By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Bay State Monthly — Volume 2, No. 5, February, 1885
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bay State Monthly — Volume 2, No. 5, February, 1885" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: W'm Gaston.]



_A Massachusetts Magazine_.



No. 5.

       *       *       *       *       *



Victor Hugo has written: "The historian of morals and ideas has a
mission no less austere than that of the historian of events. The latter
has the surface of civilization, the struggles of the crowns, the births
of princes, the marriages of Kings, the battles, the assemblies, the
great public men, the revolutions in the sunlight, all exterior; the
other historian has the interior, the foundation, the people who work,
who suffer and who wait ... Have these historians of hearts and souls
lesser duties than the historian of exterior facts?"

There is much unwritten history of the Bay State: of the exterior, much
is recorded; of the interior, far less. Both are valuable to posterity.
It is believed that succeeding ages will hold of far greater value, and
the youth of our day be benefitted more by the study of the underlying
principles and causes of those events which are given a conspicuous
place in history, rather than by the mere record of the surface facts.

It is profitable to study the habits and methods of individuals who
stand out in bold relief in history. To derive the greatest interest and
value from such lives it is well to follow them from early childhood.
Indeed it is profitable to trace back the ancestry and lineage from
which the man has descended, to study the characteristics peculiar to
each generation, and to note the result of racial mixtures tending to
the typical and representative American of to-day.

Many prominent men received their first incentive to ambition and
industry and perseverence by reading--when their minds were immature,
but fresh and retentive--of the life and achievements of Benjamin
Franklin and such other grand models for the young.

No history of a country or state is complete without studies of the
lives of those men who have made and are making history.

William Gaston comes from an honored and distinguished ancestry on both
his paternal and maternal side as will be seen by the succeeding
genealogical notes.

He was born at Killingly, Connecticut, October 3, 1820.


     Jean Gaston was born in France, probably about the year 1600. There
     are traditions about the particular family to which he belonged,
     but only little is definitely known. He was a Huguenot, and is said
     to have been banished from France on account of his religion. His
     property was confiscated. His brothers and family, although
     Catholics, sent money to him in Scotland for his support. He is
     said to have been forty years of age and unmarried when he went to
     Scotland. Between 1662 and 1668, during a season of persecution in
     Scotland, his sons, John, William, and Alexander, went over into
     the north of Ireland, whither many of their friends were fleeing
     for safety and religious freedom. There is some uncertainty as to
     which of these three brothers was the founder of this branch of the
     family, but numerous facts point almost conclusively to John as
     such founder. One generation was born in Ireland.

     John Gaston had three sons born in Ireland: William, born about
     1680; lived at Caranleigh Clough Water; John, born 1703-4, died in
     America 1783; Alexander, born 1714, died in America.

     The former lived all his days in Caranleigh Clough Water, Ireland,
     where he died about 1770. John and Alexander came to New England
     during or shortly prior to 1730. Tradition has it that they landed
     at Marblehead. From this place they went soon, if not immediately,
     to Connecticut. As their ancestors had done, so did they, seek
     religious liberty in a foreign land. They were Separatists and
     probably were drawn to Voluntown because a Church holding that
     faith was there established. Alexander returned to Massachusetts a
     few years later, residing in Richmond, where some of his
     descendants now reside; but most of that branch of the family are
     living in the western states.

     John Gaston was made a freeman of Voluntown at the organization of
     its town government in 1736-7. He was a prominent member of the
     Separatists Church in that town, the meeting for the settlement of
     Reverend Alexander Miller, their pastor, being held at his house.
     He was the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. His
     three children were born in America: Margaret, born 1737, died
     1810; Alexander, born 1739, was a commissioned officer in the
     French and Indian War; John, born 1750, died 1805.

     John Gaston married Ruth Miller, daughter of Reverend Alexander
     Miller. Their children were Alexander, born in Voluntown, August 2,
     1772; Margaret, born December 13, 1781. The latter died in early

     Alexander Gaston married Olive Dunlap, a daughter of Joshua Dunlap,
     of Plainfield, Connecticut, who was born 1769, died in Killingly,
     September 7, 1814. He married for his second wife in Killingly, in
     April, 1816, Kezia Arnold, daughter of Aaron Arnold, born in
     Burrillville, Rhode Island, November, 1779, died in Roxbury,
     Massachusetts, January 30, 1856. His death occurred in Roxbury,
     February 11, 1856. The children of first marriage: Esther, born
     1804, died 1860; John, born 1806, died 1824. William Gaston, of
     whom this sketch is written, was the sole issue of the second
     marriage. He was born at Killingly October 3, 1820. With his
     parents he moved to Roxbury in the summer of 1838. On December 27,
     1830, was born at Boston, Louisa A. Beecher to whom Mr. Gaston was
     married May 27, 1852. Mrs. Gaston is a daughter of Laban S. and
     Frances A. (Lines) Beecher, both of whom were natives of New Haven,
     Connecticut, and were direct descendants of the very first settlers
     of Connecticut in 1638. The children of Governor and Mrs. Gaston
     were: Sarah Howard, William Alexander, and Theodore Beecher. The
     latter was born February 8, 1861; died July 16, 1869.

     The death of Theodore was a severe blow to his family. He was a
     beautiful and promising boy. This sad calamity seemed like the
     withdrawal of sunlight from the household, causing his loving
     parents the keenest anguish.

     Of this branch of the family there are but very few relatives of
     Governor Gaston. His son William is the only male representative of
     his generation. It is, singularly enough, true that in his family
     line of descent there have been three generations where each had
     but one male representative, and two generations having but one
     representative of either sex. Thus the Carolina Gastons are of the
     nearest kindred to Governor Gaston's particular branch.

     Kezia (Arnold) Gaston, the mother of Governor Gaston, was a
     daughter of Aaron Arnold and Rhoda (Hunt) Arnold, and a lineal
     descendant of Thomas Arnold, who, with his brother William, came to
     New England in 1636. William Arnold went to Rhode Island with Roger
     Williams, being one of the fifty-four proprietors of that
     Plantation. His brother Thomas followed him there in 1654. The
     latter was born in England in 1599, probably in Leamington, that
     being the birth-place of his brother William. His second wife was
     Phoebe Parkhurst, daughter of George Parkhurst of Watertown,
     Massachusetts. The family record is carried back to 1100, being
     undoubtedly accurate to about the year 1570, when the name Arnold
     was first used as a surname; possibly accurate throughout.

     The arms of the Family; Gules, a chevron ermine between three
     Pheons, or; appear on the tombstone of Oliver Arnold, and of
     William Arnold, the original settler. The same arms are on a tablet
     in the Parish Church of Churcham in Gloucestershire, England,
     placed there in memory of his ancestor John Arnold of Lanthony,
     Monmouthshire, afterwards of Hingham, who acquired the manor of
     Churcham in 1541.


     The most ancient written record of the family which the writer has
     consulted was written by John Roseborough, late Clerk of the
     Circuit Court, Chester District, South Carolina. He was the son of
     Alexander Roseborough and Martha Gaston, whose father, William
     Gaston of Caranleigh Clough Water, Ireland, was grandson of Jean
     Gaston, the Huguenot ancestor of the family.

     The statement is as follows, the words enclosed in parenthesis
     being supplied by way of information.

     "Jean Gaston emigrated from France to Scotland on account of his
     religion, as a persecution then raged against the Protestants. He
     had two sons who emigrated from Scotland to Ireland between 1662
     and 1668 during a time of persecution in Scotland. There was a John
     and a William, but which of them was the ancestor of our
     grandfather is not known. William Gaston, my grandfather, lived at
     Caranleigh Clough Water. He married Miss Lemmon and had four sons
     and as many daughters: John Gaston (King's Justice) died on Fishing
     Creek, near Cedar Shoal, Chester District, South Carolina; Rev.
     Hugh Gaston, author of 'Concordance and Collections'; Dr. Alexander
     Gaston, killed by the British at Newbern, South Carolina (father of
     Judge William Gaston); Robert Gaston, and William Gaston."

     One fact is established, that many of Jean Gaston's descendants had
     settled in America before the Revolution and were actively engaged
     in that contest for liberty.

Springing from such ancestry in which are joined the characteristics of
the French Huguenot, the Scotch Presbyterian, the Scotch-Irish patriot,
the follower of Roger Williams, the May Flower Pilgrim, one is not
surprised to find in William Gaston a strong man; a man who inherited as
a birthright the qualities of leadership.

His father was a well known merchant of Connecticut, of sterling
integrity, and of remarkably strong force of character. He was
commissioned a Captain at the early age of twenty-two, and was for many
years in the Legislature. The father of the latter was also in the
Connecticut Legislature for many years.

In early youth William gave promise of a superb manhood by displaying
those qualities which have since distinguished him. He was a studious
boy, eager for knowledge. He attended the Academy in Brooklyn,
Connecticut, and subsequently fitted for College at the Plainfield
Academy. At the age of fifteen he left his quiet village home for Brown
University, where his intellect was trained in a routine sanctioned by
the experience of centuries, and where contact with his fellows soon
roused his ambition and gave him confidence in his own ability to enter
the struggle with the world for place and honor. William, having a
married sister, who was many years his senior, residing in Providence,
his father decided to send him, then scarcely more than a lad, to Brown
University where he would be surrounded by family influences and enjoy
the social advantages offered by his sister's home. He maintained a high
rank, graduating with honors in 1840.

For his life work he decided upon the legal profession--a wise choice as
subsequent time has shown his peculiar fitness therefor. He first
entered the office of Judge Francis Hilliard of Roxbury, remaining for a
time and then continued his legal studies with the distinguished
lawyers and jurists Charles P. and Benjamin R. Curtis of Boston, with
whom he remained until his admission to the Bar in 1844.

At Roxbury in 1846 he opened his first law office, taking comparatively
soon a leading position at the Bar. He there continued his practice
until 1865 when he formed with the late Hon. Harvey Jewell and the since
associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Hon. Walbridge A.
Field, the famous and successful law firm, having offices at number 5
Tremont street, of Jewell, Gaston and Field. This firm continued until
the election of Mr. Gaston to the gubernatorial chair of Massachusetts
in 1874. He was the Democratic candidate the year previous for this
office, his competitor being Mr. Washburn, who was elected but did not
long retain the chair of State, being elected to the United States
Senate. At the convention nominating William B. Washburn for Governor
there were four other candidates for the honor: Alexander H. Rice,
George B. Loring, Harvey Jewell and Benjamin F. Butler. The latter
created no little unquiet by the zeal and strength of his support. The
upshot was that there was a harmonious combination of the forces of the
four contestants of Butler upon Mr. Washburn. It is remembered that some
of the party organs were upon nettles, fearing that General Butler would
bolt the nomination, but he came out squarely and declared that as he
had staked his issues with the convention he would abide the result.

In the canvass of 1874 Mr. Gaston was opposed by Hon. Thomas Talbot,
who, by reason of Governor Washburn's election to the Senate as stated,
was acting as Governor, having been elected Lieutenant Governor on the
ticket with Mr. Washburn. Governor Gaston's majority over Mr. Talbot was
7,033. In the following canvass of 1875, Mr. Gaston having been
re-nominated by the Democracy, his competitor was Hon. Alexander H.
Rice. By this time, that part of the country represented by the
strongly-intrenched Republican party, was fully aroused to the exigency
of the hour. The edict came from the political centre at Washington to
the effect that the Republican party could not stand another defeat in
Massachusetts, especially on the eve of a presidential campaign. The
national organization concentrated a wonderfully _efficient_ auxiliary
force in aid of the intense activity already exerted by the local
managers, who so well understood the popularity of Mr. Gaston and of the
strong hold he had upon the people. It seems now that the Democratic
managers accepted or anticipated failure as a foregone conclusion, and
no great fight was made; otherwise they would probably have won the
election, as Mr. Rice was elected by only the small plurality of 5,306
votes. This is very significant, taken in connection with the fact that
General Grant carried Massachusetts in 1872 by 74,212 majority.

In 1876, that memorable year--memorable as the year of the electoral
commission--Governor Gaston magnanimously declined the re-nomination,
which a large majority of the convention was undoubtedly eager to
confer. The nomination of Charles Francis Adams was to the rank and file
and to the party managers a disappointment, and the enthusiasm that he
was expected to arouse was not materialized.

The press of the State justly commended Mr. Gaston's conduct in not
forcing his own nomination, a course so completely in accord with his
character, and his entire devotion to the party welfare. He did not
display the least semblance of self-seeking.

He has seen not a little of public life, but with the exception of five
years, has succeeded in conducting his large and important professional
practice the entire period from his early beginning to this day. The
five years referred to were: two years, 1861 and 1862, while he was
Mayor of the city of Roxbury; the two years, 1871 and 1872, as Mayor of
Boston (this being after the annexation of Roxbury), and the year 1875
when Governor.

His mayoralty term of Roxbury antedated the years he was Mayor of Boston
by just ten years. While such Mayor of Roxbury in 1861-2 he was very
active in speechmaking and raising troops in preservation of the
American Union. He went to the front several times, and was
enthusiastically patriotic during the entire critical period.

He was five years City Solicitor of Roxbuxy. In 1853 and 1854 he was
elected to the Legislature as a Whig, and in 1856 was re-elected by a
fusion of Whigs and Democrats in opposition to the Know-Nothing
candidate. In 1868, although the district was strongly Republican, he
was elected as a Democrat to the State Senate.

In the fall of 1872 Mr. Gaston positively declined the further use of
his name in the Mayoralty election in Boston that year. He concluded to
be a candidate, however, upon the earnest solicitation of so many of the
best citizens, and of the press, and in consideration of the perfectly
unanimous action of the ward and city committee, in reporting in favor
of his re-nomination and speaking of him as a man pre-eminently
qualified for the duties which required "wisdom, discretion, firmness
and courage when needed, combined with the most exalted integrity and
unselfish devotion to the honor, welfare, and prosperity of the city."

In commenting on this subject the _Post_ in an editorial, November 26,
1872, said in commendation of the above words of the committee: "The
language employed is none too strong or emphatic. The history of Mayor
Gaston's two administrations is an eminently successful one, so far as
he is personally responsible for them, and there is not the least room
to question that if he were to be re-elected and supported by a board of
aldermen of similar character and purpose the city would at once find
the uttermost requirements of its government satisfied." In that
election in December, 1872, for the year 1873 his opponent, Hon. Henry
L. Pierce, was declared elected Mayor by only seventy-nine plurality.
This fact indicates Mr. Gaston's popularity, as General Grant had
carried Boston the year previous by about 5,500 majority. As her
Representative, her presiding officer, her head of affairs, Mayor Gaston
was a success; an honor to the great city which honored him.

In 1870 he was a candidate for Congress, but failed of an election, Hon.
Ginery Twitchell receiving a majority of the votes.

In 1875 Harvard College and also his Alma Mater, Brown University,
conferred upon him the degree of LL.D.

While he was Governor the somewhat notorious Jesse Pomeroy case was the
occasion of more or less criticism; the Governor himself receiving _pro_
and _con_ his full share thereof. He was in some instances charged with
a lack of firmness, but time has completely vindicated his course. Many
of those alleging at the time the Governor's want of "back-bone" have
lived long enough to fully realize that his firmness consisted in
adhering with an honest persistency to his convictions, indicating the
identical course he pursued in that as in all other matters of public

Among those who know him best there exists the consciousness that Mr.
Gaston is not only an exceedingly cautious man, but consistently
conscientious. Bringing such lofty principles, together with a
discerning mind and sound judgement, into activity in the discharge of
his duty, his administration was, it was generally conceded, a wise one.
It should be borne in mind that he occupied a somewhat novel position,
there having been no Democratic Governor of the State for many years.
The scrutiny directed to him and his acts was intense. His success in
bringing his official relations as excessive to such a happy termination
is abundant proof of his being the man this paper endeavors to picture

It was during his term of office that the lamented Henry Wilson died. At
the State House, in Doric Hall, in November, 1875, Governor Gaston, on
receiving the sacred remains in behalf of the Commonwealth, said in his
address to the committee: "Massachusetts receives from you her
illustrious dead. She will see to it that he whose dead body you bear to
us, but whose spirit has entered upon its higher service, shall receive
honors befitting the great office which in life he held, and I need not
assure you that her people, with hearts full of respect, of love, and of
veneration, will not only guard and protect the body, the coffin, and
the grave, but will also ever cherish his name and fame. Gentlemen, for
the pious service which you have so kindly and tenderly rendered, accept
the thanks of a grateful Commonwealth."

Among the appointments made by Governor Gaston were the following: that
of the late Hon. Otis P. Lord to be Associate Justice of the Supreme
Judicial Court; Honorable Waldo Colburn and Honorable William S. Gardner
to Associate Justiceships of the Superior Court.

The writer has preserved in his scrap books various selections from Mr.
Gaston's public utterances, so excellent and so numerous that it would
be difficult to single out any of them for insertion here, even would
space permit so doing.

It is incomparable, the duties he has performed, the labors he has
accomplished. His life is, and ever has been, a busy life. One marvels
to know how he accomplishes so much.

In the political world, in literature, in the legal profession,
monuments have arisen in testimony of his toil.

As a lawyer his successes have been such as have been vouchsafed to but
few. The word success is applied both where it ought to be applied and
where not deserved. Gaining great wealth, distinguished professional
standing, extensive political renown, pre-eminence in other avenues may
be, or may not be, in the highest sense, success. Most men of strong
points are sadly deficient in other and essential traits needed to
constitute a well-biased, grandly-rounded life. It is rare, indeed, that
a person is encountered possessing such well-proportioned,
evenly-balanced, distinguishing characteristics as it has been Mr.
Gaston's lot to enjoy.

His steady, onward march over the rough places and up the hill in his
learned profession abundantly attest his greatness. No being can occupy,
nor even approach, the very foremost rank in the legal arena save he be
great. Of all representatives of human experiences the lawyer, and more
particularly the advocate, has the least opportunity to occupy falsely a
position of real prominence. Advocacy is the most jealous of
mistresses. Undoubtedly it is true that nowhere else must there be ever
present and ever ready to respond at a moment's notice such a happy
combination of those qualities already noted.

It is not long ago that one of the most worthy of Boston's Judges
remarked to the writer: "You can count the really excellent advocates at
the Suffolk Bar upon the fingers of both hands." He began by naming the
subject of this sketch, following with the names of Honorable A.A.
Ranney, Honorable William G. Russell, Honorable Robert M. Morse, Jr.,
and others. The learned Judge must, it seems, have had in mind a very
high standard of advocacy, for there are not a few among the something
like two thousand Boston lawyers who have well earned, and justly, the
right to be called able and eloquent.

In his historical article entitled "The Bench and Bar," by Erastus
Worthington, and contained in the "History of Norfolk County,
Massachusetts," after writing of those eminent advocates, Ezra Wilkinson
and John J. Clarke, he refers to Governor Gaston and Judge Colburn in
the following words: "The successors to the leadership of the bar, after
the retirement of Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Clarke, were William Gaston of
Roxbury, and Waldo Colburn of Dedham. Mr. Gaston was not admitted to
practice in this county, but he studied law with Mr. Clarke, and
practiced in this county for many years, and considered himself a
Norfolk lawyer. He was an eloquent and successful advocate and had an
excellent practice. He had removed to Boston prior to the annexation of

"Mr. Colburn practiced in Dedham until he was appointed an Associate
Justice of the Superior Court in 1875. He attained a high position in
his profession as a wise counsellor, an able trier of causes, and a
lawyer in whose hands the interests of his clients were always safe."

On his election to the Governorship Mr. Gaston absolutely relinquished
his practice and gave his undivided attention to the duties of his
office. He had been quite unable to devote his customary labor to the
benefit of his law partnership and the good of their clientage during
the two years that he was Mayor of Boston.

When he retired from the executive chair it is said that he had neither
a "case" nor a client.

He took offices in Sears Building and it was not long before he was
again enjoying a large and lucrative practice. In 1879 he took into
partnership C.L.B. Whitney, Esq.; and last year William A. Gaston, Esq.,
was admitted to the firm.

An imperishable chain binds Ex-Governor Gaston to the bright side of the
history of the Commonwealth. His life and its renown are one and
inseparable. Such is the inevitable result of a life that has ever been
linked to honorable endeavors and principles. So thoroughly identified
with, and endeared to, her best interests, it is difficult to believe
that Massachusetts can claim him by adoption only. In private life Mr.
Gaston is all that can be desired. He is quiet, and remarkably modest
and unassuming.

He enjoys the delightful home quietness away from his labors. But what
little time he has for such enjoyment! He seems to love work. How he has
performed so much of it is a wonder, although it is well known that he
inherits and enjoys remarkable powers of endurance. Among his favorite
authors are Scott and Burke. He is temperate, refined in his habits, has
the manners of a perfect gentleman, and deserves the blessed fruits of a
well directed life.

       *       *       *       *       *



The following is a copy of a letter originally addressed to Rev. Mr.
Savage of Franklin, N.H. The original is dated October 10, 1852,
fourteen days before the decease of Mr. Webster. It was dictated to his
Clerk, C.J. Abbott, Esq. It was the same letter that gave rise to the
humorous anecdote, so well related by Mr. Curtice in his Biography of
Mr. Webster, vol. 2, page 683.

