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Full text of "The World's story : a history of the world in story, song, and art"

QJarnell Unttterattg ffithratg 

Willard Hall 

Cornell University Library 
D 24.T17 

World's story ■ 

3 1924 026 424 444 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 





Copjrigiittd by KaiilmaQ & Straus Co., N.Y 


{American artist, 1862) 

On June 14, 1777, Congress formally adopted our flag of 
to-day, save that it had but thirteen stars. Preble says that 
although this was not ofiicially promulgated until Septem- 
ber 3, it was in the papers a month earlier. He adds: — 

"The first military incident connected with the flag we 
have to relate, occurred on the 2d of August, 1777, when 
Lieuts. Bird and Brant invested Fort Stanwix, or Schuyler, 
then commanded by Col. Peter Gansevoort. The garrison 
was without a flag when the enemy appeared, but their pride 
and ingenuity soon supplied one in conformity to the pattern 
just adopted by the Continental Congress. Shirts were cut 
up to form the white stripes, bits of scarlet cloth were joined 
for the red, and the blue ground for stars was composed of a 
cloth cloak belonging to Captain Abraham Swartwout of 
Dutchess County, who was then in the fort. Before sunset 
the curious mosaic-work standard, as precious to the be- 
leaguered garrison as the most beautiful wrought flag of silk 
and needle work, was floating over one of the bastions. The 
siege was raised on the 2 2d of August, but we are not told 
what became of the improvised flag." 










(Cbe KitcMibe ptei^ CambtibBe 



All rights in material used in this volume are reserved 
by the holders of the copyright. The publishers and 
others named in the subjoined list are the proprietors, 
either in their own right or as agents for the authors, of 
the selections taken by their permission from the works 
enumerated, of which the ownership is hereby acknowl- 
edged. The Editor takes this opportunity to thank both 
authors and publishers for the ready generosity with 
which they have given permission to include these se- 
lections in "The World's Story." 

"Voyages of the Northmen to America," reprinted by 
permission of The Prince Society, Boston, holder of 
the copyright. 

"Columbus," by Joaquin Miller: published by Whitaker 
& Ray-Wiggin Co., San Francisco. 

"Juan Ponce de Leon," by F. A. Ober: published by 
Harper & Brothers, New York. 

"On the Great American Plateau," by T. Mitchell 
Prudden: published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New 

"The Man who married the Moon," by Charles F. 
Lummis: published by The Century Company, New 

"The Spanish Pioneers," by Charles F. Lummis: pub- 
lished by A. C. McClurg & Company, Chicago. 


"Colonial Fights and Fighters," by Cyrus Townsend 
Brady: copyright 1901 by Doubleday, Page & Com- 
pany, Garden City, New York. 

"The Romance of American Colonization," by William 
EUiot Grif&s: published by W. A. Wilde Company, 

"Our First Century," by George C. Eggleston: copy- 
right 1905 by The A. S. Barnes Company, New 

"Home Life in Colonial Days," by Alice Morse Earle: 
published by The Macmillan Company, New York. 

"A Half-Century of Conflict," by Francis Parkman: 
pubHshed in the United States by Little, Brown & 
Company, Boston: in Great Britain by MacmiUan 
& Company, Ltd., London. 

"Israel Putnam," by Oliver W. B. Peabody: published 
by Harper & Brothers, New York. 

"The Heart of the White Mountains," by Samuel 
Adams Drake: published by Harper & Brothers, 
New York. 

"Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian 
Territories," by Alexander Henry: published by 
Morang & Company, Ltd., Toronto. 

"Heroes of the Middle West," by Mary Hartwell 
Catherwood: published by Ginn & Company, Bos- 

"The Story of Massachusetts," by Edward Everett 
Hale: pubhshed by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Com- 
pany, Boston. 

' ' Young Folks History of the United States, ' ' by Thomas 
Wentworth Higginson: published by Longmans, 
Green & Company, New York. 


Illustration — "Raising the First American Flag," 
by E. Percy Moran: used by permission of Kauf- 
mann & Strauss Company, New York. 

Illustration — "Pocahontas and Captain John Smith," 
by F. C. Yohn: used by permission of The Continen- 
tal Fire Insurance Company, New York. 

Illustration — " The Battle of Charleston," by E. Percy 
Moran: used by permission of C. W. Girsch and The 
Gibson Company, New York. 




The Great Voyage op Leif Eeicson . . . From the Sagas 

From "Voyages of the Northmen to America." 

Columbus . . Joaquin Miller g 

Verrazzano's Letter to the King .... Verrazzano ii 

From "Hakluyt's Voyages." 


Ponce de Leon seeks the Fountain of Youth 

Frederick A. Ober 21 
From "Juan Ponce de Leon." 
A Spanish Peddler among the Indians . . Cabeza de Vaca 27 

From "The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca." 
The Story of John Ortiz By one of the companions of De Soto 35 
From "The Worthy and Famous History of the Travels, Dis- 
covery, and Conquest of Terra Florida, accomplished and ef- 
fected by that worthy General and Captain, Don Ferdinando 
de Soto, and Six Hundred Spaniards, his followers." 
When De Soto met the Princess . . . Theodore Irving 40 
The Burial of De Soto in the Mississippi River 

Theodore Irving 49 
From "The Conquest of Florida." 


The Seven Cities of the Wilderness .... John Fiske 55 

From "The Discovery of America." 
How the Cliff-dwellers lived . . . T. Mitchell Prudden 59 

From "On the Great American Plateau." 
How Little-Blue-Fox fooled the Coyote 

A Pueblo folk-story retold by Charles F. Lummis 73 

From "The Man who married the Moon." 
The Storming of the Sky-City . . . Charles F. Lummis 78 

Frorn "The Spanish Pioneers." 




The Huguenots in Florida George Bancroft 97 

From "History of the United States." 
The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island . . Robert Southey no 

From "English Seamen." 
John Smith as a Captive among the Indians 

Captain John Smith 116 

From "General History of Virginia." 
The Aretval of "the King's Maids." . . Mary Johnston 124 

From "To Have and To Hold." 
Life on a Virginia Plantation . . . Eva March Tappan 133 

From "Our Comitry's Story." 
How Oglethorpe saved Georgia from Spain 

Cyrus Townsend Brady 138 

From "Colonial Fights and Fighters." 


When Gosnold came to Cuttyhunk .... John Brereton 153 

From "A Brief and True Relation of the Discovery of the 
North Part of Virginia." 
The Coming of the Pilgrims . . . William Elliot Griffis 161 

From "The Romance of American Colonization." 
The Challenge of the Rattlesnake Skin 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 167 

From "The Courtship of Miles Standish." 
Endicott and the Red Cross . . . Nathaniel Hawthorne 175 

From "Twice-Told Tales." 
How Providence won its Name .... George Bancroft 185 

From "History of the United States." 
The Indian Bible Nathaniel Hawthorne 189 

From "Grandfather's Chair." 
Questions that the Indians asked John Eliot 193 

From "Life of John Eliot," by Convers Francia. 


The First Voyage up the Hudson River . . John Fiske 197 
From "The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America." 

How Feudalism came to New Netherland 

William Elliot Griffis 201 

Social Life in New Netherland . . William Elliot Griffis 205 
From "The Story of New Netherland." 


WouTEE Van Twiller, Governor of New Netherland 

Washington Irving 212 
How New Amsterdam became New York ' Washington Irving 220 

From "A History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker." 
William Penn, Founder of Pennsylvania 

Eva March Tappan 235 
From "American Hero Stories.'' 


Sunday in the New England Colonies Alice Morse Earle 245 

From "Home Life in Colonial Days." 
Calling a Minister Three Centuries ago 

Eva March Tappan 256 

The King's Missive John Greenkqf Whiltier 260 

How Connecticut saved her Charter 

W. H. Carpenter and T. S. Arthur 263 
From "The History of Connecticut." 
Sir William Phips, Treasure-Seeker and Soldier 

Charles C. B. Seymour 268 
From "Self-made Men." 

Were there Witches in Salem? John Fiske 281 

From "New France and New England." 


The Mysterious Champion of Hadley . . Sir Walter Scott 297 

From "Peveril of the Peak." 
The Captivity of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson . . By herself 304 
The Death of King Philip Gideon H. Hollisler 318 

From "Mount Hope." 
The Capture of Deereield Francis Parkman 325 

From "A Half-Century of Conflict." 
The Fight at Lovewell's Pond . Samuel Adams Drake 333 

From "The Heart of the White Mountains." 


Why France claimed the Mississippi Valley 

James A. Garfield 341 
Washington's First Commission .... George Bancroft 346 

From "History of the United States." 
Braddock's Defeat John Fiske 350 

From "New France and New England." 


When Israel Putnam was captured by the Indians 

Oliver W. B. Peabody 358 
From "Israel Putnam." 
The Conspiracy or Pontiac . . Mary Hartwell Catherwood 366 

From "Heroes of the Middle West." 
The Prisoner op Machilimackinac . . . Alexander Henry 381 
From "Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian 


Everyday Life in the Early Colonies 

George Gary Eggleslon 395 
From "Our First Century." 
Blackbeard, the Last or the Pirates . . John Fiske 406 

From "Old Virginia and her Neighbours." 

Judge Sewall's Courtship Jzidge Samuel Sewall 410 

From "The Sewall Papers." 
An Eighteenth-Century Voyage down the Hudson River 

James K. Paulding 416 
From "The Dutchman's Fireside." 
The Dress of a Little Boston Girl in 1772 

Anna Green Winslow 424 
From "The Diary of Anna Green Winslow." 


Benjamin Franklin before the House op Commons 

James Parton 429 

From "Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin." 
The Boston Massacre Nathaniel Hawthorne 440 

From "Grandfather's Chair." 
The Boston Tea-Party John Fiske 445 

From "The American Revolution." 
"Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" . . Patrick Henry 456 


The First Day of the Revolution . . Edward Everett Hale 463 

From "The Story of Massachusetts." 
Grandmother's Story of Bunker-Hill Battle 

Oliver Wendell Holmes 477 
When Washington took command . . Henry Cabot Lodge 487 

From "George Washington." 



How Fort Moultrie was held tor the Colonies 

George Bancrojl 494 

From "History of the United States." 
The Declaration of Independence 

Thomas Wentworlh Higginson 503 

From "Young Folks' History of the United States." 

Nathan Hale Francis Miles Finch 508 

How Lafayette came to America .... Edward Everett 511 

From a Speech deUvered in Faneuil Hall, September 6, 1834. 
Why Cornwallis failed to " Bag the Old Fox " 

John Fiske 520 

From "The American Revolution." 
The Marching Song of Stark's Men Edward Everett Hale 324 
Burgoyne's Surrender John Fiske 526 

From "The American Revolution." 


How Daniel Boone saved Boonesborodgh 

Charles C. B. Seymour 539 

From "Self-made Men." 
A Campaign through the Water . . George Rogers Clark 549 
How the Women brought Water to Bryan's Station 

Cyrus Townsend Brady 560 

From "Border Fights and Fighters." 
The First Salute to the Flag . . . Sarah Orne Jewett 568 

From "The Tory Lover." 
John Paul Jones in the Revolution . Joel Tyler Headley 572 

From "Washington and his Generals." 


Raising the First American Flag . . . E. Percy Moran 


Pocahontas and Captain John Smith ... F. C. Yohn 122 
The Planting of the Colony oe Maryland 

Frank B. Mayer 136 
The Departure of the Pilgrims from Holland 

From an old Dutch painting 160 

The Graves of the Pilgrims ..... Henry Bacon 174 

The Edict of William the Testy . . George H. Boughton 218 

. Penn's Treaty with the Indians .... Benjamin West 238 

The Mysterious Visitor at Hadley . . . F. A. Chapman 300 
Patrick Henry delivering his Celebrated Oration 

Peter Frederick Rothermel 456 

The Defense of Fort Moultrie ....£. Percy Moran 494 
The Fight between the Serapis and the Bon Homme 

Richard From an old engraving 588 







Just when people first came from civilized countries to 
America is not known. There are traditions of voyages made 
by Arabs and Irishmen and Chinese many centuries ago; 
but the first accounts that are substantiated by anything 
more than tradition are those of the Icelandic sagas or hero 
stories. These declare that a certain Norwegian called Eric 
the Red founded a colony in Greenland in 986; that sailors 
coming from Iceland to visit this colony were driven out of 
their way and saw the coast of what is now Labrador; and 
that in 1000 Eric's son Leif sailed forth to explore the un- 
known coast and founded a settlement caUed Vinland. 

That the world was round was not a new idea by any 
means, but until the days of Columbus no one had believed 
this with sufficient energy to set forth to cross the unknown 
waters of the Atlantic. Columbus sailed in 1492, and dis- 
covered a new world. He never set his foot upon the soil 
of what is now the United States, but his courage opened 
the way for others, and within fifty years Spain, France, 
Portugal, and England had all sent out mariners and laid 
claim to territory iii America. 




The next thing now to be related is that B jarni Herjulf- 
son went out from Greenland and visited Eric Jarl [in 
Norway], and the Jarl received him well. Bjarni told 
about his voyages, that he had seen unknown lands, 
and people thought that he had shown no curiosity, when 
he had nothing to relate about these countries, and this 
became somewhat a matter of reproach to him. Bjarni 
became one of the Jarl's courtiers, and came back to 
Greenland the summer after. There was now much talk 
about voyages of discovery. Leif, the son of Eric the 
Red, of Brattahlid, went to Bjarni Herjulfson, and 
bought the ship of him, and engaged men for it, so that 
there were thirty-five men in all. Leif asked his father 
Eric to be the leader on the voyage; but Eric excused 
himself, saying that he was now pretty well stricken in 
years, and could not now, as formerly, endure all the 
hardships of the sea. Leif said that still he was the one 
of the family whom good fortune would soonest attend; 
and Eric gave in to Leif's request, and rode from home 
so soon as they Were ready; and it was but a short way 
to the ship. The horse stumbled that Eric rode, and 
he fell off, and bruised his foot. Then said Eric, "it is 
not ordained that I should discover more countries than 
that which we now inhabit, and we should make no 
further attempt in company." 
Eric went home to Brattahlid; but Leif repaired to 


the ship, and his comrades with him, thirty-five men. 
There was a Southron on the voyage, who was named 
Tyrker. Now prepared they their ship, and sailed out 
into the sea when they were ready, and then found that 
land first which Bjarni had found last. There sailed 
they to the land, and cast anchor, and put off boats, and 
went ashore, and saw there no grass. Great icebergs 
were over all up the country; but like a plain of flat 
stones was all from the sea to the mountains, and it 
appeared to them that this land had no good qualities. 
Then said Leif, "We have not done like Bjarni about 
this land, that we have not been upon it; now will I give 
the land a name, and call it HeUuland [perhaps New- 

Then went they on board, and after that sailed out to 
sea, and found another land; they sailed again to the 
land and cast anchor, then put off boats and went on 
shore. This land was flat, and covered with wood, and 
white sands were far around where they went, and the 
shore was low. Then said Leif, "This land shall be 
named after its qualities, and called Markland [perhaps 
Nova Scotia]." 

They then immediately returned to the ship. Now 
sailed they thence into the open sea with a northeast 
wind, and were two days at sea before they saw land, 
and they sailed thither and came to an island which lay 
to the eastward of the land, and went up there, and looked 
around them in good weather, and observed that there 
was dew upon the grass; and it so happened that they 
touched the dew with their hands, and raised the fingers 
to the mouth, and they thought that they had never 
before tasted anything so sweet. 


After that they went to the ship, and sailed into a 
sound, which lay between the island and a ness [prom- 
ontory], which ran cut to the eastward of the land; 
and then steered westwards past the ness. It was very 
shallow at ebb tide, and their ship stood up, so that it 
was far to see from the ship to the water. 

But so much did they desire to land, that they did 
not give themselves time to wait until the water again 
rose under their ship, but ran at once ashore, at a place 
where a river flows out of a lake; but so soon as the 
waters rose up under the ship, then took they the boats, 
and rowed to the ship, and floated it up to the river, and 
thence into the lake, and there cast anchor, and brought 
up from the ship their skin cots, and made there 

After this took they counsel, and formed the resolu- 
tion of remaining there for the winter, and built there 
large houses. There was no want of salmon either in 
the river or in the lake, and larger salmon than they had 
before seen. The nature of the country was, as they 
thought, so good that cattle would not require house- 
feeding in winter, for there came no frost in winter, and 
little did the grass wither there. Day and night were 
more equal than in Greenland or Iceland, for on the 
shortest day was the sun above the horizon from half- 
past seven in the forenoon till half-past four in the 

But when they had done with the house-building, 
Leif said to his comrades, ''Now will I divide our men 
into two parts, and have the land explored; and the 
half of the men shall remain at home at the house, while 
the other half explore the land; but, however, not go 



farther than that they can come home in the evening, 
and they should not separate." 

Now they did so for a time, and Leif changed about, 
so that the one day he went with them, and the other 
remained at home in the house. Leif was a great and 
strong man, grave and well favored, therewith sensible 
and moderate in all things. 

It happened one evening that a man of the party was 
missing, and this was Tyrker the German. This took 
Leif much to heart, for Tyrker had been long with his 
father and him, and loved Leif much in his childhood. 
Leif now took his people severely to task, and prepared 
to seek for Tyrker, and took twelve men with him. But 
when they had gotten a short way from the house, then 
came Tyrker towards them, and was joyfully received. 
Leif soon saw that his foster-father was not in his right 
senses. Tyrker had a high forehead and unsteady eyes, 
was freckled in the face, small and mean in stature, but 
excellent in all kinds of artifice. Then said Leif to him, 
"why wert thou so late, my fosterer, and separated 
from the party?" 

He now spoke first, for a long time in German, and 
rolled his eyes about to different sides, and twisted his 
mouth; but they did not understand what he said. 
After a time he spoke Norsk: — 

"I have not been much farther off, but still have I 
something new to tell of; I found vines and grapes." 

"But is that true, my fosterer?" quoth Leif. 

"Surely is it true," replied he, "for I was bred up in a 
land where there is no want of either vines or grapes." 

They slept now for the night, but in the morning Leif 
said to his sailors, "We will now set about two things, 



in that the one day we gather grapes, and the other day 
cut vines and fell trees, so from thence will be a loading 
for my ship." And that was the counsel taken, and it is 
said their long-boat was fiUed with grapes. Now was a 
cargo cut down for the ship, and when the spring came, 
they got ready, and sailed away; and Leif gave the land 
a name after its qualities, and called it Vinland. 

They sailed now into the open sea, and had a fair 
wind until they saw Greenland, and the mountains 
below the jbklers. Then a man put in his word and said 
to Leif, "Why do you steer so close to the wind?" 

Leif answered, "I attend to my steering, and some- 
thing more; and can ye not see anything?" 

They answered that they could not observe anything 

"I know not," said Leif, "whether I see a ship or a 

Now looked they and said it was a rock. But he saw 
so much sharper than they that he perceived there were 
men upon the rock. 

"Now let us," said Leif, "hold our wind, so that we 
come up to them, if they should want our assistance; 
and the necessity demands that we should help them; 
and if they should not be kindly disposed, the power is 
in our hands, and not in theirs." 

Now sailed they imder the rock, and lowered their 
sails, and cast anchor, and put out another little boat, 
which they had with them. Then asked Tyrker who 
their leader was. He called himself Thorer, and said he 
was a Northman. 

"But what is thy name?" said he. 

Leif told his name. 



"Art thou a son of Eric the Red, of Brattahlid? " 
quoth he. 

Leif answered that so it was. 

"Now will I," said Leif, "take ye all on board my 
ship and as much of the goods as the ship can hold." 

They accepted the offer, and sailed thereupon to 
Ericsfiord with the cargo; and thence to Brattahlid, 
where they unloaded the ship. After that, Leif invited 
Thorer and his wife Gudrid, and three other men to stop 
with him, and got berths for the other seamen, as well 
Thorer's as his own, elsewhere. Leif took fifteen men 
from the rock; he was after that called Leif the Lucky. 

Leif had now earned both riches and respect. The 
same winter came a heavy sickness among Thorer's 
people, and carried off as well Thorer himself as many 
of his men. This winter died also Eric the Red. 

Now there was much talk about Leif's voyage to 
Vinland; and Thorvald, his brother, thought that the 
land had been much too little explored. Then said 
Leif to Thorvald, "Thou canst go with my ship, brother, 
if thou wilt, to Vinland; but I wish first that the ship 
should go and fetch the timber, which Thorer had upon 
the rock." And so was done. 




Behind him lay the gray Azores, 

Behind the Gates of Hercules; 
Before him not the ghost of shores, 

Before him only shoreless seas. 
The good mate said: "Now must we pray, 

For lo! the very stars are gone. 
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?" 
"Why, say, 'Sail on! sail on! and on!'" 

My men grow mutinous day by day; 

My men grow ghastly wan, and weak." 
The stout mate thought of home; a spray 
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek. 
"What shall I say, brave Admiral, say. 

If we sight naught but seas at dawn?" 
"Why, you shall say at break of day, 
'Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'" 

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow. 
Until at last the blanched mate said: 
"Why, now not even God would know 
Should I and all my men fall dead. 
These very winds forget their way, 
For God from these dread seas is gone. 


Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say" ■ — 
He said: "Sail on! sail on! and on!" 

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate : 
"This mad sea shows his teeth to-night. 
He lifts his lip, he lies in wait. 

With lifted teeth, as if to bite! 
Brave Admiral, say but one good word : 

What shall we do when hope is gone?" 
The words leapt like a leaping sword : 
"Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!" 

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck. 

And peered through darkness. Ah, that night 
Of aU dark nights! And then a speck'— 

A light! a light! a light! a light! 
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled ! 

It grew to be Time's burst of dawn. 
He gained a world; he gave that world 

Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!" 



[This letter is said to have been written at Dieppe, July 8, 
1524, being addressed to King Francis I of France. This 
narrative, if authentic, is the earliest original account of the 
Atlantic coast of the United States. 

The Editor.] 

I WROTE not to Your Majesty (most Christian king), 
since the time we suffered the tempest in the north parts, 
of the success of the four ships which Your Majesty set 
forth to discover new lands by the ocean, thinking Your 
Majesty had been already duly informed thereof. Now 
by these presents I will give Your Majesty to under- 
stand how, by the violence of the winds, we were forced 
with the two ships, the Norman and the Dolphin, in such 
evil case as they were, to land in Brittany. Where, after 
we had repaired them in all points as was needful and 
armed them very well, we took our course along by the 
coast of Spain. Afterwards, with the Dolphin alone, we 
determined to make discovery of new countries, to 
prosecute the navigation we had already begun ; which I 
purpose at this present to recount to Your Majesty, to 
make manifest the whole proceeding of the matter. The 
17th of January, the year 1524, by the grace of God we 
departed from the dishabited rock, by the isle of 
Madeira, appertaining to the King of Portugal, with 
fifty men, with victuals, weapons, and other ship muni- 
tion very well provided and furnished for eight months. 
And, sailing westwards with a fair easterly wind, in 



twenty-five days we ran five hundred leagues; and the 
2oth of February we were overtaken with as sharp and 
terrible a tempest as ever any sailors suffered : whereof, 
with the divine help and merciful assistance of Almighty 
God, and the goodness of our ship, accompanied with 
the good hap of her fortunate name, we were deHvered, 
and with a prosperous wind followed our course west by 
north. And in other twenty-five days we made about 
four hundred leagues more, where we discovered a new 
land ^ never before seen of any man, either ancient or 
modern. And at the first sight it seemed somewhat low; 
but, being within a quarter of a league of it, we perceived, 
by the great fires tliat we saw by the seacoast, that it 
was inhabited, and saw that the land stretched to the 
southwards. . . 

While we rode upon that coast, partly because it had 
no harbor, and for that we wanted water, we sent our 
boat ashore with twenty-five men, where, by reason of 
great and continual waves that beat against the shore, 
being an open coast, without succor none of our men 
could possibly go ashore without losing our boat. We 
saw there many people which came unto the shore mak- 
ing divers signs of friendship, and showing that they 
were content we should come a-land; and by trial we 
found them to be very courteous and gentle, as Your 
Majesty shall understand by the success. To the intent 
we might send them of our things, which the Indians 
commonly desire and esteem, as sheets of paper, glasses, 
bells, and such like trifles, we sent a young man, one of 
our mariners, ashore, who swimming towards them, and 
being within three or four yards off the shore, not trust- 
' Probably the South Carolina coast. 


ing them, cast the things upon the shore. Seeking after- 
wards to return he was with such violence of the waves 
beaten upon the shore, that he was so bruised that he 
lay there almost dead, which the Indians perceiving, 
ran to catch him, and, drawing him out, they carried 
him a little way off from the sea. The young man, per- 
ceiving they carried him, being at the first dismayed, 
began then greatly to fear, and cried out piteously. 
Likewise did the Indians, which did accompany him, 
going about to cheer him and give him courage; and then 
setting him on the ground at the foot of a Kttle hill 
against the sun, began to behold him with great admi- 
ration, marveling at the whiteness of his flesh. And, 
putting off his clothes, they made him warm at a great 
fire, not without our great fear, which remained in the 
boat, that they would have roasted him in that fire and 
have eaten him. The young man having recovered his 
strength, and having staid a while with them, showed 
them by signs that he was desirous to return to the ship. 
And they with great love, clapping him fast about with 
many embracings, accompanying him unto the sea, and, 
to put him in more assurance, leaving him alone, went 
unto a high ground, and stood there, beholding him until 
he was entered into the boat. This young man observed, 
as we did also, that these are of color inclining to black, 
as the others were, with their flesh very shining, of mean 
stature, handsome visage, and delicate limbs, and of 
very little strength, but of prompt wit; farther we 
observed not. . . . 

Departing from hence, following the shore, which 
trended somewhat toward the north, in fifty leagues' 
space we came to another land, which showed much 



more fair, and full of woods, being very great, where 
we rode at anchor; and, that we might have some knowl- 
edge thereof, we sent twenty men a-land/ which entered 
into the country about two leagues, and they found 
that the people were fled to the woods for fear. They 
saw only one old woman with a young maid of eighteen 
or twenty years old, which, seeing our company, hid 
themselves in the grass for fear. The old woman carried 
two infants on her shoulders, and behind her neck a 
child of eight years old. The young woman was laden 
likewise with as many. But, when our men came unto 
them, the old woman made signs that the men were 
fled into the woods as soon as they saw us. To quiet 
them, and to win their favor, our men gave them such 
victuals as they had with them to eat, which the old 
woman received thankfully; but the yoimg woman dis- 
dained them all, and threw them scornfully on the 
ground. They took a child from the old woman to bring 
into France; and going about to take the young woman, 
who was very beautiful, and of tall stature, could not 
possibly, for the great outcries that she made, bring her 
to the sea; and especially having great woods to pass 
through, and being far from the ship, we purposed to 
leave her behind, bearing away the child only. We 
found those folks to be more white than those that we 
found before, being clad with certain leaves that hang 
on the boughs of trees, which they sew together with 
threads of wild hemp. Their heads were trussed up after 
the same manner as the former were. Their ordinary 
food is of pulse, whereof they have great store, differing 
in color and taste from ours, of good and pleasant taste. 
Moreover they live by fishing and fowling, which they 



take with gins and bows made of hard wood, the arrows 
of canes being headed with the bones of fish and other 
beasts. The beasts in these parts are much wilder than 
in our Europe, by reason they are continually chased 
and hunted. 

We saw many of their boats, made of one tree, twenty 
feet long and four feet broad, which are not made of 
iron, or stone, or any other kind of metal, because that 
in all this country, for the space of two himdred leagues 
which we ran, we never saw one stone of any sort. They 
help themselves with fire, burning so much of the tree 
as is sufficient for the hoUowness of the boat: the like 
they do in making the stern and forepart, until it be fit 
to sail upon the sea. . . . 

And we came to another land, being fifteen leagues 
distant from the island, where we found a passing good 
haven, wherein being entered, we found about twenty 
small boats of the people, which with divers cries and 
wonderings, came about our ship. Coming no nearer 
than fifty paces towards us, they staid and beheld the 
artificialness of our ship, our shape, and apparel, that 
they all made a loud shout together, declaring that they 
rejoiced. When we had something animated them, using 
their gestures, they came so near us, that we cast them 
certain bells and glasses and many toys, which when 
they had received, they looked on them with laughing, 
and came without fear aboard our ship. There were 
amongst these people two kings of so goodly stature and 
shape as is possible to declare: the eldest was about 
forty years of age; the second was a young man of 
twenty years old. Their apparel was on this manner: 
the elder had on his naked body a hart's skin, wrought 



artificially with divers branches Uke damask. His head 
was bare, with the hair tied up behind with divers knots. 
About his neck he had a large chain garnished with 
divers stones of sundry colors. The young man was 
almost appareled after the same manner. This is the 
goodliest people, and of the fairest conditions, that we 
have foimd in this our voyage. They exceed us in big- 
ness. They are of the color of brass, some of them incline 
more to whiteness: others are of a yellow color, of comely 
visage, with long and black hair, which they are very 
careful to trim and deck up. . . . 

There are also of them which wear on their arms very 
rich skins of leopards: they adorn their heads with 
divers ornaments made of their own hair, which hangs 
down before on both sides their breasts: others use 
other kind of dressing themselves, like unto the women 
of Egypt and Syria. These are of the elder sort; and, 
when they are married, they wear divers toys, according 
to the usage of the people of the East, as well men as 
women. . . . 

Among whom we saw many plates of wrought copper, 
which they esteem more than gold, which for the color 
they make no account of, for that among all other it is 
counted the basest. They make the most account of 
azure and red. The things that they esteemed most of 
all those which we gave them were bells, crystal of 
azure color, and other toys to hang at their ears or about 
their neck. They did not desire cloth of silk or gold, 
much less of any other sort; neither cared they for things 
made of steel and iron, which we often showed them in 
our armor, which they made no wonder at; and, in 
beholding them, they only asked the art of making 



them. The like they did at our glasses, which when 
they beheld, they suddenly laughed, and gave them us 
again. . . . 

And oftentimes one of the two kings coming with his 
queen, and many gentlemen for their pleasure, to see us, 
they all staid on the shore, two hundred paces from us, 
sending a small boat to give us intelligence of their com- 
ing, saying they would come to see our ship. This they 
did in token of safety; and, as soon as they had answer 
from us, they came immediately, and having staid 
awhile to behold it, they wondered at hearing the cries 
and noise of the mariners. The queen and her maids 
staid in a very Kght boat, at an island a quarter of a 
league off, while the king abode a long space in our ship, 
uttering divers conceits with gestures, viewing with 
great admiration all the furniture of the ship, demand- 
ing the property of every thing particularly. He took 
likewise great pleasure in beholding our apparel, and in 
tasting our meats, and so courteously taking his leave 
departed. And sometimes our men staying for two or 
three days on a Uttle island near the ship for divers 
necessaries, — as it is the use of seamen, — he returned 
with seven or eight of his gentlemen to see what we did, 
and asked of us ofttimes if we meant to make any long 
abode there, ofiEering us of their provision; then the king, 
drawing his bow, and running up and down with his 
gentlemen, made much sport to gratify our men. 

We found another land,i high, full of thick woods, 

the trees whereof were firs, cypresses, and such-like as 

are wont to grow in cold countries. The people differ 

much from the other, and look! how much the former 

' Probably Maine. 



seemed to be courteous and gentle, so much were these 
full of rudeness and ill manners, and so barbarous, that 
by no signs that ever we could make, we could have any 
kind of trafl&c with them. They clothe themselves with 
bears' skins, and leopards', and seals', and other beasts' 
skins. Their food, as far as we could perceive, repairing 
often unto their dwellings, we suppose to be by hunting 
and fishing, and of certain fruits, which are a kind of 
roots which the earth yieldeth of her own accord. They 
have no grain, neither saw we any kind or sign of till- 
age; neither is the land, for the barrermess thereof, apt 
to bear friiit or seed. If, at any time, we desired by 
exchange to have any of their commodities, they used 
to come to the seashore upon certain craggy rocks, and, 
we standing in our boats, they let down with a rope 
what it pleased them to give us, crying continually that 
we should not approach to' the land, demanding imme- 
diately the exchange, taking nothing but knives, fish- 
hooks, and tools to cut withal; neither did they make 
any account of our courtesy. And when we had nothing 
left to exchange with them, when we departed from 
them, the people showed all signs of discourtesy and 
disdain as was possible for any creature to invent. We 
were, in despite of them, two or three leagues within 
the land, being in number twenty-five armed men of us. 
And, when we went on shore, they shot at us with their 
bows, making great outcries, and afterwards fled into 
the woods. . . . 

Having now spent all our provision and victuals, and 
having discovered about seven hundred leagues and 
more of new countries, and being furnished with water 
and wood, we concluded to return into France. 




Twenty-five years after the first voyage of Columbus, the 
Spaniards made their way into Mexico and Yucatan, and 
within a few years they had conquered nearly all of a strip 
of land extending from Mexico to southern Chile. They 
found enormous quantities of gold and silver, and founded 
colonies where these were needed to protect the mines. 

North of Mexico the Spaniards were less successful. In 
1513, Ponce de Leon sighted Florida and later tried to found 
there a colony, but was killed by the Indians. In 1528, 
De Narvaez set out to explore the coast west of Florida. 
De Narvaez and many of his men perished, but a number 
were captured by the Indians and lived among them for 
years as slaves. De Vaca, one of these captives, wrote an 
interesting account of marvelous adventures during his 
slavery. Strange tales came to the ears of the Spaniards 
of villages in the sky, and in 1540, Coronado set forth to 
find these wonderful communities. While he was engaged in 
this pursuit, De Soto went on a journey of discovery, going 
west from Florida. In 1542, he crossed the Mississippi, but 
died on its banks and was buried in its waters. In 1565, the 
Spanish under Menendez founded St. Augustine, the oldest 
city in the United States. 


. [1513] 


The Caribs from the Lesser Antilles, lying between 
Boriquen and Trinidad, off the Orinoco, performed 
longer voyages in their war-canoes, and in some of their 
excursions are said to have traversed the entire length 
of the Bahama archipelago, returning with strange tales 
of the islands and people they had seen. As some of 
them had halted at Boriquen on their return, and some 
had settled there, these tales had become traditionary 
with the natives, who repeated them to the Spaniards. 
Thus it had come about that Ponce de Leon heard of 
them, and one day there was brought to him a Carib 
woman from the hills of Luquillo, who related the story 
of a war-canoe that left for a voyage to the northern 
islands and never returned. The Caribs who sailed it 
were kinsmen of hers, who, having heard of an island 
containing a wonderful fountain, the waters of which 
had the power of restoring youth to aged people, went 
off in search of it. As they never came back, she rea- 
soned, they must have found the fountain of rejuvenes- 
cence, for they were valorous braves and skillful sailors, 
who could not have been detained against their will by 
man or tempest. 

The governor questioned the woman closely, and 
found her firm in the belief that there was a wonderful 



island filled with rare delights, wherein was a spring 
that gushed forth in an unfailing stream, to bathe in 
which was to receive the gift of perennial youth. It was 
called, she said, Bimini, and was far north in the chain 
of islands now known as the Bahamas. She thought she 
could guide the governor to it, because she had often 
heard her kinsmen discuss the island and the way 
thither. It was as vividly pictured in her brain as her 
own bohio and the path that led to it from the high- 

As for going thither, she answered, when questioned 
by the governor, now that she was old it mattered not 
where she dwelt, whether on land or on ocean, and 
she was at the master's service. For the fountain she 
cared not, since her hfe had been a hard one, her troubles 
many, and she was oppressed by the manifold burdens 
of existence. 

She was called a Carib, though born in Boriquen, 
having been captured in her youth by the cannibals 
and taken to their island of Turuqueira, or Guadeloupe, 
where she was espoused by a warrior of the tribe. Her 
tales of the beauty and fertihty of Boriquen appealed 
to the warrior, and he took advantage of the first expedi- 
tion northward to remove thither. Children were born 
to them, but they were lost to her now, having been 
enslaved; her husband had long before tired of her and 
the island, and gone back to the cannibal isles; thus, 
having nobody to live for, or to take care of her in her 
old age, she may well have said that one place was as 
good as another. By this she meant there were no tender 
ties that bound her to Boriquen, all her family having 
disappeared, being absent Lf not dead, and her home a 



mere hut of reeds that the first hurricane might utterly 

By the governor's command, the vieja, as she was 
called — being a woman past the prime of Kfe, though 
not "old," as this name would imply — was taken to 
the servants' quarters in the castle and provided with 
food. She was detained there, though not against her 
will, \mtil the governor should decide upon the course 
to pursue in respect to an exploration northward. 
Rxmiors of the existence of Bimini and the spring of 
perennial youth had reached his ears before, but being 
vague they had not impressed him like this story of the 
Carib, for she could guide him thither. War-worn 
veteran that he was, with wealth at his command sufiS- 
cient for many years to come, he desired now a pro- 
longed rest from his labors; and if he could renew in his 
exhausted frame the vigor of youth, how much it would 
mean to him ! Doubtless, however, Ponce de Leon pro- 
ceeded under the impulse of a number of motives, and 
not solely for the purpose of discovering the Fountain 
of Youth, when at last he concluded to make a voyage 
through the Bahama chain and see what there was 
beyond it. 

There was, he beUeved, still a "third world" to dis- 
cover, and mayhap he might be the fortunate man. 
Since the time that Don Christopher Columbus had 
sailed through the archipelago about midway its length, 
in 1492, no explorations had been made there. The man- 
hunters of Hispaniola had made hasty visits to get 
slaves for the mines, and had nearly depopulated 
several islands; but they had touched only at the south- 
ernmost. He, then, being now at liberty to do as he 



liked, and with unbounded wealth at command, would 
equip an expedition for seeking out what lay beyond 
the misty barrier. 

This was the conclusion Ponce de Leon came to, after 
thinking the matter over, and repeatedly interrogating 
the vieja, whose stories were ever the same. There was 
an island in the northwest Bahamas, she said, abounding 
in everything that man most desired, including gold and 
deUcious fruits; and in the center of the island was a 
spring of purest water, to bathe in which would make one 
young and handsome again. This story she reiterated, 
until at last Governor Ponce became convinced of her 
faith in it, if not of its truth. 

There were then three caravels in port, which had 
come from Spain with supplies for the army. They were 
at his disposal, if not owned by him, so he gave orders 
for fitting them out for a voyage. When it became 
noised about that the veteran Juan Ponce was to set 
forth on a voyage of discovery, he had no lack of appli- 
cants for the cruise. His own retainers were sufficiently 
numerous to fill three vessels the size of those caravels, 
and it seemed that every Spaniard in Boriquen desired 
to accompany him. They were not old men, either, who 
wished to make the voyage for the purpose merely of re- 
newing their youth; but most of them were young and 
able, who had no thought of aught but the gold to be 
found, and the adventures that were always the share 
of him who went with Juan Ponce on an expedition for 
ravage or conquest. Ceron and Garcia objected to the 
withdrawal from the island of so many stalwart sol- 
diers, protesting that there was still need of them, as the 
Indians were not entirely pacified, and the Caribs yet 



made desultory excursions from their strongholds in 
the south. 

Juan Ponce laughed at their fears, and did not fail to 
point out that the island was already pacified when they 
returned to govern it; also, that the soldiers' terms of 
enlistment had expired (most of them), and there was 
no power, save the king's orders, to prevent them from 
going where they wished. And he flung a Spanish prov- 
erb at them, "Por donde va la mar, vayan las arenas" 
— that is to say, " Where the sea goes, there the sands 
go." And they could not stop them, either. 

[So it was that Ponce de Leon sailed from Boriquen, or 
Porto Rico. He touched at Guanahani and wound about 
among the islands through the tortuous channels. On 
Easter Sunday he discovered land which he named Florida, 
from Pascua Florida, the Spanish name for Easter. Still the 
marvelous island with its still more marvelous fountain did 
not appear.] 

