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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|Title: The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 4||1|
|THE BAY STATE MONTHLY.||1|
|HON. JOHN D. LONG.||1|
|CONCORD MEN AND MEMORIES.||4|
|THE CONSPIRACY OF 1860-61.||11|
|THE MUSE OF HISTORY.||26|
|TWO REFORM MAYORS OF BOSTON.||27|
|HELEN HUNT JACKSON.||33|
|THE HOUSE OF TICKNOR.||42|
|THE FIRST NEW ENGLAND WITCH.||45|
|IN EMBER DAYS.||52|
|CHRISTOPHER GAULT.—A STORY.||53|
|AMONG THE BOOKS.||84|
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[Illustration: John D. Long]
A Massachusetts Magazine.
Vol. III. September, 1885. No. IV.
* * * * *
Hon. John D. Long, the thirty-second governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, under the Constitution, and whose wise, prudent administration reflected great credit upon himself, was born in Buckfield, Maine, October 27, 1838.
His father was a man of some prominence in the Pine Tree State, and in the year in which his more distinguished son first saw the light, he ran for Congress on the Whig ticket, and although receiving a plurality of the votes cast, he was defeated.
The son was a studious lad, more fond of his books than of play, and thought more of obtaining a solid education than of developing his muscles as an athlete. At the proper age he entered the academy at Hebron, the principal of which was at that time Mark H. Dunnell, subsequently a member of Congress from Minnesota.
At the age of fourteen, young Long entered the Freshman class at Harvard College. He at once took high rank, stood fourth in his class for the course, and second at the end of the Senior year. He was the author of the class ode, sung on Commencement day.
After leaving College, Mr. Long was engaged as principal of the Westford Academy, an old institution incorporated in 1793. He remained at Westford two years, highly esteemed by his pupils and beloved of the whole people. As a teacher, he won marked success, and many of his contemporaries regret that he did not always remain in the profession. But he cherished another, if not a higher ambition. From Westford he passed to the Harvard Law School, and to the offices of Sidney Bartlett and Peleg W. Chandler, in Boston. In 1861, he was admitted to the bar, and then he opened an office in his native town, to practise his new profession.
He soon found, however, that Buckfield was not the place for him. People there were far too honest and peace-loving, and minded their own business too well to assist in building up a lawyer’s reputation. After a two years’ stay, therefore, he removed to Boston, and entered the office of Stillman B. Allen, where he rapidly gained an extensive practice. The firm, which consisted of Mr. Allen, Mr. Long, Thomas Savage and Alfred Hemenway, had their offices on Court Street, in an old building now on the site of the new Young’s Hotel. Mr. Long remained in the firm until his election, in November, 1879, to the governorship of Massachusetts.
In 1870, he was married to Miss Mary W. Glover of Hingham, Massachusetts, to which town he had previously removed his residence. During his executive administration, he had the great misfortune to undergo bereavement by the loss of this most estimable lady, whose wise counsel often lent him encouragement in the perplexed days of his official life.
In 1875, Mr. Long was chosen to represent the Republicans of the second Plymouth District in the legislature. He at once took a prominent position, and gained great popularity with his fellow members. In 1876, he was re-elected to the House, and soon after he was chosen speaker. This position he filled with dignity, grace, and with an ease surpassed by no speaker before him or since. He showed himself thoroughly versed in parliamentary practice, and his tact was indeed something remarkable. So great was his popularity that, in 1877, he had every vote which was cast for speaker, and in the following year every vote but six.
In the fall of 1877, the Republican State Convention assembled at Worcester, and it at once became apparent that many of the delegates were desirous to vote for Mr. Speaker Long for the highest office in the Commonwealth. At the convention he received, however, only 217 votes for candidate; and his name was then withdrawn. At the convention of 1878, he again found numerous supporters, and received 266 votes for Governor. He was then nominated for Lieutenant Governor by a very large majority, and was elected. In the convention of 1879, Governor Thomas Talbot declining a re-nomination, Lieutenant Governor Long received 669 votes to 505 votes for the Hon. Henry L. Pierce, and was nominated and elected, having 122,751 votes to 109,149 for General Benjamin F. Butler, 9,989 for John Quincy Adams, and 1,635 for the Rev D.C. Eddy, D.D.
On the fifteenth of September, 1880, Governor Long was re-nominated by acclamation, and in November he was re-elected by a plurality of about 52,000 votes,—the largest plurality given for any candidate for the governorship of Massachusetts since the presidential year of 1872. He continued to hold the office, by re-election until January, 1883.
Several important acts were passed during the administration of Governor Long, and notably among these was an act fixing the penalties for drunkeness,—an act providing that no person who has been served in the United State army or navy, and has been honorably discharged from the service, if otherwise qualified to vote, shall be debarred from voting on account of his being a pauper, or, if a pauper, because of the non-payment of a poll tax,—an act which obviated many of the evils of double taxation by providing that, when any person has an interest in taxable real estate as holders of a mortgage, given to secure the payment of a loan, the amount of which is fixed and stated, the amount of said person’s interest as mortgagee shall be assessed as real estate in the city or town where the land lies, and the mortgagor shall be assessed only for the value of said real estate, less the mortgagee’s interest in it.
The creditable manner in which Mr. Long conducted the affairs of the State induced his constituents to send him as their representative in Washington. He was elected a member of the Forty-eighth Congress, and is now a member also of the Forty-ninth. His record thus far has been altogether honorable and characterized by a sturdy watchfulness of the interests entrusted to his care.
As a man of letters. Governor Long has achieved a reputation. Some years ago, he produced a scholarly translation, in blank verse, of Virgil’s AEneid, which was published in 1879 in Boston. It has found many admirers among students of classical literature. Governor Long, amid busy professional and official duties, has also written several poems and essays which reflect credit upon his heart and brain. His inaugural addresses were masterpieces of literary art, and the same can be said of his speeches on the floor of Congress, all of them, polished, forceful and to the point.
Mr. Long is a very fluent speaker, and, without oratorical display, he always succeeds in winning the attention of his auditors. It is what he says, more than how he says it, that has won for him his great popularity on the platform. When, in February last, the Washington monument was dedicated, he it was that was chosen to read the magnificent oration of Robert C. Winthrop.
As a specimen of Mr. Long’s happy way of expressing timely thoughts, the following passage, selected from an address which he delivered at Tremont Temple, Boston, on Memorial Day, 1881, deserves to be read:—
“Scarce a town is there—from Boston, with its magnificent column crowned with the statue of America at the dedication of which even the conquered Southron came to pay honor, to the humblest stone in rural villages—in which these monuments do not rise summer and winter, in snow and sun, day and night, to tell how universal was the response of Massachusetts to the call of the patriots’ duty, whether it rang above the city’s din or broke the quiet of the farm. On city square and village green stand the graceful figures of student, clerk, mechanic, farmer, in that endeared and never-to-be-forgotten war-uniform of the soldier or the sailor, their stern young faces to the front, still on guard, watching the work they wrought in the flesh, and teaching in eloquent silence the lesson of the citizen’s duty to the state, How our children will study these! How they will search and read their names! How quaint and antique to them will seem their arms and costume! How they will gather and store up in their minds the fine, insensibly filtering percolation of the sentiment of valor, of loyalty, of fight for right, of resistance against wrong, just as we inherited all this from the Revolutionary era, so that, when some crisis shall in the future come to them, as it came to us, they will spring to the rescue, as sprang our youth, in the beauty and chivalry of the consciousness of a noble descent.”
* * * * *
By George B. Bartlett.
On a pleasant June morning after a long drive through shady country lanes, the little pile of rocks was reached, which for two hundred and fifty years has marked the western corner of the lot, six miles square, granted to form the plantation at Musketaquid on the second of September 1635. Resting here in the shadow of the pines, listening to the busy gossip of the squirrels, many scenes and people which have made the town of Concord, Massachusetts, so noted, seemed to pass in review, some of which will here be recounted.
Perhaps on this spot Simon Willard and his associates may have stood, and these rough rocks been laid in place by their hands. Peter Bulkeley, the wise and reverend, may have consecrated this solemn occasion with prayer in accordance with the good old custom of the time. To the two gentlemen above-mentioned the chief credit of the settlement of Concord is mainly due. Attention was early called to the broad meadows of the Musketaquid or ‘grass grown river’ and a company marched from the ancient Newtown to form a settlement there early in the fall of 1635. Few of the thousand pilgrims who arrive every year over the Fitchburg and Lowell railroads can imagine the discomforts of the toilsome journey of these early settlers as they penetrated through the unbroken wilderness and wet and dreary swamps, devoting nearly two weeks to the journey now easily accomplished in forty minutes. Many of their cattle died from exposure and change of climate, and great heroism and courage were required to make them persevere. They were kindly received by the Indians who were in possession of the lands along the rivers, and who finally consented to part with them so peacefully, that the name of the town was called Concord.
Near the present site of the hotel stood an oak tree under which tradition locates the scene of these amicable bargains. On a hill at the junction of the Sudbury and Assabet rivers, rumor also locates the lodge of the squaw who reigned as queen over one of the Indian tribes, and thus introduced into the village female supremacy which has steadily gained in power ever since. Later the Apostle Eliot preached here often, and converted many dusky followers into “Praying Indians.” Remnants of their lodge-stones, arrow-heads and other relics were abundant half a century ago in the great fields and other well known resorts, and a large kitchen-miden or pile of shells, now fast becoming sand, marks the place of one of their solemn feasts. The early explorers seem to have built at first under the shelter of the low sand-hills which extend through the centre of the town, and perhaps some of them were content to winter in caves dug in the western slopes. Their first care was for their church which was organized under the Rev. Peter Bulkeley and John Jones as pastor and teacher, but after a few years Mr. Jones left for
Trained by this Indian warfare, the inhabitants of Concord were prepared for the events which were to follow, and when, in 1775, their town furnished the first battle-field of the American Revolution, they were able to offer “the first effectual resistance to British aggression.” In the old church built in 1712 was held the famous Continental Congress where the fiery speeches of Adams and Hancock did so much to hasten the opening of the inevitable conflict between England and her provinces. The same frame which was used for the present building echoed with the stirring words of the patriots as well as with the fearless utterances of the Rev. William Emerson, who, on the Sunday before Concord fight, preached his famous sermon on the text “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” The events which preceded the Revolution need not be recorded here, nor any facts not intimately connected with the history of the town, which had been quietly making preparations for the grand event. Under Colonel James Barrett and Major Buttrick, the militia and other soldiers were drilled and organized, some of whom under the name of Minute-men were ordered to be ready to parade at a moment’s notice. Cannon and other munitions of war were procured, which with flour and provisions were secreted in various places.
Tidings of these preparations was carried to the British in Boston by the spies and tories who abounded in the town, and on the evening of the eighteenth of April, an expedition consisting of about eight hundred men was sent out to counteract them. Paul Revere having been stopped at Lexington, was able to spread the news of the attack by means of Dr. Prescott who had been sitting up late with the lady whom he afterwards married. Love overleaps all obstacles, and with cut bridle-rein the Doctor leaped his gallant steed over walls and fences and reached Concord very early in the morning. At the ringing of the bell the Minute-men flocked to their standard on the crest of Burying Hill where they were joined by Rev. William Emerson, whose marble tomb stands near the very spot, and also marks the place where Pitcairn and Smith controlled the operations of the British during the forenoon.
The Liberty-pole occupied the next eminence, a few rods farther east. Here the little band of patriots awaited the coming of the well-disciplined foe, ignorant that their country-men had fallen on Lexington Common before the very muskets that now glittered in the morning sun. Some proposed to go and meet the British, and some to die holding their ground; but their wiser commanders led them to Ponkawtassett Hill a mile away, where the worn and weary troops were cheered by food and rest, and were reinforced by new arrivals from Acton and other towns, until they numbered nearly three hundred men. After destroying many stores in the village, and sending three companies to Colonel Barrett’s in vain search for the cannon, which were buried in the furrows of a ploughed field, a detachment of British soldiers took possession of the South Bridge, and three companies were left to guard the old North Bridge under command of Captain Lawrie.
[Illustration: Henry D. Thoreau.]
Seeing this manoeuvre the Americans slowly advanced and took up their position on the hill at the west of the bridge which the British now began to destroy. Colonel Isaac Davis of Acton now offered to lead the attack, saying, “I have not a man who is afraid to go,” and he was given the place in front of the advancing column, and fell at the first volley from the British, who were posted on the other bank of the river. Major Buttrick then ordered his troops to fire, and dashed on to the bridge, driving the enemy back to the main road, down which they soon retreated to the Common, to join the Grenadiers and Marines who there awaited them. The Minute-men crossed over the hills and fields to Merriam’s corner when they again attacked the British, who were marching back to Boston, and killed and wounded several of the enemy without injury to themselves. Meanwhile the three companies had returned from Colonel Barrett’s and marched safely over the bridge which had been abandoned by both sides, and joined the main force of the British who had waited for them on the Common.
After the skirmish at Merriam’s corner, the fighting was continued in true Indian fashion from behind walls and buildings with such effect that the British would have been captured had they not been re-enforced at Lexington by a large force with field pieces.
In 1836, the spot on which the British stood was marked by a plain monument, and in 1875 the place near which Captain Isaac Davis and his companions fell was made forever memorable by the noble bronze statue of the Minute-man by Daniel Chester French in which the artist has carefully copied every detail of dress and implement, from the ancient firelock, to the old plough on which he leans.
[Illustration: The old battle ground.]
In order to prove her claim to the peaceful name of Concord, this village seems to have taken an active part in every warlike enterprise which followed. Several of her men fought at Bunker Hill and one was killed there. In Shay’s Rebellion Job Shattuck of Groton attempted to prevent the court, which assembled in Concord, from transacting its business, by an armed force. In the war of 1812, Concord men served well, and in the old anti-slavery days many a fierce battle of tongue and pen was waged by the early supporters of the then unpopular cause. John Brown spent his fifty-eighth birthday in the town the week before he left for Harper’s Ferry, and the gallows from which his “soul went marching on.” The United States officials who came to arrest Mr. Sanborn for his knowledge of Brown’s movements were advised by the women and men of Concord to retreat down the old Boston road a la British; and when the call came for troops to put down the late Rebellion, Concord was among the first to send her militia to the field under the gallant young farmer-soldier, Colonel Prescott, who at Petersburg,
“Showed how a soldier ought to fight,
And a Christian ought to die.”
[Illustration: R. Waldo Emerson]
In memory of the brave who found in Concord “a birthplace, home or grave” the plain shaft in the public square was erected on the spot where the Minute-men were probably first drawn up on the morning of the nineteenth of April. 1775 to listen to the inspiring words of their young preacher, Rev. William Emerson, and ninety years after in the same place his grandson R.W. Emerson recounted the noble deeds of the men who had gallantly proved themselves worthy to bear the names made famous by their ancestors at Concord fight. The Rev. William Emerson in 1775 occupied and owned The Old Manse, which was built for him about ten years before, on the occasion of his marriage to Miss. Phoebe Bliss, the daughter of one of the early ministers of Concord. Mr. Emerson was so patriotic and eager to attack the invaders at once, that he was compelled by his people to remain in his house, from which he is said to have watched the battle at the bridge from a window commanding the
[Illustration: Nathaniel Hawthorne.]
On the hill opposite, the solitary poplar, the last of a group set out by some school-girls eighty years ago, still stands. Each of its companions died about the time of the decease of its lady planter, and as the one who set out the present tree has lately died, the poplar suffered last year from a stroke of lightning which may cause it to follow soon.
Nearly opposite the Manse on the road toward the village is the well preserved house, formerly the home of Elisha Jones, which bears in the L the mark of a bullet fired into it on the day of Concord fight. On the same side of the way a little farther down is a house, a portion of which was built by Humphrey Barrett as early as 1640. As the route of the retreating British from the bridge is followed for half a mile down this road the common is reached, which is bounded on the Northern end by the stores, from which the British took flour and other Continental supplies, and at the opposite end stands Wright tavern which the gallant Pitcairn immortalized by stirring his brandy with a bloody finger, unconscious that the rebel blood he promised to stir would cause his own to flow at Bunker Hill.
Opposite Wright tavern is one of the oldest burying hills in the country, on which may be seen the stone of Joseph Merriam, who died in 1677 and those of Colonel Barrett who commanded the troops, and of Major Buttrick who led them at the bridge, and of his son the fifer who furnished the music to which they marched. Here also is the inscription to John Jack famous for its alliteration, and the tablets of the old ministers and founders of church and State. Some of these headstones bear coats of arms and rough portraits in stone, while others more symbolic, are content with the winged cherubim or solemn weeping willow, and others older still preserve the antique coffin shape. About one quarter of a mile in the rear of this historic Burying Hill is Sleepy Hollow, the cemetery now so famous, which will be for centuries as now, the Mecca of pious pilgrims, for here Emerson sleeps beneath the giant pine of which he loved to write and which in grateful recognition ever whispers its solemn dirge over the dead poet, who will live forever in his writings. His grave is now marked by a rough rock of beautiful pink crystal-quartz, and his son Waldo lies close beside him, with no monument but the imperishable one of Threnody. Mrs. Ruth Emerson, the mother of the poet and his brothers, nephews and grandchildren rest near him, and close by is the grave of Miss Mary Moody Emerson, the eccentric genius whom he well appreciated.
[Illustration: The study in the tower of the Wayside.]
Ridge Path leads up the steep hill past the grave of Emerson and also to most of the noted burial places. On ascending this path at the western end, Hawthorne’s lot is first reached, surrounded by a low hedge of Arbor Vitae and the grave of the great writer is marked only by two low white stones one of which bears his name. At his head lies his little grandson, Francis Lathrop, and by his side Julian’s little daughter Gladys. Behind is the grave of Thoreau, a plain brown stone, and very near are the graves of two of the little women, Amy and Beth, by the side of their noble mother, Mrs. Alcott. Colonel Prescott and many noted citizens are buried on this path which has for a chief ornament the handsome monument of the Honorable William Whiting, nearly opposite which is the Manse lot, with its memorials to Mrs. Ripley and her sons. On the side of this hill is the Monument to Honorable Samuel Hoar which bears upon its upper portion an appropriate motto from Pilgrim’s Progress, and an oft-quoted inscription which with the one in the same lot to his daughter, is recommended to all lovers of pure English as they are true records of the pure souls they commemorate.
[Illustration: A. Bronson Alcott.]
Returning from the cemetery to the square, we still follow the British down the Boston road and pass at the corner near the church another building from which stores were taken and on the left houses of historical fame, the house and shop of Captain Brown who led the second company in the fight, the home of the patriot Lee and John Beatton who left funds for church purposes. Below this house which is two hundred years old, a guard was posted on the day of the fight and before it stand two elms so old that they are filled with bricks inside, and mended outside with plaster in order to preserve them. The next house on the right is the home of Emerson, a plain wooden building with trees near the western side, and a fine old-fashioned garden in the rear. His study was in the front of the house at the right of the entrance. One side is filled to the ceiling with books, and a picture of the Fates hangs above the grate, a table occupies the centre, at the right of which is the rocking chair in which he often sat, and his writing implements lie near on the table. From the study two doors lead to the long parlor with its large fire-place around which so many noted people have gathered.
After passing the home of Emerson the road turns toward the left and leads past the farm and greenhouses of John B. Morse, the agricultural author, to the School of Philosophy which has just completed its seventh session with success, the attendance having steadily improved certainly as far as culture is considered. It stands in the grounds of the Orchard House now the home of Dr. Harris who has carried out the idea of Mr. Alcott of whom he bought the place, by laying out beautiful walks over the crest of the wooded hill. He has surrounded a tall pine on the hill top with a strong staircase by which it can easily be climbed to a height of 54 feet from the base and 110 feet from the road in front of the school building or chapel. Orchard House was for years the home of the Alcott family where Louisa wrote and May painted and their father studied philosophy. A broken rustic fence one of the last traces of Mr. Alcott’s mechanical skill forms the slight barrier between the grounds at the Orchard House and Wayside, which Mr. Alcott bought in 1845 and a few years later sold to Nathaniel Hawthorne who owned it at the time of his death. The house is a strange mixture of the old and new, as the rear part bears evident traces of antiquity, at the right were the Hawthorne parlors and reception rooms, at the left of the entry his library, sometimes called the den, and in front a small room with a low window separates the dining room from the reception room and the whole is crowned with a tower built by Mr. Hawthorne for a study where he found the quiet and seclusion which he loved. Much of Mr. Hawthorne’s composition seems to have been done as he wandered up and down the shady paths which wind in every direction along the terraced hillside, and a small crooked path
* * * * *
By George Lowell Austin.
After the October elections, in the autumn of 1860, had been carried by the Republicans, the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, in November, became a foregone conclusion. On the 5th day of October,—the initial day of the American Rebellion,—Governor Gist, of South Carolina, wrote a confidential circular-letter, which he despatched by special messenger to the governors of the so-called Cotton States. In this letter he requested an “interchange of opinions which he might be at liberty to submit to a consultation of the leading men” of his State. He added that South Carolina would unquestionably call a convention as soon as it was ascertained that a majority of Lincoln electors were chosen in the then pending presidential election. “If a single State secedes,” he wrote, “she will follow her. If no other State takes the lead, South Carolina will secede; in my opinion, alone, if she has any assurance that she will be soon followed by another or other States; otherwise, it is doubtful.” He asked information, and advised concerted action.
The governors of North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia sent replies; but the discouraging tone of their responses establishes, beyond controversy, that, with the exception of South Carolina, “the Rebellion was not in any sense a popular revolution, but was a conspiracy among the prominent local office-holders and politicians, which the people neither expected nor desired, and which they were made eventually to justify and uphold by the usual arts and expedients of conspiracy.”
From the dawn of its existence the South had practically controlled the government; she very naturally wished to perpetuate her control. The extension of slavery and the creation of additional slave States was a necessary step in the scheme, and became the well-defined single issue in the presidential election, though not necessarily the primal cause of the impending civil war. For the first time in the history of the republic the ambition of the South met overwhelming defeat. In legal form and by constitutional majorities Abraham Lincoln was chosen to the presidency, and this choice meant, finally, that slavery should not be extended.
An election was held in South Carolina in the month of October, 1860, under the manipulation of the conspirators. To a Legislature chosen from the proper material, Governor Gist, on November 5th, sent a message declaring “our institutions” in danger from the “fixed majorities” of the North, and recommending the calling of a State Convention, and the purchase of arms and the material of war. This was the first official notice and proclamation of insurrection.
The morning of November 7th decided the result of the national election. From this time onward everything was adroitly managed to swell the revolutionary furor. The people of South Carolina, and especially of Charleston, indulged in a continuous holiday, amid unflagging excitement, and, while singing the Marseillaise, prepared for war! Everybody appeared to be satisfied,—the conspirators, because their schemes were progressing, and the people, because, innocently duped, they hoped for success.
The first half of the month of December had worn away. A new governor, Francis W. Pickens, ruled the destinies of South Carolina. A Convention, authorized by the Legislature, met at Columbia, the capital of the State, and, on the 20th of December, passed unanimously what it called an ordinance of secession, in the following words:—
We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the 23d day of May, in the year of our Lord 1788, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all Acts and parts of Acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.
The ordinance was immediately made known by huge placards, issued from the Charleston printing-offices, and by the firing of guns, the ringing of bells, and other jubilations. The same evening South Carolina was proclaimed an “independent commonwealth.” Said one of the chief actors: “The secession of South Carolina is not an event of a day. It is not anything produced by Mr. Lincoln’s election, or by the non-execution of the Fugitive-Slave Law. It is a matter which has been gathering head for thirty years.” This was a distinct affirmation, which is corroborated by other and abundant testimony, that the revolt was not only against right, but that it was utterly without cause.
The events which took place in South Carolina were, in substance, duplicated in her sister States of the South. Mississippi seceded on January 9, 1861; Florida, on January 10; Alabama, on January 11; Georgia, on January 18; Louisiana, on January 26; and Texas, on February 1; but not a single State, except Texas, dared to submit its ordinance of secession to a direct vote of the people.
