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´╗┐Title: Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City
Author: McCabe, James Dabney, 1842-1883
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City" ***

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LIFE***



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF NEW YORK LIFE;
OR, THE SIGHTS AND SENSATIONS OF A GREAT CITY.


BY JAMES D. MCCABE, JR.

                [Picture: GENERAL VIEW OF NEW YORK CITY.]

                 [Picture: GRAND CENTRAL RAILWAY DEPOT.]

                          [Picture: TITLE PAGE.]

                            LIGHTS AND SHADOWS
                            OF NEW YORK LIFE;
                          SIGHTS AND SENSATIONS
                                    OF
                             THE GREAT CITY.

                        A WORK DESCRIPTIVE OF THE
               CITY OF NEW YORK IN ALL ITS VARIOUS PHASES;

                    WITH FULL AND GRAPHIC ACCOUNTS OF

          ITS SPLENDORS AND WRETCHEDNESS; ITS HIGH AND LOW LIFE;
          ITS MARBLE PALACES AND DARK DENS; ITS ATTRACTIONS AND
              DANGERS; ITS RINGS AND FRAUDS; ITS LEADING MEN
             AND POLITICIANS; ITS ADVENTURERS; ITS CHARITIES;
                      ITS MYSTERIES, AND ITS CRIMES.

                         BY JAMES D. MCCABE, JR.,

 AUTHOR OF "PARIS BY SUNLIGHT AND GASLIGHT," "HISTORY OF THE WAR BETWEEN
                               GERMANY AND
       FRANCE," "GREAT FORTUNES," "THE GREAT REPUBLIC," ETC., ETC.

     ILLUSTRATED WITH NUMEROUS FINE ENGRAVINGS OF NOTED PLACES, LIFE
                         AND SCENES IN NEW YORK.

    Issued by subscription only, and not for sale in the book stores.
                     Residents of any State desiring
 a copy should address the Publishers, and an Agent will call upon them.
                              See page 851.

                       NATIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY,

           PHILADELPHIA, PA.; CINCINNATI, OHIO; CHICAGO, ILL.;

                              ST. LOUIS, MO.

        Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
                               J. R. JONES,
     In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.



PREFACE.


It is the desire of every American to see New York, the largest and most
wonderful city in the Union.  To very many the city and its attractions
are familiar, and the number of these persons is increased by thousands
of new comers every year.  A still greater number, however, will know the
Great City only by the stories that reach them through their friends and
the newspapers.  They may never gaze upon its beauties, never enjoy its
attractions in person.  For their benefit I have written these pages, and
I have endeavored to present to them a faithful picture of the "Lights
and Shadows" of the life of this City, and to describe its "Sights and
Sensations" as they really exist.

This Great City, so wonderful in its beauty, so strange to eyes
accustomed only to the smaller towns of the land, is in all respects the
most attractive sight in America, and one of the most remarkable places
in the world, ranking next to London and Paris in the extent and variety
of its attractions.  Its magnificence is remarkable, its squalor
appalling.  Nowhere else in the New World are seen such lavish displays
of wealth, and such hideous depths of poverty.  It is rich in historical
associations and in treasures of art.  It presents a wonderful series of
combinations as well as contrasts of individual and national
characteristics.  It is richly worth studying by all classes, for it is
totally different from any other city in the world.  It is always fresh,
always new.  It is constantly changing, growing greater and more
wonderful in its power and splendors, more worthy of admiration in its
higher and nobler life, more generous in its charities, and more
mysterious and appalling in its romance and its crimes.  It is indeed a
wonderful city.  Coming fresh from plainer and more practical parts of
the land, the visitor is plunged into the midst of so much beauty,
magnificence, gayety, mystery, and a thousand other wonders, that he is
fairly bewildered.  It is hoped that the reader of these pages will be by
their perusal better prepared to enjoy the attractions, and to shun the
dangers of New York.  It has been my effort to bring home to those who
cannot see the city for themselves, its pleasures and its dangers, and to
enable them to enjoy the former without either the fatigue or expense
demanded of an active participant in them, and to appreciate the latter,
without incurring the risks attending an exploration of the shadowy side
of the Great City.

To those who intend visiting New York, whether they come as strangers, or
as persons familiar with it, the writer has a word to say, which he
trusts may be heeded.  An honest effort has been made in this work to
present the reader with a fair description of the dangers to which
visitors and citizens are alike exposed.  For the purpose of performing
this task, the writer made visits, in company with the police officials
of the city, to a number of the places described in this work, and he is
satisfied that no respectable person can with safety visit them, unless
provided with a similar protection.  The curiosity of all persons
concerning the darker side of city life can be fully satisfied by a
perusal of the sketches presented in this volume.  It is not safe for a
stranger to undertake to explore these places for himself.  No matter how
clever he may consider himself, no respectable man is a match for the
villains and sharpers of New York, and he voluntarily brings upon himself
all the consequences that will follow his entrance into the haunts of the
criminal and disreputable classes.  The city is full of danger.  The path
of safety which is pointed out in these pages is the only one for either
citizen or stranger--an absolute avoidance of the vicinity of sin.

Those who have seen the city will, I am sure, confirm the statements
contained herein, and will acknowledge the truthfulness of the picture I
have drawn, whatever they may think of the manner in which the work is
executed.

                                     J. D. MCC., JR.

   NEW YORK,

      _March_ 21_st_, 1872



CONTENTS.


                                 I.
                        THE CITY OF NEW YORK,                  33
   I.   HISTORICAL,                                            33
  II.   DESCRIPTIVE AND STATISTICAL,                           49

                                 II.
                       THE HARBOR OF NEW YORK,                 59

                                III.
                         THE CITY GOVERNMENT,                  64

                                IV.
                              THE RING,                        75
   I.   THE HISTORY OF THE RING,                               75
  II.   PERSONNEL OF THE RING,                                100

                                 V.
                              BROADWAY,                       118
   I.   HISTORICAL,                                           118
  II.   DESCRIPTIVE,                                          123

                                VI.
                             SOCIETY,                         135
   I.   ANALYTICAL,                                           135
  II.   FASHIONABLE EXTRAVAGANCE,                             141
 III.   FASHIONABLE FOLLIES,                                  153
  IV.   FASHIONABLE CHILDREN,                                 155
   V.   A FASHIONABLE BELLE,                                  157
  VI.   FASHIONABLE ENTERTAINMENTS,                           162
 VII.   MARRIAGE AND DEATH,                                   166

                                VII.
                        THE MUNICIPAL POLICE,                 171

                               VIII.
                             THE BOWERY,                      186

                                IX.
                           PUBLIC SQUARES,                    194
  I.   THE BATTERY,                                           194
 II.   THE BOWLING GREEN,                                     196
III.   THE PARK,                                              197
 IV.   OTHER PARKS,                                           200

                                X.
                         THE FIFTH AVENUE,                    204

                               XI.
                           STREET TRAVEL,                     211
   I.  THE STREET CARS,                                       211
  II.  THE STAGES,                                            216
 III.  STEAM RAILWAYS,                                        221

                              XII.
                         HORACE GREELEY,                      225

                             XIII.
                           THE TOMBS,                         232

                             XIV.
                           THE PRESS,                         244
   I.  THE DAILY JOURNALS,                                    244
  II.  THE WEEKLY PRESS,                                      255

                             XV.
                          WALL STREET,                        258
   I.  THE STREET,                                            258
  II.  THE STOCK EXCHANGE,                                    264
 III.  THE GOVERNMENT BOARD,                                  269
  IV.  THE GOLD EXCHANGE,                                     272
   V.  CURBSTONE BROKERS,                                     275
  VI.  THE BUSINESS OF THE STREET,                            276
 VII.  STOCK GAMBLING,                                        279
VIII.  THE WAYS OF THE STREET,                                284
  IX.  BLACK FRIDAY,                                          290

                             XVI.
                          THE FERRIES,                        299

                            XVII.
                          THE HOTELS,                         304

                            XVIII.
                           IMPOSTORS,                         316

                             XIX.
                       STREET MUSICIANS,                      324

                             XX.
                       THE CENTRAL PARK,                      332

                            XXI.
                        THE DETECTIVES,                       351
   I.   THE REGULAR FORCE,                                    351
  II.   PRIVATE DETECTIVES,                                   364

                           XXII.
                       WILLIAM B. ASTOR,                      372

                          XXIII.
                     FASHIONABLE SHOPPING,                    375

                           XXIV.
                        BLEECKER STREET,                      386

                            XXV.
                          CEMETERIES,                         390
   I.   GREENWOOD,                                            390
  II.   CYPRUS HILLS,                                         391
 III.   WOODLAWN,                                             392
  IV.   CALVARY, AND THE EVERGREENS,                          393

                            XXVI.
                          THE CLUBS,                          394

                           XXVII.
                        THE FIVE POINTS,                      398
   I.   LIFE IN THE SHADOW,                                   398
  II.   THE CELLARS,                                          405
 III.   THE MISSIONS,                                         412

                           XXVIII.
                        THE MILITARY,                         422

                            XXIX.
                        NASSAU STREET,                        426

                             XXX.
               THE METROPOLITAN FIRE DEPARTMENT,              430

                            XXXI.
                   THE BUSINESS OF NEW YORK,                  441

                            XXXII.
                    THE SABBATH IN NEW YORK,                  445

                           XXXIII.
                        THE POST OFFICE,                      448
   I.   INTERNAL ARRANGEMENTS,                                448
  II.   THE NEW POST OFFICE,                                  456
 III.   THE LETTER CARRIERS,                                  460

                            XXXIV.
                        A. T. STEWART,                        464

                            XXXV.
                     PLACES OF AMUSEMENT,                     470
   I.   THE THEATRES,                                         470
  II.   MINOR AMUSEMENTS,                                     485

                           XXXVI.
                         THE MARKETS,                         487

                          XXXVII.
                        THE CHURCHES,                         491
   I.   THE SACRED EDIFICES,                                  491
  II.   THE CLERGY,                                           498

                         XXXVIII.
                     BOARDING-HOUSE LIFE,                     502

                          XXXIX.
                       THE RESTAURANTS,                       508

                            XL.
                  THE CHEAP LODGING HOUSES,                   511

                           XLI.
                      THE LIBRARIES,                          513

                          XLII.
                     PROFESSIONAL MEN,                        519

                          XLIII.
                    PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS,                   522
   I.   THE THIEVES,                                          522
  II.   THE PICKPOCKETS,                                      531
 III.   THE FEMALE THIEVES,                                   533
  IV.   THE RIVER THIEVES,                                    534
   V.   THE FENCES,                                           539
  VI.   THE ROUGHS,                                           542

                               XLIV.
                         THE PAWNBROKERS,                     546

                                XLV.
                         THE BEER GARDENS,                    550

                               XLVI.
                          JAMES FISK, JR.,                    555

                               XLVII.
                           TRINITY CHURCH,                    565

                              XLVIII.
                            THE HOLIDAYS,                     572
   I.   NEW YEAR'S DAY,                                       572
  II.   CHRISTMAS,                                            577

                               XLIX.
                           THE SOCIAL EVIL,                   579
   I.   THE LOST SISTERHOOD,                                  579
  II.   HOUSES OF ASSIGNATION,                                587
 III.   THE STREET WALKERS,                                   589
  IV.   THE CONCERT SALOONS,                                  594
   V.   THE DANCE HOUSES,                                     597
  VI.   HARRY HILL'S,                                         600
 VII.   MASKED BALLS,                                         604
VIII.   PERSONALS,                                            611
  IX.   THE MIDNIGHT MISSION,                                 614

                                   L.
                             CHILD MURDER,                    618

                                   LI.
           THE EAST RIVER ISLANDS AND THEIR INSTITUTIONS,     631
   I.   BLACKWELL'S ISLAND,                                   631
  II.   WARD'S ISLAND,                                        640
 III.   RANDALL'S ISLAND,                                     641

                                  LII.
              BENEVOLENT AND CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS,         648

                                 LIII.
                         HENRY WARD BEECHER,                  655

                                  LIV.
                           BLACK-MAILING,                     658

                                  LV.
                           FEMALE SHARPERS,                   662
   I.   FORTUNE TELLERS AND CLAIRVOYANTS,                     662
  II.   MATRIMONIAL BROKERS,                                  664

                                 LVI.
                     EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS,              666
   I.   THE FREE SCHOOLS,                                     666
  II.   THE COLLEGES,                                         671

                                LVII.
                             JEROME PARK,                     675

                               LVIII.
                       COMMODORE VANDERBILT,                  677

                                LIX.
                            THE BUMMERS,                      680

                                 LX.
                         TENEMENT HOUSE LIFE,                 683

                                LXI.
                           CHATHAM STREET,                    699

                                LXII.
                        JAMES GORDON BENNETT,                 703

                               LXIII.
                            DRUNKENNESS,                      706

                                LXIV.
                 WHAT IT COSTS TO LIVE IN NEW YORK,           710

                                 LXV.
                              GAMBLING,                       715
   I.   FARO BANKS,                                           715
  II.   LOTTERIES,                                            726
 III.   POLICY DEALING,                                       728

                                LXVI.
                            PETER COOPER,                     731

                               LXVII.
                        THE "HEATHEN CHINEE,"                 734

                              LXVIII.
                          STREET CHILDREN,                    738

                               LXIX.
                             SWINDLERS,                       745

                                LXX.
                           ROBERT BONNER,                     756

                               LXXI.
                          PUBLIC BUILDINGS,                   759

                              LXXII.
                           PATENT DIVORCES,                   768

                              LXXIII.
                         CROTON WATER WORKS,                  774

                              LXXIV.
                            EXCURSIONS,                       778

                               LXXV.
                        SAILORS IN NEW YORK,                  782

                              LXXVI.
                            THE BALLET,                       789

                             LXXVII.
                       THE POOR OF NEW YORK,                  796
   I.   THE DESERVING POOR,                                   796
  II.   THE BEGGARS,                                          802

                             LXXVIII.
                          QUACK DOCTORS,                      805

                              LXXIX.
                YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION,            811

                               LXXX.
                          CASTLE GARDEN,                      816

                              LXXXI.
                          WORKING WOMEN,                      822

                             LXXXII.
                         STREET VENDERS,                      831

                            LXXXIII.
                           THE WHARVES,                       835

                             LXXXIV.
                            THE MORGUE,                       839

                              LXXXV.
                         THE CUSTOM HOUSE,                    843

                             LXXXVI.
                            MISSING,                          848



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


General View of New York City, showing the Bridge connecting
          it with Brooklyn....................................
Frontispiece.
Offices of the _Tribune_, _Times_, and
_World_............................  8
Grand Central Railway Depot.........................................  9
First Settlement of New York........................................ 37
New York in 1664.................................................... 45
Broadway, looking up from Exchange Place............................ 53
The City Hall Park in 1869.......................................... 56
The Harbor of New York, as seen from the Narrows.................... 60
A. Oakey Hall, Mayor of New York.................................... 81
William M. Tweed.................................................... 82
The New County Court House.......................................... 83
The Robbery of the Vouchers from the Comptroller's Office........... 94
Richard B. Connolly................................................ 104
Peter B. Sweeny.................................................... 105
Broadway, at the corner of Ann street.............................. 124
A. T. Stewart's Wholesale Store.................................... 125
New York Life Insurance Company's building, corner of
          Broadway and Leonard street.............................. 127
Broadway, as seen from the St. Nicholas Hotel...................... 129
Saturday Afternoon Concert at Central Park......................... 132
A Fashionable Promenade on Fifth avenue............................ 137
The German......................................................... 165
Female Prisoners in the Fourth Police Station...................... 176
A Winter Night Scene in a Police Station........................... 181
The Bowery......................................................... 189
The City Hall Park................................................. 198
The Washington Statue in Union Square.............................. 201
Fifth avenue, near Twenty-first street............................. 205
Junction of the Fifth avenue and Thirty-fourth street,
          showing the new residence of A. T. Stewart, Esq.......... 209
New Palace-car for City travel, in use on the Third avenue line.... 213
Tunnel under Broadway.............................................. 223
Horace Greeley......................................................231
The Tombs.......................................................... 233
The Bridge of Sighs................................................ 234
Interior of Male Prison............................................ 235
The Prison Chapel.................................................. 237
Court of Special Sessions.......................................... 240
"Black Maria"...................................................... 243
Printing House Square.............................................. 246
The Herald Office.................................................. 249
Wall street........................................................ 259
United States Sub-treasury......................................... 261
The Stock Exchange................................................. 265
The New York Stock Exchange Board in Session....................... 267
The Park Bank, Broadway............................................ 278
Scene in the Gold Room--Black Friday............................... 291
Broad street on Black Friday....................................... 296
The Astor House.................................................... 305
St. Nicholas Hotel................................................. 307
Fifth avenue Hotel................................................. 310
The Soldier Minstrel............................................... 323
View from the Upper Terrace........................................ 333
Foot-bridge in Central Park........................................ 335
The Marble Arch.................................................... 338
Vine-covered Walk, overlooking the Mall............................ 341
The Terrace, as seen from the Lake................................. 344
View on the Central Lake........................................... 346
A Female Shoplifter................................................ 376
A. T. Stewart's Retail Store....................................... 382
Lord and Taylor's Dry Goods Store.................................. 384
A Five Points Rum Shop............................................. 399
A Five Points Lodging Cellar....................................... 407
The Ladies' Five Points Mission.................................... 413
The Howard Mission (as it will appear when completed).............. 419
Nassau street...................................................... 427
Fire Alarm Signal-box.............................................. 435
A Fire in New York................................................. 438
The Old Post-office................................................ 449
The New Post-office................................................ 457
Booth's Theatre.................................................... 471
Grand Opera House.................................................. 474
Academy of Music................................................... 477
The Old Bowery Theatre............................................. 478
Washington Market.................................................. 488
The New St. Patrick's Cathedral.................................... 496
Union Square....................................................... 505
Lafayette Place.................................................... 514
Clinton Hall....................................................... 517
The occasional fate of New York Thieves............................ 525
The River Thieves.................................................. 537
A Fence Store in Chatham street.................................... 541
The Rough's Paradise............................................... 543
The Atlantic Garden................................................ 552
James Fisk, Jr..................................................... 557
Jay Gould.......................................................... 560
Trinity Church..................................................... 569
New Year's Calls................................................... 575
The result of following a Street Walker............................ 592
Noonday Prayer Meeting at Water street Home........................ 599
Harry Hill's Dance House........................................... 602
Scene in the Magdalen Asylum....................................... 616
Residence of the Keeper of the Almshouse........................... 632
Small-pox Hospital................................................. 633
Charity Hospital................................................... 634
New York Penitentiary.............................................. 635
Guard-boats........................................................ 636
Almshouse.......................................................... 637
The Workhouse...................................................... 639
House of Refuge: Randall's Island.................................. 642
Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane................................. 649
St. Luke's Hospital................................................ 650
Institution for the Blind.......................................... 652
Henry Ward Beecher................................................. 657
A New York Free School............................................. 667
The Free College of New York....................................... 669
University of New York............................................. 672
Columbia College................................................... 673
The Cooper Institute............................................... 674
Cornelius Vanderbilt............................................... 679
A New York Tenement House.......................................... 684
An inside View of a Tenement House................................. 688
Chatham Square..................................................... 700
James Gordon Bennett............................................... 705
A Female Drinker................................................... 708
A First-class Gambling House....................................... 717
The Skin Game...................................................... 723
Peter Cooper....................................................... 733
Chinese Candy Dealer............................................... 736
The Newsboys....................................................... 739
Attack on a Swindler............................................... 746
A Stranger's Exit from a "Cheap John Shop"......................... 752
The Pocket-book Game............................................... 754
Robert Bonner...................................................... 758
The City Hall...................................................... 760
Tammany Hall....................................................... 763
National Academy of Design......................................... 764
Steinway & Son's Piano Factory..................................... 765
The High Bridge.................................................... 775
The Fifth avenue Reservoir......................................... 776
U. S. Navy Yard, Brooklyn.......................................... 779
West Point......................................................... 780
New York Seamen's Exchange Building................................ 786
The Ballet......................................................... 790
The Poor in Winter................................................. 797
The City Missionary................................................ 800
Young Men's Christian Association Hall............................. 812
The Library........................................................ 814
The Battery and Castle Garden...................................... 817
Emigrant Hospital.................................................. 819
The Sewing-girl's Home............................................. 823
Stewart's Home for Working Women................................... 829
Street Venders..................................................... 832
Shoe Latchets...................................................... 832
"Glass put in!".................................................... 832
Balloon Man........................................................ 832
Boat Stores........................................................ 836
The Morgue......................................................... 840
The Custom House................................................... 844
The Fate of Hundreds of Young Men.................................. 849

           [Picture: OFFICES OF THE TRIBUNE, TIMES, AND WORLD.]



 I.  THE CITY OF NEW YORK


I.  HISTORICAL.


On the morning of the 1st of May, 1607, there knelt at the chancel of the
old church of St. Ethelburge, in Bishopsgate street, London, to receive
the sacrament, a man of noble and commanding presence, with a broad
intellectual forehead, short, close hair, and a countenance full of the
dignity and courtly bearing of an honorable gentleman.  His dress bespoke
him a sailor, and such he was.  Immediately upon receiving the sacrament,
he hastened from the church to the Thames, where a boat was in waiting to
convey him to a vessel lying in the stream.  But little time was lost
after his arrival on board, and soon the ship was gliding down the river.
The man was an Englishman by birth and training, a seaman by education,
and one of those daring explorers of the time who yearned to win fame by
discovering the new route to India.  His name was HENRY HUDSON, and he
had been employed by "certain worshipful merchants of London" to go in
search of a North-_east_ passage to India, around the Arctic shores of
Europe, between Lapland and Nova Zembla, and frozen Spitzbergen.  These
worthy gentlemen were convinced that since the effort to find a
North-_west_ passage had failed, nothing remained but to search for a
North-_east_ passage, and they were sure that if human skill or energy
could find it, Hudson would succeed in his mission.  They were not
mistaken in their man, for in two successive voyages he did all that
mortal could do to penetrate the ice fields beyond the North Cape, but
without success.  An impassable barrier of ice held him back, and he was
forced to return to London to confess his failure.  With unconquerable
hope, he suggested new means of overcoming the difficulties; but while
his employers praised his zeal and skill, they declined to go to further
expense in an undertaking which promised so little, and the "bold
Englishman, the expert pilot, and the famous navigator" found himself out
of employment.  Every effort to secure aid in England failed him, and,
thoroughly disheartened, he passed over to Holland, whither his fame had
preceded him.

The Dutch, who were more enterprising, and more hopeful than his own
countrymen, lent a ready ear to his statement of his plans, and the Dutch
East India Company at once employed him, and placed him in command of a
yacht of ninety tons, called the _Half Moon_, manned by a picked crew.
On the 25th of March, 1609, Hudson set sail in this vessel from
Amsterdam, and steered directly for the coast of Nova Zembla.  He
succeeded in reaching the meridian of Spitzbergen; but here the ice, the
fogs, and the fierce tempests of the North drove him back, and turning to
the westward, he sailed past the capes of Greenland, and on the 2nd of
July was on the banks of Newfoundland.  He passed down the coast as far
as Charleston Harbor, vainly hoping to find the North-_west_ passage, and
then in despair turned to the northward, discovering Delaware Bay on his
voyage.  On the 3rd of September he arrived off a large bay to the north
of the Delaware, and passing into it, dropped anchor "at two cables'
length from the shore," within Sandy Hook.  Devoting some days to rest,
and to the exploration of the bay, he passed through The Narrows on the
11th of September, and then the broad and beautiful "inner bay" burst
upon him in all its splendor, and from the deck of his ship he watched
the swift current of the mighty river rolling from the north to the sea.
He was full of hope now, and the next day continued his progress up the
river, and at nightfall cast anchor at Yonkers.  During the night the
current of the river turned his ship around, placing her head down
stream; and this fact, coupled with the assurances of the natives who
came out to the _Half Moon_ in their canoes, that the river flowed from
far beyond the mountains, convinced him that the stream flowed from ocean
to ocean, and that by sailing on he would at length reach India--the
golden land of his dreams.

Thus encouraged, he pursued his way up the river, gazing with wondering
delight upon its glorious scenery, and listening with gradually fading
hope to the stories of the natives who flocked to the water to greet him.
The stream narrowed, and the water grew fresh, and long before he
anchored below Albany, Hudson had abandoned the belief that he was in the
Northwest passage.  From the anchorage, a boat's crew continued the
voyage to the mouth of the Mohawk.  Hudson was satisfied that he had made
a great discovery--one that was worth fully as much as finding the new
route to India.  He was in a region upon which the white man's eye had
never rested before, and which offered the richest returns to commercial
ventures.  He hastened back to New York Bay, took possession of the
country in the name of Holland, and then set sail for Europe.  He put
into Dartmouth in England, on his way back, where he told the story of
his discovery.  King James I. prevented his continuing his voyage, hoping
to deprive the Dutch of its fruits; but Hudson took care to send his
log-book and all the ship's papers over to Holland, and thus placed his
employers in full possession of the knowledge he had gained.  The English
at length released the _Half Moon_, and she continued her voyage to the
Texel.

The discovery of Hudson was particularly acceptable to the Dutch, for the
new country was rich in fur-bearing animals, and Russia offered a ready
market for all the furs that could be sent there.  The East India
Company, therefore, refitted the _Half Moon_ after her return to Holland,
and despatched her to the region discovered by Hudson on a fur trading
expedition, which was highly successful.  Private persons also embarked
in similar enterprises, and within two years a prosperous and important
fur trade was established between Holland and the country along the
Mauritius, as the great river discovered by Hudson had been named, in
honor of the Stadtholder of Holland.  No government took any notice of
the trade for a while, and all persons were free to engage in it.

Among the adventurers employed in this trade was one Adrian Block, noted
as one of the boldest navigators of his time.  He made a voyage to
Manhattan Island in 1614, then the site of a Dutch trading post, and had
secured a cargo of skins with which he was about to return to Holland,
when a fire consumed both his vessel and her cargo, and obliged him to
pass the winter with his crew on the island.  They built them log huts on
the site of the present Beaver street, the first houses erected in New
York, and during the winter constructed a yacht of sixteen tons, which
Block called the _Onrust_--the "Restless."  In this yacht Block made many
voyages of discovery, exploring the coasts of Long Island Sound, and
giving his name to the island near the eastern end of the sound.  He soon
after went back to Europe.

Meanwhile, a small settlement had clustered about the trading post and
the huts built by Block's shipwrecked crew, and had taken the name of New
Amsterdam.  The inhabitants were well suited to become the ancestors of a
great nation.  They were mainly Dutch citizens of a European Republic,
"composed of seven free, sovereign States"--made so by a struggle with
despotism for forty years, and occupying a territory which their
ancestors had reclaimed from the ocean and morass by indomitable labor.
It was a republic where freedom of conscience, speech, and the press were
complete and universal.  The effect of this freedom had been the internal
development of social beauty and strength, and vast increment of
substantial wealth and power by immigration.  Wars and despotisms in
other parts of Europe sent thousands of intelligent exiles thither, and
those free provinces were crowded with ingenious mechanics, and artists,
and learned men, because conscience was there undisturbed, and the hand
and brain were free to win and use the rewards of their industry and
skill.  Beautiful cities, towns, and villages were strewn over the whole
country, and nowhere in Europe did society present an aspect half as
pleasing as that of Holland.  Every religious sect there found an asylum
from persecution and encouragement to manly effort, by the kind respect
of all.  And at the very time when the charter of the West India Company
was under consideration, that band of English Puritans who afterward set
up the ensign of free institutions on the shores of Massachusetts Bay,
were being nurtured in the bosom of that republic, and instructed in
those principles of civil liberty that became a salutary leaven in the
bigotry which they brought with them.

                 [Picture: First settlement of New York]

"Such were the people who laid the foundations of the Commonwealth of New
York.  They were men of expanded views, liberal feelings, and never
dreamed of questioning any man's inalienable right to 'life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness' among them, whether he first inspired the
common air in Holland, England, Abyssinia, or Kamtschatka.  And as the
population increased and became heterogeneous, that very toleration
became a reproach; and their Puritan neighbors on the east, and Churchmen
and Romanists on the south, called New Amsterdam 'a cage of unclean
birds.'"

The English, now awake to the importance of Hudson's discoveries, warned
the Dutch Government to refrain from making further settlements on
"Hudson's River," as they called the Mauritius; but the latter, relying
upon the justice of their claim, which was based upon Hudson's discovery,
paid no attention to these warnings, and in the spring of 1623 the Dutch
West India Company sent over thirty families of Walloons, or 110 persons
in all, to found a permanent colony at New Amsterdam, which, until now,
had been inhabited only by fur traders.  These Walloons were Protestants,
from the frontier between France and Flanders, and had fled to Amsterdam
to escape religious persecution in France.  They were sound, healthy,
vigorous, and pious people, and could be relied upon to make homes in the
New World.  The majority of them settled in New Amsterdam.  Others went
to Long Island, where Sarah de Rapelje, the first white child born in the
province of New Netherlands, saw the light.

In 1626, Peter Minuit, the first regular Governor, was sent over from
Holland.  He brought with him a _Koopman_ or general commissary, who was
also secretary of the province, and a _Schout_, or sheriff, to assist him
in his government.  The only laws to which he was subject were the
instructions of the West India Company.  The colonists, on their part,
were to regard his will as their law.  He set to work with great vigor to
lay the foundations of the colony.  He called a council of the Indian
chiefs, and purchased the Island of Manhattan from them for presents
valued at about twenty dollars, United States coin.  He thus secured an
equitable title to the island, and won the friendship of the Indians.
Under his vigorous administration, the colony prospered; houses were
built, farms laid off; the population was largely increased by new
arrivals from Europe; and New Amsterdam fairly entered upon its career as
one of the most important places in America.  It was a happy settlement,
as well; the rights of the people were respected, and they were as free
as they had been in Holland.  Troubles with the Indians marked the close
of Minuit's administration.  The latter were provoked by the murder of
some of their number by the whites, and by the aid rendered by the
commander at Fort Orange (Albany) to the Mohegans, in one of their forays
upon the Mohawks.  Many of the families at Fort Orange, and from the
region between the Hudson and the Delaware, abandoned their settlements,
and came to New Amsterdam for safety, thus adding to the population of
that place.  Minuit was recalled in 1632, and he left the province in a
highly prosperous condition.  During the last year of his government New
Amsterdam sent over $60,000 worth of furs to Holland.

His successor was the redoubtable Wouter Van Twiller, a clerk in the
company's warehouse at Amsterdam, who owed his appointment to his being
the husband of the niece of Killian Van Rensselaer, the patroon of
Albany.  Irving has given us the following admirable portrait of him:

"He was exactly five feet six inches in height, and six feet five inches
in circumference.  His head was a perfect sphere, and of such stupendous
dimensions, that dame Nature, with all her sex's ingenuity, would have
been puzzled to construct a neck capable of supporting it; wherefore she
wisely declined the attempt, and settled it firmly on the top of his back
bone, just between the shoulders.  His body was oblong, and particularly
capacious at bottom; which was wisely ordered by Providence, seeing that
he was a man of sedentary habits, and very averse to the idle labor of
walking.  His legs were very short, but sturdy in proportion to the
weight they had to sustain: so that, when erect, he had not a little the
appearance of a beer barrel on skids.  His face, that infallible index of
the mind, presented a vast expanse, unfurrowed by any of those lines and
angles which disfigure the human countenance with what is termed
expression.  Two small gray eyes twinkled feebly in the midst, like two
stars of lesser magnitude in a hazy firmament; and his full-fed cheeks,
which seemed to have taken toll of everything that went into his mouth,
were curiously mottled and streaked with dusky red, like a Spitzenberg
apple.  His habits were as regular as his person.  He daily took his four
stated meals, appropriating exactly an hour to each; he smoked and
doubted eight hours, and he slept the remaining twelve of the
four-and-twenty."

Van Twiller ruled the province seven years, and, in spite of his
stupidity, it prospered.  In 1633, Adam Roelantsen, the first
school-master, arrived--for the fruitful Walloons had opened the way by
this time for his labors--and in the same year a wooden church was built
in the present Bridge street, and placed in charge of the famous Dominie
Everardus Bogardus.  In 1635, the fort, which marked the site of the
present Bowling Green, and which had been begun in 1614, was finished,
and in the same year the first English settlers at New Amsterdam came
into the town.  The English in New England also began to give the Dutch
trouble during this administration, and even sent a ship into "Hudson's
River" to trade with the Indians.  Influenced by De Vries, the commander
of the fort, the Governor sent an expedition up the river after the
audacious English vessel, seized her, brought her back to New York, and
sent her to sea with a warning not to repeat her attempt.  The disputes
between the English and the Dutch about the Connecticut settlements, also
began to make trouble for New Amsterdam.  Van Twiller possessed no
influence in the colony, was laughed at and snubbed on every side, and
was at length recalled by the company in 1638.  The only memorial of Van
Twiller left to us is the Isle of Nuts, which lies in the bay between New
York and Brooklyn, and which he purchased as his private domain.  It is
still called the "Governor's Island."

Van Twiller's successor in the government of the province was William
Kieft.  He was as energetic as he was spiteful, and as spiteful as he was
rapacious.  His chief pleasure lay in quarrelling.  He and his council
made some useful reforms, but as a rule they greatly oppressed the
people.  During this administration agriculture was encouraged, the
growing of fruit was undertaken, and several other things done to
increase the material prosperity of the town.  The fort was repaired and
strengthened, new warehouses were built, and police ordinances were
framed and strictly executed.  The old wooden church was made a barrack
for troops, and a new and larger edifice of stone was constructed by
Kuyter and Dam within the walls of the fort.  Within the little tower
were hung the bells captured from the Spanish by the Dutch at Porto Rico.
The church cost $1000, and was considered a grand edifice.  In 1642 a
stone tavern was built at the head of Coenties Slip, and in the same
year, the first "city lots" with valid titles were granted to the
settlers.

The latter part of Kieft's administration was marked by contests with the
citizens, who compelled him, in 1641, to grant them a municipal council,
composed of twelve of the most prominent residents of New Amsterdam,
which council he arbitrarily dissolved at the first opportunity.  He also
stirred up a war with the Indians, in which he was the principal
aggressor.  This war brought great loss and suffering upon the province,
and came near ruining it.  Kieft, alarmed at the results of his folly,
appointed a new municipal council of eight members, and this council at
once demanded of the States General of Holland the removal of Kieft.
Their demand was complied with, and in 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was made
Governor of New Netherlands, and reached New Amsterdam in the same year.

Stuyvesant was essentially a strong man.  A soldier by education and of
long experience, he was accustomed to regard rigid discipline as the one
thing needful in every relation of life, and he was not slow to introduce
that system into his government of New Amsterdam.  He had served
gallantly in the wars against the Portuguese, and had lost a leg in one
of his numerous encounters with them.  He was as vain as a peacock, as
fond of display as a child, and thoroughly imbued with the most
aristocratic ideas--qualities not exactly the best for a Governor of New
Amsterdam.  Yet, he was, with all his faults, an honest man, he had
deeply at heart the interests of the colony, and his administration was
mainly a prosperous one.

He energetically opposed from the first all manifestations in favor of
popular government.  His will was to be the law of the province.  "If any
one," said he, "during my administration shall appeal, I will make him a
foot shorter, and send the pieces to Holland, and let him appeal in that
way."  He went to work with vigor to reform matters in the colony,
extending his efforts to even the morals and domestic affairs of the
people.  He soon brought about a reign of material prosperity greater
than had ever been known before, and exerted himself to check the
encroachments of the English, on the East, and the Swedes, on the South.
He inaugurated a policy of kindness and justice toward the Indians, and
soon changed their enmity to sincere friendship.  One thing, however, he
dared not do--he could not levy taxes upon the people without their
consent, for fear of offending the States General of Holland.  This
forced him to appoint a council of nine prominent citizens, and, although
he endeavored to hedge round their powers by numerous conditions, the
nine ever afterwards served as a salutary check upon the action of the
Governor.  He succeeded, in the autumn of 1650, in settling the boundary
disputes with the English in New England, and then turned his attention
to the Swedes on the Delaware, whom he conquered in 1654.  His politic
course towards them had the effect of converting them into warm friends
of the Dutch.  During his absence on this expedition, the Indians ravaged
the Jersey shore and Staten Island, and even made an attack on New
Amsterdam itself.  They were defeated by the citizens, and Stuyvesant's
speedy return compelled them to make peace.  This was the last blow
struck by the savages at the infant metropolis.

In 1652, the States General, much to the disgust of Stuyvesant, granted
to New Amsterdam a municipal government similar to that of the free
cities of Holland.  A Schout, or Sheriff, two Burgomasters, and five
Schepens, were to constitute a municipal court of justice.  The people,
however, were denied the selection of these officers, who were appointed
by the Governor.  In February, 1653, these officers were formally
installed.  They were, Schout Van Tienhoven, Burgomasters Hattem and
Kregier, and Schepens Van der Grist, Van Gheel, Anthony, Beeckman, and
Couwenhoven, with Jacob Kip as clerk.

During Stuyvesant's administration, the colony received large accessions
from the English in New England.  "Numbers, nay whole towns," says De
Laet, "to escape from the insupportable government of New England,
removed to New Netherlands, to enjoy that liberty denied to them by their
own countrymen."  They settled in New Amsterdam, on Long Island, and in
Westchester county.  Being admitted to the rights of citizenship, they
exercised considerable influence in the affairs of the colony, and
towards the close of his administration gave the Governor considerable
trouble by their opposition to his despotic acts.

In 1647, the streets of New Amsterdam were cleared of the shanties and
pig-pens which obstructed them.  In 1648, every Monday was declared a
market-day.  In 1650, Dirk Van Schellyne, the first lawyer, "put up his
shingle" in New Amsterdam.  In 1652, a wall or palisade was erected along
the upper boundary of the city, in apprehension of an invasion by the
English.  This defence ran from river to river, and to it Wall street,
which occupies its site east of Trinity Church, owes its name.  In 1656,
the first survey of the city was made, and seventeen streets were laid
down on the map; and, in the same year, the first census showed a "city"
of 120 houses, and 1000 inhabitants.  In 1657, a terrible blow fell upon
New Amsterdam--the public treasury being empty, the salary of the town
drummer could not be paid.  In that year the average price of the best
city lots was $50.  In 1658, the custom of "bundling" received its death
blow by an edict of the Governor, which forbade men and women to live
together until legally married.  In that year the streets were first
paved with stone, and the first "night watch" was organized and duly
provided with rattles.  A fire department, supplied with buckets and
ladders, was also established, and the first public well was dug in
Broadway.  In 1660, it was made the duty of the Sheriff to go round the
city by night to assure himself of its peace and safety.  This worthy
official complained that the dogs, having no respect for his august
person, attacked him in his rounds, and that certain evil-minded
individuals "frightened" him by calling out "Indians" in the darkness,
and that even the boys cut _Koeckies_.  The city grew steadily, its
suburbs began to smile with boweries, or farms, and in 1658 a palisaded
village called New Harlem was founded at the eastern end of Manhattan
Island for the purpose of "promoting agriculture, and affording a place
of amusement for the citizens of New Amsterdam."  "Homes, genuine, happy
Dutch homes, in abundance, were found within and without the city, where
uncultured minds and affectionate hearts enjoyed life in dreamy, quiet
blissfulness, unknown in these bustling times.  The city people then rose
at dawn, dined at eleven, and went to bed at sunset, except on
extraordinary occasions, such as Christmas Eve, a tea party, or a
wedding.  Then those who attended the fashionable soirees of the 'upper
ten' assembled at three o'clock in the afternoon, and went away at six,
so that daughter Maritchie might have the pewter plates and delf teapot
cleaned and cupboarded in time for evening prayer at seven.  Knitting and
spinning held the places of whist and flirting in these 'degenerate
days;' and _utility_ was as plainly stamped on all their pleasures as the
maker's name on our silver spoons."

But the period of Dutch supremacy on Manhattan was approaching its close.
Charles II. had just regained the English throne.  In 1664, with
characteristic disregard of right and justice, he granted to his brother
James, Duke of York and Albany, the whole territory of New Netherlands,
including all of Long Island and a part of Connecticut--lands to which he
had not the shadow of a claim.  In the same year, a force of four ships
and 450 soldiers, under the command of Colonel Richard Nicholls, was sent
to New Amsterdam to take possession of that city.  It arrived at the
Narrows about the 29th of August, and on the 30th, Nicholls demanded the
surrender of the town.  Stuyvesant, who had made preparations for
defending the place, endeavored to resist the demand, but the people
refused to sustain him, and he was obliged to submit.  On the 8th of
September, 1664, he withdrew the Dutch garrison from the fort, and
embarked at the foot of Beaver street for Holland.  The English at once
took possession of the town and province, changing the name of both to
New York, in honor of the new proprietor.

                       [Picture: New York in 1664]

The English set themselves to work to conciliate the Dutch residents, a
task not very difficult, inasmuch as the English settlers already in the
province had to a great degree prepared the way for the change.  In 1665,
the year after the conquest, the city was given a Mayor, a Sheriff, and a
board of Aldermen, who were charged with the administration of municipal
affairs, and in the same year jury trials were formally established.  In
July, 1673, the Dutch fleet recaptured the town, drove out the English,
and named it New Orange.  The peace between Great Britain and Holland,
which closed the war, restored the town to the English, November 10th,
1674, and the name of New York was resumed.  The Dutch Government was
replaced by the English system under a liberal charter, and during the
remainder of the seventeenth century the town grew rapidly in population
and size.  In 1689 there was a brief disturbance known as Leislers'
Rebellion.  In 1700 New York contained 750 dwellings and 4500 white and
750 black inhabitants.  In 1693 William Bradford established the first
printing press in the city.  In 1696 Trinity Church was begun, and in
1697, the streets were first lighted, a lamp being hung out upon a pole
extending from the window of every seventh house.  In 1702 a terrible
fever was brought from St. Thomas', and carried off 600 persons,
one-tenth of the whole population.  In 1711, a slave market was
established.  In 1719 the first Presbyterian Church was built; in 1725
the New York _Gazette_, the fifth of the colonial newspapers, was
established; and in 1730 stages ran to Philadelphia once a fortnight, and
in 1732 to Boston, the latter journey occupying fourteen days.  In 1731
the first public library, the bequest of the Rev. Dr.  Wellington, of
England, was opened in the city.  It contained 1622 volumes.  In 1734 a
workhouse was erected in the present City Hall Park.  In 1735 the people
made their first manifestation of hostility to Great Britain, which was
drawn forth by the infamous prosecution by the officers of the crown, of
Rip Van Dam, who had been the acting Governor of the town.  The winter of
1740-41 was memorable for its severity.  The Hudson was frozen over at
New York, and the snow lay six feet on a level.  In 1741, a severe fire
in the lower part of the city destroyed among other things the old Dutch
Church and fort, and in the same year the yellow fever raged with great
violence.  The principal event of the year, however, was the so-called
negro plot for the destruction of the town.  Though the reality of the
plot was never proved, the greatest alarm prevailed; the fire in the fort
was declared to be the work of the negroes, many of whom were arrested;
and upon the sole evidence of a servant girl a number of the poor
wretches were convicted and hanged.  Several whites were charged with
being the accomplices of the negroes.  One of these, John Ury, a Roman
Catholic priest, and, as is now believed, an innocent man, was hanged, in
August.  In the space of six months 154 negroes and twenty whites were
arrested, twenty negroes were hanged, thirteen were burned at the stake,
and seventy-eight were transported.  The rest were released.  In 1750 a
theatre was opened, and in 1755 St. Paul's Church was erected.  In 1754
the "Walton House," in Pearl street (still standing), was built by
William Walton, a merchant.  It was long known as the finest private
residence in the city.  In 1755 the Staten Island ferry, served by means
of row boats, was established, and in the same year Peck Slip was opened
and paved.  In 1756 the first lottery ever seen in the city was opened in
behalf of King's (now Columbia) College.

New York bore a prominent part in the resistance of the colonies to the
aggressions of the mother country, and in spite of the efforts of her
royalist Governor and the presence of a large number of Tories, responded
cordially to the call of the colonies for men and money during the war.
On the 14th of April, 1776, the city was occupied by the American army,
the British force stationed there being obliged to withdraw.  On the 26th
of August, 1776, the battle of Long Island having been lost by the
Americans, New York was occupied by the British, who held it until the
close of the war.  It suffered very much at their hands.  Nearly all the
churches, except the Episcopal, were used by them as prisons, riding
schools, and stables; and the schools and colleges were closed.  On the
21st of September, 1776, a fire destroyed 493 houses, including Trinity
Church--all the west side of Broadway from Whitehall to Barclay street,
or about one-eighth of the city; and on the 7th of August 1778, about 300
buildings on East River were burned.  The winter of 1779-80 was very
severe; there was a beaten track for sleighs and wagons across the
Hudson; the ice in that river being strong enough to bear a horse and man
as late as the 17th of March; eighty sleighs, with provisions, and a
large body of troops, crossed on the ice from the city to Staten Island.
On the 25th of November, 1783, the British evacuated the city, which was
at once occupied by the American army.

In 1785 the first Federal Congress met in the City Hall, which stood at
the corner of Wall and Nassau streets, and on the 30th of April, 1789,
George Washington was inaugurated first President of the United States on
the same spot.  By 1791 New York had spread to the lower end of the
present City Hall Park, the site of the new Post Office, and was
extending along the Boston road, or Bowery, and Broadway.  In 1799, the
Manhattan Company for supplying the city with fresh water was chartered.
On the 20th of September, 1803, the cornerstone of the City Hall was
laid.  The city fathers, sagely premising that New York would never pass
this limit, ordered the rear wall of the edifice to be constructed of
brown stone, to save the expense of marble.  Free schools were opened in
1805.  In the same year the yellow fever raged with violence, and had the
effect of extending the city by driving the population up the island,
where many of them located themselves permanently.  In 1807, Robert
Fulton navigated the first steamboat from New York to Albany.

The war of 1812-15 for a while stopped the growth of the city, but after
the return of peace its progress was resumed.  In August, 1812,
experimental gas lamps were placed in the City Hall Park, though the use
of gas for purposes of lighting was not begun until 1825.  In 1822 the
yellow fever again drove the population up the island, and caused a rapid
growth of the city above Canal street.  In 1825 the Erie Canal was
completed.  This great work, by placing the trade of the West in the
hands of New York, gave a powerful impetus to the growth of the city,
which was at that time spreading at the rate of from 1000 to 1500 houses
per year.  In 1832 and 1834, the cholera raged severely, carrying off
upwards of 4484 persons in the two years.  In 1835, the "great fire"
occurred.  This terrible conflagration broke out on the 16th of December
of that year, and swept the First Ward of the city east of Broadway and
below Wall street.  It laid almost the entire business quarter in ashes,
destroyed 648 houses, and inflicted upon the city a loss of over
$18,000,000.  New York rose from this disaster with wonderful energy and
rapidity, but only to meet, in 1837, the most terrible financial crisis
that had ever burst upon the country.  Even this did not check the growth
of the city, the population increasing 110,100 between 1830 and 1840.  In
1842 the Croton water was introduced.  In 1849 and 1854 the cholera again
appeared, killing over 5400 persons.  In 1852, the first street railway
was built.  In 1858, the Central Park was begun.

The Civil War checked the growth and trade of the city, which languished
during the entire struggle, but upon the return of peace New York resumed
its onward progress.  The growth of the city since 1865 has been most
marked, especially in the immediate vicinity of the Central Park.  Not
less marked has been the improvement of the older portions.  The city is
rapidly increasing in size, population, and magnificence, and is fully
maintaining its position as the brilliant metropolis of the New World.



II.  DESCRIPTIVE AND STATISTICAL.


The city of New York, the largest and most important in the United
States, is situated in New York County, on Manhattan Island, at the mouth
of the Hudson River, eighteen miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  The city
limits comprise the entire county of New York, embracing Manhattan
Island, Randall's, Ward's, and Blackwell's Islands, in the East River,
and Governor's, Bedloe's, and Ellis' Islands, in the bay.  The last three
are occupied by the military posts of the United States Government.
Manhattan Island is bounded on the north by Spuyten Duyvel Creek and the
Harlem River--practically the same stream; on the east by the East River,
on the west by the Hudson, and on the south by New York Bay.  It is nine
miles long on the east side, thirteen and a half miles long on the west
side, and two and a half miles wide at its greatest breadth, the average
breadth being a mile and a half.  It is but a few feet in width at its
southern extremity, but spreads out like a fan as it stretches away to
the northward.  The southern point is but a few inches above the level of
the bay, but the island rises rapidly to the northward, its extreme
northern portion being occupied by a series of bold, finely wooded
heights, which terminate at the junction of the Hudson River and Spuyten
Duyvel Creek, in a bold promontory, 130 feet high.  These hills, known as
Washington Heights, are two or three miles in length.  The southern
portion of the island is principally a sand-bed, but the remainder is
very rocky.  The island covers an area of twenty-two square miles, or
14,000 acres.  It is built up compactly for about six miles, along the
east side, and irregularly to Harlem, three miles farther.  Along the
west side it is built up compactly to the Central Park, Fifty-ninth
street, and irregularly to Manhattanville, One hundred and twenty-fifth
street, from which point to Spuyten Duyvel Creek it is covered with
country seats, gardens, etc.  Three wagon, and two railroad bridges over
the Harlem River connect the island with the mainland, and numerous lines
of ferries afford communication with Long and Staten Islands, and New
Jersey.  The island attains its greatest width at Fourteenth and
Eighty-seventh streets.

The city is finely built, and presents an aspect of industry and
liveliness unsurpassed by any place in the world.  Lying in full sight of
the ocean, with its magnificent bay to the southward, and the East and
Hudson Rivers washing its shores, the city of New York possesses a
climate which renders it the most delightful residence in America.  In
the winter the proximity of the sea moderates the severity of the cold,
and in the summer the heat is tempered by the delightful sea breezes
which sweep over the island.  Snow seldom lies in the streets for more
than a few hours, and the intense "heated terms" of the summer are of
very brief duration.  As a natural consequence, the city is healthy, and
the death rate, considering the population, is small.

The southern portion is densely built up.  Between the City Hall and
Twenty-third street New York is more thickly populated than any city in
America.  It is in this section that the "tenement houses," or buildings
containing from five to twenty families, are to be found.  The greatest
mortality is in these over-crowded districts, which the severest police
measures cannot keep clean and free from filth.  The southern portion of
the city is devoted almost exclusively to trade, comparatively few
persons residing below the City Hall.  Below Canal street the streets are
narrow, crooked, and irregular.  Above Houston street they are broad and
straight, and are laid out at regular intervals.  Above Houston street,
the streets extending across the island are numbered.  The avenues begin
in the vicinity of Third street, and extend, or will extend to the
northern limit of the island, running parallel with the Hudson River.
There are twelve fine avenues at parallel distances apart of about 800
feet.  Second and Eighth are the longest, and Fifth, Madison and
Lexington the most fashionable.  They commence with Avenue D, a short
street, near the East River.  West of this, and parallel with it, are
three avenues somewhat longer, called Avenues C, B, and A, the last being
the most westerly.  Then begin the long avenues, which are numbered
First, Second, and so on, as they increase to the westward.  There are
two other avenues shorter than those with numbers, viz: Lexington, lying
between Third and Fourth, and extending from Fourteenth street on the
south to Sixty-ninth street on the north; and Madison, between Fourth and
Fifth, and extending from Twenty-third street at Madison Square to
Eighty-sixth street.  Madison and Lexington are each to be prolonged to
the Harlem River.  These avenues are all 100 feet wide, except Lexington
and Madison, which are seventy-five feet wide, and Fourth avenue, above
Thirty-fourth street, which is 140 feet wide.  Third avenue is the main
street on the east side above the Bowery, of which it is a continuation,
and Eighth avenue is the principal highway on the west side.  Fifth and
Madison avenues are the most fashionable, and are magnificently built up
with private residences below the Park.  The cross streets connecting
them are also handsomely built.

The numerical streets are all sixty feet wide, except Fourteenth,
Twenty-third, Thirty-fourth, Forty-second, and eleven others north of
these, which are 100 feet wide.  The streets of the city are well laid
off, and are paved with an excellent quality of stone.  The sidewalks
generally consist of immense stone "flags."  In the lower part of the
city, in the poorer and business sections, the streets are dirty and
always out of order.  In the upper part they are clean, and are generally
kept so by private contributions.

The avenues on the eastern and western extremities of the city are the
abodes of poverty and want, and often of vice, hemming in the wealthy and
cleanly sections on both sides.  Poverty and riches are close neighbors
in New York.  Only a stone's throw back of the most sumptuous parts of
Broadway and Fifth avenue, want and suffering, vice and crime, hold their
courts.  Fine ladies can look down from their high casements upon the
squalid dens of their unfortunate sisters.

Broadway is the principal thoroughfare.  It extends from the Battery to
Spuyten Duyvel Creek, a distance of fifteen miles.  It is built up
compactly for about five miles, is paved and graded for about seven
miles, and is lighted with gas along its entire length.  There are over
420 miles of streets in the patrol districts, and eleven miles of piers
along the water.  The sewerage is generally good, but defective in some
places.  Nearly 400 miles of water-mains have been laid.  The streets are
lighted by about 19,000 gas lamps, besides lamps set out by private
parties.  They are paved with the Belgian and wooden pavements, cobble
stones being almost a thing of the past.  For so large a city, New York
is remarkably clean, except in those portions lying close to the river,
or given up to paupers.

The city is substantially built.  Frame houses are rare.  Many of the old
quarters are built of brick, but this material is now used to a limited
extent only.  Broadway and the principal business streets are lined with
buildings of iron, marble, granite, brown, Portland, and Ohio stone,
palatial in their appearance; and the sections devoted to the residences
of the better classes are built up mainly with brown, Portland, and Ohio
stone, and in some instances with marble.  Thus the city presents an
appearance of grandeur and solidity most pleasing to the eye.  The public
buildings will compare favorably with any in the world, and there is no
city on the globe that can boast so many palatial warehouses and stores.
Broadway is one of the best built thoroughfares in the world.  The stores
which line it are generally from five to six stories high above ground,
with two cellars below the pavement, and vaults extending to near the
middle of the street.  The adjacent streets in many instances rival
Broadway in their splendors.  The stores of the city are famous for their
elegance and convenience, and for the magnificence and variety of the
goods displayed in them.  The streets occupied by private residences are
broad, clean and well-paved, and are lined with miles of dwellings
inferior to none in the world in convenience and substantial elegance.
The amount of wealth and taste concentrated in the dwellings of the
better classes of the citizens of New York is very great.

           [Picture: BROADWAY, LOOKING UP FROM EXCHANGE PLACE]

The population of New York, in 1870, according to the United States
census of that year, was 942,337.  There can be no doubt that at the
present time the island contains over 1,000,000 _residents_.  Thousands
of persons doing business in New York reside in the vicinity, and enter
and leave the city at morning and evening, and thousands of strangers, on
business and pleasure, come and go daily.  It is estimated that the
actual number of people in the city about the hour of noon is nearly, if
not fully, one million and a half.  According to the census of 1870, the
actual population consisted of 929,199 white and 13,153 colored persons.
The native population was 523,238, and the foreign population 419,094.
The nationality of the principal part of the foreign element was as
follows:


From                                Number of persons.
Germany                             151222
Ireland                             201999
England                             24432
Scotland                            7554
France                              8267
Belgium                             328
Holland                             1237
British America and Canada          4338
Cuba                                1293
China                               115
Denmark                             682
Italy                               2790
Mexico                              64
Norway                              373
Poland                              2392
Portugal                            92
Russia                              1139
South America                       213
Spain                               464
Sweden                              1569
Switzerland                         2169
Turkey                              38
Wales                               587
West Indies                         487


Besides those mentioned in this table, are representatives of every
nationality under heaven, in greater or less strength.  It will be seen
that the native population is in the excess.  The increase of natives
between 1860 and 1870, was 93,246.  The Germans increased in the same
period at the rate of 32,936; while the Irish population fell off 1701 in
the same decade.  The foreign classes frequently herd together by
themselves, in distinct parts of the city, which they seem to regard as
their own.  In some sections are to be found whole streets where the
inhabitants do not understand English, having no occasion to use it in
their daily life.

In 1869, there were 13,947 births, 8695 marriages, and 24,601 deaths
reported by the city authorities.  The authorities stated that they were
satisfied that the number of births was actually over 30,000; the number
reported by them being very incomplete, owing to the difficulty of
procuring such information.

Its mixed population makes New York a thoroughly cosmopolitan city, yet
at the same time it is eminently American.  The native element exercises
a controlling influence upon all its acts, and when the proper exertion
is made rarely fails to maintain its ascendancy.

The number of buildings in the city is from 60,000 to 70,000.  In 1860,
out of 161,000 families only 15,000 occupied entire houses.  Nine
thousand one hundred and twenty dwellings contained two families each,
and 6100 contained three families each.  After these come the tenement
houses.  At present, the number of houses occupied by more than one
family is even larger.

It has been well said that "New York is the best place in the world to
take the conceit out of a man."  This is true.  No matter how great or
flattering is the local reputation of an individual, he finds upon
reaching New York that he is entirely unknown.  He must at once set to
work to build up a reputation here, where he will be taken for just what
he is worth, and no more.  The city is a good school for studying human
nature, and its people are proficients in the art of discerning
character.

In point of morality, the people of New York, in spite of all that has
been said of them, compare favorably with those of any other city.  If
the darkest side of life is to be seen here, one may also witness the
best.  The greatest scoundrels and the purest Christians are to be found
here.  It is but natural that New York, being the great centre of wealth,
should also be the great centre of all that is good and beautiful in
life.  It is true that the Devil's work is done here on a gigantic scale,
but the will of the Lord is done on an equally great, if not a greater
scale.

           [Picture: THE CITY HALL PARK AS IT APPEARED IN 1869]

In its charities, New York stands at the head of American
communities--the great heart of the city throbs warmly for suffering
humanity.  The municipal authorities expend annually about one million of
dollars in public charities.  The various religious denominations spend
annually about five millions more, and private benevolence disburses a
sum of which no record is to be had--but it is large.  Besides this, the
city is constantly sending out princely sums to relieve want and
suffering in all parts of our broad land.  New York never turns a deaf
ear to an appeal for aid.

The people of New York are very liberal in matters of opinion.  Here, as
a general rule, no man seeks to influence the belief of another, except
so far as all men are privileged to do so.  Every religious faith, every
shade of political opinion, is protected and finds full expression.  Men
concern themselves with their own affairs only.  Indeed this feeding has
been carried to such an extreme that it has engendered a decided
indifference between man and man.  People live for years as next door
neighbors without ever knowing each other by sight.  A gentleman once
happened to notice the name of his next door neighbor on the door-plate.
To his surprise he found it the same as his own.  Accosting the owner of
the door-plate one day, for the first time, he remarked that it was
singular that two people bearing the same name should live side by side
for years without knowing each other.  This remark led to mutual
inquiries and statements, and to their surprise the two men found they
were brothers--sons of the same parents.  They had not met for many
years, and for fully twelve years had lived side by side as neighbors,
without knowing each other.  This incident may be overdrawn, but it will
illustrate a peculiar feature of New York life.

Strangers coming to New York are struck with the fact that there are but
two classes in the city--the poor and the rich.  The middle class, which
is so numerous in other cities, hardly exists at all here.  The reason of
this is plain to the initiated.  Living in New York is so expensive that
persons of moderate means reside in the suburbs, some of them as far as
forty miles in the country.  They come into the city, to their business,
in crowds, between the hours of seven and nine in the morning, and
literally pour out of it between four and seven in the evening.  In fair
weather the inconvenience of such a life is trifling, but in the winter
it is absolutely fearful.  A deep snow will sometimes obstruct the
railroad tracks, and persons living outside of the city are either unable
to leave New York or are forced to spend the night on the cars.  Again,
the rivers will be so full of floating ice as to render it very
dangerous, if not impossible, for the ferry boats to cross.  At such
times the railroad depots and ferry houses are crowded with persons
anxiously awaiting transportation to their homes.  The detention in New
York, however, is not the greatest inconvenience caused by such mishaps.

To persons of means, New York offers more advantages as a place of
residence than any city in the land.  Its delightful climate, its
cosmopolitan and metropolitan character, and the endless variety of its
attractions and comforts, render it the most delightful home in America.
Its people are warmly attached to and proud of it, and even strangers
feel drawn towards it as to no other city save their own homes.  Few
persons care to leave it after a twelve-months' residence within its
limits, and those who are forced to go away generally find their way back
at the earliest opportunity.



II.  THE HARBOR OF NEW YORK.


The bay and harbor of New York are noted the world over for their beauty.
When the discoverer, Henry Hudson, first gazed upon the glorious scene,
he gave vent to the impulsive assertion that it was "a very good land to
fall in with, and a pleasant land to see," and there are few who will
venture to differ from him.

To enjoy the wonderful beauty of the bay, one should enter it from the
ocean; and it is from the blue water that we propose to begin our
exploration.

Nineteen miles from the City of New York, on the western side of the bay,
is a low, narrow, and crooked neck of sand, covered in some places with a
dense growth of pine and other hardy trees.  This neck is called Sandy
Hook, and its curve encloses a pretty little bay, known as the Cove.  On
the extreme end of the point, which commands the main ship channel, the
General Government is erecting a powerful fort, under the guns of which
every vessel entering the bay must pass.  There is also a lighthouse near
the fort, and within the last few years a railway depot has been built on
the shore of the Cove.  Passengers from New York for Long Branch are
transferred from the steamer to the cars at this place, the road running
along the sea-shore to Long Branch.  To the westward of Sandy Hook, on
the Jersey shore, are the finely wooded and picturesque Highlands of
Nevesink, and at their feet the Shrewsbury River flows into the bay,
while some miles to the eastward are the shining sands and white houses
of Rockaway Beach and Fire Island.  Seven miles out at sea, tosses the
Sandy Hook Light Ship, marking the point from which vessels must take
their course in entering the bay.

Leaving Sandy Hook, our course is a little to the northwest.  The New
Jersey shore is on our left, and we can see the dim outlines of Port
Monmouth and Perth Amboy and South Amboy in the far distance, while to
the right Coney Island and its hotels are in full sight.  Back of these
lie the low shores of Long Island, dotted with pretty suburban villas and
villages.  A few miles above Sandy Hook we pass the Quarantine station in
the Lower Bay, with the fleet of detained vessels clustering about the
hospital ships.

       [Picture: THE HARBOR OF NEW YORK, AS SEEN FROM THE NARROWS]

Straight ahead, on our left, is a bold headland, sloping away from east
to west, towards the Jersey coast.  This is Staten Island, a favorite
resort for New Yorkers, and taken up mainly with their handsome country
seats.  The bay here narrows rapidly, and the shores of Staten and Long
Islands are scarcely a mile apart.  This passage is famous the world over
as _The Narrows_, and connects the Inner and Lower Bays.  The shores are
high on either side, but the Staten Island side is a bold headland, the
summit of which is over one hundred feet above the water.  These high
shores constitute the protection which the Inner Bay enjoys from the
storms that howl along the coast.  It is to them also that New York must
look for protection in the event of a foreign war.  Here are the
principal fortifications of the city, and whichever way we turn the
shores bristle with guns.  On the Long Island shore is Fort Hamilton, an
old but powerful work, begun in 1824, and completed in 1832, at a cost of
$550,000.  The main work mounts eighty heavy guns; but since the Civil
War, additional batteries, some of them armed with Rodman guns, have been
erected.  A little above Fort Hamilton, and a few hundred yards from the
shore, is Fort Lafayette, built on a shoal known as Hendricks' Reef.  It
was begun during the war of 1812, cost $350,000, and was armed with
seventy-three guns.  It was used during the Civil War as a jail for
political prisoners.  In December, 1868, it was destroyed by fire, and
the Government is now rebuilding it upon a more formidable scale.  The
Staten Island shore is lined with guns.  At the water's edge is a
powerful casemated battery, known as Fort Tompkins, mounting forty heavy
guns.  The bluff above is crowned with a large and formidable looking
work, also of granite, known as Fort Richmond, mounting one hundred and
forty guns.  To the right and left of the fort, are Batteries Hudson,
Morton, North Cliff, and South Cliff; mounting about eighty guns of heavy
calibre.  It is stated that the new work on Sandy Hook will be armed with
two hundred guns, which will make the defensive armament of the Lower Bay
and Narrows over six hundred and thirteen guns, which, together with the
fleet of war vessels that could be assembled for the protection of the
city, would render the capture of New York by an enemy's fleet a
hazardous, if not impracticable, undertaking.

Passing through _The Narrows_, we enter the Inner Bay.  New York,
Brooklyn and Jersey City are in full sight to the northward, with the
Hudson stretching away in the distance.  The bay is crowded with shipping
of all kinds, from the fussy little tug-boat to the large, grim-looking
man-of-war.  As we sail on, the scene becomes more animated.  On the left
are the picturesque heights of Staten Island, dotted thickly with
country-seats, cottages, and pretty towns, and on the left the
heavily-wooded shores of Long Island abound with handsome villas.

Soon Staten Island is passed, and we see the white lighthouse standing
out in the water, which marks the entrance to the Kill Van Kull, or
Staten Island Sound; and, far to the westward, we can faintly discern the
shipping at Elizabethport.  We are now fairly in the harbor of New York,
with the great city directly in front of us, Brooklyn on our right, and
Jersey City on our left.  To the northward, the line of the Hudson melts
away in the distant blue sky, and to the right the East River is lost in
the shipping and houses of the two cities it separates.  The scene is gay
and brilliant.  The breeze is fresh and delightful; the sky as clear and
blue as that of Italy, and the bay as bright and beautiful as that of
Naples, and even more majestic.  As far as the eye can reach on either
side of the Hudson extend the long lines of shipping, while the East
River is a perfect forest of masts.  Here are steamboats and steamships,
sailing vessels, barges, and canal boats--every sort of craft known to
navigation.  The harbor is gay with the flags of all nations.  Dozens of
ferry boats are crossing and recrossing from New York to the opposite
shores.  Ships are constantly entering and leaving port, and the whole
scene bears the impress of the energy and activity that have made New
York the metropolis of America.

At night the scene is indescribably beautiful.  The myriad stars in the
sky above are reflected in the dark bosom of the harbor.  The dim
outlines of the shores are made more distinct by the countless rows of
lights that line them, and the many colored lamps of the ferry-boats, as
they dart back and forth over the waters, give to the scene a sort of
gala appearance.

There are several islands in the harbor, which have been entirely given
up to the United States Government for military purposes.  The largest of
these is Governor's Island, formerly the property of the redoubtable
Wouter Van Twiller, and still called after him.  It lies midway between
New York and Brooklyn, at the mouth of the East River.  It embraces an
area of seventy-two acres, and is one of the principal military posts in
the harbor.  Fort Columbus, in the centre of the island, is the principal
work.  Castle William, on the west end, is a semi-circular work, with
three tiers of guns.  Two strong batteries defend the passage known as
Buttermilk Channel, between the island and Brooklyn.  In the early days
of the Dutch colony, this passage could be forded by cattle; now it is
passable by ships of war.  These works are armed with upwards of 200
heavy guns.  Ellis Island, 2050 yards southwest from the Battery
Light-House, contains Fort Gibson, mounting about twenty guns.  Bedloe's
Island, 2950 yards southwest of the Battery Light-House, contains Fort
Wood, which is armed with eighty guns.

The best point from which to view the Inner Bay is the Battery Park, from
the sea-wall of which an uninterrupted view of the bay and both rivers
may be obtained.



III.  THE CITY GOVERNMENT.


By the terms of the charter of 1870, the government of the City of New
York is vested in a Mayor, Common Council, consisting of Aldermen and
Assistant Aldermen, a Corporation Counsel, and Comptroller, all elected
by the people.  There are also a Department of Public Works, which has
charge of the streets of the city, and the Croton Aqueduct and
Reservoirs; a Department of Docks, charged with the construction of new
piers, etc., along the harbor front; a Department of Public Parks; a Fire
Department; a Health Department; and a Police Board.  The heads of all
these Departments are appointed by the Mayor of the city.  Previous to
1870 the city was governed by a series of commissions appointed by the
Governor of the State, and the citizens were deprived of all voice in the
management of their own affairs.  It was urged by the friends of the New
Charter, that that instrument restored to the citizens of New York the
right of self-government.  Had its provisions been honestly carried out,
New York might have had a good government; but we shall see that they
were perverted by a band of corrupt men into the means of the grossest
oppression of the citizens.

For many years it was the habit of the respectable and educated classes
of New York to abstain from voting.  Many, indeed, boasted that they were
utterly indifferent to politics; that it was immaterial to them which
party elected its candidates.  Others thought that they could not spare
the time; and others still would not spare it.  Again, there were those
whose refined tastes made them shrink from the coarse rabble that
surrounded the voting places.  The reasons were almost as numerous as the
delinquents, and the result was that the best portion of the voters of
the city--those who were most interested in a good government--left the
control of public affairs entirely in the hands of the worst and most
vicious classes.  As a natural consequence, the suffrage being exercised
chiefly by the ignorant and degraded, corrupt men availed themselves of
the opportunity afforded them, and, by bribery and kindred practices,
managed to secure their election to power.  Once in office, they exerted
themselves to remain there.  They were the rulers of the great Metropolis
of the Union, and, as such, possessed power and influence unequalled in
any city in the world.  They controlled the public funds, and thus had an
opportunity of enriching themselves by robbing the people.  They held in
their grasp all the machinery of elections, and, by filling the
ballot-boxes with fraudulent votes, and throwing out those which were
legally cast, they could, they believed, perpetuate their power.  If
their strength in the Legislature of the State was inadequate to the
passage of the laws they favored, they robbed the city treasury to buy up
the members of the Legislature opposed to them, and it was found that
rural virtue was easily purchased at city prices.  In this way they
secured the enactment of laws tending not only to enlarge and perpetuate
their powers, and to increase their opportunities for plunder, but also
to bar the way of the people should they awake from their criminal
carelessness, and seek to overthrow and punish them.  It mattered very
little to the men who ruled the city of New York how the elections were
decided in the rural districts.  They could always swell their vote in
the city to an extent sufficient to overcome any hostile majority in the
State; and they even boasted that they cared not how many votes were cast
against them in the city, as long as they "had the counting of them."  In
this way they filled the statute-book with laws for the oppression and
injury of the people, and in this way they passed the New Charter of
1870, which they declared was meant to restore self-government to New
York, but which was really designed to continue themselves in power, and
break down the last obstacles between themselves and the city treasury.

In well-regulated municipal governments, the popular branch, the Common
Council, is designed to act, and does act, as a check upon the Executive
branch.  In New York, a Common Council which thoroughly represented the
people of the city--the great commercial, social, and political
Metropolis of the Union--would have given the Executive branch of the
City Government no little trouble; but the respectable citizens were
indifferent to the selection of Councilmen, and the "Ring" took care that
the majority of the "City Fathers" were creatures of their own, under
obligations to them, and ready to sustain them in any outrage upon the
people.

The Common Council of the City of New York can hardly be termed a
representative body.  It does not represent the honestly gotten wealth of
the city; for, though many of its members are wealthy, people look with
suspicion upon a rich Councilman.  It does not represent the proud
intellectual character of New York; for there is scarcely a member who
has intellect or education enough to enable him to utter ten sentences in
good English.  For many years the Councils have been composed of small
tradesmen, who found politics more profitable than their legitimate
callings, of bar-keepers, of men without social position in the city they
professed to represent, and many of whom were suspected of dishonest and
corrupt practices by their fellow-citizens.  Indeed, it may be said,
that, with a very few exceptions, there was not a man in this important
body who possessed the respect or confidence of the citizens of New York.
They were elected by bribery and corruption, maintained their positions
by the same means, and enjoyed the favor and protection of the leaders of
their party, only by aiding the execution and covering up from
investigation the schemes of those men for their mutual engorgement at
the expense of the public treasury.

Mr. James Parton gives the following account of the proceedings of this
worshipful body:

"Debates is a ludicrous word to apply to the proceedings of the
Councilmen.  Most of the business done by them is pushed through without
the slightest discussion, and is of such a nature that members cannot be
prepared to discuss it.  The most reckless haste marks every part of the
performance.  A member proposes that certain lots be provided with
curbstones; another, that a free drinking hydrant be placed on a certain
corner five miles up town; and another, that certain blocks of a distant
street be paved with Belgian pavement.  Respecting the utility of these
works, members generally know nothing, and can say nothing; nor are they
proper objects of legislation.  The resolutions are adopted, usually,
without a word of explanation, and at a speed that must be seen to be
appreciated.

* * * * *

"At almost every session we witnessed scenes like the following: A member
proposed to lease a certain building for a city court at $2000 a year for
ten years.  Honest Christopher Pullman, a faithful and laborious public
servant, objected on one or two grounds; first, rents being unnaturally
high, owing to several well-known and temporary causes, it would be
unjust to the city to fix the rent at present rates for so long a period;
secondly, he had been himself to see the building, had taken pains to
inform himself as to its value, and was prepared to prove that $1200 a
year was a proper rent for it even at the inflated rates.  He made this
statement with excellent brevity, moderation, and good temper, and
concluded by moving that the term be two instead of ten years.  A robust
young man, with a bull neck and of ungrammatical habits, said, in a tone
of impatient disdain, that the landlord of the building had 'refused'
$1500 a year for it.  'Question!'  'Question!' shouted half a dozen angry
voices; the question was instantly put, when a perfect war of _noes_
voted down Mr. Pullman's amendment.  Another hearty chorus of _ayes_
consummated the iniquity.  In all such affairs, the visitor notices a
kind of ungovernable propensity to vote for spending money, and a prompt
disgust at any obstacle raised or objection made.  The bull-necked
Councilman of uncertain grammar evidently felt that Mr. Pullman's modest
interference on behalf of the tax-payer was a most gross impertinence.
He felt himself an injured being, and his companions shared his
indignation.

"We proceed to another and better specimen: A resolution was introduced,
appropriating $4000 for the purpose of presenting stands of colors to
five regiments of city militia, which were named, each stand to cost
eight hundred dollars.  Mr. Pullman, as usual, objected, and we beg the
reader to mark his objections.  He said that he was a member of the
committee which had reported the resolution, but he had never heard of it
till that moment, the scheme had been 'sprung' upon him.  The chairman of
the committee replied to this, that, since the other regiments had had
colors given them by the city, he did not suppose that any one could
object to these remaining five receiving the same compliment, and
therefore he had not thought it worth while to summon the gentleman.
'Besides,' said he, 'it is a small matter anyhow;'--by which he evidently
meant to intimate that the objector was a very small person.  To this
last remark, a member replied, that he did not consider $4000 so very
small a matter.  'Anyhow,' he added, 'we oughter save the city every
dollar we kin.'  Mr. Pullman resumed.  He stated that the Legislature of
the State, several months before, had voted a stand of colors to each
infantry regiment in the State; that the distribution of these colors had
already begun; that the five regiments would soon receive them; and that,
consequently, there was no need of their having the colors which it was
now proposed to give them.  A member roughly replied, that the colors
voted by the State Legislature were mere painted banners, 'of no
account.'  Mr. Pullman denied this.  'I am,' said he, 'captain in one of
our city regiments.  Two weeks ago we received our colors.  I have seen,
felt, examined, and marched under them; and I can testify that they are
of great beauty, and excellent quality, made by Tiffany & Co., a firm of
the first standing in the city.'  He proceeded to describe the colors as
being made of the best silk, and decorated in the most elegant manner.
He further objected to the price proposed to be given for the colors.  He
declared that, from his connection with the militia, he had become
acquainted with the value of such articles, and he could procure colors
of the best kind ever used in the service for $375.  The price named in
the resolution was, therefore, most excessive.  Upon this, another member
rose and said, in a peculiarly offensive manner, that it would be two
years before Tiffany & Co. had made all the colors, and some of the
regiments would have to wait all that time.  'The other regiments,' said
he, 'have had colors presented by the city, and I don't see why we should
show partiality.'  Whereupon Mr. Pullman informed the board that the
_city_ regiments would all be supplied in a few weeks; and, even if they
did have to wait awhile, it was of no consequence, for they all had very
good colors already.  Honest Stephen Roberts then rose, and said that
this was a subject with which he was not acquainted, but that if no one
could refute what Mr. Pullman had said, he should be obliged to vote
against the resolution.

"Then there was a pause.  The cry of 'Question!' was heard.  The ayes and
noes were called.  The resolution was carried by eighteen to five.  The
learned suppose that one-half of this stolen $4000 was expended upon the
colors, and the other half divided among about forty persons.  It is
conjectured that each member of the Councilmen's Ring, which consists of
thirteen, received about forty dollars for his vote on this occasion.
This sum, added to his pay, which is twenty dollars per session, made a
tolerable afternoon's work.

"Any one witnessing this scene would certainly have supposed that _now_
the militia regiments of the City of New York were provided with colors.
What was our surprise to hear, a few days after, a member gravely propose
to appropriate $800 for the purpose of presenting the Ninth Regiment of
New York Infantry with a stand of colors.  Mr. Pullman repeated his
objections, and recounted anew the generosity of the State Legislature.
The eighteen, without a word of reply, voted for the grant as before.  It
so chanced that, on our way up Broadway, an hour after, we met that very
regiment marching down with its colors flying; and we observed that those
colors were nearly new.  Indeed, there is such a propensity in the public
to present colors to popular regiments, that some of them have as many as
five stands, of various degrees of splendor.  There is nothing about
which Councilmen need feel so little anxiety as a deficiency in the
supply of regimental colors.  When, at last, these extravagant banners
voted by the corporation are presented to the regiments, a new scene of
plunder is exhibited.  The officers of the favored regiment are invited
to a room in the basement of the City Hall, where city officials assist
them to consume $300 worth of champagne, sandwiches, and cold
chicken--paid for out of the city treasury--while the privates of the
regiment await the return of their officers in the unshaded portion of
the adjacent park.

"It is a favorite trick with these councilmen, as of all politicians, to
devise measures, the passage of which will gratify large _bodies_ of
voters.  This is one of the advantages proposed to be gained by the
presentation of colors to regiments; and the same system is pursued with
regard to churches and societies.  At every one of the six sessions of
the Councilmen which we attended, resolutions were introduced to give
away the people's money to wealthy organizations.  A church, for example,
is assessed $1000 for the construction of a sewer, which enhances the
value of the church property by at least the amount of the assessment.
Straightway, a member from that neighborhood proposes to console the
stricken church with a 'donation' of $1000, to enable it to pay the
assessment; and as this is a proposition to vote money, it is carried as
a matter of course.  We select from our notes only one of these donating
scenes.  A member proposed to give $2000 to a certain industrial
school,--the favorite charity of the present time, to which all the
benevolent most willingly subscribe.  Vigilant Christopher Pullman
reminded the board that it was now unlawful for the corporation to vote
money for any object not specified in the tax levy as finally sanctioned
by the Legislature.  He read the section of the Act which forbade it.  He
further showed, from a statement by the Comptroller, that there was no
money left at their disposal for any _miscellaneous_ objects, since the
appropriation for 'city contingencies' was exhausted.  The only reply to
his remarks was the instant passage of the resolution by eighteen to
five.  By what artifice the law is likely to be evaded in such cases, we
may show further on.  In all probability, the industrial school, in the
course of the year, will receive a fraction of this money--perhaps even
so large a fraction as one half.  It may be that, ere now, some obliging
person about the City Hall has offered to buy the claim for $1000, and
take the risk of the hocus-pocus necessary for getting it--which to _him_
is no risk at all.

"It was proposed, on another occasion, to raise the fees of the
Inspectors of Weights and Measures--who received fifty cents for
inspecting a pair of platform scales, and smaller sums for scales and
measures of less importance.  Here was a subject upon which honest
Stephen Roberts, whose shop is in a street where scales and measures
abound, was entirely at home.  He showed, in his sturdy and strenuous
manner, that, at the rates then established, an active man could make
$200 a day.  'Why,' said he, 'a man can inspect, and does inspect, fifty
platform scales in an hour.'  The cry of 'Question!' arose.  The question
was put, and the usual loud chorus of _ayes_ followed.

"As it requires a three-fourths vote to grant money--that is, eighteen
members--it is sometimes impossible for the Ring to get that number
together.  There is a mode of preventing the absence, or the opposition
of members, from defeating favorite schemes.  It is by way of
'reconsideration.'  The time was when a measure distinctly voted down by
a lawful majority was dead.  But, by this expedient, the voting down of a
measure is only equivalent to its postponement to a more favorable
occasion.  The moment the chairman pronounces a resolution lost, the
member who has it in charge moves a reconsideration; and, as a
reconsideration only requires the vote of a majority, _this_ is
invariably carried.  By a rule of the board, a reconsideration carries a
measure over to a future meeting--to any future meeting which may afford
a prospect of its passage.  The member who is engineering it watches his
chance, labors with faltering members out of doors, and, as often as he
thinks he can carry it, calls it up again, until at last the requisite
eighteen are obtained.  It has frequently happened that a member has kept
a measure in a state of reconsideration for months at a time, waiting for
the happy moment to arrive.  There was a robust young Councilman, who had
a benevolent project in charge of paying $900 for a hackney-coach and two
horses, which a drunken driver drove over the dock into the river one
cold night last winter.  There was some disagreement in the Ring on this
measure, and the robust youth was compelled to move for many
reconsiderations.  So, also, it was long before the wires could be all
arranged to admit of the appointment of a 'messenger' to the City
Librarian, who has perhaps less to do than any man in New York who is
paid $1800 a year; but perseverance meets its reward.  We hear that this
messenger is now smoking in the City Hall at a salary of $1500.

"There is a manoeuvre also for preventing the attendance of obnoxious,
obstructive members, like the honest six, which is ingenious and
effective.  A 'special meeting' is called.  The law declares that notice
of a special meeting must be left at the residence or the place of
business of every member.  Mr. Roberts's residence and Mr. Roberts's
place of business are eight miles apart, and he leaves his home for the
day before nine in the morning.  If Mr. Roberts's presence at a special
meeting, at 2 P.M., is desired, the notice is left at his shop in the
morning.  If it is not desired, the notice is sent to his house in
Harlem, after he has left it.  Mr. Pullman, cabinet-maker, leaves his
shop at noon, goes home to dinner, and returns soon after one.  If his
presence at the special meeting, at 2 P.M., is desired, the notice is
left at his house the evening before, or at his shop in the morning.  If
his presence is not desired, the notice is left at his shop a few minutes
after twelve, or at his house a few minutes past one.  In either case, he
receives the notice too late to reach the City Hall in time.  We were
present in the Councilmen's Chamber when Mr. Pullman stated this
inconvenience, assuming that it was accidental, and offered an amendment
to the rule, requiring notice to be left five hours before the time named
for the meeting.  Mr. Roberts also gave his experience in the matter of
notices, and both gentlemen spoke with perfect moderation and good
temper.  We wish we could convey to our readers an idea of the brutal
insolence with which Mr. Pullman, on this occasion, was snubbed and
defrauded by a young bar-keeper who chanced to be in the chair.  But this
would be impossible without relating the scene at very great length.  The
amendment proposed was voted down, with that peculiar roar of _noes_
which is always heard in that chamber when some honest man attempts to
put an obstacle in the way of the free plunder of his fellow-citizens.

"These half-fledged legislators are acquainted with the device known by
the name of the 'previous question.'  We witnessed a striking proof of
this.  One of the most audacious and insolent of the Ring introduced a
resolution, vaguely worded, the object of which was to annul an old
paving contract, that would not pay at the present cost of labor and
materials, and to authorize a new contract at higher rates.  Before the
clerk had finished reading the resolution, honest Stephen Roberts sprang
to his feet, and, unrolling a remonstrance with several yards of
signatures appended to it, stood, with his eye upon the chairman, ready
to present it the moment the reading was concluded.  This remonstrance,
be it observed, was signed by a majority of the property-owners
interested, the men who would be assessed to pay for one-half of the
proposed pavement.  Fancy the impetuous Roberts, with the document held
aloft, the yards of signatures streaming down to his feet, and flowing
far under his desk, awaiting the time when it would be in order to cry
out, 'Mr. President.'  The reading ceased.  Two voices were heard
shouting, 'Mr. President.'  It was not to Mr. Roberts that an impartial
chairman could assign the floor.  The member who introduced the
resolution was the one who caught the speaker's eye, and that member,
forewarned of Mr. Roberts's intention, moved the previous question.  It
was in vain that Mr. Roberts shouted 'Mr. President;' it was in vain that
he fluttered his streaming ribbon of blotted paper.  The President could
not hear a word of any kind until a vote had been taken upon the question
whether the main question should now be put.  The question was carried in
the affirmative by a chorus of _ayes_, so exactly timed that it was like
the voice of one man.  Then the main question _was_ put, and it was
carried by another emphatic and simultaneous shout."

Under the rule of such a Council the public money disappeared.  Men who
went into the Council poor came out of it rich.  Taxes increased, the
cost of governing the city became greater, crime flourished, and the
chief city of the Union became noted for its corrupt government.



IV.  "THE RING."


I.  THE HISTORY OF THE RING.


We have spoken of the outrages practised upon the citizens of New York by
the Common Council of that city.  We must now turn our attention to the
other branches of the City Government, and investigate the conduct of the
real rulers of New York.

For several years the political power and patronage has been lodged in
the hands of, and exercised by a set of men commonly known as "_The
Ring_."  They rose to power in consequence of the neglect of their
political duties by the respectable citizens of New York, and, having
attained power, were not slow in arranging affairs so that their
ill-gotten authority might be perpetuated.  They controlled the elections
by bribery, and the fraudulent counting of votes, and so filled the
elective offices with their own creatures.  Having done this, they
proceeded to appoint to the other offices only such men as were bound to
them, and whom they could trust to cover up their mutual dishonesty.
Competency to discharge the duties of the offices thus given was not once
considered.  The Ring cared only for men who would unite in plundering
the public treasury, and be vigilant in averting the detection of the
theft.  They wanted to exercise political power, it is true, but they
also desired to enrich themselves at the public expense.

Having secured the city offices, with the control of the finances, the
police, the fire department, and the immense patronage of the city, they
believed themselves strong enough to hold all they had won.  They did not
believe that the people of New York would ever awake to a true sense of
their public duties, and, if they did, the Ring felt confident that they
could control any election by filling the ballot-boxes with fraudulent
votes.  In many cases money was taken from the city treasury, and used to
purchase votes for the Ring or Tammany Hall ticket.  It was also used to
bribe inspectors of elections to certify any returns that the leaders of
the Ring might decide upon; and it came to be a common saying in New York
that the Tammany ticket could always command a majority in the city
sufficient to neutralize any hostile vote in the rest of the State.  If
the leaders of the Ring desired a majority of 25,000, 30,000, or any
number, in the city, that majority was returned, and duly sworn to by the
inspectors of election, even by those of the party opposed to the Ring;
for money was used unsparingly to buy dishonest inspectors.

As a matter of course, no honest man took part in these disgraceful acts,
and the public offices passed, almost without exception, into the hands
of the most corrupt portion of the population.  They were also the most
ignorant and brutal.  The standard of education is, perhaps, lower among
the public officials of New York than among any similar body in the land.
Men whose personal character was infamous; men who were charged by the
newspaper press, and some of whom had been branded by courts of justice
with felonies, were elected or appointed to responsible offices.  The
property, rights and safety of the greatest and most important city in
the land, were entrusted to a band of thieves and swindlers.  The result
was what might have been expected.  Public interests were neglected; the
members of the Ring were too busy enriching themselves at the expense of
the treasury to attend to the wants of the people.  The City Government
had never been so badly administered before, and the only way in which
citizens could obtain their just rights was by paying individual members
of the Ring or their satellites to attend to their particular cases.  It
was found almost impossible to collect money due by the city to private
parties; but, at the same time, the Ring drew large sums from the public
treasury.  Men who were notoriously poor when they went into office were
seen to grow suddenly and enormously rich.  They made the most public
displays of their suddenly acquired magnificence, and, in many ways, made
themselves so offensive to their respectable neighbors, that the virtue
and intelligence of the city avoided all possible contact with them.
Matters finally became so bad that a man laid himself open to grave
suspicion by the mere holding of a municipal office.  Even the few good
men who retained public positions, and whom the Ring had not been able,
or had not dared, to displace, came in for a share of the odium attaching
to all offices connected with the City Government.  It was unjust, but
not unnatural.  So many office-holders were corrupt that the people
naturally regarded all as in the same category.

In order to secure undisturbed control of the city, the Ring took care to
win over the Legislature of the State to their schemes.  There was a
definite and carefully arranged programme carried out with respect to
this.  The delegation from the City of New York was mainly secured by the
Ring, and agents were sent to Albany to bribe the members of the
Legislature to vote for the schemes of the Ring.  Mr. Samuel J. Tilden,
in his speech at Cooper Institute, November 2, 1871, says that
$1,000,000, stolen from the treasury of the city, were used by the Ring
to buy up a majority of the two Houses of the Legislature.  By means of
these purchased votes, the various measures of the Ring were passed.  The
principal measure was the Charter of the City of New York.  "Under the
pretence of giving back to the people of the City of New York local
self-government, they provided that the Mayor then in office should
appoint all the heads of Departments for a period of at least four years,
and in some cases extending to eight, and that when those heads of
Departments, _already privately agreed upon_, were once appointed they
should be removable only by the Mayor, who could not be impeached except
on his own motion, and then must be tried by a court of six members,
every one of whom must be present in order to form a quorum.  And then
they stripped every legislative power, and every executive power from
every other functionary of the government, and vested it in half a dozen
men so installed for a period of from four to eight years in supreme
dominion over the people of this city." {78}

Besides passing this infamous charter, the Ring proceeded to fortify
their position with special legislation, designed to protect them against
any effort of the citizens to drive them from office, or punish them.
This done, they had unlimited control of all the public affairs, and
could manage the elections as they pleased, and they believed they were
safe.

The "Committee of Seventy," appointed by the citizens of New York to
investigate the charges against the municipal authorities, thus speak of
the effect of the adoption of the New Charter, in their report presented
at the great meeting at Cooper Institute, on the 2d of November, 1871:

"There is not in the history of villainy a parallel for the gigantic
crime against property conspired by the Tammany Ring.  It was engineered
on the complete subversion of free government in the very heart of
Republicanism.  An American city, having a population of over a million,
was disfranchised by an open vote of a Legislature born and nurtured in
Democracy and Republicanism, and was handed over to a self-appointed
oligarchy, to be robbed and plundered by them and their confederates,
heirs and assigns for six years certainly, and prospectively for ever.  A
month's exhumation among the crimes of the Tammany leaders has not so
familiarized us with the political paradox of the New Charter of the City
of New York, that we do not feel that it is impossible that the people of
this State gave to a gang of thieves, politicians by profession, a
charter to govern the commercial metropolis of this continent--the great
city which is to America what Paris is to France--to govern it with a
government made unalterable for the sixteenth part of a century, which
substantially deprived the citizens of self-control, nullified their
right to suffrage, nullified the principle of representation--which
authorized a handful of cunning and resolute robbers to levy taxes,
create public debt, and incur municipal liabilities without limit and
without check, and which placed at their disposal the revenues of the
great municipality and the property of all its citizens.

"Every American will say: 'It is incredible that this has been done.'
But the history of the paradox is over two years old.  And it is a
history of theft, robbery, and forgery, which have stolen and divided
twenty millions of dollars; which have run up the city debt from
$36,000,000 in 1869 to $97,000,000 in 1871, and which will be
$120,000,000 by August, 1872; which have paid to these robbers millions
of dollars for work never performed and materials never furnished; which
paid astoundingly exorbitant rents to them for offices and armories, many
of which were never occupied and some of which did not exist--which
remitted their taxes, released their indebtedness, and remitted their
rents, to the city due and owing--which ran the machinery for widening,
improving and opening streets, parks and boulevards, to enable these men
to speculate in assessed damages and greatly enhanced values--which
created unnecessary offices with large salaries and no duties, in order
to maintain a force of ruffianly supporters and manufacturers of
votes--which used millions of dollars to bribe and corrupt newspapers,
the organs of public opinion, in violation of laws which narrowly limited
the public advertising--which camped within the city a reserve army of
voters by employing thousands of laborers at large pay upon nominal work,
neither necessary nor useful--which bought legislatures and purchased
judgments from courts both civil and criminal.

* * * * *

"Fellow-citizens of the City and State of New York, this report of the
doings of the Committee of Seventy would be incomplete if it did not
fully unfold to you the perils and the difficulties of our condition.
You know too well that the Ring which governs us for years governed our
Legislatures by bribing their members with moneys stolen from their
trusts.  That, seemingly, was supreme power and immunity.  But it was not
enough.  A City Charter to perpetuate power was needed.  It was easily
bought of a venal Legislature with the proceeds of a new scoop into the
city treasury.  Superadded to this the Ring had devised a system,
faultless and absolutely sure, of counting their adversaries in an
election out of office and of counting their own candidates in, or of
rolling up majorities by repeating votes and voting in the names of the
absent, the dead, and the fictitious.  Still their intrenched camp of
villainy was incomplete.  It was deficient in credit.  This is a ghastly
jest, the self-investment of the robbers of the world with a boundless
financial credit.  And yet the Ring clothed themselves with it.  They
entrenched themselves within the imposing limits of some of our most
powerful bank and trust companies.  They created many savings banks out
of the forty-two which exist in the city and county of New York.  This
they did within the last two years.  The published lists of directors
will enable you to identify these institutions.  Now the savings bank is
a place to which money travels to be taken care of; and if the bank has
the public confidence, people put their money in it freely at low rates
of interest, and the managers use the funds in whatever way they please.
In the Ring savings banks there are on deposit to-day, at nominal rates
of interest, many millions of dollars.  It is believed that into these
banks the Ring have taken the city's obligations and converted them into
money, which has been sent flowing into the various channels of wasteful
administration, out of which they have drawn into their pockets millions
on millions.  The craft of this contrivance was profound.  It wholly
avoided the difficulty of raising money on the unlawful and excessive
issues of city and county bonds, and took out of public sight
transactions which, if pressed upon the national banks, would have
provoked comment and resistance, and have precipitated the explosion
which has shaken the country.  I think that among the assets of the
savings banks of this city, county and State will be found not far from
$50,000,000 of city and county debt taken for permanent investment.  For
the first time in the history of iniquity has the bank for the saving of
the wages of labor been expressly organized as a part of a system of
robbery; and for the first time in the history of felony have the workmen
and workwomen, and the orphans and the children of a great city
unwittingly cashed the obligations issued by a gang of thieves and
plunderers."

Having made themselves secure, as they believed, the Ring laughed at the
idea of punishment, if detected.  They not only controlled the elections,
but they also controlled the administration of justice.  The courts were
filled with their creatures, and were so distorted from the purposes of
the law and the ends of justice, that no friend of the Ring had any cause
to fear punishment at their hands, however great his crime.  The majority
of the crimes committed in the city were the acts of the adherents of the
Ring, but they escaped punishment, as a rule, except when a sacrifice to
public opinion was demanded.  If the criminal happened to be a politician
possessing any influence among the disreputable classes, he was sure of
acquittal.  The magistrate before whom he was tried, dared not convict
him, for fear of incurring either his enmity, or the censure of the
leaders of the Ring to whom his influence was of value.  So crime of all
kinds increased in the city.

               [Picture: A. OAKEY HALL, MAYOR OF NEW YORK.]

Under the protection of the New Charter, the Ring began a systematic
campaign of robbery.  Section four of the County Tax Levy, one of their
measures, provided that liabilities against the county, the limits of
which coincide with those of the city, should be audited by the Mayor,
the Comptroller and the President of the Board of Supervisors, or in
other words, Mayor Hall, Comptroller Connolly, and Mr. William M. Tweed,
and that the amount found to be due should be paid.  "These Auditors,"
says Mr. Tilden, "met but once.  They then passed a resolution, which
stands on the records of the city in the handwriting of Mayor Hall.  It
was passed on his motion, and what was its effect?  It provided that all
claims certified by Mr. Tweed and Mr. Young, Secretary of the old Board
of Supervisors, should be received, and, on sufficient evidence, paid."
Thus the door was thrown open to fraud, and the crime soon followed.
"Mayor Hall," continues Mr. Tilden, "is the responsible man for all this.
He knew it was a fraudulent violation of duty on the part of every member
of that Board of Audit to pass claims in the way they did."

The door being thus thrown open to fraud, the thefts of the public funds
became numerous.  All the appropriations authorized by law were quickly
exhausted, and large sums of money were drawn from the treasury, without
the slightest warrant of law.

                       [Picture: WILLIAM M. TWEED.]

The new Court House in the City Hall Park was a perfect gold mine to the
Ring.  Immense sums were paid out of the treasury for work upon this
building, which is still unfinished.  Very little of this money was spent
on the building, the greater part being retained, or stolen by the Ring
for their own private benefit.  The Court House has thus far cost
$12,000,000, and is unfinished.  During the years 1869, 1870, and a part
of 1871, the sum of about $8,223,979.89 was expended on the new Court
House.  During this period, the legislative appropriation for this
purpose amounted to only $1,400,000.  The Houses of Parliament in London,
which cover an area of nearly eight acres, contain 100 staircases, 1100
apartments and more than two miles of corridors, and constitute one of
the grandest architectural works of the world, cost less than
$10,000,000.  The Capitol of the United States at Washington, the largest
and most magnificent building in America, will cost, when completed,
about $12,000,000, yet, the unfinished Court House in New York has
already cost more than the gorgeous Houses of Parliament, and as much as
the grand Capitol of the Republic.

                  [Picture: THE NEW COUNTY COURT HOUSE]

The Court House was not the only means made use of to obtain money.
Heavy sums were drawn for printing, stationery, and the city armories,
and upon other pretexts too numerous to mention.  It would require a
volume to illustrate and rehearse entire the robberies of the Ring.
Valid claims against the city were refused payment unless the creditor
would consent to add to his bill a sum named by, and for the use of, the
Ring.  Thus, a man having a claim of $1500 against the city, would be
refused payment until he consented to make the amount $6000, or some such
sum.  If he consented, he received his $1500 without delay, and the $4500
was divided among the members of the Ring.  When a sum sufficient for the
demands of the Ring could not be obtained by the connivance of actual
creditors, forgery was resorted to.  Claims were presented in the name of
men who had no existence, who cannot now be found, and they were paid.
The money thus paid went, as the recent investigations have shown, into
the pockets of members of the Ring.  Further than this, if Mr. John H.
Keyser is to be believed, the Ring did not hesitate to forge the
endorsements of living and well-known men.  He says: "The published
accounts charge that I have received upwards of $2,000,000 from the
treasury.  Among the warrants which purport to have been paid to me for
county work alone _there are upwards of eight hundred thousand dollars
which I never received nor saw_, _and the endorsements on which_, _in my
name_, ARE CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE FORGERIES."

Another means of purloining money is thus described by Mr. Abram P.
Genung, in a pamphlet recently issued by him:

"A careful examination of the books and pay-roll (of the Comptroller's
Office) developed the important fact that the titles of several accounts
might be duplicated by using different phraseology to convey the same
meaning; and that by making up pay-rolls, by using fictitious names of
persons alleged to be temporarily employed in his (the Comptroller's)
department, he could even cheat the 'heathen Chinee,' who had invited him
to take a hand in this little game of robbery.  Hence, Mr. 'Slippery' set
about finding additional titles for several of the accounts, and in this
way 'Adjusted Claims' and 'County Liabilities' became synonymous terms,
and all moneys drawn on either account, instead of being charged to any
appropriation, became a part of the permanent debt of the city and
county.  Under the same skilful manipulation, 'County Contingencies,' and
'Contingencies in the Comptroller's Office' meant the same thing, as did
also the amount charged to 'Contingencies in the Department of Finance,'
generally charged in the city accounts to make it less conspicuous.
Again, there are three distinct pay-rolls in the County Bureau.  One of
these contains the names of all the clerks regularly employed in the
Bureau, and about a dozen names of persons who hold sinecure positions,
or have no existence.  The other two rolls contain about forty names, the
owners of which, if, indeed, they have any owners, have never worked an
hour in the department.  The last two rolls are called 'Temporary Rolls,'
and the persons whose names are on them are said to be 'Temporary Clerks'
in the Comptroller's Office.  One of them is paid out of the regular
appropriation of 'Salaries Executive,' but the other is paid out of a
fund raised by the sale of 'Riot Damages Indemnity Bonds,' and becomes a
part of the permanent debt of the county.  Again, there are no less than
five different accounts to which repairs and furniture for any of the
public offices, or the armories of the National Guard, can be charged;
while more than half of the aggregate thus paid out, is not taken out of
any appropriation, but is raised by the sale of revenue bonds or other
securities, which may be converted at the pleasure of the Comptroller
into long bonds, which will not be payable until 1911--forty years after
many of the frauds which called them into existence shall have been
successfully consummated by Connolly and his colleagues. . . .

"When it becomes necessary to place a man in an important position, or a
position where he must necessarily become acquainted with the secrets of
the office, some one who is already in the confidence of the thieves
throws out a hint that their intended victim can make $100 or $200 a
month, in addition to his salary, by placing one or two fictitious names
on one of the rolls, and drawing the checks for the salaries to which
actual claimants would be entitled at the end of each month..  This
involves the necessity of signing the fictitious names on the payroll or
voucher, when the check is received, and endorsing the same name on the
check before the bank will cash it. . . .  So long as he is willing to do
their bidding, and to embark in every description of rascality at their
dictation, he can go along very smoothly; but if he should become
troublesome at any time, or if he should show any conscientious scruples
when called upon to execute the will of his masters, they would turn him
adrift without an hour's warning, and crush him, with the evidence of his
guilt in their possession, if he had the hardihood to whisper a word
about the nefarious transactions he had witnessed."

