Fannie De C. Miller.

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

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man, and an interesting, well-informed talker.
Possessing an artist soul he is by profession a
sculptor, and I enjoyed conversing with him.

September 7.

This morning I received letters from home.
How happy it makes me to hear from there !
Later we repeated a shopping tour, then re
turned to luncheon, expecting Mr. Kelly, who
invited Mrs. M. for a drive through the park.
This being Labor day, many of the stores wore
closed, a miserable demonstration and proces
sion showing slightly how the occasion is hon
ored. The day is bright, but again sultry.
Mr. Kelly did not appear.

September 8.

I was up with the dawn, and partook of our
matin meal at eleven. Spent the morning in
the stores with Mrs. Murphy, and the afternoon
down town with Maud and Evalyn, a new ex
perience for us. I am getting tired of New
York, and would like a lungful of good, light.

O O c">


fresh air. I foci very weak after my jaunt
around town. The god of sleep offers particu
larly acceptable charms, and I resign myself
to blissful slumber, while the rest attend the



September 9.

A DMISSION day of California ! This morn-
-*- ing we took tire steamer Albany for a trip
up the Hudson, to Albany, and were nine hours
on the water. The views on both sides are as
picturesque as some I have seen of the Rhine; the
water is as smooth as glass at times, and again
in undulating waves sweeps nobly to the sea.
I am told the river varies from a mile to two
miles in width, and in the bays it is from three
to four miles in breadth. It originally had
several names, the French calling it "Rio de
Montaigne;" the Dutch designated this vast
arm of the sea "Mauritius," after the Nassaun
Prince Maurice. The Indian names are numer
ous and appropriate. "The Hudson" was finally
settled as the proper title by the English in
honor of Henry Hudson, who was an English
man, although under Dutch auspices. He first
explored the river from the now metropolis to
the capital in 1609.



Taking our chairs on the deck of the well-
appointed steamer, comfortably wrapped, a brisk
breeze fanning our faces, God s perfect sunshine
smiling on us, the panorama of grandeur un
folds before us. On the right, or east bank,
the Manhattanville College of the Christian
Brothers, and elegant adjoining convent, loom
up amid the trees, reposeful in their clustering
wood, which "crescents more than half the
lawn." Soon follows the home of Audubon,
the ornithologist. On the west bank the Pali
sades, in their columnar strength, buffet wind
and wave for fifteen miles. They are of " ba
saltic trap-rock" formation. Next I note the
home of James Gordon Bennett, on Washington
Heights, where Fort Washington stood when
taken by the English in 1770. Fort Lee
stands on the western bank. Stewart Castle,
011 the summit of the Heights, is grand and
lordly in its position of superiority and elegance.
The Palisades continue on the west side, and
the end of Manhattan Island is reached as we
approach Spuyten Duyval Creek and station.

The landscape, including Riverdale, is- a
series of pretty scenes, perfect poems of nature.
Fort Hill Castle, the former property of Edwin
Forest, the tragedian, was purchased for the
Convent of Mount St. Vincent, which stately
building stands in prominent view near the


river s edge, sloping lawns ami tree-girt paths
forming a tasteful foreground.

Yonkers is next in sight, with its notable
feature, the old Phillipse Manor, conspicuous
midst the leafy wold. It was built in 1682,
and used occasionally by General Washington
during the early struggle for independence.

Passing Glenwood (this is the third place of
the name I have seen since leaving California
we are regaled with a lovely view of "Grey-
stone," the handsome home of the late Hon.
Samuel J. Tilden. Within cool shades of
kindly green, uprearing its gray front to the
sun, the mansion, characteristic of its late own
er s life, is open to inspection, and like him,
too, in that it is without flaw.

The Palisades rise higher, reaching as they
stretch onward over five hundred feet, until the
boundary line between New York and New
Jersey is gained, when they abruptly cease.
Dobb s Ferry is pointed out to me as the
place where the intercessors for Major Andre s
life met General Greene, "president of the court
which condemned him to death."

"Sunnyside," the charming cottage of our
gentle Irving, embowered in foliage and made
up of gable ends," is the most interesting villa
in Irvington, "the classic and poetic spot of our


The residence of Jay Gould, on tins old
Paulding property, is a castle-like structure,
imposingly handsome, yet my interest is more
keenly pointed to Tarry town, where rest the
remains of Washington Irving, in Sleepy Hol
low Churchyard. A simple stone, modestly in
scribed, %< Washington Irving, born April 3,
1783, died Nov. 28, 1859," shows the place of
his burial.

