1904 - Campbell, R. Reminiscences of a Long Life in Scotland, New Zealand - NEW ZEALAND. PART IV. SECOND TRIP, VIA AMERICA, p 68-74

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  1904 - Campbell, R. Reminiscences of a Long Life in Scotland, New Zealand - NEW ZEALAND. PART IV. SECOND TRIP, VIA AMERICA, p 68-74
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. . . Seas between us braid hae roared
Since auld lang syne.

I HAD resolved to go this time by America, and accordingly left Dunedin on the 18th June, 1882, by the Manapouri. At Wellington I transhipped from the Manapouri to the Penguin, and went round to Onehunga; thence crossed to Auckland by rail, where we joined the 'Frisco mail boat Zealandia. Had splendid weather and a good trip to Honolulu. Going ashore to see the sights, we hired a buggy and drove out to the "Para"--a hill of which one side is perpendicular-- as straight down as if sliced with a knife. This is a historical part of the island. When the present native race invaded the original inhabitants, they drove them back from the sea-shore and hemmed them in, with fierce enemies in front, and the immense precipice of the Para in their rear. The invaders pressed the poor creatures back until they drove them over the rock, where they fell to the bottom, a depth of 1600 feet. The bones can be seen there till this day.

The laws regarding the Sabbath day in Honolulu are very strict. While out walking we went to an hotel to try and get a drink. We used all our powers of persuasion, but without effect for a long time, till the proprietor saw that we really wanted it. Then he took us through numerous rooms, and only when he reached his own bedroom did he let us have what we desired. And although we had to load a quantity of sugar, the natives would not begin work till after midnight. Then they worked with a will, intermingling their work with singing hymns. I enjoyed the singing very much, and opened the port-hole that I might hear better. Time passed pleasantly and everything went well as we left Honolulu far behind and

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steamed towards "the land that lies toward the setting sun," and on a fine day we sailed through the Golden Gate which leads to San Francisco.

On reaching the wharf we used all despatch to go and see the great city and find suitable accommodation. I put up at the Occidental Hotel, Montgomery Street, and was surprised to find how moderate the charges were, with every comfort. There was a nice library, where one could transact business, and also a telegraph office on the premises. I went through the city looking at the buildings, which are splendid. One hotel, called the Palace Hotel, is a magnificent place, built of white marble, and containing twelve hundred bedrooms. There is a platform on the top that is just a quarter of a mile's walk. 'Frisco is a fine city, but I should not care to live in it.

We left Oaklands by train in the afternoon, en route for New York, stopping at Sacramento, 90 miles from San Francisco. Next morning at 7 o'clock, breakfasted at Reno, 306 miles from 'Frisco, and 4490 feet up the Sierra Nevada Mountains; at 12.50, stopped at Humboldt to get dinner; at 2.30, stopped at Winnemucca, 4300 feet above sea level, and 475 miles from 'Frisco.

Friday, 14th, 6 a. m. --820 miles from 'Frisco. Arrived at Ogden on Friday, 8.30 a. m. Left at 10 a. m. First stoppage for dinner at Evanston, a town of some pretensions, 37 miles from Ogden, and 9 miles from Omaha.

Saturday, 15th. --Breakfast at Omaha, crossed the Missouri at 8 p. m.

Sunday, 16th. --Had breakfast in a dining car attached, and it was the best and most comfortable meal we had since leaving 'Frisco. At the inns by the way one was afraid of being late, and could not get the good of what was on the table; but in the saloon car we could take out food leisurely.

Monday, 17th. ---Rose early this morning to see the great river Mississippi when the train was passing over the bridge, which is three quarters of a mile long, and so high as to let the leviathan steamboats through below. We also saw some of

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the remains of the big flood on the opposite side from Burlington. We rattled along after crossing the bridge, and arrived in the great city of Chicago at 2. 45 on the same day, having run 502 miles.

