Mrs. Royall's Pennsylvania
or Travels Continued in the United States
Mrs. Royall's Pennsylvania or Travels Continued in the United States by Mrs. Anne Royall. Volume II. Washington : Printed for the Author, 1829. "Journey to Pittsburg," pages 37-135.
Geography of the City
Misses Roberts and Campbell
The Sisters of Charity
Journey to Pittsburg.The day was fine, and the country beautiful; and my pleasure may easily be imagined.
After gaining the west side of the mountains the land is broken off into rounding swells of exquisite beauty, with a deep soil, covered with sugar-tree, walnut, beech, hickory, and locust--the tops of the trees in the hollows being even with the summit of the hills. The winding streams--the neat bridges, intermingled with factories and fertile meadows--the sportive colt--the massy barns, enlivened the prospect the whole way.* On the top of every hill we have a grand prospect of the country for many miles, all uniformly rich, and the sugar-tree growing upon the summit of the hills as thick as hemp-stocks. It is impossible to describe the stateliness and exquisite symetry [sic] of these trees--so tall, so straight and slender; and yet the inhabitants, from never having seen any other, do not seem to appreciate the beauty and wealth of their country.
Every now and then the rolling volumes of smoke proclaimed a dwelling at hand. Here we have brick instead of stone houses--very few stone houses appear west of the mountains--also, white headed children and handsome young women. These always come to the door to peep at the passengers. But, to their great disappointment, there was but one rather shabby beau in the coach, and advanced in years, and, very probably a married man.
The woollen frocks, red and blue stripes, seems to be the national dress of the females from Bedford to Pittsburg. But the flush of the cheek, bright and lively eye, the glossy hair, fair complexion, and steady, innocent countenance threw the costume far in the shade.
We had not proceeded more than half a dozen miles from Greensburg when
a poor old man met us in the road, and taking his old hat from his head,
held it out for charity, without speaking a word. The cruel driver was
passing him rapidly, when I called to him to stop,
* You scarcely go a mile in Pennsylvania but you see a Preacher as signboards are called. They point out the road, but never travel it.Return to Text.
At the last stage on this side of Pittsburg, where we changed drivers, horses and coaches, another of the line of robbers lives. I forgot my gloves in the coach, which were a present from Miss Keime, of Reading; and, upon getting into the fresh coach, I left them on the seat of the other stage-coach, but the landlord denied they were there! I was much hurt to part with the gloves, for the sake of the donor. They would have proved a great friend eventually, had the robber not stripped me of them--the last thing that was left me. Not contented with this act of cruelty, the ruffian had the insolence to walk some distance to the stage I was sitting in, and bringing an old book in his hand, opened the door of the carriage and said, "Here is a book some gentlemen left here, is it your's [sic]?" He seemed well acquainted with the gentlemen, as he called them, and was no doubt in the secret of the robbery. Thus, a regular line of robbers, as well as stages, is formed from the top of the Allegheny to Pittsburg; and this line I see has recently been advertised as one of the best in the Union. It must have mended its manners greatly since I travelled in it.
Towards evening we came in sight of the Monongahela, on our left: the
appearance added to the multiform picture which now presented itself to the
astonished eye! It is in vain to attempt a description of the stranger's
feelings upon a first view of the scenery. Fields encircled by hills, and
hills encircled by fields; the multitude of teams laden with iron for the
Pittsburg forges; the vast black coal-wagons; the jolly drivers and
We soon however, lose sight of Monongahela, and the Allegheny meets your eye to the right, and the throng and bustle continue to increase till we arrived in the city.
It grew dark some time before we reached the suburbs, which from the volumes of smoke, fires, and thundering of steam-factories, I took for the city itself; we pass through this uproar of machinery upwards of two miles before we reach Pittsburg. The blood-tinged blaze, intermingled with volumes of smoke, rushing onwards and upwards, crossways and oblique; it was equal to an exhibition of fire-works.
The Arsenal of the United States, lies about two miles above Pittsburg on the Alleghany [sic] river, here the man who travelled with me got out of the stage and proceeded to the arsenal where he it appears was engaged as a gunsmith. The woman who lived in Ohio, went on to Pittsburg, where I arrived the 4th of December, 1828, having lost every thing but the clothes on my back and the reticule in my bosom, where I placed it for safety. From the time I left Philadelphia, 14th October, one month and 20 days, I had travelled ----- miles. The only time reckoned as lost was one day perhaps at Greensburg where I spent three days. The public will therefore see by my travels how this time was filled up. I ought to have mentioned that my friend Col. Rhorer came to Pittsburg the same day as commandant of a guard, who conveyed a prisoner from Greensburg to the State prison in Pittsburg. They did not however permit me the honor of travelling in company. The Col. called on me however sundry times while he remained in the city, and I parted with him finally with great regret.
It may be supposed I felt a little anxiety upon drawing near the stage house, (the worst house, but one I ever set foot in;) I longed to hear, but was afraid to ask, about the baggage which I faintly hoped must be in Pittsburg; but as this is a great town, to say nothing of the great
But you all wish to know about the baggage--then there was no baggage
of mine in Pittsburg so far as I was able to learn; the landlord who came
to see me at the supper-table, went to the bar-keeper, and returning,
brought the ill news that no baggage of mine had arrived.
She was unaccustomed to travelling, and observing she had not taken tea
when I did, I thought, perhaps, she was scarce of money, and gave the
chamber maid a trifle to give her a cup of tea and some bread and butter.
She had complained of a head ache, and being a widow, and destitute, I
felt for her. I sat up till she should have finished the tea, (she being
in bed,) to lock the door after the maid, she waiting till the lady should
have done. Whilst I was sitting at the table, deliberately reading a
newspaper, the lady sipping her tea, which was placed in a chair by her
bed-side, some one knocked at the door: the maid opened it, and in pops a great negro [sic]with a load of something, which he took from his head, and setting it down in the middle of the room, said
"Trunks!! are these your trunks, madam." "Yes, those are my
This was quick work: "But where have they been all this time?" He could not tell; nor have I heard from that day to this who had them in possession, or where they came from; and had I made a great stir I should, probably, never have seen them again; but the perfect indifference I testified at the loss no doubt alarmed the proprietors of the line, as it proved I considered them liable.
I have my doubts however, as to the fact of their coming that evening, from a similar occurrance, [sic] which I shall mention after a while.
Now, these trunks had been carried away five days since, where had they
been? why did they not arrive in the mail stage or any stage before? I had enquired at every stage-office on the way, they must have been known to be mine from my name, which was on the way-bill; and it
is not probable the drivers, honestly disposed, would leave trunks of
their appearance at any house but a stage-office. But let them have been,
in whose possession they may, every one who had a hand in the business
beyond doubt ought, and would have been sent to the state prison, had they
been prosecuted; and it was not only one man or one stage office, but the
whole line from the top of the Alleghany [sic]to Pittsburg, was
guilty in as much as they, seeing a woman's name on the trunks, and the
same in the way-bill, and no woman in the stage! If these robbers were not
combined, why did they not stop the baggage and make the drivers give an
account of themselves? how did they know, and what right had they to
suppose any thing than that I was murdered, and there is little doubt but
I would have been murdered, had I not quit the stage, as the driver and
passengers could have no other motive in attempting to keep me in the
stage by force. Had the proprietors been innocent, they would have come
forward as gentlemen (which they are not,) and apologised, and given up
the principals of this daring outrage. I should have spared them and exposed the guilty. This
* / ** The Broadface drinks rather freely.Return to Text;Return to Text.
46Before I notice Pittsburg, I want to finish the business with this famous line; a large bundle of mine containing fifty books, was to have been forwarded to me in the stage by Colonel Lindsey of McConnelstown, and ought to have preceded me in course of time; I enquired for it when I first came; it had not arrived. I left word at the bar, which is also a stage-office, that such a bundle directed to me would arrive, and to apprize me of it the moment it came; having said this, I took a tour through the city, and was out until night; upon my return, the first thing was to enquire for the bundle. It had not arrived, I retired supposing it might come in some of the evening stages; next morning I enquired again, no bundle yet, and after taking my coffee, I set out through the city again and coming in about two o'clock, I was surprised at meeting Mr. Drum of Greensburg in the passage. I had left strict injunction with Mr. Drum to attend to the arrivals in the stage at Greensburg, (as the reader may remember the short-coming of the stage agent at that place also,) and attend to every thing with my name on it, and see it was put in the stage; Mr. Drum hardly took time to salute before he asked, if I knew my books had come: no, I replied, I am glad to hear it, I have been looking for them every moment; they were here yesterday or the day before, as I put them in the stage myself shortly after you left Greensburg; but they have not arrived here, said I, they must still lie on the road some where; they are here, said Mr. Drum, I saw them this moment, they were here yesterday when I arrived, and finding they were still in the bar, I enquired for you, to inform you, but you did not return until night, and not happening to be in when you came home, I have waited here all this day to tell you; I said it could not be possible, and he to convince me led me into the bar-room, and there was the bundle sure enough! What have the proprietors to say of this? It appeared that Mr. Drum being on a journey down the river, called to see whether the bundle had come safe, and my business calling me out late and early, Mr. Drum found great difficulty in seeing me, and from finding the bundle still in the bar-room, concluded I was ignorant of its arrival, and
47delayed his journey until he should have seen me, and determined not to leave the city until he saw me in possession of the bundle. Now I would ask our great naturalists and all profound philosophers, whether these same two men Mr. D. and the agent, were made of the same materials? I should say not, I should say at least, that one had the heart of a man and the other the heart of a beast. This is the pinched-up monkey looking man, whom I met the first night, well matched and doubtless one of the corps; they thought they would have some thing out of me--fifty dollars was a good grab. "Why did you deny having this bundle, sir?' said I, to old pinch-face, (an old bachellor [sic].) He was silent, and, an hundred gallowses was pictured on his face. How much do I owe? [the man must be a missionary.] Mr. Monkey, "a dollar," he snarled out--he found his tongue at last, and rolled his wall-eyes upside down, inside out, and knashed [sic] his teeth, while his bushy grey hair stood on end. Why dont [sic] the missionaries convert him?
If you see a man with a monkey's phiz, which looks as though it were incircled with the bushy tail of a grey squirrel, it is the stage agent of the Pittsburg and Philadelphia line. I have not the honor of knowing his name. He flew into a great rage, and shut the door in my face; and I believe in my soul if Mr. Drum had not protected me he would have struck me. So much for the stage line.
Mr. Drum, after putting me in possession of the books, but for whom, I should, probably, never have seen them, took his departure.
In the evening, the barkeeper came to me with my account, and requested me to get another house, as I had insulted the agent; the landlord would not keep any one in his house who would insult him. The account was only two dollars. I had dined, once, and been robbed twice. I leave it to the world to judge who was insulted.
Griffin, I think, is the name of the landlord; if that man deserves the name, who is not master of his own house:--all missionaries. I gave myself little concern about the matter, as they kept a sign, and stage bring-
48ing me to their house, they were obliged to keep me. But I had, as you might suppose, intended to leave this den of robbers as quickly as possible; but, mind you, I did not go out till I saw my own good time. The mayor of the city, with my friend, Mr. Roberts, calling that same evening, I applied to them to procure me a boarding house. They, very politely, returned the next day; and Mr. Roberts, a most amiable man, took me to his own house, where, I had the honor of dining with the mayor, who dined at Mr. Roberts' out of respect to me, an honor which the clown at the tavern neither knew how to appreciate or to bestow.
This tavern was the most blackguard house, but one, I was ever in. This is the effect of money; his house being flooded with company, and the same of their line. Whenever people, who have been raised in the ashes, become rich, they immediately become insolent and tyrannical. The company, however, that resort to the house, are low and vicious, the refuse of society; chiefly boatmen; and you have, when passing out and in, to pass through a phalanx of these ruffians, who make the common passage their parlor, as there are but two small parlors in the house; and these are below stairs. The house is small and dirty; and the chambers, the most convenient part of the house, have some two, and some three, and even four beds. The chamber-maids are slow and sluttish, and inattentive withal. I happened to curry favor with one of the men-servants, by paying him nearly as much as I paid the landlord, to bring my meals up stairs, what few I eat in the house, rather than eat amongst such a rabble, and be attended by insolent servants.
Since I began to write the article on Pittsburg, I have noticed this man's advertisement; praising his house, himself, and saying a number of fine things about it. The decent part of the community, however, will take a word from a friend, and avoid it. I wondered at the man to come out in the papers in such language as, "Nothing shall be wanting to render the accommodations equal to any in the United States:" to this he pledges himself, "and moderate charges, and personal attention," such as
49they paid to me when I got out of the stage with another female, without assistance, and the ruffians peeping at us through the windows, (hope he has purchased curtains or blinds,) and has the impudence to mention "mail stages and accommodation stages"--very accommodating stages indeed! But the public are not to be gulled. The best advertisement of a tavern, is a man who is master in his own house, in the first place; and second, a good table, and private rooms, and accommodating servants, to say nothing of order and genteel company. All I have to say, further is, that if people wish to be treated well for their money at Pittsburg let them go to Mr. Ramsey's tavern, and if they are disappointed, I am once in my life, mistaken. Any man and every man, might know, that if these people (for I believe, and have the best right in the world to think so) had any sense of honor left, they would have come out with a public apology, as they knew well, as a censor of morals, I should divert to it; but, their good opinion of themselves, kept their true interest behind the curtain. The tavernkeeper is quite a genteel, good-looking man, but is not, it appears, the master of the house.
There is no city in the Union I was more anxious to see, than Pittsburg. For though I had spent some years of my childhood in Westmoreland, the adjoining county, I had never seen it. Every book, however, in which it is mentioned, and the descriptions of the travellers, I devoured; and as I belonged to the western country myself, I felt proud of its astonishing prosperity and improvements. From the various accounts of travellers, I had endeavored to form some opinion of Pittsburg; but, from envy, jealousy, and carelessness in some, and ignorance in other writers, I never saw an accurate description of Pittsburg. My friend, Flint, of Cincinnati, though a fine writer, I should, if I dare say, he was rather too particular to his own dear city. Now, I cannot bring myself even to know what it is to be partial if I would, nor do I see what is gained by it. I cannot see what advantage is gained by concealing the advantages or disadvantages of any town or community: give them all they are enti-
50tled to, and fairly outstrip them if you can. It ought rather to inspire us with emulation than envy, to hear of the temporal blessings of our neighbors. We are all one family; and the advantage of one is the advantage of the whole. Success to all our towns, I say--east and west, north and south; and that they may all become great and happy, is my fondest wish; barring the missionaries--the greatest curse we have in our land. I say, destruction to them; as nothing but ignorance and poverty follow them.
Of all states in the Union, Pennsylvania certainly combines more resources of wealth, ease and comfort, nature having enriched her with a bountiful hand. The whole state abounds with coal, iron, grain, and even sugar, and that curse of all our blessings, whiskey within itself. I have seen nothing but coal, since I have been in the state; but the coal west of the Allegheny, is by far the best. Dig any where, and you find coal, which is conveyed to the people's houses, for a few cents, off of their own farms. Iron and salt abound in west Pennsylvania, and their lands produce in abundance. The whole state, from one end to the other, excepting the mountains, is rich, and lies well, and not a bad managed farm in the whole. But Pittsburg enjoys more of the bounties of nature. In the midst of endless beds of coal, iron and salt, at its doors, and the trade of three fine rivers, to say nothing of its industry and skill in the application of its mechanical and physical powers.
The reader will perceive I am almost deterred from taking Pittsburg in hand; and I must say I dread it more than any subject I ever took up. I was thirteen days on my feet taking notes, viewing and admiring the workshops, from early in the morning till dark, and often long after; and from the mud on the pavements, occasioned by the bursting of the pipes (which happened at that time) to convey water over the city, the smoke and black from the coal, and fumes of the furnaces, I had a most fatiguing tour of it. It was infinitely greater than my tour through the whole state; and such was my ardor to complete it, that I never stopped to dine but once! The task was certainly too great for a female, particularly one of
51my years, and being quite lame at the time, I was scarcely able to crawl home at night. My weariness was such, that I was unable to sleep or take sufficient refreshment; but, I determined not to look back.
The best description I have met with, of Pittsburg, is a small work by S. Jones, Esq. called a "Directory of the City, and a view of its various manufactories, population, &c." This little work is certainly the most accurate I have seen; though it has been written two years ago, and of course there are many improvements, and manufactories built since. But of all the bungling, incorrect, and insignificant accounts of Pittsburg, that given by the Duke of Saxe Weimer is the most so. He embraces the whole of it in a very few words, and there is scarcely a word of truth in any thing he says: he misapplies names, misplaces objects, and makes some of the most unpardonable misrepresentations ever published. He merely rode out in his carriage, to one of the manufactories, it is said, which he says, belongs to one man, while it belongs to another; and took the balance by word of mouth from some blockhead, doubtless.
The people of Pittsburg were greatly mortified when his book came out, and well they might.
Geography of the City.Pittsburg is entirely concealed by hills, approaching it from any point, excepting the Ohio River.
As we drove down the Allegheny river, we were closely hemmed in by a vast hill, on our left. This hill makes a sudden stop, as you draw near the city, and runs across a steep, perpendicular precipice, to the Monongahela, forming a perfect wall in its rear, seventy feet high. This hill takes different names in its progress; that part opposite the point, or the great body of the city, is called Grant's hill; so named from Col. Grant, who was defeated on its summit by the French and Indians in 1758. That part of it on Monongahela, is called Boyd's hill, from one Boyd, who hung himself there. That part, extending to Allegheny river, is also distin-
52guished by the name of Quarry hill, 440 feet high.
Over each river there are vast hills, so that you are in the city, before you can see it.
Its situation is much lower than I expected to find it; more level, and the hills much higher. The city runs up the banks of both rivers, beyond its limits in the centre; much farther up the Allegheny, however, than the Monongahela; and the point gives it the figure of a triangle. It is about one mile on one river--one and three-fourths on the other.
The whole of the city sits on an even plain, from thirty to forty feet above low water mark; higher, however, upon the Allegheny side. On the opposite side of the Allegheny river, is a steep hill, called Hogback hill.
On the opposite of Monongahela, is another steep, called Coal hill: In this hill, nearly opposite the city, a fire has been burning for many years, which is visible by the smoke; the coal having caught fire, by what means is unknown to any of the present race. But it is generally supposed to have caught from the carelessness of the miners. Several attempts have been made to extinguish this fire by stopping the holes and fissures on the surface; but all in vain; it still continues to burn, and is daily increasing. Serious consequences are apprehended from it in course of time. There is another eminence called Castleman's Hill.
Coal Hill is 465 feet high, and very rugged. The height of Hogback hill is unknown: it is a barren eminence of an unsightly appearance.
