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Francis C Waid.

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us all, to " all sorts aud conditions of men," and, while we
can accomplish nothing without time, let me ask how much
we could do with it, how much in a single day ? It does not
take a year to pick up a diamond after it is found, neither
does it require six mouths to make a visit in order to know
we have enjoyed one.

On September 1, 1887, my son Guinnip and I took
the excursion train which left at 12:30 a. m. for Long
Branch, N. J. I had offered my youngest son, Fred, the

*0n May 6, 18SS, I again heard Rev. B, F. Dimmick, this time, to my surprise, in
Jleadville, at the Methoilist Epi«cnpal Stone,'or First Church. He preached an able
sermon from Mark xi:ti2: Have faith in Ood. Such was the impression made l>y the
man, sermon and Ifxt. and the study of sermon and text afterward, that I headed the
Scripture inscription ou the Waid "'Twin Monument" with his text. — F. C. Waid.



(34

privilege of going, but he preferred to take Guinnip's
place to help run the thresher with my eldest son, so I
proposed to give him whatever he might earn while we
were gone. As Franklin had been to the Centennial at
Philadelphia, in 1876, I wished Guinnip (since Fred
preferred to stay at home) to accompany me to Long
Branch and New York, also to see our kindred in Essex,
Conn.

On arriving in New York, about 10 a. m. following
day, Ave took rooms at Mr. Arnold's, on the corner of
Fourth Avenue and East Tenth Street, where we re-
mained during our stay in the city. Before leaving
home we had mapped out many points of interest to visit
in the city, such as Brooklyn Bridge, Gen. Grant's tomb,
the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Union Square,
Greenwood Cemetery (where I might stand by the rest-
ing places of Henry Ward Beecher and Horace Greeley),
and other places.

In the afternoon of the day of our arrival Guinnip
and I went to see the so-called " Eighth Wonder of the
World," Brooklyn Suspension Bridge, and I marveled
that such a magnificent, gigantic and, withal, so beauti-
ful a structure could be erected by mortal hands. As I
stood on Pearl Street, amid the seething multitude and
business of city life, I wondered at the sight of three
railroads, on the approach to Brooklyn Bridge^horse
railway, elevated railroad and steam railway — a trul}^
remarkable sight!

Bridge is 5,989 feet long, 135 feet high, 85 feet wide;
height of towers above water, 276 feet 6 inches; length
of span between towers, 1,595 feet 6 inches; total cost,
$15,000,000; began in 1870, finished in 1883. Before
this bridge was built, yes, when it was talked of more tlian
twenty years ago, and I read of the wonderful plan to



65

connect New York and Brooklyn by a suspension bridge,
I hoped to live to see it. When we went to the Centen-
nial, September 18, 1876, we returned home by way of
New York, where we spent several days. At that time the
towers for the bridge were built, and two ropes or cables
had been thrown across. We were also present at the
" explosion " when they blasted the enormous rocks in
order to deepen the channel at "Hell Gate." But now to
be able to ride over this wonderful evidence of man's genius
and enterprise by cable railway, sail or ride under it and
view it from so many points as I have done, brings, I
think, to use fully all the pleasure I then anticipated.

It is said China has the longest bridge in the world,
23,000 feet long. " Never cross a bridge until you have
come to it;" but to cross it safely should bring full satis-
faction. And here I would express my gratitude for hav-
ing crossed so many railroad bridges safely. Thanks to
Him who ruleth over all; thanks to the builders of those
bridges, and thanks to the railroad companies and the
careful, vigilant train hands. "All's well that ends Avell,"
Don't go back on a bridge that carries you safely over,
nor a boat that brings you safely into harbor. But these
living thoughts seem to break in on my story; yet I
have written them, so let them stand.

*0n Saturday forenoon, September 3, Guinnip and I
visited the " Statue of Liberty " on Bedloe's Island, which
we reached by the steamboat "Florence," a little passen-
ger boat tliat plies between the Battery and the Island.
Bedloe's Island is not large, and is walled in, having one
house and a few trees on it. The first things we saw on
landing were ten large cannon — five mounted and five
lying on the ground.

We now enter the base of the statue and commence

* Written while in the Statue, September 3, 1887.— F. C. Waid.