We have not the space to enumerate the various methods of plundering the
city adopted by the Ring.  What we have given will enable the reader to
obtain a clear insight into their system.  During the years 1869 and
1870, the following sums were paid by the Comptroller:

                                    $
Keyser & Co.                        1,561,619.42
Ingersoll & Co.                     3,006,391.72
C. D. Bollar & Co.                  951,911.84
J. A. Smith                         809,298.96
A. G. Miller                        626,896.74
Geo. S. Miller                      1,568,447.62
A. J. Garvey and others             3,112,590.34
G. L. Schuyler                      463,039.27
J. McBride Davidson                 404,347.72
E. Jones & Co.                      341,882.18
Chas. H. Jacobs                     164,923.17
Archibald Hall, jr.                 349,062.85
J. W. Smith                         53,852.83
New York Printing Co.               2,042,798.99
   Total                            15,457,063.65

These are the figures given by the "Joint Committee of Supervisors and
Aldermen appointed to investigate the public accounts of the City and
County of New York." {86}  In their report, presented about the 9th of
October, 1871, they say: "Your Committee find that immense sums have been
paid for services which have not been performed, for materials which have
not been furnished, and to employes who are unknown in the offices from
which they draw their salaries.  Also, that parties having just claims
upon the city, failing to obtain payment therefor, have assigned their
claims to persons officially or otherwise connected with different
departments, who have in many instances fraudulently increased their
amounts, and drawn fourfold the money actually due from the city.  Thus
it appears in the accounts that hundreds of thousands of dollars have
been paid to private parties who positively deny the receipt of the
money, or any knowledge whatever of the false bills representing the
large sums paid to them.  These investigations compel the belief that not
only the most reckless extravagance, but frauds and peculations of the
grossest character have been practised in several of the departments, and
that these must have been committed in many instances with the knowledge
and cooperation of those appointed, and whose sworn duty it was to guard
and protect the public interests."

Under the management of the Ring, the cost of governing the city was
about thirty millions of dollars annually.  The city and county debt
(practically the same, since both are paid by the citizens of New York,)
was doubled every two years.  On the 1st of January, 1869, it was
$36,000,000.  By January 1st, 1871, it had increased to $73,000,000.  On
the 14th of September, 1871, it was $97,287,525, and the Citizens'
Committee declare that there is grave reason to believe that it will
reach $120,000,000 during the present year (1871).

For several years the Ring continued their robberies of the treasury,
enriching themselves and bringing the city nearer to bankruptcy every
year.  Taxes increased, property was assessed for improvements that were
never made, and the assessments were rigorously collected.  Large sums
were paid for cleaning the streets, which streets were kept clean only by
the private subscriptions of the citizens residing in them, as the writer
can testify from his personal experience.  The burdens of the people
became heavier and heavier, and the members of the Ring grew richer and
richer.  They built them palatial residences in the city, and their
magnificent equipages were the talk of the town.  They gave sumptuous
entertainments, they flaunted their diamonds and jewels in the eyes of a
dumbfounded public, they made ostentatious gifts to the poor, and
munificent subscriptions to cathedrals and churches, _all with money
stolen from the city_; and with this same money they endeavored to
control the operations of Wall street, the great financial centre of the
Republic.  They built them country seats, the beauty and magnificence of
which were duly set forth in the illustrated journals of the day; and
they surrounded themselves with every luxury they could desire--all with
money stolen from the city.  Did any man dare to denounce their
robberies, they turned upon him with one accord, and the whole power of
the Ring was used to crush their daring assailant.  They encouraged their
adherents to levy blackmail upon the citizens of New York, and it came to
be well understood in the great city that no man, however innocent,
arrested on a civil process, could hope to regain the liberty which was
his birthright, without paying the iniquitous toll levied upon him by
some portion of the Ring.  Even the great writ of Habeas Corpus--the very
bulwark of our liberties--was repeatedly set at defiance by the
underlings of the Ring, for the purpose of extorting money from some
innocent man who had fallen into their clutches.

The Ring was all-powerful in the great city, and they there built up an
organized despotism, the most infamous known to history.  No man's
rights, no man's liberties were safe, if he ventured to oppose them.
They even sought to strike down freedom of speech and the liberty of the
press.  Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, in the speech from which we have quoted
before in this chapter, makes this distinct charge against them.  He
says: "Mr. Evarts went to Albany last year, and carried with him my
protest against the passage of the law giving to the judges a power
unknown in the jurisprudence of this State--unknown in the jurisprudence
of the United States for the last thirty years--_whereby it was secured
that any member of the City Government that might be offended_, _could
put his hand upon the city press_, _and suppress its liberties and
freedom of speech_."

How long all this would have continued, it is impossible to say, had it
not pleased God that there should be jealousies and dissensions amongst
the members of the Ring strong enough to break even the infamous bonds
that had so long bound them together.

The citizens of New York had for some time been slowly coming to the
conclusion that they were losing their rights and property, and had been
seeking for some legal means of attacking and overthrowing the Ring.
Their great necessity was absolute and definite proof of fraud on the
part of certain individuals.  This was for a long time lacking, but it
came at length.  In July, 1871, a former prominent member of the Ring,
having quarrelled with the Ring over a claim of three or four hundred
thousand dollars, which Mr. Tweed had refused to allow, avenged himself
by causing the publication of a series of the public accounts,
transcribed from the books of the Comptroller.  These accounts showed the
millions that had been fraudulently paid away for work which had never
been done, and furnished the first definite evidence of fraud on the part
of the members of the Ring that had been given to the public.  The press,
with the exception of a few unimportant sheets owned or controlled by the
Ring, denounced the frauds, and demanded an investigation of the public
accounts.  Mayor Hall, William M. Tweed, Richard B. Connolly, and all the
greater and lesser magnates of the Ring were implicated in the terrible
story told by the published accounts.  The respectable citizens, without
regard to party, at once joined in the demand, and expressed their
determination to put an end to the power of the Ring.  The whole
land--nay the whole civilized world--rang with a universal cry of
indignation.  The temper of the citizens was such as admitted of no
trifling.

The publication of the Comptroller's accounts, which revealed the
stupendous system of fraud they had practised so successfully, burst upon
the Ring like a clap of thunder from a clear sky.  It not only surprised
them, but it demoralized them.  They were fairly stunned.  At first they
affected to treat the whole matter as a partisan outburst which would
soon "blow over."  Some of the more timid took counsel of their fears and
fled from the city, some even quitting the country.  The more hardened
endeavored "to brave it out," and defiantly declared that the citizens
could not molest them.  All the while the wrath of the people grew
hotter, and the demand for the publication of the Comptroller's accounts
became more urgent.  Comptroller Connolly, conscious of his guilt, met
this demand with vague promises of compliance.  Mayor Hall set himself to
work to prove that the whole affair was a mistake, that no money had been
stolen, that the City Government had been unjustly assailed, and by his
ill-advised efforts drew upon himself a larger share of the public
indignation and suspicion than had previously been accorded to him.  The
great object of the Ring was to gain time.  They meant that the
Comptroller's accounts should not be published, and to accomplish this
they began the attempt to get possession of the Comptroller's office, the
records of which contained the evidence of their crimes.  With this
important department in their hands they could suppress this evidence,
or, if driven to desperation, destroy it.  A council of the leaders of
the Ring was called, at which it was resolved to get Mr. Connolly out of
the Comptroller's office, and to put in his place a creature of their
own.  They did not dare, however, to make an effort to oust Connolly,
without having some plausible pretext for their action.  They feared that
he would expose their mutual villainy, and involve them in his ruin, and
they wished to prevent this.  Still, they resolved to get rid of him, and
their plan was first to crush him, and thus prevent his exposing them.
We shall see how their plan worked.

Meanwhile the public indignation had been growing stronger daily.  On the
4th of September, 1871, a large and harmonious meeting of citizens,
without regard to party, was held at Cooper Institute.  At this meeting
it was resolved to compel an exposure of the frauds practised upon the
people, and to punish the guilty parties; and committees were appointed,
money subscribed, and the best legal talent in the city retained for that
purpose.  A reform movement to carry the November elections in the
interest of the citizens and tax-payers was inaugurated, and the power of
the courts was invoked to put a stop to the further expenditure of the
city funds.  The popular sentiment was too strong to be mistaken, and
some of the leading officials, and several journals which had previously
supported the Ring, took the alarm and entered the ranks of the party of
Reform.  The Democratic party of the State repudiated the Ring, and it
was plain that the Tammany ticket would be supported only by the lowest
classes of the city voters.  The members of the Ring were now thoroughly
aroused to the danger which threatened them; but, true to their corrupt
instincts, they endeavored to meet it by fraud.  They appointed a
Committee of Aldermen to act with the Citizens' Committee in the
investigation of the alleged frauds, and then withheld from them all
evidence that could be of service to them.

The Comptroller's office contained not only the accounts of moneys paid
out, but also the vouchers for all sums expended, properly signed and
sworn to by the parties receiving the money, and these vouchers
constituted the principal proof of the frauds.  On Monday, September
11th, the city was startled by the announcement that the office of the
Comptroller had been forcibly entered during the previous day, Sunday,
and that the vouchers covering the principal transactions of the Ring had
been stolen.  It was a bold deed, and was so thoroughly characteristic of
the Ring, that the public at once attributed it to that body.  The Ring
on their part endeavored to produce the belief that the Comptroller had
stolen the vouchers to screen himself.  Mayor Hall immediately wrote a
peremptory letter to Mr. Connolly, asking him to resign his position as
he (the Comptroller) had lost the confidence of the people.  Mr. Connolly
was not slow to perceive that the Ring were determined to sacrifice him
to secure their own safety, and he declined to become their victim.  He
not only refused to resign his position at Mayor Hall's demand, but set
to work vigorously to discover and bring to light the persons who had
stolen the vouchers.  To have stolen the vouchers himself, or to have
countenanced the robbery, would have been worse than folly on the part of
the Comptroller.  It would have damaged him fatally with the citizens,
who were disposed to deal lightly with him if he would aid them in
getting at and punishing the villainies of his former confederates.
There was no reason why he should seek to screen the Ring, for they made
no secret of their intention to destroy him.  In view, therefore, of the
facts as at present known, it seems certain that the theft was brought
about by the Ring for the purpose of throwing the suspicion of the crime
upon the Comptroller, and thus giving them a pretext for crushing him.

Wisely for himself, Mr. Connolly determined to let the Ring shift for
themselves, and throw himself upon the mercy of the Reform party.  He
withdrew from the active discharge of the duties of his office, and
appointed Mr. Andrew H. Green--an eminent citizen, possessing the respect
and confidence of all parties--his deputy, with full powers, and avowed
his determination to do his utmost to afford the Citizens' Committee a
full and impartial investigation of his affairs.  The Ring made great
efforts to prevent his withdrawal, or, rather, the appointment of Mr.
Green.  Says Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, who was the real cause of this action
on Mr. Connolly's part, and who was the acknowledged leader of the Reform
Democracy during the contest:

"When Mr. Connolly came to my house on that morning on which he executed
an abdication in favor of Mr. Green, he was accompanied by two counsel,
one of whom was half an hour behind time, and I learned, not from him,
but from other sources, that he spent that half hour at the house of
Peter B. Sweeny.  When the conference went on, he said, not speaking for
himself individually, but still he would state the views taken by other
friends of Mr. Connolly as to what he should do.  He said he was assured
that some respectable man would be put in the office of Comptroller, and
that then he would say to Mr. Booth, of the Common Council Committee, and
to the Committee of Seventy: 'I am competent to make every necessary
investigation myself.'  And that then everything that would hurt the
party would be kept back; and that was the consideration presented to Mr.
Connolly in my presence, and in the presence of Mr. Havemeyer and the two
counsel.  I told Mr. Connolly that the proposition was wrong, and would
fail, and ought to fail; that no man had character enough to shut off the
injured and indignant citizens from the investigation desired; and if he
attempted to do it, it would ruin everybody concerned in it, and plunge
him in a deeper ruin.  That his only chance and hope was in doing right
from that day, and throwing himself upon the charity and humanity of
those who had been wronged."

Failing to prevent the appointment of Mr. Green, the Ring endeavored to
ignore it.  The Mayor professed to regard the Comptroller's withdrawal
from his office as a resignation of his post.  He at once announced his
acceptance of this resignation, and proceeded to appoint a successor to
Mr. Connolly.  Here, however, the Ring met with another defeat.  During
the early part of 1871, Mr. Connolly had some idea of visiting Europe,
and, in order to keep prying eyes from his official records, had procured
the passage of a law by the Legislature, authorizing him to appoint a
Deputy-Comptroller, who "shall, in addition to his other powers, possess
every power, and perform every duty belonging to the office of
Comptroller, whenever the said Comptroller shall, by due written
authority, and during a period to be specified in such authority,
designate and authorize the said Deputy-Comptroller to possess the power
and perform the duty aforesaid."  Mr. Connolly thus had the legal power
to appoint Mr. Green, and the Mayor's refusal to recognize the
appointment was mere bombast.  The best legal talent in New York
sustained Mr. Connolly, and the Mayor's own law officer advised him that
he must respect the appointment; and so the statute that had been framed
for the protection of the Ring was unexpectedly used for their
destruction.

                  [Picture: THE ROBBERY OF THE VOUCHERS]

Still another discomfiture awaited the Ring.  A few days after the
appointment of Mr. Green, a servant girl employed in the family of the
janitor of the new Court House, unexpectedly revealed, under oath, the
manner in which the vouchers were stolen from the Comptroller's office,
and the names of the thieves.  Her sworn statement is as follows:

"_City and County of New York_, _ss_.--Mary Conway, being duly sworn,
doth depose and say: I have lived with Mr. and Mrs. Haggerty, in the
County Court-House, for over fourteen months, as cook; for about three or
four months I did general housework; on Sunday morning, September 10th, I
got out of bed with the child that slept with me, wanting to get up; I
don't know whether it was half-past six or seven o'clock; Mrs. Haggerty
came into the room in her night-dress; and said to me, 'it is too early
to get up yet;' I said to her, 'being as I am up I guess I will dress
myself;' as I was dressed I went out into the hall; I heard a knocking
down stairs; I said to Mrs. Haggerty, 'it sounds as if it was at the
Comptroller's door;' I went over to the kitchen, unlocked the kitchen
door, and went down stairs to the head of the stairs that leads to the
Comptroller's hall; I saw Charley Baulch knocking at the Comptroller's
door, and calling, 'Murphy, are you there?'  Murphy is a watchman; I came
up stairs and went back to the kitchen; shortly after I went down stairs
again and saw Charley Baulch with the door of the Comptroller's office
open, he holding it back on the outside, and I saw Mr. Haggerty come out
of the door with bundles of papers in his arms and bring them up to his
bedroom; the door where he came out is at the foot of the stairs, where
the glass is broken, going into the County Bureau; I came back, and did
not go down any more; each bundle of papers was tied with either a pink
tape or a pink ribbon round them; the next thing, I went over from the
kitchen out into the hall for a scuttle of coal; in this hall Mr.
Haggerty's bedroom door faced me; I saw a man with gray clothes going in
there with another bundle of papers like what Mr. Haggerty had; then I
brought back the coal to the kitchen, and put it on the fire; the next I
saw was this man with the gray clothes going down with a pillow-case on
his back, full, that looked as though filled with papers, shaped like the
bundles Mr. Haggerty had; at the same time he went down the stairs
Charley Baulch said to him, 'This way;' I kind of judged there was
something up, and I went to look in the drawer where the pillow-cases
were, and I missed one of the linen pillow-cases; I did this soon
afterward; soon after the man went down with the pillow-case, Mrs.
Haggerty came into the kitchen, giving me a key, and telling me to go
over to the drying-room; that is a room separate from the bedrooms; there
was a chest there full of linen, table linen and bed linen, and silver
right down in the bottom; she told me to get a nut-picker and bring it
over, as Mr. Haggerty wanted one; I took all the clothes out of the
trunk, and got the nut-picker and brought it back to her, and before I
got into the kitchen I said to Mrs. Haggerty, 'What is the matter?  The
kitchen's all black with smoke, and the dining room's all black with
smoke.'  She said, 'Mr. Haggerty wanted these papers burned, I told him
not to put them in, but he wants them burned;' I went over to the range
to cook some eggs for breakfast; it was full of burned papers on the top
and in the bottom; there lay a bundle of papers on the top that were
about half burned, with a piece of pink tape around them; I put on the
cover again; they were partly smothered, going out; Mrs. Haggerty had a
poker stirring up the papers on the top and underneath, where the ashes
were; the bottom of the range was full of burning papers, and Mrs.
Haggerty had the poker stirring them up so that they would burn faster;
from underneath the range and the top she took three or four pailfuls of
burned papers and emptied them up stairs on the attic floor, in a heap of
ashes.

"On Tuesday next, when Mrs. Haggerty came home from the market, she asked
me if there was anything new about this robbery in the Comptroller's
office; I told her I did not know; I didn't hear nothing, no more than a
man came up stairs to-day, and asked me if I let anybody in on Sunday, or
if I knew anybody to come into the building on Sunday; I told him I did
not know who came in; I didn't attend to the front door; I was cooking,
and had nothing to do with the front door; and I asked the man who sent
him up stairs; and he said a man down in the hall sent him up stairs to
inquire; next, I told Mrs. Haggerty that if I had known it was Charley
Baulch sent him up stairs to find any information from me, I should have
told the man to go down stairs, that Charley Baulch knew as much about it
as I did, and more, for he was one of the men that helped to rob it; she
said to me, 'Christ!  If Charley Baulch knowed that, he'd run into the
East River and drown himself--if he knowed you saw him;' this was on
Tuesday night I told her this; Mr. Haggerty left town on Tuesday, saying
he was going to Saratoga with Hank Smith, and he would be home on
Thursday or Friday, and on Wednesday night he got home from Saratoga;
Mrs. Haggerty told him the remarks that I made to her on Tuesday night
about the robbery; that I saw all that passed; she told me on Thursday
morning that she told Mr. Haggerty about it all, last night; that he was
going to wash his feet, but he felt so bad over it; they sat up for two
hours in the room talking, and he didn't wash his feet; on Thursday
morning when Mr. Haggerty came into the kitchen, he came to me, running
in, and said, 'Mary!'  I said, 'Sir!'  Said he, 'I don't want you to
speak of what you saw passed here on Sunday morning; I don't want you to
tell these old women or old men in the building; Charley Baulch done it
for me, and I done it for another man;' I said, 'I haven't told it to
anyone;' He said, 'You did tell it to Kitty' (his wife); I said, 'She
knew as much about it as I did; she saw the papers burning;' on next
Friday of that same week I saw Mark Haggerty, Mr. Haggerty's brother, who
is a detective in the Mayor's office, I think; I called him up stairs and
asked him to come in; he said, 'No, I am afraid to come in; I am afraid
of Ed.,' that is, Mr. Haggerty; they have not been on speaking terms in a
year; I then told him the occurrences that happened in the Court-House on
Sunday morning; I told him I didn't feel like staying there; that I was
almost crazy about it; he told me to keep it still; that if anybody would
hear about it outside they would be collared; I asked him would it be
prison; he said certainly.

"On Saturday night I went down to the market where Mrs. Haggerty keeps a
stand, and told her that I was going to leave for a few days until this
mess would be settled, for fear there would be any arrest, and I should
be a witness; she told me all I had to say was that I knew nothing about
it; I told her a false oath I would not give; what I saw with my eyes I
would swear to; she told me I could do as I chose about it; that I might
go against Mr. Haggerty if I chose; she said, 'It's foolish of you to
think so; you ought to go to headquarters and consult Mr. Kelso about
it;' I told her no, it was none of my business to go and consult him
about Mr. Haggerty's robbery; then she and I came together to the
Court-House; I got a couple of dresses and a night dress; I went down
stairs; she went with me; I met a policeman at the door, and he asked me
where I was going; I told him I was going to see my uncle's wife; she was
sick; I then went down to Washington street; I came up for my clothes
yesterday (Tuesday); the rooms were locked; I went down to the market to
where Mrs. Haggerty does business, and the first thing she said to me
was, 'By Christ Almighty, Mr. Haggerty will take your life!'  I says to
her, 'What for?' she said, 'What you told Mark;' I said, 'I've told him
the truth about the robbery;' she says, 'Your life will be taken, by
Christ Almighty!'  I said, 'I want my clothes;' She said, 'You can get
your clothes any time, what belongs to you;' she did not come up, and did
not open the door; I left my trunk in the hall of the Court-House, that I
brought to put my clothes in; they are over there yet; on that day,
before I saw Mrs. Haggerty, Mr. Murphy came to me and asked me if I
knowed anything about the robbery; if I did, please to tell the
Comptroller; I kind of smiled, and said I knew nothing about it; 'Well,'
said he, 'I know you know something about it;' I was making the bed in
Mr. Haggerty's room when Mr. Murphy came up and asked me if I knew
anything about it; I kind of smiled, and said 'No;' Mr. Murphy says, 'I
know better, you do;' I says, 'Why?' says he, 'Suppose you should be
arrested, then you'd have to prove about it whether you knew anything
about it or not;' that was in the hall; said I, 'When I'm arrested, it's
time enough to prove it then;' I then promised to see him on the stoop on
Saturday night, but I did not; I came up on Sunday morning, and left word
at the Hook and Ladder House to have Mr. Murphy come and see me on Sunday
night at No. 95 Washington street; Murphy came to me, and I told him I
would go up to the Comptroller's house with him and tell the Comptroller
all I knew about it, and that I was not doing it for any reward or money;
I was doing it to clear the Comptroller in the eyes of the people; I went
on Tuesday morning with Murphy to the Comptroller's house, and made the
above statement; this morning there was a policeman came into the house
where I was staying at No. 95 Washington street; the woman in the house
told me he would give me advice about the clothes I had left in the
Court-House; he asked me if I had any charge against Haggerty; I told him
no, no more than what happened there and what I saw on Sunday morning
week, and I explained it to him; he asked me, 'Have you been speaking to
Mr. Connolly?'  I said, 'Yes, certainly;' the policeman went out of the
house; the captain (as the woman called him) came to the door and
knocked, and asked the woman about me; she said I had stepped out; he
brought her out on the sidewalk, and was talking to her a little while,
and as I was in the room I heard him speak Hank Smith's name to her once;
when she came in she said he told her that he would like to see me and
have a talk with me, because they would do as much for me as Mr. Connolly
would in this business.

                                            "MARY CONWAY.

"Sworn to before me, Sept. 20th, 1871.

                    "THOS. A. LEDWITH, Police Justice."

In consequence of this disclosure, Baulch and Haggerty were arrested on
the charge of stealing the vouchers.  Search was made in the Court-House,
and the half-charred fragments of the vouchers were found in a room used
for the storage of old lumber.  Naturally, the Ring endeavored to treat
this discovery as a trick of the Comptroller's, and they furnished the
men charged with the theft with able counsel to defend them.

The citizens on their part endeavored to bring matters to a satisfactory
termination and secure the punishment of the Ring; but the members of
that body met them at every step with defiance and effrontery.  They used
every means in their power to prevent an investigation of the public
accounts, and to defeat the efforts that were made to recover the money
they had stolen from the city.  Meanwhile the Citizens' Committee labored
faithfully, and, through the efforts of Mr. Tilden, evidence was obtained
sufficient to cause the arrest of Mr. Tweed.  Garvey, Woodward, and
Ingersoll sought safety in flight.  Mayor Hall was arrested on the charge
of sharing the plunder obtained by the Ring, but the examining magistrate
declined to hold him on the charge for lack of evidence against him, and
the Grand Jury refused to indict him, for the same reason.  Mr. Tweed had
been nominated for the State Senate by a constituency composed of the
most worthless part of the population, and, in spite of the charges
against him, he continued to present himself for the suffrages of these
people, by whom he was elected at the November election.  In due time the
various committees appointed by the citizens made their reports,
presenting the facts we have embodied in this chapter.  The guilt of the
members of the Ring was proven so clearly that no reasonable person could
doubt it; but still grave fears were expressed that it would be
impossible to bring these men to justice, in consequence of the arts of
shrewd counsel and legal quibbles.  The determination of the citizens
grew with the approach of the elections.  Their last great victory over
the Ring was achieved at the polls on the 7th of November, when the
entire Ring ticket in the city, with but one or two exceptions, was
overwhelmingly defeated.

Whether the guilty parties will be punished as they deserve, or whether
the citizens will allow the prosecutions they have instituted to flag,
the future alone can decide.  At the present there is reason to fear that
the guilty will escape.  Should this fear be realized, the citizens of
New York will have abundant cause to regret it.  The Ring is badly
beaten, but it is not destroyed.  Many of its members are still in
office, and there are still numbers of its followers ready to do its
bidding.  Until the last man tainted with the infamy of an alliance with
the Ring is removed from office, the people of New York may be sure that
the danger is not at an end.



II.  PERSONNEL OF THE RING.


Generally speaking, the Ring may be said to include every office-holder
in the city, and it is very certain that of late every official has come
in for a share of the suspicion with which the people regard the
transactions of the Ring.  It would be impossible to give an accurate and
complete list of the members of that body, for many of them are not yet
known to the public; but the recent investigations have shown that it is
not composed exclusively of Democrats.  A number of Republicans, while
openly acting with their party, have been found to be allied with and in
the pay of the Ring.

The men who are supposed to have played the most conspicuous parts in the
doings of the Ring, and who are believed by the public to be chiefly
responsible for its acts, are Mayor A. O. Hall, Richard B. Connolly,
William M. Tweed, Peter B. Sweeny, J. H. Ingersoll, Andrew J. Garvey, and
E. A. Woodward.

A. OAKEY HALL, Mayor of the city, was born in New York, is of American
parentage, and is about forty-six years old.  He received a good
education, and at an early age began the study of the law.  He removed to
New Orleans soon after, and was for a while in the office of the Hon.
John Slidell.  He subsequently returned to New York, where he became
associated with the late Mr. Nathaniel Blunt, as Assistant
District-Attorney.  Upon the death of Mr. Blunt, he was elected
District-Attorney by the Whig party, and held that position for about
twelve years.  At the end of that time, he was elected Mayor of New York,
to succeed John T. Hoffman, now Governor of the State.  For some years he
has been a member of the law firm of Brown, Hall & Vanderpoel, which firm
enjoys a large and lucrative practice.  He is said to be a lawyer of
considerable ability, and has undoubtedly had great experience in
criminal practice.  As a politician, his experience has also been
extensive and varied.  He began life as a Whig, but became a prominent
Know-Nothing in the palmy days of that party.  Finding Know-Nothingism a
failure, however, he became a Republican, from which party, about nine or
ten years ago, he passed over to the Democrats.

A writer in _Every Saturday_ thus speaks of him:

"His Honor has some facility as a writer, and for twenty years has
maintained a quasi or direct connection with the press.  He is not
lacking in the culture of desultory reading, and when he chooses to do so
can bear himself like a gentleman.  Of such a thing as dignity of
character, he appears to have but a faint conception.  Pedantry is more
to him than profundity, and to tickle the ear of the town with a cheap
witticism, he deems a greater thing than to command it with a forcible
presentation of grave issues.  The essential type of the man was
presented to public gaze about two years ago, when he stood on the City
Hall steps dressed from head to foot in a suit of green to review a St.
Patrick's procession.  He is a harlequin with the literary ambition of a
Richelieu.  He affects an intimacy with the stage, and has done something
in the way of producing plays.  He can write clearly and concisely when
he will, but prefers to provoke with odd quips and far-fetched conceits.
He patronizes journalists and magazine writers with a sort of grotesque
familiarity, and readily makes himself at home among the Bohemians of
Literature."

Since his union with the Democracy, Mr. Hall has been the constant and
intimate associate of the men who have brought disgrace and loss upon the
city, and of late years he has been regarded as one of the leading
members of the Ring.  It is said openly in New York that he owes his
election to the Mayoralty entirely to William M. Tweed.  As Mayor of the
city, he has been officially connected with many of the transactions by
which the city has been defrauded of large sums of money.  Some of the
most prominent newspapers of the city have denounced him as a thief and a
sharer of the stolen money.  His friends, on the other hand, have
declared their belief that his worst fault was his official approval of
the fraudulent warrants.  They state that he has never in his manner of
living, or in any other way, given evidence of possessing large sums of
money, and his legal partner made oath before the Grand Jury that Mr.
Hall was not worth over $60,000 or $70,000.  It is certain that when the
proprietor of the _New York Times_, which journal had been loud in
denouncing Hall as a thief, was called on by the Grand Jury to furnish
them with the evidence upon which this charge was based, he was unable to
do so, and the Grand Jury was unable to obtain any evidence criminating
Mr. Hall personally.  His friends declare that his signing the fraudulent
warrants was a purely ministerial act, and that having many thousands of
them to sign in a year, he was compelled to rely upon the endorsements of
the Comptroller and auditing officers.

In the present state of affairs, there is no evidence showing that Mr.
Hall derived any personal pecuniary benefit from the frauds upon the
treasury.  Public sentiment is divided respecting him; many persons
believing that he is a sharer in the plunder of the Ring, and others
holding the opposite opinion.  The most serious charges that have been
made against him, have been brought by Mr. John Foley, and Mr. Samuel J.
Tilden.  The former is the President of the Nineteenth Ward Citizens'
Association, and the latter the leader of the Reform Democracy.  Mr.
Tilden, in his speech at the Cooper Institute, November 2d, 1871, thus
spoke of Mayor Hall:

"These three Auditors met but once.  They then passed a resolution which
now stands on the records of the city in the handwriting of Mayor Hall.
It was passed on his motion, and what was its effect?  Did it audit
anything?  Did it perform the functions?  Did it fulfil the trust
committed to the Board?  Not a bit of it.  It provided that all claims
certified by Mr. Tweed and Mr. Young, Secretary of the old Board of
Supervisors, should be received, and, on sufficient evidence, paid.
Mayor Hall is the responsible man for all this.  He knew it was a
fraudulent violation of duty on the part of every member of that Board of
Audit to pass claims in the way they did.

* * * * *

"Fellow-citizens, let me call your attention for a moment to the
after-piece of these transactions.  Our friend, Mayor Hall, is a very
distinguished dramatist, and he would consider it a very serious offence
to the drama to have the after-piece left out.  Now, what was that
after-piece?  When the statements were published in regard to these
frauds, Mayor Hall published a card, wherein he said that these accounts
were audited by the old Board of Supervisors, and that neither he nor Mr.
Connolly was at all responsible for them.  A little later--about August
16th--Mayor Hall said it was true they were audited by the Board of
Audit, and, in doing so, they performed a ministerial function, and would
have been compelled by mandamus to do it, if they hadn't done it
willingly.  I do not deem it necessary in the presence of an intelligent
audience and the lawyers sitting around me on this stage, to present any
observations upon the idea that 'to audit and to pay the amount found
due' was a ministerial function. . . . . . .

"So we pass to Mr. Hall's fourth defence.  On the burning of the vouchers
he made a raid on Mr. Connolly.  He wrote him a public letter, demanding
his resignation in the name of the public because he had lost the public
confidence; and at the same time he was writing to Mr. Tweed touching and
tender epistles of sympathy and regret.  You might at that time, if you
were a member of the Club, have heard Mr. Hall in his jaunty and somewhat
defiant manner; you might have seen Mr. Tweed, riding in the midnight
hour, with countenance vacant and locks awry, and have heard dropping
from his lips, 'The public demands a victim.'  And so he proposed to
charge upon Connolly, who had legal custody of the vouchers, the stealing
and burning of them.  He proposed to put some one else in the office of
the Comptroller when Connolly should be crushed out of it, and so
reconstruct the Ring and impose it a few years longer upon the people of
this city. . . . . . .

"The sequel showed that the vouchers were taken by Haggerty, whom Mr.
Connolly sought out and found, and prosecuted.  Then, again, a little
later, when it happened that Mr. Keyser swore that indorsements for
$900,000 on warrants made in his name were forgeries, there was another
raid made on the Comptroller's office.  It was then filled by Mr. Green.
The object was not to get rid of Mr. Connolly but of Mr. Green, and the
men who caused the raid were Mayor Hall and Peter B. Sweeny.  Now, what
was the result of that?  And I will say to this meeting that the sense of
alarm that I had that morning lest the movement should mislead the
public, was the motive that induced me to lay aside my business, go to
the Broadway Bank and make a personal examination.

"What was the result of that?  Why, that every one of these forged
warrants were deposited, except one, to Woodward's account, and only one
to Ingersoll, and that the proceeds were divided with Tweed.

"Now, gentlemen, these revelations throw a light upon what?  Upon three
false pretences in regard to these transactions, made by Mayor Hall under
his own signature before the public, and two attempts to mislead the
public judgment as to the real authors of the crime.  I do not wish to do
injustice to Mayor Hall.  He is a man experienced in criminal law.
(Laughter.)  He is a man who is educated both in the drama and in the
stirring scenes that are recorded in the actual crimes of mankind in this
country and in England, for I understand this has composed the greatest
part of his business.  Now I say that there is nothing in the
melo-dramatic history of crime more remarkable than these two successive
attempts of his to lay the crime to innocent men, if the object was not
to screen men whom he knew to be guilty.  And while I would not do any
wrong or the slightest injustice to Mayor Hall, I say to him, as I do to
you, that the history of these transactions puts him on his explanation,
and draws upon him a strong suspicion that he knew whereof he was acting.
Did he mistake when he got the City Charter?  Did he mistake when he
acted in the Board of Audit?  Did he mistake when he accused Connolly of
burning the vouchers?  Has he been subject to a misfortune of mistakes at
all times?  Why does he stand to-day endeavoring to preserve that power?
I will only say that if he was mistaken on these occasions he is a very
unfortunate man, and has not acquired by the six years of practice in the
District-Attorney's office that amount of sagacity in the pursuit of
crime which we would naturally ascribe to him."

RICHARD B. CONNOLLY was born in the county of Cork, in Ireland.  His
father was a village schoolmaster, and gave him a good common school
education.  He was brought over to this country by an elder brother who
had been here for several years.  He embarked in politics at an early
day, and was elected County Clerk before he could legally cast his vote.
He soon made himself noted for his facility in making and breaking
political promises, in consequence of which he was popularly called
"Slippery Dick."  He gave considerable dissatisfaction to his party as
County Clerk, and soon dropped out of politics.  A few years later,
taking advantage of the divisions of the Democratic party, he put himself
forward as a candidate for the post of State Senator, and was elected, as
is charged by the newspaper press, by the liberal use of bribery and
ballot-box stuffing.  He was charged with using his position to make
money, and during his term at Albany was fiercely denounced for his
course in this and other respects.

                     [Picture: RICHARD B. CONNOLLY.]

About three years ago, he was appointed Comptroller of the Finance
Department of the City of New York.  At that time the real heads of the
Finance Department were Peter B. Sweeny, City Chamberlain, and the late
County Auditor Watson, the latter of whom has been shown by the recent
investigations to have been a wholesale plunderer of the public funds.
The Comptroller was then a mere ornamental figure-head to the department.
In a short while, however, Watson was accidentally killed; and Sweeny
resigned, leaving Connolly master of the situation.  He was suspected by
Tweed, and in his turn distrusted the "Boss."  It is said that he
resolved, however, to imitate his colleagues, and enrich himself at the
cost of the public.  He did well.  In the short period of three years,
this man, who had entered upon his office poor, became a millionaire.  He
made his son Auditor in the City Bureau, and gave the positions of
Surrogate and Deputy Receiver of Taxes to his two sons-in-law.  All these
three were men of the lowest intellectual capacity, and all three share
in the suspicion which attaches to Connolly's administration of the
office.  The _New York Tribune_, of October 25th, 1871, stated that a
short time before he became Comptroller, Connolly was sued for debt by
Henry Felter, now a liquor merchant on Broadway, and _swore in court that
he owned no property at all_.  Under this statement the _Tribune_
publishes a list of _a part_ of Connolly's transactions in property since
he became Comptroller, covering the sum of $2,300,691.

PETER B. SWEENY is the "modest man" of the Ring, and is popularly
believed to carry the brains of that body in his head.  He is regarded by
the public as the real leader of the Ring, and the originator of, and
prime, though secret mover in all its acts.

                       [Picture: PETER B. SWEENY.]

Mr. Sweeny is of Irish parentage, though born in New York.  His father
kept a drinking saloon in Park Row, near the old Park Theatre, and it was
in this choice retreat that the youth of Sweeny was passed.  He began his
career as an errand boy in a law office.  He subsequently studied law,
and, in due time, was admitted to the bar.

A writer in _Every Saturday_ thus sums up his career: "He never obtained,
and perhaps never sought, much business in his profession; but very soon
after reaching manhood turned his attention to politics.  The first
office he held was that of Counsel to the Corporation, to which position
he was elected by a handsome majority.  This station did not so much
require in its occupant legal skill and legal ability, as an apt faculty
for political manipulation; and in the work he had to do, Mr. Sweeny was
eminently successful.  From the Corporation office he went into the
District Attorneyship, obtained leave of absence for some time, treated
himself to a term of European travel, came home, and resigned the post to
which he had been chosen, and soon became City Chamberlain by the Mayor's
appointment.

"It was in this office that he did what gave him a national standing, and
led many people into the notion that some good had come from the Tammany
Nazareth.  The Chamberlain was custodian, under the old charter, of all
city moneys.  Such portions of these funds as were not required for
immediate use, this official deposited in some of the banks, and the
banks allowed interest, as is customary, on the weekly or monthly balance
to his credit.  Previous to Sweeny's time the Chamberlain had put this
interest money into his own pocket--and a very handsome thing Mr. Devlin
and his predecessors made out of the transaction.  But Sweeny startled
the political world, and caused a great sensation, by announcing that he
should turn these interest receipts into the City Treasury.  Tammany made
a notable parade of his honesty and public spirit, and the capital he
gained in this way has been his chief stock-in-trade for the last two or
three years.

"But in the light of recent developments, Mr. Sweeny's course does not
seem so purely disinterested as it once did.  He was in full control of
the city funds on the memorable Black Friday of two years ago last
summer, and sworn testimony taken by a committee of Congress shows that
he had a share in the doings of that eventful day.  To what extent the
money in his official charge was put at the service of the Wall street
Ring, the country probably never will know; but the common belief of New
York is that Mr. Sweeny made a good deal of money out of his speculations
on that occasion.  That he has been more or less concerned with Fisk and
Gould in various Erie Railway stock operations, is matter of general
notoriety; as it is also that most of the lately-exposed fraudulent
transactions in connection with the so-called new Court-House and other
public buildings occurred during his incumbency of the Chamberlain's
office.  The greater part of those transactions yet brought into daylight
refer to county affairs, it is true; but city and county are one except
in name, and we have only just begun to get at what are designated the
city accounts.

"As has been already stated, he values himself on his brains, and the
Ring adherents take him at that valuation.  They believe him capable of
finding a way out of the closest corner, and we suppose it is not to be
doubted that he is a man of considerable ability.  He has not many of the
qualities of a popular politician; years ago he cut loose from his early
engine-company associations; he is reserved and reticent at all times,
and rarely seeks contact with the Democratic masses; he covets seclusion
and respectability; apparently he has sought to be Warwick rather than
King, and his followers credit him with a masterly performance of the
part.  One of his earliest acts as President of the Park Commission was
to oust Fred. Law Olmstead, and shelve Andrew H. Green, the actual
creators of Central Park; but the whirligig of time has now put him into
such a position that he cannot get a dollar of public money without the
signature of Andrew H. Green."

Since the disastrous defeat of Tammany and the Ring in the November
elections, Mr. Sweeny has resigned his Presidency of the Department of
Public Parks, and has retired to private life.  He is a man of
considerable wealth, and, though there is no evidence to convict him of
complicity with Tweed and Connolly in their frauds, the public suspect
and distrust him, so that altogether, his retirement was a very wise and
politic act.

The "head devil" of the Ring is WILLIAM M. TWEED, or, as he is commonly
called, "Boss Tweed."  He is of Irish descent, and was born in the City
of New York.  He was apprenticed to a chair-maker, to learn the trade,
but never engaged legitimately in it after he became his own master.  He
finally became a member of Fire Company No. 6--known as "Big Six," and
"Old Tiger"--the roughest and worst company in the city.  He soon became
its foreman.  His attention was now turned to politics, and as he
possessed considerable influence over the "roughs," he became a valuable
man to the city politicians.  As a compensation for his services, they
allowed him to receive a small office, from which he pushed his way into
the old Board of Supervisors, and eventually into the State Senate.  Upon
the inauguration of the New Charter, he became President of the Board of
Public Works, and the most prominent leader of the Ring.  He is a man of
considerable executive ability, and has known how to use his gifts for
his own gain.  In March, 1870, the _New York World_ spoke of him as
follows:

"Mr. Tweed was worth less than nothing when he took to the trade of
politics.  Now he has great possessions, estimated all the way from
$5,000,000 to twice as much.  We are sorry not to be able to give his own
estimate, but, unluckily, he returns no income.  But at least he is rich
enough to own a gorgeous house in town and a sumptuous seat in the
country, a stud of horses, and a set of palatial stables.  His native
modesty shrinks from blazoning abroad the exact extent of his present
wealth, or the exact means by which it was acquired.  His sensitive soul
revolts even at the partial publicity of the income list.  We are tossed
upon the boundless ocean of conjecture.  But we do know from his own
reluctant lips that this public servant, who entered the public service a
bankrupt, has become, by an entire abandonment of himself to the public
good, 'one of the largest tax-payers in New York.'  His influence is
co-extensive with his cash.  The docile Legislature sits at his feet, as
Saul at the feet of Gamaliel, and waits, in reverent inactivity, for his
signal before proceeding to action.  He thrives on percentages of
pilfering, grows rich on the distributed dividends of rascality.  His
extortions are as boundless in their sum as in their ingenuity.  Streets
unopened profit him--streets opened put money in his purse.  Paving an
avenue with poultice enriches him--taking off the poultice increases his
wealth.  His rapacity, like the trunk of an elephant, with equal skill
twists a fortune out of the Broadway widening, and picks up dishonest
pennies in the Bowery."

In 1861, Mr. Tweed appeared in the courts of the city as a bankrupt.  In
1871, his wealth is estimated at from $15,000,000, to $20,000,000.  The
manner in which he is popularly believed to have amassed this immense sum
is thus described in a pamphlet recently issued in New York:

"While holding the position of State Senator he also held the position of
Supervisor--was the leading spirit and President of the old Board of
Supervisors, that has been denounced as the most scandalously corrupt
body that ever disgraced a civilized community--and also the position of
Deputy Street Commissioner.  The first two be used to put money in his
pocket, but the last was used mainly to enable him to keep a set of
ruffians about him, who were paid out of the city treasury, and to afford
lucrative positions to men who might be of service in promoting his
political and pecuniary interests.  By employing the same agencies that
he had used to secure his own election, he gradually worked his
particular friends into positions where he could use them, and then
commenced a scheme for surrounding every department in the government of
the city and county with a perfect network, which would enable himself
and his confederates to appropriate to their own use the greater part of
the city and county revenues.  The new Court-House has been a mine of
wealth to these thieves from its very inception.  The quarry from which
the marble was supplied was bought by the gang for a mere nominal price,
and has since netted them millions of dollars.  The old fire
engine-houses were turned over to 'Andy' Garvey and other cronies of
Tweed's at rents ranging from $50 to $150 a year, and some of them have
been let by these fellows as high as $5000 a year.  The public schools,
the different departments of the government, and the public institutions
under the control of the city authorities, all needed furniture, and
Tweed started a furniture manufactory in connection with James H.
Ingersoll, who has since achieved a notoriety as the most shameless thief
among the fraternity of scoundrels whom we are now describing.  Tweed's
next step was to get control of a worthless little newspaper called _The
Transcript_, and then to introduce a bill into the Legislature making
this miserable little sheet the official organ of the City Government.
This sheet receives over a $1,000,000 a year for printing the proceedings
of the Common Council, but the proceedings of the corrupt Board of
Supervisors are studiously concealed from the public.

"Tweed's next step was to establish 'The New York Printing Company.'
This gives Tweed a pretext for rendering enormous bills for printing for
the different departments of the City Government; and although the amount
of work actually performed is only trifling, and consists mainly in
printing blank forms and vouchers, still the amount annually paid out of
the treasury to this company is something enormous--amounting during the
year 1870 to over $2,800,000.  Nor is this all.  When this company was
first started, a portion of a building on Centre street was found
sufficient for its accommodation.  Since then it has absorbed three of
the largest printing establishments in the city, and also three or four
smaller ones, and a lithographing establishment.  Why have these
extensive establishments been secured?  Simply this: Insurance Companies,
Steamboat Companies, Ferry Companies, and other corporations require an
enormous amount of printing.  Each of these associations may be subjected
to serious loss and inconvenience, by the passage of legislative
enactments abridging the privileges they now enjoy, or requiring them to
submit to some vexatious and expensive regulation.  Hence, when they
receive notice that 'The New York Printing Company' is ready to do their
printing, they know that they must consent, and pay the most exorbitant
rate for the work done, or submit to Tweed's exactions during the next
session of the Legislature.

"In addition to the Printing Company, Tweed has a 'Manufacturing
Stationers' Company,' which furnishes all the stationery used in the
public schools, the public institutions, and the several departments of
the City Government.  This concern receives not less than $3,000,000 a
year out of the city treasury.  As an illustration of the way they do
things, we will cite one instance: During the month of April of the
present year, an order was sent to this company for stationery for the
County Bureau.  In due time it was delivered, and consisted of about six
reams of cap paper, and an equal quantity of letter paper, with a couple
of reams of note paper.  There were, also, about two dozen penholders,
four small ink bottles, such as could be bought at retail for thirty-five
or forty cents, a dozen small sponges for pen-wipers, half a dozen office
rulers, and three dozen boxes of rubber bands of various sizes--the
entire amount worth about fifty dollars at retail.  For this stationery,
a bill of _ten thousand dollars_ was rendered soon after, and was duly
paid; and similar claims are presented for stationery for every bureau
and department of the government, almost every month throughout the
year--and are always promptly paid, although persons having legitimate
claims against the same appropriation could not obtain a dollar.  But not
content with the enormous amounts that are thus obtained under false
pretences, Tweed even charges the city with the wages of the different
persons employed in these several establishments, and makes a large
percentage on the amounts thus drawn from the Treasury.  For instance:
Charles E. Wilbour is President of the Printing Company and also of the
Stationers' Company, while Cornelius Corson is the Secretary of both
companies.  Wilbour receives $3000 a year as Stenographer to the Bureau
of Elections, $2500 as Stenographer in the Superior Court, and $3500 a
year for 'examining accounts' that he has never seen.  These several sums
are drawn out of the County Bureau alone, and he holds an equal number of
sinecure positions in the City Bureau.  Corson is Chief of the Bureau of
Elections, for which he receives $6000 a year; and he also receives $3500
for 'examining' the same accounts, for which Wilbour receives a similar
sum; while, like Wilbour, he has never seen the accounts."

In order to carry on his immense operations, Tweed has had to avail
himself from time to time of the assistance of his partners.  He has
always found them willing accomplices.  These were J. H. Ingersoll,
Andrew J. Garvey, and E. A. Woodward, all of whom have sought safety in
flight.

J. H. Ingersoll is the son of a chair-dealer in the Bowery, and was
Tweed's principal tool in defrauding the citizens.  He in his turn
"operated" through sub-firms, and was paid in 1869 and 1870 the enormous
sum of $5,691,144.26 for furniture and repairs to the new Court House and
the militia armories of the city.  Much of this work was never done.  For
the work actually done only the legitimate price was paid; the rest of
the enormous sum was divided between Tweed and Ingersoll.

Andrew J. Garvey is a plasterer by trade, and had a shop in the Third
avenue.  He is also an Irishman, and was a "bunker" of the old fire
department.  During the years 1869 and 1870 he was paid $2,905,464.06 for
repairing, plastering, painting and decorating the militia armories and
the new Court-House.  But a small part of this sum represents work
honestly done.  The rest is stolen money, of which Tweed received his
share.  At the very first discovery of the frauds, Garvey fled from the
city, and it is believed sailed for Europe to escape the punishment he
dreaded.

E. A. Woodward was a deputy clerk to the Board of Supervisors, and as
such received a moderate salary.  As far as is known, he had no other
means of acquiring money.  He was at the beginning of the investigations
the owner of a magnificent estate near Norwalk, Connecticut, a partner in
the firm of Vanderhoef & Beatty, to the extent of $75,000; and the owner
of property variously estimated at from $500,000 to $1,000,000.  It was
charged by the New York papers that the endorsements of the name of
Keyser & Co. on warrants amounting to over $817,000, and which
endorsements Mr. Keyser pronounced _forgeries_, were mainly the work of
Woodward.  The money drawn on the fraudulent warrants was divided between
Woodward and Tweed.  Conclusive evidence of this was afforded by Mr.
Samuel J. Tilden, who, by a happy inspiration, made a personal
examination of Tweed's bank account at the Broadway Bank, and there
discovered that Tweed, Garvey, Ingersoll, and Woodward had divided
$6,095,319.17 of the public funds between them.

Commenting upon this discovery, the New York _Tribune_ remarks: "Of the
total amount of these warrants, $6,312,541.37, three dependents and tools
of Mr. William M. Tweed deposited $5,710,913.38, and the New York
Printing Company deposited $384,395.19, making $6,095,319.17.  Further,
$103,648.68 is believed to have been deposited by Ingersoll in a
different bank, so that the whole amount of the audit, except
$113,583.52, was really collected by persons in connection with or in
collusion with Tweed.  Ingersoll collected $3,501,584.50 of the warrants,
and he received from Garvey, out of his collections, $47,744.68.  Of that
aggregate he paid over to Woodward $1,817,467.49, or a little more than
half of his whole receipts.

"Garvey deposited warrants amounting to $1,177,413.72.  He, Garvey, paid
to Woodward $731,871.01, or over two-thirds of the whole amount of his
receipts.  Woodward deposited $1,032,715.76, and he received in checks
from Ingersoll and Garvey enough of these collections to make a total of
$3,582,054.26.  Of this amount he paid over $923,858.50 to Tweed.

"Woodward was then, and is now, a deputy clerk to Young of the Board of
Supervisors, on whose certification, according to Mayor Hall's
resolution, as well as on that of Mr. Tweed, the bills were to be paid.
It is unknown to whom Woodward made other payments, but those he made to
Tweed are established beyond doubt.  The tickets accompanying the
deposits are in the handwriting of Woodward, and the teller in the
Broadway Bank swore that they were generally made by Woodward in person.

"Including $104,333.64, Tweed received a handsome aggregate of
$1,037,192.14.

"The manner in which the city warrants were identified is explained in
the affidavit of Mr. Tilden.  The first table is headed, 'County
Liabilities.'  That is made up from the records in the Comptroller's
office and the warrants.  The last contains all that there is (memoranda
and endorsements) on the back of the warrants.  Nearly all the vouchers
of these bills were among those stolen on Sunday, September 10th, but the
warrants were kept in a different place, and are now in the Comptroller's
office.  The next table headed, 'Identification of Parties who received
the Proceeds of the Warrants,' is made up, as to the description of the
warrants, from the books of the Comptroller's office, and from the
warrants themselves, and the identification of the persons who deposited
the warrants is made out from accounts of the entries, in the National
Broadway Bank.  The asterisks against the amounts of the warrants in the
fifth column indicate those of the Keyser warrants on which John H.
Keyser alleges the endorsements were forged.

"All those warrants which fell within the period of this account were
collected by Woodward, _except one_, _and that one by Ingersoll_.

"Undoubtedly the transactions, taken together, were in the opinion of the
Acting Attorney-General, a conspiracy to defraud the county by means of
bills exaggerated many times, for work or services received, or for work
and services already paid for, or for accounts that were fictitious.

"The result throws great light both on the stealing and burning of the
vouchers by Haggerty, the janitor of the building, appointed by the
Chamberlain, and also upon the Keyser forgeries."

Woodward did not wait for the accumulation of evidence against him.  He
followed the example of Ingersoll and Garvey, and took flight, and at
present his whereabouts is unknown.

Mr. Tilden's affidavit relating the facts of his discovery furnished
evidence sufficient to justify the arrest of Mr. Tweed.  The Sheriff
performed the farce of arresting the "Boss" in his office at the
Department of Public Works.  Bail was offered and accepted.  The Sheriff
treated the great defaulter with the utmost courtesy and deference,
appearing before him, hat in hand, with a profusion of servile bows.  No
absolute monarch could have been treated with greater reverence.  The
moral sense of the community was outraged.  On the same day a poor wretch
who had stolen a loaf of bread to keep his sick wife from starving was
sentenced for theft.

Mr. Tweed attempted to explain away Mr. Tilden's discovery, but was met
at once by that gentleman, who more than fastened his guilt upon him.
Said Mr. Tilden:

"The fourth act in the conspiracy was the collection of the money and its
division.  (Laughter.)  Who collected that money?  We found upon
investigation that every time Garvey collected $100,000 he paid 66 per
cent. to Woodward, who paid Tweed 24 per cent. of it.  (Laughter.)
Sometimes Woodward paid a fraction above 24 per cent. to Tweed, sometimes
a fraction below, but it never reached 25 per cent. nor fell to 23 per
cent. (Laughter.)

"Every time Woodward collected money he paid over 24 per cent. to Tweed.
The investigations in the Broadway Bank having begun without knowledge of
the specific transactions to which they would relate, extend back through
the whole of the year 1870, and it appears that about the same
transactions were going on in the four months of that year, and about the
same division was made.  Something like $200,000 or $240,000 was paid
over to Tweed during those four months.

"Now I have heard it said in some of the public presses that a gentleman
who had an interview with Mr. Tweed had received the explanation that Mr.
Woodward owed him large sums of borrowed money, and that when, in the
course of his business arrangements with the city, he received these sums
of money from the city, he simply paid it over to Mr. Tweed in
satisfaction of his debts.  That is a very fine theory.  There is only
one difficulty about it, and that is, these loans are not entered on the
bank account.  Examine Mr. Tweed's bank account, and there is not $1000
in it except in city transactions.  His whole private business during
this time when he was depositing it--checks drawn upon city warrants
amounted to $3,500,000--did not amount to $3000; therefore it results
inevitably that whatever is taken from that account is city money, for
there was nothing but city or county money in that bank.  There were no
private funds there.  Where his 42 per cent. went I am unable to find
out.  It was probably transferred to some other bank in large checks for
subdivision among the parties entitled thereto; but about that we know
not.  Now, gentlemen, that disposes of the fourth act in the conspiracy,
and the events justify me in saying that at the time the City Charter was
passed I had no suspicion that the principal object in passing it was not
to preserve political power, with the ordinary average benefits that
usually accrue to its possessors.  I had no suspicion that affairs were
going on in this way.  But it seems that these transactions were about
one-half through; that there was about as much to be done after the new
charter as had been done for sixteen months previous under the old law;
and that therefore the motive and object of the new charter was not only
to secure political power with its ordinary average advantages, but also
to conceal the immense amounts that had been already stolen, and to
secure the opportunity of stealing an immense amount that was in prospect
before its passage.  I say, then, that by the ordinary rules and
principles of evidence, looking back to the beginning of the
transactions, no man can doubt that all this series of acts were parts of
one grand conspiracy, not only for power, but for personal plunder."

We have not the space to dwell further upon the villainies from which the
city has suffered, but in parting with the Ring we cannot but regret, in
the forcible language of the Committee of Seventy, that, "Not an official
implicated in these infamies has had the virtue to commit suicide."



V.  BROADWAY.


I.  HISTORICAL.


To write the history of Broadway would require a volume, for it would be
the history of New York itself.  The street was laid out in the days of
the Dutch, and then, as now, began at the Bowling Green.  By them it was
called the "Heere Straas," or High street.  They built it up as far as
Wall street, but in those days only the lower end was of importance.  The
site of the Bowling Green was occupied by the Dutch fort and the church,
and on the west side of it was the parade and the market place.  Ere long
several well-to-do merchants erected substantial dwellings on the same
side, one of these belonging to no less a personage than the
Schout-Fiscal Van Dyck.  The east side of Broadway, during the rule of
the Dutch, was thickly built up with dwellings of but one room, little
better than hovels.  Eventually, however, some of the better class
mechanics came there to reside, and erected better houses.  Their gardens
extended down to the marsh on Broad street, and they cultivated their
cabbages and onions with great success, where now the bulls and bears of
the stock and gold markets rage and roar.

Under the English rule Broadway improved rapidly.  Substantial dwellings
clustered around the Bowling Green.  The first, and by far the most
elegant of these, was the edifice still known as "No. 1, Broadway," at
present used as a hotel.  It was built by Archibald Kennedy, then
Collector of the Port of New York, and afterwards Earl of Cassilis, in
the Scotch Peerage.  In the colonial times it was frequented by the
highest fashion of the city, and during the Revolution was the
headquarters of the British General, Sir Henry Clinton.  Other noted
personages afterwards resided in it.  This portion of Broadway escaped
the destruction caused by the great fire of 1776, and until about forty
years ago preserved its ante-colonial appearance.

This fire destroyed all that part of the street that had been built above
Morris street.  After the Revolution it was rebuilt more substantially,
and many of the most elegant residences in the city were to be found
here, between Wall street and the Bowling Green.  General Washington
resided on the west side of Broadway, just below Trinity Church, during a
portion of his Presidential term.

In 1653, the Dutch built a wall across the island at the present Wall
street.  One of the main gates of this wall was on Broadway, just in
front of the present Trinity Church.  From this gate a public road,
called the "Highway," continued up the present line of the street to the
"Commons," now the City Hall Park, where it diverged into what is now
Chatham street.  In 1696 Trinity Church was erected.  The churchyard
north of the edifice had for some time previous been used as a burying
ground.

Along the east side of Broadway, from Maiden lane to a point about 117
feet north of Fulton street, was a pasture known as the "Shoemaker's
Pasture."  It covered an area of sixteen acres, and was used in common by
the shoemakers of the city for the manufacture of leather, their tannery
being located in a swampy section, near the junction of Maiden lane and
William street.  About 1720 the pasture was sold in lots, and Fulton and
John streets were extended through it.  That part of the tract bounded by
the present Broadway, Nassau, Fulton and Ann streets, was for many years
occupied by a pleasure resort, known as "Spring Garden."  The tavern
occupied the site of the present _Herald_ office.  It was here, during
the excitement preceding the Revolution, that the "Sons of Liberty" had
their head-quarters.  They purchased the building, and named it "Hampden
Hall."  It was the scene of many a riot and public disturbance during
those stirring times.  It was occupied as a dwelling house from the close
of the Revolution until 1830, when it was converted into a Museum by John
Scudder.  In 1840 Phineas T. Barnum became the owner of the building and
Museum.  After the destruction of the Museum by fire in 1864, Mr. James
Gordon Bennett purchased the site, and erected upon it the magnificent
office of _The Herald_.

Trinity Church Farm lay along the west side of Broadway, north of Fulton
street.  It was divided into lots in 1760, and between that time and
1765, the present St. Paul's Church was erected on the lower end of it.
The street forming the northern boundary of the churchyard was named
Vesey, in honor of a former pastor of Trinity.

In 1738 a public market, 156 feet long, and 20 feet 3.5 inches wide, was
erected in the middle of Broadway, opposite the present Liberty, then
Crown street.  It remained there until 1771, when it was removed as a
public nuisance.

By the opening of the present century, Broadway had extended above the
present City Hall Park, which had been enclosed as a pleasure ground in
1785.  It was taken up along its upper portion mainly with cottages, and
buildings of a decidedly rustic character.  In 1805 the street was paved
in front of the Park, and in 1803 the present City Hall was begun on the
site of the old Poor House.  It was completed in 1812.  The principal
hotels, and many of the most elegant residences, were to be found at this
time on both sides of Broadway between Chambers street and Wall street.
In 1810-12 Washington Hall was erected on the southeast corner of Reade
street.  It was the head-quarters of the old Federal Party, and was
subsequently used as a hotel.  It was afterwards purchased by Mr. A. T.
Stewart, who erected on its site his palatial wholesale store, which
extends along Broadway to Chambers street.  About the year 1820, the dry
goods merchants began to locate themselves on the west side of Broadway
near Reade street.

On the west side of Broadway, above Duane street, was the celebrated
Rutgers' estate, consisting of a fine mansion and large and elaborately
laid out grounds.  The house was built by Anthony Rutgers in 1730, and
occupied by him until his death in 1750.  After his death the property
was converted into a pleasure garden, known as "The Ranelagh."  It was
kept by a Mr. John Jones until a few years before the Revolution.  It was
a famous resort for the better classes.  A complete band was in
attendance every Monday and Thursday evening during the summer, and
dancing was carried on in a large hall which had been erected in the
garden.  In 1770, the estate was sold.  Five acres, embracing the
orchard, were purchased by an association, and in 1773, the New York
Hospital was begun on this site.  In 1869 the hospital was removed higher
up town, the land was sold, and Pearl street was extended through the
hospital grounds.

Between 1774 and 1776 a reservoir for supplying the city with water was
erected on the east side of Broadway, near the southeast corner of White
street.  The water was pumped into the reservoir from wells, and was
distributed through the city in wooden pipes.  At this time the streets
were not opened in this vicinity, and the reservoir is described as
standing on an "elevated hill."  In 1810 the reservoir property was sold
in lots, the highest price paid per lot being $3000.

By 1818 Broadway was built up to above Duane street, and in 1826 the Free
Masons erected a handsome Gothic Hall, on the east side, between Duane
and Pearl streets.  The street continued to grow, and about 1830 extended
above Canal street.  In 1836-39, the Society Library erected a handsome
building on the west side, between Howard and Grand streets.  In 1853,
they sold the building, which fronts sixty feet on Broadway, to D.
Appleton & Co., Publishers.  By the year 1825, when gas was introduced
into the city south of Canal street, the west side of Broadway above
Chambers street was the fashionable shopping mart.  The cross streets
were used mainly for residences, and these daily poured a throng of
pedestrians into Broadway, making it the fashionable promenade.  At this
time long rows of poplar trees lined the sidewalks.  The principal hotels
and theatres, restaurants, and pleasure resorts were to be found along
the street, and Broadway became what it has since been, a miniature of
the great city of which it is the chief artery.

After passing Canal street, along which, in the early part of the present
century, a considerable stream, spanned at Broadway by a stone bridge,
flowed across the island to the Hudson, Broadway grew rapidly.  In 1820
the site of the St. Nicholas Hotel was occupied by a store, four dwelling
houses, and a coach factory, the last of which was sunk below the level
of the street.  Back of the present hotel was a hill on which were the
remains of an earthwork, thrown up during the Revolution.  The hotel was
erected in 1852.  In 1823 the site of the Metropolitan Hotel was vacant.
The block between Prince and Houston streets, on the west side, was
occupied by two large houses, a garden, and several shanties.

On the east side of Broadway, above Bleecker street, was a fine pleasure
resort, called "Vauxhall Garden."  It was opened by a Frenchman named
Delacroix, about the beginning of this century.  The location was then
beyond the city limits.  The Bible House and Cooper Institute mark its
eastern boundary.  Lafayette Place was cut through it in 1837.  Astor
Place was its northern boundary, and the site of the Astor Library was
within its limits.  The entrance to the grounds was on Broadway.

From Astor Place, originally known as Art street, the progress of
Broadway was rapid.  By the year 1832, it was almost entirely built up to
Union Square.  In 1846, Grace Church was erected, the original edifice,
built about 1800, having stood at the corner of Broadway and Rector
streets, just below Trinity Church.  In 1850, the Union Place Hotel,
corner of Broadway and Fourteenth street, and in 1852, the St. Denis
Hotel, corner of Broadway and Eleventh street, were built.  Union Square
was laid off originally in 1815, and in its present shape in 1832.

Above Union Square, Broadway was originally known as the Bloomingdale
road, and was lined with farms and country seats.  Madison Square was
laid off about 1841.  The Fifth Avenue Hotel was built about fifteen
years later, and the remainder of the street is of very recent growth,
possessing but little local interest.

Broadway has grown with the extension of the city northward.  The upper
blocks of buildings have always been dwelling houses or shanties, and
these have given way steadily to the pressure of business below them.  In
a few years the entire street, from the Central Park to the Bowling
Green, will be taken up with substantial and elegant structures suited to
the growing needs of the great city.  From the imperfect sketch of its
history here presented, the reader will see that the growth of the street
is divided into distinct periods.  Under the Dutch it was built as far as
Wall street.  The next 100 years carried it to the Park, from which it
extended to Duane street, reaching that point about the close of the
Revolution.  By the opening of the present century it had reached Canal
street.  Its next advance was to Astor Place.  Thence it passed on to a
point above Union Square, and thence by a rapid growth to the
neighborhood of the Central Park.



II.  DESCRIPTIVE.


The most wonderful street in the universe is Broadway.  It is a world
within itself.  It extends throughout the entire length of the island,
and is about sixty feet in width.  Its chief attractions, however, lie
between the Bowling Green and Thirty-fourth street.

            [Picture: BROADWAY, AT THE CORNER OF ANN STREET.]

It begins at the Bowling Green.  From this point it extends in a straight
line to Fourteenth street and Union Square.  Below Wall street it is
mainly devoted to the "Express" business, the headquarters and branch
offices of nearly all the lines in the country centring here.  Opposite
Wall street, and on the west side of Broadway, is Trinity Church and its
graveyard.  From Wall street to Ann street, Insurance Companies, Real
Estate Agents, Banks, Bankers and Brokers predominate.  At the southeast
corner of Ann street is the magnificent _Herald_ office, and adjoining it
the Park Bank.  Both buildings are of white marble, and the latter is one
of the grandest in the Union.  Immediately opposite are St. Paul's Church
and graveyard, just above which is the massive granite front of the Astor
House, occupying an entire block, from Vesey to Barclay streets.  On the
right hand side of the street, at the lower end of the Park, is the
unfinished structure of the new Post Office, which will be one of the
principal ornaments of the city.  In the rear of this are the Park, and
the City Hall.  Back of the City Hall, and fronting on Chambers street,
is the new County Court-House, which proved such a gold mine to the
"Ring."  Across the Park you may see Park Row and Printing-House Square,
in which are located the offices of nearly all the great "dailies," and
of many of the weekly papers.  Old Tammany Hall once stood on this square
at the corner of Frankfort street, but its site is now occupied by the
offices of _The Sun_ and _Brick Pomeroy's Democrat--Arcades ambo_.

               [Picture: A. T. STEWART'S WHOLESALE STORE.]

Beyond the City Hall, at the northeast corner of Chambers street and
Broadway, is "Stewart's marble dry goods palace," as it is called.  This
is the _wholesale_ department of the great house of A. T. Stewart & Co.,
and extends from Chambers to Reade street.  The _retail_ department of
this firm is nearly two miles higher up town.  Passing along, one sees in
glancing up and down the cross streets, long rows of marble, iron, and
brown stone warehouses, stretching away for many blocks on either hand,
and affording proof positive of the vastness and success of the business
transacted in this locality.  To the right we catch a distant view of the
squalor and misery of the Five Points.  On the right hand side of the
street, between Leonard street and Catharine lane, is the imposing
edifice of the New York Life Insurance Company, one of the noblest
buildings ever erected by private enterprise.  It is constructed of white
marble.

Crossing Canal street, the widest and most conspicuous we have yet
reached, we notice, on the west side, at the corner of Grand street, the
beautiful marble building occupied by the _wholesale_ department of Lord
& Taylor, rivals of Stewart in the dry-goods trade.  The immense brown
stone building immediately opposite, is also a wholesale dry-goods house.
Between Broome and Spring streets, on the west side, are the marble and
brown stone buildings of the St. Nicholas Hotel.  Immediately opposite is
the Theatre Comique.  On the northwest corner of Spring street is the
Prescott House.  On the southwest corner of Prince street is Ball &
Black's palatial jewelry store.  Diagonally opposite is the Metropolitan
Hotel, in the rear of which is the theatre known as Niblo's Garden.  In
the block above the Metropolitan is the Olympic Theatre.  On the west
side, between Bleecker and Amity streets, is the huge Grand Central
Hotel, one of the most conspicuous objects on the street.  Two blocks
above, on the same side, is the New York Hotel, immediately opposite
which are Lina Edwin's and the Globe Theatres.  On the east side of the
street, and covering the entire block bounded by Broadway and Fourth
avenue, and Ninth and Tenth streets, is an immense iron structure painted
white.  This is Stewart's retail store.  It is always filled with ladies
engaged in "shopping," and the streets around it are blocked with
carriages.  Throngs of elegantly and plainly dressed buyers pass in and
out, and the whole scene is animated and interesting.  Just above
"Stewart's," on the same side, is Grace Church, attached to which is the
parsonage.  At the southwest corner of Eleventh street, is the St. Denis
Hotel, and on the northwest corner is the magnificent iron building of
the "Methodist Book Concern," the street floor of which is occupied by
McCreery, one of the great dry-goods dealers of the city.  At the
northeast corner of Thirteenth street, is Wallack's Theatre.  The upper
end of the same block is occupied by the Union Square Theatre and a small
hotel.

          [Picture: NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY'S BUILDING.]

At Fourteenth street we enter Union Square, once a fashionable place of
residence, but now giving way to business houses and hotels.  Broadway
passes around it in a northwesterly direction.  On the west side of Union
Square, at the southwest corner of Fifteenth street, is the famous
establishment of Tiffany & Co., an iron building, erected at an immense
cost, and filled with the largest and finest collection of jewelry,
articles of _vertu_, and works of art in America.  In the middle of the
block above, occupying the ground floor of Decker's Piano Building, is
_Brentano's_, the "great literary headquarters" of New York.

Leaving Union Square behind us, we pass into Broadway again at
Seventeenth street.  On the west side, occupying the entire block from
Eighteenth to Nineteenth streets, is a magnificent building of white
marble used by a number of retail merchants.  The upper end, comprising
nearly one half of the block, is occupied by Arnold, Constable & Co., one
of the most fashionable retail dry-goods houses.  At the southwest corner
of Twentieth street, is the magnificent iron _retail_ dry-goods store of
Lord & Taylor--perhaps the most popular house in the city with residents.
The "show windows" of this house are always filled with a magnificent
display of the finest goods, and attract crowds of gazers.

At Twenty-third street, Broadway crosses Fifth avenue obliquely, going
toward the northwest.  At the northwest corner of Twenty-third street,
and extending to Twenty-fourth street, is the Fifth Avenue Hotel, built
of white marble, one of the finest and handsomest buildings of its kind
in the world.  Just opposite is Madison Square, extending from Fifth to
Madison avenues.  The block from Twenty-fourth to Twenty-fifth streets is
occupied by the Albemarle and Hoffman Houses, in the order named, both of
white marble.  Just opposite, at the junction of Broadway and Fifth
avenue, is a handsome granite obelisk, with appropriate ornaments in
bronze, erected to the memory of General W. J. Worth.  Immediately beyond
this is the Worth House, fronting on Broadway and Fifth avenue.  The
vicinity of Madison Square is the brightest, prettiest, and liveliest
portion of the great city.  At the southwest corner of Twenty-sixth
street is the St. James' Hotel, also of white marble, and just opposite
is the "Stevens' House," an immense building constructed on the French
plan of "flats," and rented in suites of apartments.  Between
Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth streets, on the west side, is the
Coleman House.  At the southeast corner of Twenty-ninth street is the
Sturtevant House.  At the northeast corner of Twenty-ninth street is the
Gilsey House, a magnificent structure of iron, painted white.  Diagonally
opposite is Wood's Museum.  At the southeast corner of Thirty-first
street is the Grand Hotel, a handsome marble building.  The only hotel of
importance above this is the St. Cloud, at the southeast corner of
Forty-second street.

At Thirty-fourth street, Broadway crosses Sixth avenue, and at
Forty-fourth street it crosses Seventh avenue, still going in a
northwesterly direction.  It is but little improved above Thirty-fourth
street, though it is believed the next few years will witness important
changes in this quarter.

There are no street car tracks on Broadway below Fourteenth street, and
in that section "stages," or omnibuses, monopolize the public travel.
Several hundreds of these traverse the street from the lower ferries as
far as Twenty-third street, turning off at various points into the side
streets and avenues.

        [Picture: BROADWAY, AS SEEN FROM THE ST. NICHOLAS HOTEL.]

Below Twenty-ninth street, and especially below Union Square, the street
is built up magnificently.  From Union Square to the Bowling Green, a
distance of three miles, it is lined on each side with magnificent
structures of marble, brown, Portland, and Ohio stones, granite, and
iron.  No street in the world surpasses it in the grandeur and variety of
its architectural display.  Some of the European cities contain short
streets of greater beauty, and some of our American cities contain
limited vistas as fine, but the great charm, the chief claim of Broadway
to its fame, is the _extent_ of its grand display.  For three miles it
presents an unbroken vista, and the surface is sufficiently undulating to
enable one to command a view of the entire street from any point between
Tenth street and the Bowling Green.  Seen from one of the hotel
balconies, the effect is very fine.  The long line of the magnificent
thoroughfare stretches away into the far distance.  The street is
thronged with a dense and rapidly moving mass of men, animals, and
vehicles of every description.  The effect is unbroken, but the different
colors of the buildings give to it a variety that is startling and
pleasing.  In the morning the throng is all pouring one way--down town;
and in the afternoon the tide flows in the opposite direction.  Everybody
is in a hurry at such times.  Towards afternoon the crowd is more
leisurely, for the promenaders and loungers are out.  Then Broadway is in
its glory.

Oftentimes the throng of vehicles is so dense that the streets are
quickly "jammed."  Carriages, wagons, carts, omnibuses, and trucks are
packed together in the most helpless confusion.  At such times the police
are quickly on hand, and take possession of the street.  The scene is
thrilling.  A stranger feels sure that this struggling mass of horses and
vehicles can never be made to resume their course in good order, without
loss of life or limb to man or beast, or to both, and the shouts and
oaths of the drivers fairly bewilder him.  In a few minutes, however, he
sees a squad of gigantic policemen dash into the throng of vehicles.
They are masters of the situation, and wo to the driver who dares disobey
their sharp and decisive commands.  The shouts and curses cease, the
vehicles move on one at a time in the routes assigned them, and soon the
street is clear again, to be "blocked" afresh, perhaps, in a similar
manner in less than an hour.  Upwards of 20,000 vehicles daily traverse
this great thoroughfare.

It is always a difficult matter for a pedestrian to cross the lower part
of Broadway in the busy season.  Ladies, old persons, and children find
it impossible to do so without the aid of the police, whose duty it is to
make a passage for them through the crowd of vehicles.  A bridge was
erected in 1866 at the corner of Fulton street, for the purpose of
enabling pedestrians to pass over the heads of the throng in the streets.
Few persons used it, however, except to witness the magnificent panorama
of the street, and it was taken down.

Seen from the lofty spire of Trinity Church, the street presents a
singular appearance.  The perspective is closed by Grace Church, at Tenth
street.  The long lines of passers and carriages take distinct shapes,
and seem like immense black bands moving slowly in opposite directions.
The men seem like pigmies, and the horses like dogs.  There is no
confusion, however.  The eye readily masses into one line all going in
the same direction.  Each one is hurrying on at the top of his speed, but
from this lofty perch they all seem to be crawling at a snail's pace.

The display in the windows of the Broadway stores is rich, beautiful, and
tempting.  Jewels, silks, satins, laces, ribbons, household goods,
silverware, toys, paintings, in short, rare, costly, and beautiful
objects of every description greet the gazer on every hand.  All that is
necessary for the comfort of life, all that ministers to luxury and
taste, can be found here in the great thoroughfare.  And it is a mistake
to suppose, as many persons do, that "Broadway prices" are higher than
those of other localities.  The best goods in the city are to be found
here, and they bring only what they are worth, and no more.  Yet it must
not be supposed that all Broadway dealers are models of honesty.
Everything has its price in the great street--even virtue and honesty.
By the side of merchants whose names are synonymous for integrity are to
be found some of the most cunning and successful scoundrels.  Broadway is
an eminently cheerful street.  On every hand one sees evidences of
prosperity and wealth.  No unsuccessful man can remain in the street.
Poverty and failure have no place there.  Even sin shows its most
attractive guise in Broadway.

          [Picture: SATURDAY AFTERNOON CONCERT AT CENTRAL PARK.]

The side-walks are always crowded, even in the summer, when "everybody is
out of town," and this throng of passers-by constitutes one of the most
attractive features of the scene.  Every class, every shade of
nationality and character, is represented here.  America, Europe, Asia,
Africa, and even Oceanica, each has its representatives.  High and low,
rich and poor, pass along at a rate of speed peculiar to New York, and
positively bewildering to a stranger.  No one seems to think of any one
but himself, and each one jostles his neighbor or brushes by him with an
indifference amusing to behold.  Fine gentlemen in broadcloth, ladies in
silks and jewels, and beggars in squalid rags, are mingled in true
Republican confusion.  The bustle and uproar are very great, generally
making it impossible to converse in an ordinary tone.  From early morn
till after midnight the throng pours on.

At night the scene is different, but still brilliant.  The vehicles in
the street consist almost entirely of carriages and omnibuses, each with
its lamps of different colors.  They go dancing down the long vista like
so many fire-flies.  The shop-windows are brightly lighted, and the
monster hotels pour out a flood of radiance from their myriads of lamps.
Here and there a brilliant reflector at the door of some theatre, sends
its dazzling white rays streaming along the street for several blocks.
Below Canal street Broadway is dark and silent, but above that point it
is as bright as day, and fairly alive with people.  Those who are out now
are mostly bent on pleasure, and the street resounds with cheerful voices
and merry laughter, over which occasionally rises a drunken howl.
Strains of music or bursts of applause float out on the night air from
places of amusement, not all of which are reputable.  Here and there a
crowd has collected to listen to the music and songs of some of the
wandering minstrels with which the city abounds.  Gaudily painted
transparencies allure the unwary to the vile concert saloons in the
cellars below the street.  The restaurants and _cafes_ are ablaze with
light, and are liberally patronized by the lovers of good living.  Here
and there, sometimes alone, and sometimes in couples, you see women,
mainly young, and all flashily dressed, walking rapidly, with a peculiar
gait, and glancing quickly but searchingly at every man they pass.  You
can single them out at a glance from the respectable women who happen to
be out alone at this time.  They are the "street walkers," seeking
companions from among the passers-by.  Some of them are mere children,
and the heart aches to see the poor creatures at their fearful work.  The
police do not allow these women to stop and converse with men on
Broadway, and when they find a companion they turn off promptly into a
side street, and disappear with him in the darkness.

Towards eleven o'clock the theatres pour out their throngs of spectators,
who come to swell the crowd on Broadway, and for a little while the noise
and confusion are almost as great as in the day.  Then the restaurants
will close, and the street will gradually become deserted and dark,
tenanted only by the giant policemen; and for a few hours the great city
will be wrapped in silence and slumber.



VI.  SOCIETY.


I.  ANALYTICAL.


All the world over, poverty is a misfortune.  In New York it is a crime.
Here, as in no other place in the country, men struggle for wealth.  They
toil, they suffer privations, they plan and scheme, and execute with a
persistency that often wins the success they covet.  The chief effort of
every man and woman in the great city is to secure wealth.  Man is a
social being--woman much more so--and here wealth is an absolute
necessity to the enjoyment of social pleasures.  Society here is
organized upon a pecuniary basis, and stands not as it should upon the
personal merits of those who compose it, but upon a pile of bank-books.
In other cities, poor men, who are members of families which command
respect for their talents or other admirable qualities, or who have merit
of their own sufficient to entitle them to such recognition, are welcomed
into what are called the "Select Circles" with as much cordiality as
though they were millionaires.  In New York, however, men and women are
judged by their bank accounts.  The most illiterate boor, the most
unprincipled knave finds the door of fashion open to him, while St. Peter
himself, if he came "without purse or scrip," would see it closed in his
face.

Society in New York is made up of many elements, the principal of which
it is proposed to examine, but, unfortunately, wealth is the one thing
needful in most of the classes into which it is divided.  Nor is this
strange.  The majority of fashionable people have never known any of the
arts and refinements of civilization except those which mere wealth can
purchase.  Money raised them from the dregs of life, and they are firm
believers in it.  Without education, without social polish, they see
themselves courted and fawned upon for their wealth, and they naturally
suppose that there is nothing else "good under the sun."

Those who claim precedence base their demand upon their descent from the
original Dutch settlers, and style themselves "the old Knickerbockers."
The majority of these are very wealthy, and have inherited their fortunes
from their ancestors.  They are owners of valuable real estate, much of
which is located in the very heart of the city.  The incomes derived from
such property are large and certain.  They are frequently persons of
cultivation, and were it not for their affectation of superiority, would,
as a class, be decidedly clever people, even if many of them are stupid.
They make an effort to have their surroundings as clumsy and as
old-fashioned as possible, as a mark of their Dutch descent.  They sport
crests and coats of arms such as the simple old Dutchmen of New Amsterdam
never dreamed of; and rely more upon the merits of their forefathers than
upon their own.  They are extremely exclusive, and rarely associate with
any but those who can "show as pure a pedigree."  Their disdain of those
whose families are not as "old" as their own is oftentimes amusing, and
subjects them to ridicule, which they bear with true Dutch stolidity.
They improve in their peculiar qualities with each generation, and the
present pompous Knickerbocker who drives in the Park in solemn state in
his heavy chariot, and looks down with disdain upon all whose blood is
not as Dutch as his own, is a very different personage from his great
ancestor, the original Knickerbocker, who hawked fish about the streets
of New Amsterdam, or tanned leather down in "the swamp."

           [Picture: A FASHIONABLE PROMENADE ON FIFTH AVENUE.]

Strange to say, the Knickerbocker class receives fresh additions every
year.  Each new comer has a _Van_ to his name, and can show a string of
portraits of yellow-faced worthies, in leather breeches, and ruffles, and
wigs, which he points to with pride as his "ancestors."  The statistician
would be sorely perplexed in attempting to ascertain the number of Dutch
settlers in New Amsterdam were he to trace back the pedigrees of the
present Knickerbockers, for if the claims of the present generation be
admitted, one of two things is sure--either the departed Dutchmen must
have been more "numerous fathers" than they cared to admit at the time,
or the original population has been underestimated.

The next in order are those who, while making no boast of family, are
persons who have inherited large wealth from several generations of
ancestors.  Freed from the necessity of earning their livings, they have
an abundance of leisure in which to cultivate the "small sweet courtesies
of life."  They are neither shoddyites nor snobs, and while there are
many who do no credit to their class, they constitute one of the
pleasantest portions of metropolitan society.  They furnish some of the
most agreeable men, and some of the most beautiful and charming women in
the city.  Their homes are elegant, and abound in evidences of the taste
of their owners, who spend their money liberally in support of literature
and the arts.  Here are to be found some of the rarest works of European
and American masters.  Unfortunately this class of New Yorkers is not
very large.  It is destined to increase, however, with the growth of
wealth in the city.  Good men, who have begun where the forefathers of
these people started, will constantly contribute their children to swell
this class, in which will always be collected those who unite true merit
to great wealth, those who are proud of their country and its
institutions, contented with its customs, and possessed of too much good
sense to try to add to their importance by a ridiculous assumption of
"aristocratic birth," or a pitiful imitation of the manners of the great
of other lands.

The third class may be said to consist of those who value culture and
personal excellence above riches.  There is not much individual wealth in
this class, but its members may be regarded as "persons in comfortable
circumstances."  They are better educated, have more correct tastes, and
do the most to give to New York society its best and most attractive
features.  It is a class to which merit is a sure passport.  It is modest
and unassuming, free from ostentatious parade, and, fortunately, is
growing rapidly.  It is made up of professional men of all kinds,
clergymen, lawyers, poets, authors, physicians, painters, sculptors,
journalists, scientific men, and actors, and their families.  Its tone is
vigorous and healthy, and it is sufficiently free from forms to make it
independent, and possessed of means enough to enable it to pursue its
objects without hindrance.

The remainder of those who constitute what is called society are the "New
Rich," or as they are sometimes termed, the "Shoddyites."  They
constitute the majority of the fashionables, and their influence is felt
in every department of domestic life.  They are ridiculed by every
satirist, yet they increase.  Every year makes fresh accessions to their
ranks, and their follies and extravagances multiply in proportion.  They
occupy the majority of the mansions in the fashionable streets, crowd the
public thoroughfares and the Park with their costly and showy equipages,
and flaunt their wealth so coarsely and offensively in the faces of their
neighbors, that many good people have come to believe that riches and
vulgarity are inseparable.  They make themselves the most conspicuous,
and are at once accepted by strangers as the "best society" of the
metropolis.

They are almost without exception persons who have risen from the ranks.
This is not to their discredit.  On the contrary, every American is proud
to boast that this is emphatically the land of self-made men, that here
it is within the power of any one to rise as high in the social or
political scale as his abilities will carry him.  The persons to whom we
refer, however, affect to despise this.  They take no pride in the
institutions which have been so beneficial to them, but look down with
supreme disdain upon those who are working their way up.  They are
ashamed of their origin, and you cannot offend one of them more than to
hint that you knew him a few years ago as a mechanic or a shopkeeper.

Some of the "fashionables" appear very unexpectedly before the world.
But a short while ago a family may have been living in the humbler
quarter of the city, or even in a tenement house.  A sudden fortunate
speculation on the part of the husband, or father, may have brought them
enormous wealth in the course of a few days.  A change is instantly made
from the humble abode to a mansion on Fifth or Madison avenue.  The newly
acquired wealth is liberally expended in "fitting up," and the lucky
possessors of it boldly burst upon the world of fashion as stars of the
first magnitude.  They are courted by all the newly rich, and invitations
to the houses of other "stars" are showered upon them.  They may be rude,
ignorant, uncouth in manner, but they have wealth, and that is all that
is required.  They are lucky indeed, if they hold their positions long.
A few manage to retain the wealth which comes to them thus suddenly, but
as a rule those who are simply lucky at the outset, find Dame Fortune a
very capricious goddess, and at the next turn of her wheel pass off the
stage to make room for others who are soon to share the same fate.

During the oil speculations, and during the war, the shoddy class was
largely increased by those who were made suddenly and unexpectedly rich
by lucky ventures in petroleum lands and stocks, and by army contracts.
Now other speculations provide recruits for this class, to which Wall
street is constantly sending fresh "stars" to blaze awhile in the
firmament of society, and then to make way for others.  The shoddy
element is not, however, confined to those who acquire wealth with
rapidity or by speculations.  There are many who rise very slowly and
painfully in the world, who, when blessed with fortune, throw themselves
headlong into the arms of "shoddy."

It is not difficult to recognize these persons.  They dress not only
handsomely, but magnificently, making up in display what they lack in
taste.  They cover themselves with jewels, and their diamonds, worn on
ordinary occasions, might in some instances rival the state gems of
European sovereigns.  Their rough, hard hands, coarse faces, loud voices,
bad English, and vulgar manners contrast strikingly with the splendors
with which they surround themselves.  They wear their honors uneasily,
showing how little they are accustomed to such things.  They look down
with disdain upon all less fortunate in wealth than themselves, and
worship as demi-gods those whose bank accounts are larger than their own.
They are utterly lacking in personal dignity, and substitute for that
quality a supercilious hauteur.



II.  FASHIONABLE EXTRAVAGANCE.


Extravagance is the besetting sin of New York society.  Money is
absolutely thrown away.  Fortunes are spent every year in dress and in
all sorts of follies.  Houses are fitted up and furnished in the most
sumptuous style, the building and its contents being sometimes worth a
million of dollars.  People live up to every cent of their incomes, and
often beyond them.  It is no uncommon occurrence for a fine mansion, its
furniture, pictures, and even the jewels of its occupants, to be pledged
to some usurer for the means with which to carry on this life of luxury.
Each person strives to outdo his or her acquaintances.  Those who have
studied the matter find no slight cause for alarm in the rapid spread of
extravagance among all classes of the city people, for the evil is not
confined to the wealthy.  They might afford it, but people of moderate
means, who cannot properly make such a heavy outlay, are among those most
guilty of the fault.

In no other city of the land is there to be seen such magnificent
dressing on the part of the ladies as in New York.  The amount of money
and time expended here on dress is amazing.  There are two objects in
view in all this--the best dressed woman at a ball or party is not only
sure to outshine her sisters there present, but is certain to have the
satisfaction next day of seeing her magnificence celebrated in some of
the city journals.  Her vanity and love of distinction are both gratified
in this way, and such a triumph is held to be worth any expense.  There
is not an evening gathering but is graced by the presence of ladies clad
in a style of magnificence which reminds one of the princesses in the
fairy tales.  Says a recent writer:

"It is almost impossible to estimate the number of dresses a very
fashionable woman will have.  Most women in society can afford to dress
as it pleases them, since they have unlimited amounts of money at their
disposal.  Among females dress is the principal part of society.  What
would Madam Mountain be without her laces and diamonds, or Madam Blanche
without her silks and satins?  Simply commonplace old women, past their
prime, destined to be wall-flowers.  A fashionable woman has just as many
new dresses as the different times she goes into society.  The _elite_ do
not wear the same dresses twice.  If you can tell us how many receptions
she has in a year, how many weddings she attends, how many balls she
participates in, how many dinners she gives, how many parties she goes
to, how many operas and theatres she patronizes, we can approximate
somewhat to the size and cost of her wardrobe.  It is not unreasonable to
suppose that she has two new dresses of some sort for every day in the
year, or 720.  Now to purchase all these, to order them made, and to put
them on afterward, consumes a vast amount of time.  Indeed, the woman of
society does little but don and doff dry-goods.  For a few brief hours
she flutters the latest tint and _mode_ in the glare of the gas-light,
and then repeats the same operation the next night.  She must have one or
two velvet dresses which cannot cost less than $500 each; she must
possess thousands of dollars' worth of laces, in the shape of flounces,
to loop up over the skirts of dresses, as occasion shall require.
Walking-dresses cost from $50 to $300; ball-dresses are frequently
imported from Paris at a cost of from $500 to a $1000; while
wedding-dresses may cost from $1000 to $5000.  Nice white Llama jackets
can be had for $60; _robes princesse_, or overskirts of lace, are worth
from $60 to $200.  Then there are travelling-dresses in black silk, in
pongee, velour, in pique, which range in price from $75 to $175.  Then
there are evening robes in Swiss muslin, robes in linen for the garden
and croquet-playing, dresses for horse-races and for yacht-races, _robes
de nuit_ and _robes de chambre_, dresses for breakfast and for dinner,
dresses for receptions and for parties, dresses for watering-places, and
dresses for all possible occasions.  A lady going to the Springs takes
from twenty to sixty dresses, and fills an enormous number of Saratoga
trunks.  They are of every possible fabric--from Hindoo muslin, 'gaze de
soie,' crape maretz, to the heavy silks of Lyons.

"We know the wife of the editor of one of the great morning newspapers of
New York, now travelling in Europe, whose dress-making bill in one year
was $10,000!  What her dry-goods bill amounted to heaven and her husband
only know.  She was once stopping at a summer hotel, and such was her
anxiety to always appear in a new dress that she would frequently come
down to dinner with a dress basted together just strong enough to last
while she disposed of a little turtle-soup, a little Charlotte de Russe,
and a little ice cream.

"Mrs. Judge ---, of New York, is considered one of the 'queens of
fashion.'  She is a goodly-sized lady--not quite so tall as Miss Anna
Swan, of Nova Scotia--and she has the happy faculty of piling more
dry-goods upon her person than any other lady in the city; and what is
more, she keeps on doing it.  To give the reader a taste of her quality,
it is only necessary to describe a dress she wore at the Dramatic Fund
Ball, not many years ago.  There was a rich blue satin skirt, _en train_.
Over this there was looped up a magnificent brocade silk, white, with
bouquets of flowers woven in all the natural colors.  This overskirt was
deeply flounced with costly white lace, caught up with bunches of
feathers of bright colors.  About her shoulders was thrown a
fifteen-hundred dollar shawl.  She had a head-dress of white ostrich
feathers, white lace, gold pendants, and purple velvet.  Add to all this
a fan, a bouquet of rare flowers, a lace handkerchief, and jewelry almost
beyond estimate, and you see Mrs. Judge --- as she appears when full
blown.

"Mrs. General --- is a lady who goes into society a great deal.  She has
a new dress for every occasion.  The following costume appeared at the
Charity Ball, which is _the_ great ball of the year in New York.  It was
imported from Paris for the occasion, and was made of white satin, point
lace, and a profusion of flowers.  The skirt had heavy flutings of satin
around the bottom, and the lace flounces were looped up at the sides with
bands of the most beautiful pinks, roses, lilies, forget-me-nots, and
other flowers.

"It is nothing uncommon to meet in New York society ladies who have on
dry-goods and jewelry to the value of from thirty to fifty thousand
dollars.  Dress patterns of twilled satin, the ground pale green, pearl,
melon color, or white, scattered with sprays of flowers in raised velvet,
sell for $300 dollars each; violet poult de soie will sell for $12
dollars a yard; a figured moire will sell for $200 the pattern; a
pearl-colored silk, trimmed with point applique lace, sells for $1000;
and so we might go on to an almost indefinite length."

Those who think this an exaggerated picture have only to apply to the
proprietor of any first-class city dry-goods store, and he will confirm
its truthfulness.  These gentlemen will tell you that while their sales
of staple goods are heavy, they are proportionately lighter than the
sales of articles of pure luxury.  At Stewart's the average sales of
silks, laces, velvets, shawls, gloves, furs, and embroideries is about
$24,500 per diem.  The sales of silks alone average about $15,000 per
diem.

A few years ago the dwelling of a wealthy citizen of New York was
consumed by fire.  The owner of the mansion soon after applied to a
prominent Insurance Company for the payment of the sum of $21,000, the
amount of the risk they had taken on the wearing apparel of his daughter,
a young lady well known in society for the splendor of her attire.  The
company refused to pay so large a sum, and protested that the lady in
question could not have possessed so costly a wardrobe.  Suit was brought
by the claimant, and, as a matter of course, an enumeration of the
articles destroyed and their value was made to the court.  The list was
as follows, and is interesting as showing the mysteries of a fashionable
lady's wardrobe:

6 silk robes--red, enamelled,       $950
green, blue, yellow, pink,
black--with fringes, ruches,
velvets, lace trimmings, etc.
1 blue Marie Louise                 300
gros-de-Naples, brocaded with
silver taken from the looms of
Lyons; cost, without a stitch in
it
Silver bullion fringe tassels and   200
real lace to match
1 rose-colored satin, brocaded in   $400
white velvet, with deep flounce
of real blonde lace, half-yard
wide; sleeves and bertha richly
trimmed with the same
rose-colored satin ribbon; satin
on each side, with silk cord and
tassel; lined throughout body,
skirt and sleeves with white silk
1 white satin of exceedingly rich   2500
quality, trimmed with blonde and
bugles; two flounces of very deep
point d'Alencon, sleeves of the
same, reaching down to the
elbows, and bertha to match, with
white bugles and blonde to match
1 royal blue satin dress,           1500
trimmed, apron-shape, with black
Brussels lace and gold and bugle
trimmings, with one flounce,
going all around the skirt, of
black Brussels lace; body and
sleeves to match; sleeves looped
up with blue velvet roses set in
lace, to imitate a bouquet
1 dove-colored satin dress,         425
trimmed with velvet, half-yard
deep; a long trail with the
velvet going all around, with
llama fringe and dove-colored
acorns, forming a heading to the
velvet, and going all up the
skirt and around the long Greek
sleeves; the sleeves lined with
white satin and quills of silver
ribbon going around the throat;
lined throughout with white silk,
having belonging to it a cloak
and hood, lined and trimmed to
match; made in Paris
1 black Mantua velvet robe, long    500
train, sleeves hanging down as
far as the knees, open, lined
with white satin, and trimmed all
round with seed-pearls, as well
as all round the top of low
body--the seed-pearls forming
clusters of leaves going down
front of skirt and all round the
skirt and train
1 rich moire-antique dress,         400
embroidered in gold from the body
to the skirt and sleeves and all
round, taken up and fastened up
with gold embroidery to imitate
the folds and wrinkles of the
dress, trimmed round the edge
with white Brussels lace, having
an underskirt of amber satin
trimmed with Brussels lace, to
show underneath; lined throughout
with silk
1 large Brussels shawl, of          700
exquisite fineness and elegance
of design, to go with it
1 crimson velvet dress, lined       400
throughout with rose-colored
silk; train very long, trimmed
with rich silk, blonde lace
covering the entire train, being
carried around and brought up the
front of the dress and body,
forming the bertha; and sleeves
looped up with white roses;
turquoise fan and slippers to
match
1 blue mercantique (lined), low     200
body, trimmed with Honiton lace,
body and sleeves; one piece of
silk to match, unmade, intended
for high body, and bons; sleeves
slashed open and lined with white
satin
1 rose-colored robe, with           $250
flounces; high and low body,
having fringe and trimming woven
to imitate Russian fur; both
bodies trimmed with fringe
ribbons and narrow lace
1 mauve-colored glace silk,         180
braided and bugled all around the
bottom of skirt, on the front of
body, around the band of
Garibaldi body, down the sleeves
and round the cuffs of Garibaldi
body; the low body, with bertha
deeply braided and bugled, with
sleeves to match; long sash, with
end and bows and belts, all
richly braided and bugled with
thread lace
1 vraie couleur de rose             300
gros-de-Naples, with flounces
richly brocaded with bouquet in
natural size and color, made to
represent the same in panels,
trimmed with gimp and fringe to
match; also, high and low body,
with bertha and trimmings to
match
1 pink morning robe, very superb,   250
trimmed down the side with white
satin a quarter of a yard wide,
sleeves trimmed to match,
satin-stitched, with flounces in
pink silk on edge of satin,
passementerie cord and tassels
1 gold-colored silk aersphane,      100
with three skirts, each skirt
trimmed with quillings of yellow
satin ribbon, looped up with pink
roses: body to match, trimmed
with silk blonde; white blonde
round the neck; satin quillings;
silk blonde on the sleeves, and
lace and yellow satin; rich
underskirt to match
2 very richly embroidered French    100
cambric morning-dresses, with
bullion and heavy satin ribbons
running through; one lined
throughout with pink, the other
with blue silk
1 rich black silk glace, trimmed    200
with bugles and black velvet
1 blue-black Irish silk poplin,     125
made in Gabrielle style, trimmed
with scarlet velvet all round the
skirt; sleeves and body-belt and
buckle to match
1 Cashmere, shawl pattern,          100
morning-dress, lined; sleeves and
flies lined with red silk, cord
and tassels to match; not twice
on
1 white Swiss muslin, with double   90
skirt and ribbon running through
the upper and lower hems of each
skirt, of pink satin; body with
Greek sleeves to match
1 straw-colored silk dress,         80
trimmed with black velvet, and
body of the same
1 white Swiss muslin robe, with     95
one plain skirt and one above,
graduated by larger and smaller
tucks to imitate three flounces;
the sleeves with puffs, and long
sleeves with tucks, down and
across to match skirts, and
Garibaldi body made to match; one
pink satin under-body to go with
it
1 white Swiss muslin dress, with    90
three flounces, quilled and
tucked, graduated one above the
other, with headings of lace on
the top of each flounce; low
body, with tuck, bretelles and
broad colored sarsnet ribbon
1 India muslin dress, very full,    $110
embroidered to imitate three
flounces; and Greek body and
sleeves, also embroidered to
match sky-blue skirt and body to
go underneath
1 India muslin dress, double        90
skirt, richly embroidered, with
high jacket and long sleeves
embroidered to match
1 pink satin skirt and bodice, to   25
go underneath
1 white long morning dress,         60
embroidered round the skirt and
up the front, in two flounces,
one hanging over the other;
sleeves and cuffs to match
1 white muslin, with white spots,   80
skirt and bodice trimmed with
bullion and narrow real
Valenciennes lace
2 white cambric morning-dresses,    275
one very richly embroidered, in
wheels and flounces; and jacket
to match
1 white Swiss muslin jacket, very   100
richly embroidered; skirt and
bodice to match
3 cambric tight-fitting jackets,    120
with collar and sleeves very
richly embroidered, to imitate
old Spanish point
5 Marie Antoinettes, made           300
entirely of French muslin, with
triple bullion and double face;
pink satin ribbon running
through.  Cost $60 each
1 pique morning dress and jacket,   75
richly embroidered
1 pique skirt, richly embroidered   50
6 fine Swiss muslin skirts, four    55
yards in each, trimmed with two
rows of real lace, to set in
full, finely finished
2 very rich bastistes, for          120
morning-dresses
2 very fine cambric skirts,         60
delicately embroidered, to wear
with open morning-dresses
2 fine linen skirts, embroidered    40
in open work
2 silk grenadine dresses, trimmed   200
with Maltese lace and velvet; two
bodices to match, blue and green
2 silk bareges, trimmed with        200
velvet and fringe, and bodice to
match
1 Scotch catlin silk full dress,    100
Stewart, trimmed with black
velvet and fringe, made to match
colors of dress
3 Balmoral skirts, very elegant,    90
embroidered in silk
1 ponceau silk dress, trimmed       250
with llama fringe and gold balls;
body and sleeves very richly
trimmed to match
1 blue silk to match, trimmed       250
with steel fringe and bugles;
body and sleeves richly trimmed
1 French muslin jacket, with        40
lapels and sleeves to turn back,
very heavily embroidered
1 set point d'Alencon, consisting   120
of shirt sleeves, handkerchief,
and collar
1 point d'Alencon extra large       100
handkerchief
1 set Honiton lace, consisting of   $80
handkerchief, collar, and sleeves
1 set Maltese lace, consisting of   300
handkerchief, collar, velvet cape
1 set Irish point lace, very        80
rich, consisting of wide, deep
sleeves, handkerchief and collar
1 cape of ditto, going up to the    35
neck and shut at the back
2 black lace mantillas              40
1 black lace jacket                 15
1 cape, composed of Valenciennes    75
lace
2 dozen very rich embroidered       120
cambric chemises, with lace
6 ditto, with puffed bullions in    100
front
18 Irish linen chemises, with       200
very rich fronts
7 Irish linen, embroidered          40
1 dozen night-dresses, very rich    216
fronts
3 linen ditto, very rich            75
1 dozen embroidered drawers         72
2 very rich ditto                   50
11 new pairs silk stockings, in     40
box
1 dozen Lisle thread stockings      20
9 pairs boots and shoes             45
3 pairs embroidered slippers,       40
very rich, in gold
1 pair Irish point lace sleeves     30
(extra)
1 black velvet embroidered          450
mantilla, imported
1 ditto, silk, embroidered with     100
bugles, imported
1 glace silk, tight-fitting         65
basque, with black zeplore lace
cape; trimmed in every width with
narrow lace to match
1 black silk Arab, with two         25
tassels
1 dust-wrapper, from Cashmere       18
4 magnificent opera-cloaks          175
1 red scarlet cloth cloak,          12
trimmed with yellow cord
1 cloth, drab-color cloak           8
1 cloak, with hood lined with       10
silk
2 dozen cambric, embroidered,       24
with name Fanny
1 set Russian sable muffs, cape     100
and boa
1 tortoise shell comb, made in      50
one piece and very rich
6 fancy combs                       30
1 very rich mother-of-pearl, gold   85
inlaid, and vol. feathers
beautifully painted by hand
1 fan of mother-of pearl, inlaid    45
in gold, with silk and white and
Job's spangles
1 blue mother-of-pearl, with        35
looking-glass; imitation ruby and
emeralds
6 other fans, of various kinds      25
1 parasol, all ivory handle         100
throughout, engraved with name in
full, covering of silk and Irish
point lace, very fine, covering
the entire parasol
Several other parasols              $25
1 real gold head-ornament,          100
representing the comet and
eclipse appearing
About twenty hair-nets, silver,     40
gold, and all colors and pearls
4 ladies' bonnets, some             100
exceedingly elegant
1 box marabout feathers, for        50
dressing the hair
1 box artificial flowers            l5
1 lot new ribbon, for sashes;       35
velvet, silk, and satin
1 small miniature model piano,      50
played by mechanism, from Vienna
1 lady's writing-desk, inlaid       200
with tortoise-shell and
mother-of-pearl, lined with silk
velvet, with compartments and
secretary; carved mother-of-pearl
paper-knife, gold seal, gold
pencil, case full of fancy
writing paper; made in Paris
1 bula work-box, elegant; inlaid    125
with silver and lined with
ci-satin, fitted with gold
thimble, needle, scissors,
pen-knife, gold bodkin, cotton
winders; outside to match French
piano
1 long knitting-case to match the   40
above, fitted with needles, beads
and silk of every description
1 papier-mache work-box, and        5
fitted up
1 morocco work-bag, ornamented      3
with bright steel; fitted up with
scissors, thimble, etc
1 lady's Russia leather             15
shopping-bag, with silver and
gilt clasps for chain and key
1 18-karat gold filigree            20
card-case
1 set gold whist-markers, in        50
hands on little box, a present
unto her
1 lady's small work-bag, silk       5
fittings
1 solid silver porte-monnaie        19
1 little blue porte-monnaie;        3
velvet, and cords and tassel
1 ladies' companion, with fixings   45
in silver; a present
1 hair-pin stand; a small           14
book-case, with small drawers and
mirror
1 basket of mother-of-pearl, and    35
gilt and red satin, full of
wax-flowers
1 elegant Bible in gilt, edge       30
mounted in gold
43 volumes various miniature        100
books, bound most elegantly in
morocco, and brought as a present
from Europe
1 silver pin-cushion and sewer      23
for fastening on the table
1 elegant, richly carved ivory      400
work-table, brought from Mexico,
inside fitted up with silk and
different compartments, standing
three feet high
1 lady's solid silver rutler,       25
from Mexico
1 gilt head-ornament,               3
representing a dagger
1 lady's English dressing-case,     $250
solid silver fittings, English
make and stamp, rosewood, bound
with brass and gilt, fitted and
lined with silver
1 pair rich carved ivory hair       155
brushes, engraved with name and
crest
1 ditto engraved and crest          55
1 small ivory hair-brush            12
1 ebony hair-brush, inlaid with     20
mother-of-pearl
1 Berlin-wool worked cushion        50
1 sewing-chair, elegantly           75
embroidered seat and back
1 Berlin-wool Affghan               100
1 fire-screen, Berlin work,         125
beads, representing Charles II.
hunting
1 large sole-leather trunk, about   250
four feet long and three feet
deep, lined with red morocco,
handsomely ornamented in gold,
embossed on the red morocco, with
seven compartments; very
scientifically constructed for
the necessities of a lady's
wardrobe, with springs to hold
open each compartment; and the
lace compartment could, at
pleasure, be rested on two steel
legs, covered with gilt embossed
morocco, representing a writing
table, with a portfolio,
containing writing materials; it
had two large French patent locks
1 lady's travelling trunk, with     73
cover, containing a quantity of
worn dresses, zouave cloth and
gold, druided jacket cloaks,
woollen ditto, opera cloak, etc
Total                               $21,000

Such lavish expenditure is a natural consequence of a state of society
where wealth is the main distinction.  Mrs. John Smith's position as a
leader of the _ton_ is due exclusively to her great riches and her
elaborate displays.  Mrs. Richard Roe will naturally try to outshine her,
and thus rise above her in the social scale.  Many persons seeking
admission into such society, and finding wealth the only requisite, will
make any sacrifice to accomplish their end.  If they have not wealth they
will affect to have it.  They could not counterfeit good birth, or high
breeding, but they can assume the appearance of being wealthy.  They can
conduct themselves, for a while at least, in a manner utterly
disproportioned to their means, and so they go on, until their funds and
credit being exhausted, they are forced to drop out of the circles in
which they have moved, and the so-called friends who valued them only for
their supposed wealth, instantly forget that they ever knew them.  No
more invitations are left for them, they are not even tolerated in "good
society," and are "cut" on the street as a matter of course.

