Journey To Saratoga Springs From Duxbury In 1835
Written by Lloyd Granville Sampson
It was one of the pleasant mornings in June, when all nature seems alive with beauty that we left our house and the pine woods of the South Shore with our baggage in advance carried in a carryall. Ourselves in chaise. We soon left the place of our childhood far in the rear. We are now on our way to the well known place of resort of the rich & the poor, the high & the low, the lame & the blind, the Christian & the infidel, in fact where all nations congregate from the Honorable to the scavenger. Where all drink of the same water and tread the same soil. Nothing worthy of note has come in our way since our departure.
At seven A.M. (June 24th) stopped at the pretty little village of B[ridgewater] at the Hotel kept by Mr. S—-n. baited our horses & started again with our luggage in front (always keeping a good lookout for our little effects/ on our way to the famous callico [sic] town of Taunton.
Before leaving this little village of B[ridgewater] make a few remarks. The people of this place are noted for their industry and genius & here is the place of the invention of the famous “Cotton Gin” which is now and has been for a number of years made in this place. They find a market for them in all the cotton growing states and I am told that this branch of business has made all interested in it wealthy. Much credit is due to the people for neatness in their dwelling houses which are built with much taste with a care to have attached to their premises well laid out grounds & fine gardens.
At eleven O’clock we arrived in the village of Taunton. Of this place my words are few. Every one who knows this place knows that large quantities of calico are manufactured there. The largest proprietors and managers of these manufactories are Messrs Crocker & Richmond A. Britania Manufactory is also in full operation at this place. Which is said to furnish more equal to that manufactured in England. The best public house in this place is the “Bristol County House” kept by Mr. Munroe. This house is very large built of brick with a piazza on the street. I would recommend all who visit Taunton either for pleasure or business who like good keeping & attentive servents [sic] to stop at this house. We left T at half past one o’clock. Stages at this time leave here for Providence. Newport. New Bedford. Fairhaven. Pawtucket. Norton. Attelboro [sic] & many other places. After the arrival of Stage from Boston Mr. Smith the great Stage proprietor & mail contractor lives here and has the management of all the stages leaving this place. He is said to be worth from One Hundred to one hundred & fifty thousand dollars, all made by staging. This is what I call driving a profitable team. On our way to Providence we more than once crossed the Boston & Providence rail road. We are now traveling in stage having left our chaise in T. to be taken to the place of our departure.
Our first stop after leaving T. was in the town of N. here the mail was left. The most I have to say in favour of this place is the appearance of their growing piety vis. The erection of a new church. The Public House where we stopd (sic) to leave mail is a miserable filthy place and the man who keeps such a house deserves to be sent to the house of correction for six months and bound over to have his house swept quarterly.
Our next stop was at the village of A[ttleboro] Here we changed horses. Of this place I have only to remark that there are many very pretty and nice situated houses. The rail road to Providence passes near the tavern. Here we found another house like the one told of in the town of N–. Went into a back room then saw sitting round on an old fashioned table a few gentlemen of the law surrounded by a host of farmers. In our case noticed a Mr. B. telling his story. Had only time to hear “that when the line was run by the surveyor I told him that the stage was on my meadow.” The stage is waiting and I must away. Concluded that this was a court held for special purposes and that the case before the Honourable body at this time was a land case concerning boundaries. I should rather be inclined to give in favour of Mr. B. judging only from the power and clearness of his testimony. His voice was like thunder and his gestures. O. my gracious – I can not say what they were like. I only know that one man in his neighbourhood dodged to save his face (sic) from a heavy blow which he must have received had he not “dodged the question.” I would here mention the passing of the rail road through the burial ground in this place. This I was sorry to see as by a little variation the land might have passed by on the other side. The people of it protested against this course but all to no purpose. The bones of their fathers were to be removed or suffered to be passed over by the thundering engines.
About twelve miles from Providence are situated the factories well known by the name of “Dodge’s Works.” With this place I was peculiarly struck. On our side of the way and on the side of a hill were fifteen dwelling houses all resembling each other in form & colour. On the opposite side of the way were the factories & store houses of the same colour as the dwellings. Just before we enter this place we ascend a hill from the factory village is delightful.
Our next stop was in the village of Pawtucket at the post office. This place is situated on both sides of the Pawtuxet River and is noted for its manufactories. Our stop at this place was short consequently our remarks are few. The appearance of the dwellings as we passed through the town were rather poor probably mostly occupied by those employed in the factories. The road from Pawtucket to Providence is one of the best I have ever traveled. The distance is four miles in very near a straight line. Hills are made low and holes are filled to a level.
