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Title: Stories of New Jersey
Author: Stockton, Frank Richard, 1834-1902
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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New York--Cincinnati--Chicago
American Book Company

Copyright, 1896, by
American Book Company.

W. P. I


This volume of stories, composed of historical incidents, or material
connected with the history of New Jersey, is not intended to be a
record, even in a condensed form, of the rise and progress of the State.
The stories are arranged chronologically, but there has been no attempt
to give a complete and continuous account of events or epochs. The
material for the stories has been collected from many sources; and the
selections have been made with regard to the interest, the
instructiveness, and as far as possible the novelty, of the matter
chosen. There has been a constant endeavor, however, to present a series
of historical incidents in a panoramic form, so that the reading of the
stories in their regular succession would give an impressive idea of the
discovery and settlement of the State, of its people, manners, and
customs, and of its progress and achievements, as it was gradually
evolved from the Indian region of Scheyichbi into the State of New

In these stories there is nothing imaginative or fanciful, except where
a reference is made to the early imaginings and fancies of the
aborigines. The stories are not founded on facts, but they are made up
of facts carefully collected from the authorities referred to in the
table of contents. Some of the stories are well known, but could not be
omitted because of their representative character; but others, it is
hoped, will be found familiar only to the professed student of history.
The period of the stories extends from the earliest times of Indian
tradition down to what may be called our own day; but as there was so
much available matter, and so little space for it, and as there was no
intention to give a comprehensive history of the State, it was deemed
well to deal only with the incidents and people that have passed out of
the boundaries of current history.


of New Jersey. (Period, prior to 1600.)                                  9

  _Authorities_: MSS. regarding Indians. Rev. John Heckewelder.
           "History of New Jersey." T. F. Gordon.
           "History of New Jersey." I. Mulford.

THE STORY OF A PEACEMAKER. An Indian Woman's Friendly Act.
(Period, 1632.)                                                         18

  _Authority_: "History of New York." Brodhead.

THE WINNING OF THE PRIZE; or, The English Ownership of New
Jersey. (Period, 1664.)                                                 24

  _Authorities_: "History of New Jersey." I. Mulford.
           "History of New Jersey." S. Smith.
           "History of New Jersey." T. F. Gordon.

HOW SCHEYICHBI REALLY BECAME NEW JERSEY. (Period, 1609-1758.)           31

  _Authorities_: "History of New Jersey." S. Smith.
           "History of New Jersey." I. Mulford.
           "History of New Jersey." T. F. Gordon.

FINS, RATTLES, AND WINGS; or, The Wild Animals of Early Days.           42

  _Authorities_: "History of New Jersey." S. Smith.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "The Burlington Smiths." R. M. Smith.

Settlers. (Period, prior to 1655.)                                      51

  _Authority_: "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.

THE STORY OF PENELOPE STOUT. (Period, prior to 1669.)                   57

  _Authorities_: "History of New Jersey." S. Smith.
           "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "Story of an Old Farm." A. C. Mellick.

THE SCHOOLMASTER AND THE DOCTOR. (Period, from 1693.)                   69

  _Authorities_: "Colonial History of New Jersey." Grahame.
           "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "History of Medicine in New Jersey." S. Wickes.

THE SLAVES OF NEW JERSEY. (Period, 1626-1860.)                          83

  _Authorities_: "History of New Jersey." T. F. Gordon.
           "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "Story of an Old Farm." A. D. Mellick.

A JERSEY TEA PARTY; or, The Burning of the Tea at Cohansey.
(Period, 1774.)                                                         93

  _Authorities_: "History of New Jersey." I. Mulford.
           "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "Story of an Old Farm." A. D. Mellick.

THE STORY OF A SPY. (Period, 1758-80.)                                 102

  _Authority_: "Our Home," published in Somerville, N.J., 1873.

General Charles Lee. (Period, 1758-85.)                                117

  _Authorities_: "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "Story of an Old Farm." A. D. Mellick.
           "Life of Lord Stirling." W. Duer.

THE MAN IN THE "AUGER HOLE." From the Journal of Mrs.
Margaret Hill Morris. (Period, 1776-82.)                               130

  _Authorities_: "The Burlington Smiths." R. M. Smith.
           "History of New Jersey." T. F. Gordon.

THE STORY OF TWO CAPTAINS. Captain Huddy and Captain
Asgill. (Period, 1781.)                                                141

  _Authorities_: "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.
           "Story of an Old Farm." A. D. Mellick.

THE STORY OF TEMPE WICK. (Period, 1780.)                               155

  _Authorities_: "Story of an Old Farm." A. D. Mellick.
           "Morris County History." W. W. Munsey.
           "Authors and Writers Associated with Morristown." J. K. Colles.

THE STORY OF FORT NONSENSE. (Period, 1776-80.)                         163

  _Authorities_: "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.
           "Story of an Old Farm." A. D. Mellick.

AN AMERICAN LORD. Lord Stirling of Basking Ridge. (Period,
1726-83.)                                                              177

  _Authorities_: "Life of Lord Stirling." W. Duer.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "Story of an Old Farm." A. D. Mellick.

MOLLY PITCHER. (Period, 1778.)                                         186

  _Authorities_: "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.

THE MORRISTOWN GHOSTS. A Story of 1788                                 193

  _Authorities_: Pamphlet published in 1792. Anonymous.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.

A JERSEYMAN AND HIS ROYAL CROWN. Joseph Bonaparte at Bordentown.
(Period, 1815-39.)                                                     204

  _Authorities_: "Encyclopædia Britannica."
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.
           "Bordentown and the Bonapartes." J. B. Gilder.
           "Joseph Bonaparte in Bordentown." F. M. Crawford.
           "New Jersey Newspaper Clippings."

War. (Period, 1800-4)                                                  214

  _Authorities_: "History of the United States Navy." J. F. Cooper.
           "Historical Collections." Barber and Howe.

SEA FIGHTS WITH A NOBLER FOE. The War of 1812                          230

  _Authorities_: "History of the United States Navy." J. F. Cooper.
           "Field Book of the Revolution." B. J. Lossing.

1787-1838.)                                                            239

  _Authorities_: "Appletons' Dictionary."
           "New Jersey Newspaper Clippings."
           "American Inventors of the Telegraph." F. L. Pope.
           "History of New Jersey." J. C. Raum.

NEW JERSEY AND THE LAND OF GOLD. The Conquest of California.
(Period, 1816-66.)                                                     246

  _Authorities_: "Appletons' Dictionary."
           "Biographical Encyclopædia of New Jersey."



The North American Indians, the earliest inhabitants of this country of
whom we know anything definite, were great story-tellers; and their
histories consist entirely of stories handed down from parents to
children, or, more likely, from grandparents to grandchildren, for
grandfathers and grandmothers are generally more willing to tell
stories than fathers or mothers. And so these traditions, probably a
good deal brightened by being passed along century after century, came
down to the Indians who were first met by white people, and thus we have
heard many of them.

The stories told by the Indians inhabiting the country which is now the
Middle States, all agree that their remote forefathers came from some
region beyond the Mississippi River. Like the traditions of most
nations, these go so very far back that they are vague and misty; but,
as this gave the Indians a great opportunity for their imaginations, it
is not wonderful that they improved it. These Indians believed that in
the very earliest stages of their existence they were all animals, and
lived in caves under the earth. They were hunters; but their game
consisted of mice, and creatures of that sort. One of them accidentally
discovered a hole by which he got out on the surface of the ground; and,
finding it so exceedingly pleasant, it was not long before the whole of
his tribe came out, and began life in the light of day.

It may be supposed that these animals gradually changed to human beings,
and built villages, and planted corn; but in one respect they did not
change, nor have they changed at this present day. Many of them still
call themselves after the names of animals; and now the greater part of
the noted Indians of our country have such names as "Sitting Bull,"
"Black Bear," and "Red Horse." But the stories say that all of the
animals did not come out of their underground homes. Among these were
the hedgehog and the rabbit; and so some of the tribes will not eat
these animals, because in so doing they may be eating their family

Gradually the ancestors of the Indians who told their stories to the
first settlers, and who afterwards called themselves the Lenni-Lenape,
moved eastward, and after many years they reached the Mississippi River.
By this time they had become a powerful body. But in the course of their
journeys they discovered that they were not the earliest emigrants in
this direction, for they met with a great tribe called the Mengwe, later
known as the Iroquois, who had come from a country west of the
Mississippi, but farther north than that of our Indians.

We do not hear that these two great tribes of early Indians interfered
with each other; but when the Lenni-Lenape investigated the other side
of the Mississippi, they found there still another nation, powerful,
numerous, and warlike. These were called the Alligewi, from which we
have derived the name Allegheny. At first the latter tribe was inclined
to allow the Lenape to pass the river; but after a time, finding that
the newcomers were so numerous, they fell upon them and drove them back.

But the Indians at that remote period must have been as doggedly
determined to move eastward as are our pioneers to move westward; and
they were not to be stopped by rivers, mountains, or savage enemies. The
Lenape were not strong enough to fight the Alligewi by themselves, and
so they formed an alliance with the Mengwe; and these two nations
together made war upon the Alligewi, and in the course of time overcame
them, and drove them entirely from their country.

After years, or perhaps centuries (for there are no definite statements
of time in these Indian traditions), the Mengwe and the Lenape, who had
been living together in the country of the Alligewi, separated; and the
Mengwe emigrated to the lands near the Great Lakes, while the Lenape
slowly continued their progress eastward.

They crossed the Alleghanies, and discovered a great river, which they
called Susquehanna, and then they moved on until they came to the
Delaware. This grand stream pleased them so much, that they gave it a
name of honor, and called it the Lenapewihittuck, or "The River of the
Lenape." Then they crossed the river and discovered New Jersey.

Here they found a pleasant climate, plenty of game, and no human
inhabitants whatever. They therefore appropriated it as their own, and
gave it the name of Scheyichbi; and any one who endeavors to pronounce
this name will be likely to feel glad that it was afterwards changed by
the white settlers.

Before this first discovery of New Jersey, the Lenni-Lenape had settled
themselves in the beautiful and fertile country about the Susquehanna
and the west shore of the Delaware, and here established their right to
their name, which signifies "original people;" and if their stories are
correct, they certainly are the original inhabitants of this region,
and they discovered New Jersey from the west, and took rightful
possession of it.

It is a law of nations, founded then upon the same principles of justice
as it stands upon now, that discovery by a nation, or the agent of a
nation, of unknown lands entirely uninhabited, gives the discoverers the
right to those lands; and, in accordance with that law, the Lenape
became the discoverers and original owners of New Jersey.

We will not now allude to the rights they then acquired to the country
which is now Pennsylvania and other States, because we are confining
ourselves to what relates to the country of Scheyichbi, the land where
their eastward migrations ceased. Now, they could go no farther towards
the rising sun, and they were satisfied to stop.

These Lenape, or "Grandfather Tribe" as they were often called, were not
merely cruel and ignorant savages: they had many admirable traits of
character, and some of their manners and customs might well have been
imitated by those who found them here.

They had an admirable system of government; and at regularly appointed
periods their wisest men met at the great "Council House" to make laws,
and arrange the affairs of the nation. Their conduct in their councils
was far more decorous and becoming than that we often hear of among
legislators of the present day, whether they are met together in
Congress, Parliament, or Reichstag. These chiefs, chosen for their
wisdom and experience, treated each other with the highest regard and
respect. When one of them arose to address his fellow-legislators, every
man in the council room paid the strictest attention to what he said;
and interruptions, jeers, and ridicule, such as legislators often make
use of at the present day, were totally unknown among these grave and
earnest Indians.

There can be no doubt that the Lenape were superior to other Indian
nations, and worthy of the proud title which they gave themselves; and
in later years, when the river was named after Lord De la Warre, and
they were called the Delawares, they were considered the noblest of the
Indian tribes.

I dwell upon the good qualities and high character of the Lenape,
because it was from their main body that numerous tribes came across the
Delaware River, and became the first Jerseymen, or, if any one likes it
better, Scheyichbians. They settled in many pleasant places, building
wigwam villages, many of which have since grown into modern towns, and
still bear their old Indian names. In fact, the modern Jerseyman has had
the good sense to preserve a great many of the names given to rivers,
mountains, and villages by the first owners of the soil.

But, after all, Scheyichbi was not sufficiently discovered and settled
for the purposes of civilization, and its fertile soil waited long for
the footsteps of the new immigrants. These came at last from the east.

About the end of the fifteenth century there was a strong desire among
the maritime nations of Europe to find a short passage to China and the
East Indies. It was for that reason that Columbus set out on his
expedition; but with his story we have nothing to do, for he did not
discover the continent of North America, and in fact never saw it. But
after John Cabot and his son Sebastian, then looking for a passage to
Cathay in the interest of the King of England, made a voyage to North
America, and had contented themselves with discovering Newfoundland,
Sebastian came back again, and accomplished a great deal more. He sailed
along the coast from Labrador to the southern end of Florida, and in the
course of this voyage discovered New Jersey. He made a map of the whole
coast, and claimed all the country back of it for the King of England.

There is no proof that Cabot knew whether this country had inhabitants
or not. He saw it from his ships; but he did not make any attempt to
settle it, and thus establish a legal right to the soil. He simply
declared it the property of the Crown of England, and it is upon this
claim that England afterward based her right to the eastern coast of
North America.

And so New Jersey was discovered from the east.

About a quarter of a century after Sebastian Cabot's voyage, the French
took up the idea that they would like to discover something, and Francis
I. sent an Italian mariner, named John Verrazano, across the Atlantic

After having sailed far enough, John Verrazano discovered the coast of
North America, which he called "a new land never before seen by any man,
ancient or modern." He took possession of it in the name of his king,
and, in order to settle the matter, called the whole coast New France.
There is reason to believe that Verrazano discovered the southern part
of New Jersey, for in sailing northward he probably entered Delaware

But it appears that New Jersey was not yet sufficiently discovered, and
after having been left for a long time in the possession of its true
owners, the Lenni-Lenape, it was again visited by Europeans. In 1609 the
celebrated Henry Hudson, then in the service of the Dutch East India
Company, started westward to try to find a northwest passage to China.
In those bygone days, whenever a European explorer set out to find an
easy passage to the East, he was very apt to discover New Jersey; and
this is what happened to Henry Hudson. He first discovered it on the
south, and partially explored Delaware Bay; then he sailed up the coast
and entered New York Bay, and sailed some distance up the river which
now bears his name.

Hudson did more for New Jersey than any of the other discoverers, for
his men were the first Europeans who ever set foot upon its soil. Some
of them landed in the vicinity of Bergen Point, and were met in a
friendly way by a great many of the original inhabitants. But the fact
that he found here possessors of the soil made no difference to Hudson:
he claimed the country for the Dutch. Five years afterwards, that nation
made a settlement at New York, and claiming the whole of the surrounding
country, including New Jersey, gave it the name of New Netherland.

Thus was New Jersey discovered on the north; and after the efforts of
four nations,--the Indians first, the English under Cabot, the French,
and the Dutch (for Hudson was now in the service of that nation),--it
may be said to have been entirely discovered.


After the outside boundaries of New Jersey had been pretty thoroughly
discovered, it was quite natural that some nations who laid claim to the
State should desire to find out something in regard to its interior, and
make settlements upon its soil.

This was not done by the English, who had made the first claim to the
land, but by the Dutch. In the early part of the seventeenth century,
the West India Company of Holland sent out a ship containing the
foundation for a little colony,--men, provisions, and all things
necessary. They sailed into Delaware Bay; and the commander, Cornelius
Jacobsen Mey, gave his name to Cape May. The expedition went up the
Delaware River till they reached Timber Creek, probably not much more
than ten miles from the spot where Philadelphia now stands. There they
settled, and built a fort, which they called Fort Nassau. But this was
not looked upon with favor by the Indians, and it was not long before
the whole colony was destroyed.

This unfortunate beginning of the white settlement of New Jersey did not
deter the Dutch, who are a persevering and dogged people. About twelve
years later, another Dutch commander, De Vries, sailed up the Delaware
River, or, as the Dutch called it, the South River; his main object
being to catch whales, very different from the Delaware fisheries of the
present day. He set up a little colony on shore; but it appears that the
Indians were very much opposed to this sort of thing, and this
settlement was destroyed before long.

But De Vries still kept up the whaling business; and in the course of
time, getting out of provisions, he left his vessel, and sailed up the
river in a small craft which was called the "Squirrel." He went up as
far as the deserted Fort Nassau, and there anchored to trade with the

It is quite plain that the Indians of New Jersey were now greatly
concerned about the visits of white people to their shore; for they
perceived that these newcomers were inclined to settle and occupy such
places as pleased their fancy, without asking permission, or proposing
to buy or to pay rent. All this was very disagreeable to the red men,
who had never shown any disposition to open up their country to foreign

When De Vries anchored, he was very well received; and about forty
Indians came on board his yacht, and made a call upon him. They were
dressed in their best, and, in order to make the visit more agreeable,
they brought some of their musical instruments with them, and gave the
Dutchmen a taste of Indian music.

The dress of some of these visitors was a surprise to De Vries and his
men, of whom there were only seven on the yacht. It was winter time, and
most of the Indians were arrayed in furs, but several of them wore
jackets made in the English fashion. The visitors were very friendly,
and urged De Vries to sail his vessel up a stream, now known as Big
Timber Creek, which, they declared, was a much better place for trading.

Now, according to some of the old histories, a woman appeared in the
double character of peacemaker and guardian angel.

Among the Lenni-Lenape, as well as the other tribes of North America,
women often had a peculiar part to play in national and social affairs.
If ever the services of a peacemaker were desired, that position was
always given to a woman. It was considered derogatory to the dignity of
a male Indian that he should at any time, of his own accord, desire
peace. He and his enemy might both be thoroughly tired of fighting; but
neither of them would lower himself in his own estimation, and in the
estimation of his countrymen, by allowing any man to know the state of
his mind.

But he did not in the least object to tell his wife that he wanted to
stop fighting; and she, very gladly in most cases, would confer with the
wife of the other brave; and when they had concluded peace, the two men
would immediately sit down together, smoke the calumet, and be good
friends; and all this without the slightest loss of dignity.

This method of making peace was pursued not only by individuals, but by
nations. Very often women had this important political duty thrust upon
them,--a duty for which they were probably very well qualified, for it
is seldom that the women of a nation desire war.

This national disposition in regard to peacemaking was once the occasion
of a serious misfortune to the tribe of Lenni-Lenape. The tribes to the
north, who had formed themselves into a powerful body called the Five
Nations, had long been jealous of their neighbors the Lenni-Lenape, and
contrived a plan to humiliate them, and render them less important in
the eyes of the Indian world. Being at war with some other tribes, these
Five Nations came to the Lenni-Lenape and pretended to desire peace, but
stated that this was too important a case to be managed by women. They
declared that this was a great work, which should be given only into the
hands of a quiet, dignified, and honorable tribe, such as their great
neighbors, and urged the Lenape to undertake negotiations for the
cessation of hostilities.

As all this seemed reasonable enough, the Lenape were at last persuaded
to become peacemakers, and, as might be supposed, they were entirely
successful; but they suffered for their kindness and good feeling. Ever
afterwards they were looked upon by other Indian tribes as no better
than women. In Cooper's novels there are references to the fact that the
noble Lenape were sneered at as peacemakers and squaws.

But we will now return to our guardian angel. It was after a visit of
the Indians to the vessel of De Vries, that the peacemaking instinct
took possession of the wife of one of the Indian chiefs; and quietly and
stealthily, unperceived by her people, she managed to get on board the
"Squirrel," when she informed the commander of the real object of his
visitors, who had invited him to sail up Timber Creek. It was the desire
of the Indians to destroy this company of white men; and the narrow
stream where they wished to make the attempt was much better adapted for
their purpose than the broad waters of the river.

Wishing to prevent an encounter in which the sturdy Dutchmen would
probably kill some of her countrymen before they themselves were
destroyed, she had come to implore the whites not to run into the trap
which had been set for them. She told them that the crew of an English
shallop, which not long before had come to visit the place, probably
from a ship afraid to venture higher up the river, had all been
slaughtered, and that it was the jackets of these men that some of her
countrymen were wearing.

Like a sensible man, De Vries paid attention to this story, and did not
venture into Timber Creek. Whether or not he rewarded the good woman who
came to warn him of his danger, is not known; but his account of the
affair places her in the position of one worthy of a monument by the
women of the State.

When the Indians came again to De Vries, he declared to them that his
Great Spirit, or "Maneto," had revealed their wicked purposes, and that
he would not sail up the Timber Creek, nor would he allow one of them
upon his vessel; and, having ordered them all on shore, he dropped some
distance down the river.

This conduct doubtless inspired the Indians with great respect for the
brave Dutchmen, and shortly afterwards the chiefs from nine different
tribes came on board the "Squirrel" for the purpose of making a treaty
of peace and commerce with the Dutch. All of these were now dressed in
furs, which were their ordinary garments; but some of them were
recognized as the same men who had formerly worn the jackets of the
murdered English sailors. These, however, were just as cordial and
friendly as any of the others, and there is no reason to suppose that
they now intended treachery. The visitors sat down on the deck of the
yacht, and held a regular council, and, with appropriate ceremonies,
made presents of beaver skins to the whites, and solemnly concluded a
treaty of friendship.


After the importance of the discovery of North America came to be
properly appreciated by the nations of Europe, the ownership was looked
upon as a great national prize, and there were several nations who were
anxious to play for it. This country, so readily approached by the
Delaware, became attractive not only to kings and sovereigns, but to
settlers and immigrants. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden granted a charter
to a company called the West India Company, which was formed for the
purpose of making settlements on the shores of the Delaware Bay and
River, and commissioned them to take possession of this country, without
the slightest regard to what the English sovereign and the Dutch
sovereign had granted to their subjects.

The Swedes came to Delaware Bay. They stopped for a while at Cape
Henlopen; and then, of course, they sailed up the Delaware, when things
soon began to be very disagreeable between themselves and the Dutch, who
were there before them.

The Swedes were a warlike set of people, and they held their ground very
well. Besides making some settlements, they built a fort which they
called Elsinburgh; and, if a Dutch ship happened to pass by that fort,
it was obliged to strike its flag in token of submission to a superior
power. The Indians, who were perhaps as much opposed to the Swedish
settlement as they had been to those of other nations, do not appear to
have been able to attack this fort with any success; and as for the
Dutch, it is not certain that they even attempted it. So the Swedes at
that time governed the passage up and down the Delaware, as the English
now govern the passage through the Straits of Gibraltar.

It was probably winter time or cool weather when the Swedes built their
proud fort on the banks of that river which they now named "New
Swedeland Stream;" but when the warm and pleasant days came on, and it
was easy to travel from the interior to the river shore, and when the
weather was so mild that it was quite possible to spend the nights in
the woods without injury, there came an enemy to Fort Elsinburgh which
proved far more formidable than the Indians or Dutch.

The fort was surrounded; and frequent and violent attacks were made upon
it, especially in the night, when it was almost impossible for the
garrison to defend themselves. Many bloody single combats took place in
which the enemy generally fell, for in bodily prowess a Swede was always
superior to any one of the attacking force. But no matter how many
assailants were killed, the main body seemed as powerful and determined
as ever. In course of time the valiant Swedes were obliged to give way
before their enemy. They struck their flag, evacuated the fort, and
departed entirely from the place where they had hoped a flourishing
settlement would spring up under the protection of their fort.

The enemy which attacked and routed the Swedes was a large and
invincible army of mosquitoes, against whom their guns, their pistols,
their swords, their spears, and their ramparts afforded them no defense.
After that, the deserted fort was known as Mygenborg, meaning Mosquito

The Dutch looked with great disfavor on the Swedes, who continued to
establish themselves at various points; and although they did not make
an alliance with the body of natives who had driven these northern
people away from Elsinburgh,--for a compact of that kind would be
dangerous in many ways,--they took up the matter by themselves; and
finally the Dutch, under their valiant Peter Stuyvesant, completely
conquered the Swedes, and sent their leaders to Holland, while the
ordinary settlers submitted to the Dutch.

But this state of things did not continue very long; for the English,
who, although they had not yet settled in New Jersey, had never given up
their pretensions as the original discoverers, came in strong force,
subdued the Dutch, occupied their principal town, New Amsterdam, and
took possession of the country, including New Jersey.

But it seemed to be a good deal easier to discover New Jersey than
finally to settle its ownership. Now that the Dutch and the Swedes were
disposed of, there arose difficulties regarding the English claims to
the State. Early in the seventeenth century, Queen Elizabeth had granted
an immense tract of land to Sir Walter Raleigh, which was called
Virginia, and that included the whole of New Jersey. Afterwards Charles
II. granted to his brother, the Duke of York, an immense tract of land,
which also included New Jersey, and which was called New York. So what
is now New Jersey was then at the same time both Virginia and New York.

The Duke of York, who then owned New Jersey, leased the whole
State--lands, forests, rivers, wigwams, Indians, fisheries, Dutch
settlers, Swedish settlers, everything--to John Berkeley (Baron of
Stratton) and Sir George Carteret for the sum of twenty nobles per year
(thirty-two dollars of our money). Some authorities, indeed, state that
the sum paid was much smaller.

After a time, however, the claims of Virginia were withdrawn; and not
only did Berkeley and Carteret enjoy undisturbed possession of the
State, but they gave it a name, and called it _Nova Cæsaria_, or New
Jersey, its name being given on account of Carteret's connection with
the Isle of Jersey. The Latin name was used for a time; but the settlers
preferred English, and so the name now stands. New Jersey was soon
afterwards divided into two provinces,--East Jersey and West Jersey. The
accompanying map shows the line of division between the two provinces,
which was made in 1676. It ran from the southern end of what is now Long
Beach, in Little Egg Harbor, to a point on the Delaware River. Two other
lines of partition were afterwards made, both starting from the same
point on the seacoast; one running somewhat to the west, and the other
to the east, of the original line.

After some changes in the proprietorship of the Colony, West Jersey came
into the possession of twelve men, one of whom was the celebrated
William Penn, whose connection with West Jersey began six years before
he had anything to do with Pennsylvania.

Penn and his colleagues gave West Jersey a purely democratic government,
founded upon principles of justice and charity, in which the people
themselves ruled. Full freedom in regard to religious views was insured;
trial by jury was granted; and punishments were made as lenient as
possible, with a view to the prevention of crimes rather than the
infliction of penalties. The result of this was that for a long time
there were no serious crimes in this Province, and the country was
rapidly settled by thrifty Quakers anxious to live where they would have
liberty of conscience.

In the course of time, East Jersey also came into the possession of Penn
and his eleven associates, and the number of proprietors was increased
to twenty-four. At the end of the century the two provinces were united
into one, and shortly afterwards they passed into the possession of the
Crown of England, and became subject to the ordinary British laws. For a
long time afterwards, however, the State was known as the "Jerseys."


A point in the history of New Jersey, more important in a moral point of
view than that of its European ownership, was that of the purchase of
the lands from the first and true owners, the Indians. As has been said,
Berkeley and Carteret issued an injunction that the settlers should
purchase their lands from the tribes which had lived upon them. This
system was subsequently carried out until every foot of the land of the
whole State was bought and paid for,--the first transactions of the
kind, having taken place several years before Penn's treaty with the
Indians in Pennsylvania.

Up to the time when the country finally passed into the hands of the
English, the Indians had resisted the attempts of the whites to settle
among them; but now, finding that they were to be fairly dealt with, a
better feeling arose, and the red men were content to dwell with the
whites as friends and neighbors. Of course, all the settlers did not
promptly pay for their lands, and there were some minor disputes from
this cause; but in general the whites regularly purchased the land upon
which they intended to make their homes, and in time all were obliged to
do so. As may be supposed, very large prices were not paid for these
lands; but the transactions were strictly honorable, because the parties
on each side gave what they had, and all were satisfied with what they

The payments for land frequently consisted partly of ready-made coats,
kettles, and in some cases of jew's-harps. Tracts of land large enough
for a town were sometimes sold for a barrel of cider. Now, this might
appear rather a hard bargain for the Indians; but it must be considered
that they had more land than they wanted, and no ready-made coats, or
kettles, or jew's-harps, or cider.

But it was not to be expected that the Indians would always be satisfied
with their treatment; and in fact they had a good many grievances. As
has been said, a settler sometimes established himself on a good piece
of land without consulting the Indians of the neighborhood, or offering
them payment, and in such cases there would be remonstrances from the
red men. Then, again, the whites could not always understand the nature
of Indian bargains. A man would buy a piece of land, and think that he
owned not only the ground, but all that grew upon it, all that flew in
the air above it, and everything that swam in its waters; and when the
Indians, after having received payment for the farm, came there to hunt
and fish, and strip the bark off the trees, the purchaser was apt to

A notable difficulty of this kind occurred on Sandy Hook, where a man
named Hartshorne had bought a tract of land from the Indians, and
afterwards found, that, according to their ideas, he had no exclusive
right to the fish, game, and timber of his new purchase; and he was
especially made to understand that he had not bought the wild plums.
This matter of the ownership of the plums afterwards became a source of
considerable trouble, and was settled by Hartshorne paying to the chief
of the neighboring tribe the sum of thirteen shillings, by which he
acquired the entire right to the plums and all the other things on his

The Indians had also a grievance of a different kind. There was a
conference held in Burlington, between the Indians and the whites, in
1678, which was convened on account of a complaint by the Indians that
the English, in selling them some ready-made coats, had also sold them
the smallpox. The temper of the Indians may be shown by one of their
speeches on this occasion. A leading chief declared: "We are willing to
have a broad path for you and us to walk in; and if an Indian is asleep
in this path, the Englishman shall pass by him and do him no harm; and
if an Englishman is asleep in the path, the Indian shall pass him by and
say, 'He is an Englishman; he is asleep; let him alone; he loves to
sleep!' It shall be a plain path. There must not be in this path a stump
to hurt our feet. And as for the smallpox, it was once in my
grandfather's time, and it could not be the English that could send it
to us then, there being no English in the country. And it was once in my
father's time, they could not send it to us then, neither. And now it is
in my time, I do not believe that they have sent it to us now. I do
believe it is the man above who has sent it to us." Soon after this, the
two parties exchanged presents, and went away satisfied.

For many years after this, there seem to have been few or no troubles
between the Indians and the settlers of New Jersey. But matters changed
about the middle of the next century; and when the Indian wars began in
Pennsylvania, the red men of New Jersey showed symptoms of hostility to
the whites. Matters grew worse and worse; and the Indians began to
murder families, burn buildings, and carry away prisoners.

This state of affairs grew so alarming that the Legislature took the
matter in hand. They appointed commissioners to examine into the
treatment of the Indians, and see if there were any good cause for their
sudden enmity; and, after a conference with some of the chiefs, a bill
was passed by the Legislature to put an end to a good many of the
impositions of which the Indians complained. Among these was a habit of
the whites of giving the Indians spirits, and then making bargains with
them when they were not at all in a condition to do business of that
kind. The Indians also complained of the practice of trapping deer, thus
decreasing the game in the forests, and the occupation of land, without
payment, by the settlers who were continually coming into the country.

Another bill was passed appropriating £1600 to buy from the Indians the
entire right to all the lands which they yet held in New Jersey. But as
there was no desire to banish the Indians from their native land, one
half of this sum was reserved as payment for a large tract of land, or
reservation, which should be their home, and on which no white man would
have any right to settle, whether he was willing to buy the land or not.
When this had been done, it was necessary to submit the matter to the
Indians; and a council was called at Burlington, at which were present
the governor of the Province, and some of the most prominent Indian

At this conference there was a notable exhibition of Indian etiquette.
The governor had called the Minisinks, a tribe of the Delawares, to meet
him; and they had informed the Mingoians, who, with some other northern
tribes, were then gathered together at the grand council fire at the
forks of the Delaware, where is now Easton. This was done, because at
that time the Mingoians considered themselves superior to the Delawares,
from whom proper respect was due.

One of the chiefs from the council fire was sent down to represent the
Mingoians. After some speeches were made, he told the white governor
that the Minisinks, being Delawares, were women, and were not able of
themselves to make treaties, therefore he had come down to look into the
matter. As his people were then holding a grand council fire at the
forks of the Delaware, they did not wish to put it out and build another
council fire on this side of the Delaware. The reason which he gave for
this was figurative and Indian-like.

