Grant Thorburn.

Fifty years' reminiscences of New-York; or, Flowers from the garden of Laurie Todd: being a collection of fugitive pieces which appeared in the newspapers and periodicals of the day, for the last thirty years; including tales of the Sug online

. (page 1 of 17)
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o^ ''^ ^^ -reri, 1st August, 1845.



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96



CONTENTS.

Page.

Preface, °

Fifty years' Wanderings of an Emigrant, No. 1. . . .13

Fifty years' Wanderings of an Emigrant, No. 3. .
A Funeral at Sea, ....

Rights of Women, No. 1. . . . •

Rights of Women, No. 2. ...

The Devil's Church, . . . . •

Reminiscences of Thomas Paine,

Cheap Times, ......

The Horse and his Rider, ....

The Genesee Girl and her little Red Book,

Yellow Fever from 1735 to 1822, 104

Aunt Schuyler's Grave, ...... 116

Graham Bread again, ....... 123

Anecdote of Mrs. Baron Muse, ..... 128

Men and Manners in England, .... 130

Obituary, . 134

Anecdote of George Thompson the Abolitionist, . . 139

On the Use of Tobacco, . . . . . . 143

Reminiscences of Trinity Church, ..... 152

The Grave in the Orchard, . . . . . .157

The Lovi'ell Offering, ....... 163

Tales of the Prison — Sugar-house — Liberty-street: or. Anec-
dotes of the Revolution, , , . . . .166

Letter of the Barons and People of Scotland to the Pope, 1320, 178
Margaret and the Minister, and Lady Jane ; two Scotch Stories,

not founded on, but all fact, , , . , ; 185



8



CONTENTS.



Christmas and New Year's Day, ....

Reminiscences of the City-Hotel,

Old Times ; or Reminiscences of New- York

A Visit to Mrs. Grant, of Laggan,

The King and his Scotch Cook,

Rides on Long Island, ....

An Apology for the Friends, or Tribute to Worth,

Romance in Real Life, No. 1. .

Romance in Real Life, No. 2.

Traditions of the War of American independence. (Extract

the Journal of a British Officer.) The Deserter,
Solomon and the Queen of Sheba,
The Middle Dutch Church, ... *

Merchants of New-York, 1774,
A Bone to Gnaw, . . . ^

John Gait, • • . ,

Diet and Health, ....
Stocking Knitting, . , ^

Advertisement Extraordinary,
Gait's Laurie Todd, . .



201
209
212
215
219
224
226
230
234



from



242
256
253
261
265
270
274
278
283
286



PREFACE.



For some years past I have been importuned by
many [on whose opinion in this matter I place a
higher estimate than in my own] to collect the vari-
ous articles published with my signature in the peri-
odicals and papers of the day for the past thirty
years ; in complying with their request they are now
offered to the public.

Having come to this country shortly after the
struggle for Independence, I came in contact with
many of them who were actors in the scenes ; forty-
eight hours after I stept on shore I sat down in
Liberty-street, where, between the Old Sugar-house
and Broadway, I remained forty years; probably
there was not a spot on the continent where the
American prisoners suffered so much as in this
same Sugar-house ; for the first twenty years that I
lived near that prison, it was visited for the first
five years almost daily, next five weekly; then
monthly ; and as time wore on, their visits were few
and far between ; till, during the last seven years



10 PREFACE.

that I remained in the street, I don't remember to
have seen one of them — poor fellows, by old age,
infirmity and poverty [for their country never paid
thera as they deserved] they were thrown aside like
useless lumber in some miserable garret, or had
pressed a soldier\s grave. — I never missed, some-
times from pity, [for many of them were maimed,]
and sometimes from curiosity, to introduce myself
in a civil way to their notice ; being strangers, I
took them in a pot of ale — a crust of bread and a few
kind and sympathising words set them a fighting
their battles oyer again, — and I was amply repaid.

But the Sugar-house is gone, more's the pity, —
generations unborn will search for its site with
more than antiquarian interest, but it will not be
found ; however, I can clear my conscience of the
Jbul deed; have done my best to snatch it^vom present
oblivion ; let others do the rest.

As I never left the city during the seasons of the
prevalence of yellow fever, I was witness to scenes
of pains and sufferings, enough to harrow up the
soul ; for instance, in going my rounds one hot after-
noon in September, 1798, when the fever was raging
like a plague, I entered a cellar where lived a man,
his wife and child; all three lay on one bed; I
thought the hours of the parents were numbered ; as



PREFACE. 11

their tongues clove to the roof of the mouth, they
were past speaking ; early next morning I was at the
bed — their spirits had fled— the child striving to draw
life from the cold breast of its dead mother; the child
was taken care of, and the parents buried ; the
Board of Health did every thing in their power to
mitigate the distress, but sometimes the inspector
of a certain district took sick, and days might
elapse before it was known to the Board of Health.
But I stop, or I may be writing the book over
again ; the stories in it are certain, and the interpre-
tations thereof true.

Grant Thorburn.

August, 1845.



FtEMlNISCENCES



OP



GRANT THORBURN



Fflffy Years' Wanderings of an Emigrant.

No. 1.

*' Experience is by industry achieved,

" And perfected by the swift course of time."

This day completes fifty years since I first step-
ped on shore, from the good ship Providence, lying
at the foot of Governeur's wharf.

When we sailed from Scotland the mountains
were covered with snow ; when we dropped anchor
opposite the old Fly-market, foot of Maiden-lane, June
19, 1794, the small ferry boats were passing, filled to
the gunwale with baskets of cherries. I thought I
had dropped into a New World indeed. It was on a
Monday morning, 10 a. m. ; the sun shone bright. I
was wonderfully pleased v/ith the clean appearance
of the cartmen — having that morning put on their
newly washed frocks. I thought these men must be
well paid for their labor, and know how to take care
of their money when earned. Their horses, too, in
general, were more fike the hunting horses I had

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Online LibraryGrant ThorburnFifty years' reminiscences of New-York; or, Flowers from the garden of Laurie Todd: being a collection of fugitive pieces which appeared in the newspapers and periodicals of the day, for the last thirty years; including tales of the Sug → online text (page 1 of 17)