1 January 1846. Once more I am permitted to write on the pages of my Journal at the commencement of another new year, and most sincerely do I thank that God who is constantly watching over me for the blessing. Eighteen hundred and forty five years have passed away since the most auspicious morning that ever dawned upon the human race; and in the eternal progress of time, another year has commenced. With the door of the future thus opened before us, we cannot be better prepared for our onward way, than by pausing for a brief examination of the past. The future casts its shadows before us. But how can we comprehend those shadows as a guide without referring for a standard of comparison to the shadow of the past! Knowing the one we may, by comparison, measure the other. Beholding the past in perspective, we see in all things the great law of progress, leading both the physical and moral world to improvement. In this perspective the past diminishes not merely with distance, the present enlarges not merely with proximity. This would be merely optical illusion. The past not only seems to be, but really is, smaller than the present, or than any point of approximation to the present, and the enlargement of the present, or any point of approach from the past, is not merely apparent but real.
To verify this, we are not compelled to travel far back in the perspective of human history. Passing over the whole period from the Revelation on Mount Sinai to the Declaration of Independence, through the whole of which we find the human race progressive, or preparing for progress, and leaving all other countries and communities, we will merely review our own, from that ever memorable day, when it began its glorious march in nationality. Has our country improved since that auspicious morning? Has its improvement indicated that it was charged by the Great Ruler of nations with a mission of political and moral instruction, and that it has been fulfilling its mission? Physically, our country has expanded from 13 to 29 States, and from three to nearly twenty million of the human family, and this expansion is the reclamation of the wilderness to the gardens of civilization, the extension of Freedom's domain, and the augmentation of their physical comfort. Nor is our country's intellectual less than its physical expansion. Has our country morally improved?
We justly venerate the generation of the Revolution, for they were a generation of wise and virtuous men. They had their Washingtons, their Hancocks, their other great leaders in the council and the field; and they followed these leaders to victory, to independence, to peace, to wise and stable institutions. But the political and social fabric raised by that generation has continued to improve in the hands of their descendants, and is now better than any former period. Such a brief view of the past enables us, in some degree, to scan the future. It enables us to foresee that our nation will cover the whole continent, binding all its parts firmly in the bonds of mutual interest and confederated freedom, the guarantee of perpetual peace; that the garden will bloom in the place of the wilderness, and the regions now trod by savage beasts will feed, lodge and clothe millions of freemen; that science will continue to explore the field of creation, and that art, closely following, will apply its discoveries to human improvement; that religion and morals will proceed together, making all wiser and better; that legis- lation will continue to reform abuses, and raise new and better instruments around right; and that education, the shield of liberty and morals, will continue to expand, as it has since our national existence began. Such are the bright hopes of the future, founded on the past.
I cannot say much for the pleasure I received today. I spent the morning at my office, and at about 1/2 past 1 p.m. was attacked again with my old complaint, the chills, which though not so severe as those I have had before rendered me entirely unfit to do anything more than sit all the afternoon in the rocking chair near the fire. I anticipated great pleasure this evening by accompanying the Misses Leeds to a party given by Mr. and Mrs. Cook at Congress Hall, at which I expected to meet a number of my lady acquaintances, but was unable to go on account of my chill.
2 January 1846. At the office during the morning and during the afternoon until about 1/2 past 3, when Mr. Welch and I took a walk out to Fairmount. Returned in an omnibus.
3 January 1846. At about 12 N I was again attacked with a chilly sensation which was followed by fever and headache and rendered me unfit for anything during the rest of the day.
5 January 1846. About 1/2 past 4 p.m. Mr. Welch and myself took a walk up Chestnut Street to see the beauty and fashion that were there assembled for a promenade. After our stroll went down to the office of "Morse Magnetic Telegraph"(1) which is in the 3rd story of the Exchange. The performance of this recently invented machine is truly wonderful. For the satisfaction of my curiosity I had my name conveyed by means of the telegraph to Norristown (the point to which it is now completed) and returned in the short space of 10 seconds.
In the evening attended a party given by the Misses Harriet and Mary Carter. I entered the rooms about 1/4 of 9 and enjoyed myself exceedingly in dancing, conversing, &c.
6 January 1846. At the office during the day until about 5 p.m. when Mr. Welch and myself went over to Mr. Hoffman's bowling saloon & rolled ten pins for about and hour & a half for exercise.
7 January 1846. My chum James C. Welch left today at 5 p.m. for Burlington to act as groomsman to Mr. William Rodgers of Burlington who is to marry a Miss Lippincott. He expects to be gone about a week.
8 January 1846. In the evening went up to a small company given by the Misses Conrad in Wood above 6th Street.
10 January 1846. At 2 p.m. left in the cars for Trenton on business & arrived there after a tedious ride of about 3 hours. Mr. Hewlings persuaded me to stay until tomorrow.
11 January 1846. I attended the Episcopal Church in the morning with Mr. Hewlings and heard an excellent sermon delivered by the Reverend Mr. Starr.
Before Church in the morning walked up as far as the State House to see the improvements and additions made to the buildings since my last visit in May 1844. The improvements make it one of the prettiest buildings in the United States. It is fully double the size it was before alterations, and it is now surmounted with a beautiful silver dome, which when the sun strikes, makes it look like a large ball of fire when viewed from a distance. The front of the building is finished in a very chaste and neat style with eight columns in the direct front and with wings.
18 January 1846. Left this morning on the 9 o'clock mail train for Burlington.
About 8 o'clock Jim Kinsey & myself went down to the stopping place of the cars. They came along about twenty minutes of 9, being rather late. Arrived in the city about 10 o'clock. We had some difficulty in getting into the dock on account of the large ship Wyoming lying in front of the slip where the boat generally lands, so we had to go to another slip. When running in, got fouled by one of the vessel's hawsers which carried away our flag staff before the boat could be stopped. After some little delay we were landed. The Wyoming had been placed in front of the slip on account of a large fire in some stores in front of which she had been moored, consequently she was in great danger of taking fire. We had a fine view of the fire in crossing the river. It presented a grand spectacle and was beautiful to look upon. The night was intensely cold, so that the firemen could not operate well.
21 January 1846. Snow capped roofs met the waking eye this morning, which was proof that old Winter had returned again, and presented us with hoary head. It rained, hailed and snowed at different periods throughout the day and evening, freezing as it fell, which gave those anxious to enjoy the sport an opportunity to "go-a-sleighing." But sleighing appeared to be rather poor in quality. The river was blocked up from shore to shore today, and the steamboats had much difficulty in forcing their way through the ice. The trees today presented a beautiful sight, with every branch and twig encrusted with ice, but the sidewalks were in a sad condition for pedestrians.
In the evening called up for the Misses Mary and Anna Patton in a chaise,(2) having an engagement to accompany them to a party to be given by the Misses West at the N.E. corner of Noble and Marshall Streets. Entered the room about 1/2 past 8 and spent a delightful evening in dancing, &c.
22 January 1846. Clear and very cold throughout the day and evening. The unusual sound of sleigh bells were constant today, and the vehicles dashed about with the speed which causes an exhilarating flow of blood in the spectator, and wakes a joyousness in those who are gliding swiftly along that is bodily and mentally refreshing. The sleighing was good, very good, and the most was made of it. Sleighs that have been quietly resting under shelter for a long time were pressed into service, and the speed of horses was unmercifully tried. Some very queer arrangements made their appearance in the Streets, but the occupants seemed to heed but little the roughness and unshapely appearance of the vehicle in which they rode, because they forgot it in the pleasurable and unusual excitement. The omnibus sleighs too did good service, and large numbers enjoyed cheap rides to and fro over the regular routes, reaping as much pleasure, perhaps, as those who sat behind swifter horses and in more costly vehicles.
At the office all day, and in the evening went up to Miss Lizzie Roberts' wedding, having received an invitation more than a week since. She was married to Mr. Lewis E. Ware(3) at about 8 o'clock p.m. by the Reverend Mr. Spear of St. Luke's Church in the presence of the relatives of the family, and some intimate friends. There were three groomsmen and bridesmaids.
In the evening, after the marriage, they had a very large party, I suppose there were 200 present. 250 invitations went out. I enjoyed myself very much in dancing, chatting with the ladies, &c., &c. The supper table was beautiful in the extreme. In the center was a beautiful bouquet about 3 feet high composed principally of japonicas, and on either side were large pyramids of candied fruit, encased in woven candy, while a little further along were placed beautiful baskets composed of candy, filled with artificials and sweetmeats. Besides that, there were ice creams of every kind formed in beautiful pyramids, oysters of every variety, terrapins, chicken salad, wines of every sort and description, and other delicacies too numerous to mention. We had excellent music composed of violin, violoncello, cornet and harp. In a word everything was conducted in a most approved style. I met a number of my female acquaintances there.
23 January 1846. The sleighing still remains good, and the people of our city seem to try and make the best of it. Mr. and Mrs. Louis E. Ware (late Miss Lizzie Roberts) left the city this morning for Washington to spend a few days, and then return to this City, when he will take his bride, I understand, to the "American House" until they can suit themselves with a house. What a spring of powerful action is love! What but this impels the blooming bride to relinquish the society of friends - to give up her father and mother - to sacrifice all the pleasures of home, and become the companion of man? What else enables her to bend night after night, and to watch hour after hour, over the couch of disease - to excite expectations which she fears cannot be realized, and impart consolations in which she has no share? The love of woman! Oh! it is not an inoperative, cold principle, but an enlivening, acting quality that prompts her to give up her own enjoyment, her own tranquility, for the happiness of another. If she have wealth, influence, beauty and health, she will, without reluctance, lay them all upon the altar of devotion and sacrifice them to him whom she has chosen as the object of her fervent attachment. Now obstacles vanish, difficulties lessen, and mountains become hills, before that all subduing power of love!
At the office the greater part of the day, and in the evening at my boarding house not feeling very well from the dissipation of the two previous nights.
29 January 1846. In the evening attended a large party given by Miss Hannah Ann Myers. The company was very large, I suppose about 120 or 130 present, and the rooms were very much crowded. Dancing was the order of the evening. About 1/2 past 11 had a magnificent supper. The candy pyramid, the ornament for the center of the table, was the prettiest thing of the kind that I have ever met. It resembled in a measure a Chinese pagoda. Everything was in profusion, wines of every description, full and plenty of them.
30 January 1846. To Burlington at 5 p.m. to attend a party to be given by Mrs. Parker this evening, having received an invitation a day or two since. Arrived in Burlington about 6 p.m. Went over to the "Temperance House," engaged myself a room.
The Misses Caroline and Virginia Mitchell were attractive at a distance, but I think they were dressed without much taste, and have lately grown entirely too large, even to grossness. We had full and plenty refreshments, but no table set, they were all handed. There was plenty of wine. We amused ourselves generally in dancing.
31 January 1846. After breakfast started in the cars for Philadelphia, which came along about 20 m. past. We ran slowly on account of the fog for almost two miles when we were obliged to return to Burlington on account of meeting the New York train coming up.
1 February 1846. Started for the church which we reached about 7 o'clock, though none too early to get a seat, as the church was crowded to excess and nearly every place was filled at that time. The sermon was a very interesting one by the Rev. Mr. Clark, on the behalf of the "Pennsylvania Seaman's Friends Society."
2 February 1846. In the evening went up to the Circus with Mr. Marple to see the new piece they are now playing there entitled 15 Years of a Seaman's Life. The piece was well got, and I suppose with considerable expense. The characters were all well sustained and excited considerable interest. Many of the scenes in the piece were beautiful, particularly that of the ship wreck.
3 February 1846. In the evening James C. Welch and myself went up to Mr. Algernon S. Roberts to attend a party. There were a large number there, over 100 I suppose, together with Mr. and Mrs. Ware and the bridal party.
We had an elegant supper at about 12 o'clock composed of every delicacy that could be thought of, together with great abundance of wines, &c. The decorations of the table were very beautiful. Amused ourselves principally in dancing. Our music was very good being composed of two violins, bass violins, & harp.
5 February 1846. Clear, warm and pleasant, being a real visitation of spring weather. Ladies, gentlemen, and children were out enjoying themselves. Even the Moon and Wind came to keep company with the Sun, on such a delightful occasion. It was just such a day as to teach men not to grumble at a whole week's rain.
At the office all day, and in the evening at a party given by Miss Louisa Clarke, who resides in Arch Street above 3rd. The company was quite large, say 120 or 130. I enjoyed myself very much in dancing &c. Also met a number of my lady acquaintances there.
The music was good, instruments violin and harp. The decorations were very fine, and the supper table was well supplied with every delicacy, and an abundance of different wines.
6 February 1846. In the evening went up to the Walnut Street Theater with Mr. James Kinsey, to see the new piece now performing entitled The Enchantress. Many of the scenes were beautiful in the extreme, and some very amusing, in fact the whole piece was well got up and did great credit to the manager. Many of the songs were very beautiful, but as for the music I cannot say much. There was also some very fine dancing. The theater was out by 1/4 of 11 o'clock.
9 February 1846. At the office during the morning with the exception of about 3/4 of an hour occupied in calling upon Miss Hannah Ann Myers, as my "party call." Met there the two Misses Peterson, their beaux, and two other young ladies whose names I do not remember.
11 February 1846. In the evening went up to one of Mr. Whale's cotillion Parties, Mr. Richard Leeds having given me a ticket. The party was very large but the company generally speaking, was not of such a kind as I like. I danced three times. I did not enjoy myself very much.
12 February 1846. At the office all day, with the exception of about an hour in the latter part of the afternoon, which was occupied in taking a walk out as far as Chestnut Street and the Schuylkill River for exercise. In the evening at a small party given by Mr. and Mrs. Carter, in Pine above 9th Street, for Mr. William Ellison who has recently been married. Spent a very pleasant evening in dancing and other amusements.
13 February 1846. In the evening went up to a party given by the Misses Harbet. I spent a very dull evening, not being at all acquainted with the company. In fact I spent the greater part of my time in the dressing room. There was very little dancing for want of music, which, I suppose, was one reason the party passed off so stiffly.
14 February 1846. Cloudy throughout the day until about 4 p.m. when it commenced snowing, and after dallying a little while, as if to create hope that the few shavings that had descended were nearly all that were to come, sent down thick flakes so fast so close together, that in a short time there was a covering on the ground some three inches deep. The wind rose too, and blew sharply from the westward, increasing in strength until about 3 o'clock Sunday morning, when it blew a perfect gale. The wind swept along with a terrific force, and sung and whistled in a manner quite unbecoming in a sober latitude like this, committing, as it went, such pranks as will be anything but pleasant to those who have to repair the damages it occasioned.
Today being St. Valentine's Day, there was a vast consumption of ideas and note paper, and so much labor for the Post Office and Dispatch Post that it is to be presumed they will remember their achievements in the difficult process of a timely delivery of all the missives which enamored Valentines poured in upon them. Yet, if there were pleasure derived from these little love tributes and poetical prayers, it was worth all the exertion; and the postman must have felt himself dignified by being the medium by which so many hearts held sweet converse, an inspiring self respect, derived from his occupation, which lent him new energies and took from the huge piles of letters before him the aspect of dismay they were calculated to call up. There were too many hearts to be satisfied - too many expectations, longing and impatient, to be gratified, and the Mercuries of the Post Office had need of all their swiftness. The number of Valentines sent were beyond all precedent, and I heard of a carrier of the Post Office who at one delivery received as his portion 1100 notes. Of course there were numerous others who were very largely supplied, and several deliveries were made during the day. Some of them were of the most costly character, and not a few contained popularity offerings - testimonies of affection from which as much delight was reaped in the giving as in the receiving. But whether rich or poor in its material, if the missive contained the opulence of the heart of generous, unreserved and unalloyed love and esteem expressed in written lines, it could not but have been rich enough for the one to whom it came as an offering.
15 February 1846. It was still snowing when I got up this morning, and continued until about 12 N, with a severe and tempestuous wind. When it cleared off the weather moderated considerably, causing a considerable thaw. The storm was perhaps the severest known for a long period, as the wind blew a gale for the greater part of the time. Among the disasters attendant upon the gale was the uprooting of the venerable Lombardy Poplar, which stood in front of the Friends School, in 4th below Chestnut Street. There are associations connected with this time-honored and cherished tree, and it is one of the "Ten Trees" spoken of in Watson's Annals(4) of the City. I have heard the consequences of the gale are to be seen all over the City in the prostrate awning posts, uprooted trees, signs torn from their fastenings and other exposed objects. The heavy storm, of course, laid an embargo upon the railroad trains, the Southern mail due at 4 o'clock yesterday morning did not arrive until 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The violence of the wind was so great that the ferry boat while crossing the Susquehanna River to Havre de Grace with the Philadelphia passengers, was blown across the end of the pier and went aground, where she remained a little more than 7 hours. About three miles this side of the Susquehanna the snow storm was encountered and three locomotives were sent out with snow plows. The train proceeded on until within three miles of this City, where the snow drifted into a deep cut and resisted the snow plows for three hours.
The Eastern mail arrived at about 5 o'clock, some 3 hours after the time at which it was due. I understood that the most strenuous exertions were made, as soon as the storm came on, to keep the road clear, and between New Brunswick and Bordentown seven locomotives were employed in clearing it by the aid of snow plows, and the communication with New York is uninterrupted.
In consequence of the disagreeable weather this morning, I spent it in my office writing and reading with Mr. Marple. In the afternoon went up to St. Phillip's Church. There were very few persons there, had a very fine sermon.
16 February 1846. There was good sleighing today, not a usual thing with us in these latter times. The snow lay so thickly upon the Streets, the opportunity was so tempting, and the invitation so pressing, that the sleighs in requisition as a means of locomotion superseded the wheeled vehicles. The jingle of the sleigh bells, and the rapid progress of the horses as they dashed along the streets at a rate that old people would be tempted to call imprudent, gave a lively appearance to everything, and pedestrians stirred themselves and tramped along in the snow, as if they shared the excitement which the dashing sleighs created.
17 February 1846. At the office all day, and in the evening went up to a party given by Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs (N. side of Chestnut below 13th). I met a number of acquaintances there and spent a delightful evening, in fact never spent a more delightful evening in my life. Danced nearly every set of plain quadrilles. Among the ladies I danced with were Miss Julia Vogdes, Miss Elizabeth Gillingham, Miss Louisa Clarke, Miss Anna Roberts, and Miss Juliet Carrington of Connecticut. The ladies generally speaking looked remarkably pretty. Miss Carrington and Miss Clarke as usual looked very pretty, and were dressed with much taste. We had a delightful supper at about 1/2 past 11, composed of terrapins, oysters, stewed and fried, chicken salad, ices of every kind, candied fruits &c., &c., together with all kinds of wine. The decorations of the table were very beautiful. On the center was placed a large bouquet composed of japonicas and other beautiful flowers, and on either side were large pyramids composed of candy oranges and white Malaga grapes, surmounted by a figure representing cupid. These were the most prominent decorations, while the ices formed in different shapes filled up the remainder of the table. We had excellent music for dancing, with the instruments violin, violoncello and harp.
18 February 1846. In the evening called up in a chaise for the Misses Arethusa and Elizabeth Leeds to accompany them to a party given by the Misses Schively, who live on the North side of Spruce Street (No. 397) below 13th. I spent a very agreeable evening in dancing, &c., and made two more acquaintances, viz., Miss Sally Keyser and Miss Elder. The former young lady is very remarkably pretty and fascinating in her manners. She is one of the most beautiful young ladies I have met this winter. In regard to the beauty of the latter I cannot say much, but her manners were pleasing.
19 February 1846. About 1/2 past 8 p.m. commenced snowing, which continued falling rapidly until the time of my going to bed. I never saw it snow faster in my life, if it should continue until morning we shall have quite a deep snow.
20 February 1846. The storm that commenced last night continued until early this morning, when sleet began to take the place of snow. In a short time there was an execrable cover of "plosh" upon the pavements, rivulets of water meandering along in places where they were never intended to run, and high pools of water at many of the crossings, which latter were the cause of many wet feet, and sundry cuffings of temper not at all proper. The weather this morning was essentially disagreeable, uninviting in its skyward aspect, and decidedly repulsive in the view of what had come from the clouds. The omnibuses labored along, each one with an additional pair of horses, all steaming like locomotives and slow as tortoises in their pace. All other vehicles seemed as if an embargo had been laid on their progress. Yet there was a gratification to be derived from these disagreeables, for the melting influences which were at work contributed to make the stay of the snow more brief than it would otherwise have been. Looking to its rapid disappearance in a fluvial state, the hopeful mind had reason to content itself in the present discomfort in the knowledge that it was but a hastening on of finer and more acceptable weather, to be the more enjoyed by contrast with that which had been endured.
I was informed that the snow on the railroad track between Trenton and Jersey City is heavier than it has been for many years, the drifts being very deep.
21 February 1846. At 2 p.m. left Philadelphia for Burlington in the cars where we arrived at about 20 minutes past 3. After attending to some little business, called on Mrs. and Miss Emma Parker, found Miss Parker was in Philadelphia, but Mrs. Parker was at home. Remained there about 15 minutes and then left and called upon Mrs. Gruble; found her in and well, met a Miss Nancy Kinsey there. Left in about 20 minutes and went over to see Mrs. Buckman; found her in also and well, remained there some 20 minutes and then called on Mrs. Nesbit; found her and her two daughters, Helen and Clara, at home. After leaving Mrs. Nesbit, went over to see Dr. Ellis and his wife, took tea and remained until about 8 o'clock, when I went in to see Mr. and Mrs. James H. Sterling. Remained there until about 1/2 past 8, when the cars came along and I left for Philadelphia.
22 February 1846. In the evening called for Miss Louisa Clarke, and accompanied her to St. Phillip's Church. Mr. Neville gave us an excellent discourse, in which he spoke very much against Theaters, Balls and Private Parties, and reading Novels.
23 February 1846. Washington's birthday was commemorated yesterday, by a very general attendance of the volunteers at the different Churches of the City and County. The bells of the churches, the districts, and of the fire companies, generally, were rung in honor of the day. There was a pretty general celebration in honor of the Birthday of Washington. The weather was delightful for the season and Chestnut Street exhibited a brilliant display of the beauty and fashion of the City.
The day was ushered in by a grand national salute from the guns at the Navy Yard, Christ's and St. Peter's Church bells rang a merry peal, accompanied by many other bells throughout the City and Districts. In the course of the day several military companies paraded, and the anniversary closed as it had opened, amid the firing of guns, the beating of drums, and the pealing of bells. About 10 o'clock went to my lodgings, found Mr. Nye and Mr. Kinsey in the parlor, and all three adjourned to "Our house" to get some whiskey punch to finish the celebration of Washington's birthday.
24 February 1846. At the office during the morning until about 12 o'clock N, then left and made my party call on Mrs. Burroughs. Found her & remained about 15 minutes; met Miss Sally Roberts there. Then went up to the Broad Street exchange where I had promised to meet James C. Welch. Found him waiting and then went out to see the Misses Harbet to make our party calls. Found them in, remained about 15 minutes.
26 February 1846. The weather today was at times intensely cold. There was not much wind but the atmosphere seemed possessed of a piercing sharpness that penetrated through the most comfortable coverings, and gave the faces of most persons, contrary to their desires, I hope, a most lugubrious aspect. Benumbed toes and frozen noses are not pleasant accompaniments to a walk it is true, but as we cannot expect at all times to have things regulated to our liking, there will be only need of philosophy to make the endurance of the infliction easy, and to await the coming of a temperature more agreeable.
The thermometer at McAllister's on the south side of Chestnut Street above 2nd Street ranged as follows: at 9 a.m. 18¡, 12 N 26 1/2¡, at 45 minutes past 6 p.m. 17 1/2¡. In Broad Street at 7 a.m., 12¡.
27 February 1846. The weather continues to be excessively cold, and the snap has come so suddenly upon us, that people seem scarcely to know whether to take it kindly or not. It is well to submit, however, to what we cannot help, and though this morning the thermometer did stand at 6 1/2 above zero, yet we have hopes of seeing the mercury possessed of a more rising ambition, urged on by its attentive but somewhat fickle friend, the atmosphere.
1 March 1846. The snow was still falling when I got up this morning, and continued until about 9 o'clock a.m., when it held up. It has lasted a period of nearly 36 hours. This is the heaviest storm of the kind we have had this season, and the severest for many years. The weather has been unusually cold for several weeks, and now at the commencement of the 3rd month we find ourselves in the midst of winter. The lovers of sleigh riding have the prospect of a long season of enjoyment, as this snow added to that which has already fallen has put the streets and country in fine sleighing order. In fact we have now finer sleighing than we have had for some years and a prospect of long continuance. I see by the papers we are to have at least nine more snowstorms, which added to the 21 that have fallen will do pretty well for one winter.
Went to Cherry Street Quaker Meeting this morning with the Messrs. Welch, Nye and Wheaton. Heard three sermons one of which was from Lucretia Mott. After Meeting was out, Mr. Welch and I walked up to St. Phillip's Church.
The fall of snow was six inches deep on a level.
3 March 1846. The Delaware River was covered with floating ice from shore to shore again today, and the ferry boats were enabled to cross only with great difficulty. The arrival and departure of vessels is entirely suspended. The ice boat is laid up for the season, so there is no resort but to wait patiently for the disappearance of the ice.
At the office all day, and in the evening waited upon Miss Louisa Clarke to a party given by Mrs. G.R. Graham,(5) No. 191 Arch Street above 6th. We entered the room about 1/2 past 9, and a short time after commenced dancing. We had very fine music on instruments: a violoncello, two violins, cornet and bells. I enjoyed myself very much throughout the evening and danced nearly every cotillion. Danced three times with Miss Louisa Clarke, who as usual looked very pretty. Was introduced to four young ladies with whom I danced.
About 12 o'clock had a delightful supper of oysters, stewed & fried, terrapin, chicken salad, ices of every kind, champagne, Hock wine and all other kinds of liquors. The decorations of the table were beautiful in the extreme. In the center was a large candy pyramid made to represent a pagoda some 5 feet high, while on either end of the table were large bouquets composed of white and red japonicas. The other portions of it were filled up with ices in different forms and other luxuries. After the supper had several dances.
4 March 1846. At the office in the morning until about 1/4 of 10 then went up to the old Rotterdam Hotel in 3rd above Race Street. At 10 o'clock started for Germantown in the omnibus on business. Arrived there about 1/4 past 11, went over to see Mr. John Wistar. Attended to my business, went over to the hotel, ate some oysters, and at 12 N. started for Philadelphia, where we arrived by 1/2 past 12. In going out this morning, I noticed that the snow had almost entirely disappeared on the roads, thus destroying the sleighing, though large bodies of it lay on the fields and drifted on some parts of the road to the depth of three feet. The snow had also drifted on the railroad to the depth of several feet.
9 March 1846. About 1/2 past 12 p.m. left to call upon Miss Clarke according to engagement to accompany her in making our party call upon Mrs. G.R. Graham, found Mrs. G. out, then waited upon Miss Clarke home.
In the evening went up to a party given by the Misses Leeds, where I enjoyed myself very much in dancing, &c. The supper table was well supplied with oysters, chicken salad, ices &c., &c. but very little decorations and no liquors.
11 March 1846. In the evening went to the Arch Street Theater(6) to see the play entitled The Stranger, or Misanthropy and Repentance. The character of "the stranger" was well sustained by Mr. Becan who has appeared but once or twice before a Philadelphia audience. Mrs. Haller had appeared but once before, and I must say sustained her character miserably. In the last scene, where she dies of a broken heart, she fell directly under where the curtain dropped, and had to roll over to avoid the curtain falling on her, which created a general volley of hisses. The other characters were well sustained. The after piece, The Wizard of the Wave, was very amusing and well played.
12 March 1846. At 2 p.m. started for Germantown in the cars to see Mr. John Wistar on business, arrived there by 1/2 past 2.
14 March 1846. It rained tremendously hard throughout last night, and we had some very heavy thunder and lightning, the first we have had this season. The rain, it is supposed, will cause considerable of a freshet in the Schuylkill, and consequently much damage may be expected.
In the evening at the Arch Street Theater with Mr. James Kinsey to see the new piece called Valsha or the Slave Queen. It is an admirable piece and was well played. Nick of the Woods, the last piece, was amusing and well played.
