A day of sunshine, and storm. Two short snow storms, with a hurricane of wind, wintry and cold. The change is great and sudden.
I sat down after the duties of the morning to read, but Garret came up to urge me to go out.
A few morning hours were delightfull, after the rain; but the sky soon became overcast. I dressed, and set off for Mr Tenny’s, to get my bracelet mended, but did not get so far, the wind blew me home.
Called in to see Mrs Pell, was frightened to find the scarlet fever in her family, she herself complaining of sore throat. Little Lizzy, had been sick, one week with it, but was not in danger.
I sat a few minutes, then flew home to prevent Remsen from going out. His cold is not alarming, but I do not wish him
to be in the least exposed. Diseases are so prevolent, and so mortal among children. Death, is a dreadfull foe, but we must learn to contemplate it in all its characters, so that when it comes we may submit to the will of God.
I walked a few blocks for exercise, the children were all out Remsen with his father, and the others calling on their favourite friend “Catharine Quin”. I commenced fringeing napkins to day. My work
all done up. Asa Snyder, bid us adieu to.day, he took my letter to Maria Hasbrouck. Julie, read for me in the afternoon. The evening was bright moonlight, but very cold. “Boz” will think our climate very changeable. To night comes off the great Ball of the Park Theater in honor of Boz, or Mr “Charles Dickens” I am thankfull not to be of the party, my own fine side possessing superior charms, and my domestic husband, giving it an inestimable value.
The following was originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 15 February 1843 –
A Description of New York City
The beautiful metropolis of America is by no means so clean a city as Boston, the houses not quite so gaudy, the nobs and plates upon the street doors not quite so bright and twinkling. There are many by-streets almost as neutral in clean colours, and positive in dirty ones, as by-streets in London, and there is one quarter, commonly called the ‘Five Points,’ which, in respect of filth and wretchedness, may be safely backed against Seven Dials.
The great promenade and thoroughfare is Broadway – a wide and bustling street, which, from the Battery-gardens to its opposite termination in a country road, may be four miles long. Shall we sit down in an upper floor of the Carlton house Hotel, and when we are tired of looking down upon the life below, sally forth arm-in-arm, and mingle with the stream? The pavement stones are polished with the tread of feet until they shine again; the roofs of the omnibuses look as though, if water were poured upon them, they would hiss and smoke, and smell like half-quenched fires. Plenty of hackney cabs and coaches too; gigs, phaetons, and private carriages. Negro coachmen and white, in straw hats, black hats, white hats, glazed caps, fur caps; in coats of drab, black, brown, green, blue, nankeen, striped jean, and linen; and there, in one instance (look while it passes, or it will be too late!) in suits of livery. Some southern republican that, who puts his blacks in uniform, and swells with sultan pomp and power.
Heaven save the ladies, how they dress! We have seen more colours in these ten minutes than we should have seen elsewhere in as many days. What various parasols! What rainbow silks and satins! What pinking of thin stockings and pinching of thin shoes, and fluttering of ribands and silk tassels, and display of rich cloaks with gaudy hoods and linings! The young gentlemen are fond of turning down their shirt collars and cultivating their whiskers, especially under the chin; but they cannot approach the ladies in their dress and bearing.
Byrons of the desk and counter, pass on, and let us see what kind of men are those behind ye – those two labourers in holyday clothes, of whom one carries in his hand a crumpled scrap of paper, from which he tries to spell out a hard name, while the other looks about for it on all the doors and windows. Irishmen both! You might know them if they were masked, by their long tailed blue coats and bright buttons, and their drab trousers. It would be hard to keep your model republics going without the countrymen and countrywomen of these two labourers. For who else would dig and delve, and drudge, and do domestic work, and make canals and roads, and execute great lines of internal improvement?
Let us go down to help them for the love of home and that spirit of liberty which admits of honest service, and honest men, and honest work for honest bread. We have got the right address at last, though it is written in strange characters truly, and might have been scrawled with the blunt handle of the spade the writer better knows the use of than a pen. Their way lies yonder, but what business takes them there? They carry savings. To hoard up? No. They are brothers, those men. One crossed the sea alone, and, working very hard for one half year, saved funds enough to bring the other out. That done, they worked together, side by side, contently sharing hard labour and hard living for another term; and then their sisters came, and then another brother, and, lastly, their old mother. And what now? Why, the poor old crone is restless in a strange land, and yearns to lay her bones among her own people, in the old graveyard at home; and so they go to pay her passage back home. God help her and them and every simple heart, and all who turn to the Jerusalem of their younger days, and have an [UNREADABLE] fire upon the cold hearth of their fathers.