"In all these elevations, coal is found in immense quantities, --except in Grant's, Boyd's, and Hogback hills, their altitude not being sufficient to bring them within the range of the great strata of that mineral which pervades this region.
"The scenery around Pittsburg is very beautiful, " I am told, in summer, "and when viewed from some points, presents the most interesting associations of nature and art. The view from Castleman's hill, is not surpassed in any country -- earth, air, rock, wood, water, town and sky, break upon the vision in forms the most picturesque
53and delightful. Coal hill, immediately above the burning pits, is another point of interesting observation, where the eye, at a single glance, takes in a hundred beauties, which might vie with the purest and brightest of the other hemisphere.
"Pittsburg has several suburban villages, that contribute to, and are supplied from the great centre, with which their strength and prosperity are intimately connected.
"On, or nearly adjoining the north-eastern boundary of the city, and on the flat between Quarry hill and the Allegheny river, the Northern Liberties are situated, and are intended as a continuation of Pittsburg. They were laid out in 1816, by Geo. A. Bayard, and James Adams: and are now improving rapidly, and contain the Phoenix Cotton Factory, Juniata Iron Works, &c.
"Adjoining the south-eastern boundary of the city, on the Monongahela, stands Kensington, or as it is commonly called, Pipe-town: deriving this name through one of the early settlers, an eccentric little gentleman, still well known among all classes, for his odd humor, and the universality of his mechanical genius, Mr. William Price, who established a pipe manufactory there. Kensington is partly on a steep hill side: the houses which are low, seem to stick to the side of Boyd's hill, by magic.
Over the Monongahela, is another considerable village called Birmingham; it is incorporated into a borough, and sits at the base of Coal Hill, on the banks of the river; and here the celebrated Birmingham glass is manufactured. It also contains several steam mills, and an extensive lock manufactory. It is well built, and makes a handsome appearance from Pittsburg.
Over the Allegheny river, directly opposite the city, is another very handsome and flourishing town, called Allegheny. The Western Penitentiary is built here; one of the most splendid buildings in the United States; and the site of the town is, by far, one of the most pleasant of any in the vicinity, or even Pittsburg itself. It is unrivalled in the scenery and soil. There are two superb bridges; one over Monongahela, and one over Allegheny,
54of the first architecture, and are the finest ornaments belonging to Pittsburg; cost, nearly one million dollars each.
Two miles above Pittsburg, is the village of Laurence, the seat of the United States arsenal, on the Allegheny.
As to the soil beyond the hills, which surround Pittsburg, I am unable to say any thing, as I did not extend my views beyond the vicinity.
The Allegheny river is 1100 feet wide at Pittsburg, and the Monongahela 1400 feet wide.
No language can convey the beautiful appearance of these rivers. I should say the Allegheny was the handsomest of the two; it is equal in beauty to the Ohio, and just such another river.
These rivers, and the Ohio and bridges exclusively, constitute one of the handsomest sights, beyond doubt, in the Union. I mean where beauty alone is considered.
Topography.I had heard so much of the steam manufactories, and coal, and smoke, of Pittsburg, that I tried to form some idea of them; but was greatly disappointed; more smoke than I could have conceived; and the manufactories were far beyond my conception in skill of workmanship, and amount of capital. But I give the population of all the towns, in the first place:
Pittsburg City contains
* Increase, since last census, upwards of 3000.Return to Text.
** Taken two years since.Return to Text.
55Pittsburg, at the last enumeration, contained--
Well done! how they convert the heathen here, with brandy. The missionaries are doing good: they ought to have a church, at least for every grog-shop. Give them more money,
Factories, mills and shops
This number, however, has greatly increased, and buildings are going up at this time in all parts of the city. Most of the houses are brick, and some of them are lofty, fine buildings, but all the houses are colored quite black with the smoke: the interior of the houses are still worse; carpets, chairs, walls, furniture--all black with the smoke: no such thing as wearing white: the ladies mostly dress in black; and a cap or white ruff, put on clean in the morning, is tinged quite black by bed-time: the ladies are continually washing their faces. Meantime, the smoke, particularly in the absence of the sun, is quite annoying to the eyes of strangers; and everything has a very gloomy, doleful appearance at first; excepting, always, the interior of the workshops. But, in a few days, the stranger becomes so familiar to it, that the novelty of the thing is completely worn off, and your walks and rambles through the city are pursued with the same pleasure common to others.
In all the towns of Pennsylvania, of any size, the public buildings and offices are built on squares, in the centre of their towns, or boroughs, as they are called. These squares are uniformly called "The Diamond." I had often heard the word, and from haste and inattention never stopped to ask what it meant; and that it meant the public square, is one of the last things I should take it to apply. "You will find such a man on the east, west, &c. of
56the diamond," said my friend, Mrs. Roberts. "And what is the Diamond?" "Where the market-house is. Don't you know where Mr. Baldwin's office is? there is the Diamond."
The Diamond is about the centre of the city; is large, and contains the market-house in the centre, and the public buildings, attorney's offices, and a few oyster cellars.
The public buildings are large, and well built of brick: the churches are small, and make no show, excepting one just rebuilt, touched off in great Gothic style: the others will soon follow; as one fool makes many. Can men be such fools as to think that man believes in a God who gives such proofs of pride and show? How many poor people are there in Pittsburg, to whom this money (worse than thrown away,) would have been a salutary relief? and would it not have been more pleasing to God! This may be the religion of pride and wickedness; but that it is the religion of Jesus Christ, I deny.* These wicked priests always lead me St.Vitus' dance.
The streets of Pittsburg are not regular, running in all directions; most of them, however, angle with the Monongahela: they are paved, but not lighted: the sidewalks are narrow; and the whole are dirty, and in wet weather, very muddy in some parts of the town.
The citizens are now engaged in furnishing the city with good water, and have sunk a very handsome reservoir upon the site of Grant's hill for the purpose. But from some cause, to me unknown, the pipes have mostly bursted, and flood the streets with water, which I found rather unpleasant.
Pittsburg contains thirty-five streets, thirty-seven alleys, nine courts and two rows. Most of the houses are numbered.
Police.Pittsburg is governed by a Mayor, Recorder, eight Select Councilmen, two presidents, fourteen Common
* How many fine churches did our Saviourbuild? Doubtless, he had the means.Return to Text.
57Councilmen, and twelve Aldermen. Besides the Mayor's Courts, three other Courts hold their sessions in Pittsburg, viz: The United States Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Court of Common Pleas.
There are in Pittsburg, thirty-two attorneys, and counsellors, and sixteen Physicians; and besides the public buildings mentioned, a museum, the Western University, a High School, and Academy, and sundry smaller schools. *
The manners of the people of Pittsburg, as in all other large towns, some are liberal and polite; and others quite the reverse: the latter, it may be supposed, are the Bible, tract and Sunday school people, which rather have the ascendency here; of course, education does not flourish. The university exists only in name; and cannot be said to be in operation, though it has a long string of professors. I shall notice the state of society before I have done, more particularly.
Western University.The following gentlemen are the professors, viz;Rev. R. Bruce, Principal, and Professor of Natural Philosophy.
R. J. Balack, (of church and state memory) Professor of Ancient Languages and Classical Literature.
Rev. E. P. Swift, Professor of Moral Science.
Rev. C. B. McGuire, Professor of Modern Languages.
Rev. J. H. Hopkins, Professor of Rhetorick and Belles Lettres.
If ever this university comes to any thing, under so many Reverences, I am greatly mistaken: and the building, instead of being erected out of the city, upon some of those beautiful eminences, away from the smoke and crowds of visitors, business-men and boat-men, it is buried in an obscure part of the city.
* The historian says, there are forty academies and schools in Pittsburg! in his brain, he meant.Return to Text.
58While walking in search of it, I passed a small brick building in one of the back streets, and still kept inquiring for the university. "Why there it is;" said my guide, I was astonished at the building, but Mr. Bruce (a very gentlemanly looking man by the way) said they were going to build an addition: and after apprising him of my views, he said I could not see the interior of the building then, as the students were in their rooms. I asked him for a catalogue: he had none printed, but would write one, which would be ready the next day. In passing the same street, the following day, the house reminded me of the paper promised by Mr. Bruce. I stepped into the lower part of the university, as Mr. Bruce's door (same building) was shut, and found a few rude looking boys there, and a yellow man teaching. I looked about for the black man, but saw none but the mulato, who appeared genteel, and seemed to be a man of learning, as he was teaching Latin. I inquired for Mr. Bruce; he was in the house. I requested his son, whom I found with the boys, to go to him for the paper. He ran off, and soon returned with it; and as I stepped out of the door, I met a young man coming down the stairs. I asked if any of the professors were up there. "Yes," said the young man, "you had better go up and see them;" rather sneeringly. I replied, I thought they might have politeness enough to come down and see me; and stepped out to pursue my tour over the city; when every boy in the school came to the door and blackguarded me--"huzza for Jackson," &c. as loud as they could bawl. Mrs. B. was sitting upon the sill of her door, within four feet of them. I pointed to the mob: "A fine specimen, madam, of your labors." She said nothing, and I walked on, when the whole of the scholars, in spite of their teacher, some nearly grown, mobbed me through the street, until I was forced to take shelter in the house of Mr. Smith, whose son was with me at the time. We had some distance to go, and had we not met a drove of four legged hogs, who joined our side, the two legged ones would certainly have worsted us. They had the insolence to pursue us to the very gate of Mr. Smith, who resented
59the insult so highly, that he jumped up and ran for a constable. In the meantime, the ruffians ran away. I should think that Mr. Smith would make an excellent professor, as he taught these boys more, in the course of a minute, than they had learned in their whole lives. I am astonished that legislatures do not see these priests have become too abandoned to church and state principles, to have anything to do with the education of youth; and the money had better be thrown into the fire, than wasted in this manner. Learning is entirely extinct. Where is there a learned man to be found, since the reign of tracts and missionaries? Not one in the whole of these dens, or scarcely any where else. Mr. Bruce is a Scotch gentleman, and a man of learning, liberality, and cleverness; but what can he do? tied hand and foot by those artfully designing men, the trustees, and the other professors. Read an extract from the Rev. Black's Sermon, in the first volume of my Black-Book, and say whether such a traitor is fit to be trusted with the tuition of youths, unless it be to make slaves of them. The people say, in Pittsburg, Black is a covenanter; a sect, with whom the Presbyterians do not agree. Tell me nothing of covenanters. I saw the Presbyterians very busy, strewing his church and state sermon over the deck of the Union Line steam-boat. This sham story is not to deceive me; it is one of these seditious sermons I took the extract from, being on the boat at the time when a gang of these traitors were scattering a number of seditious papers, for which they ought to have been arrested. Let any man read the sermon, and say whether or not, a man, who would utter such treason, is fit to be trusted, one hour, with the instruction of youth.
It appears to me that the people of the United States have entirely lost sight of their liberty, and are bent on becoming slaves.
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce, when they heard who I was, sent a very polite apology, and an invitation to spend the evening with them. I called upon them, to show I bore them no resentment: but, poor things, I gave them a most cutting lecture, and I have little doubt but it had a good
60effect. Mr. B. is a very fine looking man, entirely void of that black vengeance-looking countenance, common to these bluestockings; and, doubtless, they cannot get a better man, if he were free to act as he pleased; but, tied up as he is, by the trustees and professors, his learning and talents, which he certainly has, are thrown away.* I told him I would patronize him; but he must drive Black off, or I would put down the university. "My eyes," if there ever was a greater burlesque. Let the legislature, if it will give money to educate youths, see that it is properly applies, and put out all those traitors who have, wherever they are, turned the seminaries into tract and missionary societies. Little is the legislature aware of the deep-laid plans of these traitors. I will open their eyes before I am done: I will lay a few papers before them to show what they are about. University! not half as good as an old field school; not half as much in appearance, like a university as mother Dickinson. The whole of these colleges cannot be broken up too soon, and organized upon a different plan; and these bluestockings ought not to be allowed to remain in any school or seminary.
Miss Parry,Is at the head of an academy for young ladies. I do not approve of her manner altogether , and gave her my opinion pretty freely ; and pointed out what method, I thought she ought to pursue. I dare say, the lesson I gave her, joined to her own good sense, may produce the happiest consequence. I do not approve of this praying in school; it only tends to hypocrisy, and destroys respect for religion by making it an old song; and those children are always the most vicious who are accustomed to those long spun prayers, night and morning. To avoid this, High Schools ought to be uniformly established, where the children and youths are instructed in useful knowledge in the first place, and left to their own free will, to
* He was some time professor in Columbia, N. Y.Return to Text.
61choose what church they please. No sectarianism or catechism is allowed in High Schools. Miss Parry is quite young, and deserves much credit.
Misses Roberts and Campbell.These young ladies have a large school, or academy rather, of both sexes, and also deserve much applause for their assiduity and method, which was very easily perceived by the politeness of the pupils, who all arose from their seats, upon my entrance.
A variety of branches are taught here, as well as Miss Parry's school. They are both amiable and well educated females; and though quite in the bloom of youth, sacrifice the pleasures of society, and those amusements congenial to their age, for the benefit of their species.
The Sisters of Charity,Also, have a very large school in Pittsburg, and are able teachers here, as well as every place they are found; but their academy being on the top of a quarry-hill, I was unable, from incessant fatigue, to visit it. Nor was I able to see the Roman Catholic priest, an aged and most worthy man, (from report,) who presides over the school. These Sisters of Charity are the most heavenly looking females on earth, wherever they are found.
High School.This is the only High School I have seen in Pennsylvania. I understand there is a well established High School in Philadelphia; but being very imprudently called by some other name, "Franklin Institute," perhaps, I never dreamed of its being a High School. Why they do not call it by its right name, I should be pleased to know, they must lose considerable by it, as High Schools are becoming very popular.
The High School at Pittsburg, of course, is, by far, the
62best conducted seminary in the place; and I was pleased to find very full, and a liberal unitarian Yankee at the head of it. * It is kept in the unitarian church; the second I have seen in the state, since I left Philadelphia; the first was at Harrisburg.
This seminary, with the exception of the Moravians, is worth all the schools and universities in the state. Let the people take this as a pattern. See the intelligence, the modesty, and manly appearance of these boys: see the difference between them and the mob crew of the university; and though it may very possibly happen, that not more than one in one hundred is competent to judge between them; yet, that one is sufficient, when the fact to be decided is self-evident. But the plain truth of the business is, there is not one in a thousand, nay, ten thousand, take them as they run, who cares the amount of a straw which is the best, or which is the worst teacher--so that it is a school, and his child goes to it in the morning, and returns home at night! A lady once told me she never did any thing in her life, but go to school. "My father paid a hundred dollars for my eddicashin. I went to school seven years: very few people has done as well by their darters as daddy has:" at the same time she could not spell her own name. From the state of society at Pittsburg, I would suppose they follow daddy's example; "Oh, I just send him to be out of the way!" If the people of the United States go on in this way, the black
* I find my friends in the west, are far in the back ground with respect to liberal and general information: a very genteel man from Ohio invited me to call at his town, Cincinnati, in my intended tour. I asked him what sort of people they were; whether they were liberal, &c. and whether there were any unitarians there. "God forbid," said my friend. He was certainly one of the wise men. I have been told the Jackson people reckon the unitarians little less than the d---l, and set them down as Adams men, monarchy men, federalists, &c.--Stuff:---are not many of the unitarians firm Jackson men? I thought my countrymen had more sense. I say, the unitarians, as a sect, are amongst the most virtuous, moral, charitable, intelligent people I have found, and it is well known no one despises federalism more. "But they hold erroneous opinions about God." What is that to us? a sure sign of a hypocrite or a fool. Have we not all a right to think as we please: and as for God, their knowledge of him is about equal, in my humble opinion.Return to Text.
63coats will very shortly take that trouble off their hands. These wolves in sheep's skin, have the children all classed as regular as though they were sheep and goats: some are to be servants: all the poor children are laid off in lots: one lot to serve in the houses of the great, such as Dr. Ely: others are to be hewers of wood and carriers of water; and they can clinch with a text of scripture. This is the intent of Sunday schools, and the end of picking up children in the streets. Little are the parents of these children aware of the industry of these men and madams, who coax their children off, right or wrong, to the Sunday schools, and pray over them, and stuff them with tracts and texts, to make them bigots, and train them up to their hand. What does a child understand of the Bible? No more than a goose. It is impious to put Bibles in the hands of children. Of a piece are their infant schools, now getting up. The people are certainly bewitched. But let facts speak. See how society has degenerated since the reign of tracts and missionaries. Where is the native of Pittsburg who once shown on the bench? Where is the illustrious orator, that once honored the Pittsburg bar? Where are their Temples, their Woods, their Campbells and Brackenridges? Swallowed up by that all devouring monster, priestcraft!
The son of the great Brackenridge I was told was in Pittsburg, a gloomy bigot. For his father's sake I strove to see him; but in vain--he kept out of my sight. True, they have a few Yankees here, and were it not for them the course of justice would cease--they would not be able to hold a court but for them. Every one knows I allude to the Hon. Judge Tilghman, Messrs. Baldwin, Forward, and a few enlightened foreigners. What is the cause of this? Nothing else but suffering the blue-stockings to slip into all their schools; by which means they have completely blocked up the road to knowledge. Pennsylvania, but particularly Pittsburg, ought to blush at this picture, which they cannot deny. What sort of lawyers and judges and statesmen think you these hog-mob youths of the University would make? But that is the craft of the blue-skins, to plunge the people into ig-
64norance that they may rule them.* Let the Germans open their eyes to this, and be busy, and haste to rid their schools of these fellows. I see they have begun the glorious work in Lancaster county, for which they will receive the approbation of after ages. Success to them--they are the only rational and free people in the State.
But to return to the High school. The name of the principal is E. Worthington, Esq., a man of youthful, handsome appearance, and keen, sensible countenance. He has fifty-four students, who, besides the common branches, are taught drawing, which they do in a superior style. But the modesty, intelligence, and politeness of the youths was truly interesting--unlike the rabble at the University. The moment I entered they all rose from their seats, and after making the most graceful bow, sat down again to their studies, from which they never raised their eyes while I remained in the school. When students conduct themselves in this manner, no other evidence is wanting of the qualifications of the teacher or the plan of tuition. I scarcely ever pay attention to any thing but the pupils of any seminary--their conduct proves every thing.
I was told the University is about applying to the legislature for more money. Better give it to institute more High schools, or turn the University into a High school: for I will insure the people of Pennsylvania that it will never come to any thing in its present state.