15 March 1846. The weather today was delightful and Spring like, such as will move the sap of trees. Already the grass is lifting its slender form in the greenness of Spring beauty, and the buds of trees of southern exposure are swelling into promises of early leaves. Those who love to watch Nature in her progress, to mark her earliest steps of Spring and trace them down till the snows of Autumn bury every vestige, may now begin their observations. It is a pleasant sight. Here and there we see too many buds swelling in a branch, they will crowd each other and some will fall, with no fulfillment of promises; neither foliage nor fruit will spring from them, and the outspreading of others will make even their inceptive beginnings forgotten. And here and there an old leaf of last year's growth lingers yet upon the branch, as if loath to quit its hold, proud of having withstood the dying cold of autumn and the stormy blasts of winter, and looking as if it had a sort of a lease for another summer.
The first gush of the vital current of the tree will make it fall; that which was to renew its greenness and make it part of the decoration of the parent branch will weaken its hold and it will cease to be. Spring, the youth of the year, loves to give, not merely to renew life, and the herbage and the foliage that have had their summer should not cling too closely to soil or to limb, remembering that beautiful as they have been in their vigor, they may be useful even in their fall, their death, by the richness they impart to the soil, and to the roots that give them greenness and vigor.
As was expected the heavy rain on Friday night caused a considerable freshet on the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers. On Saturday the rise in the Schuylkill was 7 feet, 1 1/2 inches over the dam at Fairmount, bringing down considerable lumber, &c. As far as I have been able to learn the damage is not so extensive as apprehended. I was down at the Delaware River yesterday at 2 1/2 p.m. and found many of the wharves overflowed, and the tide, then, still running up.
17 March 1846. The anniversary of St. Patrick, passing without rain and storm, disappointed those who proverbially identify the day with an unfavorable state of the weather.
In the evening accompanied Miss Louisa M. Clarke to a concert given by the "Musical Fund Society" in their Hall in Locust Street, south side above 8th. The room was crowded with a brilliant audience. DeMeyer was received with great enthusiasm and played, as he always does, superbly. On being encored in the Carnival he gave a fantasia on national airs which drew down thunders of applause. Mr. Burk likewise made a favorable impression. DeBeriot's concerto was given by him in very good style and pleased much. He particularly excels in the cantabile and arpeggio passages. Occasionally some slight defect or finish are apparent, but they will vanish wiith practice, and I have no doubt he is destined to great eminence as a violinist. Mr. Gilbert, announced in the program as a "vocalist from Paris," has perhaps some points as a singer, but unfortunately he has no voice wherewith to display them. Beethoven's Symphony in D Major, although abounding in difficulties, was well performed by a small but highly efficient orchestra. On the whole the Society has ample reasons to be much gratified with success of their concert.
18 March 1846. In the evening went up to the Museum, now in the "Masonic Hall," with Messrs. Robert R. Holmes, Council F. Moore, and Joseph F. Holmes. The amusements were quite interesting and were of a theatrical nature. The first piece performed was Old Grandfather Whitehead which was amusing and well performed. After which had a dance and then another play, entitled Simpson and Co. which if anything was more amusing than the first.
After leaving the museum adjourned to Messrs. Holmes' and Moore's room, where I wrote a number of invitations for the greater part of the boarders to meet Messrs. Joseph F. and Robert R. Holmes & Moore in the dining room at 1/2 past 11, to partake of an oyster supper in celebration of Holmes, Moore & Holmes having passed their examination for taking the degree of M.D. today.
At about 1/4 of 12 p.m. 20 of us, including six or seven ladies, sat down to an elegant supper, composed of 15 dozen stewed, and 10 dozen fried oysters, terrapins, chicken salad, 2 1/2 gallons whiskey punch, &c., &c. Never do I remember a more lively party than the one which composed the celebration of the passing of the examination of Holmes, Moore & Holmes. Toasts of different kinds were drunk, and we continued our hilarity until about 1/2 past 2 when we adjourned for bed, all seeming pleased and satisfied with the entertainment.
The above entertainment was at the house of Mrs. Cole at the S.W. corner of Minor and 5th Streets, known as the "Central House."
20 March 1846. Clear, warm and pleasant all day and during the evening. At the office all day and in the evening called to see the Misses Harriet and Mary Carter. Found them in and spent a very pleasant evening. Met there Miss Ellen Merriman, Miss Arethusa and Miss Sarah E. Leeds, Mr. Thomas McKean and Mr. Jerry VanSciver. Had a dance, and I left about 1/4 past 10, then went down to my boarding house, where I found Jim Welch waiting for me in the parlor. Both went over to Mrs. Cole's "Central House" according to invitation to partake of an oyster and terrapin supper, given by Mr. Penning to the Messrs. Joseph F. Holmes, C. F. Moore, & Robert R. Holmes. We sat down to table at 1/2 past 11, and got up at 1 a.m., after having a very pleasant time. The company numbered 22, 7 or 8 of whom were ladies. We had full and plenty of oysters, stewed and fried, terrapins, chicken salad, &c.
21 March 1846. At the office during the morning and at 2 p.m. left on board the Steamer Trenton for Burlington. Arrived there about 1/2 past 3, waited about the wharf until the Steamer Sun came up with Mr. James C. Welch. After he arrived we took a stroll around town, and in evening after supper, he and I took a walk until about 1/2 past 7, when he went to see Mr. William A. Ryers and I called to see Mrs. Nesbit & daughters.
22 March 1846. At St. Mary's Church in the morning, Bishop Doane preached both times. In the evening went to the Baptist Church with Mr. Welch, Mr. Dickinson gave us a very good sermon.
24 March 1846. Cloudy, rainy, damp and unpleasant all day and during the evening. The late warm weather and the recent damp atmosphere are producing their effects upon vegetation. In all parts of the City the trees have begun to put forth, and the grass of the different squares have assumed a green, lively and spring like appearance. For the last few days the gardeners of the public squares have been at work upon the plants, and arranging them for the coming season.
At the office during the day, and in the evening attended one of Moses Thomas & Son's Real Estate sales at the Exchange, as my Uncle Samuel Erwin's Estate was to be closed out this evening. The property at the S.W corner of George & 13th Streets sold for $3100, and the adjoining property to the South for $2950. Lots 20 feet front by 66 feet deep. Left the sale about 1/4 past 8 and went to my boarding house. Found a greater part of the boarders (ladies) assembled in the parlor engaged in dancing. There were several cotillions, one of which I participated in. The dance I suppose was got up by Mr. & Mrs. Moses and the two Misses Openheim from Charleston. Left the parlor about 1/4 past 11.
25 March 1846. The weather today was unusually propitious. The sun shone out, but with a subdued strength that prevented continuous exertion from being very fatiguing. The Streets were in that good order which was most desirable for the Firemen, who had their traditional parade today, which was a very brilliant affair. The engines and hose carriages were in the best order, and were loaded with floral offerings cast from the dwellings along the route. The members of different companies, in many instances, were decked with wreaths and bouquets bestowed by fair hands, and the fortunate wearers seemed vested with a new dignity, for they strode along with a firmer and loftier step than their fellows. The harmonies of the different bands of music on the line arose together in pleasant discord, and the banners, flags and floral ornaments which shot up above the moving mass gave a novelty and beauty to the whole. Notwithstanding that, most of the companies located within the bounds of the City proper did not participate in the procession. It was nevertheless imposing and attractive. The devices which were brought in requisition were effective, and the skill and taste displayed in ornamenting the fire apparatus were worthy of all praise.
In one portion of the parade a party appeared as a moving tableau of the Treaty of William Penn with the Indians, and one of the "red men" looked as if he was really a veritable son of the forest. In another place a skillful Jehu guided fourteen gray horses attached to a fire engine. I observed that most of the engines were drawn by two, four and six horses each, the animals being handsomely caparisoned and led by grooms. The whole affair passed off quietly, and though the streets were lined with spectators, and every window and place of view was filled with lookers, no accident or disturbance occurred. Doubtless those who were the active participators in the pageant were gratified with the effect they had achieved. And the citizens who gazed at it as it passed along could not have been unmindful of what a strength of effective defense against the ravages of fire was presented in the long line of gaily bedecked and costly apparatus, and the crowd of hardy men who attended them.
27 March 1846. In the evening at my boarding house, they had a little dance in the parlor.
28 March 1846. At Grace Church in the morning with Jim Welch. After church went out to Algernon S. Roberts and dined there.
About 5 p.m. Lehman (?) & Percival Roberts & myself took a walk on Walnut Street where we found great numbers in the promenade on Walnut Street from 10th to the Schuylkill, being the fashionable promenade of a Sunday promenade after Church.
29 March 1846. Had a slight fall of snow last night.
1 April 1846. All fool's day has again arrived and with it the numerous deceptions that are generally played on that day. Among them was an announcement of a ship launch to take place from one of the yards in Kensington. Of course it attracted many persons, but to their astonishment and surprise found "1st of April" put upon the gate leading to the yard. Another instance was, some wag circulated a report that a certain huckster, giving her name, had a shad some 3 feet in length with scales as large as a half dollar, for sale. Many persons went to see it, but, as those who went to the ship launch, it was the 1st of April. I have no doubt many other incidents occurred.
At the office during the day, and in the evening went up to the Arch Street Theater with Messrs. Robert, Joseph Holmes and C.F. Moore. The pieces played were Crimson Curries and The Swamp Fox, both pretty good in their way.
3 April 1846. About 12 N went up to the commencement of the University of Pennsylvania held at the Musical Fund Hall, but on account of the great crowd was unable to get in. Several of my friends had the degree of M.D. conferred upon them.
About 1/2 past 6 p.m. called up to see Messrs. J.F. and R.R. Holmes, C.F. Moore and D.H. Quin at Mrs. Cole's. Took supper with them and then went into the parlor. Sat conversing with the ladies for a little while, then we adjourned to my office to take a parting glass of wine as our friend D.H. Quin leaves at 10 p.m.
4 April 1846. Clear and pleasant all day. I took a walk on Chestnut Street in the afternoon for about 1/2 an hour, and met a large number of ladies on the promenade. Independence Square, opposite my office, is beginning to assume a spring like appearance. The center walk was thronged this afternoon, with a number of children invigorating themselves by pursuing their accustomed sports after the confinement of a tedious winter. The boys seemed determined to get up an indignation meeting because some girls made their appearance mounted upon velocipedes. The boys say the invention was intended entirely for their amusement, and they will not suffer their rights to be invaded, but I anticipate the weaker and fairer sex will prevail in this controversy, as they did several years since in the adoption of the hoop as a means of feminine recreation.
Spent the evening at home. We had quite a pleasant little party composed of the boarders and danced until about 5 past 11. My partners were Miss Matilda Openheim twice, her sister Miss Sarah, and the two Misses Winslow.
8 April 1846. Cloudy, raw, rainy and unpleasant. I was up in my room all the morning & until about 2 p.m. in bed, feeling too unwell to be at the office. Felt better towards that time and in the afternoon went over to the office again.
9 April 1846. In the evening, according to a previous engagement, called upon Miss Sarah Elizabeth Leeds, to wait upon her. Spent the evening with Miss Susan Estlack in Chestnut, North side, below Schuylkill 6th Street. Met at Miss Estlack's a Miss Ellen Beatty from Mount Holly, and a Miss Sally Watson who lives next door to Miss Estlack. Miss Watson is quite a pretty and a graceful young lady. I could not judge her manners as I had no conversation with her. Miss S. Estlack is quite pretty and agreeable. I had quite a chat. This was my first visit. Miss Beatty is not very pretty but very agreeable in her manner.
11 April 1846. At the office through the morning and in the afternoon until about 1/2 past 5 p.m. when Mr. Welch and I took a walk out Chestnut Street to Schuylkill Front, then up to Market Street, crossed the bridge, and walked on the other side up to the wire bridge, crossed, and then back to the office, making the whole round 6 miles in one hour and a quarter.
In the evening went up to the Museum to see two new pieces, one entitled the Cricket of the Hearth, which was admirably performed, and the other entitled the Two Queens, which was a very amusing piece.
12 April 1846. At the office during the morning and in the afternoon until 4 p.m., being so pressed with business I was obliged to write today to get through. I was going to Church this afternoon but just at the time it commenced raining very hard. I, however, went to St. Phillip's Church after the shower was over, and heard part of a very excellent discourse from Mr. Neville.
13 April 1846. The weather today was rather of an unexpected character. A little rain fell, and the wind having risen, blew a strong gale from the west, so piercing and so chilling that overcoats, which had been oppressive, were desirable additions to the bodily covering. The wind, the rain, and the chilliness of the atmosphere might have been passed without remark, but the strange visitors in the form of thick and quick-coming hail, and flakes of snow, soon excited wonder, and made people ruminate as to the probability of a day properly belonging to March. March had just broken up and had vented its fury with all the sudden activity of a sluggard who, having dallied till the last moment, seeks to do in haste what should have been done at leisure. During a portion of the day a coal fire was quite comfortable.
There was quite an excitement this afternoon in "Independence Square," occasioned by a meeting of "Oregon Men" who are in favor of 54 x 40 as the boundary line.
17 April 1846. Out of the office a considerable part of the day on business, and in the evening accompanied Miss Louisa M. Clarke to Signor Capnano's Complimentary Concert held at the Musical Fund Hall. The music generally speaking was very fine, particularly Capnano on the cornet. Miss Coad's singing was very fine and received much applause. The Medley Overture performed by the Clarinet Band was well performed and received the universal approbation of the audience by their applause. The house was not more than half full, say 500 persons. Out about 1/2 past 10, waited upon Miss Clarke home, and then went to my boarding house, stopping on the way at John Devon's for some oysters.
18 April 1846. Left on board of the Steamer Trenton with Jim Welch for Burlington. Had a very pleasant trip up and met on board Miss Louisa M. Clarke, with whom I had a chat, and Miss Hetty Burling and Miss Lynda Earl of Springfield. After arriving in Burlington Mr. Welch and myself took a walk around town and around by Mr. Dugdale's, who is now building. After tea we took a walk, and I called upon the Misses Nesbit, found Helen and Clara and remained about half an hour, and then went over to Miss Emma Parker, but not finding her in, called to see Mrs. Kinsey and family; found them in and remained until about 9 o'clock, when I left and went down to Mr. Welch's, meeting Jim at Rodger's store on my way down.
19 April 1846. Clear and very warm all day but unpleasant on account of the light wind which prevailed and caused it to be very dusty. Got up this morning at about 20 m. past 6, got breakfast, and then took a walk with Jim Welch down around by the sluice, and up by way of the railroad home. The country is beginning to look beautiful. The grass is becoming quite green, and the trees are putting out their tender foliage. Rain is much wanted in the country. About 2 1/4 o'clock James Kinsey and myself walked out to the "Silver Lakes" and returned by way of Mr. Powell's late "Pages" farm.
21 April 1846. About 1/2 past 4 p.m. went over to see Colonel Tucker and do a little piece of writing for him which detained me until 1/4 of 6. Returned to the office, remained a short time when Jim Welch and myself took a walk in Chestnut Street. Met a large number of ladies on the promenade.
In the evening attended the Walnut Street Theater to see Madame Augusta, the great dancer, in La Somnambula, in Spanish. I was much pleased with her dancing and think it equal to Fanny Essler. The last piece, Glorious Minority, was very amusing and well played.
22 April 1846. Got up this morning at 1/4 of 6, dressed and went over to the office. Miller not being done cleaning, got the newspapers, took them over to the house and read until breakfast time. Then went over to the office.
About 1/4 of 6 p.m. Mr. Welch and myself took a walk down to the Marine railing dock, went in, where we found the barque Pons lying at the wharf. She is the vessel captured some months since by the U.S. sloop of war Yorktown(7) with some 900 slaves on board. Went on board and after our curiosity being satisfied walked around.
Spent the evening at home, Miss Sally Ann Crim having given a small company to the boarders and others to which I was invited. I spent a very pleasant evening in dancing &c. I danced with the two Misses Winslow, Mrs. Godwin, and a Miss Smith (youngest sister) quite a pretty girl. The company left the parlor about 1/2 past 11, after which the gentlemen had several songs in the parlor.
23 April 1846. Clear and pleasant all day. I received a letter this morning from my mother which relieved my mind considerably as I have not received one from her since the 20th of last month which made me apprehensive that something was the matter. For the last three weeks I have been much worried. I was agreeably disappointed on the reception of the letter that she as well as Lydia had been spending a delightful time for three weeks in Louisville.
24 April 1846. At the office the greater part of the day, and in the evening Jim Welch and myself went up to "McGuire's Dancing School" where we remained about 1/2 hour.
25 April 1846. At 2 p.m. started on Board the Steamer Trenton for Burlington.
26 April 1846. I wrote two letters: one to my mother and the other to W.M. Smith of Louisiana.
28 April 1846. At the office all day until about 1/4 past 5 p.m. when Welch and myself took a walk out Chestnut to Schuylkill 2nd Street down Schuylkill 2nd to South, out South to the Gray's Ferry Road, and down the Road to the Naval Asylum.(8) Walked around and through the grounds which are beautifully laid out, and through part of the building. In the evening called down to see the Misses Harriet and Mary Carter. Found them in and spent a very pleasant evening. Met Dr. Henry Gibbons there. Amused ourselves part of the time in taking each other's profiles by the shadow of the face thrown upon a piece of paper.
29 April 1846. We were visited last night with a heavy shower of rain from the South East, which continued with but slight intermission till near mid day. Through the afternoon the showers were numerous and heavy, and there is every indication that the storm has extended a considerable distance into the country, doing incalculable service to all kinds of vegetation. It was indeed a Godsend to the farmers, for the ground in every direction was parched by the recent dry spell.
30 April 1846. In the evening called to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke, found her in and spent a pleasant evening. Went home and remained a short time when Lieut. Dansell, Jas. C. Welch and myself went over to a Ball given at "McLatey's Hall."
1 May 1846. Mr. Welch and myself took a walk out to the Market Street Bridge, crossed, and walked up as far as the hills which are opposite Fairmount. Took a stroll over them, and not finding many persons there went over to Fairmount where we found a great many persons walking. Went over to tea, after which I went up to the Chestnut Street Theater to see the performance of the new opera entitled Don Pasquale brought out by the Seguins about a week or ten days since. I was not much pleased with the piece as there was too much sameness and dialogue in it. The only song that I was much pleased with was the Serenade.
2 May 1846. In the evening went to the Chestnut Street Theater with Mr. Maginnis of New York to see the opera of the Bohemian Girl. The opera was well performed, but the chorus was hardly strong enough. Mrs. Seguin sang I Dreamt I Dwelled in Marble Halls delightfully, also several other songs. Messrs. Seguin, Frazier, and Myers sang their parts admirably.
3 May 1846. I received the melancholy intelligence of the death of my cousin Algernon L. Harrison received by letter from my mother. She gave no particulars of his death, they merely heard or read of it in a newspaper. Thus in the midst of life we are in death. My cousin Algernon was about 24 years of age, had taken the degree of M.D. About 18 months since had gone to Mississippi to practice his profession, where had gained some practice and was about to do well. But an all wise Providence hath seen fit to remove him from us just in the bloom of life, which has shocked us all.
5 May 1846. At the office all day, and in the evening Mr. Maginnis, Mr. J.C. Welch and myself went down to the Navy Yard to see Lieutenant Dansell. After passing the guard at the gate went into the officers' quarters where we found him. Had a chat of about an hour, when we took a walk down through the yard, were hailed by the guards several times, when Dansell gave the countersign and we passed.
6 May 1846. Clear and pleasant all day, until towards evening when it clouded over. At the office all day, and spent the evening at my boarding house. The Misses Winslow gave a small party to which several of the boarders were invited including myself. There were about 50 present. Spent a pleasant evening dancing, &c. There were several very pretty ladies among the company. They left principally about 12 o'clock.
8 May 1846. Spent the evening down at Dick Cristiani's with him, his mother & sister. Also met Miss Grigg and Miss Nolan there. Miss Grigg has been residing in New York for the last two years, for which length of time I have not seen her. She is now on a visit to this City and is a daughter of the Reverend Mr. Grigg. Miss G. sings and plays on the piano beautifully. We were favored with several songs and pieces of music.
9 May 1846. The opera performance this evening was a new one, this being its 4th night in this City. It is entitled The Brewer of Preston. It is well got up and the singing very fine. Parts of it are very amusing. The chorus is excellent.
10 May 1846. We had a very heavy shower of rain accompanied by vivid lightning and very heavy thunder about 1 o'clock this morning. At Grace Church in the morning. Heard an excellent sermon by the Rev. Mr. Luddards. After church walked down 12th to Walnut, out Walnut to 13th, down 13th to Spruce, up Spruce to Schuylkill 7th, up 7th to Walnut, out Walnut to Schuylkill 3rd, and then returned down 3rd to my Boarding House, and got in just as it began to rain.
After dinner sat in the parlor until about 4 p.m. when Mr. Kinsey and myself walked down to the New York boat and at 4 1/2 o'clock started for Burlington.
11 May 1846. I met a great number of ladies on the promenade. In the evening called down to see Miss Ellen Curly. I left about 1/2 past 9 and went up home. On my way up stopped in at the Exchange and got some oysters. After going home sat in the parlor for a short time, and then stopped in the Misses Winslow's parlor to see and bid them good bye, as they leave for Boston in the morning to spend the summer. I remained about 15 minutes and then left, though not without first having an invitation to call on them if I visited Boston this summer (No. 4 High Street).
12 May 1846. The excitement occasioned by the news from the seat of war, Mexico, had reached the utmost intensity yesterday and today. Business for a time seemed practically suspended, and knots of persons were seen in every direction discussing the tendency of events. Along Market, Front, 2nd and 3rd Streets, among the mercantile community, the greatest degree of interest seemed to be excited, and at almost every other door persons were engaged in reading, and others engaged in listening to the accounts as published by the numerous extras. The different companies of volunteer soldiers have become thoroughly aroused, and are busily preparing for any emergency which may call for their services. Nightly drills have been ordered by several of the captains. The first of those took place last night in the state house yard. The same result took place this evening and in every direction the note of preparations is loud. The people are ready.
13 May 1846. There was a large and enthusiastic War meeting held in the State House Yard this afternoon. The number there was estimated at from 10,000 to 15,000 persons. They all seemed to be of one mind and resolved on one point, viz., to protect and defend their country, let whatever emergency may arise.
14 May 1846. In the evening went up to the Arch Street Theater to witness the drill of a company of boys from Harrisburg under the charge of Captain J.M. Eyster, calling themselves the "Junior Guards." They acquitted themselves with great credit, both to themselves and captain, and received thunders of applause from the audience. The Card Drawer or the Face of Evidence was a very good piece but not very well played. Did You Ever Send Your Wife to Germantown? was a very amusing and laughable piece. There was another piece to be played entitled Black Bug of Bermuda which I did not wait to see, it being 11 o'clock before the other two pieces were over.
17 May 1846. In the afternoon went up to St. Luke's Church, sat in Mr. Edward Roberts' pew, heard a very good sermon delivered by the new minister, Mr. Howe.
18 May 1846. After dinner, which was about 1/2 past 3, Mr. Welch, William C. Russell and myself took a walk out to the wire bridge, crossed and thence to Mantua Village where there was a grand Military review of some 8 or 10 volunteer Companies of the City. Their movements were beautiful and imposing, and well repaid for the trouble of walking out. I suppose there must have been from 1000 to 1500 soldiers in the field. Several fine bands enlivened the company. On our way home we were unfortunate enough to get caught in the rain, and consequently got a ducking.
20 May 1846. At 3 p.m. left 9th and Green Street in the cars for Norristown, where we arrived after a delightful ride of about an hour. Upon my arrival at Norristown took the stage for Doylestown, Bucks County, a distance about 18 miles. Had a very pleasant ride and arrived there at about 1/2 past 7 p.m. Put up at the house where the Stage stopped by "Pettits Inn." Shortly after supper I took a little stroll around town, then returned to the Hotel, and in a short time afterward went to bed.
21 May 1846. Got up this morning at 1/4 past 6, went out and took a walk around the town. I was much pleased with its appearance and situation. It is on very high ground and has a fine view of the surrounding country. The houses generally speaking are neat in appearance; the Streets are very irregular. There are many pretty rides in the vicinity.
After breakfast went up to the Court House where I was employed until 1/2 past 12 o'clock in making examination regarding a title for Mr. J.A. Haven, after which I went to dinner. About 2 p.m. got a horse and rode over to Mechanicsville, a distance of about 5 miles, to look at a property for Mr. Haven. While there met with a Mr. Peter Lester who lives in the Property opposite to the one I wished to look at. He was very kind, polite and obliging and showed me all through the premises and gave me every information possible. He also took me over to his house and gave me considerable information regarding the title of the property, and took every pain to do so. I shall feel very much indebted for his interested friendship and politeness to a stranger.
I returned to Doylestown by another road from which I came, and had a very pleasant ride. After tea I again took a ride on the same horse of about 4 or 5 miles, and returned to the Hotel at about 1/2 past 7. I have not been on a horse's back for 7 or 8 years, and I expect I will suffer enough tomorrow.
22 May 1846. Got up at 1/2 past 5, dressed and then took a walk as far as the Court House to see whether some searches I had ordered yesterday were prepared, but finding they were not, returned to the hotel. At 1/2 past 6 got breakfast, after which went down to the Court House again to see about my searches, and was again disappointed, and found I should have to leave without them, and have them sent by mail.
Went up to see Mr. Gilbert in reference to the rent due on the property which he occupies, having heard today that he had failed a few days since. Went home, going around by way of 8th and Arch to get some ice cream.
23 May 1846. In the evening went up to the Museum with James Kinsey. The pieces performed were the Chimes, or the Bells that Ring the Old Year Out and the New Year In. It is an admirable piece and performed with great credit. Mr. Burk, as old Toby, and Mrs. Burk as Maggy, were well sustained. There were several dances, which added materially. The last piece, Irish Hay Making, was very amusing.
24 May 1846. There was great excitement today in the City from the news received from Mexico, the seat of war. Most everybody on the Street or going to Church would have an "extra" containing the news, walking slowly and reading it. The news is glorious in some respects. The Americans have had two battles with the Mexicans and came off victorious. But we have the melancholy intelligence of the death of the gallant and brave Major Ringgold, and of a number of other officers. The excitement was very great throughout the day, and everyone seemed anxious to get a look at an "extra."
26 May 1846. Previous to our going home went around to "Our House" and got a couple of "Cherry Cobblers" which were very fine on so hot a night.
28 May 1846. At about 1/2 past 7 a chaise I had engaged called for me, which conveyed me to Miss Leeds, I having an engagement to wait upon Miss Arethusa to the Museum to see the piece entitled The Chimes performed. But much to my astonishment she informed me that her parents would not allow her to go as the performance was of a theatrical nature. After a delay of some half an hour it was proposed to go down to the "Floral Exhibition" held at the Chinese Museum Saloon at the N. E. corner of 9th and George Street. The display of flowers was large and beautiful and the company large and rather fashionable. After walking around the saloons several times, buying a bouquet, &c., it then being 20 m. of 10, left and took our chaise which was waiting at the door, and went to Miss Leeds.
Both the upper and lower saloons of the Museum Building were occupied by the exhibition. Sarah Elizabeth did not go with me this evening, only Arethusa.
29 May 1846. At the office all day and in the evening went up to the Museum with Samuel Ludlow and Maginnis to see the performance of the Somnambulist, and the Cricket of the Hearth, both pieces were well played and sustained.
30 May 1846. In the evening went up to the Museum to attend Mr. and Mrs. Burk's benefit. The pieces played were The Deserter, Yankee Courtship, and The Lady of the Lyons, a burlesque on the Lady of Lyons. The house was crowded to excess which I was glad to see as the Burks are great favorites.
1 June 1845. At the office all day and in the evening after tea Mr. Welch, Mr. Kinsey & myself took a walk up Chestnut Street as far as Broad. On our return stopped in at the Museum to see Miss Kate Ludlow in The Day in Paris. I was much pleased with her performance. In this piece she sustained five characters. The last piece was very amusing, entitled She's Not a Miss. Mr. John Lefton, the comedian, appeared as Mr. Prettyman and created much amusement and laughter. My favorite, Mrs. Russell, also appeared.
3 June 1845. In the evening went down to Dick Cristiani's with Jim Welch to spend the evening having received an invitation from him the day before. Met there Mr. Nolan and his two sisters, the Misses Mary and Anna Patton, Miss Grigg, and a gentleman whose name I do not remember.
