Rowing adventure excerpt from the 1842 diary of Charles H. Ludington

From the journal of Charles Henry Ludington of Freedericksburg, NY (Putnam County.) Charles was 17 years old in 1842, newly arrived in NYC, apprentice in a dry goods house.


Saturday, August 13 --

While on my way to the Arcade Baths in Chambers Street, I met one of the comrades boarders at the new boarding house who asked me to go with him and some other gentlemen on a rowing excursion. I gladly accepted the invitation and at 15 minutes past 8 o’clock in the evening we launched our little boat named the Crolius from the foot of Battery Place. There were 5 of us, merry friends although this evening was not ?June? yet it was quite pleasant. The water was smooth and we gaily rowed out into the harbour. Passing under the bow of the North Carolina near enough to have a fine view of that majestic vessel. We steered for the old fort on Governors Island. From here we went to South Brooklyn and landed a few minutes. We had a controversy about points of comfort but in the end we agreed there were as many different opinions as when we began. No two of us thought much in the same direction. We rowed directly for Governor’s Island and continued around I and arrived at the old fort in a short time for we rowed lustily. Then steering for Bedlows Island we passed a large schooner under sail. The time was shortened by the amenities, songs and pleasant conversation. When off Bedlows a short distance we came near striking on a rock which we did not see till we were within 2 or 3 yards of it. From Bedlows we pulled around Ellis Island and up to Jersey City where we stopped and drank lemonade. We rowed from here directly across the harbor and when near the shore we mutually agreed to pull around the North Carolina & Gomer Again. We passed these vessels rapidly and making a circuit came close to the Battery and Castle Garden to the foot of Battery Place where we stopped ashore paid boat first went to Parkers in John Street took a hearty supper and got to bed at 15 minutes of 12 o’clock.