___This building, which represents probably the first attempt made by man to preserve a large quantity of ice above ground, merits some description. On the outside it was twenty-five feet square; the dimensions of the inner shell were nineteen feet, its height, sixteen. On top was a floor, trap doors in which provided access to the area below. In the space between the floor and the roof were the sales room, reached by an outside staircase, and living quarters for the keeper. The structure was constructed right next to the dock where the vessel lay, a staging running from the boat's side to the door in the second story was used for unloading the cargo; two gangs of twenty negroes each carried the ice in baskets on their heads. When the icehouse, which held about 150 tons, was filled, the top layer was covered with nine inches of shavings. As soon as his commodity was housed, Tudor began experiments to determine the amount of loss from the " decay " of the ice and the reasons for it. A conductor in the floor carried the water to a hogshead, beside which, watch in hand, he stood, noting the volume of water flowing and weighing the discharge each hour. At first the hourly loss was fifty-six pounds, which he accounted for by the fact that the trap doors had to be kept open for the workmen, and the fresh wind drove in the warm air. As soon as it was possible for these doors to remain closed, the loss of ice decreased considerably. He then added a four-inch layer of saw-dust around the building on the outside for two thirds of the way up; but as the outer wall which held this in place consisted of tin, the result was no improvement, the tin merely drawing heat to the sawdust. However, by removing the top layer of shavings wherever it became wet and by covering the whole with blankets, he was successful in diminishing the waste of ice, and finally got the loss down to eighteen pounds an hour. His first sale was made on March 5, 1816, which, he noted, was ten years to a day since his first sale in Martinique. Nine tenths of what he sold went to proprietors of " coffee-houses," where it was used for making ice cream and for cooling drinks - both novelties. " Drink, Spaniards," he wrote, " and be cool, that I, who have suffered so much in the cause, may be able to go home and keep myself warm." At the end of three months he had taken in $3,000; his estimate for the next six months was $6,500.
___At the same time that Tudor was making these studies to improve the efficiency of his icehouse, he was investigating the effect of cold on preserving fruit. Two boxes containing forty oranges each were placed, one on the floor of the second story, the other on top of the shavings immediately above the ice. At the end of a month the first box was found to contain sixteen rotten oranges, the other, only one. An experiment in transporting tropical fruit from Cuba to the United States packed in ice and hay nearly set the boat afire; again it was a case of his raising the roof before laying the foundations. Tudor had proved he could keep ice in a warm climate and that he had definitely established himself in Havana; the renewal of his license by the Spanish authorities assured him of success. On the other hand, his rash experiment with the cargo of fruit, for which he had borrowed $3,000 in Havana at the " modest interest " of 40 per cent a year, had proved disastrous. Consequently, on his return to Boston his creditors at once became active, and his stay was short. Except for Havana there was no place in the West Indies to which he could extend his business with any hope of success. Brazil and Calcutta were in his thoughts, but hardly for the immediate future. Of necessity he limited his range and determined on Charleston, South Carolina. His departure was not auspicious.
" Oh! hateful and debasing feelings," he wrote on November 15, 1816, "to be in such a situation as to be obliged to leave one's home in anything like a clandestine manner. I could not conceal my intention and I did not; but I am satisfied my departure was without the knowledge of those who could and who would have stopped me. Had the vessel been delayed a day, the present plan for this city would not have been undertaken."
___Fortune continued to tease him with alternations of success and failure. A good season always tempted him to venture more boldly; a bad one made his affairs more critical than ever before. His liability to blundering, illustrated by the midsummer cargo of southern fruits, was exemplified again as soon as he landed in Charleston. Following his procedure in West Indian ports, he sought a grant of exclusive privilege from the legislature of South Carolina, but in this he was naturally unsuccessful.
His father commented on this step in a letter written January 7, 1817:
___"All that any Legislature of a free and commercial State ought to grant in a Case like yours should be a Bonus or Premium for a year or two, to introduce the Luxury you proffer them. What has the Majority of the Citizens to gain from the Introduction of an article that can never reach them? The wealthy ones of Charleston and its Invirons alone can enjoy the pleasant Effect and are able to pay for their exclusive Benefits."
___At this period the indolence of his brother Harry, who could talk delightfully but at twenty-six had "fallen into langour and nothingness," called forth from Frederic repeated adjurations; whether or not as a result, Harry did become a steady and important assistant in the ice business and continued in it throughout his long life. On April 14, 1817, by way of arousing the idler to emulation, Tudor sent him from Charleston an account of the season's business.