Spent a pleasant evening. I waited upon Miss Grigg home. After leaving Miss Grigg, walked up with Dick and Miss Anna Patton as far as her father's residence which is the west side of Delaware 7th Street near Noble. On my way up had some difficulty regarding an affront to me from the Misses Patton. It was explained and apologized for which I am glad. On our way home met a serenading party in 6th above Vine, which discoursed elegant music.
4 June 1845. To Burlington. Jim Welch and myself soon after our arrival took a walk down the bank as far as St. Mary's Hall, saw but very few of the young ladies.
6 June 1845. At the office during the morning and in the afternoon until about 20 m. of 4. I then left, got in an omnibus and went up to the Germantown Railroad. At 4 p.m. started for Germantown where we arrived at 1/2 past 4. I immediately went over to see Mr. John Wistar on some business.
At 5 p.m. left for Philadelphia again. Went to my boarding house and got tea. After tea went up to the Museum with Mr. Kinsey. The pieces played were My Neighbor's Wife and the Cricket of the Hearth. The former piece was very amusing and caused much laughter among the audience. One gentleman seemed as if he could not contain himself, and set the actors all to laughing so that they had to stop the piece two or three times. Miss Kate Ludlow as Dot in the Cricket of the Hearth is nothing to compare with Mrs. Burke in the same character.
7 June 1845. At St. Phillip's Church in the morning. After Church went home. Upon going into the parlor found Mrs. Ludlow and her daughter Elizabeth there. Mrs. Ludlow introduced me to her daughter. They have been boarding at our house for some time but this is the first time I had spoken to Miss Ludlow not having an introduction. I think her quite pretty and found her to be quite agreeable in her manners. After dinner went upstairs into my room, smoked a cigar and then took a nap.
About 1/2 past 3 went downstairs with the intention of going to Church. I stopped in the parlor where I found Miss Ludlow. I sat down to talk with her a few minutes but found her company so agreeable did not go out until nearly 5 o'clock, it being then too late to go to Church. However I walked up to Mr. Neville's Church, and when out walked home with Miss Louisa M. Clarke and made an engagement to go to St. Andrew's Church in the evening. Did not go in with her.
Went to St. Andrew's Church, found it very full. Mr. Clarke preached a very excellent sermon on the horrors of war, a very appropriate sermon at this season.
8 June 1845. After tea went up to see Mr. George Cleaden with Mr. James C. Welch, with the expectation of meeting Charles Rowland there, he having made an appointment to meet us at 1/4 of 8 regarding a note of his for $355, which I hold. We arrived there a few minutes before the appointed hour and waited until 5 minutes past 8, when Mr. Rowland not appearing, we left.
11 June 1845. In the evening went up to the Walnut Street Theater with James Kinsey to see the new piece entitled Wyoming and a farce called He's a Ghost in Spite of Himself. The former piece had some very beautiful scenery, and parts of it very amusing. The close was marked with considerable beauty exhibiting the 26 states in the form of 26 women, dressed in the "stars and stripes" and bearing a banner representing the coats of arms of the several states. Texas, bearing a banner of the "lone star," came in and was welcomed by the sisters into the union of the 26. Oregon and California also appeared and the Oregon question was settled amicably by John Bull and Uncle Sam.
20 June 1845. About 1/4 past 4 went down to the steamer John Stevens and at 4 1/2 p.m. left for Burlington.
21 June 1845. Took a walk down along the bank as far as the Bishop's and took a survey of Harry Perkins' yacht which is a beautiful craft, and is now lying off the Bishop's wharf.
After dinner Jim Welch and I started out to take a ride to see some ladies, notwithstanding a lecture from his mother and sister and one of the ladies from Salem, Massachusetts.
30 June 1845. Persons disposed to grumble at the clerk of the weather for the quality of the commodity he bestows on us poor mortals had another chance yesterday to vent their spleens. At daybreak a disagreeable easterly wind was blowing, which continued, accompanied by occasional sprinkles of rain, up to one o'clock, when all doubts as to its being a rainy day were removed by a shower which fell unremittingly during the whole afternoon and evening.
A month remarkable in many respects has just closed, and as it has occasioned a good deal of remark with respect to its meteorological features, we think it better to give some comparison between it and other months of the same name. The average temperature was rather above what it ordinarily is in this month, and was two degrees above that of last June. But what makes the season most remarkable is the unusual succession of rainy days, accompanied sometimes with a cool North east wind. There were but nine days without rain, and 7 of these were cloudy and threatening.
1 July 1846. At the Office all day though very unwell. About 6 p.m. went over and lay down until about 7 when, feeling much better, got up and went down to tea.
3 July 1846. A cloudy, rainy and very unpleasant day. About 4 p.m. a cab called for Mr. Edward Maginnis and myself to convey us to the New York boat, to carry us to the City of New York, he on a visit to see his mother and sister, and I on the same errand though with the intention of taking a much longer passage before I can once more have the pleasure of seeing them.
After bidding Miss Sally Ann Crim, Miss Priscilla Nicholson, and Mrs. Ludlow and daughter Elizabeth (who seemed to take some interest in our departure) farewell, we stepped into the cab and soon found ourselves placed on board the John Stevens.(9) After procuring checks for our baggage and feeling everything secure, we began to look about us. There was an immense number of passengers on board. One was a military company, and an association called the "Shifflers" who soon afterwards proved themselves to be great rowdies. There were two bands on board and of course we started in the midst of music, and we had a sufficient supply on our way up.
I met on board several acquaintances among whom were Mr. Arthur Drexel and Mr. James Kinsey. Arrived at Bristol at about 6 p.m. where we met Jim Welch. Kinsey, Welch, Maginnis and myself placed ourselves in the aft car, and were just congratulating ourselves on a pleasant trip and plenty of room, when to our discomfiture, the "Shifflers" with their band made their appearance and took complete possession. Mr. Welch left us at Trenton and I bade him farewell.
But to return to our company in the cars: the Shifflers. Never was I in a more disagreeable crowd, they were all more or less intoxicated and kept up a great noise both with the instruments & by hollering, yelling, screaming. It seemed they did everything to make the trip unpleasant. In crossing the "Trenton Bridge," which is very long and some parts so dark that you cannot see your hand before you, they commenced making all kinds of noises with their instruments which made it awful, and if any ladies should have happened to be present they could not have helped being very much frightened as it seemed more like the lower regions than anywhere else.
At every stopping place they would get more liquor, and then a worse noise would be made. I must give them credit for one thing. On our stopping at Trenton, Princeton, Brunswick and some other places, the band gave us some very fine music. Did not arrive at New York until near 11 o'clock and then in the midst of a heavy and drenching shower of rain.
We had great trouble getting our baggage out, and I got pretty much out of patience between the rain, yelling of the "Shifflers," the pulling and hauling of the cab drivers, &c. However after great trouble and considerable delay we got a carriage and baggage on it, when we proceeded to the "Howard House" where I arrived tired, sleepy and hungry.
4 July 1846. Well heigh ho, here I am in the great city of New York, and upon peeping out of the window, another rainy day salutes me, and for the glorious 4th. It was hard work to sleep last night, for one might well suppose that the British were bombarding the City, for there was nothing but one continued round of cannons, guns, pistols and crackers throughout the night. Through the whole night long, some fellow seemed to take great pleasure in keeping up a continual fire of a small cannon that seemed directly under my window and with every cannon I would jump up in my sleep as if I had been shot by the report of this fellow's gun. Truly this New York is a great place for firing of guns, &c. on the eve of the glorious 4th.
Got up this morning at about 20 minutes of 6, it being impossible to sleep any longer on account of the repeated report of guns. Took breakfast about 8 o'clock after which went down to the post office to mail a letter, and upon my return saw Mr. Kinsey. We concluded to take a walk up to the park and have a view of the fountain which, by the by, is a very beautiful affair with the water being thrown in such a manner as to form a kind of mist.
All law seemed to be set aside today in the streets of New York (in regard to firing arms, squibs, etc., in the streets). Every boy you meet in the street seems to have either a gun, pistol, or pack of crackers, which they fire off at pleasure in the presence of the police, keeping a continuing crack, crack, crack in your ears. The Park and Battery Grounds seem to be the chief resort for firing, though the streets are by no means excluded.
Upon our return met Mr. Maginnis. All three strolled down to the Battery to see the Military review by Governor Wright(10) of New York. Upon our arrival at the Battery took a walk around, saw the Governor and the troops, but there being such a crowd and bustle concluded to go up to the Hotel again and see the procession pass. The procession passed at about 1/4 past 11, and the military display was very fine, after which Maginnis, Kinsey and I went over to "Florence's Oyster Saloon" where we took some oysters and drank a bottle of Champagne, then went to "Plumes Daguerreotype Saloons" where we saw likenesses of many distinguished personages, among whom were James K. Polk and lady, John Q. Adams, Mrs. John Tyler, George M. Dallas, and many others whose names I do not remember. Mr. Maginnis left us here to go to dinner. Kinsey and I went down to the North River to see some of the Steamers which play on this River.
After dinner lounged about the Hotel until about 1/4 past 5, the afternoon being so very unpleasant. To kill time I proposed to Kinsey, who was sitting with me, to take a ride up town in the first omnibus which came along to see something of the upper part of New York; accordingly jumped in one which conveyed us up to Broadway to Beekman St., up Beekman to the 8th Avenue, and up the Avenue to 23rd St, being a distance of some two or three miles, and for which they charged us the small amount of a sixpence apiece.
On our return took tea, and then an Omnibus and went up to "Niblos" to see the Ravels. The performances were not much, with the exception of the Ravels in the characters of the Bedouin Arabs' Arabian festival, in which they accomplished some astonishing feats of gymnastic exercises.
The rain continued throughout the day and evening, which rendered the Streets of New York very muddy and unpleasant, though they were thronged throughout the day and evening. For filth, the Streets of New York, I think, exceed anything I ever beheld.
5 July 1846. A small streak of blue sky greeted the waking eye this morning, and seemed to inspire one with new vigor.
After breakfast Mr. Kinsey and I went down to the post office, then down to the foot of Fulton Street and crossed to Brooklyn. Took a walk around town and visited the new church of "The Holy Trinity" which is now building on the same plan as that of Trinity Church, New York. Also stopped in the "Church of Our Savior" which is a neat structure of the Gothic style. We then continued our walk on to the "Heights" from which we had a beautiful view of New York and the Bay and Harbor.
Then to the Hotel. I changed my dress and Kinsey and myself went down to "Trinity Church." It is one of the most beautiful structures in the United States, built of a dark red stone in the Gothic style. The interior of the church is beautiful in the extreme, the style is confined entirely to the Gothic, and the whole is of solid masonry. The windows are stained glass, presenting a beautiful appearance.
At the back is a huge window some 30 feet high of stained glass with a representation of the Apostles. The pulpit is placed in rather a singular position on the right of the Church. The ceiling is of solid masonry formed in immense arches of Gothic structure. Upon the whole it is the most noble building I ever saw or met with.
After Church Mr. Kinsey and I took a walk up Broadway; there were a very great number of persons walking.
After tea took a walk down to the Battery, found thousands of people there. Also went into Castle garden. The saloon of this place is very large and beautiful and is fitted up as a concert room. The shape is circular with a beautiful fountain in the center. The breeze from the bay is delightful and refreshing. There was to be a concert of sacred music but I did not wait for it.
6 July 1846. I took passage on board the splendid Steamer Niagara(11) for Troy. Started at 7 a.m. and had a delightful trip up the River past Peekskill, West Point, Poughkeepsie, Hudson. About a mile or so below Albany the steamer John Mason,(12) a smaller boat, came alongside and took on board the Troy passengers, the River being most too shallow for large boats to go up further than Albany.
Arrived at Troy at about 1/2 past 6, went up to the "Troy House" and took lodgings. After supper went up to Rensselaer Institute(13) in search of Percival Roberts and found him. We took a walk around the town and on the hills back of the City from which we had a view of Troy beneath us, and Albany and the Catskill Mountains in the distance. Walked around by Washington Square and into the lower part of the town, returned to the hotel at about 1/4 of 9, when Percy and I took a Cherry cobbler together.
7 July 1846. Got up at 10 m. of 5 a.m., dressed and then took a walk through the greater part of this beautiful town (Troy). The streets, generally speaking, cross each other at right angles and are prettily laid out, and many of the houses are beautiful in their appearance but not equal to those of Philadelphia.
Around Washington Square the houses are very handsome. The square is for the use only of the houses surrounding it, and not for the public. There are many fine churches in this place. After breakfast Percival Roberts called for me, and we went out together to visit some of the dentists to see what luck I could have in selling an article of teeth I have with me. Did not meet with much as there had been some person a little ahead of me, who had supplied the Dentists. Sold about 72.(14)
About 12 o'clock Percy and I went around to the large coach and car manufacturing establishment of Eaton, Gilbert & Co. It occupies a very large space and is I believe the largest establishment of the kind in the United States. Went through the painting, trimming, building, and in fact all of the rooms, and saw the coaches in different stages of completion.
At about 1/2 past 1 p.m. left Troy in the cars for Utica via Schenectady. The locomotive got to the other side of the Troy bridge about 1/2 past 1. The ride from Troy to Utica is very beautiful. We continued nearly the whole route along the banks of the beautiful Mohawk. The country is very mountainous, and part of the road leads through a very rocky country and must have caused great labor to cut through immense beds of rock. At times rocks upon rocks will be towering a hundred feet above, threatening almost instant death by their overhanging and apparent loose position.
Many villages were passed, and are distinguished by their beautiful and picturesque appearance, each one appearing to be well supplied with handsome public buildings and churches with spires which add much to their beauty. The first village of any note passed was Amsterdam, 36 miles from Troy. At 20 m. past 4 arrived at another beautiful town called Fonda, 47 miles from Troy, a new place of about 7 years' growth. It is the county seat of Fulton.
The court house is a very pretty building, having 5 or 6 large columns in front, something of the same style as the present Custom house at Philadelphia. There is a very good eating House at this place, at which the passengers favored the inward man.
The next place of any importance is St. Johnsville where we arrived at 20 m. of 6. It is 68 miles from Troy, and very handsomely situated. The scenery around this town is very wild and romantic, for which it is noted by the traveler. The Mohawk is obstructed by numerous rocks at this place, and also small Islands, and the water becomes very rapid, forming a variety of cascades and little water falls. An aqueduct bridge crosses the river at this place to the Erie Canal. The next place of importance is Herkimer where we arrived at 1/4 of 7, 85 miles from Troy and 14 miles from Utica. A very pretty place and beautifully situated.
Arrived at the beautiful town of Utica, 99 miles from Troy at 1/2 past 7 p.m. after one of the most delightful rides, and through one of the most beautiful pieces of country I ever witnessed. Utica is beautifully situated, and has many fine buildings. The streets are wide and have a very neat appearance. Judging from the number of stores there must be considerable business carried on. It is the capital of Oneida County.
After my arrival took lodging at "Bagg's Hotel and Bleecker House," apparently a very fine house and evidently the largest house in the place, fine clean room and good table.
8 July 1846. I got up this morning at about 1/4 of 4, and at about 1/4 past 4, started in an open air horse vehicle, driven by a boy, for the "Trenton Falls." The ride was very cold, I had a very thick sack coat and was half frozen when I got there.
Arrived at the falls at 1/4 past 6. This superb scenery of nature, to which thousands now annually resort, a scenery altogether unique in its character, as combining at once the beautiful, the romantic, the magnificent and the enchanting, all that variety of rocky chasms, cataracts, cascades, rapids, &c., elsewhere separately exhibited in different regions. Until recently it was not accessible without extreme peril and toil and therefore not generally known.
From the door of the Hotel you stepped at once into the Forest, and walking only about 20 rods strike the bank at the place of descent. This is about 100 feet of perpendicular rock, made easy and safe by a flight of stairs. You land upon a broad pavement, level with the water's edge, the river of black water at your feet, perpendicular walls of solid rocks on each side, and the narrow zone of ethereal sky far overhead; your feelings are at once excited. You have passed to a subterranean world.
The first impression is astonishment at the change. But recovering instantly, your attention is forthwith attracted to the magnificence, the grandeur, the beauty and sublimity of the scene. You stand and pause. You behold the operations of incalculable ages. You are thrown back to Antediluvian times. The adamant rock has yielded to flowing water, which has formed the wonderful chasm.
I strolled up along the shore as far as I could safely go, and as far as visitors usually ascend to the last fall, though I believe there is still another some 3 miles up, not often visited on account of the danger and fatigue in accomplishing the same. On my return I took a description of the falls in my note book, which is as follows:
The sixth fall in descending the river is not so high as those below, and runs through a wild chasm of rocks for the distance of some 50 or 60 feet, the descent I suppose is some 30 feet, the rocks overhanging are wild & and romantic. After the water passes over this falls there is a dark basin, appearing to rest from its labors in the wild cascade above, and relieved by a collection of white foam, which frequently assembles within an eddy, and dances to each other in fantastic forms and capped like caliphs, pressing the course of all hands round in an eternal circle.
The fifth falls make their descent over the rocks of some 40 feet. It is a much greater falls than the upper and handsomer. The fourth falls extend the whole distance across the ravine which is about 75 feet wide. These falls are more perpendicular than the others and are very beautiful, the water falls over a perpendicular rock of about 30 feet. The third falls are the principal ones, a high falls, and also extend the whole distance across the river. They are rather more broken then the others and make two descents. There is a very large body of water falls here. In the two descents the water must fall from 70 to 80 feet, making a grand spectacle to gaze upon. The water rushes over immense shelving rocks from which there is a continuing and dense spray arising. Upon the whole it is one of the most grand picturesque and romantic sights that I have ever looked upon.
After passing the falls the water passes through a deep ravine, and the rocks on either side are from 150 to 200 feet high. At the second falls there is an immense body of water that rushes over, but in a much smaller space. There is an immense rock extending across the chasm here some 40 feet high, and when the water is high I suppose this is the most beautiful of all the falls.
The first falls extend for a greater distance than either of the others, rushing through a narrow channel of rocks, giving them a very grand and sublime appearance. The descent here is gradual, about 20 feet say in 100 feet.
After fully satisfying myself with a view of this work so full of grandeur & magnificence, went up to the Hotel and in a few minutes afterwards got breakfast. I forgot to mention I met Mr. & Mrs. Reeves of Philadelphia taking a view of the falls. They spoke very politely.
At 2 p.m. started for Rochester in the cars. The first village of much importance passed after leaving Utica is Rome. Also stopped at Oneida Depot. At this place saw a number of Indian squaws of the Oneida tribe. They had for sale trinkets of one kind or other.
Arrived at Syracuse at 1/2 past 5, 152 miles from Troy. This is a very large, beautiful and flourishing town. It has a number of very fine hotels, the principal of which are the Empire House and Syracuse House. The manufacture of salt is carried on to a great extent here. I notice a very large number of sheds and mats for evaporating. Arrived at Auburn, 178 miles from Troy, about 1/4 of 8. At this place I had a view of Auburn State Prison, a very large and beautiful building. Arrived at Cayuga Bridge about 9 o'clock. I here took a cup of coffee and a roll for supper. We crossed Cayuga Lake at this point, the bridge is about a mile and a half long. A short time afterward passed along the shores of Lake Seneca. Also passed through Seneca Falls, Geneva and Canandaigua, all beautiful places.
9 July 1846. Arrived at Rochester, a very large and beautiful town, 257 miles from Troy, at 1/4 past 2 a.m. It was my intention to have gotten out at this place and spent today, but arriving so late and being necessarily detained a day, concluded to go on, ride all night and arrive in Buffalo in the morning. Arrived at Batavia, a very pretty town at l/2 of 5 a.m., at Attica at 1/2 past 5 a.m., passed Darien, Alden, Lancaster and arrived at Buffalo, 325 miles from Troy, at 20 min of 8 a.m., after some sixteen hours passage from Utica.
The city of Buffalo is a beautiful, clean and well laid out city. It has numerous handsome public as well as private residences, and is a place of considerable business. I put up at the "American House," a very large, handsome, but poorly kept house on the Main Street. Was employed during the greater part of the morning trying to make sale of some of the teeth, but with no success.
After dinner went down, engaged passage and state room on board the steamer packet St. Louis for Chicago, to start tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. I attended to some little business and at 5 p.m. started on board the cars for "Niagara Falls," where we arrived at about 1/2 past 6 p.m. after a ride of some 22 miles. Though not a very interesting country, part of the route was by the Niagara River.
Upon my arrival put up at the "Cataract House," a large, magnificent and well kept House. The table is excellent, servants attentive, and rooms large, clean and well ventilated. I soon went out to gain a view of the great falls. After passing down through a forest of some 30 rods, arrived in view of that great and grand wonder of nature, "the falls."
Advancing on a small bridge which extends some ten feet over the precipice, you have a grand view of the American Center, and Horseshoe Falls. I will not pretend to give a description of this great work of nature, but merely make a record of my visits to different spots in the vicinity.
After taking a view of the falls from this situation, and my very first view, returned to the Hotel and got tea. After took a walk across the Bridge which extends to Bath Island. On this Island there is a paper mill of some size and house for the sale of curiosities. There is another bridge, extending from this Island to Iris Island. After leaving the bridge there is a path extending to the right, to what is called Hog Back.
From this elevated point you have a view of Center falls, which is about 100 feet wide, and also of the American falls. You are at the distance of some 200 feet above the level of the River. From Hog Back there is a bridge running over the rapids of Center Falls to Prospect Island, from which you have a view of both Horseshoe and the American falls. This Island is quite a small affair, and directly between the immense falling sheets.
From this point I extended my walk along the bank of the precipice, passing Biddle's Stair Case, to Prospect Tower or Terrapin Rocks. This tower is situated on the point of Iris Island, and at the edge of the Horseshoe falls. This Tower is of a circular form and is some thirty feet high, with an observatory on top. From it is presented a full view into the very midst of the great falls, and into the great chasm beneath. After visiting this tower, it being near 9 o'clock, returned to the Hotel by a rear cut across the Island. And after writing a letter to Mr. James C. Welch went to bed which was about 10 o'clock.
10 July 1846. Got up this morning at 20 m. of 6, dressed and started off for a ramble on Iris and Bath Islands. After crossing the bridge to Bath Island turned to my left and crossed a small bridge which leads to what is called Brig or Sloop Island. After viewing rapids which rush on all sides of you with fearful swiftness, and watching them come dashing and roaring down the river here, seeming as if at every moment you would be dashed from the Island, I returned to Bath Island and visited the paper mill.
In this mill I procured a sheet of paper, which I saw in pulp, and in the short space of about a minute saw it pass through the various changes, and come out dry, fit for use.
After leaving the mill, continued my walk to Iris Island, and then down to Hog Back to take another view of the falls from this point. I here met a gentleman from Michigan who I fell in company with last evening. Went over to Prospect Island again with him, returned and continued our walk along the Banks to "Biddle's Staircase." Here you descend a spiral stair case down the precipice some 100 feet to the rocks below. We proceeded along a ledge with the rocks towering above in awful grandeur, and then in a sloping manner descending as far below to within a few yards of the Horseshoe falls. The spray was so great that we could not remain long, being completely drenched in a few minutes.
About midway between the Horseshoe falls and the staircase is a delightful spring of water coming out of the rocks, slightly impregnated with sulfur, at which we took a refreshing draught. We advanced on a rock where we could look directly into the cave of the winds. The scene was most beautiful indeed. This cave is directly under the falls, and is represented to be nearly 120 feet wide and about 30 feet deep, with a noble arch hanging overhead about 80 feet high, with the sheet of water rolling in front. If I had had suitable clothing with me, should have procured a guide and gone in, though it is said to be quite an adventure. Returned to the Hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast walked down to the Ferry House. Here there is an inclined plane extending down the precipice to where the boats start for the Canadian shore.
Upon arrival at the water's edge, took a small boat and passed over to the Canadian shore about 100 yards below the falls. You are covered with spray in crossing.
Arriving at Canada you ascend a steep hill and arrive at the Clifton House. Met with a Mr. John Dixon from Durham England who I found to be a perfect gentleman. Some of the party being acquainted with him, he volunteered to show us about the falls. The first place we visited was the precipice where a young lady fell off some years ago in endeavoring to pick a flower and was dashed to pieces below. Then continued our walk to "Barndt's Museum." It is a fine collection of minerals, animals, fish, etc. They have also two Rocky Mountain buffalo, several bear, horses, &c., all alive.
After leaving the Museum went up to the House near Table Rock, to change our dress to go under the falls. Put on a red flannel shirt, a pair of coarse duck pants, old pair of shoes, and an oil cloth hat resembling a bonnet. Thus equipped, we made a rather "hard looking company." Our guide, a large Negro dressed in a black oil cloth suit first descended the stairs and we followed. We descended some 100 feet before we reached the ledge of rocks which lead under the falls. There was a lady who went under with our party.
The guide proceeded, and we followed keeping close to the ropes, with our heads turned toward them, which gave us an opportunity of breathing more freely, as the wind blows with a perfect hurricane force, dashing the water in every direction, and at times almost taking your breath.
We proceeded as far as Termination Rock, where we stopped to gaze at the grand scene before us. Upon looking up, you see the immense sheet of water rushing over the precipice above you at the distance of some 180 feet. Below you see the water dashing upon the rocks, while spray thrown from it almost envelops you. You can scarcely hear each other speak for the roaring of the torrents. The scene is too grand for me to think of giving a description. Remained under some half hour, then we returned to the foot of the stairs and then clambered down the rocks, with another black as our guide, to what is called Miss Clark's Rock. This is an immense rock, part of a table rock which fell some years ago from the precipice above, the distance being say 100 feet. Went on top of this rock, which is about 20 feet high, from which you have a fine view of the whole of the falls. Then returned to the dressing rooms, changed our dress and went out on Table Rock.
The greatest body of water flows over the Horseshoe falls, & in the center of it the water is a beautiful green color, contrasting greatly with the pure white of the water on either side. On Table Rock I laid down on my back, while Mr. Dixon held my feet and I threw my head over the precipice and looked around. The scene was grand.
Went over in the Ferry to the American side. On my way to the Hotel bought some bags, &c., from a pretty Tuscaroran Squaw. Dined at 1 o'clock and at half past 2 started for Buffalo.
Went down to the Steamer St. Louis. Started on board of her at 20 m. past 7 p.m. for Chicago. There were a very large number of passengers on board, both cabin and steerage. The St. Louis is a very fine boat of over 600 tons. All state rooms and good accommodations. We had not been out on the Lake more than an hour when we experienced a heavy squall of wind, rain, thunder and lightning. It blew tremendous hard for a while and made the boat lay pretty well over.
11 July 1846. We arrived at Cleveland, Ohio at 2 p.m. It is about 180 miles from Buffalo. I went ashore and took a stroll though the town as the boat was to remain about an hour and a half. The situation of the place is very beautiful, being on a bluff of some thirty feet in height, directly on the Lake and at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. The streets are wide and, generally speaking, laid out at right angles. There are a number of fine Public Buildings, also Private Buildings. It appears to be a place of considerable business. The pier extending into the lake at this place is a beautiful piece of mason work, built by the United States Government. It extends some 1200 feet into the Lake, and is of solid mason work, affording a safe harbor for vessels in rough weather.
Left Cleveland at l/4 of 5 p.m., and had a very pleasant sail up the Lake. Remained on deck until about l/2 past 9, the weather being very delightful, then turned in.
12 July 1846. Had a very heavy shower of rain accompanied with a heavy blow and thunder and lightning about 2 o'clock this morning. We were about 8 miles off Detroit River when the storm came on. For a while it blew very hard. We partially lost our bearings in the storm, and had to stop the engines and sound. However, we got safely into Detroit River and arrived at Detroit, 318 miles from Buffalo, at 1/4 of 5 a.m.
In passing up the River noticed several very pretty towns among which were Amherstburg, below Detroit, and Sandwich directly opposite. Both towns are beautifully located on the East side of the Detroit River, in Canada.
Upon arriving at Detroit went on shore with Mr. Reynolds and took a stroll through the town. It is situated on a hill, on the west side of the Detroit River about 20 miles from Lake Erie and six miles below Lake St. Claire. The City is beautifully laid out and extends over considerable ground. The streets running from the River are very wide and are termed avenues. Saw the court house, a fine building with columns in front, a Catholic Church with twin steeples, Baptist Church, large Market House, &c. Also another very fine large building with pillars. The store houses appear to be large and commodious. A considerable business is done at this place, and it is rapidly on the increase.
