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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 253

              [newspaper clipping]
entitled �A Ramble in the East� was given to the mem-
bers of this institution, (gratuitously, for its benefit)
at the New National Schools, by W. Boutcher, esq.,
the room being kindly lent for the occasion by
the Rev. M. Woodward, the incumbent of the parish
church, in consequence of the lecture room on the
Bayle, having sustained damage through the falling
of an adjoining building.  The chair was taken by 
the Mayor, James Tolputt, esq.  The lecturer who
was one of four forming the last Exploring Expedition
to the Buried Cities of the East, commenced his ramble
from Constantinople, which was graphically pictured,
and humorously described the voyage in the steamer,
with her miscellaneous human cargo, from thence up
the Bosphorus, round the eastern coast of the Black Sea
to Sinope, where she stopped to land and embark pas-
sengers.  This was shown to be an ordinary Turkish
port, in a thriving state, with its open roadstead � where,
in seven days after, the Russian fleet anchored, and per-
petrated the horrible massacre which has been so justly
condemned throughout the world.  The lecturer here
drew a picture of the inglorious fate which soon befell
this same fleet, now lying a mass of charred and rotting 
lumber at the bottom of those waters of which it was
intended to be the pride and glory.  He then passed on
to Samsoun the point where the expedition landed.  Here
the party commenced their laborious journey, travelling
on mules.  The wretched state of the Turkish hovels
was next spoken of, and the perilous route over the
snowy mountains.  The lecturer then fully described
the habits, manners, customs, and extraordinary apathy
of the Turks, and the degraded people inhabiting the
country which was passed through on their way to 
Nineveh, with the general knavery and system of pecu-
lation that prevailed from the greatest pasha down to
meanest peasant, forcibly contrasting them with the
people of the West.  The discoveries of Nineveh were
then touched upon, with the extraordinary corrobora-
tion they afforded to Biblical history, and the fulfillment
of prophecy; one  inscription discovered, giving a full
account of the war of Sennacherib with Hezekiah King 
of Judah, which agreed almost word for word with the 
bible account.  Amusing incidents of travel were then
given, including the passage down the Tigris, and the
arrival at Baghdad.
  After a short interval the lecturer passed on to the
great Arabian desert, describing Arab encampments, 
character and customs of the Arabs, their horses, women,
mode of life, and hospitality of the chiefs, which did not
appear to have changed since the days of the Patriarchs.
He next described the city of Wurka (or Ur of the
Chaldees,) the birth-place of Abraham, and other places,
also giving an account of the extraordinary place of
burial, nine miles in circumference, where millions of
bodies must have been interred, as in digging down to
the depth of 20 feet nothing but remains of skeletons
were found, exhibiting many different and peculiar modes
of burial.  The lecturer then gave a fine description of
the desert by night, with the magnificent appearance of
the heavens, and the peculiar effect of the camp watch
fires, noticing also the sand squalls, wild beasts, Be-
doueens; Arab surgery and Arab thieves, Bashi Bazouks,
and many other features of Arab life, arriving at
length at Babylon.
  We have not space to follow the lecturer through the
rest of his highly interesting and amusing descriptions,
but can only say that he concluded a most pleasing and
instructive entertainment (given entirely extempore)
amidst the hearty applause of a large and attentive au-
dience.  We understand it is Mr. Boutcher�s intention
to make a tour of the provinces, to give a similar lecture
or entertainment, illustrated by a number of original
sketches, painted on canvas occupying as much as 1500
square feet, together with sculptures, coins, trinkets, and
other relics, brought by him from the east, and we
heartily wish him the success he deservedly merits.               
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