Updated March 8, 2016
James S. GILLIAM, Esq. was the son of Dr. James S. GILLIAM, Sr., and Mary Feild, his wife. His his obituary states he attended the Petersburg Academy and the College of William and Mary. He also served in the War of 1812 in the 39th Regiment of the Virginia Militia as a Private. He left a Will in Petersburg, dated 1 May 1820, naming his four brothers, and Uncle R. M. GILLIAM. Brother, John, was to receive "Arlington" and one third of Elk Island. The Will was recorded 16 Nov 1820. [Brothers include John, Robert, Theophilus Feild, and Marius. His uncle was Reuben Meriwether GILLIAM. Elk Island was left to his father, Dr. James S. GILLIAM, by the Doctor's mother, Lucy Skelton.]
From the Library of Virginia:
GILLIAM, James Skelton, ca. 1794-1820.
Journal, 1816, of James Skelton GILLIAM (ca. 1794-1820) of Petersburg, Virginia, detailing his trip from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the spas and springs at Ballstown and Saratoga, New York. GILLIAM provides a description of his journey from Philadelphia through New Jersey, including a stop at Princeton, to New York, New York, and his stay in that town. GILLIAM depicts travel aboard steamboats from Philadelphia to New York and up the Hudson River. He describes his journey from New York City to the spas at Saratoga and Ballston and discusses the social life at the springs. He details journeys to Lake George, the Saratoga battlefield, and surrounding countryside. GILLIAM concludes his journal with his return to New York City. GILLIAM mentions many individuals that he meets on his trip including General Winfield Scott (1786-1866), General Edmund Gaines (1777-1849), George Hay (1765-1830), Moses Myers (1753-1835), Travis Harwood, and William F. Wickham (1793-1880). The volume also includes several watercoler drawings and sketches of the countryside that GILLIAM drew, including of the Schuykill River at Philadelphia, Lake George, the Saratoga battlefield, and the "Waterford Beauty."
Overview from the Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine
In the Va. State Library there is a Ms. book containing a Journal, by James Skelton GILLIAM, of Petersburg, Virginia, of a trip to Saratoga in 1816. He was a son of Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM, who married Mary Feild, daughter of Theophilus Feild, of Bristol Parish. He was a grandson of Robert GILLIAM and Lucy Skelton his wife, daughter of James Skelton, of Essex County. His father's will, dated Nov. 13, 1813, was proved Nov. 7, 1814, and names five sons, John, James, who shall "hereafter stile himself James Skelton GILLIAM," Theophilus Feild, Robert and Marius GILLIAM, and four daughters, Ann, Mary, Lucy and Elizabeth. It has been suggested that he was a son of the eldest of the sons—Dr. John GILLIAM who married Jane Shore—but the date of the death of this Dr. James Skelton GILLIAM, who was lost in the U. S. steamer Levant in 1861, appears to show that this could not well be the case. (For GILLIAM pedigree, see Slaughter, A. History of Bristol Parish, Va., and Brock in Richmond Standard, III, 33.) The following notes from this Journal (for what appears can hardly be called an abstract) may not be without some interest. Most of the personal references are included and much of the descriptive matter is omitted. When quotations are employed the narrative is followed literally.
New York, Tuesday, July 2nd, 1816.
The Journal starts with describing the trip from Philadelphia to New York. Unable to obtain sleeping accommodations on the steamboat down the Delaware river. Near Bristol was a most superb edifice and situation said to be in the possession of a widow lady named Manegault. "The ex-king Joseph Bonaparte, I was informed, had offered her a good sum of money for it."
Landed at Bristol, the great place of resort for the fashionable of Philadelphia. Handsome little place, and most of the foreign ministers have summer residences in it. "After breakfasting very rapidly upon most intolerable fare, we all took seats in the Stage. The roads were turnpiked and in most excellent order, and we travelled at the rate of seven miles an hour. The farms on the road appeared to be remarkably well cultivated. Virginia is greatly behind the Northern States in respect of farming."
