Nadar's Balloon


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 5, 1863

Welcome to our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection includes all the Harper's created during the Civil War. The collection allows you to browse an incredible group of illustrations created within hours of the battles and events depicted.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)


Lincoln's Hymn

Lincoln's Hymn

Civil War Hymn

Civil War Hymn

Balloon Crash

Balloon Crash


Nadar's Balloon

Broken Sword

Broken Sword

Union Prisoners

Union Prisoners

General Granger

General Granger



Kelly's Ford

Battle of Kelly's Ford

Belle Island Prison

Belle Isle


Thanksgiving Day







[DECEMBER 5, 1863.



WE devote page 773 to illustrations of the recent perilous balloon adventure of M. Nadar, the French aeronaut, who has made himself famous by his ascents in his balloon Le Geant. He had already made a voyage of several hundred miles in his balloon, and landed his party, consisting of twelve men and one lady—the Princess de la Tour d'Auvergne—safely in Germany. On this latter occasion he was accompanied by several gentlemen, and his wife, Madame Nadar. While crossing the line into Germany, at an altitude of 1000 yards, a storm struck the balloon and drove it forward at the rate of 200 miles an hour. The aeronauts tried to descend, but the balloon's course could not be checked. It knocked down chimneys, trees, whatever it encountered in its headlong course, and it seemed certain that death would be the fate of the intrepid voyagers. Sometimes it struck the ground, then, springing upward, it would rise into the clouds, with the apparent velocity of a rocket, dashing its occupants from side to side with fearful force. At length, near Newburg, in Hanover, the gas had escaped sufficiently to enable the travelers to grapple some trees in a forest against which their vehicle had been driven. Here, with the exception of some violent flapping from side to side, it remained stationary long enough to let the travelers descend by means of the cordage. During the process the car upset, and caught Madame Nadar under one of its edges. She was with difficulty rescued from this perilous situation; and the wounded, almost crippled travelers, were at length enabled to go home—wiser and sorer people.

We all remember the balloon mania in this country—the voyages of Wise, Lamountain, and others; and just now are not inclined to further experiments in that line.


I'D like to aid the soldiers,

Yes, I'd like to knit and sew;

But in all the army's rank and file

There's nobody I know,

There's nobody I know;

For Willie Warner got exempt,

And Peter wouldn't go.


I'd like to aid the soldiers,

But I have no time at all;

For what is left of other things

Is too exceeding small—

'Tis too exceeding small

To do the soldiers any good,

And then—I want it all.


I'd like to aid the soldiers,

But there's nothing I can spare;

I've things that might make dressing-gowns,

But nothing I can't wear,

No—nothing I can't wear;

And pray why should I fret myself?

I have nobody there.


I'd like to aid the soldiers,

But my purse is very lean

And with all my furbelows to buy—

You'd know just what I mean,

You'd know just what I mean;

It costs so much to live in style,

And dress one to be seen.


I'd like to aid the soldiers,

If I could as well as not;

And I'm willing every body else

Should give them all they've got—

Yes, give them all they've got;

And I'd send them my good wishes—

'Tis really all I ought.


THE cars stopped at a little station on the Vermont Central Railroad. Twenty or more persons stepped out upon the platform, and proceeded to fill the stage which was drawn up just behind the depot. As the latter was the only building in sight, the road to it winding among forest trees that stretched their gaunt limbs, despoiled of summer foliage, so as in some instances to form an arch over the narrow avenue, it was only natural to wonder how the depot came to be located in such an out-of-the-way place. On this point it can only be said that railroad corporations are occasionally guilty of little eccentricities, and like to accommodate the public in their own way.

Among the twenty-odd passengers there was one who stood apart from the rest—a stout, sun-burnt young man—who appeared to have no acquaintance among his fellow-travelers. Occasionally a glance of curiosity was directed toward him, but no one recognized him.

"I think I'll get up and ride on the seat with you," be said, addressing Abner, the driver.

"All right, Sir—plenty of room," was the reply.

The young man mounted to his elevated seat.

"Ever been this way before?" asked Abner, with a side-glance in which he took a mental inventory of the stranger's "points."

"Yes, some time since," was the brief reply.

"Know many people in Carleton?"

"Not many. I suppose there have been some changes within—say the last half-dozen years."

"Well, a few," said Abner, reflectively. "Sam Hastings has been to California and come home with a pile of money."

"Indeed!" commented the young man, indifferently. "I think I remember him. He lived near Farmer Hayden's, didn't he?"

"Yes; and speaking of changes, there's been changes in that family."

"Eh?" said the young man, sharply. Then, in a more moderate tone, "What changes do you refer to?"