___To convince you that I am not one of those unprofitable preachers who merely teach the steep and thorny path to Heaven, I will give you some account of myself since I have been here. I returned to Boston penniless and finding my Ice business not as popular as I expected, I borrowed $300 from a friend. Of these I gave $50 to that thankless Brother of yours and embarked in the ship Milo for this place without a single person to bid me goodbye or shake me by the hand as I left the wharf. Soon after my arrival here, without any other aid than I found within myself, I made a bargain for a supply of money sufficient to proceed in erecting my Ice House upon the condition of obtaining from the Legislature of this state an exclusive privilege. I went to Columbia, the seat of the Government, and failed in my object and returned with my money spent and my bargain at an end. During my absence and after my return here I received letters from Havana mentioning the probability my Ice House would be removed and wishing orders to know what should be done with the materials. A most unpleasant and affrontive letter from William. A letter from Stanwood [in Havana] - informing me of the protest of my bills on Fellowes for $2,000 - and subsequently your letter about the suit commenced against you. Had I faultered all would have been lost. I thought for a moment I must sell my watch and escape home, abandon my Havana business, this also, and sink into utter despair.
___ About this time I made a memorandum in my Ice book Diary "what signifies courage if it abandons us in our utmost need?" I made many other reflections (after a few wincings of weakness) on the dastardliness of despair. I put my shoulder to the wheel and after many a hard struggle I have rolled my waggon on. Stanwood was persuaded to go on - Davenport also. The Ice House in Havana was allowed to stand. My carpenter arrived and the poor abandoned Bankrupt, that might have been, stood the whole of this tremendous storm by the mere force of resolution. I have so willed it, and you may depend upon it that a thorough determination will overcome difficulties, and with honour too, which mere reason adjudges to be insurmountable.
At about the same time, April 8, he wrote to his brother-in-law, Robert H. Gardiner:
___Through a wearisome march of twelve years I have got within grasp a most distinguished success. I have, it is true, had some support from a few of my friends; but from most of them I have not even had so much as their good opinion. I have been set down as a wild projector without stability of calculation or correctness of judgement. You I may rank amongst the few who have stood by me, I believe even from the first, and I feel grateful for it. The lonely and desolate feelings which overwhelm a man in his struggles with the world and with its opinion against him [are] scarcely to be conceived of. Their bitterness must be tasted to be fully understood.
___That I must go to Havana is certain. It is with no light heart that I do it. Should my unfortunate destiny lead me there to come back no more, I hope my memory will be cherished by at least a few of my friends. Those who shall not hold it in kindness I forgive.
___To a man sailing for Havana at the beginning of the yellow fever season the forebodings of these last sentences were natural, and the family well knew that they were not unfounded. Even Colonel Tudor, usually calm and hopeful, was moved.
___"Come home," he wrote, "and let us all strive to restore former days, and if we can not be rich, leave it to those who are to be querulous and miserable."
___Frederic's answer was what might have been expected:
" There is nothing in my opinion debases a man's spirit like penury. Its tendency is to degrade the soul; reason and philosophy preach in vain."
___This struggle for riches, going on unceasingly and at high tension in a man of delicate constitution, was bound more and more to affect not only his health but his philosophy of life. The alteration it wrought in him appears in an exchange of letters between himself and Robert Gardiner. The latter, living on his estate in Maine, was a country squire of the type to which his English up-bringing had accustomed him, but also something more; he was a developer, on a generous and long-range scale, of our eastern frontier; further, he professed and practised a Christianity free from bigotry and cant. The Church of England service, with its beauty and dignity of ritual, which he had known in his youth, he transferred to the banks of the Kennebec, training the choir himself and frequently conducting the service. Christmas, with its yule log, was a high festival, and Puritanism was unknown. Combining strength with sweetness, Robert Gardiner was the only member of the family who could deal with Frederic Tudor in man-to-man fashion, on a basis of equality.
Robert Gardiner to Frederic Tudor on March 23, 1818
___I have always admired your perseverance and think you are right to strive after an easy independence; but beyond this what value is there in riches? They add to our care, our anxiety, and our responsibility, and but little to our enjoyment. You have gone through so much trouble, have seen so much misery, disease, and death, that I should think you would have learnt the little value of every earthly possession and that our only real happiness is in what will fit and prepare us for a more enduring country.