"About 12 o'clock we reached Princeton." A Mr. Stockton, celebrated for his legal ability and political prejudices, who was one of the company, pointed out the battle ground "where the heroic but unfortunate General Mercer died." Meets at Princeton a former schoolmate, William Rose, son of Alex. Rose of Petersburg. Walked with him to the College, which "has a venerable appearance, is built of rock entirely, which detracts somewhat from its beauty, and is not equal in any respect to William and Mary College in Va."
Continued to travel very rapidly, but the journey became very irksome because of uneven roads. At ten o'clock reached New Brunswick. "Here we had wretched fare for our dinner. I have never yet met with any table to equal those in Virginia. In fact, I never knew the value of that old State till I began to travel.
Everything in that State, I think, is better contrived and conducted than in any State I have visited since I left it, except farming, hut this may be prejudice."
Passed the Raritan on a very common bridge; passed Elizabeth City, "a decent looking place." At the Point two miles further took the steamboat Seahorse for New York. "It (New York) had a most beautiful effect; the numerous and lofty towers and steeples, its beautiful trees, its many fortifications, etc." Landed at the Battery, and went up Broadway. The City Hall at Chatham St. and Broadway "incomparably the most superb and costly in America."
Spends the first night at the Tavern opposite the City Hall, and next day was astonished to find that for one's lodging and breakfast for himself and servant, and one bottle of porter, he had to pay $5.50.
Takes lodging at Mrs. Keesee's on Broadway. Virginia notes 7 per cent below par and hard to negotiate at that!
New York, Wednesday, July 3rd, 1816.
Has a disagreeable time for want of companionship; has many letters of introduction but hates to deliver them. A Broker sells his Virginia notes for 7 l/2 per cent discount. Went to see the play called "Accusation or the Family of D'Anglude." The afterpiece was "plot and counterplot" and "never in my life was I more amused and tickled."
New York, Thursday, July 4, 1816.
This great day was celebrated by bell-ringing and a military procession. About 7 o'clock repaired to the theater. The play was "The Battle of New Orleans," written in New York City for the occasion. Mr. Robertson appeared in the character of Gen. Jackson. He is a man of great theatrical powers. The afterpiece was "Obi, or three-fingered Jack." Returned about twelve. At night grand display of fireworks.
New York, July 5, 1816, Friday.
Took a tour of the city in a hack. Spent the rest of the day in reading some light work, and was greatly entertained with a biography of the famous Paul Jones.
New York, July 6th, 1816, Saturday.
Busy making preparations for Albany. Visited the fort at the Battery. Gen. Wingfield Scott came out to see him. "He is a native of Dinwiddie County and was for a long time an inhabitant of Petersburg. He treated me most politely. His manners are agreeable, notwithstanding the tincture of affectation. Hears from home. Has trouble with his eyes. Takes the steamboat for Albany at Five o'clock.
Albany, July 7, Sunday, 1816.
This evening about 5 o'clock we arrived here in the steamboat Richmond, Capt. Bartholomew. Disagreeable trip. About 70 passengers—"some haughty, most distant, and all strangers." Had to sleep on a settee, and fifty perhaps had to sleep on deck. Passed the Highlands at night to his regret. Now and then some very pretty private dwellings. "Chancellor Livingston and his nephew Livingston have very beautiful situations, as well as houses. The Chan., however I believe is dead." Tired out when he reaches Albany. Some 200 persons at the wharf. Went to Barod's Tavern, and being somewhat sick went off to find an Apothecary to obtain some medicine. Disgusted to find every shop closed on account of "religious bigotry and fanaticism." Pretty good supper, and after it visited the State House. Found it a most ordinary building. Tavern at which he stays so crowded that he has to put up with a room that has no windows.
Saratoga, July 8, 1816.
