[To “Voices from 19th-Century America”]

S. G. Goodrich’s Notes for volume 1 of Recollections of a Lifetime (1856)

Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860) was a pivotal figure in early 19th-century American publishing. His Recollections is a look at over 50 years of American culture, and at a busy, productive life. Early American religion, passenger pigeons, the solar eclipse of 1806, the meteor of 1807, the Hartford Convention, the Revolution of 1848—Goodrich experienced it all. Filled with anecdotes and heavily footnoted, this 1100-page work is a rich source of information on early American publishing and New England life.

Many of Goodrich’s footnotes are … epic. (One spans 5 pages.) Here they’re presented separate from the main text, each with a link to the appropriate section.

Recollections of a Lifetime, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (New York & Auburn: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1856)

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[To text of volume 1]

I, p. 16: Ridgefield

* See I, Note I., p. 515.

I, p. 16: Elizur Goodrich

† See I, Note II., p. 523.

I, p. 16: John Ely

‡ See I, Note III., p. 533.

I, p. 17: estate of four thousand dollars

* One thousand of this was received, a short time before the death of my parents, for the revolutionary services of my maternal grandfather.

I, p. 17: Ridgefield

† For an account of the present condition of Ridgefield, see letter to C. A. Goodrich, I, page 300.

I, p. 21: all curious travelers who came that way

* Keeler’s tavern appears to have received several cannon-shots from the British as they marched through the street, these being directed against a group of Americans who had gathered there. A cannon-ball came crashing through the building, and crossed a staircase just as a man was ascending the steps. The noise and the splinters overcame him with fright, and he tumbled to the bottom, exclaiming—“I’m killed, I’m a dead man!” After a time, however, he discovered that he was unhurt, and thereupon he scampered away, and did not stop till he was safe in the adjoining town of Wilton.

I, p. 27: house was burned down

* Lossing says, in his Field Book, p. 409, vol. i.: “Having repulsed the Americans, Tryon’s army encamped upon high ground, about a mile south of the Congregational church in Ridgefield, until daylight the next morning, when they resumed their march toward Norwalk and Compo, through Wilton. Four dwellings were burned in Ridgefield, and other private property was destroyed, when the marauders struck their tents.”

The “high ground” here spoken of was High Ridge, the precise spot where the house I have described, stood. Doubtless the vestiges here mentioned were those of one of the four houses alluded to.

I, p. 43: their three children

* Elizur Goodrich, now of Hartford; Professor Chauncey A. Goodrich, now of Yale College; and the late Mrs. Nancy Ellsworth, wife of H. L. Ellsworth, former Commissioner of Patents, at Washington.

I, p. 44: indisputed autographs upon various parts of my body

* It may not be useless to state, in passing, that in 1850, one of my family, who had been vaccinated thirty years before, was attacked by varioloid. It being deemed advisable that all of us should be vaccinated, I was subjected to the process, and this took such effect upon me that I had a decided fever, with partial delirium, for two days; thus showing my accessibility to the infection of small-pox. Here then was evidence that both vaccination and inoculation are not perpetual guarantees against this disease—a fact, indeed, now fully admitted by the medical faculty. The doctrine is, that the power of these preventives becomes, at last, worn out, and therefore prudence dictates a repetition of vaccination after about ten years.

I, p. 49: Greenfield’s

* From our windows we could not only see the church spire of Greenfield Hill, but the spires of several other churches in the far distance.

I, p. 62: affairs of the farm

* See a further notice of Gov. Smith, page 89, vol. ii.

I, p. 64: not a factory of any kind in the place

* I recollect, as an after-thought, one exception. There was a hatter who supplied the town; but he generally made hats to order, and usually in exchange for the skins of foxes, rabbits, muskrats, and other chance peltry. I frequently purchased my powder and shot from the proceeds of skins which I sold him.

I, p. 72: to the right

* This separation of a choir is seldom practiced now in our churches, but was in general use at this period.

I, p. 77: deaconed

* Deaconing a hymn or psalm, was adopted on occasions when there was but a single book, or perhaps but one or two books, at hand—a circumstance more common fifty years ago, when singing-books were scarce, than at present, when books of all kinds render food for the mind as cheap and abundant as that for the body. In such cases, the leader of the choir, or the deacon, or some other person, read a verse, or perhaps two lines of a hymn, which being sung, other stanzas were read, and then sung in the same way.

I, p. 98: quails

* The American quail is a species of partridge, in size between the European quail and partridge. The partridge of New England is the pheasant of the South, and the ruffed grouse of the naturalists.

I, p. 107: celebrated hymn

* Hymn sung at Hartford, Conn., during religious services performed on the occasion of the death of George Washington, Dec. 27th, 1799.

What solemn sounds the ear invade?

What wraps the land in sorrow’s shade?

From heaven the awful mandate flies—

The Father of his Country dies.

Let every heart be fill’d with woe,

Let every eye with tears o’erflow;

Each form, oppress’d with deepest gloom,

Be clad in vestments of the tomb.

Behold that venerable band—

The rulers of our mourning land,

With grief proclaim from shore to shore,

Our guide, our Washington’s no more.

p. 108

Where shall our country turn its eye?

What help remains beneath the sky?

Our Friend, Protector, Strength, and Trust,

Lies low, and mouldering in the dust.

Almighty God! to Thee we fly;

Before Thy throne above the sky,

In deep prostration humbly bow,

And pour the penitential vow.

Hear, O Most High! our earnest prayer—

Our country take beneath Thy care;

When dangers press and foes draw near,

Let future Washingtons appear.

I, p. 108: cherished in all future time

* Mr. Jefferson and his satellites had begun their attacks upon Washington several years before this period; but beyond the circle of

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interested partisans, and those to whom virtue is a reproach and glory an offence, they had not yet corrupted or abused the hearts of the people. Some years later, under the presidency of Jefferson and his immediate successor, democracy being in the ascendant, Washington seemed to be fading from the national remembrance. Jefferson was then the master; and even somewhat later, a distinguished Senator said in his place in Congress, that his name and his principles exercised a greater influence over the minds of the people of his native State—Virginia—than even the “Father of his Country.” Strange to say, this declaration was made rather in the spirit of triumph than of humiliation.

At the present day the name of Jefferson has lost much of its charm in the United States: democracy itself seems to be taking down its first idol, and placing Andrew Jackson upon the pedestal. Formerly “Jefferson Democracy” was the party watchword: now it is “Jackson Democracy.” The disclosures of the last thirty years—made by Mr. Jefferson’s own correspondence, and that of others—show him to have been very different from what he appeared to be. Had his true character been fully understood, it is doubtful if he would ever have been President of the United States. He was in fact a marvelous compound of good and evil, and it is not strange that it has taken time to comprehend him. He was a man of rare intellectual faculties, but he had one defect—a sort of constitutional atheism—a want of faith in God and man—in human truth and human virtue. He did good things, great things: he aided to construct noble institutions, but he undermined them by taking away their foundations. He was, in most respects, the opposite of Washington, and hence his hatred of him was no doubt sincere. We may even suppose that the virulent abuse which he caused to be heaped upon him by hireling editors, was at least partially founded upon conviction. Washington believed in God, and made right the starting-point of all his actions. Next to God, was his country. His principles went before; there was no expediency for him, that was not dictated by rectitude of thought, word, and deed. He was a democrat, but in the English, Puritan, sense—that of depositing power in the hands of the people, and of seeking to guide them only by the truth—by instructing them, elevating them, and exclusively for their own good. Jefferson, on the contrary, was a democrat according to French ideas, and those of the loosest days of the Revolution. Expediency was with him the beginning, the middle, the end of conduct. God seems not to have been in all his thought. He penetrated the masses with his astute intelligence: he had seen in Paris how they could be deluded, stimulated,

p. 110

led, and especially by artful appeals to the baser passions. His party policy seems to have been founded upon a low estimate of human nature in general, and a contempt of the majority in particular. Hence, in attempting to elevate himself to the chief magistracy of the Union, his method was to vilify Washington, and at the same time to pay court to the foibles, prejudices, and low propensities of the million. Demagogism was his system, and never was it more seductively practiced. Over all there was a profound vail [sic] of dissimulation; a placid philosophy seemed to sit upon his face, even while he was secretly urging the assassin’s blade to the hilt, against the name and fame of him who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Simplicity and humility appeared to rule in his bosom, while yet he was steadily paving his way to power. He succeeded, and through the prestige of his position, the original democracy of the United States was cast in his image. He was the father, the founder, the establisher of demagogism in this country, and this unmanly and debasing system of policy has since continued to contaminate and debauch the politics of the land.

There is perhaps some growing disgust at this state of things, but whether we shall ever return to the open, manly, patriotic principles and practice of Washington, is a question which no man can presume to answer. At all events, it seems to me, every one who has influence should sedulously exert it to purify, elevate, and ennoble the public spirit. As one means, let us ever keep in view—let us study and cherish—the character of Washington. Let our politicians even, do this, and while they esteem and follow what was really good in Jefferson, let them beware how they commend his character us an example to those over whom they exercise a controlling influence.

Power is ennobling, when honorably acquired, and patriotically employed; but when obtained by intrigue, and used for selfish ends, it is degrading alike to him who exercises it and those who are subjected to its influence. It is quite time that all good men should combine to put down demagogues and demagogism.

I, p. 112: a name

* Jerome Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon, was born in 1784, and is now (1856) 72 years old. He was educated for the naval service, and in 1801 had the command of the corvette, L’Epervier. In this, the same year, he sailed with the expedition to St. Domingo, commanded by his brother-in-law, Gen. Leclerc. In March following he was sent to France with dispatches, but speedily returned. Hostilities soon after were renewed between France and England, and he sailed on a cruise for some months, finally putting into the port of New York. He was treated with marked attention in the principal cities—New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. In the latter he became attached to Elizabeth Patterson—daughter of an eminent merchant there—and distinguished for her beauty and accomplishments. In December, 1803, they were married with due ceremony by John Carroll, the Catholic Bishop of Baltimore, in the presence of several persons of high distinction. He remained about a year in America, and in the spring of 1805 he sailed with his wife for Europe. Napoleon disapproved of the match, and on the arrival of the vessel at the Texel, it was found that orders had been left with the authorities not to permit Jerome’s wife to land. She accordingly sailed for England, and taking up her residence in the vicinity of London, gave birth to a son, July 7, 1805. This is the present Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, of Baltimore.

Napoleon, who had now become emperor, and desired to use his broth-

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ers for his own purposes, set himself to work to abrogate the marriage, and applied to Pope Pius VII. for this purpose. That prelate, however, refused, inasmuch as the grounds set forth for such a measure were altogether fallacious. Napoleon, however, who was wholly unscrupulous, forced his brother into another match, August 12, 1807, with the princess Frederica Catherina, daughter of the King of Wurtemburg. A few days after he was proclaimed King of Westphalia, which had been created into a kingdom for him. He remained in this position till the overthrow of the Bonapartes in 1814. After this he lived sometimes in Austria, sometimes in Italy, and finally in Paris. He was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1848, and was afterwards made Governor of the Invalides. When Louis Napoleon became emperor in 1852, the Palais Royal was fitted up for him, and he now resides there—his son, Prince Napoleon, and his daughter (formerly married to the Russian Prince Demidoff, but divorced some ten years ago), Princess Mathilde, also having their apartments there.

Jerome Bonaparte has very moderate abilities, and though he is now considered as nominally in the line of succession after the present emperor, his position is only that of a pageant, and even this is derived solely from his being the brother of Napoleon. He is taller by some inches than was the emperor: he, however, has the bronze complexion, and something of the black, stealthy eye, broad brow, the strong, prominent chin, the oval face, and the cold, stony expression, which characterized his renowned brother.

Mrs. Patterson has not followed the career of her weak and unprincipled husband, but has continued to respect her marriage vow. In 1824, being in Dublin, I was informed by Lady Morgan, who had recently seen her in Paris, that the princess Borghese (Napoleon’s sister Pauline) had offered to Mrs. Patterson to adopt her son, and make him heir of her immense possessions, if he would come to Italy, and be placed under her care: her answer was, that she preferred to have him a respectable citizen of the United States to any position wealth or power could give him in Europe. She doubtless judged well and wisely, for the Princess Borghese has left behind her a most detestable reputation. Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, of Baltimore, has recently been to Paris, where he has been well received by his father and the emperor; and his son, educated at West Point, is a captain in the French army in the Crimea, and has just been decorated with the Cross of the Legion of Honor (1856).

I, p. 117: born of Tom Paine

* The French Revolution readied its height in 1793, under what was called the Convention. The king perished on the scaffold in January of that year, and the queen and the other members of the royal family soon after. Atheism had taken the place of religion, and government was a wholesale system of murder. All that was good in society seemed to have perished. The Reign of Terror was established under Robespierre and his Jacobin Associates in 1794. About this time the French Minister Genet came to the United States, and under his auspices Democratic Clubs, modeled after those in France, which had enabled the Jacobins to get possession of the government of France, were organized in the United States. Their object was to place our government in the hands of the Jacobins here. This was the beginning of democracy in this country.

The people of America, grateful to France for her assistance in ob-

p. 118

taining our Independence, naturally sympathized with that nation in its attempts to establish a free government. They therefore looked upon the Revolution there with favor, amounting at the outset to enthusiasm. When Genet arrived, not fully appreciating the horrors it was perpetrating, many of our people still clung to it with hope, if not with confidence. Designing men saw the use they could make of this feeling, and in order to employ it for the purposes of seizing upon the government, promoted the democratic clubs, and sought to rouse the feelings of the masses into a rage resembling that which was deluging Paris with blood. Some of these leaders were Americans, but the most active were foreigners, many of them adventurers, and men of desperate character. One of the most prominent was Thomas Paine, whose name is now synonymous with infamy. He was a fair representative of democracy at this period.

Fortunately for our country and for mankind, Washington was now President, and by his wisdom, his calmness, and his force of character and influence, conducted the country through a tempest of disorder which threatened to overwhelm it. Thus, a second time was he the Saviour of his country. He naturally became the object of hatred to the democrats, and upon him all the vials of their wrath were poured. Jefferson, as is now known, encouraged, employed, and paid some of these defamers. It is true that at this time he did not adopt the term democrat—nor do we believe he shared its spirit to the full extent: he preferred the term republican, as did his followers, at the outset. Afterward they adopted the term democrat, in which they now rejoice. Of the democratic party, Jefferson was, however, the efficient promoter at the beginning, and may be considered its father and its founder. From these facts, it will be seen that this dread of him, on the part of the staid, conservative, Puritan people of Now England, was not without good foundation. See Hildreth’s History of the United States, second series, vol. i. pp. 422 and 455; also Griswold’s Republican Court, p. 290.

As Jefferson was the leader of the democratic party, so Washington was the head of the federalists. Since that period the terms democrat and federalist have undergone many changes of signification, and have been used for various purposes. Democracy is still the watchword of party, but the term federalism is merely historical, that of whig having been adopted by the conservatives.

I, p. 119: constitutionally upsetters

* I have just stated the historical origin of the two great parties in the United States. These, though taking their rise from passing events, had a deeper root. In all countries, where there is liberty of speech and print, there will be two parties—the Conservatives and the Radicals. These differences arise mainly from the constitutions of men and their varying conditions in society. Some are born Destructives and some Constructives. The former constitute the nucleus of the radical party. They are without property, and therefore make war on property, and those who possess it. One of this class, a born radical, usually passes his whole life in this condition, for in his nature he is opposed to accumulation. He is characterized by the parable of the rolling-stone which gathers no moss. The mass of the radical party in all countries is made up of such persons. The born constructive, on the contrary, is for law and order by instinct as well as reflection. He is industrious, frugal, acquisitive: he accumulates property, he constructs a fortune, and becomes in all things conservative.

From these two sources, the great parties in the United States derive their chief recruits. Most men of intelligence and reflection, however, are conservatives in their convictions, because it is by the maintenance of order alone that life and liberty can be preserved. But unhappily intelligent men are often destitute of principle; they sometimes desire to wield political power, and as this is frequently in the hands of the radicals, they play the demagogue, and flatter the masses, to obtain their votes. Ex-president John Adams said, with great truth, that when a man, born in the circle of aristocracy, undertakes to play the demagogue, he generally does it with more art and success than any other person. When the demagogue has acquired power—when he has attained the object of his ambition—he generally takes off the mask, and as he can now afford it, he is henceforth a conservative. This is the history of

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most demagogues in this country. Hence it is that demagogism has not had the fatal consequences that might have been anticipated. It has indeed defiled our polities, it has degraded our manners, and should be spurned by every manly bosom; but yet it has stopped short of the destruction of our government and our institutions.

Demagogism has prevailed to such an extent among us, that a very large share of the political offices are now held by demagogues. It was otherwise at the outset of our government. The people then cast about and selected their best men: now party managers take the matter into their own hands, and often select the worst men for officers, as none but persons who can be bought and sold would answer their purpose. Thus, office has sunk in respectability. We have no longer Washingtons, Ellsworths, Shermans—men of honor to the heart’s core—at the head of affairs, and stamping our manners and our institutions with virtue and dignity. Office is so low that our first-class men shun it. We have too many inferior men in high places—who, in degrading their stations, degrade the country. This is wrong: it is a sin against reason, common sense, patriotism, and prudence. Nevertheless, there is, despite these adverse circumstances, spread over this vast country a sober, solid, and virtuous majority—some in one party and some in another—who will not permit these evils to destroy our institutions. Whoever may rule, there is and will be a preponderance of conservatism, and this, we trust, will save us. Democracy may rave—radicalism may foam at the mouth, and these may get the votes and appropriate the spoils, but still law and order will prevail, through the supremacy of reason, rectitude, and religion.