Tudor replied from Charleston on April 4:
___I most sincerely and heartily regret that you have arrived at a view of life similar to my own, although not precisely the same. It is more than two years since I became satisfied in my mind of the absolute worthlessness of our existence here, and the difficulties I have passed through, which to give them a mild term have been horrible, have not had a tendency to lessen or soften this opinion. I consider, however, we owe certain duties to the authour of all things and that we may not do otherwise than fulfil them. I go no further at present than the ties of morality in my idea of the duties we owe to God. . . .
___I am clearly of opinion that whatever our faith may be the pursuit of happiness here is a moral duty and that too great sacrifices of present felicity should not be made today for the benefit which is to be derived to us tomorrow. To be cheerful and kind to our friends and to make few sacrifices to propitiate our foes is agreeable to our nature and not inconsistent with the laws of Heaven. "Do good to thine enemy; love them that hate you " I cannot take as a rule of life; neither do I believe it was intended by the founder of our religion to be literally carried into effect but intended to arm us against resentment and retaliation which a perfectly correct mind cannot but feel against any unjustifiable injury done us. It is impossible to love our friends if we do anything more than pardon our enemies.
___With respect to your opinion of riches I cannot agree with you. I do think they are necessary to a full enjoyment of this life. We may not understand each other on the meaning of the word wealth - a state of competency with a prospect of advance is perhaps as good a situation as can be wished - our nature requires hope and expectation; no man can say he is content in any other condition. The thing to be desired is that we shall not sacrifice our present comforts, in keen anxiety for the ability to extend them. Money is wanted for luxuries, for we have been brought up in the habit of considering them a great good. But what most men desire more than all is the respect, the deference, and the good opinion of their fellow men. A state of poverty and embarrassment cannot inspire these sentiments, neither will a moderate competency. Wealth adds luster to our virtues and though it may not soften the heart it adds to our felicity, because it carries an unquestioned authority in the world and must make a good man better. ...
___I wrote a gay letter some time since to my sister. She inclines a little too much to sadness; she cannot look on life's evils without a tear. Teach her to do otherwise; pensiveness and regrets are unavailing, they only increase the general amount of sorrow, they cannot lessen it.
The next extract, from a letter to Gardiner written from Boston on August 24, 1818, shows plainly not only what the years altered in Frederic Tudor but also what they left unchanged.
___The stubborn, erratic, and hard course of life which I have led for years past has given to my character something of their nature. ... I am single and solitary, and the sportive humour or odd whim of Frederic Tudor, which was once by turns pleasing or vexatious, now no longer delights, for he is at other times self sufficient and hauty. . . . Soon shall I be gone again, and I hope you will not think me extravagant when I tell you it is my solemn resolution to accomplish a most brilliant success or perish in the attempt. That strong expression of the old Roman comes frequently to my mind, who when his friends would dissuade him from going to Rome on account of the danger, answered: " It is necessary I should go to Rome; it is not necessary that I should live." With such views and feelings arising from them, with a great pressure of business for the accomplishment of my project, you must perceive that I must be a restless and far from agreeable visitor.
___The years l8l8 and 1819 marked an improvement in Tudor's affairs. He no longer felt obliged to sneak into Massachusetts and hide himself at Sandwich; he came to Boston and held his head high; in one season his gross sales amounted to $24,000. He was already thinking of establishing himself in New Orleans, the largest city in the South.
___Dec. 2nd 1818. . . . On my arrival in Boston I found Savage . . .had during my absence written to Cabot and spoken to others with some affectation of contempt. I soon satisfied him that such a course it would not do for him to adopt or any persons who ventured to talk with me. Those who were acquainted with me, judging from the expedition to England and this, coupled with the loss of all the Ice I had sent to Havana the last season - two cargoes - that my calculations were bad and that I was an unfortunate schemer, indulged themselves in reflections very far from respectful. My friend Cabot was depressed. Very soon after my arrival I put all these opinions at a non-plus; feeling a confidence in myself and that I wanted the aid of no one, I walked and bowed and smiled and talked like other men when they feel within them that they stand firm and need neither the assistance, the good wishes, or money of anyone.
___Further evidence of a growing sense of importance appears in Tudor's restiveness under the treatment to which he was subject in Savannah and Charleston, and which comes out in this passage from his journal written at Savannah, April 10, 1819:
___I have been treated since I have been here - with very great neglect and the omission entirely of the attentions due to a gentleman and a stranger. It is apparent that I am considered by many persons as a mere Ice seller and so to be treated. This is a new subject of vexation, but not one of which a philosopher would complain; but I am not one in my feelings and I have been surprised to find how much I have been aifected by so insignificant a thing.
