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on this occasion led to his immediate engagement by Gilfert, the manager of the new Bowery Theatre, which was opened for the first time the following October. Macready first appeared in the United States at the Park Theatre, in the character of Virginius, in October, 1826. He revisited the country in 1843, and again in 1848, playing his round of Shakespearean characters, with the addition of others, as Byron's Werner, on which he had stamped the impress of his ardent personality. The circumstances under which he was driven from the stage in New York, in the disgraceful and bloody scenes of the Astor Place riot, in May, 1849, left a stain upon the annals of the city : but there was nothing in this melancholy event or its accessories to weaken or impair the high position in which Mr. Macready had always stood before the American public. The whole affair, undertaken in a lawless spirit, was simply the action of a mob, inflamed by a few disorderly persons; one of those violent
interferences with the privileges of actors on the stage,
stage. This violence, courageously endured for a time, soon effectually broke up the performance. The actors left the stage and the audience was dismissed. It was generally felt in the community, the next morning, that a great outrag had been committed. A letter signed by a number of influential citizens was addressed to Mr. Macready, requesting a renewal of the performance, to which he consented. On the second evening, the 10th of May, the theatre being effectually occupied by a large force of police, Mr. Macready was permitted to go through with the representation of Macbeth; but, while order was maintained within the house, it was besieged from without by a large mob, who assailed the barricaded windows and endeavored to storm the building. Mr. Macready, cautiously led out by his friends, escaped attention in the crowd and was conducted to a place of safety, whence, in the night, he left the city, and joined the early train to Boston. Meantime, the military were on hand to repress
too often permitted both in England and America, which would now be firmly crushed in the first attempt, under the better understood powers and duties of a protective police. Mr. Forrest, it was alleged, had been unfairly reviewed, on his second professional visit to England, by certain London critics friendly to Mr. Macready. This, we believe, was the ground of a prejudice, in the assertion of which certain persons resolved to silence the performances of the latter on the American stage. Messrs. Niblo & Hackett were then managers of the Opera House, occupying the present site of the Mercantile Library, in Astor Place, and had engaged Mr. Macready for a few nights. On the opening evening, in Macbeth, the actor was apparently received with enthusiasm by all the audience, but it soon became obvious, from the unintermitted clapping of hands and other noisy demonstrations, that the applause on the part of a portion of the company was but the means of silencing
his performance. When the play was continued in dumb show various heavy missiles were thrown upon the
the riot. The mob, now violently assailing the police and military, were fired upon. Twenty-two men were killed and thirty-six wounded, among them a number of persons accidentally passing or simply spectators. Many arrests were made, and order soon restored. Since that night there has been no attempt, we believe, to drive an actor from the stage, and public meetings have been held, when riotous opposition might, under the old system, have been exhibited, which have passed over with perfect security to the speakers in the exercise of their inestimable right of free speech. This is due to a juster appreciation of the dangers of mob license, and to the increased and better regulation of the police force of the city. Returning to the annals of the stage from this melancholy episode: The Park Theatre, so long the pride of New Yorkers, after some change in its fortunes from its palmy days, ended its career under the management of Thomas Hamblin by a final conflagration, in December, 1848. It had been once before burnt, in 1819. Of the other theatres erected in the city, we may raention the chief—we can here do no more. The Chatham Theatre, on the street of that name, between Duane and Pearl, was erected in 1824, and was long a place of popular resort. It was afterward known as the National, and here, Mr. Ireland tells us, Edwin Booth made his first appearance in the city, at the age of fifteen, playing Wilfred to his father's Sir Edward Mortimer, in “The Iron Chest.” The Richmond Hill Theatre, on the historic site of the old Revolutionary house and gardens occupied by Aaron Burr, opened in 1831, with a poetical address by Halleck, and was memorable for the first performances, the following year, of a