Arrived here this evening about half past six o'clock, after a disagreeable ride from Albany, "chiefly on account of an hard- going hack, rough roads, indifferent horses and uninteresting country. The distance is about 38 miles." The company was agreeable enough, notwithstanding its being composed of an unhealthy old man from New Jersey, a religious bigot from Bristol in Rhode Island, an inhabitant from Albany, my servant and the driver. We stopped about every seven miles to rest our horses and to allow the Albany man and the old fellow from New Jersey to get a drink of gin. About ¼ after twelve arrived at the river Mohawk, where a bridge is thrown across, a toll-gate kept and a tavern attached.
Here the hack driver insisted on stopping to bate his horses as he expressed it and the two passengers, from Rhode Island and Albany—determined on having dinner; assented to, but unwillingly. "We left this tavern about 2 o'clock, and our dinner would have disgraced the poorest house in the poorest county of Virginia." We paid 50 cents for it. About 4 o'clock reached Ballstown and reached Saratoga at l/2 6 o'clock. I got out at Lewis' Tavern, sufficiently antiguous to the famous Congress Spring. My companions went to the upper village to private lodgings. In a few minutes after arriving here, I went to the Congress Springs and drank four or five tumblers of the water. It is stronger than Ballstown of course, not so agreeable to the taste.
Saratoga, Tuesday, 9th of July, 1816.
I went early this morning and drank the waters of Congress Spring. Four or five glasses appear to be the general quantity of a morning. Our breakfasts here are good enough. Unhealthy and decrepid looking people, but begin to be sociable enough. Mentions an old gentleman, who pleases him very much, and has a fine looking daughter with him. He has travelled a great deal in S. and N. America and Great Britain and appears to have had a most excellent education. An intelligent Quaker farmer from New Jersey. No persons of my own age. Duelling a frequent topic of conversation.
Saratoga, Wednesday, 9th, 1816, July.
Same routine of drinking the water. After dinner, the old gentleman mentioned above requested me and 3 others—strangers—to see with him a piece of timber 100 feet long, ready to be sent to New York. During the visit Dr. B. of Boston or near it, told a story from Sterne, the celebrated author of Tristam Shandy. Saratoga is composed of two villages.
Saratoga, Thursday, 10th, 1816, July.
Perceives no benefit from the waters which he uses freely, morning and evening. Went with his fellow traveller from Albany, Mr. Gladden from Bristol in the State of Rhode Island, to hear a preacher in the long room attached to the Congress Hall Tavern. "A very usual topic of conversation between the gentlemen in the forenoon is the comparative value and importance of the different States in the Union. Most unfortunately I am the only person from the Southern States. Of course, I have a host of Yankees to contend with. Mr. Gladden, of Rhode Island, (who, altho' he lives in the Upper Village, very frequently comes to our Tavern) and Mr. Newbold, the Quaker gentleman from New Jersey, generally take the lead. Mr. Newbold is a vastly agreeable, sensible gentleman, and appears to have acquired the good will and esteem of everybody, the other person has strong prejudices." Invited to hear a preacher of great ability, but "I was so perfectly tired and disgusted by the last night's sermon that I positively determined not to hear another sermon in the Northern States." Not impressed with Northern pulpit ability.
Mr. Newbold is a Quaker of about 53 years of age, tho' young looking for one of that age. In truth, he is a favorite with everybody. He is a truly worthy man. "I have found out that the gentleman who requested me to walk with him to see the long piece of timber is named S. Borden. He is decidedly the beat informed man among us."
Saratoga, July, Friday 11th, 1816.
Discussion over the use of the word "preventative." Some contended there was no such word, and Mr. G. argued that "preventative" was the substantive of the adjective "preventive."
Judge Bacon, of Massachusetts, who was for many years Member of Congress and Comptroller of the Treasury, declared that "prevention" was the substantive. A resort to the dictionaries failed to record "preventative," but Mr. G. argued that, as Dr. Johnson, in the preface to his dictionary, declares that the termination "ative" and "tion" are often used indifferently, the omission did not signify."
Saratoga, July 20th, Saturday, 1816.
Time flies off so rapidly that I am hardly conscious of its existence. On Sunday went to hear a stupid fellow preach, and was never more disgusted in my life. Last evening Mr. Ebenezer Stott from Petersburg arrived here with his wife.
