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

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


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

´╗┐Title: Once Upon a Time in Connecticut
Author: Newton, Caroline Clifford, -1936
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Once Upon a Time in Connecticut" ***

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



ONCE UPON A TIME IN CONNECTICUT

BY CAROLINE CLIFFORD NEWTON

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO THE SCHOOL CHILDREN OF THE STATE BY THE
CONNECTICUT SOCIETY OF THE COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Colonial Dames of Connecticut, under whose auspices this book
is published, desire to express their indebtedness to Professor
Charles M. Andrews, of Yale University, who generously offered to
supervise the work on its historical side. They also gratefully
acknowledge help from many friends in the preparation of the
volume. Thanks are due to Mrs. Charles G. Morris for criticism of
the manuscript and to Mr. George Dudley Seymour for advice in the
selection of the illustrations. Courtesies have been extended by
the officials of the New Haven Free Public Library, of the
Connecticut Historical Society, and of the Library of Yale
University.



INTRODUCTION

It is a pleasure to write a few words of introduction to this
collection of stories dealing with the early history of
Connecticut, a state that can justly point with pride to a past
rich in features of life and government that have been influential
in the making of the nation. Yet the history of the colony was not
dramatic, for its people lived quiet lives, little disturbed by
quarrels among themselves or by serious difficulties with the world
outside. The land was never thickly settled; few foreigners came
into the colony; the towns were scattered rural communities largely
independent of each other; the inhabitants, belonging to much the
same class, were neither very rich nor very poor, their activities
were mainly agricultural, and their habits of thought and ways of
living were everywhere uniform throughout the colonial period. The
colony was in a measure isolated, not only from England and English
control, but also from the large colonial centers such as Boston
and New York, through which it communicated with the older civilization.
Connections with other colonies were neither frequent nor important.
Roads were poor, ferries dangerous, bridges few, and transportation
even from town to town was difficult and slow.

The importance of Connecticut lay in the men that it nurtured and
the forms of government that it established and preserved. Few
institutions from the Old World had root in its soil. In their
town meetings the people looked after local affairs; and matters
of larger import they managed by means of the general assembly to
which the towns sent representatives. They made, their own laws,
which they administered in their own courts. Their rules of
justice, though sometimes peculiar, were the same for all. They
did what they could to educate their children, to uphold good
morals, to help the poor, and to increase the prosperity of the
colony. Though they could not entirely prevent England from
interfering in their affairs, they succeeded in reducing her
interference to a minimum and were well content to be let alone.
Yet when called upon to furnish men in time of war, they did so
generously and, in the main, promptly. They became a vigorous,
strong, determined community, and though unprogressive in
agriculture, they were enterprising in trade and commerce, and in
the opening up of new opportunities prepared the way for the
later career of a progressive, highly organized manufacturing
state. To the larger colonial world they furnished men and ideas
that, during the period of revolution and constitution-making,
played prominent parts in shaping the future of the United States
of America.

If this little volume gives to the children of Connecticut a
truer appreciation of the early history of the state in which
they live, its purpose will have been achieved. A knowledge of
Connecticut's history, its men and the work they have accomplished,
should arouse the devotion and loyalty of every Connecticut
boy and girl to the state and its welfare; and that it shall
do so is the hope of those by whom this work has been projected
and under whose auspices it has been published.

CHARLES M. ANDREWS.



CONTENTS

   I. THE HOUSE OF HOPE AND THE CHARTER OAK
  II. TWO INDIAN WARRIORS
 III. A HARBOR FOR SHIPS
  IV. THREE JUDGES
   V. THE FORT ON THE RIVER
  VI. THE FROGS OF WINDHAM
 VII. OLD WOLF PUTNAM
VIII. THE BULLET-MAKERS OF LITCHFIELD
  IX. NEWGATE PRISON
   X. THE DARK DAY
  XI. A FRENCH CAMP IN CONNECTICUT
 XII. NATHAN HALE



ILLUSTRATIONS

   I. WADSWORTH HIDING THE CHARTER
  II. MIANTONOMO'S MONUMENT
 III. MEDAL COMMEMORATING THE FOUNDING OF NEW HAVEN
  IV. THE JUDGES' CAVE ON WEST ROCK
   V. THE SITE OF SAYBROOK FORT
  VI. THE WYOMING MASSACRE
 VII. GENERAL PUTNAM
VIII. KING GEORGE THE THIRD
  IX. THE RUINS OF NEWGATE PRISON
   X. AN OLD CONNECTICUT INN, 1790
  XI. THE MARQUIS OF LAFAYETTE
 XII. NATHAN HALE



ONCE UPON A TIME IN CONNECTICUT

THE HOUSE OF HOPE AND THE CHARTER OAK


A great oak tree fell in the city of Hartford on August 21, 1856.
The night had been wild and stormy; in the early morning a
violent wind twisted and broke the hollow trunk about six feet
above the ground, and the old oak that had stood for centuries
was overthrown.

All day long people came to look at it as it lay on the ground.
Its wood was carefully preserved and souvenirs were made from it:
chairs, tables, boxes, picture-frames, wooden nutmegs, etc. One
section of the trunk is to-day in the possession of the
Connecticut Historical Society. Tradition says that this tree was
standing, tall and vigorous, when the first English settlers
reached Hartford and began to clear the land; that the Indians
came to them then, as they were felling trees, and begged them to
spare that one because it told them when to plant their corn.
"When its leaves are the size of a mouse's ears," they said,
"then is the time to put the seed in the ground."

At sunset, on the day when it fell, the bells of Hartford tolled
and flags draped in mourning were displayed on the gnarled and
broken trunk, for this tree was the Charter Oak, and its story is
bound up with the story of the Connecticut Colony.

About the year 1613, five little ships set sail from Holland on
voyages for discovery and trade in the New World. They were the
Little Fox, the Nightingale, the Tiger, and two called the
Fortune. The Tiger was under the command of a bold sailor named
Adriaen Block and he brought her across the ocean to New
Netherland, which is now New York. There was then a small Dutch
village of a few houses on Manhattan Island.

While she was anchored off the island, the Tiger took fire and
burned. But Block was not discouraged. He set to work at once and
built another boat--one of the first built in America. She was 40
feet, 6 inches long by 11 feet, 6 inches wide, and he called her
the Restless. In the summer of 1614 he sailed her up the East
River and out into Long Island Sound where no white man had ever
been before. He named both the Bast River and the Sound
"Hellegat," after a river in Holland, and a narrow passage in the
East River is still known as "Hell-Gate."

Block sailed along the low wooded shores of Connecticut, past the
mouth of the Housatonic, which he named the "River of the Red
Mountain," and reported it to be "about a bowshot wide," and by
and by he came to a much larger stream emptying into the Sound.
This was the Connecticut, and Block turned and sailed up the
river as far as the point where Hartford now stands. He noticed
that the tide did not flow far into this river and that the water
near its mouth was fresh, so he called it the "Fresh River."

When the Dutch in Manhattan heard of this new country which he
had discovered, they began a fur trade with the Indians who lived
there. In June, 1633, they bought from the Indians a strip of
land on the river, one Dutch mile in length by one third of a
mile in width, and they paid for it with "one piece of duffel
[that is, heavy cloth] twenty-seven ells long, six axes, six
kettles, eighteen knives, one sword-blade, one pair of shears,
some toys and a musket." On this land, which is now in the city
of Hartford, the first block-house in Connecticut was built and
was called the "House of Hope." Although two small cannon were
mounted upon it the Dutch said the place should be a peaceful
trading-post only and free to all Indians who came in peace.

Very soon after this little Dutch fort of the House of Hope was
finished, Lieutenant William Holmes, from the Plymouth Colony,
sailed up the river, and he and his men carried with them on
their boat a frame house all ready to put together. The Dutch
challenged the Plymouth boat as it passed their fort, but Holmes
paid no attention. He had been told by the Governor of Plymouth
to go up the river and he went, and at the mouth of the
Farmington, where Windsor is to-day, he set up the first frame
house in Connecticut and surrounded it with a palisade for
protection.

Other Englishmen from Massachusetts Bay, hearing of these new
fertile lands and of friendly Indians and a profitable fur trade,
came overland, making their way through the wilderness. By and by
their numbers were so great that the Dutch were crowded out and
driven away and Connecticut was settled by the English.

One of the most interesting parties of settlers who came from
Massachusetts to Hartford was "Mr. Hooker's company." Thomas
Hooker, the minister in Cambridge, led one hundred members of his
church overland to new homes in Connecticut in June, 1636. These
people had come from England a few years before, hoping to find
religious and political freedom in America, and, after a short
stay in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they decided to remove to
Connecticut. Their journey was made in warm weather, under sunny
skies, with birds singing in the green woods. They traveled
slowly, for there were women and little children with them, old
people too, and some who were sick. Mrs. Hooker was carried all
the way in a litter. They followed a path toward the west which
by that time had probably become a well-marked trail. Part of it,
no doubt, led through deep forests. Sometimes they passed Indian
villages. Sometimes they forded streams. They drove with them a
herd of one hundred and sixty cattle, letting them graze by the
way. They had wagons and tents, and at night they camped, made
fires, and milked the cows. There were berries to be picked along
the edges of the meadows and clear springs to drink from, and the
two weeks' journey must have been one long picnic to the
children.

When "Hooker's company" arrived on the banks of the Connecticut
River, three little English settlements had already been made
there. They were soon named Hartford, Windsor, and We(a)thersfield.
These three settlements were the beginning of the Connecticut Colony.

At first the people were under the government of Massachusetts
because Massachusetts thought they were still within her borders.
But before long it became necessary for them to organize a
government of their own. They had brought no patent, or charter,
with them from England, and so, finding themselves alone in the
wilderness, separated by many long miles of forests from
Massachusetts Bay, they determined to arrange their own affairs
without reference to any outside authority. They set up a
government on May 1, 1637, and the next year, under the
leadership of such men as Thomas Hooker, John Haynes, who had
once been Governor of Massachusetts Bay, and Roger Ludlow, who
had had some legal training, this government, made up of deputies
from each of the three little settlements, drafted eleven
"Fundamental Orders." These "Fundamental Orders" were not a
written constitution, but a series of laws very much like those
of the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. There is a
tradition that they were read to the people and adopted by them
in the Hartford Meetihg-House on January 14, 1639.

Connecticut continued under this form of government, which she
had decided upon for herself, for more than twenty years--until
after the civil war in England was over. Then, when royalty was
restored and Charles the Second became king, in 1660, the people
feared that they might lose something of the independence they
had learned to love and value, and they sent their governor, John
Winthrop, to England to get from the king a charter to confirm
their "privileges and liberties."

Winthrop was a man who had had a university education in England
and the advantages of travel on the continent of Europe. He had a
good presence and courteous manners. Best of all, he had powerful
friends at court. There is a story that in an audience with the
king he returned to him a ring which the king's father, Charles
the First, had given to Winthrop's grandfather, and that the king
was so pleased with this that he was willing to sign the charter
Winthrop asked for. Whether this is true or not, the king did
sign one of the most liberal charters granted to any colony in
America. It gave the Connecticut people power to elect their own
governor and to make their own laws. This is the famous charter
which is said to have been hidden later in the Charter Oak Tree.
Two copies were made of it, and one of these Governor Winthrop
sent home, September, 1662, in an odd-shaped, leather-covered
box. This box, which is lined with sheets from an old history of
King Charles the First and has a compartment at one side that
once held the royal seal of green wax attached to the charter,
can be seen to-day in the rooms of the Connecticut Historical
Society.

When the people understood what a good charter they had received
they were greatly pleased. The record of the General Assembly for
October 9, 1662, says, "The Patent or Charter was this day
publickly read to the Freemen [that is, the voters] and declared
to belong to them and to their successors"; and October 29 was
appointed a "Thanksgiving Day particularly for the great success
God hath given to the endeavors of our Honored Governor in
obtaining our Charter of His Majesty our Sovereign." Samuel
Wyllys, in front of whose home stood the oak tree which was
afterward to become known as the "Charter Oak," was appointed one
of the first keepers of the charter.

For about a quarter of a century the government of Connecticut
was carried on under the charter. Then King Charles the Second
died, and his brother, the Duke of York, became king. The
advisers of the new king, James the Second, wished to unite all
the little scattered New England colonies under one strong
government which should be able to resist not only Indian
attacks, but also attacks from the French on the north. So in
1686, James sent over Sir Edmund Andros, who had once been
Governor of New York, with a commission as Governor of the
Dominion of New England. It was the duty of Andros to take over
the separate governments of the different colonies and to demand
the surrender of their charters.

But the people of New England did not like the new policy. Each
colony wished to preserve its independence; each wished to be
left entirely free to manage its own affairs, yet each expected
help from England against its enemies. England, on the other
hand, felt that the isolation of these small colonies, their
jealousy of one another and their frequent quarrels, were a
source of weakness, and that a single strong government was
necessary to preserve order, to encourage trade, and to secure
defense. The plan of union, however, as has been said, was
greatly disliked by the colonies, and Connecticut sent a petition
to the king praying that she might keep her privileges and her
charter, and meanwhile she put off submission to the new governor
as long as possible.

At last, however, Sir Edmund Andros wrote from Boston to Governor
Treat of Connecticut that he would be "at Hartford about the end
of the next week." This was on October 22, 1687. He left Boston
on the 26th. A record written at that time says, "His Excellency
with sundry of the Council, Justices and other gentlemen, four
Blue Coats, two trumpeters, 15 or 20 Red Coats, with small Guns
and short Lances in the tops of them, set forth in order to go to
Connecticut to assume the government of that place." He reached
Hartford on the 31st, having crossed the Connecticut River by the
ferry at Wethersfield. "The troop of horse of that county
conducted him honorably from the ferry through Wethersfield up to
Hartford, where the train-bands of divers towns united to pay
their respects at his coming" and to escort him to the tavern.

Governor Andros had come from Norwich since morning, a forty-mile
ride over rough roads and across streams without bridges or
ferries, and it was late when he arrived. The fall days were
short and probably candles were already lighted in the court
chamber where the Assembly was in session. The Connecticut
magistrates knew something of Sir Edmund Andros. Twelve years
before, while he was Governor of New York, he had appeared at
Saybrook and demanded the surrender of the fort and town by order
of the Duke of York who claimed part of Connecticut under his
patent. The claim was not made good, for Captain Bull, who
commanded at Saybrook, raised the king's colors over the fort and
forbade the reading of the duke's patent, and Andros, not wishing
to use force and pleased with this bold action although it was
against himself, sailed away. Now, however, the Duke of York had
become King of England with a new policy for the colonies, and
Andros was obeying the king's orders.

He was a soldier who had served with distinction in the army and
had held responsible positions. He was also a man used to courts
as well as to camps, for as a boy he had been a page in the
king's household and later was attached to the king's service. He
must have presented a contrast in appearance and manner to the
Connecticut magistrates who so anxiously awaited his coming.

When he entered the room he took the governor's seat and ordered
the king's commission to be read, which appointed him governor of
all New England. He then declared the old government to be
dissolved and asked that the charter under which it had been
carried on should be given up to him. The Assembly was obliged to
recognize his authority and to accept the new government; but a
story of that famous meeting has been handed down in Connecticut
from one generation to another telling how the people contrived
to keep their charter, the document they loved because it
guaranteed their freedom.

"The Assembly sat late that night," says the story, "and the
debate was long." When Sir Edmund Andros asked for the charter it
was brought in and laid on the table. Then Robert Treat, who had
been Governor of Connecticut, rose and began a speech. He told of
the great expense and hardship the people had endured in planting
the colony, of the blood and treasure they had expended in
defending it against "savages and foreigners," and said it was
"like giving up life now, to surrender the patent and privileges
so dearly bought and so long enjoyed." Suddenly, while he was
speaking, all the candles went out. There was a moment of
confusion; then some one brought a tinder-box and flint and the
candles were relighted. The room was unchanged; the same number
of people were there; but the table where the charter had lain
was empty, for in that moment of darkness the charter had
disappeared.

No one knew who had taken it. No one could find it. No one saw
the candles blown out. Was it done on purpose, or did a door or a
window fly open and a gust of the night wind put them out? It
chanced that the night was Allhallowe'en, when the old tales say
that the witches and fairies and imps are abroad and busy. Were
any of them busy that night with Connecticut's charter?

"Two men in the room, John Talcott and Nathaniel Stanley, took
the charter when the lights were out." So said Governor Roger
Wolcott long afterward. He was a boy nine years old at the time
and had often heard the story. But these two men never left the
room; they were members of the Assembly; they could not carry off
the charter. However, Major Talcott had a son-in-law, Joseph
Wadsworth, and he was waiting outside,--so says another story.
Wadsworth was young and daring. The charter was passed out to him
and he hid it under his cloak and made his way swiftly through
the crowd that had gathered around the tavern and through the
dim, deserted streets beyond, to where an old oak tree grew in
front of the Wyllys house. This tree had a hollow in its trunk
and Wadsworth slipped the charter into this safe hiding-place and
left it there. Houses might be searched, but no one would think
of looking for a missing paper in the hidden heart of a hollow
oak. And because the old tree proved a good guardian and gave
shelter in a time of trouble to Connecticut's charter it was
known and honored later as the Charter Oak.

[Illustration: WADSWORTH HIDING THE CHARTER
From a bas-relief on the State Capitol, Hartford, Conn.]

We are not told what was said or done in the court chamber after
the charter disappeared. The stories of that night are full of
mystery and contradiction. Perhaps, after all, no very serious
search was made for it. Perhaps its loss brought about a
compromise between the two parties. For Governor Andros had
already gained his object; he had taken over the government of
Connecticut, and the people had saved their pride because they
had not surrendered their charter.

The charter lay hidden for two years; not all that time in the
oak tree, of course, but in some other safe place. One tradition
says it was kept for a while in Guilford in the house of Andrew
Leete. At the end of two years there was a revolution in England,
and William and Mary came to the English throne. Then the charter
was taken out of its hiding-place--wherever that was--and
government was at once resumed under the same old patent which
had disappeared so mysteriously on that famous Allhallowe'en
night.

In the Memorial Hall of the State Library at Hartford, under a
glass shield, in a fireproof compartment built into the end wall
of the room, there hangs to-day one of the two original copies of
the Connecticut Charter. It is in a good state of preservation,
its lettering is clear and distinct, and so is the portrait
engraved upon it of King Charles the Second who gave it to
Governor John Winthrop. A part of its present frame is made from
the wood of the Charter Oak. The other copy, that is, what
remains of it, can be seen in the box which is owned by the
Historical Society.

When, after the Revolutionary War, the Colony of Connecticut
became the State of Connecticut, the charter of the colony was
adopted without alteration as the State Constitution. No change
was made in it until 1818.

The old oak tree, known to Indian legend and better known in
Connecticut's story, lived, honored and protected, until its fall
in the great storm of August 21, 1856.


REFERENCES

1. Trumbull, Benjamin. _History of Connecticut_.
   Maltby Goldsmith & Co. New Haven, 1818.

2. Trumbull, J. Hammond (editor). _Memorial History of
   Hartford County_. E. L. Osgood. Boston, 1886.

3. Andrews, Charles M. "The River Towns of Connecticut," in
   _Johns Hopkins University Studies_, vn, 1-3,
   September, 1889. Baltimore, 1889.

