6 Chester Square
25 August Wednesday
Left Town by the 10AM Express from Euston to Liverpool – excessive heat and dust. Adelphi Hotel at Liverpool. Spoke with Inman & Co. about berth. Very civil and took my cheque in balance of passage money. Princes Park and St George’s Hall – assizes still on – Fletcher Milward – drove after dinner about the town.
Notes: I was only able to get a 17guinea berth, the 20 guineas having been all previously secured–these latter being usually taken for ladies–there are only four of them. The above services included everything on board except wine etc. etc.
The table is tolerably good–always abundant; soup and fish, Entrees, roast and boiled beef, Geese, duck, chicken, Lamb, Mutton, veal, Ham, tongue, pigeon, Rabbits, Excellent salad and vegetables and numerous entremets. The champagne very good– Not so the sherry– But the Captain very kindly entertained us with two or three excellent bottles from his own cellar. ……… the meals are served as follows: -
A cup of tea or coffee on rising at 9 breakfast consists of tea, coffee, all cold meats from dinner of the previous day, fresh fish, kippered salmon, Irish stew, Boiled ham and bacon, Poached eggs, Eggs au natural, liver and bacon, Cold fowl, Cold pigeon etc. etc. excellent little hot rolls and abundance of dry toast most excellent.
at 12 luncheon– Cold meats, Hot baked potatoes -excellent, Biscuit cheese etc. etc. etc.
at 4 dinner, as above
at 7.30 Tea, coffee, bread, Butter, toast and always jam and jelly.
The second steward, Old Peter– A very worthy attentive old fellow and Willie the best and most active, clever little fellow waited at the Captains table
26 August Thursday
Adelphi Hotel very comfortable, the people very attentive. Walked to the Post Office. No Letters. St
George’s Hall very fine – Courts Good, but couldn’t hear at all at the back.
<I> went to Inman’s to enquire for Crawley - <I> heard nothing of him but <there were> letters waiting for him; <I> left Adelphi at 12.15 for Princes’ Pierhead and embarked on a tender which left at 1.00 pm for City of Washington lying about 1/2 mile off in the Mersey. About 10 minutes before the tender left, Crawley appeared with his baggage having arrived at Liverpool the previous night.
On getting to City of Washington, I got baggage down to my birth number 63, an upper one– two inside with one more below me. This had been taken by a Mr. James Boyd but he joined at Queenstown the next day.
We weighed anchor at 1:30 and steamed down the Mersey at good speed. Dinner at four; Crawley had taken the precaution of securing, as he fancied, two seats at the Captain’s table by pinning onto the cloth two cards with our names, but on going to take them, a gentleman insisted that one of the seats belonged to him having been taken by telegram three days previous. A wordy war between him and Crawley
but the former having bodily possession, we gave way and went to attend up at the saloon.
After dinner, which was rough and ready, walked on deck. We were off the coast of North Wales– near the spot where the Royal Charter was lost. A fine bold coast– weather calm and beautiful. We passed Skerries Lighthouse and Mouse island. At 7:30 we were served tea and coffee in the saloon. At 10 turned in or rather turned up, for with difficulty I climbed into my birth or coffin– 2 feet wide - a most miserable hole not fit for a decent person and the berth arrangements a disgrace to Inman’s Company. No bath on-board and only one or two foot paces– the washing apparatus disgusting. There were about 600 emigrants on board – in the fore part and about 80 passengers.
After dinner, I took the opportunity of speaking to the Captain (Captain Jones) about our seats at table and on informing him who we were, he at once said that he always retained two seats on each side of him and that we should have these– and thenceforth we can have seats besides the Captain– an advantage of a high order and not to be despised in such a ship. The passengers were mainly American or English Americans.
Details of the Ships Company:
Captain Thomas Charles Jones
First officer Mortimer
Second officer Thwaites
Third officer James
Fourth officer William
Senior Surgeon Rogers
Junior surgeon Higgins
2nd 3rd 4th and 5th
22 Fire miners
Chief Steward McLeod
22 Under Stewards
4 Under cooks
Baker and Baker’s mate
Total 104 hands
27 August Friday
Got up or rather down with increased difficulty at 6 AM. Off coast of Ireland. Cup of coffee –walked on the deck till 9 when breakfast in saloon. Plain and good –arrived at Queenstown 9:15 –a splendid harbour– The finest I had ever seen. Haulbowline Island,
now a <warship repair and construction> establishment; the entrance into the Cove of Cork is very beautiful and striking. At 11:00 went on tender to Queenstown - we were anchored about a mile off shore.
The Captain– a most openhearted obliging fellow took uncommon interest in me or perhaps rather in Crawley with whose name and antecedents he appeared to be familiar and on learning that I was at the bar, he took frequent opportunities of speaking to me about some litigation in which he was involved. On reaching Queenstown, we went off by steamer to the passage some distance up the River Lee, rather an arm of the harbour and then by railroad to Cork; we strolled or rather drove about in an Irish car; at 2:45 returned by the Cork and Youghal Railroad to Queenstown, arriving just in time to take the tender back to the steamer having first been introduced to Mr. Symone, Inman’s agent at Queenstown, who took us to the club to drink to a prosperous passage. On reaching the steamer, we found a large accession of emigrants and passengers making up a grand total, it was said, of 1100 emigrants and 150 passengers besides 104 crew and servants.
<We> left Queenstown at 4 PM, steaming along the Irish coast in one of the most lovely evenings I have ever seen, past Cape Clear, the Fastnet Rock about 9 PM
and thence steering due west into the Atlantic. There was no swell–nor hardly <any> perceptible motion. I have seen nothing of Mr. Boyd. I turned in at 10.
About half an hour afterwards somebody entered the cabin and requested that the door be left open all night as he was suffering from a continuous cough and required fresh air. This was Mr. Boyd; I told him to do as he liked, having no objection to plenty of air, for the heat below was intense and I could hardly stand the sheet over me. Mr. Boyd told me that he had been living in the US for many years, and had come over to Ireland in June to see his friends and in the hope that he might throw off a severe cold he had contracted in one of the sleeping cars on an American Railroad. He assured me that he was not consumptive and there was no danger in sleeping in the same cabin <for me>; he coughed and expectorated incessantly keeping a small handkerchief by his side for the purpose.
In the morning, I found the cabin horribly tainted and was glad to get up at six or earlier. On afterwards seeing Mr. Boyd for the first time, it was evident that he was in the last stage of consumption; he looked a mere shadow. Young and very respectable in his appearance, he had been a clerk or something of that sort.
There are five watches of four hours and two called dog watches all two hours each [so called because it is curtailed]
1.12 at noon to 4.00pm
2.4pm to 6pm (dog watch)
3.6pm to 8 pm (dog watch)
4.8 to 12 midnight
5.12 to 4am
6.4 to 8
7.8 to noon
[one bell at 1/2 hour after each watch
2 bells at 1 hour
3 bells at 1/2 hour
and so on till 8 bells ends the four hours watch]
28th August Saturday
It was some time before I recovered from the effects of the close atmosphere of the cabin. After breakfast however, I spoke to the Captain who most kindly offered me his aft cabin and directed his steward, a very smart handsome little fellow of 15, (a Scotch boy, Willie Robinson), to make up a bed for me every night and wait upon me. This was, however, lying over the Screw so that at first I got but little rest, the noise and hiatus being very great.
At present no serious motion of vessel and all going well–with a genial breeze from North north-east– Fore sails set; about noon, passed a barque in full sail about 3 miles off running in same direction as ourselves. At 2, wind freshened a little and most of the passengers <went> down with sea sickness. Dinner at four but few present. Fell in with two shoals of porpoises during the day which amused me greatly by their gambols. They swim about a quarter of a mile from the ship, and for upward of a mile go as fast jumping out of the water from distances of many yards. Several of Mother Carey's Chickens also followed us. They are small birds with white head and purple breast, very like a swallow in their motion.
On coming on deck after dinner, I saw a ship in full sail about two miles to the south-west, steering apparently for Ireland. I strolled down to the fore part of the vessel and talked to some of the emigrants who were mostly Irish– but there were some from all parts of the United Kingdom– also French and Germans. The sea was now high and the vessel rolling a good deal, so that they were suffering from seasickness; I fancied they looked very miserable and had but little comfort– but on making myself subsequently better acquainted with their quarters, I am disposed to think I was mistaken.
I turned into my new berth at 10 but slept badly, the rolling of the ship becoming very heavy– The change however was most delightful and I was thankful to be quit of the pestilential atmosphere of the previous night.
29th August Sunday
Up early, Willy having brought me water and a cup of coffee (this boy added greatly to my comfort). Walked on deck for an hour before breakfast. At 10:30 the Captain read the English Church Service in <the> Saloon which was crowded as a large number of passengers were Roman Catholics and they and others were ahead. Many of the emigrants were admitted and large numbers listened at the windows on the outside. The Captain read extremely well and loud enough to be heard by everybody from one side of the cabin to the other. He sat in the middle; the psalms and lessons of the day were importantly appropriate to the occasion.
