We stopped at Wrangel to look at the totem poles, many of which have since been stolen as the Indians did not wish to sell them; our usual method of business with that abused race. Totem poles are genealogical records, and give the history of the family before whose door they stand. No one would quietly take the registered certificates of Revolutionary ancestors searched for with great care from the Colonial Dames or members of the New England Society, and coolly destroy them. I agree with Charles Lamb who said he didn’t want to be like a potato, all that was best of him under ground.
At Sitka the brilliant gardens and the large school for Indian girls were the objects of interest. It is a sad fact that the school which teaches these girls cleanly habits, the practical arts of sewing, and cooking simple but appetizing dishes, has made the girls unwilling to return to their dirty homes and the filthy habits of their parents. That would be impossible to them. So they are lured to visit the dance halls in Juneau, where they find admirers of a transient sort, but seldom secure an honest husband.
We called at Skagway, and the lady who was known by us told us there was much stress there placed upon the most formal attention to rigid conventionalities, calls made and returned, cards left and received at just the right time, more than is expected in Boston. And yet that town was hardly started, and dirt and disorder and chaos reigned supreme.
A company of unlucky miners came home in our steamer; no place for them to sleep but on deck near the doors of our stateroom, and they ate at one of the tables after three other hungry sets had been satisfied. A few slept on the tables. All the poultry had been killed and eaten. We found the Chinese cooks tried to make tough meat attractive by pink and yellow sauces. We were glad to leave the steamer to try the ups and downs of Seattle.
Frances E. Willard—Walt Whitman—Lady Henry Somerset—Mrs. Hannah Whitehall Smith—A Teetotaler for Ten Minutes—Olive Thorne Miller—Hearty Praise for Mrs. Lippincott (Grace Greenwood).
I was looking over some letters from Frances E. Willard last week. What a powerful, blessed influence was hers!
Such a rare combination of intense earnestness, persistence, and devotion to a “cause” with a gentle, forgiving, compassionate spirit, and all tempered by perfect self-control.
Visiting in Germantown, Pennsylvania, at the hospitable home of Mrs. Hannah Whitehall Smith, the Quaker Bible reader and lay evangelist, and writer of cheerful counsel, I found several celebrities among her other guests. Miss Willard and Walt Whitman happened to be present. Whitman was rude and aggressively combative in his attack on the advocate of temperance, and that without the slightest provocation. He declared that all this total abstinence was absolute rot and of no earthly use, and that he hated the sight of these women who went out of their way to be crusading temperance fanatics.