American Adventures - A Second Trip
334 Pages
English
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American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home'

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334 Pages
English

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of American Adventures, by Julian Street This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: American Adventures A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' Author: Julian Street Illustrator: Wallace Morgan Release Date: May 3, 2006 [EBook #18304] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AMERICAN ADVENTURES *** Produced by Susan Skinner and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net Charleston is the last stronghold of a unified American upper class; the last remaining American city in which Madeira and Port and noblesse oblige are fully and widely understood, and are employed according to the best traditions AMERICAN ADVENTURES A SECOND TRIP "ABROAD AT HOME" BY JULIAN STREET WITH PICTORIAL SIDELIGHTS BY WALLACE MORGAN NEW YORK THE CENTURY CO. 1917 Copyright, 1917, by THE C ENTURY C O . Copyright, 1916, 1917, by P. F. C OLLIER & SON, INC. Published, November, 1917 TO MY AUNT AND SECOND MOTHER JULIA ROSS LOW FOREWORD Though much has been written of the South, it seems to me that this part of our country is less understood than any other part. Certainly the South, itself, feels that this is true. Its relationship to the North makes me think of nothing so much as that of a pretty, sensitive wife, to a big, strong, amiable, if somewhat thickskinned husband. These two had one great quarrel which nearly resulted in divorce. He thought her headstrong; she thought him overbearing. The quarrel made her ill; she has been for some time recovering. But though they have settled their difficulties and are living again in amity together, and though he, man-like, has half forgotten that they ever quarreled at all, now that peace reigns in the house again, she has not forgotten. There still lingers in her mind the feeling that he never really understood her, that he never understood her problems and her struggles, and that he never will. And it seems to me further that, as is usually the case with wives who consider themselves misunderstood, the fault is partly, but by no means altogether, hers. He, upon one hand, is inclined to pass the matter off with a: "There, there! It's all over now. Just be good and forget it!" while she, in the depths of her heart, retains a little bit of wistfulness, a little wounded feeling, which causes her to say to herself: "Thank God our home was not broken up, but—I wish that he could be a little more considerate, sometimes, in view of all that I have suffered." For my part, I am the humble but devoted friend of the family. Having known him first, having been from boyhood his companion, I may perhaps have sympathized with him in the beginning. But since I have come to know her, too, that is no longer so. And I do think I know her—proud, sensitive, high-strung, generous, captivating beauty that she is! Moreover, after the fashion of many another "friend of the family," I have fallen in love with her. Loving her from afar, I send her as a nosegay these chapters gathered in her own gardens. If some of the flowers are of a kind for which she does not care, if some have thorns, even if some are only weeds, I pray her to remember that from what was growing in [Pg vii] [Pg viii] her gardens I was forced to make my choice, and to believe that, whatever the defects of my bouquet, it is meant to be a bunch of roses. J. S. October 1, 1917. The Author makes his grateful acknowledgments to the old friends and the new ones who assisted him upon this journey. And once more he desires to express his gratitude to the friend and fellowtraveler whose illustrations are far from being his only contribution to this volume. —J. S. New York, October, 1917. CONTENTS THE BORDERLAND CHAPTER I ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES II A BALTIMORE EVENING III WHERE THE CLIMATES MEET IV TRIUMPHANT DEFEAT V TERRAPIN AND THINGS VI DOUGHOREGAN MANOR AND THE CARROLLS VII A RARE OLD TOWN VIII WE MEET THE HAMPTON GHOST IX ARE WE STANDARDIZED? X HARPER'S FERRY AND JOHN BROWN XI THE VIRGINIAS AND THE WASHINGTONS XII I RIDE A HORSE XIII INTO THE OLD DOMINION XIV CHARLOTTESVILLE AND MONTICELLO XV THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA XVI FOX-HUNTING IN