About 3 PM, <a> fresh gale sprung up and the ship rolled tremendously; there was also a <sudden> rain which kept the passages below– though almost everybody was in their berths; I and Crawley were not the least affected being able to sit down and enjoy every meal. Passed a large shoal of porpoises and saw someMother Carey’s chickens.
30 August Monday
Up early and walked on deck for an hour before breakfast. At 10 AM I saw a large vessel, about 200 tons keel upwards. She passed about 3 miles to the north of us, looking like, as she was, an unwieldy hulk. She was drifting with the wind southwards by East towards the coast of Ireland. I watched her through my glasses with much interest, wondering what had become of her hands and how she had been wrecked and in half an hour we lost all trace of her.
The sea ran heavily all day. I saw two vessels in the distance, a shoal of porpoises and during the afternoon two or three little land birds settled on the ship and flew about her. We afterwards saw no more of them.
31 August Tuesday
Up early as usual on deck. Nothing occurred till about 2 PM when a very heavy sea set in; the table ladders had been fastened on the saloon tables since Sunday. These are to prevent plates, dishes etc. from rolling off. But just as the soup had been placed on table for dinner 4 PM, a large silver tureen on one of the lower tables pitched clean off into the lap of an old American gentleman with a silvery beard.
I was at that moment looking through one of the saloon windows and never laughed more heartily; the soup was smoking hot, as anything on board ship is. The Yankee finally got up, shook himself and coolly observed ‘Waal I guess this should have been inside!’. His imperturbable coolness was most accusing – though he afterwards told me he was much scalded and had to change everything. The dinner was a very clattering one; glasses, plates, dishes, wine and food being dashed about from one side of the ladder to the other every five minutes; there were but few out of our 140 saloon passages at dinner.
September 1 Wednesday
Up early as usual – I thought of my sporting friends in England.
The wind had quite fallen and a nasty damp mist fell, keeping most of the passengers below. While at dinner we saw a large ship in full sail to the north of us sailing due east. She was about 6 miles off. The weather was extremely cold all day and I was glad to put on my cloak over my other clothing – at seven a thick fog denoting our approach to the banks of Newfoundland came on and the fog signal was sounded every five minutes. This signal was almost identical with the engine signals on the Great Western Railway in England though of course much louder – a low, hoarse guttural unearthly sound. The Admiralty order requires the signal to be sounded every five minutes in a fog. I was on deck, then it rained hard till 11 PM.
Every steam ship at night hoists a white light at the foremast head, a green on the starboard and a red on the port outside each end of the bridge. We did not slacken speed but as there was but little wind and this from the south west, we made only about 11 knots. I turned in at 11.10 but the fog signal prevented my sleeping. Having ascertained, however, that there were two officers on duty all night on the bridge and two men in the forecastle with the Captain on his deck lying below the bridge and another officer aft, I felt no apprehension, though the Captain was anxious fearing the proximity of icebergs.
The Captain is evidently a most able and experienced sailor. He is constantly making observations and knows to an inch the position of the ship, which he constantly points out to me on his charts. He is withal the most genial, kind-hearted gentlemen and I have great reason to congratulate myself that I sailed with him. He joined us in our wine every night, which was generally champagne and sharing to which, by the by, both he and old Crawley always did ample justice.
September 2 Thursday
The fog cleared off at midnight and the signal ceased, much to my comfort. Up early and usual walk on deck. At noon saw a large ship in full sail ahead of us some 10 miles off. We overtook her in about an hour and spoke with her. She proved to be the Liverpool of London bound for <?> of 300 tons, not heavily laden. She steered towards us and we crossed close enough (two or 300 yards) to fire her crew a hearty cheer, which was warmly responded. It was a very pretty site as she was a remarkably fine vessel with every stick of canvas set. Speaking with a vessel at sea is very interesting. The vessel desiring to communicate sends up certain flags over their stern, denoting figures, which the signal book interprets. We signalled back again our name and destination; the Liverpool passed astern of us and made to the North.
We were now off the coast of Newfoundland over which a dense white bank of fog hung and I was told that land could be traced in the distance. My eye, however, was not sufficiently practiced to discover it and at 3 PM we were off Cape Race but did not sight it. This is the point for which all vessels bound from England for New York make. It is situate on the extreme north-east coast of Newfoundland and fogs almost always prevail here, and icebergs are frequently passing down from the North Sea to the Gulf Stream. There is great danger in navigating these shores. We were about 20 miles distant from land but I could see nothing but fog. We passed three vessels during the day and a little land bird flew on deck. At 4 PM a heavy rain set in which continued all the evening with a stirring rolling sea.
While sitting in the saloon after dinner about 5 PM with the window above us open, the Captain was appealed to through the window by one of the passengers, an American judge – Mr. Connolly, an Irishman of enormous size [say 6 foot six high and proportionate girth] to prevent the distribution of tracts among the Irish Roman Catholic emigrants. We were quite startled by the warmth of the judge’s appeal.
It appeared that Mr. Herbert <Tegler>, a fine handsome young fellow of about 23, a grandson of the late Sir <Tegler> and a relation of the Gossetts and old Lord Derby – was coming with an assistant for the purpose of distributing tracts and preaching the gospel in the Western states of America. He was a man of private fortune activated solely by a sense of duty and a desire of ministering to the moral and religious welfare of mankind. The Captain with great tact managed to pacify both parties but the incident caused great feeling as old religious disputes invariably do – and one of the passengers, an American gentleman of stout build and determined look, a member of Congress, Mr. Ingersoll, was furious, going below for his revolver.
The night was the toughest we had had and the ship rolled and pitched tremendously.
September 3 Friday
Up early and usual walk. The sea was very rough with fog, the signal firing – after a short time this cleared and we had a tolerably fine day – the wind falling and the ship getting more steady. Nothing of interest occurred – in the evening some of the passengers sang in the saloon extremely well – and the judge improvised a sort of concert – he himself playing the violin – one of the steerage passengers a crumhorn, another a flute and another a concertina. Being Friday, a fish (Ling) is <supplied> for all the Roman Catholics on board and <unreadable> emigrants.
Our passengers included
Mr. and Mrs. Wade and their little niece – they were very well bred agreeable people and … And some He…………. gentlemen - he told me he had purchased considerable property in Illinois state and was a good deal to and fro this being his 26th voyage – he is a man of private fortune spending his time in shooting while in the US. He knew several people I was acquainted with – and gave me a most kind invitation to his place in Illinois.
Mr. Ingersoll and his wife – he is a member of Congress for Peoria in Illinois state – and I never met a man of more information – a thorough Yankee – he has been travelling in England for some weeks. I had several most amusing chats with him. He is evidently a most remarkable man. I was told he was an infidel but this in so clever a man, as indeed in anybody – I hold to be near to impossible – he pressed me to visit him at Washington which I hope to do.
Judge Connolly and his daughter, a pretty and interesting girl of about 22 – they are Irish R.C. and had a posse of priests with them. He is a clever and amusing man, having been in America for 40 years he had been visiting his friends in Ireland for the first time.
Mr. Ward, his wife and daughter. He was a ……. clever fellow on his way into Virginia where he had purchased a farm and had opened a store and Lumber House or shed – they came from Somersetshire
September 4 Saturday
Up as usual – a magnificent morning – clear blue sky and sea – the latter like a millpond. We were about 50 or 60 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia – I today made the acquaintance of Mr. Herbert Tagler who I found was related to the Fossett's and Mrs. Gardner of Brighton. I also made the acquaintance of a youth of 19, Mr. Morton Dyer whose mother was a Knatchbull – so that he was first cousin of George Daith and his family – residing at Boulogne and he is going to Canada as a clerk in the Great Western Railroad of Canada – a very gentlemanlike youth; he afterwards informed me (in confidence, as he said) that he had fallen in love with a very rich girl and they were engaged to be married - but his friends didn’t approve the match and had sent him away from England. I am disposed to think he was a troublesome one. At noon, we passed the Tarifa Cunard steamer from New York to Liverpool. We also passed several sailing ships all at a distance. In <the> evening concert according to program was held in the saloon – there is also a dance on deck. The evening was beautiful and I have since Thursday pointedly observed upon the remarkably soft and barmy nature of the air. The weather is getting hot – our time here is west of London – that is about five hours slower than London – that is five hours slower than Greenwich time. I've never attempted to keep time since I left England as 12 daily observations are taken and we find ourselves every day about 25 minutes further west.
Just as the concert was coming to a close, the engine whistle sounded and steamer suddenly shut off. I was on deck above observing a vessel with a strong light to the south of us and which at first I fancied must be on fire and it turned out that she was a pilot boat on the lookout for inward bound vessels, but by some gross and unaccountable blunder on the part of somebody or other on board our vessel, her signals were not made out, although I and Crawley distinctly saw them and after a deal of pottering and delay. We actually went on ahead without taking the pilot on board, although he had put off in a small boat and was making fast for us. We were about 360 miles from New York and I was sorry the poor fellow lost the job. I fear our boat’s company is not of a high order – but more of this after I leave the ship.
