When we were about to start for Burlington, Mr. Kinsey of the Hotel introduced a Dr. Pierce of Philadelphia to us, and asked the favor of carrying him across, as he wished to go down in the cars. We did, and in time.
7 August 1843. Went up to the office and remained there until the time of leaving in the afternoon, with the exception of about an hour occupied in going up to see Pa at his office at 301 Arch Street. He has had it open a week today in that place.
Stopped in to see Mr. Wright, had a chat with him and remained there until 9 o'clock when they shut up the store. He and I went down to the boat, found she was then afloat. We both got in, pushed off, and went down the river for about a mile and a quarter. We came up again as far as the town wharf and rowed about waiting for the excursion boat Bolivar to come up. She came in sight about 1/2 past 10. We put the boat up, and came around to see her land her passengers, a very rowdy set. The men appeared to be generally half drunk, and the ladies gave not much pretentions to respectability. The band came ashore and played a few pieces. They returned to the boat then and in a few minutes when the bell rang the passengers went on board. They left about 1/2 past 11.
9 August 1843. Rained through the day and towards evening cleared off beautifully. After supper went down to get my boat out and take a row. But, after making several unsuccessful attempts to get her off the mud, and after falling off the dock twice, once backwards and once on my feet, I gave it up. I was pretty well covered with mud, about the posterior anyhow. Afterwards went home, changed my dress and went over with Lydia to Miss Nesbit's and spent the evening.
10 August 1843. Left Burlington this morning in a train of cars provided to convey the passengers to the City, on account of the Trenton having to go down to bring the excursion passengers up from town. Left Burlington at 20 m. of 8 and arrived at Camden at about 1/4 of 9, where we took the ferry to cross to the City. But, when we got halfway through the canal, she got aground and we were detained about half an hour. We got off by means of a number of the passengers getting into another boat which came to our assistance so as to lighten her.
At the office through the day and until about 7 p.m. when I went over, got my coffee, and then took a walk down to see the Misses Coates. Found Sarah in. Remained chatting with her until about 1/2 past 9, when she proposed to go around to Miss Craycroft's for her sister Lydia, which I acceded to.
About 1/4 past 11, sauntered up to the corner of Catherine and 2nd Streets where I promised to meet Mr. William H. Bird at half past 11, to go home with him and sleep.
11 August 1843. Got up this morning about 1/4 past 7, dressed and went down stairs. In a short time had family worship which was conducted by the Reverend Mr. Aaron, who made a very beautiful and affecting prayer. After this was over took breakfast.
Left this evening at 5 for Burlington. After supper went down to get the boat but found the oars had been taken away from their usual place. No one knew anything of them. Suspecting something wrong, went up to see Mr. Moyer. The first question he put to me was: Had I not left his boat unlocked? I told him I had not. It appears that he found her in the possession of a number of boys paddling about in the dock. How they got her loose I cannot tell. After having a few words of explanation he told me where to find the oars, and I then got the boat, rowed about a little. Returned and took Miss Susan Coates and Mr. Miller in, and rowed down as far as the
Bishop's and then came back. It was too damp to remain on the water. After seeing Miss Coates home, went up Main Street as far as the Post Office where I met Mr. James Sterling. Took a stroll about town, and then down along the bank as far as the Bishop's. Remained talking for about 1/2 an hour, and then we went up to the wharf to wait for the excursion boat, the Bolivar, to come up. She arrived about 11, and brought up another rowdy party. They had several fights &c. &c.
12 August 1843. I went to the Navy Yard to see the Raritan previous to her departure for Norfolk, and the Steamer Princeton before she is launched. I could not get on board the Raritan as she is anchored out in the stream. But I went through the Princeton and found her to be a very beautiful vessel, and as far as I could judge, nearly ready for launching. At present it is my intention to be launched on board of her, as Captain Ingles has kindly said he would put me on her.
After supper went down with Nesbit to get my boat to go over to swim. Found, to my surprise, that they had hired her out. I was very much displeased and think if they try that game over again will give the boat up altogether. Finding we could not get this boat, went up and hired VanSciver's little white skiff, and rowed out to the Island, took a bath, and rowed over to Bristol afterwards.
14 August 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual and arrived in the City about 9 o'clock. We had an unusual number of passengers on board, about 500, the principal part of which were ladies.
When I got up this morning felt very unwell but thought coming to the City might make me feel better. Shortly after arriving in the City was taken with vomiting which rendered me fit for not doing anything through the rest of the day.
15 August 1843. Not feeling entirely recovered from the attack of yesterday, and the medicine I took not having finished its operation, I concluded to stay up today so that I might take a little recreation. At about 9 o'clock a.m. I was feeling much better so I got my fishing line and went down to London Bridge to fish. Did not succeed in catching any and returned home, but started out again in a few minutes and went up to the Railroad Bridge to try fishing there. Met with the same result. Edward, Ken and Michael Nesbit were with me on my last tramp.
Returned home about 12 N, got dinner, and took a nap until 1/4 past 3 p.m., when little Mike Nesbit and Ken called for me to go down to the river to fish. After trying for an hour or more gave it up as a bad job. While on wharf, Harvey Stuart came down on me rather unexpectedly, he having come up from the City to spend the afternoon. Strolled about with him until the Bolivar left, which was about 1/4 of 6.
Went home, got tea, after which went down and got my boat, and took her around the wharves waiting for Nesbit. He did not come down, so I rowed very leisurely down along the bank as far as "sunset tree" where I was hailed by a number of ladies setting on the bench around the trees. I immediately pulled in thinking I was going to have a fine party with the ladies, but to the astonishment of both sides, I found the ladies were laboring under a mistake, and had called me thinking it was another person. They made every apology, and I told them it made no difference, &c., and so we parted.
16 August 1843. Accompanied by Kenneth Jewell for home. We were detained in Camden about half an hour on account of some of the brakes becoming so tight that the wheels would not move.
17 August 1843. After breakfast this morning I took my gun, Ken accompanying me, and went out to see what execution I could do among the reed birds. I had noticed a great number of them in the neighborhood of where I was fishing the other day. But I found there was a gunner there before me who had frightened them pretty much away. With my gun being out of repair, I soon gave up the idea of shooting. I therefore left for home about 9 o'clock, though not without killing some 10 or a dozen birds.
Today was a great and gay one for the quiet City of Burlington. It was the day on which the farmers and people of the surrounding county celebrate their annual Harvest Home. Early in the morning the people began to pour in from all quarters, some in stages, some in wagons, others on foot, or by the steamboats, all appearing, to judge from the countenances and holiday attire, to have something in their minds calculated to please. At about 12 N a procession was formed of carriages, horsemen, and people on foot, headed by the Mount Holly Band and one from Philadelphia. They proceeded to the place appointed for the meeting, which is delightfully situated in a pleasant piece of woods about half or three quarters of a mile from the town, commonly known as "Kinsey's Woods."
The exercises were commenced by rather a hard looking customer using very bad English and looking as if it had not been long since he had put away several "brandy rovers." He sang several songs, which were repeated at intervals by a number of other singers through the afternoon. There were several fine addresses delivered, and some fine music. I did not know the names of the speakers, except one and that was Dr. Henry Gibbons, formerly of Philadelphia.
About half past 1 p.m. they had a dinner served at the rate of 25 cents apiece. Judging from a glance at the table it was very poor, but 2 or 300 hungry Jersey men made everything fly before them when they got fairly down to it. When they left, not much was to be seen on the table although the fare was very coarse. It was such as I would not care about sitting down to when I could get the dinner I sit down to at home. There must have been 3 or 4000 people on the Ground, and perhaps 500 horses and vehicles in the vicinity. They left about 5 p.m., forming a procession and marching in, in the order they came out. All seemed to be pleased with the celebration. It passed off quietly, being on the temperance principle, contrasting greatly with the way they formerly celebrated their Harvest Homes, when drinking, fighting, &c., was the order of the day. So much for temperance reform.
After dinner went out to the Ground again and remained there until the company left for town. Met the Misses Coates and their company and took a stroll with them out to the mill where we all got weighed, my weight being 128 pounds, 7 pounds less than formerly. After returning home from the meeting went down to see the New Philadelphia come up and also see Ken off. He went down in the Trenton.
19 August 1843. At the office through the morning and in the afternoon until 1/2 past 3 when I left accompanied by Dick Christiani for the Steamer Trenton. Dick intends remaining until Monday.
While waiting for the boat to start, I witnessed rather a horrid sight. It was seeing a black man who had drowned on the night previous. The first I saw of him was one leg sticking up from the water. Some of the porters were grappling for him and had gotten a rope around the leg. The scene was revolting in the extreme. His limbs were drawn up, especially his arms which appeared as if he had been holding on to something, as they were raised above his head. His face appeared to be much disfigured or torn, I suppose, by the grappling irons.
Went home and got supper, then came down, got the boat and went out to the Island. While we were over there Mitchell, his younger brothers and Nesbit came in separate boats. Mitchell took his boat, with myself in it, out into deep water, where we enjoyed ourselves much more than in shallow.
21 August 1843. In the evening at home employed in taking down our old parlor blinds and putting up new ones which we got today.
22 August 1843. There were numerous conjectures prior to our leaving Burlington this morning concerning the steamer Bolivar as she had not made her appearance. Upon arriving near the City found that she was sunk and lying on the upper end of Smith's Island. It appears that as she was "rounding to" for the purpose of landing her passengers last evening, she was run into by the steamboat Kingston. The planks on her larboard bow were so mangled that it was found necessary to run her on the bar, in order to prevent her sinking in deep water. If they had not done so, no doubt it would have proved fatal to a number, if not all of her passengers, about 200 in number. They were, of course, exceedingly terrified, but no person was injured, a fact which may be attributed to the great presence of mind of Captain Whilldin, Jr. The passengers were all taken off by ferry boats from Camden.
23 August 1843. Noticed coming down this morning that they had succeeded in raising the Bolivar and had towed her up to a shipyard in Kensington for repairs, which it is supposed will be completed in a day or two.
24 August 1843. After supper, I took my gun, and went down by "London bridge" for the purpose of shooting some reed birds. But, as it was rather late, succeeded in killing but two, neither of which I could find.
25 August 1843. About half past 7 left the store, and walked up to Dick Christiani's house on Walnut above 8th. His sister then accompanied me to the Missees Leeds. Got there about 1/4 past 8. Found them both in, smiling and looking as pretty as ever. Remained there until about 11, passing a delightful evening, as the Misses Leeds are very agreeable and pleasing in their manners. I must say though, if they did not flatter so much, which is always disagreeable to me, their company would be much pleasanter.
27 August 1843. After breakfast Stewart and I took a walk down to the River to see the New Philadelphia come in. Then walked down along the banks as far as "sunset tree" where we remained until near church time, when we came up home. In a short time went down to church with Ma, Pa and Lydia. Mr. Germain preached, but it was hard to tell what he was preaching about. It was one of the most insipid sermons I have heard for a long time. The congregation appeared to be generally paying no attention, or else they were napping.
After church walked home with Miss Helen Nesbit, and then went home myself and got dinner. After dinner Stewart and myself went out to get a horse and vehicle for the purpose of taking a ride out to Mount Holly, but could not succeed in obtaining one as they were all hired out. We then gave up the idea and went down on the banks and remained there until church time. Went up to church. Mr. Lyons preached. After church went up to see if we could get a horse, as we thought we would go out to Mount Holly after supper, but were again unsuccessful. After supper took a walk on the banks, and returned to the house about 8, and spent the rest of the evening sitting on the steps and talking.
29 August 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual, and arrived in the City about 20 m. past 9, half an hour later than we should have been down, as the tide was not in our favor. The delay was caused by one of the buckets of the larboard wheel becoming loose, and we had to stop the boat for about half an hour. The accident happened opposite "Risden's" [Ferry]. The whole of the family came down this morning, including Flora and L.
After supper took my gun and walked down Broad Street to see if I could shoot some birds, but was unsuccessful. It was rather late in the evening, so I returned home, put my gun away and then took a stroll down along by the River, enjoying a fine Cigar which Stewart gave me a few nights since.