He stated that the river roared and thundered, and made a great deal of
noise; and, if the council were held on this side, the distant Indian
nations who dwelt to the west of the Delaware could not hear what was
said at the council, and therefore it would be unfair to them to hold it
on this side of the river. He concluded with a cordial invitation to the
governor and his party to meet the Indians at their own council fire.

About a month afterward, the governor, with some members of the
Legislature, and other white people from New Jersey and Pennsylvania,
met over five hundred Indians at the forks of the Delaware in grand
council. Some of the speeches on this occasion were very interesting. A
chief of the United Nations, speaking for the Delawares, who, having
made themselves women by becoming peacemakers, had no right to speak
for themselves, addressed the council as follows:--

"Brethren, we now remove the hatchet out of your heads, that was struck
into it by our cousins the Delawares. It was a French hatchet they
unfortunately made use of, by the instigation of the French. We take it
out of your heads, and bury it underground, where it shall always rest,
and never be taken up again. Our cousins the Delawares have assured us
they will never think of war against their brethren the English any
more, but will employ their thoughts about peace and cultivating
friendship with them, and never suffer enmity against them to enter into
their minds again."

Another chief said: "Brethren, I speak in behalf of the younger
nations,--those who are confederated with the Six Nations, the Cayugas,
Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Tutaloes, Nanticokes, and Conoys. A road has been
made from our country to this council fire, that we might treat about
friendship; and as we came down the road, we saw, that, by some
misfortune or other, blood has lately been spilt on it. Now, we make the
road wider and clearer. We take the blood away out of it, and likewise
out of the council chamber, which may have been stained. We wash it all
away, and desire it may not be seen any more, and we take the hatchet
out of your heads."

The governor of New Jersey also addressed this council, particularly
urging them to require the Indians who had taken away prisoners to
return these unfortunate people to their homes. In answer to this, one
of the great chiefs of the United Nations made a speech to the
Minisinks and the Delawares, in which he gave them a good scolding for
not having returned these prisoners before; for it seemed that they had
promised to do so.

The council continued several days; and the Minisinks promised
faithfully that they would search all the towns in their territory for
prisoners, and return them to their own people. This matter having been
settled, Governor Bernard made a formal proposition to buy all the lands
which the Indians still retained in New Jersey; and, after a good deal
of consultation, the chiefs of the United Nations advised the Minisinks
and Delawares to accept the terms which were offered. After much talk,
it was done, the necessary papers were signed, and the State of New
Jersey was formally bought from its Indian owners.

After this great matter had been settled, the tract of land which was to
be set apart for the occupation of the Indians of the State, south of
the Raritan River, in Burlington County, was purchased. It consisted of
three thousand acres, which reached to the seacoast. There was plenty of
fishing on it, and there were wild lands and forests, in which game
abounded. Here the Indians could live as they pleased after their
old-fashioned fashions, and never need fear disturbance by white men.
Here they removed, and here they did live, apparently perfectly
satisfied; and after this there were no further Indian troubles in New

The Indians on this reservation came to be known as the Edge-Pillocks,
and in course of time considerable civilization crept in among them. It
is a proof of this, that one of them, who took the name of Stephen
Calvin, kept a school, and that his son Bartholomew went to Princeton
College, and afterwards taught school. It is said that in his school
there were as many white scholars as Indians.

In 1801 these Edge-Pillock Indians were invited by the Mohicans of New
York to leave their New Jersey home and come and live with them. In
their invitation the Mohicans said they would like them "to pack up your
mat and come and eat out of our dish, which is large enough for all, and
our necks are stretched in looking toward the fireside of our
grandfather till they are as long as cranes."

The Edge-Pillocks sold their reservation, had the money invested for
them in United States stocks, and went to join the Mohicans. After that,
both tribes decided to buy land in Michigan, and the Edge-Pillocks
disposed of their stocks to pay for their share.

But our New Jersey Indians did not fare well in the West. Their fortunes
did not prosper, and they grew poorer and poorer, until in 1832 their
numbers decreased to about forty. Feeling the pressure of poverty, their
Indian disposition suggested to them a remedy. They remembered, that,
although they had sold their reservation, nothing had been said in the
deeds concerning the game and the fish on the property; and they chose
to consider that these still belonged to them. They therefore sent
Bartholomew Calvin, who was now their oldest chief, to New Jersey to ask
the Legislature to buy these remaining rights. The Legislature promptly
agreed to do this, and appropriated two thousand dollars, which was the
sum Bartholomew named, to buy of the Indians all their remaining rights
of every kind in New Jersey.

This act may be considered as one of kindness and charity to the former
owners of the land, rather than as an act of justice, because there is
no doubt, that when the Indians sold the reservation, and invested the
proceeds, they intended to sell every deer, fish, bird, and mosquito on
the whole tract. But it is an honor to the Legislature of that day that
it was willing to make happy the last days of the New Jersey Indians by
this act. That the Indians appreciated what had been done, may be seen
from the following extract from a letter from Bartholomew Calvin:--

     "Upon this parting occasion I feel it to be an incumbent duty to
     bear the feeble tribute of my praise to the high-toned justice of
     this State in dealing with the aboriginal inhabitants. Not a drop
     of our blood have you spilled in battle, not an acre of our land
     have you taken but by our consent. These facts speak for
     themselves, and need no comment. They place the character of New
     Jersey in bold relief,--a bright example to those States within
     whose territorial limits our brethren still remain. Nothing save
     benisons can fall upon her from the lips of a Lenni-Lenape."

But the love of their old home did not die out entirely in the hearts of
all the Edge-Pillock Indians, who emigrated, first to New York, and then
to Michigan. There was one Indian brave and his squaw, who, after living
at Oneida for some time, began to long again for the old hunting ground
in New Jersey; and, before the rest of their tribe went West, these two
came back to Burlington County, and established themselves in a little
house near Mount Holly. Here these two Indians lived for about twenty
years; and when they died, they left a daughter, a tall powerful woman,
known in the neighborhood as "Indian Ann," who for many years occupied
the position of the last of the Lenni-Lenape in New Jersey.

She lived to be more than ninety years old; and her long straight black
hair, her copper-colored skin, and bright eyes, gave the people of the
neighborhood a good idea of what sort of people used to inhabit this
country before their ancestors came over the sea. She had many true
Indian characteristics, and loved to work in the open air better than to
attend to domestic matters in the house. Even when she was very old, she
would go into the woods and cut down trees as if she had been a man. She
did not die until December, 1894; and then the people who had known her
so long gathered together at her funeral, and buried the last of the
Indians of New Jersey.

Thus Scheyichbi, the land of the Indians, became truly and honestly New
Jersey, the land of the English settlers; and to this State belongs the
honor of having been the first in the Union in which the settlers
purchased and paid for the lands on which they settled, and in which the
aboriginal owners were so fairly treated that every foot of the soil not
purchased of them by individuals was bought and paid for by the
government of the State.


When the first settlers came to New Jersey, they found in that country
plenty of wild animals, some of them desirable, and some quite
otherwise. In the first class were great herds of red deer (especially
in the central portion of the State), beavers, hares, and squirrels,
and, among the dangerous kinds, bears, panthers, wolves, wild cats, and
rattlesnakes. There were also many foxes, which were a great injury to
the poultry yards of the settlers. Some of these creatures were so
troublesome, that bounties were paid for the heads of panthers, foxes,
and some other animals.

The white settlers found New Jersey a capital hunting ground. Nothing,
however, that is told about hunting in the early days of New Jersey
equals the accounts which are given of the fishing in the waters of that
State. Soon after the settlement of Burlington, one of the townspeople
wrote to his friends in England, describing the manner in which the
people fished in that place.

The Delaware abounded in fish, and in the spring it swarmed with
herring. When the early Burlingtonians wanted to catch herring, they did
not trouble themselves about nets, or hooks and lines, but they built in
the shallow water near the shore a pen, or, as they called it, a
"pinfold," made by driving stakes into the sand so as to inclose a
circular space about six feet in diameter. On the side toward the open
water an aperture was left; and a big bush was made ready to close this
up when the proper time came. Then the fishermen waded into the water,
carrying with them great birch bushes. Sweeping the water with these,
they slowly advanced toward the pinfold, driving swarms of herring
before them, and so surrounding the frightened fish, that they had no
way of escape, except by rushing through the entrance of the pinfold.
Into the inclosure the shining creatures shot,--pushing, crowding, and
dashing over each other,--until the pen was packed with fish, almost as
closely jammed together as sardines in a tin box. Then the bush was
driven down into the opening; and all that it was necessary to do, was
to dip into the pinfold and take out great handfuls of fish. In this way
bushels of herring could be procured at one time.

It is not to be supposed that in those days game fishing flourished to
any extent; that is, sportsmen did not go out with rods and flies to
catch little fish one at a time, when it was so easy to scoop them up by

Shad, too, were very abundant in those days, but not so highly valued as
now. In fact, it is stated that when the settlers became more numerous,
and the herring fewer, these fish were held in higher repute than shad;
so that, when a man bought one hundred herring, he was expected to take
ninety-five herring and five shad, or something in that proportion, shad
being then rather a drug in the market.

In those early days there were denizens of the waters on the shores of
New Jersey very much more valuable than herring, shad, or any other of
these finny creatures, no matter in what dense throngs they might
present themselves. These were whales, of which there were numbers in
Delaware Bay, and even some distance up the river. When the Dutch De
Vries first came into these waters, he came after whales; and even at
the present day one of these great water monsters occasionally
investigates the western coast of New Jersey, generally paying dear for
his curiosity.

There were a great many snakes, many of them rattlesnakes, especially in
the hilly country. The early settlers had a curious way of making
themselves safe from these creatures. When they were going to make a
journey through the woods or along wild country, where they expected to
find snakes, they would take with them several hogs, and drive these
grunting creatures in front of them. Hogs are very fond of eating
snakes, and as they went along they would devour all they met with. It
did not matter to the hogs whether the snakes were poisonous or
harmless, they ate them all the same; for even the most venomous
rattlesnake has but little chance against a porker in good condition,
who, with his coat of bristles and the thick lining of fat under his
skin, is so well protected against the fangs of the snake, that he pays
no more attention to them than we to the seeds of a strawberry when we
are eating one.

Rattlesnakes were in fact the most dangerous wild animals with which the
early settlers had to contend; for they were very numerous, and their
bite, if not treated properly at once, was generally fatal. The Indians,
who well knew the habits of the snake, were not nearly as much afraid of
it as were the whites.

In order to protect one's self against these creatures, unless there are
too many of them, it is only necessary to make noise enough to let the
snake know that some one is approaching, and it gets out of the way as
fast as possible; or, if it has not time to do this, it coils itself up
and springs its rattle, thus giving notice that it is on hand, and ready
to strike.

It has often been said that the snake's rattle is for warning to birds
and other animals; but this is now known to be a mistake, for when a
snake rattles, it strikes its victim almost at the same time, if it has
a chance.

It is now believed that the rattle is used to attract the attention of
birds and other small creatures; and when they turn, and look into the
eyes of the terrible serpent, they are so overcome with terror that they
cannot fly away, and soon become its prey. This is commonly called snake
charming; and a great many instances of it are related by people who are
in the habit of telling the truth, and who have seen a snake charm a
bird which could have flown away just as well as not, had it not been
for the terrible attraction of those great eyes, which drew it nearer
and nearer, until at last it found itself in the jaws of a snake.

The Indians did not give this significance to the rattle: they believed,
as many people now do, that it was merely used as a warning. So, when an
Indian met with a snake which rattled before he came up to it, he took
it to be a snake of honest, straight-forward principles, who wished to
deceive nobody, and therefore gave fair notice of its presence. Such a
serpent was never molested. But if a snake rattled after an Indian had
passed, the red man went back and killed the creature, on the ground
that it was a sneak and a coward, which had neglected to give warning to
the passer-by.

A farmer living in Cumberland County tells a story about having
discovered an island in a swamp, which so abounded in snakes, that he
and some of his neighbors conceived the idea that this was the place
where they made their headquarters, and from which, in summer time, they
wandered to forage upon the country. The farmers waited until winter
before they made an attack upon this stronghold; and then they came and
dug up the ground, knowing that these reptiles always pass the cold
season in a torpid state underground.

It was not long before they came to what might be called in these days a
cold-storage vault. This was a flat-bottomed cavity, filled to the depth
of about three inches with clear spring water; and in this water were
packed away a great number of snakes, evenly laid side by side, so as to
take up as little room as possible. The majority of these creatures were
rattlesnakes; but there were black snakes among them, and one large
spotted snake. Besides these, there were, as the narrator expressed it,
at least a peck of spring frogs; these having probably crawled in to
fill up all corners and vacant places. All these reptiles were of
course dormant and insensible, and were easily destroyed.

There is another story which gives even a better idea of the abundance
of rattlesnakes in the new colony. In a quarry, from which the workmen
were engaged in getting out stone for the foundations of Princeton
College, a wide crack in the rocks was discovered, which led downward to
a large cavity; and in this cave were found about twenty bushels of
rattlesnake bones. There was no reason to believe that this was a snake
cemetery, to which these creatures retired when they supposed they were
approaching the end of their days; but it was, without doubt, a great
rattlesnake trap. The winding narrow passage leading to it must have
been very attractive to a snake seeking for retired quarters in which to
take his long winter nap. Although the cave at the bottom of the great
crack was easy enough to get into, it was so arranged that it was
difficult, if not impossible, for a snake to get out of it, especially
in the spring, when these creatures are very thin and weak, having been
nourished all winter by their own fat. Thus year after year the
rattlesnakes must have gone down into that cavity, without knowing that
they could never get out again.

The great rivals, in point of numbers, to the herring and other fish in
the rivers of New Jersey (and the snakes in their winter quarters
underground), were the wild pigeons in the air. Several times in the
year the settlers would be visited by vast flocks of these birds, which
came in such numbers as to shut out the light of the sun, as if they
had been clouds in the sky. They would remain in one place for a few
days, and then pass on. As it was unnecessary to use hooks and lines to
catch a few fish out of the multitudes which swarmed in the streams, so
it was hardly worth while to waste powder and shot on the vast flocks of
pigeons which visited New Jersey in those days. When they came to roost
in the forests, they could be knocked down with poles and stones; and
thousands and thousands of them were thus obtained by the men and boys,
and very good eating they were.

There was a summer in which the settlers were very much astonished by
the advent of a vast army of invaders to which they were not at all
accustomed. These were locusts, probably of the kind we now call
seventeen-year locusts; and the people were amazed to see these
creatures come up out of the ground, clad in their horny coats of mail,
which they afterwards cast off, when they appeared as winged creatures.

They could not understand how insects encumbered by such hard, unwieldy
shells, could penetrate to such distance below the surface of the earth;
for they did not know that each one of these locusts came from a little
worm which had dropped into the ground many years before, and which had
worked its way down to a great depth, and then, about a sixth of a
century afterward, had reappeared on the surface as a hard-shell locust,
ready to split its back, get out of its shell, spend a few days flying
about in the summer air, lay its eggs in the twigs of trees, and then,
having fulfilled all its duties on this earth, to die.

Although the farmers probably supposed that their crops would be eaten
up by this vast horde of locusts, no great injury was done to them; for,
as we now know, the seventeen-year locusts do not appear upon earth to
destroy crops and vegetation, being far different from the
grasshopper-like locusts which in our Western countries sometimes
devastate large sections of farming lands. The twigs of the trees, which
had been punctured in order that the eggs might be deposited, recovered
their life, and put forth their leaves again when they had ceased to act
as insect incubators.


Settlers came to New Jersey in various ways. Their voyages were
generally very long, and it often happened that they did not settle at
the place for which they had started, for there were many circumstances
which might induce them to change their mind after they reached this

But there was one settler, and a very valuable one too, who came to New
Jersey in an entirely original and novel fashion. She was a girl only
sixteen years old, and a Swede. There is no reason to suppose that she
wanted to come to America; but circumstances made it necessary that she
should get out of Sweden, and this country was a very good place to come
to. It is said that this girl, whose surname we do not know, but who was
called Elizabeth, was a connection of the Swedish royal family; and, as
there was great trouble at the time between different factions in the
land, it happened that it was dangerous for Elizabeth to remain in
Sweden, and it was very difficult to get her away. It is quite certain
that she was a person of importance, because it was considered
absolutely necessary to keep the authorities from knowing that she was
about to sail for foreign lands.

There are people at the present day who, when they first go on board an
ocean steamer, are very much surprised and disgusted at the small size
of the stateroom they will have to occupy during the voyage; but if they
could have seen the accommodations with which Elizabeth was obliged to
content herself, they would not look with such contempt upon a room in
which three persons can sleep, leaving space to move about.

The people who had Elizabeth's passage in charge conceived the idea that
the safest way to get her on board the vessel, which was waiting at the
dock, would be to ship her as freight. So she was put into a large
hogshead, and securely fastened up, and then carried on board. She must
have been a girl of a good deal of pluck, for the vessel was not to sail
for several days, and she must remain in the hogshead all that time, as
the officials of the port might come on board at any moment and discover
her, if she should get out of her hiding place. I have no doubt that she
was supplied with three or four meals a day through the bunghole.

Not only was Elizabeth's precious self thus duly consigned to America as
if she had been ordinary merchandise, but a great many of her valuable
possessions, jewels, clothes, etc., were also shipped to accompany her.
In the course of time, and it must have been a dreary time to this poor
girl, the ship moved out of the dock, and started on its voyage across
the North Sea, and then over the Atlantic to the new country. Not until
the vessel was well out of sight of land, and free from danger of being
overhauled by a vessel of the Swedish navy, did Elizabeth come out of
her barrel and breathe the fresh sea air.

At that time, early in the seventeenth century, a good many vessels
crossed the Atlantic, and most of them must have made safe and
successful voyages; but it so happened that the ship in which Elizabeth
sailed was not a fortunate craft. When she reached the far-stretching
Jersey coast, dangerous even now to mariners who know it well, this
vessel was overtaken by storm, and soon became a hopeless wreck.

It might have been a very good thing if Elizabeth had concluded to end
her voyage as she began it. If she had put her valuables into her
hogshead, and then had jumped in herself and had asked some of the
sailors to fasten her up, there is no doubt that she would have floated
ashore, if she had known how to keep the open bunghole uppermost,--which
no doubt she did,--and would have saved all her possessions. If one must
float through stormy waves and great breakers, there is no safer way to
do it than in a hogshead, as has been proved by the man who in that way
navigated the fierce rapids at Niagara. But Elizabeth did not go back to
her hogshead. She took her chances with the rest of the people on
board, and with them was cast on the shore of New Jersey.

This shore was absolutely wild and bare, and what became of the others
who reached it, we do not know; but Elizabeth eventually wandered off by
herself, alone and lost in a strange land. If the people who had been so
much concerned about her connection with the Swedish throne had been
able to see her then, they would have been perfectly satisfied that she
would give them no further trouble. How she lived during her days of
wandering and solitude is not told; but when we remember that New Jersey
is noted for its berries and for its clams, and that it was probably
summer time when she was cast ashore (for mariners would generally
calculate to arrive at the settlement in good weather), we may give a
very good guess at Elizabeth's diet.

It was not very long before she found that there was another wanderer in
this desolate and lonely place. She met with a white hunter named
Garrison; and very much surprised must he have been when his eyes first
fell upon her,--almost as much surprised, perhaps, as if he had come
upon a stranded hogshead, with a human voice calling through the
bunghole to be let out.

When a possible heiress of a royal crown meets with a solitary hunter,
probably poor and of no family to speak of, her reception of him depends
very much upon surrounding circumstances. In this case, those
circumstances induced Elizabeth to look upon Garrison with more favor
than she had ever looked upon a king or noble, for there is no doubt
that she would have perished on that wild and uninhabited coast if she
had not met with him.

Of course, the hunter gladly undertook to guide this Swedish girl to a
settlement; and the two started off on their long tramp. It is not at
all surprising that they soon began to like each other, that it was not
long before they fell in love, and that in course of time they were duly
married. If she had ever thought of a marriage with a high-born Swede,
Elizabeth gave up all such notions when she entered her hogshead, and
left all her proud hopes behind her.

This young couple--one of royal Swedish blood, the other a hardy hunter
of the New World--settled near Bridgeton, and there they flourished and
prospered. Elizabeth lived to be ninety-five years old. She had ten
children, and in 1860 it was computed that her descendants numbered at
least a thousand. That any of these considered themselves better than
their neighbors, because it was possible that they might have a drop or
two of royal blood in their veins, is not likely; for but few American
families would care to base their claims of social superiority upon such
a very diluted foundation as this. But they would have good reason to
trace with pride their descent from the plucky girl who started for
America in a hogshead, and who was able to land alone and unassisted on
the Jersey coast in a storm, and to take care of herself after she got


In the early days of New Jersey, the Dutch settlers suffered very much
from Indian hostilities. It was at the time that New Amsterdam,
afterwards New York, was in the possession of the Dutch, that a ship
came from Holland, bringing passengers who intended to settle in the new
country. The ship was unfortunately wrecked in the neighborhood of Sandy
Hook; but all the passengers managed to save themselves, and reached the

Among these was a young couple whose names we do not know, except that
the wife's maiden name was Penelope Van Princis. Her husband had been
very sick during the voyage; and getting ashore through the surf from
the wreck could not have been of any benefit to him, for, after he had
reached dry land, he felt even worse than he had upon shipboard, and
needed all the attention his wife could give him.

Although the passengers and crew of this vessel had reached the shore,
they did not by any means consider themselves in safety; for they were
very much afraid of the Indians, and desired above everything to make
what haste they could toward New Amsterdam. They therefore started away
as soon as possible. But Penelope's husband was too sick to go any
farther at that time, and his wife was too good a woman to leave her
husband in that lonely spot; and so these two were left behind, while
the rest of the company started for New Amsterdam, promising, however,
that they would send help to the unfortunate couple.

The fears of these immigrants in regard to the Indians were not without
foundation; for the main party had not long departed, when a band of red
men, probably having heard in some way of the wreck of the ship,
appeared upon the scene, and discovered poor Penelope and her sick
husband. It is unfortunately the disposition of most savages to show
little pity for weakness and suffering, and the fact that the poor young
man could not do them any possible harm had no effect upon them, and
they set upon him and killed him; very much as a boy would kill a little
harmless snake, for no reason whatever, except that he was able to do

Then they determined to kill Penelope also, and, attacking her with
their tomahawks, they so cut and wounded her that she fell down bleeding
and insensible. Having built a fire, these brave warriors cooked
themselves a comfortable meal, and then departed. But Penelope was not
killed, and, coming to her senses, her instincts told her that the first
thing to do was to hide herself from these bloodthirsty red men: so,
slowly and painfully, she crawled away to the edge of a wood, and found
there a great hollow tree, into which she crept.

This made but narrow and doleful quarters for a wounded woman, but it
was preferable at that time to the blue sky and fresh air. She did not
leave the tree until nightfall, and then she made her way to the place
where the fire was still glimmering; and by great care, and with what
must have been painful labor, she kept this fire from going out, and so
managed to get a little warmth.

In this way, living in the tree the greater part of the time, and
depending for food chiefly upon the fungous excrescences and gum which
grew on the outside of it,--for she was not able to go in search of
berries and other food,--poor Penelope lived for a few days, with her
dead husband on the beach, and her almost dead self in that cavern-like
tree. The hours must have passed mournfully indeed to this young woman
who had set out for the New World with such bright hopes.

That she survived her terrible hardships was due entirely to the
existence of the danger she most feared; that is, the reappearance of
the Indians. On the second morning, nearly famished and very weak,
Penelope was making her way slowly over the ground, endeavoring to find
something she could eat, or a little dew in the hollow of a leaf, that
she might drink, when suddenly there came out of the woods two tall
Indians, who, naturally enough, were much surprised to find a wounded
white woman there alone upon the seashore.

Penelope gave herself up as lost. There was nothing now for her to do
but to submit to her fate. It was a pity, she thought, that she had not
been slain with her husband.

But the Indians did not immediately rush at her with their tomahawks:
they stood and talked together, evidently about her, with their fierce
eyes continually fixed upon her. Then their conversation became more
animated, and it was soon plain that they were disputing. Of course, she
did not then know the cause of their difference of opinion; but she
found out afterwards that one of them was in favor of killing her upon
the spot, and the other, an older man than his companion, was more
mercifully inclined, and wished to carry her off as a prisoner to their

At last the older man got the better of the other one; and he, being
determined that the poor wounded woman should be taken care of, took her
up and put her on his shoulder, and marched away with her. That an
Indian should be able to perform a feat like this is not at all
surprising; for when one of them shoots a deer in the forest, though
many of those animals are heavier than Penelope was, he will put it on
his back and carry it through the forests, perhaps for miles, until he
reaches his camp. And so Penelope, as if she had been a deer wounded by
some other hunters, which these men had found, was carried to the Indian

There she was taken care of. Food and drink were given her. Her wounds
were dressed and treated after the Indian fashion. In due course of time
she recovered her health and strength, and there--living in a wigwam,
among the women and children of the village, pounding corn, cooking
food, carrying burdens as did the Indian women--she remained for some
time, not daring even to try to escape; for in that wild country there
was no place of safety to which it was possible for her to flee.

Although there was a good deal of bad feeling between the Indians and
the whites at that time, they still traded and communicated with each
other; and when, in the course of time, it became known in New Amsterdam
that there was a white woman held as a prisoner in this Indian camp,
there was every reason to suppose that this woman was the young wife who
had been left on the seacoast by the survivors of the wreck.
Consequently some of the men who had been her fellow-passengers came
over to the Indian camp, which was not far from where Middletown now
stands. Here, as they had expected, they found Penelope, and demanded
that the Indians should give her up.

After some discussion, it was agreed that the matter should be left with
Penelope herself; and the old Indian who had saved her life went to
her,--for of course, being an inferior, she was not present at the
conference,--and put the question before her. Here she was, with a
comfortable wigwam, plenty to eat and drink, good Indian clothes to
wear, as well treated as any Indian woman, and, so far as he could see,
with everything to make her comfortable and happy; and here she might
stay if she chose. On the other hand, if she wished to go to New
Amsterdam, she would find there no one with whom she was acquainted,
except the people who had rowed away and left her on that desolate
coast, and who might have come in search of her a long time before if
they really had cared anything about her. If she wanted to live here
among friends who had been kind to her, and be taken care of, she could
do so; if she wanted to go away and live among people who had deserted
her, and who appeared to have forgotten her, she could do that.

Very much to the surprise of this good Indian, Penelope declared that
she should prefer to go and live among people of her own race and
country; and so, much to the regret of her Indian friends, she departed
for New Amsterdam with the men who had come for her.

A year or two after Penelope had gone back to New Amsterdam, being then
about twenty-two, she married an Englishman named Richard Stout, who
afterwards became an important personage. He, with other settlers, went
over to New Jersey and founded a little village, which was called
Middletown, not far from the Indian camp where Penelope had once been a
prisoner. The Indians still remained in this camp, but now they appeared
to be quite friendly to the whites; and the new settlers did not
consider that there was anything dangerous in having these red
neighbors. The good Indian who had been Penelope's protector, now quite
an old man, was very friendly and sociable, and often used to visit Mrs.
Stout. This friendship for the woman whom he had saved from death seemed
to have been strong and sincere.

One day this old Indian came to the house of Mrs. Stout, and, seating
himself in the room where she was, remained for a long time pensive and
silent. This rather unusual conduct made Penelope fear that something
had happened to him; and she questioned him, asking him why he was so
silent, and why he sighed so often. Then the old man spoke out and told
her that he had come on a very important errand, in which he had risked
his own life at the hands of his tribe; but, having saved her life once,
he had determined to do it again, no matter what might happen to

Then he told her that the good will of the Indians toward their white
neighbors had come to an end, and that it had been determined in council
that an attack should be made that night upon this little village, when
every person in it--men, women, and children--should be put to death,
the houses burned, and the cattle driven away. His brethren no longer
wanted white people living near them.

Of course, this news was a great shock to Penelope. She had now two
little children, and she could not get far away with them and hide, as
she herself had once hidden from Indian foes. But the old man told her
that she need not be afraid: he could not save all the people in the
village, but he was her friend, and he had arranged to save her and her
family. At a certain place, which he described so she could not fail to
find it, he had concealed a canoe; and in that she and her husband, with
the children, could go over to New Amsterdam, and there would be plenty
of time for them to get away before the Indians would attack the place.
Having said this, and having urged her to lose no time in getting away,
the old Indian left.

As soon as he had gone, Penelope sent for her husband, who was working
in the fields, and told him what she had heard, urging him to make
preparations instantly to escape with her. But Mr. Stout was not easily
frightened by news such as this. He pooh-poohed the whole story, and
told his wife that the natives over there in their camp were as well
disposed and friendly as if they had been a company of white settlers,
and that, as these red men and the whites had lived together so long,
trading with each other, and visiting each other with perfect freedom,
there was no reason whatever to suppose that the Indians would suddenly
determine to rise up and massacre a whole settlement of peaceable
neighbors, who had never done them any harm, and who were a great
benefit to them in the way of trading. It would be all nonsense, he
said, to leave their homes, and run away from Indians so extremely
friendly and good-natured as those in the neighboring camp.

But Penelope had entirely different ideas upon the subject. She
thoroughly believed in the old Indian, and was sure that he would not
have come and told her that story unless it had been true. If her
husband chose to stay and risk his life, she could not help it; but she
would not subject herself and her children to the terrible danger which
threatened them. She had begged her husband to go with her; but as he
had refused, and had returned to his work, she and her children would
escape alone.

Consequently she set out with the little ones, and with all haste
possible she reached the place where the canoe was moored among some
tall reeds, and, getting in with the children, she paddled away to New
Amsterdam, hoping she might reach there in time to send assistance to
Middletown before the Indians should attack it.

When Farmer Stout found that his wife had really gone off, and had taken
the children with her, he began to consider the matter seriously, and
concluded that perhaps there might be something in the news which the
old Indian had brought. He consequently called together a number of the
men of the village, and they held a consultation, in which it was
determined that it would be a wise thing to prepare themselves against
the threatened attack; and, arming themselves with all the guns and
pistols they could get, they met together in one of the houses, which
was well adapted for that purpose, and prepared to watch all night.

They did not watch in vain, for about midnight they heard from the woods
that dreadful war whoop which the white settlers now well understood.
They knew it meant the same thing as the roar of the lion, who, after
silently creeping towards his intended victim, suddenly makes the rocks
echo with the sound of his terrible voice, and then gives his fatal

But although these men might have been stricken with terror, had they
heard such a war cry at a time when they were not expecting it, and from
Indians to whom they were strangers, they were not so terrified at the
coming of these red men with whom, perhaps only the day before, they had
been trading buttons for venison and beans. They could not believe that
these apparently mild and easy-going fellows could really be the
terrible savages they tried to make themselves appear.

So Richard Stout and his companions went boldly out, guns in hand, to
meet the oncoming savages, and, calling a parley, they declared that
they had no intention of resting quietly, and allowing themselves and
families to be slaughtered and their houses burned. If the Indians, who
had so long been their good neighbors, were now determined to become
bloody enemies, they would find that they would have to do a good deal
of hard fighting before they could destroy the village of Middletown;
and, if they persisted in carrying on the bloody job they had
undertaken, a good many of them would be killed before that job was

Now, it had been very seldom that Indians who had started out to
massacre whites had met with people who acted like this; and these red
men in war paint thought it wise to consider what had been said to them.
A few of them may have had guns, but the majority were armed only with
bows and tomahawks; and these white men had guns and pistols, with
plenty of powder and ball. It would clearly be unsafe to fight them.

So, after discussing the matter among themselves and afterwards talking
it over with the whites, the Indians made up their minds, that, instead
of endeavoring to destroy the inhabitants of Middletown, they would
shake hands with them and make a treaty of peace. They then retired; and
on the following day a general conference was held, in which the whites
agreed to buy the lands on which they had built their town, and an
alliance was made for mutual protection and assistance. This compact was
faithfully observed as long as there were any Indians in the
neighborhood, and Middletown grew and flourished.