After pursuing his voyage along the Gulf coast of 
Florida until, it is thought, it trended decidedly west- 
ward, — which would have taken him at least to Apa- 
lachee Bay, — Juan Ponce turned about and retraced 
his course to and around the southern tip of the penin- 
sula with its fringe of keys, and across the strait of 
Florida to the Bahamas. On his way thither he passed 
very near the small island which to-day bears the name 
of Bimini, and was said to contain the fabulous spring 
with heahng waters. It Hes westward from a group called 
the Berry Islands, and northwest from New Providence, 
on which is Nassau, the capital and chief settlement of 
the Bahamas. This islet he failed to discover, but a 
trusty captain in his fleet, Juan Perez de Ortubia, guided 



by another old woman, succeeded in finding it, after 
Juan Ponce had passed on to Porto Rico. 

On the return voyage, the island now known as 
"Bahama "was visited for the first time, and a group 
which also bore an aboriginal name, the Lucayos, 
thought to be identical with the great and little Abaco. 
One islet of the group the governor called La Vieja, 
because the only inhabitant discovered there was a lone 
old woman, who, like the female guide from Porto Rico, 
professed to know all about Bimini and the Fountain of 
Youth. She and the vieja from Boriquen compared 
notes, so to speak, and the result was the discovery of 
Bimini just mentioned, for Juan Ponce de Leon took 
one old woman, and Juan Perez the other, and scoured 
the chain from one end to the other. The old woman 
from the Bahamas, being a Lucayo, was the successful 
one, for when Juan Perez overtook his commander, off 
the coast of Boriquen, he confirmed the story of an 
island with verdure and a spring of crystal clearness, 
but could not vouch for the efl&cacy of its waters. As 
neither of the viejas grew any younger, or more comely, 
and as Juan Ponce de Leon made no haste to return to 
the northern Bahamas (allowing seven or eight years 
to elapse before he did so), it is doubtful if the story of 
Juan Perez gained credence. 




I WAS obliged to remain with the people of the island 
more than a year; and because of the hard work they 
put upon me, and their harsh treatment, I determined 
to flee from them, and go to those of Charruco, who 
inhabit the forests and country of the main; for the life I 
led was insupportable. Beside much other labor, I had 
to get out roots from below the water, and from among 
the cane where it grew in the ground. From this employ- 
ment I had my fingers so worn, that, did a straw but 
touch them, it would draw blood. Many of the canes 
were broken, so that they often tore my flesh; and I had 
to go in the midst of them, with only the clothing on 
me I have mentioned. 

Accordingly I put myself to work to get over to the 
other Indians; and afterward, while I was with them, 
affairs changed for me somewhat more favorably. I set 
myself to trafficking, and strove to turn my employ- 
ment to profit in the ways I could best contrive ; and by 
this means I got from the Indians food and good treat- 
ment. They would beg me to go from one part to an- 
other for things of which they have need; for, in conse- 
quence of continual hostihties, they cannot travel the 
country, nor make many exchanges. With my merchan- 
dise and trade I went into the interior as far as I pleased; 
, and I traveled along the coast forty or fifty leagues. 



The chief of my wares was pieces of sea-snails and their 
cones, conches, that are used for cutting, and a fruit 
like a bean, of the highest value among them, which 
they use as a medicine, and employ in their dances and 
festivities. There are sea-beads also, and other articles. 
Such were what I carried into the interior; and, in 
barter for them, I brought back skins, ocher, with which 
they rub and color their faces, and flint for arrow-points, 
cement and hard canes, of which to make arrows, and 
tassels that are made of the hair of deer, ornamented, 
and dyed red. 

This occupation suited me well; for the travel gave 
me liberty to go where I wished. I was not obliged to 
work, and was not a slave. Wherever I went, I received 
fair treatment; and the Indians gave me to eat for the 
sake of my commodities. My leading object, while 
journeying in this business, was to find out the way by 
which I should have to go forward; and I became well 
known to the inhabitants. They were pleased when they 
saw me, and I had brought for them what they wanted; 
and those that did not know me sought and desired my 
acquaintance for my reputation. The hardships that I 
underwent in this were long to tell, as well of peril and 
privation, as of storms and cold. Many of them found 
me in the wilderness and alone; but I came forth from 
them all, by the great mercy of God our Lord. Because 
of them, I ceased to pursue the business in winter; for 
it is a season in which the natives themselves retire 
to their villages and huts, sluggish, and incapable of 

I was in this covmtry nearly six years, alone among 
the Indians, and naked like them. The reason why I 



remained so long was, that I might take with me from 
the island the Christian Lope de Oviedo. De Alaniz, 
his companion, who had been left with him by Alonzo 
del Castillo, Andres Dorantes, and the rest, died soon 
after their departure; and, to get the .survivor out from 
there, I went over to the island every year, and entreated 
him that we should go, in the way we could best con- 
trive, in quest of Christians. He put me off every year, 
saying that in the next coming we would go. At last I 
got him off, crossing him over the bay, and over four 
rivers there are in the coast, as he could not swim. In 
this way we went on with some Indians, until coming 
to a bay a league in width, and everywhere deep. From 
its appearance, we supposed it to be that which they 
call Espiritu Sa,nto. 

We met some Indians on the other side of it, who came 
to visit ours ; and they told us that beyond them there 
were three men like us, and gave their names. And we 
asked them for the others; and they told us that they 
were all dead of cold and hunger; that the Indians 
farther on, of whom they were, had for their diversion 
killed Diego Dorantes, Valdevieso, and Diego de Huelva, 
because they left one house for another; and that other 
Indians, their neighbors, with whom Captain Dorantes 
now was, had, in consequence of a dream, kiUed 
Esquivel and Mendez. We asked them how the living 
were situated; and they answered us that they were very 
iU used; for that the boys and some of the Indian men 
were very idle, and of cruelty gave them severe kicks, 
cuffs, and blows with sticks, and that such was the life 
they led among them. 

We desired to be informed of the country ahead, and 



of the subsistence in it ; and they said there was nothing 
in it to eat, and [it] was thin of people, who suffered of 
cold, having no skins or oth^r tiling to cover them. They 
told us, also, if we wished to see those three Christians, 
two days from that time the Indians who had them 
would come to eat walnuts a league from there, on the 
margin of that river; and, that we might know what 
they had told us of the iU usage to be true, they slapped 
my companion and beat him with a stick, and I was not 
left without my portion. They frequently threw frag- 
ments of mud at us; and every day they put their 
arrows to our hearts, sa3dng that they were inclined to 
kill us in the way they had destroyed our friends. Lope 
de Oviedo, my comrade, in fear, said that he wished to go 
back with the women who had crossed the bay with us, 
the men having remained some distance behind. I con- 
tended strongly with him against his returning, and I 
urged many objections; but in no way could I keep him. 
So he went back, and I remained alone with those 

These are the most watchful in danger of any people 
I have ever seen. If they fear an enemy, they are awake 
the night long, with each a bow by his side, and a dozen 
arrows. He that sleeps tries his bow; and if it is not 
strung, he gives the turn necessary to the cord. They 
often come out from their houses, bending to the ground 
in such manner that they cannot be seen, and look and 
watch on all sides to catch every object. If they perceive 
anything about, they are all in the bushes with their 
bows and arrows, and there they remain until day, 
running from place to place where it is useful to be, or 
where they think their enemies are. When the light has 



come, they unbend their bows until they go out to hunt. 
The strings are of the sinews of deer. 

The method they have of fighting is lying low to the 
earth; and, whilst they shoot, they move about, speak- 
ing, and leaping from one point to another, screening 
themselves from the shafts of their enemies. So effectual 
is this maneuvering, that they can receive very httle 
injury from cross-bow or arquebuse; but they rather 
scoff at them: for these arms are of Uttle value employed 
in open field, where the Indians go loosely. They are 
proper for defiles, and in water: everywhere else the 
horses will be found the most effective, and are what 
the natives universally fear. Whosoever would fight 
against them must be cautious to show no weakness or 
desire for anything that is theirs; and, whilst war exists, 
they must be treated with the utmost severity; for, if 
they discover any timidity or covetousness, they are a 
race that well discern the opportunities for vengeance, 
and gather strength from the fear of their adversaries. 
When they use arrows in battle, and exhaust their store, 
each returns by his own way without the one party 
following the other, although the one be many and the 
other few; for such is their custom. Oftentimes their 
bodies are traversed from side to side by arrows; and 
they do not die of the wounds, but soon become well, 
unless the entrails or the heart be struck. 

I believe they see and hear better, and have keener 
senses, than any people there are in the world. They are 
great in the endurance of hunger, thirst, and cold, as if 
they were made for these more than others by habit and 
nature. Thus much I have wished to say beyond the 
gratification of that desire which men have to learn the 



customs and manners of each other, that those who here- 
after at some time find themselves amongst these people 
may be intelligent in their usages and artifice, the value 
of which they will not find inconsiderable in such event. 

We left these, and traveled through so many sorts of 
people, of such diverse languages, that the memory fails 
to recall them. They ever plundered each other; and 
those that lost, Kke those that gained, were fully con- 
tent. We drew so many followers after us, that we had 
not use for their services. While on our way through 
these vales, each of the Indians carried a club three 
pahns in length, and kept himself on the alert. . . . 

The women carried many mats, of which the men 
made us houses, each of us having a separate one with 
all his attendants. After these were put up, we ordered 
the deer and hares to be roasted, with the rest that had 
been taken. This was soon done by means of certain 
ovens made for the puipose. We took a Httle of each; 
and the remainder we gave to the principal personages 
that came with us, directing them to divide them among 
the rest. Every one brought his portion to us, that we 
should give it our benediction; for not until then dared 
they to eat of it. Frequently we were accompanied by 
three or four thousand persons; and as we had to breathe 
upon and sanctify the food and drink for each, and give 
them permission to do the many things they would 
come to ask, it may be seen how great to us were the 
trouble and annoyance. The women first brought us 
the pears, spiders, worms, and whatever else they could 
gather; for, even if they were famishing, they would eat 
nothing unless we gave it to them. 

In company with these we crossed a great river com- 



ing from the north; and, passing over some plains thirty 
leagues in extent, we found many persons who came 
from a great distance to receive us; and they met us on 
the road over which we had to travel, and received us in 
the manner of those we had left. . . . 

We told them to conduct us toward the north; and 
they answered us as they had done before, saying that, 
in that direction, there were no people, except afar off; 
that there was nothing to eat, nor could water be found. 
Notwithstanding all this, we persisted, and said that in 
that course we desired to go; and they still tried to 
excuse themselves in the best maimer possible. At this 
we became offended: and one night I went out to sleep 
in the woods, apart from them; but they directly went 
to where I was, and remained there all night without 
sleeping, and in great fear, talking to me, and telling 
me how terrified they were, beseeching us to be no 
longer angry, and that though they knew they should 
die on the way, they would nevertheless lead us in the 
direction we desired to go. 

Whilst we still feigned to be displeased, that their 
fright might not leave them, there happened a remark- 
able circumstance, which was, that on this same day 
many of them became ill, and the next day eight men 
died. Abroad in the country wheresoever this became 
known, there was such dread, that it seemed as if the 
inhabitants at sight of us would die of fear. They 
besought us that we would not remain angered, nor 
require that many of them should die. They believed 
that we caused their death by only willing it; when in 
truth it gave us so much pain that it could not be greater ; 
for, beyond the loss of them that died, we feared they 



might all die, or abandon us out of fear, and aU other 
people thenceforward should do the same, seeing what 
had come to these. We prayed to God our Lord that 
he would reheve them; and thenceforth all those that 
were sick began to get better. . . . 

From that place onward there was another usage, that 
those who knew of our approach did not come out to 
receive us on the roads, as the others had done, but we 
found them in their houses, and others they had made 
for our reception. They were all seated with their faces 
turned to the wall, their heads down, and the hair 
brought before their eyes, and their property placed 
in a heap in the middle of their houses. From this 
place forward they began to give us many blankets 
of skin, and they had nothing that they did not give to 
us. They have the finest persons of any that we saw, 
and of the greatest activity and strength, and [were 
those] who best understood us, and intelhgently an- 
swered our inquiries. We called them los de las vacas, 
the cow nation, because most of the cattle that are 
killed are destroyed in their neighborhood; and along 
up that river over fifty leagues they kiU great numbers. 




This Christian's name was John Ortiz; and he was born 
in Seville in worshipful parentage. He was twelve years 
in the hands of the Indians. He came into this country 
with Pamphilo de Narvaez, and returned in the ships 
to the island of Cuba, where the wife of the governor, 
Pamphilo de Narvaez, was; and by his commandment, 
with twenty or thirty in a brigantine, returned back 
again to Florida. And coming to the port in the sight of 
the town, on the shore they saw a cane sticking in the 
ground, and riven at the top, and a letter in it. And they 
believed that the governor had left it there to give 
advertisement of himself when he resolved to go up 
into the land; and they demanded it of four or five 
Indians which walked along the seashore; and they bade 
them by signs to come on shore for it; which, against 
the will of the rest, John Ortiz and another did. 

And as soon as they were on land, from the houses of 
the town issued a great number of Indians, which com- 
passed them about, and took them in a place where they 
coxild not flee; and the other, which sought to defend 
himself, they presently killed upon the place, and took 
John Ortiz aUve, and carried him to Ucita, their lord. 
And those of the brigantine sought not to land but put 
themselves to sea, and returned to the island of Cuba. 
Ucita commanded to bind John Ortiz hand and foot 



upon four stakes aloft upon a raft, and to make a fire 
under him, tliat there he might be burned. But a 
daughter of his desired him that he would not put him to 
death, alleging that one only Christian could do him 
neither hurt nor good, telling him that it was more for 
his honor to keep him as a captive. And Ucita granted 
her request, and commanded him to be cured of his 
wounds; and, as soon as he was whole, he gave him the 
charge of the keeping of the temple, because that by 
night the wolves did carry away the dead bodies out of 
the same; who commended himself to God, and took 
upon him the charge of his temple. 

One m'ght the wolves got from him the body of a 
httle child, the son of a principal Indian; and, going 
after them, he threw a dart at one of the wolves, and 
struck him that carried away the body, who, feeling 
himself wounded, left it, and fell down dead near the 
place; and he, not wotting what he had done, because it 
was night, went back again to the temple. The morning 
being come, and finding not the body of the child, he 
was very sad. As soon as Ucita knew thereof, he re- 
solved to put him to death, and sent by the track which 
he said the wolves went, and found the body of the 
child, and the wolf dead a little beyond : whereat Ucita 
was much contented with the Christian, and with the 
watch which he kept in the temple, and from thencefor- 
ward esteemed him much. 

Three years after he fell into his hands, there came 
another lord, called M0C050, who dwelleth two days' 
journey from the port, and burned his town. Ucita fled 
to another town that he had in another seaport. Thus 
John Ortiz lost his office and favor that he had with him. 



These people, being worshipers of the devil, are wont 
to offer up unto him the Kves and blood of their Indians, 
or of any other people they can come by; and they 
report that, when he will have them do that sacrifice 
unto him, he speaketh with them, and telleth them that 
he is athirst, and willeth them to sacrifice unto him. 
John Ortiz had notice by the damsel that had delivered 
him from the fire, how her father was determined to 
sacrifice him the day following, who willed him to flee to 
M0C050, for she knew that he would use him weU; for 
she heard say that he had asked for him, and said he 
would be glad to see him. And, because he knew not the 
way, she went with him half a league out of the town by 
night, and set him in the way, and returned, because 
she would not be discovered. 

John Ortiz traveled all that night, and by the morning 
came unto a river which is in the territory of M0C050; 
and there he saw two Indians fishing. And because they 
were in war with the people of Ucita, and their languages 
were different, and he knew not the language of Mocofo, 
he was afraid — because he could not tell them who he 
was, nor how he came thither; nor was able to answer 
anything for himself — that they would kill him, tak- 
ing him for one of the Indians of Ucita. And, before they 
espied him, he came to the place where they had laid 
their weapons;, and, as soon as they saw him, they fled 
toward the town; and although he willed them to stay, 
because he meant to do them no hurt, yet they under- 
stood him not, and ran away as fast as ever they could. 
And as soon as they came to the town, with great out- 
cries, many Indians came forth against him, and began 
to compass him to shoot at him. John Ortiz, seeing 



himself in so great danger, shielded himself with certain 
trees, and began to shriek out, and cry very loud, and to 
tell them that he was a Christian, and that he was fled 
from Ucita, and was come to see and serve Mocofo, his 

It pleased God, that at that very instant there came 
thither an Indian that could speak the language, and 
understood him, and pacified the rest, who told them 
what he said. Then ran from thence three or four 
Indians to bear the news to their lord, who came forth 
a quarter of a league from the town to receive him, and 
was very glad of him. He caused him presently to 
swear, according to the custom of the Christians, that 
he would not run away from him to any other lord, and 
promised him to entreat him very well, and that, if at 
any time there came any Christians into that coimtry, 
he would freely let him go, and give him leave to go to 
them; and likewise took his oath to perform the same 
according to the Indian custom. About three years 
after, certain Indians which were fishing at sea, two 
leagues from the town, brought news to Mocogo that 
they had seen ships; and he called John Ortiz, and gave 
him leave to go his way; who, taking his leave of him, 
with all the haste he could, came to the sea; and, finding 
no ships, he thought it to be some deceit, and that the 
cacique had done the same to learn his mind: so he 
dwelt with Mocogo nine years, with small hope of seeing 
any Christians. 

As soon as our governor arrived in Florida, it was 
known to Mocojo; and straightway he signified to John 
Ortiz that Christians were lodged in the town of Ucita. 
And he thought he had jested with him, as he had done 



before, and told him that by this time he had forgotten 
the Christians, and thought of nothing else but to serve 
him. But he assured him that it was so, and gave him 
license to go unto them, saying unto him that, if he 
would not do it, and if the Christians should go their 
way, he should not blame him; for he had fulfilled that 
which he had promised him. The joy of John Ortiz was 
so great that he could not beUeve that it was true; not- 
withstanding, he gave him thanks, and took his leave of 
him. And M0C050 gave him ten or eleven principal 
Indians to bear him company. 




When the day dawned, De Soto set out with a hundred 
infantry and a hundred horse, to reconnoiter the village. 
Arrived on the opposite bank, John Ortiz, and Pedro, 
the Indian boy, shouted to the natives to come over and 
receive a message for their cacique. 

The Indians, terrified at the strange sight of the 
Spaniards and their horses, ran back to the village to 
spread the news. In a little while a large canoe was 
launched, and came directly across the river, managed 
by several rowers. Six Indians, of noble appearance, all 
about forty or fifty years of age, landed from it. 

The governor, perceiving they were persons of conse- 
quence, received them with much ceremony, seated in a 
kind of chair of state, which he always carried with him 
for occasions of the kind. As they advanced they made 
three profound reverences, one to the sun, with their 
faces to the eastward, the second to the moon, turning 
to the west, the third to the governor. They then made 
him the usual demand, "whether he came for peace or 
war?" He replied, "Peace; and a free passage through 
their lands." He moreover requested provisions for his 
people, and assistance with canoes or rafts in passing the 

The Indians replied that their supplies were small, 
the country having been ravaged by pestilence in the 



preceding year, so the most of the people had abandoned 
their houses and villages, and taken refuge in the woods, 
neglecting to sow their corn. They added that they 
were governed by a young female, just of marriageable 
age, who had recently inherited the sway. They would 
return and repeat to her the circmnstances of their inter- 
view, and made no doubt, from her discreet and gener- 
ous nature, she would do everything in her power to 
serve the strangers. With these words they departed. 

They had not long returned to the village when the 
Spaniards perceived movements of preparation, and 
observed a kind of litter borne by four men to the 
water's side. From this alighted the female cacique, and 
entered a highly decorated canoe. A kind of aquatic 
procession was then formed; a grand canoe, containing 
the six ambassadors, and paddled by a large nxomber of 
Indians, led the van, towing after it the state bark of 
the princess, who reclined on cushions in the stern, 
under a canopy supported by a lance. She was accom- 
panied by eight female attendants. A number of canoes 
filled with warriors closed the procession. 

The young princess stepped on shore, and as she 
approached the Spaniards they were struck with her 
appearance. She was finely formed, with great beauty 
of countenance, and native grace and dignity. Having 
made her obeisance to the governor, she took her seat on 
a kind of stool placed by her attendants, and entered 
into conversation with him, all her subjects preserving 
a most respectful silence. 

Her conversation confirmed what had been said by 
the ambassadors. The province had been ravaged by 
pestilence during the preceding year, and provisions 



were very scanty. She offered, however, to share with 
the strangers a quantity of maize collected for the relief 
of her village, and to put them in the way of getting 
similar suppUes from other villages. She proffered, like- 
wise, her own house for the accommodation of the gov- 
ernor, and half of the village for that of his officers and 
principal soldiers; and promised that wigwams of bark 
and branches should be put up for the rest. She added, 
that rafts and canoes should be provided for the army to 
cross the river on the following day. De Soto was over- 
powered by the generosity of the princess, and endeav- 
ored, in the best manner, to express his sense of her kind 
and hospitable offers, assuring her of the constant friend- 
ship of his sovereign and himself. The cavaliers, too, 
hstened with admiring attention to her discourse, and 
to the answers she gave to various inquiries concerning 
her province; leaving them as much charmed with her 
intelligence and judgment as they had been with her 
beauty, and wondering to find such dignity and grace, 
and true poUteness in a savage brought up in a wilder- 

While the Princess of Cofachiqui was conversing with* 
the governor, she was slowly disengaging a string of 
large pearls, which passed three times roimd her neck, 
and descended to her waist. The conference ended, she 
told John Ortiz, the interpreter, to present the necklace 
to the general. Ortiz replied, that the gift would be more 
valuable if presented with her own hand; but she 
scrupled to do it, through a dread of infringing the pro- 
priety which females should always maintain. When De' 
Soto was apprised of her scruples, he directed Ortiz to 
tell her, that he would more highly prize the favor of 



receiving the gift from her own hand than he would 
value the jewel itself, and that she would commit no 
breach of decorum, as they were persons unknown to 
each other, treating of peace and amity. 

This being interpreted to her, she rose, and placed the 
string of pearls about the neck of De Soto; he likewise 
stood up; and, taking from his finger a ring of gold, set 
with a ruby, presented it to her as a token of peace and 
friendship. She received it very respectfully and 
placed it on one of her fingers. This ceremony ended, 
she returned to her village, leaving the Spaniards much 
struck with her native talent and personal beauty. . . . 

The governor endeavored to inform himself respecting 
the boasted riches of the province. For this purpose he 
called to him two Indian lads who had formerly accom- 
panied traders into this part of the country, and who 
had told him that their masters had trafficked here for 
yeUow and white metal, similar to the gold and silver 
shown by the Spaniards, and also for pearls. He made 
these youths describe the articles to the youthful prin- 
cess, and begged her, if such yellow and white metals 
existed in her territories, to have specimens brought to 

The princess cheerfully complied, and in a little while 
several Indians appeared, laden with the supposed 
treasure. To the great disappointment of the Spaniards, 
however, the yellow metal proved to be a species of 
copper of a yellowish tint much resembKng gold; and 
the white metal, though a shining substance somewhat 
of the appearance of silver, was extremely light and 
crumbled in the hand like dry earth. Some have sup- 
posed it was a species of quartz, but it is probable that 



it was mica. Thus vanished of a sudden the golden 
treasures of Cofachiqui. 

To console the Spaniards under their evident disap- 
pointment, the princess pointed out a kind of temple or 
mausoleum, at one end of the village, and informed 
them that it was the sepulcher of all the chieftains and 
great warriors of the place, and was adorned within with 
great quantities of pearls; and that at another village, 
called Talomeco, about a league distant, the ancient 
seat of territory, was a still larger mausoleum, in which 
all her ancestors were interred, and which contained still 
greater quantities of pearls, aU which she assured the 
governor should be entirely at his disposal. 

De Soto was in some degree consoled by the news of 
these immense hoards of pearls for his disappointment 
in respect to gold; though even as to the latter, many of 
his followers did not give up their hopes, insisting that 
there were veins of gold in the copper and brass of the 
country. They were destitute, however, of aquafortis, 
or touchstones, to assay them. 

Juan de Anasco, the contador, or royal accountant of 
the expedition, being absent, the governor deferred 
visiting the temple until he should be present in his 
official capacity. In the mean time, he placed trusty 
persons to keep watch round the edifice by day and 

As soon as Anasco returned, the governor visited the 
mausoleum, accompanied by the officers of the royal 
revenue, and a number of his principal officers and sol- 
diers. These edifices were of great magnitude — that at 
Talemeco being a hundred paces in length, and forty in 
breadth, with lofty roofs of reed. At the entrance to the 



latter temple or mausoleum were gigantic statues of 
wood carved with considerable skill, the largest being 
twelve feet in height. They were armed with various 
weapons, and stood in threatening attitudes, with fe- 
rocious looks. The interior of the temple was likewise 
decorated with statues of various shapes and sizes, and 
a great profusion of conchs and different kinds of sea 
and river shells. 

Around the sepulcher were benches, on which were 
wooden chests, skillfully wrought, but without locks or 
hinges. In these were the bodies of the departed ca- 
ciques and chieftains of Cofachiqui, left to their natural 
decay; for these edifices were merely used as charnel- 
houses. Beside these chests, there were smaller ones, 
and baskets wrought of cane, which were filled with 
valuable furs and Indian robes of dressed skins, and 
mantles made of the inner rind and bark of trees, and 
others of a species of grass, which, when beaten, was not 
imlike flax. There were others formed with feathers of 
various colors, which the natives wore during the winter. 
But above all, they contained pearls of every size, and 
in incredible quantities, together with the figures of 
children and birds made of pearl. The Portuguese nar- 
rator says they obtained fourteen bushels of pearls, and 
that the female cacique assured them, if they searched 
the neighboring villages, they might find enough to load 
all the horses of the army. Nor is the Inca less extrava- 
gant in his account. All this, however, must be taken 
with a large deduction for the exaggeration with which 
the riches of the New World were always described by 
the discoverers, when beyond the power of proof. 

The intendants of the revenue would have made 



general spoil of these precious articles had not De Soto 
interfered. He represented that they were at present 
merely discovering the country, not dividing it, and 
having to make their way through a vast wilderness, it 
would not do to burden themselves with treasure. They 
should, therefore, only take specimens of these riches to 
send to Havana, and leave everything in the temples in 
their present state, until they came to colonize and make 
a settlement, when all should be properly divided, and 
the fifth of the amount be set apart for the Crown. He 
distributed, however, handfuls of large pearls among his 
ofl&cers, exhorting them to make rosaries of them, and 
permitting the officers of the Crown to retain a large 
quantity which they had already weighed out. 

Annexed to this great sepulcher were several build- 
ings, which served as armories, containing weapons of 
various kinds, all arranged in great order. The whole 
establishment was maintained with exact care, and 
evidently was in the charge of numerous attendants- 
While ransacking these depositories of arms, the 
Spaniards, to their astonishment, found a dagger and 
several coats of mail. Nothing could equal their sur- 
prise at meeting with these European relics in the heart 
of this unknown wilderness. They questioned the 
Indians eagerly on the subject. The latter informed 
them that many years before, a number of white men 
like themselves had landed at a seaport, about two 
days' journey from thence. That the commander of the 
party died soon after landing, whereupon great factions 
and brawls took place among his followers, for the com; 
mand, in which several were slain; the rest had reas- 
sembled on board of their vessel, and put to sea. 



The Spaniards pondered over these facts, and deter- 
mined that the white men in question must have been 
the unfortunate Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon and his ill- 
fated followers, and those experienced in maritime 
affairs gave it as their opinion that, from the course of 
the river which passed by Cofachiqui, it must be the 
same which on the seacoast was called the St. Helena. 

Elated with the riches they had found, they urged the 
governor to stop here and create a colony. The country- 
was fertile, they might establish a lucrative pearl fishery, 
and carry on a trade with Spain from the seaport at the 
mouth of the river. 

De Soto persisted, however, in his original plan of 
making an exploring tour and meeting Maldonado at 
the port of Acusi, according to appointment. He ob- 
served that the surrounding country would not afford 
provisions for a month, that it would always be open for 
them to return to in case they should find none richer, 
and that, in the mean time, the Indians would sow 
their land with maize in greater plenty. 

After a long sojourn, therefore, in this fertile and opu- 
lent province, De Soto prepared for his departure. 
During the time of his sojourn several broils had taken 
place between his people and the natives. These had 
originated in the ill conduct of some of the low and base- 
minded of the soldiery; probably in their rapacious 
eagerness for gain. They had produced a general ill-will 
among the Indians toward their guests, and a change in 
the feelings of the young and high-minded princess; 
who, instead of evincing her usual kindness and hospi- 
tality, grew cold and indifferent in her conduct, and 
appeared to eye the Spaniards with great distrust. De 



Soto remarked this change, and received private intelli- 
gence that the princess was about to take to flight, and 
leave him without a guide for his march or porters for 
the baggage of the army. As his route would lie through 
various tracts of country under her dominion, any hos- 
tility on her part or on that of her subjects, could not 
but prove extremely embarrassing. He determined, 
therefore, to adopt a precaution, more than once prac- 
ticed in the course of his expedition, and which the 
Spaniards had found efiicacious in their Mexican and 
Peruvian conquests; which was to secure the person of 
the sovereign, by way of insuring the peaceful conduct 
of the people. Accordingly he placed a guard round the 
person of the female cacique, and signified to her that 
she was to accompany him in his march; but while he 
thus detained her as a hostage, he took care that she 
should be attended with the respect and ceremony due 
to her rank. The policy of this measure was apparent in 
the cessation of all brawls between the Spaniards and 
the natives; and in the good treatment which the army 
experienced during its subsequent march through the 
territories of the princess. 

[It is agreeable to note that the stolen princess soon suc- 
ceeded in making her escape, and that she carried away with 
her several slaves of the Spaniards.] 




The schemes and labors and anxieties of De Soto, how- 
ever, were rapidly drawing to a close; day by day his 
malady increased upon him, and his fever rose to such 
a height that he felt convinced his last hour was at 
hand. He prepared for death with the steadfastness of 
a soldier, and, all accounts agree, with the piety of a 
devoted CathoHc. 

He made his will ahnost in cipher, for want of suffi- 
cient paper: then calling together the officers and sol- 
diers of most note, he nominated, as his successor to the 
titles and commands of governor and captain-general 
of the kingdom and provinces of Florida, Luis de 
Moscoso de Alvarado; the same, whom, in the province 
of Chicaza, he had deposed from the office of master 
of the camp; and he charged them, on the part of 
the emperor, and in consideration of the qualities and 
virtues of Luis de Moscoso, to obey him in the above 
capacities, until other orders should be received from 
Govermnent. To all this he required them to take an 
oath with due form and solemnity. 

When this was done, the dying chieftain called to 
him, by two and two, and three and three, the most 
noble of his army, and after them he ordered that the 
soldiery should enter, twenty and twenty, and thirty and 



thirty, and of all of them he took his last farewell, with 
great tenderness on his own part, and many tears on 
theirs. He charged them to convert the natives to the 
Catholic faith, and to augment the power of the Crown 
of Spain, being himself cut off by death from the accom- 
plishment of these great aims. He thanked them for the 
affection and fidelity which they had evinced in fear- 
lessly following his fortunes through such great trials, 
and expressed his deep regret that it was not in his power 
to show his gratitude by rewards such as they merited. 
He begged the forgiveness of all whom he had offended, 
and, finally, entreated them in the most affectionate 
manner to be peaceful and loving to one another. His 
fever raged violently, and continued to increase until 
the seventh day, when, having confessed his sins with 
much humility and contrition, he expired. . . . 

The death of the governor left his followers over- 
whelmed with grief; they felt as if made orphans by his 
loss, for they looked up to him as a father: and they 
sorrowed the more, because they could not give him a 
proper sepulture, nor perform the solemn obsequies due 
to the remains of a captain and commander so much 
beloved and honored. 

They feared to bury him publicly, and with becoming 
ceremonials, lest the Indians should discover the place 
of his interment, and should outrage and insult his 
remains, as they had done those of other Spaniards; 
tearing them from their graves, dismembering them, 
and hanging them piecemeal from the trees. If they 
had shown such indignities to the bodies of the common 
soldiers, how much greater would they inflict upon that 
of their governor and commander! Besides, De Soto 



had impressed them with a very exalted opinion of his 
prudence and valor; and the Spaniards, therefore, 
dreaded, lest, finding out the death of their leader, they 
might be induced to revolt and fall upon their handful 
of troops. 

For these reasons they buried him in the dead of 
night, with sentinels posted to keep the natives at a 
distance, that the sad ceremony might be safe from the 
observation of their spies. The place chosen for his 
sepulture was one of many pits, broad and deep, in a 
plain near to the village, from whence the Indians had 
taken earth for their buildings. Here he was interred, in 
silence and in secret, with many tears of the priests and 
cavaliers, who were present at his mournful obsequies. 
The better to deceive the Indians, and prevent their 
suspecting the place of his interment, they gave out on 
the following day that the governor was recovering from 
his malady, and, mounting their horses, they assumed 
an appearance of rejoicing. That all traces of the grave 
might be lost, they caused much water to be sprinkled 
over it, and upon the surrounding plain, as if to prevent 
the dust being raised by their horses. They then scoured 
the plain, and galloped about the pits, and over the very 
grave of their commander; but it was difficult, under 
this cover of pretended gayety, to conceal the real sad- 
ness of their hearts. 

With all these precautions, they soon found out that 
the Indians suspected, not only the death of the gover- 
nor, but the place where he lay buried; for in passing by 
the pits they would stop, look attentively on all sides, talk 
with one another, and make signs with their chins and 
their eyes toward the spot where the body was interred. 



The Spaniards perceiving this, and feeling assured 
that the Indians would search the whole plain until 
they found the body, determined to disinter it, and 
place it where it would be safer from molestation. No 
place appeared better suited to the purpose than the 
Mississippi; but first they wished to ascertain whether 
there was sufficient depth to hide the body effectually. 

Accordingly, Juan de Aiiasco and other ofi&cers, taking 
with them a mariner, embarked one evening in a canoe, 
under the pretense of fishing and amusing themselves; 
and, sounding the river where it was a quarter of a 
league wide, they found in the mid-channel a depth of 
nineteen fathoms. Here, therefore, they determined to 
deposit the body. 

As there was no stone in the neighborhood wherewith 
to sink it, they cut down an evergreen oak, and made an 
excavation in one side of the size of a man. On the fol- 
lowing night, with all the silence possible, they disin- 
terred the body, and placed it in the trunk of the oak, 
nailing planks over the aperture. The fustic cof&n was 
then conveyed to the center of the river. The hooded 
priests and steel-clad cavaliers gathered round the re- 
mains of the chief who had led them through all their 
perilous wanderings, and at the still hour of midnight 
they committed the body to the stream, watching it 
sink to the bottom, through scalding tears, and com- 
mending anew the soul of the good cavalier to Heaven, 
they sadly worked their way back to the shore. 




When Vaca, a companion of De Soto, finally succeeded in 
escaping from the Indians and making his way to a Spanish 
town, he told such tales of the wonders of the wilderness 
that the Spanish governor of Mexico sent Brother Marcos 
to visit this country and learn what he could about it. He 
succeeded in finding seven pueblos, or houses of sun-baked 
clay, the homes of the Zuni Indians; but his reception was 
so hostile that he was forced to return. The governor then 
sent out Coronado with Brother Marcos as guide. The 
Zuni pueblos were not only found, but captured, and much 
of the country thereabouts was explored. On one of the 
trips the Spaniards came to a "sky city" called Acoma, 
and captured it. Later, they wandered into what is now 
Kansas. The Spanish had by this time explored Texas, 
New Mexico, and Arizona. 



There was a tradition afloat in Europe that on the 
occasion of the conquest of the Spanish peninsula by 
the Arabs in the eighth century, a certain Bishop of 
Lisbon took refuge upon an island or group of islands 
far out on the Sea of Darkness, and founded seven cities 
there. [These] seven cities were curiously transferred 
into the very heart of the American continent. Among 
the Nahuatl tribes there was a legend of Chicomoztoc, 
or the Seven Caves, from which at some period in the 
past their ancestors issued. As soon as the Spaniards 
got hold of this legend they contrived to mix up these 
Seven Caves with their Seven Cities. They were sup- 
posed to be somewhere to the northward, and when 
Cabeza de Vaca and his comrades had disclosed the 
existence of such a vast territory north of Mexico, it 
was resolved to search for the Seven Cities in that 
direction. The work was entrusted to Fray Marcos of 
Nizza, or Nice, as we now call it. He was a Franciscan 
monk of great abihty, who had accompanied Pizarro on 
the first march to Caxamarca to meet Atahualpa. He 
had afterwards gone to Quito and thence seems to have 
accompanied Alvarado on his return to Guatemala. 
He had lately found his way to Mexico, and was selected 
by the great viceroy Antonio de Mendoza to go and find 
the Seven- Cities. He was attended on the journey by 
the negro Estevinico and a few Pima Indians who had 



been educated at Mexico; and their reception by the 
natives along the route was extremely hospitable. At 
Matape, an Indian vUlage in Sonora, they heard definite 
news of a country situated thirty days' march to the 
northward, where there were seven large cities, "with 
houses of stone and lime, ... the smallest ones of two 
stories and a flat roof, and others of three and four 
stories, and that of the lord with five, all placed together 
in order; and on the door-sills and lintels of the principal 
houses many figures of turquoise stones . . . and [it 
was said] that the people of these cities are very well 
clothed," etc. The name of the first of these cities was 
said to be Cibola. And from that time forth this became 
a common name for the group, and we hear much of the 
Seven Cities of Cibola. 

These were the seven pueblos of Zuni, in New Mexico, 
of which six were still inhabited at the end of the six- 
teenth century. The name Cibola was properly applied 
to the group, as it referred to the whole extent of terri- 
tory occupied by the Zunis. The surviving pueblo which 
we know to-day as Zuni will probably serve as an excel- 
lent sample of the pueblo towns visited by the Spaniards 
in their first wanderings in North America. As Fray 
Marcos drew near to it he heard much of the power and 
glory of Cibola, and began to feel that his most romantic 
anticipations were about to be verified; but now came 
his first misfortune on this journey, and it was a sharp 
one. Hitherto the white man and the black man had 
been treated with the reverence due to supernatural 
beings, or to persons who at least were mighty wizards. 
But at Kiakima, the first of the Zuni pueblos, the 
negro's "medicine" was not accepted. Estevanico 



traveled some miles in advance of Fray Marcos. When 
he arrived at the first of the cities of Cibola, flaunting 
the turquoises and the handsome Indian girls, with 
whom he had been presented in the course of the journey, 
— ■ much to the disgust of the Franciscan friar, — the 
elders and chiefs of the pueblo would not grant him 
admittance. He was lodged in a small house outside 
the inclosure, and was cautiously catechized. When he 
announced himself as the envoy and forerurmer of a 
white man, sent by a mighty prince beyond the sky to 
instruct them in heavenly things, the Zuni elders were 
struck with a sense of incongruity. How could black 
represent white, or be the envoy and forerurmer of 
white. To the metaphysics of the middle status of 
barbarism the question wore a very uncanny look, and 
to the common sense of the middle status of barbarism 
the self-complacent Estevanico appeared to be simply 
a spy from some chieftain or tribe that wanted to con- 
quer the Zunis. A Cortes might easily have dealt with 
such a situation, but most men would consider it very 
uncomfortable, and so did poor silly "Little Steve." 
While the elders were debating whether they should do 
reverence to him as a wizard, or butcher him as a ^y, 
he stole out of his lodging and sought safety in flight; 
and this act, being promptly detected, robbed him of all 
dignity and sealed his fate. A hue and cry went after 
him, and an arrow soon foimd its way to his heart. The 
news of this catastrophe checked the advance of Fray 
Marcos. His Indian comrades were discouraged, and 
the most he could do was to keep them with him while he 
climbed a hiU whence he could get a Pisgah sight of the 
glories of Cibola. After he had accomplished this, the 



party returned with all possible haste to Culiacan, and 
arrived there in August, 1539, after an absence of five 

As an instance of the tenacious vitaUty of tradition, 
and its substantial accuracy in dealing with a very 
simple and striking fact, it is interesting to find that to 
this day the Zunis remember the fate of Estevanico. In 
one of the folk-tales taken down by Mr. Gushing from 
the lips of Zuni priests, it is said that "previous to the 
first coming of the Mexicans (the Zuni Indians call all 
the Spanish-speaking people Mexicans), a black Mexican 
made his appearance at the Zuni village of Kiakima. 
He was very greedy, voracious, and bold, and the people 
killed him for it. After his death the Mexicans [i.e., 
Spaniards] made their appearance in numbers for the 
first time, and made war upon the Zvinis, conquering 
them in the end." 