30 August 1843. After supper went up stairs and dressed myself. Ma had informed me we were all invited to Mrs. Sterling's this evening, as Miss Ellis from Freehold and Dr. and Mrs. Ellis were to be there. We were prevented from going in until near quarter past 8 on account of Mrs. Reiford coming here. We repeatedly told her we were invited to spend the evening with Mrs. S. but she persisted in staying until we all got out of patience and left her with Pa. It was much more courtesy than she deserved after what had been told her.
This evening was the first time I ever met Miss Ellis. She is very agreeable and rather pretty, though not very loquacious. We had about 10 o'clock a very fine assortment of the fruits of the season set before us on a table to which I did ample justice.
31 August 1843. Went home and got an early tea so that we might go out boating before dark. I went down to get the boat immediately after supper, but found her half full of water which caused much labor before I could get it out. When it was out, it left the boat in such a damp condition that she was not fit for the ladies. I however took Louisa Wood and Lydia out for a short time. Miss Ellis from Freehold was to have accompanied us, but she was too unwell, having been taken sick since last evening.
1 September 1843. The heat today was very oppressive, as much so as any day through the past summer, with the exception of the memorable hot Sunday. Towards evening it got much cooler and by 8 p.m. it was so cool found it necessary to shut the windows. With this day commenced another season. The summer has rolled away with its many pleasures, and we have entered again on the Fall months, and now have our faces turned towards winter, cold, stern winter.
The past summer has been one of pleasure to many. Never have the watering places been so densely thronged. Cape Island was crowded through the whole of the season with visitors all anxious to gain a little recreation apart from the hot atmosphere of our City. The proprietors of the various hotels must have reaped a rich harvest. Many persons who were there were obliged at night to ride some three, four or five miles to sleep while others were stowed away in close sleeping apartments that we thought at home unfit for use. But so the fashionable world goes and they that go into this world must put up with it. I for my part have enjoyed the summer months very much by taking my daily trips up and down from Burlington, bringing new faces to my notice which at once renders the trip pleasant, without speaking of the fine air, scenery, &c., to be enjoyed.
I have postponed the time of taking my summer recreation until now thinking that waiting for cool weather would be far preferable for being in the country than in the hot months of July and August when it is too hot to gun, fish, or any other amusement. I shall leave the office today to be absent some two or three weeks and anticipate great pleasure in gunning, fishing, boating, &c., during the time.
At home during the whole of this evening. Mr. Jacob Thomas came to see us this afternoon and will remain until morning. Mr. Jacob Ellis and his wife spent the evening with us.
Got up at 1/4 of 6 a.m. and to bed at 10 1/4 p.m.
2 September 1843. Clear and extremely warm all day with the wind from the S.W. Left Burlington this morning as usual and arrived in the City about 9 o'clock. Went up to the office, finished a deed. Remained there until 2 p.m. Then I left in the boat for Burlington. Arrived at 1/4 of 4. Went home, changed my dress, prepared some articles to bring to town with me, got something to eat and then returned to the wharf to wait for the steamer to return. At 6 o'clock she came down and I went on board. The number of passengers was very few, but the trip down was decidedly the pleasantest I have had this season. It was at that hour in the evening when all nature seems hushed, as if retiring into slumber, to be awakened by the influence of the glorious luminary, when he breaks, as it were, from his dewy sleep far down below the distant horizon. The moon too added her gentle influence to our pleasure, by silvering the gentle waters of the Delaware, as we glided gracefully through its placid bosom.
Arrived at the wharf about 20 minutes of 8, passing the Bolivar opposite Bridesburg, she having started 55 minutes before us.
Upon my arrival, I immediately went down to William Hanley, with whom I had promised to stay until Monday. Got tea, and then went out with him in search of a fishing line. After tramping about for a considerable time, gave up the idea of getting one until Monday, as he could not get the kind to suit him. Then continued our walk down 2nd Street as far as Queen. I wished to go down to the Misses Coates, but he would not go as he suffered some insult some time ago. I went down for about half an hour while he waited for me.
3 September 1843. Clear and exceedingly warm all day, so warm that it made it very unpleasant to go outside the house. In the latter part of the afternoon clouded over, and thundered and lightninged a little but did not rain in the City proper, though I believe they had some in the southern suburbs.
Got up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast went up with Bill to the other store and remained there until about half past 9. Then left and went up to Grace Church to hear Mr. Suddards. He delivered a very fine sermon. Text from the 7th Chapter of St. Matthew, the 1st and 2nd verses. After Church went down to the store again, where I remained with Bill until it was time to go down to dinner. After dinner laid down and took a nap until about 3 o'clock. Then we went up to St. Luke's Church,(100) and heard Mr. Spear.(101) After church went home by way of Chestnut Street. Stopped at the office a few minutes, then went down and got supper. In the evening went down to Miss Craycroft's with Hanley. Met Miss Sally Martin, and Messrs. Way, Lewis, Ares, Woodward and Wilson there.
4 September 1843. Went out with Bill for the purpose of purchasing a fishing line. We went up to Pa's office where we remained about an hour and a half, then strolled down to Walnut Street wharf, but finding it so exceedingly warm concluded we would go home. Remained there until about half past 10. Spent the day until dinner ready in reading. After dinner went upstairs to take a nap, but did not get out of our room until 6, having slept until 5. It was our intention to go up to Burlington at 2, but Mrs. Hanley and the girls prevailed upon us to stay, as they would give a small company this evening. It is now with pleasure that I have it to record, that I acceded to their persuasions, as I was introduced to three very pretty young ladies, two of which were particularly fascinating. Their names were Miss Buchey,(102) Miss Randall and Miss Levering, the two latter of which were the ones with which I was so much pleased. I would give a description of the charms of these two young ladies, but a description of their beauties would far supersede the powers of my pen and the limits of these sketches of everyday affairs. About 10 o'clock sat down to a table filled with all the choice fruits of the season, which were attended to in due style by the guests. They began to leave about half past 10, and I accompanied Miss Levering home.
5 September 1843. Hanley and myself went down to the Walnut Street wharf and took passage on board the New Philadelphia for Burlington. The number of passengers was few, but the trip up was delightful. Arrived in Burlington at 1/2 past 8, went up home, changed our dress, and then went down to the river and got our boat. Rowed out to the bar and fished until 1/4 past 12 p.m. (then having about 2 1/2 dozen), then went home and got dinner, after which laid down and took a short nap. At about 1/2 past 2, went out again on the bar to fish but could catch nothing, which made us give up the idea of trying any more that afternoon. We concluded to row over to the island and rest in the shade. After becoming rested, undressed, put our clothes in the boat, and then rowed out into deep water, anchored the boat and enjoyed a fine swim. Came home about 5 p.m., dressed and then got supper.
In the evening took a stroll to see the New Philadelphia start for the City. She had come up in the afternoon on an excursion. After she started strolled about town for a while, the evening becoming clear and moonlit.
6 September 1843. Got our boat and rowed out on the bar to fish but did not catch anything until near 1/2 past 10, when they began to bite quite fast. We fished from that time until 1/4 past 12 p.m. (taking 3 1/2 dozen) when it came on to rain and we were obliged to put in, though it stopped by the time we arrived at Burlington. The river was very rough this morning, caused by a very strong wind blowing, though it was much more pleasant than fishing yesterday, as it was cool and pleasant. After dinner took a nap until about 1/4 of 3, when I took my gun, and Hanley and myself went down the railroad to see if I could shoot anything. Made out poorly and returned about 5 o'clock p.m.
7 September 1843. Commenced raining this morning about 6 o'clock and continued without intermission until about 4 p.m. when it abated.
Notwithstanding the rain, left Burlington for the City this morning, accompanied by William Hanley, for the purpose of being launched on board the United States steamer Princeton.(103) Arrived in the City about 1/4 of 9, walked down with Hanley as far as his residence, left him there. Then went up to Pa's office for the purpose of informing them that he would not be down, as he had gone to Trenton on business. Remained there until 1/4 past 10, when I went down to Hanley's again, and remained there until about 12 N, when we left for the Navy Yard, Mrs. Hanley having first, through her kindness, prepared for us a dinner.
Upon our arrival at the Navy Yard went into the ship house, and took an outside view of this beautiful vessel. She has been built under the directions of Captain Stockton,(104) a gentleman as distinguished for his naval science as for his liberality. It is said to be a beautiful piece of workmanship, and well adapted to the object for which she is designed. Her armament will consist of six 42 lb. cannonades, and two twelve inch wrought iron guns(105) (Captain Stockton's invention), each capable of throwing balls weighing 214 pounds.
After satisfying ourselves with an outside view, went on board, where we were entertained up to the hour of the launch by some very fine music, discoursed by a band procured for the occasion. At about 1 p.m. the gun was fired which was a signal for the boats in the river to clear the way, and at about 1/4 past 1 p.m. the vessel slid swiftly and gracefully into the water, amid the shouts of the observers, the playing of martial music, and the roar of cannon from the battery on shore. There were on board of her about 200, including a number of officers of the Navy, and a German band.
The rain seemed to have held up, to give us the worst as she went off, for scarcely had we left the ship house ere it poured in torrents while it blew a heavy gale from the N.E. which rendered an umbrella of little or no avail. In a few minutes I was wet to the skin. It was laughable to see how people made for the hatches to gain shelter, though completely drenched before they could get below.
The appearance of the Princeton as she sits in the water is beautiful beyond the power of description. When fully rigged and her armament on board, she will present as formidable, persuasive, and imposing an aspect as well could be desired. There were several steamers out in the River, but with very few persons on board. There were no other vessels or small boats in the stream, all owing to the bad state of the weather. The number of persons congregated around the Navy Yard was very small.
About 15 minutes after she was launched the steamer States Rights came alongside and took us off, though not without getting another ducking before we got on shore, as we had to make our way through the port holes of the vessel on to her wheelhouse and then jump on to the deck of the boat. Upon her leaving the Princeton had a number of cheers exchanged between those on board of the frigate and our boat for Captain Stockton and others.(106) Landed at the Navy Yard and then made the best of our way up to Walnut Street wharf just in time to get on board of the Trenton which we feared we would not be able to do. The trip up was very unpleasant as it rained constantly, and blew very hard. We were obliged to keep to the cabin.
8 September 1843. This morning Hanley and I prepared ourselves for a regular fish down at Dunk's Ferry,(107) by preparing a dinner, &c., to take with us. We left Burlington fully prepared about half past 7, and arrived at the fishing grounds in about an hour. We immediately put the lines out and the fish commenced biting. From that time until 12 N, we took them in as fast as we could put our lines down. A few minutes after 12, went on shore and ate our dinner with great relish, as fishing has a great tendency to give good appetites. After finishing our meal went out on the fishing ground again, and caught them much faster than in the morning, taking sometimes 4 and 5 at a pull. About 1/2 past 2 p.m. they began to quit biting so we concluded we would go home, as we could have the flood tide most of the way up. Arrived home about 4 o'clock. This was the greatest day's fishing I ever had. We caught between us 19 dozen or 114 apiece, all very fine large perch. I caught 1 rock about 8 or 10 inches long, and an eel 18 inches long. We were bothered by catching about 7 eels that tangled our lines and broke the hooks off.
9 September 1843. This morning after breakfast went down to the wharf with my friend William H. Hanley to see him off, though not with much pleasure, as it was my desire he should remain another week. But his attention was required at the store at home, and he was obliged to go. After the boat had started, went up home, changed my dress, got my gun, and came down to the River. I took my boat out for the purpose of trying my luck at shooting. I found great difficulty in rowing my boat, as the wind blew very hard, which caused the River to be very rough. However I succeeded in getting over to the island, though not without shipping some of the swells that came in every direction.
After reaching the island rowed up along the shore, or reeds, for a considerable distance. But finding no birds concluded I would try for a while on the island, but with little better success. There was not a bird to be seen, I suppose on account of the high state of the wind. I succeeded, however, on my return to the boat, in shooting a very large snipe, which was the sum total of my morning's gunning. Got home about 12 N, though not without a severe pull for it, as I had both wind and tide against me.
In the afternoon was out among the reeds on the island for about an hour, but without any success, as the wind was still high.
10 September 1843. So cold today that a fire would have been quite comfortable, though we were unable to have one, not having any coal. After breakfast dressed for the day, and then sat down and wrote my journal, after which commenced a letter to William H. Bird. At half past 10 went down to St. Mary's Church.