"Well, he's lost his property, for one thing."

"Doesn't he still live on the farm?" demanded the passenger, hastily.

"Yes; but he isn't like to live on it long."

"How is that?"

"Oh, it's a long story, but the upshot of it is that he signed for his brother-in-law and had to pay. So he was obliged to mortgage the farm. Sam Hastings had just come home from California with plenty of cash, and came forward very generously, as every body thought, and offered to lend the money on mortgage, promising to let it stand as long as Farmer Hayden liked. His offer was very thankfully accepted. A little while after Sam began to pay attentions to Mary Hayden—the sweetest girl in all Carleton, as every body knows."

"How did Mary—I mean Miss Hayden—receive his attentions?" asked the young man.

"She would not receive them at all. She never liked Sam, and though she didn't say so outright, she gave him to understand it in plenty of other ways."

"How did he take it?"

"Badly enough. If you ever knew Sam, you know he's got plenty of 'grit;' and he no sooner found that Mary wouldn't have any thing to say to him than he vowed that she should. You see he had an advantage over her in the hold he had upon her father."

"Was there any particular reason for Miss Hayden's not liking young Hastings?"

"I surmise there was, though I'm not sure. You see there used to be a young man in Carleton that she took a notion to."


"His name was John Patten. I remember him as a bright boy, but full of mischief. He used to help Farmer Hayden on the farm. But he never liked farming; and one day he packed up his things and left the village, saying that he was going to sea. I don't think he's been heard of since. Most likely he got shipwrecked on some foreign coast and lost his life."

"And what reason have you for thinking that Miss Hayden liked him?"

"She was about sixteen when he went off; he about two years older. Let me see—it must be five years ago. After he left she seemed sort of lonely, and didn't look like herself for some time."

"She hasn't heard from him during that time," repeated the young man, in a low tone—"that is strange!"

"She may have heard from him, but I guess not. Look out for that limb, Sir, or it'll take off your hat!"

"You were speaking of this young man Hastings—how he took her coldness."

"Oh yes. Well, he no sooner found that Mary would not marry him than he determined to persecute her father by foreclosing the mortgage. To make it worse, he means to do it to-morrow—that is, Thanksgiving-day. So unless Farmer Hayden has the money ready for him to-morrow he must leave the farm."

"Isn't there any one willing to lend the amount to an old man," exclaimed the passenger, indignantly, "and thus aid in frustrating this scoundrel's knavery?"

"Well, there's many that would like to do it," said the driver, whipping up his horses; "but there isn't much ready money in our village. There's old Slack is able enough, but you know he's nothing but a miser."

"Then Farmer Hayden has been unable to raise this money?"

"He hadn't this morning."

"How does he bear it?"

"It makes the old man sorrowful enough. He's even been so far as to implore Hastings to be merciful. But the mean skunk won't budge an inch. It will be a sad day for the whole village when the Hayden farm falls into his hands. But here we are, Sir! That's the spire of the orthodox church rising above the trees. Where will you stop?"

"I shall stop at the tavern. I feel quite interested in your story. So the mortgage is to be foreclosed to-morrow?"

"Yes, Sir."

With a flourish of his whip Abner drew up the stage in front of the tavern. It was a long, two-story building, with a piazza extending along the front. Half the population of the village seemed to be standing on the piazza waiting for the stage, whose regular arrival with the mail was the great event of the day. The near approach of Thanksgiving, with its expected guests, made the assemblage to-night larger than usual.

Abner took the mail-bag from a nest of trunks and bandboxes on the top of the stage, and dropped it into the hands of a small boy who was waiting to receive it. The passengers, cramped by their ride, got out and stretched their limbs. Hearty greetings were exchanged with friends who were present to meet them. Trunks and bandboxes were transferred to waiting carriages; and one party after another disappeared to find a hospitable welcome in one or another of the neat but unpretending dwellings of Carleton.

But for the young man in whom we feel the greatest interest there was no one in waiting. He had his luggage conveyed to a quiet chamber in the tavern, and after a short interval came down to supper. He said little, and dropped no hint of the business which called him to Carleton at a season which most persons like to spend among friends and relatives.

Three quarters of a mile from the tavern was the Hayden farm. It comprised about fifty acres, a part only being arable land. The wants of the occupants being few and simple, Farmer Hayden had been able to make a comfortable living from it till compelled to raise money on mortgage. Though fifteen hundred dollars may seem a small sum to

many the interest was felt as a heavy burden by the farmer, and compelled him to the closest economy. As for laying up money to pay it off that was out of the question. But he had hoped that something might turn up to enable him to retain possession of the homestead in which he and his father before him had first opened their eyes to the light.