Among the citizens of the place there were none who grew and flourished
in a greater degree than the Stout family. Although Penelope bore upon
her body the scars of her wounds until the day of her death, it is
stated, upon good authority, that she lived to be one hundred and ten
years old; so that it is plain that her constitution was not injured by
the sufferings and hardships of the beginning of her life in New

Not only did the Stouts flourish in Middletown, but some of them went a
little southward, and helped to found the town of Hopewell; and here
they increased to such a degree that one of the early historians relates
that the Baptist Church there was founded by the Stouts, and that for
forty-one years the religious meetings were held in the houses of
different members of the Stout family, while, at the time he wrote, half
of the congregation of the church were still Stouts, and that, all in
all, there had been at least two hundred members of that name. So the
Baptist Church in Hopewell, as well as all the churches in Middletown,
owed a great deal to the good Indian who carried poor Penelope to his
village, and cured her of her wounds.


Of course, it was not long after New Jersey began to be settled and
cultivated, before there were a great many boys and girls who also
needed to be cultivated. And if we are to judge their numbers by the
families of Elizabeth, who started for the New World in a hogshead, and
of Penelope, who began her life here in a hollow tree, there must have
been an early opportunity for the establishment of flourishing schools;
that is, so far as numbers of scholars make schools flourishing.

But in fact it does not appear that very early attention was given in
this State to the education of the young. The first school of which we
hear was established in 1664; but it is probable that the first settlers
of New Jersey were not allowed to grow up to be over forty years old
before they had any chance of going to school, and it is likely that
there were small schools in various places of which no historical
mention is made.

It is admitted, however, by the historians of these early days of New
Jersey, that education was not attended to as it should have been; and
we read that in 1693 an act was passed to "establish schoolmasters
within the Province, 'for the cultivation of learning and good manners
for the good and benefit of mankind, which hath hitherto been much
neglected in the Province.'"

These early schools were not of a very high order; the books used by
younger scholars being what were called hornbooks, which were made by
pasting upon a board a piece of paper containing the alphabet and some
lessons in spelling, and covering the whole with a very thin sheet of
horn, which was fastened on the board as glass is fastened over a framed
picture. Thus the children could see the letters and words under the
horn, but were not able to deface or tear the paper. It was difficult to
get books in those days, and a hornbook would last a long time.

We can get a pretty good idea of the character of the schools from an
account given of the establishment of the first school in Newark, where
the town authorities made a contract "with Mr. John Catlin to instruct
their children and servants in as much English, reading, writing, and
arithmetic, as he could teach."

But the people of New Jersey prospered well, and the Colony soon became
noted as one in which there was comfort and good living; and therefore
it is natural that when the people really could afford to apply their
time, thought, and money to objects higher than the tillage of farms and
the building of houses, they went to work earnestly to give their young
people proper opportunities for education, and we find that they were
inclined to do this as earnestly and thoroughly as they had been in the
habit of doing other things.

In consequence of this disposition, what is now Princeton College was
founded in 1746. This institution was first called the "College of New
Jersey," and was established at Elizabethtown. It was in its early days
a very small seat of learning; for, when the Rev. Mr. Dickinson was
appointed to be its president, the faculty consisted entirely of
himself, and his only assistant was an usher. There were then about
twenty students in the college.

In about a year the president died; and the college was then removed to
Newark, where the Rev. Aaron Burr, the father of the celebrated Aaron
Burr, became its president, and it is probable that the faculty was
enlarged. Ten years afterwards the college was established at Princeton.

The manners and customs of the college must have been very primitive,
and we will give a few of the rules which were made for the students:
"Every scholar shall keep his hat off to the president about ten rods,
and about five to the tutors. When walking with a superior, they shall
give him the highest place, and when first going into his company, they
shall show their respects to him by first pulling off their hats; shall
give place to him at any door or entrance; or meeting him going up and
down stairs shall stop, giving him the bannister side;" and, in speaking
to a superior, "shall always give a direct and pertinent answer,
concluding with Sir." Thus it is seen that attention to good manners was
one of the most important branches of study taught at the young

But in certain districts of New Jersey, people seemed to be very slow in
perceiving the advantages of schools in their midst. Schools had sprung
up here and there in towns and villages, many of them boarding schools;
and to these the richer farmers would send their children. But it took
people in some rural places a good while to find out that it would be a
good thing to have a school in their midst.

A story is told of the establishment of a school of this kind in
Deckertown as late as 1833. The people of this village had never thought
it worth while to have a school of their own; and even after a gentleman
of learning and ability, who was well known in the place, offered to
take charge of such a school, they did not look with any favor upon the
enterprise. The only place for a schoolhouse, which he was able to
obtain, was a very small building, consisting of one room, and situated
on the outskirts of the town. Here he started a school with one scholar;
and even this little fellow was not a Jersey boy, but came from New

For a considerable time this single scholar constituted the school, and
he and the schoolmaster walked back and forth from the village to the
little cabin every day; while the only interest that the townspeople
seemed to take in them was shown by their laughing at the schoolmaster,
and comparing him to a hen with one chicken. It must not be supposed
that it was because the citizens did not believe in education; but, as
they had been in the habit of sending their children away to school,
they thought that that was the proper thing to do, and, as there never
had been a school in the town, they saw no reason why there should be
one then. But the school increased, and in less than a year it numbered
twenty scholars.

There is a rather peculiar story told of this school in its early days.
It had been established about two months, when the schoolmaster happened
to be walking in the direction of the school quite late in the evening
and to his amazement he saw that the little room was brilliantly
lighted. Now, as he and his scholar had left it in the afternoon, and he
had locked the door, he could not understand the state of affairs.
Hurrying to the house, he looked in at the window, and saw that the room
was nearly filled with well-dressed men, who were standing and sitting
around a table on which were spread cards and money. He saw that they
were a company of gamblers; but how they came there, and why they came,
he could not imagine. Of course, he could not drive them out; but, after
watching them for a little while, he boldly opened the door and went in
among them.

They were so occupied with their game, however, that they paid little
attention to him; and, after standing with them for a time, he remarked
to one of them that he hoped that when they had finished their game, and
were ready to go away, they would leave everything behind them in as
good order as they had found it, and then he himself departed and went
home. But the next morning, when he and his scholar came to the
schoolhouse, he found everything as they had left it on the afternoon
before; and this schoolmaster might have been excused if he had imagined
that he had dreamed that he saw the curious sight of a company of
gamblers in his schoolhouse.

But he found out afterwards that it was no dream. There was a set of men
gathered together from the neighboring country, who regularly spent
certain evenings in gambling for high stakes. They had discovered that
there was no better place for their meetings than the little
schoolhouse, which was tenanted by two persons in the daytime and by
nobody at night; and, as it was so far away from the other houses, it
was a very convenient place for their secret meetings, and they had been
in the habit of assembling there almost from the very time that it was
cleaned out and arranged for a schoolhouse.

When the schoolmaster found that he had devoted his energies to the
establishment of a very flourishing gambling saloon, when he supposed
that he had founded nothing but a weak little school, he took measures
to prevent any further visits from the gentlemen with the cards and the
money. After that, the exercises in addition, subtraction, and
multiplication, were figured out with a pencil or chalk instead of being
done by means of spades or diamonds.

In those early days the doctor was almost as slow in coming to the front
as was the schoolmaster.

In fact, it is said that the first doctors in New Jersey were women, and
that the people placed such faith in their abilities, that unless a case
were very serious indeed, so that a physician had to be sent for from
the city, they were perfectly satisfied with the services of the women
doctors. It is also stated, that in those days the people of New Jersey
were very healthy. These two statements can be put together in different
ways: some may say, that, where people were so seldom sick, doctors of
great ability were not needed; while, on the other hand, those who have
a higher opinion of womankind might well believe, that, because women
made such good doctors, the people were seldom sick.

It must be remembered, however, that the mothers, wives, sisters, and
daughters of the people of this State, were formerly looked upon as of
more importance than they are now; and among the rights which they
possessed in those early days, but of which they have since been
deprived, was the right of voting. An early writer, speaking of this
privilege, says, "The New Jersey women, however, showed themselves
worthy of the respect of their countrymen by generally declining to
avail themselves of this preposterous proof of it." It is very pleasant
for us to remember that New Jersey was among the first of our States in
which free and equal rights were given to all citizens, male or female,
if they chose to avail themselves of them.

But when the population of New Jersey so increased that it became plain
that the women could not be physicians, and attend at the same time to
their domestic duties, the care of their children, and the demands of
society, the citizens of New Jersey gave as earnest and thorough
attention to their needs in the way of medicine and surgery as they had
given to their needs in the way of college education; and the first
State Medical Society in this country was founded in New Jersey in the
year 1766.

It is said that some of the early doctors of New Jersey possessed great
ability, and, although there could not have been many of them at first,
they arranged for a suitable increase in their society, and nearly every
one of them had one or more students.

A medical student in those days did not occupy the same position that he
holds now. In fact, he was nothing more nor less than an apprentice to
his master. He was bound to the doctor by a regular indenture. He lived
in his family, and, when he was not engaged in his studies, he was
expected to make himself useful in various domestic ways, often learning
the use of the saw in the wood yard.

A very natural consequence of this domestic fashion of pursuing their
studies was, that, when the young doctor started out to establish a
practice for himself, he not only had a certificate or diploma from his
master, but was also provided with a wife, for marriages of medical
students with the daughters of their preceptors were very common.

What further outfit was furnished a student setting out in practice for
himself, may be imagined from the conclusion of an old indenture of
apprenticeship, which states, that when Jacobus Hubbard shall have
fulfilled his apprenticeship of four years and eight months,--during
which he has well and faithfully served his master, his secrets kept,
his lawful commands gladly everywhere obeyed,--he shall be provided,
when he goes forth as doctor, with a "new set of surgeon's pocket
instruments, Solomon's Dispensatory, Quence's Dispensatory, and Fuller
on Fevers."

It is probable that such a very healthy country as New Jersey did not
always give a doctor of a neighborhood sufficient work to occupy his
time, and therefore the early physicians used to combine other
professions with that of medicine and surgery. Some were lawyers, others
clergymen, and many were farmers and planters. The following story is
told about the Rev. Jacob Green, "who lived in Hanover, and was pastor
of the Presbyterian Church in that place. He had also many other
callings, as may be inferred from a letter addressed to him by a wag,
and which was said not to exaggerate the truth:--

"'To the Rev. Jacob Green, _Preacher_.
    "     "     "     "    _Teacher_.
    "     "     "     "    _Doctor_.
    "     "     "     "    _Proctor_.
    "     "     "     "    _Miller_.
    "     "     "     "    _Distiller_.'"

The necessity for this variety of occupation is shown by a letter from a
gentleman named Charles Gordon, living near Plainfield, to his brother,
Dr. John Gordon, in England, in which he says, "If you design to come
hither, you may come as a planter or merchant; but as a doctor of
medicine I cannot advise you, for I hear of no diseases to cure but some
agues and some cutted legs and fingers." Other physicians gave up their
professions at the beginning of the Revolution, and became prominent in
military matters.

Dr. John Cochran, one of the first New Jersey physicians, was a man of
wide experience and reputation. He was surgeon in the British hospital
during the French War, and afterward practiced medicine in New
Brunswick. During the Revolution, he became an army surgeon. He was a
friend of Washington, and, in fact, was quite intimate with the
commander in chief of the American forces. It is said that when
Washington was at West Point in 1779, and the doctor and his family were
stationed at the same place, Washington wrote to Dr. Cochran almost the
only facetious letter which is known to have come from the pen of that
grave and dignified man.

This letter informs the doctor that he has invited Mrs. Cochran and Mrs.
Livingston to dine with him the next day, and says that the table is
large enough for the ladies, and then proceeds to tell "how it is
covered." "Since our arrival at this happy spot, we have had a ham,
sometimes a shoulder of bacon, to grace the head of the table; a piece
of roast beef adorns the foot, and a dish of beans or greens, almost
imperceptible, decorates the center. When the cook has a mind to cut a
figure, which I presume will be the case to-morrow, we have two
beefsteak pies, or dishes of crabs, in addition, one on each side of the
center dish, dividing the space, and reducing the distance between dish
and dish to about six feet, which without them would be twelve feet
apart. Of late, he has had the surprising sagacity to discover that
apples will make pies, and it is a question if in the violence of his
efforts we do not get one of apples instead of having both of beefsteak.
If the ladies can put up with such entertainment, and will submit to
partake of it on plates once tin, now iron (not become so by scouring),
I shall be happy to see them."

The fact that the early physicians of New Jersey were very skillful, and
patients in that healthful country very scarce, seems to have had the
effect of making some physicians of that day extremely sharp about
business matters. A certain doctor of Rahway had been called upon to
visit a rich man who was in great pain and distress. The doctor having
administered some medicine, the patient very speedily recovered. Some
time after this, the doctor determined to leave Rahway; and the rich man
who had been attended by him with such gratifying results began to be
afraid that he might be taken sick again in the same way. So he went to
the doctor, and requested that before he left, he would give him the
prescription which had seemed to suit his case so admirably.

Doctors seldom approve of their patients taking their treatment into
their own hands; but, after a little consideration, he said he would
furnish the prescription, but that it would cost ten dollars. This quite
astonished the rich man, and at first he refused to pay such a high
price; but, after considering that it might save him many visits from
the new doctor who should come to Rahway, he agreed to pay the price
demanded, and the prescription was written, and delivered to him. When
he reached his home, he thought he would try to make out what this
prescription was; but when he opened the paper, he found nothing but the
word "catnip." It is not likely that he ever again tried to take
advantage of the medical profession.

But it was not always Jersey doctors whose wit shone brightest in a
financial transaction. There was a doctor in the town of Rocky Hill who
was sent for to attend a poor old man who was suffering with a piece of
bone sticking in his throat. The doctor went immediately to the old
man's house, and it was not long before the bone was out. As the doctor
was packing up his instruments, the old fellow, whose name was William,
inquired how much he would have to pay; and the doctor replied that for
an operation of that sort his charge was five dollars. This quite
astonished William, who probably had not five cents in the house; but he
wished to pay his debts, and not to be considered a pauper patient, and
so he asked the doctor if he might come to his house and work out the
bill. The doctor replied that that would be entirely satisfactory to
him, and that William might come the next day and work in the garden.

The next day old William went to the doctor's house. All day he
faithfully dug and hoed and raked. Toward the end of the afternoon the
doctor came into the garden, and, after informing William that he might
come again, he casually asked him how much he charged for a day's work.
William stood up and promptly answered, that for a day's labor in the
garden his charge was five dollars. Now was the doctor surprised.

"You don't mean," he exclaimed, "that you are going to ask five dollars
for one day's labor!"

"That is exactly my price," said William. "If two minutes' yanking with
a pair of pincers at a little bone is worth five dollars, then one day's
hard labor in tilling the ground is worth just as much."

It often happens that doctors are men of wit and humor; and it is
recorded that a New Jersey physician, named Dr. Hole, was the author of
the first version of a tombstone epitaph which afterwards became widely
known and used. The lines of Dr. Hole are cut upon a tombstone of a
child, and run as follows:--

    "A dropsy sore long time I bore:
      Forsitions were in vain
    Till God above did hear my moan,
      And eased me of my pain."

That some of those early doctors were honest is proved by a doctor's
bill which is now preserved in the New Jersey Historical Society. At the
end of this bill, after all the different items of service and medicine
had been charged upon it, there is this entry: "Contrary credit by
Medsons brought back." It would be difficult now to find a doctor in New
Jersey, or anywhere else, who would be willing to take back, and allow
credit for, all partly filled bottles of medicine, and boxes of pills,
the contents of which had been ordered, but not entirely used.


We have so long looked upon New Jersey as prominent among what were
called the "free States" of the Union, that it now seems strange when we
consider, that among the first of the institutions established upon its
soil by the early settlers, was the system of slavery. This was the case
not only in New Jersey, but in all the American Colonies. The settlers
of New England, as well as those of the Southern Colonies, used negro
slaves as laborers on their farms; and the trade in native Africans was
a very important branch of industry.

The Duke of York, to whom his brother, Charles II., had made a grant of
extensive American possessions, was at the head of the African Company,
formed for the purpose of bringing slaves from Africa, and selling them.
The Dutch were then the great rivals of the English in this trade; and
the Duke of York was very glad to possess New Jersey and the rest of his
grant, for then he could not only oust the Dutch from the territory, but
could possess himself of this very desirable and profitable slave

But it was not only the English and Dutch who brought negro slaves to
America, for it is stated that the earliest Swedish settlers brought
slaves with them as laborers. So we may say that slavery and freedom
were planted together in this country of ours; one to be pulled up
afterward like a weed, the other to be left to grow and flourish.

When Berkeley and Carteret acquired authority over New Jersey, they did
everything that they could to induce settlers to come to the new
country; and, as they were anxious to have the lands opened up and
cultivated as rapidly as possible, they encouraged immigrants to bring
as many slaves as they could afford. They offered one hundred and fifty
acres to every one who would settle, and another one hundred and fifty
acres for every full-grown able-bodied male slave, and seventy-five
acres each for those not grown up. Afterwards, when slaves became more
numerous, the bounties given on their account were diminished, and in
course of time they ceased altogether.

A great many slaves must have been brought direct from Africa to New
Jersey, for at Perth Amboy there was established what was then called a
barracks; and in this, negroes who had been brought in the slave ships
were confined until they were sold and sent out into the country.

Not only were there negro slaves in the State, but there were also
Indians who had been enslaved, and were regularly sold and bought. How
these red men happened to be slaves, we do not certainly know; but we
may be very sure that the whites did not make war upon Indian tribes,
and capture prisoners, for the purpose of making slaves of them. It is
far more likely, that, when one tribe of Indians made war upon another,
the conquerors found it a very profitable thing to sell their prisoners
to the whites. There is no reason to suppose, however, that the natives
made war on purpose to capture and sell their fellow-countrymen, as was
the case in Africa.

The early records, however, prove that there were Indian slaves. When
the House of Representatives for the Province met at Burlington in 1704,
an act was brought before that body for the regulating of Indian and
negro slaves.

Negroes were then considered to be such legitimate articles of
merchandise, that English sovereigns thought it very necessary to see to
it that their loyal settlers were sufficiently supplied with slaves, and
at prices not too high. When Queen Anne sent out Lord Cornbury as
governor of the Province, she recommended the Royal African Company to
the especial attention of the governor, that New Jersey might have a
constant and sufficient supply of merchantable negroes at moderate rates
in money or commodities. In consequence of the fostering care of the
Proprietors and the English sovereigns, slaves rapidly increased in New

The English themselves were not at all averse to the ownership of a good
serviceable slave; and about the middle of the eighteenth century a
young gentleman in England wrote to his father in New Jersey, begging
that he might "be favored with a young negro boy to present to the
brother of the then Duke of Grafton, to whom he was under obligations,
as 'a present of that kind would be very acceptable.'"

Of course, the existence of slavery made the state of society in New
Jersey and the other Colonies very different from what it is now; and
this difference is strongly shown by the advertisements of runaway
negroes, which we can find in some old newspapers. It seems very strange
to see in a Boston paper of one hundred years ago a picture of a black
man running away with a bag over his shoulder, and under the picture the
statement of the reward which would be given for his capture; and in
the New Jersey papers there were frequent advertisements of runaway
slaves and of negroes for sale. One of these, published in Burlington
two years after the Colony had declared itself free and independent,
reads as follows:--

     "TO BE SOLD--For no fault--but a saucy tongue for which he is now
     in Burlington jail--A negro man about 39 years of age. He is a
     compleat farmer, honest and sober. For further particulars enquire
     of the subscriber in Evesham, Burlington Co. Feb. 4, 1778."

When Washington was in Morristown in 1777, one of his aids wrote a
letter to a friend in Elizabethtown, which states,--

     The General will esteem it as a singular favor if you can apprehend
     a mulatto girl, servant and slave of Mrs. Washington, who eloped
     from this place yesterday, with what design cannot be conjectured,
     though as she may intend to the enemy and pass your way I trouble
     you with the description: her name is Charlotte but in all
     probability will change it, yet may be discovered by question. She
     is light complected, about thirteen years of age, pert, dressed in
     brown cloth wescoat and petticoat. Your falling upon some method of
     recovering her should she be near you will accommodate Mrs.
     Washington and lay her under great obligations to you being the
     only female servant she brought from home and intending to be off
     to-day had she not been missing. A gentle reward will be given to
     any soldier or other who shall take her up.

     I am with respect your most obedient servant

     ----  ----

After a time, negro slaves became so plentiful in New Jersey, that laws
were passed restricting their importation, and a considerable tax was
laid upon each African brought into the country.

But the negroes were not the only slaves in New Jersey during those
early days. Here, as well as in many of the other Colonies, was a class
of white people, generally from England, who were called
"redemptioners." These were poor people, although often persons of
fairly good station and education, who desired to emigrate to America,
but who could not afford to pay their passage.

A regular system was then established, by which a poor person desiring
to settle in New Jersey would be brought over free. When one of these
emigrants took passage on a ship, he signed a contract which gave the
captain of the vessel the right to sell him, as soon as he arrived in
America, for enough money to pay his passage. This white man was thus
bought, when he reached New Jersey, exactly as if he had been a negro
slave; and he was subject to the same rules as those which governed
other slaves. Of course, he was made the subject of great imposition;
for the captain would naturally desire to get as large a sum of money as
possible for each redemptioner, and therefore would be perfectly willing
to sell him for a long term.

The people who owned redemptioners could sell them again if they chose;
and it often happened that some of them passed into the possession of
several families before they finally served out the term for which they
had been sold. All sorts of people became redemptioners,--mechanics,
laborers, and even professional men. Among the people who sold
themselves into limited slavery there were schoolmasters, and it is
stated that at one time the supply of redemptioner schoolmasters was so
great that they became a drug in the market.

In the days before there were many regular schools in New Jersey, much
of the education must have been carried on by what we now call private
tutors; and a schoolmaster who could be bought as if he had been a horse
or a cow was often a very convenient piece of property. If a family
should own a teacher who was able only to instruct small children, it
would be very easy, when these children grew older and able to undertake
more advanced studies, to sell this primary teacher to some family where
there were young pupils, and buy one capable of teaching higher

It is said that these redemptioners were often treated much more
harshly and cruelly than the negro slaves, and any one who assisted one
of them to escape was severely punished. There was good reason for this
difference in the treatment of the two classes of slaves; for a negro
was the property of his master as long as he lived, and it was
manifestly the interest of the owner to keep his slave in good
condition. But the redemptioner could only be held for a certain time,
and, if his master was not a good man, he would be apt to get out of him
all the work that he could during the time of his service, and to give
him no more food or clothing than was absolutely necessary.

After a time there were laws made to protect the redemptioners. One of
these was, that any person sold after he was seventeen years old could
not serve for more than four years; and another provided, that, when a
redemptioner's time of service had expired, his master should give him
"two good suits of clothing, suitable for a servant, one good ax, one
good hoe, and seven bushels of Indian corn."

But although the redemptioner sometimes fared very badly in the new
country, it often happened that he came out very well in the end. Among
the white people who came here as slaves there were often convicts and
paupers; but even some of these succeeded in bettering their condition
and establishing themselves as good citizens, and in founding families.

It often happened that some of the Germans who came to buy land and
settle, chose rather to put away their money, and sell themselves as
redemptioners to English families, so that they might learn the English
language and manner of living. Then, when they had educated themselves
in this practical manner, and their time of service was over, they could
buy land, and establish themselves on terms of equality with their
English neighbors.

But the trade in redemptioners gradually decreased; and by the middle of
the eighteenth century there were not many of them left in New Jersey,
although there were a few in the State until after the Revolution. Negro
slavery, however, continued much longer. It grew and flourished until it
became a part of the New Jersey social system; but it must not be
supposed that all the people of the State continued to be satisfied with
this condition of things.

At first everybody who could afford it owned slaves, and the Friends or
Quakers bought negroes the same as other people did; but about the end
of the seventeenth century some of these Quakers began to think that
property in human beings was not a righteous thing, and the Quakers of
New Jersey united with those of Pennsylvania in an agreement
recommending to the members of the Society of Friends that they should
no longer employ negro slaves, or, if they thought it best to continue
to do this, that they should at least cease to import them.

A strong party among the Quakers of New Jersey opposed slavery for many
years, and the system was denounced at some of their yearly meetings;
and this went on until about the middle of the next century, when a law
was made that no person owning slaves should continue in the Society of

As years passed on, people other than Quakers began to consider slavery
an injustice and an evil; and this feeling gradually increased, until in
the beginning of the nineteenth century it became very strong, and in
1820 an act was passed by the Legislature for the emancipation of the
slaves. They were not set free all at once, and turned into the world to
take care of themselves; but a system of gradual emancipation was
adopted, by which the young people obtained their freedom when they came
of age, while the masters were obliged to take care of the old negroes
as long as they lived. By this plan, slavery was very gradually
abolished in New Jersey, so that in 1840 there were still six hundred
and seventy-four slaves in the State; and even in 1860 eighteen slaves
remained, and these must have been very old.


At the time when the American colonists began to be restless under the
rule of Great Britain, the people of New Jersey showed as strong a
desire for independence as those of any other Colony, and they were by
no means backward in submitting to any privations which might be
necessary in order to assert their principles. As has been said before,
the people were prosperous, and accustomed to good living, and it was
not likely that there was any part of America in which a cup of
well-flavored tea was better appreciated than in New Jersey.

But when the other colonists determined to resist unjust taxation, and
resolved that they would not use tea, on which a heavy tax was laid
without allowing the American people to have anything to say about it,
the patriotic people of New Jersey resolved that they too would use no
tea so long as this unjust tax was placed upon it. When the tea was
destroyed in Boston Harbor, the Jersey patriots applauded the act, and
would have been glad to show in the same way what they thought upon the

But when tea was shipped from England, it was sent to the great ports of
Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston; and what was used in
New Jersey came from these places after the consignees had paid the tax.
However, to show their sympathy with the efforts which were being made
at the sea-ports to prevent the landing of tea, the New Jersey people,
that is, those who belonged to the Whig party,--which was the patriotic
party, and opposed to the Tories, who favored England,--formed an
association, the members of which bound themselves to buy or use no tea
until the tax should be removed.

There is a story told of Hugh Drum of Somerset County, who was so
thoroughly in earnest on this subject, and who probably supposed that
the weak little Colonies would always have to submit to the power of
Great Britain, that he took an oath that never again during the rest of
his life would he take a cup of tea; and although he lived a great many
years afterward, during which the Americans imported their own tea
without regard to what any other country thought about it, Mr. Drum
never again drank tea.

But at last an opportunity came for patriotic Jerseymen to show that
they were not behind the other colonists in resisting the attempt of
Great Britain to force upon them this taxed tea.

Nearly a year after the tea had been thrown overboard in Boston Harbor,
a vessel from England--loaded with tea, and bound to Philadelphia--put
into Cohansey Creek, a small stream which runs into Delaware Bay, and
anchored at the little town of Greenwich. This vessel, called the
"Greyhound," was afraid to go up to Philadelphia, because from that
port tea ships were sent back to England as soon as they arrived, as was
also the case in New York. So the captain of the "Greyhound" thought it
would be a good plan to land his tea at Greenwich, from which place it
could be taken inland to its destination. Here the cargo was unloaded,
and stored in the cellar of a house opposite the open market place.

This business of forcing tea upon the American colonists had become a
very serious matter to England; for the East India Company had now in
their warehouses at London seventeen million pounds of tea, and, if
there should be no sale for any of this in the American market, the loss
would be very severe. Consequently every possible method was resorted
to, in order to have the tea landed on American soil; it being believed,
that, if the tea once got into the hands of the dealers, the people
would overcome their prejudices to its importation, and begin to use it

Therefore the captain of the "Greyhound" thought he was doing a very
sharp thing when he sailed up Cohansey Creek and unloaded his tea. That
cargo was landed, and in those days an English captain of a tea ship
might well be proud of having performed such a feat.

But it is not likely that the captain of the "Greyhound" had ever before
sailed into a port of New Jersey, large or small, or had anything to do
with Jerseymen; for if he had, he would not have been so well satisfied
with the result of the voyage.

The people of Greenwich could not prevent the landing of the tea, for
there was no organized force at the place, nor could they order the
"Greyhound" to turn round and go back to England; but they would not
allow their town to be made use of as a port of entry for this obnoxious
merchandise, simply because it was a little town, and could not keep
English ships out of its waters. A meeting of the patriotic citizens was
held, and it was resolved that no tea should go out of Greenwich to
comfort the bodies and contaminate the principles of people in any part
of the Colonies; and they would show their British tyrants that it was
just as unsafe to send tea into Cohansey Creek as it was to send it into
the harbor of Boston.

Having come to this determination, they went immediately to work. A
party of young men, about forty in number, was organized; and in order
to disguise themselves, or strike terror into anybody who might be
inclined to oppose their undertaking, they were all dressed as Indians.
They assembled in the market place, and then, making a rush to the house
in which the tea was stored, they broke open the doors, carried out the
tea, split open the boxes in which it was contained, and made a great
pile of it in an open space near by.

When tea is dry and in good condition, it will burn very well, and it
was not many minutes before there was a magnificent bonfire near the
market place in Greenwich; and in all that town there was not one man
who dared to attempt to put it out. Thus the cargo of the "Greyhound"
went up in smoke to the sky. It must have been a very hard thing for
the good ladies of the town to sit in their houses and sniff the
delightful odor, which recalled to their minds the cherished beverage,
of which, perhaps, they might never again partake. But they were
Jerseywomen, of stout hearts and firm principles, and there is no record
that any one of them uttered a word of complaint.

But in every community there is at least one person in whose mind there
is a little streak of the Ananias nature, and there was a man of that
kind in Greenwich. His name was Stacks, and he was a great lover of tea;
moreover, he had a soul disposed to economy and thrift. Consequently it
was very hard for him to stand by and see all that tea wasted; and he
thought it would be no harm--as he was not a merchant, and did not
intend to exercise evil influences upon the people of America by
inducing them to buy tea--if he appropriated to himself a little of this
most desirable herb, which was to be burned and wasted before his very

Whenever he had a chance, he slipped a little tea into some part of his
clothes where he thought it would not be noticed, and so gradually
loaded himself with a considerable stock of the herb. In fact, he stowed
away so many handfuls of it, that, when the fire was over, his
companions noticed that he had considerably increased in size; and it
was not long before his trick was discovered. We do not hear that he was
compelled to empty out the tea, but we are told that ever after he went
by the name of "Tea Stacks."

This tea bonfire created a great stir, and although the patriotic party
approved it, there were a great many Tories in the country who condemned
it as a piece of outrageous violence and wanton waste. This latter
opinion was so freely expressed, that the English owners of the cargo
were encouraged to take legal steps against the men who destroyed the
tea. It was easy enough to do this; for the young fellows who had made
the bonfire were very proud of what they had done, and, instead of
denying their connection with the burning of the tea, were always very
ready to boast of it.

When it was understood that the tea burners were to be prosecuted, all
the Whigs of the surrounding country determined to stand by them; and
they subscribed a large sum of money to engage lawyers to defend their
case. The strength of the popular feeling was shown by the fact, that,
when the case was brought to court, the grand jury positively refused to
bring a bill against these young men, although the judge insisted that
they should do so. The matter was thus postponed; and as it was not long
before the Colonies broke out into open rebellion, and a period
followed when Englishmen no longer brought suits in American courts,
there was no further action in regard to the tea burning at Greenwich.

Therefore, unless Mr. Stacks contrived to keep some of the tea which he
carried off in his clothes, the good people of the neighborhood, if they
drank tea at all, made it of the dried leaves of raspberries, or those
of some other bush, which have something of a tea taste, and were thus
enabled to have a hot beverage with their evening meal, with but a
little strain upon their imaginations, and none at all on their

In other neighborhoods, however, there were people who, although they
were patriots and inclined to support the cause of American liberty,
could not see how such a little thing as drinking a cup of tea, if they
happened to have it, could interfere with their regard and respect for
the great principle of justice and independence.

Of course, it was to be supposed that the Tories, who were opposed to
this nonsense about independence, were glad to buy tea and to drink it
whenever they got the chance; but it was expected that those who called
themselves Whigs and patriots would stand by their party, and
discountenance tea drinking. There is a story told of a man who lived in
Bridgetown, who was a member of one of the Committees of Safety which
were formed for the purpose of promoting the cause of American liberty.
It was found out that this man and his family were in the habit of
drinking East India tea; and when his fellow-committeemen asked him in
regard to this matter, he boldly admitted that they all liked tea, that
they drank tea, and that they intended to drink tea.

