[N.p., Pennsylvania: 1868-1871].
Ink on paper, with pencil and watercolor drawings throughout, including rural scenes and pictures of camp life, 2 finely executed leaves depicting 11 and 7 named angling flies, two individual drawings of flies, and several watercolors of trout. 256; 276; 10 pp. 3 vols. 8vo. Brown half morocco (finely rebacked preserving spines); the third manuscript in folded sheets, unstitched. Boxed in three seperate black or blue slipcases. Clean and fresh Item #313551
Accounts of mid-nineteenth century outdoor sport and holiday travel in central Pennsylvania, by a an earnest and occasionally lyrical chronicler.
The first, The Journal of the Ten Mile Cabin Party, is a record of a trout fishing party in the summer of 1868, to a “certain secluded little dell, deep in the old hemlock woods, shut in on all sides by the Allegheny mountains, with scarce passage way allowed for one of the brightest and most romantic little trout streams in the Pennsylvania woods.” The party included Marriott, the chronicler; Browny, the Nimrod of the party, and the artist whose neatly finished drawings punctuate the narrative; Kelley, the fisherman; Pankey; and Miller. The party left the West Philadelphia railroad depot on 3 July, joined for the Harrisburg leg of the trip by Charley V—, “one of the best fly fishermen in Philadelphia,” who was on his way to a small stream above Altoona. After delays, their train crossed the Susquehanna where they saw a Fourth of July party in possession of one of the islands in the river, and at last reached North Point, where the wagon to take them up the creek awaited. Marriott writes simply and with an eye for scenic detail and an ear for the wit of his friends. He alludes to Dickens and quotes Dr. Bethune on the habitat of the trout fisherman: “His choice is the swift river, the rock-broken stream; and he walks hopefully on from one jutting cliff to another, making his fly fall lightly as a drop of snow on each turn of the wave, or under the out-eaten turf, or over the deep, dark pool.”
The second, with a pictorial title of the mountains of Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, recounts a trout fishing trip to Bowman’s Creek, northwest of Scranton, with companions Browny, Jim, Will, and Tom. During their climb to Harvey’s Lake, several flocks of wild pigeons flew overhead and though they had but one gun between them, “a long, single-barrelled revolutionary looking affair,” Tom was “ubiquitous.” Later, describing their campsite under an enormous hemlock, Marriott writes, “And, Reader, have you ever slept in a hemlock bed? … The resinous odor is an agreeable one and a great promoter of sleep.”
The third, much shorter manuscript, is the preliminary pages (only) of a return visit to Bowman’s Creek in the summer of 1871; the party gets just beyond Bethlehem.
Remarkable group of manuscripts providing a glimpse of daily life on summer vacations long ago.
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