Fannie De C. Miller.

Snap notes of an eastern trip, from diary of Fannie de C. Miller online

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In the hour of darkness, and peril, and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere."

Mrs. Murphy presented me with " The Mid
night Ride" souvenir orange spoon, a beauti
fully etched representation of the hero wildly
riding to "spread the alarm."

Near by is " Old Copp s Hill Burial Ground,"
and thither we wended our meanderings, and
had no occasion to regret an introduction to
Mr. Edward McDonald, the intelligent superin
tendent, who has diligently searched the ar
chives for history of the place and every tomb in
the cemetery, and has compiled the result of
his labor in neat book form.



THE CITY OF BOSTON. 67

On Copp s Hill, where we stand, "Generals
Burgoyne and Clinton watched the battle on
Bunker Hill, and directed thebattery." Within
shadow of the hill stands Boston s oldest
homestead, and Christ Church, erected in
1723, is said to be the oldest but one public
building in Boston. " The prayer books and
communion silver, given by George II., in 1733,
are now in use." The church also contains
a bust of Washington, which was the first ever
made of the "Father of his country." The
chime of bells, conveyed from England, is the
most ancient chime in America, dated 1744.

One of the oldest gravestones in this ceme
tery is dated 1661, and I remarked that the
slabs are of slate, the first I have seen. The
inscriptions are cut into the stone, in primitive
lettering. The tombstone said to be the oldest
in New England, according to Mr. McDonald s
pamphlet, is here, erected to the memory of
Grace Berry, who died in Plymouth, in 1625.
When Copp s Hill was opened first as a burial
ground, her remains were interred herein, in
the year 1659. Among the most interesting
inscriptions I read, the one over the grave of
Cotton Mather attracted my particular atten
tion, and I freely transcribe the wording to my
notebook :



68 SWAP NOTES.

"The Reverend Doctors,

Increase, Cotton,

& Samuel Mather

were interred in this vault.
Tis the tomb of oar Father s

Mather Crocker s

I. Died Augt. 27th, 1723, se 84.

C. Died Feb. 13th, 1727, le Go.

S. Died June 27th, 1785, a> 79."

We were shown where stood a large willow
tree, planted in the Ellis plot in 1844, which
was a cutting from the tree over Napoleon s
grave at St. Helena. The grave of Amos
Lincoln was pointed out, with the information
that he was one of the many young colonists
who overthrew the cargo of tea in Boston Har
bor, and afterwards married a daughter of
Paul Revere.

I copied the following epitaph, which for
peculiarity struck my fancy:
"In memory of

Mary Huntley

Who departed this life Sep. 28th, 1798,
in the 64th year of her age.

" Stop here, my friend, and cast an eye.

As you are now, so once was I;
As I am now, so you must be.

Prepare for death and follow me."

A wag, upon perusing the warning, added:

"To follow you I m not content,
Unless I know which way you went."



THE CITY OF BOSTON. 69

From the historic spot, filled with the "silent
majority " of Puritan heroes, we were guided
to Faneuil Hall, with its big "gold" grass
hopper vane. The dear old building has been
devoted to the uses of a market, but, were
speech possible, what stories it could tell hot
headed debate and earnest appeal, warm ap
plause and final triumph. The edifice (for is
it not dedicated to our country, which claims
us, after God?) remains about as when the colo
nists met herein and read the immortal Decla
ration which proclaimed them free and inde
pendent people. Everything suggestive of the
Revolutionary days is held in almost sacred re
spect in Boston, and Faneuil Hall building,
used as a market place, is not, indeed, in depre
ciation of its historic character, but to check
the corroding influence of idleness, time s
wearying enemy.

Strolling onward we reached Granary Ceme
tery, wherein are interred the remains of John
Hancock, the fearless signer, with other wit
nesses of the Declaration, Benjamin Franklin
and Paul Revere. Every name inscribed on
the bronze gate "cometh up as a flower" from
the ground of early learned history lessons, and
pondering over the dust these sacred precincts
inclose is a source of novel interest to me,
time having exorcised the dormitory of endless
sleep of the spirit of melancholy.



70 SNAP NOTES.

The little short street, or court, where Daniel
Webster and Rufus Choate were wont to walk
together for hours and discuss the important
affairs of State, was attractive indeed, and I was
shown the hotel wherein the two statesmen
dropped ever and anon to moisten their throats,
seared by dry subjects. This hotel, by the way,
was rendered famous by the facetious remark of
Artemus Ward in loquaciously locating Har
vard University on its third floor (and the lawn
facing the Conservatory of Music), it being a
resort for the "students on a lark."

