The  following is a transcription of a letter written by a man named Howard and  addressed to James Charles Wright in Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky. He was  obviously a long time friend of the Wright family both in England and America.  Howard had been staying at the Hopedale Community, a Christian commune in  Massachusetts prior to making a return trip to England This letter was written  in England.
Cambridge Jan. 15, 1845
You  will perceive by the name of the place where I date this letter that I have  carried into effect the
intention I mentioned of going to  England. I had nearly abandoned this idea when a letter from an old
friend  reached and very shortly after it's receipt I took my leave of Hopedale.
I  accompanied several of our Brethren to Boston who were going to attend a Non  Resistance meeting of
which  Br. Adin Ballou was President. I attended several sessions with considerable  satisfaction.
Comparing the way in which things  went off this year with my recollections of the meeting last year I think
we have reason to congratulate  ourselves upon the progress of our principles.
Our meeting lasted two days. After  it's conclusion we that is the members of the Hopedale Community had a friendly  visit to the West Roxbury Community. I was very much pleased with what I heard  and saw there and I trust that my Hopedale friends have been profited likewise.  There are many things at Roxbury which our Society would do well to imitate.
As  regards to systematic management of their affairs the Roxbury folks are  certainly far ahead of us.
Although upon the subject of  religion we widely differ from them, yet I feel a deep interest in their welfare
and  earnest wishes for their success.
Taking  leave of my friends here I returned to Boston intending to ship from there but  could find no vessel
for  England except the steam ship Acadia. Passage by these vessels is a high figure,  however I had a strong
inclination to take a second cabin  passage $70 but not exactly liking the accommodations I finally
determined to go to New York. I did  so and after waiting a week I shipped on board the Isabella, a
transient vessel having, according  to the advertisement, particularly eligible accommodations for steerage
By the  way of commentary upon this I have only to say that after getting all things on  board of her I found
things  so exceedingly disagreeable that I was strongly tempted to forfeit my passage  money and go by
some  other vessel.
There  were several things about this vessel, which induced me to give her the  preference over the regular
packets. In the first place her  cabin for steerage passage was upon deck. Only a small number of births
which  presents a neater and more comfortable appearance than is customary, and the  fare being somewhat
higher  than by the line packets I thought it probable that the passengers would be few  and select. The result
most  grievously disappointed my expectations.
As  regards accommodations and the character of the passengers matters were worse  than I have found them
on any  former trip. In a space hardly capable of accommodating 20 people, 40 men, women  and children
were  stowed away. I leave you to judge from this of the state of things amongst us.
In  addition the officers of the ship were as uncivil and unaccommodating a set as I  have sailed with. Of the
sailors  too I have nothing favorable to say, for some of them stole from me a  considerable quantity of
apples  and cheese. The loss of the latter article gave me special annoyance.  Fortunately for us we
experienced very fair weather till  we reached the Irish Channel.
We had  a very unpleasant and tedious time of it beating into Liverpool. We escaped,  however, any heavy
gales  and finally landed the lSd1 of Dec. after a voyage of 4 weeks. A vessel which  left New York much
about  the same time as ourselves made the passage in 10 days.
I was  rather disagreeably surprised on my arrival in England to find the weather so  very severe, an
extraordinary sharp frost had set  in about a week previous and everybody was anticipating a rigorous
winter.  I began to think I had not gained much by exchanging a New England for an Old  England winter.
I took  the railway cars to London, a bitter cold ride. Reached London in about 10  hours. I was astounded
at the  style in which everything was managed belonging to the railway. At every few  miles distance,
station  houses are erected at which passengers are taken up and set down. Some of these  buildings are of a
very  splendid character. Policemen patrol the whole line of the railroad. All  inquires are answered and
assistance rendered by the servants  of the company with the greatest readiness and they are forbidden to
receive  any fee for their services.
The fee  for the fare from Liverpool to London by the second-class cars is 1-pound  15pence. By the first
class  something more and by third class the charge for all distances is at the rate of  1 d per mile. I intended
from  economical considerations to have gone by these last cars but was too late. They  open carriages and I
imagine  I should have suffered from the cold for I found it uncomfortable enough in the  other cars (rest of
sentence illegible).
I found  most of my London friends tolerably well. I made my home at Mr. Houchen's. He is  in tolerable
health,  all circumstances considered is carrying on a comfortable business.
I  remained in London about a week. Terribly foggy and disagreeable weather, only  not very cold. For a
day or  two after my arrival the frost broke up.
I spent  much of my time walking about the streets of London. Considerable improvements  making in
various  parts. Amongst other things I found a new description of pavement. In some  places wooden
blocks  are substituted for stone. They form a road agreeable to travel over and  particular pleasant to those
in  whose neighborhood it is made, on account of the little noise which arises from  carriages passing over it.
How far  it is advantageous with respect to durability I am unable to say.
I took  an early opportunity after my arrival to call upon your mother. I found her at  home, Emily with her.
Both in  tolerable good health, looking as I thought extremely well although I believed  the old lady had a
slight  cold.
I felt  considerably interested in Emma, both on account of personal appearance and  likewise from what I
recollected having heard Mrs.  Wright say respecting her temper and disposition.
I have  thought since that if she had paid you a visit at Louisville instead of Maria  perhaps that circumstance
might  have (illegible) an important influence over my life and fortunes, that is  supposing that we had met
Well,  we had a very lively time of it, for whether your mother has a fine flow of  animal spirits or whether
she  felt unusually elated at seeing an old friend of her son James, I am unable to  say, but this much is
certain  that she was extremely cheerful and chatty during my stay.
Although I had not long had my  breakfast, yet I was obliged to take some refreshment. My temperance
principles puzzled the old lady  pretty considerably. "Won't you take a glass of wine", "No, I thank you",
"Well,  but won't you take some spirit and water". I parried those pressing invitations  by the reiterated
declaration of my being a  temperance man. But I could not put off the eating business. When it was
absolutely necessary to have  something to drink with the eatables your mother seemed to be horrified at the
idea of  drinking raw cold water. And so after a good deal of parleying we finally  arranged the affair by
means  of some sugar and water.
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