regular Italian company in New York. Garcia's brilliant début at the Park was in 1826; the next year, marrying a merchant of the city, she became Madame Malibran, and the following, left the New World for her lifelong triumph in the Old. The Lafayette Theatre, in Laurens Street, converted from an amphitheatre to the legitimate drama in 1826, was consumed by fire in 1828. The Bowery Theatre, opened in 1826, was burnt in 1828, again in 1836, 1838, and 1845, and speedily rebuilt after these successive disasters, remains on its original site, the oldest theatre in the city. Niblo's Garden Theatre has been a popular institution since 1837. Its fortune was made by the pantomimic company, “The Ravels.” The Broadway Theatre, between Pearl and Worth Streets, was opened in 1847, and in vogue with varying fortunes till 1858, when it was taken down. The younger Mathews played an engagement on its boards in 1857. In 1844, Signor Talmo, an Italian restaurant-keeper, whose Café des Milles Colonnes, on Broadway, had brought him a fortune, expended it in the erection and maintenance of an Opera House in Chambers Street, opposite the Park. In 1848 it passed into the hands of William E. Burton, and was well sustained by the unfailing humor of that eminent comedian till he entered into possession of the Metropolitan Theatre, on Broadway, opposite Bond Street. The Academy of Music opened in October, 1854, with Grisi and Mario in “Norma”; Booth's Theatre, on Twenty-third Street, in February, 1869, with Edwin Booth as Romeo. The success of the Revolution, with the establishment of the new government, securing the means of national prosperity, encouraged in every direction the material development of the country. Then, with the incentive of freedom, began that exercise of industry in agriculture, trade, commerce, the mechanic arts, which has never flagged in its great work of subduing a vast continent to the generous uses of civilization. The restless minds of inventors were set at work in every direction where there was a difficulty to be overcome or a facility in art or nature to be gained. It is to the credit of New York that several of the great achievements of the century which have given wings to the movements of the modern world were first exhibited in its busy theatre of human action. Foremost amongst these was the application of steam to river and ocean navigation. The idea of turning this agent to account in propelling vessels existed probably as a vague notion in the minds of many from the time its powers were first subjected to any mechanical uses or experiments. We read of Blasco de Garay, a Spanish sea-captain of Charles W., at the middle of the sixteenth century, moving a ship of two hundred tons in the harbor of Barcelona by some steam agency, at the rate of three miles an hour. In 1331 Dr. Papin, a Frenchman, projected an atmospheric engine to be employed in working the paddles of a boat, and various others at intervals were intent upon the matter, until James Watt, in 1782, by his improvement in the steam-engine, in supplying a convenient motive power,
rendered the thing really practicable. Even after this date there were various efforts on a small scale, more or less defective, which succeeded in illustrating the principle without achieving any important success. Chief among these were the experiments of the Connecticut inventor, John Fitch, who in 1787 enlisted various citizens of Philadelphia in his plans, which resulted, in 1790, in the construction of a steamboat, which, moved by oars or paddles working perpendicularly, was for a short time employed on the Delaware in trips to Burlington. In 1796 this same ingenious person exhibited in New York, on the waters of the Collect, a ship's yawl, fitted with simple steam machinery, working a screw propeller. The name of James Rumsey deserves to be remembered with that of Fitch for his ingenious, though unsuccessful, effort at steam navigation Colonel John C. Stevens, at his foundry, opposite New York, at Hoboken, constructed in 1804 a small steamboat, moved by a propeller, which was tried successfully on the Hudson, and was succeeded by a larger experimental vessel, similarly constructed, in 1806 In these early experiments Stevens was associated with Chancellor Livingston, who, in 1798, secured from the Legislature a grant of the monopoly of the waters of the State for twenty years, for steam navigation, provided he constructed a boat within a year capable of making four miles an hour. The Bill, when it was introduced by Dr. Mitchill into the Assembly, was laughed at as an idle, whimsical project, and long continued a standing jest of the House. Brunel, subsequently the engineer of the Thames Tunnel, was also concerned in these experiments of the Stevens workshop, which, unsuccessful for the time, but making progress slowly, were advancing to ultimate success.
