Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 399 pages of information about Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897.
his minions should reappear among us.  I thought that, if he had done all the dreadful things stated in the Declaration of ’76, he might come again, burn our houses, and drive us all into the street.  Sir William Johnson’s mansion of solid masonry, gloomy and threatening, still stood in our neighborhood.  I had seen the marks of the Indian’s tomahawk on the balustrades and heard of the bloody deeds there enacted.  For all the calamities of the nation I believed King George responsible.  At home and at school we were educated to hate the English.  When we remember that, every Fourth of July, the Declaration was read with emphasis, and the orator of the day rounded all his glowing periods with denunciations of the mother country, we need not wonder at the national hatred of everything English.  Our patriotism in those early days was measured by our dislike of Great Britain.

In September occurred the great event, the review of the county militia, popularly called “Training Day.”  Then everybody went to the race course to see the troops and buy what the farmers had brought in their wagons.  There was a peculiar kind of gingerbread and molasses candy to which we were treated on those occasions, associated in my mind to this day with military reviews and standing armies.

Other pleasures were, roaming in the forests and sailing on the mill pond.  One day, when there were no boys at hand and several girls were impatiently waiting for a sail on a raft, my sister and I volunteered to man the expedition.  We always acted on the assumption that what we had seen done, we could do.  Accordingly we all jumped on the raft, loosened it from its moorings, and away we went with the current.  Navigation on that mill pond was performed with long poles, but, unfortunately, we could not lift the poles, and we soon saw we were drifting toward the dam.  But we had the presence of mind to sit down and hold fast to the raft.  Fortunately, we went over right side up and gracefully glided down the stream, until rescued by the ever watchful Peter.  I did not hear the last of that voyage for a long time.  I was called the captain of the expedition, and one of the boys wrote a composition, which he read in school, describing the adventure and emphasizing the ignorance of the laws of navigation shown by the officers in command.  I shed tears many times over that performance.

CHAPTER II.

School days.

When I was eleven years old, two events occurred which changed considerably the current of my life.  My only brother, who had just graduated from Union College, came home to die.  A young man of great talent and promise, he was the pride of my father’s heart.  We early felt that this son filled a larger place in our father’s affections and future plans than the five daughters together.  Well do I remember how tenderly he watched my brother in his last illness, the sighs and tears he gave vent to

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Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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