___By summer, however, he was on his way back to Boston, full of confidence that his days of poverty were behind him. "I can bear a great deal of success and the burden of wealth without sustaining in all my future life a particle of ennui," he confided to his journal. But his very first encounter at home was with something far other than that which was occupying his thougts. Grief met him at the threshold.
___I arrived at Boston about the 16th July and placed my foot once more on solid ground. I came to the House No. 6 High Street and was informed by Mr. Lee that my Father was dead: which event took place on the 8th. My sorrow for this loss has been great and has not yet subsided. All our family have shed tears of substantial sorrow, and for myself I can say I have lamented his loss more acutely than I should do any person now in existence. How few are there pass out of the world in the 70th year of their age who leave really lamenting friends! But this was the case with my Father; for I can truly say that part of my desire of success arose from the consideration of his hearty participation. . . .
___I wish I could do honour to his memory and satisfy my own feelings by recording here part of what I remember and for which I hold him in such kindness; but it is neither time or place for such a record and I content myself with a quotation of a sentence from the printed memoir by my Brother William.
___" He had that perfect abnegation of self which in great things forms the philosopher and in small things the gentleman."
___One of the first things that Tudor did to set his fellow-Bostonians right about himself as a business man appears in the following brief correspondence with an old enemy, who held the mortgage on a piece of his real estate. It bears as his endorsement:
"Billets to and from Saml. Parkman Septr. 1819 which shew how incivility may be changed with better information on the subject and situation of a man's purse."
Septr. 14th, 1819
___I have returned with the intention of residing permanently at home. If it would be agreeable to you to give me possession of the Saugus estate without present payment I will call and converse with you on the subject.
I am respectfully yours
SAML. PARKMAN ESQ.
Sept 16 1819
___I am not, now, in Possession of the Saugus Farm; therefore nothing can be done about it. I have a note of yours ab[ou]t $15 which I shall leave with my son Samuel, and you will call on him and pay it.
I am your obedient Servant
MR. FRED TUDOR
Septr l6th, 1819
___What I proposed was for your interest as well as my own. You do not appear to be aware that I have this season sold nearly $30,000 worth of Ice and that I expect to sell 6 to $8,000 more before the close of the year. That my Ice Houses cost each $10,000. That of these I have four and that they are fine fire proof buildings occupying as much ground as two of the Central Wharf stores. That they are principally insured about $6,000 against fire. That the sales are regular, progressive and certain, being like the demand for bread at a Baker's. That I am inevitably and unavoidably rich. That I desire no favours and will accept of none, meaning to pay the face of your demand.
___Had you known these things it is probable you would not have asked me for the $15 so very uncivilly; but that you would have given it to your son Samuel and sent him to me to request pay[men]t.
I am your very
SAML. PARKMAN ESQ.
Sept 16, 1819
___It was not my Intention to write anything that was uncivil, nor do I think my note to you of this morning can be so understood. It was my Intention to Inform you that the Saugus Farm was at Present out of my Controul and therefore I could say nothing about it. That as I was going out of Town in the Morning for a week and had left your Note for ab[ou]t $15 with my son Samuel and requested you to call on him for it. Had your note to me of yesterday given your address, I should have desired my son to call [on] you, which he will now do, agreeable to your request.
___I am rejoiced to hear of your prosperity and I shall be happy if I can render you Service. I shall endeavour soon to obtain Possession of the Farm again, when I shall be ready to treat with you respecting it.
I am your Obedient Servant
___The triumph over Parkman, however, as soon appeared, was premature: Tudor was not " inevitably and unavoidably rich." Indeed, what with the hard times that were then upon the country and his loss in Martinique, he was worse off than ever before. He records in his journal on January 30, 1820:
___On the subject of old debts, this is my view. That, when a man well known to be without any means of paying his debts goes forward to hazardous enterprises and succeeds, . . inasmuch as he works for his creditors and generates from nothing the means of paying them, it is their duty to wait reasonably for payment and not, by taking from him all his ability, take from him the means of advance for his own good, after they are satisfied. There is a reciprocal obligation. The obligation on the part of the debtor has its full force and I think reasonable forbearance must of necessity be allowed by rigid justice.