Not a year passes but records the failure of some prominent business man
in New York.  His friends are sorry for him, and admit that he was
prudent and industrious in his business.  "His family did it," they tell
you, shaking their heads.  "They lived too fast.  Took too much money to
run the house, to dress, and to keep up in society."  Only the All Seeing
Eye can tell how many men who stand well in the mercantile community are
tortured continually by the thought that their extravagance or that of
their families is bringing them to sure and certain ruin; for not even in
New York can a man live beyond his actual means.  They have not the moral
courage to live within their legitimate incomes.  To do so would be to
lose their positions in society, and they go on straining every nerve to
meet the demands upon them, and then the crash comes, and they are
ruined.

Those who dwell in the great city, and watch its ways with observant
eyes, see many evils directly attributable to the sin of extravagance.
These evils are not entirely of a pecuniary nature.  There are others of
a more terrible character.  Keen observers see every day women whose
husbands and fathers are in receipt of limited incomes, dressing as if
their means were unlimited.  All this magnificence is not purchased out
of the lawful income of the husband or father.  The excess is made up in
other ways--often by the sacrifice of the woman's virtue.  She finds a
man willing to pay liberally for her favors, and carries on an intrigue
with him, keeping her confiding husband in ignorance of it all the while.
She may have more than one lover--perhaps a dozen.  When a woman sins
from motives such as these, she does not stop to count the cost.  Her
sole object is to get money, _and she gets it_.  It is this class of
nominally virtuous married and unmarried women that support the infamous
houses of assignation to be found in the city.

The curse of extravagance does not manifest itself in dress alone.  One
cannot enter the residence of a single well-to-do person in the city
without seeing evidences of it.  The house is loaded with the richest and
rarest of articles, all intended for show, and which are oftentimes
arranged without the least regard to taste.  The object is to make the
house indicate as much wealth on the part of its owner as possible.  It
makes but little difference whether the articles are worth what was paid
for them, or whether they are arranged artistically--if the sum total is
great, the owner is satisfied.  It is a common thing to see the walls of
some elegant mansion disfigured with frescoes, which, though executed at
an enormous cost, are utterly without merit or taste.  Again one sees
dozens of paintings, bought for works of the old masters, lining the
walls of the richest mansions of the city, which are the merest daubs,
and the works of the most unscrupulous Bohemians.  Not long since, a
collection of paintings was offered for sale in New York, the owner being
dead.  They had been collected at great expense, and were the pride of
their former owner.  With a few exceptions they were wretched copies, and
in the whole lot, over five hundred in number, there were not six genuine
"old masters," or "masters" of any age.

Entertainments are given in the most costly style.  From ten to twenty
thousand dollars are spent in a single evening in this way.  At a
fashionable party from twelve to fifteen hundred dollars' worth of
champagne is consumed, besides other wines and liquors.  Breakfasts are
given at a cost of from one to three thousand dollars; suppers at a still
higher cost.  This represents the expense to the host of the
entertainment; but does not cover the cost of the toilettes to be
provided for the family, which make up several thousand dollars more.

Suppers or dinners are favorite entertainments, and the outlay required
for them is oftentimes very heavy.  The host frequently provides nothing
but viands imported from foreign lands.  Sets of china of great cost, or
of silver equally expensive, or even of gold, are displayed
ostentatiously.  Sometimes the supper-room is entirely refitted in red,
blue, or gold, everything, even the lights and flowers, being of one
color, in order that the affair may be known as Mrs. A---'s red, blue, or
gold supper.  Some of the most extravagant entertainers will place at the
side of each cover an exquisite bouquet inside of which is a costly
present of jewelry.

All this reckless expenditure in the midst of so much sorrow and
suffering in the great city!  "The bitter cold of winter," says the
Manager of the 'Children's Aid Society,' in his appeal for help, "and the
freezing storms have come upon thousands of the poor children of this
city, unprepared.  They are sleeping in boxes, or skulking in doorways,
or shivering in cellars without proper clothing, or shoes, and but
half-fed.  Many come bare-footed through the snow to our industrial
schools.  Children have been known to fall fainting on the floor of these
schools through want of food.  Hundreds enter our lodging-houses every
night, who have no home.  Hundreds apply to our office for a place in the
country, who are ragged, half-starved, and utterly unbefriended."



III.  FASHIONABLE FOLLIES.


We have spoken of the women of fashion.  What shall we say of the men?
They are neither refined nor intellectual.  They have a certain
shrewdness coupled, perhaps, with the capacity for making money.  Their
conversation is coarse, ignorant, and sometimes indecent.  They have not
the tact which enables women to adapt themselves at once to their
surroundings, and they enjoy their splendors with an awkwardness which
they seek to hide beneath an air of worldly wisdom.  They patronize the
drama liberally, but their preference is for what Olive Logan calls "the
leg business."  In person they are coarse-looking.  Without taste of
their own, they are totally dependent upon their tailors for their
"style," and are nearly all gotten up on the same model.  They are
capital hands at staring ladies out of countenance, and are masters of
all the arts of insolence.  Society cannot make gentlemen out of them do
what it will.  As John Hibbs would say, "they were not brought up to it
young."  They learn to love excitement, and finding even the reckless
whirl of fashion too stale for them, seek gratification out of their own
homes.  They become constant visitors at the great gaming-houses, and are
the best customers of the bagnios of the city.

If men have their dissipations, the women have theirs also.  Your
fashionable woman generally displays more tact than her husband.  She has
greater opportunities for display, and makes better use of them.  If the
ball, or party, or sociable at her residence is a success, the credit is
hers exclusively, for the husband does little more than pay the bills.
Many of these women are "from the ranks."  They have risen with their
husbands, and are coarse and vulgar in appearance, and without
refinement.  But the women of fashion are not all vulgar or unrefined.
Few of them are well educated, but the New York woman of fashion, as a
rule, is not only very attractive in appearance, but capable of creating
a decided impression upon the society in which she moves.  She is
thoroughly mistress of all its arts, she knows just when and where to
exercise them to the best advantage, she dresses in a style the
magnificence of which is indescribable, and she has tact enough to carry
her through any situation.  Yet, in judging her, one must view her as a
butterfly, as a mere creature of magnificence and frivolity.  Don't seek
to analyze her character as a wife or mother.  You may find that the
marriage vow is broken on her part as well as on her husband's; and you
will most probably find that she has sacrificed her soul to the demands
of fashion, and "prevented the increase of her family" by staining her
hands in the blood of her unborn children.  Or, if she be guiltless of
this crime, she is a mother in but one sense--that of bearing children.
Fashion does not allow her to nurse them.  She cannot give to her own
flesh and blood the time demanded of her by her "duties in society;" so
from their very birth the little innocents are committed to the care of
hirelings, and they grow up without her care, removed from the ennobling
effect of a mother's constant watchful presence, and they add to the
number of idle, dissolute men and women of fashion, who are a curse to
the city.

Your fashionable woman is all art.  She is indeed "fearfully and
wonderfully made."  She is a compound frequently of false hair, false
teeth, padding of various kinds, paint, powder and enamel.  Her face is
"touched up," or painted and lined by a professional adorner of women,
and she utterly destroys the health of her skin by her foolish use of
cosmetics.  A prominent Broadway dealer in such articles sells thirteen
varieties of powder for the skin, eight kinds of paste, and twenty-three
different washes.  Every physical defect is skilfully remedied by
"artists;" each of whom has his specialty.  So common has the habit of
resorting to these things become, that it is hard to say whether the
average woman of fashion is a work of nature or a work of art.  Men marry
such women with a kind of "taking the chances" feeling, and if they get a
natural woman think themselves lucky.



IV.  FASHIONABLE CHILDREN.


As it is the custom in fashionable society in New York to prevent the
increase of families, it is natural no doubt to try to destroy childhood
in those who are permitted to see the light.

The fashionable child of New York is made a miniature man or woman at the
earliest possible period of its life.  It does not need much labor,
however, to develop "Young America" in the great metropolis.  He is
generally ready to go out into the world at a very tender age.  Our
system of society offers him every facility in his downward career.  When
but a child he has his own latch-key; he can come and go when he pleases;
he attends parties, balls, dancing-school, the theatre and other evening
amusements as regularly and independently as his elders, and is rarely
called upon by "the Governor," as he patronizingly terms his father, to
give any account of himself.  He has an abundance of pocket-money, and is
encouraged in the lavish expenditure of it.  He cultivates all the vices
of his grown-up friends; and thinks church going a punishment and
religion a bore.  He engages in his dissipations with a recklessness that
makes old sinners envious of his "nerve."  His friends are hardly such as
he could introduce into his home.  He is a famous "hunter of the tiger,"
and laughs at his losses.  He has a mistress, or perhaps several; sneers
at marriage, and gives it as his opinion that there is not a virtuous
woman in the land.  When he is fairly of age he has lost his freshness,
and is tired of life.  His great object now is to render his existence
supportable.

Girls are forced into womanhood by fashion even more rapidly than boys
into manhood.  They are dressed in the most expensive manner from their
infancy, and without much regard to their health.  Bare arms and necks,
and short skirts are the rule, even in the bleakest weather, for
children's parties, or for dancing-school, and so the tender frames of
the little ones are subjected to an exposure that often sows the seeds of
consumption and other disease.  The first thing the child learns is that
it is its duty to be pretty--to look its best.  It is taught to value
dress and show as the great necessities of existence, and is trained in
the most extravagant habits.  As the girl advances towards maidenhood,
she is forced forward, and made to look as much like a woman as possible.
Her education is cared for after a fashion, but amounts to very little.
She learns to play a little on some musical instrument, to sing a little,
to paint a little--in short she acquires but a smattering of everything
she undertakes.  She is left in ignorance of the real duties of a woman's
life--the higher and nobler part of her existence.  She marries young,
and one of her own set, and her married life is in keeping with her
girlhood.  She is a creature in which nothing has been fully developed
but the passions and the nerves.  Her physical constitution amounts to
nothing, and soon gives way.  Her beauty goes with her health, and she is
forced to resort to all manner of devices to preserve her attractions.

It is a habit in New York to allow children to give large entertainments
at fashionable resorts, without the restraining presence of their elders.
Here crowds of boys and girls of a susceptible age assemble under the
intoxicating influence of music, gas-light, full dress, late suppers,
wines and liquors.  Sometimes this juvenile dissipation has been carried
so far that it has been sharply rebuked by the public press.



V.  A FASHIONABLE BELLE.


An English writer gives the following clever sketch of a fashionable
young lady of New York, whom he offers as a type of the "Girl of the
Period:"

"Permit me to present you to Miss Flora Van Duysen Briggs.  Forget
Shakspeare's _dictum_ about a name; there is a story attached to this
name which I shall tell you by and by.  Miss Flora is a typical New York
girl of the period; between sixteen and seventeen years old; a little
under the medium height; hair a golden brown; eyes a violet blue; cheeks
and lips rosy; teeth whiter and brighter than pearls; hands and feet
extremely small and well-shaped; figure _petite_ but exquisitely
proportioned; _toilette_ in the latest _mode de Paris_; but observe,
above all, that marvellous bloom upon her face, which American girls
share with the butterfly, the rose, the peach and the grape, and in which
they are unequalled by any other women in the world.

"Miss Flora's biography is by no means singular.  Her father is Ezra
Briggs, Esq., a provision merchant in the city.  Twenty-five years ago,
Mr. Briggs came to New York from one the Eastern States, with a
common-school education, sharp sense, and no money.  He borrowed a
newspaper, found an advertisement for a light porter, applied for and
obtained the situation, rose to be clerk, head-clerk, and small partner,
and fagged along very comfortably until the Civil War broke out, and made
his fortune.  His firm secured a government contract, for which they paid
dearly, and for which they made the Government pay dearer.  Their pork
was bought for a song, and sold for its weight in greenbacks.  Their
profits averaged 300 per cent.  They were more fatal to the soldiers than
the bullets of the enemy.  One consignment of their provisions bred a
cholera at Fortress Monroe, and robbed the Union of 15,000 brave men.
Their enemies declared that the final defeat of the Southerners was owing
to the capture of 1000 barrels of Briggs's mess beef by General Lee.  But
Briggs was rolling in wealth, and could afford to smile at such taunts.

"Flora's mother had been a Miss Van Duysen.  She was a little, weak,
useless woman, very proud of her name, which seemed to connect her in
some way with the old Dutch aristocracy.  In point of fact, Briggs
married her on this account; for, like most democrats, he is very fond of
anything aristocratic.  Mrs. Briggs, _nee_ Van Duysen, has nothing Dutch
about her but her name.  The Knickerbockers of New York were famous for
their thrift, their economy, their neatness, and, above all, their
housewifely virtues.  Mrs. Briggs is thriftless, extravagant, dowdy in
her old age, although she had been a beauty in her youth, and knows as
little about keeping a house as she does about keeping a horse.  During
the war, at a fair given for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission, in
Union Square, several Knickerbocker ladies organized a kitchen upon the
old Dutch model, and presided there in the costumes of their
grandmothers.  Mrs. Briggs was placed upon the committee of management,
but declined to serve, on account of the unbecoming costume she was
invited to wear, and because she considered it unladylike to sit in a
kitchen.  But Mrs. Briggs preserved her caste, and benefited the Sanitary
Commission much more than she would have done by her presence, by sending
a cheque for $500 instead.

"Do we linger too long upon these family matters?  No; to appreciate Miss
Flora, you must understand her surroundings.  She has never had a home.
Born in a boarding-house, when her parents were not rich, she lives at a
hotel now that her father is a millionaire.  Mr. Briggs married the name
of Van Duysen, in order to get into society.  Miss Van Duysen married
Briggs's money, in order to spend it.  Miss Flora Van Duysen Briggs
combines her mother's name and her father's money; her Mother's early
beauty and her father's shrewdness; her mother's extravagance and her
father's weakness for the aristocracy.  She has good taste, as her
_toilette_ shows; but she does not believe that anything can be tasteful
that is not expensive.  Her aim is to run ahead of the fashions, instead
of following them; but she is clever enough to so adapt them to her face
and figure, that she always looks well-dressed, and yet always attracts
attention.  Her little handsome head is full of native wit, and of
nothing else.  Her education has been shamefully neglected.  She has had
the best masters, who have taught her nothing.  Like all other American
girls, she plays on the piano, but does not play the piano--you will
please notice this subtle but suggestive distinction.  She has picked up
a smattering of French, partly because it is a fashionable
accomplishment, and partly because she intends to marry; but I will not
yet break your heart by announcing her matrimonial intentions.  Compared
with an English or French girl of the same age, she has many and grave
deficiencies; but she atones for them by a wonderful tact and cleverness,
which blind you to all her faults and lend a new grace to all her
virtues.

"Truth to say, the admirers of Miss Flora, whose name is Legion, give her
the credit for all her own virtues, and blame her father and mother, and
the system, for all her faults.  Born, as we have said, in a
boarding-house, left entirely in charge of the nurse-maid, educated at a
fashionable day-school, brought into society before fifteen, living in
the whirl, the bustle, the luxury, and the unhomeliness of a hotel, what
could you expect of Miss Flora but that she should be, at seventeen years
of age, a butterfly in her habits, a clever dunce as regards solid
knowledge, and a premature woman of the world in her tastes and manners?
The apartments which the Briggs family occupy at the Fifth Avenue Hotel
are magnificently decorated and furnished, but they do not constitute a
home.  Several times Mr. Briggs has offered to purchase a house in a
fashionable thoroughfare; but his wife objects to the trouble of managing
unruly servants, and terrifies Mr. Briggs out of the notion by stories of
burglars admitted, and plate stolen, and families murdered in their beds,
through the connivance of the domestics.  What more can any one desire
than the Briggs family obtain at the hotel for a fixed sum per week, and
a liberal margin for extras?  The apartments are ample and comfortable;
the _cuisine_ and the wines are irreproachable; there is a small table
reserved for them, to which they can invite whom they choose; an immense
staff of servants obey their slightest wish; their carriages, kept at a
neighboring livery stable, can be sent for at any moment; they are as
secluded in their own rooms as if they lived in another street, so far as
the family in the next _suite_ is concerned; they are certain to meet
everybody, and can choose their own company; the spacious hotel parlors
are at their disposal whenever they wish to give an evening party,
reception, or _the dansant_.  What more could they gain by setting up a
private house?  Mr. Briggs, having never tried the experiment, does not
know.  Mrs. Briggs, whose only reminiscence of a private residence is the
one in which her mother let lodgings, does not know.  Miss Flora Van
Duysen Briggs, having never been used to any other way of life than the
present, neither knows nor cares, and 'does not want to be bothered.'

"The Briggs family spend their winters in town, their summers at Newport,
Saratoga, or some other watering-place, at which nobody cares anything
about the water.  The frequenters of these rural or seaside retreats are
presumed to come for their health, but really come to show their dresses.
Thus Miss Flora's life varies very little all the year round; she rises
late, and is dressed for breakfast; after breakfast she practises upon
the piano, shops with her mamma, and returns to be dressed for luncheon;
after luncheon she usually takes a brief nap, or lies down to read a
novel, and is then dressed for the afternoon promenade, as you have just
seen her; after the promenade she is dressed for a drive with mamma in
the Central Park; after the drive she is dressed for dinner, or dines in
her out-of-door costume, preparatory to being dressed for the opera, the
theatre, a ball, or a party.  Every Tuesday she receives calls; every
Thursday she calls upon her acquaintances.  Whenever she has a spare
moment, it is bestowed upon her dressmaker.  If she thinks, it is to
design new trimmings; if she dreams, it is of a heavenly _soiree
dansante_, with an eternal waltz to everlasting music, and a tireless
partner in paradisiacal Paris.

"As all the best and--in a double sense--the dearest things of Miss
Flora's life come from Paris, it is quite natural that she should look to
Paris for her future.  The best of all authorities declares that 'where
the treasure is there will the heart be also.'  Miss Flora's treasures
are in the Parisian _magasins_, and her heart is with them.  Although
scores of young men kneel at her feet, press her hands, and deride the
stars in comparison with her eyes, she cares for none of her worshippers.
She smiles upon them, but the smile is no deeper than the lips; she
flirts with them, but stops at that sharp, invisible line which separates
a flirtation from a compromising earnestness; she is a coquette, but not
a jilt.  If she encourages all, it is because she prefers none.  Her
heart has never been touched, and she knows that none of her admirers in
her own country can hope to touch it.  Her rivals scornfully assert that
she has no heart; but as she is, after all, a woman, this assertion must
be incorrect.  She is in love with an ideal, but that ideal has a title.
So soon as Mr. Briggs can dispose of his business, Miss Flora is to be
taken to Paris.  Within two years afterwards she will be led to the altar
by a French duke, marquis, or count, who will fall in love with her
father's bank-book, and then she will figure as an ornament of the French
Court, or the _salons_ of the Faubourg Saint-Germain.  This is her
ambition, and she will certainly accomplish it.  The blood of the Van
Duysens and the money of Briggs can accomplish anything when united in
Miss Flora.  With this end in view, the little lady is as inaccessible to
ordinary admirers as a princess.  She is a duchess by anticipation, and
feels the pride of station in advance.  There is no danger that she will
falter in the race through any womanly weakness, nor through any lack of
knowledge of the wiles of men.  With the beauty of Venus and the chastity
of Diana, she also possesses qualities derived directly from Mother Eve.
An English matron would blush to know, and a French _mere_ would be
astonished to learn, secrets which Miss Flora has at her pretty
finger-ends.  She has acquired her knowledge innocently, and she will use
it judiciously.  Nothing escapes her quick eyes and keen ears, and under
that demure forehead is a faculty which enables her to 'put this and that
together,' and arrive at conclusions which would amaze her less acute
foreign sisters.  You may not envy her this faculty, but do not accuse
her of employing it improperly.  She will never disgrace herself nor the
coronet which she already feels pressing lightly upon her head.  As she
trips out of sight, it may give any man a heart-pang to think that there
is at least one lovely woman who is impenetrable to love; but then, if
she were like those dear, soft, fond, impressible, confiding beauties of
a former age, she would not be herself--a Girl of the Period."



VI.  FASHIONABLE ENTERTAINMENTS.


New York has long been celebrated for its magnificent social
entertainments.  Its balls, dinner parties, receptions, private
theatricals, pic-nics, croquet parties, and similar gatherings are
unsurpassed in respect to show in any city in the world.  Every year some
new species of entertainment is devised by some leader in society, and
repeated throughout the season by every one who can raise the money to
pay for it.  The variety, however, is chiefly in the name, for all
parties, breakfasts, dinners, suppers, or receptions are alike.

Of late years it is becoming common not to give entertainments at one's
residence, but to hire public rooms set apart for that purpose.  There is
a large house in the upper part of Fifth avenue, which is fitted up
exclusively for the use of persons giving balls, suppers, or receptions.
It is so large that several entertainments can be held at the same time
on its different floors, without either annoying or inconveniencing the
others.  The proprietor of the establishment provides everything down to
the minutest detail, the wishes and tastes of the giver of the
entertainment being scrupulously respected in everything.  The host and
hostess, in consequence, have no trouble, but have simply to be on hand
at the proper time to receive their guests.  This is a very expensive
mode of entertaining, and costs from 5000 to 15,000 dollars, for the
caterer expects a liberal profit on everything he provides; but to those
who can afford it, it is a very sensible plan.  It saves an immense
amount of trouble at home, and preserves one's carpets and furniture from
the damage invariably done to them on such occasions, and averts all
possibility of robbery by the strange servants one is forced to employ.
Still, many who possess large and elegant mansions of their own prefer to
entertain at their own homes.

On such occasions, the lady giving the entertainment issues her
invitations, and usually summons the famous Brown, the Sexton of Grace
Church, to assist her in deciding who shall be asked beyond her immediate
circle of friends.  Mr. Brown is a very tyrant in such matters, and makes
out the list to suit himself rather than to please the hostess.  He has
full authority from her to invite any distinguished strangers who may be
in the city.

Upon the evening appointed a carpet is spread from the curbstone to the
front door, and over this is placed a temporary awning.  A policeman is
engaged to keep off the crowd and regulate the movements of the
carriages.  About nine o'clock magnificent equipages, with drivers and
footmen in livery, commence to arrive, and from these gorgeous vehicles
richly dressed ladies and gentlemen alight, and pass up the carpeted
steps to the entrance door.  On such occasions gentlemen are excluded
from the carriage if possible, as all the space within the vehicle is
needed for the lady's skirts.  The lady is accompanied by a maid whose
business it is to adjust her _toilette_ in the dressing room, and see
that everything is in its proper place.

At the door stands some one, generally the inevitable Brown, to receive
the cards of invitation.  Once admitted, the ladies and gentlemen pass
into the dressing rooms set apart for them.  Here they put the last
touches to their dress and hair, and, the ladies having joined their
escorts, enter the drawing room and pay their respects to the host and
hostess.  When from one to two thousand guests are to be received, the
reader may imagine that the labors of the host and hostess are not
slight.

Every arrangement is made for dancing.  A fine orchestra is provided, and
is placed so that it may consume as little space as possible.  A row of
chairs placed around the room, and tied in couples with
pocket-handkerchiefs, denotes that "The German" is to be danced during
the course of the evening.  There is very little dancing, however, of any
kind, before midnight, the intervening time being taken up with the
arrivals of guests and promenading.

About midnight the supper room is thrown open, and there is a rush for
the tables, which are loaded with every delicacy that money can buy.  The
New York physicians ought to be devoutly thankful for these suppers.
They bring them many a fee.  The servants are all French, and are clad in
black swallow-tail coats and pants, with immaculate white vests, cravats
and gloves.  They are as active as a set of monkeys, and are capital
hands at anticipating your wants.  Sometimes the refreshments are served
in the parlors, and are handed to the guests by the servants.

The richest and costliest of wines flow freely.  At a certain
entertainment given not long since, 500 bottles of champagne, worth over
four dollars each, were drunk.  Some young men make a habit of abstaining
carefully during the day, in order to be the better prepared to drink at
night.  The ladies drink almost as heavily as the men, and some of them
could easily drink their partners under the table.

After supper the dancing begins in earnest.  If The German is danced it
generally consumes the greater part of the evening.  I shall not
undertake to describe it here.  It is a great mystery, and those who
understand it appear to have exhausted in mastering it their capacity for
understanding anything else.  It is a dance in which the greatest freedom
is permitted, and in which liberties are taken and encouraged, which
would be resented under other circumstances.  The figures really depend
upon the leader of the dance, who can set such as he chooses, or devise
them, if he has wit enough.  All the rest are compelled to follow his
example.  The dance is thoroughly suited to the society we are
considering, and owes its popularity to the liberties, to use no stronger
term, it permits.

                          [Picture: THE GERMAN]

The _toilettes_ of the persons present are magnificent.  The ladies are
very queens in their gorgeousness.  They make their trails so long that
half the men are in mortal dread of breaking their necks over them; and
having gone to such expense for dry goods in this quarter, they display
the greatest economy about the neck and bust.  They may be in "full
dress" as to the lower parts of their bodies, but they are fearfully
undressed from the head to the waist.

Towards morning the ball breaks up.  The guests, worn out with fatigue,
and not unfrequently confused with liquor, take leave of their hosts and
go home.  Many of them repeat the same performance almost nightly during
the season.  No wonder that when the summer comes they are so much in
need of recuperation.



VII.  MARRIAGE AND DEATH.


Only wealthy marriages are tolerated in New York society.  For men or
women to marry beneath them is a crime society cannot forgive.  There
must be fortune on one side at least.  Marriages for money are directly
encouraged.  It is not uncommon for a man who has won a fortune to make
the marriage of his daughter the means of getting his family into
society.  He will go to some young man within the pale of good society,
and offer him the hand of his daughter and a fortune.  The condition
demanded of the aforesaid young man is that he shall do what may lie
within his power to get the family of the bride within the charmed
circle.  If the girl is good looking, or agreeable, the offer is rarely
refused.

When a marriage is decided upon, the engagement is announced through one
of the "society newspapers," of which there are several.  It is the
bounden duty of the happy pair to be married in a fashionable church.  To
be married in or buried from Grace or St. Thomas's Church, is the desire
of every fashionable heart.  Invitations are issued to the friends of the
two families, and no one is admitted into the church without a card.
Often "no cards" are issued, and the church is jammed by the outside
throng, who profane the holy temple by their unmannerly struggles to
secure places from which to view the ceremony.  Two clergymen are usually
engaged to tie the knot, in order that a Divorce Court may find it the
easier to undo.  A reporter is on hand, who furnishes the city papers
with a full description of the grand affair.  The dresses, the jewels,
the appearance of the bride and groom, and the company generally, are
described with all the eloquence Jenkins is master of.

If the wedding be at Grace Church, Brown, "the great sexton" is in
charge.  A wedding over which he presides is sure to be a great success.
A wonderful man is Brown.  No account of New York society would be
complete without a few words about Brown.  He has been sexton of Grace
Church ever since the oldest inhabitant can remember, and those familiar
with the matter are sorely puzzled to know what the church will do when
Brown is gathered to his fathers.  The congregation would sooner part
with the best Rector they have ever had than give up Brown.  A certain
Rector did once try to compel him to resign his post because he, the
Rector, did not fancy Brown's ways, which he said were hardly consistent
with the reverence due the house of God.  The congregation, however, were
aghast at the prospect of losing Brown, and plainly gave the Rector to
understand that he must not interfere with the sexton.  Never mind about
his want of reverence.  The Rector's business was to look after the
religious part of the congregation, while Brown superintended the secular
affairs of that fashionable corporation.  They had use for the Rector
only on Sunday; but Brown they looked up to every day in the week.  The
Rector meekly subsided, and Brown forgave him.

A very lucky man is Brown, and very far from being a fool.  There is no
sharper, shrewder man in New York, and no one who estimates his customers
more correctly.  He puts a high price on his services, and is said to
have accumulated a handsome fortune, popularly estimated at about
$300,000.  Fat and sleek, and smooth of tongue, he can be a very despot
when he chooses.  He keeps a list of the fashionable young men of the
city, who find it to their interest to be on good terms with him, since
they are mainly dependent upon him for their invitations.  Report says
that, like a certain great statesman, Brown is not averse to receiving a
small present now and then as a reminder of the gratitude of the
recipients of his favors.

Brown is sixty years old, but time has dealt lightly with him, and he is
still hale and hearty.  He knows all the gossip of New York for thirty
years back, but also knows how to hold his tongue.  To see him in his
glory, one should wait until the breaking up of some great party.  Then
he takes his stand on the steps of the mansion, and in the most pompous
manner calls the carriages of the guests.  There is no chance for sleep
in the neighborhood when the great voice of the "great sexton" is roaring
down the avenue.  He takes care that the whole neighborhood shall know
who have honored the entertainment with their presence.

He has a sharp tongue, too, this Brown, when he chooses to use it, and a
good story is told of this quality of his.  He was once calling the
carriages at a brilliant party.  Among the guests was Harry X---, a young
gentleman of fortune, concerning whose morals some hard things were said.
It was hinted that Mr. X--- was rather too fond of faro.  The young
gentleman and the great sexton were not on good terms, and when Brown,
having summoned Mr. X---'s carriage, asked, as usual, "Where to, sir?" he
received the short and sharp reply, "To where he brought me from."  "All
right, sir," said Brown, calmly, and turning to the driver he exclaimed
in a loud tone, "Drive Mr. X--- to John Chamberlain's faro-bank."  A roar
of laughter greeted this sally, and Brown smiled serenely as his
discomfited enemy was driven away.

Fashionable weddings are very costly affairs.  The outfits of the bride
and groom cost thousands of dollars, the extravagance of the man being
fully equal to that of his bride.  A wedding is attended with numerous
entertainments, all of which are costly, and the expenses attendant upon
the affair itself are enormous.  The outlay is not confined to the
parties immediately concerned, the friends of the happy pair must go to
great expense to give to the bride elegant and appropriate presents.
One, two, or three rooms, as may be required, are set apart at every
fashionable wedding, for the display of the presents.  These are visited
and commented upon by the friends of the bride and groom, such being the
prescribed custom.  The presents are frequently worth a handsome fortune.
At the marriage of the daughter of a notorious politician not long since,
the wedding presents were valued at more than $250,000.  Efforts have
been repeatedly made to put a stop to the giving of such costly presents,
but the custom still continues.

As it is the ambition of every one of the class we are discussing to live
fashionably, so it is their chief wish to be laid in the grave in the
same style.  The undertaker at a fashionable funeral is generally the
sexton of some fashionable church, perhaps of the church the deceased was
in the habit of attending.  This individual prescribes the manner in
which the funeral ceremonies shall be conducted, and advises certain
styles of mourning for the family.  Sometimes the blinds of the house are
closed, and the gas lighted in the hall and parlors.  The lights in such
cases are arranged in the most artistic manner, and everything is made to
look as "interesting" as possible.

A certain fashionable sexton always refuses to allow the female members
of the family to follow their dead to the grave.  He will not let them be
seen at the funeral, at all, as he says, "It's horribly vulgar to see a
lot of women crying about a corpse; and, besides, they're always in the
way."

The funeral over, the bereaved ones must remain in the house for a
certain length of time, the period being regulated by a set decree.  To
be seen on the street within the prescribed time, would be to lose caste.
Many of the days of their seclusion are passed in consultations with
their _modiste_, in preparing the most fashionable mourning that can be
thought of.  They no doubt agree fully with a certain famous _modiste_ of
the city, who once declared to a widow, but recently bereaved, that
"fashionable and becoming mourning is _so comforting_ to persons in
affliction."

Well, after all, only the rich can afford to die and be buried in style
in the great city.  A lot in Greenwood is worth more than many
comfortable dwellings in Brooklyn.  A fashionable funeral entails heavy
expenses upon the family of the deceased.  The coffin must be of
rosewood, or some other costly material, and must be lined with satin.  A
profusion of white flowers must be had to cover it and to deck the room
in which the corpse is laid out.  The body must be dressed in a suit of
the latest style and finest quality, and the cost of the hearse and
carriages, the expenses at the church and cemetery, and the fees of the
undertaker, are very heavy.  The average expense of such an occasion may
be set down at from $1500 to $2000.



VII.  THE MUNICIPAL POLICE.


Until the passage of the new Charter in 1870, the Police Department was
independent of the control of the city officials, and consequently
independent of local political influences.  There was a "Metropolitan
Police District," embracing the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and the
counties of New York, Kings, Richmond and Westchester, and a part of
Queen's county, in all a circuit of about thirty miles.  The control of
this district was committed to a commission of five citizens, who were
subject to the supervision of the Legislature of the State.  The Mayors
of New York and Brooklyn were ex-officio members of this board.

The Charter of 1870 changed all this.  It broke up the Metropolitan
District, and placed the police of New York and Brooklyn under the
control of their respective municipal governments.  To the credit of the
force be it said, the police of New York were less under the influence of
the Ring than any other portion of the municipality, and improved rather
than depreciated in efficiency.

As at present constituted, the force is under the control and supervision
of four Commissioners appointed by the Mayor.  The force consists of a
Superintendent, four Inspectors, thirty-two Captains, one hundred and
twenty-eight Sergeants, sixty-four Roundsmen and 2085 Patrolmen,
Detectives, Doorkeepers, etc.

The present Superintendent of Police is Mr. James J. Kelso.  He is the
Commander-in-chief of the force, and it is through him that all orders
are issued.  His subordinates are responsible to him for the proper
discharge of their duties, and he in his turn to the Commissioners.  He
was promoted to his present position on the death of Superintendent
Jourdan, and has rendered himself popular with men of all parties by his
conscientious discharge of his important duties.  Mr. Kelso is eminently
fitted for his position.  His long service in the force, and great
experience as a detective officer, have thoroughly familiarized him with
the criminals with whom he has to deal, and the crimes against which he
has to contend.  He has maintained the discipline of the force at a high
point, and has been rigorous in dealing with the offenders against the
law.  His sudden and sweeping descents upon the gambling hells, and other
disreputable places of the city, have stricken terror to the frequenters
thereof.  They are constantly alarmed, for they know not at what moment
they may be captured by Kelso in one of his characteristic raids.

In person Mr. Kelso is a fine-looking, and rather handsome man.  He shows
well at the head of the force.  It is said that he was overwhelmed with
mortification last July, when the Mayor compelled him to forbid the
"Orange Parade," and thus make a cowardly surrender to the mob.  When
Governor Hoffman revoked Mayor Hall's order, at the demand of the
indignant citizens, Kelso was perhaps the happiest man in New York.  He
had a chance to vindicate his own manhood and the honor of the force, and
he and his men did nobly on that memorable day.

The city is divided into two Inspection Districts, each of which is in
charge of two Inspectors.  Each Inspector is held responsible for the
general good conduct and order of his District.  It is expected that he
will visit portions of it at uncertain hours of the night, in order that
the Patrolmen may be made more vigilant by their ignorance of the hour of
his appearance on their "beats."  The Inspectors keep a constant watch
over the rank and file of the force.  They examine the Police Stations,
and everything connected with them, at pleasure, and receive and
investigate complaints made by citizens against members of the force.
The creation of this useful grade is due to John A. Kennedy, the first
Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police.

The Inspection Districts are sub-divided into thirty-two precincts, in
each of which there is a Police Station.  Each Station is in charge of a
Captain, who is held to a strict accountability for the preservation of
the peace and good order of his precinct.  He has authority to post the
men under his command in such parts of his precinct, and to assign them
to such duties as he deems expedient, under the supervision of the
Superintendent.  He is required to divide his force into two equal parts,
called the First and Second Platoons.  Each Platoon consists of two
Sections.  Each of the four Sections is in charge of a Sergeant.

In the illness or absence of the Captain, the Station and Precinct are
commanded by one of the Sergeants, who is named for that purpose by the
Superintendent.  The special duties of the Sergeants are to patrol their
precincts, and see that the Roundsmen and Patrolmen are at their posts
and performing their duties properly.  They are severally responsible for
the condition of their Sections.  One of the Sergeants is required to
remain at the Station House at all times.

Two Roundsmen are selected by the Commissioners from the Patrolmen of
each precinct, and one of them is assigned to each platoon.  They have
the immediate supervision of the Patrolmen, and are required to exercise
a vigilant watch over them at all times.

The Patrolmen are the privates of the force.  They are assigned certain
"beats" or districts to watch.  Many of these beats are too large for the
care of one man, and more is expected of the Patrolman than he is capable
of performing.  He is required to exercise the utmost vigilance to
prevent the occurrence of any crime within his beat, and to render the
commission of it difficult, at the least.  The occurrence of a crime on
the streets is always regarded as presumptive evidence of negligence on
his part, and he is obliged to show that he was strictly attending to his
duties at the time.  He is required to watch vigilantly every person
passing him while on duty, to examine frequently the doors, lower
windows, and gates of the houses on his beat, and warn the occupants if
any are open or unlocked; to have a general knowledge of the persons
residing in his beat; to report to his commanding officer "all persons
known or suspected of being policy dealers, gamblers, receivers of stolen
property, thieves, burglars, or offenders of any kind;" to watch all
disorderly houses or houses of ill-fame, and observe "and report to his
commanding officer _all persons by whom they are frequented_;" to do
certain other things for the preservation of the public peace; and to
arrest for certain offences, all of which are laid down in the volume of
Regulations, of which each member of the force is obliged to have a copy.
Patrolmen are not allowed to converse with each other, except to ask or
impart information, upon meeting at the confines of their posts; "and
they must not engage in conversation with any person on any part of their
post, except in regard to matters concerning the immediate discharge of
their duties."

The uniform of the force is a frock coat and pants of dark blue navy
cloth, and a glazed cap.  In the summer the dress is a sack and pants of
dark blue navy flannel.  The officers are distinguished by appropriate
badges.  Each member of the force is provided with a shield of a peculiar
pattern, on which is his number.  This is his badge of office, and he is
obliged to show it when required.  The men are armed with batons or short
clubs of hard wood, and revolvers.  The latter they are forbidden to use
except in grave emergencies.

The general misdemeanors of which the police are bound to take notice,
are: Attempts to pick a pocket, especially where the thief is a known
pickpocket; cruel usage of animals in public places; interfering with the
telegraph wires; selling or carrying a slingshot; aiding in any way in a
prize fight, dog fight, or cock fight; destroying fences, trees, or
lamps, or defacing property; aiding in theatrical entertainments on
Sunday; disorderly conduct; participating in or inciting to riots;
assaults; drunkenness on the streets; gambling; discharging fire-arms on
the streets; and other stated offences.  The officer must be careful to
arrest the true offender, and not to interfere with any innocent person,
and is forbidden to use violence unless the resistance of his prisoner is
such as to render violence absolutely necessary, and even then he is held
responsible for the particular degree of force exerted.  If he is himself
unable to make the arrest, or if he has good reason to fear an attempt at
a rescue of the prisoner, it is his duty to call upon the bystanders for
assistance; and any person who refuses him when so called on, is guilty
of a misdemeanor, for which he may be arrested and punished.

Promotions are made in the force as follows: Inspectors are chosen from
the Captains, Captains from Sergeants, Sergeants from Roundsmen, and
Roundsmen from the most efficient Patrolmen.

The duties of a policeman are hard, and the salaries are moderate in
every grade.  The hours for duty of the Patrolmen are divided in the
following manner: from six to eight o'clock in the morning; from eight
o'clock in the morning to one in the afternoon; from one in the afternoon
to six; from six to twelve midnight; from twelve midnight to six in the
morning.  These "tours" of duty are so distributed that no one man shall
be called on duty at the same hour on two successive days.  One-third of
the entire force, about 700 in all, is on duty in the daytime, and
two-thirds, about 1400 men, at night.  Sickness and casualties bring down
this estimate somewhat, but the men are such fine physical specimens that
sick leaves are now comparatively rare.

Besides the Patrolmen there are several divisions of the force.  Forty
men, called the Court Squad, are on duty at the various Courts of
Justice.  Four have charge of the House of Detention for Witnesses, No.
203 Mulberry street.  The Sanitary Squad consists of a captain, four
sergeants, and fifty-seven patrolmen.  Some of these are on duty at the
ferries and steamboat landings.  Others are detailed to examine the steam
boilers in use in the city.  Others execute the orders of the Board of
Health.  Another detachment, nine in number, look after truant children.
Others are detailed for duty at banks and other places.  The Detectives
will be referred to hereafter.

         [Picture: FEMALE PRISONERS IN THE FOURTH POLICE STATION]

The qualifications demanded of an applicant for admission into the force
are thus set down in the book of Regulations: "No person will be
appointed a Patrolman of the Metropolitan Police Force unless, he

"First, is able to read and write the English language understandingly.

"Second, is a citizen of the United States.

"Third, has been a resident of this State for a term of one year next
prior to his application for the office.

"Fourth, has never been convicted of a crime.

"Fifth, is at least five feet eight inches in height.

"Sixth, is less than thirty-five years of age.

"Seventh, is in good health, and of sound body and mind.

"Eighth, is of good moral character and habits.

"Applicants for the office must present to the Board of Commissioners a
petition signed by not less than five citizens of good character and
habits, and verified by the affidavit of one of them."

As none but "sound" men are wanted, the applicant is then subjected to a
rigid medical examination; and the writer is informed by one of the most
efficient surgeons of the force, that scarcely one applicant in ten can
stand this test.  The applicant must also give, under oath, an exact
statement as to his parentage, nationality, education, personal condition
in every respect, business or employment, and physical condition.

The strictest discipline is maintained in the force, and offences are
rigidly reported and punished.  All members are required at once to
communicate intelligence of importance to their superior officers.  The
men are regularly drilled in military exercises, to fit them for dealing
efficiently with serious disturbances.  The writer can testify, that
during their parade in the Spring of 1871, they presented as fine an
appearance, and executed their manoeuvres as correctly as any body of
regular troops.

The finest looking and largest men are detailed for service on Broadway.
One of their principal duties is to keep the street free from
obstructions, no slight task when one considers the usual jam in the
great thoroughfare.  It is a common habit to denounce the "Broadway
Squad" as more ornamental than useful, but the habitues of that street
can testify to the arduous labor performed by the "giants," and the
amount of protection afforded by them to the merchants and promenaders.
Scarcely a day passes that they do not prevent robberies and cut short
the operations of pickpockets.

The number of arrests made by the force is fair evidence of their
efficiency.  Since 1862 the annual number has been as follows:

Total arrests in New York
1862                                82,072
1863                                61,888
1864                                54,751
1865                                68,873
1866                                75,630
1867                                80,532
1868                                78,451
1869                                72,984

During the year 1869, the arrests were divided as follows:

Males                               51,446
Females                             21,538

The principal causes for which these arrests were made were as follows:

                        Males                   Females

Assault and Battery     5,638                   1,161
Disorderly conduct      9,376                   5,559
Intoxication            15,918                  8,105
Intoxication and        5,232                   3,466
disorderly conduct
Petty larceny           3,700                   1,209
Grand larceny           1,623                   499
Malicious mischief      1,081                   32
Vagrancy                1,065                   701

During the past nine years over 73,000 lost children have been restored
to their parents by the police.  More than 40,000 houses have been found
open at night, owing to the carelessness of the inmates, who have been
warned of their danger by the police in time to prevent robbery.  There
is scarcely a fire but is marked by the individual heroism of some member
of the force, and the daily papers abound in instances of rescues from
drowning by the policemen stationed along the docks.  In times of riot
and other public danger, the police force have never been found lacking,
and they have fairly won the "flag of honor" which the citizens of New
York are about to present to them in recognition of their gallant and
efficient services on the 12th of July, 1871.  That there are individuals
whose conduct reflects discredit upon the force is but natural; but as a
whole, there does not exist a more devoted, gallant, and efficient body
of men than those composing the police of New York.

The Station Houses of the city are so arranged as to be central to their
respective precincts.  The new buildings are models of their kind, and
the old ones are being improved as rapidly as possible.  Perhaps the best
arranged, the handsomest, and most convenient, is that of the Fourth
Precinct, located at No. 9 Oak street.  The locality is one of the worst
in the city, and it is necessary that the police accommodations should be
perfect.  The building is of red brick, with a fine white granite facade,
with massive stone steps leading from the street to the main entrance.
The entrance leads directly to the main room, or office.  On the right of
the entrance is the Sergeant's desk, of black walnut, massive and
handsomely carved.  Back of this is a fine book-case of the same
material, for the record books and papers of the station.  The telegraph
instrument is at the side farthest from the windows--a precaution looking
to its safety in case of a riot or attack on the station.
Speaking-tubes, and boxes for papers, communicate with the other
apartments.  The walls are adorned with fine photographs of the late
Superintendent Jourdan, the present Superintendent Kelso, and the Police
Commissioners.  Back of the office is the Surgeon's Room, with every
convenience for the performance of the Surgeon's duties.  The office of
the Captain in command of the station is to the left of the entrance, and
is fitted up with a Brussels carpet, and black walnut furniture.  The
walls are covered with fine engravings and photographs of prominent men.
The Captain is also provided with a bed-room, bathroom, etc., which are
elegantly furnished.  The Sergeants' bedrooms are large, airy, and well
furnished.  Bathrooms for the Sergeants and Patrolmen are located in the
basement.  The sleeping rooms of the Sergeants and Roundsmen, and four
large dormitories for the Patrolmen, are situated on the second and third
floors.  Each Patrolman has a private closet for his clothing, etc., and
each bedstead is stamped with the occupant's section number.  The fourth
story is used for store-rooms.  On the first floor there is also a large
sitting-room for the Patrolmen.

Attached to the Station House, and connected with it by a bridge, is the
prison, a brick building three stories in height.  It is entered through
the Patrolmen's sitting-room, and is the largest in any city station
house.  It contains fifty-two cells, all of which are of a good size and
are well ventilated.  Four of these (Nos. 1, 16, 17, 32) are somewhat
larger than the others, and are humorously called by the force "Bridal
chambers."  They are reserved for the more respectable prisoners.  Over
the prison are two large rooms designed for the unfortunates who seek a
night's shelter at the station--one for men and the other for women.
They are provided with board platforms to sleep on.  These platforms can
be removed, and the whole place drenched with water from hydrants
conveniently located.

As a matter of course, this model station is in charge of one of the most
efficient, experienced, and reliable officers of the force.  It is at
present commanded by Captain A. J. Allaire, whose personal and official
record fairly entitles him to the high and honorable position he holds in
the force.

The station houses are kept scrupulously clean.  Neatness is required in
every department of the police service.  The Inspector may enter them at
any hour, and he is almost sure to find them in perfect order.

           [Picture: A WINTER NIGHT SCENE IN A POLICE STATION]

These stations afford a temporary shelter to the outdoor poor.  In all of
them accommodations are provided for giving a night's lodging to the poor
wretches who seek it.  When the snow lies white over the ground, or the
frosts have driven them out of the streets, these poor creatures come in
crowds to the station houses, and beg for a shelter for the night.  You
may see them huddling eagerly around the stove, spreading their thin
hands to catch the warmth, or holding some half-frozen child to be thawed
by the heat, silent, submissive, and grateful, yet even half afraid that
the kind-hearted Sergeant, who tries to hide his sympathy for them by a
show of gruffness, will turn them into the freezing streets again.  When
the rooms devoted to their use are all filled, others still come,
begging, ah, so piteously, to be taken in for the night.  I think there
is no part of the Sergeant's duties so hard, so painful to him, as to be
forced to turn a deaf ear to these appeals.  Let us thank God, however,
he does not do so often, and even at the risk of being "overhauled" for
exceeding his duty, the Sergeant finds, or makes, a place for those who
seek his assistance in this way.  Many of those who seek shelter here are
constant tramps, who have nowhere else to go.  Others are strangers in
the city--poor people who have come here in search of employment.
Failing to find it, and what little money they brought with them being
exhausted, they have only the alternative of the station house or the
pavement.  Many who are simply unfortunate, suffer almost to perishing
before seeking the station house, mistakenly supposing that in so doing
they place themselves on a par with those who are brought there for
offences against the law.  But at last the cold and the snow drive them
there, and they meet with kindness and consideration.  I could not here
present a description of the quiet and practical way in which the members
of the "Force" relieve such sufferers.  No record is kept of such good
deeds by the force, and the Sergeant's book is modestly silent on this
subject; but we may be sure it is written in letters of living light on
the great book that shall be opened at the last day.

The stations are connected with each other and with the headquarters by
telegraph.  The telegraph system has been so perfected that by means of a
set of numbers struck on a bell, each of which refers to a corresponding
number in the book of signals, questions are asked and answered, and
messages sent from station to station with the greatest rapidity.

The Headquarters of the Police Force are located in a handsome building,
five stories high, known as No. 300 Mulberry street.  The building
extends through to Mott street, in the rear.  It is situated on the
easterly side of Mulberry street, between Bleecker and Houston streets.
It is ninety feet in width.  The Mulberry street front is of white
marble, and the Mott street front is of pressed brick, with white marble
trimmings.  It is fitted up with great taste, and every convenience and
comfort is provided for the members of the force on duty here.  The
greatest order is manifest.  Everything and every man has a place, and
must be in it at the proper times.  There is no confusion.  Each
department has its separate quarters.

The Superintendent's office is connected by telegraph with every precinct
in the city.  By means of this wonderful invention, the Superintendent
can communicate instantly with any point in the city.  The news of a
robbery or burglary is flashed all over New York and the adjoining
country before a man has fairly secured his plunder.  If a child is lost,
all the precincts are furnished immediately with an accurate description
of it, and the whole force is on the lookout for the little wanderer, and
in a marvellously quick time it is restored to its mother's arms.  By
means of his telegraph, the Superintendent can track a criminal, not only
all over the city, but all over the civilized world, and that without
leaving his office.  One of the most interesting rooms in the
headquarters is that for the trial of complaints against members of the
force.  Every charge must be sworn to.  It is then brought before the
Commissioners, or rather before one who is appointed by the Board to hear
such complaints.  He notifies the accused to appear before him to answer
to the charge.  Except in very grave cases the men employ no counsel.
The charge is read, the Commissioner hears the statements of the accused,
and the evidence on both sides, and renders his decision, which must be
ratified by the full "Board."  The majority of the charges are for
breaches of discipline.  A Patrolman leaves his beat for a cup of coffee
on a cold morning, or night, or reads a newspaper, or smokes, or stops to
converse while on duty.  The punishment for these offences is a stoppage
of pay for a day or two.  First offences are usually forgiven.  Many
well-meaning but officious citizens enter complaints against the men.
They are generally frivolous, but are heard patiently, and are dismissed
with a warning to the accused to avoid giving cause for complaint.
Thieves and disreputable characters sometimes enter complaints against
the men, with the hope of getting them into trouble.  The Commissioner's
experience enables him to settle these cases at once, generally to the
dismay and grief of the accuser.  Any real offence on the part of the men
is punished promptly and severely, but the Commissioners endeavor by
every means to protect them in the discharge of their duty, and against
impositions of any kind.

Another room in the headquarters is called "The Property Room."  This is
a genuine "curiosity shop."  It is filled with unclaimed property of
every description, found by, or delivered to the police, by other parties
finding the same, or taken from criminals at the time of their arrest.
The room is in charge of the Property Clerk, who enters each article, and
the facts connected with it, in a book kept for that purpose.  Property
once placed in this room is not allowed to be taken away except upon
certain specified conditions.  Unclaimed articles are sold, after being
kept a certain time, and the proceeds are paid to the Police Life
Insurance Fund.

The pay of a policeman is small, being only about $1200 per annum.  In
order to make some compensation for this deficiency, the Police Law
contains the following provisions:

"If any member of the Municipal Police Force, whilst in the actual
performance of duty, shall become permanently disabled, so as to render
his dismissal from membership proper, or if any such member shall become
superannuated after ten years of membership, a sum of not exceeding $150,
as an annuity, to be paid such member, shall be chargeable upon the
Municipal Police Life Insurance Fund.  If any member of the Municipal
Police Force, whilst in the actual discharge of his duty, shall be
killed, or shall die from the immediate effect of any injury received by
him, whilst in such discharge of duty, or shall die after ten years'
service in the force, and shall leave a widow, and if no widow, any child
or children under the age of sixteen years, a like sum by way of annuity
shall become chargeable upon the said fund, to be paid to such widow so
long only as she remains unmarried, or to such child or children so long
as said child, or the youngest of said children, continues under the age
of sixteen years.  In every case the Board of Municipal Police shall
determine the circumstances thereof, and order payment of the annuity to
be made by draft, signed by each trustee of the said fund.  But nothing
herein contained shall render any payment of said annuity obligatory upon
the said Board, or the said trustees, or chargeable as a matter of legal
right.  The Board of Municipal Police, in its discretion, may at any time
order such annuity to cease."



VIII.  THE BOWERY.


Next to Broadway, the most thoroughly characteristic street in the city
is the Bowery.  Passing out of Printing House Square, through Chatham
street, one suddenly emerges from the dark, narrow lane, into a broad
square, with streets radiating from it to all parts of the city.  It is
not over clean, and has an air of sharpness and repulsiveness that at
once attracts attention.  This is Chatham Square, the great promenade of
the old time denizens of the Bowery, and still largely frequented by the
class generally known as "the fancy."

At the upper end of the square begins a broad, flashy-looking street,
stretching away to the northward, crowded with pedestrians, street cars,
and wheeled vehicles of all kinds.  This is The Bowery.  It begins at
Chatham Square, and extends as far as the Cooper Institute, on Eighth
street, where the Third and Fourth avenues--the first on the east, and
the other on the west side of the Institute--continue the thoroughfare to
the Harlem River.

The Bowery first appears in the history of New York under the following
circumstances.  About the year 1642 or 1643, it was set apart by the
Dutch for the residence of superannuated slaves, who, having served the
Government faithfully from the earliest period of the settlement of the
island, were at last allowed to devote their labors to the support of
their dependent families, and were granted parcels of land embracing from
eight to twenty acres each.  The Dutch were influenced by other motives
than charity in this matter.  The district thus granted was well out of
the limits of New Amsterdam, and they were anxious to make this negro
settlement a sort of breakwater against the attacks of the Indians, who
were beginning to be troublesome.  At this time the Bowery was covered
with a dense forest.  A year or two later farms were laid out along its
extent.  These were called "Boweries," from which the street derives its
present name.  They were held by men of mark, in those simple and honest
days.  To the north of Chatham Square lay the broad lands of the De
Lanceys, and above them the fine estates of the Dyckmans, and Brevoorts,
all on the west of the present street.  On the east side lay the lands of
the Rutgers, Bayards, Minthornes, Van Cortlandts and others. Above all
these lay the "Bouwerie" and other possessions of the strong-headed and
hard-handed Governor Peter Stuyvesant, of whom many traces still exist in
the city.  His house stood about where St. Mark's (Episcopal) Church is
now located.  In 1660, or near about that year, a road or lane was laid
off through what are now Chatham street, Chatham Square and the Bowery,
from the Highway, as the portion of Broadway beyond the line of Wall
street was called, to Governor Stuyvesant's farm.  To this was given the
distinctive name of the "Bowery lane."  Some years later this lane was
continued up the island under the name of the "Boston Road."  In 1783 the
Bowery again came into prominent notice.  On the 25th of November of that
year, the American army, under General Washington, marched into the
Bowery early in the morning, and remained until noon, when the British
troops evacuated the city and its defences.  This done, the Americans
marched down the Bowery, through Chatham and Pearl streets, to the
Battery, where they lowered the British flag which had been left flying
by the enemy, and hoisted in its place the "stars and stripes" of the new
Republic.

After the city began to extend up the island, the Bowery commenced to
lose caste.  Decent people forsook it, and the poorer and more
disreputable classes took possession.  Finally, it became notorious.  It
was known all over the country for its roughs or "Bowery B'hoys," as they
were called, its rowdy firemen, and its doubtful women.  In short, it was
the paradise of the worst element of New York.  On this street the Bowery
boy was in his glory.  You might see him "strutting along like a king"
with his breeches stuck in his boots, his coat on his arm, his flaming
red shirt tied at the collar with a cravat such as could be seen nowhere
else; with crape on his hat, the hat set deftly on the side of his head,
his hair evenly plastered down to his skull, and a cigar in his mouth.
If he condescended to adorn his manly breast with any ornament it was
generally a large gold or brass figure representing the number of "der
mersheen" with which he ran.  None so ready as he for a fight, none so
quick to resent the intrusion of a respectable man into his haunts.  So
he had money enough to procure his peculiar garb, a "mersheen" to run
with and fight for, a girl to console him, the "Old Bowery Theatre" to
beguile him from his ennui, and the Bowery itself to disport his glory
in, he was content.  Rows were numerous in this quarter, and they
afforded him all the other relaxation he desired.  If there be any truth
in the theories of Spiritualism, let us be sure his ghost still haunts
the Bowery.

And the Bowery girl--who shall describe her?  She was a "Bowery b'hoy" in
petticoats; unlike him in this, however, that she loved the greatest
combination of bright colors, while he clung religiously to red and
black.  Her bonnet was a perfect museum of ribbons and ornaments, and it
sat jauntily on the side of her head.  Her skirts came to the shoe top
and displayed her pretty feet and well-turned ankle, equipped with
irreproachable gaiters and the most stunning of stockings.  One arm swung
loosely to the motion of her body as she passed along with a quick, lithe
step, and the other held just over her nose her parasol, which was
sometimes swung over the right shoulder.  Even the Bowery boy was
overcome by her stunning appearance, and he forgot his own glory in his
genuine admiration of his girl.

Well! they have passed away.  The street cars, the new police, and the
rapid advance of trade up the island, have made great changes here, but
there are still left those who could tell many a wondrous tale of the old
time glories of the Bowery.

The street runs parallel with Broadway, is about double the width of that
thoroughfare, and is about one mile in length.  It is tolerably well
built, and is improving in this respect every year.  In connection with
Chatham Square it is the great route from the lower end of the island to
Harlem Bridge.  Nearly all the east side street car lines touch it at
some point, and the Third avenue line traverses its entire length.  It
lies within a stone's throw of Broadway, but is entirely different from
it in every respect.  Were Broadway a street in another city the
difference could not be greater.

                          [Picture: THE BOWERY]

The Bowery is devoted mainly to the cheap trade.  The children of Israel
abound here.  The display of goods in the shops flashy, and not often
attractive.  Few persons who have the means to buy elsewhere care to
purchase an article in the Bowery, as those familiar with it know there
are but few reliable dealers in the street.  If one were to believe the
assertions of the Bowery merchants as set forth in their posters and hand
bills, with which they cover the fronts of their shops, they are always
on the verge of ruin, and are constantly throwing their goods away for
the benefit of their customers.  They always sell at a "ruinous
sacrifice;" yet snug fortunes are realized here, and many a Fifth avenue
family can look back to days passed in the dingy back room of a Bowery
shop, while papa "sacrificed" his wares in front.  Sharp practice rules
in the Bowery, and if beating an unwilling customer into buying what he
does not want is the highest art of the merchant, then there are no such
salesmen in the great city as those of this street.  Strangers from the
country, servant girls, and those who, for the want of means, are forced
to put up with an inferior article, trade here.  As a general rule, the
goods sold here are of an inferior, and often worthless quality, and the
prices asked are high, though seemingly cheap.

Pawnbrokers' shops, "Cheap Johns," third-class hotels, dance houses,
fifth-rate lodging houses, low class theatres, and concert saloons,
abound in the lower part of the street.

The Sunday law is a dead letter in the Bowery.  Here, on the Sabbath, one
may see shops of all kinds--the vilest especially--open for trade.  Cheap
clothing stores, concert saloons, and the most infamous dens of vice are
in full blast.  The street, and the cars traversing it, are thronged with
the lower classes in search of what they call enjoyment.  At night all
the places of amusement are open, and are crowded to excess.  Roughs,
thieves, fallen women, and even little children throng them.  Indeed it
is sad to see how many children are to be found in these places.  The
price of admission is low, and strange as it may sound, almost any beggar
can raise it.  People have no idea how much of the charity they lavish on
street beggars goes in this way.  The amusement afforded at these places
ranges from indelicate hints and allusions to the grossest indecency.

Along the line of almost the entire street are shooting galleries, some
of which open immediately upon the street.  They are decorated in the
most fanciful style, and the targets represent nearly every variety of
man and beast.  Here is a lion, who, if hit in the proper place, will
utter a truly royal roar.  Here is a trumpeter.  Strike his heart with
your shot, and he will raise his trumpet to his lips and send forth a
blast sufficient to wake every Bowery baby in existence.  "Only five
cents a shot," cries the proprietor to the surrounding crowd of barefoot,
penniless boys, and half-grown lads, "and a knife to be given to the man
that hits the bull's eye."  Many a penny do these urchins spend here in
the vain hope of winning the knife, and many are the seeds of evil sown
among them by these "chances."  In another gallery the proprietor offers
twenty dollars to any one who will hit a certain bull's eye three times
in succession.  Here men contend for the prize, and as a rule the
proprietor wins all the money in their pockets before the mark is struck
as required.

The carnival of the Bowery is held on Saturday night.  The down-town
stores, the factories, and other business places close about five
o'clock, and the street is thronged at an early hour.  Crowds are going
to market, but the majority are bent on pleasure.  As soon as the
darkness falls over the city the street blazes with light.  Away up
towards Prince street you may see the flashy sign of Tony Pastor's Opera
House, while from below Canal street the Old Bowery Theatre stands white
and glittering in the glare of gas and transparencies.  Just over the way
are the lights of the great German Stadt Theatre.  The Atlantic Garden
stands by the side of the older theatre, rivalling it in brilliancy and
attractiveness.  Scores of restaurants, with tempting bills of fare and
prices astonishingly low, greet you at every step.  "_Lager Bier_," and
"_Grosses Concert_; _Eintritt frei_," are the signs which adorn nearly
every other house.  The lamps of the street venders dot the side-walk at
intervals, and the many colored lights of the street cars stretch away as
far as the eye can reach.  The scene is as interesting and as brilliant
as that to be witnessed in Broadway at the same hour; but very different.

As different as the scene, is the crowd thronging this street from that
which is rushing along Broadway.  Like that, it represents all
nationalities, but it is a crowd peculiar to the Bowery.  The "rich Irish
brogue" is well represented, it is true; but the "sweet German accent"
predominates.  The Germans are everywhere here.  The street signs are
more than one-half in German, and one might step fresh from the
Fatherland into the Bowery and never know the difference, so far as the
prevailing language is concerned.  Every tongue is spoken here.  You see
the piratical looking Spaniard and Portuguese, the gypsy-like Italian,
the chattering Frenchman with an irresistible smack of the Commune about
him, the brutish looking Mexican, the sad and silent "Heathen Chinee,"
men from all quarters of the globe, nearly all retaining their native
manner and habits, all very little Americanized.  They are all "of the
people."  There is no aristocracy in the Bowery.  The Latin Quarter
itself is not more free from restraint.

Among the many signs which line the street the word "_Exchange_" is to be
seen very often.  The "Exchanges" are the lowest class lottery offices,
and they are doing a good business to-night, as you may see by the number
of people passing in and out.  The working people have just been paid
off, and many of them are here now to squander their earnings in the
swindles of the rascals who preside over the "Exchanges."  These deluded
creatures represent but a small part of the working class however.  The
Savings Banks are open to-night, many of them the best and most
respectable buildings on the Bowery, and thousands of dollars in very
small sums are left here for safe keeping.

Many of the Bowery people, alas, have no money for either the banks or
the lottery offices.  You may see them coming and going if you will stand
by one of the many doors adorned with the three gilt balls.  The
pawnbrokers are reaping a fine harvest to-night.  The windows of these
shops are full of unredeemed pledges, and are a sad commentary on the
hope of the poor creature who feels so sure she will soon be able to
redeem the treasure she has just pawned for a mere pittance.

Down in the cellars the Concert Saloons are in full blast, and the hot
foul air comes rushing up the narrow openings as you pass them, laden
with the sound of the fearful revelry that is going on below.
Occasionally a dog fight, or a struggle between some half drunken men,
draws a crowd on the street and brings the police to the spot.  At other
times there is a rush of human beings and a wild cry of "stop thief," and
the throng sweeps rapidly down the side-walk overturning street stands,
and knocking the unwary passer-by off his feet, in its mad chase after
some unseen thief.  Beggars line the side-walk, many of them professing
the most hopeless blindness, but with eyes keen enough to tell the
difference between the coins tossed into their hats.  The "Bowery Bands,"
as the little street musicians are called, are out in force, and you can
hear their discordant strains every few squares.

Until long after midnight the scene is the same, and even all through the
night the street preserves its air of unrest.  Some hopeful vender of
Lager Beer is almost always to be found at his post, seek him at what
hour you will; and the cheap lodging houses and hotels seem never to
close.

Respectable people avoid the Bowery as far as possible at night.  Every
species of crime and vice is abroad at this time watching for its
victims.  Those who do not wish to fall into trouble should keep out of
the way.



IX.  PUBLIC SQUARES.


I.  THE BATTERY.


The lowest and one of the largest of the pleasure grounds of the city, is
the park lying at the extreme end of the island, at the junction of the
Hudson and East rivers, and known as the Battery.  At the first
settlement of the Dutch, the fort, for the protection of the little
colony, was built at some distance from the extreme edge of the island,
which was then rocky and swampy, but near enough to it to sweep the point
with a raking fire.  This fort occupied the site of the present Bowling
Green.  In 1658 Governor Stuyvesant erected a fine mansion, afterwards
known as "The Whitehall," in the street now called by that name, but
"Capsey Rocks," as the southern point of the island was called, remained
unoccupied.  In 1693, the Kingdom of Great Britain being at war with
France, the Governor ordered the erection of a battery "on the point of
rocks under the fort," and after considerable trouble, succeeded in
obtaining from the Common Council, who were very reluctant to pay out the
public money for any purpose not specified in the charter--a virtue which
seems to have died with them--the sum necessary for that purpose.  In
1734 a bill was passed by the General Assembly of the Province, ordering
the erection of a battery on Capsey Rocks, and forbidding the erection of
houses which would interfere with the fire of its guns, "on the river, or
on parts which overflow with water, between the west part of the Battery,
or Capsey Rocks, to Ells Corner on the Hudson River," (the present
Marketfield street).

During the years preceding the Revolution, and throughout that struggle,
the Battery was used exclusively for military purposes.  About the year
1792 measures were taken for filling up, enclosing, and ornamenting the
place as a public park, to which use it has since been devoted.

During the first half of the present century the Battery was the favorite
park of the New Yorkers, and was indeed the handsomest.  The march of
trade, however, proved too much for it.  The fashion and respectability
of the city which had clustered near it were driven up town.  Castle
Garden, which had been a favorite Opera House, was converted into an
emigrant depot, and the Battery was left to the emigrants and to the
bummers.  Dirt was carted and dumped here by the load, all sorts of trash
was thrown here, and loafers and drunken wretches laid themselves out on
the benches and on the grass to sleep in the sun, when the weather was
mild enough.  It became a plague spot, retaining as the only vestige of
its former beauty, its grand old trees, which were once the pride of the
city.

In 1869, however, the spot was redeemed.  The sea-wall which the General
Government had been building for the protection of the land was finished,
and the Battery was extended out to meet it.  The old rookeries and
street-stands that had clustered about Castle Garden were removed, the
rubbish which had accumulated here was carted away, and the Battery was
again transformed into one of the handsomest of the city parks.

It now covers an area of about twelve acres, and is tastefully and
regularly laid off.  Broad stone paved walks traverse it in various
directions, and the shrubbery and flowers are arranged with the best
possible effect.  A tall flag-staff rises from the centre of the park,
and close by is a stand from which the city band give their concerts at
stated times in the summer.  A massive stone wall protects the harbor
side from the washing of the waves, and at certain points granite stairs
lead to the water.

The view from the Battery embraces a part of Brooklyn and the East River,
Governor's and Staten islands, the Inner Bay, the Jersey shore, North
River and Jersey City.  The eye ranges clear down to the Narrows, and
almost out to sea, and commands a view which cannot be surpassed in
beauty.  Here the sea breeze is always pure and fresh, here one may come
for a few moments' rest from the turmoil of the great city, and delight
himself with the lovely picture spread out before him.



II.  THE BOWLING GREEN.


At the lower end of Broadway there is a small circular public square,
enclosed with an iron railing, and ornamented with a fountain in the
centre.  This is known as the Bowling Green, and is the first public park
ever laid out in the city.

The first fort built by the Dutch on Manhattan island covered a good part
of the site of this square.  In 1733 the Common Council passed a
resolution ordering that "the piece of land lying at the lower end of
Broadway fronting the fort, be leased to some of the inhabitants of
Broadway, in order to be inclosed to make a Bowling Green, with walks
therein, for the beauty and ornament of the said street, as well as for
the recreation and delight of the inhabitants of this city, leaving the
street on each side fifty feet wide."  In October, 1734, the Bowling
Green was leased to Frederick Philipse, John Chambers, and John
Roosevelt, a trio of public spirited gentlemen, for ten years, for a
Bowling Green only, and they agreed to keep it in repair at their own
expense.  In 1741 a fire swept away the fort, and afforded a chance of
improving the park, which was done.  A change for the better was brought
about in the neighborhood by the establishment of the grounds, and
substantial houses began to cluster about it.

A few years before the Revolution, the Colonial Assembly purchased in
England a leaden statue of King George the Third, and set it up in the
centre of the Bowling Green, in May 1771.  The grounds at this time had
no fence around them, as we learn from a resolution of the Common
Council, and were made the receptacle of filth and dirt, thrown there,
doubtless, by the patriots as an insult to the royalists.  As the
troubles thickened, the people became more hostile to the statue of King
George, and heaped many indignities upon it, and after the breaking out
of the war, the unlucky monarch was taken down and run into bullets for
the guns of the Continental army.

After the close of the Revolution, Chancellor Livingston enclosed the
grounds with the iron fence which still surrounds them, and subsequently
a fountain was erected on the site of the statue.



III.  THE PARK.


"THE PARK" is the title given by New Yorkers to the enclosure containing
the City Hall and County Buildings.  It originally embraced an area of
eleven acres, but within the past year and a half the lower end has been
ceded to the General Government by the city, and upon this portion the
Federal authorities are erecting a magnificent edifice to be used as a
City Post Office.  This building covers the extreme southern end of the
old Park, and the northern portion is occupied by the City Hall, the new
County Court-House and the Department of Finance of the city and county.

In the days of the Dutch in New Amsterdam, the site of the Park, which
was far outside the village limits, was set apart as a common, and was
known as the "Vlachte," or "Flat," and subsequently as the "Second
Plains," "Commons," and "Fields."  It was the common grazing ground of
the Knickerbocker cows, and was by universal consent made public
property--the first ever owned by the city.  It is believed that previous
to this it was the site of the village of the Manhattan Indians, a belief
which is strengthened by the frequent finding of Indian relics in digging
up the soil on this spot.  It was connected with the Dutch village by a
road which ran through a beautiful valley now known as Maiden lane.

                      [Picture: THE CITY HALL PARK]

Every morning the village cowherd, who was a most important personage,
would walk the streets of New Amsterdam and sound his horn at each
burgher's door.  The cows were immediately turned out to him, and when he
had collected his herd he would drive them by the pretty valley road to
the commons, and there by his vigilance prevent them from straying into
the unsettled part beyond.  At a later period the mighty Dutch warriors
whose prowess the immortal Deiderich Knickerbocker has celebrated, made
the commons their training ground, and here was also marshalled the force
which wrested the city from the Dutch.  Under the English it became a
place of popular resort, and was used for public celebrations, the town
having reached the lower limit of the commons.  Here were celebrated his
Majesty's birth-day, the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, and other
loyal holidays, and here were held the tumultuous assemblies, the
meetings of the Liberty Boys, and other demonstrations which preceded the
Revolution.

In 1736 the first building, a Poor-House, was erected on the site of the
present City Hall.  In 1747 a powder-house was erected by the city within
the limit of the commons, near the site of the present City Hall.  The
gallows stood on the site of the new Post-office, and in 1756 was removed
to the vicinity of the present Five Points.  In 1757 the new jail, more
recently known as the Hall of Records, was erected.  In the same year,
the old French war being in progress, wooden barracks were erected along
the Chambers street front of the Park.

In 1757 a part of the site of the City Hall was laid out as a burying
ground for the inmates of the Alms-House.  In 1764 a whipping-post,
stocks, cage, and pillory were erected in front of the new jail.  In 1755
a Bridewell was built on that portion lying between the City Hall and
Broadway.  After the Revolution, in 1785, the Park was first enclosed in
its present form, by a post-and-rail fence, and a few years later this
was replaced by wooden palings, and Broadway along the Park began to be
noted as a fashionable place of residence.  In 1816, the wooden fence
gave way to an iron railing, which was set with due ceremonies by the
city authorities.  In 1795 a new Alms-House was built along the Chambers
street front, but in 1812, Bellevue Hospital having been finished, the
paupers were transferred thither, and the old building was refitted as a
Museum.  In 1802 the corner-stone of the present City Hall was laid.  The
building was finished in 1810.  Some years later the old buildings were
removed or converted into offices for the city and county officials.

In 1870, the southern portion having been ceded to the Federal Government
for the erection of a new Post-office thereon, the Park was laid out on a
new plan, and handsomely adorned with walks, shrubbery, fountains, etc.
It is now an ornament to the city.



IV.  OTHER PARKS.


WASHINGTON SQUARE is located between Fourth and Seventh streets, at the
lower end of Fifth avenue.  The site was originally a Potter's Field, and
it is said that over one hundred thousand persons were buried here in
days gone by.  The square contains a little over nine acres, and is
handsomely laid out, and adorned with a fountain, around which passes the
main carriage drive, flowers, shrubbery, etc.  The trees are among the
finest in the city, and are kept with great care.  An iron railing
formerly surrounded the grounds, but in 1870-71 this was removed, and
Fifth avenue was extended through the square to Laurens street.  This
street was widened and called South Fifth avenue, thus practically
extending the avenue to West Broadway at Canal street.  The square is
surrounded by handsome residences.  On the east side are the University
of New York and a Lutheran Church.

TOMPKINS SQUARE is one of the largest in the city, and is laid off
without ornament, being designed for a drill ground for the police and
military.  It occupies the area formed by avenues A and B, and Seventh
and Tenth streets.

UNION SQUARE, lying between Broadway and Fourth avenue, and Fourteenth
and Seventeenth streets, was originally a portion of the estate of Elias
Brevoort.  In 1762 he sold twenty acres lying west of the "Bowery Road"
to John Smith, whose executors sold it to Henry Spingler for the sum of
950 pounds, or about $4750.  The original farm-house is believed to have
stood within the limits of the present Union Square.  About the year 1807
Broadway was laid off to the vicinity of Twenty-second street, and in
1815 Union Square was made a "public place," and in 1832 it was laid off
as it now exists.  The square is regular in shape, and the central
portion is laid off as a park, and ornamented with shrubbery, flowers,
walks, and a fountain.  It is one of the prettiest parks in the city, and
covers an area of several acres.  It is oval in form, and is without an
enclosure.

            [Picture: THE WASHINGTON STATUE IN UNION SQUARE.]

Near the fountain is a thriving colony of English sparrows, imported and
cared for by the city for the purpose of protecting the trees from the
ravages of worms, etc.  The birds have a regular village of quaint little
houses built for them in the trees.  They frequent all the parks of the
city, but seem to regard this one as their headquarters.  Some of the
houses are quite extensive and are labelled with curious little signs,
such as the following: "Sparrows' Chinese Pagoda," "Sparrows' Doctor
Shop," "Sparrows' Restaurant," "Sparrows' Station House," etc.  At the
southeast angle of the square stands Hablot K. Browne's equestrian statue
of Washington, a fine work in bronze, and at the southwest angle is his
statue of Lincoln, of the same metal.  The houses surrounding the square
are large and handsome.  They were once the most elegant residences in
New York, but are now, with a few exceptions, used for business.  Several
hotels, the principal of which are the Everett and Spingler Houses, front
on the Square.  On the south side, east of Broadway, is the Union Square
Theatre, and on the west side, at the corner of Fifteenth street,
Tiffany's magnificent iron building.  In a few years the square will
doubtless be entirely surrounded with similar structures.  It is here
that the monster mass meetings are held.

STUYVESANT SQUARE lies to the east of Union Square, and is bisected by
the line of the Second avenue.  Its upper and lower boundaries are
Fifteenth and Seventeenth streets.  It consists of two beautiful parks of
equal size, surrounded by a handsome iron railing, and filled with choice
flowers and shrubbery.  In the centre of each is a fountain.  These parks
are the property of St. George's Church (Episcopal), which stands on the
west side of the square at the corner, and were given to the corporation
of that church by the late Peter G. Stuyvesant, Esq.

GRAMMERCY PARK lies midway between the Fourth and Third avenues, and
separates Lexington avenue on the north from Irving Place, really a part
of the same avenue, on the south.  Its northern and southern boundaries
are Twentieth and Twenty-first streets.  It is tastefully laid out, is
enclosed with an iron fence, and is kept locked against the public, as it
is the private property of the persons living around it.  On the east
side the entire block is taken up by the Grammercy Park Hotel--a
first-class boarding house--the other three sides are occupied by the
residences of some of the wealthiest capitalists in America.  Here dwell
Peter Cooper, Moses Taylor, Cyrus W. Field, James Harper (of Harper &
Bros.), and others equally well known in the financial world.

MADISON SQUARE comprises about ten acres, and lies at the junction of
Broadway and the Fifth avenue.  The latter street bounds it on the west,
Madison avenue on the east, Twenty-third street on the south, and
Twenty-sixth street on the north.  It is nearly square in form, and is
beautifully laid off.  It has no fence, and this adds to the appearance
of space which the neighboring open area gives to it.  The Fifth Avenue
Hotel, the Hoffman, Albemarle, and Worth Houses face it on the west, the
Hotel Brunswick is on the north side, and the Union League Club House and
a handsome Presbyterian Church are on the east side along the line of
Madison avenue.  The land now included in Madison Square was owned by the
city from a very early period, and was used as a Potter's Field.  In 1806
it was ceded to the United States for the erection of an Arsenal, for
which purpose it was occupied for several years.  In 1824 the "Society
for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents" obtained possession of the
Arsenal grounds, on which they erected a House of Refuge, which was
opened January 1st, 1825.  This establishment consisted of two large
stone buildings, and the grounds were enclosed with a stone wall
seventeen feet high.  In 1838 the House of Refuge was destroyed by fire,
and a few years later Madison Square was laid out.  It is now one of the
most fashionable localities in the city, and the favorite promenade of
the up-town people, who are drawn here in great numbers by the summer
afternoon concerts of the Central Park Band.

RESERVOIR SQUARE occupies the site of the old Crystal Palace, and lies
between Sixth avenue and the Croton Reservoir on Fifth avenue, and
Fortieth and Forty-second streets.  It has recently undergone great
changes.  It is a very pretty park, and is much frequented by the nurses
and children of the adjacent neighborhoods.



X.  THE FIFTH AVENUE.


The Fifth avenue, commencing at Washington Square, or Seventh street, and
extending to the Harlem River, is said by the residents of New York to be
the finest street in the world.  It is about six miles in length, and is
built up continuously from Washington Square to the Central Park, a
distance of nearly three miles.  From Fifty-ninth street to the upper end
of the Central Park, One-hundred-and-tenth street, it is laid with the
Nicholson or wooden pavement.  It is being rapidly built up along its
eastern side, the Park bounding the opposite side of the street, and this
portion bids fair to be one of the most delightful and desirable
neighborhoods in the city.  In the vicinity of One-hundred-and-eighteenth
street, the line of the avenue is broken by Mount Morris, an abrupt rocky
height, which has been laid off as a pleasure ground.  Around this the
street sweeps in a half circle, and from here to the Harlem River,
One-hundred-and-thirty-fifth street, it is lined with pretty villas, and
paved with asphaltum.

From Madison Square to its lower end, the avenue is rapidly giving way to
business, and its palatial residences are being converted into equally
fine stores.  Hotels and fashionable boarding-houses are thick in this
quarter.  Above Madison Square the street is devoted to private
residences, and this part is _par excellence_ "The Avenue."

            [Picture: FIFTH AVENUE, NEAR TWENTY-FIRST STREET.]

The principal buildings, apart from the residences, are the Brevoort
House, at the corner of Clinton Place, an ultra fashionable hostelrie.
On the opposite side of the street, at the northwest corner of Tenth
street, is the handsome brown stone Episcopal Church of the Ascension,
and on the southwest corner of Eleventh street is the equally handsome
First Presbyterian Church, constructed of the same material.  At the
northeast corner of Fourteenth street is Delmonico's famous restaurant,
fronting on both streets; and diagonally opposite, on the southwest
corner of Fifteenth street, the magnificent house of the Manhattan Club.
Not far from Delmonico's, and on the same side, is a brick mansion,
adorned with a sign bearing a coat of arms, and the announcement that the
ground floor is occupied by the eighth wonder of the world, "A Happy
Tailor."  At the southeast corner of Nineteenth street is the Fifth
Avenue Presbyterian Church, in charge of the eloquent Dr. John Hall.  Two
blocks above, on the southwest corner of Twenty-first street, is the
South Dutch Reformed Church, a handsome brown stone edifice, and
diagonally opposite is the Glenham House.  At the southwest corner of
Twenty-second street, is the famous art gallery of Gonpil & Co., and
immediately opposite the St. Germains Hotel.  At Twenty-third street,
Broadway crosses the avenue obliquely from northwest to southeast.  On
the left hand, going north, is the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and on the left
Madison Square.  The open space is very broad here, and is always
thronged with a busy, lively crowd.  At the northeast corner of
Twenty-sixth street is the Hotel Brunswick, and on the southwest corner
of Twenty-seventh street the Stevens House, both monster buildings rented
in flats to families of wealth.  At the northwest corner of Twenty-ninth
street, is a handsome church of white granite, belonging to the Dutch
Reformed faith, and familiarly known as the "Church of the Holy Rooster,"
from the large gilt cock on the spire.  At the northwest corner of
Thirty-fourth street is the new marble residence of Mr. A. T. Stewart,
the most magnificent dwelling house in the land.  Immediately opposite is
a fine brown stone mansion, occupied at present by Mr. Stewart.  On the
southeast corner of Thirty-fifth street, is Christ Church (Episcopal),
and on the northwest corner of Thirty-seventh street the Brick Church
(Presbyterian), of which Dr. Gardiner Spring is the pastor.  At Fortieth
street, and extending to Forty-second, the west side of the avenue is
taken up with the old distributing reservoir, a massive structure of
stone, and immediately opposite is the Rutgers Female College.  At the
southeast corner of Forty-third street is the city residence of the
notorious Boss Tweed, and at the northeast corner of the same street, the
splendid Jewish synagogue known as the Temple E-manu-el.  At the
southwest corner of Forty-fifth street is the Church of the Divine
Paternity (Universalist), of which Dr. Chapin is the pastor, and on the
opposite side of the street in the block above, the Church of the
Heavenly Rest (Episcopal).  At the northwest corner of Forty-eighth
street is the massive but unfinished structure of the Collegiate Dutch
Reformed Church.  On the east side of the avenue, and occupying the block
between Fiftieth and Fifty-first streets, is the new St. Patrick's
Cathedral, unfinished, but destined to be the most elaborate church
edifice in America.  The block above the Cathedral is occupied by the
Male Orphan Asylum of the same church, next door to which is the mansion
of Madame Restelle, one of the most noted abortionists of New York.  On
the northwest corner of Fifty-third street is the new St. Thomas' Church
(Episcopal), a fine edifice, and owned by one of the wealthiest
congregations in the city.  Between Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth streets,
and on the same side of the street, is St. Luke's Hospital, with its
pretty grounds.  On the east side, between Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth
streets, and now in course of erection, will be located the Central Park
Hotel, which is to be one of the most imposing structures in New York;
and just opposite is the main entrance to the Central Park.

From Seventh to Fifty-ninth streets, the avenue presents a continuous
line of magnificent mansions.  There are a few marble, yellow stone, and
brick buildings, but the prevailing material is brown stone.  The general
appearance of the street is magnificent, but sombre, owing to the dark
color of the stone.  Nearly all the houses are built on the same design,
which gives to it an air of sameness and tameness that is not pleasing.
But it is a magnificent street, nevertheless, and has not its equal in
the great and unbroken extent of its splendor in the world.  It is a
street of palaces.  Madison and Park avenues, and portions of Lexington
avenue, are nearly as handsome, as are the cross streets connecting them
with the Fifth avenue, and many of the streets leading to the Sixth
avenue are similarly built.  The great defect of the avenue is the
poverty of resource in the designs of the buildings, but this is the only
species of poverty present here.

If the houses are palatial without, they are even more so within.  Some
of them are models of elegance and taste; others are miracles of flashy
and reckless adornment.  The walls and ceilings are covered with
exquisite frescoes.  The floors are rich in the finest and thickest of
carpets, on whose luxurious pile no footfall ever sounds.  The light of
the sun comes struggling in through the richest of curtains, and at night
the brilliancy of the gas is softened by the warmest tinted porcelain
shades, or heightened by the dazzling reflection of crystal chandeliers.
The drawing rooms are filled with the costliest and the richest furniture
which is the perfection of comfort, and with works of art worth a fortune
in themselves.  Back of these, or across the hall, through the half
opened doors, you see the sumptuously furnished library, with its long
rows of daintily bound books in their rosewood shelves.  The library is a
"feature" in most houses of the very wealthy, and in the majority of
instances is more for ornament than for use.  In the rear of all is the
conservatory with its wealth of flowers and rare plants, which send their
odors through the rooms beyond.  The upper and lower stories are
furnished on a corresponding scale of magnificence.  Everything that
money can procure for the comfort or luxury of the inmates is at hand.
Nor are such residences few in number.  They may be counted by the
hundred, each with its contents worth a large fortune.  The style of
living is in keeping with the house, and, as a matter of course, only the
very wealthy can afford such homes.

As for the occupants, they represent all classes--the good and the bad,
the cultivated and the illiterate, the refined and the vulgar, the
well-born and those who have risen from the gutters.  If shoddy finds a
home here, genuine merit is his neighbor.  Those who have large and
assured incomes can afford such a style of life; but they do not comprise
all the dwellers on the Avenue.  Many are here who have strained every
nerve to "get into the Avenue," and who would sell body and soul to stay
there, yet who feel that the crash is coming before which they must give
way.  Others there are who would give half their possessions to move in
the society in which their neighbors live.  They reside on the Avenue,
but they are ignored by one class of its occupants, because of their lack
of refinement and cultivation, and by another because of their
inferiority in wealth.  Great wealth covers a multitude of defects in the
Avenue.

Perhaps the most restless, care-worn faces in the city are to be seen on
this street.  Women clad in the richest attire pass you with unquiet face
and wistful eyes, and men who are envied by their fellows for their "good
luck," startle you by the stern, hard set look their features wear.  The
first find little real happiness in the riches they have sold themselves
for, and the latter find that the costly pleasures they courted have been
gained at too dear a price.

           [Picture: THE NEW RESIDENCE OF A. T. STEWART, ESQ.]

Families are small in the Avenue, and Madame Restelle boasts, that her
wealth has been earned in a large degree by keeping them so.  Fashion has
its requirements, and before them maternity must give way.  Your
fashionable lady has no time to give to children, but pets lap-dogs and
parrots.

Well, the Avenue mansions have their skeletons, as well as the east side
tenement houses.  The sin of the fashionable lady is covered up, however,
and the poor girl must face the world.  That is the difference.  Madame
married her husband for his money, and her love is given to one who has
no right to claim it; and what between her loathing for her liege lord
and her dread of detection, she leads a life not to be envied in spite of
the luxury which surrounds her.  The liege lord in his turn, never
suspecting his wife, but disheartened by her coldness to him, seeks his
"affinity" elsewhere; and, by and by, the divorce court tells some
unpleasant truths about the Avenue.

Contemplating these things, I have thought that the most wretched quarter
of the city hardly holds more unhappy hearts than dwell along the three
miles of this grand street; and I have thanked God that the Avenue does
not fairly represent the better and higher phases of social and domestic
life in the great city.



XI.  STREET TRAVEL.


I.  THE STREET CARS.


The peculiar shape of the island of Manhattan allows the city to grow in
one direction only.  The pressure of business is steadily bringing the
mercantile district higher up the island, and compelling the residence
sections to go farther to the northward.  Persons in passing from their
homes to their business go down town in the morning, and in returning
come up town in the evening.  Those who live in the better quarters of
the city, or in the upper portion of the island, cannot think of walking
between their homes and their business.  To say nothing of the loss of
time they would incur, the fatigue of such a walk would unfit nine out of
ten for the duties of the day.  In consequence of this, street railways
and omnibuses are more necessary, and better patronized in New York than
in any city in the Union.

The street cars are the most popular, as they constitute the quickest and
most direct means of reaching the most of the city localities.  There are
about twenty-two lines in operation within the city limits.  The majority
of these run from north to south, and a few pass "across town" and
connect points on the North and East Rivers.  A number centre in Park Row
at the new Post-office, and at the Astor House.  The fare is usually five
cents below Sixty-fifth street, and from six to eight cents to points
above that street.

The Street Railway Companies are close corporations.  Their stock is very
rarely in the market, and when it is offered at all sells readily at high
prices.  The actual dividends of these companies are large, often
reaching as high as thirty-five per cent.  This, however, is carefully
concealed from the public, and the companies unite in declaring that the
expenses of operating their roads are too heavy to admit of even a
moderate profit.  This they do, no doubt, to excuse in some degree the
meanness with which they conduct their enterprises; for it is a striking
fact that the heavier such a company's business grows, and the more its
profits increase, the more parsimonious it becomes towards its employees
and the public.

There is not a line in the city that has a sufficient number of cars to
accommodate its patrons.  More than one-half of those who ride on the
cars are obliged to stand during their journey.  As a rule, the cars are
dirty and filled with vermin.  The conductors and drivers are often
appointed for political reasons alone, and are simply brutal ruffians.
They treat the passengers with insolence, and often with brutality.

One meets all sorts of people on the street cars, and sometimes the
contact is closer than is agreeable, and keeps sensitive people in
constant dread of an attack of the itch or some kindred disease.  Crowded
cars are much frequented by pick-pockets, who are said to be frequently
in league with the conductors, and many valuable articles and much money
are annually stolen by the light-fingered in these vehicles.

        [Picture: NEW PALACE-CAR IN USE ON THE THIRD AVENUE LINE.]

If the drivers and conductors are often deserving of censure, they have
their grievances also.  Their employers are merciless in their treatment
of them.  They lead a hard life, working about fifteen hours out of every
twenty-four, with no holidays.  The conductors receive from $2.00 to
$2.50 per day, and the drivers from $2.25 to $2.75.  In order to make up
the deficiency between their actual wages and their necessities, the
conductors and drivers have fallen into the habit of appropriating a part
of the money received from passengers to their own use.  Many of them are
very expert at this, but some are detected, discharged from the service
of the company, and handed over to the police.  The companies of course
endeavor to put a stop to such practices, but thus far have not been
successful, and plead as their excuse for the low wages they give, that
this system of stealing prevents them from giving higher pay.  Spies, or
"spotters," as the conductors term them, are kept constantly travelling
over the roads to watch the employees.  They note the number of
passengers carried during the trip, and when the conductors' reports are
handed in, examine them and point out such inaccuracies as may exist.
They soon become known to the men.  They are cordially hated, and
sometimes fare badly at the hands of those whose evil doings they have
exposed.  This practice of "knocking down," or appropriating money,
begins with the conductor, as he alone receives the money paid for fares.
Those interested in it defend it on various grounds.  The President of
the Third Avenue Railway Company, the principal horse-car line in the
city, once said to a reporter for a morning paper:

"We try and get all honest men.  We discharge a man immediately if he is
found to be dishonest.  You see, conductors are sometimes made more
dishonest by the drivers, who demand so much a day from them.  You have
no idea how much a driver can worry a conductor if he wants to.  For
instance, he can drive a little past the corner every time when he ought
to stop.  He can be looking the other way when the conductor sees a
passenger coming.  He can run too fast, or let the car behind beat his,
and so on, annoying the conductor continually.  The only way the
conductor can keep friends with him is to divide every night. . . . The
conductors 'knock down' on an average about thirty-five or fifty cents
per day. . . . I don't think the practice can be entirely stopped.  We
try all we can.  Some will do it, and others think they have the same
right.  We can't stop it, but discharge a man mighty quick if he is
detected."  The Third Avenue line runs 200 cars, so that the loss of the
company by the "knock-down" system is from $70 to $100 per day, or from
$25,500 to $36,500 per annum.

A conductor gave his explanation of the system as follows:

"Well, I'll tell ye.  When a conductor is put on a road he has to wait
his turn before getting a car; it may be a month or six weeks before he
is regularly on.  He'll have to know the ropes or he'll be shelved before
he knows it.  He'll have to be a thief from the start or leave the road.
His pay is $2 to $2.25 per day.  Out of that sum he must pay the driver
from $1 to $2 a day; the starter he has to conciliate in various ways.  A
lump of stamps is better than drinks and cigars, though drinks and cigars
have a good deal of influence on the roads; and then the 'spotter' has to
get $5 every week."

"Why do the conductors allow themselves to be imposed on in this way?"

"Why?  Because they can't help it.  If they don't pay the driver, the
driver will not stop for passengers, and the conductor is short in his
returns; if they don't have a 'deal' with the starter, the starter will
fix him somehow.  You see the driver can stop behind time, or go beyond
it if he likes.  The latest car in the street, you understand, gets the
most passengers.  So it is that the drivers who are feed by the
conductors stay from two to five minutes behind time, to the
inconvenience of passengers, but to the profit of the driver, the
conductor, the starter, the spotter, and for all I know, the
superintendent and president of the company.  It is a fine system from
beginning to end.  The amount of drink disposed of by some of the fellows
in authority is perfectly amazing.  I know a starter to boast of taking
fifteen cocktails (with any number of lagers between drinks) in a day,
and all paid for by the 'road;' for, of course, the conductors saved
themselves from loss.  Oh, yes, you bet they did!  The conductor's actual
expenses a day average $5; his pay is $2.25, which leaves a fine tail-end
margin of profit.  How the expenses are incurred I have told you.  What
ken a man do?  Honesty?  No man can be honest and remain a conductor.
Conductors must help themselves, an' they do!  Why, even the driver who
profits by the conductor's operations, has to fee the stablemen, else how
could he get good horses?  Stablemen get from $1 to $2 per week from each
driver."

"Then the system of horse railroad management is entirely corrupt?"

"You bet.  'Knocking down' is a fine art, as they say: but it is not
confined to the conductors.  The worst thing about the car business
though, and what disgusted me while I was in it, was the thieves."

"The thieves?"

"Ay, the thieves.  The pick-pockets, a lot of roughs get on your car,
refuse to pay their fares, insult ladies, and rob right and left.  If you
object you are likely to get knocked on the head; if you are armed and
show fight you are attacked in another way.  The thieves are (or rather
they were until lately) influential politicians, and tell you to your
face that they'll have you dismissed.  Ten to one they do what they say.
I tell ye a man ought to have leave to knock down lively to stand all
this."



II.  THE STAGES.


The stages of New York are a feature of the great city, which must be
seen to be appreciated.  They are the best to be found on this continent,
but are far inferior to the elegant vehicles for the same purpose which
are to be seen in London and Paris.  The stages of New York are stiff,
awkward looking affairs, very difficult to enter or leave, a fact which
is sometimes attended with considerable danger on the part of ladies.  To
ride in one is to incur considerable fatigue, for they are as rough as an
old-fashioned country wagon.  Unlike the European omnibuses, they have no
seats on top, but an adventurous passenger may, if he chooses, clamber up
over the side and seat himself by the Jehu in charge.  From this lofty
perch he can enjoy the best view of the streets along the route of the
vehicle, and if the driver be inclined to loquacity, he may hear many a
curious tale to repay him for his extra exertion.

The stages, however, as inconvenient as they are, constitute the favorite
mode of conveyance for the better class of New Yorkers.  The fare on
these lines is ten cents, and is sufficiently high to exclude from them
the rougher and dirtier portion of the community, and one meets with more
courtesy and good breeding here than in the street cars.  They are
cleaner than the cars, and ladies are less liable to annoyance in them.
Like the cars, however, they are well patronized by the pickpockets.

The driver also acts as conductor.  The fares are passed up to him
through a hole in the roof in the rear of his seat.  The check-string
passes from the door through this hole, and rests under the driver's
foot.  By pulling this string the passenger gives the signal to stop the
stage, and in order to distinguish between this and a signal to receive
the passenger's fare, a small gong, worked by means of a spring, is
fastened at the side of the hole.  By striking this the passenger
attracts the driver's attention.  A vigorous ringing of this gong by the
driver is a signal for passengers to hand up their fares.

All the stage routes lie along Broadway below Twenty-third street.  They
begin at some of the various East River ferries, reach the great
thoroughfare as directly as possible, and leave it to the right and left
between Bleecker and Twenty-third streets, and pass thence to their
destinations in the upper part of the city.  The principal lines pass
from Broadway into Madison, Fourth and Fifth avenues, and along their
upper portions traverse the best quarter of the city.  As the stages
furnish the only conveyances on Broadway, they generally do well.  The
flow and ebb of the great tide down and up the island in the morning and
evening crowd every vehicle, and during the remainder of the day, they
manage by the exertions of the drivers to keep comfortably full.

