By E. Catherine Bates,
University of California Berkeley
THE PETER AND ROSELL HARVEY
A YEAE IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
E. CATHEEINE BATES,
"EGYPTIAN BONDS," BTC.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
WARD & DOWNEY,
12, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
[4 Rights Reserved.]
KELLY AND CO., GATE STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS, W.C.
AND MIDDLE MILL, KINGSTON-ON-THAMES.
I. WESTWARD Ho! ..... 1
II. SOUTH CALIFORNIA AND THE YO-SEMITE VALLEY 70
III. MONTEREY, SANTA CRUZ AND SAN FRANCISCO . 112
IV. VANCOUVER'S ISLAND YELLOWSTONE PARK,
WYOMING . ' . . . 144
V. AMERICAN MINES AND SALT LAKE CITY . 106
VI. A MONTH IN THE ROCKIES . . . 234
VII. CHICAGO, THE THOUSAND ISLANDS, MONTREAL 263
HOMEWARD BOUND 303
A YEAE IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
THE route from Philadelphia via Baltimore and Wash-
ington to Cincinnati, goes over the Alleghany range
of mountains, which are rather disappointing to the
tourist, who has naturally been told that "they are
the finest in America."
People who travel over here, putting implicit faith
in their " Appleton," must expect some severe shocks
No bit of scenery or natural curiosity is ever men-
tioned without some authority being quoted to tell
you that " it is one of the most stupendous scenes in
nature and well worth a voyage across the Atlantic
Harper's Ferry is decidedly picturesque, the situa-
tion being quite equal to many of the inferior Swiss
views, and the little town itself has the historical
VOL. II. 19
A YEAR IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
interest of having been the theatre of many engage-
ments during the civil war, especially in connection
with the exploits of the notorious " John Brown."
But the Alleghany mountains as a whole are
disappointing after the great flourish of trumpets
with which your guide-book prepares you for them.
Possibly we were the less capable of due appreciation
from the extreme discomforts attending this first start.
Perhaps it was as well to get into training early for
what was to prove an almost chronic experience.
Having got through some seven hours of the
journey fairly well, we came to a sudden halt at a
small wayside village about five p.m., and were then
for the first time told that we must remain there
indefinitely, as the country was inundated by floods,
the water being five feet deep over the rails farther on.
Now, no faintest hint of such a state of things had
been given to us before leaving Baltimore that morn-
ing. Yet the railway officials (Baltimore and Ohio
line) must have been perfectly aware of it before they
allowed our train to start ; for a previous train which
had left some time before us had been stopped at the
same place for many hours already, and this fact would
of course be telegraphed to head-quarters.
The utter impossibility of finding any one who both
WESTWARD HO !
could and would speak the truth was the most trying
part of the detention.
The conductor told us such a thing had not happened
for seven years and then they were detained for three
or four days, a cheering prospect for us, especially as
there was no dining car on board ; only some lighter
refreshments such as tea, bread and butter and eggs
were to be had, all of which would certainly shortly
give way under the great strain put upon the com-
Most of the men went off to get such tough food as
was procurable in the village.
We had some eggs and coffee, and then, resigning
ourselves to Fate, took a little walk in the wretched
squalid-looking town ; afraid to go beyond its limits
lest the summons to proceed might arrive during our
absence. We need not have been anxious on this
Next morning, at seven o'clock, when we ought to
have been almost in Cincinnati, I woke to find our car
still motionless, in front of the same depressing way-
side depot. Conflicting rumours of a possible move
arrived from time to time ; but our first real consola-
tion was the sight of an eastward bound train steaming
into the station. This at least was a sure sign that
A YEAR IN THE GEEAT REPUBLIC.
one had got through the obstacles, whatever they
At ten o'clock in the morning, after seventeen hours'
detention, we moved off very, very slowly. Still it was
movement and a blessed relief after the enforced dead-
lock of the previous weary hours.
The necessity for travelling at such a slow pace
wherever the rails were supposed to be most shaky, and
insecure, lost us of course many more hours, and we
only arrived at our destination at four a.m. on the
Saturday morning instead of seven-forty-five a.m. the
Later experience taught us to] look very lightly on
some twenty to thirty hours of unpunctuality in the
arrival of trains, but I give this one instance in full,
to show travellers what they must expect when once
they leave the eastern states and the beaten track
across this continent.