4. Love, Wm. De Loss. _The Colonial History of Hartford_.
   Hartford, 1914.

5. Love, Wm. De Loss. "Hartford, the Keeper of Connecticut's
   Charter," in _Hartford in History_,    Willis J.
   Twitchell (editor). Hartford, 1899.

6. Bates, Albert C. Article on "Charter Oak" in
   _Encyclopoedia Americana_.

7. Hoadly, Charles J. _The Hiding of the Charter_.
   Case, Lockwood & Brainard. Hartford, 1900.



TWO INDIAN WARRIORS


The two Indian chiefs of whom we hear most in the early history
of Connecticut were Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans, and Miantonomo,
sachem of the Narragansetts. A great Indian battle called the
"Battle of the Plain" took place once, near Norwich, between these
rival tribes led by these two rival chieftains.

The Mohegans were a part of the Pequot tribe, and the Pequots, or
"Gray Foxes," were the fiercest, most cruel, and warlike of all
the Indians who roamed through the forests of Connecticut before
the English came. The white settlers soon had trouble with them,
and when the Pequot War, which was a war between the settlers and
the Indians, began, in 1637, Uncas came with some of his Mohegan
warriors and offered to guide the English troops through the
woods to the Pequot fort.

Now Uncas was himself a Pequot by birth and belonged to the royal
family, and it seems strange that he should not take part with
his own people. But not long before this he had rebelled against
the chief sachem, Sassacus, and had tried to make himself
independent. "He grew proud and treacherous to the Pequot
sachem," says the old chronicle, "and the Pequot sachem was very
angry and sent up some soldiers and drove him out of his
country." Afterward, when "he humbled himself to the Pequot
sachem, he received permission to live in his own country again."
But he was restless and dissatisfied. He was said to be of great
size and very strong; he was brave too, and had a good deal of
influence among the Indians. The settlers needed his help, yet
they were half afraid to trust him, knowing that he would be
"faithful to them as the jackal is faithful to the lion, not
because it loves the lion, but because it gains something by
remaining in his company." Before he would accept him as a guide,
Lieutenant Lion Gardiner, commander of the fort at Saybrook, said
to him, "You say you will help Captain Mason, but I will first
see it; therefore send twenty men to Bass River, for there went
six Indians there in a canoe, fetch them, dead or alive; and you
shall go with Mason or else you shall not."

Uncas went off with his men and found these Indians. He killed
four of them and brought back another as a prisoner, and the
colonists, feeling more certain of his fidelity, took him with
them on their expedition.

Miantonomo, the Narragansett sachem, did not go himself, but he
sent one hundred of his warriors, for he, too, hated the Pequots,
who had lately overrun the country and made themselves a terror
to their neighbors. The Narragansetts lived near them, just over
the Rhode Island border. They were a larger tribe than the
Pequots and more peaceful and civilized, and their chief,
Miantonomo, was friendly to the English settlers and had been
generous in his dealings with them. He and his uncle Canonicus,
who was at this time an old man over eighty, governed the
Narragansetts together and were on the best of terms with each
other. "The old sachem will not be offended at what the young
sachem doth," says the English record, "and the young sachem will
not do what he conceives will displease his uncle."

The Pequot War was soon over, for the bows and arrows of the
Indians had no chance against the guns of the English. Most of
the Pequot warriors were killed, their fort and wigwams were
burned, and many of their women and children perished in the
flames. It is a pitiful story, because the settlers felt it
necessary for their own safety to put an end to the Pequot tribe.
The few poor Pequots who escaped this terrible destruction were
scattered among other tribes. The Narragansetts took some, but
more went to the Mohegans because they were related to them. In
this way the tribe of the Mohegans grew larger and stronger and
Uncas became an important chief. He showed great skill in
building up his tribe and he remained faithful to the English all
through his life, while they, on their side, protected him as a
reward for his services. As his power increased, however, his
jealous and quarrelsome disposition showed itself more plainly,
and the Indians complained that "the English had made him high"
and that he robbed and oppressed them. When the colonists
demanded that he should give up to them any fugitive Pequots who
had murdered white settlers, Uncas put off complying on one
pretext or another, because he did not wish to weaken his tribe,
which was still much smaller than that of the Narragansetts.

The year after the war he went to Boston with thirty-seven of his
warriors carrying a present of wampum for the governor. But the
governor would not accept the present until Uncas had given
satisfaction about the Pequots he was hiding. Uncas seemed "much
dejected" by this reception, and at first he denied that he had
any Pequots, but after two days he admitted the fact and promised
to do whatever the council demanded. Half an hour later he came
to the governor and made the following speech. Laying his hand on
his breast, he said:--

"This heart is not mine, but yours; I have no men, they are all
yours; command me any difficult thing, I will do it; I will not
believe any Indian's word against the English. If any man shall
kill an Englishman I will put him to death were he never so dear
to me."

The governor in response "gave him a fair red coat, and defrayed
his and his men's diet, and gave them corn to relieve them
homeward, and a letter of protection to all men, and he departed
very joyful."

Uncas had now become a dangerous rival of Miantonomo, and the
jealousy between them soon grew so great that it threatened to
break out in open war. In 1638 they were both called to Hartford
by the Connecticut authorities to settle the differences between
them.

Miantonomo obeyed this summons at once and set out with a great
company, "a guard of upwards of one hundred and fifty men and
many sachems and his wife and children," and traveled through the
forests that lay between the villages of the Narragansetts in
Rhode Island and the English settlements in the Connecticut
valley. On the way he heard that the Mohegans had planned to
attack him, that they had laid an ambush for him, and had
threatened to "boil him in a kettle." Some Indians of a friendly
tribe met him and told him that a band of Mohegans had fallen
upon them and robbed them two days before, and had destroyed
twenty-three fields of their corn. Miantonomo had already come
about halfway, and, after holding a council with his chiefs, he
decided to push on. "No man shall turn back," he said; "we will
all rather die."

He reached Hartford in safety, but Uncas was not there. Uncas had
sent word by a messenger that he was lame and could not come. The
Governor of Connecticut "observed that it was a lame excuse and
sent for him to come without delay." So Uncas decided that it was
safer for him, on the whole, to get well quickly and to go to
Hartford.

In the council that followed, each chieftain stated his
grievances and made complaint against the other, and the English
tried to reconcile them. At last a treaty of peace was signed,
and then Miantonomo stepped forward and held out his hand to
Uncas and invited him to a feast. But Uncas would not eat with
him, and the two chiefs parted no better friends than before.

Not long after this, Miantonomo was accused of trying to unite
all the Indian tribes against the English settlers. It was said
that he had made a speech to the Long Island Indians in these
words:--

"Brothers, we must be one as the English are, or we shall soon
all be destroyed. You know our fathers had plenty of deer and
skins, and our plains were full of deer and of turkeys, and our
coves and rivers were full of fish. But, brothers, since these
English have seized upon our country, they cut down the grass
with scythes, and the trees with axes. Their cows and horses eat
up the grass, and their hogs spoil our beds of clams; and finally
we shall starve to death. Therefore, I beseech you to act like
men. All the sachems both to the east and west have joined with
us and we are resolved to fall upon them."

The English were much alarmed on hearing this. It was quite true
that the Indians had sold their lands without realizing that the
settlers would use them for anything else than for hunting
grounds and for fishing places, as they themselves had done. They
could not know that the forests would be cleared, that farms
would spread over the countryside, and towns grow up along the
river courses, and they themselves be driven farther and farther
back into the wilderness. But Miantonomo denied that he had
planned a united attack on the settlements. He told the
messengers who were sent to him from Boston that all such reports
came from Uncas, and he agreed to go to Boston and appear before
the court of Massachusetts. He said, too, that he would like to
meet his accusers face to face and prove their treachery.

Miantonomo was a tall, fine-looking chief with serious and
stately manners, and he made a favorable impression in Boston on
the magistrates who were not very well disposed toward him. "When
he came in, the court was assembled and he was set down at the
lower end of the table over against the governor." A Pequot
interpreter was given him. Now, in his own country he had refused
to make use of a Pequot as interpreter because he was not on good
terms with that tribe and could not trust them, but here,
"surrounded by armed men," he could not help himself. He
protested, however, saying gravely, "When your people come to me,
they are permitted to use their own fashions and I expect the
same liberty when I come to you."

The sessions of the court lasted for two days, and every one was
astonished at the wisdom and dignity of the great sachem of the
Narragansetts. He answered all the questions put to him
deliberately, and would not speak at all unless some of his
councilors were present as witnesses. At meal-times, when a
separate table was set for him, he was not pleased and refused to
eat until some food was brought to him from the governor's table.
In the end he convinced the council of his innocence and he
returned in peace to his own country.

Meanwhile, Uncas, who was both feared and hated for his sudden
rise to power, had several narrow escapes from death. One of the
captured Pequots in his own tribe shot an arrow at him and
wounded him in the arm. Uncas complained to the English that
Miantonomo had engaged this Pequot to kill him, and Miantonomo
retorted that Uncas had cut his own arm with a flint to make it
appear that he had been wounded, and no one knew where the truth
lay. Soon after this an attempt was made to poison him. Then, at
last, one day as he was paddling down the Connecticut River in a
canoe, some Indians who were friends of the Narragansetts sent a
shower of arrows at him from the bank. He at once made a raid
into their country, killed seven or eight of their warriors,
burned their wigwams and carried off the booty.

This brought matters to a climax, for their chief, Sequassen, was
related to Miantonomo and Miantonomo took up his quarrel. The
trouble, which had so long been smouldering between the Mohegans
and the Narragansetts, broke out in earnest. Miantonomo collected
all the Narragansett warriors and led them swiftly and secretly
through the forests toward the land of the Mohegans, which lay
along the banks of the Pequot, or Thames, River. He hoped in this
way to fall upon Uncas while he was unprepared.

But Uncas was on his guard. His watchmen on the hills caught
sight of the Narragansetts as they came out of the woods by the
fords of the Shetucket River,--above the present city of Norwich.
Uncas had a fort five miles below on the Pequot River, which was
his headquarters, and the old story says:--

"Being warned by his spies of the approach of the Narragansetts
toward his seat, Uncas called his warriors together, stout, hard
men, light of foot and skilled in the use of bow and arrow, and
upon a conference he told them that it would not do to let the
Narragansetts come to their town, but that they must go and meet
them. Accordingly they marched about three miles, and on a large
plain the armies met, and both halted within bowshot. A parley
was sounded, and Uncas proposed a conference with the Narragansett
sachem, who agreed. And being met, Uncas saith to his enemy words
to this effect:--

"'You have a number of brave men and so have I. It is a pity that
such brave men should be killed for a quarrel between you and me.
Only come like a man, as you pretend to be, and we will fight it
out. If you kill me, my men shall be yours, but if I kill you,
your men shall be mine.'

"Upon which the Narragansett sachem replied,

"'My men came to fight and they shall fight.'"

Now, Uncas knew well that his army, being much smaller, had no
chance against the army of the Narragansetts in a fair fight, and
before he met the Narragansett sachem he had planned a stratagem
with his own men.

As soon as Miantonomo had spoken Uncas threw himself face down on
the ground and his men drew their bows and shot their arrows over
his head and rushed "like lions" upon their astonished enemies.
The Narragansetts broke in terror and confusion. They did not
stop to fight, but turned and fled panic-stricken, through woods
and swamps and over rocks and hills, by the way they had come,
back to the river fords. The Mohegans pursued them, killing a
number of them and wounding more. They drove them headlong, like
sheep, before them, and the pursuit lasted for five or six miles.
Some of the Narragansetts lost their way and came upon the Yantic
River near its falls and were driven over the steep rocks on the
banks and drowned in the water. Others were taken prisoners.
"Long afterwards, some old Mohegans were heard to boast of having
found a poor Narragansett struggling and panting in a thicket
that bordered the river, and so frantic with fear and excitement
as to suppose himself in the water and actually attempting to
swim among the bushes."

Miantonomo was strong and a swift runner, but that day he wore
for protection a coat of mail which an Englishman had given him
and the heavy garment impeded his flight. The Mohegans recognized
him by it and followed him eagerly. He kept his distance until he
had nearly reached the river, but there, "the foremost of Uncas's
men got ahead of him." They threw themselves against him and
prevented his escape. They did not kill him or try to take him
prisoner, but they ran beside him until Uncas came up, when they
dropped back and gave their chieftain the "opportunity to take
him."

"At a place since called 'Sachem's Plain,' Uncas took him by the
shoulder and Miantonomo sat down, knowing Uncas. Uncas then gave
a whoop and his men returned to him." But Miantonomo sat silent.

At last Uncas spoke to him and said, "If you had taken me I would
have besought you for my life."

Now it was against the Indian's code of honor to ask for mercy.
An Indian brave must never complain, no matter how hard his fate.
If he were put to torture, if he were even burned at the stake,
he must let no sound of pain escape him. He might boast of his
own exploits and tell how many of his enemies he had killed, but
he must never admit defeat. Courage and endurance were the great
Indian virtues. Therefore Miantonomo made no reply to the taunts
of Uncas and his men; he kept silence, as befitted a great sachem
and a brave warrior, "choosing rather to die than to make
supplication for his life."

Uncas had the right, according to Indian custom, to put his
prisoner to death at once, but he had agreed to consult the
English in all important matters, so he carried him to Hartford.
This was late in the summer of 1643. In September the commissioners
of the United Colonies met in Boston and the case of Miantonomo
came before them. The commissioners were afraid to take the
responsibility of setting the Narragansett sachem free, because
they had promised to protect Uncas and they felt that Uncas would
not be safe while Miantonomo lived, yet they had no reason to put
him to death. At last, after long deliberation, they decided that
he should be given back to Uncas and that Uncas, if he chose,
might put him to death; but he must do it in his own land, not
in the English settlements, and there must be no torture.

[Illustration: MIANTONOMO'S MONUMENT
Courtesy of the Cranston Co., Norwich, Conn.]

So Uncas came to Hartford "with some considerable number of his
best and trustiest men," and having received his prisoner, he set
out with him on the fatal journey. The English sent two of their
own men with him to see that the sentence was duly executed. They
went through the forests until they had passed the English
boundaries and had come upon land that belonged to the Mohegans,
and, therein the wilderness, the brother of Uncas, who walked
behind Miantonomo, lifted his hatchet and silently drove it
through the captive chieftain's head.

On Sachem's Plain a great heap of stones soon marked the spot
where Miantonomo had been overtaken, for each Mohegan warrior who
passed the place cast a stone on the pile with a shout of
triumph, and each Narragansett added to it with cries of sorrow
and lamentation for the loss of a noble leader. In after years
the stones disappeared, and a monument was erected on the spot in
1841, in honor of the Narragansett sachem. It is a large, square
block of granite with the name and the date carved upon it,
"MIANTONOMO, 1643." It can be seen to-day in Greeneville, two
miles from Norwich.

Uncas lived on for many years and was a very old man before he
died; "old and wicked and wilful," one account describes him. He
quarreled with his neighbors and gave much trouble to his
friends, the English. The Narragansetts attacked him after the
death of Miantonomo, to avenge the death of their chief, and they
drove him into one of his forts on the Pequot River. The
colonists had helped him to build this fort on a point of land
running out into the water, and it was too strong for the Indians
to take it by assault. They took possession of the Mohegan's
canoes, however, and they sat down patiently before the fort, on
the land side, to starve out Uncas and his warriors.

But the story says that one night Uncas sent out a swift runner,
who got safely past his enemies and carried the news to the
English. Thomas Leffingwell, one of the settlers at Saybrook, "an
enterprizing, bold man, loaded a canoe with beef, corn, and peas,
and under cover of night paddled from Saybrook" around into the
mouth of the Thames, or Pequot, River and succeeded in getting
the provisions into the fort without the knowledge of the
Narragansetts. The next morning there was great rejoicing among
the Mohegans and they lifted a large piece of beef on a pole to
show the besiegers that they had plenty to eat. The Narragansetts,
finding that the English had once more come to the rescue of Uncas,
gave up the siege in despair and melted away into the forest.

There is an old legend which says that each night while he was
waiting for relief, Uncas himself secretly left the fort and
crept along through the shadows on the river-bank until he came
to a ledge of rocks from which he could look down the stream;
that he sat there stern and motionless until morning watching and
hoping for help from the strange, new owners of the lands which
had belonged to his fathers. These rocks afterward went by the
name of "Uncas's Chair."

Uncas was buried in the royal burying-ground of the Mohegans near
the falls of the Yantic River. His monument is there now in the
heart of the city of Norwich.


REFERENCES

1. DeForest, John W. _History of the Indians of
   Connecticut_.    J. W. Hammersley. Hartford, 1853.

2. Drake, Samuel G. _Book of the Indians_. Boston, 1845.

3. Caulkins, Frances M. _History of Norwich_. Hartford,
   1874.

4. Sylvester, Herbert Milton. _Indian Wars of New England_.
W. B. Clarke Co. Boston, 1910.

5. Winthrop, John. _History of New England_. Edited by James
   Savage. Boston, 1825.



A HARBOR FOR SHIPS


"It hath a fair river, fit for harboring of ships, and abounds
with rich and goodly meadows." This description of New Haven, or
Quinnipiac, as the Indians called it, was brought back to Boston
in the summer of 1637, after the Pequot War, by some of the
English soldiers who had pursued the flying Pequots into that
part of Connecticut and had noticed the good harbor of New Haven
as they passed.

The report sounded so pleasant and so satisfactory in the ears of
a company of London merchants, who, with their families and their
fortunes, had recently come to New England and were looking about
for a suitable spot in which to settle, that they decided to
visit this place and judge of it for themselves.

These people, about two hundred and fifty in number, had arrived
in Boston in June of that same year, after a voyage of two
months. Of course in the small ships of those days there must
have been many discomforts, even in a pleasant season, and no
doubt some of the people were seasick. An old record of that time
says, "We fetched out the children and others that lay groaning
in the cabins, and having stretched a rope from the steerage to
the mainmast, made them stand some on one side and some on the
other and sway it up and down till they were warm. By this means
they soon grew well and merry. ... When the ship heaved and set
more than usual a few were sick, but of these such as came upon
deck and bestirred themselves were presently well again,
therefore our captain set our children and young men to some
harmless exercises, in which the seamen were very active and did
our people much good, though they would sometimes play the wags
with them." When at last the Hector dropped anchor in Boston
Harbor, and "there came a smell off the shore like the smell of a
garden," her passengers must have been glad that the long voyage
was over.

The two leaders of the company were Theophilus Eaton, a
successful shipping merchant of London, a man of affairs and of
great personal dignity and kindliness, and his friend, Reverend
John Davenport, a London clergyman, who, like many other Puritan
ministers of those days, had been obliged to leave England on
account of his religious opinions. These two men had been
schoolboys together in the town of Coventry, they had been
associated later in London, they came together to America, and
they remained friends to the end of their lives.

As many of their party were merchants, and not farmers like a
large number of the settlers on the Connecticut River at
Hartford, it was important to select a place for their colony
which would be convenient for trade and where there was a good
harbor for the commerce they hoped to establish. For this reason
the report of Quinnipiac interested them, and in September
several members of the company went to Quinnipiac and liked it so
well that seven men were left there through the winter to prepare
for the coming of the rest in the spring. In April the whole
number removed there from Boston.