11 September 1843.. Mr. James H. Sterling and myself started out this morning, and also Joe our colored boy, on a fishing excursion to Dunk's Ferry. We expected to have good luck as we were so well favored last Friday, but I cannot record that our expectations were realized. We only caught about four dozen, after being out all day. I suppose we must lay our ill luck to the high state of the wind, which blew a perfect gale throughout the day, raising a very heavy swell.
Arrived home again about 6, when we were all invited to Mrs. Sterling's to partake of a fine supper, at which the fish were to be served. I can say we did ample justice to it. About 1/4 past 8 a messenger came in from Dr. Ellis's to partake of some ice cream with them, so in a few minutes we were there and had the ice cream served. In a short time went to dancing and enjoyed ourselves the rest of the evening.
12 September 1843.(108) After breakfast this morning went down with Pa and Ma to the wharf to see them off. After they had started, went down and wiped my boat out, as I wished to take some ladies out rowing with me this morning. Afterward went home and in a few minutes called upon Miss Ellis to see what time it would be convenient for her to go on our proposed boating excursion. After leaving Miss Ellis was obliged to go and put my boat out at the end of the wharf to prevent her being aground at the time I wished to use her, as I did not altogether fancy taking off my shoes and stockings to push her off the mud this cold morning. After getting through with this job, went up home and commenced writing a deed for Pa, which he wished me to complete today. Wrote at it until 1/4 past 10, and then went down and got my boat, and brought her around on the bank and waited until the ladies came down which was near 11 o'clock.
My party was composed of Miss Ellis, Miss Clara Nesbit and Lydia. After all were seated, it was proposed by one of the ladies, I believe Miss Nesbit, that we should go to Bristol, as she had never been there. I of course acceded to the proposition, and rowed over there. We had some little difficulty landing, and not without some fright to the ladies, though there was no danger. Upon landing took a walk through the principal streets, and returned to the boat about 12 N. Upon our arriving at Burlington I rowed down along the bank as far as Mrs. Chester's place. On our return, ran onto a wharf log, which occupied some time, and occasioned some difficulty to myself and fright to the ladies before we could get off. I however succeeded in landing my valuable cargo safely, and with the thanks of the ladies for the pleasure they had experienced, we parted, I being under the necessity of taking the boat to the moorings though I can say it would have been a great source of pleasure to have accompanied the ladies up home. Upon putting my boat away went up home and commenced writing at my deed again, which I completed at 1/2 past 2 p.m. After this hour took my gun and then strolled down to the rail road, and around by Mrs. Chester's cottage, to see if I could shoot something, but had to return without anything.
14 September 1843. Today is Ma's 43rd birthday,(109) and in celebration of it, a small company came to supper. The company was composed of Mr. and Mrs. Sterling, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Ellis, Mrs. Dr. Ellis, Miss Elizabeth Ellis from Freehold, and Mrs. Reiford to supper, and Mr. James Sterling after supper. We spent the evening very pleasantly in dancing, in fact it was principally occupied in this amusement, which I think is far the most pleasant one that can be had to pass of an evening.
16 September 1843. After breakfast cleaned my gun and then went down and got my boat for the purpose of trying my luck at gunning. I rowed along the edge of the reeds, and pushed through them until I got down to the mouth of Shamany Creek, about two and a half miles from Burlington. I did not succeed in getting any birds, as I labored under the disadvantage of not having any person to pole for me. Got back to Burlington about half past 12, having sailed up against the tide the greater part of the way with an oar, and several pieces of board stuck up in the bow of the boat as a sail. I had great difficulty in pushing through the reeds and was heartily glad when I got out of them.
17 September 1843. I was employed this morning until 12 o'clock writing an endorsed deed which had to be done in time for Pa to take to the city with him in the morning. About 12 o'clock walked down to the church and saw the people out and then came home.
18 September 1843. Mr. James Hunter Sterling and myself left Burlington this morning about 8 o'clock on a fishing excursion to Dunk's Ferry. We were obliged to row against tide, and the fog on the river was so dense that we could not distinguish the other shore. It reminded me of the ocean.
After arriving at the Ferry fished until about 1/2 past 12 p.m., when we went on shore and had our dinner, setting our table on the top of a large hogshead, which answered every purpose of the center table of the parlor. After finishing our repast went out again and fished until about 1/4 of 2. When a sloop came along, we thought we would have a fine opportunity of having a tow, and so made fast to her. Her progress was very slow, not as fast as we could row. However, we kept hold until we had cleaned our fish, or so many as we wanted. Then being nearly opposite the lower end of the banks, we let go and rowed the rest of the distance.
I expect this day's fishing will be my last for a year to come, as I have concluded to go down tomorrow, which will commence my regular daily trips to the City and to business. I now feel anxious to get to, as one soon becomes tired of the idle life. We caught today 7 dozen fish. In the evening at home reading the papers, and lolling about on the steps.
19 September 1843. I commenced my regular daily trips to the City again today, having had my summer enjoyments, and becoming tired of an idle life. It is a strange matter how soon one becomes anxious to get to business, after living an idle life for some few weeks, and while at business watching every opportunity to get from it.
20 September 1843. Went up to the office and remained there until 1/2 past 10, when I went up to Pa's office to see him. While there he asked me the favor of getting two sets of leases out, which detained me from the office until 12 N.
21 September 1843. There was quite a large number of ladies on board this morning, among whom were the Misses Virginia and Caroline Mitchell and Miss Kidd, with whom I had a little chat upon the passage down. Upon our arrival at the wharf had the pleasure of escorting them ashore and of accompanying them as far as their father's store in Chestnut Street above Front. They came down for the purpose of attending the Horticultural Exhibition which is now open. At 5 p.m. left for Burlington. In the evening went around to see Jim Sterling,(110) and at about 8 o'clock we went out together and took a little stroll about town, taking some ice cream at Mitchell's by way of variety.
22 September 1843. Got back to the office a little before 2, but soon left again, and went up and bought myself a tweed coat. Then went around to Pa's office. Remained there about half an hour, and then went down to the Horticultural Exhibition, Mr. Elliott having presented me with a ticket.
The display of flowers, fruits and vegetables is very beautiful, I think more tastefully arranged than on any other exhibition. There are a number of summer houses, arbors, and miniature cottages, all of which are beautiful in the extreme, and well calculated to please the fair ones who have an opportunity of seating themselves on several of these fancy retreats. There is one arbor, or summer house, in the center of the room that is particularly attractive and must of caused great labor to complete. The fountain also adds materially to the beauty of the scene as it throws forth its crystal jets, while throughout the room its effects are felt by the cool and delightful atmosphere. The number of visitors present when I first went in was very few, but before I left the room was crowded with many fair faces all seeming anxious to catch a glance at the various fruits, &c., displayed.
23 September 1843. At 2 o'clock I went on an errand about some hats at Schuylkill, 3rd and Callowhill Streets. I was pretty well tired by the time I got back to the office as the walk was very warm. Left the office at 1/4 past 4, and went to the Walnut Street ferry and crossed, thinking it would afford me an opportunity to see the Indian race before the cars started for Burlington. The Indians came out about half past four in two small boats (not canoes) and started the race, but it was managed in miserable style. Numberless boats interrupted their progress, and the Indians did not appear to exert themselves in the least. Several common rowboats beat them. There was a great many spectators on the wharves, while the river was crowded with all kinds of sail and row boats.
24 September 1843. Went to St. Mary's Church this morning and heard Mr. Lyons preach. We occupied the new pew we were provided with for the first time today. After church walked home with Miss Helen Nesbit.
25 September 1843. I was on board the barque Anna Reynolds for a few minutes this afternoon. She is the vessel I went to Boston on in the summer of 1842. Of all the crew that was on board of her then, there remains but one, and he is the steward. The captain has sold his share of the vessel and gone to keeping store in Boston.
28 September 1843. There was a very heavy frost this morning, the first of the season. So cold I was obliged to wear my cloak down this morning and up in the evening. The trip down was very cold, and made the passengers stick pretty close to the cabin, where there was a good fire.
30 September 1843. About 3 p.m. I left and went up to Pa's office for the purpose of getting my new hat that had been left there for me. Remained there fifteen or twenty minutes and then went down and got my boots. From there went to the office again. After supper went around to see James Sterling, took a stroll with him and returned to his store. Remained talking for a while when Theodore Mitchell came along and we all walked as far as the River, and then up to the "Temperance House" where we heard some good music.
"Has it come, the time to fade?
And with a murmuring sigh
The maple, in his motley robe
Was the first to make reply
And the queenly dahlias drooped
Upon their thrones of state,
For the frost king with his baneful kiss
Had well forestalled their fate."
4 October 1843. At the office through the day and until about 6 p.m. when I left and went up to the Franklin House and got my supper. Afterwards returned as far as the office, where I met Dick Christiani, and he and I took a stroll together, and then went down to his house where I met Miss Mary Nutly and his sister. Miss N. looked remarkably pretty and fascinating this evening, and was very pleasant and pleasing in her manners, which made me like her far more than usual. Her step-brother Courtland Howell came in about half past 8, and was soon followed by my old acquaintance John Weeks, who has been living in Mobile for the last two years. I had not seen him for the last three or four years. He is much improved in his appearance, and I should not have known him if I had not been introduced. Passed the evening very pleasantly in playing cards, playing, singing, &c.
6 October 1843. Went over to Mr. Haven's to see him concerning a fishing excursion which we intend taking tomorrow, but he was not in.
7 October 1843. I got up this morning at 1/4 of 6, dressed and went down and put the boat off at the end of the wharf, to prevent her from being aground if we wished to use her. It is our intention to go a-fishing, but had small hopes of going as it was raining hard. However, thought it might clear before the boat started, and would be on the safe side.
Left Burlington as usual this morning, no change being visible in the weather, and arrived in the City by 25 minutes past 9. Went up to the office and remained there until 1/4 of 2 p.m., when I left and went down on board of the Trenton for Burlington. Left at 2 p.m. and arrived there by 12 past 3. Upon passing the wharf, where I had put the boat this morning, noticed that she had been swamped, and upon landing I went immediately to work to bail the boat out and put her in the place she belonged. It was no small job, but after a little perseverance accomplished my object, after which went up to see Mr. Haven about the key of the boat.
8 October 1843. The rain came down this morning as incessantly as I ever saw it; it seemed almost to come down by buckets full. In the afternoon about 3 p.m. it ceased raining, and by 6 p.m. was as clear as could be, and throughout the evening clear and moonlit.
At St. Mary's Church this morning. Bishop Doane preached and a minister was ordained. Immediately afterward the Bishop desired a meeting of the vestry on Tuesday next, that he might offer his resignation as rector of St. Mary's Church. This announcement caused a great sensation among a certain number of the ladies, and they gave vent to their feelings by frequent sobs, though for my part it makes but little difference whether he remains or not, as I do not altogether like his preaching or eccentric ways.
After church went home and took dinner, and by the time I had finished had made up my mind, which I had changed a dozen times on account of the inclemency of the weather, to go to the City to see my friend Dick Christiani off in the morning. I do not think I should have gone in all the rain. But as it was I was glad I had gone, as I met with the above happy result in the change of the weather.
Went up to Christiani but he not being in, remained talking with his sister about half an hour, when he made his appearance. In a few minutes he made a proposition to take a walk as far as Chambers Church. Remained there a few minutes, when we concluded to pay a lady a visit in Wood Street below 13th. I do not remember her name, but her beauty I do not forget. After leaving continued our walk up as far as the Misses Leeds. The daughters looked as pretty as usual, though there was a reserve manifested, both by them and their mother which we did not altogether like, and which has not characterized their conduct heretofore, which has been rather the reverse. Perhaps it was more imagination with the girls than anything else, though with the mother I do not think it was so. There have been some unpleasant feelings between Mrs. Leeds, Christiani, Ella and Nulty lately, upon which may be based this cold treatment. I do not think it is altogether right it should be visited on us, as we neither knew nor had anything to do with it.
