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The Von Toodleburgs Or, The History of a Very Distinguished Family   By:

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[Illustration: There was no happier couple in all the settlement than Hanz and Angeline Toodleburg. Page 13.]

THE

VON TOODLEBURGS;

OR,

THE HISTORY OF A VERY DISTINGUISHED FAMILY.

BY

F. COLBURN ADAMS,

AUTHOR OF "MANUEL PERIERE, OR THE SOVEREIGN RULE OF SOUTH CAROLINA;" "OUR WORLD;" "CHRONICLES OF THE BASTILE;" "AN OUTCAST;" "ADVENTURES OF MAJOR RODGER SHERMAN PORTER;" "THE STORY OF A TROOPER;" "THE SIEGE OF WASHINGTON," ETC.

ILLUSTRATED FROM ORIGINAL DRAWINGS BY A.R. WAUD.

PHILADELPHIA:

CLAXTON, REMSEN & HAFFELFINGER,

819 AND 821 MARKET STREET

1868.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by

F. COLBURN ADAMS,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

PREFACE.

I never could see what real usefulness there was in a preface to a work of this kind, and never wrote one without a misgiving that it would do more to confuse than enlighten the reader.

The good people of Nyack will pardon me, I know they will, for taking such an unwarrantable liberty as to locate many of my scenes and characters in and around their flourishing little town. I have no doubt there are persons yet living there who will readily recognize some of my characters, especially those of Hanz and Angeline Toodleburg. That the very distinguished family of Von Toodleburgs, which flourished so extensively in New York at a later period, as described in the second series of this work, will also be recognized by many of my readers I have not a doubt. Nyack should not be held responsible for all the sins of the great Kidd Discovery Company, since some of the leading men engaged in that remarkable enterprise lived on the opposite side of the river, many miles away.

The reader must not think I have drawn too extensively on my imagination for material to create "No Man's Island" and build "Dunman's Cave" with. About eighteen years ago I chanced to have for fellow traveller an odd little man, of the name of Price, (better known as Button Price,) who had been captain of a New Bedford or Nantucket whaleship. He was an earnest, warm hearted, talkative little man, and one of the strangest bits of humanity it had ever been my good fortune to fall in with. He had lost his ship on what he was pleased to call an unknown island in the Pacific. He applied the word "unknown" for the only reason that I could understand, that he did not know it was there until his ship struck on it. He regarded killing a whale as the highest object a man had to live for, and had no very high respect for the mariner who had never "looked round Cape Horn," or engaged a whale in mortal combat. He was on his way home to report the loss of his ship to his owners. An act of kindness, and finding that I knew something of the sea, and could sympathize with a sailor in misfortune, made us firm friends to the end of our journey.

To this odd little man, then, I am indebted for the story of the old pirate of "No Man's Island," and what took place in "Dunman's Cave;" for it was in just such a place, according to his own account, that he lost his ship. Much of his story, as told to me then, seemed strange and incredible in truth, the offspring of a brain not well balanced.

Time has shown, however, that there was much more truth in this old whaleman's story than I had given him credit for. "No Man's Island" is somewhat better known to navigators now, though still uninhabited and bearing a different name. "Dunman's Cave," too, has been the scene of more than one shipwreck within six years.

Those who have carefully studied the causes producing "boars," or "tidal waves," as they appear in different parts of the world, and the singular atmospheric phenomena which at times accompany them, will not find it difficult to understand the startling changes which took place in "Dunman's Cave" when the " Pacific " was wrecked. They will understand, also, why the " set " was so strong at so great a distance from the entrance, and why the "boar" rose to such a height in a narrow gate, or entrance formed by steep rocks, before it broke, and went rushing and roaring onward with irresistible force... Continue reading book >>




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