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Title: Stage-coach and Tavern Days
Author: Earle, Alice Morse, 1851-1911
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Stage-coach and Tavern Days

[Illustration: Travel in the South in the Thirties. _Frontispiece._]



  Author of _Home Life in Colonial Days_, _Child Life in
  Colonial Days_, and other Social and Domestic
  Histories of Colonial Times

    "_Long ago, at the end of the route,
  The stage pulled up, and the folks stepped out.
  They have all passed under the tavern door--
  The youth and his bride and the gray three-score.
  Their eyes were weary with dust and gleam,
  The day had gone like an empty dream.
  Soft may they slumber, and trouble no more
  For their eager journey, its jolt and roar,
      In the old coach over the mountain._"


  _All rights reserved_

  COPYRIGHT, 1900,

  _Norwood Press
  J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith
  Norwood, Mass., U.S.A._



  Chapter                                           Page

      I. The Puritan Ordinary                          1

     II. Old-time Taverns                             30

    III. The Tavern Landlord                          62

     IV. Tavern Fare and Tavern Ways                  76

      V. Kill-devil and its Affines                  100

     VI. Small Drink                                 121

    VII. Signs and Symbols                           138

   VIII. The Tavern in War                           170

     IX. The Tavern Panorama                         194

      X. From Path to Turnpike                       223

     XI. Packhorse and Conestoga Wagon               241

    XII. Early Stage-coaches and Other Vehicles      253

   XIII. Two Stage Veterans of Massachusetts         291

    XIV. A Staging Centre                            308

     XV. The Stage-driver                            320

    XVI. The Romance of the Road                     340

   XVII. The Pains of Stage-coach Travel             361

  XVIII. Knights of the Road                         373

    XIX. Tavern Ghosts                               409

List of Illustrations

  Travel in the South in the Thirties. From painting
  by Edward Lamson Henry, N.A.                          _Frontispiece_


  Ordinary at Duxbury, Mass.                                         3

  Taproom Furnishings of an Old Ordinary. Owned by Miss
  Elizabeth Nicholson, Providence, R. I.                             7

  Oldest House in Easton, Mass.; once an Ordinary                   10

  Leather Black-jack                                                14

  Tavern Bill against East Church, Salem, Mass. Owned by
  Essex Institute                                                   16

  Taproom of Wayside Inn, Sudbury, Mass.                            19

  Buckman Tavern, 1690, Lexington, Mass.                            23

  Hound-handle Tavern Pitcher                                       26

  Sign-board of Hayden Tavern, Essex, Conn. Owned by
  Connecticut Historical Society                                    28

  Indian Queen Tavern, Bladensburg, Md. From painting by
  Edward Lamson Henry, N.A.                                _facing_ 32

  Old Road House, Md.                                               34

  Plate, City Hotel, N. Y., Staffordshire Ware                      38

  Cato's House, N. Y. From an old print                             41

  Washington Tavern, Westfield, Mass.                               43

  Door Latch, Washington Tavern, Westfield, Mass.                   45

  Wadsworth Inn, Hartford, Conn. Photographed by Mr. George
  C. Atwell, Hartford, Conn.                                        47

  Taproom, Wadsworth Inn, Hartford, Conn.                           51

  Fountain Inn, Medford, Mass.                                      54

  Sign-board of N. Mowry's Inn, Lime Rock, R. I. Owned by
  Miss Elizabeth Nicholson, Providence, R. I.                       57

  Pine-tree Tavern and Eagle Tavern, East Poultney, Vt.             59

  Sign-board of Washington Hotel, Salem, Mass. Owned by
  Essex Institute                                                   63

  Sign-board of Hays' Tavern, West Brattleboro, Vt.                 65

  Cooper Tavern, Arlington, Mass.                                   68

  Travellers' Rest, Shelbyville, Ky., 1783                          71

  Miller's Tavern, Lancaster, Penn.                                 73

  Ellery Tavern, front, Gloucester, Mass.                           79

  Ellery Tavern, lean-to, Gloucester, Mass.                         83

  Bill of Cromwell's Head Tavern, Boston, Mass. Owned
  by Mrs. H. M. Hunt, Kingston, R. I.                      _facing_ 86

  Bill of Fare of City Hotel, Hartford, Conn. Owned by
  Mr. George F. Ives, Danbury, Conn.                                89

  Platter, Mendenhall Ferry and Tavern, Schuylkill River,
  Penn. Owned by Miss Frances C. Morse, Worcester, Mass.            93

  Collin's Tavern, Naugatuck, Conn. Photographed by Mr.
  George C. Atwell, Hartford, Conn.                                 97

  Old Rum Bottles                                                  102

  Burgoyne Tavern, Westfield, Mass.                                106

  Tavern Pitcher, Happy Farmer, Crouch Ware                        109

  Flip Glasses, Loggerhead and Toddy Stick. Owned by
  Pocumtuck Valley Historical Association                          110

  Porcelain Monteith Bowl, 1700                                    115

  Punch Bowl, bearing Insignia of Order of the Cincinnati,
  Chinese Ware                                                     117

  Sign-board of Amherst Hotel, Amherst, Mass. From History
  of Amherst                                                       123

  Eagle Tavern and Sign-board, Newton, N. H.                       126

  Cider Pitcher and Cups, Copper Lustre Ware                       129

  Parsons' Tavern, Springfield, Mass.                              131

  Toby Fillpots, Staffordshire Ware. Owned by Miss Frances
  C. Morse, Worcester, Mass.                                       134

  Flip Glasses and Nutmeg Holders. Owned by Miss Frances
  C. Morse, Worcester, Mass.                                       136

  Sign-board, Stratton Tavern, Northfield Farms, Mass. Owned
  by Pocumtuck Valley Historical Association                       140

  Sign-board, Three Crowns Tavern, Salisbury, Lancaster
  County, Penn. Painted by Benjamin West                           143

  Browne's Hall, Danvers, Mass.                                    145

  Hat Tavern and Sign-board, Leacock Township, Lancaster
  County, Penn. Sign-board painted by Benjamin West                147

  Sign-board, Bissell's Tavern, East Windsor, Conn. Owned
  by Miss Emma B. King, Indianapolis, Ind.                         151

  Sign-board, Reverse Side, Bissell's Tavern, East Windsor,
  Conn. Owned by Miss Emma B. King, Indianapolis, Ind.             153

  Sign-board of William Pitt Tavern, Lancaster, Penn.              156

  Sign-board, Doolittle Tavern                                     158

  Sign-board, "A Man loaded with Mischief," London, Eng.
  Painted by Hogarth                                      _facing_ 160

  Sign-board of Walker's Tavern, Charlestown, N. H. Owned
  by Worcester Society of Antiquity                                162

  Drawing for Ames Sign-board, Dedham, Mass.                       165

  Buck Horn Tavern, N. Y., 1812. From an old print                 168

  Old North Bridge, Concord, Mass.                        _facing_ 172

  Boston Liberty Tree and Tavern. From an old print                174

  Stavers Inn, Portsmouth, N. H.                                   176

  Handbill of Wolfe Tavern, Newburyport, Mass.            _facing_ 178

  Sign-board of Wolfe Tavern, Newburyport, Mass.                   180

  Hancock Tavern, Boston, Mass.                                    182

  Sam Fraunces. From original drawing. Owned by Mrs. A.
  Livingstone Mason, Newport, R. I.                                184

  Green Dragon Tavern, Boston, Mass. From an old print             187

  Conkey Tavern, Pelham, Mass. From History of Pelham     _facing_ 188

  Sign-board of Conkey Tavern. From History of Pelham              190

  Naval Pitcher, Liverpool Ware                                    192

  Washington Tavern, North Wilbraham, Mass.                        196

  Black Horse Tavern, Salem, Mass.                                 199

  Sign-board, Stickney Tavern, Concord, N. H. Owned by New
  Hampshire Historical Society                                     203

  Sign-board of Keeler's Tavern, Ridgefield, Conn.                 205

  Plate, Nahant Hotel, Staffordshire Ware                          206

  Sign-board of Wolfe Tavern, Brooklyn, Conn. Owned by
  Connecticut Historical Society                                   211

  Postlethwaite's Tavern, Lancaster County, Penn.                  214

  Sign-board of Pembroke Tavern, Plymouth Turnpike, Mass.
  Owned by Bostonian Society                                       217

  Map Pitcher, Liverpool Ware                                      220

  Waiting at the Ferry. Painted by Edward Lamson Henry,
  N.A.                                                    _facing_ 226

  Old Chain Bridge, Newburyport, Mass.                    _facing_ 230

  Bridge Toll-board. Owned by Mr. A. G. Richmond,
  Canajoharie, N. Y.                                               233

  Megunticook Turnpike                                             235

  Advertisement of Mail-stage                                      236

  Bridge Sign-board. Owned by Bucks County Historical
  Society                                                          239

  A Wayside Friend, North Conway, N. H. From photograph
  by T. E. M. and G. H. White                             _facing_ 242

  Conestoga Wagon. Photographed from an old wagon         _facing_ 246

  Stage Wagons. From print in an old English story book            251

  English Coach, 1747. From a painting by Hogarth                  254

  Quicksilver Royal Mail, 1835, London, Eng. From an old
  print                                                   _facing_ 256

  "One Hoss Shay"                                         _facing_ 258

  "Washington" Chariot. Owned by Misses Francis, Spring
  Green Farm, Warwick, R. I.                                       259

  Advertisement of Stage Lines. From first issue of New
  York _Commercial Advertiser_, 1797                               261

  Stage-coach of 1818. From an old print                           264

  Stage-coach of 1828. From an old print                           265

  Concord Coach, built in 1863. Owned by "Buffalo Bill"            266

  Concord Coach at Toll-gate. From photograph owned by
  Major Lewis Downing, Jr., Concord, N. H.                _facing_ 268

  Advertisement of Pioneer Line Stage-coaches                      278

  The Omnibus "Accommodation" between Springfield and
  Chicopee Falls, 1843                                             273

  Notice of Post-rider, 1799                                       276

  Old Mail-coach and Sign-board, Barre, Mass., 1840                280

  Pitcher, Quincy Railway, Staffordshire Ware                      284

  Veazie Railway, Bangor, Me. From an old print                    286

  The Arrival of the Train. From a painting by Edward
  Lamson Henry, N.A.                                      _facing_ 288

  Uncle Ame Morris's Oxen serving as Locomotive. From
  an old print                                                     289

  Pease Tavern, Shrewsbury, Mass.                                  292

  Old Arcade, Shrewsbury, Mass.                                    294

  Harrington Tavern, Shrewsbury, Mass.                             299

  Balch Tavern, Shrewsbury, Mass.                                  301

  Advertisement of Ginery Twichell's Stage Lines. Owned
  by American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.       _facing_ 304

  Ginery Twichell's Ride. From drawing owned by Mr.
  Frederick A. Currier, Fitchburg, Mass.                           306

  Sign-board of Tarleton Inn, Piermont, Cohos Turnpike,
  N. H. Owned by Mr. Amos Tarleton, Haverhill, N. H.               310

  Sign-board, Reverse, of Tarleton Inn, Piermont, N. H.
  Owned by Mr. Amos Tarleton, Haverhill, N. H.                     312

  Bliss's Tavern, Haverhill, N. H.                                 314

  Old Sleigh with Double Dashboard                                 316

  Old Passenger Pung                                               318

  Relay House, Dorchester, Mass.                                   321

  The Relay. From painting by Edward Lamson Henry, N.A.   _facing_ 324

  View of Middletown, Conn. From an old print                      327

  Deerhide and Pigskin Trunks                                      331

  Old Carpet Bag. Owned by Mrs. Voice Adams Beecher,
  Brooklyn, N. Y.                                                  333

  Sign-board of David Reed's Tavern, Bedford, Mass. Owned
  by Concord Antiquarian Society                                   337

  Midsummer along the Pike                                _facing_ 344

  A Vista of White Birches                                         346

  The Hollyhock's Promise                                          348

  The Cool Depths of the Pine Woods. From photograph by
  T. E. M. and G. H. White                                _facing_ 348

  Taylor's Tavern, 1777, Danbury, Conn.                            350

  M. M. Taylor's Milestone, Danbury, Conn.                         351

  Peleg Arnold's Milestone, Woonsocket, R. I. From
  photograph by Mr. Edward Field, Providence, R. I.                352

  The Watering Trough                                              355

  Topsfield Bridge, 1760. Ipswich River, Mass.                     357

  The Shadowy Water under the Arches. From photograph
  by T. E. M. and G. H. White                             _facing_ 358

  Winter Stage, Dalton, Mass.                             _facing_ 362

  Winter Stage, Chepachet. From photograph by Mr. Edward
  Field, Providence, R. I.                                         364

  Advertisements of Carriages and Wagons. From
  Connecticut _Journal_, July 3, 1815                     _facing_ 368

  A Wet Start at Daybreak. From a painting by Edward
  Lamson Henry, N.A.                                      _facing_ 370

  The Wayside Inn, Sudbury, Mass.                         _facing_ 372

  Sign-board, Perkins Inn, Hopkinton, N. H. Owned by
  Mr. E. R. Guerin, Hopkinton, N. H.                               375

  Russel Tavern, Arlington, Mass.                                  379

  Sign-board of Gifford's Tavern, Barrington, R. I. Owned
  by Mrs. Gifford, Bristol, R. I.                                  381

  Sign-board of Wells Tavern, Greenfield Meadows, Mass.
  Owned by Pocumtuck Valley Historical Association                 382

  Mattapan Tavern, Relay House                                     389

  Wilde Tavern, Milton, Mass., 1770                                391

  Ashburnham Thief Detecting Society. Handbill Heading             393

  Sign-board of Humphrey Williams Tavern, Centrebrook,
  Conn. Owned by Mr. George F. Ives, Danbury, Conn.                396

  Sign-board, Reverse, of Humphrey Williams Tavern,
  Centrebrook, Conn. Owned by Mr. George F. Ives,
  Danbury, Conn.                                                   400

  Poor Tavern and Sign-board, Newburyport, Mass.                   405

  Monroe Tavern, Lexington, Mass.                         _facing_ 406

  Sign-board, Dewey Tavern                                         411

  Sign-board, Cutter's Tavern, Jaffray, N. H. Owned by
  Mrs. Anna Cutter Roberts, Roxbury, Mass.                         412

  Banjo Clock, with Painting of Pahquoique House on Glass
  Door. Owned by Mr. George F. Ives, Danbury, Conn.                414

  Wright Tavern, Concord, Mass.                                    417

  Sign-board of Moses Hill's Inn, Douglas, Mass.                   419

  Sign-board of John Nash's Tavern, Amherst, Mass. From
  History of Amherst                                               421

  Montague City Tavern                                             425

  Old Abbey, Bloomingdale Road, New York                           428

  After the Shower. From painting by Edward Lamson
  Henry, N. A.                                            _facing_ 430

  Tavern Pitcher, Apotheosis of Washington. Liverpool Ware         430

  Sign-board of Grosvenor Inn, Pomfret, Conn.                      432

  The Parting of the Ways, Dublin, N. H.                  _facing_ 434

Stage-coach and Tavern Days



In reverent and affectionate retrospective view of the influences and
conditions which had power and made mark upon the settlement of New
England, we are apt to affirm with earnest sentiment that religion was the
one force, the one aim, the one thought, of the lives of our forbears. It
was indeed an ever present thought and influence in their lives; but they
possessed another trait which is as evident in their records as their
piety, and which adds an element of human interest to their story which
their stern Puritanism never could have done; with them their
neighborliness, was as ever present and as sincere as their godliness.
Hence the establishment of an hostelry,--an ordinary it was usually
called,--for the entertainment of travellers and for the mutual comfort of
the settlers, was scarcely second to their providing a gathering-place for
the church.

The General Court of Massachusetts at an early date took decisive measures
with regard to houses of common entertainment. No one was permitted to
keep without license "a common victuallyng house," under a penalty of
twenty shillings a week. Soon the power of granting licenses was
transferred to the County Courts, as the constant increase in the number
of ordinaries made too constant detailed work for so important a body as
the General Court.

Consideration for the welfare of travellers, and a desire to regulate the
sale of intoxicating liquors, seemed to the magistrates important enough
reasons not only to counsel but to enforce the opening of some kind of a
public house in each community, and in 1656 the General Court of
Massachusetts made towns liable to a fine for not sustaining an ordinary.
Towns were fined and admonished for not conforming to this law; Concord,
Massachusetts, was one of the number. The Colonial Records of Connecticut,
in 1644, ordered "one sufficient inhabitant" in each town to keep an
ordinary, since "strangers were straitened" for want of entertainment. A
frequent and natural choice of location for establishing an ordinary was
at a ferry. Tristram Coffyn kept both ferry and ordinary at Newbury,
Massachusetts; there was an ordinary at Beverly Ferry, known until 1819 as
the "Old Ferry Tavern."

Great inducements were offered to persons to keep an ordinary; sometimes
land was granted them, or pasturage for their cattle, or exemption from
church rates and school taxes. In 1682, Hugh March, of Newbury,
Massachusetts, petitioned for a renewal of his license to keep an
ordinary, saying thus: "The town of Newbury, some years since, were
destitute of an ordinary, and could not persuade any person to keep it.
For want of an ordinary they were twice fined by the county, and would
have been a third time had I not undertaken it." In 1668 the town had
persuaded one Captain White to "undertake an ordinary" on high moral
grounds; and it is painful to record that, though he did so unwillingly,
he found the occupation so profitable that he finally got into disgrace
through it.

[Illustration: Ordinary at Duxbury, Massachusetts.]

The early taverns were not opened wholly for the convenience of
travellers; they were for the comfort of the townspeople, for the
interchange of news and opinions, the sale of solacing liquors, and the
incidental sociability; in fact, the importance of the tavern to its local
neighbors was far greater than to travellers. There were many restrictions
upon the entertainment of unknown strangers. The landlord had to give the
name of all such strangers to the selectmen, who could, if they deemed
them detrimental or likely to become a charge upon the community, warn
them out of the town. The old town records are full of such warnings, some
of them most amusing. Nor could the landlord "knowingly harbor in house,
barn, or stable, any rogues, vagabonds, thieves, sturdy beggars,
masterless men or women." Our ancestors were kindly neighbors to godly
folk, but sternly intolerant of wrong-doers, or even of those suspected of

We cannot wonder that citizens did not seek to become ordinary-keepers
when we learn how they were hampered, or how the magistrates tried to
hamper them. They were at one time not to be permitted to sell "sack or
strong waters," nor have any dancing or singing within their walls. No
games could be played in their precincts. They were even hindered in the
selling of cakes and buns. Innholders and victuallers were prohibited the
brewing of beer, but that soon had to be revoked. The price and quality of
beer was constantly being established by law and as constantly changed. In
1634 the Court set the price of a single meal at sixpence, and not above a
penny for an ale-quart of beer out of meal time. Then, a little later, the
landlords were forbidden to change more than twelve pence for a meal; and
they were ordered to furnish meals to "pore people," as simply as called

One Richard Cluffe, in an utterance which sounds like the voice of
Shakespeare's clown, exclaimed at a mean meal served to him, "What! shall
I pay twelve pence for the fragments which the grand jury roages have
left?" The majesty of the law could not thus be attacked in Massachusetts
in the year 1640. Three pounds six shillings and eight pence did Cluffe
pay for his rash and angry words--truly a costly dinner.

The ordinary called The Anchor, at Lynn, was kept by one Joseph Armitage.
Being a halfway house between Boston and Salem, the magistrates made it
their stopping-place on their various trips from court to court. The
accounts of this ordinary are still preserved. Governor Endicott's bills
for "vitals, beare, and logen," for "bear and caeks," were paid by the
Auditor. Governor Bradstreet had "beare and wyne." The succeeding landlord
of this ordinary was described by John Dunton in 1686 as a hearty,
talkative, fine old gentleman, one of Oliver Cromwell's soldiers. Dunton
had at The Anchor a good fowl and a bottle of sack, instead of the beer
and cakes of the abstemious Puritan governor.

The "Sports of the Innyard" were sternly frowned upon by Puritan
magistrates. Among the games which were named as forbidden in the
ordinaries were "carding," dicing, tally, bowls, billiards, slidegroat,
shuffle-board, quoits, loggets, ninepins. After a time shuffle-board and
bowls were tolerated in private houses, though not deemed reputable at the

The Puritan ordinary saw some wedding scenes, and apparently some
tentatively gay scenes, since in 1631 the magistrates of Massachusetts
Bay, in "consequence of some miscarriages at weddings" which had been
held in an ordinary, passed a law prohibiting dancing on such occasions in
public houses.

Lord Ley lodged at the Boston ordinary in 1637; and when Governor Winthrop
urged him to come to his home from the inn, his lordship declined, saying
that the house where he was staying was so well ordered that he could be
as private there as elsewhere.

In the towns a night-watch was soon instituted, and the instructions given
by the Boston magistrates smack strongly of Dogberry's famous charge.
Their number each night was eight; they were "to walk two by two together,
a youth joined to an older and more sober person." Lights had to be
out,--or hidden,--especially in the ordinaries. "If they see lights, to
inquire if there be warrantable cause; and if they hear any noise or
disorder, wisely to demand the reason; if they are dancing and singing
vainly, to admonish them to cease; if they do not discontinue after
moderate admonition, then the constable to take their names and acquaint
the authorities therewith. If they find young men and maidens, not of
known fidelity, walking after ten o'clock, modestly to demand the cause,
and if they appear ill-minded, to watch them narrowly, command them to go
to their lodgings, and if they refuse then to secure them till morning."
In 1663 Josselyn found that young sparks walking with their sweet-hearts,
or "Marmalet-Madams" as he called them, had to go home at nine o'clock.

Constant and strenuous efforts were made from earliest days to prevent
drunkenness and all tavern disorders. As early as 1637 complaints had been
made that "much drunkenness, waste of the good creatures of God, mispense
of time, and other disorders" had taken place at the ordinaries. Frequent
laws were made about selling liquor to the "devilish bloudy salvages," and
many were the arrests and fines and punishments therefor.

[Illustration: Taproom Furnishings of an Old Ordinary.]

Landlords were forbidden by the Court in 1645 "to suffer anyone to be
drunk or drink excessively, or continue tippling above the space of half
an hour in any of their said houses under penalty of 5_s._ for every such
offence suffered; and every person found drunk in the said houses or
elsewhere shall forfeit 10_s._; and for every excessive drinking he shall
forfeit 3_s._ 4_d._; for sitting idle and continuing drinking above half
an hour, 2_s._ 6_d._; and it is declared to be excessive drinking of wine
when above half a pint of wine is allowed at one time to one person to
drink: provided that it shall be lawful for any strangers, or lodgers, or
any person or persons, in an orderly way to continue in such houses of
common entertainment during meal times or upon lawful business, what time
their occasions shall require."

Drunkards were severely punished by being thrust into the bilboes, set in
the stocks, and whipped. In 1632 one "James Woodward shalbe sett in the
bilbowes for being drunke at New-Towne." Robert Wright was fined twenty
shillings and ordered to sit in the stocks an hour for being "twice
distempered in drink." On September 3, 1633, in Boston:--

    "Robert Coles was fyned ten shillings and enjoynd to stand with a
    white sheet of paper on his back, whereon Drunkard shalbe written in
    great lres, and to stand therewith soe long as the Court find meet,
    for abusing himself shamefully with drinke."

This did not reform Robert Coles, for a year later his badge of disgrace
was made permanent:--

    "Robert Coles for drunkenness by him committed at Rocksbury shalbe
    disfranchizd, weare about his neck, and so to hang upon his outwd
    garment a D. made of redd cloth & sett upon white: to continyu this
    for a yeare, & not to have it off any time hee comes among company,
    Vnder the penalty of xl _s._ for the first offence, and 5 £ for the
    second, and afterward to be punished by the Court as they think meet:
    also _hee is to wear the D outwards_."

It might be inferred from the clause I have italicized that the Puritan
drunkard was not without guile, and that some had worn the scarlet letter
and hidden it from public view as skilfully as the moral brand is often
hidden from public knowledge to-day. Women, also, were punished severely
for "intemperate drinking from one ordinary to another," but such examples
were rare.

Lists of names of common drunkards were given to landlords in some towns
(among them New Castle, New Hampshire), and landlords were warned not to
sell liquor to them. Licenses were removed and fines imposed on those who
did not heed the warning.

The tithing-man, that amusing but most bumptious public functionary of
colonial times, was at first the official appointed to spy specially upon
the ordinaries. He inspected these houses, made complaint of any disorders
he discovered, and gave in to the constable the names of idle drinkers and
gamers. He warned the keepers of public houses to sell no more liquor to
any whom he fancied had been tippling too freely. John Josselyn, an
English visitor in Boston in 1663, complained bitterly thus:--

    "At houses of entertainment into which a stranger went, he was
    presently followed by one appointed to that office, who would thrust
    himself into the company uninvited, and if he called for more drink
    than the officer thought in his judgement he could soberly bear away,
    he would presently countermand it, and appoint the proportion, beyond
    which he could not get one drop."

[Illustration: Old Tavern at Easton, Massachusetts.]

Now that certainly was trying. Nor could it have been agreeable to
would-be cheerful frequenters of Greyhound Tavern, in Roxbury, to have
godly Parson Danforth, when he saw from his study windows any neighbors or
strangers lingering within the tavern doors, come sallying forth from his
house across the way, and walk sternly into their company, and, as he
said, "chide them away." Patient must have been the Greyhound's landlord
to have stood such pious meddling and hindrance to trade.

Governor Winthrop gives an account of the exploits of a Boston constable
in 1644, which shows the restraint held over a lodger in a Boston ordinary
at that date.

    "There fell out a troublesome business in Boston. An English sailor
    happened to be drunk and was carried to his lodging; and the
    Constable (a Godly man and much zealous against such disorders)
    hearing of it, found him out, being upon his bed asleep; so he awaked
    him, and led him to the stocks, no magistrate being at home. He being
    left in the stocks, some one of La Tours French gentlemen visitors in
    Boston lifted up the stocks and let him out. The Constable hearing of
    it, went to the Frenchman (being then gone and quiet) and would needs
    carry _him_ to the stocks. The Frenchman offered to yield himself to
    go to prison but the Constable, not understanding his language,
    pressed him to go to the stocks. The Frenchman resisted and drew his
    sword. With that company came in and disarmed him, and carried him by
    force to the stocks, but soon after the Constable took him out and
    carried him to prison."

Winthrop gravely enumerates the faults of the constable, such as his
"transgressing the bounds of his office, the fruits of ignorant and
misguided zeal, not putting a hook on the stocks," etc., and the matter
bade fair to assume some gravity, since it was deemed in France "most
ignominious to be laid in the stocks." Yet Winthrop took care not to
rebuke the Constable in public lest he "discourage and discountenance an
honest officer."

It has been said that the homely injunction "to mind your own business"
was the most difficult lesson New Englanders ever had to learn, and that
even now it has been acquired and practised in the cities only, not in the

Administration of government in those days certainly consisted much of
meddlesome interference in the private affairs of daily life. Experience
has since taught that the free-will of the citizen is the best regulator
in such matters.

It is one of the curiosities of old-time legislation that the use of
tobacco was in earliest colonial days plainly regarded by the magistrates
and elders as far more sinful, degrading, and harmful than indulgence in
intoxicating liquors. Both the use and the planting of it were forbidden,
the latter being permitted in small quantities "for meere necessitie, for
phisick, for preservaceon of the health, and that the same be taken
privately by auncient men." Landlords were ordered not to "suffer any
tobacco to be taken into their houses" on penalty of a fine to the
"victualler," and another to "the party that takes it." The "Creature
called Tobacko" seemed to have an immortal life. The laws were constantly
altered and were enforced, still tobacco was grown and was smoked. Soon it
was forbidden to "take tobacco in any wine or common victual house, except
in a private room there, so as the master of said house nor any guest
there shall take offense thereat; which, if any do, the said person shall
forbear upon pain of two shillings sixpence for every such offense." No
one could take tobacco "publicquely" nor in his own house or anywhere else
before strangers. Two men were forbidden to smoke together. Windsor
required a physician's certificate ere it could be used. No one could
smoke within two miles of the meeting-house on the Sabbath day. There were
wicked backsliders who were caught smoking around the corner of the
meeting-house, and others on the street, and they were fined, and set in
the stocks, and in cages. Until within a few years there were New England
towns where tobacco-smoking was prohibited on the streets, and innocent
cigar-loving travellers were astounded at being requested to cease
smoking. Mr. Drake wrote in 1886 that he knew men, then living, who had
had to plead guilty or not guilty in a Boston police court for smoking in
the streets of Boston. In Connecticut in early days a great indulgence was
permitted to travellers--a man could smoke once during a journey of ten

The relationship of tavern and meeting-house in New England did not end
with their simultaneous establishment; they continued the most friendly
neighbors. And so long as a public house was commonly known as an
ordinary, those who were high in church counsels looked sharply to the
control of these houses of sojourn. The minister and tithing-man were
aided in their spying and their chiding by deacons, elders, and church

Usually the ordinary and the meeting-house were close companions. Licenses
to keep houses of entertainment were granted with the condition that the
tavern must be near the meeting-house--a keen contrast to our present laws
prohibiting the sale of liquor within a certain distance of any church. A
Boston ordinary-keeper, in 1651, was granted permission to keep a house of
common entertainment "provided hee keepe it neare the new meeting-house."

[Illustration: Leather Black-jack.]

Those who know of the old-time meeting-house can fully comprehend the
desire of the colonists to have a tavern near at hand, especially during
the winter services. Through autumn rains, and winter frosts and snows,
and fierce northwesters, the poorly-built meeting-house stood unheated,
growing more damp, more icy, more deadly, with each succeeding week. Women
cowered, shivering, half-frozen, over the feeble heat of a metal
foot-stove as the long sermon dragged on and the few coals became ashes.
Men stamped their feet and swung their arms in the vain attempt to warm
the blood. Gladly and eagerly did all troop from the gloomy meeting-house
to the cheerful tavern to thaw out before the afternoon service, and to
warm up before the ride or walk home in the late afternoon. It was a
scandal in many a town that godly church-members partook too freely of
tavern cheer at the nooning; the only wonder is that the entire
congregation did not succumb in a body to the potent flip and toddy of the

In midsummer the hot sun beat down on the meeting-house roof, and the
burning rays poured in the unshaded windows. The taproom of the tavern and
the green trees in its dooryard offered a pleasant shade to tired
church-goers, and its well-sweep afforded a grateful drink to those who
turned not to the taproom.

There are ever backsliders in all church communities; many walked into the
ordinary door instead of up the church "alley." The chimney seat of the
inn was more comfortable than the narrow seat of the "pue." The General
Court of Massachusetts passed a law requiring all innkeepers within a mile
of any meeting-house, to clear their houses "during the hours of the
exercise." "Thus," Mr. Field says wittily, "the townsmen were frozen out
of the tavern to be frozen in the meeting-house."

Our ancestors had no reverence for a church save as a literal
meeting-house, and it was not unusual to transform the house of God into a
tavern. The Great House at Charlestown, Massachusetts, the official
residence of Governor Winthrop, became a meeting-house in 1633, and then a
tavern, the Three Cranes, kept by Robert Leary and his descendants for
many years. It was destroyed in June, 1775, in the burning of the town. In
this Great House, destined to become a tavern, lived Governor Winthrop
when he announced his famous discountenance of health-drinking at the
tables and in public places. This first of all temperance pledges in New
England is recorded in his Diary in his own language, which was as
temperate as his intent:--

    "The Governor, upon consideration of the inconveniences which had
    grown in England by drinking one to another, restrained it at his own
    table, and wished others to do the like; so it grew, little by little,
    into disuse."


Frequently religious services were held in the spacious rooms of the
tavern, until a meeting-house was built; as in the town of Fitchburg,
Massachusetts, and in Providence, Rhode Island, where Roger Williams
preached. Many of the Puritan ordinaries were thus used.

Ecclesiastical affairs were managed at the ordinary, among them that most
ticklish and difficult of all adjustments and allotments, namely, seating
the meeting. The "Elders, Deacons, and Selectmen" of Cambridge were made a
"constant and settled power for regulating the seating of persons in the
meeting-house." They were ordered to meet at the ordinary, and such orders
and appointments as this were made:--

    "Brother Richard Jackson's wife to sit where Sister Kempster was wont
    to sit. Ester Sparhawke to sit in the place where Mrs. Upham is
    removed from. Mr. Day to sit the second seat from the table. Ensign
    Samuel Greene to sit at the Table. Goody Gates to sit at the end of
    the Deacon's seat. Goody Wines to sit in the Gallery."

It needed much consultation and thought to "seat the meeting." We can
imagine the deacons loosening their tongues over the tavern flip and
punch, and arguing confidentially over the standing, the wealth, and
temper of the various parties to be seated.

There were in Boston at different times several ordinaries and taverns
known as the King's Arms. One of the earliest ones stood at the head of
Dock Square. In 1651 one Hugh Gunnison, vintner, and his wife, sold this
house, known by the sign of the King's Arms, with its furniture and
appurtenances, for the sum of £600 sterling, a goodly sum for the day. An
inventory of the "p'ticular goods and household stuffe" still exists, and
is of much interest not only as indicating the furnishings of a house of
that character in that colony at that date, but showing also the naming of
the chambers, as in the English inns of Shakespeare's day.

    "In the chamber called the Exchange one halfe bedstead with blew
    pillows, one livery Cupbord coloured blue, one long table, benches,
    two formes and one carved chaire.

    "In the Kitchen three formes dressers shelves.

    "In the Larder one square Table banisters dressers & shelves round.

    "In the Hall, three Small Roomes with tables and benches in them, one
    table about six foote long in the Hall and one bench.

    "In the low parlor one bedstead one table and benches two formes, one
    small frame of a form and shelves, one Closet with shelves.

    "In the room Vnder the closet one child's bedsted.

    "In the Chamber called London, one bedsted two benches.

    "In the Chamber over London one bedsted one crosse table one forme one

    "In the Closet next the Exchange, shelves.

    "In the barr by the hall, three shelves, the frame of a low stoole.

    "In the vpper p'lor one bedsted two chaires one table one forme bench
    and shelves.

    "In the Nursery one Crosse Table with shelvs.

    "In the Court Chamber one Long table three formes one livery cupbord,
    & benches.

    "In the closet within the Court chamber one bedsted and shelvs.

    "In the Starr chamber one long table, one bedsted, one livery Cupbord
    one chaire three formes with benches.

    "In the Garret over the Court chamber one bedsted one table two

    "In the garret over the closet in the Court chamber one bedsted one
    smale forme.

    "In the foure garrett chambers over the Starr chamber three bedsteds
    four tables with benches.

    "In the brewhouse one Cop', twoe fatts, one vnder back, one vpper
    back, one kneading trough one dresser one brake.

    "In the stable one Racke & manger.

    "In the yarde one pumpe, pipes to convey the water to the brew house,
    fyve hogg styes, one house of office.

    "The signes of the Kinges Armes and signe posts."

This was certainly a large house and amply furnished. It contained
thirteen bedsteads and a vast number of tables, forms, benches, shelves,
and cupboards.

The rooms of the Blue Anchor, another Boston ordinary, also bore names:
the Rose and Sun Low room, the Cross Keys, the Green Dragon, the Anchor
and Castle.

We can form, from the items of this inventory, a very good and detailed
picture of the interior of a Boston ordinary at that date. But it must not
be imagined that there were at the time of this sale many colonial
ordinaries as amply furnished as the King's Arms. The accommodations in
the public houses of small towns, indeed perhaps everywhere in New England
save in Boston and Salem, were very primitive. The ordinary was doubtless
as well furnished as the private homes of its neighbors, and that was very
simple of fashion, while the fare was scant of variety.

[Illustration: Taproom of Wayside Inn.]

We know that even the early ordinaries had sign-boards.

The ordinary-keeper had his license granted with the proviso that "there
be sett up some inoffensive sign obvious for direction to
strangers"--this in Salem in 1645. In 1655 the Rhode Island courts ordered
that all persons appointed to keep an ordinary should "cause to be sett
out a convenient Signe at ye most perspicuous place of ye said house,
thereby to give notice to strangers yt it is a house of public
entertainment, and this to be done with all convenient speed."

Women kept ordinaries and taverns from early days. Widows abounded, for
the life of the male colonists was hard, exposure was great, and many died
in middle age. War also had many victims. Tavern-keeping was the resort of
widows of small means then, just as the "taking of boarders" is to-day.
Women were skilled in business affairs and competent; many licenses were
granted to them to keep victualling-houses, to draw wine, and make and
sell beer. In 1684 the wife of one Nicholas Howard was licensed "to
entertain Lodgers in the absence of her husband"; while other women were
permitted to sell food and drink but could not entertain lodgers because
their husbands were absent from home, thus drawing nice distinctions. A
Salem dame in 1645 could keep an ordinary if she provided a "godly man" to
manage her business. Some women became renowned as good innkeepers, and
they were everywhere encouraged in the calling.

The colonists did not have to complain long, nor to pine long for lack of
ordinaries. In 1675 Cotton Mather said every other house in Boston was an

One of the first serious protests against the increase of ordinaries and
ale-houses in the colonies, and appreciation of their pernicious effects,
came from Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill, Massachusetts. He was a
magistrate, and an officer in the militia. He was appointed one of the
judges in the Salem witchcraft trials; but in this latter capacity he
refused to serve, which may be taken as a proof of his advanced thought.
He was said to be "a man of superior powers of mind and rare talents." In
December, 1696, he sent a letter to the Salem Court which ran thus:--


    "I allways thought it great prudence and Christianity in our former
    leaders and rulers, by their laws to state the number of publique
    houses in towns and for regulation of such houses, as were of
    necessity, thereby to prevent all sorts, almost, of wickednesses which
    daily grow in upon us like a flood. But alas! I see not but that now
    the case is over, and such (as to some places I may term them)
    pest-houses and places of enticement (tho not so intended by the
    Justices) the sin are multiplied. It is multiplied too openly, that
    the cause of it may be, the price of retailers' fees, etc. I pray what
    need of six retailers in Salisbury, and of more than one in Haverhill,
    and some other towns where the people, when taxes and rates for the
    country and ministers are collecting, with open mouths complain of
    povertie and being hardly dealt with, and yet I am fully informed, can
    spend much time, and spend their estates at such blind holes, as are
    clandestinely and unjustly petitioned for; and more threaten to get
    licenses, chiefly by repairing to a remote court, where they are not
    known or suspected, but pass for current, and thereby the towns are
    abused, and the youth get evil habits; and men sent out on country
    service at such places waste much of their time, yet expect pay for
    it, in most pernicious loytering and what, and sometimes by foolish if
    not pot-valiant firing and shooting off guns, not for the destruction
    of enemies, but to the wonderful disturbance and affrightment of the
    inhabitants, which is not the service a scout is allowed and
    maintained for.

    "Please to see what good is done by giving a license to Robert
    Hastings, in such a by-place about three miles from the publique house
    in town. The man himself I am sure has no cause, nor do I believe the
    town and travellers if they are sober men, will ever give the court
    thanks for the first grant to him, or the further renewal thereof.

    "But now the bravado is made, what is done is not enough; we must have
    a third tippling house at Peter Patey's about midway between the other
    two, which they boast as cock-sure of, and have it is thought laid in,
    for this very end, an unaccountable store of cyder, rum, molasses, and
    what not. It is well if this stock be not now spent on, in procuring
    subscriptions for to obtain the villain's license, which I fear,
    knowing the man, we may be bold to say, wickedness will be practiced
    and without control.... I have done my part in court, as to what I
    heard of, to prevent such confiding licenses to persons unknown....

    "I am now God's prisoner and cant come abroad, and have waited long to
    speak of those, and others, but as yet cant meet with an opportunity.
    You have nothing here of personal animosity of mine against any man,
    but zeal and faithfulness to my country and town, and to the young and
    rising generation that they be not too much at liberty to live and do
    as they list. Accept of the good intentions of, gentlemen, your humble


There is a sturdy ring about this letter, a freedom from cant and
conventional religious expressions, that serve to paint clearly the
character of the writer, and show us by one of those side-glimpses, which,
as Ruskin says, often afford more light than a full stare, the sort of man
that built up New England in the beginning, on its solid and noble

[Illustration: Buckman Tavern, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1690.]

In spite of the forebodings of Saltonstall and other Christian gentlemen,
the flood of wickedness and disorder which he predicted was slow in its
approach. The orderly ways and close restrictions and surveillance of the
Puritan ordinary lasted until long after public houses were called

In the latter quarter of the seventeenth century and the first of the
eighteenth a nearly continual diary was kept by a resident of Boston,
Judge Samuel Sewall, who might be called Boston's first citizen. He was
rich, he was good, he was intelligent, and some portions of his diary are
of great value for the light they throw on contemporary customs and
events. He has been called a Puritan Pepys; but in one respect he is
markedly unlike Pepys, who gave us ample record of London taverns, and of
tavern life in his day. It is doubtful that Sewall knew much about tavern
life in Boston; for his private life was a great contrast to that of our
gay Pepys. Judge Sewall was a home-body, tenderly careful of his
children--he had fourteen; a "loving servant" to his wives--he had three;
especially devoted to his mother-in-law--he had but one, the richest woman
in Boston; kind to his neighbors, poor as well as rich; attentive to his
friends in sickness, and thoughtful of them in death; zealous in religious
duties both in the church and the family; public-spirited and upright in
his service to his town and state, from his high office as judge, down to
fulfilling petty duties such as serving on the watch. He had little time
for tavern life, and little inclination to it; and he condemned men who
"kept ordinaries and sold rum." He was a shining example of the
"New-English men," whose fast-thinning ranks he so sadly deplored, and
whose virtues he extolled. He occasionally refers in his diary to
ordinaries. Sometimes he soberly drank healths and grace-cups within
Boston and Cambridge tavern walls with the honored Deputies, at the
installation of a new Governor, on the King's Coronation Day, or a Royal
Birthday. Sometimes we read of his pleasuring trips with his wife to the
Greyhound Tavern in Roxbury, his gala dinner of boiled pork and roast
fowls, and his riding home at curfew in "brave moonshine." That clear June
moonlight shining down through the centuries does not display to us any
very gay figures, any very jolly riders. We can see the Judge in rich but
sad-colored attire, with his wife on a pillion behind him, soberly jogging
home, doubtless singing psalms as they went through the short stretches of
Roxbury woods; for he sang psalms everywhere apparently, when he was
permitted to do so. This is as might be expected of a man who on another
pleasure jaunt with his wife left her eating cherries in the orchard,
while he, like any other Puritan, "sweetened his mouth with a bit of
Calvin," that is, he sat indoors and read _Calvin on Psalms_.

[Illustration: Hound-handle Tavern Pitcher.]

At this time--in the year 1714--Boston had a population approaching ten
thousand. It had thirty-four ordinary- or inn-holders, of whom twelve were
women; four common victuallers, of whom one was a woman; forty-one
retailers of liquor, of whom seventeen were women, and a few cider
sellers. There were, therefore, ample places in which liquor could be
bought; but Sewall's entire diary gives proof of the orderliness of life
in Boston. There are not half a dozen entries which give any records or
show any evidence of tavern disorders. In 1708 an inquiry was made by the
magistrates "as to debaucheries at the Exchange," and as a result one
young man was fined five shillings for cursing, ten shillings for throwing
a beer-pot and scale-box at the maid, and twenty shillings for lying--that
was all. The longest entry is on the Queen's birthday in 1714:--

    "My neighbor Colson knocks at my door about nine P.M., or past, to
    tell of disorders at the ordinary at the South End, kept by Mr.
    Wallace. He desired me that I would accompany Mr. Bromfield and
    Constable Howell hither. It was 35 minutes past nine before Mr.
    Bromfield came, then we went, took Æneas Salter with us. Found much
    company. They refused to go away. Said was there to drink the Queen's
    health and had many other healths to drink. Called for more drink and
    drank to me: I took notice of the affront, to them. Said they must and
    would stay upon that solemn occasion. Mr. Netmaker drank the Queen's
    health to me. I told him I drank none; on that he ceased. Mr. Brinley
    put on his hat to affront me. I made him take it off. I threatened to
    send some of them to prison. They said they could but pay their fine
    and doing that might stay. I told them if they had not a care they
    would be guilty of a riot. Mr. Bromfield spake of raising a number of
    men to quell them, and was in some heat ready to run into the street.
    But I did not like that. Not having pen and ink I went to take their
    names with my pencil and not knowing how to spell their names they
    themselves of their own accord writ them. At last I addressed myself
    to Mr. Banister. I told him he had been longest an inhabitant and
    freeholder and I expected he would set a good example by departing
    thence. Upon this he invited them to his own house, and away they
    went. And we after them went away. I went directly home and found it
    25 minutes past ten at night when I entered my own house."

No greater tribute to orderly Boston could be given than this record of
rare disturbance. Even in that day, half after nine was not a late hour,
and it took the Judge but an hour to walk from his house and back and
disperse these soberly rioting young men, whom we can picture, solemnly
writing down their own names with the Judge's pencil for him to bring them
up in the morning. The next day they were each fined five shillings. Some
paid, some appealed and gave bonds. Mr. Netmaker was Secretary to the
Commander of her Majesty's forces, and he had to pay five shillings for
cursing. They also attempted to make him give bonds to keep the peace, but
at this he and his friends lost patience and refused. Judges Sewall and
Bromfield promptly sent him to jail. It is not surprising to know that
the Governor released him, though under strenuous protest from the two
magistrates, who had, they contended, simply executed the laws.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Hayden Tavern, Essex, Connecticut.]

Judge Sewall records one scene, a typically Puritanical one, and worthy of
a Puritan tithing-man. It took place at the Castle Inn where he went with
some other good Bostonians to shut off a "vain show."

    "Treat with Brother Wing (the landlord) about his Setting a Room in
    his House for a Man to shew Tricks in. He saith, seeing 'tis offensive
    he will remedy it. It seems the Room is fitted with Seats. I read what
    Dr. Ames saith of Callings, and spake as I could from this Principle,
    that the Man's Practice was unlawfull, and therefore Capt. Wing could
    not lawfully give him an accommodation for it. Sung the 90 Ps from the
    12 v to the end. Broke up."

There is a suggestion of sober farce in this picture of those pious
gentlemen reading and expounding a sermon, whipping out their psalm books,
and singing a psalm to poor hospitable Landlord Wing in the parlor or
taproom of his own house.

Naturally the Puritan planters, and all "true New-English men" like
Sewall, did not care to have the ordinaries of their quiet towns made into
places of gay resort, of what they called "the shewing of vain shews."
They deemed those hostelries places of hospitable convenience, not of
lively entertainment. A contemporary poet, Quarles, thus compares human
life to a stay at an inn:--

  "Our life is nothing but a winter's day,
  Some only break their fast and so away;
  Others stay dinner and depart full fed;
  The deepest age but sups and goes to bed.
  He's most in debt who lingers out the day,
  Who dies betimes, has less and less to pay."

This somewhat melancholy view, both of life and of a public house,
lingered long in the colonies, for nearly a century; we might say, with
the life of the ordinary. When taverns came, their guests thought very
little of dying, and paid very much attention to living.



By the close of the seventeenth century the word ordinary was passing into
disuse in America; public houses had multiplied vastly and had become
taverns, though a few old-fashioned folk--in letters, and doubtless in
conversation--still called them ordinaries--Judge Sewall was one. The word
inn, universal in English speech, was little heard here, and tavern was
universally adopted. Though to-day somewhat shadowed by a formless
reputation of being frequently applied to hostelries of vulgar resort and
coarse fare and ways, the word tavern is nevertheless a good one, resonant
of sound and accurate of application, since to this present time in the
commonwealth of Massachusetts and in other states such large and sumptuous
caravansaries as the Touraine and the Somerset Hotel of Boston are in the
eye and tongue of the law simply taverns, and their proprietors
inn-holders or tavern-keepers.

In the Middle colonies ordinaries and inns were just as quickly opened,
just as important, just as frequent, as in New England; but in the
Southern colonies, the modes of settlement were so different, there were
so few towns and villages, that hospitality to the traveller was shown at
each plantation, every man's home was an inn; every planter was a

In general no charge was made for the entertainment of the chance visitor
whose stay was deemed a pleasure in the secluded life of the Virginia
tobacco planter. Indeed, unless a distinct contract had been made in
advance and terms stated, the host could not demand pay from a guest, no
matter how long the visitor remained. Rates of prices were set for the
first Virginian ordinaries; previous to 1639 six pounds of tobacco were
paid for a dinner, or about eighteen pence in coin; but as food soon grew
more abundant, the price was reduced to twelve pence, and it was enjoined
that the food must be wholesome and plentiful. Then the charges grew
exorbitant,--twenty pounds of tobacco for a meal for a master, fifteen for
a servant. Throughout the country the prices wavered up and down, but were
never low. There were apparently two causes for this: the fact that
ordinary-keepers captured so few guests, and also that the tobacco leaf
varied and depreciated in value.

By 1668 so many small tippling-houses and petty ordinaries existed in the
colony of Virginia that laws were passed restricting the number in each
county to one at the court-house, and possibly one at a wharf or ferry.
Then the magistrates tried to limit the drinks sold in these houses to
beer and cider; and private individuals were warned not to sell "any sort
of drink or liquor whatsoever, by retail under any color, pretence,
delusion, or subtle evasion whatsoever." Those conditions did not last
long. Soon the Virginia ordinaries had plentiful domestic and imported
liquors, and at very low prices. Mr. Bruce says that "Madeira, Canary,
Malaga, and Fayal wines were probably much more abundant in the Colony
than in England at this time, and were drunk by classes which in the
mother country were content with strong and small-beer."

But the ordinaries did scant business as lodging-places. Governor Harvey
complained that he could with as much justice be called the host as the
Governor of Virginia, from the great number of persons entertained by him.
This condition of affairs continued outside the cities till well into this
century. In the large towns, however, comfortable taverns were everywhere
established; and they were, as in the Northern colonies, the gathering
places of many serious and many frivolous assemblages. The best of our
American taverns were found in Southern cities; Baltimore had the Fountain
Inn built around a courtyard like an old English inn, and furnished very

Few of these ancient taverns still remain. The old Indian Queen Tavern is
still standing at Bladensburg, Maryland. Its picture is given opposite
page 33. This view is from a painting by Mr. Edward Lamson Henry. It shows
also an old stage-wagon such as was used in the eighteenth century,
starting out from the tavern door. Mr. Henry has made a most exhaustive
study of old-time modes of travel, as well as a fine collection of old
vehicles, harnesses, costumes, etc. The copies of his paintings, which I
am honored by using in this book, are in every detail authoritative and
invaluable records of the olden time.

[Illustration: Indian Queen Tavern, Bladensburg, Maryland.]

With the establishment of turnpikes, road houses multiplied, and for a
time prospered. But their day was short; a typical Maryland road house is
shown on page 34, far gone in a decrepit and ugly old age.

The history of Pennsylvania shows that its taverns were great in number
and good in quality, especially soon after the Revolution. This would be
the natural accompaniment of the excellent roads throughout the state.
Philadelphia had an extraordinary number of public houses, and many were
needed; for the city had a vast number of visitors, and a great current of
immigration poured into that port. In the chapter on Signs and Symbols,
many names and descriptions are given of old Philadelphia taverns.

The first Dutch directors-general of New Netherland entertained infrequent
travellers and traders at their own homes, and were probably very glad to
have these visitors. But trade was rapidly increasing, and
Director-General Kieft, "in order to accommodate the English, from whom he
suffered great annoyance, built a fine inn of stone." The chronicler De
Vries had often dined in Kieft's house, and he says dryly of the building
of this inn, "It happened well for the travellers."

The Stadt Harberg, or City Tavern, was built in where now stand the
warehouses, 71 and 73 Pearl Street. It was ordained that a well and
brew-house might be erected at the rear of the inn; right was given to
retail the East India Company's wine and brandy; and some dull records
exist of the use of the building as an inn. It had a career afterward of
years of use and honor as the Stadt Huys, or City Hall; I have told its
story at length in a paper in the _Half-Moon Series_ on Historic New York.

[Illustration: Old Maryland Road House.]

The building was certainly not needed as a tavern, for in 1648 one-fourth
of the buildings in New Amsterdam had been turned into tap-houses for the
sale of beer, brandy, and tobacco. Governor Stuyvesant placed some
restraint on these tapsters; they had to receive unanimous consent of the
Council to set up the business; they could not sell to Indians.
"Unreasonable night-tippling," that is, drinking after the curfew bell at
nine o'clock, and "intemperate drinking on the Sabbath," that is, drinking
by any one not a boarder before three o'clock on the Sabbath (when church
services were ended), were heavily fined. Untimely "sitting of clubs" was
also prohibited. These laws were evaded with as much ease as the Raines
Law provisions of later years in the same neighborhood.

In 1664 the red cross of St. George floated over the city; the English
were in power; the city of New Amsterdam was now New York. The same tavern
laws as under the Dutch obtained, however, till 1748, and under the
English, taverns multiplied as fast as under Dutch rule. They had good old
English names on their sign-boards: the Thistle and Crown, the Rose and
Thistle, the Duke of Cumberland, the Bunch of Grapes, St. George and the
Dragon, Dog's Head in the Porridge Pot, the Fighting Cocks, the White
Lion, the King's Head.

On the Boreel Building on Broadway is a bronze commemorative tablet,
placed there in 1890 by the Holland Society.

The site of this building has indeed a history of note. In 1754 Edward
Willet opened there a tavern under the sign of the Province Arms; and many
a distinguished traveller was destined to be entertained for many a year
at this Province Arms and its successors. It had been the home residence
of the De Lanceys, built about 1700 by the father of Lieutenant-Governor
James De Lancey, and was deemed a noble mansion. The Province Arms began
its career with two very brilliant public dinners: one to the new English
Governor, Sir Charles Hardy; the other upon the laying of the corner-stone
of King's College. A grand function this was, and the Province Arms had
full share of honor. All the guests, from Governor to students, assembled
at the tavern, and proceeded to the college grounds; they laid the stone
and returned to Landlord Willet's, where, says the chronicle, "the usual
loyal healths were drunk, and Prosperity to the College; and the whole was
conducted with the utmost Decency and Propriety."

In 1763 the Province Arms had a new landlord, George Burns, late of the
King's Head in the Whitehall, and ere that of the Cart and Horse. His
advertisements show his pretensions to good housekeeping, and his house
was chosen for a lottery-drawing of much importance--one for the building
of the lighthouse at Sandy Hook. This lottery was for six thousand pounds,
and lighthouse and lottery were special pets of Cadwallader Colden, then
President of his Majesty's Council. Lotteries were usually drawn at City
Hall, but just at that time repairs were being made upon that building, so
Mr. Burns's long room saw this important event. The lighthouse was built.
_The New York Magazine_ for 1790 has a picture and description of it. It
is there gravely stated that the light could be seen at a distance of ten
leagues, that is, thirty miles. As the present light at Sandy Hook is
officially registered to be seen at fifteen miles' distance, the marvel
of our ancestors must have shone with "a light that never was on land or

Troublous times were now approaching. George Burns's long room held many
famous gatherings anent the Stamp Act--at the first the famous
Non-Importation Agreement was signed by two hundred stout-hearted New York
merchants. Sons of Liberty drank and toasted and schemed within the walls
of the Province Arms. Concerts and duels alternated with suppers and
society meetings; dancing committees and governors of the college poured
in and out of the Province Arms. In 1792 Peter De Lancey sold it to the
Tontine Association; the fine old mansion was torn down, and the City
Hotel sprang up in its place.

The City Hotel filled the entire front of the block on Broadway between
Thomas and Cedar streets. Travellers said it had no equal in the United
States, but it was unpretentious in exterior, as may be seen through the
picture on the old blue and white plate (shown on page 38) which gives the
front view of the hotel with a man sawing wood on Broadway, this in about
1824. It was simply yet durably furnished, and substantial comfort was
found within. Though the dining room was simply a spacious, scrupulously
neat apartment, the waiters were numerous and well-trained. There was a
"lady's dining room" in which dances, lectures, and concerts were given.
The proprietors were two old bachelors, Jennings and Willard. It was
reported and believed that Willard never went to bed. He was never known
to be away from his post, and with ease and good nature performed his
parts of host, clerk, bookkeeper, and cashier. When Billy Niblo opened an
uptown coffee-house and garden, it was deemed a matter of courtesy that
Willard should attend the housewarming. When the hour of starting arrived,
it was found that Willard had not for years owned a hat. Two streets away
from the City Hall would have been to him a strange city, in which he
could be lost. Jennings was purveyor and attended to all matters of the
dining room, as well as relations with the external world. Both hosts had
the perfect memory of faces, names, and details, which often is an
accompaniment of the successful landlord. These two men were types of the
old-fashioned Boniface.

[Illustration: City Hotel.]

In the early half of the eighteenth century the genteel New York tavern
was that of Robert Todd, vintner. It was in Smith (now William) Street
between Pine and Cedar, near the Old Dutch Church. The house was known by
the sign of the Black Horse. Concerts, dinners, receptions, and balls took
place within its elegant walls. On the evening of January 19, 1736, a ball
was therein given in honor of the Prince of Wales's birthday. The healths
of the Royal Family, the Governor, and Council had been pledged loyally
and often at the fort through the day, and "the very great appearance of
ladies and gentlemen and an elegant entertainment" at the ball fitly ended
the celebration. The ladies were said to be "magnificent." The ball opened
with French dances and then proceeded to country dances, "upon which Mrs.
Morris led up to two new country dances made upon the occasion, the first
of which was called the Prince of Wales, the second the Princess of

The Black Horse was noted for its Todd drinks, mainly composed of choice
West India rum; and by tradition it is gravely asserted that from these
delectable beverages was derived the old drinking term "toddy." (Truth
compels the accompanying note that the word "toddy," like many of our
drinking names and the drinks themselves, came from India, and the word is
found in a geographical description of India written in 1671, before
Robert Todd was born, or the Black Horse Tavern thought of.)

When Robert of toddy fame died, after nine years of successful
hospitality, his widow Margaret reigned in his stead. She had a turn for
trade, and advertised for sale, at wholesale, fine wines and playing
cards, at reasonable rates. In 1750 the Boston Post made this tavern its
headquarters, but its glory of popularity was waning and soon was wholly

At the junction of 51st and 52d streets with the post-road stood Cato's
Road House, built in 1712. Cato was a negro slave who had so mastered
various specialties in cooking that he was able to earn enough money to
buy his freedom from his South Carolina master. He kept this inn for
forty-eight years. Those who tasted his okra soup, his terrapin, fried
chicken, curried oysters, roast duck, or drank his New York brandy-punch,
his Virginia egg-nogg, or South Carolina milk-punch, wondered how any one
who owned him ever could sell him even to himself. Alongside his road
house he built a ballroom which would let thirty couple swing widely in
energetic reels and quadrilles. When Christmas sleighing set in, the
Knickerbocker braves and belles drove out there to dance; and there was
_always_ sleighing at Christmas in old New York--all octogenarians will
tell you so. Cato's egg-nogg was mixed in single relays by the barrelful.
He knew precisely the mystic time when the separated white and yolk was
beaten enough, he knew the exact modicum of sugar, he could count with
precision the grains of nutmeg that should fleck the compound, he could
top to exactness the white egg foam. A picture of this old road house,
taken from a print, is here given. It seems but a shabby building to have
held so many gay scenes.

[Illustration: Cato's House.]

The better class of old-time taverns always had a parlor. This was used as
a sitting room for women travellers, or might be hired for the exclusive
use of some wealthy person or family. It was not so jovial a room as the
taproom, though in winter a glowing fire in the open fireplace gave to the
formal furnishings that look of good cheer and warmth and welcome which is
ever present, even in the meanest apartment, when from the great logs the
flames shot up and "the old rude-furnished room burst flower-like into
rosy bloom." We are more comfortable now, with our modern ways of
house-heating, but our rooms do not look as warm as when we had open
fires. In the summer time the fireplace still was an object of interest. A
poet writes:--

  "'Tis summer now; instead of blinking flames
  Sweet-smelling ferns are hanging o'er the grate.
            With curious eyes I pore
  Upon the mantel-piece with precious wares,
  Glazed Scripture prints in black lugubrious frames,
            Filled with old Bible lore;
  The whale is casting Jonah on the shore:
  Pharaoh is drowning in the curling wave.
  And to Elijah sitting at his cave
  The hospitable ravens fly in pairs
  Celestial food within their horny beaks."

The walls of one tavern parlor which I have seen were painted with scenes
from a tropical forest. On either side of the fireplace sprang a tall palm
tree. Coiled serpents, crouching tigers, monkeys, a white elephant, and
every form of vivid-colored bird and insect crowded each other on the
walls of this Vermont tavern. On the parlor of the Washington Tavern at
Westfield, Massachusetts, is a fine wallpaper with scenes of a fox-chase.
This tavern is shown on the opposite page; also on page 45 one of the fine
hand-wrought iron door-latches used on its doors. These were made in
England a century and a half ago.

[Illustration: Washington Tavern, Westfield, Massachusetts.]

The taproom was usually the largest room of the tavern. It had universally
a great fireplace, a bare, sanded floor, and ample seats and chairs.
Usually there was a tall, rather rude writing-desk, at which a traveller
might write a letter, or sign a contract, and where the landlord made out
his bills and kept his books. The bar was the most interesting furnishing
of this room. It was commonly made with a sort of portcullis grate, which
could be closed if necessary. But few of these bars remain; nearly all
have been removed, even if the tavern still stands. The taproom of the
Wayside Inn at Sudbury, Massachusetts, is shown on page 19. It is a
typical example of a room such as existed in hundreds of taverns a century
ago. Another taproom may still be seen in the Wadsworth Inn. This
well-built, fine old house, shown on page 47, is a good specimen of the
better class of old taverns. It is three miles from Hartford, Connecticut,
on the old Albany turnpike. It was one of twenty-one taverns within a
distance of twenty miles on that pike. It was not a staging inn for every
passing coach, but enjoyed an aristocratic patronage. The property has
been in the same family for five generations, but the present building was
erected by Elisha Wadsworth in 1828. It is not as old as the member of the
Wadsworth family who now lives in it, Miss Lucy Wadsworth, born in 1801.
Its old taproom is shown on page 51. This tavern was a public house till
the year 1862.

Some of the furnishings of the taproom of the old Mowry Inn still are
owned by Landlord Mowry's descendants, and a group of them is shown on
page 7. Two heavy glass beakers brought from Holland, decorated with
vitrifiable colors like the Bristol glass, are unusual pieces. The wooden
tankard, certainly two centuries old, has the curious ancient lid hinge.
The Bellarmine jug was brought to America filled with fine old gin from
Holland by Mayor Willet, the first Mayor of New York City. The bowl is one
of the old Indian knot bowls. It has been broken and neatly repaired by
sewing the cracks together with waxed thread. The sign-board of this old
inn is shown on page 57. The house stood on the post-road between
Woonsocket and Providence, in a little village known as Lime Rock. As it
was a relay house for coaches, it had an importance beyond the size of the
settlement around it.

Sometimes the taproom was decorated with broad hints to dilatory
customers. Such verses as this were hung over the bar:--

  "I've trusted many to my sorrow.
  Pay to-day. I'll trust to-morrow."

Another ran:--

  "My liquor's good, my measure just;
  But, honest Sirs, I will not trust."

Another showed a dead cat with this motto:--

  "Care killed this Cat.
  Trust kills the Landlord."

Still another:--

  "If Trust,
  I must,
  My ale,
  Will pale."

[Illustration: Door-latch of Washington Tavern.]

The old Phillips farm-house at Wickford, Rhode Island, was at one time
used as a tavern. It has a splendid chimney over twenty feet square. So
much room does this occupy that there is no central staircase, and little
winding stairs ascend at three corners of the house. On each chimney-piece
are hooks to hang firearms, and at one side curious little drawers are set
for pipes and tobacco. I have seen these tobacco drawers in several old
taverns. In some Dutch houses in New York these tobacco shelves are found
in an unusual and seemingly ill-chosen place, namely, in the entry over
the front door; and a narrow flight of three or four steps leads up to
them. Hanging on a nail alongside the tobacco drawer or shelf would
usually be seen a pipe-tongs--or smoking tongs. They were slender little
tongs, usually of iron or steel; with them the smoker lifted a coal from
the fireplace to light his pipe. Sometimes the handle of the tongs had one
end elongated, knobbed, and ingeniously bent S-shaped into convenient form
to press down the tobacco into the bowl of the pipe. Other old-time
pipe-tongs were in the form of a lazy-tongs. A companion of the pipe-tongs
on the mantel was what was known as a comfortier; a little brazier of
metal in which small coals could be handed about for pipe lighting. An
unusual luxury was a comfortier of silver, which were found among the
wealthy Dutch settlers.

Two old taverns of East Poultney, Vermont, are shown on page 59. Both
sheltered Horace Greeley in his sojourn there. The upper house, the Pine
Tree, is a "sun-line" house, facing due north, with its ends pointing east
and west. Throughout a century the other house, the Eagle Tavern, has
never lost its calling; now it is the only place in the village where the
tourist may find shelter for the night unless he takes advantage of the
kindness of some good-hearted housekeeper.

The main portion of the Eagle Tavern of Newton, New Hampshire, is still
standing and is shown with its sign-board on page 126. It was the "halfway
house" on the much-travelled stage-road between Haverhill, Massachusetts,
and Exeter, New Hampshire. The house was kept by Eliphalet Bartlett in
Revolutionary times as account-books show, though the sign-board bears the
date 1798. The tavern originally had two long wings, in one of which was
kept a country store. Five generations of Bartletts were born in it before
it was sold to the present owners. The sign-board displays on one side the
eagle which confers the name; on the other, what was termed in old
descriptions a punch-bowl, but which is evidently a disjointed teapot.

[Illustration: Wadsworth Inn, Hartford, Connecticut.]

