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Mr. W. H. Douglas writes to his parents here (Elmwood, Ill ) from Canada . Below we give an extract from his letter.

Belleville , Ont., June 30, 1876

I stopped one night and half a day in Cincinnati . Did not see much of that city. Then one day in Washington . Visited all the principal places of interest – the Capitol, the Senate and House of Representatives – both houses being in session, the White House, Smithsonian Institute, &c. I think Washington is the prettiest city on… being perfectly clean.

At the next place – Baltimore – we did not take time to stop. Noticed a few peculiarities, viz.: the streets near the river being made of oyster shells, which makes a beautiful road. Here the cars were taken one at a time, through the city with a horse as leader and six mules! Thus we were taken for about a mile and a half, as the locomotives are not allowed to run through the city.

Arrived in Philadelphia , where we stayed three days, and I don’t think I ever worked as hard of felt more tired. There was so much to see, that by the time we left there I was about tired out, and I do believe I saw as much there in three days as most people will see in as many weeks; at least I am well satisfied with what I saw of the “Great Centennial,” and pronounce it the biggest thing I ever saw. I cannot begin to explain it, or give you any conception of its greatness, and can only say, that if you read all the newspapers, magazines, and articles written about it, you will only have a faint conception of what there is to see. There we may meet Japanese, Chinese, &c. There are all kinds of articles from every country, old relics, all kinds of manufacturing done, such as making silk, wall paper, candy, guns, needles, &c., &c.

The firsts day I was there I met Charlie White and his mother, and was glad to meet some one from home. I also saw his highness Dom Pedro. He looks like Dan McCoy, wears a double-breast black broadcloth coat, and a wide brim, light colored, soft hat. He is the worst fellow to ask questions I ever saw.

There are two large organs in the main building that furnish music instead of a brass band, and in the Machinery Hall a chime of bells, that discourse fine music at all times of the day. In Horticultural Hall these is an immense organ, that plays its own tunes by electricity, and only requires a man to pump it. It represents a string and brass band, being an immense organ with horns, tenor drum, bass drum, and cymbals.

In Cincinnati we met a man from Indianapolis . He looked some like Mr. Nightingale. He was real lively and was acquainted in Philadelphia , which made it pleasant for us. In Washington we hired a carriage together, and boarded at the same house in Philadelphia . In the latter place we paid $1.50 a day for lodging, breakfast and supper. Took dinner on the grounds on the European plan; cost 30 to 35 cents. Sometimes we would go to the Landsdowne Valley Dairy Association, and get a good bowl of bread and milk for 15 cents.

There is a train of cars runs around the Park every few minutes, Fare, five cents the round trip. Did not find everything as high as represented. You have to give a 50-cent piece at the gates, but they change your money at the outside window, without any commission. We stopped at corner of Arch and Vine streets, No 1,117 Vine. Took the steam cars in the morning, distant about a block from us; fare 10 cts. And returned at night on the street cars, a distance of 4 or 5 miles; fare 7 cents. We visited Independence Hall, the Post Office, &c., &c. We … at night. (Last line of article is garbled)

(newspaper clipping found in a scrapbook at the Elmwood Historical Society, Elmwood , Illinois )


See also:  William H. Douglass’s Journal of this trip: Douglas Journey .



Links: William H. Douglas

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