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Around the World in 72 Days | Map

Nellie's Big Adventure

From the Collection: Women in American History

1. Taking Off From Jersey
"I started from Hoboken, on my trip around the world, November 14, 1889. ...(It would be) only a matter of twenty-eight thousand miles, and seventy-five days and four hours before I would be home again..." (She, of course, made it home in even less time than that!)

2. Up to London
"I have a recollection of dim lights and a gray, dusty shade overhanging the city, and some fine buildings and people beginning to hurry when I reached London. As we glided over the beautifully paved streets I thought with shame of the streets of New York. The Worldcorrespondent asked, 'What do you think of the streets compared with those of New York?' 'They are not bad,' I replied, patronizingly, determined in true American style not to hear one word against home."

3. Amiens, France
"We landed at Bologne. Here, I think, my baggage was examined, but I did not see it done as one of the men in the boat with me took charge of it and also found us places in the train bound for Amiens. In the mean we went into the restaurant on the edge of the pier and had something to eat. I found the waiters able to speak English and willing enough to take American money. The trip to Amiens was slow and tiresome, but I was fully repaid for the journey by meeting M. Jules Verne and his wife, who were waiting for me at the station in company with The World's Paris correspondent..."

4. Brindisi, Italy
"We were due at Brindisi at 12 o'clock, but when it came midnight and we were not yet there I began to get nervous. The train stopped at last and there was a great rush and a good deal of yelling on the part of the men outside, mainly in broken English. The guard took charge of the fair girl and her invalid father and myself. One omnibus was hired for the lot, with an English-speaking driver. There was a little oil-lamp in the front which gave out a weak glimmer and a strong odor. The glimmer at last went out, but the odor remained. Two fat women had so many boxes that when they got them all into the omnibus we had to sit as much on the seats as we could. We drove first to the steamer bound for Bombay, where we bade farewell to the Englishman and his sweet daughter. Then we drove back to the ship that was to carry me to victory or to failure."

5. Port Said, Egypt
"We saw a great number of beggars who, true to their trade, whined forth, with outstretched hands, their plaintive appeals, but they were not so obtrusive or bothersome that they necessitated our giving them the cane instead of alms. The majority of the beggars presented such repulsive forms of misery that in place of appealing to my sympathetic nature, as is generally the case, they had a hardening effect on me. They seemed to thrust their deformities in our faces in order to compel us to give money to buy their absence from our sight."

6. Singapore
"The people in Singapore have ranks as have people in other lands. There they don't wait for one neighbor to tell another or for the newspapers to inform the public as to their standing but every man, woman, and child carries his mark in gray powder on the forehead so that all the world may look and read and know their caste."

7. Hong Kong
"The bay, in a breastwork of mountains, lies calm and serene, dotted with hundreds of ships that seem like tiny toys. The palatial white houses come half way up the mountain side, beginning at the edge of the glassy bay. Every house we notice has a tennis-court blasted out of the mountainside. They say that after night the view from the peak is unsurpassed. One seems to be suspended between two heavens."

8. San Francisco
"The trip across the Pacific was very tempestuous. In the first three days we were 110 miles ahead of the Oceanic's last record when she broke the record; but all this and more were lost when we struck the headwinds, which stayed with us the greater part of five days. I cannot say more of the crew than that they were perfect, from the captain down. They did everything for the comfort of the passengers, and, strange to say, with all the rough weather, only one or two suffered with seasickness. I could not have felt more grieved over getting into San Francisco one day later than they had expected than did the officers in charge of the Oceanic. How I landed in San Francisco and took The World's special train at 9 a.m. January 2, and was whirled across the continent, greeted with kindness and hearty welcomes at every point, has already been told in The World."

9. Returning to Jersey
"The station was packed with thousands of people, and the moment I landed on the platform, one yell went up from them, and the cannons at the Battery and Fort Greene boomed out at the news of my arrival. I took off my cap and wanted to yell with the crowd, not because I had gone around the world in seventy-two days, but because I was home again.

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