[The Century Dictionary shows that there is such a word as "preventative," but that its use is "irregular and improper."— Editor.]
A ball at Congress Hall Tavern. "Two sett-dances and one cotillion, in all of which Miss Borland was my partner."
Saratoga, July 28th, Friday, 1816.
Time runs off as rapidly as possible. Balls are frequent. Went with a Miss Morriss from Halifax to one. "She is about 30 years of age, very large and homely, tho' quite jovial and conversible. As soon as she came into our house, I made myself acquainted with her, anticipating from her quizzical appearance a good deal of fun. When I went over to the ball room I did not know her name, far less her standing in society, and knowing that she and her sister came up to the tavern together, without the protection of a gentleman, or even a servant, I was surprised to learn that she was the sister of Judge Morriss of Halifax, a man of great learning and respectability. I found also that she was acquainted with the first company from Boston and New York; my politeness to her appeared to incite her partiality for me, and she introduced me to all her acquaintances and friends. It was a great service in this respect."
"Mr. Newbold and myself very frequently take a short ride on horseback. A most pleasant companion for a Quaker—more so than I had ever calculated on meeting with." 350 persons at the Springs. They are going and coming every day. I have become tolerably intimate with a Mr. Hartford from Savannah and Dr. Chisholm from South Carolina. "I believe that more than one- half the company at this place is composed of people from the South. I have witnessed a much less display of pomp and wealth than I had calculated on seeing. The season can hardly be said to have commenced."
Saratoga, July 27th, 1816, Saturday.
Mr. and Mrs. Stott left us. Pleasant excursion, Tuesday before, with Mr. Stott, Mr. Newbold and Mr. Gladden to Ten Springs or Taylor's Springs, about 4 miles from the village. Particular in searching out a number of plants, flowers, etc., for Mrs. Stott, whose remarkable fondness for Botany I had often heard in Petersburg. She was greatly delighted upon my return with the present. Before the Saratoga visit knew Mr. and Mrs. Stott by reputation only.
Meets a Mr. William Hall, Jr., of Vermont. Much pleased with him, rode with him six miles along the road to Lake George. "This evening I learnt to my astonished that the gentleman who took me out in his chair last evening, Mr. William Hall, Jr., was a member of the Hartford Convention. I have laughed heartily to myself at the circumstance. The prejudices of the Southern people have been strong against those gentleman, that I should be anathematized for even speaking to one. I was vastly pleased, however, with the gentleman. He invited me most pressingly to his situation on Connecticut river, and introduced me to another one of the Hartford Convention, a Mr. from Massachusetts, and a Mr. Dwight who was Secretary to the meeting."
July 29th, 1810, Saratoga.
"This morning about 9 o'clock I set off in a two horse hack in conjunction with Mr. Wm. Henry Hartford from Savannah, Ga., a most intimate companion of mine, and a Mr. Watts and Col. Johnson from the same place on an excursion to Lage George." Four other carriages took Miss Livingston, Miss Wilkins, Miss Bogert, Miss Cain, Mr. Nutter, Mr. Gillies, Mr. Kane, etc. Reached Glen Falls at half past 12, a most romantic and picturesque place. Indulged himself in his favorite amusement of drawing. Visited 2 caves. "All of the gentlemen and even the ladies were very anxious to get a sight of a celebrated lady from Waterford about 28 or 30 miles below Saratoga Springs, known generally by the name of the 'Waterford beauty.' She came along with the party, but her face was veiled." Mr. GILLIAM had a good deal of conversation with her at dinner and was disappointed in her looks. "She had a good form and regular features, but nothing that is either interesting or beautiful in her face." He found her illiterate and uneducated. Country sterile and unproductive. Reached Lake George and put up at a neat place called Bellevue, kept by Mr. Carter.