September 5 Sunday
At 5 AM went on deck fancying I heard a pilot signal, which was the case as I found a vessel about a mile off and a small boat with a pilot making for us. We slackened speed, stopped the engines and took him on board – he was dressed in evening costume with a huge white hat and deep mourning band and he looked like some heavy swell from board. I was the first to salute him and he informed me at once that – had – the Harvard crew – he brought New York papers on board with him. I hear there is no news of importance.
At 6:45 AM we passed the City of Dublin Inman steamer bound from New York to Liverpool. She had all her sail set and we exchanged signals – it was again a most lovely morning - not a cloud to be seen, with a soft sleepy breeze. This will be our last day on board as we hope to reach New York about midnight. I shall in that case disembark after breakfast tomorrow. At 9 AM passed the City of Brooklyn steamer Inman line bound from New York to Liverpool. Several pilot vessels signalled to us as we had a pilot on board all flew close by us – they are wonderful. Little vessels carrying an enormous quantity of lily white sail, each denoting its number painted in large character on the major sail.
At 1 PM a large shoal of whales surrounded us. I was standing in the forecastle and was first attracted by numerous small water spurts. There must have been at least a hundred and some of them enormous creatures About 3:30 PM shoal of porpoises followed us – there were several hundred and appeared of a different species to those we had seen first entering the Atlantic. Several vessels outward and inward bound passed us during the day.
At 1 PM a meeting of the saloon passengers was held in the saloon, convened by notices posted on the mainmast and quarterdeck; Judge Connolly was voted to the chair, Crawley secretary, Rev father Raghton PP or some such name, Councillor Clayton of the American bar and Counsellor Waller of the English bar. A committee to draw up a resolution expressive of the passengers’ gratification on the conduct of Captain and officers. This was done and after dinner the resolution was passed unanimously and indeed to be inserted in the New York papers.
I had another very long conversation with Mr. Ingersoll who is a most remarkable man and most agreeable – his information is really quite startling and he invited me to Washington and offered to introduce me to President Grant. As evening set in, we passed numerous lighthouses on the coast of Massachusetts; all the coast appears to be admirably lighted; anchored off for quarantine <awaiting> the health officer.
From 10 to 10.30 the bell rang for Divine Service. There was a large attendance; the Saloon crammed with the crew, some few of the passengers and the rest emigrants, while numbers stood outside the saloon windows. There were three Psalms and Hymns sung:
Son of my Soul
The old hundredth -
The service was very nicely and decorously performed. There is something very touching and affecting in a Church of England Service on board ship some 3000 miles away from home, surrounded as we were by religionists of all nations and probably non-religionists also.
After dinner today Mr. Ingersoll, who was at the American Bar, proposed my health - coupled with the English Bar and I was obliged to make a speech. Old Crawley spoke admirably and with stentorian <voice> as if at the head of his regiment; he is also a very clever man and remarkably well informed.
Mr. Ingersoll is, I am satisfied, no infidel - many expressions fell from him which lead me to this conclusion.
September 6 Monday
A heavy fog having set in, the ship was anchored off Sandy Hook at 3 AM and we were detained till noon. The mails were dispatched by a steam tug earlier – Sandy Hook is about 20 miles from New York City and situated at the entrance to New York Bay. The Bay is strongly fortified, Forts Richmond and La Fayette standing out prominently and on all sides – fortifications bristling with heavy cannon may be seen; the Bay is singularly beautiful and the approach to New York by sea certainly striking. Villas and Country houses line each side - and the trees down to the water’s edge are very pretty.
On our way down, the Health Officer came on board and inspected all the emigrants, (each of whom was got up in best and gayest attire) and walked across the quarterdeck; many were most respectable looking and most of them seemed gay and cheerful – there were some very old and decrepit women and numerous children of course, in all I believe about 1100 – there was a Prussian who had absconded from his employer and service somewhere in Prussia with 15,000 Thalers – all of which was secreted on his person in gold. The Captain, before leaving Liverpool, had received his photo – and an intimation of his antecedents. It seems there is no extradition treaty between Prussia and England, so the gentleman was able to get clear from Liverpool but a telegram was sent to the New York police and an officer came on board in the Bay and to the horror and astonishment of the fellow he was apprehended – he had taken a berth in the steerage.
On arriving off New York, we were taken on board a tender to the Inman Pier no. 45 which is a large building on one of the principal quays. Here we were detained by the Customs house officers. The heat was intense. I got my luggage (though the crowd and confusion were frightful) in about 10 minutes and it was actually examined and marked by the officer ready for my taking it away – but old Crawley was in a fever - swearing and storming – and withal helping an aged spinster, so we were delayed half an hour. I was, however entertained with the scene – Crawley with all this military organisation and experience was <one of the> last to <be allowed to get> on. <It> sent him into fits.
I shall never forget the yell which met us as we approached the exit of the Pier with our luggage. There were hundreds of ruffians each with a <flaming> ticket demanding to be employed. We however, by sheer physical strength, got through them and with great difficulty into a two-horse sort of bus which took us to the Astor House Hotel in Broadway.
I was much disappointed with what I saw of the city in our drive. Narrow streets, ill paved, dusty and dirty; the tramways along which rolled ponderous cars, each drawn by two horses, attracted attention; but I can't at present say much about the city. We got a good dinner in the Astor House Hotel at the ordinary which begins at 5 and goes on till 6.30. Our rooms on the first floor were tolerably good. After dinner, we took a stroll down Broadway, but were <extremely> disappointed and I returned early to bed extremely tired. The heat was awful.
Crawley had a row with the Hackman who, after agreeing to take us to the Astor house Hotel for two dollars 50 cents and we and our baggage were deposited in the car or bus, quietly left us and went back to look for more passengers. Crawley was furious and on finding the fellow, a little Billingsgate scene occurred. He asked Crawley “What the Hell did you put your baggage in for if you didn’t mean to stop”. He ultimately drove us off and was afterwards very civil and obliging.
September 7 Tuesday
One of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in and I enjoyed a good night’s rest, not hot and no mosquitoes – (my room was 38 - avoid it in future for the electric wires run up one side of it and the noise at times is too horrific.) Up at seven; breakfasted alone at the ordinary.
On arriving at a New York hotel, you are boarded at so much a day – here the tariff is $4.50 including everything except wine etc. There is a large saloon where meals are served. Breakfast from 6 to 12, luncheon or early dinner from 1 to 2, dinner 5 to 6.30, supper 9 to 10. Anything you can devise and splendidly cooked is brought within three minutes after your order is –. You order from a bill of fare – but it is really includes everything – hundreds of ladies and gentlemen partake of each meal. The waiters are all Irish, generally good and civil well-conducted fellows – but everything is conducted by rule and nothing will induce them to depart from it. We drank some sparkling wine called “Catawba" – it is an American wine like champagne. Like everything else enormously dear $3.50, but the most moderate we could find.
After breakfast, I went to <unreadable>; they informed me that Wilkins the examiner from Chicago could not sit for a week etcetera etc. etc. I then went to Barclay and Livingston Couth’s agents and got a note changed. The exchange on English notes or gold was 37 premium but it went down next day to 33. I then found Captain Cuff and had a long chat with him. The heat was intense and I never before felt the like of it, but what a dispiriting and filthy City, without compare the worst I ever visited. The streets miserably narrow – mud and filth in every direction – large holes in pavements and roads – great stones thrown any and everywhere – the entire population swirling and in a whirl of excitement. Their motto must be 'every man for himself'. I am literally astounded at the audacity of the Yankees vulgar, boasting and bluster - “New York - the finest City in the world”. This is their everlasting tall talk. I declare the filthiest and worst <unreadable> town in England would be a Heaven to it – there is literally no redeeming quality, always excepting the Central Park some 5 miles from our Hotel which is really very beautiful. We drove there in the afternoon and were much delighted with it. It consists of about 800 acres – only nature admirably adapted for a Park – it is well laid out - trees, like everything here, young – the roads extremely well-kept macadamized and some pretty lakes of water, on one of which was a Venetian Gondola. The Croton reservoir which supplies New York with water is also here but the approach to the Park is almost <impassable> and how we got there and back, I don't know.
Judge Connolly called upon us and we returned the call at his private house the next day. We got back just too late for the ordinary dinner and Crawley had a regular kick up which, however, I pacified. I got dinner in the Ladies ordinary – I have been a good deal surprised, though perhaps not <unreadable> at Crawley’s imperious manner with inferiors and can now well understand all his unfortunate antecedents. I have never had a word with him. He quarrels with everybody, and the poor servants and others get well rated; here, however it matters not, for all are equal and a residence of some months in America would, I think, do him good – but he's getting very sick of it.