Return To The Top
Museum.Lambdin's Museum and Gallery of Paintings was established 8th September, 1828, and now contains a valuable collection of paintings from ancient as well as modern masters. Fine landscapes, by Doughty, Birch, Lawrence, &c. Pictures from the collection of Baron
* What will Pittsburg be, if it goes on in this manner, half a century hence? They cannot carry on their business now without calling in assistance.Return to Text.
65Basse Muller. Portraits of distinguished characters, by Stewart, Sully, Peale, and Lambdin.
The Museum contains about two hundred foreign birds, among which are the birds of paradise; twenty quadrupeds; five hundred minerals; three hundred fossils, amongst which are many bones of the Mammoth; three hundred marine shells; twelve hundred impressions of medals; one hundred ancient coins; a handsome collection of articles from the South seas; marine productions; Indian articles, &c. &c.
I would suppose Mr. Lambdin to be man of great taste himself, from the neatness and skill displayed in the arrangement of the articles in his Museum--all the articles being put up in neater and better order than any Museum I have met with. The shelves are white, neat, and so regular that they are a show of themselves; and the whole enlosed [sic] with glass. Here I, for the first time, saw flowers of all sorts, pinks, roses, &c. &c. made of sea shells, the most extraordinary piece of labor and ingenuity I ever saw, excepting the wooden globe in Salem Museum. These flowers are of all sizes and colors, and are said to be the work of Mrs. Peale, of Philadelphia.
Mr. Lambdin is himself an Artist, quite a genteel and most amiable man. It is hoped he may receive the favor and patronage of travellers and enlightened strangers who pass through Pittsburg, it being the only specimen of taste or amusement in the city. No library--no athaeneum--no gardens--no theatre, lest they might offend God's people, the mob-boys, the tract people, Rev. Black, Rev. * * * * * , and a hundred other sly thieves. How godly-wise they are, and have to send to New England, Ireland, Scotland, and even to the Indians for persons to conduct their public institutions.
Every thing learned or liberal falls before the march of these priests. All the same--find them where you will, they are the same identical monsters of wickedness and despotism. I understood there was an apprentices' Li-
66brary got up by a few liberal gentlemen.* I wonder the blue priests did not ask for the money to spread the gospel. No theatre! Now, let me ask the citizens of Pittsburg, seriously, which is the worst crime, to go to a play or get drunk! But I will bring the question nearer home: which is the greatest crime, to go to a play, or set down and write such a letter as I received from one of these godly women, it is supposed, as it in a woman's hand--much more abandoned and obscene than that which I received at Carlisle. Every gentleman in Pittsburg saw the letter, as I left it for a week or ten days in the Mayor's office to open inspection. The letter I received from the godly woman at Carlisle was not a priming to it. I never heard or read of such language, nor did I know the meaning of half the words. I challenge any gentleman, and every gentleman who saw this letter, to say whether they ever saw a parallel even in the lowest and vilest brothels, which I understand is the last grade of society; and were it not for the benefit of mankind, and to warn them against these wicked priests, it was too bad even to hint at. "Oh, throw it in the fire, Mrs. R.," said Mr. Roberts, who brought it from the post-office. "Throw it in the fire," said another. "No, sir; it is the very thing I wanted--it is worth millions to my country. This is proof--this is fact--it speaks for itself. I shall make a better use of it--I shall lay it before the Legislature of Pennsylvania. I will show them how godly these Presbyterians are making their women of Pittsburg and Carlisle, the head-quarters of these blue-stockings, as the people call them: the two Sodoms of Pennsylvania; the nurseries of infamy, pollution, and clerical despotism, unparalleled in history." Well might Pennsylvania call me to her aid! It was time, truly! The Mayor of the city very innocently informed me that he received num-
* Messrs. Holdship, Eichbaum, and several others.--No blackcoats you may be sure.Return to Text.
67bers of such letters. I believe him; he being a very handsome man, it is easily accounted for.
But let me ask the citizens of Pittsburg if they can think of raising children amongst these vile deceivers? If they can be so besotted as to suffer society to become annihilated before their eyes, and by such people as could write such a letter as this, and endeavor to cloak their villainy by declaiming against theatres, and other places of innocent amusement!! I blush for such a people! Freemen !--Americans !--Pennsylvanians !--so lost to shame and every honorable principle!!! As for the women, the godly ones I mean, they are too contemptible to notice; but I ask men of sense, what opinion they can have of Tracts and Sunday schools, and the whole abomination of the missionary frauds, upon so long and fair a trial--what opinion can they form of their effects upon society and morals, when a female, an aged female, in the very head-quarters of those religious tyrants, could not pass through their city without being beastly insulted by her own sex? What sort of wives and mothers would they make? That it was a tract-woman, or a blue-skin priest who wrote the letter I am constrained to believe. Why? Because every one else received me with expressions of joy, as the friend of civil and religious liberty; and because these religious demons have always persecuted me with the savageness of a Nero. Is this what they profess? is this gospel? is this letter dictated by the gospel? was the attempt on my life, by Hecock, gospel? was the letter I received from Carlisle dictated by the gospel? Instead of attempting to convert me, they seek my life, insult me--publicly in the papers, privately by the foulest slander. No other sect do this. North, south, east, west, they all breathe the same spirit of slander and vengeance; which alone, if we had no other evidence, ought to open the eyes of the people. "Their eyes are open, we do see the evil, Mrs. R., but where is our remedy?' "It is in these words--exert your rights as freemen, and keep these robbers from your women--a man who will not do this is unworthy the name of an American."68I have just learned that the proprietor of the stage-line is one of these godly ones. These missionaries, with the holy Bible, are improving society fast: we will soon have no need of penitentiaries or state prisons. If they make the heathen as pious as themselves, viz. steal, lie, get drunk, write scurrilous letters, and a thousand other crimes I have witnessed amongst them, they will deserve to enter the kingdom of ****.
But what I was aiming to demonstrate is the abject slavery the people are already reduced to; and the question is not whether theatres are proper, or the contrary; it is whether freemen shall voluntarily surrender their liberty to the priesthoood, or any other men; or whether they have the courage to be free. If these priests can coerce freemen in one thing, they can in every other;; and proceed inch by inch until our freedom is gone. What is it to these wicked priests what freemen do? I do not mean because they are priests they are wicked, but because they, as priests, have power, which they exercise over weak minds; first over women, and through them over men. Any man possessed of absolute power will be a tyrant. Pittsburg and Carlisle are the strong holds of these blue-stockings in Pennsylvania: but their reign of terror is short. I understand there are a goodly number of them in Harrisburg likewise. I shall pay my respects to them too; also, one or two other dens.
There are, however, many liberal and enlightened men in Pittsburg, which I shall notice before I speak of the manufactories--they almost deter me from the attempt. The whole city, as some writer justly observed, is a perfect work-shop; and the most remarkable fact in regard to the character of the society of Pittsburg, and one which excites astonishment and pleasure, is, that the mechanics and artificers are, by far, the most enlightened part of the society! There is not a more honorable, orderly, and well-behaved collection of men, doubtless, to be found on the globe, of their calling. I was not prepared for this part of the history of Pittsburg, having never heard it mentioned by any writer--they appear to form an exclusive society of gentlemen. But we will begin with the judges.69His Honor, of the U. States' Court, Judge Wilkins, I had the very great misfortune not to see; but stepping into the court-house, merely to see the interior of the building, some person apprized the Hon. Judge Tilghman, (if I do not mistake the name,) of the Supreme Court, of my presence: he instantly descended from the bench, (court being in session,) and received me with the politeness and respect which bespoke him a gentleman of the first rank. The Associates remained on the bench.
Judge T. had been familiar with my pursuits, and no cause being on trial, he sat down in a recess, and inviting myself and several gentlemen, Messrs. Forward and Baldwin to take a seat, we had a merry time of it, laughing at the missionaries and blue-skin judge and lawyer, of New Haven, Connecticut, whom he knew, being from the Yankee country himself. He said they were drawn to the life in my Black Book. I was now in my glory--in company with three of the first men in the State, and all Yankees, though I scolded Mr. Baldwin for suffering the blue stockings to usurp such an unwarrantable authority in the city. "Oh, Mrs. R.," said he, "I leave you to fight the missionaries, I have been cleaning out the big stable." Judge T., is a gentleman of young appearance, a tall, good figure, and highly accomplished. He is free and easy in his manner, and evidently a first rate man. I felt much indebted to him for the high marks of respect with which he honored me.
Mr. Henry Baldwin is the darling of Pennsylvania and the pride of Pittsburg. He is about thirty-five years of age; a thin, light figure, of good height, round, delicate face, and sallow complexion; his eye is a keen, or rather sparkling, deep hazle [sic], or what some would call black. His countenance would not indicate talents of the first rate, though he certainly does, very justly, rank among the first men of the State. But, of all men, he has the most pleasing countenance, and the most fascinating manners. He appears to most advantage when pleading. It is impossible to portray the winning smile which plays upon his countenance, while his head is elevated, and his
70figure erect and manly; his voice is harmonious, and his actions pertinent and graceful; he is said to be an able statesman and of unshaken integrity; well may Pittsburg be proud of him: his talents are devoted to it, and have been for some years, while his generosity and goodness of heart keep him in the back ground.*
Walter Forward, Esq. is another Yankee, and second, if not equal to Mr. Baldwin at the bar, some do say he is superior. Mr. Forward is another man of towering talents and a great pleader, he is a brother of Hon. Chauncey Forward, of Somerset, member of Congress, and a stout middle aged man, of fine appearance, his face is round and rather sallow, his eyes are full, dark, keen and intelligent, his countenance open and pleasing, his manners are manly though mild and alluring, and take him all in all, one of the most spirited and noble looking men in Pittsburg. This gentleman, as well as Mr. Baldwin, seems to have lived for the world and not for themselves; both men of the first talents, legal knowledge and extensive practice; but from their excess of good nature and generosity, have been unable to lay up but little for themselves. It appears they are amongst the few who have laid their treasure up in another and a better world. May they meet their reward!
Samuel Kingston, Esq. also of the bar, is of middling age and height, his visage round, thin and fair, with a full lively grey eye; he is a perfect gentleman in his manners, and his countenance peculiarly interesting: he is alike eminent at the bar.
Robert Burke, Esq. another member of the Pittsburg bar, is a tall slender genteel figure, with a thin face, and keen intelligent countenance; he is a very amiable man, free and genteel in his manners.
Col. James M. Riddle, another of the corps. The conduct of this gentleman toward his species and myself in particular, confirms what I have often said of the profession, that they are the most generous class of professional
* On my way to Pittsburg, the people would say, "You will see our idol Mr. B."Return to Text.
71men in our country; though burdened with a large family and slender means, like the rest of his brethren, he was almost the first man to patronise me in Pittsburg--such men are an honor to our country, and I deeply lament it is not in my power to do more for them than enrol their names in the history of their country. It gives me, however, much pleasure to perpetuate the name and virtue of J. M. Riddle. Mr. R. is a tall manly figure, very plain, but very dignified in his manners; he is rather of young appearance and austere countenance; he has been some time at the bar and ranks amongst the first lawyers.
Ephriam [sic] Pentland, Esq. is likewise of the bar, and a very excellent man; he is of middling age and stout make, with an oval fair face and very affable manners.
Besides these, Messrs. W. W. Fetterman and Samuel Gormly, were all I saw of the bar, at least worth naming.
Of the clergy, I saw but four.
Rev. Mr. Bruce mentioned; he is pastor of the Seceder church, I do not know the tenents [sic] of the sect.
Rev. John H. Hopkins, of the Protestant Episcopal church, is a perfect gentleman, and possessed of every personal and mental endowment, and quite a young looking man; he lives in the town of Alleghany [sic], though his church, if I remember, is in Pittsburg: his mansion occupies one of the most charming spots in the vicinity, it is on the border of the town upon an eminence which overlooks the Ohio, and from which he has a fine view of the numerous steamboats which are continually passing up and down the river. I was particularly struck with the politeness and hospitality of this gentleman, and for his sake, I the more deplore the falling off of the sect; he is the principal of a private seminary for the tuition of young ladies, and forms a wide contrast to Rev. --------, principal of the new theological school.
Being fatigued from a long and tiresome walk to the Phoenix factory, Dr. Shoenberger's, and on my feet the whole day, I became so weary, I was fit to drop, but could see no house I could venture to stop at, until I was at length attracted to an elegant building on my left, sup-72posing it must be inhabited by some princely gentleman, upon whose hospitality I might venture to intrude a few minutes to rest; I knocked at the door, which was open when I drew up to it: a servant soon appeared, and I asked, if the gentleman of the house was in, the servant answered, he was, and asked me to walk in. I stept merely in the front of the passage, and requesting to speak to the gentleman, remained standing: the gentleman, whose name and profession I knew nothing of at the time, came from a large parlor, and I announced my name, and intended to have apologised in the next breath: Mrs. R. said the man, I want nothing to do with you, and darted back into the room; you must be one of the blue-fellows, thought I, and sought my weary way home.
When relating the circumstance, I was told he was one of the blue-stockings sure enough, and was come to Pittsburg to manufacture young men to spread the gospel, in the shape of a theological seminary.
To say nothing of a thousand instances of the like case, this man is to educate men to spread the gospel; of course it is presumed he must know something of the gospel, doubtless he is in favor of tracts and missionary societies, he must have read his bible, some time or another, though I doubt it; why did not this hypocrite ask me to sit down, and at least show as much hospitality as the heathen whom he is going to convert? Why did he not try to convert me? the vile deceiver: no, with worse than Turkish savageness, he wheeled off without showing even the sembance [sic] of civilization. Can the people of Pittsburg or any other burg, be gulled by such wild beasts? the wild beast could have done no more; when I reflect, it is well he did not break my other ancle [sic]. Can people expect this man capable of teaching any thing but barbarism (which they all evidently do,) and robbery. But this is latterly a good trade. What man of brains would send his son to such a brute? Had he been one of the laymen, his conduct was shameful in a christian city, and unequalled in a savage town. Let me ask any reasonable man in Pittsburg, had I stept into the lowest mechanic's house, whether he would not have invited me to sit down; and let me
73ask them, what they can think of a man who would not; can they think such a man knows any thing of the gospel? He may know enough of the gospel, but he knows a great deal more of knavery. It is hoped, when the great struggle arrives (evidently a civil war,) the citizens of Pittsburg maybe the first to have their throats cut, for being such abominable fools as to suffer these firebrands of satan to runaway with their senses. If this man had the power he would make every street in Pittsburg run with blood; reports say he has a guillitine [sic] ready.
The Rev. John Taylor, of Liberty-street, is an aged man, and one of the most amiable of the human family; disgusted with the abuse of the gospel, he has left off preaching, and despises this religious swindling and tyranny as much as I do; he told me, he was persecuted by them until he was almost heart-broken. The old gentleman, hearing I arrived in the city, attended by his friend Mr. Byrne, clambered up stairs to see me in the night soon after I arrived in the city. He welcomed me in the most cordial language, while tears stood in his meek eyes as he repeated his mental suffering. And after preaching for, I think, forty years, at length unable to stem the tide of this new-fangled scheme of spreading the gospel, he retired in disgust. He is an Episcopalian and if there be a christian in their ranks, I would take him to be the man--and notwithstanding their hollow protessions [sic] of speading [sic] the gospel, this aged man, because he will not come into their measures, is now struggling with poverty, is this religion? Shame on the people of Pittsburg. These are all I saw of the clergy.
While I am upon the subject, however, I must entertain my readers with an anecdote of Rev. ----------, and the Osage mission, which comes in best at this place. It was related to me, and confirmed by some of the first people in Pittsburg. About two years or so before my visit, a missionary came to Pittsburg to collect money and goods, and property of any sort from a feather bed down to a horse-shoe, to convert the Osage Indians. The whole city was put in requisition: manufacturers, merchants, mechanics, and private citizens, were all called
74on to contribute something, and as much money as they pleased; enough at least to purchase a boat to carry the missionary, his women, and his property. The Rev. -----------, of Pittsburg, went round with the missionary to every house. From some they got one thing, and from some, another, (they had better have given it to Rev. Taylor,) till the boat was so full, there was scarcely room for people to stand on the deck. It amounted to some thousand dollars.
When about to leave the shore, Rev. ----------- called to them to "stop, here is more." "The boat cannot take another article--it is impossible, sir; she is too heavily laden now," said the captain. "You must take in these barrels (or boxes)" "Can't, sir" "They must go," said the priest, and actually rolled them on board; and after sailing down the river a short distance, sold them for what they would fetch, and, pocketing the money, went on. But the cream is to come yet.
In the course of their calls, they stepped into a small grocery or grog shop. The shop belongs to a very generous, free-hearted, little Irishman, if I am not mistaken, by the name of Gallagher. But, no odds about the name, he is still keeping a shop in Pittsburg. The godly men say, "Well, sir, what will you contribute to the mission?" "I am so poor, gentlemen, I am not able to assist you." "Oh, if you cannot give money, give a little of any thing you have." "I have nothing in the world, gentlemen, that would suit you, I suspect: I have nothing but these liquors, which you see here, and I don't expect they would suit you." "Why, I d-o-n-'t k-n o w, but they m-i-g-h-t," the holy man drolled out:--"let me see; the atmosphere is very damp on the river; I d o-n-'t k-n o-w, but a little spirit would be a preventive;" (oh the covetous wretch.) "Well, gentlemen, if I have any thing in my line, that will suit you, you are welcome to it; make you choice; I have but little; but I do not wish to be backward" "Well, let us see what sort you have." The gentleman set out his decanters, hands a glass, and Mr. ------------, (the missionary not being a judge, he said,) pours out a glass of brandy put it to his head, takes a sip, smacks
75his lips, takes another sip, smacks his lips again, holds up the glass, looks at it between him and the light, turns to his companion and says, "This is very good; we'll take three or four gallons of this:" takes up a decanter of cherry-bounce, pours out a glass, takes a pull at that, smacks his lips at it, "Better than the first." He went on tasting the man's liquors in this way, and telling him how much to put up of each, till he came to the cordial, which is said to be a very luxurious, costly liquor: he took a pull,--smacked his lips twice or thrice,--took another,--smacked again,--takes a third: "Oh, this is excellent; put us up ten gallons of this."
In the course of their tour through the city, they called on a blacksmith. The man was quite in low circumstances: they looked round the shop to see what they could devour; but saw nothing but a large chain, called a lock chain. They coveted the chain at once,--were going to a new country--and would be clearing, and hauling logs, and thought the chain, if he could spare it, would be excellent. The man urged his poverty, but they urged the cause of God; and finally persuaded him out of the chain. After securing this, Rev. ----------, casting round to see what else the shop contained, espied a horseshoe lying at his feet, and picking it up, said he would like to have a pair of them; they would need horses, and of course, horses would need shoes. The man now grew displeased, said he owed money, and had already done his creditors injustice by giving them the chain; and their reverences walked off.