At five O’clock P.M. we entered Providence took lodgings at the “City Hotel” kept by Mr. Nickerson. This house is nice managed & all attention is paid to stoppers at this place. The gardens about the premises are tastefully laid out. The rooms a nice furnished and very clean. Spent one night at this place. The first night from home. At seven O’clock next morning / 25th/ was rang to breakfast. At eleven paid bill.
Took carriage and proceeded for steam boat. Boston. Capt. Comestock. Went on board secured our births (sic) & baggage had been on board about fifteen minutes when the grand train of rail road cars arrived from Boston with full freight & passengers in a passage of two hours & twenty minutes. The passengers were soon out & to the extent of their speed made for the boat in order to secure to themselves births (sic). Many of their hxxx must have “gone ahead” to little or no purpose for not more than half the number could have found a place to lay his head. As the passengers came out of the cars they looked for all the world like so many millers white with dust from the boot to the hat & from the slipper to the bonnet. At twelve o’clock the word was given to “go a head” and our fast ner let go from the wharf. Had a pleasant passage as far as NewPort when we stopped about five minutes to land & receive passengers. Opposite this place I noticed a small island which judging from its appearance should suppose it is to be U. S. property kept as a place of deposite (sic) for War impliments (sic). There is a number of small barracks on the island all painted white which makes a very pretty appearance to the traveller (sic) as he passes by. As we move on a little further the ground fortifications make their appearance. They are built entirely of stone and of great hight (sic). A little further down on the opposite side is seen another fortification thrown up like a pile of solid rock. The wind now began to blow fresh from the S.E. & the appearance of the clouds indicated rain. The passengers were often heard to say “to night we shall have a dirty time” the wind continues to blow and the clouds seem fast to come together. As if for some grand yet awful purpose. With these prospects for a storm of wind or rain we passed point Judith. Our boat very uneasy. Rolling and pitching in no small way. At this time I was amusing myself with my travelling companion in the saloon reading anecdotes and telling stories when I noticed the ladies said one beside my companion had disapproved. Poor creatures they were sick and now their secret voices which were heard but a few moments before are silent or rather they spoke a different language for a smile they had substituted a gloom, for a laugh a groan. Others more fortunate soon fell asleep in the arms of Morpheus.
I’m passing up Long Island Sound. We pass close in to our Island of Locks on which is placed a light house and a dwelling for the keeper of the light this is called “little “gull Island” not a blade of grass nor bush or any thing green is seen there. To a person who is fond of solitude I should recommend this as a fit place for his enjoyment to a person who is troubled with his neighbours I would say go to Gull Island. If persons for petty larceny were sentenced to pass six months on “Gull Island” instead of so long a time in the House of Correction I think it would soon lessen the number as I am sure no one would like to serve a second term there. Soon after we passed this rocky island, the sun went down and it is now night at 10 o’clock went into my birth (sic). Slept very well. Awoke at one o’clock. Found the boat was not under way for she was lying to, in consequence of a thick fogg (sic). The Capt judging it unsafe to run. We lie in this way about two hours when we again mov’d on towards New York and arrived at 5 o’clock on the morning of the 26th. Left boat at ½ past five and took lodgings at the Clinton House in Beekman Street.
Here we waited for breakfast ‘till eight o’clock as the New Yorkers indulge in lying in bed ‘till that hour. After breakfast went out to view the city walked a cross the park which is very beautiful but not comparable to our Boston Common. We then passed down broad way and on our return stopped at a confectioners and refreshed ourselves with strawberries and cream. We then proceeded homeward and arrived just in time to escape a shower. At 3 p.m. we dined. After dinner took carriage and rode up broadway returned drank tea and retired to our room & soon was lost in sleep. And so ends the first day in New York.
Next morning rose at six — prepared our baggage settled bills and left the Clinton Hotel for the Steam boat North America. The carriage which took us to the boat was of a second hand order and in fact all the hacks & horses that come under my observation while at N.Y. were of the same class and the drivers of these hacks are of the same piece. Will not compare in point of gentlemanly appearance & civility to the most vile truckman of Boston. Strangers visiting N. York are often imposed upon by these rascals by charging exorbitant prices. At seven o’clock we left New York and now we have entered the grand in road to the mighty west. The beauties of which have so often been told in the most glowing language, that for me to attempt to tell of its lofty hills & pleasant dales of its over hanging rocks, & winding paths would be folly in the extreme. But upon the principle of every one telling his own story in his own way & his experience as he pleases I cannot avoid saying something of that I so much admire vis the Hudson River & its rock band xxxs. Nature is no where seen in more lovely dress and has been no where more generous in her bounties than upon the borders of this beautiful stream. In grandeur and beauty of scenery. In fertility of soil and variety. No imagination can paing (?) to exceed it. In short the wonders of nature are so directly before the eye of the traveller (sic) that he is at times lost in “Wonder love & praise.”