I, p. 123: a monarchy

* The great alarm-cry of the loaders of democracy at this period was, that the federalists sympathized with England and hated France; that hence it was clear they were monarchists at heart, and designed to overthrow our republic, and establish a monarchy in its place. Washington was openly and repeatedly charged as a traitor, entertaining these views and purposes. It is now known, as already intimated, that Jefferson encouraged and even paid some of the editors who made these charges. See Hildreth, vol. ii. p. 454, &c. Second Series.

I, p. 130: if not democracy

* Jefferson carried his plebeianism so far as to put an end to the social gatherings of the people at the President’s house, called levees. Madison, who was a better—that is, a wiser and truer—democrat, saw that these meetings tended at once to elevation of manners and equalization of social position, and restored them. Mrs. Madison’s levees were not less brilliant than those of lady Washington, though they were less dignified and refined.

I, p. 141: Zeke Sanford

* Ezekiel Sanford was a son of Colonel Benjamin Sanford, of Reading. The latter married a daughter of Col. David Olmstead, of Ridgefield, a man of great respectability: after residing a few years here, he removed to Onondaga county, New York, and thence to Philadelphia, and afterward to Germantown, where he died about thirty years ago.

Ezekiel, our schoolmate, was a lad of great spirit and excellent capacity. He was educated at Yale College, and wag there noted as a promising writer. He subsequently became editor of the Eclectic Magazine at Philadelphia, and in 1819, published a History of the United States before the Revolution, with some account of the Aborigines. Having studied law, he removed to Columbia, South Carolina, where he died about the year 1825.

I, p. 144: James G. Carter

* See note V., p. 540.

I, p. 162: worthy subject

* I understand that this subject—“The First Prayer in Congress”—has been painted and engraved, but not in the style suited to a great national subject.

I, p. 183: matters of law

* Rev. Thomas Hawley, from Northampton, was settled in the first society in Ridgefield in the year 1714, and was their first pastor, and continued till his death in 1739. He was a man of great frankness and sociability, and an excellent scholar. He was very useful to the town, not only as a minister, but in a civil capacity, serving them as their town-clerk, and doing all their writing business till his decease.—Manuscript History of Ridgefield, by S. G.

I, p. 185: clergy of Fairfield county

* See note IV., p. 539.

I, p. 188: in Connecticut

* After this work was begun and considerably advanced, I happened to discover in the Historical Library of the Atheneum at Hartford, a manuscript account of Ridgefield—historical, descriptive, ecclesiastical, economical, &c.—prepared by my father in 1800, upon a request by the State authorities. Among other remarks of a general nature, I find the following:

“About the time that Paine’s Age of Reason presented itself to view, like Milton’s Description of Death—‘Black it stood as night, fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell’—the horror of its features disgusted the people to such a degree that it has not yet had an advocate in this town.”

“There have been, in years past, a number of people who called themselves Baptists, who showed much zeal in religion, and met in private houses for worship: at the present day they are much on the decline.”

“A few have joined the Methodists, whose preachers, though very zealous, have made little impression on the minds of the people of this town.” A little after this the Methodists increased in the manner I have related.

“Almost all the people attend public worship with the Congregation-

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alists or Episcopalians, and there is and has been, for a long time past, the utmost harmony and friendship prevailing between the several denominations of Christians here. They frequently worship together, and thus prove the efficacy of that Spirit whose leading characteristic is charity.”

I, p. 189: Murray

* John Murray, the first Universalist minister in Boston, was an Englishman, born about 1741. He became a preacher, and was at first a Calvinist, then a Wesleyan, then a follower of Whitfield. Afterward he went to London, and there plunged into the vortex of dissipation. In 1770, being in a state of poverty, he came to America, where he preached, and by his eloquence soon acquired a high degree of popularity. At one time (1775) he was chaplain to a regiment in Rhode Island. After preaching with success in various places, he was settled, in 1785, in Boston, where he continued till his death in 1815. He, as well as Winchester—a Universalist of great ability, and who, with Hosea Ballou, may be considered as the founder of modern Universalism in this country—was a Trinitarian; but his main doctrine was, that, “although sinners would rise to the resurrection of damnation, and at the judgment-day would call on the rocks to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb, yet that after the judgment, the punishment was fulfilled, and the damnation ended.” He believed that the devil and his angels only would be placed at the left hand of Christ, like the goats, and that all mankind would be placed at his right. Ballou, Balfour, and other Universalists of the modern sect, maintain that there will be no judgment-day and no future punishment.

I, p. 190: Bishop Seabury

* Samuel Seabury, D. D., was a native of Groton, Conn., and was born in 1728. He graduated at Yale College, and then went to Scotland, to study medicine. He was there, however, ordained, and coming back to America, was settled at New Brunswick, New Jersey, as the missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Having been stationed for a time at Jamaica, in the West Indies, he returned, and was settled at West Chester. Here he wrote and published several pamphlets in favor of the Crown, and was consequently seized by a party of soldiers, and for a time imprisoned at New Haven. When New York fell into the hands of the British, he joined them there, and became chaplain to Fanning’s tory regiment. After the peace, having been elected bishop by the Episcopal clergy of Connecticut, he went to England, and applied to the Archbishop of York for consecration. This could not be granted, as an indispensable condition to consecration was, by law, an oath of allegiance to the crown. After nearly a year of fruitless efforts to obtain his object in England, he made application to the bishops of Scotland, by whom he was consecrated in 1784. He then returned, and entered upon the duties of his office, making New London his residence. He was an able man, and exercised a beneficial influence in establishing and extending the Episcopal Church, not only in Connecticut, but in the country generally. He was a worthy predecessor of other bishops of Connecticut—Jarvis and Brownell—who have not only done honor to the Church over which they presided, but have contributed to swell the list of scholars and divines winch adorn our literature and our ecclesiastical history.

I, p. 191: rode in a coach

* It is said that on one occasion he arrived at Yale College during the Commencement exercises, in his carriage, and a messenger was sent in to inquire if there was a seat for Bishop Seabury. Dr. Dwight, the President, sent back word that there were some two hundred bishops present, and he should be very happy to give him a place among them.

I, p. 195: thoughts and exercises

* See Penny Cyclopedia, article Methodism.

I, p. 200: most extraordinary phenomena

* These consisted of various manifestations, called the “falling,” the “jerking,” the “rolling,” the “dancing,” and the “barking” exercises, together with visions and trances. The latter were the most common; in these the subject was in it state of delicious mental revery, with a total suspension of muscular power find consciousness to external objects. In the jerks, the spasms were sometimes so violent as to induce the fear that those affected with them would dislocate their necks. Often the countenance was most disgustingly distorted. The first instance of this occurred at a sacrament in East Tennessee. These phenomena were most common with the Methodists, though people of other sects were attacked by them. The contagion even spread to Ohio, among the sober people of the Western Reserve.—Howe’s Great West, p. 179.

Dow gives the following description in his journal, the period being in the early part of 1804, and the scenes of the events described, in Tennessee and Kentucky.

“I came to a house, and hired a woman to take me over the river in a canoe for my remaining money and a pair of scissors; the latter of which was the chief object with her: so one’s extremities are others’ opportunities. Thus with difficulty I got to my appointment, in Newport, in time.

“I had heard about a singularity called the jerks or jerking exercise, which appeared first near Knoxville in August last, to the great alarm of the people; which reports at first I considered as vague and false; but at length, like the Queen of Sheba, I set out to go and see for myself, and sent over these appointments into this country accordingly.

“When I arrived in sight of the town, I saw hundreds of people collected in little bodies; and observing no place appointed for meet-

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ing, before I spoke to any, I got on a log and gave out a hymn, which caused them to assemble round, in a solemn, attentive silence. I observed several involuntary motions in the course of the meeting, which I considered as a specimen of the jerks. I rode several miles behind a man across a stream of water, and held meeting in the evening, being ten miles on my way.

“In the night I grew uneasy, being twenty-five miles from my appointment for next Monday at eleven o’clock. I prevailed upon a young man to attempt carrying me with horses until day, which he thought was impracticable, considering the darkness of the night and the thickness of the trees. Solitary shrieks were heard in these woods, which he told me were the cries of murdered persons. At day we ported, being still seventeen miles from the spot; and the ground covered with a white frost. I had not proceeded far before I came to a stream of water from the springs of the mountain, which made it dreadful cold. In my heated state I had to wade this stream five times in the course of about an hour, which I perceived so affected my body that my strength began to fail. Fears began to arise that I must disappoint the people, till I observed some fresh tracks of horses, which caused me to exert every nerve to overtake them, in hopes of aid or assistance on my journey, and soon I saw them on an eminence. I shouted for them to stop till I came up. They inquired what I wanted; I replied, I had heard there was a meeting at Seversville by a stranger, and was going to it. They replied that they had heard that a crazy man was to hold forth, there, and were going also; and perceiving that I was weary, they invited me to ride; and soon our company was increased to forty or fifty, who fell in with 119 on the road from different plantations. At length I was interrogated whether I knew any thing about the preacher. I replied, I had heard a good deal about him, and had heard him preach, but had no great opinion of him; and thus the conversation continued for some miles before they found me out, which caused some color and smiles is the company. Thus I got on to meeting, and after taking

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a cup of tea, gratis, I began to speak to a vast audience: and I observed about thirty to have the jerks, though they strove to keep as still as they could. These emotions were involuntary and irresistible, as any unprejudiced eye might discern. Lawyer Porter (who had come a considerable distance) got his heart touched under the word, and being informed how I came to meeting, voluntarily lent me a horse to ride near one hundred miles, and gave me a dollar, though he had never seen me before.

“Hence to Marysville, where I spoke to about one thousand five hundred: many appeared to feel the word, but about fifty felt the jerks. At night I lodged with one of the Nicholites, a kind of Quakers, who do not feel free to wear colored clothes. I spoke to a number of people at his house that night. Whilst at tea, I observed his daughter (who sat opposite to me at the table) to have the jerks, and dropped the tea-cup from her hand in violent agitation. I said to her, ‘Young woman, what is the matter?’ She replied, ‘I have got the jerks.’ I asked her how long she had it. She observed, ‘A few days,’ and that it had been the means of the awakening and conversion of her soul, by stirring her up to serious consideration about her careless state, &c.

“Sunday, Feb. 19, I spoke in Knoxville, to hundreds more than could get into the court-house—the governor being present. About one hundred and fifty appeared to have jerking exercise, among whom was a circuit preacher (Johnson), who had opposed them a little before, but he now had them powerfully; and I believe he would have fallen over three times, had not the auditory been so crowded, that he could not, unless he fell perpendicularly.

“After meeting, I rode eighteen miles to hold meeting at night. The people of this settlement were mostly Quakers, and they had said, as I was informed, that ‘the Methodists and Presbyterians have the jerks because they sing and pray so much; but we are a still, peaceable people, wherefore we do not have them;’ however, about twenty of them came to meeting, to hear one, as was said, somewhat in a Quaker line.

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But their usual stillness and silence was interrupted, for about a dozen of them had the jerks as keen and as powerful as any I had seen, so as to have occasioned a kind of grunt or groan when they would jerk. It appears that many have undervalued the Great Revival, and attempted to account for it altogether on natural principles; therefore it seems to me, from the best judgment I can form, that God hath seen proper to take this method to convince people that he will work in a way to show his power, and sent the jerks as a sign of the times, partly in judgment for the people’s unbelief, and yet as a mercy to convict people of divine realities.

“I have seen Presbyterians, Methodists, Quakers, Baptists, Church of England, and Independents, exercised with the jerks. Gentleman and lady, black and white, the aged and the youth, rich and poor, without exception; from which I infer, as it can not be accounted for on natural principles, and carries such marks of involuntary motion, that it is no trifling matter. I believe that they who were the most pious and given up to God are rarely touched with it; and also those naturalists, who wish and try to get it to philosophize upon it, are excepted; but the lukewarm, lazy, half-hearted, indolent professor, is subject to it, and many of them I have seen, who, when it came upon them, would be alarmed, and stirred up to redouble their diligence with God, and alter they would get happy, were thankful that it ever came upon them. Again, the wicked are frequently more afraid of it than the small-pox or yellow fever. These are subject to it; but the persecutors are more subject to it than any, and they sometimes have cursed and swore and damned it, whilst jerking. There is no pain attending the jerks except they resist them, which, if they do, it will weary them more in an hour than a day’s labor, which shows that it requires the consent of the will to avoid suffering.

“I passed by a meeting-house, where I observed the undergrowth had been cut up for a camp-meeting, and from fifty to one hundred saplings left breast high, which to me appeared so slovenish that I could not but

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ask my guide the cause, who observed they were topped so high, and left for the people to jerk by. This so excited my attention that I went over the ground to view it, and found, where the people had laid hold of them and jerked so powerfully, that they had kicked up the earth as a horse stamping flies. I observed some emotion both this day and night among the people. A Presbyterian minister (with whom I stayed) observed, ‘Yesterday, whilst I was speaking, some had the jerks, and a young man from North Carolina mimicked them out of derision, and soon was seized with them himself (which was the case with many others). He grew ashamed, and on attempting to mount his horse to go off, his foot jerked about so that he could not put it into the stirrup. Some youngsters seeing this, assisted him on, but he jerked so that he could not sit alone, and one got up to hold him on, which was done with difficulty, I observing this, went to him, and asked him what he thought of it. Said he, “I believe God sent it on me for my wickedness, and making light of it in others,” and he requested me to pray for him.’

“I observed his wife had it; she said she was first attacked in bed. Dr. Nelson had frequently strove to get it (in order to philosophize about it), but he could not; and observed they could not account for it on natural principles.”

I, p. 205: noted Lorenzo Dow

* Methodism was first introduced into America about the year 1706. In 1771, the celebrated Francis Asbury came over from England, and preached here. He was followed by Dr. Coke in 1784, and in that year the Methodist Church in America was duly organized. The two individuals just mentioned, were men of education, talent, zeal, and piety, and to their earnest and untiring labors, the rapid spread of the society maybe chiefly attributed. Asbury, who was constituted senior bishop in the United States, in the course of his ministry ordained three thousand ministers, and preached seventeen thousand sermons!

Among the extraordinary incidents in the history of Methodism, we may note the following:

“Last year (1799) was celebrated for the commencement of those Great Revivals in Religion in the Western Country, which induced the practice of holding camp-meetings. This work commenced under the united labors of two brothers by the name of McGee, one a Presbyterian and the other a Methodist preacher. On one occasion, William McGee felt such a power come over him, that he seemed not to know what he did; so he left his seat and sat down on the floor, while John sat trembling under the consciousness of the power of God. In the mean time there was great solemnity and weeping all over the house. He was expected to preach, but instead of that, he arose and told the people that the overpowering nature of his feelings would not allow of his preaching, but as the Lord was evidently among them, he earnestly exhorted the people to surrender their hearts to him. Sobs and cries bespoke the deep feeling which pervaded the hearts of the people. This great and earnest work excited such attention, that the people came in crowds from the surrounding country, and this was the beginning of that great revival in religion in the western country which introduced camp-meetings. This novel mode of worshiping God excited great attention. In the night the grove was illuminated by lighted candles, lamps, or torches. This, together with the stillness of the night, the solemnity which rested on every countenance, the peculiar and earnest manner in which the preach

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ers exhorted the people to repentance, prayer, and faith, produced the most awful sensations 011 the minds of all present.”

“At a meeting held in Cabin Creek, the work seemed to bear down all opposition. Few, if any, escaped from it; such as attempted to run from it were frequently struck down in the way. On the third night so many fell (that is, in cataleptic swoons), that to prevent their being trodden under feet, they were collected together, and laid out in two squares of the meeting-house. At the great meeting at Cambridge, the number that fell was named at over three thousand!”—Bangs’ History of Methodism, vol. ii. p. 103.

The following will give some idea of the men and manners connected with Methodism at this era:

“Calvin Wooster was a man of mighty prayer and faith. Nor was he alone in this work. The other preachers caught the flame of divine love, and were carried forward, under its sacred influence, in their Master’s work. Many instances of the manifestations of Divine power and grace might be narrated, one of which I will relate. At a quarterly meeting in the Bay of Quinte circuit (Upper Canada, A. D. 1799), as the preacher commenced his sermon, a thoughtless man in the front gallery commenced in a playful mood to swear profanely, and thus to disturb the congregation. The preacher paid no attention to him, until he was in the midst of his sermon, when feeling strong in faith and the power of his might, suddenly stopping, he fixed his piercing eyes on the profane man; then stamping his foot, and pointing his finger at him, with great energy he cried out, ‘My God, smite him!’ He instantly fell, as if shot through the heart with a bullet. At this moment such a divine afflatus came down upon the congregation, that sinners were crying to God for mercy in every direction, while the saints of God burst forth in loud praises to His name,”—Bangs’ History of Methodism, vol. ii. p. 74.