When I arrived in Pittsburg, Rev.-----, had a mortification in his arm, occasioned by a slight bruise in his hand, of which it is said he has since died: he was given up when I left Pittsburg. Some of the wicked people said it was a judgment upon him, being the same hand by which he tasted the poor man's brandy.
Return To The Top
Physicians.Out of the 16 physicians, Pittsburg was said to contain, I saw but one,* Dr. Hannen. [Footnote indicated, but none provided.] These gentlemen, therefore, cannot charge me with neglect, as it was their place to have called on me, which is common, and such were my labors, that I had not leisure to call on them.
On my way to Pittsburg, I met with a very genteel young man at Bedford: he was formerly of Philadelphia, but was then proprietor of a chair manufactory, East 4th near Main-street, Cincinnati, Ohio. He gave me the name of Dr. Hannen of Pittsburg: observing I would find the Dr. a gentleman, polite and hospitable, which, much to the credit of both, I found true; though I was but a minute in the Doctor's company. He is an amiable young man and keeps a drug store; the firm is "Hannen & Son, Market, between 5th and Liberty. Success to him; may he receive the patronage of the good and the generous.
Return To The Top
The MayorIs deservedly reckoned one of the best men in Pittsburg, or even in the state. His name is M. M. Murry, [sic] a descendent of the royal family of that name in Scotland. He is stoutly made, of middle age, round face, fair, handsome features, and soft, full blue eye; but his countenance is beyond the power of pen or pencil; and the same of his manners--so mild, so winning and suasive.
"Nature, too, has nobly done her part,
Infused into his soul a noble grace,
And blushed a modest blood into his face."
E. J. Roberts, Esq. Clerk of U.S. Court, and Clerk of Common Council.
* I met with Dr. S. R. ------------, who will be noticed hereafter.Return to Text.
** I shall mention his lady under the head of 'Ladies.'Return to Text.
77Of this gentleman, I could never say enough. He took me out of the hands of Philistines, and desired me to make his house my home. Leading me into his parlor, he delivered himself thus: "This is your parlor, madam. I give it up to you to entertain your friends as long as you choose to remain in Pittsburg." This was god like, and gospel-like, and gentleman-like; and the most noble instance of hospitality I ever met with. Mr. Roberts is likewise an attorney, and a son of the celebrated Judge Roberts, so noted in his day, as one of the best of men.
Aldermen Scully and Lowrie are all I saw of the city authorities, besides the mayor. Mr. S. is a most interesting man, stout, and young looking, with a fine, full black eye. Mr. Lowrie is a brother of Secretary Lowrie, of the U.S. Senate, and a very different looking man: he has nothing of the malignity in his countenance, which distinguishes his brother. He is a low fair looking man. I told him I should try to get him in his brother's place:--wonder how it would do: we could not be worsted.
Return To The Top
Merchants.I wish to keep all classes separate, in Pittsburg; a general practice with me at all times to treat of every class, separately, but more particularly in this place, as being the first visit to Pittsburg; reserving the manufactories to the last.
My time was so much taken up in viewing the manufactories, that I saw very few of the merchants; and more particularly, as they are a class of men who care little about literature.
I find they are mostly narrow-minded and penurious, unless you happen to come across a real gentleman, which sometimes happens.
In Pittsburg, I found Messrs. McCleery and King, wholesale merchants, in Wood Street, near the Monongahela. These are men of high respectability, and are extensively engaged in trade. I did not see Mr. King; but Mr. McCleery is a very amiable and intelligent man,
78and lacks nothing of the complete gentleman. He, being a foe to priestcraft and tracts, we agreed well in sentiments: of course laughed enough at the Dismals. Mr. Mc. is a good figure, young, with a full black eye, and possessed of much ease of manner.
Mr. George Faris (if I am not mistaken in the name) is one of the most amiable of his species--mild, unaffected, and winning in his manners, and the very milk of human kindness. This gentleman is of Ireland, and I would suppose he left few equals behind him. The graces and every intellectual charm beams in his fine, open countenance, and his actions correspond with his looks. He keeps in Market Street.
N. Swarts, Esq. (I think) a merchant, is also respectable and a gentleman. He is of young appearance, with a very engaging aspect, and fine, lively, black eye.
Samuel Pettegrew, Esq. (calling unknown) is alike entitled to an honorable place in the history of this country. I do not know his profession, but I recollect the man perfectly to be highly deserving and agreeable in his manners.
I was equally pleased with Alexander Johnston, cashier of the Pittsburg bank, a tall, noble, stout figure, and very accomplished. He, with those I have mentioned, as gentlemen, are men of extensive learning and talents, and, of course, do not approve of tracts and missionaries, and yet they are so over-awed by these tyrants, that they dare not speak above their breath, shame on them, and let those ignorant raw fellows monopolize all the women, and the ugliest long faces in the world.
I overlooked Wm. Snowden Esq. a member of the Pittsburg bar, he is a very worthy man, and much respected. Mr. S. is a tall fine figure, good countenance, with a large bright blue eye and affable manners.
Mr. Isaac Murphy, likewise an attorney, is very respectable.
Amongst the other gentlemen worthy of remark, I have to notice Messrs. Wm. Caern, (if I do not mistake the name,) Byrne and Smith. I do not know the pursuit of Mr. C. but he is a very gentlemanly man; Mr. John
79Bryne, [sic] an Irish gentleman, and once a man of independence, is amongst the most intelligent and shrewd men in Pittsburgh, and though struggling with adverse fortune, has a fine flow of spirits and is an excellent companion, I met with no man of more wit and pleasantry than Mr. B., he has spent much of his time since he arrived in America, in Boston, from which cause, and the hospitality of his nation, his manners are noble, frank and generous: I am under deep obligations to this gentleman and his enlightened family. He supports his family by manufacturing umbrellas, in 3d street, between Market and Wood, and though advanced in years and in delicate health, he is cheerful and gay; I hope he may receive the patronage he richly merits. Wm. T. Smith, is a white smith near Bakewell's glassworks, he and Mrs. S. (of whom I shall speak hereafter,) are of Scotland. This is the gentleman who manfully repulsed the Hog-mob students of the university, which alone ought to immortalize his name, he has the best educated and interesting family of children, with the exception of Mrs. Collins, I met with in Pittsburg, those children are hardly exceeded by any in the United States: nor did I ever meet with youths more amiable or possessed of a higher sense of honor. Mr. Smith, is himself, exemplary and a perfect gentleman. These youths and a few other young gentleman, have a small theatre, where they perform for their amusement and instruction, and not withstanding their limited means, (mere children,) and want of patronage, it is astonishing to see them perform--I was present at the performance of George Barnwell, in which these youths acquitted themselves to a degree, little inferior to the performers in New York--one of the children about thirteen years of age is a natural genius and paints the scenes for himself for his little theatre.
These exemplary youths as their parents informed me, have improved from the example of the parents alone, neither have ever exercised any authority or coertion [sic] towards them, more than over the child they never saw. It is shameful that the liberal part of the citizens of Pittsburg do not at least aid these youths--an honor to their
80city, in, at least, furnishing them with a larger room; as the present one is too small, even for children.
The more I see of this civilized part of the world, the more I am convinced that the priesthood, so far from being a benefit, are a great enemy to the progress of society; and that there is no real liberty where they have any influence. Now here are ten thousand people who are kept in awe and bondage by three or four tyrants,* the most abominable monsters of wickedness in the city.
This proves the ignorance of the people. Why are the people ignorant? The increase of these priests who keep learning down. Witness the hog-mob scholars of the University--the letter I received here, and the letter I received from Carlisle, &c. &c. and many other black deeds of theirs which I shall bring to light before I have done; though not equal to breaking a female's single limb in three pieces, yet enough to prove that none but fools or ignoramuses would believe they were spreading any gospel but that of nonsense. You never hear the theatre attacked but by these monsters who want the money themselves for spreading fire and sword, as it appears, instead of the gospel. Give them no money and see what would be the consequence? bigotry, hypocrisy, and prejudice would soon disappear. Nothing flies faster than prejudice and deceit before facts. I hope the people of Pittsburg will no longer be bound by the galling chains of these deceivers.
But my greatest favorite is Mr. Eichbaum, the postmaster: an Israelite in whom there is no guile; a man of princely virtues, and beloved by all who has the pleasure of his acquaintance. Mr. E. is a pattern of every thing amiable in the human character. Nature has dealt bountifully with him, and he has improved the blessing she has lavished upon him beyond her fondest designs. Without parade, without professions, devoid of pride, he is at once a philosopher and philanthropist--intelligent, human, and mildness itself. He is the most enviable man I know. I would certainly, had I a vote in the business, vote for him to succeed the Postmaster General. Mr.
* This was the case in the dark ages: so we are going back.Return to Text.
81E. is a stout, fine figure, of young appearance, with a dark complexion, and a countenance of unrivaled sweetness.
Return To The Top
Editors.There are four papers, (besides weekly and religious, of which I know not the number) published in Pittsburg; all liberal but one--Mr. McLean, a blue stocking, and his countenance bespeaks him what he is, though he is not devoid of talent. When I received the infamous letter, before mentioned, every editor in the city resented it in the most indignant and pointed terms except Mr. McLean; this shows his religion: and that he approved of it there is little doubt. All their conduct corresponds.* Why did not this hypocrite come out like a man, as the other editors did. His paper is the Gazette--it was for Mr. Adams. Mr. Butler also publishes an Adams paper. I do not remember the name of the paper; but I shall never forget the man--one of the most amiable men in the world. As a man, as a christian, as an editor or a gentleman, he has few equals. So mild, so easy, so affable--the milk and honey of human kindness. Mr. B. is quite a young man, tall, slender, and dark-visaged, with a countenance of ineffable sweetness.
Mr. Andrews, and a young gentleman whom I used to know in New York, was the first to announce me, which gave great offense to the blue-skins: "Let envy alone." This was the occasion of the missionary letter--a very good thing--gave them plenty of rope. Mr. Andrews is a young gentleman of talents, and very promising. The bold and spirited manner in which he resented the infamous letter, proves him, by no means, deficient either in the knowledge of our civil and religious rights, or the independence to assert them. I fancy the blue stockings will long remember Mr.Andrews. Mr. Butler also resented it in a very handsome and spirited style.
* I understood Miss Wright gets a number of these letters. I suppose this is the way they convert the heathen--what abominable brutes. The pictures in my letters are, doubtless, well calculated to convert the heathen to their wishes, who cannot read. I would not be surprised at all to see the people rise and tear down all their dens. Return to Text.
82The great offence of Mr. Andrews, I presume was, (as he was mentioned in the letter,) because he published my Carlisle letter. Mr. A. publishes the Commonwealth and went for Gen. Jackson.
Mr. John M. Snowdon, also for Gen. Jackson, is another young man, and alike independent. He published the Carlisle letter also; and the blue-skins got it on all sides. They do not care, however--I mean the long-headed church and state people--so they get the money. Those in Pittsburg are only hirelings--catspaws--mere tools; and were they pelted nine times a day with rotten eggs, such is their meanness and servility, they would submit to it, at least the hen-pecked ones; and that includes the whole. Mr. S. is quite promising, and if properly encouraged, will make one of our most useful men. Here we are robbed of the most solid enjoyments by our ignorance. Millions of dollars go to--where? I should like to know. It would be as meritorious to go and seize it, as to seize the spoils of any other enemy; and I am much mistaken if it be not done before a hundred years. But if this money was given to encourage genius, and instruct the heathen of our streets, which is the same thing, a hundred to one, perhaps a thousand, would then take a newspaper who are now struggling for bread, or unable to read. All the evil and distress of the lower order of our citizens arise from the same cause and may be traced to the same source. Genius hangs her head; the arts neglected; churches defiled; colleges turned into missionary dens; old age insulted--nothing thrives but tracts, Sunday-schools, &c. &c.
Mr. McFarland publishes another liberal paper. He is a genteel, well informed man, quite young, and was said to edit the paper in the absence of his father, then on the Legislature, or some where. There was a small weekly paper published by a Unitarian: neither he nor his paper was worth one cent--he being afraid to say his life was his own. I believe it is true that women hate cowards. This man calling in to see me in a book-store, told me he was a real Yankee--from Boston. "Then you must be a Unitarian," I replied; "yes," said he,
83whispering in my ear--the sheep. No wonder the black coats take the women from such men! I guessed there must be some of the godly ones about the store, it being crowded, and seizing the opportunity, soon lectured the whole of them, Unitarians and all, out of the store.
But more facts from the Spectator, a religious paper. This is proof equal to the letter, and shows the march of intellect. Millions are thrown away on the macrh [sic] of this sort of intellect.Extract--From 'the Spectator: Pittsburg,' December 11th, 1828.
Joseph and his Mother.
Joseph. When does church break up for the winter?
Mother. What does the child mean?
J. Why, our Superintendent told us last Sabbath, that the school would soon break up for the winter.
M. Well, is that any reason why there should be no church?
J. If it is too cold to go to Sabbath school, I think it is too cold to go to church.
M. Well never mind now, learn your grammar lesson for to-morrow.
J. I think, mother it will rain to-morrow, for it does not look much like clearing, and then I shall not go to school.
M. But you will go to school, my boy, if it does rain; with your thick shoes and warm winter coat, there is nothing to hinder you.
But enough, it is too sickening. This is the spread of the gospel; these are the people who wrote the letter; these are the people who say to freemen "You shall not build a theatre." Does this not prove the march of the intellect?
It appears, however, that intellect is going to march toward the Rocky Mountains; and these Mr. Missionaries have already seized on the richest and fairest part of our country; and as the people are not in the way of
84seeing all the marches of these traitors, I shall march the plan into my book, where every one will see it; and if the citizens of the United States will give these fellows money and boats and goods, and then let them march off with the women, (they never attempt to go without a score of women,) and take possession of the cream of our country, it is time for us to prepare for the yoke truly, or girt on our knapsacks and set off for Africa. Here follows the scheme, of which they must have as many as they have members: From the Spectator, same date.
American Tract Society. Appointment of a General Agent for the Valley of the Mississippi.
This great Valley, extending from the Allegheny to the Rocky Mountains, and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northern Lakes, embraces a territory very fertile, capable of containing a dense population, and larger in extent than all the remaining territory under the jurisdiction of the United States. In 1790, the actual civilized population existing within these boundaries was less than 150,000; it now exceeds 4,000,000; and, according to the best calculation that can be made, it will be, in the year 1850 nearly or quite 12,000,000; will exceed the whole remaining population of our country; and will be entitled to a predominant influence in our national councils. Many a child, who reads these lines, may see the day when the Valley of the Mississippi will embrace one of the most populous and powerful nations in Christendom. There is a majesty and solemnity in this march of population, which ought deeply to affect the mind, and to be taken most seriously into the account in our plans of usefulness. The spiritual welfare of 4,000,000 of souls is an object that might well command the resources of the world; but when we are to consult; not only for them, but for their children and children's children; and
85when in a few years they are to increase from 4,000,000 to 8,000,000; and then to 12,000,000; 20,000,000, and onward: the importance of supplying them with the gospel, outweighs all human estimation.
We know there are now some flourishing churches in the Valley of the Mississippi, and that they embrace many active Christians who are laboring for the cause of Christ; but, at the same time, we are assured that the population, taken as a whole, is very partially supplied with the institutions of religion; that infidelity and vice are, in many parts, alarmingly prevalent; and that there is a powerful and prevailing tendency to that moral deterioration, which threatens the destruction of all civil and temporal blessings, and exposes the soul to all the miseries of the second death. And if ever the voice of Providence indicated to any one people the duty of conferring spiritual blessings on any other, we believe it now directs this portion of our country to send the blessings of Divine truth to the destitute beyond the mountains. Our happiness and prosperity are most deeply involved: we are identified with them as a nation, they are not only our neighbors, but many of them are our children, and kindred and friends. Evangelical Christians, scattered throughout the territory, are ready to second our efforts; we have not national prejudices to encounter; no new languages to learn, and, probably, on no other spot on the earth, is there promise that the same amount of effort will be attended with so great success.
The duty of immediately sending the gospel to the destitute in that interesting portion of our country, is now, we believe, almost universally acknowledged; and the consideration has pressed with great weight upon the minds of the Committee of the American Tract Society, that, while there are not qualified preachers of the gospel in existence to supply their wants, tracts can without delay, be printed and sent to every family. The Committee have felt that, bearing in some degree the responsibility of conducting the Tract operations of the country, they must not slumber an hour over this subject; but enter immediately on the work. And in this view, they
86have commissioned and sent forth the Rev. Oran Eastman, who has been three years engaged in faithful labors for the Tract cause, as a General Agent of the Society for the Valley of the Mississippi, and have appointed three other faithful men to labor in connexion with him. Rev. Mr. Eastman, in company with Mr. Charles Putnam, left the city of New York on the 17th November, for this service, expecting to meet the two other Agents appointed, after his arrival beyond the mountains.
Their object will be to form Auxiliary Tract Associations in every town and village, and neighborhood around; till, if possible, one or more tracts, "directing the sinner to the Saviour," shall be placed in every family. All who can be induced to associate themselves with these Auxiliaries, will be supplied with tracts at the cost prices: to all who have not the ability to pay for them, or, who knowing not their value, and caring not for their soul's salvation; will do nothing to supply themselves, it will be felt a duty to carry tracts and deliver them, as God's message, "without money and without price."
The Committee now look to the christian public to sustain them in this important measure. It will require great personal effort on the part of all christians scattered throughout the Valley of the Mississippi; and liberal pecuniary contributions from the friends of the cause in every portion of the country. These agents must be sustained and their number probably be soon increased; and tracts must be furnished for the supply of all the Auxiliaries formed, and for all the gratuitous distributions to the destitute. If there are 4,000,000 in the Valley of the Mississippi, and each family contains seven individuals, the expense of sending two tracts of the usual size to each family, will exceed $11,400. But far more than this must done every year, or the provision made by tracts, for the spiritual wants of that population, will be small indeed.
The Committee have felt that God called them to enter upon, and faithfully to prosecute this work, notwithstanding the Society's very limited pecuniary means. We hope the object will be remembered by christians in
87their prayers, especially, on the first Monday in every month; for, with the blessing of God, we believe it will appear in the day of judgment, to have been among the very important movements of the Christian Church.
Am. Tract Magazine.
It appears it is God's message to deliver tracts. Do they find tracts in the Scriptures? This piece needs no comment. I hope it may open people's eyes.