This was a very serious matter, and the committee saw that it was
necessary to take vigorous measures in regard to this peculiar case. At
first they tried the force of argument; but all they could say to the
man amounted to nothing. He had principles, and what he considered very
good principles; but he liked tea, and, having it in the house, he saw
no harm in drinking it. So the teapot was on his table every day.

Now, his fellow-committeemen held another meeting, and formally resolved
that this unpatriotic patriot should be punished in a way which would
make a powerful impression on him, and which would show the whole
community how the Committee of Safety intended to stand firm in the
position they had taken in resisting unjust legislation. It was
resolved, that, so long as he and his family drank tea, the patriots of
the neighborhood would have nothing to do with him, they would not deal
with him, nor would they associate with him or his. This was an early
instance in America of what is known now as "boycotting."

It was a very hard thing to be shut out from all dealing and connection
with his friends and fellow-citizens, and it was not long before the tea
drinker made up his mind that the society and friendship of his
neighbors was better even than the highest flavored cup of tea; and so
he formally acknowledged his error, begged the pardon of the committee,
and promised that thereafter he would act in accordance with their
rules and regulations; and his family teapot was put away upon a high
top shelf.

But the time came, in a very few years, when the American people
attended to their own taxation, and when this teapot, with all the
others in the country, could be taken down and freely used without
interference with law or conscience.


When a nation goes to war with another, it is often necessary for the
armies on each side to leave behind some of the high and noble
principles which may have governed them at home. Of course, war is
bloody and cruel, and it almost always happens that the officers and
soldiers are obliged to descend also to meanness and duplicity in order
to succeed in their campaigns.

One strong reason for this is the necessity for the employment of spies.
It is always desirable for the commander of an army to know as far as
possible the condition of the enemy's force, and what he is doing or
intends to do. Consequently it is a common thing to send spies into the
enemy's ranks; and the better those spies can deceive the soldiers of
the other side, the more valuable will be their report, if they are
fortunate enough to get back into their own camp.

Sometimes a spy will sneak into the enemy's lines, and make his
observations in concealment and safety; but the most valuable spies are
those which enter an enemy's camp pretending sympathy and friendship. A
man who can do this well can find out a great deal.

In every army a spy from the other side is regarded as the worst of
enemies, and if captured, his punishment is death. An impartial outsider
might object to this severity, when it is considered that the army which
punishes the spy may, at the same time, have spies of its own among the
enemy. During the Revolution, Major André was executed because he came
into the American lines as a spy, and at the same time General
Washington was very glad to get a good spy to send into a British camp.

There was a man named John Honeyman, who acted with great success in
this capacity on the patriotic side during the Revolution. Honeyman was
a Scotch-Irishman, and was said to be a remarkably fine looking man. He
was tall, strong, extremely active, and had a fine military bearing. He
had no desire to become a soldier; but he was forced into the British
army, and came to this country in 1758, when Abercrombie came over to
attack the French in Canada. Young Colonel Wolfe, who was afterwards the
famous General Wolfe who fell at Quebec, had command of this army, and
on the ship in which he sailed was John Honeyman.

Military men are not as sure-footed as sailors on board a ship, which
may be rolling and tossing on rough waters; and one day, as Colonel
Wolfe was coming into the cabin, he tripped and fell when he was halfway
down the companion way, and would probably have broken his neck, if it
had not been that Honeyman happened to be at the bottom of the steps,
and caught the colonel in his arms, thus saving him from injury.

It is very satisfactory for a full-grown man, especially one whose
profession exposes him to accidents of various kinds, to be able to take
into his service another man who is tall enough and strong enough to
pick him up and carry him if it is necessary, and who is also
quick-witted enough to know when he should interpose himself in case of

Honeyman's conduct on this occasion made an impression on Colonel Wolfe;
and when afterwards he was made general, he took the tall soldier into
his bodyguard, and made him understand that, in times when danger might
be apprehended, he was to be as near him as his duties would permit.

When the great attack was made upon Quebec, Honeyman was one of the men
who helped row the boat which carried Wolfe over the river; and during
this passage a cannon ball from the enemy struck an officer sitting very
near Honeyman, and took off his head. Had this happened to Honeyman, it
would have been a bad thing for New Jersey.

When they reached the opposite side, Honeyman climbed the Heights of
Abraham side by side with his brave commander; and when, in the battle
which followed, Wolfe was killed, it was Honeyman who bore him off the
field. Thus the first and the last service which this strong man
rendered to his military chief were very much the same.

About a year after this the war ended, and Honeyman received an
honorable discharge. He carried with him the good will and commendation
of his officers, but he also took something which he valued more than
these. While he was with General Wolfe, that officer had given him
letters expressing his good opinion of him, and these afterwards proved
of great service.

Honeyman went southward, and lived for some years in the American
Colonies. He finally settled in Philadelphia, where he married. When the
Revolution broke out, his sympathies were entirely with the American
side, but he did not immediately enlist in the American army. When
Washington came to Philadelphia, Honeyman was very anxious to see him
and consult with him. It was difficult for a man in the ordinary walks
of life to obtain an interview with the commander in chief; but Honeyman
sent in the letters which General Wolfe had given him, and, after having
read these, Washington was very ready to see the man of whom that
general had such a high opinion. Washington soon discovered that
Honeyman was a man of peculiar ability, and he had several interviews
with him, although it is not known what was said at these times.

Before very long, Honeyman took his family to Griggstown, in Somerset
County, New Jersey, and there he hired a house and settled. From this
place he went to Fort Lee, when Washington came into New Jersey with his
army, and had an interview with the general; and here, it is said, he
made a regular contract with the commander in chief to become a spy on
the American side.

There were a good many Tories in the State, and, as Honeyman had once
been a British soldier, it was easy enough for him to make believe that
he was a Tory, and so make friends with the Redcoats when he should have
an opportunity.

The plan concocted between Washington and Honeyman was very carefully
worked out in all its details. Honeyman was to let it be known that he
was a Tory, and as soon as he thought it proper he was to leave his
family and join the British. It was considered that the best thing he
could do would be to engage in business as a butcher, and then, when he
went over to the British, he could go about the country in search of
cattle, and thus get a good idea of what was going on.

He was to stay with the enemy until he discovered something important,
and then he was to arrange matters so that he should, apparently without
knowing it, wander near the American lines, where he would be captured.
It is said that Washington arranged, that, as soon as he should hear
that Honeyman had gone over to the enemy, he would offer a reward for
his arrest; but this reward would be paid only in case the supposed
traitor should be carried alive and unhurt to him. All this planning was
necessary, because there was so much communication between the Tories
and Whigs at that time, that, if it had been known on the American side
that Honeyman had gone over as a spy, the fact would soon have been
communicated to the British.

Honeyman went over to the enemy, and started business as a butcher for
the army, and, after having gone a good deal about the country looking
for cattle, he came to New Brunswick with the British army. Nobody had
suspected that he was not a perfectly honest Tory, and he had been
paying great attention to the condition of the British army, and to
finding out everything which might be of use if reported to Washington.
Among other things, he discovered that the British forces then occupying
Trenton were not under a strict state of discipline. It was winter; the
weather was cold; apparently there was not much for them to do; and
discipline was in a rather lax state. Honeyman well understood the
habits of the Redcoats, and he knew that during the holidays the
soldiers would live in even a more free and easy manner than they were
living then.

Not only did he make himself well acquainted with the condition of the
army, but he carefully studied the town of Trenton and its neighborhood,
and, going about in every direction after cows and oxen, he learned the
roads so well that he could make a very good map of them. Everything
that could be of service to the American cause was jotted down in
Honeyman's retentive memory; and when he had found out everything that
he could find out, he thought it was fully time that he should acquaint
Washington with the state of affairs in the enemy's lines.

He knew that there were American pickets on the Jersey side, some
distance away; and he started out in this direction as a greasy butcher,
with a rope in one hand and a long whip in the other, looking for all
the world like John Honeyman the Tory cattleman, who, if he knew what
was good for him, would better keep out of sight of the soldiers of the
American army. He walked a long distance down the river, and, though he
may have seen cattle, he paid no attention to them. His present object
was not to capture anything and take it away, but to be captured and
taken away. After a time he saw at a distance what he had been looking
for. Behind some bushes, but still quite plain to the eye of this
practiced soldier, were two cavalrymen dismounted, and Honeyman knew
that they were Americans. He continued to walk towards them until he
came close to the spot where the two soldiers were standing.

The moment their eyes fell upon him, they recognized him, and shouted to
him to halt; but Honeyman was too good an actor to do that. If he wished
to carry on the business in hand, he must keep up his character as a
Tory, and so he took to his long legs and ran like a deer. But the men
jumped on their horses and were after him in a moment; and as horses'
legs are a good deal better than human legs, no matter how long they may
be, the flying butcher was soon overtaken. But even then he did not
surrender, but so laid about him with his whip that he kept the two men
at bay. Of course, if they had not known him, they would have shot him
down; but as Washington had issued a proclamation concerning him, and
had especially insisted that he should be brought in alive, they did not
wish to injure him. But the unequal fight did not continue long, and
Honeyman was soon captured. The soldiers bound his arms, and, mounting
him behind one of them, so carried him across the river to Washington's

When Honeyman was brought into the presence of the commander in chief,
he pretended to be very much frightened; and he would have been
excusable if he had been really frightened, for in that little
performance of his he had run a great many risks. After asking a few
questions of this pretended traitor Washington told the guards to
withdraw, and he had a private conference which lasted over half an
hour; and in that time it is probable that these two men did a great
deal of talking. The information given was most valuable, and such as
could have been furnished only by a man of extraordinary powers of

When he had kept Honeyman as long as was necessary, Washington called
the guards, and told them to take the prisoner to a log cabin which was
used as a military jail, and there to watch him carefully during the
night, and in the morning he would be tried by court-martial. Honeyman
was taken to the prison, which had but one window and one door, and
supper was given to him. He was locked in, and two sentinels went on
guard outside the walls of the log house.

In the middle of the night these men saw a fire burning not far from
headquarters, and, fearing that it might prove dangerous to allow it to
burn, they thought it their duty to run and put it out. This they did,
and returned to the log house, where everything looked the same as they
had left it. But in the morning, when they opened the door, there was no
prisoner inside.

It is said that the whole plan of this escape, probably by means of the
window, was arranged by Washington himself, but of this we are not
certain. We know, however, that Washington looked upon Honeyman as one
of the most valuable men in the employ of the army, and that he would
take every means to prevent him from coming to harm on account of this

It was in consequence of the information that Honeyman, at the cost of
such great risk and danger, had brought to Washington, that three days
afterwards the Americans crossed the Delaware, attacked Trenton, routed
the British, and thus gained one of the greatest and most important
victories of the Revolution. If it had been John Honeyman, instead of
the British officer, who was struck by a cannon ball crossing the St.
Lawrence, it is likely that Washington would not have dared to attack
the British army in Trenton, which, before his half hour's conversation
with his spy, was believed to be entirely too strong to be meddled with
by the Continental soldiers on the other side of the river.

But the report which Honeyman had made to Washington was not the only
service which he did to the American cause. Having left his peace
principles at home, as he was bound to do if he wanted to act as a truly
serviceable spy, he had more work before him. As soon as he got out of
the log house, he ran from the camp, and, although he was fired at by a
sentinel, he got safely away. He crossed the river on the ice whenever
there was any, and when he came to open water, he jumped in and swam,
and so he got safely over into the British lines.

There, wet and shivering, he demanded to be taken to the commander; and
to him he told the dreadful story of how he had been captured by the
American soldiers while he was looking for beef cattle, and how he had
been taken to headquarters, questioned, and afterwards shut up in
prison, to be shot in the morning, and how he had quietly escaped and
come back to his friends. Colonel Rahl, who was in command of the
British, was delighted to get hold of this Tory butcher who had been
taken prisoner by the Continentals, and he put him through a course of
examination about the condition of the enemy.

Of course, it was to the benefit of the Americans that the British
should think their army as small and as weak as possible; and so
Honeyman gave an account of the wretched condition of the American
soldiers,--how few they were, how badly they were armed, how miserably
they were officered, and how they were half starved and discouraged. He
told this story so well, that he made the colonel laugh, and declare
that there was no reason to apprehend any danger from such a pack of
ragamuffins as were collected together under Washington, and that, if
anybody wished to keep Christmas in a jolly way in his camp, there was
no reason why he should not do so.

When Honeyman had finished telling his tales, one to one army and
another to the other, he knew that it would be better for him to get out
of the neighborhood. He was quite sure that Washington would take
Trenton, and, if he should be found in that city when it was captured,
it might be hard for even the commander in chief to prevent him from
being shot. So he hastened away to take refuge with the British in New

Honeyman had made himself so conspicuous in that part of the country as
a Tory who was working as hard as he could for the benefit of the
British by supplying them with beef, that all news about him was
received with great interest. It was not long before this story of how
he had been captured by the American pickets, and afterwards escaped
from the log prison, became generally known; and the people of
Griggstown, where his wife and family lived, were greatly excited,
believing that Honeyman had come there, and had concealed himself in his
house. A mob collected in the neighborhood late one night, surrounded
the house, and woke up the family with shouts and banging on the door.
Mrs. Honeyman appeared, nearly frightened to death; and some of the
ringleaders told her that they knew that her Tory husband had come back,
and was concealed inside; and they vowed, that, if he did not come out
and deliver himself up, they would burn the house and everything in it.

She declared that he was not there, and that it had been a long time
since she had seen him. But this was of no use. They persisted that he
was inside, and that, if he did not come out very quickly, they would
set fire to the house. It was of no use to reason with an excited mob,
and, although Mrs. Honeyman said that they might come in and search the
house for her husband, they would not listen to her. Perhaps one reason
of this was, that Honeyman was a dangerous man to look for, inside of
his own house and in dark rooms. Mrs. Honeyman saw that she must act
quickly, or her home would be lost to her.

She ran inside, and soon appeared with a paper, which she gave to a man
in the crowd with whom she was acquainted, and asked him to read it so
that every one could hear.

It was not to be supposed that Mrs. Honeyman possessed a private riot
act, which might be read in order to disperse a disorderly assembly; but
even the most disorderly people are generally possessed of great
curiosity in regard to anything out of the common, and they consented to
put off the bonfire a few minutes, and hear what was to be read. What
the angry crowd heard was as follows:--


     To the good people of New Jersey, and all others whom it may
     concern: It is hereby ordered that the wife and children of John
     Honeyman of Griggstown, the notorious Tory, now within the British
     lines and probably acting the part of a spy, shall be, and are
     hereby protected from all harm and annoyance from every quarter
     until further orders. But this furnishes no protection to Honeyman


This paper, which it is said Washington not only signed, but wrote with
his own hand, had been given to Honeyman some time before, and he sent
it to his wife in order that it might protect her in case of danger such
as now threatened her. It was thought very likely that the people of
Griggstown would become so incensed against the Tory butcher, that they
might offer harm to his wife and family; and Washington was, no doubt,
glad to give what protection he could to the home of the man who, no
matter how much he might have deceived other people, was always true to
him and to the American cause.

When the crowd heard the communication from the commander in chief of
the American army, ordering them to refrain from violence to Mrs.
Honeyman and her family, they could not understand why it had been
written; but they understood very well what it commanded, and so,
grumbling a good deal, but not daring to disobey, they dispersed, and
left the wife of the spy in peace.

This paper, of course, was cherished as a great prize by the Honeyman
family, and remained in their possession for many years; and it was
indeed an heirloom worth preserving. But, although it proved a safeguard
for Mrs. Honeyman, it did not remove the prejudices against her husband,
and for a long time after that it would have been a very unwise thing
for Tory Honeyman to come to Griggstown. Of course, it would have been
an easy thing for Washington to have publicly exonerated Honeyman from
all charges of treason and Toryism, but this would not have served his
purpose. There was still need of a competent spy in the British lines;
and there Honeyman remained during the rest of the war, always ready to
give information to the commander whenever he could obtain it.

When peace was proclaimed, Washington did not forget Honeyman, and he
himself told the story of how this brave man became a Tory butcher for
the sake of American independence, and of the great services he had
rendered to the cause. Then, of course, Honeyman went home to his wife
and family, and the people of Griggstown received him as if he had been
a great hero. And in fact, looking at the matter from a war point of
view, he deserved all the honors they could give him, for without his
aid the battle of Trenton could never have been won; and in fact he was
more useful in that engagement than if he had been a regiment of

Honeyman was no doubt a great man in Griggstown. The people who had once
threatened to burn down his house could not do enough for him. Those who
once would not speak to his wife when they met her, now implored her to
let them know what they could do for her, and it was not long before the
popularity of the family increased to a wonderful degree.

Several officers of rank who had heard of what Honeyman had done, came
to see and talk with him; and, more than that, Washington himself came
to Griggstown, and paid a visit to his former spy. Such an honor was
enough to make the once denounced Tory butcher the leading citizen of
the town. Honeyman now became a prosperous man, and bought a large farm
and reared a family of seven children, who grew up and prospered; and
their descendants are now scattered all over the State. He himself lived
to the good old age of ninety-five, and died respected and honored by
all,--never thought of as a spy, but only as a patriotic hero.

It would appear, from the stories of those early days, that whenever a
man or woman acted a good part, and was truly of service to New Jersey,
he or she always lived to be very old, and left behind a vast number of


The person whose story we are now about to tell was not a Jerseyman;
but, as most of the incidents which make him interesting to us occurred
in this State, we will give him the benefit of a few years' residence

This was General Charles Lee, who might well have been called a soldier
of fortune. He was born in England, but the British Isles were entirely
too small to satisfy his wild ambitions and his roving disposition.
There are few heroes of romance who have had such a wide and varied
experience, and who have engaged in so many strange enterprises. He was
a brave man and very able, but he had a fault which prevented him from
being a high-class soldier; and that fault was, that he could not bear
restraint, and was always restive under command of another, and, while
always ready to tell other people what they ought to do, was never
willing to be told what he ought to do.

He joined the British army when he was a young man; and he first came to
this country in 1757, when General Abercrombie brought over an army to
fight the French. For three years, Lee was engaged in the wilds and
forests, doing battle with the Indians and the French, and no doubt he
had all the adventures an ordinary person would desire. But this
experience was far from satisfactory.

When he left America, he went to Portugal with another British army, and
there he fought the Spanish with as much impetuosity as he had fought
the French and Indians.

Life was absolutely tasteless to Lee without a very strong sprinkle of
variety. Consequently he now tried fighting in an entirely different
field, and went into politics. He became a Liberal, and with his voice
fought the government for whom he had been previously fighting with his

But a few years of this satisfied him; and then he went to Poland, where
he became a member of the king's staff, and as a Polish officer
disported himself for two years.

It is very likely that in Turkey a high-spirited man would find more
opportunities for lively adventure than even in Poland. At any rate,
Charles Lee thought so; and to Turkey he went, and entered into the
service of the Sultan. Here he distinguished himself in a company of
Turks who were guarding a great treasure in its transportation from
Moldavia to Constantinople. No doubt he wore a turban and baggy
trousers, and carried a great scimiter, for a man of that sort is not
likely to do things by halves when he does them at all.

Having had such peculiar experiences in various armies and various parts
of the world, Lee thought himself qualified to occupy a position of rank
in the British army, and, coming back to England, he endeavored to
obtain military promotion. But the government there did not seem to
think he had learned enough in Poland and Turkey to enable him to take
precedence of English officers accustomed to command English troops, and
it declined to put him above such officers, and to give him the place he
desired. Lee was not a man of mild temper. He became very angry at the
treatment he received, and, abandoning his native country again, he went
to Russia, where the Czar gave him the command of a company of wild
Cossacks. But he did not remain long with the Cossacks. Perhaps they
were not wild and daring enough to suit his fancy, although there are
very few fancies which would not be satisfied with the reckless and
furious demeanor generally attributed to these savage horsemen.

He threw up his command and went to Hungary, and there he did some
fighting in an entirely different fashion. Not having any opportunity to
distinguish himself upon a battlefield, he engaged in a duel; and of
course, as he was acting the part of a hero of romance, he killed his

Hungary was not a suitable residence for him after the duel, and he went
back to England, and there he found the country in a state of excitement
in regard to the American Colonies. Now, if there was anything that Lee
liked, it was a state of excitement, and in the midst of this political
hubbub he felt as much at home as if he had been charging the ranks of
an enemy. Of course, he took part against the government, for, as far as
we know, he had always been against it, and he became a violent
supporter of the rights of the colonists.

He was so much in earnest in this matter, that in 1773 he came to
America to see for himself how matters stood. When he got over here, he
became more strongly in favor of the colonists than he had been at home,
and everywhere proclaimed that the Americans were right in resisting the
unjust taxation claims of Great Britain. As he had always been ready to
lay aside his British birthright and become some sort of a foreigner, he
now determined to become an American; and to show that he was in
earnest, he went down to Virginia and bought a farm there.

Lee soon became acquainted with people in high places in American
politics; and when the first Congress assembled, he was ready to talk
with its members, urging them to stand up for their rights, and draw
their swords and load their guns in defense of independence. It was
quite natural, that, when the Revolution really began, a man who was so
strongly in favor of the patriots, and had had so much military
experience in so many different lands, should be allowed to take part in
the war, and Charles Lee was appointed major general.

This was a high military position,--much higher, in fact, than he could
ever have obtained in his own country,--but it did not satisfy him. The
position he wanted was that of commander in chief of the American army;
and he was surprised and angry that it was not offered to him, and that
a man of his ability should be passed over, and that high place given to
a person like George Washington, who knew but little of war, and had no
idea whatever how the thing was done in Portugal, Poland, Russia, and
Turkey, and who was, in fact, no more than a country gentleman.

All this showed that these Americans were fools, who did not understand
their best interests. But as there was a good chance for a fight, and,
in fact, a good many fights, and as a major-generalship was not to be
sneered at, he accepted it, and resigned the commission which he held in
the English army.

He was doubtless in earnest in his desire to assist the Americans to
obtain their independence, for he was always in earnest when he was
doing anything that he was inclined to do. But he did not propose to
sacrifice his own interests to the cause he had undertaken; and as, by
entering the American army, he risked the loss of his estate in England,
he arranged with Congress for compensation for such loss.

But, although General Lee was now a very ardent American soldier, he
could not forgive Mr. Washington for taking command above him. If that
Virginia gentleman had had the courtesy and good sense which were
generally attributed to him, he would have resigned the supreme command,
and, modestly stepping aside, would have asked General Lee to accept it.
At least, that was the opinion of General Charles Lee.

As this high and mighty soldier was so unwilling to submit to the orders
of incompetent people, he never liked to be under the direct command of
Washington, and, if it were possible to do so, he managed to be
concerned in operations not under the immediate eye of the commander in
chief. In fact, he was very jealous indeed of Washington, and did not
hesitate to express his opinion about him whenever he had a chance.

The American army was not very successful in Long Island, and there was
a time when it fared very badly in New Jersey; and Lee was not slow to
declare that these misfortunes were owing entirely to the ignorance of
the man who was in command. Moreover, if there was any one who wanted to
know if there was another man in the Colonies who could command the army
better, and lead it more certainly and speedily to victory, General Lee
was always ready to mention an experienced soldier who would be able to
perform that duty most admirably.

If it had not been for this unfortunate and jealous disposition, Charles
Lee--a very different man from "Light Horse Harry" Lee--would have been
one of the most useful officers in the American army. But he had such a
jealousy of Washington, and hoped so continually that something would
happen which would give him the place then occupied by the Virginia
country gentleman, that, although he was at heart an honest patriot, he
allowed himself to do things which were not at all patriotic. He wanted
to see the Americans successful in the country, but he did not want to
see all that happen under the leadership of Washington; and if he could
put an obstacle in the way of that incompetent person, he would do it,
and be glad to see him stumble over it.

In the winter of 1776, when the American army was making its way across
New Jersey, towards the Delaware River, with Cornwallis in pursuit,
Washington was anxiously looking for the troops, under the command of
General Lee, who had been ordered to come to his assistance; and if ever
assistance was needed, it was needed then. But Lee liked to do his own
ordering, and, instead of hurrying to help Washington, he thought it
would be a great deal better to do something on his own account; and so
he endeavored to get into the rear of Cornwallis's army, thinking, that,
if he should attack the enemy in that way, he might possibly win a
startling victory, which would cover him with glory, and show how much
better a soldier he was than that poor Washington who was retreating
across the country, instead of boldly turning and showing fight.

If Lee had been a true soldier, and had conscientiously obeyed the
commands of his superior, he would have joined Washington and his army
without delay, and a short time afterward would have had an opportunity
of taking part in the battle of Trenton, in which the Virginia country
gentleman defeated the British, and gained one of the most important
victories of the war.

Lee pressed slowly onward--ready to strike a great blow for himself, and
unwilling to help anybody else strike a blow--until he came to
Morristown; and, after staying there one night, he proceeded in the
direction of Basking Ridge, a pretty village not far away. Lee left his
army at Bernardsville, which was then known as Vealtown, and rode on to
Basking Ridge, accompanied only by a small guard. There he took lodgings
at an inn, and made himself comfortable. The next morning he did not go
and put himself at the head of his army and move on, because there were
various affairs which occupied his attention.

Several of his guard wished to speak to him, some of them being men from
Connecticut, who appeared before him in full-bottomed wigs, showing
plainly that they considered themselves people who were important enough
to have their complaints attended to. One of them wanted his horse shod,
another asked for some money on account of his pay, and a third had
something to say about rations. But General Lee cut them all off very
shortly with, "You want a great deal, but you have not mentioned what
you want most. You want to go home, and I should be glad to let you go,
for you are no good here." Then his adjutant general asked to see him;
and he had a visit from a Major Wilkinson, who arrived that morning with
a letter from General Gates.

All these things occupied him very much, and he did not sit down to
breakfast till ten o'clock. Shortly after they had finished their meal,
and Lee was writing a letter to General Gates, in which he expressed a
very contemptible opinion of General Washington, Major Wilkinson saw, at
the end of the lane which led from the house down to the main road, a
party of British cavalry, who dashed round the corner toward the house.
The major immediately called out to General Lee that the Redcoats were
coming; but Lee, who was a man not to be frightened by sudden reports,
finished signing the letter, and then jumped up to see what was the

By this time the dragoons had surrounded the house; and when he
perceived this, General Lee naturally wanted to know where the guards
were, and why they did not fire on these fellows. But there was no
firing, and apparently there were no guards; and when Wilkinson went to
look for them, he found their arms in the room which had been their
quarters, but the men were gone. These private soldiers had evidently
been quite as free and easy, and as bent upon making themselves
comfortable, as had been the general, and they had had no thought that
such a thing as a British soldier was anywhere in the neighborhood. When
Wilkinson looked out of the door, he saw the guards running in every
direction, with dragoons chasing them.

What all this meant, nobody knew at first; and Wilkinson supposed that
it was merely a band of marauders of the British army, who were making
a raid into the country to get what they could in the way of plunder.
It was not long before this was found to be a great mistake; for the
officer in command of the dragoons called from the outside, and demanded
that General Lee should surrender himself, and that, if he did not do so
in five minutes, the house would be set on fire.

Now, it was plain to everybody that the British had heard of the
leisurely advance of this American general, and that he had left his
command and come to Basking Ridge to take his ease at an inn, and so
they had sent a detachment to capture him. Soon the women of the house
came to General Lee, and urged him to hide himself under a feather bed.
They declared that they would cover him up so that nobody would suspect
that he was in the bed; then they would tell the soldiers that he was
not there, and that they might come and search the house if they chose.

But although Lee was a jealous man and a hasty man, he had a soul above
such behavior as this, and would not hide himself in a feather bed; but,
as there was no honorable way of escape, he boldly came forward and
surrendered himself.

The British gave him no time to make any preparations for departure.
They did not know but that his army might be on the way to Basking
Ridge; and the sooner they were off, the better. So they made him jump
on Major Wilkinson's horse, which was tied by the door; and in his
slippers and dressing gown, and without a hat, this bold soldier of
wide experience, who thought he should be commander in chief of the
American army, was hurried away at full gallop. He was taken to New
York, where he was put into prison. It is said that Lee plotted against
America during his imprisonment; but General Washington did not know
that, and used every exertion to have him exchanged, so that his
aspiring rival soon again joined the American army.

But his misfortune had no good effect upon General Charles Lee, who came
back to his command with as high an opinion of himself, and as low an
opinion of certain other people, as he had had when he involuntarily
left it. It was some time after this, at the battle of Monmouth Court
House, that Charles Lee showed what sort of a man he really was. He had
now become so jealous that he positively determined that he would not
obey orders, and would act as he thought best. He had command of a body
of troops numbering five thousand, a good-sized army for those days, and
he was ordered to advance to Monmouth Court House and attack the enemy
who were there, while Washington, with another force, would hasten to
his assistance as rapidly as possible.

Washington carried out his part of the plan; but when he had nearly
reached Monmouth, he found, to his amazement, that Lee had gone there,
but had done no fighting at all, and was now actually retreating, and
coming in his direction. As it would be demoralizing in the highest
degree to his own command, if Lee's armed forces in full retreat should
come upon them, Washington hurried forward to prevent anything of the
sort, and soon met Lee. When the latter was asked what was the meaning
of this strange proceeding, he could give no good reason, except that he
thought it better not to risk an engagement at that time.

Then the Virginia country gentleman blazed out at the soldier of
fortune, and it is said that no one ever heard George Washington speak
to any other man as he spoke to General Lee on that day. He was told to
go back to his command and to obey orders, and together the American
forces moved on. In the battle which followed, the enemy was repulsed;
but the victory was not so complete as it should have been, for the
British departed in the night and went where they intended to go,
without being cut off by the American army, as would have been the case
if Lee had obeyed the orders which were given him.

General Lee was very angry at the charges which Washington had made
against him, and demanded that he should be tried by court-martial. His
wish was granted. He was tried, and found guilty of every charge made
against him, and in consequence was suspended from the army for one

But Charles Lee never went back into the American army. Perhaps he had
had enough of it. In any event, it had had enough of him; and seven
years afterwards, when he died of a fever, his ambition to stand in
Washington's shoes died with him. While he lived on his Virginia farm,
he was as impetuous and eccentric as when he had been in the army, and
he must have been a very unpleasant neighbor. In fact, the people there
thought he was crazy. This opinion was not changed when his will was
read, for in that document he said,--

"I desire most earnestly that I may not be buried in any church or
churchyard, or within a mile of any Presbyterian or Anabaptist
meetinghouse; for since I have resided in this country I have kept so
much bad company when living, that I do not choose to continue it when


When we consider the American Revolution, we are apt to think of it as a
great war in which all the inhabitants of the Colonies rose up against
Great Britain, determined, no matter what might be the hardships and
privations, no matter what the cost in blood and money, to achieve their
independence and the right to govern themselves.

But this was not the case. A great majority of the people of the
Colonies were ardently in favor of independence; but there were also a
great many people, and we have no right to say that some of them were
not very good people, who were as well satisfied that their country
should be a colony of Great Britain as the Canadians are now satisfied
with that state of things, and who were earnestly and honestly opposed
to any separation from the mother country.

This difference of opinion was the cause of great trouble and bloodshed
among the colonists themselves, and the contests between the Tories and
the Whigs were nowhere more bitter than in New Jersey. In some parts of
the Colony, families were divided against themselves; and not only did
this result in quarrels and separations, but fathers and sons, and
brothers and brothers, fought against each other. At one time the
Tories, or, as they came to be called, "refugees," were in such numbers
that they took possession of the town of Freehold, and held it for more
than a week; and when at last the town was retaken by the patriotic
forces, most of them being neighbors and friends of the refugees,
several prominent Tories were hanged, and many others sent to prison.

The feeling between the Americans of the two different parties was more
violent than that between the patriots and the British troops, and
before long it became entirely unsafe for any Tory to remain in his own
home in New Jersey. Many of them went to New York, where the patriotic
feeling was not so strong at that time, and there they formed themselves
into a regular military company called the "Associated Loyalists;" and
this company was commanded by William Temple Franklin, son of the great
Benjamin Franklin, who had been appointed governor of New Jersey by the
British Crown. He was now regarded with great hatred by the patriots of
New Jersey, because he was a strong Tory. This difference of opinion
between William Franklin and his father was the most noted instance of
this state of feeling which occurred in those days.