The following note comes here in my journal : " I
must here mention that in a considerable experience
of American railway cars, extending over six months,
I have never save once found the boasted dining car one
hears so much about, and that was on the train between
Boston and New York, about the only journey where
one could have dispensed with it."
WESTWARD HO !
Many will question this statement, but it is abso-
I do not mean to say that on one or two occasions
dining cars were not advertised on the lines we travelled
over ; but either the train was late and had no time to
stop and take on the car, or the provisions had been
exhausted and the car was left behind in consequence.
Anyway the result was the same.
Travelling over the Northern Pacific Line some
months later, we always found a dining car attached
and the food very good, and I have no doubt that travel-
lers who have only crossed the continent by the direct
line from New York to San Francisco will have had a
Keferring to my list of American lines travelled over
during the first six months of our stay, I find the fol-
" Canadian Pacific," " New York Central," " Pennsyl-
vania," " Baltimore and Ohio," " Ohio and Missouri,"
" Chicago and Alton," " Aitchison Topeka and Santa Fe,"
Atlantic Pacific " and " Southern Pacific."
These are pretty well-known American lines, and in
spite of the incredulity of my Transatlantic friends, I
am obliged to keep to my statement.
On the long journeys, tea and coffee were sometimes
A YEAK IN THE GKEAT KEPUBLIC.
to be had, not very satisfactory, but better than nothing ;
sometimes a little cold chicken or tongue and a few
eggs ; but these provisions were always liable to sudden
collapse and at best cannot compare for excellence with
the luncheon baskets supplied on our own English lines.
For the rest, you must turn out at the wayside
stations, at most inconvenient hours, and be thankful
to gobble up whatever tough messes of food happen to
be within reach during the very short time allowed
On these occasions everything is heaped up on one
plate, for you are never supplied with a second.
Eggs and bacon, tough mutton or stringy beef,
potatoes, tomatoes, Indian corn, and squash pies must
be eaten alike, off the one platter, or left alone.
At first you feel you would rather perish than
degrade yourself to the level of a pig and its trough,
but hunger is a strong argument in the long run.
A traveller will be turned out for a breakfast of this
description at nine o'clock in the morning ; for another
heavy meal of the same kind at twelve-thirty, and
again at five or five-thirty p.m. for a third, which you
have no inclination to eat after two such predecessors,
yet this is your only chance of food till nine o'clock
next morning, and that is not a certainty ; for a " wash
WESTWARD HO !
out " may arise at any moment and detain you for two
or three hours in the middle of the night.
A well-stocked luncheon basket is the only way of
meeting the difficulty, but after the first day, any food
you may take with you is apt to get tough, and dusty,
Snow was lying thick on the ground (April 3) when
we reached Cincinnati, cold, miserable and hungry,
after fifty hours of travelling and insufficient, bad food
on the way. An omnibus took us to the hotel we had
selected, but there were no rooms to be had, and
nothing for it but to deposit our luggage and walk
through the filthy, muddy streets, with sleet falling
overhead and damp raw fog enveloping us, to seek for
This fog and snow continued during the whole of
our four or five days' stay, so I can say nothing of
Cincinnati, for the simple reason that I had no chance
of ever really seeing it. Through the fog and snow
we could dimly discern the form of the surrounding
hills, which are said to form such a pleasing entourage
to the city. Twice we attempted to drive there, but
were driven back by a thick pea-soup atmosphere
varied by sleet and rain.
Of the town itself we saw much more than we
A YEAR IN THE GHEAT REPUBLIC.
wished. It is black and grimy and smoky, and the
streets, for dirt, beat any we have yet seen. A week
or so later we modified this opinion and thought the
palm should be given to Saint Louis.
A patriotic shopkeeper silenced our complaints of
the filthy condition of the streets at the latter place
by saying it showed what splendid agricultural pro-
perties the soil possessed !
Everything lies certainly in the point of view !