About the time when settlements in the New World had begun to assume the
appearance of towns, and some attempt at closely following English modes
of life became apparent, there were springing up in London at every street
corner coffee-houses, which flourished through the times of Dryden,
Johnson, and Goldsmith, till the close of the eighteenth century. Tea and
coffee came into public use in close companionship. The virtues of the
Turkish beverage were first introduced to Londoners by a retired Turkey
merchant named Daniel Edwards, and his Greek servant, Pasque Rosser. The
latter opened the first coffee-house in London in 1652. The first
advertisement of this first coffee venture is preserved in the British

The English of a certain class were always ready to turn an evil eye on
all new drinks, and coffee had to take its share of abuse. It was called
"syrup of soot," and "essence of old shoes," etc.; and the keeper of the
Rainbow Coffee-house was punished as a nuisance "for making and selling of
a drink called coffee whereby in making the same he annoyeth his
neighbours by evil smells." Soon, however, the smell of coffee was not
deemed evil, but became beloved; and every profession, trade, class, and
party had its coffee-house. The parsons met at one, "cits" at another;
soldiers did not drink coffee with lawyers, nor gamesters with
politicians. A penny was paid at the bar at entering, which covered
newspaper and lights; twopence paid for a dish of coffee. Coffee-houses
sprang up everywhere in America as in London. In 1752 in New York the New
or Royal Exchange was held to be so laudable an undertaking that £100 was
voted toward its construction by the Common Council. It was built like the
English exchanges, raised on brick arches, and was opened as a coffee-room
in 1754. The name of the Merchant's Coffee-house--on the southeast corner
of Wall and Water streets--appears in every old newspaper. It was a centre
of trade. Ships, cargoes, lands, houses, negroes, and varied merchandise
were "vendued" at this coffee-house. It also served as an insurance
office. Alexander Macraby wrote in 1768 in New York:--

    "They have a vile practice here, which is peculiar to this city; I
    mean that of playing back-gammon (a noise I detest) which is going
    forward in the public coffee-houses from morning till night,
    frequently ten or a dozen tables at a time."

From this it will be seen that the English sin of gaming with cards did
not exist in New York coffee-houses.

The London Coffee-house was famous in the history of Philadelphia. On
April 15, 1754, the printer, Bradford, put a notice in his journal for
subscribers to the coffee-house to meet at the court-house on the 19th to
choose trustees. Bradford applied for a license to the Governor and
Council thus:--

    "Having been advised to keep a Coffee-House for the benefit of
    merchants and traders, and as some people may be desirous at times to
    be furnished with other liquors besides coffee, your petitioner
    apprehends that it is necessary to have the government license."

The coffee-house was duly opened; Bradford's account for opening day was
£9 6_s._ The trustees also lent him £259 of the £350 of subscriptions,
and this coffee-house became a factor in American history. The building,
erected about 1702, stood on the corner of Front and Market streets, on
land which had been given by Penn to his daughter Letitia. Bradford was a
grandson of the first printer Bradford, and father of the Attorney-General
of the United States under Washington. His standing at once gave the house
prestige and much custom. Westcott says "it was the headquarters of life
and action, the pulsating heart of excitement, enterprise, and
patriotism." Soldiers and merchants here met; slaves here were sold;
strangers resorted for news; captains sold cargoes; sheriffs held

The Exchange Coffee-house of Boston was one of the most remarkable of all
these houses. It was a mammoth affair for its day, being seven stories in
height. It was completed in 1808, having been nearly three years in
building, and having cost half a million dollars. The principal floor was
an exchange. It ruined many of the workmen who helped to build it. During
the glorious days of stage-coach travel, its successor, built after it was
burnt in 1818, had a brilliant career as a staging tavern, for it had over
two hundred bedrooms, and was in the centre of the city. At this
Coffee-house Exchange was kept a register of marine news, arrivals,
departures, etc., and many distinguished naval officers were registered
there. At a sumptuous dinner given to President Monroe, who had rooms
there, in July, 1817, there were present Commodores Bainbridge, Hull, and
Perry; ex-President John Adams; Generals Swift, Dearborn, Cobb, and
Humphreys; Judges Story, Parker, Davis, Adams, and Jackson; Governor
Brooks, Governor Phillips, and many other distinguished men.

[Illustration: Taproom of Wadsworth Inn.]

It would be a curious and entertaining study to trace the evolution of our
great hotels, from the cheerful taverns and country inns, beloved of all
travellers, to more pretentious road houses, to coffee-houses, then to
great crowded hotels. We could see the growth of these vast hotels,
especially those of summer resorts, and also their decay. In many
fashionable watering-places great hotels have been torn down within a few
years to furnish space for lawns and grounds around a splendid private
residence. Many others are deserted and closed, some flourish in
exceptional localities which are in isolated or remote parts of the
country, such as southern Florida, the Virginia mountains, etc.; many have
been forced to build so-called cottages where families can have a little
retirement and privacy between meals, which are still eaten in a vast
common dining room. But the average American of means in the Northern
states, whose parents never left the city till after the 4th of July, and
then spent a few weeks in the middle of the summer in a big hotel at
Saratoga, or Niagara Falls, or Far Rockaway, or in the White Mountains,
now spends as many months in his own country home. A few extraordinary
exceptions in hotel life in America remain prosperous, however, the chief
examples on our Eastern coast being at Atlantic City and Old Point

The study of tavern history often brings to light much evidence of sad
domestic changes. Many a cherished and beautiful home, rich in annals of
family prosperity and private hospitality, ended its days as a tavern.
Many a stately building of historic note was turned into an inn in its
later career. The Indian Queen in Philadelphia had been at various times
the home of Sir Richard Penn, the headquarters of General Howe and of
General Benedict, the home of Robert Morris and Presidents Washington and
Adams. Benjamin Franklin's home became a tavern; so also did the splendid
Bingham mansion, which was built in 1790 by the richest man of his day.
Governor Lloyd's house became the Cross Trees Inn. Boston mansions had the
same fate. That historic building--the Province House--served its term as
a tavern.

Sometimes an old-time tavern had a special petty charm of its own, some
peculiarity of furnishing or fare. One of these was the Fountain Inn of
Medford, Massachusetts. It was built in 1725 and soon became vastly
frequented. No town could afford a better site for inns than Medford. All
the land travel to Boston from Maine, eastern New Hampshire, and
northeastern Massachusetts poured along the main road through Medford,
which was just distant enough from Boston centre to insure the halting and
patronage of every passer-by. The Fountain Inn bustled with constant
customers, and I can well believe that all wanderers gladly stopped to
board and bait at this hospitable tavern. For I know nothing more
attractive, "under the notion of an inn," than this old tavern must have
been, especially through the long summer months. It was a road house and
stood close to the country road, so was never quiet; yet it afforded
nevertheless a charming and restful retreat for weary and heated
wanderers. For on either side of the front dooryard grew vast
low-spreading trees, and in their heavy branches platforms were built and
little bridges connected tree to tree, and both to the house. Perhaps the
happy memories of hours and days of my childhood spent in a like tree nest
built in an old apple tree, endow these tree rooms of the Fountain Inn
with charms which cannot be equally endorsed and appreciated by all who
read of them; but to me they form an ideal traveller's joy. To sit there
through the long afternoon or in the early twilight, cool and half remote
among the tree branches, drinking a dish of tea; watching horsemen and
cartmen and sturdy pedestrians come and go, and the dashing mail-coach
rattle up, a flash of color and noise and life, and pour out its motley
passengers, and speedily roll away with renewed patrons and splendor--why,
it was like a scene in a light opera.

[Illustration: Fountain Inn.]

The tree abodes and the bridges fell slowly in pieces, and one great tree
died; but its companion lived till 1879, when it, too, was cut down and
the bald old commonplace building crowded on the dusty street stood bare
and ugly, without a vestige or suggestion of past glory around it. Now
that, too, is gone, and only the picture on the opposite page, of the
tavern in its dying poverty, remains to show what was once the scene of so
much bustle and good cheer.

The State House Inn of Philadelphia was built in 1693, and was long known
as Clark's Inn. It was a poor little building which stood in a yard, not
green with grass, but white with oysters and clam shells. Its proximity to
the State House gave it the custom of the members and hangers-on of the
colonial assemblies. William Penn often smoked his pipe on its porch.
Clark had a sign-board, the Coach and Horses, and he had something else
which was as common perhaps in Philadelphia as tavern sign-boards, namely,
turnspit dogs--little patient creatures, long-bodied and crook-legged,
whose lives were spent in the exquisite tantalization of helping to cook
the meat, whose appetizing odors of roasting they sniffed for hours
without any realization of tasting at the end of their labors.

Dr. Caius, founder of the college at Cambridge, England, that bears his
name, is the earliest English writer upon the dog, and he tells thus of
turnspits: "Certain dogs in kitchen service excellent. When meat is to be
roasted they go into a wheel, where, turning about with the weight of
their bodies they so diligently look to their business that no drudge or
scullion can do the feat more cunningly." The Philadelphia landlord says
in his advertisement of dogs for sale, "No clock or jack so cunningly."
The summary and inhuman mode of teaching these turnspits their humble
duties is described in a book of anecdotes published at Newcastle-on-Tyne
in 1809. The dog was put in the wheel. A burning coal was placed with him.
If he stopped, his legs were burned. That was all. He soon learned his
lesson. It was hard work, for often the great piece of beef was twice the
weight of the dog, and took at least three long hours' roasting. I am glad
to know that these hard-working turn-broches usually grew shrewd with age;
learned to vanish at the approach of the cook or the appearance of the
wheel. At one old-time tavern in New York little brown Jesse listened
daily at the kitchen doorstep while the orders were detailed to the
kitchen maids, and he could never be found till nightfall on roast-meat
days; nay, more, he, as was the custom of dogs in that day, went with his
mistress to meeting and lay at her feet in the pew. And when the parson
one Sunday chose to read and expound from the first chapter of Ezekiel,
Jesse fled with silent step and slunken tail and drooping ears at the
unpleasant verse, "And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by
them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the
wheels were lifted up." Naturally Jesse never suspected that these
Biblical wheels were only parts of innocent allegorical chariots, but
deemed them instead a very untimely and unkind reminder on a day of rest
of his own hated turnspit wheel.

[Illustration: Sign-board of N. Mowry's Inn.]

One of the sweetest of all tales of an inn is that begun by Professor
Reichel and ended by Mr. John W. Jordan of the Historical Society of
Pennsylvania; it is called "A Red Rose from the Olden Time." It is a story
of _Der neue Gasthof_ or "The Tavern behind Nazareth," as it was modestly
called, the tavern of the Moravian settlement at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
It was a substantial building, "quartered, brick-nogged, and snugly
weatherboarded, with a yard looking North and a Garden looking South." In
1754, under the regency of its first ruler, one Schaub, the cooper, and
Divert Mary, his faithful wife, it bore a sign-board charged with a
full-blown rose, and was ever after known as the Rose. This was not
because the walls were coated with Spanish red; this rose bloomed with a
life derived from sentiment and history, for it was built on land released
by William Penn on an annual payment as rental of ONE RED ROSE.

There is something most restful and beautiful in the story of this old
inn. Perhaps part of the hidden charm comes from the Biblical names of the
towns. For, without our direct consciousness, there is ever something
impressive in Biblical association; there is a magical power in Biblical
comparison, a tenderness in the use of Biblical words and terms which we
feel without actively noting. So this Red Rose of Nazareth seems built on
the road to Paradise. An inventory was made of the homely contents of the
Rose in 1765, when a new landlord entered therein; and they smack of the
world, the flesh, and the devil. Ample store was there of rum, both of New
England and the West Indies, of Lisbon wine, of cider and madigolum, which
may have been metheglin. Punch-bowls, tumblers, decanters, funnels, black
bottles, and nutmeg-graters and nutmegs also. Feather-beds and pillows
were there in abundance, and blankets and coverlets, much pewter and
little china, ample kitchen supplies of all sorts. In war and peace its
record was of interest, and its solid walls stood still colored a deep red
till our own day.

[Illustration: Pine-tree Tavern and Eagle Tavern.]

The night-watch went his rounds in many of our colonial towns, and called
the hour and the weather. Stumbling along with his long staff and his dim
horn-lantern, he formed no very formidable figure either to affright
marauders or warn honest citizens that they tarried too long in the
taproom. But his voice gave a certain sense of protection to all who
chanced to wake in the night, a knowledge that a friend was near. All who
dwelt in the old towns of Bethlehem and Nazareth in Pennsylvania could
listen and be truly cheered by the sound of the beautiful verses written
for the night watchman by Count Zinzendorf. In winter the watchman began
his rounds at eight o'clock, in summer at nine. No scenes of brawling or
tippling could have prevailed at the Rose Inn when these words of peace
and piety rang out:--

  Eight o'clock:
    The clock is eight! To Bethlehem all is told,
    How Noah and his seven were saved of old.

  Nine o'clock:
    Hear, Brethren, hear! The hour of nine is come;
    Keep pure each heart and chasten every home.

  Ten o'clock:
    Hear, Brethren, hear! Now ten the hour-hand shows;
    They only rest who long for night's repose.

  Eleven o'clock:
    The clock's eleven! And ye have heard it all,
    How in that hour the mighty God did call.

  Twelve o'clock:
    It's midnight now! And at that hour ye know
    With lamps to meet the bridegroom we must go.

  One o'clock:
    The hour is one! Through darkness steals the day.
    Shines in your hearts the morning star's first ray?

  Two o'clock:
    The clock is two! Who comes to meet the day,
    And to the Lord of Days his homage pay?

  Three o'clock:
    The clock is three! The three in one above
    Let body, soul, and spirit truly love.

  Four o'clock:
    The clock is four! Where'er on earth are three,
    The Lord has promised He the fourth will be.

  Five o'clock:
    The clock is five! While five away were sent,
    Five other virgins to the marriage went.

  Six o'clock:
    The clock is six! And from the watch I'm free,
    And every one may his own watchman be.



The landlord of colonial days may not have been the greatest man in town,
but he was certainly the best-known, often the most popular, and ever the
most picturesque and cheerful figure. Travellers did not fail to note him
and his virtues in their accounts of their sojourns. In 1686 a gossiping
London bookseller and author, named John Dunton, made a cheerful visit to
Boston. He did not omit to pay tribute in his story of colonial life to
colonial landlords. He thus pictures George Monk, the landlord of the Blue
Anchor of Boston:--

    "A person so remarkable that, had I not been acquainted with him, it
    would be a hard matter to make any New England man believe I had been
    in Boston; for there was no one house in all the town more noted, or
    where a man might meet with better accommodation. Besides, he was a
    brisk and jolly man, whose conversation was coveted by all his guests
    as the life and spirit of the company."

This picture of an old-time publican seems more suited to English
atmosphere than to the stern air of New England Puritanism.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Washington Hotel.]

Grave and respectable citizens were chosen to keep the early ordinaries
and sell liquor. The first "house of intertainment" at Cambridge,
Massachusetts, was kept by a deacon of the church, afterward Steward of
Harvard College. The first license in that town to sell wine and strong
water was to Nicholas Danforth, a selectman, and Representative to the
General Court. In the Plymouth Colony Mr. William Collier and Mr. Constant
Southworth, one of the honored Deputies, sold wine to their neighbors.
These sober and discreet citizens were men of ample means, who took the
duty of wine-selling to aid the colony rather than their own incomes.

The first ordinary in the town of Duxbury was kept by one Francis Sprague,
said by a local chronicler to be of "ardent temperament." His license was
granted October 1, 1638, "to keep a victualling on Duxburrow side." His
ardent temperament shaped him into a somewhat gay reveller, and his
license was withdrawn. It was regranted and again recalled in 1666. His
son succeeded him, another jovial fellow. Duxbury folk were circumspect
and sober, and desired innkeepers of cooler blood. Mr. Seabury, one of the
tavern inspectors, was granted in 1678 "to sell liquors unto such
sober-minded neighbours as hee shall thinke meet; soe as hee sell not
lesse than the quantie of a gallon att a tyme to one pson, and not in
smaller quantities by retaile to the occationing of drunkeness."

The license to sell liquor and keep a tavern explained clearly the
limitations placed on a tavern-keeper. The one given the Andover landlord
in 1692 ran thus:--

    "The Condition of this Obligation is sent. That Whereas the above said
    William Chandler is admitted and allowed by their Majesties' Justices
    at a General Sessions of the Peace to keep a common Home of
    Entertainment and to use common selling of Ale, Beer, Syder, etc.,
    till the General Session of Peace next, in the now-Dwelling house of
    said Chandler in Andover, commonly known by the sign of the Horse Shoe
    and no other, if therefore the said William Chandler, during the time
    of keeping a Publick House shall not permit, suffer, or have any
    playing at Dice, Cards, Tables, Quoits, Loggets, Bowls, Ninepins,
    Billiards, or any other unlawful Game or Games in his House, yard,
    Garden, or Backside, nor shall suffer to be or remain in his House any
    person or persons not being of his own family upon Saturday nights
    after it is Dark, nor any time on the Sabbath Day or Evening after the
    Sabbath, nor shall suffer any person to lodge or stay in his House
    above one Day or Night, but such whose Name and Surname he shall
    deliver to some one of the Selectmen or Constables or some one of the
    Officers of the Town, unless they be such as he very well knoweth, and
    will answer for his or their forthcoming: nor shall sell any Wine or
    Liquors to any Indians or Negroes nor suffer any apprentices or
    servants or any other persons to remain in his house tippling or
    drinking after nine of the Clock in the night time; nor buy or take to
    Pawn any stolen goods, nor willingly Harbor in his said House, Barn,
    Stable, or Otherwhere any Rogues, Vagabonds, Thieves, nor other
    notorious offenders whatsoever, nor shall suffer any person or persons
    to sell or utter any ale, beer, syder, etc., by Deputation or by
    colour of this License, and also keep the true assize and measure in
    his Pots, Bread and otherwise in uttering of ale, beer, syder, rum,
    wine, &c., and the same sell by sealed measure. And in his said house
    shall and do use and maintain good order and Rule: Then this present
    Obligation to be either void, or else to stand in full Force, Power,
    and Virtue."

[Illustration: Sign-board of Hays' Tavern.]

Dr. Dwight in his Travels said that Englishmen often laughed at the fact
that inns in New England were kept by men of consequence. He says:--

    "Our ancestors considered the inn a place where corruption might
    naturally arise and easily spread; also as a place where travellers
    must trust themselves, their horses, baggage, and money, and where
    women must not be subjected to disagreeable experiences. To provide
    for safety and comfort and against danger and mischief they took
    particular pains in their laws to prevent inns from being kept by
    unprincipled or worthless men. Every innkeeper in Connecticut must be
    recommended by the selectmen and civil authorities, constables and
    grand jurors of the town in which he resides, and then licensed at the
    discretion of the Court of Common Pleas. It was substantially the same
    in Massachusetts and New Hampshire."

Lieutenant Francis Hall, travelling through America in 1817, wrote:--

    "The innkeepers of America are in most villages what we call vulgarly,
    topping men--field officers of militia, with good farms attached to
    their taverns, so that they are apt to think what, perhaps, in a newly
    settled country is not very wide of the truth, that travellers rather
    receive than confer a favour by being accommodated at their houses.
    The daughters of the host officiate at tea and breakfast and generally
    wait at dinner."

An English traveller who visited this country shortly after the Revolution
speaks in no uncertain terms of "the uncomplying temper of the landlords
of the country inns in America." Another adds this testimony:--

    "They will not bear the treatment we too often give ours at home. They
    feel themselves in some degree independent of travellers, as all of
    them have other occupations to follow; nor will they put themselves
    into a bustle on your account; but with good language, they are very
    civil, and will accommodate you as well as they can."

Brissot comprehended the reason for this appearance of independence; he
wrote in 1788:--

    "You will not go into one without meeting neatness, decency, and
    dignity. The table is served by a maiden well-dressed and pretty; by a
    pleasant mother whose age has not effaced the agreeableness of her
    features; and by men _who have that air of respectability which is
    inspired by the idea of equality_, and are not ignoble and base like
    the greater part of our own tavern-keepers."

Captain Basil Hall, a much-quoted English traveller who came to America in
1827, designated a Salem landlord as the person who most pleased him in
his extended visit. Sad to say he gives neither the name of the tavern nor
the host who was "so devoid of prejudice, so willing to take all matters
on their favourable side, so well informed about everything in his own and
other countries, so ready to impart his knowledge to others; had such
mirthfulness of fancy, such genuine heartiness of good-humour," etc.

[Illustration: Cooper Tavern.]

In 1828 a series of very instructive and entertaining letters on the
United States was published under the title, _Notions of the Americans_.
They are accredited to James Fenimore Cooper, and were addressed to
various foreigners of distinction. The travels took place in 1824, at the
same time as the visit of Lafayette, and frequently in his company.
Naturally inns, hotels, and modes of travel receive much attention. He
speaks thus lucidly and pleasantly of the landlords:--

    "The innkeeper of Old England and the innkeeper of New England form
    the very extremes of their class. The former is obsequious to the
    rich; the other unmoved and often apparently cold. The first seems to
    calculate at a glance the amount of profit you are likely to leave
    behind you, while his opposite appears to calculate only in what
    manner he can most contribute to your comfort without materially
    impairing his own.... He is often a magistrate, the chief of a
    battalion of militia or even a member of a state legislature. He is
    almost always a man of character, for it is difficult for any other to
    obtain a license to exercise the calling."

John Adams thus described the host and hostess of the Ipswich Inn:--

    "Landlord and landlady are some of the grandest people alive, landlady
    is the great-granddaughter of Governor Endicott and has all the
    notions of high family that you find in the Winslows, Hutchinsons,
    Quincys, Saltonstalls, Chandlers, Otises, Learneds, and as you might
    find with more propriety in the Winthrops. As to landlord, he is as
    happy and as big, as proud, as conceited, as any nobleman in England,
    always calm and good-natured and lazy, but the contemplation of his
    farm and his sons, his house and pasture and cows, his sound judgment
    as he thinks, and his great holiness as well as that of his wife, keep
    him as erect in his thoughts as a noble or a prince."

The curiosity and inquisitiveness of many landlords was a standing jest.

"I have heard Dr. Franklin relate with great pleasantry," said one of his
friends, "that in travelling when he was young, the first step he took for
his tranquillity and to obtain immediate attention at the inns, was to
anticipate inquiry by saying, 'My name is Benjamin Franklin. I was born in
Boston. I am a printer by profession, am travelling to Philadelphia, shall
have to return at such a time, and have no news. Now, what can you give
me for dinner?'"

The landlord was usually a politician, sometimes a rank demagogue. He
often held public office, was selectman, road commissioner, tax assessor,
tax collector, constable, or town moderator; occasionally he performed all
these duties. John Adams wrote bitterly that at public houses men sat
drinking heavily while "plotting with the landlord to get him at the next
town-meeting an election either for selectman or representative."

They were most frequently soldiers, either officers in the militia or
brave fighters who had served in the army. It was a favorite calling for
Revolutionary soldiers who lived till times of peace. They were usually
cheerful men; a gloomy landlord made customers disappear like flowers
before a frost. And these cheery hosts were fond of practical jokes.

One of the old hotels with the long piazza across the entire front was
owned by a jesting landlord who never failed to spring an April-fool joke
on his forgetful customers each year. The tavern had two doors, and every
winter these were protected by portable storm porches the width of the
door and about four feet deep. On the first day of April the landlord
moved the porches a few feet down the piazza, so they opened upon the
blank wall of the house. The house and piazza sat at such an angle with
the walk from the street that the uncovered front doors were not visible
to the visitor, so the delusion was complete. Grocerymen, butchers,
bakers, travellers, even the tavern servants, invariably fell into the
trap, thrust open the door, which swung with a slam and left them facing
the blank wall. Any tavern frequenter, caught early in the day, was always
ready to tole in a group of victims. As they walked up the steps he would
say, "Come, boys, let's all pile into the office in a bunch and holler,
'Hullo, old Jed,' all together." All agreed and charged with a rush into
the 4 x 6 storm box, while the plotter of the trick went in the real door
and sat coolly sipping a rum punch as the confused and angry contingent
came in with battered hats and bruised elbows, after its scuffle in the

[Illustration: Shelby's Traveller's Rest.]

One landlord had the name of frequently tricking travellers who stopped
for a single meal by having the driver call out "Stage is ready" before
they could eat the dinner they had ordered and paid for. A Yankee
passenger disregarded this hasty summons and leisurely ate his dinner
while the stage drove off without him. He finished the roast and called at
last for a bowl of bread and milk to top off with as dessert. Not a spoon
could be found for this dish, though plenty of silver spoons had been on
the table when the stage stopped. To the distracted landlord the Yankee
drawled out, "Do you think them passengers was going away without
something for their money? I could p'int out the man that took them
spoons." A stable boy on a fleet horse was promptly despatched after the
stage, and overtook it two miles down the road. A low-spoken explanation
and request to the driver caused him to turn quickly around and drive back
to the tavern door with all the angry protesting passengers. The excited
landlord called out to the Yankee as the coach stopped, "You just p'int
out the man that took them spoons."--"Sartainly, Squire," said he, as he
climbed into the coach, "I'll p'int him out. I took 'em myself. You'll
find 'em all in the big coffee pot on the table. Hurry up, driver, I've
had my dinner. All aboard."

Grant Thorburn quaintly tells of this custom at another tavern:--

    "At Providence coaches were ready: on flew through the dust and sweat
    of the day like Jehus. At the tavern dinner was ready, but there was
    no contract for time to eat; after grace from Dr. Cox (too long for
    the occasion) we begun to eat. Scarcely had I swallowed half my first
    course when in came driver hallowing "All ready." I thought there was
    a stable-yard understanding between him and the landlord, for while we
    were brushing the dust from our clothes, mustering and saying grace,
    he was eating and drinking as fast as he could, and I did not observe
    that he paid anything. We arrived at the Eagle Tavern (Boston) about
    sundown; the ladies' hats and frocks which had shewed colours enough
    to have decked fifteen rainbows were now one, viz.: ashes on ashes and
    dust on dust."

The graceless modern reader might suspect that the "stable-yard
understanding" included the parson.

[Illustration: Miller's Tavern.]

A very amusing and original landlord was "Devil" Dave Miller, of the old
General Washington Tavern which stood on East King Street, Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. He was very stout and was generally seen in public
bestriding an unusually small horse, which he would ride into his barroom
to get a drink for both. When he wished to dismount, he rode to the
doorway and hung on the frame of the door with his hands. The horse would
walk from under him and go unguided to the stable. An old print of this
tavern marked D. Miller's Hotel, is shown on page 73. The various vehicles
standing in front of the hotel are interesting in shape,--old chaises,
chairs, and a coach.

An old landlord named Ramsay had a spacious and popular inn on a
much-travelled turnpike road, and was the proprietor of a prosperous line
of stage-coaches. He waxed rich, but though looked up to by all in the
community, plainly showed by the precarious condition of his health in his
advancing years that he partook too freely of his own "pure old rye." His
family and friends, though thoroughly alarmed, did not dare to caution the
high-spirited old gentleman against this over-indulgence; and the family
doctor was deputed to deal with the squire in the most delicate and
tactful manner possible. The doctor determined to employ a parable, as did
Nathan to David, and felt confident of success; and to deliver his
metaphorical dose he entered the taproom and cheerfully engaged the squire
in conversation upon an ever favorite topic, the stage-coach. He finally
ran on to know how long a well-built coach would last on the road, and
then said: "Now, Squire, if you had a fine well-built old coach that had
done good service, but showed age by being a little shackling, being
sprung a little, having the seams open, would you hitch it up with young
horses and put it on a rough road, or would you favor it with steady old
stagers and the smoothest road you could find?"--"Well, Doctor," answered
the squire, "if I had such a coach as that _I would soak it_." And that
seemed to bring the doctor's parable to a somewhat sudden and unprofitable



In the year 1704 a Boston widow named Sarah Knights journeyed "by post,"
that is, went on horseback, in the company of the government postman, from
Boston to New York, and returned a few months later. She kept a journal of
her trip, and as she was a shrewd woman with a sharp eye and sharper
tongue, her record is of interest. She stopped at the various hostelries
on the route, some of which were well-established taverns, others
miserable makeshifts; and she gives us some glimpses of rather rude fare.
On the first night of her journey she rode late to "overtake the post,"
and this is the account of her reception at her first lodging-place:--

    "My guide dismounted and very complasently shewed the door signing to
    me to Go in, which I Gladly did. But had not gone many steps into the
    room ere I was interrogated by a young Lady with these or words to
    this purpose, viz., Law for mee--what in the world brings you here
    this time-a-night? I never see a Woman on the Rode so Late in all my
    Varsall Life! Who are you? Where are you goeing? Im scar'd out of my
    witts.... She then turned agen to mee and fell anew into her silly
    questions without asking mee to sit down. I told her she treated me
    very Rudely and I did not think it my duty to answer her unmannerly
    questions. But to get ridd of them I told her I come there to have the
    Posts company with me to morrow on my journey."

She thus describes one stopping-place:--

    "I pray'd her to show me where I must lodge. Shee conducted mee to a
    parlour in a little back Lento, which was almost filled with the
    bedstead, which was so high that I was forced to climb on a chair to
    gitt up to ye wretched bed that lay on it, on which having Strecht my
    tired Limbs and lay'd my Head on a Sad-coloured pillow, I began to
    think on the transactions of ye past day."

At another place she complained that the dinner had been boiled in the
dye-kettle, that the black slaves ate at the table with their master, "and
into the dish goes the black hoof as freely as the white hand...." Again
she says:--

    "We would have eat a morsell, but the Pumpkin and Indian-mixt Bread
    had such an aspect, and the Bare-legg'd Punch so awkerd or rather
    awfull a sound that we left both."

At Rye, New York, she lodged at an ordinary kept by a Frenchman. She thus

    "Being very hungry I desired a Fricassee which the landlord
    undertaking managed so contrary to my notion of Cookery that I
    hastened to Bed superless. Being shew'd the way up a pair of Stairs
    which had such a narrow passage that I had almost stopt by the Bulk of
    my Body; But arriving at my Apartment found it to be a little Lento
    Chamber furnisht among other Rubbish with a High Bedd and a Low one, a
    Long Table, a Bench and a Bottomless Chair. Little Miss went to
    scratch up my Kennell whch Russelled as if shee'd bin in the Barn
    among the Husks and supose such was the contents of the
    Tickin--nevertheless being exceedingly weary down I laid my poor
    Carkes never more tired and found my Covering as scanty as my bed was
    hard. Anon I heard another Russelling noise in the room--called to
    know the matter--Little Miss said she was making a bed for the men;
    who when they were in Bed complain'd their Leggs lay out of it by
    reason of its shortness--my poor bones complained bitterly not being
    used to such Lodgings, and so did the man who was with us; and poor I
    made but one Grone which was from the time I went to bed to the time I
    riss which was about three in the morning Setting up by the fire till

Manners were rude enough at many country taverns until well into the
century. There could be no putting on of airs, no exclusiveness. All
travellers sat at the same table. Many of the rooms were double-bedded,
and four who were strangers to each other often slept in each other's

An English officer wrote of this custom in America:--

    "The general custom of having two or three beds in a room to be sure
    is very disagreeable; it arises from the great increase of travelling
    within the last few years, and the smallness of their houses, which
    were not built for houses of entertainment."

Mr. Twining said that after you were asleep the landlord entered, candle
in hand, and escorted a stranger to your side, and he calmly shared the
bed till morning. Thurlow Weed said that any one who objected to a
stranger as a bedfellow was regarded as obnoxious and as unreasonably
fastidious. Still Captain Basil Hall declared that even at remote taverns
his family had exclusive apartments; while in crowded inns it was never
even suggested to him that other travellers should share his quarters.

[Illustration: Ellery Tavern.]

Many old tavern account-books and bills exist to show us the price of
tavern fare at various dates.

Mr. Field gives a bill of board at the Bowen Inn at Barrington, Rhode
Island. John Tripp and his wife put up at the inn on the 11th of May,

                                                    _s._ _d._

  "To 1 Dinner                                            9
   To Bread and Cheese                                    7
   To breakfast & dinner                             1    3
   To 1 Bowl Toddy                                        9
   To Lodging you and wife                                6
   To 1-1/2 Bowl Toddy                               1    1-1/2
   To 1/2 Mug Cyder                                       1-1/2
   To lodge self and wife                                 6
   To 1 Gill Brandy                                       5-1/2
   To breakfast                                           9-1/2
   Mug Cyder                                              1-1/2
   To 1/2 bowl Toddy                                      4-1/2
   Dinner                                                 8
   To 15 Lb Tobacco at 6_d._                         7    6
   To 1/4 Bowl Toddy                                      4-1/2
   To 1/2 Mug Cyder                                       1-1/2
   To Supper                                              6"

I suppose the quarter bowls of toddy were for Madam Tripp.

The house known for many years as the Ellery Tavern is still standing in
Gloucester, Massachusetts, and is a very good example of the overhanging
second story, as is shown in the front view of it given on page 79; and
also of the lean-to, or sloping-roofed ell, which is shown by the picture
on page 83 of the rear of the house. This house was built by Parson White
in 1707, and afterward kept as a tavern by James Stevens till 1740; then
it came into the hands of Landlord Ellery. As in scores of other taverns
in other towns, the selectmen of the town held their meetings within its
doors. There were five selectmen in 1744, and their annual salary for
transacting the town's business was five dollars apiece. The tavern
charges, however, for their entertainment amounted to £30, old tenor. It
is not surprising, therefore, to read in the town records of the following
year that the citizens voted the selectmen a salary of £5, old tenor,
apiece, and "to find themselves." Nevertheless, in 1749, there was another
bill from the Ellery Tavern of £78, old tenor, for the selectmen who had
been sworn in the year previously and thus welcomed, "Expense for
selectmen and Licker, £3. 18_s._" The Ellery Tavern has seen many another
meeting of good cheer since those days.

The selectmen of the town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, met at the Blue
Anchor Tavern, which was established as an ordinary as early as 1652.
Their bill for 1769 runs thus:--

    "The Selectmen of the Town of Cambridge to Ebenezer Bradish, Dr. 1769:

        March, To dinners and drink                     £0. 17. 8
        April, To flip and punch                             2.
        May, To wine and eating                              6. 8
        May, To dinners, drink and suppers                  18.
        May, To flip and cheese                              1. 8
        May, To wine and flip                                4.
        June, To punch                                       2. 8
        July, To punch and eating                            4.
        August, To punch and cheese                          3. 7
        October, To punch and flip                           4. 8
        October, To dinners and drink                       13. 8
          Sundries                                          12.
                                                        £4. 10. 7"

"Ordination Day" was almost as great a day for the tavern as for the
meeting-house. The visiting ministers who came to assist at the religious
service of ordination of a new minister were usually entertained at the
tavern. Often a specially good beer was brewed called "ordination beer,"
and in Connecticut an "ordination ball" was given at the tavern--this with
the sanction of the parsons. The bills for entertaining the visitors, for
the dinner and lodging at the local taverns, are in many cases preserved.
One of the most characteristic was at a Hartford ordination. It runs:--

                             £  _s._  _d._
  "To keeping Ministers          2.    4
   2 Mugs tody                   5.    10
   5 Segars                      3
   1 Pint Wine                         9
   3 Lodgings                    9
   3 Bitters                           9
   3 Breakfasts                  3.    6
  15 boles Punch             1. 10
  24 dinners                 1. 16
  11 bottles wine                3.    6
   5 Mugs flip                   5.  10
   5 Boles Punch                 6
   3 Boles Tody                  3.  6"

The bill is endorsed with unconscious humor, "This all paid for except the
Ministers Rum."

[Illustration: Lean-to of Ellery Tavern.]

The book already referred to, called _Notions of the Americans_, tells of
taverns during the triumphal tour of Lafayette in 1824. The author writes
thus of the stage-house, or tavern, on the regular stage line. He said he
stopped at fifty such, some not quite so good and some better than the one
he chooses to describe, namely, Bispham's at Trenton, New Jersey.

    "We were received by the landlord with perfect civility, but without
    the slightest shade of obsequiousness. The deportment of the innkeeper
    was manly, courteous, and even kind; but there was that in his air
    which sufficiently proved that both parties were expected to manifest
    the same qualities. We were asked if we all formed one party, or
    whether the gentlemen who alighted from stage number one wished to be
    by themselves. We were shown into a neat well-furnished little
    parlour, where our supper made its appearance in the course of twenty
    minutes. The table contained many little delicacies, such as game,
    oysters, and choice fish, and several things were named to us as at
    hand if needed. The tea was excellent, the coffee as usual indifferent
    enough. The papers of New York and Philadelphia were brought at our
    request, and we sat with our two candles before a cheerful fire
    reading them as long as we pleased. Our bed-chambers were spacious,
    well-furnished, and as neat as possible; the beds as good as one
    usually finds them out of France. Now for these accommodations, which
    were just as good with one solitary exception (sanitary) as you would
    meet in the better order of English provincial inns, and much better
    in the quality and abundance of the food, we paid the sum of 4_s._
    6_d._ each."

A copy is given opposite page 86 of a bill of the "O. Cromwell's Head
Tavern" of Boston, which was made from a plate engraved by Paul Revere.
This tavern was kept for over half a century by members of the Brackett
family. It was distinctly the tavern of the gentry, and many a
distinguished guest had "board, lodging, and eating" within its walls, as
well as the wine, punch, porter, and liquor named on the bill. It will be
noted that the ancient measure--a pottle--is here used. Twenty years
before the Revolutionary War, and just after the crushing defeat of the
British general, Braddock, in what was then the West, an intelligent young
Virginian named George Washington, said to be a good engineer and soldier,
lodged at the Cromwell's Head Tavern, while he conferred with Governor
Shirley, the great war Governor of the day, on military affairs and
projects. When this same Virginian soldier entered Boston at the head of
a victorious army, he quartered his troops in Governor Shirley's mansion
and grounds.

The sign-board of this tavern bore a portrait of the Lord Protector, and
it is said it was hung so low that all who passed under it had to make a
necessary reverence.

While British martial law prevailed in Boston, the grim head of Cromwell
became distasteful to Tories, who turned one side rather than walk under
the shadow of the sign-board, and at last Landlord Brackett had to take
down and hide the obnoxious symbol.

The English traveller Melish was loud in his praise of the taverns
throughout New York State as early as 1806. He noted at Little Falls, then
in the backwoods, and two hundred miles from New York, that on the
breakfast table were "table-cloth, tea tray, tea-pots, milk-pot, bowls,
cups, sugar-tongs, teaspoons, casters, plates, knives, forks, tea, sugar,
cream, bread, butter, steak, eggs, cheese, potatoes, beets, salt, vinegar,
pepper," and all for twenty-five cents. He said Johnstown had but sixty
houses, of which nine were taverns.

Another English traveller told of the fare in American hotels in 1807.
While in Albany at "Gregory's," which he said was equal to many of the
London hotels, he wrote:--

    "It is the custom in all American taverns, from the highest to the
    lowest, to have a sort of public table at which the inmates of the
    house and travellers dine together at a certain hour. It is also
    frequented by many single gentlemen belonging to the town. At
    Gregory's upwards of thirty sat down to dinner, though there were not
    more than a dozen who resided in the house. A stranger is thus soon
    introduced to an acquaintance with the people, and if he is travelling
    alone he will find at these tables some relief from the ennui of his
    situation. At the better sort of American taverns very excellent
    dinners are provided, consisting of almost everything in season. The
    hour is from two to three o'clock, and there are three meals in the
    day. They breakfast at eight o'clock upon rump steaks, fish, eggs, and
    a variety of cakes with tea or coffee. The last meal is at seven in
    the evening, and consists of as substantial fare as the breakfast,
    with the addition of cold fowl, ham, &c. The price of boarding at
    these houses is from a dollar and a half to two dollars per day.
    Brandy, hollands, and other spirits are allowed at dinner, but every
    other liquor is paid for extra. English breakfasts and teas, generally
    speaking, are meagre repasts compared with those of America, and as
    far as I observed the people live with respect to eating in a much
    more luxurious manner than we do. Many private families live in the
    same style as at these houses; and have as great variety. Formerly
    pies, puddings, and cyder used to grace the breakfast table, but now
    they are discarded from the genteeler houses, and are found only in
    the small taverns and farm-houses in the country."

In spite of the vast number of inns in Philadelphia, another English
gentleman bore testimony in 1823 that he deemed the city ill-provided with
hostelries. This gentleman "put up" at the Mansion House, which was the
splendid Bingham Mansion on Third Street. He wrote:--

    "The tavern-keepers will not receive you on any other terms except
    boarded at so much a day or week; you cannot have your meals by
    yourself, or at your own hours. This custom of boarding I disliked
    very much. The terms are, however, very moderate, only ten dollars per
    week. The table is always spread with the greatest profusion and
    variety, even at breakfast, supper, and tea; all of which meals indeed
    were it not for the absence of wine and soup, might be called so many

[Illustration: Bill of Cromwell's Head Tavern.]

There lies before me a collection of twoscore old hotel bills of fare
about a half century old. They are of dates when stage-coaching had
reached its highest point of perfection, and the coaching tavern its
glory. There were railroads,--comparatively few lines, however,--but they
had not destroyed the constant use of coaches.

These hotels were the best of their kind in the country, such as the
United States Hotel of Philadelphia, Foley's National Hotel of Norfolk,
Virginia, Union Place Hotel and New York Hotel of New York, Union Hotel of
Richmond, Virginia, American House of Springfield, Massachusetts, Dorsey's
Exchange Hotel and Barnum's City Hotel of Baltimore, Maryland, the Troy
House, the Tremont House of Boston, Massachusetts, etc. At this time all
have become hotels and houses, not a tavern nor an inn is among them.

The menus are printed on long narrow slips of poor paper, not on
cardboard; often the names of many of the dishes are written in. They show
much excellence and variety in quality, and abundant quantity; they are, I
think, as good as hotels of similar size would offer to-day. There are
more boiled meats proportionately than would be served now, and fewer
desserts. Here is what the American House of Springfield had for its
guests on October 2, 1851: Mock-turtle soup; boiled blue-fish with oyster
sauce; boiled chickens with oyster sauce; boiled mutton with caper sauce;
boiled tongue, ham, corned beef and cabbage; boiled chickens with pork;
roast beef, lamb, chickens, veal, pork, and turkey; roast partridge;
fricasseed chicken, oyster patties, chicken pie, boiled rice, macaroni;
apple, squash, mince, custard, and peach pies; boiled custard; blanc
mange, tapioca pudding, peaches, nuts, and raisins. Vegetables were not
named; doubtless every autumnal vegetable was served.

At the Union Place Hotel in 1850 the vegetables were mashed potatoes,
Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, boiled rice, onions, tomatoes, squash,
cauliflower, turnips, and spinach. At the United States Hotel in
Philadelphia the variety was still greater, and there were twelve entrées.
The Southern hotels offered nine entrées, and egg-plant appears among the
vegetables. The wine lists are ample; those of 1840 might be of to-day,
that is, in regard to familiar names; but the prices were different.
Mumm's champagne was two dollars and a half a quart; Ruinard and Cliquot
two dollars; the best Sauterne a dollar a quart; Rudesheimer 1811, and
Hockheimer, two dollars; clarets were higher priced, and Burgundies.
Madeiras were many in number, and high priced; Constantia (twenty years in
glass) and Diploma (forty years in wood) were six dollars a bottle. At
Barnum's Hotel there were Madeiras at ten dollars a bottle, sherries at
five, hock at six; this hotel offered thirty choice Madeiras--and these
dinners were served at two o'clock. Corkage was a dollar.

[Illustration: Bill of Fare of City Hotel.]

Certain taverns were noted for certain fare, for choice modes of cooking
special delicacies. One was resorted to for boiled trout, another for
planked shad. Travellers rode miles out of their way to have at a certain
hostelry calves-head soup, a most elaborate and tedious dish if properly
prepared, and a costly one, with its profuse wine, but as appetizing and
rich as it is difficult of making. More humble taverns with simpler
materials but good cooks had wonderful johnny-cakes, delightful waffles,
or even specially good mush and milk. Certain localities afforded certain
delicacies; salmon in one river town, and choice oysters. One landlord
raised and killed his own mutton; another prided himself on ducks. Another
cured his own hams. An old Dutch tavern was noted for rolliches and

During the eighteenth century turtle-feasts were eagerly attended--or
turtle-frolics as they were called. A travelling clergyman named Burnaby
wrote in 1759:--

    "There are several taverns pleasantly situated upon East River, near
    New York, where it is common to have these turtle-feasts. These happen
    once or twice a week. Thirty or forty gentlemen and ladies meet and
    dine together, drink tea in the afternoon, fish, and amuse themselves
    till evening, and then return home in Italian chaises, a gentleman and
    lady in each chaise. On the way there is a bridge, about three miles
    distant from New York, which you always pass over as you return,
    called the Kissing Bridge, where it is part of the etiquette to salute
    the lady who has put herself under your protection."

Every sea-captain who sailed to the West Indies was expected to bring home
a turtle on the return voyage for a feast to his expectant friends. A
turtle was deemed an elegant gift; usually a keg of limes accompanied the
turtle, for lime-juice was deemed the best of all "sourings" for punch. In
Newport a Guinea Coast negro named Cuffy Cockroach, the slave of Mr.
Jahleel Brenton, was deemed the prince of turtle cooks. He was lent far
and wide for these turtle-feasts, and was hired out at taverns.

Near Philadelphia catfish suppers were popular. Mendenhall Ferry Tavern
was on the Schuylkill River about two miles below the Falls. It was
opposite a ford which landed on the east side, and from which a lane ran
up to the Ridge Turnpike. This lane still remains between the North and
South Laurel Hill cemeteries, just above the city of Philadelphia.
Previous to the Revolution the ferry was known as Garrigue's Ferry. A
cable was stretched across the stream; by it a flatboat with burdens was
drawn from side to side. The tavern was the most popular catfish-supper
tavern on the river drive. Waffles were served with the catfish. A large
Staffordshireware platter, printed in clear, dark, beautiful blue, made by
the English potter, Stubbs, shows this ferry and tavern, with its broad
piazza, and the river with its row of poplar trees. It is shown on page
93. Burnaby enjoyed the catfish-suppers as much as the turtle-feasts, but
I doubt if there was a Kissing Bridge in Philadelphia.

Many were the good reasons that could be given to explain and justify
attendance at an old-time tavern; one was the fact that often the only
newspaper that came to town was kept therein. This dingy tavern sheet
often saw hard usage, for when it went its rounds some could scarce read
it, some but pretend to read it. One old fellow in Newburyport opened it
wide, gazed at it with interest, and cried out to his neighbor in much
excitement: "Bad news. Terrible gales, terrible gales, ships all bottom
side up," as indeed they were, in his way of holding the news sheet.

The extent and purposes to which the tavern sheet might be applied can be
guessed from the notice written over the mantel-shelf of one taproom,
"Gentlemen learning to spell are requested to use last week's newsletter."

The old taverns saw many rough jokes. Often there was a tavern butt on
whom all played practical jokes. These often ended in a rough fight. The
old Collin's Tavern shown on page 97 was in coaching days a famous tavern
in Naugatuck on the road between New Haven and Litchfield. One of the
hostlers at this tavern, a burly negro, was the butt of all the tavern
hangers-on, and a great source of amusement to travellers. His chief
accomplishment was "bunting." He bragged that he could with a single bunt
break down a door, overturn a carriage, or fell a horse. One night a group
of jokers promised to give him all the cheeses he could bunt through. He
bunted holes through three cheeses on the tavern porch, and then was
offered a grindstone, which he did not perceive either by his sense of
sight or feeling to be a stone until his alarmed tormentors forced him to
desist for fear he might kill himself.

A picturesque and grotesque element of tavern life was found in those last
leaves on the tree, the few of Indian blood who lingered after the tribes
were scattered and nearly all were dead. These tawnies could not be made
as useful in the tavern yard as the shiftless and shifting negro element
that also drifted to the tavern, for the Eastern Indian never loved a
horse as did the negro, and seldom became handy in the care of horses.
These waifs of either race, and half-breeds of both races, circled around
the tavern chiefly because a few stray pennies might be earned there, and
also because within the tavern were plentiful supplies of cider and rum.

[Illustration: Mendenhall Ferry Platter.]

Almost every community had two or three of these semi-civilized Indian
residents, who performed some duties sometimes, but who often in the
summer, seized with the spirit of their fathers or the influence of their
early lives, wandered off for weeks and months, sometimes selling brooms
and baskets, sometimes reseating chairs, oftener working not, simply
tramping trustfully, sure of food whenever they asked for it. It is
curious to note how industrious, orderly Quaker and Puritan housewives
tolerated the laziness, offensiveness, and excesses of these
half-barbarians. Their uncouthness was endured when they were in health,
and when they fell sick they were cared for with somewhat the same charity
and forbearance that would be shown a naughty, unruly child.

Often the landlady of the tavern or the mistress of the farm-house,
bustling into her kitchen in the gray dawn, would find a sodden Indian
sleeping on the floor by the fireplace, sometimes a squaw and pappoose by
his side. If the kitchen door had no latch-string out, the Indian would
crawl into the hay in the barn; but wherever he slept, he always found his
way to the kitchen in good time for an ample breakfast.

Indian women often proved better helpers than the men. One Deb Browner
lived a severely respectable life all winter, ever ready to help in the
kitchen of the tavern if teamsters demanded meals; always on hand to help
dip candles in early winter, and make soap in early spring; and her strong
arms never tired. But when early autumn tinted the trees, and on came the
hunting season, she tore off her respectable calico gown and apron, kicked
off her shoes and stockings, and with black hair hanging wild, donned
moccasins and blanket, and literally fled to the woods for a breath of
life, for freedom. She took her flitting unseen in the night, but twice
was she noted many miles away by folk who knew her, tramping steadily
northward, bearing by a metomp of bark around her forehead a heavy burden
in a blanket.

One Sabbath morning in May a travelling teamster saw her in her
ultra-civilized state on her way home from meeting, crowned, not only with
a discreet bonnet, but with a long green veil hanging down her back. She
was entering the tavern door to know whether they wished her to attack the
big spring washing and bleaching the following day. "Hello, Teppamoy!" he
said, staring at her, "how came you here and in them clothes?" Scowling
fiercely, she walked on in haughty silence, while the baffled teamster
told a group of tavern loafers that he had been a lumberman, and some
years there came to the camp in Maine a wild old squaw named Teppamoy who
raised the devil generally, but the constable had never caught her, and
that she "looked enough like that Mis' Browner to be her sister."

Another half-breed Indian, old Tuggie Bannocks, lived in old Narragansett.
She was as much negro as Indian and was reputed to be a witch; she
certainly had some unusual peculiarities, the most marked being a full set
of double teeth all the way round, and an absolute refusal ever to sit on
a chair, sofa, stool, or anything that was intended to be sat upon. She
would sit on a table, or a churn, or a cradle-head, or squat on the floor;
or she would pull a drawer out of a high chest and recline on the edge of
that. It was firmly believed that in her own home she hung by her heels on
the oaken chair rail which ran around the room. She lived in the only
roofed portion of an old tumble-down house that had been at one time a
tavern, and she bragged that she could "raise" every one who had ever
stopped at that house as a guest, and often did so for company. Oh! what a
throng of shadows, some fair of face, some dark of life, would have filled
the dingy tavern at her command! I have told some incidents of her life in
my _Old Narragansett_, so will no longer keep her dusky presence here.

Other Indian "walk-abouts," as tramps were called, lived in the vicinity
of Malden, Massachusetts; old "Moll Grush," who fiercely resented her
nickname; Deb Saco the fortune-teller, whose "counterfeit presentment" can
be seen in the East Indian Museum at Salem; Squaw Shiner, who died from
being blown off a bridge in a gale, and who was said to be "a faithful
friend, a sharp enemy, a judge of herbs, a weaver of baskets, and a lover
of rum."

Another familiar and marked character was Sarah Boston. I have taken the
incidents of her life from _The Hundredth Town_, where it is told so
graphically. She lived on Keith Hill in Grafton, Massachusetts, an early
"praying town" of the Indians. A worn hearthstone and doorstone,
surrounded now by green grass and shadowed by dying lilacs, still show the
exact spot where once stood her humble walls, where once "her garden

[Illustration: Collin's Tavern.]

The last of the Hassanamiscoes (a noble tribe of the Nipmuck race, first
led to Christ in 1654 by that gentle man John Eliot, the Apostle to the
Indians), she showed in her giant stature, her powerful frame, her vast
muscular power, no evidence of a debilitated race or of enfeebled
vitality. It is said she weighed over three hundred pounds. Her father was
Boston Phillips, also told of in story and tradition for his curious ways
and doings. Sarah dressed in short skirts, a man's boots and hat, a heavy
spencer (which was a man's wear in those days); and, like a true Indian,
always wore a blanket over her shoulders in winter. She was mahogany-red
of color, with coarse black hair, high cheek-bones, and all the
characteristic features of her race. Her great strength and endurance made
her the most desired farm-hand in the township to be employed in haying
time, in wall-building, or in any heavy farm work. Her fill of cider was
often her only pay for some powerful feat of strength, such as
stone-lifting or stump-pulling. At her leisure times in winter she made
and peddled baskets in true Indian fashion, and told improbable and
baseless fortunes, and she begged cider at the tavern, and drank cider
everywhere. "The more I drink the drier I am," was a favorite expression
of hers. Her insolence and power of abuse made her dreaded for domestic
service, though she freely entered every home, and sat smoking and
glowering for hours in the chimney corner of the tavern; but in those days
of few house-servants and scant "help," she often had to be endured that
she might assist the tired farm wife or landlady.

A touch of grim humor is found in this tale of her--the more humorous
because, in spite of Apostle Eliot and her Christian forbears, she was
really a most godless old heathen. She tended with care her little garden,
whose chief ornament was a fine cherry tree bearing luscious blackhearts,
while her fellow-townsmen had only sour Morellos growing in their yards.
Each year the sons of her white neighbors, unrestrained by her threats and
entreaties, stripped her tree of its toothsome and beautiful crop before
Sarah Boston could gather it. One year the tree hung heavy with a
specially full crop; the boys watched eagerly and expectantly the glow
deepening on each branch, through tinted red to dark wine color, when one
morning the sound of a resounding axe was heard in Sarah's garden, and a
passer-by found her with powerful blows cutting down the heavily laden
tree. "Why, Sarah," he asked in surprise, "why are you cutting down your
splendid great cherry tree?"--"It shades the house," she growled; "I can't
see to read my Bible."

A party of rollicking Yankee blades, bold with tavern liquor, pounded one
night on the wooden gate of the old Grafton burying-ground, and called out
in profane and drunken jest, "Arise, ye dead, the judgment day is come."
Suddenly from one of the old graves loomed up in the dark the gigantic
form of Sarah Boston, answering in loud voice, "Yes, Lord, I am coming."
Nearly paralyzed with fright, the drunken fellows fled, stumbling with
dismay before this terrifying and unrecognized apparition.

Mrs. Forbes ends the story of Sarah Boston with a beautiful thought. The
old squaw now lies at rest in the same old shadowy burial place--no longer
the jest and gibe of jeering boys, the despised and drunken outcast.
Majestic with the calm dignity of death, she peacefully sleeps by the side
of her white neighbors. At the dawn of the last day may she once more
arise, and again answer with clear voice, "Yes, Lord, I am coming."



Any account of old-time travel by stage-coach and lodging in old-time
taverns would be incomplete without frequent reference to that universal
accompaniment of travel and tavern sojourn, that most American of
comforting stimulants--rum.

The name is doubtless American. A manuscript description of Barbadoes,
written twenty-five years after the English settlement of the island in
1651, is thus quoted in _The Academy_: "The chief fudling they make in the
island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes
distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor." This is the
earliest-known allusion to the liquor rum; the word is held by some
antiquaries in what seems rather a strained explanation to be the gypsy
rum, meaning potent, or mighty. The word rum was at a very early date
adopted and used as English university slang. The oldest American
reference to the word rum (meaning the liquor) which I have found is in
the act of the General Court of Massachusetts in May, 1657, prohibiting
the sale of strong liquors "whether knowne by the name of rumme, strong
water, wine, brandy, etc., etc." The traveller Josselyn wrote of it,
terming it that "cursed liquor rhum, rumbullion or kill-devil." English
sailors still call their grog rumbowling. But the word rum in this word
and in rumbooze and in rumfustian did not mean rum; it meant the gypsy
adjective powerful. Rumbooze or rambooze, distinctly a gypsy word, and an
English university drink also, is made of eggs, ale, wine, and sugar.
Rumfustian was made of a quart of strong beer, a bottle of white wine or
sherry, half a pint of gin, the yolks of twelve eggs, orange peel, nutmeg,
spices, and sugar. Rum-barge is another mixed drink of gypsy name. It will
be noted that none of these contains any rum.

In some localities in America rum was called in early days
Barbadoes-liquor, a very natural name, occasionally also Barbadoes-brandy.
The Indians called it ocuby, or as it was spelled in the Norridgewock
tongue, ah-coobee. Many of the early white settlers called it by the same
name. Kill-devil was its most universal name, not only a slang name, but a
trading-term used in bills of sale. A description of Surinam written in
1651 says: "Rhum made from sugar-canes is called kill-devil in New
England." At thus early a date had the manufacture of rum become
associated with New England.

The Dutch in New York called the liquor brandy-wine, and soon in that
colony wherever strong waters were named in tavern lists, the liquor was
neither aqua vitæ nor gin nor brandy, but New England rum.

It soon was cheap enough. Rev. Increase Mather, the Puritan parson, wrote,
in 1686: "It is an unhappy thing that in later years a Kind of Drink
called Rum has been common among us. They that are poor and wicked, too,
can for a penny make themselves drunk." From old account-books, bills of
lading, grocers' bills, family expenses, etc., we have the price of rum at
various dates, and find that his assertion was true.

[Illustration: Old Rum Bottles.]

In 1673 Barbadoes rum was worth 6_s._ a gallon. In 1687 its price had
vastly fallen, and New England rum sold for 1_s._ 6_d._ a gallon. In 1692
2_s._ a gallon was the regular price. In 1711 the price was 3_s._ 3_d._ In
1757, as currency grew valueless, it was 21_s._ a gallon. In 1783 only a
little over a shilling; then it was but 8_d._ a quart. During this time
the average cost of molasses in the West Indies was 12_d._ a gallon; so,
though the distillery plant for its production was costly, it can be seen
that the profits were great.

Burke said about 1750: "The quantity of spirits which they distill in
Boston from the molasses which they import is as surprising as the
cheapness at which they sell it, which is under two shillings a gallon;
but they are more famous for the quantity and cheapness than for the
excellency of their rum." An English traveller named Bennet wrote at the
same date of Boston society: "Madeira wine and rum punch are the liquors
they drink in common." Baron Riedésel, who commanded the foreign troops in
America during the Revolution, wrote of the New England inhabitants: "Most
of the males have a strong passion for strong drink, especially rum."
While President John Adams said caustically: "If the ancients drank wine
as our people drink rum and cider, it is no wonder we hear of so many
possessed with devils;" yet he himself, to the end of his life, always
began the day with a tankard of hard cider before breakfast.

The Dutch were too constant beer drinkers to become with speed great rum
consumers, and they were too great lovers of gin and schnapps. But they
deprecated the sharp and intolerant prohibition of the sale of rum to the
Indians, saying: "To prohibit all strong liquor to them seems very hard
and very Turkish. Rum doth as little hurt as the Frenchman's Brandie, and
in the whole is much more wholesome." The English were fiercely abhorrent
of intemperance among the Indians, and court records abound in laws
restraining the sale of rum to the "bloudy salvages," of prosecutions and
fines of white traders who violated these laws, and of constant and fierce
punishment of the thirsty red men, who simply tried to gratify an appetite
instilled in them by the English.

William Penn wrote to the Earl of Sutherland in 1683: "Ye Dutch, Sweed,
and English have by Brandy and Specially Rum, almost Debaucht ye Indians
all. When Drunk ye most Wretched of Spectacles. They had been very
Tractable but Rum is so dear to them."

Rum formed the strong intoxicant of all popular tavern drinks; many are
still mixed to-day. Toddy, sling, grog, are old-time concoctions.

A writer for the first _Galaxy_ thus parodied the poem, _I knew by the
smoke that so gracefully curled_:--

  "I knew by the pole that's so gracefully crown'd
    Beyond the old church, that a tavern was near,
  And I said if there's black-strap on earth to be found,
    A man who had credit might hope for it here."

Josiah Quincy said that black-strap was a composition of which the secret,
he fervently hoped, reposed with the lost arts. Its principal ingredients
were rum and molasses, though there were other simples combined with it.
He adds, "Of all the detestable American drinks on which our inventive
genius has exercised itself, this black-strap was truly the most

Casks of it stood in every country store and tavern, a salted cod-fish
hung alongside, slyly to tempt by thirst additional purchasers of
black-strap. "Calibogus," or "bogus," was unsweetened rum and beer.

Mimbo, sometimes abbreviated to mim, was a drink made of rum and
loaf-sugar--and possibly water. The "Rates in Taverns" fixed in York
County in Pennsylvania, in 1752, for "the protecting of travellers against
the extortions of tavern-keepers," gives its price:--

  "1 Quart Mimbo made best W. I. Rum and Loaf:       10_d._

   1 Quart Mimbo, made of New England Rum and Loaf:   9_d._"

Many years ago, one bitter winter day, there stepped down from a rocking
mail-coach into the Washington Tavern in a Pennsylvania town, a dashing
young man who swaggered up to the bar and bawled out for a drink of
"Scotchem." The landlord was running here and there, talking to a score of
people and doing a score of things at once, and he called to his son, a
lubberly, countrified young fellow, to give the gentleman his Scotchem.
The boy was but a learner in the taproom, but he was a lad of few words,
so he hesitatingly mixed a glass of hot water and Scotch whiskey, which
the traveller scarcely tasted ere he roared out: "Don't you know what
Scotchem is? Apple-jack, and boiling water, and a good dash of ground
mustard. Here's a shilling to pay for it." The boy stared at the
uninviting recipe, but faithfully compounded it, when toot-toot sounded
the horn--the coach waited for no man, certainly not for a man to sip a
scalding drink--and such a drink, and off in a trice went full coach and
empty traveller. The young tapster looked dubiously at the great mug of
steaming drink; then he called to an old trapper, a town pauper, who,
crippled with rheumatism, sat ever in the warm chimney corner of the
taproom, telling stories of coons and catamounts and wolverines, and
taking such stray drops of liquid comfort as old companions or new
sympathizers might pityingly give him. "Here, Ezra," the boy said, "you
take the gentleman's drink. It's paid for." Ezra was ever thirsty and
never fastidious. He gulped down the Scotchem. "It's good," he swaggered
bravely, with eyes streaming from the scalding mustard, "an' it's tasty,
too, ef it does favor tomato ketchup."

[Illustration: Burgoyne Tavern.]

Forty years later an aged man was swung precariously out with a violent
jerk from a rampant trolley car in front of the Washington Hotel. He
wearily entered the gaudy office, and turned thence to the bar. The
barkeeper, a keen-eyed, lean old fellow of inscrutable countenance,
glanced sharply at him, pondered a moment, then opened a remote closet,
drew forth from its recess an ancient and dusty demijohn of apple-jack,
and with boiling water and a dash of mustard compounded a drink which he
placed unasked before the traveller. "Here's your Scotchem," he said
laconically. The surprised old man looked sharply around him. Outside the
window, in the stable yard, a single blasted and scaling buttonwood tree
alone remained of the stately green row whose mottled trunks and glossy
leaves once bordered the avenue. The varying grades of city streets had
entirely cut off the long porch beloved of old-time tavern loafers. The
creaking sign-board had vanished. Within was no cheerful chimney corner
and no welcoming blazing fire, but the old taproom still displayed its
raftered ceiling. The ancient traveller solemnly drank his long-paid-for
mug of Scotchem. "It's good," he said, "and tasty, if it does favor tomato

A ray of memory darted across the brain of the old barkeeper, and albeit
he was not a member of the Society of Psychical Research and could not
formulate his brain impressions, yet he pondered on the curious problem
of thought transference, of forced sequence of ideas, of coincidences of
mental action resulting from similar physical conditions and influences.

Flip was a dearly loved drink of colonial times, far more popular in
America than in England, much different in concoction in America than in
England, and much superior in America--a truly American drink. As its
chief ingredient is beer, it might be placed in the chapter on small
drink, but the large amount consumed entitles it to a place with more
rankly intoxicating liquors.

The earliest date that I find flip named in New England is 1690. From that
year till the middle of this century there never was a day, never a minute
of the day, and scarce of the night, that some old Yankee flip drinker was
not plunging in a loggerhead, or smacking his lips over a mug of creaming

In the _New England Almanac_ for 1704 we read under December:--

  "The days are short, the weather's cold,
  By tavern fires tales are told.
  Some ask for dram when first come in,
  Others with flip and bounce begin."

American flip was made in a great pewter mug or earthen pitcher filled
two-thirds full of strong beer; sweetened with sugar, molasses, or dried
pumpkin, according to individual taste or capabilities; and flavored with
"a dash"--about a gill--of New England rum. Into this mixture was thrust
and stirred a red-hot loggerhead, made of iron and shaped like a poker,
and the seething iron made the liquor foam and bubble and mantle high, and
gave it the burnt, bitter taste so dearly loved. A famous tavern host of
Canton, Massachusetts, had a special fancy in flip. He mixed together a
pint of cream, four eggs, and four pounds of sugar, and kept this on hand.
When a mug of flip was called for, he filled a quart mug two-thirds full
of bitter beer, added four great spoonfuls of his creamy compound, a gill
of rum, and thrust in the loggerhead. If a fresh egg were beaten into the
mixture, the froth poured over the top of the mug, and the drink was
called "bellows-top."

[Illustration: Happy Farmer Pitcher.]

Let me not fail to speak of the splendid glasses in which flip was often
served--I mean the great glass tumblers without handles which, under the
name of flip glasses, still are found in New England homes. They are vast
drinking-vessels, sometimes holding three or four quarts apiece, and speak
to us distinctly of the unlimited bibulous capacities of our ancestors.
They are eagerly sought for by glass and china collectors, and are among
the prettiest and most interesting of old-time relics.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Hancock Tavern.]

English flip is not so simple nor so original nor so good a drink as
American flip. It might be anything but flip, since it is compounded in a
saucepan, and knows naught of the distinctive branding of flip, the
seething loggerhead. If it contained no spirits, it was called "egg-hot."

A rule for flip which seems to combine the good points of the American and
English methods, uses ale instead of home-brewed. It may be given "in the
words of the Publican who made it":--

    "Keep grated Ginger and Nutmeg with a fine dried Lemon Peel rubbed
    together in a Mortar. To make a quart of Flip: Put the Ale on the Fire
    to warm, and beat up three or four Eggs with four ounces of moist
    Sugar, a teaspoonful of grated Nutmeg or Ginger, and a Quartern of
    good old Rum or Brandy. When the Ale is near to boil, put it into one
    pitcher, and the Rum and Eggs, etc., into another: turn it from one
    Pitcher to another till it is as smooth as cream. To heat plunge in
    the red hot Loggerhead or Poker. This quantity is styled One Yard of

A quartern is a quarter of a gill, which is about the "dash" of rum.

