Journal of Charles K. Landis
Founder of Vineland
London, England, July 3, 1874.
At Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Saulsbrey Court, London. Curious old place. Frequented by Dr. Johnson in days gone by. Stop here for economy but have a good room. Arrived from Paris yesterday, where I spent the last ten days in company with Mr. Claud Mondstar.
In the morning got up early, looked in my agents', and banker also. Found their offices closed, but waited for them. Attended to business. In the afternoon attended to my Italian pamphlet and advertisements. Last night went to the meeting of the old debating club called the Cogers, Saulsbrey Court. Heard an excellent speech upon the wrongs of Ireland. Retired at 11 o'clock.
July 4, 1874
Visited Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament. Thought poorly of the latter. The rooms look as though they had been designed by an upholsterer. The former is glorious. In the night went to St. James Theatre and saw Opera Bouife. Felt very lonesome all day and troubled in mind. Wrote my wife in the morning. Also sent my Italian pamphlet to my agents in Genoa. In the morning went to see my London agents. Business looks dull. I hope it will not prove a failure. Something else may have to be done. Got a letter from Mr. Burk Good Burk. I am thankful that God has given me so good a man. Wrote an encouraging letter to poor, old, unfortunate Dr. Bartlett of Vineland, in answer to a letter received from him.
This is the Anniversary of our Independence. The only thing I saw in London to remind me of it was a drunken American, at the Criterion restaurant, dressed in full uniform and making an ass of himself in the worst of style. Sunday, July 5, 1874
Rose at 7 1/2 o'clock. Had English strawberries for breakfast. Large, but lacked flavor. Called on Coleman at the Salisbury Hotel and walked with him to the R. R. Station beyond the Bank. Afterwards called on Mr. Mackay. He was out, but saw his family. Remained an hour and then walked to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Returned home in a hansom. Went to an English restaurant (poor enough) and had dinner, such as it was, 6 o'clock P. M. Lay down on my bed at 7 o'clock, very tired and troubled about home. Did not get up until 11% o'clock. Went down stairs and talked to an Irish editor from Dublin about French affairs. He was very dogmatic and self-opinionated. Amused myself by differing with him. Retired to bed at 12 o'clock.
July 6, 1874
Called at the office of my agents, Stephens and Grellier. Suggested several things about my business. Called at Mrs. Pickering's and took lunch. Mr. Pickering, Miss Monkton, and Miss Penford, a governess, present. I invited them all to the French opera bouffe. The^ accepted, and took them all to the Theatre Comique - opera bouffe. Got to my hotel at 11% o'clock. London smoky all day. Peeling bilious.
July 7, 1874
Rose at 7 1/2. After breakfast called upon Coleman at the Salisbury Hotel. He was preparing to leave for Liverpool to take the steamer for America. I regretted to see him go. I accompanied him to the Euston station. I then went to the Bettinel Museum at the Bettinel Green. It was not much of an affair. I went in particular to see a terra cotta fountain work outside, thinking that it might be adaped to Vineland, but found it costly, nearly 2,000 pounds. This would not answer.
Called at my agent's, 1 Leadenhall Street. I arranged to shortly go see my sub-agents in Ireland and Scotland and work up the business. Also to have Grellier accompany me to Liverpool and arrange with the stewards in the steamers to put up bills and give information. It will be strange if something is not accomplished. Received letter from Mr. Burns, Secretary of Local Option Alliance of Great Britain, requesting me to speak in the Northern towns. Do not think I will do so. In the afternoon bought some French books to commence learning the language again. Went to a Turkish bath place and paid four shillings. Found that it was nothing but a small swimming tub and came out. Took a warm bath at the Argyle baths.
In the evening went to Covent Garden opera and heard Patti sing "Star of the North." Very good. The last time I heard Patti was thirteen years ago on "Traviata." Her voice was then fresher. Came home at once and went to bed. Hope soon to be on the wing for Scotland. It is action that quiets my mind.
I forgot to mention that I wrote a long letter to G. W. Childs of the "Philadelphia Ledger", requesting him to send Coleman back to make investigations and write articles about:
1. Street pavements of different kinds.
2. Street cleaning.
3. Hansoms, carriages and omnibusses.
6. Economy of city administration.
7. Keeping parks in order.
8. Sewerage and drainage with economy.
In all of these matters we in America are vastly behind the times. My national egotism received a beautiful setting down after I had been a while in Europe.