“We now come to Lorenzo Dow.

This person was born at Coventry, Connecticut, in 1777. In his “Exemplified Experience, or Lorenzo’s Journal,” he says: “One day,

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when I was between three and four years old, I suddenly fell into a revery about God and those places called Heaven and Hell, so that I forgot my play, and asked my companion if he ever said his prayers. He said no. ‘Then,’ said I, ‘you are wicked, and I will not play with you;’ so I quit his company, and went into the house.” Afterwards, having killed a bird, he became distressed in mind, and wished he had never been born. Still later he had a dream, in which he saw the prophet Nathan, who told him that he would die at the age of twenty-two. In 1791 he saw John Wesley in a dream, which induced him to change his ways, and enter on a religious life. “Soon,” he says, “I became like a speckled bird among the birds of the forest, in the eyes of my friends.”

After various mental agonies he took to preaching, and up to the time of his death, which occurred at Georgetown, District of Columbia, in 1834, he traveled and preached with a restlessness perhaps without parallel in human history. He not only visited repeatedly almost every part of the United States, but England and Ireland, everywhere addressing such audiences as came in his way. Sometimes he spoke from a stump, or rock, or fallen tree in the wildnesses; sometimes in private houses, sometimes in religious edifices, sometimes on the platforms of camp-meetings. Few men have ever traveled so many miles: no one, probably, ever preached to so great a number of persons.

His Journal, above mentioned, is a very curious, though quaint and affected, record of his experience and adventures. He appears to have been actuated by a desire of moving on and on, fearing no danger, and overcoming every obstacle. He must preach or die, and he must preach in new places and to new audiences. He seems to have considered himself as urged by a divine enthusiasm to preach the Gospel. The shrewd observer will think he was quite as anxious to preach Lorenzo Dow. He evidently had a large share of personal vanity: his spirit was aggressive, and attacks upon other sects constituted a large part of his preaching. In one instance he was prosecuted for libel upon a clergyman, and being

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convicted was imprisoned for a short time. He resorted to various artifices to excite the curiosity of the public, and thus to increase his audiences. His doctrines were those of the Methodists, and he generally associated with Methodist congregations: still, he never formally became a member of that communion. Though he had the weaknesses and vices above suggested, he is generally regarded, on the whole, as a sincere and religious man. His character is, however, not to be commended, for infidelity thrives upon foibles, eccentricities, artifices, and vulgarities, in one who assumes to be a preacher of the Gospel. Such things may catch a few thoughtless minds, but the reflecting—those who will exert a wide and lasting influence—will be apt to point to them as evidence that religion is the offspring of ignorance and fanaticism, played upon by charlatans and pretenders.

Peggy Dow, Lorenzo’s wife, seems to have had a great admiration of her husband, and to have shared in his religions zeal, without partaking of his vices of manner and mind. On the whole, her character happily displays the feminine characteristics of warm affection, devotion, and that charity which covers a multitude of sins and weaknesses.

I, p. 221: Dr. Marsh

* Rev. John Marsh, D. D., of Wethersfield, was the last of the Connecticut clergy to give up the wig. I have often seen him in it, though he left it off a short time before his death. Once, when he was on a journey, he stopped overnight at a tavern. On going to bed, he took off his wig and hung it up. A servant maid happened to see it, and ran down in great terror to her mistress, saying, “Ma’am, that minister has took off his head and hung it up on a nail!”

For many years he was accustomed to mount his old chaise and set off with Mrs. Marsh to attend the annual commencement at Cambridge College. Everybody knew him along the road, and bowing, as he passed, said, “How d’ye do, Dr. Marsh?” At last he dismissed his wig; but now, as he went along, nobody recognized him. It was evident that his wig was necessary to insure the accustomed and grateful salute: so, on his journeys to commencement ever after, he put it on, though he discarded it at other times. He died A. D. 1820, aged 79.

Dr. Marsh was a man of great learning and politeness and high respectability. The Rev. John Marsh, now of New York, the distinguished advocate of the cause of temperance, is his son.

I, p. 227: Deacon Hawley

* See note I. p. 519.

I, p. 237: commission as judge

* See note I. p. 522.

I, p. 249: Rev. Jonathan Ingersoll

* See note I., p. 516.

I, p. 261: one of his characteristics

* Napoleon’s estimate of woman was very low: it was his cherished opinion that the orientals understood much better how to dispose of the female sex than the Europeans. There was a brusquerie, a precipitancy in his manner toward women, both in public and private, which his greatest admirers admit to have been repugnant to every feeling of female delicacy. See Alison’s Europe, vol. ix. p. 151.

I, p. 269: this phenomenon

* This eclipse (June 16th, 1806), being total, attracted great attention. The weather was perfectly calm, and the phenomena exceedingly in-

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teresting. At the point of greatest obscuration, the air was so chill as to make an overcoat desirable. A short time before this, the darkness in the west assumed the appearance of an approaching thunderstorm. A luminous ring surrounded the moon after the sun was totally hid. Such was the darkness that the time could not be determined by a watch. The number of stars visible was greater than at the full moon.

An account of the scene in Boston thus describes it: “The morning was ushered in with the usual hum of business, which gradually subsided as the darkness advanced. An uninterrupted silence succeeded. A fresh breeze which had prevailed, now ceased, and all was calm. The birds retired to rest: the rolling chariot and the rumbling car were no more heard. The axe and the hammer were suspended. Returning light reanimated the face of things. We seemed as in the dawn of creation, when ‘God said, Let there be light, and there was light!’ and an involuntary cheer of gratulation burst from the assembled spectators.”—Monthly Anthology 1806.

I, p. 273: Chesapeake

* These several events, which have now passed into the mist of distance, all caused great excitement at the time they transpired.

The Purchase of Louisiana, in 1803, was made by our ministers in France, Livingston and Monroe, of Bonaparte, then “Consul for life,” for the sum of fifteen millions of dollars. Though the treaty was wholly unauthorized, our government accepted and ratified it. Jefferson, then President, sanctioned and promoted it, though he knew it to be unconstitutional, as has since appeared by his private correspondence: a fact the more remarkable, as he had always pretended to make a strict construction of the Constitution a cardinal political principle. The federalists opposed the treaty, as unconstitutional, and as a destruction of the balance between the free States and slave States, established by that instrument. The democratic party, knowing the truth of all this, but having a majority, accepted the treaty. Though apparently a beneficial measure—the mode in which it was effected, has laid the foundation of the most alarming evils. This example of a palpable violation of the Constitution by Jefferson—the great apostle of democracy—and sanctioned and glorified by that dominant party, has deprived that instrument of much of its binding force upon the conscience of the country. Hence, it has become the constant subject of invasion and violation by party. If our government is ever overthrown, its death-blow will be traced to this act. Had the true course been adopted—that of a modification of the Constitution by the people—no doubt that stipulations in respect to slavery would have been imposed, which would have prevented its present enormous extension, and saved the country from the irritating difficulties in which that subject now involves us.

It is a matter worthy of remark that this first violation of the Constitution came from the strict constructionists: it is from them also, at the

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present day, that we hear that instrument made the constant object of threatened nullification or repudiation.

Lewis and Clarke’s Expedition to the Pacific, across the continent by way of the sources of the Missouri, began in 1803 and was completed in 1806. This was made the theme of great eulogy by the friends of Jefferson, whose scientific pretensions provoked abundance of ridicule in his opponents. In January, 1807, a dinner was given at Washington to Capt. Lewis, in compliment and congratulation for his success in tho expedition. Joel Barlow produced a song on the occasion, full of ridiculous bombast. One verse will give an idea of it:

“With the same soaring genius thy Lewis ascends,

And seizes the car of the sun;

O’er the sky-propping hills, and high waters he bends,

And gives the proud earth a new zone.”

This was sarcastically parodied by John Q. Adams, who did not disdain to make the domestic frailties of Jefferson the object of his satire. One verse is as follows, it having reference to Barlow’s suggestion that the name of the Columbia river should be changed to Lewis’ river.

“Let Dusky Sally henceforth bear

The name of Isabella:

And let the mountains all of salt,

Be christen’d Monticella.

The hog with nave’ on his back,

Tom Paine may be when drunk, sir:

And Joel call’d the prairie dog,

Which once was call’d a skunk, sir.”

It is curious and instructive to know that soon after this (March, 1808), J. Q. Adams, having lost caste with the federalists of Massachusetts

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went to Jefferson, and accused them of treasonable designs, and was consequently made a good democrat, and sent as Minister to Russia in 1809. The transformations of politicians are often as wonderful as those of Harlequin.

The Death of Alexander Hamilton, July 11, 1804, in a duel with Aaron Burr, the Vice-President of the United States, produced the most vivid emotions of mingled regret and indignation. Hamilton, though in private life not without blemishes, was a man of noble character and vast abilities. Burr was in every thing false and unprincipled. He feared and envied Hamilton, and with the express purpose of taking his life, forced him into the conflict. Hamilton fell, fatally wounded, at the first fire, and Burr, like another Cain, fled to the South, and at last to Europe, before the indignation of the whole nation. After many years he returned—neglected, shunned, despised—yet lingering on to the year 1836, when at the age of eighty he died, leaving his blackened name to stand by the side of that of Benedict Arnold.

The Attack of the British ship-of-war Leopard on the U. S. ship Chesapeake, took place off Hampton Roads, in June, 1807. The latter, commanded by Commodore Barron, was just out of port, and apprehending no danger, was totally unprepared for action. The commander of the British vessel demanded four sailors of the Chesapeake, claimed to be deserters, and as these were not surrendered, he poured his broadsides into the American vessel, which was speedily disabled. He then took the four seamen, and the Chesapeake put back to Norfolk. This audacious act was perpetrated under the “right of search,” as maintained by Great Britain. The indignation of the American people knew no bounds: Jefferson demanded apology, and the British government immediately offered it. It was not the policy of our President, however, to settle the matter with Great Britain; so this difficulty was kept along

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for years, and became a proverb, significant of delay and diplomatic chicanery. “I would as soon attempt to settle the affair of the Chesapeake,” was a common mode of characterizing any dispute which seemed interminable. Commodore Barren was suspended from his command, and it was some painful allusion to this by Commodore Decatur, that caused a duel between these two persons, which ended in the death of the latter, March 22, 1820.

I, p. 277: this meteor

* The extraordinary meteor, here alluded to, was so distinctly observed, as to have settled many points respecting meteoric stones, which were before involved in some doubt. The immense speed of its progress and its enormous size were determined by the fact that it was seen at the moment of its explosion, through a space more than a hundred miles in diameter, and that it passed across the zenith in about ten seconds. It appears probable that it was not a solid mass, nor is it to be supposed that more than a small portion of it fell to the earth when the explosion took place. It must be admitted, however, that we have yet no satisfactory theory as to the origin and nature of these wonderful bodies.

I, p. 282: beneath the skies

* This is from the “Oration which might have been delivered,” by Francis Hopkinson, LL. D., published in a volume entitled, “American Poems, selected and original,” Litchfield, Conn., 1793. This work I considered, in my youth, one of the marvels of American literature: in point of fact It comprised nearly all the living American poetry at that era. The chief names in its galaxy of stars were, Trumbull, the author of M’Fingal, Timothy Dwight, Joel Barlow, David Humphries, Lemuel Hopkins, William Livingston, Richard Alsop, Theodore Dwight, and Philip Freneau. It is now not without interest, especially as one of the signs of those times—the taste, tone, scope, and extent of the current indigenous poets and poetry—only sixty years ago. At that era Connecticut was the focal point of poetic inspiration on this continent.

I, p. 285: fourpence-ha’pennies

* According to the old New England currency, the Spanish sixteenth of a dollar—the sixpence of New York and the picayune of Louisiana—

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was fourpence-halfpenny. This word was formerly the shibboleth of the Yankees—every one being set down as a New Englander who said fourpence-ha’penny.

I, p. 314: Master Stebbins’s house

* For an engraving of this building, see Lossing’s Field Book, vol. i, p. 409.

I, p. 326: his career

* Colonel Joseph Platt Cooke, son of Rev. Samuel Cooke, of Stratfield, now Bridgeport, was one of fourteen children, and born Dec. 24, 1729, (old style): Nov. 22, 1759, he was married to Sarah Benedict: he died Feb. 8, 1816. Their children were Joseph P. Cooke, Thomas Cooke, Elizabeth Cooke, Daniel Benedict Cooke, and Amos Cooke—the latter, my brother-in-law, born Oct. 11, 1778, and deceased Nov. 13, 1810. The Rev. Samuel Cooke, now (1856) of St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, is a son of Daniel B. Cooke, who was Judge of Probate at Danbury for a number of years. To his brother, Joseph P. Cooke, I am indebted for some of the following incidents.

Col. Joseph P. Cooke graduated at Yale College in 1750. He established himself in Danbury, and when the British, under Tryon, having landed at Campo Point, on Long Island Sound, April 25, 1777, marched upon that place, he was colonel of the militia there. Having advice of the advance of the enemy, he sent a messenger to Gen. Silliman, giving the information he had acquired, and asking for troops, ammunition, and instructions. This messenger, coming suddenly upon the invading army, was fired upon, wounded, and taken prisoner.

General Silliman, who was attached to the Connecticut militia, was upon his farm at Fairfield, when he heard of the British expedition. He immediately dispatched messengers to arouse the people, and set

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out himself for Reading. Here he was joined by the fiery Arnold and the experienced Wooster: altogether they had about seven hundred men—mostly raw militia, fresh from their farms.

So rapid was the march of the British, that the people of Danbury were not informed of their danger, till the enemy were within eight miles of the town. Knowing that the public stores were their object, and well advised of the terrors of a British marauding army, the whole place was a scene of the wildest confusion and alarm. Those who could fly, sought safety in the woods and adjacent villages, taking their women and children with them. The sick and decrepit remained, with a few persons to take care of them.

There were no means of defense in the place: about a hundred and fifty militia, without ammunition, under Colonels Cooke and Huntington, were there, but retired upon the approach of the enemy. Having marched through Weston and Reading, Tryon and his force of two thousand men, reached Danbury in the afternoon of the day subsequent to their landing. Insult to the people and conflagration of the buildings, public and private, followed. The only houses intentionally spared by the enemy were those of the tories; some other dwellings, however, escaped. Nineteen houses, one meeting-house, and twenty stores and barns, with their contents, were destroyed.

The scenes enacted in this tragedy were in the highest degree appalling. Among the articles consumed were three thousand barrels of pork. The fat of these ran in rivers of flame in the gutters, while the soldiers, intoxicated with liquors they had procured, yelled like demons amid the conflagration, or reeled through the streets, or lay down, like swine, in by-places. It adds horror to the scene to know that a portion of the inhabitants of the town opened their arms to the enemy, and saw with rejoicing the ruin and vengeance wrought upon their friends and neighbors.

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Early on the morning of the next day (Sunday, April 37), while the whole country around was lighted with the flames of Danbury, Tryon, hearing that the militia were gathering from all quarters to attack him, began a rapid retreat, felting the route through Ridgebury and Ridgefield.

Gen. Wooster, who had been joined by Col. Cooke and his men crossing from Reading, overtook the enemy about two miles north of Ridgefield-street. One of his aids was Stephen Rowe Bradley, afterward, for sixteen years, a senator of the United States from Vermont. A smart skirmish ensued, and forty British prisoners were taken. Unfortunately, at this critical moment, Wooster fell, fatally wounded by a bullet-shot in the groin. This caused a temporary panic, during which the enemy pushed on toward Ridgefield. Here, however, at the head of the street, they were met by the impetuous Arnold, who, with only two hundred men behind a stone wall, boldly confronted them. After a time, they were driven back, and the British made their way to their point of embarkment. The untimely fall of Wooster probably only saved them from surrender, or ignominious loss and defeat.

Among the stores burned in Danbury was that of Col. Cooke—with a loss of one thousand pounds. The British soldiers occupied his house, where they had a riotous time. An old negro slave, who was left behind, waited upon them, and contrived to prevent a good deal of damage. When the marauders heard that the Americana were coming, they took some bundles of straw, set the house on fire, and fled. The old negro put out the flames, and thus saved his master’s dwelling. For this he had his freedom, and ever after was supported and cherished, with the consideration due to his conduct.

The following original letter—placed at my disposal by Mrs. Stites, granddaughter of Colonel Cooke—not only throws some pleasing light upon his character, but it presents facts of the deepest and most tragic

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interest. It was written while he was at New York attending to his duties there as a member of Congress.

[Letter from Colonel Cooke to his son Amos Cooke.]

New York, June 3, 1785.

My dear little Son:

Your letter of the 30th ultimo came safe to hand, but I had not time to return you an answer by the same post, and this may often happen by reason of my quarters being on Long Island. I am very glad to hear that your mamma enjoys a tolerable state of health, and I doubt not but that you will always be very attentive to her comfort. Should she in any good measure recover her strength, I fear she will undertake some business which may be detrimental to her health. Whenever you observe any thing of that kind, I would have you suggest the thought to her, in a very dutiful manner, telling her that you do it at my desire. Platt did very well in taking the method you mentioned for getting Daniel to New Haven. I hope the Society will adopt some plan for going forward with building the meeting-house, for until they do, I wish not to see the Courts held in Danbury. I am not, however, apprehensive that the Assembly will repeal the act.