Bellevue House, Lake George, July 30, Tuesday. All the company take row boats and visit the Lake. Limpid water. Diamond Island. One party fished from the sides of the Island, and the other, of which Mr. GILLIAM was one, went to search for diamonds so called, on the southeastern side. "The ladies set themselves to work with sticks, etc., rooting the earth in every direction with as much earnestness and avidity as if they were about to find some of Golconda's precious stones. Throughout the whole of this amusement, I was obliged to act the part of your very humble servant to all the ladies, more especially to the interesting Miss Catherine Livingston, which to be sure I did with little reluctance. Every moment I was engaged in washing in the lake the dirty stones which they found, all of which I was obliged to show again to the ladies after being washed. Whenever one would observe "Oh, how brilliant, beautiful, elegant, splendid, or irradiating" which last was very common, I was to put it away in a small piece of paper which was given me for the purpose. The ardent anxiety which the ladies displayed to find these precious stones was really astonishing. The fair Miss L sat without veil or umbrella in the warm sun, perfectly careless of the effects upon her soft and tender skin, her gloves thrown here and there covered with the particles of earth her assiduous industry had thrown up and her shawl buried positively beneath a heap of rocks. Whenever perhaps she would find a chrystal of tolerable lustre, she would exclaim, 'Oh Mr. G. see how beautiful. Do me the favor to wash it in the lake.' Thus we spent our time for near an hour." Joined the other party and fished. Miss Livingston, for the first time in her life, caught a fish a few minutes after dipping the line.
Returned to Bellevue, and at 3 o'clock dined upon fresh water bass, finishing with a bottle of excellent Madeira.
Saratoga, Wednesday 31st, 1816.
Return trip described. Visits Saratoga village, where Burgoyne laid down his arms. Made sketches.
Saratoga, August 1st, Thursday, 1816.
"In going to the spring this morning, which I always do as soon as the sun rises, I was hailed by George Hay, of Virginia."
August 2nd, 1816, Friday.
This morning George Hay introduced me to Col. Lindsey, of Virginia. He promises to be an agreeable companion. He is certainly a most intelligent man.
Saturday, August 3rd, 1816.
This morning I became acquainted with Mr. Moses Myers and his family, from Norfolk. They are very pleasant people." "I spend my time quite agreeably in the company of the ladies at Congress Hall." Miss Livingston is the belle of the day. She is really very interesting. I went with her and Miss Wilkins to Judge Walton's this evening.
Friday, August 4th, 1816.
Begins to tire of Saratoga. Been here 4 weeks, and if possible worse off in health than when he came.
Monday, August 5, 1816.
"This morning immediately after breakfast, myself, Mr. Myers and Mr. Legare from Charleston, South Carolina, set off for Balls- town in a most excellent hack. Mr. Myers is a man of great experience and observation, Col. Lindsey of great acuteness, genius, convivialty and humour, and Mr. Legare of the most extensive acquirements and elegant literature I have ever seen of his age." After arriving there it was no small gratification to find "my old friends Mr. and Mrs. Stott." Spent the time till dinner in conversation with new acquaintances, and strolling up and down the passage and long room of the Sans Souci. Dinner was his best since he loft Virginia, but "the great want of servants, and my having neglected to carry mine over with me prevented me from enjoying it as I otherwise might have done." After dinner I went into the long room conducted by Mrs. Stott, who most politely introduced me to most of the ladies present. I met and became acquainted with Mr. William Wickham of Richmond, Virginia, and Mr. Leroy of New York, two very pleasant intelligent men.
Saratoga, August 6th, Tuesday, 1816.
Immediately after dinner I strolled up and down the long room at the "Congress Hall" for nearly an hour with Miss Livingston and Miss Wilkina, and about five o'clock drove Col. Lindsay to Saratoga Lake in a double chaise. The Col. and myself are constant companions. He is a man of most enlarged views and excellent heart. He is a favorite with most of the people at the Springs. After dinner I walked over to Congress Hall again and strolled about with Miss Livingston and Miss Wilkins. They are the great belles at this place. They are both very handsome, very agreeable and dance most gracefully."
Saratoga, Wednesday, August 7, 1816.
