Sunday, June 12, 2011

Auction and Pretty Girls near Coney

A couple miscellaneous references to Coney Island:

JAMES COLE will give his personal attention to sales of Household Furniture, and out door sales generally ; also, to sales of Real Estate, Stocks, &c. at the Exchange New York...

Tuesday, August 31st,

At 2 o'clock, at the Union Hotel, in the town of Gravesend, of land attached thereto, known as the Union hotel, situated in the town of Gravesend, about one quarter of a mile from Coney Island. The premises are in good repair.--The barn and horse shed are new. It is a desirable residence for a summer boarding house, being near the seashore. 50 per cent can remain on bond and mortgage. For particulars, apply to the auctioneer.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Wednesday, August 11, 1847 (and some days after)

HOW WE WENT DOWN TO FORT HAMILTON--AND OTHER MATTERS.--Some of our Brooklyn friends have been touched with the war fever, like thousands of young fellows about the land ; and yesterday afternoon we went down to Fort Hamilton, to see one of them who is going out in the detachment that sails next week in the ship Isabella, for California. The fourth-rate steamboat American Eagle, (we cannot conscientiously put her rank any higher,) was--on her 4 o'clock trip from nigh the battery--thickly crowded with people, most of whom were on their way to Coney Island. We must confess that we did notice a great many pretty girls, but then there's no harm in that ; all the beautiful creatures in nature were made to be looked at. With this exception, the appearance and accommodations of the 'bird of liberty,' (presumptious (sic) name to give a dilapidated steamboat !) were not of the most inviting kind. On deck, forward, were stationed a young man with a violin, which he handled quite cleverly for a common player, and a boy who 'did' the vocal parts,--consisting of divers versions of ' (Negro*)' tunes, some of them with here and there a happy hit. Among the greatest favorites was one which solemnly enjoined upon all people little and big, to

"Clear the way for General Taylor."

An unnecessary task it seems to us--as that worthy is in the habit of taking the job upon himself, and asking no favors of any one. The young gentleman also volunteered the information that

"To lick the Mexicans he's a whaler."

Meaning the General aforementioned....

I know it's history, but I'm not going to type the word they used instead of "Negro."

The article continues to describe the barracks at Fort Hamilton. Some "apartments" had women--wives who would be accompanying their men--and children. And in fairness, the author notes how "good-looking" the volunteer soldiers were.

...The moustache and full beard are in vogue at Fort Hamilton--which saves a good deal of trouble in shaving, and gives a more menacing and masculine appearance likewise....

The return of the American Eagle (we can't exactly swallow that name, in the connection,) was signalized by a series of rockings which gave every passenger a tangible idea of his cradle-days. There were far too many people on board, for comfort.--Still, for our part, we had a pleasant evening sail ; the clear sky overhead, and the salt odor of the waters around. The young minstrel who accompanied the boat down, was also with its return. He was a bright looking, rosy cheeked lad--and must have been tired enough with his day's work. Poor child ! we saw him fast asleep in the East Brooklyn omnibus, an hour afterwards!.........These little trips do one good, and we recommend our readers to take them as often as may be.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Saturday, August 14, 1847

There's a bit about the Mexican-American War here.

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