Here, too, near the village Andre was cap
tured, and on the spot has been erected a mon
ument commemorative of the event. Strange
to note that, coincident with the traitor Arnold s
death in England, the tree under which Andre
was caught was killed by lightning in the
second year of this century.

The village of Nyack is on our left, or on the
west bank, nestling among the hills. Sing-
Sing Prison buildings are made of marble, and
the town is quite a large, pretty settlement, with
pleasant homes and fine residences.

The next place of interest is the Croton
Works; they supply the metropolis with water,
an extensive aqueduct conveying sixty million
gallons a day to the Central Park reservoir.

A flash of history rushes to memory at sight
of Stony Point, whose fort was recaptured by
mad Anthony Wayne in Revolutionary days.
The banks of the Hudson teem



lore, yet 1 may only note places familiar to my
unsophisticated mind through reading, and
memory of American history, which is fast
fading for lack of review.

The ruins of Fort Independence are at Peeks-
kill, which also embraces the birthplace and
death scene of John Paulding, one of Andre s
captors. Near the village is the country seat of
the late Henry Ward Beecher.

Next 011 the west bank is Captain Kidd s
Point. We all know the story of that adven
turous mariner and his pirate crew. The crags
known as Dunderbergh, described by Irving,
are sublimely picturesque, but lacking the
"tumbling imps" and malignant spirits who
visited dangerous squalls upon the Dutch sea
captains that failed in respect to the goblin

West Point commands attention on the bluff
overlooking the pacific waters of the Hudson,
on our left, and is grandly situated. During
the Revolution General Arnold the afterward
unhappy traitor, was in command of this strong
hold. "History tells the rest."

Continuing our "voyage" and admiring the
restful look of the beautiful scenery, enraptured
with the views, at times reaching sublimity, we
come to Newbergh, where the noble old Father
of His Country refused the honors of kingship,
and afterwards disbanded his arm v.


At noon we descended to the dining saloon
and took lunch. The meal was not what we
expected, and was hardly enjoyable, so we again
contented ourselves on deck, the cabin being
close and "stuffy."

Poughkeepsie, beautifully located, is called
the "Queen City of the Hudson." It is full of
fine residences, and has a large population, who
appreciate the patriotic interest which the city
enjoys, having held the State Legislature when
New York was in possession of the British, in
1777. We pass under Poughkeepsie Bridge, a
valuable enterprise which connects the East
with the mines of Pennsylvania.

Watching forward, without notes for some
distance, I rest my thoughts, but I take up the
strain as we near the Caatskills the dreamland
of poor old Rip Van Winkle, the master char
acter of Irving, which will live as long as the
Hudson flows. It is not for my feeble pen to
attempt a picture of the mountains, it takes an
Irving to delineate in golden wording. I am
satisfied to gaze upon the woody uplands that
kept the admiring attention of our charming
writer and historian of the Hudson, until they
"melt into hazy distance," and, gazing in en
chanted reverie, my heart goes out to poet,
artist, sculptor, and actor, for each is keeping
vivid the fairy charms depicted of these high
lands by the chaste and gentle Irving.


The air is so fresh and bracing that one can
not remain long under the dreamy influence.
There is a station on the east bank called Stuy-
vesant, after the old Dutch governor, and some
where hereabouts resided Martin Van Buren.
The Convent of the Sacred Heart stands high
on the western slope, and is an elegant institu
tion, conducted by the "Madames " for the higher
education of young ladies. The old manor
house of the Van Rensselaers still rests on the
eastern shore, and is certainly a "relic of antiq
uity," for it was built in 1640.

Resting my eyes I await the arrival of our
steamboat at the capital, which we reach at
six o clock one hundred and forty-four miles
from New York City, and I m glad to land.

A sensational experience awaited us upon
leaving the boat. The hotel men were scream
ing the names of the houses they represented
and pulling passengers every way but the one
they wished to go. They kept up the deafening
sounds, confusing and unpleasant, until we
were safely within a coach. We aimed for the
"Delavan," where we registered.

After supper we took a carriage for a drive
around the city. We were shown the magnifi
cent Statehouse, which they tell me has cost
seventeen millions already, and when completed
will exceed in size the capitol at Washington.