I took up my abode at Shearman's Hotel, Randolph street, and visited many places in and about the city, and the great stockyard, which is about six miles away; but the growth of Chicago has been so great that it now extends out to the yards. The most remarkable thing to be seen is the killing and dressing of pigs, which is a most extraordinary operation. I will try and give some idea of it.

Having got a written order from the authorities, we presented it, and the clerk who conducted us was exceedingly kind and attentive. He took us first to the pen where the pigs go to be killed. It is really a building of two storeys, the machinery being in the upper flat, for almost everything is done by machinery. The pigs are driven into the ground flat, where there is a man standing lightly clothed, and with a long sharp knife in his hand. A chain hangs from the roof, the end of which is slipped over a hind leg of piggie (who makes a fine row all the time), and he is gradually hauled to a certain height, when the man sticks the knife in his throat, killing him almost instantly, for the blood chokes him. The carcass is passed along and dropped into a scalder. In this is a contrivance round which it is turned till all the hair is off; then it is turned into another room, still hanging by the hind leg, where the head is cut off. Passed along to another man, he disembowels the body, and throws the refuse into a waggon; passed on once more, it is cut into pieces. Then it goes to the salting-room, and (finally), to the smoke-house; and almost before you can realise that the animal is dead, he is sent out ready for food.

We also visited McCormick's Reaper and Binder Machine factory. It is an immense place, employing usually from one thousand to fifteen hundred hands.

We left Chicago on the 19th at 3.30 p. m., and travelled

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all night, sleeping in the Pullman car, and arrived at the Suspension Bridge, about a mile below the great Falls of Niagara, where the train is slowed, that people may have a chance of seeing the Falls. We posted on to Buffalo, where I left the train to see if I could find my brother's two girls. I put up at the Mansion House Hotel. Next morning I started on my search, and was fortunate enough to find them. The first place I called at happened to be the shop of Ida's husband. He took me to the dwelling-house, and I was quite pleased with them--they seemed very nice girls indeed. They were very kind, and glad to see me. Ida's husband hired a carriage and pair and drove us all over the town and suburbs. We passed the place where their father is buried, and I would have liked to see the grave, but time would not permit of the delay. I was very sorry to leave them so soon, and they regretted having to part with me; but I had to leave by the 8.25 a. m. train. We travelled 432 miles to Jersey City, crossed the Hudson River, and reached New York at 10.30 on Friday night, after passing through a beautiful and picturesque country.

Learning that the steamer was to sail for Liverpool in the morning, I got up at 5 a. m., made arrangements, and was off to cross the Atlantic for Liverpool on board the City of Berlin.

Sunday, 23rd July, 1882. --Fair weather and smooth sea, There was Church service in the cabin, and a missionary on his way back to India gave us a very interesting account of his work there. On board the boat was Bishop Gilmour of Cleveland. We got into conversation, which gradually came round to secular education, and about this time the Bishop and an editor of one of the papers had been having a war of letters over it. The editor's opinion was that men rule everything, and directed the nations, while the Bishop held that God was over all. In the course of our chat I told him secular education had just been introduced in New Zealand. He said: "That is a pity, for God is all power. So sure as you leave God out of your schools, God will leave you."

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Monday, 31st. --Arrived in Liverpool about 9 a. m., after a pleasant run of nine days.

August 1st. --Took train at 8.45 p. m. for Glasgow, and arrived there at 6 p. m. next day.

August 2nd. --Sailed by steamer for Dunoon, and so got to the end of my long trip of 14000 miles, in the short space of 48 days.

I made my headquarters at Dunoon--a watering place on the banks of the Clyde--during the time I was in Scotland, taking trips round the country to such places as we had any interest in.

After taking farewell of all our friends and acquaintances, many of whom came to Greenock with us, Mrs Campbell and I left by the Hauroto, which sailed from the Tail of the Bank at 3.30 p. m. on October 25th, 1882.

We had splendid weather and good times till we came in sight of Cape Town. We were a merry crew, and everyone felt pleased when told that we were to call at the Cape.

