The sweet story from the Atlantic Docks, reprinted in full below, ran in the Towanda, Pennsylvania's Bradford Reporter, on December 22, 1864. This good natured human interest story, with little doubt copied from another newspaper, is notable in part, for what it says about the openness of waterfront at the time - where domestic life overlapped with the work of the wharves.
Full text of Article from the Bradford Reporter, December 22, 1864
A CHILD'S EXPEDIENT.—A little girl about four years old trotted down to Atlantic Dock the other day, says a New York correspondent, to buy some corn for her mother's chickens. She had a pail in her hand in which to put the corn, but before she reached the spot where she was accustomed to find it, she came to a cask of honey.
This was not to be passed by without an effort to obtain some of it. The men at work within the Dock, unobserved by the child, watched her attempts to reach the sweet temptation. Her little arms were too short for the enterprise, but, after a moment's consideration, she took off her shoe and stocking", rolled up her drawers, and climbing up on something against which the cask stood, let down her foot and ankle into the honey ; then she drew it up, and with her hand scraped off the honey into her pail. This she repeated until the pail was full, when she went to the waterside and washed, and replacing her shoe and stocking, started with her spoil for home. A man followed her and heard her tell her mother that she had brought home some honey ; but to all questioning as to how she obtained it, she was mute. In a short time she returned to the dock for her chicken food, when, as I understand, there was quite an excitement over her, and a collection taken up to reward her ingenuity —not, 'tis hoped, to encourage her honesty.