Tuesday last was a "great day in Marietta." So the bills said. They also said that on that day, Master Charlie Alford would give us, to quote from the Rhyme of ye Ancient Pedlar Man, a "specimen of tall walking." And so he did.
He stretched his cable from the roof of the National House to a pole erected at the corner of the alley by the "burnt district" - some 300 feet long and 50 to 60 feet high. At the appointed time, Charlie made his appearance on the roof of the National, in costume, and seizing his balancing pole, marched out on his air line, with the stately and heroic tread of a warrior. He reached the other end of this journey without difficulty, amid the hushed stillness of the largest crowd we ever saw in Marietta. Had it been a political gathering, it would have been said that ten thousand people were present; but as it was not, five thousand will include all.
Resting a few moments, he retraced his steps to near the National, when fastening his pole to the cable and guys, he gave an illustration of how a man would look pointing his pedals to the sky, hanging by his hands, feet, &c. at that distance above terra firma.
In the evening, in the beautiful moonlight, the performance was repeated, a torch being fastened to each end of his pole to light him on his perilous way. He accomplished the feat without difficulty, and retraced his steps to the hotel backward. A few Roman candles ended the entertainment, which was witnessed by almost as large a crowd as in the afternoon. Let Blondin look out for his laurels.
The Home News, December 29, 1860:
Mr. Moses Cook, a young gentleman residing in the eastern part of Marietta Township, thinks some things can be done as well as others, and that Washington County boys can do what any body else can, proposes to walk a rope fifty feet high and three hundred feet long at Robinson's Mill on the Little Muskingum, on Tuesday afternoon next, New Year's day. He expects to see the day when he will beat Blondin all hollow. Those who are fond of such exhibitions should be on hand.
The Home News, January 12, 1861:
Mr. Moses Cook, on New Year's day, performed his rope-walking experiments at Robinson's Mill with complete success. He walked backward and forward with steadiness and grace, and did everything that could be done except standing on his head. The cable was 48 feet high and 300 long.
The Home News, January 26, 1861:
Mr. Charles Cook of this township, who exhibited a specimen of tall walking equal to young Alford on the Little Muskingum on the 1st inst., will show the citizens of Marietta and all others who choose to come and look on, how it was done, on Saturday, the 2d day of February. His rope will be 300 feet long and 50 feet high, on which he will perform all the usual antics of the profession.
The Home News, February 9 1861:
The rope walking exhibition of Mr. Moses Cook on Saturday last was a decided failure. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, several hundred people assembled to witness the performance, but the rain rendered the cable in a very unfit condition to walk on, and after progressing a few feet from the roof of the National, the attempt was abandoned as too hazardous.