If now, without further parley as to the details of the 
ruins and the vicissitudes of their exploration, we turn 
to the various things which the old "cliff-dwellers" have 
left, many of which one may see for himself to-day upon 
the spot, and try to frame from them a conception of 
the masters of these homes, we shall find that a good 
deal may be read out of the darkness of forgotten centu- 
ries without special Ught from the torches of the pro- 
fessional archasologists. 

He was a dark-skinned fellow, this old "cHfi-dweller," 
as his mummified remains show plainly enough. The 
hair was usually black, and moderately coarse and long. 
He was of mediiim stature, and the back of his skull was 
flattened by being tied firmly against a board in infancy, 
as among some races is the custom still. He had fair 
teeth, much worn, as the years grew upon him, from 
munching ill-ground corn. 

It wovild be difficult to say from the articles thus far 
discovered just how much this prehistoric man was 
devoted to dress, or rather, to undress. A simple breech- 
clout was certainly in vogue, and there is considerable 
reason to think that this was, at times at least, the 
piece de resistance in his costume. But parts of hide 
jackets, fur caps, blankets made of feathers tied on to 
a coarse net of cord, are also in evidence, and mostly 
preserved among the furnishings of the dead. A variety 



of sandals and other rude foot-gear has been found, 
some woven of yucca leaves, some braided of other 
vegetable fibers, some rudely constructed from corn- 

A certain passion for personal adornment and devo- 
tion to superstition is evident from the rough beads and 
the strings of bones and small sheUs which he wore, 
while amulets of turquoise or shell or broken pottery 
pierced for suspension about the neck are not seldom 
found. He brushed his hair with tightly tied bunches of 
stiff grass, with one end trimmed square, and his long 
coarse black hairs are clinging stiU to some of them. 

The spirit of the age now prompts us to ask what did 
he do for a living, this dark f eUow in scanty attire, with 
a tinge of vanity and superstition? 

He was, first of all, a farmer. He raised corn and 
beans and gourds in the thin soil of the mesas, or upon 
the lesser slopes, which still show traces of scanty ter- 
races. Corn is frequently found, sometimes still on the 
cob, sometimes shelled off and stowed in jars, while 
corn-cobs and corn-husks are scattered everywhere 
among the rubbish. The beans and gourds are less 
abimdant. The gourd seeds were sometimes carefuUy 
stowed away. The only farming implements which have 
been found are, so far as I am aware, stout sticks pointed 
or flattened at one end, quite like the planting-sticks 
still in use by primitive agriculturists. 

It is evident enough that in his time, as now, his 
country was very dry, and water had to be carefuUy 
husbanded. One finds here and there traces of hollow 
reservoirs and what seem to have been irrigating ditches. 
Sloping hollows in the rocks near the houses are not 



infrequently dammed across their lower ends, appar- 
ently to save the melting snow or the waste of showers. 

The considerable number of large jars would indi- 
cate that water was sometimes stored also in the 
houses. The earthen ladles or dippers not infrequently 
found in the ruins or in the graves are often much worn 
and beveled on the edges, an indication that they were 
used to ladle up water from hollows in the rocks, such 
as abound on the plateaus above and about the cUffs. 
Small springs still exist near some of the largest cliff- 

That the " chff-man " was skilled in masonry the well- 
shaped and finished stones, the trim walls hung upon 
steep sloping rock surfaces, sheer at the edges of cliffs, 
where they rest to-day firm and secure, abundantly 
prove. The mortar of most of the houses was very 
cleverly laid in, and between the tiers pebbles and small 
stones were set, giving a pleasing break to the lines of 
the masoiury. 

The rooms of these great dwellings were apparently 
not all built at one time, and in size, shape, and arrange- 
ment conform to the exigencies of the situation. Some 
of them are many feet across, some so small that one 
can hardly stand upright in them and can reach from 
side to side. Some communicate with one another by 
low openings, through which one must crawl on hands 
and knees; others are entered only through holes in the 
ceiUngs. Some of the rooms are so small that they could 
have been used only for storage. 

The great sloping arches of the caverns in which the 
larger cUff-houses are built shelter most of them from 
above. But when rooms were exposed or were built one 



above another, the roofs or floors are supported by tim- 
ber girders, whose rough ends witness to the toilsome 
processes involved in their shaping with such tools 
alone as men of the stone age could command. Upon 
the heavier timbers they laid smaller sticks, tied osiers 
and cedar bark to these, and plastered the whole over 
with thick layers of mud or mortar. A large part of the 
timber is well preserved. 

Within, the masonry is usually coated with a thin 
layer of plaster, and the sweep of the rough palms of the 
old artisans is still plain on many a chamber wall. They 
had tiny fireplaces in the corners of some of the Uttle 
rooms. In others the fire was in a pit in the floor at the 
center. The smoke from the fires found its way out as 
best it could through holes in the ceilings. So the walls 
are often very black, and from some of them you can 
rub off the soot upon your hands to-day. But when the 
wall got too sooty a thin fresh layer of plaster was laid 
on over it. In some of the larger rooms one can count 
sixteen, and perhaps more, thin layers of fresh plaster, 
with the soot in streaks of black between them. 

Furniture there is no trace of, unless one reckon as 
such a low stone step or bench which runs aroimd some 
of the larger rooms. 

Many of the ruins contain large round chambers with 
the narrow stone bench along the wall, and a pit in the 
center for a fire. They have usually a p3Tamidal or 
dome-like roof of large timbers, whose ends rest upon 
stone piers which project into the rooms. The walls of 
these rooms, which seem to have been places of assembly 
and are called estufas or kivas, are usually very sooty. 
In them, too, one finds such evidence of an intelligent 



provision for ventilation as shames some of our prac- 
tices to-day. Flues, often of considerable size, are built 
into the walls, leading from the open air down into the 
chambers, and opening at the floor-level. In front of 
this opening, and between it and the fire-pit, was usually 
a stone or wooden screen. 

Little square cubbies were not infrequently made 
inside the rooms by leaving a stone out of the masonry. 
These are especially common in the large round cham- 
bers just mentioned, and small utensils and ornaments 
have been frequently found stowed away in them. 
Many of the rooms have wooden pegs built into the 
walls, apparently for hanging things upon. 

The stout timbers which form the floors of the higher 
rooms were sometimes left sticking through the masonry 
outside the walls, and small cross-sticks being tied upon 
them, they made excellent balconies — a Uttle danger- 
ous, perhaps, if some skulking marauder with a bow and 
arrows should happen to creep to the nearest cliff edge 
above, but airy and with commanding outlook. 

Firesticks have been left, with round charred ends, 
such as the early folks the world over were wont to twirl 
upon another stick and so win fire. Little bunches of 
cedar-bark strips closely tied with yucca threads, and 
burnt at one end where they have been used as tinder, 
are not uncommon "finds" in the rooms and in the 
rubbish heaps. 

No trace of metal tools or utensils has ever been found 
in these ruins. The "cliff-dweller" was a man of the 
Stone Age. He was no mean artisan, however, as may 
be seen by his stone arrow-heads and spear-heads, by his 
stone axes and hammers, many of them, thanks to the 



dry climate, with the wooden handle still tied firmly on 
to them. He had knives made of chipped stone tied into 
the end of a stick, and often made fast with some sort of 
pitch. Sharp, smooth stones, which may have been 
used for skinning large game, are not rare. 

Small stone mortars with spherical or cylindrical 
pestles are not uncommon, and one may safely conjec- 
ture that they were employed to grind the mineral 
colors used in the decoration of pottery. Stone-tipped 
drills have been found, which were doubtless used to 
make holes in their amulets and beads, and in mending 
broken pottery. There are corn-mills — great stone 
slabs, a little hollowed, and set aslant in the floor at one 
side of some of the rooms, with a flat narrow slip of 
stone to be grasped in the hands in grinding. 

Our early American was something of a hunter, if we 
may judge from the deer bones often found. He was a 
warrior, too. Many of his houses are not only built in 
inaccessible and well-protected places, but loopholes 
sloping towards the avenues of approach are common 
in the walls, and the doors have ample provision for 
closure by tightly fitting slabs of stone. Bows still 
loosely strung with sinew, and stone-tipped arrows with 
the shaft intact, have defied time, too. With these and 
stone-tipped spears and stone knives and wooden clubs 
our warrior did his hunting and his fighting. 

The "cliff -man" had one domestic animal and, so far 
as. can be made out, only one, and that was the turkey, 
or something very like it. This bird must have been 
kept in considerable numbers. Its feathers are found in 
abundance, and were used, as I have said, to make 
blankets. Bunches of the quills have been discovered 



stowed away in the houses. This domestic pet has been 
pictured more often than any other creature by the 
man of the cliffs, and niost frequently upon his pottery. 

There is no evidence of the use of written characters 
by these people, but here and there simple geometric or 
irregular figures are found in dull color on the plaster 
and on the faces of the cliffs. There is relatively Kttle 
animal drawing, but occasionally crude hnear figures 
of men, mountain sheep and birds are found. Similar 
crude pictographs are occasionally cut in rough shallow 
lines in the rocks near the dwellings. On the whole such 
artistic capacities as this old barbarian possessed were 
but scantily exercised upon his walls. 

In his pottery, however, as well as in animal figures 
and various other objects made of shell, jade, onyx, and 
turquoise, among which are some very handsome 
mosaics, we find such expression of the artistic sense as 
gives him a very respectable standing in the hierarchy 
of early American art. 

While whole pieces of pottery are occasionally found 
in protected places in the abandoned rooms, and frag- 
ments are scattered in profusion everj^where, the larger 
part of the well-preserved articles of clay has come from 
the burial places. So I must linger a moment to speak 
of these. 

The rock about the chff-dwellings is usually so scantily 
clad with soil that earth burial was not accompHshed 
without difficulty. The places outside the dwellings 
most commonly selected for this purpose were low 
shelves in the cliffs, from which the earth was scooped, 
and shallow pits, sometimes stoned at the sides or lined 
with clay, were thus fashioned. 



But one of the most common burial-places of the 
"cliff -man" of the Mesa Verde was the rubbish heaps 
which he allowed to accumulate, often to an enormous 
extent, in the low, dark, angular space at the back of 
his houses, where the sloping roof of the caverns in the 
cliff met the horizontal shelf on which the houses stand. 

These great rubbish heaps, often several feet deep, 
are made up of dirt and dust of unrecognizable origin, of 
turkey droppings, and of all sorts of waste from the man 
and his housekeeping. There are feathers and corn- 
husks and corn-cobs, fragments of bone and of wood, 
rinds and stems of gourds, scraps of yucca, half-biirned 
corn-cobs, pieces of charcoal, bits of worn fabrics, cast- 
off sandals, and broken pottery in abundance. 

Now and then the delvers in these back-door rubbish 
heaps have come upon whole pieces of pottery or stone 
implements and other things which have evidently been 
hidden there, perhaps in times of siege. The whole 
material is disagreeable on account of the fine, choking 
dust which rises whenever it is stirred, but it is not 
otherwise offensive now. It was in this dark, protected 
place, then, that the cliff-man often buried his dead. 
The legs and arms were usually drawn to the body, 
which was tied and bound with yucca leaves, and pro- 
tected in various ways from direct contact with the 
earth, sometimes by wooden or osier or )aicca mats, or 
by feather cloth or basketry, or slabs of stone. Many of 
the skeletons are well preserved, and occasionally the 
whole body is mummified and in very perfect state. 
Some bodies have been found walled up in the smaller 

But it is of the pottery that I wish especially to speak. 


It is all fashioned by the hands, for no tidings of the 
potter's wheel had ever reached these folks, and their 
skill in the management of clay justly commands admi- 
ration. Some of the great jars holding several gallons 
are scarcely one eighth of an inch thick, are of excellent 
shape and symmetry, and, when struck, ring like a bell. 
The old cliff-man — or woman — knew how to mix 
pounded stone, or sand, or old pottery broken into small 
fragments with his clay to prevent shrinkage and 
cracking. He knew how to bake his finished articles, and 
his fancy in shaping and decorating was of no mean 

Some of the ware is gray and smooth and undecorated; 
some forms show that it was built up by strips of clay, 
coil upon coil. In many pieces regular indentations 
made by the finger tips or nail upon the coils give the 
general impression of basketwork. The tiny ridges of 
the maker's finger-tips are often marked upon the 
indented coilware with a sharpness which rivals any of 
the impressions which one can get to-day on paper, with 
aU the refinement of Galton's fasciaating but smeary 
technique. Then there is a third kind of pottery, in 
which the article has received a surface wash of light 
mineral color, upon which are decorations of various 
forms, usually in black, but sometimes in black and red. 
It is not very common to find red pottery in the region 
about the Mesa Verde, but occasionally a piece is 

The forms of pottery are various. There are bowls of 
many shapes and sizes, usually decorated on the inside 
only. There are long jars and short jars, some with 
wide and some with narrow mouths. There are vases, 



pitchers, cups, ladles, platters, sieves, mugs, and bottles, 
and many other queer-shaped things which it would be 
difficult to name. The colors were mineral, and very 
durable, as is evident from their excellent preservation 
after hundreds of years of burial. 

The decoration is frequently almost concealed, when 
the articles are exhumed, by a rough whitish incrustation 
of Kme which through the years of burial has gathered 
on the surfaces. Washing with dilute acid discloses the 
pattern underneath. 

Not infrequently one finds bowls and jars which have 
been cracked or broken, and mended by drilling holes 
along the cracks and tying the pieces together with 
yucca cords. A great deal of care was evidently taken in 
fashioning and decorating some of this pottery, and the 
thrifty old "cliff-dweller" knew very well that a 
mended jar was useful to store corn and flour and such 
dry things in, even if it would no longer hold water. 

One often finds, inside the pieces of pottery in the 
graves, fragments of the mineral from which the pig- 
ment was ground, and smooth stones with which, appar- 
ently, the surface of the clay articles was smoothed and 
poUshed. Arrow-heads, bone implements, beads, shells, 
amulets, corn, and a variety of their pathetic belongings 
are not infrequently found packed within the jars and 
bowls beside the crumbled bodies. 

And the "cliff-dweller" smoked a pipe! I feel con- 
strained to leave it to the archaeologists to decide 
whether he smoked for the fun of it, or with devotional 
or ceremonial intent, and what he smoked. But one 
short-stemmed pipe of clay, decorated in red, and 
blackened within from use, and one half-shaped in 



process of construction, are in my own collection. It is 
a dreamy land, this which he lived in, and I hope that he 
lay in the shadows sometimes in the lulls of his strenu- 
ous life, and, with no urgent thoughts of his gods or his 
etiquette, puffed idly and at ease his little dudheen. 

Baskets and mats showed considerable variety in the 
weaving and a distinct appreciation of ornament witness 
to the cliff-man's skill. Coarse grass, joicca, willow, and 
split sticks are the materials which he used for this 

The bottoms of most of the jars and larger clay ves- 
sels are rounded, and, so far as I have seen, never have 
the hollow underneath which in modern Indian pottery 
facilitates its carrying poised upon the head. And so 
plaited rings, which were doubtless used for steadying 
the jars upon the head or on the ground, are, as might 
be expected, not uncommon. But his skill as a weaver 
was not limited to basketry, for fabrics of varied texture 
and composition are largely in evidence. The yucca, or 
Spanish-bayonet, which grows all over the arid country 
of the "cliff-dweller," was one of the things which he 
had to thank his gods for, hour by hour. 

He hung the narrow leaves about his houses in neatly 
tied bunches, ready for coarser purposes. He used them 
in this form as cords to tie slender sticks in place upon 
his ceilings, on which the mud was plastered; with them 
he bound his sandals to his feet, pieced out bands of 
doth which were too worn or too weak to steady bur- 
dens carried on his back; with them he tied together the 
sticks which framed the baby board and bound the dead 
for burial. With them he mended broken bowls, and 
wove coarse nets aroimd the great water jars for support 



or suspension; while, woven close, they made durable 
sandal soles and coarse baskets. 

Then he beat out the brittle woody part of these 
precious yucca leaves with wooden sticks, and out of the 
fine, tough, pliable fibrils which were left he twisted 
threads and cords, the warp and woof of his most com- 
mon woven fabrics. Some of these fabrics are coarse and 
rough; some are smooth and fine. In some of them the 
yucca cord forms the warp, while the woof is of cotton, 
dark and fight, with woven patterns. 

Whether he used the narrow strips of the leaf, or cords 
or rope twisted of their fibers, the old cliff-fellow knew 
how to tie good square knots which have not slipped a 
jot for some hundreds of years. I have sought in vain 
for "squaw" knots, among thousands of these bits of 
handiwork, on roof and ceiling and mended fabric. And 
he who never saw the sea could make a "ring splice" to 
shame a sailor. 

The feather cloth is, in some respects, one of the most 
noteworthy of this old citizen's productions. He hetch- 
eled his dry yucca leaves, twisted their fibrils into 
coarse cords, tied these together to form a wide-meshed 
net, and then inch by inch he bound them close with 
Httle tufts of fluffy blue-gray feathers, ravaged, no 
doubt, largely from his turkey pets; or sometimes he 
twisted the feathers into the cords as he made them. 
Some of the feather blankets so toilsomely constructed 
have been found in excellent preservation, but in most 
of them the feathers are largely frayed away. They 
must have been very warm, and were apparently among 
the choicest possessions of these thrifty folks. A little 
fine-textured cjoth, all of cotton, has been found. 



The utensils of some of his milder industries the cliff- 
man largely fashioned out of bone. He ground broad 
beveled edges on the broken segments of the leg bones 
of larger animals, like the deer, forming crude knives 
and chisels and scrapers; but of smaller bones, and 
especially of the long bones of the turkey, he made awls 
and punches and needles. About the surface of the 
rocks, near the clifE-dwellings, are shallow hollows and 
grooves, #orn, no doubt, by the old artisan in shaping 
and polishing his stone and bone implements. 

I was greatly puzzled, during our delvings among the 
rubbish heaps behind the ruins, by numerous small 
irregular wads of fine strips of corn-husk or other fiber, 
which had been bruised and closely matted together; 
and it was not until I had later become acquainted with 
the Hopi Indians, two hundred and fifty miles to the 
southward of the Mesa Verde, that I found a clue. Here 
I saw them pick out of a bowl of thick brown stuff, 
which they said was sweet, and which certainly was 
sticky, similar-looking wads of fiber, and, thrusting 
them into their mouths, begin vigorous mastication. 
Then I realized that the husk wads of the rubbish heaps 
had probably been, while in their pristine state, the 
prehistoric avatars of the chewing-gum. 

A dark-skinned, black-haired, scantily clad barbarian, 
then, it seems he was, our dweller in the cliffs, the real 
American. Farmer, mason, potter, weaver, basket- 
maker, tailor, jeweler, hunter, priest, and warrior all 
in one. Daring and hardy he was to scale those cliffs, 
and build upon their brinks the houses into which he 
gathered sustenance wrung from the unwilling soil. 
Diligent and thrifty he was certainly. Skillful, too, as 



skill goes in the stage of evolvement up to which he had 
slowly won his way. Superstitious, doubtless, as is ever 
the case with those who frame their notions of the world 
face to face with the crude forces of nature. Dreamy, I 
fancy he must have been, for he looked abroad through 
red dawns and hazy noontides and witching twilights 
fading very slowly into night. 

And he was — well — he was undoubtedly dirty. 
Life has more urgent uses for water than Ifething in 
these grim arid wastes. But nature is a very efficient 
sanitarian in dry climates such as his, and "use can 
make sweet the peach's shady side." So let us say no 
more about it. 

It is the business of the archaeologist to learn and tell 
you, or to guess and tell you, when these early Americans 
lived, where they came from, and whither they have 
gone. A group of skeletons, with skulls broken as if by 
blows, which the early explorers found lying unburied 
in a heap upon the floor, would seem to indicate that in 
one case at least there was a fierce dramatic ending to 
the story. The archaic character of the pottery and the 
size of some trees which have grown upon the ruined 
masonry prove that several centuries at least have 
passed since their abandoned homes fell into the custody 
of the squirrels and the elements. The modern Indian 
shuns them, as a rule, as he does all things which savor 
of death; and so, until a dozen years or so ago, the silent 
dwellings held unchallenged the secrets of the vanished 



["All the animals with which the Tee-wahn are famil- 
iar — the buffalo (which they used to hunt on the vast 
plains to the eastward), the bear, deer, antelope, moun- 
tain lion, badger, wild turkey, fox, eagle, crow, buzzard, 
rabbit, and so on — appear in their legends and fairy 
tales, as well as in their religious ceremonials and 
beliefs. Too-whay-deh, the coyote, or little prairie wolf, 
figures in countless stories, and always to his own dis- 
advantage. Smart as he is in some things, he beUeves 
whatever is told him; and by his credulity becomes the 
butt of all the other animals, who never tire of 'April- 
fooling' him. He is also a great coward. To call an 
Indian here ' Too-whdy-deh' is one of the bitterest insults 
that can be offered him." . . .] 

Once upon a time Too-whay-shur-wee-deh, the Little- 
Blue-Fox, was wandering near a pueblo, and chanced to 
come to the threshing-floors, where a great many crows 
were hopping. Just then the Coyote passed, very hun- 
gry; and while yet far off, said: "Ai! how the stomach 
cries! I win just eat Little-Blue-Fox." And coming, 
he said: "Now, Little-Blue-Fox, you have troubled me 
enough! You are the cause of my being chased by the 
dogs and people, and now I wUl pay you. I am going to 
eat you up this very now!" 

"No, Coyote-friend," answered the Little-Blue-Fox, 



"don't eat me up! I am here guarding these chickens, 
for there is a wedding in yonder house, which is my 
master's, and these chickens are for the wedding-dinner. 
Soon they will come for the chickens, and will invite me 
to the dinner — and you can come also." 

"Well," said the Coyote, "if thai is so, I will not eat 
you, but will help you watch the chickens." So he lay 
down beside him. 

At this, Little-Blue-Fox was troubled, thinking how 
to get away; and at last he said: " Friend Too-whay-deh, 
I make strange that they have not before now come for 
the chickens. Perhaps they have forgotten. The best 
way is for me to go to the house and see what the 
servants are doing." 

"It is well," said the Coyote. "Go, then, and I will 
guard the chickens for you." 

So the Little-Blue-Fox started toward the house; but 
getting behind a small hill, he ran away with fast feet. 
When it was a good while, and he did not come back, 
the Coyote thought: "While he is gone, I will give my- 
self some of the chickens." Crawling up on his belly to 
the threshing-floor, he gave a great leap. But the chick- 
ens were only crows, and they flew away. Then he 
began to say evil of the Little-Blue-Fox for giving him 
a trick, and started on the trail, vowing: "I will eat 
him up wherever I catch him." 

After many miles he overtook the Little-Blue-Fox, 
and with a bad face said: "Here! Now I am going to 
eat you up!" 

The other made as if greatly excited, and answered: 
"No, friend Coyote! Do you not hear that tombe?" ^ 
' The sacred drum used in the pueblo dances. 


The Coyote listened, and heard a drum in the pueblo. 

"Well," said the Little-Blue-Fox, "I am called for 
that dance, and very soon they will come for me. Won't 
you go, too? " 

"If that is so, I will not eat you, but we will go to the 

And the Coyote sat down and began to comb his hair 
and to make himself pretty with face-paint. 

When no one came, the Little-Blue-Fox said: "Friend 
Coyote, I make strange that the alguazil does not come. 
It is best for me to go up on this hill, whence I can see 
into the village. You wait here." 

"He will not dare to give me another trick," thought 
the Coyote. So he replied: "It is well. But do not forget 
to call me." 

So the Little-Blue-Fox went up the hill; and as 
soon as he was out of sight, he began to run for his 

Very long the Coyote waited; and at last, being tired, 
went up on the hill — but there was no one there. Then 
he was very angry, and said; "I will follow him, and eat 
him surely! iVo^Aiwg shall save him!" And finding the 
trail, he began to follow as fast as a bird. 

Just as the Little-Blue-Fox came to some high cliffs, 
he looked back and saw the Coyote coming over a hill. 
So he stood up on his hind feet and put his fore paws up 
against the cliff, and made many groans, and was as if 
much excited. In a moment came the Coyote, very 
angry, cr3dng: "Now you shall not escape me! I am 
going to eat you up now — now!" 

"Oh, no, friend Too-whay-deh ! " said the other; "for 
I saw this cliff falling down, and ran to hold it up. If I 



let go, it will fall and kill us both. But come, help me to 
hold it." 

Then the Coyote stood up and pushed against the cliff 
with his fore paws, very hard; and there they stood side 
by side. 

Time passing so, the Little-Blue-Fox said : — 

"Friend Too-whay-deh, it is long that I am holding 
up the cliff, and I am very tired and thirsty. You are 
fresher. So you hold up the cliff while I go and hunt 
water for us both; for soon you too will be thirsty. 
There is a lake somewhere on the other side of this 
mountain; I will find it and get a drink, and then come 
back and hold up the cliff while you go." 

The Coyote agreed, and the Little-Blue-Fox ran away 
over the mountain till he came to the lake, just as the 
moon was rising. 

But soon the Coyote was very tired and thirsty, for 
he held up the cliff with all his might. At last he said: 
"Ai! how hard it is! I am so thirsty that I will go to the 
lake, even if I die!" 

So he began to let go of the cliff, slowly, slowly — 
until he held it only with his finger-nails; and then he 
made a great jump away backward, and ran as hard as 
he could to a hill. But when he looked around and 
saw that the cliff did not fall, he was very angry, and 
swore to eat Too-whay-shur-wee-deh the very minute he 
should catch him. 

Running on the trail, he came to the lake; and there 
the Little-Blue-Fox. was lying on the bank, whining as 
if greatly excited. " Now I will eat you up, this minute ! " 
cried the Coyote. 

But the other said: "No, friend Too-whiy-deh! 


Don't eat me up! I am waiting for some one who can 
swim as well as you can. I just bought a big cheese from 
a shepherd to share with you; but when I went to drink, 
it slipped out of my hands into the water. Come here, 
and I will show you." He took the Coyote to the edge 
of the high bank, and pointed to the moon in the water. 

"M — m!" said the Coyote, who was fainting with 
hunger. " But how shall I get it? It is very deep in the 
water, and I shall float up before I can dive to it." 

"That is true, friend," said the other. "There is but 
one way. We must tie some stones to your neck, to 
make you heavy so you can go down to it." 

So they hunted about until they found a buckskin 
thong and some large stones; and the Little-Blue-Fox 
tied the stones to the Coyote's neck, the Coyote holding 
his chin up, to help. 

"Now, friend Too-whay-deh, come here to the edge 
of the bank and stand ready. I will take you by the 
back and count weem, wee-si, p'dh-chu! And when I say 
three, you must jump and I will push — for now you are 
very heavy." 

So he took the Coyote by the back of the neck, sway- 
ing him back and forth as he counted. And at "P'ah- 
chu!" he pushed hard, and the Coyote jumped, and 
went into the deep water, and — never came out again ! 




Some of the most characteristic heroisms and hardships 
of the pioneers in our domain cluster about the won- 
drous rock of Acoma, the strange sky-city of the Queres 
Pueblos. All the Pueblo cities were built in positions 
which Nature herself had fortified, — a necessity of the 
times, since they were surrounded by outnumbering 
hordes of the deadliest warriors in history; but Acoma 
was most secure of aU. In the midst of a long valley, 
four miles wide, itself lined by almost insurmountable 
precipices, towers a lofty rock, whose top is about 
seventy acres in area, and whose walls, three hundred 
and fifty-seven feet high, are not merely perpendicular, 
but in most places even overhanging. Upon its summit 
was perched — and is to-day — the dizzy city of the 
Queres. The few paths to the top — whereon a misstep 
will roll the victim to horrible death, hundreds of feet 
below — are by wild, precipitous clefts, at the head of 
which one determined man, with no other weapons 
than stones, could almost hold at bay an army. 

This strange aerial town was first heard of by Euro- 
peans in 1539, when Fray Marcos, the discoverer of 
New Mexico, was told by the people of Cibola of the 
great rock fortress of Hakuque, — their name for 
Aconia, which the natives themselves call Aliko. In the 
following year Coronado visited it with his little army, 



and has left us an accurate account of its wonders. 
These first Europeans were well received there; and the 
superstitious natives, who had never seen a beard or a 
white face before, took the strangers for gods. But it 
was more than half a century later yet before the Span- 
iards sought a foothold there. 

When Onate entered New Mexico in 1 598, he met no 
immediate resistance whatever; for his force of four 
hundred people, including two hundred men-at-arms, 
was large enough to awe the Indians. They were natu- 
rally hostile to these invaders of their domain; but find- 
ing themselves well treated by the strangers, and fearful 
of open war against these men with hard clothes, who 
killed from afar with their thunder-sticks, the Pueblos 
awaited results. The Queres, Tigua, and Jemez branches 
formally submitted to Spanish rule, and took the oath 
of allegiance to the Crown by their representative men 
gathered at the pueblo of Guipuy (now Santo Domingo) ; 
as also did the Tanos, Picuries, Tehuas, and Taos, at a 
similar conference at the pueblo of San Juan, in Septem- 
ber, 1598. At this ready submission Onate was greatly 
encouraged; and he decided to visit all the principal 
pueblos in person, to make them securer subjects of his 
sovereign. He had founded already the first town in 
New Mexico and the second in the United States, — 
San Gabriel de los Espanoles, where Chamita stands 
to-day. Before starting on this perilous journey, he 
dispatched Juan de Zaldivar, his maestro de campo,^ 
with fifty men to explore the vast, unknown plains to 
the east, and then to follow him. 

Onate and a small force left the lonely little Spanish 

' Equivalent to our colonel. 


colony, — more than a thousand miles from any other 
town of civilized men, — October 6, 1598. First he 
marched to the pueblos in the great plains of the Salt 
Lakes, east of the Manzano mountains, — a thirsty 
journey of more than two hundred miles. Then return- 
ing to the pueblo of Puaray (opposite the present 
Bernalillo), he turned westward. On the 27th of the 
same month he camped at the foot of the lofty cliffs of 
Acoma. The pincipales (chief men) of the town came 
down from the rock, and topk the solemn pledge of 
allegiance to the Spanish Crown. They were thoroughly 
warned of the deep importance and meaning of this step, 
and that if they violated their oath they would be 
regarded and treated as rebels against His Majesty; 
but they fully pledged themselves to be faithful vassals. 
They were very friendly, and repeatedly invited the 
Spanish commander and his men to visit their sky-city. 
In truth, they had had spies at the conferences in Santo 
Domingo and San Juan, and had decided that the most 
dangerous man among the invaders was Onate himself. 
If he could be slain, they thought the rest of the pale 
strangers might be easily routed. 

But Onate knew nothing of their intended treachery; 
and on the following day he and his handful of men — 
leaving only a guard with the horses — climbed one of 
the breathless stone "ladders," and stood in Acoma. 
The officious Indians piloted them hither and yon, show- 
ing them the strange terraced houses of many stories 
in height, the great reservoirs in the eternal rock, and 
the dizzy brink which everywhere surrounded the eyrie 
of a town. At last they brought the Spaniards to where a 
huge ladder, projecting far aloft through a trapdoor in 



the roof of a large house, indicated the estufa, or sacred 
council-chamber. The visitors mounted to the roof by 
a smaller ladder, and the Indians tried to have Oiiate 
descend through the trapdoor. But the Spanish gover- 
nor, noting that all was dark in the room below, and 
suddenly becoming suspicious, declined to enter; and 
as his soldiers were all about, the Indians did not insist. 
After a short visit in the pueblo the Spaniards descended 
the rock to their camp, and thence marched away on 
their long and dangerous journey to Moqui and Zuiii. 
That swift flash of prudence in Oiiate's mind saved the 
history of New Mexico; for in that dark estufa was lying 
a band of armed warriors. Had he entered the room, he 
would have been slain at once; and his death was to be 
the signal for a general onslaught upon the Spaniards, 
all of whom must have perished in the unequal fight. 

Returning from his march of exploration through the 
trackless and deadly plains, Juan de Zaldivar left San 
Gabriel on the i8th of November, to follow his com- 
mander-in-chief. He had but thirty men. Reaching the 
foot of the City in the Sky on the 4th of December, he 
was very kindly received by the Acomas, who invited 
him up into their town. Juan was a good soldier, as 
well as a gallant one, and well used to the tricks of 
Indian warfare; but for the first time in his Hfe — and 
the last — he now let himself be deceived. Leaving half 
his little force at the foot of the cliff to guard the camp 
and horses, he himself went up with sixteen men. The 
town was so full of wonders, the people so cordial, that 
the visitors soon forgot whatever suspicions they may 
have had; and by degrees they scattered hither and yon 
to see the strange sights. The natives had been waiting 


only for this; and when the war-chief gave the wild 
whoop, men, women, and children seized rocks and 
clubs, bows and flint-knives, and fell furiously upon the 
scattered Spaniards. It was a ghastly and an unequal 
fight the winter sun looked down upon that bitter 
afternoon in the clifE-city. Here and there, with back 
against the wall of one of those strange houses, stood a 
gray-faced, tattered, bleeding soldier, swinging his 
clumsy flintlock club-like, or hacking with desperate but 
unavailing sword at the dark, ravenous mob that 
hemmed him, while stones rained upon his bent visor, 
and clubs and cruel flints sought him from every side. 
There was no coward blood among that doomed band. 
They sold their hves dearly; in front of every one lay a 
sprawling heap of dead. But one by one the howling 
wave of barbarians drowned each grim, silent fighter, 
and swept off to swell the murderous flood about the 
next. Zaldivar himself was one of the first victims; and 
two other officers, six soldiers, and two servants fell 
in that uneven combat. The five survivors — Juan 
Tabaro, who was alguacil-mayor, with four soldiers — 
got at last together, and with superhuman strength 
fought their way to the edge of the cliff, bleeding from 
many wounds. But their savage foes still pressed them; 
and being too faint to carve their way to one of the 
"ladders," in the wildness of desperation the five sprang 
over the beetling cliff. 

Never but once was recorded so frightful a leap as 
that of Tabaro and his four companions. Even if we pre- 
sume that they had been so fortunate as to reach the 
very lowest point of the rock, it could not have been less 
than one hundred and fifty feet! And yet only one of 



the five was killed by this inconceivable fall; the remain- 
ing four, cared for by their terrified companions in the 
camp, all finally recovered. It would be incredible, were 
it not estabhshed by absolute historical proof. It is 
probable that they fell upon one of the mounds of white 
sand which the winds had drifted against the foot of the 
cliffs in places. 

Fortunately, the victorious savages did not attack 
the little camp. The survivors still had their horses, of 
which unknown brutes the Indians had a great fear. 
For several days the fourteen soldiers and their four 
half-dead companions camped under the overhanging 
cliff, where they were safe from missiles from above, 
hourly expecting an onslaught from the savages. They 
felt sure that this massacre of their comrades was but 
the prelude to a general uprising of the twenty-five or 
thirty thousand Pueblos; and regardless of the danger to 
themselves, they decided at last to break up into little 
bands, and separate, — some to follow their commander 
on his lonely march to Moqui, and warn him of his 
danger; and others to hasten over the hundreds of arid 
miles to San Gabriel and the defense of its women and 
babes, and to the missionaries who had scattered among 
the savages. This plan of self-devotion was successfully 
carried out. The little bands of three and four apiece 
bore the news to their countrymen; and by the end 
of the year 1598 all the surviving Spaniards in New 
Mexico were safely gathered in the hamlet of San 
Gabriel. The Httle town was built pueblo-fashion, in 
the shape of a hollow square. In the plaza within were 
planted the rude pedreros — small howitzers which fired 
a ball of stone — to command the gates; and upon the 



roofs of the three-story adobe houses the brave women 
watched by day, and the men with their heavy flintlocks 
all through the winter nights, to guard against the 
expected attack. But the Pueblos rested on their arms. 
They were waiting to see what Onate would do with 
Acoma, before they took final measures against the 

It was a most serious dilemma in which Onate now 
found himself. One need not have known half so much 
about the Indian character as did this gray, quiet 
Spaniard, to understand that he must signally punish 
the rebels for the massacre of his men, or abandon his 
colony and New Mexico altogether. If such an outrage 
went unpunished, the emboldened Pueblos would de- 
stroy the last Spaniard. On the other hand, how could 
he hope to conquer that impregnable fortress of rock? 
He had less than two hundred men; and only a small 
part of these could be spared for the campaign, lest the 
other Pueblos in their absence should rise and annihilate 
San Gabriel and its people. In Acoma there were full 
three hundred warriors, reinforced by at least a hundred 
Navajo braves. 

But there was no alternative. The more he reflected 
and counseled with his officers, the more apparent it 
became that the only salvation was to capture the 
Queres Gibraltar; and the plan was decided upon. 
Onate naturally desired to lead in person this forlornest 
of forlorn hopes; but there was one who had even a 
better claim to the desperate honor than the captain- 
general, — and that one was the forgotten hero Vicente 
de Zaldivar, brother of the murdered Juan. He was 
sargento-mayor of the little army ; and when he came to 



Onate and begged to be given the command of the 
expedition against Acoma, there was no saying him nay. 

On the 1 2th of January, 1599, Vicente de Zaldivar 
left San Gabriel at the head of seventy men. Only a few 
of them had even the clumsy flintlocks of the day; the 
majority were not arquebusiers but piquiers, armed only 
with swords and lances, and clad in jackets of quilted 
cotton or battered mail. One small pedrero, lashed upon 
the back of a horse, was the only "artillery." 

Silently and sternly the little force made its arduous 
march, AU knew that impregnable rock, and few cher- 
ished an expectation of returning from so desperate a 
mission; but there was no thought of turning back. On 
the afternoon of the eleventh day the tired soldiers 
passed the last intervening mesa, and came in sight of 
Acoma. The Indians, warned by their runners, were 
ready to receive them. The whole population, with the 
Navajo alHes, were under arms, on the housetops and 
the commanding cUfis. Naked savages, painted black, 
leaped from crag to crag, screeching defiance and heap- 
ing insults upon the Spaniards. The medicine-men, 
hideously disguised, stood on projecting pirmacles, 
beating their drums and scattering curses and incanta- 
tions to the winds; and aU the populace joined in derisive 
howls and taunts. 

Zaldivar halted his Httle band as close to the foot of 
the cliff as he could without danger. The indispensable 
notary stepped from the ranks, and at the blast of the 
trumpet proceeded to read at the top of his lungs the 
formal sunmions in the name of the KLing of Spain to 
surrender. Thrice he shouted through the simimons; 
but each time his voice was drowned by the howls and 



shrieks of the enraged savages, and a hail of stones and 
arrows fell dangerously near. Zaldivar had desired to 
secure the surrender of the pueblo, demand the delivery 
to him of the ringleaders in the massacre, and take them 
back with him to San Gabriel for official trial and pun- 
ishment; without harm to the other people of Acoma; 
but the savages, secure in their grim fortress, mocked 
the merciful appeal. It was clear that Acoma must be 
stormed. The Spaniards camped on the bare sands and 
passed the night — made hideous by the sounds of a 
monster war-dance in the town — in gloomy plans for 
the morrow. 

At daybreak, on the morning of January 22, Zaldivar 
gave the signal for the attack; and the main body of the 
Spaniards began firing their few arquebuses, and making 
a desperate assault at the north end of the great rock, 
there absolutely impregnable. The Indians, crowded 
along the cliffs above, poured down a rain of missiles; 
and many of the Spaniards were woimded. Meanwhile 
twelve picked men, who had hidden during the night 
under the overhanging cliff which protected them alike 
from the fire and the observation of the Indians, were 
crawling stealthily around under the precipice, dragging 
the pedrero by ropes. Most of these twelve were arque- 
busiers; and besides the weight of the ridiculous little 
cannon, they had their ponderous flintlocks and their 
clumsy armor, — poor helps for scaling heights which the 
unencumbered athlete finds difficult. Pursuing their toil- 
some way unobserved, pulling one another and then the 
pedrero up the ledges, they reached at last the top of a 
great outlying pinnacle of rock, separated from the main 
cliff of Acoma by a narrow but awful chasm. Late in 



the afternoon they had their howitzer trained upon the 
town; and the loud report, as its cobble-stone ball flew 
into Acoma, signaled the main body at the north end of 
the mesa that the first vantage-ground had been safely 
gained, and, at the same time warned the savages of 
danger from a new quarter. 