The appointment of Livingston as Minister to France in 1801 dissolved the connection with Stevens, but not, as it proved, his co-operation with the great work of the application of steam to navigation; for it was in the City of Paris that he met with Robert Fulton, and entered upon that association with him which resulted in successfully placing the first really successful steamboat for practical purposes on any of the waters of the world. The mind of Fulton, from his boyhood in Pennsylvania to the end of his days, was ever teeming with inventions and new scientific application. Entering upon life as an artist, he had sought and obtained the friendship of Benjamin West, in London, and had improved his opportunities in England in making the acquaintance of the Earl of Bridgewater, and other influential patrons of science. In 1793 he had addressed a letter to Earl Stanhope on the subject of applying steam to navigation. IHe was intent on various matters: the science of canals, on which he published a treatise ; and in 1797 visited Paris with the design of bringing before the French Government his invention of the torpedo and its accompanying machinery for blowing up an enemy's vessels in time of war. He resided with Joel Barlow, and when Livingston came he had a ready listener to his schemes of steam navigation. A successful experiment was made on the Seine, and an engine ordered from Watt & Bolton, at Birmingham, to secure the success of the enterprise at New York, where Fulton arrived at the close of 1806, and, while the construction of his steamboat was proceeding, edified the town by an exhibition in the harbor of the operation of his “torpedo warfare” in blowing up, off Governor's Island, an old brig by a submarine explosion. Livingston, who had returned to the city, readily obtained from the Legislature, in association with Fulton, a renewal of his former privilege of navigating the waters of the State.
On the eve of the completion of the steamboat, Fulton, to supply the necessary funds, offered one-third of the patent right for sale, but the project was thought too chimerical to warrant a purchaser in coming forward. At last, in the Spring of 1807, the boat was launched from the shipyard of Charles Brown, on the East River, and, supplied with the English engine, was moved in August to her station, opposite the city, on the Hudson. Her success on the trial-trip, on which Livingston and Fulton were accompanied by Drs. Mitchill, McNeven, and others of their friends, was complete. “Nothing,” says Colden, “could exceed the surprise and admiration of all who witnessed the experiment. The minds of the most incredulous were changed in a few minutes. Before the boat had made the progress of a quarter of a mile the greatest unbeliever must have been converted. The man who, while he looked on the expensive machine, thanked his stars that he had more wisdom than to waste his money on such idle schemes, changed the expression of his features as the boat moved from the wharf and gained her speed; his complacent smile gradually stiffened into an expression of wonder. The jeers of the ignorant, who had neither sense nor feeling enough to suppress their contemptuous ridicule and rude jokes, were silenced for a moment by a vulgar astonishment, which deprived them of the power of utterance, till the triumph of genius extorted from the incredulous multitude which crowded the shores shouts and acclamations of congratulation and applause.” The boat was named the Clermont, after Livingston's seat on the Hudson. Her first voyage to Albany was the realization of a great triumph to her projectors. It was the cause of as much astonishment to the sloop navigators on the river and many of the good people on the shore as had been the ascent of Henry Hudson with the Half Moon to the natives nearly two centuries before. An object coming out of the darkness, lit up by a streaming flame ascending from the pine wood of the furnace above the summit of the smoke-pipe, accompanied by showers of sparks of fire, its approach against wind and tide heralded by the heavy beating of the paddles and the jarring of the machinery, might well excite surprise and alarm among those who had never even heard before of such a creation. The voyage to Albany, 150 miles, was made in thirty-two hours; the return passage to New York, in thirty hours—about five miles an hour. In his account of the voyage, written to his friend, Joel Barlow, Fulton says: “The power of propelling boats by steam is now fully proved. The morning I left New York there were not, perhaps, thirty persons in the city who believed that the boat would ever move one mile an hour, or be of the least utility ; and while we were putting off from the wharf, which was crowded with spectators, I heard a number of sarcastic remarks. This is the way in which ignorant men compliment what they call philosophers and projectors. Having employed much time, money and zeal in accomplishing this work, it gives me, as it will you, great pleasure to see it fully answer my expectations. It will give a cheap and quick conveyance to the merchandise on the Mississippi, Missouri, and other great rivers, which are now laying open their treasures to the enterprise of our countrymen ; and although the prospect of personal emolument has been some inducement to me, yet I feel infinitely more pleasure in reflecting on the immense advantage that my country will derive from the innovation.” There were no more sneers and cheap witticisms after this. The demonstration was complete. Scarcely had Fulton triumphed when another steamer, the Phenia.