One of the most striking features in the early history of the secession is the apparent delusion in the minds of the leaders that secession could not result in war. Even after the firing upon Sumter, the delusion continued to exist. Misled, perhaps, by the opinion of ex-President Pierce, the South believed that the North would be divided; that it would not fight. It is but fair to say that the tone of a portion of the Northern press, and the speeches of some of the Northern Democrats, and the ambiguous way of speaking on the part of some of the Northern Republicans rather warranted than discouraged such an opinion.
There was, however, one prominent man from Massachusetts, who had united with the Southern leaders in the support of Breckenridge, who had wisdom as well as wit, and who now sought to dispel this false idea. In the month of December he was in Washington, and he asked his old associates what it meant.
“It means,” said they, “separation, and a Southern Confederacy. We will have our independence, and establish a Southern government, with no discordant elements.”
“Are you prepared for war?” inquired Butler.
“Oh! there will be no war; the North will not fight.”
“The North will fight. The North will send the last man and expend the last dollar to maintain the government.”
“But,” said his Southern friends, “the North can’t fight; we have too many allies there.”
“You have friends,” said Butler, “in the North, who will stand by you so long as you fight your battles in the Union; but the moment you fire on the flag the Northern people will be a unit against you. And you may be assured, if war comes, slavery ends.”
Butler was far too sagacious a man not to perceive that war was inevitable, and too sturdy and patriotic not to resist it. With a boldness and frankness which have shown themselves through his whole political career, he went to Buchanan; he advised and begged him to arrest the commissioners, with whom he was then parleying, and to have them tried for treason! Such advice it was as characteristic of Benjamin F. Butler to give as it was of President Buchanan to disregard.
But the adoption of secession ordinances and the assumption of independent authority was not enough for the Cotton Republic. Though they hoped to evade civil war, still they never forgot for a moment that a conflict was not only possible, but even probable. Their prudence told them that they ought to prepare for such an emergency by at once taking possession of all the arms and military forts within their borders.
At this time there was a large navy-yard at Pensacola, Florida; from twelve to fifteen harbor forts along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts; half-a-dozen arsenals, stocked with an aggregate of one hundred and fifty thousand arms (transferred there about a year before from Northern arsenals, by Secretary Floyd); three mints; four important custom-houses; three revenue cutters, on duty at leading Southern seaports, and a vast amount of valuable miscellaneous property,—all of which had been purchased with the money of the Federal Government.
The land on which the navy-yards, arsenals, forts, and, indeed, all the buildings so purchased and controlled, stood, was vested in the United States, not alone by the right of eminent domain, but also by formal legislative deeds of cession from the States themselves, wherein they were located. The self-constituted governments of these State now assumed either that the right of eminent domain reverted to them, or that it had always belonged to them; and that they were perfectly justified in taking absolute possession, “holding themselves responsible in money damages to be settled by negotiation.” The Federal Government and the sentiment of the North regarded this hypothesis false and absurd.
In due season the governors of the Cotton States, by official orders to their extemporized militia companies, took forcible possession of all the property belonging to the Federal Government lying within the borders of these States. This proceeding was no other than levying actual war against the United States. There was as yet no bloodshed, however, and for this reason: the regular army of the United States amounted then to but little over seventeen thousand men, and, most of these being on the Western frontier, there was only a small garrison at each of the Southern forts; all that was necessary, therefore, was for a superior armed force—as a rule, State militia—to demand the surrender of these forts in the name of the State, and it would at once, though under protest, be complied with. There were three notable exceptions to this peaceable evacuation,—first, no attempt was made against Fort Taylor, at Key West; Fort Jefferson, on Tortugas Island; and Fort Pickens, at Pensacola, on account of the distance and danger; second, part of the troops in Texas were eventually refused the promised transit, and were captured; third, the forts in Charleston harbor underwent peculiar vicissitudes, which will be recounted later on.
The conspiracy which, for a while at least, seemed destined to overcome all obstacles, was not confined to South Carolina or the Cotton States. Unfortunately it had established itself in the highest official circles of the National Government. Three members of President Buchanan’s cabinet—Cobb, of Georgia, Secretary of the Treasury; Floyd, of Virginia, Secretary of War; and Thompson, of Mississippi, Secretary of the Interior—were rank and ardent disunionists. To the artful machinations of these three arch-traitors, who cared more for self than they did for the South, the success of the conspiracy was largely due. Grouped about them was a number of lesser functionaries, willing to lend their help. Even the President did not escape the suspicion of the taint of disloyal purpose.
The first and chief solicitude of the disunionists of South Carolina was to gain possession of the forts. A secret caucus was held. “We must have the forts,” was its watchword; and, ere long, from every street corner in Charleston came the impatient echo: “The forts must be ours.”
To revert to the beginning. On the 1st of October, 1860, the Chief of Ordnance wrote to Secretary Floyd, urging the importance of protecting the ordnance and ammunition stored in Fort Sumter, Charleston harbor, providing it met the approval of the commanding officer of Fort Moultrie. The Secretary had no objections; but the commanding officer of Fort Moultrie, while giving a very hesitating approval of the application, expressed “grave doubts of the loyalty and reliability of the workmen engaged on the fort,” and closed his letter (dated November 8th) by recommending that the garrison of Fort Moultrie should be reinforced,
This evidence of loyalty on the part of the commanding officer of the troops in Charleston harbor was not appreciated at Washington. His removal was promptly ordered by the Secretary of War. The officer thus summarily dealt with was Lieutenant-Colonel J.C. Gardner, First Artillery, U.S.A., a native of Massachusetts, and an old veteran of the war of 1812. Thus, so far as history reveals, was a son of the old Bay State the first to resist the encroachments of the Southern conspiracy. It is worthy of note, also, that the removal of Col. Gardner was in a measure due to the recommendation of Major (afterwards General) Fitz John Porter.
Major Robert Anderson was ordered, on November 15th, to take command of Fort Moultrie. He was chosen probably in the belief that, being a Southern man, he would eventually throw his fortunes with the South. On the 21st of November Major Anderson arrived at the fort, and on the 23d of the same month he wrote to Secretary Floyd as follows:—
Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney must
be garrisoned immediately
if the government determines to keep command of the harbor.
In the same letter he also expressed the opinion that the people of South Carolina intended to seize all the forts in Charleston harbor by force of arms as soon as their ordinance of secession was published.
The faith of Secretary Floyd must, indeed, have been shaken while reading such words! He might have ordered the removal of the writer of them had not a rather unexpected incident now occurred to divert his attention.
The Secretary of State, the venerable Lewis Cass of Michigan, at once denounced submission to the conspiracy as treasonable, and insisted that Major Anderson’s demand for reinforcements should be granted. This episode was a political bomb-shell in the camp of the enemy. The President became a trifle alarmed, and sent for Floyd. A conference between the President and the Secretary was held, when the latter “pooh-poohed” the actual danger. “The South Carolinians,” said he, “are honorable gentlemen. They would scorn to take the forts. They must not be Irritated.” But the President evinced restlessness; he may have suspected the motive of his cabinet officer. Floyd, too, grew restless; the obstinacy of the executive alarmed him. He was only too glad to consent to the suggestion that General Scott should be consulted.
General Scott rose from his sick-bed in New York, and hastened to Washington, on the 12th of December. On the 13th he had an interview with the President, in which he urged that three hundred men be sent to reinforce Major Anderson at Fort Moultrie. The President declined, on the ground, first, that Major Anderson was fully instructed what to do in case he should at any time see good reason to believe that there was any purpose to dispossess him of any of the forts; and, secondly, that at this time (December 13th) he—the President—believed that Anderson was in no danger of attack.
The President acted his own will in the matter. On the 15th General Cass tendered his resignation, and retired from official life, for the avowed reason that the President had refused to reinforce Anderson, and was negotiating with open and avowed traitors. Secretary Cobb had resigned a few days before. Black, the Attorney-General, was now made Secretary of State; Thomas, of Maryland, Secretary of the Treasury; and Edwin M. Stanton was appointed Attorney-General. The President believed, and undoubtedly honestly, that, by his concession to Floyd and the other conspirators, he had stayed the tide of disunion in the South. It now appears how quickly and unexpectedly he was undeceived. While these events were transpiring, a paper addressed “To our Constituents,” and urging “the organization of a Southern Confederacy,” was being circulated for signature through the two houses of Congress. It was signed by about one-half of the Senators and Representatives of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, and bore the date, “Washington, December 15, 1860.” It is to be remembered as the official beginning of the subsequent Confederate States, just as Governor Gist’s October circular was the official beginning of South Carolina secession and rebellion.
On the 20th of December, South Carolina, as has been previously stated, passed its ordinance. The desire, several times already expressed, to hold possession of the forts in Charleston harbor now took the form of a demand. The State Convention appointed three Commissioners to proceed to Washington to “treat for the delivery of the forts, magazines, light-houses, and other real estate, for an apportionment of the public debt, for a division of all other property, and generally to negotiate about other measures and arrangements.” The Commissioners arrived in Washington on the 26th of December, and, by special appointment, were to meet the President at one o’clock on the following day. Before that hour arrived an unlooked-for event occurred.
We must now turn back again. Major Anderson, it will be remembered, had been sent to Charleston by order of Lieutenant-General Scott, acting, of course, under orders of the Secretary of War. Major Anderson’s first letter, dated November 23d, was sent through the regular channels. It appears from the records that, on the 28th of November, he was ordered by Secretary Floyd to address all future communications only to the Adjutant-General or direct to the Secretary of War. From this time forth, then, Major Anderson could communicate only with the conspirators against his government.
At last General Scott began to wonder why he had received no further tidings from Major Anderson, and on the 27th of December he delivered the following message to the President:—
Since the formal order, unaccompanied by special instructions, assigning Major Anderson to the command of Fort Moultrie, no order, intimation, suggestion, or communication for his government and guidance, has gone to that officer, or any of his subordinates, from the head-quarters of the army; nor have any reports or communications been addressed to the General-in-chief from Fort Moultrie later than a letter written by Major Anderson, almost immediately after his arrival in Charleston harbor, reporting the then state of the work.
This letter reached the President on the 27th. On the day before Major Anderson had transferred his entire garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. It was a bold move, done without orders, and solely because there was no longer hope that the President would send reinforcements. It was a judicious move, because Sumter was the real key to Charleston harbor. It was an act of patriotism which will forever enshrine the name of Anderson in American history.
The tidings reached Washington. Disappointed and chagrined, Secretary Floyd sent the following telegram:—
ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, December 27, 1880.
MAJOR ANDERSON, Fort Moultrie:—
Intelligence has reached here this morning that you have abandoned Fort Moultrie, spiked your guns, burned the carriages, and gone to Fort Sumter. It is not believed, because there is no order for any such movement. Explain the meaning of this report.
Secretary of War.
The answer was as follows:—
CHARLESTON, December 27, 1860.
HON. J.B. FLOYD, Secretary of War:—
The telegram is correct. I abandoned Fort Moultrie because I was certain that, if attacked, my men must have been sacrificed, and the command of the harbor lost. I spiked the guns, and destroyed the carriages, to keep the guns from being used against us.
If attacked, the garrison would never have surrendered without a fight.
Major First Artillery.
The event reached the President’s ears; he was perplexed, and postponed the promised interview with the Commissioners one day. He met them on the 28th. He states, in his Defence, published in 1866, that he informed them at once that he “could recognize them only as private gentlemen, and not as commissioners from a sovereign State; that it was to Congress, and to Congress alone, they must appeal.” Nevertheless, he expressed his willingness to communicate to that body, as the only competent tribunal, any proposition they might have to offer; as if he did not realize that this proposal was a quasi-recognition of South Carolina’s claim to independence, and a misdemeanor meriting impeachment.
The Commissioners, strange to say, were either too stupid or too timid to perceive the advantage of this concession. Fortunately for the country, their indifference lost to Rebellion its only possible chance of peaceful success.
The Commissioners evidently believed that the President was within the control of the cabinet cabal, for they made an angry complaint against Anderson, and imperiously demanded “explanations.” For two days the President wavered. An outside complication tended to open his eyes. On the 31st of December Floyd resigned the portfolio of war; and, on the same day, the President sent to the Commissioners a definite answer that, “whatever might have been his first inclination, the Governor of South Carolina had, since Anderson’s movement, forcibly seized Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, and the Charleston arsenal, custom-house, and post-office, and covered them with the palmetto flag; that under such circumstances he could not, and would not, withdraw the Federal troops from Sumter.” The angry Commissioners returned home, leaving behind them an insolent rejoinder, charging the President “with tacit consent to the scheme of peaceable secession!”
The crisis of December 31st changed the attitude of the Government toward Rebellion. Joseph Holt, of Kentucky, was appointed Secretary of War. General Scott was placed in military control.
An effort was at once made to reinforce Sumter. On the 5th of January notice was sent by Assistant Adjutant-General Thomas, from New York, to Major Anderson that a swift steamship, “Star of the West,” loaded with two hundred and fifty recruits and all needed supplies, had sailed, that same day, for his relief. Major Anderson failed to receive the notice. On the morning of the 9th the steamer steamed up the channel in the direction of Sumter, when presently she was fired upon vigorously by the secessionists. Her captain ran up the stars and stripes, but quickly lost heart as he caught sight of the ready guns of Fort Moultrie, then put about, and back to sea.
The commander at Sumter was enraged. He sat down and wrote a brief note to the Governor of South Carolina, demanding to know “if the firing on the vessel and the flag had been by his orders, and declaring, unless the act were disclaimed, he would close the harbor with the guns of Sumter.” The Governor’s reply was both an avowal and a justification of the act. Anderson, in a second note, stated that he would ask his government for instructions, and requested “safe conduct for a bearer of despatches.” The Governor, in reply, sent a formal demand for the surrender of the fort. Anderson responded to this, that he could not comply; but that, if the government saw fit “to refer this matter to Washington,” he would depute an officer to accompany the messenger.
This meant a truce, which the conspirators heartily welcomed. On the 12th of January, therefore, Attorney-General I.W. Hayne, of South Carolina, proceeded to Washington as an envoy to carry to President Buchanan the Governor’s demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter. The matter was prolonged; but, on the 6th of February, Mr. Hayne found that his mission was a failure.
On the 4th of February, while the Peace Conference, so called, met in Washington to consider propositions of compromise and concession, the delegates of the seceding States assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, to organize their conspiracy into an avowed and opened rebellion. On the 9th Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was elected President, and Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice-President of the new Confederacy. On the 18th Davis was inaugurated.
On the 1st of March General Beauregard was, by the rebel government, placed in command of the defence of Charleston harbor, with orders to complete preparations for the capture of Fort Sumter. The Governor had been exceedingly anxious that the capture should be attempted before the 4th of March. “Mr. Buchanan cannot resist,” he wrote to Davis, “because he has not the power. Mr. Lincoln may not attack, because the cause of quarrel will have been, or may be considered by him, as past.”
President Lincoln was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1861. With an unanswerable argument against disunion, and an earnest appeal to reason and lawful remedy, he closed his inaugural address with the following impressive declaration of peace and good-will:—
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen,
and not in mine, is
the momentous issue of civil war.
The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors; you can have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one,—to preserve, protect, and defend it.
I am loath to close. We are not enemies,
but friends. We must not be
enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break, our bond
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone all over this broad land, will yet swell the Chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
On the 15th of March President Lincoln, having been advised by General Scott that it was now “practically impossible to relieve or reinforce Sumter,” propounded the following question to his cabinet: “Assuming it to be possible to provision Sumter, is it wise, under all the circumstances of the case, to attempt to do so?” Five of the seven members of the cabinet argued against the policy of relief. On the 29th the matter came up again, and four of the seven then favored an attempt to relieve Major Anderson. The President at once ordered the preparation of an expedition. Three ships of war, with a transport and three swift steam tugs, a supply of open boats, provisions far six months, and two hundred recruits, were fitted out at New York, and, with all possible secrecy, sailed on the 9th and 10th of April, “under sealed orders to rendezvous before Charleston harbor at daylight on the morning of the 11th.”
Meanwhile preparations for the capture of Sumter had been steadily going on under the direction of General Beauregard, one of the most skilful of engineers. On the 1st of April he telegraphed to Montgomery, the capital of the new confederacy:—
Batteries ready to open Wednesday or Thursday. What instructions?
On the same day orders were issued to stop all courtesies to the garrison, to prohibit all supplies from the city, and to allow no one to depart from the fort. On the 7th Anderson received a confidential letter, under date of April 4th, from President Lincoln, notifying him that a relief expedition would be sent, and requesting him to hold out, if possible, until its arrival.
On the morning of the 8th the following communication from the President was, by special messenger, placed in the hands of Governor Pickens:—
I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only, and that if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in provisions, arms, or ammunition will be made without further notice, or in case of an attack upon the fort.
This message was at once communicated to Jefferson Davis, at Montgomery, who entertained the opinion that the war should be begun without further delay. On the 10th Beauregard was instructed to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter, and to reduce it in case of refusal.
On the following day, at two o’clock in the afternoon, General Beauregard sent two of his aids to make the demand; but it was refused. Still another message was sent, with the same result. On the morning of the 12th, at twenty minutes past three o’clock, General Beauregard sent notice to Anderson that he would open fire upon Sumter in one hour from that time.
At half-past four appeared “the first flash from the mortar battery near old Fort Jackson, on the south side of the harbor, and an instant after a bombshell rose in a slow, high curve through the air, and fell upon the fort.”
It was the first gun in the Rebellion. Gun after gun responded to the signal, and through thirty-six hours, without the loss of a single life in the besieged garrison. At noon, on Sunday, the 14th of April, Major Anderson hauled down the flag of the United States, and evacuated Fort Sumter. Before sunset the flag of the Confederate States floated over the ramparts.
The following telegrams were transmitted:—
STEAMSHIP “BALTIC,” OFF SANDY HOOK,
April 18 (1861), 10.30 A.M., via New York.
Having defended Fort Sumter for thirty-four hours, until the quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge walls seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames, and its door closed from the effect of heat, four barrels and three cartridges of powder only being available, and no provisions remaining but pork, I accepted terms of evacuation offered by General Beauregard, being the same offered by him on the 11th inst., prior to the commencement of hostilities, and marched out of the fort Sunday afternoon, the 14th inst., with colors flying and drums beating, bringing away company and private property, and saluting my flag with fifty guns.
Major First Artillery, Commanding.
HON. S. CAMERON, Secretary of War, Washington.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, April 20, 1861.
MAJOR ROBERT ANDERSON, Late Commander at Fort Sumter:—
MY DEAR SIR,—I am directed by the President of the United States to communicate to you, and through you to the officers and men of your command at Forts Moultrie and Sumter, the approbation of the government of your and their judicious and gallant conduct there, and to tender you and them the thanks of the government for the same.
Secretary of War.
The conspiracy had now ceased to be such. Revolution and war had begun, and by the firing upon Fort Sumter the political atmosphere was cleared up as if by magic. If there were now any doubters on either side they had betaken themselves out of sight; for them, and for all the world, the roar of Beauregard’s guns had changed incredulity into fact. Behind those guns stood seven seceded States, with the machinery of a perfectly organized local government and with a zeal worthy of a nobler cause.
The news of the assault reached the Capitol on Saturday, April 13th, On Sunday, the 14th, the President and his cabinet held their first council of war. On the following morning the first “call for troops” was proclaimed to the whole country, in a grand “appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and existence of our National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government.”
The North was now aroused. Within forty-eight hours from the publication of the proclamation armed companies of volunteers were moving towards the expected scene of conflict. For the first time in the history of this nation parties vanished from politics, and “universal opinion recognized but two rallying points,—the camps of the South which gathered to assail the Union, and the armies of the North that rose to defend it.”
The watchword of the impending conflict was sounded by Stephen A. Douglas, one of the most powerful and energetic of public leaders, a recent candidate for the presidency, and the life-long political antagonist of Abraham Lincoln. On Sunday, the 14th of April, while the ink was scarcely yet dry upon the written parchment of the proclamation, Mr. Douglas called at the White House, and, in a long interview, assured his old antagonist of his readiness to join him in unrelenting warfare against Rebellion. Shortly afterwards he departed for his home in Illinois, where, until his death, which occurred a few weeks later, he declared, with masterly eloquence, that,—
“Every man must be for the United
States or against it; there can
be no neutrals in this war—only patriots and traitors.”
“Hurrah! the drums are beating;
the fife is calling shrill;
Ten thousand starry banners flame on town, and bay, and hill;
The thunders of the rising wave drown Labor’s peaceful hum;
Thank God that we have lived to see the saffron morning come!
The morning of the battle-call, to every soldier dear,—
O joy! the cry is “Forward!” O joy! the foe is near!
For all the crafty men of peace have failed to purge the land;
Hurrah! the ranks of battle close; God takes his cause in hand!”
[Footnote 1: “If, through the madness of Northern abolitionists, that dire calamity (disruption of the Union) must come, the fighting will not be along Mason and Dixon’s line merely. It will be within our own borders, in our own streets, between the two classes of citizens to whom I have referred. Those who defy law, and scout constitutional obligation, will, if we ever reach the arbitrament of arms, find occupation enough at home.”—Letter to Jefferson Davis, dated January 6, 1860.]
[Footnote 2: The word “must” is italicized in the original letter. See Official Records of the Rebellion, Vol. I., p. 76.]
[Footnote 3: See Official Records of the Rebellion, I., p. 77.]
* * * * *
A STORY OF BOSTON-TOWN.
Tommy Taft, or T.T. as he was wont to call himself, had always regretted two misfortunes,—first, the indisputable fact of his birth, and second, the imprisonment of his father, not long afterwards.
The earlier misfortune, Tommy Taft, not being at the time aware of it, was of course quite unable to prevent. The later misfortune it was alike beyond his power to forestall. It came to pass that young Tommy Taft grew up to be as crude a specimen of body and soul as had ever flourished in Boston-town.
I have not set myself the task of following the drift of his life from the dawn of babyhood to the twentieth anniversary of the same. But one event ought to be here recalled, which was, that on a certain day Tommy Taft was at work in a garden and in just that part of the garden, it ought to be said, where the wall was so low that a person could easily look over it into the long, narrow road.
Tommy Taft was not particularly fond of work; in other words, he was not a great worker. On this occasion, however, the promise of an extra shilling being uppermost in his mind, he plied his energies with more than wonted skill. He was disposed to be meditative as well, and so deeply that he chanced not to perceive an aged personage who, for perhaps five and twenty minutes, had been cautiously scrutinizing him from across the wall.
It was a most extraordinary fit of sneezing—nothing more nor less—that first attracted the attention of Tommy Taft, and prompted him to look up. And what did he see? Only a weather-beaten face, shaded by a ragged straw hat out of which peeped locks of grizzled gray hair. The owner leaned somewhat heavily against the wall.
Tommy Taft was not amazed; but if he had not already become accustomed to affronts and ill-shapen visages, he might have been awed into silence. He merely paused, with his right foot on the shoulder of the spade share, and peered at the stranger. To the best of his knowledge, he had never seen him before. On a former time, however, he had chanced to see his own face in a mirror and, odd as it may seem, he now remarked to himself a striking resemblance between the two faces,—his own and that of the new comer. But his thoughts were quickly turned.
“I say, young man!”
“What say?” replied Tommy Taft.
“You don’t happen to know a young man by the name o’ Tom Taft, do you?”
“I reckon I do.” The youth plunged the spade share into the earth, and folded his arms.
“Have a shake, then,” continued the stranger.
“But that ain’t a tellin’ me who you be,” said Tommy Taft, approaching and holding out his hand.
“I’m Jim Taft; and if so be your father was a shoemaker in this town and got locked up—I say, I’m he!”
There was pathos in the utterance of these words, and, somehow or other, Tommy Taft’s heart fluttered just a little and before he was aware of it a tear was trickling down his cheek.
“Are you happy, young man,” queried the elder. He drew himself up on the wall.
“Well, I s’pose I am, though I ain’t got nuthin’. But folks as haint got nuthin’ and enjoy it is a plagued sight richer than sich as has got everything and don’t enjoy it. Yes—I s’pose I’m happy.”
“And where’s the old woman?”
“Dead, I s’pose.”
“Or in the work-house where she might’nt have been, if you’d a stayed round.”
Jim Taft, for it was he, began to think, and the longer he thought, the more troubled he looked.
“You won’t say as you saw me loafin’ around here, will you?” he asked at length; “that is, if you won’t give me a lift, me—your father?”
