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country, and the condition of the factory operatives in the early part of this century, that are worthy of record.
In 1827-28 Chandler Holbrook of Poughkeepsie was sent by the Manhattan Fire Insurance Company of New York to make a survey of the textile factories in the greater part of the eastern United States. It might be assumed that he was not appointed without some qualifications for the work, and we have his own statement: "I have been somewhat acquainted with manufactures for eighteen years." He continually shows himself a careful, independent and trained observer. The manuscript consists of his private diary and of copies of letters sent to the president of the company. The first record in his diary is October 27, 1827, and the last letter is dated October 3, 1828.
"I left the city on the 26th of October, 1827. Arriving at Poughkeepsie, I took my horse and gig and proceeded to Sharon in Connecticut, and in a direction through that state to Springfield in Massachusetts, then up the Connecticut River to Northfield, where I crossed into New Hampshire. Then, visiting every factory of any notoriety in that state, I proceeded to Saco in Maine, and on to Winthrop, about ten miles above Hallowell, on the Kennebec. Returning through Portland, Portsmouth and Boston, I then bent my way to Thompson in Connecticut and, pursuing a circuitous route, I again found myself in Worcester County in Massachusetts, and after a stay of several days among the manufactures there I again returned to Connecticut and by way of Hartford, New Haven, etc., returned to New York. My next tour was up the east side of the Hudson to Troy and Schaghticoke, from thence to Bennington, Vermont, then to Glens Falls on the Hudson and down to Waterford, thence to Schenectady and westward to Oneida County, northward to Watertown and Brownville, then to Auburn and west to Rochester. From this place I went
to the falls of Niagara and returned to Rochester and, by way of Manlius, Chittengo, etc., to Utica, from there to Otsego County and down the west side of the Hudson through the counties of Greene, Ulster, Orange and Rockland to New York.
"My last journey was direct to Baltimore, and after visiting all the factories within twenty miles of that city, which comprise all of any notoriety in Maryland, I returned and made similar examinations in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Except those in Trenton, I have seen none in New Jersey. Thus I have been through the various parts of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, and also crossed the Niagara River into Canada. By reference to my journal of courses and distances I find that I have travelled 4,628 miles. . . . The number of factories visited is of cotton 143 and of woollen 28."
This itinerary is significant because it indicates roughly the textile manufacturing districts of the country at that time. His average daily journey, omitting Sundays, was only about sixteen miles. The average is lower than it would have been because of many delays on account of the weather and because of one or two short vacations. Still his usual day's journey, when he was actually at work, was not over twenty or thirty miles. Nor was this due to idleness, for he was a most industrious worker, often writing until after eleven o'clock until eyes or candles gave out. The entire work done in the year could be done now in a few weeks, probably. Another inconvenience was the slowness of communication, waiting for directions being not infrequent and letters always uncertain in their arrival.
Nearly all the journey was made by means of his own horse and gig. His accounts of the roads recall the emphatic language of Arthur Young's Tours. "Intolerable rough," "tremen
dous bad," "most awful bad" are common descriptions, while "Mechanicsville to Waterford is the worst road I have ever seen," and the road from Rochester, New York, to Whitesboro is "intolerably bad." It took three days' hard driving to cover the sixtyeight miles between New York and Matteawan in February. Saturday, May 3, "Left Onandagua and rode to Syracuse to breakfast. This being a rainy day, as usual for many days past, put up for the day. The constant bad roads for a long distance and hard driving have fairly beat out my poor little horse. He is as poor as a snake and his spirits have entirely failed him, in addition to which his back and breast are badly galled. The roads from Rochester to this place have been intolerable." No wonder he wrote his employer: "Until there is a new coinage of words, I shall be unable to find any one that will convey any idea of the bad roads that I have had to encounter." Occasional mention of a log road is made, and one near Rome, New York, was twenty miles long. Two or three times he took advantage of steamboats, as between Troy and Albany, Baltimore and Philadelphia, and Philadelphia and Wilmington. The steamboat seems to have lost its novelty, for he mentions it casually, although possibly it was regarded as a somewhat dangerous means of conveyance, for he says: "After dinner took the steamboat for Philadelphia, where I arrived." Once or twice, as at Morristown, New Jersey, the canal boat was available. Holbrook took the stage from New York at six in the morning and reached Philadelphia at nine or ten in the evening; but the return was not so expeditious, for he says: "Left Philadelphia for New York about eleven A. M. Before we arrived at Princeton we capsized our coach with seven passengers-one was badly hurt. Poor I again got my head bruised. We lodged that night at Princeton. Sunday at seven we left Princeton-the travelling very
bad-did not arrive in New York until nearly eight P. M."