It will be interesting to look upon this great contest from a different
point of view than that from which we are accustomed to regard it; and
some extracts from the journal of a New Jersey lady who was a decided
Tory, will give us an idea of the feeling and condition of the people
who were opposed to the Revolution.

This lady was Mrs. Margaret Hill Morris, who lived in Burlington. She
was a Quaker lady, and must have been a person of considerable wealth;
for she had purchased the house on Green Bank, one of the prettiest
parts of Burlington, overlooking the river, in which Governor Franklin
had formerly resided. This was a fine house, and contained the room
which afterwards became celebrated under the name of the "Auger Hole."
This had been built, for what reason is not known, as a place of
concealment. It was a small room, entirely dark, but said to be
otherwise quite comfortable, which could be approached only through a
linen closet. In order to get at it, the linen had to be taken from the
shelves, the shelves drawn out, and a small door opened at the back of
the closet, quite low down, so that the dark room could only be entered
by stooping.

In this "auger hole," Mrs. Morris, who was a strong Tory, but a very
good woman, had concealed a refugee who at the time was sought for by
the adherents of the patriotic side, and who probably would have had a
hard time of it if he had been caught, for he was a person of
considerable importance.

The name of the refugee was Jonathan Odell, and he was rector of St.
Mary's Church in Burlington. He was a learned man, being a doctor as
well as a clergyman, and a very strong Tory. He had been of much service
to the people of Burlington; for when the Hessians had attacked the
town, he had come forward and interceded with their commander, and had
done his work so well that the soldiers were forbidden to pillage the
town. But when the Hessians left, the American authorities began a
vigorous search for Tories; and Parson Odell was obliged to conceal
himself in good Mrs. Morris's "auger hole."

Mrs. Morris was apparently a widow who lived alone with her two boys,
and, having this refugee in her house, she was naturally very nervous
about the movements of the American troops and the actions of her
neighbors of the opposite party.

She kept a journal of the things that happened about her in those
eventful days, and from this we will give some extracts. It must be
understood that in writing her journal, the people designated as the
"enemy" were the soldiers under Washington, and that "gondolas" were
American gunboats.

     "From the 13th to the 16th we had various reports of the advancing
     and retiring of the enemy; parties of armed men rudely entered the
     town and diligent search was made for tories. Some of the gondola
     gentry broke into and pillaged Rd Smith's house on the bank. About
     noon this day [16th] a very terrible account of thousands coming
     into the town, and now actually to be seen on Gallows Hill: my
     incautious son caught up the spyglass, and was running towards the
     mill to look at them. I told him it would be liable to

The journal states that the boy went out with the spyglass, but could
get no good place from which he could see Gallows Hill, or any troops
upon it, and so went down to the river, and thought he would take a view
of the boats in which were the American troops. He rested his spyglass
on the low limb of a tree, and with a boyish curiosity inspected the
various boats of the little fleet, not suspecting that any one would
object to such a harmless proceeding.

But the people on the boats saw him, and did object very much; and the
consequence was, that, not long after he reached his mother's house, a
small boat from one of the vessels came to shore. A party of men went to
the front door of the house in which they had seen the boy enter, and
began loudly to knock upon it. Poor Mrs. Morris was half frightened to
death, and she made as much delay as possible in order to compose her
features and act as if she had never heard of a refugee who wished to
hide himself from his pursuers. In the mild manner in which Quaker women
are always supposed to speak, she asked them what they wanted. They
quickly told her that they had heard that there was a refugee, to whom
they applied some very strong language, who was hiding somewhere about
here, and that they had seen him spying at them with a glass from behind
a tree, and afterwards watched him as he entered this house.

Mrs. Morris declared that they were entirely mistaken; that the person
they had seen was no one but her son, who had gone out to look at them
as any boy might do, and who was perfectly innocent of any designs
against them. The men may have been satisfied with this explanation in
regard to her son; but they asserted that they knew that there was a
refugee concealed somewhere in that neighborhood, and they believed that
he was in an empty house near by, of which they were told she had the
key. Mrs. Morris, who had given a signal, previously agreed upon, to the
man in the "auger hole," to keep very quiet, wished to gain as much time
as possible, and exclaimed,

"Bless me! I hope you are not Hessians."

"Do we look like Hessians?" asked one of them rudely.

"Indeed, I don't know."

"Did you ever see a Hessian?"

"No, never in my life; but they are men, and you are men, and may be
Hessians, for anything I know. But I will go with you into Colonel Cox's
house, though indeed it was my son at the mill; he is but a boy, and
meant no harm; he wanted to see the troops."

So she took the key of the empty house referred to, and went in ahead of
the men, who searched the place thoroughly, and, after finding no place
where anybody could be, they searched one or two of the houses
adjoining; but for some reason they did not think it worth while to go
through Mrs. Morris's own house. Had they done so, it is not probable
that the good lady could have retained her composure, especially if they
had entered the room in which was the linen closet; for, even had they
been completely deceived by the piles of sheets and pillowcases, there
is no knowing but that the unfortunate man in the "auger hole" might
have been inclined to sneeze.

But although she was a brave woman, and very humanely inclined, Mrs.
Morris felt she could not any longer take the risk of a refugee in her
house. And so that night, after dark, she went up to the parson in the
"auger hole," and made him come out; and she took him into the town,
where he was concealed by some of the Tory citizens, who were better
adapted to take care of the refugee than this lone Quaker woman with her
two inquisitive boys. It is believed that soon after this he took refuge
in New York, which was then in the hands of the British.

Further on in the journal, Mrs. Morris indulges in some moral
reflections in regard to the war in which her countrymen were engaged,
and no one of right feeling will object to her sentiments.

     "Jan. 14. I hear Gen. Howe sent a request to Washington desiring
     three days cessation of arms to take care of the wounded and bury
     the dead, which was refused: what a woeful tendency war has to
     harden the human heart against the tender feelings of humanity.
     Well may it be called a _horrid art_ thus to change the nature of
     man. I thought that even barbarous nations had a sort of religious
     regard for their dead."

After this the journal contains many references to warlike scenes on the
river and warlike sounds from the country around. Numbers of gondolas
filled with soldiers went up and down the river, at times cannon from
distant points firing alarums. At other times the roaring of great guns
from a distance, showing that a battle was going on, kept the people of
Burlington in a continual excitement; and Mrs. Morris, who was entirely
cut off from her relatives and friends, several of whom were living in
Philadelphia, was naturally very anxious and disturbed in regard to
events, of which she heard but little, and perhaps understood less.

One day she saw a number of gunboats, with flags flying and drums
beating, that were going, she was told, to attend a court-martial at
which a number of refugees, men of her party, were to be tried by
General Putnam; and it was believed that if they were found guilty they
would be executed.

After a time, Mrs. Morris found an opportunity of showing, that,
although in principle she might be a Tory, she was at heart a good, kind
Quaker lady, ready to give help to suffering people, no matter whether
they belonged to the side she favored or to that which she opposed.

Some of the people who came up the river in the gunboats--and in many
cases the soldiers brought their wives with them, probably as
cooks--were taken sick during that summer; and some of these invalids
stopped at Burlington, being unable to proceed farther.

Here, to their surprise, they found no doctors; for all the patriots of
that profession had gone to the army, and the Tory physicians had
departed to the British lines. But, as has been said before, the women
in the early days of New Jersey were often obliged to be physicians; and
among the good housewives of Burlington, who knew all about herb teas,
homemade plasters, and potions, Mrs. Morris held a high position. The
sick Continentals were told that she was just as good as a doctor, and,
besides, was a very kind woman, always ready to help the sick and

So some of the sick soldiers came to her; and from what Mrs. Morris
wrote, one or two of them must have been the same men who had previously
come to her house and threatened the life of her boy, who had been
looking at them with a spyglass. But now they very meekly and humbly
asked her to come and attend their poor comrades who were unable to
move. At first Mrs. Morris thought this was some sort of a trick, and
that they wanted to get her on board of one of the gunboats, and carry
her away. But when she found that the sick people were in a house in the
town, she consented to go and do what she could. So she took her bottles
with her, and her boxes and her herbs, and visited the sick people,
several of whom she found were women.

They were all afflicted with some sort of a fever, probably of a
malarial kind, contracted from living day and night on board of boats
without proper protection; and, knowing just what to do in such cases,
she, to use her own expression, "treated them according to art," and it
was not long before they all recovered.

What happened in consequence of this hospital work for those whom she
considered her enemies, is thus related by Mrs. Morris:--

     "I thought I had received all my pay when they thankfully
     acknowledged all my kindness, but lo! in a short time afterwards, a
     very rough, ill-looking man came to the door and asked for me. When
     I went to him, he drew me aside and asked me if I had any friends
     in Philadelphia. The question alarmed me, supposing that there was
     some mischief meditated against that poor city; however, I calmly
     said, 'I have an ancient father-in-law, some sisters, and other
     near friends there.' 'Well,' said the man, 'do you wish to hear
     from them, or send anything by way of refreshment to them? If you
     do, I will take charge of it and bring you back anything you may
     send for.' I was very much surprised, to be sure, and thought he
     only wanted to get provisions to take to the gondolas, when he told
     me his wife was one I had given medicine to, and this was the only
     thing he could do to pay me for my kindness. My heart leaped for
     joy, and I set about preparing something for my dear absent
     friends. A quarter of beef, some veal, fowls, and flour, were soon
     put up, and about midnight the man came and took them away in his

Mrs. Morris was not mistaken in trusting to the good intentions of this
grateful Continental soldier, for, as she says, two nights later there
came a loud knocking at the door:--

     "Opening the chamber window, we heard a man's voice saying, 'Come
     down softly and open the door, but bring no light.' There was
     something mysterious in such a call, and we concluded to go down
     and set the candle in the kitchen. When we got to the front door we
     asked, 'Who are you?' The man replied, 'A friend; open quickly:'
     so the door was opened, and who should it be but our honest gondola
     man with a letter, a bushel of salt, a jug of molasses, a bag of
     rice, some tea, coffee, and sugar, and some cloth for a coat for my
     poor boys--all sent by my kind sisters. How did our hearts and eyes
     overflow with love to them and thanks to our Heavenly Father for
     such seasonable supplies. May we never forget it. Being now so
     rich, we thought it our duty to hand out a little to the poor
     around us, who were mourning for want of salt, so we divided the
     bushel and gave a pint to every poor person who came for it, and
     had a great plenty for our own use."

As the war drew to its close and it became plain to every one that the
cause of the patriots must triumph, the feeling between the two parties
of Americans became less bitter; and the Tories, in many cases, saw that
it would be wise for them to accept the situation, and become loyal
citizens of the United States of America, as before they had been loyal
subjects of Great Britain.

When peace was at last proclaimed, those Tories who were prisoners were
released, and almost all of them who had owned farms or estates had them
returned to them, and Mrs. Morris could visit her "ancient
father-in-law" and her sisters in Philadelphia, or they could come up
the river and visit her in her house on the beautiful Green Bank at
Burlington, without fear or thought of those fellow-countrymen who had
been their bitter enemies.


During the Revolution, New Jersey had a very hard time, harder in some
ways than many of her sister States. This may be accounted for by the
fact that much of her territory lay between the two important cities of
Philadelphia and New York, and that it was therefore liable to be the
scene of frequent battles and marches. In fact, it often happens that
the march of an enemy through a quiet country is almost as bad as a
disastrous battle.

Country people and farmers, especially those of fruitful and prosperous
countries, are generally much more opposed to war than people in cities;
and so it happened in New Jersey. When the Revolution began, there were
a good many people who did not care particularly about taxation, who had
been happy and comfortable all their days, without any thought of
independence, and who saw no reason why they should not continue to be
so; and these did not immediately spring to arms when the first guns of
the war were fired. There were no large cities in New Jersey. It was a
rural community, a country of peaceable people.

When the British troops first entered New Jersey, and before any battles
had been fought, the commander in chief took advantage of this state of
feeling, and endeavored as far as possible to make the people think that
the Redcoats were in reality good friends, and intended them no harm. He
protested, whenever he had a chance, that when these disturbances were
over, any complaints that the people had to make in regard to the laws
made by their English rulers, should be carefully attended to, and their
grievances redressed as soon as possible.

As has been said before, a great many of the people of the Colony were
in favor of continuance of the British rule, and from these arose that
Tory party which afterwards caused so much bitterness of feeling and
bloody contention. But there were also others, who, although they were
not Tories, were not in favor of fighting if it could be helped, and
these the British commander most wished to conciliate. He issued a great
many printed papers of protection, which he gave to those who had not
yet taken sides against the Crown. The people who received these were
assured, that, so long as they had them to show, no Redcoat soldier
would in any way disturb them or their property.

But when the English army actually spread itself over the country, and
the soldiers began to forage about to see what they could find to eat
and drink better than their rations, the Jersey farmers frequently
discovered that these papers of protection were of no use at all. If
shown to one of the Hessians, who were more dreaded than the other
soldiers of the British army, the German could not read a word of it,
and paid no attention to it. He wanted ducks and geese, and took them.
And after a time the English soldiers determined that the Hessians
should not take all they wanted while they stood by and had nothing, and
so they began to pillage, without regard to the little printed papers
which the angry farmers showed them.

This state of things had a very good effect upon the rural population of
New Jersey; and as the conduct of the British soldiers became more
lawless, so did the determination to resist such outrageous actions
become stronger and stronger in the hearts of the people of the country,
and they readily listened to the calls to arms which were made by
Washington and by Congress. The people who were in favor of the
Revolution and independence stood together and formed themselves on one
side, while those who were still loyal to the King formed themselves on
the other. And thus, with both the Tories and the British against them,
the citizens of New Jersey began in good earnest to fight for their

In the war which was now waged in New Jersey, it very often happened
that the British soldiers had no part whatever; and although the battles
and skirmishes between the Tories and the Whigs were generally small and
of no great importance, they were always violent and bloody. Sometimes
the forces on each side were considerable enough to entitle the affair
to be called a battle. The forces of the Whigs or patriots in these
encounters were almost always composed of the militiamen of the State,
who had not joined the regular army, but who had enlisted for the
purpose of defending their own homes and farms. In various parts of the
country there were men who, some on one side and some on the other, had
distinguished themselves as soldiers.

One of the most prominent of these was a Captain Huddy of Monmouth
County. He had command of a company of militiamen, and he made himself
very formidable to the bodies of Tories who had formed themselves in the
country, and his name and fame as a great fighter began to spread over
that part of the State. He lived in a good-sized house, for that time,
in the village of Colt's Neck, and in this house he generally kept part
of his command.

But one evening he happened to be at home without any one with him
except a servant, a negro girl about twenty years old. His men had all
gone away on some errand, and the fact that the captain was at home by
himself became known to some Tories in the neighborhood. These, led by a
mulatto named Tye, made an attack upon his house.

But although Captain Huddy's men were all away, they had left their guns
behind; and so the brave Huddy, instead of surrendering to the force of
fifty or sixty Tories who were outside, determined to fight them, with
no garrison but himself and the negro girl, and he made ready to hold
his house as long as he could. The girl loaded the guns; and Huddy,
running from one window to another, fired at the Tories so rapidly and
with such good effect, that they believed that there were a number of
men in the house, and so did not dare to rush forward and break in the
doors, as they certainly would have done if they had known that they
were fighting two persons only, and one of them a girl.

Several of the attacking party were wounded, and they found at last that
there was little chance of capturing this fortress, so well defended: so
they concluded to burn the house, and thus force the garrison to come
out. While they were at work setting fire to the wooden building, Huddy
shot the mulatto in the arm; but, finding that he could not prevent
them from carrying out their purpose, he shouted to them that if they
would put out the fire, he would surrender.

When the fort had capitulated and the enemy marched in, the Tories were
so angry to find that they had been fighting no one but a man and a
negro girl, that many of them were inclined to fall upon these
unfortunates, and butcher them on the spot; but they were restrained. As
it was known that Huddy's men would probably soon return,--for the noise
of the firing had aroused the neighborhood,--the enemy seized the
captain and hurried him away, leaving the rest of the garrison behind.

It may be said here that this girl, whose name was Lucretia Emmons,
afterwards married a man named Chambers, and, like all other Jersey
women who were of benefit to their State, lived to a good old age, and
had a large posterity.

Captain Huddy was hurried away to the boats in which the Tories had
arrived; but the militiamen were in hot pursuit, and a running fight
took place between them and the Tories, in which six of the latter were
killed. The Tories, with their prisoner, got on board their boats; but
they had not pushed very far from the shore, before the militiamen were
firing at them again. During the hubbub which ensued, Captain Huddy made
a bold dash for liberty. He sprang to his feet, plunged into the water,
and began to swim to the shore. In so doing, unfortunately, he received
a shot in the thigh from his own friends; but he raised his hands above
his head and shouted, "I am Huddy, I am Huddy!" and so, with one leg and
two arms, he continued to strike out for the shore, which he reached in
safety. His wound could not have been very severe, for it was not long
before he was again engaged in fighting the Tories.

Two years after this, Captain Huddy was once more obliged to hold a fort
against a superior body of Tories,--this time a rude structure of logs,
or blockhouse, near Tom's River, close to the coast. His garrison
consisted of twenty-five men. Here he was attacked by a number of
refugees, some of them from New York, and some from the neighborhood.
They gathered from various quarters during the night, and early on a
Sunday morning they made a united attack on the blockhouse. Huddy and
his men fought bravely; but when their ammunition was gone, and seven or
eight of them were killed, he was obliged to surrender.

Now, there was no one to rescue him, and he was marched away, put in
irons, and confined in the hold of a prison ship anchored off the coast.
The state of feeling at the time is shown by the way in which the
commander of this expedition speaks of the village of Tom's River; for
he says, "The Town, as it is called, consists of about a dozen houses,
in which none but a piratical set of banditti reside."

What afterwards happened to the captain was the result of a chain of
events which could only have occurred in a country where neighbors and
former friends were arrayed in bloody conflict against each other. A
prominent Tory of that neighborhood, named White, had been captured by
the patriots, and it happened that the father of one of White's guards
had been murdered by a party of Tories of whom White was a member. White
was shot soon after his capture; and it was generally believed that he
had been killed by this guard, who wished to avenge his father's death.

Thus one murder led to another, but the bloody business had not yet gone
far enough. The friends of White were determined to avenge his death,
and could think of no better way of doing it than by killing Captain
Huddy. The Tories wished to get rid of him anyway, and here was a reason
which was considered good enough in those days of furious animosity
between fellow-countrymen. It was not long, therefore, before Huddy was
taken from his prison, and, without even a show of a trial, was
condemned to death. It was said that he assisted in the killing of
White; and although he asserted boldly that this was an absurd charge,
as he was in prison at the time White was shot, the Tories would not
listen to any such plea. They were determined to kill him, and die he

He was taken on shore at Sandy Hook, and on the beach a rude gallows was
constructed of three fence rails, and there he was hung. Before he died,
he wrote his will, resting the paper on the top of a flour barrel; and
it is said that his handwriting was as firm and legible as if he had
been sitting at a table in his own house.

This inhuman and lawless execution of a man so well known and of such
good reputation as Captain Huddy, created great indignation in the
patriotic party all over the country, and there was a general demand
that the British army should deliver up a man named Lippencot, who had
been the leader of the party which had hung Huddy; but the British did
not consent to this. They did make a show of investigating the matter;
and Lippencot, who was an officer of a refugee regiment regularly
enlisted in the British service, was tried by court-martial. But he was
acquitted; and no satisfaction was offered to the Americans for this
crime, which had been committed in open defiance of the laws of war.

But the British commander in chief, who arrived about this time, was a
man of honor and good sense, and he openly condemned the action of
Lippencot and his men, and assured the Americans that he would do what
he could to further investigate the matter.

This, however, did not satisfy the country, and from every side there
came demands that some one of the officers who were then prisoners in
the American lines should be executed in retaliation for Huddy's murder,
unless Lippencot were delivered up to the Americans. Here, then, opened
the fourth act of this bloody play of progression, and we will tell the
story of the other captain.

It is a horrible thing to deliberately execute an innocent man because
some one else has committed a crime; but war is horrible, and we must
expect that horrible things will continually spring from it. As no
satisfaction could be obtained from the British for this acknowledged
outrage and murder,--for in acquitting Lippencot the British authorities
virtually took upon themselves the responsibility of Huddy's
execution,--the Americans, being at war and acting in accordance with
the bloody rules of war, determined to select an officer from among the
English prisoners in the American lines, who should be executed in
retaliation for Huddy's death.

As soon as this order had been issued, thirteen British officers, who
were at liberty on parole in the American lines, were ordered to report
at Lancaster, Penn., in order that one of them might be selected to be
the victim of retaliation.

These officers were assembled in a room of the Black Bear Tavern with
several American officers, who conducted the proceedings, and a guard of
mounted dragoons was stationed outside.

The question was to be decided by lot according to the following plan:
the thirteen names of the officers were written each upon a little slip
of paper, and these were put into a hat. Then in another hat were placed
thirteen other slips of the same size, all of them blank excepting one,
on which was written the word "unfortunate." Two drummer boys were
called in to draw out the slips, one from one hat, the other from the
other. As one boy drew out the piece of paper and read the name of the
officer written upon it, the other boy at the same time drew a slip from
the other hat. After several drawings, in which the slips from the
second hat had all been blank, one of the boys drew, and read upon the
little piece of paper the name of Captain Asgill, and at the same time
the other boy drew out a slip, and read the word "unfortunate." This
decided the matter; and the American officer in command turned to the
leader of the dragoons and said to him, "This gentleman, sir, is your

Now this most tragical meeting broke up, and we are told that every man
in that room, except Captain Asgill himself, was in tears. The truly
unfortunate man who had been chosen by this most doleful chance was a
handsome young gentleman, scarcely more than a boy. He was beloved by
every one who knew him, and he would have been the last man to have
consented to any such deed as that for which he was to pay the penalty.
When it became known that he had been selected by fate to be executed in
retaliation, every one who knew anything about him, either in the
British army or the American, deeply deplored the fact that the doom
should have fallen on one who so little deserved it. Captain Asgill was
taken to Philadelphia, and after a while was carried to New Jersey,
where in Chatham, Morris County, he was held to await his end.

Washington himself was greatly affected by this event; and he wrote to
the colonel who had charge of Captain Asgill, to treat the unfortunate
young man with all tenderness and respect while he should be in his
hands, and to do everything for him that was consistent with propriety
under the circumstances.

Now, there came from many parts of this country, as well as from the
English, all sorts of communications and memorials addressed to the
government and the commander of the army, urging clemency in the case of
this unfortunate young man; and it was no doubt in consequence of these,
that his punishment was delayed from time to time.

Captain Asgill's mother was a lady of good position in England, and,
overwhelmed with grief at the impending fate of her son, she spared no
efforts to save him. She wrote to every man of influence whom she knew;
and among others she wrote to the Count de Vergennes, who was in this
country as the representative of the court of France.

The French, who had been the faithful friends of the Americans
throughout the struggle, were as willing to assist their allies to be
merciful and forgiving as they were to help them fight their battles.
The ambassador addressed a strong letter to Congress, urging that young
Captain Asgill might be spared, and sending a copy of the letter
written by the heartbroken mother.

Still war is war; and one of its laws is, that, if a prisoner is
unjustly killed by an enemy, one of the enemy's men held as prisoner
shall be killed in retaliation, the object being, of course, to put a
stop to unjust executions. With this law in view, Congress did not
consent to countermand the young man's execution.

Captain Asgill had another friend, a powerful one, who did all that he
could to save him from his impending fate. This was General Washington,
who from the first had pitied the young man on account of his youth and
general character; but he had also objected to the selection for the
reason that he had been among the officers who surrendered with Lord
Cornwallis, who had been promised that they should not be dealt with as
hostages. There were other prisoners who might have been more justly
taken as subjects of retaliation, but for some reason the thirteen
officers who had been summoned to this trial by lot were not among those
who were justly liable in the case. Washington felt that the selection
of Asgill was a breach of good faith, and he did all that he could to
induce the secretary of war to act justly and honorably in the matter.
At all events, the efforts in behalf of the young officer had the effect
of delaying the execution; and three months after his fatal lot had been
drawn, he was allowed to go to Morristown and remain there a prisoner on

Not long after this, another reason arose for the pardon of Captain
Asgill, which was used with effect by his friends. Peace was now
approaching, and there was no need of the execution of hostages in order
to prevent further outrages on the part of the enemy; and so the members
of Congress began to feel that after this long delay, and the
approaching general rejoicing in the success of American independence,
it would seem like murder to execute this young man. Therefore a law was
passed by Congress, directing that Captain Asgill should be set at
liberty and allowed to return to his family.

Dreadful months of suspense and fearful anticipation had darkened the
souls of this young soldier, his family, and his friends; but they had
probably produced a better effect upon the minds of the lawless bands of
Tory refugees than would have resulted had the execution taken place;
for, had Captain Asgill been hung, there is no doubt that an American
prisoner would have suffered in his place; and how many more steps in
the bloody business of retaliation would have taken place, no man can
tell. So, if we look at the matter philosophically, it may have been a
very good thing that the British officer selected to atone for the death
of Captain Huddy happened to be a young man whom nobody wished to kill,
for the merciful delay exercised in his case was the probable cause of
the cessation of retaliation during the last months of the Revolution.


There are so many curious and unexpected things which may happen in time
of war, especially to people who live in parts of a country where the
enemy may be expected to come, or where the friendly army is already
encamped, that it is impossible to guard against unpleasant occurrences;
and it often happens that the only thing to be depended upon when an
emergency arises, is presence of mind, and quickness of wit.

In these qualities, New Jersey girls have never shown themselves behind
their sisters of other parts of the country, and a very good proof of
this is shown by an incident which took place near Morristown during the
time that the American army was quartered in that neighborhood.

Not far from the town was a farm then known as Wick's farm, situated in
a beautiful wooded country. The daughter of Mr. Wick, named Tempe
(probably short for Temperance), was the owner of a very fine horse, and
on this beautiful animal it was her delight to ride over the roads and
through the woods of the surrounding country. She had been accustomed
to horses since she was a child, and was not afraid to ride anywhere by

When she first began to canter over these hills and dales, it had been
in times of peace, when there was nothing in this quiet country of which
any one might be afraid; and now, although these were days of war, she
felt no fear. There were soldiers not far away, but these she looked
upon as her friends and protectors; for Washington and his army had
encamped in that region to defend the country against the approach of
the enemy. If any straggling Redcoats should feel a desire to come along
the hills, they would be very apt to restrain their inclinations so long
as they knew that that brave American army was encamped near by.

So Miss Tempe Wick, fearing nothing, rode far and wide, as she had been
in the habit of doing, and every day she and her good steed became
better and better acquainted with each other.

One fine afternoon, as Tempe was slowly riding homeward, within a mile
of her house, she met half a dozen soldiers in Continental uniform, and
two of them, stepping in front of her, called upon her to stop. When she
had done so, one of them seized her bridle. She did not know the men;
but still, as they belonged to Washington's army, who were her
countrymen and friends, she saw no reason to be afraid, and asked them
what they wanted.

At first she received no answer, for they were very busily occupied in
looking at her horse and expressing their satisfaction at the fine
points of the animal. Tempe had had her horse praised before; but these
men were looking at him, and talking about him, very much as if he were
for sale and they were thinking of buying. Presently one of the men said
to her that this was a very excellent horse that she was riding, and
they wanted it. To this Tempe exclaimed, in great amazement, that it was
her own horse, that she wanted him herself, and had no wish to dispose
of him. Some of the soldiers laughed, and one of them told her that the
troops were about to move, and that good horses were greatly needed, and
that they had orders to levy upon the surrounding country and take
horses wherever they could find them.

Now was Tempe astonished beyond measure. If half a dozen British
soldiers had surrounded her, and had declared that they intended to rob
her of her horse, she would not have wondered at it, for they would have
taken it as the property of an enemy. But that the soldiers of her own
country, the men on whom she and all her friends and neighbors depended
for protection and safety, should turn on her and rob her, as if they
had been a set of marauding Hessians, was something she could scarcely

But it did not take her long to understand, that no matter who they were
or what they were,--whether they thought they had a right to do what
they threatened, or whether they had no regard for right and
justice,--they were in earnest, and intended to take her horse. When
this conviction flashed into the mind of Tempe Wick, there also flashed
into it a determination to show these men that a Jersey girl had a will
of her own, and that if they wanted her property, they would have to do
a great deal more than simply to come to her and ask her to hand it over
to them.

After a little parley, during which the man who held her bridle let go
of it, supposing she was about to dismount, she suddenly gave her
spirited horse a sharp cut with the whip, dashed between two of the
soldiers, and, before they could comprehend what had happened, she was
off and away.

As fast as they could run, the soldiers followed her, one or two of them
firing their guns in the air, thinking to frighten her and make her
stop; but, as though she had been a deer and her pursuers ordinary
hunters, she swiftly sped away from them.

But they did not give up the chase. Some of them knew where this girl
lived, and were confident that when they reached her house, they would
have the horse. If they had known it was such a fine animal, they would
have come after it before. According to their belief, good horses should
go into the army, and people who staid at home, and expected other
people to fight for them, ought to be willing to do what they could to
help in the good cause, and at least give their horses to the army.

As Tempe sat upon her bounding steed, she knew very well that the
soldiers could never catch her; but her heart sank within her as she
thought of what would happen when they came to the farm and demanded her
horse. Running away from them was only postponing her trouble for a
little while, for there was no one about the place who could prevent
those men from going to the barn and taking away the animal.

It would be of no use to pass her house and ride on and on. Where should
she go? She must come back some time, and all the soldiers would have to
do would be to halt at the farm, and wait until she returned. And even
if she should take her horse into the Wood and tie him to a tree, they
would know by her coming back on foot that she had left him at no great
distance, and they would be sure to follow his tracks and find him.

As Tempe rode swiftly on, her thoughts galloped as fast as her horse,
and before she reached the house she had come to a conclusion as to the
best thing to be done. She did not ride towards the barn, but dashed
through the gateway of the large yard, and sprang from her steed. As she
turned in, she looked down the road; but the men were not in sight. What
she was going to do was something which people never did, but it was the
only thing she could think of, and she was a girl whose actions were as
quick as her ideas were original. Without stopping an instant, she took
her horse to the back door, and led him boldly into the house.

This was not the sort of stable to which Tempe's horse or any other
American horse was accustomed; but this animal knew his mistress, and
where she led, he was willing to follow. If one of the farm hands had
attempted to take the creature into the house, there would probably have
been some rearing and plunging; but nothing of this kind happened as our
Jersey girl, with her hand on her horse's bridle, led him quickly inside
and closed the door behind him. As the story goes, she took him through
the kitchen, and then into the parlor, without the slightest regard to
the injury his shoes might do to the well-kept floor; and from the
parlor she led him into a bedroom on the lower floor, which was usually
used as a guest chamber, but which never before had such a guest as

This room had but a single window, the shutters of which were kept
closed when it was not in use, and there was no entrance to it except
through the door which opened from the parlor. The door was quickly
closed, and Tempe stood with her horse in the darkness.

When the soldiers reached the farm, they went to the barn. They examined
the outhouses, visited the pasture fields, and made a thorough search,
high and low, near and far; but no sign of a horse could they find. Of
course, the notion that the animal was concealed in the house did not
enter their minds, and the only way in which they could account for the
total disappearance of the horse was, that Tempe had ridden off with
him--where they knew not. We do not know how long they waited for the
sight of a hungry horse coming home to his supper, but we do know that
while there was the slightest danger of her dear horse being taken away
from her, that animal remained a carefully attended guest in the spare
room of the Wick house; and the tradition is, that he staid there three
weeks. There Tempe waited on him as if he had been a visitor of high
degree; and if she was afraid to go to the barn to bring him hay and
oats, she doubtless gave him biscuit and soft bread,--dainties of which
a horse is very fond, especially when they are brought to him by such a
kind mistress as Tempe.

When the cavalry moved away from their camp near Morristown, no one of
them rode on that fine horse on which they had seen a girl gayly
cantering, and which, when they had been about to put their hands upon
it, had flown away, like a butterfly from under the straw hat of a
schoolboy. When the troops were gone, the horse came out of the guest
chamber and went back to his stall in the stable; and that room in which
he passed so many quiet days, and the door through which the horse
timidly stepped under the shadow of that hospitable roof, are still to
be seen at the old Wick house, which stands now, as it stood then, with
its shaded yard and the great willow tree behind it, on the pleasant
country road by which we may drive from Morristown to Mendham by the way
of Washington Corner.