September 8 Wednesday
A pouring wet day; we took a close carriage in the morning and drove to the Post Office, Wall Street etcetera etc. etc. and Mr. Von Schaub, a broker, most kindly took us into his gold room - that is the room in the Exchange where gold is bought and sold. I could not have imagined even an approach to such a scene; they look like fiends from Hell and were probably little better than they looked – the screaming and shouting were frightful. We also went into the quieter, I mean by comparison, atmosphere of the Stock Exchange where stocks and shares are sold. This appears to be carried out by means of an assessor or auctioneer who submits all the bargains from a rostrum.
We returned to luncheon and took an open carriage to the Central Park driving past the best parts of New York – fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue; this part of New York appears to be the best, but I was miserably disappointed. The Park, however, is really very fine and the Yankees may well be proud of it. Returned to dinner at the ordinary but were a little late, so had difficulty in getting what we ordered and of course there was the usual flare-up; a pouring wet night.
We also visited “Stuarts Store” in the Broadway . It is an enormous warehouse for the retail sale of all dry foods, Linens, silks and such like; In fact, everything of that description.
Mr. Stewart was an Irishman and has amassed an enormous fortune; his store or stores, for he has two, are very fine and we have nothing equal to there in England that I am acquainted with.
September 9 Thursday
Took carriage and drove through the “slums” and the street railway running over the payment. I called on Mr. Arthur about Dawson's business and saw his partner Mr. Gardiner. Mr. Arthur is a general in the US Army. After dinner, we walked to 5th Avenue, the evening was fine, and we enjoyed the stroll, returning by streetcar.
We drove in the Hotel omnibus from the Astor House–there are no conductors in any of the omnibuses. On arriving at the pier, I saw a man in a sort of uniform who I supposed to be connected with the bus and when the driver got down I said, “Are we to pay you?” He said in a most insulting manner “Who the hell would you pay? Would you pay the horses?” He was an Irishman of course.
September 10 Friday
Left New York at 8 AM on Steamer Daniel Drew for Albany by the Hudson River, the scenery of which is magnificent. It beats all the river scenery I have ever seen. The Steamer was perfection – immensely large and splendid saloons elegantly furnished with everything. Arrived at Albany – the principal city of New York state at 5:30 after a most enjoyable passage, though we had some showers. We passed Harlem, Sing Sing prison,
West Point where there is a large military academy, <unreadable>; the Catskill Mountains run almost down to the river and are a fine range of hills, though we did not see them to advantage by reason of the rain. We drove to Delavan House at Albany – the best hotel and a very large one – conducted on same principle as Astor house. The river scenery splendid. The Hudson River Railway runs along the side of the river almost the whole way from New York to Albany.
September 11 Saturday
Delavan House good and civil though there was the usual amount of Irish blackguardism among the porters and lower class of servants. For instance, a fellow brought up my breakfast and I asked him to place it on a small table he said “table” “yes please” “you may take it in your bed if you like” and this without the slightest provocation; he was of course Irish.
We left at 1:20 by the Michigan Central Railway for the Falls. The conductor placed us in a drawing room car, with a compartment to hold 4 to ourselves for which, however, we paid five dollars. There was every convenience in the train with iced water and fruit. You can walk through the entire train. There was a large saloon with armchairs, sofas and inter-smoking carriages. There were 68 passengers; the pace is sometimes terrific. The scenery throughout beautiful in the extreme; what a magnificent country it is: rivers, lakes, forests, beautiful pastures but population away from the town scant. We passed Utica, Rome, Syracuse, Port Byron – as at Rochester we got into the Lightning Express with sleeping cars and arrived at Niagara Falls station on the American side at 1 AM. We drove across the Suspension Bridge to Clifton House on the Canadian side in full view of both Falls. It was a lovely night and I took as good a view as I could get of the Falls before returning. My room was a very good one (New York), first floor looking full upon the Falls.
September 12 Sunday
Up late. The Clifton House a most excellent Hotel – very large and airy – beautifully situated on Clifton Point overlooking the River and in full view of both Falls.
We heard the roar long before we reached them, the night previous - and this morning after breakfast I went out and had my first good view. On strolling about 50 yards from the Hotel door, I sat down opposite the American Falls with the horseshoe on the right above. My first feeling was one of profound awe and I sat musing for upwards of an hour – any interruption would have been odious. Crawley sat beside me in the same sort of Reverie. At length, we spoke and then for the first time expressed what we felt – and I recollected that both he and I were impressed with the same feelings. The roar is absolutely awful and the scene what no pen on earth can adequately describe. It is so majestic, so grand and so terrific and withal, in my case, brought me so near to my Creator that I stood aghast. How wondrous is the almighty in all his works. I thought of Milton's beautiful words 'Thyself how wondrous then’…..
After some time we walked down to the Horse Shoe Falls and there sat till time to return to dinner (4 o'clock) for this being Sunday, we didn't do more than stroll about on the Canadian side. The season is supposed to be nearly over and there were not many visitors but the weather was gorgeous, a dark blue sky without a cloud and we were told they had not had such weather this year. The moon too was about half full filling into her three-quarters, so I imagine we could not have seen Niagara under greater weather advantages.
In the evening, I made acquaintance with Mr. Stanley, a lieutenant in the R.A. quartered at Halifax. He told me he was a son of C.S. youngest and brother to Lord Derby. I introduced him to Crawley and it turned out that he was in Captain Darwall’s Battery. We both liked him extremely – he was with a Mr. Cecil in the <unreadable> - also a very gentlemanlike young fellow.
September 13 Monday
We had our photographs taken by Davis – one with the Horseshoe Falls in the background, the other with the American - but they are not good and one of the negatives having been accidentally broken we were taken again the following day; we keep the negatives for copies in England – but they are not good.
At 11 took a two-horse carriage for the day. Very good and most intelligent, civil driver - a Canadian. We drove to the Horseshoe on this side having thoroughly seen this yesterday. We proceeded at once across the bridge to the rapids immediately above the American Falls, we there saw 'Avery and Rock' which still remains but little of it can now be seen.
The story which gave its name is a sad one – we also saw the spot referred to in The English Woman in America, where little Le Forrest girl and her dog were lost, thence we drove to Goat Island – wonderfully pretty.
This island divides the River into the two streams, which are a short distance down, and roll over the two falls. The scenery is stupendous, I mean the rapids and water scenery. We went to Luna Island, a small one only a few yards from the Goat Island and to the 3 Sisters Island's standing out in the Rapids of the Horse Shoe Fall – they are very beautiful connected with Goat Island and each other by very pretty Suspension Bridges.
The rapids are beyond all conception. At the spot where the river divides, it is 3 miles across, Navy Isl and being on the Canadian side. We wandered about here for several hours and then drove to the Whirlpool Falls about two or 3 miles down the River. We were let down by an elevator or lift from the top of the cliffs to about 40 feet above the level of the River from the American side - a descent being about 180 feet – the lift is worked by water power from below and a wire rope alone supported us. I was glad to get safe down and up again for I thought the machinery and whole turnout very shaky and insecure. It is however much used. The rapids are, I think if possible more awfully grand than those of the Falls themselves; they must be seen to be <believed>.
We returned to dinner at 5 and at 6:30 the carriage was waiting to take us to Lundy's Lane, the scene of the battle between British and Americans in 1814 . We ascended an observatory on the battlefield and had everything well explained by an old militiaman who was present at the Fight. The view from this observatory was very grand – it is only about half a mile from our Hotel. We then drove through lovely scenery – it was almost dusk with a beautiful moon about 3 miles to the Burning Springs which are situate on the Canadian side of the Rapids and spring out of the Rocks a few feet only from the banks of the Rapids. They are the most extraordinary and evil sulphurous or gaseous spirit which on fire being applied terms as bright as coal gas jet. I lit a cigar from the flame–it was a remarkable sight but I learnt that the water has never been applied for medicinal purposes. The waters, which we tasted, are very nauseous and are <arthrogenous> but another spring near contains properties of an opposite character; the youth who showed us the spring said he drank four quarts everyday but admitted being obliged to partake sometimes of the other. It was quite dark when we arrived at the Spring to which we descended by a long staircase down the Cliff. Our drive back was lovely; I forgot to mention that in going there we were nearly run down by Buffalo train – or cars. The horses’ heads were over a level crossing with no gates or protection of any sort when we heard the Empire Bell (the invariable signal here and throughout the states – it is very loud and deep and always reminds me of our English funeral knell). The driver immediately turned back and we got clear just in time to see a Lightning Express Train – dash past.
I had a long chat with Crawley in full view of the Falls with a brilliant moon shining over them and then returned – my windows which are French came open in the night and although I fancied the roar of the Falls – very loud, was not aware till morning that I had slept with them open since 11 o'clock. However, I at present feel none the worse.