The people of Massachusetts Bay were sorry to have them go. They
would have been glad to have this rich and influential company
join their colony, but these new settlers wished to found a
colony of their own in which they could carry out their own ideas
of what a model state should be, both in civil and religious
matters. They took ship, therefore, from Boston for Quinnipiac,
carrying all their goods and provisions with them. The expedition
was well fitted out and all its details had been carefully
planned before they left England. Friends already in the colonies
had written offering suggestions: "Bring good store of clothes
and bedding with you; bring paper and linseed oil for your
windows, with cotton yarn for your lamps."

As they sailed into Quinnipiac Harbor they saw for the first time
the two great cliffs, the East and West Rocks, called by the
Dutch "the Red Hills," which still stand like guardians, one on
each side of the present city of New Haven. On the level plain
between them, which is watered by several small streams, they
determined to build their town and to place it at the head of the
beautiful harbor.

They made large and generous plans for it. They laid it out in
regular squares and set aside a great open space in the center
for a market-place. This is the New Haven Green, which exists
to-day just as John Brockett, the surveyor, laid it out in 1638. It
is still the largest public square in the heart of any city in
the United States. In the middle of the Green they built the
first "meeting-house." It was fifty feet square, made of rough
timbers, with a small tower on top where the drummer stood on
Sundays to "drum" the people to church; for at first there were
no bells. Each person had a seat carefully assigned to him, or
her, in the meeting-house. Sometimes the boys sat with the
soldiers near the door. We read later in the records that at one
time the children in the galleries were so restless during the
long sermons, that "tithing-men" were appointed "to take a stick
or wand and smite such as are of uncomely behavior in the meeting
and acquaint their parents." On week-days the children went to
school in a schoolhouse which was built on the Green.

The town of New Haven was soon noted for its large and fine
houses, Eaton's having nineteen fireplaces according to
tradition, and Davenport's, thirteen. But at first any kind of
shelter was used for protection. The people met under an oak tree
for service on the first Sunday after landing and Reverend John
Davenport preached a sermon to them on the "Temptation of the
Wilderness," so it is said. During the first winter some of them
slept in cellars dug out in the banks of one of the creeks and
covered with earth. A boy named Michael Wigglesworth, who came to
New Haven with his parents in October, 1638, when he was nine
years old, lived in one of these cellars. When he grew up he
wrote his autobiography and in it he says, "I remember that one
great rain brake in upon us and drenched me so in my bed, being
asleep, that I fell sick upon it, but the Lord in mercy spared my
life and restored my health."

When the settlers at Quinnipiac, or New Haven, as it was soon
called, had been there a little more than a year, they met in
Robert Newman's barn "to consult about settling civil government"
and also about establishing a church. Up to this time they had
lived under what was known as the "Plantation Covenant," which
was a simple agreement among themselves that they would all "be
ordered by those rules which the Scripture holds forth." At this
meeting on June 4, l639, they decided that they would continue to
accept the Bible as a code of laws, and that only church members
should hold office or have the right to vote for magistrates.
They did this under the direction of John Davenport, who in one
of his writings had described this colony as "a new Plantation
whose design is religion." This agreement, made in Robert
Newman's barn, was known as the "Fundamental Agreement." Twelve
men were appointed on that day who chose seven from among
themselves to found a church. These seven men were called the
"Seven Pillars." On August 22, the "Seven Pillars" met and
established a church, and on the 25th of October they met again
and set up the civil government.

[Illustration: MEDAL COMMEMORATING THE TWO HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE FOUNDING OF NEW HAVEN.]

Like the Connecticut Colony, the New Haven Colony in setting up
its government made no reference to any authority beyond itself;
the people elected their own magistrates and made their own laws.
But the New Haven Colony was unlike Connecticut in one important
respect. In New Haven no man could vote or hold a place in the
government unless he was a church member. This led later to much
discontent among some of the people, and was one reason, among
others, for the failure of New Haven as a separate colony and for
its beng absorbed, twenty-five years afterward,--in 1664,--into
the larger and more liberal Connecticut Colony.

Meanwhile, even before the government was organized, the
merchants and shippers of the company had bought or built boats
and had begun to trade along the coasts to the north and to the
south. During the first winter while some of the people, like the
family of Michael Wigglesworth, were still living in cellars dug
in the river-banks, Master George Lamberton was sailing in his
sloop, the Cock, on a trading voyage to Virginia. Other New Haven
ships soon established commercial relations with Boston and New
Amsterdam, with Delaware, where beaver skins could be obtained in
abundance, with Virginia, whose great staple was tobacco, and
with other plantations still farther away, such as Barbados in
the West Indies, where sugar was the most important article of
exchange. Now and then we hear of a New Haven ship in strange and
foreign parts of the world.

There was one which set out in December, 1642, for the Canary
Islands, laden with clapboards, and fell in with pirates near the
Island of Palma, one of the Canaries. A Turkish pirate ship of
three hundred tons with two hundred men on board and twenty-six
guns, attacked this small New Haven ship of one hundred and
eighty tons, which had only seven guns fit for use and twenty men
armed with rusty muskets. The fight lasted for three hours, and
Captain Carman, the master of the New Haven ship, and his men
succeeded in killing a good many Turks in spite of being taken at
a disadvantage. But at last the pirates put their ship alongside
and sent one hundred men on board the New Haven ship, When,
however, they found that their captain was shot and the rudder of
their ship broken, the pirates hauled, down their flag and drew
off so quickly that they left fifty of their men behind. "Then
the master [Captain Carman] and some of his men came up and
fought those fifty hand to hand and slew so many of them that the
rest leaped overboard. The master had many wounds on his head and
body and divers of his men were wounded, yet but one slain. So
with much difficulty he got to the Island [of Palma], where he
was very courteously entertained, and supplied with whatever he
needed."

But New Haven ships did not always come off as well as in this
encounter with the pirates, and their voyages were not always
successful. Some members of the New Haven Colony bought land in
Delaware and attempted to establish a trading-post in order to
take advantage of the profitable trade in beaver skins. But the
Dutch and Swedes, who had settled there, objected to the coming
of the English, and once, in 1642, they seized Captain Lamberton,
who had come in his ship the Cock, accused him of inciting the
Indians against them, and threw him into prison. As the charges
against him could not be proved he was soon released, but the
hostility of the Dutch and Swedes continued until the New Haven
merchants were driven away from that coast and out of the rich
fur-trade of Delaware. This was a great blow to the colony. Other
losses, too, were met with, and at last the people became greatly
discouraged as they saw their hopes of founding a successful
commercial colony slowly, but surely, disappearing.

The voyage of the "Great Shippe" which took place about this time
is the most tragic adventure in the story of New Haven's early
shipping days. It began in this way. In 1646, as a last resource,
the merchants of New Haven decided to fit out a ship with what
was left of their "tradeable estate," and send her to London. Up
to this time they had sent goods to England by way of Boston or
of the West Indies; there might be more profit, they thought, in
a direct trade, cutting out the cost of reshipment. So they
bought a ship. We do not know her name, she is always spoken of
as the "Great Shippe," although she was only one hundred tons;
perhaps the title was given her because the colonists were
staking so much on this venture. If it succeeded, their
prosperity might be assured; if it failed, they must give up the
sea and commerce as a dependence and turn their energies to
agriculture. The "Great Shippe" was a new boat, said to have been
built in Rhode Island, and she was loaded principally with wheat
and peas shipped in bulk, with West Indies hides, beaver skins,
and what silver plate could be spared for exchange in London. Her
cargo altogether was worth about twenty-five thousand dollars,
which was a large sum in those days, especially in a new and
struggling colony.

The master of the ship was the same Captain Lamberton we have
heard of before. He was a brave and bold skipper, but it is said
that he was not altogether pleased with the ship when he first
saw her; that he did not like her lines and thought her not quite
seaworthy. Other people, too, besides Captain Lamberton,
complained that she was not only badly built, but badly loaded,
with the light goods of the cargo below and the heavy above, and
some old seamen predicted that the grain would shift in rough
weather and make trouble. These were mostly rumors, however, and
few paid attention to them at the time; but long afterward, when
people talked over the strange fate of the "Great Shippe,"
Captain Lamberton's words, "This ship will be our grave," were
recalled and believed to have been a prophecy.

That winter of 1646 was a bitterly cold one in Connecticut, and
New Haven Harbor was frozen over. When the "Great Shippe" was
ready to sail, it was necessary to cut a way out for her with
handsaws through the thick ice for nearly three miles. A good
many people from the town walked out on the harbor ice beside the
ship to see her begin her voyage, and to bid good-bye to a number
of their friends who were going home to England on business of
one kind or another. Seventy people had taken passage in the
"Great Shippe," and among them were some who were very prominent
in the colony, as, for instance, Captain Nathaniel Turner, who,
having had experience in the war with the Pequot Indians, had
been given "the command and ordering of all martial affairs" in
the plantation, and Thomas Gregson, one of the magistrates, who
was charged by the colony to obtain a charter for them, if
possible, from the English Parliament, then in control in
England.

Reverend John Davenport, the minister, stood in the crowd of
people on the ice that winter day and offered a prayer to God for
the protection of the travelers. "Lord," he said, "if it be thy
will to bury these our friends in the bottom of the sea, they are
thine, save them." This does not sound like a very cheerful
send-off, but we must remember that a long voyage was a serious
undertaking in those days and that people sometimes made their
wills even before sailing from New Haven for Boston.

When the "Great Shippe" had really gone, when the people had seen
the last of Captain Lamberton standing on her deck giving orders,
and had watched her white sails dwindle and disappear, they
walked back over the ice to their homes on the shore remembering
sadly that it would be a long time before they could expect to
have any news from her. It might be two or three months before
she reached London and as many more before word of her arrival
could come back to them. So they waited patiently through the
hard New England winter and the early spring, but by summer time
they were eagerly looking for tidings of her. Ships came from
England as usual to the colonies, but no one of them brought news
of the safe arrival in London of the "Great Shippe" from New
Haven. Then the people began to question the skippers of other
boats, boats from the West Indies and from the plantations on the
southern coasts, and to ask if anything had been heard of her in
that direction. For they remembered that there had been an
unusually violent storm soon after the ship had sailed, and they
began to fear that she might have been blown out of her course
and possibly wrecked on some such coast or island. Public prayers
were offered for her safety and for the safety of her passengers.
Meanwhile, the summer passed and the cold weather came again, and
still there was no word from the fated ship. Few vessels put into
New England harbors during the winter, and, as the chance of news
grew less and less, the anxiety of the people gradually changed
to despair. They recalled the sacrifices they had made to fit out
that ship, the precious cargo she carried, all the things that
could not be replaced (such as the sermons and other writings of
Mr. Davenport which he had sent to England for publication); and
in the loss of the ship on which they had set all their hopes
they saw the final blow to the prosperity of New Haven. No one
now had the courage or the money for another venture of that
kind. Slowly and reluctantly the people turned to agriculture
instead of trade, and the days of New Haven as a commercial
colony were numbered.

But far worse to them than any material loss was the loss of the
dear friends and relatives who had sailed with the "Great Shippe"
for England. No compensation could come to those who had loved
them. In November, 1647, the passengers on the ship were finally
given up as lost and counted among the dead and their estates
settled.

Yet many to whom they were dear could not rest satisfied. They
remembered all the perils of the sea, the dangers of shipwreck on
some barren coast, of possible capture by pirates, such as those
who had attacked Captain Carman off the Canary Islands not many
years before, and they came to feel at last that they would be
thankful to learn that the ship had foundered at sea and that
their friends had gone down with her to a natural death in the
waters.

Two years and a half after the sailing of the "Great; Shippe" (so
the story stands in a strange old book called the _Magnolia
Christi_, by the Reverend Cotton Mather), a wonderful vision
came to the people of New Haven. On that June afternoon in the
year 1648, a great thunderstorm came up from the northwest. The
sky grew black and threatening, there was vivid lightning, and a
cold wind swept over the harbor. Before the rain had ceased and
calm had come again, it was nearly sunset.

Then, against the clear evening light, a strange ship sailed into
New Haven Harbor. Around the point she came with her sails full
set and her colors flying. "There's a brave ship," cried the
children, and they left their play to stand and gaze at her. Men
and women gathered on the water-front and the same startled hope
thrilled every heart: "It may be the 'Great Shippe' come home
again!" For there was the old familiar outline, there were her
three masts, her tackling, and her sails. And yet there was
something new and mysterious, something awe-inspiring about her,
and the watchers held their breath as they realized that she was
sailing toward them straight against the wind that blew strong
off the north shore. For a full half-hour they stood and gazed,
until they could distinguish the different parts of her rigging,
until they could see, standing high on her poop, the figure of a
man with "one hand akimbo under his left side and in his right
hand a sword stretched out toward the sea." Then, all at once, a
mist rose out of the sea behind her and covered her like smoke,
and through the mist and smoke men saw dimly her shrouds give
way, and her masts break and fall, as though a hurricane had
struck her, and slowly she careened and plunged beneath the
surface of the water.

The people turned to their pastor. "What does it mean?" they
asked. "It was the form of Master Lamberton. Why is this vision
sent us?" And he replied that doubtless God had sent it in answer
to their prayers, to show them the fate of their friends and to
set their hearts at rest, for "this was the mould of their ship,
and thus her tragic end."


REFERENCES

1. Levermore, Charles H. _Republic of New Haven_.
   Johns Hopkins University Studies. Baltimore, 1886.

2. Atwater, Edward E. _History of the Colony of New Haven_.
   Printed at New Haven, 1881.

3. Blake, Henry T. _Chronicles of New Haven Green_.
   Printed at New Haven, 1892.

4. Winthrop, John. _History of New England_.
   Edited by James Savage. Boston, 1825.

5. Mather, Reverend Cotton. _Magnalia Christi Americana_,
   i, 25. London, 1702.



THREE JUDGES


In the year 1661, when the city of New Haven was a small village
not much more than twenty years old, a family of boys named
Sperry lived out on a farm some two or three miles west of that
settlement. There was only one house then besides theirs outside
the town in that direction and the woods all about were thick and
wild.

That summer something mysterious was going on near the Sperry
farm. Every morning Richard Sperry himself, or one of his boys,
carried food, in dishes covered with a cloth, into the woods on
the steep side of West Rock about a mile from the house, and left
it there on a stump. Every evening he, or one of his sons, went
for the empty bowls and brought them home. The boys were curious
to know who had eaten the food, for they never met any one coming
or going, and never saw any one up on the Rock. In reply their
father told them that there were men at work in the forest near
by; yet they never heard voices nor the sound of an axe, and it
was only long afterward that they learned the real reason for
what they had done. If one of the boys had waited long enough
some morning, lying still and hidden in the bushes, he might have
seen a man come slowly and cautiously through the woods toward
him, a dignified, grave-looking person with something foreign in
his dress, something soldierly in his bearing, as if he were
accustomed to commanding others; he might have watched this
stranger--so different from the people he knew--take up the
dishes of food and disappear again into the dark forest. And he
would have wondered why a man like that, who was evidently not a
hunter and not a new settler, should be hiding in the woods
around New Haven.

Twelve years before, in England, this same man had taken part in
a very different scene. There was a great trial held in the
stately old Hall of Westminster and the prisoner at the bar was
the King of England himself, and among the fifty-nine judges who
condemned him to death was the man who was now hunted for his own
life and was in hiding near the Sperry farm that summer, three
thousand miles away from all he loved in England.

There were nearly one hundred men who had some part, large or
small, in the trial and death of King Charles the First, and all
of them were in great danger eleven years later when the
Royalists returned to power and his son, Charles the Second,
became king. A few who had very little to do with the king's
sentence were pardoned; others were seized at once, tried,
condemned, and executed in the barbarous way the English law then
allowed, and still others tried to escape by leaving England.
Some got safely to the Continent and wandered about from one
foreign city to another, trying to pass unnoticed in the crowd,
and always in danger of being discovered and arrested by the
messengers the English Government sent after them.

Three of them came to New England and spent some time in
Connecticut. This is their story.

Early in May, 1660, a ship named the Prudent Mary lay at
Gravesend near London, getting ready to sail under her master,
Captain Pierce, for the colonies in the new world. Two of the
regicides, General Edward Whalley and General William Goffe, had
taken passage in her, but they dared not sail under their own
names and they came aboard as Edward Richardson and William
Stephenson. While the ship was waiting in Gravesend the new king
was proclaimed. That was on Saturday, May 12. The next day
General Goffe wrote in his diary,--"May 13. Wee kept Sabbath
abord."

On Monday they sailed and were happy to get away from England
before an order could be given for their arrest. The ships of
those days were very small and the little Prudent Mary took ten
weeks to make her way across the ocean, but at last Goffe wrote
in his journal: "July 27. We came to anchor between Boston and
Charlestown; between 8 and 9 in the morning; all in good health
through the good hand of God upon us."

When the judges landed they were among friends, for most of the
people in New England were of their political party. They took
their own names again, called on the Governor of Massachusetts
Bay Colony and went about freely. Goffe's diary says: "Aug. 9.
Went to Boston lecture and heard Mr. Norton. Went afterwards to
his house where we were lovingly entertained with many ministers
and found great respects from them." And on the 26th: "We visited
Elder Frost, who received us with great kindness and love."

This diary and his letters show that Goffe was sincere and
religious, but his life tells us that he was brave and energetic
too. He had made his own way, and both he and Whalley, who was
his father-in-law, had been important men in England; they were
major-generals who had fought in great battles and had taken part
in great events in history. There is an old story about their
skill in fencing.

"At Boston," so the story runs, "there appeared a gallant person,
some say a fencing-master, who, on a stage erected for the
purpose, walked for several days challenging and defying any to
play with him at swords. At length one of the judges disguised in
a rustic dress, holding in one hand a cheese wrapped in a napkin
for a shield, with a broomstick, whose mop he had besmeared with
dirty puddle water as he passed along, mounted the stage. The
fencing-master railed at him for his impudence, asked what
business he had there, and bade him begone. The judge stood his
ground, upon which the gladiator made a pass at him with his
sword to drive him off. An encounter ensued. The judge received
the sword into the cheese and held it till he drew the mop of the
broom over the other's mouth, and gave the gentleman a pair of
whiskers. The gentleman made another pass, and plunging his sword
a second time, it was caught and held in the cheese till the
broom was drawn over his eyes. At a third lunge, the sword was
caught again, till the mop of the broom was rubbed gently all
over his face. Upon this, the gentleman let fall, or laid aside,
his small sword and took up the broadsword and came at him with
that, upon which the judge said, 'Stop, sir! Hitherto, you see, I
have only played with you and have not attempted to hurt you, but
if you come at me now with the broadsword, know that I will
certainly take your life.' The firmness and determination with
which he spoke struck the gentleman, who, desisting, exclaimed,
'Who can you be? You are either Goffe, Whalley, or the devil, for
there was no other man in England that could beat me.'"

For seven months the two judges lived in Cambridge at the house
of Major Daniel Gookin, a member of the governor's council and a
fellow passenger of theirs in the Prudent Mary. They went to
church on Sundays, and no doubt on "training-days" they watched
the train-bands practice, for they were famous fighters
themselves. But meantime the news of their being in the colonies
was carried to England by a royalist named Captain Breedon, and
the governor debated with his council what to do about it. He
wanted to protect them, but he feared the king's displeasure
might bring trouble on the colony. Before he decided, the two
judges, or "the two Colonels" as they were called, finding they
were not safe in Boston, left for New Haven.