9 October 1843. Got up this morning at 1/4 of 5, and after dressing and breakfasting went out with Dick to attend to some little matters previous to his starting. Returned to the house about 1/4 past 6, and at half past left again for the boat. At 7 o'clock he started in the Ohio(111) for Baltimore via Wilmington. It is his intention to go to Natchez and be absent two years. The parting between his mother and sister and himself was hard, though to better his circumstances he has concluded to go, being able to get much higher salary than could be procured here in this City. Since his sojourn in this City he has been very attentive and kind to me, particularly since my residence in Burlington, and this kindness will always be felt by me. His company will be missed greatly, as he was my most intimate friend and associate for the last year, and now I feel a great reluctance in parting, but I hope this change may be for the better, and that he may return in health and considerably bettered by the change.
After seeing Dick off tended to some little affairs and then went down to see Hanley. After remaining there a short time he gave me an invitation to remain in town with him this evening to attend a little company he was to have this evening. I gladly accepted his invitation as he informed me that several young ladies are to be there who are particular favorites of mine.
Walked down with Bill as far as the lower store where we parted, and I went up to the office by way of 2nd Street. On my way up met Miss A. Stewart, whom I have not seen for a long while. Went down to Hanley's to supper. Miss Buchey was there to tea, but all of the rest of the company came afterwards. Their names were the Misses Levering, Buchey, Randall, Rue, Msdms. Buchey and Pointe,(112) and Messrs. Levering, Randall, Mirken, Milliken and Weatherly. The young ladies looked particularly charming, and it was a difficult matter to make a selection in regard to beauty between the Misses Levering, Randall and Buchey, though I think the former was a little the prettiest, but as I said before it was hard to decide.
We had several cotillions and the Virginia Reel, in which we enjoyed ourselves exceedingly, particularly as the ladies were such great favorites. They had also several games, which I must say, I did not relish much as they were entirely too childish, and ought to be done away with, and left to those 4 and 5 years of age. As it was, speaking for myself, I spent a very pleasant evening, and could not have enjoyed myself more. They began to leave about 1/2 past 11. I had the pleasure of accompanying Miss Randall home, found her very agreeable and pleasant, much more than I expected. I had for company home Milliken and Hanley.
10 October 1843. Clear and very pleasant through the day and evening. I do not think we ever had a more delightful day for an election,(113) the voters turned out in full force, and everything seemed to go on amicably.
Went down to Mr. Hanley's to supper. Just as I was sitting down to supper Miss Randall came in, but she wished to be off again immediately as it was near dark. We persuaded her to stay to tea, and after which I had the pleasure of accompanying her home, which afforded me no small pleasure as she is both pretty and pleasing in her manners. Upon arriving at her residence bade her good evening and left, though not without a pressing invitation to come in.
Went down to Hanley's at 7th and Lombard Streets where I met Samuel Milliken. We waited for some time for Mr. Hanley, but becoming tired, Sam and I concluded we would go down after him. Found there some little company, namely, Mr. & Mrs. Moss and Miss Jane Clark. Remained but a few minutes and went up Lombard Street and met Bill coming down. We then took a stroll down 2nd Street to the Southwark election Grounds, finding all quiet down there. On Walnut we got to playing a little. Sam took my cap and ran off with it. I had the great pleasure of walking from 7th and Washington Square to 2nd and Chestnut without a hat. I succeeded in getting another one at the office.
In the evening out with Jim Sterling. We called on Messrs. Hall and Woolman and others to make arrangements to go up to Springfield to see some ladies tomorrow evening.
12 October 1843. This morning there was a very dense fog; you could not discern objects a very short distance in front of you. I got ready to go to the City and went down to the wharf for the purpose of going but as the boat did not get down until near 9 o'clock on account of the fog, I concluded not to go down, as I intended coming up at 2 again for the purpose of going on our proposed trip to Springfield. After the boat started I went home and got some fishing line and some worms, got Moyer's boat and went out on the bar to try my luck at fishing. Made out very poorly as I was not so much favored as to get a bite.
After rowing around for a while I returned home and commenced dressing. Sterling and myself intended starting on our trip at 2 p.m. Was dressed by dinner time, and after dining went around for Sterling. We then went up to Pool's and got our horse and vehicle. Left Burlington at 1/4 past 2 p.m. and drove out to Mount Holly by 3 o'clock. The ride was very pleasant, though riding through the sun in an uncovered vehicle it was rather warm.
Upon our arrival in Mount Holly put our horse up at a tavern, and then went out to take a stroll through the town. This was my first visit. We first went out to the cemetery, which is very beautifully situated on the side of the mount from which this beautiful little town takes its name. The arrangement of the cemetery is very neat, resembling in a manner, that is the naming of the paths and the situation of the place, Mount Auburn in the neighborhood of Boston. In the center of this cemetery is a large monument, or obelisk, with some carved gilded work resembling the burning torch on the top. This adds greatly to the beauty of the place. I think in the course of a few years, when some amusements are erected, it will be a far more beautiful place than it now is, though at present it is beautiful.
After leaving the cemetery took a walk around to Mr. Dunn's beautiful residence.(114) I think there is more taste displayed in the erection of this mansion than I have seen for a long while. I would give an extended account of this beautiful place, but my time will not permit it.
We left Mount Holly about 1/4 of 5, and rode over to our place of destination (Grassdale, Springfield, Mr. Earl's place) in about 3/4 of an hour, the distance being about 9 miles. In going over this road we go through a small place called Jobestown, of no great importance, containing about 6 or 8 houses. Upon our arrival at Greendale I was introduced to two of the Misses Earl who were in the parlor at the time of our arrival, viz., Miss Lynda and Miss Hetty. In about 15 minutes after our arrival, our friends Mr. Hall and Mr. Cartoit, arrived. They had started about 4 p.m. and came directly.
We took tea shortly thereafter, at which time I was introduced to Miss Hetty Burling, a fine, noble looking young lady with whom I was much pleased. After supper we all adjourned to the parlor and in a few minutes it was proposed to dance. We all heartily acceded to do so, but there was one object in the way: one lady was wanted because one of the Misses Earl had a very bad tooth ache, which made her unable to come down. However, to remedy all deficiencies, one lady volunteered to become the partner of two gentlemen, which made all matters straight and we got along delightfully. We danced for about 3/4 of an hour, all appearing to enjoy themselves to their heart's content. When we became a little tired, whist was proposed. I took a hand in it, and took Miss Burling for my partner. When we beat them, I gave up my place to Mr. Hall, fearing I might lose my good name as we had 13 to their 5.
While they were still playing the other sister came down, Miss Cornelia Earl, her toothache having become eased. I had quite a chat with her, and found her very pleasant and agreeable. In fact, speaking of the three Misses Earl and Miss Burling, I never came across more sociable and pleasing young ladies in my life. It appeared to me that I had not been there more than an hour when I felt as much at home as if I had known them for a month. A few minutes after Miss Cornelia came down we had another cotillion, which passed off much better than the previous one, as we had the full complement of ladies, and could enter with more spirit into the amusement. This cotillion continued for about 3/4 of an hour, when we sat down and had a sociable chat, until a game entitled "Adjective" was proposed, which was joined in by all the company.
At the witching hour of 12 p.m. we had our horse put to, and began preparations to start to ride our thirteen miles to Burlington, by putting on cloaks, &c., as it had become very cold. After bidding the ladies all farewell we started, it then being 1/4 past 12. The night was magnificent and moonlit, and we arrived home by 5 minutes past 2 a.m. I do not think I ever spent a more pleasant evening in my life. They, one and all, were so agreeable and sociable, so unlike most persons on a first introduction. I was very much pleased with Miss Hetty Earl, as she was very pretty, and to all appearances amicable.
13 October 1843. Lib came back yesterday from the Alms House.
15 October 1843. At St. Mary's Church in the morning. Bishop Doane preached, the ladies having persuaded him not to resign, as he announced last Sunday. After dinner Pa and I started to take a walk of three miles out of town on the Philadelphia road, to look at a farm belonging to Colonel Tucker, which he has put in Pa's hands to dispose of. We found it with very little difficulty, but in going home took another road, which led us through a woods, and we began to despair of finding Burlington, but with due perseverance found it.
17 October 1843. Went up to the office where I remained until about 1/4 of 5 p.m., when I went down to the ferry to see if it was Pa's intention of going up this evening, for if so, I wished to remain in town for the night. Found that he was going up, and then went back to the office where I remained until about 6 o'clock when I went down with Bird to tea, he having kindly invited me to go with him and spend the night. After supper took a stroll up Chestnut and in passing the National Theater,(115) saw that Forrest(116) was going to play Metamora this evening. Thought we would like to see it and went in, as it is one of his best pieces. The first thing that attracted my notice, and astonished me greatly, was to see Dr. Ellis (who has not been in the City for two years) and his wife in the first tier of boxes. I could not believe my own eyes, until I saw them come out after the play was over. There was an excellent house, and Forrest played extremely well.
18 October 1843. In going up this afternoon, I met my old friend Chester B. White from Fredericksburg, whom I have not seen for four years. He was on his way to New York to purchase goods as he has just opened a store in Fredericksburg.
Our black boy, Joe Stratton, left today. He has been with us since July 1st last.
20 October 1843. Clear and very pleasant, rather cool in the morning but as the day advanced, it became quite warm. There was a heavy white frost on the fields this morning, which resembled at a distance a slight fall of snow. Left Burlington as usual; when we were about halfway down, we had quite an incident to occur which I may here relate, among the various others recorded in this book. I had been sitting in the cabin, talking to Mr. Contonil (?) for some time, when I thought I would walk upon deck and take a little of the fresh air, as the morning was delightful. My attention was first attracted by a crowd just forward of the ladies' saloon. Upon repairing to the spot, I found that there was a beautiful young girl, to all appearances not over 19 or 20, in the agonies of a nervous fit. When I reached the spot, she had nearly recovered, and besought the people to disperse, as she had just arrived at a state of consciousness. They of course acceded to her wish, when she soon recovered.
Strolled up to Pa's office where I shall remain for the night, being my first trial to sleep on the sofa.
21 October 1843. I got up this morning feeling much refreshed and after having as good a night's sleep as if I had been at home. Dressed and went down to Naugle's Franklin House, where I got a good breakfast, more than I wanted, for 12 1/2 cents. After eating, sat down and read the paper, and then went down to the office.
Upon going home, found my friend Chester B. White, who I did not expect until this evening. After the usual salutations, he, Hugh Nesbit and I went down to the River, got a Boat and rowed over to Bristol. Ches never had been through the town before, so upon our arrival we took a stroll through the place.
25 October 1843. There was ice made in our yard in Burlington, and also ice in the City yesterday morning, being the first of the season in these parts.
26 October 1843. It was cold, damp and unpleasant coming down, and the deck was cleared from people. We had a specimen of practical Abolition on board this morning at the breakfast table. The sight was enough to raise the anger of any person. To see a white man, sitting at the head of table on board a public boat, with five Negroes sitting with him, and he paying every attention to them, by chatting, handing the dishes, &c. I think if it had been on board a southern boat he would have been thrown over board, which would have served him right for trying to equalize the whites and blacks in this way. But as it was, the passengers let it pass, taking but little notice of him or his dark associates.
27 October 1843. Upon my arrival in the City went up to the office and remained there until about 2 p.m., when I went up to the exhibition of the "Franklin Institute."(117) Looked about for half an hour, and then returned to the office, where I remained until 1/2 past 6 (saving 15 m. occupied in getting my tea). Jim Sterling, from Burlington, called and we strolled up to the Franklin Institute, I having made an engagement this morning to go with him. The displays of articles this season are very large and beautiful, and if one were to examine everything exhibited, would occupy weeks to accomplish. We took a hasty survey of the rooms, and then took up a station where we remained for about an hour, examining the prettiest part of the American manufacture, the ladies. There were a great many, and a fine display, and it would be hard to judge which were the prettiest specimens.
1 November 1843. There was considerable ice made last night. I noticed it on the pavements, and Mr. Sterling told me it made the thickness of 2 inches in his yard in a tin basin.
4 November 1843. We did not meet the New Philadelphia as usual this morning, and various surmises were made about what had happened, but we were not relieved of our suspense until we arrived at the upper end of the city where we found her lying at anchor, having broken some part of her machinery. The passengers and baggage had been taken off by a ferry boat and taken to Camden, where they were transferred by Railroad to New York.