14th September Tuesday
This is dear little Alice's 8th birthday. We drank her health last night and shall do so again this evening. I wish her many happy returns of the day. I have secured some very pretty Swans down fans for the children. This morning had our photographs taken again, but I think an equal failure with yesterday's.
We went to the Court House to hear two young fellows examined before the mayor for burglary at Mr. Davis’s – the proceedings are very rough and ready and the legal gentleman engaged was a singular specimen and apparently innocent of the law of evidence. The mayor who is elected by his fellow townsmen and gets about £75 per annum is in a <novice> but performs his duties well. He evidently knew more law than all the lawyers put together. He was very quiet and gentlemanlike–I walked back leaving Crawley in the court. He was much interested. On my return, found a letter from Charlie; it is now dinner time. This is my last day here as I must leave tomorrow for New York. I may however repeat my visit en route to the West if I get there.
After dinner, we drove to the whirlpool on the Canadian side. You get a good view of the sudden turn of the river which is nearly at an acute angle. In other respects, the visit is hardly worth the drive. I received a telegram in the morning, calling me back to New York.
September 15 Wednesday
Up early, breakfasted with young Mr. Crawford, a gentlemanlike youth at the Tivoli Military School. He told me he lived at Cleveland in Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie and gave me a very kind invitation to visit his family at 12. I left Niagara Falls with great regret for I never enjoyed a visit to a sightseeing place more and can never forget it. Crawley accompanied me to the Clifton station but he was to remain at the falls for another week and then go onto Canada.
I travelled by the Niagara/ a town or city at the outflow of the river with Lake Ontario and Buffalo Railroad on the Canadian side to Fort Erie and then crossed Lake Erie to Buffalo on the American side by a steamer. I suppose we were about an hour in crossing. At Buffalo my luggage was searched by Custom House officers who, however, kept me waiting on board for some time. While waiting I saw a man fall into the harbour; he came to no harm.
At 2:50 PM left Buffalo by the Erie Railway for New York direct – engaged a sleeping berth for $1.50 extra. Buffalo is upwards of 400 miles from New York – the County near Buffalo is flat and uninteresting, some 50 miles eastward however we passed through some fine forest scenery and at Howellsville stopped at 7 PM – some 20 minutes the supper. The Erie railway is the London C. and Dover of America and considered very reckless and dangerous. I asked a fellow passenger about it – but he replied 'why, I guess we shall fix up safe, but in general there is a pretty considerable smash up’.
At 9, the coloured servants made up the beds, which are large and comfortable taken altogether and where you are making a long journey, I should always secure one if you can. There must however have been several hundreds of passengers – large numbers of whom wanted beds and of course could not get them. There were, I think, three sleeping cars on the train each containing 24 beds and each bed large enough to contain two persons comfortably. I of course had one to myself. Many persons undress entirely. I did not at all. American railway travelling is not to my mind nearly equal to the English.
16 September Thursday
Arrived at Jersey City at 8 AM (one hour late). Crossed the Hudson River by steamer. I got to the Astor House Hotel by omnibus bus at 830. Found letter from Charlie, William and Hubert with enclosures from General Napier. While <reading>, Charlie walked into my room. He was quite overcome at seeing me – he had arrived at midnight but could not get a bed at the Astor House. He looked, I thought, very much thinner and very delicate and I was a good deal shocked at the change. He had however been travelling from Chicago two days and two nights and was much fatigued. In a day or two he picked up and looked much more like himself and more cheerful.
At 10:30 I attended before Mr. Wilkins, the special examiner. Holl there and De Boos, also Captain Cuff. Engaged all day and returned to dinner at 6 – Charlie waiting. Strolled in the evening; Charlie takes “air” pills.
17 September Friday
Engaged all day before examiner – went to Brooklyn to examine a Mr. Hunt and in the evening dined with the Holls at Fifth Avenue Hotel – a very fine hotel, crowded with visitors and very good dinner – soft shelled crab, canvas backed duck, et cetera et cetera. Charlie came down and walked back with me.
18 September Saturday
Engaged all day before examiner
19 September Sunday
Went to church with Charlie to Trinity Church Broadway, the most richly endowed church in the US. $80,000 a year. The service, which was the Protestant Episcopal of the US, was beautifully and most impressively performed. It is almost identical to our own, there being some slight verbal variation only. The church is remarkably handsome and stained-glass windows throughout, 2 exquisitely toned organs and the singing really magnificent- but quite quiet. One boy’s voice <echoes> over again. There were about 24 choristers, men and boys, and 4 officiating clergy. I got a seat close-up to the communion rails and was delighted with the service – so much devotion and propriety. The was church crowded – Service at 10:30. I waited while sacrament was administered, the choir taking part in service.
We dined early at 2, that being the hotel hour, and I went to Trinity Church again in the afternoon. At 4 PM the service as in the morning <was> very fine. I afterwards went down in a street car and called on the Holls at the fifth Avenue hotel and on Mr. Wilkins at the Brewood House in the 5th Avenue; the latter is the best in New York, everything served à la carte and if I ever repeat my visit here, I should select that hotel. Mr. Wilkins was engaged in the Grenville Murray Case by the foreign office; <he> walked back with me and we had a very agreeable chat; he was also lately British Council at Chicago.
20th September Monday
Engaged all day before Examiner's; the heat greater than I had ever experienced – it was an interminable night. The mosquitoes attacked me from head to foot and as I was covered with a sheet and moreover had the mosquito curtains over me, they must have got through and stung me through the sheet. <unreadable>
21st September Tuesday
Engaged all day before examiner – towards night, got cooler. Received letters from Lou and William. Examiner adjourned till Thursday morning.
22nd September Wednesday
Called with Charlie on Mr. Lee's in <‘Pinil’>. He is one of the top bankers in New York, in partnership with one of the Wallers of Chicago, a very well-bred and polished gentlemen. He <unreadable> a Waller and invited me to his house about 30 miles from New York on the Hudson River, at Westchester. Dined with Mr. and Mrs. Holl at 5th Avenue Hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins joined us; a pouring wet day and we were in our rooms almost all day. Charlie got his photo taken at Sarony’s in Broadway.
23rd September Thursday
Examiner further adjourned till Monday next. I went over the Emigration establishment at Castle Green (Garden) with Williams – it is an admirable institution. The principal gave me the report for 1868, which is worth reading. Williams afterwards introduced me to the British Consul (Archibald), a brother of J.D. Archibald of the Consular Corps with all of whom I was much pleased. Afterwards we strolled about. Went to Appleton – Boots, Cigars et cetera et cetera. Charlie was to have gone to see Mr. Lees at Westchester but missed the boat.
24th September Friday
9 AM for Philadelphia. Left New York at Baltimore and Washington by New Jersey Railway. Charlie leaves for Chicago tonight; the route lies through a fertile and in some parts picturesque County – though the scenery is not nearly as fine as the counties through which I have hitherto travelled.
I passed through the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland and the District of Columbia, in which Washington is situated – this district has been detached from Maryland and Virginia for the purpose of being made neutral ground and for the purposes of the Capital – Philadelphia is a very large City and possesses some extremely fine churches and buildings – it is on the river Delaware along the banks of which the railway runs – must be about 80 miles from New York. We also skirted the Susquehanna River and crossed it over a bridge upwards of a mile long – Baltimore is one of the four great Eastern cities of the US situate on the Patapsco River about 12 miles from Chesapeake Bay and 200 from the sea. Before the late war it had one of the largest slave populations in America, as is evident from its present large number of coloured inhabitants.
The car traversed the principal streets of the town but as the local laws do not allow locomotives in the streets, the cars are drawn, each one by six remarkably fine horses from the entry in the City to the exit.
I shall never forget the journey as it was the first “slave town” I had ever seen. There must be an amazing amount of business and shifting carrying on – it is situated in the state of Maryland – about 40 miles north-east of Washington. I arrived at Washington at 5:30 PM and drove to Willards Hotel – where I found Wilkins – ex Council of Chicago; he had arrived there in the morning and had taken his tickets for New York on the night train, but on seeing me, most kindly determined to wait till I returned and show me the “lions”. In the evening after dinner walked up to the “White House” which, with all the public buildings, was draped in mourning for the late General Rawlins, Secretary of War. I also met at Willards, an excellent old fashioned Hotel – Judge Connolly and Mr. Ingersoll, member of Congress – a very large coloured population at Washington.
25th September Saturday
Up early – Wilkins took me to call on General Dunn (to whom I was introduced the previous evening) at the War office. He is deputy judge advocate to General C and received us most kindly having first introduced me to General Swayne who lost a leg in the late war and is one of the finest commanders in the U.S. Army. He then took us to General Sherman, the Commander-in-Chief and introduced us. The general received us most heartily, shook me warmly by the hand and gave us an audience of half an hour at least. He is a very remarkable man, full of fun, but I should imagine a man of great character and strong intellect – tall – wiry – and thin features. He was smoking a cigar, he talked to me about military court-martial for about 10 minutes and ordered his aide-de-camp to give me some reports which I took away.