Accidents were perhaps not so serious as in these days of railroad travel, but they were frequent in proportion to the distance travelled. "My horse got loose and ran about a mile over a rough, hilly road to the meetinghouse, where he was stopped by a man and brought back. The cushion was lost, but no other damage appears to have befallen us, that is, me and my horse and gig-no upsetting or breaking anything. My cushion was returned me in the evening. My expense for bringing back horse, gig and cushion, seventy-nine cents." "In leaving Falmouth, it being very dark and slippery, I unfortunately capsized my gig and came with my head to the ground and was somewhat bruised and three slight cuts nearly through the skin on my temple. With much difficulty my horse was extricated, and not being able to ascertain how much damage was sustained and my head bleeding, I concluded to remain there. for the night. . . . My capsize has caused me some pain and I have felt quite indisposed all day. My damage was in a pecuniary point but seventyfive cents, but how long I shall go with my head bound up is uncertain. I shall leave Maine without regret.' Town streets were not of the best. "In riding [horseback] along the streets of Lansingburgh, my horse suddenly started, and down came 'Pil Garlic' where the mud was almost knee deep. Never was a more awful predicament seen. I was flat on my back, my horse jumping, one foot in the stirrup, which soon came to the ground or rather the mud. Keeping fast hold the bridle, I supported myself, and found when I was fairly up I had not been fairly in the mud. I let my horse take care of himself and I sculled to the shore or rather pavement." There were other hindrances. "In crossing the Androscoggin I was detained an hour and one-quarter, exposed to severe cold, and it was dangerous getting in and out of the
boat"; and at another ferry in Maine, "it was very difficult to get on board the scow on account of the ice." On January 21 he was not able to cross the Connecticut on account of floating ice. Occasionally he lost his way.
Of the inns he has comparatively little to say, except that he went to a "publick house." In York, Maine, he wrote: "This I can say with truth was the most indifferent public house I have found since I left home." On January 16 he "put up at the United States Hotel" in Hartford, Connecticut, but the next day went to the City Hotel; "the United States Hotel charges too high for me. One dollar twelve one-hundredths more than I paid for the same time and better accommodation in Portsmouth, N. H." As already indicated, Mr. Holbrook was not fond of Maine. In one letter indicating his route, he says: "Into Maine and out of it as soon as convenient." Again, "I cannot hear of much in Maine, and am doubtful whether a journey below Saco will be of any advantage"; and finally, "I am much pleased with your request to leave this part of the country, and shall start immediately."
But there was a brighter side to his journey. On November 12 he wrote that, notwithstanding the bad roads, he had made 650 miles in the four weeks past. Sometimes the roads were "very good" or "quite tolerable." "I rode on to Wells, nine miles, the most of the way in view of the blue waves of ocean. At Wells is a beautiful view of the water, the waves rolling in upon the beach in the most sublime grandeur. A few fishing boats were riding apparently at ease.
are here caught in abundance-the finest of rock cod. From this place commenced a good road; and from this place to Kennebunk, 10 miles, I rode in one hour. At Kennebunk I stopped and had an excellent dinner; remained an hour and a half and left for Saco, distance ten miles, which I rode in one and a quarter hours."