That night little squads of Spaniards climbed the 
great precipices which wall the trough-like valley on 
east and west, cut down small pines, and with infinite 
labor dragged the logs down the cliffs, across the valley, 
and up the butte on which the twelve were stationed. 
About a score of men were left to guard the horses at 
the north end of the mesa; and the rest of the force 
joined the twelve, hiding behind the crags of their rock- 
tower. Across the chasm the Indians were lying in 
crevices, or behind rocks, awaiting the attack. 

At daybreak of the 23d, a squad of picked men at a 
given signal rushed from their hiding-places with a log 
on their shoulders, and by a lucky cast lodged its farther 
end on the opposite brink of the abyss. Out dashed the 
Spaniards at their heels, and began balancing across 
that dizzy "bridge" in the face of a volley of stones 
and arrows. A very few had crossed, when one in his 
excitement caught the rope and pulled the log across 
after him. 

It was a fearful moment. There were less than a 
dozen Spaniards thus left standing alone on the brink 
of Acoma, cut off from their companions by a gulf 
hundreds of feet deep, and surrounded by swarming sav- 
ages. The Indians, sallying from their refuge, fell in- 
stantly upon them on every hand. As long as the Span- 
ish soldier could keep the Indians at a distance, even his 



clumsy firearms and inef&cient armor gave an advantage; 
but at such close quarters these very things were a fatal 
impediment by their weight and clumsiness. Now it 
seemed as if the previous Acoma massacre were to be 
repeated, and the cut-off Spaniards to be hacked to 
pieces; but at this very crisis a deed of surpassing per- 
sonal valor saved them and the cause of Spain in New 
Mexico. A slender, bright-faced young officer, a college 
boy who was a special friend and favorite of Onate, 
sprang from the crowd of dismayed Spaniards on the 
farther bank, who dared not fire into that indiscriminate 
jostle of friend and foe, and came ruiming like a deer 
toward the chasm. As he reached its brink his Kthe 
body gathered itself, sprang into the air like a bird, and 
cleared the gulf ! Seizing the log, he thrust it back with 
desperate strength until his companions could grasp it 
from the farther brink; and over the restored bridge the 
Spanish soldiers poured to retrieve the day. 

Then began one of the most fearful hand-to-hand 
struggles in all American history. Outnumbered nearly 
ten to one, lost in a howling mob of savages who fought 
with the frenzy of despair, gashed with raw-edged 
knives, dazed with crushing clubs, pierced with bristling 
arrows, spent and faint and bleeding, Zaldivar and his 
hero-handful fought their way inch by inch, step by 
step, clubbing their heavy guns, hewing with their short 
swords, parrying deadly blows, pulling the barbed 
arrows from their quivering flesh. On, on, on they 
pressed, shouting the gallant war-cry of Santiago, driv- 
ing the stubborn foe before them by still more stubborn 
valor, until at last the Indians, fully convinced that 
these were no human foes, fled to the refuge of their 


fort-like houses, and there was room for the reeling 
Spaniards to draw breath. Then thrice again the sum- 
mons to surrender was duly read before the strange 
tenements, each near a thousand feet long, and looking 
like a flight of gigantic steps carved from one rock. 
Zaldivar even now wished to spare unnecessary blood- 
shed, and demanded only that the assassins of his 
brother and countrymen should be given up for punish- 
ment. All others who should surrender and become 
subjects of "Our Lord the King " should be well treated. 
But the dogged Indians, like wounded wolves in their 
den, stuck in their barricaded houses, and refused all • 
terms of peace. 

The rock was captured, but the town remained. A 
pueblo is a fortress in itself; and now Zaldivar had to 
storm Acoma house by house and room by room. The 
little pedrero was dragged in front of the first row of 
houses, and soon began to deliver its slow fire. As the 
adobe walls crumbled under the steady baitering of the 
stone cannon-balls, they only formed great barricades 
of clay, which even our modern artillery would not 
pierce; and each had to be carried separately at the 
point of the sword. Some of the fallen houses caught 
fire from their own f agones ; ^ and soon a stifling smoke 
hung over the town, from which issued the shrieks of 
women and babes and the defiant yells of the warriors. 
The humane Zaldivar made every effort to save the 
women and children, at great risk of self; but numbers 
perished beneath the falling walls of their own houses. 

This fearful storming lasted until noon of January 24. 
Now and then bands of warriors made sorties, and tried 

• Fireplaces. 


to cut their way through the Spanish line. Many sprang 
in desperation over the cliff, and were dashed to pieces 
at its foot; and two Indians who made that incredible 
leap survived it as miraculously as had the four Span- 
iards in the earher massacre, and made their escape. 

At last, at noon of the third day, the old men came 
forth to sue for mercy, which was at once granted. The 
moment they surrendered, their rebellion was forgotten 
and their treachery forgiven. There was no need of 
further punishment. The ringleaders in the murder of 
Zaldivar's brother were all dead, and so were nearly all 
■ the Navajo allies. It was the most bloody struggle New 
Mexico ever saw. In this three days' fight the Indians 
lost five hundred slain and many wounded; and of the 
surviving Spaniards not one but bore to his grave many 
a ghastly scar as mementos of Acoma. The town was 
so nearly destroyed that it had all to be rebuilt; and the 
infinite labor with which the patient people had brought 
up that cliff on their backs all the stones and timber and 
clay to build a many-storied town for nearly a thousand 
souls was all to be repeated. Their crops, too, and all 
other suppHes, stored in dark Uttle rooms of the terraced 
houses, had been destroyed, and they were in sore want. 
Truly a bitter punishment had been sent them by 
"those above" for their treachery to Juan de Zaldivar. 

When his men had suf&ciently recovered from their 
wounds, Vicente de Zaldivar, the leader of probably the 
most wonderful capture in history, marched victorious 
back to San Gabriel de los Espanoles, taking with him 
eighty young Acoma girls, whom he sent to be educated 
by the nuns in Old Mexico. What a shout must have 
gone up from the gray walls of the little colony when its 



anxious watchers saw at last the wan and tmexpected 
tatters of its little army pricking slowly homeward 
across the snows on jaded steeds! 

The rest of the Pueblos, who had been Ijdng demure 
as cats, with claws sheathed, but every lithe muscle 
ready to spring, were fairly paralyzed with awe. They 
had looked to see the Spaniards defeated, if not crushed, 
at Acoma; and then a swift rising of aU the tribes 
would have made short work of the remaining invaders. 
But now the impossible had happened! Anko, the 
proud sky-city of the Queres; A^o, the cliff-girt and 
impregnable, — had fallen before the pale strangers! 
Its brave warriors had come to naught, its strong houses 
were a chaos of smoking ruins, its wealth was gone, its 
people nearly wiped from off the earth! What use to 
struggle agaiast "such men of power," — these strange 
wizards who must be precious to "those above," else 
they never could have such superhuman prowess? The 
strong sinews relaxed, and the great cat began to purr 
as though she had never dreamed of mousing. There 
was no more thought of a rebellion against the Spaniards ; 
and the Indians even went out of their way to court the 
favor of these awesome strangers. They brought Onate 
the news of the fall of Acoma several days before 
Zaldivar and his heroes got back to the little colony, 
and even were mean enough to dehver to him two 
Queres refugees from that dread field who had sought 
shelter among them. Thenceforth Governor Onate had 
no more trouble with the Pueblos. 

But Acoma itself seemed to take the lesson to heart 
less than any of them. Too crushed and broken to think 
of further war with its invincible foes, it still remaiaed 



bitterly hostile to the Spaniards for full thirty years, 
until it was again conquered by a heroism as splendid 
as Zaldivar's, though in a far different way. 

In 1629, Fray Juan Ramirez, " the Apostle of Acoma," 
left Santa Fe alone to found a mission in that lofty 
home of fierce barbarians. An escort of soldiers was 
offered him, but he declined it, and started unaccom- 
panied and on foot, with no other weapon than his 
crucifix. Tramping his footsore and dangerous way, he 
came after many days to the foot of the great "island" 
of rock, and began the ascent. As soon as the savages 
saw a stranger of the hated people, they rallied to the 
brink of the cliff and poured down a great flight of 
arrows, some of which pierced his robes. Just then a 
little girl of Acoma, who was standing on the edge of the 
cliff, grew frightened at the wild actions of her people, 
and losing her balance tumbled over the precipice. By a 
strange providence she fell but a few yards, and landed 
on a sandy ledge near the fray, but out of sight of her 
people, who presumed that she had fallen the whole 
height of the cliff. Fray Juan climbed to her, and carried 
her unhurt to the top of the rock; and seeing this appar- 
ent miracle, the savages were disarmed, and received 
him as a good wizard. The good man dwelt alone there 
in Acoma for more than twenty years, loved by the 
natives as a father, and teaching his swarthy converts so 
successfully that in time many knew their catechism, 
and could read and write in Spanish. Besides, imder his 
direction they built a large church with enormous labor. 
When he died, in 1664, the Acomas from being the 
fiercest Indians had become the gentlest in New Mexico, 
and were among the farthest advanced in civilization. 



But a few years after his death came the uprising of all 
the Pueblos; and in the long and disastrous wars which 
followed the church was destroyed, and the fruits of the 
hrsLve fray's work largely disappeared. In that rebelKon 
Fray Lucas Maldonado, who was then the missionary to 
Acoma, was butchered by his flock on the loth or nth 
of August, 1680. In November, 1692, Acoma volun- 
tarily surrendered to the reconqueror of New Mexico, 
Diego de Vargas. Within a few years, however, it 
rebelled again; and in August, 1696, Vargas marched 
against it, but was unable to storm the rock. But by 
degrees the Pueblos grew to lasting peace with the hu- 
mane conquerors, and to merit the kindness which was 
steadily proffered them. The mission at Acoma was 
reestablished about the year 1700; and there stands to- 
day a huge church which is one of the most interesting 
in the world, by reason of the infinite labor and patience 
which built it. The last attempt at a Pueblo uprising 
was in 1828; but Acoma was not implicated in it at all. 
The strange stone stairway, by which Fray Juan 
Ramirez climbed first to his dangerous parish in the 
teeth of a storm of arrows, is used by the people of Acoma 
to this day, and is still called by them el camino del 
padre (the path of the father). 




For some time the French and the EngUsh were far more 
interested in catching fish off the banks of Newfoundland 
than in planting colonies; but at length a famous French 
Protestant named Coligny formed the plan of founding a 
state in America where the Huguenots, or French Protes- 
tants, might find refuge from persecution. This was begun 
in 1565, in Florida; but a few months later, the Spaniard 
Menendez, who had founded St. Augustine, attacked the 
little French colony and killed men, women, and children. 
The next attempt was by Sir Walter Raleigh, who was eager 
to make an EngHsh settlement in America, and in 1585-87 
founded two colonies in Virginia. Neither of these colonies 

Early in the seventeenth century so many landowners in 
Great Britain had turned their farms into sheep pastures 
that fewer laborers were needed; and much interest was 
aroused in migrating to America. A great trading associa- 
tion, divided into the London Company and the Plymouth 
Company, was formed for making settlements. The London 
Company founded in 1607 the colony of Jamestown, in 
Virginia. English colonies were also established in the 
CaroHnas, — much to the annoyance of the Spaniards of 
Florida, who were constantly stirring up the Indians to 
attack them. 

At length the idea occurred to General James Oglethorpe, 
of England, that a strong colony founded between the Caro- 
Hnas and Florida would greatly strengthen the EngUsh 
position. His colonists were insolvent debtors, whom he had 
permission to release from their prisons for this purpose. 
A few years after he had thus founded Savannah, war broke 
out between England and Spain, and of course between the 
English of Georgia and the Spaniards of Florida. The Eng- 
Ush colonists invaded Florida and the Spanish retaliated by 
an invasion of Georgia, but were driven away by the military 
skill of General Oglethorpe. 




CoLiGNY had long desired to establish a refuge for the 
Huguenots, and a Protestant French empire, in Amer- 
ica. Disappointed in his first effort, by the apostasy and 
faithlessness of his agent, Villegagnon, he still perse- 
vered; moved alike by rehgious zeal, and by a passion 
for the honor of France. The expedition which he now 
planned was entrusted to the command of John Ribault 
of Dieppe, a brave man, of maritime experience, and a 
firm Protestant, and was attended by some of the best 
of the young French nobOity, as well as by veteran 
troops. The feeble Charles IX conceded an ample com- 
mission, and the squadron set sail for the shores of 
North America. Desiring to establish their plantation 
in a genial clime, land was first made in the latitude of 
St. Augustine; the fine river which we caU the St. Johns 
was discovered, and named the River of May. It is the 
St. Matheo of the Spaniards. The forests of mulberries 
were admired, and caterpillars readily mistaken for silk- 
worms. The cape received a French name; as the ship 
sailed along the coast, the numerous streams were called 
after the rivers of France; and America, for a while, had 
its Seine, its Loire, and its Garonne. In searching for the 
Jordan or Combahee, they came upon Port Royal en- 
trance, which seemed the outlet of a magnificent river. 
The greatest ships of France and the argosies of Venice 



could ride securely in the deep water of the harbor. The 
site for a first settlement is apt to be injudiciously 
selected; the local advantages which favor the growth 
of large cities are revealed by time. It was perhaps on 
Lemon Island, that a monumental stone, engraved with 
the arms of France, was proudly raised; and as the com- 
pany looked round upon the immense oaks, which were 
venerable from the growth of centuries, the profusion of 
wild fowls, the groves of pine, the flowers so fragrant 
that the whole air was perfumed, they already regarded 
the country as a province of their native land. Ribault 
determined to leave a colony; twenty-six composed the 
whole party, which was to keep possession of the conti- 
nent. Fort Charles, the Carolina, so called in honor of 
Charles IX of France, first gave a name to the country, 
a century before it was occupied by the English. The 
name remained, though the early colony perished. 

Ribault and his ships arrived safely in France. But 
the fires of civil war had been kindled in all the prov- 
inces of the kingdom; and the promised reinforcements 
for Carolina were never levied. The situation of the 
French became precarious. The natives were friendly; 
but the soldiers themselves were insubordinate; and dis- 
sensions prevailed. The commandant at Carolina re- 
pressed the turbulent spirit with arbitrary cruelty, and 
lost his life in a mutiny which his ungovernable passion 
had provoked. The new commander succeeded in 
restoring order. But the love of his native land is a pas- 
sion easily revived in the breast of a Frenchman; and 
the company resolved to embark in such a brigantine 
as they could themselves construct. Intoxicated with 
joy at the thought of returning home, they neglected to 



provide sufl&cient stores; and they were overtaken by 
famine at sea, with its attendant crimes. A small Eng- 
lish bark at length boarded their vessel, and, setting the 
most feeble on shore upon the coast of France, carried 
the rest to the Queen of England. Thus fell the £ft-st 
attempt of France in French Florida, near the southern 
confines of South Carolina. The country was still a 

After the treacherous peace between Charles IX and 
the Huguenots, Coligny renewed his soKcitations for the 
colonization of Florida. The king gave consent; three 
ships were conceded for the service; and Laudonniere, 
who, in the former voyage, had been upon the American 
coast, a man of great intelligence, though a seaman 
rather than a soldier, was appointed to lead forth the 
colony. Emigrants readily appeared; for the climate of 
Florida was so celebrated, that, according to rumor, the 
duration of human life was doubled under its genial in- 
fluences; and men stDl dreamed of rich mines of gold in 
the interior. Coligny was desirous of obtaining accu- 
rate descriptions of the country; and James le Moyne, 
called De Morgues, an ingenious painter, was commis- 
sioned to execute colored drawings of the objects which 
might engage his curiosity. A voyage of sixty days 
brought the fleet, by the way of the Canaries and the 
Antilles, to the shores of Florida. The harbor of Port 
Royal, rendered gloomy by recollections of misery, was 
avoided; and after searching the coast, and discovering 
places which were so full of amenity, that melancholy 
itself could not but change its humor, as it gazed, the 
followers of Calvin planted themselves on the banks of 
the river May. They sang a psalm of thanksgiving, and 



gathered courage from acts of devotion. The fort now 
erected was also named Carolina. The result of this 
attempt to procure for France immense dominions at 
the south of our Republic, through the agency of a 
Huguenot colony, has been very frequently narrated: in 
the history of human nature it forms a dark picture of 
vindictive bigotry. 

The French were hospitably welcomed by the natives; 
a monument, bearing the arms of France, was crowned 
with laurels, and its base encircled with baskets of corn. 
What need is there of minutely relating the simple 
manners of the red men; the dissensions of rival tribes; 
the largesses offered to the strangers to secure their pro- 
tection of their alliance; the improvident prodigality 
with which careless soldiers wasted the supplies of food; 
the certain approach of scarcity; the gifts and the trib- 
ute levied from the Indians by entreaty, menace, or 
force? By degrees the confidence of the natives was 
exhausted; they had welcomed powerful guests, who 
promised to become their benefactors, and who now 
robbed their humble granaries. 

But the worst evil in the new settlement was the char- 
acter of the emigrants. Though patriotism and religious 
enthusiasm had prompted the expedition, the inferior 
class of the colonists was a motley group of dissolute 
men. Mutinies were frequent. The men were mad with 
the passion for sudden wealth; and a party, under the 
pretense of desiring to escape from famine, compelled 
Laudonniere to sign an order, permitting their embarka- 
tion for New Spain. No sooner were they possessed of 
this apparent sanction of the chief than they equipped 
two vessels, and began a career of piracy against the 



Spaniards. Thus the French were the aggressors in the 
first act of hostiHty in the New World; an act of crime 
and temerity which was soon avenged. The pirate ves- 
sel was taken, and most of the men disposed of as pris- 
oners or slaves. A few escaped in a boat ; these could find 
no shelter but at Fort CaroUna, where Laudonniere 
sentenced the ringleaders to death. 

Meantime, the scarcity became extreme; and the 
friendship of the natives was entirely forfeited by un- 
profitable severity. March was gone, and there were 
no supplies from France; April passed away, and the 
expected recruits had not arrived; May came, but it 
brought nothing to sustain the hopes of the exiles. It 
was resolved to return to Europe in such miserable brig- 
antines as despair could construct. Just then, Sir John 
Hawkins, the slave-merchant, arrived from the West 
Indies. He came fresh from the sale of a cargo of 
Africans, whom he had kidnapped with signal ruthless- 
ness; and he now displayed the most generous sympathy, 
not only furnishing a liberal supply of provisions, but 
relinquishing a vessel from his own fleet. Preparations 
were continued; the colony was on the point of embark- 
ing, when sails were descried. Ribault had arrived to 
assume the command; bringing with him supplies of 
every kind, emigrants with their families, garden seeds, 
implements of husbandry, and the various kinds of 
domestic animals. The French, now wild with joy, 
seemed about to acquire a home, and Calvinism to 
become fixed in the inviting regions of Florida. 

But Spain had never relinquished her claim to that 
territory; where, if she had not planted colonies, she had 
buried many hundreds of her bravest sons. Should the 



proud Philip II abandon a part of his dominions to 
France? Should he suffer his commercial monopoly to 
be endangered by a rival settlement in the vicinity of 
the West Indies? Should the bigoted Romanist permit 
the heresy of Calvinism to be planted in the neighbor- 
hood of his Catholic provinces? There had appeared at 
the Spanish court a bold commander, well fitted for acts 
of reckless hostility. Pedro Menendez de Aviles had, in 
a long career of mihtary service, become accustomed to 
scenes of blood; and his natural ferocity had been 
confirmed by his course of life. Often, as a naval ofl&cer, 
encountering pirates, he had become inured to acts of 
prompt and unsparing vengeance. He had acquired 
wealth in Spanish America, which was no school of 
benevolence; and his conduct there had provoked an 
inquiry, which, after a long arrest, ended in his convic- 
tion. The nature of his offenses is not apparent; the jus- 
tice of the sentence is confirmed, for the king, who knew 
him well, esteemed his bravery, and received him again 
into his service, remitted only a moiety of his fine. The 
heir of Menendez had been shipwrecked among the 
Bermudas; the father desired to return and search 
among the islands for tidings of his only son. Philip II 
suggested the conquest and colonization of Florida; and 
a compact was soon framed and confirmed, by which 
Menendez, who desired an opportunity to retrieve his 
honor, was constituted the hereditary governor of a 
territory of almost unlimited extent. 

The terms of the compact are curious. Menendez, on 
his part, promised, at his own cost, in the following May, 
to invade Florida with at least five hundred men; to 
complete its conquest within three years; to explore its 



currents and channels, the dangers of its coasts, and the 
depth of its havens; to establish a colony of at least five 
hundred persons, of whom one hundred should be mar- 
ried men; to introduce at least twelve ecclesiastics, 
besides four Jesuits. It was further stipulated that he 
should transport to his province all kinds of domestic 
animals. The bigoted Philip 11 had no scruples respect- 
ing slavery; Menendez contracted to import into Florida 
five hundred negro slaves. The sugar-cane was to 
become a staple of the country. 

The king, in return, promised the adventurer various 
commercial immunities; the office of governor for life; 
with the right of naming his son-in-law as his successor, 
an estate of twenty-five square leagues in the immediate 
vicinity of the settlement; a salary of two thousand 
ducats, chargeable on the revenues of the province; and 
a fifteenth part of all royal perquisites. 

Meantime, news arrived, as the French writers assert, 
through the treachery of the court of France, that the 
Huguenots had made a plantation in Florida, and that 
Ribault was preparing to set sail with reinforcements. 
The cry was raised that the heretics must be extirpated, 
the enthusiasm of fanaticism was kindled, and Menen- 
dez readily obtained all the forces which he required. 
More than twenty-five hundred persons — soldiers, sail- 
ors, priests, Jesuits, married men with their families, 
laborers, and mechanics, and, with the exception of three 
hundred soldiers, all at the cost of Menendez — engaged 
in the invasion. After delays occasioned by a storm, the 
expedition set sail; and the trade winds soon bore them 
rapidly across the Atlantic. A tempest scattered the 
fleet on its passage; it was with only one third part of 



his forces that Menendez arrived at the harbor of St. 
John in Porto Rico. But he esteemed celerity the secret 
of success; and, refusing to await the arrival of the rest 
of his squadron, he sailed for Florida. It had ever been 
his design to explore the coast; to select a favorable site 
for a fort or a settlement; and, after the construction of 
fortifications, to attack the French. It was on the day 
which the customs of Rome have consecrated to the 
memory of one of the most eloquent sons of Africa, and 
one of the most venerated of the fathers of the Church, 
that he came in sight of Florida. For four days, he 
sailed along the coast, uncertain where the French were 
established; on the fifth day, he landed, and gathered 
from the Indians accounts of the Huguenots. At the 
same time, he discovered a fine haven and beautiful 
river; and, remembering the saint on whose day he came 
upon the coast, he gave to the harbor and to the stream 
the name of St. Augustine. Sailing, then, to the north, 
he discovered a portion of the French fleet, and ob- 
served the nature of the road where they were anchored. 
The French demanded his name and objects. "I am 
Menendez of Spain," repUed he; "sent with strict orders 
from my king to gibbet and behead all the Protestants 
in these regions. The Frenchman who is a Catholic, I 
will spare; every heretic shall die." The French fleet, 
unprepared for action, cut its cables; the Spaniards, for 
some time, continued an ineffectual chase. 

It was at the hour of vespers, on the evening preceding 
the festival of the nativity of Mary, that the Spaniards 
returned to the harbor of St. Augustine. At noonday of 
the festival itself, the governor went on shore, to take 
possession of the continent in the name of his king. The 



bigoted Philip II was proclaimed monarch of aU North 
America. The solemn mass of Our Lady was performed, 
and the foundation of St. Augustine was immediately 
laid. It is, by more than forty years, the oldest town in 
the United States. Houses in it are yet standing, which 
are said to have been built many years before Virginia 
was colonized. • 

By the French it was debated whether they should 
improve their fortifications and await the approach of 
the Spaniards, or proceed to sea and attack their enemy. 
Against the advice of his ofi&cers, Ribault resolved upon 
the latter course. Hardly had he left the harbor for the 
open sea, before there arose a fearful storm, which con- 
tinued tin October, and wrecked every ship of the 
French fleet on the Florida coast. The vessels were 
dashed against the rocks about fifty leagues south of 
Fort Carolina; most of the men escaped with their lives. 

The Spanish ships also suffered, but not so severely; 
and the troops of St. Augustine were entirely safe. They 
knew that the French settlement was left in a defenseless 
state: with a fanatical indifference to toil, Menendez led 
his men through the lakes and marshes and forests that 
divided the St. Augustine from the St. Johns, and, with 
a furious onset, surprised the weak garrison, who had 
looked only towards the sea for the approach of danger. 
After a short contest the Spaniards were masters of the 
fort. A scene of carnage ensued; soldiers, women, chil- 
dren, the aged, the sick, were alike massacred. The 
Spanish account asserts that Menendez ordered women 
and young children to be spared; yet not tiU after the 
havoc had long been raging. 

Nearly two hundred persons were killed. A few 


escaped into the woods, among them Laudonniere, 
Challus, and Le Moyne, who have related the horrors 
of the scene. But whither should they fly? Death met 
them in the woods; and the heavens, the earth, the sea, 
and men, all seemed conspired against them. Should 
they surrender, appealing to the sympathy of their con- 
querors? "Let us," said Challus, "trust in the mercy of 
God, rather than of these men." A few gave themselves 
up, and were immediately murdered. The others, after 
the severest sufferings, found their way to the seaside, 
and were received on board two small French vessels 
which had remained in the harbor. The Spaniards, 
angry that any should have escaped, insulted the corpses 
of the dead with wanton barbarity. 

The victory had been gained on the festival of St. 
Matthew; and hence the Spanish name of the river May. 
After the carnage was completed, mass was said; a cross 
was raised; and the site for a church selected, on ground 
still smoking with the blood of a peaceful colony. So 
wilhngly is the human mind the dupe of its prejudices; 
so easily can fanaticism connect acts of savage ferocity 
with the rites of a merciful reUgion. 

The shipwrecked men were, in their turn, soon dis- 
covered. They were in a state of helpless weakness, 
wasted by their fatigues at sea, half famished, destitute 
of water and of food. Should they surrender to the 
Spaniards? Menendez invited them to rely on his com- 
passion; the French capitulated, and were received 
among the Spaniards in such successive divisions as a 
boat could at once ferry across the intervening river. 
As the captives stepped upon the bank which their 
enemies occupied, their hands were tied behind them; 



and in this way they were driven to the slaughter-house. 
As they approached the fort, a signal was given; and, 
amidst the sound of trumpets and drums, the Spaniards 
fell upon the unhappy men who had confided in their 
humanity, and who could offer no resistance. A few 
Catholics were spared; some mechanics were reserved 
as slaves; the rest were massacred, "not as Frenchmen, 
but as Lutherans." The whole number of the victims 
of bigotry, here and at the fort, is said by the French 
to have been about nine hundred; the Spanish accounts 
diminish the number of the slain, but not the atrocity of 
the deed. Menendez returned to Spain, impoverished, 
but triumphant. The French Government heard of the 
outrage with apathy, and made not even a remonstrance 
on the ruin of a colony, which, if it had been protected, 
would have given to its country a flourishing empire in 
the south, before England had planted a single spot on 
the new continent. History has been more faithful, and 
has assisted hxunanity by giving to the crime of Menen- 
dez an infamous notoriety. The first town in the United 
States sprang from the unrelenting bigotry of the Span- 
ish king. We admire the rapid growth of our larger 
cities; the sudden transformation of portions of the 
wilderness into blooming states. St. Augustine presents 
a stronger contrast, in its transition from the bigoted 
policy of Philip II to the American principles of rehgious 
Uberty. Its origin should be carefully remembered, for 
it is a fixed point from which to measure the liberal 
influence of time; the progress of modern civilization; 
the victories of the American mind, in its contests for 
the interests of humanity. 
The Huguenots and the French nation did not share 



the indifference of the court. Dominic de Gourgues — a 
bold soldier of Gascony, whose life had been a series of 
adventures, now employed in the army against Spain, 
now a prisoner and a galley-slave among the Spaniards, 
taken by the Turks with the vessel in which he rowed, 
and redeemed by the commander of the knights of 
Malta — burned with a desire to avenge his own wrongs 
and the honor of his country. The sale of his property 
and the contributions of his friends furnished the means 
of equipping three ships, in which, with one hundred and 
fifty men, he embarked for Florida, not to found a 
colony, but only to destroy and revenge. He surprised 
two forts near the mouth of the St. Matheo; and, as 
terror magnified the number of his followers, the con- 
sternation of the Spaniards enabled him to gain posses- 
sion of the larger establishment, near the spot which the 
French colony had occupied. Too weak to maintain his 
position, he, in May, 1565, hastily weighed anchor for 
Europe, having first hanged his prisoners upon the trees, 
and placed over them the inscription, "I do not this as 
unto Spaniards or mariners, but as unto traitors, rob- 
bers, and murderers." The natives, who had been ill- 
treated both by the Spaniards and the French, enjoyed 
the consolation of seeing their enemies butcher one 

The attack of the fiery Gascon was but a passing 
storm. France disavowed the expedition and relin- 
quished all pretension to Florida. Spain grasped at it as 
a portion of her dominions; and, if discovery could con- 
fer a right, her claim was founded in justice. Cuba now 
formed the center of her West Indian possessions, and 
everything around it was included within her empire. 



Sovereignty was asserted, not only over the archipelagoes 
within the tropics, but over the whole continent round 
the inner seas. From the remotest southeastern cape of 
the Caribbean, along the whole shore to the Cape of 
Florida, and beyond it, all was hers. The Gulf of Mexico 
lay embosomed within her territories. 




[This colony was sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587. 
Croatan, or Croatoan, was an island south of Roanoke 
Island. It is thought that, owing to the shifting of the sands, 
it has now become a part of Hatteras or Ocracoke Island. 
It is possible that the lost colonists may have mingled with 
the Indian tribe on Croatan Island. 

White, the leader of the colony, returned to England at the 
request of the colonists, in order to make sure that supplies 
were sent them. 

The Editor.] 

After many mishaps and a miserable voyage, White 
reached England in November, at an unlucky time for 
the colonists whom he had left. The danger of a Span- 
ish invasion was then so imminent, that all the naval 
strength of the country was required for its defense ; and 
when Raleigh was preparing supplies, which Greenville 
was to have taken out, that brave oflBicer was ordered 
not to proceed to sea with them White, however, so 
urgently represented the necessity of the case that two 
small pinnaces were dispatched with stores and fifteen 
planters. Instead of pursuing their voyage they thought 
proper to cruise for prizes, till two men-of-war from 
Rochelle disabled and rifled them, and obliged them to 
put back for England. Raleigh, who had now, it is said, 
expended forty thousand pounds upon this attempt at 
colonization, was either unable to persist in the adven- 
ture, or impatient of waiting for the slow returns which 


could be expected from a country in which neither gold 
nor silver had been found. He, therefore, assigned over 
his patent to a company of merchants, giving, at the 
same time, one hundred pounds "in especial regard and 
zeal of planting the Christian religion in those barbarous 
countries, and for the advancement and preferment of 
the same, and the common utility and profit of the 

White was a member of the company. He seems to 
have done his duty toward the colonists to the utmost 
of his power, as they had expected from him. Finding 
that three ships, fitted out for the West Indies at the 
especial charge of a London merchant, were detained at 
Plymouth by a general embargo, when they were ready 
to sail he obtained, through Raleigh's influence, a 
license for them to proceed on their voyage; in consid- 
eration whereof the qwner engaged that they should 
transport a convenient number of passengers, with their 
furniture and necessaries, and land them in Virginia. In 
contempt of this engagement, White, who had hoped 
now to go out with such supplies as his poor countrymen 
had two years been looking for, was only allowed a pas- 
sage for himself and his chest. There was no time for 
him to go to Raleigh with his complaint; " for the ships," 
he says, "being all in readiness, would have departed 
before I could have made my return: then both gover- 
nors, masters, and sailors regarded very smally the 
goods of their countrymen in Virginia, determined 
nothing less than to touch at those places, but wholly 
disposed themselves to seek after purchase and spoil, 
spending so much time therein that summer was spent 
before we arrived in. Virginia." 


They anchored at Hatteras in the middle of August; 
and seeing a great smoke in the isle of Roanoke, near the 
place where the colony had been left, White, who had a 
married daughter among the colonists, was in good hope 
that some of them were there, looking for his return. 
The two boats went ashore, leaving orders for the gun- 
ners to make ready three guns, "well loaded, and to 
shoot them off with reasonable space between each shot, 
to the end that their reports might be heard at the 
place where they hoped to find some of their people." 
They were "sore tired before they came to the smoke; 
and, what grieved them more, when they came there 
they found neither man nor sign that any had been 
there lately." On the morrow a second search was made; 
but one of the boats was swamped, and the captain, with 
four others of the chiefest men, perished, — a mischance 
."which did so much discomfort, the sailors, that they 
were all of one mind not to go any farther to seek the 
planters"; but they yielded to White's persuasion and 
the authority of the surviving captain, and making for 
the place where the colonists were left, they overshot 
it in the dark. Espying then the light of a great fire 
through the woods, they rowed towards it; "and when 
we came right over against it," says White, "we let fall 
our grapnel near the shore, and soimded with a trumpet 
a call, and after many familiar English tunes of songs, 
and called to them friendly; but we had no answer. We 
therefore landed at daybreak, and coming to the fire we 
found the grass and sundry rotten trees burning about 
the place." Going from thence to the place where the 
colony had been left three years before, " all the way we 
saw in the sand the print of the savages' feet trodden 



that very night; and as we entered up the sandy bank, 
upon a tree on the very brow thereof, were curiously 
carved these fair Roman letters, CRO, which letters 
presently we knew to signify the place I should find the 
planters seated, according to a token agreed upon at my 
departure; which was, that they should not fail to write 
or carve on the trees, or posts of the doors, the name of 
the place where they should be seated, for at my coming 
away they were prepared to remove from Roanoak fifty 
mil€s into the main. Therefore, at my departure, I 
willed them, that if they should happen to be distressed 
in any of those places, then they should carve over the 
letters or name a cross; but we found no such sign of 
distress. And having well considered of this, we passed 
toward the place where they were left; but we found the 
houses taken down, and the place strongly enclosed with 
a high palisade of great trees, with cort3aies and flankers 
very fort-like; and one of the chief trees or posts, at the 
right side of the entrance, had the bark taken off, and 
five feet from the ground, in fair capital letters, was 
written CROATOAN, without any cross or sign of 
distress. In the palisade we found many bars of iron, 
two pigs of lead, four iron fowlers, iron saker shot, and 
such-like heavy things, thrown here and there, almost 
overgrown with grass and weeds. We went to see if we 
could find any of their boats; but could perceive no sign 
of them, nor of the falcons and small ordnance which 
were left with them. At our return from the creek, some 
of our sailors, meeting us, told us they had found where 
divers chests had been hidden, and long since digged up 
again and broken up, and much of the goods in them 
spoiled and scattered about; but nothing left, of such 



things as the savages knew any use of, undefaced. 
Presently Captain Cooke and I went to the place, which 
was in the end of an old trench made by Captain 
Amadas, where we found five chests that had been care- 
fully hidden of the planters, and of the same chests three 
were my own; and about the place many of my things 
spoiled and broken, and my books torn from the covers, 
the frames of some of my pictures and maps rotten and 
spoiled with rain, and my armor almost eaten through 
with rust. This could be no other but the deed of- the 
savages our enemies at Dasamonguepeuk, who had 
watched the departure of our men to Croatan, and 
digged up every place where they suspected anything 
to be buried. But, although it much grieved me to see 
such spoil of my goods, yet, on the other side, I greatly 
joyed that I had found a certain token of their safe 
being at Croatoan, which is the place where Manteo 
was born, and the savages of the island our friends." 

It was now agreed that they should make for Croatan; 
but one mishap followed another; and though they left 
the coast with the intention of wintering in the West 
Indies, and visiting their countrymen on their return, 
foul weather compelled them to frame their course first 
for the Azores, and thence for England. No further 
attempt was made to relieve the colonists, nor to ascer- 
tain their fate. The names of ninety-one men, seventeen 
women, and nine children, "which safely arrived at 
Virginia, and remained to inhabit there," and of two 
infants who were born there, are preserved in Hakluyt; 
and of these persons nothing was ever afterwards known. 
No further attempt was made to succor them, nor even 
to ascertain their fate. 



Hakluyt was one of the company to which Raleigh 
assigned his patent; and to Hakluyt, addressing the 
journal of his last voyage, his "most well-wishing" and 
"more deeply engaged friend," White says these "evils 
and unfortunate events had not chanced if the order set 
down, by Sir Walter Raleigh had been observed, or if my 
daUy and continual petitions for the performance of the 
same might have taken any place. Yet, seeing it is not 
my first crossed voyage, I remain contented; and, want- 
ing my wishes, I leave off from prosecuting that where- 
unto I would to God my wealth were answerable to my 
will. Thus committing the reHef of my discomfortable 
company, the planters in Virginia, to the mercifiil help 
of the Almighty, whom I most humbly beseech to help 
and comfort them according to His most holy will and 
their desire, I take my leave." 




The savages, having drE^wn from George Casson whither 
Captain Smith was gone, prosecuting that opportunity 
they followed him with three hundred bowmen, con- 
ducted by the King of Pamunkey, who in divisions 
searching the turnings of the river, found Robinson and 
Emry by the fireside; those they shot full of arrows and 
slew. Then finding the captain, as is said, that used the 
savage that was his guide as his shield (three of them 
being slain and divers others so galled) all the rest would 
not come near him. Thinking thus to have returned to 
his boat, regarding them, as he marched, more than his 
way, he slipped up to the middle in an oozy creek and 
his savage with him; yet durst they not come to him till, 
being near dead with cold, he threw away his arms. 
Then according to their composition, they drew him 
forth and led him to the fire, where his men were slain. 
Diligently they chafed his benumbed limbs. 

He demanding for their captain, they showed him 
Opechankanough, King of Pamunkey, to whom he gave 
a round ivory double compass dial. Much they mar- 
veled at the playing of the fly and needle, which they 
could see so plainly and yet not touch it, because of the 
glass that covered them. But when he demonstrated by 
that globe-like jewel, the roundness of the earth and 



skies, the sphere of the sun, moon, and stars, and how 
the sun did chase the night round about the world con- 
tinually; the greatness of the land and sea, the diver- 
sity of nations, variety of complexions, and how we 
were to them antipodes, and many other suchlike mat- 
ters, they all stood as amazed with admiration. 

Notwithstanding, within an hour after, they tied him 
to a tree, and as many as could stand about him pre- 
pared to shoot him; but the king holding up the compass 
in his hand, they all laid down their bows and arrows, 
and in a triumphant maimer led him to Orapaks, where 
he was after their maimer kindly feasted, and well used. 

Their order in conducting him was thus : Drawing 
themselves all in file, the king in the midst, had all their 
pieces and swords borne before him. Captain Smith 
was led after him by three great savages, holding him 
fast by each arm : and on each side went in file with their 
arrows nocked. But arriving at the town [Orapaks] 
(which was but only thirty or forty hunting houses made 
of mats), which they remove as they please, as we our 
tents, all the women and children staring to behold him, 
the soldiers first all in file performed the form of a 
bissone so well as could be; and on each flank, officers as 
sergeants to see them keep their orders. A good time 
they continued this exercise, and then cast themselves 
in a ring, dancing in such several postures, and singing 
and yelling out such hellish notes and screeches; being 
strangely painted, every one his quiver of arrows, and 
at his back a club ; on his arm a fox or an otter's skin, or 
some such matter for his vambrace; their heads and 
shoulders painted red, with oil and pocones mingled 
together, which scarlet-like color made an exceeding 



handsome show; his bow in his hand, and the skin of 
a bird with her wings abroad dried, tied on his head, a 
piece of copper, a white shell, a long feather, with a 
small rattle growing at the tails of their snakes tied to it, 
or some such like toy. All this while Smith and the king 
stood in the midst guarded, as before is said: and after 
three dances they all departed. Smith they conducted 
to a long house, where thirty or forty tall fellows did 
guard him; and ere long more bread and venison was 
brought him than would have served twenty men. I 
think his stomach at that time was not very good; what 
he left they put in baskets and tied over his head. About 
midnight they set the meat again before him, all this 
time not one of them would eat a bit with him, till the 
next morning they brought him as much more; and then 
did they eat all the old, and reserved the new as they 
had done the other, which made him think they would 
fat him to eat him. Yet in this desperate estate to de- 
fend him from the cold, one Maocassater brought him 
his gown, in requital of some beads and toys Smith had 
given him at his first arrival in Virginia. 