On June 11, 1820, he wrote:
___Still more bad news. ... I am without a dollar, having exhausted every means in my power. The distress I suffer is without alleviation, and coming upon me when in a low state of health cuts me most deeply. To whom can I apply, to whom even whisper my situation? to myself alone, to a jaded spirit, I am to fly for succour and support in this day of disaster. All my courage is again wanted and I hope there is yet some left.
That he still had courage is shown by his journal:
Aug. 5th 1820.
___There is now what is called "hard times " in full operation everywhere and it affects my business extensively; but to exert myself in spite of difficulty in laying a foundation at New Orleans is what I have undertaken and what I think I shall effect, although I have already met with several rebuffs; but I find a continual war with adverse circumstances is the only alternative I have if I would have at a future time a great success and for which I have suffered and am willing to suffer. I think I can see before me the reward of all the hardships in which I have so long been involved; but if I should now stop short of extending at New Orleans I should certainly see at a future time that I have lost one of the best situations to be met with. I shall endeavour how to accomplish my views there and if I cannot effect them it shall not be because I do not exert myself.
Octr. 26th 1820
. . . Well, then, come on trouble and toil and difficulty; ye have always been mine. I will swallow down a heavy draught. I had expected some friendly aid from T. Lee and the Motleys; but it is impossible I should not appear to them what I am, an embarrassed man, and such a one their habits of life and customs of business renders them unfit to view with favour or to aid. The only real friend I have in these days and nights of trouble is Robert H. Gardiner. The time will come when I shall want no friend, and I hope, should I be similarly situated as Lee is to me, I shall find myself able and willing to aid a man when he is evidently in temporary embarrassment.
In the desperate effort which he had now to make, his last before the ice business was firmly established, salvation came - such is the irony of fate, through his " worthless brother." At the age of forty, William, a bachelor, was fully confirmed in his interest in things of the mind. The editorship of the North American Review, which he had held for four years, had provided him with plenty of occupation - for he had written most of the articles - but was highly unremunerative. His Letters on the Eastern States, just published, a series of reflections on society as he found it in Boston and at Gardiner, Maine, where most of it was written, was shrewd and readable, but not a kind of book to produce anything worth mention by way of royalties. He was now turning his thoughts to a life of James Otis. Biography, it should be noted, was in those days, except for George Washington (a subject already cultivated successfully by Marshall), not a field to which an author could resort in the hope of return in the form of money. Nevertheless, William had many friends of substance and position who took satisfaction in the career of one who was endeavoring to diversify their business Boston with sprinklings of culture.
Frederic's journal for October 29, 1820, reads:
___Yesterday morning William came to my counting Room, as I thought, to borrow money; but it appears he came to suggest that if I would be security for him he could probably borrow $3000 among some of his friends and with the money take an interest in the undertaking. I caught at the idea. He mentioned P.C. Brooks, etc., as persons to whom he would apply. I discouraged any attempt on any very rich man's inclination to serve him in such a case as this, and told him to attack younger and more active people, and proposed T. Lee Jr. To him and to Mr. Dwight he applied.
___After conversations in which Frederic explained " the whole nature and character of the business," he submitted the proposal "that if after the first year's operations at New Orleans the friends of W. who might be disposed to make the loan should think it advisable, I would myself assume the debt and in lieu of any interest in the business give William $600 annually. I hinted that an early decision was necessary, as the time was pressing for immediately undertaking the business."
The scheme was sufficiently novel and audacious, but it worked. A by-product of it is a piece of early American biographical writing which is still authoritative. On November 8, 1820, Frederic Tudor was able to write in his
___In the course of the week past much has been accomplished. N. Amory, T. Lee Jr., Dwight, and T. H. Perkins have agreed to let William have with my endorsement $2000, and tomorrow I shall have that sum in hand. ... I have engaged Harry to go out and remain until 1st of July next and agreed to allow him an annuity of $500 a year for life. He was under two arrests, and I have been obliged to pay and become security for him to the am[oun]t of about $800. He sails tomorrow in the Brig Jones for New Orleans. Today I have a letter from Robert with a request to allow him to endorse for me to the extent of $3000, which I have refused. His kindness is superiour to all thanks. . . . With Stanwood I have again been attempting a settlement, and it is probable I shall get rid of this troublesome business. The trouble and vexation of proving a man a rougue is hardly worth the saving of $2000 to a man so infinitely occupied as I am.
The next three weeks saw important progress:
Nov. 20th 1820.