VIRGINIA XVII "A CERTAIN PARTY" XVIII THE LEGACY OF HATE XIX "YOU-ALL" AND OTHER SECTIONAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS PAGE 3 13 27 38 44 53 69 80 89 97 105 117 136 150 159 169 186 193 203 214 XX IDIOMS AND ARISTOCRACY XXI THE CONFEDERATE CAPITAL XXII RANDOM RICHMOND NOTES XXIII JEDGE CRUTCHFIELD'S COT XXIV NORFOLK AND ITS NEIGHBORHOOD XXV COLONEL TAYLOR AND GENERAL LEE 222 233 242 248 258 THE HEART OF THE SOUTH XXVI RALEIGH AND JOSEPHUS DANIELS XXVII ITEMS FROM "THE OLD NORTH STATE" XXVIII UNDER ST. MICHAEL'S CHIMES XXIX HISTORY AND ARISTOCRACY XXX POLITICS, A NEWSPAPER AND ST. CECILIA XXXI "GULLA" AND THE BACK COUNTRY XXXII OUT OF THE PAST XXXIII ALIVE ATLANTA XXXIV GEORGIA JOURNALISM XXXV SOME ATLANTA INSTITUTIONS XXXVI A BIT OF RURAL GEORGIA XXXVII A YOUNG METROPOLIS XXXVIII BUSY BIRMINGHAM XXXIX AN ALLEGORY OF ACHIEVEMENT XL THE ROAD TO ARCADY XLI A MISSISSIPPI TOWN XLII OLD TALES AND A NEW GAME XLIII OUT OF THE LONG AGO XLIV THE GIRL HE LEFT BEHIND HIM XLV VICKSBURG OLD AND NEW XLVI SHREDS AND PATCHES XLVII THE BAFFLING MISSISSIPPI XLVIII OLD RIVER DAYS XLIX WHAT MEMPHIS HAS ENDURED L MODERN MEMPHIS 273 285 296 312 326 338 349 356 369 384 392 403 417 426 440 447 458 467 474 482 494 500 508 518 535 FARTHEST SOUTH LI BEAUTIFUL SAVANNAH LII MISS "JAX" AND SOME FLORIDA GOSSIP LIII PASSIONATE PALM BEACH LIV ASSORTED AND RESORTED FLORIDA 553 572 579 595 LV A DAY IN MONTGOMERY LVI THE CITY OF THE CREOLE LVII HISTORY, THE CREOLE, AND HIS DUELS LVIII FROM ANTIQUES TO PIRATES LIX ANTOINE'S AND MARDI GRAS LX FINALE 603 619 629 648 663 675 [Pg xiii] LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS [Transcriber's Note: Illustrations were interleaved between pages in the original text. In this version, they have been moved beside the relevant section of the text. Page numbers below reflect the position of the illustration in the original text but links link to current position of illustrations.] FACING PAGE Charleston is the last stronghold of a unified American upper class; the last remaining American city in which Madeira and Port and noblesse oblige are fully and widely understood, and are employed according to the best traditions "Railroad tickets!" said the baggageman with exaggerated patience Can most travellers, I wonder, enjoy as I do a solitary walk, by night, through the mysterious streets of a strange city? Coming out of my slumber with the curious and unpleasant sense of being stared at, I found his eyes fixed upon me Mount Vernon Place is the centre of Baltimore If she is shopping for a dinner party, she may order the costly and aristocratic diamond-back terrapin, sacred in Baltimore as is the Sacred Cod in Boston Doughoregan Manor—the house was a buff-colored brick I began to realize that there was no one coming Harper's Ferry is an entrancing old town; a drowsy place piled up beautifully yet carelessly upon terraced roads clinging to steep hillsides "What's the matter with him?" I asked, stopping When I came down, dressed for riding, my companion was making a drawing; the four young ladies were with him, none of them in riding habits Claymont Court is one of the old Washington houses Chatham, the old Fitzhugh house, now the residence of Mark Sullivan Monticello stands on a lofty hilltop, with vistas, between trees of neighboring valleys, hills, and mountains Frontispiece 8 17 24 32 48 65 80 100 117 124 132 148 157 Like Venice, the University of Virginia should first be seen by moonlight One party was stationed on the top of an old-time mail-coach, bearing the significant initials "F. F. V." The Piedmont Hunt Race Meet The Southern negro is the world's peasant supreme The Country Club of Virginia, out to the west of Richmond Judge Crutchfield Negro women squatting upon boxes in old shadowy lofts stem the tobacco leaves The Judge: "What did he do, Mandy?" Some genuine old-time New York ferryboats help to complete the illusion that Norfolk is New York "The Southern statesman who serves his section best, serves his country best" St. Philip's is the more beautiful for the open space before it Opposite St. Philip's, a perfect example of the rude architecture of an old French village In the doorway and gates of the Smyth house, in Legaré Street, I was struck with a Venetian suggestion Nor is the Charleston background a mere arras of recollection Charleston has a stronger, deeper-rooted city entity than all the cities of the Middle West rolled into one The interior is