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In spite of the badness of the rails, we arrived in safety at Amboy, where this line of railroad terminates. The station here is in a very dilapidated condition, and there seems a very strong probability of some unlucky train being precipitated into the sea – by going only a few inches further than is intended. Here we changed our mode of traveling, proceeding down the Raritan to New York by steamboat. The Raritan is a very fine river, and our change of conveyances was by no means disagreeable. On the boat's arrival at her destination, the passengers were assailed by a mob of cabmen, porters &c who though not allowed to come on board the steamer quarreled about their passengers, and if any one ventured ashore and presumed to scorn their offer he was nearly pulled to pieces for his temerity. Keeping close in the rear of our luggage we made our own way in safety through the formidable array, to the Astor House caravan, and were by it deposited at the entrance of that celebrated Hotel. Having by no means lost our appetites we ordered dinner as soon as possible and sate [sic] down to it with great goût at 8 o'clock.
Illustrated diary of Mary Ann and Septimus Palairet, 1843. Gift of Arnold Whitridge, 1962.