Visit to Ballstown. Mr. GILLIAM and Dr. Chisholm from South Carolina rode horses. Mr. Smith from Phila. and Mr. Dan Livingston took a chair. The ladies sat off about 10 o'clock in a _____________?
Mrs. Livingston, Miss Livingston and Miss Wilkins, together with their relations, Dr. Hosack and Mr. Ludlow from New York.
Most of the people of the two houses assembled in the porches to see the departure. Mr. GILLIAM was mounted on a spirited animal. "He foamed, reared and pitched about as if proud of the honor of attending the fair ladies. His appearance excited general applause." When at Ballstown previously Mr. G. had extolled the beauty of Miss Livingston and Miss Wilkins, and all eyes were fixed on them at the door of the Sans Souci. "We entered the parlour room. In a short time most of the ladies played their cards very handsomely. The compliments which I had previously paid to their beauty, and of which I had candidly and unceremoniously informed them, made them particularly solicitous to realize the expectations I had excited. They had dressed most superbly, decorated their heads with most beautiful curls, and in fact lost no pains in displaying themselves to the best possible advantage. Everything appeared to turn out agreeably to their wishes. The ladies at Ballstown paid them great respect and the gentlemen discovered a great deal of admiration. In about an hour the two young ladies, with Miss Haywood from South Carolina and some others, walked down the street on a shopping trip as they termed it. They carried off all the young beaux that came down with them from Saratoga and some others from the Sans Souci." On the return to Saratoga Miss Livingston enlivened the time by the sweet music of her voice. She sang two or three songs most divinely. Mr. G. pronounces the whole trip a most delightful one, and the day closed at Saratoga with a crowded assemblage and a great ball.
Thursday, August 8th, 1816.
Very sore after yesterday's ride. In the evening went with Col. Lindsay in a chaise and a Mr. Douglas from Baltimore on horseback to hunt for a sulphur spring. Found it a great curiosity. Returned & after tea strolled with the ladies in the long room at Congress Hall.
Friday, August 9th, 1816.
Devoted his time most exclusively to the ladies as we are shortly to lose the company of Miss Livingston and Miss Wilkins, "who have been the life and soul of the amusements."
Saturday August 10, 1816.
This evening took my last evening walk with Miss Livingston and Miss Wilkins. The thoughts of their departure depresses me exceedingly. Miss Livingston gave me a most pressing invitation to call to see her at New York, as I pass thro' which I promised to do. She told me she was to be seen at her grandfather's at Lame Lane about six miles from New York until the 1st of September, and after that time at her mother's on White Street, No. 54. Her grandfather's name is Mr. Nutter.
Sunday, August 11, 1816, Saratoga.
This morning went to Congress Hall to see Miss Livingston depart. Mrs. Livingston gave me a most pressing invitation to see them in New York, and Mr. Nutter most politely insisted on a positive promise to visit him at Lame Lane, which I gave him with pleasure. Much depressed, but cheered up at meeting Mr. Travis Harwood from Petersburg and Mr. Eaton Pugh from North Carolina.
Monday, August 12th, 1816.
Visited Ballstown with Col. Lindsay. Meets Mr. Legare of South Carolina, who intends for New York tomorrow. He is waiting on a young lady, daughter to the wife of Rev. Dr. Flinia by a former husband. He has promised to call on me in Virginia. Crowded assembly that evening at Congress Hall, Saratoga. "Miss Phillips has stepped into the shoes of Miss Livingston and is now the belle of the day. She is very accomplished and very beautiful."
Thursday, August 15th, 1816, Saratoga.
Went with Messrs. Pugh and Harwood, Judge Prevost and his daughter, Miss Yates and other young ladies to visit Plat Rock Spring. Visits later a place called "Barites", 2 miles below, famous for its trout.
Saturday, Sunday, August 17 & 18, Saratoga. About 11 o'clock today Mr. and Mrs. Stott, Mr. and Mrs. Myers returned from Montreal, delighted with their trip. Mr. Newbold and Mr. Hartford left us, but Col. Lindsay still remains. He is a host of himself. Strolled about with Miss Phillips, Miss Gouverneur and Miss Knox in the long room of Congress Hall. Was glad to meet with the Rev. Andrew Syme of Petersburg.
