We were there. A waiter (he was not to be mistaken,—he bore a family resemblance to all the waiters of the world) was instantly at the coach-door, to help us out and to help us in. He conducted us into a lobby, up a flight of stairs, and through a long passage, to a large saloon, where about 150 ladies and gentlemen were assembled,—some sitting, some standing, some talking, some laughing, and some playing with their fingers. But, no! we shrunk back. Thither we would not be led, all wet and dirty as we were. We begged to be shown into a private room. The waiter stared, and said he had none to take us to, except I would first go to the “office.” But what was to become of my fellow-traveller in the meantime? No woman belonging to the establishment made her appearance, and there my wife was obliged to stand alone in the passage, whilst I followed the waiter through aisles and passages, and turnings and twistings, and ups and downs, to a large saloon, where about 200 gentlemen were smoking cigars! What a sight! and what a smell! Who can realize the vast idea of 200 mouths, in one room, pouring forth the fumes of tobacco? I was directed to the high-priest of the establishment in the “office,” or (as I should say) at the “bar.” Without verbally replying to my application, he handed me a book in which to record my name. Having obeyed the hint, I again asked my taciturn host if myself and wife could be accommodated. He then, with manifest reluctance, took the cigar out of his mouth, and said he had only one room to spare, and that was at the top of the house. It was “Hobson’s choice,” and I accepted it. And now for a journey! Talk of ascending the Monument on Fish-street Hill! what is that compared to ascending the St. Charles’s, at New Orleans? No. 181 was reached at last. The next task was to find my wife, which after another long and circuitous journey was accomplished. In process of time fire was made, and “tea for two” brought up. Let me, therefore, close my letter and enjoy it.
New Orleans—The Story of Pauline—Adieu to the St. Charles’s—Description of that Establishment—First Sight of Slaves for Sale—Texts for Southern Divines—Perilous Picture.
From No. 181 of the “St. Charles’s,” we descended, after a good night’s rest, to see some of the lions of the place. Here we are (thought I) in New Orleans—the metropolis of a great slave country,—a town in which exist many depots for the disposal of human beings,—the very city where, a few months ago, poor Pauline was sacrificed as the victim of lust and cruelty! Unhappy girl! What a tragedy! On the 1st of August last, I told the horrid tale to my emancipated people in Berbice. Here it is, as extracted from the Essex (United States) Transcript. Read it, if you please; and then you will have a notion of the feelings with which I contemplated a city rendered infamous by such a transaction.