We now present this letter to the public to show how worthily one of the
last days of Mr. Webster was employed. In this case he presented a
_Peace Offering_ to old friends, which proved effectual in preventing a
severe litigation and consequent loss of money and friendship:

     "MARSHFIELD, Oct. 10, 1852.

     MY DEAR SIR: I learn that there is likely to be a lawsuit between
     Mr. Horace Noyes and his Mother respecting his father's will.

     This gives me great pain. Mr. Parker Noyes and myself have been
     fast friends for near a half century. I have known his wife also
     from a time before her marriage, and have always felt a warm regard
     for her, and much respect for her connexions in Newburyport. Mr.
     Horace Noyes and his wife I have long known. Her grandfather, Major
     Nathan Taylor, late of Sanbornton, was an especial friend of my
     father, and I learned to love everybody upon whom he set his

     These families during many years have been my most intimate friends
     and neighbors whenever I have been in Franklin. It would wound me
     exceedingly if any thing as a Lawsuit should now occur between
     Mother and Son. It would very much destroy my interest in the
     families, and whatever might be the result, it could not but cast
     some degree of reflection upon the memory of Parker Noyes. I know
     nothing of the circumstances except what I learn from Mr. John
     Taylor, and I do not wish to express any judgement of my own as to
     what ought to be done, at least without more full information, but
     I do think it a case for Christian Intercession. And the particular
     object of this Letter is to invite your attention, and that of the
     members of the Church, to it in this aspect. Mr. Noyes is
     understood to have left a very pretty property, but a controversy
     about his Will would very likely absorb one half of it. My end is
     accomplished, my dear Sir, when I have made these Suggestions to
     you. You will give them such consideration, as you think they
     deserve. It has given me pleasure to hope that I might write half a
     dozen pages respecting Mr. Parker Noyes, and our long friendship,
     but I could have no heart for this if a family feud after his death
     was to come in, and overwhelm all pleasant recollections.

     I dictate this letter to my clerk, as the state of my eyes preclude
     me from writing much with my own hand.

     Yours with sincere regard,

     REV. Mr. SAVAGE
     FRANKLIN, N.H."

This interesting letter produced the happy effect of reconciling the
contending parties, and bringing about an honorable and satisfactory
settlement of all difficulties between them. The letter was timely,
bringing healing in its wings. Here were "words fitly spoken, like
apples of gold in pictures of silver;" to the parties it soon was the
_voice_ from the _dead_, "proclaiming peace on earth, and good will
towards men." As adviser and counsel of the mother, my own exertions for
peace had proved impotent, but the letter of the eminent dying
statesman, containing the salutary advice of an old friend, proved
irresistible in its influence, and brought to the troubled waters
immediate quiet, without resort to the Church or other legal tribunal.

Mr. Webster made allusion to the honored name of Taylor, then of
Sanbornton. Both father, and son were brave officers of Revolutionary
stock. The father, Captain Chase Taylor, commanded a company composed
chiefly of Sanbornton and Meredith men, at the battle of Bennington, on
the sixteenth of August, 1777, and was there severely wounded--his left
leg being broken, which disabled him for life. He died in 1805. In 1786
he received a small pension from the State. His surgeon, Josiah Chase of
Canterbury, and his Colonel, Stickney of Concord, each furnishing their
certificates in his behalf. Early in the history of the Revolutionary
war the son, Nathan Taylor, was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the
Corps of Rangers, commanded by Colonel Whitcomb. Lieutenant Taylor had
the command of a small detachment of fourteen men. On the sixteenth day
of June, 1777, being stationed on the western bank of Lake Champlain, at
a place which has ever since been called _Taylor's Creek_, he was
surprised by a superior force of Indians. Taylor bravely resisted this
attack, and was successful in driving the enemy off, though at the
expense of a severe wound in his right shoulder. Three others of his
band were also wounded. Both father and son were confined at home in the
same house several months before recovery from their wounds. Lieutenant
Taylor returned to active service in the army. He afterwards received
the military title of Major, and occupied many civil offices after the
war in his own town, as well as in behalf of the State. He was member of
the House of Representatives, also of the Senate and Council, for a
number of years. He died in March, A.D. 1840, aged 85, much lamented.

Then there was John Taylor of Revolutionary fame. He and many of his
descendants have occupied high and enviable stations in Sanbornton, and
their biography and good deeds have been ably commemorated by the
historian, Rev. M.T. Runnels. In adhering to the Taylor families Mr.
Webster obeyed the injunction of Solomon who said, "Thine own friend,
and thy _father's friend_ forsake not." Mr. Webster's letter furnishes
strong evidence, that he did not forsake "his own friend," _Parker
Noyes_. The friendship between these men commenced when Mr. Noyes
entered the _Law_ office of Thomas W. Thompson as early as 1798, and
continued intimate, cordial, unabated, "_fast_" during their lives. The
earthly existence of both terminated in the same year, Mr. Noyes having
deceased August, 19, 1852, and Mr. Webster on the twenty-fourth of the
succeeding October.

The dwelling houses of both in Franklin were within the distance of
twenty rods; their intercourse was frequent during the last fifty-four
years of their lives.

During the time Mr. Webster practiced law in New Hampshire they often
met at the same bar, and measured intellectual lances in various legal
contests. These meetings were most frequent when Mr. Webster first
settled in Boscawen in 1805, and for the next two years, before his
removal to Portsmouth.

We were present in A.D. 1848, when these two friends met and recited
many of the interesting and humorous events that occurred in their early
practice. In those days, they often had for a veteran client a man who
then resided in West Boscawen, now Webster, by the name of Corser. He
was represented as one who loved the law, not for its pecuniary profits,
but for its exciting, stimulating effects. It was said of him, that at
the end of a term of the Court, once held at Hopkinton, he was found
near the Court House by a friend, shedding tears. The friend inquired
the cause of his great sorrow. His answer was, "I have _no longer_ a
_case in court._" The same Corser had been a Revolutionary soldier, and
belonged to the army when discharged by Washington at Newburg, at the
termination of the war. He had but little money to bear his expenses
home. When he reached Springfield, Massachusetts, his money was
exhausted, and he was obliged to resort to his talent at begging.
Accordingly he called at a farm house, and requested the good loyal lady
of the establishment to give him a pie, adding at the same time, that he
wanted _another_ for his _Brother Jonathan_. The lady well supposing
that his Brother Jonathan was then his companion in arms, and in the
street suffering with hunger, readily granted his request, when in truth
and in fact Jonathan was then at home cultivating his farm in Boscawen.

Brother Jonathan, upon learning the conduct of his brother, rebuked him
for useing his name, instead of his own, thereby deceiving the good
woman. In justification of his conduct, the brother answered, "My hunger
was great. I contrived to satisfy it. The kind woman had my thanks; you
was not injured. At most, by strict morals, I committed only a _pious
fraud_ in getting two pies, instead of one." Mr. Webster remarked, that
he was once present when this case was stated, and argued by the two
brothers, and was much interested in the discussion of the celebrated
pie case.

       *       *       *       *       *



The Spragues of Melrose, formerly North Malden, were one of the old
families. They descended from Ralph Sprague, who settled in Charlestown
in 1629. The first one, who came to Melrose about the year 1700, was
named Phineas. His grandson, also named Phineas, served during the
Revolutionary War, and a number of interesting anecdotes are told about
him. He was a slaveholder, and Artemas Barrett, Esq., a native of
Melrose, owns an original bill of sale of "a negro woman named Pidge,
with one negro boy;" also other documents, among which is Mr. Sprague's
diary, wherein he gives the following account of the wonderfully dark
day in 1780, a good reminder of which we experienced September 6, 1881,
a century later:

     FRIDA May the 19th 1780.

     This day was the most Remarkable day that ever my eyes beheld the
     air had bin full of smoak to an uncommon degree so that wee could
     scairce see a mountain at two miles distance for 3 or 4 days Past
     till this day after Noon the smoak all went off to the South at
     sunset a very black bank of a cloud appeared in the south and west
     the Nex morning cloudey and thundered in the west about ten oclock
     it began to Rain and grew vere dark and at 12 it was almost as dark
     as Nite so that wee was obliged to lite our candels and Eate our
     dinner by candel lite at noon day but between 1 and 2 oclock it
     grew lite again but in the evening the cloud came, over us again,
     the moon was about the full it was the darkest Nite that ever was
     seen, by us in the world.[A]

[Footnote A: This was printed in the sketch of Melrose in "History of
Middlesex County," vol. II.]

       *       *       *       *       *



To the antiquarian, the historian, or the general scholar, there are few
more interesting studies than that of names. It is a pursuit of rare
delight to trace out the derivation of those with which we have been
long familiar, and to follow up the associations that have rendered them
dear, curious or ridiculous, as the case may be. The names themselves
may be of no value, but the spot or circumstance that gave them birth
cannot fail to throw around them an atmosphere of peculiar interest. The
subject is a broad one and may be, with time and inclination,
extensively cultivated; and, even in the limits of a short article, many
phases of it of general importance and interest may be satisfactorily
treated, and it is proposed in the following paragraphs to present only
a few of them.

In the present rage for nicknames, pet names, diminutives and
contractions there is fair prospect of an abundant harvest of trouble
and perplexity to the genealogist and historian of the future. In fact,
the students of the present day are already beginning to realize, in no
small degree, the annoyance that arises from the custom. The changes are
so many and intricate that to understand them fully requires much
valuable time and the patience that could better be employed in more
important work.

The difficulty arises, of course, from indifference, inadvertence or
carelessness, rather than from set purpose; yet the result is the same
in its evil effects. It is true there are some of these nicknames that
have been so long in use, and have become so common that no one is
disturbed by them and their employment, and they are readily understood.
Many of these, however, have served their turn and are gradually going
out of use, and will, in a short time, be only "dead words" to the

Of this class are the familiar favorites of our grandparents, such as
Sally, for Sarah; Polly or Molly, for Mary; Patty, for Martha, and
Peggy, for Margaret, representative names of the class. Some of these,
with perhaps slight changes, have become legitimatized, and their origin
has been nearly, or quite, forgotten. Of such we recognize Betsy, or its
modern equivalent, Bettie or Bessie, as a very proper name. Few,
perhaps, of our present generation would recognize in "Nancy," the
features of its parent, "Ann" or "Nan."

Some of these old nicknames have already gone nearly or quite out of
use, so much so that many of our young people will be surprised to learn
that Patty was, not long ago, the vernacular for Martha, and would never
imagine that "Margaret" could ever have responded to the call of
"Peggy;" "Hitty" and "Kitty," for the staid and sober "Mehitable," and
the volatile Katherine, are more easily recognized, while it might
require several guesses to establish the relationship between "Milly"
and "Amelia," or "Emily."

Stranger than either, perhaps because both the proper name and its
diminutive have become so uncommon, is that transformation which reduced
"Tabitha," to "Bertha," with the accent upon the first syllable, and its
vowel long. A curious instance of the change in this name, and the
further variation made in it in consequence of its forgotten
derivation, has recently occurred in the record of the death of an old
lady who was baptized "Tabitha," called in her youth "Bitha," and now in
her obituary styled Mrs. "Bertha," probably from the similarity of sound
to her youthful nickname. Her relatives of the present generation had
forgotten her real name and knew her only under that of an imitation of
her diminutive. The transition from "Bitha" to "Bertha" is easy, but how
is the perplexed genealogist to ascertain the original when he has only
the records for his guide?

Such illustrations might be multiplied almost indefinitely, but those
already given are enough to show what an infinite amount of trouble has
come and must still come from their continued usage. They also serve
well to show with how much care and watchfulness the historian must
pursue his work; how constantly he must be upon his guard, and how
closely and critically he must scrutinize the names that pass under his

Nor was this custom of nicknames confined to the daughters of the
family, but the boys, also, were among its subjects, perhaps in not so
great a variety, yet very general. Among the more common we only need
mention such as Bill, Ned, Jack, and Frank, to illustrate this. Nor were
there wanting among the masculine nicknames those whose derivations seem
very remote and far-fetched, as "El" for "Alphus;" "Hal" for "Henry;"
"Jot" for "Jonathan;" "Seph" for "Josephus;" "Nol" for "Oliver;" "Dick"
for "Richard," and a multitude of others equally well known.

The instances named are old and have been in general use so long that
those who are called upon to deal with them are upon their guard and not
likely to be led astray by them, but the class of pet names, now, for a
few years in use, will necessarily be more misleading because they are
new, and in many cases very blind; in many instances the same nickname
being used to represent perhaps a dozen different proper names, so that
it is impossible to tell, from the nickname, what the real name is.
Among the most annoying of this class are those that not only represent
several names each, but are masculine or feminine, as occasion calls.

Of the latter class are "Allie" for Alice, Albert or Alexander, and
"Bertie," used in place of so many that it is needless to specify, the
latter being the worst of its species, since it is wholly indefinite,
applying equally to boy or girl, and for a multitude of either sex, some
of which are so far-fetched that all possible connection is lost in the
journey of transmission. Most of the old fashioned nicknames indicate
the sex quite distinctly, and in this they have much the advantage of
some of their modern competitors. They were also much more expressive if
not so euphonious. A person need but glance at any of our town records
for the past few years to see how the use of these pet names has
increased, and it requires no prophet to foresee what confusion must
naturally arise from the continuance of the custom, and how difficult it
will be in the near future to follow the record accurately.

Another and very different class of nicknames are those derived from
accident or local circumstance, and have no other connection with the
real name of the person to whom they are attached, and to whom they
cling as a foul excrescence long after the circumstances that called
them forth is forgotten. These sometimes originate at home in childhood,
at school among playmates, or after the arrival of the person at mature
age, and are oftentimes ridiculous in the extreme. They are nearly
always a source of great mortification to those who so unwillingly bear
them, who would give almost anything to rid themselves of the nuisance;
yet these, once fixed, seldom lose their hold, but must be borne with
the best grace possible.

It will not be necessary to cite instances of this class, as every one
will recall many such that it might be highly improper to mention
publicly as being personal or taken to be so. Some are simply indicative
of temperament; some of a peculiarity of manner, or a locality in which
they happened to have first seen the light; and others, perhaps the most
unfortunate of all and the most mischievous, are derived from an
ill-timed word or act, said or done in a moment of passion or
thoughtlessness, which the individual would like to recall at almost any
price, but cannot. The saddest of all are those unfortunates, for there
are such, to whom their parents, they knew not why, gave such names.

Another class are those given at first as a term of reproach or
disgrace, accepted without protest, and afterwards borne as a title of
honor. The name "Old Hickory" will at once suggest itself as such an
instance. Truly fortunate is the person who has the tact and is in
circumstances to do this, and thus turn the weapons of his enemies
against themselves. There are others, again, whose character and
position are such that they permit no familiarity, and every name of
reproach or ridicule rolls off like shot from the iron shell of the
monitor. The name of our Washington suggests such an individual. Whoever
for an instant thought of approaching him with familiarity, or of
applying to him a nickname as a term of reproach or ridicule, or even as
an expression of good nature.

As will be readily seen, the evil resulting from this custom is wide
spread and alarming. It would also seem to be almost without remedy,
since it is the result of irresponsible action, committed by persons who
are not fully aware of what they are doing, by those who are
indifferent, as to what may follow, or by those who are actuated by
malice; against these there is no law except the steady, persistent
movement of the thinking public setting its face squarely against the
practice, with the passage of time, which usually brings about, we know
not always how, the remedy for such evils; but we are seldom willing to
wait for such a cure.

As before intimated parents are sometimes guilty of this offence, and
thus place upon a child a stigma that will follow it through life. A
little care on their part will remedy the evil, to that extent, and they
surely should be willing to do their share in the work. Teachers and
those who have the charge of the young are sometimes thoughtless enough
to commit the same fault. Should it not be crime? For they have no right
to be thus inconsiderate, when a little restraint upon their part will
prevent the wrong as far as they are concerned. With these two
influences setting in the right direction, added to that of the thinking
community, a current may very likely be formed that shall obliterate
wholly the custom and deliver us from its attendant difficulties.

Another practice now quite common, and one which bids fair to create
much confusion, is that which permits the wife to take the Christian
name of her husband: for instance, Mrs. Mary, wife of John Smith, signs
her name Mrs. John Smith, a name which has no legal existence, which she
is entitled to use only by courtesy, and which should be allowed in
none but necessary cases to distinguish her from some other bearing the
same name, or to address her when her own Christian name is not known.
Mrs. is but a general title to designate the class of persons to which
she belongs, and not a name, any more than Mr. or Esq. Who ever knew a
man to sign his name Mr. so and so, or so and so, Esq.?

To show the absurdity and impropriety of this misuse of the name it will
be needful to mention but a single illustration. Suppose a note or check
is made payable to Mrs. John Smith. Mrs. being only a title, and no part
of the name, the endorsement would be plain John Smith, and nobody, not
even his wife, has any right to forge his signature. An instrument thus
drawn is a mistake, since no one can be authorized to execute it.

The trouble to the genealogist and historian is of a somewhat different
nature, since he merely desires to identify the individual and cares
nothing about the money value of the document. Much the safer and better
way is for the wife always to sign and use her proper name and to add,
if she thinks it necessary to be more explicit, "wife of," using her
husband's name. By doing this a vast deal of perplexity would be
avoided, and sometimes a serious legal difficulty.

Another custom, as common, and quite a favorite one with many married
ladies, is that which changes her middle name by substituting her maiden
surname; for example, Mary Jane Smith marries James Gray, and
immediately her name is assumed to be Mary Smith Gray, instead of Mary
Jane Gray, her legal name. The wife, if she so chooses, has the right by
general consent, if not by law, to retain her full name, adding her
husband's surname; but she has no right to use her own maiden surname in
place of her discarded middle name. Much confusion might arise from this
practice, as the following illustration will show. Mary Jane Gray
receives a check payable to her order, and she, being in the habit of
signing her name Mary Smith Gray, thus endorses it, and forwards it by
mail or otherwise for collection, and is surprised when it comes back to
her to be properly executed.

Again, Mary Jane Gray has a little money which she deposits in the
savings bank, and, for the reason already given, takes out her book in
the name of Mary S. Gray. She dies and her administrator finding the
book tries to collect the money, but he being the administrator of Mary
Jane Gray and not of Mary S. Gray may find the Treasurer of the bank
unwilling to pay over the money until he is satisfied as to the identity
of the apparently two Mary Grays, which, under some circumstances, might
be a difficult process.

These changes are usually made thoughtlessly, but the result is none the
less serious than though it were done with the intent to deceive or
mislead, and the mischief that often arises in consequence is very
great. These changes that have been noted from the nature of the case
can only occur with women, since men have no occasion to make them, and
in point of fact cannot; but there are those, quite analagous in
character, that are common to both sexes and should be avoided unless
the necessity is very apparent. Double names are sometimes very
convenient for purposes of identification, but they may also prove
fruitful sources of difficulty and trouble. As an illustration, Mary
Jane Smith is known at home by her family and to her acquaintances as
Mary. For some fanciful reason or local circumstance she wearies of
that name and becomes Jane. Both are equally hers, but her acquaintances
who knew her as Mary might well plead ignorance when asked about Jane
Smith; and the acquaintances of the latter might never surmise that Mary
Smith had ever existed.

Again, James Henry Gray is known at home in his youth as James H. Gray,
and the name is very satisfactory to him; but as he arrives at manhood
he enters a new business and finds a new residence. For some reason he
thinks that a change of name also may be of benefit to him, and
therefore he signs himself J. Henry Gray, and henceforth is a stranger
to his former acquaintances. He has some money in bank at his old home
which he draws for under his new name, and wonders when his check comes
back to him dishonored, forgetting that he has never notified the
officers of his change of name.

He finds it necessary, upon some occasion, to write to one of his former
friends for information of importance, and is surprised that his old
associate declines to give it to a stranger, for he does not remember,
that, while he may easily retain his own identity, under any change of
name, it may not be so easy to assure it to another at a distance. It
can thus be seen how easily, and at times, how unavoidably, a great deal
of vexation may be produced by this practice, and yet it is extensively

Looking at the subject in another aspect, we find a grievance that has
borne and is now bearing with intolerable weight upon many an
individual, who would, at almost any sacrifice, relieve himself of it,
but it is saddled upon him in such a manner, and is surrounded by such
circumstances as to render it quite impossible for him to do so. It is a
practice, all too common, but none the less reprehensible, to give to
children legitimate names of such a character as to render them
veritable "old men of the sea," so graphically described by Sindbad.

They are given for various reasons, sometimes simply for their oddity,
sometimes because the name has been borne by a relative or friend, or it
may have been borrowed from the pages of some favorite author, or
suggested by accidental circumstance. A boy whose Christian name was
Baring Folly, and we should not have far to go to find its counterpart
in real life, could hardly be expected to get through the world without
feeling severely the burden and ridicule of such a name, each part
proper and well enough in its place as a surname, but particularly
unfortunate when united and required to do duty as a Christian name.