6 November 1843. It was so cold I noticed ice in the margin of the river this morning in going down. We were visited on Saturday evening last, about 9 o'clock, with a small sprinkling of snow, the first this season. I kept upon deck all the way down. I think it is much more beneficial to health to remain on deck and breathe the cold bracing atmosphere, than to shut yourself in the cabin below, where there is perhaps 50 or 100 people breathing the same air and with a hot fire in their midst. It is my intention to keep on the deck all this winter, and hope by spring to come out thoroughly hardened to the cold, and much more healthy.
Upon our arrival at the wharf Pa introduced me to Miss Annabella Griffitts, to escort her on shore as he had to wait upon both her mother and Mrs. Sarah Ellis. I was much pleased with this introduction, as I had been wishing it for some time,
and it did me great pleasure to wait upon her, nothing would have given me more pleasure.
Left the office at 1/4 of 5, went down to the ferry boat, and met Miss Wallace and Miss Griffitts again. Pa took Miss Wallace and I Miss Griffitts under our charge. After taking our seats I had an opportunity of judging what kind of lady Miss G. is. We had a seat in one corner of the cars to ourselves, and I found her to be very pleasant and agreeable. She conversed freely, and was not at all reserved in her manners, which made the time pass quickly and agreeably. She is pretty and full of life and animation, and a lady that one soon becomes acquainted with, at least I found it so.
7 November 1843. Today, to all appearances, is what you might call a regular winter one. Through the morning it was cold, raw and unpleasant, and at about 1/2 past 12 N. commenced snowing and continued in good earnest until about 1/2 past 4 p.m. The snow did not lie in the City until the latter part of the afternoon, and then only on the south side of the way. Went home where I remained the rest of the evening reading my Notes on Blackstone's Commentaries.
10 November 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual and arrived in the City about 1/4 past 9, then went up to see Mr. Charles Ellet(118) at the Mount Vernon House on some business. Did not find him in, but saw his wife whom I have not seen for more than two years. She did not know me at all. After leaving her went up to Mr. Thomas's store, to take a package for Grandma to be sent out to Cincinnati. Then went down to the office where I remained until 6 p.m., expecting to have a Sheriffs' Deed to write for Mr. Elliott. But, as the writ was not brought, could not go on with it. After getting my tea came back to the office and wrote an Assignment of Mortgage by 1/4 of 8. Then went down to Miss Elizabeth Mercer's. She not being in, went down to [the] Misses Coates'. Found them all in, and met Messrs. Esherick, Crothers and Hurst there. Left about 1/4 past 10.
11 November 1843. Took a stroll down to the River to see what it looked like, as it was blowing a perfect hurricane. Found a tremendous heavy swell in the River, and the tide up over Mr. Molina's coal wharf, while it was even with the town wharf, and every minute a swell would make a clear sweep over it. It blew so hard that the ferry boat could make no headway, and was not able to come to the slip, having to land her passengers at the wharf. Upon coming home found Miss Amnabella Griffitts setting in the parlor. It was her first visit; had a little chat with her, and a few minutes after accompanied her home, it being after dark. Evening at home writing Samuel Salter's will.
12 November 1843. After Church went home, got dinner and then went to the wharf to wait for the New Philadelphia to come down. I wished to go to the City in her, and take the will I had written last evening, as I had apprehension that the man would not live until Monday.
I went immediately in pursuit of the executor who, after some difficulty, I found and delivered the Will to him. I was at Grace Church during the latter part of the sermon which was solemn and impressive in the extreme; there were two corpses in the church, and it was a funeral sermon.
After Church went down to see the Executor of the will again.
14 November 1843. Got up to Miss Buchey's about 8 o'clock and stayed until 1/4 of 12. I was very much disappointed this evening and spent it not very pleasantly. I had an invitation for more than a week, and expected they were going to have a party. There were 5 or 6 there. I do not think I will be caught in such a scrape again.
17 November 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual, but in a short time the fog became so dense that they were obliged to slacken the headway of the boat considerably so she could stop in a short time if they got into shallow water. It is well they did, for we came down on the Bolivar who had lost her way in the fog in the neighborhood of Dunk's Ferry and was heading across the river. When we came down she changed her course, and followed close in our wake most of the way down, while we had all the trouble of heaving the lead, &c.
The New Philadelphia did not venture to start to come up, as the fog was much more dense in the neighborhood of the City than above.
18 November 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual with every prospect of having a quick passage down as the fog was light, and appeared to be clearing off. But, by the time we arrived at Dunk's Ferry, it became very thick. We could not see the length of the boat ahead, but by heaving the lead and going very slowly, managed to get safely down as far as Risden's Ferry. After numerous efforts we succeeded in coming to the wharf, having concluded to lay there until the fog cleared up a little as it was considered unsafe to run any farther. Remained at the wharf about 20 minutes. Most of the passen-gers went on shore, but at the tap of the bell they came on board again, the fog having cleared considerably.
In a few minutes we were under full headway, but had scarcely proceeded a mile when we came into as dense a mass of fog as ever. In a few minutes the bell was rung for engineer to stop the engine as we were coming hard onto a canal boat which was laying broadside to our bow. If the boat had not been stopped immediately it would have sunk her. As it was, she ran a very narrow chance.
19 November 1843. Left Burlington this morning about 1/4 past nine for Springfield to see the Misses Earl, accompanying Jim Sterling. Arrived up at the Springfield Meetinghouse at about 11. Concluded to go in as we expected to find some of the Earls there, and also a number of the other Springfield ladies from around the County as Lucretia Mott,(119) a distinguished preacher, was to be there. I forgot to mention that Frank Woolman went up with us though in a different vehicle. Upon entering the Meetinghouse found it very full, and to all appearances not another seat to be found. But an old Quaker from the gallery called to us that if we stepped that way we would find seats, and accordingly accepted his proposal, Sterling taking the lead, Woolman following, and I after him. Upon reaching the gallery, Sterling mounted in the second seat among the old Quakers, and Woolman upon the first. I was more lucky and got a seat among the congregation, though on the first seat. I could scarcely suppress a laugh when I saw Sterling and Woolman perched up among these old Quakers, and it caused quite a sensation among his lady acquaintances in the Meeting, as it caused them all some difficulty to abstain from laughing, while poor Sterling had almost to bite his lips off to keep himself in right order where he was exposed to the gaze of the whole congregation. But the best part of the joke was to come afterwards. When it was time for Meeting to break, the old Friend sitting next to Sterling turned around and shook hands with him, as natural as you please, which was the breaking of the Meeting. After Meeting was over we had a hearty laugh over it, taking it as good a joke as had been practiced for a long time.
The sermon delivered by Mrs. Mott was about an hour and a half in duration and very good, though I did not like the way she spoke of the denominations and their creeds. It had a little touch of everything in it, among which were Slavery, Theology of the present day, Capital Punishment, &c.
After our invitation, went over to the Miss Earl's, where I met Miss Hetty Earl and Miss Burling and Mr. Hall, who has been up since yesterday. Miss H. Earl looked remarkably pretty today.
23 November 1843. Went up to the office until 1/4 of 2, when I left and went down to the boat for the purpose of going up to Springfield with Jim Sterling to attend a party given by the Misses Earl. After sitting and chatting for a while we were invited into supper. It was a very fine one and we did ample justice to it. I was very much amused at Mr. Wood at the way he went into the supper, and the different remarks he made. He created much fun throughout the evening with his odd ways, doing, remarks, &c., and was the butt of the whole lady part of the company.
After supper amused ourselves in dancing, playing cards, eating, drinking, &c. until about 1/4 past 1 a.m. when the company began to think about wending their way to their different homes after having spent a most delightful evening. The ladies were all lively and sociable, none of that reserve being manifested which is to be found so much among the City ladies in general. I cannot attempt to give a description of all of the ladies, though I will try and give my opinion in regard to the looks, beauty, &c. of some of them.
I did not admire Miss Mary Black much at first, but as I gradually became more acquainted, the more did she increase in looks in my estimation, and before bidding her good evening thought her quite pretty. She is a very prettily framed girl, and one likely to attract, particularly at first sight. Miss Mary Shreve is rather pretty, but her complexion being so dark it shades her pretty face, though she is so lively, animated and pleasing in her manners. All her imperfections in regard to beauty are soon lost, and you soon become very much pleased, as was the case with myself. Miss Chambers was very pretty and improved the more you saw her. I was not introduced and therefore had not an opportunity of judging whether agreeable or not. She moved with grace in a cotillion, and was a lady well calculated to attract in a room. Miss Burling and Miss Hetty Earl looked remarkably well, particularly Miss Earl. She has a fine eye, pretty face, beautiful form, and a way of talking that would win the esteem of any young man. I think it is now time to desist making any further criticisms of the ladies, as it is not altogether the right thing to be writing about them in their absence.
About 1/2 past 1 a.m. Sterling and I left for Burlington, though not without apprehensions of our safe arrival, as we were favored with a blind horse, though a very fast one, he being the only horse we could hire. Jim drove and after a pretty heavy tug for it, arrived safely at Burlington about 1/2 past 3. Drove around to the stables and put the horse up. We had the great pleasure of doing it in the midst of a shower of rain, which commenced about an hour before. After putting the horse up we went home, and upon sundry rattlings of the door, ringings of the bell, &c., succeeded in getting in. Grandma came down to perform the favor, Pa and Ma both being in the City.
24 November 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual, though not feeling much like going down, having had only about 2 hours and a half sleep. I however took a nap on board of the boat and felt a little refreshed after it.
26 November 1843. In the afternoon walked home with Miss Helen Nesbit, went in and remained about half an hour, discussing Animal Magnetism.(120)
27 November 1843. Left Burlington this morning as usual. I met on board Mr. Chamlon Smith, who introduced me to Miss Martha Morris, a most beautiful lady of about 17, and one who I have been wanting an introduction to for some time. I sat down and had quite a chat, and found her remarkably agreeable and loquacious. The smile which played around her beautifully formed mouth was winning in the extreme, and led one to think he was in love at once, without making any exertion to bring himself into so tender a situation.
Stephen Kingston came to the office to commence his study of the business this morning. Evening at home until about 1/4 of 8, when I went around to see Jim Sterling. Remained there a few minutes, when he shut up the Store, and he came around home with me. We had a game of whist and checkers, and he left about 10.
28 November 1843. Wended my way up to see the Misses Leeds, found them in, together with their father and mother. Spent a very pleasant evening, and left about 10 clock. The Miss L's looked remarkably pretty and fascinating this evening, and Mrs. Leeds was very pleasant, a great deal more so than she was the last time I paid a visit there accompanied by Dick Christiani. On that occasion she acted very cool, on account, I suppose, of some difficulty between her, Mrs. Christiani and some others.
1 December 1843. Snow capped roofs and a misty atmosphere met the waking eye this morning, and almost made one wish that it were proper to lie in bed all day. Thoughts of sloppy pavements and wet feet are always associated with these early snow storms, which bring all the inconveniences of snow with none of its pleasures, for they never afford any sleighing.
Left Burlington this morning as usual in the midst of the snow storm but arrived in the City safe and without detention. Left for Burlington at 5 p.m. as usual, and arrived there about 20m. past 6. I expected we would be detained on account of the snow on the track but as good luck would have it we were not.
2 December 1843. Clear and very pleasant over head, but under foot very unpleasant. I do not remember ever seeing the streets in so bad a condition. From 2nd Street down to the River in Walnut Street it appears to be one sea of mud, some three or four inches deep, and in fact throughout the City, you scarcely could get along without getting over shoe top in slush and mud.
Burlington was in as bad a condition, and to speak the truth the crossings were worse.
6 December 1843. Had on board the boat this morning a raving maniac. He was a dreadful sight to behold, & even to be near as he was whooping or howling all the time.
In the evening about 7 o'clock went up to the Assembly buildings for the purpose of attending Mr. Wales' first cotillion party of the season, having become a subscriber. The parties bid fair to be far superior to any previous season, as he has engaged the large ball room and Frank Johnson's Band. The number of subscribers are large. The display of beauty was large too, and the ladies sociable for the first party. I must record that I was agreeably disappointed with the company present as it was both large and select. I made out exceedingly well in regard to obtaining partners, having been lucky enough to obtain them for every set danced, and pretty ones too, several being new acquaintances this evening. I do not regret in the least subscribing, and expect to realize much pleasure in participating in these Wednesday evening parties before the season is over.