As we leave New York we soon loose (sic) sight of Jersey City and Hoboken on our left. The latter place noted for its being the ground on which the “affair of Honour” was settled between Aaron Burr & Gen Hamilton & resulted in the death of the latter. A short distance above Hoboken & on the same side the Palisades commence and extend about twenty miles up the river. These are a mass of rocks and in many places are of great height presenting nearly a perpendicular surface. In many places the boat passes close into the shore. So near that a man of Common Smartness may leap on shore. Between the foot of these rocks and the edge of the river wherever there may be a small piece of flat land is seen small dwelling. People inhabiting those houses are supposed to obtain a livelihood by fishing on the river. As the traveller (sic) moves on the scenery is continually changing & every new object presenting itself seems to be more pleasing than the last. In passing a high point of land some three or four hundred feet above the level of the river a beautiful village comes in view close upon the banks of the river. Scenes of the Revolution are continually presenting themselves to the traveller (sic) and to one who will allow his thoughts to go back to those days of darkness which tried the souls of our worthy fathers. When many of the places on this river were in possession of the British, he is ready to bless “the giver of all” that the Hudson river belongs to our own dear country.
Tarrytown on the east side of the river contains a few houses and is noted as being the town in which Maj. Andre was taken. The tree under which he was arrested is still pointed out to the visitor. He was arrested by three men who I am told are somewhere buried on the banks of the Hudson. Arnold the traitor, when hearing of the capture of Andre immediately went on board a British vessel lying a short distance below Stonny (sic) point. The place where the vessel lay at anchor was pointed out to me by a passenger. His story tells us that as soon as he was taken on board he was elevated to the rank of Brig. General & continued in the British service till the year 1801 when he died at London, England.
“Unwept, Unhonored, and Unsung” Andre was executed at a place called Tappan situated on the west side of the river about three miles from where he was taken. The spot where he was buried is often pointed out and as often visited although his remains were removed a few years since to England. About five miles from this place on the east side of the stream is SingSing thirty miles from N. York. Here is seen the new prison which makes a very commanding appearance. It is built of hewn or hammered marble obtained near by the prison. It is of great length & contains eight hundred cells all of which are filled at this time, so says a passenger. Sleepy Hollow a short distance above SingSing on the same side of the river is the place where Washington Irving locates the scene of his story of the same name in the “Sketch Book.” Tellers Point about one mile above this place is a neck of land extending into the river in a S. W. direction forming a basin like bay on the right as you pass up. On this point of land which is covered with green grass and beautiful trees is seen a splendid cottage making its appearance through the boughs & its serpentine walks winding their way to the banks of the Hudson. Venplouch’s Point is the next to catch the traveller’s (sic) eye and as the boat moves on close into the banks the remains of an old fort are plainly to be seen. Was told by a passenger that no British vessel sailed higher up the river than this place during the Revolution.
A short way from this commences the “Highlands” which are covered with cedar pitch pine & of a small size. Tracks are seen to make their way from many of the high points down to the water’s edge and have the appearance of being formed by water finding its way to the river. As the traveller (sic) “goes a head” he comes up with “Antony’s Nose.” This is too prominent a feature in the profile of the Hudson to be passed unnoticed. The mountain which bears this name is of great height and is composed partly of rocks. When the traveller (sic) gets opposite he may distinctly discern the features of a man’s face from the most southerly point of the mountain about half way up from the banks of the river. The nose is of the Romeon (sic) class and is the first to take the eye. The mouth of a pretty good size with the under lip somewhat curved, the chin is well formed with a considerable extension while the forehead inclines a little back, the eye brows make a bold and good appearance, of the head to which this face is made fast I have nothing to say leaving it for the followers of Spursheim to determine upon its greatness or rather its usefulness for no one who has once seen this head will question its greatness.