We were also introduced to many other distinguished soldiers. General Howard, General Capron General Meigs, the Quartermaster General – from the War Office. We went to the White House close by with General Dunn in his carriage for which he sent to be presented to the President. The General had also sent for his son Laurie Dunn, a fine youth of 18, to drive us about the City and neighbourhood and show us what was most worth seeing. We also went over to the Treasury and other public buildings.
The Capital is a magnificent pile of white marble and I think the finest building I have ever seen – the Chamber of Senators and the Chamber of Representatives, The Supreme Court and numberless other rooms are very fine. <unreadable> doors exquisitely cast and marbles of every colour inlaid by ten <unreadable> of the Building. The dome reminded me much of St Peter's at Rome – As indeed did the whole exterior.
Young Dunn, who was an admirable <guide> was a very clever, gentlemanlike lad and quite won our hearts, as did his sister <Minnie> later in the day – at 2 o'clock we returned to Willards and in 10 minutes General Swayne arrived with his Carriage (excellent Horses in both) and drove us and General Dunn across the Potomac to Arlington Heights- before the War, the seat of General Lee, Commander of the Confederate troops. It was here the first blood was shed and a terrible battle fought. It is about five or 6 miles from Washington in the state of Virginia.
The estate comprises about 1000 acres and now belongs to the government who turned it into a military cemetery wherein upwards of 16,000 soldiers lie buried – ‘tis a most melancholy and affecting site, beautifully kept and does infinite credit to the good taste and feeling of the US people. The drive was most enjoyable and we got back, having first driven through Georgetown - a suburb of Washington. about 5 PM.
In the morning, I left my card at the English minister’s Mr. Thornton who was away. I also called at Riggs and Co, the bankers and there heard of the Gold Panic at New York. Gold had gone up $160. I was introduced to Mr. Corcoran the head partner and to his assistant Elijah Riggs. The former gave us his card to view his mansion and paintings. The former is a splendid palace – and the latter very good - a fine Morland among them, but they are mostly American artists and I was not impressed favourably; but to my astonishment, I found Powers’ Greek Slave in the gallery– It was purchased by Mr. Corcoran after the great English Exhibition in 1851 and now graces his collection. It looked lovely as ever.
At 7:30 PM we went to General Dunn's house - part of the old capital and over a state prison. It is a very fine and comfortable house, well and handsomely furnished – they live in excellent style. All his family were waiting to receive us. Mrs. Dunn, a very ladylike well-bred woman of about 45 or 50 must have been pretty when young, a beautiful and lovely girl 20, dressed in admirable taste, full of fun and vivacity and heartily glad to see us. Laurie the youth, who escorted us in the town, Georgia boy of 13 and another little girl – also a Mrs. ............... very pretty, the wife of an officer in the Army. They have another son in the army, married quite young; he was an aide-de-camp to General Grant during the War. Peach and Ice Cream with sparkling Catawba were served on silver. The Americans live in excellent style among the best classes and with admirable taste and good breeding I was quite struck with the family circle, so much good breeding and affection. The man servant was dressed in white (tho’ not a coloured man).
At 8:30 the General and his son accompanied us to the station or depot to see us off by the night express/sleeping car to New York. I shall never forget the kindness we received. It was so warm frank and hearty – and I left part if not the whole of my heart behind. The day was a most enjoyable one – and we talked it over in the train till 10, when we reached Baltimore. Here we were again dragged through the city and houses. We turned in and slept till 5:30, when we were approaching Jersey City where we arrived at 6. The heat of the previous day was intense.
26 September Sunday
Wet and cold – drove to the Astor House number 12 and after making my toilet et cetera et cetera went at 10.30 to Trinity church. The service was as good as before – excellent singing- the anthem was 'where shall wisdom be found' sung beautifully – but the boys voices exceed the men's. I stayed <for> the sacrament – the service was performed with remarkable quiet and devotion and I think contrasts favourably with our own in England.
There was a violent hurricane of wind with a flood of rain from 12:30 till midnight. I stayed in till 6:30 and then went in a streetcar to dine with the Wilkins at the Brewood House. She was too poorly to come down but we took our wine and dessert in her room – she is a very ladylike, clever American woman of Scotch extraction. A Mrs. Steele of Chicago and I spent a most agreeable evening. Number 12 – a capital room downstairs. The New Yorkers were full of the panic of Friday and Saturday – it seems that a perfect furore prevailed.
27 September Monday
Up early – the weather had cleared but still very windy and cold. What a singular climate it is! Engaged till 2:00 PM before examiner and then went to Bankers (Barclay and Livingston in Beaver Street close to Wall Street). No business doing and everything in a state of collapse – so I postponed my business till tomorrow. Wrote to Lou in the afternoon.
28th September Tuesday
This is the 50th anniversary of our dearest mother and father's wedding day – my mind was full of kindred topics.
Engaged all day (till 6 PM) before the examiner – when business finally concluded. I walked down to the Brewood House after dinner for Wilkins and he and I strolled into the fifth Avenue Hotel to bid adieu to the Holls who leave tomorrow by the Scotia – in which Mr. Peabody also sails for England.
The fifth Avenue Hotel was crowded below. There must've been several hundreds of men – all of whom were in a most excited state, for the panic was still on in Wall Street and the Gold room, adjourned to this hotel after dinner.
29 September Wednesday
Up early as I had determined to leave for Chicago by the 11 AM Lightning Express. I had some difficulty, however, in getting away as I had no money and the Banks don't open before 10 and I had to leave my hotel at 10:15 at the latest. At nine, however I went to the bank (Barclay and Livingstone’s Coutts’ agents) and there fortunately found an old clerk, who after great persuasion on my part, went out and borrowed $60 to secure, which I deposited £20 Circular note. He could not cash the note as none of the partners were down and the bank not open till 10. However, I got enough, I also got a cabin for my passage home by the Inman steamer City of Brooklyn which leaves at 9 AM on Saturday the 9th. I could not arrange to leave by a Cunard steamer which I had intended doing – arrived at the railway station just in time – Hudson River Railway.
The morning was lovely, not a cloud in with a deep blue sky and the ride to Albany along the left bank of the Hudson River was really splendid. We passed through the yard of Sing Sing prison. The Hudson River scenery is lovely and I saw the Catskill Mountains to great advantage of this occasion – also West point. Stopped at Albany 3:15 after crossing the River for half an hour – then onto Rochester by New York's Central. Stopped at Utica https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utica,_New_York about 6:30 and at Rochester sleeping cars were put on. These are the best sleeping cars I have yet seen “Pulmans”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_car They had double windows to help keep dust out and are very excellent in every respect. I got a very good lower birth, but there is a real difficulty in securing a sleeping berth, as there are only a limited number. I telegraphed on for mine from Syracuse. From Rochester, we travelled by the Michigan Central Railway – which crosses the Niagara River Suspension Bridge just above the whirlpool and in full view of the Rapids.
I got outside the car at 1 AM (the only passenger who did so) as we crossed and looked over the awful chasm below us – and it is really awful. There was a brilliant moon and I could plainly see the spray and hear the roar of the Falls above. I should have liked to stop again but couldn't manage it. We then travelled 400 miles through Canada to the north of Lake Erie through Hamilton to London (Ontario) and skirting a very beautiful little lake “St. Clair” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_St._Clair to Detroit River https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_St._Clair – which we crossed by a steam ferry, breakfasting on board to Detroit City in Michigan State.
At 8.30, we left Detroit. It was just such a day as yesterday and I enjoyed the journey extremely, sitting in the smoking car all day. This car was very cool and gave me an uninterrupted view of the county on both sides. I had also the advantage of the Car attendant’s company – a very intelligent civil young fellow, scotch of his father's side (the father a Captain in the U.S. Army during the late war and killed) John Marshall Mitchell. He gave me a very good account of the County we pass through, but it was flat and uninteresting – a good deal of marshy, swampy ground – Forest and prairie, sometimes pretty – not much cultivated.
We arrived at Chicago after skirting Lake Michigan for about 10 miles at 5:15 (late) and I went to the Tremont House – apparently good, but noisy. They were however very civil and attentive – on the third floor but an elevator available from 6 AM to 12 PM constantly in use. The City appears to be well laid out – large wide streets and handsome buildings, it is the metropolis of the West, next I believe to St Louis.
First of October Friday
After breakfast while writing letters to England, Charlie came into my room. He looked better than when I saw him at New York. At 12, Mr. Drake, the landlord of Tremont House very kindly accompanied me to some of the principal places in the City – the Board of Trade or Hall of Commerce, where the Great Grain Business of the West is carried out and where there appeared to be as much gambling in Grain as there is Gold in Wall Street. There is also a large pork business carried on here. I also visited some very fine book and dry goods stores. On returning to the Hotel Mr. Drake entertained me with a Catawba cocktail – very good.