Wending homeward, or, rather, hotelward,
we bent our course to the Charles River, took a
long look at the dark waters, rippling and
shimmering in the different electric and gas
lights in lengthened brilliancy.

Reaching the Vendome, we dined, and did
justice to the repast, after which my compan
ions attended the theater, the doctor spent his
evening with a medical friend, and I repaired
to my room to write home and prepare for rest.

Sunday, August SO.

We arose early to take a trip planned by Dr.
F. to Gloucester and Salem, to meet Dr. Oliver
Wendell Holmes, and my heart bounded with
delight in anticipation of the great pleasure
in store for us, but



THE CITY OF BOSTON. 71

" Pleasures are as poppies spread ;
Pull the flower and the bloom is shed."

The merciless rain persistently imprisoned us
within doors, and my hopes vanished like "chaff
before the wind."

We attended mass at the cathedral and
Church of the Immaculate Conception, then
visited Boston College. We were shown all
through the institution, and then drove home,
not, however, without being allowed the won
derful privilege of a peep at John L. Sullivan s
saloon.

Well, we wrote letters all day, entertained
each other as well as the dark day allowed, and
during the afternoon I went out walking with
a friend, who conducted me to Boston Harbor,
whereat arose visions of the active "tea party."
Vessels bound for New York and other places
were quietly lying at the wharf, and the city
was peculiarly noiseless. This is my first ex
perience of a Puritan Sabbath. Even the tink
ling bells on the horses of street cars were re
moved, lest they sound too gay and loud for
the standard solemnity of Sunday.

The rain abating we wandered along Beacon
Street Hill, where my companion called my
attention to the colonial style of building,
and the ancient green glass window panes.
Through Dr. Holmes "Long Walk" of the



72 SNAP NOTES.



Commons we returned to the hotel. Throwing
off my wraps I found my feet damp, the only
Uncomfortable result of my jaunt, After din
ner our self-kindly-appointed escort returned
to his home, and we late birds retired at two
o clock A. M.



Monday, August 31.

We remained within doors to-day, having
nothing particular to do, yet we cannot leave
here until to-morrow night, as accommodations
on the steamer Plymouth, via "the Sound," can
only be afforded us then. We were exceedingly
late for breakfast, having arisen at nearly noon
tide, so were served in the small dining hall
without regard to the menu. This afternoon I
visited friends in Worcester, and was shown
the beauties of that city, the park Lake Quin-
sigamund, the summer resort of the Chautau-
quan Association, and upon whose waters the
Harvard boys practice the graceful, manly art
of rowing, when preparing for a contest, also
the home and birthplace of Bancroft, the great
historian, and other points of interest. We
returned on the evening train, and all retired
about midnight, my cousins having been to the
theater.

September 1.

During the fresh, rosy hours of the morning



THE CITY OF BOSTON. 73

we remained at home and wrote our letters.
During the afternoon we went for a walk
through the crooked, magnetic thoroughfares,
and Mrs. Murphy bought a lot of Boston tea to
take home with her, to dispense to her guests
of the sewing circle, when recounting her pere
grinations through the esthetic city of learning.
We made some purchases, souvenirs of New
England, and over the soft, green carpet of the
storied Commons returned to our temporary
quarters, noting on our way the glistening frog
pond and historic elm that witnessed the per
secution of witches, and other uncanny ceremo
nies of the very early Puritan days, all speak
ing of an anxious past linked strongly to the
peace-crowned present.

We visited the church of Rev. Phillips
Brooks, which, I am told, lias the finest and
one of the best-appointed church organs in
America, the second finest being in the Taber
nacle at Salt Lake City.

Towards evening our trunks were packed
for New York, and we prepared for traveling.
We left the beautiful "Vendome" for the Old
Colony Railroad Office, and took the Fall
River line for Gotham. We entered the pal
ace car " Lilac " at seven o clock, and soon were
whirling away from Boston. I left the beauti
ful city I have learned to love, for its classic



74 SNAP NOTES

associations and historcial interest, with regret,
as some of the most instructive moments of my
life have just been experienced here Viewing
the quiet, homelike mansions of the great and
grand Cambridge, where stalwart minds have
worked and rested, was a pleasure to be enjoyed
by me but once in life, and I earnestly wish I
could repeat it.

We arrived at Fall River at 8:30, and
boarded the Plymouth, a perfect little floating
palace, exquisitely ornamented interiorly, and
illuminated by myriads of electric jets. The
furniture throughout is handsome. " The
Lowell String Band," of ten pieces, discourses
music for the delectation of the passengers.
We are an hour late in starting, it being now
ten o clock, whereas we should have been steam
ing up the river at nine. The call, "All ashore
who are going ashore," must be a signal that
we soon shall start. The music continues; at
times the strains are most excruciating. How
keen must have been the torture of the witches,
if these musicians are the descendants of the
old colonists!