___This day at 12 o'clk the B[ri]g Phoenix sailed with a fine wind. Having Jno. Beamis and Benj. Pike, frames, and materials very complete for the House at New Orleans, so far, so well. . . . The depressed state of all the other concerns would have prevented me from engaging in this new undertaking but for the necessity I found myself in of assisting my Brothers W. and H. To have undertaken to sustain them in any other way was impossible, and their necessities were exceedingly great. I certainly should not have undertaken the thing from any other motive. . . .
___I have now got to the point of extension which I intend to go on my own risk; should my success be commensurate to my exertions it ought to be considerable, and when it begins to appear there will doubtless be others who will be disposed to engage in the undertaking for other places. I shall then have the opportunity of making my own agreement for information to be communicated and may thus in safety derive profit for risks already run.
At the turn of the year Tudor took stock of his situation:
January 7th 1821.
The commencement of a new year, as all new years have for the last 15, finds me How I need not say - this book will tell. Look back, Mr. Frederic, and wonder how so sick and weakly constituted a man as you could have sustained what is written down. In the very onsett, the result of the first year, you were ruined; the silver spoon with which you were born was torn from your mouth; and you were at once put upon your sole and unaided ability to fight your way through the world. You have fought, but are yet in the midst of the war. You have been rather of the complaining sort, if this book records your feelings; but I must admit that you have had difficulty; and although you have seen hardship and have sorrowed in the midst of it, I will admit you have manfully followed up your early determination. Well, heaven will prosper you at last; but you have yet to see much of difficulty. More than you have, you cannot; your gray locks forbid. I pray for you. Last night in a state of hallucination I asked of God his kindness. I solicited some relief from this continuation of excessive anxieties which harass your very soul. Exert yourself a little longer, cherish hope, and spare no cost of care or time or thought, and the victory shall be yours.
After this date there were no more crises in Tudor's ice business; but he had to pay the penalty in broken health. In the year 1822 he had a nervous collapse. As might be expected, it was Robert Gardiner who, leaving his own affairs, helped to nurse him through the illness and likewise managed his business, advanced money for debts long unpaid, endorsed his paper, and in general introduced method and steadiness into the enterprise.
___Meanwhile, Tudor went away, spending a considerable portion of his time in Havana, whence he wrote to Gardiner a vivid account of the habits of contemporary pirates, and to his mother a defence of his own ignorance of modern languages.
FREDERIC TUDOR TO HIS MOTHER
HAVANA, Apl. 2d, 1823
___I am one of your children who is destined to say, to write, and to do, a great many things to very little purpose: but certainly this is not an occasion of that kind when I undertake to do what may gratify you. The writing of letters to friends is, like the mercy of Shakespeare, twice blessed. ... I sit down while I am filled with kind feelings to shew and tell you how happy your letters always make me. . . .
___Your letter is to advise me to make haste to study the Spanish language. I know not how it happens; but I have always thought that learning languages was the greatest of all wastes of time and intellect. I regret only that in early life I had not imbibed a knowledge of Latin, because it is so great a root and withal so noble a language: but the time for enriching the memory in this way is past with me and I must continue my regrets. I have, indeed, no leisure of mind. It is surcharged with the business and purpose of life. For some years it has been a subject of lamentation to me that I have no leisure intellect, which I have a right to employ as I could wish. My destiny compels me to occupy my thoughts on inferiour subjects, to delve when I would wish to soar. To be also a perpetual stranger and wanderer with an impatient desire to be always in one place and never to move from home.
___I could enlarge on the subject of languages, many of which in possession of one person is sure to injure and corrupt his own native tongue. The mind in my opinion is distressed and weakened by such requirement. To know well and to speak well one language is all that is in the power of an individual who wishes to preserve his head clear for other and higher subjects. The capacity of the memory and general powers of the mind are limited; if they are to be surcharged with the names of things what will become of the things themselves? They will scarcely be thought upon, and the discursive and inventive faculties of the mind be overpowered and fatigued by the continual exertion of the memory. . . .
___I quit this subject with merely saying that with negroes I talk quite fluently in Spanish; but when in presence of a real Castillian I say merely " yes, sir," and " no, sir," in plain English, refusing absolutely to speak one word in a language where I should only make myself ridiculous were I to attempt to talk. Opposite to me at the general table where I dine, with 40 to 50 others of all nations, sit generally 8 to 10 Germans. These gentlemen are absolute parrots in all the living languages; talking French and Spanish, German and English with equal excellence: that is to say, with no excellence at all, as I judge from their English, the language to which they are most accustomed after their mother tongue. Now, why should a man be a jabberer and thus reduce his nationality and lower himself by studying foreign idioms and thereby indanger the integrity of his own? Translation will convey to us all the essential sweets of a foreign writer. . . .