At 1:30 Charlie and I went out to Mr. William Waller at his office. I found him a very nice fellow, remarkably handsome and well bred. At 2 Mr. W ordered his carriage with a handsome pair of small chestnut horses round and drove me through all the principal parts of the City. The Michigan Avenue running along the Lakeshore https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Avenue_(Chicago) and the Wabash Avenue running parallel with the last one very handsome streets. Lincoln Park, too, promises well; it is now partially used as a cemetery which is being removed.
At five, Mr. W drove me to his father's house about 2 miles outside the City. Mr. Henry W the father was still in England, leaving, however, by tomorrow's boat. I had met him in London. He and his friend Mr. Stafford having dined with me at the club two nights before I left. Mrs. W received me and all her children who were within reach were present. Charlie was also there; they are a very agreeable, well bred, family and I enjoyed myself exceedingly. Prairie chicken for dinner. Lillie W a very pretty lively girl – the house very good and handsomely furnished.
At 9 PM, Charlie drove me back. It was raining hard, but we got safely to the Tremont hotel and he slept there. Chicago has been literally raised by screw-injacks 8 feet for the purpose of drainage.
October 2 Saturday
Cold and wet. Went to Wayland and Tyrells Coutts agents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coutts
and got some notes cashed. Mr. W. W and Mr. James W called–also Mr. Frederick Wilkins. We had Catawba cocktails and Mr. W.W dined with Charlie and me. Charlie and I had a stroll through the City and at 4:30 I left by rail for Quincy on the Mississippi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy,_Illinois
Took a sleeping birth but didn't retire till late as I met a very agreeable old gentleman–an artist- in the smoking car and talked to him till near midnight. Also met a youth from St Austell in Cornwall en route with his mother to San Francisco– William Wren by name; they have been in the train since Tuesday when they left New York and were only halfway–arrived at Quincy at 5 AM. Very cold. Went to bed till 10. Quincy House a poor wretched place.
October 3 Sunday
Up late–got a miserable breakfast and began strolling around the town which has newly sprung up and is a very poor one–embarked on board the Phil Sheridan steamer at 2 PM. http://steamboattimes.com/steamboats_1861~99_p2.html The voyage down the Mississippi was most enjoyable– The scenery very grand but not striking, the river is very broad and wooded down to the water’s edge on both sides–a lovely afternoon and evening.
At 11 I turned in upon a sort of settle placed out in the saloon. All the state rooms, as they are called were taken and I with about 50 other passengers were accommodated as above. At about 12 an alarm was raised that some Texas wasps were flying about. Great confusion and alarm ensued. There was more fun, I suspect, about the report than anything else, but I laughed heartily though I was assured a sting of the Texas wasp was as deadly as that of Cobra.
October 4 Monday
Up at daylight and on the quarterdeck, I saw numerous flights of wildfowl– duck, Goose and swan and several other birds. The latter are very beautiful on the wing. The morning was bitterly cold –at 10 AM arrived at St Louis in the state of Missouri. The river Missouri discharges itself into the Mississippi about 15 miles above St. Louis. Went to the Planters House https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planter%27s_House_Hotel very good but the Southern http://bygonestlouis.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/southern-hotel-ca-1875.html is the best. This however, as the great fair was on, was hell.
In the afternoon went out in the street cars to see the Fair -the fair Field is about 4 miles out of the City– It was the first day and the show was not finally arranged– Here I saw some good specimens of cattle and sheep– Durham– Sussex, South Downs– Excellent pigs, agricultural implements, roots, Vegetables etc. etc., Also some good trotting matches. I called in on Gen Schofield, the commander in chief of the state https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Schofield but he was away. Strolled in the evening and to bed early. The City is Old and handsome, streets broad and well laid out.
October 5 Tuesday
Up at six. Left by a four-horse omnibus at 7:15 for E. St Louis on the Illinois side of the river– Sat on the box. We drove down to the River to take the ferry– But a dense fog set in and we had to drive along the river bank for a ferry lower down. At length, the fog went off and we with some 10 other 4 horse ‘buses’ drove on to the ferry. There must have been at least 100 horses– With the omnibuses, Hackney wagons, carts etc. on-board– the driving most reckless. We got over safely and galloped to the railway terminus. The trains had waited half an hour– and we left at 8:30.
We passed through a Prairie Country with little but Indian Corn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_corn which in some parts was cut and standing in large shocks - but most were still standing. The soil looked very thick and the crops were marvellous to behold. The timber also is a very fine and indeed all vegetation struck me as being nearly tropical. We travelled fast and stopped at every station between St Louis and Terre Haute which made the journey terribly tedious.
Just before we reached Pana –the alarm whistle sounded and the train brought to a stand. There was a cry that the man had been run over–I got out and walked about half a mile back along the track with some three or four other persons and we found the poor fellow about 50 years old literally cut to pieces–the site was sickening –the conductor and others connected with the car– paid but little heed however–and would have gone on without further notice– But at my suggestion the train ran back to the last station and brought up some workmen to see if they could recognise the remains. They could not do so– but it appeared that the poor fellow had got “tight” as they called it and walked along the track–he was cut literally in two.
After reaching Terre Haute we went faster onto Indianapolis and thence by Lightning Express to Cincinnati where we arrived at 1:30 AM. The night was bitterly cold though the day had been lovely. I found afterwards that the Indian summer had set in which is considered the finest part of the year in North America. Barnett House very good.
October 6 Wednesday
After breakfast walked down to the Ohio– which divides the state of Ohio in which Cincinnati is situated from the state of Kentucky – a fine bridge spans the river– It has been erected 3 years. I walked across it and strolled about Covington for some time–looking over a large tobacco factory– Kentucky was a slave state and Covington contains a large number of coloured population. Cincinnati is a very improving City–handsome streets and good shops but not nearly equal to St Louis– there are many Germans here as indeed they are in any city in the west. At 5 PM I left the Little Miami Railroad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Miami_Railroad for Columbus, Pittsburgh etc. etc. and New York. A sleeping berth at Columbus, but the most miserable one –the worst I have seen.
October 7 Thursday
Arrived at Pittsburgh at 9 a.m. and made the connection with the Chicago lightning express on the Pennsylvanian Central Railroad, The best in the US? At once secured a berth in a drawing room car or rather a section (2 seats) which can be converted into a couch –and after travelling through the finest scenery I have yet seen in America across the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania–the railway winding gradually up to the summit by wondrous engineering some of the curves being exactly of the shape of a horseshoe and descending at the edge of the precipice quite frightful to look down.
We ran several miles along the banks of the Susquehanna River https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susquehanna_River which we afterwards crossed, then to the Delaware River to Harrisburg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrisburg,_Pennsylvania and by Allentown https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allentown,_Pennsylvania to New Jersey thence by the ferry across the Harbour on North River into New York where we arrived at 10:30.
I met some very agreeable people during this journey. I received many most kind and hearty invitations to stay with them, and indeed throughout my visit I have received most kind attention and in many instances most pressing invitations to pay visits.
I again went to the Aston house – Filthy and wretched as it is– but I had left some of my baggage there and had letters waiting there for me. Besides, I was only going to stay two nights– never again, however, will I visit that hotel. It is the very worst I have met throughout my travels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astor_House
October 8 Friday
Secured my berth on board City of Brooklyn (Inman’s line) which sails tomorrow at 9 AM. I took the precaution of getting a cabin to myself. I afterwards went to the Bankers and closed my account with them - they taking all the American paper I had no use for and giving me a <Billion Counters>; the gold panic, I was informed, had stopped all business and confidence in everybody had vanished.
I afterwards walked down to the ship to see my cabin and was quite satisfied; it was large and airy and an outside one. After dinner, I walked to the Brewood House 5th avenue Hotels. I went to bed early. I had called in the morning on Mr. Van Vachter and Captain Cuff called on me.
October 9 Saturday
Left the Astor house at 8:15 and got on board and settled down by 9. Everything was in great confusion and it was painfully apparent that there was great lack of discipline and order.
We at length got under weigh and steamed down the Bay rapidly to Sandy Hook where a turreted Monitor was lying–to look after any privateers or americans engaged in the Cuban Rebellion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Years%27_ These monitors are very low in the water and appear to have little or no bulwarks. This vessel had one turret with two service guns of large form and weight. She had a large complement of men on-board. Immediately outside of Sandy Hook and as soon as we had crossed the Bay, the ships Engine stopped and I learned that we had actually left all the ship’s chronometers behind and were waiting for a steam tender to bring them to us.
This delayed us nearly 2 hours but the tender at length arrived with the chronometers and one poor woman– a steerage passenger who had arrived at the pier too late to embark. She had a mattress and some 2 or 3 heavy boxes with her and I shall never forget the disgusting brutality with which an officer of the ship, whose name I will endeavour to learn, treated her. In fact, he swore she should not come on board and but for the entreaties of some bystanders (the poor woman herself looking more dead than alive from seasickness), she would have been left behind. As it was, she was handed up and she and her baggage almost hurled down, by this inhuman brute, upon the deck.