“How a lift?” inquired his interlocutor.
“A few shillings perhaps; or, perhaps you ain’t got a pair o’ boots as has in ’em more leather ’n holes, or a pair of breeches as is good for suthin’.”
“Wait a bit!” said Tommy Taft. He disappeared; but he soon came back, with an old pair of boots in one hand and a pair of pantaloons in the other.
“There’s suthin’ in the nigh pocket,” he remarked, as he handed the pantaloons to his parent. “I’ve often s’posed you’d come back, and would need the money what I saved for you.”
The parent, however, had not the courtesy to return thanks. He was more anxious to know something about Tom’s employer and his whereabouts.
“He’s a good one, he is,” said Tommy Taft; “and no, he ain’t to home. He’s in ——; and I’ve got to meet him to-night in the tavern there—.”
“In Hog’s Lane?”
“Hylton has a heap o’ money, Tommy.”
“If he have or no, I don’t reckon its none o’ your business, or mine nuther.”
The parent noticed the surly tone in which his son had just spoken, and concluded to say “good day,” and to be off.
Tommy Taft wondered what could be the cause of so sudden a departure; and then he wondered whether, it really was his father that had so unexpectedly accosted him. He went back to his spade, and next wondered whether the man might not be an escaped convict. If so, how came he to know John Hylton?
In obedience to orders, Tommy Taft set off to meet his employer at the tavern in Hog’s Lane. He supped that evening with the keeper. Afterwards, he lighted his pipe, drew a chair up to the open fireplace, and smoked in silence. Still later, he betook himself through a long, narrow entry, up a narrow flight of stairs, and into a small, square room. After he had closed the door behind him, he observed another door, which, he concluded, opened into the next apartment. It was locked. Tommy Taft was to pass the night in this self-same room, and he had good reasons for believing that his employer occupied the room adjoining and was already sound asleep.
The hours sped by. The tavern-keeper looked up to the clock,—it was after midnight. He locked the big door, and had just diminished the number of burning lamps from six to two, when he heard the sound of voices as in dispute, and seemingly issuing from the room just above. He hurried to the foot of the stairs, and listened. He distinctly caught the voice of Mr. Hylton, and the words of another voice,—“You’ll be sorry for that!” The tavern-keeper heard nothing more. Presently, he too went to bed.
Morning came, and the servants were busy in the kitchen. At half-past six, Tommy Taft ought, as on former occasions, to have carried a pitcher of hot water up to his employer’s bedroom. But he failed to do so, this morning. At seven, Mr. Hylton ought to have been seated at the breakfast table; but he did not appear.
The tavern-keeper, when the clock had struck eight, went upstairs. He rapped on the door of the small square room. No response. He forced open the door.
“Ah!” he exclaimed. “Tommy Taft gone! and the bed not slept in, neither!”
The window was open. It had rained during the night, and on the soft, gravel mould beneath the window he discovered foot prints. He turned, and went to the door which communicated between the two apartments. It was unlocked. He turned the knob,—opened the door gently, and beheld John Hylton lying in a pool of blood, with his throat gashed, and with a large clasp-knife clenched in his right hand!
It was indeed a mystery. The discovery of the tragedy was followed by intense excitement. The coroner’s jury suspected Tommy Taft as the murderer, because the knife which was found in the hand of the victim bore on its hilt the initials “T.T.”, and because the tavern-keeper testified that he had heard angry words in the night.
Tommy Taft was brought to trial. It was proved that the murdered man’s money-bag was rifled of all coin, but of only one bank note,—and that, the one which the tavern-keeper had had in his possession the afternoon before the tragedy and which Tommy Taft got changed on the day after the murder. These facts, together with the footprints on the gravel soil, enabled the prosecuting attorney to make out what seemed to both judge and jury a very strong case. Indeed, there was but one person in the court room that believed the prisoner innocent,—that was Tommy Taft himself.
He admitted that he had had a dispute with his employer, but gave no cause and that the latter had peremptorily dismissed him from further service; that the bank-note was given to him that very same night, as the full amount due him; that after the dispute, he could not go to bed; that he bethought him, without disturbing anybody, to steal quietly down stairs and to depart, unobserved, by way of the front door. He sturdily denied that the footprints on the gravel soil were his. He firmly declared his innocence, and that, while he felt that he could tell the name of the murderer, he did not wish to do so, for the reason that he had no proof to support his suspicion.
Tommy Taft died on the gallows. After the execution, people gathered to discuss the event. They began to think, too, as people sometimes will when they have condemned without thinking.
“That boy’s pluckier than I’d a bin,” murmured an old man, as he dragged his weather-beaten body slowly through the crowd. “He wasn’t a guilty, Tommy Taft wasn’t.”
Nobody knew the speaker, and nobody cared for what he said.
* * * * *
By Elizabeth Porter Gould.
Clio with her flickering light
And book of valued lore,
Comes down the ages dark and bright,
Our interest to implore.
She walks with glad, majestic mien,
Proud of her knowledge gained,
E’en while she mourns from having seen
Man’s life so dulled and pained.
Her face with lines of care is wrought,
From searching mystery’s cause,
And dealing with the hidden thought
Of nature’s subtle laws.
Yet still she blushes with new life
In sight of actions fine,
And pales with anguish at the strife
Of evil’s dread design.
She stops to sing her grandest lays
When, in creation’s heat,
She sees evolved a higher phase
Of life’s fruitions sweet.
’Twas thus in days of Genesis
When man came forth supreme;
’Twas thus in days of Nemesis
When Love did dare redeem.
And thus ’twill be in future days
When out from spirit-laws,
Shall be brought forth for lasting praise
The ever-great First cause.
Then gladly know this wondrous muse
Who walks the aisles of Time;
And dare not thoughtlessly refuse
Her book of lore sublime.
For in it is the precious force
Of spirit-life divine,
Which even through a winding course
Leads on to Wisdom’s shrine.
* * * * *
By The Editor.
The progenitor of the Phillips family in America was the Rev. George Phillips, son of Christopher Phillips of Rainham, St. Martin, Norfolk County, England, mediocris fortunae. He entered Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, April, 20, 1610, then aged seventeen years, and received his bachelor’s degree in 1613.
[Illustration: JOHN PHILLIPS, THE FIRST MAYOR OF BOSTON.]
After his graduation he was settled in the ministry at Boxted, Essex County, England; but his strong attachment to the principles of the Nonconformists brought him into difficulties with some of his parishioners, and as the storm of persecution grew more dark and threatening, he resolved to cast his lot with the Puritans, who were about to depart for the New World. On the 12th of April, 1630, he with his wife and two children embarked for America in the “Arbella,” as fellow-passenger, with Gov. Winthrop, Sir Richard Saltonstall, and other assistants of the Massachusetts Company, and arrived at Salem on the 12th of June, where, shortly afterwards, his wife died and was buried by the side of Lady Arabella Johnson.
Mr. Phillips was admitted “freeman,” May 18, 1631; this being the earliest date of any such admission. For fourteen years he was the pastor of the church at Watertown, a most godly man, and an influential member of the small council that regulated the affairs of the colony. His share in giving form and character to the institutions of New England is believed to have been a very large one. He died on the 1st of July, 1644, aged about fifty-one years.
The son of the foregoing, born in Boxted, England, in 1625, and graduated from Harvard College in 1650, became in 1651 the Rev. Samuel Phillips of Rowley, Mass. He continued as pastor over this parish for a period of forty-five years. He was highly esteemed for his piety and talents, which were of no common order; and he was eminently useful, both at home and abroad.
In September, 1687, an information was filed by one Philip Nelson against the Rev. Samuel Phillips, for calling Randolph “a wicked man;” and for this “crime” (redounding to his honor) he was committed to prison.
He was married in October, 1651, to Sarah Appleton, the daughter of Samuel and Mary (Everhard) Appleton of Ipswich. He died April 22, 1696, greatly beloved and lamented. His inventory amounted to nine hundred and eighty-nine pounds sterling. In November, 1839, a chaste and handsome marble monument was placed over the remains of Mr. Phillips and his wife, in the burial-ground at Rowley, by the Hon. Jonathan Phillips of Boston, their great-great-great-grandson.
He left two sons, the younger of whom, George (1664-1739, Harvard 1686), became an eminent clergyman, the Rev. George Phillips, first of Jamaica, L.I., and afterwards of Brookhaven. The elder son, Samuel, chose the occupation of a goldsmith, and settled in Salem. It is from this Samuel of Salem that the two Boston branches of the Phillips family have descended.
A younger son of Samuel, the Hon. John Phillips, was born June 22, 1701. He became a successful merchant of Boston, was a deacon of Brattle-street Church, a colonel of the Boston Regiment, a justice of the peace and of the quorum, and a representative of Boston for several years in the General Court. He married, in 1723, Mary Buttolph, a daughter of Nicholas Buttolph of Boston. She died in 1742; and he next married, Abigail Webb, a daughter of Rev. Mr. Webb of Fairfield, Conn. He died April 19, 1768, and was buried with military honors. According to the records, he was “a man much devoted to works of benevolence.”
His son, William Phillips of Boston, was born Aug. 29, 1737, and died June 4, 1772. In 1761 he married Margaret Wendell, the eleventh and youngest child of the Hon. Jacob Wendell, a merchant, and one of the Governor’s Council. His widow died in 1823.
JOHN PHILLIPS, the only son of William and Margaret, was born in Boston on the ancient Phillips place, on the 26th of November, 1770. His mother was a woman of uncommon energy of mind as well as of ardent piety, and early instilled into the heart of her son the principles of religion and a love of learning and of his native land. She placed him, at the early age of seven years, in the family of his kinsman, Lieut.-Gov. Samuel Phillips of Andover, where he remained until he entered Harvard College in 1784. In this excellent and pious family, and in the academy under the charge of the learned Dr. Eliphalet Pearson, young Phillips acquired the rudiments of a sound scholarship as well as that urbane and conciliating manner which was so conducive to his success in subsequent life.
Judge Phillips and his excellent wife took a lively interest in the studies of their ward. They examined him from time to time, not only in his catechism, which was then regularly taught, but also in respect of his literary efforts and acquirements. They encouraged him to make strenuous efforts to obtain a high rank as a scholar, speaker, gentleman, and Christian. Their labors were not lost. On leaving Andover, the youth was prepared to take an elevated stand in college, which he maintained to the completion of his course, when the honor of pronouncing the salutatory oration was conferred on him by the faculty.
Mr. Phillips chose the profession of the law, and soon gained an extensive practice. His popularity became such, that in 1794, he was invited to deliver the annual Fourth of July oration before the people of Boston. “This production,” says a writer, “bears the finest marks of intellectual vigor.” Some extracts from it have found their way into the school-books as models of eloquence.
In this same year Mr. Phillips was married to Miss Sally Walley, daughter of Thomas Walley, Esq., a respectable merchant of Boston. On the establishment of the Municipal Court in Boston, in 1800, he was made public prosecutor, and in 1803 was chosen representative to the General Court. The next year he was sent to the Senate, and such was the wisdom of his political measures, and the dignity of his bearing towards all parties, that he continued to hold a seat in this body every successive year until his decease, always discharging his duties, either as a debater or in the chair, to which he was ten times called, most creditably to himself as well as most acceptably to his constituents and the State.
In 1809 Mr. Phillips was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Three years later he was elected a member of the corporation of Harvard College, and in 1820 a member of the convention for the revision of the State Constitution. In this able and dignified body he held a conspicuous rank. His remarks upon the various questions which arose were learned, judicious, and sometimes rendered all the more effective by the flashes of his wit. Speaking, for example, on the third article of the Bill of Rights, he said he hoped they would not be like the man whose epitaph was, “I am well, I would be better, and here I am.”
The next year the town of Boston, which then contained nearly forty-five thousand inhabitants, began to agitate in good earnest the question of adopting a city government. A committee of twelve, of which Mr. Phillips was chairman, drew up and reported a city charter for the town, which was adopted at a meeting held March 4, 1822, by a vote of 2,797 to 1,881. The result was formally announced on the 7th of the same month by a proclamation from Gov. Brooks.
The two prominent candidates for the office of mayor were Harrison Gray Otis and Josiah Quincy, both men of high accomplishments and enjoying a large share of public confidence. But after a vote had been taken, resulting in no choice of mayor, the friends of these gentlemen suddenly agreed on Mr. Phillips, who at the town-meeting held on the 16th of April, 1822, received 2,500 out of 2,650 votes, and thus became the first mayor of the city of Boston.
The inauguration occurred at Faneuil Hall on the 1st of May following. The ceremonies of the occasion were unusually impressive; the venerable Dr. Thomas Baldwin invoking the favor of Heaven, and Chief Justice Isaac Parker administering the oath.
In discharging the duties of his office, Mr. Phillips wisely avoided sumptuous display on one hand, and a parsimonious economy on the other, but observing that juste milieu which good sense dictated, and the spirit of our republican institutions demanded, succeeded in overcoming all prejudice against the new form of municipal government, and in establishing a precedent, which, followed by succeeding mayors, has saved the city millions of dollars of needless expense, and has served as a worthy example to many other cities in this country.
The result of the first year’s administration under the new charter did not meet the expectations of those who had been instrumental in procuring it. They were eager for a more energetic system, and they charged Mr. Phillips with pursuing a timid and hesitating course for fear of losing his popularity. But still when he went out of office, Mr. Josiah Quincy, his successor, could say of him:—
“After examining and considering the records and proceedings of the city authorities for the past year, it is impossible for me to refrain from expressing the sense I entertain of the services of that high and honorable individual who filled the chair of this city, as well as of the wise, prudent, and faithful citizens who composed during that period the city council.”
Perceiving, towards the expiration of his first term of service, that his health was beginning to fail, Mr. Phillips declined being a candidate for re-election, and on the twenty-ninth day of May, 1823, was suddenly stricken down by disease of the heart,—he being then in the fifty-third year of his age. His death was universally lamented, and public honors were paid by all parties to his memory.
John Phillips was a good man, true as steel, and always trustworthy in the various relations of life. He lived in the fear of God, and from his Word received instruction for the guidance of his conduct. He lived in stormy times; yet such was the consistency and elevation of his character, such the suavity and dignity of his manner, such the kindness of his heart, the clearness of his conceptions, and the beauty of his language, that he commanded the respect and admiration of his political opponents, wielding perhaps as great an influence as any public man of the State at that period; and he will ever stand as a worthy model for the incumbents of that high municipal office, which his wisdom, prudence, virtue, integrity, and eloquence adorned.
The following are the names of the children of John
and Sally (Walley)
Phillips, all of whom are now dead:—
1. Thomas Walley, born Jan. 16, 1797. 2. Sarah Hurd, born April 24, 1799. 3. Samuel born Feb. 8, 1801. 4. Margaret, born Nov. 29, 1802. 5. Miriam, born Nov. 20, 18—. 6. John Charles, born Nov. 16, 1807. 7. George William, born Jan. 3, 1810. 8. WENDELL, born Nov. 29, 1811. 9. Grenville Tudor, born Aug. 14, 1816.
[Footnote 4: See the “Life and Times of Wendell Phillips,” by G.L. Austin, Boston, 1884.]
* * * * *
By Charles H. Taylor.
There are but few other men at the present moment in whom the citizens of Boston are more interested, for a variety of good reasons, than the HON. HUGH O’BRIEN. His name must be added to the roll of Bostonians, who have distinguished themselves by the services they have rendered to the city. Now placed at the head of this great municipality as Mayor, a glance at his life shows that he has won his way to that position by the exhibition of qualities, such as all self-educated men possess. His private and public life fully illustrate that true merit is sooner or later appreciated and rewarded.
Born in Ireland, July 13, 1827, he was brought to America when five years old. Boston became the home of his childhood, and has always been his place of residence. Ever since he graduated from the old grammar school on Fort Hill, he has been swayed by Boston ideas and influences. The excellent ground-work of his education obtained in that school soon became enlarged and increased through the efforts of young O’Brien to add to his stock of information on all conceivable subjects. To accomplish this he haunted the Public Library, and eagerly read everything of a useful nature—history, biography and statistics having a peculiar fascination to him. During this time he had also entered the office of the Boston Courier to learn the printer’s trade, at the age of twelve years. He made rapid progress in that important art. From the Courier he went to the book and job printing office of Messrs. Tuttle, Dennett & Chisholm, on School street, where he became foreman at the early age of fifteen. After several years service there, he started the publication of the Shipping and Commercial List, with which he still maintains a connection, and has always been its principal editor.
Any young man desiring to advance himself intellectually and socially in life could not have had a better schooling than that afforded by the newspaper work which Mr. O’Brien has done. Added to all this labor, there was the ambition of this young man to succeed. He had a distinct aim in life, which was always to be an honored and respected member of his craft and of society. He is, therefore, found diligently at work absorbed in business and intellectual pursuits. Various literary societies and philanthropic projects have always found in him a sturdy supporter.
What would be the future of such an energetic and ambitious young man was easily predicted by his friends and acquaintances, and the predictions have been verified. It was believed that he would succeed in life, become a very useful member of society, and “make his mark in the world,” as the saying goes. These things have come to pass. And why? Because the young man equipped himself early with the weapons with which to fight the battle of life. And he never dropped those weapons; therein is the secret of his success. Many young men begin life aright; how sad that they do not continue in the right path!
Mr. O’Brien made the Shipping and Commercial List a strong paper and merchants quickly began to rely upon it for accurate information as regards mercantile and commercial affairs. He also issued the first annual reports of Boston’s trade and commerce, and that volume has been adopted for years by the Merchants’ Exchange, The work in connection with his newspaper naturally brought him into personal contact with the foremost merchants of Boston. These gentlemen who have known him intimately for forty years, have nothing but words of praise concerning his character, honesty, and business sagacity. He has witnessed the city grow from a population of 75,000 inhabitants to over 400,000, and all the changes in business methods, together with the multifarious enterprises in which Boston has engaged, are perfectly familiar to him, and he has not been backward in helping to promote such changes and enterprises as would benefit all classes of citizens. Prominent business men have not only spoken well of Mr. O’Brien, but they have given a practical illustration of their faith in him by making him the custodian of trust funds for various purposes, and in no instance has their confidence been misplaced. His financial abilities have always been acknowledged to be first-class, and therefore it is not surprising to learn that for years he has been President of the Union Institution for Savings, Treasurer of the Franklin Typographical Union, and a director in various benevolent and charitable institutions.
It is very natural, in view of the business training and abilities of Hugh O’Brien, that he should be heard from in public life. Such vigorous and brainy men do not escape the attention of the people. In 1875 he took a seat in the Board of Aldermen, when the Boston Advertiser referred to him as “well-known in the community and has the respect and confidence of every one.” It is well known in political circles that Mr. O’Brien did not seek this office and has never been an applicant for any office. He also served as Alderman in the years 1875, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1883, and was chairman of the Board four years.
His public career as Alderman was closely watched by the people and is well known. During his service in that capacity he gave to municipal affairs the same careful study that he had devoted to business matters when in private life. He served upon important committees, and all the great questions of vital interest to the welfare of Boston which have come up of late years, in which he had also been interested while in private life, received his official attention and prompt action. Notable among these were good pay for laborers, purification and improvement of the water supply, a useful system of parks, sanitary reforms, schools, abolition of the poll tax, and last but not least, low taxation. He has always been found on the right side of these and other important questions and has labored long and diligently, in the face of opposition, to carry out the ideas of the taxpayers in relation to them. Bostonians well know the signal success which has crowned his efforts.
In December, 1884, Alderman O’Brien was elected Mayor for the year 1885. During the first half of his term, the old charter being in force, he did many meritorious things which no other Mayor has done under that instrument. And now under the new city charter, which makes him directly responsible for the honest and efficient management of the city’s affairs, his actions are speaking loud enough to be heard even outside the city, and they challenge the admiration of all readers of the daily press of Boston.
In appearance, Mayor O’Brien is a little over the average height, of robust build, weighing over two hundred pounds; has a florid complexion, with keen blue eyes. He has what physiologists would call a well-balanced temperament, knows how to govern himself, has an indomitable will and pluck, and is a man for emergencies. He is an indefatigable worker, and the details of a large business do not prevent him from despatching work promptly. Above all, he possesses that rare virtue, tact. He is courteous and affable to all visitors, and makes new friends constantly because of his sterling qualities. As a public speaker, he is earnest, forcible and argumentative without being captious. If his opponent thinks he has a man to deal with who is not fully posted upon the subject under discussion, he quickly learns his error. While not an orator, Mayor O’Brien carries conviction to hearers by the force of his honest utterances and sound reasoning. At the same time he has risen to the heights of eloquence upon the floor of the Board of Aldermen when defending the cause of the laboring man. Himself a workingman all his life, he never allows those who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow to ask him twice for a favor which it is in his power to grant. He has been their unsolicited champion when they badly needed one, and his record will bear the minutest inspection.
Such then is a brief sketch of a remarkable Bostonian. The poor boy who landed in Boston a little over a half century ago has become its Chief Magistrate. Boston has honored him. He has shown, and is still showing, his appreciation of the high honor. Slowly, but surely, this modest gentleman has won his way to the front in the popular estimation of his fellow-citizens. A man who tries constantly to do right for the love of doing right, he has become more distinguished than many so-called brilliant men who, meteor-like, flash before people’s eyes once, and are heard of no more. There is a solidity about all his public acts which command attention and elicit approbation. It is too early to write the full history of Mayor O’Brien, because he is rapidly making history; but Boston’s history thus far does not record when the city has had a more efficient or more honest Mayor than the present Chief Magistrate.
* * * * *
The news of the death of Mrs. Helen Jackson—better known as “H.H.”—will probably carry a pang of regret into more American homes than similar intelligence in regard to any other woman, with the possible exception of Mrs. H.B. Stowe, who belongs to an earlier literary generation.
Helen Maria (Fiske) Jackson was the daughter of Prof. Nathan W. Fiske, of Amherst College, whose “Manual of Classical Literature,” based on that of Eschenberg, was long in use in our colleges, and who wrote several other books. She was born in Amherst, Mass., October 18, 1831; her mother’s maiden name being Vinal. The daughter was educated in part at Ipswich (Mass.) Female Seminary, and in part at the school of the Rev. J.S.C. Abbott in New York city. She was married to Captain (afterward Major) Edward B. Hunt, an eminent engineer officer of the United States Army. Major Hunt was a man of scientific attainments quite unusual in his profession, was a member of various learned societies, and for some time an assistant professor at West Point. He contributed to one of the early volumes of the Atlantic Monthly (xii, 794) a paper on “Military Bridges.” His wife resided with him at various military stations—West Point, Washington, Newport, R.I., etc.—and they had several children, all of whom died very young except one boy, Rennie, who lived to the age of eight or ten, showing extraordinary promise. His death and that of Major Hunt—who was killed in 1863 by the discharge of suffocating vapors from a submarine battery of his own invention—left Mrs. Hunt alone in the world, and she removed her residence a year or two after to Newport, R.I., where the second period of her life began.
Up to this time she had given absolutely no signs of literary talent. She had been absorbed in her duties as wife and mother, and had been fond of society, in which she was always welcome because of her vivacity, wit, and ready sympathy. In Newport she found herself, from various causes, under strong literary influences, appealing to tastes that developed rapidly in herself. She soon began to publish poems, one of the first of which, if not the first—a translation from Victor Hugo—appeared in the Nation. Others of her poems, perhaps her best—including the sonnets “Burnt Ships” and “Ariadne’s Farewell”—appeared also in the Nation. Not long after, she began to print short papers on domestic subjects in the Independent and elsewhere, and soon found herself thoroughly embarked in a literary career. Her first poem in the Atlantic Monthly appeared in February, 1869; and her volume of “Verses” was printed at her own expense in 1870, being reprinted with some enlargement in 1871. and again, almost doubled in size, in 1874. Her “Bits of Travel” (1872) was made up of sketches of a tour in Europe in 1868-9; a portion of these, called “Encyclicals of a Traveller,” having been originally written as circular letters to her many friends and then printed—rather against her judgment, but at the urgent request of Mr. J.T. Fields—almost precisely as they were written. Upon this followed “Bits of Talk About Home Matters” (1873), “Bits of Talk for Young Folks” (1876), and “Bits of Travel at Home” (1878). These, with
Her residence in Newport as a busy and successful literary woman thus formed a distinct period of her life, quite apart from the epoch which preceded it and from the later one which followed. A change soon came. Her health was never very strong, and she was liable to severe attacks of diphtheria, to relieve which she tried the climate of Colorado. She finally took up her residence there, and was married about 1876, to William S. Jackson, a merchant of Colorado Springs. She had always had the greatest love for travel and exploration, and found unbounded field for this in her new life, driving many miles a day over precipitous roads, and thinking little of crossing the continent by rail from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In the course of these journeys she became profoundly interested in the wrongs of the Indians, and for the rest of her life all literary interests and ambitions were utterly subordinated to this. During a winter of hard work at the Astor Library in New York she prepared her “Century of Dishonor” (1881). As one result of this book she was appointed by the United States Government as one of two commissioners (Abbot Kinney being the other) to examine and report upon “the condition and needs of the Mission Indians of California.” Their report, to which Mrs. Jackson’s name is first signed, is dated at Colorado Springs, July 13, 1883, and is a thoroughly business-like document of thirty-five pages. A new edition of “A Century of Dishonor” containing this report is just ready by her publishers, Messrs Roberts Brothers.