This was their first journey in the new wilderness; it was winter
time, and probably there was snow on the ground and hanging heavy
on the trees-more snow than they had ever seen in England. Most
of the road between Boston and New Haven was a trail through
forests where a guide was necessary. They stopped at Hartford,
were kindly received there, and reached New Haven early in March.
For three weeks they were guests of the minister, Reverend John
Davenport. He was their friend and is said to have preached a
sermon from the text, "Hide the outcasts; betray not him that
wandereth," to prepare people for their coming. Whalley's sister
had once lived in New Haven and they had other friends there too.
But it was very dangerous for these friends to try to protect
them, and when word came that a reward had been offered in
England for their arrest, the hunted judges left New Haven as
they had left Boston before, pretending, this time, to go to New
York. However, they only went as far as Milford and turned back
secretly in the night to New Haven where the minister received
them again and hid them, in his own house and in the houses of
other friends, until May, when a still greater danger threatened
them.

The royal order for their arrest at last reached Boston and the
governor there was obliged to forward it. He gave it to two young
royalists, Thomas Kellond and Thomas Kirk, and on Saturday, May
11, they arrived with it in Guilford at the house of William
Leete, the Governor of the New Haven Colony. Governor Leete took
the paper and began to read it aloud, hoping some one in the room
would overhear it and send word to warn the judges. Kirk and
Kellond interrupted him and said the paper was too important to
read in public. Then they asked for horses and a search-warrant
to carry with them to New Haven. It took a long time to get the
horses; there was one delay after another, and the governor said
he could not give them the warrant without consulting the other
magistrates, but he would write a letter. It took a long time
also to write the letter, and when both horses and letter were
ready it was too late to start that night. The next day was
Sunday and nobody was allowed to travel on Sunday in the New
Haven Colony. So the messengers waited impatiently for Monday,
and meantime they heard rumors that the judges had been seen in
New Haven, and that Mr. Davenport must be protecting them still,
because he had lately put ten pounds' worth of fresh provisions
in his house; all of which made them still more impatient.

On Monday, at last, they got to New Haven, and some hours later
Governor Leete followed them--very slowly--and called the
magistrates together. It took the magistrates so long to decide
what to do that Kellond and Kirk asked bluntly whether they meant
to honor and obey the king or not. The governor answered, "We
honor his Majesty, but we have tender consciences." At last a
search was ordered to be made for the regicides, but Kirk and
Kellond were convinced by this time that it would be useless, and
they left in disgust for New York.

They were right, it was useless; for an Indian runner had come
quickly from Guilford on Saturday, and Goffe and Whalley had
disappeared.

Several stories are told of their narrow escapes at this time.
One says they were on the Neck Bridge over Mill River on State
Street when they heard the horses of their pursuers behind them
and had only time to slip under the bridge and lie there hidden
while the men rode over their heads. Another tells how a woman
hid them in her house, in a closet whose door looked like a part
of the wall with kitchen pots and pans hung on it. When they left
the settlement they took refuge in the wild forest, and most of
that summer they lived in a cave in a pile of boulders on the top
of West Rock. The cave is there still, and is called "Judges'
Cave" to-day. Richard Sperry carried food to them or sent it by
one of his boys, and sometimes on very stormy nights they crept
secretly down to his house and stayed with him. Once, in June,
they went back to New Haven and offered to give themselves up to
save their friends, if necessary, and arranged that Governor
Leete should always know where to find them. Most people thought
they had left the colony altogther then, but they were back in
their cave on the Rock, or in some other hiding-place in the deep
woods. Rewards were still offered for them and they dared not
venture out. They called West Rock "Providence Hill," because God
had provided for them there. And now these two men, who had led
such stirring, active lives in England, lived in a great
loneliness and silence, with no friends near them, no sounds but
the distant crash of a falling tree, or the wind sighing in the
forest branches. There were prowling Indians and prowling wild
beasts. Once, so the story says, a panther crept up stealthily to
the cave at night as they lay in bed and put his head in at the
opening, his eyes burning in the darkness like two fires.

In August, when the search for them was pretty much over, they
went to Milford. They stayed there very secretly for three years,
until, in 1664, there was danger of another search being made.
Then they went back to their cave on the Rock; but it was no
longer a safe place for them, because "some Indians in their
hunting discovered the cave with the bed," and their friends made
a different plan for their concealment.

The exiles set out on another long journey. They traveled only at
night, stopping and hiding in the daytime. The trail they
followed led them up the valley of the Connecticut River, beyond
Hartford and far into the north, until they came to what is now
the town of Hadley in Massachusetts. This was then one of the
farthest settlements in the wilderness and very remote and
lonely. Reverend John Russell, the minister there, gave them
shelter and took care of them. There was a cellar under part of
his house, and, by taking up some loose boards in the floor above
it, they could drop down quickly into it if visitors came
unexpectedly. In spite of the danger to himself, Mr. Russell kept
them safe in Hadley for twelve or fifteen years. A few friends
wrote to them and sent them money, but no one else in the world
outside knew what had become of them or whether or not they were
still alive.

There is a famous story about one of the regicides in Hadley.
Once, it says, in King Philip's War the Indians attacked the
place. They burst out of the woods and rushed upon the settlement
on a Sunday morning while every one was at church. Terror-stricken
and thrown into wild confusion by the sight of the yelling savages
the people of Hadley were helpless, when, all at once, an unknown
man, with whitening hair and strange garments, appeared in the
midst of them and took command. He rallied them and led them out
against the Indians and drove them back into the forest. "As
suddenly as he had come, the deliverer of Hadley disappeared."
No one ever saw him again, and the people said God must have sent
an angel to help them. Long afterward they learned that it was
General Goffe.

[Illustration: The Judges' Cave on West Rock]

There is not much more to tell about the judges after this.
Whalley was an an old man now, and Goffe wrote to his wife, who
was Whalley's daughter, "Your old friend" (he dared not say her
father, and he signed himself Walter Goldsmith instead of
William Goffe) "is yet living, but continues in a very weak
condition and seems not to take much notice of anything that is
done or said, but patiently bears all things and never complains
of anything. The common and very frequent question is to know how
he doth and his answer for the most part is, 'Very well, I praise
God,' which he utters with a very low and weak voice."

After Whalley died, Goffe left Hadley and went to Hartford. We do
not know much about him there. We know that he was still an exile
with a price on his head, and still hiding. In one of his letters
he says to a friend, "Dear Sir, you know my trials are considerable,
but I beseech you not to interpret any expression in my letters as
if I complained of God's dealing with me." His family in England
had moved and he did not know their address or how to reach them,
and in April, 1679, he wrote to the same friend, "I am greatly
longing to hear from my poor desolate relations, and whether my
last summer's letters got safe to them." What answer he received,
whether he ever heard from them again, we cannot tell, for his
story ends with that last letter.

The third regicide judge who came to Connecticut; was Colonel
John Dixwell. He spent some time with Whalley and Goffe at Hadley
and afterward lived seventeen years in New Haven. No search was
ever made for him because he was supposed to have died in Europe,
and he was known to almost every one in the colony as Mr. James
Davids. It was only when he was on his death-bed that he allowed
his real name to be told. His house stood on the corner of Grove
and College Streets; he married in New Haven and had several
children. He was a great friend of Reverend James Pierpont, the
minister, and the story goes that they had beaten a path walking
across their lots to talk over the fence and that Madame Pierpont
used to ask her husband who that old man was who was so fond of
living "an obscure and unnoticed life" and why he liked so much
to talk with him, and he replied that "if she knew the worth and
value of that old man she would not wonder at it."

Once, so it is said, Sir Edmund Andros came from Boston to New
Haven and noticed on Sunday in church a dignified old gentleman
with an erect and military air very different from the rest of
the people, and asked who he was. He was told that it was Mr.
Davids, a New Haven merchant. "Oh, no," said Andros, "I have seen
men and can judge them by their looks. He is no merchant; he has
been a soldier and has figured somewhere in a more public station
than this." Some one warned Dixwell and he stayed away from
church that afternoon.

When he died he was buried in the old burying-ground behind
Center Church on the New Haven Green. In 1849, one of his
descendants put up the monument to him which stands there to-day.
The monument to Goffe and Whalley is the "Judges' Cave" on the
top of West Rock, and three streets in New Haven are also named
for the three regicide judges who came to Connecticut.


REFERENCES

1. Hutchinson, Thomas. _History of Massachusetts_,
   Salem and Boston, 1795.

2. The Mather Papers, in _Massachusetts Historical
   Collections_, 4th series, vol. 8.

3. Dexter, F.B. Memoranda respecting Edward Whalley and
   William Goffe, in _Papers_ of the New Haven Colony
   Historical Society, vol. 2.

4. Stiles, Ezra. _A History of Three of the Judges of King
   Charles First_. Hartford, 1794 Reprinted in _Library of
   American History_, Samuel L. Knapp, editor. New York, 1839.

5. Goffe's Diary, in _Proceedings_ of the Massachusetts
   Historical Society, 1863-64.

6. Judd, Sylvester. _History of Hadley_. Introduction to
   edition of 1905. H.R. Huntting & Co. Springfield, 1905.



THE FORT ON THE RIVER


A boy named Lion Gardiner was born in England in 1599, toward the
end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He was strong, active, and
energetic, and as he grew up he was trained to be an engineer.
Like a good many other ambitious young Englishmen of his day, he
took service in the Low Countries,--that is, in what is now
Holland and Belgium,--where the people were fighting against
Spain for their independence. He was employed as "an engineer and
master of works of fortification in the legers [camps] of the
Prince of Orange."

While he was in Holland he received an offer from a group of
English "Lords and Gentlemen" of the Puritan party, who were
interested in colonization in America, to go to New England and
construct works of fortification there. "I was to serve them," he
says, "in the drawing, ordering, and making of a city, towns, or
forts of defence," and "I was appointed to attend such orders as
Mr. John Winthrop, Esq., should appoint, and that we should
choose a place both for the convenience of a good harbour and
also for capableness and fitness for fortification."

Lion Gardiner signed an agreement with them for four years at one
hundred pounds, or five hundred dollars, a year and expenses paid
to America for himself and his family. He was married before he
left Holland and he and his wife sailed for London, July 10,
1635, in a small North Sea bark named the Batcheler. A month
later they left London in the same little ship bound for Boston.
The Batcheler was very small; there were only twelve men and two
women on board, and these two women were Gardiner's wife, Mary
Wilemson, and her maid, Eliza Coles. The voyage was rough and
stormy and lasted nearly three months and a half. When they
arrived in Boston on November 28, the snow was knee-deep, and the
winter set in so cold and forbidding that there was some delay in
carrying out the plans for the new colony. As Lieutenant Gardiner
was an "expert engineer," the people of Boston were glad to take
advantage of his stay with them to employ him in finishing some
fortifications for them on Fort Hill.

In the spring he sailed once more on the little Batcheler for the
mouth of the Connecticut River, where it had been decided to
build the new fort and plant the new colony. This place was
selected partly because of its good harbor, and partly because a
fort here would command the entrance to this "Long, Fresh, Rich
River."

The "Lords and Gentlemen" who planned this undertaking included
Lord Saye and Sele, Lord Brooke, John Pym, and other well-known
men in the Puritan party. They were opposed to the Government in
England both in politics and religion, and at one time, when
matters went strongly against their party, some of them expected
to come to America. It is said that Oliver Cromwell, afterward
Lord Protector of England, and John Hampden, his cousin, were
among this number. It is at least true that Lieutenant Gardiner
was ordered to construct "within the fort" houses suitable for
"men of quality" and to erect "some convenient buildings for the
receipt of gentlemen." The place was named Saybrook for Lord Saye
and Sele and for Lord Brooke. It was not a colony of merchants
like the New Haven Colony, nor of farmers like the Connecticut
Colony; it was a military post, and it was planned as a refuge in
the New World for influential men in public life in England who
might be forced to leave their own country.

John Winthrop, Jr., who was to be the governor of the settlement,
had sent a ship in November with carpenters and other workmen to
take possession of the place and to begin building, but when
Lieutenant Gardiner arrived at the mouth of the Connecticut in
March, he found that not much had been done--only a few trees cut
down and a few huts put up. He set to work at once and built a
fort "of a kind of timber called 'a read oack,'" and across the
neck of land behind the fort he built a "palisade of whole trees
set in the ground."

The fort was on a point of land running out into the river just
above its mouth. There were salt marshes around it, and on three
sides it was protected by water. Dutch sailors had first
discovered this place and called it "Kievet's Hook" from the cry
of the birds (pee-wees) whom they heard there. The Dutch
themselves intended to establish a trading-post here, but they
were driven away by the arrival of the English.

The "Lords and Gentlemen" in England had promised to send
Lieutenant Gardiner "three hundred able men" that spring, to help
him; "two hundred to attend fortification, fifty to till the
ground, and fifty to build houses," but they did not come and he
was greatly disappointed. George Fenwick, acting as agent of the
company, however, arrived to see how matters were progressing at
Saybrook. Fenwick was the only one of the Puritan "gentlemen" who
ever came to New England; for conditions were rapidly changing in
English politics, and their party was soon engaged in a struggle
with the Government that kept all its prominent leaders at home.
But although Lion Gardiner was left without enough workmen and
with few supplies, he made the most of his resources, and his
little fort, built under such difficulties, soon became an
important place because of the protection it gave to the planters
against the Indians.

[Illustration: THE SITE OF SAYBROOK FORT]

He was scarcely established at Saybrook before trouble broke out
with the Pequots, a large and powerful tribe of Indians. There
were wrongs and misunderstandings on both sides, and at last the
Pequots murdered Captain Stone, a Virginia trader, in his boat on
the Connecticut River, and most of the party with him. Not long
after this John Oldham, a Massachusetts trader, was killed on
Block Island. These and other outrages led the Massachusetts
Colony to demand satisfaction of the Pequots and the surrender of
the murderers. Lieutenant Gardiner, in his exposed position, felt
that a war just then would be a mistake, and he sent a protest to
the magistrates of Massachusetts to "entreat them to rest awhile,
till we get more strength here about," he said, "and provide for
it; for I have but twenty-four in all, men, women, and boys and
girls, and not food for them for two months unless we save our
cornfield, which could not be if it came to war for it is two
miles from our house. I know, if you make war with these Pequots,
myself with these few you will leave at the stake to be roasted
or for hunger to be starved; for Indian corn is now twelve
shillings per bushel and we have but three acres planted. War is
like a three-footed stool; want one foot and down comes all, and
these three feet are men, victuals, and munition; therefore,
seeing in peace we are like to be famished, what will be done in
war? Wherefore I think it will be best only to fight against
Captain Hunger."

But the Massachusetts people did not take his advice. Instead,
they sent out an expedition under Captain Endecott, to punish the
Pequots. This expedition burnt the Indian wigwams and cornfields
on Block Island, and also in the Pequot country near the mouth of
the Pequot, or Thames, River; and Captain Endecott and his
soldiers came to Saybrook Port and made that place their
headquarters, "to my great grief," said Gardiner, "for you come
hither to raise these wasps about my ears and then you will take
wing and flee away."

His prophecy came true, for the expedition returned to Boston
without having accomplished anything except to enrage the Indians
still further and to make the position of the little garrison at
the fort more difficult than ever.

Even before this they had found it dangerous to trade with the
Indians. About the time that Gardiner sent his protest to
Massachusetts, a Saybrook man, Thomas Hurlburt, had a narrow
escape from death in the Pequot country, where he had gone with a
trading party, and he was only saved by the kindness and
compassion of an Indian woman. He stepped into the sachem's wigwam
to inquire about some stolen horses. While he was there, the
Indians having for some reason left him alone for a moment, the
sachem's wife, Wincumbone, came back and made signs to him
secretly that the men were planning to kill him. "He drew his
sword," ran to his companions, and barely got aboard the boat in
time.

"This caused me," says Lieutenant Gardiner, "to keep watch and
ward, for I saw that they plotted our destruction."

From this time on the fort was almost besieged by Indians who lay
in ambush around it, watching and waiting for a chance to attack
any of the garrison who might venture out.

One day two men were "beating samp at the Garden Pales," not far
from the fort, when the sentinels called to them to run in
quickly because a number of Pequots were creeping up to catch
them. "I, hearing it," says Gardiner, "went up to the redoubt and
put two cross-bar shot into the two guns that lay above, and
levelled them at the trees in the middle of the limbs and boughs.
The Indians began a long shout, and then the two great guns went
off and divers of them were hurt."

These "two great guns" were two pieces, of three inches each, by
which the fort was defended.

"After this," writes Gardiner, "I immediately took men and went
to our cornfield to gather our corn, appointing others to come
with the shallop [the boat] and fetch it, and I left five lusty
men in the strong house I had built for the defense of the corn.
Now, these men, not regarding the charge I had given them, three
of them went a mile from the house, a-fowling; and having loaded
themselves with fowl, they returned. The Pequots let them pass
first, till they had loaded themselves, but at their return they
arose out of their ambush and shot all three; one of them escaped
through the corn, shot through the leg, the other two they
tormented."

An equally cruel fate befell a trader named Tilly, who was taken
alive by the Indians and tortured. Tilly came from Massachusetts
Bay and was going up the river to Hartford. When he landed at
Saybrook, as all travelers were obliged to do, he saw a paper
nailed up over the fort gate with orders that no boat going up
the river should stop anywhere between Saybrook and Wethersfield.
These orders were put up by Lieutenant Gardiner because a boat
with three men well armed in it had lately been captured by the
river Indians. Tilly, however, refused to obey, and quarreled
with Gardiner. "I wish you, and also charge you," said Gardiner
to him in reply, "to observe that which you have read at the
gate; 'tis my duty to God and my masters which is the ground of
this, had you but eyes to see it; but you will not till you feel
it." Tilly went up the river safely, obeying orders; but coming
down, when he was about three miles above Saybrook, he went
ashore with only one man and carelessly fired off his gun. The
Indians, hearing it, came up, captured him, and carried him away.
Gardiner called the spot where this happened "Tilly's Folly."

It was a winter of great responsibility and danger for Lieutenant
Lion Gardiner, and all his courage and good sense were needed to
carry him safely through it. Once he was himself wounded by
Indian arrows and nearly lost his life. On the 22d of February,
he "went out with ten men and three dogs, half a mile from the
house, to burn the weeds, leaves, and reeds upon the neck of
land" behind the fort, when, suddenly, four Indians "started up
out of the fiery reeds," and the sentinels he had set to watch
called to him that a great many more were coming from "the other
side of the marsh." The Indians attacked his party, killed three
or four men, and tried to get between the rest and the fort and
cut off their return. "They kept us in a half-moon," says
Gardiner, "we retreating and exchanging many a shot... defending
ourselves with our naked swords, or else they had taken us all
alive.... I was shot with many arrows, but my buff coat preserved
me, only one hurt me." The English soldiers of those days wore
back and breast pieces of steel over their buff coats. A few days
later, the Indians, believing Gardiner dead, came again and
surrounded the fort, and, as the old record says, "made many
proud challenges and dared the English out to fight," but
Gardiner ordered the "two great guns" set off once more, and the
Indians disappeared.

Finding the fort at Saybrook so well defended, the Pequots fell
upon the settlement at Wethersfield, killed a number of men
working in the fields, and carried off two young girls. Flushed
with this success, they paddled down the river in their canoes
and when they passed the Saybrook fort they set up poles, like
masts, in the canoes and, by way of bravado, hung upon them the
clothes of the Englishmen whom they had murdered. The men in the
fort fired on the canoes, but the distance was too great. One
shot just grazed the bow of the boat in which were the two young
English girls. The Indians passed safely and carried their
captives with them to the Pequot country.