Return To The Top
Ladies.There are few in Pittsburg of accomplished and liberal manners; the mass of the females being under the control of the religious societies. I saw but few enlightened females: but those I was so happy to see were inferior to no ladies in the United States for pleasing manners and conversation, and some of them very beautiful; and would be more so but for the smoke, which gives a tinge to the skin difficult to remove. They are very easy and familiar, and some of them have fine features.
Mrs. Hollingsworth, the sister of the Mayor, Mr. Murray, appears to be of the old school. She has all the nobility of her family in her appearance and deportment, which is stately, but affable and condescending. She is a female of splendid mind, and a great political stateswoman. There I lost her, as I am ignorant of both. But we agreed to a T on tracts, and the christian duties, viz: do all the good we can, and do no harm. Upon this point all people of sense agree. She is a Unitarian: so also, is the Mayor and many of the first people of Pittsburg. Mrs. H. is a stout figure, and must have shone in her younger days. She is one of the most pleasant women in Pittsburg; but, like her amiable brother, she is at odds with fortune. I never saw but one man who pleased me in every thing, who could be called wealthy. I mean, as every one may guess, the amiable Stephen Van Rensellaer, member of Congress.
Mrs. Roberts, my kind hostess, also a Unitarian, is a small female of great beauty and accomplishments, and
88one of the most affable women in Pittsburg. Her manners, as well as her countenance, have an uncommon charm and sweetness. Her father, I think, as well as herself, were natives of England. He, if I do not mistake, was a Unitarian preacher. Miss Campbell, of the seminary, is her sister, and her partner is the sister of Mr. Roberts. Both are young, accomplished, and very handsome. Miss Parry I have mentioned.
Mrs. Collins, a widow lady of considerable wealth, is, doubtless, one of the first females in Pennsylvania, on every account. She lives a private life upon her income, and devotes her time to the education of her children, some of whom are married. One, a most fascinating female, Mrs. Duncan, was on a visit to her mother's when I called. She had two other beautiful unmarried daughters, one of which was not grown, and both were highly accomplished. They were the finest and most interesting females I saw in Pittsburg, or in any part of the State. It was Mrs. C. who was alarmed by the robber on Sideling hill. Mrs. C. is certainly entitled to the highest praise for the pains she has taken in the education of her daughters. Mrs. Anchutz [sic] and her daughter were, also, among the first females in Pittsburg.
But, of all women, I was most struck by the uncommon good sense and intelligence of Mrs. Smith, whose children and husband has been mentioned. This lady, as well as her husband, is of Scotland--she is a woman of sterling worth, and highly esteemed in her calling, and though not in affluent circumstances, is the idol of all parties in Pittsburg, and lives independent, she is the most courteous and well-bred foreigner or perhaps native, I have met in the Atlantic country: she is not handsome, but her cordiality and politeness render her charming. It is seldom now-a-days we meet with a woman worthy of notice, so that too much cannot be said in her praise.Mrs. Rev. Bruce, of the royal family of that name in Scotland, has been noticed, she is herself a native of New York, and a very beautiful woman, she did inform me of her family, one of the first in N. York, but I have forgotten it. There may have been many other deserving females,
89in Pittsburg but I was too much engaged to call on them, and though several called upon me, I was mostly out.
Return To The Top
Manufactures.I am now come to the most difficult, but by far the most interesting portion of my description of Pittsburg, and without which, the city would have little weight.--This is its trade and manufactures, in which last, it excels any city in the union, either in the quantity, excellence, or variety of the articles: every article manufactured out of iron, copper, brass, tin, leather or wood, is made in Pittsburg, in a superior style; besides glass, delf, pottery and paper, they manufacture sheeting, shirting, coverlids, carpets, cloths, cassinets, plaids, checks, &c. But what distinguishes Pittsburg from every other part of the union, is the fame she has acquired from her steam engine founderies. [sic]
Another distinguished trait in the character of Pittsburg, is the polite, chaste and gentlemanly deportment of her workmen and mechanics, which joined to their skill, sobriety and industry, surpass any set of mechanics in America, or perhaps in the world!! they, as a body, are the only gentlemen in the city.
In all the manufacturing establishments I have visited in the United States, I never failed to find the mechanics more or less depraved--even in New England you too often find the workmen, and very often the principals, vicious, idle and impertinent, and a total want of respect to strangers--not so in Pittsburg. I spent thirteen days in the manufacturing houses and founderies of this city, where, but in three cases, I found none but mechanics, and never saw or heard the most distant indelicate look or word amongst the whole of them ; on the contrary I was treated with marked and gentleman-like respect--I was more astonished at this than any thing in this wonder-working city--why Pittsburg should differ so widely in this respect from all other manufacturing towns, I am unqualified to say, but it is a well known fact, that both in this country and Europe, I am told, those manufacturing
90houses, exhibit a most lamentable picture of low vicious manners. During the whole of my visit to these manufactories, I never saw an instance of intoxication or the smallest indication of drinking--whether this highly honorable trait in the mechanics of Pittsburg, has been noticed by other travellers or not, I am unable to say, but it is the first thing that struck me with, not only surprise, but pleasure; the workmen were almost as black throughout, as the coal of their pits, but this disguise could not conceal the noble mein, [sic] the chaste smile, and manly deportment for which they are unequalled. Had they been looking for me, I should have thought their manners assumed, but to recur to my own maxim, no one can effect what they do not possess, least of all, politeness. But nothing was farther from them than the thought of receiving a visit from a female, and though sometimes accompanied, I mostly stole a march upon them, much the best course for those who aim to give accurate descriptions.
Upon the whole, I am convinced that the most, if not all the travellers who have visited this Birmingham, as it is called, have never paid that observation indispensable, from want of industry and candor in this respect, very few travellers of late attach any merit to their writings; "it is the remark of a traveller," I have often observed, so it is with all travellers who have noticed Pittsburg, they merely call perhaps, at Bakewell's glass-house and jumble a few miscellaneous communications obtained from the citizens, and without seeing the mechanics, or perhaps a single machine, patch up a book; this was the case with the duke of Saxeweimer, the last traveller from whom great things were anticipated.*
This being understood, a visit from any traveller, much less a female, was doubtless, the last thing these men were thinking of, and such was my curiosity to see these far-famed founderies and workshops, that without consulting a friend, I popped into one the next day of my visit, it
* In justice to the duke, his remarks upon the Bible in the hands of the convicts in the new prison of Philadelphia, are unanswerably great. Return to Text.
91being understood that these manufactories are profusely scattered throughout the city, and being much delighted with the good order, stillness, and innocent manners of the workmen, I pursued the business unceasingly, which, as I have remarked, took up thirteen days--but not finding the proprietors in the shops, or any one who could give me an accurate account of capital, hands employed, or quantities manufactured. I am sorry to say, after bestowing so much labor, the article on Pittsburg, is by no means so clear and satisfactory as I could have wished. This is no fault of mine, as I applied to almost every intelligent man in Pittsburg, for information but failed; if the work be imperfect therefore, they have no one to blame but themselves; I have again applied to the proprietors through the mail, and should the necessary information arrive, it will be cheerfully inserted in the blanks left for the purpose. In some instances, I did receive the full amount, which will go to prove the immense weight of labor, industry, skill and natural faculties of Pittsburg, which is one entire workshop, as some judicious traveller heretofore remarked.
The fabrication of iron, being one of the most important branches of the manufactures, and being one of the great staple commodities of the country, we shall first notice those establishments, in and about Pittsburg, where it is made.
Sligo Rolling Mill.This establishment is situated on the south side of the Monongahela river, immediately opposite the mouth of Mark-street, and is owned by Messrs. Robert T. Stewart and John Lyon. It was erected in 1825. Sligo mill may be considered as a branch of those extensive ironworks which the proprietors own on the Juniata, as all the iron they make use of, is brought from there in a state partly manufactured, that is, in large blocks called blooms, which do not require the process of puddling, but are immediately fit for rolling. The consumption of blooms at the Sligo mill, is about 1400 tons annually. The engine
92is one of the most powerful in or about Pittsburg, being 130 horse power, was built by Mark Stackhouse; some idea may be formed of the strength and immensity of the various machinery, when we say that their weight is 120 tons. Fifty hands are employed daily in the different departments, and the consumption of coal per annum is about 14000 bushels. The value of bar, boiler, nail and sheet iron, &c. manufactured per year, is 15000 dollars.
The Pittsburg iron made at Sligo mill is not surpassed by any in the United States.
A short time since an order was sent to Mr. Stewart from the National works at Harper's ferry, for a load of Sligo iron, to be converted into musket barrels.
Juniata Iron Works,Situated on the Allegheny river, in the Northern Liberties; is owned by Dr. Peter Shoenberger. They were erected in 1824, and may also be considered as a distant branch of the extensive forges of the proprietor on the waters of the Juniata. The establishment here is a very extensive one, embracing a large lot of land, with large and convenient frame and brick buildings. The machinery of the works is of the very best and most substantial kind, and in its location, presents great economy and regularity. The whole was put up under the superintendance of M. B. Belknap, esq. who as engineer and ingenious mechanic, has few equals in the western country. The engine is of 120 horse power, and was built by Mr. Mathew Smith, now of the firm of Binney and Smith.
One thousand tons of blooms are manufactured here annually, into every article manufactured from iron. It contains six nail machines, and makes six tons of nails, per week. The proprietor contemplates extending the nail factories to sixteen, eighty hands are now employed.
This is the first great manufactory I was ever in, and had I not been prepared for the sight and noise by seeing others upon a less scale, I should have though it was the
93shop of Vulcan, forging his thunderbolts in his subterraneous abode. The redness of the towering flames, the amazing dimensions of the wheels, the volumes of rolling smoke, and the thunder of the huge hammers, and squeaking of the nail machines, fairly turned my head--no language can describe the rapidity with which these nails are made, they drop from the machine in one unremitting shower.
Dr. Shoenberger's iron has long been established. The competent knowledge which Dr. S. possesses as it regards the fabrication of iron, and the assiduous attention which he continually pays to the various departments of his concern, will always sustain the good fame of "Shoenberger's Iron."
Grant's Hill Iron Works,Owned by Messrs. William H. Hays and David Adams, was erected in 1821. The machinery is put in operation by a steam engine of eighty horse power, built by the Columbian Steam Engine Company. Thirty hands are daily employed. There has been manufactured within the last year, into bar, boiler, nail and hoop iron, rods, &c. 800 tons of pig metal, and 400 tons of blooms. The yearly consumption of coal is 90,000 bushels, and the total value of iron made, during the past year, was 80,000 dollars.
Union Rolling Mill,Situated on the eastern boundary of the city, in Kensington, and owned by Messrs. Baldwin, Robinson, and M'Nickle. This is the largest and most extensive establishment of the kind in the western country. The machinery is driven by two engines of one hundred horse power each, which were built by the Columbian Steam Engine Company in the year 1819, and the weight of castings and wrought iron required in their construction is immense, being 500,000 pounds. The quantity of metal converted annually into bar, sheet and boiler iron, &c., was
94about 1500 tons, which upon an average is worth 100 dollars per ton, making the total value of their manufacture about 150,000 dollars. Attached to the mill, is an extensive nail factory, where 6 1/2 tons of iron, are weekly converted into nails of all sizes. Of this, however, we shall speak in another place. The whole number of hands employed is 100, and the consumption of coal per annum, 182000 bushels--Capital $100,000!!
Dowlais Iron Works.In Kensington, erected in 1825, by Mr. Lewis. Has an engine of 100 horse power, and manufactures bar iron from pig. It is capable of making about 600 tons of iron per year.
Pittsburg Rolling Mill,Corner of Penn-street and Cecil's alley, owned by R. Bowen. Has an engine of 120 horse power, built by the Columbian Steam Engine Company, which drives one pair of rollers and slitters and 10 nail machines. In this mill there is no other than bar iron made use of. From the blooms, three tons per day is reduced to rods, sheet, &c. The nail machines make 1 3/4 tons per day, assorted nails, besides hoops and sheet. Capital 40,000 dollars. Raw stock manufactured per week 2000--eighty hands are employed. Mr. R. Bowen was for a long time a common sailor.
In this factory, I for the first time saw the mammoth hammer and rolling wheels, and the hoops (for barrels,) and sheet iron, running round upon the rollers in red ribbons with the rapidity of lightning. But it is vain to attempt a description of the steady attention and close application of the hands, continually engaged, you never hear a work uttered, every one to his business. People ought to go to Pittsburg to learn industry--put a lazy man into one of these rolling mills, and it is like putting a coward on board a ship of war.95
Pine Creek Rolling Mill, &c.Owned by Elkins and Ludlow, situate on Pine creek, a few miles above Pittsburg. Has an engine of 100 horse power, which is employed in rolling bar iron into boiler, sheet, and nail iron, rods, &c. At this establishment both steam and water power are employed, and the manufacture of axes, scythes, sickles, shovels, &c. it is carried on to great extent: about 40 hands are employed, and about 600 tons of bar iron made use of annually.
Air Founderies. [sic]There are few aware of the immense business that has been done, and is now doing in these establishments.--There are no less than eight of them in full operation.
Pittsburg Foundery [sic]Was erected as early as the year 1804, by Mr. Joseph M'Clurg, and was the first establishment of the kind west of the mountains. The opposition that Mr. M. met with from his friends shows how limited the views of the citizens of that period were, in relation to the important situation of Pittsburg, and the great sources of wealth that lay around it. Many thought at that time, that Mr. M'Clurg would certainly be ruined--that a foundry was useless--and that he could not possibly succeed--he persevered however, and subsequent years have shown the fallacy of human prognostications--he realized a fortune--has retired from business, and left the old foundry to fill the pockets of his successors with better stuff than pig iron.
During the last war Mr. M. had a very large contract with the national government, for furnishing ordnance and ball. The principal part of which were destined for the fleet on Lake Erie. The arsenal at Lawrenceville, exhibits a long range of field pieces, carronades, &c. of his manufacture, that are as beautiful as they are substantial and true--they having stood all those nice and scrupulous
96tests of strength and measurement, which the ordnance department are wont to use in their inspections.
The Pittsburg foundry is at present carried on by Messrs. Alexander M'Clurg, Cuthbert and Co. on an extensive scale. There are two furnaces which are daily in use, and the amount of metal that is converted into wheels, shafts, cannon, stoves, hollow ware, grates and all manner of castings, is about 600 tons per annum. Fifty, hands are constantly employed and yearly about 15000 bushels of coal are consumed. The value of castings is from 65 to 70 dollars per ton, consequently the manufactures of this foundry amount to 40,800 dollars per annum. The castings find a market in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, &c.
The cannon for the United States are cast here, six and twenty-four pounders. Balls and shot are manufactured here, also, tea-kettles. The process of the tea kettle is very ingenious, and requires much care and attention, the mould must be true to a hair, the most difficult part is the spout. Large kettles for the sugar business in New Orleans, are cast at this foundry, they have neither legs nor ears: weight (the largest,) 1800! and hold 600 gallons! they are shaped like a large wooden bowl. Capital employed, is 60,000 dollars, and the cost per day $200--hands receive $1.25 per day.
But the boilers and cannon, banged every thing; Jonathan ought to come here to see first, the great pots, (I believe they were,) full of the red liquid, pouring down somewhere, and presently, a huge crane swings round as though it were going to batter down the wooden side of the building, from it drops a chain, which pulls up, to the astonishment of the beholder, a twenty-four pounder, or a boiler, which Mr. Crane sets out of doors, and returns to his quarters. In every thing executed here, the hand of a master is visible in the sketch, there is nothing can surpass the correctness with which every thing is executed.
In order to facilitate the operations of boring, a boring mill is attached to the machinery.97M'Clurg & Co. have two large warehouses--one at the foundry, corner of Smithfield and Fifth streets, and the other in Wood, between Front and Water-streets, where may be seen some fine specimens and patterns in their line.
Jackson Foundry,Corner of Sixth and Liberty-streets, owned by Messrs. Kingsland, Lightner and Sowers. At this establishment, has been made, some of the heaviest casting ever seen in this country. About 500 tons of pig metal are converted here annually into machinery of all kinds, stoves, grates, wagon boxes, plough plates, and in short, every article that may be desired, from the weight of 4 tons down to one-fourth of a pound. Twenty hands are generally employed, and 9000 bushels of coal consumed yearly.
This is the first manufacturing house I entered in Pittsburg--passing by the door, I suspected what was going on, and called in. They had just finished casting, but said they would begin again in half an hour: the mettle [sic] was just beginning to melt.
The principal was absent and the clerk in the counting room, was a poor shoat, (counting rooms are attached to all these establishments.) He paid no more attention when I addressed him, than if I had spoken to a post, I pushed on, nevertheless, through walls and ramparts of castings, until I came to a door that opened into the foundry, and being charmed with the modest and affable manners of the workmen, I amused myself in watching the metal as it melted and rolled on, in a bright stream to the front of the furnace. The bottom of these furnaces being an inclined plane, the pigs are laid upon the highest part, and by looking through the crevices of the mouth of the furnace, you may see the metal running down.
Meantime, I received as much attention from the workmen as I would have received from the most finished courtier. They fixed up a seat or a sort of throne, rather, where I sat out of harms way, until they were done. They dipt out the metal with large deep ladles, with long
98handles. The ladle resembles an iron pot precisely in shape, depth, and narrow, and holds about a gallon.
But when they cast large pieces, they have a pot of about four gallons, handle on each side, and two men take hold of it, one on each side, filling it first with a ladle. They plaster the inside of their ladles with clay to keep the metal from sticking.
As quick as they are done filling the last row of moulds, they begin to take out the ware at the first. They cast twice in the day, once in the forenoon and once in the afternoon, and rest the balance of the day, after getting the moulds ready for the succeeding day.
Eagle Foundry,In Kensington. This establishment was erected by A. Beelen, but is now conducted by the same gentlemen that own the Jackson foundry, and composes a part of their concern. The castings of both foundries are much the same. The consumption of metal at the Eagle is about 300 tons yearly. Employs about 12 hands, and burns about 7000 bushels of coal. The value of castings of both establishments amount annually to about 36,750 dollars.
The mechanical operations are conducted by two of the ablest moulders, whose abilities and knowledge of their avocation are above being questioned. And as they combine every attention and skill, with their own action and unremitting labor, the reputation of the Jackson and Eagle foundries will always be maintained, while they are concerned. We allude to Messrs. Kingsland, Lightner and Sowers.
Their warehouse is on Liberty near Sixth-street, where are every variety of castings and patterns.
Phoenix Foundry,Situate on Scotch hill, corner of Ross and Third-streets; owned by Messrs. Miller and Freeman. It was established in 1821, by ------ Clark, and is principally devoted
99to the lighter order of castings--such as sad-irons, grates, stoves, wheels, &c. &c. into which about 200 tons are annually converted. Ten hands are constantly employed, and about 7800 bushels of coal are consumed annually. The value of castings made during the last year, amounts to 14560 dollars.