7 December 1843. Through the morning we had in succession rain, hail and snow and at about 12 N it commenced snowing in real earnest, which continued without intermission until about 1/2 past 5 p.m. when it commenced breaking away, the wind having drifted from N.E. to N.W. By 7 p.m. It was a clear, and as magnificent a moonlight night as I ever saw. Thermometer at 7 1/2 a.m. and 9 a.m. 32¡, at 2 p.m. 33¡, at 6 p.m. 32¡. There were a number of sleighs out in the City today, and the sleighing in the neighborhood of Burlington was splendid.
8 December 1843. Noticed a great quantity of floating ice in the neighborhood of Burlington, but none in the lower part of the River. It was the first of the season. There was a great deal more ice up near Bordentown, so much that the New Philadelphia did not come down after going up in the morning.
10 December 1843. At St. Mary's Church in the morning and in the afternoon. Mr. Germain preached both times; as usual his sermons were very uninteresting.
The cars did not get up from the City this evening until 7 1/2 o'clock, having broken down below Rancocas.
11 December 1843. Evening at home reading the Mysteries of Paris.(121)
13 December 1843. The boat was obliged to break her way through the ice the whole distance from Bordentown down to Bridesburg. The river was closed last night between those two places. It is from a quarter to three quarters of an inch thick. I have noticed considerable ice in the river the last three days, and I think tonight will close the river so tight that we shall not be able to go to the City in the boat tomorrow. There was little or no ice in front of the City today.
14 December 1843. Went down to the wharf this morning for the purpose of going in the boat to the City, but found the River full of large masses of floating ice which at once led me to suppose that the boat would not be down. My suppositions were soon realized when I heard the sound of the car bell, which caused me forthwith to proceed in that direction. When arriving at the place of starting of the cars found a train in readiness to convey the passengers to the City. I was very much amused to see the passengers running up Main Street to the cars with anxious faces, and with fear of being left. Among them were Mrs. Haden, Miss Chester, and Mrs. Bishop who appeared to be very much overcome. There were also two of the young ladies from the school, Miss Lucy Whitmer and Miss Tod. The former Miss I thought would have fainted when she got in the cars as she appeared to be very much exhausted. Upon gaining her seat she fell back in a very graceful attitude, but after using a few restoratives she soon regained her strength, and was well again. Employed my time in going down in reading the Mysteries of Paris.
16 December 1843. A rainy, damp and very unpleasant day, though I must say I was glad to see it, as such weather will soon make way with the ice in the river, which has prevented the boat from running the past few days. Did not leave Burlington until about 20 m. of 9, on account of the cars not arriving until very late. Had to stop a number of times on the way down, and arrived in the City about 1/2 past 10, a pretty hour to go to business.
In crossing over to Camden this afternoon we experienced great difficulty, as it was so foggy you could not see ten feet ahead of the boat. We came very near to running onto the island and also the wharf on the opposite side.
18 December 1843. Left Burlington this morning about 20 m. of 9 in the cars and arrived in the City by half past 10. There is very little ice in the River today, and I understood the boat would have come down had it not been for the very heavy fog which prevailed throughout the morning.
19 December 1843. In going down this morning found little or no ice in the River, but the boat has been laid up for the season and will not come out again.
20 December 1843. In the evening went to Mr. Wale's cotillion party. It was the second of the season and I spent the evening delightfully.
21 December 1843. On account of today being set aside by Governor Porter(122) as a day of general thanksgiving, our office was closed, and in general the stores throughout the City were closed, and in fact the day resembled Christmas more than anything else. I was at St. Luke's Church in the morning. At about 3 o'clock went down for Hanley and he and I took a stroll in Chestnut Street. There was a good number of persons promenading.
23 December 1843. The rain of today caused great disappointment to many of the good citizens and fair ladies of our city as well as to the numerous shop keepers, as it would have been observed as a general day for promenade and purchasing articles for presents, had it been clear. Notwithstanding the unpleasantness of the day, there were a great number of persons out in the afternoon, and I suppose in the evening, though I had not an opportunity of judging as I was in Burlington during the evening.
25 December 1843. Foggy early in the morning, and through the remainder of the day cloudy with the appearance of rain at times. Wind S.W.
Today is Christmas, the nativity of the Divine Founder of the Christian Religion, a season of general hilarity and festivity, at which most persons come in for a share of good wishes, good turkeys and those innumerable testimonials of friendship and regard - "Christmas presents." Today was celebrated as usual throughout the City. The Churches, generally speaking, were all open, and I believe, well attended. All the places of amusement, both in the afternoon and evening were a perfect "jam" and the proprietors must have received a rich harvest. Chestnut Street throughout the day was crowded from one end to the other, but a great deal more so in the afternoon. It was hard labor to make your way at all through the dense mass of human beings that thronged this fashionable thoroughfare. In the neighborhood of 6th Street, on both sides of the way, it was impossible to make any headway at all. The people, men, women and children, were pushed into one mass and to penetrate them was impossible. Every few minutes there was a general rush which would cause a number of the females to be pushed off of the pavement and into the street which was some two or three inches deep in mud. This game was carried on throughout the afternoon much to the annoyance of all respectable females and disgrace and shame of the young men who participated and in a great measure caused the obstruction.
I made two ineffectual attempts to go below 6th Street and was finally obliged to take the center of the Street which was exceedingly muddy and of course unpleasant. The number of young men to be seen intoxicated about the Streets was very large, Temperance societies to the contrary. Why it was so it is impossible to tell, as it is in these times a rather rare thing to see persons intoxicated about the Streets, even on holidays. The children, as usual, appeared to be enjoying themselves about the City, and were truly delighted to take a view of "old Kris Kringle" being drawn by six reindeer in a sleigh loaded with toys in front of the "menagery." This object attracted thousands of children as well as older persons to catch a glimpse of the imaginary personage which is in the minds of so many of the young folks at this particular season, this season of hilarity, joy and pleasure in which all seem to participate.
26 December 1843. Cloudy all day and at about half past 5 commenced raining which continued all the evening. There is no ice whatever in the River nor has there been for the last week.
28 December 1843. Went down to Bill Hanley's having an engagement with him to go to Madam Hazard's Cotillion Party. I enjoyed myself very much at the party, though the evening was bad and the number, comparatively speaking with the other party, small. I danced five out of the seven sets danced, stayed at Hanley's for the night.
29 December 1843. At the office all day until about 1/4 past 4, when I took a stroll up Chestnut Street. There were great numbers out, all seeming pleased with the pleasure of the promenade.
Returned to the office about 5 where I remained, with the exception of about 15 m. occupied in getting my supper, until 7 o'clock, when I went down to Hanley's to attend a little party to which I had been invited. I did not enjoy myself in the least this evening on account of not having been introduced to any of the ladies, nor an offer until a late hour in the evening, when being a little angry at the neglect, would not accept it at all. There were two very pretty ladies there whom I noticed particularly. They were Miss Caddie Phillips and Miss Jane Clark. The former especially attracted my attention as she was remarkably pretty and was well calculated to win your favor. Accompanied Miss Clark home, to whom I had an introduction a short time before the breaking up of the party though I was unwilling to accept it for the reasons above stated.
31 December 1843. After Church in the afternoon Hugh Nesbit and I walked out to Silver Lakes to see if they were frozen but to our astonishment found they were not.
Today closes that circle of time denominated 1843, now passed away to join its one thousand eight hundred and forty two predecessors which in its character it closely resembles. Altogether we do not see that the world has changed much within the last year in its character either for better or for worse. It has been a good and bad year with the usual amount of vice and virtue, honesty and dishonesty, intelligence and ignorance, extravagance and parsimony, industry and idleness. There has been poverty for those who would not take care of themselves, and even for some who have made laudable exertions to do so; affluence to others who had acquired the knowledge of that philosophical maxim, the importance of taking care of number one.(123) There have been rewards bestowed without deserving, suffering without crime, merit despised till it had grown bright enough to out dazzle its condemner, virtue has been kicked into a corner, and vice thrust its most imprudent face into the most public assemblies; justice has not grown more impartial, nor goodness commended itself as an example to others.
Those who were rogues at the beginning of the year seem to have remained so till its close, with a few additions to their number from some who grew tired of possessing too much of the merit of honesty. Those who were really good in their hearts have maintained their excellence, and will probably continue good as long as they live, if temptation does not prove too strong for them. The bad we have few hopes for, they will probably continue in their perversity until the penitentiary or the gallows, if they are poor and have no friends, or, if they are wealthy and influential, until the mild climate of Texas or the softer influence of a European sky effects a regeneration in their moral character, and makes them very respectable persons. Such is the world now, such it ever has been, and such there is reason to believe it ever will remain, and the fact suggests the consoling idea of the year has gone, indeed, and if it were only time that has fled, there would be little to mourn.
But with time has passed away much that we all reckoned delightful, much that is not to be renewed with the blossoms of spring, much that will not meet the eye again, until that shall be closed in a sleep that knows no waking upon the joys or sorrows of this life. These are occasions for sadness, but only of sadness. In a few years the eldest of us learn that we have more to meet beyond the grave than we have to enjoy this side of its enclosures. And so when a few more are gone, we sigh to join them; and death that seems to snatch us rudely from this life is only a Providence transplanting us to a home that has no vicissitudes, to joys that beget no tears, to transports that have no death. We must leave this moralizing subject, and while we stand looking into the grave of the year, ready to fill it up, let us only drop a tear on departed time, for that portion which we have misspent, and take tonight as a sort of isthmus between the continents of years, to resolve to be better, and to do better in the ensuing year of 1844.
(1) The State House Bell, now known as the Liberty Bell, was used for signals and celebrations until July 4, 1852 when it was moved from the tower to the central hall so that the public could view it. The same year the name of the State House was first officially called Independence Hall, but the name State House was generally used by the public until the end of the century. The Liberty Bell was moved from Independence Hall to a glass pavilion at 5th and Market Streets on January 1, 1976 and again on October 9, 2003 to the nearby Liberty Bell Center. Cultural Landscape Report Independence Mall, 1994.
(2) Grace Protestant Episcopal Church, S.E. Corner 12th and Cherry Streets. Cornerstone laid 1833. History of Philadelphia 1609-1884, by J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, L.H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, 1884, p. 1352. (hereafter cited as Scharf & Westcott). The building was torn down in 1926, and the church merged to become Grace Church and The Incarnation at Edgmont and Venango Streets, Philadelphia. F. Lee Richards, Episcopal Church Historian (hereafter cited as FLR).
(3) Henry M. Borden, M.D. (1817-1856), of Wilmington, J. Warner Erwin's first cousin was the son of Francis Borden and Letitia (Erwin) Borden who was the sister of Henry Erwin, J. Warner Erwin's father.
(4) Central Presbyterian Church, Broad Street above Fairmount, 1833. Scarf and Westcott, p. 1298. It is now (1994) the Greater Exodus Baptist Church, 704 North Broad Street.
(5) The Reverend Henry Augustus Boardman (1808-1880), pastor Tenth Presbyterian Church, corner 10th and Walnut Streets, 1833-1876. ibid., p. 1294.
(6) Napoleon Le Brun (1821-1901), the architect who designed many outstanding Philadelphia buildings including The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul 1846-1864, The Musical Fund Hall 1847, and The Academy of Music 1855-56. Philadelphia, A 300 Year History, Russell F. Weigley editor, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1982. pp. 312, 345, 383.
(7) Elizabeth G. Mercer and her sister Sarah G. Mercer appear to be the daughters of John Mercer. His directory listing is: 1st wharf above Catherine Street; home, 36 Catherine Street. George P. Mercer, corder, is listed at the same commercial address. McElroy's Philadelphia Directory, 1847.
(8) The Mercantile Library, was founded in 1821. Shipping merchant Thomas P. Cope served as its second president 1823-1855. The premises were in Chestnut Streets above 5th Street, but a new building was erected in 1844-45 at the S.E. corner of 5th and Library Streets. Scarf and Westcott, p. 1211.