July 8, 1874
Went to the office, Leadenhall Street. Found no letters of inquiry. It looks as though the advertising was thrown away. Some mistake about it, evidently. Remained several hours. Returned to my room and read French. In the evening went to a grand dinner at the guild of the Merchant Tailors at 6 P. M. This is one of the oldest guilds in London, but they are tailors no longer. Dinner continued until 10% P. M. The directors sat up on a platform raised a step, and there was not a speech or toast that was not arranged beforehand, and which did not eminate from this same platform.
July 9, 1874
Went to the office and corrected the advertisement which has gone out in above seventy papers. The mistake was made of not inserting the price of the land. Accompanied Stephens to SatterstalTs, as he wanted to buy a horse. This is the great horse market of London. He bought one for £49. Returned to office. Afterwards went with Stephens to Lillie Bridge to see a game at polo. This is the first time I ever saw it. The game is shinny on horse-back. Teaches horsemanship and agility. I hope it will be introduced in America. Returned with Stephens and dined at his house. Went home and to bed early. Dreamt in the night about buying land in Chile and South America. July 10, 1874
Went to office and attended to business. Saw Mackay about getting me agencies of insurance companies with a view to opening offices in New York and Philadelphia and making more business. He seems willing to help the matter. Arranged a plan for my trip to Scotland and Ireland. Expect to start on Monday. Invited Stephens to lunch. Restaurants in London very poor; dirty and slow attendance; miserable cooking. In the evening went to the House of Lords. Only half full. Quiet and respectable-looking middle-aged and old gentlemen. Afterwards went to the Criterion for supper. Went to the Alhambra to see a musical play. Got tired and left. Went home to my hotel and to bed.
July 11, 1874.
Went to the office and attended to business. Was invited by Stephens to go down and spend the afternoon and night at a little country house rented by himself and a friend upon the Thames, and go and see the Walton Regatta. Went there. He took his boat and rowed up the beautiful little river. Hundreds and more of boats were on hand. It was a very gay scene. We saw a number of races. On the shore were show booths and wandering minstrels. These English know how to row. We dined in a tent. I paid for the dinner. We returned to the house at 9 o'clock and met Stephens' partner in the house arrangement, by the name of Grohman, a young fellow of twenty-three and very much of a gentleman. Also Stephen's brother, a very vulgar and impolite man. Retired at 11 o'clock.
July 12, 1874
Rose at 8. The rest of the company did not get up until near 11. The English usually rise late. We had breakfast and spent the day on the river again. Came to the house and dined. Stephen's brother made some impertinent remarks about America. The first impertinence or impoliteness I have experienced in England. I rebuked him in a manner which I hope improved him. He appeared to regret his conduct afterwards. It arose from ignorance of what was polite, and no bad intention. After dinner went out on the river with Grohman and afterwards returned to London. Walked from the Waterloo station to my hotel and retired at liy 2 o'clock. Feeling as though I had taken cold.
July 13, 1874
Went to office. Found letter from B. H. Brewster of Philadelphia. Visited the Kensington Museum. Interesting place, but not much after Paris. Dined at Simpson's. Got a letter from Cleve in India. In the afternoon walked through St. James Park. It was a delightful sight to see the people enjoying themselves upon the grass and boating in the beautiful little lake. In England parks are really parks. People are allowed to run over the grass and sheep are pastured upon them. By no means one of the least beautiful sights, at the gates of the Park nice healthy-looking cows are kept and you can buy a glass of milk for two pence, and it is milked in the glass before your eyes. I bought a glass. It is largely patronized. What a blessing this is for the children.
July 14, 1874
Rose early and packed up for departure. Left a lot of my things at the Edinburgh Hotel until I return. Left the Euston depot at 10 o'clock, Northwestern R. R. for Glasgow. Several ladies in the car who treated me to lunch and cherries. One an English lady and the other a French governess going to the family of the Howards in the north of England. Poor thing! How hard it must be for a Blench lady to leave "la belle, France," especially Paris. May the Lord help and protect her. The English lady had been, or is now, a great traveller, and recommended me a line of travel in Scotland which I will follow. They got out at Carlisle. I kept on to Glasgow, where I arrived at 8% o'clock. Stopped at McLain's Hotel and went to bed at 9% o'clock. Fatigued and suffering from a cold. It was quite light when I went to bed. Slept well.