American Cousins

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PREFACE.
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THE main portion of the matter comprising this volume appeared originally in a series of articles contributed to the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle.  It is with the consent and approval of the proprietors of that journal, freely and cordially given, that Viator's* "Impressions of America," with such additions and corrections as seemed to be necessary, are now reproduced in a collected form.

    While the papers were being printed week by week, the writer received suggestions from many quarters that they should be gathered together in some such manner as has now been chosen.  The favourable opinions which were expressed by too partial correspondents on both sides of the Atlantic induced him to prepare the present work.  Certainly, if it had not been for the urgent and almost imperative advice of friends on whose judgment and experience reliance was perhaps not improperly placed, the first publication would have been the last.  At any rate, it would never otherwise have occurred to him, considering the multiplicity of books of a similar character, that the impressions he had formed of our American Cousins during a visit he paid to the United States in the spring and summer of 1882 deserved to be presented to the public in a more permanent shape than that which was given to them at the outset.

    Persons well acquainted with America, some of them natives of that country, and others long resident in it, have been good enough to commend the general tone and tenor of the letters to the Weekly Chronicle.  The circumstance that many of the letters have been copied, in whole or in part, by newspapers in Canada and in the States, is perhaps some testimony to the interest and faithfulness of the descriptions they contained.  It is only fair to observe, however, that the opinions advanced have not in all cases and on all questions been endorsed by friendly critics in the States.  America is so wide a country, and American society is of so varied a complexion, that there is ample room for the most diversified opinions in regard to both.  The writer simply claims the privilege of making his own appraisement of what he saw and heard.  Although he has not pretended to give a philosophic estimate of our American Cousins, he yet ventures to hope that he has presented a fair and accurate picture of so much of American life and American manners as came within his own observation.

    The writer is greatly indebted to numerous friends for kind and valuable assistance during his visit to the New World, notably Mr. James Charlton of Chicago, Mr. William James of New York, Mr. W. J. Linton of New Haven, Mr. George Julian Harney of Boston, Mr. W. P. Copeland of Washington, and Mr. H. B. Witton of Hamilton, Ontario.  Nor are his thanks less heartily due to Mr. Henry M. Rogers of Boston, for courteous help of various kinds.  Last, but by no means least, he is under great obligation to his old friend, Major Jones, United States Consul at Newcastle, who, however, as a loyal and dutiful citizen of the Republic he has so long and so ably served, cannot be expected to entirely approve even of the mild criticisms and censures which have been hazarded here and there in the following pages.

WILLIAM EDWIN ADAMS.

NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE, August, 1883.

* Ed.—archaic use for "Traveller".



CONTENTS.
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CHAPTER I.
Preliminary Caution—Atlantic Liners—Respect for the Old Country—Courtesy and Attention of our American Cousins

CHAPTER II.
Contrasts and Comparisons—New and Strange Appearance of Things in America—Trees and Plants—Birds—The English Sparrow—American Streets—American Landscapes

CHAPTER III.
Pleasant Aspect of American Cities—New Haven—Rochester—Cleveland—Milwaukee—New York—Boston—Cambridge—Washington

CHAPTER IV.
Rapid Rise of Cities—Streator—Fargo—Pullman—Hospitality in the West—Growth of Chicago—The Great Fire—Energy of the People—The Grip Cars—The Stock Yards

CHAPTER V.
"Magnificent Distances"—The Climate of America—Changes of Temperature—Absence of Twilight—Clearness of the Atmosphere—The Weather Bureau— Tornadoes—Blizzards

CHAPTER VI.
Cause of American Energy—Spirit of Speculation—Sobriety of the People—Lager Beer—American Bar-Tenders—Scene in the Yellowstone Region—Saloon Keeper's Associations—How Peter J. Dooling's Customers enjoyed a Holiday

CHAPTER VII.
Natives and Foreigners—Domestic Arrangements—Tobacco—Spittoons—Adventures in Quest of Snuff

CHAPTER VIII.
State Fairs—The Value of the Dollar—Cost of Manufactured Articles—Effects of Protection

CHAPTER IX.
Popular Errors about Americans—Brother Jonathan—"The Colonel "—Eating Customs—Deference to Ladies—Fashion in Hair and Hats—Shaving a Fine Art

CHAPTER X.
Religion—Henry Ward Beecher—Church Choir Opera Company—Sunday Plays—Colonel Ingersoll—New Words, New Phrases, a New Literature—Nomenclature of Cities

CHAPTER XI.
A Democratic Country—No Class Distinctions—Millionaires—"The Silver King"—Mr. Charles Crocker—"Tips"—The People a Law unto Themselves—The Army—The Police Force—Familiarity which does not Breed Contempt

CHAPTER XII.
Jack as Good as his Master—Freedom of Intercourse in Washington—The White House—President Arthur—Mr. Bancroft Davis—Judge Howe, Postmaster-General—Congress—Senator Bayard on the Alabama Surplus—Aspect of the Chambers

CHAPTER XIII.
Polities—Charges of Corruption—Party Spirit—Political Novels—"Puck"—Albany Politicians—Opinions of Old English Reformers—Are Free Institutions a Failure?—"America for the Americans."