Two days after, a man would have slain him (but 
that the guard prevented it) for the death of his son, 
to whom they conducted him to recover the poor man 
then breathing his last. Smith told them that at 
Jamestown he had a water would do it, if they would let 
him fetch it, but they would not permit that: but made 
all the preparations they could to assault Jamestown, 
craving his advice; and for recompense he should have 
life, Uberty, land, and women. In part of a table book 
he wrote his mind to them at the fort, what was intended, 
how they should follow that direction to afiright the 



messengers, and without fail send him such things as he 
wrote for. And an iaventory with them. The dif&culty 
and danger, he told the savages, of the mines, great guns, 
and other engines exceedingly affrighted them, yet 
according to his request they went to Jamestown, in as 
bitter weather as could be of frost and snow, and within 
three days returned with an answer. 

But when they came to Jamestown, seeing men sally 
out as he had told them they would, they fled; yet in 
the night they came again to the same place where he 
had told them they should receive an answer, and such 
things as he had promised them: which they found 
accordingly, and with which they returned with no 
small expedition, to the wonder of them all that heard 
it, that he could either divine, or the paper could speak. 

Then they led him to the Youthtanunds, the Matta- 
panients, the Payankatanks, the Nantaughtacunds, 
and Onawmanients upon the rivers of Rapahanock, 
and Patawomek; over all those rivers, and back again 
by divers other several nations, to the king's habitation 
at Pamunkey: where they entertained him with most 
strange and fearful conjurations. 

As if near led to hell, 
Amongst the Devils to dwell. 

Not long after, early in the morning a great fire was 
made in a long house, and a mat spread on the one side, 
as on the other; on the one they caused him to sit, and 
all the guard went out of the house, and presently came 
skipping in a great grim fellow, all painted over with 
coal, mingled with oil; and many snakes' and weasels' 
skins stuffed with moss, and all their tails tied together, 



so as they met on the crown of his head in a tassel; and 
round about the tassel was as a coronet of feathers, the 
skins hanging round about his head, back, and shoul- 
ders, and in a manner covered his face; with a hellish 
voice, and a rattle in his hand. With most strange ges- 
tures and passions he began his invocation, and envi- 
roned the fire with a circle of meal; which done, three 
more such devils came rushing in with the like antic 
tricks, painted half black, half red; but all their eyes 
were painted white, and some red strokes like 
Mutchato's, along their cheeks: round about him those 
fiends danced a pretty while, and then came in three 
more as ugly as the rest; with red eyes, and white 
strokes over the black faces, at last they all sat down 
right against him; three of them on the one hand of the 
chief priest, and three on the other. Then all with their 
rattles began a song, which ended, the chief priest laid 
down five wheat corns: then straining his arms and 
hands with such violence that he sweat, and his veins 
swelled, he began a short oration: at the conclusion they 
all gave a short groan; and then laid down three grains 
more. After that, began their song again, and then 
another oration, ever laying down so many corns as 
before, till they had twice encircled the fire; that done, 
they took a bunch of little sticks prepared for that pur- 
pose, continuing still their devotion, and at the end of 
every song and oration, they laid down a stick betwixt 
the divisions of corn. Till night, neither he nor they did 
either eat or drink; and then they feasted merrily, with 
the best provisions they could make. Three days they 
used this ceremony; the meaning whereof they told him, 
was to know if he intended them well or no. The circle 

1 20 


of meal signified their country, the circles of corn the 
bounds of the sea, and the sticks his country. They 
imagined the world to be flat and round, like a trencher; 
and they in the midst. 

After this they brought him a bag of gunpowder, 
which they carefully preserved till the next spring, to 
plant as they did their corn; because they would be 
acquainted with the nature of that seed. 

Opitchapam, the king's brother, invited him to his 
house, where, with as many platters of bread, fowl, and 
wild beasts, as did environ him, he bid him welcome; 
but not any of them would eat a bit with him, but put 
up aU the remainder in baskets. 

At this return to Opechancanoughs, all the king's 
women, and their children flocked about him for their 
parts; as a due by custom, to be merry with such frag- 

But his waking mind in hideous dreams did oft see wondrous 

Of bodies strange, and huge in growth, and of stupendous makes. 

At last they brought him to Meronocomoco, where 
was Powhatan their emperor. Here more than two 
hundred of those grim courtiers stood wondering at 
him, as he had been a monster; till Powhatan and his 
train had put themselves in their greatest braveries. 
Before a fire in a seat like a bedstead, he sat covered 
with a great robe, made of rarowcun [raccoon?] skins, 
and all the tails hanging by. On either hand did sit a 
young wench of sixteen or eighteen years, and along on 
each side the house, two rows of men, and behind them 
as many women, with all their heads and shoulders 
painted red; many of their heads bedecked with the 



white down of birds; but every one with something; 
and a great chain of white beads about their necks. 

At his entrance before the king, all the people gave a 
great shout. The queen of Appamatuck was appointed 
to bring him water to wash his hands, and another 
brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a towel to 
dry them: having feasted him after their best barbarous 
manner they could, a long consultation was held, but 
the conclusion was, two great stones were brought be- 
fore Powhatan: then as many as could laid hands on 
him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, 
and being ready with their clubs, to beat out his brains, 
Pocahontas, the king's dearest daughter, when no 
entreaty could prevail, got his head in her arms, and 
laid her own upon him to save him from death: whereat 
the emperor was contented he should live to make him 
hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper; for they 
thought him as well of all occupations as themselves. 
For the king himself will make his own robes, shoes, 
bows, arrows, pots; plant, hunt, or do anything so well 
as the rest. 

They say he bore a pleasant show, 
But sure his heart was sad. 
For who can pleasant be, and rest, 
That Hves in fear and dread : 
And having life suspected, doth 
It still suspected lead? 

Two days after [January 7, 1608], Powhatan having 
disguised himself in the most fearfullest manner he 
could, caused Captain Smith to be brought forth to a 
great house in the woods, and there upon a mat by the 
fire to be left alone. Not long after from behind a mat 





(American artist, 1875) 

According to the account which John Smith wrote of his 
own life, he had most thriUing adventures. When little more 
than a boy, he enlisted in the service of the Low Countries, 
and for a number of years shared in their warfare. Eager for 
new experiences, he seized the opportunity to join the armies 
fighting with the Turks, and started for the Holy Land. He 
was robbed and reduced to beggary; but, worse than this, 
he was accused by some pilgrims, his fellow voyagers, of be- 
ing the Jonah whose heresy had brought a violent tempest 
upon them, and was thrown overboard. He swam to an is- 
land and was taken on board a French ship. He soon made 
generous payment for his rescue by the aid which he ren- 
dered in a sharp engagement with a richly laden Venetian 
vessel. At length he reached Syria, and was at once so help- 
ful in capturing a town from the Turks that he was put in 
command of a troop of horse. Later, he was seriously 
wounded and his horse was shot under him. Most famous 
of all his stories is that of his meeting in single combat three 
Turkish champions and slaying them all. But in the varying 
fortunes of war he was taken prisoner and sent to Constan- 
tinople. His master abused him so terribly that he struck 
the man dead and fled to Russia. On his way from Russia 
to England, he heard of a war with Barbary and started 
promptly to get his share of the fighting. He became dis- 
gusted with both of the contending parties and returned to 
England, just in time to become interested in the discoveries 
in the New World, and in December, 1606, he set sail to help 
found a colony at Jamestown. 

The story of the illustration. Smith's rescue by the child 
Pocahontas, is told in the following extract. Her act was 
quite in accordance with Indian customs; and, indeed, wild 
as are Smith's tales of his adventures, they were by no 
means Impossible at that period. 


that divided the house, was made the dolefulest noise he 
ever heard; then Powhatan more Hke a devil than a man, 
with some two hundred more as black as himself, came 
unto him and told him now they were friends, and pres- 
ently he should go to Jamestown, to send him two great 
guns and a grindstone, for which he would give him the 
country of Capahowosick, and forever esteem him as 
his son Nantaquoud. 

So to Jamestown with twelve guides Powhatan sent 
him. That night [January 7, 1608], they quartered in 
the woods, he still expecting (as he had done all this 
long time of his imprisonment) every hour to be put to 
one death or other: for all their feasting. But Almighty 
God (by his divine Providence) had mollihed the hearts 
of those stern barbarians with compassion. The next 
morning [January 8] betimes they came to the fort, 
where Smith having used the savages with what kind- 
ness he could, he showed Rawhunt, Powhatan's trusty 
servant, two demi-culverins and a millstone to carry 
Powhatan: they found them somewhat too heavy; but 
when they did see him discharge them, being loaded 
with stones, among the boughs of a great tree loaded 
with icicles, the ice and branches came so tumbling 
down that the poor savages ran away half dead with 
fear. But at last we regained some confidence with 
them, and gave them such toys; and sent to Powhatan, 
his women, and children such presents as gave them in 
general fuU content. 




[It was now thirteen years since the founding of Jamestown. 
There were few women in the colony, and in order to induce 
the settlers to make homes for themselves and remain in 
Virginia, the London Company sent over one hundred and 
fifty respectable young women who were wiUing to marry 
planters. The price of a wife was at first one hundred and 
twenty pounds of tobacco, later one himdred and fifty 
pounds. " Jocelyn," the heroine of the story from which the 
following extract is taken, is a ward of King James I. He 
has promised her hand to a worthless favorite' of his own. 
She can find no way of escape, and in a moment of reckless 
despair she takes the name of her servant, becomes one of 
the "king's maids," and crosses the sea to Virginia. 

The Editor i\ 

A CHEER arose from the crowd, followed by a crashing 
peal of the bells and a louder roll of the drum. The 
doors of the houses around and to right and left of the 
square swung open, and the company which had been 
quartered overnight upon the citizens began to emerge. 
By twos and threes, some with hurried steps and down- 
cast eyes, others more slowly and with free glances at 
the staring men, they gathered to the center of the 
square, where, in surplice and band, there awaited them 
godly Master Bucke and Master Wickham of Henricus. 
I stared with the rest, though I did not add my voice 
to theirs. 



Before the arrival of yesterday's ship there had been 
in this natural Eden (leaving the savages out of the 
reckoning) several thousand Adams, and but some three- 
score Eves. And for the most part, the Eves were either 
portly and bustling or withered and shrewish house- 
wives, of age and experience to defy the serpent. These 
were different. Ninety slender figures decked in all the 
bravery they could assume; ninety comely faces, pink 
and white, or clear brown with the rich blood showing 
through; ninety pairs of eyes, laughing and alluring, or 
downcast with long fringes sweeping rounded cheeks; 
ninety pairs of ripe red Ups, — the crowd shouted itself 
hoarse and would not be restrained, brushing aside like 
straws the staves of the marshal and his men, and surg- 
ing in upon the line of adventurous damsels. I saw 
young men, panting, seize hand or arm and strive to 
pull toward them some reluctant fair; others snatched 
kisses, or fell on their knees and began speeches 
out of Euphues; others commenced an inventory of 
their possessions, — acres, tobacco, servants, household 
plenishing. All was hubbub, protestation, frightened 
cries, and hysterical laughter. The officers ran to and 
fro, threatening and commanding; Master Pory alter- 
nately cried "Shame!" and laughed his loudest; and I 
plucked away a jackanapes of sixteen who had his hand 
upon a girl's ruff, and shook him until the breath was 
well-nigh out of him. The clamor did but increase. 

"Way for the governor! " cried the marshal. " Shame 
on you, my masters! Way for His Honor and the wor- 
shipful council!" 

The three wooden steps leading down from the door 
of the governor's house suddenly blossomed into crimson 



and gold, as His Honor with the attendant councilors 
emerged from the hall and stood staring at the mob 

The governor's honest moon face was quite pale with 
passion. "What a devil is this?" he cried wrath- 
fully. "Did you never see a woman before? Where's 
the marshal? I'll imprison the last one of you for 

Upon the platform of the pillory, which stood in the 
market place, suddenly appeared a man of gigantic 
frame, with a strong face deeply Uned and a great shock 
of grizzled hair, — a strange thing, for he was not old. 
I knew him to be one Master Jeremy Sparrow, a min- 
ister brought by the Southampton a month before, and 
as yet without a charge, but at that time I had not 
spoken with him. Without word of warning he thun- 
dered into a psalm of thanksgiving, singing it at the top 
of a powerful and yet sweet and tender voice, and with 
a fervor and exaltation that caught the heart of the 
riotous crowd. The two ministers in the throng beneath 
took up the strain; Master Pory added a husky tenor, 
eloquent of much sack; presently we were all singing. 
The audacious suitors, charmed into rationality, fell 
back, and the broken line re-formed. The governor and 
the council descended, and with pomp and solemnity 
took their places between the maids and the two min- 
isters who were to head the column. The psalm ended, 
the drum beat a thundering roll, and the procession 
moved forward in the direction of the church. 

With one great final crash, the bells ceased, the drum 
stopped beating, and the procession entered. 



The long service of praise and thanksgiving was well- 
nigh over when I first saw her. 

She sat some ten feet from me, in the corner, and so 
in the shadow of a tall pew. Beyond her was a row of 
milkmaid beauties, red of cheek, free of eye, deep- 
bosomed, and beribboned like Maypoles. I looked again, 
and saw — and see — a rose amongst blowzed poppies 
and peonies, a pearl amidst glass beads, a Perdita in a 
ring of rustics, a nonparella of all grace and beauty! 
As I gazed with all my eyes, I found more than grace 
and beauty in that wonderful face, — found pride, wit, 
determination, finally shame and anger. For, feeling 
my eyes upon her, she looked up and met what she must 
have thought the impudent stare of an appraiser. Her 
face, which had been without color, pale and clear like 
the sky about the evening star, went crimson in a 
moment. She bit her lip and shot at me one withering 
glance, then dropped her eyelids and hid the light- 
ning. When I looked at her again, covertly, and from 
under my hand raised as though to push back my 
hair, she was pale once more, and her dark eyes were 
fixed upon the water and the green trees without the 

The congregation rose, and she stood up with the 
other maids. Her dress was of dark woolen, severe and 
unadorned, her close ruff and prim white coif, would 
have cried "Puritan," had ever Puritan looked like this 
woman, upon whom the poor apparel had the seeming 
of purple and ermine. 

Anon came the benediction. Governor, councilors, 
commanders, and ministers left the choir and paced 
solemnly down the aisle; the maids closed in behind; 



and we who had lined the walls, shifting from one heel 
to the other for a long two hours, brought up the rear, 
and so passed from the church to a fair green meadow 
adjacent thereto. Here the company disbanded; the 
wearers of gold lace betaking themselves to seats erected 
in the shadow of a mighty oak, and the ministers, of 
whom there were four, bestowing themselves within 
pulpits of turf. For one altar and one clergyman could 
not hope to dispatch that day's business. 

As for the maids, for a minute or more they made one 
cluster; then, shyly or with laughter, they drifted apart 
like the petals of a wind-blown rose, and silk doublet 
and hose gave chase. Five minutes saw the goodly 
company of damsels errant and would-be bridegrooms 
scattered far and near over the smiling meadow. For 
the most part they went man and maid, but the fairer 
of the feminine cohort had rings of clamorous suitors 
from whom to choose. As for me, I walked alone; for if 
by chance I neared a maid, she looked (womanlike) at 
my apparel first, and never reached my face, but 
squarely turned her back. So disengaged, I felt like 
a guest at a mask, and in some measure enjoyed the 
show, though with an uneasy consciousness that I was 
pledged to become, sooner or later, a part of the spec- 
tacle. I saw a shepherdess fresh from Arcadia wave 
back a dozen importunate gallants, then throw a knot of 
blue ribbon into their midst, laugh with glee at the 
scramble that ensued, and finally march off with the 
wearer of the favor. I saw a neighbor of mine, tall Jack 
Pride, who lived twelve miles above me, blush and 
stammer, and bow again and again to a milliner's 
apprentice of a girl, not five feet high and all eyes, who 



dropped a curtsy at each bow. When I had passed them 
fifty yards or more, and looked back, they were still 
bobbing and bowing. And I heard a dialogue between 
PhyUis and Corydon. Says Phyllis, "Any poultry?" 

Corydon. "A matter of twalve hens and twa cocks." 

Phyllis. "A cow?" 

Corydon. "Twa." 

Phyllis. "How much tobacco?" 

Corydon. "Three acres, hinny, though I dinna drink 
the weed mysel'. I'm a Stuart, woman, an' the king's 
pviir cousin." 

Phyllis. "What household furnishings?" 

Corydon. "Ane large bed, ane flock bed, ane trundle 
bed, ane chest, ane trunk, ane leather cairpet, sax cawf- 
skin chairs an' twa-three rush, five pair o' sheets an' 
auchteen dowlas napkins, sax alchemy spunes" — 

Phyllis. "I'll take you." 

At the far end of the meadow, near to the fort, I met 
yoimg Hamor, alone, flushed, and hurrying back to the 
more populous part of the field. 

"Not yet mated?" I asked. "Where are the maids' 

"By — — !" he answered, with an angry laugh. "If 
they 're all like the sample I've just left, I'll buy me a 
squaw from the Paspaheghs!" 

I smiled. " So your wooing has not prospered? " 

His vanity took fire. "I have not wooed in earnest," 
he said carelessly, and hitched forward his cloak of sky- 
blue tuftaffeta with an air. "I sheered off quickly 
enough, I warrant you, when I found the nature of the 
commodity I had to deal with." 

"Ah!" I said. "When I left the crowd, they were 


going very fast. You had best hurry, if you wish to 
secure a bargain." 

"I'm off," he answered; then, jerking his thumb over 
his shoulder, "If you keep on to the river and that 
clump of cedars, you will find Termagaunt in ruff and 

When he was gone, I stood still for a while and 
watched the slow sweep of a buzzard high in the blue, 
after which I unsheathed my dagger, and with it tried 
to scrape the dried mud from my boots. Succeeding but 
indifferently, I put the blade up, stared again at the 
sky, drew a long breath, and marched upon the covert 
of cedars indicated by Hamor. 

As I neared it, I heard at first only the wash of the 
river; but presently there came to my ears the sound of 
a man's voice, and then a woman's angry "Begone, sir ! " 

"Kiss and be friends," said the man. 

The sound that followed being something of the loud- 
est for even the most hearty salutation, I was not sur- 
prised, on parting the bushes, to find the man nursing 
his cheek, and the maid her hand. 

"You shall pay well for that, you sweet vixen!" he 
crited, and caught her by both wrists. 

She struggled fiercely, bending her head this way and 
that, but his hot lips had touched her face before I could 
come between. 

When I had knocked him down he lay where he fell, 
dazed by the blow, and blinking up at me with his 
small ferret eyes. I knew him to be one Edward Sharp- 
less, and I knew no good of him. He had been a lawyer 
in England. He lay on the very brink of the stream, 
with one arm touching the water. Flesh and blood could 



not resist it, so, assisted by the toe of my boot, he took a. 
cold bath to cool his hot blood. 

When he had clambered out and had gone away, 
cursing, I turned to face her. She stood against the 
trunk of a great cedar, her head thrown back, a spot of 
angry crimson in each cheek, one small hand clenched 
at her throat. I had heard her laugh as Sharpless 
touched the water, but now there was only defiance in 
her face. As we gazed at each other, a burst of laughter 
came to us from the meadow behind. I looked over my 
shoulder, and beheld young Hamor, — probably dis- 
appointed of a wife, — with Giles AUen and Wynne, 
returning to his abandoned quarry. She saw, too, for 
the crimson spread and deepened and her bosom heaved. 
Her dark eyes, glancing here and there like those of a 
hunted creature, met my own. 

"Madam," I said, "will you marry me?" 

She looked at me strangely. " Do you live here? " she 
asked at last, with a disdainful wave of her hand toward 
the town. 

"No, madam," I answered. "I live up river, in Wey- 
anoke Hundred, some miles from here." 

"Then, in God's name, let us be gone!" she cried, 
with sudden passion. 

I bowed low, and advanced to kiss her hand. 

The finger tips which she slowly and reluctantly re- 
signed to me were icy, and the look with which she 
favored me was not such an one as poets feign for like 
occasions. I shrugged the shoulders of my spirit, but 
said nothing. So, hand in hand, though at arms' length, 
we passed from the shade of the cedars into the open 
meadow, where we presently met Hamor and his party. 



They would have barred the way, laughing and making 
unsavory jests, but I drew her closer to me, and laid my 
hand upon my sword. They stood aside, for I was the 
best swordsman in Virginia. 


[Seventeenth century] 


Not long after the settlement of Jamestown the colonists 
learned that the best way to make money from their 
land was to plant as much of it as possible with tobacco. 
It was not easy for a man to care for these great farms, 
or plantations, if his home was far away; therefore each 
planter built his house on his plantation. That is why, 
even when Virginia was a century old, there was hardly 
a village in the country. 

Whether large or small, this house was always known 
as the "great house," to distinguish it from the smaller 
houses, or cabins, in which the workmen Hved. In later 
times these workmen were negro slaves, but in the ear- 
lier days of the colony white men sent over from England 
were employed. Most of them were "redemptioners," 
that is, poor men who wished to try their fortune in a 
new land. When they reached Virginia, some planter 
was always ready to pay the cost of their passage on con- 
dition that they should work for him till the value of 
their labor had "redeemed " the amount. Some of these 
redemptioners were well-educated, enterprising men; 
and in that case they had a good opportunity to become 
tenants or even to acquire estates of their own. 

Guests were always welcome on the plantations, and 
a visit in those times was not an afternoon call, but a 
stay of several days or a week or a month. This hospital- 



ity was offered as freely to strangers as to friends. A 
traveler had only to stop his horse at any door, and he 
was sure of a welcome and a night's entertainment. It 
was so customary to entertain travelers free of cost that 
the law forbade even innkeepers to make any charge 
for food and lodging unless they had told the guest in 
advance that he would be expected to pay. If a planter 
was going away from home, he would tell his agent to 
see that any stranger who might ask for hospitality 
should be welcomed and given every comfort that the 
plantation afforded. If we may trust the old stories, it 
was not always necessary even to ask, for it is said that 
sometimes a sociable planter would station a servant 
where he would be most likely to meet travelers and 
give him orders to invite them to stop and pay a visit. 
Such a visit must have been well worth making, for 
on the larger plantations there was much to see that 
would interest a stranger. After the earliest days the 
houses grew larger to suit the hospitable notions of the 
colonists, and many of them contained expensive fur- 
nishings that had been brought across the Atlantic. 
There was always a hall that was used as a dining- 
room and general living-room. The walls were some- 
times hung with tapestry or built up with oaken panels. 
There was a long dining-table of course, and a cupboard 
well filled with china. There was pewter, too, and silver; 
spoons, forks, saltcellars, candlesticks, and snuffers. 
There was sure to be at least one great chest, sometimes 
plain, sometimes carved, full of snowy linen napkins and 
tablecloths. On one side of the room was a great fire- 
place in which enormous logs cheerily blazed and roared 
up the chimney. A sitting-room and parlor usually 



opened off the hall, but the hall was the heart of the 
home, and it was of the hall and the family gathered 
about the open fire that the homesick Virginian thought 
when he was on the other side of the ocean. 

The kitchen was a Httle way from the house. There 
was always a great fireplace, sometimes ten or twelve 
feet long, with crane and pot-hooks and all sorts of ar- 
rangements for roasting and baking and frying. There 
was room enough in such a fireplace to cook for even the 
large gatherings of friends that so often came together 
in this land of visits. Virginia had a most generous sup- 
ply of food. Oysters, fish, chickens, beef, and venison 
were exceedingly cheap. Cream and butter and milk 
were plentiful, and all sorts of fruit and vegetables grew 
most luxuriantly. 

There was much to see outside of the house. A plan- 
tation was like a little town, for whatever was needed 
must either be made on the spot or ordered from Eng- 
land. Most of the large plantations had among the 
servants carpenters, blacksmiths, tanners, weavers, 
shoemakers, and coopers. A planter's own men could 
build sheds and barns and keep them in repair. Hides 
and wool were raised on the place. The tanners and 
shoemakers and weavers made shoes and clothes for the 
negroes, and much of the cloth that was used for com- 
mon purposes at the "great house." When finer articles 
were needed, an order went to England. With whole 
forests of wood at hand, even chairs, tables, boxes, 
bowls, and wheels came across the ocean, for the time 
and strength necessary to make these articles would 
cultivate much more than enough tobacco to pay for 
importing them. 



A very important part of the things ordered from 
England were articles of dress. These Virginians, colo- 
nists though they were, did not propose to give up the 
London fashions, and they sent for gowns of brocaded 
silk or satin or velvet, or calico lined with silk — for 
calico was expensive in those days. They had petticoats 
of silk, often shot with threads of silver. They had laces 
of silver and of gold, scarfs of all colors, silk stockings, 
scarlet sleeves, and crimson mantles. This gorgeousness 
was not limited to the women, for the men were just as 
desirous of fine clothes. The coat was of broadcloth, 
often olive or some other color, and dazzling with but- 
tons of polished silver. Ruffles fell over the hand. The 
waistcoat was of any color that struck the fancy of the 
wearer. The breeches were of plush or fine broadcloth. 
Silver buckles were worn on the shoes. If the day was 
cool, a handsome mantle of blue or scarlet was thrown 
over this array. Such was the gala dress of the colonists. 
Imagine a ballroom glowing with all this brilliancy in 
the clear, soft light of dozens of myrtle wax candles ! 

How were children educated on the plantations? 
There were a few free schools supported, not by the col- 
ony, but by individuals. The houses, however, were too 
far apart for district schools to flourish, but frequently 
the children on adjoining plantations were taught by 
some educated man of the neighborhood; perhaps a 
tutor was engaged to come from England to live in a 
planter's family and teach his children. When the sons 
grew older, they were sometimes sent to Cambridge or to 
Oxford. Virginia had plans only fourteen years after the 
founding of Jamestown for establishing not only a free 
school but a university. Indians as well as whites were 




{American artist) 

Soon after the founding of Jamestown, Lord Baltimore, a 
Roman Catholic nobleman of England, planned to found 
a colony in the New World where members of his Church 
might be free from the bitter persecutions to which they were 
exposed in their own land. Charles I gave him a grant of 
land north of the Potomac, and he named it Maryland. In 
this domain Lord Baltimore, or rather his son (for he died 
just before the grant was made out) was almost as free as an 
absolute monarch; for he could form an assembly of repre- 
sentatives, and whatever laws they chose to make and he 
chose to sign would go into effect without waiting for the 
king's approval. There was much opposition to this grant, 
and absurd rumors arose that the proprietor was not carry- 
ing emigrants, but soldiers to help Spain conquer England; 
and even after the vessels were started, they had to return 
to assure the authorities that every one on board had 
taken the oath of allegiance to the king. 

On landing in Maryland (1634), an altar was built and 
mass was celebrated. Then all the Roman Catholics went a 
Uttle to one side where a great tree had been roughly hewn 
into a cross. The priests, the governor, the commissioners, 
and the chief men among the adventurers lifted it upon their 
shoulders, and walked slowly to the place that had been 
made ready for it. It was set up, and all knelt around it and 
recited the Litany of the Sacred Cross. Then Governor 
Calvert stood beside it and said, " I hereby take possession 
of Terra Mariae for our Blessed Saviour and for our sovereign 
Lord, the King of England." 

So it was that Maryland was founded. 


to become pupils. Money was raised and a president 
was chosen. An Indian massacre and the overthrow of 
the London Company prevented these plans from being 
carried out immediately; but even then, the college of 
William and Mary, founded in 1692, was, save for Har- 
vard, the first college in America. A place was chosen 
for its home which was also to be the capital of the col- 
ony. It was named Williamsburg, and the original plan 
was to lay its streets out in the shape of a "W" and an 
"M," in honor of the sovereigns of England. The stu- 
dents were always few, but three presidents of the 
United States have been among them; and governors, 
judges, and other public officials without number. 

So it was that life went on in Virginia in "good old 
colony times." The planter's wife, with the large house 
to superintend, was a busy woman. The planter was 
like a monarch, for on his own plantation his word was 
law. In one way he had a very easy life, for he was never 
obliged to do anything for himself that a servant could 
do for him. On the other hand, there was constant need 
of the master's watchful eye to prevent the waste and 
neglect that would soon ruin the wealthiest planter. 
Mrs. Washington once said that she wished "George" 
would stay at home and attend to his plantation instead 
of going off to fight Indians. The planter had to learn 
how to attend to many things at once, how to decide 
questions quickly and independently, in short, how to 
command; and this ability was of the utmost value to 
the country. 




The Georgia seaboard, even more than that of the Caro- 
linas, is covered with large islands and shoals, access to 
the main land being had through numerous sounds 
between the islands. On several of these islands Ogle- 
thorpe had erected fortifications, notably Fort William 
on Cumberland Island, commanding Amelia Sound; but 
the principal defensive works were on St. Simon's Island, 
off the mouth of the Altamaha River. 

Here some six years before had been established the 
military settlement of Frederica.^ As he had named the 
province Georgia in honor of George II, so he had called 
the town Frederica, after the worthless and dissipated 
Frederick, Prince of Wales, who is known to fame as the 
father of George III, and is the man for whose dog Pope 
wrote the following verse : — 

"I am his highness' dog at Kew, 
Good reader, pray, whose dog are you?" 

These are the principal things for which Frederick is 

Georgia was of necessity what we would now call a 
"buffer" State, between the older northerly colonies 
and the Spanish settlements in Florida. Oglethorpe had 
chosen the location of St. Simon's Island with an eye 



single to its defensive possibilities. On a high bluff sur- 
rounded by thick and impenetrable forests, about mid- 
way on the western shore of the island, he had built a 
fort protected on the land side by a tide-water ditch, 
and on the river side by a water battery and by another 
battery of twelve heavy guns so mounted as to command 
the channel of a navigable river which gave access to the 
place, for three quarters of a mile. Any attacking ships 
would be forced to subject themselves to a raking fire 
for that distance as they came in. In addition they 
would be compelled to endure an oblique lire from the 
fort itself. 

The intrenchments were strongly built of a material 
called " tabby," a compound of lime, sand, and shells, 
which hardened upon exposure into stone-like cement of 
impenetrable consistency. The fort and the batteries 
were amply provided with artillery. On one side of the 
fort before the forests began was an open place used as 
a parade ground, which was completely commanded by 
its guns. Back of the fort, the town, surrounded by a 
rampart, was built. No access to Frederica, built upon 
the landward or the river shore, was possible from the 
seaward shore of the island, on account of the character 
of the beach and certain pathless morasses beyond it. 
At the lower part of the island and commanding St. 
Simon's, or Jekyl, Sovmd, several batteries had been 
erected and a well-built road laid out connecting Fred- 
erica with these works. The road wound about in 
devious course between impenetrable forests and dan- 
gerous marshes. Sometimes it would widen into a 
meadow or savanna where would be a clearing spacious 
enough in which to pitch a camp, but presently the 



forest and the marsh would approach each other once 
more and the road resume its character of a narrow pass. 

To garrison Frederica, Oglethorpe had his own regi- 
ment, which was an efficient body of men, well ofScered, 
several companies of Rangers, and a small body of High- 
landers from the settlement at Darien, full of warlike 
courage and zeal as became the children of the fighting 
Scottish race. In all they amounted to less than eight 
hundred men. To supplement this force he had his own 
schooner of fourteen guns and eighty men, two sloops of 
about the same size and armament, a large merchant 
ship called the Success, which mounted twenty-two 
guns, and several smaller craft. 

Before attempting any enterprise against the upper 
coast cities to the northward, it was necessary for the 
invaders to dispose of this force. It would be dangerous 
to leave such a post to menace the rear of the Spanish 
expedition and possibly destroy its communications. 
Monteano therefore intended to sweep the little English 
and colonial force off the coast in short order and pro- 
ceed on his way rejoicing. He thought it would be an 
easy task. He reckoned without his host, as we shall see. 

On the 2 2d of June, 1743, the commanding ofl&cer of 
Fort William found means to inform Oglethorpe that 
fourteen Spanish ships had appeared off Ameha ScSund. 
It was the advance of the expected attack. After a 
smart engagement with the fort they were driven off 
with some loss and entered Cumberland Sound north 
of the island and out of range of Fort WilHam, but 
within easy shooting distance of Fort Andrew, The 
two forts on Cumberland Island were- both small and 
not provided with large garrisons. Their situation was 



critical. Oglethorpe acted promptly; he always did. 
Embarking two companies of his regiment on his own 
schooner and the two sloops and taking advantage of a 
favorable wind, he at once put to sea. 

On the evening of the 23d of June he came in sight of 
the Spanish squadron riding quietly at anchor. Giving 
them no time to get under way or to make any other 
preparation for battle, with bold yet calculated courage 
he dashed at them. Although one of his captains, 
named Tolson, became panic-stricken at the sight of the 
odds and bore away from the approaching contest seek- 
ing safety in ignominious flight, Oglethorpe, followed 
by the other sloop, kept right on. The Spaniards were 
taken by surprise at the audacity of his maneuvers, yet 
they hurried to their quarters and opened a wild and 
ineffectual fire upon the approaching English from the 
guns that bore. Oglethorpe skillfully ran into the smoke 
banks to leeward and, himself hidden, deliberately 
poured his broadsides into the huddled mass of the 
Spanish at short range, with such effect that no less than 
four of the Spanish vessels afterward foundered in a 
storm on accoimt of the severe handling they had 

The two little vessels succeeded in passing the Spanish 
fleet with little or no loss. Oglethorpe landed immedi- 
ately on Cumberland Island and, after spiking the guns 
of Fort St. Andrew, threw some of his soldiers and the 
garrison of the abandoned work into Fort William. 
Leaving a promising young Scotsman named Alexander 
Stewart in command of that work, the general succeeded 
in regaining St. Simon's Island with his two remaining 
vessels without further loss. His arrival was a source of 



great joy to the soldiers and inhabitants of Frederica, as 
the boat which had run away had returned bearing the 
news that Oglethorpe's flotilla had been sunk by the 
Spaniards and that he had been lost. The cowardly 
captain was immediately put under arrest for his 
pusillanimous conduct. 

On the 28th of June the united Spanish fleet appeared 
off St. Simon's Bar. The number of vessels varies in the 
different accounts, some authorities stating that there 
were as many as fifty-six. There were at least thirty-six 
of them, however, the largest being three ships of twenty 
guns each, although the majority of them were vessels 
of a sort known as a "half -galley," probably propelled 
by sweeps as well as sails; some of them were large 
enough to carry one hundred and twenty men and 
mount an eighteen-pound gun; although, being built for 
service in inland streams, they drew but five feet of 
water. The statements as to the number of soldiers on 
board range from seven to five thousand. On the 5th of 
July, the Spaniards, taking advantage of a brisk gale and 
a heavy flood tide, crossed the bar and engaged the forts 
at the end of the island. For four hours the battle was 
severely contested. The Success and the small ships also 
joined in the encounter and the Spanish made four 
different attempts to board the Success, which, from her 
larger size, was necessarily anchored farthest away from 
the shore. They were repulsed in each instance with 
heavy loss. They finally abandoned the contest, but 
they succeeded in passing the forts and entering the 
river well up" toward Frederica. 

Oglethorpe acted promptly as usual. Sending his ves- 
sels to sea with orders that they proceed to Savannah, 



he spiked the guns of the batteries at the lower end of 
the island and concentrated his forces at Frederica. The 
Spanish commander, having reconnoitered the water 
approach to that fort, and after having advanced rather 
hesitatingly to attack it, which attempt was repulsed 
with some loss, determined to land his army at Gas- 
coigne's bltiii on the island. Some four thousand men, 
including the Spanish artillery, grenadiers, and dis- 
mounted dragoons, and regiments of negroes and mulat- 
toes, took possession of the abandoned forts, erected 
additional batteries mounting twenty eighteen-pound 
guns, and made other pTeparations for the expected 

They had discovered that it was impossible to take the 
fort by water, and that it was equally impossible to lead 
an army through the woods. The military road which 
Oglethorpe had built offered the only practicable mode 
of access to Frederica. On the yth of July, Don Man- 
uel sent out a scouting party comprising one hundred 
and twenty Spaniards, forty Indians, and forty negro 
grenadiers. They came marching gayly up the road and 
walked blindly into an ambush which had been pre- 
pared with consummate skill by the English commander. 
In the battle that ensued the greater part of them were 
killed out of hand. A few only of the Indians and 
negroes escaped to tell the tale. Oglethorpe took a 
prominent part in the fighting, engaging the Spanish 
captain hand to hand and finally killing him. He per- 
formed several feats of personal prowess in the encoun- 
ter which greatly endeared him to his men. The English 
pursued the flying Spanish for several miles until they 
came to an open meadow on the edge of which Ogle- 



thorpe posted them in anticipation of a return attack. 
He himself returned post-haste to Frederica to bring up 
the rest of his men. 

Don Manuel, when he heard of the disastrous defeat, 
immediately sent out a second and much stronger party 
comprising one hundred grenadiers, two hundred infan- 
try, a small squadron of horse, and a large body of negro 
troops and Indians, all under the command of Don 
Antonio Barba, a veteran and experienced soldier. 
Throwing out scouts, and making use of every precau- 
tion, they marched up the road to the place held by the 
detachment of Oglethorpe's men and a small body of 
the Highlanders. Notwithstanding their previous suc- 
cess, in some way the regulars became panic-stricken as 
the Spanish advance appeared in the open, and after ex- 
changing a few futile volleys, they abandoned the field 
and withdrew. 

The retrograde movement soon became a rapid re- 
treat, and they streamed up the road in one of those 
strange panics which sometimes seizes upon the best of 
troops. A platoon of the Highlanders under Lieutenant 
Mackay and a small body of colonial Rangers under 
Lieutenant Sutherland brought up the rear. Fortu- 
nately, they did not share the prevailing fear of their 
comrades, and after retreating a short distance they 
resolved to lay an ambuscade for the pursuing Span- 
iards. They halted, turned about, made a detour, 
struggled back through the woods until they actually 
got in the rear of the Spanish forces still advancing up 
the road. They chose a position where the way narrowed 
to a width of less than twenty yards and bent into a 
crescent between a morass and the thick wood, and 



there determined to wait an opportunity of dealing a 
decisive blow, not doubting that the enemy would soon 

Having learned something of the dangers of the way 
by their previous disastrous repulse, the Spanish 
advance had been halted after a short pursuit; and as 
they thought they had dispersed the force before them, 
and as they were not strong enough to attack Frederica, 
they retraced their steps and returned to the open to 
make a camp. They came back slowly, so that the 
Georgians had ample time to make proper dispositions. 
They carefully chose their place and lay concealed in the 
thick undergrowth awaiting the enemy. Presently the 
Spaniards came marching along the road. As they 
reached the spot where the English had been awaiting 
them and whence the regulars had retreated in terror, 
imagining that no enemy was anywhere near them, and 
considering themselves protected by marsh and wood, 
they entered the defile covered by the guns of the waiting 
Scots, halted, dismounted, stacked arms and prepared 
to repose and rest under the shade of the palmetto tree. 

The colonists had been cautioned by Mackay, the 
ranking officer, on no account to fire until he gave 
the word. It was his desire completely to surround 
the Spaniards before he began the engagement, but a 
Spanish horse happening to catch a sight of a Highland 
bonnet through the trees over the undergrowth — the 
wearer, in disobedience to orders, having risen to get a 
better look — shied violently and attracted the atten- 
tion of his rider, and he at once gave the alarm. The 
Spaniards awoke to the peril of their situation and 
sprang to their arms. 



