Saturday 21 April 2012

April 21, 1876 - Part Two

On April 21, 1876, the controversy and war of worlds between Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics continued with the following letter to the editor of the Spectator fro prominent Hamilton Irish Catholic Cornelius Donovan “
          Sir : Being somewhat concerned in the report of a committee of the I. P. B. S. published in your columns last evening, I beg leave to trespass on your space for a few remarks.
          It is worthy of note that the obnoxious statements delivered by Messrs. Ballatyne and Crawford have been refracted through the medium of the committee’s report, as the expression of “regret” referred to by that committee clearly shows. “Unintentionally” they say; then unintentionally let it be; though it is hard to conceive how any statement can be called “unintentional” that is deliberately expressed twice over, as the published account of the affair expressly states. It is indeed a poor reparation to make for an insult and a slander so particularly and directly pointed at those which to the Catholics of Hamilton as “Paddies, Biddies, Mickies, and Norahs,” and to the Catholics of the country as persons willing to take the heart’s blood of their Protestant neighbours. I have no desire to continue the discussion under this head, Mr. Editor. The retraction though lacking in manly modus operanti has been made; let the mantle of charity do the rest.
          With regard to the versions passed by said committee on the Spectator’s account of that famous meeting, I have nothing to do. The statement of inaccuracies is reiterated by the former but disallowed by the latter, which steadily sustains its reporter throughout. This narrows the matter down to a question of veracity between the two statements, which can be settled only by the publisher and the demurrers themselves. On the merits of the Spectator article, I based my argument, and until it is disproved, I must consider it as correct.
          With all due respect to the gentlemen of the before-quoted committee, I must say that I decidedly take exception to their concluding remarks. If they believe in the doctrine of individual opinion, and I think they do, they must not single me out as an exception to the rule, for I have as good a right to hold my opinion on the relative worth of historic personages as they have to hold theirs, and I will not allow them to deny me that right inalienable to all.
          The attempt thus made to introduce religious discussions on subjects which Catholics and Protestants have argued during the past 300 years, without having come to a mutual agreement thereon, will not,  in the eyes of the impartial, shield the two offending gentlemen from the odium attachable to the expressions they applied to a large and respectable portion of our community. It was to bring them to a sense of their offense that I entered into this contest, and it was against them only that I directed my attack. It has succeeded in eliciting from them an apology, which, however defective it may be, is sufficient to show that the offense is acknowledged, which, after all, is not a little to expect from a vanquished opponent. Having succeeded in this respect, I am not unwilling, if the press be agreeable, to proceed to a discussion of the merits of that lecture, but it is as a rule in logic to pursue one proposition to a conclusion before another be taken up.
                                      Yours respectfully,
                                                          Cornelius Donovan.
A  major new feature of the Great Western Railway was celebrated by a number of special guests, including a reporter from the Spectator, invited to test out the new G. W. R. dining cars on a trip from Detroit to London.
          The Spectator reporter’s  detailed account follows :
“The interesting ceremony of inaugurating the two new dining cars, the “Revere” and “Tremont,” took place on the Main Line between Detroit and London yesterday, and the whole affair passed off with an ├ęclat which is inseparable from demonstrations of this kind on the G. W. R. This occasion, however, was one which involved something more than a pleasant trip on the best piece of railway in Canada. In the matter of supplying all possible conveniences for travelers, the Great Western is second to no other road in the country, and yesterday was intended to afford an example of the wonderful progress that is being made in this direction. On one train was to be found all the accommodation which the most fastidious traveller could desire. The gorgeous apartments of the Pullman of course are not new, but the introduction of dining rooms, complete with all the appurtences of a first-class hotel, was calculated to make the occasion a most interesting one. The result is that henceforth it will be accepted as a fact, and not a dream, that travelers in Canada can
                             LIVE ABOARD THE CARS
and that in right royal style too.
          Yesterday a large party gathered at the Michigan Central depot in Detroit and at 8:40 took the No. 6 express for London.
          Before giving any further details of the excursion, a description of the cars will not be out of place.
                             THE NEW CARS
were built at the Great Western shops, in London, at a cost of $13,000 each, and will be used jointly by the Great Western and the Michigan Central Roads. They are very handsome within and without, and reflect the highest credit on the workmen. The inside is exceedingly well finished. The woodwork is of black walnut, with panelling of bird’s eye maple.The head linings are artistically painted, and they contribute very materially to the general fine appearance. The seats, which are stationary, are of black walnut, the arms ornamented with silver plating, and covered with green leather. In each car forty persons can dine comfortably at once. Between each pair of seats a dining table is placed. At night the cars will be lighted very brilliantly by mineral sperm burners. The whole is heated by steam pipes, which are situated along the sides of the car and underneath the seats.
                             THE KITCHENS
which are very roomy, are furnished with all the necessary utensils, taps with hot and cold water, etc. The range is a very fine one, burns hard coal, is entirely of wrought iron, and was manufactured by a firm in New York.
                             THE CHINA AND LIQUOR LOCKERS
are very handsomely constructed and are lacking in nothing. In the former is kept all the silver plate, of which there is a magnificent display, every piece being handsomely engraved with the initial “G. W. R. and M. C. R. R.”  The whole of the plate and the internal furnishings were supplied by Mr. Charles Black, of this city, and they are certainly very creditable to him.
          The ride from Detroit to London was very pleasant, the day being fine, and all enjoyed themselves highly during the whole trip.
was served at 12:45 p.m., and it was a repast of a most recherce kind. The viands were excellent and were they were served in first class style, this part being under the direction of J. H. Wall, Jr. and I. H. Shamrock – old Pullam men – the dining car conductors who were assisted by several waiters who also understood their business to perfection. The following was the
                                Baked Pike
Sirloin Beef                                                         Haddie Southdown Mutton
Turkey, Cranberry Sauce.                      Chicken Brown Sauce Ribs Beef
                                Cold Dishes
Tongue                 Turkey                           Ham                               Chicken
                          Pressed Corn Beef
                            Mallard Duck
Chow Chow                          Horse Radish                                           Olives
French Mustard          Cranberry Sauce      Currant Jelly         Mixed Pickles
Boiled Potatoes                          Mashed Potatoes                             Onions
        Stewed Tomatoes                                                         Lima Beans
                             Green Corn        
Peach Pie                     Apple Pie            Pound Pudding
Oranges Apples    Assorted Cake     French Coffee     New York Ice Cream