(9) Lydia Warner Erwin (1827-1864), Warner Erwin's sister, who married Edward J. Maginnis in 1853.
(10) The Erwin house is listed at 301 Mulberry Street in McElory's Philadelphia Directory, 1840. "In 1853 Mulberry Street's name was officially changed to Arch Street, the name it was commonly called because of a stone bridge or arch cut through a hill in 1690 to open it to the Delaware River. The Arch was torn down in 1721. Philadelphia Street Names, by Robert I. Alotta, Bonus Books, Chicago, 1990. pp. 10-11.
(11) Rebecca Ashton Warner Erwin (Mrs. Henry Erwin), 1800-1881.
(12) Henry Erwin (1794-1845), Real Estate broker, watchmaker and silversmith. His place of business is listed at 167 Chestnut Street in McElroy's Philadelphia Directory of 1840
(13) Sarah Powell Warner (Mrs. Joseph Coulton Warner) 1771-1845.
(14) The Weaver's Riot of January 11 and 12 at Front and Brown Streets in the Kensington section of Philadelphia was a wage dispute between factory workers and home hand loom operators. Scarf and Westcott, p. 661.
(15) The Sheriff of Philadelphia in 1843 was Morton McMichael, who from 1866-1869 was mayor of the city. ibid., p. 1738.
(16) The Athenaeum, of Philadelphia, a private proprietary library founded in 1841, was at this time still in rented quarters in the hall of the American Philosophical Society adjacent to Independence Hall, and thus across 5th Street from the Mercantile Library. It built its own building on Washington Square in 1847. (FJD). Henry Erwin was a subscriber from 1830 to 1844.
(17) Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), best known history of the doctrines of English Law, exceeding influential on jurisprudence in the United States. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(18) Henry Whitney Bellows (1814-1882), American Unitarian clergyman. Founder and President, United States Sanitary Commission, which cared for the sick and wounded during the Civil War. Active in the cause of civil-service reform. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(19) The Philadelphia and Commercial Intellengencer was published from 1794 to 1845. It is unlikely that "Oldest Inhabitant" was a regular feature.
(20) The Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, completed to Lancaster and opened in April 1834. Scarf and Westcott, p. 2176.
(21) Madame Hazard, teacher of dancing, 180 Spruce Street. FJD.
(22) Isaac Hull (1773-1843) American Naval officer, served in the war with Tripoli; in command of the Constitution ("Old Ironsides") in its defeat against the British frigate Guerrire in 1812. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(23) Christ Church, 2nd Street above Market, established 1695, is the oldest Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. The new church was finished in 1754. The Philadelphia Inquirer Regional Almanac 1994, p. 57.
(24) Laurel Hill Cemetery, establish in 1836 on the East bank of the Schuylkill River in Penn Township, soon became the chief cemetery of the city because of its rural charms and picturesque scenery. Scharf and Westcott, p. 2359. Its entrance is now at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia.
(25) Robert's Inn is a sarcastic reference to the house of Warner Erwin's well connected first cousin Lydia Roberts (1783-1862), at 123 North 9th Street. FJD.
(26) Charles Sherwood Stratton (1838-1883) known as General Tom Thumb, American midget, joined P.T. Barnum's organization in 1842; exhibited in America, England and Europe. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(27) John Bull. A character supposed to typify the English nation from the satire by John Arbuthnot (1667-1735). Webster's Biographical Dictionary
(28) The Reverend Nathaniel Sayre Harris was rector of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Spring Garden Street, opened in 1842; its name was changed to the Church of the Nativity in 1845. J. Wesley Twelves, A History of the Diocese of Pennsylvania...1784-1968, Philadelphia, 1969, (hereafter cited as Twelves), p. 155.
(29) Octagonal Unitarian Church on the northeast corner of Tenth and Locust Streets built in 1813, Robert Mills architect. Wainwright, Nicholas B. and Wolf, Edwin 2nd, Philadelphia, A 300 - Year History, W.W. Norton Co., NY 1982, p. 252. The building no longer exists.
(30) William Henry Furness (1802-1896). An American Unitarian clergyman and abolitionist; pastor of Unitarian church in Philadelphia (1825-1875). Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(31) Charles West Thompson, (1798-1879), school master, writer and finally priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia and York, PA.Scharf and Westcott, p. 1143. Samuel Fitch Hotchkin, Country Clergy of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1890, pp. 298-299.
(32) Elizabeth Elliott, probably the daughter of Isaac Elliott, conveyancer, whose house was on West Penn Square. FJD.
(33) St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church, consecrated 1841, was then in its first location, Vine Street below 8th. The first rector was the Reverend Edward Neville. FJD. The church moved to Spring Garden east of Broad Street, merged with Trinity Church, then called St. Philips Trinity Church, now St. Mary's Church, Hamilton Village, West Philadelphia. The original building was sold in 1937. FLR.
(34) David Paul Brown (1795-1872), noted criminal lawyer, orator and dramatist, for whom see Dictionary of American Biography (hereafter cited as DBA), Vol. III, p. 111. See also Scharf and Westcott, pp. 651, 1549-1550.
(35) The University of Pennsylvania was located on the west side of 9th Street between Chestnut and Market Streets, in building that occupied a full block. It was originally built by the state to be the residence of the President of the United States and was purchased by the University in 1800. Philadelphia, A 300-Year History, by Russell E. Weigley, et al, W.W. Norton & Company, Philadelphia 1982, p. 224. The University moved to West Philadelphia in 1872. FJD.
(36) Stephen Higgison Tyng (1880-1885), clergyman in Philadelphia 1829-1845 (St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church) and New York 1845-1878. Renowned as a preacher, leader in the low church party in the Protestant Episcopal denomination. Webster's Biographical Dictionary. He was the first rector of the Church of the Epiphany, N.W. corner 15th and Chestnut Streets. For Tyng see DAB, Vol. IXX, p. 101.
(37) The Right Reverend Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858), second Protestant Bishop of Pennsylvania. Scarf and Westcott, p. 1336. DAB, Vol. XIV, p. 40.
(38) Richard and Rosa were probably the children of the only Cristiani who is listed in the city directories, Richard Cristiani, druggist. Warner Erwin, however, spelled their surname Christiani. FJD.
(39) "The brilliant comet of 1843, which in two hours made a turn of 180¡ near the sun's surface, the tail remaining directed away from the sun." A History of Astronomy, by A. Pannekoek. George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. London, p. 424. The comet was unnamed.
(40) Frances Anna Roberts (1827-1899), daughter of Edward Roberts and Mary Elizabeth Redford, who latter married Edward Browning on January 22, 1851. JWJ.
(41) Fairmount Water Works and dam completed in 1822. Scarf and Westcott, p. 605.
(42) Whist, a card game for four people similar to bridge. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(43) Fifth Baptist Church on Sansom Street between 8th and 9th Streets, organized 1824 in the building originally designed by John Mills for the First Church of the Domestic Mission Society. Scharf and Westcott, pp. 1309-1310. The building no longer exists.
(44) This may be the Reverend J.L. Burrows. FJD.
(45) Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church Southwark, on the south side of Catherine Street above 2nd, consecrated 1822. Scharf and Westcott, p. 1351. The church closed in 1908, moved to 16th and Cayuga Streets, merged with Zion Church, which also closed. FLR. The building on Catherine Street no longer exists, the grave stones and remains were moved to Mt. Moriah Cemetery at 62nd Street and Kingessing Avenue, Philadelphia.
(46) The Rainbow, an experimental vessel designed for speed, was built and owned by Robert L. Stevens for passenger use on the Hudson River, in 1841. It had a narrow beam compared to length and was powered by inclined condensing steam engines that drove dual water wheels 24' in diameter. After some years she was sent to Philadelphia where she served on the Delaware River. History of American Steam Navigation by John H. Morrison, Stephen Daye Press, New York, 1958 (reprint of the 1903 edition), (hereafter cited as Steam Navigation), pp. 64-66. The steamboat fare to Wilmington was 25¢.
(47) Fort Mifflin, built in pre-Revolutionary War times on the west bank of the Delaware River below the mouth of the Schuylkill for the protection of Philadelphia from attack by water. It was the scene of a siege in 1777, used during the war of 1812, the Civil War for a prison, and as a magazine for the Philadelphia Naval Base during the Spanish-American war of 1898. Bulletin Almanac, 1972, p. 381.
(48) Old Swedes Lutheran Church founded 1683, now Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 6th and Church Streets, Wilmington, DE.
(49) Nicholas Gilpin Williamson (1777-1843), second Mayor of Wilmington 1834-1843.
(50) The Philadelphia Navy Yard, founded in 1801, was on Front Street at the foot of Federal and Wharton Streets until 1876 when it moved to League Island where the Schuylkill and the Delaware Rivers meet.
(51) For U.S. frigate Princeton, see entry of 7 September 1843.
(52) William Miller (1782-1845). American sectarian leader who predicted that Christ was to return to earth in 1843 and 1844. His followers, known as Millerites or Adventists, prepared for the Christ's second coming by neglecting worldly pursuits, donning ascension robes, and gathering at appointed times on hilltops, in cemeteries and so on. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(53) Cornelius I. Bradford, accountant, is listed at this address in city directories. FJD.
(54) Jacob Ridgway (1768-1843), grocer, shipping merchant, and land investor. Scharf and Westcott, p. 1187.
(55) Sarah Ellis (Mrs. Jacob), the daughter of Warner Erwin's uncle Charles Erwin and Eliza Spooner Erwin.
(56) The steam ship Trenton, built at the R. L. Stevens yard in Hoboken, N.J in 1824, commuted between Philadelphia and Trenton to the early 1850's. Steam Navigation, pp. 171 & 185.
(57) This was Benjamin Cross, a well-known teacher of piano, organist and composer. FJD.
(58) William McFadden, whose mahogany sawmill was at 5¸ Sterling Alley.
(59) Eliza Spooner Erwin, widow of Warner Erwin's uncle Charles Erwin (1791-1827).
(60) Emily (Emma) Wood Erwin, Warner Erwin's first cousin, was the daughter of Charles Erwin and Eliza Spooner Erwin. She was later married to John M. Burnes.
(61) Side wheel steamboats were common on the Delaware River in the 1840's with commercial trips north to Burlington, Bristol and Burlington and south to Wilmington and Cape May. Some of the steamships of the time were the Balloon, Bolivar, New Philadelphia, Rainbow, Shenandoah, States Rights and Trenton. A typical advertisement read:
"12¸¢ for Burlington and Bristol. The steamboat Sun, Capt. W. Whillden, will take the place of the Bolivar until further notice and will leave Chesnut (sic) Wharf every afternoon (Sundays excepted) at 2 o'clock. Returning leaves Burlington & Bristol 7¸ o'clock A.M. Fare 12¸ cents. Breakfast and Dinner on Board. All freight and marketing taken at unusual low rates". Public Ledger, Philadelphia, January 17, 1843, p 1.
(62) St. Mary's Church, West Broad Street, Burlington. Founded 1703, it is the first Episcopal Church in New Jersey. Brochure, City of Burlington, 1994.
(63) George Washington Doane (1799-1859), Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey from 1832 to 1859. He was leader of the High Church party in America the author of many hymns, and the founder of St. Mary's Doane Academy, now St. Mary's Hall in 1837. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(64) Broad Street Methodist Episcopal Church, now called the United Methodist Church at 36 East Broad Street, Burlington, founded 1770. The second church was built in 1820 and the present building in 1847.
(65) First Baptist Church, 335 Stacy Street, Burlington, founded 1801. The present church building, at the same location, dates from 1914.
(66) Burlington College, a Protestant Episcopal boarding school. FJD.
(67) Algernon Roberts (1828-1868), J. Warner Erwin's second cousin, the son of Colonel Algernon Roberts and Tacy (Warner) Roberts of Pencoyd. JWJ, p. 456.
(68) John Notman was the architect of Riverside, a striking Italianate villa built in 1837-1839 for Episcopal Bishop George Washington Doane on the bank of the Delaware River at Burlington, NJ. John Notman, Architect 1810-1865, by Constance H. Greiff, Philadelphia 1979, pp. 20, 63-68.
