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The American Mecca

The American Mecca image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
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About noou we reaohed Alount Vernou. A transport steainer, with returning vetorans, was lying off iu the nvcr ; her fruight of soldiars was on shore before us, with eager hearts to viait the home and tomb of Washington. Thoj oarae to puy their horaage to tho great soldier, and regret to say they paid for it. At the door of entranco of the mansión stood Mr. Herbert, ono of the last fragmeuts of " oae of the furslest of the first families ia Virginia - F. F. F. V. answering to XXX on a beer-barrel ; he is the last son of Judge Herbert of Alexaudria, whoso aristocratie mansion has long sinco been turned into a tavern The aciou of an old and highly respectablu family now holds the rosponsible posilion of showman and fee-takor of loyal pilgrims to tuis, our American Mecca. The colonel of one of the landed regiments paid for bis men - iu all tour hundred - one hundred dollars, and alas ; we found, on relurning to our boats, that other soldiers, notso lavored and oared for, had been refused adniit tauco, becauHO they bad no twenty-five cent note to givo the janitor. Ouo of these, a brave, fine looking fellow, said : " We have heen fighling for the place for (he last thrée years, and now we are return ing hotne - the war over - and we are refused to enter the house of Washington. It is too bad f Another said "he uffered ten cents, it was all he had, lid Hwas no go." The entrance fee is eompulsory, but it is not the ouly expedient used for gainiiifi an honest penny. In the hall lay open a register for all who are ambitioua of the sort of immortality attached to writing their names on it as " Visitors to Mount Vernoo." Notico is given a on plaoard that all who do write their names q it mu3t pay for so doing, and put down opposite their names the sum put inlo the treasury, and that those who wrote in their names, and neglected to pay for doing so, would have their narnes erasod; and many names were erased who condemned this littlo oontiivanee br " raising the wind." The present state of Mount Vernon and its touib is truly pitiable. The grounds have been well oared lor. I refer uow to the farm ng lands, whioh have been earefully cultivated and doubtlcss have naid well ; but the tomb oí Washington isas full oí dirt aod decayed leaves, uuopeaed, unswept, and as utterly when owned and cared for by Augustine (Vashington. The rooms sliown to visitors aro íew and dirty, uakod of all furïiture, dilapidated, and no attempt has jecn made to roproduee the Rome ol rVaahiügton. Aa yet 110 repairs havu eeu made ofher thaii to reshingle tliu oof and to renow the pillara of the jiazza and itn cornice. The wholo ooucern is now a close Corporation ; sustained 'of the support ol' tha resideot Lady Manager and Mi". Herbert, who bere xtond their elügant oourtesies to the 'avored few at the coat of the comoion niblio and veturan soldiers rufcuming rom tho war.


Old News
Michigan Argus