Concealment was at an end. Instantly the High- 
landers and Rangers fired. The Spaniards, taken at a 
great disadvantage and seeing the woods on either side 
of them ablaze with musketry, after a few feeble and 
ineffectual discharges by such men as could reach their 
weapons, turned to fly. The oflacers bravely tried to 
check their retreat, but unavailingly. Don Antonio 
Barba was mortally woimded, and many of the officers 
fell. The Highlanders and Rangers burst out of the 
woods and charged upon the enemy with bayonet or 
claymore in hand. This completed the rout. More than 
two hundred of the Spanish party were killed and 
wounded on the spot, and many captured before they 
got out of reach of the little party of scarcely more than 
fifty Highlanders and Rangers. 

Back on the road advancing at the head of the rest of 
his troops, Oglethorpe met the fleeing soldiers of the 
regiment and heard the story of their disgraceful retreat. 
Rallying the men and putting an officer in charge of 
them with instructions to bring them up at full speed, he 
galloped on ahead down the road at a great pace. He 
saw, of course, that the Highlanders and Rangers were 
not with the rest of the troops, and when he heard the 
firing he imagined that they had been, or were being, 
cut down and captured. The Spaniards had openly 
declared that they would give quarter to neither man 
nor woman. 

In great anxiety Oglethorpe made his way toward the 
scene of the encounter. What was his joy when he 
reached the pass to find that not one of his troops had 
been touched, and that over two hundred of the enemy 
lay dead and dying before him ! Of the remainder of the 



Spanish party but few reached the main camp. So 
fierce had been the attack and pursuit of the colonists, 
that most of the Spaniards had forsaken the road in 
their blind attempts to escape. Those who unwittingly 
plunged into the hideous marsh, of course never suc- 
ceeded in extricating themselves from its awful depths; 
while for years afterward hvmters ranging the woods 
would find in lonely spots skeletons which told grim 
tales of lost Spaniards dying of starvation in the savage 
wastes of the forest. The encounter was called the bat- 
tle of Bloody Marsh, and Oglethorpe promoted the two 
young ofl&cers who had commanded the Highlanders and 
Rangers, on the field. It is noteworthy that this battle 
was gained by the colonists alone after the men of the 
regiment recruited in England had fled the field. 

Meanwhile the situation of the soldiers in the Spanish 
camp was growing desperate. Fever and dysentery had 
broken out, hundreds of the men fell ill, and fresh water 
was scarce. They were unable properly to care for the 
many wounded and ill. They had lost over five hundred 
men in the several battles. They made, however, one 
more attempt to capture the place, this time by a boat 
expedition. The attack was gallantly made, but they 
were beaten off with great loss by the forts and the 
batteries at Frederica. Several of the Spanish boats 
were sunk, and Oglethorpe, commanding the boats of 
the place, pursued the flying Spaniards until he was 
within range of the guns of their ships. 

Dissensions sprang up between them on account of 
these repeated failures, and the rivalry between the 
contingents from Cuba and Florida at last developed 
a dangerous degree of antagonism and discontent. 



Learning this situation, Oglethorpe, although the Span- 
iards still numbered over three thousand effectives, 
determined to beat up their camp. For the expedition, 
he chose five hundred of his best troops, notably the 
Highlanders and Rangers, who had done such valiant 
work at Bloody Marsh, and with them advanced to the 
attack on the night of the 12 th of July. 

A Frenchman in the party, however, gave the alarm to 
the Spaniards by firing his musket, and before he could 
be apprehended escaped in the darkness and made his 
way to the Spanish camp, in which the men immedi- 
ately stood at their arms. Oglethorpe therefore had to 
withdraw. But he turned the man's desertion to good 
account. The traitor revealed to Don Manuel the 
feebleness of the garrison of Frederica and urged him 
to attack it in force, when the result would be certain 

The commander was hesitating when a Spaniard, who 
had been taken by Oglethorpe and who professed to 
have escaped from captivity, was brought to him. On 
his person was found a letter which he confessed to have 
agreed to deliver to the Frenchman for a sum of money 
that had been given him. The English general had 
written this letter to the Frenchman purporting to con- 
sider him as his spy; and in it, among other things, 
urged him to persuade the Spaniards to remain in their 
camp for three days or more, or until an English fleet 
with two thousand troops aboard, then on its way, 
should come down from Charleston. He also stated that 
Admiral Vernon was about to attack St. Augustine with 
another fleet. Oglethorpe had bribed the prisoner, and 
the letter fell into the hands of the Spanish commander 



— as Oglethorpe knew it would — instead of being 
delivered to the Frenchman. 

The ruse succeeded perfectly. Iiistead of the friend 
whose advice was worth having and who would have 
helped them, the Spanish ofi&cers looked upon the 
Frenchman as an English spy. They would have hanged 
him in spite of his protestations of the falsity of Ogle- 
thorpe's letter, had not Don Manuel, who entertained 
some doubt as to the reports, interfered to save his hfe. 
The situation of the Spaniards, however, was such that 
when word was brought them that three ships — South 
CaroHna scouting vessels, — had been seen in the 
ofi&ng, supposing them to indicate the approach of the 
English fleet, they were filled with terror. Sick, hungry, 
thirsty, dispirited, they set fire to the fort and, abandon- 
ing large quantities of stores and suppKes, including 
their guns, they piled aboard their ships and sailed away. 
There was no English fleet anywhere near the scene of 
action and none was coming; no ships were menacing 
St. Augustine, either. 

Oglethorpe at once surmised that they would stop at 
Fort William and endeavor to strike one effective blow 
there. He sent expresses, therefore, to the young com- 
mander and bade him hold on at all hazards. For two 
days Ensign Stewart and sixty men sustained a vigorous 
attack from the Spaniards, whom they finally repulsed. 
Oglethorpe had followed in the wake of the retreating 
ships with his own small vessels and armoyed them as 
much as he could. Shortly after the middle of July the 
Spaniards abandoned their expedition and the whple 
armada left the coast, never to return. 

The celebrated Whitefield, who was with Oglethorpe 


at the time, said of the results of the campaign, "The 
deliverance of Georgia is such as cannot be paralleled 
save by some of the incidents of the Old Testament." 
When the smallness of his force and the overwhelming 
strength of the Spaniards is considered, the student of 
history must agree with the theologian. Oglethorpe's 
defense had been brilliant in the extreme. He had saved 
the Southern colonies from coming under the evil of 
Spanish rule. Of the little campaign it is not too much 
to record, with approval, the phrase which called the 
narrow road between the wood and the marsh at 
Frederica " the Thermopylae of America." 




In 1607, the Plymouth Company sent some colonists to 
Maine, where they attempted to make a settlement at the 
mouth of the Kennebec River. After one winter, they re- 
ported that no Englishmen could Hve in so cold a country. 
A few years later, a company of people known as Separatists, 
because they wished to separate entirely from the Church of 
England, fled with their pastor, John Robinson, from Eng- 
land to Holland, which permitted more liberty in rehgious 
matters than other countries. (See "When the Pilgrim 
Fathers went to Holland," volume vii.) But to prevent their 
children from becoming Dutch in language and customs, they 
sailed, in 1620, for the unknown world across the ocean. 
They were driven northward by storms, and made their 
landing at what is now Plymouth, in Massachusetts. Ten 
years later, nearly one thousand Puritans, or people who 
wished to remain members of the Church of England, but to 
purify it, settled in Salem and Boston. 

Not all the Massachusetts settlers agreed in their opinions. 
Roger Williams, pastor of a Salem church and the most 
famous of the dissenters, was ordered to return to England, 
but he escaped to his good friends, the Narragansett Indians, 
and in 1636 founded the town of Providence, in Rhode 

In 1633, some Pilgrims 'from Plymouth went up the 
Connecticut River, set up on the present site of Windsor a 
little wooden house that they had brought with them, and 
opened trade with the Indians. This was the beginning of 




In the morning we found ourselves embayed with a 
mighty headland.^ But coming to an anchor about nine 
of the clock the same day, within a league of the shore, 
we hoisted out the one half of our shallop; and Cap- 
tain Bartholomew Gosnold, myself, and three others, 
went ashore, being a white, sandy, and bold shore; and 
marching all that afternoon, with our muskets on our 
necks, on the highest hills which we saw, — the weather 
very hot, — at length we perceived this headland to be 
parcel of the main, and simdry islands lying almost 
round about it. So returning towards evening to our 
shallop, — for by that time the other part was brought 
ashore, and set together, — we espied an Indian, a 
young man of proper stature, and of a pleasing counte- 
nance; and, after some familiarity with him, we left him 
at the seaside, and returned to our ship, where, in five 
or six hours' absence, we had pestered our ship so with 
codfish, that we threw nxmibers of them overboard 
again. And surely, I am persuaded, that in the months 
of March, April, and May, there is upon this coast better 
fishing, and in as great plenty, as in Newfoundland; for 
the skulls of mackerel, herrings, cod, and other fish, that 
we daily saw as we went and came from the shore, were 
wonderful. And besides, the places where we took these 

> Cape Cod. 



cods, and might in a few days have laden our ship, were 
but in seven fathoms water, and within less than a 
league from the shore; where, in Newfoundland, they 
fish in forty or fifty fathoms water, and far off. 

From this place we sailed round about this headland 
almost all the points of the compass, the shore very bold ; 
but, as no coast is free from dangers, so I am persuaded 
this is as free as any. The land somewhat low, f uU of 
goodly woods, but in some places plain. At length we 
were come amongst many fair islands, which we had 
partly discerned at our first landing, all lying within a 
league or two one of another, and the outermost not 
above five or seven leagues from the main. But coming to 
an anchor under one of them, which was about three or 
four leagues from the main. Captain Gosnold, myself, and 
some others, went ashore; and, going round about it, we 
found it to be four English miles in compass, without 
house or inhabitant, saving a httle old house made of 
boughs covered with bark, an old piece of a weir of the 
Indians to catch fish, and one or two places where they 
had made fires. The chief est trees of this island are 
beeches and cedars, the outward parts all overgrown 
with low, bushy trees three or four feet in height, which 
bear some kind of fruits, as appeared by their blossoms; 
strawberries, red and white, as sweet and much bigger 
than ours in England; raspberries, gooseberries, whortle- 
berries, and such an incredible store of vines, as well in 
the woody part of the island, where they run upon every 
tree, as on the outward parts, so that we could not go 
for treading upon them; also many springs of excellent 
sweet water, and a great standing lake of fresh water 
near the seaside, an English mile in compass, which is 

1 54 


maintained with the springs, running exceedingly 
pleasantly through the woody grounds, which are very 
rocky. Here are also in this island great store of deer, 
which we saw, and other beasts, as appeared by their 
tracks; as also divers fowls, as cranes, hernshaws, bit- 
terns, geese, mallards, teals, and other fowl in great 
plenty; also great store of peas, which grow in certain 
plots all the island over. On the north side of this island 
we found many huge bones and ribs of whales. 

From hence we went to another island to the north- 
west of this, and within a league or two of the main, 
which we found to be greater than before we imagined, 
being sixteen English miles, at the least, in compass; for 
it containeth many pieces of necks of land, which differ 
nothing from several islands, saving that certain banks 
of small breadth do Kke bridges join them to this island. 
On the outside of this island are many plain places of 
grass, abundance of strawberries, and other berries 
before mentioned. In mid-May we did sow in this 
island, for a trial, in sundry places, wheat, barley, oats, 
and peas, which in fourteen days were sprung up nine 
inches, and more. The soil is fat and lusty, the upper 
crust of gray color, but a foot or less in depth, of the 
color of our hemp-lands in England, and being thus apt 
for these and the like grains. The sowing or setting — 
after the ground is closed — is no greater labor than if 
you should set or sow in one of our best prepared gardens 
in England. This island is full of high timbered oaks, 
their leaves thrice so broad as ours; cedars, straight and 
tall, beech, elm, holly, walnut trees in abundance, the 
fruit as big as ours, as appeared by those we found under 
the trees, which had lain all the year imgathered; hazel- 


nut trees, cherry trees, the leaf, bark, and bigness not 
differing from ours in England, but the stalk beareth the 
blossoms or fruit at the end thereof, like a cluster of 
grapes, forty or fifty in a bunch; sassafras trees, great 
plenty all the island over, a tree of high price and profit; 
also divers other fniit-trees, some of them with strange 
barks of an orange color, in feeling soft and smooth Uke 
velvet: in the thickest parts of these woods, you may see 
a furlong or more round about. 

On the northwest side of this island, near to the sea- 
side, is a standing lake of fresh water, almost three Eng- 
lish miles in compass, in the midst whereof stands a plot 
of woody ground, an acre in quantity, or not above. 
This lake is full of small tortoises, and exceedingly fre- 
quented with all sorts of fowls, before rehearsed, which 
breed, some low on the banks, and others on low trees 
about this lake, in great abundance, whose young ones 
of all sorts we took and ate at our pleasure; but all these 
fowls are much bigger than ours in England. Also in 
every island, and almost in every part of every island, 
are great store of ground-nuts, forty together on a 
string, some of them as big as hen's eggs : they grow not 
two inches under ground, the which nuts we found to be 
as good as potatoes. Also divers sorts of shell-fish, as 
scallops, mussels, cockles, lobsters, crabs, oysters, and 
whelks, exceeding good and very great. . . . 

Now the next day, we determined to fortify ourselves 
in a little plot of ground in the midst of the lake above 
mentioned, where we built our house, and covered it 
with sedge, which grew about this lake in great abun- 
dance; in building whereof we spent three weeks and 
more. But, the second day after our coming from the 



main, we espied eleven canoes or boats, with fifty- 
Indians in them, coming toward us from this part of the 
main, where we two days before landed; and, being loath 
they should discover our fortification, we went out on 
the seaside to meet them. And, coming somewhat near 
them, they all sat down upon the stones, calling aloud to 
us, as we rightly guessed, to do the like, a Httle distance 
from them. Having sat a while in this order. Captain 
Gosnold willed me to go unto them to see what counte- 
nance they would make; but, as soon as I came up unto 
them, one of them, to whom I had given a knife two 
days before in the main, knew me, whom I also very 
well remembered, and, smiling upon me, spake some- 
what unto their lord or captain, which sat in the midst 
of them, who presently rose up, and took a large beaver- 
skin from one that stood about him, and gave it unto 
me, which I requited for that time the best I could. But 
I, pointing towards Captain Gosnold, made signs unto 
him that he was our captain, and desirous to be his 
friend, and enter league with him, which, as I perceive, 
he understood, and made signs of joy. Whereupon 
Captain Gosnold, with the rest of his company, being 
twenty in all, came up unto them, and after many signs 
of gratulations, — Captain Gosnold presenting their 
lord with certain trifles which they wondered at and 
highly esteemed, — we became very great friends, and 
sent for meat aboard our shallop, and gave them such 
meats as we had then ready dressed; whereof they mis- 
liked nothing but our mustard, whereat they made many 
a sour face. . . . 

So the rest of the day we spent in trading with them 
for furs, which are beavers, luzernes, martens, otters, 



wildcat-skins, — very large and deep fur, — black foxes, 
coney-skins, of the color of our hares, but somewhat 
less, deer-skins very large, seal-skins, and other beasts' 
skins, to us unknown. They have also great store of 
copper, some very red, and some of a paler color: none 
of them but have chains, ear-rings, or collars of this 
metal. They head some of their arrows herewith, much 
like our broad-arrow heads, very workmanly made. 
Their chains are many hollow pieces cemented together, 
each piece of the bigness of one of our reeds, a finger in 
length, ten or twelve of them together on a string, which 
they wear about their necks. Their collars they wear 
about their bodies, like bandoleers, a handful broad, all 
hollow pieces like the other, but somewhat shorter, four 
hundred pieces in a collar, very fine and evenly set 
together. Besides these, they have large drinking-cups, 
made hke skulls, and other thin plates of copper, made 
much like our boar-spear blades, all which they so Httle 
esteem as they offered their fairest collars or chains for 
a knife or such like trifle; but we seemed little to regard 
it. Yet I was desirous to understand where they had 
such store of this metal, and made signs to one of them, 
with whom I was very familiar, who, taking a piece of 
copper in his hand, made a hole with his finger in the 
ground, and withal pointed to the main from whence 
they came. . . . 

Thus they continued with us three days, every night 
retiring themselves to the furthermost part of our 
island, two or three miles from our fort; but the fourth 
day they returned to the main, pointing five or six times 
to the sun, and once to the main, which we understood 
[to mean] that, within five or six days, they would come 



from the main to us again. But, being in their canoes a 
little from the shore, they made huge cries and shouts 
of joy unto us; and we with our trumpet and cornet, and 
casting up our caps into the air, made them the best 
farewell we could. Yet six or seven of them remained 
with us behind, bearing us company every day into the 
woods, and helped us to cut and carry our sassafras, 
and some of them lay aboard our ship. 

These people, as they are exceeding courteous, gentle 
of disposition, and well conditioned, exceeding all others 
that we have seen, so for shape of body and lovely favor, 
I think, they excel all the people of America. [They are] 
of stature much higher than we; of complexion or color 
much like a dark olive; their eyebrows and hair black, 
which they wear long, tied up behind in knots, whereon 
they prick feathers of fowls, in fashion of a coronet. 
Some of them are black, thin-bearded. They make 
beards of the hair of beasts; and one of them offered a 
beard of their making to one of our sailors, for his that 
grew on his face, which, because it was of a red color, 
they judged to be none of his own. They are quick- 
eyed, and steadfast in their looks, fearless of others' 
harms, as intending none themselves; some of the 
meaner sort given to filching, which the very name of 
savages, not weighing their ignorance in good or evil, 
may easily excuse. Their garments are of deer-skins; 
and some of them wear furs round and close about their 
necks. They pronounce our language with great facility; 
for one of them one day sitting by me, upon occasion I 
spake smiling to him these words, "How now, sirrah, 
are you so saucy with my tobacco?" which words, with- 
out any further repetition, he suddenly spake so plain 



and distinctly, as if he had been a long scholar in the 
language. Many other such trials we had, which are here 
needless to repeat. 

But after our bark had taken in so much sassafras, 
cedar, furs, skins, and other commodities, as were 
thought convenient, some of our company that had 
promised Captain Gosnold to stay, having nothing but 
a saving voyage in their minds, made our company of 
inhabitants, which was small enough before, much 
smaller; so as Captain Gosnold seeing his whole strength 
to consist but of twelve men, and they but meanly 
provided, determined to return for England, leaving 
this island, which he called Elizabeth's Island, ^ with as 
many true sorrowful eyes as were before desirous to see 
it. So the 1 8th of June, being Friday, we weighed, and 
with indifferent fair wind and weather came to anchor 
the 23d of July, being also Friday, in all bare five weeks, 
before Exmouth. 

' Now Cuttyhunk. 




The following account of this departure was written by 
William Bradford, second governor of Plymouth: — 

"And y° time being come that they must departe, they 
were accompanied with most of their brethren out of y* 
citie, unto a towne sundrie miles of called Delfes-Haven, 
wher the ship lay ready to receive them. So they lefte y° 
goodly & pleasante citie, which had been ther resting place 
near 12. years; but they knew they were pUgrimes, & looked 
not much on those things, but Uft up their eyes to y' 
heavens, their dearest cuntrie, and quieted their spirits. 
When they came to y^ place they found y^ ship and all 
things ready; and shuch of their freinds as could not come 
with them followed after them, and sundrie also came from 
Amsterdame to see them shipte and to take their leave of 
them. That night was spent with little sleepe by y^ most, but 
with freindly entertainmente & christian discourse and other 
reall expressions of true christian love. The next day, the 
wind being faire, they wente aborde, and their freinds with 
them, where truly dolefull was y^ sight of that sade and 
mournfull parting; to see what sighs and sobbs and praires 
did sound amongst them, what tears did gush from every 
eye, & pithy speeches peirst each harte; that sundry of y° 
Dutch strangers y' stood on y' key as spectators, could not 
refraine from tears. Yet comfortable & sweete it was to see 
shuch lively and true expressions of dear & imfained love. 
But y° tide (which stays for no man) caling them away y' 
were loath to departe, their Reve**: pastor falling downe on 
his knees, (and they all with him,) with watrie cheeks coin- 
ended them with most fervente praiers to the Lord and his 
blessing. And then with mutuall imbrases and many tears, 
they tooke their leaves one of an other; which proved to be 
y' last leave to many of them." 


■•\ v 




It was resolved that the youngest and the strongest of 
the Leyden congregation should first go to New Nether- 
land and start a colony. If Providence seemed to ap- 
prove of their undertaking, then the others, including 
the middle-aged and the old, would come out also, if 
they could, — that is, if they were not hindered by 
their intolerant king and the bigoted people in the 
London Company, who hated "Brownists." How won- 
derful and exciting must have been the dreams of the 
Pilgrim lads and lassies from the day of decision! 

It was on July 22, 1620, that the pioneer party left 
Delfshaven on the Maas River, fourteen miles south of 
Leyden, in the Uttle ship Speedwell, reaching Southamp- 
ton a few days later. There they met the larger vessel, 
the Mayflower, from London. For the first time many 
of the young folks looked upon old England. 

The Leyden church had sent one or two agents over 
to England to secure a ship and provisions and make 
agreement about work for the company, shares, pay- 
ment, etc. Now they found that matters for the colony 
had been arranged in a very distasteful way, and 
besides they had to sell off most of their butter and all 
their beer in order to pay their debts and clear the 
harbor. Even then they were poorly equipped. How- 
ever, the two ships started. The Speedwell soon began 



to leak, and they had to put in at Dartmouth, and again 
at Plymouth, losing both time and money. After get- 
ting well into the Atlantic, the rascally captain of the 
Speedwell, who did not want to cross the ocean, de- 
clared she was unseaworthy. So, turning back to 
Plymouth, the weakest of the company were put on the 
Speedwell and sent back to London, while the strongest 
and bravest, numbering one hundred and two persons, 
started on the large ship for a voyage in the stormiest 
time of the year. 

When in mid-ocean the frame of the Mayflower was 
so strained by the chopping waves and the terrible 
winds, that one of the great supporting beams of the 
ship was drawn out of place. Then it seemed as though 
the vessel would go to pieces. Fortunately, one of the 
passengers had a piece of Dutch hardware on board, 
which had been invented some years before. This was 
called a dommekratcht, or, as we say, a "jack screw." 
By this, the stout beam was forced into place, and being 
held by an iron band and supported by a post, the ship 
was made safe again. Then they calked the seams and 
tried to keep dry and comfortable; but shut up in the 
foul air by the horrible weather, and then afterwards 
much exposed to the raw winds and cold, it is not sur- 
prising that the seeds of quick consumption were 
planted in their constitutions. 

Expecting first to see Sandy Hook and to disembark 
near the Hudson River, the Pilgrims made landfall at 
Cape Cod. Instead of a lovely land robed in the verdure 
and flowers of late summer or early autumn, they beheld 
leafless trees through which the chill winds of November 
roared and whistled, with pines and cedars. 



Yet Pilot Coppin, who had been once across the 
Atlantic, had not made a mistake in his original reckon- 
ing, but something had carried the Mayflower too far 
northj.just as it had done Verrazzano many years before. 
What was the mystery? Coppin, and many who like 
him mistook their course, could not then tell. Foolish 
people long afterward, with that shameful prejudice 
against the Dutch which so many Americans have in- 
herited from Enghshmen and their wars, like to think 
that the pilot of the Mayflower was "bribed by the 

The truth is, that men did not know anything then 
about the Gulf Stream, which probably never was 
understood until after the time of Benjamin Franklin, 
who was the first to study it philosophically. This great 
blue stream of warm water flowing northward had dis- 
turbed Verrazzano's, as it did Coppin's, calculations. 
The captain of the Mayflower tried to sail southward 
around Cape Cod, but could not get the Mayflower 
through the rough waters, shoals, and quicksands. 
Thankful to escape shipwreck, the Pilgrims gladly 
turned back and the Mayflower found anchorage off the 
point where Provincetown now lies. Here, in the sum- 
mer of 1897, was unveiled a monument in honor of this 
historic ship and her heroic passengers. 

It was a mixed company on board the Mayflower. In 
the first place, there were rough sailors; some of them 
were very profane and heartless. The captain and mates 
did not care to remain one day longer than necessary 
on this side of the Atlantic, and they gave their passen- 
gers hints that they must soon get ashore. Then, the 
colonists had expected to settle in New Netherland or 



within the limits claimed by the London Virginia Com- 
pany, but had been compelled by the Gulf Stream, or 
by Providence, to settle in these northern regions of the 
Plymouth Company, for which they had no patent. 
They were, therefore, without any authority or means of 
government. Some of the uncertain characters on board, 
who were rather free with their tongues, were already 
giving out that when on land they were going to do 
pretty much as they pleased. Perhaps the every-day 
morality of the Pilgrim Company was a little too severe 
for them. 

It was necessary to agree upon some form of govern- 
ment. So in the cabin of the little ship the leaders met 
together and in the name of God and as loyal subjects of 
the superstitious monarch that hated them, and whom 
they called the "KLing of France," as well as of Great 
Britain and Ireland, and even nominated "the defender 
of the faith," they covenanted and combined themselves 
together into a civil body politic. They promised all 
due submission and obedience to such laws and offices 
as should be enacted. To this document, probably laid 
upon the lid of a chest, forty-one names out of the sixty- 
five adult passengers then on the ship were signed. 
Governor Carver was made head of the colony. This 
compact, since copied in bronze and cut in stone and 
made the theme of poetry and oratory, was the natural 
result of the provisions already made by the company 
in London. 

Several weeks were spent in. exploring the country by 
sending out parties on land and over the waters in the 
shallop. Among the adventures were the finding of corn, 
the remains of an old fort, the graves of two Europeans, 



and many evidences of the Indians, such as deer traps, 
deserted wigwams, trails, and old maize fields. They 
had one skirmish with the Indians, in which no one was 
hurt. One party spent a Sunday on Clark's Island. 

One of the first things done was by the women, who 
went ashore to wash clothes. Men and boys helped them 
to build fires, with sweet-smelling juniper or cedar wood, 
and to bring fresh water from a spring on the beach. 
Thus was begun the great American Monday wash-day. 

It was not until the 21st of December, in the stormy 
weather, that they landed and began their settlement 
at what Captain John Smith had already named Plym- 
outh. Here were a brook of fresh water, cultivated 
land, and a fairly good site for a town, with a hill near 
by, for a fort, just as at Leyden. On the shore lay a 
boulder, one of the very few large stones anywhere in 
the neighborhood, which had taken a ride on some pre- 
historic glacier or iceberg and had thus been carried 
down from regions farther north in Canada. This they 
made their first wharf or landing-place, the tradition 
being that Mary Allerton was the first woman who 
stepped upon it. 

The men went daily to and from the ship, in the wet 
and stormy weather, occasionally remaining several 
days and nights on land, but every day working hard, 
putting up log houses and covering them with thatch. 
As in all new colonies, there were great dangers from 
fire, for evidently these people were not accustomed to 
bund houses and to make good chimneys; but though the 
roofs were several times burnt off, the log walls remained 
unhurt. The settlement at Plymouth was a good deal 
like that in Leyden, with houses in rows, with one wide 



street between, and the hill fort, in which they mounted 
their four little cannon. Their food was rather poor, but 
they managed to vary it with a few wild ducks and 
geese. The provisions and stores were landed and put 
under shelter, late in January, by which time they had 
roofed the Common House, which was at once filled 
with the sick and dying. It was not until late in Feb- 
ruary that their fort was in sufficiently good order to 
be considered capable of withstanding an attack. No 
human being of the country visited them until the 
middle of March. 

By this time contagious consumption had broken out, 
which quickly carried off whole families and diminished 
their number nearly one half ; so that only a few able- 
bodied men were left. Nevertheless, when the May- 
flower went away, not one of the colonists returned in 
her. Even the ship became a pest-house; for many of 
the sailors that were living in the germ-infested quarters 
of the late passengers sickened and died. With such 
brutal and profane sailors in a floating coffin, it is no 
wonder that the Pilgrims, even if any of them had a 
longing to run the risk of imprisonment and death at 
the hands of their country's rulers, preferred to trus.t in 
God and stay on the bleak shores of Massachusetts. 




Meanwhile the choleric captain ' strode wrathful away 

to the council, 
Foiind it already assembled, impatiently waiting his 

Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in deport- 
Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest to heaven, 
Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent Elder of 

God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this 

Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a nation; 
So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of the 

people ! 
Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude stern 

and defiant; 
Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious in 

While on the table before them was lying unopened a 

Ponderous, boimd in leather, brass-studded, printed in 


1 Miles Standish. 


And beside it outstretched the skin of a rattlesnake 

Filled, like a quiver, with arrows; a signal and challenge 

of warfare, 
Brought by the Indian, and speaking with arrowy 

tongues of defiance. 

This Miles Standish beheld, as he entered, and heard 

them debating 
What were an answer befitting the hostile message and 

Talking of this and of that, contriving, suggesting, 

One voice only for peace, and that the voice of the 

Judging it wise and well that some at least were con- 
Rather than any were slain, for this was but Christian 

behavior ! 
Then out spake Miles Standish, the stalwart Captain 

of Plymouth, 
Muttering deep in his throat, for his voice was husky 

with anger, 
"What! do you mean to make war with milk and the 

water of roses? 
Is it to shoot red squirrels you have your howitzer 

There on the roof of the church, or is it to shoot red 

Truly the only tongue that is understood by a savage 
Must be the tongue of fire that speaks from the mouth 

of the cannon!" 



Thereupon answered and said the excellent Elder of 

Somewhat amazed and alarmed at this irreverent lan- 
"Not so thought St. Paul, nor yet the other Apostles; 
Not from the cannon's mouth were the tongues of fire 

they spake with!" 
But unheeded fell this mild rebuke on the captain, 
Who had advanced to the table, and thus continued 

"Leave this matter to me, for to me by right it per- 

War is a terrible trade; but in the cause that is righteous, 
Sweet is the smell of powder; and thus I answer the 


Then from the rattlesnake's skin, with a sudden, 

contemptuous gesture, 
Jerking the Lidian arrows, he filled it with powder and 

Full to the very jaws, and handed it back to the savage. 
Saying, in thundering tones: "Here, take it! this is your 

Silently out of the room then gUded the ghstening 

Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself like a 

Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of 

the forest. 
[Captain Standish, with his little army of eight men, led 
by "Hobomok, friend of the white man," marched to the 
northward to subdue the outbreak of the Indians.] 



After a three days' march he came to an Indian 

Pitched on the edge of a meadow, between the sea and 

the forest; 
Women at work by the tents, and warriors, horrid with 

Seated about a fire, and smoking and talking to- 
Who, when they saw from afar the sudden approach of 

the white men. 
Saw the flash of the sun on breastplate and saber and 

Straightway leaped to their feet, and two, from -among 

them advancing, 
Came to parley with Standish, and offer him furs as a 

Friendship was in their looks, but in their hearts there 

was hatred. 
Braves of the tribe were these, and brothers, gigantic 

in stature. 
Huge as Goliath of Gath, or the terrible Og, king of 

One was Pecksuot named, and the other was called 

Round their necks were suspended their knives in 

scabbards of wampum. 
Two-edged, trenchant knives, with points as sharp as a 

Other arms had they none, for they were cunning and 

"Welcome, English!" they said, — these words they 

had learned from the traders 



Touching at times on the coast, to barter and chaffer 

for peltries. 
Then in their native tongue they began to parley with 

Through his guide and interpreter, Hobomok, friend of 

the white man, 
Begging for blankets and knives, but mostly for mus- 
kets and powder. 
Kept by the white man, they said, concealed, with the 

plague, in his cellars, 
Ready tobeletloose, and destroy his brother the red man! 
But when Standish refused, and said he would give them 

the Bible, 
Suddenly changing their tone, they began to boast and 

to bluster. 
Then Wattawamat advanced with a stride in front of 

the other. 
And, with a lofty demeanor, thus vauntingly spake to 

the captain: 
"Now Wattawamat can see, by the fiiery eyes of the 

Angry is he in his heart; but the heart of the brave 

Is not afraid at the sight. He was not born of a woman. 
But on a mountain at night, from an oak tree riven by 

Forth he sprang at a bound, with all his weapons about 

Shouting, 'Who is there here to fight with the brave 

Then he unsheathed his knife, and, whetting the blade 

on his left hand, 



Held it aloft and displayed a woman's face on the 

handle ; 
Saying, with bitter expression and look of sinister meaning : 
"I have another at home, with the face of a man on the 

By and by they shall marry, and there will be plenty of 


Then stood Pecksuot forth, self -vaunting, insulting 

Miles Standish: 
While with his fingers he patted the knife that himg at 

his bosom. 
Drawing it half from its sheath, and plunging it back, 

as he muttered, 
"By and by it shall see; it shall eat; ah, ha! but shall 

speak not! 
This is the mighty captain the white men have sent to 

destroy us! 
He is a little man ; let him go and work with the women ! " 

Meanwhile Standish had noted the faces and figures 
of Indians 

Peeping and creeping about from bush to tree in the 

Feigning to look for game, with arrows set on their bow- 

Drawing about him still closer and closer the net of their 

But undaunted he stood, and dissembled and treated 
them smoothly; 

So the old chronicles say, that were writ in the days of 
the fathers. 



But when he heard their defiance, the boast, the taunt, 

and the insult. 
All the hot blood of his race, of Sir Hugh and of Thurston 

de Standish, 
Boiled and beat in his heart, and swelled in the veins of 

his temples. 
Headlong he leaped on the boaster, and, snatching his 

knife from its scabbard, 
Plunged it into his heart, and, reeling backward, the 

Fell with his face to the sky, and a fiend-like fierceness 

upon it. 
Straightway there arose from the forest the awful sound 

of the war-whoop, 
And, like a flurry of snow on the whistling wind of 

Swift and sudden and keen came a flight of feathery 

Then came a cloud of smoke, and out of the cloud came 

the lightning. 
Out of the lightning thunder; and death unseen ran 

before it. 
Frightened the savages fled for shelter in swamp and in 

Hotly pursued and beset; but their sachem, the brave 

Fled not; he was dead. Unswerving and swift had a 

Passed through his brain, and he fell' with both hands 

clutching the greensward, 
Seeming in death to hold back from his foe the land of 

his fathers. 



There on the flowers of the meadow the warriors lay, 

and above them, 
Silent, with folded arms, stood Hobomok, friend of the 

white man. 
Smiling at length he exclaimed to the stalwart captain 

of Plymouth: 
"Pecksuot bragged very loud, of his courage, his 

strength, and his stature, — 
Mocked the great captain, and called him a little man; 

but I see now 
Big enough have you been to lay him speechless before 


Thus the first battle was fought and won by the stal- 
wart Miles Standish. 

When the tidings thereof were brought to the village 
of Plymouth, 

And as a trophy of war the head of the brave Wattawa- 

Scowled from the roof of the fort, which at once was a 
church and a fortress, 

All who beheld it rejoiced, and praised the Lord, and 
took courage. 



{American artist, 1840) 

In spite of their noble courage, there must have been hours 
during the first winter in Plymouth when even the bravest 
among the Pilgrims felt disheartened. The rough houses 
which they hastily raised could not protect them from the 
blasts of a New England winter; they had not proper food 
or, indeed, any of the comforts of life. Sickness came upon 
them, and at one time there were only seven well persons in 
the little colony. Before the end of March, nearly half of the 
colonists had died. These were buried near the first landing- 
place; and lest the Indians should count their graves and so 
discover how few were yet living, grain was sown above 
them. Longfellow makes Miles Standish say of his wife 
Rose, who died during that terrible winter: — 

"Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies buried Rose Standish; 

Beautiful rose of love, that bloomed for me by the wayside! 

She was the first to die of all who came in the Mayflower! 

Green above her is growing the field of wheat we have sown there. 

Better to hide from the Indian scouts the graves of our people. 

Lest they should count them and see how many already have perished! " 


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At noon of an autumnal day, more than two centuries 
ago, the Enghsh colors were displayed by the standard- 
bearer of the Salem trainband, which had mustered for 
martial exercise imder the orders of John Endicott. It 
was a period when the religious exiles were accustomed 
often to buckle on their armor, and practice the haiidling 
of their weapons of war. Since the first settlement of 
New England, its prospects had never been so dismal. 
The dissensions between Charles the First and his 
subjects were then, and for several years afterwards, 
confined to the floor of Parhament. The measures of 
the king and ministry were rendered more tyrannically 
violent by an opposition, which had not yet acquired 
sufiicient confidence in its own strength to resist royal 
injustice with the sword. The bigoted and haughty 
primate. Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, controlled 
the religious affairs of the realm, and was consequently 
invested with powers which might have wrought the 
utter ruin of the two Puritan colonies, Plymouth and 
Massachusetts. There is evidence on record that our 
forefathers perceived their danger, but were resolved 
that their infant country should not fall without a 
struggle, even beneath the giant strength of the king's 
right arm. 

Such was the aspect of the times when the folds of 



the English banner, with the Red Cross in its field, were 
flung out over a company of Puritans. Their leader, the 
famous Endicott, was a man of stern and resolute coun- 
tenance, the effect of which was heightened by a grizzled 
beard that swept the upper portion of his breastplate. 
This piece of armor was so highly polished that the whole 
surrounding country had its image in the glittering 
steel. The central object in the mirrored picture was an 
edifice of humble architecture with neither steeple nor 
bell to proclaim it — what nevertheless it was — the 
house of prayer. A token of the perils of the wilderness 
was seen in the grim head of a wolf, which had just been 
slain within the precincts of the town, and according 
to the regular mode of claiming the bounty, was nailed 
on the porch of the meeting-house. The blood was still 
plashing on the doorstep. There happened to be 
visible, at the same noontide hour, so many other char- 
acteristics of the times and manners of the Puritans, 
that we must endeavor to represent them in a sketch, 
though far less vividly than they were reflected in the 
polished breastplate of John Endicott. 

In close vicinity to the sacred edifice appeared that 
important engine of Puritanic authority, the whipping- 
post — with the soil around it well trodden by the feet 
of evil-doers, who had there been disciplined. At one 
corner of the meeting-house was the pillory, and at the 
other the stocks; and, by a singular good fortune for 
our sketch, the head of an Episcopalian and suspected 
Catholic was grotesquely encased in the former machine; 
while a fellow criminal, who had boisterously quaffed 
a health to the King, was confined by the legs in the 
latter. Side by side, on the meeting-house steps, stood 



a male and a female figure. The man was a tall, lean, 
haggard personification of fanaticism, bearing on his 
breast this label, — A Wanton Gospeller, — which 
betokened that he had dared to give interpretations of 
Holy Writ unsanctioned by the infallible judgment of 
the civil and reHgious rulers. His aspect showed no lack 
of zeal to maintain his heterodoxies, even at the stake. 
The woman wore a cleft stick on her tongue, in ap- 
propriate retribution for having wagged that unruly 
member against the elders of the church; and her 
countenance and gestures gave much cause to appre- 
hend that, the moment the stick should be removed, 
a repetition of the offense would demand new ingenuity 
in chastising it. 

The above-mentioned individuals had been sentenced 
to undergo their various modes of ignominy, for the 
space of one hour at noonday. But among the crowd 
were several whose punishment would be life long; some, 
whose ears had been cropped, like those of puppy dogs; 
others, whose cheeks had been branded with the initials 
of their misdemeanors; one, with his nostrils sUt and 
seared; and another, with a halter about his neck, which 
he was forbidden ever to take off, or to conceal beneath 
his garments. Methinks he must have been grievously 
tempted to a£&x the other end of the rope to some 
convenient beam or bough. 

Let not the reader argue, from any of these evidences 
of iniquity, that the times of the Puritans were more 
vicious than our own, when, as we pass along the very 
street of this sketch, we discern no badge of infamy on 
man or woman. It was the poUcy of our ancestors to 
search out even the most secret sins, and expose them 



to shame, without fear or favor, in the broadest light of 
the noonday sun. Were such the custom now, perchance 
we might find materials for a no less piquant sketch 
than the above. 

