AVERSE TO RACING
GEORGE P. BURNHAM
[The predilection of river captains to show off the power of their boats was often commented on by travelers. George P. Burnham of Roxbury, Massachusetts, writing in the New York Spirit of the Times over the pseudonym "The Young 'Un" (May 14, 1846) has produced one of the classic sketches of an experience with a captain who was absolutely "averse to racing." A volume of Gleanings from the Portfolio of the Young 'Un was published in Philadelphia in 1848.]
Early in the spring of the present year, a magnificent new steamer was launched upon the Ohio river, and shortly afterward made her appearance at the Levee, opposite the flourishing city of Cincinnati. Giltedged covers, enveloping the captain's "respects," accompanied with invitations to "see her through," upon her first trip down the river, were forwarded to the editorial corps in that vicinity; the chalked hats were "numerous" on the occasion. It was a grand affair, this debut of a floating palace, which has since maintained her repute untarnished as the "crack boat," par excellence, upon the Western waters. Your humble servant was among the "invited guests"-and a nice time he had of it!
I found myself on board this beautiful craft in "close communion" with a score of unquestionable "beauties." The company proved to be a heterogeneous conglomeration of character-made up of editors, lawyers, auctioneers, indescribables, and "fancies" - with a sprinkling of "nonesuch's." There was a stray parson, too, in the crowd—but as his leisure time "between meals" was spent in trading horses, we dispensed with his "grace before meals."
We left our moorings an hour before sunset, upon a clear