During three years of the Revolution the American army, under General
Washington, wintered in New Jersey. Of course, we understand, that, when
an army goes into winter quarters, it does so because the weather
prevents operations in the field; and although Washington did not in the
least object to fighting in the cold weather if a good opportunity
showed itself, as we know from the fact that he fought the battle of
Trenton on Christmas Day, still the winters in New Jersey were for the
most part periods of inactivity.

Histories give us full accounts of the important battles and marches
which took place in New Jersey; but the life of the army in the long,
cold months in which fighting and marching were almost impossible, is
something with which we are not so well acquainted; and when we
understand what the men of our army were obliged to suffer and to
endure, and the responsibilities and anxieties which were so
conscientiously borne by Washington and his officers, we are compelled
to give as much credit to the soldiers of the Revolution for their
heroism in their winter camps as for their courage upon the

This winter life in New Jersey, of men and officers from New England,
the Middle States, Virginia, and the South, appears to us now as very
interesting, and in many ways a curious life. Into a quiet country
neighborhood there came an entirely novel element,--an army which had
not come there to fight, but to live.

Washington's first winter in New Jersey was spent in Morristown in 1777.
This place was chosen because it was a productive country, and well
situated for sudden expeditions against the enemy in that part of the
State. Although there was no fighting done in Morristown, so many small
detachments of troops went out from the place, and so many sudden
attacks were made upon the outposts of the enemy in the country round
about, that by the end of the winter the British had no hold in New
Jersey except at Perth Amboy and New Brunswick.

But, as has been said before, it is not with the military operations
that we are concerned, but with the winter life of the army in the camp.
The first thing that has to be done when an army arrives to settle and
make itself a home in and about a country town, is to provide a good
house for the commander in chief and officers, and a suitable camping
place for the men. Washington went to Arnold's Tavern, a large house on
the corner of the Green; and the army encamped in the valley of the
Loantika, a beautiful place in summer, but not particularly attractive
in cold weather. Here they built themselves huts of logs, and here they
tried to keep themselves warm and to be satisfied with what they had;
for the government was poor, and found it hard to keep an army. There
was plenty to eat and drink in the surrounding country, but there was
very little money with which to buy it.

It was a great thing for the Morristown people to see the tavern
surrounded night and day by a guard of twenty-six soldiers, and to have
their streets and roads made lively by soldiers on foot, clad in the
various uniforms worn by the men from different States,--some with
cocked hats, some with round hats with feathers stuck in them; some with
green coats, some with blue; some with buckskin breeches, others with
black,--while Washington, with the officers of his staff, galloped here
and there, dressed in the regular Continental uniforms of blue and buff.

Among the most conspicuous uniforms of the American army was that of the
Jersey Blues. This was a volunteer organization formed in Essex County;
and the first uniforms of these soldiers were furnished by the patriotic
women of that region. They were not able to afford anything handsome or
costly: so each soldier was provided with a frock coat and trousers made
of tow cloth, which was dyed a bright blue by the same women who made it
into soldiers' clothes. These Jersey Blues, although they must have
presented a very peculiar appearance in the field, became famous
soldiers, and were known throughout the war, and occupied high positions
in the Continental army. The Jersey Blues were never disorganized, and
still remain prominent among the citizen soldiers of the State.

It was Washington's habit during the war, as soon as he had settled
himself in his winter quarters, to send for Mrs. Washington to join him;
and accordingly she came to Morristown very soon after his first arrival
there. Men and officers were always delighted when the wife of the
commander in chief came down to live among them, and they welcomed the
sight of the carriage drawn by four horses, with the postilions and
grooms dressed in Washington's own livery of scarlet and white. On this
occasion, Washington went some distance to meet his wife, and waited in
a little village until she should arrive. When the lady at the house
where he was stopping saw the grand carriage drive up, she was prepared
to behold an illustrious personage alight from it, and she was somewhat
surprised when she saw a very plainly dressed, quiet lady step down from
the high coach. She thought there surely must be some mistake; but when
she saw the courteous affection with which the grand gentleman in the
fine uniform and cocked hat greeted this plainly dressed lady, she knew
that she had made no mistake.

There was no ostentation or superciliousness about Mrs. Washington. She
was hospitable and kind, and she put on no airs because she was a great
lady from Virginia, and because she was the wife of the commander in
chief of the army. The story is told, that, soon after her arrival, some
ladies of the town went to pay their respects to her, and as they were
going to visit the first lady of the land, they thought that they should
dress themselves in their finest clothes. Arrayed in silks, satins, and
ruffles, they were shown into the presence of Mrs. Washington, and were
utterly amazed to find her wearing a striped homespun apron, and busily
engaged in knitting stockings. She received them, however, with as much
dignity and courtesy as if she had had a crown on her head and a scepter
in her hand; and in the course of conversation she said that it was the
duty of every one to try to do without the things which they were
obliged to buy from foreign countries, and to make for themselves, as
far as possible, what they needed; and that, while their husbands and
brothers were fighting in the field, she thought that they should do
what they could at home to help the great cause.

Mrs. Washington entertained the ladies with accounts of her life at
home. She said that in her house there were always sixteen spinning
wheels at work. She showed them two morning dresses which had been made
in her house from ravelings of old satin chair covers. But Mrs.
Washington was not at all averse to cheerfulness and good company, and
in that year there were many dances and parties in Morristown, which
kept the place quite gay.

Two years afterwards, Washington and his army wintered at Middlebrook,
in Somerset County. Here the army had a comparatively comfortable time,
for the weather was mild, without much snow or frost; and this, after
the terrible sufferings which they had had at Valley Forge the winter
before, was very well calculated to put men as well as officers in a
cheerful state of mind. It is true that the difficulties of obtaining
provisions were in some ways greater than they had been before; for the
Continental money, with which all supplies were paid for, was
depreciating so rapidly that now thirty or forty dollars of it were
barely equal to one silver dollar, and the country people very much
disliked to take it. But the army had just achieved some important
victories, and there was a feeling in many circles that it would not be
long before the war would end; and with this belief in the minds of
many, and with the general satisfaction in the mild and pleasant
weather, it is no wonder that there were some good times in the army
during that winter at Middlebrook.

General Washington always liked to have company at dinner, for he was
very hospitable, and, besides this, he considered it his duty to become
acquainted with his officers and with the people of the neighborhood;
and sometimes as many as thirty persons sat down at the table. Even if
the various articles of food were not of the finest quality, they were
well cooked and well served. While in Middlebrook, Washington desired a
dinner service of white queen's-ware, and he wrote to Philadelphia to
obtain it. Among the articles he mentioned in his order were eight dozen
shallow plates and three dozen soup plates, which gives an idea of the
size of his dinner parties. But, although Philadelphia was searched from
one end to the other, no queen's-ware of the kind could be found, and at
last Washington was told that he could get what he wanted in New
Brunswick, and there he bought his queen's-ware.

Among other things which he ordered at that time were "six tolerably
genteel but not expensive candle-sticks;" and he also wrote for a new
hat, stating, "I do not wish by any means to be in the extreme of
fashion, either in the size or manner of cocking it."

At these dinners there was a good deal of state and ceremony, although
the heads of the family were very courteous and attentive to their
guests. As this was a military establishment, everything was done
promptly and according to rule. Washington never waited longer than five
minutes for any guest who was late. When such a person did arrive after
the company had seated themselves at the table, he would always try to
put him at his ease by some pleasant remark, sometimes saying that he
had a cook "who never asks whether the company has come, but whether the
hour has come."

During this winter a great entertainment was given by General Knox and
some other officers, and it was said to be the finest thing of the kind
ever seen in that part of the State. It may be thought, and probably
there were people who thought it then, that at a time when money was so
much needed, and provisions were so hard to get, a great and expensive
festival like this was extravagant and out of place; but it is likely
that the gayety of that great day had a good and encouraging effect upon
the army as well as the people of the country. They knew why the day had
been celebrated, and because of the general rejoicings they believed
there was reason to rejoice; and when people believe that there is a
good thing coming, they are much more ready to fight for it than if they
had no such belief.

But it is not of these two winters that our story has to deal: it is
with the second encampment at Morristown, during the cold, the snow, and
the icy frosts of 1779-80. At this time, General and Mrs. Washington
lived in the handsome house which is now known as "Washington's
Headquarters," and has been preserved in the same condition as it was in
those Revolutionary days. In this fine old mansion, General Washington
and his wife kept up their hospitable customs; and at their table were
seen such men as Alexander Hamilton, General Greene, Baron Steuben,
Kosciusko, Pulaski, "Light Horse Harry" Lee, Israel Putnam, "Mad
Anthony" Wayne, and Benedict Arnold. There also came to Morristown the
minister from France (the Chevalier de la Luzerne) and an envoy from
Spain (Don Juan de Mirailles). These two distinguished foreigners were
received with great honor. An escort was sent out to meet them; there
was a grand review of the troops, in which Washington and his generals,
together with the Frenchman and the Spaniard, appeared on the field,
splendidly mounted; while on the grand reviewing stand was the governor
of the State and a great many citizens and distinguished people. After a
salute of thirteen cannon, the parading army went through its
evolutions, and in the evening there was a grand ball.

But one of the guests to whom these honors were given did not appear at
the ball. The Spanish envoy was taken sick, and a few days afterwards
died at the headquarters. He was buried with great pomp and ceremony.
The funeral procession was a mile long, and attended by Washington and
all his officers. Minute guns boomed as the procession passed from the
headquarters to the graveyard at the back of the First Presbyterian
Church, and people came from all parts of the surrounding country to
view the great procession.

The funeral services were conducted by a Spanish priest with the
impressive rites of the Catholic Church; and after a military salute had
been fired over the grave, sentinels were placed to guard it, for the
Spanish nobleman was buried in full regalia. A gold watch studded with
diamonds was in his pocket; diamonds were on his fingers; and valuable
seals were attached to his watchguard.

There was not so much fear at this time of an attack from the enemy as
there had been during the previous winter, when Washington was at
Morristown. Now, there were only four guards at the headquarters,--two
at the front of the house, and two at the back. But the most careful
preparations were made in case the enemy should show itself, and now and
then a false alarm showed the perfection of the discipline which was

On such occasions a shot would be heard from one of the most distant
outposts, then a sentinel near the town would fire, and so on until a
report would be heard by the sentinels at the headquarters, who would
fire their guns; then there were the guns in Morristown, and so on out
to the camp, and very soon a detachment would hurry into the town at a
quickstep. But before they reached the place, the life guard encamped
near the headquarters would rush to the house, enter the lower story,
and barricade the doors; and five men at each window, with muskets
loaded and ready to fire, would await the approach of the enemy.

But although no British soldiers ever reached Morristown, there was good
reason for all the precautions taken. Besides the frequent attempts
which were made by large bodies of the Redcoats to penetrate to the
region occupied by Washington's army, there were small expeditions even
more dangerous. One of these consisted of a party of picked British
cavalrymen, who started from their camp near New York, by way of
Elizabethtown, for the express purpose of capturing General Washington.
They advanced in the direction of Morristown until they reached Chatham,
about six miles distant, and there--being overtaken by a terrible storm,
and finding so many difficulties ahead of them--they gave up their

Outside of Morristown, on a high hill which stretches away to the
southwest, the American army was encamped during this winter. Among
these men we can scarcely believe there were many festivities or
merrymakings. In fact, the sufferings and privations of the common
soldiers at this time were very great, and even the table of the
commander in chief was sometimes furnished with the plainest of food.
In a letter written by Washington at this time, he says,--

     "We have had the virtue and patience of the army put to the
     severest trial. Sometimes it has been five or six days together
     without bread; at other times as many days without meat; and once
     or twice, two or three days without either. I hardly thought it
     possible, at one period, that we should be able to keep it
     together, nor could it have been done, but for the exertions of the
     magistrates in the several counties of this state [Jersey], on whom
     I was obliged to call, expose our situation to them, and in plain
     terms declare that we were reduced to the alternative of disbanding
     or catering for ourselves, unless the inhabitants would afford us
     their aid. I allotted to each county a certain proportion of flour
     or grain, and a certain number of cattle, to be delivered on
     certain days; and for the honor of the magistrates, and the good
     disposition of the people, I must add that my requisitions were
     punctually complied with, and in many counties exceeded. Nothing
     but this great exertion could have saved the army from dissolution
     or starving, as we were bereft of every hope from the commissaries.
     At one time the soldiers ate every kind of horse food but hay.
     Buckwheat, common wheat, rye, and Indian corn composed the meal
     which made their bread. As an army, they bore it with the most
     heroic patience; but sufferings like these, accompanied by the want
     of clothes, blankets, etc., will produce frequent desertions in all
     armies; and so it happened with us, though it did not excite a
     single mutiny."

At this time, various circulars and printed bills were sent to the
American army from the British, urging the men to fly from all their
hardships and miseries, and join the English force, where they would be
received, and furnished with every comfort. In this condition of things
it was very important to keep the American soldiers, cold, hungry, and
idle, from thinking too much of their troubles. Washington could not
give them balls, nor invite them to dine; but he wisely considered that
the best thing he could give them was occupation,--a most wonderful
medicine for discontent. He therefore determined to build a fort upon
the summit of the hill where the camp was situated.

His engineers therefore planned a large fortification made up of
earthworks; and on this the men were put to work, as if it had been
expected that the enemy would soon arrive, and take the place. The
desire to put their camp in a condition of defense, and the animation of
steady labor, were of as much advantage to the spirits of the soldiers
as bread and meat would be to their bodies; and, from sitting in idle
groups about their camp fires and huts, they worked on the new
intrenchments, ramparts, and redoubts with cheerful energy.

Everything was done exactly as if the new fort were soon to be called
upon to protect the town, which stretched itself beneath the hill; and
the engineers and officers were as careful in making plans and giving
directions as if they had been building a fort at the entrance of New
York Bay.

It was never expected that the fort would be attacked, and it was never
supposed, that, if the British should come this way, the battle would be
fought in or about the town; but the building of the fort was honestly
intended for the defense and protection of the troops, not against
muskets, cannon, and bayonets, but against discontent and
despair,--enemies far more formidable to the suffering army of that day
than British troops and Hessians.

The result was a good one: Washington's army at Morristown stood by him
as long as he staid there; and when they marched away, they left upon
the top of that hill a monument to the wisdom, the kindness, and the
knowledge of human nature, displayed by their great commander in chief
in those hazardous days.

We do not know what this earthwork was first called; but in time it came
to be known as Fort Nonsense, simply because it appeared to the ordinary
man as a great piece of work undertaken without any good purpose. But
never was a name more inapplicable. If it had been called Fort Good
Sense, it would have been much more suitable.

The remains of this fort are still to be seen on the hill beyond
Morristown; and a monumental stone has been set up there to mark its
site, and explain its nature and purpose. Most of its ramparts and
redoubts have been washed away by the storms of more than a century, and
we can still perceive many of its outlines; but those skilled in the art
of military fortification know that it was a good fortress, while
students of human nature and of the influence of great minds upon the
welfare of their fellow-beings, know that it acted an important part in
the defense of our liberties and the establishment of our government.

It may be remarked that in this story we have said a good deal about
other things, and very little about Fort Nonsense. But there is very
little of Fort Nonsense, and not much to say about it; and what has been
told was the story of the camp life of Washington and his army in New
Jersey, the most permanent and suggestive point of which is the
earthwork called Fort Nonsense.


Among the principal men of colonial days and of Revolutionary times,
there were many whose social positions were much the same as the station
of the ordinary European aristocrat. From their ancestors the colonists
had inherited the disposition to recognize differences in rank; and men
of wealth and high position in the colonial government were regarded to
a certain extent as members of the nobility are regarded in England.
Before the Declaration of Independence, it was not even assumed in this
country that all men are born equal.

But, although there were native-born personages in the Colonies who
might well be termed aristocrats, their titles were political or
military; and an American lord was, as he would be now, something
entirely out of the common.

But in those days there was an American lord; and a very good American
he was, in spite of his being a lord. This was William Alexander, known
as Lord Stirling. He was born in New York, of Scotch parents. When he
was quite a young man, he went into military life, and served in the
British colonial army in the French War. In the campaigns in which he
served, he gained the military education which was afterwards of the
greatest advantage, not only to him, but to the country.

There was no British heir to the earldom of Stirling, a Scotch peerage;
and, as he believed that he was a direct descendant of the last Lord
Stirling, the young man went to England, and laid claim to the estate
and title. He was successful in proving his direct descent from the
earls of Stirling; but the House of Lords, who gave the final decision
in the case, would not allow his claim. Even if the law had permitted
his claim, it is not likely that the British House of Lords would have
been anxious to welcome into the peerage an American-born person.

But although he got nothing more, he really obtained his title, and he
was known then, as he is known in history, as Lord Stirling. He was a
man of wealth, and must have had a very good time in England, for he
studied well the manners and customs of the nobility; and as his own
habits and tastes were those which he observed in the great houses of
England, he here received a social education which had a great effect
upon his future career.

He was also the means of educating some of the inhabitants of Great
Britain, and the way in which he did it is shown by a little incident
which occurred when he was visiting Scotland. He was invited to dine at
the house of a gentleman, who informed his wife that an American was
coming to take dinner with them. It is to be presumed that this
announcement had about the same effect upon her as would now be
produced if an American gentleman should inform his family that a chief
from Madagascar was to dine with them.

The Scotch lady, no doubt, expected to see a copper-colored brave, in
war paint and feathers, with tomahawk, and bows and arrows, and perhaps
a few scalps hanging from his belt. Probably she had busied herself
devising a dinner which would suit a savage who was a native of that
far-away land of America, and hoped she might give him something which
would compensated him for the loss of a cannibal repast; but when she
beheld the handsome young gentleman who came into the house with her
husband, she could not repress her astonishment, and exclaimed, "Bless
my soul! The animal is white." Ignorance of foreign countries was at
that time not uncommon in Great Britain.

Although born in New York, Lord Stirling established himself in New
Jersey, and it was in connection with this State that he was afterwards
generally known. His father had owned a large tract of land at Basking
Ridge, a beautifully situated town not far from Morristown; and here
Lord Stirling built himself a stately mansion with fine gardens, and a
great park in which were herds of deer. It was built in the fashion of
the lordly country seats of England, around a courtyard paved with
flagstones, and contained grand halls and stately apartments beautifully
ornamented and furnished. The barns and outbuildings were grand, like
the mansion itself, with cupolas and gilded vanes, and altogether the
establishment was imposing and beautiful.

This young man had brought with him from England servants, butlers,
valets, hairdressers, and a great many fine horses, and carriages with
arms emblazoned upon their panels. He lived in grand state, and his
house was generally filled with guests; for the best people of the
country were glad to visit this beautiful home, where the best of
company and the freest hospitality were always to be found. The lord of
the manor was an affable and courteous gentleman, and the writers of
those days have given glowing accounts of the gracious Lady Stirling and
her charming daughter, Lady Kitty.

But notwithstanding the fact that he felt as a lord and lived as a lord,
this grand gentleman never forgot that he was not only a lord, but an
American; and when the Colonies began to assert their claim to
independence, Lord Stirling promptly showed his colors on the patriotic
side. He commanded the first body of troops raised in New Jersey in the
colonial days; and he very soon became one of the most prominent
officers in the Revolutionary army.

After he was made general, he distinguished himself at the battle of
Long Island, where he performed some daring feats. The odds were greatly
against the Americans on that occasion, and, in order to secure the
retreat of the main part of his command, Lord Stirling took four hundred
men, and made a bold attack upon a house that was occupied by the
British general, Cornwallis. During the desperate fight which followed,
in which his little force was far outnumbered by the enemy, his command
made a successful retreat, but he himself was captured, and afterwards
imprisoned on a war ship.

But he did not stay there long. Washington could not do without the
services of this man, who was not only a most earnest patriot, but an
educated and efficient soldier; and, as the Americans held several
English officers as prisoners of war, one of them was exchanged, with
the least possible delay, for Lord Stirling.

One of the earliest and most daring exploits of this brave soldier was
the capture, by an infantry force, of an armed British ship which was on
its way to Boston with stores and supplies for the English army there.

This vessel, which was called the "Blue Mountain Valley," had met with
rough weather, and, having been badly damaged, was lying off Sandy Hook,
waiting for assistance from two British men-of-war then in New York

But Lord Stirling, who was stationed not far from the coast, and to whom
the situation of the vessel became known, determined that, if possible,
he would get to this valuable storeship before the enemy's men-of-war
could reach her. So, with a number of the regular soldiers under his
command, and some volunteers from the neighborhood, he put out to sea in
some small craft, one of them a pilot boat. The English vessel had for
her defense six guns, and was what is called an armed transport, but
Stirling's men carried only ordinary muskets. However, they boldly
attacked the vessel, and bearing down upon her as if she had been a
column of infantry, in spite of the cannon and guns of the crew,
captured her.

As soon as this victory had been won, Lord Stirling had all sails set;
and the "Blue Mountain Valley" waited no longer for the men-of-war to
come to her assistance, but sailed away for Perth Amboy, which was in
possession of the Americans. Here she was found to be a most valuable
prize, although Lord Stirling was sorry, as he afterwards stated when he
made his report to Congress, that her cargo was not arms, instead of
coal and provisions.

Lord Stirling fought well in the battles of New Jersey. At Monmouth he
especially distinguished himself by the way in which he managed the
artillery which was under his command; and it is said that the enemy
were amazed to find batteries so splendidly handled in the ranks of the
Americans, who were not supposed by most British officers to be
possessed of great military ability, although the erroneousness of this
supposition was gradually impressed upon their minds as the war went on.

Our nobleman, however, had given another proof of his ability to adapt
himself to military circumstances. When Washington and his army were
wintered at Morristown, there was an evident desire among the British
commanders to attack him at that place, and there was constant danger of
an advance from the forces about New York. Lord Stirling was with the
troops under General Greene, defending the principal approaches to
Morristown on the east, and he very often had fights and skirmishes with
British detachments sent out to reconnoiter the country, or to break
into the American lines.

At one time a very large force, led by Clinton, advanced towards
Morristown; and this was believed to be a serious and determined attempt
to attack Washington, whose army was in a pretty bad plight, and not at
all prepared to fight large bodies of well-appointed troops. Lord
Stirling, with the other officers of the regular army, aided by forces
of militiamen greatly excited by atrocities which had been committed by
the British troops in the neighborhood, made a determined stand in the
region of the "Short Hills," and a battle was fought near Springfield.
Although the American forces were not able to defeat the British, they
so harassed them, placing themselves in all the passes through which it
was necessary to advance, that at last the Redcoats gave up the attempt
to reach Morristown, and retired to Elizabeth.

Throughout the war, this gentleman with the grand house, the park, the
deer, the splendid carriages, the butlers, and the hairdressers, fought
as earnestly and as patriotically as if he had been a sturdy farmer who
had left his cornfield for the battlefield, with an old blunderbuss over
his shoulder. Not only was he a good soldier, but he was a trustworthy
friend to the cause of the Colonies and to General Washington; and it is
said that it was through his means that the conspiracy among some of the
officers of the army against General Washington, of whom they were
jealous, was discovered and broken up.

Officers of the army were frequently quartered at his house at Basking
Ridge, where they found most delightful company; and in every way our
American lord did what he could for the cause and the people who were
defending it. His title was generally recognized; and Washington, who
was very particular in regard to matters of rank and social propriety,
always called him "my lord." He was said to be a fine-looking man; in
fact, he and Washington were of more imposing and dignified appearance
than any other officers of the American army.

Of course, as he was a very notable person among the Continental
officers, the British were very anxious to capture him. In 1781, when he
was in command of the Northern Department at Albany, this design of the
enemy came very near being carried out, but was frustrated by the
faithful services of one of those good women who were continually
turning up in colonial history. A servant girl in the family of a house
near Albany, where Lord Stirling was staying, had been visiting her
parents during the day, and had there heard a plot of the Tories of the
neighborhood to capture Lord Stirling. Being of a patriotic disposition,
she told her mistress of the plot as soon as she got home; and when in
the night a large body of the enemy came to the house, they were met
with a surprise.

Lord Stirling had not gone out of town without taking with him a guard
of dragoons; and these men, instead of being quartered at a distance, as
the Tories evidently supposed they would be, had all been brought into
the house; and when the attack was made in the night, the bullets and
pistol balls which whizzed and whistled from that ordinarily peaceful
mansion astonished the Tories, who fled.

But although Lord Stirling did so much for American independence, he did
not live to enjoy the fruits of it, for he died in Albany, while still
in command of the Northern Department. After his death, the estate at
Basking Ridge was sold, and payment for it was made in Continental
money, which afterwards became of almost no value; so that for this fine
property, it might be said, his family received nothing but a pile of
badly printed paper. The mansion and the deer park and the emblazoned
carriages are gone and forgotten; but the brave soldier, who gave up all
the pleasures of a lordly position for his country, will live in


At the battle of Monmouth, where Lord Stirling so distinguished himself
for the management of the artillery, another person of an entirely
different station in life, of different nationality, and even different
sex, played a very notable part in the working of the American cannon on
that eventful day.

This was a young Irishwoman, wife of an artilleryman. She was of a
different disposition from ordinary women, who are glad enough to hide
themselves in places of safety, if there is any fighting going on in
their neighborhood. Molly was born with the soul of a soldier, and,
although she did not belong to the army, she much preferred going to war
to staying at home and attending to domestic affairs. She was in the
habit of following her husband on his various marches, and on the day
of the Monmouth battle she was with him on the field.

The day was very hot. The rays of the sun came down with such force that
many of the soldiers were taken sick and some died; and the constant
discharges of musketry and artillery did not make the air any cooler.
Molly devoted herself to keeping her husband as comfortable as possible,
and she made frequent trips to a spring not far away to bring him water;
and on this account he was one of the freshest and coolest artillerymen
on the ground. In fact, there was no man belonging to the battery who
was able to manage one of these great guns better than Pitcher.

Returning from one of her trips to the spring, Molly had almost reached
the place where her husband was stationed, when a bullet from the enemy
struck the poor man and stretched him dead, so that Molly had no sooner
caught sight of her husband than she saw him fall. She ran to the gun,
but scarcely had reached it before she heard one of the officers order
the cannon to be wheeled back out of the way, saying that there was no
one there who could serve it as it had been served.

Now Molly's eyes flashed fire. One might have thought that she would
have been prostrated with grief at the loss of her husband, but, as we
have said, she had within her the soul of a soldier. She had seen her
husband, who was the same to her as a comrade, fall, and she was filled
with an intense desire to avenge his death. She cried out to the officer
not to send the gun away, but to let her serve it; and, scarcely
waiting to hear what he would say, she sprang to the cannon, and began
to load it and fire it. She had so often attended her husband, and even
helped him in his work, that she knew all about this sort of thing, and
her gun was managed well and rapidly.

It might be supposed that it would be a very strange thing to see a
woman on the battlefield firing a cannon; but even if the enemy had
watched Molly with a spyglass, they would not have noticed anything to
excite their surprise. She wore an ordinary skirt, like other women of
the time; but over this was an artilleryman's coat, and on her head was
a cocked hat with some jaunty feathers stuck in it, so that she looked
almost as much like a man as the rest of the soldiers of the battery.

During the rest of the battle, Molly bravely served her gun; and if she
did as much execution in the ranks of the Redcoats as she wanted to do,
the loss in the regiments in front of her must have been very great. Of
course, all the men in the battery knew Molly Pitcher, and they watched
her with the greatest interest and admiration. She would not allow any
one to take her place, but kept on loading and firing until the work of
the day was done. Then the officers and men crowded about her with
congratulations and praise.

The next day General Greene went to Molly,--whom he found in very much
the condition in which she had left the battlefield, stained with dirt
and powder, with her fine feathers gone and her cocked hat
dilapidated,--and conducted her, just as she was, to General
Washington. When the commander in chief heard what she had done, he gave
her warm words of praise. He determined to bestow upon her a substantial
reward; for any one who was brave enough and able enough to step in and
fill an important place, as Molly had filled her husband's place,
certainly deserved a reward. It was not according to the rules of war to
give a commission to a woman; but, as Molly had acted the part of a man,
Washington considered it right to pay her for her services as if she had
been a man. He therefore gave her the commission of a sergeant, and
recommended that her name be placed on the list of half-pay officers for

Every one in the army soon came to hear of the exploit of Molly Pitcher,
and it was not long before she was called Captain Molly. The officers of
the French regiment on the American side were particularly pleased with
this act of heroism in a woman, and invited Molly to review their
troops; and as she walked down the long line of soldiers, nearly every
man put a piece of money in the cocked hat which she held in her hand.

This was the last battlefield on which Molly Pitcher appeared, but it
had not been her first. Not long before, she had been with her husband
in Fort Clinton when it was attacked by a very large force of the
British. After a vigorous defense, the Americans found that it was
impossible to defend the fort, and a retreat was ordered. As the
soldiers were rushing out of the rear of the fort, Molly's husband
turned away from his gun, threw down his match,--a piece of rope soaked
in combustible substances, and slowly burning at one end, which was used
in those days for discharging cannon,--and ran for his life. Molly
prepared to follow him; but as she saw the glowing match on the ground,
and knew that her husband's gun was loaded, she could not resist the
desire to take one more crack at the enemy. So she stopped for an
instant, picked up the match, touched off the gun, and dashed away after
her husband. The cannon which then blazed out in the face of the
advancing British was the last gun which the Americans fired in Fort

Molly did not meet with the reward which was accorded so many other
Jersey women who were of benefit to their State and country. She died
not long after the close of the war; and if she had known that she was
to be famous as one of the heroes of the Revolution, there is no doubt
that she would have hoped that people would be careful to remember that
it was a man's service that she did to the country, and not a woman's.

But Captain Molly was not the only Jersey woman who was willing to act a
man's part in the War for Independence. Among those of whom there is
historical mention was Mrs. Jinnie Waglum, who lived near Trenton. At
the time when Washington was arranging to march upon Princeton, she was
visiting her friend, whose husband was the landlord of The True American
Inn, just out of Trenton; and this tavern was Washington's headquarters
at the time. In this way Mrs. Jinnie heard of the intended advance; and
she also heard that there was no one in the American forces who knew the
country well enough to conduct the army from Trenton to Princeton by any
route except the highways, on which the advance would be observed by the

She therefore sent word to Washington that she would guide the army if
he wished, and that there was no one who knew the country better than
she did. Washington was a man who had sense enough to avail himself of
good service whenever it was offered; and when he had made inquiries
about Mrs. Waglum, he was perfectly willing to put his army under her
guidance, and very glad indeed that she had offered her services.

When a woman acts the part of a man, it is not surprising that she
likes to look like a man; so Mrs. Jinnie put on a soldier's coat and a
soldier's hat, and, mounting a horse, she headed the Continental army,
commanded by Washington. This was a proud position, but she was equal to
it; and on she rode, with all the cavalry and the infantry and the
artillery and the general and staff following behind her. She took them
along by Sand Town and Quaker Bridge, by roads over which she had often
traveled; and the American army reached Princeton in good time for the
battle which took place next day.


In the early days of American history there was in New Jersey, as well
as in New England and other parts of the country, a firm belief in the
existence of witches and ghosts. Of course, there were people who knew
enough not to put faith in supernatural apparitions and magical power;
but there were so many who did believe in these things, that it was
often unsafe, or at least unpleasant, to be an ugly old woman, or a
young woman in not very good health, for it was believed that into such
bodies the evil spirits delighted to enter.

Nearly all the older towns had their ghost stories, their witch stories,
and their traditions of hidden treasure, guarded by spirits of persons
who had been murdered, and buried with the gold in order that their
spirits might act as a charm to frighten away anybody who should presume
to dig in those spots. In Burlington were two great trees which were
regarded with admiration and fear by many of the inhabitants. One was a
large willow tree, which was called the Witches' Tree, around which
these horrible spirits were supposed to dance on many a wild night.
Another was the Pirates' Tree, a great walnut, under the roots of which
many of the inhabitants firmly believed that the famous Blackbeard and
his band had buried many pots of gold, silver, and precious stones; and
these pots would have been dug up had it not been for the fear that the
spirit of the savage pirate, who had been buried with the treasure,
would have been the first thing to meet the eyes of the sacrilegious
disturber of the pirate treasure vault.