Meanwhile, at Cincinnati the river went on rising
day by day, the snow fell, likewise the rain, the mud
thickened if possible, every one looked gloomy and
recalled the terrible floods of two years ago.
We were only too glad to pack up and escape whilst
escape was still possible.
Even then the water was over the wheels of our train
as we left the station. Next day the trains were
unable to run at all.
Having had a gentle introduction to the dangers by
flood, we were next to be initiated into the delights and
conveniences of the system of American " stageing,"
the very name of which inspires me still with a feeling
of most deadly repulsion.
Having come to see the Mammoth caves of Ken-
tucky, there was nothing for it but to sleep at
WESTWARD HO! 9
Louisville and take train next day for Cave City.
Hence we had to drive nine miles to the Mammoth
Cave Hotel, over such a road as had never come with-
in my travelling experiences.
Stones, rocks, boulders and ruts blocked our way ;
our stage was an open vehicle, with canvas top and
slender iron rods to support it, to which we clung for
dear life, as our four mules dragged us over the stony,
rutty and muddy track.
An American " bagman " sat opposite to me and a
young American with a lovely little wife in the back
seat. Conversation was physically impossible. You
could not open your mouth without the chance of the
teeth being shaken down your throat by the terrible
It was all one could do, to clutch either side of the
" machine " alternately with a convulsive grasp. No
one but the irrepressibly cheerful young bagman even
attempted to talk, and he got no farther than an
occasional hopeful, " Now we have struck the bully-
vard again," as sometimes a bit of road less horrible
than the last was reached.
Alas ! two minutes landed us on to a " rock " or into
a rut bigger than ever. The little bride's most
cherished novel was shaken out of the stage into the
10 A YEAR IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
muddy road, but she was quite past caring much
about it. " Perhaps I shall find it on my way back
to-morrow," she whispered to her husband, who only
gave a compassionate smile in answer. As if it would
not be buried feet deep in mud by that time !
Poor little girl ! She looked more fit for bed than
anything else when we arrived at last, benumbed with
cold and speechless from fatigue ; but she and her
husband were forced to take the eight a.m. stage back
next morning, so there was nothing for it but for them
to visit the caves that night.
We took things more quietly, and revived sufficiently
during the evening to be entertained by some of the
experiences of our landlord, specially with reference to
the time when he lived at Cave City, whence the
There are two routes through these caves, the long
and the short route. The former is only opened
during the two or three summer months, as the water
in the river is too high at other times to allow visitors
to penetrate to some parts of the cave. The long
route gives fourteen to sixteen miles of walking, and
entails a nine hours' expedition. The short route
goes over some seven or eight miles, and can be done
in three or four hours.
WESTWARD HO ! 11
On one occasion an old gentleman of over sixty
came to Cave City with a young wife of eighteen, who
had married him, doubtless, for his dollars, and our
friend (Gannett) had induced him to take the long
route, which entails some heavy climbing, especially
through a part called " the Corkscrew."
When the old gentleman returned to Cave City
next morning he had to be lifted out of the stage,
vowing vengeance on the man who had given him
" Do you know where the fellow lives ? " he asked,
speaking to Gannett himself, but not recognizing his
" Yes, sir. A long way from here."
" Well, if you see him, let me know. I would give
him a good thrashing if I could only lay hands upon
The young wife was in convulsions of silent laughter,
having recognized Gannett immediately upon their
However, she wisely kept her own counsel, and the
train coming up soon after took them off, the old
husband shaking his fist and uttering curses both
deep and loud until he was fairly carried out of
sight, much to Gannett's relief.
12 A YEAR IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
There was no choice in our case. In April the short
route alone is practicable. This includes most points
of interest, and you escape a great deal of monotonous
and aimless wandering, but you miss the river and a
short portion of gypsum formation of " flowers," said
t3 be the most beautiful in the cave, probably simply
because less denied by the smoke of the torches.
Bayard Taylor says that any one who goes to the
Mammoth Caves and comes away disappointed " must
te either a fool or a demi-god." It will save trouble to
class myself at once under the former head, for I
cannot possibly belong to the latter, and the Mammoth
Caves disappointed me greatly.
