NOTES FROM THE WEST:
A RECORD OF A
RAMBLE IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER OF 1881.
W. H. RUSSELL, LL. D.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,
CROWN BUILDINGS, 188 FLEET STREET.
[All rights reserved.]
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
THE DUCHESS OF SUTHERLAND
(COUNTESS OF CROMARTY),
THIS RECORD OF THE RECENT VISIT OF THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND
IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL.
London, Dec. 1881.
On the 16th of April last, in pursuance of an arrangement to that effect which was entered into some months earlier with the Duke of Sutherland, a small party of gentlemen and one lady left Liverpool in the Cunard Company's steamer "Gallia," with the object of making a tour in the United States. Previous to their departure, Mr. Henry Crosfield, the Auditor of the London and North-Western Railway Company, had been in communication with friends in America, and had in concert with them sketched out a general scheme to enable the visitors to traverse the Atlantic States, to extend their journey westwards and to obtain the best possible view of the country in the limited space of time at their disposal. Although all were "on pleasure bent," those of the tourists who had interests in railways on this side of the world were naturally anxious to study the modes of management which were practised on the principal lines as closely as such a hurried journey would allow them; but the main object of the travellers was "to see the States"—to behold with their own eyes the natural features of the vast continent which is exercising a rapidly increasing influence on Great Britain and Europe itself, and to view the manners and customs of the great nation which even in its present enormous development gives only the indications of a lusty youth, promising a manhood of irresistible vigour and strength in time to come if the body politic fulfils its early hope. To be sure, the inspection could not be very close, minute, or protracted. Shooting flying is not an art given to all people, and the contemplation of man at a hotel or in a street, as one looks around in the dining-room or out of a railway train, does not afford satisfactory foundation for solid knowledge or comfortable conviction. But we had to do the best we could. There were for most of us the attractions in the journey which novelty possesses. There were pleasures in anticipation in the sight of the wonderful cities which man has made and of the grand natural spectacles which God has created, and these pleasures were, I may say now, enjoyed most fully. For my own part, having no railway interests except those I share with so many others in being carried safely, swiftly, and cheaply, by the lines to which I entrust myself for conveyance, and having formerly been in the United States, my chief desire was to revive, if not the pleasures of memory, at least the recollections of a country in which I had spent many months of the deepest interest and excitement, and where I made friends whose affection and support were of invaluable assistance and comfort to me when I much needed them at a period of terrible trial. I was also eager to observe what changes had been effected since the close of the Civil War, of one great incident of which I had an unfortunate experience, and to revisit scenes the chief features of which had not been effaced from my recollection by the lapse of nigh twenty years. The expedition was undertaken under excellent auspices. From all quarters of the United States, as soon as our intention was made known, there had come not only expressions of satisfaction and offers of assistance, but an actual competition in good offices, and amid the friendly requests of the great Railway Corporations on the other side of the Atlantic that the visitors would avail themselves of the resources of their Companies the only difficulty lay in the choice of contending routes. Tenders of palace cars and special trains, of receptions and banquets, poured in on all sides; but the programme for our journey was drawn up with a due regard to the number of hours at the disposal of the travellers, and ere they set out from England, the very day of their return from New York had been determined.
Having said so much by way of explanation of the motives which led to the excursion, I feel called upon to account for the appearance of these pages, because I am aware that there was not in the extent of our journey nor in the nature of its incidents anything to justify my rushing into print, especially as several very excellent records of much more extensive and protracted tours in the Western World have been recently given to the public. My reasons, or perhaps it would be as well to write my excuses, for publishing this book are, that I was asked to do so by friends who were desirous of possessing a memorial of our rambles. When I left England I had not the least intention of writing anything for publication, but after I had embarked one of my companions, with whose wishes I was glad to comply, requested me to send letters now and then to the Morning Post, and some of the materials in them I shall incorporate in the following pages by the permission of the proprietors. I do not feel quite satisfied that the reasons I have given, or the excuses I have made, will be held to exonerate me from presumption in adding to the well-filled shelves of American travel when I have nothing new to tell of in the way of exploration, sporting, or scenery, but one favour I beseech of those who may be inclined to condemn me for dulness or to censure me for want of novelty, and that is that they will not attribute my faults to my fellow-travellers, whose originality, good humour, power of observation, practical knowledge, and kindness cast over our journey a charm that cannot be transferred in any degree to the pages which record its progress, and that they will not ascribe to my companions any responsibility for the opinions I have had occasion to express, which are entirely and altogether my own.
William Howard Russell.
CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
|VOYAGE TO NEW YORK.
|Mallow to Queenstown—The steam tender—The "Gallia"—Our fellow-passengers—The first night at sea—Observations—Marine inquiries—A brilliant run—A little stranger—Approaches to New York—Sandy Hook—Friends on Shore—New York interviewers—First impressions