As another fruit of this philanthropic interest, she wrote, during another winter in this city, her novel, “Ramona,” a book composed with the greatest rapidity, and printed first in the Christian Union, afterward appearing in a volume in 1884. Its sole object was further to delineate the wrongs of the aborigines. Besides these two books, she wrote, during this later period, some children’s stories, “Nelly’s Silver Mine, a Story of Colorado Life” (1878), and three little volumes of tales about cats. But her life-work, as she viewed it at the end, was in her two books in behalf of the Indians.
* * * * *
By Francis H. Lincoln.
[Illustration: THE PUBLIC LIBRARY BUILDING, BURNT IN 1879.]
The impression left upon the mind of the traveller who has seen Hingham only from the railroad train would be one of backyards, a mill-pond, and woods; but to him who approaches it towards the close of a pleasant June day by steamboat, when the tide is in, there is spread out a lovely view. As the boat comes near the landing-place, islands and green hills, beautiful trees and fields, form a complete circle around him. The picture is one he will not forget. This pleasant impression will grow stronger if he drives by almost any of the streets leading from the harbor, for about five miles, to the southern limit of the town. Should he take the main street he will be charmed by the wealth of stately elms and other shade-trees, which in many places form a complete arch over his head, and by the neat dwellings, for the most part of modest pretensions, some old and some new, almost every one with well-kept grounds all betokening thrift and suggesting a well-to-do community. Nor need he confine himself to the main street. Several of the thickly settled villages spread out into equally attractive side streets. Here and there a church, a school-house, or a public building adds to the general tidy look of the place. Numerous pleasant wood roads, with a few fresh water ponds and streams, make up a variety of scenery which is certainly equal to any New England town.
[Illustration: THE “OLD MEETING HOUSE.”]
“Do you have any poor here?” was once asked by a visitor. “I see no evidence of anything but plenty, and yet you do not seem to have any specially leading industries. Whence comes this prosperity?” Whence, indeed? The history of the settlement and growth of Hingham differs little from many another town in eastern Massachusetts. Founded by the Puritans, it is the same story of hardship, patient, persistent toil, prudent economy, encouragement of education and morality, which has been told over and over again, and which has demonstrated the sure foundation upon which true civilization rests.
Hingham lies on the south shore of Massachusetts Bay, on the line of the Old Colony Railroad, 17 miles from Boston by railroad and about 13 by water. Its area is a little less than 13,000 square acres, and its population in 1880 was 4,485. Its valuation in 1884 was $3,245,661, and the number of dwelling-houses was 1,044. Its original limits included the present town of Cohasset, which was set off and incorporated April 26, 1770. Until March 26, 1793, Hingham was a part of Suffolk county, when it was annexed to the County of Norfolk, and June 20, 1793, it again became a part of the County of Suffolk. June 18, 1803, it was annexed to the County of Plymouth, of which it has since formed a part.
[Illustration: THE SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ MONUMENT.]
The original name of the settlement was Bare (or Bear) Cove. The name was changed to Hingham, and the town incorporated Sept. 3, 1635, on the same day with Weymouth and Concord. There are but eleven towns in the State older than these three. Settlements having dates earlier than the incorporation were made in many towns, and there is proof that there were inhabitants here in 1633. There was a recognition of the place as a sort of municipality in 1634, for Bare Cove was assessed in that year. Rev. Peter Hobart, of Hingham, England, the first minister, arrived at Charlestown in June, 1635, and soon after settled in this town where many of his friends from Hingham, England, had already settled, from which fact the name of their old home was given to the new. Mr. Hobart and twenty-nine others drew for house-lots on the 18th of September, 1635. Grants of land were made at various times during the year 1635, and for several succeeding years. Hence it will be seen that, in this present year, two hundred and fifty years of the town’s history will have been completed, and the anniversary will be celebrated during the present month of September.
The close proximity of Hingham to Hull, of which the original name was Nantasket or Nantascot, well known during recent years as a famous summer resort, lends an added interest to one of the earliest of Hingham’s controversies. We find a record in July, 1643:—
There is chosen by the town, Joseph Peck, Bozoan Allen, Anthony Eames, and Joshua Hubbard, to go to the next Court to make the best improvement of the evidence the town have for the property of Nantascot, and to answer the suit that now depends, &c.
But this attempt of the inhabitants of Hingham to claim a title was summarily disposed of by the General Court, in September, 1643, as follows:—
The former grant to Nantascot was again
voted and confirmed, and Hingham
was willed to forbear troubling the Court any more about Nantascot.
Under the lead of such a man as Rev. Peter Hobart, who appears to have been fearless and courageous, the inhabitants could not long remain at rest. In 1645, and through several succeeding years, there were difficulties of a very pronounced character between the inhabitants and the colonial magistrates, especially between Peter Hobart and Gov. Winthrop. The story has been briefly told as follows:—
The town of Hingham had chosen a certain man to be the captain of its military company, and had sent his name to the magistrates for approval. Before action had been taken upon the name the town reconsidered its action, and chose another man to be captain, and sent in his name. The magistrates were strongly inclined to confirm and appoint the first and to reject the second. Winthrop was especially pronounced and for his conduct in the affair Hobart impeached him before the General Court for maladministration in office. The contest was long and bitter.
Page 38Winthrop was acquitted and exonerated; Hobart was censured, and, with many other inhabitants of Hingham, heavily fined. The town was thoroughly aroused, supported Hobart to the utmost, and paid his fine.... Winthrop and Hobart were the representatives of the two parties into which the colony was forming—the more conservative and the more radical. The extreme radicals scented in the measures and conduct of the magistrates, tyranny; and the conservatives deprecated the views of the radicals as leading to unrestrained action and lawlessness. Winthrop was a conservative; Hobart was a radical. He said he did not know for what he was fined, unless it was for presuming to petition the General Court, and that fine was a violation of the right of petition.
Mr. Hobart was characterized “as a bold man, who would speak his mind.”
The story of the contest with the authorities is long and tedious, and it would not serve the purpose of this article to relate it fully, but we can see in the brief statement above that, whether the minister and his people were right or wrong, they had in them that energy, pluck, and persistency which men who would establish strong foundations of society and municipal prosperity must have.
Many interesting events in the early history of the town must be passed over. The complete history is being prepared under the authority of the town, and he who has curiosity concerning it will, ere long, have an opportunity to gratify it. Suffice it to say that the town suffered, in common with all the early settlements, from the Indians, though not extraordinarily; the usual precautions were taken to prevent assaults, and considerable attention was paid to the maintenance of the military. The whole civil history of the town has been one of steady prosperity, of rather slow growth in population.
The first church in Hingham was formed in 1635, on the settlement of the town, with Rev. Peter Hobart as its first minister.
The first house for public worship was erected by the first settlers of the town, probably within a short time after its settlement in 1635. It was surrounded by a palisado, and surmounted by a belfry with a bell, and was undoubtedly a plain structure, so far as the scanty records give any light upon it. It stood upon a hill, in front of the present site of the Derby Academy, in the centre of what is now Main street. But the chief curiosity of Hingham to-day is the second meeting-house, known as the “Old Meeting-house.” It is believed that no house for public worship exists within the limits of the United States, which continues to be used for the purpose for which it was erected, and remaining on the same site where it was built, which is so old as this. It is said that timbers from the first were used in the construction of the present house. The brass tablet on its wall states:—
“This Church was gathered in 1635. The frame of this Meeting-house was raised on the twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh, and twenty-eighth days of July, 1681, and the house was completed and opened for public worship on the eighth of January, 1681-2. It cost the town L430 and the old house.”
In 1881 there were elaborate commemorative services on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the building of the meeting-house.
The history of this parish has been remarkable for the long terms of service of its ministers. During the two hundred and fifty years of its existence it has had but eight ministers, of whom the eighth and the present one is the Rev. H. Price Collier. The denomination is Unitarian. Originally a Puritan church, it was liberalized under the sixty-nine years’ ministry of Rev. Ebenezer Gay, D.D., extending from 1718 to 1787. Of this able divine many interesting anecdotes are told. He was a powerful leader of religious thought, who “sounded almost the first evangel of that more liberal faith which found its highest expression in Channing, and its fruit in the absolute religious freedom of to-day. Well may the Commonwealth cherish this church in high and in sacred esteem, which, through two such men as Peter Hobart and Ebenezer Gay, has put, in the spirit of the highest independence, its mark upon the tablets of civil liberty and of religious thought.”
The second parish (Unitarian) at South Hingham was set off March 25, 1745. Its first minister was Rev. Daniel Shute, D.D., a man of great ability and practical sense, who was an earnest advocate of his country’s cause during the revolutionary war. He was a member of the convention which formed the constitution of Massachusetts, and of that which adopted the constitution of the United States.
The Third Congregational Society (Unitarian) was organized in 1807. There is also within the town a religious society of each of the following denominations, viz.: Evangelical Congregational, Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, Universalist, Protestant Episcopal, Second Advent, and Roman Catholic. It would seem as if there need be no hungering for the “bread of life.”
The military record of Hingham is worthy of notice.
In Philip’s war, in 1675, it appears that “souldiers were impressed into the country service,” and provision was made by the selectmen for their expenses.
In 1690 “Capt. Thomas Andrews and soldiers met on board ship to go to Canada” in the expedition under command of Sir William Phips. Capt. Andrews and most of the soldiers belonging to Hingham died in the expedition.
In the French and Indian wars many Hingham citizens enlisted, and Capt. Joshua Barker was in the expedition to the West Indies in 1740, and in the wars of later years.
In the war of the Revolution there was no lack of patriotism in Hingham, “The records indicate that nowhere did patriotism put forth in a greater degree the fulness of its efforts and the energy of its whole soul and spirit.”
The limits of this article will not permit an extended notice of all the acts which make up the creditable and patriotic record of the town. Descended from those, who, through hardship and toil, labored for the common good, and bore each other’s burdens, it is naturally to be expected that the people of Hingham aided the cause of freedom and the liberties of their country by resolutions and votes, and by liberal supplies of money. Nor did they hesitate to take up arms and sacrifice their lives for their country’s good. From the beginning to the end of the Revolution, in many a hard-fought battle, in the sufferings and hardships of camp and march, from the struggle on Breed’s Hill to the brilliant affair of Yorktown, we find the names of Hingham men mentioned with honor. And how could it be otherwise? If heredity tells for anything the whole history of the early struggles of the infant colonies was a guarantee that sturdy traits would be found in the descendants of the first settlers. In the world’s history we find no higher type of patriotism than on the barren, rocky shores of Massachusetts. It is undoubtedly true that there were some whose sympathies were not with the principles which inspired the majority of the people of that day, who were distrustful of the consequences which would result from failure, and who gave but feeble encouragement. We find such in every age and country. But it must be put down to the credit of even these few that they paid heavy taxes without resistance, and yielded to the popular will after independence was once declared. “Royalists as well as republicans, tories as well as whigs, gave of their substance to establish the liberties of their country.”
The acts and motives of the men of this town deserved to be crowned with that success which came in due season, a priceless benefit to posterity.
It was General Benjamin Lincoln, of Hingham, the wise counsellor, the foremost citizen of his time, the trusted friend of Washington, who was designated to receive the sword of Cornwallis at Yorktown. Among the many worthy and distinguished names of the sons of Hingham, that of General Lincoln stands in the foremost rank. His monument stands in the cemetery near the Old Meeting-house, characteristic of the man in its rich simplicity.
In the war of 1812, although a majority of the citizens disapproved of the State administration, “all manifested a disposition to defend their houses and firesides against the common foe, and repaired with alacrity to resist any invasion upon their neighbors.”
In the war of the Rebellion it is the same story of patriotism and a ready response to the call of the country. Early in the field and late to leave it, the record of the town does not differ from others in the State. A monument bearing the names of those who gave their lives for the country was erected in 1870, in the Hingham cemetery, near the statue of Governor Andrew.
The town has always made liberal provision for education, and its schools stand to-day, as they have always stood, among the best. The public schools have, for several years past, contained between 600 and 700 pupils, and appropriations of $13,000 to $14,000 are made annually for their support. Besides the public schools there are a number of small private schools, and the Derby Academy, which was established by Mrs. Sarah Derby, who endowed it with funds for its support. She died in 1790, and the school was opened in 1791, since which time it has continued uninterruptedly to educate many pupils in the town as well as a number from neighboring towns. The list of graduates contains the names of many who became distinguished in after life. It is for both males and females, and is managed by a board of trustees. Its history is one of credit to its founder and to the town. Mrs. Derby’s first husband, from whom she acquired her property, was Dr. Ezekiel Hersey, of Hingham, well known as the founder of the professorship bearing his name in Harvard College.
Among the other benefactions to the town must be mentioned the Hingham Public Library, opened for the use of the inhabitants, in 1869, through the liberality of the late Hon. Albert Fearing. By liberal gifts of money from him a building was built and books were purchased. Large and valuable donations of books were also made by other public-spirited citizens until several thousand volumes were collected together. The building and its contents were totally destroyed by fire, Jan. 3, 1879. A more commodious building was immediately erected, and opened to the public April 5, 1880. Its shelves are well filled with standard literature. The library is managed by a board of trustees under a deed of trust from Mr. Fearing.
The industries of Hingham are varied, and, from a business point of view, it must be admitted that there has been a considerable decline during the last fifty years. Although never a manufacturing town, within the usual meaning of that term, there were formerly many small manufactories of various articles, among which may be mentioned buckets, furniture, hatchets, etc. The mackerel-fishery was also extensively carried on from this port; but that has all disappeared, and Hingham is becoming, more and more every year, a surburban town of residences. With the increased facilities afforded by railroad and steamboat for daily access to the city of Boston, many of its citizens, whose business is in the city, have their residences in Hingham; and it is also the summer home of many others. The railroad was opened in 1849, and a steamboat has made regular trips to and from the city during the summer months for the past fifty years. Downer Landing, the well-known summer resort, with its pleasure-gardens, summer cottages, and hotel, the Rose Standish House, built up through the philanthropy and liberality of the late Mr. Samuel Downer, are within the limits of Hingham.
There is one hotel in the settled part of the town, the Cushing House.
The town is abundantly supplied with water of the purest quality for domestic and fire purposes, from Accord Pond, situated on the southern boundary line of the town, and there is an excellent fire department.
There is a weekly paper (The Hingham Journal), a national bank, a savings-bank, and a fire insurance company, which, with numerous stores in almost every department of domestic supplies, largely make up the business of the town.
The Hingham Agricultural and Horticultural Society holds monthly meetings and an annual exhibition in its spacious hall and grounds.
The views from several of the hills in Hingham are very beautiful, and its woods and fields afford a large and varied study for the botanist.
Of a high average of intelligence, attentive to education, encouraging morality, obedient to the laws, the people of Hingham have always stood high in the scale of social enjoyment and prosperity. Its town meetings are models of democratic government, and there are few places in which this purely American institution is preserved with so much respect and true regard for the public welfare.
It is with justifiable pride that the native of Hingham looks back through the two and one-half centuries of her history.
“Such is the patriot’s boast,
where’er we roam,
His first, best country ever is at home.”
* * * * *
WITH A GLIMPSE OF THE OLD CORNER BOOKSTORE.
By Barry Lyndon.
The great Boston fire of 1872 had a forerunner in the same city. In 1711 a most sweeping conflagration occurred, which burned down all the houses on both sides of Cornhill, from School street to Dock square, besides the First Church, the Town House, all the upper part of King street, and the greater part of Pudding Lane, between Water street and Spring Lane. Nearly one hundred houses were destroyed, of which the debris was used to fill up Long Wharf. The fire “broke out,” says an account in the Boston News-Letter, “in an old tenement within a backyard in Cornhill, near the First Meeting-house, occasioned by the carelessness of a poor Scottish woman by using fire near a parcel of ocum, chips, and other combustible rubbish.”
The houses which were rebuilt along Cornhill, soon after the fire, were “of brick, three stories high, with a garret, a flat roof, and balustrade.” Several of these houses were still standing in 1825; in 1855 only a very few remained; while only one, so far as we know, has come down to us to-day and is yet even well-preserved, namely, the Old Corner Bookstore, on the corner of the present Washington and School streets.
This old house teems with historical associations, past and present. Under its roof Mrs. Anne Hutchinson was wont to hold her Antinomian seances, under the very nose of Governor John Winthrop, when “over against the site of the Old Corner Store dwelt the notables of the town,—the governor, the elder of the church, the captain of the artillery company, and the most needful of the craftsmen and artificers of the humble plantation; and at a short distance from it were the meeting-house, the market-house, the town-house, the school-house, and the ever-flowing spring of pure water.”
The Old Corner Store is supposed to have been built directly after the fire of 1711. It is an example of what is known as the colonial style of architecture, and is thought to be the oldest brick building now standing in Boston. Upon a tablet on its western gable appears the supposed date of its construction, 1712.
[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF W.D. TICKNOR.]
After passing through several ownerships the house reverted, in 1755, to the descendants of the Hutchinson family. In 1784 it belonged to Mr. Edward Sohier and his wife Susanna (Brimmer), and was valued at L1,600. In 1795 it came into the possession of Mr. Herman Brimmer, and was designated in the first Boston Directory (1789) as No. 76 Cornhill. In 1817 the front part of the building was used as an apothecary shop, by Dr. Samuel Clarke, the father of Rev. James Freeman Clarke. In 1824 the name of Cornhill was changed to Washington street, and the old store was variously numbered until it took No. 135. Here Dr. Clarke remained keeping shop until 1828, when he was succeeded by a firm of booksellers. After he left, the building was considerably changed, inside and out, and Messrs. Richard B. Carter and Charles J. Hendee then occupied the front room as a bookstore, in 1828, and Mr. Isaac R. Butts moved his printing-office from Wilson’s Lane to the chambers soon afterwards. Messrs. Carter and Hendee continued in the store until 1832, when they removed to No. 131, upstairs, and were succeeded by John Allen and William D. Ticknor in 1832-34. From 1834 the store was occupied by Mr. W.D. Ticknor alone until 1845; and subsequently by himself and partners, Mr. John Reed, Jr., and James T. Fields, until the spring of 1864, when the senior partner died. The new firm of Ticknor (Howard M.), Fields (James T.), and Osgood (James R.) remained at the Old Corner till 1867, when they removed to No. 124 Tremont street. Messrs. E.P. Dutton & Co. next moved into the Old Corner Store, and was succeeded, September 1, 1869, by Alexander Williams & Co. The store is now occupied, since 1882, by Messrs. Cupples, Upham, & Co., well-known book publishers.
[Illustration: THE OLD CORNER IN 1800.]
It will be seen that the first appearance of the name of Ticknor, as in any way associated with the publishing of books, was in 1832. In the spring of 1864 Mr. William D. Ticknor visited Philadelphia in company with Nathaniel Hawthorne; was taken suddenly ill and died there. Shortly afterwards his eldest son Howard M. Ticknor, a graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1856, was taken into the firm, which, under the name of TICKNOR & FIELDS, held a very prominent place among American publishers for over twenty years. During the period ending with the year 1867 the Old Corner was one of the best known spots in Boston, not alone by reason of its antiquity, but equally by reason of its distinguished literary history and its habitues. Here Charles Dickens and Thackeray used to loiter and chat with their American publishers; Lowell, Longfellow, Holmes, and Whittier, and Whipple the essayist, made it their head-quarters. Nearly all of their best-known writings, and those of Emerson, Hawthorne, Saxe, Winthrop, Bayard Taylor, Mrs. Stowe, Aldrich, Howells, and a host of other well-known authors, sooner or later bore the imprint of the house of Ticknor. After the failure of Messrs. Phillips, Sampson,& Co., the “Atlantic Monthly,” first suggested by Mr. Francis H. Underwood, now United States Consul to Glasgow, passed into the hands of Ticknor & Fields, and, a little later, was added “Our Young Folks,” edited by J.T. Trowbridge and Lucy Larcom, “Every Saturday,” edited by T.B. Aldrich, and the “North American Review,” long edited by James Russell Lowell.
[Illustration: THE OLD CORNER IN 1850.]
Still later the firm name was Fields, Osgood, & Co., then James R. Osgood & Co., then Houghton, Osgood,& Co., and again James R. Osgood & Co. The last-named firm published a remarkable series of books, which their successors inherit.
[Illustration: 124 TREMONT STREET.]
At no time in its history, from 1832 to the present time, has the firm been without a Ticknor in its copartnership. For a brief season, however, the name disappeared from the firm’s imprint.
The great publishing house has just inaugurated a new tenure of life as Ticknor & Co., the copartnership consisting of Benjamin H. and Thomas B. Ticknor, sons of William D. Ticknor, and George F. Godfrey, of Bangor, Me., a gentleman of marked culture and geniality, and one, too, who, all may rest assured, will take kindly to and will find success in the book business. With scholarly acquirements, and with minds trained to the wants of to-day, the sons of W.D. Ticknor, both gentlemen of refined literary taste, now step to the front with strong hands and vigorous purposes, not alone to perpetuate but to add to the former reputation of the time-honored publishing house.
The new house succeeds to a rich inheritance of the books of younger American authors,—those of Howells, James, Edgar Fawcett, Kate Field, Mrs. Burnett, Miss Howard, Julian Hawthorne, George W. Cable, and others. That it means to maintain the supremacy is foreshadowed by the list of important works which it has announced as forthcoming.
* * * * *
By Willard H. Morse, M.D.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, in an English country district, two lads romped on the same lea and chased the same butterflies. One was a little brown-eyed boy, with red cheeks, fine round form, and fiery temper. The other was a gentle child, tall, lithe, and blonde. The one was the son of a man of wealth and a noble lady, and carried his captive butterflies to a mansion-house, and kept them in a crystal case. The other ran from the fields to a farm-house, and thought of the lea as a grain field. It might have been the year 1606, when the two were called in from their play-ground, and sent to school, thus to begin life. The farmer’s boy went to a common school, and his brown-eyed play-mate entered a grammar school. From that time their paths were far apart.
The name of the tall, blonde boy was Samuel Morse. At fifteen he left school to help his father on the home farm. At twenty he had become second tenant on a Wiltshire holding, and began to be a prosperous farmer. Before he had attained the age of forty he was the father of a large family of children, among them five sons, whose names were Samuel, William, Robert, John, and Anthony. William, Robert, and Anthony ultimately emigrated to America, while Samuel, Jr., and John remained in England. Young Samuel went to London, and became a merchant and a miser. When past his fiftieth year he married. His wife died four years later, leaving a baby daughter and a son. Both children were sent up to Marlboro, where they had a home with their Uncle John, who was living on the old farm. There they grew up, and became the heirs both of John and their father. The boy was named Morgan. He received a finished education, embraced the law, and married. His only child and daughter, Mary, became the heiress of her aunt’s property and her great-uncle John’s estate, and was accounted a lady of wealth, station, and beauty.
Meanwhile, the family of old Samuel Morse’s playfellow had also reached the fourth generation. The name of that playfellow was Oliver Cromwell, who became Lord Protector of the British Commonwealth. Of course he forgot Samuel Morse, and was sitting in Parliament when Samuel died. He had children and grandchildren who lived as contemporaries of his old playmate’s children and grandchildren. Two or three years before Samuel’s great granddaughter, Mary, was born, a great grandson of the Protector saw the light. This boy was named Oliver, but was called “Rummy Noll.” The ancestral estate of Theodale’s became his sole inheritance, and as soon as he came into the property he began to live a wild, fast life, distinguishing himself as an adventurous, if not profligate gentleman.
