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Corolyn Faville Ober.

Manhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; online

. (page 12 of 12)
Online LibraryCorolyn Faville OberManhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; → online text (page 12 of 12)
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custom. Chroniclers love to dwell on this period
15



226 MANHATTAN.

of colonial history, in which the grand dames and
lordly gentlemen appear in bold relief, not only
because they were so few, but also for the reason
that they were of the brightest and best that the
earth afforded.

Quite a number of these personages brought
with them considerable wealth, so that their resi
dences became somewhat palatial, and adorned
with furniture and works of art imported from
Europe. Silver and gold plate, elaborate table
service, and profuse entertainment, made New
York hospitality famous even in European circles.
Many families retired to country homes, where
they lived in quiet but elegant simplicity, cultiva-
ting their farms, and entertaining with delightful
courtesy their visitors from the city or from Euro-
pean countries.

The manners and customs of the less favored
class of citizens were marked by industry, sobri-
ety, and economy. At their festivals children and
negroes were permitted the enjoyment of unre-
strained mirth. Sunday gowns were removed as
soon as their owners returned from church, and
consequently were kept in a state of preservation
which made it possible to hand them down as
heirlooms. Cocked hats were treated with the
same deferential regard. To illustrate the ex-
treme simplicity of habit which prevailed among
the people of this generation, it is only necessary
to add that the Rev. Dr. Laidlie preached "right
lustily against the luxurious abominations of sup-
pers of chocolate and bread that kept the families
till nine o'clock at night." This same preacher
was the first divine who introduced the " outland-
ish practice of delivering his sermon in English."

The laws at this period were few, but rigorously
enforced. A ride on a great wooden horse was



MANHA TTAN.



227











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Online LibraryCorolyn Faville OberManhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; → online text (page 12 of 12)