There are other ghost stories of other places in New Jersey; but
Morristown, some years after the close of the Revolution, took the lead
of all the other Jersey towns as a scene of ghostly performances.

For years back many of the people had been convinced that an occasional
witch had appeared among them, getting into the churns and preventing
the butter from coming, breaking the legs of sheep in jumping over the
fence, causing their horses to become suddenly mysteriously sick, and
making themselves obnoxious in various ways. But it was not until the
year 1788 that New Jersey ghosts determined to go regularly into
business at this place.

Supernatural occurrences of this period attracted a great deal of
attention, not only in the town itself, but in the surrounding country;
and an account of what happened in Morristown during the time that the
spirits were holding their visitations at that place is related in an
old pamphlet published in 1792, written by an anonymous person who had
no faith whatever in ghosts, but who had a firm belief in the efficacy
of long words and complicated phraseology. We will take the story from
this old pamphlet.

For a long time there had been a tradition that a vast treasure was
buried on Schooley's Mountain, or, as it was then spelled, Schooler's
Mountain, which was at that time a wild and desolate region more than
twenty miles from Morristown. It is said that there were two gentlemen
of the place who were particularly strong in their belief in this
treasure, and they felt sure that all that was necessary in order to
obtain it was to find some man who had knowledge of the habits and
customs and requirements of the spirits in regard to treasures. Having
their minds on this subject, it was not long before they heard of such a
man. This was Mr. Ransford Rogers, a schoolmaster in Connecticut, who
knew many things, and who pretended to know many more. He really did
understand something about chemistry, was very ingenious and plausible,
and had been frequently heard to say that he was not afraid of spirits,
and was able to call them up, converse with them, and afterwards cause
them to disappear. This was exactly the man needed by the two gentlemen
of Morristown, and they went to Connecticut to see him.

When the business of the visitors was made known to Rogers, he was
delighted, for here was an opportunity to get into a good business,
which would probably be infinitely more pleasant than teaching. So he
gave up his school and came to Morristown, being under contract to the
two gentlemen to do what he could to induce the spirits to reveal the
place of the concealed treasure in Schooley's Mountain. But as it would
not do for a stranger to come into the town and hang out a sign,
stating that he was a spirit raiser, it was necessary for Rogers to
pretend that he had come on other business, and so he took charge of a
small school outside of the town, but gave the greater part of his time
to investigating the minds of the people of Morristown, in order that he
might find out what he could do in the way of duping them; and in the
words of the old writer, he found that this would be a good place for
the "marvelous exhibitions which he was able to facilitate with the
greatest alacrity."

Of course, he was not at all willing to begin business with the support
of only two persons, and the first thing he did was to gather together
as many men as possible who really wished to be rich, and who were
willing to be governed by him in regard to the way in which they should
go about obtaining the vast hoard buried far away in the mountain. After
a time he succeeded in getting together as many as forty men, who all
thoroughly believed in his honesty and in his ability to take them out
to Schooley's Mountain, to call up the spirits who guarded the treasure,
to induce them to turn it over to them, and then to vanish peaceably,
without offering to molest or harm any one.

But it was a long time before Rogers was ready to lead his company on
the great quest. There were many, many things that had to be done before
they could start, and he soon found that he was not able to work out his
great scheme alone; so he went back to Connecticut and got another
schoolmaster, to whom he divulged his secret, and brought him to
Morristown, and the two together went into the spirit business with
great energy and enterprise. Night after night the company of treasure
seekers met together, sometimes in a dark room, and sometimes out in the
wild, lonely fields, close to black forests, and out of sight and
hearing of human abodes.

Rogers was a chemist; and he frequently went out to one of these lonely
meeting places in the afternoon and prepared a mine, which he exploded
during the midnight meetings, and thus created a great wonder and terror
among his followers. When they were indoors, there would be knockings
and strange voices heard coming through the cracks; these voices
proceeding from the other schoolmaster, who covered his mouth with what
the writer of the pamphlet calls "a superficial machine," probably a bit
of tin with a hole in it, which so disguised his voice that it was not

When they were out of doors in the black night, they would sometimes see
a ghost flit about under the trees at the edge of the woods; and the
second schoolmaster, well wrapped up in a sheet, seems to have made as
good a ghost as could have been found anywhere. There were many
supernatural performances, and among them was a great act, in which each
one of the members of the company lay flat on his face in the field with
his eyes shut, holding in one outstretched hand a sheet of paper. This
was done in the hope that the spirits would write their instructions on
the paper. Mr. Rogers knelt down with the others and held his paper; but
it was not a blank sheet like the others. When this performance was
over, all the papers were shaken together, and then they were drawn out
one by one; and judge of the surprise and awe of all present, when one
of them would contain some writing,--generally in a beautiful hand, such
as could only be expected from a supernatural being (or a
schoolmaster),--which would be found to be instructions as to what must
be done.

The most important of these directions ordered that before any march
could be made toward Schooley's Mountain, or any definite directions
given in regard to the whereabouts of the treasure, each member should
pay to the spirits, through Mr. Rogers, who would kindly act as agent,
the sum of twelve pounds. And, moreover, this must not be paid in the
paper money then current in New Jersey, which was called "loan money",
and which would not pass outside of the State, but in gold or silver.
When every member had paid in his twelve pounds, then the party would be
led to the place of the treasure.

When they found out what they had to do, each man went to work to try,
if possible, to raise the twelve pounds; but Rogers soon saw that it
would be impossible for some of them to do this, as specie money was so
hard to get, and he reduced the sum, in some cases, to six or four
pounds. He was a good business manager, and would not try to get out of
a man more than that man could pay.

Not one of the people engaged in this affair had the slightest idea that
Rogers was deceiving them. It is not likely that any of them were people
of much culture or means; and it is said that some of them went so far
as to sell their cattle, and mortgage their farms, in order to get gold
or silver to pay to the good schoolmaster who was generously acting as a
mutual friend to both parties. But what were these sacrifices compared
to the treasure they would obtain when at last they should be permitted
to dig up the buried hoard on Schooley's Mountain!

It was now winter, and of course they could not start on the expedition
in bad weather; but meeting after meeting was held, and it was at last
definitely promised that the expedition should go forth from Morristown
early in May. On the first of that month, they all gathered at midnight
in the lonely field, and there was a terrible scene. There were more
fireworks and explosions than usual, and one of the spirits appeared at
the edge of the wood greatly excited, stamping his feet, and rushing
about under the trees; and when Rogers went to see what was the
matter,--for of course none of the others would dare to speak to a
spirit,--he found that the supernatural beings with whom they had so
long been in communication, and who were now scattered about in all
parts of the woods, were very angry and incensed because they had become
aware that some of the party were unfaithful, and had divulged the
secrets which had been made known to them. They were so thoroughly
indignant, in fact, that they refused to go on with the affair for a
time, and announced that the expedition to Schooley's Mountain would be
postponed until they were positively certain that every man who was to
go there was the sort of man who would never let anybody into the awful,
soul-dazzling secret which would be divulged. So they must all go home,
and wait until this important matter could be satisfactorily arranged.

Strange to say, they all did go home, and waited, and not one of them
suspected Rogers.

The schoolmaster had obtained a good deal of money, but he had not
enough. So, in less than a month, he started another company, this time
a small one, and began to go through his performances with them. But he
soon found he could not make much money out of five men, and he began to
get a little braver, and thought he would try what he could do with the
better class of people in Morristown; and, having discovered that a very
good ghost could be called up by means of a white sheet and a
"superficial machine", he dressed himself up one night, and made a
supernatural call upon a gentleman in good standing in the church. When
he had appeared at the bedside of this good man, he told him all about
the treasure of Schooley's Mountain, and, if he wanted some of it, how
he might obtain it.

The gentleman, having never seen a ghost, supposed, of course, that this
was an authorized apparition, and became greatly interested in what was
told him. The next day, according to directions, he went around among
his friends in the church, and soon formed a considerable company, who
all believed, that, if they did what they were told to do, they could go
to Schooley's Mountain and become immensely wealthy.

They did a great many things that they were told to do: they met in dark
rooms, as the other party had met; they went out into a lonely field at
midnight; they held out papers to be written on; and, more than that,
they conducted their meetings with prayer and other solemnities. And
they all promised to pay twelve pounds in gold as an earnest of their
good faith in the spirits, and to deliver the money to that great
miracle worker, Mr. Rogers, who would remit it to the spirits.

The schoolmaster found it necessary to be more mystical and weird in his
dealings with this second party than with the first. He did a great many
strange things which savored of magic and alchemy. Among other things,
he got some fine bone dust, which he assured his followers was the dust
of the bodies of the spirits who were to lead them to the treasure; and
a little of this, wrapped up in a paper, he gave to each one of them,
which they were to keep secret, and preserve as a magical charm.

One of the company, an old gentleman who was sometimes a little
absent-minded, went to bed one night and left the magical packet in one
of his pockets; and his wife, probably looking for small change, found
it. She could not imagine what it was, but she was afraid it was
something connected with witchcraft, and was greatly troubled about it.
The next day she told her husband of the discovery, and was so very
persistent that he should explain to her what it meant, that at last he
thought it wise to tell her the whole proceeding, and so prevent her
from interfering with the great and important business with which he was
concerned. He made her promise secrecy, and soon she had heard all about
Rogers, the spirits, and the buried gold. She became convinced that it
was all the work of the devil, and she went off among her friends and
began to talk about it.

Now there was a great excitement, not only on the part of the believers,
but among the spirits themselves; and Rogers, who had enlisted two new
men in his scheme, made his ghosts work hard to keep up the delusion
among his followers. All four of them, dressed in sheets, went about
making communications whenever they had a chance, and assuring the
members of the band of treasure hunters that everything would soon be
all right, and that they must not allow their faith to be shaken by
gossipers and scandalmongers.

Rogers himself, in his ghostly costume, went one night to the house of
a gentleman who was his follower, and made some important communications
to him; but as the schoolmaster had been encouraging himself by some
strong drink before setting out on his round of apparitions, he talked
in such a queer way to his disciple, that the latter became suspicious.
The next morning he found horse tracks from his door to Rogers's house,
and so discovered that the ghost had come from that place on horseback.
Further investigations followed, and it was not long before it became
quite plain that Rogers had been playing a well-planned trick upon the
inhabitants of Morristown, and he was arrested.

Every one, however, had not lost faith in him, and there was an old
gentleman--whose name the ancient pamphlet very kindly conceals, calling
him by the name of "Compassion"--who went bail for him, and he was
released; whereupon he and his friends decamped. However, Rogers was
again arrested, and this time he confessed the whole of his share in
raising the ghosts of Morristown.

But, as has been said, he was a man of ability, and able to take care of
himself, and in some way he managed to escape from custody, and was seen
no more in New Jersey. His followers, who had sent their gold and silver
to the spirits by means of his kind offices, never saw their money
again; and the vast treasures buried at Schooley's Mountain still remain
hidden from all men.


We have told the story of the lord who lived at Basking Ridge; now we
will tell the story of a much more exalted personage, one who had sat
upon a throne, and worn a crown and royal robes rich with diamonds and
precious stones, and who lived on a breezy hill on the banks of the
Delaware. What he was doing in New Jersey, and how he had come to wear a
crown and royal robes, we will now proceed to tell.

This exalted personage was not a king when he was living in New Jersey,
but he had been a king. In fact, if we may not say that he had been two
kings, we can say that he had been a king twice. He was Joseph
Bonaparte, the eldest brother of the great emperor, Napoleon, who, after
having conquered a great many nations of Europe, and having deposed
their kings, supplied them with new sovereigns out of his own family.
Joseph was sent to Italy to be King of Naples. He did not particularly
want to be king, and he knew that the people did not want him, and after
he had been in Naples some time, reigning under his brother's orders
with no great success, the emperor determined to transfer him to Spain,
whose throne had just been made vacant. Having been informed that he
was to go to Madrid, Joseph obeyed, but he did not like it.

Moreover, the people of Spain did not like it, and after a time they
rose up in rebellion, and were assisted by the English and Portuguese,
and forced the king to fly from Spain.

The ex-king of Naples and Spain had various adventures in France and
Switzerland; and when the power of the great Napoleon came to an end, he
was obliged to fly, or he also might have been sent to Elba or some
other place equally undesirable, so he determined to come to America. In
a little brig of two hundred tons, a very small vessel to sail on the
ocean, he crossed the Atlantic in disguise, not even the captain of the
vessel knowing who he was. He was accompanied by his secretary; and when
the two reached America and made themselves known, they were treated
with great respect and attention. In fact, America owed so much to
France, that she was very willing to show her gratitude.

Now that he was well out of Europe, Joseph Bonaparte gave up all idea of
returning, and in deciding to settle here it was not surprising that he
chose to make his home in New Jersey. He bought a place near Bordentown,
on a high wooded hill called Point Breeze, and built a house, which was
truly splendid for those days. It had grand halls and staircases and
banquet halls, and it must have been larger and more imposing than Lord
Stirling's. His estate, which covered more than a thousand acres, was
beautifully laid out in drives and gardens and lawns, and everything on
the place was arranged in a style of beauty and grandeur.

It was three years before this great house, with its surroundings, was
finished, and ready for the ex-king's residence; and when at last he
went there, he lived in ex-regal style. His wife was not with him,
having remained in Italy on account of ill health, and her physicians
would never allow her to come to America. But he had two daughters who
were with him during part of his residence in New Jersey, and there were
persons who asserted that he had also brought with him the crown of
Spain and the royal robes of Italy.

It generally happens, when a sovereign is obliged to abdicate and to fly
from his kingdom, that he arranges matters so that he shall not become a
pauper when he arrives at the place of refuge. If he is not able to
carry away anything more than a valise, he is much more likely to put
his royal jewels into it than to fill it up with night clothes and
hairbrushes; so when Bonaparte came to New Jersey, he came as a very
rich man.

When his kingly mansion was ready to be supplied with art treasures,
such as ornamented the palaces of Europe, the ex-king sent across the
ocean for costly paintings and beautiful sculpture with which to fill
his new house; and if any crowned heads had happened to visit him, he
would not have been ashamed to welcome them beneath his roof. People of
royal blood--that is, the same kind of royal blood that he had--did come
over to visit him. Louis Napoleon, afterward Emperor of France, came,
when a young man, and spent some weeks with his uncle. While there, it
is said, this young man went out shooting on the estate, and, finding
the birds near the house easier to hit than those at a distance, he
blazed away at any feathered creatures he saw in the garden, so that the
gardener made a complaint.

But even then this young Louis Napoleon had begun to have dreams in
regard to his succession to the imperial throne of France, and he did
not like to be snubbed and scolded by an uncle who had had all the regal
honors he was ever likely to get, and who therefore had no right to put
on airs in his dealings with the prospective wearer of a crown. So there
was a quarrel between the two, and there are reports to the effect that
Louis Napoleon took revenge upon his uncle by cutting his fruit trees
with a hatchet, without, however, imitating Washington in regard to
subsequent truthfulness.

Besides visitors from abroad, many distinguished Americans visited the
ex-king. Among these were Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Quincy
Adams. General Lafayette, also, when he came to this country, was
received with great state by the Count de Survilliers, the title under
which Joseph Bonaparte lived at Bordentown.

This ex-king never became an American citizen by taking out
naturalization papers; but the Legislature of New Jersey treated him
very well, and passed a resolution which enabled him to hold property in
this State, and to thus become, in fact, a Jerseyman.

But although our ex-king was now established on the free soil of
America, he did not feel altogether safe. His family had come to grief;
and there was reason to fear, that, as a member of that family, England,
or France, or Spain, might demand him as a prisoner, to be taken across
the ocean to answer the charge of unlawful occupation of a throne.

It is quite possible that the people of the neighborhood imagined that
the ex-king was in greater fear of molestation from his former royal
brethren than was really the case. Their reasons for supposing that he
was anxious to defend himself against surprise and capture had some
ground, for there were some strange things about that ex-royal
estate,--things that were not known in any other part of New Jersey.
There was a tall building called a belvedere, from which the country and
the river might be surveyed for a long distance in every direction; but,
stranger far than that, there were subterranean passages which led from
the house to unfrequented parts of the grounds. These passages were well
built, arched with brick, and high enough for people to walk upright in
them; and although persons of quiet and unimaginative minds thought
that they were constructed for the purpose of allowing the occupants to
go down to the lake or to the other portions of the grounds without
getting wet if it should happen to be raining, there were many people
who believed that for sudden showers a good stock of umbrellas would be
cheaper and quite as useful, and that these costly passages could be
meant for nothing else than to give opportunity for escape, in case
foreign emissaries or officers of the law should come in search of an
ex-king who was wanted on the other side of the Atlantic.

For whatever reason these passages were built, the spectacle of an
ex-king, carrying a crown and his royal robes in a hand bag, slipping
out from among some bushes to tramp along the dusty road to Trenton or
Burlington, was never seen. Nobody ever thought it worth while to come
to New Jersey to demand him or his property.

During his residence at Bordentown, which continued for about fourteen
years, Joseph Bonaparte was very popular with the people of the
neighborhood. They looked upon him as a friend and neighbor; but at the
same time they did not lose sight of the fact, that although he was now
a country gentleman of New Jersey, with his lawn and his flower garden
to look after, he had sat upon two thrones, and had been a sovereign of
Naples and Spain. They called him "king," and his house was known as the
"palace;" and for this reason the people of other States made some mild
fun of New Jersey, calling it a foreign country.

But if this ex-king had been a rich country gentleman of the
neighborhood, he could not have made himself more popular. He was
hospitable, and frequently gave entertainments, and he sent flowers and
fruits from his gardens to his friends and neighbors. He made roads, and
contributed in many ways to the improvement of the country round about
his home. In winter time the boys of Bordentown came to skate upon his
ponds; and at such times he nearly always offered them refreshments,
which consisted of quantities of chestnuts, which he scattered on the
ice so that the youngsters might scramble for them.

In many ways his kind and sociable disposition made him so much liked,
that it is very probable that if the officers of the law had come to
take him back to Europe, he would have received such timely notice of
their approach that it would not have been necessary for him to hurry
away through his underground passages. New Jersey is a reasonable and
hospitable State, and when an ex-king comes to reside within her
borders, he will be as well treated, so long as he behaves himself, as
if he were a poor immigrant from Europe, coming with his wife and family
to clear away the forest, and make himself a home.

Just before Joseph started for America, the affairs of his family were
at their lowest ebb. His great brother, the emperor, had fallen from his
high state, and could look forward to nothing but imprisonment by the
European countries, whose thrones he had for so long been in the habit
of upsetting or threatening. In his last interview with Napoleon, when
on his way to the ship which was to take him to America, Joseph
generously offered to change places with his brother, and to let the
ex-emperor fly to America instead of the ex-king. It was very difficult
for any one of the Napoleon family to get away from France at that time;
but Joseph had made a very excellent plan by which passports were
provided for two persons coming to America on business, and his brother
could have used one of those as well as himself.

But the great Napoleon declined to run away in this manner. He remained,
and was sent to St. Helena. What would have occurred in the neighborhood
of Bordentown, N.J., had Napoleon Bonaparte, conqueror of Europe, ruler
of nations, and disposer of crowns, the hero of Austerlitz, Marengo,
and Wagram, taken up his residence at Point Breeze, and established
himself as a citizen of the State, cannot easily be imagined. The
geniality, sociability, and hospitality of the ex-king could hardly have
been expected from the ex-emperor; and, surrounded as he would have been
in time by devoted followers who would have exiled themselves from their
country for his sake, there might have been a little empire in New
Jersey which would have been exceedingly interesting to tourists.

Moreover, if the allied powers of Europe had sent over a fleet to bring
back their great enemy, who knows but that they might have found, when
they reached Bordentown, not a tall lookout tower and underground
passages for escape, but a fort with ramparts, redoubts, a moat, a
drawbridge, and mounted cannon ready to sweep the Delaware and the
surrounding country? However this might have been, it is certain that
Napoleon's refusal to take his brother's place must ever be a source of
satisfaction to the people of Bordentown and the rest of the country.

As a proof that Joseph Bonaparte had had enough of royalty, and not
enough of New Jersey, it is stated that a delegation of prominent men
from Mexico, which country was then in a very disturbed condition, came
to him during his residence at Bordentown, and offered him the throne of
Mexico. In making answer to this proposition, our ex-king did not
hesitate a moment. He told the delegation, that, having already worn two
crowns, he desired never again to wear another. The old fable of the fox
which had lost its tail did not probably come into his mind; but if it
had, he might well have spoken of it to his Mexican visitors.

After years had elapsed without any attempt on the part of European
powers to arrest him, our ex-king, Joseph, began to feel safe, and he
made a visit to England. He returned to America, but went back again,
and died in Italy in 1844, having given to New Jersey the peculiar and
unique position of being the only State in the Union which ever numbered
among her citizens the owner of a royal crown and regal robes.

To be sure, there is nothing in this for the people of a republican
State to be proud of; but New Jersey may be allowed to say that there
never was a royal person who was of less injury to the people among whom
he dwelt than her ex-king at Bordentown, and she may add that there have
been very few of his class who have been of as much advantage to his


New Jersey is very intimate with the ocean. For nearly the whole of her
length, from Cape May to Sandy Hook, the waves of the Atlantic roll and
roar. Wherever one may be in this State, it is not necessary to travel
very far in order to smell the fresh sea air.

It is true that but few of the great commercial vessels leave and arrive
at the ports of New Jersey, and that the presence of naval vessels in
her waters is due to the fact that she is part owner of the Bay of New
York; but it is also true, that, although she has not sent forth ships
to fight the battles of her country upon the ocean wave, she has sent
out to command those ships some of the best-known men who have ever worn
the American naval uniform.

One of the first occasions in which our naval vessels played a part in
foreign waters was of a rather romantic nature, though not particularly
calculated to raise our country's flag in our own estimation or that of
other nations.

It was at the end of the eighteenth century, when we had begun to trade
in various parts of the world, that our merchant vessels sailing on the
Mediterranean were greatly molested by the pirates of what was called
the Barbary Coast. The half-civilized and warlike people of Tripoli,
Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco, had long been in the habit of sending out
their armed vessels to prey upon the ships of all civilized countries;
and when American ships entered the Mediterranean, they soon found out
the state of affairs. Several vessels were captured, and the crews were
sent on shore and imprisoned or enslaved.

Nearly all the European maritime powers had defended their commerce
against these savage pirates, not by great guns and vessels of war, but
by humbly paying tribute. Every year these great nations sent money and
gifts to the Dey of Algiers, the Bey of Tunis, and the other rascals;
and in consideration of this tribute, their vessels were graciously
allowed to sail on the Mediterranean without molestation.

It was not long before the government of the United States saw very
plainly that it must pay tribute, conquer the Barbary States, or
quietly submit to the capture of all American merchantmen which might
sail into the Mediterranean. The easiest thing to do was to pay the
tribute; and as the other civilized nations did this, the United States
followed their example.

In the year 1800 a United States vessel bearing the name of "George
Washington," and commanded by William Bainbridge, a Jerseyman who had
been at sea ever since he was fourteen years old, sailed to Algiers,
carrying on board the ship which bore the name of the great man who had
made his country free and independent of the most powerful nation of the
earth, the tribute which was annually due from the United States to an
African sovereign, the Dey of Algiers.

This commission of the United States vessel seemed more humiliating from
the fact that our country had just come out of a war with France, in
which our frigate "Constellation" had defeated and captured one of the
vessels of that great naval power. But we had agreed to pay for the
privilege of trading in the Mediterranean, and, although the countries
of the Barbary Coast had no more right in that sea than Spain, France,
or Italy, they chose to assert their right, and we had acknowledged it.

When Bainbridge had arrived at Algiers, and had handed over the tribute
which he had brought, he supposed that his business was over, and
prepared to sail away; but the Dey, who was a potentate accustomed to
ask for what he wanted and to get it, informed the United States
commander that he wished to send him upon an errand.

These Barbary powers were all subject to the great head of the
Mohammedan nations, the Sultan of Turkey; and the Dey desired to send an
ambassador to his imperial master, and as the "George Washington" was
about to sail, he determined to make use of her.

When Captain Bainbridge was informed that the Dey commanded him to take
the ambassador to Constantinople, he very naturally declined, and
thereupon a great hubbub arose. The Dey informed Bainbridge, that, as
the United States paid him tribute, its people were his slaves; they
were bound, as were his other subjects, to obey his commands, and to do
what he told them without hesitation or question. If they were not his
slaves, why did they come here, meekly bearing money and other gifts to
their master?

All this had no effect in convincing Captain Bainbridge that he was a
slave of the Dey of Algiers, and bound to go upon his errands; but there
was an American consul there, and he saw that the matter was very
serious indeed. The harbor was commanded by forts mounted with heavy
guns, and if these were brought to bear upon the "George Washington,"
she would certainly be blown to pieces without much chance of defending
herself; and, moreover, such a conflict would surely bring about a war
with Algiers, and it was not at all desirable that an American officer,
bound upon friendly business, should provoke war between his country and

This reason was a very bitter dose for Captain Bainbridge; but after
consideration he found himself obliged to take it. If he refused, there
would be a United States ship the less; and he knew not how many
American ships, now sailing without fear upon the Mediterranean, might
be seized and burned, and their crews thrown into horrible slavery. He
had no right to precipitate anything of this sort, and consequently,
under protest, he agreed to take the Algerine ambassador to
Constantinople. But this was not all the high-minded Dey demanded. He
insisted that when the "George Washington" sailed out of the harbor, she
should sail, not as a United States vessel, but as a ship of Algiers,
and that she should carry on the mainmast, where generally floated the
stars and stripes, the Algerine flag, while he kindly consented that the
flag of her own country might float from the foremast. It was as
difficult to refuse this second demand as it was the first, and so the
"George Washington" went out of Algiers with the pirate's flag proudly
floating from its mainmast.

As soon as he got out of sight of land, Bainbridge hauled down the
Algerine flag and put up his own; but this was a very small satisfaction
and not particularly honorable.

When the "George Washington" reached Constantinople, she created a
sensation. Never before in the waters of the Golden Horn had the stars
and stripes been seen, and the people of the city could not imagine
where this strange ship came from. Some of these people had heard of
America and the United States, but they knew of it only in a vague and
misty way, very much as we understand some parts of the interior of
China. If Captain Bainbridge had told them he was from New Jersey, he
might as well have told them he came from the moon.

But the Americans were very well received in Constantinople, and the
officers of the government were glad to welcome them and do them honor.
Captain Bainbridge and the Turkish admiral became very good friends; and
when the latter heard how the former had been treated at Algiers, he
condemned the insolent Dey, and laid the matter before the Turkish
Government. In consequence of this, Bainbridge was given a paper, signed
by the Sultan, which would protect him thereafter from any such
disrespectful treatment from any of the minor Mohammedan powers. When
Captain Bainbridge had enjoyed all the Turkish hospitality his duties
permitted him to receive, he sailed from Constantinople and again
entered the port of Algiers. The Dey was glad to see him come back, for
he had some more business for him; and our Jersey captain was soon
informed that he must sail away again on another errand for his Barbary
master. But this time the Barbary master was very much astonished, for
Bainbridge peremptorily refused to do anything of the kind.

Now the blood of the Dey boiled hot, and he vowed that if the "George
Washington" did not immediately sail forth upon his service, he would
declare war upon this miserable little country which owned it, and he
would put the commander and crew of the ship in chains, and clap them
into dungeons. But Bainbridge did not turn pale, nor did he tremble. He
simply pulled from his pocket the paper which he had received from the
Sultan, and allowed the furious Dey to glance over it. When the raving
pirate read the words of his imperial master, all the fury and the
courage went out of him, and he became as meek and humble as if he had
been somebody come to pay a tribute to himself. He received Bainbridge
as a friend and an equal, and, from commanding and threatening him,
became so gracious, and made so many offers of service and friendship,
that Bainbridge decided to take advantage of this auspicious change of

Not long before, the French consul at Algiers had been seized and
imprisoned, together with all the Frenchmen who were doing business in
that place; for, so long as people belonged to a country which was a
great way off, the Dey considered himself an all-powerful ruler, who
could do what he pleased with them without fear of their far-away
government. Bainbridge determined to try to do something for these poor
men; and when he again met the smiling and pleasant Dey, he urged their
release. The paper which Bainbridge received from the Sultan must have
been written in very strong terms; for, although the demand of the
American captain was a heavy one, the Dey agreed to it, and when the
"George Washington" sailed from Algiers, she carried away all the
Frenchmen who had been living there.

Bainbridge was not at all satisfied with this Algerine business; and
when he reported the affair to the authorities at home, he requested
that he might never again be sent to carry tribute to Algiers unless he
could deliver it from the mouths of his cannon.

The next year the Bashaw of Tripoli, who had had no tribute from the
United States, began to be very uneasy in his mind because he did not
fare so well as the other Barbary potentates, to whom money and
merchandise were delivered every year. He accordingly spoke up in
defense of his rights. It is not likely that he knew where the United
States was, what sort of a country it was, or how large or how small its
army and navy might be. He knew that the Americans were miserable,
humble people, who paid tribute to the Bey and the Dey, and he could see
no particular reason why they should not pay it to the Bashaw.
Consequently he wrote a letter to the President of the United States, in
which he expressed his views very pointedly, and informed him, that, if
proper arrangements were not made in six months, he would destroy all
the American ships on the Mediterranean, and declare war against the
United States.

Strange to say, a thrill of terror did not run through the government of
the United States; and six months passed without any notice having been
taken of this impertinent communication. Thereupon the Bashaw cut down
the flag pole in front of the American consul's office at Tripoli, and
commenced the great work of annihilating the United States of America.
He began on the small American trading vessels which he found along the
Barbary Coast, intending probably, when his convenience would permit, to
sail out upon the Atlantic, find the United States, and help himself to
the treasures which its government had so disrespectfully declined to
hand over to him. The example of the Bashaw had a great effect upon the
Dey and the Bey and the sub-Sultan; and Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco also
informed the President of the United States that they were going to war
with him if he did not immediately promise to pay tribute more regularly
and in articles of better quality.

But the United States was getting tired of this sort of thing, and
determined, no matter what the other civilized powers chose to do, that
no more tribute should be paid by it to these insolent pirates.
Consequently our government informed the mighty monarchs of the Barbary
Coast that it was quite ready for war, and sent four ships to the
Mediterranean, one of which, the "Essex," was commanded by Bainbridge.

But the fleet did not do very much on this expedition, and the war with
North Africa dragged considerably. Bainbridge came back to America, and
after a time returned in command of the "Philadelphia." There was a
small squadron with him, but he sailed faster than the other vessels,
and reached the Mediterranean alone. Here he overhauled a Moorish vessel
which had captured an American brig under a commission from Morocco.
Having rescued the American vessel, the crew of which were prisoners in
the pirates' hold, the "Philadelphia" took the Moorish vessel as a prize
to Gibraltar, and then started out again to see what could be done to
humble the port of Tripoli.

In this undertaking our Jerseyman did not meet with good fortune. In
chasing a Tripolitan vessel which was discovered near the harbor, the
"Philadelphia" ran upon a reef, and there stuck fast. Everything was
done that could be done to get her off; even the cannon were thrown
overboard to lighten her, but it was of no use. She was hard and fast;
and when the people of Tripoli found out what had happened, their
gunboats came out of the harbor, and the "Philadelphia" was captured,
and all on board, including Bainbridge, were made prisoners. They were
taken to Tripoli, and there remained in captivity nineteen months. Now
the soul of the Bey swelled high in his bosom as he smiled at this
attempt of the little country across the ocean to resist his power.

The Tripolitans found that they had gained a great prize in the
"Philadelphia," that fine war ship, which seemed to have been left on
the reef as a present to them. After a good deal of work, they towed her
into the harbor close to the town, where they repaired her leaks, and
put her in order to use against their enemies the Americans, who did not
know how to keep a good thing when they had it. When Commodore Preble
came, six months afterwards, to blockade the port of Tripoli, he
discovered that the "Philadelphia" was nearly ready for sea; and, to
prevent the disaster of having a United States ship with United States
cannon bear down upon them, he determined to destroy the "Philadelphia,"
if possible, and an excellent plan for the purpose was devised. A small
vessel called the "Intrepid," which had been captured some time
previously, was manned with a crew of over eighty men, commanded by
Lieutenant Decatur, who, years after, finished the Algerine war.