The stage drivers constitute a distinct class in the metropolis, and
though they lead a hard and laborious life, their lot, as a general
thing, is much better than that of the car drivers.  They suffer much
from exposure to the weather.  In the summer they frequently fall victims
to sunstroke, and in the bitter winter weather they are sometimes
terribly frozen before reaching the end of their route, as they cannot
leave their boxes.  In the summer they protect themselves from the rays
of the sun by means of huge umbrellas fastened to the roof of the coach,
and in the winter they encase themselves in a multitude of wraps and
comforters, and present a rather ludicrous appearance.  They are obliged
to exercise considerable skill in driving along Broadway, for the dense
throng in the street renders the occurrence of an accident always
probable, and Jehu has a holy horror of falling into the hands of the
police.  Riding with one of them one day, I asked if he could tell me why
it was that the policemen on duty on the street were never run over or
injured in trying to clear the thoroughfare of its frequent "blocks" of
vehicles?

"There'll never be one of them hurt by a driver accustomed to the street,
sir," said he, dryly; "I'd rather run over the richest man in New York.
Why, the police would fix you quick enough if you'd run a-foul of them.
It would be a month or two on the Island, and that's what none of us
fancy."

It requires more skill to carry a stage safely through Broadway than to
drive a horse car, and consequently good stage-drivers are always in
demand, and can command better wages and more privileges than the latter.
They are allowed the greater part of Saturday, or some other day in the
week, and as the stages are not run on Sunday, that day is a season of
rest with them.

Like the street car conductors, they are given to the practice of
"knocking down," and it is said appropriate very much more of their
employers' money than the former.  They defend the practice with a
variety of arguments, and assert that it is really to their employers'
interests for them to keep back a part of the earnings of the day, since
in order to cover up their peculations, they must exert themselves to
pick up as many fares as possible.  "It's a fact, sir," said one of them
to the writer, "that them as makes the most for themselves, makes the
biggest returns to the office."

Many of the drivers are very communicative on the subjects of their
profession, and not a few tell some good stories of "slouches," "bums,"
and "beats," the names given to those gentlemen whose principal object in
this world is to sponge upon poor humanity to as great an extent as the
latter will permit.  One of the cheapest ways of "getting a ride" is to
present a five or ten dollar bill; very few drivers carry so much money,
as they hardly ever have that amount on their morning trips; the bill
cannot be changed, and the owner of it gets "down town" _free_.

Apropos of this method, a talkative Jehu said to me one morning, "When I
was a drivin' on the Knickerbocker," a line that ran some twenty years
ago from South Ferry through Broadway, Bleecker, and Eighth avenue, to
Twenty-third street, "there was a middle-aged man that used to ride
reg'lar; all the fellows got to knowin' him.  Well, he'd get in and hand
up a ten dollar note--you know the fare was only six cents then--and we
never had so much 'bout us, so, of course, he'd ride for nothin'; well,
that fellow stuck me five mornin's straight, and I sort o' got tired of
it; so on the six' day I went to the office and says to the Boss,
'There's a man ridin' free on this line.  All the fellows knows him; he
gives 'em all a ten dollar note and they can't break it.  He's rid with
me these last five mornin's, an' I'm goin' for him to-day, I want ten
dollars in pennies, an' six fares out.  If he rides I'll git square with
him.'  So the Boss he gives me nine dollars and sixty-four cents all in
pennies--you know they was all big ones then--an' they weighed some, I
tell you.  When I got down to Fourteenth street he hailed me.  Then the
fares used to pay when they got out.  So he hands up his note; I looked
at it--it was on the "Dry Dock"--an' I hands him down the pennies.  Well,
how he did blow about it an' said how he wouldn't take 'em.  Well, says
I, then I'll keep it all.  Well, he was the maddest fellow you ever seen;
he was hoppin'!  But he got out an' some one inside hollers out, 'Put
some one on the other side or you'll capsize,' an' he thought it was me.
He jumped on the sidewalk an' he called me everything he could lay his
tongue to, an' I a la'ffin' like blazes.  Says he, 'I'll report you, you
old thief,' an' I drove off.  Well, I told the Boss, an' he says, 'Let
him come, I'll talk to him,' but he never made no complaint there."

Said another: "A lady got in with me one day an' handed up a fifty cent
stamp.  I put down forty cents.  I don't never look gen'rally, but this
time I see a man take the change an' put it in his pocket.  Pretty soon a
man rings the bell an' says, 'Where's the lady's change?'  Well, I thinks
here's a go, an' I points to the man and says, 'That there gentleman put
it in his pocket.'  Well, that fellow looked like a sheet, an' a
thunder-cloud an' all through the rainbow.  He never said nothing but
pulled out the change, gave it up, an' then he got out an' went 'round a
corner like mad.  Some don't wait like he did tho', but gits out right
off.  One day a chap got out an' another follered him, an they had it out
on the street there, an' we all was a looking on."

Sometimes the drivers make "a haul" in a curious way.  Said one: "A man
handed me up a fifty dollar bill one night.  I handed it back four times,
and got mad because he wouldn't give me a small bill.  He said he hadn't
anything else, and I could take that or nothing, so, I gave him change
for a dollar bill, and kept forty-nine dollars and ten cents for his
fare.  He didn't say anything, and after a while he got out.  Why, the
other day a lady gave me a hundred dollar note, and when I told her I
thought she'd faint.  'My goodness!' said she, 'I didn't know it was more
than one.'  Such people ought to be beat; they'd be more careful when
they lose a few thousand."

"Some fellows," said another driver, "give you ten or fifteen cents, an'
swear they give you a fifty cent stamp, an' you have to give them change
for fifty cents, or they'll may be go to the office an' make a fuss, an'
the bosses will sooner take their word than yours, an' you'll get
sacked."

One of the most laborious ways of "turning an honest penny" was brought
to my notice by one of these knights of the whip.  Said he: "Has you been
a watchin' of my business this morning?  P'r'aps you aint took notice of
the money I'm takin' in?  No, I guess not."  The latter remark was
followed by a rough laugh, in which I thought there was distinguishable a
little more than mere merriment, especially when I heard a mumbled
imprecation.  He continued aloud: "I aint seen any yet myself."  Soon the
bell rang, and a ticket was passed up.  "Well," said he, "he's goin' it
strong, to be sure; this here's the fourteenth ticket I've had on this
trip."  An explanation being solicited, the fact was revealed that there
was a man inside who made a practice of buying twelve tickets for a
dollar, then seating himself near the bell, he would take the fares of
every one and give the driver a ticket for each, that is, receive ten
cents and give the driver the equivalent of eight and one-third cents,
thereby making ten cents on every six passengers.  "You see," said the
driver, "what a blessin' those sort of fellers is.  Here I don't have no
trouble whatsomever; he makes all the change for me, and 'spose my box
should blow over, nothen's lost."  From time to time as the tickets were
handed up he would cheer the toiler inside with such expressions as "Go
it boots," "How's the cash?"  "How does the old thing work?" always loud
enough to attract the attention of the "insides."

This strange individual interested me so much that I made some inquiries
about him, at first supposing him to be crazy or otherwise terribly
afflicted; but he is considered sound, is the third in a well-to-do firm,
and is far beyond the need of having recourse to any such means for
increasing his capital.



III.  STEAM RAILWAYS.


The great necessity of New York is some sure means of rapid transit
between the upper and lower parts of the island.  The average New Yorker
spends about an hour or an hour and a half each day in going to and from
his business, and an immense amount of valuable time is thus lost, which
loss is often increased by delays.  For the past few years the citizens
of the metropolis have been seeking to procure the construction of a road
from the Battery to Harlem to be operated by steam, and it seems probable
now that a few years more will witness the completion of such a road.
Public opinion is divided between two plans, and it is probable that both
will be tried, and that the city will soon contain a steam railway
elevated above the street and a similar road under the ground.

The elevated railway has already been tried to a limited extent, but is
not regarded with much favor by the citizens.  This line extends along
Greenwich street and Ninth avenue, from the Battery to Thirtieth street.
The track of this road is laid on iron posts, at an elevation of about
sixteen feet above the street.  The cars are so constructed that it would
be impossible for one of them to fall from the track.  Dummy engines
furnish the motive power.  The running time from the present southern
terminus at Courtlandt street to Thirtieth street, a distance of about
three miles, is fifteen minutes.  The road is pronounced perfectly safe
by competent engineers, but the structure appears so light to the
unscientific public that nine out of ten view it with distrust, and it is
doubtful whether it will ever meet with the success the company hope for.

The only other elevated road at present contemplated, and for which a
liberal charter has been obtained, is known as the _Viaduct Road_.  It is
proposed to build this on a series of arches of solid masonry, the
streets to be spanned by light bridges.  The line of the road is to be in
the centre of the blocks along its route.  The estimated cost of the
road, including the sum to be paid for the right of way, is about
$80,000,000; and it seems certain that this immense cost will necessitate
radical changes in the original plan.

                    [Picture: TUNNEL UNDER BROADWAY.]

The underground plan has many supporters in the city, these basing their
hopes upon the success achieved by the underground railway of London.
There are several plans proposed for an underground road.  The first is
known as the _Arcade Railway_.  It is proposed by the friends of this
plan to excavate the streets along which it passes to a depth of about
twenty feet, or in other words, to make a new street twenty feet below
the level of those already in existence.  This new street is to be
provided with sidewalks, gas-lamps, telegraph lines, hydrants, etc., and
upon the sidewalks the basements of the present buildings will open, thus
adding an additional and valuable story to the existing edifices.  The
lower street is to be arched over with solid masonry, rendered
water-tight, and supported by heavy iron columns.  Large glass plates,
similar to those now used for lighting the cellars of stores, will be
placed in the sidewalks of the street above, and will furnish light to
the lower street during the day.  The roadway of the lower street will be
entirely devoted to the use of railway trains.  The proposed route of the
_Arcade_ line is from the Battery, under Broadway, to Union Square.
Thence the eastern branch is to extend along Fourth avenue to the Harlem
River, while the western is to continue along Broadway to the junction of
Ninth avenue, whence it will be prolonged to the northern end of the
island.

The _Underground Railway_ proper is to extend from the lower to the upper
end of the island, and is to pass through one or more tunnels, after the
manner of the Underground Railway of London.

The third plan for an underground road, is the only one that has yet been
attempted.  It is known as the "Beach Pneumatic Tunnel."  A small
section, several hundred yards in length, has been constructed under
Broadway, and the company owning it claim that they have thus
demonstrated their ability to construct and work successfully a road
extending from the Battery to the upper end of the island.

The tunnel is eight feet in diameter.  It commences in the cellar of the
marble building of Messrs. Develin &  Co., at the southwest corner of
Broadway and Warren street, and extends under the great thoroughfare to a
point a little below Murray street.  It is dry and clean, is painted
white, and is lighted with gas.  It passes under all the gas and water
pipes and sewers.  The cars are made to fit the tunnel, and are propelled
by means of atmospheric pressure.  A strong blast of air, thrown out by
means of an immense blowing machine, is forced against the rear end of a
car, and sends it along the track like a sail-boat before the wind.  This
current of course secures perfect ventilation within the car.  The
company claim that they will be able, when their road is completed, to
transport more than 20,000 passengers per hour, each way.



XII.  HORACE GREELEY.


The best known man in New York, in one sense, and the least known in
others, is Horace Greeley.  If there is a man, woman, or child in all
this broad land who has not heard of him, let that person apply to Barnum
for an engagement as a natural curiosity.  And yet how few know the man
as he really is.  The most absurd stories are told of him, and the
likeness most familiar to the public is a ridiculous caricature.

He was born in Amherst, New Hampshire, on the 3d of February, 1811, and
is consequently 61 years old.  His parents were poor, and Horace received
but a very plain education at the common schools of the vicinity.  The
natural talent of the boy made up for this, however, for he read
everything he could lay his hands on.  He was a rapid reader, too, and
had the faculty of retaining the information thus acquired.  He was kept
too busy at work on his father's sterile farm to be able to read during
the day, and he was too poor to afford to use candles at night, and so
his early studies were carried on by the light of pine knots.  He served
a severe apprenticeship at the printing business, commencing it at a very
early age, and finding employment first on one country paper, and then on
another, working at his trade, and occasionally writing for the journals
he put in type.

In 1831 he came to New York, convinced that the great city offered him a
better opportunity for success than any other place, and resolved to win
that success.  He was very boyish in appearance, frail, delicate-looking,
but hopeful and resolved.  For ten years he worked hard in the various
offices of the city, sometimes setting type and sometimes writing
editorials.  Sometimes he published his own journal, but generally found
this a "losing business."  Failure did not discourage him, and he kept
on, acquiring greater experience and becoming better known every year.
He has himself told so well the story of his early struggles to so large
an audience that I need not repeat it here.

In 1841, ten years from the time he wandered along Nassau street, without
money or friends, and with all his worldly possessions tied up in a
handkerchief, he began the publication of the _New York Tribune_, having
succeeded in obtaining the necessary capital.  It was a venture, and a
bold one, but it proved a great success.  He chose the name of the
journal himself, and became its responsible editor.  Though others have
assisted him in his efforts, the success of the paper is his work.  He
has made it a great power in the land, and he is naturally proud of his
work.  Those who know him best say that the title dearest to his heart is
that of "Founder of the New York Tribune."

Mr. Greeley's career has been one of incessant labor.  His friends say he
was never known to rest as other men do.  When he goes to his farm in
Westchester County for recreation, he rests by chopping wood and digging
ditches.  His editorial labors make up a daily average of about two
columns of the _Tribune_, and he contributes the equivalent of about six
_Tribune_ columns per week to other journals.  He writes from fifteen to
twenty-five letters per day; he has published several large works; he
goes thoroughly through his exchanges every day, and keeps himself well
posted in the current literature of the times; he speaks or lectures
about five or six times a month, and makes monthly visits to Albany and
Washington, to see what is going on behind the scenes in the capitals of
the State and Nation.  He is constantly receiving people who come on
business or from curiosity, and yet he never seems tired, though he is
not always even-tempered.

He is somewhat peculiar in his personal appearance.  Most people in
thinking of him picture to themselves a slouchy looking man, with a white
hat, a white overcoat, with one leg of his breeches caught over the top
of his boot, his whole dress shabby and not overclean, and his pockets
stuffed full of newspapers, and many have imagined that he "gets himself
up" so, in order to attract attention on the streets.  The true Horace
Greeley, however, though careless as to outward appearances, is
immaculately neat in his dress.  No one ever saw him with dirty linen or
soiled clothes except in muddy weather, when, in New York, even a Brummel
must be content to be splashed with mud.  Mr. Greeley's usual dress is a
black frock coat, a white vest, and a pair of black pantaloons which come
down to the ankle.  His black cravat alone betrays his carelessness, and
that only when it slips off the collar, and works its way around to the
side.  Mr. Greeley is five feet ten inches in height, and is stout in
proportion.  He is partly bald, and his hair is white.  He has a light,
pinkish complexion, and his eyes are blue, small, and sunken.  His mouth
is well-shaped, and his features are regular.  His beard is worn around
the throat and under the chin, and is perfectly white.  His hands are
small and soft; but his feet and legs are awkward and clumsy, and this
gives to him a peculiar shuffling motion in walking.  He is abstracted in
manner, and when accosted suddenly replies abruptly, and as some think
rudely.

One of his acquaintances thus describes him in his editorial office:

"We walk through the little gate in the counter, turn within the open
doorway on our left, climb a short, narrow flight of stairs, and find
ourselves in a small room, ten by fifteen, furnished with a green carpet,
a bed lounge, an open book-rack, a high desk, a writing-desk, three
arm-chairs, a short-legged table, and a small marble sink.

"Mr. Greeley's back is toward us.  He is seated at his desk.  His head is
bent over his writing, and his round shoulders are quite prominent.  He
is scribbling rapidly.  A quire of foolscap, occupying the only clear
space on his desk, is melting rapidly beneath his pen.  The desk itself
is a heap of confusion.  Here is Mr. Greeley's straw hat; there is his
handkerchief.  In front of him is a peck of newspaper clippings, not
neatly rolled up, but loosely sprawled over the desk.  At his left a
rickety pair of scissors catches a hurried nap, and at his right a
paste-pot and a half-broken box of wafers appear to have had a
rough-and-tumble fight.  An odd-looking paper-holder is just ready to
tumble on the floor.  An old-fashioned sand-box, looking like a
dilapidated hour-glass, is half-hidden under a slashed copy of _The New
York World_.  Mr. Greeley still sticks to wafers and sand, instead of
using mucilage and blotting-paper.  A small drawer, filled with postage
stamps and bright steel pens, has crawled out on the desk.  Packages of
folded missives are tucked in the pigeon-holes, winking at us from the
back of the desk, and scores of half-opened letters, mixed with seedy
brown envelopes, flop lazily about the table.  Old papers lie gashed and
mangled about his chair, the _debris_ of a literary battle field.  A
clean towel hangs on a rack to his right.  A bound copy of _The Tribune
Almanac_, from 1838 to 1868, swings from a small chain fastened to a
staple screwed in the side of his desk; two other bound volumes stand on
their feet in front of his nose, and two more of the same kind are fast
asleep on the book-rack in the corner.  Stray numbers of the almanac peep
from every nook.  The man who would carry off Greeley's bound pile of
almanacs would deserve capital punishment.  The Philosopher could better
afford to lose one of his legs than to lose his almanacs.  The room is
kept scrupulously clean and neat.  A waste paper basket squats between
Mr. Greeley's legs, but one half the torn envelopes and boshy
communications flutter to the floor instead of being tossed into the
basket.  The table at his side is covered with a stray copy of _The New
York Ledger_, and a dozen magazines lie thereon.  Here is an iron garden
rake wrapped up in an _Independent_.  There hangs a pair of handcuffs
once worn by old John Brown, and sent Mr. Greeley by an enthusiastic
admirer of both Horace and John.  A champagne basket, filled with old
scrap-books and pamphlets, occupies one corner.  A dirty bust of Lincoln,
half hidden in dusty piles of paper, struggles to be seen on the top of
his desk.  A pile of election tables, dirty, ragged and torn, clipped
from some unknown newspaper, looks as if they had half a mind to jump
down on the 'Old Man's' bald head.  A certificate of life membership in
some tract or abolition society, and maps of the World, New York, and New
Jersey hang on the wall.  A rare geological specimen of quartz rock,
weighing about ten pounds, is ready to roll down a high desk to the floor
on the first alarm.  Dirty pamphlets are as plentiful as cockroaches.
His office library consists of 150 volumes.

"Pen, ink, paper, scissors, and envelopes are in unfailing demand.  The
cry, 'Mr. Greeley wants writing paper!' creates a commotion in the
counting-room, and Mr. Greeley gets paper quicker than a hungry fisherman
could skin an eel.

"Mr. Greeley can lay Virginia worm fences in ink faster than any other
editor in New York City.  He uses a fountain-pen, a present from some
friend.  He thinks a great deal of it, but during an experience of three
years has failed to learn the simple principle of suction without getting
his mouth full of ink, and he generally uses it with an empty receiver.
He makes a dash at the ink-bottle every twenty seconds, places the third
finger and thumb of his left hand on his paper, and scratches away at his
worm fence like one possessed.  He writes marvellously fast.  Frequently
the point of his pen pricks through his sheet, for he writes a heavy
hand, and a snap follows, spreading inky spots over the paper, resembling
a woodcut portraying the sparks from a blacksmith's hammer.  Blots like
mashed spiders, or crushed huckleberries, occasionally intervene, but the
old veteran dashes them with sand, leaving a swearing compositor to
scratch off the soil, and dig out the words underneath.

"Mr. Greeley's manuscript, when seen for the first time, resembles an
intricate mass of lunatic hieroglyphics, or the tracks of a spider
suffering from _delirium tremens_.  But, by those accustomed to his
writing, a remarkable exactness is observed.  The spelling, punctuation,
accented letters, and capitalizing are perfect.  The old type-setters of
the office prefer his manuscript above that of any other editor, for the
simple reason that he writes his article as he wishes it to appear, and
rarely, if ever, cuts or slashes a proof-sheet.  And this punctuality is,
in a great measure, a feature of his life.  He is always in time, and
never waits for anybody.  He employs no private secretary, and when he
receives a letter, answers it on the instant.  No matter how trivial the
request, the next outward-bound mail will carry away one of his
autographs, if he thinks an answer necessary.

"He knows we have entered his room, yet he continues his writing.  The
only sound we hear within the sanctum is the scratch of his pen.  He has
the power of concentrating all the strength of his mind on the subject of
his editorial, and will pay no attention to any question, however
important, until he finishes his sentence.  If the cry of 'Fire!' should
resound through the building, Greeley would finish his sentence and ring
his bell before he would leave his room.  The sentence complete, he
places the forefinger of his right hand at the end of the word last
written, seizes the handle of his pen in his teeth, and looks his
tormentor full in the face.  It is a glance of inquiry, and the
questioner, intuitively conscious of this fact, repeats his
interrogation.  Mr. Greeley divines the question before it is finished,
and answers it pithily and quickly.  The pen is then snatched from his
mouth, dexterously dipped into his inkstand, and his fingers again travel
across his transverse sheet of foolscap like a 'daddy-long-legs' caught
in a storm.  If his questioner is importunate, and insists on wasting his
time, he continues his writing, never looking up, and either answers
absent-mindedly, or in a low, impatient tone, tinged with a peculiar
boyish nervousness.  If his visitor is ungentlemanly enough to still
continue his teasing importunities, a storm breaks forth, and the
uncourteous person will trot out of the sanctum with an answer ringing in
his ears that should bring a flush to his cheek.

"To Mr. Greeley time is more valuable than money or even friendship.
When busy, he is no respecter of persons.  President or hod-carrier,
general or boot-black, clergyman or express-driver, authoress or
apple-woman--all are treated alike.  Eminent men have left his room under
the impression that they have been deliberately slighted, while Horace
still slashed away at his inky pickets, totally unconscious of any
neglect."

Mr. Greeley's home is at Chappaqua, in Westchester County, New York,
about thirty miles from the city.  He owns a fine farm of about forty
acres, which has cost him more money than he would care to tell.
Agriculture is one of his great hobbies, and he tests here all the
theories that are presented to him.  His friends say that his turnips
cost him about ten dollars apiece to produce, and bring about fifty cents
per bushel in the market, and that all his farming operations are
conducted on the same principle.

                        [Picture: HORACE GREELEY.]

Mr. Greeley married when quite young, and has had three children.  Two
daughters, aged about twenty and twelve, are living, but his son, a
bright and unusually promising child, died some years ago.  Mr. Greeley
is one of the principal stockholders in the _Tribune_, and is a rich man.
He is liberal and generous to those in need, and is a warm friend to
benevolent enterprises of all kinds.

The chief reason of his popularity is the general confidence of the
people in his personal integrity.  Not even his political enemies
question his honesty--and surely in these days of corruption and crime in
public life, an honest man is one that can not well be spared.



XIII.  THE TOMBS.


Turn out of Printing House Square, leaving the City Hall on your left,
and pass up Centre street for about a quarter of a mile, and you will
come to a massive granite edifice in the Egyptian style of architecture.
It occupies an entire square, and is bounded by Centre and Elm, and
Leonard and Franklin streets.  The main entrance is on Centre street, and
is approached by a broad flight of granite steps, which lead to a portico
supported by massive Egyptian columns.  The proper name of the edifice is
_The Halls of Justice_, but it is popularly known all over the Union as
_The Tombs_, which name was given to it in consequence of its gloomy
appearance.  It occupies the site of the old Collect Pond which once
supplied the citizens of New York with drinking water, was begun in 1835
and completed in 1838.

The outer building occupies four sides of a hollow square, and is 253 by
200 feet in size.  It was built at a time when New York contained
scarcely half its present population, and has long since ceased to be
equal to the necessities of the city.  The site is low and damp, and the
building is badly ventilated.  The warden does all in his power to
counteract these evils, and keeps the place remarkably neat, but it is
still a terribly sickly and dreary abode.  It was designed to accommodate
about 200 prisoners, but for some years past the number of prisoners
confined here at one time has averaged 400, and has sometimes exceeded
that average.  The Grand Jury of the County have recently condemned the
place as a nuisance, and it is believed that the city will ere long
possess a larger, cleaner, and more suitable prison.

                          [Picture: THE TOMBS.]

When the prison was built the Five Points, on the western verge of which
it lies, was a much worse section than it is now.  It is bad enough at
present, but then the Tombs constituted a solitary island in a sea of
crime and suffering.  A terrible island it was, too.

Entering through the gloomy portal upon which the sunlight never falls,
the visitor is chilled with the dampness which greets him as soon as he
passes into the shadow of the heavy columns.  Upon reaching the inner
side of the enclosure, he finds that the portion of the prison seen from
the street encloses a large courtyard, in the centre of which stands a
second prison, 142 feet long by 45 feet deep, and containing 148 cells.
This is the male prison, and is connected with the outer building by a
bridge known as the _Bridge of Sighs_, since it is by means of it that
condemned criminals pass from their cells to the scaffold at the time of
their execution.

The gallows is taken down and kept in the prison until there is need for
it.  Then it is set up in the courtyard near the Bridge of Sighs.  All
executions are conducted here in private, that is, they are witnessed
only by such persons as the officers of the law may see fit to admit.
But on such days the neighboring buildings are black with people, seeking
to look down over the prison walls and witness the death agonies of the
poor wretch who is paying the penalty of the law.

                     [Picture: THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS.]

The interior of the male prison consists of a narrow and lofty hall, upon
which open four tiers of cells, one above another; those above the ground
floor being reached by light iron galleries.  Each gallery is guarded by
two keepers.  The cells are narrow, and each is lighted by a small
iron-barred window at the farther end.  Light and air are also admitted
by the barred door of iron opening upon the corridor.  There are eleven
cells of especial strength, in which convicts condemned to death or to
the State Prison are confined.  There are six other cells, which are used
for the confinement of persons charged with offences less grave, and six
more, which are used for sick prisoners.  The cells are generally full of
criminals.  Some of them are well furnished, and are provided with
carpets, chairs, a table, and books and paper, which are bought at the
expense of the prisoner or his friends.  Some of the inmates shrink from
the observation of visitors, but others are hardened to crime and shame,
and not unfrequently cause the visitor's ears to tingle with the remarks
they address to them.  No lights are allowed in the cells, and the aspect
of the place is very gloomy, the whole prison is kept scrupulously clean,
the sanitary regulations being very strict, but the lack of room
necessitates the crowding of the prisoners to a fearfully demoralizing
extent.

                   [Picture: INTERIOR OF MALE PRISON.]

The outer building contains the female prison, which lies along the
Leonard street side, the boys' prison, and the halls of justice, or rooms
occupied by the Tombs Police Court and the Court of Special Sessions.
Over the main entrance on the Centre street side, are six comfortable
cells.  These are for the use of criminals of the wealthier class, who
can afford to pay for such comforts.  Forgers, fraudulent merchants, and
the like, pass the hours of their detention in these rooms, while their
humbler but not more guilty brothers in crime are shut in the close cells
of the male prison.  These rooms command a view of the street, so that
their occupants are not entirely cut off from the outer world.

The female prison is in charge of an excellent matron, who has held her
position for more than twenty years.  Men are never confined here, and
male visitors are subject to certain restrictions.  In this portion is
located the room used as a chapel.  Religious services of some kind are
held in the Tombs every day in the week except Saturday, and the effort
is made to give all the denominations an opportunity of doing good.
Sunday morning and Tuesday until noon are devoted to the Roman Catholics;
Sunday and Tuesday afternoons to the Episcopalians; Monday to the
Methodists, and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to the other Protestant
denominations.  Some of the Protestant clergy sometimes attempt to hold
religious services in the main hall of the male prison, so that the
prisoners in their cells may hear what is going on.  The latter pay
little or no attention to the preacher, and frequently interrupt and
annoy him by their shouts, jeers and imitations in their cells.  The
Sisters of Charity are in charge of the female and boys' prisons, and do
a vast amount of good by their quiet ministrations.  The boys are kept in
a large room during the day, and are locked up in separate cells at
night.

                      [Picture: THE PRISON CHAPEL.]

One of the principal rooms in the Tombs is "The Bummers' Cell."  It is a
large apartment, shut off from one of the main halls by an iron railing.
It is always tolerably well filled, and on Saturday nights it is
overflowing.  Here are confined those against whom there is no serious
charge; persons arrested for drunkenness, or for simple disorder on the
streets.  On Sunday morning the visitor will sometimes find a large crowd
of men collected in it, not all of whom are unfortunates or criminals.
Some are well-dressed, well-to-do persons, who have had the misfortune to
be drunk and noisy on Saturday night.  Some are strangers, residents of
other cities, who have started out from their hotels to see the sights
and have a merry time, and who have fallen at length--and fortunately for
them--into the hands of the police.  A few are persons who have been
wrongfully or maliciously accused of crime.

From sunset until long after midnight on Saturday, the police are busy
with ridding the streets of drunken and disorderly persons.  As soon as a
person is arrested, he is taken to the Tombs or to one of the
station-houses.  It is the duty of the officer in charge of the precinct
to lock up every one against whom a definite charge is brought.  Even
though satisfied that the person is wrongfully accused, or is simply
unfortunate, he has no discretion.  He must hold for trial all charged
with offences, and at the Tombs the officer is obliged to throw persons
who command his sympathy into the company of the most abandoned wretches
for an entire night.  Drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and fighting, are
the principal charges brought against the occupants of the Bummers' Cell.
The noise, profanity, and obscenity are fearful.  All classes and ages
are represented there.

During the year 1870, 49,423 persons were confined for various periods of
time in the Tombs.

The Tombs Police Court offers some interesting and instructive
spectacles.  It is opened at six o'clock on Sunday morning.  It is
presided over by Justice Joseph Dowling, a short, thickset man, with a
handsome face, and a full, well-shaped head, indicating both ability and
determination.  Judge Dowling is still a young man, and is one of the
most efficient magistrates in the city.  His decisions are quickly
rendered, and are usually just.  His long experience with criminals has
given him an intimate knowledge of the men with whom he has to deal, and
their ways.  This often helps him to a conclusion which is really true,
although the evidence in the case does not confirm it, and he frequently
startles criminals by boldly declaring that they did thus and so at such
a time.  The criminal overwhelmed with astonishment and confusion
generally admits the charge, and is sentenced accordingly.  A stranger is
at once struck with the quick and penetrating power of Judge Dowling's
glance.  He seems to look right through a criminal, and persons brought
before him generally find it impossible to deceive him.  This has made
him the terror of criminals, who have come to regard an arraignment
before him as equivalent to a conviction, which is generally the case.
At the same time he is kind and considerate to those who are simply
unfortunate.  As a man, he is kind-hearted, and inclined to lean toward
the side of mercy.

As soon as the court is opened, the prisoners are called up in the order
of their arrival during the previous night.  Drunkenness and disorder,
and first offences of a minor character, are punished with a reprimand,
and the prisoner is dismissed.  These cases constitute a majority of the
charges, and the judge disposes of them with a rapidity which astonishes
a stranger.  The more serious cases are held for further examination, or
are sent on for trial before the Court of Special Sessions.

All classes of people come to the Justice with complaints of every
description.  Women come to complain of their husbands, and men of their
wives.  Judge Dowling listens to them all, and if a remedy is needed,
applies the proper one without delay.  In most instances he dismisses the
parties with good advice, as their cases are not provided for by the law.

The Court of Special Sessions sits in a large hall on the right of the
main entrance to the prison.  It is strictly a criminal court, and is for
the trial of charges which are too serious to be disposed of in the
Police Court.  Two judges are supposed to sit during the sessions of this
court, but Judge Dowling frequently conducts its business alone.  The
prisoner is allowed to employ counsel and introduce witnesses in his own
behalf.

The following is an example of the way in which Judge Dowling transacts
business in this court:

"The first case of importance was that of the People vs. James Day,
_alias_ 'Big-mouthed Scotty,' and William Jones, _alias_ 'Billy Clews,'
on the complaint of Captain Ira S. Garland, of the Twelfth precinct.
Probably there are not two other men in this city who could fairly be
compared with these.  They are both of the most dissolute, desperate
habits, and have been what they now are, thieves, since the date of their
entry into this city.  The first, who is truthfully styled
'big-mouthed'--that hole in his face being almost large enough to run in
one of the cars on the elevated railroad in Greenwich street--was born in
the Hielands o' Bonnie Scotland; but, be it said, he appears not to have
become inoculated with the same spirit of honesty and perseverance that
characterizes the greater portion of his countrymen.  He arrived here
nearly twenty years ago, and since that time he has been a lazy,
contemptible thief, a shocking contrast with Caledonians in general.

                  [Picture: COURT OF SPECIAL SESSIONS.]

"His companion, 'Billy Clews,' has been known in different circles of the
same profession, and could usually be found in the neighborhood of Five
Points.  On Thursday there was what is usually termed a 'large' funeral,
from a church at the corner of One-hundred-and-twenty-sixth street and
Fourth avenue.  Outside was a long line of coaches, and inside the church
was full of mourners and the friends of the departed, whose remains were
about to be consigned to that 'bourn whence no traveller returns.'  The
crowd inside was so great that the police were called in to put the
people in the seats, as far as could be done, and remained there during
the service to keep order.  While Captain Garland was standing at the top
of the centre aisle he saw 'Big-Mouth' elbowing his way from the altar
towards the door, and making various efforts to pick pockets as he came
along.  Presently he came close up behind a lady who was standing with
her face to the altar, and, reaching his hands in the folds of her dress,
quietly withdrew her pocket-book from its hiding place.  The pocket-book
vanished very quickly, however, so that the captain could not see which
way it went or what, for the time, had become of it.  At first the
thieves did not observe the captain, but the instant Day caught a glance
of him he turned quietly to his accomplice and said 'Look out, Billy;
there's a big cop.'  Billy took the 'cue,' began to move off, and
attempted to get out of the church.  But as they were both in the
doorway, and seeing the captain making for them, they made a rush out
from the sacred edifice, passed the carriages and ran down the avenue as
fast as 'shank's pony' could carry them.  The captain gave chase, and,
with the aid of an officer on duty at the church, succeeded in arresting
the individuals who were thus trading on the mourners over a dead body.
On returning to the church Garland was informed of the loss of the lady's
pocketbook, but he failed to discover her among the crowd, and
consequently could not produce her in evidence against the prisoners at
the bar.  He had seen them previously walking towards the church, and
knowing Day to be a general thief, he gave orders to look out for them,
but somehow for a long time the thieves escaped the vigilance of the
officers.  They allowed it was 'all wrong' to be in the church at the
time, but they told the captain he ought to allow them to go, for he knew
'how it was' with them.

"'What have you to say, Scotty?' asked the Judge.

"'Oh, well,' replied Big-Mouth, 'I don't thenk a've got much to say, only
to ask your Honor to deal mercifully with us.  The captain at the police
station didn't say he was to breng this prosecution agen us noo; he only
told us he wud tak us out o' harum's way, and didn't make no charge.'

"Judge Dowling.--'It is no use my saying anything to you, Day; in fact,
all that could be said is that you have never been anything else than
what you are now, a thief, and that, too, of a most contemptible type.
You go about to the various graveyards and rob the poor persons who are
too absorbed in interring the dead and in grieving for their lost friends
to notice that you are there for the purpose of plunder; you also visit
the churches wherever there is a crowd of this sort paying their last
respects to the remains of a friend, and never leave without robbing some
poor persons of their money or jewelry.  Scotchy, you have done that
business for the past eighteen years to my own knowledge.  I do not know
so much about your accomplice, or how long he has been travelling with
you.  I will, however, rid the people of your presence, and do my best to
stay your heartless proceedings for some time to come.  One year each in
the Penitentiary and a fine of $200 each, and both to stand committed
until the amounts be paid.'

"'I told you how it 'oud be, Scotty,' yelled his partner, and with a
deplorable attitude the pair were marched over the 'Bridge of Sighs.'"

The Tombs is merely a prison of detention, and as soon as prisoners are
sentenced to the institutions on Blackwell's Island, or the State Prison,
they are conveyed to those establishments with as little delay as
possible.  The vehicle used for transporting them through the city is a
close wagon, with wooden blinds for light and ventilation, around the
upper part of the sides.  This is known as "Black Maria," and may be
daily seen rumbling through the city on its way from the Police Courts to
the ferry to Blackwell's Island.

Closely connected with the penal system of the city is the "Prison
Association of New York."  This society was organized in 1844.  Its
constitution declares that its objects are: "I.  A humane attention to
persons arrested and held for examination or trial, including inquiry
into the circumstances of their arrest, and the crimes charged against
them; securing to the friendless an impartial trial, and protection from
the depredations of unprincipled persons, whether professional sharpers
or fellow-prisoners.  II.  Encouragement and aid to discharged convicts
in their efforts to reform and earn an honest living.  This is done by
assisting them to situations, providing them with tools, and otherwise
counselling them and helping them to business.  III.  To study the
question of prison discipline generally, the government of the State,
County, and City prisons, to obtain statistics of crime, to disseminate
information on this subject, to evolve the true principles of science,
and impress a more reformatory character on our penitentiary system."

                        [Picture: "BLACK MARIA."]

Between 1844 and 1869, the members and agents of the Association visited
in the prisons of New York and Brooklyn 93,560 persons confined there.
These were poor and friendless prisoners, and they received from the
Association such advice and aid as their cases demanded.  During the same
period, 25,290 additional cases were examined by the officers of the
Society.  They succeeded in obtaining the withdrawal of 6148 complaints,
as being trivial, or based upon prejudice or passion.  Upon their
recommendation, the courts discharged 7922 persons guilty of first
offences, and who were penitent, or who had committed the offence under
mitigating circumstances.  They also provided 4130 discharged convicts
with permanent situations, and furnished 18,307 other discharged convicts
with board, money, railroad tickets, or clothing, to help them to better
their condition.  In the twenty-five years embraced in the above period,
they thus extended their good offices to 156,368 persons.  A noble
record, truly.



XIV.  THE PRESS.


I.  THE DAILY JOURNALS.


The Metropolitan Press is the model after which the journals of the
entire country are shaped, and, taken as a whole, it is the best
institution of its kind in existence.  The leading New York journals have
but one superior in the whole world--the London _Times_--and they
frequently equal, though they do not surpass the "Thunderer" itself in
the extent and importance of their news, and the ability and value of
their editorials.  They are the best managed, employ the greatest talent,
and are the most influential upon the country at large of any American
newspapers.

The leading journals are the morning papers.  Five of these, the
_Herald_, _Tribune_, _Times_, _World_, and _Staats Zeitung_, are huge
eight-page sheets, and frequently issue supplements of from four to eight
pages additional.  The others consist of four large, old-fashioned pages.

The expense and labor of issuing a first-class morning journal are very
great.  The cost of publication ranges from $800,000 to $1,000,000 per
annum; and the force employed, including editors, reporters,
proof-readers, newsmen, pressmen, feeders, clerks and compositors, is
over four hundred persons.  The profits vary according to the paper and
the times.

The _Herald_ is private property, as are some of the others.  The
_Tribune_, _Times_, and _Sun_, are owned by stock companies.  Under Mr.
Raymond the _Times_ was subject to his sole direction, but the _Tribune_
has always suffered from the interference of the stockholders.

Each newspaper has its editor in chief, who controls the general tone and
policy of the paper.  He decides all matters relating to its editorial
conduct, and is known to the public as the responsible editor.  His
principal assistant is the managing editor.  In the absence of the chief
editor he is the controlling power of the journal.  His legitimate duties
are to oversee the details of the paper, to see that its publication is
not delayed, to engage and dismiss sub-editors and correspondents, to
prescribe the character of the service required of these gentlemen, and
to regulate the salaries paid to them.  All the writers on the paper are
directly responsible to him, and he, in his turn, to the chief editor.
There is also a night editor, whose duties are heavy and responsible.  He
is charged with the duty of "making up" the paper, and decides what shall
and what shall not go in--a delicate duty sometimes.  He is at his post
at 7 o'clock in the evening, and remains there until the paper goes to
press in the morning, which is generally between 2 and 3 o'clock, though
sometimes it is held back by important news until daylight.  The foreign
editor is usually a foreigner, and one well acquainted with the leading
languages of Europe.  He controls the foreign correspondence, and writes
editorials upon European topics.  The financial editor writes the money
article, and is quite an important personage.  He is obliged to be well
informed concerning all the financial transactions of the day; he is
courted by bankers and capitalists, as he to a certain extent controls
public opinion in money matters, and he has ample facilities for making
money outside of his position.  The post is considered one of the most
lucrative on the paper, and the salary is regarded as a minor
consideration.  The city editor has charge of the city news, and is the
chief of the reporters.  The leading dailies have from twelve to thirty
reporters.  These are assigned to duty each day by the city editor, who
enters his directions to them in a large book.  They are sometimes
required to go to certain places to obtain news, and are expected to
furnish so much matter concerning it.  Some of the reporters have special
lines of duty, and report nothing but law cases, police matters, etc.,
and some limit their operations to Brooklyn, Jersey City, and the other
suburban towns.  Some of the reporters are stenographers also.  At times
there will be scarcely any work to be done, and again the powers of the
whole staff of reporters will be severely taxed.  There are also a
literary editor, whose duties are to review and notice books and other
publications; and art, dramatic and musical critics.  Some of these are,
as they should be, gentlemen of the highest culture, and impartial in
their opinions.  Others are quite the reverse.  The best of them,
however, are but men, though they too often assume to be something
superior, and their judgments are not infallible.  The leading journals
also employ translators, who put into English such extracts as it may be
necessary to use from the foreign papers.

                    [Picture: PRINTING HOUSE SQUARE.]

The amount of labor thus expended upon a morning newspaper is immense.
It is followed by an almost equal outlay of mechanical work in putting
the paper in type and printing it.  The principal papers are stereotyped,
and are printed from plates.  Formerly the Eight and Ten Cylinder Hoe
Presses were used, but of late years the Bullock Press has become very
popular.  It works quite as rapidly as the Hoe press, prints on both
sides at once, and is said to spoil fewer sheets.  The paper is put in in
a large roll, and is cut by the machine into the proper sizes and
printed.  Only one feeder is necessary.

Nearly all the city newspapers are located in or around Printing House
Square, immediately opposite and east of the City Hall.  One of the
greatest curiosities of this square is a huge engine, which runs a large
number of presses.  It is situated in Spruce street, between William and
Nassau streets, and occupies the basement of the building in which it is
located.  There are two engines here--one of 150 horse power, which is
used during the day, and a smaller one of 75 horse power, which relieves
it at night.  Shafting and belting carry the power in every direction
from the engine.  One hundred and twenty-five presses are worked by these
engines--each being estimated at so much horse power, and charged
accordingly.  They turn three-quarters of a mile of main shafting,
besides a mile or more of connecting shafts, and as much belting.  One of
these belts, an India rubber one, 120 feet long, connects a fifth story
press on Nassau street with the main shafting on Spruce street, across
the intervening yards, and another of leather, on Beekman street, 140
feet, perfectly perpendicular, connects the sub-cellar and the attic.
Some of the shafting passes under and across the streets.  Over fifty
newspapers and literary papers, besides magazines and books innumerable,
are printed by this monster engine.

The salaries paid by the newspapers are not large.  Those who receive
what is seemingly high pay do an amount of work out of proportion to
their compensation.  Mr. Greeley receives $10,000 per annum.  Mr. Reid,
the managing editor of the _Tribune_, receives $5000.  Mr. Sinclair, the
publisher, receives $10,000.  These are considered good salaries.  Any
one familiar with the cost of living in New York will not think them very
much in excess of the wants of their recipients, who are men with
families.

As a newspaper, the _New York Herald_ stands at the head of the city
dailies.  It aims to be a vehicle for imparting the latest news of the
day, and as such it is a great success.  Nobody cares for its opinions
editorially expressed, for it is the general belief that the _Herald_ has
no fixed opinions.  It is valued here simply as a newspaper.  It is
beyond a doubt the most energetic, and the best managed _newspaper_ in
the city.  Mr. James Gordon Bennett, the elder, has no rival in the art
of conducting a popular journal, but his son, Mr. J. G. Bennett, jr.,
does not seem to inherit his father's ability.  Young Mr. Bennett is now
the managing editor, and since his accession to that post there has been
a marked decline in the ability of the paper, which, under the rule of
Mr. Hudson, was unquestioned.  Nobody expects consistency in the
_Herald_, and its course to-day is no guarantee that it will hold the
same tone to-morrow.  Mr. Bennett aims to float with the popular current,
to be always on the winning side, and he succeeds.  The advertising
patronage of the paper is immense.

The _Herald_ office is one of the most conspicuous buildings in the city.
It is located at the corner of Broadway and Ann street, and is built of
white marble, in the modern French style.  Below the sidewalk are two
immense cellars or vaults, one below the other, in which are two steam
engines of thirty-five horse power each.  Three immense Hoe presses are
kept running constantly from midnight until seven in the morning,
printing the daily edition.  The rooms and machinery are kept in the most
perfect order.  Nothing is allowed to be out of place, and the slightest
speck of dirt visible in any part, calls forth a sharp rebuke from Mr.
Bennett, who makes frequent visits to every department of the paper.  On
the street floor, the main room is the public office of the journal.  Its
entrances are on Broadway and Ann street.  It is paved with marble tiles,
and the desks, counters, racks, etc., are of solid black walnut,
ornamented with plate glass.  Every thing is scrupulously clean, and the
room presents the appearance of some wealthy banking office.

                      [Picture: THE HERALD OFFICE.]

On the third floor are the editorial rooms.  The principal apartment is
the "Council Room," which overlooks Broadway.  Every other branch of the
editorial department has its separate room, and all are furnished with
every convenience necessary for doing their work with the utmost
precision and dispatch.  Each day, at noon, the editors of the _Herald_,
twelve in number, assemble in the "Council Room."  Mr. Bennett, if he is
in the city, takes his seat at the head of the table, and the others
assume the places assigned.  If Mr. Bennett is not present, his son,
James Gordon Bennett, jr., presides at the council, and in the absence of
both father and son, the managing editor takes the head of the table.
The council is opened by Mr. Bennett, or his representative, who presents
a list of subjects.  These are taken up, _seriatim_, and discussed by all
present.  The topics to be presented in the editorial columns of the
_Herald_ the next day are determined upon, and each editor is assigned
the subject he is to "write up."  All this is determined in a short
while.  Then Mr. Bennett asks the gentlemen present for suggestions.  He
listens attentively to each one, and decides quickly whether they shall
be presented in the _Herald_, and at what time; and if he desires any
subject to be written upon, he states his wish, and "sketches," in his
peculiar and decisive manner, the various headings and the style of
treatment.  There are twelve editors and thirty-five reporters employed
on the _Herald_.  They are liberally paid for their services.  Any one
bringing in news is well rewarded for his trouble.  The composing rooms
are located on the top floor, and are spacious, airy, and excellently
lighted.  A "dumb waiter," or vertical railway, communicates with the
press room; and speaking tubes, and a smaller "railway," afford the means
of conversation and transmitting small parcels between this room and the
various parts of the building.  Five hundred men are employed in the
various departments of the paper.

The circulation of the daily edition of the _Herald_ is estimated by
competent judges at from 65,000 to 70,000 copies.  In times of great
public excitement, all the dailies overrun their usual number by many
thousands.

The _Tribune_ has a daily circulation of about 43,000 copies.  It is, in
point of ability, the best of the city dailies.  It long ago surmounted
its early difficulties, and has been for many years one of the most
profitable enterprises in the city.  It is owned by a joint stock
company.  It was begun by Mr. Greeley on $1000 of borrowed money.  At the
formation of the company the stock was divided into 100 shares at $1000
each.  The number is still the same, but the shares could not now be
bought for many times their original value.  In 1870 the dividend
declared amounted to $163,000; or, $1630 on each share.  At present the
shares are owned as follows:

                                    Shares.
Samuel Sinclair, publisher          21
Horace Greeley, chief editor        12
Estate of Stephen Clark,            14
(formerly money editor)
Dr. J. C. Ayer (of Lowell)          16
Estate of A. D. Richardson          5
Bayard Taylor                       5
T. N. Rooker, foreman in            5
composing room
Mr. Runkle (husband of Mrs. L. G.   2
Calhoun)
Oliver Johnson (of the              1
Independent)
Mr. Cleveland (brother-in-law of    1
Horace Greeley)
G. W. Smalley (London               2
correspondent)
Solon Robinson (agricultural        2
editor)
Two printers in the office          2
Solomon A. Cheeney                  3
John Hooper                         2
B. F. Camp                          2

The _Tribune_ property is valued at over $1,000,000, which includes
nearly $300,000 in real estate.  The stockholders, it is said,
contemplate, at no distant day, erecting a large and handsome printing
office on the site of the present unpretending building now occupied.
The profits of the paper do not depend upon the daily edition.  The
semi-weekly circulates about 35,000 or 40,000 copies, and the weekly
about 130,000 copies.  The last is sent all over the United States, and
has beyond a doubt the largest number of readers of any paper in the
world.

The _Tribune_ is the leading organ of the Republican party in the United
States, and its influence is tremendous.  It is a well written, well
conducted paper, and is every year becoming more independent of party
control.  The chief editor is Horace Greeley, who imparts his strong
personality to the whole journal.  Many of the country people believe
that the Philosopher writes every line on the editorial page.  The
managing editor is Whitelaw Reid, and the publisher Samuel Sinclair.  Mr.
Reid succeeded Mr. John Russell Young, and the paper has profited by the
change.  Mr. Sinclair is one of the most efficient publishers in the
land, and the _Tribune_ owes not a little of its success to his
genius--for that is the only name to give it.  The editorial staff
comprises more ability than that of any other city journal, though some
of the others make a better use of the talent at their disposal.  Its
correspondence, both domestic and foreign, is the best of all the city
papers--perhaps the best in the Union--and the list of its correspondents
contains some of the brightest names in literature.

The _Times_ is also a Republican journal, and aims to represent the
Administration of General Grant.  Under the management of the late Henry
J. Raymond, a born journalist, it was a power in the land.  Since Mr.
Raymond's death there has been a falling off in the ability, the
manliness, and the influence of the paper.  It is owned by a stock
company, and is a profitable enterprise.  The chief editor is Mr. Louis
Jennings, an Englishman, and formerly the New York correspondent of the
London _Times_.  Mr. Jennings is a gentleman of ability and culture, and
a journalist of considerable experience.  His chief needs are a decided
infusion of American ideas and sentiment, and a recognition of the
dissimilarity between the London and New York mode of viewing matters.
The publisher is Mr. George Jones.

The _Times_, under Mr. Raymond, was one of the freshest and most
thoroughly up to the times journals on the continent.  Its
correspondence, especially that from Europe, was exceptionally good.
There has been a falling off in this respect of late.  The circulation of
the paper is not known with certainty, but is believed to be about 30,000
or 35,000 copies.

The _World_ is the principal Democratic journal of the city, and aspires
to be the organ of the party throughout the country.  It was begun about
the year 1859 as a religious paper, and is said to have sunk about
$300,000 for its projectors.  It then became the organ of the Democracy
of the city, and has for some time paid well.  It is the property of its
editor, Mr. Manton G. Marble.  It is unquestionably one of the ablest
journals in the country.  Its editorials are well written, indicative of
deep thought on the subjects treated of, and gentlemanly in tone.  In
literary excellence, it is not surpassed by any city journal.  It aims to
be in the front rank of the march of ideas, and makes a feature of
discussions of the leading scientific and social questions of the day.
It is lightened by a brilliant display of wit, and the "Funny Man of the
World" is well known in the city.  The chief editor is Manton G. Marble.
He is the author of the majority of the leaders.  In this he is ably
seconded by Mr. Chamberlain, one of the most forcible and successful
writers on the city press.  Mr. Marble is not seen much in the office.
The _World_ rooms are connected with his residence in the upper part of
the city, by a private telegraph, by means of which he exercises a
constant supervision over the paper.  The managing editor is Mr. David G.
Croly (the husband of "Jennie June").  He is a genius in his way.  He
does not write much, but gives the greater part of the time to
superintending the work of the office.  He is said to be extremely
fertile in suggesting themes for treatment to his brother editors.  The
great faults of the _World_ are its devotion to sensation journalism, its
thick and thin Roman Catholic partizanism, and, strange to say, a little
too much looseness in the tone of its Sunday edition.  Its circulation is
variously estimated at from 15,000 to 30,000.  The exact number is known
only to the publisher.

The _Sun_ assumes to be the organ of the working classes, and claims a
circulation of 85,000 copies.  It is a bright, sparkling journal, issued
at a cost of two cents.  It is four pages in size, and has a fine list of
advertisements.  It is owned by a stock company, who bought it from the
late Moses Y. Beach, its founder.  The chief editor is Mr. Charles A.
Dana, a journalist of long experience, and one of the most thoroughly
cultivated men in the profession.  He has made it a great success.  It is
piquant, forcible, and good-natured.  Mr. Dana is assisted by a corps of
able editorial writers and reporters, who are thoroughly impressed with
the wisdom of his policy.  He is very sanguine of making a still greater
success of the Sun, and claims that he will yet run its circulation up to
200,000 copies.

The _Standard_ is the property of Mr. John Russell Young, formerly the
managing editor of the _Tribune_.  It is a Republican organ, and is
struggling to reach an established and prosperous position.  It is well
managed, and is conducted with considerable editorial ability.

The _Journal of Commerce_ is one of the few old-style papers left in New
York.  It is a ponderous four-page sheet, depending more upon its
advertising than upon its circulation for its profits.  It is edited with
ability, and as it employs but few editors and reporters, and cares but
little for general news, its publication is inexpensive.  It is supplied
by a regular carrier, and is not sold on the news-stands.  It is taken by
the leading hotels and by the down-town merchants, to whom it is valuable
because of its commercial reports.  The general reader would find it dull
reading.  It is one of the best paying papers in the city.

The _Star_ is a two cent paper, and was started at the time of the sale
of the _Sun_ to Mr. Dana and his associates, with the hope of securing
the patronage of the working classes.  Its managing editor is Mr. Joseph
Howard.  It is a sprightly paper, intensely Democratic in tone, and is
said to be prosperous.

The evening papers are much less influential than the morning journals,
but the best of them are very successful.

The _Evening Post_ heads the list.  It is owned by William Cullen Bryant
& Co., and Mr. Bryant is the principal editor.  It is the ablest and the
most influential of all the evening papers, and is one of the purest in
its tone of any of the American journals.  It is taken chiefly in the
families of cultivated and professional men.  Its book notices are
considered the most reliable.  Its circulation and advertising patronage
are large, and it is a very profitable investment.

The _Commercial Advertiser_ is now under the control of the venerable
Thurlow Weed, and is a good paper.

The _Evening Express_ is the property of the brothers James and Erastus
Brooks.  It is well managed, and well edited, and is regarded as ranking
next to the _Post_ in ability and general excellence.  It is said to be
worth $40,000 per annum above expenses to its proprietors.

The _Evening Mail_ is younger than either of the others, but not far
behind the best of them in ability and interest.  It has a decided
literary tone, and is one of the most enterprising news purveyors in the
city.  It is now a thoroughly successful enterprise, and it deserves its
good fortune.

The _Telegram_ is little more than an evening edition of the Herald.  It
is owned by James Gordon Bennett, jr., and is a lively sheet, full of
news and gossip.  It sells for two cents, and has a large circulation.
Its first page always contains a rough, but sometimes spirited cartoon,
caricaturing some notable event of the day.  It is a paying paper.

The _Evening News_ is a penny paper.  It claims to have the largest
circulation in the city, and is said to be very profitable.  It is
devoted almost exclusively to police news, and descriptions of crime, and
finds its readers chiefly among the lower and rougher portion of the
community.  It is owned and conducted by Mr. Benjamin Wood.

The evening papers are generally issued in four editions, at one, two,
four and five o'clock in the afternoon.  On occasions of unusual
interest, they often issue extras every hour until late in the night.
The evening papers contain the latest news and gossip, and a variety of
light and entertaining reading matter, and are bought chiefly by persons
who wish to read them at home after the cares and fatigues of the day are
over, or to kill time in the cars on their way home.

There are three daily morning papers published in the German language,
the _State Gazette_, the _Democrat_, and the _Journal_, and one evening
paper, the _Times_.  The _Courier of the United States_, and
_Franco-American Messenger_, are issued in the French language.  They are
also daily morning papers.  All are well supported by the citizens
speaking the language they use.



II.  WEEKLY PRESS.


Exclusive of the weekly editions of the daily journals, there are about
133 weekly papers published in the city of New York.  Some of these are
literary journals, some political, some the organs of the various
religious bodies, and some devoted to the interests of trade and
manufactures.

The best known weeklies are the literary, religious, and political
papers, and of these the most noted are, _Harper's Weekly_, _Harper's
Bazaar_, _Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper_, the _Nation_, the
_Chimney Corner_, the _Ledger_, _Home Journal_, _Weekly Review_, _Sunday
Mercury_, _New York Weekly_, _Hearth and Home_, the_ Sunday News_, the_
Albion_, _Dispatch_, _Sunday Times_, _Citizen_, _Revolution_, _Spirit of
the Times_, and _Police Gazette_, among the secular papers.  The most
prominent religious journals are the _Independent_, _Examiner_,
_Evangelist_, _Methodist_, _Observer_, _Tablet_, _Liberal Christian_,
_Christian Advocate_, _Christian Union_, _Christian Inquirer_, and
_Church Journal_.

The _Ledger_ has the largest circulation, having an actual sale of
300,000 copies per week.  It is so well known throughout the country that
it would be superfluous to describe it here.  It is the property of Mr.
Robert Bonner, who has reaped a large fortune from it.  Next in
popularity is the _New York Weekly_, which is much inferior to the
_Ledger_, but which claims a circulation of over 200,000 copies.  There
are about a dozen illustrated papers of various degrees of merit,
_Harper's Weekly_, the _Bazaar_, and _Frank Leslie's Illustrated
Newspaper_ head the list in popularity and worth.  The first and second
claim a circulation of over one hundred thousand, and Frank Leslie claims
about seventy-five thousand for his paper.  Some of the other illustrated
journals are simply indecent sheets, and should be suppressed.  The
_Nation_ is regarded as the highest critical authority in the country,
and holds here very much the position of the _Saturday Review_ in London.

The literary journals are well conducted, and one will often find
articles of genuine merit in some of the most unpretending.  The reason
is that journalists are unable to live on their salaries, as a rule, if
they be married men, and are forced to make up the deficiency by
contributing to the magazines and weekly papers.  As a matter of course,
they must dispose of their wares wherever there is a market, and where
they are sure of being paid, even at starvation rates, for their labors.
From $2.50 to $5.00 per column is the rate of payment with the most of
the weeklies, and many men and women with whose names and labors the
literary world is familiar, are glad to write for them at this beggarly
price as a means of increasing their legitimate incomes.  The number of
writers is very much in excess of the demand, and literature offers a
thorny road to the majority of its followers in the metropolis.

The Sunday papers are generally high priced and nasty.  They are entirely
sensational in character, and are devoted to a class of news and
literature which can hardly be termed healthy.  They revel in detailed
descriptions of subjects which are rigorously excluded from the daily
papers, and abound in questionable advertisements.  All of which they
offer for Sabbath reading; and the reader would be startled to see into
how many reputable households these dirty sheets find their way.



XV.  WALL STREET.


I.  THE STREET.


WALL STREET begins on the east side of Broadway, opposite Trinity Church,
and terminates at the East River.  It is about half a mile from the
extreme southern end of the island, and about the same distance from the
City Hall.  It is a narrow street, about fifty feet in width, and slopes
gradually from Broadway to the river.  It is lined on both sides with
handsome brown stone, yellow stone, granite, marble, iron, and brick
buildings, and the Treasury and Custom-House rear their magnificent
fronts about midway between the termini of the street.  They are
diagonally opposite each other.  The buildings are covered with a
multiplicity of signs, rivalling the edifices of Nassau street, in this
respect.  Scarcely a house has less than a score of offices within its
walls, and some contain at least three times as many.  Space is valuable,
and rents are high in Wall street, and many of the leading firms in it
have to content themselves with small, dark apartments, which a
conscientious man would hesitate to call an "office."  The rents paid for
such quarters are enormous, and the buildings yield their owners large
incomes every year.  The streets running into Wall street, on the right
and left, are also occupied for several blocks with the offices of
bankers and brokers, and are all included in the general term "Wall
street," or "The Street."

                         [Picture: WALL STREET.]

Wall street first appears in the history of the city as a portion of a
sheep pasture which was used in common by the inhabitants of New
Amsterdam.  Its natural condition was partly rolling upland and partly
meadow of a swampy character.  The name of the street originated thus:
About the middle of the seventeenth century, the English in the New
England colonies began to press heavily upon the Dutch in New
Netherlands, and kept the worthy burghers of New Amsterdam in a constant
dread of an invasion.  Influenced by this feeling, the city authorities
resolved to fortify the place, and in 1653 constructed a wall or stockade
across the island, from river to river just beyond the line of the
village.  This wall passed directly across the old sheep pasture.
Citizens were forbidden to build within 100 feet of the stockade, this
open space being reserved for the movements of troops.  It soon became a
prominent highway, and the eastern portion has since remained so.  The
anticipated attack on the city was not made, but the wall was kept in
good condition.  Houses crept up close to the wall on the city side, and
began to appear on the opposite side just under the wall.  Thus a new
street was formed, through which ran the old stockade.  The open space
along the wall was originally called _The Cingel_, signifying "the
ramparts."  Soon after the town reached the limit of the military
reservation, persons residing here were spoken of as living "long de
Wal," and from this the street came to be called "the Wall street," which
name it has ever since borne.  The wall having fallen into decay, was
demolished about the year 1699, and its stones were used in the
construction of the old City Hall, which stood at the intersection of
Wall and Nassau streets, the site now occupied by the Sub-Treasury of the
United States.  The old building was used for the various purposes of the
city government until the close of the Revolution.  It contained, besides
the council and court rooms, a jail for the detention and punishment of
criminals, a debtors' prison, which was located in the attic, a
fire-engine-room, a cage and a pillory.  A pair of stocks was set up on
the opposite side of the street, wherein criminals were exposed to the
indignant gaze of the virtuous public.

At the close of the Revolution, the City Hall was enlarged and improved
for the use of the General Government.  It thus became the first capitol
of the new Republic, and was known as Federal Hall.  The first Congress
of the United States assembled within its walls in the year 1789, and
upon its spacious portico, in the presence of an immense multitude,
George Washington took the oath to support and defend the constitution as
first President of the United States.

Wall street was originally taken up with private residences, and the old
views represent it as well shaded with trees.  Even as late as 1830 it
presented a very rural appearance between Broadway and William street.
Prior to the Revolution, the lower part of the street had been built up
with stores as far as Front street, and had become the centre of
mercantile affairs in the city, the row of stores on Wall street being
the first erected beyond Water street.  About the year 1792, the old
Tontine Coffee House was erected on the northwest corner of Wall and
Water streets, and this became the favorite rendezvous for the city
merchants, by whom, indeed, it was erected and controlled.  In 1791 the
Bank of New York was located at the corner of William street, and marked
the first encroachment upon the strictly private portion of the street.
It was also the first effort to make this locality the centre of the
financial operations of the city.  Other institutions and private bankers
soon followed, and the character and architecture of the street began to
undergo a change.  The work of improvement went on steadily, and the Wall
street of to-day is the result.  Famous lawyers have also had their
offices in this street.  Alexander Hamilton's sign might once have been
seen here, not far from where his humble monument now stands in Trinity
Churchyard, and the name of Caleb Cushing is still to be found near a
doorway just below Broadway.

                  [Picture: UNITED STATES SUB-TREASURY.]

"In 1700 a house and lot on the southeast corner of Wall and Broad
streets, 16 x 30, sold for 163 pounds.  In 1706 a house and lot on the
north of Wall street, 25 x 116, sold for 116 pounds.  In 1737 a house and
lot on the north of Wall street, 62 x 102, sold for 110 pounds.  In 1793,
the dwelling and lot of General Alexander Hamilton, on the south of Wall
street, 42 x 108, sold for 2400 pounds.  In 1794 a house and lot, 44 x
51, sold for 2510 pounds."  At present the ground included in these sites
is held at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The street fairly began its present career in the days of Jacob Little,
"the great bear of Wall street."  He opened an office here in 1822, and
by dint of such labor as few men are capable of performing, placed
himself at the head of American operators.  His credit was good for any
amount, and his integrity was unimpeachable.  He could sway the market as
he pleased, and his contracts were met with a punctuality and fidelity
which made "his word as good as his bond."  Efforts were made to ruin
him, but his genius and far-sightedness enabled him to defeat all his
enemies with their own weapons.  His gains were enormous, and so were his
losses.  The civil war brought upon him disasters which he could not
surmount, and he died poor in the early part of 1861, leaving behind him
one of the names of which New York is proud.

At the corner of Nassau street, and looking down into Broad street, is
the Sub-Treasury of the United States, a handsome white marble edifice.
It is built in the Doric style of architecture, and its massive flight of
steps and imposing portico give to it a striking appearance.  It is
constructed in the most substantial manner, and has a rear entrance on
Pine street.  The interior is handsomely arranged, and tasteful but
secure iron gratings protect the employees from surprise and robbery.
The vaults are burglar proof.  This is the principal depository of the
Federal Government, and millions of dollars are always in its vaults.
The building was erected for, and was used for some years as, a Custom
House.

From the steps of the Treasury one may enjoy a fine view of the entire
street, and of Broad street also.  About the hour of noon the scene is
busy and exciting.  The roadway in Wall street is full of struggling
vehicles, and long rows of cabs stand in waiting in Broad street for the
busy operators within the Exchanges.  The side walks are crowded with an
eager, hurrying throng.  The steps and street around the Stock Exchange,
in Broad street, are black with men who are shouting, pushing, and
struggling in the effort to turn the transactions of the day to their
advantage.  Overhead is an intricate maze of telegraph wires, along which
flow the quick and feverish pulsations of the great financial heart of
the country.  The sunlight falls brightly and cheerily over it all, and
at intervals the clear, sweet chimes of old Trinity come floating down
the street high above the noise and strife below them.

Diagonally opposite the Treasury, and at the corner of William street, is
the Custom House, which occupies the irregular square bounded by Wall
street, Exchange Place, William street, and Hanover street.  It is one of
the finest and best arranged edifices in the city.

Just below the Custom House is the handsome marble building of Brown
Brothers, one of the model houses of New York, as regards both the firm
and the edifice.  The Messrs. Brown are regarded as the most reliable and
accomplished operators in the street.  Across the way, in a dingy granite
building, is the office of August Belmont & Co., the American agents of
the Rothschilds, and bankers on their own account.  Jay Cooke & Co.
occupy the fine marble building at the corner of Wall and Nassau streets,
opposite the Treasury, and there conduct the New York branch of their
enormous business.  Fisk & Hatch, the financial agents of the great
Pacific Railway, are a few steps higher up Nassau street.  Henry Clews &
Co. are in the building occupied by the United States Assay Office.
Other firms, of more or less eminence, fill the street.  Some have fine,
showy offices, others operate in dark, dingy holes.



II.  THE STOCK EXCHANGE.


The Stock Exchange is located on the west side of Broad street, just out
of Wall street.  It is a fine white marble edifice, with a portico of
iron, painted flashily in black and gold.  It extends back to New street,
with an entrance on that street.  There is also an entrance on Wall
street.  It contains the "New York Stock Exchange," "The Mining Board,"
and the "Government Board."

During the spring and summer of 1871 the internal arrangements of the
building were very much improved.  The refitting cost the brokers
$60,000, but they now have the handsomest establishment of its kind in
the world.

The main entrance is on Broad street, and from this the visitor passes
into a room, the larger portion of which is separated from the Broad
street end by an iron railing.  This is "The Long Room," and during the
day it is almost always filled with a noisy and not over-nice crowd.  It
is the scene of the irregular sales of stocks.  Any one who can raise $50
can purchase a season ticket to this hall, and once admitted can sell and
purchase stocks without being a member of the Regular Board.  This
arrangement has nearly put an end to the sales of stocks on the side
walks, and has given a tinge of respectability to the class known as
"Curb-stone Brokers."  A dozen or more different stocks may be sold here
at once, and the sale may be continued as long as the seller sees fit.
There is no regular organization of the brokers operating here, though
these men control the bulk of the sales made in the street.  They are
noisy and seem half demented in their frantic efforts to make sales.

The "Stock Exchange" occupies the main hall, which is on the floor above
the Long Room.  This hall is one of the most beautiful apartments in the
city.  It is seventy-four feet long, fifty-four feet wide, and fifty-two
feet four inches high.  Its lofty ceiling is arched and decorated with
bright red and buff penciling upon a sky blue ground, while the walls are
relieved by broad square pilasters, painted in brilliant bronze, with
tall windows and arched tops rising between, and other spaces between the
columns covered with drapery in more subdued colors.  Up to a few feet
from the floor the painting is in a dark-hued bronze.  The coloring is in
the Moorish style throughout, and the effect of the whole is very fine.
At the north end is the platform for the desks of the Vice-President and
Secretary, and on each side of this is a black board for recording the
quotations of the session.  On the same platform is the desk and
instrument of the stock telegraph operator.  At the south end of the hall
is a light gallery capable of holding 200 persons, for the use of
visitors.  In connection with the hall are several committee, cloak and
ante-rooms.  In the centre of the ceiling is a huge ventilator, beneath
which is suspended the lighting apparatus, containing 100 burners.  A
chamber five feet in depth underlies the hall and the adjoining lobby,
and in it are laid pipes for conducting warm air.

                      [Picture: THE STOCK EXCHANGE.]

At the base of the walls is an open iron grating covering the apertures
of a shaft leading from the engine-room.  Through this shaft warm air is
forced into the hall in winter, and cool air in summer, thus securing
perfect ventilation.

The Stock Exchange Board is an incorporated company, and is the only
lawful association in the city for the transaction of business connected
with stocks.  It consists of 1050 members, but the control of its affairs
is vested in a council of forty members, together with the President,
Secretary and Treasurer in their unofficial capacity.  The admission fee
is $5000, and a seat in the Board becomes the absolute personal property
of the broker, who can sell or otherwise dispose of it as he would of his
watch or his coat.  Candidates are admitted by ballot and with great
care, the object being to secure the exclusion of all but men of known
integrity, for the Board requires the most scrupulous good faith in the
transactions of all its members.  Four black balls will prevent the
admission of a candidate whether he wishes to enter by purchase or
otherwise.  Candidates must submit to a close scrutiny of their previous
lives, and must show a clear record.

There are two daily sessions of the Board, one in the morning and the
other in the afternoon.  The securities offered at these meetings are
divided into two classes, the Regular and the Free List.  No stock or
bond can be dealt in until it has been rigidly examined by a committee,
and found to be a _bona fide_ security.

At half-past ten o'clock in the morning, the Morning Board is called to
order by the First Vice-President.  The Regular List, which is made up in
advance of the meeting, must always be called, and called first.  The
Free List may be called or not at the option of the Board.  The Regular
List consists of 1st.  Miscellaneous Stocks.  2d.  Railroad Stocks.  3d.
State Bonds.  4th.  City Stocks.  5th.  Railroad Bonds.

The session opens with the reading of the minutes of the previous day.
Then comes the call of the Regular List.  The call of Miscellaneous
Stocks awakens but little excitement.  Bids follow quickly upon the
announcement of the stocks, and the transactions, as they are announced
by the cries of the brokers are repeated by the Vice-President to the
Assistant Secretary, who records them in the journal, and they are also
recorded by a clerk on a black board in full view of the members.  Where
there is a doubt respecting a sale or purchase the Vice-President
decides, and his decision is final, unless reversed by the votes of a
majority of the members present.

         [Picture: THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE BOARD IN SESSION.]

The call of railroad securities brings the brokers to their feet, and the
real business of the day begins.  Offers and bids, shouted in deep bass,
high treble, or shrill falsetto, resound through the hall, and in a few
minutes the jovial-looking brokers seem to be on the verge of madness.
How they yell and shout, and stamp, and gesticulate.  The roar and
confusion are bewildering to a stranger, but the keen, practised ears of
the Vice-President at once recognize the various transactions, and down
they go in the Secretary's book, and on the black board, while the
solemn-vizaged telegraph operator sends them clicking into every broker's
office in the city.  High over all rings the voice of Peter, the keeper
of the gate, calling out members for whom telegrams or visitors have
arrived.

The other stocks awaken more or less excitement, and when the Regular
List is completed, the Free List is in order, and the Vice-President
calls such stocks as the members express a desire to deal in.  Then,
unless there is a wish to call up some stock hastily passed over on the
call of the Regular List, the session closes.

At one o'clock, the afternoon session is held, and the routine of the
morning is gone over again.  The transactions of both sessions are
carefully recorded in the Secretary's books.

The Vice-President receives a salary of $7000 per annum for his services,
which are not light.  The Secretary and Assistant Secretary, and
Roll-keeper do the rest of the work of the Board.  The last named keeps a
record of the fines, which yield an exceedingly large revenue to the
Board.  The brokers are not the most dignified of mortals in their
meetings, but are very much given to disorderly conduct and practical
jokes.  The annual dues of the Exchange are but fifty dollars, but the
average broker pays at least ten times as much in fines.  To interrupt
the presiding officer during a call of the stocks subjects the offender
to a fine of not less than twenty-five cents for each offence; to smoke a
cigar within the Exchange costs five dollars; to be absent from special
meetings is to incur a fine of not more than five dollars; to stand on a
table or chair is punishable with a fine of one dollar; to throw a paper
dart or ball at a member during the session of the Board costs ten
dollars; and other offences may be punished with fines assessed by the
Vice-President at any sum between twenty-five cents and five dollars.

Each day a list of stocks to be put in the market is made out, and no
others can be sold during the sessions.  The Board can refuse to offer
any particular stock for sale, and a guarantee is required of the party
making the sale.  The members of the Board are men of character, and
their transactions are fair and open.  They are required to fulfil all
contracts in good faith, however great the loss to themselves, on pain of
expulsion from the Board, and it is very rare that an expelled member can
be reinstated.



III.  THE GOVERNMENT BOARD.


The room used by the Government Board, in which all transactions in the
bonds and securities of the United States take place, is located on the
second floor of the Exchange building.  It is handsomely frescoed and
furnished in green rep.  The basement beneath this room is an immense
vault, containing 618 safes, arranged in three tiers, and guarded by four
policemen detailed for that purpose.  These safes are a foot and a half
square, and are rented by the brokers who deposit in them overnight small
tin boxes containing their bonds and other securities.  It is estimated
that the value of the securities nightly deposited here is over two
hundred millions of dollars.

The seats of the brokers in the Government Room are arranged in tiers,
rising one above the other, from the floor to the wall.  The officers
occupy a platform at the head of the chamber.  The order of business is
very much like that of the Stock Board.

"The Vice-President begins:

"'6s '81 registered--'81 coupon.  5.20s '62 registered--coupon.  What's
bid?'

"Here and there from flanking chairs come sputtering bids or offers:

"'Ten thousand at 3/8, buyer 3.'

"'I'll give an 1/8, seller 3, for the lot.'

"'0.25, buyer 30, for fifty thousand.'

"'0.25, regular, for any part of five thousand.'

"_First Voice_.  'Sold,--five hundred.'

"The presiding officer repeats the sale and terms, the secretary makes
his registry, and a new bond is started.

"Sometimes when 5.20s are called, there is at first only one voice which
rings the changes on 'I'll give 115.  I'll give '15 for a thousand,--'15
for a thousand.'  Presently, however, before any response follows the
offer, a member in a distant corner, either carelessly or maliciously,
shouts out, 'I'll give '14 for a thousand,--'14 for a thousand.'

"The Vice-President plies his hammer: 'Fine Irving--fine Irving fifty
cents.'  The Roll keeper proceeds to make his little note of it, and
Irving, who has violated the rule, founded on common sense, which forbids
a member from making a bid below or an offer above the one which has the
floor immediately subsides amid the laughter of his neighbors.

"Occasionally an interruption of a grosser character occurs, a member
leaping from his seat on some slight provocation, and striking off the
hat of the man who has offended.  Fine Harrison, fine Harrison again,
_fine_, FINE him again,--FINE Harrison,' cries the Vice-President,
repeating the word without cessation until the broker's wrath has been
appeased, and he returns to his chair with the disagreeable reflection
that a heavy score is against him for the semi-annual settlement-day.
Every repetition of that fatal monosyllable was a fresh mark of fifty
cents or a dollar against his name.  Generally, however, the Government
brokers are more orderly than their neighbors in the Regular Board.
Indeed, the whole proceedings are more decorous and respectful, the
bidding, half the time, being carried on in a low conversational tone.
At second call there is a brief excitement, but when 'things are dull'
throughout the street, this room peculiarly reflects the external
influences.

"Very different it is, however, on days when some special cause provokes
great fluctuations.  Then the members spring from their seats, arms,
hands, excitable faces, rapid vociferations, all come in play, and the
element of pantomime performs its part in assisting the human voice as
naturally as among the Italians of Syracuse.  To the uninitiated the
biddings here are as unintelligible as elsewhere, sounding to ordinary
ears like the gibberish of Victor Hugo's Compachinos.  But the
comparative quietude of this Board renders it easier to follow the course
of the market, to detect the shades of difference in the running offers,
and generally to get a clearer conception of this part of the machinery
of stock brokerage."

In former times brokers were subjected to great expense in keeping a host
of runners and messengers to bring them news of the transactions at the
Exchanges.  The introduction of the Stock Telegraph has made a great and
beneficial change in this respect.  In every broker's office, and in the
principal hotels and restaurants of the city, there is an automatic
recording instrument connected by telegraphic wires with an instrument in
the Stock and Gold Exchanges.  The operator in these exchanges indicates
the quotations of stocks and gold on his own instrument, and these
quotations are repeated by the instruments in the offices throughout the
city.  These office instruments print the quotations in plain Roman
letters and figures on a ribbon of paper, so that any one can read and
understand them.  Thus one man does the work formerly required of several
hundred, and no time is lost in conveying the information.  The broker in
his office is informed of the transactions at the Exchange at the very
instant they are made.



IV.  THE GOLD EXCHANGE.


You pass from Broad street into the basement of a brown stone building
just below the Stock Exchange, and find yourself in a long, dimly-lighted
passage way, which leads into a small courtyard.  Before you is a steep
stairway leading to a narrow and dirty entry.  At the end of this entry
is a gloomy looking door.  Pass through it, and you are in the famous
Gold Exchange.

This is a showy apartment in the style of an amphitheatre, with an ugly
fountain in the centre of the floor.  An iron railing encloses the
fountain.  Against the New street end is the platform occupied by the
President and Secretary, and on the right of this is the telegraph
office.  There are two galleries connected with the room, one for the use
of visitors provided with tickets, and the other free to all comers.
There is an indicator on the outer wall of the building on New street,
from which the price of gold is announced to the crowd without.  It is a
common habit with sporting men of the lower class to frequent New street
and bet on the indicator.

There are but few benches in the Gold Room.  The members of the Board are
too nervous and excitable to sit still, and seats would soon be broken to
pieces in their wild rushing up and down the floor.

The business of the day begins about ten o'clock.  The rap of the
President's gavel opens the session, and as there is but one thing dealt
in--gold--the bids follow the sound of the mallet.  The noise and
confusion are greater here than in the Stock Board or the Long Room, and
it seems impossible to a stranger that the President should be able to
follow the various transactions.  When the excitement is at its height,
the scene resembles "pandemonium broken loose."  The members rush wildly
about, without any apparent aim.  They stamp, yell, shake their arms,
heads, and bodies violently, and almost trample each other to death in
their frenzied struggles.  Men who in private life excite the admiration
of their friends by the repose and dignity of their manner, here join in
the furious whirl, and seem more like maniacs than sensible human beings.
And yet every yell, every gesture, is fraught with the most momentous
consequences.  These seeming maniacs have a method in their madness, and
are changing at every breath the value of the currency upon which the
whole business of the country rests.  When the fluctuations are very
great, fortunes are made and lost here every hour.

Connected with the business of the Gold Room are the Gold Exchange Bank
and the Clearing House.  The method of settlement with these
institutions, which are indispensable where gold passes so rapidly from
hand to hand in the Exchange, is as follows: "On or before half past
twelve o'clock, a statement of all the purchases or sales made by each
broker on the preceding day must be rendered to the bank.  If the gold
bought be in excess of that sold, a check for the difference must
accompany the statement.  If deposits in gold or currency are not kept in
the bank, the coin must be delivered at every deficiency.  The Board
adjourns at twelve, in order to enable tardy dealers to complete their
accounts.  Provided all contracts are honored, the bank must settle by
two P.M.  In case of default, the amount in abeyance is debited or
credited to the broker who suffers by the failure."

The Clearing House Association was created in 1853, and represents the
sum of the financial business of the city.  "The Association is located
in the third story of the building of the Bank of New York.  The centre
of the room is occupied by a bank counter, extending on four sides, with
a passage inside and out.  Fifty-nine desks are placed on the counter for
the use of the fifty-nine banks represented in the Association.  Each
desk bears the name of the bank to which it belongs.  Fitted up in each
desk are fifty-nine pigeon holes for the checks of the various banks.
Two clerks represent each bank.  One remains at the desk and receives all
the checks on his bank.  He signs the name of the bank to the sheet which
each outside clerk holds in his hand.  These outside clerks go from desk
to desk and leave the checks received the day before, with the banks on
which they are drawn.  Banks do not begin public business till ten; but
clerks have to be on hand at eight, when all checks are assorted and
arranged for delivery at the Clearing House.

"At ten minutes before ten the bank messengers begin to assemble and take
their places.  As they enter they leave with the messenger a slip
containing an exact account of the bank they represent.  These statements
are put on a sheet prepared for that purpose, and must conform precisely
to the checks received inside, before the Clearing House closes its
duties.  If there is any error or discrepancy, the bank is immediately
notified by telegraph, and the clerks kept until the matter is
satisfactorily adjusted.  At ten, promptly, business begins.  Clerks come
rushing in with small trunks, tin boxes, or with bundles in their arms,
and take their seats at the desks.  On the side of the room entered only
from the manager's office is a desk, not unlike a pulpit.  Precisely at
ten the bell rings, the manager steps into his box, brings down his
gavel, and the work of the day begins.  Quiet prevails.  No loud talking
is allowed, and no confusion.  A bank late is fined two dollars; a party
violating the rules, or guilty of insubordination, is fined two dollars
and reported to the hank.  On repetition, he is expelled the Clearing
House.  The daily transactions of the Clearing House varies from
ninety-eight to one hundred millions.  The system is so nicely balanced
that three millions daily settle the difference.  Each bank indebted to
the Clearing House must send in its check before half after one.
Creditors get the Clearing House check at the same hour.  Daily business
is squared and all accounts closed at half after three.  Every bank in
the city is connected with the Clearing House by telegraph.  The morning
work of clearing one hundred millions, occupies ten minutes.  Long before
the clerks can reach the bank, its officers are acquainted with the exact
state of their account, and know what loans to grant or refuse.  Through
the Clearing House each bank is connected with every other in the city.
If a doubtful check is presented, if paper to be negotiated is not
exactly clear, while the party offering the paper or check is entertained
by some member of the bank, the telegraph is making minute inquiries
about his financial standing.  Before the conference closes, the bank
knows the exact facts of the case."



V.  CURB-STONE BROKERS.


The members of the Stock and Gold Exchange, as has been stated, are men
of character.  Their transactions are governed by certain fixed rules,
and they are required, on pain of expulsion from the Exchange, to observe
the strictest good faith in their dealings with each other and with their
customers.  If the operations of the street were entirely confined to
them, business in Wall street might be regarded as in safe hands.  But
there is another class, even more numerous and quite as well skilled in
the ways of the street, who transact a vast part of its business.  They
are not members of the Exchange, and in former times used to assemble
around its doors in Broad and New streets, and carry on their operations
on the sidewalk.  Hence their designation, "Curb-stone brokers."  They no
longer assemble on the pavement, for the Exchange has thrown open to them
its Long Room.  Any one who can pay $50 a year for a ticket of admission,
and who has brains and nerve enough to enter upon the struggle, can sell
or buy in the Long Room.  This is better than standing in the street,
exposed to the weather, and moreover gives a certain respectability to
the "operator," although he may carry his sole capital in his head, and
his office in his breeches-pocket.

No rules or regulations apply to the Long Room.  The honest man and the
rogue mingle together here, and the broker must be sure of his man.  Many
of the members of the Exchange buy and sell here, either in person or
through their representatives, and many good men who are unable to enter
the Exchange conduct their business here.  Others again prefer the
freedom and the wider field of the Long Room.  Still, there are many
sharpers here, who would fleece a victim out of his last cent.

The daily transactions of the Long Room are said to average about
$70,000,000, or ten times the business done in the Regular Board.
Fortune is much more uncertain here than in the room up stairs.  Men buy
and sell here with the recklessness of gamblers.  The noise and
excitement are almost as great as in the Gold Room.  The absence of the
fixed laws of the Regular Boards puts every one on his own resources, and
men are compelled to use all their ingenuity, all their determination to
guard against a surprise or unfair dealing.  It is every one for himself
here.  A dozen or more small or new operators are ruined and swept away
daily, and in times of great financial excitement the Long Room shakes
the foundations of even some of the strongest houses in the street.



VI.  THE BUSINESS OF THE STREET.


It is a common habit to speak of Wall street as the financial centre of
the Republic; but only those who are acquainted with its transactions can
know how true this is.  Regarding Wall street and New York as synonymous
terms, we find that the street is not only a great power in this country,
but that it is one of the great controlling powers of the financial
world.  Indeed, if the prosperity of the country is as marked in the
future as it has been in the past, there is good reason to believe that
Wall street will control the whole world of finance.  Its geographical
location is in its favor.  By noon the New York broker has full
information of the same day's transactions in London, Frankfort, and
Paris, and can shape his course in accordance with this knowledge, while
the European broker cannot profit by his knowledge of matters in New York
until the next day.

The Stock Exchange of New York numbers over 1000 members, and its
aggregate wealth is greater than that of any similar association in the
world.  The par value of the annual sales made at the regular Boards and
"over the counter" is estimated at over $22,000,000,000 annually.  The
par value of the authorized stocks, bonds, and Governments dealt in by
the regular Boards is more than $3,000,000,000, and this vast sum is
turned over and over many times during the year.  The aggregate of the
brokers' commissions on the sales and purchases made by them is estimated
by competent authority at $43,750,000 annually.  The bulk of this
enormous business is in the hands of about 400 houses.

"Out of all the incorporated banks in the United States, there are thirty
situated in Wall street and its neighborhood, whose office is not unlike
that of the heart in the economy of animal life.  Although less than half
the full number of banks in the metropolis, these thirty have two-thirds
of the capital, and quite two-thirds of the circulation.  By a provision
of statutory law, all outside National banks, numbering some 1600, are
allowed to keep one-half, and many three-fifths, of their reserve
balances in New York.  In this way our great financial centre is rapidly
acquiring the function of a National clearing-house.  These temporary
deposits bear a small interest, and are subject to be called for at a
day's notice.  They can only be used, therefore, by the employing banks
on the same conditions.  The stock market supplies these conditions.
Bonds and shares bought to-day and sold to-morrow, endowed with all the
properties of swift conversion, and held by men whose training has been
one of incessant grappling with the new and unexpected, are the only
class of property upon which money can safely be borrowed without a
protection against sudden demands.  On these securities, therefore, the
down-town banks make call loans.  The name implies the nature.  The money
which the thirty receive from without, together with their own reserves,
is lent freely to stock-brokers, with the simple provision that it must
be returned immediately upon notice, if financial exigencies require it.
This vast volume of what may well be styled fluid wealth is difficult of
estimate in figures.  The published statements of loans made by city
banks make no distinction between discounts of commercial paper and what
is advanced on securities.  In sum total, the thirty banks lend weekly
about $165,000,000.  Indeed, including all New York banks, the average is
nearly $255,000,000.  During the week ending September 18, 1868, these
banks lent $266,496,024.  The real meaning of these last figures will be
better understood when it is known that they exceed the entire average
loans and discounts of all the national banks of New England and New York
State, with the exception, of course, of the city itself.  Or, to take a
more sweeping view, they surpass the total weekly loans of national banks
in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia,
Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Nebraska,
Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan,
Indiana, Delaware, and New Jersey.  Nigh $180,000,000 of the amount cited
above were advanced by the down-town banks.  What proportion of this was
lent on stocks?  Probably much over one-third.  As many of the other
banks also make call loans, we may, perhaps, estimate that from
$70,000,000 to $100,000,000 are furnished daily to the brokers and
operators of New York.

                   [Picture: THE PARK BANK, BROADWAY.]

"This, however, is but one element in the lending force of the city.
There are five Trust Companies, with capitals amounting in the aggregate
to $5,500,000, which lend, at times, $60,000,000 a week.  There are also
a large number of private banking houses, of which Jay Cooke & Co. may be
selected as representatives, that daily loan vast sums of money on
security.  The foreign houses alone, which, like Belmont & Co., Brown
Brothers, Drexel, Winthrop & Co., operate in Wall street, employ not much
less than $200,000,000 of capital."



VII.  STOCK GAMBLING.


In the good old days gone by Wall street did business on principles very
different from those which prevail there now.  Then there was a holy
horror in all hearts of speculation.  Irresponsible men might indulge in
it, and so incur the censure of the more respectable, but established
houses confined themselves to a legitimate and regular business.  They
bought and sold on commission, and were satisfied with their earnings.
Even now, indeed, the best houses profess to do simply a commission
business, leaving the risk to the customer, but those who know the hidden
ways of the street hint that there is not a house in it but has its
secrets of large or small operations undertaken on account of the firm.
The practice of buying and selling on commission is unquestionably the
safest, but the mania for wealth leads many clear, cool-headed men into
the feverish whirl of speculation, and keeps them there until they have
realized their wildest hopes, or are ruined.

It has been remarked that the men who do business in Wall street have a
prematurely old look, and that they die at a comparatively early age.
This is not strange.  They live too fast.  Their bodies and brains are
taxed too severely to last long.  They pass their days in a state of
great excitement.  Every little fluctuation of the market elates or
depresses them to an extent greater than they think.  At night they are
either planning the next day's campaign, or are hard at work at the
hotels.  On Sundays their minds are still on their business, and some are
laboring in their offices, screened from public observation.  Body and
mind are worked too hard, and are given no rest.

The chief cause of this intense strain is the uncertainty attending the
operations of Wall street.  The chances there are not dependent upon the
skill or the exertions of the operator.  Some powerful clique may almost
destroy the securities upon which he relies for success, or may make him
wealthy by suddenly running up their value; so that no man who does not
confine himself to a strictly legitimate or commission business--and but
few do so--can say one week whether he will be a millionaire or a beggar
the next.  The chances are in favor of the latter result.  Nine out of
ten who speculate in gold or stocks, lose, especially persons
unaccustomed to such operations.  Like all gamblers, they are undismayed
by their losses, and venture a second time, and a third, and so on.  The
fascination of stock gambling is equal to that of card gambling, and
holds its victims with an iron hand.  The only safe rule for those who
wish to grow rich is to keep out of Wall street.  While one man makes a
fortune by a sudden rise in stocks or gold, hundreds lose by an equally
sudden fall in the same commodities.  Even old and established firms
sometimes give way with a crash under these sudden changes.

The legitimate operations of the street and the speculative ventures are
becoming more and more concentrated every year in the hands of a few
operators and capitalists.  These move the market as they please, and
fill their coffers, and sweep away younger or weaker men with a
remorseless hand.  It is useless to oppose them.  They are masters of the
field in every respect, and when they combine for a common object, their
resources are inexhaustible and their power beyond computation.  A dozen,
or even half a dozen of the great capitalists could ruin the whole street
were they so disposed, and once they came near doing so.  This is the
secret of the cordial hatred that is felt by the majority of Wall street
men for Vanderbilt, Drew, and other great operators.  They know and dread
the power of these men, and would readily combine to destroy them singly.

The mania for stock gambling which now sways such masses of people, may
be said to date from the war and the petroleum discoveries.  Since then
it has rolled over the country in a vast flood.  The telegraph is kept
busy all day and all night in sending orders for speculations from people
in other States and cities to New York brokers.  Everybody who can raise
the funds, wishes to try his or her hand at a venture in stocks.
Merchants, clergymen, women, professional men, clerks, come here to tempt
fortune.  Many win; more lose.

Fortunes are made quicker and lost more easily in New York than in any
place in the world.  A sudden rise in stocks, or a lucky venture of some
other kind, often places a comparatively poor man in possession of great
wealth.  Watch the carriages as they whirl through Fifth avenue, going
and returning from the park.  They are as elegant and sumptuous as wealth
can make them.  The owners, lying back amongst the soft cushions, are
clad in the height of fashion.  By their dresses they might be princes
and princesses.  This much is due to art.  Now mark the coarse, rough
features, the ill-bred stare, the haughty rudeness which they endeavor to
palm off for dignity.  Do you see any difference between them and the
footman in livery on the carriage-box?  Both master and man belong to the
same class--only one is wealthy and the other is not.  But that footman
may take the place of the master in a couple of years, or in less time.
Such changes may seem remarkable, but they are very common in New York.

See that gentleman driving that splendid pair of sorrels.  He is a fine
specimen of mere animal beauty.  How well he drives.  The ease and
carelessness with which he manages his splendid steeds, excites the
admiration of every one on the road.  He is used to it.  Five years ago
he was the driver of a public hack.  He amassed a small sum of money, and
being naturally a sharp, shrewd man, went into Wall street, and joined
the "Curb-stone Brokers."  His transactions were not always open to a
rigid scrutiny, but they were profitable to him.  He invested in oil
stocks, and with his usual good luck made a fortune.  Now he operates
through his broker.  His transactions are heavy, his speculations bold
and daring, but he is usually successful.  He lives in great splendor in
one of the finest mansions in the city, and his carriages and horses are
superb.  His wife and daughters are completely carried away by their good
fortune, and look with disdain upon all who are not their equals or
superiors in wealth.  They are vulgar and ill-bred, but they are wealthy,
and society worships them.  There will come a change some day.  The
husband and father will venture once too often in his speculations, and
his magnificent fortune will go with a crash, and the family will return
to their former state, or perhaps sink lower, for there are very few men
who have the moral courage to try to rise again after such a fall, and
this man is not one of them.

In watching the crowd on Broadway, one will frequently see, in some
shabbily dressed individual, who, with his hat drawn down close over his
eyes, is evidently shrinking from the possibility of being recognized,
the man who but a few weeks ago was one of the wealthiest in the city.
Then he was surrounded with splendor.  Now he hardly knows where to get
bread for his family.  Then he lived in an elegant mansion.  Now one or
two rooms on the upper floor of some tenement house constitute his
habitation.  He shrinks from meeting his old friends, well knowing that
not one of them will recognize him, except to insult him with a scornful
stare.  Families are constantly disappearing from the social circles in
which they have shone for a greater or less time.  They vanish almost in
an instant, and are never seen again.  You may meet them at some
brilliant ball in the evening.  Pass their residence the next day, and
you will see a bill announcing the early sale of the mansion and
furniture.  The worldly effects of the family are all in the hands of the
creditors of the "head," and the family themselves are either in a more
modest home in the country, or in a tenement house.  You can scarcely
walk twenty blocks on Fifth avenue, without seeing one of these bills,
telling its mournful story of fallen greatness.

The best and safest way to be rich in New York, as elsewhere, is for a
man to confine himself to his legitimate business.  Few men acquire
wealth suddenly.  Ninety-nine fail where one succeeds.  The bane of New
York commercial life, however, is that people have not the patience to
wait for fortune.  Every one wants to be rich in a hurry, and as no
regular business will accomplish this, here or elsewhere, speculation is
resorted to.  The sharpers and tricksters who infest Wall street know
this weakness of New York merchants.  They take the pains to inform
themselves as to the character, means and credulity of merchants, and
then use every art to draw them into speculations, in which the tempter
is enriched and the tempted ruined.  In nine cases out of ten a merchant
is utterly ignorant of the nature of the speculation he engages in.  He
is not capable of forming a reasonable opinion as to its propriety or
chance of success, because the whole transaction is new to him, and is so
rapid that he has no time to study it.  He leaves a business in which he
has acquired valuable knowledge and experience, and trusts himself to the
mercy of a man he knows little or nothing of; and undertakes a
transaction that he does not know how to manage.  Dabbling in
speculations unfits men for their regular pursuits.  They come to like
the excitement of such ventures, and rush on in their mad course, hoping
to make up their losses by one lucky speculation, and at length utter
ruin rouses them from their dreams.

Not only do men squander their own money in this way, but they risk and
often lose the funds of others committed to their charge.  Bank officers,
having the use of the deposits in their institutions, take them for
speculation, intending of course to return them.  Sometimes they are
successful, and are able to replace the money in the bank, so that no one
hears of their dishonesty.  Again, and most commonly, they fail, and they
are ruined.  Guardians thus misappropriate the funds of their wards.
Even the funds of churches are thus used by their trustees.  The amount
of speculation engaged in by clergymen with their own money would
astonish a novice.  Some prominent divines in the city are well known in
Wall street.  Their brokers keep their secrets, but the habitues of the
street are adepts at putting this and that together, and these reverend
gentlemen, some of whom preach eloquently against the sins of speculation
and gambling, become known as regular customers.  The street is full of
gossip concerning them, and if the stories told of them be true, some of
them have made large fortunes in this way, while others have literally
"gone to the bad."

It is not necessary that a person speculating in stocks should be master
of the entire value of the stocks.  If he be known to the broker
operating for him as a responsible person, he may employ only ten per
cent., or some other proportion, of the stock to be dealt in.  By
depositing $1000 with his broker, he can speculate to the extent of
$10,000.  This per centage is called a _margin_, and the deposit is
designed to protect the broker from loss in case the stock should fall in
value.  As the stock depreciates, the customer must either sell out and
bear the loss which is inevitable, or he must increase his margin to an
extent sufficient to protect his broker.  If he fails to increase his
margin, the broker sells the stock and uses the money to save himself.



VIII.  THE WAYS OF THE STREET.


Like Brette Harte's Heathen Chinee,

    "For ways that are dark
    And tricks that are vain,
    Wall Street is peculiar."

It takes a clear, cool head, a large amount of brains, and unaltering
nerve, to thread one's way through the intricacies of the business of
finance as carried on there.  It would be interesting to know how many
come out of the ordeal untouched by the taint of corruption.  Members of
the Exchanges are held by a rigid code of laws, but in questions of
morality Wall street has a code of its own.  Expediency is a prominent
consideration in the dealings of the street, and men have come to regard
as honest and correct almost anything short of a regular breach of
contract.  They do not spare their own flesh and blood.  Friendships are
sacrificed, the ties of kinship are disregarded, if they stand in the way
of some bold operation.  Every thing must give way to the desire for
gain.  The great operators plunder and destroy their lesser rivals
without a feeling of remorse, and by combinations which they know cannot
be resisted blast the prospects and ruin the lives of scores whose
greatest fault is an inability to oppose them successfully.  Tricks so
mean and contemptible that their perpetrator would not be tolerated in
social life, are resorted to, and if successful are applauded as
evidences of smartness.  Every man's hand is against his neighbor.
Clerks are bribed to betray the secrets of their employers.  The baser
their treachery, the larger their reward.  We do not propose, however, to
discuss the morality of Wall street transactions, and so we drop the
subject.

It is said by the gossips of the street that the great Railroad King,
Commodore Vanderbilt, is not above using any means at hand to secure the
success of his schemes.  It is said that he once tried to use his son
William in this way.  He came to him one day, and advised him that he had
better sell his Hudson River stock, as 110 was too high for it.  William
thanked him, and made inquiries in the market, and found that his father
was buying quietly all he could lay his hands upon.

William determined to follow suit.  Up jumped the stock to 137.  It was a
clear twenty-six per cent. in pocket.

When the operation was concluded, the Commodore rode round to the son's
office.

"Well, William, how much did you lose?"

"I went in at 110 on 10,000 shares.  That ought to make me two hundred
and sixty thousand dollars--"

"Very bad luck, William," quoth the father, trying to look extremely
troubled,--"very bad luck, this time."

"But then I bought, and so made."

"Hey?  What sent you doing that, sir?"

"O, I heard that was your line, and so concluded that you meant long
instead of short."

"Ahem!" croaked Vanderbilt _pere_, as he buttoned up his fur overcoat,
and stalked out of the open door.  He has always had a high opinion of
William since that event!

Some years ago Vanderbilt wanted to consolidate the Hudson River and
Harlem Railroads, and when the scheme was presented before the
Legislature of New York, secured a sufficient number of votes in that
body to insure the passage of the bill authorizing the consolidation.
Before the bill was called upon its final passage, however, he learned
from a trustworthy source that the members of the Legislature who had
promised to vote for the bill, were determined to vote against it, with
the hope of ruining him.  The stock of the Harlem road was then selling
very high, in consequence of the expected consolidation.  The defeat of
the bill would, of course, cause it to fall immediately.  The
unprincipled legislators at once began a shrewd game.  They sold Harlem
right and left, to be delivered at a future day, and found plenty of
purchasers, every one but those in the plot expecting the consolidation
of the roads and a consequent advance in the value of the stock.  They
let their friends into the secret, and there was soon a great deal of
"selling short" in this stock.  Commodore Vanderbilt managed to acquaint
himself with the whole plot; but he held his peace, and resolved upon
revenge.  He went into the market quietly, with all the funds he could
raise, and bought every certificate of Harlem stock that he could find.
These certificates he locked up in his safe.  When the bill came before
the Legislature on its final passage, it was defeated.