(69) Glasses may mean mirrors. FJD.
(70) General William Henry Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe, became President of the United States in 1841 and died within a month. He was succeeded by his Vice President, John Tyler. By 1843 Tyler was exceedingly unpopular because of his apathy in carrying out Whig policies. Erwin's calling him "acting president" is a sign of disdain. Scharf & Westcott, p. 662.
(71) "Not cracked up to be" indicating disappointment was first noted in use in 1835. Oxford English Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989, p. 1089. See also, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, by Eric Partridge, Macmillan Co., New York, 1967, p.108. "Martin VanBuren is not the man he is cracked up to be." Davy Crocket, 1835. Morris Dictionary of Words & Word Origins by William and Mary Morris, Harper & Row, New York, 1971, p. 159.
(72) Dr. Ellis, northeast side of York Street near Union Street. Plan of the City of Burlington, a map published by M. Dripps, Philadelphia, 1849. Burlington County Historical Society.
(73) An 1839 map of Burlington, NJ shows James Sterling's house located on High Street (then called Main Street) near Broad Street. Burlington Historical Society.
(74) James Hunter Sterling was the name of both a well-known Burlington merchant and his son. The senior J.H. Sterling had a brother, Budd Sterling, merchant and politician, who had a son James Budd Sterling (c.1824-1854). It is impossible to know which James J. Warner Erwin intends. FJD.
(75) The frigate Raritan, built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, was laid down 1820, launched 13 June 1843, sponsored by Commander Frederick Engle. Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, Washington, 1976, Vol. 6, p. 35, (hereafter cited as Fighting Ships).
(76) The steamboat Ohio, owned by the Union Company, was built in Philadelphia in 1832. She ran to Cape May for some years. Steam Navigation, p. 186.
(77) The Philadelphia Public Ledger, first published March 25, 1836. Scharf & Westcott, p. 2000. The price per copy in 1843 was 1¢.
(78) The Philadelphia Almshouse, in Blockley Township, on the west side of the Schuylkill River, where the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania now stands. FJD.
(79) This was the famous tavern that served planked shad. FJD.
(80) Temperance Houses were hotels or inns that served no alcohol. They were popular in the 1840's when the temperance movement was in full swing and were often called Temperance Hotels. Unpublished letter, Deborah Pickman Clifford, 1994.
(81) Main Street, Burlington, NJ, is now named High Street. Burlington County Historical Society.
(82) W.P. Israel's wharf was located at of High and West Pearl Streets. Plan of the City of Burlington, a map, Ibid.
(83) St. Mary's Hall, an Episcopal girl's boarding school in Burlington, NJ founded in 1837 by the Right Reverend George Washington Doane, second Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey. The Handbook of Private Schools, Porter Sargent, Boston, MA 1983. St. Mary's Hall was the sister school for Burlington College. FJD.
(84) Samuel H. Erwin, (b.1819), son of Charles Erwin (1791-1828) and Eliza Spooner, Warner Erwin's first cousin.
(85) Mary Elizabeth Redford Roberts (Mrs. Edward) 1801-1862.
(86) Howard Roberts (1843-1901)
(87) Friends Meeting House, High Street, Burlington, NJ. The building was constructed in 1785 and is used to this day. City of Burlington Brochure.
(88) Stephen Grellet (1773-1855). Quaker missionary and philanthropist, born Limoges, France; to U.S. (c.1775); traveling missionary minister in America and Europe, his reports on the conditions in prisons and poor houses being responsible for many reform measures. Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Grellet lived in Burlington, NJ. FJD. See also DAB, Vol. VII, p. 606.
(89) The steamboat Balloon, built by David Burns of Brooklyn in 1839, had a long stroke beam type engine designed by James Cunningham of New York. She ran the New York-Albany and New York to Newark until she was sent to the Delaware River where it is believed she ran until she wore out. Steam Navigation p. 59.
(90) The steamship New Philadelphia, built in Philadelphia in 1826, was owned by Robert L. Stevens and was as an experimental vessel. She set a record of 12 hours 13 minutes on the New York to Albany route in August 1826. Later, she was owned by the Union line. She was on the Delaware River for a few seasons. Steam Navigation, pp. 48-50 and 185.
(91) The Rainbow, owned by Robert L. Stevens, and built for speed was launched in 1841 and sailed on the Albany run. She was an experimental vessel of very narrow beam compared to length and was powered by a pair of condensing engines. After several years on the Hudson River and not developing the high speed anticipated, she was sent to the Delaware River and after some years went the way of many passenger boats, towing canal boats and coal barges. Steam Navigation, pp. 64 and 168.
(92) Algernon L. Harrison, M.D. (1821-1843), Warner Erwin's first cousin, was the eldest child of Dr. John P. Harrison and Mary Thomas Warner of Cincinnati, OH.
(93) The Recorder of Deeds of the city had his office in a converted house in the State House Row in 5th, just opposite the premises of the mayor and city administration in what is now the west wing of Independence Hall. FJD.
(94) Percival Roberts (1830-1898) son of Algernon Sidney Roberts and Elizabeth Cuthbert Roberts, who later became co-founder of the Pencoyd Iron Works with his cousin Algernon Roberts in 1853.
(95) Adelaide Roberts (1837-1877), daughter of Edward Roberts and Mary Elizabeth Redford, who latter married Dr. Samuel Francis Shaw, U.S.A.
(96) Charles Ellis (b.1835) the son of Jacob Ellis and Sarah C. Erwin Ellis.
(97) Theodore Mitchell, probably the son of Theodore Mitchell of 338 Spring Garden Street, president of the Lehigh Crane Iron Company. FJD.
(98) Mary Elizabeth Ellis (b.1838), daughter of Jacob Ellis and Sarah Erwin Ellis, who latter married Frank McGrath.
(99) On August 5, 1843 a torrent of rain accompanied with tornado winds struck Delaware County [and Philadelphia] causing massive flooding on all its creeks. Extracts from Philadelphia papers give this account: "The rain was so intense that the streams rose six feet within five minutes. In two hours they rose nearly 23 feet.... Kelly's Bridge on Darby Creek was washed away when the water rose 30 feet...." The History and Development of Upper Darby Township 1609-1987, by Thomas J. Difilippo, Upper Darby Historical Society, Upper Darby, PA., 1987, p. 86.
(100) St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church on 13th Street above Pine, opened 1840. Scharf and Westcott, p. 1353. Merged to become St. Luke and the Epiphany Church, 313 South 13th Street. FLR.
(101) The Reverend William W. Spear, first rector of St. Luke's Church. Twelves, p. 149. Spear later held Episcopal pastorates in South Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and at Bristol, PA. FJD.
(102) Angelina Buchey (1830-1881), although she had "matured," was only thirteen years old. She later married Bryon Henry Smith, importer of wines. FJD.
(103) The Princeton, the first steam warship in the U.S. Navy was laid down in 1842 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and launched 7 September 1843, under the supervision of Captain Robert F. Stockton who commanded it after the launching. It was the first war vessel with all the machinery below the water line. Fighting Ships, Vol. V, p. 383.
(104) Richard Field Stockton (1795-1866), grandson of Richard Stockton (1764-1828), signer of the Declaration of Independence, naval officer in command of the Pacific coast of North America (1845-47), cooperated with the army in conquering California. California proclaimed a territory of the U.S 1846. Assumed title of governor and commander in chief. Resigned from the U.S. Navy 1850. U.S. Senator from New Jersey (1851-53). Webster's Biographical Dictionary. See also DAB, Vol. IX, part 2, p. 48. (Vol. XVIII of the oiginal edition).
(105) The "Peacemaker" and the "Oregon."
(106) The Princeton was fitted with two big guns named "Peacemaker" and "Oregon" under Captain Stockton's direction who got the idea for it while in England. The "Peacemaker's" reinforced breech weighed over 27,000 pounds. When the Princeton was sent to Washington in February 1844, Washingtonians displayed a great interest in the ship and the guns. She made several trial runs with passengers on board down the Potomac River on February 16, 17, 18 and 20, at which time the "Peacemaker" was fired several times. On the 29th she departed for Alexandria, VA on a pleasure and trial trip down the Potomac with President Tyler, his Cabinet and approximately two hundred guests on board. Against the better judgment of Captain Stockton, the Secretary of the Navy, desiring to please the distinguished company, allowed the "Peacemaker" to be fired. The gun burst, killing the Honorable Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of State; Thomas Gilmer, Secretary of the Navy; Captain Beverly Kennon, Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment and Repairs; Representative Virgil Maxey of Maryland; Representative David Gardiner of New York; and a servant of the President. It also injured about twenty people including Captain Stockton, whose judgment was proven correct, for the gun was overheated from previous use that day. A Court of Inquiry exonerated Captain Stockton, his office and crew of all blame in the matter. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Naval History Division, Department of the Navy, Washington, 1976, p. 383.
(107) Dunk's Ferry, between the Bucks County, PA and Burlington County, NJ shore. FJD.
(108) Joseph Warner Erwin was born on September 12, 1824. This was his 19th birthday.
(109) Rebecca Warner Erwin's party was a rare event: "Birthdays were seldom celebrated before the end of the 19th century, both because observances were not deemed important and because records were not always accurate or consistent to allow people to identify their birth dates." George Washington's birthday and heads of states were the exceptions. How Old Are You? Age Consciousness in American Culture by Howard P. Chudacoff, Princeton University Press 1989, p. 129.
(110) James Budd Sterling (c1824-1854), son of Budd Sterling of Burlington, NJ, a merchant and politician who owned vessels in the West Indian trade. James Budd Sterling never married. JFD. "Jim" Sterling could be the son of James Budd Sterling or his brother James Hunter Sterling.
(111) The steamship Ohio, built in Philadelphia in 1832 and owned by the Union Line, ran to Cape May, N.J. for some years. Steam Navigation, p. 186.
(112) Mesdames Athenaide Buchey (1800-1874), headmistress of a French seminary for girls at 424 (now 626) Spruce Street, and Virginie Pointe (1787-1861), her older sister, refugees from the slave revolt in Saint-Domingue, later Haiti. The former was the mother of Angelina Buchey, previously mentioned. FJD.
(113) Election day, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, was not the law until January 23, 1845. Prior to that, states set their own election dates that had to be at least 34 days before the first Monday in December, the meeting date of the Electoral College. Facts About the Presidents by Joseph Nathan Kane, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, 1981, p. 79.
(114) Nathan Dunn, a Quaker merchant long engaged in the China Trade, and owner of the Chinese Museum in Philadelphia, occupied a picturesque cottage orn, erected for him in 1837-38 by architect John Notman. It was an innovative and much admired house. FJD.
(115) The National Theater at 9th and Chestnut Streets, opened in 1837 and closed in 1854. Glazer, Irvin R. Philadelphia Theaters, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia and Dover Publications, New York 1994, p .82. (hereafter cited as Philadelphia Theaters.
(116) Edwin Forrest (1806-1872). Noted American actor. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(117) The Franklin Institute, founded 1824, was located on 7th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets in the building designed by John Haviland, completed in 1826. Scarf and Westcott,, pp. 1214-1219. It is now the site of the Atwater Kent Museum at 15 South 7th Street. The Inquirer Regional Almanac 1984.
(118) Charles Ellet's wife (ne Mary Israel) was the first cousin of J. Warner Erwin's father. FJD.
(119) Lucretia Mott, ne Coffin (1793-1888), a Quaker "minister." Cooperated with her husband James Mott in his antislavery activities and the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(120) Animal Magnetism, a spirit like force believed to reside in some individuals akin to hypnosis, alleged by Franz Anton Mesmer (1743-1815). Webster's Third International Dictionary.
(121) Mysteries of Paris, A Romance of Rich and Poor, by Eugene Sue & Henry Champion Deming, 1815-1872. The New World Extra Series, 1844. Fiction 1876-1983, A Bibliography of United States Editions, R.R. Bowker Co., New York and Paris, 1983, Vol. 2, p. 1687.
(122) David Rittenhouse Porter (1788-1867), Governor of Pennsylvania 1839-1845. Pennsylvania Manual of Politics and Government, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bureau of Publications.
(123) "Taking care of number one," attending to one's own self interest, is an expression common in standard English since the 18th Century. Partridge, p. 573.