It is certainly a noble structure, but as yet un

We enjoyed the Washington Driving Park,
in which stands a bronze statue of Robert Burns,
erected by the Scotch citizens. An artificial
lake underlies fine sheltering trees, a shining
gem of beauty. Thence the homes of lumber
men, bankers, merchants, and business men
attracted our attention, as they face the park on
Inglewood Place, and are perfect dreams of
luxury. I was desirous of seeing some of the
old Dutch houses, and saw one of the oldest in
Albany. It stands on a corner, a quaint old
brick building used as a grocery store, and is
marked in large figures 1710.

The city is large, wealthy, and influential,
and, being New York s capital, how could it be

Having seen all we could, Mrs. Murphy re
mained with me in the hotel, while Martin took
Maud and Evie to the theater. They returned
about eleven o clock, and we prepared to retrace
our trip to New York City via New York and
Hudson River Railroad, leaving Albany at 1:30,
arriving in New York City at six o clock this
morning. It was a pleasant, bright trip. I
enjoyed the few hours rest afforded by the cars
coming down the east bank of the storied Hud



Thursday, September 10.

"IMMEDIATELY upon arriving we retired
*~ to our rooms for a rest. We found letters
from home and Baltimore. During the day
we visite 1 St. Patrick s Cathedral, on Fifth
Avenue, a large, grand edifice of white stone,
with handsomely carved marble altars. I did
not particularly admire the elegant structure,
as it appeared to me cold interiorly, and exteri
orly seemed to suggest itself a monument to
the architect s skill, without the inviting air
which calls, " Ye that are weary and heavy
laden," etc. The steps leading to the door of
the superb edifice are few, which is an advan
tage, and the symmetrical harmony of the
building is not marred by the peculiar idea of
economy which places a hall beneath, to the
inconvenience of churchgoers, especially old
people whose climbing days are over.

T went down town with Mrs. Murphy and to
call on FT. Healey, West Fourteenth Street, but


found linn not. Returning to the hotel, we
dined late, and Martin took Maud and Evie to
the theater.

Fr. Healey came to spend the evening. He
was a playmate of Mrs. M. s New York child
hood, and was pleased to see her. He is a
bright, intelligent man, whom I am happy to
meet. He kindly invited us to Coney Island
to spend a day with his sister and other rela
tives, but our arrangements to leave here are
almost completed. He contemplates attending
the funeral to-morrow of Mrs. Riordan, mother
of the late Rev. J. J. Riordan, founder of the
Emigrants Home, Castle Garden.

September 11.

Arose at 8:30 and prepared my baggage for
Baltimore ria Philadelphia. After breakfast
we took the ferryboat about eleven o clock,
crossed the North or Hudson River into New
Jersey, and boarded the Pennsylvania train en
route for the Quaker City.

We soon cross the river over the drawbridge,
and stop at Newark, a fine, thriving city, whose
birth antedates the Revolution. Then, skim
ming omvard, we pass a station marked " Wa-
verley." The country looks well for farmingand
grazing; the trees are extensively spread but
small sized. Elizabeth is the name of another



station and town. We are rapidly passing
many others, but I find it difficult to catch the
lettering, the train is speeding so swiftly.

Menlo Park is a familiar title, where stands
a pretty village with pleasure grounds and
drives, natural trees and shrubbery, shady and
fresh looking. Gazing about and longing for
information, enjoying all I can see, I drop my
pencil until coming into Morrisville, Pennsylva
nia, after which I note Landreth s Farm and
Garden Seed Place, founded in 1780. It is a
prosperous appearing, extensive estate. The
broad lands of Pennsylvania are excellent for
ranching purposes, and there are many richly
laden orchards scattered around in sight

Germantown Junction is called, and, looking
out, I behold smoking chimneys everywhere,
and suppose we have entered a manufacturing
city of no mean importance. I wonder if my
memory is correct in locating this as the place
occupied by the British when surprised by
Washington in 1777.

Leaving the smokestacks of Germantown
we cross the river and gain the city of Phila
delphia, where thought is lost in the sea of im
mense buildings and uniform rows of brick

We took a room at the Lafayette Hotel for
the day, and partook of a midday dinner,


then ordered a carriage and drove around the
city, through Fairmount Park, for four hours.
The charming drive along the banks of the
beautiful Schuylkill was indeed enjoyable, and
I took special pleasure in noting the perfect
views of varied scenery.