The conspirators were jubilant.  They were sure that the defeat of the
bill would bring "Harlem" down with a rush.  To their astonishment,
however, "Harlem" did not fall.  It remained stationary the first day,
and then to their dismay rose steadily.  Those to whom they had sold
demanded the delivery of the stock, but the speculators found it
impossible to buy it.  There was none in the market at any price.  In
many of these instances Vanderbilt was the real claimant, the brokers
acting in the transactions being merely his agents.  Being unable to
deliver the stock, the conspirators were forced to settle the demands
against them in money, and the result was that they were ruined.  One of
the shrewdest operators in New York lost over $200,000.  He refused to
pay, and his name was stricken from the list of stockholders.  This
brought him to his senses, and he made good his contracts.  Vanderbilt
made money enough out of this transaction to pay for all the stock he
owned in the Harlem Road.

Daniel Drew is a great operator.  His gains are immense, as are also his
losses.  He is not popular in the street, and the brokers are fond of
abusing him.  He has handled too many of them mercilessly to have many
friends.  They say that he does not hesitate to sacrifice a friend to
gain his ends, and that he is utterly without sympathy for those who go
down before his heavy blows.

Bogus stock companies appear from time to time in Wall street.  An office
is rented and fitted up in magnificent style, a flaring programme is
issued, and seemingly substantial evidences of the stability and
prosperity of the company are exhibited to inquirers.  The stock offered
is readily taken up by the eager to be rich crowd.  A dividend, most
hopefully large, is declared and paid, to stimulate investments, and
then, when the market has been drained dry, the bubble bursts, the
directors disappear, the office is closed, and the shareholders lose
their money.

On fine afternoons visitors to the Park do not fail to notice a handsome
equipage driven by a stylish young man, with rosy cheeks and light curly
hair.  His face is the perfect picture of happy innocence.  He is very
wealthy, and owns a great deal of real estate in the city.  The manner in
which he made his money will show how other persons enrich themselves.

A few years ago, he, in company with several others, organized a scheme
for working certain gold mines said to be located in a distant territory.
A company was made up, the country was flooded with flaming descriptions
of the valuable mine, and stock was issued which sold readily.  The bonds
were soon taken up, and in a month or two the so-called company commenced
paying handsome dividends.  A number of gold bars, bearing the stamp of
the mint, were on exhibition in the company's office, and were
triumphantly exhibited as amongst the first yields of the valuable mine.
For several months the dividends were paid regularly, and the company's
stock rose to a splendid premium.  It could hardly be bought at any
price.  No one doubted for an instant the genuineness of the affair, and
the lucky company was the envy of all Wall street.

In a few months, all the stock being disposed of, the company ceased
paying dividends.  This excited the suspicion of some of the shrewdest
holders of the stock, and the affair was investigated.  It was found that
the wonderful mine had no real existence.  The gold bars were simply gold
coins melted into that form at the Mint, and stamped by the Government as
so much bullion.  The dividends had been paid out of money advanced by
the company, who were simply half a dozen unprincipled sharpers.  The
stockholders were ruined, but the company made a profit of a clear half
million of dollars out of the infamous transaction.  Legal proceedings
are expensive and tedious when instituted against such parties, and the
stockholders, rather than increase their losses by the outlay necessary
for a lawsuit, suffered the swindlers to go unmolested.

A certain stock broker, anxious to increase his wealth, purchased twenty
acres of land a few years ago in one of the Western States, and commenced
boring for oil.  After a few weeks spent in this work, he discovered to
his dismay that there was not the slightest trace of oil on his land.  He
kept his own counsel, however, and paid the workmen to hold their
tongues.  About the same time it became rumored throughout New York that
he had struck oil.  He at once organized a company, and had a committee
appointed to go West and examine the well.  In a few weeks the committee
returned in high glee, and reported that the well contained oil of the
very best quality, and only needed capital and improved machinery to
develop its capacity.  In support of this assertion, they brought home
numerous bottles containing specimens of the oil.  This report settled
the matter in Wall street, and the stock issued by the company was all
sold at a handsome premium.  When the sales ceased, it was rumored that
the well had ceased to flow.  This was true, for there was no oil
anywhere on the land.  That in the well had been bought in Pennsylvania,
and poured into the well by the agents of the owner, and the examining
committee had been paid large sums for their favorable report.  The owner
of the well was enriched, as were his confederates of the bogus company,
and the holders of the stock were swindled, many of them being ruined.

Said the New York _Herald_, at a period when speculation was rampant:

"Within the past few days we have seen the most gigantic swindling
operations carried on in Wall street that have as yet disgraced our
financial centre.  A great railway, one of the two that connect the West
with the Atlantic seaboard, has been tossed about like a football, its
real stockholders have seen their property abused by men to whom they
have entrusted its interests, and who, in the betrayal of that trust,
have committed crimes which in parallel cases on a smaller scale would
have deservedly sent them to Sing Sing.  If these parties go unwhipped of
justice, then are we doing injustice in confining criminals in our State
prisons for smaller crimes.

"To such a disgusting degree of depravity do we see these stock
operations carried, that members of the church of high standing offer,
when 'concerned,' to betray their brother 'pals,' and, in their
forgetfulness of the morality to which they sanctimoniously listen every
Sunday, state that 'all they care about is to look out for number one.'
A manager of a great corporation is requested to issue bonds of his
company without authority, offering 'to buy the bonds if you are caught,
or buy the bonds with the understanding not to pay for them unless you
are caught.'  This attempted fiscal operation, however, did not work, and
resulted in a good proof of the old adage that it requires 'a rogue to
catch a rogue.'

"A railroad treasurer boldly states that he has without authority
over-issued stock of the company to a large amount.  He offers it to a
broker for sale, with the understanding that all received over a fixed
value is to go into his (the treasurer's) pocket.  From the fact that
this man is not arrested for maladministration of the company's property,
we judge this to be a legitimate operation, and that this may hereafter
serve as a model or standard of morals to all presidents, directors,
treasurers and managers of railway and other great corporations."



IX.  BLACK FRIDAY.


In the month of September, 1869, one of the most gigantic attempts to run
up the value of gold ever made was attempted by a powerful combination of
Bulls, consisting of a set of unprincipled men whose only object was to
make money.  Their scheme came near attaining a success which would have
broken the market utterly, have unsettled values of all kinds, and have
precipitated upon the whole country a financial crisis of the most
terrible proportions.  Nothing but the interference of the Secretary of
the Treasury at a critical moment averted this disaster.  As it was, the
losses were fearful.  Men in Wall street were ruined by the score, and
for several days the best houses in the street were uncertain as to their
exact condition.

An account of this formidable transaction is interesting as revealing the
method of conducting the great operations of the street.

             [Picture: SCENE IN THE GOLD ROOM--BLACK FRIDAY.]

"On the 22d of September, 1869, gold stood at 137.5 when Trinity bells
rang out the hour of twelve.  By two it was at 139.  Before night its
lowest quotation was 141. . . . An advance of three and a half per cent.
in five hours.  At the same time the Stock Market exhibited tokens of
excessive febrility, New York Central dropping twenty-three per cent. and
Harlem thirteen.  Loans had become extremely difficult to negotiate.  The
most usurious prices for a twenty-four hours' turn were freely paid.  The
storm was palpably reaching the proportions of a tempest.

"Nevertheless, the brokers on the Bear side strove manfully under their
burden.  The character and purposes of the clique were fully known.
Whatever of mystery had heretofore enfolded them was now boldly thrown
aside, and the men of Erie, with the sublime Fisk in the forefront of the
assailing column, assured the shorts that they could not settle too
quickly, since it remained with the ring, now holding calls for one
hundred millions, either to kindly compromise at 150 or to carry the
metal to 200 and nail it there.  This threat was accompanied by
consequences in which the mailed hand revealed itself under the silken
glove.  The movement had intertwisted itself deep into the affairs of
every dealer in the street, and entangled in its meshes vast numbers of
outside speculators.  In borrowing or in margins the entire capital of
the former had been nearly absorbed, while some five millions had been
deposited by the latter with their brokers in answer to repeated calls.
When Thursday morning rose, gold started at 141-5/8, and soon shot up to
144.  Then the clique began to tighten the screws.  The shorts received
peremptory orders to increase their borrowing margins.  At the same
moment the terms of loans overnight were raised beyond the pitch of
ordinary human endurance.  Stories were insidiously circulated exciting
suspicion of the integrity of the Administration, and strengthening the
belief that the National Treasury would bring no help to the wounded
Bears.  Whispers of an impending lock-up of money were prevalent; and the
fact, then shrewdly suspected, and now known, of certifications of checks
to the amount of twenty-five millions by one bank alone on that day, lent
color to the rumor.  Many brokers lost courage, and settled instantly.
The Gold Room shook with the conflict, and the battle prolonged itself
into a midnight session at the Fifth Avenue Hotel.  The din of the tumult
had penetrated to the upper chambers of journalism.  Reporters were on
the alert.  The great dailies magnified the struggle, and the Associated
Press spread intelligence of the excitement to remote sections.  When
Friday opened clear and calm, the pavement of Broad and New streets soon
filled up with unwonted visitors.  All the idle population of the city
and its neighborhood crowded into the financial quarter to witness the
throes of the tortured shorts.  Blended with the merely curious were
hundreds of outside speculators who had ventured their all in the great
stake, and trembled in doubt of the honor of their dealers.  Long before
9 A.M. these men, intensely interested in the day's encounter, poured
through the alley-way from Broad street, and between the narrow walls of
New street, surging up around the doorways, and piling themselves densely
and painfully within the cramped galleries of the Room itself.  They had
made good the fresh calls for margins up to 143, the closing figure of
the night before.  The paramount question now was, How would gold open?
They had not many minutes to wait.  Pressing up to the fountain, around
which some fifty brokers had already congregated, a Bull operator with
resonant voice bid 145 for twenty thousand.  The shout startled the
galleries.  Their margins were once more in jeopardy.  Would their
brokers remain firm?  It was a terrible moment.  The Bears closed round
the aggressors.  Yells and shrieks filled the air.  A confused and
baffling whirl of sounds ensued, in which all sorts of fractional bids
and offers mingled, till '46 emerged from the chaos.  The crowd within
the arena increased rapidly in numbers.  The clique agents became
vociferous.  Gold steadily pushed forward in its perilous upward movement
from '46 to '47, thence to '49, and, pausing for a brief twenty minutes,
dashed on to 150.5.  It was now considerably past the hour of regular
session.  The President was in the chair.  The Secretary's pen was
bounding over his registry book.  The floor of the Gold Room was covered
with 300 agitated dealers and operators, shouting, heaving in masses
against and around the iron railing of the fountain, falling back upon
the approaches of the committee-rooms and the outer entrance, guarded
with rigorous care by sturdy door-keepers.  Many of the principal brokers
of the street were there,--Kimber, who had turned traitor to the ring;
Colgate, the Baptist; Clews, a veteran government broker; one of the
Marvins; James Brown; Albert Speyer, and dozens of others hardly less
famous.  Every individual of all that seething throng had a personal
stake beyond, and, in natural human estimate, a thousand-fold more dear
than that of any outside patron, no matter how deeply or ruinously that
patron might be involved.  At 11 of the dial gold was 150.5; in six
minutes it jumped to 155.  Then the pent-up tiger spirit burst from
control.  The arena rocked as the Coliseum may have rocked when the gates
of the wild beasts were thrown open, and with wails and shrieks the
captives of the empire sprang to merciless encounter with the ravenous
demons of the desert.  The storm of voices lost human semblance.
Clenched hands, livid faces, pallid foreheads on which beads of cold
sweat told of the interior anguish, lurid, passion-fired eyes,--all the
symptoms of a fever which at any moment might become frenzy were there.
The shouts of golden millions upon millions hurtled in all ears.  The
labor of years was disappearing and reappearing in the wave line of
advancing and receding prices.  With fortunes melting away in a second,
with five hundred millions of gold in process of sale or purchase, with
the terror of yet higher prices, and the exultation which came and went
with the whispers of fresh men entering from Broad street bearing
confused rumors of the probable interposition of the Government, it is
not hard to understand how reason faltered on its throne, and operators
became reckless, buying or selling without thought of the morrow or
consciousness of the present.  Then came the terrific bid of Albert
Speyer for any number of millions at 160.  William Parks sold instantly
two millions and a half in one lot.  Yet the bids so far from yielding
rose to 161, 162, 162.5.  For five minutes the Board reeled under the
ferocity of the attack.  Seconds became hours.  The agony of Wellington
awaiting Blucher was in the souls of the Bears.  Then a broker, reported
to be acting for Baring & Brothers, at London, sold five millions to the
clique at the top price of the day.  Hallgarten followed; and as the
shorts were gathering courage, the certain news that the Secretary of the
Treasury had come to the rescue swept through the chamber, gold fell from
160 to 140, and thence, with hardly the interval of one quotation, to
133.  The end had come, and the exhausted operators streamed out of the
stifling hall into the fresh air of the street.  To them, however, came
no peace.  In some offices customers by dozens, whose margins were
irrevocably burnt away in the smelting-furnace of the Gold Board,
confronted their dealers with taunts and threats of violence for their
treachery.  In others the nucleus of mobs began to form, and, as the day
wore off, Broad street had the aspect of a riot.  Huge masses of men
gathered before the doorway of Smith, Gould, Martin & Co., and Heath &
Co.  Fisk was assaulted, and his life threatened.  Deputy-sheriffs and
police officers appeared on the scene.  In Brooklyn a company of troops
were held in readiness to march upon Wall street.

"When night came, Broad street and its vicinity saw an unwonted sight.
The silence and the darkness which ever rests over the lower city after
seven of the evening, was broken by the blaze of gas-light from a hundred
windows, and the footfall of clerks hurrying from a hasty repast back to
their desks.  Until long after Trinity bells pealed out the dawn of a new
day, men bent over their books, scrutinized the Clearing-House statement
for the morrow, took what thought was possible for the future.  At the
Gold Exchange Bank the weary accountants were making ineffective efforts
to complete Thursday's business.  That toilful midnight, at the close of
the last great passion-day of the bullion-worshippers, will be ever
memorable for its anxieties and unsatisfying anguish.

                 [Picture: BROAD STREET ON BLACK FRIDAY.]

"Saturday brought no relief.  The Gold Board met only to adjourn, as the
Clearing-House had been incapable of the task of settling its accounts,
complicated as they were by ever fresh failures.  The small brokers had
gone under by scores.  The rumors of the impending suspension of some of
the largest houses of the street gave fresh grounds for fear.  The Stock
Exchange was now the centre of attraction.  If that yielded, all was
lost.  To sustain the market was vital.  But whence was the saving power
to came?  All through yesterday shares had been falling headlong.  New
York Central careened to 148, and then recovered to 185.75.  Hudson
plunged from 173 to 145.  Pittsburgh fell to 68.  Northwest reached 62.5.
The shrinkage throughout all securities had been not less than thirty
millions.  Would the impulse downward continue?  The throngs which filled
the corridors and overhung the stairway from which one can look down upon
the Long Room saw only mad tumult, heard only the roar of the biddings.
For any certain knowledge they might have been in Alaska.  But the
financial public in the quiet of their offices, and nervously
scrutinizing the prices reeled off from the automaton telegraph, saw that
Vanderbilt was supporting the New York stocks, and that the weakness in
other shares was not sufficient to shadow forth panic.  It soon became
known that the capitalists from Philadelphia, Boston, and the great
Western cities had thrown themselves into the breach, and were earning
fortunes for themselves as well as gratitude from the money-market, by
the judicious daring of their purchases.  The consciousness of this new
element was quieting, but Wall street was still too feverish to be
reposed by any ordinary anodyne.  A run on the Tenth National Bank had
commenced, and all day long a steady line of dealers filed up to the
counter of the paying teller demanding their balances.  The courage and
the ability in withstanding the attack which were shown by the president
and his associates deserve something more than praise.  The Gold Exchange
Bank witnessed a similar scene, angry brokers assaulting the clerks and
threatening all possible things unless instantaneous settlements were
made.  The freedom with which the press had given details of the
explosion had been extremely hurtful to the credit of many of the best
houses.  In a crisis like that of Black Friday the sluice-gates of
passion open.  Cloaked in the masquerade of genuine distrust, came forth
whispers whose only origin was in ancient enmities, long-treasured
spites, the soundless depths of unquenchable malignities.  Firms of
staunchest reputation felt the rapier-stroke of old angers.  The
knowledge that certain houses were large holders of particular stocks was
the signal of attacks upon the shares.  Despite of outside orders for
vast amounts, these influences had their effect upon securities, and
aided to tighten the loan market.  One, one and a half, two, and even
four per cent. were the compulsory terms on which money could alone be
borrowed to carry stocks over Sunday.

"On Monday the 27th the Gold Board met, but only to be informed that the
Clearing-House was not yet ready to complete the work of Friday.
Important accounts had been kept back, and the dealings, swollen in
sum-total to five hundred millions, were beyond the capacity of the
clerical force of the Gold Bank to grapple with.  A resolution was
brought forward proposing the resumption of operations Ex-Clearing-House.
The measure took the members by surprise, for a moment quivered between
acceptance and rejection, and then was swiftly tabled.  It was an immense
Bear scheme, for no exchange can transact business where its dealers are
under suspicion.  All outstanding accounts require immediate fulfilment.
Failure to make good deliveries would have insured the instant selling
out of defaulters 'under the rule.'  As the majority of brokers were
inextricably involved in the late difficulty, the only consequence would
have been to throw them into bankruptcy, thus bringing some $60,000,000
under the hammer.  The market could not have borne up under such an
avalanche.  It was decided that the Room should be kept open for
borrowings and loans, but that all dealings should be suspended.  One
result of this complication was that gold had no fixed value.  It could
be bought at one house for 133 and at other offices sold for 139.  The
Board thus proved its utility at the very juncture when least in favor."



XVI.  THE FERRIES.


Including the Harlem, Staten Island, and Elizabethport routes, there are
about twenty-five lines of ferries plying between New York and the
adjacent shores.  Ten of these lines are to Brooklyn, two to Hunter's
Point, two to Green Point, one to Mott Haven, and one to Harlem, all in
the East River; and five to Jersey City, one to Weehawken, one to Fort
Lee, two to Staten Island, and one to Elizabethport, all in the North
River.  Thus there are sixteen lines in the East River, and ten in the
North River.  The boats are large side-wheel vessels, capable of carrying
pedestrians, horses and vehicles.  The fare to the Jersey shore is three
cents, to Brooklyn two, and to Harlem and Staten Island ten cents.  On
some of the lines the boats ply every five minutes; on others the
intervals are longer.  The Staten Island and Harlem boats start every
hour.

The boats are generally handsome, as well as large.  Nearly all are
lighted with gas, and at least a score of them are to be seen in the
stream at any time.  At night, with their many colored lamps, they give
to the river quite a gala appearance.  The Fulton, Barclay, and
Courtlandt street lines run their boats all night.  The others run from 4
A.M. until midnight.  The travel on the various lines is immense.  The
aggregate is said, by reliable authority, to be upwards of 200,000
persons per day, or about 75,000,000 per annum.  Many of the boats carry
from 800 to 1000 passengers at a single trip.

During the summer it is pleasant enough to cross either of the rivers
which encircle the island, but in the winter such travelling is very
dangerous.  Storms of snow, fogs, and floating ice interfere very greatly
with the running of the boats, and render accidents imminent.  Collisions
are frequent during rough or thick weather, and the ice sometimes sweeps
the boats for miles out of their course.  The East River is always more
or less crowded with vessels of all kinds, either in motion or at anchor,
and even in fair weather it requires the greatest skill on the part of
the pilot to avoid collisions.

Tens of thousands of people enter and leave the great city daily by means
of the ferries.  The country for twenty miles around the city is built up
by persons who earn their bread in New York, and morning and evening they
pass between their places of business and their homes.  You may recognize
them as they come into the city in the morning, or as they leave it at
the close of the day.  Towards five o'clock vast swarms of working-men
pour over the river, followed at six and seven by the factory and shop
girls, the clerks and salesmen in the retail houses and offices, and from
these the newsboys reap a harvest for the two-penny papers.  Every one
has his newspaper, and all who can find the necessary space on the
ferry-boat economize their time by reading the news as they cross the
river.  Later still come the clerks in the wholesale houses, and later
still the great merchants themselves.  Between nine and ten the Wall
street men put in an appearance, and later yet the great capitalists,
residing out of the city, begin to show themselves.  From eight o'clock
the great dailies are in demand, and the newsboys have scarcely a call
for the cheap papers.  Towards noon the idlers and ladies bent on
shopping expeditions cross over, and for a few hours the ferries are
comparatively dull.  Towards four o'clock in the afternoon, however, the
tide flows back again, but in reverse order.  The richest come first, for
their working hours are short, and the poorest extend the crowd into the
hours of darkness.  Night brings another flow and ebb of
pleasure-seekers, theatre-goers, etc., so that the midnight boats go
almost as full as those of the early evening.  Then a few stragglers
avail themselves of the boats that ply between midnight and morning.
They are mostly journalists, actors, or printers employed in the
newspaper offices.

With the first light of dawn, and frequently long before the darkness has
passed away, the market farmers and gardeners of Long Island and New
Jersey crowd the boats with their huge wagons heavily loaded with
vegetables and fruits for the city markets.  They come in throngs, and
the approaches to the ferries in Brooklyn and Jersey City are lined for
blocks with their wagons.  They are mostly Germans, but they show a
decidedly American quality in the impatience they manifest at the delays
to which they are subjected.  On the lower Jersey ferries, they are often
followed by droves of cattle, many of which have come from the Far West,
all wending their way to the slaughter houses of New York.

The New York approaches to the ferries are always "jammed" with wagons
and trucks.  The luckless "foot-passenger" must take the chances of
reaching the boat in time, and often must incur no little risk in making
his way through the crowd of vehicles.  The police try hard to keep these
approaches free, but the throng is too great for them, and they have all
they can do in seeing after the safety of the "foot-passengers."  A man
on foot has no rights that a New York driver is bound to respect, and
Jehu thinks it no harm to run over any one who gets in his way.

The ferries are good places to study human nature, for all classes use
them.  You see here the poor, pale working girl, whom toil and poverty
are making prematurely old, and the blooming lady of fashion; the beggar
and the millionaire; the honest laborer and the thief; the virtuous
mother and her children, and the brazen courtezan and her poodle dog.
You can tell them all by their appearance and aspect, for here they enjoy
a few moments of enforced idleness, and during that time they are natural
in expression and attitude.

At night, the scene to be witnessed from these boats is very striking.
The waters are dark and the current is strong, and the dash of the waves
against the side of the boat is like the noise of the great ocean.
Through the darkness you may dimly discern the stern outline of the
cities on either side, with the forests of masts which line them rising
from the dark hulls at the piers.  The shadowy forms of vessels at anchor
in the stream, each with its warning light, rise up and disappear as if
by magic as you dart past them.  On the shore the many colored lights
mark the various ferry houses, and similar lights are flashing about the
stream like fire-flies as the boats pass from shore to shore.  Back of
the ferry houses the long rows of lights in the cities stretch away into
the distance, and high over all gleams the round white face of the
illuminated clock on the City Hall in New York.  The breeze is fresh and
keen, and comes in laden with the sighing of the mighty ocean so near at
hand.

The people standing out on the open deck are silent, impressed by the
fascination of the scene.  Hark! there is a splash at the side of the
boat, a white figure gleams one moment on the crest of the waves, and
then sinks under the dark waters.  The bell strikes sharply, and the boat
stops suddenly.  Life-preservers are thrown overboard, and lights gleam
along the side of the boat.  There is no sign of the unfortunate girl who
has so rashly sought peace, and the waters will hold her in their cold
embrace till the sea gives up its dead.  All search is hopeless, and the
boat speeds on, a dumb horror holding its occupants mute.

In a fog, the scene is exciting beyond description.  The passengers
throng the forward end of the boat, and strive with eager eyes to pierce
the dense mist which enshrouds the stream and hides the shore from view.
From either side the hoarse clangor of the ferry bells, tolling their
number, comes floating through the mist, to guide the pilot to his
destination, and all around, on every hand, steamers are shrieking their
shrill signals to each other.  The boat moves slowly and with caution,
and the pilot strains both eye and ear to keep her in the right course.
One single error of judgment on his part, and the boat might go crashing
into a similar steamer, or into one of the vessels lying in the stream.
It is a moment of danger, and those who are used to the river know it.
You could hear a pin drop in the silent crowd on the deck.  If men speak
at all, they do so in low, subdued tones.  There is a sharp whistle on
the right, and the boat suddenly stops.  You hear the splashing of paddle
wheels, and the next moment a huge steamer dashes past you in the mist.
You can hear her, but the fog hides her.  Then the boat goes ahead again,
and gradually the fog bells on the shore grow louder and clearer, and in
a little while the dock bursts suddenly upon you, so spectral and
unearthly in its appearance that you hardly recognize it.  The boat now
glides swiftly into her "slip," and a sigh of relief breaks from the
throng on board.  The danger is over.

The boats carry such crowds that an accident to any of them is a terrible
affair.  The collision at the Fulton Ferry in 1868, and the terrible
explosion of the Westfield in 1871, were attended with great loss of
life.  The injuries were none of them slight, and the disasters were of
such magnitude as to throw a general gloom over the community.



XVII.  THE HOTELS.


New York is the paradise of hotels.  In no other city do they flourish in
such numbers, and nowhere else do they attain such a degree of
excellence.  The hotels of New York naturally take the lead of all others
in America, and are regarded by all who have visited them as models of
their kind.

It is said that there are from six to seven hundred hotels of all kinds
in the City of New York.  These afford accommodations for persons of
every class, and are more or less expensive, according to the means of
their guests.  Of these, only about fifty are well known, even in the
city, and only about twenty-five come under the head of "fashionable."
The principal hotels are, beginning down town, the Astor, St. Nicholas,
Metropolitan, Grand Central, Brevoort, New York, St. Denis, Spingler,
Everett, Clarendon, Westminster, Glenham, Fifth Avenue, Hoffman,
Albemarle, St. James, Coleman, Sturtevant, Gilsey, Grand, and St. Cloud.
These are the largest, handsomest, and best kept houses in the city.
Each has its characteristics and its special customers, and each in its
way is worth studying.

The _Astor House_ is one of the oldest hotels in the city.  It is built
of granite, and occupies an entire block on Broadway, from Vesey to
Barclay streets.  It is immediately opposite the _Herald_ office, and the
new Post-office.  It was built by John Jacob Astor, and presented by him
to his son William.  It was opened for business in 1831, by Colonel
Charles A. Stetson, the present proprietor, and for twenty years was the
leading hotel of the country.  In those days no one had seen New York
unless he had "put up at the Astor."  People talked of it all over the
country, and in all our leading cities monster hotels began to appear,
modelled upon the same general plan.  Those were the palmy days of the
Astor, and if one could write their history in full, it would be a record
worth reading.  The old registers of the house would be valuable for the
autographs they contain, for there was scarcely a great or distinguished
man of those days but had written his name in Colonel Stetson's book.

                       [Picture: THE ASTOR HOUSE.]

The house had from the first a strong flavor of politics about it.  The
leading statesmen of the country were always there in greater or less
force, and their admirers kept up a continuous throng of comers and
goers.  The house had a decided leaning towards the Whig Party, and
finally it became their New York headquarters.  For thirty years Thurlow
Weed boarded here, and the caucuses, committee meetings, and intrigues of
various kinds the old house has witnessed, would fill a volume with their
history.  The Astor still keeps its political character, and is one of
the Republican strongholds of the city.  It is safe to assert that very
few Democrats now inscribe their names on its register, if they are free
to seek quarters elsewhere.

The misfortune of the Astor is that it is too far down town to be a
fashionable house.  It is admirably located for merchants and others who
have business in the lower part of the city, and to whom time is of
value.  A few old-time folks, who knew the house in its palmy days, still
stop there, and many whose political faith is in sympathy with that of
the proprietor, make it a matter of conscience to patronize the house,
and Colonel Stetson's well-earned popularity brings him other guests.
Although its glories have faded, the Astor is still a successful hotel,
but in popularity with the general public, it has long since been
eclipsed by the _up town hotels_.

The _St. Nicholas_ is one of the best houses in the city.  It shows a
handsome marble front on Broadway, with a brown stone extension on the
same thoroughfare to Prince street, and extends back to Mercer street.
It is handsomely furnished, and is kept on a scale of comfort and
magnificence worthy of its fame.  Its spacious halls and sitting-rooms,
on the street floor, furnish one of the most popular lounging places in
the city.  Towards nightfall they are full to overflowing.  The table is
said, by the lovers of good living, to be the best served of any house in
the city.  The hotel is always full, and is very profitable to its
proprietors.  It is said to pay better in proportion to its expenses than
any of its rivals.  It is much liked by the Western people, who come here
in crowds.  There is also a dashing element about its guests which gives
to it its peculiar reputation in the city.  It is popularly believed to
be the headquarters of "Shoddy," and certain it is that one sees among
its habitues an immense number of flashily dressed, loud-voiced,
self-asserting people.

The _Metropolitan_ is a handsome brown stone edifice, situated at the
northeast corner of Broadway and Prince street.  It extends back to
Crosby street, and has a frontage of about 300 feet on Broadway.  It is
one of the most elegant hotels in the city, in every respect.  It
contains about 400 rooms, and is always full.  It is very popular with
army officers, with Californians and the people of the mining States and
Territories, as well as with the New Englanders.  Capitalists and
railroad managers also have a fondness for it.  "Shoddy" is to be seen
here also in great force.

                      [Picture: ST. NICHOLAS HOTEL.]

The _New York Hotel_ is a plain red brick structure, occupying the entire
block bounded by Broadway and Mercer street, and East Washington and
Waverley Places.  It has recently been refitted and improved, and is one
of the most comfortable houses in the city.  In one respect, it may be
regarded as the counterpart of the Astor, since like that hotel, it is
noted for its political complexion.  It is the favorite stopping place of
the Democratic politicians visiting the city, and is mainly patronized by
members of that party.  It is very popular with the Southern people,
large numbers of whom come here to spend the summer, to escape from the
heat of their climate, or to pass the winter to enjoy the delights of the
city.  The guests of the New York generally stay a long time, and the
house is said to do a good business.

The _Grand Central_, on Broadway, between Bleecker and Amity streets, and
extending back to Mercer street, is a new house.  It was opened in
August, 1870, and is the largest hotel in America.  It rises to a height
of eight stories, or 127 feet, exclusive of the Mansard roof, above the
street.  Including the central dome, it is ten stories in height.  The
fitting up of the house is very handsome and elaborate, the furniture and
decorations having cost over half a million of dollars.  The dining-room
will seat 600 persons at once.

The _Fifth Avenue Hotel_, at the junction of Broadway and Fifth avenue,
and between Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth streets, is generally regarded
as the best house in the city.  It occupies the most conspicuous location
in New York, and is one of the finest buildings of its kind in the world.
It is constructed of white marble, is six stories in height, above
ground, and fronts on Fifth avenue, Broadway, Twenty-third and
Twenty-fourth streets.  The land and building are valued at over
$1,000,000, and are owned by Mr. Amos R. Eno, by whom the house was
built.  The proprietors are Messrs. Hitchcock, Darling & Co.

The hotel was begun in 1857, Mr. Eno having more faith in the rapid
growth and prosperity of the city than most persons had at that day.  The
wise heads laughed him to scorn, and called his house "Eno's folly."
They said it might make a popular summer resort, but would never take
rank as a first class city hotel.  It was too high up town.  Undismayed
by these criticisms, Mr. Eno went on with his work, and in 1860, the
marble palace, to which he gave the name of the _Fifth Avenue Hotel_, was
opened to the public.  By this time the city had grown so fast as to make
the need of this house imperative, but the first years of the war laid a
burden upon it which only the most skilful financial management could
overcome.

The hotel is the most perfectly appointed in the city.  The ground floor
along Broadway and Fifth avenue is let out in stores.  The main entrance
is on Fifth avenue, and is ornamented with a fine marble porch.  From
this, the visitor enters into the spacious reception hall, tiled with
marble and handsomely frescoed.  A marble counter at the lower end
encloses the offices of the hotel, and on this counter is laid the
Visitor's Register, of which several fresh pages are filled daily with
the names of new-comers.  Opposite the office are the stairs leading to
the basement, in which are the billiard-rooms, storerooms, etc., of the
house.  The hall upon which the office opens extends through to the rear
of the building.  On the south side of this hall is the reading-room, in
which are to be found the daily papers of the leading cities of the
Union.  Opposite the reading-room is the bar-room, one of the most
elegant apartments of the house, and beyond this is the handsome and
well-appointed barber-shop.  There is a private entrance on Twenty-fourth
street, used mainly by gentlemen, another on Twenty-third street, and
still another on Broadway.  Each is in charge of a door-keeper, whose
duty it is to exclude improper personages.  Along the Twenty-third street
side are suites of private apartments on the ground floor, occupied by
permanent boarders.

The various floors are reached by means of an "elevator," the first ever
used in this country.  Similar arrangements are now in use in all the
large hotels.  The main stairway commences immediately opposite the
office.  It is of white marble, and massive in its design.  Ascending it
the visitor finds himself in a spacious hall, at one end of which is a
corridor at right angles to this hall.  At the end nearest the stairs is
the dining-room, a magnificent apartment.  When the tables are filled
with a handsomely dressed throng of guests at the dinner hour, this room
presents one of the most brilliant sights that can be witnessed on the
continent.  The bill of fare comprises literally everything that is in
season.  Back of the dining-room is the kitchen, an immense
establishment.  Everything connected with it goes on like clock-work,
however, so perfect is the system upon which it is managed.  Beneath the
kitchen are the machines for warming and ventilating the hotel.  By means
of these a perfectly comfortable temperature is maintained in all parts
of the house, and the smells of the kitchen are kept out of the halls and
chambers.

                      [Picture: FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL.]

At the end of the hall upon which the dining-room opens, are the parlors
of the house.  These are among the most magnificent rooms in the country.
They are furnished with great taste and elegance, and their windows look
out immediately upon Madison Square.  There are also several private
parlors adjoining the public rooms.  Along the Twenty-third and
Twenty-fourth street sides of the house are corridors, not quite so wide,
but longer than the main corridor, and leading off from it.  The three
constitute one of the pleasantest promenades to be found.  The floors are
covered with the richest carpets, into which the feet sink noiselessly.
In the day a half twilight prevails, and at night a rich flood of
gaslight streams along their entire length.

The upper floors are occupied with private parlors, rooms for guests,
etc.  There are in this hotel pleasant quarters for 800 persons, and a
greater number can be accommodated in case of necessity.  There are 100
suites of rooms, besides the ordinary chambers.  Each suite comprises a
parlor, chamber, dressing-room, bath-room and water-closet.  The number
of permanent boarders is about 300.  The transient arrivals average about
300 per day, sometimes amounting to about twice that number.  The house
is expensive, but its accommodations are unsurpassed, and if one can "get
his money back" anywhere in the city he can at this hotel.

The house is mainly patronized by people from other parts of the State,
from New England, and from the West.  It is the most fashionable
establishment in the city, and will doubtless hold its present rank as
long as its energetic proprietors retain the control of it.

Towards eight o'clock in the evening, the hotel presents its most
attractive features.  It is full to overflowing.  The lower halls, the
reading and sitting-rooms are filled with well-dressed men, guests and
citizens, who have sauntered here from all parts of the city.
Four-fifths are smoking, and the air is hazy with the "vapor of the
weed."  The hum of conversation is incessant, but the general tone is
well-bred and courteous.  In the farther end of the great hall a group of
stock brokers may be seen comparing notes, and making bargains for the
sale and purchase of their fickle wares.  The clink of glasses makes
music in the bar-room, and beyond this you may see the barbers at work on
their customers in the luxurious shaving saloon.  Doors are opening and
shutting continually, people are coming and going.  Porters are pushing
their way through the crowd bearing huge trunks on their shoulders.  The
office bell is sounding incessantly, from a dozen different chambers at
once, and the servants are moving about in every direction to execute the
orders of the guests.

On the floor above the scene is as animated, but of a different
character.  Every one here is in full dinner dress, and all are on their
good behaviour.  The grand dining-room is crowded with guests, who are
doing ample justice to the sumptuous viands set before them.  The parlors
are thronged with ladies and gentlemen, and the corridors are filled with
promenaders.  The toilettes of the ladies are magnificent, and they can
be seen here to better advantage than at any ball or evening party.  You
may see here some of the loveliest and most refined women, and some of
the coarsest and vulgarest, some of the most courtly gentlemen, and some
of the most insufferable snobs.  If you will join the quiet-looking man
moving through the throng as if seeking some one whom he cannot find, he
can give you many an interesting bit of gossip about the various persons
whom you will encounter in your walk.  He is the detective of the house,
and is on the watch for improper characters.  Well-dressed thieves will
make their way into hotels in spite of the precautions of the
proprietors.  Here a guest is comparatively safe.  The detective is
argus-eyed, and knows everybody.  Let a pick-pocket or thief but show his
face in this place, and his arrest is sure.  All night the corridors are
patrolled by watchmen to make sure of the safety of the sleeping guests.
The house is absolutely fire-proof.

The cost of conducting such an establishment is immense, but the profits
are in proportion.  The average profit of this house is said to be about
a quarter of a million of dollars per annum.

The hotels that have been mentioned are all conducted on the American
plan of full board, or one charge for every expense.  This enables a
guest to calculate his expenses exactly, and has many other advantages.

Many of the most fashionable houses are conducted on what is called "the
European plan," in which a separate charge is made for room, meals, and
every service rendered.  It is said that this is more economical than the
other plan, and that it is less profitable to the proprietors.  It is
adopted by the Hoffman, St. Denis, Glenham, Brevoort, Coleman, St. James,
Albemarle, Clarendon, Everett, Grand, Gilsey, and several other prominent
houses.

The leading hotels of the city lie very close together, the majority of
them being in the vicinity of Union and Madison Squares.  This is found
to be an advantage, as strangers find it pleasant to visit friends who
are staying at other houses.  The business of hotel keeping in New York
is generally very profitable.  A large outlay is required at the opening
of the house, for furniture, etc., as much as from $200,000 to $500,000
being expended on the fitting up of a first-class house.  The furniture,
plate, etc., of the Fifth Avenue and Grand Central Hotels are valued at
the latter sum for each establishment.  If the house meet with success, a
moderate sum will suffice to supply its current wants.  The business is
all cash, and large amounts of money are received daily.  The annual
profits of the Fifth Avenue Hotel are said to be about $250,000; those of
the St. Nicholas about $200,000.  Other leading houses, when well
managed, are said to clear about twenty per cent. on the sum invested.
Large fortunes have been made by not a few keepers of hotels in New York.

The large hotels depend entirely upon transient guests for their success.
The city has, perhaps, the largest floating population in America.
Thousands come and go daily, even in the summer months, and these are
mostly persons who have money to spend.  Bridal parties are constantly
arriving, and these are not inclined to be the most economical in their
expenditures.  In the spring and fall, the Southern and Western merchants
come to New York in great numbers to buy goods, and are among the best
customers of the hotels.  Thousands, on business, and for pleasure, come
and go daily, and they all pour a constant stream of money into the
coffers of the hotels.

The smaller houses, while they compete with their great rivals for
transient custom, rely chiefly upon their permanent guests.  These are
filled with families who have come to them to avoid the trouble of
keeping house, and who remain all through the fall, winter, and spring.
In the summer they go to the watering places, so that they pass their
whole lives in hotels.  They are mostly persons of wealth and fashion.
As may be supposed, the atmosphere of a hotel is not very favorable to
domestic privacy, and such establishments are vast manufactories of
scandal.  People imagine that they are living privately, but their every
action is subject to the inspection and comment of the other inmates of
the house.  The hotels are not the safest places for the growth of the
domestic virtues.  Indeed, it may be said that they furnish the best
means of destroying them entirely.  Neither are they the best place for
the training of children.  This last, however, may be a minor
consideration, for the wives who live at the hotels seem, as a rule, to
take care that there shall be no children to need training.  Small
families are a necessity at such places, and they remain small in that
atmosphere.  If another Asmodeus could look down into the hotels of New
York, he would have some startling revelations to make, which would no
doubt go far to corroborate the gossip one hears in the city concerning
them.

The proprietors of the city hotels are very active in their efforts to
exclude improper characters from their houses, but with all their
vigilance do not always succeed in doing so.  One is never certain as to
the respectability of his neighbor at the table, and it is well to be
over-cautious in forming acquaintanceships at such places.  Impure women
of the "higher," that is the more successful class, and gamblers, abound
at the hotels.  The proprietor cannot turn them out unless they are
notorious, until they commit some overt act, for fear of getting himself
into trouble.  As soon, however, as his attention is called to any
improper conduct on their part, they are turned into the street, no
matter at what hour of the day or night.

Hotel proprietors are also the victims of adventurers of both sexes.
These people live from house to house, often changing their names as fast
as they change their quarters, and they are more numerous than is
generally believed.  One man who made himself known to the police in this
way, used to take his family, consisting of a wife and three children, to
the hotels, and engage the best rooms.  When his bill was presented, he
affected to be extremely busy, and promised to attend to it the next day.
By the next day, however, he had disappeared with his family.  His trunk,
which had been left behind, was found to contain nothing but bricks and
rags, or paper.

Another adventurer would put up at the most fashionable hotels, and when
requested to pay his bills would feign madness.  He would rave, and sing,
and dance, call himself Nebuchadnezzar, or George Washington, or some
such personage, and completely baffle the detectives, who were for a long
time inclined to believe him a _bona fide_ madman.  In this way he ran up
a bill of one hundred and seventy-one dollars at the Fifth Avenue Hotel,
which he never paid.

Others do not seek to obtain lodgings at the hotels, but confine their
efforts to securing meals without paying for them.  They get into the
dining-rooms along with the crowd at the meal hour, and once in and
seated at the table are generally safe.  Some two years ago as many as
thirty-four of this class were detected at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in a
single month.  These men as they leave the dining-room generally manage
to secure a better hat than that they deposited on the stand in entering.
Under the regime of the Lelands, the Metropolitan Hotel had a colored man
stationed at the door of its dining-room, who proved more than a match
for the most expert thief.

All first class hotels keep private detectives and watchmen on duty at
all hours.  The business of these men is to keep guard over the upper
part of the house, to prevent thieves from entering and robbing the rooms
of the guests.  Suspicious persons are at once apprehended, and required
to give an account of themselves.  Some queer mishaps often befall guests
of the house who are not known to the detectives.

Bold robberies are often effected at the hotels of the city.  Some time
ago a thief was captured at the St. Nicholas, and upon being searched a
gold watch and chain, and five different parcels of money were found upon
him, all of which were identified by guests as their property.



XVIII.  IMPOSTORS.


There is no city in the Union in which impostors of all kinds flourish so
well as in New York.  The immense size of the city, the heterogeneous
character of its population, and the great variety of the interests and
pursuits of the people, are all so many advantages to the cheat and
swindler.  It would require a volume to detail the tricks of these
people, and some of their adventures would equal anything to be found in
the annals of romance.  All manner of tricks are practised upon the
unsuspecting, and generally the perpetrator escapes without punishment.
They come here from all parts of the country, and indeed from all parts
of the world, in the hope of reaping a rich harvest, and the majority end
by eking out a miserable existence in a manner which even the police who
watch them so closely are sometimes unable to understand.

They find their way into all classes.  One cannot mingle much in society
here without meeting some bewhiskered, mysterious individual, who claims
to be of noble birth.  Sometimes he palms himself off as a political
exile, sometimes he is travelling, and is so charmed with New York that
he makes it his headquarters, and sometimes he lets a few friends into
the secret of his rank, and begs that they will not reveal his true
title, as a little unpleasant affair, a mere social scandal in his own
country, made it necessary for him to absent himself for a while.  He
hopes the matter will blow over in a few months, and then he will go
home.  The fashionable New-Yorker, male or female, is powerless against
the charms of aristocracy.  The "foreign nobleman" is welcomed
everywhere, feted, petted, and allowed almost any privilege he chooses to
claim--and he is far from being very modest in this respect; and by and
by he is found out to be an impostor, probably the valet of some
gentleman of rank in Europe.  Then society holds up its hands in holy
horror, and vows it always did suspect him.  The men in society are weak
enough in this respect; but the women are most frequently the victims.

Not long since, a handsome, well got up Englishman came to New York on a
brief visit.  He called himself Lord Richard X---.  Society received him
with open arms.  Invitations were showered upon him.  Brown's hands were
always full of cards for his Lordship.  The women went wild over him,
especially since it was whispered that the young man was heir to a
property worth ever so many millions of pounds.  In short, his Lordship
found himself so popular, and hints of his departure were received with
such disfavor by his new found friends, that he concluded to extend his
stay in New York indefinitely.  He made a fine show, and his toilettes,
turnouts, and presents were magnificent.  The men did not fancy him.  He
was too haughty and uncivil, but the ladies found him intensely
agreeable.  It was whispered by his male acquaintances that he was a good
hand at borrowing, and that he was remarkably lucky at cards and at the
races.  One or two of the large faro banks of the city were certainly the
losers by his visits.  The ladies, however, were indignant at such
stories.  His Lordship was divine.  All the women were crazy after him,
and any of them would have taken him at the first offer.

By and by the newspapers began to take notice of the young man, and
boldly asserted that there was no such name as Lord Richard X--- in the
British peerage.  Society laughed at this, and declared that everybody
but ignorant newspaper men was aware that the published lists of titled
personages in England were notoriously incomplete.

Meanwhile, his Lordship played his cards well, and it was soon announced
that he was "to be married shortly to a well-known belle of Fifth
avenue."  The women were green with jealousy, and the men, I think, were
not a little relieved to find that the lion did not intend devouring all
the Fifth avenue belles.  The marriage came off in due season; the
wedding-presents fairly poured in, and were magnificent.  The new Lady
X--- was at the summit of her felicity, and was the envied of all who
knew her.  The happy pair departed on their honeymoon, but his Lordship
made no effort to return home to England.

During their absence, it leaked out that Lord X--- was an impostor.
Creditors began to pour in upon his father-in-law with anxious inquiries
after his Lordship, against whom they held heavy accounts.  Proofs of the
imposture were numerous and indisputable, and the newspapers declared
that Lord X--- would not dare to show his face again in New York.
Everybody was laughing at the result of the affair.

What passed between the father-in-law and the young couple is not known;
but the bride decided to cling to her husband in spite of the imposture.
Father-in-law was a prudent and a sensitive man, and very rich.  For his
daughter's sake, he accepted the situation.  He paid Lord X---'s debts,
laughed at the charge of imposture, and spoke warmly to every one he met
of the great happiness of his "dear children, Lord and Lady X---."  On
their return to the city, he received them with a grand party, at which
all Fifth avenue was present, and, though he could not silence the
comments of society, he succeeded in retaining for his children their
places in the world of fashion.  He was a nabob, and he knew the power of
his wealth.  He shook his purse in the face of society, and commanded it
to continue to recognize the impostor as Lord X---, and society meekly
obeyed him.

Impostures of this kind do not always terminate so fortunately for the
parties concerned.  New York gossip has many a well-authenticated story
of foreign counts and lords, who have set society in a flutter, and have
married some foolish, trusting woman, only to be detected when it was too
late to prevent the trouble.  Some of these scoundrels have been proved
to be married men already, and the consequences of their falsehood have,
of course, been more serious to the bride.  Others again do not enter the
matrimonial market at all, but use their arts to secure loans from their
new acquaintances.  Not long since a foreigner, calling himself a Russian
Count, and claiming to be sent here on a mission connected with the
Russian navy, succeeded in borrowing from some credulous acquaintances,
who were dazzled by his pretended rank, sums ranging from $500 to $2000,
and amounting in the aggregate to $30,000.  When the time of payment
arrived, the Count had disappeared, and it was ascertained that he had
escaped to Europe.

Impostors of other kinds are numerous.  Men and women are always to be
found in the city, seeking aid for some charitable institution, with
which they claim to be connected.  They carry memorandum books and
pencils, in the former of which the donor is requested to inscribe his
name and the amount of his gift, in order that it may be acknowledged in
due form by the proper officers of the institution.  Small favors are
thankfully received, and they depart, assuring you in the most humble and
sanctimonious manner that "the Lord loveth a cheerful giver."  If you
cannot give to-day, they are willing to call to-morrow--next week--any
time that may suit your convenience.  You cannot insult them by a sharp
refusal, or in any way, for like Uriah Heep they are always "so 'umble."
You find it hard to suspect them, but, in truth, they are the most
genuine impostors to be met with in the city.  They are soliciting money
for themselves alone, and have no connection with any charitable
institution whatever.

One-armed, or one-legged beggars, whose missing member, sound as your
own, is strapped to their bodies so as to be safely out of sight, women
wishing to bury their husbands or children, women with hired babies, and
sundry other objects calculated to excite your pity, meet you at every
step.  They are vagabonds.  God knows there is misery enough in this
great city, but how to tell it from barefaced imposture, is perplexing
and harassing to a charitably disposed person.  Nine out of ten street
beggars in New York are unworthy objects, and to give to them is simply
to encourage vagrancy; and yet to know how to discriminate.  That would
be valuable knowledge to many people in the great city.

In the fall of 1870, a middle aged woman committed suicide in New York.
For some months she had pursued a singular career in the great city, and
had literally lived by her wits.  While her main object was to live
comfortably at other people's expense, she also devoted herself to an
attempt to acquire property without paying for it.  She arrived in New
York in the spring of 1868, and took lodgings at an up-town hotel.  She
brought no baggage, but assured the clerk that her trunks had been
unjustly detained by a boarding house keeper in Boston with whom she had
had a difficulty.  She succeeded in winning the confidence of the clerk,
and told him that she had just come into possession of a fortune of one
million dollars, left her by a rich relative, and that she had come to
New York to purchase a home.  She completely deceived the clerk, who
vouched for her respectability and responsibility, and thus satisfied the
proprietor of the hotel.  She made the acquaintance of nearly all the
resident guests of the house, and so won their sympathy and confidence
that she was able to borrow from them considerable sums of money.  In
this way she lived from house to house, making payments on account only
when obliged to do so, and when she could no longer remain at the hotels,
she took up her quarters at a private boarding house, passing thence to
another, and so on.  She spent two years in this way, borrowing money
continually, and paying very little for her board.

In pursuance of her plan to acquire real estate without paying for it,
she made her appearance in the market as a purchaser.  In the summer of
1870, she obtained permits of one of the leading real estate agents of
the city to examine property in his hands for sale, and finally selected
a house on Madison avenue.  The price asked was $100,000, but she coolly
declared her readiness to pay the full amount in cash as soon as the
necessary deeds could be prepared.  The real estate dealer was completely
deceived by her seeming frankness, and assured her that he would give his
personal attention to the details of the transaction, so that her
interests would not suffer, and a day was agreed upon for the completion
of the purchase.

The woman then assumed a confidential tone, and told the gentleman of her
immense fortune.  She was absolutely alone in the city, she said, without
relatives or friends to whom she could apply for advice in the management
of her property, and she urged him to become her trustee and manage the
estate for her, offering him a liberal compensation for his services.
Her object was to make him her trustee, induce him to act for her in the
purchase of the house, and involve him so far as to secure the success of
her scheme for getting possession of the property.  The dealer, however,
thanked her for her preference, but assured her that it was impossible
for him to accept her proposition, as he had made it a rule never to act
as trustee for any one.  He did not in the least suspect her real design,
and but for this previous and fixed determination would have acceded to
her request.  Finding that she could not shake his resolution, the lady
took her departure, promising to return on the day appointed for the
payment of the purchase money.

At the time designated, the deeds were ready, and the real estate agent
and the owner of the Madison avenue mansion awaited the coming of the
lady; but she did not appear, and, after a lapse of several days, the two
gentlemen concluded they had been victimized, and then the true character
of the trusteeship he had been asked to assume broke upon the real estate
agent.  The audacity and skill of the scheme fairly staggered him.

After the failure of this scheme, the woman tried several others of a
similar character, with the same success.  In October, 1870, a city
newspaper, having obtained information respecting her transactions from
some of her victims, published an account of her career.  The next day
she committed suicide, and was found dead in her bed.

Not long since a city lawyer, whom we shall call Smith, and who is much
given to the procuring of patent divorces for dissatisfied husbands and
wives, was visited by a richly dressed lady, who informed him that she
was Mrs. P---, the wife of Mr. P---, of Fifth avenue, and that she wished
to retain his services in procuring a divorce from her husband, on the
ground of ill treatment.  Mr. P--- was personally a stranger to the
lawyer, who knew him, however, as a man of great wealth.  Visions of a
heavy fee flashed before him, and he encouraged the lady to make a full
statement of her grievances, promising to do his best to secure the
desired divorce in the shortest possible time.  He made full notes of her
statement, and assured her that he felt confident that he would be able
to obtain not only the divorce, but a very large sum as alimony.  In
reply to her question as to his charge for his services, he replied:

"Well, I ought to charge you $1000, but out of consideration for your
sufferings, I will only take a retainer of $100, and when we have gained
our suit, you will pay me $500 additional."

"That is very reasonable," said the lady, "and I accept the terms.
Unfortunately, I have nothing with me but a check for $200, given me by
my husband this morning to use in shopping.  I shall only need half of
it, and if you could get it cashed for me--but, no matter, I'll call
to-morrow, and make the payment."

Smith, who had seen the millionaire's heavy signature at the bottom of
the cheek, thought he had better make sure of his retainer, and offered
to accept the check on the spot.  He had just $100 in his pocket, and
this he gave to the lady who handed him the check, with the urgent
entreaty that he would not betray her to her husband.

"He shall know nothing of the matter until it is too late for him to harm
you," said the lawyer, gallantly, as he bowed his fair client out of the
office.

It was after three o'clock, and Smith was forced to wait until the next
morning before presenting his check at the bank on which it was drawn.
Then, to his astonishment, the teller informed him that the signature of
Mr. P--- was a forgery.  Thoroughly incensed, Smith hastened to the
office of the millionaire, and, laying the check before him, informed him
that his wife had been guilty of forging his name, and that he must make
the check good, or the lady would be exposed and punished.  The
millionaire listened blandly, stroking his whiskers musingly, and when
the lawyer paused, overcome with excitement, quietly informed him that he
was sorry for him, but that he, Mr. P---, had the misfortune to be
without a wife.  He had been a widower for five years.

How Smith found his way into the street again, he could never tell, but
he went back to his work a sadder and a wiser man, musing upon the
trickiness of mankind in general, and of women in particular.

                     [Picture: THE SOLDIER MINSTREL.]



XIX.  STREET MUSICIANS.


It would be interesting to know the number of street musicians to be
found in New York.  Judging from outward appearances, it must be their
most profitable field, for one cannot walk two blocks in any part of the
city without hearing one or more musical instruments in full blast.  A
few are good and in perfect tone, but the majority emit only the most
horrible discords.

Prominent among the street musicians are the organ grinders, who in
former days monopolized the business.  They are mostly Italians, though
one sees among them Germans, Frenchmen, Swiss, and even Englishmen and
Irishmen.  Against these people there seems to be an especial, and a not
very reasonable prejudice.  A lady, eminent for her good deeds among the
poor of the Five Points, once said, "There is no reason why an organ
grinder should be regarded as an altogether discreditable member of the
community; his vocation is better than that of begging, and he certainly
works hard enough for the pennies thrown to him, lugging his big box
around the city from morning until night."  To this good word for the
organ grinder it may be added that he is generally an inoffensive person,
who attends closely to his business during the day, and rarely ever falls
into the hands of the police.  Furthermore, however much grown people
with musical tastes may be annoyed, the organ grinders furnish an immense
amount of amusement and pleasure to the children; and in some of the more
wretched sections provide all the music that the little ones ever hear.

Very few of them own their organs.  There are several firms in the city
who manufacture or import hand organs, and from these the majority of the
grinders rent their instruments.  The rent varies from two to twenty
dollars per month, the last sum being paid for the French flute organs,
which are the best.  The owners of the instruments generally manage to
inspire the grinders with a profound terror of them, so that few
instruments are carried off unlawfully, and, after all, the organ
grinders are more unfortunate than dishonest.

Organ grinding in New York was once a very profitable business, and even
now pays well in some instances.  Some of the grinding fraternity have
made money.  One of these was Francisco Ferrari, who came to this city
ten years ago.  He invested the money he brought with him in a hand organ
and a monkey, and in about five years made money enough to return to
Italy and purchase a small farm.  He was not content in his native land,
however, and soon returned to New York with his family and resumed his
old trade.  He is said to be worth about twenty thousand dollars.

At present, in fair weather, a man with a good flute organ can generally
make from two to five dollars a day.  Those who have the best and
sweetest toned instruments seek the better neighborhoods, where they are
always sure of an audience of children whose parents pay well.  Some of
these musicians earn as much as ten and fifteen dollars in a single day.
In bad weather, however, they are forced to be idle, as a good organ
cannot be exposed to the weather at such times without being injured.

A monkey is a great advantage to the grinder, as the animal, if clever,
is sure to draw out a host of pennies from the crowd which never fails to
gather around it.  The monkey is generally the property of the grinder.
It is his pet, and it is interesting to see the amount of affection which
exists between the two.  If the grinder is a married man, or has a
daughter or sister, she generally accompanies him in his rounds.
Sometimes girls and women make regular business engagements of this kind
with the grinders, and receive for their services in beating the
tambourine, or soliciting money from the bystanders, a certain fixed
proportion of the earnings of the day.

If the organ grinder be successful in his business, he has every
opportunity for saving his money.  Apart from the rent of his organ, his
expenses are slight.  Few, however, save very much, as but few are able
to earn the large sums we have mentioned.  The grinders pay from five to
eight dollars per month for their rooms, and they and their families live
principally upon macaroni.  They use but a single room for all purposes,
and, no matter how many are to be provided with sleeping accommodations,
manage to get along in some way.  As a general rule, they are better off
here than they were in their own country, for poverty has been their lot
in both.  Their wants are simple, and they can live comfortably on an
amazingly small sum.  The better class of Italians keep their apartments
as neat as possible.  Children of a genial clime, they are fond of
warmth, and the temperature of their rooms stands at a stage which would
suffocate an American.  They are very exclusive, and herd by themselves
in a section of the Five Points.  Baxter and Park and the adjoining
streets are taken up to a great extent with Italians.

This is the life of the fortunate members of the class.  There are many,
however, who are not so lucky.  These are the owners or renters of the
majority of the street organs, the vile, discordant instruments which set
all of one's nerves a tingling.  They earn comparatively little, and are
not tolerated by the irate householders whose tastes they offend.  The
police treat them with but small consideration.  The poor wretches are
nearly always in want, and soon full into vagrancy, and some into vice
and crime.  Some of them are worthless vagabonds, and nearly all the
Italians accused of crime in the city are included in their number.  One
of these men is to be seen on the Bowery at almost any time.  He seats
himself on the pavement, with his legs tucked under him, and turns the
crank of an instrument which seems to be a doleful compromise between a
music box and an accordion.  In front of this machine is a tin box for
pennies, and by the side of it is a card on which is printed an appeal to
the charitable.  At night a flickering tallow dip sheds a dismal glare
around.  The man's head is tied up in a piece of white muslin, his eyes
are closed, and his face and posture are expressive of the most intense
misery.  He turns the crank slowly, and the organ groans and moans in the
most ludicrously mournful manner.  At one side of the queer instrument
sits a woman with a babe at her breast, on the other side sits a little
boy, and a second boy squats on the ground in front.  Not a sound is
uttered by any of the group, who are arranged with genuine skill.  Their
whole attitude is expressive of the most fearful misery.  The groans of
the organ cannot fail to attract attention, and there are few
kind-hearted persons who can resist the sight.  Their pennies and
ten-cent stamps are showered into the tin box, which is never allowed to
contain more than two or three pennies.  The man is an Italian, and is
said by the police to be a worthless vagabond.  Yet he is one of the most
successful musicians of his class in the city.

The arrangements of a street organ being entirely automatic, any one who
can turn a crank can manage one of these instruments.  Another class of
street musicians are required to possess a certain amount of musical
skill in order to be successful.  These are the strolling harpers and
violinists.  Like the organ grinders, they are Italians.  Very few of
them earn much money, and the majority live in want and misery.

Some of these strollers are men, or half-grown youths, and are excellent
performers.  The best of them frequent Broadway, Wall and Broad streets,
and the up-town neighborhoods.  At night they haunt the localities of the
hotels.  They constitute one of the pleasantest features of the street,
for their music is good and well worth listening to.  They generally reap
a harvest of pennies and fractional currency.  They form the aristocratic
portion of the street minstrel class, and are the envy of their less
fortunate rivals.

The vast majority of the strolling harpers and violinists are children;
generally boys below the age of sixteen.  They are chiefly Italians,
though a few Swiss, French and Germans are to be found among them.  They
are commonly to be found in the streets in pairs; but sometimes three
work together, and again only one is to be found.  There are several
hundreds of these children on the streets.  Dirty, wan, shrunken,
monkey-faced little creatures they are.  Between them and other children
lies a deep gulf, across which they gaze wistfully at the sports and joys
that may not be theirs.  All day long, and late into the night, they must
ply their dreary trade.

Although natives of the land of song, they have little or no musical
talent, as a class, and the majority of them are furnished with harps and
violins from which not even Orpheus himself could bring harmony.  Not a
few of the little ones endeavor to make up in dancing what they lack in
musical skill.  They work energetically at their instruments, but they do
no more than produce the vilest discord.  At the best, their music is
worthless, and their voices have a cracked, harsh, monotonous sound; but
the sound of them is also very sad, and often brings a penny into the
outstretched hand.

At all hours of the day, and until late at night you may hear their music
along the street, and listen to their sad young voices going up to the
ear that is always open to them.  They are half clothed, half fed, and
their filthiness is painful to behold.  They sleep in fair weather under
a door-step or in some passage way or cellar, or in a box or hogshead on
the street, and in the winter huddle together in the cold and darkness of
their sleeping places, for we cannot call them homes, and long for the
morning to come.  The cold weather is very hard upon them, they love the
warm sunshine, and during the season of ice and snow are in a constant
state of semi-torpor.  You see them on the street, in their thin, ragged
garments, so much overpowered by the cold that they can scarcely strike
or utter a note.  Sometimes a kind-hearted saloon-keeper will permit them
to warm themselves at his stove for a moment or two.  These are the
bright periods in their dark lives, for as a general rule they are forced
to remain on the street from early morning until late at night.

A recent writer, well informed on the subject, says: "It is a cruelty to
encourage these children with a gift of money, for instead of such gifts
inuring to their benefit, they are extracted for the support of cruel and
selfish parents and taskmasters."  This is true, but the gift is a
benefit to the child, nevertheless.  These children have parents or
relatives engaged in the same business, who require them to bring in a
certain sum of money at the end of the day, and if they do not make up
the amount they are received with blows and curses, and are refused the
meagre suppers of which they are so much in need, or are turned into the
streets to pass the night.  The poor little wretches come crowding into
the Five Points from nine o'clock until midnight, staggering under their
heavy harps, those who have not made up the required sum sobbing bitterly
in anticipation of the treatment in store for them.  Give them a penny or
two, should they ask it, reader.  You will not miss it.  It will go to
the brutal parent or taskmaster, it is true, but it will give the little
monkey-faced minstrel a supper, and save him from a beating.  It is more
to them than to you, and it will do you no harm for the recording angel
to write opposite the follies and sins of your life, that you cast one
gleam of sunshine into the heart of one of these children.

A number of Italian gentlemen resident in New York have generously
devoted themselves to the task of bettering the lot of these little ones,
and many of those who formerly lived on the streets are now in attendance
upon the Italian schools of the city.  Yet great is the suffering amongst
those who have not been reached by these efforts.  Only one or two years
ago there were several wretches living in the city who carried on a
regular business of importing children from Tuscany and Naples, and
putting them on the streets here as beggars, musicians, and thieves.
They half starved the little creatures, and forced them to steal as well
as beg, and converted the girls into outcasts at the earliest possible
age.  The newspapers at length obtained information respecting these
practices, and by exposing them, drew the attention of the civil
authorities to them.  One of the scoundrels, named Antonelli, was
arrested, tried, and sentenced to the penitentiary, and the infamous
business was broken up.  The police authorities are possessed of
information which justifies them in asserting that some Italian children
fare quite as badly at the hands of their own parents.  There have been
several instances where Italian fathers have made a practice of hiring
out their daughters for purposes of prostitution, while they were yet
mere children.

As a rule, the future of these little folks is very sad.  The Italian and
the Mission schools in the Five Points and similar sections of the city
are doing much for them, but the vast majority are growing up in
ignorance.  Without education, with an early and constant familiarity
with want, misery, brutality and crime, the little minstrels rarely "come
to any good."  The girls grow up to lives of sin and shame, and many
fortunately die young.  The boys too often become thieves, vagrants, and
assassins.  Everybody condemns them.  They are forced onward in their sad
career by all the machinery of modern civilization, and they are helpless
to ward off their ruin.

During one of the heavy snows of a recent winter, a child harper trudged
wearily down the Fifth avenue, on his way to the Five Points, where he
was to pass the night.  It was intensely cold, and the little fellow's
strength was so exhausted by fatigue and the bleak night wind that he
staggered under the weight of his harp.  At length he sat down on the
steps of a splendid mansion to rest himself.  The house was brilliantly
lighted, and he looked around timidly as he seated himself, expecting the
usual command to move off.  No one noticed him, however, and he leaned
wearily against the balustrade, and gazed at the handsome windows through
which the rich, warm light streamed out into the wintry air.  As he sat
there, strains of exquisite music, and the sounds of dancing, floated out
into the night.  The little fellow clasped his hands in ecstasy and
listened.  He had never heard such melody, and it made his heart ache to
think how poor and mean was his own minstrelsy compared with that with
which his ears were now ravished.  The wind blew fierce and keen down the
grand street, whirling the snow about in blinding clouds, but the boy
neither saw nor heard the strife of the elements.  He heard only the
exquisite melody that came floating out to him from the warm, luxurious
mansion, and which grew sweeter and richer every moment.  The cold, hard
street became more and more indistinct to him, and he sat very still with
his hands clasped and his eyes closed.

The ball ended towards the small hours of the morning, and the clatter of
carriages dashing up to the door of the mansion gave the signal to the
guests that it was time to depart.  No one had seen the odd-looking
bundle that lay on the street steps, half buried in the snow, and which
might have lain there until the morning had not some one stumbled over it
in descending to the carriages.  With a half curse, one of the men
stooped down to examine the strange object, and found that the bundle of
rags and filth contained the unconscious form of a child.  The harp,
which lay beside him, told his story.  He was one of the little outcasts
of the streets.  Scorning to handle such an object, the man touched him
with his foot to arouse him, thinking he had fallen asleep.  Alas! it was
the eternal sleep.



XX.  THE CENTRAL PARK.


Though of comparatively recent date, the Central Park, the chief pleasure
ground of New York, has reached a degree of perfection in the beauty and
variety of its attractions, that has made it an object of pride with the
citizens of the metropolis.

For many years previous to its commencement, the want of a park was
severely felt in New York.  There was literally no place on the island
where the people could obtain fresh air and pleasant exercise.  Harlem
lane and the Bloomingdale road were dusty and disagreeable, and moreover
were open only to those who could afford the expense of keeping or hiring
a conveyance.  People of moderate means, and the laboring classes were
obliged to leave the city to obtain such recreation.  All classes agreed
that a park was a necessity, and all were aware that such a place of
resort would have to be constructed by artificial means.

The first step taken in the matter was by Mayor Kingsland, who, on the
5th of April 1851, submitted a message to the Common Council, setting
forth the necessity of a park, and urging that measures be taken at once
for securing a suitable site, before the island should be covered with
streets and buildings.  The message was referred to a select committee,
who reported in favor of purchasing a tract of 150 acres, known as
Jones's Woods, lying between Sixty-sixth and Seventy-fifth streets, and
Third avenue and the East River.  There was a strong pressure brought to
bear upon the City Government to secure the purchase of this tract,
although the citizens as a rule ridiculed the idea of providing a park of
only 150 acres for a city whose population would soon be 1,000,000.  Yet
the Jones's Wood tract came very near being decided upon, and the
purchase was only prevented by a quarrel between two members of the
Legislature from the City of New York, and the city was saved from a
mistake which would have been fatal to its hopes.  On the 5th of August,
1851, a committee was appointed by the Legislature to examine whether a
more suitable location for a park could be found, and the result of the
inquiry was the selection and purchase of the site now known as the
Central Park, the bill for that purpose passing the Legislature on the
23d of July, 1853.

                 [Picture: VIEW FROM THE UPPER TERRACE.]

In November, 1853, Commissioners were appointed to assess the value of
the land taken for the park, and on the 5th of February, 1856, their
report was confirmed by the City Government.  In May, 1856, the Common
Council appointed the first Board of Commissioners, with power to select
and carry out a definite plan for the construction of the park.  This
Board consisted of the Mayor and Street Commissioner, who were _ex
officio_ members, Washington Irving, George Bancroft, James E. Cooley,
Charles F. Briggs, James Phalen, Charles A. Dana, Stewart Brown and
others.  The designs submitted by Messrs. Frederick L. Olmstead and C.
Vaux were accepted, and have since been substantially carried out.  The
surveys had previously been made by a corps of engineers, at the head of
which was Mr., now General Egbert L. Viele.

The task before the architects and Commissioners was an arduous one.
With the exception of making a few hollows, and throwing up a few rocks
and bluffs, nature had done nothing for this part of the island.  It was
bleak, dreary and sickly.  "The southern portion was already a part of
the straggling suburbs of the city, and a suburb more filthy, squalid and
disgusting can hardly be imagined.  A considerable number of its
inhabitants were engaged in occupations which are nuisances in the eye of
the law; and were consequently followed at night in wretched hovels,
half-hidden among the rocks, where also heaps of cinders, brickbats,
potsherds, and other rubbish were deposited.  The grading of streets
through and across it had been commenced, and the rude embankments and
ragged rock-excavations thus created added much to the natural
irregularities of its surface.  Large reaches of stagnant water made the
aspect yet more repulsive; and so ubiquitous were the rocks that it is
said, not a square rood could be found throughout which a crowbar could
be thrust its length into the ground without encountering them.  To
complete the miseries of the scene, the wretched squatters had, in the
process of time, ruthlessly denuded it of all its vegetation except a
miserable tangled underbrush."

Looking around now upon the beautiful landscape, with its exquisite lawns
and shrubbery, its picturesque hills, and romantic walks and drives, its
sparkling lakes, cascades and fountains, it is hard to realize that so
much loveliness was preceded by such hideousness.

                 [Picture: FOOT-BRIDGE IN CENTRAL PARK.]

The Central Park, so called because it is situated almost in the centre
of the island of Manhattan, is a parallelogram in shape, and lies between
Fifty-ninth street on the south, and One-hundred-and-tenth street on the
north, the Fifth avenue on the east, and the Eighth avenue on the west.
It covers an area of 843 acres, and is about two and a half miles long,
by half a mile wide.  There are nine miles of carriage drives, four miles
of bridle roads, and twenty-five miles of walks within its limits.  It is
the second park in the Union in size; the Fairmount Park at Philadelphia
being the largest.  It is larger than any city park in Europe, with the
exception of the Bois de Boulogne at Paris, the Prater at Vienna, and the
Phoenix at Dublin.  A rocky ridge, which traverses the whole island,
passes through almost the exact centre of the grounds, and has afforded a
means of rendering the scenery most beautiful and diversified.  A part of
the grounds forms a miniature Alpine region; another part is the
perfection of water scenery; and still another stretches away in one of
the loveliest lawns in the world.  The soil will nurture almost any kind
of tree, shrub, or plant; and more than one hundred and sixty thousand
trees and shrubs of all kinds have been planted, and the work is still
going on.  Any of the principal walks will conduct the visitor all over
the grounds, and afford him a fine view of the principal objects of
interest.

The park is divided into two main sections, known as the Upper and Lower
Parks, the two being separated by the immense Croton Reservoirs, which
occupy the central portion of the grounds.  Thus far the Lower Park has
received the greatest amount of ornamentation.  It is a miracle of
exquisite landscape gardening.  Its principal features are its lawns, the
Pond, the Lake, the Mall, the Terrace, the Ramble, and the Museum of
Natural History.  The main entrances are on Fifty-ninth street, those at
the Fifth and Eighth avenues being for vehicles, equestrians, and
pedestrians, and those at the Sixth and Seventh avenues for pedestrians
only.  All these entrances will ultimately be ornamented with magnificent
gateways.  Paths leading from them converge at the handsome Marble Arch
at the lower end of the Mall.

Near the Fifth avenue gate is a fine bronze colossal bust of Alexander
Von Humboldt, the work of Professor Blaiser of Berlin, which was
presented to the park by the German citizens of New York, and inaugurated
on the 14th of September, 1869, the one-hundredth anniversary of the
birth of the great man.

Near the Eighth avenue gate is a bronze statue of Commerce, the gift of
Mr. Stephen B. Guion.

At the extreme southern end of the park, and between the Fifth and Sixth
avenue gates, is a small, irregular sheet of water, lying in a deep
hollow.  The surrounding hills have been improved with great taste, and
the pond and its surroundings constitute one of the prettiest features of
the park.  The water consists mainly of the natural drainage of the
ground.

Along the Fifth avenue side of the park, near Sixty-fourth street, is a
large and peculiar-looking building, not unlike the cadet barracks at
West Point.  This was formerly used by the State as an arsenal, but was
purchased by the city, in 1856, for the sum of $275,000.  It has been
recently fitted up as a Museum of Natural History, and the first, second,
and third floors contain the magnificent collection of the American
Museum Association.  This collection is in charge of Professor Bickmore,
and includes 12,000 birds, 1000 mammals, 3000 reptiles and fishes, and a
large number of insects and corals.  It is the largest and most perfect
collection in the country.  The famous collection of the Archduke
Maximilian forms the nucleus of this one.

In the top floor of the Museum building is the Meteorological Observatory
of the Central Park, under charge of Professor Daniel Draper.  Here are
ingenious and interesting instruments for measuring the velocity and
direction of the wind, the fall of rain and snow, and for ascertaining
the variation of the temperature, etc.  The establishment is very
complete, and a portion of it is open to visitors.  The basement floors
of the building are occupied by the offices of the Central Park
authorities, and a police station.

                       [Picture: THE MARBLE ARCH.]

The open space surrounding the Museum edifice is taken up with buildings
and cages containing the living animals, birds, and reptiles of the
collection.  They are admirably arranged, and the occupants are all fine
specimens of their species.  These accommodations are only temporary, as
the Commissioners are now engaged in the construction of a Zoological
Garden, on Eighth avenue, between Seventy-seventh and Eighty-first
streets, immediately opposite the park, with which it will be connected
by means of a tunnel under the Eighth avenue.

Just north of the pond, and on the high ground above it, is a pretty
gothic structure of stone, known as _The Dairy_.  It is contiguous to the
South Transverse Road, and supplies may be taken to it without using the
park thoroughfares.  Pure milk and refreshments, especially such as are
suited to children, may be obtained at a moderate cost.

A short distance from the Dairy is the children's summer house, near
which is a cottage with toilette rooms, closets, etc., for the use of
ladies and children.  Near by are a number of self-acting swings, and a
little to the north is the Carrousel, a circular building, containing a
number of hobby-horses, which are made to gallop around in a circle by
the turning of a crank in the centre of the machine.  To the west of this
building is the base-ball ground, covering some forty or fifty acres.  A
commodious brick cottage has been erected here for the accommodation of
the ball players.

The paths from the Fifty-ninth street gates converge at the Marble Arch,
which lies a little to the northeast of the Dairy.  This is one of the
most beautiful and costly structures in the park, and consists entirely
of marble.  Its purpose is to carry the main carriage drive over the
foot-path without interrupting the level, and at the same time to furnish
a pleasant access from the lower level of the Southwest Park to the Mall.
A broad double stairway, to the right and left, leads from the Mall to
the interior of the Arch.  On either side runs a marble bench, on which,
in the summer, the visitor may sit and enjoy the delightful coolness of
the place; and opposite the upper end of the Arch, beyond the stairway,
is a niche, around which is a marble bench.  In the centre is a drinking
fountain.

The Mall extends from the Marble Arch to the Terrace.  It constitutes the
grand promenade of the park, and near its upper end is the handsome music
stand, from which concerts are given by the Central Park Band, on
Saturday afternoons during the mild season.  The Mall is about 1200 feet
long by 200 feet wide.  In the centre is a promenade, thirty-five feet
wide.  The remainder is laid out in lawns, and is shaded by four rows of
American elms.  The Mall terminates on the north in a spacious square or
plaza, which is ornamented with two pretty revolving fountains, and a
number of bird cages mounted on pedestals.  In the spring and summer,
numerous vases of flowers are placed here.  On concert days, the upper
part of the Mall is covered with rustic seats shaded by canvass awnings,
where the visitor may sit and listen to the music.  At such times, a
large programme of the performance is posted on a movable frame placed
opposite the music stand.  These concerts are very good, and draw large
audiences.

To the west of the Mall is a beautiful lawn, called the Green, covering
fifteen acres, and terminated on the northwest by a hill, on the summit
of which is placed a gaudy building in which artificial mineral waters
are sold.

Along the northeastern side of the Mall, and elevated about twenty feet
above it, is a rustic bower of iron trellis work, over which are trained
wisterias, honeysuckle, and rose vines.  This is the Vine-covered Walk,
and from it visitors may overlook the Terrace, Lake, Ramble, and Mall.

Adjoining it on the east is an open square, in which carriages only are
allowed.  Across this square is the Casino, a handsome brick cottage,
used as a ladies' restaurant.  The fare here is good, and the prices are
moderate.  The establishment is conducted by private parties under the
supervision of the Commissioners.

In the grounds in the rear of the Casino, is a fine group of figures in
sandstone, called "Auld Lang Syne," the work of Robert Thomson, the
self-taught sculptor, and a little to the southeast of this is a bronze
statue of Professor Morse, erected by the Telegraph Operators'
Association, and executed by Byron M. Pickett.

           [Picture: VINE-COVERED WALK, OVERLOOKING THE MALL.]

At the northern end of the Mall is the Terrace, and between the two is a
magnificent screen work of Albert freestone, in which are two openings
whereby persons can leave their carriages and enter the Mall, or from it
can cross the drive and reach the stairs leading to the Lower Terrace.  A
flight of massive stairs leads directly from the Mall to the arcade or
hall under the drive, through which the visitor may pass to the Lower
Terrace, which is on the same level.  This hall is paved, and the walls
and ceiling are inlaid with beautiful designs in encaustic tiles.  It is
now used as a refreshment room.  The Terrace is constructed almost
entirely of Albert freestone, and is very massive and beautiful in
design.  It is elaborately and exquisitely carved with appropriate
figures and emblems, some of which are very quaint.  Our engraving will
give the reader a fair idea of its appearance from the water.  In the
summer, the slope adjoining the Terrace is studded with flowers, which
give to the scene a very brilliant effect.

In the centre of the Lower Terrace is a large basin from the midst of
which rises a fine jet of water.  This fountain is to be ornamented with
magnificent bronze castings, now on their way from Munich, where they
were made.

The Central Lake washes the northern end of the Lower Terrace, and
stretches away from it to the east and west.  It is without doubt the
most beautiful feature of the park.  It covers between twenty and thirty
acres, and is as pretty a sheet of water as can be found in the country.
Upon its upper side are the wooded heights of the Ramble, which in some
places slope down gently to the water's edge, and in others jut out into
the lake in bold, rocky headlands.  The magnificent Terrace, with its
fountain and flowers, and carvings, adorns the southeastern portion.  To
the west of the Terrace the lake narrows very greatly, and is spanned by
a light iron structure, called the Bow Bridge, from its peculiar shape.
It is used for pedestrians only.  Heavy vases filled with trailing
flowers adorn its abutments, and from this it is sometimes called the
Flower Bridge.  The western part of the lake is a lovely sheet of water,
and comprises more than two-thirds of the whole lake.  Its northwestern
end is spanned by a handsome stone bridge, which carries the drive across
that part of the lake, and close by is another, picturesquely constructed
of wood, which conducts a foot-path across the head of the lake.

At the Terrace there is a boat-house, in which is to be found the manager
of the fleet of pleasure boats which dot the surface of the water.  The
regular fare around the lake in the omnibus or public boats is ten cents.
Persons may hire a boat for their private use on the payment of a
moderate sum.  They may either make the circuit of the lake in these
boats, or may leave them at any of the six pretty boat-houses which are
arranged at convenient points on the shore.  The popularity of these
boats may be judged from the fact that in 1869, 126,000 persons used
them.

Whole fleets of snow-white swans are constantly sailing through the
waters.  They are among the finest specimens of their species in
existence.  At the opening of the park twelve of these birds were
presented to the Commissioners by the city of Hamburg in Germany.  Nine
of these died, and twelve more were presented by the same city.  Fifty
others were given by some gentlemen in London.  Of the original
seventy-four, twenty-eight died, and the remaining forty-six with their
progeny form one of the pleasantest attractions of the lake.  A number of
white ducks have been added to the collection.  All the birds are quite
tame, and come readily to the call.

On a bright moonlight night in the summer, the scene to be witnessed on
the lake is brilliant.  The clear waters gleam like polished steel in the
moonlight, and are dotted in every direction with pleasure boats, each of
which carries a red or blue light; the swans sail majestically up and
down in groups; on every side is heard the dash of oars, and the sound of
laughter and happy voices; and the air is heavily laden with the perfume
of the flowers along the shore.  No sight or sound of the great city is
at hand to disturb you, and you may lie back in your boat with half shut
eyes, and think yourself in fairyland.

              [Picture: THE TERRACE, AS SEEN FROM THE LAKE.]

In the winter the scene is different.  Huge houses are erected on the
shores of all the sheets of water in the park, and are provided with
sitting-rooms, fires, restaurants, and counters at which skates may be
hired for a trifling sum.  The water is lowered to a depth sufficient to
prevent the occurrence of any serious accident in case the ice should
break, and the ice itself is carefully watched, and is scraped smooth
after the sports of the day are over.  Rotten ice is quickly detected and
marked with a sign bearing the word "Danger."  When the ice is in
suitable condition, a red ball is hoisted on the Arsenal, and little
white flags, on which is printed a similar ball, are affixed to the cars
running between the park and the lower part of the city.  Then the
pleasure seekers come out in throngs, and soon the ice is crowded.  At
night the lakes are lighted by numerous gas jets with powerful
reflectors, placed along the shore.  The Central Lake at such times is a
sight worth seeing.  The Commissioners prepare a code of liberal rules
for the government of skaters, and post them at conspicuous points.  All
persons going on the ice are required to comply with them, on pain of
exclusion from the sport.

To the east of the Central Lake, and along the Fifth avenue side, is a
small pond, on the verge of which a large Conservatory, which is to be
one of the principal ornaments of the park, is now in course of erection.

On the heights to the north of the lake lies the Ramble, which covers an
area of about thirty-six acres, and is a labyrinth of wooded walks,
abounding in the prettiest rustic nooks, with tiny bridges over little
brooks, wild flowers and vines, and bits of lawn, and rock work, all so
naturally and simply arranged that it is hard to believe it is not the
work of nature.  It is one of the most beautiful portions of the park.

At the northern end of the Ramble rises a fine gothic stone tower, which
forms a prominent feature in almost any view of the park.  This is the
Belvedere, and is intended to serve as an observatory from which the
entire park may be seen at a glance.  The rock upon which it stands is
the highest point in the park.

                   [Picture: VIEW ON THE CENTRAL LAKE.]

At the foot of this tower are the Croton Reservoirs.  There are two of
them.  The old or lower one is a parallelogram in form, covering an area
of thirty-one acres, and capable of holding 150,000,000 gallons of water.
The new reservoir lies to the north of the old, and is separated from it
by a transverse road.  It is a massive structure of granite, irregular in
form, and extends almost entirely across the park.  It covers an area of
106 acres, and will hold 1,000,000,000 gallons of water.  Thus the two
reservoirs take 136 acres from the park.  The landscape gardeners have so
arranged them that they constitute a very attractive feature of the
landscape.

North of the new reservoir is the Upper Park.  This has been less
improved than the Lower Park, but is naturally very beautiful.  A large
part of it is taken up with the great ravine formerly known as McGowan's
Pass.  It was through this wild glen that the beaten and disheartened
fragments of the American army escaped from the city of New York after
their disastrous rout at the battle of Long Island.  Close by they were
rallied in time to make a stand at Harlem Plains.  On the hills in the
extreme northern part of the park are still to be seen the remains of a
series of earthworks, which have been carefully turfed over, and on one
of these heights, known as The Bluff, is an old stone structure said to
have been used as a block-house or magazine during the war of 1812-15.  A
small part of the "old Boston Road" is still to be seen in this portion
of the park, and in the distance a view is to be obtained of the High
Bridge, the Heights of Westchester county, and the Palisades, on the New
Jersey shore of the Hudson, while Washington Heights rise boldly to the
northward.  To the eastward one may see the white sails of the vessels in
Long Island Sound, and get a faint glimpse of the town of Flushing, on
Long Island, and New Rochelle, on the mainland, while nearer are Hell
Gate, the picturesque East and Harlem rivers, with their islands and
public buildings, and the lovely little village of Astoria.

The park occupies the centre of the island, from north to south, for a
distance of two miles and a half.  The cross streets do not extend
through it, and all vehicles of a business nature are excluded from the
pleasure drives.  It was foreseen from the first that it would be
necessary to provide means of communication between the eastern and
western sides of the island, without compelling wagons and trucks to pass
around the upper or lower ends of the enclosure.  At the same time it was
felt to be desirable to make these roads as private as possible, so that
the beauty of the park should not be marred by them, or by the long
trains of wagons, carts, and such other vehicles as would pass over them.
The genius of the constructing engineers soon settled this difficulty.  A
system of transverse roads was adopted and carried out.  There are four
of them, and they cross the park at Sixty-fifth, Seventy-ninth,
Eighty-fifth, and Ninety-seventh streets.  They are sunken considerably
below the general level of the park, and are securely walled in with
masonry.  Vines, trees, and shrubbery are planted and carefully trained
along the edges of these walls, which conceal the roads from view.  The
visitors, by means of archways or bridges, pass over these roads,
catching but a momentary glimpse of them in some places, and in utter
ignorance of them in others.

Near the northeastern end of the park is an elevation known as Mount St.
Vincent.  It is crowned with a large rambling structure principally of
wood, to which is attached a fine brick chapel.  The building was
originally used as a Roman Catholic Seminary for young men.  It is now a
restaurant, kept by private parties under the control of the
Commissioners.  The chapel is used as a gallery of sculpture, and
contains the models of the works of the sculptor Thomas Crawford.  They
were presented to the city by his widow in 1860.

Just below this hill is the North Lake, into which flows a stream noted
for its beauty.

At the Fifth and Eighth Avenue gates are the stations of the Park
Omnibuses.  These are controlled by the Commissioners, and transport
passengers through the entire park for the sum of twenty-five cents.
They are open, and afford every facility for seeing the beauties of the
place.

The original cost of the land included within the park was $5,028,884,
and up to the close of the year 1869, there had been expended upon it an
additional sum of $5,775,387; making the total cost of the park, up to
January 1st, 1870, $10,804,271.  Since that time it has cost about
$1,000,000 additional.

The park is controlled by the Commissioners of the Department of Public
Parks.  The principal executive officer is the President.  The discipline
prescribed for the employes is very rigid.  A force of special policemen,
who may be recognized by their gray uniforms, has been placed on duty in
the park, with the same powers and duties as the Metropolitan Police.
One of these is always on duty at each gateway, to direct visitors and
furnish information, as well as to prevent vehicles from entering the
grounds at too rapid a rate.  Others of the force are scattered through
the grounds at such convenient distances that one of them is always
within call.  None of the employes are allowed to ask or to receive pay
for their services.  Their wages are liberal.  When an article is found
by any of the employes of the park, it is his duty to carry it to the
property clerk at the Arsenal, where it can be identified and recovered
by the rightful owner.

Improper conduct of all kinds is forbidden, and promptly checked.
Visitors are requested not to walk on the grass, except in those places
where the word "Common" is posted; not to pick flowers, leaves, or
shrubs, or in any way deface the foliage; not to throw stones or other
missiles, not to scratch or deface the masonry or carving; and not to
harm or feed the birds.

No one is allowed to offer anything for sale within the limits of the
enclosure, without a special licence from the Commissioners.  There are
several hotels, or restaurants, in the grounds.  These are conducted in
first-class style by persons of responsibility and character.  Private
closets for men, which may be distinguished by the sign, "For Gentlemen
only," are located at convenient points throughout the park, and cottages
for ladies and children are as numerous.  These latter are each in charge
of a female attendant, whose duty it is to wait upon visitors, and to
care for them, in case of sudden illness, until medical aid can be
procured.

The establishment of the park has been a great blessing to all classes,
but especially to the poor.  It places within reach of the latter a great
pleasure ground, where they may come and enjoy their holidays, and obtain
the fresh air and bodily and mental enjoyment of which they are deprived
in their quarters of the city.  In mild weather they come here in
throngs, with their families, and on Sundays the park is crowded with
thousands who formerly passed the day in drunkenness or vice.  The
Commissioners have no trouble in enforcing their rules.  All classes are
proud of the park, and all observe the strictest decorum here.  No crime
or act of lawlessness has ever been committed within the limits of the
Central Park since it was thrown open to the public.  The popularity of
the place is attested by the annual number of visitors.  During the year
1870, 3,494,877 pedestrians, 75,511 equestrians, 1,616,935 vehicles, and
234 velocipedes, passed within the park gates.  The total number of
persons that entered the park during that year, including drivers and the
occupants of carriages, was 8,421,427.



XXI.  THE DETECTIVES.


I.  THE REGULAR FORCE.


The Detective Corps of New York consists of twenty-five men, under the
command of a Captain, or Chief.  Though they really constitute a part of
the Municipal Police Force, and are subject to the control of the
Commissioners and higher officers of that body, the detectives have a
practically distinct organization.  The members of this corps are men of
experience, intelligence, and energy.  These qualities are indispensable
to success in their profession.  It requires an unusual amount of
intelligence to make a good Detective.  The man must be honest,
determined, brave, and complete master over every feeling of his nature.
He must also be capable of great endurance, of great fertility of
resource, and possessed of no little ingenuity.  He has to adopt all
kinds of disguises, incur great personal risks, and is often subjected to
temptations which only an honest man can resist.  It is said that the
Detective's familiarity with crime is in itself a great temptation, and
often leads him from the path of right.  However this may be, it is
certain that a member of the New York force committing an act savoring of
dishonesty is punished by immediate expulsion from his post.

The Detectives have a special department assigned them at the Police
Head-quarters in Mulberry street.  There they may be found when not on
duty, and the Chief, when not in his office, is always represented by
some member of the corps.  They are kept quite busy.  The strangers who
visit the city throw an immense amount of work upon the Detectives.
These people often get drunk over night, and frequent houses of bad
repute, where they are robbed.  They naturally invoke the aid of the
police in seeking to recover their property.  Frequently, by making a
plain statement of their cases, they recover their money or valuables,
through the assistance of the Detectives.  Sometimes the stolen property
cannot be regained at all.  These people, as a rule, refuse to prosecute
the thieves, and declare their determination to submit to the loss rather
than endure the publicity which would attend a prosecution.  Thus the
Detectives are forced to compound felonies.  The injured party refuses to
prosecute, and the Detective knows that to make an arrest in the case
would simply be to take trouble for nothing.  Consequently, if the
plunder is returned, the thief is allowed to escape without punishment.

None but those whose duty it is to search out and punish crime, can tell
how much the administration of justice is embarrassed, how much the
officers of the law are hampered, and how greatly their labors are
increased by the refusal of respectable persons to prosecute criminals.
These refusals are not confined to those who seek to avoid such an
exposure as is mentioned above.  Merchants and bankers who have been
robbed by thieves, seem to care for nothing but the recovery of their
money or property.  They will even sacrifice a portion of this to regain
the remainder.  The Detective may fairly work up his case, and fasten the
crime upon the perpetrator, but he is not sure of meeting with the
cooperation upon the part of the injured person that he has a right to
demand.  The thief seeing that an arrest is inevitable, may offer to
return a part or the whole of the property on condition of his being
allowed to escape.  In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the proposal is
accepted.  The merchant recovers his property, and immediately exerts
himself to secure the escape of the thief.  He refuses to prosecute the
wretch, or if the prosecution is carried on in spite of him, his evidence
amounts to nothing.  He has protected his own interests, and he cares
nothing for society or justice.  He throws his whole influence against
both, and aids the thief, in going free, to commit the same crime in
another quarter.  The Detectives complain, and with justice, that it is
of no use for them to arrest a burglar where the stolen property can be
recovered.  If persons who have been wronged in this way would refuse all
proposals for a compromise, and would endeavor to secure the punishment
of the offender, the criminal class would be wonderfully thinned out, and
the Detectives would not, as now, be obliged to arrest the same person
over and over again, only to see him go free every time.

In June, 1870, a gentleman, passing through Bleecker street, on his way
home, at two o'clock in the morning, was knocked down and robbed of his
watch and money.  He was struck with such violence by the highwayman that
his jaw was permanently injured.  He was very eloquent in his complaints
of the inefficiency of a police system which left one of the principal
streets of the city so unguarded, and was loud in his demands for the
punishment of his assailant, and the recovery of the property stolen from
him.  The best Detectives in the force were put in charge of the case,
and the highwayman was tracked, discovered and arrested.  The friends of
the culprit at once returned the stolen property to its owner, and
promised to reward him liberally if he would not press the prosecution of
their comrade, who was one of the leading members of a notorious and
dangerous gang of ruffians from whose depredations the city had been
suffering for some time.  The offer was accepted, and the gentleman
flatly refused to prosecute, and when compelled by the authorities to
state under oath, whether the prisoner was the man who had robbed him,
became so doubtful and hesitating that his identification was worth
nothing.  This, too, in the face of his previous assertion that he could
readily identify the criminal.  In spite of his misconduct, however,
there was evidence enough submitted to secure the conviction of the
prisoner, who was sentenced to an imprisonment of ten years.

The Detectives are in constant telegraphic communication with other
cities, and intelligence of crimes committed is being constantly received
and transmitted.  Criminals arrested for serious offences are
photographed, and their pictures placed in the collection known as the
"Rogues' Gallery."  These likenesses are shown to strangers only under
certain restrictions, but they aid the force not a little in their
efforts to discover criminals.  The amount of crime annually brought to
light by the Detectives is startling, but it does not exhibit all the
evil doings of the great city.  "The Police Commissioners of New York,"
says Mr. Edward Crapsey, "have never had the courage to inform the public
of the number of burglaries and robberies annually committed in the
metropolis; but enough is known in a general way for us to be certain
that there are hundreds of these crimes committed of which the public is
not told.  The rule is to keep secret all such affairs when an arrest
does not follow the offence, and hardly any police official will venture
to claim that the arrest occurs in more than a moiety of the cases.
There are hundreds of such crimes every year where the criminal is not
detected, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property stolen
of which the police never find a trace."

The individuality of crime is remarkable.  Each burglar has a distinct
method of conducting his operations, and the experienced Detective can
recognize these marks or characteristics as he would the features of the
offender.  Thanks to this experience, which comes only with long and
patient study, he is rarely at a loss to name the perpetrator of a crime
if that person be a "professional."  Appearances which have no
significance for the mere outsider are pregnant with meaning to him.  He
can determine with absolute certainty whether the mischief has been done
by skilled or unskilled hands, and he can gather up and link together
evidences which entirely escape the unpractised eye.  He rejects nothing
as unimportant until he has tested it, and is able to conduct his search
in a systematic manner, which in the majority of cases is crowned with
success.

A few years ago a man came into one of the police stations of the city,
and complained that his house had been robbed.  He had pursued the thief
without success, but the latter had dropped a chisel, and had torn up and
thrown away a piece of paper in his flight.  The captain commanding the
station and an experienced Detective were present when the complaint was
made.  They carefully examined the owner of the house as to the mode by
which the entrance had been effected, the marks left by the tools, the
kind of property taken, and the action and bearing of the thief while
running away.  When these facts were laid before them, the two officers,
without a moment's hesitation, concluded that the robbery had been
committed by a certain gang of thieves well known to them.  This settled,
it became necessary to identify the individual or individuals belonging
to this gang, by whom the robbery had been committed.  The chisel was
examined, but it could give no clue.  The house-owner had fortunately
secured the bits of paper which the thief had thrown away.  The officers
spread a layer of mucilage over a sheet of paper, and on this fitted the
scraps which were given them.  This at once disclosed the name of the
robber, who was well known to the police as a member of the gang to whom
the officers attributed the robbery.  Their suspicions were at once
confirmed, and the next step was to make the arrest.  The Detective said
that the thief would certainly be at one of three places, which he named.
Three policemen were accordingly sent after him, one to each of the
places named, and in an hour or two the culprit was safely lodged in the
station-house.

It would require a volume to relate the incidents connected with the
exploits of the Detective Corps of New York.  Sometimes the search for a
criminal is swift and short, and the guilty parties are utterly
confounded by the suddenness of their detection and apprehension.
Sometimes the search is long and toilsome, involving the greatest
personal danger, and abounding in romance and adventure.  Some of the
best established incidents of this kind would be regarded simply as
Munchausen stories, were they related without the authority upon which
they rest.  Such adventures are well known to the reading public, and I
pass them by here.

But the Detectives are not always successful in their efforts.  If they
are ingenious and full of resource, the criminals they seek are equally
so, and they find their best efforts foiled and brought to naught by the
skill of this class in "covering up their tracks."  To my mind the most
interesting cases are not those in which the Detective's labors have been
crowned with success, but those in which he has been baffled and
perplexed at every step, and which to-day remain as deeply shrouded in
mystery as at the time of their occurrence.

Inspector James Leonard, in the spring of 1869, related the following
case to Mr. Edward Crapsey, in whose words it is presented here:

"One spring morning, during the first year of the war, a barrel of pitch
was found to have disappeared from a Jersey City pier, and the porter in
charge, when reporting the fact to his employers, took occasion to speak
of the river-thieves in no very complimentary terms.

"On the same day, Ada Ricard, a woman of nomadic habits and dubious
status, but of marvellous beauty, suddenly left her hotel in New York,
without taking the trouble to announce her departure or state her
destination.  The clerks of the house only remarked that some women had
queer ways.

"A few days after these simultaneous events, the same porter who had
mourned the lost pitch, happening to look down from the end of his pier
when the tide was out, saw a small and shapely human foot protruding
above the waters of the North River.  It was a singular circumstance, for
the bodies of the drowned never float in such fashion; but the porter,
not stopping to speculate upon it, procured the necessary assistance, and
proceeded to land the body.  It came up unusually heavy, and when at last
brought to the surface, was found to be made fast by a rope around the
waist to the missing barrel of pitch.  There was a gag securely fastened
in the mouth, and these two circumstances were positive evidence that
murder had been done.

"When the body was landed upon the pier, it was found to be in a
tolerable state of preservation, although there were conclusive signs
that it had been in the water for some time.  It was the body of a
female, entirely nude, with the exception of an embroidered linen chemise
and one lisle-thread stocking, two sizes larger than the foot, but
exactly fitting the full-rounded limb.  The face and contour of the form
were, therefore, fully exposed to examination, and proved to be those of
a woman who must have been very handsome.  There was the cicatrice of an
old wound on a lower limb, but otherwise there was no spot or blemish
upon the body.

"In due time the body was buried; but the head was removed, and preserved
in the office of the city physician, with the hope that it might be the
means of establishing the identity of the dead, and leading to the
detection of the murderer.

"The police on both sides of the river were intensely interested in the
case; but they found themselves impotent before that head of a woman, who
seemed to have never been seen upon earth in life.  They could do
nothing, therefore, but wait patiently for whatever developments time
might bring.

"Chance finally led to the desired identification.  A gentleman who had
known her intimately for two years, happening to see the head, at once
declared it to be that of Ada Ricard.  The Detectives eagerly clutched at
this thread, and were soon in possession of the coincidence in time of
her disappearance and that of the barrel of pitch to which the body was
lashed.  They further found that, since that time, she had not been seen
in the city, nor could any trace of her be discovered in other sections
of the country, through correspondence with the police authorities of
distant cities.  They had thus a woman lost and a body found, and the
case was considered to be in a most promising condition.

"The next step was to establish the identity by the testimony of those
who had known the missing woman most intimately.  The Detectives,
therefore, instituted a search, which was finally successful, for Charles
Ricard, her putative husband.  He had not lived with her for some time,
and had not even seen or heard of her for months; but his recollection
was perfect, and he gave a very minute statement of her distinguishing
marks.  He remembered that she had persisted in wearing a pair of very
heavy earrings, until their weight had slit one of her ears entirely, and
the other nearly so, and that, as a consequence, both ears had been
pierced a second time, and unusually high up.  He regretted that her
splendid array of teeth had been marred by the loss of one upon the left
side of the mouth, and told how a wound had been received, whose
cicatrice appeared upon one of her limbs, stating exactly its location.
He dwelt with some pride upon the fact that she had been forced, by the
unusual development, to wear stockings too large for her feet, and gave a
general description of hair, cast of face, height, and weight that was
valuable, because minute.

"When he gave this statement he was not aware of the death of his wife,
or of the finding of her body, and without being informed of either fact
he was taken to Jersey City, and suddenly confronted with the head.  The
instant he saw it he sank into a chair in horror.

"His statement having been compared with the head and the record of the
body, the similitude was found to be exact, except as to the teeth.  The
head had one tooth missing on each side of the mouth, and this fact
having been called to his attention, Ricard insisted that she had lost
but one when he last saw her, but it was highly probable the other had
been forced out in the struggle which robbed her of her life, and the
physician, for the first time making a minute examination, found that the
tooth upon the right side had been forced from its place, but was still
adhering to the gum.  He easily pushed it back to its proper position,
and there was the head without a discrepancy between it and the
description of Ada Ricard.

"The Detectives found other witnesses, and among them the hair-dresser
who had acted in that capacity for Ada Ricard during many months, who, in
common with all the others, fully confirmed the evidence of Charles
Ricard.  The identity of the murdered woman was therefore established
beyond question.