Monday, 19th Aug. 1816, Saratoga.
Set out this morning for a Mrs. Riley's Tavern on Saratoga Lake, in company with Col. Lindsay, Mr. Eaton Pugh, Mr. Thomas Neilson, Mr. Bernard from the Rappahannock, Mr. Williamson from North and Mr. Cole from Williamsburg, Va.
August 23rd, Friday, Ballstown Spa, 1816.
Leaves Saratoga and takes up his abode at Sans Souci at Balls- town. Before leaving, he made a sketch of Saratoga, showing the principal streets, Congress Hall, Lewis Tavern (where Mr. Q. staid). Mr. Roscow Cole, from Williamsburg, now his principal acquaintance, excepting Mr. and Mrs. Stott. They are still remarkably polite; to Mrs. Stott particular politeness I owe the general acquaintance I have made with the ladies at this place. There are none of them, however, remarkable for wealth, beauty or mind. Cold weather the last two or three days, and the company reduced to about 70. The tables are very superior to everything of the kind at Saratoga. The keeper of the tavern is a Frenchman (Berger) by name.
New York, Tuesday, 3rd September, 1816.
Describes the trip to New York. Left Ballstown on Sunday morning in a stage drawn by a most stupid inexperienced driver in company with Mr. Eaton Pugh and Mr. Williamson from North Carolina, Mr. Travis Harwood and Roscow Cole from Virginia, a Captain Waterman and a Mr. Henderson—the first from New Hampshire and the last from Maryland. We went to the tavern kept by a Mr. Demarest, where there was a great crowd from Saratoga. Persons mentioned, "George Hay and his wife, Col. Mercer, Mr. Knox, Mr. Gouverneur etc. the two Miss Livingstons, daughters of J. R. Livingston, I believe, and the two Miss Gouverneurs." —Visited Mohawk Falls, continued on a fine road along the Hudson, passed a United States arsenal on the right, interesting views of Lansingburgh and Troy, situated on the eastern banks of the river. in entering the suburbs of Albany, passed on the left the elegant, the Gothic or rather Dutch built mansion house of Gen. Van Rannselaer, a gentleman possessed of high command in the army in the last war, and of princely estates.
Put up in Albany at Baird's Tavern, where there was a great crowd caused by the influx from the Springs and the trial of Gen. Edmund P. Gaines, on charges preferred by Col. Trimble of the United States Army. Engaged berth on the steamer Car of Neptune, which sailed next morning. Albany at a distance looked "quite enchanting," the Catskills rose in imposing majesty. Regreta his inability to visit Mr. Borland, who resides near a place called Kinderhook, about six miles from Hudson. Among the passengers were Gen. Jacob Brown, General Miller—with their aids, Col. Croghan and Col. Trimble. In the course of the evening, myself, Mr. Pugh, Mr. Williamson and Mr. Harwood played a game or two at whist—in fact, a good many others amused themselves with cards particularly some of the young officers, who played mostly at Brag, and I believe I saw one lose $1000 in the course of 30 minutes. Early next morning the Captain winded his horn that the steamer had reached a place of disembarkation. Mr. G. rose and found himself at Poughkeepsie, romantically situated upon the eastern bank of the Hudson. Lower down was the equally romantic and beautiful situation of Newburgh. The Highlands began now to appear. Delay in Albany has given an opportunity of seeing this range of bold and beautiful mountains. "Out of three steamboats which ply each of them two or three times a week from New York, I wondered that some of them did not so arrange their time of starting as to pass thro' this interesting section of the route in the day." Deterred from sketching by the crowd. The Captain pointed out the rough outline of the human face on the mountains. This appearance goes by the name of St. Anthony's nose. About the central point of the Highlands is situated the celebrated fortification called West Point, distant from New York seventy miles. Some miles lower down is Stony Point.