He travelled much; and one day in a sunny English year came to the town of his great-grandfather’s nativity. There he chanced to meet Mary Morse. The beautiful girl fascinated him, but would not consent to be his wife until all of his “wild oats” were sown. Then she became Mrs. Cromwell, and was a happy wife, as well as a lady of eminence and wealth. Oliver and Mary Cromwell had a daughter Olivia, who married a Mr. Russell, and whose daughters are the present sole representatives of the Protectorate family.
As was said above, William, Anthony, and Robert Morse, brothers of Samuel, Jr., emigrated to America, and became the ancestors of nearly all of their name in this country. William and Anthony settled at Newbury, Massachusetts. The latter became a respected citizen, and among his descendants were such men as Rev. Dr. James Morse of Newburyport, Samuel Finley Breese Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, Rev. Sidney Edwards Morse, and others scarcely less notable.
Robert Morse, Anthony’s brother, left England at about the time of the beginning of the civil war, and located in Boston as a tailor. He was a sterling old Puritan, prudent, enterprising and of strict morality. He speculated in real estate, and after a while removed to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, which place he helped to settle, and where he amassed much wealth. He had nine children. Among his descendants were some men of eminence, as Dr. Isaac Morse of Elizabethtown, Honorable Nathan Morse of New Orleans, Isaac E. Morse, long a member of Congress from Louisiana, Judge Morse of Ohio, and others.
None of these sons of Samuel, the mate of Cromwell, were great men themselves, but were notable in their descendants. Samuel’s descendant came to represent a historical family; Anthony’s greatest descendant invented the telegraph; and the descendants of Robert were noble Southrons. William alone of the five brothers had notoriety. Samuel, Jr., was more eminent, but William made a mark in Massachusetts’ history. Settling in the town of Newbury, William Morse led an humble and monotonous life. When he had lived there more than forty years, and had come to be an old and infirm man, he was made to figure unhappily in the first legal investigation of New England witchcraft. This was in 1679-81, or more than ten years before the Salem witchcraft, and it constitutes a page of hitherto unpublished Massachusetts history. Mr. and Mrs. Morse resided in a plain, wooden house that still stands at the head of Market Street, in what is now Newburyport. William had been a farmer, but his sons had now taken the homestead, and he was supporting himself and wife by shoe-making. His age was almost three-score-years-and-ten, and he was a reputably worthy man, then just in the early years of his dotage. His wife, the “goody Elizabeth,” was a Newbury woman, and apparently some few years her husband’s senior.
I can easily imagine the worthy couple there in the old square room of a winter’s night. On one side of the fire-place sits the old man in his hard arm-chair, his hands folded, and his spectacles awry, as he sonorously snores away the time. Opposite him sits the old lady, a little, toothless dame, with angular features half hidden in a stiffly starched white cap, her fingers flying over her knitting-work, as precisely and perseveringly she “seams,” “narrows,” and “widens.” At the old lady’s right hand stands a cherry table, on which burns a yellow tallow candle that occasionally the dame proceeds to snuff. There is no carpet on the floor, and the furniture is poor and plain. A kitchen chair sits at the other side of the table, and in, or on it, sits a half-grown boy, a ruddy, freckled, country boy who wants to whistle, and prefers to go out and play, but who is required to stay in the house, to sit still, and to read from out the leather-covered Bible that lies open on the table before him.
“But I would like to go out and slide down hill!” begs the boy.
“Have you read yer ten chapters yit?” asks the old dame.
“Wal; read on.”
And the lad obeys. He is reading aloud; he is not a good reader; the chapters are in Deuteronomy; but that stint must be performed before evening; then ten chapters after six o’clock, and at eight he must go to bed. If he moves uneasily in his chair, or stops to breathe, he is reprimanded.
The boy was the grandson of the old couple, and resided with them. Under just such restrictions he was kept. Bright, quick, and full of boy life, he was restless under the enforced restraint.
In the neighborhood resided a Yankee school-master, named Caleb Powell, a fellow, who delighted in interfering with the affairs of his neighbors, and in airing his wisdom on almost every known subject. He noticed that the Puritan families kept their boys too closely confined; and influenced by surreptitious gifts of cider and cheese, he interceded in their behalf. He was regarded as an oracle, and was listened to with respect. Gran’ther Morse was among those argued with, and being told that the boy was losing his health by being “kept in” so much, he at once consented to give him a rest from the Bible readings and let him play out of doors and at the houses of the neighbors. Once released, the lad declared that he “should not be put under again.” Fertile in imagination, he soon devised a plan.
At that time a belief in witchcraft was universal, and afforded a solution of everything strange and unintelligible. The old shoemaker firmly believed in the supernatural agency of witches, and his roguish grandson knew it. That he might not be obliged to return to the Scripture readings, the boy practised impositions on his grandfather to which the old man became a very easy dupe.
No one suspected the boy’s agency, except Caleb Powell. That worthy knew the young man, and believed that there was nothing marvellous or superstitious about the “manifestations.” Desirous of being esteemed learned, he laid claim to a knowledge of astrology, and when the “witchcraft” was the town talk he gave out that he could develope the whole mystery. The consequence was that he was suspected of dealing in the black art, and was accused, tried, and narrowly escaped with his life.
On the court records of Salem is entered:—
“December 3, 1679. Caleb Powell being complained of for suspicion of working with ye devill to the molesting of William Morse and his family, was by warrant directed to constable, and respited till Monday.” “December 8, (Monday) Caleb Powell appeared ... and it was determined that sd. Morse should present ye case at ye county court at Ipswich in March.”
This order was obeyed, and the trial came on. The following is a specimen of the testimony presented:—
“William Morse saith, together with his wife, that Thursday night being November 27, we heard a great noyes of knocking ye boards of ye house, whereupon myselfe and wife looks out and see nobody, but we had stones and sticks thrown at us so that we were forced to retire.
“Ye same night, ye doore being lockt when we went to bed, we heerd a great hog grunt in ye house, and willing to go out. That we might not be disturbed in our sleep, I rose to let him out, and I found a hog and the door unlockt.
“Ye next night I had a great awl that I kept in the window, the which awl I saw fall down ye chimney into ye ashes. I bid ye boy put ye same awl in ye cupboard which I saw done, and ye door shut too. When ye same awl came down ye chimney again in our sight, and I took it up myselfe.
“Ye next day, being Saturday, stones,
sticks and pieces of bricks came
down so that we could not quietly eat our breakfast. Sticks of fire came
downe also at ye same time.
“Ye same day in ye afternoon, my thread four times taken away and come downe ye chimney againe; my awl and a gimlet wanting came down ye chimney. Againe, my leather and my nailes, being in ye cover of a firkin, taken away, and came downe ye chimney.
“The next, being Sunday, stones, sticks and brickbats came down ye chimney. On Monday, Mr. Richardson [the minister,] and my brother was there. They saw ye frame of my cow-house standing firm. I sent my boy to drive ye fowls from my hog’s trough. He went to ye cow-house, and ye frame fell on him, he crying with ye hurt. In ye afternoon ye potts hanging over ye fire did dash so vehemently one against another that we did sett down one that they might not dash to pieces. I saw ye andiron leap into ye pott and dance, and leap out, and again leap in, and leap on a table and there abide. And my wife saw ye andiron on
Page 49ye table. Also I saw ye pott turn over, and throw down all ye water. Againe we see a tray with wool leap up and downe, and throw ye wool out, and saw nobody meddle with it. Again a tub’s hoop fly off, and nobody near it. Againe ye woolen wheele upside downe, and stood upon its end, and a spade set on it. This myself, my wife, and Stephen Greenleaf saw. Againe my tools fell down on ye ground, and before my boy could take them they were sent from him. Againe when my wife and ye boy were making ye bed, ye chest did open and shutt, ye bed-clothes would not be made to ly on ye bed, but flew off againe.
“We saw a keeler of bread turn over. A chair did often bow to me. Ye chamber door did violently fly together. Ye bed did move to and fro. Ye barn-door was unpinned four times. We agreed to a big noise in ye other room. My chair would not stand still, but was ready to throw me backward. Ye catt was thrown at us five times. A great stone of six pounds weight did remove from place to place. Being minded to write, my ink-horne was hid from me, which I found covered by a ragg, and my pen quite gone. I made a new penn, and while I was writing, one eare of corne hitt me in ye face, and sticks, stones, and my old pen were flung att me. Againe my spectickles were throwne from ye table, and almost into ye hot fire. My paper, do what I could, I could hardly keep it. Before I could dry my writing, a mammouth hat rubbed along it, but I held it so fast that it did only blot some of it. My wife and I being much afraid that I should not preserve ye writing, we did think best to lay it in ye Bible. Againe ye next night I lay it there againe, but in ye morning it was not to be found, till I found it in a box alone. Againe while I was writing this morning I was forced to forbeare writing any more, because I was so disturbed by many things constantly thrown att me.”
Anthony Morse testified:—
“Occasionally, being to my brother Morse’s hous, he showed to me a pece of brick, what had several times come down ye chimne. I sitting in ye cornar towde that pece of brick in my hand. Within a littel spas of tiem ye pece of brick was gone from me I know not by what meanes. Quickly after it come down chimne. Also in ye chimne cornar I saw a hammar on ye ground. Their bein no person nigh it, it was sodenly gone, by what meanes I know not; but within a littell spas it fell down chimne, and ... also a pece of woud a fute long.
“Taken on oath Dec. the 8, 1679, before me,
“JOHN WOODBRIDGE, COMMISSIONER.”
Thomas Hardy testified:—
“I and George Hardy being at William Morse his house, affirm that ye earth in ye chimny cornar moved and scattered on us. I was hitt with somewhat; Hardy hitt by a iron ladle; somewhat hitt Morse a great blow, butt itt was so swift none could tell what itt was. After, we saw itt was a shoe.”
Rev. Mr. Richardson testified:—
“Was at Bro. Morse his house
on a Saturday. A board flew against my
chair. I heard a noyes in another roome, which I suppose in all reason
John Dole testified:—
“I saw, sir, a large fire-stick
of candle-wood, a stone, and a
fire-brand to fall down. These I saw nott whence they come till they
fell by me.”
Elizabeth Titcomb testified:—
“Powell said that he could find
out ye witch by his learning if he had
another scholar with him.”
Joseph Myrick and Sarah Hale testified:—
“Joseph Morse, often said in our
hearing that if there are any Wizards
he was sure Caleb Powell was one.”
William Morse being asked what he had to say as to Powell being a wizard, testified:—
“He come in, and seeing our spirit very low cause by our great affliction, he said, ’Poore old man, and poor old woman, I eye ye boy, who is ye occasion of all your greefe; and I draw neere ye with great compassion.’ Then sayd I, ‘Powell, how can ye boy do them things?’ Then sayd he, ‘This boy is a young rogue, a vile rogue!’ Powell, he also sayd, that he had understanding in Astrology and Astronomie, and knew the working of spirits. Looking on ye boy, he said, ’You young rogue!’ And to me, Goodman Morse, if you be willing to lett me have ye boy I will undertake that you shall be freed from any trouble of this kind the while he is with me.”
Other evidence was received for the prosecution. The defence put in by Powell was that “on Monday night last, till Friday after the noone, I had ye boy with me, and they had no trouble.”
Mary Tucker deposed:—
“Powell said he come to Morse’s
and did not see fit to go in as the old
man was att prayer. He lookt in a window, and saw ye boy fling a shoe at
the old man’s head while he prayed.”
The verdict now stands on the court record, and reads as follows:—
“Upon hearing the complaint brought to this court against Caleb Powell for suspicion of working by the devill to the molesting of ye family of William Morse of Newbury, though this court cannot find any evident ground of proceeding farther against ye sayd Powell, yett we determine that he hath given such ground of suspicion of his so dealing that we cannot so acquit him but that he justly deserves to bare his own shame and the costs of prosecution of the complaint.”
The bad boy seems to have had a grudge against Powell, and, anxious to see that person punched, he resumed his pranks both at his grandfather’s and among the neighbors.
Strange things happened. Joseph Bayley’s cows would stand still and not move. Caleb Powell, having been discharged, no longer boasted of his learning. Jonathan Haines’ oxen would not work. A sheep belonging to Caleb Moody was mysteriously dyed. Zachariah Davis’ calves all died, as did also a sheep belonging to Joshua Richardson. Mrs. John Wells said that she saw the “imp of God in sayd Morse’s hous.”
Sickness visited several families, and Goody Morse, as was her custom, acted as village nurse. One by one her patients died. John Dee, Mrs. William Chandler, Mrs. Goodwin’s child, and an infant of Mr. Ordway’s, were among the dead. The rumor ran about that Goody Morse was a witch. John Chase affirmed that he had seen her coming into his house through a knot-hole at night. John Gladding saw “halfe of Marm Morse about two a clocke in ye daytime.” Jonathan Woodman, seeing a strange black cat, struck it; and Dr. Dole was called the same day to treat a bruise on Mrs. Morse. The natural inference was that the old lady was a witch and the cause of all of these strange things, as well as of the extraordinary occurrences in her home. Accusers were not wanting, and she was arrested. In her trial all of this evidence was put in, and her husband repeated his testimony at the Powell trial. The county court heard it and passed the case to the General Court, from whence it was returned.
The records abound in reports of the testimony. We will only quote the evidence of Zachariah Davis, who said:—
“I having offended Goody Morse, my three calves fell a dancing and roaring, and were in such a condition as I never saw a calf in before ... A calf ran a roaringe away soe that we gott him only with much adoe and putt him in ye barne, and we heard him roar severell times in ye night. In ye morning I went to ye barne, and there he was setting upon his tail like a dog. I never see no calf set after that manner before; and so he remained in these fits till he died.”
The entry on the court record is as follows:—
“Boston, May ye 20, 1680:—The Grand Jury presenting Elizabeth, wife of William Morse. She was indicted by name of Elizabeth Morse for that she not having ye fear of God before her eyes, being instigated by the Devil, and had familiarity with the Devil contrary to ye peace of our sovereign lord, the King, his crown and dignity, the laws of God, and of this jurisdiction. After the prisoner was att ye barr and pleaded not guilty, and put herself on ye country and God for trial. Ye evidences being produced were read and committed to ye jury.”
“Boston, May 21st, of 1680:—Ye
jury brought in their verdict. They
found Elizabeth Morse guilty according to indictment.
“May ye 27:—Then ye sentence of ye Governor, to wit:—’Elizabeth you are to goe from hence to ye plaice from which you come, and thence to the plaice of execution, and there to be hanged, by ye neck, till you be dead; and ye Lord have mercy on your Soule.’”
“June ye 1st:—Ye Governor
and ye magistrates voted ye reprieving of
Eliz. Morse, as attests,
“EDWARD RAWSON, Secretary.”
The unfortunate woman seems to have remained imprisoned until the meeting of the Legislature. On the records of that body we find:—
“Ye Deputies in perusal of ye Acts of ye Hon. Court of Assistants relating to ye woman condemned for witchcraft doe not understand why execution of ye sentence given her by ye sd. court is not executed. Her repreeval seems to us to be beyond what ye law will allow, and doe therefore judge meete to declare ourselves against it, etc. This Nov. 3d., 1680.
“WM. TORREY, Clerk.”
Then follows this entry:—
“Exceptions not consented to by ye magistrates.
“EDWARD RAWSON, Secretary.”
Mrs. Morse continued in prison until May 1681. On the fourteenth of that month her husband petitioned for her to “the honorable gen. court now sitting in Boston,” begging “to clere up ye truth.” This petition recites a review of the testimony of seventeen persons who had testified against Goody Morse. On the eighteenth, he petitioned “ye hon. Governor, deputy Governor, deputies and magistrates.” In answer, a new hearing was granted. The court record says:—
“Ye Deputyes judge meet to grant ye petitioner a hearing ye next sixth day and that warrants go forth to all persons concerned from this court, they to appear in order to her further trial, our honored magistrates hereto consenting.
“WM. TORREY, Clerk.”
Again the magistrates were refractory, for we find:—
“May twenty-fourth, 1681:—Not consented to by ye magistrates.
“EDWARD RAWSON, Secretary.”
No further trial followed. Mr. Morse did not rest in his efforts for the release of his wife. He called a council of the clergymen of the neighborhood to examine her. The council met and acted. The report of the Rev. John Hale of Beverly (probably chairman) is before me. It reads:—
“This touching Madam Elizabeth Morse:—
“She being reprieved, her husband desired us to discourse her, which we did. Her discourse was very christain, and she still pleaded her innocence of that which was laid to her dischage. We did not esteem it prudence for us to pass any definite sentence upon on under her circumstances, yet we inclined to ye more charitable side.”
After this examination the court permitted her to return home, when she never gave further occasion for slander, dying the death of a hopeful Christian not many years after.
And the mischievous grandson, what of him? He went to Beverly, married, had children, died. His great-great-grandson lives to-day. He, descendant of William, over wires that Anthony’s descendant made to do noble work, sends this message, written on paper made by a descendant of Robert, to Miss Russell, representing Samuel Morse and Oliver Cromwell:—
“After two centuries witch-work
is in electricity, and that witch-work
has made us a name.”
* * * * *
By Adelaide C. Waldron.
Softly there sounds above the
Of the wide world’s deafening din,
An echo of song from a far-off time,
Deeper and sweeter than poet’s rhyme,
Whose tidings of joy and whose message sublime,
“Heaven’s peace on earth, and good-will to mankind,”
Fill me with force; I yet will find
The way to enter in!
* * * * *
By Edward P. Guild.
In the summer of 1879 I went to a quiet town in north-western Massachusetts, with the object of getting a few weeks of much needed rest and recreation. It had been four years since the first appearance of my name as “Attorney and Counsellor at Law,” on the door of a small Washington-street office, just below the Herald Building in the city of Boston; and, as I had worked all that time with hardly a thought of rest, I decided to take a good, respectable vacation.
Hopkins, who had an office on the same floor, advised me to go to H——, in Franklin county, where I could find the purest of air, splendid scenery, good trout fishing, and entire freedom from fashionable boarders. As this was just the bill of fare that I wanted, and as Hopkins was born and brought up there, and ought to know, I thankfully accepted his advice.
A week after my arrival I met Christopher Gault, who was boarding not far from Deacon Thompson’s, where I had my quarters. A friendship at once began to grow between us, and our time was largely spent in each other’s company. I found my new acquaintance a very agreeable companion, and, moreover, an unusually interesting young man. He was then about twenty-six years old, of medium stature, dark brown hair, and closely-cut side whiskers and moustache. His talents were brilliant and varied. Mathematics were his delight, and he had well chosen the profession of a civil engineer, in which, as I afterwards learned, he was already gaining distinction in my own city of Boston. He was an ardent admirer of nature, and was always ready for a ramble with me over the hills or through the woods; always closely observing the formation of the rocks, and capturing any interesting specimen of mineral, plant, or bug that came under the notice of his sharp eyes.
In conversation, which we often enjoyed on the broad piazza, Gault was exceedingly entertaining, and usually took an absorbing interest in the subject under discussion; but at times he would sit silent as though engrossed in other thoughts, and often with a very apparent look of melancholy in his face. One day when I had been noticing this, I said:—
“Gault, you are growing too serious for your age; you ought to get a wife.”
He smiled a little quickly, and resumed his former expression, without replying; but after a moment drew from his pocket book a photograph, and placed it in my hand.
It was of a most attractive looking young lady of, perhaps, twenty-two years.
“Ah! I see that my suggestion is not needed,” I said, holding the picture at arm’s length to get a better general impression. “Is she yours?”
He flushed a little at so direct a question, as he answered evasively:—
“She is a very true friend of mine.”
“But she is more than that. Now, tell me, Gault, when is your honeymoon to begin?”
“That is more than I can tell,” he replied, slowly returning the photograph to his pocket book.
“You must not wait to get rich,” I observed. “It is when a man is working for success that he most needs the sympathy and help of a good wife.”
“I know that,” replied my friend; “but I am in a peculiar position. Some day I will tell you all.”
I saw that he was growing nervous, and changed the subject of conversation.
Returning from the post office that afternoon to the old farm house, I stopped for a little chat with Deacon Thompson, my good natured host, who was mending his orchard fence; for the well loaded boughs of apples, just beginning to assume their various tinges of red, yellow, or russet, offered a strong temptation to the cattle in the adjoining pasture. Incidentally I inquired regarding an old excavation which I had noticed on the hill near an unfrequented road. This excavation had apparently once served for a cellar, although most of the stones had been removed, and the sheep easily ran down its now sloping and grassy sides. In close proximity was a deep well, over the top of which had been placed a huge, flat stone. Overshadowing both cellar and well were three ancient elms, storm-beaten and lightning-cleft, but still standing as if to guard the very solitude which was unbroken save by the tinkling bell, which told whither the farmer’s flock was straying. From Mr. Thompson I learned the history connected with this scene.
Twenty years before he was born, his father’s folks saw, one morning in March, a smoke curling above the tops of the elms which were just visible over the brow of the hill. Quickly going to the scene, they found the house burned to the ground. The occupants were an old man, named Peter Colburn, and his wife; and they, together with a traveller, who had obtained lodging there for the night, were all burned with the house. The stranger’s horse and saddle were found in the barn, some little distance from the house, but there was no clew to his identity. There were only a few people then who had settled in this bleak region, and there was no funeral other than the assembling of a half dozen together, who dug a grave within fifty feet from the elms, and there laid the charred remains of the unfortunate victims. I had seen a small, rough, unlettered stone standing there, but did not before know its meaning.
The next day I related the bit of tragic history to Christopher Gault, and we strolled over the hill to its scene.
“What a magnificent view!” he exclaimed, as we came to the place.
Certainly it could not be finer. We stood upon an elevated plateau, from which the prospect in either direction was beautiful and grand. To the north could be seen the graceful curves of the Green Mountain range, gradually growing fainter and of paler blue as the eye followed them to at least seventy miles away.
Farther to the east rose the majestic form of Monadnock, if not the highest, one of the very noblest peaks in the Granite State. In an opposite direction, and nearly one hundred miles from Monadnock, stood old Greylock, the greatest elevation in Massachusetts; while much nearer by—in fact, seeming almost at our feet when compared with these immense ranges—lay the charming Deerfield valley, up from which rose the curling smoke of the locomotive as it moved steadily westward, until hidden from view by a sudden entrance into Hoosac Tunnel.
The view so absorbed our attention for a time that we hardly noticed our immediate surroundings. When we did so we began to make an examination. Gault, with characteristic curiosity, began a search in the bottom of the old cellar. Suddenly he emerged.
“A veritable relic!” he exclaimed. “See! an old knife; and here on its handle is a name. Can you read it?” and he handed it to me.
A minute’s brisk scouring made it quite plain.
“I have it now,” I said. “It is Samuel Wickham.”
As I read the inscription I was startled to see the color almost instantly leave Gault’s face.
“Samuel Wickham! You don’t mean It. Let me see,” and he grasped the knife from my hand.
“It is. You are right,” he said. “You do not understand my interest in this matter,” he added, evidently a little embarrassed at his own manner. “It was the name that struck me. Probably this knife belonged to the unfortunate stranger,” and he put it carefully in his pocket.
“Do you know just when the house was burned,—did Mr. Thompson say?” he inquired, trying hard to control his excitement.
“Not exactly,” I replied; “but he told me that he had a record somewhere. You could probably ascertain from him.”
The next morning I went trouting alone, and did not return to the house until afternoon. When I did so I found a note awaiting me.
It proved to be from my friend, and said that for special reasons he had decided to return to the city that day. He was sorry not to see me again, but hoped to do so before long. I, in turn, was quite anxious to meet him again, and learn why he had returned so unexpectedly, and to know the cause of his singular manner upon finding the rusty knife. The two events were naturally connected in my mind, and also our previous conversation when he had shown me the picture of the young lady.
Three weeks later I was in Boston, and almost at once visited Mr. Gault’s office at No.—Water street. To my disappointment, I learned that he had just taken passage for England.