We ridicule, and it may be wisely, the old-fashioned custom of giving a
child a name merely because it happened to be found in the Scriptures,
where with its special meaning it was singularly appropriate, yet, when
used as a name without that special signification, it would be equally
inappropriate. But are we wholly free from the same fault in another
direction? How many children have been so burdened with a name that had
been made illustrious by the life and services of its original bearer
that they were always ashamed to hear it spoken; that very name of honor
becoming in its present position a reproach and a hindrance, rather than
a stimulus, because the bearers feel that they cannot sustain its
ancient renown, and therefore they become mere nothings, simply from the
fact of having been borne down to the dust under the burden of a great

Who can tell how many have become notorious, or have committed vagaries
which have rendered them ridiculous, and destroyed their usefulness,
from a sincere desire to bear worthily an honored name? Who shall say
that the eccentricities of a certain celebrity of acknowledged talent,
whose name would be quickly recognized, were not the result of the same
cause, the length, and weight of the name given him at his birth proving
too great an incumbrance for him to overcome.

How many ignoble George Washingtons, Henry Clays, Patrick Henrys, and
other equally illustrious names, are wandering aimlessly about our
streets, shiftless, worthless, utterly unworthy the names they bear,
simply because they bear them, when, had they been given plain, honest,
common names, they might have been held in respect and esteem. The
burden is too great for them. A ship with a drag attached to her cannot
make progress, be she ever so swift without it. Even the eagle will
refuse his flight when burdened with excessive weight.

A little lack of consideration or want of thought in this matter on the
part of parents often entail an immense amount of suffering upon those
who are wholly innocent as to its cause. Let the boy or girl be given
such a name, as shall be his or hers, worthy or unworthy, as the bearer
shall make. Give them all a fair show. We may not be able to tell in all
cases, perhaps not in many, how this affair of names has affected the
lives of their owners. Give a child a silly or ridiculous name and the
chances are that the child's character will correspond with that name.
Give a child a name already illustrious and the chances are also fair
that the burden will prove its ruin.

It is unnecessary to extend the subject, the present purpose being
merely to call attention to those practices, and so to present them that
more natural and healthy customs will be sought after and followed, that
a true æsthetic taste may be cultivated, and thus alleviate or remove a
part, at least, of the burden under which society groans.

It is also intended to illustrate some of the trials and perplexities
that beset the genealogist and historian in their researches, arising
from these unfortunate habits that pervade society. It would seem that
the evils produced by the practices, only need exposure to result in
reformation, and that no parent, with the full knowledge of the
possible, yes probable, and almost inevitable effect, would so thrust
upon his offspring an annoyance, to use the mildest possible term, which
should subject them to such disagreeable consequences all through life.

It would seem, also, that no guardian, teacher, or other individual
having the care and oversight of children, could be so thoughtless and
inconsiderate, or allow a personal or private reason so to influence
him, as to assume for the child any name that would be liable to cause
it future shame or sorrow. Too much care cannot be taken in this regard,
and it is a duty owing to the child that its rights in this respect
shall be strictly guarded.

It is the object of this paper simply to call attention to a few of the
more prominent points suggested by this subject in order that it may be
examined and discussed, and, if it may be, more judicious and wiser
practices introduced, that nature, art, and taste may combine to produce
a system of names that shall be at the same time, convenient, useful and
beautiful, and that shall carry no burden with them.

       *       *       *       *       *


1603 TO 1682.


The facts that have come down to us whereupon to build a biography of
John Prescott are scanty indeed, but enough to prove that he was that
rare type of man, the ideal pioneer. Not one of those famous
frontiersmen, whose figures stand out so prominently in early American
history, was better equipped with the manly qualities that win hero
worship in a new country, than was the father of the Nashaway
Plantation. Had Prescott like Daniel Boone been fortunate in the favor
of contemporary historians, to perpetuate anecdotes of his daily prowess
and fertility of resource, or had he had grateful successors withal to
keep his memory green, his name and romantic adventures would in like
manner adorn Colonial annals. Persecuted for his honest opinions, he
went out into the wilderness with his family to found a home, and for
forty years thought, fought and wrought to make that home the centre of
a prosperous community. Loaded from his first step with discouragements,
that soon appalled every other of the original co-partners in the
purchase of Nashaway from Showanon, Prescott alone, _tenax propositi_,
held to his purpose, and death found him at his post. His grave is in
the old "burial field" at Lancaster, yet not ten citizens can point it
out. Over it stands a rude fragment from some ledge of slate rock,
faintly incised with characters which few eyes can trace:


No date! no comment! That is his only memorial stone; his only epitaph
in the town of which, for its first forty years, he was the very heart
and soul, and for which he furnished a large share of the brains. This
fair township--now divided among nine towns--and all it has been and is
and is to be may be justly called his monument. The house of Deputies in
1652 voted it to be rightly his, and marked it by incorporative
enactment with his honored and honorable name, _Prescott_.
Unfortunately, however, some years before he had said something that
seemed to favor Doctor Robert Child's criticisms of the Provincial
system of taxation without representation; criticisms that grew and bore
good fruitage when the times were riper for individual freedom; when
Samuel Adams and James Otis took up the peoples' cause where Sir Henry
Vane and Robert Child had left it. Therefore when, in 1652, what had
been known as the Nashaway Plantation was fairly named for its founder
in accordance with the petition of its inhabitants, some one of
influence, whether magistrate or higher official, perhaps bethought
himself that no Governor of the Colony even had been so honored, and
that it might be well, before dignifying this busy blacksmith so much as
to name a town for him, to see if he could pass examination in the
catechism deemed orthodox at that date in Massachusetts Bay. Alas! John
Prescott was not a freeman. Having a conscience of his own, he had never
given public adhesion to the established church covenant and was
therefore debarred from holding any civil office, and even from the
privilege of voting for the magistrates. There was a year's delay, and,
in 1653, "Prescott" was expunged and _Lancaster_ began its history.

As in the broad area of the township various centres of population grew
into villages and were one by one excised and made towns, it would be
supposed that each of them would have been eager to honor itself by
adopting so euphonious and appropriate a name as _Prescott_. But no! The
first candidate for a new designation, in 1732, chose the name of the
generous Charlestown clergyman, _Harvard_, for no appropriate local
reason now discoverable. Six years later another body corporate imported
the name--_Bolton_. Two years passed and a third district sought across
the ocean for its title _Leominster_. Then Woonksechocksett forgetful of
its benefactors and of the grand Indian names of its hills and waters
borrowed the title of a putative Scotch lord, who bravely fought for our
Independence, and, in adopting, paid him the poor compliment of
misspelling it--_Sterling_. The next seceder ambitiously chose the name
of a Prussian city--_Berlin_. The sixth perpetuated its early admiration
of the great small-pox inoculator, _Boylston_; and the last was
named--for a hotel. None so poor as to do Prescott reverence. But
surely, it would be thought, banks and manufactories, halls or at least
a fire engine, might with tardy respect have paid cheap tribute to his
name by bearing it. Is there any example! Yes, at last a short street
having little connection sentimental or real with the pioneer, bears his
name--this only in the aspiring town, almost a city, of which John
Prescott's old millstone is the visible foundation! _Clinton_.

I have stated that Prescott was an ideal pioneer. Not that there was in
him anything of kinship to that race of frontiersmen now deployed along
the outer verge of American civilization, like the thread of froth
stranded along a beach outlining the extreme advance made by the last
wave of the tide. The frontiersmen of to-day, bibulous gamblers,
reckless duelists, blasphemous savages of mixed blood, had no prototype
in Colonial days, for even the human harvest then gathered to the
stocks, the whipping-post and the gallows, was of a far less obtrusive
class of offenders against morals and social decency. Prescott was a
Puritan soldier, a seeker of liberty not license; fiercely rebellious
against tyranny, but no contemner of moral law. It was no accident that
put him in the advance guard of Anglo-Saxon civilization, then just
starting on its westward march from the shores of Massachusetts Bay. The
position had awaited the man. When he set up his anvil and with skilful
blows hammered out the first plough-shares to compel the virgin soil of
the Nashaway valley to its proper fruitfulness, he was all unwittingly
helping to forge the destinies of this great republic;--was in his
humble sphere a true builder of the nation. His neighbors and friends,
John Tinker, Ralph Houghton, and Major Simon Willard, doubtless excelled
him in culture, but no neighbor surpassed him in natural personal force,
whether physical, mental or moral. Not only was he of commanding
stature, stern of mien and strong of limb, but he had a heart devoid of
fear, great physical endurance and an unbending will. These qualities
his savage neighbors early recognized and bowed before in deep respect,
and because of these no Lancaster enterprise but claimed him as its
leader. His manual skill and dexterity must have been great, his mental
capacity and business energy remarkable, for we find him not only a
farmer, trader, blacksmith and hunter, but a surveyor and builder of
roads, bridges and mills. The records of the town show that he was
seldom free from the conduct of some public labor. The greatest of his
benefactions to his neighbors were: His corn-mill erected in 1654, and
his saw-mill in 1659. The arrival of the first millstone in Lancaster
must have been an event of matchless interest to every man, woman and
child in the plantation. Till that began its tireless turning, the grain
for every loaf of bread had to be carried to Watertown mill, or ground
laboriously in a hand quern, or parched and brayed in a mortar, Indian
fashion. Before the starting of his saw-mill, the rude houses must have
been of logs, stone, and clay, for it was an impossibility to bring from
the lower towns on the existing "Bay road" and with the primitive
tumbril any large amount of sawn lumber.

Of Prescott's wife we know only her name: Mary Platts. But her daughters
were sought for in marriage by men of whom we learn nothing that is not
praiseworthy, and her sons all honored their mother's memory, by useful
and unblemished lives. John Prescott was the youngest son of Ralph and
Ellen of Shevington, Lancashire, England. He was baptized in the Parish
of Standish in 1604-5 and married Mary Platts at Wigan, Lancashire,
January 21, 1629. He was a land owner in Shevington, but sold his
possessions there and took up his residence in Halifax Parish, Sowerby,
in Yorkshire. Leaving England to avoid religions persecutions, his first
haven was Barbadoes, where he is found a land owner in 1638. In 1640 he
landed in Boston, and immediately selected his home in Watertown, where
he became the possessor of six lots of land, aggregating one hundred and
twenty-six acres. In 1643, his name is found in association with Thomas
King of Watertown, Henry Symonds of Boston, and others, the first
proprietors of the Nashaway purchase. His children were eight in number
and all were married in due season. They were as follows:

1. Mary, baptized at Halifax Parish February 24, 1630, married Thomas
Sawyer in 1648. The young couple selected their home lot adjoining
Prescott's in Lancaster and there eleven sons and daughters were born to

2. Martha, baptized at Halifax Parish March 11, 1632, married John Rugg
in 1655; and these twain began life together in sight of her paternal
home in Lancaster. She died with her twin babes in January 1656.

3. John, baptized at Halifax Parish April 1, 1635, married Sarah Hayward
at Lancaster, November 11, 1668, and had five children. He was a farmer
and blacksmith, lived with his father, and succeeded him at the mills.

4. Sarah, baptized in 1637, at Halifax Parish, married Richard Wheeler
at Lancaster, August 2, 1658, and lived in the immediate vicinity of
those before named. Wheeler was killed in the massacre of February 10,
1676, and the widowed Sarah married Joseph Rice of Marlborough. By her
first husband she had five children.

5. Hannah, was probably born at Barbadoes in 1639. She became the second
wife of John Rugg May 4, 1660, and had eight children. She became a
widow in 1696, and was slain by the Indians in the massacre of September
11, 1697.

6. Lydia, born at Watertown August 15, 1641, married Jonas Fairbank at
Lancaster, May 28, 1658. He owned the lands next south of Prescott's
home. Fairbank had seven children. In the massacre of February 10, 1676,
he and his son Joshua were victims. The widowed Lydia married Elias

7. Jonathan--if twenty three years old in 1670, as an unknown authority
has noted, or "about 38," November 6, 1683, as stated in a deposition of
that date--was probably born in Lancaster between 1645 and 1647. He was
a blacksmith and farmer, and married first Dorothy, August 3, 1670, in
Lancaster. She died in 1674, leaving a son Samuel, noted in the town
history as the unfortunate sentinel who, on November 6, 1704, killed by
mistake his neighbor, the beloved minister of Lancaster, Reverend Andrew
Gardner. Jonathan Prescott married second, Elizabeth, daughter of John
Hoar of Concord, who died in 1687 leaving six children. Jonathan's third
wife was Rebecca Bulkeley and his fourth Ruth, widow of Thomas Brown. He
did not reside in Lancaster after the massacre of 1676, but became an
influential citizen of Concord, which he served as representative for
nine years. He died December 5, 1721.

8. Jonas, born June, 1648, in Lancaster, married Mary Loker of Sudbury,
December 14, 1672. The marriage took place in Lancaster and here their
first child was born, (they had twelve children in all), but later they
removed to Groton, where Jonas became Captain, Selectman and Justice. He
died in Groton, December 31, 1723. Of his more illustrious descendants
were Colonel William, and the historian William H. Prescott.

In May 1644, John Winthrop records that "Many of Watertown and other
towns joined in a plantation at Nashaway "--and Reverend Timothy
Harrington in his Century Sermon states that the organization of this
company of planters was due to Thomas King. The immediate and final
disappearance of this original proprietor has seemed to previous writers
good warrant for charging that King and his partner Henry Symonds were
but land speculators, who bought the Indian's inheritance to retail by
the acre to adventurers. I believe this an unjust assumption. At the
date when Winthrop noted down the inception of the Nashaway Company,
Henry Symonds had already been dead seven months. He was that energetic
contractor of Boston noted as the leader in the project for establishing
tide mills at the Cove, and was no doubt the capitalist of the trading
firm of Symonds & King, who set up their "trucking house" as early as
1643 on the sunny slope of George Hill. Symond's widow a few months
after his death married Isaac Walker, who in 1645 was prominent among
the Nashaway proprietors. If King really sold his share of the Indian
purchase, may it not have been therefore because, his senior partner
being dead, he had no means to continue the enterprise? He too died
before the end of the year 1644, not yet thirty years of age. The
inventory of his estate sums but one hundred and fifty-eight pounds,
including his house and land in Watertown, his stock in trade, and
seventy-three pounds of debts due him from the Indians, John Prescott,
and sundry others. King's widow made haste to be consoled, and her
second husband, James Cutler, soon appears in the role of a Nashaway

The direction of the company was at the outset in the hands of men whose
names were, or soon became, of some note throughout the Colony. Doctor
Robert Child, a scholar who had won the degrees of A.M. and M.D. at
Cambridge and Padua, a man of scientific acquirements, but inclined to
somewhat sanguine expectations of mineral treasure to be discovered in
the New England hills, seems to have been a leading spirit in the
adventure; and unfortunately so, since his political views about certain
inalienable rights of man, which now live, and are honored in the
Constitution of the Commonwealth, seemed vicious republicanism to the
ecclesiastical aristocracy then governing the Colony of the
Massachusetts Bay; and the odium that drove Child across the ocean,
attached also to his companion planters, and perhaps through the
prejudice of those in authority unfavorably affected for several years
the progress of the settlement on the Nashaway. Certainly such
prejudices found expression in all action or record of the government
respecting the proprietors and their petitions. The ecclesiastical
figure head--without which no body corporate could have grace within the
colony--was Nathaniel Norcross. Of him, if we can surmise aught from his
early return to England, it may be said, he was not imbued with the
martyr's spirit, and his defection was, some time later, more than made
good by the accession of the beloved Rowlandson. But far more important
to the enterprise than these two graduates from the English
University--Child the radical, and Norcross the preacher,--were two
mechanics, the restless planners and busy promoters of the company, both
workers in iron--Steven Day the locksmith and John Prescott the
blacksmith. Steven Day was the first in America, north of Mexico, to set
up a printing-press. The Colony had wisely recognized in him a public
benefactor, and sealed this recognition by substantial grant of lands.
He entered upon the Nashaway scheme with characteristic zeal and energy,
if we may believe his own manuscript testimony: but Day's zeal outran
his discretion, and his energy devoured his limited means, for in 1644
we find him in jail for debt remonstrating piteously against the
injustice of a hard hearted creditor. He parted with all rights at
Nashaway before many years and finally delved as a journey man at the
press he had founded.

John Prescott deserted of all his original co-partners was sufficient
for the emergency, a host in himself. He sells his one hundred and
twenty six acres and house at Watertown, puts his all into the venture,
prepares a rude dwelling in the wilderness, moves thither his cattle,
and chattels, and finally, mounting wife and children and his few
remaining goods upon horses' backs, bids his old neighbors good bye, and
threads the narrow Indian trail through the forest westward. The scorn
of men high in authority is to follow him, but now the most formidable
enemy in his path is the swollen Sudbury River and its bordering marsh.
We find the aristocratic scorn mingling with the story of Prescott's
dearly bought victory over this natural obstacle, told in Winthrop's
History of New England among what the author classes as remarkable
"special providences."

"Prescot another favorer of the Petitioners lost a horse and his loading
in Sudbury river, and a week after his wife and children being upon
another horse were hardly saved from drowning." That the kindly hearted
Winthrop could coolly attribute the pitiable disaster of the brave
pioneer to the wrath of God towards the political philosophy of Robert
Child, pictures vividly the bigotry natural to the age and race, a
bigotry which culminated in the horrors of the persecution for
witchcraft. This Sudbury swamp was the lion in the path from the bay
westward during many a decade. In 1645, an earnest petition went up to
the council from Prescott and his associates, complaining that much time
and means had been spent in discovering Nashaway and preparing for the
settlement there, and that on account of the lack of bridge and causeway
at the Sudbury River, the proprietors could not pass to and from the
bay towns--"without exposing our persons to perill and our cattell and
goods to losse and spoyle; as yo'r petitioners are able to make prooffe
of by sad experience of what wee suffered there within these few dayes."
The General Court ordered the bridge and way to be made, "passable for
loaden horse," and allowed twenty pounds to Sudbury, "so it be donne
w'thin a twelve monthe." The twelve month passed and no bridge spanned
the stream. That the dangers and difficulties of the crossing were not
over-stated by the petitioners is proven by the fact that more than one
hundred years afterwards, the bridge and causeway at this place "half a
mile long"--were represented to the General Court as dangerous and in
time of floods impassable. Between 1759 and 1761, the proceeds of
special lotteries amounting to twelve hundred and twenty seven pounds
were expended in the improvement of the crossing.

John Winthrop, writing of the Nashaway planters, tells us that "he whom
they had called to be their minister, [Norcross] left them for their
delays," but omits mention of the fact recorded by the planters
themselves in their petition, that the chief and sufficient cause of
their slow progress was in the inability or unwillingness of the
Governor and magistrates to afford effective aid in providing a passable
crossing over a small river.

Prescott, at least, was chargeable with no delay. By June 1645, he and
his family had become permanent residents on the Nashaway. Richard
Linton, Lawrence Waters the carpenter, and John Ball the tailor, were
his only neighbors; these three men having been sent up to build, plant,
and prepare for the coming of other proprietors. But two houses had been
built. Linton probably lived with his son-in-law Waters, in his home
near the fording place in the North Branch of the Nashaway, contiguous
to the lot of intervale land which Harmon Garrett and others of the
first proprietors had fenced in to serve as a "night pasture" for their
cattle. Ball had left his children and their mother in Watertown; she
being at times insane. Prescott's first lot embraced part of the grounds
upon which the public buildings in Lancaster now stand, but this he soon
parted with, and took up his abode a mile to the south west, on the
sunny slope of George Hill, where, beside a little brooklet of pure cool
water, which then doubtless came rollicking down over its gravelly bed
with twice the flow it has to-day, there had been built, two years at
least before, the trucking house of Symonds & King. This trading post
was the extreme outpost of civilization; beyond was interminable forest,
traversed only by the Indian trails, which were but narrow paths, hard
to find and easy to lose, unless the traveller had been bred to the arts
of wood-craft. Here passed the united trails from Washacum, Wachusett,
Quaboag, and other Indian villages of the west, leading to the wading
place of the Nashaway River near the present Atherton Bridge, and so
down the "Bay Path" over Wataquadock to Concord. The little plateau half
way down the sheltering hill, with fertile fields sloping to the
southeast and its never failing springs, was and is an attractive spot;
but its material advantages to the pioneer of 1645 were far greater than
those apparent to the Lancastrian of this nineteenth century in the
changed conditions of life. With the privilege of first choice
therefore, it is not strange that Prescott and his sturdy sons-in-law
grasped the rich intervales, and warm easily tilled slopes, stretching
along the Nashaway south branch from the "meeting of the waters" to
"John's jump" on the east, and extending west to the crown of George
Hill; lands now covered by the village of South Lancaster.

