An Englishman's Travels in America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 184 pages of information about An Englishman's Travels in America.

Some of the incidents related in the following pages will be found to bear upon, and tend forcibly to corroborate, the miseries so patiently endured by the African race, in a vaunted land of freedom and enlightenment, whose inhabitants assert, with ridiculous tenacity, that their government and laws are based upon the principle, “That all men in the sight of God are equal,” and the wrongs of whose victims have of late been so touchingly and truthfully illustrated by that eminent philanthropist, Mrs. Stowe, to the eternal shame of the upholders of the system, and the fearful incubus of guilt and culpability that will render for ever infamous, if the policy is persisted in, the nationality of America.

Well may the benevolent Doctor Percival in his day have said, when writing on the iniquitous system of slave holding and traffic, that “Life and liberty with the powers of enjoyment dependent on them are the common and inalienable gifts of bounteous heaven.  To seize them by force is rapine; to exchange for them the wares of Manchester or Birminghan is improbity, for it is to barter without reciprocal gain, to give the stones of the brook for the gold of Ophir.”

THE ENGLISHMAN IN AMERICA.

CHAPTER I.

  “Adieu, adieu! my native shore
    Fades o’er the waters blue,
  The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
    And shrieks the wild sea-mew. 
  Yon sun that sets upon the sea
    We follow in his flight;
  Farewell awhile to him and thee,
    My native Land—­Good night!”—­Byron.

Late in the fall of the year 18—­, I embarked on board the ship Cosmo, bound from the port of Bristol to that of New York.  The season was unpropitious, the lingering effects of the autumnal equinox rendering it more than probable that the passage would be tempestuous.  The result soon proved the correctness of this surmise, for soon after the vessel departed from Kingroad, and before she got clear of the English coast, we experienced boisterous weather, which was followed by a succession of gales, that rendered our situation perilous.  But a partial destruction of the rigging, the loss of some sheep on the deck of the vessel, and a slight indication of leakage, which was soon remedied by the carpenter of the ship and his assistants, were happily the only detrimental consequences arising from the weather.

Our progress on the whole was satisfactory, although, when we arrived between 48 and 52 degrees north latitude, we narrowly escaped coming in contact with an enormous iceberg, two of which were descried at daybreak by the “look-out,” floundering majestically a little on the ship’s larboard quarter, not far distant, the alarm being raised by an uproar on deck that filled my mind with dire apprehension, the lee bulwarks of the vessel were in five minutes thronged with half-naked passengers, who had been roused unexpectedly

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An Englishman's Travels in America from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.