A brief but successful occupancy of the Aston Lower Grounds, Birmingham, followed almost immediately upon our London triumphs. Birmingham, the headquarters of the British gun-making industry, the fancy metal trades and of innumerable branches of the lighter hardware crafts, together with its numerous surrounding towns responded nobly to our invitation. The news of our reception in London had gone before us, and we met with a prodigious welcome from the screw-makers, the teapot turners and the manufacturers of artificial jewelry and “Brummagem goods”59 in general. But with the drifting season there were signs that the weather was breaking. It was manifest that the Wild West must get under cover in winter quarters, and a mightier center than Birmingham was extending its arms to us farther north.
Manchester, with its surrounding network of a hundred smaller but yet important towns—“Cottonopolis,” as it is endearingly called by its denizens—was issuing pressing invitations. This powerful district resembles nothing so much as a still greater London, split and separated by the explosion of a bombshell. A population of