In 1650 John Prescott found himself the only member of the company
resident at Nashaway. Of the co-partners Symonds, King, and John Hill
were dead; Norcross and Child had gone to England; Cowdall had sold his
rights to Prescott; Chandler, Davis, Walker, and others had formally
abandoned their claims; Garrett, Shawe, Day, Adams, and perhaps two or
three others, retained their claims to allotments, making no
improvements, and contributing nothing by their presence or tithes to
the growth of the settlement, thus becoming effectual stumbling blocks
in the way of progress. Prescott, very reasonably, held this a
grievance, and having no other means of redress asked equitable judgment
in the matter from the magistrates, in a petition which cannot be found.
His answer was the following official snub:

"Whereas John Prescot & others, the inhabitants of Nashaway p'ferd a
petition to this Courte desiringe power to recover all common charges of
all such as had land there, not residinge w'th them, for answer
whereunto this Court, understandinge that the place before mentioned is
not fit to make a plantation, (so a ministry to be erected and
mayntayned there,) which if the petitioners, before the end of the next
session of this Courte, shall not sufficiently make the sey'd place
appeare to be capable to answer the ends above mentioned doth order that
the p'ties inhabitinge there shalbe called there hence, & suffered to
live without the meanes, as they have done no longer." This dire threat
of the closing sentence may have been simply "sound and fury, signifying
nothing," or Prescott may have been able to prove to the authorities
that Nashaway was fit and waiting for its St. John, but found none
willing for the service. In fact, its St. John was then a junior at
Harvard College, writing a pasquinade to post upon the Ipswich
meeting-house, and Nashaway was "suffered to live without the meanes,"
waiting for him until 1654.

John Prescott retained possession of his early home,--the site of the
"trucking house," which he had purchased of John Cowdall,--as long as he
lived, but did not reside there many years. No sooner had the plantation
attained the dignity of a township under the classic name of Lancaster,
than its founder bent all his energies towards those enterprises best
calculated to promote the comfort and prosperity of its then
inhabitants, and to attract by material advantages, a desirable and
permanent immigration. His practical eye had doubtless long before
marked the best site for a mill in all the region round about, and on
the slope, scarce a gun shot away, he set up a new home, afterwards well
known to friend and savage foe as Prescott's Garrison. Those who remain
of the generation familiar with this region before the invention of the
power loom made such towns as Clinton possible, remember the depression
that told where Prescott dug his cellar. The oldest water mill in New
England was scarce twenty years old when Prescott contracted to grind
the com of the Nashaway planters. His "Covenant to build a Corne mill"
has been preserved through a copy made by Ralph Houghton, Lancaster's
first Clerk of the Writs, and is as follows:

     "Know all men by these presents that I John Prescott blackssmith,
     hath Covenanted and bargained with Jno. ffounell of Charlestowne
     for the building of a Corne mill, within the said Towne of
     Lanchaster. This witnesseth that wee the Inhabitants of Lanchaster
     for his encouragement in so good a worke for the behoofe of our
     Towne, vpon condition that the said intended worke by him or his
     assignes be finished, do freely and fully giue, grant, enfeoffe, &
     confirme vnto the said John Prescott, thirty acres of intervale
     Land lying on the north riuer, lying north west of Henry Kerly, and
     ten acres of Land adjoyneing to the mill; and forty acres of Land
     on the south east of the mill brooke, lying between the mill brooke
     and Nashaway Riuer in such place as the said John Prescott shall
     choose with all the priuiledges and appurtenances thereto
     apperteyneing. To haue and to hold the said land and eurie parcell
     thereof to the said John Prescott his heyeres & assignes for euer,
     to his and their only propper vse and behoofe. Also wee do covenant
     & promise to lend the said John Prescott fiue pounds in current
     money one yeare for the buying of Irons for the mill. And also wee
     do covenant and grant to and with the said John Prescott his heyres
     and assignes that the said mill, with all the aboue named Land
     thereto apperteyneing shall be freed from all com'on charges for
     seauen yeares next ensueing, after the first finishing and setting
     the said mill to worke.

     In witnes whereof wee haue herevnto put our hands this 20th day of
     the 9mo. In the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred
     fifty and three.

                         THOMAS JAMES

     In six months from that date the mill was done, and Prescott "began
     to grind corne the 23d day of the 3 mo, 1654."

The commissioners, appointed by the General Court to oversee the
prudential management of the town, met at John Prescott's in 1657 and
confirmed "the imunityes provided for" in the above covenant specifying
that they "should continue and remayne to him the said Jno. Prescott his
heyres and assignes vntil the 23d of May, in the yeare of our Lord
sixteen hundred sixty and two."

The corn mill was located a little lower upon the brook than the
extensive factory buildings now utilizing its water power. The half used
force of the rapid stream, and the giant pines of the virgin forest then
shadowed all the region about, were full of reproach to the restless
miller. His busy brain was soon planning a new benefaction to his fellow
citizens, and when his means grew sufficiently to warrant the
enterprise, his busy hands wrought its consummation. As before, a formal
agreement preceded the work:

     "Know all men by these presents that for as much as the Inhabitants
     of Lanchaster, or the most part of them being gathered together on
     a trayneing day, the 15th of the 9th mo, 1658, a motion was made by
     Jno. Prescott blackesmith of the same towne, about the setting vp
     of a saw mill for the good of the Towne, and y't he the said Jno
     Prescott, would by the help of God set vp the saw mill, and to
     supply the said Inhabitants with boords and other sawne worke, as
     is afforded at other saw mills in the countrey. In case the Towne
     would giue, grant, and confirms vnto the said John Prescott, a
     certeine tract of Land, lying Eastward of his water mill, be it
     more or less, bounded by the riuer east, the mill west the stake of
     the mill land and the east end of a ledge of Iron Stone Rocks
     southards, and forty acres of his owne land north, the said land to
     be to him his heyres and assignes for euer, and all the said land
     and eurie part thereof to be rate free vntill it be improued, or
     any p't of it, and that his saws, & saw mill should be free from
     any rates by the Towne, therefore know ye that the ptyes abouesaid
     did mutually agree and consent each with other concerning the
     aforementioned propositions as followeth:

     The towne on their part did giue, grant & confirme, vnto the said
     John Prescott his heyres and assignes for euer, all the
     aforementioned tract of land butted & bounded as aforesaid, to be
     to him his heyres and asssignes for euer with all the priuiledges
     and appurtenances thereon, and therevnto belonging to be to his and
     their owne propper vse and behoofe as aforesaid, and the land and
     eurie part of it to be free from all rates vntil it or any pt of it
     be improued, and also his saw, sawes, and saw-mill to be free from
     all town rates, or ministers rates, prouided the aforementioned
     worke be finished & compleated as abouesaid for the good of the
     towne, in some convenient time after this present contract covenant
     and agrem't.

     And the said John Prescott did and doth by these prsents bynd
     himself, his heyres and assignes to set vp a saw-mill as aforesaid
     within the bounds of the aforesaid Towne, and to supply the Towne
     with boords and other sawne worke as aforesaid and truly and
     faithfully to performe, fullfill, & accomplish, all the
     aforementioned p'misses for the good of the Towne as aforesaid.

     Therefore the Selectmen conceiving this saw-mill to be of great vse
     to the Towne, and the after good of the place, Haue and do hereby
     act to rattifie and confirme all the aforemencconed acts,
     covenants, gifts, grants, & im'unityes, in respect of rates, and
     what euer is aforementioned, on their owne pt, and in behalfe of
     the Towne, and to the true performance hereof, both partyes haue
     and do bynd themselves by subscribing their hands, this
     twenty-fifth day of February, one thousand six hundred and fifty


     The worke above mencconed was finished according to this covenant
     as witnesseth.


     Signed & Delivr'd In presence of,


Monday, the seventeenth of February, 1659, "the Company granted him to
fall pines on the Com'ons to supply his saw-mill."

In April 1659, Ensign Noyes came to make accurate survey of the eighty
square miles granted to the town, and John Prescott was deputed by the
townsmen at their March meeting to aid in the survey and "mark the
bounds." Among his varied accomplishments, natural and acquired,
Prescott seems to have had some practical skill in surveying, the laying
out of highways and the construction of bridges. In 1648 John Winthrop
records: "This year a new way was found out to Connecticut by Nashua
which avoided much of the hilly way." As appears by a later petition
Prescott was the pioneer of this new path. In 1657 he was appointed by
the government a member of a committee upon the building of bridges "at
Billirriky and Misticke." In 1658 he with his son-in-law Jonas Fairbank
was appointed to survey a farm of six hundred and fifty acres for
Captain Richard Davenport, upon which farm the chief part of West
Boylston now stands.

To the General Court which met October 18, 1659, the following petition
was presented:

     "The humble petition of John Prescot of Lancaster humblye Sheweth,
     That whereas yr petitioner about nine or ten yeares since, was
     desired by the late hon'red Governour Mr. Winthrop, w'th other
     Magistrates, as also by Mr. Wilson of Boston, Mr. Shephard of
     Cambridge with many others, did lay & marke out a way at ye north
     side of the great pond & soe by Lancaster, which then was taken by
     Mr. Hopkins & many others to bee of great vse; This I did meerly
     vpon the request of these honored gentlemen, to my great detrimt,
     by being vpon it part of two summers not only myselfe but hiring
     others alsoe to helpe mee, whereby my family suffered much: I doe
     not question but many of ye Court remember the same, as alsoe that
     this hath not laine dead all this while, but I haue formerly
     mentioned it, but yet haue noe recompence for the same; the charge
     whereof came at 2's p day to about 10'l; it is therefore the desire
     of y'r petitioner yt you would bee pleased to grant him a farme in
     some place vndisposed of which will engage him to you and encourage
     him and others in publique occasions & y'r petitioner shall pray

One hundred acres of land were granted him, and speedily laid out near
the Washacum ponds, where now stand the railroad buildings at Sterling

We get very few glimpses of Prescott from the meagre records of
succeeding years, but those serve to indicate that he was busy,
prosperous and annually honored by his neighbors with the public duties
for which his sturdy integrity, shrewd business tact, and wisely
directed energy peculiarly fitted him. He had taken the oath of fidelity
in 1652. Such owning of allegiance was by law prerequisite to the
holding of real estate. Refusing such oath he might better have been a
Nipmuck so far as civil rights or privileges were concerned. He was not
yet a member of the recognized church however, and therefore lacked the
political dignities of a freeman; although his intimate relations with
Master Joseph Rowlandson, and his personal connection with the earlier
cases of church discipline in Lancaster, sufficiently attest the
austerity of his puritanism. Doubtless Governor John Winthrop in his
hasty and harsh dictum respecting the Nashaway planters, classed John
Prescott among those "corrupt in judgment." But it must be remembered
that in Winthrop's visionary commonwealth there was no room for liberty
of conscience. All were esteemed corrupt in judgment or even profane
whose religious beliefs, when tested all about by the ecclesiastic
callipers, proved not to have been cast in the doctrinal mould
prescribed by the self-sanctified founders of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony. No known fact in any way warrants even the conjecture that
Prescott was not a sincere Christian earnestly pursuing his own
convictions of duty, without fear and without reproach.

Prescott's mechanical skill and business ability had more than a local
reputation. In 1667, we find him contracting with the authorities of
Groton, to erect "a good and sufficient corne mill or mills, and the
same to finish so as may be fitting to grind the corne of the said
Towne." ... For the fulfillment of this agreement he received five
hundred and twenty acres of land, and mill and lands were exempted from
taxation for twenty years. Assistance towards the building of the mill
were also promised to the amount of "two days worke of a man for every
house lott or family within the limitts of the said Towne, and at such
time or times to be done or performed, as the said John Prescott shall
see meete to call for the same, vpon reasonable notice given." The
covenant was fulfilled by the completion of a mill at Nonacoiacus, then
in the southern part of Groton. The mill site is now in Harvard.
Prescott's youngest son, Jonas, was the first miller. The history of the
old mill is obscured by the shadows of two hundred years, but a bright
gleam of romantic tradition concerning the first miller is warm with
human interest now. Perhaps at points the romantic may infringe upon the
historic, but:

  _Se non e vero,
  E ben trovato._

Down by the green meadows of Sudbury there dwelt a bewitchingly fair
maiden, the musical dissyllables of whose name were often upon the lips
of the young men in all the country round about, and whose smile could
awaken voiceless poetry in the heart of the most prosaic Puritan swain.
There is little of aristocratic sound in Mary Loker's name, but her
parents sat on Sunday at the meeting house in a "dignified" pew, and
were rich in fields and cattle. Whether pushed by pride of land or pride
of birth, in their plans and aspirations, this daughter was
predestinated to enhance the family dignity by an aristocratic alliance.
In Colonial days a maiden who added a handsome prospective dowry to her
personal witchery was rare indeed, and Mary Loker had, coming from far
and near, inflammable suitors perpetually burning at her shrine. From
among these the father and mother soon made their choice upon strictly
business principles, and shortly announced to Mary that a certain
ambitious gentleman of the legal profession had furnished the most
satisfactory credentials, and that nothing remained but for her to name
the day. Now the fourth commandment was very far from being the dead
letter in 1670 that it is in 1885, and it was matter for grave surprise
to the elders that their usually obedient daughter, when the lawyer
proceeded to plead, refused to hear, and peremptorily adjourned his
cause without day. Maternal expostulation and paternal threats availed
nothing. The because of Mary's contumacy was not far to seek. A stalwart
Vulcan in the guise of an Antinous, known as Jonas Prescott, had
wandered from his father's forge in Lancaster down the Bay Path to
Sudbury. Mary and he had met, and the lingering of their parting boded
ill for any predestination not stamped with their joint seal of consent.
With that lack of astuteness proverbially exhibited by parents
disappointed in match-making designs upon their children, the vexed
father and mother began a course of vigorous repression, and thereby
riveted more firmly than ever the chains which the errant young
blacksmith and his apprentice Cupid had forged. In due time, they
perforce learned that love's flame burns the brighter fed upon a bread
and water diet; and that confinement to an attic may be quite endurable
when Cupid's messages fly in and out of its lattice at pleasure.

Finally Mary was secretly sent to an out-of-the-way neighborhood in the
vain hope that the chill of absence might hinder what home rule had only
served to help. But one day Jonas on a hunting excursion made the
acquaintance of some youth, who, among other chitchat, happened to break
into ecstatic praise of the graces of a certain fair damsel who had
recently come to live in a farm-house near their home. Of course the
anvil missed Jonas for the next day, and the next, and the next, while
he experienced the hospitalities of his new-found friends--and their
neighbors. It was time for a recognition of the inevitable by all
concerned, but when, and with what grace Mary's stubborn parents
yielded, if at all, is not recorded. But what mattered that? Old John
Prescott installed Jonas at the Nonacoicus Mill, and endowed him with
all his Groton lands, and in Lancaster, December 14, 1672, Jonas and
Mary were married. For over fifty years fortunes railed upon their
union. Four sons and eight daughters graced their fireside, and the
father was trusted and clothed with local dignities. In after time the
memory of Jonas and Mary has been honored by many worthy descendants,
and especially by the gallant services of Colonel William Prescott at
Bunker Hill, and the literary renown of William Hickling Prescott, the

In 1669, John Prescott was proclaimed a Freeman. He may have been long a
Church member, or may not even at this date have yielded the
conscientious scruples that had a quarter of a century earlier subjected
him to the reproach of an ecclesiastical oligarchy. The laws concerning
Freemen, in reluctant obedience to the letter of Charles II., were so
changed in 1665 that those not Church members could become Freemen, if
freeholders of a sufficient estate, and guaranteed by the local minister
"to be Orthodox and not vicious in their lives." Prescott had the true
Englishman's love of landed possessions, and about this time added a
large tract to his acreage by purchase from his Indian neighbors. This
transaction gave cause for the following petition:

     _To the honorable the Gov'r the Deputy Gov'r mag'tr & Deputy es
     assembled in the gen'rall Court_:

     The Petition of Jno Prescott of Lanchaster, In most humble wise
     sheweth. Whereas ye Petition'r hath purchased an Indian right to a
     small parcell of Land, occasioned and circumstanced for quantity &
     quality according to the deed of sale herevnto annexed and a pt.
     thereof not being legally setled vpon piee vnlesse I may obteyne
     the favor of this Court for the Confirmation thereof, These are
     humbly to request the Court's favor for that end, the Lord hauing
     dealt graciously with mee in giueing mee many children I account it
     my duty to endeauor their provission & setling and do hope that
     this may be of some vse in yt kind. I know not any claime made to
     the said land by any towne, or any legall right y't any other
     persons haue therein, and therefore are free for mee to occupy &
     subdue as any other, may I obteyne the Court's approbation. I shall
     not vse further motiues, my condition in other respecks & w't my
     trouble & expenses haue been according to my poor ability in my
     place being not altogether vnknowne to some of ye Court. That ye
     Lord's prsence may be with & his blessing accompany all yo'r psons,
     Counsells, & endeauors for his honor & ye weale of his poor people
     is ye pray'r of

     Yo'r supplliant


This request was referred to a special committee, composed of Edward
Tyng, George Corwin and Humphrey Davie, who reported as follows:

     "In Reference to this Petition the Comittee being well informed
     that the Pet'r is an ancient Planter and hath bin a vseful helpfull
     and publique spirited man doinge many good offices ffor the
     Country, Relatinge to the Road to Conecticott, marking trees,
     directinge of Passengers &c, and that the Land Petitioned for
     beinge but about 107 Acres & Lyinge not very Convenient for any
     other Plantation, and only accomoclable for the Pet'r, we judge it
     reasonable to Confirme the Indian Grant to him & his heyers if ye
     honored Court see meete."

This report was approved. James Wiser _alias_ Quanapaug, the Christian
Nashaway Chief, who appears as grantor of the land, was a warrior whose
bravery had been tested in the contest between the Nipmucks and the
Mohawks; and was so firm a friend of his white neighbors at Lancaster,
that when Philip persuaded the tribe with its Sagamore Sam, to go upon
the war path, James refused to join them. He even served as a spy and
betrayed Philip's plans to the English at imminent risk of his life,
doing his utmost to save Lancaster from destruction. General Daniel
Gookin acknowledged that Quanapaug's information would have averted the
horrible massacre of February 10, 1676, had it been duly heeded. The
fact of the friendly relations existing between Prescott and the tribe
whose fortified residence stood between the two Washacum ponds is
interesting and confirms tradition. It is related that at his first
coming he speedily won the respect of the savages, not only by his
fearlessness and great physical strength, but by the power of his eye
and his dignity of mien. They soon learned to stand in awe of his long
musket and unerring skill as a marksman. He had brought with him from
England a suit of mail, helmet and cuirass such as were worn by the
soldiers of Cromwell. Clothed with these, his stately figure seemed to
the sons of the forest something almost supernatural. One day some
Indians, having taken away a horse of his, he put on his armor, pursued
them alone, and soon overtook them. The chief of the party seeing him
approach unsupported, advanced menacingly with uplifted tomahawk.
Prescott dared him to strike, and was immediately taken at his word, but
the rude weapon glanced harmless from the helmet, to the amazement of
the red men. Naturally the Indian desired to try upon his own head so
wonderful a hat, and the owner obligingly gratified him claiming the
privilege, however, of using the tomahawk in return. The helmet proving
a scant fit, or its wearer neglecting to bring it down to its proper
bearings, Prescott's vengeful blow not only astounded him but left very
little cuticle on either side of his head, and nearly deprived him of
ears. Prescott was permitted to jog home in peace upon his horse.

After hostilities began, it is said that at one time the savages set
fire to his barn, but fled when he sallied out clad in armor with his
dreaded gun; and thus he was enabled to save his stock, though the
building was consumed. More than once attempts were made to destroy the
mill, but a sight of the man in mail with the far reaching gun was
enough to send them to a safe distance and rescue the property. Many
stories have been told of Prescott's prowess, but some bear so close a
resemblance to those credibly historic in other localities and of other
heroes, that there attaches to them some suspicions of adaptation at
least. Such perhaps is the story that in an assault upon the town "he
had several muskets but no one in the house save his wife to assist him.
She loaded the guns and he discharged them with fatal effect. The
contest continued for nearly half an hour, Mr. Prescott all the while
giving orders as if to soldiers, so loud that the Indians could hear
him, to load their muskets though he had no soldiers but his wife. At
length they withdrew carrying off several of their dead and wounded."

In 1673 Prescott had nearly attained the age of three score and ten. The
weight of years that had been full of exposure, anxiety and toil rested
heavily upon even his rugged frame, and some sharp touch of bodily
ailment warning him of his mortality, he made his will. It is signed
with "his mark," although he evidently tried to force his unwilling hand
to its accustomed work, his peculiar J being plainly written and
followed by characters meant for the remaining letters of his first
name. To earlier documents he was wont to affix a simple neat signature,
and although not a clerkly penman like his friends John Tinker, Master
Joseph Rowlandson and Ralph Houghton, his writing is superior to that of
Major Simon Willard.