66

the ascent; and I will not readily forget the gentleman
and his two little girls who started to climb up the stair-
way along with us. Judging that the little feet and
limbs of the children would soon get tired, the father
carried the youngest in his arms, whilst I led her little
sister up that long stairway until we reached the feet of
the statue proper, where at the window we had a good
view of many point of interest — ^New York Bay, East
Eiver, Brooklyn Bridge, Governor's Island, the shipping,
also of portions of the cities of New York, Brooklyn and
New Jersey. The statue at this Avriting is not yet fin-
ished, but when the interior is completed there Avill be
both the stairway and an elevator. The granite or rock
used in its construction is of a reddish description.

After ascending and descending so many steps, together
with the long walk I had taken in crossing the Suspen-
sion Bridge, I was glad to find myself on board the boat
bound for the Battery once more. The fare is twenty-
five cents, and the boats run during the day almost hourly.
At the Battery I took a run " up town," as they call it,
and on the cars I asked a good-natured conductor how
far a pleasure-seeker could ride in New York for a nickle.
"The whole length of a division (ten miles) and back,
over the same road or another, the same distance, twenty
miles for ten cents." " Why," said I, " that is as cheap
as gas in Meadville when it is furnished at fifty cents per
month for a single store!" So I took the ride and en-
joyed it much, not only because of its cheapness, but on
account of its being my first twenty-mile ride on an ele-
vated road in New York City, viewing the busy streets
teeming with business and life.

In the afternoon of the same day (September 3), un-
accompanied by my son, I visited Gen. Grant's Tomb in
Riverside Park; and here I will impart a copy verhatim
from my diary:



67

" I write the following in my memorandum book,
while viewing the tomb of Gen. U. S. Grant, as I sit
between his tomb and the Hudson River. Memory brings
back to us the past, and our record still lives. I am very
glad indeed to visit this dear spot, which millions will
honor by their presence, not only in the present genera-
tion but in times to come. I love good and great men,
and as I get older my love and respect for the memory of
those departed increases. This tells why I am here now.
As I look on the tomb I think of one of America's greatest,
and if I might name others I love as well, they would be
Washington and Lincoln ; yet I, a farmer, have come here
to-day, to pay honor to the memory of the departed,
whom I loved in life; and as I look into the vault and
read on the end of the casket the words, in plain gilt
letters, 'IT. S. Gkant, Died July 23, 1885,' T am re-
minded of the Scofield Vault in Lakeview Cemetery,
Cleveland, Ohio, where the remains of the lamented
James A. Garfield lay awaiting their final resting place,
besides other tombs I had visited."

The great General and a child, the son of a Revo-
lutionary soldier, are the only dead interred in Riverside
Park. This child's grave, which is quite a distance from
Grant's vault, and is enclosed within an iron fence, has a
small monument surmounted by an urn, and has on the
east side this inscription:

Erected to the Memory of an Amiable Child,

St. Clair Pollock.

Died July 15, 1777, in the

Fifth Year of His Age.

(West Side.)

Job xiv: 1,2: Man that is born of a teaman

is of few (lays and full of trouble. He cometh

forth like a flower, and is cut doicn; lie fleeth

also as a shadow and continueth not.



68

To some of my readers who have not been at River-
side Park, perhaps a few words concerning this historic
spot may be of interest; and if the reading of this nar-
rative brings lialf the pleasure it gives me in writing it,
I shall be well satisfied. The place where the monument
is to be erected is the highest point at Riverside, a short
distance to the north of the vault and where stands a
beautiful grove of some sixteen trees. There is also a
cluster of trees, nine in number, just in rear of the
vault.

Before leaving Riverside Park I purchased a copy of
" U. S. Grant's Album," which portrays much of his
history from the date of his leaving his home at Galena,
111., up to his funeral. The scene, taken all in all,
together Avith the noble Hudson, the Palisades and the
many other objects of interest so pleased me that I revis-
ited Riverside Park on the 5th, this time accompanied by
my son.

But while I was here enjoying myself I little thought
that a still greater pleasure awaited me in the near future
— a visit to the Grant family at their cottage at Elberon,
Long Branch, and an interview with the General's widow,
her daughter-in-law and grandson. But I am antici-
pating.

On Sunday morning, September 4, being desirous of
both seeing and hearing Rev. De Witt Talmage, whose
sermons are read by the earth's millions, I proceeded via
elevated railway and Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn, where
I took a street car for the Tabernacle. On my arrival
there I learned it was closed for repairs, so I attended
the Episcopal Church near by. Here I listened to an ex-
cellent sermon from the text: Ye are my friends if ye do
whatsoever I command you. At the close of the regular
services the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was cele-



69

brated, of which a number of strangers like myself par-
took. It takes me all my life to tell what little I know;
indeed, until my last sentence is expressed my life will
not be complete. I am glad I can truthfully say I love

ALL MANKIND AND ESPECL\LLY ALL CHRISTIANS. I love as

broad a Christianity as the Bible teaches: For whosoever
shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the
same is my brother, and sister, and mother (Matthew
xii:50).