Farther up on the west side of the river are seen many beautiful mountains also a track of land on which is situated the “Besely House” this house was the quarters of Arnold who ungratefully attempted to sell his country to the British. But thank God his plot was discovered in time to avert the fatal blow. Had Andre made his way to the British unmolested no one can tell what would have been the consequences. Arnold had furnished him with drafts of all our fortifications with the strength of our forces, state of ammunition, which at once gave the enemy all the information they wished. With this knowledge Andre bold & daring Andre, left the “Benedict House” the then residence of Arnold, with his guide passed the river and down on the east side of his way to the grounds in possession of the British. When within a short distance of the enemy his guide left him and as soon as he was alone three true Americans accosted him and requested to know who he was, where from, where bound & what his business. By some evasive answer these men were made to believe all was not right. Consequently they arrested him. He begged & prayed that they would let him go unmolested. He offered them gold in no small quantities and his valuable watch but all to no purpose. The American’s “huge paw” had been placed upon him from which there was no extrication. These three men were whole soul patriots not to be bought with British gold. Where are they now? Do they yet live or have they long since gone to that place from whence there is no return. Is there nothing to tell where such men die? If there is, History should tell us, that we may visit the sacred spot.
We sail on and West Point comes in view where is established the well known U. S. Military School. This place is worth of note from the many important events during the struggle of the Revolution. The ruins of the venerable fort Putnam are plainly to be seen from the river. On a high & commanding point is seen a monument of hewn white marble erected by the cadets in 1828 to the memory of “Kosciusko.” I was told that bunches of lilacs are still growing here, said to have been cultivated by this Polish patriot. A short distance above the steam boat landing is seen another monument erected to the memory of a cadet who was killed by the bursting of a cannon. A little further up between the high land & the waters edge stands a small white house over shadowed by a few trees. This is said to be the site on which stood the building where Gen Washington held his head quarters during a part of the Revolution. No one can look upon this little spot of earth without feeling his heart glow with a degree of patriotism. Here the boat stops to land & receive passengers and very few pass up the river for pleasure without spending a night at West Point. A public house is here kept in good style & every thing is made comfortable to the visiters (sic). Did not stop here for we had not made our arrangements so to do when we left New York.
Our next stopping place was Newburg on the west side of the river, this is a flourishing village and many elegant dwellings are seen at a short distance back from the river. A large public house called the W.S. Hotel is situated at the at the head of the wharf where the boat stops. The village stands on high ground and over looks the Hudson. Many of the streets are paved. Here a number of whaling ships are owned. Saw one taking on board her outfits for a voyage. A ferry boat plies across from this place to Fishkill on the opposite side of the river which is a small but pretty village. Soon after passing these places clusters of long sheds are seen resembling the covering of salt marks. Was told they were coverings to brick kilns. Before coming up with Poughkeepsie about one mile south is seen the splendid mansion of Col Livingston standing on a beautiful neck of land making its way into the river. On an eminence back of this dwelling is seen a spacious summer house & on the river a bathing house and now we have come to the town of Poughkeepsie. Here we stopped, landed and received passengers. The village is situated back from the river about one mile. A few dwellings are on the banks of the river, which are not seen till the boat is close into the landing place, in consequence of a high rocky projection extending into the river. This is a place of considerable business. Has a population of between five and six thousand and the people are considerably engaged in the whole fishery. Here we saw two ships repairing.
RhineBeck is the next stopping place. Here is about half dozen dwellings a few store houses, also a wharf should think. Two or three hundred feet in length and nears the appearance of age and decay. The boat next stops at Columbia’s Point & Red Hook. Of these places I have nothing to say for the reason that I was taking my dinner when the boat stopped at these places. Catskill is the next place of note. Here the boat stops & lands passengers going to Pine Orchard. Stages are always in readiness to take passengers up the mountain on the arrival of the boat. The distance from the river to the Pine Orchard is about twelve miles. This has the appearance of considerable business. A number of wharfs are here built covered with lumber, Bbs, wood &c. The land seen about this place seems to be in a good state of cultivation. As the traveller (sic) takes his last look of Catskill he has only to turn his eye across the river on the East side and the city of Hudson opens to view. It stands on an elevated plain. The bank rising from the river is from fifty to sixty feet high. This is a great manufacturing place and has many valuable streams of water. The whaling business is here carried on to a considerable extent. Sloops Schooners & Steam Boats are here seen. At this place the boat stops to land & receive passengers. The city extends back from the river to a considerable distance. Opposite the city of Hudson is the town of Athens a place of considerable business – a ferry boat plies across between the two places.