The Connecticut men now determined to put a stop to the
depredations of the Pequots. It was a serious undertaking, for
there were only about two hundred and fifty Englishmen in all
Connecticut at this time, and there were several hundred Pequot
warriors. Help was asked from the colonies in Massachusetts, and,
meanwhile, about ninety men were collected from the three
settlements of Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor and sent down
to Saybrook under the command of Captain John Mason. A number of
friendly Indians also went with them, and chief among these was
Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans.

While this expedition was at Saybrook, taking counsel with
Lieutenant Lion Gardiner and making ready, a Dutch boat put in at
the fort on its way to trade in the Pequot country. The officers
at the fort were unwilling to let the boat proceed, for there
were articles on board for trade with the Indians that might be
useful to the latter in war time, such as kettles, out of which
the Indians could make arrowheads. The Dutch, however, promised
that if they were allowed to go on they would do all in their
power to obtain the release of the two captive English girls. So
they were given permission and they sailed for the Pequot River.
There the master of the boat went ashore and offered to trade
with the Indians.

"What do you want in return for your goods?" asked the Pequot
sachem.

"The two English maids," answered the Dutchman.

But the sachem would not consent. After a time, however, the
Dutch captain succeeded in enticing several of the principal
Indians on board his boat, and, having secured them there as
hostages, he called to the others on shore that if they wanted
their men returned they must bring the two young girls. "If not,"
said he, "we set sail and will turn all your Indians overboard in
the main ocean so soon as ever we come out." The Pequots refused
to believe him until the boat was actually under way and sailing
down the river; then at last they yielded, gave up the two
English girls, and received the seven Indians in return.

These two poor little girls reached Saybrook in a sad condition,
worn out and frightened. The Dutch sailors had kindly given them
their own linen jackets because the girls had lost most of their
clothes, and Lieutenant Gardiner paid ten pounds out of his own
purse for their redemption. The Indians seem, on the whole, to
have treated them well. They were saved from death at first by
the pity and intercession of Wincumbone, the same chieftain's
wife who once before had saved Thomas Hurlburt. She took care of
them, the girls said, and they told how "the Indians carried them
from place to place and showed them their forts and curious
wigwams and houses, and encouraged them to be merry." But they
could not be very merry, and the elder, who was sixteen, said
that she slipped "behind the rocks and under the trees" as often
as she could to pray God to send them help. The Dutch governor
was so much interested in their story that he sent for the girls
to come to New Amsterdam (later New York), that he might see them
and hear them tell of their adventures. At last, after all these
journeyings, they were sent back safely to their homes in
Wethersfield.

Soon after this, Captain Mason and his company set out from
Saybrook on their expedition against the Pequots. After burning
the Indian fort at Mystic, in which many women and children lost
their lives, and killing several hundred Pequot warriors, they
returned victorious. They reached the bank of the Connecticut
opposite Saybrook at sunset, too late to cross the river that
night, but they were welcomed by a salute from the guns of the
fort; "being nobly entertained by Lieutenant Gardiner with many
great guns," as Captain Mason expressed it. The destruction of
the Pequots relieved Saybrook Fort from danger and secured the
safety of the colonists in Connecticut; there was never again any
serious trouble with the Indians. But the story is a cruel one,
and we can only forgive it when we remember that the settlers
felt that their own lives, and the lives of their wives and
little children, were in constant danger from the attacks of the
savages.

When the four years of his contract were ended, in the summer of
1639, Lieutenant Lion Gardiner left Saybrook Fort, which he had
defended so bravely, and went to live on an island he had bought
from the Indians. This island, still known as "Gardiner's
Island," is at the end of Long Island and must have been very
remote in those days, and far from any white neighbors. But
Gardiner was on the best of terms with the Long Island Indians,
and between him and their sachem, Waiandance, there was a true
and generous friendship, founded on mutual respect and trust,
which lasted throughout their lives. When Waiandance died, in
1658, Gardiner wrote, "My friend and brother is gone, who will
now do the like?" It is a noble record of friendship between a
white man and an Indian.

About the time that Lieutenant Gardiner left the fort, George
Fenwick, who had come to Saybrook once before, in 1636, came
again and brought his wife, Lady Fenwick. She was Alice Apsley,
the widow of Sir John Boteler, and was called "Lady" by courtesy.
They lived in Saybrook for a number of years. An old letter of
that time says that "Master Fenwick and the Lady Boteler [his
wife] and Master Higginson, their chaplain, were living in a fair
house, and well fortified." In 1644, Fenwick, as agent, sold
Saybrook to the Connecticut Colony. The next year Lady Fenwick
died and was buried within the fort. Her tomb can be seen to-day
in the old cemetery on Saybrook Point, to which it was removed in
l870.

Although when the Pequot War was over Saybrook was no longer
exposed to constant attacks from the Indians, yet, for a woman
brought up as Lady Fenwick had been, in ease and comfort, life
there must have been full of hardship. But she made no complaint.
All that we know of her is good and charming. She loved flowers
and fruits and had her gardens and her pet rabbits. She brought
with her some red Devon cattle which she gave to Mr. Whitfield in
Guilford. She has left behind her a memory of gentleness and
kindness that still cling to the story of the rough, little
pioneer fort, set in the midst of the salt marshes and surrounded
by savage neighbors:--

  "And ever this wave-washed shore
    Shall be linked with her tomb and fame,
   And blend with the wind and the billowy roar
    The music of her name."

One more fact deserves to be remembered in connection with
Saybrook. Yale College was organized there in 1701 as the
"Collegiate School" of the Connecticut Colony, and was not
removed to New Haven until sixteen years later. Its site in
Saybrook is marked now by a granite boulder with a tablet and
inscription. About half a mile west of this monument are two old
millstones which are said to have been in use in the gristmill
belonging to the first little fort at Saybrook, the "Fort on the
River," which was built and defended by the "Brave Lieutenant
Lion Gardiner."

[Illustration: SIGNATURE AND SEAL OF LION GARDINER]


REFERENCES

1. Winthrop, John., _History of New England_.
   Edited by James Savage. Boston, 1825.

2. Gardiner, Curtiss C. "Papers and Biography of Lion Gardiner,"
   in _Lion Gardiner and his Descendants_. A. Whipple.
   St. Louis, 1890.

3. Orr, Charles. _History of the Pequot War_. (Accounts of
   Mason, Underhill, Vincent and Gardiner.) The Helman-Taylor Co.
   Cleveland, 1897.

4. Newton, Arthur Percival. _The Colonizing Activities of the
   English Puritans_. Yale University Press. New Haven, 1914.

5. _Saybrook Quadrimillenial_, November 27, 1885.
   Hartford, 1886.



THE FROGS OF WINDHAM


Once, in the days of Indian attacks on the small English
settlements in Connecticut, a family of children had a narrow
escape from capture by the savages. A party of Indians on the
warpath passed near their home while their father and elder
brothers were away working in the fields with the neighbors. It
was the custom in those dangerous times for men to work together
in companies, going from one man's fields and meadows to
another's, and for greater safety they carried their firearms
with them. They stacked the guns on the edge of the field with a
sentinel to watch them and keep a lookout for possible Indians.
Sometimes it was a boy who did this sentry duty, standing on a
stump like a sentry in a box.

There was no one left at home that day but a girl fourteen years
old and her four younger brothers. The mother had died not long
before and the little sister was caring for the family. All
unconscious that any Indians were near, she went down to the
spring for water. As she lifted the full pail she caught sight of
a dark, painted face peering at her from a thicket on the edge of
the clearing. She dropped the pail at once and ran as fast as she
could to the house, calling to the boys to run in too and help
her close the heavy door. Doors were protected then by a thick
wooden bar across them on the inside. The children hurried in
and, working together, they got the bar in position before the
Indians reached the house. But the two halves of the door yielded
a little, just enough to let the edge of a tomahawk through,
which hacked away at the wooden bar while the children stood
watching, paralyzed with fear. Fortunately their own cries as
they ran toward the house had reached the men in the fields, who
dropped their scythes, seized their guns, and drove off the
Indians. But the bar was half cut through before help reached the
terrified children.

Stories like this one, and others with less happy endings, are
common, not only in the written history of Connecticut, but in
the unwritten traditions of Connecticut families. Whenever there
was trouble with the Indians the settlers were exposed to these
dangers. In the long wars between France and England for the
possession of America, the Indians were often allies of the
French, and then the English settlements suffered greatly from
their attacks.

In 1754, not long before the beginning of the last "French-and-Indian
War" (1756-63), there were several reasons why the people
of Windham, in the northeastern part of Connecticut, were
especially afraid of a surprise and attack by the Indians. Their
town was on the border of the colony and less protected than some
other places, and they also feared that they had lately given
offense to the Indians by planning a new town on what was known
as the "Wyoming territory" (in the present State of Pennsylvania).
These lands were still held by the Indians, but Connecticut claimed
them under her patent, and although the Windham people intended to
pay the Indians fairly for them they were not sure that the Indians
would not resent being forced to sell and be hostile to them in
consequence.

News soon reached them that war had begun in the: Ohio country
beyond the Susquehannah, and that an expedition against the
French had gone there from Virginia under the command of a young
officer named George Washington.  They heard this name then for
the first time and with indifference, of course, not knowing that
it belonged to a man who would become very famous later, and be
honored as no other man in America has ever been honored; but
they understood at once that war-time was no time in which to
plant a new town. The company which had been formed for the
purchase of the Susquehannah lands, and which included such
well-known men as Colonel Eliphalet Dyer and Jedediah Elderkin,
therefore put off the undertaking until peace should come again.

[Illustration: THE WYOMING MASSACRE]

Meanwhile, people in Windham grew anxious about their own safety.
If the Indians were in truth offended, would not the French now
encourage them to take their revenge? That dread of the cruel
savages, which was continually in the minds of all Connecticut
settlers in those early days, increased in "Windham as rumors
reached there, from time to time, of uprisings among the Indians.
On the spring and summer evenings of that year breathless tales
were told about Indian attacks: old tales which, like the one at
the beginning of this story, had been handed down from earlier
days in Connecticut, and new tales of fresh atrocities on the
borders of the northern settlements in Maine and New Hampshire.
The children listened as long as they were allowed and then went
to bed trembling, seeing fierce painted faces and threatening
feather headdresses in every dark shadow. Older people asked each
other what would happen when the men were called out to serve in
the army and the women and children were left helpless at home.

"While the town was in this tense state of anxiety, those of its
inhabitants who lived near Windham Green were awakened out of
their sleep, one warm June night, by strange and unaccountable
noises." There began to be a rumble, rumble, rumble in the air,
and it grew louder and louder and seemed to be like drums
beating. A negro servant, coming home late, heard it first. The
night was still and black, and clouds hung low over the hot
hillsides. He thought it might be thunder, but there was no
lightning and no storm coming. He stopped and listened, and the
sounds grew stranger and wilder. Perhaps it was witches, or
devils; perhaps the Judgement Day was at hand! Terror seized him
and he ran home breathless and awoke his master.

By this time others, too, were awake; windows flew open and heads
were pushed out, and everybody asked, "What is it? What is it?"
Some hurried out half-dressed, and frightened women and crying
children gathered on the Green; they could not see one anothers'
white faces in the darkness. The beating of drums drew nearer and
nearer. "It is the French and Indians coming," cried the men; but
no one could tell from which direction the enemy was advancing;
the dreadful noise seemed to come from all sides at once, even
from overhead in the sky.

By and by they thought they could distinguish words in the
uproar. Deep bass voices thundered, "We'll have Colonel Dyer;
we'll have Colonel Dyer," and shrill high ones answered,
"Elderkin, too; Elderkin, too." As these were the names of the
two lawyers in Windham who had been most prominently connected
with the Wyoming plan,--the "Susquehannah Purchase" as it was
called,--every one was sure that a band of Indians bent on
revenge was approaching, and hearts beat fast in fear.

All night long the noises lasted, sometimes coming nearer,
sometimes dying away in the distance, and all night long the
people of Windham waited in dread and awful expectation. At last,
toward daybreak, the dark clouds slowly lifted and with the first
light in the east the sounds ceased. In the gray, early morning
men looked at each other and then crept silently back, each to
his own home. When the sun rose, clear and bright, and no French
and no Indians had appeared, Windham regained its courage, and
before the morning was over an explanation had been found of the
strange noises of the night.

The frogs in the millpond had had a great battle, or some
terrible catastrophe had overtaken them. Dead and dying frogs lay
on the ground all about the pond, and their gurgles and croaks
and clamor had made all the trouble and excitement. The story was
soon told all over Connecticut, and everybody laughed, and
ballads and songs were written about it, to the great mortification
of the people of Windham. Yet the danger that explained the
terror of that night was a real one in the history of many a
Connecticut town, and therefore the Frogs of Windham have their
legitimate place in Connecticut's story.


REFERENCES

1. Larned, Ellen. _History of Windham County_. Worcester,
   1874.

2. Barber, J. W. _Connecticut Historical Collections_.
   J. W. Barber. New Haven, 1836.

3. Todd, Charles Burr. _In Olde Connecticut_. The Grafton
   Press. New York, 1906.

4. Sylvester, Herbert Milton. _Indian Wars of New England_.
   W. B. Clarke Co. Boston, 1910.



OLD WOLF PUTNAM


One day, long ago, some boys were out bird-nesting. They saw a
nest they wanted high up in a tree and far out on a limb, in a
hard position to reach, One of the boldest of them climbed the
tree to try to get it, but a branch broke with him and he fell. A
lower projecting limb caught his clothes, and he hung there head
down, arms and legs dangling helplessly. He could not climb back
and he could not drop down, because he could not get free.

The other boys below looked up, terrified, for the limb was high
above ground; they could not reach him, and they did not know
what to do. One of them carried a gun, and Israel,--that was the
name of the boy who had climbed the tree,--catching sight of the
gun as he swung in the air, cried out, "Shoot! Shoot the branch
off near the trunk!"

The boy with the gun was afraid and hesitated. Israel's position
grew more and more uncomfortable and dangerous.

"Shoot, I tell you!" he cried again. "Shoot! I'll take the risk."

The boy lifted the gun with shaking hands, took aim, and fired.
The branch cracked off and down came Israel with it, head first;
but as he fell he managed to grasp another bough with his hands,
hold by it, and swing safely to the ground. The next day he went
back alone, climbed that tree again, and brought home the nest.

This is a story told of Israel Putnam, afterward major-general in
the American army in the Revolutionary War, and it shows the
qualities of courage and perseverance, invention and quick
decision, which made him useful to his country when he grew to be
a man.

He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, January 7, 1718, and most of
his boyhood was spent there. It is said that the first time he
went to Boston as a little awkward country lad, some city boys
made fun of him. Israel stood this as long as he could, then he
suddenly challenged a bigger boy than himself, fought him, and
beat him, to the great amusement of a crowd of spectators. After
that the boys let him alone. He was strong and vigorous and loved
all kinds of outdoor sports. Before he was grown he could do a
man's full day's work in the fields and was very proud of it.
When he was twenty-two years old he moved with his wife and baby
son to Pomfret, Connecticut, bought a farm there, and cast in his
lot with the people of this state, so that he is a son of
Connecticut by adoption.

He worked hard in his new home, and in a few years he was in a
fair way to be rich and prosperous. It was at this time that the
incident happened that gave him his nickname of "Wolf Putnam."

Just across the narrow valley from his farm there was a steep
hillside, and among its rocks a wolf had her den. She was old and
wary, and did a lot of damage in the neighborhood by killing
sheep and lambs. Traps were set to catch her and the farmers
often tried to shoot her, but she always got away safely.

In the winter of 1743, she destroyed many of Israel Putnam's fine
flock and he was greatly exasperated and made a plan with five
other men to hunt her regularly, by twos in turn, until she was
found and killed. She had once been nearly caught in a trap, and
had only got out by leaving the claws of one foot behind her, so
that her trail was easy to distinguish on the snow, one foot
being shorter than the other, and making a different mark. One
night they followed her all night long, and in the morning traced
her back to her den in the hillside and made sure of its exact
location. Then all day long they worked hard, trying to get her
out. They burned straw and brimstone in the entrance of the cave,
hoping to smoke her out; they sent in the dogs, but these came
back wounded and bleeding and refused to go again. Putnam's own
fine bloodhound refused to go in, and then he decided to try it
himself and shoot the wolf inside the cave, since there was no
way of making her come out. He took off his coat, tied a rope
around his waist, and with a torch and a gun, crawled in on his
hands and knees as well as he could. Far back in the deep
darkness the blazing eyes of the wolf showed him her lair. She
growled and made ready to spring at him, but he fired and
fortunately killed her with the first shot, and the men outside
dragged him and the wolf out together. Israel Putnam was a young
man then and almost a stranger in the place, but his courage and
resourcefulness that day made him known to the people and gave
him a reputation among them.

In some ways he had been at a disadvantage in Pomfret, for the
people there, even in those early times, cared much about
education. Soon after the place was settled, a library association
was formed to provide reading matter for the families living near.
Ten young men from Pomfret graduated at Yale College in the class
of 1759. Now, Israel Putnam's early education had been neglected.
He did not love study, he loved outdoor life, and there was no
schoolhouse near his home in Salem. He never learned to spell correctly.
Some of his letters, which have been preserved, are almost impossible
to read now, the spelling is so very curious. Later in his life, when
he became a general in the army and was brought in contact with
Washington and other educated and trained men, he was mortified and
much ashamed of his own lack in this respect. He tried then to dictate
his letters as often as possible so that people should not laugh at
his ignorance. It made him careful to give his children a better
education than his own.

In 1755, when he was thirty-seven years old, Israel Putnam
entered the Provincial army for service in the French-and-Indian
War, and rose to the rank of colonel before the war was over in
1764. He went with the Connecticut troops on several expeditions
against the French forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga, on Lake
Champlain and Lake George. He had plenty of exciting adventures
in this war, and long afterward, in his old age, he liked to tell
them over to his friends and neighbors at home. Some of the
stories have come down to us.

Once word came to the English camp at Fort Edward that a wagon
train bringing supplies had been plundered by a party of French
and Indians, and Major Robert Rogers, with his New England
Rangers and a detachment of Provincial troops,--some of whom were
under Putnam's command,--was sent out to intercept the enemy on
their retreat. These rangers, or scouts, had been drilled by
their famous leader until they almost equaled the Indians in
their own mode of fighting, and they were of great use in the
war. This time they were too late and the plunderers escaped, but
as other parties were said to be hovering near, Rogers spent some
days searching for them. He saw no signs of them and at last
turned back toward the fort.

One morning, contrary to his usual practice, he allowed some of
his men to fire at a mark for a wager. This was a dangerous thing
to do because they could never be sure that there were no enemies
lurking near. It happened this time that a large body of French
and Indians were not far off, and, hearing the firing, they came
up quickly and silently through the thick forest and hid
themselves in ambush, Indian fashion, near a clearing in the
woods where the tall trees had been cut down and a thicket of
small underbrush had grown up. The English were obliged to pass
this clearing on their way home and the only path across it was a
narrow one used by the Indians, who always went through the woods
in single file, one behind another, each stepping in the
footprints of the man ahead of him.