There are now six members of Congress, who board at Mr. Hunt’s. Our accommodations are very good, and we have no rats to annoy us. We have been honored with a visit from the President and most of the members of Congress, who all admire our situation, which commands a prospect of the whole city, of all the shipping in the harbor and on the stocks (of which there are a very considerable number, one of which being a ship of about three hundred tons, we saw launched yesterday), and of every vessel that either goes out or comes in, of which we see forty or fifty under sail at the same time. But amidst all these pleasing scenes there is something that damps our spirits, and

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casts a gloom over the whole. At about half a mile’s distance from our lodgings, lies the wreck of a ship which was the Jersey Prison Ship, from which so many thousands of our poor countrymen, who had the misfortune during the late war to be taken prisoners, were thrown. I wish I could say buried, for then some part of the British inhumanity would have been concealed, but that was not the case. The banks near which this Prison ship lay are high and sandy. The dead bodies of our friends, only wrapped up in old blankets, were laid at the bottom of the bank, and the sand drawn over them. Soon after we came to live upon Long Island, several of us took a walk that way, and were struck with horror at beholding a large number of human bones, some fragments of flesh not quite consumed, with many pieces of old blankets lying upon the shore. In consequence of a representation made to Congress, they were soon after taken up and buried. But walking along the same place not many days ago, we saw a number more which were washed out, and attempting to bury them ourselves, we found the bank full of them. Such conduct has fixed a stain upon the British character which will not soon be wiped off.

The weather has been so very tempestuous this day, that none of us have attempted to cross the ferry, which is the first time we have failed since we have been here.

It gives me pleasure to observe by your last letter that you improve both in writing and composing; and I hope you will give frequent instances of improvement in the same way.

Give my kind love to your mamma and all the family, and tell Platt I intend to write him by the next post. These from your affectionate parent, Joseph P. Cooke.

Master Amos Cooke.

I, p. 331: ’Squire Hatch

* Moses Hatch was born at Kent, Litchfield county, Conn., A. D. 1780, and died at the same place in 1820, on his return from Saratoga, where

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he had been for the benefit of his health. He graduated at Yale in 1800, with high honors, delivering a poem on the occasion. As a lawyer, he always thought the cause of his client just, and with that feeling, he generally succeeded in cases before a jury. He seems to have had a sort of somnambulic habit, and when an interesting case was on his mind, or he was preparing for it, he would go through with his argument in his sleep, addressing the court and jury, with much the same method he usually adopted in the actual trial.

I, p. 345: Simsbury Mines

* The place called Simsbury Mines, or Newgate Prison, sixteen miles northwest of Hartford, is actually within the limits of the town of Granby, the latter having been set off from Simsbury in 1786. The mines consist of deep excavations made in the rocks, for copper ore, by an English company, about 1760. The speculation ended in disaster, and the caverns began to be used for a prison about the time of the Revolutionary war. In 1790, by a legislative act, it was established as a permanent state-prison under the name of Newgate—suitable buildings being erected over the caverns for the purpose. I visited the place about the year 1811 or 1812. The prisoners were heavily ironed with handcuffs and fetters. In some cases several were fastened together by chains attached to a bar of iron. Most of them worked in a smithy, where each man was chained to his forge or bench. Sentinels, with loaded muskets, stood ready to fire in case of revolt.

The object of the prison was not only to shut up felons, and thus to protect society, but to create an idea of horror in the public mind, and

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thus by a moral influence to prevent crime. The abandoned copper mines were the sleeping place of the criminals. The descent to these infernal regions was by a trap-door, leading down a ladder sixty or seventy feet, through one of the shafts. At the bottom was a considerable space, with short galleries leading in various directions. Here were wooden berths, filled with straw. The prisoners descended the perpendicular ladder in their irons, and thus slept at night. They rose at four in the morning, and went to their rest at four in the afternoon. Their food was principally salt pork, salt beef, and beans. The caverns were ventilated, by a large shaft, descending into a well, near the center of the excavations. Strange to say, the health of the prisoners was generally excellent.

As if these gloomy regions did not inspire sufficient terror, it appears that the neighborhood, according to popular ideas, was for a long time peopled with beings from the other world. At one period certain persons seemed to be bewitched, hearing singular noises, and seeing spirits in the air. More recently, the crying of a child and other strange sounds were heard in an uninhabited house. Several persons came here to investigate the subject, and upon hearing the noises, suddenly entered the place, but found nothing. Two young men one night slept in the house, and about midnight, heard something rush in at the window, like a gust of wind, upsetting the chairs, shovel and tongs, and then pass down the ash-hole. What could it have been but Old Sooty himself?

It is not astonishing that the very name of Simsbury Mines did, in fact, inspire ideas of peculiar horror. When I was a boy, it was regarded as next door to that place which it is not polite to name. Malefactors, it is said, were very shy of practicing their profession in Connecticut, for fear of getting into this dreadful place. However, after a time, a total change of ideas spread over the community, in regard to prisons: it was

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discovered that vindictive punishment was alike wrong in principle and effect; that, in fact, it hardened the sinner, while it should always be the object of punishment, in restraining the felon for the benefit of society, to exercise a moral influence for his reformation. This idea must he classed among the larger humanities which have enlightened and ennobled the public spirit, of modern times.

Some thirty years ago, in conformity with these views, Simsbury Mines ceased to be a State Prison, and an excellent institution for that object was established hi the beautiful town of Wethersfield. Soon after this period, Simsbury Mines were again wrought for copper, and I believe with success.

I, p. 349: his great fame

* The life of Timothy Dwight is full of interesting materials for the biographer. His family connections, his precocity, his development, his performances, his heart, his mind, the details of his career—all abound in those striking lights and shades, which rivet the attention.

His father was a merchant of Northampton, his mother daughter of Jonathan Edwards—the most renowned metaphysician America has produced. He was born May 14, 1752. He learned the alphabet of his mother at one lesson: at six he read Latin; at eight was fitted for college; at thirteen he entered Yale; at nineteen he began bis great poem of the Conquest of Canaan, and finished it in three years, though it was not published till 1785. He taught rhetoric, mathematics, and oratory in the college for six years. After this he returned to Northampton, and in 1777, married Miss Woolsey, sister of Wm. W. Woolsey, for many years a distinguished merchant in New Haven. The same year he was licensed to preach, and became chaplain in the army, which he joined at West Point. Here he wrote his celebrated song of Columbia. In 1781 he was a member of the State legislature; and in 1783 was settled as minister at Greenfield. His meeting-house was visible to the naked eye from the windows of our house at Ridgefield. In this village he wrote his fine poem of Greenfield Hill, which appeared in 1794. The next year he succeeded Dr. Stiles as President of Yale College, a post which he filled till his death, Jan. 11, 1817, at the age of 64.

Dr. Dwight’s works are numerous and valuable: besides poems, essays, &c., he wrote several Volumes of Travels, descriptive of scenes and places in New England, which he had visited during college vacations. His greatest work is Theology Explained and, Defended. This has been extensively published here and in England, and is greatly admired for its argument, its eloquence, and its happy manner as well of statement as of illustration.

The following memoranda, respecting this great man, have been mostly furnished me by his nephew, Mr. Theodore Dwight, now of New York (1856).

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The Dwight family in this country is descended from John Dwight, who came from England in 1637, and settled at Dedham, in Massachusetts. The grandfather of Dr. Dwight built Fort Duinmur, the first settlement within the bounds of Vermont, about 1723-4. Here the father of Dr. Dwight was born. He was a man of immense strength and stature. During the Revolutionary war he went to New Orleans and up the Mississippi, where he purchased land, intending to remove there with his large family. The tract extended some miles along the bank, and included the site of the present city of Natchez; but he soon after died of a fever. A son who accompanied him was lost at sea, and the evidence of his title to the land was never found.

The news of the death of the father of the family was about a year in reaching them. It was a summer day, and one of the elder sons was making hay in a field, when one of the smallest children, who had been present at its announcement, came tottering through the grass, with the sad story. The youth threw his pitchfork into the air, and exclaimed, “Then we’re all ruined!” and such was the force of his emotions, that his mind never recovered from the effects to the day of his death.

Timothy, the eldest son, was absent with the army. He now (1778) went to reside in Northampton, with his mother, and assumed the management of the affairs of the family. He carried on their two farms, and at the same time conducted a school, and preached in the adjacent towns. A number of young ladies and gentlemen from different parts of the country, were among his pupils. He had two ushers—one of whom was Joel Barlow. Gen. Zechariah Huntington and Judge Hosmer were his pupils; and a number of young men went to him from Yale College, after the capture of New Haven. He was at that time very acceptable as a preacher, often filling the pulpit where his grandfather, Jonathan Edwards, had officiated. He not only directed the business of the farms, but often worked, in the field with the men, his brother Theodore being at his side. The latter, from whom these facts are derived, mentioned that the hired men used to contest for the privilege of mowing next to Timothy, “that they might hear him talk”—fluent, interesting, and in-

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structive conversation being at that time, as through life, one of his characteristics.

The family comprised thirteen children, nearly all of whom were now at home. The house was in King-street, and next to it, on the east, was that which had been the residence of Jonathan Edwards during his ministry. There David Brainard had died, nursed in his last sickness by one of the daughters of Mr. E., to whom he was engaged. In the burying-ground was the grave of Brainard, which was then, and long after, annually visited by some of his Indian converts, who used to make long journeys through the wilderness to sit a few hours in silent meditation and mourning, over his ashes.

Timothy Dwight had been trained from his earliest years among the simple but refined society of Northampton, and was familiarized with the history of the French and Indian wars, which had been the sources of so much suffering to the friends and ancestors of those around him. The impressions which he received from such scenes and examples, were permanent on his character and life. He entered the American revolutionary army as a chaplain to General Putnam’s regiment, with the ardor of a youthful Christian patriot; preached with energy to the troops in camp, sometimes with a pile of the regiment’s drums before him, instead of a desk. One of his sermons, intended to raise the drooping courage of the country, when Burgoyne had come down from Canada with his army, and was carrying all before him—was published, and a copy read to the garrison in Fort Stanwix, on the Mohawk river, when Sir John Johnson had cut off their communications with Albany, and threatened their destruction. The venerable Colonel Platt, many years after, affirmed that it was owing to this sermon, that the garrison resolved to hold out to the last extremity, and made the sally in which they routed and drove off their besiegers, delivering Albany from imminent danger, and contributing materially to the defeat of the British in their campaign of 1777.

Many of the personal traits of Dr. Dwight were interesting. He wrote like copperplate: such was the rapid flow of his ideas that he could employ at the same time two amanuenses, by dictating to them on totally

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different subjects. He labored daily in the garden, or in some other way, holding it to be the duty of every man to labor, bodily, so as to insure the perfection of life and enjoyment. He advised professional men, in traveling, and on other occasions, to enter into easy and kindly conversation with strangers, as a means of gaining knowledge, and cultivating a kindly feeling in society. He constantly taught the duty of courtesy and politeness; he loved his country and our free institutions, and inculcated the duty of a constant endeavor to elevate and ennoble the public sentiment. He despised all meanness, and especially that demagogism, which, under a pretense of patriotism, is seeking only for self-promotion, and which is even willing to degrade the people, in order to gratify personal ambition. It is impossible to measure the good done by such a man by his personal example, by his influence upon the students under his care for twenty years, and by the impress of his noble character upon the important institution which was the theater of his labors.

I, p. 352: members of the House

* Hon. John Allen was a native of Great Barrington: he settled in Litchfield in 1785, and died in 1812. He was not only a member of Congress, but also of the State Council for several years. His son, John W. Allen, of Cleveland, has been a member of Congress.

I, p. 365: In 1790

* Cotton appears to have been used in India for making cloths as early as 440 B. C., and probably long before that time, yet here the art remained isolated for ages. The Arabians at length brought India cotton to Adula, on the Red Sea, whence it was introduced into Europe. The cotton manufacture was brought there by the Moors of Spain in the ninth century. Raw cotton was first introduced into England from the Levant, chiefly for candlewicks. The cotton manufacture was brought hither by the refugees from the Low Countries in the time of Queen Elizabeth. For a long time, the fabrics produced were coarse; the finer cotton goods—muslins, calicoes, chintzes, being largely supplied from India. In 1730, Mr. Wyatt first began to spin cotton by machinery. In 1742, the first cotton-spinning mill was built at Manchester, the motive-power being mules and horses. The entire value of the cotton manufacture of England in 1760 was a million of dollars: now it is probably two hundred millions of dollars.

In 1790, Mr, Slater put up at Pawtucket, R. I., the first cotton-mill in

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America. In 1802, the first cotton factory was erected in New Hampshire. In 1804, the first power-loom was introduced at Waltham; in 1822, the first cotton factory was built at Lowell. The cotton manufactures of the United States now amount to sixty-five millions of dollars a year!

In 1789, about one million pounds of cotton were produced in the United States; in 1792, Whitney perfected his gin for cleaning cotton; in 1810, the United States produced eighty-five millions pounds of cotton; in 1820, one hundred and sixty millions; in 1830, three hundred and fifty millions; in 1855, probably fourteen hundred millions. The United States are now the chief cotton producers for the world.

I, p. 367: Cotton-gin

* Eli Whitney was born at Westborough, Mass., in 1765, of parents in the middle ranks of life. He showed an early propensity to mechanics, first making a very good fiddle, and then mending fiddles for the neighborhood. He once got his father’s watch, and slily took it to pieces, but contrived to put it together again, so as not to be detected. At the age of thirteen he made a table-knife to match the set, one of which had been broken. During the Revolutionary war he took to nail-making, nails being very scarce, and made a profitable business of it. He then made long pins for ladies’ bonnets, walking-canes, &c. At the age of nineteen he began to think of college, and surmounting various obstacles, entered Yale in 1789, having been fitted in part by Dr. Goodrich, of Durham. In college he displayed great vividness of imagination in his compositions, with striking mechanical talent—mending, on a certain occasion, some philosophical apparatus, greatly to the satisfaction and surprise of the Faculty.

In 1792 he went to Georgia, as teacher in the family of Mr. B…. On his arrival, he found that the place was supplied; happily he fell under the kind care and patronage of Mrs. Greene, widow of Gen. G. Hearing the planters lament that there was no way of separating cotton from the seed but by hand, and that it look a slave a whole day to clean a pound, he set privately to work, and after a time produced his gin, which was to make such a revolution in the world. In this process, he was obliged to make his own wire. On disclosing his discovery, the planters saw at once the vast field of enterprise open to them. Whitney took immediate steps to secure a patent, and made arrangements to manufacture gins, but a series of misfortunes and discouragements defeated him. The history of his career at this period is a melancholy story of efforts baffled, hopes disappointed, and engagements violated, disclosing the most shameful wrongs and outrages on the part of individ-

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uals, and even of courts and legislatures. He instituted sixty suits in Georgia for violations of his rights, and was not able to get a single decision until thirteen years from the commencement! Thus, in fact, the great benefactor of the cotton interest of the South, only derived years of misery and vexation from his invention.

In 1798, through the influence of Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury, he obtained a contract for the manufacture of arms for the United States, and then established his factory at Whitneyville. He was eight years in producing ten thousand pieces. At length, however, his measures being completed, his establishment was one of the most perfect in the world, and the arms he provided were probably the best then made in any country.

In 1822, he applied for a renewal of his patent for the cotton-gin. It was estimated that the value of one hundred millions of dollars had then been added to the lands of the South by this invention, while he had reaped only sorrow and embarrassment; yet he failed, most of the southern members of Congress opposing his request!

In 1817, he married a daughter of the celebrated Pierpont Edwards, Judge of the District Court for the State of Connecticut. In 1822, he was attacked with disease, which terminated his career in 1825. His character, like his life, was remarkable: though a refined scholar, he was a skillful mechanic—no man in his shop being able to handle tools more dexterously than himself: though possessing a fine imagination, and a keen inventive faculty, he had a perseverance in pursuing his plans to completion, that nothing could arrest. He was at once energetic and systematic; dignified, yet courteous; large in his views, yet

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precise in detail; a profound thinker, and scrutinizing nature and its phenomena with amazing depth of thought, yet coming at last with the docility of a child to the Christian’s confession—“I am a sinner, may God have mercy upon me!”

I, p. 369: Chaunceys

* Whoever would understand the true history of Connecticut, should not confine his reading to general works on this subject, but should look into the local histories and genealogical memoranda of towns and villages, of which there are now a great number. A good collection may be found in the Library of the Hartford Atheneum. If anyone desires to know the annals of Durham, let him read the sermon delivered by Professor W. O. Fowler at that place, Dec. 29, 1847, and printed at Amherst, Mass., 1848. The notes will prove a revelation, not of history only, but of something like romance. The number of great men proceeding from this small town, in times past, is not only striking but instructive, as it suggests and illustrates the manner in which Connecticut has exerted a powerful influence upon this country—the United States—I might even say upon this continent. Among the families of Durham, noticed by Professor Fowler, are the following:

The Chaunceys,—Nathaniel Chauncey, grandson of President Chauncey, of Harvard College, was born at Hatfield, Mass., 1681, was graduated at Yale in 1702—belonging to the first class that graduated in that college, all of whom became ministers. He was ordained at Durham in 1711, and died there 1756. His son, Elihu Chauncey, lived in Durham, and was a man of high character and large influence. His daughter, Catherine, married Dr. Goodrich, who was my grandfather. His son, Charles Chauncey, settled at New Haven, and was a man of extensive learning and great ability. He became attorney-general of the State and judge of the Superior Court. He received the title of LL. D. from the college at Middlebury; and died 1828. Among his children were Charles Chauncey, LL. D., distinguished as an eminent lawyer and re-

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fined gentleman, settled at Philadelphia, and died 1849; Elihu Chauncey, a distinguished merchant of Philadelphia, died 1847. Many others, descendants of the Durham Chaunceys, attained distinction.