Kinderhook is situated about five miles from the river where Martin Ban Buren has a county seat and is about twenty miles from Albany. A few more villages were passed and we arrive at the City of Albany. Our passage up the river to this place has been a very pleasing one. We arrived at this city at six o’clock P.M. after a passage of eleven hours from New York, a distance of one hundred & fifty miles. Took carriage and drove to Congress Hall. A first class house kept by Mr. Lundor here the visiter (sic) receives every attention and the tables are stocked with all the market affords. This house stands on the corner of Washington Street and Park Place, directly in front of the Capital Park enclosed with an iron fence with marble gate posts. On the opposite side of this park stands the City hall, a beautiful building of SingSing marble and surmounted by a gilded dome which when the sun shines upon it makes a most magnificent appearance. The state house is of antique appearance and is built of free stone. The public buildings at this place are of modern style and of good materials. Noticed one large building called the Stoumix Hall” constructed of Quincy Granite. The greatest annoyance the traveller (sic) meets with at this place is the common Hackman & luggagemen. As soon as the boat is at the wharf they jump on board like so many sheep let loose & the sounds which fills your ears are “have your baggage taken up Sir”, want a carriage sir? Shall I take your luggage sir? I was so much vexed with these fellows that I took some little trouble to engage my carriage on shore. One should keep his eyes open to look after baggage or the chance is good for him to loose (sic) it.
I would recommend all visiting Albany to stop at the Congress Hall. The charges are moderate for the style. Here we spent one night and a part of two days. After breakfast we sallied and took a view of some of the principal streets & retreated to our rooms. Here we took a few notes, read a little and at two was rang to dinner & before I proceed I have a word to say about the strawberries. They are the largest I ever saw and of good flavour. I have heard of two bites to a cherry but to a strawberry like these one may bite twice and have a thrice left.
At three o’clock paid bills & took our seats in the rail road car for Saratoga Springs. Left State Street with two horses attached to our car which took us about two miles when the steam engine took us in tow and away we went through the country like lightening down a steel rod. Arrived at Schenectady in one hour. When the locomotive again left us at the top of a long hill, and away we went “jehu like” to the bottom of the hill by means of a stationary engine placed at the top of this hill. As we passed down on one track a train of cars passed up on the other. At the foot of this hill horses were again attached to the cars and took us about half a mile when the steam engine was once more made fast to our cars which carried us to Saratoga Springs.
Schenectady is a place of considerable business and has a population of about six thousand. Next place of note which the traveller (sic) passes is Ballston. This place is a resort for invalids and has many springs noted for their medicinal properties. It is a pleasant village situated about seven miles from Saratoga Springs. After leaving this place you have only time to think where you are bound and you find yourself at the Springs. The time required in travelling from Albany to Saratoga Springs is about three hours. We arrived here at six o’clock & took rooms at the Congress Hall. At seven took tea and returned to our rooms for the night. At eight next morning (Monday) was summoned to breakfast. About ten o’clock we took a walk through the main streets. Here we meet all classes and with all notions. All alike drink from the same fount and tread the same path. The poor invalid is here seen tottering along the way scarce able to stand & at the same time the gay and healthy are seen tripping along the same path with a full glow of spirits and all the elasticity of youth. The principal part of this village is on the main street, running north & south and is of great width.
On this street stand all the principal boarding houses. The following are of most note. Congress Hall. Union Hall. W. S. Hotel. Adelphia House. Covent Garden. Pavillion & Columbian Hotel. The price of board in these houses is from five to ten dollars per day. At the foot of the main street is situated the “Congress Spring” over which is erected a colonnade to keep off the burning sun & drenching rains from the many fair faces which congregate at this place.
Tuesday June 30th nothing of importance has transpired this day – it being cold we were obliged to keep near the fire in order be comfortable.
Wednesday, Sept 1 the weather being more mild we took gig and rode to Saratoga Lake a distance of four miles from this place. Here is kept a public house in good style and stands upon the borders of the Lake. Here the visitor can spend his time very pleasantly in fishing or sailing on the Lake as there are boats kept for that purpose. On the opposite side of this Lake stands a small cottage the inhabitants of which are very aged. The gentleman ninty (sic) seven and his blooming wife one hundred & ten years. We returned from our ride in season for dinner.
Thursday. Nothing worthy of note has occurred this day. The time has been spent in writing, walking, reading & eating. At two o’clock went to the post office where I found letter from home which gave us much pleasure. At five o’clock took a buggy ride as far as Greenfield returned in time for tea. Settled bills & prepared our baggage for a start.