We rode over the Centennial Fair Grounds,
and noted Memorial Hall, 1876, as the monu
ment of that great year, remaining in the park,
also the superb fountain erected by the Mary
land citizens of Philadelphia, being a gigantic
figure of Moses as a centerpiece, standing upon
a firm foundation of massive rock. Around
this imposing form are the handsome marble
full-size statues of Father Matthew, the Apostle
of Temperance, Charles Carroll, of Carrollton,
the fearless Signer, Most Rev. John Carroll,
the first Archbishop of Baltimore, and Com
modore John Barry, the illustrious Wexford
man, who so ably distinguished himself in the
American naval service. Here, also, is a basal
tic column from the Giant s Causeway, Ireland,
duly inscribed. A large figure of Christopher
Columbus also adorns a place in the park, pre
sented by the Italian citizens. A fine statue in
bronze on a granite pedestal of General Meade
is an attractive feature.

The house of William Penn was shown us,
which we viewed with curiosity and interest.

100 SNAP b OTEti.

It is certainly a relic, and well prized by the
State bearing the good old Quaker s name. A
statue of Jeanne D Arc and a beautiful marble
of Niobe are exquisite pieces of art.

Boating on the river is a most pleasurable
pastime, and I think much time could be happily
spent amid these scenes of sylvan beauty. The
superb Statehouse, supplanting the historic
one which held the cracked bell of liberty for
so many years, Wanamaker s stores, and a
thousand other objects of note, were seen and
talked over by our vigilant little band.

At 7:30 p. M. we took the Pennsylvania line
for Baltimore, dining on the car, with mirth
and jollity for salt and spice. At 9:45 we were
ushered into the city of noble Calvert, and were
considerably amused when searching for con
veyances to the Rennert House. Nothing bet
ter than old rattletrap hacks were presented,
and finally our party was divided up for occu
pancy of two coupes and " rattled o er the stony
street," at a "two-forty rate," to our destination.
The city seemed perfectly still.

Registering at the Rennert, we were assigned
to rather pleasant rooms, and retired to rest at
midnight. The ominous mosquito bar envelop
ing the couches took me back in spirit to Stock
ton, California, where Julia Weber one night
kept guard over my slumbers lest the "galley


nippers" from the sloughs invade the meshes
of the netting and leave me " without eyes," as
she quaint!} 7 expressed it.



Saturday, September 12.

T^ARLY bird and luckless worm, which is
- ^ which in this instance? I am up and
prepared for breakfast, when a friend s card ap
pears, so I repair to the parlor to receive Mr.
A. K. Shriver, who kindly welcomes us to Bal
timore, then telephones to Mr. D. J. Foley and
other friends. The rest of the party appearing,
we all breakfast together.

Mr. Foley is soon presented, and I am cor
dially impressed with his genial manner, which
proclaims at once friendship s sacred charm of
sincerity, in the warmth of his happy greeting.
His kind blue eyes recall my good mother s
gentle features. My heart quickens at sound
of his cheery voice, and his felicitous smile is
full of winning trustfulness.

Mr. Mark Shriver is next introduced, whom
I have mentally photographed as "a man
above his kind," a loyal friend, a brave patriot,
yet tender hearted as a woman, and I think
the picture is true.



They invite us to go upon the roof of the
hotel to obtain a bird s-eye view of the city,
which we do, and behold the beauteous broad
panorama spread before us. The grand sweep
of the " blue Patapsco s billowy waves " sug
gests majesty and power, and the rich splendor
of the warm September sun heightens and
brightens the vivid scene. Old Fort McHenry,
directly east of us, is a relic of the War of 1812,
as everybody knows who kens of the circum
stances of Francis Scott Key producing that
deathless song of the nation, the "Star-spangled
Banner," and, strange to remark, to-day is the
anniversary of the great fight; flags are flying,
processions moving, etc., but for a city the place-
looks deserted.

After calling attention to each object of in
terest, the gentlemen conclude that we might
return to the lower world, and they kindly ac
company us to the cathedral, and tender a
history of the ancient pile, with an opportunity
to inspect some fine old paintings, two of which
were presented to the Baltimore Cathedral by
one of the kings of France. The ladies of the
Altar Society are in attendance and politely
reveal to our admiring eyes the elegant vest
ments of exquisitely wrought cloth of gold
worn by the dignitaries of the church during
the council, and other items of lesser interest.