Except the malefactors whom we have described, and 
the diseased or infirm persons, the whole male popula- 
tion of the town, between sixteen years and sixty, were 
seen in the ranks of the trainband. A few stately sav- 
ages, in all the pomp and dignity of the primeval Indian, 
stood gazing at the spectacle. Their flint-headed arrows 
were but childish weapons compared with the match- 
locks of the Puritans, and would have rattled harmlessly 
against the steel caps and hammered iron breastplates 
which inclosed each soldier in an individual fortress. 
The valiant John Endicott glanced with an eye of pride 
at his sturdy followers, and prepared to renew the mar- 
tial toils of the day. 

"Come, my stout hearts!" quoth he, drawing his 
sword. "Let us show these poor heathen that we can 
handle our weapons Hke men of might. Well fox them, if 
they put us not to prove it in earnest!" 

The iron-breasted company straightened their Une, 
and each man drew the heavy butt of his matchlock 
close to his left foot, thus awaiting the orders of the 
captain. But, as Endicott glanced right and left along 
the front, he discovered a personage at some little dis- 
tance with whom it behooved him to hold a parley. It 
was an elderly gentleman, wearing a black cloak and 
band, and a high-crowned hat, beneath which was a 
velvet skull-cap, the whole being the garb of a Puritan 
minister. This reverend person bore a staff which 
seemed to have been recently cut in the forest, and his 



shoes were bemired as if he had been traveling on foot 
through the swamps of the wilderness. His aspect was 
perfectly that of a pilgrim, heightened also by an 
apostolic dignity. Just as Endicott perceived him, he 
laid aside his staff, and stooped to drink at a bubbling 
fountain which gushed into the sunshine about a score 
of yards from the corner of the meeting-house. But, 
ere the good man drank, he turned his face heavenward 
in thankfulness, and then, holding back his gray beard 
with one hand, he scooped up his simple draught in the 
hollow of the other. 

"What, ho! good Mr. Williams," touted Endicott. 
"You are welcome back again to our town of peace. 
How does our worthy Governor Winthrop? And what 
news from Boston?" 

"The Governor hath his health, worshipful sir," 
answered Roger WilKams, now resimiing his staff, and 
drawing near. "And for the news, here is a letter, 
which, knowing I was to travel hitherward to-day. His 
Excellency committed to my charge. Belike it contains 
tidings of much import; for a ship arrived yesterday 
from England." 

'Mr. Williams, the minister of Salem, and of course 
known to aU the spectators, had now reached the spot 
where Endicott was standing under the barmer of his 
company, and put the governor's epistle into his hand. 
The broad seal was impressed with Winthrop's coat of 
arms. Endicott hastily unclosed the letter and began to 
read, while, as his eye passed down the page, a wrath- 
ful change came over his manly countenance. The 
blood glowed through it till it seemed to be kindhng 
with an internal heat; nor was it unnatural to suppose 



that his breastplate would likewise become red-hot with 
the angry fire of the bosom which it covered. Arriving 
at the conclusion, he shook the letter fiercely in his hand, 
so that it rustled as loud as the flag above his head. 

"Black tidings these, Mr. Williams," said he; 
"blacker never came to New England. Doubtless you 
know their purport?" 

"Yes, truly," replied Roger WilHams; "for the 
governor consulted, respecting this matter, with my 
brethren in the ministry at Boston; and my opinion was 
likewise asked. And His Excellency entreats you, by 
me, that the news be not suddenly noised abroad, lest 
the people be stirred up unto some outbreak, and 
thereby give the king and the archbishop a handle 
against us." 

"The governor is a wise man — a wise man, and a 
meek and moderate," said Endicott, setting his teeth 
grimly. "Nevertheless, I must do according to my own 
best judgment. There is neither man, woman, nor child 
in New England, but has a concern as dear as life in 
these tidings; and if John Endicott's voice be loud 
enough, man, woman, and child shall hear them. 
Soldiers, wheel into a hollow square! Ho, good people! 
Here are news for one and all of you." 

The soldiers closed in around their captain; and he and 
Roger Wilhams stood together under the banner of the 
Red Cross ; while the women and the aged men pressed 
forward, and the mothers held up their children to look 
Endicott in the face. A few taps of the drum gave signal 
for silence and attention. 

" Fellow soldiers, — fellow exiles," began Endicott, 
speaking under strong excitement, yet powerfully 

1 80 


restraining it, "wherefore did ye leave your native 
country? Wherefore, I say, have we left the green and 
fertile fields, the cottages, or, perchance, the old gray 
halls, where we were born and bred, the churchyards 
where our forefathers he buried? Wherefore have we 
come hither to set up our own tombstones in a wilder- 
ness? A howhng wilderness it is ! The wolf and the bear 
meet us within halloo of our dwellings. The savage lieth 
in wait for us in the dismal shadow of the woods. The 
stubborn roots of the trees break our ploughshares, 
when we would tiU the earth. Our children cry for 
bread and we must dig in the sands of the seashore to 
satisfy them. Wherefore, I say again, have we sought 
this country of a rugged soil and wintry sky? Was it 
not for the enjoyment of our civil rights? Was it not for 
liberty to worship God according to our conscience? " 

"Call you this liberty of conscience?" interrupted a 
voice on the steps of the meeting-house. 

It was the Wanton Gospeller. A sad and quiet smile 
flitted across the mild visage of Roger Wilhams. But 
Endicott, in the excitement of the moment, shook his 
sword wrathfuUy at the culprit — an ominous gesture 
from a man like him. 

"What hast thou to do with conscience, thou knave? " 
cried he. "I said hberty to worship God, not license to 
profane and ridicule Him. Break not in upon my speech, 
or I will lay thee neck and heels till this time to-morrow! 
Hearken to me, friends, nor heed that accursed rhap- 
sodist. As I was saying, we have sacrificed all things, 
and have come to a land whereof the Old World hath 
scarcely heard, that we might make a new world unto 
ourselves, and painfully seek a path from hence to 


heav6n. But what think ye now? This son of a Scotch 
tyrant — this grandson of a Papistical and adulterous 
Scotch woman, whose death proved that a golden crown 
doth not always save an anointed head from the 

"Nay, brother, nay," interposed Mr. Williams; "thy 
words are not meet for a secret chamber, far less for a 
pubhc street." 

"Hold thy peace, Roger Williams!" answered Endi- 
cott imperiously. "My spirit is wiser than thine for the 
business now in hand. I tell ye, fellow exiles, that 
Charles of England, and Laud, our bitterest persecutor, 
arch-priest of Canterbury, are resolute to pursue us 
even hither. They are taking counsel, saith this letter, 
to send over a governor-general, in whose breast shall 
be deposited all the law and equity of the land. They 
are minded, also, to establish the idolatrous forms of 
EngHsh Episcopacy; so that, when Laud shall kiss the 
Pope's toe, as cardinal of Rome, he may dehver New 
England, bound hand and foot, into the power of his 

A deep groan from the auditors — a sound of wrath, 
as well as fear and sorrow — responded to this intelli- 

"Look ye to it, brethren," resumed Endicott with 
increasing energy, "if this king and this arch-prelate 
have their will, we shall briefly behold a cross on the 
spire of this tabernacle which we have builded, and a 
high altar within its walls, with wax tapers burning 
round it at noonday. We shall hear the sacring bell, 
and the voices of the Romish priests saying the mass. 
But think ye. Christian men, that these abominations 



may be suffered without a sword drawn? without a shot 
fired? without blood spilt, yes, on the very stairs of the 
pulpit? No, — be ye strong of hand and stout of heart! 
Here we stand on our own soil, which we have bought 
with our goods, which we have won with our swords, 
which we have cleared with our axes, which we have 
tilled with the sweat of our brows, which we have sancti- 
fied with our prayers to the God that brought us hither ! 
Who shall enslave us here? What have we to do with 
this mitred prelate, — with this crowned king? What 
have we to do with England?" 

Endicott gazed round at the excited countenances of 
the people, now fuU of his own spirit, and then turned 
suddenly to the standard-bearer, who stood close be- 
hind htm. 

"Ofl&cer, lower your banner!" said he. 

The officer obeyed; and, brandishing his sword, 
Endicott thrust it through the cloth, and, with his left 
hand, rent the Red Cross completely out of the banner. 
He then waved the tattered ensign above his head. 

"Sacrilegious wretch!" cried the high churchman in 
the pillory, unable longer to restrain himself, " thou hast 
rejected the symbol of our holy religion!" 

"Treason, treason! " roared the royaHst in the stocks. 
"He hath defaced the King's barmer!" 

"Before God and man, I will avouch the deed," 
answered Endicott. "Beat a flourish, drummer! — 
shout, soldiers and people ! — in honor of the ensign of 
New England. Neither pope nor tyrant hath part in it 

With a cry of triumph, the people gave their sanction 
to one of the boldest exploits which our history records. 



And forever honored be the name of Endicott! We look 
back through the mist of ages, and recognize in the rend- 
ing of the Red Cross from New England's barmer the 
first omen of that deliverance which our fathers con- 
summated after the bones of the stem Puritan had lain 
more than a century in the dust. 




["Among the settlers who came to Massachusetts, there 
were some who did not like the way in which things were 
managed there. Of these dissenters the most famous was 
Roger Wilhams, who became pastor of a church at Salem, 
in 1633. He was one of the noblest men of his time. Some 
of his opinions were such as very few people then held. 
He advocated the entire separation of Church from State, 
declared that no man should be obhged to pay taxes to 
support a minister, that magistrates had no right to punish 
Sabbath-breaking or blasphemy, and that a man is respon- 
sible for his opinions only to God and his own conscience. 
He also declared that the King of England could not right- 
fully give land in America to English settlers, because this 
land belonged not to the King of England, but to the 
Indians. The magistrates and clergy of Massachusetts could 
not endure such opinions, and Wilhams was ordered to re- 
turn to England." 

John Fiske.] 

Winter was at hand; Williams succeeded in obtaining 
permission to remain till spring; intending then to begin 
a plantation in Narragansett Bay. But the affections of 
the people of Salem revived, and could not be restrained; 
they thronged to his house to hear him whom they were 
so soon to lose forever; it began to be rumored that he 
could not safely be allowed to found a new state in the 
vicinity; "many of the people were much taken with 
the apprehension of his godliness"; his opinions were 



contagious; the infection spread widely. It was therefore 
resolved to remove him to England in a ship that was 
just ready to set sail. A warrant was accordingly sent 
to him to come to Boston and embark. For the first 
time he declined the summons of the court. A pinnace 
was sent for him; the officers repaired to his house; he 
was no longer there. Three days before, he had left 
Salem, in winter snow and inclement weather, of which 
he remembered the severity even in his late old age. 
"For fourteen weeks, he was sorely tost in a bitter sea- 
son, not knowing what bread or bed did mean. Often in 
the stormy night he had neither fire, nor food, nor com- 
pany; often he wandered without a guide, and had no 
house but a hollow tree." But he was not without 
friends. The same scrupulous respect for the rights of 
others, which had led him to defend the freedom of con- 
science, had made him also the champion of the Indians. 
He had already been zealous to acquire their language, 
and knew it so well that he could debate with them in 
their own dialect. During his residence at Plymouth, he 
had often been the guest of the neighboring sachems; 
and now, when he came in winter to the cabin of the 
chief of Pokanoket, he was welcomed by Massasoit; and 
" the barbarous heart of Canonicus, the chief of the Nar- 
ragansetts, loved him as his son to the last gasp." "The 
ravens," he relates with gratitude, "fed me in the wilder- 
ness." And in requital for their hospitality, he was ever 
through his long life their friend and benefactor; the 
apostle of Christianity to them without hire, without 
weariness, and without impatience at their idolatry; 
the guardian of their rights; the pacificator, when their 
rude passions were inflamed; and their unflinching advo- 



cate and protector, whenever Europeans attempted an 
invasion of their soil. 

He first pitched and began to build and plant at 
Seekonk. But Seekonk was found to be within the pat- 
ent of Plymouth; on the other side of the water, the 
country opened in its unappropriated beauty; and there 
he might hope to establish a conununity as free as the 
other colonies. "That ever-honored Governor Win- 
throp," says Williams, "privately wrote to me to steer 
my course to the Narragansett Bay, encouraging me 
from the freeness of the place from EngHsh claims or 
patents. I took his prudent motion as a voice from 

It was in June that the lawgiver of Rhode Island, with 
five companions, embarked on the stream; a frail Indian 
canoe contained the founder of an independent state 
and its earliest citizens. Tradition has marked the 
spring near which they landed; it is the parent spot, the 
first inhabited nook of Rhode Island. To express his 
unbroken confidence in the mercies of God, Wilhams 
called the place Providence. "I desired," said he, "it 
might be for a shelter for persons distressed for con- 

In his new abode, Williams could have less leisure for 
contemplation and study. "My time," he observes of 
himself, — and it is a sufficient apology for the rough- 
ness of his style, as a writer on morals, — "was not 
spent altogether in spiritual labors; but, day and night, 
at home and abroad, on the land and water, at the hoe, 
at the oar, for bread." In the course of two years, he 
was joined by others, who fled to his asylum. The land 
which was now occupied by Williams was within the 



territory of the Narragansett Indians; it was not long 
before an Indian deed from Canonicus and Miantono- 
moh made him the undisputed possessor of an extensive 
domain. Nothing displays more clearly the character 
of Roger Williams than the use which he made of his 
acquisition of territory. The soil he could claim as his 
"own, as truly as any man's coat upon his back"; and 
he "reserved to himself not one foot of land, not one 
tittle of political power, more than he granted to servants 
and strangers." "He gave away his lands and other 
estate to them that he thought were most in want, until 
he gave away all." He chose to found a commonwealth 
in the unmixed forms of a pure democracy; where the 
will of the majority should govern the state; yet "only 
in civil things"; God alone was respected as the Ruler 
of conscience. To their more aristocratic neighbors, it 
seemed as if these fugitives "would have no magis- 
trates" ; for everything was as yet decided in convention 
of the people. This first system has had its influence on 
the whole poUtical history of Rhode Island; in no state 
in the world, not even in the agricultural state of Ver- 
mont, has the magistracy so little power, or the repre- 
sentatives of the freemen so much. 




What a task would you think it, even with a long life- 
time before you, were you bidden to copy every chapter, 
and verse, and word in yonder family Bible ! Would not 
this be a heavy toil? But if the task were, not to write 
off the English Bible, but to learn a language utterly 
unlike all other tongues, — a language which hitherto 
had never been learned, except by the Indians them- 
selves, from their mothers' lips, — a language never 
written, and the strange words of which seemed inex- 
pressible by letters, — if the task were^ first to learn this 
new variety of speech, and then to translate the Bible 
into it, and to do it so carefully that not one idea 
throughout the holy book should be changed, — what 
would induce you to undertake this toil? Yet this was 
what the apostle Eliot did. 

It was a mighty work for a man, now growing old, to 
take upon himself. And what earthly reward could he 
expect from it? None ; no reward on earth. But he be- 
lieved that the red men were the descendants of those 
lost tribes of Israel of whom history has been able to tell 
us nothing for thousands of years. He hoped that God 
had sent the English across the ocean, Gentiles as they 
were, to enlighten this benighted portion of his once 
chosen race. And when he should be summoned hence, 



he trusted to meet blessed spirits in another world, 
whose bliss would have been earned by his patient toil 
in translating the word of God. This hope and trust 
were far dearer to him than anything that earth could 

Sometimes, while thus at work, he was visited by 
learned men, who desired to know what literary under- 
taking Mr. Eliot had in hand. They, like himself, had 
been bred in the studious cloisters of a university, and 
were supposed to possess all the erudition which man- 
kind has hoarded up from age to age. Greek and Latin 
were as familiar to them as the babble of their childhood. 
Hebrew was like their mother tongue. They had grown 
gray in study; their eyes were bleared with poring over 
print and manuscript by the light of the midnight lamp. 

And yet, how much had they left unlearned! Mr. 
Eliot would put into their hands some of the pages 
which he had been writing; and behold! the gray-headed 
men stammered over the long, strange words, like a 
little child in his first attempts to read. Then would the 
apostle call to him an Indian boy, one of his scholars, 
and show him the manuscript which had so puzzled the 
learned Englishmen. 

"Read this, my child," would he say; "these are 
some brethren of mine, who would fain hear the sound 
of thy native tongue." 

Then would the Indian boy cast his eyes over the 
mysterious page, and read it so skillfully that it sounded 
like wild music. It seemed as if the forest leaves were 
singing in the ears of his auditors, and as if the roar of 
distant streams were poured through the young Indian's 
voice. Such were the sounds amid which the language 



of the red man had been formed; and they were still 
heard to echo in it. 

The lesson being over, Mr. EHot would give the 
Indian boy an apple or a cake, and bid him leap forth 
into the open air which his free nature loved. The 
apostle was kind to children, and even shared in their 
sports sometimes. And when his visitors had bidden 
him farewell, the good man turned patiently to his toil 

No other Englishman had ever understood the Indian 
character so well, nor possessed so great an influence 
over the New England tribes, as the apostle did. His 
advice and assistance must often have been valuable to 
his countrymen iu their transactions with the Indians. 
Occasionally, perhaps, the governor and some of the 
councilors came to visit Mr. Eliot. Perchance they were 
seeking some method to circumvent the forest people. 
They inquired, it may be, how they could obtain posses- 
sion of such and such a tract of their rich land. Or they 
talked of making the Indians their servants; as if God 
had destined them for perpetual bondage to the more 
powerful white man. 

Perhaps, too, some warlike captain, dressed in his 
buff coat, with a corselet beneath it, accompanied the 
governor and coimcilors. Laying his hand upon his 
sword hilt, he would declare that the only method of 
dealing with the red men was to meet them with the 
sword drawn and the musket presented. 

But the apostle resisted both the craft of the politician 
and the fierceness of the warrior. 

"Treat these sons of the forest as men and brethren," 
he would say; "and let us endeavor to make them Chris- 



tians. Their forefathers were of that chosen race whom 
God delivered from Egyptian bondage. Perchance he 
has destined us to deliver the children from the more 
cruel bondage of ignorance and idolatry. Chiefly for 
this end, it may be, we were directed across the ocean." 

When these other visitors were gone, Mr. Eliot bent 
himself again over the half-written page. He dared 
hardly relax a moment from his toil. He felt that, in the 
book which he was translating, there was a deep human 
as well as heavenly wisdom, which would of itself suffice 
to civilize and refine the savage tribes. Let the Bible be 
diffused among them, and all earthly good would follow. 
But how slight a consideration was this, when he re- 
flected that the eternal welfare of a whole race of men 
depended upon his accomplishment of the task which 
he had set himself ! What if his hands should be palsied? 
What if his mind should lose its vigor? What if death 
should come upon him ere the work were done? Then 
must the red men wander in the dark wilderness of 
heathenism forever. 

Impelled by such thoughts as these, he sat writing in 
the great chair when the pleasant summer breeze came 
in through his open casement; and also when the fire of 
forest logs sent up its blaze and smoke, through the 
broad stone chimney, into the wintry air. Before the 
earliest bird sang in the morning the apostle's lamp was 
kindled; and, at midnight, his weary head was not yet 
upon its pillow. And at length, leaning back in the great 
chair, he could say to himself, with a holy triumph, 
"The work is finished!" 


Can God understand prayers in the Indian language? 

If a father is bad and his son good, will God be 
ofEended with the child? 

How came the world to be so full of people if they 
were all once drowned in the flood? 

How comes it to pass that the sea water is salt and 
the land water fresh? 

If an Indian should steal goods, and not be punished 
by the sachem or by any law, and then should restore 
the goods, would all be well and right, or would God still 
punish him for his theft? 

Are we bound to pay the debts that we formerly 
incurred by gambling, when they are demanded by such 
as are not "praying Indians"? 

Was the Devil or man made first? 

How may one know wicked men, — who are good and 
who are bad? 

If a man should be inclosed in iron a foot thick, and 
thrown into the fire, what would become of his soul? 
Could the soul come forth thence or not? 

Why did not God give all men good hearts, that they 
might be good? And why did not God kill the Devil, 
that made all men so bad, "God having all power"? 

How does it happen that, as the English have been in 
this country so long, some of them no less than twenty- 
seven years, they have so long neglected to instruct the 



natives in the knowledge of God? If they consider it so 
important, why did they not tell us sooner? 

What will become of our children after death, since 
they have not sinned? 

Suppose two men sin, of whom one knows that he sins, 
and the other does not know it; will God punish both 





Or the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (New York) 
Wilham ElUot Griffis says: "Short as was the Dutch occu- 
pation, being only fifty years, from 1614 to 1664, the founda- 
tions of the Empire State were laid by them. The repubhcan 
Dutchmen gave New York its tolerant and cosmopolitan 
character, insured its commercial supremacy, introduced 
the common schools, founded the oldest day school and the 
first Protestant church in the United States, and were pio- 
neers in most of the ideas and institutions we boast of as 
distinctly American. Almost from the very first, ministers 
and schoolmasters were active in the settlements, and moral- 
ity and religion were carefully looked after. Every acre of 
land occupied was bought from the Indians, according to 
Dutch law and the West India Company's express order." 
In 1 68 1, Wilham Penn wrote the following letter to the 
colonists on his grant of land: — 

"My Friends, — I wish you all happiness here and here- 
after. These are to lett you know, that it hath pleased God 
in his Providence to cast you within my Lott and Care. It 
is a business, that though I never undertook before, yet 
God has given me an understanding of my duty and an 
honest minde to doe it uprightly. I hope you will not be 
troubled at your chainge and the king's choice; for you are 
now fixt, at the mercy of no Governour that comes to make 
his fortune great. You shall be governed by laws of your 
own makeing, and live a free, and if you will, a sober and 
industreous People. I shall not usurp the right of any, nor 
oppress his person. God has fumisht me with a better resolu- 
tion, and has given me his grace to keep it. In short, what- 
ever sober and free men can reasonably desire for the 
security and improvement of their own happiness, I shall 
heartily comply with — I beseech God to direct you in the 
way of righteousness, and therein prosper you and your 
children after you. I am your true Friend, 

Wm. Penn. 
London, Sth of the Month called April, 1681." 




Nine days after passing the North Cape, the little 
Half-Moon put in at the Faroe Islands, and the casks 
were filled with fresh water. On the 3d of June the sail- 
ors were surprised at the force of the current which we 
call the Gulf Stream. On the i8th of July they arrived 
in Penobscot Bay, with foremast gone and sails much 
the worse for wear. Here they anchored and went ashore 
to cut a pine tree for a new foremast. It took them a 
week to make the mast and repair their sails, and mean- 
while they must have lived like princes, for they caught 
fifty cod, a hundred lobsters, and one great halibut. 
They were visited by two French shallops full of 
Indians, who offered them fine beaver skins in exchange 
for red cloth. Nine days after leaving Penobscot Bay 
the Half-Moon anchored near Cape Cod, and another 
day brought her to Old Stage Harbor, on the south side 
of that peninsula. On the i8th of August, amid gusts of 
wind and rain, she was off the Accomet Peninsula and 
sighted an opening, probably Machipongo Inlet, which 
Hudson mistook for the James River. "This," he says, 
"is the entrance into the King's River in Virginia, 
where our Englishmen are." He made no attempt to 
visit them, perhaps because he may have been conscious 
that Dutch explorers upon this coast would be regarded 
by Englishmen as poachers. Presently turning north- 



ward, he entered Delaware Bay on the 28th of August, 
and several times the Half -Moon struck upon the sands; 
the current, moreover, set outward with such force as 
to assure him that he was at the mouth of a large and 
rapid river. This was not encouraging, for a large river, 
discharging loads of sand, impHed something more than 
a narrow neck of land behind it. Before daybreak he 
weighed anchor, and on the 3d of September dropped 
it again somewhere between Sandy Hook and Staten 
Island, as Verrazzano had done eighty-five years before. 

When the Half-Moon entered the great bay, says the 
mate's journal, "the people of the country came aboard 
of us, seeming very glad of our coming, and brought 
greene tobacco, and gave us of it for knives and beads. 
They goe in deere skins loose, well dressed. They have 
yellow copper. They desire cloathes, and are very civil. 
They have great store of maize of Indian wheat, whereof 
they make good bread. The countrey is full of great 
and tall oakes. . . . Some of the people were in mantles 
of feathers, and some of skinnes of divers of good furres. 
Some women also came to us with hempe. They did 
weare about their neckes things of red copper. At night 
they went on land againe, so wee rode very qvdet, but 
durst not trust them." 

It soon appeared that this suspiciousness was well 
founded. Next day the ship's boat was sent out toward 
Bergen with five men to make some observations; on 
their way back they were assailed by a score of Indians 
in canoes, and one EngUshman was killed with an arrow. 
As the Half-Moon passed on up the river she was occa- 
sionally saluted with flights of arrows, and sometimes 
these volleys were answered by musket shot with deadly 



effect. On the 14th of September the ship passed be- 
tween Stony and Verplanck's Points and entered upon 
the magnificent scenery of the Catskills. On the 2 2d she 
had probably gone above the site of Troy, and the boat 
found only seven feet of water, so that progress was 
stopped. "The people of the mountaynes," says the 
journal, "came aboord us, wondring at our ship and 
weapons. We bought some small skinnes of them for 
trifles. This afternoone, one canoe kept hanging under 
our Sterne with one man in it, which we could not keepe 
from thence, who got up by our rudder to the cabin 
window, and stole out my pillow, and two shirts, and 
two bandeleeres. Our master's mate shot at him . . . 
and killed him. Whereupon all the rest fled away, some 
in their canoes, and some leapt out of them into the 
water. We manned our boats and got our things againe. 
Then one of them that swamme got hold of our boat, 
thinking to overthrow it. But our cooke took a sword 
and cut off one of his hands, and he was drowned. By 
this time the ebbe was come, and we weighed and got 
down two leagues." On another occasion there was 
quite a skirmish, the barbarians swarming by hundreds 
in their bark canoes and shooting persistently, though 
with little effect, while the ship's cannon sank them and 
musketry mowed them down. But the meetings were 
sometimes more friendly. Somewhere near the site of 
Catskill, "I sailed to the shore," says Hudson, "in one 
of their canoes, with an old man, who was the chief of 
a tribe, consisting of forty men and seventeen women; 
these I saw there in a house well constructed of oak 
bark, and circular in shape, so that it had the appear- 
ance of being well built, with an arched roof. It con- 



tained a great quantity of maize . . . and beans of 
the last year's growth, and there lay near the house for 
the purpose of drying, enough to load three ships, 
besides what was growing in the fields. On our coming 
into the house, two mats were spread out to sit upon, 
and immediately some food was served in well-made red 
wooden bowls; two men were also despatched at once 
with bows and arrows in quest of game, who soon after 
brought in a pair of pigeons which they had shot. They 
Hkewise killed a fat dog, and skinned it with great 
haste, with shells which they had got out of the water. 
They supposed that I would remain with them for the 
night, but I returned after a short time on board the 
ship. The land is the finest for cultivation that I ever 
in my life set foot upon, and it also abounds in trees of 
every description." 




We have seen that Dutch colonists for New Netherland 
were difficult to secure, and that artificial stimulus to 
emigration was needed. From England good men were 
driven out by spiritual tyranny, but in Holland con- 
science was free and the country well off. The ordinary 
lures — gold, fish, furs, freedom to worship God — 
which led Spaniards, Frenchmen, some Dutchmen, and 
many Englishmen beyond sea, did not suffice for the 
men of the Republic. So "John Company" hit upon a 
new device, which was nothing less than a reversion to 

In the Netherlands, the three classes of society were 
nobles, burghers, or citizens, and the common people. 
The nobles, who lived mostly in the country, were land- 
owners, and often patroons, that is, patrons, or manor 
lords of vast estates; but the burghers, who governed 
the cities, formed the aristocracy, and had great powers. 
The consuming ambition of the merchants, who were 
gaining wealth rapidly, was to own land, and thus be 
like the nobles. This desire could not well be gratified 
in a small country like Holland. Here the earth had to 
be rescued by pump, spade, and dike from under the 
jealous waters, and held only through sleepless vigilance. 
In America land was plentiful and cheap. It was this 



coveted pri2e that was a lure. By securing and owning 
great manors in New Netherland, plain burghers might 
become landed proprietors and rank as nobles. 

So, with the threefold idea of enlarging their fortunes, 
becoming patrons, and developing New Netherland, 
the directors of the Dutch West India Company, in 
1630, enlarged their plans. Reserving Manhattan to 
the corporation, they issued the charter of "Privileges 
and Exemptions." This allowed a private person to 
take up stretches of land sixteen miles long facing a 
navigable river, or eight miles on either side of one, and 
extending as far back in the country as might be. Such 
a promoter, if he planted a colony of at least fifty adults, 
within four years, was a patroon on a manor, and had 
feudal rights over colonists. During their decade of 
bonded service, the tenants could not leave their master, 
and if they did so, they were to be treated as runaways, 
and could be arrested. The patroons, though free to 
trade, must pay at Manhattan five per cent duty on 
their cargoes. 

Here was a selfish scheme for the enrichment of a few 
monopolists. It was utterly opposed to the spirit of 
freedom-loving Holland. The company's methods were 
already bad enough, as the immigrants, on Manhattan, 
for example, could not own land in fee simple, but were 
tenants at will. This new scheme simply added another 
and a rival sovereignty. It was bound to be the source 
of unnumbered troubles, causing frequent conflicts of 
jurisdiction between the agents of the company and the 
patroons, besides anger and irritation among tenants, 
who were subjected to "the double pressure of feudal 
exaction and mercantile monopoly." The system, which 



was a step backwards, was hated from the first by all 
self-respecting free settlers. Colonists who settled under 
patroon and manor were free of aU taxes for ten years. 
They were not freemen, but semi-serfs. The patroon 
system was one of many Old- World ideas that would 
not work in America. 

In favor of this semi-feudalism, probably suggested 
by French methods in Canada, it may be said, however, 
that in all cases above the value of fifty guilders, the 
tenants on the manors had the right of appeal. -Inde- 
pendent farmers, as well as patroons and manor-tenants 
after discharging their obligations, were encouraged to 
seek homesteads. Other benefits in the Charter of 
Exemptions were in favor of the Indians, and of religion 
and morals, so that, despite objectionable features in 
the new plan of colonization, there was hope of a large 
emigration from Patria. 

As matter of fact, however, only one of the manors, 
that of Van Rensselaer, ever became a success. This 
result was due as much to the high character of the 
people settHng it as to that of the Van Rensselaers, 
high as this was. 

The men who devised this feudal scheme were among 
the first to take advantage of it. So far forward were 
Messrs. Godyn and Blommaert, that even before the 
adoption of the charter in Holland they had bought, 
through their agent, a manor, that is a Riddergoed, or 
knight's estate, on Delaware Bay. The Indians, by 
agreement made with pen and ink, were paid for a tract 
of land thirty-two miles long, from Cape Henlopen to 
the mouth of the river. This was the first European 
land title written within the State of Delaware. 



Kilian van Rensselaer bought from the Indians, first 
through Captain Krol and later through Gillis Housett, 
the land which is now the larger part of the counties 
of Albany and Rensselaer in New York, making an es- 
tate of about a thousand square miles. Hendrik and 
Alexander van der Capellen, two brothers, and one an 
ancestor i of our nation's friend during the War for 
Independence, bought land of the Navesink and 
Raritan Indians. Michael Pauw (in Latin, Pavonius, or 
peacock) secured Staten Island, Hoboken, and what is 
now Jersey City, calling his domain Pavonia. 

Thus was the land seized, not as in Europe, by the 
might and sword of the border brawler, but by the 
craft of the pen held by the man in the counting-house. 
Already in New France, or Canada, the French had set 
the Dutch the bad example of feudalism; but, at its 
worst, the Dutch system was much milder in its 
features than either the British or the Gallic model. 

Yet notwithstanding the advantages offered to poor 
folks, the whole system of patroons and manors was 
detestable to a free Dutchman. As matter of fact and 
history, no Dutch village community was ever founded 
under the charter of 1629. 


[Seventeenth century] 

The Dutch never took kindly to the axe or the log 
cabin. In succession to their first creditable houses of 
bark, after the Iroquois model, they had frame houses of 
sawn timber, for they very early set up sawmills. But 
the typical house in New.Netherland consisted of two 
brick walls, gabled and crow-stepped, with the inter- 
vening space of timber. Thus they combined the solid- 
ity of stone with the interior dryness of the wooden 

After the first frontier novelties of experience were 
over, the Dutch shack, dugout, or wooden house was 
rebuilt of stone or brick. Besides early baking their own 
clay into stone {baksteen), much brick, and probably 
most of the glazed tiles and material for wall checker- 
ing, was brought from Holland as ship's ballast. Thus in 
the majority of cases the front and rear walls, or gabled 
ends, were of mineral material, the whole intervening 
space except the chimney betag of wood, and often 
strengthened with iron rods. One of the gables faced the 
street, and the other the garden, with a stoop, or porch, 
at each end, the front one having seats and railings. 
When such a house got too old, it was common, as I 
have often seen, "to tear out everything but the frame," 
and, between the old thick gable ends of brick or stone, 



to rebuild with modem timber, in new interior arrange- 

The door was divided crosswise into two parts, upper 
and lower, the former to let in air and light, and the 
latter to keep out the pigs, chickens, and marauders of 
all sorts. The Dutch bisected door goes back to feudal 
days, when every comer might be challenged before 
being given entrance. Of similar warlike origin was the' 
projecting second story, which, overlapping by its 
extension the doorway beneath, allowed the defender 
above to guard against attack by fire or weapon. In 
many old Dutch houses in the Mohawk and Hudson 
valleys this feature served admirably against hostile 
Indians. In the later frame dwelling, ancient history 
and survival are suggested by a conventional moulding 
which reveals the projection of a few inches only. The 
bricks, near the gables, wrought in the form of crow- 
steps, or top-pieces serving as chimneys, were laid in cu- 
rious triangular or checkered patterns, just as one sees 
in Friesland to-day. Indeed, the keen-eyed visitor to 
Holland can recognize the original model and features of 
many an old house in Kingston and Schenectady. The 
ancestral traits reappear in the domestic architecture 
of the New World as infallibly as the noses, mouths, 
eyes, and hair common to the grandparents, parents, 
and grandchildren in the same towns. 

At one point there was a notable departure from the 
model in Patria, and that was in the windows, which on 
Manhattan and in old Dorp, for example, were small. 
In Holland, even though the panes of glass be very small 
and the house fronts narrow, the window spaces are 
and were large. This is because in Holland windows 



have from mediaeval times been taxed by number. 
Much of the war revenue was thus raised. In New 
Netherland no such reason existed permanently, and a 
sash of many panes, being cheaper and less liable to 
break, was used. Thus the house Hghts were mod- 
est in size as compared with the large windows in 

On the outside, fastened into the bricks, were "ank- 
ers," or iron clamps, hammered into figures showing 
dates. If it were possible to have a weather-vane, cock, 
arrow, monogram, family crest, or arms on the gable 
top, it was sure to be there. The blacksmith, or anchor- 
smith, was an important person in the New Netherland 
village. He was usually an artist, more or less ambitious, 
for he made floriated patterns of hinges or braces that 
might branch out over most of the area of the upper or 
lower leaf of the door. He enjoyed pounding out colossal 
figures, I, 6, or 7, and other digital numerals, for the 
ornamentation of the house front. He was probably 
also the maker of the big church-door lock. On his anvil 
he beat out the key, brazing on the bit or web, rounding 
on his anvil's beak a bow and forging it to the shank, 
and fihng out the wards. He also was responsible for the 
church weather-vane, which in frontier days, instead 
of stamped gilded metal, representing a cock, lamb, 
beaver, or other emblem of doctrine or virtue, was usu- 
ally cut or punched out of sheet iron. 

The anchor-smith followed mason and carpenter in 
the building of a house. He equipped the fireplace with 
a cast-iron jamb, andirons, and the great swinging pot- 
holder with chain and hangers. Often the iron jamb or 
back was a casting containing dates, emblems, mottoes, 



scriptural or other quotations, proverbs, or poems. 
Only in late days, when the Dutchmen learned from the 
Japanese to make Delft ware, and applied their knowl- 
edge to tiles, were those miniature Bible panoramas 
set up to adorn the front and sides, creating a fashion 
which was borrowed by the New Englanders. Delft 
tiles served as the picture galleries at which our Ameri- 
can painters, TrumbuU, Allston, Vanderlyn, and others, 
received their first impressions and stimulus to art. 
Often these tiles had on them mere outlines of bibhcal 
events, with numbers showing the text which one must 
look up in order to understand the pictorial allusion. 
On others the designs were suggestions rather than pic- 
tures, mere "lesson helps." 

The fireplace was Hterally the focus of the house and 
the home. It was big enough usually to accommodate 
the whole family, should they want all at once to get 
inside to look up its black throat, to see whether Santa 
Claus or Kris Kringle were coming. Inside its length, 
up and down, were usually steps or projections on which 
the chinmey sweep or cleaner, usually a boy not too fat, 
could steady his feet while brushing or scraping off the 
soot or the stalactites of pine tar. Hickory was the best 
fuel, however, and kept the chimney neater. The inner 
hearth was most often of brick, but the broad outer 
hearthstone consisted frequently of one slab of noble 
length and width. The back log, gloried in and cele- 
brated in song and proverb, was so huge that in many 
cases the house was purposely built against the side of a 
hill, in order that the kitchen door might be level with 
the ground. A heavy section of tree trunk, sawed to the 
right length, was hauled in by a horse, rolled and set as 



the background of the fire, while corncobs, brush, and 
fagots blazed in front. 

Here, after the serious work of preparing the food was 
over, the family sat for rest, worship, chat and gossip, 
jokes and merriment; and no people were wittier, 
brighter, or more full of fun than the Dutch. In winter 
the long evenings were given up to stories, finger games, 
with lullaby for baby and pipe for papa, and then, at the 
right time, cider, apples, nuts, and refreshments as 
desired. For the real old folks the hearth was the place 
of memory, but for the young it was the seed-bed of 
dreams. In the darting tongues of the blaze and the 
deep glow of the embers lad and lassie saw the castles 
of the future, and the aged pictures of the past. 

Carpets and matting were, for the most part, un- 
known. Instead of these hiders of dirt and holders of 
germs, the floor was scrubbed until it shone, and then 
sprinkled with white sand, which was made into fanciful 
patterns with the end of a broomstick, a custom which 
one sees in the back country in Holland to-day. Such 
a floor dressing, swept off and renewed every week, 
made Hfe for the vermin so disagreeable that they kept 
out and away. In the homes of the well-to-do, rugs were 

The " threshold covenant" was an ancient and serious 
thing with the Dutch. In other words, the front door 
was opened only on great occasions of joy, or when a 
bride or a corpse was to cross the Hne dividing outdoors 
from indoors. For every-day use, and for everybody in 
general, the kitchen door was the proper entrance. Often 
the hallway was from front to rear, the sitting-room 
being at the back and the parlor in front. In small 



houses, numbering fewer apartments than the fingers 
on one hand, the bedrooms were in the wall, or were hke 
cupboards, shut up during the day and opened at night, 
and climbed up and into by means of a short step- 
ladder. In a word, just as one still sees in the old home- 
land to-day, and recognizes on the canvases, from Ostade 
to Israels, so, within my remembrance, were the interi- 
ors in Dutch America. To the Domine of the congrega- 
tion it was the matron's pride to show all, from cellar 
to attic, with the wondrous store of house-linen and 
table equipment. 

The beds were made of hay or straw, com leaves or 
silk moss, hair or feathers, sewed into "ticking," — 
which is an English word of Dutch origin. Sassafras 
wood was at first much in demand for supposed protec- 
tion from unwelcome bed mates, securing, it was be- 
lieved, to each person the exclusive use of his own cuti- 
cle. As civilization advanced, the bunk, or box lined 
with dry leaves, spruce boughs, or pine needles gave way 
to the four-poster bed, and in later times favorite 
imported woods were in fashion. Long after Manhattan 
was swapped off for Surinam, with its forests of mahog- 
any, this timber became plentiful and in fashion for 
furniture. To take the chill off the pure linen sheets, 
long-handled brass bed-warmers were used. Polished 
until their basins shone. like gold, these hung on the walls 
by day as part of the decoration of the room, to become 
hand-stoves at night. Except what one's own caloric 
and the thick folds of quilt, blanket, or comfortable 
furnished, the bed-warmer was usually the only source 
of heat allowed in the sleeping-chamber, though later 
luxury allowed wood stoves. As a rule, all the family, 



the parents up in the heights of piled feather beds or 
mattresses, and children in the trundle beds beneath, 
slept in pure cold air, for the great open chimney was a 
capital ventilator. "When hearts are light and Ufe is 
new," slumber after prayers was usually too sudden and 
too sound to know much of the variations of the ther- 
mometer. The Dutchmen took sleep as a serious thing, 
enjoyed plenty of it, and believed in it as one of life's 
best blessings. How beautiful is the evening prayer in 
the Hturgy of the Dutch Church, — "Temper our sleep 
that it be not disorderly, that we remain spotless both 
in body and soul, nay, that our sleep itself may be to 
Thy glory." 