No flip was more widely known and more respected than the famous brew of
Abbott's Tavern at Holden, Massachusetts. This house, built in 1763, and
kept by three generations of Abbotts, never wavered in the quality of its
flip. It is said to have been famous from the Atlantic to the Pacific--and
few stage-coaches or travellers ever passed that door without adding to
its praises and thereafter spreading its reputation. It is sad to add that
I don't know exactly how it was made. A bill still existing tells its
price in Revolutionary days; other items show its relative valuation:--

  "Mug New England Flip                   9_d._
    "  West India    "                   11_d._
  Lodging per night                       3_d._
  Pot luck per meal                       8_d._
  Boarding commons Men              4_s._ 8_d._
     "        "    Weomen                 2_s._"

This is the only tavern bill I have ever seen in which nice distinctions
were made in boarding men and women. I am glad to know that the "weomen"
traveller in those days had 2_s._ 8_d._ of daily advantage over the men.

Other names for the hospital loggerhead were flip-dog and hottle. The
loggerhead was as much a part of the chimney furniture of an old-time New
England tavern and farm-house as the bellows or andirons. In all taverns
and many hospitable homes it was constantly kept warm in the ashes, ready
for speedy heating in a bed of hot coals, to burn a mug of fresh flip for
every visitor or passer by. Cider could be used instead of beer, if beer
could not be had. Some wise old flip tasters preferred cider to beer.
Every tavern bill of the eighteenth century was punctuated with entries of
flip. John Adams said if you spent the evening in a tavern, you found it
full of people drinking drams of flip, carousing, and swearing. The old
taprooms were certainly cheerful and inviting gathering-places; where mine
host sat behind his cagelike counter surrounded by cans and bottles and
glasses, jars of whole spices and whole loaves of sugar; where an
inspiring row of barrels of New England rum, hard cider, and beer ranged
in rivalry at an end of the room, and

  "Where dozed a fire of beechen logs that bred
  Strange fancies in its embers golden-red,
  And nursed the loggerhead, whose hissing dip,
  Timed by wise instinct, creamed the bowl of flip."

[Illustration: Flip Glasses, Loggerhead, and Toddy Stick.]

These fine lines of Lowell's seem to idealize the homely flip and the
loggerhead as we love to idealize the customs of our forbears. Many a
reader of them, inspired by the picture, has heated an iron poker or
flip-dog and brewed and drunk a mug of flip. I did so not long ago, mixing
carefully by a rule for flip recommended and recorded and used by General
Putnam--Old Put--in the Revolution. I had the Revolutionary receipt and I
had the Revolutionary loggerhead, and I had the old-time ingredients, but
alas, I had neither the tastes nor the digestion of my Revolutionary
sires, and the indescribable scorched and puckering bitterness of taste
and pungency of smell of that rank compound which was flip, will serve for
some time in my memory as an antidote for any overweening longing for the
good old times.

The toddy stick, beloved for the welcome ringing music it made on the
sides of glass tumblers, was used to stir up toddy and other sweetened

It was a stick six or eight inches long, with a knob at one end, or
flattened out at the end so it would readily crush the loaf sugar used in
the drink. The egg-nog stick was split at one end, and a cross-piece of
wood was set firmly in. It was a crude egg-beater. Whirled rapidly around,
while the upright stick was held firmly between the palms of the hands, it
was a grateful, graceful, and inviting machine in the hands of skilful
landlords of old.

Another universal and potent colonial drink was punch. It came to the
English colonies in America from the English colonies in India. To the
Orientals we owe punch--as many other good things. The word is from the
Hindustani _panch_, five, referring to the five ingredients then used in
the drink, namely: tea, arrack, sugar, lemons, water.

In 1675 one Tryer drank punch in India and, like the poor thing that he
was, basely libelled it as an enervating liquor. The English took very
quickly to the new drink, as they did to everything else in India, and
soon the word appeared in English ballads, showing that punch was well

Englishmen did not use without change the punch-bowls of India, but
invented an exceptionally elegant form known by the name of Monteith. It
was called after a man of fashion who was marked and remarkable for
wearing a scalloped coat. In the _Art of Cookery_ we find reference to him
and the Monteith punch bowl:--

  "New things produce new words, and so Monteith
  Has by one vessel saved himself from death."

[Illustration: Porcelain Monteith.]

Monteiths seem to have come into fashion about 1697. The rim was scalloped
like its namesake's coat, or cut in battlements, thus forming
indentations, in which a punch ladle and lemon strainer and tall
wine-glasses were hung on their sides, the foot out. The rim was usually
separate from the bowl, and was lifted off with the glasses and ladle and
strainer, for the punch to be brewed in the bowl. When the punch was duly
finished, the ornamental rim was replaced. A porcelain imitation of a
Monteith is here shown, which was made in China for an American
ship-owner, doubtless from a silver model.

Punch became popular in New England just as it did in old England, in
fact, wherever English-speaking sea rovers could tell of the new drink. In
1682 John Winthrop wrote of the sale of a punch bowl in Boston, and in
1686 John Dunton told of more than one noble bowl of punch in New England.

Every buffet of people of good station in prosperous times soon had a
punch bowl. Every dinner was prefaced by a bowl of punch passed from hand
to hand, while the liquor was drunk from the bowl. Double and "thribble"
bowls of punch were served in taverns; these held two and three quarts

To show the amount of punch drunk at a minister's ordination in New
England in 1785, I will state that the eighty people attending in the
morning had thirty bowls of punch before going to meeting; and the
sixty-eight who had dinner disposed of forty-four bowls of punch, eighteen
bottles of wine, eight bowls of brandy, and a quantity of cherry rum.

Punch was popular in Virginia, it was popular in New York, it was popular
in Pennsylvania. William Black recorded in his diary in 1744 that in
Philadelphia he was given cider and punch for lunch; rum and brandy before
dinner; punch, Madeira, port, and sherry at dinner; punch and liqueurs
with the ladies; and wine, spirit, and punch till bedtime; all in punch
bowls big enough for a goose to swim in.

In 1757 S. M. of Boston, who was doubtless Samuel Mather, the son of
Cotton Mather, sent to Sir Harry Frankland, the hero of the New England
romance of Agnes Surriage, a box of lemons with these lines:--

  "You know from Eastern India came
  The skill of making punch as did the name.
  And as the name consists of letters five,
  By five ingredients is it kept alive.
  To purest water sugar must be joined,
  With these the grateful acid is combined.
  Some any sours they get contented use,
  But men of taste do that from Tagus choose.
  When now these three are mixed with care
  Then added be of spirit a small share.
  And that you may the drink quite perfect see,
  Atop the musky nut must grated be."

[Illustration: Cincinnati Punch Bowl.]

From the accounts that have come down to us, the "spirits a small share"
of the Puritan Mather's punch receipt was seldom adhered to in New England

The importation to England and America of lemons, oranges, and limes for
use as punch "sowrings," as they were called, was an important part of the
West Indian and Portuguese trade. The juices of lemons, oranges, limes,
and pineapples were all used in punches, and were imported in demijohns
and bottles. The appetizing advertisements of J. Crosby, a Boston fruit
importer, are frequent for many years in New England newspapers. Here is
one from the _Salem Gazette_ in 1741:--

    "Extraordinary good and very fresh Orange juice which some of the very
    best Punch Tasters prefer to Lemmon, at one dollar a gallon. Also very
    good Lime Juice and Shrub to put into Punch at the Basket of Lemmons,
    J. Crosby, Lemmon Trader."

I don't know whether the punch tasters referred to were professional punch
mixers or whether it was simply a term applied to persons of well-known
experience and judgment in punch-drinking.

In Salem, New Jersey, in 1729, tavern prices were regulated by the Court.
They were thus:--

  "A rub of punch made with double-refined sugar
  and one and a half gills of rum                  9_d._

  A rub of punch made with single refined sugar
  and one and a half gills of rum                  8_d._

  A rub made of Muscovado sugar and one and a
  half gills of rum                                7_d._

  A quart of flipp made with a pint of rum         9_d._

  A pint of wine                              1_s._

  A gill of rum                                    3_d._

  A quart of strong beer                           4_d._

  A gill of brandy or cordial                      6_d._

  A quart of metheglin                             9_d._

  A quart of cider royal                           8_d._

  A quart of cider                                 4_d._"

Punches were many of name, scores of different ones were given by drink
compounders, both amateur and professional. Punches were named for
persons, for places; for taverns and hosts; for bar-tenders and
stage-coach drivers; for unusual ingredients or romantic incidents.
Sometimes honor was conferred by naming the punch for the person;
sometimes the punch was the only honor the original ever had. In these
punches all kinds of flavoring and spices were used, and all the strong
liquors of the world, all the spirits, wines, liqueurs, drops, distilled
waters and essences--but seldom and scant malt liquors, if it were truly

With regard to the proper amounts of all these various fluids to be used
in composition opinions always differed. Many advised a light hand with
cordials, some disliked spices; others wished a plentiful amount of lemon
juice, others wished tea. In respect of the proportions of two important
and much-discussed ingredients, old-time landlords apparently heeded
directions similar to those I once heard given impressively by an old
Irish ecclesiastic of high office: "Shtop! shtop! ye are not commincin'
right and in due ordher! Ye musthn't iver put your whiskey or rum foorst
in your punch-bowl and thin add wather; for if ye do, ivery dhrop of
wather ye put in is just cruel spoilin' of the punch; but--foorst--put
some wather in the bowl--some, I say, since in conscience ye must--thin
pour in the rum; and sure ye can aisily parcaive that ivery dhrop ye put
in is afther makin' the punch betther and betther."

Charles Lamb tells in his _Popular Fallacies_ of "Bully Dawson kicked by
half the town and half the town kicked by Bully Dawson." This Bully Dawson
was a famous punch brewer; his rule was precisely like that of a famous
New England landlord, and is worth choosing among a score of rules:--

    "The man who sees, does, or thinks of anything else while he is making
    Punch may as well look for the Northwest Passage on Mutton Hill. A man
    can never make good punch unless he is satisfied, nay positive, that
    no man breathing can make better. I can and do make good Punch,
    because I do nothing else, and this is my way of doing it. I retire to
    a solitary corner with my ingredients ready sorted; they are as
    follows, and I mix them in the order they are here written. Sugar,
    twelve tolerable lumps; hot water, one pint; lemons, two, the juice
    and peel; old Jamaica rum, two gills; brandy, one gill; porter or
    stout, half a gill; arrack, a slight dash. I allow myself five minutes
    to make a bowl in the foregoing proportions, carefully stirring the
    mixture as I furnish the ingredients until it actually foams; and then
    Kangaroos! how beautiful it is!"

With this nectar and a toast we may fitly close this chapter. May the
grass grow lightly o'er the grave of Bully Dawson, and weigh like lead on
the half the town that kicked him!



"Under this tearme of small-drink," wrote an old chronicler, "do I endow
such drinks as are of comfort, to quench an honest thirst, not to heat the
brain, as one man hath ale, another cider, another metheglin, and one
sack." Under this title I also place such tavern and home drinks of
colonial times as were not deemed vastly intoxicating; though New England
cider might well be ranged very close to New England rum in intoxicating

The American colonists were not enthusiastic water drinkers, and they soon
imported malt and established breweries to make the familiar ale and beer
of old England. The Dutch patroons found brewing a profitable business in
New York, and private families in all the colonies built home brew-houses
and planted barley and hops.

In Virginia a makeshift ale was made from maize as early as 1620. George
Thorpe wrote that it was a good drink, much preferable to English beer.
Governor Berkeley wrote of Virginians a century later:--

    "Their small-drink is either wine or water, beer, milk and water, or
    water alone. Their richer sort generally brew their small-beer with
    malt, which they have from England, though barley grows there very
    well; but for the want of convenience of malt-houses, the inhabitants
    take no care to sow it. The poorer sort brew their beer with molasses
    and bran; with Indian corn malted with drying in a stove: with
    persimmons dried in a cake and baked; with potatoes with the green
    stalks of Indian corn cut small and bruised, with pompions, with the
    Jerusalem artichoke which some people plant purposely for that use,
    but this is the least esteemed."

Similar beers were made in New England. The court records are full of
enactments to encourage beer-brewing. They had not learned that liberty to
brew, when and as each citizen pleased, would prove the best stimulus.
Much personal encouragement was also given. The President of Harvard
College did not disdain to write to the court on behalf of "Sister
Bradish," that she might be "encouraged and countenanced" in her baking of
bread and brewing and selling of penny beer. And he adds in testimony that
"such is her art, way, and skill that shee doth vend such comfortable
penniworths for the relief of all that send unto her as elsewhere they can
seldom meet with." College students were permitted to buy of her to a
certain amount; and with the light of some contemporary evidence as to the
quality of the college commons we can believe they needed very
"comfortable penniworths."

Some New England taverns were famous for their spruce, birch, and
sassafras beer, boiled with scores of roots and herbs, with birch,
spruce, or sassafras bark, with pumpkin and apple parings, with sweetening
of molasses or maple syrup, or beet tops and other makeshifts. A colonial
song writer boasted--

  "Oh, we can make liquor to sweeten our lips
  Of pumpkins, of parsnips, of walnut-tree chips."

[Illustration: Sign-board of Amherst Hotel.]

According to Diodorus Siculus, the ancient Britons drank on festive
occasions liquors made from honey, apples, and barley, viz., mead, cider,
and ale. The Celts drank mead and cider--natural drinks within the
capabilities of manufacture by slightly civilized nations; for wild honey
and wild apples could be found everywhere. Ale indicated agriculture and a
more advanced civilization.

Mead, or metheglin, of fermented honey, herbs, and water, has been made by
every race and tribe on this globe, living where there was enough
vegetation to cherish bees. It had been a universal drink in England, but
was somewhat in disuse when this country was settled.

Harrison wrote:--

    "The Welsh make no less account of metheglin than the Greeks did of
    their ambrosia or nectar, which for the pleasantness thereof was
    supposed to be such as the gods themselves did delight in. There is a
    kind of swishswash made also in Essex, and divers other places, with
    honeycomb and water, which the homely country-wives putting some
    pepper and a little other spice among, called mead: very good in mine
    opinion for such as love to be loose-bodied at large, or a little
    eased of the cough. Otherwise it differeth so much from true metheglin
    as chalk from cheese; and one of the best things that I know belonging
    thereto is, that they spend but little labour and less cost in making
    of the same, and therefore no great loss if it were never occupied."

Metheglin was one of the drinks of the American colonists. It was a
favorite drink in Kentucky till well into this century. As early as 1633,
the Piscataqua planters of New Hampshire, in their list of values which
they set in furs,--the currency of the colony,--made "6 Gallon Mathaglin
equal 2 Lb Beaver." In Virginia, whole plantations of honey locust were
set out to supply metheglin. The long beans of the locust were ground and
mixed with honey herbs and water, and fermented.

In a letter written from Virginia in 1649, it is told of "an ancient
planter of twenty-five years standing," that he had good store of bees and
"made excellent good Matheglin, a pleasant and strong drink."

Oldmixon, in _History of Carolina_ (1708), says, "the bees swarm there six
or seven times a year, and the metheglin made there is as good as Malaga
sack," which may be taken _cum grano salis_.

In New England drinking habits soon underwent a marked and speedy change.
English grains did not thrive well those first years of settlement, and
were costly to import, so New Englanders soon drifted from beer-drinking
to cider-drinking. The many apple orchards planted first by Endicott and
Blackstone in Massachusetts, and Wolcott in Connecticut, and seen in a few
decades on every prosperous and thrifty farm, soon gave forth their
bountiful yield of juicy fruit. Perhaps this change in drinking habits was
indirectly the result of the influence of the New England climate. Cider
seemed more fitted for sharp New England air than ale. Cider was soon so
cheap and plentiful throughout the colony that all could have their fill.
Josselyn said in 1670: "I have had at the tap-houses of Boston an
ale-quart of cider spiced and sweetened with sugar for a groat."

[Illustration: Eagle Tavern and Sign-board, Newton, New Hampshire.]

All the colonists drank cider, old and young, and in all
places,--funerals, weddings, ordainings, vestry-meetings, church-raisings,
etc. Infants in arms drank mulled hard cider at night, a beverage which
would kill a modern babe. It was supplied to students at Harvard and Yale
colleges at dinner and bever, being passed in two quart tankards from hand
to hand down the commons table. Old men began the day with a quart or
more of hard cider before breakfast. Delicate women drank hard cider. All
laborers in the field drank it in great draughts that were often liberally
fortified with drams of New England rum. The apple crop was so wholly
devoted to the manufacture of cider that in the days of temperance reform
at the beginning of this century, Washingtonian zealots cut down great
orchards of full-bearing trees, not conceiving any adequate use of the
fruit for any purpose save cider-making.

A friend--envious and emulous of the detective work so minutely described
by Conan Doyle--was driving last summer on an old New England road
entirely unfamiliar to him. He suddenly turned to the stage-driver by his
side and, pointing to a house alongside the road, said, "The man who lives
there is a drunkard."--"Why, yes," answered the driver in surprise, "do
you know him?"--"No," said the traveller, "I never saw him and don't know
his name, but he's a drunkard and his father was before him, and his
grandfather."--"It's true," answered the driver, with much astonishment;
"how could you tell?"--"Well, there is a large orchard of very old apple
trees round that house, while all his neighbors, even when the houses are
old, have younger orchards. When the 'Washingtonian or Temperance
Movement' reached this town, the owner of this place was too confirmed a
drunkard to reform and cut down his apple trees as his neighbors did, and
he kept on at his hard cider and cider brandy, and his son and grandson
grew up to be drunkards after him." Later inquiry in the town proved the
truth of the amateur detective's guesswork.

Cider was tediously made at first by pounding the apples in wooden
mortars; the pomace was afterward pressed in baskets. Then rude mills with
a spring board and heavy maul crushed the apples in a hollowed log. Then
presses for cider-making began to be set up about the year 1650.

Apples were at that time six to eight shillings a bushel; cider 1_s._
8_d._ a gallon--as high-priced as New England rum a century later.

Connecticut cider soon became specially famous. Roger Williams in 1660
says John Winthrop's loving letter to him was as grateful as "a cup of
your Connecticut cider." By 1679 it was cheap enough, ten shillings a
barrel; and in the year 1700, about seven shillings only. It had then
replaced beer in nearly all localities in daily diet; yet at the
Commencement dinner at Harvard in 1703, four barrels of beer were served
and but one of cider, with eighteen gallons of wine.

In 1721 one Massachusetts village of forty families made three thousand
barrels of cider, and Judge Joseph Wilder of Lancaster, Massachusetts,
made six hundred and sixteen barrels in the year 1728.

Bennett, an English traveller, writing of Boston in the year 1740, says
that "the generality of the people with their victuals" drank cider, which
was plentiful and good at three shillings a barrel. It took a large amount
of cider to supply a family when all drank, and drank freely. Ministers
often stored forty barrels of cider for winter use.

[Illustration: Cider Pitcher and Cups.]

By the closing years of the seventeenth century nearly all Virginia
plantations had an apple orchard. Colonel Fitzhugh had twenty-five hundred
apple trees. So quickly did they mature, that six years after the scions
were planted, they bore fruit. Many varieties were common, such as
russets, costards, pippins, mains, marigolds, kings, and batchelors. So
great was the demand for cider in the South that apple orchards were
deemed the most desirable leasing property. Cider never reached a higher
price, however, than two shillings and a half in Virginia during the
seventeenth century. Thus it could be found in the house of every Maryland
and Virginia planter. It was supplied to the local courts during their
times of sitting. Many households used it in large quantity instead of
beer or metheglin, storing many barrels for everyday use.

At a very early date apple trees were set out in New York, and cultivated
with much care and much success. Nowhere else in America, says Dankers,
the Labadist traveller, had he seen such fine apples. The names of the
Newton pippin, the Kingston spitzenburgh, the Poughkeepsie swaar apple,
the red streak, guelderleng, and others of well-known quality, show New
York's attention to apple-raising. Kalm, the Swedist naturalist, spoke of
the splendid apple orchards which he saw throughout New York in 1749, and
told of the use of the horse press in the Hudson Valley for making cider.
Cider soon rivalled in domestic use in this province the beer of the
Fatherland. It was constantly used during the winter season, and, diluted
with water, sweetened and flavored with nutmeg, made a grateful summer
drink. Combined with rum, it formed many of the most popular and
intoxicating colonial drinks, of which "stone-wall" was the most potent.
Cider-royal was made by boiling four barrels of cider into one barrel. P.
T. Barnum said cider-spirits was called "gumption."

A New Hampshire settler carried on his back for twenty miles to his home a
load of young apple trees. They thrived and grew apace, and his first crop
was eight bushels. From these, he proudly recounted, he made one barrel of
cider, one barrel of water-cider, and "one barrel of charming good drink."
Water-cider, or ciderkin, was a very weak, slightly cidery beverage, which
was made by pouring water over the solid dregs left after the cider had
been pressed from the pomace, and pressing it over again. It was deemed
especially suitable for children to drink; sometimes a little molasses and
ginger was added to it.

A very mild tavern drink was beverige; its concoction varied in different
localities. Sometimes beverige was water-cider or ciderkin; at other times
cider, spices, and water. Water flavored with molasses and ginger was
called beverige, and is a summer drink for New England country-folk

[Illustration: Parson's Tavern.]

John Hammond wrote of Virginia in 1656 in his _Leah and Rachel_:--

    "Beare is indeed in some places constantly drunken, in other some
    nothing but Water or Milk, and Water or Beverige; and that is where
    the good-wives (if I may so call them) are negligent and idle; for it
    is not want of Corn to make Malt with, for the Country affords enough,
    but because they are slothful and careless; and I hope this Item will
    shame them out of these humours; that they will be adjudged by their
    drinke, what kind of Housewives they are."

Vinegar and water--a drink of the ancient Roman soldiery--was also called
beverige. Dr. Rush wrote a pamphlet recommending its use by harvest

Switchel was a similar drink, strengthened with a dash of rum. Ebulum was
the juice of elder and juniper berries, spiced and sweetened. Perry was
made from pears, and peachy from peaches.

A terrible drink is said to have been popular in Salem. It is difficult to
decide which was worse, the drink or its name. It was sour household beer
simmered in a kettle, sweetened with molasses, filled with crumbs of
"ryneinjun" bread, and drunk piping hot; its name was
whistle-belly-vengeance, or whip-belly-vengeance. This name was not a
Yankee vulgarism, but a well-known old English term. Bickerdyke says small
beer was rightly stigmatized by this name. Dean Swift in his _Polite
Conversations_ gives this smart dialogue:--

    "_Hostess_ (offering ale to Sir John Linger). I never taste
    malt-liquor, but they say ours is well-hopp'd.

    _Sir John._ Hopp'd! why if it had hopp'd a little further, it would
    have hopp'd into the river.

    _Hostess._ I was told ours was very strong.

    _Sir John._ Yes! strong of the water. I believe the brewer forgot the
    malt, or the river was too near him. Faith! it is more
    whip-belly-vengeance; he that drinks most has the worst share."

This would hardly seem a word for "polite conversation," though it was
certainly a term in common use. Its vulgarity is in keen contrast to the
name of another "small drink," a name which brings to the mental vision
thoughts of the good cheer, the genial hospitality, the joy of living, of
Elizabethan days. A black letter copy of the _Loyal Garland_, a collection
of songs of the seventeenth century, thus names the drink in this gay

  "To the Tavern lets away!
  There have I a Mistress got,
  Cloystered in a Pottle Pot;
  Plump and bounding, soft and fair,
  Bucksome, sweet and debonair,
  And they call her _Sack_, my Dear!"

It is vain to enter here into a discussion of exactly what sack was, since
so much has been written about it. The name was certainly applied to sweet
wines from many places. A contemporary authority, Gervayse Markham, says
in The _English Housewife_, "Your best Sackes are of Seres in Spain, your
smaller of Galicia or Portugall: your strong Sackes are of the islands of
the Canaries."

Sack was, therefore, a special make of the strong, dry, sweet,
light-colored wines of the sherry family, such as come from the South,
from Portugal, Spain, and the Canary Islands. By the seventeenth century
the name was applied to all sweet wines of this class, as distinguished
from Rhenish wines on one hand and red wines on the other. Many do not
wish to acknowledge that sack was sherry, but there was little distinction
between them. Sherris-sack, named by Shakespeare, was practically also

Sack was so cheap that it could be used by all classes. From an original
license granted by Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1584, to one Bradshaw to keep a
tavern we learn that sack was then worth two shillings a gallon.

[Illustration: Toby Fillpots.]

Perhaps the most famous use of sack was in the making of sack-posset, that
drink of brides, of grooms, of wedding and christening parties. A rhymed
rule for sack-posset found its way into many collections, and into English
and American newspapers. It is said to have been written by Sir Fleetwood
Fletcher. It was thus printed in the _New York Gazette_ of February 13,

  "A Receipt for all young Ladies that are going to be Married.
  To make a SACK-POSSET

  From famed Barbadoes on the Western Main
  Fetch sugar half a pound; fetch sack from Spain
  A pint; and from the Eastern Indian Coast
  Nutmeg, the glory of our Northern toast.
  O'er flaming coals together let them heat
  Till the all-conquering sack dissolves the sweet.
  O'er such another fire set eggs, twice ten,
  New born from crowing cock and speckled hen;
  Stir them with steady hand, and conscience pricking
  To see the untimely fate of twenty chicken.
  From shining shelf take down your brazen skillet,
  A quart of milk from gentle cow will fill it.
  When boiled and cooked, put milk and sack to egg,
  Unite them firmly like the triple League.
  Then covered close, together let them dwell
  Till Miss twice sings: _You must not kiss and tell_.
  Each lad and lass snatch up their murdering spoon,
  And fall on fiercely like a starved dragoon."

Sack was drunk in America during the first half-century of colonial life.
It was frequently imported to Virginia; and all the early instructions for
the voyage cross-seas, such as Governor Winthrop's to his wife and those
of the Plymouth Plantations, urge the shipping of sack for the sailors.
Even in Judge Sewall's day, a century after the planting of Boston,
sack-posset was drunk at Puritan weddings, but a psalm and a prayer made
it properly solemn. Judge Sewall wrote of a Boston wedding:--

    "There was a pretty deal of company present. Many young gentlemen and
    young gentlewomen. Mr. Noyes made a speech, said love was the sugar
    to sweeten every condition in the marriage state. After the
    Sack-Posset sang 45th Psalm from 8th verse to end."

[Illustration: Flip Glasses and Nutmeg Holders.]

Canary soon displaced sack in popular affection, and many varieties of
closely allied wines were imported. Sir Edmund Andros named in his excise
list "Fayal wines, or any other wines of the Western Islands, Madeira,
Malaga, Canary, Tent, and Alcant." Claret was not popular. The consumption
of sweet wines was astonishing, and the quality was exceeding good. Spiced
wines were much sold at taverns, sangaree and mulled wines. Brigham's
Tavern at Westborough had a simple recipe for mulled wine: simply a quart
of boiling hot Madeira, half a pint of boiling water, six eggs beaten to a
froth, all sweetened and spiced. Nutmeg was the favorite flavoring, and
nutmegs gilded and beribboned were an esteemed gift. The importation of
them was in early days wholly controlled by the Dutch. High livers--_bon
vivants_--carried nutmegs in their pockets, fashionable dames also. One
of the prettiest trinkets of colonial times is the dainty nutmeg holder,
of wrought silver or Battersea enamel, just large enough to hold a single
nutmeg. The inside of the cover is pierced or corrugated to form a grater.
The ones now before me, both a century and a half old, when opened exhale
a strong aroma of nutmeg, though it is many a year since they have been
used. With a nutmeg in a pocket holder, the exquisite traveller, whether
man or woman, could be sure of a dainty spiced wine flavored to taste;
"atop the musky nut could grated be," even in the most remote tavern, for
wine was everywhere to be found, but nutmegs were a luxury. Negus, a washy
warm wine-punch invented in Queen Anne's day by Colonel Negus, was also
improved by a flavoring of nutmeg.



Before named streets with numbered houses came into existence, and when
few persons could read, painted and carved sign-boards and figures were
more useful than they are to-day; and not only innkeepers, but men of all
trades and callings sought for signs that either for quaintness,
appropriateness, or costliness would attract the eyes of customers and
visitors, and fix in their memory the exact locality of the advertiser.
Signs were painted and carved in wood; they were carved in stone; modelled
in terra-cotta and plaster; painted on tiles; wrought of various metals;
and even were made of animals' heads stuffed.

As education progressed, signs were less needed, and when thoroughfares
were named and sign-posts set up and houses numbered, the use of business
signs vanished. They lingered sometimes on account of their humor,
sometimes because they were a guarantee of an established business, but
chiefly because people were used to them.

The shops in Boston were known by sign-boards. In 1761 Daniel Parker,
goldsmith, was at the Golden Ball, William Whitmore, grocer, at the Seven
Stars, Susannah Foster was "next the Great Cross," and John Loring,
chemist, at the Great Trees. One hatter had a "Hatt & Beaver," another a
"Hatt & Helmit"; butter was sold at the "Blue Glove" and "Brazen Head";
dry-goods at the "Sign of the Stays" and at the "Wheat Sheaf"; rum at the
"Golden Keys"; pewter ware at the "Crown and Beehive"; knives at the "Sign
of the Crown and Razor." John Crosby, for many years a noted lemon trader,
had as a sign a basket of lemons. In front of a nautical instrument store
on the corner of State and Broad streets, Boston, still stands a quaint
wooden figure of an ancient naval officer resplendent in his blue coat,
cocked hat, short breeches, stockings, and buckles, holding in his hand a
quadrant. The old fellow has stood in this place, continually taking
observations of the sun, for upwards of one hundred years. It will be seen
that these signs were often incongruous and non-significant, both as to
their relation to the business they indicated, and in the association of
objects which they depicted.

A rhyme printed in the _British Apollo_ in 1710 notes the curious
combination of names on London sign-boards:--

  "I'm amazed at the signs
  As I pass through the town;
  To see the odd mixture
  A Magpie and Crown,
  The Whale and the Crow,
  The Razor and Hen,
  The Leg and Seven Stars,
  The Axe and the Bottle,
  The Sun and the Lute,
  The Eagle and Child,
  The Shovel and Boot."

[Illustration: Sign-board of Stratton Tavern.]

Addison wrote nearly two centuries ago on the absurdity and incongruity of
these sign-boards, in _The Spectator_ of April 2, 1710. He says,
advocating a censorship of sign-boards:--

    "Our streets are filled with blue boars, black swans, and red lions;
    not to mention flying pigs, and hogs in armour, with many other
    creatures more extraordinary than any in the deserts of Africa. My
    first task therefore should be like that of Hercules, to clear the
    city from monsters. In the second place I would forbid that creatures
    of jarring and incongruous natures should be joined together in the
    same sign; such as the bell and the neat's tongue; the dog and the
    gridiron. The fox and goose may be supposed to have met, but what have
    the fox and the seven stars to do together? And when did the lamb and
    dolphin ever meet, except upon a sign-post? As for the cat and fiddle
    there is a conceit in it, and therefore I do not intend that anything
    I have said should affect it. I must, however, observe to you upon
    this subject, that it is usual for a young tradesman, at his first
    setting up, to add to his sign that of the master whom he has served;
    as the husband, after marriage, gives a place to his mistress's arms
    in his own coat. This I take to have given rise to many of those
    absurdities which are committed over our heads; and as, I am informed,
    first occasioned the three nuns and a hare, which we see so frequently
    joined together."

Many of the apparently meaningless names on tavern signs come through the
familiar corruptions of generations of use, through alterations both by
the dialect of speakers and by the successive mistakes of ignorant
sign-painters. Thus "The Bag o' Nails," a favorite sign, was originally
"The Bacchanalians." The familiar "Cat and Wheel" was the "Catherine
Wheel," and still earlier "St. Catherine's Wheel," in allusion to the
saint and her martyrdom. The "Goat and Compass" was the motto "God
encompasseth us." "The Pig and Carrot" was the "Pique et Carreau" (the
spade and diamond in playing cards). Addison thus explains the "Bell
Savage," a common sign in England, usually portrayed by an Indian standing
beside a bell. "I was formerly very much puzzled upon the conceit of it,
till I accidentally fell into the reading of an old romance translated out
of the French, which gives an account of a very beautiful woman who was
found in a wilderness, and is called in French, La Belle Sauvage, and is
everywhere translated by our countrymen the Bell Savage."

"The Bull and Mouth" celebrates in corrupt wording the victory of Henry
VIII. in "Boulougne Mouth" or Harbor. In London the Bull and Mouth Inn was
a famous coach office, and the sign-board bore these lines:--

  "Milo the Cretonian
    An ox slew with his fist,
  And ate it up at one meal,
    Ye Gods! what a glorious twist."

Twist was the old cant term for appetite.

The universal use of sign-boards furnished employment to many painters of
inferior rank, and occasionally even to great artists, who, either as a
freak of genius, to win a wager, to crown a carouse, or perhaps to earn
with ease a needed sum, painted a sign-board. At the head of this list is
Hogarth. Richard Wilson painted "The Three Loggerheads" for an ale-house
in North Wales. George Morland has several assigned to him: "The Goat in
Boots," "The White Lion," "The Cricketers." Ibbetson paid his bill to
Landlord Burkett after a sketching and fishing excursion by a sign with
one pale and wan face and one equally rubicund. The accompanying lines

  "Thou mortal man that livest by bread,
  What makes thy face to look so red?
  Thou silly fop that looks so pale,
  'Tis red with Tommy Burkett's ale."

Gérôme, Cox, Harlow, and Millais swell the list of English sign-painters,
while Holbein, Correggio, Watteau, Gerriault, and Horace Vernet make a
noble company. The splendid "Young Bull" of Paul Potter, in the museum of
The Hague, is said to have been painted for a butcher's sign.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Three Crowns Tavern.]

Benjamin West painted many tavern signs in the vicinity of Philadelphia,
among them in 1771 that of the Three Crowns, a noted hostelry that stood
on the King's Highway in Salisbury Township, Lancaster County. This
neighborhood was partly settled by English emigrants, and the old tavern
was kept by a Tory of the deepest dye. The sign-board still bears the
marks of the hostile bullets of the Continental Army, and the proprietor
came near sharing the bullets with the sign. This Three Crowns was removed
in 1816 to the Waterloo Tavern, kept by a relative of the old landlord.
The Waterloo Tavern was originally the Bull's Head, and was kept by a
Revolutionary officer. Both sides of the Three Crowns sign-board are shown
on page 143. By tradition West also painted the sign-board of the old Hat
Tavern shown on page 147. This was kept by Widow Caldwell in Leacock
Township, Lancaster County, on the old Philadelphia road.

The Bull's Head Inn of Philadelphia had a sign suited to its title; it was
sold in the middle of this century to an Englishman as the work of
Benjamin West. The inn stood in Strawberry Alley, and West once lived in
the alley; and so also did Bernard Wilton, a painter and glazier, in the
days when the inn was young and had no sign-board. And as the glazier sat
one day in the taproom, a bull ran foaming into the yard and thrust his
head with a roar in the tavern window. The glazier had a ready wit, and
quoth he: "This means something. This bull thrust his head in as a sign,
so it shall be the sign of the inn, and bring luck and custom forever." I
think those were his words; at any rate, those were the deeds.

West also painted the "Ale Bearers." One side had a man holding a glass of
ale and looking through it. The other side showed two brewers' porters
carrying an ale cask slung with case hooks on a pole--as was the way of
ale porters at that day. It is said that West was offered five hundred
dollars for a red lion sign-board he had painted in his youth. In the
vicinity of Philadelphia several taverns claimed to have sign-boards
painted by the Peales and by Gilbert Stuart, and an artist named Hicks is
said to have contributed some wonderful specimens to this field of art.

[Illustration: Browne's Hall, Danvers, Massachusetts, 1743.]

General Wolfe was a favorite name and figure for pre-Revolutionary taverns
and sign-boards. There was a Wolfe Tavern near Faneuil Hall in Boston; and
the faded sign-board of the Wolfe Tavern of Brooklyn, Connecticut, is
shown on page 211 as it swung when General Israel Putnam was the tavern
landlord. These figures of the English officer were usually removed as
obnoxious after the Declaration of Independence. But the Wolfe Tavern at
Newburyport continued to swing the old sign "in the very centre of the
place to be an insult to this truly republican town." This sign is shown
in its spruce freshness on page 180. It is a great contrast to "Old Put's"
Wolfe sign-board.

A Philadelphia tavern with a clumsy name, though a significant one, was
the Federal Convention of 1787 Inn. I cannot imagine any band of tavern
tipplers or jovial roisterers ever meeting there, but it was doubtless
used for political gatherings. It had a most pretentious sign painted by
Matthew Pratt, a pupil of Benjamin West. It was said that his signs were
painted in a style that should have given them place in a picture gallery,
had it not been that the galleries of those days were few, and artists
found their most lucrative employment in painting signs for taverns and
stores. This inn kept first by a man named Hanna, then by George Poppal,
was at 178 South Street, near Fifth Street. The sign was a painting of the
National Convention which met May 14, 1787, in the State House or
Independence Hall to frame the Constitution of the United States. George
Washington was president, Mayor William Jackson was secretary. The
convention met in the East Room, which was distinctly and correctly
represented on the sign-board; its wainscoting, the Ionic pilasters
supporting a full entablature beneath a coved ceiling, all were taken down
by a "Commissioner of Repairs," and all now are happily reproduced and
restored. On one side of the sign-board Washington was seen seated under
the panel bearing the arms of Pennsylvania. The dignified Judge Wilson
occupied the chair, and Franklin sat near. All the heads were portraits.
On both sides of the sign-board were the lines:--

  "These thirty-eight men together have agreed
  That better times to us shall very soon succeed."

Watson, writing in 1857, tells of the end of this historic sign-board:--

    "This invaluable sign, which should have been copied by some eminent
    artist and engraved for posterity, was bandied about like the Casa
    Santa of Lorretto from post to pillar till it located at South Street
    near the Old Theatre. The figures are now completely obliterated by a
    heavy coat of brown paint on which is lettered Fed. Con. 1787."

[Illustration: Hat Tavern and Sign-board.]

This offence against historic decency can be added to the many other
crimes against good taste which lie heavily on the account of the middle
of the nineteenth century. The _fin du siècle_ has many evils which are
daily rehearsed to us; but the middle of the century was an era of bad
taste, dulness, affected and melancholic sentimentality and
commonplaceness in dress, architecture, household furnishings,
literature, society, and art--let us turn from it with haste. It is
equalled only in some aspects by some of the decades of dulness in England
in the reign of George III.

Another sign-board painted by Woodside is described in Philadelphia
newspapers of August, 1820:--


    "Samuel E. Warwick respectfully informs his friends and the public
    generally that he has opened a house of Entertainment at the northeast
    corner of Seventh and Cedar Streets, and has copied for his sign Mr.
    Binn's beautiful copperplate engraving of the Declaration of
    Independence, by that justly celebrated artist, Mr. Woodside:--

      "Whate'er may tend to soothe the soul below,
      To dry the tear and blunt the shaft of woe,
      To drown the ills that discompose the mind,
      All those who drink at Warwick's Inn shall find."

The Revolutionary War developed originality in American tavern signs. The
"King's Arms," "King's Head," "St. George and the Dragon," and other
British symbols gave place to rampant American eagles and portraits of
George Washington. Every town had a Washington Tavern, with varied
Washington sign-boards. That of the Washington Hotel at Salem,
Massachusetts, is on page 63.

The landlord of the Washington Inn at Holmesburg, Pennsylvania, one James
Carson, issued this address in 1816:--

    "Ye good and virtuous Americans--come! whether business or pleasure be
    your object--call and be refreshed at the sign of Washington. Here
    money and merit will secure you respect and honor, and a hearty
    welcome to choice liquors and to sumptuous fare. Is it cold? You shall
    find a comfortable fire. Is it warm? Sweet repose under a cool and
    grassy shade. In short, every exertion shall be made to grace the sign
    of the hero and statesman who was first in war, first in peace, and
    first in the hearts of his countrymen."

On Beach Street a tavern, with the name Washington Crossing the Delaware,
had as a sign-board a copy of Sully's famous picture. This must have been
a costly luxury. A similar one used as a bridge sign-board is on page 239.

About 1840 one Washington Tavern in Philadelphia, on Second and Lombard
streets, displayed a sign which was a novelty at that time. It was what
was known as a "slat-sign"; perpendicular strips or slats were so set on
the sign that one view or picture was shown upon taking a full front view,
a second by looking at it from one side, a third from the other. The
portrait of Washington and other appropriate pictures were thus shown.

Other patriotic designs became common,--the Patriotic Brothers having a
sign representing the Temple of Liberty with weapons of war. On the steps
of the temple a soldier and sailor grasp hands, with the motto, "Where
Liberty dwells, there is my country."

A very interesting sign is in the possession of the Connecticut Historical
Society. It is shown on page 28. This sign is unusual in that it is
carved in good outline on one side with the British coat of arms, and on
the other a full-rigged ship under full sail, flying the Union Jack. At
the top on each side are the letters U. A. H., and 1766. It is enclosed in
a heavy frame, with heavy hangers of iron keyed to suspend from a beam.

The initials U. A. H. stand for Uriah and Ann Hayden, who kept the tavern
for which this board was the sign. It stood near the river in Essex, then
Pettspung Parish, in the town of Saybrook, Connecticut. The sign was
relegated to a garret when the British lion and unicorn were in such
disrepute in the new land of freedom, and, being forgotten, was thus
preserved to our own day.

An old sign shown on pages 151 and 153 swung for nearly a century by the
roadside before a house called Bissell's Tavern, at Bissell's Ferry, East
Windsor, Connecticut. Originally it bore an elaborate design of thirteen
interlacing rings, each having in its centre the representation of some
tree or plant peculiar to the state it designated. These interlacing links
surrounded the profile portrait of George Washington. Above this was the
legend, "The 13 United States." Beneath this, "Entertainment by David
Bissell, A.D. 1777." Ten years later the words David Bissell were painted
out and E. Wolcott substituted. The date 1787 was also placed in both
upper corners of the board. In 1801 the sign and house came to Joseph
Phelps. A new design was given: a copy of the first gold eagle of 1795,
and on the other the reverse side of same coin and the name J. Phelps. In
1816 J. Pelton bought the Ferry Tavern, and he painted out all of J.
Phelps's name save the initials, which were his own. He hung the sign on
the limb of a big elm tree over the Ferry road.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Bissell's Tavern.]

Arad Stratton, who kept the old tavern at Northfield Farms, had a splendid
eagle on his sign-board, which is shown on page 140. This tavern built in
1724 was pulled down in 1820.

William Pitt's face and figure frequently appeared on sign-boards. One is
shown on page 156 which hung at the door of the Pitt Tavern in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. This tavern was kept from 1808 to 1838 by Landlord Henry
Diffenbaugh. The sign-board was painted by an artist named Eicholtz, a
pupil of Sully and of Gilbert Stuart, whose work he imitated and copied.

A small, single-storied ancient tavern used to stand near the old Swedes'
church. Over the door was a sign with an old hen with a brood of chickens;
an eagle hovered over them with a crown in its beak; the inscription was:
"May the Wings of Liberty cover the Chickens of Freedom, and pluck the
Crown from the Enemy's Head." This was a high flight of fancy, and the Hen
and Chickens was doubtless vastly admired in those days of high sentiment
and patriotism after the Revolution.

Lafayette and Franklin showed their fame in many a sign-board. When the
sign of the Franklin Inn was set up in Philadelphia in 1774, it bore this

  "Come view your patriot father! and your friend,
  And toast to Freedom and to slavery's end."

John Hancock was another popular patriot seen on tavern signs. The
sign-board which hung for many years before John Duggan's hostelry, the
Hancock Tavern in Corn Court, is shown on page 110. This portrait crudely
resembles one of Hancock, by Copley, and is said to have been painted by
order of Hancock's admirer, Landlord Duggan. At Hancock's death it was
draped with mourning emblems. It swung for many years over the narrow
alley shown on page 182, till it blew down in a heavy wind and killed a
citizen. Then it was nailed to the wall, and thereby injured. It was
preserved in Lexington Memorial Hall, but has recently been returned to

It was natural that horses, coaches, and sporting subjects should be
favorites for tavern signs. A very spirited one is that of the Perkins
Inn, at Hopkinton, New Hampshire, dated 1786, and showing horse, rider,
and hounds. The Williams Tavern of Centrebrook, Connecticut, stood on the
old Hartford and Saybrook turnpike. One side of its swinging sign
displayed a coach and horses. It is shown on page 400. The other, on page
396, portrays a well-fed gentleman seated at a well-spread table sedately
drinking a glass of wine. Sign-boards with figures of horses were common,
such as that of the Hays Tavern, page 65; of the Conkey Tavern, page 190;
of Mowry's Inn, page 57; and of the Pembroke Tavern, page 217.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Bissell's Tavern.]

Of course beasts and birds furnished many symbols for sign painters. On
the site where the Northfield Seminary buildings now stand, stood until
1880 the old Doolittle Tavern. It was on the main-travelled road from
Connecticut through Massachusetts to southern New Hampshire and Vermont.
Its sign-board, dated 1781, is on page 158. It bore a large rabbit and two
miniature pine trees.

Joseph Cutter, a Revolutionary soldier, kept an inn in Jaffray, New
Hampshire, on the "Brattleboro' Pike" from Boston. His sign-board bore the
figure of a demure fox. It is shown on page 412.

Indian chiefs were a favorite subject for sign-boards; three are here
shown, one on page 203, from the Stickney Tavern of Concord, New
Hampshire; another on page 382, from the Wells Tavern at Greenfield
Meadows, Massachusetts; a third on page 310, from the Tarleton Inn of
Haverhill, New Hampshire.

Two Beehive Taverns, one in Philadelphia, one in Frankford, each bore the
sign-board a beehive with busy bees. The motto on the former, "By Industry
We Thrive," was scarcely so appropriate as--

  "Here in this hive we're all alive,
    Good liquor makes us funny.
  If you are dry, step in and try
    The flavor of our honey."

The sign-board of Walker's Tavern, a famous house of entertainment in
Charlestown, New Hampshire, is shown on page 162. It bears a beehive and
bees. This sign is now owned by the Worcester Society of Antiquity.

The Washington Hotel, at the corner of Sixth and Carpenter streets, had
several landlords, and in 1822 became the New Theatre Hotel. Woodside
painted a handsome sign, bearing a portrait of the famous old actor and
theatrical manager, William Warren, as Falstaff, with the inscription,
"Shall I not take mine ease at my inn?" A writer in the _Despatch_ says
the tavern did not prosper, though its rooms were let for meetings of
clubs, societies, audits, and legal proceedings. It was leased by Warren
himself in 1830, and still the tavern decayed. He left it and died, and
the fine sign-board faded, and was succeeded by the plain lettering,
Fallstaff Inn, and the appropriate motto, chosen by Warren, gave place to
"Bring me a cup of sack, Hal." The place was a "horrible old rattletrap,"
and was soon and deservedly demolished.

The Raleigh Inn, in Third Street, showed the story of the servant throwing
water over the nobleman at the sight of smoke issuing from his mouth. This
was a favorite tale of the day, and the portrayal of it may be seen in
many an old-time picture-book for children.

On Thirteenth Street, near Locust, was a sign copied from a London one:--

  "I William McDermott lives here,
  I sells good porter, ale, and beer,
  I've made my sign a little wider
  To let you know I sell good cider."

On the Germantown road the Woodman Tavern had a sign-board with a woodman,
axe, and the following lines:--

  "In Freedom's happy land
    My task of duty done,
  In Mirth's light-hearted band
    Why not the lowly woodman one?"

The Yellow Cottage was a well-known Philadelphia tavern, half citified,
half countrified. Its sign read:--

  "Rove not from sign to sign, but stop in here,
  Where naught exceeds the prospect but the beer."

These lines were a paraphrase of the witty and celebrated sign, said to
have been written by Dean Swift for a barber who kept a public house:--

  "Rove not from pole to pole, but stop in here,
  Where naught excels the shaving but the beer."

Sir Walter Scott, in his _Fortunes of Nigel_, gives this version as a
chapter motto:--

  "Rove not from pole to pole--the man lives here,
  Whose razor's only equalled by his beer."

[Illustration: Sign-board of William Pitt Tavern.]

Entering a large double gate, the passer-by who was seduced by this sign
of the Yellow Cottage walked up a grand walk to this cottage, which was
surrounded by a brick pavement about five feet wide which was closely
bordered in front and sides by lilac bushes and some shrubs called
"Washington's bowers." These concealed all the lower story on three sides
except the front entrance. If you could pass the bar, you could go out the
back entrance to a porch which extended across the back of the house. Here
card-playing, dominos, etc., constantly went on; thence down a sloping
field, at the end of the field, was an exit. On one side of this field
was a stable, chicken-house, and pens which always held for view a fat hog
or ox or some unusual natural object. Shooting parties were held here;
quoit-playing, axe-throwing, weight-lifting, etc.; and it had also a
charming view of the river.

Biblical names were not common on tavern sign-boards. "Adam and Eveses
Garden" in Philadelphia was not a Garden of Eden. This was and is a common
title in England. Noah's Ark seems somewhat inappropriate. The Angel had
originally a religious significance. The Bible and Peacock seems less
appropriate than the Bible and Key, for divination by Bible and key has
ever been as universal in America as in England.

In Philadelphia, on Shippen Street, between Third and Fourth, was a tavern
sign representing a sailor and a woman, separated by these two lines:--

  "The sea-worn sailor here will find
  The porter good, the treatment kind."

No doubt thirsty tars found this sign most attractive; more so, I am sure,
than the pretentious sign of Lebanon Tavern, corner of Tenth and South
streets. This sign was painted by the artist Pratt. On one side was
Neptune in his chariot, surrounded by Tritons; underneath the lines:--

  "Neptune with his triumphant host
  Commands the ocean to be silent,
  Smooths the surface of its waters,
  And universal calm succeeds."

On the other side a marine view of ships, etc., with the lines:--

  "Now calm at sea and peace on land
  Have blest our Continental stores,
  Our fleets are ready, at command,
  To sway and curb contending powers."

[Illustration: Sign-board of Doolittle Tavern.]

As the sign purveyor dropped easily into verse, albeit of the blankest
type, these lines surmounted the door:--

  "Of the waters of Lebanon
    Good cheer, good chocolate, and tea,
  With kind entertainment
    By John Kennedy."

Chocolate and tea seem but dull bait to lure the sailor of that day. The
Three Jolly Sailors showed their cheerful faces on a sign-board
appropriately found on Water Street. One of the tars was busy strapping a
block, and the legend below read:--

  "Brother Sailor! please to stop
  And lend a hand to strap this block;
  For if you do not stop or call,
  I cannot strap this block at all."

In Castleford, England, the Three Jolly Sailors has a different rhyme:--

  "Coil up your ropes and anchor here,
  Till better weather does appear."

In Boston the Ship in Distress was a copy of a famous sign-board which
hung in Brighton, England, a century ago. Both had the appealing lines:--

  "With sorrows I am compassed round,
  Pray lend a hand, my ship's aground."

Tippling-houses in both Philadelphia and Boston had a sign-board painted
with a tree, a bird, a ship, and a can of beer, and these quaint lines, an
excellent tavern rhyme:--

  "This is the tree that never grew,
  This is the bird that never flew,
  This is the ship that never sailed,
  This is the mug that never failed."

Other Philadelphia sign-boards of especial allurement to sailors were "The
Wounded Tar," "The Top-Gallant," "The Brig and Snow," "The Jolly Sailors,"
"The Two Sloops," "The Boatswain and Call," and "The Dolphin." The
sign-board of the Poore Tavern (page 405) shows a ship under full sail.

In a small Philadelphia alley running from Spruce Street to Lock Street,
was a sign-board lettered "A Man Full of Trouble." It bore also a picture
of a man on whose arm a woman was leaning, and a monkey was perched on his
shoulder, and a bird, apparently a parrot, stood on his hand. The woman
carried a bandbox, on the top of which sat a cat. This sign has a long
history. It was copied from the famous sign-board of an old ale-house
still in Oxford Street, London; (it is here shown, opposite this page).
It is said to have been painted by Hogarth; at any rate, it is valued
enough to be specified in the lease of the premises as one of the
fixtures. The name by which it is known in London is The Man Loaded with
Mischief. The bird is a magpie, and the woman holds a glass of gin in her
hand. In the background at one side is a pot-house, at the other a
pawnbroker's shop. The engraving of this sign is signed "Drawn by
Experience, Engraved by Sorrow," and the rhyme:--

  "A monkey, a magpie, and a wife
  Is the true emblem of strife."

A similar sign is in Norwich, another in Blewbury, England. One inn is
called The Mischief Inn, the other The Load of Mischief. Still another, at
Cambridge, England, showed the man and woman fastened together with a
chain and padlock. A kindred French sign-board is called _Le trio de
Malice_ (the trio being a cat, woman, and monkey).

An old Philadelphia tavern on Sixth Street, below Catherine Street, had
the curious name, The Four Alls. The meaning was explained by the painting
on the sign, which was a very large one. It represented a palace, on the
steps of which stood a king, an officer in uniform, a clergyman in gown
and bands, and a laborer in plain dress. The satirical inscription read:--

  "1. King--I govern All.
   2. General--I fight for All.
   3. Minister--I pray for All.
   4. Laborer--And I pay for All."

[Illustration: A Man Loaded with Mischief.]

This is an old historic sign, which may still be seen in the streets of
Malta. In Holland, two hundred years ago, there were four figures,--a
soldier, parson, lawyer, and farmer. The three said their "All" just as in
the Philadelphia sign-board, but the farmer answered:--

  "Of gy vecht, of gy bidt, of gy pleyt,
  Ik bin de boer die de eyeren layt."

"You may fight, you may pay, you may plead, but I am the farmer who lays
the eggs,"--that is, finds the money for it all. Sometimes the English
sign-painters changed the lettering to The Four Awls. There are several
epigrams using the word "all"; one, an address to Janus I., is in the
Ashmolean Mss. It begins:--

  "The Lords craved all,
  The Queen granted all,
  The Ladies of Honour ruled all," etc.

A famous old English sign was "The Man Making His Way Through the World."
The design was a terrestrial globe with the head and shoulders of a naked
man breaking out like a chick out of an egg-shell; his nakedness betokened
extreme poverty. In Holland a similar sign reads, "Thus far have I got
through the World." One in England shows the head coming out in Russia,
while the feet stick out at South America. The man says, "Help me through
this World." This sign is sometimes called the Struggling Man. It was
displayed in front of a well-known Philadelphia inn, and also on one at
the South End in Boston. The story was told by a Revolutionary officer
that during that war a forlorn regiment of Continentals halted after a
weary march from Providence, in front of the Boston tavern and the
Struggling Man. The soldiers were broken with fatigue, covered with mud,
and ravenous for food and drink. One glared angrily at the sign-board and
at once roared out with derision: "'List, durn ye! 'List, and you'll get
through this world fast enough!"

[Illustration: Sign-board of Walker's Tavern.]

Both in Philadelphia and Boston was found the sign known as the Good
Woman, the Quiet Woman, or the Silent Woman, which was a woman without a
head. The sign, originally intended to refer to some saint who had met
death by losing her head, was naturally too tempting and apparent a joke
to be overlooked. New Chelmsford in England had until recently a
sign-board with the Good Woman on one side and King Henry VIII. on the
other. In this case the Good Woman may have been Anne Boleyn.

A popular Philadelphia inn was the one which bore the sign of the "Golden
Lion," standing on its hind legs. Lions fell into disrepute at the time of
the Revolution, and the gallant animal that was a lion in its youth became
the Yellow Cat in middle and old age. It was a vastly popular cat,
however, vending beer and porter of highest repute. It was kept in ancient
fashion unchanged until its antiquity made it an object alike of dignity
and interest--in fact, until our own day. With its worn and sanded floor,
tables unpainted, and snowy with daily scrubbing; with tallow candles when
gas lighted every "saloon" in the city; with the old-time bar fenced up to
the ceiling with rails, it had an old age as golden as its youth. Susan,
an ancient maiden of prehistoric age, fetched up the beer in old pewter
mugs on a pewter platter, and presented a pretzel with each mug.

The great variety of tavern-signs in Philadelphia was noted even by
Englishmen, who were certainly acquainted with variety and number at home.
The Englishman Palmer wrote during his visit in 1818:--

    "We observed several curious tavern signs in Philadelphia and on the
    roadside, among others Noah's Ark; a variety of Apostles; Bunyan's
    Pilgrim; a cock on a lion's back, crowing, with Liberty issuing from
    his beak; naval engagements in which the British are in a desperate
    situation; the most common signs are eagles, heads of public
    characters, Indian Kings, &c."

There had been so many sign-boards used by business firms in Philadelphia,
that they had been declared public nuisances, and in 1770 all sign-boards,
save those of innkeepers, had been ordered to be taken down and removed.

From a famous old hostelry in Dedham, swung from the years 1658 to 1730
the sign-board of Lieutenant Joshua Fisher, surveyor, apothecary,
innholder, and officer of "ye trayne band," and his son and successor,
Captain Fisher--also Joshua. About 1735 one of the latter's daughters
married Dr. Nathaniel Ames, who had already started that remarkable series
of annual publications, familiar now to antiquaries, and once to all New
England householders, as _Ames' Almanack_. The first of these interesting
almanacs had appeared in 1726, when Ames was only seventeen years old, but
he was assisted by his astronomer father. After the death successively of
his wife and infant child, the doctor entered into a famous lawsuit with
the family of his sisters-in-law for the tenure of the land and inn; and
the turning-point of the suit hung upon the settlement of the term "next
of kin."

By ancient common law and English law real property never ascended, that
is, was never inherited by a father or mother from a child; but in absence
of husband, wife, or lineal descendant passed on to the "next of kin,"
which might be a distant cousin. By general interpretation the Province
Laws substituted the so-called civilian method of counting kinship, by
which the father could inherit.

Twice defeated in the courts, Dr. Ames boldly pushed his case in 1748
before the "Superior Court of Judicature, etc., of the Province of
Massachusetts Bay," himself preparing unaided both case and argument, and
he triumphed. By the Province Laws he was given full possession of the
property inherited by his infant child from the mother--thus the inn
became Ames Tavern.

[Illustration: Drawing for Ames' Sign-board.]

Nervous in temperament, excited by his victory, indignant at the injustice
and loss to which he had been subjected; he was loudly intolerant of the
law's delay, and especially of the failure of Chief Justice Dudley and his
associate Lynde, to unite with the three other judges, Saltonstall,
Sewall, and Cushing, in the verdict; and in anger and derision he had
painted for him and his tavern a new and famous sign, and he hung it in
front of the tavern in caricature of the court.

The sign is gone long ago; but in that entertaining book, _The Almanacks
of Nathaniel Ames 1726-1775_, the author, Sam Briggs, gives an
illustration of the painting from a drawing found among Dr. Ames' papers
after his death, a copy of which is shown on the foregoing page. On the
original sketch these words are written:--

    "Sir:--I wish could have some talk on y{e} above subject, being the
    bearer waits for an answer shal only observe M{r} Greenwood thinks
    y{t} can not be done under £40 Old Tenor."

This was a good price to pay to lampoon the court, for the sign
represented the whole court sitting in state in big wigs with an open book
before them entitled _Province Laws_. The dissenting judges, Dudley and
Lynde, were painted with their backs turned to the book. The court,
hearing of the offending sign-board, sent the sheriff from Boston to bring
it before them. Dr. Ames was in Boston at the time, heard of the order,
rode with speed to Dedham in advance of the sheriff, removed the sign, and
it is said had allowance of time sufficient to put up a board for the
reception of the officer with this legend, "A wicked and adulterous
generation seeketh after a sign, but there shall no sign be given it."

The old road house, after this episode in its history, became more famous
than ever before; and The Almanac was a convenient method of its
advertisement, as it was of its distance from other taverns. In the issue
of 1751 is this notice:--


    "These are to signify to all Persons that travel the great Post-Road
    South West from Boston That I keep a house of Public Entertainment
    Eleven Miles from Boston at the sign of the Sun. If they want
    Refreshment and see Cause to be my Guests, they shall be well
    entertained at a reasonable rate.

    N. AMES."

Here lived the almanac-maker for fifteen years; here were born by a second
wife his famous sons, Dr. Nathaniel Ames and Hon. Fisher Ames. Here in
1774 his successor in matrimony and tavern-keeping, one Richard Woodward,
kept open house in September, 1774, for the famous Suffolk Convention,
where was chosen the committee that drafted the first resolutions in favor
of trying the issue with Great Britain with the sword. My
great-grandfather was a member of this convention at Ames Tavern, and it
has always seemed to me that this was the birthplace of the War for
Independence. During the Revolution, as in the French and Indian War, the
tavern doors swung open with constant excitement and interest. Washington,
Lafayette, Hancock, Adams, and scores of other patriots sat and drank
within its walls. It stood through another war, that of 1812, and in 1817
its historic walls were levelled in the dust.

The tavern sign-board was not necessarily or universally one of the
elaborate emblems I have described. Often it was only a board painted
legibly with the tavern name. It might be attached to a wooden arm
projecting from the tavern or a post; it might be hung from a near-by
tree. Often a wrought-iron arm, shaped like a fire crane, held the
sign-board. The ponderous wooden sign of the Barre Hotel hung from a
substantial frame erected on the green in front of the tavern. Two upright
poles about twenty feet long were set five feet apart, with a weather-vane
on top of each pole. A bar stretched from pole to pole and held the
sign-board. A drawing of it from an old print is shown on page 280.

[Illustration: Buckhorn Tavern.]

Rarely signs were hung from a beam stretched across the road on upright
posts. It is said there are twenty-five such still remaining and now in
use in England. A friend saw one at the village of Barley in Herts, the
Fox and Hounds. The figures were cut out of plank and nailed to the
cross-beam, the fox escaping into the thatch of the inn with hound in
full cry and huntsmen following. Silhouetted against the sky, it showed
well its inequality of outline. A similar sign of a livery stable in
Baltimore shows a row of galloping horses.

Sometimes animals' heads or skins were nailed on a board and used as a
sign. Ox horns and deer horns were set over the door. The Buck Horn Tavern
with its pair of branching buck horns is shown on the opposite page. This
tavern stood on Broadway and Twenty-second Street, New York.

The proverb "Good wine needs no bush" refers to the ancient sign for a
tavern, a green bush set on a pole or nailed to the tavern door. This was
obsolete, even in colonial days; but in Western mining camps and towns in
modern days this emblem has been used to point out the barroom or grocery
whiskey barrel. The name "Green Bush" was never a favorite in America.
There was a Green Bush Tavern in Barrington, Rhode Island, with a
sign-board painted with a green tree.



The tavern has ever played an important part in social, political, and
military life, has helped to make history. From the earliest days when men
gathered to talk over the terrors of Indian warfare; through the renewal
of these fears in the French and Indian War; before and after the glories
of Louisburg; and through all the anxious but steadfast years preceding
and during the Revolution, these gatherings were held in the ordinaries or
taverns. What a scene took place in the Brookfield tavern, the town being
then called Quawbaug! The only ordinary, that of Goodman Ayers, was a
garrison house as well as tavern, and the sturdy landlord was commander of
the train-band. When the outbreak called King Philip's War took place,
things looked black for Quawbaug. Hostile and treacherous Indians set upon
the little frontier settlement, and the frightened families retreated from
their scarcely cleared farms to the tavern. Many of the men were killed
and wounded at the beginning of the fray, but there were eighty-two
persons, men, women, and children, shut up within the tavern walls, and
soon there were four more, for two women gave birth to twins. The
Indians, "like so many wild bulls," says a witness, shot into the house,
piled up hay and wood against the walls, and set it on fire. But the men
sallied out and quenched the flames. The next night the savages renewed
their attack.

    "They used several stratagems to fire us, namely, by wild-fire on
    cotton and linen rags with brimstone in them, which rags they tied to
    the piles of their arrows sharp for the purpose and shot them to the
    roof of our house after they had set them on fire, which would have
    much endangered in the burning thereof, had we not used means by
    cutting holes through the roof and otherwise to beat the said arrows
    down, and God being pleased to prosper our endeavours therein."

Again they piled hay and flax against the house and fired it; again the
brave Englishmen went forth and put out the flames. Then the wily Indians
loaded a cart with inflammable material and thrust it down the hill to the
tavern. But the Lord sent a rain for the salvation of His people, and when
all were exhausted with the smoke, the August heat, the fumes of
brimstone, and the burning powder, relief came in a body of men from
Groton and one brought by a brave young man who had made his way by
stealth from the besieged tavern to Boston. Many of the old garrison
houses of New England had, as taverns, a peaceful end of their days.

A centre of events, a centre of alarms, the tavern in many a large city
saw the most thrilling acts in our Revolutionary struggle which took place
off the battlefields. The tavern was the rendezvous for patriotic bands
who listened to the stirring words of American rebels, and mixed dark
treason to King George with every bowl of punch they drank. The story of
our War for Independence could not be dissociated from the old taverns,
they are a part of our national history; and those which still stand are
among our most interesting Revolutionary relics.

John Adams left us a good contemporaneous picture of the first notes of
dissatisfaction such as were heard in every tavern, in every town, in the
years which were leading up to the Revolution. He wrote:--

    "Within the course of the year, before the meeting of Congress in
    1774, on a journey to some of our circuit courts in Massachusetts, I
    stopped one night at a tavern in Shrewsbury about forty miles from
    Boston, and as I was cold and wet, I sat down at a good fire in the
    bar-room to dry my great-coat and saddle-bags, till a fire could be
    made in my chamber. There presently came in, one after another, half a
    dozen, or half a score substantial yeomen of the neighborhood, who,
    sitting down to the fire after lighting their pipes, began a lively
    conversation on politics. As I believed I was unknown to all of them,
    I sat in total silence to hear them. One said, 'The people of Boston
    are distracted.' Another answered, 'No wonder the people of Boston are
    distracted. Oppression will make wise men mad.' A third said, 'What
    would you say if a fellow should come to your house and tell you he
    was come to take a list of your cattle, that Parliament might tax you
    for them at so much a head? And how should you feel if he was to go
    and break open your barn or take down your oxen, cows, horses, and
    sheep?' 'What should I say?' replied the first, 'I would knock him in
    the head.' 'Well,' said a fourth, 'if Parliament can take away Mr.
    Hancock's wharf and Mr. Rowe's wharf, they can take away your barn and
    my house.' After much more reasoning in this style, a fifth, who had
    as yet been silent, broke out: 'Well, it's high time for us to rebel;
    we must rebel some time or other, and we had better rebel now than at
    any time to come. If we put it off for ten or twenty years, and let
    them go on as they have begun, they will get a strong party among us,
    and plague us a great deal more than they can now.'"

