In consequence of this opposition, Crockett lost his next election, and yet by a majority of but seventy votes. For two years he remained at home hunting bears. But having once tasted the pleasures of political life, and the excitements of Washington, his silent rambles in the woods had lost much of their ancient charms. He was again a candidate at the ensuing election, and, after a very warm contest gained the day by a majority of two hundred and two votes.
Crockett’s Tour to the North and the East.
His Reelection to Congress.—The Northern
Tour.—First Sight of a
Railroad.—Reception in Philadelphia.—His First Speech.—Arrival in New York.—The Ovation there.—Visit to Boston.—Cambridge and Lowell.—Specimens of his Speeches.—Expansion of his Ideas.—Rapid Improvement.
Colonel Crockett, having been reelected again repaired to Washington. During the session, to complete his education, and the better to prepare himself as a legislator for the whole nation, he decided to take a short trip to the North and the East. His health had also begun to fail, and his physicians advised him to go. He was thoroughly acquainted with the Great West. With his rifle upon his shoulder, in the Creek War, he had made wide explorations through the South. But the North and the East were regions as yet unknown to him.
On the 25th of April, 1834, he left Washington for this Northern tour. He reached Baltimore that evening, where he was invited to a supper by some of the leading gentlemen. He writes:
“Early next morning. I started for Philadelphia, a place where I had never been. I sort of felt lonesome as I went down to the steamboat. The idea of going among a new people, where there are tens of thousands who would pass me by without knowing or caring who I was, who are all taken up with their own pleasures or their own business, made me feel small; and, indeed, if any one who reads this book has a grand idea of his own importance, let him go to a big city, and he will find that he is not higher valued than a coonskin.
“The steamboat was the Carroll of Carrollton, a fine craft, with the rum old Commodore Chaytor for head man. A good fellow he is—all sorts of a man—bowing and scraping to the ladies, nodding to the gentlemen, cursing the crew, and his right eye broad-cast upon the ‘opposition line,’ all at the same time. ‘Let go!’ said the old one, and off we walked in prime style.
“Our passage down Chesapeake Bay was very pleasant. In a very short run we came to a place where we were to get on board the rail-cars. This was a clean new sight to me. About a dozen big stages hung on to one machine. After a good deal of fuss we all got seated and moved slowly off; the engine wheezing as though she had the tizzic. By-and-by, she began to take short breaths, and away we went, with a blue streak after us. The whole distance is seventeen miles. It was run in fifty-five minutes.