"Naturally the next step was to solve the mystery of her death.  The
Detectives went to work with unusual caution, but persisted in the task
they had assigned themselves, and were slowly gathering the shreds of her
life, to weave from them a thread that would lead to the author of her
tragical death, when they were suddenly 'floored,' to use their own
energetic expression.  Ada Ricard herself appeared at a down-town New
York hotel, in perfect health and unscathed in person.

"The explanation was simple.  The whim had suddenly seized her to go to
New Orleans; and she had gone without leave-taking or warning.  It was no
unusual incident in her wandering life, and her speedy return was due
only to the fact that she found the Southern city only a military camp
under the iron rule of General Butler, and therefore an unprofitable
field for her.

"The ghastly head became more of a mystery than before.  The baffled
Detectives could again only look at it helplessly, and send descriptions
of it over the country.  At last it was seen by a woman named Callahan,
living in Boston, who was in search of a daughter who had gone astray.
She instantly pronounced it to be that of her child, and she was
corroborated by all the members of her family and several of her
neighbors.  The identification was no less specific than before, and the
perplexed authorities, glad at last to know something certainly, gave
Mrs. Callahan an order for the body.  Before, however, she had completed
her arrangements for its transfer to Boston, a message reached her from
the daughter, who was lying sick in Bellevue Hospital, and so the head
once more became a mystery.  And such it has always remained.  The body
told that a female who had been delicately reared, who had fared
sumptuously, and had been arrayed in costly fabrics, had been foully done
to death, just as she was stepping into the dawn of womanhood--and that
is all that is known.  Her name, her station, her history, her virtues,
or it may be, her frailties, all went down with her life, and were
irrevocably lost.  There is every probability that her case will always
be classed as unfinished business."

On Friday, July 20th, 1870, Mr. Benjamin Nathan, a wealthy Jewish
resident of New York, was foully and mysteriously murdered in his own
dwelling by an unknown assassin.  All the circumstances of the case were
so mysterious, so horribly dramatic, that the public interest was wrought
up to the highest pitch.

Mr. Nathan was a millionaire, a banker and citizen of irreproachable
character, well known for his benevolence, and highly esteemed for his
personal qualities.  His residence stood on the south side of
Twenty-third street, one door west of Fifth Avenue, and immediately
opposite the Fifth Avenue Hotel, in one of the most desirable and
fashionable neighborhoods of the city.  The mansion itself was palatial,
and its owner had not only surrounded himself with every luxury, but had
taken every precaution to exclude housebreakers and thieves.  But a short
time before his death, he remarked to a friend that he believed that his
house was as secure as a dwelling could be made.

On the night of the 28th of July, Mr. Nathan slept at his residence, his
family, with the exception of two of his sons, being then at their
country-seat in New Jersey, where they were passing the summer.  One of
these sons accompanied his father to his sleeping room towards eleven
o'clock, but the other, coming in later, and finding his father asleep,
passed to his chamber without saying "good-night," as was his custom.

On the morning of the 29th, at six o'clock, Mr. Washington Nathan
descended from his chamber to call his father to a devotional duty of the
day.  Entering the chamber of the latter, a most appalling spectacle met
his view.  His father was lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood,
dead, with five ghastly wounds upon his head.  The young man at once
summoned his brother Frederick, and the two together rushed to the street
door and gave the alarm.  The police were soon on the spot, and, taking
possession of the house, they prepared to investigate the horrid affair.
The newspapers spread the intelligence over the city, and the murder
created the profoundest interest and uneasiness on the part of the
citizens.  All classes felt an interest in it, for it had been committed
within the sacred precincts of the dead man's home, where he believed
himself to be safe.  If a murderer could reach him there, men asked, who
could tell who would not be the next victim.  This feeling of insecurity
was widespread, and the whole community demanded of the police
extraordinary efforts in tracking and securing the assassin.

The Superintendent of Police at that time was Captain John Jourdan, who
was acknowledged to be the most accomplished detective on the Continent,
and his principal assistant was Captain James Kelso (the present
Superintendent), who was regarded as next to Jourdan in ability.  These
two officers at once repaired to the Nathan mansion, and took personal
charge of the case.

At the first glance Jourdan pronounced the murder to be the work of a
thief.  The house was carefully searched.  The room bore evidences of a
struggle between the dead man and his assassin, and three diamond studs,
a sum of money, a Perregaux watch, No. 5657, and the key of a small safe,
had been stolen from the clothing of the dead man which had been hung on
a chair placed at some distance from the bed.  The safe stood in the
library beside the door opening into the bed room.  Jourdan's theory was
that the thief, having stolen the watch and other articles from the
clothing, had gone to the safe to open it, and had aroused Mr. Nathan by
the noise he made in opening it.  Alarmed by this noise, Mr. Nathan had
sprung from his bed, and at the same moment the thief had raised himself
up from his kneeling posture, with his face toward Mr. Nathan, and
lighted up by a small gas jet which was burning in the chamber.  The two
men had met in the doorway between the rooms, and the thief, seeing
himself identified, had struck Mr. Nathan a blow with a short iron bar
curved at the ends, and known as a ship carpenter's "dog."  A struggle
ensued, which resulted in the murder, the assassin striking his victim on
the head nine times with terrible force.  Then, rifling the safe of its
valuable contents, he had gone stealthily down the stairs, had unfastened
the front door, which had been carefully secured at half an hour after
midnight, and, laying the "dog" down on the hall floor, had passed out
into the street.  His object in carrying the "dog" to the place where it
was found by the police had been to be prepared to make sure of his
escape by striking down any one whom he might chance to meet in the hall.
Once in the street, the assassin had disappeared in safety.

Both Jourdan and Kelso were agreed that this theory of the commission of
the crime was correct, and this led to the inevitable conclusion that the
murder was the work of an "outsider," that is, of some one not properly
belonging to the criminal class.  The weapon with which the murder had
been committed was one which the Detectives had never before encountered
in the annals of crime, and its appearance indicated long use in its
legitimate sphere.  No burglar or professional thief would have used it,
and none of the inmates of the house recognized it as belonging to the
mansion.  Again, the professional thief would have despatched his victim
with more speed and less brutality.  There was not the slightest sign of
the thief having forced an entrance into the mansion, and the most rigid
search failed to reveal the mark of a burglar's tool on any of the doors
or windows.  This fact warranted the conclusion that the murderer had
secreted himself in the house during the day.  From the first Jourdan was
convinced that the assassin was one of a class who pursue an honest trade
during the day, and seek to fill their pockets more rapidly by committing
robberies at night.  From this conviction he never wavered.

As he stood by the side of the murdered man, Jourdan recognized the
difficulty of the task of finding the assassin.  The "dog" bewildered
him.  Had the weapon been any kind of a burglar's tool, or anything that
any description of thief had ever been known to use, he would have been
able to trace it to some one in the city; but the facts of the case
plainly indicated that the assassin was an "outsider," and even Jourdan
and Kelso were at a loss to know how to proceed to find him.

At the time of the murder, the only inmates of the house were Washington
and Frederick Nathan, sons of the dead man, and Mrs. Kelly, the
housekeeper, and her grown son, William Kelly.  Had the murder been
committed by any of these they must of necessity have stolen the missing
articles, and as they had not left the house, must have destroyed or
concealed them on the premises.  Without the knowledge of these persons,
Jourdan caused a rigid and thorough search of the house and lot to be
made from cellar to garret.  Every crack and crevice, every nook and
corner was rigidly and minutely searched by experienced persons.  Even
the furniture and carpets were examined, the flooring of the stable was
taken up, the water-tank was emptied, the basins, closets, and
waste-pipes of the house were flushed, and the street-sewers were
examined for a long distance from the house, but no trace of the missing
articles could be found; nor could any mark of the "dog" be discovered
anywhere save on the body of the victim.  One by one, the inmates of the
house were subjected to the most searching cross-examination, and within
six hours after the discovery of the deed, Captain Jourdan was satisfied
that the inmates of the mansion were entirely innocent of the crime.  The
evidence drawn out by the inquest subsequently confirmed the innocence of
these parties.

The only clew left by the assassin was the "dog."  At the inquest, the
policeman on the beat swore that when he passed the house on his rounds
at half-past four A.M., he tried both front doors, and that they were
fastened, and that when he passed again a little before six o'clock, he
noticed that the hall-door was closed.  Another witness testified that
about five o'clock, a man in a laborer's dress, carrying a dinner-pail,
ascended the steps of the Nathan mansion, picked up a paper from the
topmost step, and passed on down the street.  The introduction of this
man in the laborer's dress but deepened the mystery and increased the
labors of the Detectives.

The entire police force of the city was set to work watching the
pawn-shops and jewelry stores where the thief might try to dispose of the
stolen property.  Every ship-yard and boat-yard was searched for the
identification of the "dog," but without success, and almost every
mechanical establishment in the city where the instrument could have been
used, was subjected to the same inspection, but without discovering
anything.  A list of the missing property, and the marks by which it
could be identified, was given to the public and telegraphed all over the
Union.  Captain Jourdan declared that it was well to have as many people
as possible looking for these articles.  Every known or suspected
criminal in the city was waited on by the police, and required to give an
account of himself on the night of the murder, and it is said that there
was a general exodus of the professional thieves from New York.  The ten
days immediately succeeding the murder were singularly free from crime,
so close was the espionage exercised over the criminals by the police.

It is safe to assert that the police never made such exertions in all
their history, to secure a criminal, as in this case.  Every sensible
suggestion was acted upon, no matter by whom tendered.  Neither labor nor
expense was spared, and all with the same result.  Captain Jourdan
literally sank under his extraordinary exertions, his death, which
occurred on the 10th of October, 1870, being the result of his severe and
exhausting labors in this case.  His successor, Superintendent Kelso, has
been equally energetic, but thus far--nearly two years after the
commission of the deed--no more is known concerning it than was presented
to Jourdan and Kelso as they stood in the chamber of death, and nothing
has occurred to destroy or shake their original theory respecting the
murderer and his mode of committing the deed.  The mystery which
enshrouded it on that sad July morning still hangs over it unbroken.



II.  PRIVATE DETECTIVES.


The Detectives, whose ways we have been considering, are sworn officers
of the law, and it is their prime duty to secure the arrest and
imprisonment of offenders.  There is another class of men in the city who
are sometimes confounded with the regular force, but who really make it
their business to screen criminals from punishment.  These men are called
Private Detectives.  Their task consists in tracing and recovering stolen
property, watching suspected persons when hired to do so, and
manufacturing such evidence in suits and private cases as they may be
employed to furnish.

There are several "Private Detective Agencies" in the city, all of which
are conducted on very much the same principles and plan, and for the same
purpose--to make money for the proprietors.  Mr. Edward Crapsey, to whom
I am indebted for much of the information contained in this chapter, thus
describes a well-known Agency of this kind:

"The visitor going up the broad stairs, finds himself in a large room,
which is plainly the main office of the concern.  There is a desk with
the authoritative hedge of an iron railing, behind which sits a furrowed
man, who looks an animated cork-screw, and who, the inquiring visitor
soon discovers, can't speak above a whisper, or at least don't.  This
mysterious person is always mistaken for the chief of the establishment,
but, in fact, he is nothing but the 'Secretary,' and holds his place by
reason of a marvellous capacity for drawing people out of themselves.  A
mystery, he is surrounded with mysteries.  The doors upon his right and
left--one of which is occasionally opened just far enough to permit a
very diminutive call-boy to be squeezed through--seem to lead to
unexplored regions.  But stranger than even the clerk, or the undefined
but yet perfectly tangible weirdness of the doors is the tinkling of a
sepulchral bell, and the responsive tramp of a heavy-heeled boot.  And
strangest of all is a huge black board whereon are marked the figures
from one to twenty, over some of which the word 'Out' is written; and the
visitor notices with ever-increasing wonder that the tinkling of the bell
and the heavy-heeled tramp are usually followed by the mysterious
secretary's scrawling 'Out' over another number, being apparently incited
thereto by a whisper of the ghostly call-boy who is squeezed through a
crack in the door for that purpose.  The door which the call-boy abjures
is always slightly ajar, and at the aperture there is generally a wolfish
eye glaring so steadily and rapaciously into the office as to raise a
suspicion that beasts of prey are crouching behind that forbidding door.

"Nor is the resulting alarm entirely groundless, for that is the room
where the ferrets of the house who assume the name of Detectives, but are
more significantly called 'shadows,' are hidden from the prying eyes of
the world.  A 'shadow' here is a mere numeral--No. 1, or something
higher--and obeys cabalistic calls conveyed by bells or speaking-tubes,
by which devices the stranger patron is convinced of the potency of the
Detective Agency which moves in such mysterious ways to perform its
wonders.  If any doubt were left by all this paraphernalia of marvel, it
would be dispelled from the average mind when it came in contact with the
chief conjuror, who is seated in the dim seclusion of a retired room,
fortified by bell-pulls, speaking-tubes, and an owlish expression
intended to be considered as the mirror of taciturn wisdom.  From his
retreat he moves the outside puppets of secretary, shadows, and
call-boys, as the requirements of his patrons, who are admitted singly to
his presence, may demand.  It is he whose hoarse whispers sound
sepulchrally through the tubes, who rings the mysterious bell, and by
such complex means despatches his 'shadows' upon their errands.  It is he
who permits the mildewed men in the other ante-room to be known only by
numbers, and who guards them so carefully from the general view.

"By these assumptions of mystery the chief awes the patrons of his
peculiar calling, of whom there are pretty sure to be several in waiting
during the morning hours.  These applicants for detective assistance
always sit stolidly silent until their separate summons comes to join the
chief, eyeing each other suspiciously and surveying their surroundings
with unconcealed and fitting awe.  One is of bluff and hearty appearance,
but his full face is overcast for the moment with an expression half sad,
half whimsical; it is plain that a conjunction of untoward circumstances
has raised doubts in his mind of the integrity of a business associate,
and he has reluctantly determined to clear or confirm them by means of a
'shadow.'  Next to him is a fidgety furrowed man, bristling with
suspicion in every line of his face, and showing by his air of
indifference to his surroundings that he is a frequenter of the place.
He is in fact one of the best customers of the establishment, as he is
constantly invoking its aid in the petty concerns of his corroded life.
Sometimes it is a wife, daughter, sister, niece, or a mere female
acquaintance he wishes watched; sometimes it is a business partner or a
rival in trade he desires dogged; and he is never so miserable as when
the reports of the agency show his suspicions, whatever they may have
been, to be groundless.  It is but just, however, to the sagacity of the
detectives to remark that he is seldom subjected to such disappointment.
Whatever other foolishness they may commit, these adroit operators never
kill the goose that lays their golden eggs.  Beside this animated
monument of distrust is a portly gentleman, his bearing in every way
suggestive of plethoric pockets.  Paper and pencil in hand, he is
nervously figuring.  He makes no secret of his figures because of his
absorption, and a glance shows that he is correcting the numbers of bonds
and making sure of the amounts they represent.

"It is plain that this last is a victim of a sneak robbery, and, the
unerring scent of the chief selecting him as the most profitable customer
of the morning, he is the first visitor called to an audience.  Large
affairs are quickly despatched, and it is soon arranged how a part of the
property can be recovered and justice cheated of its due.  Very soon a
handbill will be publicly distributed, offering a reward for the return
of the bonds, and it will be signed by the Agency.  The thief will know
exactly what that means, and the affair being closed to mutual
satisfaction, the thief will be at liberty to repeat the operation, which
resulted in reasonable profit and was attended with no risk.

"There is also in the room a sallow, vinegary woman of uncertain years,
and it seems so natural that a man should run away from her, we are not
surprised that, being voluble in her grief, she declares her business to
be the discovery of an absconding husband.  But near her is another and
truer type of outraged womanhood, a wasted young wife, beautiful as ruins
are beautiful, whom a rascal spendthrift has made a martyr to his
selfishness until, patience and hope being exhausted, she is driven to
the last extremity, and seeks by a means at which her nature revolts for
a proof of but one of those numerous violations of the marriage vow which
she feels certain he has committed.  It is a cruel resort, but the law
which permits a man to outrage a woman in almost every other way frowns
upon that one, and she is driven to it as the sole method of release from
an intolerable and degrading bondage.  In such cases as this might
perhaps be found some justification for the existence of private
detectives; but they themselves do not appear to know that they stand in
need of extenuation, and so neglect the opportunity thus presented to
vindicate their necessity by conducting this class of their business
with, even for them, remarkable lack of conscience.  Anxious always to
furnish exactly what is desired, their reports are often lies,
manufactured to suit the occasion, and once furnished they are stoutly
adhered to, even to the last extremity.  Frequently the same Agency is
ready to and does serve both parties to a case with impartial wickedness,
and earns its wages by giving to both precisely the sort of evidence each
requires.  Sometimes it is made to order, with no other foundation than
previous experience in like affairs; but sometimes it has a more solid
basis in fact.  Two men from the same office are often detailed to
'shadow,' one the husband and the other the wife, and it occasionally
happens that they have mastered the spirit of their calling so thoroughly
that they do a little business on private account by 'giving away' each
other.  That is to say, the husband's man informs the wife she is
watched, and gives her a minute description of her 'shadow,' for which
information he of course gets an adequate reward, which the wife's man
likewise earns and receives by doing the same kindly office for the
husband.  In such cases there are generally mutual recriminations between
the watched, which end in a discovery of the double dealing of the
Agency, and not unfrequently in a reconciliation of the estranged couple.
But this rare result, which is not intended by the directing power, is
the sole good purpose these agencies were ever known to serve.  Lord
Mansfield, it must be admitted, once seemed to justify the use of private
detectives in divorce suits, but he was careful to cumber the faint
praise with which he damned them by making honesty in the discharge of
these delicate duties a first essential.  Had he lived to see the
iniquitous perfection the business has now attained, he would undoubtedly
have withheld even that quasi-endorsement of a system naturally at war
with the fundamental principles of justice.

"The waiters in the reception-room are never allowed to state their
wants, or certainly not to leave the place, without being astonished by
the charges made by the detective for attention to their business.
Whatever differences there may be in minor matters, all these
establishments are invariably true to the great purpose of their
existence, and prepare the way for an exorbitant bill by a doleful
explanation of the expenses and risks to be incurred in the special
affair presented, dilating especially upon the rarity and cost of
competent 'shadows.'  Now the principal agencies estimate for them at $10
a day, whereas these disreputable fellows are found in multitudes, and
are rarely paid more than $3 a day as wages; their expenses, paid in
advance by the patron, are allowed them when assigned to duties, as they
frequently are, involving outlay.  The general truth is that these
agencies, being conducted for the avowed purpose of making money, get as
much as possible for doing work, and pay as little as possible for having
it done.  In their general business of espionage they may make perhaps
only a moderate profit on each affair they take in hand; but in the more
delicate branches of compounding felonies and manufacturing witnesses
fancy prices obtain, and the profits are not computable.  It is plain,
knowing of these patrons and prices, that reasonable profit attends upon
the practice of the convenient science of getting without giving, which,
notwithstanding its prosperity and antiquity, is yet an infant in the
perfection it has attained.  Awkward, flimsy, transparent as they ever
were, are yet the tricks and devices of the knaves who never want for a
dollar, never earn an honest one, but never render themselves amenable to
any statute 'in such case made and provided.'  To say that the
master-workmen in roguery who do this sort of thing are awkward and
transparent seems to involve a paradox; but whoever so believes has not
been fully informed as to the amazing gullibility of mankind.  The
average man of business now, as always before, seems to live only to be
swindled by the same specious artifices that gulled his ancestors, and
which will answer to pluck him again almost before the smart of his first
depletion has ceased.  Only by a thorough knowledge of this singular
adaptation of the masses to the purposes of the birds of prey, can we
intelligently account for the vast bevies of the latter which exist, and
are outwardly so sleek as to give evidence of a prosperous condition.
When we know that the 'pocket-book dropper' yet decoys the money even of
the city-bred by his stale device; that the 'gift-enterprises,'
'envelope-game,' and similar thread-bare tricks yet serve to attain the
ends of the sharpers, although the public has been warned scores and
scores of times through the public press, and the swindlers thoroughly
exposed, so that the veriest fool can understand the deception, we need
not be amazed at the success which attends the practice of these arts.
The truth is, that a large proportion of the victims are perfectly aware
that fleecing is intended when they flutter round the bait of the rogues;
but they are allured by the glitter of sudden fortune which it offers,
and bite eagerly with the hope that may be supposed to sustain any
gudgeon of moderate experience of snapping the bait and escaping the
barbed hook.  Human greed is the reliance of the general sharper, and it
has served him to excellent purpose for many years.  But some of these
operators must depend on actuating motives far different from the desire
of gain in money; and chief among them are these private detectives, who
draw their sustenance from meaner and equally unfailing fountains.

"It is not upon record who bestowed a name which is more apt than
designations usually are.  The word detective, taken by itself, implies
one who must descend to questionable shifts to attain justifiable ends;
but with the prefix of private, it means one using a machine permitted to
the exigencies of justice for the purpose of surreptitious personal gain.
Thus used, this agency, which even in honest hands and for lawful ends is
one of doubtful propriety, becomes essentially dangerous and
demoralizing.  Originally an individual enterprise, the last resort of
plausible rascals driven to desperation to evade honest labor, it has
come to be one of associated effort, employing much capital in its
establishment and some capacity in its direction.  All the large
commercial cities are now liberally provided with 'Detective Agencies,'
as they are called, each thoroughly organized, and some of them employing
a large number of 'shadows' to do the business, which in large part they
must first create before it can be done.  The system being perfected and
worked to its utmost capacity, the details of the tasks assumed and the
method of accomplishment are astonishing and alarming to the reflecting
citizen, who has the good name and well-being of the community at heart.
Employed in the mercantile world as supposed guards against loss by
unfaithful associates or employes, and in social life as searchers for
domestic laxness, these two items make up the bulk of the business which
the private detectives profess to do, and through these their pernicious
influence is felt in all the relations of life.  Were they however only
the instruments of rapacious and unreasoning distrust, they might be
suffered to pass without rebuke as evils affecting only those who choose
to meddle with them; but as they go further, and the community fares
worse because they are ever ready to turn a dishonest penny by recovering
stolen property, which they can only do by compounding the crime by which
it had been acquired, it is evident that they are a peril to society in
general no less than a pest to particular classes."



XXII.  WILLIAM B. ASTOR.


MR. WILLIAM B. ASTOR would be unknown to fame were it not for two things.
First, he is "the son of his father," the famous John Jacob Astor.
Second, he is the richest citizen of the United States.  In other
respects, he is a plain, unpretending man, who attends closely to his own
business, and cares nothing for notoriety.

Mr. Astor is the second son of John Jacob Astor, and is about
seventy-three years old.  He was born in New York, in an old-fashioned
brick house which stood on the southern corner of Broadway and Vesey
street, a site at present covered by the Astor House.  He received a
careful education, and upon leaving college was sent by his father to
travel through Europe.  Upon his return he went into business with his
father, and it is said was even more thrifty and energetic in the
management of their affairs than the old gentleman himself.  The severe
affliction of his elder brother made him the principal heir of his
father's vast estate, but he lost no opportunity of bettering his own
condition, and at the death of the elder Astor, he was worth about
$6,000,000 of his own.  About $500,000 of this he had inherited from his
uncle Henry Astor, a wealthy butcher of New York.  His father left him
the bulk of his fortune, which made him the richest man in America, and
since then he has devoted himself with great success to increasing the
amount of his possessions.  His wealth is variously estimated at from
$60,000,000, to $100,000,000.  No one but the fortunate possessor can
tell the exact amount.  The greater part of this is invested in real
estate, much of which is very profitable.  A large part, however, is
unimproved, and brings in no immediate return.  Mr. Astor, however, can
afford to wait, and as there is no better judge of the prospective value
of real estate in New York, he rarely makes a mistake in his purchases.
He invests cautiously, allows others to improve the neighborhoods in
which his property lies, and reaps the benefit of their labors.

In person Mr. Astor is tall and heavily built, with a decided German
look, a dull, unintellectual face, and a cold, reserved manner.  He is
unlike his father in many of his personal traits.  He lives very simply.
His residence is a plain, but substantial-looking brick mansion in
Lafayette Place, adjoining the Astor Library.  He is not very sociable,
but the entertainments given at his house are said to be among the
pleasantest and most elaborate to be met with in the city.  Those who
know the family, however, give the credit of this to Mrs. Astor, an
amiable and accomplished lady, and one eminent for her good deeds.

Mr. Astor attends to his own business.  His office is in Prince street,
just out of Broadway.  It is a plain one-story building, very different
from the offices of most of the rich men of the metropolis.  At ten
o'clock Mr. Astor makes his appearance here.  It is no slight task to
manage so vast an estate, and to direct all its affairs so that they
shall be continually increasing the capital of the owner.  There is
scarcely a laborer in the city who works harder than the master of this
office.  He transacts all business connected with his estate, and is as
cold and curt in his manner as can well be imagined.  He wastes neither
words nor time, and few persons find him an agreeable man to deal with.
He is perfectly informed respecting every detail of his vast business,
and it is impossible to deceive him.  No tenant can make the slightest
improvement, change, or repair in his property without Mr. Astor's
consent, except at his own expense.  He is accessible to all who have
business with him, but he sees no one else during his working hours.  At
four o'clock he leaves his office, and sets out for home on foot.  He
rarely rides, this walk being his principal exercise.  He is hale and
hearty in constitution, looks much younger than he really is, and will
doubtless live to be fully as old as his father was at the time of his
death.

Mr. Astor is not regarded as a liberal man by his fellow-citizens, but
this reputation is not altogether deserved.  His friends say that he
gives liberally when he gives at all.  They add that he has a horror of
subscription lists and solicitors of donations, and that he turns a deaf
ear to common beggars.  He makes it a rule never to give anything during
business hours.  If a case interests him, he investigates it thoroughly,
and if it is found worthy of aid, he gives generously, but quietly.  The
truth is, that like all rich men, he is beset by a host of beggars of
every class and description.  Were he to grant every appeal addressed to
him, his vast fortune would melt away in a few years.  He must
discriminate, and he has his own way of doing it.

Mr. Astor married a daughter of General Armstrong, the Secretary of War
in Mr. Madison's cabinet.  He has two sons, who are themselves fathers of
families.  They are John Jacob and William B. Astor, Jr.  He has also
several daughters, all married.  The sons reside on Fifth avenue.  They
are in active business for themselves.  John Jacob, the elder, is a
large-framed, heavy-boned man, and resembles his father.  William B.
Astor, Jr., is a small, slim man, and resembles his mother.  They are
much more sociable than their father, inheriting much of the genial
vivacity of their grandfather, who was very fond of the pleasures of
society.  They are shrewd, energetic business men, and it is said are
very wealthy, independent of their father.  Mr. John Jacob Astor entered
the United States Army during the civil war, and saw considerable active
service on the staff of General McClellan.



XXIII.  FASHIONABLE SHOPPING.


The fashionable retail stores of New York lie chiefly along Broadway,
between the St. Nicholas Hotel and Thirty-fourth street.  A few are to be
found in the cross streets leading from the great thoroughfare, and some
are in the Sixth avenue, but Broadway almost monopolizes the fashionable
retail trade of the city.  All the large stores are conducted on the same
general plan, the main object of which is to secure the greatest
convenience and comfort for the purchaser, and the greatest dispatch and
promptness on the part of the employes.  The leading stores of the city
have an established reputation with the citizens.  They furnish a better
class of goods than can be found elsewhere, and are the most reasonable
in their prices.  Furthermore, the purchaser may rely upon the assurances
of the salesman concerning the goods.  The salesmen in such houses are
not allowed to represent anything as better than it really is.  This
certainty is worth a great deal to the purchaser, who is often incapable
of judging intelligently of his purchase.  The writer can assert, from
actual experience, that for the same amount of money one can buy at the
first-class stores a better article than is offered in the so-called
"cheap stores."

                     [Picture: A FEMALE SHOPLIFTER.]

Upon entering a first-class dry-goods store in New York, a stranger is
impressed with the order and system which prevail throughout the whole
establishment.  The heavy plate glass door is opened for him by a small
boy in entering and departing.  If the weather be stormy and the visitor
has a wet umbrella, he may leave it in charge of the aforesaid boy, who
gives him a check for it.  He can reclaim it at any time by presenting
this check.  As he enters he is met at the door by a well-dressed
gentleman of easy address, who politely inquires what he wishes to
purchase.  Upon stating his business, he is promptly shown to the
department in which the desired articles are kept, and the eye of the
conductor is never removed from him until he has attracted the attention
of the clerk from whom he makes his purchase.  All this is done, however,
without allowing him to see that he is watched.  This espionage is
necessary to guard against robbery.  The city merchants are greatly
annoyed, and are often subjected to heavy loss, by professional
shoplifters, who throng their stores.  The shoplifters do not constitute
the only thieves, however.  Women of respectable position, led on by
their mad passion for dress, have been detected in taking small but
costly articles, such as laces, handkerchiefs, etc., from some of the
principal houses.  Such matters have usually been "hushed up" through the
influence of the friends of the offender.  The opportunities for theft
are very great in the city stores.  Hundreds of small articles, many of
them of considerable value, lie within easy reach of the customers, and
all the employes are obliged to exert the greatest watchfulness.  Private
detectives are employed by the principal houses, and as soon as a
professional shoplifter enters, he or she is warned off the premises by
the detective, whose experience enables him to recognize such persons at
a glance.  A refusal to profit by this warning is followed by a summary
arrest.

The salesmen are not allowed to receive the pay for their sales.  They
take the purchaser's money, make a memorandum in duplicate of the sale,
and hand both the papers and the money to a small boy who takes it to the
cashier.  If any change is due the purchaser, the boy brings it back.
The articles are also remeasured by the clerks who do them up in parcels,
to see if the quantity is correct.  The purchase is then delivered to the
buyer, or sent to his residence.  Thus the house is furnished with a
check on all dishonest salesmen, and at the same time acquires accurate
knowledge of their labors in their respective departments.

The small boys referred to are called "cash boys," and are now a
necessity in a well regulated establishment.  Good, steady cash boys are
almost always in demand.  Intelligence commands a premium in this
department, and a bright, well recommended lad will generally be taken on
trial.  He starts out with a salary of $3 per week.  If he shows
capacity, he is promoted as rapidly as possible.  The highest salary paid
to a cash boy is $8 per week, but one who earns this amount does not stay
long in this position.  He is soon made a salesman, and may then go as
high in the house as his abilities will carry him.  These boys generally
have a bright and lively appearance.  Besides acting as cash boys, they
are sometimes sent on errands, they attend the doors, and do sundry other
useful acts.  They are strictly watched, and any improper conduct is
punished with an instantaneous dismissal.  They generally belong to
respectable families, and live at home with their parents.  Many of them
attend the night schools after business hours, and thus prepare for the
great life struggle which is before them.  Such boys are apt to do well
in the world.  Many, however, after being released from the stores,
imitate the ways of the clerks and salesmen.  They affect a fastness
which is painful to see in boys so young.  They sport an abundance of
flashy jewelry, patronize the cheap places of amusement, and are seen in
the low concert saloons, and other vile dens of the city.  It is not
difficult to predict the future of these boys.

The principal retail dry goods stores of New York are those of A. T.
Stewart & Co., Lord & Taylor, Arnold, Constable & Co., and James McCreery
& Co.

The house of A. T. Stewart & Co. is the best known to persons visiting
the city.  Indeed there are very few Americans who have not heard of and
longed to visit "Stewart's."  It is, besides, the largest and most
complete establishment of its kind in the world.  It occupies the entire
block bounded by Broadway, Fourth avenue, Ninth and Tenth streets.  The
principal front is on Broadway, and the public entrances are on that
street and on the Fourth avenue.  The Ninth street entrances are reserved
exclusively for the employes of the house.  Many persons speak of the
edifice as a "marble palace," but this is incorrect.  It is constructed
of iron, in the style of arcade upon arcade, and its fronts are so
thickly studded with windows that they may be said to consist almost
entirely of glass.  It is five stories in height above the street, and
above the fifth story there is an interior attic not visible from the
sidewalk.  Below the street there is a basement and a sub-cellar, so that
the monster building is really eight stories in height.  There is no
attempt at outward display, the fine effect of the edifice being due to
its vast size and its symmetry.  The interior is as simple.  The floors
are uncarpeted, the shelves are plain, as are the counters and the
customers' seats.  The centre of the building is occupied by a large
rotunda extending from the ground floor to the roof.  All the upper
floors are open around this rotunda.  Two flights of massive stairs lead
to the upper floors, and there are three handsome elevators for the use
of customers who do not care to make the journey on foot.  Three other
elevators on the Ninth street side are used for carrying goods.  Each of
the floors covers an area of about two acres, so that the whole
establishment, including the cellar, occupies sixteen acres of space.

The cellar contains coal bins with a capacity of 500 tons.  Close by are
eight Harrison boilers of fifty horse power each, used for operating the
steam engines and warming the building with steam.  There are in all ten
steam engines located in this immense cellar.  These are used for running
the elevators, for working seven steam pumps, for feeding the boilers,
and for forcing water up to the top floor, which is used as a laundry.
In a certain part of the cellar is located the electrical battery, by
means of which the gas jets in the building are lighted.  Here are also
rooms for the storage of goods.

The basement is occupied by the Carpet-making and Parcel departments.  It
is the largest room in the world, and is unbroken save by the light
pillars which support the floors above.  The Carpet-making department is
interesting.  The house deals largely in carpets, and one is surprised at
the smallness of the force employed down here.  The carpets purchased are
cut, and the pieces matched as they lie on the floor by women.  Then they
are placed on a wide table, forty feet long, and are sewn together by a
machine worked by steam.  This machine moves along the edge of the table,
and the man operating it rides on it.  His only care is to hold the parts
to be sewn perfectly even, and the machine sews a seam of forty feet in
from three to five minutes.

In the centre of the basement floor is a space about thirty feet square,
enclosed by counters.  This is the Parcel department.  All purchases to
be sent to the buyer pass through this department, and these make up
about ninety per cent. of the day's business.  The purchases are sent
here by the salesmen with a ticket affixed to each, stating the quantity
and quality of the article bought, the amount paid, and the address of
the buyer.  The goods are then remeasured, and if an error has been made
either in favor of or against the house, it is rectified.  The goods are
then made up in secure parcels, each of which is plainly marked with the
address of the purchaser.  These parcels are then turned over to the
drivers of the wagons used by the house for delivering purchases.  The
drivers are furnished with bills for the amounts to be collected on the
parcels, and they are held to a rigid accountability for the delivery of
every parcel entrusted to them, and the collection of all moneys due on
them.

The ground floor is the principal salesroom.  It is a simple, but elegant
apartment, and its chief ornaments are the goods for sale, which are
displayed in the most attractive and tasteful manner.  The room is 300 by
200 feet in size.  It contains 100 counters, with an aggregate length of
5000 feet.  Behind these counters are low shelves on which the goods are
kept.  In the centre is the immense rotunda, and at various points are
the little wooden pens enclosed with lattice work used by the cashiers.
Each article for sale has its separate department, and there are thirty
ushers on duty to direct purchasers where to find the articles they seek.
The display of goods is magnificent, and includes everything used for the
clothing of ladies and children, either in the piece or ready made.
There is also a department in which ladies and children may have all
their clothing of every description made to order.

The second floor is used for the sale of ready-made clothing, suits,
upholstery, etc., and the third floor is the carpet salesroom.  The other
floors are closed to visitors, and are used as workshops, laundries, etc.

The convenience of having all these things, and in such great variety,
under one roof is very great, and saves purchasers many a weary walk
through the city.  The immense capital employed by Mr. Stewart, and his
great facilities of all kinds, enable him to control the markets in which
he makes his purchases and to buy on terms which render it easy for him
to undersell all his competitors.  The smaller houses complain bitterly
of this, and declare that he is ruining them.  In spite of its immense
trade, "Stewart's" is not the most popular place in the city with
resident purchasers.  The salesmen have the reputation of being rude and
often insolent.  There can be no doubt that, were specific complaints
made, Mr. Stewart would administer the necessary punishment to the
offender without delay; but as the offences complained of are chiefly a
lack of civility, few care to complain.

The throng of visitors and purchasers is immense.  They have been known
to reach the enormous number of 50,000 in a single day; but the average
is 15,000.  Looking down from one of the upper floors, through the
rotunda, one can witness as busy and interesting a scene as New York
affords.  All kinds of people come here, from the poor woman whose scanty
garb tells too plainly the story of her poverty, to the wife of the
millionaire whose purchases amount to a small fortune, and all classes
can be suited.

The sales of the house average about $60,000 per day, and have been known
to reach $87,000.  The bulk of the purchases is made between noon and
five o'clock.  The average daily sales of the principal articles are as
follows: Silks $15,000; dress goods, $6000; muslins, $3000; laces, $2000;
shawls, $2500; suits, $1000; calicoes, $1500; velvets, $2000; gloves,
$1000; furs, $1000; hosiery, $600; boys' clothing, $700; Yankee notions,
$600; embroideries, $1000; carpets, $5500.

                 [Picture: A. T. STEWART'S RETAIL STORE.]

As may be supposed, the business of this great house requires an army of
employes.  The force consists of 1 general superintendent, 19
superintendents of departments, 9 cashiers, 25 book-keepers, 30 ushers,
55 porters, 200 cash boys, 900 seamstresses, working-women, laundresses,
etc., 320 salesmen and saleswomen, and 150 salesmen and others in the
carpet department, making a total of 1709 persons.  There are other
persons employed about the establishment in various capacities, and
these, with the extra help often employed, make the aggregate frequently
as much as 2200 persons.  The business of the house opens at seven A.M.,
and closes at seven P.M.  All the employes have thirty minutes allowed
them for dinner.  One half of all are alternately dismissed at six
o'clock each evening.  All the employes, when leaving, must pass through
a private door on Ninth street.  On each side of this door is a detective
of great experience, whose business it is to see that none of the
employes carry away with them any of the property of the house.  The
discipline of the establishment is very rigid, and is enforced by a
system of fines and other penalties.

The general management of the house is entrusted to Mr. Tellur, the
General Superintendent, but Mr. Stewart gives it his personal supervision
as well.  He comes to the store every morning at ten o'clock precisely,
and consults with Mr. Tellur about the business of the previous day, and
the wants of that just opening.  He goes through the entire
establishment, and personally acquaints himself with the exact condition
of the business.  He knows everything connected with the retail store,
and every detail of its management receives his constant supervision, and
is conducted in accordance with his instructions.  He remains here about
an hour and a half in the morning, and returns at five o'clock in the
afternoon, and spends half an hour more.  The rest of his working day is
passed at his lower store.

              [Picture: LORD AND TAYLOR'S DRY GOODS STORE.]

Lord & Taylor rank next to Stewart, and are a more popular firm with
residents than the latter.  They occupy a magnificent iron building at
the corner of Broadway and Twentieth street.  It is one of the finest and
most picturesque edifices in the city, and is filled with a stock of
goods equal in costliness and superior in taste to anything that can be
bought at Stewart's.  On "opening days," or days when the merchants set
out their finest goods for the inspection of the public, Lord & Taylor
generally carry off the palm, for the handsomest and most tasteful
display.  The show windows of this house are among the sights of
Broadway.

Two blocks below, on the same side of Broadway, is a row of magnificent
white marble stores.  The upper end, comprising about one-third of the
entire block, is occupied by Messrs. Arnold, Constable & Co., a popular
and wealthy house.  They are noted for the taste and general excellence
of their goods.

James McCreery & Co., at the corner of Broadway and Eleventh street,
occupy a part of the ground floor of the magnificent edifice of the
Methodist Book Concern.  They do not make as extensive a display as their
competitors, but are well known in the city for their rich and elegant
goods.  The ball and wedding dresses imported and made by this house are
among the richest ever seen in New York.



XXIV.  BLEECKER STREET.


Perhaps very few people out of the great city know Bleecker Street at
all; perhaps they have passed it a dozen times or more without noticing
it, or if they have marked it at all have regarded it only as a passably
good-looking street going to decay.  But he who does not know Bleecker
street does not know New York.  It is of all the localities of the
metropolis one of the best worth studying.

It was once the abode of wealth and fashion, as its fine old time
mansions testify.  Then Broadway north of it was the very centre of the
aristocracy of the island, and Bond street was a primitive Fifth avenue.
Going west from the Bowery, nearly to Sixth avenue, you will find rows of
stately mansions on either hand, which speak eloquently of greatness
gone, and as eloquently of hard times present.  They have a strange
aspect too, and one may read their story at a glance.  Twenty-five years
ago they were homes of wealth and refinement.  The most sumptuous
hospitality was dispensed here, and the stately drawing rooms often
welcomed brilliant assemblages.  Now a profusion of signs announce that
hospitality is to be had at a stated price, and the old mansions are put
to the viler uses of third-rate boarding houses and restaurants.

In many respects Bleecker street is more characteristic of Paris than of
New York.  It reminds one strongly of the Latin Quarter, and one
instinctively turns to look for the _Closerie des Lilas_.  It is the
headquarters of Bohemianism, and Mrs. Grundy now shivers with holy horror
when she thinks it was once her home.  The street has not entirely lost
its reputation.  No one is prepared to say it is a vile neighborhood; no
one would care to class it with Houston, Mercer, Greene, or Water
streets; but people shake their heads, look mysterious, and sigh
ominously when you ask them about it.  It is a suspicious neighborhood,
to say the least, and he who frequents it must be prepared for the gossip
and surmises of his friends.  No one but its denizens, whose discretion
can be absolutely trusted, knows anything with certainty about its doings
or mode of life, but every one has his own opinion.  Walk down it at
almost any hour of the day or night, and you will see many things that
are new to you.  Strange characters meet you at every step; even the
shops have a Bohemian aspect, for trade is nowhere so much the victim of
chance as here.  You see no breach of the public peace, no indecorous act
offends you; but the people you meet have a certain air of independence,
of scorn, of conventionality, a certain carelessness which mark them as
very different from the throng you have just left on Broadway.  They
puzzle you, and set you to conjecturing who they are and what they are,
and you find yourself weaving a romance about nearly every man or woman
you meet.

That long-haired, queerly dressed young man, with a parcel under his arm,
who passed you just then, is an artist, and his home is in the attic of
that tall house from which you saw him pass out.  It is a cheerless
place, indeed, and hardly the home for a devotee of the Muse; but the
artist is a philosopher, and he flatters himself that if the world has
not given him a share of its good things, it has at least freed him from
its restraints, and so long as he has the necessaries of life and a lot
of jolly good fellows to smoke and drink and chat with him in that lofty
dwelling place of his, he is content to take life as he finds it.

If you look up to the second floor, you may see a pretty, but not over
fresh looking young woman, gazing down into the street.  She meets your
glance with composure, and with an expression which is a half invitation
to "come up."  She is used to looking at men, and to having them look at
her, and she is not averse to their admiration.  Her dress is a little
flashy, and the traces of rouge are rather too strong on her face, but it
is not a bad face.  You may see her to-night at the --- Theatre, where
she is the favorite.  Not much of an actress, really, but very clever at
winning over the dramatic critics of the great dailies who are but men,
and not proof against feminine arts.  This is her home, and an honest
home, too.  To be sure it would be better had she a mother or a brother,
or husband--some recognized protector, who could save her from the
"misfortune of living alone;" but this is Bleecker street, and she may
live here according to her own fancy, "and no questions asked."

On the floor above her dwells Betty Mulligan, a pretty little butterfly
well known to the lovers of the ballet as Mademoiselle Alexandrine.  No
one pretends to know her history.  She pays her room rent, has hosts of
friends, but beyond this no one knows anything.  Surmises there are by
the score, and people wonder how mademoiselle can live so well on her
little salary; but no charges are made.  People shrug their shoulders,
and hint that ballet girls have resources unknown to the uninitiated.
The rule here is that every one must look after himself, and it requires
such an effort to do this that there is no time left to watch a
neighbor's shortcomings.

In the same house is a fine-looking woman, not young, but not old.  Her
"husband" has taken lodgings here for her, but he comes to see her only
at intervals, and he is not counted in the landlady's bill.  Business
keeps him away, and he comes when he can.  Bleecker street never asks
madame for her marriage certificate, nor does it seek to know why her
numerous friends are all gentlemen, or why they come only when the
"husband" is away.

Honest, hard-working men come here with their families.  Their earnings
are regular, but small, and they prefer the life of this street to the
misery of the tenement house.  Others there are who live in the street,
and occupy whole dwellings with their families, who stay here from force
of habit.  They are "slow" people, dull of comprehension, and to them the
mysteries of their neighborhood are a sealed book.  Yet all are regarded
as persons whose characters are "not proven," by the dwellers outside the
street.

Money is a power in Bleecker street.  It will purchase anything.  Much is
spent by those who do not dwell here, but come here to hide their
secrets.  Women come here to meet other men besides their husbands, and
men bring women here who are not their wives.  Bleecker street asks no
questions, but it has come to suspect the men and women who are seen in
it.

Indeed, so long as its tenants do not violate the written law of the land
to an extent sufficient to warrant the interference of the police, they
may do as they please.  Thus it has come to pass that the various
personages who are a law unto themselves have gradually drifted into
Bleecker street, unless they can afford better quarters, and even then
the freedom of the locality has for them a fascination hard to be
resisted.  No one loses caste here for any irregularity.  You may dress
as you please, live as you please, do as you please in all things, and no
comments will be made.  There is no "society" here to worry your life
with its claims and laws.  You are a law unto yourself.  Your acts are
exclusively your own business.  No complaints will be made against you.
You are absolutely your own master or mistress here.  Life here is based
on principles which differ from those which prevail in other parts of the
city.

Yet, as I have said, no one dare call the street "bad."  Let us say it is
"irregular," "free," "above scandal," or "superior to criticism;" but let
us not venture to term it "bad," as its neighbors Greene and Mercer are
"bad."  I cannot say it would be shocked by such a charge, for Bleecker
street is never shocked at anything.  It would, no doubt, laugh in our
faces, and scornfully ask for our proofs of its badness, and proofs of
this sort are hard to bring to light in this thoroughfare.



XXV.  CEMETERIES.


I.  GREENWOOD.


The most beautiful cemetery of the city of New York, and the place where
its people most long to sleep when "life's fitful fever" is over, is
Greenwood.  It is situated on Gowanus Heights, within the limits of the
City of Brooklyn, and covers an area of 413 acres of land.  It is two and
a half miles distant from the South Ferry, and three from the Fulton
Ferry, with lines of street cars from both ferries.  A portion of the
grounds is historic, for along the edge of the heights occurred the
hardest fighting in the battle of Long Island, in 1776.

The cemetery is beautifully laid out.  The heights have been graded at
immense expense, and the grounds are provided with carriage roads built
of stone, covered with gravel, and with foot-paths of concrete.  The
carriage drives are seventeen miles, and the foot-paths fifteen miles in
extent.  The sewerage is perfect, and the greatest care is exercised in
keeping the grounds free from dirt and weeds.  The cemetery was laid out
under the supervision of a corps of accomplished landscape gardeners, and
it abounds in the most exquisite scenery.  From the higher portions the
bay and the cities which border it, with the blue ocean in the distance,
may all be seen.  Everything that art could do to add to the attractions
of a naturally beautiful spot has been done, and the place has come to
be, next to the Central and Prospect Parks, one of the favorite resorts
of the people of New York and Brooklyn.  The entrances are all adorned
with magnificent gateways of stone.  The northern gateway is adorned with
sculptures representing the burial of the Saviour, and the raising of the
widow's son and of Lazarus.  Above these are bas-relief figures,
representing Faith, Hope, Memory, and Love.

The cemetery was opened for burials about twenty-seven years ago.  At the
close of the year 1870 the interments had reached 150,000.  From fifteen
to twenty interments are made here every day.  The deep-toned bell of the
great gateway is forever tolling its knell, and some mournful train is
forever wending its slow way under the beautiful trees.  Yet the sunlight
falls brightly, the birds sing their sweetest over the new-made graves,
the wind sighs its dirge through the tall trees, and the "sad sea waves"
blend with it all their solemn undertone from afar.

The tombs and monuments to be seen at Greenwood are very beautiful.  Some
of them are noted as works of art.  Many of them have cost from $10,000
to $100,000.  About 2000 of these tombs are scattered through the
grounds.  In beauty of design and costliness they surpass any similar
collection in the New World, but in one respect they are like all others,
for they speak nothing but good of the dead.  Indeed, were one to believe
their inscriptions, the conclusion would be inevitable that none but
saints are buried in Greenwood.  All classes come here, but the cemetery
is characteristic of the living city beyond.  Wealth governs everything
here as there.



II.  CYPRESS HILLS.


North of the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike, is an elevated ridge known as
the "backbone of Long Island," and on this ridge, partly in Kings and
partly in Queens counties, about five miles from the Catharine Street
Ferry, is the Cemetery of Cypress Hills.  It comprises an area of 400
acres, one-half of which is still covered with the native forest trees.
The other portion is handsomely adorned with shrubbery, and laid off
tastefully.  The entrance consists of a brick arch, surmounted by a
statue of Faith.  It rests on two beautiful lodges occupied by the
gate-keeper and superintendent of the cemetery.

From the cemetery one may command an extensive view, embracing all the
surrounding country, the cities of Brooklyn, New York, Jersey City, and
Flushing, the Hudson as far as the Palisades, Long Island Sound, the
distant hills of Connecticut, and the Atlantic.

Since the opening of the grounds, in 1848, upwards of 85,000 interments
have been made here.  Of these 4060 were officers and soldiers of the
United States army, who were killed or who died during the Civil War.
They are buried in a section set apart for them.  The Sons of Temperance,
the Odd-Fellows, the Masons, and the Police Forces of New York and
Brooklyn have sections of their own here.  When the old grave-yards of
New York and Brooklyn were broken up, about 35,000 bodies were removed
from them to these grounds.



III.  WOODLAWN.


WOODLAWN CEMETERY lies in Westchester County, eight miles north of Harlem
Bridge, and along the line of the New York, Harlem and Albany Railway.
It is easily reached by means of this road.  It was incorporated in 1863,
and laid out in 1865.  It comprises about 325 acres, and is naturally one
of the most beautiful cemeteries used by the city.  It is easier of
access than Greenwood, there being no ferry to cross, and the Harlem
Railway Company having instituted a system of funeral trains which convey
funeral corteges to the entrance to the grounds.  This, together with its
natural beauty, is making it a favorite place of burial with the New
Yorkers.  The grounds are being rapidly improved, and, it is believed,
will eventually rival Greenwood.  Since its opening, in 1865, there have
been nearly 9000 interments in Woodlawn.  Admiral Farragut was buried
here in 1871.  The main avenue or boulevard from the Central Park to
White Plains will pass through these grounds, and afford a broad and
magnificent drive from the city to the cemetery.



IV.  CALVARY, AND THE EVERGREENS.


CALVARY CEMETERY is the property of the Roman Catholic Church, and
contains only the graves of those who have died in that faith.  It is
situated in the town of Newtown, Long Island, about four miles from New
York.  It comprises about seventy-five acres, and was opened in August,
1848, since which time about 84,000 bodies have been buried in it.

The Cemetery of the Evergreens is situated about three miles and a half
to the eastward of Williamsburg.  It lies on the western end of a range
of hills, and is one of the largest and most picturesque of all the
cemeteries of New York.  It is being steadily improved, and is growing in
favor with the people of the great cities at its feet.

Another burial ground once used by the people of New York, but now
abandoned by them, is the New York Bay Cemetery, situated on the shore of
the bay in the State of New Jersey, about two and a half miles from the
Courtlandt Street Ferry.  It comprises about fifty acres of ground, and
contains 50,000 graves.

No burials are now permitted on Manhattan Island, except in the Cemetery
of Trinity Church, which lies at the intersection of Tenth avenue and
One-hundred-and-fifty-fifth street.  From Tenth avenue the grounds extend
to the river.  The new public drive passes through the cemetery, and has
greatly injured it.  The grounds comprise an area of thirty-six acres,
are beautifully laid off, and are shaded by fine trees.  Among the
persons buried here are Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, Bishops Wainright and Onderdonk, Madame Jumel, the last
wife of Aaron Burr, Audubon, and John Jacob Astor.  President Monroe was
buried here, but his remains were removed to Richmond, Virginia, in 1859.



XXVI.  THE CLUBS.


With respect to the number and attractiveness of its clubs, New York bids
fair to rival London.  They embrace associations for almost every
purpose, and are more or less successful according to their means and the
object in view.  Those for social enjoyment and intercourse are the most
popular, and the best known.  They are composed principally of men of
fashion and wealth, and occupy some of the most elegant mansions in the
city.

The best known are the Century, No. 109 East Fifteenth street; Manhattan,
corner of Fifth avenue and Fifteenth street; Union League, corner of
Madison avenue and Twenty-sixth street; Union, corner of Twenty-first
street and Fifth avenue; Travellers', No. 222 Fifth avenue; Eclectic,
corner of Twenty-sixth street and Fifth avenue; City, No. 31 East
Seventeenth street; Harmonie, Forty-second street, west of Fifth avenue;
Allemania, No. 18 East Sixteenth street; American Jockey Club, corner of
Madison avenue and Twenty-seventh street; and New York Yacht Club,
club-house on Staten Island.

The location of these clubs is very desirable.  They are all in the most
fashionable quarter of the city, and their houses are in keeping with
their surroundings.  They are elegantly furnished, and often contain
valuable and beautiful works of art.  Some are owned by the associations
occupying them; others are rented at prices varying from $8000 to $20,000
per annum.  The initiation fees range from $50 to $150, and the annual
dues from $50 to $100.  The number of members varies from 300 to 800, but
in the best organizations the object is to avoid a large membership.
Great care is taken in the investigation of the history of applicants for
membership, and none but persons of good reputation are admitted.  In the
most exclusive, one adverse ballot in ten is sufficient to negative an
application for membership.

By the payment of the sums named above, members have all the benefits of
an elegant private hotel at a moderate cost, and are sure of enjoying the
privacy which is so agreeable to cultivated tastes.  They have constant
opportunities of meeting with friends, and besides have a pleasant
lounging place in which to pass their leisure hours.

The Century Club stands at the head of the list.  It is considered the
most desirable association in the city, and numerous applications for
places made vacant in it, are always on file.  It occupies a handsome red
brick mansion just out of Union Square, on East Fifteenth street.  It was
organized more than thirty years ago, and was originally a sketch club,
and its membership was rigidly confined to literary men and artists.  Of
late years, however, it has been thrown open to any gentleman who may be
accepted by the members.  Its President is William Cullen Bryant.  Its
roll of members includes men of all professions among them: Bayard
Taylor, William Allan Butler, George William Curtis, and Parke Goodwin,
authors; Rev. Dr. Bellows and Dr. Osgood, clergymen; John Brougham,
Lester Wallack, and Edwin Booth, actors; Bierstadt, Gignoux, Cropsey,
Church, and Kensett, artists; William H. Appleton, publisher; and A. T.
Stewart, John Jacob Astor, and August Belmont, capitalists.  This club
has no restaurant, and is conducted inexpensively.  Its Saturday night
gatherings bring together the most talented men in the city, and its
receptions are among the events of the season.

The Manhattan Club is a political as well as a social organization.  It
is the head-quarters of Democrats of the better class.  It numbers 600
members, about 100 of these residing out of the city.  It includes the
leading Democratic politicians of the city and State, and when similar
celebrities from other States are in the city they are generally
entertained by the club, and have the freedom of the house.  The
club-house is a splendid brown stone edifice, built originally for a
private residence by a man named Parker.  It stands on leased ground, and
the building only is owned by the club, which paid $110,000 for it.  The
annual dues are $50.  Members are supplied with meals at cost prices.
Wines are furnished at similar charges.  The restaurant has for its chief
cook a Frenchman, who is said to be the most accomplished "artist" in New
York.  He receives an annual salary of $1800.  The house is palatial, but
a trifle flashy in its appointments, and a more luxurious resort is not
to be found on the island.

The Union League Club is domiciled in a magnificent brick and marble
mansion.  It is also a political organization, and is not so exclusive as
the Manhattan as regards its membership.  It is the headquarters of the
Republican leaders, and has perhaps the largest membership of any of the
city clubs.  It possesses a fine restaurant, conducted on club
principles, a collection of works of art, a private theatre, and lodging
rooms which may be used by the members upon certain conditions.

The Union Club is emphatically a rich man's association.  Its members are
all men of great wealth, and its windows are always lined with idlers who
seem to have nothing to do but to stare ladies passing by out of
countenance.  The club house is one of the handsomest buildings in the
city, and its furniture and decorations are of the most costly
description.

The Travellers' Club was originally designed for affording its members an
opportunity of meeting with distinguished travellers visiting the city.
This object is still kept in view, but the club is becoming more of a
social organization than formerly.  Travellers of note are invited to
partake of its hospitalities upon arriving in the city, and frequently
lecture before the club.

Many club members never see the interior of the club houses more than
once or twice a year.  They pay their dues, and remain on the rolls, but
prefer their homes to the clubs.  Others again pass a large part of their
time in these elegant apartments in the society of congenial friends.
Club life is not favorable to a fondness for home, and it is not
surprising that the ladies are among the bitterest opponents of the
system.

The ladies themselves, however, have their clubs.  The most noted of
these is the _Sorosis_, the object of which seems to be to bring together
the strong-minded of the sex to enjoy a lunch at Delmonico's.  Some of
the most talented female writers of the country are members of the
organization.  It was stated in several of the city newspapers, about a
year ago, that at one of the meetings of _Sorosis_ the members became
involved in a fierce dispute over some question concerning the management
of the club, and that when the excitement became too intense for words,
they relieved their overcharged feelings by "a good cry all around."

It is said that there is another club in the city, made up of females of
nominal respectability, married and single, whose meetings have but one
object--"to have a good time."  It is said that the good time embraces
not a little hard drinking, and a still greater amount of
scandal-monging, and that many of the "leading ladies" of the club make a
habit of getting "gloriously drunk" at these meetings.  A faithfully
written account of the transactions of this club would no doubt furnish a
fine article for the _Day's Doings_.

The Yacht Club consists of a number of wealthy gentlemen who are devoted
to salt-water sports.  The club house is on Staten Island.  The yachts of
the members constitute one of the finest fleets of the kind in existence,
and their annual regattas, which are held in the lower bay, are sights
worth seeing.



XXVII.  THE FIVE POINTS.


I.  LIFE IN THE SHADOW.


Just back of the City Hall, towards the East River, and within full sight
of Broadway, is the terrible and wretched district known as the Five
Points.  You may stand in the open space at the intersection of Park and
Worth streets, the true Five Points, in the midst of a wide sea of sin
and suffering, and gaze right into Broadway with its marble palaces of
trade, its busy, well-dressed throng, and its roar and bustle so
indicative of wealth and prosperity.  It is almost within pistol shot,
but what a wide gulf lies between the two thoroughfares, a gulf that the
wretched, shabby, dirty creatures who go slouching by you may never
cross.  There everything is bright and cheerful.  Here every surrounding
is dark and wretched.  The streets are narrow and dirty, the dwellings
are foul and gloomy, and the very air seems heavy with misery and crime.
For many a block the scene is the same.  This is the realm of Poverty.
Here want and suffering, and vice hold their courts.  It is a strange
land to you who have known nothing but the upper and better quarters of
the great city.  It is a very terrible place to those who are forced to
dwell in it.  For many blocks to the north and south of where we stand in
Worth street, and from Elm street back to East River, the Five Points
presents a succession of similar scenes of wretchedness.

                    [Picture: A FIVE POINTS RUM SHOP.]

Yet, bad as it is, it was worse a few years ago.  There was not more
suffering, it is true, but crime was more frequent here.  A respectably
dressed man could not pass through this section twelve years ago without
risking his safety or his life.  Murders, robberies, and crimes of all
kinds were numerous.  Fugitives from justice found a sure refuge here,
and the officers of the law frequently did not dare to seek them in their
hiding places.  Now, thanks to the march of trade up the island, the work
of the missionaries, and the vigilance of the new police, the Five Points
quarter is safe enough during the day.  But still, there are some
sections of it in which it is not prudent to venture at night.  The
criminal class no longer herd here, but have scattered themselves over
the island, so that the quarter now contains really more suffering than
crime.

Twenty years ago there stood in Park street, near Worth, a large
dilapidated building known as the "Old Brewery."  It was almost in ruins,
but it was the most densely populated building in the city.  It is said
to have contained at one time as many as 1200 people.  Its passages were
long and dark, and it abounded in rooms of all sizes and descriptions, in
many of which were secure hiding places for men and stolen goods.  The
occupants were chiefly the most desperate characters in New York, and the
"Old Brewery" was everywhere recognized as the headquarters of crime in
the metropolis.  The narrow thoroughfare extending around it was known as
"Murderers' Alley" and "The Den of Thieves."  No respectable person ever
ventured near it, and even the officers of the law avoided it except when
their duty compelled them to enter it.  It was a terrible place.

Nor was the neighborhood in which this building was located any better.
The ground was damp and marshy, the old Collect Pond having originally
covered the site, and the streets were filthy beyond description.  It is
said that there were underground passages extending under the streets
from some of the houses to others in different blocks, which were kept
secret from all but professional criminals.  These were used for
facilitating the commission of crimes and the escape of criminals.
Brothels and rum shops abounded, and from morning until night brawls were
going on in a dozen or more of them at once.

The locality is better now.  In 1852, the Old Brewery was purchased by
the _Ladies' Home Missionary Society_ of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and was pulled down.  Its site is now occupied by the neat and
comfortable buildings of the _Five Points Mission_.  Just across Worth
street is the _Five Points House of Industry_, and business is creeping
in slowly to change the character of this immediate locality forever.

In speaking of the Five Points, I include the Fourth and Sixth Wards,
which are generally regarded as constituting that section--probably
because they are the most wretched and criminal of all in the city.  This
description will apply with almost equal force to a large part of the
First Ward, lying along the North River side of the island.  The Fourth
and Sixth Wards are also among the most densely populated, being the
smallest wards in extent in the city.

The streets in this section are generally narrow and crooked.  The
gutters and the roadway are lined with filth, and from the dark, dingy
houses comes up the most sickening stench.  Every house is packed to its
utmost capacity.  In some are simply the poor, in others are those whose
reputations make the policemen careful in entering them.  Some of these
buildings are simply dens of thieves.  All the streets are wretched
enough, but Baxter street has of late years succeeded to the reputation
formerly enjoyed by its neighbor, Park street.  It is a narrow, crooked
thoroughfare.  The sidewalk is almost gone in many places, and the street
is full of holes.  Some of the buildings are of brick, and are lofty
enough for a modern Tower of Babel.  Others are one and two story wooden
shanties.  All are hideously dirty.  From Canal to Chatham street there
is not the slightest sign of cleanliness or comfort.  From Franklin to
Chatham street there is scarcely a house without a bucket shop or
"distillery," as the signs over the door read, on the ground floor.  Here
the vilest and most poisonous compounds are sold as whiskey, gin, rum,
and brandy.  Their effects are visible on every hand.  Some of these
houses are brothels of the lowest description, and, ah, such terrible
faces as look out upon you as you pass them by!  Surely no more hopeless,
crime-stained visages are to be seen this side of the home of the damned.
The filth that is thrown into the street lies there and decays until the
kindly heavens pour down a drenching shower and wash it away.  As a
natural consequence, the neighborhood is sickly, and sometimes the
infection amounts almost to a plague.

Between Fourteenth street and the Battery, half a million of people are
crowded into about one-fifth of the island of Manhattan.  Within this
section there are about 13,000 tenement houses, fully one-half of which
are in bad condition, dirty and unhealthy.  One small block of the Five
Points district is said to contain 382 families.  The most wretched
tenement houses are to be found in the Five Points.  The stairways are
rickety and groan and tremble beneath your tread.  The entries are dark
and foul.  Some of these buildings have secret passages connecting them
with others of a similar character.  These passages are known only to
criminals, and are used by them for their vile purposes.  Offenders may
safely hide from the police in these wretched abodes.  Every room is
crowded with people.  Sometimes as many as a dozen are packed into a
single apartment.  Decency and morality soon fade away here.  Drunkenness
is the general rule.  Some of the dwellers here never leave their abodes,
but remain in them the year round stupefied with liquor, to procure which
their wives, husbands or children will beg or steal.  Thousands of
children are born here every year, and thousands happily die in the first
few months of infancy.  Those who survive rarely see the sun until they
are able to crawl out into the streets.  Both old and young die at a
fearful rate.  They inhale disease with every breath.

The exact number of vagrant and destitute children to be found in the
Five Points is not known.  There are thousands, however.  Some have
placed the estimate as high as 15,000, and some higher.  They are chiefly
of foreign parentage.  They do not attend the public schools, for they
are too dirty and ragged.  The poor little wretches have no friends but
the attaches of the missions.  The missionaries do much for them, but
they cannot aid all.  Indeed, they frequently have great difficulty in
inducing the parents of the children to allow them to attend their
schools.  The parents are mostly of the Roman Catholic faith, and the
clergy of that Church have from the first exerted their entire influence
to destroy the missions, and put a stop to their work.  They feared the
effect of these establishments upon the minds of the children, and,
strange as it may seem, preferred to let them starve in the street, or
come to worse ending, rather than risk the effects of education and
Protestant influence.  To those who know what a great and blessed work
these missions have done, this statement will no doubt be astounding.
Yet it is true.

In spite of the missions, however, the lot of the majority of the Five
Points children is very sad.  Their parents are always poor, and unable
to keep them in comfort.  Too frequently they are drunken brutes, and
then the life of the little one is simply miserable.  In the morning the
child is thrust out of its terrible home to pick rags, bones, cinders, or
anything that can be used or sold, or to beg or steal, for many are
carefully trained in dishonesty.  They are disgustingly dirty, and all
but the missionaries shrink from contact with them.  The majority are old
looking and ugly, but a few have bright, intelligent faces.  From the
time they are capable of receiving impressions, they are thrown into
constant contact with vice and crime.  They grow up to acquire surely and
steadily the ways of their elders.  The boys recruit the ranks of the
pickpockets, thieves, and murderers of the city; the girls become waiters
in the concert halls, or street walkers, and thence go down to ruin,
greater misery and death.

In winter and summer suffering is the lot of the Five Points.  In the
summer the heat is intense, and the inmates of the houses pour out into
the filthy streets to seek relief from the torture to which they are
subjected indoors.  In winter they are half frozen with cold.  The
missionaries and the police tell some dreary stories of this quarter.  A
writer in a city journal thus describes a visit made in company with the
missionary of the Five Points House of Industry to one of these homes of
sorrow:

"The next place visited was a perfect hovel.  Mr. Shultz, in passing
along a narrow dark hall leading towards the head of the stairs, knocked
at an old door, through which the faintest ray of light was struggling.
'Come in,' said a voice on the opposite side of the room.  The door being
opened, a most sickening scene appeared.  The room was larger than the
last one, and filthier.  The thin outside walls were patched with pieces
of pasteboard, the floor was covered with dirt, and what straggling
pieces of furniture they had were lying about as if they had been shaken
up by an earthquake.  There was a miserable fire, and the storm outside
howled and rattled away at the old roof, threatening to carry it off in
every succeeding gust.  The tenants were a man, his wife, a boy, and a
girl.  They had sold their table to pay their rent, and their wretched
meal of bones and crusts was set on an old packing box which was drawn
close up to the stove.  When the visitors entered the man and woman were
standing, leaning over the stove.  The girl, aged about ten years, and a
very bright looking child, having just been off on some errand, had got
both feet wet, and now had her stockings off, holding them close to the
coals to dry them.  The boy seemed to be overgrown for his age, and half
idiotic.  He sat at one corner of the stove, his back to the visitors,
and his legs stretched out under the hearth.  His big coat collar was
turned up around his neck, and his chin sunk down, so that his face could
not be seen.  His long, straight hair covered his ears and the sides of
his face.  He did not look up until he was directly questioned by Mr.
Shultz, and then he simply raised his chin far enough to grunt.  The
girl, when spoken to, looked up slyly and laughed.

"The man, on being asked if he was unable to work, said he would be glad
to work if he could get anything to do.  He was a painter, and belonged
to a painters' protective union.  But there were so many out of
employment, that it was useless trying to get any help.  He pointed to an
old basket filled with coke, and said he had just sold their last chair
to buy it.  He had worked eighteen years at the Metropolitan Hotel, but
got out of work, and has been out ever since.  Mr. Shultz offered to take
the little girl into the House of Industry, and give her board, clothes,
and education.  He asked the father if he would let her go, saying the
place was only a few steps from them, and they could see her often.  The
man replied that he did not like a separation from his child.  The
missionary assured him that it would be no separation, and then asked the
mother the same question.  She stood speechless for several moments, as
if thinking over the matter, and when the missionary, after using his
best arguments, again asked her whether she would allow him to take care
of her child, she simply replied, 'No.'  She said they would all hang
together as long as they could, and, if necessary, all would starve
together.

"This family had evidently seen better times.  The man had an honest
face, and talked as if he had once been able to earn a respectable
living.  The woman had some features that would be called noble if they
were worn in connection with costlier apparel.  The girl was unmistakably
smart, and the only thing to mar their appearance as a family, so far as
personal looks were concerned, was the thick-lipped, slovenly boy."



II.  THE CELLARS.


If the people of whom I have written are sufferers, they at least exist
upon the surface of the earth.  But what shall we say of those who pass
their lives in the cellars of the wretched buildings I have described?

A few of these cellars are dry, but all are dirty.  Some are occupied as
dwelling-places, and some are divided into a sort of store or groggery
and living and sleeping rooms.  Others still are kept as lodging-houses,
where the poorest of the poor find shelter for the night.

In writing of these cellars, I wish it to be understood that I do not
refer to the rooms partly above and partly below the level of the
side-walk, with some chance of ventilation, and known to the Health
Officers as "basements," but to the cellars pure and simple, all of which
are sunk below the level of the street, and all of which are infinitely
wretched.  There were in April, 1869, about 12,000 of these cellars known
to the Board of Health, and containing from 96,000 to 100,000 persons.
With the exception of 211, all of these were such as were utterly
forbidden, under the health ordinances of the city, to be used or rented
as tenements.  The Board of Health have frequently considered the
advisability of removing this population, and have been prevented only by
the magnitude of the task, and the certainty of rendering this large
number of persons homeless for a time at least.

The larger portion of these cellars have but one entrance, and that
furnishes the only means of ventilation.  They have no outlet to the
rear, and frequently the filth of the streets comes washing down the
walls into the room within.  In the brightest day they are dark and
gloomy.  The air is always foul.  The drains of the houses above pass
within a few feet of the floor, and as they are generally in bad
condition the filth frequently comes oozing up and poisons the air with
its foul odors.  In some cases there has been found a direct opening from
the drain into the cellar, affording a free passage for all the sewer gas
into the room.  The Board of Health do all they can to remedy this, but
the owners and occupants of the cellars are hard to manage, and throw
every obstacle in the way of the execution of the health ordinances.

The rents paid for these wretched abodes are exorbitant.  Dr. Harris, the
Superintendent of the Board of Health, states that as much as twenty
dollars per month is often demanded of the occupants by the owners.  Half
of that sum would secure a clean and decent room in some of the up-town
tenements.  The poor creatures, in sheer despair, make no effort to
better their condition, and live on here in misery, and often in vice,
until death comes to their relief.

                 [Picture: A FIVE POINTS LODGING CELLAR.]

Many of the cellars are used as lodging-houses.  These are known to the
police as "Bed Houses."  In company with Captain Allaire and Detective
Finn, the writer once made a tour of inspection through these
establishments.  One of them shall serve as a specimen.  Descending
through a rickety door-way, we passed into a room about sixteen feet
square and eight feet high.  At one end was a stove in which a fire
burned feebly, and close by a small kerosene lamp on a table dimly
lighted the room.  An old hag, who had lost the greater part of her nose,
and whose face was half hidden by the huge frill of the cap she wore, sat
rocking herself in a rickety chair by the table.  The room was more than
half in the shadow, and the air was so dense and foul that I could
scarcely breathe.  By the dim light I could see that a number of filthy
straw mattresses were ranged on the floor along the wall.  Above these
were wooden bunks, like those of a barracks, filled with dirty beds and
screened by curtains.  The room was capable of accommodating at least
twenty persons, and I was told that the hag in the chair, who was the
proprietress, was "a good hand at packing her lodgers well together."  It
was early, but several of the beds were occupied.  The curtains were
drawn in some cases, and we could not see the occupants.  In one,
however, was a child, but little more than a baby, as plump and ruddy,
and as fair-skinned and pretty as though it had been the child of a lady
of wealth.  The little one was sleeping soundly, and, by a common
instinct, we gathered about its bed, and watched it in silence.

"It is too pretty a child for such a place," said one of the party.

I glanced at Detective Finn.  His face wore a troubled expression.

"A man becomes hardened to the sights I see," he said in answer to my
glance, "but I can scarcely keep the tears from my eyes when I see a
child like this in such a place; for, you see, I know what a life it is
growing up to."

This wretched place Mr. Finn told us was one of the best of all the bed
houses.  He proved his assertion by conducting us to one out of which we
beat a hasty retreat.  The night air never seemed so pure to me as it did
as I came out of the vile den into the clear starlight.  I could scarcely
breathe in the fearful hole we had just been in, and yet it was rapidly
filling up with people who were to pass the night there.  There were men,
women and children, but they were all huddled together in one room.
There was no such thing as privacy.  Some of the lodgers were simply
unfortunate, some were vagrants, and others were criminals.

I do not believe that all the sanitary measures in the world could ever
make these places clean or healthy.  The atmosphere is always too foul
and dense to be breathed by any but lungs accustomed to it.  When the
cellars are crowded with lodgers, and the heat of the stove adds to the
poison, it must be appalling.  The poor wretches who seek shelter here
are more than half stupefied by it, and pass the night in this condition
instead of in a healthful sleep.  They pay from ten to twenty-five cents
for their lodgings, and if they desire a supper or breakfast, are given a
cup of coffee and a piece of bread, or a bowl of soup for a similar sum.

As a matter of course only vagrants and those who have gone down into the
depths of poverty come here.  They must choose between the cellars and
the streets, and the beds offered them here are warmer and softer than
the stones of the street.

"Have we seen the worst?" I asked Mr. Finn, as we came out of the last
place.

"No," he replied, "there are worse places yet.  But I'll not take you
there."

The reader will readily credit this assertion, after reading the
following account of a visit of the Health Officers to one of a number of
similar cellars in Washington Street, on the west side of the city:

"The place next visited was No. 27 Washington street.  This building is
also owned by 'Butcher Burke,' and is one of the most filthy and horrible
places in the city.  We passed under an old tumble-down doorway that
seemed to have no earthly excuse for standing there, and into a dismal,
dark entry, with a zig-zag wall covered with a leprous slime, our
conductor crying out all the time: 'Steady, gentlemen, steady, keep to
your left; place is full of holes.'

"Presently we emerged into a yard with a detestable pavement of broken
bricks and mud, with high, towering houses surmounting it all around, and
a number of broken outhouses and privies covering a large portion of the
ground surface of the yard.  Turning around, we could see the back of the
tenement house from whose entry we had just emerged, with its numberless
and wretched windows, shutting out the sky, or the fog, which was the
only thing visible above us, and a cloud of clothes-lines stretched
hither and thither, like a spider's web.

"There were eight privies in the yard, and we entered them.  The night
soil was within a _foot and a half_ of the seats, and the odor was
terrible.  From these privies a drain passed under the surface of the
muddy, sloppy yard, to the margin of the building, where a descent of
perhaps four feet was obtained, at the bottom of which the basement floor
was level with the windows, giving a sickly light, but no air or
ventilation whatever, to the inhabitants of the cellar.  But the worst is
yet to be told.  The drain from the privies connecting with the sewer in
the street had a _man-hole_, which was open, at the place where the yard
was broken for a descent into this infernal cellar.  This man-hole was
about four feet wide and three feet deep, forming a small table for a
cataract of night soil and other fecal matter, which poured over this
artificial table in a miniature and loathsome Niagara and into a cesspool
at the bottom, and from thence was conducted under the rotten boards of
the cellar through a brick drain, a few inches below the board flooring,
to the main sewer in the street.  The bottom of the windows in this house
are on a dead level with this horrid cesspool, so that a man sitting on a
chair at the window would not have only the odor, but also the view of
this loathsome matter circulating at his feet in the pool below.  We
entered the back cellar after knocking at the door a few minutes, and a
man, poverty-stricken and wretched in appearance, of the laboring class,
came with a candle to let us in.  The room was in a filthy condition, ten
by twenty-two and a half feet, with a ceiling of six feet three inches
elevation from the floor.  A woman, wretched and woe-begone as the man,
rose suddenly from a dirty bed at the back of the room, and bade us
welcome civilly enough, in her night clothing, which was scanty.

"'And are yees the Boord of Helth, sure.  Well it isn't much we have to
show thin, but yees can see it all without any charge at all, at all.'

"'How much rent do you pay here?' asked the writer of the man with the
candle.

"'Is it rint ye mane?  Nyah, its $6 a munth, shure, and glad to get it,
and if we don't pay it, it's the little time we'll get from Burke, but
out on the street wid us, like pigs, and the divil resave the bit of
sattysfaction we'll get from him than ye would from the Lord
Palmershtown, Nyah!'

"'How do you live?'

"'Shure, I put in coal now and thin, whin I can get it to put, and that's
not often, God knows, alanna!'

"'How much do you earn?'

"'Is it earn d'ye say?  Sometimes fifty cents a day, sometimes two
dollars a week; and thin it's good times wid me.'

"The Woman of the House.--'Don't mind him, man, what he's saying.  Shure
he niver earns two dollars a week at all.  That id be a good week faix
for me.  Two dollars indade!'

"'Have you any children?'

"'We have one dauther, a girl--a fine, big girl.'

"'How old is she?'

"'Well, I suppose she's twenty-two next Mikilmas.'

"Woman.--'Indade she's not, shure.  She's only a slip of a gerrul,
fifteen or sixteen years of age, goin' on.'

"While the parents were arguing the age of their daughter, who, it seems,
worked as a servant girl in some private residence, and only slept here
when out of employment, the Health Officer was testing the condition of
the walls by poking his umbrella at the base under the window and
directly over the cess-pool.  The point of the umbrella, which was tipped
with a thin sheet of brass, made ready entrance into the walls, which
were so soft and damp that the point of the umbrella when drawn out left
each time a deep circular mark behind, as if it had been drawn from a
rotten or decomposed cheese in summer.

"'Take up a board from the floor,' said the Health Officer.  The man, who
informed us that his name was William McNamara, 'from Innis, in the
County Clare, siventeen miles beyand Limerick,' readily complied, and
taking an axe dug up a board without much trouble, as the boards were
decayed, and right underneath we found the top of the brick drain, in a
bad state of repair, the fecal matter oozing up with a rank stench.
Every one stooped down to look at this proof of sanitary disregard, and
while this entire party were on their knees, looking at the broken drain,
two large rats ran across the floor, and nestling in a rather familiar
manner between the legs of Mr. McNamara for an instant, frisked out of
the dreary, dirty room into the luxurious cesspool.

"The physician asked, 'Are those rats?' of Mr. McNamara.

"'Rats is it? endade they were.  It's nothing out of the way here to see
thim.  Shure some of thim are as big as cats.  And why wouldn't
they--they have no wurrok or nothing else to do.'"



III.  THE MISSIONS.


There are now three thriving and much-needed Missions in the district, to
which I have applied the general name of the Five Points.  These are the
_Five Points Mission_, the _Five Points House of Industry_, and the
_Howard Mission_, _or Home for Little Wanderers_.

The _Five Points Mission_ is the oldest.  It is conducted by the "Ladies'
Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church," and as has
been stated, occupies the site of the "Old Brewery."  I have already
described the "Old Brewery" as it existed twenty years ago.  Few decent
people ever ventured near it at that time, and even the missionaries felt
that they were incurring a risk in venturing into it.

A number of Christian women of position and means, who knew the locality
only by reputation, determined, with a courage peculiar to their sex, to
break up this den, and make it a stronghold of religion and virtue.
Their plan was regarded by the public as chimerical, but they persevered
in its execution, trusting in the help of Him in whose cause they were
laboring.  A school was opened in Park street, immediately facing the
"Old Brewery," and was placed in charge of the Rev. L. M. Pease, of the
Methodist Church.  This school at once gathered in the ragged and dirty
children of the neighborhood, and at first it seemed impossible to do
anything with them.  Patience and energy triumphed at last.  The school
became a success, and the ladies who had projected it resolved to enlarge
it.  In 1852 the "Old Brewery" building was purchased and pulled down,
and in June, 1853, the present commodious and handsome Mission building
was opened.  Since then constant success has crowned the efforts of the
Ladies' Society.  Their property is now valued at $100,000.

               [Picture: THE LADIES' FIVE POINTS MISSION.]

The Mission is at present in charge of the Rev. James N. Shaffer.  It
receives a small appropriation from the State for the support of its
day-school, but is mainly dependent upon voluntary contributions for its
support.  Food, clothing, money, in short, everything that can be useful
in the establishment, are given it.  Donations come to it from all parts
of the country, for the Mission is widely known, and thousands of
Christian people give it their assistance.  The railroad and express
companies forward, without charge, all packages designed for it.

Children are the chief care of the Mission.  Those in charge of it
believe that first impressions are the strongest and most lasting.  They
take young children away from the haunts of vice and crime, and clothe
and care for them.  They are regularly and carefully instructed in the
rudiments of an English education, and are trained to serve the Lord.  At
a proper age they are provided with homes, or with respectable
employment, and are placed in a way to become useful Christian men and
women.  Year after year the work goes on.  Children are taken in every
day, if there is room for them, and are trained in virtue and
intelligence, and every year the "Home," as its inmates love to call it,
sends out a band of brave, bright, useful young people into the world.
But for its blessed aid they would have been so many more vagrants and
criminals.

The school averages about 450 pupils.  In the twenty years of the career
of the Mission thousands have been educated by it.  As I passed through
the various class-rooms I found children of all ages.  In the
infant-class were little ones who were simply kept warm and amused.  The
amusement was instructive, as well, as they were taught to recognize
various objects by the young lady in charge of them.  They all bore
evidences of the greatest poverty, but they were unquestionably happy and
contented.

"Do you find harshness necessary?" I asked of the lady principal, who was
my guide.

"No," was the reply.  "We rely upon kindness.  If they do not wish to
stay with us, we let them go away in peace.  They are mostly good
children," she added, "and they really love the school."

A little curly-headed girl came up to her as she was speaking:

"What does Louisa want, now?" she asked, encouraging the child with a
kind smile.

"Please, Mrs. Van Aiken," said the child, "Nelly Jackson wants another
cake."

Nelly Jackson was one of the tiniest and plumpest of the infant class I
had just inspected, and I had found her with a cake in hand at the time
of my visit.  Mrs. Van Aiken hesitated a moment, and then gave the
desired permission.

"Cakes," she added, turning to me, "constitute one of our rewards of
merit for the little ones.  When they are very good we give them
doll-babies at Christmas."

Says the Secretary in her last Report of the work of the Mission: "These
children have quick perceptions and warm hearts, and they are not
unworthy of the confidence placed in them by their teachers.  All their
happy moments come to them through the Mission School, and kind hearts
and willing hands occasionally prepare for them a little festival or
excursion, enjoyed with a zest unknown to more prosperous children. . . .
An excursion to Central Park was arranged for them one summer
afternoon.  The sight of the animals, the run over the soft green grass,
so grateful to eye and touch, the sail on the lake, their sweet songs
keeping time with the stroke of the oar--all this was a bit of fairy land
to a childhood of so few pleasures.  Then the evening of the Fourth of
July spent on the roof of the Mission House, enjoying the display of
fireworks, and singing patriotic songs.  One kind friend makes a winter
evening marvellous to childish eyes by the varied scenes, historic,
scriptural, poetic, of the magic lantern."

If the Mission did no more than give these little ones a warm shelter
during the day, and provide for them such pleasures as cakes,
doll-babies, excursions, and magic lanterns, it would still be doing a
noble work, for these children are dwellers in the Five Points, a
locality where pleasure is almost unknown.  The Mission does more,
however, it educates the children; it provides them with the clothes they
wear, and gives each child a lunch at midday.  It also gives clothing,
bedding and food to the parents of the children where they need it.  It
is provided with a tasteful chapel, in which religious services are held
on Sunday and during the week.  The Sunday-school is large, and provides
religious instruction for the attendants.  A "Free Library and
Reading-room" has been opened in the basement, for the use of all who
will avail themselves of it.  It is open every night, and it is well
patronized by the adult population of the vicinity.  The homeless and
friendless, who are simply unfortunate, are sheltered, as far as the
accommodations will permit, and are provided with homes and employment.
The work of the Mission, apart from its schools, for the year ending May
1st, 1871, is thus summed up by the Secretary: "The following statistics
do not include coal nor medicine, which are very considerable items: 5197
pieces of clothing, including pairs of shoes and bed-quilts, have been
distributed from the wardrobes, and 1293 through the office, making a
total of 6490; 122,113 rations of food have been given to the needy; 4
infants have been adopted; 66 children have been provided with homes; and
119 adults have been sent to places of employment."

The Treasurer states that during the same period $3004 were given away in
"direct charities."

The _Five Points House of Industry_ is situated on Worth street,
diagonally opposite the _Home Mission_.  It consists of two large brick
edifices, covering an area about 100 feet square.  This Mission was begun
by the Rev. L. M. Pease, the same gentleman who was in charge of the Home
Mission at the time of the purchase of the "Old Brewery."  He conceived a
different plan for the management of the Home Mission from that
determined upon by the ladies, and finding cooperation impossible,
resigned his position, and began his labors afresh, according to his own
plan, and trusting entirely to the generosity of the public for his
support.  He was ably assisted by his good wife in carrying out his plan.
He began with one room, and in 1853 was able to hire five houses, which
he filled with the occupants of the wretched hovels in the vicinity.  He
procured work for them, such as needle-work, basket-making, baking,
straw-work, shoe-making, etc.  He made himself personally responsible to
the persons giving the work for its safe return.  The expenses of the
Mission were then, as now, paid from the profits of this work, and the
donations of persons interested in the scheme.  Five hundred persons were
thus supported.  Schools were opened, children were taught, clothed and
fed, and religious services were regularly conducted.

In 1854, the health of Mr. Pease began to fail under his herculean
labors.  He had carried his enterprise to a successful issue, however.
He had done good to thousands, and had won friends for the institution,
who were resolved, and possessed of the means, to carry it on.  A Society
was incorporated for the conduct of the Mission, and, in 1856, the larger
of the present buildings was erected.  In 1869, the edifice was increased
to its present size.  Heavy donations were made to the institution by Mr.
Sickles, who gave $20,000, and Mr. Chauncy Rose, who gave $10,000, and it
was constantly in receipt of smaller sums, which made up an aggregate
sufficient to provide for its wants.  Its progress has been onward and
upward, and it is a noble monument to the energy and Christian charity of
Mr. Pease, its founder.

The main work of the Mission is with the children, but it also looks
after the adults of the wretched quarter in which it is located.  There
are about two hundred children residing in the building.  These have been
taken from the cellars and garrets of the Five Points.  Two hundred more,
children of the very poor, are in attendance upon the schools.  All are
clothed and fed here.  Besides being educated, they are taught useful
trades.  The House is supported partly by voluntary contributions and
partly by the labor of its inmates.

Besides the children, there are always about forty destitute women, who
would otherwise be homeless, residing in the building.  The annual number
thus sheltered is about six hundred.  They are provided with situations
as servants as rapidly as possible.  Since its opening, sixteen years
ago, the House has sheltered and provided for 20,000 persons.  The number
of lodgings furnished yearly is about 90,000, and the daily number of
meals averages 1000.  Since 1856, 4,135,218 meals have been given to the
poor.  No one is ever turned away hungry, and sometimes as many as 150
persons, men and women, driven to the doors of the House by hunger, may
be seen seated at its table at the dinner hour.

_The Howard Mission and Home for Little Wanderers_ is situated in the
heart of the Fourth Ward, in one of the most wretched quarters of the
city.  Here the inhabitants are packed into their dirty dwellings at the
rate of 290,000 persons to the square mile.  The dirt and the
wretchedness of this part of the city are terrible to behold, the
sufferings of the people are very great, and the mortality is heavy.
Sailors' lodging houses of the lowest character, dance houses, rum shops,
and thieves' cribs are numerous, and the moral condition of the Ward is
worse than the sanitary.

In May, 1861, the Rev. W. C. Van Meter organized a Mission in the very
heart of this locality, to which he gave the name of the _Howard Mission
and Home for Little Wanderers_.  For three years it was maintained by his
individual exertions, but, in 1864, Mr. Van Meter having secured for it
wealthy and powerful friends, it was regularly incorporated, and placed
under the control of a Board of Managers, Mr. Van Meter still continuing
to act as Superintendent.  Since then, comfortable and tasteful brick
buildings have been erected for the Mission, and it is succeeding now
beyond the first hopes of its founder.  Our engraving shows the New
Bowery front as it will appear when completed.

The Mission is located in the New Bowery, just below its junction with
Chatham Square.  It extends back to Roosevelt street, upon which
thoroughfare there is an entrance.  The erection of the buildings on the
New Bowery will about double the size of the Mission, and proportionately
increase its capacity for doing good.  It is entirely dependent upon
voluntary contributions for its support.

    [Picture: THE HOWARD MISSION (AS IT WILL APPEAR WHEN COMPLETED).]

"Our object," says Mr. Van Meter, "is to do all the good we can to the
souls and bodies of all whom we can reach."  It may be added, that the
prime object of the Mission is to care for neglected and abused children,
whether orphans or not, and also for the children of honest and
struggling poverty.  It further undertakes to aid and comfort the sick,
to furnish food, shelter, and clothing to the destitute, to procure work
for the unemployed, and to impart intellectual, moral, and religious
instruction to all who are willing to receive it.

"Our field," says Mr. Van Meter, "is the very concentration of all evil
and the headquarters of the most desperate and degraded representatives
of many nations.  It swarms with poor little helpless victims, who are
born in sin and shame, nursed in misery, want, and woe, and carefully
trained to all manner of degradation, vice, and crime.  The _packing_ of
these poor creatures is incredible.  In this ward there are less than two
dwelling houses for each low rum hole, gambling house, and den of infamy.
Near us, on a small lot, but 150 by 240 feet, are twenty tenant houses,
111 families, 5 stables, a soap and candle factory, and a tan yard.  On
four blocks, close to the Mission, are 517 children, 318 Roman Catholic
and 10 Protestant families, 35 rum holes, and 18 brothels.  In No. 14
Baxter street, but three or four blocks from us, are 92 families,
consisting of 92 men, 81 women, 54 boys and 53 girls.  Of these, 151 are
Italians, 92 Irish, 28 Chinese, 3 English, 2 Africans, 2 Jews, 1 German,
and but 7 Americans.

"Our work," he says, "is chiefly with the children.  These are divided
into three classes, consisting of, I. Those placed under our care to be
sent to homes and situations.  II. Those whom we are not authorized to
send to homes, but who need a temporary shelter until their friends can
provide for them or surrender them to us.  These two classes remain day
and night in the Mission.  III. Those who have homes or places in which
to sleep.  These enjoy the benefits of the wardrobe, dining and school
rooms, but do not sleep in the Mission.

"Food, fuel and clothing are given to the poor, after a careful
inspection of their condition.  Mothers leave their small children in the
day nursery during the day while they go out to work.  The sick are
visited, assisted, and comforted.  Work is sought for the unemployed.  We
help the poor to help themselves.

"The children over whom we can get legal control are placed in carefully
selected Christian families, chiefly in the country, either for adoption
or as members of the families. . .  They receive a good common school
education, or are trained to some useful business, trade, or profession,
and are thus fitted for the great duties of mature life.  We know that
our work prevents crime; keeps hundreds of children out of the streets,
keeps boys out of bar-rooms, gambling houses, and prisons, and girls out
of concert saloons, dance houses, and other avenues that lead down to
death; and that it makes hundreds of cellar and attic homes more cleanly,
more healthy, and more happy, and less wretched, wicked, and hopeless.
We never turn a homeless child from our door.  From past experience we
are warranted in saying that one dollar a week will keep a well filled
plate on our table for any little wanderer, and secure to it all the
benefits of the Mission.  Ten dollars will pay the average cost of
placing a child in a good home."

During the ten years of its existence, the Mission has received more than
10,000 children into its day and Sunday schools.  Hundreds of these have
been provided with good homes.  Thousands of poor women have left their
little ones here while they were at their daily work, knowing that their
babies are cared for with kindness and intelligence.  The famous
nurseries of Paris exact a fee of four cents, American money, per head
for taking care of the children during the day, but at the Little
Wanderers' Home, this service is rendered to the mother and child without
charge.

Yet in spite of the great work which the Missions are carrying on, the
wretchedness, the suffering, the vice and the crime of the Five Points
are appalling.  All these establishments need all the assistance and
encouragement that can possibly be given them.  More workers are needed,
and more means to sustain them.  "The harvest indeed is plenteous, but
the laborers are few."



XXVIII.  THE MILITARY.


The city is very proud of its military organization, and both the
Municipal and State Governments contribute liberally to its support.
This organization consists of the First Division of the National Guard of
the State of New York.  The law creating this division was passed in
1862, when the old volunteer system was entirely reorganized.  Previous
to this, the volunteers had borne their entire expenses, and had
controlled their affairs in their own way.  By the new law important
changes were introduced.

The division consists of four brigades, and numbers about 13,000 men.
The regiments comprising it are as follows: First, Second, Third, Fourth,
Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Twenty-second,
Thirty-seventh, Fifty-fifth, Sixty-ninth, Seventy-first, Seventy-ninth,
Ninety-sixth, Washington Grays (cavalry), First Cavalry, Second Cavalry,
and First Artillery.  The United States provides the arms and uniforms
when required.  These, when furnished by the General Government, are such
as are prescribed by law for the Regular Army.  The best regiments,
however, prefer a handsomer dress, and provide their own uniforms.  The
city makes an appropriation of $500 per annum for each regiment, for an
armory.  The other expenses, such as parades, music, etc., are borne by
the regiment itself.  Each regiment has its armory, in which are
deposited its arms and valuable property.  An armorer is in charge of the
building, and it is his duty to keep the guns in good order.  A
reading-room and library are attached to some of the armories, and are
used as places of social reunion for the members of the command.  Drills
are held at stated times, and a rigid discipline is maintained.  The men,
as a general rule, are proud of their organizations, and are enthusiastic
in military matters.  They are all well drilled, and will compare
favorably with any troops in the world, in both appearance and
efficiency.  Nearly all saw service during the late war, and there is not
a regiment but treasures some smoke-begrimed, bullet-rent flag, as its
most precious possession.  Out of the 13,000 men comprising the force,
9000 were in the field in active service, at one time during the war, and
the division gave the country 3780 officers for the struggle.  The total
force furnished by the city of New York during the war was 100,000 men.
Of these 9000 were killed or wounded, and 37,000 were officers at some
period of the war.

The most popular and efficient regiments are the Seventh, Ninth, and
Twenty-second.  The Seventh and Ninth are the best known.  The latter has
the finest band in the city, and one of the best in the world.

The parade of the entire division is a sight worth seeing, and always
brings a crowd upon the streets.  Every available place for viewing the
march is eagerly sought.  The shop-keepers along the route of the
procession find it an easy matter to rent their windows and balconies at
large prices.  Even the housetops are filled with spectators, and the
sidewalks are "jammed."

Each regiment as it passes is greeted with greater or less applause,
according to its popularity.  The day is a sort of holiday in the city,
and the parade is one of the sights of the New World, for New York is the
only city in the country which can put so large and splendid a force of
troops in the field in a mere parade.

But the First Division is not a holiday force, and parades and receptions
are not the only occasions which bring it upon the streets.  The city of
New York contains a population hard to manage, and which can be
controlled only by a strong, firm hand.  The police force, about 2000 in
number, is utterly inadequate to the repression of an uprising of the
criminal class of the city, and the scoundrels know it.  The police have
never been lacking in emergencies, but their task is wonderfully
lightened by the knowledge that behind them stand 13,000 disciplined and
well-equipped troops to support them if the task of enforcing the law
proves too great for them.  The roughs of New York know that they are no
match for such an army as this, and they are influenced greatly by this
knowledge.  The respectable class, the men of property, and the heads of
families find no little comfort in this certainty of protection.  They
know they can trust to the troops, for the members of the National Guard
represent the best part of the population of New York, and are to a man
directly interested in preserving the peace and prosperity of the city.

The troops are always ready for duty.  They are scattered all over the
city, pursuing various useful callings, but at a certain signal sounded
from the City Hall bell, they will rally at their armories, and in an
hour there will be a strong body of trained troops ready to enforce the
law in any emergency.  No one can doubt that the summons will be obeyed,
for the past history of the division proves that even the men who are
careless about attending parades, etc., are very careful to be at their
posts in the hour of danger.

The employment of this force is not open to the objections that are
brought against the use of the military in a free country.  These men are
not mercenaries, but are useful and honorable citizens and members of
society.  They have a good record, and the history of the city contains
several conspicuous instances of their gallantry and devotion.  In 1837,
when the banks suspended specie payments, they alone prevented a terrible
and destructive riot.  In 1849, they promptly suppressed the Astor Place
Riot, which was brought about by a disgraceful attempt on the part of a
band of ruffians to mob the English actor Macready, who was then playing
at the Astor Place Opera House.  They prevented a serious riot at the
time of the creation of the Metropolitan Police Force, compelled Mayor
Wood and his partisans to yield obedience to the laws they had sworn to
disregard, and put down the disturbances which afterward occurred.  In
1863, when the famous Draft Riots commenced, they were absent from the
city, having been sent to meet Lee at Gettysburg.  They were summoned
back by telegraph, and returned in time to take up the battle which had
been for two days so gallantly fought by the police.  They made short
work of the mob, and soon restored order.  In July, 1871, they were
called on by the City Authorities to protect the Orange Lodges in their
right to parade.  An ignorant, brutal mob declared that the parade should
not take place because it was offensive to them, and made preparations to
stop it by force.  The Mayor of the city tamely yielded to the threats
and demands of the mob, and forbade the parade.  Fortunately for the
credit of the city, fortunately for the moral power of the law, the
Governor of the State revoked the order of the Mayor, and assured the
Orangemen of full protection in their right to parade.  The city, which
had rung with indignant cries at the cowardly surrender of the Mayor to
the mob, was now jubilant.  The regiments ordered on duty by the Governor
for the protection of the procession responded with alacrity, and came
out with full ranks.  The mob, still defiant, still thinking themselves
masters of the situation, made an attack on the procession and its
military escort.  The troops submitted in silence, until some of their
number were shot down in the ranks.  Then wheeling suddenly, they poured
a fatal volley into the midst of the rioters, who broke and fled in
dismay.  There was no further attempt at violence.  The lesson was a
useful one, and the effect fully worth the valuable lives that were laid
down in the defence of the law.



XXIX.  NASSAU STREET.


If you will go to the southern extremity of Printing House Square, on the
east side of the City Hall Park, you will see the opening of a narrow
street between the offices of the _Tribune_ and _Times_ newspapers.  This
is Nassau street.  It runs parallel with Broadway, and terminates at Wall
street.  It is about half a mile in length, and is one of the narrowest
and most inconvenient streets in the city, being less than fifty feet in
width.  The houses on each side are tall and sombre looking, and the
street is almost always in the shadow.  The roadway is hardly wide enough
for two vehicles to pass abreast, and the sidewalks could never by any
possible chance contain a crowd.  Indeed, the street is seldom thronged,
and the people you meet there seem to be possessed of but one desire--to
get out of it as fast as possible.  A stranger would, at the first
glance, unhesitatingly pronounce it an inconvenient as well as a
disagreeable thoroughfare, and yet the truth is that it is one of the
most important streets in the city in respect of the amount and variety
of the traffic carried on within its limits.

It would be hard to describe its architecture.  Scarcely any two houses
are built alike.  At the lower end, in the vicinity of Wall street, iron,
marble, and brown stone structures flourish, but above the Post-office
the buildings are a study.  The most of them are old, but all show signs
of vigorous life, and from cellar to attic they are jammed full of busy,
scheming, toiling men.

                        [Picture: NASSAU STREET.]

Along the street are some of the best known and most trusted banking
houses of the city, and millions of dollars are represented in their
daily transactions.  The great Post-office receives and sends out whole
tons of matter every twenty-four hours.  The bulk of the periodical, and
a large part of the book-trade are carried on here through the agency of
the great news companies.  Real estate men flourish here.  Struggling
lawyers seem to think this street the road to success, for here they
cluster by the score.  You may buy here diamonds of the purest water, and
others that had better be kept out of water.  The most valuable of
watches may be obtained here; also the most genuine pinchbeck timepieces.
If one is a judge of the article he is buying, he may frequently purchase
to advantage in Nassau street, but as a rule he must examine his purchase
closely before paying for it, and be sure he receives what he has
selected.  The variety of the pursuits carried on here may be ascertained
only by a diligent perusal of the signs that line the street.  Perhaps in
no other thoroughfare is there to be seen such a multitude of signs.  The
fronts of the houses are covered with them.  They appear in nearly every
window, and the walls of the halls of the buildings, and even the steps
themselves are covered with them.  Every device of the sign maker has
been exhausted here, and they tell their stories with more or less
emphasis, according to the ingenuity exercised upon them.  They tell you
of "Counsellors at Law," Publishers, Artists, Dealers in Foreign and
American Engravings, Jewellers, Engravers on Wood and Steel, Printers,
Stock Brokers, Gold Beaters, Restaurant Keepers, Dealers in Cheap
Watches, Agents of Literary Bureaux, Translators of Foreign Languages,
Fruit Sellers, Boarding House Brokers, Matrimonial Agents, Book Sellers,
Dealers in Indecent Publications, and a host of others too numerous to
mention.

Go into one of the numerous buildings, and a surprise awaits you.  You
might spend half a day in exploring it.  It rivals the Tower of Babel in
height, and is alive with little closets called "offices."  How people
doing business here are ever found by those having dealings with them is
a mystery.  Many, indeed, come here to avoid being found, for Nassau
street is the headquarters of those who carry on their business by
circulars, and under assumed names.  It is a good hiding place, and one
in which a culprit might safely defy the far-reaching arm of Justice.