At 10:20 we start. We retire at eleven.
Our staterooms are neat, convenient, and com
fortable.



CHAPTER VI.

GLIMPSES OF NEW YORK CITY.

Wednesday, September 2.

WE appear in sight of New York City early
and come out to take a look at Long
Island Sound, and, later, our destination, un
der low-hanging masses of fog. The first build
ing "greeting our coming" is an immense in
sane asylum, and on our left, farther on is
Black well s Island, with its gray stone prisons
and glistening cannon. As we approach I ob
serve hundreds of women of the Island Re
formatory, wearing large straw hats, in ranks,
walking around enjoying the morning air and
sunshine. We pass under Brooklyn Bridge at
nine o clock, having sped past the I uritan, com
ing up the Sound, although she left Boston two
hours ahead of us.

We were conducted to a carriage by the por
ter, and were soon "in line" trying to make
way to the Fifth Avenue Hotel. The streets
were dense with vehicles of every known de
scription, rendering progress difficult. How-

(75)



76 SNAP NOTES.

ever, at last we registered at the Fifth Avenue,
and upon reaching our rooms our California mail
was sent to us, and with indescribable avidity
I devoured the contents of four letters from
home, the first missives I have had from the
loved ones, with whom it seems an age since I
parted. I answered all, and wrote a note to a
friend in Baltimore, informing him of our ar
rival in New York, and likelihood of reaching
" Maryland, my Maryland " within a few weeks.
We then waited for our trunks, that never came
until evening.

Mrs. B. I). Murphy went out for a walk, to
look for her old home, and familiar objects in
its vicinity. With Martin she drove to the
Bank of Donahue, Kelly & Co., to present her
letters of credit. In her absence Mr. Malone
called, and kindly offered to be of use, knowing
our inexperience in traveling, and possible in
convenience we might encounter in a strange
city.

We dined in our parlor and the rest of the
party attended the Lyceum Theater, returning
about midnight, when we retired. I had de
voted the hours of their absence to reading,
and endeavoring to decipher the stenography
of this crude diary.

September 3.

With the first smile of dawn came up Mr.



GLIMPSES OF NEW YORK CITY. 77

Shriver s card. As I hud arisen, and was
ready for breakfast, I went down to meet him.
He had received my note of the day previous,
and, traveling at night, had reached New York
City about six this morning. He gave us a
cordial welcome to the East, which warm greet
ing was succeeded by a friendly offer of him
self as escort for the day. After chatting
awhile we were joined by my cousins, and all
breakfasted, and went immediately to do some
shopping, Mr. S. acting as guide. Gorham s
elegant display of silverware was supervised,
and from the rich assortment of unique designs
Mrs. M. selected several dozen exquisitely
wrought souvenir spoons, together with rare
bits of art, things "of beauty," that cannot fail
to be " a joy forever" to those fortunate enough
to possess them through the little lady s gen
erosity of heart and purse.

We thoroughly enjoyed Tiffany s Art Rooms,
and wished we could spend a week among the
bric-a-brac alone. Next dry goods houses were
visited, and wherever shopping was to be done,
until, tired and weary, we returned to lunch.
Then Mr. S. took Mrs. M. and myself on the
elevated railroad to Benziger Bros., away down
town. I bought some souvenirs for friends,
and Mrs. Murphy made her usual liberal pur
chases. Mr. 8. showed me the " little church



78 SNAP NOTES.

round the corner," which edifice I was anxious
to look at, and many other places of interest
claimed my attention when pointed out by one
so intelligently capable of instructing the un
informed. I came back pleased with our out
ing. Mr. S. invited us to attend the fireworks
on Weehawken Heights, Hoboken, New Jersey,
but Martin had tickets for the theater.

We dined at 7:30, arid Mrs. Murphy spent
the evening with her uncle, Mr. Green, Mr. S.
accompanying her thither, the trio, Martin,
Maud, and Evie, attending the theater. I read,
and wrote my letters, until the return of my
friends.

I do not like the climate of New York at
this season ; it is unpleasant, the air being moist,
and the heat oppressive.

September 4.