     Theis presents witneseth that John Prescott of Lancaster in the
     Countie of Midlesex in New England Blaksmith being vnder the
     sencible decayes of nature and infirmities of old age and at
     present vnder a great deale of anguish and paine but of a good and
     sound memorie at the writing hereof being moved vpon considerations
     aforesaid togather with advis of Christian friends to set his house
     in order in Reference to the dispose of those outward good things
     the lord in mercie hath betrusted him with, theirfore the said John
     Prescott doth hereby declare his last will and testament to be as
     followeth, first and cheifly Comiting and Contending his soule to
     almightie god that gaue it him and his bodie to the comon burying
     place here in Lancaster, and after his bodie being orderly and
     decently buryed and the Charge theirof defrayed togather with all
     due debts discharged, the Rest of his Lands and estate to be
     disposed of as followeth: first in Reference to the Comfortable
     being of his louing wife during the time of her naturall Life, it
     is his will that his said wife haue that end of the house where he
     and shee now dwelleth togather with halfe the pasture and halfe the
     fruit of the aple trees and all the goods in the house, togather
     with two cowes which shee shall Chuse and medow sufisiant for
     wintering of them, out of the medowes where she shall Chuse, the
     said winter pvision for the two cowes to be equaly and seasonably
     pvided by his two sons John and Jonathan. And what this may fall
     short in Reference to convenient food and cloathing and other
     nesesaries for her comfort in sicknes and in health, to be equaly
     pvided by the aforesaid John and Jonathan out of the estate. And at
     the death of his aforesaid louing wife it is his will that the said
     cowes and household goods be equally deuided betwene his two sons
     aforesaid, and the other part of the dwelling house, out housing,
     pasture and orchard togather with the term acres of house lott
     lying on Georges hill which was purchased of daniell gains to be
     equaly deuided betwene the said John and Jonathan and alsoe that
     part of the house and outhousing what is Convenient for the two
     Cowes and their winter pvision pasture and orchard willed to his
     louing wife during her life, at her death to be equaly deuided
     alsoe betwene the said John and Jonathan. And furthermore it is his
     will that John Prescott his eldest son haue the Intervaile land at
     John's Jumpe, the lower Mille and the land belonging to it and
     halfe the saw mille and halfe the land belonging to it and all the
     house and barne theire erected, and alsoe the house and farme at
     Washacomb pond, and all the land their purchased from the indians
     and halfe the medowes in all deuisions in the towne acept sum litle
     part at bar hill wh. is after willed to James Sawyer and one halfe
     of the Comon Right in the towne, and in Reference to second
     deuision land, that part of it which lyeth at danforths farme both
     vpland and interuaile is willed to Jonathan and sixtie acres of
     that part at Washacom litle pond to James Sawyer and halfe of sum
     brushie land Capable of being made medow at the side of the great
     pine plain to be within the said James Sawyers sixtie acres and all
     the Rest of the second deuision land both vpland and Interuaile to
     be equaly deuided betwene John Prescott and Jonathan aformentioned.
     And Jonathan Prescott his second son to haue the Ryefeild and all
     the interuaile lott at Nashaway Riuer that part which he hath in
     posesion and the other part joyneing to the highway and alsoe his
     part of second deuision land aforementioned and alsoe one halfe of
     all the medowes in all deuisions in the towne not willed to John
     Prescott and James Sawyer aformentioned, and alsoe the other halfe
     of the saw mille and land belonging to it, and it is to be
     vnderstood that all timber on the land belonging to both Corne
     Mille and Saw Mille be Comon to the vse of the Saw Mille. And in
     Reference to his third son Jonas Prescott it is herby declared that
     he hath Received a full childs portion at nonecoicus in a Corne
     mille and Lands and other goods. And James Sawyer his granchild and
     Servant it is his will that he haue the sixtie acres of vpland
     aformentioned and the two peices of medow at bare hill one being
     part of his second deuision the upermost peic on the brook and the
     other being part of his third deuision lying vpon Nashaway River
     purchased of goodman Allin. Prouided the Said James Sawyer carie it
     beter then he did to his said granfather in his time and carie so
     as becoms an aprentic & vntil he be one and twentie years of age
     vnto the executors of this will namly John Prescott and Jonathan
     Prescott who are alsoe herby engaged to pforme vnto the said James
     what was pmised by his said granfather, which was to endeuor to
     learne him the art and trade of a blaksmith. And in Case the said
     James doe not pforme on his part as is afor expresed to the
     satisfaction of the overseers of this will, or otherwise, If he doe
     not acept of the land aformentioned, then the said land and medow
     to be equaly deuided betwene the aforsaid John and Jonathan. And in
     Reference to his three daughters, namly Marie, Sara and Lydia they
     to haue and Receive eurie of them fiue pounds to be paid to them by
     the executors to eurie of them fiftie shillings by the yeare two
     years after the death of theire father to be paid out of the
     mouables and Martha Ruge his granchild to haue a cow at the choic
     of her granmother. And it is the express will and charge of the
     testator to his wife and all his Children that they labor and
     endeuor to prescrue loue and unitie among themselves and the
     vpholding of Church and Comonwealth. And to the end that this his
     last will and testament may be truly pformed in all the parts of
     it, the said testator hath and herby doth constitut and apoynt his
     two sons namly John Prescott and Jonathan Prescott Joynt executors
     of this his last will. And for the preuention of after trouble
     among those that suruiue about the dispose of the estate acording
     to this his will he hath hereby Chosen desired and apoynted the
     Reuerend Mr. Joseph Rowlandson, deacon Sumner and Ralph Houghton
     overseers of this his will; vnto whom all the parties concerned in
     this his will in all dificult Cases are to Repaire, and that
     nothing be done without their Consent and aprobation. And
     furthermore in Reference to the mouables it is his will that his
     son John have his anvill and after the debts and legacies
     aformentioned be truly paid and fully discharged by the executors
     and the speciall trust pformed vnto my wife during her life and at
     her death, in Respect of, sicknes funerall expences, the Remainder
     of the movables to be equaly deuided betwene my two sons John and
     Jonathan aforementioned. And for a further and fuller declaration
     and confirmation of this will to be the last will and testament of
     the afornamed John Prescott he hath herevnto put his hand and
     seale this 8 of 2 month one thousand six hundred seaventie three.


     his _John_ mark.

     Sealed signed owned to be the Last will and testament of the
     testator afornamed In the presence of


     April 4: 82.

     ROGER SUMNER,   }
     RALPH HOUGHTON, } Appearing in Court
     made oath to the above s'd will,


But John Prescott's pilgrimage was far from ended, and severer
chastenings than any yet experienced awaited him. He had survived to see
the settlement that called him father, struggle upward from discouraging
beginnings, to become a thriving and happy community of over fifty
families. Where at his coming all had been pathless woods, now fenced
fields and orchards yielded annually their golden and ruddy harvests;
gardens bloomed; mechanic's plied their various crafts; herds wandered
in lush meadows; bridges spanned the rivers, and roads wound through the
landscape from cottage to cottage and away to neighboring towns. All
this fair scene of industry and rural content, of which he might in
modest truth say "_Magna pars fui_," he lived to see in a single day
made more desolate than the howling wilderness from which it had been
laboriously conquered. He was spared to see dear neighbors and kindred
massacred in every method of revolting atrocity, and their wives and
children carried into loathsome captivity by foes more relentlessly
cruel than wolves. When now weighed down with age and bodily
infirmities, the rest he had thought won was to be denied him, and he
and his were driven from the ashes of pleasant homes--about which
clustered the memories of thirty years' joys and sorrows--to beg shelter
from the charity of strangers. For more than three years his enforced
banishment endured. In October 1679, John Prescott with his sons John
and Jonathan, his sons-in-law Thomas Sawyer and John Rugg, his grand-son
Thomas Sawyer, Jr. and his neighbor's John Moore, Thomas Wilder, and
Josiah White, petitioned the Middlesex Court for permission to resettle
the town, and their prayer was granted. Soon most of the inhabitants who
had survived the massacre and exile, were busily building new homes,
some upon the cinders of the old, others upon their second division
lands east of the rivers where they were less exposed to the stealthy
incursions of their savage enemies. The two John Prescotts rebuilt the
mills and dwelt there. Whether the pioneer's life long helpmate died
before their settlement, in exile, or shortly after the return, has not
been ascertained, but it would seem that he survived her. Jonathan
having married a second wife remained in Concord. For two years the old
man lived with his eldest son, seeing the Nashaway Valley blooming with
the fruits of civilized labor; seeing new families filling the woeful
gaps made in the old by Philip's warriors; seeing children and
grandchildren grasping the implements that had fallen from the nerveless
hold of the earliest bread-winners, with hopeful and pertinacious
purpose to extend the paternal domain; seeing too, may we not trust,
from the Pisgah height of prophetic vision the glorious promise awaiting
this his Canaan; these softly rounded hills and broad valleys dotted
with the winsome homes of thousands of freemen; churches and schools,
shops of artisans, and busy marts of trade clustered about his mill
site; and, above all, seeing the assertion of political freedom and
liberty of conscience which Governor John Winthrop had reproached him
for favoring in the petition of Robert Child, become the corner stone of
a giant republic.

No record of John Prescott's death is found; but when upon his death
bed, feeling that the changed condition of his own and his son
Jonathan's affairs required some modification of the will made in 1673,
he summoned two of his townsmen to hear his nuncupative codicil to that
document. From the affidavit, here appended, it is certain that his
death occurred about the middle of December, 1681.

     "The Deposition of Thos: Wilder aged 37 years sworn say'th that
     being with Jno: Prescott Sen'r About six hours before he died he ye
     s'd Jno. Prescott gaue to his eldest sonn Jno: Presscott his house
     lott with all belonging to ye same & ye two mills, corn mill & saw
     mill with ye land belonging thereto & three scor Acors of land nere
     South medow and fourty Acors of land nere Wonchesix & a pece of
     enteruile caled Johns Jump & Bridge medow on both sids ye Brook.
     Cyprian Steevens Testifieth to all ye truth Aboue writen.

     DECEM. 20. 81.

     Sworn in Court. J.R.C."

Though two or more years short of fourscore at the time of his death he
was Lancaster's oldest inhabitant. His fellow pioneer, Lawrence Waters,
who was the elder by perhaps a years, till survived, though blind and
helpless; but he dwelt with a son in Charlestown, after the destruction
of his home, and never returned to Lancaster. John and Ralph Houghton,
much younger men, were now the veterans of the town.

       *       *       *       *       *



  We met but once; 'twas many years ago.
      I walked, with others, idly through the grounds
    Where thou did'st minister in daily rounds.
  I knew thee by thy garb, all I might know,
  Sister of Charity, in hood like snow.
    My heart was weary with the sight and sounds
  Of sick and suffering soldiers in the wards below.
    Disgusted with my thoughts of war and wounds.
  'Twas then, by sudden chance, I met thine eyes,
    What saw I there? A light from heaven above,
    A gleam of calm, self-sacrificing love,
  A smile that fill'd my heart with glad surprise,
    Reflected in my breast an answering glow,
    And haunts me still, wherever I may go.

       *       *       *       *       *



The singular collection of islands known as the Bermudas are situated
about seven hundred miles from Boston, in a southeast direction, and
about the same distance from Halifax, or Florida. The nearest land to
Bermuda is Cape Hatteras, distant 625 miles.

Within sixty-five hours' sail from New York it is hardly possible to
find so complete a change in government, climate, scenery and
vegetation, as Bermuda offers; and yet these islands are strangely
unfamiliar to most well-informed Americans.

Speaking our own language, having the same origin, with manners, which
in many ways illustrate those prevalent in New England a century ago,
the people are bound to us by many natural ties; and it is only now that
these islands, having come to the front as a winter resort, have led us
to inquire into their history and resources. Settled in 1612, Virginia
only of the English colonies outdating it, life in Bermuda has been as
placid as its lovely waters on a summer day; no agitation of sufficient
occurrence having occurred to attract the attention of the outside
world, from which it is so absolutely isolated.

The only communication with the mainland is by the Quebec Steamship
Company, who dispatch a steamer every alternate Thursday between New
York and Hamilton, Bermuda, the fare for the round trip, including meals
and stateroom, is fifty dollars. During the crop season, in the months
of April, May and June, steamers are run weekly.

The Cunard Company also have a monthly service between Halifax, Bermuda,
Turks Island and Jamaica, under contract with the Admiralty.

The Bermudas were first discovered in 1515 by a Spanish vessel, called
La Garza, on a voyage from Spain to Cuba, with a cargo of hogs, and
commanded by Juan Bermudez, and having on board Gonzalez Oviedo, the
historian of the Indies, to whom we are indebted for the first account
of these islands. They approached near to the islands, and from the
appearance of the place concluded that it was uninhabited. They resolved
to send a boat ashore to make observations, and leave a few hogs, which
might breed and be afterwards useful. When, however, they were preparing
to debark a strong contrary gale arose, which obliged them to sheer off
and be content with the view already obtained. The islands were named by
the Spaniards indifferently, La Garza from the ship and Bermuda from the
captain, but the former term is long since disused.


It does not appear that the Spaniards made any attempt to settle there,
although Philip II. granted the islands to one Ferdinand Camelo, a
Portuguese, who never improved his gift, beyond taking possession by the
form of landing in 1543, and carving on a prominent cliff on the
southern shore of the island[A] the initials of his name and the year,
to which, in conformity with the practical zeal of the times, he
super-added a cross, to protect his acquisition from the encroachments
of roving heretics and the devil, for the stormy seas and dangerous
reefs gave rise to so many disasters as to render the group exceedingly
formidable in the eyes of the most experienced navigators. It was even
invested in their imagination with superstitious terrors, being
considered as unapproachable by man, and given up in full dominion to
the spirits of darkness. The Spaniards therefore called them "Los
Diabolos," the Devil's Islands.

[Footnote A: This inscription is still in existence, the engraving shown
herewith is a good representation of it, as it appears at the present

[Illustration: Fac-simile reproduction of a Map of Bermuda made in 1614
by Captain John Smith.]

[Illustration: View of the State House and reference as to location of
the fort, bridges, etc., shown herewith on Smith's map of 1614.
(Fac-simile reproduction.)]

These islands were first introduced to the notice of the English by a
dreadful shipwreck. In 1591 Henry May sailed to the East Indies, along
with Captain Lancaster, on a buccaneering expedition. Having reached the
coast of Sumatra and Malacca, they scoured the adjacent seas, and made
some valuable captures. In 1593 they again doubled the Cape of Good Hope
and returned to the West Indies for supplies, which they much needed.
They first came in sight of Trinidad, but did not dare to approach a
coast which was in possession of the Spaniards, and their distress
became so great that it was with the utmost difficulty that the men
could be prevented from leaving the ship. They shortly afterwards fell
in with a French buccaneer, commanded by La Barbotiere, who kindly
relieved their wants by a gift of bread and provisions. Their stores
were soon again exhausted, and, coming across the French ship the second
time, application was made to the French Captain for more supplies, but
he declared that his own stock was so much reduced that he could spare
but little, but the sailors persuaded themselves that the Frenchman's
scarcity was feigned, and also that May, who conducted the negotiations,
was regailing himself with good cheer on board without any trouble about
their distress. Among these men, inured to bold and desperate deeds, a
company was formed to seize the French pinnace, and then to capture the
large vessel with its aid. They succeeded in their first object, but the
French Captain, who observed their actions, sailed away at full speed,
and May, who was dining with him on board at the time, requested that he
might stay and return home on the vessel so that he could inform his
employers of the events of the voyage and the unruly behavior of the
crew. As they approached Bermuda strict watch was kept while they
supposed themselves to be near that dreaded spot, but when the pilot
declared that they were twelve leagues south of it they threw aside all
care and gave themselves up to carousing. Amid their jollity, about
midnight, the ship struck with such violence that she immediately filled
and sank. They had only a small boat, to which they attached a
hastily-constructed raft to be towed along with it; room, however, was
made for only twenty-six, while the crew exceeded fifty. In the wild and
desperate struggle for existence that ensued May fortunately got into
the boat. They had to beat about nearly all the next day, dragging the
raft after them, and it was almost dark before they reached the shore;
they were tormented with thirst, and had nearly despaired of finding a
drop of water when some was discovered in a rock where the rain waters
had collected.

[Illustration: St. George's and Warwick Fort in 1614. (Fac-simile of
Smith's engraving.)]

The land was covered with one unbroken forest of cedar. Here they would
have to remain for life unless a vessel could be constructed. They made
a voyage to the wreck and secured the shrouds, tackles and carpenters'
tools, and then began to cut down the cedars, with which they
constructed a vessel of eighteen tons. For pitch they took lime,
rendered adhesive by a mixture of turtle oil, and forced it into the
seams, where it became hard as stone.

During a residence of five months here May had observed that Bermuda,
hitherto supposed to be a single island, was broken up into a number of
islands of different sizes, enclosing many fine bays, and forming good
harbors. The vessel being finished they set sail for Newfoundland,
expecting to meet fishing vessels there, on which they could obtain
passage to Europe. On the eleventh of May they found themselves with joy
clear of the islands. They had a very favorable voyage, and on the
twentieth arrived at Cape Breton. May arrived in England in August,
1594, where he gave a description of the islands; he stated that they
found hogs running wild all over the islands, which proves that this was
not the first landing made there.

It was owing to a shipwreck that Bermuda again came under the view of
the English, and that led England to appropriate these islands.

In 1609, during the most active period of the colonization of Virginia,
an expedition of nine ships, commanded by Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George
Somers and Captain Newport, bound for Virginia, was dispersed by a great
storm. One of the vessels, the Sea Adventure, in which were Gates,
Somers and Newport, seems to have been involved in the thickest of the
tempest. The vessel sprung aleak, which it was found impossible to stop.
All hands labored at the pumps for life, even the Governor and Admiral
took their turns, and gentlemen who had never had an hour's hard work in
their life toiled with the rest. The water continued to gain on them,
and when about to give up in despair, Sir George Somers, who had been
watching at the poop deck day and night, cried out land, and there in
the early dawn of morning could be seen the welcome sight of land.
Fortunately they lighted on the only secure entrance through the reefs.
The vessel was run ashore and wedged between two rocks, and thereby was
preserved from sinking, till by means of a boat and skiff the whole crew
of one hundred and fifty, with provisions, tackle and stores, reached
the land. At that time the hogs still abounded, and these, with the
turtle, birds and fish which they caught, afforded excellent food for
the castaways. The Isle of Devils Sir George Somers and party found "the
richest, healthfulest and pleasantest" they ever saw.

Robert Walsingham and Henry Shelly discovered two bays abounding in
excellent fish; these bays are still called by their names. Gates and
Somers caused the long boat to be decked over, and sent Raven, the mate,
with eight men, to Virginia to bring assistance to them, but nothing was
ever heard of them afterwards, and after waiting six months all hopes
were then given up. The chiefs of the expedition then determined to
build two vessels of cedar, one of eighty tons and one of thirty. Their
utmost exertions, however, did not prevent disturbances, which nearly
baffled the enterprise. These were fomented by persons noted for their
religious zeal, of Puritan principles and the accompanying spirit of
independence. They represented that the recent disaster had dissolved
the authority of the Governor, and their business was now to provide, as
they best could, for themselves and their families. They had come out in
search of an easy and plentiful subsistence, which could nowhere be
found in greater perfection and security than here, while in Virginia
its attainment was not only doubtful, but attended with many hardships.
These arguments were so convincing with the larger number of the men
that, had it rested with them, they would have lived and died on the

[Illustration: Entrance to St. George Harbor, between Smith's and
Paget's Islands. (Fac-simile re-production of Smith's engraving. 1614.)]

Two successive conspiracies were formed by large parties to separate
from the rest and form a colony. Both were defeated by the vigilance of
Gates, who allowed the ringleaders to escape with a slight punishment.
This lenity only emboldened the malcontents, and a third plot was formed
to seize the stores and take entire possession of the islands. It was
determined to make an example of one of the leaders named Payne; He was
condemned to be hanged, but, on the plea of being a gentleman, his
sentence was commuted into that of being shot, which was immediately
done. This had a salutary effect, and prevented any further trouble.

[Illustration: View of ancient forts. (Re-produced from Smith's
engraving, 1614)]

Two children, a boy and girl, were born during this period; the former
was christened Bermudas and the latter Bermuda; they were probably the
first human beings born on these islands.

Before leaving the islands Gates caused a cross to be made of the wood
saved from the wreck of his ship, which he secured to a large cedar; a
silver coin with the king's head was placed in the middle of it,
together with an inscription on a copper plate describing what had
happened--That the cross was the remains of a ship of three hundred
tons, called the Sea Venture, bound with eight more to Virginia; that
she contained two knights, Sir Thomas Gates, governor of the colony, and
Sir George Summers, admiral of the seas, who, together with her captain,
Christopher Newport, and one hundred and fifty mariners and passengers
besides, had got safe ashore, when she was lost, July 28, 1609.