They are not to be compared for beauty with those
at Adelsberg and many others on a smaller scale which
I have seen in Europe.
The caves are on an enormous scale, it is true. The
chambers are lofty and finely proportioned, but the
whole place, with few exceptions, is ugly and black.
The stalactites are few, and blackened with smoke.
There is no profusion of the lovely alabaster and
crimson shades so universal in the caves of Adelsberg.
A few inches of alabaster formations hanging from
the tops were pointed out with great pride, and con-
sidered evidently very rich and rare.
WESTWARD HO ! 13
We went up an immense wide avenue called
"Broadway," then came to the "Kotunda," "The
Theatre," "The Methodist Church" (with a natural
pulpit), and then to the natural altar, where a romantic
marriage took place some years ago.
A girl had promised under great pressure that she
" would not marry any man on the face of the earth."
So she took her fiance into the caves, and they
were married here.
Three pillars, formed by the meeting of stalactites
and stalagmites, make a very natural-looking altar, and
many cards are left here, showing that other couples
have followed suit.
A rather pretty custom is adopted in these cases of
dedicating cairns or heaps of stones to the different
states in America or foreign countries dear to respec-
tive tourists. A card or piece of wood indicates the
state or country.
I put a stone on "Massachusetts" for the sake of
dear old Boston.
There was a very big heap for " England," to which,
of course, we added, and another for Scotland. The
habit is useful as well as sentimental, for it keeps the
I need not enumerate the various " points " shown
14 A YEAR IX THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
us by William, our excellent black guide. There are
one or two really very fine and almost overpowering
ravines of rock, which he lighted for us by throwing
about bits of brown paper soaked in oil, and the
colouring here was very soft and beautiful. As a rule,
however, the avenues and grottoes are dingy and black.
Thousands of little black bats hibernate in these caves
from October to May, hanging by their legs from the
roof. At the latter date they wake up and kindly take
up their summer quarters outside.
The chief interest of the caves lay after all in two
very good effects of William's own ingenuity and skill.
The first was discovered by him accidentally. Two of
the passages meet at a special angle, the light from the
opening of the cave striking the walls at a particular
Ofiven these conditions, William found that when he
moved the lamps in the distance there was an effect of
a beautiful white marble statue on a pedestal moving
slowly backwards and forwards.
The other is still more wonderful.
At a place called the " Starry Dome " (on ascount of
the star-like formations on the roof) there is a wooden
seat. Here we sat down ; William took away all our
lamps and disappeared, leaving us in total darkness.
WESTWARD HO ! 15
Presently, by a clever manipulation of the artificial
light, it seemed as though the stars were shining above
our heads, illuminating the dense darkness in which
we had been sitting. Then clouds, heavy and black,
seemed to pass over the sky.
At length, to our left, the sun appeared to be slowly
rising (a light thrown by him). Then came the lowing
of the cattle, the crowing of the cocks, the quick sharp
bark of a dog, and the bleating of the lambs ; all the
sounds of coming dawn being most cleverly imitated in
turn by William, who is a first-rate ventriloquist.
It was very clever, but after all it was William, not
About a mile-and-a-half inside the caves from the
opening are the ruined remains of twelve stone huts
built here in the year eighteen hundred and forty-two
by a philanthropist who had heard that the beautiful
cave air was calculated to cure consumption, and
induced twelve poor victims to try the experiment of
living in total darkness and having their food brought
them from the outer world.
For five months they endured this living death, but
at the end of that time all came out and none survived
the experiment. Light must of course be almost as
necessary to human life as air.
16 A YEAR IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
Two of the cottages alone remain intact to tell the
sad tale. One is filled up inside with stones, but the
other is still habitable. The walls are of stone, but
there were no roofs, only canvas covers.
The railway strikes were in full force over here ; as we
steamed into Saint Louis we passed a miniature Alder-
shot Camp on the line. " Soldiers to guard the property
and lives of the employers," was the answer given when
I asked what it meant.
" What chance is there of any settlement ? " was
my next question.
" Chance ? " re-echoed my informant, " none at all
for the employers of labour ; you see there is no legis-
lation for them. These unions are rich enough to buy
up all the justice they want. There is not a court that
would decide against them."
