Saturday, June 11, 2011

Temperance near Coney Island and Steamboat North America - 1847

GEORGE HALL UNION, NO. 22, Daughters of Temperance, will give a Grand Pic-Nic Excursion on Wednesday, August 4th, 1847.

The Union have chartered the large and elegant steamboat NORTH AMERICA, and also engaged GRANGER'S celebrated Band, together with appropriate cotillion music, for those who may feel inclined to "trip it," etc. They have also engaged Professor HANDLEY, the unrivalled teetotal caterer, to furnish refreshments on true temperance principles...

The boat will leave the foot of Canal st. N.Y., at 7 A.M.; the new pier at Grand st. E R., 7 1/2, Williamsburgh (foot South 2d st) at 8 ; first pier above Catharine ferry, N. Y., at 8 1/2 ; and Thorne's dock, near Fulton ferry, Brooklyn, at 9 o'clock ; it will pass down through the Narrows, by Fort Hamilton, nearing Coney Island, the Highlands, and Light House, and proceed to that lovely and sequestered spot, Biddle's Grove, opposite Perth Amboy, where the party will remain about four hours...

Tickets 50 cents ; children under 12 half price--all cadets of temperance will go for half price....

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday, July 22, 1847 (also July 23, 28, 29, 31, and August 2, 3, 4, 1847)

Funny to see the word "teetotal" (I didn't know it was an adjective)...and to see it used positively!

I am personally just about a "teetotaler..." but I suppose it is kind of fitting that the temperance boat only passed NEAR Coney Island.

It appears there were at least two steamboats named "North America" (the second built after the first was out of commission). But I can't find a definitive date the second "North America" was even built or what its eventual fate was. It looks like it made it to the 1860s.

At any rate, The New York Times has a rather graphic story from November 21, 1857 involving a steamboat North America. It's titled "RUM'S DOINGS. / Horrible Accident on a Steamboat". It gets worse, but suffice it to say, the man perished and they suspect his lack of balance (due to drink) was the cause.

The word "ironic" is overused, but it this was the same "North America" as was used for a temperance excursion......

EDITS: There was a very similar excursion, with much of the same copy, "Wednesday, August 2d, 1848" on the steamboat Hudson. Also Wednesday, August 21, 1850, on the "large and commodious steamboat NEW-JERSEY."

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