[Illustration: Old North Bridge, Concord, Mass.]

These discussions soon brought decisions, and by 1768 the Sons of Liberty
were organized and were holding their meetings, explaining conditions, and
advocating union and action. They adopted the name given by Colonel Barré
to the enemies of passive obedience in America. Soon scores of towns in
the colonies had their liberty trees or liberty poles.

These patriots grew amazingly bold in proclaiming their dissatisfaction
with the Crown and their allegiance to their new nation. The landlord of
the tavern at York, Maine, speedily set up a sign-board bearing a portrait
of Pitt and the words, "Entertainment for the Sons of Liberty." Young
women formed into companies called Daughters of Liberty, pledged to wear
homespun and drink no tea. I have told the story of feminine revolt at
length in my book _Colonial Dames and Goodwives_. John Adams glowed with
enthusiasm when he heard two Worcester girls sing the "New Liberty Song,"
in a Worcester tavern. In 1768 a Liberty Tree was dedicated in
Providence, Rhode Island. It was a vast elm which stood in the dooryard of
the Olney Tavern on Constitution Hill. On a platform built in its branches
about twenty feet from the ground, stood the orator of the day, and in an
eloquent discourse dedicated the tree to the cause of Liberty. In the
trying years that followed, the wise fathers and young enthusiasts of
Providence gathered under its branches for counsel. The most famous of
these trees of patriotism was the Liberty Tree of Boston. It stood near a
tavern of the same name at the junction of Essex and Washington streets,
then known as Hanover Square. The name was given in 1765 at a patriotic
celebration in honor of the expected repeal of the Stamp Act. Even before
that time effigies of Lord Oliver and a boot for Lord Bute, placards and
mottoes had hung from its branches. A metal plate was soon attached to it,
bearing this legend, "This tree was planted in 1646 and pruned by order of
the Sons of Liberty February 14, 1766." Under the tree and at the tavern
met all patriot bands, until the tree was cut down by the roistering
British soldiers and supplied them with fourteen cords of firewood. The
tavern stood till 1833. A picture of the Boston Liberty Tree and Tavern of
the same name is shown on the opposite page. It is from an old drawing.

[Illustration: Boston Liberty Tree and Tavern.]

The fourteenth of August, 1769, was a merry day in Boston and vicinity.
The Sons of Liberty, after assembling at the Liberty Tree in Boston, all
adjourned for dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern, or Robinson's Tavern in
Dorchester. Tables were spread in an adjoining field under a tent, and
over three hundred people sat down to an abundant feast, which included
three barbecued pigs. Speeches and songs inspired and livened the diners.
The last toast given was, "Strong halters, firm blocks, and sharp axes to
all such as deserve them." At five o'clock the Boston Sons, headed by John
Hancock in his chariot, started for home. Although fourteen toasts were
given in Boston and forty-five in Dorchester, John Adams says in his Diary
that "to the honor of the Sons I did not see one person intoxicated or
near it."

[Illustration: Stavers Inn.]

The tavern in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, known by the sign of Earl of
Halifax, was regarded by Portsmouth patriots as a hotbed of Tories. It
had always been the resort of Government officials; and in 1775, the
meeting of these laced and ruffled gentlemen became most obnoxious to the
Sons of Liberty, and soon a mob gathered in front of the tavern, and the
irate landlord heard the blows of an axe cutting down his Earl of Halifax
sign-post. Seizing an axe he thrust it into the hands of one of his
powerful negro slaves, telling him to go and threaten the chopper of the
sign-post. Excited by the riotous scene, the black man, without a word, at
once dealt a powerful blow upon the head of a man named Noble, who was
wielding the encroaching axe. Noble lived forty years after this blow, but
never had his reason. This terrible assault of course enraged the mob, and
a general assault was made on the tavern; windows and doors were broken;
Landlord Stavers fled on horseback, and the terrified black man was found
in a cistern in the tavern cellar, up to his chin in water. When Stavers
returned, he was seized by the Committee of Safety and thrust into Exeter
jail. He took the oath of allegiance and returned to his battered house.
He would not reglaze the broken windows, but boarded them up, and it is
said that many a distinguished group of officers feasted in rooms without
a pane of glass in the windows.

Popular opinion was against the Earl of Halifax, however, and when the old
sign-board was touched up, the name of William Pitt, the friend of
America, appeared on the sign.

The portion of the old Earl of Halifax or Stavers Inn which is still
standing is shown in its forlorn old age on the opposite page.

Mr. George Davenport, of Boston, a lineal descendant of old William
Davenport, owns one of the most interesting tavern bills I have ever seen.
It is of the old Wolfe Tavern at Newburyport. To those who can read
between the lines it reveals means and methods which were calculated to
arouse enthusiasm and create public sentiment during the exciting days of
the Stamp Act. The bill and its items read thus:--

    "Dr. Messrs. Joseph Stanwood & Others of the Town of Newburyport for
    Sunday expences at My House on Thirsday, Septr. 26th, A.D. 1765. At
    the Grate Uneasiness and Tumult on Occasion of the Stamp Act.

      To William Davenport                             Old Tenor
      To 3 Double Bowls punch by Capt. Robud's Order   £3,  7, 6
      To 7 Double Bowls of punch                        7,  7, 6
      To Double Bowl of Egg Toddy                          14
      To Double Punch 22/6 Single bowl 11/3             1, 13, 9
      To Double Bowl Punch 22/6 Double bowl toddy 12/   1, 14, 6
      To Bowl Punch 11/3 Bowl Toddy 6/                     17, 3
      To Double Bowl Toddy 12/ bowl punch 11/3          1,  3, 3
      To Double Bowl punch 22/6 Nip Toddy 3/            1,  5, 6
      To Mug Flip 5/ To a Thrible Bowl Punch 33/9       1, 18, 9
      To Double Bowl Punch 22/6 To a Thrible Bowl
          Ditto 33/9                                    2, 16, 3
      To Double Bowl Punch 22/6                         1,  2, 6
      To a Double Bowl Punch 22/6                       1,  2, 6
      To Thrible Bowl Punch 33/9 Double Bowl Ditto
          22/6                                          2, 16, 3
      To Double Bowl Punch 22/6 Bowl Ditto 11/3         1, 13, 9
      To Double Bowl Punch 22/6 To Double Ditto
          22/6 Bowl                                     2,  5
      To 6 Lemons 15/ To Bowl of Punch 11/3             1,  6, 3
      To 2 Double Bowls Punch                           2,  5
      To Double Bowle Punch 22/6 bowl Punch 11/3        1, 13, 9
      To 2 Double Bowles punch 1/5 To bowl punch 11/3   2, 16, 3
      To bowl Punch 11/3 To bowl punch 11/3             1,  2, 6
      To the Suppers which were cooked Hot              2,  5
      To 8 Double Bowles Punch after Supper             9
      To Double Bowl Toddy 12/ Bowl Punch 11/3          1,  2, 6
      To Bowl Egg Toddy 7/                                  7
      To 6 pintes and 1/2 of Spirits @ 10/ per pint     3,  5
      To a Breakfast of Coffee for Sd Company           2,  5
                                                       59, 17, 3
                                       Lawful Money     7, 19, 7-1/2

      Newbury Port 28 Sept. 1765.
            Errors excepted William Davenport."

[Illustration: Handbill of Wolfe Tavern.]

There was also a credit account of eleven pounds received in various sums
from Captain Robud, Richard Farrow, and one Celeby.

It is impossible to do more than to name, almost at haphazard, a few of
the taverns that had some share in scenes of Revolutionary struggle. Many
served as court-rooms when court-martials were held; others were seized
for military prisons; others were fired upon; others served as barracks;
some as officers' headquarters; others held secret meetings of patriots;
many were used as hospitals.

Many an old tavern is still standing which saw these scenes in the
Revolutionary War. A splendid group of these hale and hearty old veterans
is found in the rural towns near Boston. At the Wright Tavern, in Concord
(shown on page 417), lodged Major Pitcairn, the British commander, and in
the parlor on the morning before the battle of Concord, he stirred his
glass of brandy with his bloody finger, saying he would thus stir the
rebel's blood before night. The Monroe Tavern, of Lexington (facing page
406), was the headquarters of Lord Percy on the famous 19th of April,
1775. The Buckman Tavern, of the same town (page 23), was the rallying
place of the Minute Men on April 18th, and contains many a bullet hole
made by the shots of British soldiers. The Cooper Tavern (page 68) and the
Russel Tavern (page 379), both of Arlington, were also scenes of activity
and participation in the war. The Wayside Inn of Sudbury (page 372) and
the Black Horse Tavern of Winchester were the scenes of the reassembling
of the soldiers after the battle of Lexington.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Wolfe Tavern.]

On the south side of Faneuil Hall Square in Boston, a narrow passageway
leads into the gloomy recesses of a yard or court of irregular shape; this
is Corn Court, and in the middle of this court stands, overshadowed by
tall modern neighbors, the oldest inn in Boston. It has been raised and
added to, and disfigured with vast painted signs, and hideous fire
escapes, but within still retains its taproom and ancient appearance. As
early as 1634, Samuel Cole had an ordinary on this spot, and in 1636,
Governor Vane entertained there Miantonomah and his twenty warriors. This
building, built nearly two centuries ago, was given the name of Hancock in
1780, when he became governor. In 1794, Talleyrand was a guest at this old
hostelry, and Louis Philippe in 1797. Washington, Franklin, and scores of
other patriots have tarried within its walls; and in its taproom were held
meetings of the historic Boston Tea-party.

The Green Dragon Inn was one of the most famous of historic taverns. A
representation of it from an old print is shown on page 187. The metal
dragon which gave the name projected from the wall on an iron rod.

Warren was the first Grand Master of the first Grand Lodge of Masons that
held its meetings at this inn; and other patriots came to the inn to
confer with him on the troublous times. The inn was a famous resort for
the sturdy mechanics of the North End. Paul Revere wrote:--

    "In the fall of 1774 and winter of 1775, I was one of upwards of
    thirty men, chiefly mechanics, who formed ourselves with a Committee
    for the purpose of watching the movements of the British soldiers and
    gaining every intelligence of the movements of the Tories. We held our
    meetings at the Green Dragon Tavern. This committee were astonished to
    find all their secrets known to General Gage, although every time they
    met every member swore not to reveal their transactions even to
    Hancock, Adams, Otis, Warren or Church."

The latter, Dr. Church, proved to be the traitor. The mass meeting of
these mechanics and their friends held in this inn when the question of
the adoption of the Federal Constitution was being considered was deemed
by Samuel Adams one of the most important factors of its acceptance.
Daniel Webster styled the Green Dragon the Headquarters of the Revolution.
During the war it was used as a hospital.

[Illustration: Hancock Tavern.]

It is pleasant to note how many old taverns in New England, though no
longer public hostelries, still are occupied by descendants of the
original owners. Such is the home of Hon. John Winn in Burlington,
Massachusetts. It stands on the road to Lowell by way of Woburn, about
eleven miles out of Boston. The house was used at the time of the battle
of Bunker Hill as a storage-place for the valuables of Boston and
Charlestown families. The present home of the Winns was built in 1734
upon the exact site of the house built in 1640 by the first Edward Winn,
the emigrant. In it the first white child was born in the town of Woburn,
December 5, 1641.

The tavern was kept in Revolutionary days by Lieutenant Joseph Winn, who
marched off to join the Lexington farmers on April 19, 1775, at two
o'clock in the morning, when the alarm came "to every Middlesex village
and farm" to gather against the redcoats. He came home late that night,
and fought again at Bunker Hill.

The tavern sign bore the coat of arms of the Winns; it was--not to use
strict heraldic terms--three spread eagles on a shield. As it was not
painted with any too strict obedience to the rules of heraldry or art, nor
was it hung in a community that had any very profound knowledge or
reverence on either subject, the three noble birds soon received a
comparatively degraded title, and the sign-board and tavern were known as
the Three Broiled Chickens.

A building in New York which was owned by the De Lanceys before it became
a public house is still standing on the southeast corner of Broad and
Pearl streets; its name is well known to-day, Fraunces' Tavern. This name
came from the stewardship of Samuel Fraunces, "Black Sam," a soldier of
the American Revolution. The tavern originally bore a sign with the device
of the head of Queen Charlotte, and was known as the Queen's Head, but in
Revolutionary times Black Sam was a patriot, and in his house were held
many patriotic and public meetings. The most famous of these meetings,
one which has given the name of Washington's Headquarters to the tavern,
was held in the Long Room on December 4, 1783: whereat Washington sadly
bade farewell to his fellow-officers who had fought with him in the War
for Independence. In this room, ten days previously, had been celebrated
the evacuation of the city of New York by the British, by a dinner given
to General Washington by Governor Clinton, at which the significant
thirteen toasts were drunk to the new nation. Black Sam was a public
benefactor as well as a patriot. He established a course of lectures on
natural philosophy, and opened an exhibition of wax figures, seventy in
all, for the amusement of New Yorkers. His story, and that of the tavern
bearing his name, have been told at length many times in print.

[Illustration: Sam Fraunces.]

Another interesting Revolutionary inn in New York was the Golden Hill Inn.
The general estimate of the date of its building is 1694; then 122 William
Street was a golden grainfield, on one corner of the Damon Farm. After
three-quarters of a century of good hospitality it was chosen as the
headquarters of the Sons of Liberty in New York, and within its walls
gathered the committee in 1769, to protest against Lieutenant-governor
Colden's dictum that the colonists must pay for supplies for the British
soldiers. The result was a call for a meeting of the citizens and the
governor's angry offer of a reward for knowledge of the place of meeting.
The cutting down of the liberty pole on the night of January 17, 1770, and
the seizure of four red-coats by the patriots ended in a fight in the inn
garden and the death of one patriot. A century of stirring life followed
until 1896, when the old tavern sadly closed its doors under the pressure
of the Raines Law.

The Keeler Tavern was a famous hostelry for travellers between New York
and Boston. Its old sign-board is shown on page 205. During the
Revolution, landlord Keeler was well known to be a patriot, and was
suspected of manufacturing cartridges in his tavern. The British poured a
special fire upon the building, and one cannon ball lodged in a timber on
the north side of the house still is to be seen by drawing aside the
shingle that usually conceals it. A companion cannon ball whistled so
close to a man who was climbing the stairs of the house that he tumbled
down backward screaming, "I'm a dead man," until his friends with
difficulty silenced him, and assured him he was living. A son of the
landlord, Jeremiah Keeler, enlisted in the Continental army when but
seventeen; he became a sergeant, and was the first man to scale the
English breastworks at Yorktown. He was presented with a sword by his
commanding officer, Lafayette, and it is still preserved.

When Lafayette made his triumphal progress through the United States in
1824, he visited Ridgefield and the tavern to see Jeremiah Keeler, and a
big ball was given in the tavern in his honor. Jerome Bonaparte and his
beautiful Baltimore bride stopped there in 1804. Oliver Wolcott and
Timothy Pickering were other sojourners under its roof. Peter Parley gave
to the Keeler Tavern the palm for good cooking.

The old Conkey Tavern at Prescott, Massachusetts, saw the gathering of a
very futile but picturesque windstorm of Revolutionary grievance. It was
built in 1758 by William Conkey, on a lovely but lonely valley midway
between the east and west hills of Pelham. The Swift River running through
this valley was made the boundary in the town division in 1822, which made
eastern Pelham into Prescott. Captain Daniel Shays, the leader of Shays'
Rebellion, lived half a mile from the tavern on the Centre Range Road. In
the cheerful rooms of this tavern, Shays, aided by the well-stocked
tavern-bar, incited the debt-burdened farmers to rebel against their state
government. Here he drilled his "flood-wood," and from hence he led them
forth to Springfield, and on January 25, 1787, was promptly repulsed by
the state militia under General Lincoln. Eleven hundred men trooped back
to Pelham, and after four days of what must have proved scant and cold
fare in those barren winter hilltops, again sallied out to Petersham. Here
he was again routed by Lincoln, who, with his men, had marched thirty
miles without halt, from eight o'clock at night to nine the following
morning through a blinding, northeast New England snowstorm. A hundred and
fifty of Shays' men were captured, but their valiant and wordy leader

[Illustration: Green Dragon Tavern.]

When the photograph (shown opposite page 188) was taken, in 1883, the old
timbers within the house were sound and firm, and the beams overhead still
bore the marks of the muskets of Shays' impatient men. It was a
characteristic "deserted home" of New England.

Nothing could more fully picture Whittier's lines:--

  "Against the wooded hills it stands,
    Ghost of a dead house; staring through
  Its broken lights on wasted lands
    Where old-time harvests grew.

  "Unploughed, unsown, by scythe unshorn,
    The poor forsaken farm-fields lie,
  Once rich and rife with golden corn
    And pale-green breadths of rye.

  "So sad, so drear; it seems almost
    Some haunting Presence makes its sign,
  That down some shadowy lane some ghost
    Might drive his spectral kine."

Since then the old tavern has fallen down, a sad ruin, like many another
on New England hills, in a country as wild and lonely, probably far
lonelier, than in the days of the Revolution and Shays' Rebellion. The
sign-board (page 190) is still preserved.

Eighteenth-century taverns had a special function which had a bearing on
their war relations; they were "improved" as recruiting offices. During
the years 1742 to 1748, and from 1756 to 1763, while England was at war
with France, the "listing" was brisk. Here is a typical advertisement
dated 1759:--

    "All able-bodied fit Men that have an Inclination to serve his Majesty
    King George the Second, in the First Independent Company of Rangers,
    now in the Province of _Nova Scotia_ commanded by _Joseph Gorham,
    Esq._; shall, on enlisting, receive good Pay and Cloathing, a large
    Bounty, with a Crown to drink the King's Health. And by repairing to
    the Sign of the Bear in King-Street, _Boston_, and to Mr.
    _Cornelius Crocker_, Innholder in _Barnstable_, may hear the
    particular Encouragement, and many Advantages accruing to a Soldier,
    in the Course of the Duty of that Company, too long to insert here;
    and further may depend on being discharged at the expiration of the
    Time entertain'd for, and to have every other Encouragement punctually
    compli'd with."

[Illustration: Conkey Tavern.]

In the "French War of 1744," the Governor of Jamaica sent his "leftenants"
to Philadelphia to fill up his regiments. It was worth "listing" at the
Widow Roberts' Coffee-house in those days, when every "sojer" got six
shillings a week extra, and his family carried free to Antigua if he
wished it, and land to settle on in that glorious country when war was
over. Brisk and cheerful was the enrolment, and I trust all lived happy
ever after in the tropic land, so far away in miles and environment from
the Quaker town of their youth.

It was pleasant work, also, for "gentlemen sailors" in 1744. The colonies
whisked out on the high seas that year a hundred and thirteen full-manned
privateers. Wealthy merchants gathered around the inn tables to join
fortunes in these ventures; plans were quickly matured; and the articles
of agreement signed by these rich ship-owners were quickly followed by
articles of agreement to be signed by the seamen. Oh, what prizes these
cruisers brought into port! There are no items in the newspapers of that
day under the head of Philadelphia and New York news save lists of prizes.
When these half-pirates came in, cannon were fired, the whole town turned
out, and the taverns were filled with rejoicings. The names of the ships
and their captains were household words. The captured cargoes were carried
ashore; inventories were posted in the taprooms, and often the goods were
sold within the welcoming tavern doors.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Conkey Tavern.]

It has been said that taverns bearing names of ships, maritime phrases,
and seafaring titles were usually chosen as shipping offices for the
enlistment of privateersmen and marines on men-of-war. It is more probable
that the most popular tavern in any locality frequented by sailors and
seamen was the one chosen, whatever its name. In the _Boston Post Boy_ of
June, 1762, is the following notice:--


    Against His Majesties enemies, The Brigantine _Tartar_, a Prime Sailor
    mounting Fourteen Six Pounders, Twenty Culverines, and will carry One
    Hundred and Twenty Men. Commanded by William Augustus Peck. All


    and able bodied Landsmen who have a mind to make their Fortunes, and
    are inclined to take a Cruize in this said Vessel, by applying at this
    King's Head Tavern at the North End, may view the Articles which are
    more advantageous to the Ship's Company than were ever before offered
    in this Place."

To those who know the condition of Jack Tar aboard ship a century ago, and
the attitude which Captain Peck doubtless assumed to his seamen the moment
the _Tartar_ was started on this "Cruize," there is a sarcastic pleasantry
in the term Gentlemen Seamen used by him in common with other captains
ashore, that might be swallowed in a taproom with bowls of grog and flip,
but would never go down smoothly on shipboard.

Gentlemen sailors were frequently impressed in a very different manner.
The press-gang was one of the peculiar institutions of Great Britain, and
its aggressive outrages formed one of the causes of "Madison's War," as
old people liked to term the War of 1812. The _Virginia Gazette_ of the
first of October, 1767, tells of a far different scene from that indicated
by the plausible words of Captain Peck; one in which a Norfolk tavern took
a part:--

    "It appears that Captain Morgan of the Hornet, Sloop of War, concerted
    a bloody riotous Plan, to impress Seamen, at Norfolk, Virginia, for
    which Purpose his Tender was equipped with Guns and Men, and under
    cover of the Night, said Morgan landed at a public wharff, having
    first made proper Dispositions either for an Attack or Retreat; then
    went to a Tavern, and took a chearful Glass, after which they went to
    work and took every Person they met with and knock'd all down that
    resisted; and dragg'd them on board the Tender but the Town soon took
    the Alarm, and being headed by Paul Loyal, Esq., a Magistrate, they
    endeavor'd to convince Captain Morgan of his Error; but being deaf to
    all they said he ordered the People in the Tender to fire on the
    Inhabitants, but they refused to obey their Commander's orders and he
    was soon oblig'd to fly, leaving some of his Hornets behind, who were
    sent to Gaol."

[Illustration: Naval Pitcher.]

It is astonishing to read of such ruffianly kidnappings under the
protection of the British Government, and to know that seamen and sailors
who had been so treated would assist in such outrages on others. It is
only one of the many proofs that we meet everywhere in history of the
thick-skinned indifference and cruelty of nearly all of the human race a
century ago.

It was far worse in these matters in England than in the colonies. Mr.
Ashton tells us that in one night over two thousand one hundred men were
pressed in London alone. Riot and bloodshed accompanied those infamous
raids; sometimes a whole town turned out to resist the officers and ship's



We have to-day scores of places of amusement, and means of amusement,
where in earlier days all diversions centred at the tavern. The furnishing
of food and shelter to travellers and to horses, and of liquid comfort to
neighbors, was not the only function of the tavern, nor the meeting for
cheerful interchange of news and sentiment. Whatever there was of novelty
in entertainment or instruction, was delivered at the tavern, and it
served as the gathering place for folk on scores of duties or pleasures
bent. There was in fact a constant panorama passing within the walls and
before the doors of an old tavern, not only in the shape of distinguished,
picturesque, and unwonted guests, but through the variety of uses to which
the tavern was put. It would be impossible to enumerate them all. Many of
the chapters of this book indicate some of them. We can simply glance at a
few more of the most common and of the most interesting ones.

Though guests of colonial days are often named as having visited the old
taverns which still linger intact, the names of importance which are most
frequently heard are those of Revolutionary heroes and visitors, those of
Franklin, Washington, and Lafayette being most proudly enumerated.
Franklin was a great local traveller. His post-office affairs took him
frequently along the road. He was fond of visiting, and people were
naturally fond of having him visit them. He was such a welcome guest that
he need not have entered a tavern from Maine to Georgia. Washington made
several trips through the states, one of much ceremony. He gives the names
of the taverns at which he stopped.

I have been in tavern-rooms honored a century ago by the sleeping presence
of Washington, but I have never slept in them. I would rather look at them
than sleep in them; and I have moralized over the simplicity and lack of
luxury which was the best that the tavern could offer, even to that great

Lafayette was made welcome in many private houses in his tour in 1824, but
he also was a tavern guest. His journal is preserved in Paris,
untranslated. In it he tells of seeing the well-known Landing of Lafayette
plates and dishes for the first time at a tavern in a small town in
western New York.

All the statesmen of the South stopped at taverns on the old National
road: Harrison, Houston, Taylor, Polk, and Allen. Homespun Davy Crockett,
popular General Jackson, stately Henry Clay, furnished a show for the
country by-standers to gape at. In the Northern states Daniel Webster was
the god whose coming was adored. A halo of glory shed by his presence
still hangs round many a tavern room, and well it may, for he was a giant
among men.

[Illustration: Washington Tavern, North Wilbraham, Massachusetts.]

To show the variety of the tavern panorama let me quote what Edwin
Lasseter Bynner wrote of the inns of Boston:--

    "They were the centres of so much of its life and affairs, the resort
    at once of judge and jury, of the clergy and the laity, of the
    politician and the merchant; where the selectmen came to talk over the
    affairs of the town, and higher officials to discuss the higher
    interests of the province; where royal governors and distinguished
    strangers were entertained alike with the humblest wayfarer and the
    meanest citizen; where were held the carousals of roistering red-coat
    officers, and the midnight plottings of muttering stern-lipped
    patriots; where, in fine, the swaggering ensign of the royal army,
    the frowning Puritan, the obnoxious Quaker, the Huguenot refugee, and
    the savage Indian chief from the neighboring forest might perchance
    jostle each other in the common taproom."

Naturally the tavern proved the exhibition place and temporary
lodging-place of all secular shows which could not be housed in the
meeting-house. It contained the second assembly room in size, and often
the only other large room in town save that devoted to religious
gatherings. Hence, when in Salem in 1781 "the Sentimentalists and all
Volontiers who are pleased to encourage the extensive Propogation of
Polite Literature" were invited to attend a book auction by a "Provedore
and Professor of Auctioneering," this sale of books was held at Mr.
Goodhue's tavern. At the American Coffee-house in Boston the firm that
vendued books within doors also sold jackasses on the street.

"Monstrous Sights" found at the tavern a congenial temporary home, where
discussion of their appearance was held before the tavern bar, while the
tavern barn restrained and confined the monster if he chanced to be a wild
beast. A moose, a walrus, a camel, a lion, a leopard, appeared in
succession in Salem taverns, chiefly at the Black Horse. Then came a
wonder of natural history, a Pygarg, said to be from Russia. We have a
description of it: it had "the likeness of a camel, bear, mule, goat, and
common bullock"; it is spoken of in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter XIV.
I am not sure that we would recognize our native American moose if he were
not called by name, in the creature advertised as having "a face like a
mouse, ears like an ass, neck and back like a camel, hind-parts like a
horse, tail like a rabbit, and feet like a heifer." Cassowaries, learned
pigs, learned horses, and rabbits were shown for petty sums. Deformed
beasts and persons were exhibited. Pictures, "prospects," statues,
elaborate clocks, moving puppets, and many mechanical contrivances could
be viewed in the tavern parlor.

"Electrical machines" were the wonder of their day. Solemn professors and
gay "fakirs" exhibited them from tavern to tavern. The first
lightning-rods also made a great show. Shortly after the invention of
balloons, came their advent as popular shows in many towns. They often
ascended from the green in front of the tavern. They bore many pompous
names,--"Archimedial Phaetons," "Vertical Aerial Coaches," "Patent
Foederal Balloons." The public was assured that "persons of timid nature"
would find nothing to terrify them in the ascent. They were not only
recommended as engines of amusement and wonder, but were urged upon
"Invaletudinarians" as hygienic factors, in that they caused in the ascent
the "sudden revulsion of the blood and humours" of aeronautic travellers.

The Bunch of Grapes housed Mr. Douglas when he delivered his famous
lecture on "Heads, Coats of Arms, Wigs, Ladies' Head Dresses," etc.; it
was an office for John Hurd, an early insurance broker, chiefly for marine
risks. Nearly all the first insurance offices were in taverns.

[Illustration: Black Horse Tavern, Salem, Massachusetts.]

One intelligent chronicler relates:--

    "The taverns of Boston were the original business Exchanges; they
    combined the Counting House, the Exchange-office, the Reading-room,
    and the Bank: each represented a locality. To the Lamb Tavern, called
    by the sailors 'sheep's baby,' people went 'to see a man from
    Dedham'--it was the resort of all from Norfolk County. The old Eastern
    Stage House in Ann Street was frequented by 'down Easters,' captains
    of vessels, formerly from the Penobscot and Kennebec; there were to be
    seen groups of sturdy men seated round an enormous fire-place,
    chalking down the price of bark and lumber, and shippers bringing in a
    vagrant tarpaulin to 'sign the articles.' To the Exchange Coffee-House
    resorted the nabobs of Essex County; here those aristocratic eastern
    towns, Newburyport and Portsmouth, were represented by ship owners and
    ship builders, merchants of the first class."

The first attempt at the production of plays in New England was a signal
for prompt and vital opposition. Little plays called drolls were exhibited
in the taverns and coffee-houses; such plays as _Pickle Herring_, _Taylor
riding to Brentford_, _Harlequin and Scaramouch_. About 1750 two young
English strollers produced what must have been a mightily bald rendering
of _Otway's Orphans_ in a Boston coffee-house; this was a step too far in
frivolity, and stern Boston magistrates took rigid care there were no more
similar offences. Many ingenious ruses were invented and presented to the
public to avoid the hated term and conceal the hated fact of play acting.
"Histrionic academies" were a sneaking introduction of plays. In 1762 a
clever but sanctimonious manager succeeded in crowding his company and his
play into a Newport tavern. Here is his truckling play-bill:--


    On Monday, June 10th, at the Public Room of the Above Inn will be
    delivered a series of

    Moral Dialogues

    _In Five Parts_

    Depicting the evil effects of jealousy and other bad passions and
    Proving that happiness can only spring from the pursuit of Virtue.

    MR. DOUGLASS--Will represent a noble magnanimous Moor called Othello,
    who loves a young lady named Desdemona, and, after he marries her,
    harbours (as in too many cases) the dreadful passion of jealousy.

        _Of jealousy, our being's bane
        Mark the small cause and the most dreadful pain._

    MR. ALLYN--Will depict the character of a specious villain, in the
    regiment of Othello, who is so base as to hate his commander on mere
    suspicion and to impose on his best friend. Of such characters, it is
    to be feared, there are thousands in the world, and the one in
    question may present to us a salutary warning.

        _The man that wrongs his master and his friend
        What can he come to but a shameful end?_

    MR. HALLAM--Will delineate a young and thoughtless officer who is
    traduced by Mr. Allyn and, getting drunk, loses his situation and his
    general's esteem. All young men whatsoever take example from Cassio.

        _The ill effects of drinking would you see?
        Be warned and fly from evil company._

    MR. MORRIS--Will represent an old gentleman, the father of Desdemona,
    who is not cruel or covetous, but is foolish enough to dislike the
    noble Moor, his son-in-law, because his face is not white, forgetting
    that we all spring from one root. Such prejudices are very numerous
    and very wrong.

        _Fathers beware what sense and love ye lack!
        'Tis crime, not colour, that makes the being black._

    MR. QUELCH--Will depict a fool who wishes to become a knave, and,
    trusting to one, gets killed by one. Such is the friendship of rogues!
    Take heed!

        _Where fools would become, how often you'll
        Perceive the knave not wiser than the fool._

    MRS. MORRIS--Will represent a young and virtuous wife, who being
    wrongfully suspected, gets smothered (in an adjoining room) by her

        _Reader, attend, and ere thou goest hence
        Let fall a tear to helpless innocence._

    MRS. DOUGLASS--Will be her faithful attendant who will hold out a good
    example to all servants male and female, and to all people in

        _Obedience and gratitude
        Are things as rare as they are good._

    Various other Dialogues, too numerous to mention here, will be
    delivered at night, all adapted to the mind and manners. The whole
    will be repeated on Wednesday and on Saturday. Tickets, six shillings
    each, to be had within. Commencement at 7. Conclusion at half-past
    ten: in order that every Spectator may go home at a sober hour and
    reflect upon what he has seen, before he retired to rest.

        God save the King
        Long may he sway.
        East, north, and south
        And fair America."

We can see the little public room of the tavern with its rows of chairs
and benches at one end and the group of starveling actors at the other,
who never played a greater farce than when they set up as being solely
ministers of piety and virtue.

"Consorts" of music were given in the taverns, and, most exciting of all,
lotteries were drawn there. This licensed and highly approved form of
gambling had the sanction of the law and the participation of every
community. Churches had lotteries "for promoting public worship and the
advancement of religion." Colleges and schools thus increased their
endowments. Towns and states raised money to pay the public debt by means
of lotteries.

[Illustration: Stickney Tavern.]

It was asserted that "the interests of literature and learning were
supported, the arts and sciences were encouraged, religion was extended,
the wastes of war were repaired, inundation prevented, travel increased,
and the burthen of taxes lessened by lotteries." Many private lotteries
were drawn at the taverns, which were thronged at that time with excited

Lodges of Freemasons in America, following the custom which prevailed in
England, met at the taverns. In Philadelphia they met at Peg Mullen's
Beefsteak House. The lodges were often known by the names of the taverns
at which the meetings were held. One Boston lodge met at the Royal
Exchange Tavern, and hence was known by its name. That hostelry was,
however, so popular with the visiting public that sometimes the brethren
had to suspend their meetings for want of room. In December, 1749, the
Masons of Boston celebrated the feast of St. John, and appeared in
procession on the streets. This excited the greatest curiosity and
ridicule. Joseph Green wrote a poem in which the chief object of his wit
was Luke Vardy, the keeper of the Royal Exchange:--

  "Where's honest Luke, that cook from London?
  For without Luke the Lodge is undone.
  'Twas he who oft dispell'd their sadness,
  And filled the _Brethren's_ hearts with gladness.
  _Luke_ in return is made a brother
  As good and true as any other.
  And still, though broke with age and wine,
  Preserves the _token_ and the _sign_."

Massachusetts Grand Lodge organized at Green Dragon, and the first lodge
of all, St. John's Lodge, met in 1733 at the Bunch of Grapes in King (now
State) Street. One of the three bunches of grapes that formed the original
tavern sign still hangs in front of the lodge room of St. John's Lodge in
Masonic Temple, Boston. This tavern had an early and lasting reputation as
"the best punch-house in Boston." In Revolutionary days it became the
headquarters of High Whigs, and a scarlet coat was an inflammatory signal
in that taproom. The "Whig Tavern" was a proper centre for popular
gatherings after the evacuation of Boston; General Stark's victory at
Bennington was celebrated there "to high taste," says a participant. The
firing of cannon, discharge of rockets, playing of fifes and drums, made
satisfactory noise. The gentlemen had ample liquor within doors, and two
barrels of grog were distributed to outsiders on the streets--all "with
the greatest propriety." When General Stark arrived, a few weeks later,
there was equal rejoicing. The glories of the entertainment of Washington
and a series of gallant soldiers and distinguished travellers do not,
perhaps, reflect the honor upon the old tavern that comes from its having
been the scene of a most significant fact in our history. It was the
gathering place and place of organization of the Ohio Company--the first
concerted movement of New England toward the Great West.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Keeler's Tavern.]

The famous Craft's Tavern in the little town of Walpole, New Hampshire,
kept by Major Asa Bullard, was the gathering place in 1796 of one of the
most brilliant groups of writers ever engaged in a literary undertaking in
this country. It was called the Literary Club of Walpole, and is a
landmark in the literary life of New England. In this rustic New Hampshire
tavern this Club might repeat Beaumont's lines to Jonson beginning:--

              "What things have we seen
  Done at the Mermaid, heard words that have been
  So nimble, and so full of subtle flame."

[Illustration: Plate, Nahant Hotel.]

The head of this Yankee collection of wits was the Lay Preacher, Joseph
Dennie, who, at the death of the novelist, Charles Brockden Brown, was the
only man in the United States who made a profession of literature. He was
born in Boston, studied law in Charlestown, New Hampshire, then an
important and bustling town, went to Walpole, and became conductor of the
_New Hampshire Journal and Farmer's Museum_. For this newspaper and in
this Craft's Tavern he wrote his famous _Lay Sermons_ which were read from
Maine to Georgia. In the talented tavern circle was Royall Tyler, author
of the play _The Contrast_ and the novel _The Algerine Captive_. He became
Chief Justice of Vermont. Another contributor was David Everett, author of
the well-known juvenile spouting-piece, beginning:--

  "You'd scarce expect one of my age
  To speak in public on the stage."

Still another, Thomas G. Fessenden, wrote _Terrible Tractoration_. It was
a day of pseudonyms; Fessenden wrote as Simon Spunky and Christopher
Caustic; Everett called himself Peter Peveril; Isaac Story was Peter
Quinn; Dennie was Oliver Old-school; Tyler was Colon and Spondee.

A day of great sport at the tavern was when there was a turkey-shoot;
these often took place on Thanksgiving Day. Notices such as this were
frequently found in the autumnal newspapers:--


    "Thos. D. Ponsland informs his Friends and the Friends of _Sport_ that
    he will on Friday, 7th day of December next, set up for SHOOTING a
    number of


    and invites all _Gunners_ and others who would wish to recreate
    themselves to call on the day after Thanksgiving at the Old Bakers'
    Tavern, Upp. Parish Beverly, where every accommodation would be

In the _Boston Evening Post_ of January 11, 1773, notice was given that "a
Bear and Number of Turkeys" would be set up as a mark at the Punch Bowl
Tavern in Brookline.

Captain Basil Hall, travelling in America in 1827, was much surprised at
the account of one of these turkey-shoots, which he thus fully

    "At a country inn bearing the English name of Andover, close to the
    Indian river Shawsheen, I observed the following printed bill stuck up
    in the bar.


    300 FOWLS

    will be set up for the sportsmen at the Subscriber's Hotel in
    Tewksbury, on Friday the 12 October, inst. at 8 A.M.

    Gentlemen of Tewksbury, Lowell and vicinity are invited to attend.


    "This placard was utterly unintelligible to me; and the Landlord
    laughed at my curiosity but good humouredly enlightened my ignorance
    by explaining that these shooting matches were so common in America,
    that he had no doubt I would fall in with them often. I regretted very
    much having passed one day too late for this transatlantic battle. It
    appears that these birds were literally barn door fowls, placed at
    certain distances, and fired at by any one who chooses to pay the
    allotted sum for a shot. If he kills the bird, he is allowed to carry
    it off; otherwise, like a true sportsman, he has the amusement for
    his money. Cocks and hens being small birds, are placed at the
    distance of 165 feet; and for every shot with ball the sportsman has
    to pay four cents. Turkeys are placed at twice the distance, or 110
    yards, if a common musket be used; but at 165 yards if the weapon be a
    rifle. In both those cases the price per shot is from six to ten

There were other sports offered at the taverns, as shown by an
advertisement in the _Essex Register_ of June, 1806:--


    The Gentlemen _Sportsmen_ of this town and Vicinity are informed that
    a Grand Combat will take place between the URUS ZEBU and Spanish BULL
    on 4th of July if fair weather. If not the next fair day at the HALF
    WAY HOUSE on the _Salem Turnpike_. No danger need be apprehended
    during the performance, as the Circus is very convenient. After the
    performance there will be a Grand FOX CHASE on the Marshes near the
    Circus to start precisely at 6 o'clock."

A woman tavern-keeper on Boston Neck, Sally Barton, of the George, also
had bull-baiting as one of the attractions of her home. In 1763, the
keeper of the DeLancey Arms in New York had a bull-baiting. The English
officers stationed in America brought over this fashion. In the year 1774,
there was a bull-baiting held every day for many months on what is now a
quiet street near my home. Landlord Loosely,--most appropriately
named,--of the King's Head Tavern, took charge of these bull-baitings and
advertised for good active bulls and strong dogs. One advertisement, in
rhyme, begins:--

  "This notice gives to all who covet
  Baiting the bull, and dearly love it."

Fox-hunting, too, was beloved of the British visitors, and of Southern
planters as well. The Middle and Southern states saw frequent meets of
mounted gentlemen with hounds, usually at the tavern, to which they
returned after the day's run to end with suitable jollity.

The old English "drift of the forest" became in America a wolf-rout or
wolf-drive. Then circles of men and boys were formed to drive in toward
the centre of the ring and kill squirrels and hares which pestered the
farmers. Then came shooting matches in which every living wild creature
was a prey. The extent to which these devastating hunting parties could be
carried is shown by an article in a Bedford County (Pennsylvania)
newspaper. On Friday, December 4, 1818, about seven hundred men from
neighboring townships formed such a party. The signal was first given on
French Town Mountain, and the circle of forty miles of horn blowing to
horn was completed in fifteen minutes. The hunters progressed to a centre
in Wysox township, using guns as long as they could with safety, then
bayonets, clubs, poles, pitchforks, etc. Five bears, nine wolves, and
fourteen foxes were killed, and three hundred deer--it makes one's heart
ache. It was estimated that more than double the number escaped. The
expedition closed with great mirth at the tavern.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Wolfe Tavern, Brooklyn, Connecticut.]

I find through many legal reports and accounts of trials and arrests, that
upper rooms in the taverns were frequently used as lockups or temporary
jails. Mr. S. L. Frey, of Palatine Bridge, in his charming account of
olden days in that town, tells an amusing episode of tavern life connected
with this custom. Near the village schoolhouse lived a man named Fisk--a
quiet citizen, friendly to the boys, but given, however, to frequent
disappearances, and a profound reticence as to his means of livelihood
which was naturally a distinct grievance and indeed an injustice to every
respectably inquisitive neighbor. The boys noted that he was a great lover
of horses, and seemed to have a constant succession of new ones in his
stable, and that these newcomers vanished in as silent and unaccountable a
manner as they had arrived.

One morning the scholars were excited and delighted to learn that the
band of horse thieves that had for years ravaged the valley had at last
been ferreted out, the two leaders captured and safely lodged during the
night in the village jail, namely, a doubly locked and outside bolted room
in Uncle Jesse Vincent's tavern. And the climax of all the excitement and
pleasure was the fact that Neighbor Fisk was the leader of the gang.

Court was called in the tavern parlor at noon. The sheriff and his
officers, lawyers from neighboring towns, all importance and pomposity,
all the men and all the boys from miles around were waiting eagerly to see
once more the mysterious Fisk, when a loud shout came from the men who had
gone to lead forth the prisoners that both had escaped. Of course they
had! An open window, a leanto roof, a trellis and a high fence,--no decent
prisoner could help escaping.

But they had been startled in their plans, and hurried while exchanging
clothes, and it was plain from the garments left behind that one man had
vanished clad only in his shirt, stockings, and shoes. The dire confusion
of the first mortifying discovery soon changed to organized plans of
pursuit, and the chase turned to a great piece of woodland behind the
tavern. Oak and hickory with undergrowth of witchhazel--a prime place for
partridges and gray squirrels--led back from the river to the hills and a
deep gorge filled with solemn pines and hemlocks.

The rampant boys were snubbed early in the day by the sheriff and told to
keep back; and one tall boy--"mad" at the insult--conceived the plan of
personating the thief. He was a famous runner, the best in the school. He
hid his coat in a hollow log, pulled his shirt over his trousers, Chinaman
fashion, worked his way around on the edge of the hunting party, and was
soon "discovered" by his boy friends, whose shouts of "Stop thief!" "Here
he is!" brought the whole army of searchers after him. Oh! what a hunt
followed. All were on foot, for no horses could pass through the heavy
undergrowth; the white flag of the pursued fluttered in and out far in
front into the swamp, under the bushes. Talk of hare and hounds! no game
was ever run like that. The fleet young horse thief in front easily
distanced the puffing sheriffs in the rear, and at last the pursuit was
given over. Fisk escaped, thanks to his friends the boys, but the story of
the wrath that was visited on the conspirators when their fun was
discovered the next day at the tavern is "another story."

Sittings of courts were often held in the public room of taverns, not only
in small towns where assembly rooms were few, but in large cities. From
the settlement of Philadelphia till 1759, justices of peace heard and
decided causes in the public inns of Philadelphia, and the Common Council
had frequent sittings there. In Boston the courts were held in suburban
taverns when the smallpox scourged the town. In Postlethwaite's Tavern
(shown on page 214) the first courts of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,
were held in 1729, and propositions were made to make it the county seat;
but the present site of the city of Lancaster was finally chosen, though
Landlord Postlethwaite made strenuous endeavors to retain his tavern as a

[Illustration: Postlethwaite's Tavern, 1729.]

Our ancestors found in criminals and all the accompaniments of crime their
chief source of diversion. They did not believe in lonely captivity but in
public obloquy for criminals. The only exciting and stirring emotions
which entered their lives came through the recounting of crimes and
offences, and the sight of the punishment of these crimes and offences;
rising of course to the highest point of excitement in witnessing the
public executions of criminals. The bilboes were the first engine of
punishment in Boston, and were used until 1639, and perhaps much later.
The drinkers of a cup of sack at the Boston ordinary had much diversion in
seeing James Woodward, who had had too much sack at the Cambridge
ordinary, "laid by the heels" on the ground with a great bar of iron
fastened and locked to his legs with sliding shackles and a bolt. Still
more satisfaction had all honest Puritans when Thomas Morton, of
Merrymount, that amusing old debauchee and roisterer, was "clapt into the
bilbowes," where "the harmless salvages" gathered around and stared at him
like "poor silly lambes."

The stocks soon superseded the bilboes and were near neighbors and
amusement purveyors to the tavern. Towns were forced by law to set up
"good sufficient stocks." Warwick, Rhode Island, ordered that "John Lowe
should erect the public stocks and whipping-post near David Arnold's
Tavern, and procure iron and timber for the same." The stocks were simple
to make; a heavy timber or plank had on the upper edge two half-circle
holes which met two similar notches or holes in a movable upper timber.
When this was in place these notches formed round holes to enclose the
legs of the prisoner, who could then be locked in.

The whipping-post, a good sound British institution, was promptly set up
in every town, and the sound of the cat often entered the tavern windows.
I can imagine all the young folk thronging to witness the whipping of some
ardent young swain who had dared to make love to some fair damsel without
the consent of her parents. There was no room for the escape of any man
who thus "inveagled" a girl; the New Haven colony specified that any
tempting without the parents' sanction could not be done by "speech,
writing, message, company-keeping, unnecessary familiarity, disorderly
night meetings, sinful dalliance, gifts, or (as a wholesale blow to
lovers' inventions) in any other way."

But sly Puritan maids found that even the "any other way" of Puritan
law-makers could be circumvented. Jacob Murline, in Hartford, on May-day
in 1660, without asking any permission of Goodman Tuttle, had some very
boisterous love-making with Sarah Tuttle, his daughter. It began by
Jacob's seizing Sarah's gloves and demanding the mediæval forfeit--a kiss.
"Whereupon," writes the scandalized Puritan chronicler, "they sat down
together, his arm being about her, and her arm upon his shoulder or about
his neck, and hee kissed her and shee kissed him, or they kissed one
another, continuing in this posture about half an hour." The angry father,
on hearing of this, haled Jacob into court and sued him for damages in
"inveagling" his daughter's affections. There were plenty of witnesses of
the kissing, and Jacob seemed doomed to heavy fines and the
cat-o'-nine-tails, when crafty Sarah informed the Court that Jacob did not
inveigle her, that she wished him to kiss her--in fact, that she enticed
him. The baffled Court therefore had to fine Sarah, and of course Sarah's
father had to pay the fine; but the magistrate called her justly a "Bould
Virgin," and lectured her severely. To all this she gave the demure answer
"that she hoped God would help her to Carry it Better for time to come,"
which would seem to be somewhat superfluous, since she had, without any
help, seemed to do about as well for herself as any girl could wish to
under the circumstances.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Pembroke Tavern.]

For some years the Quakers never were absent from the whipping-post. They
were trying enough, preaching everywhere, and on all occasions, yet never
willing to keep silent when the Puritan preacher held forth; not willing,
even, to keep away from the Puritan meeting. They interrupted these
meetings in most offensive ways, and were promptly whipped. One poor
Quakeress, Lydia Wardwell, "a young tender chaste person," but almost
demented with religious excitement, was taken forcibly from the Ipswich
meeting-house and "tyed to the fence-post of the Tavern," and then sorely

The pillory sometimes took the place of the stocks. In enduring this
punishment the culprit stood on a sort of bench, and his head and hands
were confined in holes cut in a hinged or divisible board. Lecture day was
often chosen as the day of punishment; as Hawthorne said, "it was a day of
public shame, the day on which transgressors received their reward of
ignominy." Thus Nicholas Olmstead, sentenced to the pillory in Hartford
"next Lecture day," was "sett on a lytle before the beginning and to stay
on a lytle after the end." In Maryland offenders were "nayled by both
eares to the Pillory, 3 Nailes in each Eare, and the Nailes to be slit
out." Samuel Breck says that in 1771, in Boston, men and women were
constantly seen pilloried, exposed to insults and jeers, and pelted with
filth and garbage.

The 18th of September, 1755, was a great day in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A negro woman named Phyllis was then and there burned to death--in
punishment for her share in the murder of her master. The diary of a
Boston gentleman still exists which shows us how he passed the day;
cheerfully drinking punch from tavern to tavern, and cheerfully watching
the hanging of the man-murderer and the burning of the woman. The day's
record ends: "Went home, went to bed and slept and woke up very finely
refreshed." Criminals were preached at in public, read their dying
confessions in public, were carted through the streets in open tumbrils,
and were hanged in public. On all those occasions the taverns flowed with
good cheer and merry meetings, for people came for many miles to witness
the interesting sight, and many were the happy reunions of friends.

Another bustling busy day at the tavern was when "vandues" were held
within its walls. Due notice of these "vandues" had been given by posters
displayed in the tavern and village store, and occasionally by scant
newspaper advertisements. These auction sales were rarely of mixed
merchandise, but were of some special goods, such as India cotton stuffs,
foreign books, or boots and shoes. Criminals and paupers were also sold
for terms of service; usually the former were some of the varied tribe of
sneak-thieves which wandered through the country. In one case the human
"lot" offered for sale was a "prygman"--he had, like Autolycus, stolen the
bleaching linen from the grass and hedges.

Another was an habitual fruit and vegetable thief (and he must have been
an extraordinary one to have been noted in a country where fruit and
vegetables on every farm were so freely shared with all passers-by).
Another, an Indian, stole from the lobster and eel pots of his honest
white neighbors. A sheep thief, sold at public auction in Clifford's
Tavern in Dunbarton, New Hampshire, took part in an interesting prologue,
as well as in the main performance, in the shape of a whipping of thirteen
stripes administered to him by the vigorous sheriff. Nevertheless, he
found a purchaser, who took his subdued and sore servant home to his farm
and set him to breaking and hatchelling flax. The convict fell to work as
cheerfully and assiduously as any honest laborer, but when he had cleaned
as much flax as he could carry, he added an unexpected epilogue to this
New England comedy by departing with his dressed flax for parts unknown;
thus proving that he laughs best who laughs last. Though it would seem
that the selectmen of the town, who had been amply paid "damages and
costs" through his sale, and who had also effectually banished a rogue
from their township, might join with him in a mirthful chorus.

[Illustration: Map Pitcher.]

The sale of paupers at the tavern was much more frequent than of
criminals. It was an exhibition of curious contrasts: the prosperous and
thirsty townsmen drinking at the tavern bar, and the forlorn group of
homeless, friendless creatures, usually young children and aged folk,
waiting to be sold to the lowest bidder for a term of feeble service and
meagre keep. The children were known after the sale as "bound boys" and
"bound girls," and much sympathy has been expended in modern books over
the hardness of their lives, and many pathetic stories written of them.
This method was, however, as good a solution of the problem of infant
pauperism as we have yet discovered. The children were removed from
vicious associations in almshouses, and isolated in homes where they had
to work just as the daughters and sons of the household worked. In many
cases they entered childless homes, and grew to be the prop and happiness
of their adopted parents, and the heirs of their little savings. The
auction at the tavern was frankly brutal, but the end accomplished was so
satisfactory that the custom has within a few years been resumed by the
more advanced and thoughtful guardians of paupers in many New England
towns. As for the auction sale of aged and infirm paupers, it is not
wholly a thing of the past. In Lackawanna township in Pike County,
Pennsylvania, paupers still are sold to the lowest bidder. A year ago, in
1899, at Rowland Station in that township the signs were posted, "A Woman
for Sale," and as of old the "vandue" was held at a tavern, one called
Rutan's Hotel. The bar-room was crowded, and Mrs. Elmira Quick,
seventy-seven years old, was put up "to be sold to the lowest bidder for
keep for a year." The bidding was spirited and ran quickly down from four
dollars a week. A backwoodsman had just offered to take her for a dollar
and a half a week, when Mrs. Quick firmly bid a dollar and a quarter. The
Overseer of the Poor hesitated, but Mrs. Quick stated she could maintain
herself on that amount--sixteen cents a day--and no one made an offer to
take her for less; so he was forced to conclude the bargain and draw up
the sale-papers. Let me add that this woman has three sons and a daughter
living--and these are our good _new_ times.



The first roads in New England are called in the early court-records
"trodden paths." They were narrow worn lines, scarce two feet wide,
lightly trodden over pine needles and fallen leaves among the tree trunks
by the soft moccasined foot of the tawny savages as they walked silently
in Indian file through the forests. These paths were soon deepened and
worn bare by the heavy hobnailed shoes of the white settlers, others were
formed by the slow tread of domestic cattle, the best of all path makers,
as they wound around the hillsides to pasture or drinking place. Then a
scarcely broader bridle-path for horses, perhaps with blazed trees as
guide-posts, widened slowly to travelled roads and uneven cart-ways. These
roads followed and still wind to-day in the very lines of the foot-path
and the cattle-track.

The early colonists walked as did their predecessors, the Indians, on
their own stout legs, when they travelled by land. We find even the
governors of the colonies walking off sturdily into the forests; crossing
the rivers and brooks on fallen trees; and sometimes being carried across
"pick-a-back" by vigorous Indian guides. We have one record of Governor
Winthrop in that dependent and rather un-governor-like attitude, and it is
well to think of this picture of him as affording a glimpse of one of the
human sides of his life, to balance the prevailing Chinese worship and
idealization of him and our other ancestors.

The earliest trail or path was the old Plymouth or Coast Path, which
connected the capitols of two colonies, Boston and Plymouth. It ran
through old Braintree, and its permanence was established by an action of
the General Court in 1639. The Old Connecticut Path started from
Cambridge, ran through Marlborough, Grafton, Oxford, and on to Springfield
and Albany. The New Connecticut Path or Road started also from Cambridge,
thence to Grafton, then to Worcester, Brookfield, and on to Albany. The
Providence Path ran through Narragansett and Providence Plantations. The
Nipmuck Trail was made from Norwich. The "Kennebunk Road by the Sea" was
ordered by the Massachusetts Commissioners in 1653, sufficient highway
"between towns and towns for horse and foot." Kittery and York were
enjoined to "make straight and convenient way along East for Man and

The most famous of all these paths was the one known as the Bay Path. It
was in existence in 1673, and doubtless before. It left the Old
Connecticut Path at Wayland, Massachusetts, and ran through Marlborough to
Worcester, then to Oxford, Charlton, and Brookfield, where jutted off the
Hadley Path, to Ware, Belchertown, and Hadley, while the Bay Path
rejoined the Old Connecticut Path and thus on to Springfield. Holland
wrote of the Bay Path in his novel of that title:--

    "It was marked by trees a portion of the distance and by slight
    clearings of brush and thicket for the remainder. No stream was
    bridged, no hill was graded, and no marsh drained. The path led
    through woods which bore the mark of centuries, over barren hills
    which had been licked by the Indian hounds of fire, and along the
    banks of streams that the seine had never dragged. A powerful interest
    was attached to the Bay Path. It was the channel through which laws
    were communicated, through which flowed news from distant friends, and
    through which came long, loving letters and messages. That rough
    thread of soil, chipped by the blades of a hundred streams, was a
    trail that radiated at each terminus into a thousand fibres of love,
    and interest, and hope, and memory. Every rod had been prayed over by
    friends on the journey and friends at home."

Born in a home almost by the wayside of the old Bay Path, I feel deeply
the inexplicable charm which attaches itself to these old paths or trails.
I have ridden hundreds of miles on these various Indian paths, and I ever
love to trace the roadway where it is now the broad, travelled road, and
where it turns aside in an overgrown and narrow lane which is to-day
almost as neglected and wild as the old path. There still seems to cling
to it something of the human interest ever found in a foot-path, the
intangible attraction which makes even the simplest foot-path across a
pasture, or up a wooded hill, full of charm, of suggestion, of sentiment.

It is interesting to see how quickly the colonists acquired horses. Before
John Winthrop died Massachusetts had a cavalry corps. Restrictive measures
were enjoined by the magistrates to improve the breed and limit the number
of horses. These horses were poor and scrubby and small, but before 1635 a
cargo of Flemish draft horses was imported. A characteristic American
breed, the Narragansett Pacers, was reared in Rhode Island. They were
famous saddle-horses, giving ease of motion to the rider, being
sure-footed and most tough and enduring. For a century they were raised in
large numbers and sold at good prices, but became little valued after
trotting-horses were bred and folk drove instead of riding horseback. I
saw the last of the Narragansett Pacers. She died about twenty years ago;
of an ugly sorrel color, with broad back and short legs and a curious
rocking pace, she seemed almost a caricature of a horse, but was,
nevertheless, a source of inordinate pride to her owner.

Women rode with as much ease and frequency as men. Young girls rode on
side saddles for long journeys. Older women rode behind men on pillions,
which were padded cushions which had a sort of platform stirrup. An
excellent representation of a pillion is here given in Mr. Henry's
charming picture, "Waiting at the Ferry," as well as of an old-time gig
used at the end of the eighteenth and in the early part of the nineteenth

[Illustration: Waiting for the Ferry.]

Horseflesh was so plentiful that "no one walked save a vagabond or a
fool." Doubtless our national characteristic of never walking a step when
we can ride dates from the days "when we lived under the King." Driving
alone, that is, a man or woman driving for pleasure alone, without a
driver or post-boy, is an American fashion. It was carried back to Europe
by both the French and English officers who were here in Revolutionary
times. The custom was noted with approval by the French in their various
books and letters on this country. They also, La Rochefoucauld among them,
praised our roads.

Mr. Ernst, an authority upon transportation and postal matters, believes
that our roads in the northern provinces, on the whole, were excellent. He
says that the actual cost of the roads as contained in Massachusetts
records proves that the notion that our New England roads were wretched is
not founded on fact. He notes our great use of pleasure carriages as a
proof of good roads; in 1753 Massachusetts had about seven such carriages
to every thousand persons. The English carriages were very heavy. In
America we adopted the light-weight continental carriages--because our
roads were good.

The corduroy road was one of the common road improvements made to render
the roads passable by carts and stage-wagons. Marshy places and
chuck-holes were filled up with saplings and logs from the crowded
forests, and whole roads were made of logs which were cut in lengths about
ten or twelve feet long, and laid close to each other across the road.
Many corduroy roads still remain, and some are veritable antiques; in
Canada they still are built. A few years ago I rode many miles over one in
a miner's springless cart over the mountains of the Alexandrite range in
upper Canada, and I deem it the most trying ordeal I ever experienced.

As soon as there were roads, there were ferries and bridges. Out from
Boston to the main were ferries in 1639 to Chelsea and Charlestown. There
was a "cart-bridge" built by Boston and Roxbury over Muddy River in 1633.
There was a "foot-bridge" also at Scituate, and at Ipswich in 1635. In
1634 a "horse-bridge" was built at Neponset, and others soon followed.
These had a railing on one side only. It was a great step when the "Bay"
granted fifty pounds to Lynn for a cart-bridge where there had been only a
ferry. After King Philip's War, cart-bridges multiplied; there was one in
Scituate, one in Bristol, one in Cambridge.

These early bridges of provincial days were but insecure makeshifts in
many cases, miserable floating bridges being common across the wide
rivers. In England bridges were poor also. We were to be early in fine
bridge-building, and to excel in it as we have to this day. We were also
in advance of the mother country in laying macadamized roads, in the use
of mail-coaches, in modes of steam travel by water, just as we were in
using flintlock firearms, and other advanced means of warfare.

The Charles River between Boston and Charlestown was about as wide at the
point where the old ferry crossed as was the Thames at London Bridge, and
Americans were emulative of that structure. Much talking and planning was
done, but no bridge was built across the Charles till after the
Revolution. Then Lemuel Cox, a Medford shipwright, planned and built a
successful bridge in 1786. It was the longest bridge in the world, and
deemed a triumph of engineering. The following year he built the Malden
Bridge, then the fine Essex Bridge at Salem. In 1770 Cox went to Ireland
and built a bridge nine hundred feet long over the deep Foyle at
Londonderry, Ireland. This was another American victory, for the great
English engineer, Milne, had pronounced the deed impossible. This bridge
was of American oak and pine, and was built by Maine lumbermen and

According to the universal "Gust of the Age"--as Dr. Prince said--the aid
of the Muses was called in to celebrate the opening of the Charlestown
Bridge. This took place on the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill,
and a vast feast was given. Broadsides were distributed bearing "poems" as
long as the bridge. Here are a few specimen verses:--

  "I sing the day in which the BRIDGE
    Is finished and done.
  Boston and Charlestown lads rejoice
    And fire your cannon guns.

  "The BRIDGE is finished now I say
    Each other bridge outvies
  For London Bridge compared with ours
    Appears in dim disguise.

  "Now Boston Charlestown nobly join
    And roast a fatted Ox
  On noted Bunker Hill combine
    To toast our Patriot Cox.

  "May North and South and Charlestown all
    Agree with one consent
  To love each one like Indian's rum
    On publick good be bent."

A perfect epidemic of bridge-building broke out all over the states. In
our pride we wished to exhibit our superiority over the English
everywhere. Throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and upper Virginia, fine
wooden and stone bridges were built. On all the turnpikes the bridges
equalled the roads. Many of those bridges still are in use. The oldest
suspension bridge in America, the "chain-bridge" at Newburyport,
Massachusetts, is still standing. A picture of it here is shown. It is a
graceful bridge, and its lovely surroundings add to its charm.

The traveller Melish noted specially, in 1812, the fine Trenton Bridge,
"very elegant, nine hundred and seventy feet long, with two carriage
ways"; the West Boston Bridge "three thousand feet long, with a causeway
three thousand more"; the Schuylkill Bridge, which cost over two hundred
thousand dollars.

So bad was the state of English roads at the end of the eighteenth century
that it took two days' and three nights' incessant travel to get from
Manchester to Glasgow. The crossroads were worse. In many cases when
mail-coaches had been granted, the roads were too poor to receive them.
The ruts, or rather trenches, were up to the axletrees. When a mail-coach
was put on the Holyhead Road in 1808, twenty-two townships were indicted
for having their roads in a dangerous condition. This road had vast
sums spent upon it; in the six years succeeding 1825 it had £83,700 for
"improvements," and repairs were paid by the tolls. Its condition now is
very mean, grass-grown in places, and in ill-repair.

[Illustration: Old Chain bridge, Newburyport, Massachusetts.]

The system of road-making known as macadamizing received its name from Mr.
Loudon McAdam, who came to England from America in 1783 at a time when
many new roads were being made in Scotland. These roads he studied and in
1816 became road surveyor in Bristol, where he was able to carry his
principles into practice. The leading feature of his system was setting a
limit in size and weight to the stones to be used on the roads, the weight
limit being six ounces; also to prohibit any mixture of clay, earth, or
chalk with the stone. Similar roads had been made in Pennsylvania long
before they were laid in England, and had been tested; and without doubt
McAdam simply followed methods he had seen successfully used in America.
Among others the Salem and Boston Turnpike, the Essex Turnpike (between
Salem and Andover), and the Newburyport Turnpike, all macadamized roads,
were in successful operation before Telford and McAdam had perfected their

McAdam's son, Sir James McAdam, was General Superintendent of Metropolitan
Roads in England when, as he expressed it, "the calamity of railways fell
upon us." This "calamity" brought these results: coaches ran less
frequently, and all horse-carriage decreased, toll receipts diminished,
many turnpike roads became bankrupt and passed into possession of towns
and parishes, and are kept in scarcely passable repair. Many English
macadamized roads are only kept in order in half, while the other part of
the road bears weeds and grass.

The first American turnpike was not in Pennsylvania, as is usually stated,
but in Virginia. It connected Alexandria (then supposed to be the rising
metropolis) with "Sniggers and Vesta's Gaps"--that is, the lower
Shenandoah. This turnpike was started in 1785-86, and Thomas Jefferson
pronounced it a success. In 1787 the Grand Jury of Baltimore reported the
state of the country roads as a public grievance, and the Frederick,
Reisterstown, and York roads were laid out anew by the county as turnpikes
with toll-gates. In 1804 these roads were granted to corporate companies.
Others soon followed, till all the main roads through Maryland were

The most important early turnpike was the one known as the National Road
because it was made by the national government. It extended at first from
Cumberland to Wheeling, and was afterward carried farther. When first
opened it was a hundred and thirty miles long, and cost one and
three-quarters millions of dollars. Proposed in Congress in 1797, an act
providing for its construction was passed nine years later, and the first
mail-coach carrying the United States mail travelled over it in August,
1818. It was a splendid road, sixty feet wide, of stone broken to pass
through a three-inch ring, then covered with gravel and rolled down with
an iron roller. One who saw the constructive work on it wrote:--

    "That great contractor, Mordecai Cochran, with his immortal Irish
    brigade--a thousand strong, with their carts, wheelbarrows, picks,
    shovels, and blasting-tools, graded the commons and climbed the
    mountain side, leaving behind them a roadway good enough for an

[Illustration: Bridge Toll-board.]

Over this National Road journeyed many congressmen to and from Washington;
and the mail contractors, anxious to make a good impression on these
senators and representatives, and thus gain fresh privileges and large
appropriations, ever kept up a splendid stage line. It was on this line
that the phrase "chalking his hat"--or the free pass system--originated.
Mr. Reeside, the agent of the road, occasionally tendered a free ride to
some member of Congress, and devised a hieroglyphic which he marked in
chalk on the representative's hat, in order that none of his drivers
should be imposed upon by forged passes.

The intent was to extend this road to St. Louis. From Cumberland to
Baltimore the cost of construction fell on certain banks in Maryland,
which were rechartered on condition that they completed the road. Instead
of being a burden to them, it became a lucrative property, yielding twenty
per cent profit for many years. Not only was this road excellently
macadamized, but stone bridges were built for it over rivers and creeks;
the distances were indexed by iron mileposts, and the toll-houses were
supplied with strong iron gates.

On other turnpikes throughout the country Irish laborers were employed to
dig the earth and break the stone. Until this time Irish immigration had
been slight in this country, and in many small communities where the new
turnpikes passed the first Irish immigrants were stared at as curiosities.