was sent forth, fully equipped, from the Stevens foundry. Owing to the monopoly granted to Fulton, she was not permitted to compete with the Clermont in New York waters, but was successfully employed between this city and New Brunswick, and was afterward, in June, 1808, carried round by Robert L. Stevens to Philadelphia, being the first seagoing steamer on record. She was for many years in the Delaware, carrying passengers and freight from Philadelphia to Trenton. Steam-power being now established on the Hudson, it remained only to improve the accommodations of the vessels and increase their speed. The Clermont was rebuilt in the Winter after her first voyage, various defects of the machinery being overcome, and became the established packet-boat on the river. A second, the Car of Neptune, followed, with the Chancellor Livingston, of 526 tons, and others. In 1814 Robert L. Stevens, who had devised many improvements in the construction of boats and engines, the State monopoly having been set aside by the Supreme Court, placed on the Hudson the New Philadelphia, with the then unprecedented speed of thirteen and a half miles per hour, which presently was considerably increased by a modification in the form of the vessel. Among the foreign claimants of the introduction of steam navigation is a Scottish gentleman, Patrick Miller, of Dalswinton, in Dumfriesshire, an experiment on the application of paddlewheels to boats, who called to his aid William Symington, an engineer, who was engaged in adapting the steam engine to wheeled carriages. An engine constructed by the latter was fitted to Miller's boat, which was put in operation as early as 1789, on the Forth and Clyde Canal. Another successful experiment by Symington on an improved scale grew out of the use of Watt's double-acting engine, in 1801. But whatever the merits of this affair, it was without any immediate practical results. It was not till 1812, five years after Fulton had established steam navigation on the Hudson, that the first regular passenger steamer made its appearance in Great Britain, on the Clyde.* To Fulton belongs also the honor of planning and constructing the first steam vessel of war. This was the celebrated steam frigate built in accordance with his plans, by order of Government, and named after him, the Fulton, which was launched in the harbor of New York on the last day of October, 1814. This vessel was contrived, not for ocean navigation, but for harbor protection, being built on two boats or keels, with an open channel between, in which the water-wheel revolved. She was stoutly constructed, carried a heavy armament, and previous to the days of ironclads was considered a formidable instrument of defense. Fulton did not live to see the completion of this vessel. The immediate cause of his death, in February, 1815, is attributed to his unseasonable exposure in his anxiety to forward the work. He was still suffering from an attack of illness, when he passed some hours on the deck of the frigate, at the navy yard, bringing on the relapse which terminated his life. The first steamship which crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the Sarannah was built at New York, of three hundred and eighty tons, ship rigged, provided with a horizontal engine, working side paddles, capable of being easily removed at sea. She left the harbor for Liverpool, under the command of Captain Moses Rogers, on the 26th of May, 1819, and was twenty-five days crossing the Atlantic, during eighteen of which she was under steam. Her owners contemplated her purchase by the Emperor of
* Ene. Brit., Art, “Steam Navigation."
Russia. She sailed from Liverpool to St. Petersburg in July, and arrived at Cronstadt in September. Russia declining her purchase, she returned to the United States arriving at Savannah in November. Her steam machinery being removed, she was subsequently employed as a sailing packet between Savannah and New York. She was finally wrecked on Long Island. A vessel sailing partly by steam, the Curocoa, built in England, made the voyage from Holland to the West Indies in 1829. The first purely steam vessel which crossed the Atlantic was the Sirius, of about seven hundred tons, which had been employed as a packet, between London and Cork. She sailed from London on April 4th, 1838, with ninety-four passengers, and reached New York on the 23d, after a voyage of eighteen days. The Great Western, a steamer built expressly to cross the Vol. XVIII., No. 4–32.
HE dropped on His KNEES
Atlantic, of fifteen hundred and forty tons, sailed from Bristol on the 7th of the same month, and reached New York in fifteen days, a few hours after the arrival of the Sirius, thus successfully demonstrating, in the face of the theoretical proof of Dr. Lardner and others to the contrary, the easy practicability of steam navigation on the Atlantic.
A sky of cloudless azure, that seemed to touch the mountain-tops ; a noonday July sun, that sent its arrows of gold into the darkest mountain clefts, and startled the timid ferns, and made the mountain streams dance for joy ; a place of rock and pine and barren strips of land, only rescued from sterility by ceaseless care ; a few