          After having done full justice to the things which had been furnished, the tables were cleared off, not, however, before the guests had expressed their appreciation of all the arrangements that had been made.
          While the train was stopped at Komoka Junction, Mr. Dawson, of the London Herald, in one car, and Mr. Lewis of the Essex Times, in the other, proposed the toast of “Prosperity to the new dining cars on the Great Western and Michigan Central Railways.” Each of the gentlemen named took occasion to speak in the highest terms of the enterprise which was shown by the Great Western Railway, of which the new cars that were running in Canada yesterday for the first time were good examples. The sentiments proposed were received with enthusiasm by the invited guests, and were responded to in fitting terms by Mr. J. K. Dawson and Mr. Chas. Stiff, assuring the gentlemen present that it would continue to be in the future as it had been in the past, that the Great Western Railway would do every thing possible to secure the comfort of the passengers who travelled the road.
                                      THE FOREST CITY
          London was reached at about 1:40 p.m., where the party were received by Mayor Macdonald, Hon. John Carling, Col. Walker, Chief of Police Wigmore and a number of the City Aldermen, and escorted to the Tecumseh House. Here Mayor Macdonald, on behalf of the citizens, tendered the hospitalities of the city and invited the visitors to drive around the principal streets and thoroughfares. Before starting, short addresses suitable for the occasion were delivered by several of the prominent gentlemen present. The visitors and their entertainers having entering the carriages provided for them were first driven to the Lunatic Asylum, where they were received by Doctor Lett, the assistant superintendent, and escorted through the buildings and grounds. After leaving the asylum, the procession drove to Mount Hope hill from which they had a fine view of the surrounding country and many of the principal public buildings. Carling’s brewery was next paid a visit, the Hon. Gentleman himself doing the honor, and sending his visitors away with a high opinion of his establishment, and also of his ale. The party, after driving through the streets of the city for some time longer, were again taken to the Tecumseh, from which they soon took their ways to the station and left for homes well pleased with the handsome manner in which they had been treated by the Londoners.
          One of the dining cars was taken back to Detroit and the other was brought to Hamilton.
          Altogether the ceremony of yesterday passed off in the most satisfactory manner. All the arrangements were complete, the credit of which was due, in a great measure, to the exertions of Mr. Stiff, the General-Superintendent of the G. W. R.

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