The story of the old Mohawk Turnpike is one of deep interest. After the
Revolution a great movement of removal to the West swept through New
England; in the winter of 1795, in three days twelve hundred sleighs
passed through Albany bearing sturdy New England people as settlers to the
Genesee Valley. Others came on horseback, prospecting,--farmers with
well-filled saddle bags and pocketbooks. Among those thrifty New
Englanders were two young men named Whetmore and Norton, from Litchfield,
Connecticut, who noted the bad roads over which all this travel passed;
and being surveyors, they planned and eventually carried out a turnpike.
The first charter, granted in 1797, was for the sixteen miles between
Albany and Schenectady. When that was finished, in 1800, the turnpike
from Schenectady to Utica, sixty-eight miles long, was begun. The public
readily subscribed to build these roads; the flow of settlers increased;
the price of land advanced; everywhere activity prevailed. The turnpike
was filled with great trading wagons; there was a tavern at every mile on
the road; fifty-two within fifty miles of Albany, but there were not
taverns enough to meet the demand caused by the great travel. Eighty or
one hundred horses would sometimes be stabled at a single tavern. All
teamsters desired stable-room for their horses; but so crowded were the
tavern sheds that many carried sheets of oilcloth to spread over their
horses at night in case they could not find shelter.

[Illustration: Megunticook Turnpike.]

Common wagons with narrow tires cut grooves in the macadamized road; so
the Turnpike Company passed free all wagons with tires six inches broad or


These helped to roll down the road, and by law were not required to turn
aside on the road save for wagons with like width of tire.

The New York turnpikes were traversed by a steady procession of these
great wagons, marked often in great lettering with the magic words which
were in those days equivalent to Eldorado or Golconda--namely, "Ohio," or
"Genesee Valley." Freight rates from Albany to Utica were a dollar for a
hundred and twelve pounds.

In 1793 the old horse-path from Albany over the mountains to the
Connecticut River was made wide enough for the passage of a coach.
Westward from Albany a coach ran to Whitestone, Oneida County. In 1783 the
first regular mail was delivered at Schenectady, nearly a century after
its settlement. Soon the "mail-stages" ran as far as Whitestone. An
advertisement of one of these clumsy old mail-stages is here shown. We
need not wonder at the misspelling in this advertisement of the name of
the town, for in 1792 the Postmaster-general advertised for contracts to
carry the mail from "Connojorharrie to Kanandarqua."

There were twelve gates on the "pike" between Utica and Schenectady; at
Schenectady, Crane's Village, Caughnawaga (now Fonda), Schenck's Hollow,
east of Wagner's Hollow road, Garoga Creek, St. Johnsville, East Creek
Bridge, Fink's Ferry, Herkimer, Sterling, Utica. These gates did not swing
on hinges, but were portcullises; a custom in other countries referred to
in the beautiful passage in the Psalms, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates,"

On every toll-gate was a board with the rates of toll painted thereon. Mr.
Rufus A. Grider gives the list of rates on the Schenectady and Utica
Turnpike, a distance of sixty-eight miles. They seem to me exceedingly

  "Sheep, per score                            8
  Hogs, per score                              8
  Cattle, per score                           18
  Horses, per score                           18
  Mules, per score                            18
  Horse and Rider                              5
  Tied horses, each                            5
  Sulkies                                     12-1/2
  Chairs                                      12-1/2
  Chariots                                    25
  Coaches                                     25
  Coachers                                    25
  Phaetons                                    25
  Two horse Stages                            12-1/2
  Four horse Stages                           18-1/2
  One horse Wagons                             9
  Two horse Wagons                            12-1/2
  Three horse Wagons                          15-1/2
  Four horse Wagons tires under six inches    75
  Five horse Wagons   "     "    "     "      87-1/2
  Six horse Wagons    "     "    "     "    1.00
  One horse cart                               6
  Two ox cart                                  6
  Three ox cart                                8
  Four ox cart                                10
  Six ox cart                                 14
  One horse sleigh                             6
  Two horse or ox sleigh                       6
  Three horse or ox sleigh                     8
  Four horse or ox sleigh                     10
  Five horse or ox sleigh                     12
  Six horse or ox sleigh                      14"

The toll-board which hung for many years on a bridge over the Susquehanna
River at Sidney, New York, is shown on page 233.

Sometimes sign-boards were hung on bridges. One is shown on page 239 which
hung for many years on the wooden bridge at Washington's Crossing at
Taylorsville, Pennsylvania, on the Bucks County side. It was painted by
Benjamin Hicks, of Newtown, a copy of Trumbull's picture of Washington
crossing the Delaware. It was thrown in the garret of a store at
Taylorsville, and rescued by Mr. Mercer for the Bucks County Historical

[Illustration: Bridge Sign-board.]

The turnpike charters and toll-rates have revealed one thing to us, that
all single-horse carriages were two-wheeled, such as the sulky, chair,
chaise; while four-wheeled carriages always had at least two horses.

Citizens and travellers deeply resented these tolls, and ofttimes rose up
against the payment. A toll-keeper in Pelham, Massachusetts, awoke one
morning to find his gate gone. A scrawled bit of paper read:--

  "The man who stopped the boy when going to the mill,
  Will find his gate at the bottom of the hill."



Our predecessors, the North American Indians, had no horses. An early
explorer of Virginia said that if the country had horses and kine and were
peopled with English, no realm in Christendom could be compared with it.
The crude means of overland transportation common to all savages, the
carrying of burdens on the back by various strappings, was the only mode

Travel by land in the colonies was for many years very limited in amount,
and equally hazardous and inconvenient. Travel by boat was so greatly
preferred that most of the settlements continued to be made on the banks
of rivers and along the sea-coast. Even perilous canoes were preferable to
the miseries of land travel.

We were slow in abandoning our water travel and water transportation.
Water lines controlled in the East till 1800, in the West till 1860, and
have now great revival.

Transportation was wholly done by water. When horses multiplied,
merchandise was drawn short distances in the winter time on crude sledges.
Packhorses were in common use in England and on the Continent, and the
scrubby, enduring horses raised here soon were used as packhorses. Their
use lingered long over the Alleghany Mountains, as it did on the mountains
of the Pacific coast; in fact the advance guard of inland commerce in
America has always employed packhorses.

The first appearance of the Conestoga wagon in history (though the wagons
were not then called by that name) was in 1755, when General Braddock set
out on his ill-fated expedition to western Pennsylvania. There led thither
no wagon-road, simply an Indian trail for packhorses. Braddock insisted
strenuously to the Pennsylvania Assembly upon obtaining their assistance
in widening the trail to a wagon-road, and also to secure one hundred and
fifty wagons for the army. The cutting of the road was done, but when
returns were made to Braddock at Frederick, Maryland, only twenty-five
wagons could be obtained. Franklin said it was a pity the troops had not
been landed in Philadelphia, since every farmer in the country thereabouts
had a wagon. At Braddock's earnest solicitation, Franklin issued an
ingenious and characteristic advertisement for one hundred and fifty
four-horse wagons, and fifteen hundred saddle- or packhorses, for the use
of this army. The value of transportation facilities at the time is proved
by Franklin's terms of payment, namely: fifteen shillings a day for each
wagon with four horses and driver, and two shillings a day for horse with
saddle or pack. Franklin agreed that the owners should be fairly
compensated for the loss of these wagons and horses if they were not
returned, and was eventually nearly ruined by this stipulation. For the
battle at Braddock's Field was disastrous to the English, and the claims
of the farmers against Franklin amounted to twenty thousand pounds. Upon
his appeal these claims were paid by the Government under order of General
Shirley. Franklin gathered these wagons and horses in York and Lancaster
counties, Pennsylvania, and I doubt if York and Lancaster, England, would
have been as good fields at that date.

[Illustration: A Wayside Friend.]

Braddock's trail became the famous route for crossing the Alleghany
Mountains for the principal pioneers who settled southwestern Pennsylvania
and western Virginia, and all their effects were carried to their new
homes on packhorses. The only wealth acquired in the wilds by these
pioneers was peltry and furs, and each autumn a caravan of packhorses was
sent over the mountains bearing the accumulated spoils of the
neighborhood, under the charge of a master driver and three or four
assistants. The horses were fitted with pack-saddles, to the hinder part
of which was fastened a pair of hobbles made of hickory withes; and a
collar with a bell was on each horse's neck. The horses' feed of shelled
corn was carried in bags destined to be filled with alum salt for the
return trip; and on the journey down, part of this feed was deposited for
the use of the return caravan. Large wallets filled with bread, jerked
bear's meat, ham, and cheese furnished food for the drivers. At night the
horses were hobbled and turned out into the woods or pasture, and the
bells which had been muffled in the daytime were unfastened, to serve as
a guide to the drivers in the morning. The furs were carried to and
exchanged first at Baltimore as a market; later the carriers went only to
Frederick; then to Hagerstown, Oldtown, and finally to Fort Cumberland.
Iron and steel in various forms, and salt, were the things most eagerly
desired by the settlers. Each horse could carry two bushels of alum salt,
each bushel weighing eighty-four pounds. Not a heavy load, but the horses
were scantily fed. Sometimes an iron pot or kettle was tied on either side
on top of the salt-bag.

Ginseng, bears' grease, and snakeroot were at a later date collected and
added to the furs and hides. The horses marched in single file on a road
scarce two feet wide; the foremost horse was led by the master of the
caravan, and each successive horse was tethered to the pack-saddle of the
one in front. Other men or boys watched the packs and urged on laggard

I do not know the exact mode of lading these packhorses. An English
gentlewoman named Celia Fiennes rode on horseback on a side-saddle over
many portions of England in the year 1695. She thus describes the
packhorses she saw in Devon and Cornwall:--

    "Thus harvest is bringing in, on horse backe, with sort of crookes of
    wood like yokes on either side; two or three on a side stands up in
    which they stow ye corne, and so tie it with cords; but they cannot so
    equally poise it but ye going of ye horse is like to cast it down
    sometimes on ye one side sometimes on ye other, for they load them
    from ye neck to ye taile, and pretty high, and are forced to support
    it with their hands so to a horse they have two people women as well
    as men."

At a later date this packhorse system became that of common carriers. Five
hundred horses at a time, after the Revolution, could be seen winding over
the mountains. At Lancaster, Harrisburg, Shippensburg, Bedford, Fort Pitt,
and other towns were regular packhorse companies. One public carrier at
Harris Ferry in 1772 had over two hundred horses and mules. When the road
was widened and wagons were introduced, the packhorse drivers considered
it an invasion of their rights and fiercely opposed it.

It is interesting to note that the trail of the Indians and the
horse-track of these men skilled only in woodcraft were the ones followed
in later years by trained engineers in laying out the turnpikes and

We are prone to pride ourselves in America on many things which we had no
part in producing, on some which are in no way distinctive, and on a few
which are not in the highest sense to our credit. Of the Conestoga wagon
as a perfect vehicle of transportation and as an important historical
factor we can honorably and rightfully be proud. It was a truly American
product evolved and multiplied to fit, perfectly, existing conditions. Its
day of usefulness is past, few ancient specimens exist; and little remains
to remind us of it; the derivative word stogey, meaning hard, enduring,
tough, is a legacy. Stogeys--shoes--are tough, coarse, leather footwear;
and the stogey cigar was a great, heavy, coarse cigar, originally, it is
said, a foot long, made to fit the enduring nerves and appetite of the
Conestoga teamsters.

This splendid wagon was developed in Pennsylvania by topographical
conditions, by the soft soil, by trade requirements, and by native wit. It
was the highest type of a commodious freight-carrier by horse power that
this or any country has ever known; it was called the Conestoga wagon from
the vicinity in which they were first in common use.

These wagons had a boat-shaped body with curved canoe-shaped bottom which
fitted them specially for mountain use; for in them freight remained
firmly in place at whatever angle the body might be. This wagon body was
painted blue or slate-color and had bright vermilion red sideboards. The
rear end could be lifted from its sockets; on it hung the feed-trough for
the horses. On one side of the body was a small tool-chest with a slanting
lid. This held hammer, wrench, hatchet, pincers, and other simple tools.
Under the rear axletree were suspended a tar-bucket and water-pail.

In the interesting and extensive museum of old-time articles of domestic
use gathered intelligently by the Historical Society of Bucks County,
Pennsylvania, are preserved some of the wagon grease-pots or _Tar-lodel_,
which formed part of the furniture of the Conestoga wagon. A tree section
about a foot long and six inches in diameter was bored and scraped out to
make a pot. The outer upper rim was circumscribed with a groove, and
fitted with leather thongs, by which it was hung to the axle of the
wagon. Filled with grease and tar it was ever ready for use. Often a
leather _Tar-lodel_ took the place of this wooden grease-pot. The wheels
had broad tires, sometimes nearly a foot broad. The wagon bodies were
arched over with six or eight bows, of which the middle ones were the
lowest. These were covered with a strong, pure-white hempen cover corded
down strongly at the sides and ends. These wagons could be loaded up to
the top of the bows and carried four to six tons each,--about a ton's
weight to each horse.

[Illustration: Conestoga Wagon.]

Sleek, powerful horses of the Conestoga breed were used by prosperous
teamsters. These horses, usually from four to seven in number, were often
carefully matched, all dapple-gray or all bay. From Baltimore ran wagons
with twelve horses. They were so intelligent, so well cared for, so
perfectly broken, that they seemed to take pleasure in their work. The
heavy, broad harnesses were costly, of the best leather, trimmed with
brass plates; often each horse had a housing of deerskin or bearskin edged
with scarlet fringe, while the headstall was gay with ribbons and ivory
rings, and colored worsted rosettes.

Bell-teams were common; an iron or brass arch was fastened upon the hames,
and collar and bells were suspended from it. Each horse save the
saddle-horse had a full set of musical bells tied with gay ribbons; among
these were the curious old ear-bells. In England these ear-bells dangled
two on each side on a strap which passed over the horse's head behind the
ears and buckled into the cheeks of the headstall. On the forehead stood
up from this strap a stiff tuft or brush (a Russian cockade) of colored
horsehair fixed in a brass socket. Even the reins were of high colors,
scarlet and orange and green. The driver walking alongside, or seated
astride the saddle-horse, governed the perfectly broken and intelligent
creatures with a precision and ease that was beautiful to see. A curious
adjustable seat called a lazy-board was sometimes hung at the side of the
wagon, and afforded a precarious resting place.

These teamsters carried a whip, long and light, which, like everything
used by them, was of the finest and best materials. It had a fine
squirrel-skin or silk "cracker." This whip was carried under the arm, and
the Conestoga horses were guided more by the crack than by the blow.

All chronicles agree that a fully equipped Conestoga wagon in the days
when those wagons were in their prime was a truly pleasing sight, giving
one that sense of satisfaction which ever comes from the regard of any
object, especially a piece of mechanism, which is perfectly fitted for the
object it is designed to attain. An American poet writes of them:--

      "The old road blossoms with romance
  Of covered vehicles of every grade
  From ox-cart of most primitive design
  To Conestoga wagons with their fine
  Deep-dusted, six-horse teams in heavy gear,
  High hames and chiming bells--to childish ear
  And eye entrancing as the glittering train
  Of some sun-smitten pageant of old Spain."

The number of these wagons was vast. At one time over three thousand ran
constantly back and forward between Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania
towns. Sometimes a hundred would follow in close row; "the leaders of one
wagon with their noses in the trough of the wagon ahead." These "Regulars"
with fully equipped Conestoga wagons made freighting their constant and
only business. Farmers and teamsters who made occasional trips, chiefly
during the farmers' dull season--the winter--were called "Militia."

A local poet wrote of them:--

  "Militia-men drove narrow treads,
  Four horses and plain red Dutch beds,
    And always carried grub and feed."

"Grub," food for the driver, and feed for the horses was seldom carried by
the Regulars; but the horses when unharnessed always fed from the long
troughs which were hitched to the wagon pole.

All these teamsters carried their own blankets, and many carried also a
narrow mattress about two feet wide which they slept upon. This was
strapped in a roll in the morning and put into the wagon. Often the
teamsters slept on the barroom floor around the fireplace, feet to the
fire. Some taverns had bunks with wooden covers around the sides of the
room. The teamster spread his lunch on the top or cover of his bunk; when
he had finished he could lift the lid, and he had a coffinlike box to
sleep in--but this was an unusual luxury. McGowan's Tavern was a favorite
stopping place. The barroom had a double chimney and fire-places; fifteen
feet of blazing hearth meant comfort, and allured all teamsters. The blood
of battle stained the walls and ceiling, which the landlord never removed
to show that he "meant business."

The Conestoga wagons were in constant use in times of war as well as in
peace. They were not only furnished to Braddock's army, as has been told,
but to the Continental army in the War of the Revolution. President Reed
of Pennsylvania wrote to General Washington in 1780 that "the army had
been chiefly supplied with horses and waggons from this state
(Pennsylvania) during the war," and it was also declared that half the
supplies furnished the army came from the same state. Reed deplored the
fact that a further demand for over one thousand teams was to be made on
them, and said the state could not stand it.

During the War of 1812 these wagons transported arms, ammunition, and
supplies to the army on the frontier. Long lines of these teams could be
seen carrying solace and reënforcements to the soldiers.

[Illustration: THE STAGE WAGGON.

While the old waggoner is stopping to drink, poor Jack the soldier is
bidding his wife good bye.--She has come a long way with her children to
see him once more: and now is going home again in the waggon. She does not
know whether she shall ever see him again.--Jack was obliged to leave his
country life, and his good master, and his plough and his comfortable
cottage, and his poor wife and little ones to go and be a soldier, and
learn to fight, because _other people_ would quarrel.]

In England a huge, clumsy wagon was used for common carrier and passenger
transportation, until our own day. It was inferior to the Conestoga wagon
in detail and equipments. Illustrations from an old print in a child's
story-book are given of these wagons on page 251. Their most marked
characteristic was the width of wheel tire. From the middle colonies the
Conestoga wagon found its way to every colony and every settlement; nor
did its life end in the Eastern states or with the establishment of
railroads. Renamed the "prairie schooner," it carried civilization and
emigration across the continent to the Golden Gate. Till our own day the
white tilts could be seen slowly travelling westward. The bleaching bones
of these wagons may be still seen in our far West, and are as distinct
relics of that old pioneer Western life as are the bones of the buffalo. A
few wagons still remain in Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County; the one
painted by Hovenden in "Westward Ho" is in the collection of the Bucks
County Historical Society. One toiled slowly and painfully, in the year
1899, up the green hillsides of Vermont, bearing two or three old people
and a few shattered household gods--the relics, human and material, of a
family that had "gone West" many years ago.



The story of the stage-coach begins at a much later date than that of the
tavern; but the two allies reached the height of their glory together. No
more prosperous calling ever existed than that of landlord of an old-time
stage-tavern; no greater symbol of good cheer could be afforded. Though a
popular historical novel by one of our popular writers shows us the
heroine in a year of the seventeenth century conveyed away from her New
England home in a well-equipped stage-coach, there were no stage-coaches
at that date in New England, nor were they overfrequent in Old England.

Stow says, in his _Survey of London_ (1633): "Of old time, Coaches were
not known in this Island but Chariots or Whirlicotes." The whirlicote is
described as a cot or bed on wheels, a sort of wheeled litter, and was
used as early as the time of Richard II. The first coach made in England
by Walter Rippen was for the Earl of Rutland, in 1555. The queen had one
the next year, and Queen Elizabeth a state coach eight years later from
the same maker. That splendid association--"The Company of Coach and
Harness Makers," was founded by Charles II. in May, 1667.

[Illustration: English Coach, 1747.]

Venomous diatribes were set in print against coaches, as is usual with all
innovations, useful and otherwise. Of them the assertions of Taylor the
"Water Poet" are good examples. He said that coaches dammed the streets,
and aided purse-cutting; that butchers could not pass with their cattle;
that market-folk were hindered in bringing victuals to town; that carts
and carriers were stopped; that milkmaids were flung in the dirt; that
people were "crowded and shrowded up against stalls and stoops"--still
coaches continued to be built.

The early English stage-coaches were clumsy machines. One of the year 1747
is shown on the opposite page. With no windows, no seats or railing on
top, and an uncomfortable basket rumble behind, they seem crude and
inconvenient enough when compared with the dashing mail-coaches which were
evolved a century later, and were such a favorite subject with English
painters, engravers, and lithographers for many years. Those pictures
expressed, as Dickens said, "past coachfulness: pictures of colored prints
of coaches starting, arriving, changing horses, coaches in the sunshine,
coaches in the snow, coaches in the wind, coaches in the mist and rain,
coaches in all circumstances compatible with their triumph and victory,
but never in the act of breaking down or overturning."

A copy of one of those prints of an English mail-coach, in the height of
its career, is shown opposite page 256.

Stage-wagons were used throughout England as a means of cheaper
conveyance. They were intolerably slow and equally clumsy. On page 251 a
leaf from an old-time English story-book shows two of these lumbering
vehicles, which ill compare with the English mail-coaches.

Coaching days in England have had ample and entertaining record in
instructive and reminiscent books, such as: _Brighton and its Coaches_, by
William C. A. Blew, 1894; _The Brighton Road_, _etc._, by Charles G.
Harper, 1892; _Old Coaching Days_, by Stanley Harris, 1882; _Annals of the
Road_, by Captain Malet, 1876; _Down the Road_, _etc._, by C. T. S. Birch
Reynardson, 1875; _Coaching Days and Coaching Ways_, by W. Outram Tristam,

We have no similar anecdotic and personal records of American coaching
life, though we have the two fine books of modern coaching ways entitled
_Driving for Pleasure_, by Francis T. Underhill, and _A Manual of
Coaching_, by Fairman Rogers, both most interesting and valuable.

We began early in our history to have coaches. Even Governor Bradstreet in
his day rode in a hackney coach. John Winthrop, of Connecticut, had a
private coach in 1685; Sir Edmund Andros had one in Boston in 1687. At the
funeral of the lieutenant-governor in 1732 in Boston there were plenty of
coaches, though there were few in New York; the provincial governors
usually had one. Watson, in his _Annals of Philadelphia_, gives a list of
all private citizens who kept carriages in that city in 1761--there were
but thirty-eight. There were three coaches, two landaus, eighteen
chariots, and fifteen chairs. Eleven years later only eighty-four
Philadelphians had private carriages. In 1794, when the city had a
population of about fifty thousand, eight hundred and forty-seven
carriage-owners appear: among them were found thirty-three coaches and one
hundred and fifty-seven coachees.

The testimony of the traveller Bennet, who was in Boston in 1740, is most
explicit on the subject of travel and transportation in that city and

    "There are several families in Boston that keep a coach and a pair of
    horses, and some few drive with four horses; but for chaises and
    saddle-horses, considering the bulk of the place, they outdo London.
    They have some nimble, lively horses for the coach, but not any of
    that beautiful black breed so common in London. Their saddle-horses
    all pace naturally, and are generally counted sure-footed; but they
    are not kept in that fine order as in England. The common
    draught-horses used in carts about the town are very small and poor,
    and seldom have their fill of anything but labor. The country carts
    and wagons are generally drawn by oxen, from two to six according to
    the distance, or the burden they are laden with."

[Illustration: Quicksilver Royal Mail, 1835.]

The traveller Weld thus described the peculiarly American carriage called
a "coachee":--

    "The body of it is rather longer than a coach, but of the same shape.
    In the front it is left quite open down to the bottom, and the driver
    sits on a bench under the roof of the carriage. There are two seats in
    it for passengers, who sit in it with their faces to the horses. The
    roof is supported by small props which are placed at the corners. On
    each side of the door, above the panels, it is quite open; and, to
    guard against bad weather, there are curtains which let down from the
    roof and fasten to buttons on the outside. The light wagons are in the
    same construction, and are calculated to hold from four to twelve
    people. The wagon has no doors, but the passengers scramble in the
    best way they can over the seat of the driver. The wagons are used
    universally for stage-coaches."

A vehicle often mentioned by Judge Sewall and contemporary writers is a
calash. It was a clumsy thing, an open seat set on a low and heavy pair of
wheels. A curricle had two horses, a chaise one; both had what were called
whip springs behind and elbow springs in front. A whisky was a light body
fixed in shafts which were connected with long horizontal springs by
scroll irons. A French traveller tells of riding around Boston in a
whisky. The chair so often named in letters, wills, etc., was not a
sedan-chair, but was much like a chaise without a top.

The French chaise was introduced here by the Huguenots before the year
1700. The Yankee "shay" is simply the fancied singular number of the
French chaise. We improved upon the French vehicle, and finally replaced
it by our characteristic carriage, the buggy.

Chariots were a distinctly aristocratic vehicle, used as in England by
persons of wealth, and deemed a great luxury. One was advertised in Boston
in 1743 as "a very handsome chariot, fit for town or country, lined with
red coffy, handsomely carved and painted, with a whole front glass, the
seat-cloth embroided with silver, and a silk fringe round the seat." It
was offered for sale by John Lucas, a Boston coach-builder, and had
doubtless been built by him.

The ancient chariot shown on page 259, formerly belonging to John Brown,
the founder of Brown University, is preserved at the old Occupasnetuxet
homestead in Warwick, Rhode Island, securely stored in one of the carriage
houses on the estate, a highly prized relic of days long ago. In this
ancient vehicle General Washington rode from place to place when he made
his visit to Rhode Island in August, 1790, escorted by John Brown, the
ancestor of its present owners.

[Illustration: "One Hoss Shay."]

The body of this old chariot is suspended on heavy thorough-braces
attached to heavy iron holders as large as a man's wrist, the forward ones
so curved as to allow the forward wheels to pass under them, in order that
the chariot may be turned within a short compass. It has but one seat for
passengers, which will accommodate two persons; and an elevated seat for
the driver, which is separate from the main body. The wheels are heavy,
the hind ones twice the height of the forward ones, the tires of which are
attached to the felloes in several distinct pieces.

[Illustration: Washington Chariot.]

It is easy to picture the importance attached to buying or owning a
wheeled vehicle in a community which rode chiefly on horseback.
Contemporary evidence of this is often found, such as these entries in the
diary of Rev. Joseph Emerson of Malden. In the winter of 1735 he writes:--

    "Some talk about my buying a Shay. How much reason have I to watch and
    pray and strive against inordinate Affection for the Things of the

A week later, however, he proudly recalls the buying of the "Shay" for £27
10_s._, which must have made a decided hole in his year's salary. His
delight in his purchase and possession is somewhat marred by noting that
his parishioners smile as he is drawn past them in his magnificence; it is
also decidedly taken down by the vehicle being violently overturned,
though his wife and he were uninjured. It cost a pretty penny, moreover,
to get it repaired. He scarce gets the beloved but sighed-over "Shay" home
when he thus notes:--

    "Went to the beach with 3 of the Children in my Shay. The beast being
    frighted when we all were out of the shay, overturned and broke it. I
    desire--I hope I desire it--that the Lord would teach me suitably to
    repent this Providence, to make suitable remarks on it, and to be
    suitably affected with it. Have I done well to get me a Shay? Have I
    not been too fond & too proud of this convenience? Should I not be
    more in my study and less fond of driving? Do I not withold more than
    is meet from charity? &c."

Shortly afterward, as the "beast" continued to be "frighted," he sold his
horse and shay to a fellow-preacher, Rev. Mr. Smith, who--I doubt
not--went through the same elations, depressions, frightings, and
self-scourgings in which the Puritan spirit and horseman's pride so
strongly clashed.

On May 13, 1718, Jonathan Wardwell's stage-coach left Jonathan Wardwell's
Orange Tree in Boston and ran to Rhode Island--that is, the island proper.
At any rate, it was advertised in Boston newspapers as starting at that
date. In 1721 there was a road-wagon over the same route. In 1737 two
imported stage-coaches were advertised for this road, and doubtless many
travellers used these coaches, which connected with the boats for New


The early coaching conveyances were named. In 1767 it was a "stage-chaise"
that ran between Salem and Boston, while a "stage-coach" and "stage-wagon"
were on other short routes out of Boston. In 1772 a "stage-chariot" was on
the road between Boston and Marblehead. "Flying Mail-Stages" came later,
and in 1773 Thomas Beals ran "Mail Stage Carriages between Boston and
Providence." In England there were "Flying-Machines" and "Flying-Waggons."
An old English road-bill dated 1774 ends with this sentence, "The Rumsey
Machine, through Winchester, hung on Steel Springs begins flying on the
3rd of April from London to Poole in One Day." On the Paulus Hook route to
Philadelphia in 1772 the proprietor announced a vehicle "in imitation of a
coach"--and perhaps that is all that any of these carriages could be
rightfully called.

One of the clearest pictures which has come down to us of travelling in
the early years of our national existence is found in the pages relating
the travels of a young Englishman named Thomas Twining, in the United
States in the year 1795. He journeyed by "stage-waggon" from Philadelphia,
through Chester and Wilmington, to Baltimore, then to Washington, then
back to Philadelphia.

He fully describes the stage-wagon in which he made these journeys:--

    "The vehicle was a long car with four benches. Three of these in the
    interior held nine passengers. A tenth passenger was seated by the
    side of the driver on the front bench. A light roof was supported by
    eight slender pillars, four on each side. Three large leather curtains
    suspended to the roof, one at each side and the third behind, were
    rolled up or lowered at the pleasure of the passengers. There was no
    place nor space for luggage, each person being expected to stow his
    things as he could under his seat or legs. The entrance was in front
    over the driver's bench. Of course the three passengers on the back
    seat were obliged to crawl across all the other benches to get to
    their places. There were no _backs_ to the benches to support and
    relieve us during a rough and fatiguing journey over a newly and
    ill-made road."

Mr. Jansen, who resided in America from 1793 to 1806, wrote a book
entitled _The Stranger in America_. In it he described the coach between
Philadelphia and New York with some distinctness:--

    "The vehicle, the American stage-coach, which is of like construction
    throughout the country, is calculated to hold twelve persons, who sit
    on benches placed across with their faces toward the horses. The front
    seat holds three, one of whom is the driver. As there are no doors at
    the sides, the passengers get in over the front wheels. The first get
    seats behind the rest, the most esteemed seat because you can rest
    your shaken frame against the back part of the wagon. Women are
    generally indulged with it; and it is laughable to see them crawling
    to this seat. If they have to be late they have to straddle over the
    men seated further in front."

It will be readily seen that the description of this coach is precisely
like that given by Weld in his _Travels_, and like the picture of it in
the latter book. An excellent representation of this stage-wagon is given
in Mr. Edward Lamson Henry's picture of the Indian Queen Tavern at
Blattensburg, Maryland, a copy of which is shown facing page 33. Cruder
ones may be seen in the various advertisements of eighteenth-century stage

The coach-body of the year 1818 had an egg-shaped body and was suspended
on thick leather straps, called thorough-braces, which gave the vehicle a
comparatively easy motion. After being worn these frequently broke, and
one side of the coach would settle. The patient travellers then alighted,
took a rail from an adjoining fence, righted up the body of the coach, and
went on slowly to the next village for repairs.

This coach had a foot-board for the driver's feet, and a trunk-rack bolted
to the axletrees. One is here shown, and an old cut on page 273. A few
still exist and are in use.

[Illustration: Stage-coach of 1818.]

Ten years later the fashion of coaches had changed, and of boats, as shown
by the cut on the opposite page. This view is at the first lock on Erie
Canal above Albany.

All the various forms of coaches were superseded and made obsolete by the
incomparable Concord coach, first built in Concord, New Hampshire, in

The story of the Concord coach is one of profound interest, and should be
given in detail. It has justly been pronounced the only perfect passenger
vehicle for travelling that has ever been built. To every state and
territory in the Union, to every country in the world where there are
roads on which such a coach could run, have these Concord coaches been
sent. In spite of steam and electric cars they still are manufactured in
large numbers, and are still of constant use. There is really very little
difference between the older Concord coaches, such as the one used by
Buffalo Bill, shown on page 266, and one of the stanch, well-equipped
modern ones used in mountain travel, such as is shown facing page 268.

[Illustration: Stage-coach of 1828.]

The word stage-coach was originally applied to a coach which ran from
station to station over a number of stages of the road, usually with fresh
horses for each stage. It was not used to designate a coach which ran only
a short distance. Mr. Fairman Rogers notes as an example of the curious
changes of language the custom in New York of calling a short-route
omnibus a stage. We all recall the tottering Broadway stages; we still
have the Fifth Avenue stages with us. This debased use of the word is not
an Americanism, nor is it modern. Swift speaks of riding in the six-penny
stage; and Cowper has a similar usage. The word drag, originally applied
to a public road-coach, now is used for a coach for private driving. The
incorrect American use of the word tally-ho, as a general name for a coach
and four, dates from 1876, when Colonel Delancey Kane first ran his
road-coach from the Brunswick Hotel in New York to Pelham. It chanced to
be named Tally-ho after English coaches of that name, and the word was
adopted from the individual to a class. Barge, as applied to a long
omnibus, is apparently a modern Americanism. I heard it first about ten
years ago. Alighting from the cars, travel-tired and dusty, at a New
England coast town one July afternoon, we asked the distance to a certain
hotel; and we were told it was four miles, and we could go either by sloop
or barge, and that "the barge got there first." We gladly welcomed the
possibility of closing our journey with a short, refreshing water trip,
but decided that the sloop might be delayed by adverse winds, and we would
trust to the barge, which we inferred was propelled by steam. On stating
our preference for the barge we were waved into a long, heavy omnibus
harnessed with a "spike" team of three jaded horses that soon stumbled
along the dry road, choking us with the dust of their slow progress. After
riding nearly half an hour we called out despondingly to the driver, "When
do we reach the wharf?" "We ain't goin' to the wharf," he drawled. "Where
do we take the barge then, and when?" "You're a-ridin' in the barge now,"
he answered, and thus we added another example to our philological

[Illustration: Old Concord Coach.]

Our first conveyance of goods and persons was by water, and the word
transportation was one of our sea terms applied to inland traffic. Mr.
Ernst has pointed out that many sea terms besides the word barge have
received a land use. "The conductor shouts his marine 'All aboard,' and
railroad men tell of 'shipping' points that have nothing to do with
navigation. We ship by rail, and out West they used to have 'prairie
schooners.' Of late we go by 'trolley,' and that word is borrowed from the
sailors. Our locomotives have a 'pilot' each, and even 'freight' has a
marine origin."

The first line of stages established between New York and Philadelphia
made the trip in about three days. The stage was simply a Jersey wagon
without springs. The quaint advertisement of the route appeared in the
_Weekly Mercury_ of March 8, 1759:--

    "Philadelphia Stage Waggon and New York Stage Boat perform their
    stages twice a week. John Butler with his waggon sets out on Monday
    from his house at the sign of the 'Death of the Fox' in Strawberry
    Alley, and drives the same day to Trenton Ferry, where Francis Holman
    meets him, and the passengers and goods being shifted into the waggon
    of Isaac Fitzrandolph, he takes them to the New Blazing Star to Jacob
    Fitzrandolph's the same day, where Rubin Fitzrandolph, with a boat
    well suited will receive them and take them to New York that night:
    John Butler, returning to Philadelphia on Tuesday with the passengers
    and goods delivered to him by Francis Holman, will set out again for
    Trenton Ferry on Thursday, and Francis Holman, &c., will carry his
    passengers and goods with the same expedition as above to New York."

The driver of this flying machine, old Butler, was an aged huntsman who
kept a kennel of hounds till foxes were shy of Philadelphia streets, when
his old sporting companions thus made a place for him.

With such a magnificent road as the National Road, it was natural there
should be splendid coaching upon it. At one time there were four lines of
stage-coaches on the Cumberland Road: the National Line, Pioneer, Good
Intent, and June Bug. Curiously enough, no one can find out, no one is
left to tell, why or wherefore the latter absurd and undignified name was
given. An advertisement of the "Pioneer Fast Stage Line" is given on page
270. Relays of horses were made every ten or twelve miles. It was
bragged that horses were changed ere the coach stopped rocking. No heavy
luggage was taken, and at its prime but nine passengers to a coach. These
were on what was called Troy coaches. The Troy coach was preceded by a
heavy coach built at Cumberland, and carrying sixteen persons, and a
lighter egg-shaped vehicle made at Trenton; and it was succeeded by the
famous Concord coach. Often fourteen coaches started off together loaded
with passengers. The mail-coach had a horn; it left Wheeling at six in the
morning, and twenty-four hours later dashed into Cumberland, one hundred
and thirty-two miles away. The mail was very heavy. Sometimes it took
three to four coaches to transport it; there often would be fourteen
lock-bags and seventy-two canvas sacks.

[Illustration: Concord Coach at Toll Gate.]

The drivers had vast rivalry. Here, as elsewhere all over the country, the
test of their mettle was the delivery of the President's message. There
was powerful reason for this rivalry; the letting of mail contracts hinged
on the speed of this special delivery. Dan Gordon claimed he carried the
message thirty-two miles in two hours and twenty minutes, changing teams
three times. Dan Noble professed to have driven from Wheeling to
Hagerstown, one hundred and eighty-five miles, in fifteen hours and a

The rivalry of drivers and coach-owners extended to passengers, who became
violent partisans of the road on which they travelled, and a threatening
exhibition of bowie knives and pistols was often made. When the Baltimore
and Ohio Railroad was completed to Wheeling, these stage-coaches had
their deathblow.


The expense of travelling in 1812 between Philadelphia and Pittsburg, a
distance of two hundred and ninety-seven miles, was twenty dollars by
stage with way-expenses of seven dollars, and it took six days. The
expense by wagon was five dollars a hundred weight for persons and
property, and the way-expenses were twelve dollars, for it took twenty

In England, in the prime days of coaching, rates were fourpence or
fivepence a mile inside, and twopence or threepence outside. The highest
fares were of course on the mail-coaches and fast day-coaches; the lower
rates were on the heavy night-coaches.

At an early date there were good lines of conveyance between Boston and
Providence, and from Providence to other towns. The early editions of old
almanacs tell of these coaching routes. _The New England Almanack_ for
1765 gave two routes to Hartford, the distances being given from tavern to
tavern. _The New England Town & County Almanack_ for 1769 announced a
coach between Providence and Norwich, "a day's journey only," and two
coaches a week between Providence and Boston, also performing this journey
in a day. In 1793, Israel Hatch announced daily stages between the two
towns; he had "six good coaches and experienced drivers," and the fare was
but a dollar. He closed his notice, "He is also determined, at the
expiration of the present contract for carrying the mail from Providence
to Boston, to carry it gratis, which will undoubtedly prevent any further
under-biddings of the Envious."

"The Envious" was probably Thomas Beal, whose rival carriages were
pronounced "genteel and easy." His price was nine shillings "and less if
any other person will carry them for that sum." When passenger steamboats
were put on the route between Providence and New York these lines of
coaches became truly important. Often twenty full coach-loads were carried
each way each day. The editor of the _Providence Gazette_ wrote with
pride, "We were rattled from Providence to Boston in four hours and fifty
minutes--if any one wants to go faster he may send to Kentucky and charter
a streak of lightning." But with speed came increased fares--three dollars
a trip. This exorbitant sum soon produced a rival cheaper line--at two
dollars and a half a ticket. The others then lowered to two dollars, and
the two lines alternated in reduction till the conquered old line
announced it would carry the first booked applicants for nothing. The new
stage line then advertised that they would carry patrons free of expense,
and furnish a dinner at the end of the journey. The old line was rich and
added a bottle of wine to a like offer.

Mr. Shaffer, a fashionable teacher of dancing and deportment in Boston, an
arbiter in social life, and man about town, had a gay ride on Monday to
Providence, a good dinner, and the promised bottle of wine. On Tuesday he
rode more gayly back to Boston, had his dinner and wine, and on Wednesday
started to Providence again. With a crowd of gay young sparks this frolic
continued till Saturday, when the rival coach lines compromised and signed
a contract to charge thereafter two dollars a trip.

[Illustration: New Omnibus "Accommodation."]

In 1818 all the lines in eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and
others in Maine and Rhode Island, were formed into a syndicate, the
Eastern Stage Company; and it had an unusual career. The capital stock
consisted of four hundred and twenty-five shares at a hundred dollars
each. Curiously enough, the contracts and agreements signed at the time of
the union do not ever mention its object; it might be a sewing-machine
company, or an oil or ice trust. It had at once an enormous business, for
it was born great. The profits were likewise enormous; the directors'
meetings were symposiums of satisfaction, and stockholders gloated over
their incomes. In 1829 there were seventy-seven stage-coach lines from
Boston; the fare to Albany (about two hundred miles) was six dollars, and
eight dollars and seventy-five cents by the "Mail Line." The fare to
Worcester was two dollars; to Portland, eight dollars; to Providence, two
dollars and a half. In 1832 there were one hundred and six coach lines
from Boston. The _Boston Traveller_ was started as a stage-coach paper in
1825, whence its name. Time-tables and stage-lists were issued by Badger
and Porter from 1825 to 1836. After twelve years, the Eastern Stage
Company was incorporated in New Hampshire, but even then luck was turning.
There was no one shrewd enough to heed the warning which might have been
heard through the land, "Look out for the engine," and soon the assets of
the stage company were as dust and ashes; everything was sold out at vast
loss, and in 1838--merely a score of years, not even "come of age"--the
Eastern Stage Company ceased to exist. On its prosperous routes, during
the first ten years, myriads of taverns had sprung up; vast brick stables
had been built for the hundreds of horses, scores of blacksmiths' forges
had been set up, and some of these shops were very large. These buildings
were closed as suddenly as they were built, and rotted unused.

This period of the brilliant existence of the Eastern Stage Company was
also the date of the coaching age of England, given by Stanley Harris as
from 1820 to 1840. The year 1836, which saw the publication of _Pickwick_,
wherein is so fine a picture of old coaching days, was the culminating
point of the mail-coach system. Just as it was perfected it was rendered
useless by the railroad.

In the earliest colonial days, before the official appointment of any
regular post-rider, letters were carried along the coast or to the few
inland towns by chance travellers or by butchers who made frequent trips
to buy and sell cattle. John Winthrop, of New London, sent letters by
these butcher carriers.

In 1672 "Indian posts" carried the Albany winter mail. With a
retrospective shiver we read a notice of 1730 that "whoever inclines to
perform the foot-post to Albany this winter may make application to the
Post-Master." Lonely must have been his solitary journey up the solemn
river, skating along under old Cro' Nest.

The first regular mounted post from New York to Boston started January 1,
1673. He had two "port-mantles" which were crammed with letters, "small
portable goods and divers bags." It was enjoined that he must be active,
stout, indefatigable, and honest. He changed horses at Hartford. He was
ordered to keep an eye out for the best roads, best ways through forests,
for ferries, fords, etc., to watch keenly for all fugitive servants and
deserters, and to be kind to all persons travelling in his company. During
the month that he was gone the mail was collected in a box in the office
of the Colonial Secretary. The arrivals and departure of these posts were
very irregular. In 1704 we read, "Our Philadelphia post (to New York) is a
week behind, and not yet com'd in."

In unusual or violent weather the slowness of mail carriage was appalling.
Salem and Portsmouth are about forty miles apart. In March, 1716, the
"post" took nine days for one trip between the two towns and eight days
the other. He was on snowshoes, and he reported drifts from six to
fourteen feet deep; but even so, four to five miles a day was rather
minute progress.

It is pleasant to read in the _Winthrop Letters_ and other correspondence
of colonial days of "journeys with the Post." Madam Knight rode with him,
as did many another fair traveller with his successors at later dates. A
fragment of a journal of a young college graduate, written in 1790, tells
of "over-taking the Post, who rode with six Dames, neither young nor fair,
from Hartford to Boston." He tells that the patient Squire of Dames was
rather surly when joked about his harem. Mrs. Quincy tells of travelling,
when she was a little girl, with the Post, who occupied his monotonous
hours by stocking-knitting.


The post-riders, whose advertisements (one of which is here shown) can be
found in many old-time newspapers, were private carriers. They "Resolv'd
to ride Post for the good of the Publick," etc. They were burdened by law
with restrictions, which they calmly evaded, for they materially
decreased the government revenue in sealed mail-matter, though they were
supposed to be merchandise carriers only.

In 1773, Hugh Finlay was made postal surveyor by the British government of
the mail service from Quebec, Canada, to St. Augustine, Florida. He made a
very unfavorable report of postal conditions. He declared that postmasters
often had no offices, that tavern taprooms and family rooms in private
houses were used as gathering places for the mail. Letters were thrown
carelessly on an open table or tavern bar, for all comers to pull over
till the owners called; and fresh letters were irregularly forwarded. The
postmaster's salary was paid according to the number of letters he
handled, and of course the private conveyance of letters sadly diminished
his income. Private mail-carriage was forbidden by law, but the very
government post-riders were the chief offenders. Persons were allowed to
carry merchandise at their own rates for their own profit, so post-riders,
wagon-drivers, butchers, ship captains, or any one could carry large
sealed letters, provided they were tied to any bundle or box. Sham bundles
of paper or straw, weighing little, were thus used as kite-tails to the
letters. The government post-rider between Newport and Boston took
twenty-six hours to go eighty miles, carried all way-letters to his own
profit, and bought and sold on commission. If he had been complained of,
the informer was in danger of tarring and feathering. It was deemed all a
part of the revolt of the provinces against "slavery and oppression." The
rider between Saybrook and New York had been in his calling forty-six
years. He carried on a money exchange to his own profit, and pocketed all
way-postage. He superintended the return of horses for travellers; and
Finlay says he was coolly waiting, when he saw him, for a yoke of oxen
that he was going to transfer for a customer. No wonder the mails were
slow and uncertain.

In 1788 it took four days for mail to go from New York to Boston--in
winter much longer. George Washington died on the 14th of December, 1799.
As an event of universal interest throughout the nation, the news was
doubtless conveyed with all speed possible by fleetest messenger. The
knowledge of this national loss was not known in Boston till December 24.
Two years later there was a state election in Massachusetts of most
profound interest, when party feeling ran high. It took a month, however,
to get in all the election returns, even in a single state.

The first advertisement or bill of the first coaching line between Boston
and Portsmouth reads thus:--

    "_For the Encouragement of Trade from Portsmouth to Boston._


    "With two horses well equipped, will be ready by Monday the 20th inst.
    to start out from _Mr. Stavers_, Inn-holder at the sign of the _Earl
    of Halifax_, in this town for Boston, to perform once a week; to lodge
    at Ipswich the same night; from thence through Medford to Charlestown
    Ferry; to tarry at Charlestown till Thursday morning, so as to return
    to this town next day: to set out again the Monday following: It will
    be contrived to carry four persons besides the driver. In case only
    two persons go, they may be accommodated to carry things of bulk and
    value to make a third or fourth person. The Price will be _Thirteen
    Shillings_ and _Six Pence_ sterling for each person from hence to
    Boston, and at the same rate of conveyance back again; though under no
    obligation to return in the same week in the same manner.

    "Those who would not be disappointed must enter their names at _Mr.
    Stavers'_ on Saturdays, any time before nine in the evening, and pay
    one half at entrance, the remainder at the end of the journey. Any
    gentleman may have business transacted at Newbury or Boston with
    fidelity and despatch on reasonable terms.

    "As gentlemen and ladies are often at a loss for good accommodations
    for travelling from hence, and can't return in less than three weeks
    or a month, it is hoped that this undertaking will meet with suitable
    encouragement, as they will be wholly freed from the care and charge
    of keeping chairs and horses, or returning them before they had
    Finished their business.

    "Portsmouth, April, 1761."

A picture and account of the Stavers Inn are given on page 176.

These stages ran throughout the winter, except in bad weather, and the
fare was then three dollars a trip. This winter trip was often a hard one.
We read at one time of the ferries being so frozen over that travellers
had to make a hundred-mile circuit round by Cambridge. This line of stages
prospered; and two years later "The Portsmouth Flying Stage-coach," which
held six "insides," ran with four or six horses. The fare was the same.

[Illustration: Old Coach and Sign-board, Barre, Massachusetts.]

On this Stavers line were placed the first mail-coaches under the English
crown. When Finlay (the post-office surveyor just referred to) examined
the mail-service in the year 1773, he found these mail-coaches running
between Boston and Portsmouth. Mr. Ernst says, "The Stavers mail-coach was
stunning, used six horses in bad weather, and never was late." These
coaches were built by Paddock, the Boston coach-builder and Tory. Stavers
also was a Tory, and during the Revolution both fled to England, and may
have carried the notion of the mail-coach across the sea. At any rate the
first English mail-coach was not put on the road till 1784; it ran between
Bristol and London. It was started by a theatrical manager named Palmer,
office work or coaching. The service was very imperfect and far from

Herbert Joyce, historian of the British post-office, says, "In 1813 there
was not a single town in the British kingdom at the post-office of which
absolutely certain information could have been obtained as to the charge
to which a letter addressed to any other town would be subject." The
charge was regulated by the distance; but distances seemed movable, and
the letter-sender was wholly at the mercy of the postmaster. The
government of the United States early saw the injustice of doubt in these
matters, and Congress ordered a careful topographical survey, in 1811-12,
of the post-road from Passamaquoddy to St. Mary's, and also established
our peerless corps of topographical engineers. Foreigners were much
impressed with the value of this survey, and an old handkerchief, printed
in 1815 by R. Gillespie, at "Anderston Printfield near Glasgow," proves
that the practical effects of the survey were known in England before the
English people had a similar service.

This handkerchief gives an interesting statement of postal rates and
routes at the beginning of this century. Around the edge is a floral
border, with the arms of the United States, the front and reverse of the
dollar of 1815, a quartette of ships of war, and portraits of Washington,
Adams, Jefferson, and "Maddison" intertwined.

Its title is "A Geographical View of All the Post Towns in the United
States of America and Their Distance from Each Other According to the
Establishment of the Postmaster General in the Year 1815." By an
ingenious arrangement of the towns on the main coast line and those on the
cross post-roads, the distance from one of these points to any other could
easily be ascertained. The "main line of post towns" extended "from
Passamaquoddy in the District of Maine to Sunbury in the State of

The object in publishing such a table as this was to make a durable record
by which it was possible for the people to compute easily and with a handy
helper what the cost of postage on letters would be. The following "rates
of postage" are given on the old handkerchief:--

    "Single Letter conveyed by land for any distance not exceeding 10
    miles, 6 cents.

      Over 10, not exceeding 60 miles, 8 cents.
        "  60   "     "      100    "  10 "
        " 100   "     "      150    "  12 "
        " 150   "     "      200    "  15 "
        " 200   "     "      250    "  17 "
        " 250   "     "      350    "  20 "
        " 350   "     "      450    "  22 "
      For 450                       "  25 ""

Double letters are charged double; and triple letters, three times these
rates, and a packet weighing one ounce avoirdupois at the rate of four
single letters.

Let us compare conditions in these matters in America with those in
Scotland. While England had, in the first half of the eighteenth century,
coaches in enough number that country folk knew what they looked like,
Scotland was barren not only of coaches but of carriages. In 1720 there
were no chariots or chaises north of the Tay. Not till 1749 was there a
coach between Edinburgh and Glasgow; this journey of forty-six miles
could, by the end of the century, be done in twelve hours. In 1754 there
was once a month a coach from Edinburgh to London; it took twelve to
sixteen days to accomplish this journey, and was so perilous that
travellers made their wills before setting out. There were few carts and
no such splendid wagons as our Conestogas. Cadgers carried creels of goods
on horseback; and sledges, or creels borne on the backs of women, were the
means of transportation in northern Scotland until the end of the
eighteenth century. These sledges had tumbling wheels of solid wood a foot
and a half in diameter, revolving with the wooden axletree, and held
little more than a wheelbarrow.

Scotch inns were as bad as the roads; "mean hovels with dirty rooms, dirty
food, dirty attendants." Servants without shoes or stockings, greasy
tables with no cloths, butter thick with cows' hairs, no knives and forks,
a single drinking-cup for all at the table, filthy smells and sights, were
universal; and this when English inns were the pleasantest places on

Mail-carriage was even worse than personal transportation; hence
letter-writing was not popular. In 1746 the London mail-bag once carried
but a single letter from Edinburgh. So little attention was paid to the
post that as late as 1728 the letters were sometimes not taken from the
mail bag, and were brought back to their original starting place. Scotland
was in a miserable state of isolation and gloom until the Turnpike Road
Act was passed; the building of good roads made a complete revolution of
all economic conditions there, as it has everywhere.

[Illustration: Quincy Railway Pitcher.]

The first railway in America was the Quincy Railroad, or the "Experiment"
Railroad, built to carry stones to Bunker Hill Monument. A tavern-pitcher,
commemorative of this Quincy road, is shown here. Two views of the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, printed on plates and platters in rich dark
blue, are familiar to china collectors. One shows a stationary engine at
the top of a hill with a number of little freight cars at a very singular
angle going down a steep grade. The other displays a primitive locomotive
with coachlike passenger cars.

All the first rail-cars were run by horse-power.

Peter Parley's _First Book on History_ says, in the chapter on Maryland:--

    "The people are building what is called a railroad. This consists of
    iron bars laid down along the ground and made fast, so that carriages
    with small wheels may run upon them with facility. In this way one
    horse will be able to draw as much as ten horses on a common road. A
    part of the railroad is already done, and if you choose to take a ride
    upon it you can do so. You enter a car something like a stage, and
    then you will be drawn along by two horses at a speed of twelve miles
    per hour."

The horse-car system, in its perfection, did not prevail until many years
after the establishment of steam cars. It is curious to note how suddenly,
in our own day, the horse cars were banished by cars run by electricity;
as speedily as were stage-coaches cast aside by steam. A short time ago a
little child of eight years came running to me in much excitement over an
unusual sight she had seen in a visit to a small town--"a trolley car
dragged by horses."

Many strange plans were advanced for the new railways. I have seen a
wood-cut of a railway-coach rigged with masts and sails gayly running on a
track. I don't know whether the inventor of this wind-car ever rigged his
car-boat and tried to run it. Another much-derided suggestion was that the
motive power should be a long rope or chain, and the notion was scorned,
but we have lived to see many successful lines of cars run by cable.

Kites and balloons also were seriously suggested as motive powers. It was
believed that in a short time any person would be permitted to run his own
private car or carriage over the tracks, by paying toll, as a coach did on
a turnpike.

The body of the stage-coach furnished the model for the first passenger
cars on the railway. A copy is here given of an old print of a train on
the Veazie Railroad, which began to run from Bangor, Maine, in 1836. The
road had two locomotives of Stevenson's make from England. They had no
cabs when they arrived here, but rude ones were attached. They burned
wood. The cars were also English; a box resembling a stage-coach was
placed on a rude platform. Each coach carried eight people. The passengers
entered the side. The train ran about twelve miles in forty minutes. The
rails, like those of other railroads at the time, were of strap-iron
spiked down. These spikes soon rattled loose, so each engine carried a man
with a sledge hammer, who watched the track, and when he spied a spike
sticking up he would reach down and drive it home. These "snake heads," as
the rolled-up ends of the strap-iron were called, sometimes were forced up
through the cars and did great damage. "Snake heads" were as common in
railway travel as snags in the river in early steamboating.

[Illustration: Veazie Railway.]

The Boston and Lowell, Boston and Providence, and Boston and Worcester
railroads were all opened in 1835. The locomotive used on the Boston and
Worcester road was called the Meteor. The cars were coach-shaped and ran
on single trucks. The freight cars were short vans or wagon-bodies covered
with canvas like a Conestoga wagon. A picturesque view of an old railway
train is given opposite page 288 in the picture painted by Mr. Edward
Lamson Henry, called "The Arrival of the Train." It shows a train at a way
station between Harrisburg and Lancaster, in the year 1839, and a
comparison between the coaches on the track and the coach and horses
waiting near by will show that the same model served for both.

Accidents were many on these early roads; some were fatal, some were
ridiculous. The clumsy locomotive often broke down, and horses and oxen
had to be impressed to drag the cars to the nearest station and repair
shop. An old print showing "Uncle Ame Morris's" oxen serving as a
locomotive on a railroad near Danbury, Connecticut, is given on page 289.
Coaching accidents had seldom been fatal, and ancient citizens were
appalled at the deaths on the rail. Never was the cry of "the good old
times" so loudly heard as in the early days of the railroad. Especially
were the injuries by escaping steam and by communicated fire deemed
horrible and unbearable. An old-school blood thus summarized all these
sentiments: "You got upset in a coach--and there you were! You get upset
in a rail-car--and, damme, where are you?"

The roadbed of the track was laid thus, as shown in the words of a State
Report made to the Massachusetts Legislature on January 16, 1829:--

    "A continuous stone wall, laid so deep in the ground as not to be
    moved by the effects of the frost; and surmounted by a rail of split
    granite about a foot in thickness and depth, with a bar of iron on top
    of it of sufficient thickness for the carriage wheels to run."

My father, who rode on one of these rock-bedded railways, told me that the
jarring was inexpressibly tiring and even distressing. They were in use
but a short time. But the cars had no springs, and the jarring continued
to some degree. It produced headaches and an incessant itching of the
skin. The primitive brake-power was a hand or foot brake, and a car
stopped with a jolting which was almost as severe as the shock felt to-day
in a collision. A more primitive brake-power was in vogue on the Newcastle
and Frenchtown Railroad, where the engineer would open his safety valve at
each station and several strong negroes would seize the end of the train
and hold it back while the station agent thrust sticks of wood through the
wheel-spokes. Crooked roads were favored, so the engineer and conductor
could "look back and see if the train was all right." These were easily
managed with the short coach-like railway carriages.

[Illustration: The Arrival of the Train.]

It would be impossible to repeat all the objections against the
establishment of the railroads, besides the loss of life. These objections
far outnumbered those made against coaches centuries previous. The
farmers would be ruined. Horses would have to be killed because wholly
useless. There would therefore be no market for oats or hay. Hens would
not lay eggs on account of the noise. It would cause insanity. There would
be constant fires from the sparks from the engine. It was declared that no
car could ever advance against the wind. The _Boston Courier_ of June 27,
1827, said in an editorial:--

    "The project of a railroad from Boston to Albany is impracticable, as
    every one knows who knows the simplest rule of arithmetic, and the
    expense would be little less than the market value of the whole
    territory of Massachusetts; and which, if practicable, every person of
    common sense knows would be as useless as a railroad from Boston to
    the moon."

[Illustration: Uncle Ame Morris' Oxen serving as a Locomotive.]

Captain Basil Hall rode by stage-coach in 1829 over the present route of
the Boston and Albany Railroad. He described the hills, ravines, and
rivers, and said, "Those Yankees talk of constructing a railroad over this
route; as a practical engineer, I pronounce it simply impossible."

All the sentimental objections of all the sentimental objectors may be
summed up in the words of the best beloved of all coachmen, Tony Weller:--

    "I consider that the rail is unconstitutional, and a inwader o'
    privileges. As to the comfort--as an old coachman I may say it--veres
    the comfort o' sitting in a harm-chair, a lookin' at brick walls, and
    heaps o' mud, never comin' to a public 'ouse, never seein' a glass o'
    ale, never goin' thro' a pike, never meetin' a change o' no kind
    (hosses or otherwise) but always comin' to a place ven you comes to
    vun at all, the werry picter o' the last! As to the honor and dignity
    o' travellin', vere can that be vithout a coachman, and vats the rail
    to sich coachmen as is sometimes forced to go by it, but a outrage and
    a insult! And as to the ingen, a nasty, wheezin', creakin', gaspin',
    puffin', bustin' monster always out o' breath, with a shiny green and
    gold back like a onpleasant beetle; as to the ingen as is alvays a
    pourin' out red-hot coals at night and black smoke in the day, the
    sensiblest thing it does, in my opinion, is ven there's somethin' in
    the vay, and it sets up that 'ere frightful scream vich seems to say,
    'now 'eres two hundred and forty passengers in the werry greatest
    extremity o' danger, and 'eres their two hundred and forty screams in



There still stands in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, at the junction of the
Westborough road with the old "King's Highway," a weatherbeaten but
dignified house, the Pease Tavern; it is shown on page 292. This house was
for many years a popular resort for the teamsters and travellers who
passed back and forth on what was then an important road. Behind the house
was originally a large shed with roof and open sides for the protection
from rain or snow of the great numbers of loaded wagons. In another
covered shed at the side of the house were chairs and tables for the
teamsters and shelves for any baggage they took from their wagons. This
shed for the accommodation of the teamsters would indicate to me that they
were not so unreservedly welcome at this tavern as at many others on the
route. Miss Ward, in her entertaining book, _Old Times in Shrewsbury_,
says that under this shed, in the side boards of the house, slight holes
were cut one above the other to a window in the second story. These holes
were large enough to hold on by, and to admit the toe of a man's boot; by
dexterous use of hands and feet the teamsters were expected to climb up
the outside wall to the window, and thus reach their sleeping apartments
without passing through the hall and interior of the house. This was, it
was asserted, for the convenience both of the family and the travellers.
In the Wayside Inn at Sudbury a small special staircase winding in the
corner of the taproom led to the four "drivers' bedrooms" above. One of
the upper rooms in the Pease Tavern was a dancing hall. Across this hall
from wall to wall was a swing partition which could be hooked up to the
ceiling when a dance was given, but at other times divided the hall into
two large bedrooms. This was a common appurtenance of the old-time tavern.

[Illustration: Pease Tavern.]

Major John Farrar, an officer in the Revolution, first kept this
Shrewsbury inn, and greatly rejoiced when Washington visited it in his
triumphal journey through the country. His successor as landlord, Levi
Pease, was a man of note in the history of travel and transportation
systems in Massachusetts. He was a Shrewsbury blacksmith who served
through the entire Revolutionary War in a special function--which might be
entitled a confidential transportation agent: he transferred important
papers, carried special news, purchased horses and stores, foraged for the
army, and enjoyed the full confidence of the leaders, especially of
Lafayette. In 1783, when peace was established, he planned to establish a
line of stages between Boston and Hartford, and thus turn his knowledge of
roads and transportation to account. Wholly without funds, he found no one
ready to embark in the daring project and work with him, save one young
stage-driver, Reuben Sykes or Sikes, who braved parental opposition, as
well as universal discouragement, and started with a stage-wagon from
Hartford to Boston at the same hour that Captain Pease set out from Boston
to Hartford. Each made the allotted trip in four days. The fare was ten
dollars a trip. Empty stages were soon succeeded by prosperous trips, and
in two years the penniless stage agent owned the Boston Inn opposite the
Common, in Boston, on the spot where St. Paul's Church now stands. The
line was soon extended to New York.

[Illustration: Old Arcade, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.]

Josiah Quincy gives a far from alluring picture of Pease's coaches in the
earliest days:--

    "I set out from Boston in the line of stages lately established by an
    enterprising Yankee, Pease by name, which at that day was considered a
    method of transportation of wonderful expedition. The journey to New
    York took up a week. The carriages were old and shackling, and much of
    the harness made of ropes. One pair of horses carried the stage
    eighteen miles. We generally reached our resting place for the night,
    if no accident intervened, at ten o'clock, and after a frugal supper
    went to bed with a notice that we should be called at three the next
    morning, which generally proved to be half-past two. Then, whether it
    snowed or rained, the traveller must rise and make ready by the help
    of a horn-lantern and a farthing candle, and proceed on his way over
    bad roads, sometimes with a driver showing no doubtful symptoms of
    drunkenness, which good-hearted passengers never fail to improve at
    every stopping place by urging upon him another glass of toddy. Thus
    we travelled, eighteen miles a stage, sometimes obliged to get out and
    help the coachman lift the coach out of a quagmire or rut, and arrived
    at New York after a week's hard travelling, wondering at the ease as
    well as expedition of our journey."

It should be added to this tale that young Quincy was in love, and on his
way to see his sweetheart, which may have added to his impatience.

This condition of affairs was not permitted to remain long. Captain Pease
bought better horses and more comfortable wagons, and he persuaded
townships to repair the roads; and he thus advertised in the
_Massachusetts Spy_, or the _Worcester Gazette_, under date of January 5,

    "Stages from Portsmouth in New Hampshire, to Savannah in Georgia.

    "There is now a line of Stages established from New Hampshire to
    Georgia, which go and return regularly, and carry the several Mails,
    by order and permission of Congress.

    "The stages from Boston to Hartford in Connecticut, set out, during
    the winter season, from the house of Levi Pease, at the Sign of the
    New York Stage, opposite the Mall, in Boston, every _Monday_ and
    _Thursday_ morning, precisely at five o'clock, go as far as
    _Worcester_ on the evenings of those days, and on the days following
    proceed to _Palmer_, and on the third day reach _Hartford_; the first
    Stage reaches the city of _New York_ on Saturday evening, and the
    other on the Wednesday evening following.

    "The stages from _New York_ for _Boston_, set out on the same days,
    and reach _Hartford_ at the same time as the Boston Stages.

    "The stages from _Boston_ exchange passengers with the stages from
    _Hartford_ at _Spencer_, and the Hartford Stages exchange with those
    from _New York_ at _Hartford_. Passengers are again exchanged at
    _Stratford Ferry_, and not again until their arrival at _New York_.

    "By the present regulation of the stages, it is certainly the most
    convenient and expeditious way of travelling that can possibly be had
    in America, and in order to make it the cheapest, the proprietors of
    the stages have lowered their price from four pence to three pence a
    mile, with liberty to passengers to carry fourteen pounds baggage.

    "In the summer season the stages are to run with the mail three times
    in a week instead of twice in the winter, by which means those who
    take passage at Boston in the stage which sets off on Monday morning,
    may arrive at New York on the Thursday evening following, and all the
    mails during that season are to be but four days going from Boston to
    New York, and so from New York to Boston.

    "Those who intend taking passage in the stages must leave their names
    and baggage the evening preceding the morning that the stages set off,
    at the several places where the stages put up, and pay one-half of
    their passage to the place where the first exchange of passengers is
    made, if bound so far, and if not, one-half of their passage so far as
    they are bound.

    "N. B. Way passengers will be accommodated when the stages are not
    full, at the same rate, viz. three pence only per mile.

    "Said PEASE keeps good lodging, &c. for gentlemen travellers, and
    stabling for horses.

    "BOSTON, Jan. 2nd, 1786."

Pease obtained the first Government contract within the new United States
for carrying the mails; and the first mail in this new service passed
through Worcester on the 7th of January, 1786--such changes had three
short years brought.

All was not ease for him even then; he still drove the stage, and endured
heat and cold; and when New England snowstorms could not be overcome by
the mail-coach, like many another of his drivers, he shouldered the
mail-bag and carried the mail on snowshoes to Boston town. He died in
1824, after having received from the Government the first charter granted
in Massachusetts for a turnpike. It was laid out in 1808 from Boston
through South Shrewsbury to Worcester, nearly parallel to the old road. It
transformed travel in that vicinity and, indeed, served to alter all town
relations and conditions. This grant and his many incessant efforts to
establish turnpikes conferred on Levi Pease the title of the "Father of
the Turnpike."