On the tenth of May, 1610, they sailed with a fair wind, and, before
reaching the open sea, they struck on a rock and were nearly wrecked the
second time. On the twenty-third they arrived safely at Jamestown. This
settlement they found in a most destitute condition on their arrival,
and it was determined to abandon the place, but Sir George Summers,
"whose noble mind ever regarded the general good more than his own
ends," offered to undertake a voyage to the Bermudas for the purpose of
forming a settlement, from which supplies might be obtained for the
Jamestown colony. He accordingly sailed June 19, in his cedar vessel,
and his name was then given to the islands, though Bermuda has since

[Illustration: Entrance to Castle Harbor, between Castle and
Southhampton Islands. (Fac-simile re-production of Smith's engraving,

Contrary winds and storms carried him to the northward, to the vicinity
of Cape Cod. Somers persevered and reached the islands, but age, anxiety
and exertion contributed to produce his end. Perceiving the approach of
death he exhorted his companions to continue their exertions for the
benefit of the plantations, and to return to Virginia. Alarmed at the
untimely fate of their leader, the colonists embalmed his body, and
disregarding his dying injunction, sailed for England. Three only of the
men volunteered to remain, and for some time after their companions left
they continued to cultivate the soil, but unfortunately they found some
ambergris, and they fell into innumerable quarrels respecting its
possession. They at length resolved to build a boat and sail for
Newfoundland with their prize, but, happily for them, they were
prevented by the arrival of a ship from Europe. An extraordinary
interest was excited in England by the relation of Captain Mathew
Somers, the nephew and heir of Sir George. The usual exaggerations were
published, and public impressions were heightened by contrast with the
dark ideas formerly prevalent concerning these islands. A charter was
obtained of King James I., and one hundred and twenty gentlemen detached
themselves from the Virginia company and formed a company under the name
and style of the Governor and Company of the City of London, for the
plantation of the Somer Islands.

On the twenty-eighth of April, 1612, the first ship was sent out with
sixty emigrants, under the charge of Richard Moore, who was appointed
the Governor of the colony. They met the boat containing the three men
left on the island, who were overjoyed at seeing the ship, and conducted
her into the harbor. It was not long before intelligence of the
discovery of the ambergris reached the Governor; he promptly deprived
the three men of it. One of them named Chard, who denied all knowledge
of it, and caused considerable disturbance, which at one time seemed
likely to result in a sanguinary encounter, was condemned to be hanged,
and was only reprieved when on the ladder.

The Governor now applied himself actively to his duties. He had
originally landed on Smith's Island, but he soon removed to the spot
where St. George's now stands, and built the town which was named after
Sir George Somers, and which became, and remained for two centuries, the
capital of Bermuda. He laid the foundation of eight or nine forts for
the defence of the harbor, and also trained the men to arms in order
that they might defend the infant colony from attack. This proved
necessary, for, in 1614, two Spanish ships attempted to enter the
harbor; the forts were promptly manned and two shots fired at the enemy,
who, finding them better prepared than they imagined, bore away.

Before the close of 1615 six vessels had arrived with three hundred and
forty passengers, among whom were a Marshall and one Bartlett, who were
sent out expressly to divide the colony into tribes or shares; but the
Governor finding no mention of any shares for himself, and the persons
with him, as had been agreed on, forbade his proceeding with his survey.
The survey was afterward made by Richard Norwood, which divided the land
into tribes, now parishes; these shares form, the foundation of the land
tenure of the islands, even to this day, the divisional lines in many
cases yet remaining intact. Moore, whose time had expired, went back to
England in 1615, leaving the administration of the government to six
persons, who were to rule, each in turn, one month. They proceeded to
elect by lot their first ruler, the choice falling upon Charles
Caldicot, who then went, with a crew of thirty-two men, in a vessel to
the West Indies for the purpose of procuring plants, goats and young
cattle for the islands. The vessel was wrecked there, and the crew were
indebted to an English pirate for being rescued from a desert island on
which they had been cast.

For a time the colony was torn by contention and discord, as well as by
scarcity of food. The news of these dissensions having reached England
the company sent out Daniel Tucker as Governor. Tucker was a stern, hard
master, and he enforced vigorous measures to compel the people to work
for the company. The provisions and stores he issued in certain
quantities, and paid each laborer a stated sum in brass coin, struck by
the proprietor for the purpose, having a hog on one side, in
commemoration of the abundance of those animals found by the first
settlers, and on the reverse a ship. Pieces of this curious hog money,
as it is called, is frequently found, and it brings a high price.

[Illustration: HOG MONEY.]

Shortly after Governor Tucker arrived he sent to the West Indies for
plants and fruit trees. The vessel returned with figs, pine-apples,
sugar-cane, plantain and paw-paw, which were all planted and rapidly
multiplied. This vessel also brought the first slaves into the colony,
an Indaian and a negro.

The company dispatched a small bark, called the Hopewell, with supplies
for the colony, under the command of Captain Powell. On his way he met a
Portuguese vessel homeward bound from Brazil, with a cargo of sugar,
and, as Smith adds, "liked the sugar and passengers so well" he made a
prize of her. Fearing to face Governor Tucker after this piratical act
he directed his course to the West Indies. On his arrival there he met a
French pirate, who pretended to have a warm regard for him, and invited
him, with his officers, to an entertainment. Suspecting nothing he
accepted the invitation, but no sooner had they been well seated at the
table than they were all seized and threated with instant death, unless
they surrendered their prize. This Powell was, of course, compelled to
do, and finding his provisions failing him he put the Portuguese crew on
shore and sailed for Bermuda, where he managed to excuse himself to the
Governor. Powell again went to the West Indies pirating, and in May he
arrived with three prizes, laden with meal, hides, and ammunition.
Tucker received him kindly and treated him with consideration, until he
had the goods in his own possession, when he reproached the Captain with
his piratical conduct and called him to account for his proceedings. The
unlucky buccaneer was, in the end, glad to escape to England, leaving
his prizes in the hands of the Governor.

The discipline and hard labor required of the people reduced them to a
condition but little better than that of slaves, and caused many to make
desperate efforts to escape from the islands. Five persons, neither of
whom were sailors, built a fishing boat for the Governor, and when
completed they borrowed a compass from their preacher, for whom they
left a farewell epistle. In this they reminded him how often he had
exhorted them to patience under ill-treatment, and had told them how
Providence would pay them, if man did not. They trusted, therefore, that
he would now practice what he had so often preached.

[Illustration: Reproduction of Smith's engraving, 1614, showing his coat
of arms with the three Turk heads.]

These brave men endured great hardships in their boat of three tons
during their rash voyage; but at the end of about forty-two days they
arrived at Ireland, where their exploit was considered so wonderful that
the Earl of Thomond caused them to be received and entertained, and hung
up their boat as a monument of this extraordinary voyage. The Governor
was greatly exasperated at their escape, and threatened to hang the
whole of them if they returned.

Another party of three, one of whom was a lady, attempted in a like
manner to reach Virginia, but were never afterwards heard of. Six others
were discovered before they effected their departure, and one was
executed. John Wood, who was found guilty of speaking "many distasteful
and mutinous speeches against the Governor," was also condemned and

As there were at that time only about five hundred inhabitants on these
islands, it would appear from Captain Smith's History that Tucker hanged
a good percentage of them. Many were the complaints that were forwarded
to England concerning the tyrannical government of Tucker, and he,
fearing to be recalled, at last returned to England of his own accord,
having appointed a person named Kendall as his deputy.

Kendall was disposed to be attentive to his office, but wanted energy,
and the company took an early opportunity to relieve him; this was not
very agreeable to the people, but they did not offer any resistance.

Governor Butler arrived with four ships and five hundred men on the
twentieth of October, 1619, which raised the number of the colonists to
1000, and at his departure three years later, it had increased to 1500.

On the first of August, 1620, in conformity with instructions sent out
by the company, the Governor summoned the first general assembly at St.
George's for the dispatch of public business. It consisted of the
Governor, Council, Bailiffs, Burgesses, Secretary, and Clerk. It appears
that they all sat in one house, which was probably the "State House"
shown on Smith's engraving. Most of the Acts passed on this occasion
were creditable to the new legislators.

Governor Butler, as Moore had done before him, turned his chief
attention to the building of forts and magazines; he also finished the
cedar Church at St. George's, and caused the assembly to pass an Act for
the building of three bridges, and then initiated the useful project of
connecting together the principal islands. When Governor Butler returned
to England he left the islands in a greatly improved condition. But in
his time, also, there were such frequent mutinies and discontent, that
at last "he longed for deliverance from his thankless and troublesome
employment." It was probably during Governor Butler's administration
that Captain[A] John Smith had a map and illustrations of the "Summer
Ils" made, for in it we find the three bridges, numerous
well-constructed forts, and the State House at St. George's. The map and
illustrations were published in "Smith's General Historic of Virginia,
New England and the Summer Ils" 1624; they are of the greatest value and
importance, as they show accurately the class of buildings and forts
erected on these islands at that early period; such details even are
entered into as the showing of the stocks in the market place of St.
George's, and the architecture and the substantial manner in which the
buildings were constructed is remarkable, especially so when it is
considered that previous to 1620 the Puritans had not settled at
Plymouth, and it was ten years from that date before the settlement of
Boston: in fact, with the exception of Jamestown in Virginia, the
English had not secured a foot-hold in North America at the time these
buildings and forts were constructed. There are very few copies of this
rare print in existence, even in Smith's history it is usually found
wanting, and it was only after considerable trouble and expense that the
writer succeeded in obtaining a reproduction of it.

[Footnote A: Captain John Smith was never in Bermuda. He derived all his
information from his opportunities as a member of the Virginia Company,
and from correspondence or personal narratives of returned planters.
This was his habitual way, as is shown by the number of authorities that
he quotes. He probably obtained the sketches, from which these
illustrations were made, from Richard Norwood, the schoolmaster.]

The early history of Bermuda is in many important points similar to that
of New England. Like motives had in most instances induced emigration,
and the distinguished characteristics of those people were repeated

Like the Salem and Boston colonists they had their witchcraft delusions,
anticipating that, however, some twenty years, Christian North was
tried for it in 1668, but was acquited. Somewhat later a negro woman,
Sarah Basset, was burned at Paget for the same offence. The Quakers were
persecuted by fines, imprisonment, and banishment, by the stem and
dark-souled Puritans, who had emigrated to this place to escape
oppression, and to enjoy religious toleration, but were not willing to
grant to others who differed from them in their religious belief the
same privileges as they themselves enjoyed.

The company discovered by degrees that the Bermudas were not the
Eldorado which they had fondly imagined them to be. The colonists were
now numerous, and every day showed a strong disposition to break away
from the control of the company. The company had issued an order
forbidding the inhabitants to receive any ships but such as were
commissioned by them. The company complained against the quality of
tobacco shipped to London, as well as the quantity.

The people were forbidden to cut cedar without a special license, and as
they were in the habit of exporting oranges in chests made of this wood,
the regulation operated very materially to the injury of the place.
Previous to this order many homeward-bound West Indiamen arrived at
Castle Harbor to load with this fruit for the English market. Whaling
was claimed as an exclusive privilege, and was conducted for the sole
benefit of the proprietors. Numerous attempts were made to boil sugar,
but the company directed the Governor to prevent it, as it would require
too much wood for fuel.

In consequence of instructions from England Governor Turner called upon
all the inhabitants of the islands to take the oath of supremacy and
allegiance to his majesty, but as the Puritans had left their native
country on account of their republican sentiments, they refused to
comply, and the prisons were soon filled to overflowing.

The rapid change of affairs in England during the civil war, in which
the Puritans were victorious, and Cromwell was elevated to the
Protectorship, opened the doors of the prisons, and stopped all further
persecutions, both political and religious.

It must be said in favor of the company that they had, at an early
period, established schools throughout the colony, and appropriated
lands in most of the tribes or parishes, for the maintainance of the

From 1630 to 1680 many negro and Indian slaves were brought to the
colony; the negroes from Africa and the West Indies, and a large number
of Indians from Massachusetts, prisoners taken in the Pequot and King
Philip's wars. The traces of their Indian ancestry can readily be seen
in many of the colored people of these islands at the present time.

In October, 1661, the Protestant inhabitants were alarmed by rumors of a
proposed combination between the negroes and the Irish. The plan was to
arm themselves and massacre the whites who were not Catholics.
Fortunately the plot was discovered in time, and measures adopted to
disarm the slaves and the disaffected.

The proprietary form of government continued until 1685, with a long
succession of good, bad, and indifferent Governors.

Many acts of piracy were perpetrated at different times by the
inhabitants of these islands. In 1665 Captain John Wentworth made a
descent upon the island of Tortola and brought off about ninety slaves,
the property of the Governor of the place. Governor Seymour received a
letter from him in which he stated that "upon the ninth day of July
there came hither against me a pirate or sea robber, named John
Wentworth, the which over-run my lands, and that against the will of
mine owne inhabits, and shewed himself a tyrant, in robbing and firing,
and took my negroes from my Isle, belonging to no man but myself. And
likewise I doe understand that this said John Wentworth, a sea robber,
is an indweller with you, soe I desire that you would punish this rogue,
according to your good law. I desire you, soe soon as you have this
truth of mine, if you don't of yourself, restore all my negroes againe,
whereof I shall stay here three months, and in default of this, soe be
assured, that wee shall speake together very shortly, and then I shall
be my owne judge."

This threatening letter caused great consternation, and immediately
steps were taken to place the colony in the best posture for defence,
reliance being had on the impregnability of the islands, instead of
delivering up the plunder, especially as Captain Wentworth held a
commission from the Governor and Council, and acted under their

Isaac Richier, who became Governor of the colony in 1691, was another
celebrated freebooter. The account of his reign reads like a romance.
The love of gold, and the determination to possess it, was the one idea
of his statesmanship. He was a pirate at sea and a brigand on land.
Nevertheless, it does not appear that any of his misdeeds, such as
hanging innocent people, and robbing British ships, as well as others,
led to his recall, or caused any degree of indignation which such
conduct usually arouses. The fact appears to be that, although Governor
Richier was a bold, bad man, yet few of his subjects were entitled to
throw the first stone at his excellency.

Benjamin Bennett became Governor of the colony in 1701. At this time the
Bahama Islands had become a rendezvous for pirates, and a few years
later, King George the First issued a proclamation for their
dislodgment. Governor Bennett accordingly dispatched a sloop, ordering
the marauders to surrender. Those who were on shore on his arrival
gladly accepted the opportunity to escape, and declared that they did
not doubt but that their companions who were at sea would follow their
example. Captain Henry Jennings and fifteen others sailed for Bermuda,
and were soon followed by four other Captains--Leslie, Nichols,
Hornigold, and Burges, with one hundred men, who all surrendered.

In 1710 the Spaniards made a descent on Turk's Island, which had been
settled by the Bermudians for the purpose of gathering salt, and took
possession of the island, making prisoners of the people. The
Bermudians, at their own expense and own accord, dispatched a force
under Captain Lewis Middleton to regain possession of the Bahama Cays.
The expedition was successful, and a victory gained over the Spaniards,
and they were driven from the islands; they still, however, continued to
make predatory attacks on the salt-rakers at the ponds, and on the
vessels going for and carrying away salt. To repel these aggressions and
afford security to their trade, the Bermudians went to the expense of
arming their vessels.

In 1775 the discontent in the American provinces had broken out into
open opposition to the crown, and the people were forbidden to trade
with their late fellow subjects. Bermuda suffered great want in
consequence, for at this period, instead of exporting provisions the
island had become dependent on the continent for the means of
subsistence. This, together with the fact that many of the people
possessed near relatives engaged in the struggle with the crown, tended
to destroy good feelings towards the British government. These
circumstances must be considered in order to judge fairly of the
following transaction, which has always been regarded to have cast a
stain upon the patriotism and loyalty of the Bermudians.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, two battles were fought in
the vicinity of Boston--Lexington and Bunker Hill, after which all
intercourse with the surrounding country ceased, and Boston was reduced
to a state of siege. Civil war commenced in all its horrors; the
sundering of social ties; the burning of peaceful homes; the butchery of
kindred and friends.

Washington was appointed by the Continental Congress, Commander-in-Chief
of the American forces, and on July 3, 1775, two weeks after the battle
of Bunker Hill, he took formal command of the army at Cambridge. In a
letter to the President of Congress notifying him of his safe arrival
there, he made the following statement. "Upon the article of ammunition,
I must re-echo the former complaints on this subject. We are so
exceedingly destitute that our artillery will be of little use without a
supply both large and seasonable. What we have must be reserved for the
small arms, and that well managed with the utmost frugality." A few
weeks later General Washington wrote the following letter on the same

[Footnote A: Writings of George Washington, by J. Sparks, vol. iii, page


     Camp at Cambridge, 4 August, 1775.


     I am now, Sir, in strict confidence, to acquaint you, that our
     necessities in the articles of powder and lead are so great, as to
     require an immediate supply. I must earnestly entreat that you will
     fall upon some measure to forward every pound of each in your
     colony that can possibly be spared. It is not within the propriety
     or safety of such a correspondence to say what I might on this
     subject. It is sufficient that the case calls loudly for the most
     strenuous exertions of every friend of his country, and does not
     admit of the least delay. No quantity, however small, is beneath
     notice, and, should any arrive, I beg it may be forwarded as soon
     as possible.

     But a supply of this kind is so precarious, not only from the
     danger of the enemy, but the opportunity of purchasing, that I have
     revolved in my mind every other possible chance, and listened to
     every proposition on the subject which could give the smallest
     hope. Among others I have had one mentioned which has some weight
     with me, as well as the other officers to whom I have proposed it.
     A Mr. Harris has lately come from Bermuda, where there is a very
     considerable magazine of powder in a remote part of the island; and
     the inhabitants are well disposed, not only to our cause in
     general, but to assist in this enterprise in particular. We
     understand there are two armed vessels in your province, commanded
     by men of known activity and spirit; one of which, it is proposed
     to despatch on this errand with such assistance as may be
     requisite. Harris is to go along, as the conductor of the
     enterprise, that we may avail ourselves of his knowledge of the
     island; but without any command. I am very sensible, that at first
     view the project may appear hazardous; and its success must depend
     on the concurrence of many circumstances; but we are in a
     situation, which requires us to run all risks. No danger is to be
     considered, when put in competition with the magnitude of the
     cause, and the absolute necessity we are under of increasing our
     stock. Enterprises, which appear chimerical, often prove successful
     from that very circumstance. Common sense and prudence will suggest
     vigilance and care, where the danger is plain and obvious; but
     where little danger is apprehended, the more the enemy will be
     unprepared; and consequently there is the fairest prospect of

     Mr. Brown has been mentioned to me as a very proper person to be
     consulted upon this occasion. You will judge of the propriety of
     communicating it to him in part or the whole, and as soon as
     possible favor me with your sentiments, and the steps you may have
     taken to forward it. If no immediate and safe opportunity offers,
     you will please to do it by express. Should it be inconvenient to
     part with one of the armed vessels, perhaps some other might be
     fitted out, or you could devise some other mode of executing this
     plan; so that, in case of a disappointment, the vessel might
     proceed to some other island to purchase.

     I am, Sir,
     Your most obedient, humble servant,
     G. Washington.

This plan was approved by the Governor and Committee of Rhode Island,
and Captain Abraham Whipple agreed to engage in the affair, provided
General Washington would give him a certificate under his own hand, that
in case the Bermudians would assist the undertaking, he would recommend
to the Continental Congress to permit the exportation of provisions to
those islands from the colonies.

General Washington accordingly sent the following address to the

[Footnote A: Writings of George Washington, by J. Sparks, vol. iii.,
page 77.]


     Camp at Cambridge, 6 September, 1775.

     In the great conflict, which agitates this continent, I cannot
     doubt but the assertors of freedom and the rights of the
     constitution are possessed of your most favorable regards and
     wishes for success. As descendants of freemen, and heirs with us of
     the same glorious inheritance, we flatter ourselves, that, though
     divided by our situation, we are firmly united in sentiment. The
     cause of virtue and liberty is confined to no continent or climate.
     It comprehends, within its capacious limits, the wise and good,
     however dispersed and separated in space or distance.

     You need not be informed that the violence and rapacity of a
     tyrannic ministry have forced the citizens of America, your brother
     colonist, into arms. We equally detest and lament the prevalence of
     those counsels, which have led to the effusion of so much human
     blood, and left us no alternative but a civil war, or a base
     submission. The wise Disposer of all events has hitherto smiled
     upon our virtuous efforts. Those mercenary troops, a few of whom
     lately boasted of subjugating this vast continent, have been
     checked in their earliest ravages, and now actually encircled
     within a small space; their arms disgraced, and themselves
     suffering all the calamities of a siege. The virtue, spirit, and
     union of the provinces leave them nothing to fear, but the want of
     ammunition. The application of our enemies to foreign states, and
     their vigilance upon our coasts, are the only efforts they have
     made against us with success.