The following incident occurred during the sacrament.
A lady who was sitting on the opposite side of the aisle
from me, came to me during the interval of singing, and
asked me if they " allowed strangers to commune Avitli
them." My reply was: "When I am at home they call
me a Methodist,* and I think where the spirit of the
Lord is there is liberty ; but I will ask one of the vestry-
men who sat near by." In answer to my inquiry he said:
" Yes, with pleasure; all strangers who are Christians are
welcome." That is what I call Christianity. Christians
should recognize each other. That lady wanted to com-
mune with them ; so did I, along with others. That kind
act will be long remembered by me.

In the afternoon I visited Greenwood Cemetery, that I
might cast my eyes on the grave of Henry Ward Beecher,
but on inquiry of the superintendent I learned that he
is not interred but lies in a vault a short distance from
the entrance. Proceeding as directed I presently came
in view, from a rise of ground, of a miniature lake, the
scene, taken in all, being one of the loveliest in Green-
wood. On the east side are vaults, with a driveway be-
tween them and the lake, while a path extends on the
north side. I sit on this dear spot and write this sketch
beneath the shade of an elm. I heard Henry Ward

* This lady informed me she was also a Methodist.



70

Beecher lecture in Meadville about teu years ago, and it
gives me joy to visit this cemetery and 'the resting-place
of so famous a man.

Visitors are informed that the receiving vaults will
hold 1,500 persons, and that "that large brown-stone
vault holds the remains of Henry Ward Beecher."
Greenwood Cemetery, I am informed, embraces 500 acres,
has six miles of driveway and seventeen of footpath. Af-
ter spending several hours in looking through the grounds
I returned to my pleasant spot to rest and continue my
writing, and I had just seated myself when the tolling of
the passing bell met my ear, announcing that funerals
were in progress. I found three entering in close prox-
imity, and close behind several more; indeed, I counted
seven or eight before leaving the grounds. At the grave
of John Matthews, on an elevated piece of ground, is a
sort of mausoleum consisting of marble pillars support-
ing a canopy, under which is a couch of stone, whereon
lies a fig-ure so life-like as to at first startle one — an
effigy calculated in all respects to remind the bystander
of the common lot of all. On my way out of the ceme-
tery I entered the oifice where I took the liberty of ask-
ing the president as to the average number of interments,
and he kindly gave me the following figures: Up to that
day the whole number of interments was 241,333; aver-
age per day, fifteen or sixteen. These figures, I confess,
seemed at first quite startling. To think of that enor-
mous number being wrapped in the sleep of death, and
sixteen daily added to it! But we are born not only to
live but also to die.

Before finally leaving the cemetery, however, being
desirous of seeing the grave of Horace Greeley, the foun-
der of the New York Tribune, I went directly to Oak-
land Hill. I am one among the many who cherish the



■ 71

memory of that great man, having from youth up been a
reader of the Tribune. As I came in sight of Oakland
Hill, and trod the foot-path, I felt I was nearing the last
resting place of one whom I knew yet never saw. With
what interest I looked on the bust surmounting his monu-
ment, and the beautiful living flowers placed on each
side of the base!

" Beauteous flowers why do we spread
Upon the monuments of the dead."

The bust which faces the east is a good likeness of
Horace Greeley. The monument is of gray granite, and
the total height to the top of the bust I should think
nearly twenty feet, the base being probably six feet
square. On the die is embossed a quill pen and a scroll.
On the north side of the base Greeley is represented
standing at a printer's case; on the east side is the word
GEEELEY; on the south side is a design of the old-
fashioned plow with single-tree attached to the plow-
beam; on the west side is the following inscription on a
scroll: "Horace Greeley born February 3, 1811; Died
November 29, 1872; Founder of the Tribune." The day
was fair and had been one of favor and blessing to me.
The sun was setting in its beauty when I turned linger-
ingly away from the dear summit of Oakland Hill to at-
tend Trinity Church in the evening.