I hoped to see him when he returned, but was not destined to do so until two years later.
Before relating my unexpected meeting with him in 1881, I must describe a certain somewhat remarkable case which I was so fortunate as to have put into my hands shortly after my return from the country.
It was one day in October that a distinguished-looking gentleman of about fifty-five entered my office, introduced himself as Mr. Crabshaw, and asked me to take the following case.
An old woman named Nancy Blake had recently died in Virginia, leaving a large amount of property. This Nancy Blake had lived for over half a century all alone, and almost entirely secluded. She had left neither will nor near relatives, and the question was, who is her nearest of kin? My visitor informed me that long ago he had known of the existence of an eccentric woman in Virginia,—a great-aunt of his now deceased wife. Nothing had been heard from her, however, for twenty-five years, and it was supposed that she was dead; but he had just received information that led him to believe in the identity of the old lady Blake with the aforementioned great-aunt. If the relationship could be established, then his daughter Cecilia would be the true heir. Her claim had been brought to the attention of the court, and she bad been informed that there was another claimant. Would I undertake the case? After a long talk with Mr. Crabshaw, I decided that I would do so. I agreed to call at his house the next day and have another talk with him, and also meet his daughter, preparatory to my trip to Virginia.
Mr. Crabshaw, who, as I subsequently learned, was descended from an English family which had been represented in this country for two generations only, lived in the famous and once aristocratic quarter of Boston known as West End. A short residence on our republican soil had done little to Americanize the Crabshaw family, who lived in true English style. The household consisted only of Mr. Crabshaw and his one daughter, Cecilia, and a small retinue of servants, although he was not possessed of any very large wealth. My first meeting with Miss Crabshaw was at once a pleasure and a surprise; the first because she was a most charming young lady, and the latter because she was the original of the picture shown me a few months before by Christopher Gault. I did not mention the coincidence, however, but proceeded directly to the business in hand. Miss Cecilia was an exceedingly sensible and intelligent young lady and I could get more needed information in ten minutes from her than in half an hour from the old gentleman.
The last time that I met Mr. Crabshaw before going to Virginia, I mentioned having met Mr. Gault the summer before.
“You got acquainted with him then, did you? I am very glad to know it. He is a fine young man—a very estimable fellow, sir. I have always known the family, and always liked Christopher. As you are very likely aware, he thinks a great deal of Cecilia, and she is a pretty firm friend of his. Now that is all very well, sir, as long as they don’t get sentimental, or anything of that kind.”
“We are constituted so as to grow a little sentimental when the occasion presents itself, Mr. Crabshaw,” I remarked.
“Yes, yes, I understand, but my daughter knows quite well that there is no occasion for her yet. I might as well tell you,” he continued, after a pause, “that, although it is nothing against Christopher himself, there is a streak of bad blood in the family. His great-grandfather turned traitor; yes, sir, committed treason against the crown of England, and then fled. To be sure,” he added, “Christopher Gault is no more responsible for the crime of his ancestor than am I myself; but the question of blood is an important one, and these traits are very liable to crop out; if not in one generation, then in another.”
“You believe, then, in the law of heredity as affecting moral character?”
“Certainly. Physical and mental traits are inherited; why not moral?”
A few days later I was in the city of Richmond, and from there I proceeded directly to D—— county, where, at the November term of the county court, I intended to present Miss Crabshaw’s claim to the property in question. Meantime I devoted myself to the preparation of testimony relating to the case. I visited the place where old Nancy Blake had lived, situated about twelve miles from D—— court-house. The property left by her consisted of the old house, fallen badly into decay, a small amount of land, and a large sum of money deposited in the bank. Little was known about “Old Nancy,” as the few people in the thinly settled locality called her. The most information that I could glean was from an old negro who had been her neighbor for the most of his life. He said that he could well remember her father, who had been dead for fifty years. He was a man of military look and an Englishman. His name was John Blake. He could remember nothing about his wife, but he had at least one son and a daughter besides Nancy. When he was about to die his son came to see him. He was much older than either daughter, Nancy being the youngest. Eleanor died not long after, and Nancy was left alone. She was very eccentric and seldom saw any one.
Such was the story, in brief, as I was able to obtain it from the old negro.
The details of the case, as it was brought out in court, do not need special mention, and it will be sufficient to merely state the basis of the claim.
Although Mr. Crabshaw was very proud of his descent, and traced his lineage back some hundreds of years, and was very particular to have the family coat-of-arms always made conspicuous, yet he had married a lady whose ancestry was not clearly known. Mrs. Crabshaw, who had died when her daughter was a mere child, was a beautiful and accomplished woman, whose grandfather, on her father’s side, she had never seen, and of whom she knew no more than that his name was Thomas Blake, and that he died in the town of S——, Connecticut, in 1832, at the age of forty-nine years.
The one important thing that I wished to prove was, that Thomas Blake was the brother of Nancy Blake, and that Cecilia Crabshaw was thus great-grand niece of said Nancy. The court pronounced itself satisfied as to this, and Miss Crabshaw was declared the nearest of kin, and hence heir to the property.
The case had required the presence of my fair client, so she had made the journey to Washington a week previous, where she visited an uncle, and came out to D—— county to be present at the hearing.
It was necessary for me to remain in Virginia some little time on account of other business, and it was arranged that I should see what could be done towards effecting a sale of the real estate. Accordingly, soon after the case had been decided, I went out to look over the premises.
The house was very old, and showed no signs of any improvement having been made for at least half a century. The furniture was of little value and there were but few other things. A rusty sword, a few old books, and some odd trinkets comprised about all. As Miss Crabshaw did not care for these they were given to a negro woman who had rendered some assistance to Old Nancy in the last years of her life.
The house itself contained none of those mysterious passages or hidden closets which the imagination so readily connects with such old habitations. There was a kind of small locker, however, opening from a large closet near the ceiling. This little recess contained nothing but a package of old papers and worthless letters, faded and mouldy. On looking them over, one in particular attracted my attention on account of an official seal which it bore. It proved to be a document commissioning Richard Anthony Treadwell as Major in the Seventh Regiment of Cavalry in the Royal Army of his Majesty King George III. The date was June 12, 1793. But who was Richard Anthony Treadwell, and how happened his commission to be here? A discovery made a few minutes later served to throw some light on the mystery. Among the few books found in the house was an antique volume of Shakspere’s plays, which, judging from the thick net-work of cobwebs encircling it, had not been touched for years.
Curiosity led me to open the book. On its fly-leaf was the inscription: “A present to Thomas from his father, Richard A. Treadwell.” A curious fact was that this name had been crossed and recrossed with a pen, and underneath had been written as a substitute in the same handwriting: “John Blake.” The ink used at the first writing had retained its blackness in a remarkable degree; while that used at the time of the erasure and for the substitute name had so faded that the first name was much plainer than the second. The natural inference, then, was that the father of Nancy Blake and the great-great-grandfather of Cecilia Crabshaw had, at some time, changed his name from that of Richard Anthony Treadwell to that of John Blake. Why he should have done so was an unexplained problem, and whether it was my duty to inform Miss Crabshaw of the fact or not was not quite evident to me. What I really did, however, was to put the old document in my pocket and forget it.
The place was soon after sold for a few hundred dollars, and after attending to my affairs in the locality I returned to Boston, but not to remain.
A leading lawyer in Washington, an old and esteemed friend of my father, and a former adviser of mine in the matter of studying law, had offered to admit me to partnership in a lucrative practice which had become too large for his advancing years. I accepted, and bade good-by to dear old Boston.
It was not until May, 1881, that I returned to my former home, and then for a short time only.
The next day after my arrival I had a caller at my hotel, and to my surprise and pleasure it proved to be my old acquaintance and friend, Christopher Gault.
“I saw your name in the list of arrivals in the morning paper, and came up at once. I am delighted to find you here. I was in hopes to have met you on my return from England, but learned that you had left ‘The Hub’ entirely.”
“Yes, I have been gone a year and a half. But tell me, Gault, where have you kept yourself all of this time? I had nearly lost all trace of you. You made your departure from this continent so suddenly, nearly two years ago, that I thought you must have been”—
“Fleeing from justice?” he interrupted, laughing. “Seeking it, rather. I see you don’t quite understand,” he added. “Well, you shall have an explanation; but it is quite a little story, and I will not detain you this morning.”
“I shall see you again?”
“I hope so, by all means; and Mrs. Gault would be most happy to meet you.”
“Mrs. Gault!” I exclaimed, extending my hand,—“Mrs. Gault! Let me congratulate you. And Mrs. Gault was formerly”—
“Miss Cecilia Crabshaw,” he interposed, anticipating my guess.
“I could have guessed it,” I remarked. “In fact, I think I was rather more sanguine than you two years ago.”
He laughed a little, with evident satisfaction. “I have been better prospered than I anticipated then. We have now been married three months. By the way, when do you return to Washington?”
“Probably a week from now,—ten days at the latest.”
“Then let me make you a proposition. Besides my acquisition of which you have just learned I have been favored in other ways, and I have just purchased a house in the beautiful town of H——, where you and I met for the first time. This house I have remodelled into a summer residence; and Mrs. Gault and myself, with two or three friends, intend going up tomorrow for a two-months’ stay. Now, my proposition is this: when you get ready to return, take a train on the Fitchburg Railroad, and go by the way of Albany and the Hudson river. Stop off at the little station of C——, and come up to H——, and spend a day with your old friend. I will meet you at the station myself. Nothing would give me greater pleasure, and I know the lady who was once your client would unite with me in the invitation.”
“The temptation is too great to resist,” I responded, after a moment’s reflection, “and I accept with pleasure.”
A week later I alighted from Christopher Gault’s carriage at the door of a beautiful summer cottage, not a mile from where my vacation had been spent in ’79. His own groom led the horse to the stable, and Mrs. Gault met us on the veranda. She welcomed me in her charming manner, making a pleasant allusion as she did so to our first meeting as attorney and client. We chatted pleasantly for a half hour, when a bell announced that dinner was ready, and we repaired to the dining-room, where a meal was served, simply, but most tastefully. “Now,” said Mr. Gault, as we rose from the table, “perhaps you have in mind the promised explanation of my rather precipitate departure from this attractive region some time ago; and, if Mrs. Gault will excuse us, we will take a little walk.
“You will remember,” he began, as we walked leisurely down the well-shaded path in the narrow country road, “that two years ago I showed to you a picture of a lady whom we have just left. You also remember that, while I gave you to understand that we were strongly attached to each other, I was very far from being enthusiastic about it as a young lover might be. You did not know the reason then, but it was simply a question of blood.
“In the year 1795 flagrant act of treason was committed against the Government of Great Britain and His Majesty King George III. My great-grandfather was then a large property holder, not far from London, and he figured prominently in public affairs.
“Although he had always been of irreproachable character, trusted and respected, yet the circumstances were such that suspicion was turned towards him. A certain officer in the king’s army appeared and declared himself ready to testify as a witness to treasonable acts and words on the part of my great-grandfather. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and the process was about to be served when it was discovered that he had fled. Then his house was searched, and in it was found strong corroborative evidence. This was nothing less than letters, which, if genuine, proved without the shadow of doubt that he was guilty. There was no one to appear in defence of the accused, and he was convicted. As he was not to be found within the king’s domains, judgment of outlawry was pronounced against him as a fugitive from justice. Then followed those dreadful attendant penalties; confiscation of his estate and the terrible ‘attainder and corruption of blood.’ His only son was in America at the time, and, disgraced and with prospects blighted by the news of his father’s downfall, he resolved never to return. Twelve years ago this son’s youngest daughter, my beloved mother, died, leaving me with little else than barely means enough to finish my education, and a good amount of ambition.
“Although we lived in a republic where attainder is unknown in the laws of the land, still my mother felt the disgrace keenly. She never believed implicitly, however, that her grandfather was really guilty of the crime for which he was convicted. In fact, after his sentence had been pronounced, there were strong reasons for believing that he was not in England at all at the time of the treason, and his son never ceased in his unavailing efforts to find his whereabouts.
“The Crabshaw family had always been warm friends of ours, and, although they had brought from England many British ideas and counted much on loyalty, yet they were always ready to appreciate any true worth. After I was left alone I valued their friendship highly. I was always welcome at Mr. Crabshaw’s house. Cecilia and I were companions in study, and almost before I knew it we were—in love. As I found this sentiment strengthening I grew alarmed; for, although no allusion to my family disgrace had ever been made in my presence, I was aware that Mr. Crabshaw knew the history well, and that the thought of an alliance with the house of Crabshaw would be folly. It was at that time that my mother’s belief in her grandfather’s innocence became more strongly impressed upon me, and I formed the purpose, almost hopeless though it seemed, of establishing the truth of this belief. The idea grew upon me. I found myself getting nervous, and for the sake of my health I came here two years ago to find relaxation in trout fishing and the study of nature.”
We had walked during the relation of my friend’s narrative along the road often travelled by me before, and which led to the three shattered elms and the old cellar. We sat down beneath the shade of the trees once more to rest, and as we did so Gault took from his pocket the old knife which two years before had been discovered in the grass-grown cellar.
“There,” said he, holding it before my eyes, “there is the name on the handle that you read for the first time,—’Samuel Wickham,’—and you can imagine my feelings when I tell you that that was the name of my great-grandfather. When you told me that Deacon Thompson had a record of this long past tragedy you doubtless remember the intense eagerness with which I hastened to find him.
“In the diary was distinctly recorded the burning of the house, March 4, 1795. If Samuel Wickham was guilty of the crime it was utterly impossible that he should have been out of England at that time. From that moment my cherished belief became a settled conviction. My means were limited, but I resolved to visit England at once, and, if possible, substantiate the evidence found so unexpectedly under these elms; not that I expected to obtain reversal of a sentence pronounced in a court of law over eighty years ago, but Cecelia Crabshaw should know that my blood was not tainted by an ancestor’s crime. I can assure you that I thought much more than I slept that night.
“The next day, as you know, I went back to Boston, and a month later was in England. I went directly to S——, and there found the old mansion, once the rightful property of my great-grandfather. I found proof that he sailed for New York, January 23, 1795. But that was not all. The old Wickham mansion had stood for years unoccupied. I learned that after its forfeiture to the crown the whole estate had been granted for life as a reward to the young officer who had brought to the government the evidence of its former owner’s treason. By him it was occupied for some thirty years; then he suddenly disappeared. After that the estate was sold to an eccentric and wealthy bachelor, who built a superb residence thereon, letting the old mansion remain closed. Very recently he had died, leaving no will and no heirs, and the estate again escheated to the crown.
“I was very anxious to search the old mansion, and readily obtained permission to enter. It was built in the time of Elizabeth, and was a large building, similar in architecture to many others built in the sixteenth century in this part of England. As I entered the deserted building a strange feeling of desolation took possession of me. Hardly a human being had been within its walls for fifty years. The dust lay deep on the bare oaken floor, and almost muffled the sound of my footsteps. On one exquisitely carved panel appeared, in defiance of attempts to destroy it, the Wickham coat-of-arms.
“I was searching for nothing in particular, but everything had to me a fascinating interest, and I opened every door and examined every nook and shelf. In one room I came across an antique oaken desk. As I pulled open one of its drawers a half-dozen scared spiders fled before the intruding rays of light. In the drawer there was a small wooden box. There was nothing in this box but a sheet of paper, folded and sealed, and addressed to the attorney-general of England. I hesitated a moment, and then broke it open with excited curiosity. It was the most thrilling moment of my life. Even now, as I tell you this story, I feel the same thrill go through me as when my eyes ran over that page. It was nothing more nor less than a written confession of,—first, treason against the crown of England; and, second, perjury and false witness against Samuel Wickham. It was signed by the officer who appeared against him, and was witnessed by two parties. Strange to say, both of these parties were still living, and able to attest the validity of their signatures and the genuineness of the other. They had merely witnessed this signature at the time, without being aware of the nature of the document.
“The excitement and delight which followed this discovery were so great that I could do nothing at all for a time. I then engaged the services of an able barrister, and within six months the judgment of outlawry, forfeiture, attainder, and corruption of blood, pronounced eighty-five years ago upon Samuel Wickham by the Court of the King’s Bench, was, upon a writ of error, reversed by the Court of the King’s Exchequer. I then proved that I was the only surviving heir of the wrongfully convicted man, and in a short time the estate became mine. After consideration I decided best not to keep the property, and just before my departure from England I sold it for ninety-two thousand pounds sterling. Four months after my return Cecilia married a man whose blood was, at least, free from the inherited taint of treason.
“And now, my dear fellow, you have the story. To be sure there are some things connected with it not entirely clear; as, for instance, why did my ancestor leave England when he did, and how came he to be travelling over these hills? And, in regard to the traitorous officer, where did he go after he had written the letter of confession?—that is a question, although it has been said that he fled to America and settled in Virginia.”
“What was this officer’s name?”
“His name was Richard Anthony Treadwell, and he was major of the seventh regiment of cavalry.”
The sudden mention of this name brought me to my feet. My surprise was so great that for a moment I could say nothing. Then I said, coolly, “I have Major Treadwell’s commission in my pocket.” Gault stared at me in blank amazement. I drew from my pocket the old document found in the little house in Virginia after the death of Nancy Blake, and handed it to him. I had put it in my pocket just before I left Washington, intending to at last give it to its owner.
He took the paper and glanced at the name. “Where did you get this?” he exclaimed, bewildered with astonishment.
I briefly related the circumstances.
“Well,” said Gault, “this is a wonderful coincidence; it is the most remarkable thing that I ever knew. The traitor, it seems, is still in my family, but not on my side of the house. Fortunately for me, however, I do not share my excellent father-in-law’s sentiments on the subject of ‘blood,’ and this singular discovery regarding my wife’s great-great-grandfather will not disturb me in the least. Now,” he continued, “this remarkable sequel of a remarkable case is known by you and me only, and we may as well let it rest here. It would be a terrible shock to Mr. Crabshaw, with all his proud ideas regarding everything of this kind, to know that his own daughter was descended from one who had been an actual traitor, and I shall never inflict the suffering which such a revelation would cause him. This historic place has given me one relic which led to all my success, and now I will pay it back with another relic for which I have no further use.”
As he said this he tore into shreds the old commission and threw them into the ancient cellar.
* * * * *
A ROMANCE OF COLONIAL DAYS.
By Frances C. Sparhawk, Author of “A Lazy Man’s Work.”
THE ARMY SAILS.
Winter was over by the calendar. But neither the skies nor the thermometer agreed with that. Spring could not bring forward evidences of her reign while her predecessor’s snowy foot was still planted upon the earth, and showed no haste to get under it. The season had been unusually mild, but it lingered, fighting the battle with its last reserve forces, the breath of the icebergs that came rushing up the harbor like the charge of ten thousand bayonets. Military comparisons were frequent at that time, for the thoughts of New England were bent upon war. Governor Shirley had pressed his measure well. Defeated in the secret conclave of the General Court, he had attacked the Legislature through a petition signed by merchants in Boston and Salem who urged re-consideration. Before February the measure had passed by a majority of one. No student of history can ever despair of the power of one voice or one will. The measure had not passed until the end of January. But public enthusiasm had mounted high, and now while March had still a week to run, the last transports were ready to sail out of the harbor to meet the others at Nantasket Roads, and thence proceed to Canso, where they were to remain and receive supplies until the ice should clear from the harbor. Then to Louisburg.
It might be said that the troops had tiptoed through the state to the music of muffled drums, so much stress had been laid upon secrecy, and so much the success of the expedition depended upon it. No vessels were permitted to sail toward Louisburg, lest they should carry the news of the intended attack. Government and people united their efforts to give the expedition every chance. It was well that telegraph and telephone were not to the front then.
But the pressure of public affairs could not keep hearts from being heavy over private griefs. Archdale was wounded both in his affection and his pride, for Katie had refused to marry him on the anniversary of that frustrated wedding, or, indeed, at all, at present. She said that it would be too sudden, that she must first have a little time to regard Stephen as a lover. “But I’ve never been anything else,” he said. Katie insisted that she had been training herself to regard him as Elizabeth’s husband. And to his reply that if she were so foolish, she must not make him pay for her folly, she asserted with spirit that no one had ever spoken so to her before. In truth, Lord Bulchester’s assiduous humility did make the directness of Stephen Archdale seem like assertion to her; and Katie was
One thing, however, was clear, that Stephen lost his peace of mind without even the poor satisfaction of being sure that the state of affairs was such as to make that necessary. Katie was a coquette, but he felt that coquetry was fascinating only when one were sure of the right side being turned toward himself, sure that it was another man’s heart, and not his own that was being played with. He had not come to confessing to himself that in any case it was ignoble. So he waited while the winter wore on, and March found him still betrothed to Katie and still at her feet though in a mood that threatened danger. For after asserting that she needed time to adapt herself to the altered condition of things, she had found a new objection. She did not want to marry and have her husband go off to the war before the honeymoon was over; she preferred to wait until he returned. “Do you really mean to marry me at all?” he asked. “Stephen!” she cried tearfully. “Do you realize what I have suffered!” The tears and the appeal conquered him, and for the moment he felt himself a brute.
But when cool judgment came back to him, Katie’s conduct looked always more and more unsatisfactory. She certainly was not thinking of his wishes now. He knew that no other human being could have kept him in this position, and while he chafed at it, he made every possible excuse for her, even to condoning a certain childishness which he told himself this proved. Since she was loyal, what mattered a little tantalizing of himself? Still Stephen wavered between his pride and his love. The first told him to end this child’s play, to marry Katie if she would have him, but tell her it was now or never. Love put off this evil day, and it may be that his love had a touch of pride in it also, that he did not fancy being superseded by Bulchester.
Then came the expedition.
The streets of Boston were thronged with a crowd of serious faces. One vessel after another had slipped quietly off to the Roads. But the last of the fleet was here. And not only the friends of the soldiers, but friends of the cause, and lookers-on had assembled. The whole city seemed to be there.
When Elizabeth with her father and Mrs. Eveleigh drove up, the embarkation was nearly over, and some of the transports were already standing off to sea. The largest vessel, however, was still at the pier, and as Elizabeth looked at the troops marching steadily on board, she saw Archdale near the gangway. He seemed to be in command. She watched him a moment with a feeling of sadness. Who could tell that he would ever come back, that youth and prowess might not prove too weak for the sword of the enemy or for some stray shot? How lightly Mr. Edmonson had spoken of such a thing! She did not know whom he had been talking of, but his tone was mocking. He paid people in society more attention than Archdale did, he certainly was more kind and interested in all that concerned herself. And yet, in an emergency, if a call came for self-denial, or devotion to honor, was it Edmonson to whom she would appeal?
Since her freedom the latter had not failed to press his suit eagerly, and he had endeavored to conceal the fury that possessed him when he became convinced that she meant her refusal. He had not succeeded very well in this, and Elizabeth had caught another glimpse of his inner life. She did not believe in his professions of regard for her, but she did believe thoroughly in these glimpses of character. She had been courteous, but he had made her shrink from him. Since the last refusal, for he had not been content with one, she had met him only in society, but here he was constantly near her, really because he was fascinated by her. But to her it seemed under the circumstances like a persecution. She thought of him none the more pleasantly because she met him at every turn. His assiduity meant to her a desire to marry a rich wife. Since his conduct at Colonel Archdale’s house she had remembered that she was considered an heiress. She did not believe in Edmonson’s capacity for affection for any woman. Here she was mistaken. The young man was as much in love with her as he knew how to be, and that was passionately, if not deeply.
Twice Archdale had been to see her with Katie who was spending the winter with her aunt in Boston. With those exceptions Elizabeth had seen nothing of him, although he had been frequently in the city. He had been very much occupied by military matters, and, apart from these, not in a mood for general society. Until this morning of the embarkation Elizabeth had not caught a glimpse of him for a month. She remembered it as she looked at him and saw a certain fixedness in his face.
A sudden consciousness of observation made her turn her eyes toward the middle of the boat. They met Edmonson’s looking at her intently. Bowing to him, she dropped her own, and before his greeting of her was over, she turned to speak to her father.