     Under these circumstances, and with these sentiments, we have
     turned our eyes to you, Gentlemen, for relief. We are informed,
     that there is a very large magazine in your island under a very
     feeble guard. We would not wish to involve you in an opposition, in
     which, from your situation, we should be unable to support you; we
     knew not, therefore, to what extent to solicit your assistance, in
     availing ourselves of this supply; but, if your favor and
     friendship to North America and its liberties have not been
     misrepresented, I persuade myself you may, consistently with your
     own safety, promote and further this scheme, so as to give it the
     fairest prospect of success. Be assured, that, in this case, the
     whole power and exertion of my influence will be made with the
     honorable Continental Congress, that your island may not only be
     supplied with provisions, but experience every other mark of
     affection and friendship, which the grateful citizens of a free
     country can bestow on its brethren and benefactors. I am,

    With much esteem,
    Your humble servant,

  [Illustration: Signature G Washington]

Captain Whipple had scarcely sailed from Providence before an account
appeared in the newspapers of one hundred barrels of powder having been
taken from Bermuda by a vessel supposed to be from Philadelphia, and
another from South Carolina. This was the same powder that Captain
Whipple had gone to procure. General Washington and Governor Cooke were
both of the opinion it was best to countermand his instructions. The
other armed vessel of Rhode Island was immediately dispatched in search
of the Captain with orders to return.

But it was too late; he reached Bermuda and put in at the west end of
the island. The inhabitants were at first alarmed, supposing him to
command a king's armed vessel, and the women and children fled from that
vicinity; but when he showed them his commission and instructions they
treated him with much cordiality and friendship, and informed him that
they had assisted in removing the powder, which was made known to
General Gage, and he had sent a sloop of war to the island. They
professed themselves hearty friends to the American cause. Captain
Whipple being defeated in the object of his voyage returned to

Soon after the inhabitants of Bermuda petitioned Congress for relief,
representing their great distress in consequence of being deprived of
the supplies that usually came from the colonies. In consideration of
their being friendly to the cause of America, it was resolved by
Congress that provisions in certain quantities might be exported to

[Footnote A: Journal of Congress, November 22, 1775.]

The powder procured from the Bermudians led to the first great victory
gained by Washington in the Revolutionary war, the evacuation of Boston
by the British army. After the arrival of the powder Washington caused
numerous batteries to be erected in the immediate vicinity of the town.
On the night of March 4, 1776, Dorchester Heights were taken possession
of and works erected there, which commanded Boston, and the British
Fleet lying at anchor in the harbor. This caused the town to be
evacuated, and General Howe with his army and about one thousand
loyalists went aboard of the fleet and sailed for Halifax, March 17,

Nothing could exceed the indignation of Governor Bruere when he received
intelligence of the plundering of the magazine; he promptly called upon
the legislature to take active measures for bringing the delinquents to
justice. No evidence could ever be obtained, and the whole transaction
is still enveloped in mystery. The Governor let no opportunity escape
him to accuse the Bermudians of disloyality, and no doubt severe
punishment would have been inflicted on the delinquents could they have
been discovered.

Two American brigs under Republican colors arrived shortly after this
and remained some weeks at the west end of the islands unmolested, and
Governor Bruere complained bitterly of this to the assembly.[A]

[Footnote A: These were probably the vessels sent out from Rhode Island
under the command of Captain Whipple.]

Governor George James Bruere died in 1780, and the administration
devolved on the Honorable Thomas Jones, who was relieved by George
Bruere as Lieutenant Governor, in October, 1780.

Governor Bruere was soon openly at variance with the assembly, and did
not hesitate to accuse the people of treason in supplying the revolted
provinces with salt, exchanging it for provisions. Mr. Bruere extremely
exasperated at their trading, which he considered to be treasonable
conduct, commented on it in his message to the assembly in no measured
terms. Some intercepted correspondence with the rebels added fuel to the
flame, and on the fifteenth of August, 1781, he addressed them in a
speech which could not fail to be offensive, although it contained much
sound argument. This was followed by a message more bitter and
acrimonious, all of which they treated with silent contempt, until the
twenty-eight of September, when they discharged their wrath in an
address, in which the Governor was handled most roughly for his attacks
on the inhabitants of these islands. In return he addressed a message,
equally uncourteous in its tone, and dissolved the house.

The arrival of William Browne, whose administration commenced the fourth
of January, 1782, put an end to Mr. Bruere's rule.

The high character of the new Governor had preceded him in the colony,
and he was joyfully received on his arrival. He was a native of Salem,
Massachusetts, and was high in office previous to the Revolution, was
Colonel of the Essex regiment, judge of the Supreme Court, and Mandamus
Counselor. After the passage of the Boston Port bill, he was waited on
by a committee of the Essex delegates, to inform him, that "it was with
grief that the country had viewed his exertions for carrying into
execution certain acts of parliament calculated to enslave and ruin his
native land; that while the country would continue the respect for
several years paid him, it resolved to detach, from every future
connection, all such as shall persist in supporting or in any way
countenancing the late arbitrary acts of Parliament; that the delegates
in the name of the country requested him to excuse them from the painful
necessity of considering and treating him as an enemy to his country,
unless he resigned his office as Counsellor and Judge." Colonel Browne
replied as follows:

"As a judge and in every other capacity, I intend to act with honor and
integrity and to exert my best abilities; and be assured that neither
persuasion can allure me, nor menaces compel me, to do anything
derogatory to the character of a Counselor of his Majesty's province of
Massachusetts."--William Browne.

Colonel Browne was esteemed among the most opulent and benevolent
individuals of that province prior to the Revolution; and so great was
his popularity that the gubernatorial chair of Massachusetts was offered
him by the "committee of safety," as an inducement for him to remain and
join the "sons of liberty." But he felt it a duty to adhere to
government; even at the expense of his great landed estate, both in
Massachusetts and Connecticut, the latter comprising fourteen valuable
farms, all of which were afterwards confiscated.

By preferring to remain on the side representing law and authority, and
unwilling to adopt the course of the revolutionists, this courtly
representative of an ancient and honorable family, this sincere lover of
his country, this skilled man of affairs, this upright and merciful
judge, once so beloved by his fellow townsmen, drew upon himself their
wrath, and he fled from his native country never to return again. First
he sought refuge in Boston in 1774, then in Halifax, and from there he
went to England in 1776, where he remained till 1781, when he was
appointed Governor of Bermuda, as a slight return for his great
sacrifices and important services in behalf of the Crown. Colonel Browne
married his cousin, the daughter of Governor Wanton, of Rhode Island,
and was doubly connected with the Winthrop family; the wives of the
elder Browne and Governor Wanton being daughters of John Winthrop, great
grandson of the first Governor of Massachusetts. Colonel Browne's son
William was an officer in the British service at the siege of Gibralter
in 1784.

Under the judicious management of Governor Browne the colony continued
to steadily flourish; he conducted the business of the colony in the
greatest harmony with the different branches of the legislature. He
found the financial affairs of the islands in a confused and ruinous
state, and left them flourishing. In 1778 he left for England, deeply
and sincerely regretted by the people, and was succeeded by Henry
Hamilton as Lieutenant Governor, during whose administration the town of
Hamilton was built and named in compliment of him.

Near the close of the American Revolution a plan was on foot to take
Bermuda, in order to make it "a nest of hornets" for the annoyance of
British trade, but the war closed, and it was abandoned. It, however,
proved a nest of hornets to the United States during the late civil war.
At that time St. George's was a busy town, and was one of the hot-beds
of secession. Being a great resort for blockade runners, which were
hospitably welcomed here, immense quantities of goods were purchased in
England, and brought here on large ocean steamers, and then transferred
to swift-sailing blockade runners, waiting to receive it. These ran the
blockade into Charleston, Wilmington and Savannah.

It was a risky business, but one that was well followed, and many made
large fortunes there during the first year of the war, but many were
bankrupt, or nearly so at its close.

Here, too, was concocted the fiendish plot of Dr. Blackburn, a
Kentuckian, for introducing yellow fever into northern cities, by
sending thither boxes of infected clothing.

[The foregoing article on the history of Bermuda was compiled by the
author of "Stark's Illustrated Bermuda Guide," published by the
Photo-Electrotype Company, of 63 Oliver Street, Boston. The work
contains about two hundred pages and is embellished with sixteen
photo-prints, numerous engravings, and a new map of Bermuda made from
the latest surveys.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *



  Singing, singing through the valleys;
    Singing, singing up the hills;
  Peace that comes, and Love that tarries,
    Hope that cheers, and Faith that thrills,
  Heart and I, are we not blest
  At the thought of coming rest?

  Singing, singing 'neath the shadow;
    Singing, singing in the light;
  Plucking flowerets from the meadow,
    Seeing beauty up the height,
  Heart and I, are we not gay
  Thinking of unclouded day?

  Singing, singing through the summer;
    Singing, singing in the snow;
  Glad to hear the brooklets murmur,
    Patient when the wild winds blow,
  Heart and I, can we do this?
  Yes, because of future bliss.

  Singing, singing up to Heaven;
    Singing, singing down to earth;
  Unto all some good is given.
    Unto all there cometh worth;
  Heart and I, we sing to know
  That the good God loves us so.

       *       *       *       *       *



BY FRANCES C. SPARHAWK, Author of "A Lazy Man's Work."



With suppressed ejaculations and outspoken condolences the party broke
up. It was not until the last one had gone that Mrs. Eveleigh, leaving
her post of observation in the corner, swept out to find Elizabeth who
disappeared after Stephen Archdale had gone with Katie. She found her in
her bed-room trying to put her things into her box. Her face was
flushed, and her hands cold and trembling.

"Why have you waited so long?" she began. "We must go at once. Have you
sent for a carriage? We shall meet ours on the way."

"My dear," answered the other seating herself, "that is impossible. They
will not turn you out, if you have made a mistake. You can not go until
to-morrow, of course; nobody will expect it. I am very sorry for poor
Archdale and the young lady, but I dare say it will turn out all right."

Elizabeth raised herself from the box over which she had been stooping
throwing in her things in an agony of haste. She opened her lips, but
words failed her. The amazement and indignation of her look turned
slowly to an appealing glance that few could have resisted. She had been
used to Mrs. Eveleigh's not comprehending nice distinctions, but now it
seemed as if to be a woman would make one understand. If her father were
with her now! She turned away sharply.

"Will you see that some conveyance is here within half an hour?" she
said. "If it is a cart I will not refuse to go in it. But leave here at
once I will, if it must be on foot. For yourself, do as you choose, only
give my order."

There was something in Elizabeth's gesture, and a desperation in her
face that made Mrs. Eveleigh go away and leave her without a word. In a
moment she came back.

"I met James in the hall and sent him off in hot haste," she said. Her
tones showed that she had recovered the equanimity which the girl's
unexpected conduct had disturbed. She seated herself again with no less
complacency and with more deliberation than before.

"I brought you up to be polite, Elizabeth," she said. "Things do
sometimes happen that are very trying, to be sure, but we should not
give way to irritation. Why, where should I have been if I had? Think
how it would have distressed your dear mother to have you show such

The girl looked up sharply, looked down again, her hands moving faster
than ever, though everything grew indistinct to her for a minute.

"Are you going with me?" she asked after a pause.

"I? O, my dear child, you will not go at all this way. Perhaps it is as
well to pack up and show your dignity, but they will not let you go, you
know, your father's daughter, and all,--I told James to tell them,--it
would be shameful, I should never forgive them."

"The question is whether they will ever forgive me, whether I have not
killed Katie. Sometimes I think of it only that way, and sometimes--."

She was silent again and busy. Then all at once she stopped and walked
to the window. Her hands grasped the sash and she stood looking out at
the sky that had not gathered a cloud from all this darkness of her
life. At length she began to walk up and down as if every footstep took
her away from the house.

"I always thought it must be a dreadful thing to marry a man you did not
want," she said speaking out her thoughts as if alone; "but to marry a
man who does not want you,--that is the most terrible thing in the
world. I have done both." And she covered her face with her hands.

"Poor girl," answered Mrs. Eveleigh, "it _is_ hard. But you gave him as
good as he sent, that's a fact. Governor Wentworth spoke about it after
you left." Elizabeth had raised her head and was looking steadily at her
companion. "When young Archdale looked at you as he passed out, I mean,"
she went on. "'Great Heavens!' cried the Governor, 'did you see that
exchange of looks, scorn and hatred on both sides, and they may be
husband and wife? The Lord pity them. And poor Katie!'"

"He said that?"

"Exactly that. Why, everybody noticed it, of course. What did you say?"
she added at a faint sound from her listener.


And Elizabeth said nothing until ten minutes later when the sound of
wheels sent her to the window to see that a conveyance at least fairly
comfortable had been found for them. Her bonnet and wraps were already

"Are you coming?" she said to the other abruptly. "I shall start in five

"For Heaven's sake, more time, my dear. I have not changed my dress yet.
I suppose I cannot let you go alone, I should not feel happy about it,
and your father would never forgive me in the world."

A half smile of contempt touched the girl's lips. Mrs. Eveleigh knew
what was for her own comfort too well to get herself out of Mr. Royal's
good graces, and not to be devoted to his daughter would have been to
him the unpardonable sin. But nobody would have been more astonished
than this same lady to be told that she had not a thoroughly
conscientious care of Elizabeth. She combined duty and interest as
skilfully as the most Cromwellian old Presbyter among her ancestors.

In the hall Elizabeth met her hostess.

"May I speak to Katie?" she asked timidly.

Mrs. Archdale hesitated a moment, nodded in silence and went on to the
library, the girl following. Mr. Archdale was there, and the Colonel and
his wife. Stephen sat by the great chair in which Katie was propped,
holding her hand and sometimes speaking softly to her, or looking into
her face with eyes that gave no comfort. Elizabeth seemed to see no one
but her friend, she went up to the chair, and said to her softly,

"Good by, Katie."

But Katie turned away her head.

The door closed, Elizabeth had gone.



Gerald Edmonson, Esquire, and Lord Bulchester drove leisurely through
the streets of the London of 1743. They found in it that same element
that makes the fascination of the London of to-day; for the streets,
dim, narrower, and less splendid than now, were full of this same charm
of human life, and yet, human isolation. Then, as now, might a man
wander homeless and lost, or these grim houses might open their doors to
him and reveal the splendors beyond them; and whether he were desolate,
or shone brilliant as a star depended upon so many chances and changes
that this Fortune's-Wheel drew him toward itself like a magnet.

"I tell you," said Edmonson to his companion as they went along, "there
is not a shadow of a chance for me. When a woman says, 'no,' you can
tell by her eyes if she means it, and if there had been the least sign
of relenting or a possibility of it in Lady Grace's eyes, do you think I
would have given up? She has led me a sorry chase, that pretty sister of

"Her beauty would not have taken you ten steps out of your way, if she
had not been such an heiress," retorted Bulchester.

"Don't be so blunt, my friend. Is it my fault that I am obliged to look
out for money? If a man has only a tenth of the income he needs to live
upon, what is he going to do? It is well enough for you to be above
sordidness, so could I be with your purse and your prospects. Besides,
you know that I told you frankly I found Lady Grace charming. I wonder,"
he asked turning sharply round, "if you have been playing me false?"

But Bulchester laughed. A laugh at such a time, and a laugh so full of
simplicity and amusement brought the other to his bearings again.

"You know I favored the match," added the nobleman. "Hang it! I don't
see why my sister could not have had my taste. She does not know all
your deviltries as I do, but yet I think you the most fascinating fellow
in England."

"Perhaps that is the reason, because she does not know," laughed
Edmonson. "But, then, you have not been very far beyond England, except
to the land of the frog, and nobody expects to delight in the messieurs
anywhere but on the point of the bayonet, as we had them lately at
Dettengen." In a moment, however, he added gravely, "I am afraid my suit
to your sister has damaged my prospects in another quarter, at least the
matrimonial part of them, and I can hardly expect to be so successful
otherwise as to enable me to marry a lady whose face is her fortune."

"Hardly, with your tastes," said Bulchester. "But, for my part, I am
glad that I can afford to be sentimental if I like. For that very reason
I shall probably be extremely sensible."

Edmonson smiled, half in amusement, half in contempt.

"Suppose the lady should be so too?" he asked slyly; then added, "I hope
she will, Bulchester, and take you. I don't know her name yet."

"Nor I. But I don't want to consider only the rent-roll of the future
Lady Bulchester."

"My lord, I shall be devotion itself to Mistress Edmonson, and I assure
you that the young lady I have chosen, I having failed to win your
adorable sister, is not a nonentity, though I cannot say that she is
charming. But you will see her. Her father was very gracious to me when
I was in Boston last winter, and regretted that I was obliged to leave
in the spring on affairs of importance. How was he to know, he or the
fair Elizabeth, that the business was a love suit? That would not have
done. The old gentleman would not think the king himself too good for
his daughter; if he dreamed that she was second fiddle, he would want me
to find the door faster than he could shew me there. So, if you fall in
love with her and want to supersede me, there's your chance."

"I'm Jonathan to your David," returned the smaller man, "the kingdom is
for you, Edmonson." And the speaker looked at his companion with an
admiration that was deep in proportion as he felt himself unable to
imitate that mixture of good nature, strong will, and audacity that in
Edmonson fascinated him. "Is she handsome?" he added.

"No," said the other decidedly. "She has a smile that lights up her face
well, and occasionally she says good things, but half the time in
company she seems not to be attending to what is going on about her, she
is away off in a dream about something that nobody cares a pin for, and
of course, it gives her a peculiar manner. I could see I interested her
more than anybody else did, but I had hard work sometimes to know how to
answer her queer sayings, for I could scarcely tell what she was talking

"You don't like that," suggested Bulchester. "You like ladies who lead
in society."

"Well," assented Edmonson, "I know. But she will have to set up for an
oddity, and, you see, she has money enough to be able to afford it. A
fortune in her own right, and large expectations from the old gentleman
who began with money and has never made a bad investment in his life.
Think of it! Gerald Edmonson will keep open house and live rather
differently from at present in his bachelor quarters; and all his old
friends will be welcome."

"What do you say to those we are going to meet to-night, who are to give
us our farewell supper; you would not ask a set like that to a lady's

Edmonson laughed.

"Why, and if I did," he answered, "Elizabeth Royal would never fathom
them. She might think they drank somewhat too much, and discover that
they were noisy; but as to the wild pranks we have played, yes, you and
I, Bulchester, I out of pure enjoyment of them, you, I do believe, more
than half not to be behind other men of fashion, why, you might tell
them to her safely, for she would never comprehend. One can't get along
so well with her on the little nothings one says to other women, to be
sure, but she has the greatest simplicity in the world, and that touch
of evil that spices life is entirely beyond her. But however that might
be, I tell you this, my lord: Gerald Edmonson is always master, and
always will be."

"Yes," assented his hearer.

"I only hope the extent of my impecuniosity will not cross the water
with me. I have never pretended to be rich, but I have said that my
expectations were excellent. So they are; for you know, Bulchester, the
heiress is not all my errand to these outlandish colonies. I have
expectations there. Rather strange ones, to be sure, so strange, and to
be come at so strangely, that if I can make anything out of them I shall
enjoy it a thousand times more than by any stupid old way of

"It strikes me, though, you would not object to the stupid if a good
plum should fall down on your head from an ancestral tree."

Edmonson laughed.

"You have me there, Bul," he said. "But, on your honor, you are not to
betray my plans, or I have no chance at all," he added, suddenly facing
his companion.

"What do you take me for, a traitor?"

"No," exclaimed Edmonson with an oath.

"For a tattler, then?"

"No," came the answer again. "Only, inadvertence is sometimes as
mischievous in its results."

"I, inadvertent?" cried Bulchester.

His listener smiled slyly. The other felt that caution was his strong
point, and Edmonson's diplomacy would not assault this vigorously; his
aim had been merely to warn Bulchester and strengthen the defences. Soon
after this they reached the inn, where they were boisterously greeted by
their companions, who had been waiting for them in what was then one of
the fashionable public houses of London, though long since fallen out of
date and forgotten.

"Don't be flattered," said Edmonson aside, "all this welcome is not for
us; the feast is to begin now that we have arrived." And a cynical smile
flashed over his handsome face.

It was hours after this. The high revel had gone on with jest, and
laugh, and song, with play, too, and some purses were empty that before
had been none too well filled. Through it all Edmonson, the life of the
party, kept the control over himself that many had lost. There was no
credit due to him for the fact that he could drink more wine without
being overcome than any other man there. His face was flushed with it,
his eyes somewhat blood-shot and his fair hair disordered as, at last,
looking at his opposite neighbor, he nodded to him, leaned across the
table and touched glasses with him. Then, "Let us drink this toast
standing," he said, rising as he spoke; and at the movement ten other
young men, full of the effrontery of a long carousal, pushed back their
chairs noisily and rose, exclaiming in tones varying in degrees of

"We pledge."

"Yes," returned the man opposite Edmonson, repeating the pledge that
they all without exception would meet one hundred years from that night
to pledge each other again.

A shout, more of drunken acquiescence than of comprehension went up in
chorus from all but one of the revelers; he held his glass silently a
moment, disposed to put it untasted on the table.

"Bulchester's backing out," cried Edmonson giving him a scornful glance.

"Oh, ho! Backing out!" echoed nine derisive voices.

"We have made it too hot for him," called out Edmonson again.

At which remark another shout arose, and the glasses were tossed off
with bravado, Bulchester's also being set down empty.

After this the party broke up boisterously, Edmonson and Bulchester
receiving the good wishes of the company for their prosperous voyage.