Left Detroit at 1/4 past 6 a.m. and continued on up the River. The country on both sides is very beautiful and apparently fertile. There are a great many houses along each shore, and a large number of windmills on the Canada side, I suppose erected a number of years ago by the French. Passed the Light House where we enter Lake St. Claire at 10 minutes of 7 a.m. This lake is about 30 miles long and very shallow, so shallow that the boat drawing about 9 feet of water would often drag.
Entered the St. Claire River at 10 a.m. The shore for some 7 or 8 miles on either side is low and marshy, not even fit for cattle. As you get further up the land becomes apparently very fine, and quite high. There are a great many houses on both the Michigan and Canada sides of the river, mostly of the smaller class, and many built of logs. Those on the Canada side are much the worst and generally occupied by Indians of the worst grade. Saw a great number of them along the shore, many in the water swimming.
Christy's band of Minstrels came on board this morning at Detroit. There were also several pretty lively young ladies who came on board. Two of them were the Misses Butler from Palmyra, New York, and a Miss Sarah Ann Kingman from Buffalo, New York. In the evening, though Sunday, they gave us some pretty good music on the piano, and fine singing, at times accompanied by the Minstrels.
Entered Lake Huron at 4 p.m. Just before passing the Light House passed Fort Gratiot, a military post in St. Claire County, on the St. Claire River, which defends the entrance into Lake Huron. It stands a little below the mouth of the Lake. Lake Huron is a very large body of water and much deeper than the other Lakes. The water, unlike the others, is of a dark color in a body, but when taken up in a glass is clear and cold. After entering this Lake the atmosphere became much colder.
13 July 1846. Had considerable dancing on board this morning, and some good music from "Christy's Minstrels."(15) Last night in passing Saginaw Bay, had a very heavy sea running, which gave the boat considerable motion, it was impossible to walk straight. After breakfast wrote to Ma and Jim Welch, and then brought up my Journal.
The waves at times would break clear over the upper deck, which is 20 feet from the surface of the water. After dinner had some very good singing and playing by one of the Misses Butler of Palmyra, New York.
Arrived at Mackinaw, an island of the same name, at about 7 p.m. This place is of but little importance except for its fisheries. The houses are generally miserable low hovels, occupied by half breeds, Indians and lower classes of Whites. There are several stores for the sale of different kinds of goods, and Indian trinkets along the shore. There are but two streets, both parallel to the shore. I noticed a church in the lower end of the village. The Island on which the town is situated is very high on the eastern end.
The principal object of interest at this place is the American Fort, which is situated on a high bluff on the Eastern Side of the Island. Went up and through the grounds. Everything is marked with neatness and taste. From the Fort you have a fine view of the town below, and of the surrounding Islands and water scenery. There is an arch rock at this place well worth a visit, and also a sugar loaf rock, but our time was so limited had not time to visit them.
At Mackinaw noticed a number of Indian wigwams along the shore. They are erected by driving a number of stakes in the ground and bringing them together at the top. Then a kind of matting is wrapped around them to keep the weather out, leaving a large hole in the top for the dismissal of the smoke from the fire built in the center. The Indians huddle inside this but I think they are not much protected against rain. In about six weeks there will be from 800 to 1000 Indians at this place, located in their wigwams along the shore. They come to receive their annual pay from the United States Government. At this place we got some fine Mackinaw trout, a delicious fish.
At 1/4 past 10 p.m. entered Lake Michigan. This evening had a delightful entertainment on board. The Misses Butler favored us with some good playing on the piano with singing, after which we were entertained with some Negro songs and fine playing of "Christy's Minstrels." After they were done had a waltz, and then the Minstrels gave us some Negro dancing.
I made the acquaintance of a very pretty and pleasant young lady today, a Miss Dunlap from Cherry Valley, N.Y. I was very much pleased with two little children, and they appeared to be likewise pleased with me, as they are constantly at my side or in my lap. Names Louisa M. and Ida Wood of New York. Louisa M. is the oldest. The company generally speaking on the boat is very pleasant both ladies and gentlemen, State room maids are very agreeable. I met with a gentleman coming in the cars to Buffalo, who has been my companion ever since. He is a very clever fellow and Irishman by birth, his name is M. Normandy. He is going as far as Chicago, where I suppose we shall part.
14 July 1846. Arrived at Sheboygan, Wisconsin Territory, 50 miles from Milwaukee, at 3 1/2 p.m., went on shore and walked up into town. The place is quite new, and on a considerable elevation directly on the lake. They have a very good pier, which makes a safe harbor. The country is very wild in this vicinity. Noticed a number of Indians, some half naked, lying exposed in the sun asleep. Others were on the pier with their faces painted in a singular manner.
Arrived at Milwaukee 90 miles from Chicago at 1/4 of 9 p.m. This is a place of considerable importance directly on the Lake. Did not have an opportunity of seeing as the boat only stopped half an hour. There were quite a number of passengers who left, among whom was Miss Dunlap of Cherry Valley, New York, my favorite among the ladies. Her manners were so unassuming that they were well calculated to win the favor of anyone, and withal she was quite pretty. The two little children by the name of Wood also left at this place, one of them, the youngest, had quite a crying spell at leaving. After leaving Milwaukee had a concert by the Minstrels on board, and some dancing and waltzing. Also some good playing on the piano and singing.
15 July 1846. Arrived at Chicago, 1004 miles from Buffalo, this morning at 1/4 of 6 a.m. My state room mates were a very clever set of fellows. Upon our arrival Mr. Blakey of Chicago, Mr. J.C. Reynolds of St. Louis, Mr. Thomas Wright of England, and Mr. M. Normandy of Ireland and myself all went up to the American Temperance House and took lodgings. After which Messrs. Wright, Reynolds, Blakey and myself took a walk around town. It appears to be beautifully laid out. The Streets are all very wide and cross each other at right angles. They are not paved, and the sand is full and plentiful in them. They remind me very much of Jersey. The sidewalks are all planked, no stone or bricks being at hand. The buildings generally are of frame, but there are many built of brick both private and public.
I noticed a number of fine churches, among which was a very large Catholic church. The town appears to be rapidly improving, and is destined to be one of the greatest cities in the West. Mr. Normandy and I visited the large steamer Empire this morning. She is a magnificent affair, her upper cabin is 230 feet long.
After breakfast hired a horse and carriage and rode round to see the town, and then went in pursuit of Miss Anna C. Mulford who lives about 10 miles from Chicago, for whom I had a letter from Mr. Welch. The ride was very pleasant, the greater part of it being through the prairie, and the roads very fine. I found the house without much difficulty. It was a neat two story frame House, and very neatly furnished. Found the young lady in and very agreeable and intelligent. She was inclined to be pretty.
In the afternoon employed myself in trying to sell some of the teeth, also wrote a letter to Ma and to Jim Welch. The evening was employed writing this journal, and with a dentist making a sale of some teeth.
16 July 1846. Got up this morning about 2 a.m., and at 1/2 past 3 a.m. started in the stage for Galena. Arrived at Oak Ridge, 10 miles from Chicago, at 5 a.m. almost frozen, went to a fire they had in the store and found it very comfortable. The roads were very rough so far.
Arrived at Naperville at which place I had an excellent breakfast; had some very fine prairie hens. Breakfast only 25 cents, everything clean and neat. Naperville is quite a small village. Arrived at Aurora and changed horses and stage here. After leaving Aurora, passing down a steep hill in making a short turn, broke the Key bolt of the stage. Happily we had another with us. By the aid of some plying with rails, &c., we soon got on our way. Had a very fast and good natured driver out of Aurora.
Arrived at Shabney's Grove, a Country house 68 miles from Chicago on the verge of the prairie in a small grove of wood at 20 minutes of 5 p.m. and took dinner, washed and cleaned up from the dust. Have a beautiful view of the prairie from this House. Had good, clean and comfortable dinner.
Left Shabney's Grove at 1/4 of 6 p.m. and rode through a beautiful rolling prairie, and continued until after dark when night closed the scene and we continued on our journey in the dark. The country through which we passed today was very beautiful, being rich rolling Prairie Land, and a considerable portion of it under a high state of cultivation. The crops all look remarkably fine and very heavy. There is a great deal more of this prairie land under cultivation than I expected to see. The fields of corn, wheat, rye and oats in this quarter are immense. I never saw anything to equal them in the East. The roads over these prairies are very fine, being as level as a floor and hard as a turnpike. The passengers in the stage were quite agreeable with the exception of two children, sons of a Mr. Preston who lives in Iowa territory. Mr. Preston was quite agreeable.
17 July 1846. Night clear and cold. Arrived at Dixon on the Rock River, 120 miles from Chicago at 2 a.m., after riding all night without much sleep. Crossed the Rock River in a flat boat, and rode 12 miles to Sterling. Had a very rough breakfast at the "Rapids House," not very clean or inviting, but it tasted very well after riding all night. Arrived at Fulton on the Mississippi River, a very small town 50 miles from Galena, at 10 a.m. This is the place we take the boat for Galena.
The County is very fine, and as you approach the Mississippi River it becomes much more hilly and picturesque. We have been waiting at this miserable place (Fulton) for the boat to arrive to take us up the River since 10 a.m. to the time of present writing, 7 p.m. For some unknown cause, we have been disappointed. It is supposed she has either run aground or busted up. Our prospects at present are very dreary and we do not know how soon we shall be able to get off.
I got a boat this afternoon and rowed across the Mississippi River to a place called Lyons in Iowa Territory, remained about 1/2 hour and then returned.
In crossing the prairies saw great quantities of game, Prairie hens, quail, rabbits, lark, and in fact every kind of game was in the greatest plenty. They would come so close to the stage that you could almost knock them down with a stick. Went out this afternoon to try to shoot something, had nothing but my pistols. Saw plenty of game but could not shoot it not having a gun. My friend Mr. Reynolds had a gun and shot some.
About 1/2 past 8 p.m. we heard the joyful sound of "the boat is coming" and at first were not disposed to believe it but in a few minutes heard her "puff" when of course we were sure she was running. Her delay was on account of some derangement in her machinery. Her name was the Governor Briggs, a small and light draught. Her accommodations were poor for coming up at night. However at about 9 o'clock started in her.
After she started I prepared for sleep by putting my carpet bags for a pillow on a hard settee, and laid down for the night and slept soundly, not having had any of much account since 1 1/2 o'clock Thursday last.
18 July 1846. Went out on deck and found the boat moored to the side of the bank, where she had been lying for some time, on account of the fog which prevented her from running. However in a short time the fog cleared off and we started on our way. The scenery along the Mississippi River is very beautiful. On either side are high bluffs giving the scene a picturesque and elegant appearance.
Entered the Fever River, a narrow and crooked stream, at about 1/2 past 7, and after some difficulty in making the various turns in the river, arrived at Galena at 1/2 past 8 a.m. Went up to the "American House" with Mr. Reynolds and took Lodgings, this being the Best House in the place. Galena is situated on the Fever River about 7 miles from where it empties into the Mississippi and about 7 miles south of Wisconsin Territory, and in Jo Daviess County [Illinois].
There is considerable amount of business done in this place, and on the principal business street there appears to be as much bustle as in any of the principal business streets in Philadelphia. The houses in town are principally of frame, but there are many fine brick stores and dwellings, and many in the course of erection. The town is surrounded by immense hills, those back of the town are but a very short distance from it, not over a quarter of a mile. These hills are covered with beautiful residences, many built in a neat cottage style. They all have a commanding view of the Country around which is beautiful indeed. These hills I suppose are 200 feet above the level of the River.
The principal part of the town is on one street which extends for over a mile. There is another street directly back of it on which the churches are built, which are very neat structures with small steeples. There are also many fine houses on this Street.
Galena is in the midst of the lead region, and you see immense quantities of it drawn through the streets by teams of Oxen, from 2 to 6 yoke. The levee is covered with pig lead.
In the afternoon I got a horse and wagon and Mr. J.C. Reynolds and myself took a ride out to see the various mining operations going as for lead in the vicinity. It appeared that all the hills around the country have been dug into for lead, and many fruitless attempts have been made to find the ore. It appears they dig a hole anywhere in the earth in search of ore, and after digging some distance, if none is found, they abandon the place and go to another until some is found. We visited a number of the "diggings," as they are here called, and got some specimens of the lead. Also visited a smelting furnace, and saw the operation of smelting the ore performed, which is very simple. It is first thoroughly washed in a running stream, and then thrown in an excessively hot furnace which melts the lead out, and that runs into an iron pot, from which it is ladled out and poured into molds which form it into what is called "pig lead" and is ready for transportation.
I went out alone to see "Sander's Diggings" which are the most extensive in this vicinity. These diggings extend down into the ground some 100 feet perpendicular, and then branch off.
My position at this place is very uncertain as I do not know at what time I shall be able to leave. There are no boats here and no telling how soon there will be any, there are two expected. I am very anxious to leave but will have to take it cool and wait the pleasure of the boats.
19 July 1846. Went over to a small Presbyterian Church on the back street with Mr. Reynolds, heard a very good sermon by Mr. Young. Church out about 1/4 of 12 a.m. then went over to the hotel and remained lolling about until about 1/4 of 4 p.m. Started to go to Church, but found they were all closed, so meeting a friend of Mr. Reynolds concluded to take a walk up on the hills back of the town.
Upon arriving at the top of the hill took a walk into the grave yard belonging to the city. It is beautifully situated directly on top of the hill. While there a funeral came in of a young lady of about 18 which we attended and heard the ceremony.
Returned to the Hotel until about 7, when Mr. Reynolds and I took a walk and attended the new Presbyterian Church and heard a very good sermon. On the opposite side of the river to the main town there are many very pretty residences & also a very pretty Catholic Church.
After Church returned to the Hotel and I had just gone up to my room when Mr. Reynolds came and knocked at my door and told me that a boat had arrived, and we had better go down and see what one it was. I accordingly went down with him and found it to be the Governor Briggs from Albany. But she reported two boats coming up, the Uncle Toby and the Cumberland Valley so I suppose we shall get off tomorrow.
After learning the above facts returned to the Hotel and on my way up saw a grand Irish spree(16) and fight in passing a grog shop.
20 July 1846. Got up this morning at 1/2 past 5, dressed and went down to the River to see what boats had come in during the night. Found that both the Cumberland Valley and the Uncle Toby had arrived but the first named boat had left again. Saw the captain and he told me that the Toby would not leave for St. Louis before tomorrow evening, as she was obliged to go up to Du Buque and Potosi first and then return.
Upon going up to the Hotel found my friend Reynolds had resolved to go up to Du Buque and Potosi in the boat to pass away time, as we were both heartily tired of remaining in Galena. So as soon as breakfast was over had our baggage put upon the boat, and at 8 a.m. left Galena for Du Buque, Iowa Territory.
We were 1 hour and 20 minutes before we reached the Mississippi River then took in tow a keel boat loaded with a variety of articles: hogs, pigs, pots, pans, jugs, corn, &c.
The scenery along the River is very beautiful and along the Iowa side there are many high bluffs presenting a beautiful and picturesque appearance. There are also a great number of very beautiful Islands along the River.
Arrived at the slough which runs up to Du Buque at 20 m. of 1 p.m. The River being so low we were not able to go up and had to land on an Island on the Mississippi River, walk across it and then be conveyed in a small boat to the main Land. Du Buque is a very pretty and thriving place situated in Iowa Territory.
There are many large brick store houses, and there appears to be an active business carried on. The stores are generally large, and have fine stocks of goods. The main street is a fine wide one, and was in the course of grading and leveling. The soil is sandy and the streets are not paved which rendered it very hot.
There are several horse powered ferry boats plying between Du Buque and the Wisconsin shore. Just after leaving Du Buque the scenery along the Wisconsin shore is very beautiful being high rocky bluffs resembling greatly the Palisades on the Hudson just after leaving New York.
At 5 1/4 p.m. entered what is termed the swift slough, which leads into the river front on which Potosi is situated. Just after entering the slough struck a log which twisted and threw the boat considerably on her side, it however gave no damage.
Potosi is situated in what is called "Snake Hollow." It is between a range of high Hills, and extends scattered along the hollow for about 2 1/2 miles, the principal part of the town is about 2 miles from the landing. The houses principally are of log, though there are a number of very pretty bricks and frames. The "Wisconsin House," a hotel, is quite a large and pretty brick Building, decidedly the largest Building in the place. There is but one Street that runs directly through the town.
Potosi's principal trade is in lead, though considerable other trade is carried on. The Catholics through these towns appear to have a strong footing, even in this place they have a church, though built of logs. We shall be under the necessity of lying here until morning, as we have considerable lead to take on board and a keel boat to unload. I am much pleased with the officers and boat.
The table is excellent, everything neat and clean and the cooking very good. Had a very nice dinner and supper, superior by far to that at the "American House" at Galena. I went to bed about 1/2 past 9, and Mr. Reynolds went out gigging fish with the clerk of the boat. No doubt they will have luck.
21 July 1846. Got up this morning at about 1/2 past 5, not having had a very good night's sleep on account of the mosquitoes.
23 July 1846. Slept very uncomfortably last night, got up this morning about 1/2 past 2 & slept in an arm chair in the cabin, took a nap in my berth about 1 o'clock this morning. The boat laid at the head of the rapids all last night and until 1/4 of 9 this morning, having to put the freight off the steamer into the keel boats in tow, so as to be able to go over the rapids.
Just after starting ran into a rock which jarred the boat considerably but did no damage. Passed a small town called Bryan. Stopped at a small town called Hampton on the Illinois side. One of our flat boats got ashore, and for this reason, together with the wind blowing hard we were obliged to be here all day and not likely to leave until tomorrow morning early.
The company is good, and the table excellent, so we spent a very pleasant day. Shortly after stopping at Hampton Mr. Reynolds, Mr. S.A. Nicholson of New York, the Misses Mary and Elizabeth Leffingwell of Bloomington, Iowa, two very pleasant young ladies, as well as intelligent and one quite pretty, and myself went on shore and took a stroll along the beach to hunt cornelians,(17) and succeeded in finding a number. On our return stopped in at a pottery, saw their mystery of making jugs, and then returned to the boat. Took a swim off of the keel boat then took a nap until about 1/2 past 4, when I got up and played whist until supper time with the two Misses Leffingwell and Mr. Reynolds.
After tea Mr. Reynolds, Mr. S. A. Nicholson, Mr. M. Hempstead of Galena, the two Misses Leffingwell, two gentlemen and myself got the yawl belonging to the ship and took a row down the Mississippi. Passed the evening playing whist. I admire Miss Elizabeth Leffingwell the most, as she appears to have a better disposition than her sister, and is certainly the prettiest.
24 July 1846. Got up this morning at 4 o'clock, at which time we left Hampton to proceed over the rapids. Just after leaving Hampton noticed on the Illinois side a very pretty little town called Moleen [Moline]. It is beautifully situated, and has been built within the last five years. It has quite a large mill, which receives its power from the Mississippi, which is dammed up between the main shore and an Island opposite to the town. Got safely over the rapids with but one rub and arrived at the pretty town of Rock Island, which has 1,200 inhabitants, a very pretty Court House and a number of fine buildings. The town is very much scattered, and do not think it is much of a business place.
Left Rock Island at 1/2 past 6 a.m. & proceeded directly across the River to the beautiful town of Davenport, Iowa. The situation of this town, though directly opposite Rock Island, is much prettier. It is beautifully laid out with many fine brick houses, and also a fine large brick Hotel called La Clare House. I should judge there was more business in this town than in the town opposite. The country surrounding it is much finer and is in a higher state of cultivation. I noticed, in passing down the river, that the land on the Iowa side appears to be superior to that on the Illinois. Just before arriving at Rock Island noticed old fort Stevenson, used some years ago in the Indian troubles.
Was much amused, as well as the rest of the passengers, at a fellow who happened to be left at Rock Island. He chased the boat for about 2 miles along the shore hollering and bellowing like an Indian waving his coat &c., and withal barefooted with nothing but rocks to run on. The captain would not stop for some time, but since some of our passengers had gone down the river in the yawl, he was obliged to stop for them, and the poor fellow got on board nearly worn out. He was made more mad by two fellows charging him 4 bits to bring him on board.
The scenery along the river is very fine particularly along the Iowa side, being a rich rolling country and under a high state of cultivation. Stopped on the Iowa side to wood about 1/2 past 10 a.m. which detained us about an hour. Went on shore and took a walk around.
Arrived at Bloomington, Iowa. This place is very pretty and situated with a high hill in the South. The town is rather scattered but has many fine brick buildings with pillars in front and presents a fine view from the river. Remained here but 15 minutes which, however, gave us some little time to go up into town and look around. The streets are not paved and are very rough and uneven. The Misses Leffingwell left us at this place, which I regretted exceedingly as I found them to be very agreeable and good company. They reside at Bloomington.
New Baltimore, Illinois. They have quite a pretty Baptist Church which looks quite pretty from the River. It has a cupola, covered with tar or some bright substance which presents a fine appearance in the sun. Remained but a few minutes. I had hardly time to run to the top of the bluff when the boat started and I came near losing my passage, but with a wet foot succeeded in getting on board. The sand in this place is about 6 inches deep, and I do not see how the inhabitants get along through it.
Just after leaving New Baltimore the clerk put a man ashore who seemed disposed not to pay his passage. He said he had no money, but when he found they were in earnest about putting him ashore he offered to pay but it was then too late.
The scenery after leaving New Baltimore is beautiful indeed. On either side of the River is an immense forest of lofty trees, while its bosom is covered with many beautiful Islands. After supper I took a chair and sat in the fore part of the boat until near dark, watching and delighted at the beautiful panorama passing before me.
Arrived at Burlington, Iowa about 1/4 past 10 p.m. From what I could learn from others this is decidedly the prettiest town we have passed through since leaving Potosi. There are many fine large store houses, all apparently of brick. The town is beautifully situated and does considerable business. Walked up as far as the "Bath House," a very fine and large Hotel. Left Burlington at about 11 p.m., and proceeded down the River, expect to arrive at the head of the lower rapids by daylight.
25 July 1846. Arrived at Montrose, Iowa, at the head of the lower rapids. After breakfast one of the passengers and myself took the ferry and went over to Nauvoo, to see the great temple of the Mormons. The situation of the City itself is very beautiful being on a very flat piece of ground considerably elevated above the River. The Houses generally are of brick and are scattered over an area of some 4 miles square, this being the size of the corporate limits of the City. It presents a dull and deserted appearance, there being no stir of business, caused no doubt from the frequent trouble with the people of the County.
The Temple(18) is situated on a high and commanding hill at the distance of about 1 1/2 miles from the landing. The site is beautiful, and the height of the hill above the level of the River is 100 feet.
After a fatiguing walk, reached the object of our destination. The temple is built of a kind of white stone, dressed, and is four stories high, surmounted by a beautiful tower, with a dome over 200 feet high. The sides of the building are finished with pilasters extending to the roof, and capped with singular carved heads. The interior is reached by a flight of stone steps which lead to three arched entrances, which pass you into a lofty and large vestibule.
We were met with the attendant of the temple who showed us through every part. We first entered the lower hall, a large and spacious room fitted up with benches and the backs of them can be changed at will to face either way. On either end of the room are four rows or tiers of box-shaped seats marked in part with letters denoting the order of the priests who occupied them. On either side there are six large columns. The ceiling is of the rotunda order, and I judge the room is a fine one for speaking. We next descended to the basement of the building which is paved entirely with brick. In the center is the baptismal font in the shape of a large bowl carved out of an immense block of stone which rests on the backs of 12 oxen, also carved out of large blocks of stone. Each animal is of the size of life. The font is reached on either side by a flight of stone steps with iron railings. On either side of the font are small rooms fitted up as dressing rooms for persons after baptisms. After satisfying our curiosity in this part of the building we ascended on a circular stair case to the rooms in the second story. These rooms are on both sides of the half circle made by the arch of the rotunda of the room beneath. They extend the whole length of the building and are intended as class rooms for Sunday school children. They are lighted by windows of a circular form, resembling port holes. Above these rooms is another large one not finished, but when completed will resemble the lower one first described, and to be used for the same purpose.
We then ascended the fourth story. This room is quite a large one and is to be occupied as a school. On either side are a number of small apartments fitted up for class rooms. This suite of rooms are lighted from the roof. We next ascended into the tower which is gained by some half dozen very steep flights of stairs. At the head of the second flight there is a very neatly finished room to be used as the receptacle of the bell. The view from the tower is beautiful. Indeed you are 168 feet above the ground on which the temple is situated and about 268 feet above the level of the river. You have a fine view of the mighty Mississippi as it takes its serpentine course through the country, with a beautiful rolling country on the other side. Directly beneath you lies the town of Nauvoo, with its houses scattered in every direction, while further back you have a beautiful view of rich rolling prairie country.
The descent from the top of the winding staircase is 80 feet. The size of this building is 87 feet front by 128 feet deep, and it is said to have cost $1,000,000.
After registering our names, and paying our attendant 25 cents each, left for the ferry and after some little detention succeeded in getting over just in time to be placed on the keel boat Corporal Teine, to be conveyed over the rapids. The Captain, having obliged all the passengers except the ladies, had taken all baggage and everything movable off the boat so that she would not stick in passing over the rapids. I should have preferred going down by land in a carriage, but having gone over to Nauvoo lost my chance, and was obliged to undergo the unpleasant task of floating some 12 miles down the Mississippi in a burning sun on a flat boat.
Started at 1/2 past 9 a.m. with a keel and flat boat lashed together loaded with pig lead, the baggage of the passengers and a number of passengers on board. The keel was a covered boat, inside of which the most of us took shelter from the burning rays of the sun. Got along admirably until near our journey's end, a very swift part of the rapids where the current runs at the rate of about 10 miles an hour called "Sucker Shoot." At this place the Steamer Time was aground directly in the channel, and in endeavoring to pass her, we came in contact. In an instant the whole covering of the boat came down with a crash, burying those underneath and injuring them severely. I was sitting talking with several gentlemen in the bow of the boat, though under the covering when the accident occurred. Immediately on hearing the crash we bounded out and jumped into the flat boat thus saving ourselves severe injury. Some of them jumped onto the steamer as we swept by, all of whom jumped back except one. We supposed him lost during the afternoon until about 6 p.m. when he returned unhurt. There were several of the passengers severely hurt, among whom was an old man and his wife. The former I do not think will get over it. It is supposed several of his ribs are broken, and his kidneys severely injured. He appears to be in great pain and I do not think can last long.
I thank God for preserving me from the injury received by the old man, for but a short time before I occupied the same position he did. One of the passengers made a wonderful escape. He was sitting directly under the falling timbers, in a rocking chair. The rocking chair was completely broken up and he not hurt at all. I received but two slight bruises, one on each wrist, and I thank God that I escaped. The greatest consternation prevailed for a while: the crying of those under the fallen deck, and the hollering of the hands that we were sinking. The rush of the water made it truly awful for a while, and to make our situation more perilous the keel boat sprang a leak and for a while thought we should all go down, but by timely application of coats, &c. in the stave [hole] prevented the water from filling us. If the keel should of happened to sink, I have no doubt many would have been drowned. The water varies from 3 to 10 feet in depth and runs at this point at about the rate of 10 miles per hour. The descent of these rapids is 22 feet in 12 miles and the descent of the upper rapids is 24 feet in 18 miles.
We arrived at Keokuk where we found the steamer at 1/2 past 1. After a trip of some 4 hours on the keel boat, such another I do not wish to have again. This town is of but little note, situated directly on the brink of the river with immense hills directly back of it. The buildings are of but little importance, principally old frames. There is a Hotel at this place but should judge not much of one. The hands were employed all the afternoon in removing the lead from the flats to the keel and steamboat, and removing the rubbish from the keel. My friends Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Nicholas and Dr. Osgood left me this morning, though I may meet Reynolds and Osgood again.
Left Keokuk at 1/2 past 9 p.m., and about 1/4 past 10 p.m. arrived at Warsaw, another small town of but little importance.
26 July 1846. Passed Tully City, Missouri, early this morning and also passed La Grange, Missouri. Arrived at Quincy, Illinois, one of the prettiest towns on the Mississippi River, at about 20 m. past 8 a.m. The situation of it is beautiful. The town lies back from the river, on the top of a hill the level of which extends back for some distance. The streets are wide and cross each other at right angles, and the buildings and store houses are generally fine. There is a public square and many beautiful private residences. Noticed several neat churches with spires. The principal trade of this town is produce with the country back of it. It has a beautiful levee and several fine streets, beautifully graded, running up to the town, all of which had to be cut through the hill. The distance from the landing to the top of the hill, where the town lies, is over a quarter of a mile.
