Viewing page 14 of 182

This transcription has been completed. Contact us with corrections.

Monday, July 6, 1857
Boston Daily Bee,


The engrossing attraction of the afternoon, and indeed of the day, was the double balloon ascension, made by Mr. John Wise, the daring and experienced aeronaut, and by his son,Charles C. Wise,a young man,twenty-one years of age, who, though he has not travelled in cloudland as extensively as his father, certainly bids fair to rise as high in his profession. Mr. Wise, senior, ascended in the balloon "Old America," and his son went up in the "Young America," - both these balloons having been constructed expressly for this occasion under the direction of Mr. Wise. There was not a little which was emblematical and suggestive, in the decorations and appointments of these two aerial messengers.

The "Young America" bore her name painted in large letters on the centre, and on another panel a large spread eagle, bearing in his beak a pennant displaying the following mottos: "Manifest Destiny," "Onward March of Freedam." The eagle held in his claws a shield, and under the shield was a representation of the globe, on which was outlined the continent of North and South America. Projected from behind the globe was the American coat of arms, embellished with muskets, drums and big guns, a pictorial representation of Young America and the idea of "go-aheadativeness" which is conveyed by that appellation.

"Old America" also bore on its equator its name in large letters, on another part an oil painting of the Committee presenting the Declaration of Independence in the Provisional Congress, the figures more than life size, and on another part a large likeless of Washington. The motto, "When in the course of human events, etc." was borne above the group presenting the Declaration.

The capacity of the former is 10,000 cubic feet, that of the latter 11,000 feet, but we should judge that the youngster was much more inflated - with gas, than its parental companon du voyage. Both were very perfect balloons, and showed by their style of sailing that they were up - to the occasion.

The state of the atmosphere was very propitious for an ascension - a few light, fleecy clouds just flecked the sky at an elevation of about a mile seeming to invite the visit of the wise and daring voyageurs. The inflation of the balloons was successfully made, the "Young America" being first ready, and precisely at the hour assigned, 5 o'clock P. M., young Mr. Wise stepped into his frail car, the ropes were cast off, and the "Young America," with its solitary, adventurous passenger, shot upwards like an uncaged bird, cleaving the blue sky above the heads of the assembled and gazing multitude. The balloon mounted upward with great rapidity to a great height, then moved for a few moments in a north westerly direction, rising still higher, and passing through the clouds and out of sight; it then encountered a westerly current, which carried it eastward, and in this course it kept on about twelve miles seaward till nearly over "The Graves" - descending, an easterly current then wafted it toward the land, and skirting the coast, past Nahant, Mr. Wise and his wind-swept car finally descended with ease and in perfect safety on Lynn Common. For the particulars of this trip, as also that of the elder Mr. Wise, inasmuch as we did not send a reporter up, we refer the reader to the graphic account kindly furnished us by the aeronauts themselves. The other balloon, the "Old America," followed the first in about twenty minutes, and with no less success. This ascension was more graceful and steady than the other, but not so rapid, nor did the balloon mount so high. - Mr. Wise, as he ascended, bowed, waved his hat, showered down show bills on the crowd and displayed the national flag, and was answered with shouts and cheers from the delighted throng of spectators.

The "Old America" literally gave chase to the truant "young un," following nearly in the same tracks, but not going so far to sea, nor remaining up so long. Mr. Wise, senior, made his descent in a most successful manner near South Malden. Both father and son returned in safety to the city last evening.

These ascensions were as magnificent and successful as any such exhibition could have been, and the beauty of the spectacle and the intrepidity of the chief actors, called forth the unqualified applause of the assembled thousands.

Regard it as we will, though these ascensions are not now such an exceedingly rare affair, yet the thought, that a human being is sailing away with the speed of the wind, up, up into the blue vault of heaven, and among the clouds with nothing to rely on but his own skill and daring, and a frail fabric of silken texture, has in it much to excite our wonder, admiration and our fears. But we will not keep our readers from the more interesting account of their aerial journeyings furnished by the Messrs. Wise.


Gentlemen, - In accordance with your request to furnish you with the particulars of the balloon experiments which were provided by the corporation of the city of Boston, and which were performed by myself and son, I beg leave, in the first place, to state that the committee, of whom Mr. Kreuger was the chairman, under whose charge I acted, gave me all the necessarily required accommodations, and Mr. Greenough, Superintendent of the Gas works, assisted by his out door Superintendent, Mr. Durell, gave all the facilities of a good flow of gas, so that nothing was wanting in those departments of the art to detract from a fair and full exposition and realization of this part of the programme which was promised to the liege people of Boston city.

At precisely 5 P.M., the Young America was released from her moorings, and her upward aspirations are better known to the Boston public than I can describe them ; her course was north-eastward, until she reached an altitude of ten or twelve thousand feet, at which height there appears to be at all times a current setting strongly towards the east. At this period of the Young America's onward course, the