The interior of the cathedral casts a "dim
religious light" that seems to softly press the
soul to pious prayer. The space around the
grand altar has recently been enlarged, and a
fine piece of work accomplished overhead in
the painting of the transfiguration.

From the edifice we were led to the residence
of His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons, and pre
sented to the Primate of America, In the
meantime Thos. Foley, Mr. F. s only son, had
joined the party, a handsome young fellow,
dark and dangerously fascinating to the young
ladies present.

When we were shown into the reception
room, His Eminence entered without delay,
saluting us most kindly. He is a dignified
gentleman, of uncommon magnetic power, a
student of rare attainments, whom to see is to
love. After a pleasant chat, during which he
expressed himself as happy to have received
us, he extends his hand in blessing, we each
kiss his ring, and take our departure, well
pleased with the audience accorded us by His
Eminence, through Mr. Foley s thoughtfulness.
Next we visit the German Church of St. Al-
phonse, which interiorly resembles the cathe
dral of Boston. Thence we are escorted to the
Visitation Convent, where, for the first time in
my life, I converse with cloistered nuns. As


we await the appearance of Sister Benedicta,
sister-in-law of both Mr. Foley and Mr. Shriver,
I look curiously about me. The small recep
tion room is partitioned from the hall by iron
grating, the first row being iron bars, placed
perpendicularly, and about the thickness of
inch pipe; the second row is crossbarred. It
looks to me the most prison-like place I ever

My surprise is soon broken when a happy
nun appears at the double "fencing," and in
cheerful tones exclaims: Now, whom do I
know? I m sure this is Fannie Miller!" My
start of astonishment is noticed, and I am in
troduced to Sister Benedicta, who cordially wel
comes each in turn, and, with the Rev. Moth
er s permission, conveys us all through the
convent, which I was most desirous of visiting.
Sister Benedicta Sanders has been an inmate of
this abode of peace for over forty years, during
which time she has not been outside of the
convent walls, yet, strange as it may seem to
my Protestant friends, she is a bright, intelli
gent, happy woman, a successful teacher, an
elocutionist of no mean order, a writer of abil
ity and strength, yet an humble follower of
the Master, who promises reward in the pres
ent time, and life everlasting hereafter, to those
who shall leave home and parents and friends


to follow Him. She inquired for Marcella A.
Fitzgerald, and sent her messages of love. I
expect to call again, and shall enjoy another
visit, never yet having been in the atmosphere
of learning without feeling its influence.

We return to lunch at the Rennert, and dur
ing the afternoon, upon Mr. Shriver s invita
tion, we take a long, enjoyable drive through
the park. Without doubt Druid Hill is the
finest park I have seen. Its natural advan
tages surpass those I have been in its shady
nooks and sunny glades, winding driveways
and charming views, quaint old moss-covered
trees and fragrant mistletoe, suggestive of
Druidic rite, and the extensive green lawn, all
cling to the memory in hallowed beauty.

The "Maryland" House of the Centennial
has been removed to Druid Hill from Phila
delphia, and stands upon an eminence, com
manding a picturesque outlook.

Upon our return we enter and inspect the
elegant Jenkins Memorial Chapel a thing of
beauty indeed. It is built of gray stone, has
valuable insertions of art for windows, an ele
gantly carved altar, beautiful pictures, and over
all an air of perfect finish, which harmonizes
the whole. I believe Joseph A. Ford, Esq., is
our representative on the coast of the family
which lias erected this excellent edifice.


Reaching our rooms we prepare for dinner,
after which Mr. S. takes Misses Maud and Evie
through the market, which they enjoy, and to
the candy stores. We retire about eleven, very
tired. I write home before retiring.



Sunday, September 13.

v. SHRIVER took us to the German Church
this morning, after which he got a carriage
and drove us to Mrs. Myer s country place, " Rose-
land," to spend the day. Mrs. Murphy and
Martin went to Washington, as the latter is due
at Georgetown, and his mother wishes to se
cure another week s outing for him after enter
ing his name. We all returned in the even

" Roselaiid " is a beautiful spot, about nine
miles from town, a typical Southern home, that
is always full of gay company, which is hos
pitably entertained if we may judge by our
own reception. The vast lawn in front of the
generous porcli is smooth, green, and pretty,

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Online LibraryFannie De C. MillerSnap notes of an eastern trip, from diary of Fannie de C. Miller → online text (page 5 of 8)