It was a sorrowful group that gathered about the fire-place in the family room on Thanksgiving-eve. Farmer Hayden sat in a straight-backed chair deep in thought, his eyes fixed mournfully upon the logs that crackled in the wide fire-place. He was a tall man of sixty, but so bowed with a life of labor that he looked older. His hair had whitened rapidly since his troubles commenced, and this too added to his apparent age. At the opposite side of the hearth sat his wife, gentle Martha Hayden, with her mild benevolent face. To-night, indeed, a shadow reflected from her husband's face dimmed the light that beamed from her serious eyes. She was "toeing off" a stocking for her husband, but it was easy to see that her knitting was mechanical, and her heart was not in her work.

Mary Hayden sat at the white deal table that stood in the centre of the room, with her head resting upon her hand. She too was occupied with sorrowful thoughts. She was a trim comely maiden with a clear complexion and cheeks like a peach. There was not a rustic beau within ten miles that did not admire her fresh beauty, and would not have accounted himself a fortunate man had her choice fallen upon him.

None of the trio seemed inclined to speak. At length Farmer Hayden lifted up his head wearily, and said, "This will be a sad Thanksgiving-day for us, Martha."

"Sad indeed, Benjamin," returned the wife; "I can hardly realize that this is the last day we are to spend in the old house."

"I've lived in it man and boy sixty-one years come next August," said the farmer, meditatively. "We were very happy here till—till the trouble came."

"It's the Lord's will, Benjamin; we must try to receive it with submissive hearts."

"Yes, Martha, but it will be a hard trial. Thirty-two years ago I brought you here. Here all our children have been born. Here, too, they have all died—all but Mary."

The girl at the table sobbed convulsively.

"No other place will seem like home to us. In our old age we must break the many ties that bind us to the dear old homestead, and go forth as strangers. I had hoped that when see left it, it would be for that narrow house which is appointed for all the living."

"Don't think of it, Benjamin, any more than you can help," said Martha. "He that sendeth trials will send us strength to bear them."

Slowly Mary rose from her seat, and approaching her father, said, with an uncertain voice, "Father, till to-night I did not know how hard it would be to leave the old homestead. I have no right to exact such a sacrifice from you. All the memories of a lifetime cluster for you beneath this roof. Ought I to pluck them up, and send forth homeless into the cold world those who from my infancy have sheltered and protected me?"

"What do you mean, Mary?" asked Farmer Hayden, lifting his head quickly and bending a questioning glance upon his daughter.

Mary paused a moment to recover resolution. "I mean this, father, that if Mr. Hastings will not forego his cruel purpose on any other condition than that I become his wife, I am ready to consent."

The temptation was a strong one. For a moment reviving hope lighted up the old man's eye, but for a moment only.

"No, Mary, not with my consent. Better that we wander homeless but united in affection than give you as wife to this man. The thought that you had sacrificed yourself to him would embitter my existence. No, much as I value the old homestead, let it go, so that I keep my child."

He was not a demonstrative man. It is the New England fashion to keep the impulses of family affection under strict control. Thus it is only when a great joy or a great sorrow throws down the barriers of habit that we have revealed in all its intensity the deep affection which lies concealed under a reserved exterior. Farmer Hayden had never offered to kiss his daughter since she was of an age to sit on his knee, but to-night a great affliction unsealed the fountains of his love, and he opened his arms. With a low cry Mary sprang into his embrace, and leaning her head against his shoulder, gave vent to her tears. But not for long. They were interrupted by a loud summons struck by the old-fashioned knocker, which for many a year had hung, a formidable appendage, upon the outer door.

The farmer gently put Mary away, and, rising, took the tallow-candle, and shielding it with one hand lest a current of air should extinguish it, walked to the front door. When it was opened he was somewhat surprised at seeing a stranger. In obedience to the dictates of politeness he invited him in. As there was a fire only in the family room, he at once led him into the presence of his wife and daughter. These he introduced simply. The visitor bowed.

"I am afraid, Mr. Hayden," he said, turning toward the farmer, "you must look upon my visit as an intrusion."

"Not at all, Sir," said the farmer, politely.

"You will pardon me for asking—I have only reached the village this evening—whether it is true, as I have heard, that you are about to be ejected from the farm which you have so long occupied?"

"I have lived here always, Sir. Yes, it is unhappily true. This is the last night we shall pass in the old house."

"And where shall you go?"

"I—we have not made our arrangements. A neighbor has kindly offered to accommodate us for a few days till we have time to look around a little.

It has come upon us all very suddenly, so that we are hardly determined upon our plans for the future."