This concern we believe is in a very prosperous condition, and as it is owned by a couple of industrious, clever gentlemen, we wish it may continue so. They have a ware house in Liberty, three doors south of St. Clair street.
Whether this factory be operation, at this time (1828,) or not, I am unable to say: but certain it is, these gentlemen have just finished the Washington Foundry, which was going into operation, as I called on them. A large nail factory is attached to it, upon Reeds plan, Capital 9000 dollars.
The Washington Foundry combines many improvements, and makes a handsome appearance--all those are convenient in proportion to their size.
Stackhouse's Foundry,Attached to the Columbian Steam Engine factory, in Front street, at the corner of Redoubt alley. The principal part of the castings made at this establishment, are steam machinery, into which about 400 tons of metal are annually converted. Constant employment is given to 12 hands, and about 8800 bushel of coal, are consumed yearly. The value of the manufactures per year, is about 18000 dollars.
Allegheny Foundry,Situated near the Allegheny river, on M'Cormick's alley, and owned by Mr. William Franklin. Manufactures light articles generally, consuming per annum, about 156 tons of metal, and employs 6 hands. The consumption of coal is about 4000 bushels, and the value of manufactures during the last year 10,140 dollars.100
Stackhouse and Thompson's Foundry,On Liberty and Second-streets; and is attached to their steam engine factory. The whole of the castings made here are applied to steam boats and steam machinery, generally. The quantity of metal made use of annually, is 120 tons, employs 10 hands, and annually consumes about 3,500 bushels of coal. The value of machinery made in the same time, is about $7,200.
Price's Cupola Foundry,Situated one-fourth of a mile east of Pittsburg, and may be considered a brass as well as an iron foundry, as all the various articles of a light nature in both branches are manufactured here. Mr. Price also makes large crucibles for fusing copper, brass, &c. and is the only person about Pittsburg, who has succeeded in making these articles in perfection. Value of castings, &c. about 4000 dollars.
Birmingham Foundry,Carried on by Messrs. Sutton and Nicholson, consumes annually about 200 tons of metal, which is converted into castings of every kind, and valued at 12,000 dollars. This foundry is connected with other establishments, which we shall notice in another place. Consumption of coal about 10,000 bushels, and employs eight hands.
There is also manufactored [sic] at this establishment by steam, tobacco-press, paper-mill and fuller's screws of all sizes. Iron turning of all kinds, is also done.
Recapitulation.In the eight foundries before mentioned, there has been converted into castings, during the last twelve months, 2,126 tons of metal, 106 hands employed--65,000 bushels
101of coal consumed, and the total value of manufactures, 132,610 dollars.*
Naileries.The manufacture of nails is carried on here to a very great extent; so much so, that it is probable there are more nails made in Pittsburg in one year than is made in the same period in all the western country beside. The invention of those patent nail machines have produced a great revolution in this branch of business, and have almost entirely superseded the use of the hammer and the die.--The facility with which the cutting and heading of nails is performed, stand thus, of 3 nails, 400 may be made per minute; of 6d 300 to 350, and of 12d there has been made 1760 pounds per day, one machine !!
Union Rolling Mill Nail Factory,Has 14 nail machines in operation, by which all kinds of nails are manufactured, from 3d to 20d. There was made last year at this establishment, 720,000 lbs. which being averaged at 6 cents per pound, gives their value at 43,200 dollars.
Sligo Nail Factory,Attached to the Sligo Rolling Mill, and driven by steam; has 4 machines that cut annually, 400,000 lbs. of nails, which are worth 32,000 dollars.
Pittsburg Nail Factory,Owned by Richard Bowen, and connected with his rolling mill, has 10 machines; makes 5,804 kegs of cut nails, of various sizes, and 22,000 pounds of wrought nails; making a total of 782,887 pounds. Value $66,544.39 cts.
* Three last, estimated in 1826.Return to Text.
Grant's Hill Nail Factory,Attached to the Grant's Hill Iron works, has five machines, which are driven by steam; manufactures 250 tons of nails, of various sizes, per annum. Value, $40,000.
Juniata Nail Factory,Connected with the Juniata iron works, and owned by Dr. Shoenberger. Has 5 machines in operation, and manufactures per annum, 500,000 pounds of nails, of all sizes. Value, 40,000 dollars. I have noticed this elsewhere.
Pine Creek Nail Factory,Owned by Mr. B. Belknap, and connected with his other extensive works on that stream. They make at this establishment, by 4 machines, about 3,640 kegs of nails, of various sizes, making 456,000 pounds. Valued at 34,100 dollars.
There are in Pittsburg, about six factories, where nails are made in the old way; employ about sixteen hands, and make per annum, 360,000 pounds. Valued at 28,000 dollars.
Steam Engines.Pittsburg, in this branch of business, has acquired great celebrity. The numerous engines made here, and the attention paid to their construction, has enabled the engineers, beyond all others, to improve, by rendering every succeeding one less complicated, and rendering its operations less difficult and dangerous. No place in the world, can surpass Pittsburg, as to the means and materials, for manufacturing these powerful machines.
The talent and skill displayed in the application of steam, to answer every purpose, is equal to the advantages, and next to the invention itself. They would, I believe, grind coffee, or in short apply steam to every thing
103done by the hand, and such a number of them is astonishing; one would think the steam engines alone, would exhaust the mountains of Potosi. But they are nothing to the casting, nails and other ware. The cause of this, is found in its resources, as the people have nothing to do but to apply the fire to the coal, and the coal to the metal--all are on the spot in endless masses.
When the article is made, nothing is to do but put it in a vessel, and away it goes by wind and steam, instead of wind and tide.
If a man wishes to build a boat, he has nothing to do but take his axe, go up the Monongahela or Allegheny, and fell the timber, float it down, and to lose no time, he may build a saw mill as he sails down the river.
All these advantages would be nothing, however, but for system, application and union--of all people, they are the least envious, or jealous of each other: this curse of the Yankee states, is unknown in the generous Birmingham of America. If one happens to have more water or more money, or the smallest advantage over another, in the east, his throat is in danger--not so in Pittsburg, every one puts his shoulder to the wheel, all pull together; every one rejoices at the prosperity of his neighbor. If an iron merchant makes a good sale, his neighbor is as much gratified as though he made it himself. This trait, and the elevated manners of the mechanics, is peculiar to Pittsburg; and what is the cause? no missionaries amongst them!!!
The generality of Pittsburg engines, are constructed on what is called the high pressure principle, in contradistinction to the low pressure. Of the merits of either I am not competent to decide, each has a powerful support in the prejudices of the people; but were I to judge from the great majority of high pressure engines in use, and the generally superior running of boats that are propelled by them, I would give the preference unequivocally to high steam. As to danger, which a great many persons suppose is always connected with high steam; from an account kept of accidents which have occured [sic] on the Ohio and elsewhere, the number on board the low pressure
104steam boats, have been twice, if not three times as great as those on high pressure.
There are six steam engine manufactories in Pittsburg and its vicinity, all actively engaged, where engines can be furnished 15 per cent. lower than at any other establishment of the kind in the United States.
Columbian Steam Engine Company,At the corner of Second-street and Redoubt alley, conducted by Mr. Mark Stackhouse, a gentleman of known reputation as an able engineer, and in company with Messrs. Rogers, Evans and others, were the first persons that commenced this branch of business in the western country. Seven steam engines, none of which were less than 60 horse power, avarage [sic] value, 30,000--were made in one year by the company. In their construction and for other purposes, they made use of 100,000 lbs. of bar iron, besides the necessary quantity of casting. Twenty hands are constantly employed, and about 4,500 bushels of coal consumed. A very large high pressure engine is now finishing for a steam boat on lake Erie.
Connected with the Columbian Steam Engine Factory, there is a turning, boring and grinding establishment which is put into operation by steam power, derived from the Pittsburg Steam Mill. Here are cut all kinds of tobacco press, paper-makers and fuller screws; turning of iron, &c.
Mr. Stackhouse received an order for an engine of 100 horse power, to be placed in the iron works of the Messrs. Thompsons, at the mouth of French creek, on the Schuylkill, 25 miles from Philadelphia. It was built, accordingly, and forwarded over the mountains in wagons, and has fully realised every expectation, as to its excellence.
Messrs. Warden and Arthurs, at the corner of Second and West streets, have an extensive concern. These gentlemen have been very successful, and their work is held in deservedly high estimation. In one year they put up five engines, all of the larger class, valued at $35,000 dollars. They employ about 30 hands and consume
1055000 bushels of coal per year. A large and powerful low pressure engine is now finishing at this establishment, for a steam boat on Lake Erie.
For the purpose of facilitating the operations of turning, punching, &c. and reducing the quantity of manual labor required, the proprietors have built a steam engine.
Messrs. Stackhouse and Thompson, on Liberty street at the corner of Third. This firm has put up some of the best engines employed in the navigation of the western waters. They have constructed within one year, 5 engines of the largest class, valued at 35,000 dollars. Thirty hands are daily employed.
Messrs. Smith and Binny, on Grant's hill. These gentlemen have lately commenced, but they have already built three engines, valued at 14,000 dollars, and employ 15 hands.
M. B. Belknap, Esq. on Pine creek; has made within the last year, two very large engines, and has two others on hand, valued at 16,000 dollars.
Steam Wire Manufactory,In Kensington, near the Union Rolling Mill, conducted by Mr. Arnold Eichbaum. Has an engine of ten horse power--employs seven hands, and manufactures wire from No. 1 to 16. We have been informed by gentlemen who are acquainted with the article, that Mr. Eichbaum's is of an excellent quality.
Steam Turning and Grinding Mill.Owned by William Hall, in Kensington. It is devoted entirely to turning brass and iron, and to grinding sad irons, &c. &c. Has an engine of ten horse power.
* Estimate of steam boats, in 1826--the author attempted in vain to get the last estimate.Return to Text.
106This immense amount was supplied from about 12 or 13 blast furnaces, situated in the neighboring counties of Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Westmoreland, Venango, Crawford, &c.
Cotton.The manufactures of Cotton are limited. The large amount of capital, the various tributary and connected branches of workmanship, indispensably necessary to profitable operations, have probably prevented its earlier and more successful experiment.
Steam Cotton Factory,Owned by James Arthurs and Sons, situated on Strawberry, near Cherry alley. The machinery consists of one throstle of 120 spindles, one mule of 168 spindles, with the necessary apparatus for carding, &c. It is principally employed in the manufacture of fine yarns from No. 16 to 20. Thirteen hands are employed in the cotton factory.
Phoenix Steam Cotton Factory.Owned by Messrs. James Adams, Allen and Grant and James S. Grant, in the Northern Liberties of the city,--Capital $15,000. In the spring of 1822, they brought from Providence, R. I. the largest amount of machinery ever exported thence, under a single order, including all the most esteemed machines then in use, for their contemplated purposes, together with workmen in turning, filing, carding, spinning, dressing, weaving, &c.
Their establishment contains upwards of twenty seven hundred spindles:--twenty-two throstles of 84 spindles, and six mules of 180 spindles each, together with the necessary preparation machines; sixteen looms for weaving yard wide sheetings, dresser, warper, &c. They produce daily about seven hundred weight of yarn, from No. 5 to 22, and about four hundred and fifty yards of cotton
107cloth, consuming about six hundred bales of cotton annually. They employ about one hundred and seventy persons, including those at work in their machine shop. The annual value of their manufactured goods, is 100,000 dollars, calculating their yarns and sheetings at the eastern prices, by which they usually are regulated. The power, operating this machinery, is a steam engine of about forty horse power, which turns the lathes, grind-stones, &c. of the machine shop, and forces the escape steam through the building, diffusing a general and moderate heat.
Mr. John M'Ilroy, in Wood, between Front and Second-streets, has in operation 80 hand looms, employed as follows:--
There is employed in the business of this concern, including the coloring department, 155 hands. The number of yards manufactured per annum, is 363,600 and the whole at 15 cents per yard, amounts to 54,540 dollars.
- On 3/4 plaids,
- On Stripes,
- On Check,
- Total looms,
- 62 producing 930 yards per day.
- 10 producing 160 yards per day.
- 8 producing 112 yards per day.
- 80 producing 1202 yards per day.
Mr. James Shaw, in Wood-street, between Sixth and Liberty, has in operation 80 hand looms, employed in weaving plaid and checks. Weaves 30,000 annually, amount $60,000.
Mr. Thomas Graham, in Market, between Fifth and Liberty-streets, has 34 hand looms in operation, which are employed as follows: on plaids, stripes, checks, and Wilmington stripe.
Messrs. Tilford and Sons, near Pittsburg, have 8 looms employed on stripes, plaids, &c. They weave annually about 36,000 yards, besides a considerable quantity of cassinets and woollen carpeting. They employ about 15 hands.
Miscellaneous.There are in Pittsburg, besides those already enumerated, 47 looms, which are engaged in various kinds of wea-
108ving--such as coverlets, carpets, linen, cotton cloth, &c. Among all, 60 hands are engaged, weavers, spoolers, &c. who make per year, about 211,500 yards of various stuffs, valued at 29,210 dollars.
It may be remarked, that the plaids, stripes, &c. produced at the above establishments, are of the best quality, as to material, workmanship, and colors, and that they can be afforded at a cheaper rate than they can be brought from beyond the mountains. They afford a convenient and profitable employment to a great number of workmen, many of whom have their shops attached to the [sic] own dwellings, and employ their own children in the preparatory and lighter parts of the business.
The yarn for the hand looms is principally supplied by the Phoenix Factory, and the factory of the Messrs. Arthurs. The remainder is procured from some of the factories nameed below, which I enumerate to complete the view of the cotton business in this section of the country.
The Brownsville or Bridgeport Cotton Factory, situated at Bridgeport, on the Monongahela, and owned by Mr. Thomas Burk. In this factory there are 750 spindles, and about 500 lbs. yarn, from No. 13 to 18, is produced per day.
The Economy Steam Cotton Factory, situated 17 miles below this city owned by the Economists, is just going into operation, with about 500 spindles, to be increased shortly to 1000. Both spinning and weaving to be carried on in this establishment.
The Beaver Cotton Factory, belonging to Messrs. Pugh and Wilson, propelled by water power.
Woollen.The manufactures of Pittssburg, in this branch, are yet very limited. The principal article manufactured here, in this line, is cassinet--its cheapness and durability generally commanding a market.
James Arthurs & Sons, in connexion with their steam cotton factory, have a woollen establishment, where they
109have, during the last year, manufactured, carded and dressed, to wit:
They carded and spun 15,000 pounds of wool, and dressed 8000 yards of country cloth. Do all their own dressing, and employ in this branch 11 hands.
- Of broad cloth
- Of cassinets,
- 1200 yds. Av. val. pr. yd. $4
- 3600 yds. Av. val. pr. yd. 86 cts.
Headrick and Gibb have a woollen manufactory at the corner of Liberty street and Diamond alley.
- 2 looms on cassinets, 14 yds. per day, 4200 yds. at 85 cts.
- Carded for the country 7000 lb. wool at 6 1/4 cts.
- l loom on coverlets, carpets, &c.
- Spun for country 3000 lb.
- $3,570 00
- 437 50
- 700 00
- $4,507 50
Fleecedale Woollen Manufactory.Situated on Chartier's creek, a few miles west of Pittsburg, near the Steuben road. This is a respectable establishment, and is owned by Messrs. A. and J. Murphy. The machinery is driven by water power. The business of this establishment is as follows:
Four looms on cassinets, 32 yards per day.
One loom on broad cloths, 5 yards per day.
There are two carding machines, and one mule of 90 spindles, by which 10,000 lbs of wool has been carded and spun. Attached is a Fulling mill and Dying establishment. 16 persons are employed.
The Messrs. Murphy's are said to be among the first rate clothiers in the country, who combine with great enterprize and industry, an indefatigable zeal to render their manufactures worthy of public support.Fleecedale cloths and cassinets may be seen and purchased at M. S. Mason and McDonough's wholesale dry good store, Wood street.110
Glass Works.I now come to the most difficult class of manufactures for description, and what I have dreaded from the beginning.
In the foregoing description of iron, woollen, and cotton manufactures, I was greatly aided by a small Directory: but the writer being accustomed to see these things daily, has no idea of the impressions they make upon strangers; and of all towns, (in our country, I mean,) Pittsburg excites most astonishment. Every thing pursued in other towns is thrown into the shade by Pittsburg: even in the building of steam-boats it excels, by a long way, our great city, New York.
You see nothing but columns of smoke rolling out of these manufactories in every part of the city, and in every street. Go to the river Monongahela and you see nothing but steam-boats, two stories high, many of them, and two tiers of windows, precisely like a house, and with gable ends.
But Bakewell's is the place: whoever wishes to see the blowing of glass done with ease and despatch, let them visit his glass-house. It stands in the city, on the bank of the Monongahela, and the furnace has been in blast five years! that is, it has never been out. When a crucible breaks, they have a machine by which it is taken out of the furnace, and another one, which is always ready, put in. But the first thing that struck me here, as before, was the appearance of the men, of which there were but few; two only finished the pieces after they were blown by the boys, of which there were several.
These boys, as well as the two gentlemen, (who are entirely entitled to the epithet, if ever men were,) are, for skill and expedition, unequalled.
I had called the previous day, but they were not blowing: they told me, however, at what hour to call the succeeding day.
Almost at the entrance of the house, I was suddenly surprised by a gentleman sitting on a bench with a back
111to it, and a sort of arm at each end, raised about half way his breast, supposing a stick laid across it. The bench was about three feet in length; across these arms lay a piece of iron, if I recollect, about the size of a walking cane; on the end of this stuck a tumbler, partly formed, which he shaped by turning the iron very fast, by the assistance of a large pair of shears, which now and then ran into the mouth of the glass, and turned it round, the glass being pliant, as if to widen it and put it into shape. This he did with one hand, while he kept turning the tumbler backwards and forward, very fast, with the other hand: but the most of the time he turned it with both hands, or rolled it rather, as we do a rolling-pin in making pastry. He soon finished the glass, by which time the boy who attended him brought him another upon a similar piece of iron, and taking the first off laid this in the same place. The operation is so quick that I could scarcely believe my own eyes that it was reality--it may be supposed the whole process is rapid, when he makes 600 tumblers per day! The glass when brought to him is a hollow oblong, and the moment he receives it, rolling all the while, he clips what is to be the mouth of the glass with the shears, which brings it even; after this it is soon in shape. The mouth expands as he rolls it round.