The ride through Brooklyn, by street railway, at the
close of this Sabbath day, was agreeable and pleasant.
Crossing the suspension bridge on foot as I did, in pre-
ference to riding, I had more time to take in the different
views to be had from the bridge after sunset, when the
city is dressed in evening attire. The Statue of Liberty
held forth her beacon light, and all I saw afforded me
infinite delight. Yet, amid this scene of pleasure I
thought, like David, to enquire in His temple, that I



w,ay dwell in the house of the Lord forever, so hastened
on to church. There not being any services at Trinity, I
went to St. Paul's, near by. Both these churciies are on
the west side of Broadway, and are surrounded with many
old graves, marked with marble slabs and monuments of
ancient dates, the custom being in olden times to have
their churches and burial grounds on the same lot.

After listening to a good sermon in St. Paul's, I ended
my day's journey in the company of a gentleman whom I
spoke to as we came out of church. I asked him if he
knew the name of the minister whom we had just heard,
and he said he did not, as they change pulpits frequently
in the city, and this one was a stranger. Thereupon I
said to my new acquaintance: "And that is the case be-
tween you and me; but friendship comes by acquaint-
ance." We seemed pleased with each other's company,
and learning that 1 Avas on my way to Fourth Avenue and
East Tenth Street, he said it was near A. T. Stewart's
business house,* and that he was going by there, as he
lived, I think he said, on Twenty-third Street. Being a
stranger and alone, I well appreciated the company of a
Christian gentleman, and on arriving at my stopping
place we continued to converse for some time. Finding
by his watch that it was after ten o'clock, he shook my
hand, and with an assurance from him that our acquaint-
ance had hronghi friendship, we parted. This completed
my Sunday in New York.

On the following day, in the forenoon, Guinnip and
I visited Central Park, which takes in 850 acres. It
has nine miles of broad carriage drive-way, six miles of
bridle path, twenty-eight of foot-path, and has eighteen
entrances. Fifty years ago the place was nothing but a

* Before leaving New York I visited A. T. Stewart's business liouse, which is seven
stories in height, but very plain. While in one of the departments I overheard one of
the clerks say to acustonier: "Here is a letter from Horace Greeley." lie allowed me
to take it lu my hand and examine it. It was dated December 20, 1868.— F. C. Waid.



78

swamp and rocky waste; to-day it is one of the loveliest
spots on the continent.

And now we stand in the shadow of the Egyptian
Obelisk that for thirty-five centuries stood beneath the
burning sun of Africa. It is a monolith hewn from the
solid rock in the quarry, and carried many miles to be
placed on end, all by mechanical appliances unknown to
the present age. Its height is sixty-nine feet two inches
(besides the base which measures about seven and one-
half feet), and the gross weight is two hundred and nine-
teen and one quarter tons. The base stands on three tiers
of stones, which are also very old, having been brought, I
believe, from Egypt along with the Obelisk.

In that part of Central Park known as the "Mall"
are to be seen statues of Shakespeare, Burns, Sir Walter
Scott, Fitz-Greene Halleck, and one of a native Indian
in pursuit of game. Indeed, did space admit, I could
fill a volume with a description of the innumerable at-
tractions and beauties of Central Park, my visit to which
I shall ever remember as an event of my life well worthy
of record.

Norw I come to our trip from New York to Essex,
•Conn. At 4 p. m., Monday, September 5, Guinnip and
I proceeded on board the elegant steamship "City of
Eichmond," which sailed at that hour from one of the
piers. In 1864, when my parents, my wife and myself
sailed in the steamboat "City of Hartford" from Deep
Eiver to Hartford City, I supposed she was still running ;
but I learned from a gentleman fellow-passenger on
board the " City of Richmond" that a few years ago,
near the mouth of the Connecticut River, amid a great
storm, she ran on some rocks and sank. He said she was
an old boat, having ran over thirty years, during which
she had carried thousands of passengers and an immense



74

amount of freight, and that the "City of Richmond"
had taken her place.