Friday (3rd July) morning was called at five o’clock A.M. & arrived at Schenectady at half past seven, took breakfast and again seated ourselves in the car & was once more moving through the air at the rate of one mile in two & half minutes. This rate of travel soon brought us to Albany. Landed in State Street and once more took up our quarters at the Congress Hall. At half past Eleven o’clock visited the City Hall where were Portraits in full length of Martin Van Buren, De Wit Clinton, Governor March Morgan Lewis, Gov. Yeats and many other noted characters of State of New York. Dined Two o’clock. Afternoon took a ride to Troy six miles from this place. On the “Troy Road” is situated the Mansion House of Gen Van Renesselaer erected
In the year of 1767 and is surrounded with a forest of trees. Here the macadamized road commences and runs in a direct course five miles. This road cost nearly one hundred thousand dollars. Before coming up with Troy we passed the W. S. Arsenal standing in an elevated situation on the west bank of the Hudson. We crossed the river at west Troy to the City of Troy in a horse boat worked by two horses. Of this City our remarks are few for but little time was spent at this place. It is located on the East side of the Hudson and has a population of about fourteen thousand. The buildings are, many of them built in modern style & generally of brick. The scenery in the vicinity is delightful, presenting on all sides the alternating of high & low lands, covered with a green verdure and the well cultivated wheat fields. The streets cross at right-angles running East & West, North & South. Considerable attention has here been paid to setting out trees on each side of most of the principle streets which is an ornament to the city. We here stopped at the “Troy House” refreshed ourselves with a little drink which we did as much from duty as inclination to pay the keeper for setting a few moments in his pxxx and our horse a few moments indulgence in front of his house. Rode through many of the streets and returned again to the Sirees side to take the horse boat. Just as the boat started a fellow about “half boy over” came running down the hill to the extent of his speed, singing out, with the voice of an elephant, “hold on. I want a passage.” His calls were to no purpose, the boat man had given the word “go ahead” and there was now no stop. The fellow however, was determined to have a passage in the boat and with the courage and nerve of the late “Sam Patch” he continued his course, leapt into the river, caught hold of the steering oar by means of which he was taken on board to the amusement of the passengers. We arrived again in Albany in time for tea – took a walk in the evening, returned and retired to room no. 5 for the night. This day we have travelled fifty miles twenty two of them before breakfast dined today with two of Martin Van Buren’s sons who are in the law business at this place. Mr. Van Buren is daily expected at this house.
Saturday morning at Seven o’clock we left Albany in the Steam Boat Champlain on our way to West Point where we arrived at ½ past three, took breakfast on board boat at 8 o’clock. Soon after leaving the wharf when we had sailed about three miles the boat stopped on the overslaugh (?) here we lay about one hour when we again moved on. An immense amount of money has been expended to deepen the channel, but all to no purpose. It soon fills up again. This day is the 4th of July, the return of the glorious anniversary of a nation’s emancipation from bondage should ever bring with it the most greatful (sic) recollections. The return of this day will always bring with it recollections, and so far as relates our independence, will be greatful (sic) but the associations connected with our landing at West Point & passing the night at Cold Spring will not bring with it the most pleasing recollections.
On our journey down the Hudson we notice the Catskill Mountains. These mountains running on about a N.W. course from the river present a succession of blue moving hills like the seas upon the ocean as far as the eye can reach. The mountain house at Pine Orchards is to be seen from the river. On our arrival at the West Point landing our baggage was handed over to a drayman to be taken to the “West Point Hotel” kept by Mr. Cozzens, while we ascended a high point of land on which is situated the Hotel, by a zig zag path through bushes and over rocks. On our entrance to the house and on interview with the foreman, our great supprise (sic) and disappointment we were told that all the rooms in the house were engaged & hundreds had been sent away for want of room to accommodate them. I stated my case to him told him that I had a lady with me who had been travelling since 7 o’clock & that she required some place to change her dress – that I was a perfect stranger there. Was told by a friend who had left there but a few days since with his family test kind could always that accommodations of the best kind could always be obtained at West Point, that we had stopped on our way from Albany & t hat the boat had proceeded to New York & now there was no retreat for us, that he must come where find a place for us at night. He seemed to pay good attention to my statement and replied that he thought we might obtain lodgings at the keepers private dwelling & that he would if possible provide for us for the night. We seated ourselves in the parlour with the crowd and one may well say crowd for the house was filled from the cellar to the attic. All the parlours were engaged to sleep upon the carpets. After spending about an hour and hearing nothing concerning our lodging I went again to the foreman & told him that we were waiting his movements. Previous to this however I had taken care to line the servents (sic) pockets that if a room should chance to be tenantless that I might get it. The foreman gave me his name & told us to go to Mr. Cozzens house about ¼ mile distant & say to him that we came there by his directions to be accommodated for the night. With this message on our tongues we repaired to the said house with a part of our luggage & was ushered into the presence of Mr Cozzins. I told him my wants, that I had been sent there by his foreman of the Hotel with assurance that we could here be accommodated to which we received the astounding reply, “I am sorry we have no rooms for you” My house is full. Here I had a reason to tell my story again which I did in the most pathetic mourn possible. His second reply admitted of a little more hope than the first. “Walk in to the parlour I will do the best I can for you & away we went into the parlour with something of a hope that here we should be accommodated for the night. He now left us and went into the cadets mess room which was attached to his dwelling when the students with the Officers of the institution & arrived guest had just taken their seats (5 o’clock) at the dinner table, and here commenced a scene of confusion. The young cadets who are governed by strict laws & but few indulgences allowed them – to drink no spirits or wines except on holidays, now felt that it was “independent day” and that they were independent cadets, that the one who could boast of drinking the greatest number of champagne was the champion of the day. Directly in front of this house was placed the cannons & at every “bumper” one of these big guns would respond. They had been at the table more than an hour when they left the rooms.