I soon discovered that I had to sail in a very different vessel to the City of Washington and with a very different class of officer. The Captain by the name Brooks was an ill-mannered uneducated Bear indeed he was hardly civilised– If you spoke to him he grunted out a monosyllabic answer– If indeed he condescended to answer at all–and his officers appeared to me to be well-suited to the Captain. The doctor however was a most striking exception he was a most gentlemanlike well-bred man and I think far too superior for the position he fills – he was moreover well-informed.
We had only about 40 passengers in the saloon– and I believe about 100 steerage only– so that the ship was comparatively empty. Among the former was Commander Brooker R.N. and a Mr. Dawson, a midshipman R.N. of the Charybdis. They were not known to each other but both had come home by San Francisco invalided– The former from Yokohama, The latter from San <unreadable> Island. Captain Brooker had been engaged in the scientific department of the Navy surveying and was a man of evident ability, most agreeable and gentlemanlike. He told me he was afraid he was suffering from Bright’s disease https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright%27s_disease . I think however and hope that he is mistaken. I expect his wife and child - born since he left England–to meet him at Liverpool. Mr. Dawson Is suffering from some disease of the eyes which he fears will necessitate his leaving the Navy; he is a son of the late Mr. P from Leicestershire and a very fine young fellow of about 20 or 21. He is first cousin of Ryder and is acquainted with many of my friends. His mother lives in the Queen Street!
A Spanish gentleman and his son a lad of 15 what also among the passengers; neither could speak a word of English but the former spoke a little French and I was therefore enabled to interpret for them.
The weather was lovely with little or no swell and we had a head wind– due east but it did not much retard us. I turned in late having sat on the deck till near 11 PM. The pilot left us with the tender.
October 10 Sunday
At 9 AM we were still off the American shore–that is off the extreme north end of Long Island and Fire island https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Island but all trace of land soon disappeared and we were steaming rapidly across the Atlantic to dear old England - God bless her. The weather still beautifully fine and calm. At 10:15, the Captain read prayers in the saloon but few besides the crew were present and the Captain read very badly–though with propriety and devotion.
Nothing whatever occurred during the day but about dusk we passed a large steamer bound for New York. She signalled us with rockets and blue lights and we replied–the signals had a very pretty effect. The steamer was the Hamburg/American Ship Silesia http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_ship.asp?sh=siles .Towards night the weather got cold and cloudy.
October 11 Monday
The wind had built up during the night and the ship was rolling a good deal– but few passengers at breakfast and no ladies of whom there were about five altogether. One was reported to be a daughter of A.T.Stewart, the wealthy shopkeeper of New York https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Turney_Stewart . She was a very lively and rather pretty girl and I had quite a flirtation with her– The sea continued to rise throughout the day and ran very high, the ship rolling and pitching. Nothing worth recording occurred.
October 12 Tuesday
The sea was very high and the weather boisterous - by far more so than any I have yet met with. All however seems going well– As the wind has followed a little to the South and west and we have a good deal of sail set. Most of the passengers ill and with only one or two exceptions, I am the only one really well. It is a singular thing that I am never seasick nor in the least affected– My appetite however, though very good is not I think what it is unsure. I live moderately, drinking only one pint of champagne at dinner and nothing else.
Towards night the sea ran very high and I fancied we were in for a gale. About 9 PM we passed the Silena steamer Cunard line and signalled to each other. The rockets and lights have a very pretty effect. She passed within half a mile of us. I sat on deck till 11 though it was bitterly cold and blowing a gale. Had a long and very agreeable chat with Mr. Dawson also one with Captain Brooker.
October 13 Wednesday
The wind abated during the night and the sea is this morning much smoother– But the cold is intense and everybody appears to feel it. Nothing of the slightest interest occurred.
We are making about 320 miles in the 24 hours. The ship is a very good sea boat and cuts through the ways with great speed. The Captain is a confirmed bear. He appears to spend his time in the smoking and playing cards and other betting games. I am told however that he is good sailor and understands navigation –but to the filth and evil of the ship are a disgrace to him. His servant, Tommy Gary, A fine handsome youth of 16 is a remarkably nice attentive little fellow. He has sailed in the ship for nearly four years, this being his 35th voyage across the Atlantic. I feel much indebted for his attention to us as he added much to my comfort and he is a favourite with everybody.
October 14 Thursday
The wind freshened during the night unfollowed again to due east right ahead of us. The ship consequently pitches a good deal and the sea runs high– It is not however so cold by 2° as yesterday. We passed at 11 AM a large steamer bound apparently for New York of the Guion http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_ship.asp?sh=siles Line.
October 15 Friday
Very cold and cloudy with a heavy rolling sea. Wind due east right ahead and we cannot set sail. We saw no vessel of any sorts today but we passed a large shoal of whales. I have watched for hours the swell of the Atlantic which is certainly very remarkable. There is no appearance of any great roughness of the sea but the waves are enormous and only when the vessel is on the crest of one can you realise their grandeur. Nothing of interest has occurred and our life is a very humdrum one.
Captain Brooker and Mr. Dawson are my principal pals, though there are some agreeable Americans on-board and a Canadian County Court judge by name Kingsman or some such. There is also a very warmhearted generous young fellow who sits next to me at table. He goes by the name of Brandon but told me it was not his real name as he had lost all his fortune on the English ferry and had left much in debt for America, where he is carrying out some sort of Business. He is now going to England to see if he can start a Hansom Company in New York.
October 16 Saturday
This is the roughest day I have yet had on the Atlantic. The sea is tremendous and it is quite impossible to stand without support. I only went on deck once. We passed a barque in full sail but not making much way. I had a chat with the Canadian judge who is an agreeable man, but how different in education and accomplishments to those of my own country and to the Bar generally. To bed late as the moon shone brilliantly and it was blowing almost gale –but I did not sleep half an hour consecutively. The roll of the ship prevented me.
October 17 Sunday
At 10:15 morning prayers were read by the Captain. He is a poor fool and I hear a favourite with nobody. At 11:30, we passed the City of Brussels Steamer (Inman line) outward bound on her first voyage. She was about 6 miles to the south of us, but blowing off her steam as if the bearing of her engines were hot. We signalled to each other. I could not make out anybody on board, for the sea was so rough we frequently lost sight of each other. She is the finest vessel in the service, 30 feet longer than our own. No sleep again from the same cause.
October 18 Monday
The sea is running mountains high and a gale blowing from the north and north-east. One of the aft sails blew to pieces and a large yard snapped asunder. It is hardly possible to stand on deck.
About 10:30 AM passed the Scotia the finest vessel in the Cunard line. She was outward bound having left Liverpool on Saturday and Queenstown yesterday. She was pitching and rolling frightfully about 3 miles to the north of us, the sea breaking over her– her sails were wet 2 thirds up, but she steamed splendidly through the waves– though her appearance in the gale as she was lurched about like a cockleshell reminded me of the pictures and paintings representing a wrecked ship in a storm.
At 5 PM we sighted the Irish coast– Derry -and shortly afterwards Cape Clear– with the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse at 11. We entered Queenstown Harbour – having signalled several times with blue lights and rockets for the Tender to be sent out– But there was no reply and we were accordingly obliged to run into the Cove for about a mile into still water and then wait for the tender, which at about 12 arrived bringing a pilot and taking off the mail and some of the passengers. I wrote to Lou, William and Mrs. Wallridge by the Queenstown bag. The cold was intense but I waited up until we again got out into the Atlantic.
Had a long chat with Captain Brooker and Mr. Dawson, both very great gentlemanlike fellows and I hope to know more of them. Turned in at 12:30 and had a better night.
October 19 Tuesday
A wind dead ahead of us and the ship pitching horribly. We have had fearful weather the last four or five days, but I really think this is the worst, and it rains in torrents. Our ship, however, is a first-rate sea boat and ships comparatively little water– though sometimes a wave makes clean over the forecastle and down the main and upper decks.
At 9:30 sighted Holyhead light House– But we had previously sighted several lighthouses both on the Irish and Welsh coasts which are splendidly lighted. We passed a small schooner disabled, all her sails having been blown away and she was tossing about in the trough of the sea, apparently quite unmanageable and at the mercy of the waves; she did not however signal for help and if she had, I doubt if we should have rendered it, for I fancy from what I heard that both our Captain and pilot are fully occupied in securing our own safety.
At 10:30 I turned in very tired and cold and at 2 AM the engine stopped and our anchor let go in the Mersey off Liverpool. At 8 a tender came off and took us and our baggage on shore. I gave a Custom House officer a shilling and he at once chalked my baggage without opening it– so that I was the first to get away. Went to the Adelphi hotel– very good - went in bedroom where I was engaged till 3 PM when I started for a walk, up Park Road, Wellington Road etc. etc. et cetera and back to dinner at 6. The weather was wet and cold. I start for London tomorrow by the 11:30 AM Express.