As we neared the coast the morning was lovely and the sea beautiful, and literally swarming with living creatures. I noticed black clumps here and there on the waves, but could not imagine what they were till I found they were seals-- several lying huddled up together, sleeping. They looked peculiar, and on the slightest sound they dispersed. There was everything to gladden the senses as we walked the deck on Tuesday--Table Mountain standing out with a grandeur and prominence which told those who knew its position that we should soon be safely anchored under its shadow. The town, when seen from the bay after dropping anchor, looked as if perfect peace reigned throughout, though one could detect busy portions. We remained one day and a night.

We had some very intellectual evenings after leaving the Cape, having three ministers among the passengers--one of these a missionary from the New Hebrides. Besides this we had several concerts, and all who preferred could have cards or draughts.

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On the 10th Nov. Mr James Craigie, after a lingering though not painful illness, died of galloping consumption. He was buried on the 11th at 9.30. The Rev. G. Barclay conducted the short service over his remains. Poor man, he left his home to benefit his health, leaving his wife and children behind.

Master Herbert Wilson fell down the poop deck stairs about the same time, sustaining injuries which, although not thought much of at first, turned out very serious, and he died on the 11th. When the rumour went round the ship that "little Wilson was dying," there was pain and consternation on every face; even the hardy sailors hushed their voices. He was only ten years old, and was travelling alone from London to Wellington. He was a clever little chap, and a general favourite. The lad's mother was dead, but much sympathy was expressed for his father, who would then be anxiously awaiting his return, and who would soon learn that he could never behold his boy on earth again.

At 9.33 on the 12th the engines were slopped, and all assembled to hear the solemn service read over his remains, and pay a last tribute to his memory. Many a tear fell down the faces of friends so lately made, yet so soon to be his mourners. The Rev. G. Barclay conducted the burial service.

We remained at Melbourne two days and two nights, doing the sights, but the weather was wet, so that going about was not pleasant.

We left Melbourne on the 15th, and had fair weather until off the coast of New Zealand, when it was wretched--the worst we had had on the passage; but ultimately it cleared, and we had a pleasant trip up the coast.

Arrived at Port Chalmers safely, we collected our luggage, took train to Dunedin (passing on the way the scene of our early struggles), and put up at the Coffee Palace. We spent some time having a look at the fair city of Dunedin--the Edina of the South. Dunedin is a well built, picturesque city; and the surrounding hills form a fitting frame for a charming

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picture. Seen from one of its many hills, Dunedin, enhanced by the fresh green hue of bush and tree, and the glittering waters of the bay, affords many romantic views, which please the eye and impress the mind.

It was, however, getting near shearing time, and I hurried home to make all arrangements, leaving my wife at the Coffee Palace until the shearing should he finished.

While we were in Dunedin we purchased a bit of land at Waltham rise, St Clair, and we resolved to build a home and reside there. We were getting tired of the country; and, thinking we had worked long enough, decided to take our leisure and enjoy a well-earned rest.

We decided to have our house built in the Elizabethan style, and to contain seven rooms besides servant's bedroom, pantry, bathroom, scullery, linen press, corridor, and hall. Mrs Campbell returned to Glenfalloch till the house should be finished.

Having found a satisfactory tenant for the farm, we left it for our home at St. Clair in March, 1883. We liked the place very much, and named our home "Milton House." I have lived there ever since.

Not long ago I sent to the Loch Lomond and Vale of Leven Regatta Club some programmes of the first regatta held by the club, and received in return from Mr W. E. Gilmour (commodore), a book entitled "Historic Families and Notable People of the Lennox." He also told me of the success which yearly follows the club I organised. Its membership is now thirteen hundred.

I think, as I have now gone over nearly seventy years of my life, that I will stop here; and if at some future time I take up the pen and add a few lines to this, well and good. Meantime I am in the hands of a wise Providence, and am content to rest there.

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