Along the street, and mostly in the cellars, cluster the "Old Book
Stores" of New York, of which I shall have more to say hereafter, and
they add not a little to the singular character of the street.  The
proprietors are generally men who have been here for years, and who know
the locality well.  Many curious tales could they tell of their cramped
and dingy thoroughfare, tales that in vivid interest and dramatic force
would set up half a dozen novelists.

The Post-office draws all sorts of people into the street, and it is
interesting to watch them as they come and go.  But, as has been said, no
one stays here long; no one thinks of lounging in Nassau street.  Every
one goes at the top of his speed, and bumps and thumps are given and
taken with a coolness and patience known only to the New Yorker.  You may
even knock a man off his legs, and send him rolling into the gutter, and
he will smile, pick himself up again, and think no more of the matter.
On Broadway the same man would not fail to resent such an assault as an
intentional insult.  Every one here is full of unrest; every one seems
pre-occupied with his own affairs, and totally oblivious to all that is
passing around him.  In no part of the great city are you so fully
impressed with the shortness and value of time.  Even in the eating
houses, where the denizens of the street seek their noontide meal, you
see the same haste that is manifest on the street.  The waiters seem
terribly agitated and excited, they fairly fly to do your bidding,
pushing and bumping each other with a force that often sends their loads
of dishes clattering to the floor.  The man at the desk can hardly count
your change fast enough.  The guests bolt their food, gulp their liquors,
and dart through the green baize doors as if their lives depended upon
their speed.

So all day long they pour in and out of the marble banks, in and out of
the great Post-office, in and out of the dingy offices--the good and the
bad, the rich and the poor, the honest dealer and the sharper.  Few know
their neighbors here, fewer care for them; and gigantic successes and
dreary failures find their way into the street, adding year by year to
its romance and to its mystery.  At night the street is dark and
deserted.  Yet away up in some of the lofty buildings, the lights shining
through the dingy windows tell you that some busy brain is still scheming
and struggling--whether honestly or dishonestly, who can tell?



XXX.  THE METROPOLITAN FIRE DEPARTMENT.


The history of New York has been marked by a series of terrible fires,
which have destroyed many lives and swept away millions of dollars worth
of property.  In 1741 the first of these conflagrations swept over the
lower part of the city, consuming many houses, among them the old Dutch
fort and church.  On the 21st of September, 1776, during the occupation
of the city by the British, 493 houses were burned, and great distress
entailed in consequence upon the people.  On the 9th of August, 1778, a
third fire destroyed nearly 300 buildings east of Broadway and below
Pearl street.  In May, 1811, a fourth fire broke out in Chatham street
and consumed nearly 100 houses.  In 1828 a fifth fire destroyed about a
million of dollars worth of property.  On the 16th of December, 1835,
began the sixth and most disastrous of these conflagrations.  It raged
for three days and nights continuously, swept over an area of 45 acres,
destroyed 648 buildings, and entailed upon the citizens a loss of
$18,000,000.  In the face of this great disaster the insurance companies
unanimously suspended.  On the 19th of July, 1845, the seventh and last
fire broke out in New street, near Wall street, and swept in a southerly
direction, destroying 345 buildings.  The loss was $5,000,000.

As a matter of course, a city that has suffered so much from fires is in
especial need of the best known means of preventing and suppressing them.
Since the year 1653 there has been a Fire Department in New York, and it
would be an interesting task to review its history had we the space to do
so.  In its early days it was considered an honor to be a member of a
fire company, and some of the best of the old-time citizens were to be
found in the ranks of the various organizations.  The city took care to
keep the force provided with the most improved machines, and every effort
was made to render it as efficient as possible.  As the city increased in
wealth and population the character of the firemen changed.  The
respectable men left the organization, and their places were filled with
men who were drawn into it by the excitement which was to be found in
such a life.  Soon the department passed entirely into the hands of the
Bowery boys and other disreputable characters.  The engine houses were
rallying places for the worst characters of the vicinity, who amused
themselves in their leisure hours by fighting among themselves, or by
assaulting respectable passers-by.  A fire was the dread of the city, not
only for the damage the conflagration was sure to do, but for the
disturbance it brought about on the streets.  As soon as an alarm was
sounded the streets were filled with a yelling, reckless crowd, through
which the engines and hose-carriages dashed, regardless of those who were
run over.  Pandemonium seemed to have broken loose and taken possession
of the great thoroughfares.  If two rival companies met on the streets
they would leave the fire to work its will and fight their battle then
and there.  There was scarcely a fire without its accompanying riot.  The
fires themselves were disastrous.  Very little good was accomplished by
the firemen, and the losses were tremendous.  Adjoining buildings were
often broken open and robbed under pretence of saving them from the
flames.  In short, the whole department was a nuisance, and thinking men
saw that it was a great nursery of criminals and blackguards.  Efforts
were made to remedy the evil, but without success.  The members of the
department were volunteers, and were particularly impatient of control.
Many of the companies owned their own engines and other apparatus, and
refused to submit to any sort of restraint.  There was but one way to
bring good out of this evil, and at length the best men of the city
determined upon abolishing the old system entirely.  The demand for a
change grew stronger every day, and at last the Legislature of the State
set on foot measures for the abolition of the volunteer system and the
substitution of a paid force.

In March, 1865, the Legislature passed the bill creating the Metropolitan
Fire Department, and it at once received the Executive signature.  The
friends of the old system resolved to resist the attempt to overthrow it.
A case involving the constitutionality of the bill was brought before the
Court of Appeals, which body sustained the law.  Efforts were made by the
newly-appointed Commissioners to get the new system at work as soon as
possible; but in the meanwhile the partizans of the old system endeavored
to be revenged by disbanding the old force and leaving the city without
any means of extinguishing fires.  The danger was great, but it was
averted by detailing a force from the police to act as firemen in case of
necessity.  By November, 1865, the new system was thoroughly organized
and fairly at work.  Each succeeding year has witnessed some fresh
improvement, and at present New York has the best appointed and most
efficient Fire Department in the Union.

The force, as at present organized, is under the control of five
commissioners, appointed by the Mayor of the city.  They make rules and
regulations for the government of the force, exercise a general
supervision over its affairs, and are responsible to the municipal
government for their acts.  The force consists of a chief engineer, an
assistant engineer, ten district engineers, and 587 officers and men.
Each company consists of twelve persons, viz.: a foreman, assistant
foreman, engineer of steamer, a stoker, a driver, and seven firemen.
Each company is provided with a house, with engine room, stables,
quarters for the men, and rooms for study, drill, etc.  The basement
contains a furnace, by means of which the building is warmed and the
water in the engine kept hot.  Everything is kept in perfect order.  The
houses are clean and neat, and the engines and hose-carriages shine like
gold and silver.

The men are all paid by the city.  The firemen receive $1000 dollars per
annum, and the officers a higher sum, according to their duties and
responsibilities.  The men undergo a rigid physical examination, and are
required to present proofs of their good moral character before they are
admitted to the force.  The object is to have none but men perfectly
sound and free from habits tending to impair their usefulness in the
force.  They are generally fine specimens of manhood, are noticeably neat
in their dress and habits, and are just the opposite of the old-time
volunteer firemen.  Furthermore, they may be relied upon in any
emergency.

There are thirty-seven steam-engines in the department.  They are of the
second class or size, and perfect in all their appointments.  They were
built by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, of Manchester, New
Hampshire, and cost $4000 a-piece.  There is also a powerful floating
engine located on a steamboat, and used for extinguishing fires on the
piers or on vessels in the harbor.  It is kept near the Battery, so as to
be convenient to points in either river.  There are four hand engines,
located in the upper part of the island, and twelve hook and ladder
companies in the department.  Several engines are kept in reserve, and
are not counted in the active force.

The horses of the department are 156 in number.  They are large and
powerful animals, and are kept with the greatest care.  They are groomed
every day, and are fed punctually at six o'clock morning and evening.  If
not used on duty, they are exercised every day by being led to and fro in
the streets adjoining the engine-house.  They are thoroughly trained, and
will stand with perfect steadiness under the most exciting circumstances.
They know the sound of the alarm-bell as well as their driver, and the
moment it strikes they exhibit an impatience to be off which is
remarkable.  They are kept harnessed constantly, and it takes but a few
seconds to attach them to the engines.

The men are not allowed to have any other employment.  The department
claims their whole duty.  A certain number are required to be always at
the engine-house.  In case of an alarm being sounded during the absence
of a fireman from the engine-house he runs directly to the fire, where he
is sure to find his company.  A watch is always kept in the engine-room
day and night.  After ten at night the men are allowed to go to bed, but
must so arrange matters beforehand that they shall lose no time in
dressing.  The horses stand harnessed in their stalls, the boiler is
filled with hot water, and the furnaces are supplied with wood which
burns at the touch of a match.  It requires but fifteen seconds in the
day and but one minute at night to be ready for action and on the way to
the fire.

Scattered through the city are lofty towers, from which men keep a
constant watch for fires.  They are thoroughly acquainted with the
various localities of New York, and can tell at a glance the exact
neighborhood of the fire.  From their lofty elevation they see the first
cloud of smoke if it be day, or the first red glare if at night, and the
next instant the alarm is sent over the city on the wings of electricity.

All signals and messages connected with the Fire Department are
transmitted by telegraph, and for this purpose there is a distinct line
through the city for the use of the department.  By means of this line
the various engine-houses are brought into communication with each other
and with the central station and police headquarters.  As the
station-houses alone, however, would not suffice for the prompt
communication of alarms, signal-boxes are scattered through the city at
the most convenient points.  These boxes are so situated that they may be
reached from any point in a few minutes.  They are several hundred in
number, and are being multiplied as rapidly as possible.  The engraving
accompanying this chapter shows the appearance and mechanism of the
signal box.

The box is attached to the telegraph pole, and is about twenty-four
inches high, by twelve inches wide, and five inches deep.  Every officer
and member of the Fire Department, every officer and member of the Police
Force, and every officer of the Fire Insurance Patrol is furnished with a
key which will open all the boxes.  A key is also deposited with the
occupant of a building near the box, and a notice showing the location of
this key is always placed in a glass case at the top of the box.
Key-holders are cautioned not to open the box except in case of fire; not
to give an alarm unless sure of a fire; not to give an alarm for a fire
seen at a distance; not to pull down the hook more than once in giving an
alarm; to be sure, after giving an alarm, that the door of the box is
securely fastened; and not to let the key go out of their possession
except when demanded by proper authority.

                    [Picture: FIRE ALARM SIGNAL-BOX.]

The engraving referred to will show the manner of giving an alarm.  There
are two doors to each box, an outer and an inner door, lettered
respectively F and G in the engraving.  The door G is to be kept closed
unless it becomes necessary to repeat the alarm.  The outer door, F, is
opened, and the catch A is drawn down firmly.  This winds up a spring, by
means of the lever B, which sets in motion the wheel C, and strikes the
number of the box on the gong D and on the instrument at the Fire
Department headquarters.  Should it be necessary to give a second or
third alarm, the door G is opened and the Morse key E is struck ten
times.

In this way all alarms are sent, first to the central office, and thence
to the various engine-houses.  The alarm from the central office is
struck on a large gong placed in a conspicuous part of the engine-room of
every engine or hook and ladder company.  The locality, and often the
precise site of the fire can be ascertained by means of these signals.
For instance, the bell strikes 157 thus: _one_--a pause--_five_--another
pause--_seven_.  The indicator will show that this alarm-box is at the
corner of the Bowery and Grand street.  The fire is either at this point
or within its immediate neighborhood.  The signals are repeated on all
the bells in the fire-towers of the city, and the citizens, by consulting
their printed indicators, can inform themselves of the location of the
fire.  On an alarm of fire about one-sixth of the whole force goes to the
place of danger.  If the alarm be repeated the number is increased by
another sixth, and so on until the necessary force is obtained.  Each
company is restricted to certain portions of the city, so that there is
no confusion in sending out the proper force.

As soon as the sharp strokes of the gong give the signal of danger, and
point out the locality, every man springs to his post.  The horses are
attached in a few seconds, the fire is lighted in the furnace, and the
steamer and hose carriage start for the scene of action.  The foreman
runs on foot, ahead of his steamer, to clear the way, and the driver may
keep up with him, but is not allowed to pass him.  Only the engineer, his
assistant, and the stoker are allowed to ride on the engine.  The rest of
the company go on foot.  Fast driving is severely punished, and racing is
absolutely prohibited.  The men are required to be quiet and orderly in
their deportment in going to and returning from fires.  The engines have
the right of way in all the streets.  This is well understood, and it is
astonishing to see the rapidity with which a route is cleared for them
through the most crowded streets.

Upon reaching the fire, communication is made between the plug or hydrant
and the engine, and the work begins.  The chief engineer is required to
attend all fires, and all orders proceed from him.  The most rigid
discipline is preserved, and the work goes on with a rapidity and
precision which are in striking contrast to the noise and inefficiency of
the old system.

A force of policemen is at once sent to a fire.  They stretch ropes
across the streets at proper distances from the burning buildings, and no
one but the members of the Fire Department is allowed to pass these
barriers.  In this way the firemen have room for the performance of their
duties, lookers-on are kept at a safe distance, and the movable property
in the burning house is saved from thieves.  Merchants and others have
frequently given grateful testimony to the protection afforded their
property by the firemen.  Upon one occasion the members of the department
had complete possession for several hours of every part of the building
containing the immense and valuable stock of jewelry of Messrs. Tiffany &
Co. This firm made a public declaration that after a rigid investigation
they had not missed a penny's worth of their property, and gratefully
acknowledged the protection afforded them.  Under the old system Messrs.
Tiffany & Co. would have been ruined.

                      [Picture: A FIRE IN NEW YORK.]

The life of a fireman is very arduous and dangerous, but the applicants
for vacancies in the department are numerous.  The men are often called
upon not only to face great personal danger, but they are also subjected
to a severe physical strain from the loss of rest, and fatigue.
Sometimes they will be called out and worked hard every night in the
week, and all the while they are required to be as prompt and active as
though they had never lost a night's rest.  They are constantly
performing deeds of heroism, which pass unnoticed in the bustle and whirl
of the busy life around them, but which are treasured up in the grateful
heart of some mother, wife, or parent, whose loved ones owe their lives
to the fireman's gallantry.

During the recent visit to New York of the Prince Alexis of Russia, a
pleasing instance of the efficiency of the department was given.  The
Prince had just reviewed a detachment of the department, and had returned
to his hotel (the Clarendon), in Fourth avenue, just out of Union Square.
One of the Fire Commissioners proposed to him to test the efficiency of
the force he had just inspected, and accompanied him to the alarm box at
the corner of Fourth avenue and Seventeenth street, about half a block
from the hotel.  The box being opened, the Prince gave the signal, and
immediately returned to his hotel.  Before he had reached the balcony,
the sharp clatter of wheels was heard in the distance, and in a few
seconds several steamers clashed up, "breathing fire and smoke," followed
by a hook and ladder detachment and the Insurance Patrol.  Within three
minutes after the alarm had been sounded, two streams were thrown on the
Everett House, and within five minutes ladders were raised to the hotel
windows, and the men were on the roofs of the adjoining buildings.

Thanks to the model department, New York feels a security from fires
unknown until now.  The hopes of the friends of the new system have been
more than realized.  The fire statistics speak more eloquently than words
could, and they show a steady decrease of the loss by fire.  In 1866,
there were 796 fires, involving a loss of $6,428,000; in 1867, the number
of fires was 873, and the loss $5,711,000; in 1868, the fires were 740 in
number, and the loss was $4,342,371; and in 1869 there were 850 fires,
with a loss of $2,626,393.  In the last mentioned year, only 43 out of
the 850 fires were communicated to the adjoining buildings, a fact which
speaks volumes for the exertions of the department.

The Headquarters of the department are located at 127 Mercer street, in a
handsome building known as Fireman's Hall.  Here are the offices of the
Commissioners, the Chief Engineer, Secretary, Medical officer, Telegraph
Bureau, Bureau of Combustible materials, and Fireman's Lyceum.  The
Lyceum contains a library of over 4000 volumes, and a collection of
engravings, documents, and relics relating to the old Fire Department.
All fines exacted of firemen, and those imposed on citizens for violating
the ordinances relating to hatchways and kerosene lamps, are paid into
the treasury of the "Fire Department Relief Fund," for the maintenance of
the widows and orphans of firemen.



XXXI.  THE BUSINESS OF NEW YORK.


New York is the commercial metropolis of the Union.  Its local trade is
immense, but its foreign trade and its trade with the rest of the country
are much greater.  The port is the American terminus of nearly all the
steamship lines plying between the United States and foreign countries.
About two-thirds of all the imports of the United States arrive in New
York, and about forty per cent. of all the exports of the country are
shipped from the same point.  In 1870, the total imports amounted to
$315,200,022.  The Customs duties on these amounted to $135,310,995.  The
imports are given at their foreign cost in gold, and freight and duty are
not included in this estimate.  The exports for the same year (including
$58,191,475 in specie) were worth $254,137,208.  The total of imports and
exports for that year was $569,337,230, the value of the foreign trade of
New York.

The domestic trade is also immense.  During the year 1864 some of the
receipts of the port were as follows:

Barrels of wheat flour              3,967,717
Bushels of wheat                    13,453,135
     "     oats                     12,952,238
     "     corn                     7,164,895
Packages of pork                    332,454
      "     beef                    209,664
      "     cut meats               268,417
      "     butter                  551,153
      "     cheese                  756,872
Tierces and barrels of lard         186,000
Kegs of lard                        16,104
Barrels of whiskey                  289,481
      "    petroleum                775,587

New York has many advantages over its rivals.  Merchants find a better
and a more extensive and varied market, and as they like to combine
pleasure with business, find more attractions here than elsewhere.  New
York is emphatically a great city, and it is entirely free from
provincialisms of any kind.  The narrow notions of smaller places are
quickly replaced here with metropolitan and cosmopolitan ideas, tastes
and habits.  Moreover, the city is the chief centre of wealth, of art, of
talent, and of luxury.  These things are too firmly secured to be taken
away, and strangers must come here to enjoy them.  Merchants from other
States and cities like the liberal and enterprising spirit which
characterizes the dealings of the New York merchants.  They can buy here
on better terms than elsewhere, and their relations with the merchants of
this city are generally satisfactory and pleasant.  Besides this, they
find their visits here of real benefit to them in their own callings.
The energy, or to use an American term, "the push" of New York
exhilarates them, and shows them how easily difficulties, which in less
enterprising places seem insurmountable, may be overcome.  They go back
home braced up to their work, and filled with new and larger ideas.

Between ten and fifteen millions of strangers annually visit New York for
business and pleasure.  All spend large sums of money during their stay,
and a very large part of this finds its way into the pockets of the
retail dealers of the city.  The hotels, boarding houses, restaurants,
livery stables, and places of amusement reap large profits from these
visitors.  Indeed, the whole city is benefited to a very great extent by
them, and it thus enjoys a decided advantage over all its rivals.

Everything here gives way to business.  The changes in the city are,
perhaps, more strictly due to this than to the increase of the
population.  It is a common saying that "business is rapidly coming up
town."  Private neighborhoods disappear every year, and long lines of
substantial and elegant warehouses take the places of the comfortable
mansions of other days.  The lower part of the city is taken up almost
exclusively by wholesale and commission houses, and manufactories.  The
retail men and small dealers are being constantly forced higher up town.
A few years ago the section of the city lying between Fourth and
Twenty-third streets was almost exclusively a private quarter.  Now it is
being rapidly invaded by business houses.  Broadway has scarcely a
residence below the Park.  The lower part of Fifth avenue is being
swiftly converted into a region of stores and hotels, and residents are
being steadily driven out of Washington and Union Squares.  Even Madison
Square is beginning to feel the change.  But a few years ago it was
regarded as the highest point that New York would ever reach in its
upward growth.

Enterprise, talent, and energy are indispensable to any one who wishes to
succeed in business in New York.  Fortunes can he made legitimately here
quicker than in many other places, but the worker must have patience.
Fortune comes slowly everywhere if honestly sought.  There is also
another quality indispensable to a genuine success.  It is honesty and
integrity.  Sharp practices abound in the city, but those who use them
find their road a hard one.  No man can acquire a good and steady
credit--which credit is of more service to him here than in almost any
other place in the world--without establishing a reputation for rigid
integrity.  The merchants of the city are keen judges of character, and
they have no patience with sharpers.  They will deal with them only on a
strictly cash basis.

The city abounds in instances of the success which has attended honest,
patient, and intelligent efforts.  John Jacob Astor was a poor butcher's
son.  Cornelius Vanderbilt was a boatman.  Daniel Drew was a drover.  The
Harpers and Appletons were printers' apprentices.  A. T. Stewart was an
humble, struggling shopkeeper.  A well-known financier began by blacking
a pair of boots.  Opportunities as good as these men ever had are
occurring every day.  Those who are competent to seize them may do so,
and rise to fortune and position.

Many of the colossal fortunes of the city have been created by the rise
in the value of real estate.  The rapid growth of the city during the
past twelve years has greatly increased the value of property in the
upper sections.  Many persons who but a few years ago were owners of
tracts which were simply burdensome by reason of the numerous and heavy
assessments upon them, and for which no purchasers could be found, have
become very wealthy by the rapid increase in the value of their property.
Many persons owning property of this kind sold at a heavy advance during
the real estate speculations that succeeded the war.  Others leased their
lands to parties wishing to build on them.  Others still hold on for
further improvement.  The Astors, A. T. Stewart, Vanderbilt and others
have made a large share of their money by their investments in real
estate.

A farm near the Central Park, which could not find a purchaser in 1862,
when it was offered at a few thousand dollars, sold in 1868 in building
lots for almost as many millions.

In 1860 a gentleman purchased a handsome house in a fashionable
neighborhood.  It was a corner house and fronted on Fifth avenue.  He
paid $50,000 for it, and spent $25,000 more in fitting up and furnishing
it.  His friends shook their heads at his extravagance.  Since then he
has resided in the house, and each year his property has increased in
value.  In 1869 he was offered nearly $300,000 dollars for the house and
furniture, but refused to sell at this price, believing that he would be
able in a few years to command a still larger sum.



XXXII.  THE SABBATH IN NEW YORK.


On Sunday morning New York puts on its holiday dress.  The stores are
closed, the streets have a deserted aspect, for the crowds of vehicles,
animals and human beings that fill them on other days are absent.  There
are no signs of trade anywhere except in the Bowery and Chatham street.
The city has an appearance of cleanliness and quietness pleasant to
behold.  The wharves are hushed and still, and the river and bay lie calm
and bright in the light of the Sabbath sun.  One misses the stages from
Broadway, and a stranger at once credits the coachmen with a greater
regard for the day than their brothers of the street cars.  The fact is,
however, that Jehu of the stagecoach rests on the Sabbath because his
business would be unprofitable on that day.  The people who patronize him
in the week have no use for him on Sunday.  The horse-cars make their
trips as in the week.  They are a necessity in so large a city.  The
distances one is compelled to pass over here, even on Sunday, are too
great to be traversed on foot.

Towards ten o'clock the streets begin to fill up with churchgoers.  The
cars are crowded, and handsome carriages dash by conveying their owners
to their places of worship.  The uptown churches are the most
fashionable, and are the best attended, but all the sacred edifices are
well filled on Sunday morning.  New York compromises with its conscience
by a scrupulous attendance upon morning worship, and reserves the rest of
the day for its own convenience.  The up-town churches all strive to get
in, or as near as possible to, the Fifth avenue.  One reason for this is,
doubtless, the desire that all well-to-do New Yorkers have to participate
in the after-church promenade.  The churches close their services near
about the same hour, and then each pours its throng of fashionably
dressed people into the avenue.  The congregations of distant churches
all find their way to the avenue, and for about an hour after church the
splendid street presents a very attractive spectacle.  The toilettes of
the ladies show well here, and it is a pleasant place to meet one's
acquaintances.

The majority of New Yorkers dine at one o'clock on Sunday, the object
being to allow the servants the afternoon for themselves.  After dinner
your New Yorker, male or female, thinks of enjoyment.  If the weather is
fair the fashionables promenade the Fifth and Madison avenues, or drive
in the park.  The working classes fill the street-cars, and throng the
Central Park.  In the summer whole families of laboring people go to the
park early in the morning, taking a lunch with them, and there spend the
entire day.  In the skating season the lakes are thronged with skaters.
The church bells ring out mournfully towards three o'clock, but few
persons answer the call.  The afternoon congregations are wofully thin.

In the mild season, the adjacent rivers and the harbor are thronged with
pleasure boats filled with excursionists, and the various horse and steam
railway lines leading from the city to the sea-shore are well patronized.

Broadway wears a silent and deserted aspect all day long, but towards
sunset the Bowery brightens up wonderfully, and after nightfall the
street is ablaze with a thousand gaslights.  The low class theatres and
places of amusement in that thoroughfare are opened towards dark, and
then vice reigns triumphant in the Bowery.  The Bowery beer-gardens do a
good business.  The most of them are provided with orchestras or huge
orchestrions, and these play music from the ritual of the Roman Catholic
Church.

Until very recently the bar-rooms were closed from midnight on Saturday
until midnight on Sunday, and during that period the sale of intoxicating
liquors was prohibited.  Now all this is changed.  The bar-rooms do a
good business on Sunday, and especially on Sunday night.  The Monday
morning papers tell a fearful tale of crimes committed on the holy day.
Assaults, fights, murders, robberies, and minor offences are reported in
considerable numbers.  Drunkenness is very common, and the Monday Police
Courts have plenty of work to do.

At night the churches are better attended than in the afternoon, but not
as well as in the morning.

Sunday concerts, given at first-class places of amusement, are now quite
common.  The music consists of masses, and other sacred airs, varied with
selections from popular operas.  The performers are famous throughout the
country for their musical skill, and the audiences are large and
fashionable.  No one seems to think it sinful thus to desecrate the
Lord's Day; and it must be confessed that these concerts are the least
objectionable Sunday amusements known to our people.

It must not be supposed that the dissipation of which we have spoken is
confined exclusively to the rougher class.  Old and young men of
respectable position participate in it as well.  Some are never called on
to answer for it, others get into trouble with the police authorities.
One reason for this dissipation is plain.  People are so much engrossed
in the pursuit of wealth that they really have no leisure time in the
week.  They must take Sunday for relaxation and recreation, and they
grudge the few hours in the morning that decency requires them to pass in
church.



XXXIII.  THE POST-OFFICE


I.  INTERNAL ARRANGEMENTS.


Strange to say, the great metropolis, in which the largest postal
business in the country is transacted, has never had a building for a
Post-office, which was erected for that purpose.  It has been compelled
to put up with any temporary accommodation that could be obtained, and
for many years past its Post-office has been simply a disgrace to the
nation.

In the days of the Dutch, letters were brought over from Europe by the
shipmasters and delivered to some coffee house keeper, who took charge of
them until the persons to whom they were addressed could call for them.
This custom was continued under the English until 1686, when the
authorities required that all ship letters should be placed in charge of
the Collector of the Port.  In 1692, the city authorities established a
Post-office, and in 1710, the Postmaster-General of Great Britain removed
the headquarters of the postal service of the Colonies from Philadelphia
to New York.  The first city Post-office was located in Broadway opposite
Beaver street.  About the year 1804, the Post-office was removed to No.
29 William street, corner of Garden street, now Exchange Place, where it
remained until 1825, when the Government leased the "Academy building" in
Garden street, now Exchange Place, and opened it as a Post-office.  In
1827, the office was transferred to the basement of the Merchants'
Exchange, the site now occupied by the Custom House.  Wall street was
then just undergoing the change from private residences to bankers' and
brokers' offices.  The Merchants' Exchange was destroyed in the great
fire of 1835, and the next day a Post-office was extemporized in a brick
building in Pine, near Nassau street, and shortly after was transferred
to the Rotunda, in the City Hall Park, which had been offered to the
Government by the municipal authorities.  The Rotunda, however, proved
too small for the business of the department, which had been greatly
increased by the establishment of lines of railways and steamboats
between New York and the various parts of the country, and in 1845 the
Post-office was removed to the Middle Dutch Church, in Nassau street,
between Pine and Cedar streets, its present location, which was purchased
by the Government for the sum of $350,000.

                     [Picture: THE OLD POST-OFFICE.]

This building has always been entirely unsuited to the needs of a
Post-office for such a city as New York.  It was dedicated in 1732, and
was used for worship by one of the Dutch congregations of the city.  In
1776, the British having occupied the city, it was converted into a
prison by the conquerors for the incarceration of their rebellious
captives.  It was subsequently used by them as a riding school for the
instruction of cavalry.  After the British evacuated the city, the
congregation reoccupied it, and refitted it for religious worship.  After
paying for it the large sum mentioned above, the Government was compelled
to make a further expenditure of $80,000, to fit it up for its new uses.
Since then many changes, some involving a heavy outlay, have been made in
the building, but even now it is not capable of meeting the demands upon
it, and the Government is now engaged in the erection of a new building
expressly designed for a Post-office.

The Pine street front is devoted to the reception and departure of the
mails.  The street is generally filled with wagons bearing the mystic
words, "U.S. Mail."  Some are single-horse vehicles, used for carrying
the bags between the main office and the numerous stations scattered
through the city; others are immense wagons, drawn by four and six
horses, and carrying several tons of matter at a time.  These are used
for the great Eastern, Western, and Southern, and the Foreign Mails.  The
Pine street doors present a busy sight at all hours, and the duties of
the men employed there are not light.  Huge sacks from all parts of the
world are arriving nearly every hour, and immense piles of similar sacks
are dispatched with the regularity of clockwork.

The body of the building, by which is meant the old church room itself,
is used for opening and making up the mails.  This work is carried on on
the main floor, and in the heavy, old-fashioned gallery which runs around
three of the sides.  Huge semi-circular forms are scattered about the
floor, each divided into a number of open squares.  From each of these
squares hangs a mail bag, each square being marked with the name of the
city or town to which the bag is to be sent.  A clerk stands within the
curve of the form, before a table filled with letters and papers, and
tosses them one by one into the squares to which they belong.  This is
done with the utmost rapidity, and long practice has made the clerk so
proficient that he never misses the proper square.  The stamping of the
office mark and cancelling of the postage stamps on letters to be sent
away is incessant, and the room resounds with the heavy thud of the
stamp.  This is no slight work, as the clerks who perform it can testify.
The upper floor is devoted to the use of the Post-Master and his
Assistants, the Superintendent of the City Delivery, and the Money Order
and Registered Letter Offices.  A wooden corridor has been built along
the side of the church along Nassau and Cedar streets, and here, on the
street floor, are the box and general deliveries, and the stamp windows.
This is the public portion of the office, and is always thronged.

The visitor will notice, in various parts of this corridor, the slides
for the depositing of letters and papers intended for the mails.  The
accumulation of mail matter here is so great that it is necessary that
letters designed for a certain part of the country should be deposited in
one particular place.  Letters for New England must be placed in a
certain box, those for the Middle States in another, those for the
Southern States in another, those for the West in another.  The names of
the States are painted conspicuously above each box, so that there may be
no mistake on the part of strangers.  Letters for the principal countries
of Europe and Asia are posted in the same way.  Newspapers and
periodicals have a separate department.  The mails of these journals are
made up in the office of publication, according to certain instructions
furnished by the Postmaster, and go to the Post-office properly assorted
for distribution.  This system of depositing mail matter saves an immense
amount of labor on the part of the clerks, and also hastens the departure
of the mails from the office.

The Box Delivery contains nearly seven thousand boxes, on each of which
the enormous rent of $16 per annum is charged.  Considering that the box
system is quite as advantageous to the Government as to the box holder,
this rent is simply extortionate.

The daily business of the New York Post-office is enormous, and is
rapidly increasing.  The letters received by mail steamers from foreign
countries, partly for delivery in the city, and partly to be forwarded to
other places, average about fifteen thousand daily.  The number
dispatched from this office by steamer to foreign countries is about
seventeen thousand daily.  The number of letters sent from New York to
other offices in the United States is about one hundred and fifty-five
thousand daily.  The number received from domestic offices for delivery
in the city is about one hundred and twenty-six thousand daily; in
addition to about seventy-two thousand per day, which are to be forwarded
to other offices.  About one hundred thousand letters, and about twenty
thousand printed circulars, are mailed every day in the city, for city
delivery.  The carriers deliver daily, to persons who do not hire boxes
at the general office, about fifty-three thousand letters; and collect
from the street boxes about one hundred and one thousand letters every
twenty-four hours.  About five hundred registered letters, of which about
four hundred are for delivery in the city, are received, and about two
hundred and fifty are dispatched, daily.  About one thousand dollars are
paid out daily on money orders, and a much larger amount is received for
orders granted to applicants.  The sales of postage stamps amount to
about forty-four thousand dollars per week.  About two hundred unstamped
letters are deposited in the office daily, and about one hundred letters
on which the name of the town or State is written improperly, or on which
the address is illegible.  These are all sent to the Dead Letter Office,
in Washington.

The number of persons employed as clerks, porters, etc., in the general
office and the various stations, is 715.

The city is too large to admit of the transaction of all its business by
the general office.  To meet the necessities of the town, and to insure
the rapid dispatch of the postal business, about 700 "lamp-post boxes,"
or iron boxes attached to the posts of the street lamps, are scattered
through the city.  Letters for the mails and for delivery in the city are
deposited in these boxes, from which they are collected by the
letter-carriers nine times each day, except Sunday, between the hours of
seven A.M. and seven P.M.  The Sunday collection is made once, at seven
in the evening.

There are fourteen branch or Sub-Post-offices, designated as "Stations,"
located in convenient parts of the city, north of the general office.
They are named from the letters of the alphabet, and are known as
"Stations A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, K, L, M, N, and O."  They are designed
to serve as distributing centres for certain sections of the city.  They
receive from the general office all letters and papers for delivery in
their sections, and to them the carriers bring all the matter collected
from the lamp-boxes.  There is no delivery from them except through the
carriers.  They dispatch to the general office, at stated times
throughout the day, all matter deposited in their boxes or collected from
the lamp-boxes by the carriers.

A recent writer thus relates some of the gossip connected with the
office:

"People who come to the Post-office and make complaints of being robbed,
when they discover that they were mistaken never call and make
reparation, or relieve the department of the charge made against its
employes.  A merchant, much excited, complained that a letter sent to him
'by a most responsible house,' containing $500, had not been received.
This charge was fortified by showing a letter from the postmaster who
mailed the missing letter, certifying that it was forwarded, and
contained the $500.  Detectives were at once set to work to unravel the
iniquity, but all efforts proved unavailing.  Finally the Post-office
authorities, after weeks of hard work, called on the complaining merchant
and asked if he had heard anything about the missing money.  'Oh,'
replied the gentleman, with great vivacity, 'that's all right; by mistake
that letter was thrown into the safe, and remained unopened nearly four
weeks.  Funny, wasn't it?'  Not even an apology was made for charging the
Post-office with purloining the money, or for giving its officers so much
unnecessary trouble.

"Charges of dishonesty against the Post-office are made where nobody but
'extraordinary circumstances' are to blame.  A letter containing two
$1000 bills in it was delivered by the carrier, who, according to custom
(ignorant of its contents, of course), at the house of its owner, shoved
it into the hallway, under the door.  The letter was missing.  Complaint
was made at the Post-office; evidence was produced that the money had
been forwarded.  The detectives were set to work to trace out the
robbery.  The poor carrier, and the clerks in the office who handled the
letter were placed under surveillance.  The clerks where the letter was
mailed were 'shadowed.'  Every dollar they expended after the probable
robbery was secretly inquired into, to see if any of them had been at any
given time, after the letter was lost, unusually 'flush;' but all signs
failed.  After a long time the floor covering of the hall was taken up,
and there was the letter, 'safe and sound;' the unfortunate carrier had
thrust it under, instead of over, the oilcloth.

"The misdirection of letters is the cause of serious charges against the
Post-office.  A letter containing $700 was mailed from Albany to New
York.  It was sent from a well-known person, and the package which was
supposed to contain the letter, made up in Albany, was not opened until
it reached New York.  Both ends of the line were under suspicion.  It was
stated that the letter was addressed to Mr. --- ---, Broadway, New York.
After a long search it was found that the letter had never left Albany at
all, being directed by mistake, Mr. --- ---, Broadway, Albany, and the
faithful clerks had thrown it into their own city delivery box instead of
forwarding it to New York.  The confusion in the mind of the writer grew
out of the fact that there is a Broadway in both cities, and from force
of habit he wrote the wrong address.

"Miserable chirography is one of the most prolific causes of Post-office
inefficiency.  It is safe to say that unmistakably written directions
would remove nine-tenths of the complaints.  What is a non-plussed clerk
to do with letters addressed to 'Mahara Seney,' 'Old Cort,' or 'Cow
House,' when Morrisonia, Olcott, and Cohoes were really intended?

"One day, possibly four years ago, Mr. Kelly was sitting in his private
office opening his _personal_ letters, and enjoying the delusion that
everything was working satisfactorily, when, to his surprise, he found
one letter from Washington calling his especial attention to the
'inclosed editorial,' cut from the _Tribune_, in which the carelessness
of his clerks, and the generally unsatisfactory manner with which he
carried on his business, were dilated upon, ending with the startling
announcement that, under the present management of the department, it
took _four days_ to get a letter from New York to Chappaqua, distance
about thirty miles, and made literally no distance by a fast railway!
Consternation ensued, and Mr. Kelly, to commence examination into these
serious charges, sent a special agent to Chappaqua for the envelope of
said delayed letter.  At the place named the official fortunately not
only found what he went after (the envelope), but also Mr. Greeley and
'Miles O'Reilly.'  After due explanations, the envelope was handed to
Miles O'Reilly, with the query of what he thought was the meaning of the
superscription.

"Why,' said that genial wit, who had once been a deputy postmaster, 'the
devil himself couldn't make it out.'

"The envelope was then brought to the attention of the berated clerks,
who looked at it with glazed eyes, the hieroglyphics suggesting somewhat
the same intellectual speculation that would result from studying the
footprints of a gigantic spider that had, after wading knee-deep in ink,
retreated hastily across the paper.

"At the Post-office, when they distribute letters, those on which the
direction is not instantly made out, to save time, are thrown in a pile
for especial examination; if a second and more careful study fails, they
are consigned to an especial clerk, who is denominated the chief of the
bureau of 'hards.'  To this important functionary the envelope of
Chappaqua was at last referred.  He examined it a moment, and his eye
flashed with the expression of recognizing an old acquaintance.  'This
thing,' said he, holding up the envelope with the tip ends of his
fingers, 'came to me some days ago along with the other "hards."  I
studied the superscription at my leisure a whole day, but couldn't make
it out.  I then showed it to the best experts in handwriting attached to
the office, and called on outsiders to test their skill; but what the
writing meant, _if it was writing_, was a conundrum that we all gave up.
Finally, in desperation, it was suggested, as a last resort, to send it
to Chappaqua, which happened to be its place of destination.'  Such is
the _literal_ history of the reason of an earnestly written denunciation
of the inefficiency of the city post."



II.  THE NEW POST-OFFICE.


In 1869, the General Government decided to depart from the niggardly
policy it had hitherto pursued towards the City of New York, and to take
steps toward the erection of a Post-office adequate to the needs of the
great and growing community which demanded this act of justice at its
hands.  It was decided to erect an edifice which should be an ornament to
the city, and capable of accommodating the City Postal service for
generations to come.  The Municipal Authorities, in order to secure the
erection of the building in the most convenient part of the city, offered
to sell to the General Government the lower end of the City Hall Park.
The offer was accepted, and the land was purchased by the Government.
The corner stone was laid in June, 1869.  At the present writing
(January, 1872,) the first story has been finished.  It will probably
require several years to complete the edifice.  The price paid for the
land was $500,000, a merely nominal sum.  It is expected that the
building will cost about $4,000,000.

"The exterior walls are to be of Dix Island granite, and the dimensions
of the four fronts are severally as follows: the northerly side (toward
the City Hall) is about 300 feet; the Broadway and Park Row fronts,
respectively, 270 feet; and the southerly part, 130 feet.

                     [Picture: THE NEW POST-OFFICE.]

"The difficulty of laying the foundations may be judged from the
following facts: The depth of excavation over the entire plot was over
thirty feet, and the material to be removed was entirely loose sand,
while the traffic in Broadway and Park Row, including railroad cars and
omnibuses, was enormous, involving the danger of a caving-in of both
streets!  The trenches in which the retaining walls and pier foundations
were to be laid had to be completely incased in sheet-piling, shored
across with timbers, under the protection of which the excavation was
carried on and the masonry laid.  The excavation was done mostly at
night, the ground being illuminated by magnesium light.  The outer walls,
and those of the court, and the foundations of the interior columns are
based on huge granite blocks, the granite being laid on massive beds of
concrete.  One hundred and fifty-nine iron columns in the basement, and
117 in the first story, support the walls and floors.  The piers of the
cellar are of granite, or arcaded brick and iron; the stairs are of stone
and iron; the chimneys, of stone; the roof and its ornaments, of iron,
covered with slate and copper.  Four large low-pressure boilers supply
the steam for heating the entire building.  The roofs of the corner
pavilions rise 107 feet above the sidewalk.  The cellar is a little more
than seven feet in the clear; the basement, sixteen feet; the first
corridor, fourteen feet; and the half-story above it--both completing the
first story--also fourteen feet.  The entire circuit of the building is
over one-fifth of a mile.

"The style of architecture is the classical Italian Renaissance, with
some modifications to harmonize with the treatment of the roofs, which
are to be French, as best suited to such architecture on a large scale.
The Mansard roof will be covered with an ironclad cornice and metallic
cresting.

"The irregular angles imposed by the shape of the lot are marked by
semi-hexagonal pavilions.  The main building line is withdrawn from the
lower, or southerly front, to extend the facade on that side.  The roof,
square-domed, rests on three arms of a Greek cross, out of the centre of
which rises a heavily buttressed cupola, carrying projecting pediments,
with detached columns on its four faces.  The foot of the flagstaff,
which is to surmount the cupola, will be 160 feet above the sidewalk.

"The fronts on Broadway and Park Row, respectively, are broken by square
central pavilions, with pyramidal roofs, of which the first and second
stories are faced with detached colonnades of coupled columns.  Below are
the main lateral entrances to the Post-office corridor.  The centre of
the largest and northerly front is relieved by a broad pavilion with a
two-story colonnade, roofed with a dome, the balustrade of which is 150
feet above the sidewalk.  The dome is lighted by a range of round
windows, and surmounted by an attic, ornamented by a sculptured pediment
and a crown with the national arms.  The form of the building is,
substantially, a trapezoid, with an open triangular court in the centre,
below the main story; it includes a sub-basement, basement, three stories
in the walls, and a roof story.

"A drive-way, or street, forty feet in width, reserved from the northerly
side of the ground purchased by the Government, serves as an approach to
that front, and secures the perfect isolation of the building, with
perpetual access of light and air on that side, as well as on the other
sides, whatever changes may hereafter be made in the adjoining ground.

"The principal entrances are at the south west front under a portico,
which gives access to the Post-office corridor, and by a broad double
staircase to the upper stories; and at the northerly corner pavilions on
Broadway and Park Row, where two great elliptical stairways lead again to
the higher stories, but do not communicate with the ground-floor, being
reserved for the United States Courts, and their dependencies.  Besides
these, there are lateral entrances to the Post-office corridor on
Broadway and Park Row, and to the Post-office proper on those two sides,
and also on the northerly front.

"The sub-basement, or cellar, and the basement, cover the whole area of
the lot, and are extended under the sidewalks, the central court and the
drive-way on the northerly side.  The cellar will be used for the
boilers, engines and heating apparatus, and for the storage of coal and
other bulky material.  The basements and the first story are reserved for
the use of the Post-office.

"The first story occupies the entire space of the building, including the
central court, which is here roofed with glass; the walls of which, with
all the interior partitions of the stories above, are, in this story and
the basement, carried on columns, leaving the whole area of the
Post-office roof open to light and free use and communication.

"The corridor for the use of the public occupies the exterior belt of the
ground-floor on the southerly front, and on the Broadway and Park Row
fronts far enough to include the central pavilions, and it is separated
from the Post-office room by a Box and Delivery screen.  This corridor is
half the height of the first story, and the space above it is occupied by
a half-story, which, being entirely open on the inside, forms a gallery
encompassing the Post-office room on three sides.  The high windows of
the first story, running through both the corridor and the half-story,
give an uninterrupted communication of light and air to the interior,
while the supply of light is increased by the whole breadth of the glass
roof over the court.  The floor under this floor is also of glass, giving
light to the sub-basement, which is also lighted by means of illuminating
tile in the sidewalks.

"In the upper stories, corridors fourteen feet wide make the circuit of
the whole building; and from those corridors, rooms open on either hand
toward the streets and the inner court.  The rooms over the principal
entrance, and which look down Broadway, are reserved for the Postmaster;
and those for the Assistant Postmaster and Cashier are close at hand.

"The whole of the northerly front is given to the United States Courts.
There are three court-rooms, of which the two largest are continued up
through two stories in height.  Adjoining these, are special rooms for
the Judges, near which private stairways furnish the only access to the
jury-rooms in the third story.  The remainder of the second story is
occupied by rooms for Marshals, United States Attorney, Clerks of the
Courts, record-rooms, etc., etc.  Other United States officers are to be
accommodated with rooms in the upper story."



III.  THE LETTER CARRIERS.


For the purpose of distributing the letters received at the New York
Post-office, the Government has organized a force of Letter Carriers, or,
as they are sometimes called, "Postmen."  All letters that are addressed
to the places of business or the residences of citizens, unless such
persons are renters of boxes in the General Post-office, are turned over
to the Carriers for delivery.

The force is organized under the direction of a Superintendent, who is
appointed by and responsible to the Postmaster of the city.  Applicants
for positions in the force of Letter Carriers must, as a prime necessity,
be able to command a sufficient degree of political influence to secure
their appointments.  Possessing this, they make their applications in
duplicate, on blank forms supplied by the Department.  The applicant must
state his age, general condition, former occupation, experience in
business, his reason for leaving his last place, and whether he has
served in the army or navy.  One of these applications is laid before the
Postmaster of the city, and the other is sent to the Post-office
Department at Washington.  If the applicant is successful, he is
subjected to a physical examination by the surgeon of the Department, in
order to make sure of his bodily soundness.  Good eye-sight is
imperatively required of every applicant.  If "passed" by the surgeon,
the applicant must then furnish two bonds in five hundred dollars each,
for the faithful performance of his duties.  This done, he is enrolled as
a member of the corps of Letter Carriers, and is assigned by the
Superintendent of the force to a station.

Together with his certificate of appointment, the Superintendent hands
him an order on a certain firm of tailors for an "outfit," or uniform,
which consists of a coat, pants, vest, and cap of gray cloth, trimmed
with black braid, and with gilt buttons.  The cost of this uniform is in
winter twenty-four dollars, and in summer twenty dollars.  It is paid for
by the Post-office Department, and the amount deducted from the first two
months' pay of the carrier.

Upon being assigned to a station, the Carrier is required to commit to
memory the rules laid down for his guidance.  His route is then marked
out for him, and he is frequently accompanied over it several times by an
older member of the force to familiarize him with it.  The Superintendent
of the Station is his immediate superior.  From him the Carrier receives
his orders, and to him submits his reports.

There is a "time-book" kept in each station, in which the employes are
required to enter the time of their arrival at the station in the
morning.  The Carriers are also required to enter the time of their
departure on their routes, and the time of their return to the station.
Once a month this book is submitted to the inspection of the
Superintendent of the force, and any delays or other negligences that are
noted are reprimanded by him.

The Station-clerk, whose duty it is to assort the mail, is required to be
at his post at ten minutes after six o'clock in the morning.  He places
each Carrier's mail in a separate box, leaving to him the arrangement of
it.  The Carriers must be at the station at half-past six.  They at once
proceed to arrange their mail in such a manner as will facilitate its
prompt delivery, and at half-past seven A.M., they start out on their
routes.  If any of the postage on the letters to be delivered is unpaid,
it is charged by the clerk to the Carrier, who is held responsible for
its collection.  Once a week the Superintendent of the Station goes over
the accounts of the Carriers, and requires them to pay over to him all
the sums charged against them.

There are nine deliveries from the stations every day.  The first at
half-past seven A.M., and the last at five P.M.  This entails an immense
amount of labor upon the Carriers.  They are obliged to perform their
duties regardless of the weather, and are subjected to an exposure which
is very trying to them.  They are very efficient, and perform their task
faithfully and promptly.

The pay of a carrier is small.  By law he is entitled to $800 per annum
for the first six months.  After this he is to receive $900 per annum,
and at the expiration of one year, he may, upon the recommendation of the
Superintendent of the Station, receive an additional $100 per annum; but
$1000 is the limit.  It is said, however, that it is very rare for a
carrier to receive an increase of salary before the expiration of one
year.  Why he is subjected to this loss, in defiance of the law, the
writer has been unable to ascertain.

Although the pay is so small, the Carrier is not allowed to enjoy it in
peace.  The party in power, or rather its managers, tax him unmercifully.
From one to two per cent. of his salary is deducted for party expenses,
and he is required to contribute at least five dollars to the expenses of
every City and State election.  The Postmaster of the city does not
trouble himself about this robbery of his employes, but allows it to go
on with his indirect approval, at least.  General Dix has the honor of
being the only Postmaster who ever had the moral courage to protect his
subordinates from this extortion.

The Carriers have organized a benevolent association among themselves.
Upon the death of a member, each surviving member of the association
makes a contribution of two dollars to the relief fund.  From this fund
the funeral expenses are paid, and the surplus is handed over to the
widow and children of the dead man.

The tenure by which the Carriers hold their positions is very uncertain.
A new Postmaster may remove any or all of them, to make way for his
political friends, and any refusal on their part to submit to the orders
or extortions of their party-managers is sure to result in a dismissal.



XXXIV.  A. T. STEWART.


ALEXANDER T. STEWART was born in Belfast, in Ireland, in 1802.  He is of
Scotch-Irish parentage.  At the age of three years he lost his father,
and was adopted by his grandfather, who gave him a good common school and
collegiate education, intending him for the ministry.  His grandfather
died during his collegiate course, and this threw him upon his own
resources.  He at once abandoned all hope of a professional career, and
set sail for America.  He reached New York in 1818, and began his career
here as assistant teacher in a commercial school.  His first salary was
$300.  In a year or two he went into business for himself, carrying on a
modest little store, and manifesting no especial talent for business.

At the age of twenty-one, he went back to Ireland to take possession of a
legacy of nearly one thousand pounds, left him by his grandfather.  He
invested the greater part of this sum in "insertions" and "scollop
trimmings," and returned to New York.  He rented a little store at 283
Broadway, and there displayed his stock, which he sold readily at a fair
profit.  His store was next door to the then popular Bonafanti, who kept
the largest and best patronized variety store of the day.  Stewart's
little room was twenty-two feet wide by twenty feet deep.

Without mercantile experience, and possessing no advantage but his
determination to succeed, Mr. Stewart started boldly on what proved the
road to fortune.  He gave from fourteen to eighteen hours per day to his
business.  He could not afford to employ any help, and he did all his own
work.  He was almost a total stranger to the business community of New
York, and he had no credit.  He kept a small stock of goods on hand,
which he bought for cash and sold in the same way for a small profit.
His purchases were made chiefly at auctions, and consisted of "sample
lots"--that is, miscellaneous collections of small articles thrown
together in heaps and sold for what they would bring.  He spent several
hours after business each day in assorting and dressing these goods.
They were sold at a low price, but his profit was fair, as he had paid
but a trifle for them.  Little by little his trade increased, and he was
soon obliged to employ an assistant.  About this time he inaugurated the
system of "selling off below cost."  He had a note to pay, and no money
to meet it.  His store was full of goods, but he was short of ready
money.  No man could then afford to let his note go to protest.  Such a
step in those days meant financial ruin to a young man.  Stewart proved
himself the man for the crisis.  He marked every article in his store
down far below the wholesale price, and scattered over the city a cloud
of handbills announcing that he would dispose of his entire stock of
goods below cost within a given time.  His announcement drew crowds of
purchasers to his store, and before the period he had fixed for the
duration of the sale, Mr. Stewart found his shelves empty and his
treasury full.  He paid his note with a part of the money thus obtained,
and with the rest laid in a fresh stock of goods.  He made his purchases
at a time when the market was very dull, and, as he paid cash, secured
his goods at very low prices.

The energy and business tact displayed by Mr. Stewart at length brought
him their reward.  In 1828, he found his little room too small for his
trade.  He leased a small store, thirty feet deep, on Broadway, between
Chambers and Warren streets.  Here he remained four years, his trade
increasing rapidly all the while.  In 1832, he removed to a two-story
building in Broadway, between Murray and Warren streets, and in a short
time was obliged by the growth of his business to add twenty feet to the
depth of his store, and to put an additional story on the building.  A
year or two later he added a fourth story, and in 1837 a fifth story, so
rapidly did he prosper.  He had now a large and fashionable trade, had
fairly surmounted all his early difficulties, and had laid the foundation
of the immense fortune he has since acquired.

The great commercial crisis of 1837 was not unexpected by him.  It had
always been his habit to watch the market closely, in order to profit by
any sudden change in it, and his keen sagacity enabled him to foresee the
approach of the storm and to prepare for it.  He marked his goods down at
an early day and began to "sell for cost," conducting his operations on a
strictly cash basis.  The prices were very low, the goods of the best
quality, and he found no difficulty in obtaining purchasers.  People were
glad to save money by availing themselves of his low prices.  In the
midst of the most terrible crisis the country had ever seen, when old and
established houses were breaking all around him, he was carrying on a
thriving business.  His cash sales averaged five thousand dollars per
day.  Other houses, to save themselves, were obliged to sell their goods
at auction.  Thither went Stewart regularly.  He bought these goods for
cash, and sold them over his counters at an average profit of forty per
cent.  On a lot of silks for which he paid fifty thousand dollars he
cleared twenty thousand dollars in a few days.  He came out of the crisis
a rich man and the leading dry-goods dealer of New York.

A few years later he purchased the property lying on the east side of
Broadway, between Chambers and Reade streets, on which he built a
magnificent marble store.  He moved into it in 1846.  His friends
declared that he had made a mistake in erecting such a costly edifice,
and that he had located it on the wrong side of Broadway.  Besides, he
was too far up town.  He listened to them patiently, and told them that
in a short time they would see his new store the centre of the
fashionable retail trade of the city.  His prediction was speedily
fulfilled.

A few years ago, finding that the retail trade was deserting its old
haunts, below Canal street, and going up town, be began the erection of
his present retail store, into which he moved as soon as it was
completed, retaining his lower store for his wholesale business.

During the war, he made large profits from his sales to the Government,
though he exhibited genuine patriotism in these dealings by charging only
the most liberal prices for his goods.  The gains thus realized by him
more than counterbalanced the losses he sustained by the sudden cessation
of his trade with the South.

Fifty-four years have now elapsed since he first set foot in New York,
poor and unknown, and to-day Mr. Stewart is the possessor of a fortune
variously estimated at from thirty to fifty millions of dollars, and
which is growing larger every year.  The greater portion of his wealth is
invested in real estate.  He owns his two stores, the Metropolitan Hotel,
and the Globe Theatre, on Broadway, and nearly all of Bleecker street
from Broadway to Depau Row, several churches, and other valuable
property.  He owns more real estate than any man in America except
William B. Astor, and is the most successful merchant in the world.  He
has acquired all this by his own unaided efforts, and without ever
tarnishing his good name by one single dishonest act.  Any man may be
proud of such a record.

Mr. Stewart is one of the hardest workers in his vast establishment.
Though he has partners to assist him, he keeps the whole of his extensive
operations well in hand, and is really the directing power of them.  He
goes to his business between nine and ten in the morning, and works until
five, and is never absent from his post unless compelled to be away.

His time is valuable, and he is not willing to waste it; therefore access
to him is difficult.  Many persons endeavor to see him merely to gratify
their impertinent curiosity, and others wish to "interview" him for
purposes which simply consume his time.  To protect himself, he has been
compelled to resort to the following expedient: A gentleman is kept on
guard near the main door of the store, whose duty it is to inquire the
business of visitors.  If the visitor replies that his business is
private, he is told that Mr. Stewart has no private business.  If he
states his business to the satisfaction of the "sentinel," he is allowed
to go up stairs, where he is met by the confidential agent of the great
merchant, to whom he must repeat the object of his visit.  If this
gentleman is satisfied, or cannot get rid of the visitor, he enters the
private office of his employer, and lays the case before him.  If the
business of the visitor is urgent, he is admitted, otherwise an interview
is denied him.  If admitted, the interview is brief and to the point.
There is no time lost.  Matters are dispatched with a method and
promptitude which astonish strangers.  If the visitor attempts to draw
the merchant into a conversation, or indulges in complimentary phrases,
after his business is arranged, Mr. Stewart's manner instantly becomes
cold and repelling, and troublesome persons are not unfrequently given a
hint to leave the room.  This is his working time, and he cannot afford
to waste it.  In social life, he is said to be a cultivated and agreeable
man.

Mr. Stewart resides in a handsome brown stone mansion at the northeast
corner of Fifth avenue and Thirty-fourth street.  Immediately across the
avenue, he has erected a residence of white marble, the handsomest and
costliest dwelling in the Union, and one of the handsomest private
residences in the world.  It is said to have cost upwards of two millions
of dollars.  "The marble work, which forms the most distinguishing
characteristic of this palatial abode, receives its entire shape and
finish in the basement and first floor of the building.  The fluted
columns (purely Corinthian, and with capitals elaborately and delicately
carved), which are the most striking feature of the main hall, are alone
worth between three thousand five hundred and four thousand dollars each.
On the right of this noble passage, as you proceed north from the side
entrance, are, the reception and drawing rooms, and the breakfast and
dining rooms, all with marble finish, and with open doors, affording
space for as splendid a promenade or ball as could be furnished probably
by any private residence in Europe.  To the left of the grand hall are
the marble staircase and the picture-gallery--the latter about
seventy-two by thirty-six feet, lofty and elegant, and singularly well
designed.  The sleeping apartments above are executed upon a scale
equally luxurious and regardless of expense.  Externally, the building
must ever remain a monument of the splendor which, as far as opulence is
concerned, places some of our merchants on a footing almost with royalty
itself, and a glance at the interior will be a privilege eagerly sought
by the visiting stranger."

Mr. Stewart is not generally regarded as a liberal man in the metropolis,
probably because he refuses to give indiscriminately to those who ask his
assistance.  Yet he has made munificent donations to objects which have
enlisted his sympathy, and has on hand now several schemes for bettering
the condition of the working classes, which will continue to exert a
beneficent influence upon them long after he has passed away.  His
friends--and he has many--speak of him as a very kind and liberal man,
and seem much attached to him.

Mr. Stewart is now seventy years old, but looks twenty years younger.  He
is of the medium height, has light brown hair and beard, which are
closely trimmed.  His features are sharp, well cut, his eye bright, and
his general expression calm, thoughtful, and self-reliant.  His manner is
courteous to all, but reserved and cold except to his intimate friends.
He dresses quietly in the style of the day, his habits are simple, and he
shuns publicity.



XXXV.  PLACES OF AMUSEMENT.


I.  THE THEATRES.


There are sixteen theatres in New York usually in full operation.  Taking
them in their order of location from south to north, they are the Stadt,
the Bowery, Niblo's, Theatre Comique, the Olympic, Lina Edwin's, the
Globe, Wallack's, Union Square, the Academy of Music, the Fourteenth
Street, Booth's, the Grand Opera House, the Fifth Avenue, the St. James,
and Wood's.

They are open throughout the fall and winter season, are well patronized,
and with one or two exceptions are successful in a pecuniary sense.
There are usually from 50,000 to 100,000 strangers in the city, and the
majority of these find the evenings dull without some amusement to
enliven them.  Many of them are persons who come for pleasure, and who
regard the theatres as one of the most enjoyable of all the sights of the
city; but a very large portion are merchants, who are wearied with buying
stock, and who really need some pleasant relaxation after the fatigues of
the day.  To these must be added a large class of citizens who are fond
of the drama, and who patronize the theatres liberally.  All these, it is
stated, expend upon the various amusements of the place about $30,000 per
night; and of this sum the larger part goes into the treasury of the
theatres.  The sum annually expended on amusements is said to be from
$7,000,000 to $8,000,000.

The New York theatres richly deserve the liberal patronage they enjoy.
In no other city are such establishments as elegant and commodious, and
nowhere else in America are the companies as proficient in their art, or
the plays as admirably put upon the stage.

                       [Picture: BOOTH'S THEATRE.]

The most beautiful theatre in the city is _Booth's_, at the southeast
corner of the Sixth avenue and Twenty-third street.  It was begun in the
summer of 1867, and opened to the public in January, 1869.  It is in the
Renaissance style of architecture, and stands seventy feet high from the
sidewalk to the main cornice, crowning which is a Mansard roof of
twenty-four feet.  "The theatre proper fronts one hundred and forty-nine
feet on Twenty-third street, and is divided into three parts, so combined
as to form an almost perfect whole, with arched entrances at either
extremity on the side, for the admission of the public, and on the other
for another entrance, and the use of actors and those employed in the
house.  There are three doors on the frontage, devised for securing the
most rapid egress of a crowded audience in case of fire, and, in
connection with other facilities, said to permit the building to be
vacated in five minutes.  On either side of these main entrances are
broad and lofty windows; and above them, forming a part of the second
story, are niches for statues surrounded by coupled columns resting on
finely sculptured pedestals.  The central or main niche is flanked on
either side by quaintly contrived blank windows; and between the columns,
at the depth of the recesses, are simple pilasters sustaining the
elliptic arches, which serve to top and span the niches, the latter to be
occupied by statues of the great creators and interpreters of the drama
in every age and country.  The finest Concord granite, from the best
quarries in New Hampshire, is the material used in the entire facade, as
well as in the Sixth avenue side.  The glittering granite mass,
exquisitely poised, adorned with rich and appropriate carving, statuary,
columns, pilasters, and arches, and capped by the springing French roof,
fringed with its shapely balustrades, offers an imposing and majestic
aspect, and forms one of the architectural jewels of the city."

In its internal arrangements the theatre is in keeping with its external
magnificence.  Entering through a sumptuous vestibule, the visitor passes
into the magnificent auditorium, which is, in itself, a rare specimen of
decorative art.  The seats are admirably arranged, each one commanding a
view of the stage.  They are luxuriously upholstered, and harmonize with
the rich carpets which cover the floor.  Three elegant light galleries
rise above the parquet.  The walls and ceiling are exquisitely frescoed,
and ornamented with bas reliefs in plaster.  The proscenium is
beautifully carved and frescoed, and is adorned with busts of the elder
Booth and the proprietor of the theatre; and in the sides before the
curtain are arranged six sumptuous private boxes.  The curtain is an
exquisite landscape.  The decoration of the house is not done in the
rough scenic style so common in the theatres of the country, but is the
perfection of frescoe painting, and will bear the closest inspection.  It
is impossible, even with a strong glass, to distinguish between some of
the frescoes and the bas reliefs.  The stage is very large, and rises
gradually from the footlights to the rear.  The orchestra pen is sunk
below the level of the stage, so that the heads of the musicians do not
interfere with the view of the audience.  The dressing of the stage is
novel.  The side scenes, or wings, instead of being placed at right
angles to the audience, as in most theatres, are so arranged that the
scene appears to extend to the right and left as well as to the rear.  In
this way the spectator is saved the annoyance of often looking through
the wings, a defect which in most theatres completely dispels the
illusion of the play.  The scenery here is not set by hand, but is moved
by machinery, by means of immense hydraulic rams beneath the stage, and
the changes are made with such regularity and precision that they have
very much the effect of "dissolving views."  The scenes themselves are
the work of gifted and highly educated artists, and never degenerate into
the rough daubs with which most playgoers are familiar.  The building is
fireproof, and is warmed and ventilated by machinery.  The great central
chandelier and the jets around the cornice of the auditorium are lighted
by electricity.

The plays presented here are superbly put on the stage.  The scenery is
strictly accurate when meant to represent some historic locality, and is
the finest to be found in America.  Perhaps the grandest stage picture
ever given to an audience was the graveyard scene in "Hamlet," which
drama, in the winter of 1869-70, "held the boards" for over one hundred
nights.  The dresses, the equipments, and general "make up" of the actors
are in keeping with the scenery.  Even the minutest detail is carefully
attended to.  Nothing is so unimportant as to be overlooked in this
establishment.

With a few exceptions, the company is unworthy of the place and the fame
of the proprietor.  Mr. Booth, himself, is the great attraction.  It is
his custom to open the season with engagements of other distinguished
"stars," and to follow them himself about the beginning of the winter,
and to continue his performances until the spring, when he again gives
way to others.  When he is performing it is impossible to procure a seat
after the rising of the curtain.

                      [Picture: GRAND OPERA HOUSE.]

The Grand Opera House is next to Booth's in beauty.  It is much larger
than that theatre.  But for its unfortunate location, nearly a mile from
Broadway, it would be one of the most successful establishments in the
city.  The theatre is divided into two buildings, one fronting on the
Eighth avenue and Twenty-third street, and containing the offices and
entrances, and the theatre proper, which is in the rear of the former.
The former building is a magnificent structure of white marble, in the
Italian style of architecture.  It fronts 113 feet on Eighth avenue, and
98 feet on Twenty-third street.  It is adorned with statuary and
carvings, and is far too handsome for the part of the city in which it is
located.  The greater portion of this building is taken up with the
offices of the Erie Railway Company.

The theatre proper is connected with the front building by means of a
superb vestibule, into which open the doors of the auditorium.  It is one
of the most beautiful halls in America, and one of the pleasantest
lounging places.  The auditorium is finished in light blue, white, and
gold, and when lighted up is magnificent.  Every appointment and
decoration is tasteful and beautiful, and there are many persons who
consider it the finest interior in America.  The stage is large and
convenient, and the scenery good.  The performances are passable.

The house was built by Mr. Samuel N. Pike for an Opera House.  It was not
successful, and was sold by him to the late Colonel James Fisk, Jr., for
$1,000,000, a slight advance upon its cost.

Wallack's Theatre, at the northeast corner of Broadway and Thirteenth
street, is, _par eminence_, _the theatre_ of New York.  Its audiences are
more exclusively composed of citizens than those of any other house.  New
Yorkers are proud of it, and on Thursday evenings, or the first night of
some new play, the audience will consist almost entirely of city people.
The theatre itself is very plain, and there are many things about it that
might be bettered.  In other respects it is unqualifiedly the best
theatre in which the English language is spoken.  It is devoted almost
entirely to comedy, and the plays presented on its stage are always of a
high character.  The Star system is not adopted here, but the company
consists of the best and most carefully trained actors and actresses to
be found here or in England.  It is emphatically a company of gentlemen
and ladies.  At present it includes Lester Wallack, the proprietor, John
Brougham, Charles Mathews, John Gilbert, Charles Fisher, and J. H.
Stoddart, and Mrs. Jennings, Miss Plessy Mordaunt, Miss Effie Germon, and
Mrs. John Sefton.  Mr. Wallack is very proud of his theatre, and with
good reason.  He has made it the best in the country, and a model for the
best establishments in other cities.  The greatest care is taken in the
production of plays, and every detail is presented to the audience with a
degree of perfection which other managers vainly strive to attain.  The
scenery is exquisite and natural, the dresses are perfect--the toilettes
of the ladies being famed for their elegance, and the acting is true to
nature.  There is no ranting, no straining for effect here.  The members
of the company talk and act like men and women of the world, and
faithfully "hold the mirror up to nature."  It is a common saying in New
York that even a mean play will be a success at Wallack's.  It will be so
well put on the stage, and so perfectly performed by the company, that
the most critical audience will be disarmed.

The Fifth Avenue Theatre, on Twenty-fourth street, in the rear of the
Fifth Avenue Hotel, is next to Wallack's in popular favor.  It is very
much such an establishment in the character and excellence of its
performances.  It possesses a first-class company of ladies and
gentlemen, some of whom have achieved national reputations, and all of
whom are worthy of the highest praise.  The theatre itself is a handsome
marble edifice, not very large, but of very attractive appearance.  The
interior is bright and cheerful.  The ceiling is finely frescoed, the
walls are panelled with large plate-glass mirrors, and the general effect
is very brilliant.  The building was owned by the late Col. James Fisk,
Jr.  The manager is Mr. Augustin Daly, a well-known writer of successful
plays.  To his literary gifts Mr. Daly adds a high order of managerial
talent, and it is to his efforts exclusively that the very marked success
of the theatre is due.

The Academy of Music is, as its name indicates, the Opera House of New
York.  It is a gloomy-looking structure without, but possesses a
magnificent auditorium, fitted up in the style of the European Opera
Houses.  Its decorations are in crimson and gold, and are magnificent and
tasteful.  It is the largest theatre in the city, and one of the largest
in the world.  It is opened occasionally during the winter for operatic
performances.  The audiences to be seen here are always in full dress,
and the toilettes of the ladies, to say nothing of the beauty of many of
the fair ones, offer a great attraction to sight-seers.

Niblo's Theatre, or as it is generally called, "Niblo's Garden," is
situated in the rear of the Metropolitan Hotel, with an entrance on
Broadway.  It is one of the largest and handsomest theatres in the city,
and by far the coolest in warm weather.  It is devoted principally to the
spectacular drama.  It was here that the famous spectacle of the Black
Crook was produced.  Its revival is to take place before these pages are
in print, and it will probably be continued throughout the remainder of
the season.

                       [Picture: ACADEMY OF MUSIC.]

The Olympic is a large, old-fashioned theatre, on Broadway, between
Houston and Bleecker streets.  It is devoted to pantomime, and is famous
as the headquarters of the erratic genius who calls himself Humpty
Dumpty.

The Old Bowery Theatre, situated on the thoroughfare from which it takes
its name, below Canal street, is the only old theatre left standing in
the city.  Three theatres have preceded it on this site, and all have
been destroyed by fire.  Within the last few years, the interior of the
present theatre has been greatly modernized.  The plays presented here
are of a character peculiarly suited to that order of genius which
despises Shakspeare, and hopes to be one day capable of appreciating the
Black Crook.  "Blood and thunder dramas," they are called in the city.
The titles are stunning--the plays themselves even more so.  A writer in
one of the current publications of the day gives the following truthful
picture of a "Saturday night at the Bowery:"

                    [Picture: THE OLD BOWERY THEATRE.]

"I had not loitered long at the entrance after the gas blazed up, when
from up the street, and from down the street, and from across the street,
there came little squads of dirty, ragged urchins--the true gamin of New
York.  These at once made a gymnasium of the stone steps--stood on their
heads upon the pavements or climbed, like locusts, the neighboring
lamp-posts; itching for mischief; poking fun furiously; they were the
merriest gang of young dare-devils I have seen in a long day.  It was not
long before they were recruited by a fresh lot of young 'sardines' from
somewhere else--then they went in for more monkey-shines until the door
should be unbarred.  They seemed to know each other very well, as if they
were some young club of genial spirits that had been organized outside of
the barriers of society for a long while.  What funny habiliments they
sported.  It had never been my experience to see old clothes thrown upon
young limbs so grotesquely.  The coat that would have been a fit for a
corpulent youth nearly buried a skinny form the height of your cane.

"And on the other hand, 'young dropsy's' legs and arms were like links of
dried 'bolonas' in the garments which misfortune's raffle had drawn for
him.  Hats without rims--hats of fur, dreadfully plucked, with free
ventilation for the scalp--caps with big tips like little porches of
leather--caps without tips, or, if a tip still clung to it, it was by a
single thread and dangled on the wearer's cheek like the husk of a
banana.  The majority seemed to have a weakness for the costumes of the
army and the navy.  Where a domestic tailor had clipped the skirts of a
long blue military coat he had spared the two buttons of the waist-band,
and they rested on the bare heels like a set of veritable spurs.  Shoes
and boots (and remember it's a December night) are rather scarce--and
those by which these savoyards could have sworn by grinned fearfully with
sets of naked toes.  One 'young sport,' he had seen scarcely ten such
winters, rejoiced in a pair of odd-mated rubber over-shoes, about the
dimensions of snow-shoes.  They saluted him as 'Gums.'  A youngster, with
a childish face and clear blue eyes, now shuffled upon the scene.

"'O Lordy, here's Horace, jist see his get up.'  A shout of laughter went
up, and Horace was swallowed in the ragged mob.

"'Horace' sported a big army cap like a huge blue extinguisher.  He
wrapped his wiry form in a cut-down, long-napped white beaver coat, the
lapels of which were a foot square, and shingled his ankles as if he
stood between a couple of placards.  I had seen the latest caricature on
the philosopher of the _Tribune_, but this second edition of H. G.
swamped it.  I knew that that young rogue had counted upon the effect of
his white coat, and he enjoyed his christening with a gleeful face and a
sparkle in his blue eyes.  O, for the pencil of a Beard or a Bellew, to
portray those saucy pug-noses, those dirty and begrimed faces!  Faces
with bars of blacking, like the shadows of small gridirons--faces with
woful bruised peepers--faces with fun-flashing eyes--faces of striplings,
yet so old and haggard--faces full of evil and deceit.

"Every mother's son of them had his fists anchored in his breeches
pockets, and swaggered about, nudging each other's ribs with their sharp
little elbows.  They were not many minutes together before a battle took
place.  Some one had tripped 'Gums,' and one of his old shoes flew into
the air.  I think he of the white coat was the rascal, but being dubbed a
philosopher, he did his best to look very wise, but a slap on the side of
the ridge of his white collar upset his dignity, and 'Horace' 'went in,'
and his bony fists rattled away on the close-shaven pate of 'Gums.'

"The doors are now unbarred, and this ragged 'pent up little Utica' rends
itself, but not without much more scratching and much swearing.  O, the
cold-blooded oaths that rang from those young lips!  As the passage to
the pit is by a sort of cellar door, I lost sight of the young scamps as
the last one pitched down its gloomy passage.

"In the human stream--in a whirlpool of fellow-beings--nudging their way
to the boxes and the upper tiers, I now found myself.  It was a terrible
struggle; females screaming, were eddied around and around until their
very faces were in a wire cage of their own 'skeletons.'

"'Look out for pickpockets,' shouted a Metropolitan.  Every body then
tried to button his coat over his breast, and every body gave it up as a
bad job.  In at last, but with the heat of that exertion--the smell of
the hot gas--the fetid breath of two thousand souls, not particular,
many, as to the quality of their gin--what a sweltering bath follows!
The usher sees a ticket clutched before him, and a breathless individual
saying wildly, 'Where?'  He points to a distant part of the house, and
the way to it is through a sea of humanity.  A sort of a Dead Sea, for
one can walk on it easier than he can dive through it.  I shall never
know how I got there at last; all I remember now are the low curses, the
angry growls and a road over corns and bunions.

"The prompter's bell tingles and then tingles again.  The bearded Germans
of the orchestra hush their music, and the big field of green baize
shoots to the cob-web arch.

"Now is the time to scan the scene--that teeming house--that instant when
all faces are turned eagerly to the foot-lights, waiting breathlessly the
first sound of the actor's voice.  The restlessness of that tossing sea
of humanity is at a dead calm now.  Every nook and cranny is
occupied--none too young--none too old to be there at the rise of the
curtain.  The suckling infant 'mewling and puking in its mother's arms.'
The youngster rubbing his sleepy eyes.  The timid Miss, half frightened
with the great mob and longing for the fairy world to be created.  Elder
boys and elder sisters.  Mothers, fathers, and the wrinkled old
grand-sire.  Many of these men sit in their shirt-sleeves, sweating in
the humid atmosphere.  Women are giving suck to fat infants.
Blue-shirted sailors encircle their black-eyed Susans, with brawny arms
(they make no 'bones' of showing their honest love in this democratic
temple of Thespis).  Division street milliners, black-eyed, rosy-cheeked,
and flashy dressed sit close to their jealous-eyed lovers.  Little Jew
boys, with glossy ringlets and beady black eyes, with teeth and noses
like their fat mammas and avaricious-looking papas, are yawning
everywhere.  Then there is a great crowd of roughs, prentice boys and
pale, German tailors--the latter with their legs uncrossed for a
relaxation.  Emaciated German and Italian barbers, you know them from
their dirty linen, their clean-shaven cheeks and their locks redolent
with bear's grease.

"Through this mass, wandering from pit to gallery, go the red-shirted
peanut-venders, and almost every jaw in the vast concern is crushing
nut-shells.  You fancy you hear it in the lulls of the play like a low
unbroken growl.

"In the boxes sit some very handsome females--rather loudly dressed,--but
beauty will beam and flash from any setting.

"Lean over the balcony, and behold in the depths below the famous pit,
now crowded by that gang of little outlaws we parted with a short time
ago.

"Of old times--of a bygone age--is this institution.  In no other theatre
in the whole town is that choice spot yielded to the unwashed.  But this
is the 'Bowery,' and those squally little spectators so busy scratching
their close-mown polls, so vigorously pummeling each other, so
unmercifully rattaned by despotic ushers--they are its best patrons.

"And are they not, in their light, great critics, too?  Don't they know
when to laugh, when to blubber, and when to applaud, and don't they know
when to _hiss_, though!  What a _fiat_ is their withering hiss!  What
poor actor dare brave it?  It has gone deep, deep into many a poor
player's heart and crushed him forever.

"The royal road to a news-boy's heart is to rant in style.

"Versatile Eddy and vigorous Boniface are the lads, in our day, for the
news-boys' stamps.

"Ranting is out of the female line, but Bowery actresses have a
substitute for it.

"At the proper moment, they draw themselves up in a rigid statue, they
flash their big eyes, they dash about wildly their dishevelled hair, with
out-stretched arms and protruding chins they then shriek out,
V-i-l-l-a-i-n!

"O, Fannie Herring! what a tumult you have stirred up in the roused pit!
No help for it, my dear lady.  See, there's 'Horace,' standing on his
seat and swinging his big blue cap in a cloud of other caps--encore!
encore!  And the pretty actress bows to the pit, and there is more joy in
her heart from the yells of those skinny little throats than from all the
flowers that ladies and gents from above may pelt her with.

"The bill of fare for an evening's entertainment at the Old Bowery is as
long as your cane, and the last piece takes us far into the night--yet
the big house sits it out, and the little ones sleep it out, and the
tired actor well earns his pay.

"I'll not criticise the acting--a great part of the community thinks it's
beyond the pale of criticism--this peculiarity of tearing things to
pieces, and tossing around 'supes' promiscuously.

"And another thing, those little ungodly imps down there have a great
appreciation of virtue and pathos.  They dash their dirty fists into
their peepers at the childish treble of a little Eva--and they cheer, O,
so lustily, when Chastity sets her heavy foot upon the villain's heart
and points her sharp sword at his rascal throat.  They are very fickle in
their bestowal of approbation, and their little fires die out or swell
into a hot volcano according to the vehemence of the actor.  'Wake me up
when Kirby dies,' said a veteran little denizen of the pit to his
companions, and he laid down on the bench to snooze.

"'Mind yer eye, Porgie,' said his companion, before Porgie had got a
dozen winks.  'I think ther's somthen goen to bust now.'  Porgie's friend
had a keen scent for sensation.

"As I came out, at the end of the performance, I again saw 'Horace.'  He
had just rescued a 'butt' from a watery grave in the gutter.  'Jeminy!
don't chaps about town smoke 'em awful short now'days!' was the
observation of the young philosopher.

"The theatre is almost the only amusement that the ragged newsboy has,
apart from those of the senses.  The Newsboys' Lodging House, which has
been the agent of so much good among this neglected class of our
population, find the late hours of the theatre a serious obstacle to
their usefulness.  It is safe to say that if the managers of the two
Bowery Theatres would close at an earlier hour, say eleven o'clock, they
would prosper as greatly as at present, and the boys who patronize their
establishments would be much better off in body and mind.  An effort is
about to be made to obtain this reform from the managers
voluntarily--instead of seeking legislative aid.  We are quite sure it
will be for the interest of all to close the theatres early."

The Stadt Theatre, just across the street from the Old Bowery, is
exclusively a German establishment.  It is a plain old-fashioned
building, without and within, but is worth a fortune to its proprietors.
The performances are given in the German language, and the company is
usually good.  The prices are high and the audiences are large.
Occasionally a season of German opera is given.  I doubt that a more
appreciative audience is to be found than that which assembles within the
walls of the Stadt on opera nights.  They are to a man good judges and
dear lovers of music, and their applause, when it breaks forth, is a
spontaneous outburst which shakes the house to its foundations.  It is
generously given, too, and must be particularly grateful to the
performers.

It is said that the members of the dramatic profession and the various
attaches of the theatres number 5000 persons.  They constitute a class,
or rather a world of their own.  We shall have more to say of some
portions of them in other chapters, and can only speak of them in a
general way here.  As a rule they are poor, and are compelled to work
hard.  Wallack's and a few other establishments pay good salaries and
have many "off nights," but of the majority of performers constant labor
is required, at poor pay.  It is said that Forrest and Booth have
received as much as $500 per night, and that Jefferson and Owens are paid
at very near the same rate.  The "stars," however, can make their own
terms, but the rank and file of the profession have to take what they can
get.  The pay of these ranges from $15 to $50 per week.  Some of the
leading ladies and gentlemen receive from $100 to $200 per week, but
these can be counted on the fingers of one hand.  Considering the work,
the pay is poor, for an actor's life requires an immense amount of study
and preparation, and is terribly trying to the nervous system.  At some
of the theatres three performances are sometimes given in a single day,
the same members of the company appearing each time.

"Ballet girls," says Olive Logan, "get from $8 to $15 per week; the
prompter $25 to $30; the call boy $15; the property man's salary ranges
from $15 to $30.  Then there are men up in the rigging loft, who attend
to the flies and the curtain wheel, and various assistants, at salaries
of $20 and $10.  There are from two to three scene painters at salaries
of from $60 to $100.  The back door keeper has $10, and two women to
clean the theatre every day at $6 each.  The orchestra consists of a
leader, at $100, and from twelve to sixteen musicians, whose salaries
range from $30 to $18 a week.  The gasman and fireman get from $6 to $25
a week; costumer or wardrobe keeper $20 to $40; dressers $5 to $6; ushers
$4 to $6; doorkeepers $12; policeman $5; treasurer $25 to $40."

One of the most important positions in the establishment is the ticket
clerk.  The receipts of the house pass through his hands, and as a
constant effort is made to pass off bad money in this way, it is
necessary to have some one in this position who is a good judge of money.
In some of the theatres a broker's clerk or bank clerk is employed in
this capacity.

With the exception of Wallack's, the Fifth Avenue, and perhaps Booth's,
the theatres generally change their companies every season.  The houses
named retain the favorites, and there are among these companies many
whose loss would be loudly deplored by the theatre-going people of the
city.  Many of the best actors, having distinguished themselves here,
assume the rank of stars, and play engagements throughout the States.  A
metropolitan reputation will carry them successfully over the whole
Union.



II.  MINOR AMUSEMENTS.


Next in popularity to the theatres are the performances of the Negro
Minstrels.  Some of these companies have permanent halls which they
occupy during the winter.  The summer and early autumn are spent in
travelling through the country.  The principal companies are Bryant's and
the San Francisco Minstrels.

Dan Bryant is now the proprietor of a beautiful little theatre in
Twenty-third street, just west of the Sixth avenue.  It is one of the
cosiest and most comfortable places in the city, and is usually filled
with an audience of city people of the better class.  The music is good,
the singing excellent, and the mirth unrestrained and hearty.  Dan
Bryant, himself one of the most irresistibly humorous delineators of the
"burnt cork opera," has collected a band of genuine artists, and has
fairly won his success.  He has raised Negro Minstrelsy to the dignity of
a fashionable amusement, and has banished from it all that is coarse and
offensive.  Men worn out with business cares go there to laugh, and they
do laugh most heartily.  I think that even the king who "never smiled
again," would have been forced to hold his sides here.  Families come by
the score to laugh at the vagaries of the sable minstrels, and the mirth
of the little folks is one of the heartiest and healthiest sounds to be
heard in the great city.

Next in order are the concerts.  These are well patronized when the
performers are well known.  There are several fine halls used for
concerts and lectures.  The principal are Steinway Hall, in Fourteenth
street, and Irving Hall, in Irving Place.

Lectures also draw largely.  The principal halls used for this purpose
are Steinway Hall, and the Halls of the Young Men's Christian Association
and the Cooper Institute.

Last, but not least in the estimation of New Yorkers, is the Circus.
This is a permanent entertainment during the fall and winter.  The
performances are given in a handsome iron building located on Fourteenth
street, opposite Irving Place.  The building is in the form of a circus
tent, and is lighted with gas, and warmed by steam coils.  The audiences
are large, and consist to a great extent of children.  The little folks
are very fond of the sports of the ring, and are among Mr. Lent's best
patrons.



XXXVI.  THE MARKETS.


The principal markets of New York are the Fulton, Washington, Jefferson,
Catharine, Union, Clinton, Franklin, Centre, and Tompkins Markets.  With
the exception of Tompkins Market, they are, as far as the houses are
concerned, unmitigated nuisances to the city.  They are in the last
stages of dilapidation, and from without present the most ungainly
spectacles to be witnessed in New York.  The streets around them are
always dirty and crowded, and in the hot days of the summer the air is
loaded with foul smells which arise from them.

Within, however, the scene is very different.  The rickety old buildings
are crammed to repletion with everything edible the season affords.  In
the summer the display of fruit is often magnificent.  The products of
every section of the Union are piled up here in the greatest profusion.
The country for miles around the city has been stripped of its choicest
luxuries, and even the distant West, and the far-off South have sent
their contributions to the bountiful store.  Meats, fish, and fowl also
abound, of every species and description.  Indeed, one who has the means
can purchase here almost everything the heart can desire.  The demand is
great, and the prices are high.  The stock seems immense, but it
disappears rapidly.  Fruits command high prices in New York, but sell
readily.  The market is very rarely overstocked.  The same may be said of
vegetables.  Good vegetables are always in demand.  Those who furnish
pure, fresh vegetables and meats are sure of a prosperous trade, but the
amount of tainted wares of this kind disposed of daily is surprising.
Nothing is lost here.  Everything finds a purchaser.

                      [Picture: WASHINGTON MARKET.]

Two-thirds of the people of the city, to save time and trouble, deal with
the "corner groceries," and "provision stores," and never see the
markets, but still the number of persons patronizing these establishments
is very large.  The sales begin between four and five o'clock in the
morning.  The first comers are the caterers for the hotels, the
restaurants, the fashionable boarding houses and the mansions of the
rich, and the proprietors of the aforesaid "corner groceries" and
"provision stores."  These latter charge their own customers an advance
of from twenty-five to fifty per cent. on the market rates.  Prices are
high at this hour, and the best the market affords is quickly disposed
of.  The hotels and restaurants leave standing orders with the dealers,
but always send their caterers to see that these orders are faithfully
executed.  "Market-men have to be watched," say the caterers.

As the morning advances, prices decline.  The dealers have reaped their
harvest, and can afford to "fall" on what is left.  Now come those whose
means compel them to be content with indifferent fare.  With them is seen
a perfect torrent of boarding-house keepers, who are too smart to come
when the prices are high and the articles good and fresh.  Others, too,
the dealers will tell you, are independently wealthy, some are said to be
millionaires.  They are niggardly as to their tables, though they make
great show in other respects, and they will haggle over the last penny.
Last of all, towards ten o'clock, and later, come the poor, to purchase
what is left.  God help them!  It is no wonder the death rate is large in
this class.

The best known markets are the Fulton, at the end of Fulton street, on
East River, and the Washington, at the western end of the same street, on
North River.  Almost anything can be found in the Fulton market.  There
are all kinds of provisions here; eating stands abound; bar rooms are
located in the cellars; cheap finery is offered by the bushel in some of
the stalls; books, newspapers, and periodicals are to be found in others,
at prices lower than those of the regular stores; and ice creams,
confections, and even hardware and dry goods are sold here.  The oysters
of this market have a worldwide reputation.  _Dorlan's_ oyster house is
the best known.  It is a plain, rough-looking room, but it is patronized
by the best people in the city, for nowhere else on the island are such
delicious oysters to be had.  Ladies in full street dress, young bloods
in all their finery, statesmen, distinguished soldiers, those whom you
will meet in the most exclusive drawing rooms of the avenue, come here to
partake of the proprietor's splendid "stews."

It is more than thirty years since Dorlan began business here, and he has
amassed a handsome fortune.  He has done so by providing the best oysters
in the market.  He is well known throughout the city, and is deservedly
popular.  He is conscientious, upright in the minutest particular, and
gives his personal attention to every detail of his business.  Although
very wealthy, he may still be seen at his stand, in his shirt sleeves, as
of old, superintending the operations of his establishment, and setting
an excellent example to younger men who are seeking to rise in the world.

The Washington market is more of a wholesale than a retail establishment.
Supplies of meat, fish, vegetables, etc., are usually sent to the
wholesale dealers here, to be sold on commission.  These dealers will
frequently go into the country, and engage a truckman's entire crop of
vegetables and fruits, and then retail them to city dealers at their own
prices.



XXXVII.  THE CHURCHES.


I.  THE SACRED EDIFICES.


In some respects New York may be called "the City of Churches."  It
contains 430 Protestant churches and chapels, with "sittings" for nearly
400,000 persons.  Exclusive of endowments, the church property of the
Protestant denominations is estimated at over $30,000,000.  The annual
expenses of these churches make an aggregate of about $1,500,000, and
they pay out in charities about $5,000,000 more.  The Roman Catholics
have forty churches, each with a large and rapidly increasing
congregation.  Their church property is estimated at about $4,000,000,
and their other property used for religious and educational purposes is
exceedingly valuable.  The Greek Church has one congregation, now
worshipping in a temporary chapel.  The Jews have twenty-seven
synagogues, some of which are very handsome.  In all, there are nearly
500 edifices in New York used for the public worship of God.

The first churches built in the city were those of the Dutch.  Their
church records are uninterrupted as far back as the year 1639.  Their
successors are now known as the Reformed Dutch, and are now in possession
of twenty-five churches and chapels in the city.  Some of these are very
handsome.  The new Collegiate Church, at the northwest corner of the
Fifth avenue and Forty-eighth street, is to be built of brown stone, with
light stone trimmings.  It is nearly completed, and when finished will be
one of the most massive and imposing church edifices in America.

The Protestant Episcopal Church was introduced into the city at the
advent of the English.  The conquerors seized and appropriated to their
own use the old Dutch Church in the fort, and introduced the service of
the Church of England, which was continued there until the completion of
the first Trinity Church in 1697.  This denomination now possesses
ninety-four churches and chapels in the city, and a number of benevolent
and charitable institutions.  Its churches outnumber those of any other
denomination, and its membership is the wealthiest.  The General
Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church is located in New
York.  Trinity, mentioned elsewhere in this work, is the principal
church.  Grace, St. Thomas's, St. George's, Ascension, Calvary, the new
St. Bartholomew's, St. John's, Trinity Chapel, St. Paul's, St. Peter's,
the Transfiguration, and the Heavenly Rest, are among the most beautiful
in the city.

The Lutherans were the third in the order of their appearance in New
York.  They were to be found here before the capture of the city by the
English, but their first church was not erected until 1702.  It was a
small stone edifice, and was located at the corner of Broadway and Rector
street.  They have now fifteen flourishing churches, and are very strong
in members and wealth.

The Presbyterians now constitute one of the largest and most flourishing
denominations of the city.  Owing to the intolerance of the Established
Church and the Civil Government, they had considerable difficulty in
introducing their faith here.  They at first met in private houses.  In
1707, one of their ministers was heavily fined, and condemned to pay the
costs of the suit for preaching and baptizing a child in a private house.
In 1716 they organized their first society, and connected it with the
Philadelphia Presbytery.  The city authorities now granted them
toleration, and allowed them to worship in the City Hall until 1719.  In
the latter year they opened their first church in Wall street, near
Broadway.  The Presbyterian churches and mission chapels of New York are
now as follows: Presbyterian proper, 70; United Presbyterian, 8; Reformed
Presbyterian, 7; Congregationalists, 9; making a total of 94.  The
denomination is extremely wealthy, and many of its churches are noted for
their beauty and magnificence.  The Presbyterians also support a number
of noble benevolent and charitable enterprises.

The Baptists, like the Presbyterians, had considerable difficulty in
establishing themselves here.  In 1709, a Baptist minister was sentenced
to three months' imprisonment for preaching in New York without the
permission of the city authorities.  For some time the Baptists were
subjected to considerable hostility, and were often obliged to immerse
their proselytes by night to avoid interruption.  Their first church was
erected on Golden Hill, now known as Gold street, about 1725.  The
various branches of this denomination have now about fifty churches and
chapels in the city.  The First and the Fifth Avenue Churches are among
the wealthiest corporations in the city, and their sacred edifices are
noted for their beauty and elegance.

The Methodists appeared here soon after their church had become strong in
Great Britain.  In 1766, Philip Embury, an Irishman, and a local preacher
in the Wesleyan Church, began to hold religious services in his own
house, in Barrack Row, now Park Place, to a congregation of half a dozen
persons.  The church growing greatly in numbers, a large room was rented
for public worship on what is now William street, between Fulton and John
streets, and was used by them until the completion of their first church
in John street, in 1768.  The Methodists now have sixty churches and
chapels in the city.  They claim a membership of 13,000, and estimate the
value of their church property at over $2,000,000.  Some of their
churches are very handsome.  St. Paul's, at the northeast corner of
Fourth avenue and Twenty-second street, is a beautiful structure.  It is
built of white marble, in the Romanesque style.  The Rectory, adjoining
it, is of the same material.  It is the gift of Daniel Drew to the
congregation.  The spire is 210 feet high, and the church will seat 1300
persons.

The Jews are said to have come into New York with its early settlers, and
there seems to be good authority for this statement.  Finding tolerance
and protection here, they have increased and multiplied rapidly, and are
now very numerous.  They are immensely wealthy as a class, and make a
liberal provision for the unfortunate of their own creed.  They have
twenty-seven synagogues, several of which are among the most prominent
buildings in the city.  The Temple Emanuel, Fifth avenue and Forty-third
street, is one of the costliest and most beautiful religious edifices in
America.  It is built of a light colored stone, with an elaborately
carved front, and from the north and south ends rise slender and graceful
towers, which give an air of lightness to the whole structure.  The
Temple is said to have cost, including the site, about one million of
dollars.

The Roman Catholics are, in point of numbers, one of the strongest, if
not the strongest denomination in the city.  In the early history of the
colony a law was enacted which required that every Roman Catholic priest
who should come into the city of his own free will, should be hanged
forthwith.  This barbarous statute was never put in force, and one cannot
help smiling to think how times have changed since then for the people of
the Roman faith.  Their first church occupied the site of the present St.
Peter's, in Barclay street, and was built in 1786.  In 1815, they were
strong enough to erect St. Patrick's Cathedral, on the corner of Mott and
Prince streets.  They have now forty churches in the city, and own a vast
amount of real estate.  The city authorities, being frequently of this
faith, have made liberal grants to their church, and in this way have
excited no little hostility on the part of the Protestant churches, who
are, as a rule, opposed to secular grants to religious denominations.

The Roman Catholics of New York consist principally of the poorer
classes, though the church contains a large body of cultivated and
wealthy people.  Still its strength is among the poor.  Consequently the
majority of its churches are located in the meaner quarters of the city,
so that they may be convenient to those to whose spiritual wants they
minister.  The attendance upon these churches is immense.  The pastor of
a church in the Fourth Ward once said to the writer that he had 25,000
persons of all ages and both sexes under his pastoral care, and that
nearly all of them were very poor.  His labors were arduous, and they
were well performed.

Some of the Roman Catholic churches, on the other hand, are located in
the most desirable portions of the city, and are extremely handsome
within, even if plain without.  St. Stephen's, on Twenty-eighth street,
between Third and Lexington avenues, is an unattractive brick structure
extending through to Twenty-ninth street.  The interior is very large and
very beautiful.  The altar is of pure white marble, and its adornments
are of the richest description.  The church is decorated with a series of
excellent fresco paintings of a devotional character.  The altar piece,
representing The Crucifixion, is a magnificent work.  The music is
perhaps the best in the city.  The church will seat nearly 4000 people,
and is usually crowded.

The new St. Patrick's Cathedral, now in course of erection, will be the
most elaborate church edifice in the Union.  It covers the entire block
bounded by Fifth and Madison avenues, and Fiftieth and Fifty-first
streets, fronting on Fifth avenue.  The corner stone was laid by
Archbishop Hughes in 1858, and the work has been in progress, with some
interruptions, ever since.  Archbishop McCloskey has for several years
past been pushing the work forward with steadfastness, and it is believed
that a few years more will witness its completion.

The site of the church is very fine.  It is the most elevated spot on
Fifth avenue.  The length of the building will be 332 feet; breadth of
the nave and choir, 132 feet; breadth at the transepts, 174 feet.  The
foundations rest upon a stratum of solid rock.  The first course is of
Maine granite, the material used in the Treasury Building at Washington.
The upper portions of this course are neatly dressed with the chisel.
The remainder of the church is to be constructed of white marble, from
the Pleasantville quarries, in Westchester county.  The crystalline
character of this stone produces very beautiful effects in those portions
which are most elaborately worked.  The style of the edifice is the
"decorated Gothic," which was most popular in Europe between the ninth
and fifteenth centuries.

               [Picture: THE NEW ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL.]

The design would seem to be modelled after the famous Cathedral of
Cologne, the most beautiful specimen of this order of architecture.  The
Fifth avenue front will be exceedingly beautiful.  The carvings and
statuary for its ornament are genuine works of art, and this portion of
the building will be equal to anything in the world.  The central gable
will be 156 feet high.  On each side of it will rise towers which are to
reach a height of 328 feet from the ground, counting from the summit of
the cross on each.  These towers are to be square in form to a point 136
feet above the ground.  They are then to rise in octagonal lanterns 54
feet high, above which are to soar magnificent spires to a further
elevation of 138 feet.  The towers and spires are to be adorned with
buttresses, niches filled with statues, and pinnacles, which will have
the effect of concealing the change from the square to the octagon.  The
cost of the church is estimated at over two millions of dollars.

The Unitarians made their appearance in the city in 1819, and have now
five churches.  One of these, the Church of the Messiah, Park avenue and
Thirty-fourth street, is very handsome.

The Friends, or Quakers, opened their first meeting-house in 1703, and
now have five places of worship, and own considerable property in the
city.

All the denominations are actively engaged in missionary work.  They have
mission houses and chapels and schools in the worst quarters of the city,
which are doing a noble work, and support them liberally.

The majority of the city churches are above Canal street.  In some
localities, especially on the fashionable streets, they crowd each other
too greatly.  A few are very wealthy, but the majority are compelled to
struggle to get along.  Pew rent is very high in New York, and only
persons in good circumstances can have pews in a thriving church.  In a
fashionable church large sums are paid for pews.

The New Yorkers can hardly be said to be a church-going people.  The
morning services are usually well attended, but the afternoon and evening
services show a "beggarly array of empty benches."  It is astonishing to
see the widespread carelessness which prevails here on the subject of
church-going.  There are thousands of respectable people in the great
city who never see the inside of a church, unless drawn there by some
special attraction.  The support of the churches, therefore, falls on
comparatively a few.  These give liberally, and it may be doubted whether
any other band of Christians are more munificent in their offerings.

The distinctions which govern the world prevail in the city churches.
Fashion and wealth rule here with an iron hand.  The fashionable
churches, with the exception of Grace Church, are now located high up
town.  They are large and handsome, and the congregations are wealthy and
exclusive.  Forms are rigidly insisted upon, and the reputation of the
church for exclusiveness is so well known that those in the humbler walks
of life shrink from entering its doors.  They feel that they would not be
welcome, that the congregation would consider them hardly fit to address
their prayers to the Great White Throne from so exclusive a place.  The
widow's mite would cause the warden's face to wear a well-bred look of
pitying amazement if laid in the midst of the crisp bank notes of the
collection; and Lazarus would lie a long time at the doors of some of
these churches, unless the police should remove him.

Riches and magnificence are seen on every side.  The music is divine, and
is rendered by a select choir of professional singers.  The service is
performed to perfection.  The sermon is short and very pretty, and the
congregation roll away in their carriages, or stroll along the avenue,
well satisfied that they are in the "narrow way," which the Master once
declared to be so difficult to the feet of the rich man.  But that was
eighteen hundred years ago, and the world has grown wiser in its own
estimation.



II.  THE CLERGY.


Talent, backed by experience and industry, will succeed in the long run
in New York, but talent is not essential to success in the ministry here.
We have often wondered what does make the success of some clergymen in
this city.  They have done well, and are popular, but they are not pulpit
orators.  In other cities a good pastor need not always be a good
preacher.  He may endear himself to his people in many different ways, so
that his other good qualities atone for his oratorical deficiencies.  In
New York, however, pastoral duties are almost entirely confined to the
ministrations in the church, visitation of the sick, marriages, and
attendance upon funerals.  The city is so immense, the flock so widely
scattered, that very few clergymen can visit all their people.  The
result is that pastoral visiting is but little practised here.  The
clergyman is generally "at home" to all who choose to call, on a certain
evening in each week.  A few civil, common-place words pass between the
shepherd and the sheep, but that is all.  The mass of the people of this
city are neglected by the clergy.  Possibly the fault is with the people.
Indeed, it is highly probable, considering the carelessness which New
Yorkers manifest on the subject of church going.  During the summer
months a large part of New York is left to do without the Gospel.  Very
many of the churches are closed.  The ministers are, many of them,
delicate men, and they cannot bear the strain of an unbroken year of
preaching.  So they shut up their churches during the warm season, go off
to Long Branch, Saratoga, or the mountains, or cross the ocean.  With the
fall of the leaves, they come back to town by the score, and their
churches are again opened "for preaching."  Don't be deceived by their
robust appearance.  It is only temporary.  By the approach of the next
summer they will grow thin and weak-voiced again, and nothing will
restore them but a season at some fashionable resort, or a run over the
ocean.