My friends Dr. Osgood and Mr. Reynolds came on board again at Quincy having come the whole distance from Keokuk to Quincy, 40 miles, in a skiff. About 11 a.m. ran aground and laid for about an hour and a half. When the lead from the boat was removed into one of the keels, we succeeded in getting off. Passed Marion City,(19) Illinois, a small town consisting of but few houses and of but little importance. This is the celebrated town of Dr. Ely(20) of Philadelphia.
At 1/2 past 1 p.m. passed a very pretty little town called Hannibal. It is in Missouri. The Buildings seen from the River are fine looking and generally of brick. Did not stop. At 6 p.m. passed the town of Louisiana, Missouri. Stopped to wood several times today, and are now wooding at 7 3/4 p.m. from an island on the Illinois shore. I have just been ashore and took a stroll through the mighty forest at this place. Nothing is to be seen in the way of a house except the wood choppers' huts built of logs. I forgot to mention that we passed a very pretty town called La Grange, Missouri. Arrived at Clarksville.
27 July 1846. So warm last night I laid on the cabin floor. Passed the mouth of the Illinois River at 6 1/2 a.m., it is 40 miles from St. Louis and its mouth is marked on the South side by two immense bluffs. Commencing at the mouth of the Illinois River are a range of high rocky bluffs ranging from 50 to 150 feet high presenting a grand & picturesque sight. Many of these bluffs are so arranged by nature that they look as though they had a part cut out so as to form immense pillars to support the towering rocks above.
Alton Illinois. Did not go on shore it being so excessively warm. The town lies principally on the river with many fine store houses. The levee is quite steep and covered with stone. Noticed the penitentiary, a six story building built of stone with a high wall on the north side of an immense bluff.
After reaching the mouth of the Missouri River, which we passed at 1/4 of 10 a.m., both the country and the river change their appearance altogether. On either side the shore presents a dead level, and the water of the river changes from a pure clear stream to a thick muddy one. On taking up the water in a glass it looks more like clay and water mixed together, but the inhabitants seem to relish it. When both streams are of equal height, the water of the Mississippi on the Illinois side preserves its natural color, while that of the Missouri side is of the nasty mud color, and continues all the year round.
Arrived at St. Louis, Missouri at about 1/4 of 12 a.m. This is a place of considerable importance and of great business. Its situation is quite high, and has a fine levee. The streets in the lower part of town are narrow, the part laid out by the French, but as you go back the streets are wide and beautiful with fine private residences, many equal to those in Philadelphia. The store houses, generally speaking, are fine brick Buildings. Upon my arrival went up to the "Planters House," the finest (it is said) Hotel in the place. It certainly is very large, being four squares around it, but as for the table, I will not say much.
After dressing, went down to dinner, after which went down to the River and engaged my passage on board the Steamer Saluda to start for Cincinnati tomorrow. Spent the rest of the afternoon in trying to make sale of some of the teeth but with little success. In the evening called down to see Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Mitchell at the "City Hotel" found them in and well, remained about an hour. At 6 1/12 p.m., in an unexposed spot, the thermometer stood at 97¡.
28 July 1846. Clear and excessively hot all day. It was beyond all endurance until after I left St. Louis. The thermometer must have stood 100¡ in the shade. It seemed as if I would melt, and it was out of the question to walk about. If this is the kind of weather they have at St. Louis I should not want to live there. From all I could learn they have been favored with it for the last 6 weeks.
I got up early this morning before it became so excessively warm and took a walk up along the levee to see some of the large steamers. Went on board of the steamers J.M. White and Maria, two of the largest boats on the Mississippi River.
After breakfast attended to some little business when I returned to the Hotel and met Theodore Mitchell. He and I went over to the Court House which is now in course of erection and new modeling. The rotunda of the building is very beautiful and the largest in the United States with the exception of that of the Capitol at Washington. The court rooms are fine, large and airy, far superior to those in Philadelphia both in regard to size and accommodations. After going through the building ascended to the top of the dome from which you have a beautiful view of the City of St. Louis and surrounding country, together with the Mississippi River as it wends through the Country.
Went down to the Steamer Saluda, it being near 10 o'clock, the time she was advertised to start. She however did not get off at the time. Mitchell afterward came down to the boat when he, Mr. Wilkinson of Philadelphia, and myself went up to the "Empire" and took a "Cherry cobbler." From there went up to the post office where I received a letter from Ma, and then returned to the boat where we remained until the time of starting.
The scenery on the River after leaving St. Louis on the Missouri side is very fine for some 30 or 40 miles, being composed of high, rocky and picturesque bluffs, after which the country becomes low on either side of the river and uninteresting. At 10 m. of 2 p.m. passed Jefferson Barracks 12 miles below St. Louis. Forty miles below St. Louis passed the wreck of the West Wind, and in a few minutes afterward passed the Steamer George Washington going up. Passed St. Genavee, a town of little importance.
Arrived & stopped at Chester, 80 miles below St. Louis on the Illinois side. It is a poor looking place.
The boat I am on, the Saluda, is rather a fine and roomy one, her table is not very good though passable. There are over 100 passengers, many have to lie on the floor. I was fortunate enough to get a state room. Am in hopes the table will improve. The supper was much better than the dinner. There are two Philadelphians on board besides myself, with whom I have become acquainted and am not at a loss for company; names: Messrs. Wilkinson & Rawne.
29 July 1846. Got up this morning at 4 a.m., and after partly dressing, went out to take the luxury of a morning wash, but quickly, in the Mississippi River. I would as leave wash in a mud puddle. It would certainly be as refreshing and clean. The water seems so thick that you can almost stir it with a stick and this is what we have to drink and wash in. The inhabitants say it is fine and prefer it to any other. Every man to his taste, but thanks to the Steamer she will soon convey us into the Ohio River and we will once more have passable water.
Entered the mouth of the Ohio River at 6 a.m. The change in the appearance of the water attracts the eye of the stranger. From a mud hole, as it were, you get into a clear and placid spring. At the mouth of the river on the Missouri side, I noticed the new town called Ohio. It is as yet not much of a place, but have no doubt it will some day become something, if it does not follow in the footsteps of the noted City opposite, namely the town of Cairo. This place was laid out to be a large City, but, as it is, there are nothing but a few houses scattered along the shore. There are two large buildings among them, a large Hotel, built I believe of wood, and a large foundry built of brick. Just after entering the mouth of the River passed the Steamer Star Spangled Banner bound down.
Arrived at Paducah, Kentucky. It is situated quite high and has a number of fine brick store houses along the river. The Steamer Meteor passed us going up, being rather faster than we are. Arrived at Smithland at the mouth of the Cumberland River, Kentucky. After leaving this town had to pass over a very bad sand bar, one of the worst on the river. We succeeded in getting over safely, though at times making a very close shave, the water being at times only 4 1/2 feet, and our boat drawing nearly 4 feet. Passed a small town called Elizabeth.
The scenery along the Ohio River is flat and uninteresting until you arrive at Paducah, when the shore on the Illinois side rises into high rocky and picturesque bluffs. Before reaching this point the shore on either side is covered with heavy timber. About 1/2 past 7 p.m. stopped at what is called the "Robbers Cave." It is a cave of considerable size and was occupied some years ago by a band of robbers. About 8 p.m. had a big heavy blow and rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning. Am still very much dissatisfied with the fare on board of this boat. It is actually miserable and shall be glad when I get off.
30 July 1846. Passed Anderson, Kentucky. Stopped at Evansville, Indiana, 200 miles from the mouth of the Ohio River or half way to Louisville at 1/4 of 8 a.m. This is a very pretty place with a high situation. Little after 9 a.m. passed the Steamer Lehigh bound for Cincinnati from St. Louis. She started some 20 hours before us. At 1/2 past 9 a.m. stopped at the mouth of the Green River, Kentucky. The beautiful green water pouring into the muddy water of the Ohio soon attracts the eye of the passer. Passed the town of Owensboro and Hansville.
Went up on the hurricane deck after supper, where I remained until about 1/2 past 8. Found the scenery beautiful and the air delightful. To make it more pleasant we were favored with the gentle light of the moon. Many of the ladies were also up there. The scenery along the Ohio today has been at times beautiful. High hills covered with heavy timber would glide by while ever an anon, a richly cultivated piece of ground would show itself in the valley.
Met considerable rise in the river this morning, they say about 8 feet, which I am very glad to see as it will make our passage more certain. The table and board still continue to be miserable, and the most of the passengers are complaining. There has been no milk or cream since the first night of starting, and butter strong enough to draw a wagon. Dirt abounds, really I should like to keel haul the Stewart. We have some of the most profane characters on board of this boat I have met for a long while, one of them is playing cards now behind me, cursing, swearing and using the most indecent language possible. Cannot say much for the beauty of the ladies on board, there are but three even passable and those three I believe are from Kentucky. Shall be very glad to get off this boat, both on account of the company and table. I have some idea of leaving at Louisville.
31 July 1846. When I got up found the boat lying fast to the shore at the foot of an immense hill, where we had been lying since 1 o'clock this morning on account of a dense fog. About 1 p.m. had a tremendous blow and shower of rain which continued for more than an hour. For a while I feared it would overturn the boat, as we had but very little freight, and considerable upper work, but by keeping the head of the boat well on, succeeded in weathering it out. Stopped at Brandensburg. The situation of this town is very high, being on top of a very high hill. It is, however, beautiful. Wooded at the mouth of Salt River, Kentucky at 11 a.m. This is the great river where all politicians are rowed up; it is 20 miles below Louisville. Became acquainted with a Mr. Levitt of Quincy, Illinois. He introduced me to his wife. Found them both to be remarkably pleasant and agreeable. They introduced me to a Miss Carlisle who has been residing at St. Louis for the last 7 years and on her way to Louisville. She informed me she was formerly a native of Philadelphia. She is not pretty nor agreeable to me, and I was not at all pleased with her.
Passed the town of New Albany, Indiana. A great many steamboats are built at this place. Entered the mouth of the canal to go around the falls at 1/4 of 3 p.m. It extends for about 3 miles, and the principal part is cut through solid rock which must have cost an immense amount. The toll on steamers going through it is very heavy. To avoid the delay in going through the canal, which is generally three hours, Mr. Levitt, a Mr. Catherwood, also of Quincy, Illinois, and myself hired a carriage and rode up to Louisville where we arrived in about half an hour. Called upon Mr. and Mrs. Cassidy, neither of them were at home, but found Mrs. McNutt. While sitting talking with her, Mr. & Mrs. Cassedy came. Sat for an hour.
When fearing that the boat would leave me, went down to the river but found she had not arrived from through the canal. Went up and took a walk through the City, noticed many handsome buildings among which was the new Court House, a magnificent building. Went down to the river again, found the boat just coming in, it being nearly 3 hours from the time she had entered the canal. Had to land some 200 bales of hemp which detained us until about 9 o'clock when a dense fog sprang up, which lasted until about 11, when much to our surprise and delight it cleared off and we started for Cincinnati.
A white man in company with three Negroes (singular amalgamation for the South) came on board at Louisville and gave us some very good music during the evening which made the hours pass rather more pleasantly than they would otherwise of done.
1 August 1846. Passed Madison, Indiana; Carrelton, Kentucky; Warsaw, Indiana; Rising Sun, a fine town; Laurenburg, Indiana. At 3 p.m. 22 miles from Cincinnati. At 4 p.m. passed the late lamented Harrison's House. Noticed his tomb(21) on the top of a beautiful knoll from the river. The situation of his house is beautiful indeed, being in the midst of a beautiful grove. Arrived at Cincinnati at 1/2 past 6 p.m. and immediately took a carriage and went up to my Uncle's where I found my mother and sister in good health as well as my Uncle, Aunt(22) and Cousins. They all appeared glad to see me as was I to see them. My Cousins have all grown out of my recollection with the exception of Sarah, Lydia, Rebecca and John more particularly. Sarah and Mary I think quite pretty and fine looking. Remained during the evening talking over matters and things.
2 August 1846. After breakfast took a walk around and down to the post office. The City has improved vastly since I was last here. Noticed many beautiful buildings in my walk but hope to see more of the town tomorrow. In the morning attended "Presbyterian Church" with Cousin Sarah, Harrison, Ma, Lydia and some of the rest of the family. Heard a very excellent sermon.
In the afternoon cousins Sarah & Rebecca, sister Lydia and myself went up to the new Catholic Cathedral, a very large building recently erected and not yet finished. The interior is large and beautiful indeed. On either side of the church are 9 large Corinthian pillars, beautifully capped, which gives the whole a grand appearance. The altar is of white marble. There is a beautiful ceiling extending the whole distance across the church which is beautifully carved and gilded. This church has no galleries, with the exception of that occupied by the choir in which they have a large and magnificent organ. The building is of a dark stone and is to be surmounted with a steeple which is to have a chime of bells.
When the services of the Cathedral were over went to a small Episcopal Church where we met Ma and heard an excellent sermon. After tea sat talking on the steps with my Cousins Sarah and Mary, Ma and Lydia and a Mr. Thomas Browne, until Church time when Cousin Mary, Ma and I went down to an Episcopal Church on Fourth Street below Walnut, called St. Paul's Church. The interior arrangements of this church are very neat. The sermon was pretty good. I noticed today, with the exception of the Catholic Church, very small Congregations. Was introduced this morning to Miss Louisa Kirby, who I think quite pretty and agreeable in her manners, and in the short time I was in her company took a great fancy. Her manners are very agreeable and pleasing and withal full of life.
After our return from Church in the evening sat on the steps until about 1/2 past 10 talking as the evening was so clear, beautiful and moonlit.
3 August 1846. After breakfast went out to attend to some business, returned to Uncle's about 1/2 past 10, where I met Miss Louisa Kirby. A walk was proposed to visit the Bishop's House and Cathedral. Accordingly Cousins Sarah and Mary, Miss Kirby, Lydia and myself went. Did not find the occupant at home, but did find a priest who fills his place when he is gone, whom they call Father Collins, a very agreeable, and as far as I could judge, an intelligent man. He was very communicative and gave me a full account of matters concerning the building of the Church. After passing through several of the rooms in the house, in one of which I noticed some very fine paintings, went into the Church. This is a magnificent Building. It is 155 feet long by 80 feet wide and will seat a large number of persons. On either side are 9 stone pillars, which add materially to beauty and grandeur of the church. The altar is of white Italian marble beautifully carved, and on either side, elevated from the body of the Church, are two galleries looking more like stage boxes for a theater than anything else. These are for the Sunday School children. In front of the altar is a beautiful railing of cast iron beautifully gilded. The organ is a very fine and large one.
After leaving the Cathedral went down to the Catholic Orphans' Asylum, where we were shown through a number of the rooms by one of the sisters. Among them are the dormitories which are furnished in a neat and clean manner. Also visited the school rooms.
After leaving the Orphans' Asylum, it being most too warm to walk, we returned as far as Mr. Fox's, who lives next door to Uncle's, and called on his daughter Miss Frances. She is quite pretty and agreeable. I found Miss L. Kirby very agreeable, and I do really think her one of the most pleasant, affable and agreeable young ladies I have met for a long while, and withal she is quite pretty.
Got an early tea so as to make a visit across the river in Covington, Kentucky with Cousin Mary and Miss Kirby. In crossing met a very pretty young lady, a Miss Jane Leathers, found her quite agreeable. Directed our foot steps over some rough hills and ravines and finally arrived at Mr. Robins' house which is a very beautiful one. Mrs. Robins was formerly a Miss Lynd, sister of Miss Kate Lynd, now Mrs. Snow. Had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Snow and her sister Mrs. Robins. We also had a delightful song from Mrs. Snow. Remained about a half hour during which time we had what might be termed a "rich time." Many queer things were said, and many hearty laughs were had.
After leaving called upon Miss Leathers, where we found several very pretty young ladies. Remained about 15 minutes then went down to the ferry and crossed to Cincinnati again. In crossing, we were amused with two couples of ladies and gentlemen, who seemed to be very affectionate in encircling each other in their arms.
On our way home stopped at "Louderbachs" and took some ice cream. Really this was one of the most delightful, though curious, evenings I ever spent. Miss Kirby is a charming young lady, and makes everything pass agreeably. She makes many queer remarks calculated to enliven the most sedate company, and make herself agreeable in any company. After arriving home she played several very pretty airs and sang some fine songs, and then left for home with her cousin. She lives about five miles from town.
4 August 1846. Out during all the morning running about to attend to some business, and in walks visited the new College(23) Building at the corner of 4th and Walnut streets in which the "Mercantile Library Association"(24) has their rooms. These are fitted up neatly but not so large as those in Philadelphia.
At about 4 p.m. Cousin Sarah and I rode up the river for about a mile and a half and then turned up an immense hill called "Mount Harrison," on the top of which lives Mr. Morgan and family. Found Mr. Morgan and his daughter Elizabeth at home. She is quite pretty and very agreeable, has very beautiful black eyes, and has such manners as to win the attention of a gentleman. Remained about 3/4 of an hour and then started for town again, but had not gone far before we met Mrs. Morgan and her daughter Cornelia Pendleton, who has been married since I saw her last.
About 1/2 past 9 four couples, that is Mr. & Mrs. Beggs, Cousin Mary and Mr. Champion, Mr. Browne and sister Lydia, Cousin Sarah and myself, all went down to a very handsome ice cream saloon at 4th St. to get some ice cream.
5 August 1846. Out during the morning and during my rambles visited the new College in which the "Mercantile Library Company" has rooms. Went up on top of the College from which you have a fine view of Cincinnati and surrounding country. About 3 p.m. Aunt, Cousin Lydia, Ma, sister Lydia, Cousin May and myself started out to take a ride over Mount Auburn and pay a visit to Mr. & Mrs. Kirby and daughter.
Had a very pleasant ride out, and from the top of the mount had a beautiful view of Cincinnati with the beautiful hills which surround it on all sides. Spent a very pleasant time.
Just before leaving Miss Kirby proposed a little foot race with me which I readily acceded to knowing her intention. Did not run but out of sight of the house, when she took my arm and we had a delightful moonlight stroll, which I regretted exceedingly could not have been longer than it was, as her company was so agreeable to me. I felt quite melancholy when I came to bid her good bye as her charming ways and pretty looks have made quite an impression upon me.
After proceeding about a mile and a half on our way home the carriage that Ma was riding in drove up when she told us she had forgotten her cap. I, being glad of the chance of seeing Miss Kirby again, hurried back and in short time found ourselves at the door of her father's beautiful mansion, much to her surprise. We kept her in suspense for a while then told her our errand. Remained about 15 minutes, and had her sing one of her beautiful songs. Left for town, first having tried to prevail on her to go in with us, but could not get her to go farther than the gate, at the same time stating she would like to go but her parents would not let her.
6 August 1846. Got up this morning at 5 o'clock, packed up my trunks, and after breakfast attended to some little business. Shortly after 8 o'clock the omnibus called for us to convey us to the Rail Road depot, in which, after bidding our relatives good bye, were conveyed to the cars.
At 9 a.m. left Cincinnati for Xenia, passed Milford, a place near Mainville, and several others. Arrived at Xenia at l/2 past 1 p.m. This place is 65 miles by Rail Road from Cincinnati, and is a town of considerable importance. It is quite a pretty place and contains some fine buildings, though most of the buildings of the town are frame. Dined here at "Merrick's Hotel." The dinner was a miserable affair, and I think we must have got into the wrong house. They had rather a novel affair for keeping the flies off of the table, a kind of a swinging machine worked by hand with towels attached.
Left Xenia at 1/2 past 2 p.m. in a stage well filled for Columbus, South London, Charleston, Jefferson.
Arrived at Columbus, the Capital of Ohio, at 1/2 past 11 p.m. after a very dusty and tiresome ride. But we were in some measure repaid by being landed at one of the finest Hotels west of the Mountains, called the "Neil House." It occupies a whole block and has fine airy rooms. The building is 5 stories high and is built of brick. They gave us a very good supper.
The country through which we passed by the route of the Rail Road was very beautiful being nearly all the way along the banks of the Little Miami. The country was also very beautiful after leaving Xenia, and until our arrival at Columbus, but not very rich.
7 August 1846. Took a little walk round to see the town which is beautifully laid out with wide streets, fine buildings, &c. Left Columbus for the stage to Cleveland at 1/4 of 9 a.m. and after a dusty ride arrived at a small town called Galena, 22 miles from Columbus, vastly different from Galena, Illinois.
Arrived at Sunbury at 2 p.m. This is a place of considerable size, and quite a pretty town. There are many very pretty Buildings. Took dinner at this town, but a miserable affair. They, however, did not neglect to charge enough for it.
Left at 1/4 of 3 p.m. for Mount Vernon. On our road at a place we stopped to water was much amused with a company of "Buckeyes" mustered for militia training. Their dress was of a very singular style, indeed many of them had not any uniform at all. Just as we drove up they marched off in single file, presenting a ludicrous appearance. There were not more than 4 or 5 muskets in the whole party, the remainder carried sticks.
Arrived at Mount Vernon. This is a town of considerable importance and of much business. The streets are wide and beautifully laid out. The population is about 3000. Stopped at the "Kenyan House" which appears to be well kept. They gave us a pretty good supper. Found it very acceptable after a long, warm and dusty day's ride.
The country passed through today was very hilly, and the land, according to my notice, poor, though I noticed some fine crops of corn and wheat. At 10 p.m. started on our journey again.
8 August 1846. About 1/2 past 12 a.m. changed horses 10 miles from Mount Vernon, at the "National Hotel." At 1/4 of 4 a.m. arrived at Loudenville, quite a pretty little village. This place is 22 miles from Mount Vernon, and 20 from Wooster. Arrived at Wooster at 1/4 past 7 a.m. rather fatigued from last night's ride, though we all slept pretty well as we were not much crowded. This is a place of considerable importance and contains about 3000 inhabitants. The streets are wide and well laid out, and they have a number of fine houses.
Changed stages and horses and took breakfast at the "American House" in this place. The breakfast pretty good. Wooster is 52 miles from Cleveland. From Wooster I rode on the box of the stage, and accidentally dropped my umbrella off, and in getting down to pick it up caught my finger in a piece of iron and cut a gash into the bone across the knuckle. At first thought it was broken and suffered considerably, but by application of laudanum(25) the pain ceased.
Passed through Jackson. Arrived at Medina 28 miles from Cleveland at 1/2 past 12 a.m. This is a town of considerable size and is quite a pretty place. It is the regular town to dine, but the passengers being more anxious to get into Cleveland than to lose an hour and a half in preparing a dinner, concluded to go on. Drove through small towns called Brooklin, Albion, and Brunswick, then Ohio City, on the opposite side of the river from Cleveland at 6 p.m. Arrived at the hotel in Cleveland at 1/2 past 6, completely worn out and dirty from the effects of the stage ride. Stopped at the "Franklin House," apparently a very good Hotel, certainly fine chambers and beds and a polite and accommodating land lord.
After taking a wash took supper. About 1/2 past 8 were informed that the boat had arrived, and accordingly got ready to start down. Got our baggage on the cart, but found it was a false alarm. About 1/2 past 9 p.m. went to bed with an assurance from the land lord that if the boat arrived we should be roused in time to get on board.
9 August 1846. Was aroused this morning at about 1/2 past 4, with the notice that the Steamer Niagara had arrived. Immediately got up after a good night's sleep much refreshed, though having slept with my clothes on.
Left Cleveland for Buffalo on the splendid steamer Niagara. This boat is considered the finest on the Lakes, and as far as I can judge, I think so too. Her cabins are fitted up in beautiful style, with all state rooms. The furniture is of the latest and most costly style. Her table is also excellent. The ladies' drawing room and saloon is covered with Brussels carpet, has conversation chairs, lounges & sofas of the latest style covered with the most expensive material. Just after leaving Cleveland had a very heavy shower of rain, with sharp lightning and heavy thunder but not much of a blow. Mr. & Mrs. William H. Smith of Philadelphia, a very pleasant and polite couple, also came on board the boat with us. They have traveled with us from Columbus.
The dinner on board this boat was superior to anything I have met with since I left Philadelphia. It had four courses and very attentive servants.
The Niagara is 245 feet long, 33 1/2 feet breadth of beam, 14 feet deep of hold, cylinder 65 inches, 10 foot stroke, & 30 foot diameter wheel.
Our party, as well as the rest of the passengers on board the boat, were much amused by the ludicrous actions of a party on board who tried to assume, or act as, the aristocracy from New Orleans. They were the laughing stock of the whole boat, and had all their meals separate from the other passengers though they certainly did not fare as well as they took the leavings. I must say they showed a very small degree of sense, and should think they had not traveled much if any. I found out some of their names, they are as follows: Colonel Walton and daughter, Mr. Judson & lady, Mr. G. A. Botts, Mr. Smith, Mr. Waterman.
Arrived at Buffalo at 1/2 past 7 and went up immediately and engaged rooms at the "American House" as there was a great crowd.
10 August 1846. Clear, cool and pleasant all day and during the evening. It was just such a day as would be suitable for taking a stroll about the Falls. Got up this morning about 1/2 past 6 o'clock. After breakfast attended to some little matters and at 9 a.m. we started for Niagara Falls, by rail road. The ride was delightful and cool, the greater part of the way along the bank of the river Niagara.
Arrived at Niagara at about 1/2 past 10 a.m. I went immediately up to the Hotel and engaged rooms for our party at the "Cataract House" and then returned to attend to the baggage while Mr. Smith waited upon the ladies to the Hotel. After some little delay, all started out to have a view of the falls. Proceeded down through a small woods, and took the first view of the mighty cataract from a bridge run over the precipice about 15 feet on the American side. After satisfying ourselves with the view of the great wonder of nature, went up to the pagoda garden and ferry house and then returned to the hotel to dress for dinner.
The dinner at the "Cataract" was a sumptuous affair, and the servants very attentive. Was much amused with the movements of the waiters. When bringing in the dessert they all came in, in couples like a company of soldiers, filed off, took their respective positions, and, at a sign from the head waiter, the plates were all put on at once with a sound resembling the muskets of well drilled soldiers. The same order was observed in placing the knives, forks, spoons, &c.
After dinner, Ma, Lydia and myself went down to the ferry to visit the Canada side. After some little persuasion prevailed upon Ma and sister to ride down the inclined plane(26) to the edge of the water. The distance is 360 feet and the perpendicular descent is 175 feet. The rail road is on an angle of about 40¡ and we are let down in cars and by water power. After arriving at the water's edge had some difficulty again in getting them to cross the river but finally succeeded and got over safely.
Hired a carriage and rode out to Lundy's Lane Battle Ground. This Battle was fought between the Americans and the British on the 28th of July 1814, but neither party gained the victory, both retired from the contested point. Ascended to the top of the Observatory which is 80 feet high, and is erected on the Battle Ground, and near where the dead were buried the day after the action. From the top of this Observatory you have a fine view of the Rapids, Grand and Navy Islands, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Brock's Monument, and many other delightful views and woodland scenery. Mr. James Secord, who fought in the action, acted as guide, and showed us the different positions the armies occupied, together with their maneuvers.
Just before arriving at the battle grounds passed through a very pretty little town called Drummondville. After leaving this place drove out to the Burning Spring. This is a very singular affair. They have the place where the spring bubbles up boarded around. Immediately upon touching a light to it the water or, more properly speaking, the gas escaping from it takes fire, and burns fiercely, throwing out great heat. The attendant has a kind of covering with a tube in the top, some 3/4 of an inch in diameter which he places over the spring, and by applying a match to the top, it immediately takes fire and burns to the height of several feet, like the common gas. The water from the spring has no peculiar taste, but the smell of the gas is very offensive.
From this point we had a fine view of the upper rapids which is a grand sight. After leaving the spring rode down to table rock from which we also have a grand view of all the falls. Also descended to the foot of the precipice. On my way stopped at the "Clifton House" to see my friend Mr. John Dixon but did not find him, however met him at table rock.
After leaving table rock we returned to the ferry, crossed, ascended the inclined plain in the cars, and returned to the Hotel. After supper went up into the parlor, where I found a great number of ladies. About 8 o'clock Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Ma, Lydia and I went over to the "Old Curiosity Shop" to examine some of the curiosities there, after which returned to the Hotel and went up to the Ball room, danced a while. When feeling fatigued went to bed, which was about 1/2 past 10.