A facile rationalizer!
For ten years - that is, from the time that Tudor was forty till he reached fifty- the ice trade pursued a normal and regular growth. In 1816 the number of tons of ice shipped from Boston had been 1,200; in 1826 it rose to 4,000; in 1836 to 12,000. To this growth the faithful labor of Harry in New Orleans contributed in no small measure: Frederic's expectations of his brother were fully justified. The story of these years abounds in details concerning the technique of the business, of which the most interesting deal with the inventions of a young man, Nathaniel J. Wyeth, for cutting and housing the ice on Fresh Pond. The caprices of the Boston climate, with alternations of freezing and thaw, snow and rain, as sudden and extreme then as now, furnished emergencies that tested the resourcefulness of the two men; and when a mild season, such as that of 1838, defied Tudor's faith in the proverb that " winter never rots in the sky," there was the ice of the Kennebec River to turn to.
Jan. 13th, 1828. . .
Thermo. 45. . . . I found Wyeth wandering about the woods at Fresh Pond in all the lonely perturbation of invention and contrivance. His mind evidently occupied in improving the several contrivances which he is perfecting for carrying into good effect improvements in his several machines for the Ice business. I have from time to time given him several hints, particularly respecting the Ice cutter which I first suggested to him, and he has improved the plan of last year and now he tells me he has improved upon this year's improvement. For minds highly excited and in great activity there is no Sunday.
Jan. 27. Sunday.
Thermo 32° wind east, overcast. Got into a horse and chaise and went to Wyeth's to consult with him in the present emergency what should be done. The pond is so thawed on the edges as to be absolutely inaccessible for wagons. All the roads are heavy with mud. But I found Wyeth had already debated and determined and was at work with 8 or 10 men. Wyeth is equal to a difficulty which to common minds seems insurmountable. He was on the pond without hat or coat. He had forgot that the Thermo. was at the freezing point. In his yet unsettled plans he found warmth of circulation, from the calm-seeming but, in fact, vigorous action of his mind.
Thermo. at 3 1/2 o'clk A.M. 43. ... It has become necessary to work in the night, as the weather is so very soft that the Ice will not bear cutting after 11 or 12 o'clk in the day.
Thermo. at 4 P.M. 74. ... Wyeth . . . has a resource in a Pond which he discovered at Malden yesterday. It is small, but the Ice said to be nearly a foot thick. . . . I have written R. H. G. to have 6 to 1200 cords secured at Kennebec, with a view of sale for the southern cities. Surely there never was such a winter, or one which caused me so much trouble. Should Wyeth succeed in the new found Pond, I may yet make it a good winter. We are obliged to conceal in a degree the character of the good Pond, to keep off the enemy (opposition and for Boston supplies).
Thermo. 38. wind s.w. and indications of a very warm day. . . . This has been a busy day. I went out to the New Pond in a chaise today. . . . There is probably nearly 1000 cords in it.
Thermo. 52, wind s.w. The rain of last night and the mildness today is truly extraordinary. . . . Went out in horse and chaise ... to see the condition of the pond and of Wyeth and his men. The rain of last night has reduced the surface 2 inches. Sent a cart from town with sails am[oun]ting to 200 yards in order to avert the sun's rays from a small part at least of the Ice. There were 4 wagons from Charlestown; they had carried up 500 feet each of boards and were loaded down with Ice. The roads so intolerable bad that they had not got to within a mile of the wharf at 5 1/2 o'clk. . . . The appearance of the Pond is that probably not more than 100 cords can be saved. Yesterday the promise was of a thousand.
Feb. 20. ...
___Observing this state of things, I took Wyeth in my chaise and we went through an intricate and very rough woods road to Long pond, which I remembered to be shaded on the south border. Here was a ribband of Ice about 20 feet wide and 150 feet long. ... I was induced to instruct Wyeth who at first was somewhat against it, to undertake to get out what could be saved of value, which he thinks will be 15 cords. . . .