the oldest looking thing in the United States —Goose Creek Church A reminder of the Chicago River—Atlanta With the whole Metropolitan Orchestra playing dance music all night long The office buildings are city office buildings, and are sufficiently numerous to look very much at home The negro roof-garden, Odd Fellows' Building, Atlanta I was never so conscious, as at the time of our visit to the Burge Plantation, of the superlative soft sweetness of the spring The planters cease their work Birmingham—the thin veil of smoke from far-off iron furnaces softens the city's serrated outlines Birmingham practices unremittingly the pestilential habit of "cutting in" at dances Gigantic movements and mutations, Niagara-like noises, great bursts of flame like falling fragments from the sun A shaggy, unshaven, rawboned man, gray-haired and collarless, sat near the window Gaze upon the character called Daniel Voorhees Pike! 168 180 189 200 216 228 237 244 253 280 300 305 316 320 328 344 353 368 376 385 396 400 408 424 437 444 456 The houses were full of the suggestion of an easy-going home life and an informal hospitality Her hands looked very white and small against his dark coat As water flows down the hills of Vicksburg to the river, so the visitor's thoughts flow down to the great spectacular, mischievous, dominating stream Over the tenement roofs one catches sight of sundry other buildings of a more self-respecting character Vicksburg negroes On some of the boats negro fish-markets are conducted The old Klein house Citizens go at midday to the square Hanging in the air above the middle of the stream These small parks give Savannah the quality which differentiates it from all other American cities The Thomas house, in Franklin Square You will see them having tea, and dancing under the palm fronds of the cocoanut grove Cocktail hour at The Breakers Nowhere is the sand more like a deep warm dust of yellow gold The couples on the platform were "ragging" Harness held together by that especial Providence which watches over negro mending It was a very jolly fair The mysterious old Absinthe House, founded 1799 St. Anthony's Garden Courtyard of the old Orleans Hotel The little lady who sits behind the desk The lights are always lowered at Antoine's when the spectacular Café Boulot Diabolique is served Passing between the brilliantly illuminated buildings, the Mardi Gras parades are glorious sights for children from eight to eighty years of age 465 480 485 492 497 504 512 520 536 556 561 576 581 588 600 613 616 620 632 641 656 664 672 [Pg 1] THE BORDERLAND O magnet-South! O glistening, perfumed South! O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! good and evil! O all dear to me! WALT WHITMAN. [Pg 2] [Pg 3] AMERICAN ADVENTURES CHAPTER I ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES On journeys through the States we start, ... We willing learners of all, teachers of all, lovers of all. We dwell a while in every city and town ... —WALT WHITMAN. Had my companion and I never crossed the continent together, had we never gone "abroad at home," I might have curbed my impatience at the beginning of our second voyage. But from the time we returned from our first journey, after having spent some months in trying, as some one put it, to "discover America," I felt the gnawings of excited appetite. The vast sweep of the country continually suggested to me some great delectable repast: a banquet spread for a hundred million guests; and having discovered myself unable, in the time first allotted, to devour more than part of it—a strip across the table, as it were, stretching from New York on one side to San Francisco on the other—I have hungered impatiently for more. Indeed, to be quite honest, I should like to try to eat it all. Months before our actual departure for the South the day for leaving was appointed; days before we fixed upon our train; hours before I bought my ticket. And then, when my trunks had left the house, when my taxicab was ordered and my faithful battered suitcase stood packed to bulging in the hall, my companion, the Illustrator, telephoned to say that certain drawings he must finish before leaving were not done, that he would be unable to go with me that afternoon, as planned, but must wait until the midnight train. Had the first leap been a long one I should have waited for him, but the distance from New York to the other side of Mason and Dixon's Line is short, and I knew that he would