11 August 1846. Directly after breakfast Mr. Smith and his Lady, Ma, Lydia and myself took a carriage and started out to visit the wonders of Niagara. The first place visited was the Bellvue Springs. They are situated near the banks of the Niagara River about 2 miles below the falls. After partaking of some of the water which was very unpleasant, tasting very much like rotten eggs smell, went down to the brink of the river, where there is a precipice of 250 feet. We stood on the bank of this and watched the wild roaring waters of the Niagara as they dashed through the narrow chasm beneath. The waves are from 15 feet to 20 feet in height as they dash wildly over the rocks below us.
We visited the far famed Whirlpool. After registering our names, drove down to the brink of the precipice, from which we had a magnificent view of the whirlpool and the raging rapids as they came dashing down the river. Noticed large logs, whirled in this whirlpool like chips, each dancing and performing its own part in the great churn of waters. At the Whirlpool the water of the Niagara turns at right angles, and rushes down through a narrow chasm, between precipices 250 feet high.
After satisfying ourselves with a view of the river from the banks, descended by a circuitous route to the brink of the river where we had a much closer view of the whirlpool dashing about in all its fury. The brink of the river is 250 feet below the top of the precipice. The descent is very fatiguing but the ascent is considerably more so.
After leaving the whirlpool we continued our ride about a mile further to what is called the "Devil's Hole." This is an immense chasm some 250 feet deep, and marks the place where, in 1759, a number of English were driven off by the French and Indians, and all but two, I believe, perished in the descent. There is a brook running into this hole, now called Bloody Run, on account of its having run with blood during the massacre of the English by the Indians in the year 1759. Did not descend into the hole being so much fatigued by our descent at the whirlpool.
After leaving the "Devil's Hole" returned to the Falls, and rode over the bridge on to Bath Island, where we registered our names and rode over onto Iris Island. In the Curiosity Shop at Bath Island we very unexpectedly met with Mr. C. A. Robinson, Lady & child, and Mr. D. Robinson, Lady and child of Philadelphia. On the Island visited "Hog Back," "Biddle's Stair Case," "Prospect Tower," Terrapin Rocks," &c. all of which I have given a description of in a previous part of my journal.
After our ride over the Island returned to the Hotel and soon afterwards took dinner. At half past 2 p.m. left Niagara for Lewiston by the cars which is 9 miles. Had a great many passengers, rode the greater part of the distance by steam, the balance of distance by horse power.
Shortly after leaving Niagara had a fine view of the falls in the back ground, and the rapids of the Niagara dashing and foaming some 200 feet beneath. The scenery is also very fine. Before arriving at Lewiston, as you gradually descend a hill, the scene in the valley is beautiful indeed, being a continuance of rich cultivated fields, all beautifully fenced, and dotted with numerous cottages, while in the background are beautiful woods adding materially to the beauty of the scene. Lewiston was a town of some note in the last war. It was named in 1805 after Governor Lewis of the State of New York. It was burned in 1813 and in 1815 the inhabitants returned & it is now a thriving place.
At about 1/4 past 4 p.m. left Lewiston and proceeded down the Niagara River, at 10 m. of 5 p.m. passed on to Lake Ontario, on the Canada side. Just at the entrance is the village of Niagara, with Fort George directly in its front. On the opposite side is the American Fort, called Fort Niagara. The distance from Lewiston to the Lake is 7 miles. Found it very cool and pleasant on the Lake & the Lake quite calm. Had considerable difficulty in procuring state rooms, but succeeded in getting one for Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Ma and Lydia. Had pretty good supper, and a very attentive and polite captain. This boat the Niagara is not quite so large as I expected, but still a very comfortable and fast boat. Had a very beautiful view of a sunset on the Lakes this evening.
12 August 1846. Much more motion on the lake than yesterday, and many of the Ladies complaining of sickness. Went up the Genesee River last evening to the Rochester Landing; did not get off. Arrived at Oswego, New York this morning at about 1/2 past 5, and laid at the wharf until 8 o'clock, affording us ample time to take a walk through the Town. Ma and I took a walk up into the town and walked through a number of the Streets. Noticed many fine residences beautifully situated, and also a very fine enclosed market house. This town is beautifully situated on the Lake on both sides of the Oswego River with wide streets crossing each other at right angles. The population is about 7000.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith left us at Oswego this morning to proceed to Syracuse. Arrived at Sacket's Harbor, 45 miles from Oswego, at 1/4 of 12 a.m. This town is beautifully situated directly on the Lake, and from appearances from the Lake is a place of considerable importance. Did not land.
It shortly became quite rough and many of the ladies got quite sick. The passengers, generally speaking, went down to dinner but the table was soon deserted, and well filled plates were left untouched, and the ladies generally speaking made a "hasty" disappearance. I met Mr. S. V. Reed of Philadelphia who was in company with Messrs. Price, Hart & Phillips, also of Philadelphia. Today at dinner, among those who were obliged to leave the table were Mr. Price and Mr. Phillips. After dinner found them in their berths. Was much amused at Mr. Reed getting them a piece of very fat meat & some onions. They were so much provoked that they threw it out of the window and we enjoyed a hearty laugh.
Arrived at the beautiful town of Kingston, Canada at about 3 p.m. As you approach the town it presents a very beautiful appearance with its numerous spires and domes glittering in the sun. The situation of the town is high and commanding. It is well fortified having a large Fort directly opposite called Fort Henry. Directly in front of the town they are erecting a large stone tower as a fortification. I noticed there are two others in course of erection, one near Fort Henry and the other on an Island close by.
The market at this place fronts directly on the river and is the most splendid building of the kind I ever saw. It is built of stone with pillars in front and is surmounted both on the front and back parts with lofty domes. It is so constructed that it can be turned into a fortification, as can the wharf directly in front. Noticed a large Catholic cathedral in course of erection on a high and commanding situation as we were coming up to the city. The scenery along the St. Lawrence after leaving Kingston was beautiful indeed. From about 1/2 past 3 until after dark we passed that part of the River called "The Thousand Islands." For miles and miles these beautiful Islands dot the surface of the beautiful St. Lawrence, each one clothed throughout the year in beautiful verdure. They vary in size considerably, some are very small and others a mile long. I should think they were not susceptible of cultivation as they are generally of rock with but a small portion of soil, covered with pines and cedars.
Arrived at a small town built in the midst of large rocks called French Creek at about 5 o'clock, cannot say much for the beauty of the place, it is on the American side. Stopped to wood at a small place called Alexander Bay. Arrived at Brockville. It appears to be a place of considerable size, but could not see much as it was nearly dark, it is on the Canada side. Two miles from Brockville passed a small place in Canada called Morristown. At about 9 p.m. arrived at Ogdensburg, N.Y., shall lay here until morning when we shall take a boat for Montreal.
13 August 1846. Ma, Lydia and I got up early this morning, and took a walk through the town of Ogdensburg. It is 308 miles from Niagara, 66 from Kingston, and 139 miles from Montreal, and it is quite a pretty place, but not so handsome as Oswego. The streets are wide, and noticed a number of pretty residences, also a large hotel. It does not appear to be a place of much business. Remained at Ogdensburg until 9 o'clock a.m., took breakfast on board of the Niagara, at which time left on board of the British Steam British Queen for Montreal.
Upon leaving Ogdensburg passed directly across the river to a very pretty little place called Prescot, on the Canada side, remained there long enough to wood and then started down the river. About a mile and a half below Prescot noticed the large "wind mill" in which the "rebels" took refuge during the insubordination and troubles in 1838. The mill appears to be in a dilapidated condition as well as a number of stone houses in the vicinity which were burned at the same time.
Some 7 miles below this passed over the first rapids called "Galop Rapids." The water runs very swiftly, and is quite rough presenting a very beautiful appearance as you approach, with the beautiful white capped waves dashing over the rocks causing the rapids.
The company on board of the boat is very pleasant and there are quite a large number of ladies, many of them young, and with some of whom I have become acquainted. There are several quite pretty. About 11 a.m. passed over what is known as "Long Sault Rapids" that extend for several miles. Next comes the Coteau du Lac Rapids, which extend 2 miles. Seven miles below these commences the Cedar Rapids which extend about 3 miles, then commence the Cascades Rapids which terminate at the head of Lake St. Louis.
The grandeur of the scenery of these rapids cannot be conceived without witnessing. The water of the St. Lawrence falls between Kingston and Quebec the distance of 300 feet, and on the two last named rapids, 80 feet. It really seems very perilous to cross the rapids as the waves lash each other with fury, and many of them run from 5 to 10 feet high. To gaze upon them in the distance is indeed a beautiful sight to see the white capped waves dancing in wild confusion as if in celebration of some gala day.
Arrived at Canwall and Coteau du Lac. At about 20 m. of 7 p.m. arrived at Ladine, quite a town on Montreal Island. It is 9 miles from Montreal. Here we took stages, after having our baggage inspected by the Customhouse officer. Started for Montreal and arrived at about 1/4 past 8, after a very pleasant ride over a fine turnpike road. The road from Ladine to Montreal is lined with houses built in a singular manner: but one story with high peaked roofs, and many with verandas in front. These houses are generally occupied by the lower class. What little I saw of the country in coming up to the City appeared to be quite poor and unproductive. It seemed to me while riding up that I was in another world. The houses, people and everything else seemed to be strange and on the English order.
Upon our arrival at Montreal put up at "Donagana's Hotel," a magnificent building, furnished in the most costly and magnificent style. The parlor of this hotel is by far the handsomest I have visited since leaving home. It is furnished in magnificent style, and the decorations of the rooms are very beautiful. The bed rooms given us are large, clean and airy. The Hotel is situated on Notre Dame Street.
14 August 1846. The streets of Montreal are generally very narrow and paved of wood. The buildings are all built of granite or a stone closely resembling it, and have a dark, dingy and gloomy appearance. There are many very magnificent buildings in the town among which are the New Market, now in course of erection, the Court House, the Cathedral, the two Nunneries, many of the Churches, &c. Took a walk down Notre Dame Street as far as the great French Cathedral, went in and found them engaged at Mass. After which returned and got breakfast.
About 1/2 past 8 a.m. started out in a cab in company with Ma, Lydia, and a Mr. Whiteman of Charleston, South Carolina, to see the beauties and wonders of Montreal. First took a ride around Montreal Mount in cab. The distance is 6 miles over a most beautiful macadamized road. The scenery on many portions of it is beautiful indeed. The country appears to be very fertile, and easily susceptible of cultivation. Upon approaching Montreal from Mount you have a most beautiful view of the town with its many spires and domes glistening like burnished silver in the light of the sun. Many of the houses are covered with tin or some bright substance which give a most magnificent appearance when exposed to rays of the sun. You also have, in approaching from the Mount, a beautiful view of the river and harbor of Montreal.
The first place visited on our return to the City was the Gray Nunnery. This is a large stone building surmounted by a steeple, in which the poor and orphaned are supported by the nuns. They were very polite in showing us through the different apartments and dormitories, together with the hospitals, &c.
The nuns wear a large cap and kind of drab colored dress, and appeared to be very kind in their attendance to the poor miserable beings under their charge. The dormitories are neat and clean, and over each bed is hung a cross and cup of holy water, also a picture of one of the Saints. We were also shown into the chapel, which is a spacious affair. The altar is beautifully decorated. There are also a number of very beautiful paintings.
Our next visit was to the Black Nunnery, a large stone building surmounted with a steeple similar to the Gray nunnery. We were shown into a number of the rooms where there were a number of poor beings, both men and women, supported entirely by the labor of the Nuns. The dormitories were neat and clean and each bed is marked with the name of some Saint who the occupant prefers to confess to or worship. Each bed is also provided with a cross and cup of holy water. In the foundling apartment there were a number of children varying from 10 months to 10 years old.
During our visit in both nunneries the inmates in care were taking their breakfast. The children were fed by one of the nuns a la "Mrs. Squeers" in Nicholas Nickelby. In this nunnery they only permitted us to look through a window into the chapel. As far as could be seen, I found it very beautiful, the altar particularly so. The dress of the Black Nun is rather singular, they wear a black dress looped up behind, with a black cap fitting tight to the head, and a cape attached extending to the waist. They wear a white bandage bound tight around the head, extending just above the eyes. Around their neck is worn a large collar, extending nearly down to the waist, it is perfectly plain.
Upon leaving the Black Nunnery visited the great French Cathedral. This is the largest Cathedral in North America, and is built of stone. It is in the Gothic style of a dark stone, and is surmounted by two gothic towers each 220 feet high. The length of the building is 255 feet and its height is 134 feet. It can seat 10,000 persons with comfort, there being 12,444 pews, 5 aisles, and two tiers of galleries rising one above another. On three sides of the church are arranged 30 boxes for the priests, there being that number connected with the church. In these boxes they make confession of their sins, according to the language they speak. Each Priest speaks 12 languages. The altar in this church is very beautiful.
After leaving the Cathedral visited the Assembly and Council Chambers which form what is called the Parliament. The Council Chamber or "Senate" is the handsomest. I took a seat in the Governor's chair, "The Earl of Cathgait." Also saw the mace, a large and massive crown mounted on a kind of wand made of solid gold and silver. Without it lying on the table Parliament cannot sit. I suppose it represents the Queen. On either side of the Governor's chair are full length likenesses of George the 3rd and 4th, both exquisite paintings.
After leaving the Assembly rooms took a ride along the quay, the most beautiful it is said, in the world, Liverpool or London not excepted. Then went up to the Hotel again to take lunch, it being about 1/2 past 12. The usual hour for dinner is 6 p.m. but we shall dine today at 4 p.m. as we leave for Quebec at 6.
Among my notices I have forgotten to mention any account of the streets. They are, with but few exceptions, narrow, some paved with wood and others macadamized. Notre Dame Street, I believe, is the principal thoroughfare of business. It certainly has the most beautiful stores.
About 1/2 past 2 p.m. Ma, Lydia, Mr. Reed and myself took a walk down Notre Dame Street to make some few purchases. In our walk noticed a magnificent building in course of erection for the "Bank of Montreal" and also the parade ground which is as level as the floor and quite large. I should like very much to see a parade on it. At 4 p.m. took dinner after which prepared to start for Quebec. At 6 p.m. left the quay in the steamer Quebec for the City of Quebec. The steamer Montreal left at the same time.
Shortly after leaving noticed a cross of a bright material, erected by the Catholics on the top of a very high hill called Mount Belisle. The sun shining on this cross makes it loom very beautifully, and it can be seen at a great distance. Passed a very pretty little village, Loyale, shortly after leaving. Also passed a pretty little site called Busheville before dark, nearly burned a short time since.
The steamers Montreal and Quebec are rival and opposition boats. The Montreal started ahead of us. We had traveled some 25 miles before we caught her. The boats kept side and side for the distance of some 25 or 30 miles, each one trying its utmost to get ahead, but without avail until the Montreal stopped at a port. We went ahead and she did not catch us again.
There was considerable excitement on board and all the ladies very much frightened, when on our arrival at Quebec we were informed that the ladies on the other boat were much more frightened than those on ours. They were crying and carrying on at a great rate. This system of racing ought certainly to be condemned, as it is certainly very unsafe and risks the lives of all the passengers. I shall never patronize either of these boats again if I could help it, but will be forced to tomorrow evening.
After leaving the other boat the ladies became much more quiet, though we were running just as fast, and the fire burning at least 5 feet above the top of the chimneys.
15 August 1846. Arrived at Quebec this morning about 1/2 past 4, safe, without accident, and at about 1/2 past 5 went up to the Hotel the "Albion House" which I found to be miserable and dirty. The proprietor is one that takes the opportunity of imposing on every stranger that visits. There is more imposition practiced at this house than any other I have ever visited, and I would not recommend anyone to go there.
After our arrival at the Hotel, Mr. Phillips and myself took a walk around to see the wonders of the place. We first visited the great French Cathedral, a very large and magnificent building. The interior decorations are beautiful and those in the vicinity of the altar very grand. There are three different altars and that in the center is the most beautiful. Hanging directly over it is an immense canopy made of massive carved gilt, on which is a representation of Jesus Christ. The paintings surrounding the church are magnificent as well as everything connected with it. These Cathedrals are open at all hours of the day, and worship held in them continually.
The body of the Church is in a measure spoiled in appearance by immense arches which support a portion of the upper work and make the church look smaller than it really is. The main ceiling must be at least 80 or 100 feet high. There are three rows of galleries, and I suppose the church would at least accommodate 10,000 people.
After leaving the church visited what is called the "Grand Battery." It may be well to give a description of the situation of Quebec here, so as to show more clearly the position of the "Grand Battery." Quebec is divided into three parts, viz., Upper Quebec lying on the top of the hill 150 feet above the level of river, around which there is an immense stone wall; Lower Quebec lying between the foot of the hill and the river; and St. John's suburbs, which lay beyond St. John's gate though on the top of the hill. Upper Quebec is the most important part of the town, and as I said before is surrounded by a heavy wall. That part of the wall fronting the river, and overlooking Lower Quebec is called the "Grand Battery" in which there are mounted 27 32-pound cannon. They have a number of mortars and smaller guns, and in the walls are loopholes out of which the soldiers can fire small guns entirely protected from the enemy.
On this battery there is always a guard. The 93rd regiment of Highlanders are now stationed here, and a portion of them were on guard. There are between 600 and 700 of them, all ranging between 5 foot 10 and 6 foot 2 or 3 inches. Their dress is very fine. Their cap is a band of plaid, surmounted by beautiful waving ostrich feathers. They wear plaid stockings extending just up below the knee, with shoes and buckles. Their coat is red, and instead of pants, a green plaid frock is worn, extending within about 3 or 4 inches of their knees, leaving a considerable portion of the leg bare. Found them to be a very civil set of men.
Below the "Grand Battery" is "St. Charles Battery," on a much smaller scale. This extends down to what is called Palace gate. There are 5 gates leading to the city, viz., St. Johns, St. Lewis, Palace, Prescot and, I think, Hope gate. Upon our arrival at Palace gate, which is at the foot of Palace Street on which our Hotel is situated, walked up to it for breakfast. The ascent from the lower to the upper town is very steep, and the streets have to wind partially around the hill before you can gain the top.
After breakfast hired a carriage and Messrs. Whiteman, Phillips, Ma, Lydia, and myself started out to see the Falls of Montmorence, a distance 9 miles from Quebec. Passed out of Palace gate, and then through a greater portion of the district where near 3000 houses were burned some year or 15 months ago. The ride down was delightful. Passed through one or two very pretty French villages, and in fact the road for the whole distance was lined with neat cottages. At the doors of many there were children, who as the carriage passed, would make a polite curtsy with the expectation of receiving a sou. Others would run after the carriage for some distance calling "sou, sou, sou," until someone would throw one, when they would pick it up, make a curtsy or bow and run back as fast as possible. One little fellow in particular chased the carriage for a full half mile, calling "sou, sou, sou," but unfortunately we had none, and he had to give up the chase, evidently much displeased. Many of these children, particularly the girls, are quite pretty.
On our arrival at the Falls (Montmorency) we were beset by a number of French Canadians, none of whom could we understand, who wanted to show us about the Falls. We first visited a point where we had a side view of the falls but were first obliged to descend some 50 feet on the rocks (too steep for ladies) before we could obtain a view. These falls fall a greater distance than those of Niagara, being 250 feet perpendicular. The body of water that goes over is but trifling with that of Niagara, though the scenery in the vicinity is very grand. On either side of the river below the falls are immense precipices 250 feet high of nearly perpendicular rock, without a shrub or flower to adorn them. The bed of the river below the falls is of rock and very shallow, and the falls are but about 100 yards above where the river empties into the St. Lawrence.
Had a fine front view of the falls some distance below, and a look at the falls and the chasm formed by the rocks. It was indeed grand and picturesque. Met a number of parties at the falls whom we had met before. Had a delightful though rather warm ride back, and arrived at the Hotel at 1/2 past 12 p.m. when we took a lunch. On our way noticed the Asylum for the Insane, a large and spacious building. They dine at 6 in this place as well as in Montreal.
After lunch, again took our carriage and proceeded out St. John's gate into what is called St. John's suburbs, and then out to the "Plains of Abraham" on which General Wolfe fell in one of the actions on these Plains. The site is marked by a small granite monument surrounded by a small iron railing. The monument is in a dilapidated condition being nearly broken to pieces by persons visiting it to obtain a piece. The plains themselves are a beautiful rolling piece of ground in full view of the river, some 150 feet above its level. They are left as common. We then rode through St. Louis gate and from there into the great Citadel, having procured a pass from the Town Mayor.
Upon entering the gates you present your pass, and then are conducted by one of the 93rd Regiment through the grounds and are shown the works. This fortification is, I suppose, the strongest in the world, and I do not see how it ever could be taken. The outer wall is 12 feet thick, and besides there are two other walls nearly of the same thickness. The offices have magnificent apartments built of granite within the inner walls which must have cost an immense amount of money. The main battery commanding a full view of the river for ten miles either way is 250 or 300 feet above the level of the river, and the wall must be at least 15 feet thick. This battery is 32-pound cannons. This Citadel is certainly the most magnificent piece of masonry I ever witnessed.
After leaving the Citadel visited Lord Durham's Terrace from which you have a fine view of the lower town and harbor of Quebec. Also saw the ruins of the Theater burned some two months since, in which 47 lives were lost.
After leaving the Terrace visited the French Cathedral and Grand Battery mentioned before and then returned to the Hotel.
Strangers are not permitted to visit either of the Nunneries in this place. I forgot to mention above we visited the Governor's Garden, the Earl of Cathgait. In this garden is erected a very beautiful monument of granite in memory of General Wolfe and General Montcalm.
At 5 p.m. left Quebec on board the Steamer Quebec for Montreal. There were quite a large number of passengers on board. The scene after leaving Quebec is beautiful indeed. You first have a fine view of the Citadel with its cannon frowning upon you, and then for some 30 miles on either side of you precipices some 200 feet high, some covered with verdure, and others quite barren, while every now and then a beautiful little town will come to view with its spires glittering in the sunshine. Much to the comfort of the ladies our boat started first and got considerably ahead, so that we avoided another race. The company on board was very pleasant. We had some good playing on the piano by the ladies. The Quebec is a very swift boat and quite large. She made 18 miles an hour last night including her stoppages. Her time is about 20 miles an hour. Turned in at about 1/2 past 8 p.m.
16 August 1846. Cloudy during the morning and at about 12 N. commenced raining but cleared off about 3 p.m. Arrived at Montreal this morning at about 1/2 past 5 o'clock. Slept pretty well last night though there was a party on board who made considerable noise all night and disturbed the passengers very much.
Ma was taken quite sick last night, and upon going up to the Hotel she went to bed. Took lodging again at Donagana's Hotel. Did not go out until about 11 a.m. when Lydia and I took a walk down to the Bishop's Church but it was so full we were not able to get inside the door. Persons were kneeling all around the doors, and some even on top of the railing outside. The interior of the church was large and beautiful. We could see but little of the ceremony so we left. Then went down to the Episcopal Church, went in remained about an hour, when Lydia thinking Ma might want us, left. It was raining very hard. Got a cab and rode to the Hotel. About 1/4 past 3 p.m. took a walk down to the French Cathedral to attend Vespers.
Shortly after entering the Priests formed a grand procession numbering in all 64 and walked down one aisle and up another singing as they walked. The procession was in the following order, viz., first a priest bearing a cross, he was followed by a number of boys with black dresses, and a kind of surplice thrown over it, then following a number of men in the same dress, then a number of boys and men dressed in scarlet robes, with a white thin one thrown over, then followed 5 priests dressed in magnificent dresses of gold, the two foremost bearing what is called the host, one with his hands upon it, directly behind and in the center of the other four. The other two supported a beautiful canopy over the three other priests and host, then followed a number of the laity bearing candles. A great portion of the people through the church also had long candles lit in their hands. Directly before the five priests and the host, two men walked backward with censors throwing incense upon the priests and host. These priests make a very singular appearance in the Street. They wear a tight black dress with small black buttons down in front with a black sash around their waist, their dress is also looped up behind. Around their neck they wear an affair similar to that of an Episcopal Clergyman but of black instead of white, with a white binding around the edge.
After leaving the Church walked down to the quay. This is one of the finest pieces of mason work I suppose in the world. Also took a walk down to the new market, which is now in course of erection. It is to be very large and of granite, and when finished will be a magnificent building. I think it will be superior to the Kingston market. Then went up into Darby's Hotel, it is nothing to compare with Donagana's.
I forgot to note in my mention of the Citadel at Quebec that there are four stone towers connected with it, and situated at the distance of some 1/4 or 3/4 of a mile from it. These towers have subterranean passages connected with the Citadel and are to be used as lookout points for and to communicate with the Citadel. These towers are built very strong on all sides with the exception of that towards the Citadel, with the intention that in case the towers were ever taken by the enemy in front that when they got possession they could batter them down with ease with cannon from the Citadel.
17 August 1846. After breakfast this morning took a cab and rode down to the "Bishop's Church." This is a magnificent structure though not so large as the Cathedral. The altars are very beautiful and directly over the center one is raised some 30 feet above it a very large and beautiful crown, gilded in such a manner as to make its appearance almost like gold. There are a large number of very beautiful and fine paintings in this Church.
After leaving the Church rode up into the upper part of Montreal, where we found a great number of magnificent dwellings. They are all built of granite and are but two stories high. Most of them are built singly with magnificent gardens, though there are a number of very fine rows of houses, these are called "Terraces."
While in the upper part of the town visited Mr. Dorrance, and Mr. Donagana's gardens, both very beautiful with magnificent dwellings in the center of them. After leaving the gardens rode down into the town around through the principal Streets, to see the public buildings. Noticed more fine Churches in this City than any other I have ever seen of its size; they are principally of Gothic architecture, and built of granite.
Upon getting onto Notre Dame Street got the cabman to put us down near the Cathedral where I left Ma and Lydia to look at the stores and I went to visit one of the towers of the Cathedral.
After entering my name on the books and paying 1 s. 3 d. for admittance, started on the ascent which I found very tiresome.
This Cathedral is the Parish Church of Montreal, and is served by 25 Priests, of the order of St. Sulpice of Paris (France) submitting to a Superior of the same order. They are, however, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Montreal. As regards spiritual matters, they can speak different languages. The outside length of the Cathedral including towers is 260 feet, without towers 230 feet; inside length 215 feet, width including towers 133 feet, width in center 130 feet, width inside 117 ft. The portico is 115 feet high. The towers are 215 feet high. The outside width of towers are outside 30 feet, inside 17 ft. The grand window in the rear of the altar with apostles represented is 60 feet high by 33 feet wide. The number of pews in the lower part and two galleries are 1363, and the Church can contain 15,000 people. The building is of hewn stone, erected at a cost of £80,000 currency. It was commenced in 1823 and finished in 1829, and the towers finished in 1842. The buildings finished cost £150,000. The windows of the Church are 30 feet by 10 feet, doors are 17 feet by 10 ft.
I ascended the Temperance tower, at the right of the Church. The summit is gained by 25 stair cases forming 285 steps. From the top you have a most magnificent view for 15 or 20 miles around. On one side you have a beautiful view of Montreal mountain, on the other the beautiful St. Lawrence with the isle of St. Helen. In the distance is the town of La Prairie and beautiful country. All around below lies the beautiful town of Montreal with its numerous public buildings in view, and the busy throng of inhabitants threading its narrow Streets. Directly below the tower is a full view of the Bishop's garden beautifully laid out. He has several plots on which are beautifully traced in box wood the letters "I. H. L." surrounded by a wreath, and above and below traced in the same manner are baskets, filled and overflowing with beautiful flowers.
After leaving the Tower and on my way to the Hotel accidentally saw the Governor of Canada, the Earl of Cathgait, riding in his carriage accompanied by one of his aides. He is a man of about 60, and quite a fine looking old gentleman. He was dressed in a uniform resembling that of an American officer.
At 1/2 past 12 p.m. left Montreal in the Steamer Prince Albert for La Prairie, distance 9 miles. Arrived there at about 1/2 past 1, after rather a difficult passage as the river is very rapid at this point and we had a large number of passengers. La Prairie is a small town and of but little importance. The town now presents a desolate appearance, and is in ruins caused by a fire some two weeks since. Nothing remains but bare walls and high chimneys standing above, looking like ghosts stalking among the ruins.