This brave little vessel sailed into the harbor as if she had been an
ordinary merchantman, and managed to drift down close to the fine
frigate which the Tripolitans had snatched from their blundering enemy.
The crew on board the "Philadelphia" did not suspect the character of
the little vessel which came so close to them, until she was made fast,
and more than eighty men sprang up from the places where they had been
lying concealed on deck, and swarmed over the side of the frigate.

Among these was a young sailor, Lawrence, from Burlington, N.J., who had
begun life early, having been a midshipman when he was only sixteen
years old. When Commodore Preble asked for volunteers to go on this
expedition to snatch from the hands of the pirates the prize which they
thought they had won, Lawrence was one of the first volunteers, and
acted as second in command of this expedition.

The fight was not long. Many of the turbaned crew jumped overboard, and
the others were quickly subdued. It would have been a grand thing if
Decatur and his gallant sailors could have carried off the
"Philadelphia," and have taken her out to the squadron. But this was
absolutely impossible. Her foremast had been cut down in order to
lighten her so that she could be floated off the reef, and many of her
sails were wanting. Knowing that the vessel would not be found in
sailing trim, Preble had issued positive orders that no attempt should
be made to capture her, but that she should be burned.

The cannon from the town and from the war vessels in the port now began
to fire; but the men with Decatur and Lawrence knew exactly what they
had to do, everything having been carefully arranged beforehand. They
went to work without losing a minute, and set fire to the frigate in
many places. The flames and the smoke spread so rapidly that some of
them had hardly time to get out of the hold. Lieutenant Lawrence found
he could not get on deck the way he came down, and was obliged to run
along the hold and climb up forward. As quickly as possible every one
jumped on board the "Intrepid," and, without relying entirely on their
sails to enable them to get away, they put out sixteen great oars, which
were pulled with a will by three or four men to each oar.

Now the whole harbor of Tripoli was in wild commotion. The Americans
stopped rowing for a moment to give three great cheers, and soon cannon
shot were flying fast and furious after the retreating little vessel.
But only one of them touched her, and that passed through a sail without
doing much damage; and she rowed until her sails caught the wind, and
then went out of the harbor, and returned in triumph to the squadron.

Soon after they had left the "Philadelphia," that great vessel, with her
hull blazing and the flames crackling and climbing up her masts, took it
upon herself, in these last minutes of her existence, to strike a blow
for the flag of her country. Possibly suspecting that some attempt might
be made to rescue the ship they had captured, the Tripolitans had loaded
all her cannon so as to be ready to fire upon any vessel that might
approach her. As the fire spread over her hull, the time came when the
"Philadelphia" could do something for herself; and when the guns were
hot enough, she let fly a broadside into the town, and then another one
among the shipping. How much damage she did, we do not know; but the
soul of the Bashaw ceased to swell as he heard the roar of her last
broadsides, and beheld her burning fragments scattered over the waters
of the harbor.

But when the Bashaw of Tripoli imprisoned Bainbridge, and even after he
had seen the frigate he had captured disappear in flames and smoke, he
found he was not yet rid of Jersey sailors. Some months afterwards, when
Commodore Preble was still off the Barbary Coast, there was a vessel in
the squadron called the "Nautilus," which was commanded by a young
Jerseyman named Somers. He was a brave sailor, and had already
distinguished himself on several occasions.

Fighting the Bey was a good deal like trying to get at a rat in a hole,
and, although there were some good fights in the Tripolitan waters, the
fleet did not meet with much success at first. But the Americans were
very anxious to do something effective, for at that time Bainbridge and
his crew were imprisoned in the town, and no one knew what hardships and
cruelties they might be enduring.

After much consideration it was thought that a good way to strike a
decisive blow would be to send a vessel loaded with shells and gunpowder
into the harbor of Tripoli by night, and explode her there. This might
result, it was thought, in the destruction of the forts and ships, and
possibly part of the town, and so terrify the Bey that he would come to
terms. Lieutenant Somers, who had been foremost in contriving this
project, volunteered to command the expedition. The whole affair was so
extremely dangerous that no one was ordered to take part in it, and all
those who wished to go went of their own free will.

The "Intrepid," the small vessel on which Decatur and Lawrence had
sailed to burn the "Philadelphia," was still with the fleet, and this
was heavily loaded with explosives of all kinds. The plan was, that
after nightfall the "Intrepid" should be sailed as near as possible to
the town, and that, after lighting the slow match which communicated
with the terrible cargo, those on board should take to two small boats
which they had in tow, and row out of the harbor as fast as possible,
leaving there the "Intrepid" to hurl fire and destruction into the
enemy's strongholds.

Before Somers started out on this perilous voyage, he addressed the few
men who were to accompany him, and told them that he wanted no one to go
who would not be willing to blow himself up rather than be captured. It
was well known that the Tripolitans were short of ammunition, and if
they suspected what sort of a vessel it was which floated by night into
the harbor, they would board her and capture her, if it should be
possible, and thus gain possession of a great quantity of powder and
shell. Rather than that this should happen, Somers told his men that he
would blow up the little vessel with all on board, if the enemy should
take it. But no man flinched; and after they had all taken leave of
their friends on the fleet, as if they had been going to execution, the
"Intrepid" slowly sailed away into the harbor, and it was not long
before she was lost to view in the mists of the night.

But after a time it became apparent to those on the American fleet that
she was not lost to view to those in the harbor, for the guns of the
fort began to fire on her. Everybody who had a glass kept it fixed on
that part of the harbor where it was supposed Somers and his little
vessel must be, and in course of time they saw a light rapidly moving
as if some one were carrying a lantern from one end of the vessel to the
other. Then in less than a minute there was a blaze and a roar, and the
whole harbor of Tripoli was lighted up as if there had been an explosion
of fireworks. Sparks and fiery fragments flew into the air, and the
waters seemed to be shaken as if by an earthquake. Then all was silent
and dark.

Of course, the "Intrepid" had blown up, but how or why nobody on the
fleet could know; nor did Somers and his brave crew ever come back to
tell them. Some people thought, and still think, that the "Intrepid" was
about to be captured, and that Somers carried out his resolution to blow
up the vessel under him rather than allow it to be taken. Others suppose
that a red-hot cannon ball from one of the forts may have set the vessel
on fire; but the truth no one knows. We only know that this brave young
Jerseyman went out to his fate determined to do his duty, no matter what
happened, and that he died in doing it.


The war with the Barbary pirates was all sorts of a war. Sometimes there
was fighting, and sometimes there was none; and after Bainbridge was
released, he was engaged part of the time in the mercantile service
until the war with Great Britain broke out in 1812. Early in this war,
Bainbridge took command of the "Constitution," the same vessel which, a
few months before, had had a fight with the "Guerrière," in which the
latter was captured. It is a good deal better, sometimes, to fight with
a strong enemy who will stand up bravely in front of you, and let you
see what he is, than to contend with a mean little one who is
continually getting out of the way and bobbing up at unexpected places,
and making it very difficult either to get at him or to know when he is
going to get at you. Consequently there is no doubt that Bainbridge much
preferred to do battle with the naval power of Great Britain rather than
with the pirates of Barbary.

He sailed down the coast of South America, and there he met the "Java,"
a British frigate. He had a hard fight and a long fight, and the end of
it was that the "Java" hauled down her flag after having a great
portion of her crew killed and wounded; and, as she was so thoroughly
shattered and broken up by the guns of the "Constitution," the victors
could not take her home as a prize, but were obliged to burn her.

If any one had been inclined to deride the Jerseyman at sea, after what
had happened to Bainbridge in the Mediterranean, he changed his opinion
after the affair with the "Java." In fact, a gold medal was voted to the
gallant captain by Congress. When the war with Great Britain was over,
Bainbridge took a squadron to the Mediterranean to try his hand again at
protecting American commerce, and humbling the pirates; but fortune did
not favor him this time, for Decatur had already settled the matter with
the Dey, the Bey, and the rest of them, and peace was declared before
Bainbridge arrived on the scene. Our Jersey sailor did not do any more
fighting, but he held high positions in our navy, and died an honored

Years after the affair with the "Philadelphia," when war had begun
between the United States and Great Britain, there was a great chance
for America to show what she could do on the sea. Then the fighting men
in ships were more important to the country than the fighting men on
shore; and Captain Lawrence, our fighting sailor from Burlington, showed
himself among the foremost of our naval heroes.

Very early in the war he was in command of the "Hornet," a snappish
vessel with more stings than one, and while cruising in South American
waters he met the British man-of-war "Peacock." Now, when a hornet and
a peacock quarrel, lively times are likely to ensue, and so it happened
in this case.

The two vessels began by endeavoring to get into favorable positions,
each anxious to rake the deck of the other. The "Peacock" did not spread
her tail, but she spread her sail, and the "Hornet" buzzed this way and
that, with her stings ready for action as soon as the proper moment
should arrive. When at last they actually began to fight, the battle was
a terrible one, such as was possible only in those days of wooden ships.
But a short distance apart, they poured into each other heavy shot and
small shot; musketry and cannon cracked and roared, while the clouds of
smoke nearly hid the vessels from each other. This tremendous
bombardment lasted about a quarter of an hour, and at the end of that
time the "Peacock" struck her colors and surrendered. The captain and a
good many of the crew had been killed, and the vessel was in such a
demolished condition that there was not time to get all the prisoners
and the wounded on board the "Hornet." The officers and men of the
American vessel labored hard to save those on board their unfortunate
enemy; but the "Peacock" sank before this could be entirely
accomplished, and several of the British sailors, with three of those
from the "Hornet," sank with her.

Captain Lawrence was not only a brave man, but he was a very kind one.
He treated the officers and crew of the "Peacock" so well, even
providing them with clothes (for they had no time to bring anything from
their own vessel), that when the prisoners reached New York, the
officers publicly thanked him in a paper which they drew up and signed.
This victory, following our other brilliant exploits at sea, gave
Lawrence great fame both here and abroad.

A few months after the battle between the "Hornet" and the "Peacock,"
Lawrence was again the hero of a great sea fight. The coast of New
England was blockaded by a British fleet, and in the harbor of Boston
lay the frigate "Chesapeake," commanded by Captain Lawrence. He had been
recently appointed to this vessel, and in fact had been in command only
ten days when he received a challenge to fight a naval duel.

This proposition came from the captain of the British frigate "Shannon,"
one of the blockading fleet, about the same size and strength as the
"Chesapeake." The British captain sent a very polite letter to Captain
Lawrence; for when people propose to fight duels, whether on land or
sea, they are always extremely courteous before they begin to try to
kill each other. The British captain said, that, as he understood the
"Chesapeake" was now ready to go to sea, he would like her to come out
and fight the "Shannon" for the honor of their respective flags. He
offered the American captain choice of fighting ground inside of certain
limits, and promised that the rest of the British fleet should keep far
away, so that Captain Lawrence need have no fear of being troubled by
any vessel except the "Shannon."

When Captain Lawrence read this challenge, he was as willing to go out
and fight the duel as the British captain was anxious to have him do
so; but he knew that his vessel was not nearly so well prepared as was
the "Shannon." The British ship had been at sea for a long time, she was
manned by a crew of brave sailors, and her captain was well acquainted
with his ship and his men.

The case was very different with the "Chesapeake." Lawrence had been on
board scarcely long enough to find out what sort of a ship she was, but
he had been on board long enough to discover that her crew was a very
poor one. Many of them were Portuguese, they had not been well drilled,
and, worse than that, they did not want to fight. Few of them had been
in the service long enough to have a taste for naval warfare; and if
they had had their way, they would have let the "Shannon" lie outside
until her captain grew gray, before they would go out and accept his
challenge. The harbor was much more to their mind.

But Captain Lawrence had no such idea. He accepted the challenge without
hesitation, and prepared to go out and fight the duel. He would have
been glad enough if he had had a good crew, but he would do his best
with the crew he had. He put his ship in fighting trim, and his men in
the best order possible, and early on a summer afternoon the
"Chesapeake" went out to meet the "Shannon," which was boldly flying the
flag of St. George.

In those days, when men-of-war, as well as all other ships, were sailing
vessels, the tactics of naval combats were very different from what they
are now. Each of the commanders of vessels was obliged to think, not
only of what his enemy was about, but what the wind was about. A steamer
can take what position she pleases; she can steam far away from her
enemy, or she can use her long-range guns, or dash down upon her to
break in her sides with her ram. But in the old sailing times, maneuvers
were very much more difficult, and if the winds ever desired to stop a
sea fight, it often happened that they could do it simply by dying away

The two ships sailed this way and that, each trying to get a position
which would be good for herself and bad for the other; and at last, when
they were very close, so near that their captains might have talked with
each other, their cannon began to speak. From their mouths came rolling
of thunder. From each ship, volleys of great shot swept the decks of the
other, while the rattle of musketry became incessant. This tremendous
fire was kept up for nearly ten minutes, and in this short time the
"Chesapeake" lost nearly one hundred men, killed and wounded, on her
upper deck.

Still she had the best of the fight, for in a few minutes she would have
taken a position in which she could have raked the decks of the enemy.
But unfortunately some of her rigging was shot away, and she could not
take advantage of the wind, and did not obey her helm. Nothing could be
worse than this; for, with sails flapping wildly in the wind, precision
of sailing, so necessary in a sea fight, was absolutely impossible.

But not only was the "Chesapeake" unable to take the position she
wanted, but she could not get out of the way, and she drifted against
the "Shannon;" and the rigging of the two vessels became entangled, with
the "Chesapeake" exposed to the full fire of the guns of the other ship.
In this case there was only one thing to be done, and Captain Lawrence
was the brave man to do it. He must board the "Shannon," and he and his
men must fight her captain and his men hand to hand. There was no use
trying to fight any longer with the "Chesapeake's" cannon.

Instantly Lawrence ordered the boarders to be called on deck, and he was
ready to put himself at their head and dash on board the "Shannon." He
was slightly wounded, but he did not care for that. But now came another
misfortune. The man who should have called the boarders to action by the
roll of the drum was not on duty, and the bugler was ordered to sound
the call. He was so frightened by this awful fight that he ran and hid
himself, and when he was pulled out from his retreat, he had not breath
enough to blow his bugle. Some of the men were sent below to shout for
the boarders and call them on deck,--a very slow procedure at such a
time; but before any of them arrived, the brave Lawrence was stretched
upon the deck by a musket ball.

The captain of the "Chesapeake" was not immediately killed, but he was
mortally wounded; and when he was carried below, he showed that, near
death as he was, he was still the bravest man on board. He thought
nothing of himself, he thought only of his country and his ship; and his
last orders were, "Don't give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks."

But it was not much use trying to fight the "Shannon" any longer; there
were no officers on the deck of the "Chesapeake," except two midshipmen,
and the British captain saw that he had a good chance to board his
enemy. So his crew were soon clambering over the sides of the American
vessel. Some wounded officers rushed up from below to help repel this
attack. Many of the American sailors fought bravely even at these great
odds; but some of the crew, especially the Portuguese, basely deserted
their comrades and hurried below. The fight on the deck of the
"Chesapeake" was not a long one; and very soon the stars and stripes
were hauled down from her masthead, and the British colors hoisted in
their place.

So ended the great duel between the "Chesapeake" and the "Shannon," and
the last words of the brave Lawrence were never forgotten. "Don't give
up the ship" became the watchword of the navy.

After this bloody sea fight, which lasted only fifteen minutes, but in
which nearly two hundred and fifty men were killed and wounded, the
"Shannon" sailed away for Halifax, taking with her the "Chesapeake,"
with the dead body of its brave commander on board. When the two vessels
entered the harbor, Lawrence lay upon the quarter-deck, wrapped in the
great flag of the "Chesapeake," while all the men on the British vessels
in the harbor manned their yards, and shouted a wild welcome to the
victorious "Shannon." But the flag which floated from the masthead of
the British frigate held no more honorable position than that which
covered the dead body of the American hero.


It will always be a source of commendable pride to the people of New
Jersey, that their State was never backward in the political, social, or
mechanical progress of this country. In fact, several of the most
important steps in great movements for popular good have been made upon
the soil of the State.

Among the claims to preëminence which New Jersey can make in this
respect is the claim that the first telegraphic message that was ever
transmitted through a wire was sent at the Iron Works at Speedwell, near
Morristown, at which place Professor Morse and Mr. Vail, son of the
proprietor of the works, were making experiments with the telegraph. The
first public message was sent more than six years later from Washington
to Baltimore; but the message at Speedwell stands first, in the point of
priority, of all the dispatches by magnetic telegraph which the world
has known.

When Professor Morse conceived the idea of communicating between distant
points by means of electricity, he was not able to carry out experiments
for himself, and having made the acquaintance of Alfred Vail, son of the
proprietor of the Iron Works at Speedwell, he gave up his business as a
portrait painter and went to Speedwell, where he and Mr. Vail worked
hard in experimenting with the new invention. At last, when they thought
they had brought it to such a point that they could make practical use
of it, they determined to try to send a message through three miles of
wire. If that could be done, they believed they could send one to any
distance desirable.

Currents of electricity had been sent through long lengths of wire by
Mr. Morse in previous experiments, but in these cases nothing more was
attempted than signals; no words or message had been sent, and the
proposed experiment, therefore, was of great importance. Its success or
failure meant success or failure to the magnetic telegraph.

The upper story of a house on the grounds of the Iron Works was one very
large room, and round the walls of this they stretched their three miles
of wire, until the room was encircled by lines of wire, one above
another, but nowhere touching. At one end of this wire was placed a
telegraphic instrument, and at the other, another; and with great
anxiety, although with strong faith in the success of their work, Mr.
Vail sent to Mr. Morse the first real telegraphic message, which ran
thus: "A patient waiter is no loser."

The house in which this first message was sent is still standing, near
the Whippany River, not far out of Morristown. Alfred Vail and Mr.
Morse, assisted by the advice of Professor Joseph Henry, superintendent
of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, continued to work upon the
telegraph at Speedwell; and as Mr. Vail furnished the capital, and did
a great deal of the most important mechanical work, a large portion of
the credit for this wonderful invention is due to him; and the whole
system of telegraphy which now encircles and animates the world may be
said to have sprung from the Iron Works near Morristown.

Another great invention, as important as the telegraph, made its first
appearance before the world in New Jersey. In the frozen waters about
the North Pole, on the rivers of Africa, in the seas of China and Japan,
on the stormy ocean about Cape Horn, and in almost all navigable waters
of the world, are steamboats and steamships,--floating palaces on rivers
and lakes, steam yachts and great Atlantic liners, swift war cruisers
and line-of-battle ships like floating forts of iron and steel; but the
first vessel which was ever propelled by steam paddled its way along the
Delaware River, and was made in New Jersey.

In 1787 John Fitch, who was a native of Connecticut, but who lived at
that time in Trenton, N.J., where he had been a clock maker and
manufacturer of arms, constructed a boat which was moved through the
water by means of a steam engine on board. He had long been working on
this invention, making experiments, and endeavoring to obtain assistance
from people with money. He had applied to Congress to give him the
exclusive right to the great results of his work if he should be
successful; but this aid was refused.

New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, however, gave him the right for
fourteen years to propel vessels upon the waters of those States; and
thus encouraged he built the first steamboat. This little vessel was
imperfect in many ways, and its highest speed was four miles an hour;
but still it was a steamboat, and it was the first that man had ever
seen. Of course, it attracted a good deal of attention; and after it had
been proved that it could move without sails or oars, and that it was
not dangerous, people began to believe in it, and a steamboat company
was organized by Fitch. Another boat was built, which carried passengers
who paid their fare, and afterwards a larger boat was constructed, in
the hope that a good passenger traffic might be established.

We cannot wonder that there should have been a desire among enterprising
people to establish some better method of transportation in travel than
existed in the early days of New Jersey. At first the only roads in the
State were narrow paths, sometimes more than fifty miles long, but only
wide enough for the easy passage of a man on horseback. After that,
better roads gradually came into use; and in the beginning of the
eighteenth century there was a "stage wagon," intended for the carriage
of merchandise, not passengers, which made a trip every two weeks from
Perth Amboy to Philadelphia. This was considered as a great public
convenience; because, before that, there was no regular method of
shipping merchandise from New York to Philadelphia, except by sea.

After a time, stage wagons, which carried passengers, began to run in
some parts of New Jersey; and in 1750 a grand stage line was
established, intended especially for the transportation of travelers. In
an advertisement the proprietor of this line announced to all persons
"who have occasion to transport themselves, goods, stores, or
merchandise from New York to Philadelphia," that he would take them in
"forty-eight hours less than by any other line," and he promised to "use
the people in the best manner." It is stated that this trip by land and
water between New York and Philadelphia lasted seven or eight days,
although it now seems almost impossible to travel so slowly.

Sixteen years afterward, a new and improved line of stage wagons was
established, which were faster and very much more comfortable than any
which had yet been known. They were actually mounted on springs, and it
was promised that the trip would be made in two days in summer, and
three days in winter. These stagecoaches were so much swifter than
anything else of the kind ever known in the State, that they were called
"flying machines."

Fifteen years afterward, the price of conveyance between New York and
Philadelphia on one of these "flying machines" was forty shillings in
gold or silver for each passenger, and as much for each hundred and
fifty pounds of baggage.

The mail facilities in those days were as poor as the methods for
transportation; and we can get an idea of the postal arrangements from
an extract from a New York paper published in 1704, which states, "In
the pleasant month of May, the last storm put our Pennsylvania post a
week behind, and has not yet com'd in." But although this was rather
slow communication, New Jersey was better off than many of the civilized
communities of the day; for she had a regular postal system, which had
been invented by Colonel John Hamilton.

Colonel Hamilton's system was considered so good, that the British
Government gave him a patent for it, and adopted it for the mother
country, it being considered much better than the system then in use.
The mails were generally carried in canvas bags by men on horseback; and
this method of transportation was known as the "express" as a horse and
his rider could go much more rapidly than even the best "flying
machines." Mail service in New Jersey greatly improved before the end of
the century.

But it was very hard to persuade the public to encourage Fitch's new
enterprise, even although it promised cheaper and more rapid
transportation than any methods in use; and of course it was still
harder, from the fact that the new steamboats had not yet gone faster
than a sailing vessel with a good breeze. And so, notwithstanding the
value of a system of navigation by which vessels could be made to move
whether there was a breeze or not, and in any direction no matter how
the wind was blowing, there was very little support to the new
steamboat, and the enterprise was so unprofitable that it was given up.

Nearly ten years after Fitch's largest steamboat had been sold as a
piece of useless property, Robert Fulton made a steamboat which ran on
the Hudson River at the rate of five miles an hour; and after this the
practicability of steam navigation began to be slowly acknowledged. But
the waters of New Jersey were the first which were ever ruffled by the
paddles of a steamboat.

New Jersey has another claim to distinction in connection with steam
navigation, for at the Speedwell Iron Works were manufactured some of
the larger portions of the machinery of the "Savannah," the first
steamship which ever crossed the ocean.


There was another famous American sailor who came out of New Jersey, who
was perhaps of as much value to his country as any other naval
commander, although he was not the hero of any great sea fights.

This was Robert F. Stockton, who was born in Princeton, and who entered
the navy early in life. He became an excellent officer and a great
fighter. His disposition to do battle showed itself not only in leading
men into action, but in doing a great deal of fighting himself. He
distinguished himself in several naval combats during the war with
Algiers. He commanded the "Spitfire" during this war, and, besides
taking one of the enemy's vessels in an ordinary naval combat, he
captured an Algerine brig, one might almost say, with his own hands.
With as many men as a small boat could carry, he left his vessel, rowed
to this brig, and at the head of his bold sailors boarded her,
vanquished the crew, and carried her off as a prize.

He was afterwards transferred to a larger vessel, and was stationed for
a time at Gibraltar. There was a very bad feeling at that time between
the American naval officers and those of Great Britain. The War of 1812
was over; but the British were not inclined to treat the officers of the
United States Navy with the respect which the latter thought was due to
them. Stockton was not a man to stand still and allow himself to be
treated disrespectfully; and whenever he received anything that seemed
like an insult from a British officer, he was ready to fight that
officer, whoever he might be. It is said that at one time he challenged
all the officers in Gibraltar to meet him in single combat, one after
another, and he actually did engage in duels with several of them.

During the British war and the Algerine war, Stockton distinguished
himself in various ways, both on land and sea. But in 1821 he undertook
a very important enterprise in Africa. Many naval vessels had gone from
the United States to Africa, but none of them on an errand such as this.
Our gallant Jersey captain did not sail to pay tribute, bombard cities,
sink vessels, humble African potentates, or to shed African blood; he
went on an errand of charity and humanity.

He sailed from America in the interests of the Colonization Society, and
his object was to make arrangements on the west coast of Africa for the
establishment of a colony, to be composed of negroes who had been slaves
in the United States, but who had obtained their freedom. There were
many humane people in the United States who believed that the negroes
who had been set free from slavery would be much happier and more likely
to prosper in their native land, or in the land of their ancestors, than
in the United States.

In company with an agent of this society, Stockton sailed for the west
coast of Africa in command of an armed schooner called the "Alligator;"
and when he arrived at his destination, he took upon himself nearly all
the difficult work of selecting territory suitable for the purposes
desired, of buying land from the savage natives, of making them
understand the character of the settlers who were coming to Africa and
of the powerful nation who intended to protect them. He made treaties of
commerce and friendship with the ignorant Africans, who, until he came,
scarcely knew what was meant by a treaty.

The performance of these complicated and difficult duties required a man
of courage and diplomatic ability, who could take things as they came,
and who was always ready to act promptly in sudden emergencies. Stockton
proved himself to be that man, and he established in the native land of
the negro a country to which the Africans who had once been slaves in
the United States might freely go, carrying with them all that they had
learned of civilization in this country, and where they might live
without fear of reënslavement by the warlike tribes, whose principal
business in life then was to capture their fellow-countrymen, and sell
them into slavery.

This new country, which was called Liberia, was at first a colony of the
United States. It grew and prospered, and in 1847 it became an
independent nation, and soon after was recognized as such by Great
Britain and the United States; and since then it has made treaties with
most of the European countries.

Thus was established the new nation of Liberia, and it is not likely
that there was a man in the United States who could have accomplished
this great work better than the fighting sailor from Princeton.

After having finished the Liberian business on land, Stockton did some
work at sea more in the line of a naval commander. While sailing along
the coast, the "Alligator" was sighted by a Portuguese war vessel, the
"Marianna Flora," who mistook her for a pirate, and determined to
capture her. But when the "Marianna" got near enough, and opened fire on
the supposed pirate, she found that the work she had undertaken was very
different from what she had expected. To speak figuratively, the
"Alligator" lashed her tail, opened her jaws, and began to fight with
such fury, that in twenty minutes the "Marianna" was beaten and
captured. Stockton put her under the command of one of his own officers
with an American crew, and sent her away as a prize to America.

The government of Portugal, when it heard what had happened, declared,
that, as their country and the United States were not at war, our Jersey
sailor had no right to take one of their vessels; but, as it was
asserted on the other side that one of their vessels had first tried to
take his, there seemed to be a good deal of justice in what had been
done. However, the matter was settled by his exoneration from all blame
in the matter, and the return of the "Marianna" to Portugal.

Some time later, the "Alligator" fell in with a French slave ship and
captured her; and it is stated that the legal proceedings which
followed this capture established the point of international law, that
war vessels of all nations have a perfect right to capture a slave ship,
wherever it may be found. This was the first step in the work of
breaking up the slave trade, which was then carried on by many of the
civilized nations of the world.

In later cruises, Stockton sailed about in the West Indies, capturing
several slavers, and also making a vigorous war on pirates and
freebooters, who at that time made the vicinity of these islands very
dangerous for peaceable vessels.

In 1838 our commander was made a captain. There was no war now in which
he might engage, but his mind was very busily occupied in regard to the
proper construction of war vessels. In 1841 the United States Navy did
not possess a single steamship. They were all old-style sailing vessels.
Several steamers had been planned: one had blown up, and two others were
still on the stocks. But Captain Stockton did not believe that if these
were finished they would be effective as vessels of war. One great
reason for this was the fact that their engines were situated so near
the upper deck, that a shot from an enemy might easily destroy them, and
so render the vessel worthless. Another objection was that they were
side-wheelers, and it would be a very easy thing for a cannon ball to
knock an exposed side-wheel into a worthless condition.

Stockton's idea was to put the engines and machinery deep down in the
vessel, below the water line, where it would be almost impossible to
injure them, and to have the ship moved by means of a submerged screw
in the stern, instead of by paddle wheels. The naval constructors and
authorities opposed this new-fangled scheme; but our New Jersey sailor
was an energetic man in whatever he had to do, and he fought the naval
constructors as vigorously as he ever fought a pirate. Consequently he
got authority from Congress to build a war ship after his own plan, and
arm it with cannon, which he thought would be much better than the guns
then in use in the navy.

Under Stockton's directions, there was built at Philadelphia a vessel of
war, which he named the "Princeton," and which was constructed according
to his plans. On her deck were two great guns of wrought iron, which
were also devised by him; and each of these carried a two hundred and
twenty-five pound shot,--much heavier than those then used in naval

Great public interest was excited in the "Princeton," the first
steamship of our navy, and on her trial trip she was found to be an
excellent seagoing vessel. She went to Washington, and there started out
on an excursion, during which her great guns were to be tried. There was
a very distinguished company on board,--officers of the army and navy,
and several members of the Cabinet, and other guests.

It was found, however, that the ship was much superior to her great
guns; for when one of them, named the "Peacemaker," was fired, it
exploded, killing several people, among whom were the secretary of war,
the secretary of the navy, and the father-in-law of the President;
while others, including Captain Stockton, were wounded.

This terrible event shocked the whole nation; but although there were no
more wrought-iron cannon made, the building of naval steamships, which
began with Stockton's "Princeton," went steadily on, growing and
improving, until it reached the high point shown by the swift and
powerful ironclad men-of-war which now fly the stars and stripes.

In 1846 Stockton found himself on the coast of California, with the rank
of commodore, and in command of a squadron. Since he had started from
the United States, war had been declared with Mexico; and when he
arrived, the towns of Monterey and San Francisco had been taken by
Commodore Sloat, who had preceded him. A state of war exactly suited
Stockton's disposition; and as there was no more immediate need of
fighting on the seacoast, he organized a little army of marines and
sailors from his ships, which was afterwards joined by a body of
adventurers and hunters of the United States, and also by
Lieutenant-Colonel Frémont, an officer of the United States Army, who
had been sent into that region to explore the country, and who had
already done some fighting with the little band under his command.

Los Angeles, the Mexican capital of California, was attacked and taken.
Commodore Stockton now declared himself the conqueror of California, and
organized a provisional government for the captured territory,
appointing John C. Frémont as governor.

At the same time, however, there was another Jerseyman in the field
intent upon the capture of California. This was General Stephen Kearney,
an army officer who had made a wonderful march across the plains and
mountains towards the coast. After he arrived on the scene, there were
several battles with the Mexican forces and with the Indians; but the
contest ended in a complete victory for the land forces commanded by
Kearney from Newark, and the naval forces by Stockton from Princeton,
under whom Frémont held his position.

But now arose a dispute between the general and the commodore. When
Kearney arrived at Los Angeles, he would not recognize the authority of
Frémont, who had been appointed governor by Stockton, because he
considered that an army officer is higher in rank than one in the navy;
and he took the governorship himself. A court-martial was convened for
the purpose of deciding the question, and it was settled that Kearney
was of the higher rank, and he therefore retained the governorship. But
between the two Jerseymen the United States obtained the land of gold.

A year or two after this, Commodore Stockton resigned from the navy, and
subsequently went to Congress as a senator from New Jersey. But although
no longer in the navy, he did not cease to work for the benefit of the
brave sailors he had so often commanded and led; and he obtained the
passage of a bill abolishing the punishment of flogging in the navy,
thus adding another great gift to his country and civilization.

When the country which had been captured from Mexico was discovered to
be not only a fertile and pleasant land, but a land filled with rich
treasures of gold, the true value of the gift made to the United States
by our two Jerseymen became known and appreciated; and the names of
Stockton and Kearney, with that of the brave Frémont, will ever be
associated with that State whose principal water portal is well called
the "Golden Gate."

       *       *       *       *       *


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