Between one and two o'clock the busy and beautiful city began to make its appearance. On the Jersey shore the spot was passed where Hamilton fell in a duel with Col. Burr, marked by a monument erected to Hamilton.
At 3 o'clock, reached Mechanics Hall in New York situated at the juncture of Park Place with Broadway. Mr. Pugh, Mr. Williamson and Mr. Harwood contrived to get a room in the tavern with 3 beds in it. As he did not wish to bed with strangers, Mr. G. obtained board for a week at Mrs. Powell's No. 16 Park Place, a very good house, at which Gen. Gaines and his aids were staving, (A Capt. R. R. Ruffin of North Carolina and Lieut. ), a gentleman and lady from South Carolina, two private gentlemen, and Mrs. Powell and her daughter.
New York, Wednesday, 4th Sept. 1816.
"Immediately after breakfast this morning I joined Mr. Pugh and went to the City Hall to see the mode of procedure adopted by the Court Martial assembled for the trial of Gen. Gaines. The Court sits in one of the beautiful rooms of that spacious, costly and tasteful building. Upon entering we were gratified with the order and regularity observed by every member. We were also gratified in seeing almost every officer of the last army of any distinction assembled in the room, either as members of the court or as witnesses. After sitting sometime we walked to one of the rooms on the second floor, in which one of the high courts of the state were sitting, where were assembled all of the great lawyers of the city. I was mostly struck with the appearance of Thomas Addis Emmett, who as well as I could judge of him from his sitting position, was low of stature, inclined to corpulency, with a remarkably quick and vivacious eye, tho' exceedingly nearsighted, as could well be perceived from his manner of reading a book, even with the assistance of an opera glass. His eyeball appeared to be peculiarly prominent, his skin very clear, his ears most uncouthly large, and the general expression of his face that of good nature and deep thought."
"Judge B. Livingston, a gentleman of the most exalted reputation was sitting on the Bench. Whilst I remained in the court, there were only a few general remarks made from the bar."
In the evening went to see a play called Pizarro, a German production, and well calculated to do honor to any country. Mr. G. was never more delighted with the "scenic production and histrionic talent" exhibited. "Mrs. Barnes in the interesting character of Cora discovered at once the extent of her personal charms and beauty, and the variety and excellencies of her talent for impressive acting. We were much amused by Mr. Hilson in the afterpiece of 'No song, no supper.'"
Friday, 6th of Sept. 1816.
"Immediately after breakfast, myself, Mr. Pugh and Williamson set out in a good hack, with a good driver and horses for Newark in New Jersey. Crossed the Hudson in a large boat propelled by steam which is constantly plying between the city and the opposite shore called "Paulers Hook." We had to pay for the carriage horse and ourselves 13s 6 which we thought most immoderately high." From the Jersey shore had a most enchanting prospect of the City, with its immense shipping stretched along the wharves. After a mile ride, the road, which is turnpiked, and a most excellent one, passes through a meadow of 30,000 acres. Immense ditches recently cut to drain it at high tide. Crossed the bridge over the Passaic and entered Newark, one of the neatest and most beautiful towns of its size we had ever seen. I followed my companions to the coachman's shops in the place. The carriages made here are thought to be better than those made in New York or Philadelphia. Mr. Pugh soon came across one to please, for which he paid, I think, 750 dollars. The streets in the town are remarkably wide, the houses handsomely built, and there are public vacant spots of ground for purposes of promenading, handsomely ornamented with trees. Having satisfied ourselves about everything we desired, we set out on our return and reached New York City by dinner time. At our boarding house, I spend my time quite agreeably. Gen. Gaines is quite familiar and conversible.
(The Journal is accompanied with colored crayon sketches of the bridge with a single arch thrown across the Schuylkill river at Phila. of Niagara Falls, of Lake George, of the spot where Gen. Burgoyne capitulated, etc.; pencil sketch of "the Waterford beauty.")
- Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. "A Trip North," Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, 1921, v. 2. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Jan 17, 2008