CHAPTER XIV.
Politics a Profession—Herbert Spencer's Complaint—Democratic Equality—Imputations against Public Men—Colonel Hinton's Opinion—The Spoils System—Recognition of Merit—American Versatility—An English Pensioner

CHAPTER XV.
Local Politics—The Worst Governed City in the World—Condition of the Streets of New York—Cost of the City Government—Boss Tweed—John Kelly—Tammany Hall—Control of the Counting—"Vote Early, and Often"—Repeaters—Ballot-Stuffing—Popular Negligence—Tammany Thieves—"The Prince of Siam"

CHAPTER XVI.
Public and Patriotic Spirit—The Louise Home—Public Libraries at Chicago and Boston—Mount Vernon—Independence Hall—Old South Church—Bunker Hill Monument—Soldiers' Memorials—"John Brown's Fort"—Decoration Day

CHAPTER XVII.
American Newspapers—Personal Abuse—The Spade Theory—Spirit of Flippancy—A St. Louis Tragedy

CHAPTER XVIII.
Interviewing—Herbert Spencer—Mrs. Langtry—Sunday Editions—The "Fargo Argus"—James Gordon Bennett

CHAPTER XIX.
American Railways—Comforts of Travelling—Description of Cars—No Classes—Sleeping and Parlour Cars—Reclining Chairs—Dining Cars—Sample Bills of Fare—Night Travelling in Michigan—Fire Flies—Railway Conductors—Newsboys

CHAPTER XX.
Railway Tracks—Depôts—President Garfield—Engine Bells—Railway at Syracuse—System of Communication—The Baggage System—"Dead-Heads"—Railway Nicknames

CHAPTER XXI.
American Inventiveness—Telephones—The Electric Light—Fire Alarms—Efficiency of the Fire Departments—Elevators—House-Moving—The Elevated Railways of New York—Brooklyn Suspension Bridge

CHAPTER XXII.
American Hotels—The Newhall House, Milwaukee—Waiters-Hotel Names—Fire Escapes—Vast Size of Hotels—The Boarding System—"A Square Meal"—The Art of Dining—Iced Drinks—Temperance at Table

CHAPTER XXIII.
Amusements—"Surprise Parties"—Base Ball—Billiards—Beer Gardens—German Customs—Long Branch—Glen Island—Coney Island—Manhattan Beach—Barnum's Circus—The Showman and the Deacon—"Free Passes"

CHAPTER XXIV.
Holidays in America—Independence Day—Colonel Donan—The "Pistol Fiend"—Fourth of July Dangers—Theatres—"Si Slocum"—Madison Square Theatre—"Esmeralda"—Brutal Amusements—"Terrific Dog Fight on Long Island"—Pugilism—A Glove Fight in New York—A Murderer's Funeral

CHAPTER XXV.
Crimes and Criminals—"Confidence Men"—Revolvers and Scurrility—Tragedy at Hot Springs, Arkansas—Schoolboys and Pistols—A Kentucky Feud—Three Prominent Citizens Slay each Other in the Streets of Knoxville—A Municipal War in Alabama—Rival Police Forces at Troy—Lynch Law

CHAPTER XXVI.
A Murderer, Six Times Tried and Three, Times Sentenced to Death, Released from Custody—The Assassin of Garfield—The James Boys—The Molly Maguires—Popularity of a Murderer—Assassins on the Stage—Cow-Boys

CHAPTER XXVII.
The System of Electing Judges—Selecting a Jury—Free and Easy Proceedings in a Chicago Court—Evils of the Elective System —The American Side of the Question

CHAPTER XXVIII.
The Common Schools of America—School Attendance in Boston—High School Exercises at Lake View, Chicago—Catholic Claims—Education Among the Negroes

CHAPTER XXIX.
Condition of the People—W. J. Linton—Wendell Phillips—The Irish Question—An Illinois Coal-miner—The Slums of New York—"Go West, Young Man"—Hired Girls

CHAPTER XXX.
Working Men's Movements—The Great Railway Strike—The Molly Maguires—Rich and Poor—Vanderbilt—Jay Gould—Working Men's Demonstration—The Knights of Labour—Hostility to the Chinese—State and Treatment of the Negroes —Denis Kearney—Possibilities for the Poor

CHAPTER XXXI.
Lord Macaulay's Prediction—The Great Rebellion—Disbandment of the Federal Armies—President Lincoln at Gettysburg Speech of Wendell Phillips—Dangers to the Republic—Foreign Hordes—Irish Votes—"The Worst Foes of the Country"

CHAPTER XXXII.
Disposal of Public Lands—Consequences of the Agrarian Policy of the Republic—Carl Schurz—Henry George's Ideas—Capacity of the States—Miscegenation—A New Race

CHAPTER XXXIII.
"To Canada"—Niagara—The Whirlpool Rapids—An International Park—A Working Alan Member of Parliament—"We are the People"—Hamilton—"Old Alan Freeman"—John Anderson —Toronto—The Fenian Invasion—Canadian Patriotism—Goldwin Smith

CHAPTER XXXIV.
England and America—Hibernian Hatred of England—Mr. Lowell—Position of the British Isles—General Schofield—English Attitude during the War of Secession—Effects of the Alabama Award—"Blood Is Thicker than Water"—Last Words

 


 

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