The Wadsworths.—Among the Durham Wadsworths, were the following: Col. James, from Farmington, born 1675, filled various offices, civil and military, and was much honored and respected in his time. General James Wadsworth, grandson of the preceding, became major-general and member of Congress during; the Revolutionary war, died 1817, aged 87. James Wadsworth, nephew of the preceding, born 1763, founded the great Wadsworth estate in western New York, and distinguished himself by his successful labors in behalf of school education: he died 1844. Other members of this branch of the family have reached high and honored celebrity.

The Lymans.—Phineas Lyman, born at Durham, 1716, became major-general; gained the victory at Lake George, in the French and Indian war, for Gen. William Johnson (who received five thousand pounds and a baronetcy therefor), and performed various other military exploits. He projected a settlement in the Southwest, and died in West Florida, 1775. The history of his family is full of tragic interest. Other members of the family were distinguished.

The Goodriches.—See Fowler’s notes, above mentioned; also Hollister’s History of Connecticut, vol. ii. pp. 684, etc.

The Austins.—For this remarkable family, consult also Fowler’s notes.

I, p. 376: a Brunonian

* About this time, the “spotted fever” appeared along the Connecticut river, and a change in the general character of fevers took place, there being now a tendency to typhoid, instead of inflammatory, symptoms, as had been the case before. These circumstances embarrassed and baffled the profession. In general, however, they followed their proclivities, and either physicked or stimulated, as their doctrines dictated. In point of fact, one practice killed and cured about as well as the other. At all events, the plague raged for some years at certain places and at particular seasons, and thus society was wrought into a state of frenzy upon the two modes of treatment. At a somewhat later date—about 1812—a family that held to brandy, would hardly hold intercourse with another which held to jalap. At Hartford, Doctors Todd and Wells, who stimulated, were looked upon as little better than infidels by those who believed in Dr. Bacon and purgatives. These divisions even caught the hues of political parties, and alcohol became democratic, while depletion was held to be federal. In the end it proved that both systems were right and both wrong—to a certain extent. Experience showed that the true mode of practice was to treat each case according to its symptoms. The fitness of a physician for his profession, was, under these circumstances, manifested by the sagacity with which he found his way out of the woods. Dr. O…. was one of those who, at an early stage of the difficulty, being a doctor himself, that is, being guided by good sense, and not by slavery, to a system—arrived at the true mode of practice.

I, p. 377: John Brown

* John Brown was born at Dunse, Scotland, 1785. He studied medicine with Cullen, then the leading man of the profession in Great Britain. After a time he produced his Elements of Medicine in Latin, designed to overthrow the system which Cullen had produced. Its general doctrine, as stated above, was that life is a forced state, only sustained by the action of external agents operating upon the body, every part of which is furnished with a certain amount of excitability. He discarded all drugs, and confined himself to alcohol—wine, brandy, &c.—for one set of diseases, and opium for the opposite set. The simplicity of the doctrine and the ability with which it was set forth, gave it for a time a fatal currency, not only in Europe but in America. The celebrated Dr. Beddoes, among others, adopted and propagated it. The system, however, after a time, fell into disrepute. Brown died in 1788, a victim of intemperance, probably the result of his medical system.

William Cullen was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1712, and having studied medicine, he practiced with credit at Glasgow. In 1756, he became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, where he greatly distinguished himself. In 1763, he succeeded Dr. Alston as Professor of Medicine. As a teacher, his popularity was unbounded. His personal character was distinguished for amiableness and purity: his medical works for a time exercised a powerful influence, and he is still regarded as having greatly advanced the science of medicine, though some of his theories have been modified and others rejected.

I, p. 380: their Paradise

* The street of Woodbury continues to that of Southbury, the two united being three miles in length. These are decorated by a double line of sugar-maples—certainly one of the most beautiful exhibitions of the kind I have ever seen.

I, p. 380: Bethel Rock

† Woodbury is alike historical and legendary ground. Its names trace out its story. Quassapaug Lake, Shepaug River, Quanopaug Falls, Nonnewaug Falls, tell us of its original proprietors: Rattlesnake Rock, and White Deer Hills, bespeak the ancient inhabitants of the forest: Bethel Rock, Carmel Hill, and Tophet Hollow, announce the arrival here of the Pilgrim settlers from New Haven: Hall’s Rock, Good Hill, Lighting’s Playground, Scuppo, Hazel Plain, Moose Horn Hill, Ash Swamp, all in Woodbury or the vicinity, indicate alike certain traits of scenery, with the final settlement of the country by the English. The remarkable men that have originated in this town within the last century, present a marvellous record of ability, patriotism, and piety. My imagination was greatly excited by the legends I heard when I first visited Woodbury, and some years after (1828) I wrote and published in the

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Legendary at Boston, the following story, which has now become almost historical;


“In the picturesque state of Connecticut, there is not a spot more beautiful than the village of Pomperaug. It is situated not very far from the western border of the state, and derives its name from a tribe of Indians, who once inhabited it. It presents a small, but level valley, surrounded by hills, with a bright stream rippling through its meadows. The tops of the high grounds which skirt the valley, are covered with forests, but the slopes are smooth with cultivation, nearly to their summits. In the time of verdure, the plain displays a vividness of green like that of velvet, while the forests are dark with the rich, hues supposed to be peculiar to the climate of England.

“The village of Pomperaug consists now of about two hundred houses, with three white churches, arranged on a street which passes along the eastern margin of the valley. At the distance of about twenty rods from this street, and running parallel to it for nearly a mile, is a rock, or ledge of rocks, of considerable elevation. From this, a distinct survey of the place may be had, almost at a glance. Beginning at the village, the spectator may count every house, and measure every garden; he may compare the three churches, which now seem drawn close together; he may trace the winding path of the river by the trees which bend over its waters; he may enumerate the white farm-houses which dot the surface of the valley; he may repose his eye on the checkered carpet which lies unrolled before him, or it may climb to the horizon over the dark blue hills which form the border of this enchanting picture.

“The spot which we have thus described did not long lie concealed from the prying sagacity of the first settlers of the colony of New Haven. Though occupied by a tribe of savages, as before intimated, it was very early surveyed by more than one of the emigrants. In the general rising of the Indians in Philip’s war, this tribe took part with the Pequods, and a large portion of them shared in their destruction. The chief himself was killed. His son, still a boy, with a remnant of his father’s people, who had been driven into exile, returned to their

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native valley, and lived for a time on terms, of apparent submission to the English.

“The period had now arrived when the young chief had reached the age of manhood. He took, as was the custom with his fathers, the name of his tribe, and was accordingly called Pomperaug. He was tall, finely formed, with an eye that gleamed like the flashes of a diamond. He was such a one as the savage would look upon with idolatry. His foot was swift as that of the deer; his arrow was sure as the pursuit of the eagle; his sagacity penetrating as the light of the sun. Such was Pomperaug. But his nation was passing away; scarce fifty of his own tribe now dwelt in the valley in which his fathers had hunted for ages. The day of their dominion had gone. There was a spell over the Dark Warrior. The Great Spirit had sealed his doom. So thought the remaining Indians in the valley of Pomperaug, and they sullenly submitted to a fate which they could not avert.

“It was therefore without resistance, and, indeed, with expressions of amity, that they received a small company of English settlers into the valley. This company consisted of about thirty persons, from the New Haven colony, under the spiritual charge of the Rev. Noah Benison. He was a man of great age, but still of uncommon mental and bodily vigor. His years had passed the bourne of threescore and ten, and his hair was white as snow. But his tall and broad form was yet erect, and his cane of smooth hickory, with a golden head, was evidently a thing more of ornament than use.’

“Mr. Benison had brought with him the last remnant of his family. She was the daughter of his only son, who, with his wife, had slept many years in the tomb. Her name was Mary, and well might she be the object of all the earthly affections which still beat in the bosom of one whom death had made acquainted with sorrow, and who but for her had been left alone.

“Mary Benison was now seventeen years of age. She had received her education in England, and had been but a few months in America. She was tall and slender, with a dark eye, full of soul and sincerity. Her hair was of a glossy black, parted upon a forehead of ample and expressive beauty. When at rest, her appearance was not striking;

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but if she spoke or moved, she fixed the attention of every beholder by the dignity of her air, blent with a tone of tender, yet serious sentiment.

“The settlers had been in the valley but a few months, when some matter of business relative to a purchase of land, brought Pomperaug to the hut of Mr. Benison. It was a bright morning in autumn, and while he was talking with the old gentleman at the door, Mary, who had been gathering flowers in the woods, passed by them and entered the place. The eye of the young Indian followed her with a gaze of enhancement. His face gleamed as if he had seen a vision of more than earthly beauty. But this emotion was visible only for a moment. With the habitual self-command of a savage, he turned again to Mr. Benison, and calmly pursued the subject which occasioned their meeting.

“Pomperaug went away, but he carried the image of Mary with him. He retired to his wigwam, but it did not please him. He ascended to the top of the rock, at the foot of which his wigwam was situated, and which now goes under the name of Pomperaug’s Castle, and looked down upon the river, which was flashing in the slant rays of the morning. He turned away, and sent his long gaze over the checkered leaves of the wood, which, like a sea, spread over the valley. He was still dissatisfied. With a single leap he sprang from the rock, and, alighting on his feet, snatched his bow and took the path which led into the forest. In a few moments he came back, and, seating himself on the rock, brooded for some hours in silence.

“The next morning Pomperaug repaired to the house of Mr. Benison to finish the business of the preceding day. He had before signified an inclination to accede to the terms proposed by Mr. Benison, but he now started unexpected difficulties. On being asked the reason, he answered as follows:

“ ‘Listen, father—hear a Red Man speak! Look into the air, and you see the eagle. The sky is his home, and doth the eagle love his home? Will he barter it for the sea? Look into the river, and ask the fish that is there, if he will sell it? Go to the dark-skinned hunter, and demand of him if he will part with his forests? Yet, father, I will part with my forests, if you will give me the singing bird that is in thy nest.’

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“ ‘Savage,’ said the pilgrim, with a mingled look of disgust and indignation, ‘will the lamb lie down in the den of the wolf? Never! Dream not of it—I would sooner see her die! Name it not.’ As he spoke he struck his cane forcibly on the ground, and his broad figure seemed to expand and grow taller, while his eye gleamed, and the muscles of his brow contracted with a lowering and angry expression. The change of the old man’s appearance was sudden and striking. The air and manner of the Indian, too, was changed. There was now a kindled fire in his eye, a proud dignity in his manner, which a moment before was not there; but these had stolen upon him, with that imperceptible progress by which the dull colors of the serpent, when he becomes enraged, are succeeded by the glowing hues of the rainbow.

“The two now parted, and Pomperaug would not again enter into any negotiations for a sale of his lands. He kept himself, indeed, aloof from the English, and cultivated rather a hostile spirit in his people toward them.

“As might have been expected, difficulties soon grew up between the two parties, and violent feelings were shortly excited on both sides. This broke out into open quarrels, and one of the white men was shot by a savage lurking in the woods. This determined the settlers to seek instant revenge, and accordingly they followed the Indians into the broken and rocky districts which lie east of the valley, whither, expecting pursuit, they had retreated.

“It was about an hour before sunset, when the English, consisting of twenty well-armed men, led by their reverend pastor, were marching through a deep ravine, about two miles east of the town. The rocks on either side were lofty, and so narrow was the dell, that the shadows of night had already gathered over it. The pursuers had sought their enemy the whole day in vain; and having lost all trace of them, they were now returning to their homes. Suddenly a wild yell burst from the rocks at their feet, and twenty savages sprang up before them. An arrow pierced the breast of the pilgrim leader, and he fell. Two Indians were shot, and the remainder fled. Several of the English were wounded, but none mortally, save the aged pastor.

“With mournful silence they bore back the body of their father. He

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was buried in a sequestered nook of the forest, and with a desolate and breaking heart the orphan Mary turned away from his grave, to be for the first time alone in their humble house in tho wilderness.

* * * * *

“A year passed. The savages had disappeared, and the rock on which the pilgrim met his death had been consecrated by many prayers. His blood was still visible on the spot, and his people often came with reverence to kneel there and offer up their petitions. The place they called Bethel Rock, and piously they deemed that their hearts were visited here with the richest gifts of heavenly grace.

“It was a sweet evening in summer, when Mary Benison, for the last time, went to spend an hour at this holy spot. Long had she knelt, and most fervently had she prayed. Oh! who can tell the bliss of that heavenly communion to which a pure heart is admitted in the hours of solitude and silence! The sun went down, and as the vail of evening fell, the full moon climbed over the eastern ledge, pouring its silver light into the valley, and Mary was still kneeling, still communing with Him who seeth in secret.

“At length a slight noise, like the crushing of a leaf, woke her from her trance, and with quickness and agitation she set out on her return. Alarmed at her distance from home at such an hour, she proceeded with great rapidity. She was obliged to climb up the face of the rocks with care, as the darkness rendered it a critical and dangerous task. At length she reached the top. Standing upon the verge of the cliff, she then turned a moment to look back upon the valley. The moon was shining full upon the vale, and she gazed with a mixture of awe and delight upon the sea of silvery leaves which slept in deathlike repose beneath her. She then turned to pursue her path homeward, but what was her amazement to see before her, in the full moonlight, the tall form of Pomperaug! She shrieked, and, swift as his own arrow, she sprang over the dizzy cliff. The Indian listened—there was a moment of silence—then a heavy sound—and the dell was still as the tomb.

“The fate of Mary was known only to Pomperaug. He buried her with a lover’s care amid the rocks of the glen. Then, bidding adieu to

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his native valley, he joined his people, who had retired to the banks of the Housatonic.

* * * * *

“More than half a century subsequent to this event, a rumor ran through the village of Pomperaug, that some Indians were seen at night, bearing a heavy burden along the margin of the river, which swept the base of Pomperaug’s Castle. In the morning a spot was found near by, on a gentle hill, where the fresh earth showed that the ground had been recently broken. A low heap of stones on the place revealed the secret. They remain there to this day, and the little mound is shown by the villagers as Pomperaug’s grave.”

Such is the legend as I wrote it. The reader will find in Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury, the exact version of the story, as authentic chroniclers have now established it. The true name of the place is Woodbury, instead of Pomperaug: the Indian hero must be called Waramaukeag, not Pomperaug: the aged minister is to be called Walker, in lieu of Benison; and the heroine, his niece, must bear the same name, with the baptismal title of Sarah. With these emendations, popular faith has sanctioned the general outlines of my invention. Thus, it seems, a romance requires about thirty years to crystallize into veritable history!

The name of Bethel Bock is, however, strictly historical; here the ancient settlers actually assembled for worship; and in commemoration of this fact, a few years since, Dr. Beecher, then settled at Litchfield, with several other clergymen of the vicinity, came hither and united in prayer. The records of Woodbury, as given us by the historian already alluded to, show its chronicles to be almost as full of incident, legend, and adventure, as the Highlands of Scotland. All that is wanted to render them as deeply interesting, is the inspiration of the poet to sing and set them to music. Mr. Cothren has made a good beginning, for his history breathes of romance without impeaching its truthfulness, as is evinced by the titles of some of his topics, like the following: Legend

p. 387

of Squaw Rock: the Belt of Wampum: Mr. Boardman’s Praying Match: Watchbrok’s Disclosure, &c., &c.

I, p. 387: the partridge

* All American woodsmen will know that I here speak of the ruffed grouse, which in the autumn makes the forest echo by rapidly beating some old decayed trunk of a fallen tree with its wings. To a sportsman, it is a sound of lively interest—for it seems to be a sort of challenge to the sport.

I, p. 387: Father Benedict

† Rev. Noah Benedict was a native of Danbury, and graduated at Nassau Hall in 1757. He received the degree of Master of Arts, ad eundem, from Yale College, in 1750, and was a fellow of that institution from 1801 to 1812. He was a man of sound piety, and of great dignity and amiability of temper. He held an honored place in the affections of his people. He was successful as a spiritual teacher, and was followed to the tomb by his parishioners with hearts throbbing with grief. His church has been noted for the length of time it has enjoyed the services of its ministers. There is perhaps no other instance in the country where a church has been presided over by three pastors, as has been the case with this, for the long period of one hundred and forty-three years.