But she said only a few words to him, and began again to watch the soldiers. How many of these strong men would come back uncrippled? And a good many would not come back at all. But as she looked at them filing through the gangway, the sense of numbers, and of strength, swept back the possibilities of evil, and instead of the embarkation, she seemed to see before her the rush of the troops to the fortress, as Governor Shirley had planned it all, the splendid attack, the defense gallant though useless, the stormy entrance, and the English flag floating over the battlements of Louisburg. The bloodshed and the agony were lost sight of, it was the vision of conquest and the thought of the royal colors floating over the stronghold of French America that flushed her cheek and kindled her eyes.
Archdale watching her felt like holding his breath, lest in some way he should disturb her and lose this glimpse of character. She was looking out to sea. He felt sure that, although she had just smiled and bowed she had already forgotten him again. It was nothing connected with himself that had brought such a look to her face. But here were some of the possibilities of this noble girl, Katie’s friend. Sweeping his glance further on as he stood there, he had reason to feel that Elizabeth was much more deeply interested in the expedition than Katie was. The latter had given him her farewell in her uncle’s house, to be sure. But now she seemed to have quite forgotten that he might never come back. Any public exhibition of sentiment would have been as distasteful to him as to her, but he had expected a little gravity. He thought as he stood there that perhaps he had been uncourteous in not going to say farewell to Elizabeth to whom he was so much indebted. But it was the consciousness of this that had prevented him. He could not bear to see her until he had returned that money put into the Archdale firm under a mistaken supposition; for not only was Elizabeth not his wife, but Katie for whom she assured him that she had done this, might never be. He looked at his betrothed again in the crowd, and something like scorn came into his face, a scorn that stung himself more deeply than its unconscious object.
As to this money of Elizabeth’s, he had not yet been able to make his father return it. The Colonel had declared that he could pay a better per cent. than she could get elsewhere, and would do it. He had assured Mr. Royal of this, and the latter seemed content. But Stephen looking back to Elizabeth again, could not keep from thinking about the money and wishing that it were out of his hands. Yet, with this undercurrent of thought, he at the same time was seeing in her face a beauty that possibly did not wholly vanish with her mood, but lay half hidden behind reserve, and waited the touch of the power that could call it forth.
Edmonson’s voice, speaking to one of the officers, reached him at the moment. Elizabeth moved her head. Instinctively he watched to see if she turned toward the speaker. No, it was toward himself that she was looking with a smile of farewell. He bowed eagerly, decidedly, for by this time the troops had all embarked, the plank was up, and he was free for the moment.
He bowed to Elizabeth. But the next instant she saw him looking intently at some one behind her in the crowd, and she felt sure that Katie was giving him her silent farewell. While she dropped her eyes as if this parting were not for strangers to watch, the shouts of the crowd on shore and the cheers of the soldiers marked the widening space between ship and shore.
When Mr. Royal’s horses were turned about, Elizabeth found that Katie Archdale had been almost directly behind. She was with her aunt and uncle. Kenelm Waldo sat beside her, while Lord Bulchester with one foot on the ground and the other on the step of the carriage, talked from the opposite side. Katie turned readily from one to the other, and if she intercepted an angry glance, her eyes grew brighter and her brilliant smile deepened. Her laugh was not forced, it came with that musical ripple which had always added so much to her fascination.
Elizabeth caught it as she passed with a bow, and a grave face. After all, she thought, Katie could not have seen Mr. Archdale the moment before.
It was a beautiful morning, warmer than May mornings usually are in Boston. But the warm sunshine that came into the drawing-room where Katie Archdale was seated was unheeded. Katie was still at her uncle’s and that morning, as she had been very many mornings of late, was much occupied with a visitor who sat on the sofa beside her with an assumption of privilege which his diffident air at times failed to carry out well.
“Are you quite sure, Lord Bulchester?” she asked. And her voice had a touch of tremulousness, so inspiring to lovers.
“Sure? Am I sure?” he asked, his little figure expanding in his earnestness, his face aglow with an emotion which gave dignity to his plain features. “Sure that I love you?” he repeated wonderingly. “How could anybody help it?”
“Then its not any especial discernment in you?” Her tones had the softness of a coquetry about to lose itself in a glad submission to a power higher than its own.
“No,” he sighed. “And, yet, it is some special discernment. For, if not, why should I love you better than anyone else does?”
“Do you?” The arch glance softened to suit his mood, half bewildered him with ecstasy. To the music of them the drawing-room seemed to heighten and broaden before his eyes, and to lengthen out into vistas of the halls and parks of his own beautiful home, Lyburg Chase, and through them all, Katie moved, and gave them a new charm. And, then, he seemed to be in different places on the Continent, among the Swiss Mountains, beside the Italian lakes, in gay Paris, and every where Katie moved by his side, and gave new life to the familiar scenes.
“Give me my answer to-day,” he cried; “for to-day my treasure, you are sure of yourself, to-day you know that you love me.”
Katie’s face changed, as the sky changes when a rift of blue that promised a smiling day is swallowed up again in the midst of uncertain weather; whatever softness lingered was veiled by doubt. “I don’t know,” she said hesitatingly, “I’m not sure yet. I can’t tell. Must you have your answer to-day?” And she looked at him half defiantly. An expression of bitter disappointment swept over Bulchester’s face and seemed actually to affect his whole personality, for he appeared to shrink into himself until there was less of him. “You see,” Katie went on, “between you I am driven, I am tossed; I don’t even know what I feel. How can I? Poor Stephen, you know, has loved me all my life, and one does not easily forget that, Lord Bulchester. He does have a claim, you know.”
“Only your preference has any claim,” he answered in a voice of entreaty.
“Yes,” she said, and sighed. The assent and the sigh completely puzzled him. Were they for himself, or for Stephen Archdale? Had she already chosen without being willing to speak, or was she still hesitating? In either case, the decision was equally momentous, the only question was of lengthening or shortening the suspense of waiting for it.
“Then take your time,” he answered drearily, “and I will leave you, I will go and hide my impatience. You must not be tortured.”
“No,” returned the girl with a low sigh. At that instant she turned her face away from him toward the window, a knock at the door being the ostensible reason. But if anyone had seen the smile with which she received the assurance that she was not to be tortured, he would have believed that there was no imminent danger of it. Had it been a question of torturing,—that was another thing. When she turned a grave face toward Lord Bulchester again he had risen. “No, No,” she cried. “Don’t go, sit down, I would rather have you here, for a time at least. It’s Elizabeth,—Mistress Royal.” Her tones threw the listener from dreariness into despair. A moment since he thought he had her assurance that his own claims were seriously considered. And, now, what could give her manner this nervousness, but the fact that her attachment to Archdale was still in force? For Bulchester had learned from her that since her arrested wedding Elizabeth had always been associated in her mind with Stephen. She was so in his own also, for this reason, and another. The young man sat down again. It was not consistent with his feelings, nor his knowledge of affairs, and, still less, with his character to perceive that Katie’s conscience troubled her a little.
Elizabeth had always found likable things in Lord Bulchester: and although she had been indignant at his taking advantage of the position of affairs to try to win Katie, she had owned to herself that he was not responsible for such position, and ought not to have been expected to feel about as she did. And now that Katie and Stephen Archdale were once more united, Elizabeth felt a deep pity for Bulchester, and believed that he was behaving well in being manly enough to have won Katie’s respect and friendship. No shadow of doubt of her friend’s loyalty to Stephen crossed her mind. And nothing gave her warning that out of this morning visit in which there would be said and done no single thing that would seem at the time of any consequence, would come results that would influence her life.
The conversation, after ranging about a little turned upon the quiet that had settled down upon the city, now that the excitement of fitting out the expedition was over. Elizabeth said that it seemed to her the hush of anxiety and expectation, for it was felt that the fate of the country hung upon the issue. Whether New England were still English in government or became French provinces depended more upon the fate of Louisburg than anybody liked to confess.
“I don’t believe there’s any danger of our being French provinces,” said Katie.
“I ought to have put it that we fight the battle there or in our own home,” said Elizabeth. Then as they went on to speak of the soldiers, she said suddenly to Bulchester: “What does your lordship do without Mr. Edmonson?” The latter shifted his foot on the floor uneasily.
“I suppose you think that I ought to have gone too,” he said half in apology, “but—,” He looked at Katie and his face brightened: she was not a woman to blame him because his love for her had kept him at home. He did not linger upon the other part of the truth, that he was not fond of war in any event. “I have helped in my small way,” he said. “Don’t believe me quite without patriotism.” Elizabeth looked surprised.
“I did not mean that at all,” she answered. “I was not thinking of it, but only that you had been so much with Mr. Edmonson, that you must miss him.”
“I don’t know,” answered Bulchester. After a moment’s hesitation he added, “I see you look surprised: the intimacy between us seemed to you close?”
“Why, yes, it did,” assented Elizabeth, “very close. But I don’t see why I should say so, or how it should be any affair of mine.”
Bulchester looked uncomfortable. “All the same,” he answered, “you are judging me, and thinking me disloyal, and that it is a strange time to forget one’s friendship when the friend has gone to peril life for his country.”
“Perhaps something like that did come to me,” confessed Elizabeth.
“You can’t judge,” pursued the other eagerly, speaking to Elizabeth, but thinking of the impression that this might be making upon Katie. “There are things I cannot explain, things that have made me draw away from Edmonson. It is not because he has gone to the war and I have found reason to stay at home. There are impressions that come sometimes like dreams, you can’t put them into words. But without being able to do that, you are sure certain things are so. No, not sure.” He stopped again. It was impossible to explain.
“Don’t stop there,” cried Katie. “How tantalizing. Either you should not have begun, or you ought to go on. You must,” she insisted with a gesture of impatience, while her eyes met his with a smile that always conquered him.
“I’ve nothing to say,—that is, there is nothing I can say. One doesn’t betray one’s friends. But Edmonson—” He halted again.
“Yes, but Mr. Edmonson,” she repeated, “is a delightful man when one is on a frolic. What else about him?”
The girl frowned. “Very well,” she said. “Everybody trusts Mistress Royal. I understand it is I who am unworthy of your confidence. As you please.”
“You!” he cried. “You unworthy of my confidence!” There was consternation in his tones. “You?” he repeated, looking at her helplessly. The idea was too much for him.
“Certainly. Or you would at least tell us what you mean about Mr. Edmonson, even if your former friendship for him—that is supposing it gone now—prevented you from going into details.” She spoke earnestly and wondered as she did so why she had never felt any curiosity before as to the break of the intimacy between Edmonson and his friend, for, evidently, there had been a coolness, something more than mere separation. As Elizabeth sat looking at his perturbed face, an old legend crossed her mind. “Mr. Edmonson has lost his shadow,” she thought; and it seemed ominous to her.
“There are no details,” answered the earl. “Nothing has happened. If you imagine I have quarrelled with him, you are mistaken. Nothing of the sort. There were reasons, as I have said, to keep me at home, and he had no claim upon me to accompany him. Besides, there’s a something, that as I said, I can’t put into words, and I may be entirely wrong. But Edmonson is a terrible fellow at times. One day he—.” Then Bulchester stopped abruptly, and began a new sentence. “I know nothing,” he said. “I have nothing to tell, only I fear, because if he wants anything, he must have it through every obstacle. When he takes the bits between his teeth, Heaven only knows where he will bring up, and Heaven hasn’t much to do with the direction of his running, I imagine. Sometimes one would rather not ride behind him.” As he finished, his eyes were on Elizabeth’s face, and it seemed as if he were speaking especially for her. But in a moment as they met hers full of inquiry, he dropped them and looked disturbed.
“You are frightfully mysterious,” cried Katie.
“Not at all,” he entreated. “There is no mystery anywhere. I never said anything about mysteries. Please don’t think I spoke of such a thing.”
“Yes, you are very mysterious,” she insisted. “Nobody can help seeing that you know evil of your friend, and don’t want to tell it. I dare say it’s to your credit. But, all the same, it’s tantalizing.”
Not even her commendation could keep a sharp anxiety from showing itself on Bulchester’s face. “I have said nothing,” he answered, “it all might happen and he have no concern in it—, I mean,” he caught himself back with a startled look and then went on with an assumption of coolness, “I mean exactly what I say, Mistress Archdale, simply that Edmonson does not please me so much as he did before I saw better people. But I assure you that this has no connection with any special thing that he has done.”
“Or may do?” asked Elizabeth.
“Or that I believe he will do,” he answered resolutely. But it was after an instant’s hesitation which was not lost upon one of his listeners who sat watching him gravely, and in a moment as if uttering her thought aloud, said,
“That is new; he used to please you entirely.”
Bulchester fidgetted, and glanced at Katie who had turned toward the speaker. There was no need, he thought, of bringing out his past infatuation so plainly. In the light of a new one, it looked absurd enough to him not to want to have it paraded before one of his present companions at least. But Elizabeth had had no idea of parading his absurdities; for when he said apologetically that one learned in time to regulate his enthusiasms, she looked at him with surprise, as if roused, and answered that the ability to be a good friend was the last thing to need apology. Then she sat busy with her own thoughts.
“What, the mischief, is she after?” thought the young man watching her as Katie talked, and there must have been strong reason that could have diverted his mind in any degree from Katie. “Is it possible she has struck my uncanny suspicion? If she has, she’s cool about it. No, it’s impossible; I’ve buried it fathoms deep. Nobody could find it. It’s too evil a suspicion, too satanical, ever to be brought to light. I wish to Heaven, though, I had never run across it, it makes me horribly uncomfortable.” Then he turned to Katie, but soon his thoughts were running upon Elizabeth again. “She’s one of those people,” he mused, “that you think don’t notice anything, and all at once she’ll score a hit that the best players would be proud of. I can’t make her out. But I hardly think Edmonson would have everything quite his own way. Pity he can’t try it. I’d like to see it working. And perhaps some day—.” So, he tried to put away from him a suggestion, which, dwelt upon, gave him a sense of personal guilt, because, only supposing this thing came that Edmonson had hinted at, it would be an advantage to himself. He shivered at the suggestion; there was no such purpose in reality, he was sure of it. Edmonson only talked wildly as he had a way of doing. The very thought seemed a crime to Bulchester. If he really believed, he ought to speak. But he did not believe, and he could hardly denounce his friend on a vagary. Still, he was troubled by Elizabeth’s evident pondering, and was glad to have the conversation turned into any channel that would sweep out thoughts of Edmonson from their minds.
As this was done and he turned fully to Katie again, a new mood, the effect of her sudden indifference, came over him. A few moments ago she had been almost fond, now she was languidly polite. Hope faded away from all points of his horizon. An easterly mist of doubt was creeping over him. His egotism at its height was only a mild satisfaction in his social impregnability and was readily overpowered by the recollection of personal defects to which he was acutely alive. In the atmosphere of Katie’s coolness, he forgot his earldom and thought disconsolately of his nose. He was disconcerted, and after a few embarrassed words took his leave. It never occurred to him as a consolation that his tones and glances were growing a little too loverlike to be safely on exhibition before Elizabeth who had not noticed them in the moments that Bulchester had forgotten his caution, but who, as Katie knew, might wake up to the fact at any glance. Elizabeth bade him farewell kindly, she pitied his disappointment, and thought that he bore it well. But as she watched his half-timorous movements, she believed that even had her own marriage ceremony turned out to be a reality. Lord Bulchester would have had no chance with a girl who had been loved by Stephen Archdale whose wooing was as full of intrepidity as his other acts.
“Well! What are you thinking of?” asked Katie meeting her earnest gaze.
“Do you want me to tell you?”
“I was wondering why you tortured him. Why don’t you send him away at once, and forever?”
Katie laughed unaimiably. “He seems to like the torturing,” she said. Then she looked at Elizabeth in a teasing way. “Some girls would prefer him to Stephen, you know,” she added.
“You mean because he has a title? You can’t think of any other reason.”
“Oh, of course I don’t, my Archdale champion. How strange that you trust me so little, Elizabeth!”
“Trust you so little, Katie? Why, if any other girl did as you are doing, I should say she was playing false with her betrothed, and meant to throw him over. I never imagine such a thing of you. I only feel that you are very cruel to Lord Bulchester.”
Katie cast down her eyes for a moment. “Some things are beyond our control,” she answered.
“Not things like these,” said Elizabeth. “Since you have suffered yourself, I don’t understand why you want to make other people suffer.”
“Don’t you?” returned the girl. “That’s just the reason, I suppose. Why should I be alone? But I shall be done with playing by and by, Elizabeth.”
“Yes, I know, Katie,” the girl answered. “I trust you.”
Again Katie looked down for a moment, looked up again, this time into the face of her friend, and sighed lightly. “Don’t think me better than I am, Betsey,” she implored, the dimples about her mouth effectually counteracting the pathos of her tones. And at the words she put up her lips with a childlike air to her companion. Elizabeth’s arms folded impulsively about her, and held her for a moment in an embrace that seemed at once to guard, and caress, and brood over her. Then she drew away, and sat beside her with a quietness that seemed like a wish to make her sudden evidence of strong feeling forgotten.
“Betsey, my dear,” said Katie softly, “you’re so good. I have seemed different to you sometimes. You must not expect me to be like you.”
“I should not have done half so well,” said Elizabeth hastily.
Katie smiled. After this they sat and talked some time longer; it was the first free interview that they had had since their estrangement was over, and Elizabeth’s voice had a happy ring in it. After a time, Katie began to give an account of some gathering at which she had been present. At the sound of Lord Bulchester’s name, among the guests, Elizabeth’s attention wandered. She began to think of the young’s man’s strange reticence respecting Edmonson, and evident uneasiness about something connected with him. Why were they not friends still? Was it on account of this unknown something? All at once the light of conviction flashed over her face. She perceived at least one cause of the separation. Bulchester’s attentions to Katie were distasteful to Edmonson, for he wanted Katie to marry Stephen Archdale, because he feared lest Elizabeth should grow fond of him, lest Stephen should come to find a fortune convenient. Elizabeth’s unaided perceptions would never have reached this point; but in Edmonson’s anger at her second refusal of him he had dared to intimate such a thing, so darkly, to be sure, that she had not seen fit to understand him, but plainly enough to throw light upon the estrangement of the two men. “Distasteful,” was a light word to use in speaking of anything that Edmonson did not like; his feelings were so strong that he seemed always ready to be vindictive. Her feeling toward him for this intimation had been anger which had cooled into contempt of a nature like his, ready to find baseness everywhere. The suggestion was no reproach to her, for she had had no thoughts of disloyalty to Katie. As she sat there still seeming to listen, suddenly, it seemed to her, for she could not trace its coming, a picture rose before her with the vividness of reality. She saw Archdale and Edmonson standing together on the deck of the same vessel bound upon the same errand, always together; and she remembered Edmonson’ muttered words, and his face dark with passion over all its fairness.
She went home full of secret trouble, trouble too vague for utterance. Besides what she knew and felt there had been something else that she had not got at, and that disturbed Lord Bulchester. The rest of the day she was more or less abstracted, and went to bed with her mind full of indistinct images brooded over by that vague trouble, the very stuff of which dreams are made. And more than this, out of which the brain in the unconscious cerebration of sleep, sometimes, drawing all the tangled threads into order, weaves from them a web on which is pictured the truth.
[Footnote 5: Copyright, 1884, by Frances C. Sparhawk.]
* * * * *
Growing old! The pulses’ measure
Keeps its even tenor still;
Eye and hand nor fail nor falter,
And the brain obeys the will;
Only by the whitening tresses,
And the deepening wrinkles told,
Youth has passed away like vapor;
Prime is gone, and I grow old.
Laughter hushes at my presence,
Gay young voices whisper lower,
If I dare to linger by it,
All the streams or life run slower.
Though I love the mirth of children,
Though I prize youth’s virgin gold,
What have I to do with either!
Time is telling—I grow old.
Not so dread the gloomy river
That I shrank from so of yore;
All my first of love and friendship
Gather on the further shore.
Were it not the best to join them
Ere I feel the blood run cold?
Ere I hear it said too harshly,
“Stand back from us—you are old!”
_—All the Year Round_.
* * * * *
Many a valuable work has been produced in manuscript by students and other persons of experience in special fields of practice which have never yet been put into type, and perhaps never will, solely because of the poverty of their writers or of the disinclination of publishers in general to take hold of books which do not at the start promise a remuneration. The late Professor Sophocles of Harvard College, left in MS. a Lexicon of Modern Greek and English, which if published would certainly prove a valuable contribution to literature as well as be greatly appreciated by scholars. We are aware of several instances of this sort.
While, in such instances, the authors are to be commiserated, it would be folly to blame the publishers, who, were they to accept for publication every unremunerative manuscript offered to them, would soon cease to be publishers and instead be forced into the alms-houses. It has been suggested that wealthy men can do themselves honor and assist creditably in building up literature by providing the means wherewith deserving, but poor, authors may print their books. Were the suggestion to be carefully weighed, and then, to be adopted, American literature would be made the richer. A great many rich men of the day seem to take great satisfaction in patronizing artists, athletes, actors, and colleges. Why is it not possible to derive as much pleasure in patronizing authors?
While writing on this theme, we are remained that one of the most unsaleable books of the present day is a Town History: and, yet, however crude or dry it may seem to be, it is in reality an exceedingly valuable contribution to our national annals. Such books are as a rule declined by regular publishing houses, and, if published at all, the author is usually out of pocket by reason of his investment. There ought to be public spirit enough in every community to make the opposite of this the rule.
* * * * *
It remains to be seen whether the Hartford Courant and other newspapers of the same proclivities, will ever again wave the “bloody shirt” in the field of politics. This paper, viewing the events of the past month, has repeatedly thanked God (in print) that, “now we have neither North nor South, but one united country.” Few events in ceremonial history, we confess, have been more significant than the presence of two Confederate generals as pall-bearers at the funeral of GENERAL GRANT. This ought, if indeed it does not, to mark the close of the Civil War and of all the divisions and combinations which have had their roots and their justifications in it. The “bloody shirt” can be waved no more, except as an insult to the memory of the late first citizen of the Republic. On what basis, then, are political parties henceforth to rest? What, in the future, will give a meaning to the names Republican and Democrat, or make it national and patriotic for an American citizen to enlist in one of the two organizations and wage political war against the other?
We can detect only three great questions now before the American people. One is the Tariff, the other the reform of the Civil Service, and the last is the problem of labor. It is noticeable that the division of opinion regarding either of these questions does not correspond with the lines of the established parties. There are Protectionists, as also Free Traders, in both parties; both parties are equally puzzled by the labor question; and though the Democratic Party has hitherto been re-actionary on the subject of the Civil Service, a Democratic President is to-day the champion and the hope of Reform. On the whole, it begins to look as if each of the two great parties was in a state of incipient disintegration. On the one hand, the Independent Republicans, whose votes elected Grover Cleveland, although still professing allegiance to the Republican party, will never again ally themselves with those who supported Mr. Blaine. On the other side the Bourbon Democrats, who helped to elect Mr. Cleveland, are now in arms against him. The presidency of Cleveland is to say, the least the triumph of national over party government; and should he continue to go forward bravely in his present course, he may rest assured that the hearts of all good citizens will go with him, and that his triumph will be complete. The day is here when thinking men will have to brush conventionalism aside, and confront with open minds the problem which the course of events has now distinctly set before them for solution.
* * * * *
The records of our own time are being gradually embalmed in a permanent form. MR. BLAINE has given us his first volume of what perhaps are better classed as impressions rather than as memoirs pour servir; we are promised the Personal Memoirs of GENERAL GRANT; and now at last, after many years’ waiting, we have the completed works of CHARLES SUMNER, the incorruptible son of Massachusetts, from the press of Messrs. Lee and Shepard, who have spared no expense as publishers.
People who have not yet examined these volumes, or at least have not yet looked through the volume containing the Index, have but a faint idea of their invaluable worth and character. It would be impossible to write the history of the early life of this people under the constitution without borrowing material from the papers of Hamilton and of Madison. Equally impossible will it be for the future historian to narrate, in just and equable proportion, the events from 1845 to 1874, without consulting the fifteen volumes which Mr. Sumner has left behind him.
But the distinguished senator from Massachusetts was not himself an historian; he was a close and painstaking student of history, as well as a rigid and critical observer of current events. He kept himself thoroughly posted in the progress of his generation, and possessed the happy faculty of seeing things not alone as one within the circle of events but as one standing outside and afar off. Consequently, his orations, senatorial speeches, miscellaneous addresses, letters and papers on current themes are not fraught with the transitory or ephemeral character, so common to heated discussions in legislative halls, but are singularly and as a whole among the grandest contributions to national history and growth.
