One Steamer Trunk
For their two years abroad each traveler in the Hewes party was limited to one steamer trunk and a valise. Writing to her fiancé, William Bartlett, Franklina commented on the contents of her trunk:
I have exactly three winter dresses. A green silk, last winter’s black silk made over and retrimmed, a travelling dress of dark blue which is both stylish and comfortable. I have a very warm and pretty cloak and my hat. I have a quantity of pretty neckties and gloves, and I assure you I always look well-dressed. In America a young lady with three dresses would be a disgrace to society. Of course, I have some pretty summer dresses which do for evening wear and one lovely ball dress.”
(Image: Franklina in her Alpine hiking outfit, 1875. Camron-Stanford House Collection. Gift of Tracey Bartlett, 2018.)
Found three trunks but the valises and the fourth trunk did not put in an appearance. At last in despair we got into the four o’clock train with our remaining valuables and left Mr. H to wait for the missing box.”
Journal, Saturday, July 17, 1875, Chester, England
Nowadays, airlines provide checked bags with barcoded tags for tracking and retrieval. Not so in 1875! Porters on board ships and trains were in charge of unloading passenger belongings. If they couldn't find an item, prospects looked bleak. Popular etiquette writer, Eliza Leslie suggested to lady travellers in her 1853 Behaviour Book to:
Engage one of the servants of the boat, (promising him a shilling or two,)... to see that her baggage is safe."
(Pictured: "In a Baggage Room," from Horace Porter's Railway Passenger Travel 1825-1880 (1888). Franklina's trunk would have been similar to the one carried by a porter in this image.)
Charles Warren Stoddard toured the world as the San Francisco Chronicle’s special correspondent from 1873 to 1878. Franklina was delighted to discover that Mr. Hewes had arranged for Stoddard to join them on their Nile cruise. Stoddard later documented this journey in his 1881 book Mashallah! A Flight into Egypt.
During their time together afloat on the Nile, Franklina and Stoddard often wrote about the same events. Their narratives, however, differ significantly! Recounting the same invitation to coffee at the local Governor's palace, Franklina noted the humors of language barriers and the taste of the coffee while Stoddard devoted most of his description to the entertainment: jingling and "exquisitely graceful" belly dancers!
Though she was still writing as an affluent white woman, Franklina's stories diversify the predominantly male-written narratives of the time.
(Pictured: A Room in the House of Shayk Sadat by Frank Dillon – similar in style to the room where Franklina and Stoddard were entertained by the Governor in Egypt.)
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