Mr. Benedict was spoken of, during his life, and is still so remembered, as one of the fairest specimens of the good clergymen of Connecticut. Constitutionally, he had a well-balanced mind; singularly discreet and exemplary in his every-day deportment and in all the relations of life; as a preacher and counselor, he held a high rank. His temper was even, and his condition was placid and easy. Temptations, he was cautious, and even zealous to put, if possible, out of his way. He once had a favorite horse—young, sound, gentle, active, and graceful; the animal was admired by his rider’s parishioners. But Mr. Benedict, to the surprise of all, sold the horse. A neighbor expressed his astonishment at the event, and inquired the reason of it. “He was growing unruly,” was the grave pastor’s reply. “But I thought,” said the man, “that he was a very orderly horse.” “No,” was the rejoinder; “he was growing

p. 388

quite unruly: he once got into the pulpit, and I thought it was time to part with him.”

This minister was blessed in his family, and honored in the alliances of his children by marriage, and by their eminent usefulness and the distinctions to which they attained in public offices and employments. His people never desired his separation: death effected it in the year 1818, at the age of seventy-six. He lives in the sweet and grateful remembrance of the aged in his parish and out of it; and the present generation of Woodbury have heard from the reverential and affectionate, the story of his goodness.—Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury.

I, p. 389: difficulties and obstacles

* Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury, p. 398.

I, p. 392: imparting instruction

* The family of Judge Smith has been marked with great vigor of mind and character. He assisted his brother Nathan—who had shared in his early poverty and depression—to fit himself for the bar, and he finally rose to great eminence—professional and political. He died at Washington—being then a Senator of the United States—Dec. 6, 1835, aged 65.

Truman Smith, nephew of Judge Smith, settled at Litchfield, and became a leading member of the bar. In 1848, he was elected to the Senate of the United States, and was distinguished for those masculine powers of oratory, combined with practical good sense, which marked his eminent relatives, just named. Though elected for a second term, he resigned his seat in 1854.

Nathaniel B. Smith, only child of the judge, inherited his farm, and

p. 393

his love of agriculture, which he has pursued with great science and success. He has filled various public offices, but probably values among his highest honors, his medals for the best examples of stock and tillage, awarded him, on various occasions, by the Connecticut State Agricultural Society. He is now president of that institution (1856).

I, p. 393: February

* This was, I think, in 1809, though it might have been a year later.

I, p. 395: Danbury

* Danbury is one of the semi-capitals of Fairfield county, the courts being held here and at Fairfield, alternately. The main street is nearly two miles in length, and presents many handsome residences. The society is marked by more than ordinary intelligence and refinement. The Indian name of the place was Pah-qui-o-que, and it was first settled by the English in 1684. It has been prolific in distinguished men: the names of its early founders having been spread far and wide, and many

p. 396

of them being yet preserved in the present residents of the place. Among these, the names of Wildam, Mygatt, Hoyt, Beebe, Benedict, White, Stair, Knapp, &c., are conspicuous.

I, p. 398: Wooster

* This monument stands on a solid platform, about twenty feet square, at the corners of which are massive stone posts, which support an iron railing. The plinth is richly moulded, and the name of Wooster appears in bold raised letters, upon the front or south side. The General is represented, in a beautifully sculptured relief, in the act of falling from his horse, at the moment he received the fatal ball. Above this, appears a delineation of the State arms; and higher still, the main shaft is ornamented with a trophy, consisting of a sash, sword, and epaulettes. On two opposite sides are various appropriate masonic and military emblems. The whole is surmounted with a globe, on which stands the American Eagle, bearing in his beak the wreath of victory. This fine column was consecrated by imposing ceremonies on the 27th April, 1854, at which the Governor of the State, with many distinguished citizens, deputations from various lodges, and a large concourse of people, assisted. The oration, by Hon. H. C. Deming, was deeply interesting, as well on account of its eloquence as its historical reminiscences.

I, p. 400: These customs remain

* A friend writes me (1856) that the Sandimanian church at Danbury now numbers three male and fifteen female members. The congregation comprises about thirty persons.

I, p. 404: Merino sheep

* The Merino sheep appears to be a breed which originated in the mountain districts of Estremadura, in Spain, in the time of the Roman dominion, from the careful mixture of celebrated European and Asiatic breeds. In the time of Tiberius, a ram of this stock was sold for a thousand dollars, an enormous price, if we consider the value of money at that period. The more tender breeds of sheep became extinct in Italy and Greece during the invasions of the northern barbarians, but the hardy Merinoes, having thriven in the mountains, survived, and have come down to modern times. All the European breeds, now celebrated for the fineness of their wool, are crosses of the Merino.

The first Merinoes brought into the United States were imported by Chancellor Robert E. Livingston—a pair of each sex—in 1802. M. Delessert sent a few others, soon after. Little attention, however, was paid to the subject, and it seems that about 1805, half-breeds were sold at a price below that of common sheep. Afterward, a larger importation was made by Col. Humphries, who had been our Minister to Spain, and our Consul, Jarvis: these were three hundred in number, and arrived in 1810. Humphries tells us that he had turned his thoughts to this subject before he left Spain, and as be seems to have consulted his muse in every thing that interested him, he had there written a poem, the burden of which is found in the following stanzas:

“Oh might my guidance from the downs of Spain,

Lead a white flock across the western main;

Famed like the bark that bore the Argonaut

Should be the vessel with the burden fraught!

Clad in the raiment my Merinoes yield;

Like Cincinnatus, fed from my own field;

Far from ambition, grandeur, care, and strife,

In sweet fruition of domestic life;

p. 405

There would I pass with friends, beneath my trees,

What rests from public life, in letter’d ease.”

This poetic aspiration became history: in 1809, when Madison was inaugurated, his coat was made of Merino cloth from a manufactory established by Humphries, and his small-clothes from one founded by Chancellor Livingston. See Cyclopedia of Amer. L[i]terature, vol. i. p. 376.

I, p. 410: Goodwin

* The following obituary notice, abridged from the Connecticut Courant of May 14, 1844, is worthy of insertion, as well for its just picture of a good man’s life, as for the facts of general interest which it presents.

“Mr. George Goodwin, whose death was yesterday announced, was born in this city (Hartford) on the 7th day of January, 1757, and died the 13th day of May, 1844, being the oldest man in the town. He was descended from one of those ancient families who made their way from Newtown, Mass., through the wilderness, to find a new home on too banks of the Connecticut river.

“At the age of nine years he was placed as an apprentice in a printing-office, where was published a small weekly print, called the Connecticut Courant, the first paper printed in this town, and for many years the only one upon this river—the history of which is so intimately connected with that of the deceased as to demand notice. The first number was published by Thomas Green, October 29, 1764. In April, 1768, Mr. Green associated with him in this enterprise, Mr. Ebenezer Watson, and retired from it in December, 1770, leaving it in the hands of Mr. Watson, alone. In September, 1777, Mr. Watson died, and Mr, Goodwin, a young man of but twenty years of age, was left to conduct it. In January, 1778, he became a partner with the widow of Mr. Watson in the establishment, and so continued, until her marriage with Mr. Hudson, in March, 1779, when he formed a partnership with that gentleman, which continued nearly forty years, or until 1815. Mr. Goodwin, after the dissolution of the concern, continued to superintend the paper until the year 1836, when he relinquished it to the present proprietor. But it can hardly be said that his connection with this paper ended at that time, for such were his habits of industry, and so fixed were his associations, and so long had he been identified with this establishment, that he made it one of the stipulations of his contract, that he should have a right to work in the office as formerly, when he

p. 411

was so disposed—and for several years after did he avail himself of this privilege. Probably no man in this country, perhaps no man in the world, had pursued this business for so long a time—that is, for nearly eighty years. While under his auspices, this paper gained a circulation almost unknown to country papers, and for a long-course of years gave a tone to the morals and policy of the State.

“He was always found on the side of religion and morals, nor was ha ashamed to profess Christ before men: his great grief was that he had not done it earlier. He was a special friend of temperance, and imputed his good health and success in life largely, to a rigid abstinence from intoxicating drinks.

“His politics were learned in the school of the American Revolution. In his opinions he was firm and decided, but modest and unassuming. Without any advantages of education beyond that of a common school, he became a highly useful and intelligent editor, and one whose influence was extensively felt in this community. His mind was active and sprightly. He was frank and pleasant in his manners; he had a good share of wit and humor, and in his younger days, was the life of the circle into which he entered. He was one of the last of the old-school gentlemen among us, and he certainly was a good representative of that interesting class.

“It is hardly necessary to say how well he discharged all the duties of private life; how kind and beneficent he was to the poor, or how dear to his friends. Happy in his family circle, he passed those years, which are ordinarily years ‘of labor and sorrow,’ in cheerful gratitude to God, and humble hope in Christ, with few of the pains and sorrows of old age—until, after a sickness of a few days, he fell like a shock of corn fully ripe in the hope of a glorious immortality beyond the grave.”

The following lines by Mrs. Sigourney are a worthy and pleasing tribute to this good man’s memory:


Meek patriarch of our city! art thou dead?

The just, the saintly, and the full of days,

The crown of ripen’d wisdom on thy head,

The poor man’s blessing, and the good man’s praise?

p. 412

Would that our sons, who saw thee onward move

With step so vigorous and serenely sage,

Of thee might learn to practice, and to love

The hardy virtues of an earlier age.

For more than fourscore winters had not chill’d

The glow of healthful years, on lip, or cheek,

Nor in thy breast the warm pulsation still’d,

That moves with upright zeal to act and speak.

Ne’er from the righteous cause withheld by fear,

Of honest toil ashamed, nor proud of wealth,

But train’d in habits simple and sincere,

From whence republics draw their vital health.

To every kind affection gently true,

The husband and the father and the friend,

Thy children’s children still delighted drew

Around the honor’d grandsire’s chair to bend.

But now thy mansion hath its master lost,

Wrapp’d in its pleasant green, with trees o’erspread,

And we, a patriot sire, who knew the cost

Of blood-bought freedom, in the day of dread.

We mourn thee, Father! On thy staff, no more

Thy cheerful smile shall greet us, day by day,

Nor the far memories of thy treasured lore,

Withhold the joyous listeners from their play.

Where stood that ancient race we fear to stand,

In foremost watch on life’s beleaguer’d wall,

To bide the battle with a feebler hand,

Perchance to falter, and perchance to fall.

O God of Strength!—who takest from our head,

Our white-hair’d patriarchs, firm in faith and truth,

Grant us thy grace, to follow where they led,

A pure example to observant youth;

That though the sea of time should fiercely roll,

We so its billows and its waves may stem,

As not to lose the sunshine of the soul,

Nor our eternal rest in Heaven, with them.

I, p. 418: college

* When I wrote this letter, I was living at Courbevoie, near Paris. About that time, a gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Gilman), whom I had accidentally met in Paris, and of whom I had made some inquiries respecting certain eminent men of that State, came to visit me, and brought me several pamphlets, and among them a catalogue of Yale College, intimating that he supposed I must take an interest in the latter, as I was one of its graduates. I told him this must be a mistake, but he took the book and showed me that I was made an honorary A. M. by that institution in 1848! This, however, was the first time I ever heard of it. Thus, after all, though I never went to college, I got into the catalogue, but nearly forty years after these my youthful aspirations. I was a long time in passing my examination, and getting my degree; and if the learned gentlemen, who bestowed upon me this act of grace, had known how little of their sort of learning I really possessed, I doubt if they had ever granted to me so high a rank. Several years before, some-

p. 419

body addressed me an official letter, informing me that a similar honor had been bestowed upon me by the college at Williamstown, but I never liked to inquire about it, for fear it should turn out to be a joke. What, indeed, have my attainments to do with college honors?

I, p. 438: declared war

* The Declaration of War was ratified by the President on the 18th of June, and the proclamation was issued the next day. The principal grounds, assigned by the President for this act, were the impressment of seamen by Great Britain, her paper blockades, unsupported by an adequate force, and various Orders in Council. Let it be remembered that peace was made by our government in 1814, without saying a word about impressment—the main ground of the war—and that the Orders in Council were repealed within four days after our declaration of

p. 439

war, and before a gun had been fired in the conflict! For what, then did we spend one hundred millions of dollars and thirty thousand lives?

I, p. 440: hostility to Great Britain

* John Randolph complained that almost every leading press in favor of the war, was conducted by men who had but recently escaped from the tyranny or the justice of the British government. He gave as instances the Aurora and the Democratic Press, of Philadelphia, one edited by Duane and the other by Binns; the Whig at Baltimore, edited by Baptiste Irving; and the Intelligencer at Washington, by Gales. Foster, the British Minister at Washington when the war was declared,

p. 441

stated soon after in the British House of Commons, that, among the members of Congress who voted for the war, there were no less than six late members of the Society of United Irishmen! Randolph, in allusion to the spirit of menace and intolerance which was manifested in Congress by the war party, sarcastically suggested, more than once, that he felt himself in danger of being tarred and feathered, for expressing his honest convictions. See Hildreth’s History, second series, vol. iii, 317.

I, p. 446: Embargo, Non-importation

* The series of acts here alluded to, and called the “Restrictive Measures” originated in the various decrees of France and England, then engaged in deadly hostilities with each other. These decrees consisted of the British Orders in Council, 16th May, 1806, declaring the ports and rivers of France, from Brest to the Elbe, in a state of blockade, and condemning to seizure and confiscation such vessels as violated this decree.

November 21, following, Bonaparte issued his famous Berlin Decree, declaring the British Islands in a state of blockade.

January 6, 1807, the British government retaliated, prohibiting the entire coasting trade with France, November 11, following, came the British, Orders in Council, prohibiting all neutral nations from trading with France or her allies, except upon the payment of tribute.

December 17, Bonaparte retaliated by his Milan Decree, confiscating every vessel found in any of his ports which had allowed herself to be searched, or had paid the tribute demanded by England.

Thus American commerce, between these two wrestling giants, was seriously embarrassed, though, as it appears, it was not greatly diminished. The carrying trade was extensive, and our country grew rich and prosperous. Our exports were a hundred millions of dollars: our shipping a million and a half of tons. (See Lloyd’s Speech in the Senate of the United States, November 21, 1808.) In this state of things, Mr. Jefferson astounded the country by proposing an embargo upon all shipping within the United States—the avowed object being to protect our commerce from the European belligerents. No measure could have been more objectionable to the ship-owners, in whose behalf it was ostensibly proposed. It passed into a law December 22d, 1807. This was hailed as a “magnanimous measure” by France; at first it was received with alarm by England, against whom it was really leveled. Mr. Jefferson believed that it would withhold from England our produce, and starve her into submission; at the same time, he no doubt desired to benefit France, by thus inflicting a heavy blow upon her adversary. That such was one design of the embargo was proved by supplementary acts, forbidding intercourse between the United States and the contiguous British Provinces. “How,” it was asked, “can a law which

p. 447

forbids a Vermont farmer from going into Canada to sell potash, protect our shipping from being seized by the European belligerents?”

There was, perhaps, never an act of greater despotism than that of the embargo. It was not limited in time or space: it seemed universal and perpetual. It consigned to ruin and bankruptcy thousands of our citizens; it spread gloom and despair in our seaports; it left our ships rotting at the wharves; it drove our seamen into foreign service. It not only inflicted these evils upon our own country, but in some respects it benefited Great Britain, against whom it was leveled. It stimulated the British West Indians to vary their crops, and make themselves independent of our products; it enriched Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick by turning into their hands the supplying of bread-stuffs and naval stores; it built up their navigation at the expense of ours; it gave to other nations the rich carrying trade of the world.

Thus this measure proved to be, in practice, as destructive as it was erroneous in principle. What would the world think of a universal and perpetual embargo on our shipping now? And it was almost as absurd in 1807 as it would be in 1856. It was, in fact, sinister as to its origin, absurd as a measure of policy, wrong in principle, and abortive in its effects. It was, nevertheless, continued in force until March, 1809, a period of nearly fifteen months, having spread poverty and ruin over great part of New England. As a substitute for this measure, a non-importation act was passed, prohibiting, for one year, all commercial intercourse with both France and England.

On the 1st of May, 1810, Congress passed an act excluding all British and French armed vessels from entering the waters of the United States; but providing, also, that if either of these nations should modify its decrees before the 3d of March, 1811, intercourse with it should be renewed. This condition was apparently complied with by France (though it afterward appeared to be otherwise), and in November it was announced by the President’s proclamation. The difficulties with Great Britain, as to her blockade and Orders in Council, however, continued, and constituted one of the principal grounds of the war, as set forth in the Declaration. A few days after this declaration, however, news arrived that these acts had been repealed, on the 22d of June,

p. 448

and hence it was urged that the war should cease, as one of its principal causes was withdrawn. Such, however, was not the view of our government.

I, p. 448: intrigue for the presidency

* “That domination over public opinion which the war party so long manifested, &c., have conspired to shield Madison from the obloquy which must ever rest upon this part of his conduct—that of having been driven by intimidation, and seduced by personal interest and ambition, into a course of public conduct, in his own judgment improvident, if not highly dangerous.”

“The same convictions were fully shared by Gallatin, and probably also by Monroe, the President’s two principal cabinet officers.”—Hildreth’s United States, second series, vol. iii, p. 334.

I, p. 449: against it

* General Bradley was so dissatisfied with the war, that soon after, he withdrew altogether from public life.

I, p. 451: yet to be written

* Hildreth’s History of the United States is a strong book—vigorous in its style and manly in its spirit. Its sketch of the war of 1812 is a mere outline, but so far as it goes it seems to me calculated to satisfy the reader who wishes to obtain an impartial and true view of events, and of the men that participated in them.

