A gentleman of Lawrenceburgh, who came to this city for the purpose of paying a visit of a day to a friend resident here, but who was detained several days beyond the time he had allotted himself, on account of the suspension of navigation, writes his impressions of matters and things in New Albany to the Register. We have reason to believe that the author is a gentleman well qualified to judge of the matters of which he speaks. We give rather a long extract:
Gents. - As the decidedly hard character of the ever fitful Ohio made my trip to Louisville and N. Albany more eventful than I had anticipated, I take occasion to send you a few extracts from the frost bitten pages of my log book. If by so doing, I am able to add variety to the useful and entertaining reading matter of your sheet, I shall be well paid for the trouble of writing; but not for the rude manner in which I was treated by old Boreas.
Leaving our quiet town on Saturday evening, in the elegant and well appointed steamer Gen. Pike, I reached New Albany without any occurrence to mar the pleasure of a steamboat trip, in time to join my friends on their way to the house of worship. An agent for the American Bible Society occupied the pulpit at Centenary church, in the Sabbath School of this large and enterprising church, in charge of Rev. C. B. Davidson, A.M. The spacious lecture room was filled to its utmost capacity, and among those engaged as teachers and pupils were a large number of the young men of the city, whose interest in the success of their Sabbath School bordered on enthusiasm. The Superintendent, Dr. Rufus Town, was busily engaged in the work of re-organizing the School. The good order, efficiency and regularity on the part of the teachers, are in earnest of the high character this school has resolved to attain. As in our own Sabbath Schools one verse of Scripture is committed each day by the pupils forming a lesson of seven verses for each Sabbath. The adoption of this course will give permanency to the labors of the teachers, and make the benefits of Sabbath School instruction as lasting as the powers of memory.
Centenary, as well as the other two Methodist churches, appears to be prosperous and increasing in usefulness and piety. The congregations are large and attentive, and afford evidence of a high appreciation of the services rendered them by a pious, talented, and faithful ministry.
New Albany is a pleasant city, advantageously situated for large commercial and manufacturing pursuits. It contains a population of about twelve thousand, which is rapidly increasing under the fostering influence of well directed enterprise. It is the first city I have seen, in which I could observe no branch of business to be overdone. Notwithstanding the great activity visible in every pursuit, the demand still exceeds the supply; and I have no doubt that double the capital and labor of the town would not meet the requirements of the business already concentrating at that point. That it will soon vie with Louisville is inevitable.
The city is healthy, and must become, by the fiat of nature, the confluence of the immense trade rapidly growing up in the Central and southern part of this State. When the Railroad to Michigan City shall be put in operation, affording to Detroit and Chicago a quick and cheap communication with the Ohio river at its most favorable point for navigation, New Albany will be the great shipping port of Indiana. This road is completed to Orleans, and in process of construction to Gosport, 112 miles, whence another road, already surveyed, will intersect it for Indianapolis.
The ship building of the place is immense, and much more so than is generally supposed, from the fact that many steamers are built for companies in Louisville, and on that account reported in the manufactures of that city, when really done by the New Albany mechanics. There were several steamboats upon the stocks, and among them I observed the Eclipse. She is built for Captain Sturgeon, who expects her to come from New Orleans in four days. She is 370 feet long, which exceeds the length of any river steamer built in this country by several feet, and will cost about $150,000.
The Reindeer is the name of a most beautiful steamer just finished and ready to start for New Orleans. She was built by the Montgomerys, who are as princely commanders as ever graced the deck of a vessel on this thoroughfare, and is to be commanded by Captain Samuel Montgomery. As I had an opportunity of examining this water nymph, I take pleasure in bearing testimony to her admirable proportions, her immense capacity and strength united with sumptuous elegance. She is 260 feet long, with 33 feet beam and 6-1/2 feet hold. Her cabin is 230 feet long, with ladies' cabin 65 feet, and state rooms of unusually large size on each side. The cabins and all the apartments for the comfort of travelers, are most admirably furnished; and evidently by a connoisseur in such mattes. The two bridal rooms are equal in splendor to all that the most extravagant luxury can furnish.
In passing from these cabins to the lower deck, where the propelling power of this great structure is generated, the beholder finds his admiration still increased. The huge boilers, five in number, and forty inches in diameter, indicate the degree of power to be given to the massive and highly polished machinery of the vessel. The hull and frame are strong, and the entire construction and furnishing display skillful judgment and taste. Every part of the work from the keel to the last tip of the brush was by artisans of New Albany, and with such a degree of excellence as cannot fail to place them in triumphant rivalry with any town on the Ohio.
I must speak of the Asbury Female College before closing my hastily written sketch of the city. The building stands on an eminence opposite the steamboat landing below the Falls, and commanding a most enchanting prospect in every direction, is itself the most conspicuous of the many fine structures in the vicinity. From its observatory may be seen the city of Louisville and its adjacent villages, rendered more beautiful by the long extended view of the Ohio winding its way to and from the Falls. The edifice is built of brick in a substantial and somewhat ornate style of architecture. The main building, which is four stories high, is 65 by 56 feet, and the wing, which is three stories, is 46 by 36 feet, with a verandah fronting the river. Another wing is still to be erected. The main building contains a chapel 53 by 36 feet, six teaching rooms, and eight large rooms for other purposes. The wing contains a kitchen, double parlors and porches, with thirteen rooms for boarders and domestic purposes. The entire cost thus far has been $16,000 or $17,000, affording capacity for 200 day and about 50 boarding pupils. The charter grants powers for a full and thorough collegiate course of study, and it is the design of the Board of Trustees and the Conference to make it equal to any institution in the country. The liberality, energy, and perseverance evinced in rearing it thus far, the good judgment displayed in its financial affairs, and the union of the sentiment which now characterizes the efforts of the Trustees, are sure pledges of a faithful execution of the behests imposed by the Conference and Legislature. It is so advantageously located as to command a large patronage, if made worthy of it, or which the past affords a most satisfactory assurance to the public.
The writer concludes his letter by giving an account of his trip home by way of the Lexington railroad and various other slow means of conveyance. He relates his experience thus: The trip home was expensive in its demand upon the pockets and the feelings, but not without its lessons of instruction, which may be summed up in a few words. If ever I should be in like condition, I would not again venture my life among the Cormorants on the Kentucky side, for their teeth prefer to crack the victim of a frozen river, to the corn of their hill sides - I never yet found such unmerciful lancets in Hoosierdom, and hence would keep on this side of the river. I do not believe the land sharks to be half as numerous and rapacious as those encountered over the Eagle Hills.