30 July 2008

Cincinnati History Moment: Hog Days of Summer

An excerpt from Frances Trollope's book, The Domestic Manners of the Americans. She emigrated from England to Cincinnati in 1828 and returned back in 1831.

I am sure I should have liked Cincinnati much better if the people had not dealt so very largely in hogs. The immense quantity of business done in this line would hardly be believed by those who had not witnessed it. I never saw a newspaper without remarking such advertisements as the following:

"Wanted, immediately, 4,000 fat hogs"

"For sale, 2,000 barrels of prime pork"

But the annoyance came nearer than this; if I determined upon a walk up Main-street, the chances were five hundred to one against my reaching the shady side without brushing by a snout fresh dripping from the kennel; when we had screwed our courage to the enterprise of mounting a certain noble-looking sugar-loaf hill, that promised pure air and a fine view, we found the brook we had to cross, at its foot, red with the stream from a pig slaughter-house; while our noses, instead of meeting "the thyme that loves the green hill's breast," were greeted by odours that I will not describe, and which I heartily hope my readers cannot imagine; our feet, that on leaving the city had expected to press the flowery sod, literally got entangled in pigs'-tails and jaw bones: and thus the prettiest walk in the neighbourhood was interdicted forever.

(From Cincinnati: The Queen City)


CityKin said...

Pigs tails and jaw bones, some things never change.

Anonymous said...

Oscar Wilde made similar observations about Cincinnati. Surprisingly he liked the Wild West and the cowboys and miners liked him.

VisuaLingual said...

Wow, crazy!