Mark Twain

Muscatine Journal/ February 17, 1854

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 3, 1854.

The Consolidation Bill, which has kept our citizens in such an excitement so long, has at length passed both houses of the Legislature, and when the Governor’s signature is affixed to it, Southwark, the Northern Liberties, &c., will be among the things that were. This bill brings the various Districts, boroughs, &c., and also Philadelphia county under one municipal government. Philadelphia as consolidated is now the largest city in the United States. Although New York has much the larger population, Philadelphia has a far greater number of houses, and covers a much larger space than New York, or any other city in the Union. The police came out yesterday in their uniform. It is very neat, and gives them a kind of military appearance.

I went, with a few friends, yesterday, to the Exchange, to see the reception of the two lions, Captains Low and Crighton. The Reading Room, at 12 o’clock, was densely crowded. About five minutes past twelve the two heroes made their appearance, and were received with three times three by the assembled populace. After a few remarks by the President of the Testimonial Committee, the shaking of hands commenced, and the two Captains were borne through the crowd, to the great danger of their lives and limbs, and were thus squeezed and cheered into the street, where a carriage was in waiting to convey them to the State House. The crowd followed them on a run, yelling and huzzaing till they were out of sight. The money subscribed for each, I believe, was about $2,500, in addition to which they will receive several medals. Capt. Crighton is about thirty-three years of age, and is a native of New England.

The people here seem very fond of tacking a bit of poetry (?) to the notices of the death of friends, published in the Ledger. Here are a few lines of most villainous doggerel, and worse measure, which may be found in the “death” column of that paper three or four times every day. This will serve as a contrast with the pretty gems of your fair correspondents “Nannette” and “Virginia,” &c.

“Ah! dry your tears, and shed no more.

Because your child, husband, and brother has gone before;

In love he lived, in peace he died,

His life was asked, but was denied.”

What do you think of that? Will not Byron lose some of his popularity now?

The great California tree, or rather part of it, has just arrived here, and is now lying in Front Street. It was sawed off about seven feet above the roots, and is about 23 feet in diameter. It is quite a curiosity. Some of the sailors of the ship in which it came are Chinese.

The Sabbath School children of the Methodist E. Churches, of Philadelphia, have contributed a block of marble for the Washington Monument. It bears an appropriate inscription.

The journeymen rope makers of Philadelphia, have demanded an advance of 25 cents a day on their wages. This demand has generally been complied with.

They have lately placed a new chime of bells in the tower of St. Stephen’s Church, here, the largest one of which weighs 2800 pounds. This is a large bell.

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