Left La Prairie at 2 p.m. for St. Johns at the head of Lake Champlain, distance 15 miles. The country between La Prairie and St. Johns is poor and uninteresting. Left St. Johns at 3 1/4 p.m. for Whitehall on board the Steamer Whitehall. This is certainly the finest boat I have been on since I left. Every thing is neat and clean and in order.
After leaving St. Johns passed down the River before entering the Lake. The scenery was not very interesting up to the time night closed the scene, with the exception that we had a view of the Green Mountains in Vermont on one side and the Adirondacks on the other side in New York. Stopped at a number of small places, including Plattsburgh. At about 8 p.m. the lake became very rough and continued so nearly all night, you could not walk straight on deck.
18 August 1846. The scenery as you approach Whitehall is wild, grand and Magnificent. Whitehall is but a small place, though quite romantic, surrounded on all sides by high and towering rocks and hills giving the whole scene a wild and romantic appearance. Went up to the "Phoenix House" where they gave us a fine breakfast. It is kept by a Dr. Harrington, Dentist, late of Philadelphia. It appears to be a new, clean and well kept house.
Left Whitehall on board the same boat. The scenery after leaving Whitehall is too grand to be described. It is one succession of beautiful hills, or more properly mountains, up to your arrival at Ticonderoga. They range from 500 to 1500 feet in height. Lake Champlain is very narrow all that distance.
Arrived at Fort Ticonderoga. Immediately went up to the Hotel, the "Pavilion," which appears to be a well kept House, and beautifully situated.
After leaving Ma & Lydia there, Mr. Wightman and myself went out to take a stroll to see the ruins of old Fort Ticonderoga. First visited what is called Grandee Battery. This was connected with Mount Independence on the opposite side of the Lake by a floating bridge 80 rods long by 12 feet wide. We then visited the ruins of the old Fort which was burned by the Americans and evacuated on account of the British having taken possession of Mount Defiance, which gave them full power to destroy the American Fort, since they are on an elevation of some 800 feet above the Americans. At the old Fort went through the ruins, and down into what is said to be their magazine, a large arched hole some distance underground.
After leaving the ruins returned to the Hotel and got a very good dinner. Directly afterward started in a stage for the village of Ticonderoga at the foot of Lake George, distance some 6 miles. Ticonderoga is but a very small place. At the foot of the Lake took a small boat called the William Caldwell for a small place at the head of the Lake. Lake George is 36 miles long, and from 2 to 3 miles wide, and is elevated 243 feet above the tide water of the Hudson. The scenery on this lake is beautiful in the extreme. It is dotted with numerous beautiful Islands, while on either side vast mountains rise to the heavens in majestic grandeur. Black Mountain on this Lake is 2220 feet high, and of a black color. The principal portion of mountains which line the shores of this Lake are over 2000 feet high.
Arrived at Caldwell at the head of the Lake at about 1/2 past 6. It is a small but very beautifully situated town, wild & romantic. The hotel, the "Lake House," has a very beautiful situation and appears to be well kept, though not a very polite or obliging land lord. So much for their being no other House.
After supper Mr. Whiteman and myself took a walk across the head of the Lake to try and find Fort George but were unsuccessful as night came on too soon.
19 August 1846. Got up at 1/2 past 5 a.m. and after dressing took a stroll around the house. The scenery in this vicinity is too grand, too magnificent for me to attempt to describe. On every side you are surrounded by high and breathtaking mountains, and directly before you the beautiful Lake. I did not like the land lord at this place as he is both unaccommodating and I think dishonest from the fact that he received the amount of the bill of two gentlemen knowingly, when one had paid.
Left Caldwell for Saratoga Springs at about 1/2 past 7 o'clock, a distance of 27 miles through a most beautiful country and connected with many incidents in the war. The greater part of the distance had a fine view of the Green Mountains in Vermont. The road leads toward a valley with immense towering mountains on either side. The highest is French Mountain some 2300 or 3000 feet. In passing along the road was shown the "Bloody Pond." It is near the place of action of Colonel Williams and General Dieskau in 1755. The bodies of those killed in battle, about 1000, were thrown into the pond. Thence its name. Also saw the rock where Colonel Williams was shot.
Arrived at Glens Falls, 9 miles from Caldwell and 18 from Saratoga, at 11 o'clock. It is quite a large thriving and a pretty village. There the Hudson River falls some 50 feet, from which the town derives its name. The falls are quite handsome and the scenery around it quite romantic and stately. The stage stopped long enough to visit the falls and take a ramble over the rocks.
Visited the cave in which Cooper and Cacy preserved the lives of two ladies from the Indians. Also visited another cave of some interest. There appears to be a number of petrifactions at this place among which was a wild cat distinctly visible on the rocks. I procured several butterfly heads petrified. These falls must be very beautiful when the water is high, at present the water is low, however the falls are beautiful.
Did not arrive at Saratoga until 1/2 past 2 p.m. though the distance is but 27 miles. The road is very heavy and sandy, consequently tedious, though the scenery repays you for all fatigue. Stopped at the United States Hotel at Saratoga, a large, beautiful and well kept House. At 1/2 past 3 p.m. left in the cars for Troy, where we arrived at 1/2 past 5 p.m. On this route we passed Ballston Springs, Borough, and Waterford. The last named town is a very beautiful place. Upon our arrival at Troy put up at the "Troy House." After supper went up to see Percival Roberts but found he was out of town, then returned and took a walk around town with Ma & Lydia.
20 August 1846. Got up this morning at 1/2 past 4, having been informed that the New York boat started at 1/2 past 5, but after dressing and getting on board by that time, she did not start until her usual hour. We took a small boat called Mason at Troy and went to Albany 6 miles where we took a large and swift boat called the Niagara. Had a strong head wind and tide nearly all the way down and the scenery looked about as beautiful as ever though quite insignificant, after the beautiful and Magnificent scenery we have lived among for the last week or ten days. The scenery of the Hudson is nothing to compare with that on Lake George and the lower part of Lake Champlain.
Upon approaching New York met quite a number of steamboats going up, a much larger number than I ever met with before. Also met a very large number of vessels throughout the day going up, having a fair wind at times, on the approach they would present a beautiful sight. Arrived in New York at about 1/2 past 4 p.m. and went up to the "Astor House" and entered my name for the purpose of taking rooms, but as they appeared to be so unaccommodating and not disposed to give me pleasant rooms, left and went over to the "American House" where we got rather pleasant rooms, but very high up.
In the evening Lydia and I went up to "Niblos Garden." The House was very full. The first piece played was one I saw when last here, viz., La Fete Champetre, a poor piece, though parts are laughable. The rope dancing is pretty good. The last piece, Giselle of the Wells, is very good for those who like dancing. Mlle. Blaugy danced beautifully as Giselle. Mme. Leon Javelli as Martha Queen of the Wells danced beautifully as well as Mr. Henri as Duke Albert of Silesia. Out about 1/2 past 10, took an omnibus and went immediately to the Hotel.
21 August 1846. Got up this morning about 7 o'clock, and after breakfast went out and attended to some little matters, returned to the Hotel about 9 o'clock and went up to my room where I was employed writing until about 11 o'clock, then went down in the parlor with the expectation of meeting Ma and Lydia but found they had gone down to the "Trinity Church" with a company of ladies and gentlemen. I immediately went down to the Church where I met them in company with two Misses Wilson of Wilmington, Delaware and a lady from Springfield, Massachusetts besides some gentlemen. The youngest Miss W. is pretty and quite agreeable.
Upon our return to the Hotel did not go out again it being so disagreeable. Remained in the parlor part of the time in conversation with Miss Wilson Jr. At 3 p.m. went into dinner, and by 4 they had not put out the dessert, so we had to leave with about half a dinner as the cars for Philadelphia started at 1/2 past 4. I was not at all pleased with this House, the attention at the table very poor, and the breakfast and tea miserable. Started for Philadelphia at 1/2 past 4 and after a pleasant trip arrived there at about 1/2 of 10 o'clock. Met Mr. Welch at the wharf.
22 August 1846. At the office during the morning with the exception of about an hour and a half occupied in going around to see some of my friends. At about 1/2 past 1 p.m. Mr. Welch, William and myself went down to the Navy Yard to see the launch of the Sloop of war Germantown.(27) There was an immense concourse of people congregated to see the event. At 10 m. past 2 p.m. precisely, I saw the ways cut, and she glided beautifully into the water, amid the plaudits of thousands, and the roar of cannon.
After dinner, at the office until about 5 o'clock then went up to General Patterson's to see my old friend Washington M. Smith of Louisiana. Found him quite unwell, having been confined to his room for several days. He was, however, recovering fast. I cannot express the pleasure I experienced in once more seeing my friend Mr. Smith. I was very fearful that I should miss him in coming in but fortune favored us. After which waited upon Ma and Lydia up to Mrs. Hooks & back home.
23 August 1846. After breakfast went over to the office for a short time, and then according to engagement, went up to see W.M. Smith at General Patterson's. The day being so very unpleasant, and he not having been well, remained in and spent the morning with him. Was introduced to Frank Patterson who was with us during the greater part of the time. About 1/2 past 11 a.m. walked down to St. Phillip's Church. When it was out met the Misses Mary and Elizabeth Conrad and walked home with them, after which went up to see Miss Arethusa Leeds to deliver a message from Mr. Leeds whom I met in New York on Friday last.
24 August 1846. At the office during the greater part of the day, but no business as yet doing. In the evening called down to see Miss Louisa Clarke, found her quite well, and also her mother. Met Mr. Dayton and Mr. Stille there. Remained until about 1/2 past 10 p.m. Wrote a letter to Aunt Harrison today.
25 August 1846. At the office all day and in the evening Mr. W.M. Smith and myself went down to see the Misses Stevenson, Wash having taken tea with me. Found the Misses S. home, remained a short time when Wash and Becky went out to see Miss Snyder. A short time afterwards Jenny and myself went to see some persons by the name of Stevenson in 6th Street below Lombard.
26 August 1846. At the office all day, and in the evening Mr. Welch and myself called up to see Miss Susan Estlack, found her in, and also her sister Louisa.
27 August 1846. Went over to the office after breakfast, where I was sitting talking to Mr. Jordan when much to my surprise, Mr. Kirby of Cincinnati came in and handed me his daughter's card informing me she was at the United States Hotel. As soon as Mr. J. was gone I went over and told Ma, when she and I both went over to the Hotel, where we found Miss Kirby looking as well as ever. In a short time it was proposed to visit Laurel Hill and Fair Mount. I got a carriage and we visited both places, and rode through the City. On our return at about 1/2 past 1 p.m. stopped at Mrs. Burns, where Miss Kirby saw my sister. She remained there until about 2 o'clock, when I walked around to the United States Hotel again. I left her promising to meet again on board the New York boat. Then returned to the office, remained until dinner time, went over, dined, and then went down to the New York boat, where I met Mr. and Miss Kirby again. Went up as far as Bristol with them, then over to Burlington.
28 August 1846. At the office during the day and in the evening called to see the Misses Harriet and Mary Carter.
29 August 1846. At the office all day with the exception of short intervals out on business.
30 August 1846. At St. Phillip's Church in the morning with Ma and Lydia, heard an excellent sermon by Mr. Neville. Also there in the afternoon alone. Mr. Neville preached. After church took a walk with Mr. Seal and another gentleman.
31 August 1846. At the office during the day, until about 6 p.m. then took a little walk on Chestnut Street for exercise, met a large number of ladies on the promenade. After tea or about 8 o'clock called up to see Mr. and Mrs. Ware, Ma and Lydia having gone up to tea by invitation. This was my first visit to spend an evening, their house is furnished in a very neat style.
1 September 1846. At the office during the morning, and at 2 p.m. left for Burlington on board the Trenton where we arrived at about 1/2 past 3 p.m. The trip up was excessively warm. After arriving at Burlington walked up as far as the Post office where I met Jim Sterling, remained talking to him until the Steamer Sun came up, expecting Mr. Leland on her. Finding he did not arrive, went up to Mrs. Buckman's where I found Ma. Was there the greater part of the afternoon, part of the time attending to some of Ma's furniture that she intends taking down tomorrow.
2 September 1846. At the office from 11 a.m. to until about 1/2 past 6 p.m. when Mr. Welch and I took a walk up Chestnut Street after which went over to the boarding house. My mother and sister were in the parlor, and also a Miss Sergeant who has recently come to board at our house. I was introduced to her by Lydia. She is quite pretty and found her for the few minutes I conversed quite agreeable.
I forgot to mention that I left Burlington this morning at 1/2 past 7, and arrived in the City about 9 1/2, brought down Ma's furniture with us, and was employed until about 11 o'clock in having it brought up and put in her room at Mrs. Grier's.
3 September 1846. After tea went up to Mrs. Stoddard's with Ma and Lydia and remained about an hour.
4 September 1846. Clear and excessively warm all day. Evening clear, warm and moonlit. At the office during the day, and in the evening Mr. Welch and myself called up to see Miss A. Leeds but found her out, then called at the Misses Harbet, found Miss Martha in, spent the rest of the evening, left about 1/2 past 9, on our way down stopped in and got some ice cream.
6 September 1846. Never do I remember more excessive hot weather this season of the year than we have had today and for the last week. It seems as if it could hardly be born, and if we do not soon have a change no doubt will cause much sickness.
At St. Phillip's Church in the morning, heard an excellent sermon. After church went home where I remained until after 4 p.m. when Mr. Welch and I took a walk up to "Jones Hotel" to see Wash Smith. He arrived here again last evening. Found him, his brother-in-law, Mr. Bethel, and Mr. Frank Patterson all up in Mr. Smith's room together.
Before Church this morning was surprised by a visit from Smith, when he and I went up to the "Jones Hotel" where we met his brother-in-law Mr. Bethel, when all three went over to the "Washington House" & then up in the parlor, where we saw his wife. Remained there until about 10 o'clock and then went to church. Mr. Welch and I remained a short time with Smith, Bethel and Patterson, and then walked out to see the corner stone of the new Cathedral, to be called the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. Found a large concourse of people out there, but we were too late for the ceremonies.
7 September 1846. After tea walked down to the Exchange to attend a Sheriff's sale, I having read a notice connected with the sale of a property.
9 September 1846. The unseasonable and oppressive weather, which for several days past had been a torment to those who are not stoical enough to bear an annoyance calmly, took leave of us today. A cool and blustering wind from the North East succeeded, and during the day it was difficult to say whether the departed heat was not more endurable than the clouds of dust tossed up by the strong wind, to the detriment of people's eyes, and to the abatement of their comfort in walking.
At the office through the morning. At about 3 p.m. Mr. Welch and myself went up to "Jones Hotel" to dine with Mr. W.M. Smith of Louisiana, having had an invitation from him this morning. After dinner, which was about 4 p.m., Smith, Welch and myself returned to the office where we remained until about 5 p.m. when Smith and I went over to my boarding house, he wishing to bid my mother and sister farewell as he leaves tomorrow morning. About 1/2 past 5 Ma and I went out together leaving Mr. Smith with Lydia, returned about 1/2 past 6, after attending to some little business.
In the evening went up to Colonel Tucker's room with Lydia.
10 September 1846. At the office all day and in the evening went up to a little party given by the Misses Carter. Spent a very pleasant evening in dancing, &c.
11 September 1846. At the office all day and the evening spent at home sitting in the parlor conversing with Miss Elizabeth Ludlow. She has recently returned to our house, and is a very pretty, pleasant & agreeable young lady.
13 September 1846. Spent the evening at home talking with Miss Sergeant.
14 September 1846. At the office during the day, and in the evening at home, conversing with Miss Elizabeth Ludlow until about 1/2 past 8 p.m. when Jim Welch and myself went down to see Miss Caroline Snyder.
15 September 1846. At the office all day, and also during the evening until 10 o'clock.
16 September 1846. At the office all day. At 6 p.m. Welch and I went up to the new "Odd Fellows' Hall" at the corner of 6th and Haines Street, could not get in. It is to be dedicated tomorrow, and the Odd Fellows are to have a grand procession.
In the evening went to the Horticultural exhibition with sister. Miss Ludlow was to have accompanied me, but for some unknown reason she accompanied Mr. Squires, which I took as a great insult, and unless some apology and explanation is made, it will prevent me speaking further than is requisite as a gentleman. I regret the circumstances as I always heretofore held Miss L. in high estimation as a lady. I hope the matter may be explained.
17 September 1846. The weather today was clear and beautiful, and could not have been more favorable for the grand celebration of the Odd Fellows. They turned out in great strength and made a grand display.
At the office the greater part of the day. Saw part of the procession at Chestnut Street and 5th and the balance of it around at the boarding house.
In the evening waited upon Miss Elizabeth Ludlow to the Horticultural Exhibition, ample apology having been made by Mrs. & Miss Ludlow of the unpleasant occurrence of last evening, which I am heartily glad of, as I hold Miss L. in the highest esteem. Mr. Robert Ludlow with my sister, and Mr. Maginnis with Miss Kate Sergeant, accompanied us. The exhibition was very much crowded, the decoration of the rooms elegant as was the display of fruits, &c. After the exhibition went round to Wood's and got some ice cream then returned home.
18 September 1846. At the office all day and in the evening called upon Miss Louisa M. Clarke, found her in and spent a very pleasant evening. Also saw her mother. Left about 1/2 past 10, went up to Hammonds, and got some oysters and then went home.
19 September 1846. At the office during the day, until 5 1/2 p.m. when Welch and I took a walk in Chestnut Street, found large number of persons on the promenade.
20 September 1846. Went up St. Luke's Church with Ma and Lydia in the morning. I was not pleased with the sermon of Mr. Howe, the new minister. His delivery was very poor. After dinner Mr. Welch, Dick Christiani and myself took a walk up town, and came down by Grace Church, went in and heard an excellent sermon by Mr. Luddards who has just returned from England.
21 September 1846. In the evening called up to see Miss Arethusa Leeds.
22 September 1846. At the office until 4 1/4 p.m. when Mr. Welch and I took a walk out to the "Girard College"(28) to see the statue of Girard(29) which has been recently placed for the inspection of visitors. As far as I could judge, I think it is a beautiful specimen of sculpture. Also went on top of the building from which we had a magnificent view of the City and surrounding country. Met a large number of gentlemen and ladies out at the college.
In the evening after tea sat talking with Miss Ludlow in the parlor until 1/2 past 8.
25 September 1846. At the office until 4 1/2 p.m. when Mr. Welch and I went down to see a gentleman at the S.W. corner of Front and Lombard Streets on some business. Not being able to see him, continued on down to the Navy Yard to see the U.S. Brig Washington.(30) She has recently arrived demasted having met with a severe gale on the 8th inst, which completely disabled her and washed overboard all of her crew with the exception of 4. The captain and 10 men were drowned. After leaving her went on board the U.S. ship Germantown recently launched. She is a fine craft and will, in a short time, be ready for sea. On our way down stopped in for Dick Christiani, he went with us.
26 September 1846. At the office until about 1/2 past 5 p.m. when Welch and I took a walk up to 2nd & Green Street to see our shoemaker. In the evening Welch and I went up to the Philadelphia Museum. The pieces performed were very amusing, viz., Its All Very Well and The Golden Farmer. Sefton played in both pieces.
27 September 1846. At Mr. Neville's Church in the morning with Ma and Lydia. He gave us an excellent sermon. We took possession of our seats for the first time today. After church waited upon Miss Louisa M. Clarke home, and then returned to the Church for Ma and Lydia, who had remained for communion, and waited upon them home. In the afternoon went up to St. Andrew's Church.
28 September 1846. Clear, cool and pleasant weather, reminding one that Fall is with us. In the evening after tea, Miss Ludlow, my sister, Mr. Welch & myself were sitting in the parlor conversing when I proposed a game of whist, which was acceded to, and we adjourned to Miss Ludlow's sitting room. We played until about 11 o'clock.
1 October 1846. In the evening called down to see Miss Caroline Snyder a short time, and then went around with her to see the Misses Stevenson. Found them in and stayed about a half or three quarters of an hour, when I returned with Miss Snyder to take her home. Remained about 15 minutes and then went down to the boat to meet Ma and Lydia. They went to Burlington in the early boat this morning.
2 October 1846. Clear and cloudy at intervals until about 4 p.m. when it clouded over heavily and we had a tremendous shower of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning. I understood considerable hail fell in some parts of the City, though I did not see anything of it. At the office until 12 N then went to see Mr. Keen who lives about half a mile over the Market Street Bridge.
3 October 1846. At the office during the morning, and at 2 p.m. started in company with Jim Welch on board the Steamer Trenton for Burlington. Mr. Welch, his brother Aikman and I took a walk around town and then up to Thomas Dugdale's new mills. Went through the different rooms, and after satisfying our curiosity, went up on top of the water works from which we have a fine view of Burlington.
4 October 1846. At the Baptist church in the morning, heard rather a scolding kind of sermon from the pastor Mr. Dickinson, though it was very good. After dinner at about 1/2 past 1, Jim Welch and I got a carriage and drove out to Mount Holly. Stopped to see Miss Ellen Beatty, found her in and remained about 15 minutes, then called on Miss Mary Anna Clark, but she was not at home. We then called over to see Miss Becky Wills, quite a pretty and pleasant girl, remained some half an hour, then drove over to see Miss Caroline Horner, but found she was quite sick so that we could not see her. Saw her sister Lydia Ann and met Morgan Lippincott there. From Horners went over to see Miss Charlotte Woolman. Found her in and looking as pretty as ever. We took tea there, and at about 1/2 past 7 made preparations to leave, but found it raining so hard concluded to remain all night, as we were very kindly treated.
5 October 1846. Got up this morning at 1/2 past 5, and about 1/2 past 5 left Miss Woolman's for Burlington via Mount Holly. Frank Woolman rode over as far as Mount Holly with us. We arrived in Burlington about 7 o'clock. The ride was pleasant though cool. We took breakfast at Mr. Welch's, and at 8 o'clock started in the Steamer Trenton for Philadelphia, where we arrived by 20 minutes past 9. At the office during the day. In the evening Mr. Welch and myself called up to see the Misses Leeds, but not finding them in returned home by 1/4 of 9 o'clock, spent the rest of the evening in parlor. Several of the boarders were dancing cotillions. I did not participate.
7 October 1846. In the evening at home in the parlor with Ma until 1/2 past 8, then went up for my sister at Miss Seal's and met Miss Myers and Mr. Neff. Had a little dance & left at 10.
8 October 1846. In the evening called down to see Miss L.M. Clarke. On my way home stopped to get some oysters in an oyster cellar.
9 October 1846. Clear and oppressively warm weather for this season of the year. At the office during the morning. After dinner, or about 1/2 past 4, went out in a chaise with Colonel Tucker to look at some property.
The vane, ball and cap were removed from the State House steeple this morning for regilding, after which the American flag was run up to the top of the rod. The vane is 9 feet long by 3 feet 7 inches broad; ball 8 feet in circumference, and cap l6 inches high.
10 October 1846. In the evening at home, with the exception of about 15 minutes, I was over at a Whig meeting held in the State House yard.
11 October 1846. At St. Phillip's Church in the morning with Ma and sister. In the afternoon at the same church above. Mr. Neville preached both times excellent sermons. After church in the afternoon walked home with Miss Louisa Clarke. After tea called around for Miss Clarke and accompanied her to Grace Church. As usual found her company very agreeable, and I only wish that I could always have it.
13 October 1846. It rained very hard all day, accompanied with a tremendous heavy blow from the S.E. which tore up trees, blew down houses and did considerable other damage. It was certainly a very unfavorable day for the election. I spent a very pleasant evening dancing. All the ladies were in the parlor.
14 October 1846. The storm of yesterday, I see by the papers, has done great damage. The highest tide known for 20 years was last night about 9 o'clock. Small boats were paddled with ease along Delaware Avenue, many of the wharves being a foot under water. Nearly every acre of lowland between Philadelphia and the capes was inundated. Immense damage was done to embankments of meadow ground along the river. Some of these have withstood all the high tides of the Delaware since the September gale of 1820. The storm seems to have prevailed all over the country in New York, Baltimore and Washington. We hear of great destruction in the blow down of houses, steeples, upsetting of vessels &c.
15 October 1846. Have had fire in the office for several days. In the evening at Miss Clarke's, as usual spent my time very agreeably in her company. Met there Mr. Ross.
16 October 1846. In the evening called up to see Miss Arethusa Leeds, found her in, and alone. Spent a very pleasant evening and left at about 1/2 past 10. Sarah Elizabeth has not yet returned from Boston. She has been gone 8 weeks today. On my way home stopped and got some oysters.
17 October 1846. At the office during the day until about 5 p.m. when Mr. Welch, Mr. Harbet and myself took a walk in Chestnut Street. Met a large number of ladies on the promenade. Spent the evening up in Miss Ludlow's room with my sister and several others playing whist in the early part of the evening. Toward the latter part had a very exciting game called "Everlasting" which all joined in, and spent a merry time until 11 o'clock.
18 October 1846. In the evening accompanied Ma around to St. Paul's Church. Mr. Maginnis waited upon sister there. A minister from the Jewish mission in New York preached.
19 October 1846. Clear and quite cold weather, an overcoat was quite comfortable, cloaks and overcoats quite plenty in the streets. After tea went down to a Sheriff's sale.
20 October 1846. Spent the evening pleasantly with Miss Louisa M. Clarke, as usual found her very agreeable and pleasant to me.
21 October 1846. In the evening took my sister and Miss Elizabeth Ludlow to the museum. We were much pleased. The pieces played were The Bashful Irishman and The Irish Lion. Barry Wilson sustained the principal character in each. After the performance was over took a walk through the museum.
22 October 1846. In the evening I called up to see Mr. William H. Smith and lady at No. 71 Vine Street below 3rd. They are the gentleman and lady we met last summer in Ohio and traveled some distance with. Left about 10 o'clock and went over to an oyster cellar at the corner of 3rd and Vine. While there a torch light procession of Native Americans came along which was a very fine affair. They conducted themselves with much propriety and order. It was in celebration of their victory in electing the sheriff(31) of the county. Many houses were illuminated on their route, the windows of which were filled with ladies waving their handkerchiefs to the passing crowd. Many fine transparencies were carried.
23 October 1846. At the office all day, and in the evening went around to the Arch Street Theater to see the Ravels. They performed in two pieces, viz., Jocks or the Brazilian Ape and Godluski or the Skates at Wilma, besides dancing on the tight rope. Both pieces were very amusing, particularly the skating scene in the last piece. The performers had on their feet a kind of skate which runs on wheels,(32) and gave them the advantage of moving as when employed in skating. In the course of the scene one of them was so unfortunate as to get in an air hole, which created much mirth. There was also a piece performed called Of Age Tomorrow which was very amusing and well sustained.
25 October 1846. At St. Phillip's Church both in the morning and evening. In the afternoon Messrs. E.J. Maginnis, J.C. Welch, L. Ludlow, Bebee of New York, and myself took a walk up Walnut to 11th, up 11th to Coats, and out Coats to Fairmount, and then home via Callowhill, Schuylkill 3rd & 3rd to Walnut. Met a large number of ladies on Walnut Street this being the fashionable promenade of Sunday afternoon after Church. Chestnut Street is almost deserted.
26 October 1846. In the evening went up to the Walnut Street Theater with James C. Welch to see Edwin Forrest as Damon in the play Damon and Pithias. He performed his character admirably and was sustained by Mr. Jamison and Miss Fisher. The farce of Lend me 5 $ was pretty good.
27 October 1846. In the evening Miss Elizabeth Ludlow and I went up to the exhibition at the Franklin Institute. I do not think the arrangement of the articles in the saloon was so fine as last year, & the company was not nearly so select.
28 October 1846. In the evening called on the Misses Carter, not finding them in called on Miss Ellen Hinman and found her at home. Met there Mr. Carrington. Spent a pleasant evening and left about 10 o'clock, on my way home stopped and got some oysters for Ma, sat in Ma's room talking until near 11.
The workmen again placed the cap, vane & ball on the State House steeple yesterday after regilding.
31 October 1846. After tea went into the parlor with Miss E. Ludlow, Miss J.C. Farell, and sister, also Mr. Maginnis and Mr. Squires. We sat down to converse, but an unpleasant conversation commenced between Messrs. Maginnis and Squires entirely unbecoming gentlemen, when I left and went up to my mother's room & spent the rest of the evening there.
1 November 1846. Poured rain incessantly all day, and throughout the evening, but few persons could be seen on the streets, so inclement was the weather. I did not go out all day.