"Left the Syracuse House-one of
the most elegant hotels in the United States. The main building is four stories, standing on a corner of the intersection of two streets, having two wings extending which form an obtuse angle. These are two stories. The whole is of brick painted white. On both fronts of the main building is a portico and railing for each story; on the roof a handsome balustrade, and on the top of the building a cupola with a bell. The rooms are well furnished and the hotel well kept and charges moderate." Courtesy to strangers seems to have been frequently lacking. In Newmarket, New Hampshire, "a gentleman observing I was a stranger accosted me at the door and invited me to walk into the reading-room opposite. I cordially accepted his invitation and tendered him my most hearty thanks for such unusual politeness." But Mr. Holbrook seems to have had little time for pleasures. "This evening for a great variety was spent in social intercourse with an elderly gentleman"; and after two months' travel his diary says, "Passed an hour or two very pleasantly, being the only social hours I have spent with one exception." But in February, while examining Baldwin and Wild's factory in Kinderhook, he writes: "Was very politely requested to dine with Mr. Wild, who also requested my staying with him as long as I shall stay in the village. The same request was made by Mr. Baldwin, with whom I took supper. have never met with such particular attention since I commenced my peregrinations." At Watertown he "went for a short time into the ballroom, where was music and dancing"; and at Rochester "went to the circus, where was a very full house." In Windham, Connecticut, New Year's day, 1828, he "in the evening went down to the ballroom for a short time, and was very politely received by the company, a good list provided for me, politely urged to partake of the supper and other refreshments. This was a large party, nearly one hundred
ladies being present. Wrote this night till one-half past twelve." Two or three days after he writes: "Loaned my gig in the evening to a young gentleman to ride on a very interesting visit. The terms on which I lent him the gig were 'he was to kiss the pretty girl for me,' which he promised faithfully to do, and produced a certificate to that effect in the morning."
But the change in methods of travel was at hand, and by a happy coincidence our traveller was present on one important occasion marking the inception of railroad transportation. His account is of some historic interest. Baltimore, July 4, 1828: "Had a view of the splendid procession which was formed of all the mechanics, trades and occupations in the city to lay the corner stone of the Ohio and Baltimore Railroad. This was the most splendid procession ever witnessed in this city. . . . Among the rest and upon whom devolved the duty of laying the corner stone was the venerable Charles Carroll of Carrollton, now in his 92d year and the last survivor of the signers of the Declaration of Independence of these United States. His appearance does not indicate more than seventy years. The day passed off without accident, noise or confusion. The greatest order everywhere prevailed. Among other things which attracted attention were two wagons from the Union Cotton Factory loaded with the females from that establishment; one wagon had sixty, and the other forty, females. The day was unusually fine, the evening was uncomfortably cold. Through the day and evening I saw but one individual intoxicated."
There are comparatively few political references, and these concern the fierce struggle then going on over protection. It will be remembered that this winter was marked by the consideration and passage of the "tariff of abominations," which among other things doubled the the duties on woollen goods. In a letter of the 21st of January, 1828, he speaks
of the "universal complaint of the unproductiveness of the woollen business." On October 27, 1827, at Germond's in Washington, Dutchess County, New York, he chanced upon a "Grand Convention" of "professing Republicans" for the nomination of candidates for the Assembly; and on February 18, 1828, he says: "At Mr. Germond's was a county convention for the purpose of passing resolutions against a revision of the tariff and opposed to any further protection on woollen goods. It was attended by the relatives and friends of Mr. J. J. Oakley, representative in Congress, and if these personal friends were stricken from the roll of those who cried ‘aye,' any man would say it was a [word illegible] convention." In November, 1827, he was refused information. about a factory in Nashua, New Hampshire, "until after the tariff has passed," and he was evidently considered a spy. The woollen industry generally was not flourishing, while the cotton industry was most prosperous. New cotton mills were going up, and some woollen factories were being changed to cotton. The cotton manufacturers evidently looked upon the protective system with less favor, for one of them in Peterboro, New Hampshire, complained that the commodities consumed by the 253 operatives in his mill paid the government a duty of $1,500.
