metropolis in the golden age of Scott
, and Leigh Hunt
and his brother-in-law, Mr. Seddon
, each owned several sugar plantations in Louisiana
, besides cotton lands in Mississippi
Just half a mile distant was another typical old Virginia
, owned by Mr. Plumer Hobson
, whose wife was the accomplished daughter of Governor Henry A. Wise
was one of the most delightful homes imaginable and the abode of refinement and hospitality.
paid $2,500 for Tom, one of the most courtly and graceful butlers, or ‘dining-room servants,’ as they were in those days called.
There were nine children of the Seddon home—one of the happiest in all America
On the night before the heavy pounding on the Sabot Hill
door, governor, then Brigadier-General Henry A. Wise
, had arrived at Eastwood
, accompanied by his daughter, Ellen, now Mrs. W. C. Mayo
, a remarkably clever woman, with rare intellectual gifts and literary attainments.
The governor had come home on furlough from Charleston, S. C.
, and was joined by his wife, who had preceded him, and with his family reunion, anticipated a brief recreation amid the charms of one of the most attractive communities in the State
He had traveled from Richmond
, on the old James River
and Kanawha canal, on a very slow and primitive boat, called the Packet, built very much on the plan of Noah
's ark. The mode of travel on this ancient canal was something astonishing.
A ditch, filled with slimy water, snakes and bullfrogs, and fringed along its banks with lily pads and weeping willows, furnished the waterway for the Packet.
A piece of rope, three damaged mules driven tandem, a tin horn and a negro were the accessories, any one of which failing, caused the trip on the Packet to be suspended or delayed until these necessary paraphernalia were provided.
The boat was a curiosity, and the toilet facilities for the entire ship's company were a comb and brush, fastened by chains to keep them from falling overboard, and a tin basin similarly guarded-all attached to the side of the boat on a little gangway between the kitchen and the cabin.
and Mrs. Mayo
entered the Eastwood carriage which was awaiting them at the wharf less than a mile from the Hobson homestead, and as Uncle Ephriam, a famous driver, wheeled them along at an exhilarating gait, the candles twinkled in the windows, and the lights from the country store glinted on the