2 November 1846. Cloudy, rainy and unpleasant weather though quite warm. At the office all day and in the evening went up to the Walnut Street Theater with Mr. Prout, it being the 1st opera of the season, and the first evening of the engagement of the Seguins. The opera performed was the Bohemian Girl. I was much better pleased this evening than when I heard it at the Chestnut Street Theater. The chorus was much fuller and better. Mrs. Seguin as usual performed and sang her part admirably. Her I dreamt I dwelled in Marble Halls was admirable. Mr. Frazier as Thaddeus and Mr. F. Myer as Count Arnheim sustained their characters admirably and sang delightfully. The after piece, A Man without a Head, was not much though it occasionally drew a smile.
3 November 1846. After tea went up into Ma's room where I sat for a while when Colonel Tucker sent in for me to write a letter for him which I did. Then went in to see Miss Elizabeth Ludlow, where I played whist in her company, her sister Anna and brother Samuel, and Mr. Maginnis. Frank Gibbens spent this evening with Ma and sister.
5 November 1846. At the office all day, and in the evening called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke. I have not been there since last Tuesday, two weeks on account of a little affront. Whether it was intentional or not I could not tell until this evening when the matter was cleared up much to my satisfaction and pleasure. I shall resume my visits with pleasure.
Miss Clarke, as usual, looked pretty and was pleasing in her manners. Went home. Upon going up the steps met Mr. Maginnis just going in with Miss O'Farrell from a concert. He asked me to take some oysters with him, went together up to Guys, in 7th above Chestnut to get them.
4 November 1846. In the evening up at the 1st of a series of sociable parties to be given by some 8 or 10 ladies. It was held at Dr. Huston's at the N.W. corner of Girard and 11th Streets. Spent a very pleasant evening. On going up to Mr. Huston's I stopped around for Miss Carter, but found she had gone before tea.
8 November 1846. Cloudy, rainy and unpleasant weather. Went up to St. Phillip's Church in the morning, Mr. Neville preached. Very few persons there.
10 November 1846. In the evening went to the Walnut Street Theater to hear the new opera of Maritana. This was the 2nd night of its performance in this country. This opera generally speaking is very fine, there are many beautiful songs in it. The after piece, The Wandering Minstrel, was very amusing. Mr. Maginnis, with my sister, was also there.
11 November 1846. Cloudy and damp during the day, and a copious shower of rain, accompanied with vivid lightning and loud thunder, usual at this season. Commenced about 1/2 past 7 and continued without cessation up to 10 o'clock. It is to be hoped that this storm is the forerunner of fair weather; a change is anxiously looked for. At the office all day, and in the evening dressed to go to a small company at Miss H. A. Myers for my sister but it rained so hard remained at home.
12 November 1846. After tea or about 8 o'clock Mr. Welch and I called up for the Misses Leeds to wait upon them to a wedding party at Mr. Stockton's on Vine Street, North side below Broad. Mr. Charles B. Vogels had been married to Miss Ellen M. Stockton early in the evening and received their calls between 8 and 11. We entered the room about 9 o'clock and were introduced to the bride and groom. The parlors were crowded to excess. I met a number of my acquaintances. There was no dancing, but plenty of wine and cake.
14 November 1846. At the office all day and in the evening Mr. Welch and I went up to the Circus and Theater on Chestnut Street below 9th. The riding, clown, &c., were about as usual. The after piece, a new equestrian operatic spectacle in three acts, entitled Camp in the Wilderness or The Old Man of the Mountain, was a grand affair and was full of stirring incidents. The scenery, dresses, &c., were beautiful indeed, in a word the whole piece was well got up.
16 November 1846. After over two weeks of rain, the sun looked out pleasantly today, & thawed the coldness which has been upon us so long. It was a goodly sight to see the blue sky once more, and to feel the cheerful warmth of the direct rays of the sun, to note the absence of puddles, and to have the pleasant consciousness that a brief walk might be taken without a thorough saturation. As the darkest hour is the hour before day, so the most disagreeable portion of the prolonged rain occurred on Sunday evening. It was a well defined shower, mingled with a blending mist, driven about by a strong and cold wind, and so utterly cheerless in its general aspect, that it was a wonder people were hardy enough to go forth and endure it. We are grateful for the return of the fair weather, and the sick and aged will welcome it with thankfulness. But while it has been a sore trial to many in the crowded cities, it must be remembered that abroad, over the country, it has been a blessing and a promise of abundance, and the watered fields and replenished streams have rejoiced the farmer and rewarded his hopes.
In the evening called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke, found her in and spent a very pleasant evening. Met there Mr. Cornell, Mr. Dayton and Mr. Sulger. After leaving Miss Clarke's walked as far as 7th and Arch with Mr. Sulger. I there left him, & went down 7th to an oyster saloon just above Chestnut Street, got some oysters and then went home.
17 November 1846. The clear and pleasant weather still continues though the wind is from the N.E. The ladies seem to be much pleased from the change, by the number who enjoy a promenade on Chestnut Street.
18 November 1846. The atmosphere was like that of a day in spring, the ladies seemed to take advantage of the pleasant weather as many were on the promenade.
In the evening went up to the museum with Mr. Maginnis to see a piece called Nature's. It was pretty much of a humbug, though full of laughable incidents. The songs by the Orphean Family were excellent and brought down considerable applause. They were encored in every appearance, and in one instance they were twice encored. The performance on the violin by the Masters Jobst, though very good for the age of the youth, did not appear to be liked or appreciated by the audience, and at one time there was an attempt to hiss them off the stage. The last piece, a farce called Bamboozling, was very amusing, full of fun, and passed in the midst of applause & laughter.
After the museum was out, went up to Mrs. Wood's in Arch Street below 9th to see where my sister had gone to attend a sociable, which I had neglected to ask her before her going. Found it was at a Mr. Taylor's in Schuylkill 7th Street near Arch. On my way up met her coming down Arch Street in company with Miss H.A. Myers, Miss Belangee, and others. Turned about and went home with her.
19 November 1846. During the night it blew a tremendous heavy gale which I have no doubt has done much injury.
20 November 1846. In the evening about 1/4 past 8 called on Miss Louisa M. Clarke remained until about 1/2 past 9, as I met Mr. Dayton there. After leaving went up home, and sat in Ma's room with her until about 10 o'clock, then went down stairs and went out with Mr. Maginnis to get some oysters at a house in 7th above Chestnut.
21 November 1846. Spent the evening at home in my mother's room. Colonel Tucker, Mrs. O'Farrell & daughter Janett, Miss Pricilla Nicholson and Mr. Maginnis spent the greater part of the evening. We had a very pleasant evening. About 10 o'clock Maginnis and I went up and got some oysters.
22 November 1846. Left Philadelphia this morning in the Steamer Trenton for Burlington. Had a considerable chat with Mr. Hewett, the music teacher at St. Mary's Hall on my way up. Met Mr. Welch on the wharf, and he and I went up to the Baptist Church.
After Church Mr. Welch and I walked down to see the Episcopal Church out, but he becoming tired of waiting, left me. After church was out walked home with Miss Emma Parker, then went to the Temperance House and got my dinner. Called down for Welch and we then went down as far as St. Mary's Hall, returned by way of Pearl Street. Met the young ladies of the school, many quite pretty, and had some sly glances with some. Then went up to church and started for Philadelphia.
23 November 1846. Today was decidedly the coldest day of the season, though it cannot be compared with the same day of the month last year, the cold then having been severe enough to form ice along the shores of the Delaware. The wind blew furiously from the N.W. during most of the day, carrying the dust in eddies, causing much annoyance to those who were exposed to its fury. What with screening their eyes from the dust, and holding on to cloak and hat, people have much to do to make headway against it.
Was at the office during the day, and in the evening up at the 2nd sociable at which I met the Misses Harriet and Mary Carter this evening. We had a very pleasant time in dancing, chatting &c.
24 November 1846. Went up to see the Misses Leeds. Just before arriving at the door of our boardinghouse in going home, met Messrs. Maginnis & Prout. Mr. Maginnis invited us to take some oysters with them. All went up to the new oyster saloon at the N.E. corner of Delaware 6th, 4 Chestnut Street. It is a splendid affair and has been open but a few days. We had some very nice stewed oysters, porter, &c.
25 November 1846. At about 1/2 past 6 a violent snow storm commenced which continued until about 1/2 past 9. It covered the house tops and some of the pavements, which reminded us that winter was upon us. The storm came with a tremendous gale. I have no doubt but it has done considerable damage.
At the office all day, and in the evening about 8 o'clock started to go up to Miss Belangee's in Green Street below 5th for my sister. I was almost blown away in going up. It was certainly one of the most disagreeable walks I have had for a long time.
26 November 1846. It has pleased the Governor of this Commonwealth to dedicate this day, by proclamation, to public thanksgiving to Almighty God, for the benefits which He has been pleased to pour out upon the Citizens of this Commonwealth; and it will please a majority of those Citizens undoubtedly to unite in some public manifestation of respect for the recommendation of the Chief Magistrate, and of recognition of a supernatural power, whose kindness has been extended to us all this year past, in health and general prosperity, and whose mercy is over all His works. There are those who deny the propriety of any such public designation of general thanksgiving and as such sustain their opinions with themselves, and insure respect for it in others, by the daily recognition of God's goodness, displayed in their deportment. They are safe from censure on account of their opinion, and have additional cause for thanksgiving, that they live where they may entertain and express their views, however opposed to those in power.
The festival has been usually proclaimed at this season of the year, that it may stand in close connection with the in gathered harvest, and the closing and benefits of those labors of mind or body, that are appointed unto man.
Positively, we have an abundant cause of thanksgiving in the produce of the fields. The earth hath yielded the abundance of her increase, and the garners are swelled with the grain, that is the life of man.
Comparatively, the cause for thanksgiving is yet more forceful. While plenty marks the whole extent of our country, other nations are groaning in want. The miserable produce of a northern soil has been stunted, and the voice of the famishing goeth up to Him who hath withheld the fruits of the earth, and calleth aloud for the bread that the sweat of the brow can no longer earn.
The observance of today as a day of thanksgiving to the author of all good for the many blessings He has conferred upon this country was general: all the churches in the City celebrated Divine service, and in the morning there was almost a universal suspension of business. Stores throughout the city were closed, as were all the public offices, and the principal thoroughfares presented something of a gay holiday appearance, being enlivened by the ladies of our City to a considerable extent. The weather was rather favorable for promenades, being cold and clear for the most part, though somewhat blustering. The day was properly kept, and but for an occasional open store, and the gay and lively appearances of the streets, one would have supposed it to have been the sabbath. The places of amusement were open in the evening and I understand thronged. On the whole, the observance of thanksgiving was such as might have been expected from a moral, thoughtful and cheerful people.
The Streets this morning were covered with sleet and ice, which was the first ice of this season. The weather was excessively cold throughout the day, there being a change of some 25 or 30 degrees from the same hour of yesterday. Went up to St. Phillip's Church where I heard an excellent and affecting sermon from Mr. Neville. He spoke in a beautiful and eloquent style regarding our present difficulties with Mexico and of the distress which has been brought by our present war with that nation. He also spoke of the present prosperous condition of our country, and how thankful we ought to be for the present fruitfulness of our land while other countries are starving for want of the necessaries of life. In a word it was an eloquent and well delivered discourse.
27 November 1846. I understand that it was so cold last night that the ponds in the vicinity of the City were frozen strong enough for the boys to skate upon them this morning.
At the office all day, and in the evening in the parlor at home, sitting looking at Messrs. Welch and Maginnis playing backgammon. The Jackson family who are now boarding at our house, had quite a gathering in the parlor this evening, so much so as to exclude the other boarders. Was much amused with the singing of a Mr. Bellows. It was really like the name of the singer - "Windy." Dr. Grayson sang several very good songs. There was a Mrs. Vicent there, who together with the Jackson family, are trying to make up a match between the eldest Miss Jackson, a beautiful young lady of about 19, and the said Mr. Bellows, a reported rich bachelor of from 45 to 50. I think it shameful. Left the parlor about 1/2 past 8 & went to my mother's room.
28 November 1846. At the office all day, and spent the evening at home in mother's room. Miss J. O'Farrell and Mr. S. Ludlow, together with my sister, amused ourselves playing whist until 10 o'clock. I then went out as far as 7th and Chestnut Streets to get some oysters.
29 November 1846. In the evening I called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke, found her in looking as pretty and quite as agreeable as ever. Spent a pleasant evening.
30 November 1846. We had glorious weather today, clear, calm, mild and sunny, as if the weather was on its good behavior, and trying to smile itself to forgiveness for its unruly pranks of the few past days. Perhaps it was not well satisfied, for as evening came on the air grew snappish and quite cold.
In the evening went to the Arch Street Theater. The first piece called La Tour de Nesle, or the Chamber of Death was full of interest and very exciting. Herr Ryninger accomplished rather a hazardous task, that of walking on a single wire from the back of the stage to the front of the gallery in the third tier of boxes. I dreaded having him perform the feat, but he accomplished it without accident. The last piece was a Pantomime entitled Magic Pills or the Cenguiras Gift and was full of fun and incidents. The present mode of preparing quack nostrums was much ridiculed.
2 December 1846. The ground was covered with snow this morning and the walking bad.
3 December 1846. In the evening called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke, found her in and spent a pleasant evening. Met there two: Mr. Brewster & Mr. Dayton.
4 December 1846. At about 1/4 of 7 p.m. called up at Mr. Huestons at the N.W. corner of Girard and 11th Streets to meet him with some other gentlemen to go out to Miss Hoopes' to meet the sociable which was held there this week. Five of us went out in the omnibus. Met the ladies all there. I spent rather a dull evening. We left at about 11 o'clock and had a delightful walk home with Miss Eliz. Hueston. Miss Hoopes lives in West Philadelphia at the corner of the Darby Road & Market Street.
5 December 1846. There were large numbers of ladies and gentlemen on the promenade. The street was actually crowded.
6 December 1846. After church in the afternoon walked home with Miss Louisa M. Clarke. In the evening attended St. Andrew's Church with Miss L.M. Clarke. Mr. Clarke gave us a very excellent sermon, the church was very much crowded.
7 December 1846. White capped roofs met the waking eye this morning. The snow continued falling very fast until about 12 N. when it turned to rain and made awful walking.
A portion of the volunteers for Mexico departed this morning. For a few days past the city has had abundant evidence of the preparation for the movement, and its unusual character tended to create a strong interest in the minds of many who were not in the least disposed to join with the volunteers. A public committee was, and still is, in session to secure the means of provision against want for wives and children left behind and abroad. On the public streets, the modest blue uniform has drawn general attention, because the wearer was soon to be in peril of life in a distant country. The remaining portion of the volunteers depart on Wednesday next.
At the office the greater part of the day. Spent the evening playing whist.
9 December 1846. In the evening about 8 o'clock went up with Mr. Robert McK. Ludlow to Miss Myers to attend one of the sociables. Spent a pleasant evening dancing, &c. Met there Miss L[ouisa] Wood, Miss Dunlap, Miss Belangee and several other ladies and a number of gentlemen, among whom was the illustrious Joseph Merrifield, who accidentally stopped in and had the impudence to remain through the evening without invitation. Several hints were given to him by Miss Myers that his company was not wanted, but he was fool enough not to be able to see them.
The remaining company of volunteers for Mexico left this City this morning, and with their departure there was a recurrence of the scenes of Monday morning last. There was the same motley gathering of people of both sexes, some to gratify feelings of friendship by the interchange of parting salutations; some drawn hither by military feelings, and a kind of envy, perhaps, of those who were of the chosen and appointed number. Others look upon it as a novelty that would momentarily please; and others again who were there because the strong impulse of the heart could not be resisted because affection was too powerful, and the parting so painful that it needed all the reviewed farewells to accustom it to the sudden change. The Pennsylvania Line will not be found wanting, we know. Where there is service to be done and if danger is to be invoked for the general good, we feel confident that more gallant hearts, more effective soldiers, cannot be found to do battle in the plains and in the passes of Mexico. Their course and actions will be watched with deep interest, and since they are in the war, we shall feel a pride in their well doing so far as that is comprised in the duties of the officers and soldiers.
10 December 1846. Old Flora Pancost, our old cook, spent this evening with Ma. We were all glad to see her as it reminded us of old times.
12 December 1846. At the office all day, and in the evening called up to see Roberts [family] in 9th Street. They were all in with the exception of Sarah who was over at Miss C. Langstreths. She returned in a short time with Miss Langstreth, and I had trouble conversing since Miss Langstreth engrossed the conversation the rest of the evening, which I cannot say I was pleased with.
14 December 1846. In the evening about 8 o'clock went down with Mr. Welch to spend the evening with Mr. & Mrs. Frank Miller after receiving an invitation to be there for some little company. Spent the evening principally playing whist. I was playing the greater part of the evening with a Miss Bird as my partner.
16 December 1846. Spent the evening with Miss L.M. Clarke, found as usual Mr. James Dayton there.
17 December 1846. It commenced snowing this morning about 8 o'clock and continued without intermission until about 3. The wind blew a perfect gale from the N.E. through the day, and caused the snow to drift very much. There were a few sleighs out this afternoon, though the sleighing was anything but good. These were the first sleighs out this season.
Out attending to business nearly all the morning notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather.
18 December 1846. The streets are in an awful condition for walking. The snow is disappearing rapidly as the weather is quite mild again. At the office all day, and in the evening went up to the Walnut Street Theater to see the new opera of Luli or the Switzers Bride. I did not like the songs generally but the some of choruses were very good, particularly the boat song. The music is all very fast. The chorus was very strong. Chapman as Jeru Baggs in the Wandering Minstrel, was very amusing and caused considerable applause.
19 December 1846. A large number on the promenade. In the evening went to the Museum with Lydia. The first piece played was the Lady of Lyons, Mr. Gallagher as Claude Melnotte and a Miss Frances A. Emery as Pauline. Parts of the piece were played very well, and other parts turned completely into a farce. In the garden scene, where Melnotte describes his home to Pauline, they were a complete failure. This is the most beautiful part of the piece when well played, the language is beautiful but they murdered it. The last piece entitled Peter Snails or The Armistice, was very amusing and went off in the midst of laughter. There were also two curiosities there in the shape of two fat boys one 7 and the other 9 years of age. The two, it is said, weigh 500 pounds. They are the fattest children of their age that I have yet seen.
20 December 1846. At St. Phillip's Church both in the morning and afternoon. Mr. Neville preached in the morning, and a gentleman in the afternoon preached a sermon entirely in the French language. If others did not understand more of it than I did it could not have done much good. In the evening went down to Trinity Church in Catherine Street below 2nd. Mr. Coleman gave us a very good sermon. The church has been much enlarged and improved in appearance since I was down last.
21 December 1846. At the office the greater part of the day. Took a stroll on Chestnut Street for about half an hour, found a large number on the promenade.
23 December 1846. At the office during the morning and in the afternoon at the recorder's office making an examination of title. In the evening went up to hear the Hutchinson family with Ma. They gave a concert in the Musical Fund Hall. This was the first time I heard them and I was much pleased with their singing. They introduced some abolition songs during the course of the evening which were not favorably received & I have no doubt will do them much injury in their profession if continued. The room was crowded. After the concert was over went home with Ma, and then went over to the office & wrote a mortgage. After leaving the office went up to "Guys" in 7th above Chestnut Street and got some oysters.
24 December 1846. At the recorder's office during the morning making examinations of title. Afternoon at the office. After tea went out to take a stroll around town. I first went over to Mr. Pepper's and got some head pins(33) to show Lydia, after which went up to Mr. Harbachers. Bought a black cake and sent it down to Ma anonymously. In going down Chestnut Street met Sam Mitchell and Mr. Carrington. We all strolled around town having our own fun, and then went to an oyster cellar in Market below 8th Street, and had an oyster supper. When we came out, which was about 1/4 of 10 o'clock, found it was raining. We concluded to all go home, as there was not much pleasure in walking around in the rain.
There was an immense concourse of people out on the streets this evening. At times on Chestnut Street it was almost impossible to get along. Generally speaking the streets were pretty quiet, though occasionally you would meet with a drunken party.
25 December 1846. Today is Christmas, the anniversary of the birthday of our Savior, and all around us the merry bells announce the joyful advent, and connect the glad some time with sacred associations. The weather today was gloomy and unpleasant, it rained during the greater part of the afternoon which prevented many a one from taking a ramble through the town. However the streets were very much crowded throughout the day. It cleared off beautifully about 5 p.m. and was clear and moonlit throughout the evening. The churches, I believe, were all full, and the places of public amusement too. I spent my day rather gloomily. In the morning, until 10 o'clock at the office, then went to St. Phillip's Church with Ma and Lydia and heard a very good sermon by Mr. Neville. After church walked home with sister (leaving Ma to commune) then went to the office remained there until about 1 when it came on to rain. I went up to church again for Ma with an umbrella, but found she had gone. Returned home again, found her there, and then went over to the office and wrote until 3 p.m. Then went over and got dinner at my boarding house. After that Bob Ludlow and myself started out to take a walk, but finding a heavy shower coming up went to the office and drank some wine. About 1/4 of 5 the weather cleared, so we again went out for a walk, but found the pavements wet. I soon returned to the office and wrote until after 6 p.m. Ludlow also went to his office. Spent the evening up at Mr. Edward Roberts. The family were all assembled there and we spent a very pleasant evening.
26 December 1846. There was a large crowd out, at times you could hardly get along. They seemed to be making up for yesterday.
29 December 1846. At the office all day, and in the evening called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke. She looked prettier tonight than I ever saw her. Mr. Dayton came in a short time after I came into the parlor but soon left.
30 December 1846. Warm and spring like. In the evening went up to the Menagerie with James C. Welch. There were quite a number of people there. They have got it fitted up very handsomely.
31 December 1846. In the evening at home at a small party given by Miss Crim and Miss Nicholson. A large number of the boarders, and some invited guests, were present.
We spent a pleasant evening and all seemed to enjoy themselves in dancing, which they kept up until 1 a.m. or one hour into 1847.
(1) Congress granted Samuel F.B. Morse $30,000 to build the first long distance telegraph line between Washington and Baltimore in 1843.
(2) Chaise: A two wheeled carriage for one or two persons with a calash (folding) top and the
body hung on leather straps, usually drawn by one horse, or a similar four wheel vehicle. Light carriage or pleasure cart. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
(3) Lewis Sharpe Ware (1817-1853).
(4) Watson does not list the Lombardy Poplar in his notes on Aboriginal Trees. Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, by John F. Watson, published by the author, Philadelphia 1844. Volume II, p. 491.
(5) Mrs. George Rex Graham, wife of the editor of Graham's Magazine, FJD
(6) The Arch Street Theater, at 6th and Arch Streets, designed by William Strickland, John Haviland, Architect, opened October 1, 1828. When it was razed in 1936, it was the second oldest playhouse in the country. It should not be confused with The Trocadero Theater (Trock) at 10th and Arch Streets, originally known as the Arch Street Opera House which opened in 1870 and is a theater to this date. Philadelphia Theaters, pp. xv and xvii. Se also Scarf and Westcott, p. 979.
(7) "The sloop Yorktown, launched 1839, ranged up and down the west coast of Africa as she labored to curtail the slave trade. She captured the slave ships Pons, Panther, and the Patcxent." Fighting Ships, Vol. VIII, p. 530.
(8) U.S. Naval Home, 24th and Gray's Ferry Avenue, for veterans, was designed by William Strickland and opened in 1833. 1972 Bulletin Almanac, The Bulletin Co., Philadelphia, 1972. p. 366.
(9) The John Stevens, side wheel passenger boat with an iron hull, built in Hoboken, NJ in 1845. Steam Navigation, p. 186.
(10) Silas Wright (1795-1847), governor of New York 1845-1847. Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
(11) Niagara, steamboat on the Hudson River, from New York to Albany, 1846. Steam Navigation, p. 82.
(12) The John Mason was one of the steamboats on the North River Line in New York in the 1840's. Steam Navigation, p. 63.
(13) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded 1824. Comparative Guide to American Colleges.
(14) "The era of false teeth for the masses began [in Britain] in the 1850's with the American invention of sulpher-hardened rubber, that is vulcanite, for mounting the bases." The Strange Story of False Teeth, by John Woodforde, Universe Books, New York, 1970. p. 87. The United States was ahead of Europe in distributing dentures. Warner Erwin makes several references to selling them, but gives no explanation of his involvement.
(15) Edwin P. Christy (1815-1862). American actor and singer, founder and interlocutor of a well known black face minstrel troupe, The Christy Minstrels, organized in Buffalo, NY in 1842.
(16) Drinking bout.
(17) Cornelian, also Carnelian: a hard tough chalcedony (precious stone) that has a reddish color and is used in jewelry. Webster's Third International Dictionary.
(18) Joseph Smith (1805-1844), founder of Mormon community, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, moved the congregation from Palmyra, New York to Kirtland, Ohio, and thence to the town they renamed Nauvoo, Illinois on the East bank of the Mississippi in 1831. Opposition to polygamy in 1843 led to a schism and the murder of Smith by a mob in 1844 and the moving of the sect to The Great Salt Lake, Utah in 1846. Warner Erwin visited Nauvoo shortly before these happenings. Webster's Biographical Dictionary
(19) Marion City, Illionis, also called Green's Landing, no longer exists. It was probably absorbed by Quincey, Illinois. Quincey Public Library, 1994.
(20) Dr. Ezra Ely raised upward to $60,000 for the Grand Lodge [of Philadelphia] to found a college free of Sectanaryism and free to all poor orphans of Masons and children of poor Masons in Marion County about 9 miles from Marion City. The First Rosalie of Philadelphia, the diary of Charles McKaraher (1843-1845), by Rosalie Esmond Blizard, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1994, pp. 23-24.
(21) North Bend, Ohio, Tomb of William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), ninth president of the United States.
(22) John P. Harrison, M.D. and his wife Mary Thomas Warner Harrison (1798- ), sister of Rebecca Ashton Warner (Mrs. Henry Erwin), the mother of J. Warner Erwin.
(23) Farmers College, established by Freeman Grant Cary, 1846. From an unpublished letter from The Cincinnati Historical Society, 1994.
(24) Mercantile Library, established 1835, located at 313 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH. ibid.
(25) Laudanum: a tincture of opium.
(26) Dr. Ezra Ely raised upward to $60,000 for the Grand Lodge [of Philadelphia] to found a college free of Sectanaryism and free to all poor orphans of Masons and children of poor Masons in Marion County about 9 miles from Marion City. The First Rosalie of Philadelphia, the diary of Charles McKaraher (1843-1845), by Rosalie Esmond Blizard, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1994, pp. 23-24.
(27) The Germantown, a sloop of war, 939 tons, sponsored by Lavinia Fanning Watson, was launched at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 22 August 1843. During the Civil War she was scuttled as Union forces evacuated Norfolk, VA, raised by the Confederates then sunk as an obstruction in the Elizabeth River. The hulk was sold at auction in 1864. Fighting Ships, Vol. III, p. 91.
(28) Girard College, a school for "poor white male orphans," provided for in the will of Stephen Girard (1750-1831). The general design is that of a Greek Temple. Construction was started in 1833. It opened on January 1, 1848. Scarf and Westcott, pp. 1946-1949.
(29) Sarcophagus and statue in the vestibule of the principal building of Girard College. Erected by the City of Philadelphia in memory of Stephen Girard and dedicated upon the removal of the statue of Mr. Girard from Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, July 30, 1850. Scarf and Westcott, p.1877.
(30) "The sixth Washington, a revenue cutter, served the U.S. Navy from 1837 searching for slave ships. Whilein the coastal survey, stationed in the Chesapeake Bay in 1846, the Washington was demasted in a severe gale. Eleven men were lost overboard, including Lt. George M. Blake, theship's commanding officer." Fighting Ships, Vol. VIII, p. 125.
(31) Native American, Henry Lelar, was elected sheriff in 1846 and served to 1849. Philadelphia, A 300 Year History, Weigley, Wainwright and Wolf, W.W. Norton Co., New York 1982, p. 358.
(32) "Wheeled skates were used on the roads of Holland as far back as the 18th century, but it was the invention of the four wheeled skate, working on rubber springs, by J.L Plimpton of New York, in 1863, that made this amusement popular." Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition, New York 1911, Volume Vol.21, p.467. It is no wonder that Warner Erwin noted the "skates on wheels" 20 years before they were in vogue.
(33) Possibly hat pins.