A man of real talent will always, if he has a church conveniently and
fashionably located, draw a large congregation to hear him; but the
location and prestige of the church often do more than the minister, for
some of our poorer churches have men of genius in their pulpits, while
some of the wealthiest and most fashionable congregations are called on
every Sunday to listen to the merest platitudes.

Let us not be misunderstood.  There are able men in the New York
pulpit--such men as Vinton, Hall, Chapin, Spring, Osgood, John Cotton
Smith, Adams, and others--but we have some weak-headed brethren also.

A few clergymen grow rich in this city, the wealthy members of their
flock no doubt aiding them.  Some marry fortunes.  As a general rule,
however, they have no chance of saving any money.  Salaries are large
here, but expenses are in proportion; and it requires a large income for
a minister to live respectably.  One in charge of a prosperous
congregation cannot maintain his social position, or uphold the dignity
of his parish, on less than from eight to ten thousand dollars per annum,
if he has even a moderate family.  Very little, if any, of this will go
in extravagance.  Many clergymen are obliged to live here on smaller
salaries, but they do it "by the skin of their teeth."

As a rule, the clergymen of New York are like those of other places.
Whether weak-headed, or strong-minded, they are, as a class, honest,
God-fearing, self-denying men.  There are, however, some black sheep in
the fold; but, let us thank Heaven, they are few, and all the more
conspicuous for that reason.

The speculative mania (in financial, not theological matters) invades
even the ranks of the clergy, and there are several well-known gentlemen
of the cloth who operate boldly and skilfully in the stock markets
through their brokers.  One of these was once sharply rebuked by his
broker for his unclerical conduct, and was advised, if he wished to carry
on his speculations further, to go into the market himself, as the broker
declined to be any longer the representative of a man who was ashamed of
his business.  There are others still who are not ashamed to mingle
openly with the throng of curb-stone brokers, and carry on their
operations behind the sanctity of their white cravats.  These last,
however, may be termed "Independents," as they have no standing in their
churches, and are roundly censured by them.

Others there are who, on small salaries, support large families.  These
are the heroes of the profession, but the world knows little of their
heroism.  With their slender means, they provide homes that are models
for all.  They do their duty bravely, and with an amount of self-denial
which is sometimes amazing.  They have happy homes, too, even if it is
hard to make both ends meet at the end of the year.  They are often men
of taste and culture, to whom such trials are particularly hard.  They
carry their culture into their homes, and the fruits of it blossom all
around them.  Wealth could not give them these pleasures, nor can poverty
deprive them of them.  They bring up their children in the fear and
admonition of the Lord, and, thanks to the free schools and their own
efforts, give them a good education.  They send them out into the world
well equipped for the battle of life, and reap the reward of their
efforts in the honorable and useful lives of those children.  They go
down into the grave without knowing any of the comforts of wealth,
without having ever preached to a fashionable congregation, and the world
comes at last to find that their places cannot easily be filled.  Let us
be sure "their works do follow them."



XXXVIII.  BOARDING-HOUSE LIFE.


New York is a vast boarding-house.  Let him who doubts this assertion
turn to the columns of the _Herald_, and there read its confirmation in
the long columns of advertisements of "Boarders wanted," which adorn that
sheet.  Or, better still, let him insert an advertisement in the
aforesaid _Herald_, applying for board, and he will find himself in
receipt of a mail next morning that will tax the postman's utmost
capacity.  The boarding-houses of New York are a feature, and not the
pleasantest one, of the great city.  How many there are, is not known,
but in some localities they cover both sides of the street for several
blocks.  Those which are termed fashionable, and which imitate the
expensiveness of the hotels without furnishing a tithe of their comforts,
are located in the Fifth avenue, Broadway, and the Fourth avenue, or near
those streets.  Some are showily furnished as to the public rooms, and
are conducted in seemingly elegant style, but the proprietress, for it is
generally a woman who is at the head of these establishments, pays for
all this show by economizing in the table and other things essential to
comfort.  The really "elegant establishments," where magnificence of
display is combined with a good table and substantial comfort in other
respects, may be almost named in a breath.

Whether fashionable or unfashionable, all boarding-houses are alike.
They are supremely uncomfortable.  The boarder is never really satisfied,
and lives in a state of perpetual warfare with his landlady.  The
landlady, on her part, takes care that her guests shall not be too
comfortable.  People generally become accustomed to this feverish mode of
life; so accustomed to it indeed that they cannot exist without it.  They
find a sort of positive pleasure in boarding-house quarrels, and would
not be able to exist without the excitement of them.

The majority of boarders in the city are persons who have not the means
to live in their own houses.  Others there are, who fancy they have less
trouble in boarding than in keeping their own establishments.  This is a
singular but common delusion, and its victims endure with what patience
they can the wretched fare, the constant changes, and the uninterrupted
inconvenience and strife of a boarding-house, and imagine all the while
that they are experiencing less trouble and annoyance than they would
undergo in keeping house.  The truth is, living is so expensive in New
York, that all modes of life are troublesome to those who are not wealthy
enough to disregard expense.  But, here, as elsewhere, the privacy of
one's own home is better than the publicity of a boarding-house, and a
fuss with Bridget in one's own kitchen preferable to a row with a
landlady, who may turn you out of doors at the very moment you are
congratulating yourself that you are settled for the season.  To persons
with families, boarding-house life ought to be intolerable.  Those who
have children find that they cannot rear them as properly as they could
within their own homes, that they cannot as surely shield them from
unfavorable outside influences.  Indeed, the troubles which these
"encumbrances" cause are so great that the wife and mother comes to the
conclusion that more children will simply add to her difficulties of this
kind, and so she commences to "regulate" her family, and the little ones
cease coming.  Some boarding-houses will not receive children at any
price.  Year by year the number of such establishments is increasing.
What will be the result?  The question is not hard to answer.

The boarding-house is generally a cast-off mansion of gentility.  There
are a score of things about it to remind you that it was once a home, and
to set you to speculating on the ways of the grim fate that has changed
it into a place of torment.  Whole volumes have been written on the
subject, and all agree that is simply what I have described it to be.
From the fashionable Fifth avenue establishment down to the cellar
lodging-houses of the Five Points, all boarding-houses are alike in this
respect.  Their success in tormenting their victims depends upon the
susceptibility and refinement of feeling and taste on the part of the
latter.

Landladies and boarders are mutually suspicious of each other.  The
landlady constantly suspects her guest of a desire to escape from her
clutches with unpaid bills.  The latter is always on the look-out for
some omission on the part of the hostess to comply with the letter of her
contract.  Landladies are frequently swindled by adventurers of both
sexes, and guests most commonly find that the hostess does not comply
very strictly with her bargain.  Furthermore, the boarder has not only to
endure his own troubles, but those of the landlady as well.  Her sorrows
are unending, and she pours them out to him at every opportunity.  He
dare not refuse to listen, for his experience teaches him that his
hostess will find a way to punish him for his unfeeling conduct.  It is
of no use to change his quarters, for he may fare worse in this respect
at the next place.  And so he submits, and grows peevish and fretful, and
even bald and gray over the woes of his tormentor.  He consoles himself
with one thought--in the next world landladies cease from troubling and
boarding-houses do not exist.

All boarding-houses begin to fill up for the winter about the first of
October.  Few of the proprietors have any trouble in filling their
establishments, as there is generally a rush of strangers to the city at
that time.  The majority of boarders change their quarters every fall, if
they do not do so oftener.  At first, the table is well supplied with
good fare, the attendance is excellent, and the proprietress as obliging
as one can wish.  This continues until the house is full, and the guests
have made arrangements which would render a removal inconvenient.  Then a
change comes over the establishment.  The attendance becomes inferior.
The landlady cannot afford to keep so many servants, and the best in the
house are discharged.  The fare becomes poor and scanty, and there begin
to appear dishes upon which the landlady has exercised an amount of
ingenuity which is astounding.  They are fearfully and wonderfully
compounded, and it is best to ask no questions about them.  The landlady
keeps a keen watch over the table at such times; and woe to him who
slights or turns up his nose at these dishes.  She is sorry Mr. X---'s
appetite is so delicate; but really her prices of board do not permit her
to rival Delmonico or the Fifth Avenue Hotel in her table.  Mr. P---, who
was worth his millions, and who boarded with her for ten years, was very
fond of that dish, and Mr. P--- was a regular _bon vivant_, if there ever
was one.  Hang your head, friend X---, mutter some incoherent excuse,
gulp down your fair share of the dish in question--and fast the next time
it makes its appearance at the table.

                         [Picture: UNION SQUARE.]

The landlady has shrewdly calculated the chances of retaining her
boarders.  She knows that few care to or can change in the middle of the
season, when all the other houses are full; and that they will hang on to
her establishment until the spring.  If they do not come back the next
fall, others will, and as the population is large, she can play the same
game upon a fresh set of victims for many years to come.  It is of no use
to complain.  She knows human nature better than you do, and she adheres
rigidly to her programme, grimly replying to your tale of woes, that, if
you do not like her establishment, you can go elsewhere.  You would go if
you could find a better place; but you know they are all alike.  So you
make up your mind to endure your discomforts until May, with her smiling
face, calls you into the country.

Boarding-houses allow their guests a brief respite in the summer.  The
city is then comparatively deserted, and the most of these "highly
respectable" establishments are very much in want of inmates.  Expenses
are heavy and receipts light then, and the landladies offer an unusual
degree of comfort to those who will help them to tide over this dull
season.

As regards the ferreting out of impropriety on the part of her guests,
the New York landlady is unequalled by the most skilful detective in the
city.  She doubts the character of every woman beneath her roof; but in
spite of her acuteness she is often deceived, and it may be safely
asserted that the boarding-houses into which improper characters do not
sometimes find their way are very few.  It is simply impossible to keep
them out.  The average boarding-house contains a goodly number of men who
are so many objects of the designs of the adventurers.  Again, if the
adventuress wishes to maintain the guise of respectability, she must have
a respectable home, and this the boarding-house affords her.  One is
struck with the great number of handsome young widows who are to be found
in these establishments.  Sometimes they do not assume the character of a
widow, but claim to be the wives of men absent in the distant
Territories, or in Europe, and pretend to receive letters and remittances
from them.  The majority of these women are adventuresses, and they make
their living in a way they do not care to have known.  They conduct
themselves with the utmost outward propriety in the house, and disarm
even the suspicious landlady by their ladylike deportment.  They are ripe
for an intrigue with any man in the house, and as their object is simply
to make money, they care little for an exposure if that object be
attained.



XXXIX.  THE RESTAURANTS.


New York is said to contain between five and six thousand restaurants.
These are of every kind and description known to man, from Delmonico's
down to the Fulton Market stands.  A very large number of persons live
altogether at these places.  They are those who cannot afford the expense
of a hotel, and who will not endure a boarding-house.  They rent rooms in
convenient or inconvenient locations, and take their meals at the
restaurants.  At many nominally reputable establishments the fare is
infamous, but as a rule New York is far ahead of any American city with
respect to the character and capabilities of its eating-houses.

The better class restaurants lie along Broadway and Fifth avenue.  The
other longitudinal streets are well supplied with establishments of all
kinds, and in the Bowery are to be found houses in which the fare is
prepared and served entirely in accordance with German ideas.  In other
parts of the city are to be found Italian, French, and Spanish
restaurants, and English chop houses.

The fashionable restaurants lie chiefly above Fourteenth, and entirely
above Canal street.  Delmonico's, at the northeast corner of Fourteenth
street and the Fifth avenue, is the best known.  It is a very extensive
establishment, is fitted up in elegant style, and is equal to any
eating-house in the world.  The prices are very high.  A modest dinner,
without wine, for two persons, will cost here from four to five dollars.
The fare is good, however.  The house enjoys a large custom, and every
visitor to New York who can afford it, takes a meal here before leaving
the city.  Delmonico is said to be very rich.

A young man, to whom the ways of the house were unknown, once took his
sweetheart to lunch at this famous place.  His purse was light, and when
he came to scan the bill of fare, and note the large sums affixed to each
item, his heart sank within him, and he waited in silent agony to hear
his fair companion make her selection.  After due consideration, she
ordered a woodcock.  Now woodcocks are expensive luxuries at Delmonico's,
and the cost of one such bird represented more than the total contents of
the lover's purse.  He was in despair, but a lucky thought occurred to
him.  Turning to the lady, he asked with an air of profound astonishment:

"Do you think you can eat a whole woodcock?"

"How large is it?" asked the fair one, timidly.

"About as large as a full grown turkey" was the grave reply.

"O, I'll take an oyster stew," said the lady, quickly.

The fashionable restaurants make large profits on their sales.  Their
customers are chiefly ladies, and men who have nothing to do.  Their
busiest hours are the early afternoon, and during the evening.  After the
theatres are closed, they are thronged with parties of ladies and
gentlemen who come in for supper.

Some of the best restaurants in the city are those in which a lady is
never seen.  It must not be supposed that they are disreputable places.
They are entirely the opposite.  They are located in the lower part of
the city, often in some by-street of the heavy business section, and are
patronized chiefly by merchants and clerks, who come here to get lunch
and dinner.  The fare is excellent, and the prices are reasonable.  The
eating houses of Henry Bode, in Water street, near Wall street, Rudolph
in Broadway, near Courtlandt street, and Nash & Fuller (late Crook, Fox &
Nash), in Park Row, are the best of this kind.  In the last there is a
department for ladies.

Between the hours of noon and three o'clock, the down-town restaurants
are generally crowded with a hungry throng.  In some of them every seat
at the long counters and at the tables is filled, and the floor is
crowded with men standing and eating from plates which they hold in their
hands.  The noise, the bustle, the clatter of knives and dishes, the
slamming of doors, and the cries of the waiters as they shout out the
orders of the guests, are deafening.  The waiters move about with a
celerity that is astonishing; food is served and eaten with a dispatch
peculiar to these places.  A constant stream of men is pouring out of the
doors, and as steady a stream flowing in to take their places.  At some
of the largest of these establishments as many as fifteen hundred people
are supplied with food during the course of the day.  A well patronized
restaurant is very profitable in New York, even if its prices are
moderate, and the higher priced establishments make their proprietors
rich in a comparatively short time.  The proprietor of a Broadway oyster
saloon made a fortune of $150,000 by his legitimate business in five
years.  A large part of the income of the restaurants is derived from the
sale of liquors at the bar.

The principal up-town restaurants are largely patronized by disreputable
people.  Impure women go there to pick up custom, and men to find such
companions.  Women whose social position is good, do not hesitate to meet
their lovers at such places, for there is a great deal of truth in the
old adage which tells us that "there's no place so private as a crowded
hall."  A quiet but close observer will frequently see a nod, or a smile,
or a meaning glance pass between the most respectable looking persons of
opposite sexes, who are seemingly strangers to each other, and will
sometimes see a note slyly sent by a waiter, or dropped adroitly into the
hand of the woman as the man passes out, while her face wears the
demurest and most rigidly virtuous expression.  Such women frequent some
of the best known up-town establishments to so great an extent that a
lady entering one of them is apt to be insulted in this way by the male
habitues of the place.  These wretches hold all women to be alike, and
act upon this belief.



XL.  THE CHEAP LODGING-HOUSES.


The Bowery and the eastern section of the city are full of cheap
lodging-houses, which are a grade lower than the lowest hotels, and
several grades above the cellars.  One or two of these are immense
establishments, five and six stories in height.  Some of them provide
their lodgers with beds and covering, others supply pallets laid down on
the floor of a cheerless room, and others again give merely the pallets
and no sheets or coverings.  The rooms, the beds, and the bedding in all
these establishments are horribly dirty, and are badly ventilated.  Bed
bugs abound in the summer, and in the winter the lodger is nearly frozen,
the covering, when furnished, being utterly inadequate to the task of
keeping out the cold.  From six to ten persons are put in a room
together.  The price varies from ten to twenty-five cents, according to
the accommodations furnished.  Each of these houses is provided with a
bar, at which the vilest liquors are sold at ten cents a drink.  The
profits of the business are very great, not counting the receipts of the
bar, which are in proportion.  The expense of fitting up and conducting
such an establishment is trifling.  One of them accommodates nearly two
hundred lodgers per night, which at ten cents per head, would be a net
receipt of twenty dollars.

The persons who patronize these establishments are mainly vagrants, men
who live from hand to mouth, and who will not be received by the humblest
boarding-house.  Some are doubtless unfortunate, but the majority are
vagrants from choice.  Some have irregular occupations, others get the
price of their lodgings by begging.

The business of a lodging-house seldom commences before ten o'clock, and
its greatest rush is just after the closing of the theatres; but all
through the night, till three o'clock in the morning, they are receiving
such of the outcast population as can offer the price of a bed.  To any
one interested in the misery of the city, the array presented on such an
occasion is very striking.  One sees every variety of character, runaway
boys, truant apprentices, drunken mechanics, and broken-down mankind
generally.  Among these are men who have seen better days.  They are
decayed gentlemen who appear regularly in Wall street, and eke out the
day by such petty business as they may get hold of; and are lucky if they
can make enough to carry them through the night.  In all lodging-houses
the rule holds good, "First come, first served," and the last man in the
room gets the worst spot.  Each one sleeps with his clothes on, and his
hat under his head, to keep it from being stolen.  At eight o'clock in
the morning all oversleepers are awakened, and the rooms got ready for
the coming night.  No one is allowed to take anything away, and if the
lodger has a parcel, he is required to leave it at the bar.  This
prevents the theft of bedclothes.



XLI.  THE LIBRARIES.


The Libraries of New York are large and well patronized.  The various
collections, including those of the institutions of learning, number over
500,000 volumes.

The oldest collection is the "Society Library," which is contained in a
handsome brick edifice in University Place.  In 1729, the Rev. John
Wellington, Rector of Newington, in England, generously bequeathed his
library, consisting of 1622 volumes, to the "Society for the Propagation
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts."  To this was added a collection of books
presented by the Rev. John Sharp, Chaplain to Lord Bellamont.  The whole
collection was sent to New York, and opened for public use in 1731, under
the name of the "Corporation Library."  The death of the librarian
occurred soon after, and the library was suffered to fall into disuse.
In 1754, a number of citizens of means and literary taste, founded the
"Society Library," to which, with the consent of the city, they added the
old "Corporation Library."  In 1772, the Society received a charter from
King George III.  It is one of the wealthiest and most flourishing
institutions in the city.  The annual subscription is $10.  The
collection of books is very valuable and interesting, and comprises over
50,000 volumes.

The "Astor Library" is the best known outside of the city.  The library
building is a massive structure of brick with brown stone trimmings,
situated in Lafayette Place, next door to the residence of William B.
Astor, Esq.  It was founded by John Jacob Astor, and enlarged by his son
William.  The books are contained in two large and elegant halls,
occupying the entire building above the first floor.  The collection
numbers about 150,000 volumes, and was made by the late Dr. Coggeswell,
the first Librarian, whose judgment, taste, and learning were highly
appreciated by the elder Astor.  The library is mainly one of reference,
and is very complete in most of the subjects it comprises.  In the
departments of science, history, biography, and philology, it is
especially fine.  It also contains many rare and valuable illustrated
works, a number of original editions of the earliest books, and some
valuable manuscripts.

                       [Picture: LAFAYETTE PLACE.]

The collection is free to the public, and is open daily except on Sundays
and holidays, and during the month of August, from 10 A.M. until 4 P.M.
The books cannot be taken from the reading-room, nor are visitors allowed
to use pen and ink in making notes from them.  It is said that the
classes Mr. Astor desired most to benefit by this library were the
working people, who are unable to buy books of their own.  If this be
true, his wishes have been entirely defeated, as the hall is open only
during the hours when it is impossible for working people to attend.  In
the facilities which it affords to those who wish to use it, the Astor is
very much behind the great libraries of Europe, or even the Public
Library of Boston.

The most popular, and the most thoroughly representative library of the
city, is the Mercantile Library, located in Clinton Hall, in Astor Place.
It owns this building, and its property is valued at $500,000.  It was
founded in 1820, by William Wood, a native of Boston, and a gentleman
eminent for his efforts in behalf of the spread of education and liberal
ideas.  It began as a subscription library with a collection of 700
volumes, and was located in a small room at No. 49 Fulton street.  The
collection now numbers 120,000 volumes, and increases at the rate of
13,000 volumes a year.  It is the fourth library in size in the Union.
Those which are larger are the Library of Congress, the Public Library of
Boston, and the Astor Library.  The library is the property of the clerks
of New York, and though it does not compare with the Astor in the
solidity or value of its contents, is a creditable monument to the good
sense and taste of the young men of our mercantile community.  No one but
a clerk can hold an office in it.  The term "clerk" is made to include
all men who live on a salary.  These members pay an initiation fee of $1,
and an annual subscription of $4.  To all other persons the privileges of
the library are offered at an annual subscription of $5.  In April, 1870,
the books of the institution showed a roll of 12,867 persons entitled to
the use of the library and reading-room, the latter of which contains 400
newspapers and periodicals.

A large part of the collection consists of works of fiction.  It is a
lending library, and its books are sent to readers in Yonkers, Norwalk,
Stamford, Elizabeth, and Jersey City, as well as in New York, in each of
which it has branches.  There are also branch offices in Yorkville and in
Cedar street.  Every morning a canvass bag, containing the books returned
and applications for others wanted, is sent from each branch to the
library, and is returned in the afternoon full.  The directors offer to
establish a branch in any of the suburban towns in which one hundred
subscribers can be obtained in advance.  The average daily delivery of
books is 760, of which about three-quarters are taken from the library
proper, the rest from the branches.  On Saturday evening the demand for
books is very great.

The system of delivery is as follows:

"Each member on joining the library has a folio assigned him in the
ledger, and its number is written on the ticket which is given him as a
certificate of membership.  Let us suppose you have received one of these
tickets, and have made your selection of the book you want.  You fill up
a blank application card, with the name of the book desired.  You hand
that to one of the attendants.  When he has found a book for you, he
hands it, with your application card, to the delivery clerk.  This
gentleman occupies a large desk at the central counter, and has before
him two immense drawers, divided into partitions for the reception of the
cards.  Each member's name has a place in one or the other of these
drawers, and the number of the folio shows where that place is.  The
clerk instantly turns to your name, and finds the card you handed in when
you last borrowed a book.  If the date, stamped at the time of delivery,
shows that you have kept it longer than the rules allow, he levies a
small fine, and you must pay it before you can borrow again.  All
formalities transacted, the old card is destroyed, the new one put in its
place, and you are sent away in peace.

"The system of checking books, as we have described it, enables the
librarian to ascertain in a moment just what any particular member has
borrowed; but it does not show what has become of any particular book.
Many attempts have been made to devise a system of double accounts, so
that a check could be kept upon the members and the books at the same
time, but without success.  A partial record book, however, is now kept.
Whenever a standard book is borrowed, the delivery clerk marks upon a
little yellow ticket simply the folio number of the borrower.  Every day
the yellow tickets are examined, and if it appear, say, that folio 10,029
has had a book more than three weeks, the clerk turns to the drawer and
finds out who folio 10,029 is, and what book is charged against him, and
sends him a notice that his time is up.  It is found impracticable to
apply this system to novels, which form the greater part of the
circulation of the library; but it is useful as far as it goes, and
prevents the loss of many valuable books.

                         [Picture: CLINTON HALL.]

"Of late years a postal order scheme has been perfected, and for
convenience and simplicity it could hardly be improved.  Its design is to
enable members to draw books without visiting the library.  Blank forms
are obtained from the Post-office Department, about the size and shape of
a newspaper wrapper, bearing on one side a two-cent postage stamp, and
the printed address, 'Mercantile Library, Astor Place, City,' and on the
other a blank application, with a five-cent 'Mercantile Library delivery
stamp,' and some printed directions.  You fill up the application in the
usual way, fold the wrapper like a note (it is already gummed), and drop
it in the nearest Post-office box.  In a few hours at furthest a
messenger brings to your house the book you have asked for, and takes
away the volume you want to return.  The system is fast increasing in
popularity.  A horse and wagon are constantly employed in the collection
and delivery, and the number of volumes sent out in this way is about
12,000 annually.  The delivery blanks are sold at the rate of seven cents
each--two cents representing the postage and five the cost of the
delivery."

The other collections are the Library of the New York Historical Society,
embracing over 30,000 volumes, besides many interesting manuscripts,
papers, coins and antiquities; the Apprentices' Library, 18,000 volumes;
the Library of the American Institute, 10,000 volumes; the City Library,
5000 volumes; the Law Institute Library, about 5000 volumes; the Library
of the Young Men's Christian Association, about 15,000 volumes; the
Library of the Protestant Episcopal General Theological Seminary, 18,000
volumes; the Library of the Union Theological Seminary, 26,000 volumes;
the Library of the Cooper Institute; and the libraries of the various
institutions of learning.

Mr. James Lenox, a wealthy and prominent citizen, is now erecting on the
Fifth avenue, near Seventieth street, and immediately opposite the
Central Park, a massive building of granite, which is to be one of the
most imposing structures in the City.  In this, at its completion, he
intends placing his magnificent collection of books and works of art,
which constitute the most superb private collection in America.  The
whole will be opened to the public under certain restrictions.



XLII.  PROFESSIONAL MEN.


New York is full of professional men, that is, of men who earn their
living by brain work.  One class--the clergy--has already been mentioned.

The Bar is next in numbers.  There are about three thousand lawyers
practising at the New York bar.  A few of these have large incomes, two
or three making as much as fifty thousand dollars per annum; but the
average income of the majority is limited.  An income of ten or fifteen
thousand dollars is considered large in the profession, and the number of
those earning such a sum is small.

In most cities the members of the legal profession form a clique, and are
very clannish.  Each one knows everybody else, and if one member of the
bar is assailed, the rest are prompt to defend him.  In New York,
however, there is no such thing as a legal "fraternity."  Each man is
wrapped in his own affairs, and knows little and cares less about other
members of the profession.  We have been surprised to find how little
these men know about each other.  Some have never even heard of others
who are really prosperous and talented.

The courts of the city are very numerous; and each man, in entering upon
his practice, makes a specialty of some one or more of them, and confines
himself to them.  His chances of success are better for doing this, than
they would be by adopting a general practice.  Indeed, it would be simply
impossible for one man to practise in all.

Many of the best lawyers rarely go into the courts.  They prefer chamber
practice, and will not try a case in court if they can help it.  The
process in the courts is slow and vexatious, and consumes too much of
their time.  Their chamber practice is profitable to them, and beneficial
to the community, as it prevents much tedious litigation.

Many lawyers with fair prospects and comfortable incomes, who are
succeeding in their profession in other places, come to New York,
expecting to rise to fame and fortune more rapidly here.  They are
mistaken.  The most accomplished city barrister finds success a slow and
uncertain thing.  It requires some unusually fortunate circumstance to
introduce a new lawyer favorably to a New York public.

The profession in this city can boast some of the most eminent names in
the legal world, such men as Charles O'Connor, William M. Evarts, and
others of a similar reputation.

The Medical Profession is also well represented.  It is said that there
are about as many physicians and surgeons as lawyers practising in the
city.  New York offers a fine field for a man of genuine skill.  Its
hospitals and medical establishments are the best conducted of any in the
country, and afford ample opportunity for study and observation.  The
opportunity for studying human nature is all that one can desire.  The
most eminent medical men in the country either reside here or are
constantly visiting the city.

Some of the city practitioners are very fortunate in a pecuniary sense.
It is said that some of them receive very large sums every year.  Dr.
Willard Parker was once called out of town to see a patient, to whom he
sent a bill of $300.  The amount was objected to, and Dr. Parker proved
by his books that his daily receipts were over that sum.  He is said to
be an exception to the general rule, however, which rule is that but very
few of the best paid medical men receive over $20,000 per annum.
Surgeons are paid much better than physicians.  Dr. Carnochan is said to
have received as much as $2000 for a single operation.  As a rule,
however, the city physicians do little more than pay expenses, especially
if they have families.  From $5000 to $10,000 is a good income, and a man
of family has but little chance of saving out of this if he lives in any
degree of comfort.

Literary men and women are even more numerous in the metropolis than
lawyers or doctors.  They are of all classes, from the great author of
world-wide fame to the veriest scribbler.  The supply is very largely in
advance of the demand, and as a consequence, all have to exert themselves
to get along.  A writer in the _World_ estimates the annual receipts of
New York authors at about one million of dollars, and the number of
writers at 2000, which would give an average income to each of about
$500.  As a matter of course, it is impossible to make any reliable
estimate, and there can be little doubt that the writer referred to has
been too generous in his average.  Authorship in New York offers few
inducements of a pecuniary nature.  Men of undoubted genius often
narrowly escape starvation, and to make a bare living by the pen
requires, in the majority of instances, an amount of mental and manual
labor and application which in any mercantile pursuit would ensure a
fortune.



XLIII.  PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS.


I.  THE THIEVES.


The criminal class of New York is very large, but it is not so large as
is commonly supposed.  In the spring of 1871, the Rev. Dr. Bellows stated
that the City of New York contained 30,000 professional thieves, 20,000
lewd women and harlots, 3000 rum shops, and 2000 gambling houses, and
this statement was accepted without question by a large portion of the
newspapers of other parts of the country.  New York is a very wicked
place, but it is not as bad as the above statement would indicate.  The
personal character of the gentleman who made it compels the conviction
that he believed in the truth of his figures; but a closer examination of
the case makes it plain that he was singularly deceived by the sources
from which he derived his information.

It is very hard to obtain accurate information as to the criminal
statistics of this city.  The reports and estimates of the Police
Commissioners are notoriously incomplete and unreliable.  They show a
large number of arrests, but they deal mainly with the class known as
"casuals," persons who merely dabble in crime, and who do not make it a
profession, and the larger proportion of the arrests reported are for
such trifling offences as drunkenness.  Indeed many of the arrests
reported ought not to be counted in the records of crime at all, as the
persons apprehended are released upon the instant by the officer in
charge of the station, the arrests being the result of the ignorant zeal
or malice of the patrolmen, and the prisoners being guiltless of any
offence.

The population of New York is unlike that of any other American city.  It
is made up of every nationality known to man.  The majority of the people
are very poor.  Life with them is one long unbroken struggle, and to
exist at all is simply to be wretched.  They are packed together at a
fearful rate in dirt and wretchedness, and they have every incentive to
commit crimes which will bring them the means of supplying their wants.
It is a common habit of some European governments to ship their criminals
to this port, where they have a new field opened to them.  The political
system of the city teaches the lower class to disregard all rights,
either of property or person, and, indeed, clothes some of the most
infamous criminals with an amount of influence which is more than
dangerous in their hands, and shields them from punishment when detected
in the commission of crime.  All these things considered, the wonder is
not that the criminal class of the city is as large as it is; but that it
is not larger and more dangerous.

The truth is, that the class generally known as Professional Criminals
number about 3000.  Besides these, there are about 5000 women of
ill-fame, known as such, living in 600 houses of prostitution, and
frequenting assignation and bed-houses, about 7000 rum shops, 92 faro
banks, and about 500 other gambling houses, and lottery and policy
offices, within the limits of the City of New York.

The professional criminals are those who live by thieving, and who
occasionally vary their career by the commission of a murder or some
other desperate crime.  They rarely resort to violence, however, unless
it becomes necessary to ensure their own safety.  Then they make their
work as simple and as brief as possible.  They form a distinct community,
frequent certain parts of the city, where they can easily and rapidly
communicate with each other, and where they can also hide from the police
without fear of detection.  They have signs by which they may recognize
each other, and a language, or _argot_, peculiar to themselves.  Those
who have been raised to the business use this argot to such an extent
that to one not accustomed to it they speak in an unknown tongue.  The
following specimens, taken from the "Detective's Manual," under the head
of the letter B, will illustrate this:

_Badger_.--A panel-thief.

_Bagged_.--Imprisoned.

_Bag of nails_.--All in confusion.

_Balram_--Money.

_Bandog_.--A civil officer.

_Barking irons_.--Pistols.

_Bene_.--Good, first-rate.

_Benjamin_.--A coat.

_Bilk_.--To cheat.

_Bill of sale_.--A widow's weeds.

_Bingo_.--Liquor.

_Bingo boy_.--A drunken man.

_Bingo mort_.--A drunken woman.

_Blue-billy_.--A strange handkerchief.

_Blue ruin_.--Bad gin.

_Boarding-school_.--The penitentiary.

_Bone box_.--The mouth.

_Bowsprit in parenthesis_.--A pulled nose.

_Brother of the blade_.--A soldier.

_Brother of the bolus_.--A doctor.

_Brush_.--To flatter, to humbug.

_Bug_.--A breast-pin.

_Bugger_.--A pickpocket.

_Bull_.--A locomotive.

_Bull-traps_.--Rogues who personate officials to extort money.

As a rule, the professional thief of every grade is a very respectable
looking individual outwardly.  He dresses well, but flashily, and is
generally plentifully supplied with money.  In a "crib," or rendezvous,
which he once visited in company with a detective, the writer could not
select a single individual whose outward appearance indicated his
calling.  The New York thief generally has money, which he squanders with
great recklessness.  It comes to him easily, and it goes in the same way.
There are many instances on record which go to show that the "members of
the profession" are frequently most generous to each other in money
matters.  The thief is usually a man of steady habits.  He rarely drinks
to excess, for that would unfit him for his work, and he is not usually
given to licentiousness, for a similar reason.  If he be found living
with a woman, she is generally a thief also, and plies her trade with
equal activity.

           [Picture: THE OCCASIONAL FATE OF NEW YORK THIEVES.]

Altogether, there are about three thousand thieves of various kinds,
known to the officers of justice in New York, who live by the practice of
their trade.  They are divided into various classes, each known by a
distinctive title, and to each of which its respective members cling
tenaciously.  These are known as Burglars, Bank Sneaks, Damper Sneaks,
Safe-blowers, Safe-bursters, Safe-breakers, and Sneak Thieves.  The last
constitute the most numerous class.

The Burglar is the aristocrat of crime, and you cannot offend him more
than by calling him a thief.  He scorns the small game of the sneak
thief, and conducts his operations on a large scale, in which the risk is
very great, and the plunder in proportion.  His peculiar "racket" is to
break open some first-class business house, a bonded warehouse, or the
vaults of a bank.  The burglar class has three divisions, known to the
police as Safe-blowers, Safe-bursters, and Safe-breakers.  They are said
to be less than 250 in number, those of the first and second class
comprising about seventy-five members each.  The safe-blowers are
accounted the most skilful.  They rarely force an entrance into a
building, but admit themselves by means of false keys made from wax
impressions of the genuine keys.  Once inside, their mode of operation is
rapid and systematic.  They lower the windows from the top about an inch.
This is usually sufficient to prevent the breaking of the glass by the
concussion of the air in the room, and not enough to attract attention
from without.  The safe is then wrapped in wet blankets, to smother the
noise of the explosion.  Holes are then drilled in the door of the safe
near the lock, these are filled with powder, which is fired by a fuse,
and the safe is blown open.  The securing of the contents requires but a
few minutes, and the false keys enable the thieves to escape with ease.
This method of robbery is very dangerous, as, in spite of the precautions
taken, the explosion may produce sufficient noise to bring the watchman
or the police to the spot.  Experienced burglars only engage in it, and
these never undertake it without being sure that the plunder to be
secured will fully repay them for the danger to be encountered.  This
knowledge they acquire in various ways.

The Safe-bursters are the silent workers of the "profession."  Like the
class just mentioned, they enter buildings by means of false keys.  They
adopt a thoroughly systematic course, which requires the combined efforts
of several persons, and consequently they operate in parties of three and
four.  They first make the safe so fast to the floor, by means of clamps,
that it will resist any degree of pressure.  Then they drill holes in the
door, and into these fit jack-screws worked by means of levers.  The
tremendous force thus exerted soon cuts the safe literally to pieces, and
its contents are at the mercy of the thieves.  The whole process is
noiseless and rapid, and so complete has been the destruction of some
safes that even the most experienced detectives have been astounded at
the sight of the wreck.  Such an operation is never undertaken without a
knowledge on the part of the thieves of the contents of the safe, and the
chances of conducting the enterprise in safety.  The Safe-blowers and
bursters do nothing by chance, and their plans are so well arranged
beforehand that they rarely fail.

The Safe-breakers, though really a part of the burglar class, are looked
upon with contempt and disowned by their more scientific associates in
crime.  They do nothing by calculation, and trust everything to chance.
They enter buildings by force, and trust to the same method to get into
the safes.  Their favorite instrument is a "jimmy," or short iron bar
with a sharp end.  With this they pry open the safe, and then knock it to
pieces with a hammer.  In order to deaden the sound of the blows, the
hammer is wrapped with cloth.  They are not as successful as the others
in their operations, and are most frequently arrested.  Indeed the
arrests for burglary reported by the Police Commissioners occur almost
exclusively in this class.  A really first-class burglar in a prison cell
would be a curiosity in New York.

Closely allied with the Safe-blowers and bursters is a class known as
Bed-chamber Sneaks.  These men are employed by the burglars to enter
dwellings and obtain impressions in wax of keys of the places to be
robbed.  They adopt an infinite number of ways of effecting such an
entrance, often operating through the servant girls.  They never disturb
or carry off anything, but confine their efforts to obtaining impressions
in wax of the keys of the store or office to be robbed.  The keys of
business houses are mainly kept by the porters, into whose humble
dwellings it is easy to enter.  When they wish to obtain the keys of a
dwelling, they come as visitors to the servant girls, and while they
stand chatting with them manage to slip the key from the lock, take its
impression in wax, and return it to the lock, unobserved by the girl.
They are generally on the watch for chances for robberies, and report
them promptly to their burglar confederates.

The Bank Sneak is better known as the Bond Robber.  He is of necessity a
man of intelligence and of great fertility of resource.  He steals United
States Bonds almost entirely, and prefers coupons to registered, as the
former can always be disposed of without detection.  He manages, by means
best known to himself, to gain information of the places in which these
bonds are kept by the banks, of the times at which it is easiest to gain
access to them, and the hours at which the theft is most likely to be
successful.  All this requires an immense amount of patient study and of
personal observation of the premises, which must be conducted in such a
way as not to attract attention or excite suspicion.  When everything is
ready for the commission of the deed, the thief proceeds to the place
where the bonds are kept, seizes them and makes off.  If a package of
bank notes is at hand, he adds that to his other plunder.  Usually his
operations are so well planned and conducted that he is not observed by
the bank officers, and he escapes with his plunder.  Once at large, he
proceeds to sell the bonds, if they are coupons, or to use the bank
notes, if he has secured any.  Registered bonds require more care in
their disposition.  Generally the bank offers a reward for the arrest of
the robber and the recovery of the goods, and calls in a detective to
work up the case.  The thief at once manages to communicate with the
detective, and offers to compromise with the bank, that is, to restore a
part of the plunder upon condition that he is allowed the rest and escape
punishment.  Ninety-nine times out of a hundred his offer is accepted,
the bank preferring the recovery of a part of its loss to the punishment
of the thief.  In this way the thief secures a large part of the amount
stolen, sometimes one-half.  Should the thief be caught with his plunder
upon him, and the bank be thus saved from loss, which is rare, the
offender is turned over to the police, and the bank joins heartily in the
effort to send him to the penitentiary.

The Damper Sneak confines his attentions to the safes of the business men
of the city.  Wall street has suffered heavily from this class.  The
thief enters a broker's office, in which the safe is generally left open
during business hours, and asks permission to look at the directory, or
to write a note.  If this permission be accorded him, he manages to get
inside the railing, in close proximity to the safe, if its doors are
open.  A confederate (or sometimes more) now enters and attracts the
attention of the broker or the clerk, by making fictitious arrangements
for the purchase of gold or some security.  The thief who first entered
watches his opportunity, and then, with the greatest rapidity, darts to
the safe, abstracts whatever he can lay his bands on, and passes out,
always thanking the broker for his courtesy.  The confederates leave soon
after, and then the robbery is discovered.  The Damper Sneak has to steal
at random, taking the first thing within his reach, but he often secures
a rich prize.  He takes his peculiar name from the safe, which, in the
thief language, is called a "Damper."  One of the boldest of these
robberies occurred a year or more ago, in Wall street.  A broker
employing a number of clerks, and doing a heavy business, was standing
one day in front of his safe, during business hours, talking to a
gentleman.  A man, without a hat, with a pen behind his ear, and a piece
of paper in his hand, entered the office, passed around the counter to
where the broker stood, and said to him quietly, "Will you please to
move, sir, so that I can get at the safe?"  Being very much interested in
his conversation, the broker scarcely noticed the man, supposing from his
general appearance and manner that he was one of the clerks, and
accordingly stepped aside without giving him a second glance.  The man
went up to the safe, took out a package of United States Bonds, and
coolly walked out of the office.  The bonds amounted to one hundred
thousand dollars.  The loss was discovered in the afternoon but no trace
of the thief or of his plunder was ever found.  Strange as it may seem,
the city is constantly suffering from similar robberies, and the rogues
almost invariably escape.

The Sneak Thieves are the last and lowest on the list.  As has been
stated, they constitute the bulk of the light-fingered fraternity.  These
confine their attentions principally to private dwellings, are adroit and
successful, but incur constant danger of detection and punishment.  A
sneak thief will pass along the street with that rapid, rolling glance of
the eyes which distinguishes the tribe; now he checks himself in his
career; it is but for an instant; no unprofessional eye directed towards
him would notice it; but the sudden pause would speak volumes to an
experienced police officer.  He knows that the thief's eye has caught the
sight of silver lying exposed in the basement.  In an hour after he hears
that the basement has been entered, and the silver in it carried off.  He
knows who has taken it, as well as if he had seen the man take it with
his own eyes; but if the thief has had time to run to the nearest
receiver's den, the silver is already in the melting-pot, beyond the
reach of identification.

Sometimes the sneak thieves work in pairs.  Upon discovering the basement
door of a residence ajar, one of them takes position at it, while the
other ascends the front steps and rings the bell.  As soon as the servant
has gone up from the basement to answer the bell, the thief at the lower
door slips in, and gathers up the silver or such other articles as he can
lay his hands upon.  Again, selecting the dinner hour, which is usually
between six and seven o'clock, and operating in the winter season when
the streets are dark at that hour, one of the thieves will remain on the
side-walk, on the lookout for the police, while the other climbs up a
pillar of the stoop and reaches the level of the second story window.
The window fastenings offer but a feeble resistance, and he is soon in
the room.  The family being all at dinner in the lower part of the house,
the entire mansion is open to him.  Securing his plunder, he leaves the
house as he entered it, and makes off with his confederate.  Some of the
wealthiest mansions in the city have been robbed in this way, and heavy
losses in jewelry, furs, and clothing have been entailed upon
householders in all localities.  Sometimes the thief has a confederate in
the servant girl, but professionals do not often trust this class, who
are always ready to betray them at the slightest indication of danger.



II.  THE PICK-POCKETS.


The activity of the pick-pockets of New York is very great, and they
oftentimes make large "hauls" in the practice of their trade.  It is said
that there are about 300 of them in the city, though the detectives state
their belief that the number is really larger and increasing.  Scarcely a
day passes without the police authorities receiving numerous complaints
from respectable persons of losses by pick-pockets.

On all the street cars, you will see the sign, "_Beware of
Pick-pockets!_" posted conspicuously, for the purpose of warning
passengers.  These wretches work in gangs of two, or three or four.  They
make their way into crowded cars, and rarely leave them without bringing
away something of value.  An officer will recognize them at once.  He
sees a well-known pickpocket obstructing the car entrance; another
pickpocket is abusing him in the sharpest terms for doing so, while, at
the same time, he is eagerly assisting a respectable gentleman, or a
well-dressed lady, to pass the obstruction.  One or two other
pick-pockets stand near.  All this is as intelligible to a police officer
as the letters on a street sign.  He knows that the man, who is assisting
the gentleman or lady, is picking his or her pocket; he knows that the
man who obstructs the entrance is his confederate; he knows that the
others, who are hanging about, will receive the contents of the
pocket-book as soon as their principal has abstracted the same.  He
cannot arrest them, however, unless he, or some one else, sees the act
committed; but they will not remain long after they see him--they will
take the alarm, as they know his eye is on them, and leave the car as
soon as possible.

A lady, riding in an omnibus, discovers that she has lost her purse,
which she knows was in her possession when she entered the stage.  A
well-dressed gentleman sits by her, whose arms are quietly crossed before
him, and his fingers, encased in spotless kid gloves, are entwined in his
lap, in plain sight of all the passengers, who are sure that he has not
moved them since he entered the stage.  Several persons have entered and
left the vehicle, and the lady, naturally supposing one of them to be the
thief, gets out to consult a policeman as to her best course.  The
officer could tell her, after a glance at the faultless gentleman who was
her neighbor, that the arms so conspicuously crossed in his lap, are
false, his real arms all the time being free to operate under the folds
of his talma.  The officer would rightly point him out as the thief.

The ferry-boats which go and come crowded with passengers, the theatres,
and even the churches, are all frequented by pickpockets, who reap rich
harvests from them.  Persons wearing prominent shirt pins or other
articles of jewelry frequently lose them in this way, and these wretches
will often boldly take a purse out of a lady's hand or a bracelet from
her arm, and make off.  If the robbery be done in the midst of a crowd,
the chance of escape is all the better.

The street car conductors complain that they can do nothing to check the
depredations of the pick-pockets.  If they are put off the cars, they
exert themselves to have the conductors discharged, and are generally
possessed of influence enough to accomplish their ends.  Strange as this
may seem, it is true, for the pick-pocket is generally employed by the
city politicians to manage the rougher class at the elections.  In return
for the influence which they thus exert the pick-pockets receive payment
in money, and are shielded from punishment if unlucky enough to be
arrested.  Both parties are responsible for this infamous course, the
party in power usually making the greatest use of these scoundrels.  This
is the cause of the confidence with which thieves of this kind carry on
their trade.  Those who desire the city's welfare will find food for
reflection in this fact.

Many of the pick-pockets are women, whose lightness and delicacy of touch
make them dangerous operators.  Others are boys.  These are usually
termed "kids," and are very dangerous, as people are not inclined to
suspect them.  They work in gangs of three or four, and, pushing against
their victim, seize what they can, and make off.  Sometimes one of this
gang is arrested, but as he has transferred the plunder to his
confederates, who have escaped, there is no evidence against him.



III.  THE FEMALE THIEVES.


In the collection of photographs at the Police Headquarters, to which the
authorities have given the name of "The Rogues' Gallery," there are but
seventy-three portraits of females.  The best informed detectives,
however, estimate the actual number of professional female thieves in the
city at about 350.

Women do not often succeed in effecting large robberies, but the total of
their stealings makes up a large sum each year.  They are not as liable
to suspicion as men, and most persons hesitate before accusing a woman of
theft.  Yet, if successful, the woman's chances of escaping arrest and
punishment are better than those of a man.  Her sex compels her to lead a
quieter and more retired life, and she does not as a rule frequent places
in which she is brought under a detective's observation.

Some of the female thieves are the children of thief parents, and are
trained to their lives, others come to such a mode of existence by
degrees.  All, as a rule, are loose women, and were so before they became
professional thieves.  A few of them are well educated, and some of these
state that they adopted thieving only when all other means failed them,
and that they hoped it would keep them from sacrificing their virtue.
This hope proved vain, and imperceptibly they glided into the latter sin.
Some of these women live in handsomely furnished private rooms in such
localities as Bleecker street.  Others herd together in the lower
quarters of the city.  The female thief, even the most abandoned,
generally has a husband, who is himself a thief or something worse.  She
takes great pride in being a married woman, and whenever she gets into
trouble invariably seeks to establish a good character by producing her
marriage certificate.  Even the lowest panel thieves will do this.

The Female Thieves are divided into Pick-pockets, Shoplifters, and Panel
Thieves.

"A short while ago a private detective happened to drop into a large
dry-goods store in Grand street, and observed a handsome-looking girl,
about eighteen years old, dressed with the best taste, pricing laces at a
counter.  An indefinable expression about her eyes was suspicious, and as
she left the store without purchasing, the spectator followed her to the
corner of Essex Market, where, walking beside her, he noticed something
of a square form under her cloak.  At once suspecting it to be a stolen
card of lace, he jostled against her, and, as he suspected, the card of
lace fell from under her arm to the sidewalk.  She colored, and was
walking away without picking it up when the detective stopped her, said
he knew the lace was stolen, and that she must return to the shop.  She
begged of him not to arrest her but restore the lace, which he did.
After thanking him for not taking her into custody, she invited him to
call on her and learn the story of her life.  She has two rooms in a very
respectable locality, furnished in the best manner, several of Prang's
chromos are hung on the walls, and a piano, on which she plays well, is
in her sitting-room.  She is very well educated, and was driven into her
way of life by being left without friends or help, and one day stole a
shawl without being discovered.  Emboldened by the success of her first
theft, she chose shop-lifting as her way of life, has followed it ever
since, and was never in prison.  Some few call her Sarah Wright; but
those who know her best style her 'Anonyma,' as she dislikes the former
title."



IV.  THE RIVER THIEVES.


The Harbor Thieves constitute one of the most dangerous and active
portions of the criminal class.  There are only about fifty professional
thieves of this class, but they give the police a vast amount of trouble,
and inflict great loss in the aggregate upon the mercantile community.
Twenty years ago the harbor was infested with a gang of pirates, who not
only committed the most daring robberies, but also added nightly murders
to their misdeeds.  Their victims were thrown into the deep waters of the
river or bay, and all trace of the foul work was removed.  At length,
however, the leaders of the gang, Saul and Howlett by name, mere lads
both, were arrested, convicted, and executed, and for a while a stop was
put to the robberies in the harbor; but in course of time the infamous
trade was resumed, but without its old accompaniment of murder.  It is at
present carried on with great activity in spite of the efforts of the
police to put a stop to it.  The North River front of the city is
troubled with but one gang of these ruffian's, which has its headquarters
at the foot of Charlton street.  This front is lined with piers which are
well built, well lighted, and well guarded, being occupied chiefly by
steamboats plying on the river, and by the foreign and coasting
steamships.  The East River is not so well guarded, the piers are dark,
and the vessels, mostly sailing ships, are left to the protection of
their crews.  It is in this river, therefore, and in the harbor, that the
principal depredations of the river thieves are carried on.  "Slaughter
House Point," the intersection of James and South streets, and so called
by the police because of the many murders which have occurred there, is
the principal rendezvous of the East River thieves.  Hook Dock, at the
foot of Cherry street, is also one of their favorite gathering places.

The life of a river thief is a very hard one, and his gains, as a rule,
are small.  He is subjected to a great deal of manual labor in the effort
to secure his plunder, and is exposed to all sorts of weather.  Night
work in an open boat in New York harbor is not favorable to longevity,
and in eight or ten years the most robust constitution will give way
before the constant attacks of rheumatism and neuralgia.  There would be
some compensation to society in this but for the fact that the police,
whose duty it is to watch the river thieves, suffer in a similar way.

The river thieves generally work in gangs of three and four.  Each gang
has its rowboat, which is constructed with reference to carrying off as
much plunder as possible, and making the best attainable time when chased
by the harbor police.  The thieves will not go out on a moonlight or even
a bright starlight night.  Nights when the darkness is so thick that it
hides everything, or when the harbor is covered with a dense fog, are
most favorable to them.  Then, emerging from their starting point, they
pull to the middle of the stream, where they lie-to long enough to
ascertain if they are observed or followed.  Then they pull swiftly to
the point where the vessel they mean to rob is lying.  Their oars are
muffled, and their boat glides along noiselessly through the darkness.
Frequently they pause for a moment, and listen to catch the sound of the
oars of the police-boats, if any are on their track.  Upon reaching the
vessel, they generally manage to board her by means of her chains, or
some rope which is hanging down her side.  The crew are asleep, and the
watch is similarly overcome.  The thieves are cautions and silent in
their movements, and succeed in securing their spoil without awakening
any one.  They will steal anything they can get their hands on, but deal
principally in articles which cannot be identified, such as sugar,
coffee, tea, rice, cotton, etc.  They go provided with their own bags,
and fill these from the original bags, barrels, or cases in which these
articles are found on the ship.  They are very careful to take away with
them nothing which has a distinctive mark by which it may be identified.
Having filled their boat, they slip over the side of the ship into it,
and pull back to a point on shore designated beforehand, and, landing,
convey their plunder to the shop of a junkman with whom they have already
arranged matters, where they dispose of it for ready money.  They do not
confine their operations to vessels lying at the East River piers of New
York, but rob those discharging cargo at the Brooklyn stores, or lying at
anchor in the East or North rivers, even going as far as to assail those
lying at quarantine.

                      [Picture: THE RIVER THIEVES.]

In order to check their operations as far as possible, a force of about
thirty policemen, under Captain James Todd, is assigned to duty in the
harbor.  The headquarters of this force are on a steamer, which boat was
expected to accomplish wonders, but which is too large and clumsy to be
of any real service.  In consequence of this, Captain Todd is obliged to
patrol the harbor with row-boats, of which there are several.  These
boats visit all the piers on the two rivers, and search for thieves or
their boats.  Sometimes the thieves are encountered just as they are
approaching a pier with their boat filled with stolen property, and again
the chase will be kept up clear across the harbor.  If they once get
sight of them, the police rarely fail to overhaul the thieves.  Generally
the latter submit without a struggle, but sometimes a fight ensues.

The thieves, however, prefer to submit where they have such goods as
rice, sugar, coffee, or tea in their possession.  They know that it will
be impossible to convict them, and they prefer a slight detention to the
consequences of a struggle with their captors.  The merchant or master of
the ship, from whom the goods are stolen, may feel sure in his own mind
that the articles found in the possession of the thieves are his
property, but he cannot swear that they are his, it being simply
impossible to identify such goods.  And so the magistrate, though
satisfied of the theft, must discharge the prisoner and return him the
stolen goods.  The only charge against him is that he was found under
suspicious circumstances with these articles in his possession.  From
three to four river thieves are arrested every week, but, for the reason
given, few are punished.  Sometimes, in order to secure their conviction,
the police turn over the thieves to the United States authorities, by
whom they are charged with smuggling, this charge being based upon their
being found in possession of goods on which they can show no payment of
duties.  Sometimes they are prosecuted, not for larceny, but for
violating the quarantine laws in boarding vessels detained at quarantine.

Several times the most daring of the river thieves have robbed the piers
of the European steamship lines.  In one instance, they passed under the
pier of the Cunard steamers at Jersey City, cut out a portion of the
flooring, and removed several valuable packages through the opening thus
made.  They then replaced the flooring, and secured it in its place by
means of lifting-jacks, and decamped with their plunder.  The next night
they returned and removed other packages, and for several nights the
performance was repeated.  The company's agent, upon the discovery of the
loss, exerted himself actively to discover the thieves, but without
success.  The watchmen on shore were positive that the warehouse, which
is built on the pier, had not been entered from the land, and there were
no signs to be discovered of its having been forced from the water side.
Matters began to look bad for the watchmen, when, one night, the harbor
police unexpectedly made a dash under the pier and caught the thieves at
their work.

The North River gang are said to own a fine schooner, in which they
cruise along the Hudson almost to Albany, and carry on a system of piracy
at the river towns.  Farmers and country merchants suffer greatly from
their depredations.  A year or so ago, it was rumored that they were
commanded by a beautiful and dashing woman, but this story is now
believed to be a mere fiction.

"Another gang is called the 'Daybreak Boys,' from the fact that none of
them are a dozen years of age, and that they always select the hour of
dawn for their depredations, which are exclusively confined to the small
craft moored in the East River just below Hell Gate.  They find the men
on these vessels locked in the deep sleep of exhaustion, the result of
their severe labors of the day; and as there are no watchmen, they meet
little difficulty in rifling not only the vessels, but the persons of
those on board.  If there is any such thing as a watch or money, it is
sure to disappear; and it has often happened that one of these vessels
has been robbed of every portable article on board, including every
article of clothing."



V.  THE FENCES.


In the thief language, a person who buys stolen goods is called a
"Fence."  Without his fence, the thief could do nothing, for he could not
dispose of his plunder without a serious risk of detection.  The Fence,
however, is not known as a thief, and can buy and sell with a freedom
which renders it easy for him to dispose of all stolen property which
comes into his hands.  A noted thief once declared that a man in his
business was powerless to accomplish anything unless he knew the names
and characters of all the Fences in the city.

The professional Fences of New York are as well known to the police as
they are to the thieves.  Their stores are located in Chatham street, in
the Bowery, and other public thoroughfares, and even Broadway itself has
one or more of these establishments within its limits.  Some of the
Fences are dirty, wretched-looking creatures; but one at least--the
Broadway dealer--is a fine-looking, well-dressed man, with the manners
and bearing of a gentleman.  All are alike in one respect, however.  They
all buy and sell that which has been stolen.  They drive hard bargains
with the thieves who offer them goods, paying them but a small portion of
the actual value of the prize.  If the article is advertised, and a
reward sufficiently in excess of what he paid for it is offered, the
Fence frequently returns it to its rightful owner, upon condition that no
questions shall be asked, and claims the reward.  Vigorous efforts have
been made by the police authorities to bring the Fences to justice, but
without success.  The necessary legal evidence can rarely be obtained,
and though numerous arrests have been made, scarcely a conviction has
followed.

               [Picture: A FENCE STORE IN CHATHAM STREET.]

The Fences are well skilled in the art of baffling justice.  The study of
the means of rapidly and effectually removing the marks by which the
property in their hands can be identified, is the main business of their
lives, and they acquire a degree of skill and dexterity in altering or
effacing these marks which is truly surprising.  A melting-pot is always
over the fire, to which all silverware is consigned the instant it is
received.  The marks on linen, towels, and handkerchiefs are removed,
sometimes by chemicals, sometimes by fine scissors made expressly for the
purpose.  Jewelry is at once removed from its settings, and the gold is
either melted or the engraving is burnished out, so as in either case to
make identification impossible.  Rich velvet and silk garments are
transmogrified by the removal and re-arrangement of the buttons and
trimmings.  Pointed edges are rounded, and rounded edges are pointed,
entirely changing the whole aspect of the garment, with such celerity
that the lady who had worn the dress in the morning would not have the
slightest suspicion that it was the same in the evening.  Cotton, wool,
rags, and old ropes require no manipulation.  When once thrown upon the
heap, they defy the closest scrutiny of the owners.  There is scarcely an
article which can be the subject of theft, which the resources of these
men do not enable them, in a very short time, to disguise beyond the
power of recognition.  Their premises are skilfully arranged for
concealment.  They are abundantly provided with secret doors and sliding
panels, communicating with dark recesses.  Apertures are cut in the
partitions, so that a person coming in from the front can be distinctly
seen before he enters the apartment.  The Fence is as well skilled as any
lawyer in the nature of evidence.  He knows the difference between
probability and proof as well as Sir William Hamilton himself.  He does
not trouble himself about any amount of probabilities that the detectives
may accumulate against him; but the said detectives must be remarkably
expert if they are ever able to get anything against him which will
amount to strictly legal proof.

The Fences not only deal with thieves, but carry on a large business with
clerks, salesmen, and porters, who steal goods from their employers, and
bring them to the Fences for sale.

                     [Picture: THE ROUGH'S PARADISE.]



VI.  THE ROUGHS.


Another class of those who live in open defiance of the law consists of
the "Roughs."  The New York Rough is simply a ruffian.  He is usually of
foreign parentage, though born in America, and in personal appearance is
as near like a huge English bull-dog as it is possible for a human being
to resemble a brute.  Of the two, the dog is the nobler animal.  The
Rough is not usually a professional thief, though he will steal if he has
a chance, and often does steal in order to procure the means of raising
money.  He is familiar with crime of all kinds, for he was born in the
slums and has never known anything better.  In some cases he can read, in
others he cannot.  Those who can read never make use of their talent for
any purpose of improvement.  Their staple literature consists of the
flash papers and obscene books.  They are thoroughly versed in the
history of crime, and nothing pleases them so much as a sensational
account of an execution, a prize fight, or a murder.  They are the
patrons and supporters of dog and rat pits, and every brutal sport.
Their boon companions are the keepers of the low-class bar rooms and
dance houses, prize fighters, thieves, and fallen women.  There is
scarcely a Rough in the city but has a mistress among the lost
sisterhood.  The redeeming feature of the lives of some of these women is
the devotion with which they cling to their "man."  The Rough, on his
part, beats and robs the woman, but protects her from violence or wrong
at the hands of others.  A large majority of these scoundrels have no
other means of support than the infamous earnings of their mistresses.

Unlike the brute, the Rough is insensible to kindness.  Civility is
thrown away upon him.  Usually he resents it.  His delight is to fall
upon some unoffending and helpless person, and beat him to a jelly.
Sometimes--indeed commonly--he adds robbery to these assaults.  Often
gangs of Roughs will enter the pleasure grounds in the upper part of the
city, in which a pic-nic or social gathering is going on, for the sole
purpose of breaking up the meeting.  They fall upon the unoffending
pleasure-seekers, beat the men unmercifully, maltreat, insult, and
sometimes outrage the women, rob all parties who have valuables to be
taken, and then make their escape.  Pleasure parties of this kind are
usually unprovided with the means of resistance, while their assailants
are well armed.  It sometimes happens, however, that the pleasure seekers
are more than a match for the Roughs, who, in such cases, are driven out
after very severe handling.

The Rough does not hesitate to commit murder, or to outrage a woman.  He
is capable of any crime.  He is a sort of human hyena who lives only to
prey upon the better portions of the community.  Sometimes he degenerates
into a burglar or common thief, sometimes he becomes the proprietor of a
panel house or a policy office.  Crime-stained and worthy of punishment
as he is, he walks the streets with a sense of security equal to that of
the most innocent man.

This feeling of security is caused by the conviction on his part that he
will not be punished for his misdeeds.  The reason is simple: He is a
voter, and he has influence with others of his class.  He is necessary to
the performance of the dirty work of the city politicians, and as soon as
he gets into trouble, the politicians exert themselves to secure his
discharge.  They are usually successful, and consequently but few Roughs
are ever punished in New York, no matter how revolting their crime.  This
is not all, however.  There are well authenticated instances in which men
of this class have been carried by their fellows, oftentimes by
ballot-box stuffing and fraudulent voting, into high and responsible
offices under the city.  The recent state of affairs under the Ring
illustrates the results of this system.

In the year 1871, 179 persons were "found drowned" in the waters of the
city.  Of these, many are supposed, with good reason, to have been the
victims of foul play at the hands of the Roughs.  In the same year, 42
persons were murdered in New York, and one man was hanged by the officers
of the law.



XLIV.  THE PAWNBROKERS.


The sign of the Lombards is very common in the great city.  In the
Bowery, East Broadway, Chatham, Catharine, Division, Oliver, Canal, and
Grand streets, the three gilt balls are thickest, but they may also be
seen in every portion of the city in which there is poverty and
suffering.  The law recognizes the fact that in all large communities
these dealers are a necessary evil, and, while tolerating them as such,
endeavors to interpose a safeguard in behalf of the community, by
requiring that none but persons of good character and integrity shall
exercise the calling.  They must have been dreamers who framed this law,
or they must have known but little of the class who carry on this
business.  The truth is, that there is not a pawnbroker of "good
character and integrity" in the city.  In New York the Mayor alone has
the power of licensing them, and revoking their licence, and none but
those so licensed can conduct their business in the city.  "But," says
the Report of the New York Prison Association, "Mayors of all cliques and
parties have exercised this power with, apparently, little sense of the
responsibility which rests upon them.  They have not, ordinarily at
least, required clear proof of the integrity of the applicants; but have
usually licensed every applicant possessed of political influence.  There
is scarcely an instance where they have revoked a licence thus granted,
even when they have been furnished with proofs of the dishonesty of the
holders."

The pawnbrokers are, with scarcely an exception, the most rascally set to
be found in the city.  They are not generally receivers of goods which
they know to be stolen, for there is too much risk to them in carrying on
such a business.  Their shops are overhauled almost every week by the
detectives in searching for stolen property, and the pawnbrokers, as a
class, prefer to turn over this business entirely to the Fences.  Some of
the most reckless, however, will receive pledges which they know to have
been stolen, and the police occasionally find stolen goods on their
hands.  Upon one occasion, a whole basket of watches was found in one of
these establishments.  Another was found in possession of a diamond which
was identified by its owner.  It had been stolen by a servant girl.  It
was worth over seven hundred dollars, and had been pawned for two dollars
and a half.

The pawnbrokers, though not receivers of stolen goods, are not a whit
better.  They are the meanest of thieves and swindlers.  Section eight of
the statute, under which they hold their licences, requires that, "No
pawnbroker shall ask, demand, or receive any greater rate of interest
than twenty-five per cent. per annum upon any loan not exceeding the sum
of twenty-five dollars, or than seven per cent. per annum upon any loan
exceeding the sum of twenty-five dollars, under the penalty of one
hundred dollars for every such offence."  This law is invariably violated
by the pawnbroker, who trades upon the ignorance of his customers.  The
rate habitually charged for loaning money is three per cent. a month, or
any fractional part of a month, or thirty-six per cent. a year,
regardless of the amount.  Many laboring men and women pawn the same
articles regularly on the first of the week, and redeem them on Saturday
when their wages are paid them.

"The following is a schedule of charges made on articles irrespective of
interest: On diamonds, watches, jewelry, silverware, opera-glasses,
articles of _vertu_, ten per cent. on the amount loaned, over and above
the interest, for what is called putting them away in the safes.  On
coats, vests, pants, dresses, cloaks, skirts, basques, from twenty cents
to one dollar is charged for hanging up.  On laces, silks, velvets,
shawls, etc., from twenty-five cents to one dollar for putting away in
bureau, wardrobe or drawer.  For wrappers from fifteen to fifty cents is
charged.  Persons offering goods done up in papers are compelled to hire
a wrapper, or the pawnbroker refuses to advance.  The wrapper is simply a
dirty piece of old muslin.  The hire of one of these wrappers has been
known to have amounted to over five dollars in one year.  Upon trunks,
valises, beds, pillows, carpets, tool-chests, musical instruments, sewing
machines, clocks, pictures, etc., etc., in proportion to their bulk, from
one dollar to five dollars is charged for storage.  A still greater
profit to the pawnbrokers is the penny fraud.  They buy pennies, getting
from 104 to 108 for one dollar.  These they pay out, and on every $100
thus paid out an average gain of six dollars is made.  This amounts to
something with the prominent ones, who often pay out many hundred dollars
in a day.  Another source of profit is the surplus over the amount loaned
which the pawnbroker receives from the sales of unredeemed pledges.  This
surplus, although belonging to the depositor, according to law, is never
paid.  In fact, not one in a thousand who have dealings with pawnbrokers
is aware of his rights."

As a rule, these wretches grow rich very fast.  They are principally Jews
of the lowest class.  They allow their wives and children to wear the
jewelry, ornaments, and finer clothing placed in their keeping, and in
this way save much of the ordinary expense of the head of a family.  In
the case of clothing, the articles are frequently worn out by their
families.  They are either returned in this condition when demanded, or
the owner is told that they cannot be found.  Payment for them is always
refused.  As has been stated, they refuse to pay to the owner the amount
received in excess of the loan for an article which has been sold.  This,
added to their excessive rate of interest, is said to make their gains
amount to nearly five hundred per cent. on the capital invested in their
business--"the Jews' five per cent."

The principal customers are the poor.  Persons of former respectability
or wealth, widows and orphans, are always sure to carry with them into
their poverty some of the trinkets that were theirs in the heyday of
prosperity.  These articles go one by one to buy bread.  The pawnbroker
advances not more than a twentieth part of their value, and haggles over
that.  He knows full well that the pledges will never be redeemed, that
these unhappy creatures must grow less able every day to recover them.
Jewelry, clothing, ornaments of all kinds, and even the wedding ring of
the wife and mother, come to him one by one, never to be regained by
their owners.  He takes them at a mere pittance, and sells them at a
profit of several hundred per cent.

You may see the poor pass into the doors of these shops every day.  The
saddest faces we ever saw were those of women coming away from them.
Want leaves its victims no choice, but drives them mercilessly into the
clutches of the pawnbroker.

The majority of the articles pawned are forced there by want,
undoubtedly, but very many of them go to buy drink.  Women are driven by
brutal husbands to this course, and there are wretches who will
absolutely steal the clothing from their shivering wives and little ones,
and with them procure the means of buying gin.

Of late years another class of pawnbrokers, calling themselves "Diamond
Brokers," has appeared in the city.  They make advances on the jewels of
persons--mostly women--in need of money.  The extravagance of fashionable
life brings them many customers.  They drive as hard bargains as the
others of their class, and their transactions being larger, they grow
rich quicker.  They are very discreet, and all dealings with them are
carried on in the strictest secrecy, but, were they disposed, they could
tell many a strange tale by which the peace of some "highly respectable
families" in the Avenue would be rudely disturbed.



XLV.  THE BEER-GARDENS.


In some respects, New York is as much German as American.  A large part
of it is a genuine reproduction of the Fatherland as regards the manners,
customs, people, and language spoken.  In the thickly settled sections
east of the Bowery the Germans predominate, and one might live there for
a year without ever hearing an English word spoken.  The Germans of New
York are a very steady, hard-working people, and withal very sociable.
During the day they confine themselves closely to business, and at night
they insist upon enjoying themselves.  The huge Stadt Theatre draws
several thousand within its walls whenever its doors are opened, and
concerts and festivals of various kinds attract others.  But the most
popular of all places with this class of citizens is the beer-garden.
Here one can sit and smoke, and drink beer by the gallon, listen to
music, move about, meet his friends, and enjoy himself in his own
way--all at a moderate cost.

From one end of the Bowery to the other, beer-gardens abound, and their
brilliantly illuminated signs and transparencies form one of the most
remarkable features of that curious street.  Not all of them are
reputable.  In some there is a species of theatrical performance which is
often broadly indecent.  These are patronized by but few Germans,
although they are mainly carried on by men of that nationality.  The
Rough and servant girl elements predominate in the audiences, and there
is an unmistakably Irish stamp on most of the faces present.

The true beer-garden finds its highest development in the monster
Atlantic Garden, which is located in the Bowery, next door to the Old
Bowery Theatre.  It is an immense room, with a lofty curved ceiling,
handsomely frescoed, and lighted by numerous chandeliers and by brackets
along the walls.  It is lighted during the day from the roof.  At one
side is an open space planted with trees and flowers, the only mark of a
garden visible.  A large gallery rises above the floor at each end.  That
at the eastern or upper end is used as a restaurant for those who desire
regular meals.  The lower gallery is, like the rest of the place, for
beer-drinkers only.  Under the latter gallery is a shooting hall, which
is usually filled with marksmen trying their skill.  On the right hand
side of the room is a huge orchestrion or monster music-box, and by its
side is a raised platform, occupied by the orchestra employed at the
place.  The floor is sanded, and is lined with plain tables, six feet by
two in size, to each of which is a couple of benches.  The only ornaments
of the immense hall are the frescoes and the chandeliers.  Everything
else is plain and substantial.  Between the hall and the Bowery is the
bar room, with its lunch counters.  The fare provided at the latter is
strictly German, but the former retails drinks of every description.

During the day the Atlantic does a good business through its bar and
restaurant, many persons taking their meals here regularly.  As night
comes on, the great hall begins to fill up, and by eight o'clock the
place is in its glory.  From three to four thousand people, mainly
Germans, may be seen here at one time, eating, drinking, smoking.  Strong
liquors are not sold, the drinks being beer and the lighter Rhine-wines.
The German capacity for holding beer is immense.  An amount sufficient to
burst an American makes him only comfortable and good humored.  The
consumption of the article here nightly is tremendous, but there is no
drunkenness.  The audience is well behaved, and the noise is simply the
hearty merriment of a large crowd.  There is no disorder, no indecency.
The place is thoroughly respectable, and the audience are interested in
keeping it so.  They come here with their families, spend a social,
pleasant evening, meet their friends, hear the news, enjoy the music and
the beer, and go home refreshed and happy.  The Germans are very proud of
this resort, and they would not tolerate the introduction of any feature
that would make it an unfit place for their wives and daughters.  It is a
decided advantage to the people who frequent this place, whatever the
Temperance advocates may say, that men have here a resort where they can
enjoy themselves with their families, instead of seeking their pleasure
away from the society of their wives and children.

                     [Picture: THE ATLANTIC GARDEN.]

The buzz and the hum of the conversation, and the laughter, are
overpowering, and you wander through the vast crowd with your ears
deafened by the sound.  Suddenly the leader of the orchestra raps sharply
on his desk, and there is a profound silence all over the hall.  In an
instant the orchestra breaks forth into some wonderful German melody, or
some deep-voiced, strong-lunged singer sends his rich notes rolling
through the hall.  The auditors have suddenly lost their merriment, and
are now listening pensively to the music, which is good.  They sip their
beer absently, and are thinking no doubt of the far-off Fatherland, for
you see their features grow softer and their eyes glisten.  Then, when it
is all over, they burst into an enthusiastic encore, or resume their
suspended conversations.

On the night of the reception of the news of Napoleon's capitulation at
Sedan, the Atlantic Garden was a sight worth seeing.  The orchestra was
doubled, and the music and the songs were all patriotic.  The hall was
packed with excited people, and the huge building fairly rocked with the
cheers which went up from it.  The "German's Fatherland" and Luther's
Hymn were sung by five thousand voices, hoarse or shrill with excitement.
Oceans of beer were drunk, men and women shook hands and embraced, and
the excitement was kept up until long after midnight.  Yet nobody was
drunk, save with the excitement of the moment.

The Central Park Garden, at the corner of Seventh avenue and Fifty-ninth
street, is more of an American institution than the Atlantic.  It
consists of a handsome hall surrounded on three sides by a gallery, and
opening at the back upon grounds a moderate size, tastefully laid out,
and adorned with rustic stalls and arbors for the use of guests.  At the
Atlantic the admission is free.  Here one pays fifty cents for the
privilege of entering the grounds and building.  During the summer months
nightly concerts, with Saturday matinees, are given here by Theodore
Thomas and his famous orchestra--the finest organization of its kind in
America.  The music is of a high order, and is rendered in a masterly
manner.  Many lovers of music come to New York in the summer simply to
hear these concerts.

The place is the fashionable resort of the city in the summer.  The
audience is equal to anything to be seen in the city.  One can meet here
all the celebrities who happen to be in town, and as every one is free to
do as he pleases, there is no restraint to hamper one's enjoyment.  You
may sit and smoke and drink, or stroll through the place the whole
evening, merely greeting your acquaintances with a nod, or you may join
them, and chat to your heart's content.  Refreshments and liquors of all
kinds are sold to guests; but the prices are high.  The Central Park
Garden, or, as it is called by strangers, "Thomas's Garden," is the most
thoroughly enjoyable place in the city in the summer.



XLVI.  JAMES FISK JR.


James Fisk, Jr., was born at Bennington, Vermont, on the 1st of April,
1834.  His father was a pedlar, and the early life of the boy was passed
in hard work.  What little education he received was obtained at the
public schools.  At the age of seventeen he obtained his first
employment, being engaged by Van Amburgh to clean out the cages of the
animals in his menagerie and to assist in the erection of the tents.  He
made himself so useful to his employer that he was soon promoted to the
position of ticket receiver.  He remained with Van Amburgh for eight
years, travelling with him through the United States, Canada, and Europe,
and, at the age of twenty-five, left him to begin life for himself in the
calling of his father.  He went back to Vermont, and began peddling such
small articles as steel pens and lead pencils through the towns of the
State.  He succeeded in acquiring and saving a small sum of money, and
was able to borrow a little more.  He then purchased a horse and wagon,
and began a series of more extended operations as a pedlar of dry goods.
He visited all the principal towns and villages of Vermont, and met with
a ready sale for his goods.  His energy and business tact were eminently
successful, and his business soon grew to such an extent that his
one-horse wagon was too small for it.  He accordingly sold this vehicle,
and purchased a handsome "four in hand," with which he travelled through
Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as Vermont.  He was very popular
with his customers, and established a reputation for fair dealing,
selling good articles at a moderate profit.

His energy and success attracted the attention of the Boston wholesale
house from which he bought his goods, and they thinking that he would
prove a useful acquisition to them, offered him an interest in their
business.  Their offer was accepted; and, in 1860, he became a partner in
the house of Jordan, Marsh & Co., of Boston.  He was sent South by the
firm, and though he succeeded in conducting for them several large and
profitable transactions during the early part of the war, and though they
remained his friends to the close of his life, the connection was not
altogether satisfactory to them, and, in 1862, they purchased his
interest in the business for the sum of $64,000.

About this time, some capitalists in Boston were desirous of purchasing
the Stonington line of steamboats, then owned by Daniel Drew.  Fisk
became aware of their desire, and, coming to New York, in 1863, obtained
an introduction to Daniel Drew, and so won the favor and confidence of
that gentleman that he was employed by him to manage the negotiation for
the sale of the steamers, which he did to Mr. Drew's entire satisfaction.
From that time, Drew became his friend, and soon gained him a position in
Wall street.

Upon entering the street, Fisk began a series of speculations on his own
account, and, in the short space of two years, he lost all his money.  It
is said that he swore a mighty oath that as Wall street had ruined him,
Wall street should pay for it.  Daniel Drew now came to his aid, and, in
1865, helped him to form the firm of Fisk, Belden & Co., stock-brokers,
and assisted the new house by employing them as his brokers in many of
his heaviest transactions.

                        [Picture: JAMES FISK, JR.]

In 1867 occurred the great struggle between Drew and Vanderbilt for the
possession of the Erie Railway.  James Fisk and Jay Gould now made their
appearance as Directors in the Erie Railway.  The following is the New
York _Tribune's_ account of this affair:

"When the crisis came, on the eve of the election for Directors, in
October, 1867, there were three contestants in the field.  Fisk was
serving under the Drew party, who wanted to be retained in office.
Vanderbilt, master of Harlem, Hudson River, and Central, seemed to be on
the point of securing Erie also.  Eldridge was the leader of the Boston,
Hartford, and Erie party, which wanted to get into the Erie Directory for
the purpose of making that Company guarantee the bonds of their own
worthless road.  Eldridge was assisted by Gould.  As a result of the
compromise by which the three opposing interests coalesced, Fisk and
Gould were both chosen Directors of Erie, and from the month of October,
1867, dates the memorable association of these two choice spirits since
so famous in the money markets of the world.  They were not the
counterparts, but the complements of each other.  Fisk was bold,
unscrupulous, dashing, enterprising, ready in execution, powerful in his
influence over the lower and more sensual order of men.  Gould was
artful, reticent, long-headed, clear of brain, fertile of invention,
tenacious of purpose, and no more burdened with unnecessary scruples than
his more noisy and flashy companion.  They were not long in joining
fortunes.  At the time of the famous Erie corner, the next March, they
were ostensibly working on opposite sides, Gould acting for Vanderbilt,
and Fisk being the man to whom Drew intrusted 50,000 shares of new stock,
secretly issued, to be used when Vanderbilt's brokers began to buy.  The
mysteries of that transaction are fully known only to a few of the
principal actors.  An injuction of Judge Barnard's had forbidden Drew or
anybody connected with the road to manufacture any more stock by the
issue of convertible bonds.  But Drew was 'short' of Erie; the Vanderbilt
pool threatened ruin; and stock must be had.  The new certificates had
already been made out in the name of James Fisk, jr., and were in the
hands of the Secretary who was enjoined from issuing them.  Mr. Fisk saw
a way out of the difficulty.  The Secretary gave the certificate books to
an employe of the road, with directions to carry them carefully to the
transfer office.  The messenger returned in a moment empty-handed, and
told the astonished Secretary that Mr. Fisk had met him at the door,
taken the books, and 'run away with them!'  On the same day the
convertible bonds corresponding to these certificates were placed on the
Secretary's desk, and as soon as Vanderbilt had forced up the price of
Erie, Fisk's new shares were thrown upon the market, and bought by
Vanderbilt's agents before their origin was suspected.  Mr. Fisk
unfortunately had not yet cultivated the intimate relations with Judge
Barnard which he subsequently sustained.  When the Drew party applied for
an order from Judge Gilbert in Brooklyn, enjoining Barnard's injunctions,
the petitioner who accused that ornament of the New York bench of a
corrupt conspiracy to speculate in Erie stock, was none other than Fisk's
partner, Mr. Belden.  The next morning Barnard issued an order of arrest
for contempt, and Fisk, with the whole Erie Directory, fled to Jersey
City, carrying $7,000,000 of money and the books and papers of the
Company.  Among the most valuable of the assets transferred on that
occasion to Taylor's Hotel was Miss Helen Josephine Mansfield.  'I went
to Jersey,' testified this fair creature some weeks ago, in the suit
which has just come to so tragical a termination, 'with the officers of
the Erie Company, and the railroad paid all the expense.'  Mr. Fisk could
afford to amuse himself.  He had made fifty or sixty thousand dollars by
his day's work in Broad street, and he had the satisfaction of knowing
that he had not only beaten Vanderbilt and Barnard, but outwitted even
his particular friend and patron, Mr. Drew.  He had now practically the
greater share of the management on his shoulders, though in name he was
only Controller.  He softened public indignation by subsidizing a gang of
ruffians, ostensibly in the Vanderbilt interest, to besiege 'Fort
Taylor,' as if for the purpose of kidnapping the Directors, and
organizing a band of railway hands to mount guard about the hotel.  He
dogged the steps of Mr. Drew, who was stealing over to New York by night
to make a secret compromise for himself alone with Mr. Vanderbilt, and
when Drew carried off the funds of the Company, Fisk compelled him to
bring them back by putting an attachment on his money in bank.  A bill
was now introduced at Albany to legalize Drew's over-issue of stock.  It
was defeated.  Mr. Gould visited the capital with half a million dollars,
and came back without a cent, and the bill which three weeks before had
been rejected by a vote of 83 to 32 was carried by a vote of 101 to 6.
This was followed by a general suspension of hostilities.  The scandalous
network of injunctions had become so intricate that one general order was
obtained sweeping it all away.  Judge Barnard was placated in some manner
not made public.  Mr. Peter B. Sweeny, who, as the representative of
Tammany, had been appointed 'Receiver' of the property of the railway
company after it had been carried out of reach, was allowed $150,000 for
his trouble of taking care of nothing; and the exiles returned to New
York.  In one of his characteristic fits of frankness, James Fisk
afterward on the witness stand described the settlement which ensued as
an 'almighty robbery.'  The Directors of Erie took 50,000 shares of stock
off Vanderbilt's shoulders at 70, and gave him $1,000,000 besides.
Eldridge got $4,000,000 of Erie acceptances in exchange for $5,000,000 of
Boston, Hartford, and Erie, which became bankrupt very soon afterward.
Drew kept all he had made, but was to pay $540,000 into the Erie treasury
and stand acquitted of all claims the corporation might have against him.
Nearly half a million more was required to pay the lawyers and
discontinue the suits.  Fisk, getting nothing personally, stood out
against the arrangement until the conspirators consented to give him--the
Erie Railroad!  Drew and some others were to resign, and Fisk and Gould
to take possession of the property."

                          [Picture: JAY GOULD.]

Out of his first operations in Erie stock, Fisk is said to have made
$1,300,000.  The Legislature of New York legalized his acts, through the
influence, it is said, of Mr. William M. Tweed.  It is certain that this
act was followed by the entrance of Tweed and Sweeny into the Board of
Directors.

Once in possession of the Erie road, Fisk and his colleagues managed it
in their own interests.  It was commonly believed in the city that Fisk
was but the executor of the designs which were conceived by an abler
brain than his own.

He figured largely in the infamous Black Friday transactions of Wall
street, and is credited by the public with being one of the originators
of that vast conspiracy to destroy the business of the street.  How near
he came to success has already been shown.

Soon after coming into possession of the Erie road, he purchased Pike's
Opera House for $1,000,000 in the name of the Erie Railway Company.  The
Directors, however, refused to approve the transaction, and he refunded
to them the amount of the purchase, taking the building on his private
account, and repaying the road in some of its stock owned by him.
Subsequently he leased the front building to the road at an enormous
rent, and opened for it a suite of the most gorgeous railway offices in
the world.  He subsequently bought the Fifth Avenue Theatre, and the
Central Park Garden, and the Bristol line of steamers, and the steamers
plying in connection with the Long Branch Railway.  He made himself
"Admiral" of this magnificent fleet, and dressed himself in a gorgeous
naval uniform.  When President Grant visited the Coliseum Concert at
Boston, Fisk accompanied him in this dress, having previously played the
part of host to the President during the voyage down the Sound on one of
his boats.  A year or two previous to his death, he was elected Colonel
of the Ninth Regiment of the National Guard.

Previous to his purchase of the Grand Opera House, Mr. Fisk was an
unknown man, but the ownership of this palatial establishment gave him an
opportunity of enjoying the notoriety he coveted.  His career in
connection with this establishment, and his unscrupulous management of
the Erie Railway, soon made him notorious in all parts of America and
Europe.  His monogram was placed on everything he owned or was connected
with, and he literally lived in the gaze of the public.  He can scarcely
be said to have had any private life, for the whole town was talking of
his theatres, his dashing four in hand, his railway and steamboats, his
regiment, his toilettes, his magnificence, his reckless generosity, and
his love affairs.  He had little regard for morality or public sentiment,
and hesitated at nothing necessary to the success of his schemes.  His
great passion was for notoriety, and he cared not what he did so it made
people talk about him.  He surrounded himself with a kind of barbaric
splendor, which won him the name of the "Prince of Erie."  Some of his
acts were utterly ludicrous, and he had the wit to perceive it, but he
cared not so it made James Fisk, jr., the talk of the day.  His influence
upon the community was bad.  He had not only his admirers, but his
imitators, and these sought to reproduce his bad qualities rather than
his virtues.

In some respects he was a strange compound of good and evil.  He was
utterly unprincipled, yet he was generous to a fault.  No one ever came
to him in distress without meeting with assistance, and it adds to the
virtue of these good deeds that he never proclaimed them to the world.
Says one of his intimate friends: "His personal expenses were, at a
liberal estimate, not one-fifth as large as the amount which he spent in
providing for persons in whose affairs he took a kindly interest, who had
seen misfortune in life, and whom he felt to be dependent upon him for
assistance.  He gave away constantly enormous amounts in still more
direct charities, concerning which he rarely spoke to any one, and it was
only by accident that even his most intimate friends found out what he
was doing.  He supported for some years an entire family of blind persons
without ever saying a word about it to his nearest friends.  He was
particularly generous towards actors and actresses, who, whenever they
suffered from misfortune, would always appeal to him; and one lady,
herself an actress of considerable repute and of very generous nature,
was in the habit of coming constantly to Mr. Fisk to appeal to him for
assistance to aged or unfortunate members of their profession, assistance
which he never refused.  Very recently a lady, who was formerly a New
York favorite, but who made an unhappy marriage, and to escape from a
drunken husband had carried her child to England, where, after struggling
in provincial theatres for more than a year, she came to almost her last
penny and had hardly the means to return to this country, without a
change of clothing and without being able to bring away her child, made
her case known to the lady before-mentioned, who immediately, after
helping to the extent of her own scanty means, sent her with a note to
Mr. Fisk.  Mr. Fisk listened to her story, advanced her $250 on the spot,
procured her an engagement in a theatre at $75 a week, and interested the
captain of one of our finest sea-going vessels in the case so far as to
provide a free passage for the child to this country, the captain, in
order to please Mr. Fisk, taking great pains to discover the whereabouts
of the child and restore her to its mother.  These are but incidental
illustrations of what Mr. Fisk was daily doing, and always doing with the
utmost privacy and with the greatest reluctance to allow it to become
known.  He would rarely subscribe to any public charity, because he
disliked to make any pretence of liberality before the public."

In the fall of 1867, Fisk made the acquaintance of Mrs. Helen Josephine
Mansfield, an actress, who had just been divorced from her husband, Frank
Lawler.  He became deeply enamored of her, and she became his mistress
and lived with him several years, her main object being, it would seem,
to obtain from him all the money he was willing to expend upon her.  Fisk
subsequently introduced one of his friends, Edward S. Stokes, to Mrs.
Mansfield, and the woman was not long in transferring her affections from
her protector to Stokes.  This aroused Fisk's jealousy, and led to
constant trouble between his mistress and himself.  His quarrel with
Stokes was complicated by business disputes, which were carried into the
courts, where Fisk was all powerful.  The matter went from bad to worse,
until at length Stokes and Mrs. Mansfield instituted a libel suit against
Fisk, which was commonly regarded in the city as simply an attempt on
their part to extort money from him.  The suit dragged its slow way
through the court in which it was instituted, and every day diminished
the chances of the success of the plaintiffs.

For reasons which he has not yet made public, Stokes now resolved to take
matters into his own hands, and on the afternoon of the 6th of January,
1872, waylaid Fisk, as the latter was ascending the private stairway of
the Grand Central Hotel, and, firing upon him twice from his hiding
place, inflicted on him severe wounds from which he died the next day.
The assassination was most cowardly and brutal, and awakened a feeling of
horror and indignation on the part of all classes.



XLVII.  TRINITY CHURCH.


On the west side of Broadway, facing Wall street, stands Trinity Church,
or, as it is commonly called, "Old Trinity," the handsomest
ecclesiastical structure in the city.  It is the third edifice which has
occupied the site.  The first church was built in 1697, at the
organization of the parish, and was a plain square edifice with an ugly
steeple.  In 1776, this building was destroyed in the great fire of that
year.  A second church was built on the site of the old one, in 1790.  In
1839, this was pulled down, and the present noble edifice was erected.
It was finished and consecrated in 1846.

The present church is a beautiful structure of brown-stone, built as
nearly in the pure Gothic style as modern churches ever are.  The walls
are fifty feet in height, and the apex of the roof is sixty feet from the
floor of the church.  The interior is finished in brown-stone, with
massive columns of the same material supporting the roof.  There are no
transepts, but it is proposed to enlarge the church by the addition of
transepts, and to extend the choir back to the end of the churchyard.
The nave and the aisles make up the public portion of the church.  The
choir is occupied by the clergy.  The windows are of stained glass.
Those at the sides are very simple, but the oriel over the altar is a
grand work.  There are two organs, a monster instrument over the main
entrance, and a smaller organ in the choir.  Both are remarkably fine
instruments.  The vestry rooms, which lie on each side of the chancel,
contain a number of handsome memorial tablets, and in the north room
there is a fine tomb in memory of Bishop Onderdonk, with a full-length
effigy of the deceased prelate in his episcopal robes.

Service is held twice a day in the church.  On Sundays and high feast
days there is full service and a sermon.  The choral service is used
altogether on such occasions.  Trinity has long been famous for its
excellent music.  The choir consists of men and boys, who are trained
with great care by the musical director.  The service is very beautiful
and impressive, and is thoroughly in keeping with the grand and
cathedral-like edifice in which it is conducted.  The two organs, the
voices of the choristers, and often the chime of bells, all combine to
send a flood of melody rolling through the beautiful arches such as is
never heard elsewhere in the city.

The spire is 284 feet in height, and is built of solid brownstone from
the base to the summit of the cross.  It contains a clock, with three
faces, just above the roof of the church, and a chime of bells.  About
110 feet from the ground the square form of the tower terminates, and a
massive but graceful octagonal spire rises to a height of 174 feet.  At
the base of this spire is a narrow gallery enclosed with a stone
balustrade, from which a fine view of the city and the surrounding
country is obtained.  The visitor may, however, climb within the spire to
a point nearly two hundred and fifty feet from the street.  Here is a
small wooden platform, and about four feet above it are four small
windows through which one may look out upon the magnificent view spread
out below him.  The eye can range over the entire city, and take in
Brooklyn and its suburban towns as well.  To the eastward are Long Island
Sound and the distant hills of Connecticut.  To the southward stretches
away the glorious bay, and beyond it is the dark blue line of the
Atlantic.  Sandy Hook, the Highlands, the Narrows, and Staten Island are
all in full view.  To the westward is the New Jersey shore, and back of
Jersey city rise the blue Orange Mountains, with Newark, Elizabeth,
Orange and Patterson in full sight.  To the northward, the Hudson
stretches away until it seems to disappear in the dark shadow of the
Palisades.  From where you stand, you look down on the habitations of
nearly three millions of people.  The bay, the rivers, and the distant
Sound are crowded with vessels of all kinds.  If the day be clear, you
may see the railway trains dashing across the meadows back of Jersey
City.  The roar of the great city comes up to you from below, and beneath
you is a perfect maze of telegraph wires.  The people in the streets seem
like pigmies, and the vehicles are like so many toys.  You know they are
moving rapidly, but they seem from this lofty height to be crawling.  It
is a long way to these upper windows, but the view which they command is
worth the exertion.  The tower is open to visitors during the week, on
payment of a trifling fee to the sexton.

The chimes are hung in the square tower, just above the roof of the
church.  The bells are nine in number.  The smallest weighs several
hundred pounds, while the largest weighs several thousand.  The musical
range is an octave and a quarter, rather a limited scale, it is true, but
the ringer is a thorough musician, and has managed to ring out many an
air within this compass, which but for his ingenuity would have been
unsuited to these bells.  The largest bell, the "Big Ben," and several
others, are connected with the clock, and the former strikes the hours,
while the rest of this set chime the quarters.  Five of the bells, the
large one and the four smaller ones, were brought here from England, in
1846.  The other four were made in West Troy, by Meneely & Son, a few
years later, and are fully equal to their English mates in tone and
compass.  The entire chime is very rich and sweet in tone, and, in this
respect, is surpassed by very few bells in the world.  The bells are hung
on swinging frames, but are lashed, so as to stand motionless during the
chiming, the notes being struck by the tongues, which are movable.  The
tongue always strikes in the same place, and thus the notes are full and
regular.  From the tongue of each bell there is a cord which is attached
to a wooden lever in the ringer's room, about thirty feet below.  These
nine levers are arranged side by side, and are so arranged as to work as
easy as possible.  Each is as large as a handspike, and it requires no
little strength to sustain the exertion of working them.  The ringer
places his music before him, and strikes each note as it occurs by
suddenly pushing down the proper lever.  At the end of his work, he is
thoroughly tired.  The ringer now in charge of the bells is Mr. James
Ayliffe, an accomplished musician.

In favorable weather, the chimes can be heard for a distance of from five
to ten miles.  There are few strangers who leave the city without hearing
the sweet bells of the old church.  The city people would count it a
great misfortune to be deprived of their music.  For nearly thirty years
they have heard them, in seasons of joy and in hours of sadness.  On
Christmas eve, at midnight, the chimes ring in the blessed morning of our
Lord's nativity, thus continuing an old and beautiful custom now observed
only in parts of Europe.

The church is kept open from early morning until sunset.  In the winter
season it is always well heated, and hundreds of the poor find warmth and
shelter within its holy walls.  It is the only church in New York in
which there is no distinction made between the rich and the poor.  The
writer has frequently seen beggars in tatters conducted, by the sexton,
to the best seats in the church.

The rector and his assistants are alive to the fact that this is one of
the few churches now left to the lower part of the city, and they strive
to make it a great missionary centre.  Their best efforts are for the
poor.  Those who sneer at the wealth of the parish, would do well to
trouble themselves to see what a good use is made of it.

The ultra fashionable element of the congregation attend Trinity Chapel,
or "Up-town Trinity," in Twenty-fifth street, near Broadway.  This is a
handsome church, and has a large and wealthy congregation.

Trinity Parish embraces a large part of the city.  It includes the
following churches, or chapels, as they are called: St. Paul's, St.
John's, Trinity Chapel, and Trinity Church.  It is in charge of a rector,
who is a sort of small bishop in this little diocese.  He has eight
assistants.  Each church or chapel has its pastor, who is subject to the
supervision of the rector.  The Rev. Morgan Dix, D.D., a son of General
John A. Dix, is the present rector.

Trinity takes good care of its clergy.  The salaries are amply sufficient
to insure a comfortable support, and a well-furnished house is provided
for each one who has a family.  Should a clergyman become superannuated
in the service of the parish, he is liberally maintained during his life;
and should he die in his ministry, provision is made for his family.

                        [Picture: TRINITY CHURCH.]

The wealth of the parish is very great.  It is variously stated at from
sixty to one hundred millions of dollars.  It is chiefly in real estate,
the leases of which yield an immense revenue.

The churchyard of Old Trinity covers about two acres of ground.  A
handsome iron railing separates it from Broadway, and the thick rows of
gravestones, all crumbling and stained with age, present a strange
contrast to the bustle, vitality, and splendor with which they are
surrounded.  They stare solemnly down into Wall street, and offer a
bitter commentary upon the struggles and anxiety of the money kings.

The place has an air of peace that is pleasant in the midst of so much
noise and confusion, and is well worth visiting.

In the churchyard, near the south door of the church, you will see a
plain brown-stone slab, bearing this inscription: "_The vault of Walter
and Robert C. Livingston_, _sons of Robert Livingston_, _of the Manor of
Livingston_."  This is one of the Meccas of the world of science, for the
mortal part of _Robert Fulton_ sleeps in the vault below, in sight of the
mighty steam fleets which his genius has called into existence.  A plain
obelisk, near the centre of the southern extremity of the yard, marks the
grave of Alexander Hamilton.  At the west end of the south side of the
church is the sarcophagus of Albert Gallatin, and James Lawrence, the
heroic but ill-fated commander of the _Chesapeake_ sleeps close by the
south door of the church, his handsome tomb being the most prominent
object in that portion of the yard.  At the northern extremity of the
churchyard, and within a few feet of Broadway, is the splendid "Martyrs'
Monument," erected to the memory of the patriots of the American
Revolution, who died from the effects of British cruelty in the "Old
Sugar House" and in the prison ships in Wallabout Bay, the site of the
present Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Close to the Broadway railing, and so close that one can almost touch it
from the street, is a worn brown-stone slab, bearing but two words,
"Charlotte Temple."  It is difficult to find, and but few strangers ever
see it, but for years it has been the most prominent spot in the
enclosure to the lovers of romance.  Charlotte Temple's history is a very
sad one, and unhappily not a rare one.  She lived and died nearly a
century ago.  She was young and surpassingly lovely, and she attracted
the attention of a British officer of high rank, who carried her off from
her boarding school, seduced her, and deserted her.  Her friends
discarded her, and she sank under her heavy load of sorrow.  She was
found by her father in a wretched garret, with her child.  Both were at
the point of death.  The father came just in time to close their eyes
forever.  They were laid to rest in the same grave in the old churchyard,
and, some years after, the seducer, stung with remorse for his brutality,
placed over them the slab which still marks the spot.  The sad story was
written out in book form, and was dramatized and played in every part of
the country, so that there are few old time people in all the land who
are ignorant of it.



XLVIII.  THE HOLIDAYS.


I.  NEW YEAR'S DAY.


All the holidays are observed in New York with more or less heartiness,
but those which claim especial attention are New Year's Day and
Christmas.

The observance of New Year's Day dates from the earliest times.  The
Dutch settlers brought the custom from their old homes across the sea,
and made the day an occasion for renewing old friendships and wishing
each other well.  All feuds were forgotten, family breaches were
repaired, and every one made it a matter of conscience to enter upon the
opening year with kind feelings towards his neighbor.  Subsequent
generations have continued to observe the custom, though differently from
the primitive but hearty style of their fathers.

For weeks before the New Year dawns, nearly every house in the city is in
a state of confusion.  The whole establishment is thoroughly overhauled
and cleaned, and neither mistress nor maid has any rest from her labors.
The men folks are nuisances at such times, and gradually keep themselves
out of the way, lest they should interfere with the cleaning.  Persons
who contemplate refurnishing their houses, generally wait until near the
close of the year before doing so, in order that everything may be new on
the great day.  Those who cannot refurnish, endeavor to make their
establishments look as fresh and new as possible.  A general baking,
brewing, stewing, broiling, and frying is begun, and the pantries are
loaded with good things to eat and to drink.

All the family must have new outfits for the occasion, and tailors and
modistes find this a profitable season.  To be seen in a dress that has
ever been worn before, is considered the height of vulgarity.

The table is set in magnificent style.  Elegant china and glassware, and
splendid plate, adorn it.  It is loaded down with dainties of every
description.  Wines, lemonades, coffee, brandy, whiskey and punch are in
abundance.  Punch is seen in all its glory on this day, and each
householder strives to have the best of this article.  There are regular
punch-makers in the city, who reap a harvest at this time.  Their
services are engaged long before-hand, and they are kept busy all the
morning going from house to house, to make this beverage, which is
nowhere so palatable as in this city.

Hairdressers, or "_artistes_ in hair," as they call themselves, are also
in demand at New Year, for each lady then wishes to have her _coiffure_
as magnificent as possible.  This is a day of hard work to these
_artistes_, and in order to meet all their engagements, they begin their
rounds at midnight.  They are punctual to the moment, and from that time
until noon on New Year's Day are busily engaged.  Of course those whose
heads are dressed at such unseasonable hours cannot think of lying down
to sleep, as their "head-gear" would be ruined by such a procedure.  They
are compelled to rest sitting bolt upright, or with their heads resting
on a table or the back of a chair.

All New York is stirring by eight o'clock in the morning.  By nine the
streets are filled with gayly-dressed persons on their way to make their
annual calls.  Private carriages, hacks, and other vehicles soon appear,
filled with persons bent upon similar expeditions.  Business is entirely
suspended in the city.  The day is a legal holiday, and is faithfully
observed by all classes.  Hack hire is enormous--forty or fifty dollars
being sometimes paid for a carriage for the day.  The cars and omnibuses
are crowded, and every one is in the highest spirits.  The crowds consist
entirely of men.  Scarcely a female is seen on the streets.  It is not
considered respectable for a lady to venture out, and the truth is, it is
not prudent for her to do so.

Callers begin their rounds at ten o'clock.  The ultra fashionables do not
receive until twelve.  At the proper time, the lady of the house,
attended by her daughters, if there be any, takes her stand in the
drawing-room by the hospitable board.  In a little while the door-bell
rings, and the first visitor is ushered in by the pompous domestic in
charge of the door.  The first callers are generally young men, who are
ambitious to make as many visits as possible.  The old hands know where
the best tables are set, and confine their attentions principally to
them.  The caller salutes the hostess and the ladies present, says it's a
fine or a bad day, as the case may be, offers the compliments of the
season, and accepts with alacrity the invitation of the hostess to
partake of the refreshments.  A few eatables are swallowed in haste--the
visitor managing to get out a word or two between each mouthf