On February 17, services in memory of Clinton were held, and Mr. Holbrook gives an account of those in Poughkeepsie, where he chanced to be: "This day was appointed to deliver sermons on the death of Mr. Clinton, governor of the state of New York. Every pulpit was draped in mourning-black broadcloth sufficient to make a full suit for each. clergyman, one Episcopalian, one Presbyterian, one Dutch Reformed, one Methodist, one Baptist. The services were performed in the Dutch church. In the morning, sermon from the Rev. Mr. Cuyler from this text: 'Hear the rod and him who hath ap
pointed it.' In the afternoon by Dr. Reed of the Episcopalian church from this text: 'A time to mourn.' In the evening by Rev. Mr. Welton of the Presbyterian church from this text: 'How are the mighty fallen!' or something like it-I don't remember exactly. The church was crowded to overflowing during the three services. Mr. Hutchinson of the Baptist church made a prayer before and after noon, and Mr. Richardson of the Methodist church in the evening,"-after all of which the people must have been heartily tired of Governor Clinton.
Incidentally we have in the diary descriptions of many places. Among the New England towns are "Portland, which is now the third in point of tonnage in the Union. Here appears an activity in business quite in contrast with the town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. There are now about 14,000 inhabitants": Brunswick, Maine: "This appears a flourishing village, the college consisting of three handsome brick buildings at the west end of the town. This place carries on a considerable lumber trade, receiving their logs for 150 to 200 miles up the river. They have 28 saws in operation, but no other manufactory of any note."
Of more interest are brief accounts of some New York places. Watertown was growing rapidly, having increased thirty per cent in a year. In Sackett's Harbor "everything has a temporary appearance. The place owes its present size to the late war, and the cause being removed which gave it birth, almost everything has the appearance of dilapidation and decay. The armed vessels which sometimes thundered defiance at Our enemy are now sunk in the lake or are in the more peaceful employment of the merchant in the carrying trade of the lake. The mammoth ship now on the stocks having a house over it was designed for 120 guns. The fine stone barracks near the shore of the lake make a very handsome and beautiful appearance and are undoubtedly the
handsomest in the United States." "Oswego will undoubtedly be a place of importance, being connected with the Erie Canal and also lying on the lake shore." "Rochester far exceeds all that I have ever heard of its growth and business. There are here now about 13,000 inhabitants, eight places for religious worship, twelve flouring mills having fifty run of stone, a great variety of other mills, etc. In 1812 only one house stood where is now the bustle and business of a city." Lockport "is increasing with wonderful rapidity and will shortly be a place of much importance." Fort Niagara "is the oldest military post in the United States, the house having been built about 130 years. There are here no troops stationed. The colonel [Jewett] has charge of the fort and the property belonging to the government. The situation is without a superior for pleasantness and one of the finest places for fishing and fowling in the country. There I was shown the magazine in which 'tis said 'Morgan was confined and murdered.' The colonel is now indicted for being accessory to the 'doleful deed,' of which in my opinion he knows nothing." "The immense quantity of salt here [Syracuse] manufactured is truly astonishing to one unacquainted with the business. The salt duty paid to the state last year was $116,000. Apparently more than 100 acres are covered by the evaporating vats besides the immense number of boilers."
The Auburn state prison was established in 1816. "This is a splendid pile of buildings, displaying much neatness and good regulation. Nearly 600 convicts are here at constant labor, carrying on all kinds of mechanical labor. The expense of feeding and clothing each person is less than eight cents per day. Many of the weavers are employed for the Auburn factory at twenty-five cents per day, who make 6-4 and 7-8 bedtick and wove in March 3,700 yards of 6-4 and 4,200 yards 7-8 bedtick and 1,200 yards jeans.