Diary of John Gage
Who Settled in Vineland in 1864
New York, 1835.
April 25th, Saturday. Arrived in town & put up at the Franklin house kept by Newton Hayes, Broadway. Went to the post office & got a letter from home & one from Mr. Smith & called on Watts Beebee. It being a rainy day & having a hard cold I did no business. At evening I went into the American Museum to see a Noted Frenchman perform feats of Legerdemain. He was very active & did some things that I could not account for but most of the performance was readily accounted, I thought.
26th, Sunday wrote to Mr. Smith & went a mile to Christie street to see a fire. It was a long time before I could find where the fire was though the engines were stationed in all the streets near & hose pipe running in all directions. The fire was in a large chair shop & the inside was near all burned out. They had started the water with all the engines a little, & not having use for it at the fire, a brook was running down every street. Went to St. Paul's church in the evening & was interested most with the organ. The church is at the lower end of the park.
27th, Monday bot a bill of goods of Saterlee & Masters & some of Huntington & Campbell. Went round to sell lasts, but could not. Went to the Park theatre at night & was but indifferently entertained.
28th. Went shopping for some small articles & went into the American Museum. Travelled round town some & at night went to the Bowery theatre.
Wednesday, April 29th 1835. Went to The Ulster Co., iron finishing establishment, corner of Beech and West street, Mr. Wm. Kimball, agent; also at their iron warehouse, 91 Washington street.
P. M. Bot some tea and sugar of Gilbert Walker & Co & at night went to the Museum & heard a good ventriloquist perform.
30th. Prepared for starting to Philadelphia. Went over to Brooklyn went into a furnace. They had been casting brass, & melting it in a common iron pot furnace. Here we have a fine view of the lower end of the city of New York. Went to the Italian Opera & was entertained with nothing but the girls dancing which was both humorous & ludicrous. They were dressed with flesh colored drawers which set everywhere close to the skin so that no one could tell that they had any on & a short frock which came but little below the knees. In dancing they often raised one leg above horizontal & whirled rapidly around so that the whole legs were presented to view, which always brot bursts of applause & this induced them to vie with each other and see who could show their legs most & to the best advantage.
Friday, May 1st. Got on board the steamer Sun at 1/2 past 7 in the morning & arrived at Amboy 1/2 past ten, 30 miles; then took the railroad & arrived at Bordentown fifteen minutes past twelve, 35 miles, where I spent the remainder of the day. I took a view of Joseph Buonaparte's place. It is a very pretty place but on too low ground.
Saturday May 2nd, started at a quarter before seven in a steamer for Philadelphia where we arrived about ten & stopped at the City Hotel on North 3rd Street. Called at Mr. Burdin's & delivered Mr. A. French's letter. Went to the library of the Franklin Institute & was invited by the keeper to call when I pleased whilst I stayed in town. Called on Mr. Thomas & delivered Mr. Groshe's letter. The season is very late & the apple trees are just blossoming & some trees have not begun to put forth leaves. Grass is but just starting though there is plenty of lettuce & some other green herbs in market, probably the growth of hot houses.
There is not that bustle & stir of business here that there is in N. Y. There take Broad street for instance, & it (is) constantly thronged with carriages from daylight till twelve at night, wet & dry Sundays & week days, but High street or any other street in Philadelphia will not compare with it at all, & Sundays, after meeting, there is very little stir of carriages at all & there is not 1/3 the crowd on the side walks & nothing the business on the docks & from what I have can see I should think there was more business doing on the docks at Albany than in Philadelphia.
3rd. Sunday, went in the forenoon to hear Mr. Thomas preach. He is a young man of 28 years & good talents; he preached a good moral discourse, such an one as I like to hear, fully vindicating his own sentiments without detracting from others. P. M. Went to the Navy Yard & commenced a letter to Portia. Good weather and growing warm.