The English were in three companies, the first commanded by
Putnam, the last by Rogers himself. Putnam and his men had got
safely across the clearing and were just entering the forest
again, when suddenly, the enemy sprang out of their ambush and
rushed upon them. Putnam rallied his men and made the best stand
he could and the other companies hurried to his assistance. But
in the sharp skirmish that followed, as Putnam aimed his gun at a
large, powerful Indian chief, it missed fire. The Indian sprang
upon him, dragged him back into the forest, and tied him securely
to a tree. As the fight went on, bullets from both parties began
to fly past him and to hit the tree, so that for a time he was in
as great danger from his friends as from his enemies. When, at
last, the French and Indians were repulsed, the latter marched
Putnam away with them as their prisoner back to their camp. His
arms were tied tightly behind him, his shoes were taken away so
that his feet were bruised and bleeding, and he was loaded with
so many packs that he could scarcely move. When he could stand
it no longer he begged the savages to kill him at once. The
Indian who had captured him came up just then and gave him a pair
of moccasins, and made the others loosen his arms and lighten his
load. But when they reached the camping-place a worse ordeal was
before him. His clothes were taken off, he was tied again to a
tree, dry brushwood was piled in a circle around the tree, fire
was set to this, and, as the flames rose up and the heat grew
greater, he felt sure that his last hour had come. However, word
had reached one of the French officers that the Indians were
torturing their prisoner, and he rushed in, scattered the burning
brush, and unbound the prisoner.

The Indians who had captured Israel Putnam may not have intended
to kill him, but it was their custom to torture prisoners taken
in war, and both the French and the English officers often had
great difficulty in controlling their savage allies.

Putnam was carried to Canada and treated kindly by the French,
and a few months later he was exchanged and sent home with some
other prisoners.

Once before he had had a narrow escape from the Indians and only
his quick decision and courage saved him. He was on a river-bank
when they crept up belind him. Calling to the five men with him,
he rushed for the boat and pushed off downstream toward some
dangerous rapids. The Indians fired and missed him, and the boat
shot down the rapids. It came out safe below them,--the first
boat that had ever done so,--and the Indians thought it must be
under the protection of their own Great Spirit.

Two years after his unwilling visit to Canada as a prisoner,
Israel Putnam went there again, this time with the army under the
command of General Amherst. The French-and-Indian War was ending
in victory for the English; Quebec had fallen, but a few other
posts still held out, and this expedition was against Montreal.
On the way there a French ship on Lake Ontario opposed the
progress of the English, and a story is told of Putnam's original
way of overcoming this difficulty.

"Give me some wedges, a beetle [that is, a large wooden hammer],
and a few men of my own choice, and I'll take her," he said to
General Amherst. He meant to row under the stern of the ship and
wedge her rudder so that she would be helpless. Whether the plan
was carried out, we do not know, but in the morning she had blown
ashore and surrendered. Montreal, too, surrendered to the
English, and in an Indian mission near there Putnam discovered
the Indian who had taken him prisoner two years before. The chief
was delighted to see him and entertained him in his own stone
house.

When he returned to Connecticut at the end of the war, he found
himself a hero and a favorite with everybody. So many people came
to see him that at last he turned his house into an inn, and hung
out a sign on a tree in front of it. That sign is now in the
rooms of the Connecticut Historical Society at Hartford.

The next ten years, until the Revolution, he spent in peace on
his farm. Just before that war began he drove a flock of sheep
all the way to Boston for the people there who were in distress.

"The old hero, Putnam," says a letter written from Boston in
August, 1774, "arrived in town on Monday bringing with him 130
sheep from the little parish of Brooklyn. He cannot get away, he
is so much caressed both by officers and citizens."

The next spring he was ploughing in the field when a messenger
rode by bringing the news of the battle of Lexington. Putnam left
the plough in the furrow in the care of his young son Daniel, and
without stopping to change his working clothes, set off at once
on horseback for Boston, making a record ride for a heavy man
fifty-seven years old.

His popularity in Connecticut made men ready to enlist under him.
The battle of Bunker Hill was fought at Boston in June, and he
took part in it. "The brave old man," says Washington Irving,
"rode about in the heat of the action, with a hanger belted across
his brawny shoulders over a waistcoat without sleeves, inspiriting
his men by his presence, and fighting gallantly at the outposts to
cover their retreat."

When Washington arrived at Cambridge to take command of the
American army, Israel Putnam received from him his appointment by
the Continental Congress as major-general. He held this rank
through the rest of his life and fought in many campaigns of the
Revolution. He was with the army in New York, and at the battle
of Long Island; he was sent by Washington to Philadelphia to
protect that city when it was threatened by the British, and
later, he was put in charge of the defenses of the Hudson River.

One of his last exploits in the Revolutionary War was his famous
ride down the stone steps at Horseneck, near Greenwich. The
British, under General Tryon, invaded Connecticut in 1779, and
threatened Greenwich, and General Putnam, who was in command
there, after placing his men in the best position for defense,
hurried off alone, on horseback, for Stamford, to bring up
reinforcements. Some British dragoons, catching sight of him down
the road, started in pursuit. They were better mounted than he
and gained on him steadily. Putnam, looking back, saw the
distance between them grow less and less. In a moment more they
would overtake him; what should he do? He was on the top of the
hill near the Episcopal Church, there was a curve in the road
ahead, and a precipice at the side, with some rough stone steps
up which people sometimes climbed on foot on Sundays, to the
church, from the lower road at the bottom of the hill.

Putnam struck spurs into his horse and dashed around the curve at
full speed. The instant he was out of sight he wheeled and put
his horse over the precipice down the steep rocks. The dragoons
came galloping around the corner and, not seeing him, stopped
short in astonishment. Before they discovered him again, he was
halfway down to the lower road. They sent a bullet after him
which went through his beaver hat and he turned, waved his hand
in a gay good-bye, and rode on to Stamford. It is said that
General Tryon afterward sent him a suit of clothes to make up for
the loss of his hat.

That same year he had a stroke of paralysis which disabled him so
that he could never again take part in the war. He lived at home
in retirement until his death on May 19, 1790. Perhaps no brave
deed in his life was quite as brave as the cheerful and resolute
way he met this hard blow near its end. He did not die as he
would have liked, in the roar and thunder of battle; he was laid
aside and the war went on without him. But after the first bitter
disappointment, he regained his courage and good spirits, and no
one heard him complain. People gathered about him and his last
days were honored in his own home. When the war ended in 1783,
Washington wrote him a letter which he counted as one of his
greatest treasures.

Any number of stories are told of "Old Put," as the soldiers
called him, of his adventures, and his odd humor. It is said that
once "a British officer challenged him to fight [a duel]; and
Putnam, having the choice of weapons, chose that they should sit
together over a keg of powder to which a slow match was applied.
The officer sat till the match drew near the hole, when he ran
for his life, Putnam calling after him that it was only a keg of
onions with a few grains of powder sprinkled upon it."

We have several descriptions of his personal appearance. He "was
of medium height, of a strong, athletic figure, and in the time
of the Revolutionary War weighed about two hundred pounds. His
hair was dark, his eyes light blue, and his broad, good-humored
face was marked with deep scars received in his encounters with
French and Indians,"

  "Putnam, scored with ancient scars,
   The living record of his country's wars,"

as a poet of those days expressed it.

[Illustration: GENERAL PUTNAM--A drawing from life by John
Trumbull]

There were greater generals in the Revolution than Israel Putnam,
men who, partly because they were better educated, were better
fitted than he to plan and carry out large operations. But he
excelled as a pioneer, as a bold leader, and a brave, independent
fighter. As a well-known historian says, "He was brave and
generous, rough and ready, thought not of himself in time of
danger, but was ready to serve in any way the good of the cause.
His name has long been a favorite one with young and old; one of
the talismanic names of the Revolution, the very mention of which
is like the sound of a trumpet."


REFERENCES

1. Humphreys, Colonel David. _Essay on the Life of the Hon.
   Major-General Israel Putnam_. Boston, 1818.

2. Livingston, William Garrand. _Israel Putnam. Pioneer,
   Ranger, and Major-General_. G. P. Putnam's Sons. New York
   and London, 1901.

3. Tarbox, Increase N. _Life of Israel Putnam_ ("Old Put").
   Lockwood, Brooks & Co. Boston, 1876.

4. Fiske, John. "Israel Putnam," in Appleton's _Encyclopaedia
   of American Biography_. Boston, 1891.



THE BULLET-MAKERS OF LITCHFIELD


In the Museum of the New York Historical Society there is a large
flat stone with an inscription cut into one side of it, and in
the other, three deep holes for three legs of a horse. Lying on a
table near it are several large pieces of heavy metal with the
old gilding almost worn off. One piece looks like the tail of a
horse and another like a part of his saddle. These fragments of
metal and the stone slab are nearly all that is left of a statue
of King George the Third on horseback that stood on Bowling
Green, at the lower end of Broadway in New York City, before the
Revolutionary War.

One evening early in the war a mob gathered on Bowling Green. Led
by the Sons of Liberty and helped by some of the soldiers, the
crowd tore down the king's statue and broke it into bits.
Bonfires were blazing in the streets and by the light of these
ropes were thrown over the king and his charger and both were
pulled down and dragged through the streets. An entry in
Washington's Orderly Book at this time, forbidding his soldiers
to take part in anything like a riot, shows that he did not fully
approve of this proceeding. But the people were very much
excited. It was the night of the 9th of July, 1776, and news of
the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in
Philadelphia had just reached New York that afternoon. At evening
rollcall the Declaration was read at the head of each brigade of
the army and "was received with loud huzzas."

Independence was declared in Philadelphia on the 4th of July, and
that day has been kept ever since as the birthday of the United
States, but news traveled so slowly before the telegraph was
invented that it was not known in New York until Monday, the 9th.
Then bells rang, and as night drew on people lighted bonfires to
show their joy, and not content with this, they hurried away to
Bowling Green and pulled down the statue of the king and cut off
his head. They acted at once on the statement of the famous
Declaration which they had just heard read to them, that "A
prince whose character is marked by every act that may define a
tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."

Once off his pedestal, however, the king suddenly became valuable
and precious to them, for he, as well as his horse, was made
mostly of lead and he could be melted down and run into bullets.
Lead was dear and scarce, and bullets were needed in the army.
The king's troops now "will probably have _melted majesty_
fired at them," some one wrote in a letter to General Gates. So
the pieces of the statue were carefully saved and most of it was
sent away secretly by ox-cart, so it is said, up into the
Connecticut hills to the home of General Wolcott in Litchfield,
for safe keeping. The general was returning there himself about
this time from Philadelphia, and perhaps he took charge of its
transportation. We shall hear of it again in Litchfield, for this
story, which begins in New York, ends in Connecticut.

The story should really begin in London, for the statue was made
there. The colonists sent an order for it after the repeal of the
Stamp Act in 1766. This act had excited great resentment in the
colonies because it was an attempt to tax the people without
their consent. When it was at last repealed, they were overjoyed,
and New York determined to express its renewed loyalty to the
king by erecting a statue of him. The laws of the colony state
that it was set up "as a monument of the deep sense with which
the inhabitants of this colony are impressed of the blessing they
enjoy under his [King George's] illustrious reign, as well as
their great affection for his royal person."

The statue was of lead, dark, heavy, and dull like the character
of the king it represented, but it was richly gilded outside and
looked, at first, like pure gold. Some of the pieces in the
museum still show the gilding. It must have been a brilliant
ornament in the little city when, on August 1, 1770, it was
placed on Bowling Green, facing the Fort Gate. But it did not
stand there very long in peace, for the stormy days of the
Revolution were approaching. England continued to impose taxes
and the colonies to resist them, until the discontent of the
people broke out in many ways. More than one attempt was made to
injure King George's statue before it was finally torn down on
the night of July 9, 1776.

[Illustration: KING GEORGE THE THIRD

Courtesy of Mr. Charles M. Lefferts and the New York Historical
Society

A drawing by Mr Lefferts from descriptions and measurements of
fragments of the statue]

If we want to know what the British thought of this last insult
to their king, we shall find out by reading the journal of
Captain John Montresor, an officer in the British army.

"Hearing," he writes, "that the Rebels [that is, the Americans]
had cut the king's head off the equestrian statue in the centre
of the Ellipps [near the Fort] at New York, which represented
George the 3rd in the figure of Marcus Aurelius, and that they
had cut the nose off, clipt the laurels that were wreathed round
his head and drove a musket bullet part of the way thro' his head
and otherwise disfigured it, and that it was carried to Moore's
tavern adjoining Fort Washington, on New York Island, in order to
be fixt on a spike on the Truck of that Flag-staff as soon as it
could be got ready, I immediately sent to Cox, who kept the
tavern at King's Bridge, to steal it from thence and to bury it,
which was effected, and was dug up on our arrival and I rewarded
the men, and sent the Head by the Lady Gage to Lord Townshend, in
order to convince them at home of the Infamous Disposition of the
Ungrateful people of this distressed country."

And there, in London, a year later, Governor Hutchinson, of
Massachusetts, saw it at Lord Townshend's house in Portman
Square. Lady Townshend, he said, went to a sofa and uncovered a
large gilt head which her husband had received the night before
from New York, and which, although "the nose was wounded and
defaced," he at once recognized by its striking likeness to the
king. We do not know what became of it after this, or whether it
is still in existence.

There were one or two other pieces of this monument which also
had eventful histories. The slab, on which the horse had stood
with one foot in the air, was used as a gravestone for Major John
Smith, of the Forty-second, or Royal Highland, Regiment, who died
in 1783, and later it served for a time as a stepping-stone in
front of a well-known house in New Jersey.

Nearly one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence
the tail of King George's horse was dug up on a farm in Wilton,
Connecticut, and a piece of his saddle was found there at about
the same time. The tradition in Wilton is that the ox-cart
carrying the broken statue passed through Wilton on its way to
Litchfield, and that the saddle and the tail were thrown away
there. Just why, no one knows; perhaps the load was too heavy;
possibly--some people think--because it was found that they were
not of pure lead and could not be used to make bullets. Most of
the statue, however, seems to have reached Litchfield safely.

On the beautiful broad South Street of that village, high in the
Connecticut hills, the house of General Wolcott, afterwards
Governor Wolcott, of Connecticut, still stands under its old
trees much as it stood in the summer of 1776.

When the pieces of the leaden statue reached Litchfield, they
were buried temporarily in the "Wolcott orchard under an apple
tree of the Pound variety" that stood near the southeast corner
of the house. And then, sometime later, there came a day when
King George, who had once sat so securely on his solid steed,
close to his fort in his good city of New York, was taken out of
this last hiding-place and, together with his leaden horse, was
melted down and run into bullets to be fired at his own soldiers.

Bullet-moulds of the time of the Revolution can be seen now in
historical museums. Some of them are shaped like a large pair of
shears. The work of running the bullets that day in Litchfield
was done by women and girls, for the men were away at the war.
The only man who took part in it, besides the general himself,
was Frederick, his ten-year-old son, and he, many years later,
told how he remembered the event, how a shed was built in the
orchard, how his father chopped up the fragments of the statue
with a wood-axe, how gay the girls were, his two sisters a little
older than himself and their friends, and what fun they all had
over the whole affair. A ladle, said to have been used in pouring
the lead into the moulds, is still kept in the Historical Museum
at Litchfield, and among Governor Wolcott's papers is a
memorandum labeled, "Number of cartridges made."

                                         _Cartridges_
Mrs. Marvin,                                    6,058
Ruth Marvin,                                   11,592
Laura,                                          8,378
Mary Ann,                                      10,790
Frederick,                                        936
Mrs. Beach,                                     1,802
Made by sundry persons,                         2,182
Gave Litchfield militia on alarm,                  50
Let the Regiment of Colonel Wigglesworth have,    300
                                               ------
                                               42,088

Mary Ann and Laura were Frederick's sisters, twelve and fourteen
years old. Some of the bullets made, and which were given to the
"Litchfield militia on alarm," were probably used the next year
to repulse a British invasion of Connecticut, so that it was said
then that "His Majesty's statue was returned to His Majesty's
troops with the compliments of the men of Connecticut."


REFERENCES

1. _Proceedings_ of the New York Historical Society.
   October, 1844.

2. _Proceedings_ of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
   2d Series, vol. 4.

3. Montresor, Captain John. "Journals." _Collections_ of the
   New York Historical Society for the year 1881. Printed by the
   Society.

4. Kilbourne, Payne Kenyon. _Sketches and Chronicles of the
   Town of Litchfield, Conn_. Case, Lockwood & Co. Hartford,
   1859.

5. _Wokott Memorial_.



NEWGATE PRISON

  "Attend all ye villains that live in the state,
  Consider the walls that encircle Newgate."

Newgate is the name of a famous prison in London. It is called
"Newgate" because it was first built, centuries ago, over a new
gate in the wall of the city. Later, when these rooms over the
gate became too crowded, a larger prison was built near by and
called by the same name.

There was once a Newgate prison in Connecticut. It was named for
the old English one, but, instead of being up over a gate, it was
down underground in a copper-mine. There was no entrance to it
except by a shaft thirty feet deep, and the colonists chose this
place for its security, yet the history of Newgate in Connecticut
is full of tales of the daring and successful escapes of its
prisoners.

Copper Hill, where the prison was, is in what used to be the town
of Simsbury, but is now East Granby. The copper-mines there were
opened early in 1700, and were worked for about sixty years. The
copper is said to have been of good quality. In 1737-39, coins
were made from it--some say by Dr. Samuel Higley who owned a mine
near his home. These coins were never a legal tender, but were
used as "token money," because small change was scarce in the
colonies. They are valuable to-day because they are very rare.
Granby coppers have on one side a deer standing, and below him a
hand, a star, and III, and around him the legend, "Value me as
you please." On the other side are three sledgehammers with the
royal crown on each hammer, and around them either the word
"Connecticut," or the legend, "I am a good copper," with the date
1737. A third kind has one broadaxe and the legend, "I cut my way
through." There is a specimen of each of the three kinds of
Granby coppers in the Connecticut State Library at Hartford.

The mines were quite successful at first, but, as the colonists
were not allowed to smelt and refine the ore in America, they
were obliged to send it all the way to England, and this was very
expensive. Sometimes, too, the ships carrying copper did not
reach England at all. One was wrecked in the English Channel and
another was seized by the French during a war with England. So in
1773, a few years before our Revolutionary War, the mines were
given up and the largest of them was changed into a prison.

At first there were no buildings at all. There was nothing but a
hole in the ground, closed by an iron trapdoor that opened into
the shaft, where a wooden ladder was fixed to the rock at one
side. At the bottom of the ladder there was a flight of rough
stone steps leading farther down into the mine. All was dark and
still except for the dripping of water along the galleries that
led away into the heart of the hill. One cavern was blasted out
to make more room and was fitted with wooden cells and bunks for
the prisoners to sleep in, and at night a guard was set to watch
the entrance up above and prevent any one from climbing the
ladder and getting out. When everything was ready, the committee
in charge of the work reported that it would be "next to
impossible for any one to escape from this prison."

The first prisoner sent there was a man named John Henson, who
was committed on December 22, 1773. He spent eighteen days alone
in the mine; then, on the night of January 9, 1774, he disappeared.
No one could imagine how he got out. But there was another shaft
leading up from the mine, a very deep one, where the copper ore had
been drawn out. It had no ladder in it and its opening had not been
closed, because it did not seem possible for a prisoner to escape
that way. Yet a woman drew John Henson up eighty feet through the
shaft in a bucket used for hoisting copper. After that, this shaft,
too, was carefully closed and a strong wooden guardhouse was built
over the entrance to the other one.