I, p. 459: unfit for the places given to them

* This was certainly the case in New England, and I know of no circumstance in the whole conduct of the war, that operated so powerfully as this, to destroy the confidence of the people in the government, and to exasperate them against it. Many of the officers, especially those of the lower grade, had no qualifications for the places they filled but their democracy. This was pointed out to the President: he was advised that if he would commission certain persons of the federal party, who were conspicuous for their military qualifications, and who were also willing to receive commissions, that it would do more than any thing else to break the opposition to the war. This he declined, saying that the offices belonged of right to those who supported his administration, and besides, that he should disgust his own party by such a course.

I, p. 460: there was no hesitation

* Party vehemence has represented that the New England States, at this period, not only opposed the war by words but by deeds; that in fact they were prepared to go over to the enemy. Nothing could be more untrue. Whatever might be the political opinions of the federalists, when the war was declared, Great Britain was regarded as an enemy. I can affirm, that, although I was in the very midst of the “old federalists” of Connecticut, I never heard a word fall from the lips of any one of them, expressive of an opposite sentiment. I no doubt caught the feelings of those around me, and I am conscious of having always felt, through the war, that the British were our national enemies. The records of Connecticut prove, conclusively, that this idea was as strongly entertained by the government of that State as by the general government itself. The following are extracts from the doings of the legislature, in their extra session, called in August, 1818, in consequence of the declaration of war; and the conduct of the State was in accordance with these views.

“War, always calamitous, in this case portentous of great evils, enacted against a nation powerful in her armies, and without a rival on the ocean, can not be viewed by us but with the deepest regret. A nation

p. 461

without fleets, without armies, with an impoverished treasury, with a frontier by sea and land extending many hundred miles, feebly defended—waging a war, hath not first ‘counted the cost.’

“By the Constitution of the United States, the power of declaring war is vested in Congress. They have declared war against Great Britain. However much this measure is regretted, the General Assembly, ever regardful of their duty to the general government, will perform all those obligations resulting from this act. With this view, they have at this session provided for the more effectual organization of the military force of the State, and a supply of the munitions of war. These will be employed, should the public exigencies require it, in defense of this State, and of our sister States, in compliance with the Constitution; and it is not to be doubted, hut that the citizens of this State will he found, at the constitutional call of their country, among the foremost in its defense.”

I, p. 461: Governor Smith

* Roger Griswold was Governor at the time the war was declared, but in October, 1812, during the session of the legislature, he died at his residence in Norwich. John Cotton Smith, then Lieutenant-governor, became acting governor, and the next April was elected Governor of the State. Roger Griswold was born at Lyme in 1762: having graduated at Yale College, he devoted himself to the law, and soon rose to eminence. In 1794 he was elected to Congress, where he continued for many years, being a leader of the federal party. Mr. Webster once told me that he considered him one of the most accomplished parliamentary debaters our country has produced. During his time there was an Irishman in Congress from Vermont, named Matthew Lyon, of whom the poet Honeywood thus sings:

“I’m rugged Mat,

The Democrat—

Berate me as you please, sir:

True Paddy-whack,

Ne’er turn’d his back,

Nor bow’d his head to Cæsar.”

p. 462

This man, one day, spit in Griswold’s face in the Representatives’ Hall, and as the democratic majority refused to punish him, Griswold gave him a severe beating with his cane. This was the first of those indecent brawls which have disgraced our national assembly.

I, p. 466: Colonel Ely

* “Dr. John Ely, of Lyme (1776), performed a tour of duty here as captain and major, and also as physician and surgeon. In July he was sent to visit the northern army, and employ his skill in arresting the small-pox, which, was then raging in the camp with great virulence.”— Caulkin’s History of New London, p. 521. Colonels Latimer, Ely, &c., performed tours of duty, with their respective regiments, at New London and Groton, 1777.—Ibid. p. 526.

I, p. 468: vindictive Arnold

* Long Island Sound, and its shores on both sides, were the scenes of active and stirring events during the Revolutionary war. This sheet of water, as well as Long Island itself, and the city of New York at its western extremity, were for a long time in the possession of the enemy. Large British fleets were often seen sweeping through the Sound, and always carried terror into the towns and villages of Connecticut along the northern shore. On the 5th of September, 1781, a fleet of thirty-two vessels, of all classes, conveyed to New London a force of about two thousand men. These were landed the nest day, and marched upon the town. All was panic and confusion among the inhabitants. Colonel Ledyard, with such means as could be mastered, took his station at Fort Griswold. A force of twenty-three men at Fort Trumbull—which was only a battery for defense toward the water, and open behind—on the approach of the enemy, fired a volley, and crossed the river to Fort Griswold. Arnold, amid random shots which did some execution, entered the town. The work of destruction then commenced. The torch was applied, and a long line of fire soon enveloped the place. Shops, stores, houses, vessels, wharves, boats, rigging, were enveloped in smoke and flame. Hogsheads of sugar and rum, and tubs of butter were knocked in, and the flames, seizing upon the alcohol and grease, ran

p. 469

in rivers of fire along the gutters of the streets. Arnold was born near this place, and was well acquainted with it. He used his information to effect the destruction of the best parts of the city, and nearly all its stores of merchandise, &c.

On the other side of the river a deeper tragedy was being enacted. Colonel Eyre had been dispatched against Fort Griswold with two British regiments. The fort itself was an oblong square, with bastions at opposite angles—its long side fronting the river. Its defenders, under Colonel Ledyard, were but one hundred and fifty men. About noon the enemy made their attack in solid column. They were at first received with a few deadly volleys, and then by a quick, steady, destructive fire. Both attack and defense were firm and determined. The men within seemed each a hero. The two British commanders fell. But the enemy at last conquered by numbers. They marched in, and Col. Ledyard ordered his men to throw down their arras. A few, however, in one of the bastions still resisted. This irritated the British, and they continued their deadly fire from the parapets, even upon the surrendered Americans.

At last, the British major, Bromfield, on whom the command had devolved, entered, and demanded, “Who commands this fort?” “I did,” said Col. Ledyard, “but you do now.” At the same time, he presented his sword, in token of submission. The ferocious commander took the weapon and plunged it in the owner’s bosom! At the same moment the attendants rushed upon the prostrate and bleeding victim, and dispatched him with their bayonets. The work of butchery then went on against the survivors. At last the enemy departed, leaving eighty-five Americans dead, and about thirty-five regarded as mortally wounded—having first stripped them, and then leaving them exposed to the broiling sun. More than half this butchery took place after the surrender. A small number, who survived, were taken away as prisoners. Such was the desolating expedition of the traitor, Benedict Arnold,

p. 470

against New London. It adds to the horror, inspired by such details, to know that he was accompanied by a large number of Americans, who, however, had joined the British, and thus came to aid in the work of death, ruin, and despair. Such is war. The next day, the ships, having received the troops, departed, leaving a dreadful scene of havoc and desolation behind them. Hew London was, indeed, little better than a ruin.

The memory of this event, and the natural hatred consequently inspired by the British name, still lives here and in the neighborhood. The anniversary of the massacre at Groton fort was long celebrated with sad solemnities. A lofty monument now points to heaven, in protest against the crime it records. Such deeds never die, and the world is dotted all over with them—too many perpetrated by men who bore the British name. Is this the explanation of the general dislike of Great Britain, throughout the civilized world?

I, p. 472: aid and comfort

* Among the letters alluded to, was the following;

Hartford, June 12, 1813.

My dear Samuel:

I had the pleasure to receive yesterday your letter by Mr. Whiting. I am happy to be informed of your health, and that you have the good fare of a soldier: whatever it may want of the delicacies of the luxurious table of the citizen, will be made up to you in the zest you will have when you return to it. The principal thing you have to attend to is the care of your health, and that also you will best learn, as we do every thing, by experience. Your father will be here to-day. We are all well. Write by every opportunity.

Your affectionate uncle,

Chauncey Goodrich.

I, p. 473: story of the flannel petticoat

* When Decatur took refuge in New London harbor, the inhabitants of Groton were thrown into great alarm. At this moment a messenger was sent to Port Griswold for flannel, to be used for the cannon. Most of the portable goods had been sent away, and the messenger was unsuccessful, until he met Mrs. Anna Bailey, who instantly took off her flannel petticoat and heartily devoted it to the patriotic cause of defense. It was carried to the fortress, and displayed on a pike. The story being told, the garrison cheered, and the “martial petticoat” became almost as celebrated as Mahomet’s breeches. The story went over the whole

p. 474

country, and when General Jackson (then President) came to New London, be visited this lady. She is said to have given him a very demonstrative reception. She died January 10, 1851, aged 92 years.

I, p. 474: the Acasta

* This ship was noted for her beauty: she was in fact the belle of the fleet, and was said to have been built for the Duke of Clarence, who served in the navy till he became admiral, and was afterward King of England, under the title of William IV.

I, p. 485: the land or the water

* This fact has recently been recalled to my mind by the venerable Dr. S. H. P. Lee, now in full practice at New York, at the age of eighty-four 1 His house in New London commanded a view of the harbor and the shipping. He frequently saw blue lights all along the shore, and confirms the fact that it could not be determined, in most cases, whether they came from the sea or the land. They were always attributed to the British. He conceives that the charge of treason, on the part of Decatur, was entirely untrue and in fact absurd.

Dr. Lee informs me, that from their position, the British had no difficulty in knowing every thing that was going on along the shore. There was no rigid police: the British sailors often went ashore among the fishermen, as well on the islands as the main land: the officers not unfrequently went in disguise to New York, and even into the interior. After the peace, a hall was given to Admiral Hotham—then commander of the station—and his officers, at New London. Dr. Lee and his two sons there recognized, among the British officers, two persons, who, during the war, were passing along the street, and at his invitation stepped up into his piazza and took a look at the squadron! Of course every movement of Decatur’s was known to the enemy, and as he lay in New London harbor, he was under the eye of their telescopes. They no doubt penetrated his designs, and seeing him about to make an effort to escape, sent

p. 486

up their blue-light telegraphs to direct the various ships to be upon the alert. While such an interpretation is probable, to say the least, it is bad logic to impute treason, and at the same time the most absurd acts of contradiction to their own interests, to the people of New London.

I give this testimony of Dr. Lee with the more readiness, as he is historically known for his courageous and beneficent professional conduct, in braving, alone, the horrors of tie yellow fever at New London in 1799—when every other physician, not prostrated by the disease, had fled from it in terror. Surely such evidence should be conclusive.

I, p. 487: the injustice which originated it

* Stephen Decatur was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, Jan. 5, 1779. In 1798, he entered the navy as midshipman: twice he proceeded to the Mediterranean, and in February, 1804, he recaptured and burnt the American frigate Philadelphia, in the harbor of Tripoli, then in the hands of the enemy. This exploit has always been regarded as one of the most successful acts of skill and daring on record. In an attack on Tripoli, the following August, he captured two of the enemy’s vessels, performing feats of personal courage and strength, the story of which reminds us of the fabled achievements of knight-errantry. His praise was on the tongue of all his countrymen. He superseded Commodore Barron, in the command of the Chesapeake, after the shameful attack of the Leopard upon that vessel; he then became commander of the frigate United States, and in October, 1812, captured the Macedonian, as elsewhere stated. His squadron remained at New London till the close of tho war, but he was appointed to the command of the President. On attempting to get to sea, in January, 1815, he was captured by two British vessels, and carried into Bermuda. In February, the war being over, he returned to the United States. Being dispatched with a squadron to the Mediterranean, he soon chastised the Algerines, and compelled them (June, 1815) to sign a treaty, abandoning their piracies, and liberating those of our countrymen whom they held in captivity. He was made one of the Navy Commissioners in November, and took up his residence at Washington. In 1819, he had a long correspondence with Commodore Barron, which issued in a challenge by the latter. The meeting took place at Bladensburgh, March 22, 1820. At the first fire Decatur was wounded, and being carried to his house, died that night in the presence of his distracted wife. Deep emotions of admira-

p. 488

tion for his character, and horror at the folly of the last act of his life, pervaded the whole community.

Commodore Jacob Jones was born in Delaware, 1770. After a brilliant professional career, he died at Philadelphia, August, 1850.

Commodore James Biddle was born at Philadelphia, 1783. He distinguished himself as a commander, and also in some diplomatic services in Turkey and China. He died in 1848.

I, p. 489: this passage from our national history

* Whoever wishes to see a detail of the facts in this case will find them in Hildreth’s United States, second series, page 507. There was

p. 490

a feeble attempt at defense, at Bladensburg, five miles from Washington; but the United States troops as well as our militia fled upon the first fire of the enemy. The President and his secretaries dispersed in like manner. This scampering was satirized under the name of the “Bladensburg Races.” Madison and his wife found refuge in a Maryland farm-house, where they spent two days and three nights of mortification, alarm, and insult from the irritated inhabitants. After a short time the enemy departed: another party of them, however, had made their way to Alexandria, where they compelled the inhabitants to sacrifice all their merchandise and all their shipping to save the city. Madison returned to Washington, and in order to hide his disgrace, laid all the blame to Armstrong, the Secretary of War. The latter retaliated, asserting that the President yielded to the “humor of a village mob, stimulated by faction and led by folly.”

I, p. 490: “Star-Spangled Banner"

* The author of this admired national lyric was Francis Scott Key, of Maryland, born August 1, 1779. He became a lawyer, and was Dis-

p. 491

trict Attorney of the city of Washington, where he died, January, 1848. He wrote several songs, though not for publication, as he seems not to have duly appreciated them. To feel the full force of the Star-spangled Banner, it is necessary to know its origin. A gentleman of Baltimore had gone to the British fleet with a flag of truce, in order to get a friend of his released, who had been captured at Marlborough. He was not permitted to return, as he might give information of the intended attack upon Baltimore. While thus on board a British vessel, he witnessed the attack upon Fort McHenry during the whole day. When night set in, the flag, which still floated, was hidden from his view. The bombardment was kept up, and his heart was agitated with the most anxious fears. As the morning rose, he had the unbounded satisfaction of seeing the banner of his country still flying aloft, in evidence of successful defense. The whole story is admirably told in the song.

I, p. 491: treasury of the United States was exhausted

* The state of the treasury, as presented to Congress by Campbell, the Secretary, in Sept. 1814, was deplorable. The last attempt to borrow sis millions had only produced offers for half that amount, and these at the rate of eighty per cent. The credit of the government was indeed almost gone; specie had disappeared; the banks had generally suspended specie payments; the currency consisted of bank-notes, at a large depreciation. The treasury was in fact empty, and large debts and expenses were accumulating and soon to be met. Every kind of scheme was suggested for supplying the exhausted and discredited treasury—new loans, increased taxes, various kinds of government stocks, and finally a national bank. Dallas, Secretary of the Treasury, proposed a non-specie paying bank, and Calhoun a specie-paying bank. Neither of these two plans succeeded. The Bank of the United States, which had so remarkable a career, and was finally extinguished by Gen. Jackson, was chartered April 10th, 1816, the plan having been framed by Secretary Dallas. It was in fact rather a democratic institution; the federalists at that time seeming to foresee the evils which followed, strove earnestly to reduce the capital of thirty-five millions to twenty millions, but without avail.

I, p. 492: throwing up fortifications

* Hildreth, second series, vol. iii. p. 524.

I, p. 493: specie bank-bill

* The New England banks continued to pay specie, but their notes were rare. The “bills of suspended banks of the Middle States and “facilities,” constituted the chief money in circulation.

I, p. 496: occupation of the enemy

* Freight from New York to Hartford, now fifty cents a hundred, was then four dollars a hundred.

I, p. 497: Macdonough

* Thomas Macdonough was a native of Delaware, and was born in 1784. When the battle of Lake Champlain was fought, he was but twenty-eight years of age. In commemoration of his victory, the citizens of Hartford presented him with a splendid, sword. I recollect the occasion, and the. appearance of the gallant officer. He was nearly six feet high, very broad-shouldered, with a small head, but finely set, so as to give a look of mingled dignity and elegance to his form. His hair was light, almost flaxen, his eye gray, and his countenance mild, but with an expression of firmness. In his personal character, he was marked with gentleness and dignity. His private life was most blameless. He died in 1825.

I, p. 498: message to Congress in September

* “It is not to be disguised,” said he, “that the situation of our country calls for its greatest efforts. Our enemy is powerful in men and money, on the land and on the water. Availing himself of fortuitous advantages (the triumph over Napoleon), he is aiming, with his undivided force, a deadly blow at our growing prosperity, perhaps at our national existence.” This is from a President who had declared war, a short time before, with the expectation of conquering Canada!

I, p. 499: three years of war

* It is startling to look back at the financial records of the country at this time: the destructive effects of the embargo are abundantly attested by documentary evidence. The exports of the United States in 1807—that is, before the embargo—were $108,343.558; in 1808, under the embargo, they were $8,417,000—a diminution of a hundred millions in a single year! The whole loss to the United States in the destruction of commerce, alone—during the seven years of embargo, non-intercourse, non-importation, and war—all forming one system, under Jefferson and Madison democracy, would show a fearful sum—amounting to hundreds of millions. To this is to be added the war expenses, the depreciation of property, the wide-spread devastation of productive enterprise, &c., &c. Let it be understood that New England, from her position, took more than her relative share of this burden; let it also be understood that she believed all these measures to have had a sinister origin; let it, furthermore, be held in view, that events, thus far, had fulfilled her predictions as to the destructive tendency of this whole policy; and then we may be prepared to ask whether she had not a right to call together her Wise Men, as had been her custom from the foundation of the first settlements, to take into consideration the state of public affairs, and recommend the means of averting the evils which impended over her?