Leaving the inn, they went out into the night again, in which the
October moon veiled in clouds was doing its best to light the streets
now almost deserted. Bulchester looked with disapprobation at his
smiling companion. It was for the first time in their acquaintance, but
the compact into which the earl had so unwillingly entered had sobered
him, and was still ringing in his ears, giving him a sort of horror. He
said this to Edmonson, who burst out laughing.

"A mere drunken freak, Bul, that counts for nothing. You will be an
angel sitting on a cold cloud singing psalms long before that time. I'll
warrant it. You are a good fellow. Don't bother your brains about such

The third of November, Edmonson and Lord Bulchester sailed from
Liverpool in the "Ariel" for Boston.



The winds were baffling, and Edmonson and Lord Bulchester had a longer
voyage than they had counted upon. They found it tedious, and it was
with satisfaction that they at last set foot on land and drove through
the streets of Boston to the Royal Exchange. Edmonson's projects
inspired him rather than made him anxious. It was, of course, possible
that Elizabeth Royal might refuse him, but in his heart he had the
attitude of a Londoner toward provincials and was not burdened with
doubts as to the result of his wooing, and so the one necessary grain of
uncertainty only gave flavor to the whole affair.

A few hours after his arrival he left the house to try his fortune.

"I may not be home until late," he said to Bulchester. "I shall tackle
pater-familias first, then the young lady herself. It is possible they
will invite me to tea, you know. Don't wait for me if you find anything
to do or anywhere to go in this puritanical hole." And the young man, in
all the tasteful splendor of attire that the times allowed, closed the
door behind him and left Lord Bulchester looking at the oaken panels
which had suddenly taken the place in which his friend had been
standing, and seeing, not these, but Edmonson's fine figure and his bold

"No woman can resist his wooing," the nobleman said to himself with a
sigh at the thought of his own indifferent appearance. Therefore it was
with amazement that two hours later coming home from a stroll he learned
that the other had returned, and going to his room found him prone on
the sofa.

"Why! What is the--," he began, then checked himself, considering that
since only failure could be the matter, this was hardly a generous

"Headache," growled Edmonson. "No," he cried with an oath, "that is a
lie," and springing up, turned blood-shot eyes upon his companion. "I am
mad, Bulchester," he cried, "raving mad. It is all over with me in that

"She has refused you? Or the father has?"

"Hang it! they couldn't do anything else, either of them. I did not see
Mistress Royal, Mistress Archdale, rather. Yes, married!" as Bulchester
echoed the name. "There's been an interesting drama with one knave and
two fools. If I could only catch the knave! Perhaps it is as well to let
the fools go, since I can't help it." He was silent a moment. Then after
a moment he added. "Well! what is the use of cursing one's luck?" "There
are several others I know of doing the same thing at this moment, and I
like to be original. I declare, if he didn't stand in my way, I should
be tempted to pity young Archdale. He wishes himself in my shoes as
much, and I suspect a good deal more, than I do myself in his. I don't
wonder that the young lady keeps herself retired for a time. I did not
see her, as I told you. Mr. Royal made as light of the matter as
possible, merely saying that something which might prove to have been a
real marriage ceremony, though he thought not, had taken place in a joke
between his daughter and Stephen Archdale, that the matter was to be
thoroughly investigated at once, and if it turned out that Elizabeth was
not Mistress Archdale, I had his permission to receive her answer from
her own lips. He was guarded enough; but on the way home I met Clinton
who had been one of the guests at Mistress Katie's attempted wedding
last week. He gave me details. Here they are." And these details lost
nothing through Edmonson's racy recital of them. "No, Bulchester," he
finished, "out of six people that I could name mixed up in this affair,
on the whole, I am the best off."


"Yes; counting in the love-lorn Waldo; that knave Harwin, who ought to
swing for it; the poor little bride that lost her bridegroom; and the
bridegroom; the young lady that got him when she didn't want him, and
missed me, whom, perhaps (without too much vanity) she did want a
little; and last on the list of wounded spirits, your humble servant.
How wise that man was who said that one sinner destroyed much good. By
the way, Bulchester, who was he? It is an excellent thing to quote in
regard to this affair, and I should like to know where it comes from."

An anxious expression crossed the other's face as he cried:

"Good heavens! Edmonson, if you go to quoting the Bible and asking where
the quotation comes from, you will get into awful disgrace with this
strictest-sect-of-our-religion people, and then what will become of the
other scheme that is bound to pull through?"

"True, most sapient counsellor, and I will be on my guard. To show how I
profit by your sageness, let us drop all thought of this royal maiden
who is probably out of my reach, and attend to the other business. It is
good to have a sympathetic friend, Bul."

They talked for nearly an hour after this, but not about Edmonson's
wooing. When Bulchester left, the other sat looking after him a moment.

"Yes," he said to himself, "it is well to have a sympathetic creature
like that sometimes, but not if one tell him all his heart. I hid my
rage well, I passed it off for mere spleen. But we are not a race to get
over things in that way. It is hate, _hate_, I say," And he ground his
teeth, and again threw himself upon the sofa his face downward and
buried in his hands as if he were meditating deeply.

Edmonson told his friend of having met one of the guests at Katie
Archdale's wedding, but he did not say to him that coming out of Mr.
Royal's house and walking quickly down the street, he had met the
bridegroom himself, and had returned Archdale's bow with a politeness
equally cold, while anger had leaped up within him. Was Archdale going
to call upon his wife?

Stephen Archdale had come to Boston to collect whatever facts he could
about Harwin, and about the places and the people that the confession
referred to. Nothing was farther from his thoughts than any such visit.
It was his wish that Elizabeth and himself need never meet again, and he
knew that it was hers. Indeed, so far from thinking of the woman who was
perhaps his wife, he was living over again the glimpse he had had of the
one from whom he had been separated. Three days ago he had taken his gun
early in the morning and had gone out hunting, made more miserable than
before by something he had perceived in his father's mind. The Colonel
was not in sympathy with him; he was consoling himself that, after all,
Elizabeth Royal was a richer woman than Katie Archdale. At his light
insinuation of this to his son, the young man had flamed out into a heat
of passion and declared that one golden hair of Katie's head was worth
both Elizabeth and her fortune. He had rushed out of the house with the
wish for destroying something in his mind. As he stopped in the hall to
snatch his gun, the flintlock caught, and tore a hole in the tapestry
hanging. He saw it, pushed the great stag's antlers that the gun had
been swung on a little aside, and covered the torn place. Then he forgot
the accident almost as soon as this was done, left the house and went
striding over the fields, not so much to chase the foxes, as to be
alone. And when that point was gained he would have gone a step further
if he could and escaped from himself also. But he was only all the more
with his own thoughts as he wandered aimlessly through great stretches
of pine trees with the light snow of the night before still white on
their lower boughs, except when in some opening it had melted into
dewdrops in the December sun, and still clung to the trees, ready when
the sun had passed by them towards its setting to turn into filmy
icicles. The sky was brilliant; the long winter already upon the earth
smiled gently, as if to say that its reign would be mild. Stephen went
along so much preoccupied that only the baying of his hound made him
notice the light fox-prints by the roadside. Then the instinct of the
hunter stirred within him, and he followed on, listening now and then to
the distant bark while pursued and the pursuer were going farther away.
He waited, knowing fox nature well and that there were a hundred chances
to one that the creature would come back near the spot from which it was
started. As he waited close by the road which here led through the
woods, two men passed along it without seeing him. They were talking as
they went. Stephen knew them; one was an old man who used to be a
servant in the family when Colonel Archdale was a boy. He had married
long ago and was now living in a little house not far from his old home.
The young man with him was his son. Stephen was in no mood even for a
passing word, and he stood still, perceiving that a clump of bushes hid
him. A few sentences of the conversation reached him through the
stillness, but it meant nothing to him; he was not conscious even of
listening until Katie's name caught his ear. They were talking of this
marriage then, as every body was; he was the gossip of the very
servants. But his attention once caught was held until the speakers
passed out of hearing. Surely they knew nothing about the matter that he
did not.

"She is such a pretty young lady," said the elder man, "and any girl
would feel it to miss the handsome young master for a husband."

"Um!" assented the son. "Well, I suppose she will miss the sight of him
if her heart is set upon him, but there is many a young man nicer to my
thinking, and not so proud in his ways."

"Has he ever been unjust or overbearing to you, Nathan?" inquired the
old man severely.

"Oh, no, he has been uncommonly civil, he would think it beneath him to
be anything else. I know the cut of him; if he had any spite he would
take it out on a gentleman. He thinks we are made of different clay from
him." And the embryo republican threw back his shoulders impatiently.

"So we are," returned the other, with the Englishman's ingrained belief
in caste; "but, to be sure, you feel it with some more than with others,
with the young man more than with his father. But I like it better than
the softly way the Colonel has. Stephen is more like his grandfather."

"His grandfather!" echoed the son. "Why, he was a--."

"Hush!" cried the other so suddenly and sharply that if the word had
been, uttered at all Stephen lost it, though, now he was listening
eagerly enough. "Do you remember you swore that you would never speak
that word?"

"Well," returned the young man in a sullen tone, "if I did, what harm in
saying it here with not a soul but you around? And my feeling is," he
went on, "that this broken-off wedding is a judgment for his
grandfather's--." He hesitated.

"When you learned it by accident, Nathan," returned his father, "you
swore to satisfy me, that you would never speak the word in connection
with him. Who knows what person may be round?" And he glanced cautiously
about him. Stephen half resolved to confront him and force him to tell
this secret. But the very quality in himself which the men had been
discussing held him back until the opportunity had passed. "No, I don't
want you to name it at all, Nathan. That is what you swore," continued
the old man.

"You have said enough about it," retorted the younger. "I will keep my
word, of course; you know that." His tone was loud with anger.

"Yes, yes, I know," said his companion, "But, you see, I was fond of the
young master if he was a bit wild; he was a fine, free gentleman, though
he changed very much after this--this accident and his coming over to
the Colonies, which wasn't no ways suited to him like London, only he
found it a good place to get rich in. You see, Nathan, it all happened
this way; he told me about it his own self with tears in his eyes, as I
might say, for his family,--he--."

But it was in vain that Stephen strained his ears, the voices that had
not been drowned in the noise of footsteps had been growing fainter with
distance, and now were lost altogether.

So there had been something in the family, thought Stephen, that he knew
nothing about, something that his grandfather had done which this man,
the son of his grandfather's butler, considered had brought down
vengeance on Katie and himself as the grandchildren. The very suggestion
oppressed him in this land of the Puritans, although he told himself
that he believed neither in the vengeance nor even in the crime itself.
But he had not dreamed of anything, anything at all, which had even
shadowed the fair fame of the Archdales. Did his father know of it?
Nothing that Stephen had ever seen in him looked like such knowledge,
but that did not make the son quite sure, for the old butler's remark
about the Colonel's suavity was just; his elaborate manners made Stephen
almost brusque at times, and aroused a secret antagonism in both, so
that they sometimes met one another with armor on, and Stephen's keen
thrust would occasionally penetrate the shield which his father
skilfully interposed between that and some fact.

That morning Stephen sank down upon a rock near by while his mind ranged
over his recollections to find some clue to this mystery. But he found
none. He was sure that his grandfather had never been referred to as
being connected with anything secret, still less, disgraceful, or
perhaps criminal. It was impossible to imagine where the old butler's
idea came from, but it could not be founded upon truth. Yet, this snatch
of talk which Stephen had heard made him curious and uncomfortable. And
he knew that he must resign himself to feeling so; he could ask his
father, to be sure, but he would get no satisfaction out of that; either
the Colonel did not know, or, evidently he had resolved that there
should seem to be nothing to tell. After all, it did not matter very
much. His thoughts came back to his own position with almost wonder that
anything could have drawn them away from it. While he sat there the
baying of the hound drew nearer, and suddenly a rabbit started up from
a bush on his right. He raised his gun, but instantly lowered it again.
He had not moved, so it had not been he that had startled the rabbit,
but the larger game that was following it. The little creature scampered
away, and in another moment the fox which his dog had started ran past
him. Again he raised his gun and took aim with a hand accustomed to
bring down what he sighted. But to-day the gun dropped once more at his
side, for here was a creature that wanted its life, that was straining
for it. "Let him have the worthless gift if he values it," thought
Archdale, feeling that the gun had better have been turned the other way
in his hands. The fox disappeared after the rabbit, and in another
moment Stephen rose with a sneer at himself, and turned toward home.
Evidently, he could accomplish nothing that day, matters must have gone
hard with him to make him lose even the nerve of a hunter. He whistled
to his dog, but the hound had no intention of giving up the chase as his
master had done, and rushed past in full cry. The young man left him to
follow home at his pleasure, and walked along the road with a sombre
face. Soon the sound of distant bells reached him. A minute after a
sleigh appeared coming toward him from the vanishing point of the road
that here ran straight through the woods for some distance. It made no
difference to Stephen who was in the sleigh. As it came nearer and
nearer he never even glanced at it, until as it was passing, some
instinct, or perhaps eyes fixed upon him, made him look up. He started,
stopped, bowed low, took off his fur cap with deference, holding it in
his hand until the sleigh had gone slowly by. Then he turned and stood
looking after it, the flush that had come suddenly to his face fading
away as his eyes followed Katie Archdale's figure until it was lost to
sight. He could see her clinging to her father's arm; he seemed to see
her face before him for days, her face pale and sad, and so lovely.
Neither had spoken. Mr. Archdale had not waited; what had they to say?
Stephen had not really wished it; every thought was deeper than speech,
and probably Katie, too, had preferred to go on. And yet to pass in this
way--it was like their lives.

That afternoon he started for Boston. It was doing something. Edmonson
who met him just arrived, need not have feared that he was going to
Elizabeth. He was in the city only to prove that the frolic of that
summer evening had been frolic merely, and that he was still free to
follow that charming face that had passed him by, so reluctantly, he
knew, in the woods.


       *       *       *       *       *


While delivering an address in Faneuil Hall, in 1875, the late
distinguished Wendell Phillips declared that he had never cast a ballot
in his life.

Such a confession, coming from the liberty-loving champion of the rights
and freedom of all people, was not a little startling.

Months later he was requested to explain what seemed to be a serious
inconsistency, as bearing on the question--how can an American citizen
wilfully refrain from the high prerogative of exercising his right and
duty to vote?

The following is a copy of his letter stating the reason why he had not

The letter hitherto has never been made public. It is of historical

     7 Aug't '76.

     DEAR SIR:

     I am in receipt of your kind note. This is the explanation:
     Premising that I entirely agree with you as to the transcendant
     importance of the vote and the duty of every citizen to use it--to
     let no slight obstacle prevent his voting.

     The few years after I came of age I was moving about and it
     happened, curiously enough, that I never lived in one town long
     enough to get the vote there and never could be, at the proper
     time, in the town where I had the right.

     Then soon I became an abolitionist and conscientiously refused to
     vote or accept citizenship under a constitution which ordered the
     return of fugitive slaves.

     The XVth. amendment was the first release from this bar, as I
     judged. Since that, I have never voted but once. Absence from the
     city &c prevented my doing so. _I should have taken special care_
     to be at home if living in a ward where my vote would have availed
     anything, or if candidates were such as I could trust.



       *       *       *       *       *



This is an age of magazines. Every guild, every issue, has its monthly
or quarterly. If a new athletic exercise should be evolved to-morrow, a
new magazine, in its interest, would follow; and there seems to be a
field for every new venture.

Among our older magazines, Harper's "New Monthly" still pursues its
popular course. In June, 1850, I bought the first number, and from that
day to this it has been one of my household treasures. A complete set,
sixty nine (69) volumes, forms a most excellent library in itself; a
fair compendium of the world's history for the last thirty odd years.
Story, essay, and event, has filled these sixty thousand pages. In
October, 1851, the department called the "Editor's Easy Chair," was
established by Donald G. Mitchell, the genial "Ik: Marvel." Here are his
first words:

"After our more severe Editorial work is done--the scissors laid in our
drawer, and the monthly record, made as full as our pages will bear, of
history--we have a way of throwing ourselves back into an old red-back
_Easy Chair_, that has long been an ornament of our dingy office, and
indulging in an easy, and careless overlook of the gossiping papers of
the day, and in such chit chat with chance visitors, as keeps us
informed of the drift of the towntalk, while it relieves greatly the
monotony of our office hours." Here is the well remembered flavor of the
"Reveries of a Bachelor" and "Dream-Life"!

A year or so afterward, George William Curtis became a co-writer of a
part of the articles for this department, and soon after he became the
sole occupant of the now famous "Easy Chair;" and each month, as
regularly as the appearance of the magazine itself, these very
interesting, most readable, and instructive notelets upon the current
topics of the time have appeared. Their pure style, graceful and
delicate humor, and the vast range of culture and observation, give them
a distinctively personal characteristic. He would have made one of our
first novelists; but he has chosen to give the strength of his powers to
journalism, and the study of political affairs.

It is safe to say that each number of the magazine has had an average of
at least five pages of "Easy Chair," making very nearly or quite two
thousand (2,000) pages in all; or a quantity more than sufficient to
fill two and a half volumes of the sixty nine (69) thus far issued, each
volume containing eight hundred and sixty four (864) pages. Before
beginning to write these delectable tid-bits, he had published "Nile
notes of a Howadji," "The Howadji in Syria," and "Lotus Eating;" soon
after appeared "Potiphar Papers," "Prue and I," and "Tramps." For twenty
years he was constantly on the lecture platform; and for twenty one
years he has been the political editor of "Harper's Weekly." Although
offered missions to the courts of England and Germany, and other
positions of trust and honor, he never accepted; his nearest approach to
the holding of any political office was the accepting of an appointment,
for a while, of the chairmanship of the "Civil Service Advisory Board."
As has been well said by George Parsons Lathrop, "The idea often occurs
to one that he, more than any one else, continues the example which
Washington Irving set: an example of kindliness and good nature blended
with indestructible dignity, and a delicately imaginative mind
consecrating much of its energy to public service."

As for the "Easy Chair," with me, its leaves are first cut in each fresh
number; and while enjoying the last one, I wondered why some deft hand
had not culled some of the choicest specimens, and that the Harpers had
not given them to the world in a volume by themselves. They are most
certainly worthy of it. A few passages taken here and there, from these
rich fields, will prove this assertion. The subjects treated in the
whole "Easy Chair" number nearly or quite twenty-five hundred
(2,500),--reminiscences of Emerson and Longfellow--first presentation of
a new Oratorios--a celebrated painting--the visit of a Lord Chief
Justice of England,--a vast range of topics. Consult the nine closely
printed octavo pages of their titles in the "Index to the first Sixty
Volumes"--from "Abbott, Commodore, xiii. 271," to "Zurich, University
of, xlviii. 443," and one will be amazed at the great number and variety
of themes upon which the "Easy Chair" has had its say. And it would seem
that its occupant has had some similar thoughts to these, for, in a
recent number there is a retrospective glance--a wondering as to what
future generations may have to say, and wish to know regarding matters
and things of this generation about which it has discoursed:

"The Easy Chair, mindful of posterity, and of that future loiterer in
the retired alcoves of coming libraries who will turn to the pages of an
old magazine to catch some glimpse of the daily aspect and the homely
fact of our day, which will be then a kind of quaint remembrance, like
the 'Augustan age' of Anne to Victorian epoch, puts here upon record for
his unborn reader--whom he salutes with hope and Godspeed--that the
winter of 1883-4 in the city of New York was a gray and gloomy season
almost beyond precedent, during which the persistent fogs and mists
appeared half to have obliterated the sun."

Here are a few excerpts which may be called "Gems for the Easy Chair;"
but those given are no better than thousands of others that are
scattered through these many volumes.

A Madonna. Once in Dresden the Easy Chair climbed into a little room
where an engraver was finishing a picture which is now famous. He had
worked long and faithfully upon it. It was truly a work of love, and it
had cost him his most precious and essential possession for his art--his
eyesight. The engraver was Steinla, and the picture was the Madonna di
Sisto.... It can be seen only by those who go to Dresden. Among pictures
there is none more justly famous, and the devoted engraver toiled long
and patiently, and at such enormous sacrifice to re-produce it, so far
as lines could do it, from the same love and instinct that produced the

       *       *       *       *       *



Company, Lowell, Mass.

In this handy volume, the "Historical Sketch of the County of
Middlesex," Judge Cowley has made a valuable contribution to the
recorded history of our Commonwealth. He has traced in a clear and
concise manner the important events of Middlesex County from 1643, the
year of its incorporation, down to Shay's Rebellion.


This work is one of many for which the public are indebted to Judge
Cowley. It presents many facts of great historical value, and in the
usual pungent and agreeable style of their author.

Building Plan Association, New York. Price, 50 cents.

This book contains a mass of information to builders and would-be _home
owners_. Its many and varied plans are for the construction of neat,
comfortable and very attractive buildings at very reasonable cost.

       *       *       *       *       *


In the sketch of Saugus in the December number of the BAY STATE MONTHLY,
line 14, on page 149, should read "as early as 1828" instead of

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bay State Monthly — Volume 2, No. 5, February, 1885" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.