This was one of the finest looking men in Pittsburg; neatly dressed; sometime leaning back and then erect--the ease and inimitable grace that accompanied his movements; his fine countenance and soft black eye, all bedecked with smiles of ineffable sweetness--I was riveted to the spot.
At length, upon looking up, I saw another man, which I took to be his brother, from a resemblance, which proved to be the case. He was employed in the same way, at decanters, and was still more interesting in his appearance. He made 240 decanters per day! They informed me they had been employed in the same way for ten years! if I do not mistake. The proprietor has good right to be proud of these men: they must be worth their weight in gold. Every thing was neat, and in place: the whole presenting one of the most astonishing sights of regularity and skill I ever beheld.112This is the property of Bakewell, Page & Bakewell, situated in Water street, above Grant: was erected in 1811. This establishment is entirely devoted to the manufacture of white or flint glass, and has succeeded in producing the best specimens of this article ever made in the United States. The admiration of this glass is not confined merely to home observers, but the great amount of it which has been exported, testify the reputation it enjoys abroad; and there is scarcely a stranger visits Pittsburg, who is not desirous of taking a peep at Bakewell's Glass House. Amidst all the depressions and general stagnations of trade, of past days, the proprietors of this concern have manifested a steady, persevering, enterprising spirit, as honorable to themselves as their manufactures are creditable to our country.
Numerous articles are made at this manufactory: they embrace every thing in the glass line, of every price and of every grade of workmanship, from the most beautiful to the most plain and uncut. There are employed here 61 hands, 12 of whom are constantly engaged in engraving and ornamenting. 30,000 bushels of coal are consumed annually, and the value of glass made per year is about 45,000 dollars.*
Birmingham Glass Works.Erected in the year 1812, by Messrs. Sutton, Wendt & Co., but are now conducted by Messrs. Wendt, Encell, Impson, and others. This establishment manufactures window glass, and green hollow ware entirely; and has done, and is still doing, an immense business. Birmingham glass has been transported to every part of the Union, and has acquired much celebrity for its good quality. The owners are all active workmen, hence their disposition as well as their interest has always been to render their articles of the best kind. They employ
* In 1826-it is now double.Return to Text.
11360 hands-consume 40,000 bushels of coal, and manufacture annually, viz:
In the manufacture of this article, Pittsburg and the surrounding country enjoys an extensive reputation. It is needless to repeat the advantages they possess. The glass of Pittsburg, and the parts adjacent, is known and sold from Maine to New Orleans. Even in Mexico they quaff their beverage from the beautiful white flint of Messrs. Bakewell, Page and Bakewell. At a recent exhibition of American manufactures, by the Franklin Institute, of Philadelphia, where specimens of the finest glass made in the United States were brought forward, the premium was awarded to the gentlemen just named.
- Window glass,
- Porter bottles,
- Hollow ware,
- 4,000 boxes,
- 100 gross,
- 10,000 dozen,
- value, $16,000
- value, 900
- value, 11,040
Pittsburg Glass Works,Are situated on the south side of the Monongahela, opposite the Point, and is now conducted by Mr. F. Lorenz. This concern was the first of the kind established in the western country. It was built as early as 1797, by Gen. O'Hara and Major Craig. For a few years their success seemed very doubtful-so much so, that the latter gentleman withdrew, and left Mr. O'Hara to make the best of what was then termed a losing concern. But the General who had a happier knack of seeing a few years before him, and drawing deductions from the nature of things than any of his cotemporaries, [sic] persevered with his glass house, made large additions, prospered, and conducted it until his death, in 1819. It has since been rented, and now its operations are very extensive. Within the last year there has been manufactured, viz:
- Window glass,
- Porter bottles,
- Hollow ware,
- 7,500 boxes,
- 160 gross,
- 3,160 dozen,
- valued at $31,000
- valued at 1,440
- valued at 4,424
114Fifty hands are employed here, and upwards of 250 souls are supported in this establishment. Consumption of coal per annum is 70,754 bushels, and 600 cords of wood.
Stourbridge Glass Works,Near the corner of Ross and Second streets, erected by Mr. John Robinson, in 1823. Manufactures white, or flint glass only.
Mr. Robinson employs 18 hands; consumes 18,000 bushels of coal, and his glass, made per annum, is valued at 22,000 dollars.
The following establishments may be said to be in the immediate neighborhood, and Pittsburg the store-house and market of their manufactures.
Bridgeport Glass Works, on the Monongahela, manufactures window glass and hollow ware to the amount of 4000 boxes, valued at 16,000 dollars.
New Albany, on the same river, at the mouth of Redstone, manufactures annually window glass and hollow ware to the amount of 4000 boxes-equal to 16,000 dollars.
New Boston, at Perryopolis on the Youghiogany [sic] makes window glass and hollow ware, yearly to the amount of 2,000 boxes, equal to 8,000 dollars.
Williamsport, on the Monongahela, makes window glass, &c. to the amount of 3000 boxes, valued at 12,000 dollars.
Geneva works, owned by Mr. Gallatin, manufactures yearly, about 4,000 boxes, valued at 16,000 dollars.
Total number of boxes, 17,000, value, $68,000.
To which add Pittsburg window and flint glass, 131,804.
Total value, $199,804.
Paper.The manufacture of paper is carried on to a very great extent in the western counties of Pennsylvania. In 1810 there were but few paper-mills in this part of the State,
115the oldest of which was the Redstone mill, near Brownsville. Now there are nine, four of which are owned in this city; besides two in the adjacent county of Jefferson, Ohio, one of which is owned here, viz:
Anchor Steam Paper MillOwned by Mr. Holdship, situated in Pittsburg, corner of Ross and Brackenridge streets. This is the largest paper making establishment west of the mountains. It is put into operation by an engine of 30 horse power, and employs 88 hands. There are 6 vats, which produce on an average, the year round, 40 reams per week, each, which may be valued at 3 dollars per ream, making each vat to produce 2080 reams per annum, valued at 6,240 dollars. The whole number or reams produced per year is, 12,480, valued at 37,440 dollars.
The quality of Mr. Holdship's paper is said to be of the first order, as is sufficiently tested by his extensive sales. Within the last 18 months, 40,000 dollars worth of Spanish paper has been made at his mill, for the South American market, and which has been shipped thence.
Pittsburg Steam Paper Mill.In the Northern Liberties, and owned by Mr. Patterson & Co. is driven by an engine of 20 horse power, and has 3 vats. This concern is now in operation.
Clinton Steam Paper MillSituated at Steubenville, and owned by Mr. Holdship of this city, I shall speak of under the head of Steubenville.
Franklin Paper MillOn Little Beaver, Beaver county; owned by Messrs. Cramer and Spear, of this city, is driven by water power; has 2 vats, and manufactures about 9000 dollars worth of various kinds of paper annually.116
Bigg [sic] Beaver Paper Mill,At the Falls of Big Beaver, owned by Messrs. Johnston and Stockton, of this city. Machinery is driven by water power; has 2 vats, and will make annually about 10,000 dollars worth of paper of all kinds.
Also in the neighborhood:
Sewickly [sic] Paper Mill, Westmoreland county, owned by General Markle; 2 vats, water power.
Redstone Paper Mill, in Fayette county, owned by Messrs. Jackson and Sharpless; 2 vats, water power.
Yough Paper Mill, Fayette county, owned by Mr. D. Rogers; 2 vats, water power.
Ohio Paper Mill, on Little Beaver, owned by Messrs. Bever and Bowman; 2 vats, water power.
Meadville Paper Mill, in Crawford county, owned by Mr. McGaw; 2 vats, water power.
Mountpleasant [sic] Paper Mill, Jefferson county, Ohio, owned by Mr. Updegraff; 2 vats, water power.
A new steam paper mill will be erected this summer, by Messrs. George Hirst & Co. near the United States' Arsenal. Mr. Belknap is now engaged on the engine.
The estimated average value of the paper produced at each vat in the water mills, at 5000 dollars per year; and the rags used in each vat, at 50,000 lbs. Taking all the mills at the average rate, and estimating rags at 5 cents per lb. the paper manufactured in the mills enumerated would be worth 150,000 dollars, and the amount laid out in the country for rags, would not be less than 58,000 dollars.
Flour, &c.There are four steam grist mills; three in the city, and one in Birmingham; all in operation.
The Pittsburg Steam Mill.Situated at the corner of Water street and Redoubt alley; was established in 1812, by Oliver Evans, and is now
117conducted by Mr. George Evans. It runs three pair of burrs, and can manufacture every 12 hours about 24 bbls. of flour; and making the number of barrels per year 7000.
To this mill there is attached an extensive plough manufactory, also carried on by Mr. George Evans; where patent, half-patent, hill-side, premium, and common ploughs of all sizes, of the most excellent workmanship, are made.
Allegheny Steam MillSituate near the Allegheny river, on Irwin's alley; owned by Mr. John Herron.
Allegheny Steam Saw-Mill.Also owned by Mr. John Herron. It is capable of running either one or two saws; one, however, is constantly cutting, and will turn out from 2000 to 2500 feet of boards, per 12 hours; making about 600,000 feet per annum. Boards are worth 6 dollars per 1000.
Eagle Steam MillOn the Monongahela river, at the mouth of Suke's run; conducted by Mr. Henderson.
There is attached to this establishment, an extensive nail factory, which in the department devoted to naileries, was overlooked. There is one ton of nails manufactured per day; making yearly, 600,000 pounds: valued at 36,000 dollars--7 machines in operation.
Birmingham Steam MillCarried on by Sutton and Nicholson. 45 hands employed; and the value of their products, annually, is about 72,000 dollars. Pittsburg also owns a linen and bagging factory.118
Brass, Tin and Copper.There are in Pittsburg, four brass founderies, where are made all kinds of articles in that line. One or two of them, however, are kept almost constatnly employed in casting the necessary brass-work for steam machinery. 11 hands are employed.
In the tinning business there are 11 separate establishments, which employ about 65 hands, and manufacture about 44000 dollars worth of the ware per year.
There are also in the city 6 copper smith shops engaged in the manufacture of stills, kettles, pipes, &c. &c. 25 hands are employed--value of manufactures, 14,400 dollars.
Smitheries.Black-smiths.--Within the limits of the corporation there are 24 black-smith shops, which employ 115 persons. The whole value of the work done, per annum, is 47,000 dollars.
White-smiths.--There are, also, six white smith shops, devoted to the finer branches of iron-work. Among these are the scale-beam and balance manufactories of Thomas Hazelton and Hugh Hazelton, (separate concerns,) said to produce some of the finest specimens, perhaps ever made in our country.
Birmingham Lock ManufactoryOf J. and J. Patterson, jr. where are manufactured, knob, rim, fine plate and Banbury stock-locks, from 6 to 12 inches, latches and bolts. These articles are equal to any imported. 11 hands are employed, and about 1100 dozen of the articles manufactured annually--value 4950 dollars.
Mr. Tustin, at Soho, has an extensive white smith shop. The whole number of hands employed is 45, and the value of work produced in all, 23,000 dollars.119Gun-smiths.--Of these there are four. They employ 10 hands, and manufacture rifles generally, with or without percussion locks, said to be useful.
Silver-smiths.--There are 8 silver-smiths. 13 hands are employed in all, and the value of manufactures about 12,500 dollars.
Leather.There are in Pittsburg and suburbs 9 tanneries, owned by the following gentlemen: Messrs. Hays, Caldwell, Peters, Thompson, Brown, McCaddon, Bayard, Sample, and McIlhenny. 52 hands are employed, and 65,000 dollars worth of leather made per annum.
Saddleries.--Of these there are three, viz: Mr. Little, Messrs. Hanson & Brice, and Messrs. Plummer & Co. In all the establishments 104 hands are employed, and the annual value of their manufactures is about $85,000.
Shoe and Boot Makers.--In this branch of business Pittsburg is very extensively engaged. There are 45 shoe and boot makers, who employ 225 hands, and manufacture annually 95,000 dollars' worth of shoes and boots. The value of shoes vended by merchants, and at the shoe stores in no way connected with their manufacture, is about 35,000 dollars per annum.
Wood.Chair Makers.--Of these there are 8, whose products are of the most elegant kind--their ornamenting, particularly, being very creditable. 40 hands are employed, and the value of work done per annum, about $14,000.
Cabinet Makers.--There are 14 cabinet makers in the city, who employ 655 hands, and make about 45,000 dollars worth per annum. Sending to the east for cabinet furniture, as has been done, is absurd as well as ungenerous. The work is equal to any in Philadelphia or elsewhere.
* No use of coaches to ride on the water.Return to Text.
120hands employed--value of work 10,000 dollars annually.
Wagon and Plough Makers.--There are 7: employ 35 hands, and manufacture per year to the amount of 12,000 dollars.
Wheel Wrights.--Of these there are but 2, who make spinning-wheels, hatter's-blocks, &c. &c. Employ 7 hands--value of work 3000 dollars per annum.
Carpenters.--There are now upwards of 360.
Potteries.There are 3; 1 in the city and 2 in the suburbs. The first is Mr. F. Freeman's, who manufactures, besides earthen-ware, a considerable quantity of stone-ware and fire-bricks: employs 4 hands--value of ware, &c. made per year, about 2000 dollars.
Birmingham Pottery.--Owned by Mr. James Barr: employs 8 hands.
Allegheny Pottery.--Conducted by Mr. Heckesweller: employs 2 hands, and manufactures about 1200 dollars worth of ware annually.
Rope Walk.Mr. John Irwin of Allegheny town, has an extensive rope factory, where cordage of all kinds, from the smallest wrapping twine to the largest ship cables are made. 14 hands are employed, and 15,000 dollars worth made annually.
White Lead.There are three establishments in the city which manufacture this article.
* It is infinitely greater at this time.Return to Text.
Avery & Co.'s White Lead Factory.In Penn, between Hand and Wayne streets; was established some years since by James S. Stevenson; and manufactures about 3000 kegs per annum.
Brackenridge & Porter's White Lead FactoryNear the corner of Sixth and Liberty streets, makes 2400 kegs a year.
Brunot's White Lead Factory.Manufactures 1200 kegs per annum.
The whole number of kegs made, annually, is 6,600: wholsale [sic] price is 3 dollars 50 cents per keg. Making the total value of white lead made per annum, $23,000.
Distilleries and Breweries.There are four distilleries in the city; two of which are principally employed in rectifying.
Mr. George Sutton is the manufacturer of the celebrated Tuscaloosa, which has been drank from Maine to Georgia.
Breweries.--Of these establishments there are 3. The oldest and most extensive is the Point Brewery, conducted by Mr. Shiras. Manufactured last year, (1826,) 2500 barrels of porter and 1500 barrels of beer--value 17,000 dollars.
Pittsburg Brewery, makes 2000 barrels of porter and 1200 barrels of beer--value 13,600 dollars. Owned by Messrs. Brown and Varnex, Liberty street.
Kensington Brewery.--Conducted by Messrs. Collart & Silvey. Manufactures about 600 barrels of porter and ale, and 1500 barrels of beer--value 7,500 dollars.122
Tobacco.In the manufacture of this article there are 11 establishments; which produce annually about 4,833 kegs of tobacco, and about 4,000,000 of segars. 140 hands are employed--value of manufactures, 53,000 dollars.
Wire Weaving.There are two establishments engaged in the manufacture of sieves, fenders, &c. and the weaving of wire. At one of these, (Mr. Townsend's,) wheat fans are made in a very superior manner. Six hands are employed in all, and 10,000 dollars' worth of work made annually.
Salt.It is not an astonishing fact, that notwithstanding the numerous salinous indications that for many years were known to exist about Pittsburg, no one, until within a year or two past, ever made an attempt to obtain salt water by boring.
Mr. George Anshutz, at the mouth of Saw-mill run, on the Ohio, one mile below the point, succeeded in obtaining water of an excellent quality, at between 1 and 2 hundred feet. This water is raised by a small steam engine, and emptied into two large pans, which are kept constantly boiling, together with several refining kettles. 50 bushels of salt are made per day, amounting yearly, to about 4000 barrels--valued at 5000 dollars.
Mr. Boyle Irwin, at the mouth of Nine-mile run, on the Monongahela, has also a well of very strong water; has one pan in operation, and makes 25 bushles per day.
Mr. McDonald, on Chartier's creek, on the Steubenville road, has one well, and makes 25 bushels per day.
Mr. Thomas Neel, on the Monongahela, above the mouth of Turtle creek, has tolerable good water.
Mr. William C. Miller is now boring on the north side of the Allegheny, two miles above Pittburg.123These establishments give employment to at least 500 persons, and support, including managers, coopers, black-smiths, colliers, boilers, &c. and their families, from 10 to 1200 souls.
Miscellaneous Manufactories, &c.Besides the manufactories heretofore noted, there are the following: 1 sickle maker, 3 brush makers, 7 hatters, 2 dyers, 11 painters and glaziers, 11 plasterers, 12 coopers, 44 tailors, 8 bakers, 4 confectioners, 1 organ maker, 1 button maker, 2 saddle-tree makers and platers, 2 chemists, 5 chandlers, 1 comb maker, 2 reed makers, 4 turners in wood, 2 sash makers, 1 rigger, 2 bellows makers, 3 pattern makers, 2 cutlers, and 1 tackle-block maker. Among the whole of these, 310 hands are employed, and the value of their work, per annum, is valued at 135,000 dollars.
Japanning.--Mr. Whitehouse, in Kensington, carries on the japanning business, and has exhibited some very handsome specimens of his art on iron, tin, copper and wood. He also manufactures tea and bread trays of machee paper, some of which are very beautiful, and well deserving of public attention.
New Cotton Manufactory.--We omitted, under the head of "Cotton," to state that Mr. Robinson, an English gentleman, will shortly commence the erection of a cotton manufactory on the west side of the Allegheny, immediately below the bridge.
Total amount of imports, 2,119,000
Total amoung of exports, 2,781,276
Arsenal.The United States's Arsenal is a perfect den of swindlers, and wants a good overhauling. I saw but one
* Amount in 1826. It has increased one-third since.Return to Text.
124man, Captain Butler, who deserves to be mentioned. The man who overlooked the workmen ran away as my carriage drove up. One-half of the workmen were absent; and a horse turning a machine for one hand only, which was intended to employ several gun smiths. So goes Uncle Sam's money. The whole of this place ought to be broken up--it is a perfect cheat.
There is a city for you, without a parallel in manufactures, in proportion to the inhabitants perhaps in the world.
I did not visit Birmingham, though I saw it. It being just over the river.
In my haste through the establishments, I omitted the cutting, engraving, &c. of the glass. Bakewell's being the principal, we shall only notice the process in his establishment.
His glassworks, occupy three immensely large buildings, one where the blowing is performed, one used as a ware-house, in which the glass is put when finished, and one where the cutting is performed. The cutting is done as usual, first iron and sand, then with wood and a brush to polish it.
