Coit, George O. (fl. 1863) to his mother and brother
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03603.203
Author/Creator: Coit, George O. (fl. 1863)
Place Written: New Jersey R.R.
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 7 March 1863
Pagination: 4 p.
Summary of Content: Describes the smoothness of the New Jersey Railroad ride as a byproduct of the flat and uninteresting country. He is on his way to visit his brother, Charles, and suggests that his mother and sister follow suit. He describes attending a Union meeting at Cooper Institute with Mr. Edwards while in New York. The speaker, Colonel Baird of Brooklyn, addressed a large crowd who were very excited by the strong Union/abolitionist sentiment. He also describes seeing a play and eating oysters with his uncle.
People: Coit, Charles M.
Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877
Full Transcript: New Jersey R.R. Mar 7, Dear Both, Here I am rushing along, on the 7 a.m. express train as if Jeff Davis & all his Black Horse cavalry were after us. It is a low miserable sort of country. scarcely a field of any size that is not drained & then half water have I seen since we left Jersey city and we are now just stopping at Rahway some 20 or 25 miles on our journey. The soil is red & nasty and the country flat & uninteresting, especially in such a rainy, dreary day as this is. But there is one feature which compensates for the otherwise unpleasant prospect, The R.Road is straight & smooth & we go like - money from poor people - I dont know as I can find any more expressive phrase. Ellen would like this style of going it. I refer to the cars & not the money. How I wish you both here too. Hadnt you better pack up & follow suit? This writing while the cars are in motion is not the way to show off ones penmanship to the best advantage or to write with great rapidity either. To continue my adventure (Have just stopped at New Brunswick) when I left off in my letter of yesterday P.M., went with uncle wm to Mr Edwards about half past five. Went up to his room & fixed up & after tea he asked me if I should like to go to the great union meeting at cooper Institute (started) an account of which you will see in the mornings N.Y. Paper. of course I was delighted to go. so on we went. When we reached the Institute we found that the building was filled and over-flowing. And an outside meeting of some 5,000 & upwards was being addressed from the portico of the building. Col. Baird of Brooklyn just from the army who has had command of some Negro troops was speaking & you may dispose with he did talk right up to the handle. The stronger union & abolition sentiments he proclaimed the louder was the applause. when something particularly would be said you would hear from all the crowd yi-yi-yi-yi then clapping & three good cheers. Even uncle wm & the subscribers now focused by the general enthusiasm to ”sing out” with the rest. Then someone wanted to hear about ”that proclamation” & he told them Then a Mr. Smith of N.Y. State he was one of the gassy sort of fellows but seemed to have the right sort of ideas Mr. Learned would have enjoyed one part of this speach. He alluded to the speech of that brave old patriot Tucker in the Albany aegis - and the whole crowd with one voice shouted - when he men -tioned the vassels showing that some ”sure & political information” has breached not only in the sight but the heart of part of the people. The Band played The star spangled Banner & we left. we were right in the midst of a regular jam part of the time. This part of the proceedings I enjoyed more than uncle wm. appeared to. one gentleman into whom I was shoving auspiciously informed me in the blandest possible manner that I could go ”past him but could not go through him” The meeting was very enthusiastic & a perfect success. Uncle wm. I then walked down Bdway to Niblo’s or Nibbelers as John Trumbull called it. (Just at Princeton but dons see the battle-ground) At Niblo’s they had a sort of a fancy half opera half theatre & half gas and Spanish Dr. Bells) & dancers. I enjoyed it tip-top especially the singing one male chorus, or with only two female voices. Miss Carolina Ritchias, I wish you could have been there with us. was the principal mugwug being for her benefit. But as I came to N.Y. on a regular Run & uncle wm & I are both gay boys we left there about 1/2 past 10. Then we wanted some ”oysters” so we went into one of the concert saloons on Broadway. I thought when uncle wm went in he did not know where he was going & so it passed, for after walking in he stopped looked around the room in holy horror turned on his heel walked out. I followed suit. When we were out he laughed & never asked that we were in the wrong place. we reached a house 1/2 past m just 12 I jumped into Red Flannel shirt & dress on as I was to leave early in the morning it would save time & besides I thought I should sleep less sound & be more apt to make. I was obliged to refund our supply for this as they did not stir so early. I think after 2 oclock I looked at the watch was last over every half-hour yes the night did not seem long & this morning I feel (Trenton) ”brisk as a fairy charming & gay” I arose at 1/2 past 5 a.m. made my toilet & left the house before 6 reached the cars quite early and am now here at Trenton 25 minutes of 10. My only breakfast has been the crackers & cookies you put int the bag & two lumps of sugar with ginger. Hoorah for Ginger. I am feeling first rate well happy &c. The only draw back is my having such a fun time here & you being at home alone. But I think I have crow about enough for once. If you can make this out (I shant attempt it) I think you better advertise to teach Chinese. Your Aft son & Brother Geo. D. Coit uncle wm has been very kind & much glad to see me had not received your letter Uncle Wm and Edward Want me to stop when I come back
Keywords/Subjects: Civil War;, Military History;, Military Camp;, Union Forces;, Children and Family;, Geography and Natural History;, Travel;, Railroad;, Abolition;, Transportation;, Education, Politics;, Slavery;, African American History;, Republican Party;, Art, Music, Theater, and Film;, Diet and Nutrition;
Sub Era: The American Civil WarOrder Image