"It must be a great grief to you all. Is there no way of averting this calamity?"

"None. None, at least, that is practicable."

"It is the foreclosure of a mortgage, is it not? May I ask for what amount?"

"For fifteen hundred dollars. Besides this there is accrued interest to the amount of forty-five dollars."

"And for the lack of this you are to be ejected? Have you no friend who will lend you the money?"

"There are many who have the will, but not the power. We country farmers do not often have much money, Sir."

"Then I must come to your rescue. Mr. Hayden, you need be under no farther concern about this matter. I will lend you the money to cancel the mortgage, and you will remain, for many years I trust, in possession of the old Hayden farm."

Mrs. Hayden and Mary fixed their eyes in grateful surprise on the visitor. The farmer could hardly credit his ears.

"Do I understand you?" he said, slowly. "Do you mean that you will lend me the money to redeem my farm?"

"I will, Mr. Hayden," said the young man, quietly. "I have the money with me; and if you will be good enough to write a note for the amount, I will place it in your hands at once."

Farmer Hayden rose and grasped the stranger's hand. "How can I thank you sufficiently?" he said, in a tone tremulous with strong emotion. "You have given me new life and hope. How could I expect such kindness from an utter stranger?"

"Am I an utter stranger?" asked the young man, fixing his clear eyes upon the farmer. "Have you wholly forgotten the boy who for three years worked at your side and ate at your table?"

Mary started, and, half rising, looked eagerly at the visitor's face. The old man drew him hastily into the full light. "Yes, yes; it is John Patten!" he exclaimed. "Welcome home, John! I always liked you, and now I like you better than ever."

There were two more who greeted John Patten heartily. Mary turned red and white by turns, and shyly drew her hand away from his fervent pressure.

"But why haven't you written to us, John?" asked Mrs. Hayden.

He briefly told his story. He had embarked on board a merchant-ship, in which he visited various parts of the world. Once or twice he had written by a passing vessel, but for some reason the letters had miscarried. Three years passed in this way had given him a thorough knowledge of seamanship, but put little money into his purse. To remedy this, however, on a voyage to China he had the good fortune to save the life of an only child, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. The father, in testimony of his gratitude, had pressed upon him a large sum of money, which he had been unable to refuse. He landed at New York, determined to come at once to Carleton to visit his old friends. But the rebellion had already broken out. The great and rapid enlargement of the navy created a demand for competent officers. To John Patten the path of duty was clear. He offered his services to the Government, and was at once appointed sailing-master of a new vessel just ready for sea. Since then he had been on constant service in the blockading squadron, during which he had become entitled to a large amount of prize-money. At present injuries to the vessel to which he was attached had brought it to the Charlestown Navy-yard for repairs; and, for the first time since he entered the service, he was allowed a furlough. How he had improved it they could see. As to the money which he had offered, he had twice as much more, and could spare it easily.

"In that case, I will accept your generous offer without hesitation," said the farmer.

"But I must make one condition," said the young man. "You must have a good old-fashionen Thanksgiving dinner, and invite me to sit down with you."

"You shall be heartily welcome," returned the farmer. "Have you made any preparations for Thanksgiving, Martha?"

"No, Benjamin; you know we didn't expect to stay here."

"Then there is no time to be lost. Early in the morning I will ride over to the village, and get a turkey and every thing you will need."

"And the apples for the pies shall be pared tonight," said Mary, briskly.

"Right, daughter!" said the farmer, approvingly. "The time is short; but we'll have a merry Thanksgiving dinner yet. You'll stay with us tonight, John?"

''No, Mr. Hayden. I have engaged a bed at the tavern. By-the-way, when will Mr. Hastings come for his money?"

"At eleven o'clock."

"Then I should like to be within hearing. I will walk up quietly just before."

The next day was a busy one at Hayden Farm. Mrs. Hayden and Mary were up before light, engaged in those multifarious culinary preparations which Thanksgiving-day brings in its train. By noon a row of pies, crisp and brown, stood on the dresser. A delightful odor from the turkey roasting before the fire pervaded the room, and the pudding in the oven was baking beautifully.

In the midst of these culinary preparations Mr. Hastings knocked. He was ushered into the parlor, where Farmer Hayden awaited his coming. In the next room, with the door ajar, sat John Patten.

Farmer Hayden greeted his visitor with polite composure. The latter, however, seemed ill at ease, and became each moment more embarrassed, perceiving that the farmer did not choose to allude first to the business which brought him thither.

"I suppose, Mr. Hayden," he said, at last, awkwardly enough, "you know my errand."

"You come to foreclose the mortgage, and eject me from the farm."




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