Our situation was such that we had a full view of them as they came out. As a body I may truly say I never looked upon so drunk a set in the whole course of my life. Some left tables without their caps raving like a tiger knocking their fists together with an oath – others with blood flowing from their nostrils – some with bloody hands made so by the braking (sic) of glass – others taking a bold stand in front of the house, raving & foaming at the mouth like wild boars – cap on front side back – dickey down – with one boot off, daring all who chanced to come in this way to fight. They felt as did “David Crocket” when he said he could over take a stream of lightning in a clean run” & whip a field of real white bears, others more “silly drunk”, that is just drunk enough to be officially polite, bowing, scraping & begging pardon for approaching you. To me this was a ludicrous seen (sic) yet there was some amusement as well as instruction in it. It tells one how completely strong drink takes away the man & leaves the frame. This was a scene thought I for a temperance lecturer.
We had now been sitting in the parlour waiting the return of the gentleman who bid us has he sxxxed to show us our quarters or to decide that we could not be accommodated there, till the clock told the hour of six. The cadets & guest were now flocking into the room where we were located. “Half seas over” hugging & kissing one another in so affectionate a manner that the looker on might suppose that the hugged ones were of the fairer sex in the costume of a gentleman. Waiter bring in a dos of champagne in it came & out we went & secured ourselves in a back parlour by turning the key. Here we remained a while but could hear nothing from the keeper of the house. The sun had now fallen below the hills in the west & it was near night – lodging must soon be obtained or we shall not hae place to lay our heads at night. Never was I in a place before that my money would not furnish me with lodgings but here a man with his shilling stood as good a chance for a bed as the one with his guinea. We now left this house in the light of confusion & went again to the Hotel, told the keeper that there was “no two ways about it”, that he must either give us lodgings in this house or we should be obliged to spend the night in the open field with nothing but the clouds of Heaven to cover us, his replay was that many were here in the same situation as myself Y& that he could not possibly accommodate us.
I thanked him for his candor & politeness & was about to leave him when he advised me to take the ten o’clock boat (which would stop at the landing on her way to Albany) & go up to Newburg a place about 12 miles above this on the west side of the river where he thought good lodgings might be obtained. I heard what he had to say & then left the room, walked to the edge of the bank which overhung the Hudson with a hope that I might discover some “lonely cottage” or farm house where we might find shelter for the night. Here I chanced to meet with a person, whom I asked what place it was that I saw down the river on the W. side. “Coldwell sir” was his reply & what place is it that I see just round the point up the river on the east side. That sir is “Cold Spring” about two miles from this place. On further inquiry I ascertained that a small row boat plied across from this to that place & that there was a public house there. With this information I once more went to the Hotel, took a part of our luggage & soon was at the landing place, seated in a small boat rowed “cross handed” by one man. It was now night and we in our little skiff were tossing on the waters of the Hudson bound to a port we knew not. This was a time for reflection & admission. The far famed Hudson presented to view a silver like stream in a zig zag course, now and then spotted with the flowing canvass or some little boat like our own. The high cliff and projecting rocks hanging over our heads or the little boat passed close into the bank now seems to be admired by all who love to look upon the wonderous (sic) works of nature. The idea of home & comfortable lodgings with good feed & healthy children were sources of reflection. The thoughts of night & no where to lay our heads or drink a cup of souchong were too intolerable but with that hope which enobles man to bear up under severe losses & to press forward with a fond anticipation of the future bringing with it better times, we were supported by the hope that ere long we should be provided for.