"Up with the lark," and prepared for the
day, arranged my trunk, and chased time until
eleven o clock, when the rest of the party were
ready. Mr. Eugene Kelly called on Mrs. Mur
phy, and took Martin down town. After break
fast Mr. Shriver appeared in time to accompany
us to Lord & Taylor s, the suit house. Procur
ing a conveyance suitable for the occasion, he
drove us through Central Park, a ride I was
most desirous of taking, to see the oft-heard-of



GLIMPSES OF NEW YORK CITY. 79

public breathing-place of America s greatest
city. I always speak for myself and may say
here that I am delighted with what I see about
me in this beautiful sylvan retreat, with the
pleasant outing and the agreeable company.

Upon our return our escort guided us on the
elevated railroad to the Battery, and up the
Produce Exchange Building to the tower, two
hundred and forty feet high, fourteen stories,
whence we obtained an excellent view of the
city Castle Garden almost under us, Gover
nor s Island just beyond, where General Hancock
was stationed some years before his death, Bed-
loe s Island, with the "Liberty" statue, Brook
lyn Bridge. East River, the Hudson. Staten
Island, the Narrows, or Gate, Perth-Amboy be
yond Staten Island, all delineated so perfectly
and charmingly as to be a picture in the gallery
of memory forever. Although enchanted with
the scene and occasion, after an hour s contem
plation of the busy city under us, we descended
and were shown Wall Street, where fabulous
fortunes have been made and lost within a day.
It is a narrow highway, of a few blocks, stretch
ing towards East River, and but for its name
would never arrest attention. We stood at the
entrance of Trinity Church, almost classic in
its ancient dignity, then sauntered leisurely to
the building containing the offices of Jay Gould,



80 SNAP NOTES.

.Russell Sage, and other notable personages of
the metropolis; and, indeed, many other sights
claimed us, which my wearv head cannot re
call.

Taking the cars, we returned to the hotel
very tired. Shortly thereafter Mr. S. intro
duced his sister, Mrs. T. J. Myer, and her two
daughters, of Maryland, to our party, who are
en route for home, from a visit to Boston, Ded-
ham, and, later, Newport. Mrs. Myer is a
rather tall, stout lady, with comely features,
kindly expression, and dignified mien. Gently
welcoming our " California delegation " East,
she warmly and hospitably invited us to visit
her home in Maryland, all of which I appre
ciate, being a stranger in a strange place.

After dinner Mr. Sh river took us all to Wee-
hawken Heights, on the Jersey side of the Hud
son, the vicinity being the scene, if I mistake
not, of the Hamilton-Burr duel now called
Hoboken. The little five-minute trip across
the river is peculiarly pleasing, the many gas,
electric, and other lights illuminating the rip
pling waters, and the colored lights of the
vessels giving life and beauty to the strange,
sparkling scene.

We were conveyed to the amphitheater, and
there witnessed the El Dorado extravaganza of
King Solomon, which was elegantly presented,



GLIMPSES OF NEW YORK CITY. 81

with seven hundred persons participating at
once. The rich dresses, graceful posing, and
agreeable singing were most enchanting, and
altogether the play was entirely distinct from
anything I have ever witnessed. The arena
was arranged in the opon air, on the Heights,
the sky forming the canopy, and when the walls
of Jerusalem were burned, the smoke ascended,
circulated in the air, and disappeared into space
as naturally and gracefully as possible.

We next attended the fireworks, then sat and
listened to the concert, at which Mr. Levy, the
cornetist, was to have played, but he failing to
appear we returned to the ferry, and home.
There were eleven in the party, and we enjoyed
the unique evening s entertainment very much,
with the cool dews of night glistening over our
raiment in the radiance of a thousand lights.

Saturday, September 5,

We were up and about at eight o clock.
After breakfast our escort conducted us to
the Hoffman House, to see the works of art
displayed in the salon "Satyr, and the
Nymphs" of Bougereau, a "St. John in the
Wilderness "(?) by Correggio, a fine piece of
work representing Port Marseilles, valued at
$25,000, some chaste statuary, and other articles
of vertu. He then suggested a look at the



82 SNAP NOTES.

Eden Musee, where are to be seen the wax
works after the house of Madame Tussaud in
London, the royal heads of Europe, a bevy of
Confederate and Federal soldiers of the late
war, prominent musicians, actors, and actresses,
great men of the day, etc. Below we enter the
"Chamber of Horrors." Here most heart-
thrilling scenes are depicted to the life. Why
is Millet s " Angelus" presented in wax in the
Chamber of Horrors? "The Guillotine,"
"Eyraud," the brutal murderer of Gouffe,
"Judith and Holofernes," "Charlotte Corday,"
" The Lion s Bride/ "Execution by Electricity,"
are all appropriately in place representing
horror, but why "The Angelus"?