Many other charters were soon granted, and the state was covered with a
network of turnpikes which were in general thronged with vehicles and
livestock, and were therefore vastly profitable. From the prospectus of
the Sixth Massachusetts Turnpike Company, incorporated in 1799 to build a
road from Amherst to a point near Shrewsbury, we learn that the turnpike
from Northampton to Pittsfield paid twelve per cent dividend.

On these great, bustling, living thoroughfares a sad change has fallen. In
Bedford, Raystown, Somerset, Greensbury, in scores of towns, weeds and
grass grow in the ruts of the turnpike. The taverns are silent; some are
turned into comfortless farm-houses, others are closed and unoccupied, sad
and deserted widows of the old "pikes," far gone in melancholy decline.

Many of the methods familiar to us in railroad service to-day were
invented by Pease, and were crudely in practice by him. He introduced the
general ticket office in 1795, and no railroad office to-day sells tickets
to all the points served by Pease. His stage office was in State Street,
Boston. He evolved what we now term the "limited" and "accommodation"
service of railroads; in fact, the term "limited" originated with
mail-coaches limiting passengers to a specific number. Pease's fast mail
line took but four passengers in each coach, and ran to New York three
times a week with the mails. The slower line charging lower prices ran the
other days of the week and took all applicants, putting on extra coaches
if required. This service began in 1793. Tolls were commuted on
Massachusetts turnpikes before 1800, so that condition of railroad travel
is a century old.

Not far from this Pease Tavern is a sulphur spring which has some
medicinal repute, and which attracted visitors. To reach it at one time
you passed close to the house of the Indian, Old Brazil, and his wife
Nancy, and this was always a ticklish experience. Miss Ward tells their
blood-curdling story. His real name was the gentle title Basil, but he had
been a pirate on the high seas, and Brazil was more appropriate. He and
his wife thriftily ran their little farm and industriously wove charming
baskets and peddled them around the neighboring towns. These last leaves
on the tree were, for all the perceptions of Shrewsbury folk, peaceful
creatures as they were honest; but when Brazil had been treated to a good
mug of hard cider at tavern or farm-house (and no one would fail thus to
treat him) he told of his past life with such fierce voice and horrid
gesture as made him equally a delight and a terror to the children and to
many older folk as well.

[Illustration: Harrington Tavern, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.]

He had been a bloodthirsty villain; scores, perhaps hundreds, of helpless
souls on captured craft had perished at his gory hands. He detailed to the
gaping loungers at the tavern with a realism worthy a modern novelist how
he split the heads of his victims open with his broadaxe--exactly in the
middle--"one half would fall on one shoulder, tother half on tother
shoulder! ugh! ugh!" and with another pull of cider, husband and wife
trotted contentedly home. About 1850 they died as they had lived,
close--and loving--companions. As a fitting testimonial to the pirate's
end, the village boys put a charge of gunpowder in the brick oven of the
peaceful little kitchen and blew the pirate's house in fragments.

At a time when he could not afford to pay high Boston rents, Pease made
Shrewsbury his headquarters. This may account for the large number of old
taverns in the town, several of which are portrayed in these pages,--the
Old Arcade on page 294, Harrington's Tavern on page 299, Balch Tavern on
page 301.

The Exchange Hotel, still standing and still in use as a public house, was
the stage office for Pease's stage line in Worcester. This interesting old
landmark, built in 1784, was owned by Colonel Reuben Sykes, the partner of
Pease; and other coach lines than theirs centred at the Exchange, and made
it gay with arrival and departure. As the United States Arms, Sykes's
Coffee-house, Sykes's Stage-house, Thomas Exchange Coffee-house, and
Thomas Temperance Exchange in the days of the Washingtonian movement, this
hotel has had an interesting existence. President Washington in 1789
"stopped at the United States Arms where he took breakfast, and then
proceeded on his journey. To gratify the inhabitants he politely passed
through town on horseback. He was dressed in a brown suit, and pleasure
glowed in every countenance as he came along." Lafayette was also a guest;
and through its situation opposite the Worcester court-houses on Court
Hill the tavern has seen within its walls a vast succession of men noted
in law and in lawsuits.

[Illustration: Balch Tavern, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.]

From 1830 to 1846 a brilliant comet flashed its way through the
stage-driving world of New England; it was Hon. Ginery Twichell, who was
successively and successfully post-rider, stage-driver, stage proprietor,
most noted express rider of his times, railroad superintendent, president
of the Boston and Worcester Railroad, and member of Congress. Some thirty
years ago or more a small child sat in the "operating room" of a
photographer's gallery in Worcester. Her feet and hands were laboriously
placed in a tentatively graceful attitude and the back of her head firmly
fastened in that iron "branks-without-a-gag" fixture which then prevailed
in photographers' rooms and may still, for all that I know. A sudden
dashing inroad from an adjoining room of the photographer's assistant with
the loud and excited exclamation, "Ginery's coming, Ginery's coming," led
to the immediate and unceremonious unveiling of the artist from the heavy
black cloth that had enveloped his head while he was peeping wisely
through the instrument at his juvenile sitter, and to his violent exit; he
was followed with equal haste and lack of explanation by my own attendant.
Thus basely deserted I sat for some minutes wondering what a Ginery could
be, for there was to me a sort of menagerie-circus-like ring in the word,
and I deemed it some strange wild beast like the Pygarg once exhibited at
the old Salem Tavern. At last, though fully convinced that my moving would
break the camera, I boldly disengaged myself from the claws of the branks,
ran to a front window, and hung peering out at the Ginery over the heads
of the other occupants of the gallery, who regarded with eager delight no
wild or strange beast, but a great stage-coach with six horses which stood
reeking, foaming, pawing, in front of the Baystate House across the
street. A dignified and self-contained old man, ruddy of face, and dressed
in a heavy greatcoat and tall silk hat, sat erect on the coachman's seat,
reins well in hand--and suddenly Ginery and his six horses were off with
rattle of wheels and blowing of horn and cheers of the crowd; but not
before there was imprinted forever in unfading colors on my young brain a
clear picture of the dashing coaching life of olden days. It was an
anniversary of some memorable event, and the member of Congress celebrated
it by once more driving over his old-time coaching route to meet the
cheers and admiration of all beholders.

The predecessor of Baystate House, the old Central Hotel, was the
headquarters of Twichell's stage line during the sixteen years of his
connection with it. It was built in 1722, and rooms in it served various
purposes besides those of good cheer--one being used as a county jail.

I do not doubt that the coach which I saw was the one thus referred to in
the _Boston Traveller_ of June 1, 1867, as Mr. Twichell occasionally drove
it until the year of his death:--

    "The venerable coach built by Moses T. Breck of Worcester, and used 30
    years ago in the heart of the Commonwealth by Hon. Ginery Twichell for
    special occasions before railroads were fairly in vogue, passed
    through our Boston streets on Friday. The vehicle was of a most
    substantial pattern; no repairs have been needed through all these
    years except an occasional coat of varnish and new upholstering. In
    1840, by request of the citizens of the town of Barre, seats were
    added on the top of the vehicle, so that a party of 32 persons could
    be accommodated (12 inside and 20 outside). The largest load ever
    carried by the ponderous carriage was a party of (62) sixty-two young
    ladies of Worcester who, uniformly dressed, were driven on a
    blackberry excursion to the suburbs by Mr. Twichell himself, eight
    matched horses being required on the occasion. During the exciting
    Presidential Campaign of 1840, the staunch vehicle was used for
    conveying the sovereigns to and from political gatherings in the town
    surrounding old Quinsigamond."

There is still living in Boston, at an advanced age, but of vigorous
mental powers, Mr. Henry S. Miner, the last stage-driver of Ginery
Twichell's stage-route, perhaps the last person living who was connected
with it. He has scores of tales of stage-coach days which he has capacity
to frame in interesting language. I am indebted to him for many letters
full of information and interest. He says:

    "Ginery Twichell was a shrewd, quiet, persevering man of but few
    words, and those to the point; his voice was clear and low, never
    raised to horses or men. Affable, sociable, he was a man that would
    make friends and hold them. He was smooth-shaven and red-faced, but
    strictly temperate. He had one habit of rubbing his hands rapidly when
    in earnest conversation. He had but a common school education and
    might be called a self-made man. Before through railroads were
    completed, Mr. Twichell collected the November election votes on
    horseback, from Greenfield to Worcester, 54 miles, covering the
    distance in four and one-half hours. He had relays of horses and men
    every 6 to 10 miles. As the work always came in the night, he was many
    times thrown by his horse stumbling, but always came out all right. At
    one time he slept in his clothes with buckskin underwear, at the
    American House in Worcester, in wait for despatches from English
    steamers. He had men and horses on the road to Norwich for one week
    waiting also. When the dispatches arrived he mounted his horse and
    started for Norwich; he met the boat, and the despatches were in New
    York hours ahead of any other line. I am the only one of his
    drivers living, and one hostler is living."

[Illustration: Advertisement of Twichell's Stage Line.]

A friend who remembers riding with Twichell eulogizes him in the warmest
terms for his accommodating spirit and happy faculty of making all his
passengers as comfortable as possible. He had an inexhaustible fund of
racy anecdotes which he would tell so well that it was a perfect treat to
ride upon the box with him. He was a general favorite, especially with the
country folks, and the boys and girls on the road, and with these he
always had a joke to crack whenever it came his way to do so, to the
infinite amusement of the travellers whom he had in charge. He carried
many small and valuable parcels, and executed commissions for the people
like an expressman. After a period of self-denial in early life,
throughout which he had saved his liberal earnings carefully, he was
enabled to purchase from Mr. Stockwell the stage and two horses which he
drove between Athol and Barre. About 1837 he started with Mr. Burt and Mr.
Billings a stage line from Brattleboro to Worcester.

[Illustration: Ginery Twichell's Ride.]

In 1843 he was engaged in driving a stage of his own between Barre and
Worcester. Not long afterwards he was sole owner of a line from
Greenfield, Massachusetts, to Brattleboro, Vermont. The Postmaster-general
about this time advertised for mail contracts, and Ginery Twichell went to
Washington. It was supposed by the owners of the other lines, who knew he
had gone thither, that he would not undertake to execute more than one
contract, but his own private views, it appears, were somewhat broader,
for he contracted with the Government to carry the mails upon a number of
routes, greatly to the astonishment of others in the business; and what
was better still, he accomplished what he had undertaken very
satisfactorily to the Postmaster-general, and came to be regarded as a
sort of Napoleon among mail contractors. He became the owner of a large
number of fine stages and horses. He ran a line from Worcester to
Northfield, sixty miles, three times a week; from Worcester to Winchester,
fifty-five miles, daily; from Worcester to Keene, fifty-four miles, three
times a week; to Templeton twenty-five miles, daily; from Templeton to
Greenfield, forty-eight miles, daily; from Barre to Worcester, forty-four
miles, daily. In all this was two hundred and eighty-six miles of
stage-route, and it took a hundred and fifty-six horses to do the work.

The picture shown on page 306 is from a lithograph published in 1850,

"The Unrivaled Express Rider, Ginery Twichell, who rode from Worcester to
Hartford, a distance of Sixty miles in Three hours and Twenty minutes
through a deep snow, January 23, 1846."

It commemorates an exploit of his which was much talked of at the time it
took place.



The story of the tavern and stage life of the town of Haverhill, New
Hampshire, may be told as an example of that aspect and era of social
history, as developed in a country town. It shows the power the
stage-coach was in bringing civilization and prosperity to remote parts of
the states, what an illumination, what an education.

Haverhill is on the Connecticut River somewhat more than halfway up the
western boundary line of the state of New Hampshire, at the head of the
Cohos valley. It is a beautiful fertile tract of land which had been
cleared and cultivated by the Indians before the coming of the white man.
It is lovely and picturesque with its broad intervales, splendid
mountains, and peaceful river winding in the sweeps and reaches of the
Oxbow; so lovely that Longfellow declared Haverhill the most beautiful
spot he ever had seen. The town has but little colonial history. It had no
white settlers till 1761; but the first who did take up land and build
there were, as was the case with nearly all New Hampshire towns, men of
unusual force of character and energy of purpose; by Revolutionary times
the town was well established, and its situation and resources made it
the authorized place of rendezvous for the troops destined for Canada. At
the end of the war, when the danger of Indian invasion lessened, the town
grew rapidly, but there were still only bridle-paths blazed through the
woods by which to connect with the world, and until this century its only
roads were the river road, the Coventry Road over Morse Hill, and the old
Road from Plymouth, New Hampshire.

But the day of the turnpike and vast changes was dawning. In 1805, in this
town, still poor and struggling, were men who contributed their share to
the building of the old Cohos Turnpike from Plymouth through Warren to
Haverhill. The old post-rider, faithful John Balch, who had carried on
foot and on horseback the scant letters throughout the dangerous days of
the Revolution, was succeeded by Colonel Silas May in a Dutch wagon,
carrying packages and the mail. As he drove into town blowing his horn he
inaugurated a change for Haverhill that was indeed a new life. By 1814 a
permanent stage line was established between Concord and Haverhill through
Plymouth; and the first coach came down the long hill on its first trip,
with loud and constant blasts of the horn, with a linchpin gone, but wheel
safely in place clean up to the tavern door, thanks to Silas May's skilful
driving. A leading spirit in obtaining the turnpike charter and one of the
proprietors of the first stage line was Colonel William Tarleton (or
Tarlton), then a dashing young fellow of great elegance of manners; he
kept the Tarleton Tavern on Tarleton Lake on the Pike till his death.
Every stage and team that went down or up the Pike stopped there to water
the horses, with water in which was thrown salt; and every passenger had
at least a hot drink. His hostelry was famous for two generations, and all
the while there swung in the breezes that swept over Tarleton Lake the old
sign-board which is shown here. It is an oaken board on which is painted
on one side an Indian and the name William Tarlton and date, 1774; on the
other a symbol of Plenty. It is owned by his grandson, Amos Tarleton, of
Haverhill, to whose cordial interest and intelligent help I owe much of
this story of Haverhill's coaching days.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Tarleton Inn.]

The turnpike line from Concord to Haverhill was scarcely under way when a
rival line was started which came through Hanover, and connected with the
stage line to New York. Others followed with surprising quickness; the
chief were lines to Boston, New York, and Stanstead, Canada; lesser lines
of coaches ran to the White Mountains, to Montpelier, Vermont, to
Chelsea, Vermont, and elsewhere. The reason for this sudden growth of
Haverhill was found in its position with regard to the neighboring
country; the topography of upper New England made it a proper and natural
travel centre.

As many coaches came into Haverhill every night and started out early the
next morning, as many passengers changed coaches there, it can be readily
seen that the need of taverns was great, and a number at once were opened.
Often a hundred and fifty travellers were set down daily in Haverhill. The
Bliss Tavern was one of the first to be built and is still standing, a
dignified and comfortable mansion, as may be seen from its picture on page
314. Its landlord, Joseph Bliss, was a man of influence in the town, and
held several important offices; his house was the headquarters where the
judges of the court and the lawyers stopped when court was held; for
Haverhill was a shire town, a county seat, from 1773. At some of the
courts of the General Sessions of the Peace as many as twenty-two justices
were present; and court terms were longer then than now, so justices,
lawyers, clients, sheriffs, deputies, jurors, and witnesses came and
remained in town till their law business was settled. Sometimes the
taverns were crowded for weeks. The court and bar had a special dining
room and table at Bliss's Tavern, to which no layman, however high in
social standing, was admitted. On Sundays all went to the old
meeting-house at Piermont, where there was a "Judges' Pew." Sometimes
executions took place in town--a grand day for the taverns. When one
Burnham was hanged there in 1805, ten thousand people witnessed the sight.
Old and young, mothers with babes, lads and lasses, even confirmed
invalids thronged to this great occasion.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Tarlton Inn.]

Besides the court and its following, and the pampered travellers in
stage-coaches, Haverhill taverns had by 1825 other classes of customers.
Backward and forward from upper New Hampshire and Vermont to Boston,
Portsmouth, and Salem, rolled the great covered wagons with teams of six
or eight horses bearing the products of the soil and forest to the towns
and the products of the whole earth in return. These wagons, which were
the Conestoga wagons of Pennsylvania, made little appearance in New
England till this century; they were brought there by the War of 1812; but
they had there their day of glory and usefulness as elsewhere throughout
our whole northern continent.

The two-wheeled cart of the earliest colonists, clumsily built and
wasteful of power, was used long in New England for overland
transportation; though the chief transfer of merchandise was in the winter
by "sledding." There seems to have always been plentiful snow and good
sledding every year in every part of New England in olden times, though it
is far from being so to-day. The farmer, at that season of the year, had
little else to do, and the ancient paths were soon made smooth by many
sleighs and sleds.

Mr. Henry S. Miner gives me a very interesting account of these freight
wagons in New England as he remembers them in ante-railroad days. Though
the traffic was small in amount compared with that of the present day, it
was carried on in a way which gave a sense of great life and action on the
road. As even little towns furnished freight for several teams, the
aggregate was large, and as they neared Boston the number of teams on the
highway seemed enormous. These passed through towns on the turnpike every
day, Sundays included. No vocation called for sturdier or better men. The
drivers were almost invariably large, hearty, healthy Yankees, of good
sense and regular habits, though they were seldom total abstainers. They
could not be drunkards, for their life was too vigorous; long whip in
hand, they walked beside their teams. The whip was a sign of office,
seldom applied to a horse. They had to be keen traders, good merchants, to
sell advantageously the goods they carried to town and to choose wisely
for return trips. Country merchants seldom went to the cities, but
depended wholly on these teamsters for supplies.

[Illustration: Bliss's Tavern.]

The wagons were of monstrous size, broad and high. Each horse had a ton of
freight. No one was a regular teamster who drove less than four horses.
But there were other carriers. A three-horse team called a "spike," a
two-horse team called a "podanger," and a single horse with cart called a
"gimlet," were none of them in favor with tavern-keepers or other
teamsters. Still, if the smaller teams got stuck in the mud or snow, the
regulars would good-humoredly help them out. Whatever accident happened to
a teamster or his wagon or horses, his fellow-craftsmen assisted him,
while stage-drivers, drovers, or any other travelling citizens were never
looked upon for help.

An old man who drove one of these teams in his youth says:--

    "When these large teams were hooked to the wagons, the starting word
    was 'whoo-up'; and the horses would at once place themselves in
    position. Then, 'Order, whope, _git_.' To turn to the left, 'Whoa,
    whoa,' softly; to the right, 'Geer there.' For a full stop, 'Whoa
    who-oof,' in louder voice, and all would come to a standstill. It was
    a fine sight to see six or eight good horses spread out, marching
    along in each other's steps, and see how quick they were to mind the
    driver's voice. Good drivers always spoke to their teams in a low
    voice, never shouted. The teamsters walked beside their teams, twenty
    miles a day the average. The reins were done up on each horse's hames,
    allowing them to spread apart with ease, a check-rein from the bit
    over the hames to keep them where they belonged. You could never teach
    a horse anything that wasn't checked up. The wagons weighed from
    eighteen hundred to twenty-two hundred pounds. Some wagons had an
    adjustable seat called a lazy-board."

With winter snows the wagons were generally housed; hundreds, yes,
thousands of sleighs, pods, and pungs took their place. The farmer no
longer sent to town by wagon and teamster; he carried his farm produce to
town himself, just as his grandfather had in the days of the cart and sled
before the Revolution. Winter brought red-letter days to the New England
farmer; summer and autumn were his time of increase, but winter was his
time of trade and of glorious recreation.

[Illustration: Old Sleigh with Double Dashboard.]

Friendly word was circulated from farm to farm, spread chiefly at the
Sabbath nooning, that at stated date, at break of day the long ride to
market would begin. Often twenty or thirty neighbors would start together
on the road to town. The two-horse pung or single-horse pod, shod with
steel shoes one inch thick, was closely packed with farm wealth--anything
that a New England farm could produce that could be sold in a New England
town. Frozen hogs, poultry, and venison; firkins of butter, casks of
cheeses,--four to a cask,--bags of beans, peas, sheep-pelts, deer hides,
skins of mink, fox, and fisher-cat that the boys had trapped, perhaps a
splendid bearskin, nuts that the boys had gathered, shoe pegs that they
had cut, yarn their sisters had spun, stockings and mittens they had
knitted, homespun cloth and linen, a forest of splint brooms strapped on
behind, birch brooms that the boys had whittled. So closely packed was the
sleigh that the driver could not sit; he stood on a little semicircular
step on the back of the sleigh, protected from the cutting mountain winds
by the high sleigh back. At times he ran alongside to keep his blood
briskly warm.

To Troy and Portland went some winter commerce, but Boston, Portsmouth,
and Salem took far the greatest amount. On the old Cohos Turnpike trains
of these farm sleighs were often a half mile long. The tavern-keepers
might well have grown rich, had all these winter travellers paid for board
and lodging, but nearly all, even the wealthiest farmers, carried their
own provender and food. Part of their oats and hay for their horses
sometimes was deposited with honest tavern-keepers on the way down to be
used on the way home; and there was also plenty of food to last through
the journey: doughnuts, cooked sausages, roast pork, "rye and injun"
bread, cheese, and a bountiful mass of bean porridge. This latter, made in
a tub and frozen in a great mass, was hung by loops of twine by the side
of the sleigh, and great chunks were chopped off from time to time. This
itinerant picnic was called in some vicinities tuck-a-nuck, an Indian
word; also mitchin. It was not carried from home because tavern-fare was
expensive,--a "cold bite" was but twelve and a half cents, and a regular
meal but twenty-five cents; but the tavern-keeper did not expect to serve
meals to this class or to such a great number of travellers. His profits
were made on liquor he sold and sleeping room he gave. The latter was
often simple enough. Great fires were built in barroom and parlor; each
driver spread out a blanket or fur robe, and with feet to the fire, the
semicircle slept the sleep of the healthy and tired and cider-filled. Ten
cents this lodging cost; but the sale of rum and cider, toddy and flip,
brought in dimes and dollars to the tavern-keeper. Many a rough story was
told or old joke laughed at before the circle was quiet; quarrels, too,
took place among so many strong and independent men.

[Illustration: Old Passenger Pung.]

It can readily be seen how important the tavern must have been in such a
town as Haverhill, what a news centre, what an attraction, what an
education. Newspapers were infrequent, but none were needed when newcomers
from all points of the compass brought all there was to tell from
everywhere. Mine host was the medium through which information was spread;
he came into close contact with leaders in law, politics, and business,
and dull he must have been if he did not profit in mental growth. But he
could not be dull, he had to be companionable and intelligent; hence we
find the tavern-keeper the leading man in town, prominent in affairs, and
great in counsel, and it was to the stage-coach he owed much of his
intelligence and influence.



In a home-library in an old New England town there were for half a century
two sets of books which seemed strangely alien to the other staid
occupants of the bookshelves, which companions were chiefly rows of
encyclopædias, Scott's novels, the _Spectator_ and _Tatler_, a large
number of books of travel, and scores of biographies, autobiographies and
memoirs of pious "gospellers," English and American, chiefly missionaries.
These two special sets of books were large volumes, but were not placed
primly and orderly with others of their own size; they were laid on their
sides thrust high up among the smaller books on the upper shelves as if to
escape notice under the frames of the glazed doors. They were strictly
tabooed to all the younger members of the family, and were, indeed, well
out of our reach; but Satan can find library steps for idle and very
inquisitive little souls to climb, and we had read them eagerly before we
were in our teens. One set was that inestimable and valuable work _London
Labour and London Poor_, which was held to be highly improper reading for
the young, but which I found very entertaining, as being of folk as
remote from my life as if they were gnomes and elves. The other volumes
were Pierce Egan's _Book of Sports_; and one, a prince of wicked books,
entitled _Life in London: or the Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorne,
Esq., and his elegant friend Corinthian Tom accompanied by Bob Logic, the
Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis_. This also
was by Pierce Egan.

[Illustration: Relay House.]

That this latter most reprehensible book (from the standard of the Puritan
household in which it was found) should have been preserved at all must
have been, I think, from the fact that the illustrations were by
Cruikshank, and delightful pictures they were. Though this book was so
ill-regarded in New England, its career in England was a most brilliant
one. It was the most popular work in British literature in the years 1820
to 1850; in fact, to many Englishmen it was _the_ book, _the_ literature,
of the period. One claim it has to the consideration of the reading public
to-day: it is perhaps the best picture existing of Society, or, as it was
termed in the words of the day, of "Life, Fashion, and Frolic," in the
times of George IV. Thackeray tells, in his article on George Cruikshank,
of the lingering fondness he had for this old book, but even when he wrote
could find no copy either in the British Museum or in London circulating
libraries. It was dramatized by several hands, and had long runs on the
stage both in England and the United States; and I do not doubt wealthy
young men in the large American cities tried to emulate the sports of the
London Tom and Jerry. In the peculiar affectations of the bucks and bloods
of that day, from the king down, shown in the love of all low sports, in
association, even familiarity, with low sportsmen, and in the domination
of the horse in sporting life, we see the reason for the high perfection
and participation of the rich in coaching in England--a perfection which
was aped in some respects in America. Coaching is less talked about than
other sports by Jerry and the elegant Corinthian Tom (whose surname is
never once given), probably because their dissipations and sprees were
those of the city, not of turnpike roads and green lanes. But the life of
the day, perhaps the idlest, most aimless era of fashion in English
history, the life most thoroughly devoid of any spirituality or
intellectuality, yet never exactly unintelligent and never dull, lives
forever in Pierce Egan's pages; and lives for me with the intensity of
reality from the eager imprinting on the fresh memory of a little child of
unfamiliar scenes and incomprehensible words, knowledge even of whose
existence was sternly forbidden.

I obtained from these books a notion of an English coachman, as an
idealized being, a combination of Phoebus Apollo, a Roman charioteer, and
the Prince Regent. I fancied our American coach-drivers as glorious
likewise, though with a lesser refulgence; and I distinctly recall my
disappointment at the reality of the first coachman of my first coach-ride
from Charlestown, New Hampshire. A man, even on a day of Indian Summer,
all in hide and fur: moth-eaten fur gloves, worn fur cap with vast
ear-flaps and visor, and half-bare buffalo-hide coat, and out of all these
ancient skins but one visible feature, a great, shining, bulbous nose. But
even the paling days of stage-coaches were then long past; and the ancient
coachman had long been shorn of his glory. In the days of his prime he was
a power in the land, though he was not like the English coachman.

From Mr. Miner and others who remember the great days of stage-coach
travel, I learn that our American drivers were a dignified and interesting
class of men. Imposing in bearskin caps, in vast greatcoats, and with
their teams covered with ivory rings, with fine horses and clean coaches,
they and their surroundings were pleasant to the eyes. They acquired
characteristic modes of speaking, of thinking. They were terse and
sententious in expression, had what is termed horse sense. They had
prudence and ability and sturdy intelligence. They carried from country to
town, from house to house, news of the health of loved ones, or of
sickness when weary nurses were too tired to write. A kindly driver would
stop his horses or walk them past a lane corner where an anxious mother or
sister waited, dreading; and passengers in the coach would hear him call
out to her, "John's better, fever's all gone."

They were character-readers, of man and horse alike. They had great
influence in the community they called home, and their word was law. They
were autocrats in their own special domain, and respected everywhere. No
wonder they loved the life. Harrison Bryant, the veteran Yankee whip,
inherited a fine farm in Athol. He at once gave up his hard life as a
driver, bade good-by to the cold and exposure, the long hours of work, the
many hardships, and settled down to an existence of sheltered prosperity.
On the third day of his life on the farm he stood at the edge of a field
as a stage passed on the road. The driver gave "the Happy Farmer" a salute
and snapped his whip. The horses started ahead on the gallop, a passenger
on top waved good-by to him; the coach bounded on and disappeared. Farmer
Bryant walked sombrely across the field to his new home, packed his old
carpet-bag, went to the stage-office in the next town, and two days later
he swept down the same road on the same coach, snapping his whip, waving
his hand, leaving the miles behind him. He was thus one week off the
coach-box, and at the end of his long life had a well-established
record of over one hundred and thirty-five thousand miles of stage
driving, more than five times round the world.

[Illustration: The Relay.]

A letter written by an "old-timer" says:--

    "I remember many of the old stage-drivers. What a line was the old
    'accommodation' put on by Gen. Holman and others! What a prince of
    drivers was Driver Day! Handsome, dressy, and a perfect lady's man!
    How many ladies were attracted to a seat on the box beside him! Then
    such a team, and with what grace they were guided! How many young men
    envied his grace as a driver! So, also, what gentlemen were the
    tavern-keepers of that day! They studied to please the public by their
    manners, though behind the scenes some of them could spice their
    conversation with big words."

A very vivid description of the dress of the old stage-drivers of
Haverhill and other New Hampshire towns was given me by Mr. Amos Tarleton,
an old inhabitant of the town. He says:--

    "The winter dress of these old drivers was nearly all alike. Their
    clothing was of heavy homespun, calfskin boots, thick trousers tucked
    inside the boots, and fur-lined overshoes over the boots. Over all
    these were worn Canadian hand-knit stockings, very heavy and thick,
    colored bright red, which came up nearly to the thighs, and still over
    that a light leather shoe. Their coats were generally fur or buffalo
    skin with fur caps with ear protectors, either fur or wool tippets.
    Also a red silk sash that went round the body and tied on the left
    side with a double bow with tassels."

Can you not see one of those hairy old bears peering out of his furs, vain
in scarlet sash and tassels, and with his vast feet planted on the
dashboard? What were on his fore paws? double-pegged mittens, leather
gauntlets, fur gloves, wristlets, and muffettees?

Mr. Twining declared that the skill of American drivers equalled that of
English coachmen, though they had little of the smart appearance of the
latter, "neither having the hat worn on one side, nor greatcoat, nor
boots, but wearing coarse blue jackets, worsted stockings, and thick

A traveller calling himself a Citizen of the World, writing in 1829, noted
with pleasure that the drivers on American coaches neither asked for nor
took a fee, but simply wished the passengers a polite good morning. Other
Englishmen greeted this fact with approval. Mr. Miner tells us "tipping"
was unknown--which was so customary, indeed so imperative, in England.
Sometimes travellers who went frequently over the same route would make a
gift to the driver.

The custom of "shouldering," which was for the coachman to take the fare
of a way-passenger--one who did not register or start at the
booking-office--and pocket it without making any return to the coach agent
or proprietor, was universal in England. Some coach companies suffered
much by it, and it was a tidy bit of profit to the unscrupulous coachman.
Shouldering was common also in the new world, and called by the same name.
There were no "spotters" on coaching lines as on street railways.

As in every trade, profession, or calling, stage-coaching had a
vocabulary--call it coaching slang if you will. Among English coachmen
"skidding" was checking with a shoe or drag or "skid-pan" the wheels of
the coach when going down hill, thus preventing them from revolving, and
slackening the progress of the coach. "Fanning" the horses was, in
coachman's tongue, whipping them; "towelling" was flogging them; and
"chopping" the cruel practice of hitting the horse on the thigh with the
whip. "Pointing" was hitting the wheeler with the point of the whip. A
"draw" was a blow at the leader. If the thong of the whip lapped round any
part of the harness, it was called "having a bite." "Throat-lashing" was
another term.

[Illustration: View of Middletown, Connecticut.]

Another and expressive use of the word bite was to indicate a narrow strip
of gravel or broken stone on the near side of a winding road on a steep
hill. The additional friction on the wheel on one side made a natural drag
or brake, while the wheels of the ascending coach did not touch it.

The drivers on local lines grew to be on terms of most friendly intimacy
with dwellers along the route. They bore messages, brought news, carried
letters and packages, transacted exchange, and did all kinds of shopping
at the citywards end of the route. An old coach-driver in Ayer,
Massachusetts, told me with much pride that he always bought bonnets in
Boston for all the women along his route who could not go to town; and
that often in the spring the bandboxes were piled high on the top of his
coach; that he never bought two alike, and that there wasn't another
driver on the road that the women would trust to perform this important
duty save himself.

The great bell-crowned hat which the driver wore in summer on lines
leaving Boston often was crammed with papers and valuables, and one of the
rules of the Eastern Stage Company at one time was, "No driver shall carry
anything except in his pocket." It is said many of the drivers grew bald
from the constant weight on their heads.

The constant imbibing of ale, brandy, and rum-and-milk by English coachmen
at coaching inns was echoed in America by drivers at every tavern at which
the stage-coach stopped. The driver was urged to drink by coach passengers
who had far better have implored him not to drink. Many an old driver
showed by the benignant purple glow of his nose that the importunities of
the travellers had been duly silenced by more than ample hard cider, gin,
and New England rum.

A great day on the coaches was when schoolboys and college boys went home
on their vacations. The tops of the coaches were filled with their square
boxes, which packed like cord-wood. On these boxes and within the coach
swarmed the boys, pea-shooters in hand. A favorite target was the
pike-keeper at the toll-gate, and those who left the coach first fared
worst. Our boys have but a feeble imitation of these good times when they
riot into a railway car together for a few hours of hurried travel to
their city homes.

The stage-drivers were universally kind and careful of all children placed
under their charge; even young children, boys and girls, were intrusted to
their care.

One old gentleman tells me that in the days of his youth he rode by
stage-coach to and from school, and so strong was his longing for a
seafaring life, with such a flavor of salt water and tar did he englamour
every unusual event, that it was inevitable with the imaginativeness of a
child he should compare this trip by stage to a sea voyage; the roads and
fields he mentally termed the ocean, the driver was the captain, the
inside of the coach the cabin, the top the deck, and so on. He was honored
by having a seat with the driver; and as the day waned, and the ship came
to anchor, and all disembarked for supper at a stage tavern, he was
further honored by eating supper with the driver and being treated to a
glass of toddy. After the coach was again under way the driver had some
tardy compunctions that the toddy had been rather strong drink for a
growing boy, and said plainly that he feared the young traveller felt the
liquor and might tumble from his high seat. He was not reassured when the
boy answered dreamily, "Never mind, I can swim." After glancing sharply at
him, the driver stopped his horses, and ignominiously forced the boy to
descend and make the rest of the journey inside the coach.

Nothing is more marked than the changes in travelling-bags and trunks from
those of stage-coach days. When our ancestors crossed the ocean they
transported their belongings in wooden chests--common sea-chests and
chests of carved wood. I have seen no mention of _trunks_ in any old
colonial inventories, though trunks existed and are named by Shakespere.
These old trunks were metal coffers, and usually small. When Judge Sewall
went to England in 1690, he bought trunks for his little daughters--trunks
of leather or hide with their initials studded in metal nails. This shape
of trunk lasted till the days of the railroad. Nearly all old families
have one or more of these old trunks in their garrets. They were stout
enough of frame, and heavy enough of frame to have lasted in larger
numbers, and for centuries, but their heavy deerskin or pigskin covering
often grew sorely offensive through harboring moths; and as they held but
little, and were very heavy, they were of no use for a modern wardrobe.
Their long narrow forms, however, were seen laden on every stage-coach, in
company with carpet bags and leather sacks, and the schoolboy who owned
one was a proud fellow.

An ancient travelling bag is shown on page 333. It is of a heavy woollen
homespun stuff ribbed like corduroy, mounted with green leather bindings,
straps, handles, etc. It is shaped like a mail-bag, and the straps laced
through large eyelet holes. This bag is believed by its owners to have
held the possessions of John Carver on the _Mayflower_.

[Illustration: Deer's Hide and Pigskin Trunks.]

Not only were stage-drivers respected by all persons in every community,
but they had a high idea of their own dignity and of the importance of
their calling. Little Jack Mendum, who drove the Salem mail-coach, did
not deem it an exaggeration of his position when he roared out angrily in
answer to a hungry passenger who kept urging him to drive faster, "When I
drive this coach I am the whole United States of America."

One coachman who drove from Boston to Hartford was deeply tanned by summer
suns and winter winds, and his mates spoke to each other of him as Black
Ben. An English traveller, bustling out of the coach office with
importance, shouted out: "I and my people want to go with Black Ben; are
you the coachman they call Black Ben?" "Blackguards call me Black Ben,"
was the answer, "but gentlemen call me Mr. Jarvis."

The list of the coach-drivers employed by the Eastern Stage Company still
exists, and has been printed by Mr. Rantoul. From it we learn that
coach-driving went by families--it was an hereditary calling. Many
families had two sons in this work, there were four Potter brothers, three
Ackermans, and three Annables, all coachmen. Their names were often
curious, Moses Caney, John Foss, Perley Annable, Eppes Potter, Ben Savory,
Fortune Tozzer.

Mr. Miner writes thus of stage-terms and stage-horses:--

    "Every horse had a name. It was 'Git up, Jo; gwan, boys or gals; you
    are shirky, Bill; you want touching up, Ben; if you don't do better,
    Ben, I'll swap you for a mule.' All kinds of expressions. Some drivers
    would fret a team to death, while others would get over the road and
    you would never hear hardly a loud word to the team. It was just as
    drivers themselves were constituted. All kinds of horses were used in
    a stage team, runaways, kickers, biters, and all kinds of tricksters.
    If the owners could not manage them they went on stage teams, and did
    good work, and never died. They were seldom sick, as they were
    well-fed and groomed, and had quick time and short trips. We had some
    fine teams of matched horses, especially on the Connecticut River
    roads, which would have sold for seven hundred to a thousand dollars a
    pair. The horses were usually what were termed native horses, large,
    full of muscle and gimp, of English descent."

[Illustration: Old Carpet Bag.]

It was the testimony of John Lambert, an English gentleman who travelled
here in the early years of this century, that the horses used on coaches
in all settled parts of the United States were as good as English

It serves to show with force the pride and vanity of coach owners and
drivers to be told that on the Boston and Salem line the coachmen
sometimes attached false sweeping tails to the horses, to dress them up as
it were and put on a good appearance--this is ante- if not anti-docking

Elaborate rules for coach-driving are given in old-time and modern manuals
of coaching. Mr. Fairman Rogers's descriptions are the plainest. Mr.
Miner tells very simply of the old modes of driving in his day:--

    "On four-horse teams were four reins. The near wheel-horse rein came
    under the little finger of left hand, the leader over the next finger.
    The off wheel-horse rein over third finger, right hand, leader over
    first finger. Six horses would require two more reins, and one more
    finger on each hand. Some drivers would wear mittens, and have one
    rein over and one under the fingers. These among good reinsmen were
    called Dummies or old Farmers. The whip was carried in the right hand,
    horizontally pointing to the left, toward the ground, not as pictured
    at the present day. A good driver who was interested in his team
    always sat up straight, and kept his reins and whip in a stylish
    manner. He talked to his horses as he would to a person. Every horse
    knew him; they knew him by his voice whether they were late for cars
    or early, and just where to make up time if late. A driver of this
    kind always had a good team, able to respond under all conditions."

Even the whip of good drivers was of regulation size. The rule of
perfection was that it should be five feet one and one-half inches from
butt to holder and twelve feet five inches long from holder to end of
point of lash--so it was an imposing machine.

On summer routes in the mountains of New Hampshire the stage-driver
lingered long. Over the backbone of Vermont he guides in our own day a few
rusty coaches.

Among the popular stage-drivers of the New Hampshire mountains before the
advent of frequent railroads, were Charles Sanborn, of Pittsfield, who
drove between Centre Harbor and West Ossipee; and H. P. Marden, who drove
between Plymouth and the Profile House, White Mountains, during the summer
months; and James F. Langdon, of Plymouth,--the three being among the last
to give up the reins and the whip, when called to that far-away country
"from whence no traveller returns." In 1861, Mr. Sanborn drove between
Centre Harbor and North Conway, a distance of thirty-five miles. He drove
over that route eleven years, at first requiring but forty horses, while
in 1872 no less than one hundred and twenty were in constant use, besides
a large number of coaches, wagons, and sleighs. On one of his round trips,
Mr. Sanborn took three hundred and fifty dollars in passenger fares alone,
while the express business was proportionately large. Of course all this
seems small to those who know little of the days before railroads ran by
every man's dooryard, but those who have "staged it" in the old times will
understand what a busy time the driver on such a route must have had. Mr.
Sanborn was over six feet in height and of Herculean frame, his broad
shoulders and sturdy gait betokening a strength which gave his passengers
the greatest confidence in his ability to carry them safely through any
accident. He seldom lost his temper, even under the most trying
circumstances, and was a jolly man withal. Major Lewis Downing of Concord
tells me that on his route Sanborn had the good-will of every one, and in
Pittsfield, where was his home, he was highly esteemed for his sterling
character and strict integrity.

In England the coachmen and coaches had an Annual Parade, a coaching-day,
upon the Royal Birthday, when coach-horses, coachmen, and guards all were
in gala attire. In America similar annual meetings were held in many
vicinities. In Concord, New Hampshire, which was a great coaching centre,
an annual coaching parade was given in the afternoon and a "Stagemen's
Ball" in the evening. "Knights of the whip" from New Hampshire and
neighboring states attended this festival. The ball was held in the
celebrated Grecian Hall--celebrated for its spring floor--which was built
over the open carriage-houses and woodsheds attached to the Eagle
Coffee-house, called now the Eagle Hotel. This dancing hall, built in
1827, took its name from the style of its architecture. At one end was a
great painting of the battle of New Orleans, with Jackson on horseback. It
was the rallying-point for all great occasions,--caucuses, conventions,
concerts, even a six weeks' theatrical season.

Political economists solve the problem of a sudden loss of one trade by
saying that others can easily be found. But it is difficult for a man
learned in one handicraft to become proficient in others; and it is most
difficult for the old or even middle-aged to learn a new trade.

No more melancholy example of an entire class of workmen deprived of work
and subsistence through no fault of their own can be found than in these
old coachmen, especially in England. Their work left them with astonishing
rapidity, and they refused to realize the fact that their occupation was
going out of existence, and that railroads would supersede coaches. In
England the employment of the drivers of coaches on the railroads was
almost unknown; they ended their days as humble workers in stables or as
omnibus drivers, or, worse still, upon carts working on the road; sorry
lives compared to the cheery work on a coach. A few took to farming, and
made pretty poor work of it.

[Illustration: Sign of David Reed's Tavern.]

In America, especially in New England if they were young and strong and
quick-witted enough to read coming events and adjust themselves early in
the day to altered conditions, they obtained positions on the railroads,
as brakemen, conductors, ticket-sellers, express-agents, depot-masters,
never as engineers--driving horses does not fit a man to drive an engine.
Often these brakemen and conductors advanced in position as the railroads
grew. It was not unusual a decade ago in the obituary notices of men who
had acquired wealth through the railways, to read that these men had in
early life been stage-drivers; but they were usually men who had amassed
some capital before the era of the railroad, or very young stage-drivers
when steam carriage came.

Benjamin Pierce Cheney, one of the wealthiest men of Boston, an owner of
vast railroad properties, founder of the rich Cheney Express Company,
chief owner of the American Express Company, one of the Wells-Fargo
Company, one of the builders of the Northern Pacific and other great
Western railroads, began his business life a strong boy of seventeen
driving the coach from Exeter, New Hampshire, to Nashua. For six years he
drove fifty miles every day; then he became stage agent, and agent for the
Lowell and Nashua Railroad, then railroad owner. Chester W. Chapin
(afterwards president of the Boston and Albany Railroad) ran a stage line
between Springfield and Hartford. The early members of the firm which
formed Harnden's Express were nearly all connected with stage-coach lines.

Certainly much consideration was shown the old employees of the stage

It was said by an old coachman of the Eastern Stage Company that all its
men were given positions on the railroads if so desired; "All who wished
had something to do," and facilities were given them also to benefit by
the new railroads. For instance, after the steam cars were running between
Salem and Boston the stage-drivers from Portsmouth and other towns were
given free passes on the railroad. They could thus go to Boston and
transact their old "errand-business," from which they had so much profit.
The fast-growing express companies of Harnden and Adams also employed
many of the old workers on the stage-coach lines. Some resisted the new
mode of travel. Major Shaw of Salem threatened to ruin the railroad with a
new opposition stage line, but Americans in general have been ever quicker
to accept changes and innovations than the English. They were more
"uptaking," as the Scotch say,--that is, quicker to perceive, accept, and
adopt; we breathe in that trait with the air of the new world; so American
coach employees accepted the railroad and profited by it.



The traveller in the old stage-coach was not tantalized by the fleeting
half-glimpse of places which we gain in railroad travel to-day. He had
ample time to view any unusual or beautiful spot as he passed, he had
leisure to make inquiry did he so desire, he had also many minutes, nay
hours, to hear any traveller's tale that could be told him by a
fellow-journeyer or by the driver. This last-named companion, going over
the stage road day after day, talking constantly, querying frequently,
grew deeply versed in its lore, its history. He knew the gossip, too, of
each house he passed, he knew the traditions and tales of each locality;
hence in his company every mile of the road had some point of deep

Roger Mowry's Tavern was the first one established in the town of
Providence. It escaped destruction in King Philip's War, when nearly all
the town was burned, and stood till the present day. When a coach started
out from that old tavern, it passed the burying ground and a dense growth
of barberry bushes which grew along the roadside. There seems to have
been, in many places, a suspicion of uncanny reputation connected with
barberry bushes. In one spot a dense group of bushes was said to harbor a
vast snake; in another it shaded an Indian's grave; a third concealed a
ghost. The barberry was not a native of America; it is an immigrant, and
has the further ill name of blasting any wheat near which it is planted.
The grewsome growth of barberry bushes near Mowry's Tavern was the scene
of the first serious crime of the settlement of Providence Plantations.
The town carpenter, a thrifty and much respected young man named Clauson,
much beloved by Roger Williams, was found dying one winter morning in 1660
near "a clump of barberry bushes" at the parting of the paths "near Roger
Mowry's Tavern." His head was cloven open with an axe, and the dying man
accused a neighbor named Herndon of being the instigator of the crime; and
with a spirit never learned from his old master, the gentle Williams, he
left a terrible curse upon the children and children's children of John
Herndon, that they should ever "be marked with split chins and be haunted
by barberry bushes." An Indian named Wanmanitt was arrested for having
done this terrible deed, and was locked up in the Mowry Tavern. He was
probably executed for it, though the town records only contain a
preliminary story of his trial. With bills for interpreters and for a boat
and guard and powder and shot and liquor, all to go with the prisoner to
Newport jail, the Indian murderer vanishes down the bay out of history.
John Herndon lived on peacefully for many years, branded, doubtless, in
the minds of many; but there is no record that the futile imprecation of
the dying man ever was fulfilled.

As the stage-coach runs along through old Narragansett, it comes to
another scene of crime, of horrible crime and horrible punishment--that of
hanging in chains. This demoralizing sight was almost unknown in America.
You can scarcely read a tale, a history of old English life, without
hearing of men "hanging in chains." That most popular of children's books,
_The Fairchild Family_, has a typical English scene, wherein the solemn
English father, in order to make his children love each other the more,
takes them through a lonely wood to see the body of a man hanging in
chains on a gibbet, a horrible and revolting sight. Travellers on the
Portsmouth Road in England, after the year 1786, passed at Hind Head a
gibbet with three men swinging in chains, three barbarous murderers of an
unknown sailor--not a pleasant outlook for tired riders on the coach. By
the old South Ferry in Narragansett, a man was murdered by a
fellow-traveller. At the inn where they had rested the last night one of
them spent on this earth, a woman had dressed his hair, and she noted a
curious white lock which grew like our artist Whistler's in a thick head
of black hair. On this single identification was built a chain of evidence
which ended in that unusual and terrible sight in the new world, the body
of a criminal hanging in chains. It swung there till the poor bones
dropped to the earth, and finally the great chains rusted apart. Then
schoolboys took the heavy links which had bound a sight they had not
seen, and with equal bravado and apprehension cracked open their winter
store of hickory nuts and butternuts with the last emblem of an obsolete

Not far from this scene is a crossroads which could be viewed from the
stage-coach, but I trust no traveller saw there the execution of a law as
obsolete and as barbaric as hanging in chains.

For on this crossroads took place several of those eccentric, ridiculous
performances known as "shift-marriages." Any widow, about to be married
again, could be free from all debts of her dead husband's contracting by
being married at the crossroads, "clad only in her shift." Sometimes she
was enjoined to cross the King's Highway four times thus scantily clad.

George Hazard, Justice, made entry in the town book of South Kingston,
Rhode Island, that Abigail Calverwell on the 22d of February, 1719, was
taken in marriage "after she had gone four times across the highway in
only her shift and hair low and no other clothing." Think of this poor
creature, on this winter's night, going through such an ordeal. Another
Narragansett widow, Jemima Hill, was married at midnight "where four roads
meet," clad only in her shift. Another entry in a town record-book
specifies that the bride had "no other clothing but shifting or smock."
Let me hasten to add that these marriages were not peculiar to Rhode
Island; they took place in many of the colonies, certainly in Pennsylvania
and in all the New England states.

As the old Narragansett coach sped on through Connecticut, it passed
lonely spots which were noted for other sad tales and traditions, but
were ever of keen interest to all passers-by. For at the crossroads "where
four roads meet," were buried suicides, with a stake thrust through the
heart. This was a cruel old English and Dutch law. We learn from Judge
Sewall all of the public obloquy and hatred of a suicide in Massachusetts.
One poor fellow found dead was buried in disgrace under a pile of stones
at a Connecticut crossroads, but the brand of self-destruction was taken
from him at a later date, when much evidence was secured that he was

If our Narragansett coach went over the Ridge Hill, the driver surely
pointed out the spot where a lover once hid his coach and horses till
there rode up from a bridle-path near by the beauty of Narragansett,
"Unhappy Hannah Robinson," who jumped from her horse into the coach and
drove off headlong to Providence to be married. An elopement should end
happily, but the adjective ever attached to her name tells the tale of
disappointment, and it was not many years ere she was borne back, deserted
and dying, lying on a horse-litter, to the spacious old home of her
childhood, which is still standing. And one day down this road there came
hotly lashing his horses a gay young fellow driving tandem a pair of
Narragansett pacers, and he scarcely halted at the tavern as he asked for
the home and whereabouts of the parson. But the tavern loungers peeped
under the chariot-hood and saw a beautiful blushing girl, and they stared
at a vast, yawning, empty portmanteau, strapped by a single handle to
the chariot's back. And soon two angry young men, the bride's brothers,
rode up after the elopers, who had been tracked by the articles of the
bride's hastily gathered outfit which had been strewn from the open
portmanteau along the road in the lovers' hasty flight. Who that rides on
a railway car ever hears anything about elopements or such romances!
Parson Flagg, of Chester, Vermont, made his home a sort of Yankee Gretna
Green; the old stage-drivers could tell plenty of stories of elopers on
saddle and pillion who rode to his door.

[Illustration: Midsummer along the Pike.]

The traveller by the coach learned constant lessons from that great
teacher, Nature. Even if he were city bred he grew to know, as he saw
them, the various duties of country life, the round of work on the farm,
the succession of crops, the names of grains, and he knew each grain and
grass when he saw it, which few of city life do now. He saw the timid
flight of wild creatures, rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels, sometimes a wily
fox. My father once, riding on a stage-coach in Vermont, chased down a
mountain road a young deer that ran, bewildered, before its terrible
pursuer. At night the traveller heard strange sounds, owls and a smothered
snarl as the coach entered the woods--a catamount perhaps. He heard the
singing birds of spring and noted the game-birds of autumn; and in winter
they could watch the broad and beautiful flight of the crows, free in
snowy woods and fields from the rivalry of all fellow feathered creatures.
He saw the procession of wild flowers, though he, perhaps, did not
consciously heed them, and he knew the trees by name. The stage-driver
showed his passengers "the biggest ellum in the county," and "the best
grove of sugar-maples in the state." He pointed out a lovely vista of
white birches as "the purtiest grove o' birch on the road," and there was
a dense grove of mulberry trees, the sole survivors of silk-worm culture
in which were buried so many hours and years of hard labor, so much
hard-earned capital, so many feverish hopes. And towering a giant among
lesser brothers, a glorious pine tree still showing the mark of the broad
arrow of the King, chosen to be a mast for his great ships, but living
long after he was dead and his ships were sunken and rotten, living to be
a king itself in a republican land.

[Illustration: A Vista of White Birches.]

The foot-farer, trudging along the outskirts of the village, is often shut
out by close stone or board barriers from any sight of the flowering
country gardens, the luxuriance of whose blossoming is promised by the
heads of the tall hollyhocks that bend over and nod pleasantly to him; but
the traveller on the coach could see into these old gardens, could feast
his eyes on all the glorious tangle of larkspur and phlox, of tiger lilies
and candytuft, of snowballs and lilacs, of marigolds and asters, each
season outdoing the other in brilliant bloom.

And what odors were wafted out from those gardens! What sweetness came
from the lilacs and deutzias and syringas; from clove-pinks and spice bush
and honeysuckles; how weird was the anise-like scent of the fraxinella or
dittany; and how often all were stifled by the box, breathing, says
Holmes, the fragrance of eternity! The great botanist Linnæus grouped the
odors of plants and flowers into classes, of which three were pleasing
perfumes. To these he gave the titles the aromatic, the fragrant, the
ambrosial--our stage-coach traveller had them all three.

From the fields came the scent of flowering buckwheat and mellifluous
clover, and later of new-mown hay, sometimes varied by the tonic breath of
the salt hay on the sea marshes. The orchards wafted the perfumes from
apple blossoms, and from the pure blooms of cherry and plum and pear; in
the woods the beautiful wild cherries equalled their domestic sisters.

[Illustration: The Hollyhocks' Promise.]

How sweet, how healthful, were the cool depths of the pine woods, how
clean the hemlock, spruce, fir, pine, and juniper, and how sweet and
balsamic their united perfume. And from the woods and roadsides such
varied sweetness! The faint hint of perfume from the hidden arbutus in
early spring, and the violet; the azalea truly ambrosial with its pure
honey-smell; the intense cloying clethra with the strange odor of its
bruised foliage; the meadowsweet; the strong perfume of the barberry; and
freshest, purest, best of all, the bayberry throwing off balm from every
leaf and berry. Even in the late autumn the scent of the dying brakes and
ferns were as beloved by the country-lover as the fresh smell of the
upturned earth in the spring after the farmer's plough, or the scent of
burning brush.

[Illustration: The Cool Depths of the Pine Woods.]

Fruit odors came too to the happy traveller, the faint scent of
strawberries, the wild strawberry the most spicy of all, and later of the
dying strawberry leaves; even the strong and pungent onions are far from
offensive in the open air; while the rich fruity smell of great heaps of
ripe apples in the orchards is carried farther by the acid vapors from the
cider mills, which tempt the driver to stop and let all taste new

In the days of the stage-coach we had on our summer journeys all these
delights, the scents of the wood, the field, the garden; we had the genial
sunlight, the fresh air of mountain, plain, and sea; and all the wild and
beautiful sights which made the proper time for travel--the summer--truly
joyful. Now we may enjoy a place when we get there, but we have a poor
substitute for the coach for the actual travelling--a dirty railway car
heated almost to tinder by the sun, with close foul air (and the better
the car the fouler and closer the air) filled, if we try to have fresh
air, with black smoke and cinders; clattering and noisy ever, with
occasional louder-shrieking whistles and bells, and sometimes a horrible
tunnel--it has but one redeeming quality, its speed, for thereby the
journey is shortened.

[Illustration: Taylor's Tavern. 1777, Danbury, Connecticut.]

Cheerful friends on the old roads were the milestones and guideposts.
Milestones had an assured position in social life, a dignified standing.
It would be told of a road as a great honor and distinction, and told
fitly in capitalized sentences thus, "This Elegant road is fully Set with
well-cut Milestones." A few of the old provincial milestones remain, and
put us closely in touch with the past. In Governor Hutchinson's day
milestones were set on all the post-roads throughout Massachusetts.
Several of these are still standing; one is in Worcester, in the heart of
the city, marked "42 Mls. to Boston, 50 Mls. to Springfield, 1771."
Another is in Sutton. It is five feet high and nearly three feet wide. It
is marked "48 mls. to Boston. B. W." The letters B. W. stand for
Bartholomew Woodbury, a genial tavern-keeper of Sutton. It shows a custom
which obtained at that date. It was deemed most advantageous to a tavern
to have a milestone in front of it. Possibly the tale of the stone shown
in its lettering urged wayworn travellers to halt and rest within the
welcoming door. Bartholomew Woodbury's Tavern was a few rods from the spot
marked for the stone, but the government permitted him to set this stone
by his doorside, at his own expense, beside the great horse-block.
Tavern-keeper and tavern are gone, and the old road sees few travellers.
Occasionally some passer-by, inquisitive like myself of the presence of
the old stone, will halt as did the traveller of old, and pull away the
curtain of vines, and read the lettering of this gravestone of the old
Woodbury Tavern.

[Illustration: M. M. Taylor's Milestone.]

Another landlord who appreciated that the milestone served as a magnet to
draw customers to the tavern taproom was Landlord Taylor, who kept the old
tavern known as "Taylor's," in Danbury, Connecticut. The house with the
milestone is shown on page 350 and the milestone alone on page 351.

[Illustration: Peleg Arnold's Milestone.]

Judge Peleg Arnold was one of the most active patriots in northern Rhode
Island during the Revolution; for many years he carried on a tavern at
Union Village, a suburb of Woonsocket, and his house was noted for its
excellence and hospitality. Not far from his tavern to the northward the
"Great Road" from Smithfield into Mendon wound through woods and meadows
and over the northern hills of Rhode Island.

In 1666 this great road was a small foot-path through the woods, and was
indicated by marked trees leading from cabin to cabin; but in 1733 it had
taken upon itself the dignity of a cart-path and then became the subject
of discussions on town-meeting days. Peleg Arnold had been one of the men
to re-lay the old road, and it was near the northern boundary of his farm
that he set up the old milestone shown here. For more than a hundred and
twenty-five years this stone has served to brighten the hearts of
travellers, for they have learned to know that this silent and inanimate
guide can be relied upon as to distances with much more certainty than can
the words of residents in the neighborhood.

When Benjamin Franklin was Postmaster-general, he set an indelible
postmark in many ways on the history of our country; and many mementos of
him still exist. Among them are the old milestones set under his
supervision. He transacted this apparently prosaic business with that
picturesque originality which he brought to all his doings and which
renders to every detail of his life an interest which cannot be exceeded
and scarcely equalled by the events recorded of any other figure in

He drove over the roads which were to be marked by milestones, seated in a
comfortable chaise, of his own planning, and followed by a gang of men,
and heavy carts laden with the milestones. Attached to the chaise was a
machine of his invention which registered by the revolution of the wheels
the number of miles the chaise passed over. At each mile he halted, and a
stone was dropped which was afterward set. The King's Highway, the old
Pequot Trail, was thus marked and set. A few of these milestones between
Boston and Philadelphia are still standing, one in New London, another at
Stratford, and are glanced at carelessly by the hundreds of thousands who
glide swiftly past on wheels bearing more accurate cyclometers than that
of Franklin.

Guide-boards always stood at the crossings of all travelled roads; indeed,
they stood where the roads were scarce more than lines among the grass and
low shrubs. Since our day of many railroads, and above all, since the
interlacing network of trolley lines has spread over all our Eastern lands
where once the stage-coach ran, many guide-boards have disappeared and
have not been replaced. You find them often at the angles of the road
lying flat in grass and bushes; or standing split, one-sided, askew,
pointing the road to the skies, or nowhere. When in trim and good repair
in the days of their utility and helpfulness, they were friendly things,
and the pointing hand gave them a half-human semblance of cheerful aid.
Where the road led through woods or rarely frequented ways, they were
friends indeed, for all ways looked alike, and one might readily go far
astray. The mile of the guide-board was an elastic one, and sometimes a
weary one.

Guide-boards, even poor ones, are still most welcome. No one in the
country ever has any correct estimate of distances; a distance "a little
better than three miles" before you usually increases by an extraordinary
law instead of decreases after you have driven nearly a mile to "about
four mile." The next road-jogger says "nigh on to a mile"; and then you
may be sure a few hundred feet farther on to jump back to a slow and wise
rejoinder of the original distance, "hard on to four mile."

[Illustration: The Watering Trough.]

Another wayside friend of the traveller in coaching days was the watering
trough. It was frequently a log of wood hollowed out, Indian fashion,
like a dug-out, filled with the lavish bounty of untrammelled Nature by a
cool pure rill from a hillside spring. One of these watering troughs is
shown on this page. In the days of the glory of the stage-coach and
turnpike, fine stone troughs chiselled like an Egyptian sarcophagus took
the place of the log dug-out. They had their supply from a handled pump,
which was a more prosaic vehicle than the pipe made of hollowed
tree-trunks which brought the spring-water; but it had also a certain
interest as the water spouted out in response to the vigorous pumping, and
it has been immortalized by Hawthorne. Our artesian wells, and sunken
pipes, and vast reservoir systems are infinitely better than the old-time
modes of water supply, but we miss the pleasure that came from the sight
of the water, whether it was borne to us on the picturesque well-sweep by
wheel and bucket, or old chain pump; it was good to look at as well as to
taste, and it refreshed man even to see cattle and horses drinking from
the primitive trough.

There is always something picturesque and pleasant in an old bridge, and
of historic associations as well. The great logs such as form a wooden
bridge over a narrow stream are the most natural waterspans, those of the
primitive savages. By fallen tree-trunks placed or utilized by the
Indians, the colonists first crossed the inland streams, adding parallel
trunks as years passed on and helping hands multiplied; and finally
placing heavy, flat cross-timbers and boards when hand-saws and sawmills
shaped the forests' wealth for domestic use.

The old arched stone bridges are ever a delight to the eye and the
thoughtful mind. Look at the picture of the old Topsfield Bridge shown on
the opposite page. It was built in 1760 over the Ipswich River. It shows
the semicircle--simplest of all arched forms--which is happily within the
compass and ever the selection of rustic builders. The shallow voussoirs
speak of security and economy rather than of monumental effect; the
irregular shape and size of the stones tell a similar tale, that there was
ample and fitting material near by, in every field. The arched stone
bridge is a primitive structure; the sort of construction that may be
found in the so-called "Cyclopean" walls of earliest Greece; and this very
simplicity is a distinct beauty, that, added to its fitness and
durability, makes the bridge a thing of satisfaction.

[Illustration: Topsfield Bridge.]

How charming are the reflections in the stilly waters, the arch making the
perfect circle, ever an attractive and symbolic form. How cool and
beautiful is the shadowy water under these stone arches; but it cannot be
reached by the rider in stage-coach or on horseback, as can the brook
spanned by a wooden bridge. This has often a watering place which spreads
out on one side of the road, a shoal pool of clear, crystal, dancing
water. The bottom is cut with the ruts of travellers' wheels, but the
water is pure and glistening; the pool is edged heavily with mint and
thoroughwort and a tangle of greenery pierced with a few glorious scarlet
spires of cardinal flowers, and some duller blooms. How boys love to wade
in these pools, and dogs to swim in them, and horses to drink from them.
The wooden bridge seems in midsummer a useless structure, fit only to
serve as a trellis for clematis and sweet brier and many running vines,
and to be screened with azalea, clethra, and elder, and scores of
sweet-flowered shrubs that add their scent to the strong odor of mint that
fills the air, as the sensitive leaves are bruised by careless contact.

[Illustration: The Shadowy Water under the Arches.]

There was a closeness of association in stage-coach travel which made
fellow-passengers companionable. One would feel a decided intimacy with a
fellow-sufferer who had risen several mornings in succession with you, at
daybreak, and ridden all night, cheek by jowl. Even fellow-travellers on
short trips entered into conversation, and the characteristic
inquisitiveness was shown. Ralph Waldo Emerson took great delight in this
experience of his in stage-coach travel. A sharp-featured, keen-eyed,
elderly Yankee woman rode in a Vermont coach opposite a woman deeply
veiled and garbed in mourning attire, and the older woman thus entered
into conversation: "Have you lost friends?" "Yes," was the answer, "I
have." "Was they near friends?" "Yes, they was." "How near was they?"
"A husband and a brother." "Where did they die?" "Down in Mobile." "What
did they die of?" "Yellow fever." "How long was they sick?" "Not very
long." "Was they seafaring men?" "Yes, they was." "Did you save their
chists?" "Yes, I did." "Was they hopefully pious?" "I hope so." "Well, _if
you have got their chists_ (with emphasis) and they was hopefully pious,
you've got much to be thankful for." Perhaps this conversation should be
recorded in the succeeding chapter, but in truth the pleasures and pains
of stage-coach travel ran so closely side by side that they can scarce be
separated. Many pleasant intimacies and acquaintances were begun on the
stage-coach; flirtations, even courtships, were carried on. One gentleman
remembers that when he was a big schoolboy he rode on the coach from
Pittsfield, New Hampshire, to Dover, and he cast sheep's-eyes at a pretty
young woman who was a fellow-passenger. He had just gathered courage to
address her with some bold, manly remark when the coach stopped and a
middle-aged man of importance entered. Soon all other passengers got out
and the three were left in the coach; and the Boy heard the Man recall
himself to the Girl as having been her teacher when she was a child. He
soon proceeded to make love to her, and made her a proposal of marriage,
which she did not refuse, but asked a week's time to consider. "And during
all this courting," said my informant, with indignant reminiscence after
fifty years, "they paid no more attention to my presence than if I had
been Pickwick's Fat Boy."

The pleasures of coaching days have been written by many an English author
in forcible and beautiful language. Thomas De Quincey sang in most glowing
speech the glories of the English mail-coach. He says:--

    "Modern modes of travelling cannot compare with the old mail-coach
    system in grandeur and power. They boast of more velocity, not,
    however, as a consciousness, but as a fact of our lifeless knowledge,
    resting upon _alien_ evidence; as, for instance, because somebody
    _says_ that we have gone fifty miles in the hour, though we are far
    from feeling it as a personal experience; or upon the evidence of a
    result, as that we actually find ourselves in York four hours after
    leaving London. Apart from such an assertion, or such a result, I
    myself am little aware of the pace. But seated on the old mail-coach
    we needed no evidence out of ourselves to indicate the velocity....
    The vital experiences of the glad animal sensibilities made doubts
    impossible on the question of our speed. We heard our speed, we saw
    it, we felt it a-thrilling; and this speed was not the product of
    blind insensate energies that had no sympathy to give, but was
    incarnated in the fiery eyeballs of the noblest among brutes, in his
    dilated nostril, his spasmodic muscles and thunder-beating hoofs."