At half past eight the boatman landed us at Cold Spring for which we paid him two York shillings and jumped on shore. Two miles row in a skiff on the Hudson to obtain lodgings is what never before happened to me & God grant it may never again and in the like circumstances. As soon as we was on “terra firma” our first enquiry was for a public house & was directed “up the road” and away we went like a fox to his hole & soon found ourselves in front of a tavern. We entered & secured lodgings for the night & right glad we were that we had found so good a place, took tea at ten & retired at eleven o’clock, after a few hours of sleep we rose on the morning of the 5th (Sunday) took breakfast at half past seven, paid bills & again took the skiff & once more landed at West Point, walked up to the Hotel & obtained a gentlemans room long enough to change dress, washed & after this we walked about the place visited the monument of a Lieutenant who fell at an engagement on Lake Erie in the year 1828 by the Corps of Cadets to the memory of “Kosciusco” also Kosciusco’s garden situated about half way down the banks of the river & is accessible by winding steps through a pile of high rocks. Here are seats placed for the visitor to sit & contemplate to think that the ground on which he now stands has been cultivated by that Polish patriot. Such were my thoughts as I left the bottom step which led to his garden. I felt as though I was treading upon hollowed ground made sacred by the foot steps of that noble officer. Here are the clusters of bushes said to have been planted by him. I plucked a bough and have it now in my possession which I shall ever cherish as a relic of “Kosciusco’s” worth. Here is also a spring of fine water ofer which the cadets have placed a marble reservoir in which the water boils up with a very pretty appearance. We once more return to the house & prepaired (sic) ourselves to take the boat from Albany at 3 o’clock for New York & then seated ourselves in the parlour to look upon the passing crowd. Here was fassion (sic) – affectation & foppery & there was our person who appeared in a gentleman’s garb with whom I was most particularly disgusted, to paint the poor devil in his true shape. I cannot do with pen, he was continually bowing with a kind of half laugh a grin, and watching his opportunity to pick up some ladies glove or hank, or was ready to speak of some novel or some lovely scenery which the poor senseless mortal knew nothing of, his thumb instead his two fingers which a man of sense would use , was often to his nose taking what I suppose he thought was a fashionable pinch of snuff. Then with a flourish of his white hands he would very carefully apply it to his nose. He would tip about the floor like a bird upon the marsh, with his body inclined forward with a taught pull on a pair of corsets caused him to look like a wasp on a monkey,, personified in fact this object to me was a thorough lunatic, a drunken man was more pleasant to view than this foppish clown.
At one o’clock was summoned to dinner after which paid bills and at three went on board the steam boat Rob’t S. Stevens for New York, arrived at the city at half past seven o’clock, took carriage & proceeded to “Congress Hall” Broad way, Kept by Mr. Hammond in very good style, is a very good house for the accommodation of Ladies & Gentlemen – servants not quite so good or should be – at nine o’clock went to our room for the night. This day travelled fifty miles.
July 6. After breakfast took seat in our omnibus rode as far as Se Ray place to consult with a physician. Returned perused a few notes & was called to dinner at 4 o’clock walked up Broadway as far as the Park. Returned to our room the remainder of the afternoon was taken up in viewing & remarking upon the passing crowd & the city generally. The amount of our remarks that New York was a place of extensive business & much fashion that it was also a filthy place where the hog enjoys unbounded freedom & the swill tub emptied into the streets. At 7 o’clock took tea. At 10 o’clock took bed – so ends this day at the Congress Hall.
July 7. We took waggon (sic) with our horse and left the city at seven o’clock for Hempsted Harbour distance from this place about twenty five miles. After passing the ferry at Williamsburg & riding about ten miles we came to the pretty village of Jamaica then we took breakfast and at quarter past meridien (sic) drove to the door of a dwelling which contained the sole object of our visit. Entered and was received by them with gladness. We are now at Hempsted Harbour with our relatives whom we are pleased to find in good health. Their dwelling is situated on the East side of the bay which makes in from the Long Island Sound and on the side of a hill nearly in front of his house & within a few yards is a fresh water pond well stored with various kinds of fish. The situation is rather a pretty one & remains in much the state that nature formed it. Here we spent our time very much to our satisfaction & on the morning of the 8th left our friends on our way once more to the empire city & at half past Eleven struck feet upon the city pavements – dined at three o’clock. At half past four went on board the steam boat Benj Franklin which landed us at Providence the following morning at nine, immediately took stage and at one o’clock arrived at our uncles in Taunton & here our journal of sixteen days travel ends.
Since we left the shores of Duxbury we have traveled one thousand miles in various kinds of veicles (sic) such as stages. Steam boats. Steam cars. Horse cars. Row boats. Buggies. Waggons (sic). Chaises. & ferry boats.