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80 BULLETIN OF FRIENDS HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION NOTES ON A TOUR MADE IN 1835 By James Kite T-1HE manuscript of the following account was found among family papers by Caroline W. Smedley. It apparently was intended as a memorandum or journal, rather than as a letter: there is no indication that it was addressed to a particular individual, though occasionally the reflections and philosophizings suggest that someone other than the writer was expected to read them. The author, James Kite (1808-1856), was a furniture maker, youngest son of Benjamin and Rebecca Walton Kite of Philadelphia, and brother of Thomas, Abi, Sarah (who died in infancy), Mary (who died unmarried), John Letchworth, Joseph, Benjamin , Jr, and Nathan. The dates as given are inconsistent. The first date, 6 mo. 5, 1835, would have been on Sixth-day, as James Kite records it ; but after the entry for 6 mo. 11 he gives another 6 mo. 11, presumably writing 11 for 12 ; and the next three dates are apparently wrong. From Fifth-day, 6 mo. 18, to the end the dates are consistent. The itinerary may be briefly given. After the departure from Philadelphia on 6 mo. 5, 1835, arrivals on the dates given are as follows: 5, Bordentown, Amboy ; 6, New York ; 8, Poughkeepsie ; 9, Nine Partners ; 10, Dover Valley, Poughkeepsie, Albany, Schenectady, a boat on the Erie Canal; 11, Little Falls; 12, Utica; 13, Montezuma (near the outlet of Cayuga Lake), Ithaca; 14, Owego, Friendsville ; 16, Montrose (in Susquehanna Co, Pa.) ; 18, Tunkhannock, Wilkesbarre; 19, Northumberland, Harrisburg; 20, Columbia; 22, Philadelphia. The account is interesting as showing modes of travel in 1835, and the somewhat superior attitude of the Pennsylvania Quaker to the ways of doing things in New York; and the comments on travel on the Erie Canal, which had been opened to traffic ten years before, in 1825, constitutes a valuable eye-witness commentary on the functioning of the Canal. ,The spelling has been compared in proof with the original MS, and may be assumed to be approximately as James Kite wrote it. ILEFT Phila with the intention of making a short tour to the North, on 6th day evening, the 5th of the 6th month 1835. My first point of destination was the City of New York, for which place I took passage in the car which carries the mail. The nominal time of starting was 5 oclock, but, with American punctuality, it was 5, plus one in reality. The car in which I travelled was a very comfortable one, furnished with rocking chairs, and drawn with regular speed by a locomotive engine. At 9 oclock we took tea at Bordentown, and Vol. 32, Autumn 1943 NOTES ON A TOUR81 reached Amboy about midnight, from which place, at 2 oclock on the morning of the 6th we embarked in a steam boat; and by 5 oclock I found myself treading the streets of the Great City of New York. I took lodging at the American Hotel in broadway, opposite the park. It was crowded, as, I believe, was the case with every other hotel in the city. The influx of strangers here is immense, indeed I have no doubt that New York has a floating population of at least 20 thousand persons. I spent the remainder of the day in perambulating the crooked streets of this modern babel. I found some handsome open lots, which had heretofore escaped my notice. These I have no doubt are among the very best Physicians New York can boast. 7th First day. This morning I took a walk with a friend of New York through one of their retail streets. I was amazed to find almost every other shop open, and shoes, hats, coats etc. hanging at the doors. I suppose they are closed before noon ; but such a state of things indicates that modern liberalism has made great advances. The malocracy[ ?], who favor these things, are the rulers of New York, so that all nominal laws against them are powerless. After tea this evening, I. W. and myself set out for an evening walk, which we extended to the distance of about 4 miles. We took a course calculated to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 80-86
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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