These volumes cover, as we have already remarked, the period extending from 1845 to 1874, and they furnish a compendium of all the great questions which occupied the attention of the nation during that time, and which were discussed by him with an ability equalled by few and excelled by none of the great statesmen who were his contemporaries. The high position which Mr. Sumner so long and so honorably held as one of the giant minds of the nation,—his intimate connection with and leadership in the great measure of the abolition of slavery, and all the great questions of the civil war and those involved in a just settlement of the same, rendered it a desideratum that these volumes should be published.
Aside from their value as contributions to political history, the works, particularly the orations, of Mr. Sumner belong to the literature of America. They are as far superior to the endless number of orations and speeches which are delivered throughout the country as the works of a polished, talented and accomplished author surpass the ephemeral productions of a day. In one respect these orations surpass almost all others, namely, in the elevation of sentiment, the high and lofty moral tone and grandeur of thought which they possess. The one on the “True Grandeur of Nations” stands forth of itself like a serene and majestic image, cut from the purest Parian marble. There has been no orator in our time, whose addresses approach nearer the models of antiquity, unless it be Webster, whom Sumner greatly surpasses in moral tone and dignity of thought.
The works of a statesman, so variously endowed, and who has treated so many subjects with such a masterly command of knowledge, reasoning, and eloquence, cannot fail to be widely circulated. These elegantly-printed volumes,—which in their typographical appearance seem to rival anything of similar character that have come to our notice,—carefully edited and fully rounded by a copious analytical index of subjects discussed, topics referred to, and facts adduced, will prove an invaluable treasury to the scholar, the historian and the general seeker after truth. The librarians of every city and town library in this country should insist upon having the works of Charles Sumner upon their shelves.
* * * * *
On the 12th of this month will be celebrated the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Concord, Mass. Judge John S. Keyes, whose father performed the same service at the bi-centennial celebration half a century ago, will preside. On the 15th of last May the committee of twenty-five made a report, which merits the attention of committees to be appointed in other towns in New England, on similar occasions. This report reads as follows:
“We have decided that it was not best to placard the town in an endeavor to make history; that with the sum at the disposal of the town, and those of the earliest dates, leaving to the future the memorials, if any, of recent events and more modern times.”
For this purpose, the town appropriated one thousand dollars, and in connection with the celebration, it was suggested, and provided for, that a large fac-simile of the act of incorporation of the town, September 12th, 1635, should be procured and placed in the town hall in such a position that all persons might easily read it. The work of executing suitable memorials, to mark the most important spots in the history of the town, has already been done in a neat manner by a citizen of Concord, and we are informed that all the arrangements for the pleasant events are fully completed.
* * * * *
The following letter was laid on the Editor’s Table the other day:—
“I am a farmer, and I own my farm free and clear. I also have two sons, both smart, capable and trustworthy. As I have been a sturdy and uncompromising Democrat all my life, I think the party ought to do something for at least one of my sons, who is fond of politics. Any appointment in one of the Government offices would suit them. Now, how shall I apply for a position, such as they want?”
No reasonable answer to such an inquiry as this will suit “smart, capable and trustworthy” boys, one of whom “is fond of politics,” and whose father is disposed rather to favor than to discourage their misguided ambition. We venture to hope, however, that their father has lived long enough to become convinced that nothing pays so well on a farm as common sense and hard work, and that the rule holds equally in force in other fields of industry. Our friend seems to have forgotten that although the Democratic party is a very grateful old party, yet it has so much to be grateful for that, it has hardly enough gratitude to go round. He and his two sons can best keep their reverence for the grand old Party undisturbed, by remaining on the farm, aloof from the few millions of others who confidently believe that patriotism will be sooner or later rewarded by a postmastership.
We promise him that if he neglects to follow our wholesome counsel, and instead shall go on, to Washington to seek political gifts, he will return home mad. If he then will look about him, he will understand how this kind of madness works. There is a great deal of it just now.
Farmer’s boys should not seek political gifts. For them there is no occupation so demoralizing as office-seeking, except office-holding. At the best, as a rule, they could become only Government clerks, liable to be turned out after they had served long enough to be spoiled for any other occupation except of a routine character.
The Democratic Party shows its gratitude best when it faces the infuriated office-seeker in his mad career and tells him that there is not even the smallest post-office open for him. It chastens but to save. Even though of Bourbon mould it has profited by experience; it has noted the demoralizing effect of office-holding on the Republicans! If it now and then gratifies the unruly demand of a Mugwump, it is because it knows,—and secretly gloats in the knowledge—that the Mugwumps are liable to rush to destruction during the next four years, and it therefore chooses the lesser evil. The Mugwumps are the guests of the Democratic Party. What a world of consolation for the farmer, always “a sturdy and uncompromising Democrat!”
A final suggestion to our friend,—write to some of the clerks in the Washington departments for information, and learn wisdom from what they say in reply.
* * * * *
The statue of Commodore Perry will be unveiled at Newport, R.I., on September 10th. Colonel John H. Powell will be chief marshal, and Bishop Clark will officiate. All the local societies and military companies, as well as the military at Fort Adams, have been invited to be present. The Secretary of the Navy writes that all the vessels of the training squadron will be here before that time, and that their officers and crews will be in line upon that occasion. The monument will be presented on behalf of the State and city by ex-United States Senator Sheffield, who will make an elaborate address. Governor Wetmore, on behalf of the State, and Mayor Franklin, on behalf of the city, will accept the gift.
* * * * *
August 3.—Pemberton Square was chosen as the site for the new Suffolk County Court House.
* * * * *
On August 3 was celebrated at Middletown, Conn., the centenary of the first Episcopal ordination held in this country. “The clergy met their Bishop at Middletown on Aug. 2, 1785, and after a formal acknowledgment of their Bishop on the part of the clergy, he held an ordination of three candidates from Connecticut—Philo Shelton, Ashbel Baldwin and Henry Vandyck—and one from Maryland, Colin Fergusun.” There was a large attendance of clergymen from various parts of New England.
* * * * *
August 5.—The Washburn Library, erected by the surviving members of the Washburn family, was dedicated at Livermore, Maine. Among the guests present were ex-vice President Hannibal Hamlin, Senator Frye, Mr. E.B. Haskell of the Boston Herald, and Hon. E.B. Washburn, of Illinois who delivered the address. Over a thousand people attended the services.
* * * * *
August 6.—Death of the Hon. John Batchelder, a well known citizen of Lynn, Mass, at the age of eighty. He was a native of Topsfield, Mass., but went to Lynn when a young man. He taught school in Ward 5 for thirty years previous to 1855, and was elected to the Massachusetts senate that year. He was also in the same year elected city clerk and collector of taxes. He was re-elected to the senate in 1856 and 1857. He was the first treasurer of the Lynn Five Cents Savings Bank. He afterward taught the Ward 6 Grammar School, and held that position ten years, and then became a member of the school board. The last office held by him was that of postmaster, being appointed by President Grant in 1869.
* * * * *
At a meeting of the Battle Monument Association, held at Bennington, Vt., on the 12th of August, there were present Governor Pingree, who presided, Senators Evarts and Morrill, Professor Perry of Yale College, Lieutenant Governor Ormsbee of Brandon, and other gentlemen. The report of the special committee was read, and a resolution passed accepting the design of J.P. RINN, of Boston for a Battle Monument. A committee was then appointed to report the details to the President of the United States and the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which action will entitle the Association to receive the appropriations made by Congress and the Legislatures of these states for the monument. The fund now amounts to $80,000.
* * * * *
On August 12th, General HENRY KEMBLE OLIVER died in Salem, Mass., at the advanced age of eighty-five years. He was born in Beverly, Mass., Nov. 24, 1800, a son of Rev. Daniel Oliver and Elizabeth Kemble; was educated in the Boston Latin School, and Harvard College (for two years) and was graduated from Dartmouth College. After his graduation, he settled in Salem, and as Principal of the High and Latin Schools, and also of a private school, he was virtually at the head of the educational interests of the town for a quarter of a century. In 1848, he moved to Lawrence, Mass., to become agent of the Atlantic Mills. While living in Lawrence, he was appointed superintendent of schools, and in recognition of his services the “Oliver Grammar School” was founded.
At an early day General Oliver became interested in military affairs as an officer of the Salem Light Infantry and in 1844 he was made Adjutant General of the Commonwealth, by Gov. Briggs, and held this office for four years. During the war he served with great satisfaction as Treasurer of the Commonwealth, and performed the most arduous duties in a very faithful and acceptable manner. From 1869 to 1873 he was chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and ever after that became interested in reducing the hours of labor in factories and in the limitation of factory work by children. From 1876 to 1880 he was mayor of Salem, and displayed almost the same vivacity and energy in discharging the duties of this office, as an octogenarian, that he had shown in his youth. He was master of the theory and history of music, a good bass singer, a good organist, and the author of several popular compositions. Of these “Federal Street” seems likely to become permanent in musical literature. In his youth he sang in the Park street church in Boston and for many years he led the choir of the North church in Salem. “Oliver’s Collection of Church Music” is one of the results of his labors in this direction. In conjunction with Dr. Tuckerman he published the “National Lyre.” He was a member of the old Handel and Hayden Society and the Salem Glee Club, both famous musical organizations of his early days. In 1825 General Oliver married Sally, daughter of Captain Samuel Cook, by whom he had two sons and five daughters, as follows: Colonel S.C. Oliver, Dr. H.K. Oliver, Jr., Sarah Elizabeth, who married Mr. Bartlett of Lawrence, and who died about four years ago, Emily Kemble, who is the wife of Colonel Andrews, U.S.A., Mary Evans Oliver, who has been the faithful attendant of the general in his declining years, and Ellen Wendell, who married Augustus Cheever of North Andover.
* * * * *
August 13.—Boxford, Mass. celebrated its bi-centennial. Among the addresses was one by Sidney Perley, author of the “History of Boxford from 1635 to 1880,” who spoke particularly on the formative period of the history of Boxford, alluding to the fact that Boxford was a frontier in 1635 and was then a wilderness and the fighting ground of the Agawam and Tarantive Indians.
* * * * *
August 19.—Third annual meeting of the American Boynton Association held in Worcester, Mass. The Secretary said that he had been able to trace over three hundred families back to William and John Boynton, who settled in Rowley, Mass., in 1638. They came from Yorkshire, England, and the family there is traced back through thirty generations, to 1067, when their estate was confirmed to them by William, the Conqueror. It was reported that work is being pushed in the preparation of the family memorial to be published.
* * * * *
August 19.—Centennial of Heath, Franklin County, Mass, incorporated February 14, 1785. The celebration had been postponed to August for the sake of convenience. About 2,500 people attended the exercises. The principal addresses were by John H. Thompson, Esq., of Chicago, and Rev. C.E. Dickinson of Marietta, Ohio.
In describing these the Springfield Republican said of the town:—
“In 1832 the population was 1300, but by the census just taken the town shows but 568 inhabitants. This decadence is attributable to emigration and the railroads. Its wealth has consisted chiefly in the men and women who have here been reared and educated for lives of usefulness. Indeed few towns of equal population have sent out so many who have honored themselves and their native town as Heath. Its Puritan characteristics have lingered like a sweet fragrance, and their influences are still felt. From this little hamlet have gone out into other fields a member of Congress, two judges, ten lawyers, thirteen ministers, twenty-nine physicians and many teachers; twenty-three natives have been college graduates, and thirty-eight, not natives have also been collegians. If the women have not occupied as public position as the men, they have been no less useful. Forty-five have graduated from various seminaries and several have become well known missionaries and teachers. It was in this town, too, that Dr. Holland spent his early life.”
* * * * *
August 19.—Twelfth annual gathering of the Needham family, descendants of John Needham, who built the Needham homestead at the cross-roads known as Needham’s Corner on the Lynnfield road at South Peabody, Mass. John Needham was famous in his day and generation as the builder of the solid old stone jail in Salem in 1813, the same massive structure which has just been remodeled. Back of him in the time of the Puritans, there were George Needham and his three brothers and a sister, who came to Salem very early in its infancy, and whose lineal descendants scattered all over New England, John Needham died in 1831 at the age of seventy-three. At the family gathering six generations were represented, and a large number of the branches of the family as well—the Needhams, the Newhalls, the Browns, the Stones, the Nourses, the Galencias and others.
* * * * *
August 26.—Centennial celebration of Rowe, Franklin County, Mass. Like Heath, the town was incorporated in February, 1785. The historical address was by Hon. Silas Bullard of Menasha, Wis.
* * * * *
W.T. Spear has just finished a history of North Adams which he has spent a long time in compiling. He has written the history of the town from the time of its settlement in 1749 to the present time, and says he has gleaned many facts from old town records which have never been published. He will publish his work in small book form and sell it at fifty cents a copy.
* * * * *
F. Wally Perkins, a topographical engineer in the employ of the United States coast and geographical service, is making a geographical survey of the Connecticut river from South Deerfield to its mouth. Part of the expense of this survey is borne by the government and the rest by the state, the object being to locate certain topographical and geological features in the valley.
* * * * *
It has not been definitely stated where in Boston the proposed statue of William Loyd Garrison will be placed, but it will either be in West Chester Park or Commonwealth avenue, with a preference for the latter. The city engineer is now engaged in making plans for the pedestal, which is to be of hammed Quincy granite, about ten feet in height. In the statue Mr. Garrison is represented sitting in an easy chair apparently at peace with all the world, the great struggle in which he was a prominent figure having been brought to an end. Beneath the chair lies a file of the Liberator, which suggests the iron will of the man in his conflict with slavery, and the strength of his purpose is further shown in the following inscription on the side of the pedestal “I am in earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retire a single inch; I will be heard.”
* * * * *
The General Court has a double survival in the State Legislature and the town meeting. And the most curious part of this survival is that the Legislature of this State still retains some judicial functions. It is, we believe, the only State where this is the case. The Legislature of Massachusetts retains the name of the General Court, but contents itself with purely legislative work while our own Legislature is still Supreme Court in equity. This has descended to it as an inheritance from the General Court of colonial times.—New Haven (Conn.)_News_.
* * * * *
From the annual report of Major C.W. Raymond on the improvement of rivers and harbors in Massachusetts it appears that the cost of the improvement of Newburyport harbor during the year was $31,560, and $9,868 remains available. The object of the improvement is to create, at the outer bar, a permanent channel one thousand feet in width, with a least depth of seventeen feet at low water. The amount required for the completion of the project is $205,000, provided the entire sum is appropriated for the next fiscal year. It is proposed to expend the money in the rapid completion of the jetties already under construction.
* * * * *
The proceedings of the Bostonian Society at its annual meeting in January, 1885, have just been published in pamphlet form. It embraces much valuable data. The illustrations consist of a fine heliotype view of the Old State House, from the east end, the home of the Society; and a copy of its well-devised seal, in the heraldic coloring. The experiment of a cheap pamphlet giving a summary historical sketch of the Old State House has been successful, and another similar publication is contemplated.
* * * * *
Rebecca Nourse, who was the first person hanged as a witch at Salem, in 1692, notwithstanding her repeated affirmation of her innocence, has just had a monument erected by her descendants. On one side of it is the legend concerning her, and on the other these lines of the poet Whittier:—
“O Christian martyr, who for truth
When all about thee owned the hideous lie.
The world, redeemed from superstition’s sway,
Is breathing freer for thy sake to-day.”
* * * * *
In his address at the unveiling of Ward’s statue of “The Pilgrim,” erected in Central Park, New York, by the New England Society in the city of New York, Mr. George William Curtis said:—
“Holding that the true rule of religious faith and worship was written in the Bible, and that every man must read and judge for himself, the Puritan conceived the church as a body of independent seekers and interpreters of the truth, dispensing with priests and priestly orders and functions; organizing itself and calling no man master.”
* * * * *
There have been earlier biographies of John Brown, the martyr of Virginia; but by none of them have his character and acts been told so fully and judged so fairly as now by Mr. Sanborn. His later biographer, furthermore, has had access to all the papers and letters, that remain, bearing on Brown’s life, and of these he has made the very best possible use. In the arrangement of the materials at his command, Mr. Sanborn has shown admirable taste and judgment, and, without seeming to be a eulogist, has contented himself with allowing his hero to speak for himself, or rather to plead his own case. Viewing the case as a whole, with its back-ground of antecedent history, no fair-minded person can longer regard John Brown as either an adventurer or as a madman. He was by nature, however, enthusiastic; he believed that he had a mission in this world to fulfil, and that, the freedom of the slaves. This mission he cherished uppermost in his mind, for its accomplishment he labored and suffered incessantly, and for it he died. He lacked one quality,—discretion. His pioneer life in New York, his thrilling adventures in Kansas, where he fought slavery so fiercely that
Immediately after the execution, the body of the martyr was borne to North Elba, N.Y., and, on the 8th of November, 1859, it was laid away to rest. Mr. Sanborn gives only the briefest account of these last services, and omits, for some unaccountable reason, to furnish even an extract from that pathetic and pointed address, which came from Wendell Phillips, while standing by the open grave. If Mr. Phillips ever spoke more beautifully than he did, on that memorable day, we have never known it. We sincerely hope that, in a future edition, Mr. Sanborn may be led to insert the address in the pages where they so properly belong.
[Footnote 6: The Life and Letters of John Brown, Liberator of Kansas, and Martyr of Virginia. Edited by F.B. Sanborn, Boston: Roberts Bros. Price, $3.00]
* * * * *
The theme of Prof. Hosmer’s narrative was born in Boston. Sept 27, 1722, and graduated at Harvard in 1740, and studied law. He was not a lawyer and neither did he make his mark as a merchant although he engaged with his father in the management of his malt-house. This early life of Samuel Adams is portrayed with more than usual interest in this biography. Then with great care we are given the salient points of his career as a representative in the Massachusetts General Court, as a leader of the Boston patriots in their resistance to British oppression, as a member of the Continental Congress and in other public offices. We are shown Samuel Adams as a man without great business or professional talents but wonderful in counsel, a cool headed patriot, an adroit tactician, and above all a thorough democrat. To mingle with the common people was his delight; he was a frequenter of the Caulkers’ Club, popular with blacksmiths, ship carpenters, and mechanics. He was not a great orator; but sometimes, rising with the greatness of the subject or occasion was the most effective speaker to be heard.
The two features of Professor Hosmer’s work which impress us most forcibly are its fairness and its readableness. We have had one worthy life of Adams before this in Wells’s three volume biography, a work highly valuable in its abundance of matter, but hardly so impartial as the smaller and more recent biography. In its preparation, Professor Hosmer has availed himself of Mr. Wells’s work, of the Adams Papers in Mr. Bancroft’s possession, and of copious materials in the Boston libraries. He has thus had every facility for his task and he has used them to the best advantage.
In general interest this book is second to no other in the series of American Statesmen, so far published. The story opens well and does not diminish in interest to the end. The author, although now a St. Louis man, is himself from the old Adams stock, and has amply shown his capacity to prepare a concise and permanently valuable life of the sturdy American patriot and town-meeting man, Samuel Adams.
[Footnote 7: Samuel Adams. By James K. Hosmer. American Statesman Series. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Price $1.25.]
* * * * *
The only fault which we have to find with Mr. Drake’s book is, that he has not done himself justice in his title. The title which he has chosen is expressive neither of the size nor of the contents of his work. We read at least one hundred pages before we find a New England legend, and the only account of the folklore that we have been able to find is in the author’s introduction covering about six pages. Properly described, the work deals with New England history, of the most romantic character occasionally interspersed with a great deal of very tedious moralizing,—a blemish of style which Mr. Drake seems quite unable to avoid. The book, despite many features which annoy, is valuable, and ought well to repay publication. To the young especially it ought to prove interesting, since it makes plain to them many familiar tales of early childhood. The publishers, as usual, have done their level best to make it a very beautiful book, and have of course succeeded.
The second volume of the Life and Times of the Tylers concludes the work. It is the volume which is the more important and will prove the more interesting to readers in general. It comprises the events and incidents of the public life of John Tyler,—from his induction into the Presidency in 1841 to his death while a member of the Confederate Congress of 1862. It must be remembered that these volumes are edited by a member of the Tyler family; a fact, which leads us to say that an impartial history of President Tyler’s administration of the pertinent matters which preceded it, and of the reflections upon its policy, cannot be naturally expected from a person interested, or from an actor in the politics of that period.
By the operation of the Constitution alone, Tyler became President. At that time, he was not considered by his party, and, after he had obtained the office by the death of General Harrison, he straightway placed himself in direct opposition to the party which had nominated and elected him Vice President. The son, who is the author or editor of these volumes, appears to be forgetful of this fact; for on no other ground can we account for the bias which he exhibits from the first page to the last. His duty, he thinks, is to defend his father’s administration, and this idea leads him into trouble at the very beginning. He says: “The Whig party of 1840 had nothing
The Whig party gained a great deal in the election of 1840; but it lost all by the contingency which made John Tyler president of the United States. Why he was ever named on the electoral ticket is itself inexplicable. He distinguished himself only by virtue of his mistakes, from first to last inexcusable; and the biography, by the son, is distinguished only by innuendos and a current of bitterness which destroy its value as historical authority. This is much to be regretted; because an unprejudiced life of John Tyler has long been needed.
That portion of the volume which deals with Mr. Tyler’s part of the Peace Congress, and his share in the exciting events preceding and during the first year of the war of the Rebellion, will arouse no discussion. The letters which these concluding pages contain are particularly valuable, for they show the state of public feeling in the South at that time. Notwithstanding our adverse criticism of certain portions of this volume,—and we have plainly stated our reason—we still welcome the work in its completeness. It adds much to our stock of knowledge, lets in light where light was needed, and is withal commendable as an addition to the material data of our national history.
[Footnote 8: A book of New England Legends and Folk-Lore, in Prose and Poetry. By Samuel Adams Drake. Illustrated. Boston: Roberts Brothers.]
[Footnote 9: Life and Times of the Tylers. By L.H. Tyler, Richmond, Va.: Whittet and Shipperson. 2 vols. $6.00.]
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The October number of the Bay State Monthly will contain, among other articles of interest, a valuable historical and descriptive paper on the enterprising and rapidly increasing city of HOLYOKE, MASS., the chief paper manufacturing place in the world, and the centre, also, of other important private and corporate industries. This paper has been prepared by a writer “to the manor born,” and will be copiously and beautifully illustrated.
Another article of special interest and value will be the HISTORY AND ROMANCE OF FORT SHIRLEY, built in the town of Heath, Mass., in 1744, as a defence against the Indians. The article has been prepared by Prof. A.L. Perry, of Williams College.
The series of papers illustrative of NEW ENGLAND IN THE CIVIL WAR, and which will command the attention of all classes of readers, will be initiated in the October number of the Bay State Monthly, by THREE IMPORTANT CHAPTERS, namely:—
PUBLIC SENTIMENT IN NEW ENGLAND AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION, by a writer who was thoroughly familiar with its current.
THE MARCH OF THE 6TH REGIMENT, by one of its officers, who has gathered together anecdotes as well as sober history.
THE RESPONSE OF THE MARBLEHEADERS IN 1861, a stirring paper of patriotism and valor, written by SAMUEL RHODES, JR., the historian of Marblehead.
The first instalment of a series of papers on the AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE OF THE REBELLION, by DR. GEORGE L. AUSTIN, will also appear in the October number.
Besides the foregoing features, the October number will contain other articles of permanent worth in the fields of BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY, and STORY. A vigorous method of dealing with LEADING QUESTIONS OF THE DAY will be maintained in the Editorial Departments.
It will thus be seen that no pains are being spared to insure for the Bay State Monthly a character that shall prove invaluable and of the deepest interest to ALL CLASSES OF READERS.
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of courtesies extended in the preparation of the August and September issues of the Bay State Monthly are here made, with thanks, to the following parties: E.B. Crane, Esq., N. Paine, Esq., Daniel Seagrave, Esq., Messrs. Keyes & Woodbury, Charles Hamilton, Esq., and Messrs. F.S. Blanchard & Co., of Worcester, Mass.; also to Messrs. D. Lothrop & Co., Houghton, Mifflin, & Co., Ticknor & Co., and Roberts Brothers, of Boston,—all of whom have most cordially cooeperated with the management of the Bay State Monthly.