[Illustration: THE RUINS OF NEWGATE PRISON]

More prisoners were soon committed to Newgate. "Burglars,
horse-thieves, and counterfeiters," according to the law, were sent
there and they were set to work mining copper, but instead of
doing this, they dug their way out with the mining tools; so
workshops were built aboveground where they made nails, boots and
shoes, wagons, and other things. They slept in the mine as
before, but at daylight they were called and came up the ladder
in squads of three at a time under a guard, climbing as well as
they could with fetters on their legs. They took their meals in
the workshops and were chained to the forges and workbenches
until late in the afternoon, when they went down again into the
mine for the night.

When the Revolutionary War began, in 1775, political prisoners
were sent to Newgate in Connecticut, just as such prisoners had
often been sent to old Newgate in England. These men in America
were the Tories, or Loyalists, who sympathized with the British
and were often found giving them information and help. To protect
themselves the Americans arrested them. Some of the first were
sent by Washington from the camp at Cambridgik where the American
army was besieging Boston.

Here is a part of his letter to the Committee of Safety at
Simsbury; its date shows that it was written several months
before the Declaration of Independence by the Continental
Congress in Philadelphia:--

CAMBRIDGE, December 7th, 1775.

GENTLEMEN:

The prisoners which will be delivered to you with this, having
been tried by a court martial, were sentenced to Simsbury in
Connecticut. You will therefore have them secured so that they
cannot possibly make their escape. I am, etc.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

But the Tories were just as anxious as any other prisoners to
escape if they could. Three times the wooden guardhouse over the
entrance was set on fire and burned down. Once, when there were a
great many Tories in Newgate, they made a concerted plan and
carried it out successfully. The wife of one of them had
permission, to visit him, and came to the prison one night about
ten o'clock. Only two guards were on duty then at the mouth of
the shaft. When the trapdoor was lifted for her, the prisoners
were all ready and waiting on the ladder. They rushed out,
overpowered the two men, took away their muskets, and got
possession of the guardroom. The rest of the watch, who had been
asleep, hurried in, and there was a desperate fight; one man was
killed and several were wounded. At last the prisoners succeeded
in putting all the guards down into the mine and closing the
trapdoor upon them. Then they escaped themselves, and few of them
were ever retaken.

A story is told of a Tory prisoner who, about the year 1780, made
his escape in a remarkable and unexpected way. There was an old
drain in the mine which had once carried off water, but when the
mine became a prison it was stopped up with stone and mortar,
except for a small opening where the water still ran off between
iron bars. The outlet of this drain was far down on the hillside
beyond the sight of the guards. The prisoner, Henry Wooster, who
worked in the nail-shop, contrived to hide some bits of iron nail
rods in his clothes and carry them back with him into the mine.
He learned, with their help, to take off his fetters at night.
Then, with the same bits of iron, he worked at the bars of the
drain until, little by little, he loosened some of them and took
them out so that he could crawl through into the drain. But the
drain was too narrow in some places to let him pass and he was
obliged to loosen and remove some of its stones. This was a long
and hard task, but he was not easily discouraged. Each night he
took off his clothed and his fetters, crawled into the drain, and
worked until morning. Then he replaced the iron bars, dressed,
put on his fetters, and was ready when the guards came down to go
up to the shops with the rest of the prisoners. By and by he got
nearly to the end of the drain. Then one night, while he was down
there, a stone, which he had accidentally loosened, fell behind
him and blocked his way back. He could not turn to reach the
stone with his hands, for the drain was too narrow, he could not
stir it with his feet, and he dared not cry out for help; time
passed, and it was almost morning; he would be called and missed,
and he shuddered to think of the consequences. At last, as he was
about to give up in despair, he felt the stone move just a
little. Bracing himself against the sides of the drain, he pushed
it vigorously with his feet. Slowly, inch by inch, it rolled back
until it fell into a slight depression so that he could pass over
it. Bleeding and exhausted, he got to his bunk and into his
clothes and fetters again just as the guards came down the
ladder. A few nights later he finished his work and, with several
other prisoners, escaped through the drain.

Some of the Tories in Newgate were well-known and educated men.
One was a clergyman named Simeon Baxter. He preached a sermon,
one Sunday, to his companions in the mine, in which he advised
them, if they could, to assassinate Washington and the whole
Continental Congress. This sermon was printed afterward in London
and proves how bitter the feeling was in those days between the
Americans and the Tories.

After the Revolution, Newgate was the state prison of the State
of Connecticut until 1827. New workshops and other buildings were
added from time to time as they were needed. The wooden
guardhouse was replaced by one of brick, and a strong stone room
over the mouth of the shaft went by the nickname of the "stone
jug." There was a chapel and a hospital, but the hospital was
seldom used because there was very little sickness. The pure air
and even temperature in the mine, where it was never too hot in
summer nor too cold in winter, kept the prisoners well in spite
of darkness and confinement, and men who were sent there in a bad
state of health often recovered.

At one time there was a strong wooden fence, with iron spikes on
its top, around the enclosure, but in 1802 it was replaced by a
stone wall twelve feet high, with watch-towers at the corners and
a moat below it. Some of the prisoners helped to build this wall,
and when it was finished they were allowed to take part in a
celebration. One of them, an Irishman, gave this toast at the
feast: "May the great wall be like the wall of Jericho and tumble
down at the sound of a ram's horn."

But the wall is still standing on Copper Hill after more than one
hundred years and, although the prison is empty and the mines
deserted to-day, a great many people visit the place every year
because of its interesting history. Guides take the visitors down
the steep ladder in the shaft and lead them through the
underground galleries where copper was mined, and show them the
caverns where the prisoners once slept in old Newgate Prison.


REFERENCES

1. Trumbull, J. H. (editor). _Memorial History of Hartford
   County._ E. L. Osgood, Boston, 1886.

2. "Newgate of Connecticut." _Magazine of American History_,
   vol. 15, April, 1886. See also vol. 10.

3. Phelps, Richard H. _Newgate of Connecticut_. American
   Publishing Co. Hartford, 1876.



THE DARK DAY

  "'T was on a May-day of the far old year
  Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell
  Over the bloom and sweet life of the spring,
  Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon,
  A horror of great darkness, like the night."
                                        WHITTIER.

"Yellow Friday," or "the Dark Day," in New England, was the l9th
of May, 1780. For nearly a week before this day the air had been
full of smoke and haze, and the sun at noontime and the full moon
at night had looked like great red balls in the misty sky.
Thursday night the sun went down red and threatening.

Friday morning it rose as usual, but, as the weather was
overcast, it only peered now and then through the broken gray
clouds. There were mutterings of thunder and a few drops of rain
fell, big and heavy with black soot. Then the shower stopped and
a stillness like that before a great storm settled over the land.
The day, instead of growing lighter, grew darker and darker. Yet
no storm came.

Strange colors edged the low-hanging clouds, red and brown and a
brassy yellow, while the fields and woods below were a deep,
unnatural green. The white roads and houses and the white church
steeples turned yellow. Even the clean silver in the houses
looked like brass. These colors foreboded an eclipse of the sun;
yet there was no eclipse.

By noon it was as dark as early night, and the birds sang their
evening songs and disappeared. Some of the smaller ones,
frightened and fluttering, flew into the houses or dashed
themselves against the window panes. Chickens went to roost, the
cows came home from pasture, and the frogs croaked in the ponds.

Men planting corn in the fields stopped work because they could
not see the corn as it dropped. Women at home lighted candles to
find their way about the house. No one could see the time of day
by the clocks, and white paper looked like black velvet. Many
people were terrified and wondered what was coming. Some expected
a great tornado; others said a comet was due and feared it
portended some great calamity, perhaps a disaster to the armies
in the field who were fighting England in the war of the
Revolution. Still others, more ignorant and superstitious, were
sure that the end of the world had come, that the last trumpet
would soon sound and the dead be raised. One woman sent a
messenger in haste to her pastor to ask what this dreadful
darkness meant, but he only replied that he was "as much in the
dark" as she.

Several gentlemen, who happened to be at the house of Reverend
Manasseh Cutler, the minister in Ipswich, Massachusetts, have
left us a record of their observations that day.

Mr. Cutler wrote in his journal:--

"This morning Mr. Lathrop of Boston called upon me. Soon after he
came in I observed a remarkable cloud coming up and it appeared
dark. The cloud was unusually brassy with little or no rain. Mr.
Sewell and Colonel Wigglesworth came in. The darkness increased
and by eleven o'clock it was so dark as to make it necessary to
light candles ... at half-past eleven in a room with three large
windows, southeast and south, could not read a word in large
print close to windows .... About twelve it lighted up a little,
then grew more dark.... At one o'clock very dark.... The windows
being still open, a candle cast a shade so well defined on the
wall that profiles were taken with as much ease as they could
have been in the night. ... We dined about two, the windows all
open and two candles burning on the table. In the time of the
greatest darkness some of the dunghill fowls went to roost, cocks
crowed in answer to one another, woodcocks, which are night
birds, whistled as they do only in the dark, frogs peeped, in
short there was the appearance of midnight at noonday.... At four
o'clock it grew more light.... Between three and four we were out
and perceived a strong sooty smell. Some of the company were
confident a chimney in the neighborhood must be burning; others
conjectured the smell was more like that of burnt leaves."

These gentlemen went over to the tavern near by and found the
people there greatly excited and tried to reassure them. They
proved to them from the black ashes of leaves, which had settled
like a scum on the rainwater standing in tubs, that the darkness
was not supernatural, but probably came from the burning of
forests far away.

Dr. Ezra Stiles, who was then president of Yale College in New
Haven, gave the same explanation. He says:--

"The woods about Ticonderoga [in New York] and eastward over to
New Hampshire and westward into New York and the Jerseys were all
on fire for a week before this Darkness and the smoke in the
wilderness almost to suffocation. No rain since last fall, the
woods excessively dry.... Such a profusion of settlers pushing
back into the wilderness were everywhere clearing land and
burning brush. This set the forests afire far beyond intention,
so as to burn houses and fences.... The woods burned extensively
for a week before the nineteenth of May and the wind all the
while northerly."

A quaint old ballad, said to have been written about that time,
gives a description of this Dark Day:--

[Illustration:

From Harper's Weekly, Copyright 1893. Copyright Harper and
Brothers

AN OLD CONNECTICUTT INN, 1790]

  "The Whip-poor-will sung notes most shrill,
    Doves to their cots retreated,
   And all the fowls, excepting owls,
    Upon their roosts were seated.

  "The herds and flocks stood still as stocks,
    Or to their folds were hieing,
   Men young and old, dared not to scold
    At wives and children crying.

  "The day of doom, most thought was come,
    Throughout New England's borders,
   The people scared, felt unprepared
    To obey the dreadful orders."

In Connecticut the legislature was in session at Hartford. It was
like night in the streets of this city and candles were burning
in the windows of all the houses. Men grew anxious and uneasy. As
the darkness became deeper, the House of Representatives
adjourned, finding it impossible to transact any business. Soon
after, a similar motion for adjournment was made in the Senate,
or Council, as it was then called. By this time faces could
scarcely be distinguished across the room and a dread had fallen
on the assembly; "men's hearts failing them for fear and for
looking after those things which were coming."

Then up rose Honorable Abraham Davenport, a judge of Fairfield
County and councilor from Stamford, a stern and upright man,
strict in the discharge of his duty.

"I am against adjournment," he said. "The Day of Judgment is
either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause
for adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I
wish, therefore, that candles may be brought."

His strong words held the assembly. Its members rallied from
their fears and, following his example, turned steadily to the
transaction of the necessary business of the hour.

  "And there he stands in memory to this day,
  Erect, self-poised, a rugged face half seen
  Against a background of unnatural dark,
  A witness to the ages as they pass
  That simple duty hath no place for fear."

WHITTIER.


REFERENCES

1. Barber, J. W. _Connecticut Historical Collections_,
   J. W. Barber. New Haven, 1836.

2. _"The Dark Day." New England Magazine_, May, 1834.

3. Dexter, F. B. (editor). _The Literary Diary of Ezra
   Stiles_. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York, 1901.

4. Cutler, W. P. and J. P. _Life, Journals, and Correspondence
   of Rev. Manasseh Cutler_. Cincinnati, 1888.



A FRENCH CAMP IN CONNECTICUT


On the Green of the old town of Lebanon a mound is shown to-day
on the spot where a large brick oven stood in the winter of
1781--an oven in which bread was baked for the soldiers of the
American Revolutionary Army. These soldiers, who might have been
seen almost any day that winter in their gay uniforms, crossing
and recrossing the Green, or gathered in groups about the oven,
were, strangely enough, not American soldiers, but French hussars
belonging to the Duke de Lauzun's famous "Legion of Horse."

France, being herself at war with England, had recently sent an
army to America to help the colonies in their struggle against a
common enemy, and the French commander-in-chief, the Count de
Rochambeau, wrote from Newport, Rhode Island, to Governor
Trumbull, of Connecticut, asking if the governor could provide
winter quarters in Lebanon for a part of his forces--for the Duke
de Lauzun and some of his Legion of Horse.

Governor Trumbull's home was in Lebanon. His house was near the
village Green, and close beside it stood his store, which, by
this time, had become famous under the name of the "War Office,"
because in this store the governor and the Council of Safety used
to meet and talk over the important business of the war, and what
Connecticut could do, as her share, to help the American army.

There is a story that Washington used to say when he needed more
supplies, "Let us see what Brother Jonathan can do for us," and
that this nickname, which is now used for the United States,
belonged originally to Jonathan Trumbull. It is true that
Washington often turned to him for help. He had approved the
application of the Count de Rochambeau to Governor Trumbull for
winter quarters for the French troops. But long before the
arrival of these soldiers there had been busy times in Lebanon.
Provisions of all kinds were brought from all over the state to
the governor's store to be packed and sent off to the troops in
the field. The governor was usually to be found there himself,
weighing and measuring, packing boxes and barrels, dealing out
powder and lead, starting off trains of loaded wagons and often
large herds of cattle to be driven all the way to the army at the
front. Messengers came and went, flying on horseback along the
country roads, and sometimes they sat on the counter in the
store, swinging their spurred boots, waiting for the governor to
give them their orders. A piece of that counter, with the marks
of their spurs in the soft wood, can be seen now in the rooms of
the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford. Although there
were dark days during the war when the state's treasury was
exhausted and the people discouraged and the demands of the army
hard to meet, yet

  "Governor Trumbull never quailed
    In his store on Lebanon hill."

Somehow or other the supplies were found and little Connecticut
became known as the "Provision State." Washington spoke of her
governor as "the first of patriots." This is one of Governor
Trumbull's proclamations to the men of Connecticut:--

"Be roused and alarmed to stand forth in our glorious cause. Join
yourselves to one of the companies now ordered to New York, or
form yourselves into distinct companies and choose captains
forthwith;... march on; play the man for God and for the cities
of our God, and may the God of the armies of Israel be your
leader."

Lebanon was then on one of the main roads through New England,
and many distinguished men stopped there at different times to
see the governor. Washington came, and Lafayette, the young
French nobleman whom Washington loved almost as a son, and who
is, perhaps, "nearer to the hearts of the Americans than any man
not of their own people." Lafayette holds this place in their
affections because, before the French Government decided to send
help to the colonies, he "came from France of his own accord and
brought with him the sympathy of the French people," among whom
also new ideas of liberty were stirring.

"From the moment I first heard of America," he said, "I began to
love her; from the moment I understood that she was struggling
for her liberties, I burned to shed my best blood in her cause."

Lafayette's countrymen, who spent the winter of 1781 in Lebanon,
were the gallant soldiers of France. Their leader, the Duke de
Lauzun, was a gay French nobleman, very handsome, very fond of
good living, brilliant and witty as well as brave; nobody like
him or his men had ever been seen before in Lebanon. The people
of that quiet little town opened their eyes in surprise when the
dashing French hussars, in their tall black caps and their
brilliantly braided jackets, came galloping in over the muddy
country roads. Governor Trumbull had made provision for them.
Barracks were built for some on a farm which he owned just
outside the town, and others camped on the village Green.

With their arrival life in Lebanon changed. At daybreak the
French bugles blew the reveille. There were parades and reviews,
there were balls and parties. Washington held a review of
Lauzun's Legion when he passed through the place one day in
March. The corps was finely equipped. Its horses were good, its
men brave and handsome, and their uniforms vivid and trim. The
hussars wore sky-blue jackets braided with white, yellow
breeches, high boots, and tall caps with a white plume at the
side. They made a great impression on the country people, who had
seen their own men, dressed in homespun clothes, mount their
rough farmhorses and ride away, just as they were, to the war.
The duke himself was friendly and pleasant and popular with his
new neighbors. He lived in a house lent him by David Trumbull,
the governor's son.

[Illustration: THE MARQUIS OF LAFAYETTE

This statue was presented to France by the School Children of the
United States]

Once, early in the winter, two distinguished visitors from the
French army came to see him, the Marquis de Chastellux, who wrote
a book of "Travels in North America," and the Baron de Montesquieu;
and he gave a dinner for them to which he invited Governor Trumbull.
In the marquis's book we can read a description of it and of Governor
Trumbull as he appeared to these French gentlemen from the Old World.

"On returning from the chase," says de Chastellux (he had been
out hunting squirrels), "I dined at the Duke de Lauzun's with
Governor Trumbull. This good methodical governor is seventy years
old. His whole life is consecrated to business, which he
passionately loves, whether it is important or not. He has all
the simplicity and pedantry of a great magistrate of a small
republic, and invariably says he will consider, that he must
refer to his council. He wears the antique dress of the first
settlers in this colony." Then the marquis goes on to tell how
the small old man, in his single-breasted, drab-colored coat,
tight knee-breeches, and muslin wrist-ruffles, walked up to the
table where twenty hussar officers were waiting and with "formal
stiffness pronounced in a loud voice a long prayer in the form,
of a Benedicite." The French officers must have been surprised;
they were not used to simple country manners and to grace before
meat on all occasions, but they were too polite and too well
trained to laugh. "Twenty amens issued at once from the midst of
forty moustaches," says the marquis, and in spite of the fun he
makes of the old Puritan governor's stiff manners, we feel in
reading the story that he fully appreciates his sterling good
qualities.

Some of these pleasure-loving French gentlemen met a strange and
sad fate, years later, in the terrible days of the French
Revolution. The Duke de Lauzun was beheaded in Paris in 1793, his
long and adventurous life "ended with a little spurt of blood
under the knife of the guillotine"; and Lafayette spent five
years in an Austrian prison.

There is another story of old Lebanon which is connected with the
visit of the French soldiers. The French commander-in-chief, the
Count de Rochambeau, had given to Madam Faith Trumbull, the
governor's wife, a beautiful scarlet cloak, and one Sabbath day
she appeared in the governor's pew in the Lebanon meeting-house
wearing the French general's handsome gift. Now, in those hard
times contributions for the army were often collected after
service on Sundays, and the people not only gave money, but
whatever else they could spare, Indian corn, flax, wood, shoes
and stockings, hats and coats. Quietly the governor's wife rose
in her seat and, taking the scarlet cloak from her shoulders,
carried it down to the front and laid it with the other gifts.
Later, it was cut into narrow bands and used to make red stripes
on the soldiers' uniforms.

