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Descripción de editorial
It has occurred to the author very often that a volume presenting the peculiar features, favorite resorts and distinguishing characteristics, of the leading cities of America, would prove of interest to thousands who could, at best, see them only in imagination, and to others, who, having visited them, would like to compare notes with one who has made their PECULIARITIES a study for many years. A residence in more than a hundred cities, including nearly all that are introduced in this work, leads me to feel that I shall succeed in my purpose of giving to the public a book, without the necessity of marching in slow and solemn procession before my readers a monumental array of time-honored statistics; on the contrary, it will be my aim, in the following pages, to talk of cities as I have seen and found them in my walks, from day to day, with but slight reference to their origin and past history.
An exceedingly cold day was February fourth, 1875, the day which marked our journey from Boston to Albany. My inclination to step outside our car and tip my hat to the various familiar places along the route was suddenly checked by a gust of cutting, freezing, zero-stinging air. A ride of between one and two hours brought us to Worcester, a stirring town of about forty thousand inhabitants. Worcester is noted principally for its cotton factories, and as a political center in Eastern Massachusetts.
Springfield, Westfield and Pittsfield follow in succession along the route, in central and Western Massachusetts, the first of which has been made the subject of a special chapter in this book. The last I remember chiefly as the place where, in the summer of 1866, I took my first steps in a new enterprise. Pittsfield has large cotton mills, is a summer resort, and is the nearest point, by rail, to the Shaker community at Lebanon, five miles distant. At Westfield the Mount Holyoke Railroad joins the main line, and semi-annually conveys the daughters of the land to the famousHolyoke Female Seminary. Leaving Pittsfield we soon reached the State line between New York and Massachusetts. I sometimes think that after a residence in almost every State of the Union, I ought to feel no greater attraction for my native State than any other, yet I cannot repress a sentiment of stronger affection for good, grand old New York than any other in the united sisterhood. The Empire State has indeed a charm for me, and a congenial breeze, I imagine, always awaits me at its boundary.