Travels Through North America, during the years 1825 and 1826

By His Highness,
Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar Eisenach

On our return to Bethlehem, we went rather roundabout, in order to see a large farm, which is distinguished in the country on account of its good management; it is occupied by a native of Nassau, Mr. Schlabach. His fields are indeed in an excellent situation, as well as all his barns and farm houses. This proprietor, who is now so wealthy, came over a redemptioner, and owes his present wealth to his industry and frugality. After dinner I went with Mr. Seidel, who is the guardian, to the great female boarding-school. In the office where the small domestic library is kept, which not only consists of religious books, but also belles lettres, voyages and travels, I met the venerable Bishop Huffel, who accompanied me, with Mr. Seidel, during my inspection of the school. In this school we found about one hundred handsome young ladies, between the ages of eight and eighteen years, who are carefully educated, and who, besides the common school education, are instructed in drawing, music, and all female accomplishments. They make very fine embroidery and tapestry, and also handsome artificial flowers. They are divided into four classes; in every class-room was a piano. I was informed that they performed their morning and evening devotions by chanting. After dinner they receive no other instructions but music and female accomplishments; the latter part of the day is employed in walking in the large garden, which lies in a vale behind the house. They have also a hall for prayers, in which stands a piano, and which is often made use of as a concert room. They sleep in large halls, with the superintendents, and the girls have a very good appearance. The custom which prevails in European boarding-schools, of dressing all the girls in uniform, and distinguishing different classes by different ribbons, does not take place here; every girl dresses as she pleases. The scholars are from all parts of the United States, even some from Alabama.

After having examined this interesting establishment, I walked with the bishop and Mr. Seidel on the banks of the brook, in order to examine some works that are situated on the waterside. The first was the work which forces the water into the cistern, as above-mentioned. By a conductor from the brook, a water-wheel is set in motion; this wheel works two pumps, which force the water into iron pipes leading into the cistern. Not far from this work lives a currier by the name of Mr. Leipert, who manufactures leather and morocco: in this establishment the principal machinery is also moved by water. They have two ways here of raising water, one is by boxes fastened on a large wheel, these boxes fill themselves with water, when they are below, and throw it into a gutter, when they come up; the other is by a common pump.

At last my companions introduced me to a gentleman, who, with trouble and expense, had established a cabinet of ancient and other coins. This collection was indeed extensive and valuable, recollecting that it was in America.



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