Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sunday, 12 September 1886: "Society Topics of the Week"

New York Times, 12 Sept 1886
From the New York Times:

“The American colony abroad which began to break up a fortnight ago is now pretty well scattered and its members are returning home by every steamer. Every stateroom and berth in the fleet homeward-bound ocean liners up to Dec. 1 are said to be engaged, and many people after waiting days in hopes of something being given up have been and are obliged to return in slower boats. Great as was the Spring exodus to Europe the Autumn return flight seems to be larger.”

Two days later Helen reported the same, with more precision, from aboard the steamer City of Rome:

"Only 71 passengers lose themselves in the spaces of this mighty ship that one week ago landed at New York hundreds of home returning travelers, and we are told that in London are many waiting passage, as the books of all the steamers westward bound are filled till into November."

The Douglasses travelled in the off-season, then, possibly economizing, possibly avoiding the pitfalls of his celebrity, possibly planning to arrive in southern latitudes at a more amenable time of year.

"Society Topics of the Week," New York Times, 12 September 1886.

Helen Pitts Douglass Diary, 14 September 1884, Family Papers, Frederick Douglass Papers, Library of Congress.

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