The engraving is very neatly done, indeed, surpassing any I have seen in the country. This is done by means of a turning lathe, and a great number of small copper wheels are used, some of these wheels, are so small as scarcely to be perceived by the naked eye--a hole being in the centre of the wheel, a small spindle to fit it, being placed in the lathe, the spindle is thrust through the wheel, and after being rubbed with oil and emery, the engraver applies his foot to the step of the lathe, and the glass to the copper wheel--when he has finished one figure or point of the engraving, he takes off the wheel and puts on another, perhaps twenty before he is finished.
The machinery of these lathes is very costly on account of their exactness--some cost as high as fifty dollars. The ware is also very high, $5 per tumbler.
The patterns are mostly obtained from Europe, and the patterns executed while I was in, for beauty and taste was exquisite, particularly a grey-hound; it was lying down
125with its head erect, as though it were looking earnestly at something, and though it was not an inch in length, it was perfect and entire, the ears, nose, and eyes were life itself.
They have introduced a new fashion of stamping figures on the glass while it is warm, also moulding glass, which is done neatly in the same way metal is cast. I only visited Bakewell's and Robertson's-Mr. Robertson pursues the same way, and also engraves. He had some very handsome specimens of purple glass, and seems to vie with Bakewell & Co. in industry and skill in manufactory of white flint. But the quantity, variety, beauty and brilliance of the endless piles of glass at Bakewell's is the greatest show I ever saw. Every thing made of glass is found here--and I would say the patterns and clearness of the pieces, is equal if not superior to the Boston glass. It cannot be exceeded--one of the men who worked formerly at the Cambridge glass house, informed me it was much superior in transparency and smoothness, but they did not make the pieces as thick as at Boston to bear deeper cutting--herein, he said, the Boston glass excelled. It is impossible, however, to decide without comparing them both together--and the highest praise is alike due to both, and to say the least both are an honor to our country.
I saw but few of the proprietors of those numerous manufactories, viz. Messrs. McClurg, Freeman and Miller, one of the Bakewell's. Mr. Gallagher, of one of the brass foundries, and the Messrs. Pattersons, copper foundries, two tinners, Adams of the Phoenix Cotton factory, and H. Holdship, Esq. one of the most enterprising and wealthy men in Pittsburg, and amongst the most worthy of her citizens. Besides his extensive paper manufactory, already noticed in Pittsburg, he has a large book-store and painting and printing manufactory, where paper is painted for rooms, windows, &c. This establishment is very profitable and furnishes a great extent of country. But Mr. Holdship's Clinton paper mill, (of which I shall speak hereafter,) at Stubenville, is said to be the best as well as the most extensive in the United States. He is
126said to be immensely rich, and equalled in industry and application to business. This gentleman, an honor to his country, is from Ireland, though long a resident of the U. States. I certainly shall remember Mr. Holdship's kindness and hospitality, to my latest hour. Hearing I had (without knowing him from any other man,) visited his paper mill in Pittsburg, he very politely called on me, and his carriage and driver was at my service, during my visit to Pittsburg. This mark of respect, however, was general, as he makes it his peculiar care to attend to all strangers alike, and seems, if we except the Mayor and Mr. Echbaum, [sic] the only gentleman in Pittsburg; aware of this very acceptable point of ettiquet [sic] to a stranger. Beloved and admired for his amiable manner, may he long be the pride of Pittsburg.
Not wishing to break in upon the manufactories; I now advert to the beautiful seat of Hon. James S. Stevenson, member of congress, on the bank of the smooth flowing Allegheny--this is the most delightful spot in Pittsburg or its vicinity. His house stands on an even plain at the extremity of the city, back from the street, upon a smooth lawn. I was on my way to the Phoenix factory, and being struck with the singular beauty of the situation, I turned into the gate, I knocked at the door, which was opened by a very genteel servant, who very politely invited me to walk in and be seated.
I soon learned from him the name of the proprietor, who was then absent at Washington city attending to his duties, or at least on his way thither. Mr. S. being a single man, there was no one about the house but servants. Seeing I was attracted by the interior, particularly the paintings, the servant with all the politeness of a courtier, took me through the house, the whole being furnished with much taste and elegance. I merely suppose the master must be a gentleman from the deportment of his servant, there being no better criterion to judge a man than the quality of his servants.* A man who has any res-
* I had the pleasure of seeing Hon. J. Stevenson since at Washington city, and found my surprise confirmed by the elegance of his manners, and his gentleman-like deportment, and though a batchelor, is quite a young man.Return to Text.
127pect for himself will not have an insolent servant about his house. The hand of taste was also visible in the decoration of his gardens and lawns--nothing could equal the beauty of the trees which shaded the mansion.
I mentioned the circumstances upon my return and applauded Mr. S. for choosing to live a batchelor, "as the women are so much in love with the priests, tracts, and missionaries now-a-days, that they are unworthy of any man of taste or merit." "Oh," said the ladies who were present, "it is really a shame for Mr. S. so well fixed as he is, to live single, it really is a shame." Good, let them take warning and not run after the black-coats. I must say, I give Mr. S. credit for his good taste and wise resolution; it does him much honor, and hope that every one of those missionary madams may die old maids.
Who would have such females but a missionary, and even a missionary would not.
From the same reason, I omitted to notice the view from the Phoenix Cotton factory. There are two large buildings occupied by the factory, one of these is a most splendid building, is adorned by a lofty cupola, from the top of which you have a grand view of the beautiful Allegheny, the surrounding hills, and the adjacent villages, are all seen at once. Every variety of smooth streams, wild woods, steep precipices, and fairy mountains--one of the most splendid displays of scenery to be met with.
Mr. Adams, the only proprietor I saw of the factory, appears to be a very amiable and interesting man.
The Rolling mill of Dr. Shoenberger, already mentioned stands near the Phoenix factory, and though I had not the pleasure of seeing the Dr. I found his manager, Mr. Blake, a very gentlemanly man and very communicative.
On this tour I also met with Mr. David Agnew, a very pleasant and quite young, with an oval face, open gay countenance and fair complexion.
I ought to have noticed the White Lead manufactory of Hon. J. Stevenson--I was told they would not suffer any one to enter the enclosure where it is made, but found no difficulty whatever, the men very readily admitted
128me, but the process is so complicated, that I could not understand sufficiently to give an accurate description; and the principal process is kept a secret. Mr. Stevenson has also, recently established a manufactory fabricated of iron, and said to be very important, conducted by an Englishman. My curiosity being awakened, from being told strangers were not admitted, that I made the attempt on my way to Dr. S's rolling mill. But my efforts were fruitless. I found the building just out of the hands of carpenters, the door was opened by a very stupid boy, and found myself in a pent up narrow passage, which encircled another litteral house, inside of the other, I was met at the door by the mysterious mechanic, who saluted rather friendly, but with an air of great mystery and to come to the point, is the greatest fool in Pittsburg, to be a wise man. The poor ignoramus asked me, (or would have done so, had I tarried long enough,) an hundred questions, as it was, he only asked me about ninety-nine; and were I to judge, exclusively of his necromancy, which doubtless he professes, I should think we had as wise men on this side of the water; and what effectually set me against him, was his gross bigotry. He set in for a two hour siege, at least, to convince me that every body did not think alike on christianity, that the sun shone on fair days, and such like sage remarks. I soon discovered his weak side; but he was strong enough to keep me from seeing any part of the machinery of the mighty mystery, which seemed to be enclosed in this house within a house, and now I think of it--it would be well enough to make search there for Morgan; one to ten, these wily Free Masons, have hugger muggered him in there, and clapped this Mr. Moonshine to watch him. I would advise my Anti-Mason friends to search there for I can assure them there is something in the wind, or this house would not have arose in the night.
Perhaps Hon. S. has some distressed damsel confined there; at all events, I think it would be well enough to have the matter investigated; we will have no secrets or secret holes and concerns in our country, particularly under the control of foreigners, and for ought I know, for-
129eign courts. If I had had time, I should have had this son of wisdom arrested and sent back to whence he came, to try him as a socerer, [sic] conjurer, wizzard, [sic] &c. &c. and have turned out the fair damsel, should there have been one confined there.
Though not in the course of time, while speaking of Pittsburg, I have to notice the polite attention of two gentlemen of the city, who not having done so before, called on me after I returned from an excursion to Steubenville, Ohio, and Wheeling, Va. I mean Dr. S. R. Holms and S. Merrit, Esq. These gentlemen, on the evening preceding my departure from Pittsburg, upon my return to Washington, hearing I was about to leave the city finally, called on me at Mr. Ramsay's tavern where I put up, and though the last to pay their respects, were not the least interesting gentlemen in Pittsburg--with warm hearts and the manner of gentlemen, each rank high in their respective professions, and appear to be worthy the patronage of all good men. May they go on and prosper.
I was also much gratified to meet with Mr. John S. Riddle, with whom I had the pleasure of travelling, some time back, in New York, when making the fashionable tour; he was accompanied by two handsome young ladies. I did not see the young ladies, and upon enquiry, regret to hear they are still single--a great want of taste in the young gentlemen, as they were quite interesting females. Mr. R. is a gentleman (a commission merchant in Pittsburg,) of much elegance both in person and manners.
Western Penitentiary.Before adverting to the history of Pittsburg, I notice the Penitentiary--superior to any building (as to architecture and convenience,) of the sort in the United States. It is in the town of Allegheny, which is just over the Allegheny river, in sight and occupies a rising ground, which overlooks Pittsburg and its noble rivers, with an extensive view of the surrounding country. This building is of dark free stone, in the form of a hexagon, with four lofty towers, exclusive of which the building is three sto-
130ries high besides the basement; it covers three acres of ground, is one hundred and fifty feet front, thirty-one feet back, whole length of the wall, including the front building twelve hundred feet in extent, and contains 190 cells, 8 by 6 feet, and 8 in height. It cost $185000, and is beyond question, the finest piece of masonry in the United States. Every part of the interior is like a palace, the cells were very neat, though I think without fire. A beautiful fountain flows in the yard, which is handsomely ornamented with parterres and gravel walks.--There were only forty prisoners, two of whom were black women. The sub-keeper Mr. Cockran, only was present, and very politely attended me round the building.
And who would you suppose is head keeper over those unfortunates, who, let their crimes be what they may, are still men, no more nor less than a highly charged blue-stocking, and his wife the same; he was not there, though he receives a high salary for his services; doubtless he was scattering tracts, and scattering poverty and slavery through the country. I have no patience with what is called the English population of Pennsylvania. The greatest dupes in the world, to put these black coats in a place of all others, that require humanity; I would much rather appoint a he and she tyger, as they would put an end to the woes of these unfortunate men at once. The savage monsters who never breathed a warm breath of humanity, look at their savage countenance; are they fit to be trusted with power over human beings? This barbarous female, I saw there, had the most ferocious aspect of the missionary tribe; how they served me, ought to open the people's eyes: and at this moment they are forging and propagating all manner of falsehood slander against me, see the papers, the gospel papers, the vipers, is that religion? It is hoped the honest humane Germans next legislature will banish these wolves from a place that ought ever to be under the super-intendence of humanity. Let them put in a good honest German, who treats every thing that has life, with generous and kind usage, extends plenty and mildness to the whole brute creation; these are the men to place in your prisons and poor houses.
131You need never be afraid they will run after tracts or starve the prisoners.
History.The history of Pittsburg is distinguished by some of the most important events connected with the history of our country.
It will be recollected that from the time North America was discovered by Sebastian Cabot, until the visit of Americus Vespucius, it was called Newfoundland. It then took the name of America, until Sir Walter Raleigh, planted a colony on the Virginia shore, when the whole country took the name of Virginia.
From this period until the end of Braddock's war in 1763, the French were either in possession or actually laid claim to all that extent of country from Hudson bay on the north, to the gulf of Mexico on the south!! This war, however, stript them of all Canada! great part of Louisiana, and the place now called Pittsburg. The first settlement of Pittsburg was about the year 1753 by the French, who built a fort there and called it Fort Du Quesne, which they held for five years.
At the end of this time, Gen. Forbes, the hero of Bloody Run, [sic] was sent by the English to destroy it. The general not thinking it necessary to march his whole army against so small a place, sent the famous Col. Grant with 800 Scotch Highlanders to destroy it.
The colonel arrived with his men one evening upon the top of the hill which bears his name, fully determined to take possession of the fort the next morning.
In the meantime, he ordered the reveille, a poor evidence of his colonelship in a savage warfare, the consequence was what might be expected, the French and Indians being acquainted with the ground, issued from the fort and ascending the hills in his rear, fell upon him suddenly, and killed the most of his men, and took him prisoner. Gen. Forbes hearing the fate of Col. G. hastened to the spot, but found the fort abandoned. He took possession of it and built another fort of more strength, and
132called it Fort Pitt, in honor of Pitt, Earl of Chatham. At length it took the name of Pittsburg.
I recollect well when it went by the name of Fort Pitt.
Shortly after the British took possession of the place the Indian traders built a row of houses on the bank of the Allegheny; but being too near the margin, they were undermined by the river in time, and fell in, and no vestage [sic] of them remains. There are still, however, to be seen the remains of a magazine in Pittsburg, which with the fort, are said to have cost the British government 60,000 pounds sterling. There are also remains of the fort, both of which were built, (says the historian,) by Lord Stanwin. [sic]
About the year of 1760, a small town was built near Fort Pitt, which was peopled by about two hundred souls, but the Indian war breaking out in 1763, the inhabitants were compelled to fly to the fort, where they were blockaded by the Indians, and must have perished, had they not been relieved by Col. Bouquet and Capt. Barret.
The settlement, however, waged a long and fierce war with the Indians after this, and suffered many privations.
Finally, Fort Pitt became a manor of the Penn family, and Pittsburg was laid out into a town. It improved slowly, however, until the year 1793, since which it has increased in wealth, commerce and manufactures, almost beyond a parallel, and is said to have been, some years back, the seat of much taste, learning and talent. But since the reign of terror, or Presbyterian tyranny rather, every thing learned, dignified, or manly, has fallen before those all-devouring monsters! It was to be so! This will open the eyes of the people and teach them hereafter to be garded [sic] against priests of all sorts. It will teach them what they ought to have learned from history, that the clergy have always been foes to liberty; as to the tenets or piety of any of them, I neither meddle with nor care for. I would trust none of them with power--since I have been writing this article, I have heard the pleasing news that my favorite state, and not only my favorite state, (Pennsylvania,) but my favorite county of Lancaster, has begun the glorious work of putting those enemies of man-
133kind down. They are precisely pursuing the measures I have for sometime suggested to the public, that of holding meetings and entering into resolutions to discountenance and discard those wolves in sheep's clothing from society. The measure is highly honorable to this noble state, firm, steady, and united, she will soon succeed in forcing them to become honest men or quit the country. Pennsylvania will receive the applause of succeeding ages for the manly ground she has taken in defence of our civil and religious liberty, which is truly and really in danger from those hypocrits, as it once was under the British government, which I would by a long way prefer to a religious government. Little doubt but the noble example of Pennsylvania, will be followed by other states. I see the resolutions of Lancaster and Berks, are spreading over the whole country. Glory to the independent Germans, these are the ignorant Dutch--did I not say they were the glory and strength of Pennsylvania? Success to them, but it is to their legislature they must look, and use all means to keep those enemies out of their state counsels. Their safety lies in making judicious elections--those abominable deceivers have been inadvertently suffered to creep into their legislatures, by which means they have got hold of all the seminaries of learning in the state, excepting the Bethlehem schools, by which means learning is annihilated in the Pa. I cannot blame the people for what has been done, as these wolves in disguise would have deceived Solomon. But now they have pulled off the mask, let them be banished from every seminary. I feel proud of the Germans for their manly independence--and they will find a mass of information I deposited in the hands of the school committee, of their legislature last winter, that they cannot alter their system of education too soon; let them establish high schools, or some uniform system of law, and exclude them from the clergy.
I would, while on this subject, guard my country from another enemy in disguise, a North Carolina paper says, "Let us drop those parts in our declaration of independence which only tend to hurt the feelings of our friends
134over the water," or words to the same amount. This man, be him who he may, is a traitor to his country, doubtless an Englishman. The words he alludes to, can offend no honest Briton, though it may tend to throw us off our guard against those spies that overrun our country, smugglers and book merchants. These it may offend, and our domestic traitors, but no friend to our laws and liberty, can take offence at one syllable in the declaration--no one respects an honest foreigner more than I do, an English gentleman particularly, nor is it those who make the request, they have too much honor to do so. I hope my countrymen, however, will guard against all her enemies, whether foreign or domestic.
I had not intended to extend my travels west, farther than Pittsburgh, but my Carlisle letter had made such a noise throughout the state, and revived the hopes of the few friends of liberty in Pittsburg, that they finding I struck terror into those blue-stockings, they pursuaded me to go and blow up the colleges of Cannonsburg and Washington.
The descriptions they gave me of the clerical tyranny of those places, was terrifying, but for the sake of doing good, I undertook the visit, and wishing to recover a M. S. which had been lost for five years, (letters from Alabama,) which I understood was at Steubenville, Ohio, and wishing also to see Wheeling, all in a circle, but above all this, I longed once more to feast my eyes with the beautiful Ohio. I took my passage in a steamboat to Steubenville, only a few hours sail, by which means my journey by land would be much shortened in my intended visit to Washington, Pa. and Cannonsburg.
Accordingly, accompanied by Mr. Holdship, his daughter, and a few others, I took a temporary leave of Pittsburg, and set sail, nothing fearing the mighty Cannon of Cannonsburg.
The name of the boat, the Reindeer, Capt. Bennet, I shall ever remember Capt. Bennet.
Having spent my early days in wilds untrod by polished man, as he would call himself. I have often wondered why I should (since mixing with the world,) be so dif-
135ferently received by people of the same country, same town, nay the same family, if co-partners on a boat be one, now I am still but one and the same person, and they being more than one, the cause must lie between them to a certainty, for, did the cause lie with myself, (which I by no means wish to deny,) the conduct of these people towards me would be alike, thus I always reason with myself, and infer that these civilized men, are not all civilized--on the contrary, those who lay claim to the most, have the least of it and are a long way behind the savages in politeness and common civility. For example, here are two men, co-owners of the Reindeer, one the most interesting of his sex, I mean Capt. Bennet, and the other a perfect wild beast, his looks made me shudder; if I recollect his name was Crosby, a tall, gaunt, black gloomy, whose face never wore smile, and whose countenance was vengeance, a blue stocking you are sure. I chided, (pointing to gloomy,) Capt. Bennet for uniting "with that man."
Transcription of this material is thanks to E. H.