A funny incident happened as we were pass
ing from one hall to the next. The word
"paint" in large letters was attached to the
back of a bench, and a gentleman had just
arisen from the seat and was seriously contem
plating the damage wrought on his new stylish
trousers by the contact. The expression of
regret was so apparent on his countenance that
we pitied his misfortune, until Evie exclaimed:
The goose! Couldn t he see paint big enough
to warn him, if he didn t smell it?" "A light
breaks in upon our brain" the immobility of
the figure suggested that it was wax. We
felt foolish, but enjoyed the amusing occurrence
to its fullest.



GLIM PS LS OF NEW YOItK CITY. 83

The art gallery of the Musee is full of treas
ures, and well worth a visit, but time is flying,
and we must leave these truly realistic scenes
for our own active ones of life.

I accompanied Mrs. Murphy on another
shopping tour, and when we returned to the
hotel, at six o clock p. M., we Avere very tired,
faint, and hungry. I feel the depressing effects
of the climate, possibly the result on a consti
tution unused to close, moist, oppressive heat.
The Baltimore party left for home on the three
o clock train, having called to say adios dur
ing our absence. The trio went to the theater
in the evening. Mrs. M. arranged her pur
chases, packed them into trunks for home go
ing, and about eleven o clock we gladly wel
comed "nature s sweet restorer." Was some
what homesick this afternoon and telegraphed
to my sisters at the dear old home, the like of
which I have not yet seen.

Sunday, September 6.

I was prepared and ready for church at 8:30;
the rest of the company appeared at nine, when
we breakfasted and attended the Jesuits Church
of St. Francis Xavier at half past eleven. We
called at the Academy of the Sacred Heart,
where Mrs. Murphy had studied in her girl
hood, and felt inclined to review the earlier



84 SNAP NOTES.

scenes supplied by faithful memory. Intro
ducing ourselves as Califomians, always a talis-
manic title in the East, we were gently invited
within, and entertained by a sweet-faced, an
gelic-mannered lady in the garb of the order.
After many inquiries about our happy land,
she softly asked if any of us knew of Kern
County, in California. I responded in the af
firmative, whereupon she questioned me about
a nephew from whom she had not heard for a
year or more, and about him she was very anx
ious. Mentioning his name, I was surprised
to learn that the young man was one who had
brought me letters of introduction from Vir
ginia, and had visited my home just two weeks
prior to my departure on this trip. It was
with strange pleasure that I afforded the good
lady the information she sought. The coin
cidence was a peculiar one. Madame O R.
was clever and kind, but with this new friend
we soon had to part, to return to lunch.

Although it was raining, and close, yet we
took a carriage drive to Brooklyn, over the
famous bridge. We counted forty churches in
sight and about concluded that "of a verity"
Brooklyn is the "city of churches."

While driving all through Greenwood Cem
etery, the day merged into a beautiful after
noon, with occasional showers. Here the rich



0/ 1 tftiW YOItK VWY.



and the great are interred, it appeared a vast
park, with beautiful driveways, ponds, trees,
shrubbery, lawns, and endless varieties of flow
ers, James Gordon Bennett s plot is remark
able for an elegant piece of pure white Italian
marble, sculptured by a master hand, represent
ing a woman in the attitude of prayer, whose
vesture s folds stand out in broad relief as
though fluttered by a passing zephyr. The
tomb of the Stewarts and other men of wealth
are to be seen without introduction. We were
shown the grave and monument of Charlotte
Canda,aged seven teen, who was thrown from her
carriage and killed when going to attend a party
given in honor of her birthday. The monu
ment is a beautifully chiseled marble in form
of a shrine inclosing the figure of a sweet vir
ginal girl, suggestive of our " Lady of Lourdes,"
so prettily carved and chaste looking in its
graceful robes folded softly around her standing
form. Many, many elegant mausoleums called
attention by the superiority of their artistic
worth, but could not be mentioned in a hasty
notebook like this.

Recrossing the bridge, which alone is a new
sensation to us, we reached the Fifth Avenue
Hotel, and dined at seven, after having spent a
delightful afternoon.

Mrs. Murphy and Martin went out early in



M SNAP NOTES,

the evening for her " Uncle Green," The eneiv
vating effects of the sultry climate have pros
trated Evie; she could not accompany us to
Brooklyn, and has been ill nearly all day.
Mr. Green returned with Mrs. M. and spent the
evening with us. He is a very nice old gentle


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Online LibraryFannie De C. MillerSnap notes of an eastern trip, from diary of Fannie de C. Miller → online text (page 4 of 8)