" That is simply disgraceful," I cried hotly.
" Yes," he admitted slowly ; " it is disgraceful, but it
is a fact."
I have nothing of interest to say about the big
black manufacturing smoky city of Saint Louis.
We spent a week there, it is true, but this was a
question of health and rest.
The only bright spot that remains in my memory is
of the little toddling children who go about the streets
WESTWARD HO ! 17
here in pretty white muslin drawn caps, trimmed with
embroidery. It is a quaint, pretty device, and must
keep their little heads much cooler than close hats or
bonnets would do in this oppressive dull heat.
Another weary fifty hours' journey via Kansas city on
the Aitchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line, which threads
through the Indian territory on the south and
Kansas State in the north, brought us to Las Vegas Hot
Springs, where we intended to break the journey to
We passed through endless prairie and fields of
Not a building, not a hill to break the terrible
monotony. The prairie fires were our only diversion,
and these came thick and fast as we moved heavily
along through this prairie ocean.
Our nights were much alike, jolting and stopping,
stopping and jolting.
Some of the weary hours might be got over by late
rising in the morning, but this is impossible. By six
a.m. every one is on the stir, and by six-thirty or seven
a.m. at latest, all the berths have been put back and
the car transformed into its sitting-room aspect.
The sleeping cars in the daytime are very different
from the luxurious parlour car with its arm-chairs
VOL. II. 20
18 A YEAR IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
and footstools. The seats are narrow and the backs
are straight ; alas, we have bidden a long good-bye to
the parlour car, which is only suitable for the shorter
A combination carriage is, of course, more con-
venient from the railway point of view, but travellers
must often long to get away during the daytime from
the long, stuffy carriage in which they have passed
the night, especially as it is most difficult to secure
anything like fresh air without the conviction that
you are putting some courteous but steam-heated
American to real torture.
At Trinidad we first noticed the curious Mexican
adobe house (called always " doby ").
They remind one of Irish mud huts, but are built
of a brick made from the earth and called " adobe."
They are square houses, generally without windows,
and apparently without any roof, but, doubtless, this
last is lower than the rest of the building and so
cannot be seen from the line. A ladder against the
wall answers the purpose of a front door, the ingress
being from a hole in the top of the roof, whence
a second ladder leads down into the hut, so that
a visitor enters not head, but heels foremost.
A pleasant Grerman gentleman in the train, hearing
WESTWARD HO ! 19
that we intended to visit Santa Fe after staying
at Las Vega?, told me that he had lived for some
twenty-five years in the former city, and begged to
be allowed to do the honours of it to us on our
arrival. After fifty hours' travelling we arrived at
Las Vegas, whence a branch line takes you some five
miles on to the Hot Springs Hotel.
The manager of the hotel had come down to meet
the train, and as soon as we were seated in it
and well off, kindly told us that there were no rooms
to be had, as a party of thirty-five excursionists
were in the house.
This was pleasant news for us, weary, supperless,
exhausted, and at nine o'clock in the evening. It
might have been possible to secure rooms in Las Vegas
itself, but we were really too tired to be very
indignant with the man for starting us on such a wild
Las Vegas Hot Springs is a picturesque little
village, perched in a canon between high hills, and
some six thousand five hundred feet above the sea.
There are several cottages belonging to the hotel,
where people are boarded when the house is full,
one or two little shops full of Mexican workmanship,
and finally the bath houses.
20 A YEAR IN THE GREAT REPUBLIC.
A long, low, two-storied house of dark red sandstone,
with verandah all round, forms the present hotel,
which is also the original one.
A new one was built in 1884 and opened for one
year, being then burnt down.
In 1885 a second was built, entirely fire-proof as
they fondly hoped, and was opened in May of that
year. Within three months this shared the fate
of its predecessor.
They are actually building it up for the third time,
now on a different site, a little higher up on the hill.
Such perseverance deserves to be rewarded.
My friend found a refuge in the billiard-room that
night, whilst I was put into a tiny cabin of a room
on the ground floor, over all the hot-water pipes, and
was parboiled in consequence by next morning.
Numbers of people are staying here for months