This trip to Essex, partly by daylight and partly by
moonlight, was a rare treat to us, so many sights to be
seen — Brooklyn Bridge, which we passed under, the navy
yard, the Fort, Long Island City, and the Islands. The
evergreen shore with its beautiful foliage attracted much
of our attention until the moon, "Pale empress of the
night," and the twinkling stars appeared with more than
ordinary beauty. Passing boats and occasional glimpses
of distant lighthouses broke what monotony there might
be in the night trip until " Saybrook " was called out,
and we then knew we would soon be at Essex. [My father
attended school one winter at Saybrook before coming to
Pennsylvania. ]

On leaving the hotel at Saybrook after breakfast, on
the 6th, we went direct to Mrs. F. J. Tiffany, with whom
we spent the day, and there we found her brother, Syl-
vester A. Comstock, whose residence is Phillipsburgh, N.
J. He was on the island, just across the Connecticut
River, haying, having a number of hands working for
him. After a short chat with Mrs. Tiffany, we were in-
vited to look over the pleasant home and the surroundings
of Essex, including " River Island," etc. There is a very
fine view from this old homestead. Plenty of apples,
pears and grapes are in the orchard, and in the garden
we found two rows of beans, the planting of which was
Mr. F. A. Tiffany's last work on earth. He sowed them
on Thursday, July 7, 1887; died on the 9th, in his sev-
enty-first year, and was interred on the 11th. His re-
mains lie in the cemetery in Essex by the graves of Mrs.
Tiffany's parents, and on their tombstone * is inscribed

* In a letter dated January 7, 1888, 1 am informed a similar tombstone marks F.
A. Tiflfanv's grave, with this inscription: F.Augustus Tiffany, born Jan. 23, 1816; died
July 9, 1887.



75

the following: " Bela Comstock, born Dec. 17, 179G;
died Sept. 20, 1884; Jane W. Comstock, born Oct. 8,
1797, died May 25, 1884." Among other things we
saw about the premises were indications of Mrs. Tif-
fany's father's handiwork, such as grapevine arbors,
gates he hung, etc. While viewing all these objects
Mrs. Tiffany's brother came from his work.

As I before remarked we had only one day for our
visit in Essex, and it was economized much in the follow-
ing manner: Guinnip spent a short time with Mr. Com-
stock, who was engaged in the vinegar trade and farm
work, and otherwise enjoyably passed the day. For my-
self among other things I accompanied Mrs. Tiffany
to the cemetery (distant only a short walk from the
homestead), in order to view her husband's grave. On it
lay a beautiful bunch of flowers, and beneath, in silent
death, rested the remains of her husband, who, besides
being a relative, had been a friend to me whom I had
hoped to meet alive. But such is life. The letters he
had written to me are now only keepsakes and memorials
of the departed, dearer to me because written by my
beloved friend shortly before the close of his life.

Eeturning from the sad scene, we had dinner, her
brother being present, and after the repast he took us in
his rowboat across the river to see his island farm.
[Several years ago, as already related in this volume, in
company with my eldest son, then living in Tennessee,
we visited " Island Home," near Knoxville, with Col.
Dickinson, our conveyance being a two-horse rig. That
was to me a pleasure, and this Avas a continuation of it,
with a change in our mode of traveling.]

A short distance from the shore stood a large new
barn painted red, 110 feet long by 35 feet wide, Avith
shed in connection, a good well, barnyard, etc., ten acres



7()

or more of good corn, dikes, and many other improve-
ments. After passing where the men were haying, and
going over the island farm, we returned to find Mrs.
Tiffany waiting with drag to take us to her sister-in-law,
Louisa Tiffany, who lived some fourteen miles up the
river.

On our way we passed several towns, among them
Deep River, where I and my parents took passage twenty-
three years ago for Halford. I understand Louisa Tif-
fany is in her seventy-ninth year. She lives with Mr.
Clark, a relative. After shaking hands with me and my
son she complimented me by saying: "You have not
changed as much as I thought you would in twenty-three
years." Our stay was limited but very pleasant, rendered
more so by the beautiful view of the river and towns, and
the sloping hillsides, nearly all covered with forest trees,
draped in their fall foliage of green, tinged with gold and
varied hues. One of the noted points of interest on this
drive was the view of what is called "Joshua's Rocks,"
on the east side of the river. Certainly the sight of
rocks along Connecticut River is not rare, but a view of
" Joshua's Rocks," is not common. If Mark Twain has
written a description of them I would like to read it,
my pen being inadequate to give but a faint idea of the
grandeur. Rocks by the acre piled up, heaped up and
running over until they apparently cannot rest, and yet
do rest on each other as secure as the Rock of Ages — truly
wonderful! This visit to our cousin Mrs. F. J. Tiffany
will long be remembered by us as one of the pleasant
days of our lives, and our wish is that she may in the
near future visit us, that we may have the pleasure of
returning her kindness.

On our way from Deep River to Essex we came by



Online LibraryFrancis C WaidTwin souvenir of Francis C. Waid : comprising his First, Second, and Third souvenirs → online text (page 16 of 60)