All that is left of those stirring times in Lebanon to-day is the
little "War Office,"--restored and kept as a memorial of the
Revolution,--and the mound on the Green where the brick oven
stood in which bread was baked for the French soldiers who fought
for American independence.


REFERENCES

1. Stuart, I. W. _Life of Jonathan Trumbull./i> Crocker &
   firewater. Boston, 1859.

2. _The Lebanon War Office./i> Published by the Connecticut
   Society of the Sons of the Revolution. Hartford, 1891.

3. Lodge, Henry Cabot. "Address at the Unveiling of the Statue
   of the Count de Rochambeau," in _A Fighting Frigate and
   other Essays./i> D. Appleton & Co. New York, 1902.

4. Chastellux, Marquis de. _Travels in North America._
    London.



NATHAN HALE

  "To drum-beat and heart-beat
   A soldier marches by;
   There is color in his cheek,
   There is courage in his eye,
   Yet to drum-beat and heart-beat
   In a moment he must die."

The story of Nathan Hale is the story of a short life and a brave
death. Connecticut has written his name on her Roll of Honor--the
name of a man who was executed as a spy in the War of the
Revolution. He was born in Coventry, Tolland County, on the 6th
of June, 1755. His father, Deacon Richard Hale, who, as well as
his mother, Elizabeth Strong, was descended from the earliest
settlers of Massachusetts, had moved to Coventry, Connecticut,
and had bought a large farm there. The children were brought up
strictly, as they were in all New England families in those days,
and no doubt there was plenty of hard work for them on the farm,
but, as there were ten or twelve of them, we may be sure there
was plenty of play, too.

It is said that Nathan was not a strong child at first, but grew
vigorous with outdoor life; that "he was fond of running,
leaping, wrestling, firing at a mark, throwing, lifting, playing
ball," and used to tell the girls of Coventry he could do
anything but spin. Stories told of him say that when he was older
he could "put a hand on a fence as high as his head and clear it
easily at a bound"; and that the marks of "a leap which he made
upon the Green in New Haven were long preserved and pointed out."
One of his comrades in the army wrote of him, "His bodily agility
was remarkable. I have seen him follow a football and kick it
over the tops of the trees in the Bowery at New York (an
exercise which he was fond of)."

But he was fond of study, as well as of play, and he must have
done well at the Coventry School, for his parents determined to
send him to college. He was fitted for Yale by the minister in
Coventry, as there were then no preparatory schools such as we
have now. When he was fourteen he entered Yale College at New
Haven with his brother Enoch, who was a year and a half older
than he. They were known in college as Hale Primus and Hale
Secundus.

At Yale Nathan studied well and took a good stand. He became,
too, one of the most popular men in his class. He made many
friends, and their letters to him show us how much they loved and
admired him. At one time he was president, or "chancellor" as it
was called, of the Linonia Debating Society; at another he was
its secretary, or "scribe," and the minutes which he kept then
can be seen now, in his own handwriting, in the Yale Library.

He was nearly six feet tall, broad-shouldered, wit blue eyes and
brown hair, a pleasant voice, and a manner that was both
attractive and dignified. A gentleman in New Haven who knew him
well said of him, "That man is a diamond of the first water and
calculated to excel in any station he assumes."

After he graduated in 1773, he taught school for a few months in
East Haddam. The country schools were very simple in those days.
There were few books; a Psalter and a spelling-book were the most
important ones used. There were no blackboards, and the teacher
set "copies" on paper, and read out the "sums" in arithmetic, and
often the whole school studied aloud. One of Nathan Hale's pupils
in East Haddam, who lived to be an old lady, said of him as a
teacher, "Everybody loved him, he was so sprightly, intelligent,
and kind and withal so handsome."

He was soon offered a better position in New London as the master
of a new school in which he was expected to teach Latin as well
as English. He wrote in one of his letters from New London:--

"I am happily situated here. I love my employment and find many
friends among strangers. I have a school of thirty-two boys, half
Latin, the rest English. In addition to this I have kept, during
the summer, a morning school, between the hours of five and
seven, of about twenty young ladies."

The schoolhouses in East Haddam and New London where Nathan Hale
taught have been restored and are kept now as memorials of him.

While he was teaching in New London the war with England broke
out. There was great excitement when the news came of the battle
of Lexington (April 19, 1775), and a public meeting was held at
which he is reported to have said, "Let us march immediately and
never lay down our arms until we obtain our independence." He
could not march immediately himself, for he was teaching school,
but when summer came he entered the army as a lieutenant, and was
soon made a captain. In September he went with some of the
Connecticut troops to join Washington's army which was besieging
Boston. The American flag was not adopted until the next year,
and as the colors appointed for his regiment, the Seventh
Connecticut, were blue, they marched away from New London under a
blue banner. His camp-basket, a powder-horn made by him, and his
army diary are still in existence, and can be seen in the rooms
of the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford.

Here are some of the entries in his diary that fall and winter:--

"Friday 29th (Sept.)--Marched for Cambridge. Arrived 3 o'clock,
and encamped on the foot of Winter Hill.

"Sat. 30th--Considerable firing upon Roxbury side in the
forenoon.

"October 9th, Monday--Morning clear and pleasant but cold.
Exercised men 5 o'clock, one hour.

"Sabbath, 22d--Mounted picket guard. Had charge of the advance
picket.

"Monday 6th (November)--It is of the utmost importance that an
officer should be anxious to know his duty, but of greater that
he should carefully perform what he does know.

"Tuesday, 7th--Left picket 10 o'clock.... Rain pretty hard most
of the day. Studied the best method of forming a regiment for a
review, manner of arranging the companies, also of marching round
the reviewing officer.

"A man ought never to lose a moment's time. If he put off a thing
from one minute to the next his reluctance is but increased.

"Wednesday, 8th--Cleaned my gun, played some football and some
checkers.

"22d, Friday--Some shot from the enemy.

"Feb. 14, 1776, Wednesday--Last night a party of Regulars made an
attempt upon Dorchester.... The Guard house was set on fire but
extinguished."

During this time many of the soldiers became discouraged with the
hard work and poor food and pay, and we learn from his diary that
Captain Hale offered to give the men in his company his own pay
if they would stay on for a month longer. The diary and all his
letters are full of courage and hopefulness.

In March, the British army, which had been shut up so long in
Boston unable to get away by land, took ship and sailed for
Halifax. Washington believed the next point of attack would be
New York and he moved his army there to protect the city. So
Hale's regiment marched back to New London and embarked in
transports for New York. The last six months of his short life
were passed in and near New York.

The spring was spent in fortifying the city, and in June Captain
Hale wrote to his brother Enoch, "The army is every day improving
in discipline and it is hoped will soon be strong enough to meet
the enemy at any kind of play. My company, which was small at
first, is increased to eighty, and a sergeant is recruiting, who
I hope has got the other ten which completes the company."

When the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, the soldiers
received the news with great enthusiasm, and felt that they had
at last an independent country of their own to fight for and, if
need be, to die for.

The British army arrived and encamped on Staten Island. It was a
finely equipped force of twenty-five thousand men with a fleet of
ships to support it, and was in every respect better and stronger
than the half-trained militia that made up most of the American
army. The battle of Long Island, late in the summer, ended in a
defeat for the Americans, and Washington's skillful retreat at
night across the East River from Long Island to New York was all
that prevented a greater disaster. Many of the men in Captain
Hale's company had been recruited along the Connecticut shores,
and there is no doubt that these sailors under his command were
very useful that night in getting the troops safely back to New
York.

After this the condition of things became very serious, for the
British had got possession of Brooklyn Heights, which commanded
the city over East River, and they might cross at any time and
attack it. Washington ordered companies of rangers, or scouts, to
be formed to keep a sharp watch on the enemy's movements, and
Captain Hale accepted an appointment in this body of picked men.
It was commanded by Colonel Knowlton, who was also a Connecticut
man and had been a ranger himself in the old French-and-Indian
War. He was a brave officer, and when he lay dying in the battle
of Harlem Heights he said, "I do not value my life if we do but
get the day." Captain Hale must have been glad to serve under
such a leader.

Meanwhile, Washington had moved the greater part of his army
outside New York to avoid being shut up in the city as the
British had been in Boston, and was anxiously expecting an
attack. But none came, and his suspense grew greater and greater
as time passed and he got no information as to what would happen.
"Everything depends on obtaining intelligence of the enemy's
motions," he wrote to his officers, "I was never more uneasy than
on account of my want of knowledge," and he begged them to send
some one into the enemy's camp in disguise to find out what their
plans were, and when and where they would attack.

It was not easy to get any one to go, for it meant being a spy.
Spies are necessary in all wars because the commanding general
must have information about the enemy's movements. But soldiers
hate a spy, who comes into their camp as a friend when he is
really an enemy, and honorable men do not like to do this. It is
usually done by men who care most of all for the money it brings.
The service, too, is so dangerous that the general may not
command it, he may only accept it when it is volunteered. If a
spy is caught within the enemy's lines no mercy is shown him; his
trial is swift and his death certain; in those days the penalty
was hanging.

This time a man of intelligence was needed and Colonel Knowlton
explained the matter to some of his officers. One of them is said
to have replied: "I am willing to be shot, but not to be hung."
But there was another who looked at it differently, and this was
Captain Nathan Hale. It seemed to him that if his country called
it was his duty to go, at the sacrifice, if necessary, of both
his honor and his life. And the more he thought of it the more
sure he was that it is the motive with which a deed is done that
makes it good or evil, and that a service which his country
demanded could not be dishonorable.

He asked advice from his friends, especially from Captain William
Hull, of his old regiment, who had also been one of his fellow
students at college. Captain Hull urged him strongly not to do
it. He reminded him how men feel about a spy and told him, too,
that it was doubtful if, with his frank, open character, he could
ever succeed in deceiving people and pretending to be what he was
not. He begged him for the sake of his family and his friends to
give it up because it might end for him in a disgraceful death.

Captain Hale replied, "I am fully sensible of the consequences of
discovery and capture in such a situation. But for a year I have
been in the army and have not rendered any material service while
receiving a compensation for which I make no return. Yet I am not
influenced by the hope of promotion or reward. I wish to be
useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good
becomes honorable by being necessary. But," he added, taking his
friend's hand affectionately, "I will reflect, and do nothing but
what duty demands."

He decided to go, and left the American camp the second week in
September. He was to cross to Long Island and approach the
British position from the rear, and he was to go as a schoolmaster
looking for employment, which was the best disguise he could
assume as he had once been a schoolmaster and might easily pass
for one again. Just what his orders and instructions were we do
not know, as the service was a secret one.

His faithful sergeant, Stephen Hempstead, of New London, went
with him part of the way. On account of British ships cruising in
the East Elver and in the Sound, they were obliged to go as far
as Norwalk, Connecticut, before it was safe to cross. Hempstead
tells us that at Norwalk Captain Hale changed his uniform for a
plain suit of citizen's brown clothes, with a round, broad-brimmed
hat, took off his silver shoe-buckles, and left all his
papers behind except his college diploma, which he thought might
be useful. Then he said good-bye to Hempstead, telling him to
wait for him there, and an armed sloop commanded by Captain
Pond--probably Charles Pond, of Milford, a fellow officer in
Hale's regiment--carried him over to Huntington on Long Island.

Hempstead waited, but Captain Hale never returned. The next news
his friends received was the news of his capture and execution as
a spy in the British camp.

We shall probably never know just what happened after he left
Huntington, what adventures he met with or what narrow escapes he
had. About the time that he crossed the Sound, Sir William Howe,
the British general, moved over to New York and took possession
of the city, and Washington's suspense ended. Perhaps Captain
Hale did not learn of this until it was too late to return, or,
perhaps, knowing it, he chose to go on and finish the work he had
begun and take back information of the new position of the enemy.

We know that he passed safely all through the British camps, both
on Long Island and in New York, that he did his work thoroughly
and well, made plans and drawings of the new fortifications in
the city, and was only arrested on the last night, when the work
was done and he was ready to return. Just where he was when he
was captured we do not know. From the new line of intrenchments
made by the British across the city he could have looked
northward over to the American camp on Harlem Heights, scarcely a
mile away, and could almost have seen the tents of his own
company of rangers. Perhaps he made a quick dash for freedom
across this short mile and was seized then. Or, perhaps, in the
excitement of a great fire which raged all through the lower part
of New York City on that day, he may have got safely back to Long
Island and have been arrested as he tried to pass the sentries on
the outposts. An old tradition says that he had gone as far as
Huntington and was taken there. We cannot tell. But just as the
difficult task was over, the sudden disappointment came.

The papers and drawings found on him told the story only too
plainly, and he was carried before Sir William Howe. When he was
questioned he at once gave his name, his rank in the American
army, and his reasons for coming inside the British lines. No
trial was necessary, and General Howe immediately signed the
warrant for his execution on the next morning, Sunday, September
22, at eleven o'clock.

He was handed over to the provost marshal, William Cunningham, a
coarse and brutal man who has left a shocking record of cruelty
to his prisoners. Hale asked if he might have a minister with
him, but Cunningham refused. Then he asked for a Bible, but that,
too, was forbidden. How he spent the night we cannot tell; part
of it, no doubt, in prayer, for that was the habit of his life.

He could not want to die. He was young and strong, just twenty-one,
hardly more than a boy, and life was all before him. He had
friends who loved him; he was engaged to be married; he had every
prospect of success and happiness. But he had deliberately
counted the cost before he undertook the dangerous service, and
the training of all his life, at home, at college, and in the
army, had taught him not only to do and to dare, but, what is
better still, to accept defeat bravely.

The next morning, while the last fatal preparations were being
made, an aide-de-camp of General Howe's, a brave officer of
Engineers who was stationed near the place, asked that the
prisoner be allowed to wait in his tent. "Captain Hale entered,"
he says; "he was calm and bore himself with gentle dignity in the
consciousness of rectitude and high intentions. He asked for
writing materials, which I furnished him; he wrote two letters,
one to his mother, and one to a brother officer."

These letters Cunningham destroyed, saying that "the rebels
should never know they had a man who could die with so much
firmness."

There were few people present at his death. When he reached the
foot of the tree where the sentence was to be executed, he was
asked if he had anything to say, any confession to make. He told
again who he was and why he came, and added quietly, "I only
regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Then the
noose was adjusted, and the cruel end came quickly.

These last words of Nathan Hale have been repeated again and
again since that time. They have been cut in bronze and in
marble, they have been taught in our schools. They are noble
words, because they are simple and brave and unselfish. He could
have had no idea that they would ever be heard beyond the little
group of people about him when he died, but it so happened that
General Howe had occasion to send a letter to Washington late
that evening about an exchange of prisoners, and the bearer of
the letter was Captain Montresor, the officer in whose tent
Nathan Hale had spent the last hour of his life. Inside the
American tines Montresor met Captain Hull, Hale's intimate
friend, the man who had warned Hale so earnestly of the fate that
might be his. To him Montresor told the tragic story of that
morning and repeated the words that have since become famous.

[Illustration: _Courtesy of Mr. George D. Seymour_

NATHAN HALE

This statue stands in front of old Connecticut Hall, Yale
University. Nathan Hale's room was in this building]

Years afterward a monument was put up in Coventry to the memory
of Captain Nathan Hale. There are several statues of him in
different places; there is a fountain with his name upon it in
Norwalk where he crossed the Sound, and another at Huntington,
Long Island; there is an old fort named for him on the shore of
New Haven Harbor; but the memorial which comes closest to our
hearts is the little stone in the old Coventry graveyard, set
there in memory of him by his own family. This is the inscription
cut into it:--

  "Durable stone preserve the monumental record.
   Nathan Hale, Esq., a Capt. in the army of the
   United States, who was born June 6th, 1755,
   and received the first honors of Yale College,
   Sept., 1773, resigned his life a sacrifice to his
   Country's liberty at New York, Sept. 22d,
   1778. Etatis 22d."

CAPTURE AND DEATH OF NATHAN HALE

_By an unknown poet of 1776_

  The breezes went steadily thro' the tall pines,
  A-saying "oh, hu-sh!" a-saying "oh, hu-sh!"
  As stilly stole by a bold legion of horse,
  For Hale in the bush; for Hale in the bush.

  "Keep still!" said the thrush as she nestled her young,
  In a nest by the road; in a nest by the road;
  "For the tyrants are near, and with them appear,
  What bodes us no good; what bodes us no good."

  The brave captain heard it, and thought of his home,
  In a cot by the brook; in a cot by the brook.
  With mother and sister and memories dear,
  He so gayly forsook; he so gayly forsook.

  Cooling shades of the night were coming apace,
  The tattoo had beat; the tattoo had beat.
  The noble one sprang from his dark hiding-place,
  To make his retreat; to make his retreat.

  He warily trod on the dry rustling leaves,
  As he pass'd thro' the wood; as he pass'd thro' the wood;
  And silently gain'd his rude launch on the shore,
  As she play'd with the flood; as she play'd with the flood.

  The guard of the camp, on that dark, dreary night,
  Had a murderous will; had a murderous will.
  They took him and bore him afar from the shore,
  To a hut on the hill; to a hut on the hill.

  No mother was there, nor a friend who could cheer,
  In that little stone cell; in that little stone cell.
  But he trusted in love, from his father above,
  In his heart all was well; in his heart all was well.

  An ominous owl with his solemn bass voice,
  Sat moaning hard by; sat moaning hard by.
  "The tyrant's proud minions most gladly rejoice,
  For he must soon die; for he must soon die."

  The brave fellow told them, no thing he restrain'd,
  The cruel gen'ral; the cruel gen'ral;
  His errand from camp, of the ends to be gain'd,
  And said that was all; and said that was all.

  They took him and bound him and bore him away,
  Down the hill's grassy side; down the hill's grassy side.
  'Twas there the base hirelings in royal array,
  His cause did deride; his cause did deride.

  Five minutes were given, short moments, no more,
  For him to repent; for him to repent;
  He pray'd for his mother, he ask'd not another;
  To Heaven he went; to Heaven he went.

  The faith of a martyr, the tragedy shew'd,
  As he trod the last stage; as he trod the last stage.
  And Britons will shudder at gallant Hale's blood,
  As his words do presage; as his words do presage.

  "Thou pale king of terrors, thou life's gloomy foe,
  Go frighten the slave; go frighten the slave;
  Tell tyrants, to you, their allegiance they owe.
  No fears for the brave; no fears for the brave."


REFERENCES

1. Johnston, Henry Phelps. _Nathan Hale, 1776--Biography and
   Memorials._ Yale University Press. New Haven, 1914.

2. Stuart, I. W. _Life of Captain Nathan Hale, the Martyr Spy
   of the American Revolution,_ F. A. Brown. Hartford, 1856.

3. Hull, General William. _Military and Civil Life._ D.
   Appleton & Co. New York, 1848.

4. Hale, Enoch. _Diary._ (In Appendix to an address
   delivered at Groton, Connecticut, September 7, 1881, by E. E.
   Hale.)

5. Hempstead, Stephen. "Recollections." _Missouri Republican,
   January 18, 1827_.

6. Bostwick, Elisha. Pension Papers, in _Hartford Courant,_
   December 15, 1914.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Once Upon a Time in Connecticut" ***

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

We also ask that you:

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

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

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

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



Home