join me on the threshold of the South next morning. Therefore I told him I would leave that afternoon as originally proposed, and gave him, in excuse, every reason I could think of, save the real one: namely, my impatience. I told him that I wished to make the initial trip by day to avoid the discomforts of the sleeping car, that I had engaged hotel accommodations for the night by wire, that friends were coming down to see me off. Nor were these arguments without truth. I believe in telling the truth. The truth is good enough for any one at any time—except, perhaps, when there is a point to be carried, and even then some vestige of it should, if convenient, be preserved. Thus, for example, it is quite true that I prefer the conversation of my fellow travelers, dull though it may be, to the stertorous sounds they make by night; so, too, if I had not telegraphed for rooms, it was merely because I had forgotten to—and that I remedied immediately; while as to the statement that friends were to see me off, that was absolutely and literally accurate. Friends [Pg 4] [Pg 5] had, indeed, signified their purpose to meet me at the station for last farewells, and had, furthermore, remarked upon the very slight show of enthusiasm with which I heard the news. The fact is, I do not like to be seen off. Least of all, do I like to be seen off by those who are dear to me. If the thing must be done, I prefer it to be done by strangers—committees from chambers of commerce and the like, who have no interest in me save the hope that I will live to write agreeably of their city—of the civic center, the fertilizer works, and the charming new abattoir. Seeing me off for the most practical of reasons, such gentlemen are invariably efficient. They provide an equipage, and there have even been times when, in the final hurried moments, they have helped me to jam the last things into my trunks and bags. One of them politely takes my suitcase, another kindly checks my baggage, and all in order that a third, who is usually the secretary of the chamber of commerce, may regale me with inspiring statistics concerning the population of "our city," the seating capacity of the auditorium, the number of banks, the amount of their clearings, and the quantity of belt buckles annually manufactured. When the train is ready we exchange polite expressions of regret at parting: expressions reminiscent of those little speeches which the King of England and the Emperor of Germany used to make at parting in the old days before they found each other out and began dropping high explosives on each other's roofs. Such a committee, feeling no emotion (except perhaps relief) at seeing me depart, may be useful. Not so with friends and loved ones. Useful as they may be in the great crises of life, they are but disturbing elements in the small ones. Those who would die for us seldom check our trunks. By this I do not mean to imply that either of the two delightful creatures who came to the Pennsylvania Terminal to bid me good-by would die for me. That one has lived for me and that both attempt to regulate my conduct is more than enough. Hardly had I alighted from my taxicab, hardly had the redcap seized my suitcase, when, with sweet smiles and a twinkling of daintily shod feet, they came. Fancy their having arrived ahead of me! Fancy their having come like a pair of angels through the rain to see me off! Enough to turn a man's head! It did turn mine; and I noticed that, as they approached, the heads of other men were turning too. Flattered to befuddlement, I greeted them and started with them automatically in the direction of the concourse, forgetting entirely the driver of my taxicab, who, however, took in the situation and set up a great shout—whereat I returned hastily and overpaid him. This accomplished, I rejoined my companions and, with a radiant dark-haired girl at one elbow and a blonde, equally delectable, at the other, moved across the concourse. How gay they were as we strolled along! How amusing were their prophecies of adventures destined to befall me in the South. Small wonder that I took no thought of whither I was going. Presently, having reached the wall at the other side of the great vaulted chamber, we stopped. "Which train, boss?" asked the porter who had meekly followed. Train? I had forgotten about trains. The mention of the subject distracted my attention for the moment from the Loreleien, stirred my drugged sense of duty, [Pg 7] [Pg 6]