Nothing more magnificent and inspiring could be written than his _Going
Down with Victory_--the carrying the news of the victory at Waterloo on
the mail-coach to English hamlets and towns; it is a gem of English



In describing the pleasures and pains, the delights and dangers, the
virtues and vicissitudes of the travel of early days by stage-coach in
America, I have chosen to employ largely the words and descriptions of
contemporary travellers rather than any wording of my own, not only
because any such description of mine would be simply a transcription of
their facts, but because there is a sense of closeness of touch, a
pleasant intimacy, and indeed a profound sympathy thereby established with
those old travellers and modes of travel which cannot be obtained by
modern wording; nor indeed can their descriptions and travellers' tales be
improved. Careless or ignorant writers often portray early stage-coach
travel in America in the same terms as would be used of similar travel in
England, and as having the same accessories; it was in truth very
different in nearly all of its conditions, as different as were the
vehicles used in America.

I do not believe that travellers in coaching days found much pleasure in
long journeys by stage-coach. They doubtless enjoyed short trips, or
possibly a day on a coach, as we do now, but serious travel was serious
indeed. In winter it must have appeared a slow form of lingering death.

Grant Thorburn, the New York seedsman, tells of the first journey he ever
made by land. It was in the winter of 1831; he was then fifty-eight years

    "We left Hoboken with about fifteen passengers closely packed in a
    stage with wheels, and a very neat coach, and so foolish was I and
    ignorant (never having travelled on land) I thought this same fine
    close carriage would go through thick and thin with me all the way to
    Albany: in two short hours my eyes were opened. We stopped in
    Hackensack at a tavern grocery grogshop and post-office all under one
    roof, for we carried Uncle Sam's letter bags, which was another
    grievance, as we had to stop every few miles to change the mails. The
    keeper of the office began to bluster and swear he had neither
    carriages covered or uncovered to forward so many passengers. He said
    the Jockey Club in New York took all the money and gave him all the
    trouble. In short, says he, unless you remain here till four o'clock
    P.M. you must go on with such conveyance as I can furnish. We applied
    to our Hoboken driver. He said his orders were to drop us at
    Hackensack and bring back the coaches; and sure enough he turned about
    and back he went. I stepped into the barroom--a large place. In the
    centre stood a large old-fashioned tin-plate stove, surrounded by
    fifteen or twenty large lazy fellows. After waiting an hour we were
    sent forward, viz. two in an open chair, four in an open wagon, and
    the remainder, eight I think, in a common Jersey farming wagon, all
    the machines being without covers. It now commenced raining, and by
    the time we got to the next stage, we looked like moving pillars of
    salt, our hats and coats being covered to the thickness of an eighth
    of an inch with ice transparents. At the town of Goshen we changed
    the mail, thawed our garments, and ate our dinner. As we got north the
    sleighing got better, so we were accommodated with a covered box and
    runners, but alas! it was like the man's lantern without a candle. The
    cover was of white wood boards placed a quarter of an inch apart
    without paint, leather, or canvas to protect them from the weather.

    "We travelled all night. The rain and snow descending through the
    roof, our hats were frozen to our capes, and our cloaks to one
    another. In the morning we looked like some mountain of ice moving
    down the Gulf Stream. I thought the machine used at the Dry Dock would
    have been an excellent appendage to have lifted us bodily into the
    breakfast room: and this is what the horse-flesh fraternity in New
    York advertise as their _safe_, _cheap_, _comfortable_, and
    expeditious winter establishment for Albany."

[Illustration: Dalton Winter Stage.]

This latter account is certainly a hard blow to the lover of the "good old
times." Of tough fibre and of vast powers of endurance, both mental and
physical, must have been our grandfathers who dared to travel overland in
winter time. Coaches were often "snowed up" and had to be deserted by the
passengers, who were rescued in old pods and pungs, such as are shown on
pages 316 and 318, and the journey had to be continued in some of the
awkward coach-bodies or "boobies" set on runners like those on pages 362
and 364. Coaches were also overturned or blown off bridges by heavy winds.

Somewhat varied was Captain Hall's experience on the trip from
Fredericksburg to Richmond during the following January. The stage-coach
was appointed to start at 2 A.M., but at the blank looks of the captain,
the stage agent said, "Well, if it is so disagreeable to the ladies,
suppose we make it five?" The fare was five dollars. It took seventeen
hours to travel the sixty-six miles, and the coach stopped at ten taverns
on the way. At each his fellow-passengers all got out and took a mint
julep; perhaps he did likewise, which might account for the fact that he
pronounced the trip a pleasant one, though it rained; "your feet get wet;
your clothes become plastered with mud from the wheel; the trunks drink in
half a gallon of water apiece; the gentlemen's boots and coats steamed in
the confined air; the horses are draggled and chafed by the traces; the
driver got his neckcloth saturated"--and yet, he adds, "the journey was
performed pleasantly."

[Illustration: Chepachet Winter Stage.]

There were days in July, in midsummer, when in spite of the beauties of
Nature, the journey by stage-coach on the unwatered roads was not a thing
of pleasure. Whether on "inside" or "outside," the traveller could not
escape the dust, nor could he escape the fervor of the July sun. And when
the eye turned for relief to green pastures and roadsides, there was
reflected back to him the heated gold of the sunlight, for the fields
flamed with yellow and orange color. Sometimes accidents occurred. One may
be described, using the contemporary account of it to show what danger was
incurred and through what motive powers. In January, 1823, there was a
sharp competition between the two stage lines running between Albany and
New York, and apparently the stage-drivers on the rival lines could no
more be kept from racing than the old-time steamboat captain. The accident
was thus told in a newspaper of the day:--

    "_To the Public_: The stage from New York to Albany was overset on the
    Highlands, on Friday last, with six passengers on board; one of whom,
    a gentleman from Vermont, had his collar-bone broken, and the others
    were more or less injured, and all placed in the utmost jeopardy of
    their lives and limbs by the outrageous conduct of the driver. In
    descending a hill half a mile in length, an opposition stage being
    ahead, the driver put his horses in full speed to pass the forward
    stage, and in this situation the stage overset with a heavy crash
    which nearly destroyed it, and placed the wounded passengers in a
    dreadful dilemma, especially as the driver could not assist them, as
    it required all his efforts to restrain the frighted horses from
    dashing down the hill which must have destroyed them all. It was,
    therefore, with the greatest difficulty, and by repeated efforts, the
    wounded passengers extricated themselves from the wreck of the stage.
    Such repeated wanton and wilful acts of drivers to gratify their
    caprice, ambition, or passions, generally under the stimulus of ardent
    spirits, calls aloud on the community to expose and punish these
    shameful aggressions."

It should be added, in truth, that accidents on stage-coaches were seldom
with fatal results. Stage-coach travel was more disagreeable than deadly.
A stage-coach driver who had driven three hundred days a year for
thirty-five years, could boast that there had never been a serious
accident while he was driving, and scarcely any injury had been received
by any passenger.

Before the days of the turnpike the miserable bridges, especially of the
Southern colonies, added to the terrors of travel, though I have not
learned of frequent accidents upon them. The poet Moore wrote in the year
1800 of Virginia bridges:--

  "Made of a few uneasy planks
        In open ranks,
  Over rivers of mud."

Near Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1812, a traveller by coach thus
found the bridge:--

    "Three large logs were stretched across the creek, called sleepers,
    and these supported a number of misshapen pieces called rafters,
    thrown on at random, without being fixed either by nails or pins.
    They had been disturbed by a freshet, and the driver alighted to
    adjust them. On entering the bridge, the fore wheels gathered the
    rafters in a heap which stopped the progress of the coach. This was
    just as the driver was whipping up the fore horses. They sprang
    forward, and disengaging themselves with a jerk, by pulling out the
    staple of the main singletree, they set off at full speed with the
    singletree rattling at their heels."

One horse was killed, the patient passengers alighted and pulled the coach
free themselves. At the next creek the horses plunged in the water and
swam across, while the passengers held up the mail-bags to keep them dry.
Weld tells of similar bridges and experiences in 1795 in Virginia.

Many of the bridges were rickety floating bridges. Mr. Twining experienced
the sense of insecurity, the dread of sinking, which I have also felt in
crossing a floating bridge in a heavy vehicle.

Mr. Twining tells also of the constant necessity of trimming and balancing
of the stage-wagon by all the passengers leaning to one side to prevent it
from overturning in the deep ruts which abounded. Mr. Weld wrote that the
driver "frequently called out, 'Now, gentlemen, to the right,' upon which
all the passengers stretched their bodies halfway out of the carriage to
balance on that side. 'Now, gentlemen, to the left,' and so on."

One traveller tells of a facetious travelling companion,--

    "'A son of Neptune and of Mars also,' and could adapt the technical
    language of these professions to the different movements of the
    stage. When the coach heeled to one side he would call out, 'To the
    right and left and cover your flanks--Whiz!'--and when we passed a
    stream or ford he would sing out, 'By the deep nine,' accompanied with
    all the movements of heaving the lead. The day was clear, pleasant,
    and healthy; and in this strain of merriment and good humor we
    prosecuted our journey much to our satisfaction."

Folk were easily amused in coaching days. One of the old stage-drivers
tells the following incident of stage travel. He was driving from Dover,
New Hampshire, to Haverhill, Massachusetts. During the spring months the
roads were often in a bad condition, and six horses and sometimes ten were
needed to draw the coach. In Epping, New Hampshire, was a particularly
hard place, locally known as the "Soap mine." Through this mine of mud the
driver hoped to guide his coach and six. But the coach was heavily loaded,
and in spite of the efforts of the skilful driver the team was soon fast
in the mud, the wheels settling to the hubs. All attempts of the horses to
start the coach were in vain. The driver finally climbed down from his
seat, opened the coach door and told the passengers the condition of
things, and politely asked them to get out and thereby lighten the load.
This they all positively refused to do; they had paid their fares and did
not think it their duty to get out into the mud. The driver said, "Very
well," quietly closed the door, and seated himself by the roadside. In a
few minutes the passengers asked, "What are you doing there?" The
driver calmly replied: "The horses cannot draw the load. There is only one
thing I can do. I shall wait until the mud dries up."

[Illustration: Advertisements from Connecticut Journal, July 3, 1815.]

It is needless to say that they did not wait for the mud to dry.

The state of the roads and the regard of some persons for stage-coach
travelling is shown in a letter written early in this century by a mother
to a girl of eighteen, visiting at Cambridge, and impatient to return
home. As the roads were bad her father delayed his going for her. Her
mother says:--

    "Your papa would not trust your life in the stage. It is a very unsafe
    and improper conveyance for young ladies. Many have been the
    accidents, many the cripples made by accidents in those vehicles. As
    soon as your papa can go, you may be sure he will go or send for you."

There was one curious and most depressing, even appalling, condition of
stage-coach travel. It seemed to matter little how long was your journey,
nor where you were going, nor whence you started, your coach always
started before daybreak. You had to rise in the dark, dress in the dark
most feebly illumined, eat a hurriedly prepared breakfast in the dark, and
start out in the blackness of night or the depressing chill of early
morning. We read that the greatest number of deaths take place in the
early morning, at daybreak, and it is not surprising, since it is the
time, of all the hours of the day, when earth offers the least to the
human soul to tempt it to remain here. It is no unusual thing to read in
travellers' accounts of journeys by stage-coach, of riding ten miles on
the coach, and then--breakfasting. We cannot wonder, therefore, at the
records of incessant dram-drinking during coach travel which we always
find in any minute accounts.

An English eye-witness, Captain Basil Hall, thus described the beginning
of a trip from Providence to Hartford in October, 1829:--

    "The nominal hour of starting was five in the morning; but as
    everything in America comes sooner than one expects, a great tall man
    walked into the room at ten minutes before four o'clock to say it
    wanted half an hour of five: and presently we heard the rumbling of
    the stage coming to the door upwards of thirty minutes before the time
    specified. Fortunately there were only five passengers, so we had
    plenty of room; and as the morning was fine we might have enjoyed the
    journey much, had we not been compelled to start so miserably early.
    At the village of Windham we dined in a cheerful sunny parlour on a
    neatly dressed repast excellent in every way, and with very pleasant
    chatty company."

So forehanded were American coach-agents and coach-drivers that such
premature starts were not infrequent. Many a time an indignant passenger,
on time, but left behind, was sent off after the coach in a chaise with a
swift horse at full gallop.

Josiah Quincy tells thus of a trip on the Lancaster road during the winter
of 1826:--

    "At three o'clock this morning the light of a candle under the door
    and a rousing knock told me that it was time to depart, and shortly
    after I left Philadelphia by the Lancaster stage, otherwise a vast
    illimitable wagon, capable of holding some sixteen passengers with
    decent comfort to themselves, and actually encumbered with some dozen
    more. After riding till eight o'clock we reached the breakfast house,
    where we partook of a good meal."

[Illustration: "A Wet Start at Daybreak."]

Longfellow wrote of his first acquaintance, in the year 1840, with the
Wayside Inn, otherwise Howe's Tavern, at Sudbury, Massachusetts: "The
stage left Boston about three o'clock in the morning, reaching the Sudbury
Tavern for breakfast, a considerable portion of the route being travelled
in total darkness, and without your having the least idea who your
companion might be."

Charles Sumner, writing in 1834 of a trip to Washington, says: "We started
from Boston at half-past three Monday morning with twelve passengers and
their full complement of baggage on board, and with six horses. The way
was very dark, so that, though I rode with the driver, it was some time
before I discovered we had six horses."

The unfortunate soul who wished or was forced to travel from Boston to New
York in 1802 was permitted a very decent start at ten in the morning. He
arrived in Worcester at eight at night. Thereafter at Worcester, Hartford,
and Stamford he had to start at three in the morning and ride till eight
at night. We can imagine his condition when arriving in New York. The
Lancaster and Leominster stages left Boston at sunrise. John Melish, the
English traveller, in 1795, was called to start at two in the morning,
when he set out from Boston to New York. Badger and Porter's Stage
Register for 1829 gives the time of starting of the stage to Fitchburg as
2 A.M.; the Albany stage was the same hour. The stage for Keene set out at
4 A.M., and the one for Bennington at 2 A.M. The stage for Norwich,
Connecticut, in 1833 started at 3 A.M. In 1842, the Albany coach left at 4
A.M. When we remember the meagre "light of other days," the pale rays of a
candle, usually a tallow one, the smoky flicker of a whale-oil lamp, the
dingy shadow of an ancient lantern, we can fancy the gloom of that early
morning departure; and when it was made in snow, or fog, or rain, there
seemed but scant romance in travel by stage-coach. A fine picture by Mr.
Edward Lamson Henry, "A Wet Start at Daybreak," is reproduced opposite
page 370. It is interesting and picturesque--to look at; but it was not
interesting to experience.

[Illustration: The Wayside Inn.]



It is impossible to read of the conditions of life on the public highway
in England and not wonder at the safety and security with which all travel
was carried on in the American colonies. In Great Britain shop-robbing,
foot-padding, street assaults, and highway robberies were daily incidents.
Stage-coach passengers were specially plundered. From end to end of
England was heard the cry of "Stand and deliver." Day after day, for weeks
together, the Hampstead, Islington, Dover, and Hackney coaches were
stopped in broad daylight, and the passengers threatened and robbed. The
mail from Bristol to London was robbed every week for five weeks. Scores
of prisoners were taken, and scores more strung up on the gallows; many
were shipped off to the Plantations because on hanging day at Tyburn,
there was not room enough on the gallows for the convicted men. All
classes turned outlaws. Well-to-do farmers and yeomen organized as
highwaymen in the Western counties under the name of "the Blacks."
Justices and landed gentry leagued with "the Owlers" to rob, to smuggle,
and defraud the customs. Even Adam Smith confessed to a weakness for

Travellers journeyed with a prayer-book in one hand and a pistol in the
other. Nothing of this was known in America. Citizens of the colonies
travelled unhampered by either religion or fear. Men and women walked
through our little city streets by night and day in safety. The footpads
and highwaymen who were transported to this country either found new modes
of crimes or ceased their evil deeds.

Not only on convict ships came highwaymen to America. As redemptioners
many rogues came hither, sure thus of passage across-seas and trusting to
luck or craft to escape the succeeding years of bound labor. Among the
honest men seized in English ports, kidnapped, and shipped to America were
found some thieves and highwaymen, but all--whether "free-willers,"
convicts, or "kids"--seemed to drop highway robbery in the new world. We
were nigh to having one famous thief. Great Moll Cutpurse, had her
resources been of lesser sort, had been landed in Virginia, for she was
trapanned and put aboard ship, but escaped ere ship set sail. Perhaps
'twould have been of small avail, for in Virginia, with its dearth of
wives, even such a sturdy jade as Moll, "a very tomrig and rumpscuttle,"
sure had found a husband and consequent domestic sobriety.

There was one very good reason why there was little highway robbery in
America. Early in our history men began to use drafts and bills of
exchange, where the old world clung to cash. English travellers persisted
in carrying gold and bank-notes, while we carried cheques and letters of
credit. To this day the latter form of money-transfer is more common with
Americans than with the English. Express messengers in the far West
carrying gold did not have to wait long for a Jesse James. But our typical
American scamp has ever been the tramp, formerly the vagabond, not the
highwayman; though the horse thief kept him close companion.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Perkins Inn, Hopkinton, New Hampshire.]

By this absence of the highwaymen, our story of the road has lost much of
its picturesqueness and color. I have envied the English road-annalists
their possession of these gay and dashing creatures. Their reckless
buoyancy, their elegance, their gallantry, their humor, make me long to
adopt them and set them on our staid New England roads or on Pennsylvania
turnpikes. Dick Turpin, Claude Duval, Beau Brocade--how I should love to
have them hold up Benjamin Franklin or John Adams!

There was no lack of rogues in the colonies, but their roguery did not
take the outlet of highway robbery. One Henry Tufts, a famous vagabond,
has left an amusing and detailed history of his life and deeds. He stole
scores of horses by sneaking methods, but never by open seizure on the
road. He began his wrong-doing after the universal custom of all bad boys
(but why be invidious?--of all good boys, too), by robbing orchards. He
soon raised himself to be a leader in deviltry by the following manoeuvre.
A group of bad boys were to have a stolen feast of bread and cucumbers;
for the latter esteemed viand they raided a cucumber patch. As they seated
themselves to gorge upon their ill-gotten fare, Henry Tufts raised a cry
that the robbed cucumber farmer was upon them. All fled, but Tufts quickly
returned and ate all the feast himself. He survived the cucumbers, but
pretended to his confederates that he had been captured and had promised
to work out the value of the spoils in a week's hard labor. This work
sentence he persuaded them to share; he then farmed out the lot of young
workmen at a profit, while they thought themselves nobly sharing his
punishment. He lived to great old age, and, though at the last he "carried
his dish pretty uprightly," it was by taking a hand at forgery and
counterfeiting that he lived when burglary became arduous; his nature,
though irretrievably bad, was never bold enough to venture his life by
robbing on the highway.

A very interesting thread of Tuft's story is his connection with the War
of the Revolution; and it awakens deep compassion for Washington and his
fellow-generals when we think how many such scamps and adventurers must
have swarmed into the Federal army, to the disorder of the regiments and
to their discredit and to the harassment alike of patriot officers and
patriot soldiers. There were frequent aggressions at the hands of rogues
in the Middle states, and they became known by the name of Skinners.
Cooper's novel, _The Spy_, gives an account of these sneaking bands of
sham patriots. Among those who allied themselves on the side of the King
was a family of notorious scoundrels, five brothers named Doane.

The story of the Doanes is both tragic and romantic. They were sons of
respectable Quaker parents of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and during the
Revolutionary War became celebrated for their evil deeds. They were all
men of remarkable physical development, tall, strong, athletic, and all
fine horsemen. Before the war they were of good reputation, and it is said
proposed to remain neutral; but the Doanes were not permitted to take a
middle course, and soon enrolled themselves as Tories, which at once
engendered a bitter feeling between them and their Whig neighbors. They
began their career of infamy by robbing and plundering in the
neighborhood, gradually extending their field of operations into
neighboring counties. Sabine's _Loyalists_ gives the names of three other
Doanes--kinsmen who were allied with the five brothers in their evil
deeds. Their place in historical books and history comes to them through
their services to the British officers during the war. In a dingy
chap-book entitled _Annals of the Revolution, or a History of the Doanes_,
full credit is assigned to Moses Doane for giving information to General
Howe, and planning with him the stratagem which led to the victories of
the British on Long Island. The Edge Hill skirmish, laid out by Doane and
agreed to by Howe and Lord Cornwallis, was to be an important move of the
British. The move was lost by the prompt and brave action of Mrs. Lydia
Darrach, who overheard the plot and carried news of it to Washington. In
the terrible massacre at Wyoming the Doanes took prominent part. The close
of the war seemed but to increase their career of crime. Each brother had
a sled drawn by four horses. There was heavy snow and a long season of
sleighing in 1782, and they fairly raided the entire state, robbing again
and again on the highway. At last an act was passed by the General
Assembly of Pennsylvania "to encourage the speedy apprehending and
bringing to justice of divers Robbers, Burglars, and Felons," naming the
Doanes, and offering a large reward for their capture and a gift of £150
to any person injured in helping to arrest them, or £300 to the family of
such a helper should he be killed while aiding the cause of justice.

Joseph Doane was finally secured in prison. He broke jail, however, and
escaped to New Jersey, where, like many another thief and rogue of his
day, he found occupation as a school-teacher. He then fled to Canada, and
died peacefully at an advanced age. Two brothers, Abraham and Mahlon, were
hanged in Philadelphia. Moses, the leader of the outlaws, had the most
tragic end. He was the most cruel and powerful of them all; of famous
athletic powers, it was said he could run and jump over a Conestoga
wagon. In the latter part of the summer of 1783, the Doanes went to the
house of one Halsey who lived on Gallows Run, and asked for something to
eat, and Halsey sent his son to a neighboring mill to get flour for them.
The boy told that the Doanes were at his father's house, and the miller
sent the word to a vendue in the neighborhood. A party of fourteen armed
and mounted men promptly started to capture them. The house was
surrounded. On approaching the men saw through the clinks of the logs the
Doanes eating at table, with their guns standing near. William Hart opened
the door and commanded them to surrender, but they seized their arms and
fired. Hart seized Moses Doane, threw him down, and secured him. Then
Robert Gibson rushed into the cabin and shot Doane in the breast, killing
him instantly. Colonel Hart sent the body of the dead outlaw to his
unhappy father, who was also tried for sheltering the robbers, and burnt
in the hand and imprisoned.

[Illustration: Russel Tavern, Arlington, Massachusetts.]

The most noted scourge of the eighteenth century was Tom Bell. He was for
years the torment of the Middle colonies, alike in country and in town. He
was the despair of magistrates, the plague of sheriffs, the dread of
householders, and the special pest of horse-owners. Meagre advertisements
in the contemporary newspapers occasionally show his whereabouts and
doings. This is from the _New York Weekly Post Boy_ of November 5, 1744:--

    "The noted Tom Bell was last week seen by several who knew him walking
    about this city with a large Patch on his face and wrapt up in a Great
    Coat, and is supposed to be still lurking."

Two years later, in April 14, 1746, we read:--

    "Tuesday last the famous and Notorious Villain Tom Bell was
    apprehended in this city and committed to Jail on Suspicion of selling
    a Horse he had hired some time ago of an Inhabitant of Long Island.
    His accuser 'tis said has sworn expressly to his Person,
    notwithstanding which he asserts his Innocence with a most undaunted
    Front and matchless Impudence. We hear his trial is to come off this

His most famous piece of deviltry was his impersonation of a pious parson
in New Jersey. He preached with as much vigor as he stole, and his
accidental resemblance to the minister increased his welcome and his scope
for thieving. So convinced was the entire community that it was the real
parson who robbed their houses and stole their horses, that on his return
to his parish he was thrust into prison, and a clerical friend who
protested against this indignity was set in a pillory in Trenton for false
swearing. Still, Tom Bell was not a highwayman of the true English stamp;
he more closely resembled a sneak thief.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Gifford's Tavern.]

In the year 1741 the little child of Cornelius Cook, the blacksmith of
Westborough, Massachusetts, and of his wife Eunice, lay very close to
death. As was the custom of the day, the good old parson, Dr. Parkman, and
his deacons prayed earnestly over the boy, that the Lord's will be done;
but his mother in her distress pleaded thus: "Only spare his life, and I
care not what he becomes." Tom Cook recovered, and as years passed on it
became evident by his mischievous and evil deeds that he had entered into
a compact with the devil, perhaps by his mother's agonized words, perhaps
by his own pledge. The last year of this compact was at an end, and the
devil appeared to claim his own as Tom was dressing for another day's
mischief. Tom had all his wits about him, for he lived upon them. "Wait,
wait, can't you," he answered the imperative call of his visitor, "till I
get my galluses on?" The devil acquiesced to this last request, when Tom
promptly threw the suspenders in the fire, and therefore could never put
them on nor be required to answer the devil's demands.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Wells' Tavern.]

Tom Cook became well known throughout Massachusetts, and indeed throughout
New England, as a most extraordinary thief. His name appears in the
records of scores of New England towns; he was called "the honest thief";
and his own name for himself was "the leveller." He stole from the rich
and well-to-do with the greatest boldness and dexterity, equalled by the
kindness and delicacy of feeling shown in the bestowal of his booty upon
the poor and needy. He stole the dinner from the wealthy farmer's kitchen
and dropped it into the kettle or on the spit in a poor man's house. He
stole meal and grain from passing wagons and gave it away before the
drivers' eyes. A poor neighbor was ill, and her bed was poor. He went to a
thrifty farm-house, selected the best feather bed in the house, tied it in
a sheet, carried it downstairs and to the front door, and asked if he
could leave his bundle there for a few days. The woman recognized him and
forbade him to bring it within doors, and he went off with an easy

In Dr. Parkman's diary, now in the library of the American Antiquarian
Society at Worcester, under the date of August 27, 1779, is this entry:
"The notorious Thom. Cook came in (he says) on Purpose to see me. I gave
him w{t} admonition, Instruction, and Caution I could--I beseech God to
give it force! He leaves me with fair Words--thankful and promising."
There came a time when his crime of arson or burglary led to his trial,
conviction, and sentence to death. He heard the awful words of the judge,
"I therefore sentence you to be hanged by the neck till you are dead,
dead, dead," and he called out cheerfully, "I shall not be there on that
day, day, day." And when that day came, surely enough, his cell was empty.

Tom Cook was most attractive in personal appearance; agile, well formed,
well featured, with eyes of deepest blue, most piercing yet most kindly in
expression. He was adored by children, and his pockets were ever filled
with toys which he had stolen for their amusement. By older persons he was
feared and disliked. He extorted from many wealthy farmers an annual toll,
which exempted them from his depredations. One day a fire was seen rising
from the chimney of a disused schoolhouse in Brookline, and Tom was caught
within roasting a stolen goose, which he had taken from the wagon of a
farmer on his way to market. The squire took him to the tavern, which was
filled with farmers and carters, many of whom had been his victims. He
was given his choice of trial and jail, or to run a gantlet of the men
assembled. He chose the latter, and the long whips of the teamsters paid
out many an old score of years' standing.

A very amusing story of highway robbery is told of John Buckman of
Buckman's Tavern, of Lexington, Massachusetts (which is shown on page 23).
An old toper bought a bottle of rum, and the by-standers jokingly asked
him what he would do if he were attacked on the road. He answered solemnly
that he would rather give up his life than his rum. John Buckman slipped
out of the room, took a brass candlestick that had a slide that could be
snapped with a noise like the trigger of a pistol. He waylaid the
rum-lover not far from the tavern, and terrified him so that he quickly
gave up his beloved bottle. This was a famous joke when John told it in
the tavern taproom, but John did not laugh the next day when he was
arrested for highway robbery and fined fifty dollars.

In the year 1818 there took place the nearest approach to a highway
robbery on the English methods that had ever happened in America. It was
the robbery of the mail-coach which ran between Baltimore and
Philadelphia. The story is thus told by one of the victims:--

    "Thursday morning, 4 o'clock.

    "JOHN H. BARNEY, Esq.,

    "_Sir_: I take the earliest opportunity to send you by an express an
    account of what happened to the mail last evening. About 2 miles from
    this place the driver of your mail wagon and myself were attacked by
    three highwaymen, each armed with a double barrelled pistol and a
    dirk. They had, previous to our arrival, built a rail fence across the
    road, and immediately on our driving up they leaped from behind the
    same, where they lay concealed, and presented their pistols,
    threatening to blow our brains out if we made any resistance. We were
    then carried some distance from the road into the woods; there they
    tied the driver and myself to a tree and commenced searching the mail.
    Every letter was opened and all the bank notes taken out; they showed
    me a large bundle of bills, and I much fear the loss will be found
    very great. They were from 11 until 3 o'clock busily employed in
    opening the letters. After they had done this they tied us to the back
    of the wagon, mounted three of the horses and galloped off towards
    Baltimore. They were all white men--had their faces blackened, and
    neither of them appeared more than 20. I have just arrived at this
    place and have stated the facts to the deputy postmaster, who will use
    every exertion to recover the letters that remain in the woods. They
    did not take anything belonging to me, & appeared not to wish anything
    but bank notes. They were all dressed in sailor's trowsers and round
    jackets, & were about the middle size; two wearing hats & the other
    having a silk handkerchief tied around his head.

    "I am your obt. servt.

    "P. S. They called each other by their several names--Johnson, Gibson,
    and Smith, but I expect they were fictitious."

At that date and season of the year the "Eastern mail," on account of the
heavy roads, was carried in a light carriage called a dearborn, with four
horses. This Lieutenant Ludlow of the United States Navy obtained
permission to accompany the driver in this mail-carriage. They left
Baltimore at three o'clock and were held up at eleven. One robber desired
to shoot Lieutenant Ludlow and the driver, but the others objected, and,
on leaving, offered the driver ten dollars. They took no money from
Ludlow, and though they looked at his handsome gold repeater to learn the
time, they carefully returned it to his pocket. The very next day two men
named Hare, known to be journeymen tailors of Baltimore, entered a
clothing shop in that city, and made such a lavish display of money that
they were promptly arrested, and over twenty thousand dollars in money and
drafts was found upon them. They were puny fellows, Levi Hare being but
twenty years old, and contemporary accounts say "one person of average
strength could easily manage them both."

The total amount of bills and drafts recovered amounted to ninety thousand
dollars, and made the robbery the largest ever attempted. A few days later
a third brother Hare was arrested, and thirteen hundred dollars was found
in his house. The third robber proved to be John Alexander.

A Baltimore newspaper dated May 18, gives an account of the sentence of
the three men after their interesting trial:--

    "On Thursday last John Alexander, Joseph T. Hare, and Lewis Hare were
    brought before Court to receive sentence. Judge Duval presided--first
    addressed Lewis Hare and sentenced him to ten years' imprisonment--J.
    T. Hare and Alexander sentenced to death. As Jos. T. Hare was
    proceeding from the Court House to prison accompanied by the
    constable, they had to cross Jones' Falls, over which the trunk of a
    tree was laid for foot passengers to walk on; when they arrived in the
    middle of the creek Hare made an attempt to release his hands from his
    irons, and to knock the constable into the creek; it proved fruitless,
    but in the scuffle Hare tore off the lappelle of the constable's coat.
    After he reached prison he made an attack on the turnkey and nearly
    bit off his finger."

I have seen an amusing old chap-book entitled _The Life of the Celebrated
Mail Robber and Daring Highwayman Joseph Thompson Hare_, and it has a
comical illustration of "The Scuffle between Hare and the Constable," in
which the constable, much dressed up in tight trousers, tailed coat, and
high silk hat, struggles feebly with the outlaw as they balance like
acrobats on the narrow tree-trunk.

The whole account of this mail robbery has a decidedly tame flavoring. The
pale tailors, so easily overcoming a presumably brave naval officer and a
government mail-carrier; the leisurely ransacking of the mail-bags; the
speedy and easy arrest of the tailors and recovery of their booty, and the
astonishing simplicity of transporting the scantily guarded felon across a
creek on a fallen tree as though on a pleasant country ramble, all combine
to render it far from being a tale of terror or wild excitement.

The account of the death of the highwayman is thus told in the _Federal
Republican and Baltimore Telegraph_ of September 11, 1818.


    "Agreeably to public notice, the awful sentence of death was yesterday
    inflicted on J. Thompson Hare and John Alexander, in the presence of a
    vast concourse assembled to witness the ignominious ceremony. Their
    lives have expiated the crime for which they suffered. Justice has no
    demands on them in the grave.

    "The gallows was sufficiently elevated above the walls of the prison
    to afford a distinct view of the unfortunate men to spectators at the
    distance of several hundred yards.

    "Hare has made a confession which is now hawking about town for sale.
    In it he observes that, 'for the last fourteen years of my life I have
    been a robber, and have robbed on a large scale, and been more
    successful than any robber either in Europe or in this country that I
    ever heard of.'"

This lying dying boast of Hare fitly closes his evident failure as a

An account of a negro highwayman is given in the _Federal Republican and
Baltimore Telegraph_ of September 11, 1818.

[Illustration: Relay House, Mattapan Tavern.]

In the early years of this century there existed in eastern Massachusetts
an organized band of thieves. It is said they were but one link in a chain
of evil night-workers which, with a home or shelter in every community,
reached from Cape Hatteras to Canada. This band was well organized, well
trained, and well housed; it had skilful means of concealing stolen goods
in innocent-faced cottages, in barns of honest thrift, and in wells and
haystacks in simple dooryards. One mild-manered and humble house had a
deep cellar which could be entered by an ingeniously hidden broad-side
door in a woodshed; into this cave a stolen horse and wagon or a pursued
load of cribbed goods might be driven, be shut in, and leave no outward
sign. Other houses had secret cellars, a deep and wide one beneath a
shallow, innocuous storage place for domestic potato and apple bins, and
honest cider barrels. In a house sheltering one of these subterranean
mysteries, a hard-working young woman was laboriously and discreetly
washing clothes when surprised by the sheriff and his aids, who wisely
invaded but fruitlessly searched the house. Nothing save the simplest
household belongings was found in that abode of domesticity; but in later
years, after the gang was scattered, a trap-door and ladder were found
leading to the sub-cellar, and with chagrin and mortification the sheriff
remembered that the woman's washing tubs stood unharmed upon the trap-door
during the fruitless search.

An amusing battering ram was used by another woman of this gang on the
sheriff who came to her house to arrest one of those thieves. The outlaw
fled upstairs at the approach of the officer, but his retreat was noted,
and the man of law attempted to follow and seize him. The wife of the
thief--his congenial mate--opposed the passage of the sheriff, and when he
attempted to push her one side and to crowd past her, she suddenly seized
the crosspiece over the staircase, swung back by her hands and arms,
planted both feet against the officer's chest, and knocked him down with
such a sudden blow and consequent loss of wind, that the thief was far
away ere the sheriff could move or breathe.

The leader of this band of thieves was an ingenious and delightful
scamp--one George White. He was hard to catch, and harder to keep than to
catch. Handcuffs were to him but pleasing toys. His wrists were large, his
hands small; and when the right moment came, the steel bracelets were
quickly empty. Locks and bolts were as easily thrust aside and left far,
far behind him as were the handcuffs. At last he was branded on his
forehead H. T., which stands for horse thief; a mean trick of a stupid
constable who had scant self-confidence or inventiveness. Curling
lovelocks quickly grow, however, and are ill in no one's sight; indeed,
they were in high fashion in similar circles in England at that time, when
various letters of the alphabet might be seen on the cheeks and brow of
many a gay traveller on the highway when the wind blew among the long

[Illustration: Wilde Tavern, 1770. Milton, Massachusetts.]

Term after term in jail and prison were decreed to George White when luck
turned against him. Yet still was he pardoned, as he deserved to be, for
his decorous deportment when behind bars; and he had a habit of being
taken out on a writ of _habeas corpus_ or to be transferred; but he never
seemed to reach his journey's end, and soon he would appear on the road,
stealing and roistering. The last word which came from him to New England
was a letter from the Ohio Penitentiary, saying he was dying, and asking
some of his kin to visit him. They did not go, he had fooled them too
often. Perhaps they feared they might put new life into him. But the one
time they were sure he lied he told the truth--and his varied career thus

Flying once along a Massachusetts highway on a stolen horse, George White
was hotly pursued. At the first sharp turn in the road he dismounted in a
flash, cut the horse a lash with his whip, altered the look of his garment
with a turn of his hand, tore off his hat brim and thus had a jaunty cap,
and started boldly back on foot. Meeting the sheriff and his men all in a
heat, he fairly got under their horses' feet, and as they pulled up they
bawled out to know whether he had seen a man riding fast on horseback.
"Why, yes," he answered ingenuously, "I met a man riding as though the
devil were after him." They found the horse in half an hour, but they
never found George White.

He once stole a tavern-keeper's horse, trimmed the mane, thinned out the
tail, and dyed the horse's white feet. He led the renovated animal in to
the bereft landlord, saying innocently that he had heard his horse was
stolen, and thought he might want to buy another. He actually sold this
horse back to his owner, but in a short time the horse's too evident
familiarity with his wonted stable and yard and the fast-fading dye
revealed the rascal's work. To another tavern-keeper he owed a bill for
board and lodging, which, with the incongruity of ideals and morals which
is often characteristic of great minds, he really wished to pay. The
landlord had a fine black horse which he had displayed to his boarder
with pride. This horse was kept temporarily in a distant pasture. White
stole the horse one night, rode off a few miles, and sold it and was paid
for it. He stole it again that night from the purchaser, sold it, and was
paid. He stole it a third time and returned it to the pasture from whence
it never had been missed. He then paid his board-bill as an honest man

[Illustration: Ashburnham Thief Detecting Society.]

These gangs of horse thieves became such pests, such scourges in the
Northern states, that harassed citizens in many towns gathered into bands
and associations for mutual protection and systematic detection of the
miscreants. A handbill of the "Ashburnham Thief Detecting Society" had an
engraved heading which is reproduced on this page, which showed a mounted
thief riding across country with honest citizens in hot pursuit. The Thief
Detecting Society of Hingham had, in 1847, eighty-seven members. It used a
similar print for a heading for handbills, also one of a boy stealing
apples--as a severe lesson to youth.

In the year 1805 an abrupt and short but fierce attempt was made at
highway robbery and burglary in Albany. The story as told in a chap-book
is so simple, so antique, so soberly comic, that it might be three
centuries old instead of scarce one. The illustrations, though of the date
1836, are of the standard of art of the seventeenth century.

It seems a piece of modern Philistinism to spoil the story--as I must--by
condensation. The title of the book is _The Robber, or Pye and The
Highwayman_, and the irony of giving Pye place before the highwayman or
any place at all will be apparent by the story. In this tale two sturdy
Albany dames shine as models of courage and fearlessness by the side of
the terror-stricken burghers of the entire town, whose reputation to a man
was only saved from the branding of utter and universal cowardice by the
appearance and manly carriage and triumph at the end of the night's fray
of old Winne the pennypost.

There put up that year in December at an Albany tavern a young man who
gave his name as Johnson; he was aristocratic in bearing and dress, dark
of complexion, sombre of aspect, but courteous and pleasant, "with a
daring but cultivated eye." When questioned of himself and his business,
however, Johnson was silent and taciturn. His magnificent horse and pair
of splendid pistols were noted by the solid Dutch burghers and sharp
Yankee traders who smoked and drank beer within the tavern walls; and one
wintry afternoon the stranger was seen carefully cleaning the pair of

On that bitter night, a man--none other than our black-browed
highwayman--rode clattering up to the toll-gate two miles below the town,
and called out to open the gate; when the wife of the toll-keeper appeared
to do that duty he jumped from his horse, rushed in toward the house,
demanding in a terrible voice all the money in the toll till and chest.
The woman was terrified at this demand, yet not so scared but she could at
his first approach throw the fat bag with all the accumulation of toll
money under the porch, and do it unseen by the highwayman; and she at once
asserted tearfully, with the alacritous mendacity born of sharp terror
(the account says with great earnestness and womanish simplicity), that
her husband had gone to the agent in town with all the month's
collections, leaving her but a few shillings for change, which she
displayed in the gate-drawer for proof. Disgusted but credulous, the
villain rode off with loud oaths, baffled in the simplest fashion by Dame
Trusty No. 1.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Williams Tavern.]

He then went to the tavern of John Pye, the wealthy landlord, on the West
Troy road. He found the house locked peacefully for the night, but forced
a window and entered. In the barroom and kitchen, the fire was carefully
covered to keep till morning. Lighting his dark lantern with the coals, he
then poured water on both fires and extinguished them, and I have puzzled
long in my mind wondering why he dallied, risking detection by doing this.
He then went to the room where Pye and his wife were peacefully reposing,
and rudely awakened them. Mrs. Pye, promptly assuming the rôle she
carried throughout, jumped from her bed and asked him what he wished. He
answered, the chap-book says, "silently," "I deal with your husband,
Madam, not with you"--and a more fatuous mistake never issued from lips of
highwayman. To Pye he then said, "Your money or your life." Pye, heavy
with sleep--and natural stupidity--seemed to fancy some trick was being
played on him in mischief, and to the highwayman's demand for money
answered, half alarmed, half peevish, "It's damned little money you'll get
out of me, my lad, as the thing is but indifferently plenty with me." But
he was roused at last by the fierceness of threats and gestures, and
whimpered that his money was below; and the two proceeded downstairs to
the taproom by the light of the robber's lantern. The moment they left the
room, Mrs. Pye ran softly to a bedroom where slept two sojourners at the
inn, wakened them with hurried words of the robber's visit and her beloved
Pye's danger, and made appeals for help; and as an emphatic wakener
pulled them out of bed upon the floor. Then she ran swiftly back to bed.

In the meantime the terrified Pye recalled that his wife had the keys of
the taproom till which held his money, and he and the highwayman returned
to her bedroom and demanded them from her. "I'll give the keys to thee nor
no man else," she stoutly answered. "Thee must, I tell thee," whined Pye,
"or worse may happen." "Pye, I'll not give up my keys," still she cried,
and seized a loaded gun by the bedside; for fierce answer the highwayman
fired his pistol at Pye. With lamentable outcries Pye called out he was a
dead man, and his arm fell to his side. His wife thrust the gun in his
hands, shouting, "Fire, Pye, fire! he's feeling for another pistol." "I
cannot," he quavered out, "I cannot hold the gun." She pushed it into his
hands, held up his arm, aimed for him, and between them they pulled the
trigger. In a second all was utter darkness and stillness: they had hit
the highwayman. He pitched forward, fell on his lantern, put it out, and
lay as one dead. Here was a situation for a good, thrifty, staid Albany
vrouw, a dying husband on one side, a dead highwayman on the other, all in
utter darkness. She ran for coals to the barroom and kitchen fires. Both
were wet and black. She had no tinder box, coals must be brought from a
neighbor's. She suddenly bethought of an unusual fire that had been
lighted in the parlor the previous evening for customers, where still
might be a live coal. This was her good fortune, and with lighted candle
she proceeded to the scene of attack. Pye lay in a swoon on the bed, but
by this time the highwayman had vanished; and safe and untouched under the
bed were five hundred dollars in gold and five hundred more in bills,
which, it is plain, Pye himself had wholly forgotten in his fright.

In the meantime where were the two "knights of the bedchamber," as the
chap-book calls them? Far more silently than the robber they feared had
they slid downstairs, and away from the tavern into hiding, until the
highwayman rode past them.

They then tracked him by trails of blood, and soon saw him dismounted and
rolling in the snow as if to quench the flow of blood. Though they knew he
was terribly wounded and they were two to one, they stole past him at a
safe distance in silence to the protection of the town, where they raised
the cry of "A robber! Watch! Murder! Help! A band of highwaymen! Pye is
dead!" Oh, how bravely they bawled and shouted! and soon a hue and cry was
started from end to end of Albany town.

With an extraordinary lack of shrewdness which seemed to characterize the
whole of this episode of violence, and which proved Johnson no trained
"swift-nick," as Charles II. called highwaymen, instead of making off to
some of the smaller towns or into the country, he rode back to Albany; and
soon the night-capped heads thrust from the little Dutch windows, and
terrified men leaning out over the Dutch doors, and the few amazed groups
in the streets saw a fleet horseman, hatless, with bloody handkerchief
bound around his head, come galloping and thundering through Albany, down
one street, then back again to the river. When he reached the quay, the
horse fearlessly sprang without a moment's trembling a terrible leap,
eight feet perpendicular, twenty feet lateral, out on the ice. All
screamed out that horse and rider would go through the ice and perish. But
the ice was strong, and soon horse and rider were out of sight; but
mounted men were now following the distant sound of hoofs, and when the
outlaw reached what he thought was the opposite shore, but what was really
a marshy island, one bold pursuer rode up after him. The robber turned,
fired at him at random, and the Albany brave fled in dismay back to his
discreet neighbors.

But honor and courage was now appearing across the ice in the figure of
Captain Winne, the pennypost, who was heard to mutter excitedly in his
semi-Dutch dialect: "Mine Cott! vat leeps das horse has mate! vull dwenty
feet! Dunder and bliksem! he's der tuyfel for rooning!" Winne was an old
Indian fighter, and soon he boldly grappled the highwayman, who drew a
dagger on him. Winne knocked it from his hand. The highwayman grappled
with him, wrenched away his club, and hit the pennypost a blow on his
mouth which loosened all his front teeth (which, the chap-book says,
"Winne afterwards took out at his leisure"). Winne then dallied no longer;
he pulled down the handkerchief from the robber's forehead, twisted it
around his neck, and choked him. In the morning twilight the great band of
cautious Albanians gravely advanced, bound the highwayman securely, and
carried him in triumph back to jail. He was placed in heavy irons, when he
said, "Iron me as you will, you can hold me but a short time." All thought
he meant to attempt an escape, but he spoke with fuller meaning; he felt
himself mortally wounded. They put an iron belt around his waist and
fastened it by a heavy chain to a staple in the floor. They placed great
rings around his ankles, chained them to the floor, and then chained
ankle-bands and belt together. They would have put an iron collar and
chain on him also, but he said, "Gentlemen! have some mercy!" and a
horrible wound at the base of the brain made them desist.

[Illustration: Sign-board of Williams Tavern.]

Poor Mrs. Pye visited him, with much distress of spirit, and sympathized
with him and grieved over him as he lay face downward on the stone floor.
And it arouses a sense of amused indignation to know that he asked
earnestly for Pye and expressed deep regret at having injured him--he
wasn't badly hurt, anyway. Our heroine, Dame Pye, certainly deserved a
better and braver husband, and it is pleasant to know that she outlived
Pye and found, if not a more courageous mate, certainly a very fine young
one--her bar-keeper, forty years younger than herself.

The highwayman escaped the tree, for he died in jail. There is reason to
believe he was a Southerner of good birth. The horse was so widely
described and exploited that his story reached a Virginia gentleman, his
real owner, from whom he had been stolen. The sagacious animal had been
trained to follow a peculiar whistle, and to jump at anything. The
gentleman proved his ownership and took the splendid animal-hero home.

In the year 1821 a highwayman was executed in Massachusetts, Mike Martin,
or Captain Lightfoot, who really was a very satisfactory outlaw, a real
hightoby-crack, though he was only an imported one, not a native
production. His life, as given by himself, is most entertaining. He had to
his father a Kilkenny Irishman, who apprenticed the boy early in life to
his uncle, a brewer. The brewer promptly beat him, he ran home, and got a
bigger beating. In truth, he was a most beatable brat. When sixteen years
old he joined the Ribbonmen, a political organization that committed many
petty crimes and misdemeanors, besides regulating landlords. When his
father found out the kind of company kept by the young rascal, he beat him
again. Mike promptly took as a salve five guineas from his father's trunk,
opening it with a master-key which had been kindly made for him by a
Ribbonman, and which he was enjoined to keep constantly with him as a
conveniency. He says, "I had always stolen in a small way." With his five
guineas he ran away to Dublin, and pretended reformation and remorse so
successfully to a cousin that the latter employed him in a distillery. In
return he stole petty amounts continually from his cousin's money chest,
by help of his master-key. Soon he was a settled outcast, and at this
juncture met at an inn a fine, handsome clergyman, about forty years of
age, over six feet tall, dark-eyed, of great muscle and strength; his name
was John Doherty. In spite of his black clerical dress he seemed somewhat
mysterious in character, and after pumping Martin he disclosed in turn
that he was the famous highwayman, Captain Thunderbolt.

He at once claimed Martin as one of the real sort, and they were talking
over a union of forces and schemes when a party of dragoons came to the
inn in pursuit of Thunderbolt. He escaped through a window, but in a
week's time came back dressed as a Quaker and joined his companion, who at
the age of twenty-one thus blossomed out as a real knight of the road, as
Captain Lightfoot, with a pair of fine pistols and a splendid horse, "Down
the Banks," to keep company with Thunderbolt's "Beefsteak." Thus equipped,
these two gentlemen rode as gentlemen should, to the hunt. There, alone,
to prove what he could do, Mike Martin robbed four huntsmen, and to his
pride was mistaken by them for Thunderbolt himself. But the huntsmen soon
had their turn; sheriffs and soldiers drove the two knights to the woods;
and after weeks of uncomfortable hiding Mike Martin was properly penitent
and longed for an honest man's seat in a tavern taproom. There is no
retreat, however, in this career; the pair of robbers next entered a
house, called all the people together, and robbed the entire trembling
lot. Through Scotland and Ireland they rode till the highways got too hot
for them, advertisements were everywhere, a hue and cry was out, and
Thunderbolt fled to America.

Mike Martin, terrified at the multiplying advertisements and rewards,
disguised himself, and sailed for New York. Quarrels and mutiny on
shipboard brought him ashore at Salem, where he worked for a time for Mr.
Derby. He soon received a sum of money from his father's estate and set up
as a brewer. But Salem Yankees were too sharp for the honest highwayman,
and he lost it all and had to take again to the road. From Portsmouth to
Canada,--from pedlers, from gentlemen,--on horseback, in chaises,--he ran
his rig; finally, in spite of advertisements in newspapers and printed
reports and handbills at every country inn, he worked his way back to New
Hampshire; and on a moonlight night he found himself horseless in the
bushes. Two men rode up, and one held back as Mike Martin stepped forth.
"Who's that?" said the foremost man. "I'm the bold Doherty from Scotland,"
said he, taking Thunderbolt's name and not in vain. "And what are you
after?" said the shaking traveller. "Stop and I'll show you." Mike then
presented his pistol and demanded of the gentleman his money or his life.
Promptly money and papers were turned over. "Stand back by the fence,"
said the highwayman. "Here, Jack, look after this fellow," he swaggered to
make the traveller think he had an accomplice; and he mounted the fine
horse and rode off. He robbed some one in some way every few miles on the
road till he was back in Salem. There he promptly acquiesced to the
decorous customs of the New England town, and went to a lecture; on his
way home from his intellectual refreshment, he asked the time of a
well-dressed man. "Can't you hear the clock strike?" was the surly answer.
"I'll hear your watch strike or strike your head," was the surprising
reply. Out came watch and money with the cowardly alacrity ever displayed
at his demands. From thence to the Sun Tavern in Boston, where he learned
of a grand party at Governor Brooks's at Medford. He said in his
confession, "I thought there might be some fat ones there and decided to
be of the company." After an evening of astonishing bravado and
recklessness, displaying himself at taverns and on the road, he held up
Major Bray and his wife on the Medford turnpike, near the Ten Mile Farm
which once belonged to Governor Winthrop. The gentlefolk were in "a
genteel horse and chaise." Madam Bray began to try to conceal her
watch-chain, but Captain Lightfoot politely told her he never robbed
ladies. Major Bray turned over his watch and pocketbook, but begged to
keep his papers. Martin said later, "The circumstances as given by Major
Bray at the trial were correct, only he forgot to state that he was much
frightened and trembled like a leaf." After stopping other chaises, he
took the surprisingly foolhardy step of going to the tavern at Medford,
where he found already much excitement about the robbery of Major Bray,
and met many suspicious glances. He rode off, and soon a crowd was after
him crying, "Stop Thief."

[Illustration: Poore Tavern and Sign-board.]

In his mad flight his stirrup broke, he fell from his horse and dislocated
his shoulder; thence through fields and marshes on foot till he dropped
senseless from pain and fatigue. When he recovered, he tied his suspenders
to a tree at one end and the other end to his wrist and pulled the
shoulder into place. Then by day and night through farms and woods to
Holliston. In the taproom of the tavern he called for brandy, but he saw
such a good description of himself with a reward for his capture, while he
was drinking off his glass, it took away his appetite for the dinner he
had ordered.

He was then tired of foot travel, and stole a horse and rode to
Springfield. Here he put up at a tavern, where he slept so sound that he
was only awakened by landlord, sheriff, and a score of helpers who had
traced the horse to Springfield. Major Bray's robbery was unknown there,
but he was tried for it, however, when it was found out, on October 21,
and convicted and sentenced to death. He cheerfully announced that he
should escape if he could, but he was put in heavy irons. When in jail at
Lechmere Point he struck the turnkey, Mr. Coolidge, on the head with his
severed chain. He pushed past the stunned keeper, thrust open the door,
and ran for his life. He was captured in a cornfield and Coolidge was the
man who grabbed him. It was found that he had filed through the chain with
a case-knife, filled the cut with a paste of tallow and coal-dust, and
though the link had been frequently examined the cut had never been noted.
He declared he would have escaped, only the heavy chain and weight which
he had worn had made him lose the full use of his legs, and he had to run
with one end of the chain and a seventeen-pound weight in his hand.

[Illustration: Monroe Tavern, Lexington, Massachusetts.]

He was executed in December and behaved with great propriety and
sobriety. He showed neither cant, levity, nor bravado. He prayed silently
just before his death, professed penitence, and went to the gallows with
composure. He arranged his dress and hair carefully before a glass, showed
a kind disposition to all, and finally gave the signal himself for the
drop. A tall and handsome scamp, with piercing blue eyes and fine
complexion, his marked intelligence and sweetness of expression made him
most attractive. His frame was perfect in symmetry, and he was wonderful
in his strength and endurance--truly an ideal highwayman; it must have
been a pleasure to meet him.

Thus it is very evident that neither highway robbery nor highwaymen
thrived in America. They mended their ways very promptly--and apparently
they wanted to. A very striking example of this is in the American career
of Captain Thunderbolt, the friend and teacher of Mike Martin. When he set
foot on American soil, he tamely abandoned all his old picturesque wicked
ways. He settled first in Dummerston, Vermont, where he taught school and
passed his leisure hours in seclusion and study. He then set up as a
physician, in Newfane, Vermont, calling himself Dr. Wilson, and he moved
from thence to Brattleboro, where his house stood on the present site of
the railroad station. He married the daughter of a prominent Brattleboro
farmer, but was too stern and reserved to prove a good American husband.
He lived to be about sixty-five years old, and had a good and lucrative
professional practice.

I know two authentic cases of highway robbery of stage-coaches in New
England; one was from the driver, of a large sum of money which had been
entrusted to him. It was his wife who stole it. She was not prosecuted,
for she returned the money, and it was believed she would not have taken
it from any one else. The other theft was that of a bonnet. Just as a
stage was to start off from a tavern door, a woman jumped on the step,
seized the bonnet of a woman passenger, tore it from her head, and made
off with it before the outraged traveller's shrieks could reach the driver
and stop the coach; and--as the chronicler solemnly recounted to me--the
robber was never heard of more. These two highwaywomen have the honors of
the road.

It may be deemed somewhat grandiloquent to term to-day this theft of a
bonnet "highway robbery"; but I can assure you a fine bonnet was a most
respected belonging in olden times, and if of real Dunstable or fine
Leghorn straw and trimmed with real ostrich plumes it might be also a
costly belonging, and to steal it was no light matter--indeed it was a
hanging matter. For in Boston, when John Hancock was governor, a woman was
hanged for snatching a bonnet from another's head and running off with



England was ever the birthplace and abiding-place of ghosts. Thoroughly
respectable most of these old residents were, their manifestations being
stereotyped with all the conventionalities of the spirit world. When the
colonists came to the new world the friendly and familiar spectres did not
desert their old companions, but emigrated also, and "sett down satysfyed"
in enlarged log cabins, and houses built of American pine, just as the
planters did; and in these humbler domiciles both classes of inhabitants
were soon as much at home as they had been in oaken manor houses and stone
castles in the "ould countrie."

In New England the tavern was often the chosen place of abode and of
visitation of spirits; like other travellers on life's weary round, these
travellers on the round of the dead found their warmest welcome at an inn.
Naturally new conditions developed new phenomena; the spirits of unhappy
peasants, of cruel barons, of hated heirs at law, of lovelorn ladies,
found novel companions, among whom the manitous and wraiths of the red men
cut the strangest figure. The ghosts of pirates, too, were prime
favorites in America, especially in seaboard towns, but were never such
frequent visitors, nor on the whole such picturesque visitors, as were the
spirits of Indians:--

    "The ghosts that come to haunt us
  From the kingdom of Ponemah,
  From the land of the Hereafter."

[Illustration: Sign-board of Dewey Tavern.]

I have known a good many tavern ghosts of Indians--though their deeds as
recounted are often far from being original or aboriginal. Reuben Jencks
owned a tavern that had a very good Indian ghost. This ghost was not one
of the inconsiderate kind that comes when you are awake, and half scares
you to death; this noble red man stole in silently by night, so silently
that the sleeper never awakened, and hence was never frightened, for
nothing seems overstrange, uncanny, or impossible in a dream. Even when
the Indian brandished his tomahawk and seized the visited one by the hair
of the head, it never seemed to be anything more than might be expected,
nor did he ever appear overfierce in his threats and gestures.
Nevertheless in course of time his appearances gave a name to the
apartment he visited; it came to be known as the Indian Chamber. And
travelling chapmen, pedlers, or traders who had been over the route
frequently, and had heard the tale at every trip, sometimes objected to
sleeping in the room--not that they were afraid--but it was somewhat of a

It was not known that any Indian ever had received aught of injury at the
hands of any at the Black Horse Tavern, save the derivative injury from
too frequent and liberal draughts of hard cider, which was freely dealt
out to every sorry brave who wandered there. There were some simpletons
who said that the Indian's visits were to resent the injury done to
another old inn, a rival down the road, named The Pine Tree, but which
bore the figure of an Indian on its sign-board, and was oftener known as
The Indian Tavern. This was nonsense. The Pine Tree had no visitors
because it did not deserve them, had a vile table and a worse stable,
while the Black Horse Tavern gave the best of the earth to its guests.

Reuben Jencks had not been born in this tavern. He inherited it from an
uncle, and he was already married and had a family of small children when
the tavern came to him. Another baby was born soon after, and as the
Indian Chamber was the largest in the house, Mrs. Jencks quietly disposed
of the objections of timid and superstitious chapmen and pedlers by taking
the room for her own sleeping apartment.

It would seem to be a brave warrior, albeit a savage and a ghost, who
would enter a room as densely populated as that of Mr. and Mrs. Jencks.
There was for the repose of landlord and landlady a vast four-post
bedstead with curtains, valance, and tester of white dimity; and under
this high bed was thrust by day a low trundle bed. At night it was drawn
out, and upon it slept the three little daughters of the Jencks family.
Upon an old high-backed settle set on rockers slept Reuben Jencks, Jr.,
the deposed king of the family. Adjustable bars slipped in the front of
this settle made it a safe crib. This stood on one side of the fireplace,
and the new baby reposed, when he slept at all, in a deeply hooded
mahogany cradle. There was a great fire ever and cheerfully burning in the
fireplace--and yet to this chamber of infantile innocence and comfort came
the saturnine form of the Indian ghost.

[Illustration: Cutter's Tavern Sign-board.]

He was, in one sense, a thoroughly satisfactory apparition, being suitably
clad in full trappings of war, buckskin and turkey feathers, bear's teeth
and paint; he was none of those miserable half-breed travesties of Indians
who sometimes still sneaked round to the tavern kitchen, clad in vile
clothes of civilization, so greasy and worn and dirty that a blanket
would have been as stately in comparison as a Roman toga; Indians devoid
of bravery, dignity, and even of cunning, whose laziness, high
cheek-bones, and hair coarse as a horse's tail, and their unvarying love
of rum, were the only proofs of Indian blood; whose skin, even, had turned
from copper tawny to dingy yellow.

To Mrs. Jencks, reposing in state among her abundant goose feathers on the
high bedstead, came one night the spectre in her dreams, pulled off her
nightcap, seized her by her long hair, dragged her downstairs and out of
doors, pointed fiercely to the roots of the great cedar at the gate,
muttering all the while in broken English of avenging an insult to his
race. As Mrs. Jencks awoke wholly uninjured, she merely laughed at her
vision, saying that all the talk she had heard had made her dream it. But
when she had dreamt it three times, three nights running, and the ghost
kept speaking of an act of insult to him, that it must be avenged,
removed, etc., and kept ever pointing to the base of the cedar tree, Ben
Jencks insisted on digging for what he felt sure was hidden treasure. He
and his menials dug deep and dug wide, and nearly killed the splendid old
cedar, but found nothing. The next time the ghost appeared he dragged the
astral body of Mrs. Jencks down to the other cedar tree on the right-hand
side of the gateway. Ben Jencks dug again with the same result. Neither he
nor the ghost was daunted, and a fine apple tree in the garden next the
orchard was the next victim. It was a Sapson apple tree, the variety
which all the children loved, and it ceased bearing for several years. As
it wilted and pined after the rough spading at its roots, Mrs. Jencks
doggedly vowed never to repeat any of the ghost's lies again.

[Illustration: Clock with Painting of Pahquoique House.]

We must not be too contemptuous of this unprincipled Indian spirit. He
simply belonged to a class of ghosts of whom Andrew Lang says
complainingly that they have a passion for pointing out places and saying
treasures or skeletons are buried within; whereas it always proves that
nothing of the sort is ever found. There are liars among the living as
well as of the dead, and Mrs. Jencks's Indian never said it was a
treasure--he only hinted darkly at the buried thing being associated with
some degradation or insult to the Indian race. The treasure was all in Ben
Jencks's brain--and the brains of his friends. Mrs. Jencks's silence to
her husband did not prevent her however from having several treasure-hunts
alone by herself, after the Indian's renewed visits and pointing finger,
for he changed nothing in his programme save the spot he indicated. She
spent an entire day pulling and poking among the attic rafters. She
rolled out several empty cider barrels from a distant cellar corner, and
even dug a hole there secretly. Her husband at last discovered her
mysteriously poking a hole down a disused well, and promptly had the well
cleaned out; but of course nothing was found save the usual well contents,
and thus the years rolled on.

One morning Lucy Jencks whimpered that the Indian had pulled her out of
bed in the night and pointed out to her where to hunt. Lucy was nearly
eleven years old; a clever, sharp, active little Yankee, who helped to
shell peas and string beans and scour pewter, and who could knit famously
and spin pretty well. This brought her naturally in the company of her
elders, and she proved the influence of the ghost talk she had heard by
repeating the Indian's words that "the derision of his ancient race, the
degradation of his ancient customs, must be avenged." Derision and
degradation are too big words for a little girl to use untutored, or for
an Indian ghost either; and in truth they were not the precise words he
had spoken at first. But Parson Pillsbury had been present at the digging
under the Sapson apple tree, a piously sceptical but secretly interested
spectator, and he had thus explained the somewhat broken "Injun-talk"
which Mrs. Jencks reported. It proves the tractability and intelligence of
this ghost of a heathen that he ever after used the words of the Puritan

The ghost pointed out to Lucy Jencks a very inaccessible spot to be
searched. It was the farther end of a loft over a shed, and had to be
entered by a short ladder from a leanto. This loft was packed solidly
with the accumulated debris of three-quarters of a century, portions of
farm tools, poor old furniture, boxes, barrels, every old stuff and piece
that was too mean even for the main attic, in which were poor enough
relics. It had never been searched or sorted out since Ben Jencks came to
the tavern, and I doubt whether Mrs. Jencks would have listened to a
ransacking then but for one circumstance, the Jencks family were going to
leave the Black House Tavern--and they really ought to know exactly what
was in it ere they sold it with its contents. They had not been driven
from the family home by this Indian spirit of dreams, but by a more
powerful spirit--that of emigration. Neighbors and friends in Rutland and
Worcester were going to Ohio--that strange new territory, and they would
go too. A single dead Indian, and such a liar, too, seemed of but little
account when they thought of the infinite bands of very live Indians in
their chosen home.

[Illustration: Wright Tavern, Concord, Massachusetts.]

Mrs. Jencks and Lucy climbed the ladder to the loft, opened the single
shutter, and let in a narrow dancing ray of dusty sunlight on the crowded
desolation within. Lucy pointed between bars and barrels and bags, with
slender white finger, at a large and remote box which a slender, strong,
copper-colored hand had pointed out to her in her dreams. Her mother
sternly sent her below to do her stent at quilt-piecing, and she tearfully
and unwillingly descended. It was nearly an hour ere the strong arms of
Mrs. Jencks had dislodged and repacked the unutterable chaos to the extent
of reaching the box. Clouds of dust dimmed the air. She untied and
removed a rotten rope that bound the box, which even in the dim litter
looked like the upper half of a coffin. Within lay something swathed in
linen bands and strips of old flannel--newspapers were then too precious
for wrappings. She struck it, and there came a faint rattle of metal. The
thought came to her of the description of a mummy which she had read a few
nights before in the almanac. She paused; then twisted in and among the
boxes to the head of the ladder. She could hear the sound of Perseverance
singing a hymn. Perseverance Abbott was the "help," the sister of a farmer
neighbor, and she was baking "rye and Injun" bread for the teamsters who
would stop there at nightfall. Mrs. Jencks called down, "Persy, come here
a minute!" "I'll tell her to come," piped up the shrill voice of Lucy, who
was hovering at the base of the ladder and evidently meant to be "in at
the death." Perseverance appeared, floury and serene, at the foot of the
ladder. "I'll come," she said, in answer to Mrs. Jencks's appeal for
assistance, "because I know you're scairt, and I ain't a-goin' to see Ben
Jencks a-huntin for them Indian bones again. I've been dyin', anyway, to
clear this out ever since I come here, an' this'll be the beginnin'."
"Persy," said Mrs. Jencks, hesitatingly, "it seems to be something dead."
"Dead!" answered her hand-maid, "I'll bet it's dead after layin' here
forty, perhaps a hundred year!" An atmosphere of good sense and
fearlessness seemed to halo her about; still both women unwrapped the
heavy thing, the mummy, with care. A bare shining scalp came first to
view. "It's a wig-block," shouted Perseverance in a moment, "yes, and
here's curling irons and wire wig-springs."

