I was not Smitten with the Beauty of the Ladies ...

~ 10 June 1844 ~

Copyright © 2003, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

Folded Letter Sheet (Stampless Cover)
Red circular handstamp postmark:

       CINCINNATI   O.   JUNE 11
Red handstamp:
Manuscript Postal Rate:
       Dr. C. E. Buckingham

Broadway Hotel Upperstory, Cincinnati, June 10 44
My dear Doctor,
       You must not think that I have forgotten your kind rememberance of me while in New Orleans, now that I am on my journey home. It will be three weeks tomorrow, since I left the crescent city, during which time I have seen quite a variety. I staid at St. Louis six days; having waited two for one of those aviaries so rich in specimens of jail-ornithology to get under way. I was pleased with the city and the treatment which I experienced at the Hotel. On Sunday morning the second of June I found myself at the mouth of the Ohio; it was a delightful morning and as we passed on I could not but experience a Sabbath influence though far away from church or preaching. I arrrived in Louisville on Tuesday morning; staid there until Friday at 11 A.M. and arrived in this city on Saturday at 2 o’clock A.M. With Louisville I was not much pleased; it was full of people who came to attend the races, the hotel was crowded, the streets were dirty, and I was not well, one day during my stay there, so that altogether there was not a pleasant impression left on my mind. I am now once more in a free state in truth signs of returning civilization soon made their appearance after leaving Louisville; in the first place, there were quite a number of individuals on the boat who wore spectacles; secondly I was not turned out of my berth and put directly over the boilers for the accomodation of any ladies, and finally I found in the reading room here the Boston Courier, which I have not seen for three months. I notice Deacon Farewell’s death & that of Miss Williams. Who will they find for steward now?
       I have now travelled more than eighteen hundred miles, and begin to feel somewhat worn with the journey. I dare say it seems very pleasant to you as you sit in your office, and so it is in many respects, but I assure you, one tires at three weeks of strange cities, strange faces, strange pillows, and strange table companions; and three nights in succession on a steamboat, spent in one’s clothes, from considerations entomological, pickpocketological, and steam-boilerogical, do not conduce much towards comfort or freshness on the third morning; It is something to be three weeks without the cordial grasp of a friendly hand, and the bright return as one eye meets another. I was quite amused at Louisville by the warfare between the dogs and pigs; one day I saw an eight inch little broiler exerting himself strenuously to get away from a dog of his own size who was holding on to the pig’s tail, with his fore feet firmly planted equally zealous to prevent the poor porkerette from proceeding, except at the expense of his fly-dispenser. Being in pursuit of a bath, I was directed to a shop where leeching, cupping, tooth pulling, shaving & bathing were effected at one and the same establishment. In this city I notice that many of the stablers are undertakers, & on a stable door you see the sign of a ready made coffin. Last evening I went to the Episcopal Church, which is a Gothic building and very handsome; it is lighted with gas; the body of the church receives the light from a lantern in the middle of the ceiling, at the top of the house, which is just below two large stars, have the appearance of pearl; I did not enjoy the services, for they were breaking a ministerial colt, who galloped through his drill with great want of solemnity. I attended a tea party at Louisville for the benefit of the orphan asylum; there was a large number there, besides plenty of eatables; I was not smitten with the beauty of the ladies, though on an average they were very good looking. Cincinnati is a great strawberry martket; the season is just over, but we have abundance of raspberries on the table every day; I shall be right glad to have a quiet family meal once more, with time to chew as well as to swallow. I notice by the papers that a Mr. Hudson is lecturing on Shakespeare, and think it highly probable that it is Henry J. I shall attend tonight and ascertain. I am very glad to hear of your cases, and sincerely congratulate you on your auspicious commencement. A foundry boiler collapsed here with tremendous fury, and a man had his leg taken off by a rope twisted round it, and a youngster inserted his head into a steamboat fly wheel, and the Odd Fellows attended a funeral with a brass band on Sunday, but the only case of surgery which I have seen is the case of a pig with a fracture in his starboard forward extremity. I saw the intention to enlarge the Hospital; will it not inspire the prospect on Allen Street? Let me see, this is Dr. Hale’s last month; probably Whipple says by this time with Miss Healy. Is there no rest? Next week I expect to go North again, to Cleveland; from there to Buffalo & Niagara. I have had no letters since I left N.O. but any which came after I left, I shall find at Fultonville, Mont. Ct. N.Y. Write to me there if you please and tell me all the news?
Truly & affectionately yrs.      
Austin Kuhn

       1. Austin Kuhn died on 26 December 1844.
       2. The recipient of the letter, Dr. Charles E. Buckingham, was born on 7 June 1821. He was the son of Joseph T. Buckingham and Melinda Alvord. He graduated from Harvard (B.A. 1840, M.D., 1844), and later became an adjunct professor there in the Theory and Practice of Physic. He died on 19 February 1877.

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: Jim Greve ~ 2003

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