___My expenses are heavy; but the 12 men under Wyeth are as good as he is competent. We are struggling with the elements. There has not been above 20 cords yet saved. To continue longer to strive, is almost a waste of energy. I have requested Wyeth to keep his men and courage two days longer together. I have some hope they may get an accession of spirits by the work of tomorrow-
Thermo. 38, some rain, wind s.w. at 4 P.M. Thermo. 62, Fresh s.w. wind. . . . Found Wyeth and the 12 hands at their ne plus ultra. He told me the Ice in Long pond went off last night and that all mention of Swayne's pond was unnecessary. It was done. To talk now of difficulties, is like talking to a man who has fallen into the river with an umbrella. The difficulty is overwhelming, open, apparent, insurmountable.
___I asked Wyeth if he was equal to the occasion - whether he was ready and willing to change his latitude and go north, until he found Ice. He promptly answered that he was. I then proposed that he should go to Kennebec river, with all his hands, tools, etc., ready for immediate action. . . .
___We are now to watch the weather cock. If there is sufficient return of winter before Sunday to do anything at Swayne's pond, then work is to be recommenced there. If not, expedition to be undertaken.
Apr. 30. ... It was mentioned today that a cargo of Ice has been lost bound to the Delaware. This makes three cargoes this spring which have been lost. It is an ill wind which blows nobody good. I am sorry to profit by the misfortunes of my neighbours, but as I first taught the world that Ice may be transported by sea I may consider the business as mine to a certain extent. . . .
___Sharp measures for crushing competition Tudor was frequently called upon to put into effect, for it was an undisciplined, laissez-faire world in which he lived, and he played the game without questioning the rules. When he lost, he complained loudly; when he won, he gloried in the discomfiture of his opponents.
The entry in his diary for January 25, 1826, lists first
..." the encroachments of the Ice men around Fresh Pond, "imitation of his icehouses and his machinery, theft of his tools, overcharging for carts, outbidding on a vessel, and the like. One man had even "put his foot upon" Wayne's Pond, "which was mine by right of discovery."
Then follows a list of Tudor's various devices for punishing and foiling his rivals.
___To commence, then: I directed Wyeth not to employ Stedman's team, unless at a rate of an eighth to a quarter less than any of the rest. Next, to make specifications for patents for the Ice House and Ice cutter, and notify all who have built to stop using. Then, not to allow any Ice cutting within his own line of fence. Then I have written to Charleston to let Ranie purchase the cargo, " the adventure " abovementioned, for a very low rate. Stedman has been notified to be punctual when his note comes round again. Finally, I have contracted to supply my antagonist at New Orleans and a man at Mobile. All these operations will take away part of the oats from the horses of these people and they will learn to whom they are obliged for grain which is left for them. Vulgar to vulgar. . . .
In the autumn he sums up his situation:
Sept. 29. ...
___My income this year will be reduced full $12,000 but the coast is now cleared of interlopers, good and substantial foundations laid. . . . The indications of results for next year are of the most satisfactory kind. The last has been a year of battle in which the elements have joined, with a host of miscreant men and adverse circumstances, to try the strength and firmness, the steadiness of resolution and bottom. All opposition has been met and overthrown - the field is won and now very little more than the shew of weapons and readiness for defense, I trust will be necessary. It has cost some wear and tear of muscle and nerves besides the abovementioned $12,000 in money. A dear victory: but probably thorough. If there are any unslain enemies, let them come out. . . .
___In meeting these emergencies created by man and nature, Tudor developed a philosophy of management that was inevitably military. Decisions must be made quickly and orders carried out promptly and faithfully. The only relation between man and man in which he was at home was that of master and servant. Naturally enough, he was usually in hot water, for the sturdy Yankees whom he employed resisted his domination and were discharged, and the shifty ones tricked him. Now and then he found a docile being - such as his brother Harry or the carpenter who was willing to carry out his test order to put the shingles on a roof with the butt ends up instead of down. In general, however, Tudor suffered from the eccentricity of maintaining a military point of view in a democratic, free-for-all age.
___Apart from business, Tudor's own life, in contrast to that of the preceding decade, was calm and uneventful. Bachelor's quarters in a house on Pearl Street next to the boardinghouse of Miss Betsy Lekain, at whose table were to be found such men as the naturalist Audubon and Dr. Francis Lieber. Beginning with the year 1825, he went in summer to Nahant, having built there a house, nominally for his mother but his own headquarters for expeditions on sea and land. On the grounds about the place he began a nursery of balm of Gilead trees which later were transplanted to manv parts of the peninsula