4th. Monday went to the Post Office & found a letter advertised to me. It was from Brother IwsaeJ & had arrived in town the day before I did & was advertised the same day. I went home & answered it & also finished a letter to Portiafc and got them ready to send next morning. Called on Mr. Thomas between 2 & 3 in the afternoon & he accompanied me to Fairmount Water Works. It is situated on the Schuylkill above the city. The water works are for supplying the city with water. The water in the first place is put onto wheels which work pumps that throw the water up a steep high bank into reservoirs which are higher than the tops of the highest houses in the city. From these reservoirs, which are large & open (to) the weather, the conductors are laid to carry water to all parts of the city & there is an abundant supply. They have taken great pains to beautify the place & make it a delightful place. They have built a splendid house for the accommodation of persons visiting & have decorated the yard with grass patches, trees & a beautiful pond & fountain of white marble in the center from which there rises 5 streams of water from 20 to 25 feet high. Returning we visited the Franklin library. Of course the volumes are so numerous one could only take a superficial view of them, but the collection is immense. I paid my fare on the railroad to Columbia to start next morning.
5th. Wednesday went around town a little & after breakfast took my seat in the Omnibus which took me to the railroad, but we did not get started till near 9 in the A. M. We were drawn to the inclined plane 2 or 3 miles by horses & after assending, which was done very slowly & carefully, we were drawn by a steam car the rest of the way; the whole distance is called 82 miles as the railroad runs. It is through a hilly country, but the hills are not high. The road is very expensive. It passes through a well cultivated country, but I should think the soil not the first rate. The horses are large, fat & nice, but horned cattle rather poor. There is none of the first growth timber, the fences are mostly rails & although there are stone, plenty in some places, they build no wall fence. We arrived at Columbia a little after 4 o'clock. It was just beginning to rain & a hard Thunder shower succeeded. The coach was full for Chambersburg, so I had to lie by a day.
Thursday, 6th, started for Mr. Slaymaker's Furnace on foot, a distance of about 7 mile. Crossed the river on the Congony bridge which I paced, & made it a mile & 20 rods including the raised way at each end, then struck down & off from the river. The furnace is in a very pleasant place & ore & coal quite handy. They have worked the furnace about 10 years but have wasted their cinders; mostly the cinders are not very rich. Returned to the post road and took the coach at a quarter past 5 & arrived at Chambersburg about 5 in the morning, a distance of 64 miles on hard good roads and moonshine most of the night.
7th. Called on Mr. McCulloch who is a lawyer & he went with me to M. to the Furnace which is owned by himself & Gen. Dunn & examined their cinders, but did not think them worth buying at present unless more could be purchased to make a business of it. Staid all night & started back next day, 8th, & staid at Chambersburg over night.
9th. Took the stage to Loudon & sent my trunk to Pittsburgh. Went on foot as far as General Dunn's Furnace & staid all night. A rainy day, rain N. E.
Sunday 10th, it cleared off & I started with a son of Mr. Dunn's, on horseback, who took me across the ridge of mountains 5 miles to Burnt Cabins, Bedford Co., from which I traveled on foot over a good road to Blair's tavern, Huntingdon Co., 8 miles, thence to Rockhill Furnace 5 miles. Here are two furnaces standing near each other, the one owned by a lawyer in Huntingdon (a village on the canal 25 miles distant) by the name of James M. Bell. This furnace has been in operation a number of years & makes most of its iron into stoves & hollow ware. The other is a new furnace having never made but 2 or 3 blasts. It was built, & is owned by, Thomas P. Cromwell who lives near it & owns a large tract of land around it. He rented his furnace but the men to whom he rented were unsucessfull & the furnace now lies still. I called on him & he invited me to stay over night with him which I did. He is a bachelor & now a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly; he wants to sell out his furnace and land & go to Tennessee. He said he would sell 500 acres, about one hundred of which is under improvement the remainder timber land & containing the furnace & ore bank, for $8000. These furnaces stand on Blacklog creek & one mile lower down is a little village called Orbisonia. Here was formerly a furnace for many years & there still remains a large cinder heap. TO Be Continued