I, p. 506: What saith the record?

* I commend to the reader the following observations from a calm and sober writer:

“An inquiry here naturally suggests itself—as, after the revocation of the British Orders in Council, Impressment was the only grievance to be redressed by war; and as that question was subsequently waived by our government in the negotiation, what was gained by the war? It has been considered as no small point gained, that ample evidence has been given to Great Britain of our capacity successfully to resist her power, especially upon the ocean, where she had long claimed a vast superiority; and that a guarantee had thus been furnished against future aggression. It is questionable, however, if the result could have been known, or if the unbiased counsels of our older statesmen had prevailed, whether war would have been declared. Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin, Macon, and others, were of a pacific disposition. The leading men of the administration were known to have given a reluctant sanction to the war project; but they found themselves under a kind of necessity to yield to the impulsive young politicians—Calhoun, Clay, and a number of others—who, it was suspected, were striving to turn the popular prejudices against Great Britain, to their own political advantage. Whether the nation has ever obtained an equivalent for the thirty thousand lives, and the hundred millions of money expended; for the loss of property and of several years of prosperous commerce; for the depravation of the public morals, and the train of other evils inseparable from a state of war, is a question which at least admits of a reasonable doubt.”—Young’s American Statesman.

I, p. 508: letter to Lord Ashburton

* This remarkable letter—dated Washington, August 8, 1842—will be found in Mr. Webster’s Works, vol. vi. p. 318. Mr. Everett says, in his memoir of Mr. Webster, “The reply of Lord Ashburton must be considered as acquiescence on the part of his government;” that is, acquiescence in the American doctrine of maritime rights—that the flag of a country renders the decks of its ships inviolable against visit or search. The London Times, Standard, &c., about this period, expressed the opinion that this subject was finally put to rest by Mr. Webster’s letter. It is understood that Lord Aberdeen said to Mr. Everett, that its argument was unanswerable: it has been effectively answered, however, by quietly yielding to its doctrines.

I, p. 510: certain distinguished examples

* This was an allusion to the Whisky Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania, in 1794, which Albert Gallatin—one of Madison’s cabinet, and a prominent supporter of the war—had done much to stimulate. The inhabitants of that quarter were chiefly foreigners. The law—which offended them was passed by Congress in 1791, and laid a tax on distilled spirits—one of their chief products at that time. A considerable army was assembled by the malcontents, and the United States revenue officers were resisted, whipped, tarred and feathered. The insurrection was finally put down by a proclamation issued by the President (Washington), and the marching toward the scene of action of a respectable body of militia, under Gov. Lee, of Maryland.

This resistance, however, was in some degree pardonable, considering the general ignorance and character of those concerned in it, and considering, also, that the general government had just gone into op-

p. 511

eration, and called for unaccustomed sacrifices on the part of the people. It was otherwise in the case of South Carolina, when, in the autumn of 1882, she made a general movement to resist the tariff laws of Congress, on the ground that they were unconstitutional. This course had been recommended by a convention and various public meetings, and the legislature of the State, meeting soon after, sanctioned these views. The tariff acts were declared null and void, and in order to resist their execution, active measures wore adopted to arm the citizens. The city of Charleston became at once a great military depot, and the whole State was bristling with bayonets. Col. Hayne, who, a short time before, in the Senate of the United States, had arraigned the members of the Hartford Convention as traitors, now became governor of the State, for the express purpose of directing this formidable treason. Mr. Calhoun resigned the vice-presidency, and accepted a seat in the Senate, for the purpose of there vindicating the conduct of his State. This fearful blow, aimed directly at the Constitution and the Union, was averted by what is called the Compromise of Mr. Clay—which, in point of fact, consisted in forcing the general government to yield to a menace of rebellion. The movement was so far successful, that it cherished the seeds of Nullification, which had been widely sown by Jefferson and his associates in the Southern States; and at the present day, its doctrines may be considered as held by a majority of the democratic party there. Compare all this with the conduct of New England federalism!

I, p. 511: peace to our country

* See the New York Evening Post for July 21, 1812—where this is held to be sound federal doctrine.

I, p. 512: his honest convictions?

* If we admit this doctrine, that opposition to an administration in time of war is treason, then Chatham, who advocated the cause of America in the British Parliament, during the Revolution, was a traitor; Lamartine, Cavaignac, and Victor Hugo, who opposed Louis Napoleon’s war for the suppression of the Roman Republic, were traitors; all the friends of liberty, who, from time immemorial, have opposed the wars of their respective governments for the perpetuation of tyranny, are to be inscribed in the list of traitors. Certainly democracy errs in employing despotism and injustice, under the pretense of propagating liberty. There is no surer way to make liberty itself feared and hated.

I, p. 516: felicitous style of writing

* The following letter, addressed to his brother, noted in the history of Connecticut for accepting the office of stamp-master under the obnoxious stamp-set of 1764,

p. 517

and furnished to me by Hon. R. I. Ingersoll, of New Haven, will be read with interest:

"Ridgefield, June 9th, A. D. 1758.

Dear Brother;—Yours from Hartford, the 1st instant, came safe to hand by Mr. Olmstead, for which I am heartily obliged to you. I remarked in particular your observing something of heaviness in my countenance at parting with you at New Haven—upon which I would observe that this bidding farewell is a difficult thing, and tends greatly to move the passions. This sin being a natural infirmity, you will easily overlook. Blessed be God, I am neither disheartened nor elevated, but enjoy a good temper of mind, and can, I think, put my life in the hands of God and go forth freely and cheerfully, in so important though dangerous an enterprise. I have this day received a line from Col. Wooster, by which I am informed that I must be at Norwalk to-morrow, in order to embark for Albany. I am ready, and rejoice at the news. He also informs me that you are appointed agent, and have accepted, at which I greatly rejoice, and hope your courage will hold out, and desire that you will be made a blessing to your country and government in this important undertaking. The office is very honorable, and I hope will be profitable to you and the government. By no means refuse, but look upon it as a favor of Providence. To love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves, is the great gospel command. And to be impressed in such an important affair, must be looked upon ass a favor from Heaven; for the voice of the people (to judge rationally) is the voice of God, when they look to him for his influence and direction.

“Your family need you and desire you, and so does mine me; but private matters must submit to the public good. Sister, I hope, will quietly acquiesce—from a view of your usefulness, though it be a piece of great self-denial. I could wish you had had the small-pox—a terror to the world; and perhaps it would be best to go to Doctor Munson, on Long Island, and Inoculate—and was I not going abroad

p. 518

as I am, I would go and be with you. With respect to cautious and advice yon give, I accept them well, and would give the same to you. And so, my brother, go in the fear of God—be true to your trust, and farewell. Whether we see each other in this life or not, let us labor to meet in glory.

“I remain your affectionate brother,


“P. S.—We are all well. Send our compliments, particularly our love, to Dorcas, and tell her to live in the fear of God.

Jared Ingersol, Esq.., New Haven.”

I, p. 518: He died August 13, 1839

* The following-portion of a letter, written to a friend by Gen. King, dated June 19th, 1817, in which he speaks of the capture of André will be found interesting:

“I was the first and only officer who had charge of him whilst at the headquarters of the second regiment light dragoons, which was then at Esq. Gilbert’s, South Salem, Westchester county, N. Y. He was brought up by an adjutant and four men belonging to the Connecticut militia, under command of Lieutenant-colonel Jameson. He was on the lines in a character under the disguised name of John Anderson; he looked somewhat like a reduced gentleman; his smallclothes were nankeen, with handsome white-top boots; in part his dress was military, his coat purple, with gold lace, worn somewhat threadbare; he wore a small-brimmed, tarnished beaver on his head; he wore his hair in a queue with a long black band, and his clothes were somewhat dusty. In this garb I took charge of him to breakfast. My barber came in to dress me, after which I requested him to undergo the game operation, which he did. When the ribbon was taken from his hair, I observed a fall of powder; this circumstance, with others that occurred, induced me to believe I had no ordinary person in charge. He requested permission to take to the bed while his shirt and small-clothes could be washed; I told him it was needless, for a change was at his service, which he accepted. We were close pent up in a bedroom, with a sentinel at the door and window; there was a spacious yard before the door, which be desired he might be permitted to walk in with me. I accordingly disposed of my guard in such manner as to prevent an escape, and while walking together he observed that he must make a confidant of somebody, and he knew not a more proper person than myself, as I had offered to befriend a stranger in distress. After settling the point between ourselves, he told me who he was, and gave me a short account of himself from the time he was taken at St. Johns, in 1775, to that time. He requested pen and ink, and wrote immediately to Gen. Washington, declaring who he was. About midnight the

p. 519

express returned, with orders from Gen, Washington to Col. Sheldon, to send Major André immediately to head-quarters. I started with him, and before I got to North Salem meeting-house, met another express, with a letter to the officer commanding the party who had Major André in charge; this letter directed a circuitous route to head-quarters, for fear of a recapture—which order was complied with.”

I, p. 521: Stiles


The Rev. Stiles Hawley was drowned in crossing the Kaskaskia river, Illinois, January 30th, 1830.

Cold sweep the waters o’er thee!

Thou hast found,

’Mid all the ardor of thy youthful zeal,

And self-devotion to the Saviour’s cause,

An unexpected bed. The ice-swoln tides

Of the Kaskaskia, shall no more resound

To the wild struggles of thy failing steed,

In the deep plunge that gave thy soul to God!

Say, in thy journeyings o’er the snow-clad waste

Of yon lone prairie, on that fearful day

When Death strode by thy side, where roamed thy thoughts?

Upon thine angel mission? or the scenes

Of distant home, with all its sheltering trees,

And voice of tuneful waters? Didst thou hope,

When Heaven’s pure seed should blossom in the wild

Of the far Illinois, once more to sit

Beside its hearth-stone, and recount thy toils,

Mingling thy prayers with those who fondly nursed

Thy tender infancy?

Now there are tears

In that abode, whene’er thy cherished name

Escapes the trembling lip. Oh, ye who mourn

With heavy temples o’er the smitten son,

Slain in his Saviour’s service, know that pain

Shall never vex him more. Peril and change,

p. 522

And winter’s blast, and summer’s sultry heat,

And sinful snare—what are they now to him,

But dim-remembered sounds?

If ’twere so sweet

To have a son on earth, where every ill

Might launch a dart against his breast, and pierce

Your own through his, is it not doubly sweet

To have a son in Heaven?

L. H. Sigourney.

I, p. 523: Elizur Goodrich, D. D.

* When I was in England in 1824, I visited Goodrich Castle, a few miles west of Ross, in the county of Hereford. In looking at the guide-book which I purchased at the place, it appeared that this edifice was of some historical celebrity, it having been founded by Godric, descendant of one of the lauded proprietors recorded ill King William’s “Doomsday Book.” The name Godric became changed at first to Goderic, then to Goodric, and finally to Goodrich, which it held in the time of Cromwell. The owner at that period, stimulated by the spirit as well as aided by the purse of a Catholic priest of the vicinity, opposed the measures of the usurper in such a manner as to draw upon him his resentment. Cromwell marched in person against the castle, which he attacked, and after an obstinate defense, he having demolished a portion of the northern wall, it surrendered. From that time it had ceased to be inhabited, and I saw it as Cromwell left it, save only the dilapidation of time.

It would appear from the ancient history of the county of Hereford, that the family of Goodrich—variously spelled Godric, Goodric, Goodrich, Goderich—was formerly common in that quarter of England; but at the time I speak of, I was unable to hear of a single person in that region bearing the name. As to my own ancestors, it is believed that they came from Suffolk, perhaps In the vicinity of Bury St. Edwards. There were two brothers, William and John Goodrich, who arrived in New England about 1630, and settled at Watertown, in Massachusetts; but in 1636, they removed to Wethersfield, Connecticut, where they continued to reside. From William Goodrich and his descendants, the name has been extensively spread over New England, and within the last thirty years over the Worth-western States.

One of the New England family removed, probably about a century ago, to Virginia, where be became a wealthy planter. A descendant of his, being a tory at the period of the revolution, went and settled in England. His descendants are now living in the county of Sussex. Other descendants of the New England emigrant to Virginia are still living in that State. The name is sometimes spelled Goodridge in this country; fifty years ago it was pronounced Gutridge.

My paternal grandfather was a descendant of the above-named William Goodrich, his father being David Goodrich of Wethersfield, parish of Rocky Hill. By the gravestone of the latter, it appears that he died in 1702, in his ninety-first year, having been forty-six years a deacon.

In “Goodwin’s Genealogical Notes,” among other notices of the Goodrich family I find the following:

Elizur Goodrich, D. D.

Elizur Goodrich, D. D., born October 18, 1734, settled in Durham, Connecticut,

p. 524

married Katharine, daughter of Hon. Elihu Chauncey, February 1, 1759; she was born April 11, 1741.

Rev. Elizur Goodrich, D. D., died November 21, 1797.

Mrs. Katharine Goodrich, died April 8, 1830.


1. Chauncey, born October 20, 1759. United States Senator, and Lieutenant-governor of Connecticut. Died August 18, 1815.

2. Elizur, born March 24, 1761.

3. Samuel, born January 12, 1763.

4. Elihu, born September 16, 1764. Died unmarried.

5. Charles Augustus, born March 2, 1768. Died unmarried.

6. Nathan, born August 5, 1770. Died young.

7. Catharine, born December 2, 1775. Married Rev. David Smith, D. D., of Durham, Conn. Died in 1845.

Elizur Goodrich, LL. D.

Hon. Elizur Goodrich, settled at New Haven, married Anne Willard Allen, only daughter of Daniel and Esther Allen, September 1, 1785.

Elizur Goodrich, died at New Haven, Conn., November 1, 1849.

Mrs. Anne Willard Goodrich, died November 17, 1818.


8. Elizur, born October 3, 1787. Married Eliza, daughter of Gen. Henry Champion, October 25, 1818; residence, Hartford.

9. Chauncey Allen, born October 28, 1790. Married Julia, daughter of Noah Webster, LL. D.

10. Nancy, born January 1, 1798. Married Hon. Henry L. Ellsworth. Died January 15, 1847.

Rev. Samuel Goodrich.

Samuel Goodrich married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. John Ely, July 29, 1784.

Rev. Samuel Goodrich died at Berlin, April 19, 1835.

Mrs. Elizabeth Goodrich died at Berlin, March 3, 1837.


11. Sarah Worthington, born August 7, 1785. Married, 1st, Amos Cooke; 2d, Hon. Frederick Wolcutt. Died ——.

12. Elizabeth, born April 36, 1787. Married Rev. Noah Coe.

p. 525

13. Abigail, born November 29, 1788. Married Rev. Samuel Whittlesey.

14. Charles Augustus, August 19, 1790. Married Sarah Upson.

15. Catherine, born December 4, 1781. Married Daniel Dunbar, of Berlin.

16. Samuel Griswold, born August 19, 1793. Married, 1st, Adeline Gratia Bradley; 2d, Mary Boott.

17. Elihu Chauncey, born November 18, 1795. Died June 9, 1797.

18. Mary Ann, born May 29, 1799. Married Hon. N. B. Smith, of Woodbury.

19. Emily Chauncey, born November 25, 1801. Died October 22, 1803.

20. Emily Chauncey, born November 13, 1805. Married Rev. Darius Mead, died ——.

I, p. 533: Col. John Ely and Family

* Richard Ely, a widower, the first of the family who came to this country, emigrated from Plymouth, England, about 1660 or 1670, accompanied by his youngest eon Richard, and settled in Lyme, Connecticut, Daniel Ely, father of Col. Ely, was married four times, and had thirteen children, as follows: Mary, who married

p. 534

Benj. Lee; Ann, married Benj. Harris; Elizabeth, married Abram Perkins; Daniel, married Abigail Dennison; Sarah, Ruth; Wells, married Elizabeth Williams and Rebecca Selden; John, noticed above; Amy, married Ezra Selden; Lucretia, married Benj. Colt, from whom descended Samuel Colt of Hartford, renowned for the invention of the revolver, and the late Dudley Selden of New York; Christopher, who married successively Eve Marvin, Esther Hunt, and —— Elliot; and Elisha, married Susanna Bloomer. (See Genealogical Table of the Lee Family, by Rev. W. H. Hill, Albany: Weed, Parsons & Co., Printers.)

I, p. 534: great virulence

* Caulkins’ History of New London, p[.] 520.


*The Mitchell family were originally from Scotland, and settled afterward in Yorkshire. Matthew Mitchell, the ancestor of the Mitchells of this county, was born in 1590. He emigrated to America in 1635, and finally settled at Stamford, where he died, 1645. See Cothren’s Ancient Woodbury, p. 633.

I, p. 540: J. G. Carter

* Mr. Carter was a native of Leominster, Mass.: born Sept. 7, 1795, graduated at Harvard, settled at Lancaster, and died July 22, 1849.

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