It was "grandpa's wig-block," so Reuben Jencks said, when he saw it later;
his grandfather had added to his duties of tavern-keeper, roadmaster,
selectman, and deacon, that of wig-maker. And in that day, when all men of
any station wore handsome flowing wigs, and all, even poor men, wore wigs
of some kind, it was a calling of importance. Moreover, an Indian with a
tomahawk cut but a sorry figure when he tried to scalp a man who wore a
wig; it was a deriding insult to the warlike customs of the whole Indian

[Illustration: Sign-board of Moses Hill's Inn.]

There is a fine old brick tavern still standing in a New England seaboard
town, and now doing service as a rather disreputable road house. It is a
building rigidly square, set due north, south, east, and west, with four
long, narrow doors opening over broad door-stones to the four ends of the
earth. A long tail of summer and winter kitchens, a wash-room, brew-house,
smoke-house, wood-rooms, sheds, barns, piggeries, pigeon-houses,
hen-houses, once stretched a hundred feet or more adown the road, part of
which is now torn down. Each joint of the tail helped loyally in olden
times to furnish good cheer to the traveller. The great square rooms of
the main house are amply furnished; one was a taproom, and in each
second-story room still are two double beds, save in the corner room next
the kitchen tail of the house, where stands nailed firmly to the floor of
the room a somewhat battered oaken table. A little open staircase in the
corner of this room leads down to the working end of the house, and was
used in olden days to carry supplies to the upper table from the lower

It has been many a year since good cheer was spread on that broad oaken
board, though at one time it was the favorite dining place of a choice
brotherhood of old salts, called the Mariners' Club, who gathered there
when on shore to tell tales of wild privateering, and of sharp foreign
trade, and to plan new and profitable ventures. Many of these Mariners'
Clubs and Marine Societies existed in seaport towns at that golden time in
New England's marine commercial history.

[Illustration: Sign-board of John Nash's Tavern.]

This room was the scene about seventy-five years ago of a somewhat unusual
expression of feminine revolt--that is, both the expression and the revolt
were unusual. One of the most constant frequenters of the tavern, the
heaviest eater and deepest drinker, the greatest money-spender at these
Mariners' dinners, was one Captain Sam Blood, who ran a large coasting
brig, which made but short trips to Atlantic seaports. Thus he was ever
on hand for tavern fun. He had a large and rather helpless family which he
kept somewhat in retreat on a gloomy farm two miles inland; his mother old
and feeble, yet ever hard-working; a large number of untidy children, and,
worst of all, a sickly wife, a tall, gaunt woman who whined, and whined,
and ever whined from her patch-covered couch, over the frequent desertions
of her spouse to the tavern-table, and his wilful waste of money, while
she could never leave the house. One night a specially good dinner was set
in the Mariners' room, roast and boiled meats, pies and puddings, a grand
array of full pitchers, decanters, and bottles; the assembled group of old
salts were about to ascend from the taproom to seat themselves comfortably
at the round table for solid work, when a terrible crash and scream were
heard, each seeming louder than the other, and before the startled eyes of
the landlord and his guests, as they rushed up and into the room, there
were all the steaming dishes, all the streaming bottles, with table-cloth
and plates in a disorderly hopeless wreck on the floor. "Who could have
done it?" "There he goes," shouted one captain, as he ran to the window;
and, surely enough, a slender man in nautical garb was seen striking out
from under the sheltering walls of the ell-kitchens and sheds, and running
desperately across the snowy fields. Full chase was given and the marauder
finally captured; he was swung roughly around with oaths and blows, when
sudden silence fell on all. It was Sam Blood's wife in Sam Blood's togs.
"I'll settle for this dinner," said Sam Blood, blackly.

On his next voyage Mrs. Blood sailed with the captain. With the usual
ethical inconsistencies which prevail in small communities, Mrs. Sam Blood
the despoiler attracted more attention and sympathy than Mrs. Sam Blood
the poor, hard-working, sickly wife; it was the universal talk and
decision of all the women in town that the captain's wife needed a change
of scene; and she had to take it in that ironical form decreed to the
wives of old-time ship-owners, in a voyage of uncertain length and certain
discomfort on a sailing vessel, with no woman companion and the doubtful
welcome of the male members of the crew. Off she went to Savannah. At that
port she was no better, cried all the time (the first mate wrote home),
and seemed little like the woman of spirit who had wrecked the Mariners'
dinner. The captain decided to go with a cargo to South America to see how
the tropics would serve the ailing woman. His old home crew shipped back
to Boston, not caring for the trip far south, and a crew of creoles and
negroes was taken on the supplemental trip.

When Captain Blood and his schooner at last came into port at home, he
landed with sombre countenance, a mourning widower, and soon was properly
clad in trappings of woe. Mrs. Sam Blood was no more. Her husband stated
briefly that she had died and was buried at sea off the island of Jamaica.
A discreet and decent term of mourning passed, and Mrs. Blood, as is the
way of the living--and of the dead--was quite forgotten. Once more the
Mariners' Club was to have a dinner, and once more the table in the
Mariners' room was spread with good cheer and ample drink. Captain Blood,
in somewhat mitigated bereavement, was among the thronging guests who
lingered over a final stomach-warmer at the bar. The landlord ran out of
the room and roared down the main stairs that dinner was ready, and even
as he spoke, crash! smash! came a din from the Mariners' room, and there
was all the dinner and all the broken bottles with the table-cloth and the
upset table on the floor. It was a very unpleasant reminder to Sam Blood
of a very mortifying event, and his friends sympathized with him in
silence. This time no miscreant could be found in house or on farm, but
the landlord suspected a discharged and ugly servant, who might have run
down the little corner staircase, as Mrs. Blood had before him.

The ruined dinner was replaced by another a week later. The guests were
gathered, the landlord was bearing a last roast pig aloft, when smash!
crash! came again from the Mariners' room. Every one in the house rushed
up in tremendous excitement: the table-cloth was off, table upset, bottles
smashed. An ominous silence and a sense of the uncanny fell on all in the
room; some glanced askance at Sam Blood. More than one sharp-eyed old salt
noted that the great, hairy, tattooed hands of the widower shook
amazingly, though his face was the calmest of all the bronzed,
weather-beaten figure-heads staring around.

_There has never been a meal served from that table since_, though many a
meal has been spread on it. The landlord, a stubborn man of no nonsense
and no whims, grimly nailed the legs of the table to the floor, and
proceeded to set the succeeding dinner on the bare boards. It mattered
not, cloth or no cloth, every dinner small or great was always wrecked.
Watchers were set, enjoined not to take their eyes from the table, nor
themselves from the room. Something always happened, an alarm of fire, a
sudden call for help, an apparent summons from the landlord--this but for
a single moment, but in that moment smash! crash! went the dinner.

Captain Blood lived to a rather lonely and unpopular old age, for he was
held responsible for the decay and dissolution of the Mariners' Club; and
unjustly enough, for Neptune knows it was no wish of his. When occasional
dinners and suppers were given by nautical men in wholly mundane rooms in
other taverns, with no spiritual accompaniments,--that is, in the form of
ghosts,--the captain was left out. Men did not hanker for the
companionship of a man who left port with a wife and came home with a
ghost. He has been dead for decades, and is anchored in the old Hill
graveyard, where he sleeps the quiet sleep of the righteous; and the name
and virtues of Elvira, his beloved wife, are amply recorded on his
tombstone. But her ghost still walks, or at any rate still wrecks. I don't
like ghosts, but I really should like to meet this lively and persistent
Yankee wraith, clad in the meek and meagre drooping feminine attire which
was the mode in the early part of this century, or perhaps tentatively
mannish in peajacket and oilskins as in her day of riot of old. I really
wish I could see the spry and spiteful spirit of Mrs. Sam Blood, with her
expression of rampant victory as she twitches the table-cloth off, and
wrecks the bottles, and says in triumphal finality, "I'll settle for this
dinner"; thus gaining what is ever dear to a woman, even to the ghost of a
woman--the last word.

[Illustration: Montague City Tavern.]

Late on a November night in the early part of this century the landlord
and half a dozen teamsters sat drinking deep in the taproom of the Buxton
Inn. These rough travellers had driven into the yard during the afternoon
with their produce-laden wagons; for a heavy snow was falling, and it was
impossible wheeling, doubtful even whether they could leave the inn in
forty-eight hours--perhaps not for a week. Their board would not prove
very costly, for they carried their own horse-provender, and much of their
own food. Some paid for a bed, others slept free of charge round the fire;
but all spent money for drink. It was a fierce storm and a great fall of
snow for the month of the year--though November is none too mild any year
in New England. Though this snow was too early by half to be seasonable,
yet each teamster was roughly merry at the others' expense that he had not
"come down" on runners.

With dull days of inaction before them there was no need for early hours
of sleep, so all talked loud and long and drank boisterously, when
suddenly a series of heavy knocks was heard at the front door of the inn.
Bang! bang! angrily pounded the iron knocker, and the landlord went slowly
into the little front entry, fumbled heavily at the bolt, and at last
threw open the door to a fine young spark who blustered in with a great
bank of snow which fell in at his feet, and who was covered with rolls and
drifts of snow, which he shook off debonairly on all around him,
displaying at last a handsome suit of garments, gold-laced, and very fine
to those country bumpkins, but which a "cit" would have noted were
somewhat antiquated of cut and fashion.

He at once indicated and proved his claim to being a gentleman by swearing
roundly at the landlord, declaring that his horses and servant were housed
ere he was, that they had driven round and found shelter in the barn
before he could get into the front door. He could drink like a gentleman,
too, this fine young fellow, and he entered at once into the drinking and
singing and story-telling and laughing with as much zest as if he had been
only a poor common country clown. At last all fell to casting dice. The
stakes were low, but such as they were luck all went one way. After two
hours' rounds the gentleman had all the half-dollars and shillings, all
the pennies even, in his breeches pocket; and he laughed and sneered in
hateful triumph. Sobered by his losses, which were small but his all, one
teamster surlily said he was going to sleep, and another added, "'Tis high
time." And indeed it was, for at that moment old Janet, the tavern
housemaid, came in to begin her morning round of work, to pinch out the
candles, take up part of the ashes from the chimney-hearth, fill the
kitchen pots and kettles, gather in the empty bottles and glasses; and as
she did so, albeit she was of vast age, she glanced with warm interest at
the fine figure of fashion slapping his pockets, sneering, and drinking
off his glass. "Why, master," she said, staring, "you do be the very cut
of Sir Charles off our sign-board." "Let's see how he looks," swaggered
the young blade; "where's a window whence we can peep at him?" All trooped
to a nigh window in the tavern parlor to look at the portrait of Sir
Charles Buxton on the swing-sign, but to no avail, for there was yet but
scant light without, and they peered out only on thick snowdrifts on the
window panes. But when they reëntered the kitchen, lo! their gay companion
was gone. Gone where? Back on the sign-board, of course. All who heard the
oft and ever repeated wonder-tale would have scoffed at the fuddled
notions of a drunken group of stupid teamsters, but the dollars and
shillings and pennies were gone too--the devil knows where; and who was to
pay the score for the double bowl of punch and the half-dozen mugs of
flip Sir Charles Buxton had ordered while the dicing was going on, and a
large share of which he had drunk off with all the zest of flesh and
blood? Besides, Janet had seen him, and Janet's eye for a young man could
never be doubted.

[Illustration: The Old Abbey, Bloomingdale Road, New York.]

I spent one night a few summers ago in a tavern haunted by the ghost of a
dead past. A sudden halt in our leisurely progress from town to town,
caused by a small but unsurmountable accident to our road-wagon, found us
in a little Massachusetts village of few houses. The blacksmith had gone
to a neighboring village to spend the night. It was twilight, and we
decided not to attempt to reach our intended place for sojourning, six
miles distant. We asked of a passer-by which house was the tavern. "There
isn't any," was the cheerful answer; "if you stay here over night you'll
have to stay at the poorhouse." Now this was rather an unalluring
alternative to any self-respecting citizen, but the night was coming on,
and, after vainly searching for some resident who had ever had summer
boarders, we determined to investigate the poorhouse. We found it the best
house in the village. It was the almshouse, but it had been for half a
century a tavern in reality, when the post-road lay through the town and
travellers were more frequent than to-day. There was evidence of its
tavern days in the old taproom, which had been converted into a
store-room. The house with twenty acres of land had been bequeathed to the
town by one of the old Bourne family that had lived in it so long. This
last Bourne owner was a childless widower, a St. Louis man, who had been
away from the home of his youth since early childhood and had little love
of it from old associations.

[Illustration: Tavern Pitcher. Apotheosis of Washington.]

The poormaster and his wife we found to be tidy, respectable folk, even
folk of a certain dignity, who owned the adjoining farm. Their own house
had burned down. So for ten years they had run the poorhouse. It had not
proved a very difficult task. Often there were no occupants; one year
there were two Portuguese cranberry pickers, stricken with rheumatism from
exposure in the cranberry bogs. Now both are married to American wives
and own prosperous cranberry bogs of their own. The poorhouse had its
usual quota on the night of our sojourn; we found two paupers living

[Illustration: After the Shower.]

There was not time to prepare an extra meal of extra quality for the
travellers who came so suddenly for a night's shelter, but the good tea,
plentiful milk, fine bread and butter, honey, hot griddle-cakes, and fried
bacon bore testimony of ample fare and good housewifery. The two paupers
sat at the table and ate with us--a silver-haired old man of exquisite
cleanliness, and a grotesque little humpback. We noted that the old man
was ever addressed by all who spoke to him as Mr. Bourne, and during his
short absence from the room after supper the poor-mistress told us that
the almshouse had been the home and this the farm of his grandfather. The
supper was served in the great kitchen, and here we sat till a curfew bell
rang from the little church belfry at nine o'clock.

Considerable jealousy was shown by both paupers in their eager desire to
talk with us, and we learned that the dwarf was regarded as a genius; he
composed wonderful epitaphs, and had written poetry for the county
newspaper. He could set type, and could thus earn his living, but was
temporarily more feeble than usual, on account of a weight falling on his
back; after a few months he would go to work again. He represented the
brilliant and intellectual element of communal life, but was hopelessly
plebeian; while Mr. Bourne stood for blood and breeding. This the dwarf
Peter scorned, being a Socialist in his creed. A curious and touching
atmosphere of simplicity and confidence filled the old kitchen. The farmer
and his wife were deeply solicitous for the comfort and health of their
two charges; and as I sat there, tired by my long drive, a little lonely
from the strangeness of the surroundings, there was nevertheless a
profound sense that this poorhouse was truly a home.

[Illustration: Sign-board Grosvenor Inn.]

It was in the middle of this night that the experience came to me of the
greatest sense of passive comfort that I have known--and think of the
absurdity, in a poorhouse! We heard at midnight a light patter of quick
rain, and soon soft footsteps entered and our window shutters were
carefully closed. "It's me," said our landlady, ungrammatically and
pleasantly. "I didn't mean to wake you, but I always go to Mr. Bourne's
room when it rains to close his window for fear he'll take cold, so I
looked at yours," and the old-time figure in petticoat, shawl, and ruffled
nightcap withdrew as quietly as it had entered. Then came the hour of
half-sleep, a true "dozy hour," as Thackeray said. In this poorhouse, with
no book, no ready light, I fain must lie in silence, hence an hour such as
has been told in perfection in a simple yet finished piece of descriptive
English; let me give the classic prose of Sam Pepys--the words are
his--but the happy hour was mine as well as his:--

    "Rode easily to Welling, where we supped well, and had two beds in the
    room, and so lay single, and still remember it that of all the nights
    that I ever slept in my life I never did pass a night with more
    epicurism of sleep; there being now and then a noise of people
    stirring that wakened me, and then it was a very rainy night, and then
    I was a little weary, that what between waking, and then sleeping
    again one after another, I never had so much content in all my life."

When we awoke the following morning Mr. Bourne was awaiting our coming
with some eagerness. The dwarf was absent, and the old man apologized for
one or two of Peter's remarks the night before which had seemed to him
uncivil. These were, however, only some of Peter's mild bitternesses about
division of property, the injustice of modern laws, the inequalities of
taxation, etc., which had seemed harmless enough in the mouth of a pauper.

While waiting the leisurely repairs of our vehicle at the hands of the
captured blacksmith, I yielded to Mr. Bourne's eager invitation to come
with him to see a piece of land he owned. "It's been in the family near
two hundred years," he said proudly. "Peter says I ought to be ashamed to
tell of my folks' grasping all them years God's gift of the soil that
ought to be just as free as the ocean and the sky; but I'm glad I've got
it. Peter's folks came from Middleboro way, and never did own no land nor
nothin', and I've noticed it's them sort that's always maddest at folks as
does have family things." After a few minutes of silence he added: "Peter
can't help it. It's born in him to feel that way, just as it's born into
me to feel proud of my property." We walked along the sandy road under the
beautiful autumnal sky. A dense group of stunted cedars and one towering
fir tree rose sombrely in a little enclosed corner below the church. "This
is my property," said the old man, cheerfully, "and they're all Bournes
and Swifts in it. There lies my great-grandfather, the old parson, under
that flat stone come from England. Here is my mother. That slate headstone
over there is for my brother lost at sea on one of his voyages. I am going
to be put exactly here. Them four stones I put to mark it. And Peter
hasn't any graveyard--don't even know where his father is buried--so he's
going to lie over here in this corner. He's the only one as ain't a Swift
or a Bourne, and it's a great honor to him. He's had to pay me for it,
though; he's written me an epitaph, and it's a good one; it'll be the best
one in the whole graveyard."

[Illustration: The Parting of the Ways.]


  Abbott's Tavern, 111-112.

  Accidents on coaches, 365 _et seq._

  "Accommodation," service in travel, 273, 298.

  _Adam and Eveses Garden_, 157.

  Adams, John, quoted, on landlord, 69;
    on drinking habits, 103, 112;
    on Revolutionary sentiments, 170-173, 175;
    on Revolutionary song, 173.

  Addison, quoted, 140-141.

  Ah-coobee, 101.

  Albany, N. Y., tavern at, 85-86;
    foot post to, 275;
    stage line at, 365-366;
    highway robbery in, 394 _et seq._

  Ale, use of, 123.

  Alexander, John, highway robbery by, 384 _et seq._

  Alexandria, Va., turnpike at, 232.

  Alleghany Mountains, pack-horses on, 242.

  Almshouse, ghost story of, 430 _et seq._

  American House, Springfield, fare at, 88.

  Ames, Nathaniel, tavern of, 164 _et seq._;
    almanacks of, 164;
    sign-board of, 165.

  Amherst, Mass., sign-boards at, 123, 421.

  Anchor Inn, 5.

  Andover, Mass., tavern license in, 64-66.

  Andros, Sir Edmund, wine list of, 136;
    coach of, 256.

  Angel Tavern, 157.

  Animals, at taverns, 197-198.

  Animals' heads, sign-boards of, 138.

  Annals of the Revolution, 377.

  Annual parade, 336.

  Apples, in New England, 125;
    in Virginia, 129;
    in New York, 130;
    names of, 130.

  Arcade Tavern, 294.

  Arlington, Mass., taverns at, 180.

  Armitage, Joseph, ordinary-keeper, 5.

  Arnold, David, tavern of, 215.

  Arnold, Peleg, tavern of, 352;
    roads of, 352;
    milestone of, 352-353.

  Artists, as sign-board painters, 142 _et seq._

  Ashburnham Thief Detecting Society, handbill of, 393.

  Ashton, John, cited, 193.

  Auctions. _See_ Vendues.

  Ayers, John, 170 _et seq._

  Bacchanalians, 141.

  Backgammon, at coffee-houses, 49.

  Badger and Porter's Stage Lists, 273, 372.

  Bag-o'-Nails, 141.

  Balancing on stage-coach, 367-368.

  Balch, John, post-rider, 309.

  Balloons, at taverns, 198;
    on railroads, 285.

  Baltimore, Md., taverns in, 32;
    wine prices at, 88-89;
    turnpikes in, 232;
    Conestoga wagons at, 247;
    highway robbery in, 384 _et seq._

  Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 284.

  Bannocks, Tuggie, 95-96.

  Bar, in taverns, 43.

  Barbadoes, rum in, 100.

  Barbadoes brandy, 101.

  Barbadoes liquor, 101.

  Barberries, superstitions about, 340-341.

  Barge, use of word, 266-267.

  Barnum, P. T., quoted, 130.

  Barnum's Hotel, Baltimore, prices at, 88-89.

  Barre, sign-board at, 168.

  Barre, Colonel, 173.

  Barre and Worcester Stage Line, 305.

  Barrington, R I., prices at, 79-80.

  Bartlett, Eliphalet, tavern of, 47.

  Bay Path, 224-225.

  Beakers, glass, 44.

  Beal, Thomas, coach line of, 271-272.

  Bear, as a mark, 208.

  Beaumont, quoted, 207.

  Beehive Tavern, 154.

  Beer, brewing regulated by law, 4;
    price established, 4;
    in New York, 121;
    in Virginia, 121-122.

  Bell Savage, 141.

  Bell teams, 247.

  Bell, Tom, story of, 380-381.

  Bellarmine jug, 44.

  Bellows-top, 109.

  Bells, on pack-horses, 243;
    on Conestoga wagons, 247-248.

  Bennett, quoted, 103, 128, 256-257.

  Berkeley, Governor, quoted, 122.

  Bethlehem, Penn., tavern at, 57 _et seq._

  Beverige, 131-132.

  Beverly, Mass., ordinary at, 2.

  Bible and Key, 157.

  Bible and Peacock, 157.

  Biblical names, of towns, 58;
    of taverns, 157.

  Bickerdyke, quoted, 132.

  Bilboes, 8, 215.

  Billiards, forbidden, 5.

  Bills of fare, 87-88.

  Bingham house a tavern, 53.

  Birch, beer of, 123;
    vistas of, 346.

  Bispham's Tavern, Trenton, 83-84.

  Bissell's Tavern, 150-151.

  "Bite," 327.

  Black Ben, anecdote of, 332.

  Black, William, quoted, 116.

  Black Horse Tavern, Winchester, 180.

  "Blacks," 373.

  Black Horse Tavern, 39;
    shows at, 197.

  Black jacks, 14.

  Black Sam. _See_ Samuel Fraunces.

  Black strap, 104.

  Bladensburgh, Md., tavern at, 32.

  Bliss, Joseph, 311.

  Bliss Tavern, Haverhill, N. H., 311, 314.

  Blood, Sam, ghost story of, 420 _et seq._

  Blue Anchor Tavern, Boston, names of chambers, 18;
    landlord of, 62.

  Blue Anchor Tavern, Cambridge, bills at, 81.

  Bogus, 104.

  Bonaparte, Jerome, 186.

  Bonnets, bought by stage-drivers, 328;
    highway robbery of, 408.

  Book auctions, 197.

  Boreel Building, 35.

  Boston, ordinaries in, 6, 9, 10-11, 13, 17-19;
    night watch in, 6;
    smoking fined in, 13;
    ale-houses in, 20;
    liquor sellers in, 25;
    disorder in, 26-27;
    taverns in, 154;
    oldest inn in, 180;
    pillory in, 218;
    bridges in, 228 _et seq._;
    coaches in, 256 _et seq._;
    stage-coach lines from, 271 _et seq._, 371 _et seq._

  Boston, Sarah, 96-99.

  Boston and Hartford Stage Line, 291 _et seq._

  Boston and Lowell R. R., 287.

  Boston and Providence R. R., 287.

  Boston and Worcester R. R., first cars on, 287.

  Boston _Courier_, objects to railroads, 289.

  Boston Tea Party, 181.

  Boston _Traveller_, 273.

  Bound children, 221.

  Bowen Inn, prices at, 79-80.

  Bowls, forbidden, 5.

  Box, fragrance of, 347.

  Brackett, Landlord, 84-85.

  Braddock, General, horses and wagons for, 242 _et seq._

  Braddock's trail, 243.

  Bradford, printer, of Philadelphia, 49-50.

  Bradish, Sister, encouraged in brewing, 122.

  Bradstreet, Simon, bills of, 5;
    rides in coach, 256.

  Brakes, early, 288.

  Brandy-wine, 101.

  Bray, Major, robbery of, 405 _et seq._

  Brazil, story of, 298 _et seq._

  Breck, Samuel, cited, 218.

  Bridges, sign-boards on, 149;
    of fallen trees, 223, 356;
    building of, 228;
    of stone, 356;
    of wood, 357-358;
    insecurity of, 366 _et seq._

  Bridle-paths, 223.

  Brissot, quoted, 67.

  _British Apollo_, 139.

  Brookfield, Mass., tavern at, 140;
    war at, 170 _et seq._

  Brookline, Mass., turkey-shoot in, 208;
    tavern, anecdote of, 383-384.

  Brown, John, chariot of, 258-259.

  Browner, Deb., 94-95.

  Bryant, Harrison, anecdote of, 324-325.

  Buck Horn Tavern, 169.

  Buckman Tavern, 23, 179-180, 384.

  Bucks County Historical Society, Pennsylvania, 239, 252.

  Buffalo Bill, coach of, 265.

  Buggy, 258.

  Bull and Mouth, 141-142.

  Bull-baiting, 209.

  Bully Dawson, punch recipe of, 119-120.

  Bunch of Grapes, lecture at, 198, 204-205.

  Bunting, 92.

  Burke, Edmund, quoted, 103.

  Burlington, Mass., tavern at, 182-183.

  Burnaby, quoted, 90.

  Burning at stake, 218-219.

  Burns, George, 36.

  Bush, as tavern-sign, 169.

  Butchers, as letter-carriers, 274.

  Butler, coach-driver, 268.

  Buxton Inn, ghost story of, 426 _et seq._

  Bynner, Edwin Lasseter, quoted, 196-197.

  Cable cars, 285.

  Calash, described, 257.

  Calibogus, 104.

  Calves' head soup, 89.

  Cambridge, Mass., seating meeting at, 16-17;
    first landlord at, 63;
    first liquor license at, 63;
    selectmen's bills at, 81;
    negro burned in, 218-219.

  Canajoharie, N. Y., stages at, 236;
    spelling of name, 237.

  Canary, use of, 32.

  Canton, Mass., flip in, 109.

  Captain Lightfoot, 402.

  Captain Thunderbolt, 402-403, 407.

  "Carding," forbidden, 5.

  Carriages, for pleasure, 227;
    in Philadelphia, 256.

  Cars on railroads, 285 _et seq._

  Carts, near Boston, 257;
    in New England, 313.

  Cart-bridges, 228.

  Cartways, 222.

  Castle Inn, scene at, 28-29.

  Cat and Wheel, 141.

  Catfish suppers, 90-91.

  Catherine Wheel, 141.

  Cato's House, 40-41.

  Cattle tracks, 223.

  Cavalry corps, in Massachusetts, 226.

  Central Hotel, Worcester, 303.

  Centrebrook, Conn., tavern at, 152-153.

  Chain bridge, Newburyport, 230.

  Chair, described, 258.

  Chaise, described, 257-258;
    French, 258.

  Chalking his hat, 233.

  Chapin, C. W., 338.

  Chariots, 253, 258-259.

  Charles River, bridge over, 228 _et seq._

  Charlestown, Mass., great house at, 15.

  Charlestown, N. H., tavern at, 154;
    coachman at, 323.

  Cheney, B. P., 338.

  Chester, Vt., marriages at, 345.

  "Chopping," 327.

  Church, Dr., a traitor, 181.

  Cider, use of, 103 _et seq._;
    price of, 125, 128, 129;
    manufacture of, 128.

  Ciderkin, 130.

  Cider-royal, 130.

  City Hotel, Hartford, bill of fare, 89.

  City Hotel, New York, 37 _et seq._

  City Tavern, New York, 33 _et seq._

  Claret, use of, 136.

  Clark's Inn, Philadelphia, 55 _et seq._

  Clawson, John, murder of, 341-342.

  Clifford's Tavern, thief sold at, 219-220.

  Clubs, in taverns, 35.

  Cluffe, Richard, anecdote of, 4-5.

  Coachee, described, 257.

  Coaches, in England, 253-256;
    objections to, 254;
    books about, 255-256;
    in America, 256 _et seq._;
    in Scotland, 283.

  Coachmen, in England, 323, 328, 336-337.

  Coast Path, 224.

  Cochran, Mordecai, 233.

  Coffee, introduction of, 48;
    abuse of, 48.

  Coffee-houses, in London, 47-48;
    in New York, 48-49;
    in Philadelphia, 49-50;
    in Boston, 50-51.

  Coffyn, Tristram, keeps ordinary, 2.

  Cohos Turnpike, 309.

  Cohos Valley, 308.

  Cole, Samuel, keeps ordinary, 180.

  Coles, Robert, two sentences of, 8.

  Collier, William, wine seller, 63.

  Collin's Tavern, 92.

  Comfortier, 46.

  Commutation, in travel, 298.

  Concerts, at taverns, 203.

  Concord, Mass., lack of ordinary in, 2;
    tavern at, 179.

  Concord, N. H., coach-making in, 264-265;
    stagemen's ball at, 336.

  Conestoga wagons, first appearance in history, 242-243;
    payment for use of, 242;
    a pride, 245;
    shape of, 246;
    equipment of, 247-248;
    number of, 249;
    in Revolution, 250;
    in War of 1812, 250;
    in New England, 312 _et seq._

  Conkey Tavern, 186-188.

  Connecticut, laws in, 2;
    apples in, 125.

  Convicts sent to America, 374.

  Cook, Tom, 381 _et seq._

  Coolidge, turnkey, 406.

  Cooper, James Fenimore, quoted, 68-69.

  Cooper Tavern, 180.

  Corduroy roads, 227-228.

  Courts held in taverns, 213-214.

  Cowper, quoted, 266.

  Cox, Lemuel, bridges of, 229 _et seq._

  Craft's Tavern, 205.

  Creels, transportation by, 283.

  Criminals, public punishment of, 214 _et seq._;
    sale of, 219-220.

  Cromwell's Head Tavern, 84-85.

  Crosby, J., advertisement of, 117-118.

  Curricle, described, 257-258.

  Cutpurse, Moll, 374.

  Cutter, Joseph, tavern of, 153.

  Danbury, Conn., railroad incident at, 287.

  Dancing, forbidden, 4, 6;
    at New York ball, 39.

  Danforth, Nicholas, sells wine, 63.

  Danforth, Samuel, anecdote of, 10.

  Dankers, quoted, 130.

  Darrach, Mrs. Lydia, action of, 378.

  Daughters of Liberty, 173.

  Davenport, George, tavern bill of, 177-178.

  Deer seen from coach, 345.

  De Lanceys, house of, 35-36, 183-184.

  De Lancey Arms, bull-baiting at, 209.

  Dennie, Joseph, 206-207.

  De Quincey, quoted, 360.

  Dicing forbidden, 5.

  Dickens, Charles, quoted, 255.

  Distances, elastic, 354.

  Doanes, story of, 377 _et seq._

  Dogs, turnspits, 55-57.

  Doherty, John, 402.

  Doolittle Tavern, 153.

  Door-latch, iron, 42.

  Dorchester, Mass., tavern at, 175.

  Drafts, in America, 374-375.

  "Draw," 327.

  Dress of stage-drivers, 325-326.

  Drift of the forest, 210.

  Drivers, rivalry of, 269;
    of wagons in New England, 313.

  Driving, rules for, 333-334.

  Drunkenness, laws about, 7 _et seq._, 34-35;
    of coachmen, 295, 328.

  Dunbarton, N. H., 219-220.

  Dunton, John, quoted on landlord, 5, 62;
    on punch bowl, 116.

  Dutch, drink of, 103.

  Duxbury, Mass., ordinary at, 3, 64.

  Dwight, Dr., quoted on landlords, 66.

  Eagle Coffee-house, Concord, N. H., 336.

  Eagle Tavern, East Poultney, Vt., 46.

  Eagle Tavern, Newton, N. H., 46-47.

  Ear-bells, 247.

  Earl of Halifax Tavern, 175-177, 278.

  Early start of stage-coaches, 294, 369 _et seq._

  East Poultney, Vt., taverns at, 46.

  East Windsor, Conn., tavern at, 150-153.

  Eastern Stage Company, 273 _et seq._;
    drivers of, 332, 338.

  Eastern Stage House, 199.

  Ebulum, 132.

  Egan, Pierce, books of, 321-322.

  Egg-hot, 111

  Egg-nogg, Cato's, 41.

  Egg-nogg stick, 114.

  Eicholtz, sign-board by, 153.

  Electrical machines, at taverns, 198.

  Ellery Tavern, Gloucester, accounts at, 80-81.

  Elopements, 344-345.

  Emerson, Joseph, ownership of a "shay," 259-260.

  Emerson, R. W., anecdote told by, 358-359.

  Endicott, Governor, bills of, 5;
    apples planted by, 125.

  Enlisting, 188 _et seq._

  Epping, N. H., anecdote of coaching at, 368-369.

  Ernst, C. W., quoted, 227, 267, 280.

  Essex Bridge, 229.

  Essex Turnpike, 231.

  Everett, David, 207.

  Exchange Coffee-house, Boston, 50 _et seq._, 199.

  Exchange Hotel, Worcester, 300.

  Exchange Tavern, Boston, 45.

  Execution Day, 217, 312.

  Experiment railroad, 284.

  Falstaff Inn, 155.

  Farming, 327.

  Farrar, Major John, keeps tavern, 293.

  Father of the Turnpike, 297.

  Fayal wine, use of, 32.

  Fayetteville, N. C., bridge at, 366-367.

  Federal Convention Inn, 145 _et seq._

  Ferries, ordinaries at, 2;
    establishment of, 228;
    frozen in, 279.

  Fessenden, T. G., 207.

  Fiennes, Celia, quoted, 244-245.

  Finlay, Hugh, quoted, 277-278.

  Fireplaces, 41-42.

  Fisher, Joshua, 164.

  Fitchburg, Mass., tavern at, 16.

  Fitzhugh, Colonel, apple trees of, 129.

  Flagg, Parson, marriages of, 345.

  Flip, description of, 108;
    early note of, 108;
    in Canton, Mass., 109;
    in England, 110;
    recipe for, 111;
    price of, 112;
    taste of, 113.

  Flip dog, 112.

  Flip glasses, 109-110.

  Flip iron, 112.

  Floating bridges, 228, 367.

  Flowers, of gardens, 347;
    of fields, 347;
    of orchards, 348.

  Flying machines, 261.

  Flying Mail Stages, 261.

  Flying wagons, 261.

  Foot-bridges, 228.

  Foot-paths, 223, 225.

  Foot-port, 275.

  Fountain Inn, Baltimore, Md., 32.

  Fountain Inn, Medford, Mass., 53 _et seq._

  Four Alls, 160-161.

  Fox and Hounds, 168.

  Fox-chase, 209, 210.

  Franklin, Benjamin, home of, a tavern, 53;
    quoted, 69-70;
    on sign-board, 152;
    at tavern, 195;
    secures wagons for Braddock's Army, 242-243;
    milestones of, 353;
    cyclometer of, 353.

  Franklin Inn, 159.

  Fraunces, Samuel, 183-184.

  Fraunces Tavern, 183-184.

  Freemasons, at tavern, 180, 203 _et seq._

  Freight cars, 287.

  Frey, S. L., cited, 211.

  Furs, 243.

  Games, prohibited, 5.

  Gardens, 347.

  Garrigues Ferry, 91.

  Gates on turnpikes, 237.

  General Ticket Office, of Pease, 298.

  Genessee Valley, 234.

  Gentlemen sailors, 189 _et seq._

  Germantown, Penn., 155.

  Ghosts, in England, 409;
    in taverns, 410;
    of Indians, 410.

  Gig, 226.

  Gimlet team, 314.

  Gin, use of, 103.

  Gloucester, Mass., tavern bills at, 80-81.

  Goat and Compass, 141.

  _Going Down with Victory_, 360.

  Golden Hill Inn, 184-185.

  Golden Lion, 163.

  Good Intent Coach Line, 268.

  Good Woman, 162-163.

  Grafton, Mass., Indians at, 96.

  Grease-pot. _See_ Tar-lodel.

  Green Bush, 169.

  Green Dragon Inn, 180-181.

  Greenfield, Mass., tavern at, 153.

  Gregory's Tavern, Albany, 85-86.

  Greyhound Tavern, 10, 24.

  Grog, 104.

  "Grub," 249.

  Guide-boards, 354.

  "Gumption," 130.

  Hall, Basil, quoted, 67, 79, 208-209, 290, 370.

  Hall, Francis, quoted on landlords, 66.

  Hammond, John, quoted, 131-132.

  Hancock, John, on sign-board, 152;
    at Liberty Tavern, 175.

  Hancock Tavern, 152.

  Handkerchief with postal lists, 281 _et seq._

  Hanging in chains, 342.

  Hardy, Governor, dinner to, 36.

  Hare Brothers, highway robbery by, 386 _et seq._

  Harnesses of Conestoga wagons, 247.

  Harrington Tavern, Shrewsbury, Mass., 299.

  Hartford, Conn., tavern at, 43-44;
    ordination bill at, 82.

  Harvard College, cider at, 125;
    Commencement at, 128;
    love-making in, 216-217;
    pillory in, 218.

  Harvey, Governor, complaint of, 32.

  Hat Tavern and Sign-board, 147.

  Hatch, Israel, coach lines of, 271-272.

  Haverhill, N. H., tavern and stage life in, 309-319.

  Hawthorne, quoted, 218.

  Hayden Tavern, sign-board of, 28, 150.

  Hays' Tavern, Brattleboro, 65.

  Hen and Chickens, 151-152.

  Henry, Edward Lamson, collections of, 32-33.

  Herndon, John, curse of, 341.

  Hicks, sign-board by, 239.

  Highwaymen, in England, 373, 375;
    in America, 374 _et seq._

  Highwaywomen, 408.

  Hingham, Mass., Thief Detecting Society of, 393.

  Histrionic academies, 200.

  Hogarth, sign-board by, 160.

  Holden, Mass., flip at, 111-112.

  Holland, J. G., quoted, 225.

  Holyhead Road, 230-231.

  Horns as tavern-signs, 169.

  Horse-bridges, 228.

  Horse-cars, 285.

  Horse-paths, 237.

  Horse thief, 211 _et seq._

  Horses as tavern-signs, 152;
    rearing of, 226;
    plenty of, 227;
    of Conestoga breed, 247;
    in Boston, 257;
    on New England wagons, 315;
    on stage-coaches, 332-333;
    false tails on, 333.

  Hotels, evolution of, 51-52.

  Hottle, 112.

  Hound-handle pitcher, 26.

  Hundredth Town, 96.

  Hutchinson, Governor, milestones set by, 350.

  Ibbetson, sign-board by, 142.

  Indian Queen Tavern, Bladensburg, 32.

  Indian Queen Tavern, Philadelphia, 52-53.

  Indians, sale of rum prohibited to, 7, 103;
    leniency to, 92 _et seq._;
    on sign-boards, 154;
    attack on Brookfield, 170 _et seq._;
    wars of, 170 _et seq._;
    paths of, 223 _et seq._;
    as mail-carriers, 274-275;
    ghosts of, 410.

  Inn, use of word, 30.

  Insurance office in tavern, 198.

  Inveigling of girls' affections, 216-217.

  Ipswich, Mass., landlord at, 69;
    shipping at, 217.

  Ipswich River, bridge on, 358.

  Irish workers on roads, 233-234.

  Jackasses, sale of, 197.

  Jacks. _See_ Black-jacks.

  Jansen, quoted, 263.

  Jefferson, Thomas, quoted, 232.

  Jencks, Reuben, tavern of, 410 _et seq._

  Jencks Tavern, ghost story of, 410-419.

  Johnstown, N. Y., tavern at, 85.

  Jokes, of landlords, 70 _et seq._;
    at taverns, 92.

  Jordan, John V., account of The Rose Tavern, 57.

  Josselyn, John, quoted, 69, 129.

  Joyce, Herbert, quoted, 281.

  June Bug, coach line, 268.

  Kalm, quoted, 130.

  Kennebunk Road by the Sea, 224.

  Kentucky, metheglin in, 124.

  "Kids," 374.

  Kieft, Director, quoted, 33.

  Kill devil, 100, 101.

  King's Arms, Boston, inventory of, 17 _et seq._

  King's Arms, Newport, play at, 200 _et seq._

  King's College, services at, 36.

  King's Head Tavern, Brooklyn, 209-210.

  Kittery, Me., makes road, 224.

  Knights, Sarah, quoted, 76 _et seq._;
    journey of, 76.

  Knot bowl, Indian, 44.

  Lackawanna, pauper sold at, 221.

  Lafayette, on sign-boards, 152;
    at taverns, 186, 195, 301.

  Lamb, Charles, quoted, 119.

  Lamb Tavern, 199.

  Lambert, John, quoted, 333.

  Lancaster, Mass., cider at, 128.

  Lancaster, Penn., taverns in, 143 _et seq._, 213-214;
    sign-boards in, 143;
    Conestoga wagons in, 243, 252;
    pack-horses at, 245;
    steam cars at, 287;
    stage-coach at, 370-371.

  Lang, Andrew, quoted, 414.

  Langdon, J. F., 334.

  La Rochefoucauld, cited, 227.

  La Tour, indignity to his companion, 11.

  Lay Preacher, 206-207.

  Lebanon Tavern, 157.

  Lecture Day, 218.

  Lemons, sign of, 139.

  Lemons, 117.

  "Leveller," 382.

  Lexington, Mass., taverns at, 179-180;
    highway robbery at, 384.

  Ley, Lord, at Boston ordinary, 6.

  Liberty poles, 173.

  Liberty trees, 173 _et seq._

  License, of taverns, 64 _et seq._

  _Life in London_, 321-322.

  Lighthouse, Sandy Hook, 36-37.

  Lime Rock, R. I., tavern at, 44.

  "Limited" service, of travel, 298.

  Linnæus, classification of, 347.

  Literary Club of Walpole, 205-207.

  Little Falls, N. Y., fare at, 85.

  Lloyd, Governor, house a tavern, 53.

  Locomotives, early, 284, 286.

  Loggerhead, 108-109.

  Loggets, forbidden, 5.

  London Coffee-house, Philadelphia, 49.

  Londonderry, Ireland, bridge at, 229.

  _London Labour and London Poor_, 320.

  Longfellow, quoted, 371.

  Lottery, for Sandy Hook Lighthouse, 36;
    at taverns, 203.

  Louis Philippe, at tavern, 181.

  Lowell, quoted, 113.

  _Loyal Garland_, 133.

  _Loyalists_, 377.

  Lucas, John, chariot of, 258.

  Ludlow, Lt., robbery of, 384 _et seq._

  Macadamized roads, 231 _et seq._

  Macraby, Alexander, quoted, 49.

  Madeira, use of, 32, 103;
    prices of, 88, 89.

  Madigolum, 58.

  Madison's War, 191.

  Mail, transportation of, 269;
    by butchers, 274;
    by Indians, 275;
    by post, 275;
    irregularity of, 275;
    conditions of service, 277-278;
    in England, 281;
    in Scotland, 283 _et seq._;
    in United States, 297, 305.

  Mail-coaches, on Holyhead Road, 230-231;
    at Whitestown, N. Y., 236;
    at Canajoharie, 237;
    in England, 255, 280;
    in America, 269, 280 _et seq._;
    glories of, 360.

  Mail Stage Carriages, 261.

  Maize, beer from, 121, 122.

  Malaga, use of, 30.

  Malden Bridge, 229.

  Man Full of Trouble, 159 _et seq._

  Man Loaded with Mischief, 159 _et seq._

  Man Making his Way through the World, 161-162.

  Manners at taverns, 78.

  Mansion House, Philadelphia, 86-87.

  March, Hugh, keeps an ordinary, 2-3.

  Marden, H. P., 335.

  Mariners' Club, 420.

  Market, winter ride to, 316-320.

  Markham, Gervayse, 133.

  Marlborough, Mass., 224.

  "Marmalet-madams," 6.

  Martin, Mike, career of, 401 _et seq._

  Maryland, road house in, 33;
    pillory in, 218;
    turnpikes in, 232, 234;
    railroads in, 284-285.

  Massachusetts Grand Lodge, 204.

  Mather, Cotton, quoted, 20.

  Mather, Increase, quoted, 102.

  Mather, Samuel, quoted, 117.

  May, Silas, opens stage line, 309.

  McAdam, James, 231.

  McAdam, Loudon, 231.

  McGowan's Tavern, 249-250.

  Mead, use of, 123-124.

  Meals, price of, 4;
    at early taverns, 76-77, 317.

  Medford, Mass., tavern at, 53 _et seq._

  Meeting-house, relation to tavern, 13-14;
    discomforts of, 14.

  Melish, John, quoted, 85, 230, 371.

  Mendenhall Ferry Tavern, 90-91.

  Mendum, Jack, anecdote of, 331-332.

  Merchants' Coffee-house, 49.

  Metheglin, use of, 124-125;
    price of, 124.

  Mileposts, in Massachusetts, 350-351;
    in Connecticut, 351-352;
    in Rhode Island, 352.

  Militia, 249.

  Miller, "Devil" Dave, 73-74.

  "Mimbo," 104.

  Miner, H. S., quoted, 313, 332, 334.

  "Mitchin," 317.

  Mohawk Turnpike, 234 _et seq._

  Molasses, rum from, 103;
    beer from, 122.

  Monk, George, 62.

  Monroe Tavern, 179.

  Monteith punch bowl, 115.

  Moore, Thomas, quoted, 366.

  Moose, exhibited, 197-198.

  Morland, George, sign-board by, 142.

  Morton, Thomas, punished in bilboes, 215.

  Mowry, Roger, tavern of, 340.

  Mowry's Inn, 44.

  Mulberry trees, 346.

  Mulled wine, recipe for, 136.

  Murline, Jacob, love-making of, 216-217.

  Nahant Hotel plate, 206.

  Naming of chambers, 17-18.

  Nangatuck, Conn., tavern at, 92.

  Narragansett, travel in, 341, _et seq._;
    murder in, 342;
    shift marriages in, 343;
    elopement in, 344-345;
    burial of suicide in, 344.

  Narragansett Pacers, 226.

  National Line, 268.

  National Road, travellers on, 195, 233;
    construction of, 232 _et seq._;
    coach lines on, 268 _et seq._

  Negro highwayman, 388.

  Negus, 137.

  Neighborliness, of colonists, 1.

  Newbury, Mass., ordinary at, 2.

  Newburyport, Mass., tavern at, 145;
    bill at, 177-178;
    bridge at, 230.

  Newburyport Turnpike, 231.

  New Connecticut Path, 224.

  New Exchange, N. Y., 48-49.

  New Hampshire, stage-drivers in, 334-336.

  _New Liberty Song_, 173.

  New London, Conn., milestone at, 353.

  New Netherland, taverns in, 33.

  Newport, R. I., turtle-feast at, 90;
    play at, 200 _et seq._

  Newspapers, at taverns, 91-92.

  New York, taverns in, 33 _et seq._, 90;
    just from, 275.

  Night-watch, rules in Boston, 6;
    in Bethlehem, Penn., 58 _et seq._;
    rhymes of, 60.

  Ninepins, forbidden, 5.

  Nipmuck Trail, 224.

  Noah's Ark, 157.

  Norfolk, Va., impressment in, 191-192.

  _Notions of the Americans_, 68, 82-83.

  Nutmeg-holders, 137.

  Nutmegs, use of, 136-137.

  "Ocuby," 101.

  Ohio Company, organization of, 205.

  Ohio, settlement of, 234 _et seq._;
    emigration to, 416.

  Old Connecticut Path, 224.

  Oldmixon, quoted, 125.

  Olmstead, Nicholas, in pillory, 218.

  Olney Tavern, 174.

  Omnibus, 273.

  Ordinaries, use of word, 1, 30;
    reasons for establishment of, 2;
    inducements to keep, 2;
    restrictions upon, 3-4, 7, 10-11.

  Ordination ball, 82.

  Ordination beer, 82.

  Ordination Day, 82;
    liquor at, 116.

  "Owlers," 373.

  Pack-horses, in England, 241, 244;
    on Alleghany Mountains, 242-244;
    common carriers, 245.

  Paddock, coaches of, 280.

  Palmer, starts mail-coaches, 280.

  Parkman, Dr., diary of, 383.

  Parley, Peter, quoted, 186, 284-285.

  Parlor, of tavern, 41-42.

  Patriot Brothers, sign-board, 149.

  Paulus Hook, stage-coaches from, 262.

  Paupers, sale of, 220-222.

  Peachy, 132.

  Pease, Levi, 293 _et seq._

  Pease Tavern, 291 _et seq._

  Peg Mullen's Beefsteak House, 203-204.

  Pelham, Mass., tavern at, 186-188;
    tolls at, 240.

  Pembroke Tavern, sign-board of, 217.

  Penn, Richard, home a tavern, 53.

  Penn, William, quoted, 104.

  Pepys, Samuel, quoted, 433.

  Pequot Trail, milestone on, 353.

  Perkins Inn, sign-board of, 152.

  Perry, 132.

  Persimmons, beer from, 122.

  Phelps, Joseph, 150.

  Philadelphia, Penn., taverns in, 33, 86-87;
    as a port, 33;
    sign-boards in, 163;
    freemasons in, 203;
    courts in, 213;
    carriages in, 256;
    lines of stages, 261, 267-268.

  Phillips House, 45.

  Pick-a-back, across rivers, 223-224.

  Pig and Carrot, 141.

  Pillion, 226.

  Pillory, 218.

  Pine trees of the King, 346.

  Pine Tree Tavern, 46.

  Pioneer Line, 268-270.

  Pipe-tongs, 46.

  Pitcairn, Major, anecdote of, 179.

  Pitt, William, sign-board of, 151, 156, 173, 177.

  Pitt Tavern, 151.

  Plays, at taverns, 200 _et seq._

  Plymouth, Mass., first wine sellers in, 63.

  Plymouth Path, 224.

  "Pod," 316.

  "Podanger," 314.

  "Pointing," 327.

  Pompoins. _See_ Pumpkins.

  Poore Tavern, 159.

  Portsmouth, N. H., tavern at, 175-176;
    stage line at, 278 _et seq._

  Portsmouth Road, 342.

  Post, riding with, 76;
    by foot, 275-276;
    duties of, 275;
    in Haverhill, N. H., 309.

  Postal rates, 282.

  Postlethwaite's Tavern, 213-214.

  Postmaster, salary of, 277.

  Post-riders, 276-277.

  Potatoes, beer from, 122.

  Potter, Paul, sign-board by, 142-143.

  Pottle, 84.

  Prairie schooner, 252.

  Pratt, Matthew, sign-board by, 146.

  Prescott, Mass., tavern at, 186-188.

  Press-gang, 191-192.

  Prices of tavern fare, 4, 5, 31, 79-82, 84, 85, 88-89.

  Products, of New England farm, 316-317.

  Providence, R. I., first ordinary at, 16, 340;
    Liberty Tree at, 174;
    rival coach lines from, 271 _et seq._

  Providence Path, 224.

  Province Arms, New York, 35 _et seq._

  Province House, Boston, a tavern, 53.

  Prygman, 219.

  Pseudonyms, 207.

  Pumpkins, beer from, 122, 123.

  Punch, use of, 103, 115, 116;
    derivation of, 114;
    recipe for, 116-117, 120;
    price of, 118, 177;
    names of, 118-119.

  Punch bowls, 114 _et seq._

  Punch Bowl Tavern, turkey-shoot at, 208.

  Punch-tasters, 118.

  "Pung," 316.

  Punishments, 214 _et seq._

  Putnam, Israel, a landlord, 145.

  Pye, John, robbery of, 394 _et seq._

  Pygarg, 197.

  Quakers, whipped, 217.

  Quarles, quoted, 29.

  Quawbang, 170.

  Queen's Birthday, celebration of, 26.

  Queen's Head, 183.

  Quick, Elmira, sold as pauper, 221-222.

  Quincy, Eliza S., quoted, 276.

  Quincy, Josiah, quoted, 104, 294-295, 370-371.

  Quincy Railroad, 284.

  Quoits, forbidden, 5.

  Rabbit, on sign-board, 153.

  Railroads, early, 284 _et seq._;
    objections to, 288-290;
    discomforts of, 349.

  Rainbow Coffee-house, 48.

  Raleigh Inn, 155.

  Rambarge. _See_ Rumbarge.

  Rambooze. _See_ Rumbooze.

  Ramsey, landlord, 74-75.

  Recruiting offices, taverns as, 188 _et seq._

  Redemptioners, 374.

  Red Rose of the Olden Time, 57 _et seq._

  Reed, President, quoted, 250.

  Regulars, 249.

  Reins, on Conestoga wagons, 248;
    on stage-coaches, 334.

  Revere, Paul, engraving by, 84;
    quoted, 181.

  Rhymes, of taprooms, 45;
    of night-watch, 60-61.

  Ribbonmen, 401.

  Riedesel, Baron, quoted, 103.

  Road-bed of early railroads, 288.

  Road house, 33.

  Road wagon, 260.

  Roads, earliest, 223;
    quality of, 227;
    in England, 230 _et seq._

  Robinson, Hannah, elopement of, 344.

  Robinson's Tavern, 175.

  Rogers, Fairman, quoted, 265.

  Rose Tavern, 57.

  Royal Exchange Tavern, Boston, 204.

  Rum, first use of word, 100;
    derivation of word, 100;
    varying prices, 102, 103;
    in mixed drinks, 104 _et seq._

  Rumbarge, 101.

  Rumbooze, description of, 101.

  Rum bottles, 102.

  Rumbowling, 101.

  Rumbullion, 100.

  Rumfustian, description of, 101.

  Russel Tavern, 180.

  Rye, N. Y., ordinary at, 77.

  Sack, selling prohibited, 4;
    early mention of, 133 _et seq._;
    application of name, 133;
    price of, 134;
    in America, 135 _et seq._

  Sack-posset, use of, 134;
    recipe for, 134-135.

  Sail boats, on sign-boards, 159.

  Sailors, on sign-boards, 158-159.

  Salem, Mass., tavern bill of, 16;
    sign-board in, 19-20;
    woman keeps tavern in, 20;
    animal shows at, 197.

  Salem, N. J., tavern prices at, 118.

  Salem and Boston Turnpike, 231.

  Salt, on pack-horses, 244.

  Saltonstall, Nathaniel, protest of, 21-22.

  Sanborn, Charles, 334.

  Sandy Hook Lighthouse, 36-37.

  Sangaree, 134.

  Sassafras, beer of, 123.

  Scents, of woods, 348;
    of gardens, 348-349;
    of fields, 347-349;
    of fruits, 349.

  Schoolboys on coaches, 329-330.

  Schuylkill Bridge, 230.

  Scotchem, 105-108.

  Seabury, liquor seller, 64.

  Sea terms in land travel, 267.

  Seating the meeting, 16-17.

  Selectmen, bills of, 80-81.

  Sewall, Samuel, Judge, compared with Pepys, 24;
    character of, 24-25;
    on a wedding, 135-136;
    buys trunks, 330;
    on suicide, 344.

  Shad, planked, 89.

  Shaffer, anecdote of, 272.

  Shaw, Major, on railroads, 339.

  "Shay," 258;
    cost of, 259.

  Shays's Rebellion, 186 _et seq._

  Sherris-sack, 134.

  Shift marriages, 343.

  Ship in distress, 159.

  Shouldering, 326.

  Shows, in taverns, 28.

  Shrewsbury, Mass., tavern talk at, 172;
    taverns at, 291 _et seq._

  Shuffle-board, forbidden, 5.

  Sign-boards, in early ordinaries, 19-20;
    use of, 138 _et seq._;
    materials of, 138;
    in business, 138-139;
    incongruity of, 139 _et seq._;
    on bridges, 238-239.

  Sign-posts, established, 138.

  Sikes. _See_ Sykes.

  Silent Woman, 162.

  Singing, forbidden, 4.

  Skidding, 327.

  Skinners, 377.

  Slat sign, 149.

  Sledding, 313.

  Sledges, transportation by, 241, 283.

  Sleeping accommodations, 77-79, 318.

  Slide-groat, forbidden, 5.

  Sling, 104.

  Small drink, described, 121.

  Smith, Adam, on smuggling, 373.

  Smoking-tongs, 46.

  Snake heads, 286.

  Sniggers and Vesta's Gap, turnpike to, 232.

  Snow-shoes, post on, 275;
    mail carried on, 297.

  Sons of Liberty, 37, 173.

  South Kingston, R. I., shift manages at, 373.

  Southworth, Constant, wine seller, 63.

  Sowrings, 117-118.

  _Spectator_, 140.

  Spike team, 314.

  Sports of the innyards, 5.

  Sprague, Francis, ordinary-keeper, 64.

  Springfield, Mass., fare at, 88.

  Spruce, beer of, 122-123.

  Stadt Harberg, 33.

  Stage, use of word, 265-267.

  Stage-chair, 278.

  Stage-chaise, 261.

  Stage-chariot, 261.

  Stage-coaches, of year 1828, 218;
    in England, 255, 274;
    in Boston and Rhode Island, 260-261;
    in Pennsylvania, 263;
    of year 1818, 263-264;
    application of word, 265;
    in Pennsylvania, 268;
    rates on, 270, 273;
    rates in England, 271;
    from Portsmouth, 278 _et seq._;
    sights from, 345 _et seq._;
    courtship on, 359-360.

  Stage-drivers, 323;
    characteristics of, 324 _et seq._;
    dress of, 325-326;
    shopping done by, 328;
    drinking habits of, 328;
    names of, 332;
    on railroads, 387;
    tales of, 341.

  Stage-lists, 273.

  Stage-men's Ball, 336.

  Stage-wagons, in England, 251, 255;
    out of Boston, 261;
    in Pennsylvania, 262, 268.

  Stamp Act, 37.

  Stark, General, victory of, 205.

  State House Inn, Philadelphia, 55.

  Stavers Coaching Line, 278 _et seq._

  Stavers Inn, 175-178, 278-279.

  Stickney Tavern, sign-board of, 203.

  St. John's Lodge, 204.

  Stocks, use of, 8, 215.

  "Stogies," 245-246.

  Stone wall, 130.

  Stow, quoted, 253.

  Stratford, Conn., milestone at, 353.

  Stratton, Arad, tavern of, 151.

  Streets, naming of, 138.

  Strong waters, selling prohibited, 4.

  Struggling Man, 161-162.

  Stuart, Gilbert, sign-board by, 145.

  Stuyvesant, Governor, laws of, 34.

  Sudbury, Mass., tavern at, 43, 180, 371.

  Suicides, burial of, 344.

  Sumner, Charles, quoted, 369.

  Sun-line house, 46.

  Suspension Bridge, 230.

  Swift, Dean, quoted, 132, 266.

  "Swiftnicks," 398.

  Switchel, 132.

  Sykes Coffee-house, 300.

  Sykes, Reuben, 293 _et seq._, 300.

  Talleyrand, at tavern, 181.

  Tally, forbidden, 5.

  Tally-ho, use of word, 266.

  Tap-houses, New York, 34-35.

  Taproom rhymes, 45.

  Taprooms, 19, 42 _et seq._

  Tar-bucket. _See_ Tar-lodel.

  Tar-lodel, 246-247.

  Tarleton Arms, 310.

  Tarleton Inn, story of, 309-310;
    sign-board of, 310, 312.

  Tarleton, Wm., 309-310.

  Tavern behind Nazareth, 57.

  Taverns, use of word, 30;
    in Southern colonies, 30 _et seq._;
    establishment of laws about, 31, 34-35;
    prices at, 31, 42, 118, 177-178;
    names of rooms in, 17;
    in New Netherlands, 33 _et seq._;
    names of, 35;
    as war rendezvous, 172;
    as auction rooms, 197;
    as business exchanges, 198;
    as insurance offices, 198;
    as jails, 212, 303;
    on Albany Turnpike, 235;
    in Scotland, 283.
    Also see names of Towns and Ordinaries.

  Taylor, M. M., milestone of, 351;
    tavern of, 352.

  Taylor, the Water Poet, quoted, 255.

  Taylorsville, Penn., bridge sign-board at, 239.

  Teamsters, 249.

  Thackeray, W. M., cited, 322.

  Thief Detecting Societies, 393.

  Thieves, band of, 388 _et seq._

  Thomas' Exchange Coffee-house, 300.

  Thorburn, Grant, quoted, 72-73, 362-363.

  Three Broiled Chickens, 183.

  Three Crowns, Lancaster, Penn., 143-144.

  Three Jolly Sailors, 158.

  Three Loggerheads, 142.

  Throat-lashing, 327.

  Tipping, 326.

  Tippling-houses, 31.

  Tithing-man, duties of, 9.

  Tobacco, restrictions on use of, 12-13;
    as payment, 31;
    drawers for, 45.

  Toby Fillpots, 134.

  Todd, Margaret, 40.

  Todd, Robert, 39-40.

  Toddy, derivation of word, 39-40;
    made of rum, 104;
    price of, 178.

  Toddy-stick, description of, 114.

  Toll-boards, 237, 238.

  Toll-gates, on Mohawk Turnpike, 237.

  Tolls, rates of 237-238;
    commuted, 298.

  Tontine Association, 37.

  Topsfield Bridge, 356.

  "Towelling," 327.

  Transportation, by water, 241;
    on horse-back, 241 _et seq._

  Travelling-bags, 331.

  Trenton, N. J., tavern fare at, 83, 84;
    bridge at, 230.

  Trout, boiled, 89.

  Troy coaches, 269.

  Trunks, old time, 330.

  Tryer, on punch, 114.

  "Tuck-a-nuck," 317.

  Tufts, Henry, story of, 375 _et seq._

  Turkey-shoot, 207-209.

  Turnpikes, 231 _et seq._, 297 _et seq._;
    in Scotland, 284, 297;
    profits on, 297;
    desertion of, 297.

  Turnspit dogs, 55-56.

  Turtle, as gifts, 90.

  Turtle-feasts, 90.

  Tuttle, Sarah, love-making of, 216-217.

  Twining, Thomas, quoted, 263, 326, 367.

  Twist, slang term, 142.

  Twitchell, Ginery, career of, 301 _et seq._;
    coach of, 303;
    description of, 304;
    makes election returns, 304;
    obtains mail contracts, 305.

  Tyler, Royall, 207.

  Union Place Hotel, New York, fare at, 88.

  Vardy, Luke, 204.

  Veazie Road, 286.

  Vendues, at coffee-houses, 49, 197;
    at taverns, 219;
    of thieves, 220;
    of paupers, 221 _et seq._

  Victuallyng-house, 2.

  Virginia, ordinaries in, 30 _et seq._;
    metheglin in, 125.

  Wadsworth Inn, Springfield, 43-44.

  Wagons, going to Ohio, 235 _et seq._;
    in England, 250;
    rates on, 271;
    in New England, 312-315.

  Walker's Tavern, 154, 162.

  Wall decorations, 42.

  Walnut tree chips, beer from, 123.

  Walpole, N. H., literary life in, 205-207.

  Wanmanitt, trial of, 341.

  Wardwell, John, stage-coach line of, 260-261.

  Wardwell, Lydia, whipped, 217.

  Warning out of town, 4.

  Warren, General, at tavern, 181.

  Warwick, R. I., stocks at, 215;
    chariot at, 258-259.

  Washington bowers, 156.

  Washington Crossing the Delaware, 149.

  Washington, George, at Boston, 84;
    farewell to army, 184;
    at taverns, 195, 293, 300-301;
    news of death, 278.

  Washington Tavern, Lancaster, Penn., 73;
    Philadelphia, Penn., 149, 154;
    Westfield, Mass., 42;
    Holmesburgh, Penn., 148-149;
    Wilbraham, Mass., 196.

  Washingtonian Reform, 127.

  Watch. _See_ Night-watch.

  Water, travel by, 241.

  Water-cider, 130.

  Watering-troughs, 354-356.

  Waterloo Tavern, Lancaster, Penn., 143-144.

  Watson, quoted, 147, 256.

  Wayside Inn, 43, 180, 292, 371.

  Webster, Daniel, cited, 182;
    at taverns, 195-196.

  Weddings, at ordinary, 5.

  Weed, Thurlow, quoted, 79.

  Weld, quoted, 257, 367.

  Weller, Tony, quoted, 290.

  Wells' Tavern, sign-board of, 382.

  West, Benjamin, sign-boards by, 143 _et seq._

  Westborough, Mass., tavern at, 136.

  West Boston Bridge, 230.

  Westfield, Mass., tavern at, 42.

  Whig Tavern, 205.

  Whip, of Conestoga teamsters, 248;
    of stage-drivers, 334.

  Whipping-post, 215-216.

  Whirlicote, 253.

  Whiskey, described, 258.

  Whistle-belly-vengeance, 132.

  White, Captain, keeps ordinary, 3.

  White, George, exploits of, 390 _et seq._

  Whitestown mail stages, 236.

  Whittier, quoted, 188.

  Wickford, R. I., tavern at, 45.

  Wilder, Joseph, cider of, 128.

  Willet, Edward, 35.

  Williams, Roger, quoted, 128.

  Williams Tavern, sign-board of, 152-153.

  Wilson, Richard, sign-board by, 142.

  Wines, in Virginia, 32;
    prices of, 88-89.

  Winn, John, home of, 182 _et seq._

  Winn, Joseph, in Revolution, 183.

  Winne, the penny-post, bravery of, 399-400.

  Winter, coach travel in, 362 _et seq._

  Winthrop, John, on a disturbance in Boston, 10-11;
    on health-drinking, 15;
    quoted, 115;
    pick-a-back, 224.

  Winthrop, John, Jr., owns a coach, 256;
    sends letters, 274.

  Wolcott, Governor, apples planted by, 125.

  Wolcott, Oliver, at tavern, 186.

  Wolfe, General, sign-board of, 145, 211.

  Wolfe Tavern, Brooklyn, Conn., 145;
    Boston, Mass., 145;
    Newburyport, Mass., 145;
    sign-board of, 211;
    bill of, 177.

  Wolf-rout, 210.

  Women, as tavern-keepers, 20, 40;
    burned at stake, 218;
    on horse-back, 226;
    in stage-coaches, 369;
    as highway robbers, 408;
    hanged in Boston, 408.

  Woodbury, Bartholomew, 351.

  Woodbury Tavern, milestone at, 351.

  Woodman Tavern, 155.

  Woodside, sign-boards by, 148.

  Woodward, James, punished, 8, 215.

  Worcester, Mass., singing at, 173;
    milestone in, 350-351.

  Wright, Robert, punished, 8.

  Wright Tavern, 179.

  Yale College, cider at, 126.

  Yard of Flannel, 111.

  Yellow Cat, 163.

  Yellow Cottage, 155-157.

  York, Me., sign-board at, 172;
    road at, 224.

  York County, Penn., tavern rates in, 105.

  Zinzendorf, Count, night-watch rhymes of, 59 _et seq._



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Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Superscripted characters are indicated by {superscript}.

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