[The following burlesque is taken from Irving's "Knicker- 
bocker's History of New York." This book purported to 
have been written by a mysterious old gentleman named 
Diedrich Knickerbocker, and is a fascinating mingling of 
fun and sober history. Wouter Van Twiller was a real 
Dutchman, who was made governor of New Netherland in 
the seventeenth century. The biographies describe him as 
"inexperienced in the art of government, slow in speech, 
incompetent to decide important affairs, and obstinate in 
minor matters." 

The Editor.^ 

It was in the year of our Lord 1629 that Mynheer Wou- 
ter Van Twiller was appointed governor of the province 
of Nieuw Nederlandts, under the commission and con- 
trol of their High Mightinesses the Lords States General 
of the United Netherlands, and the privileged West 
India Company. 

This renowned old gentleman arrived at New Amster- 
dam in the merry month of June, the sweetest month in 
all the year; when Dan Apollo seems to dance up the 
transparent firmament — when the robin, the thrush, 
and a thousand other wanton songsters make the woods 
to resound with amorous ditties, and the luxurious lit- 
tle boblincon revels among the clover blossoms of the 
meadows — all which happy coincidence persuaded the 



old dames of New Amsterdam, who were skilled in the 
art of foretelUng events, that this was to be a happy and 
prosperous administration. 

The renowned Wouter (or Walter) Van Twiller, was 
descended from a long line of Dutch burgomasters, who 
had successively dozed away their lives and grown fat 
upon the bench of magistracy in Rotterdam; and who 
had comported themselves with such singular wisdom 
and propriety, that they were never either heard or 
talked of — which, next to being universally applauded, 
should be the object of ambition of all magistrates and 
rulers. There are two opposite ways by which some men 
make a figure in the world; one by talking faster than 
they think; and the other by holding their tongues and 
not thinking at all. By the first, many a smatterer 
acquires the reputation of a man of quick parts; by the 
other, many a dunderpate, hke the owl, the stupidest of 
birds, comes to be considered the very type of wisdom. 
This, by the way, is a casual remark, which I would not, 
for the universe, have it thought I apply to Governor 
Van Twiller. It is true he was a man shut up within 
himself, Hke an oyster, and rarely spoke except in mono- 
syllables; but then it was allowed he seldom said a fool- 
ish thing. So invincible was his gravity that he was 
never known to laugh or even to smile through the whole 
course of a long and prosperous life. Nay, if a joke were 
uttered in his presence, that set light-minded hearers in 
a roar, it was observed to throw him into a state of per- 
plexity. Sometimes he would deign to inquire into the 
matter, and when, after much explanation, the joke 
was made as plain as a pike-staff, he would continue to 
smoke his pipe in silence, and at length, knocking out 



the ashes would exclaim, "Well! I see nothing in all that 
to laugh about." 

With all his reflective habits, he never made up his 
mind on a subject. His adherents accounted for this by 
the astonishing magnitude of his ideas. He conceived 
every subject on so grand a scale that he had not room 
in his head to turn it over and examine both sides of it. 
Certain it is that if any matter were propounded to him 
on which ordinary mortals would rashly determine at 
first glance, he would put on a vague, mysterious look; 
shake his capacious head; smoke some time in profoimd 
silence, and at length observe that "he had his doubts 
about the matter"; which gained him the reputation of 
a man slow of belief and not easily imposed upon. What 
is more, it gained him a lasting name : for to this habit of 
the mind has been attributed his surname of Twiller; 
which is said to be a corruption of the original Twijfler, 
or, in plain English, Doubter. 

The person of this illustrious old gentleman was 
formed and proportioned, as though it had been moulded 
by the hands of some cunning statuary as a model of 
majesty and lordly grandeur. He was exactly five feet 
six inches in height, and six feet five inches in circum- 
ference. His head was a perfect sphere, and of such 
stupendous dimensions that dame Nature, with all her 
sex's ingenuity, would have been puzzled to construct 
a neck capable of supporting it; wherefore she wisely 
declined the attempt, and settled it firmly on the top of 
his backbone, just between the shoulders. His body was 
oblong and particularly capacious at bottom; which was 
wisely ordered by Providence, seeing that he was a man 
of sedentary habits, and very averse to the idle labor of 



walking. His legs were short, but sturdy in proportion 
to the weight they had to sustain; so that when erect he 
had not a little the appearance of a beer bottle on skids. 
His face, that infallible index of the mind, presented a 
vast expanse, unfurrowed by any of those lines and 
angles which disfigure the human countenance with 
what is termed expression. Two small gray eyes twin- 
kled feebly in the midst, like two stars of lesser magni- 
tude in a hazy firmament; and his full-fed cheeks, which 
seemed to have taken toll of everything that went into 
his mouth, were curiously mottled and streaked with 
dusky red, Uke a spitzenberg apple. 

His habits were as regular as his person. He daily 
took his four stated meals, appropriating exactly an 
hour to each; he smoked and doubted eight hours, and 
he slept the remaining twelve of the four-and-twenty. 
Such was the renowned Wouter Van Twiller — a true 
philosopher, for his mind was either elevated above, or 
tranquilly settled below, the cares and perplexities of 
this world. He had Hved in it for years, without feeling 
the least curiosity to know whether the sun revolved 
round it, or it round the sun; and he had watched, for 
at least half a century, the smoke curling from his pipe 
to the ceiling, without once troubling his head with any 
of those numerous theories, by which a philosopher 
would have perplexed his brain, in accounting for its 
rising above the surrounding atmosphere. 

In his council he presided with great state and solem- 
nity. He sat in a huge chair of solid oak, hewn in the 
celebrated forest of The Hague, fabricated by an ex- 
perienced timmennan of Amsterdam, and curiously 
carved about the arms and feet, into exact imitations of 



gigantic eagle's claws. Instead of a scepter he swayed 
a long Turkish pipe, wrought with jasmin and amber, 
which had been presented to a stadtholder of Holland, 
at the conclusion of a treaty with one of the petty Bar- 
bary powers. In this stately chair would he sit, and this 
magnificent pipe would he smoke, shaking his right knee 
with a constant motion, and fixing his eye for hours to- 
gether upon a little print of Amsterdam, which hung in 
a black frame against the opposite wall of the council 
chamber. Nay, it has even been said, that when any 
deliberation of extraordinary length and intricacy was 
on the carpet, the renowned Wouter would shut his eyes 
for full two hours at a time, that he might not be dis- 
turbed by external objects — and at such times the 
internal commotion of his mind was evinced by certain 
regular guttural sounds, which his admirers declared 
were merely the noise of conflict, made by his contend- 
ing doubts and opinions. 

It is with infinite difi&culty I have been enabled to 
collect these biographical anecdotes of the great man 
under consideration. The facts respecting him were so 
scattered and vague, and divers of them so question- 
able in point of authenticity, that I have had to give up 
the search after many, and decline the admission of still 
more, which would have tended to heighten the coloring 
of his portrait. 

I have been the more anxious to delineate fully the 
person and habits of Wouter Van Twiller, from the con- 
sideration that he was not only the first, but also the 
best governor that ever presided over this ancient and 
respectable province; and so tranquil and benevolent 
was his reign, that I do not find throughout the whole 



of it, a single instance of any offender being brought to 
punishment — a most indubitable sign of a merciful 
governor, and a case unparalleled, excepting in the reign 
of the illustrious King Log, from whom, it is hinted, the 
renowned Van Twiller was a lineal descendant. 

The very outset of the career of this excellent magis- 
trate was distinguished by an example of legal acumen, 
that gave flattering presage of a wise and equitable ad- 
ministration. The morning after he had been installed 
in ofl&ce, and at the moment that he was making his 
breakfast from a prodigious earthen dish, filled with milk 
and Indian pudding, he was interrupted by the appear- 
ance of Wandle Schoonhoven, a very important old 
burgher of New Amsterdam, who complained bitterly 
of one Barent Bleecker, inasmuch as he refused to come 
to a settlement of accounts, seeing that tnere was a 
heavy balance in favor of the said Wandle. Governor 
Van Twiller, as I have already observed, was a man of 
few words; he was likewise a mortal enemy to multiply- 
ing writings — or being disturbed at his breakfast. 
Having Ustened attentively to the statement of Wandle 
Schoonhoven, giving an occasional grunt, as he shoveled 
a spoonful of Indian pudding into his mouth — whether 
as a sign that he rehshed the dish, or comprehended the 
story — he called unto him his constable, and pulling 
out of his breeches pocket a huge Jackknife, dispatched 
it after the defendant as a summons, accompanied by 
his tobacco-box as a warrant. 

This summary process was as effectual in those simple 
days as was the seal ring of the great Haroun Al Raschid 
among the true believers. The two parties being con- 
fronted before him, each produced a book of accounts, 



written in a language and character that would have 
puzzled any but a High Dutch commentator, or a 
learned decipherer of Egyptian obehsks. The sage 
Wouter took them one after the other, and having 
poised them in his hands, and attentively counted over 
the nutaber of leaves, fell straightway into a very great 
doubt, and smoked for half an hour without saying a 
word; at length, laying his finger beside his nose, and 
shutting his eyes for a moment, with the air of a man 
who has just caught a subtle idea by the tail, he slowly 
took his pipe from his mouth, puffed forth a column of 
tobacco smoke, and with marvelous gravity and solem- 
nity pronounced — that having carefully counted over 
the leaves and weighed the books, it was found that one 
was just as thick and as heavy as the other — there- 
fore it was the final opinion of the court that the 
accounts were equally balanced — therefore Wandle 
should give Barent a receipt, and Barent should give 
Wandle a receipt — and the constable should pay the 

This decision, being straightway made known, dif- 
fused general joy throughout New Amsterdam, for the 
people immediately perceived that they had a very wise 
and equitable magistrate to rule over them. But its 
happiest effect was, that not another lawsuit took place 
throughout the whole of his administration — and the 
office of constable fell into such decay that there was 
not one of those losel scouts known in the province for 
many years. I am the more particular in dwelling on 
this transaction, not only because I deem it one of the 
most sage and righteous judgments on record, and well 
worthy the attention of modern magistrates; but be- 




(British-American painter, 1836-1905) 

According to "Diedricli Knickerbocker," William Kieft, 
" William the Testy," Governor of New Netherland, became 
convinced in his logical mind that the pipe, "the organ of 
reflection and deliberation of the New Netherlander," was 
the cause of the frequent criticisms of his government; and 
he went so far as to issue an edict which forbade the smoking 
of tobacco anywhere in New Netherland. Irving says: — 

" The immediate effect of the edict of William the Testy 
was a popular commotion. A vast multitude armed with 
pipes and tobacco-boxes, and an immense supply of ammu- 
nition, sat themselves down before the governor's house, and 
fell to smoking with tremendous violence. The testy Wil- 
liam issued forth like a wrathful spider, demanding the rea- 
son of this lawless fumigation. The sturdy rioters replied by 
loUing back in their seats and puffing away with redoubled 
fury; raising such a murky cloud that the governor was fain 
to take refuge in the interior of his castle. 

"A long negotiation ensued through the medium of 
Antony the Trumpeter. The governor was at first wrathful 
and unyielding, but was gradually smoked into terms. He 
concluded by permitting the smoking of tobacco, but he 
abolished the fair long pipes used in the days of Wouter Van 
TwUler, denoting ease, tranquillity, and sobriety of deport- 
ment; these he condemned as incompatible with the dispatch 
of business, in place whereof he substituted little captious 
short pipes, two inches in length, which, he observed, could 
be stuck in one comer of the mouth, or twisted in the hat- 
band; and would never be in the way. Thus ended this 
alarming insurrection, which was long known by the name of 
the 'Pipe Plot,' and which, it has been somewhat quaintly 
observed, did end, like most plots and seditions, in mere 


cause it was a miraculous event in the history of the 
renowned Wouter — being the only time he was ever 
known to come to a decision in the whole course of his 




[England had no intention of leaving New Amsterdam in 
the hands of her commercial rivals, the Dutch; and although 
the two nations were at peace, Charles II sent, in 1664, a 
fleet under command of Richard Nichols, and demanded the 
surrender of the colony. 

The Editor.] 

The first movement of the governor [Peter Stuyvesant], 
on reaching his dwelling, was to mount the roof, whence 
he contemplated with rueful aspect the hostile squadron. 
This had already come to anchor in the bay, and con- 
sisted of two stout frigates, having on board, as "John 
Joseselyn, Gent.," informs us, "three hundred valiant 
red-coats." Having taken this survey, he sat himself 
down and wrote an epistle to the commander, demand- 
ing the reason of his anchoring in the harbor without 
obtaining previous permission so to do. This letter was 
couched in the most dignified and courteous terms, 
though I have it from undoubted authority that his 
teeth were clinched, and he had a bitter, sardonic grin 
upon his visage all the while he wrote. Having dis- 
patched his letter, the grim Peter stumped to and fro 
about the town with a most war-betokening counte- 
nance, his hands thrust into his breeches pockets, and 
whistling a Low-Dutch psahn-tune, which bore no small 
resemblance to the music of a northeast wind, when a 



storm is brewing. The very dogs as they eyed him 
skulked away in dismay; while all the old and ugly 
women of New Amsterdam ran howling at his heels, 
imploring him to save them from murder, robbery, and 
pitiless ravishment! 

The reply of Colonel Nicholas, who commanded the 
invaders, was couched in terms of equal courtesy with 
the letter of the governor; declaring the right and title of 
His British Majesty to the province; where he affirmed 
the Dutch to be merely interlopers; and demanding 
that the town, forts, etc., should be forthwith rendered 
into His Majesty's obedience and protection; promising, 
at the same time, life, liberty, estate, and free trade 
to every Dutch denizen who should readily submit to 
His Majestj'^'s Government. 

Peter Stuyvesant read over this friendly epistle with 
some such harmony of aspect as we may suppose a 
crusty farmer reads the loving letter of John Stiles, 
warning him of an action of ejectment. He was not, 
however, to be taken by surprise; but, thrusting the 
summons into his breeches pocket, stalked three times 
across the room, took a pinch of snuff with great vehe- 
mence, and then, loftily waving his hand, promised to 
send an answer the next morning. He now summoned 
a general meeting of his privy councilors, and burgo- 
masters, not to ask their advice, for, confident in his 
own strong head, he needed no man's counsel, but ap- 
parently to give them a piece of his mind on their late 
craven conduct. 

His orders being duly promulgated, it was a piteous 
sight to behold the late valiant burgomasters, who had 
demolished the whole British Empire in their harangues, 



peeping ruefully out of their hiding-places; crawling cau- 
tiously forth, dodging through narrow lanes and alleys; 
starting at every Httle dog that barked; mistaking lamp- 
posts for British grenadiers; and, in the excess of their 
panic, metamorphosing pumps into formidable sol- 
diers leveKng blunderbusses at their bosoms ! Having, 
however, in despite of numerous perils and difficulties 
of the kind, arrived safely, without the loss of a single 
man, at the hall of assembly, they took their seats, and 
awaited in fearful silence the arrival of the governor. 
In a few moments the wooden leg of the intrepid Peter 
was heard in regular and stout-hearted thumps upon 
the staircase. He entered the chamber, arrayed in full 
suit of regimentals, and carrying his trusty Toledo, not 
girded on his thigh, but tucked under his arm. As the 
governor never equipped himself in this portentous 
manner unless something of martial nature were work- 
ing within his pericranium, his council regarded him 
ruefully, as if they saw fire and sword in his iron coun- 
tenance, and forgot to Ught their pipes in breathless 

His first words were, to rate his council soundly for 
having wasted in idle debate and party feud the time 
which should have been devoted to putting the city in a 
state of defense. He was particularly indignant at those 
brawlers who had disgraced the councils of the province 
by empty bickerings and scurrilous invectives against 
an absent enemy. He now called upon them to make 
good their words by deeds, as the enemy they had defied 
and derided was at the gate. Finally, he informed them 
of the summons he had received to surrender, but con- 
cluded by swearing to defend the province as long as 



Heaven was on his side and he had a wooden leg to 
stand upon; which warlike sentence he emphasized by a 
thwack with the flat of his sword upon the table that 
quite electrified his auditors. 

The privy councilors, who had long since been brought 
into as perfect discipline as were ever the soldiers of the 
great Frederick, knew there was no use in saying a word, 
— so lighted their pipes, and smoked away in silence, 
like fat and discreet councilors. But the burgomasters, 
being inflated with considerable importance and self- 
sufficiency, acquired at popular meetings, were not so 
easily satisfied. Mustering up fresh spirit, when they 
found there was some chance of escaping from their 
present jeopardy without the disagreeable alternative 
of fighting, they requested a copy of the simmions to 
surrender, that they might show it to a general meeting 
of the people. 

So insolent and mutinous a request would have been 
enough to have roused the gorge of the tranquil Van 
Twiller himself, — what then must have been its effect 
upon the great Stuyvesant, who was not only a Dutch- 
man, a governor, and a vaHant wooden-legged soldier to 
boot, but withal a man of the most stomachful and gun- 
powder disposition? He burst forth into a blaze of 
indignation, — swore not a mother's son of them should 
see a syUable of it, — that as to their advice or concur- 
rence he did not care a whiff of tobacco for either, — 
that they might go home, and go to bed like old women; 
for he was determined to defend the colony himself, 
without the assistance of them or their adherents! So 
saying he tucked his sword under his arm, cocked his 
hat upon his head, and girding up his loins, stumped 



indignantly out of the council-chamber, everybody 
making room for him as he passed. 

No sooner was he gone than the busy burgomasters 
called a public meeting in front of the Stadthouse, 
where they appointed as chairman one Dofue Roerback, 
formerly a meddlesome member of the cabinet during 
the reign of William the Testy, but kicked out of office 
by Peter Stuyvesant on taking the reins of government. 
He was, withal, a mighty gingerbread baker in the land, 
and reverenced by the populace as a man of dark knowl- 
edge, seeing that he was the first to imprint New- Year 
cakes with the mysterious hieroglyphics of the Cock and 
Breeches, and such like magical devices. 

This burgomaster, who still chewed the cud of ill-will 
against Peter Stujrvesant, addressed the multitude in 
what is called a patriotic speech, informing them of the 
courteous summons which the governor had received, to 
surrender, of his refusal to comply therewith, and of his 
denying the public even a sight of the summons, which 
doubtless contained conditions highly to the honor and 
advantage of the province. 

He then proceeded to speak of His Excellency in high- 
sounding terms of vituperation, suited to the dignity of 
his station; comparing him to Nero, Caligula, and other 
flagrant great men of yore; assuring the people that the 
history of the world did not contain a despotic outrage 
equal to the present. That it would be recorded in let- 
ters of fire, on the blood-stained tablet of history! That 
ages would roll back with sudden horror when they came 
to view it! That the womb of Time (by the way, your 
orators and writers take strange liberties with the womb 
of Time, though some would have us believe that Time 



is an old gentleman) — that the womb of Time, preg- 
nant as it was with direful horrors, would never produce 
a parallel enormity! — with a variety of other heart- 
rending, soul-stirring tropes and figures, which I cannot 
enumerate; neither, indeed, need I, for they were of the 
kind which even to the present day form the style of 
popular harangues and patriotic orations, and may be 
classed in rhetoric under the general title of "Rig- 

The result of this, speech of the inspired burgomaster 
was a memorial addressed to the governor, remonstrat- 
ing in good round terms on his conduct. It was pro- 
posed that Dofue Roerback himself should be the 
bearer of this memorial; but this he warily declined, 
having no incliaation of coming again within kicking 
distance of His Excellency. Who did deliver it has never 
been named in history, in which neglect he has suffered 
grievous wrong; seeing that he was equally worthy of 
blazon with him perpetuated in Scottish song and story 
by the surname of "Bell-the-Cat." All we know of the 
fate of this memorial is, that it was used by the grim 
Peter to light his pipe; which, from the vehemence with 
which he smoked it, was evidently anything but a pipe 
of peace. 

The glare of day had long dispelled the horrors of the 
stormy night; still all was dull and gloomy. The late 
jovial Apollo hid his face behind lugubrious clouds, 
peeping out now and then for an instant, as if anxious, 
yet fearful, to see what was going on in his favorite city. 
This was the eventful morning when the great Peter was 
to give his reply to the summons of the invaders. Already 



was he closeted with his privy council, sitting in grim 
state, brooding over the fate of his favorite trumpeter, 
and anon boiling with indignation as the insolence of his 
recreant burgomasters flashed upon his mind. While in 
this state of irritation, a courier arrived in all haste from 
Winthrop, the subtle governor of Connecticut, coun- 
seling him, in the most affectionate and disinterested 
maimer, to surrender the province, and magnifying the 
dangers and calamities to which a refusal would subject 
him. What a moment was this to intrude ofl&cious 
advice upon a man who never took advice in his whole 
life! The fiery old governor strode up and down the 
chamber with a vehemence that made the bosoms of his 
councilors to quake with awe, — railing at his unlucky 
fate, that thus made him the constant butt of factious 
subjects, and Jesuitical advisers. 

Just at this ill-chosen juncture, the officious burgo- 
masters, who had heard of the arrival of mysterious 
dispatches, came marching in a body into the room, 
with a legion of schepens and toadeaters at their heels, 
and abruptly demanded a perusal of the letter. This 
was too much for the spleen of Peter Stuyvesant. He 
tore the letter in a thousand pieces, — threw it in the 
face of the nearest burgomaster, — broke his pipe over 
the head of the next, — hurled his spitting-box at an un- 
lucky schepen, who was just retreating out at the door, 
and finally prorogued the whole meeting sine die, by 
kicking them downstairs with his wooden leg. 

As soon as the burgomasters could recover from their 
confusion and had time to breathe, they called a public 
meeting, where they related at full length, and with 
appropriate coloring and exaggeration, the despotic and 



vindictive deportment of the governor; declaring that, 
for their own parts, they did not value a straw the being 
kicked, cuffed, and mauled by the timber toe of His 
Excellency, but that they felt for the dignity of the 
sovereign people, thus rudely insulted by the outrage 
committed on the seat of honor of their representatives. 
The latter part of the harangue came home at once to 
that delicacy of feeling and jealous pride of character 
vested in all true mobs, — who, though they may bear 
injuries without a murmur, yet are marvelously jealous 
of their sovereign dignity; and there is no knowing to 
what act of resentment they might have been provoked 
had they not been somewhat more afraid of their 
sturdy old governor than they were of St. Nicholas, the 
EngHsh — or the Devil himself. 

There is something exceedingly sublime and melan- 
choly in the spectacle which the present crisis of our 
history presents. An illustrious and venerable little 
city, — the metropolis of a vast extent of uninhabited 
country, — garrisoned by a doughty host of orators, 
chairmen, committeemen, burgomasters, schepens, and 
old women, — governed by a determined and strong- 
headed warrior, and fortified by mud batteries, paHsa- 
does, and resolutions, — blockaded by sea, beleaguered 
by land, and threatened with direful isolation from 
without, while its very vitals are torn with internal fac- 
tion and commotion! Never did historic pen record a 
page of more complicated distress, unless it be the strife 
that distracted the IsraeUtes, during the siege of Jerusa- 
lem, — where discordant parties were cutting each 
other's throats, at the moment when the victorious 
legions of Titus had toppled down their bulwarks, and 



were carrying fire and sword into the very sanctum sanc- 
torum of the temple. 

Governor Stuyvesant having triumphantly put his 
grand council to the rout and delivered himself from a 
multitude of impertinent advisers, dispatched a cate- 
gorical reply to the commanders of the invading squad- 
ron ; wherein he asserted the right and title of their High 
Mightinesses the Lords States General to the province 
of New Netherlands, and trusting in the righteousness 
of his cause, set the whole British nation at defiance! 

My anxiety to extricate my readers and myself from 
these disastrous scenes prevents me from giving the 
whole of this gallant letter, which concluded in these 
manly and affectionate terms: — 

"As touching the threats in your conclusion, we have 
nothing to answer, only that we fear nothing but what 
God (who is just as merciful) shall lay upon us; all 
things being in his gracious disposal, and we may as well 
be preserved by him with small forces as by a great 
army; which makes us to wish you all happiness and 
prosperity, and recommend you to his protection. My 
lords, your thrice humble and affectionate servant and 

' "P. Stuyvesant." 

Thus having thrown his gauntlet, the brave Peter 
stuck a pair of horse-pistols in his belt, girded an im- 
mense powder-horn on his side, — thrust his sound leg 
into a Hessian boot, and clapping his fierce little war-hat 
on the top of his head, — paraded up and down in front 
of his house, determined to defend his beloved city to 
the last. 



While all these struggles and discussions were prevail- 
ing in the unhappy city of New Amsterdam, and while 
its worthy but ill-starred governor was framing the 
above-quoted letter, the English commanders did not 
remain idle. They had agents secretly employed to 
foment the fears and clamors of the populace; and 
moreover, circulated far and wide, through the adjacent 
covmtry, a proclamation, repeating the terms they had 
already held out in their summons to surrender, at the 
same time beguiling the simple Nederlanders with the 
most crafty and conciliating professions. They prom- 
ised that every man who voluntarily submitted to the 
authority of His British Majesty should retain peaceful 
possession of his house, his vrouw, and his cabbage- 
garden. That he should be suffered to smoke his pipe, 
speak Dutch, wear as many breeches as he pleased, 
and import bricks, tiles, and stone jugs from Holland, 
instead of manufacturing them on the spot. That he 
should on no account be compelled to learn the English 
language, nor eat codfish on Saturdays, nor keep ac- 
counts in any other way than by chalking them down 
upon the crown of his hat; as is observed among the 
Dutch yeomanry at the present day. That every man 
should be allowed quietly to inherit his father's hat, 
coat, shoe-buckles, pipe, and other personal appendage; 
and that no man should be obliged to conform to any 
improvements, inventions, or any other modern innova- 
tions; but, on the contrary should be permitted to build 
his house, follow his trade, manage his farm, rear his 
hogs, and educate his children, precisely as his ancestors 
had done before him from time immemorial. Finally, 
that he should have all the benefits of free trade, and 



should not be required to acknowledge any other saint in 
the calendar than St. Nicholas, who should thence for- 
ward, as before, be considered the tutelar saint of the city. 

These terms, as may be supposed, appeared very 
satisfactory to the people, who had a great disposition 
to enjoy their property unmolested, and a most singular 
aversion to engage in a contest, where they could gain 
little more than honor and broken heads, — the first of 
which they held in philosophic indifference, the latter 
in utter detestation. By these insidious means, there- 
fore, did the English succeed in alienating the confi- 
dence and affections of the populace from their gallant 
old governor, whom they considered as obstinately bent 
upon running them into hideous misadventures; and 
did not hesitate to speak their minds freely, and abuse 
him most heartily — behind his back. 

Like as a mighty grampus when assailed and buffeted 
by roaring waves and brawling surges, still keeps on 
an undeviating course, rising above the boisterous bil- 
lows, spouting and blowing as he emerges, — so did 
the inflexible Peter pursue, unwavering, his determined 
career, and rise, contemptuous, above the clamors of the 

But when the British warriors found that he set their 
power at defiance, they dispatched recruiting officers 
to Jamaica, and Jericho, and Nineveh, and Quag, and 
Patchog, and all those towns on Long Island which had 
been subdued of yore by Stoffel Brinkerhoff ; stirring up 
the progeny of Preserved Fish, and Determined Cock, 
and those other New England squatters, to assail the 
city of New Amsterdam by land, while the hostile ships 
prepared for an assault by water. 



The streets of New Amsterdam now presented a scene 
of wild dismay and consternation. In vain did Peter 
Stuyvesant order the citizens to arm and assemble on 
the Battery. Blank, terror reigned over the community. 
The whole party of Short Pipes in the course of a single 
night had changed into arrant old women, — a meta- 
morphosis only to be paralleled by the prodigies recorded 
by Livy as having happened at Rome at the approach 
of Haimibal, when statues sweated in pure affright, 
goats were converted into sheep, and cocks, turning into 
hens, ran cackling about the street. 

Thus baffled in all attempts to put the city in a state 
of defense, blockaded from without, tormented from 
within, and menaced with a Yankee invasion, even the 
stiff-necked will of Peter Stuyvesant for once gave way, 
and in spite of his mighty heart, which swelled in his 
throat until it nearly choked him, he consented to a 
treaty of surrender. 

Words carmot express the transports of the populace, 
on receiving this intelligence; had they obtained a con- 
quest over their enemies, they could not have indulged 
greater dehght. The streets resounded with their con- 
gratulations, — they extoUed their governor as the 
father and deliverer of his country, — they crowded to 
his house to testify their gratitude, and were ten times 
more noisy in their plaudits than when he returned, with 
victory perched upon his beaver, from the glorious cap- 
ture of Fort Christina. But the indignant Peter shut his 
doors and windows, and took refuge in the innermost 
recesses of his mansion, that he might not hear the 
ignoble rejoicings of the rabble. 

Commissioners were now appointed on both sides, 


and a capitulation was speedily arranged; all that was 
wanting to ratify it was that it should be signed by the 
governor. When the commissioners waited upon him for 
this purpose, they were received with grim and bitter 
courtesy. His warlike accouterments were laid aside, — 
an old Indian night-gown was wrapped about his rugged 
limbs, a red night-cap overshadowed his frowning brow, 
an iron-gray beard of three days' growth gave additional 
grimness to his visage. Thrice did he seize a worn-out 
stump of a pen and essay to sign the loathsome paper, — 
thrice did he clinch his teeth, and make a horrible coun- 
tenance, as though a dose of rhubarb, serma, and ipecac- 
uanha had been offered to his lips; at length, dashing 
it from him, he seized his brass-hilted sword, and jerking 
it from the scabbard, swore by St. Nicholas, to sooner 
die than yield to any power under Heaven. 

For two whole days did he persist in this magnani- 
mous resolution, during which his house was besieged 
by the rabble, and menaces and clamorous revilings 
exhausted to no purpose. And now another course was 
adopted to soothe, if possible, his mighty ire. A pro- 
cession was formed by the burgomasters and schepens, 
followed by the populace, to bear the capitulation in 
state to the governor's dwelhng. They found the castle 
strongly barricaded, and the old hero in full regimentals, 
with his cocked hat on his head, posted with a blunder- 
buss at the garret window. 

There was something in this formidable position that 
struck even the ignoble vulgar with awe and admira- 
tion. The brawling multitude cotdd not but reflect with 
self-abasement upon their own pusillanimous conduct, 
when they beheld their hardy but deserted old governor, 



thus faithful to his post, Hke a forlorn hope, and fully 
prepared to defend his ungrateful city to the last. 
These compunctions, however, were soon overwhelmed 
by the recurring tide of pubHc apprehension. The popu- 
lace arranged themselves before the house, taking off 
their hats with most respectful humility; Burgomaster 
Roerback, who was of that popular class of orators 
described by Sallust as being "talkative rather than 
eloquent," stepped forth and addressed the governor in 
a speech of three hours' length, detailing, in the most 
pathetic terms, the calamitous situation of the province, 
and urging him in a constant repetition of the same 
arguments and words to sign the capitulation. 

The mighty Peter eyed him from his garret window 
in grim silence, — now and then his eye would glance 
over the surrounding rabble, and an indignant grin, like 
that of an angry mastiff, would mark his iron visage. 
But though a man of most undaunted mettle, — though 
he had a heart as big as an ox, and a head that would 
have set adamant to scorn, — yet after all he was a mere 
mortal. Wearied out by these repeated oppositions, 
and this eternal haranguing, and perceiving that unless 
he complied, the inhabitants would follow their own 
incUnation, or rather, their fears, without waiting for 
his consent, or, what was still worse, the Yankees would 
have time to pour in their forces and claim a share in 
the conquest, he testily ordered them to hand up the 
paper. It was accordingly hoisted to him on the end 
of a pole; and having scrawled his name at the bottom 
of it, he anathematized them all for a set of cowardly, 
mutinous, degenerate poltroons, threw the capitulation 
at their heads, slammed down the window, and was 



heard stiamping downstairs with vehement indignation. 
The rabble incontinently took to their heels; even the 
burgomasters were not slow in evacuating the premises, 
fearing lest the sturdy Peter might issue from his den, 
and greet them with some unwelcome testimonial of his 

Within three hours after the surrender, a legion of 
British beef -fed warriors poured into New Amsterdam, 
taking possession of the fort and batteries. And now 
might be heard, from all quarters, the sound of hammers 
made by the old Dutch burghers, in nailing up their 
doors and windows, to protect their vrouws from these 
fierce barbarians, whom they contemplated in silent 
suUenness from the garret windows as they paraded 
through the streets. 

Thus did Colonel Richard Nichols, the commander 
of the British forces, enter into quiet possession of the 
conquered realm as locum ienens for the Duke of York. 
The victory was attended with no other outrage than 
that of changing the name of the province and its metro- 
polis, which thenceforth were denominated New York, 
and so have continued to be called unto the present day. 
The inhabitants, according to treaty, were allowed to 
maintain quiet possession of their property; but so 
inveterately did they retain their abhorrence of the 
British nation, that in a private meeting of the leading 
citizens it was unanimously determined never to ask 
any of their conquerors to dinner. 





While La Salle was on the Mississippi River planning 
a colony that failed, an Enghsh Quaker named William 
Penn, was getting ready to found a colony that was to 
succeed. Long before this the Quakers had thought of 
America. "The Puritans have gone to Massachusetts," 
they said, "and the Roman Cathohcs have gone to 
Maryland. Why should not we have a home of our own 
in the New World?" A mmiber of Quakers crossed the 
ocean and made little settlements on the banks of the 
Delaware. Penn said to himself, "What a glorious thing 
it would be if we could have a country where not only 
Quakers but every one else could worship God as he 
thought right! " At last he planned a way in which this 
might be brought about. King Charles had owed Perm's 
father a large sum of money, so the young man asked, 
"Friend Charles, wilt thou give me land in America 
instead of that money?" The king was more than will- 
ing. Land in America was of no great value, he believed, 
and so he readily gave Perm a piece almost as large as 
the whole of England. "It shall be called New Wales," 
said Penn; but the king had the good taste not to like 
this name. "Then let it be Sylvania," Penn suggested. 
"Pennsylvania," declared the quick-witted king. Perm 
thought that might look as if he wished to honor himself, 



but the king said, "Oh, no, it is to honor the admiral, 
your father." So Pennsylvania — Penn's woodland — 
was written on the maps of the new state. 

Just where his settlement was to be, he did not know, 
but he sent three men across the ocean to find a good 
place and treat with the Indians. The town was to be 
named Philadelphia, or the City of Brotherly Love. He 
had a dehghtful time planning it. He did not mean to 
have the houses dropped down anywhere and to have 
the streets wriggle and twist to go by the houses. His 
town was to have streets running north and south, cut 
at right angles by other streets running east and west. 
Those that went north and south were to be numbered. 
First Street, Second Street, and so on; those that went 
east and west were to be named for the trees of the 
forest, — Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, and Pine. The 
river banks were never to be built upon, but always to 
be open to the people. The streets were made narrow 
because Penn was not planning for a large city, but for 
a "green country town." He marked on his plan just 
where the city hall was to be, where he meant to have 
open parks, and where his own house was to stand. He 
wrote a friendly letter to the English and the Swedes 
who were already settled on his land, telling them he 
hoped they would not dislike having him as governor, 
for they should be treated fairly and make whatever 
laws they thought best. He also wrote to the Indians 
that he was their friend and that he wanted to live with 
them in love and peace. He sent his cousin across the 
ocean to deliver these letters and act as governor until 
he himself could come. Then he set to work and wrote 
a businesslike advertisement. It told how much it 



would cost to cross the ocean, how much he would sell 
land for, what kind of country Pennsylvania was, and 
what things colonists would need. It was not long before 
ships began to carry settlers to Pennsylvania. It is 
thought that three thousand came the first year. 

These settlers, even the earliest of them, had none of 
the hard times that the people of Plymouth and James- 
town had to endure. Of course there were no houses; 
and when the first ship sailed up the beautiful Delaware 
River, her passengers had to scramble up the bank and 
shelter themselves as best they could until their houses 
were built. Some of them made huts of bark. Some 
dug into the river bank and beat down the earth for 
floors. For walls they piled up sods, or they cut down 
branches and small trees and set them up around the 
floor. For chimneys, they mixed grass and clay to- 
gether. Some of them drove forked sticks into the 
ground, laid a pole in the crotches, and hung a kettle 
on the pole. A fire was built under it, and there the 
cooking was done. It was a busy time, for while all this 
was going on, the surveyors were marking off lots as 
fast as they could. The settlers were in a hurry, for 
they wanted to build their houses. Some made them of 
logs, and some had brought the frames with them, each 
piece marked and numbered, so they could be put up 
very quickly. The Indians were much interested. They 
gazed with wonder at a wooden house growing almost 
as rapidly as a wigwam. They often did more than 
gaze; they helped those who were in need. On the 
voyage a man had died, and his widow, with eight or 
nine children, found herself alone in a strange country. 
The white people, busy as they were, saw that she had 



a cave-house at once, and the Indians hurried to bring 
venison and corn for her and her little family. 
I The next year, in 1682, Perm himself came to America. 
He landed first at Newcastle, and there he took formal 
possession of his land in the old English fashion; that 
is, he took a cup of water, a handful of soil, a bit of turf, 
and a twig. When he saw his new town, he was de- 
lighted. The situation, the air, the water, the sky, — 
everything pleased him, and he wrote his friends most 
enthusiastic letters. He told them about the nuts and 
grapes and wheat, about the wild pigeons, the big tur- 
keys, the ducks, and the geese, all free to whoever chose 
to shoot them. The water was full of fish and the forest 
abounded with deer. It is no wonder that settlers hur- 
ried to Pennsylvania. 

Of course the Indians were eager to see the new 
governor, and very likely a group of them stood on the 
bank when he first landed. He was quite as eager to 
meet them, and soon they came together for feasting 
and a treaty of peace. Perm was exceedingly handsome. 
His hair was long and lay on his shoulders in curls, as 
was the fashion of the day. His clothes had not the 
silver trimmings and the lace that most yoimg men of 
wealth were used to wear, but he liked to have them of 
rich material and weU made. " He was the handsomest, 
best-looking, and livehest of gentlemen," declared a 
lady who saw him at that time. Tradition says that he 
and the Indians met under a great elm that stood on 
the river bank. The deep blue stream was flowing softly 
by, the blue sky was overhead, the leaves of the elm 
were gently fluttering, and little birds were peering 
down curiously between the branches. The chief seated 

■ 238 



(American artist, 1 738-1820) 

The painting here reproduced is hung in Independence 
Hall, Philadelphia. The artist, Benjamin West, was a 
Pennsylvania boy, who, according to the familiar story, drew 
before the age of seven a recognizable portrait of his baby 
sister. His first assistance in the pursuit of art came from 
some friendly Indians, who gave him a little red and yellow 
earth. Indigo he begged from his mother, brushes he made 
for himself. He was quite a boy before he ever saw a box of 
paints; but at the age of eighteen, he established himself in 
Philadelphia as a full-fledged portrait-painter, and two years 
later opened a studio in New York. In 1760 he went to Italy 
for study, then to England, and here he made his permanent 
home. He became famous almost at once, was welcomed by 
lovers of art, and given many commissions for paintings by 
King George III. For twenty-three years he was president 
of the Royal Academy, succeeding Sir Joshua Reynolds. 
It was at that time the custom to paint historical characters 
in classical costume; but West was original enough and brave 
enough to lay aside this convention and give his subjects the 
clothing appropriate to their period. When he was at work 
upon his Death of General Wolfe, Sir Joshua objected to 
this new departure; but when the painting was completed, 
he said, "West has conquered; he has treated his subject as 
it ought to be treated; I retract my objections. I foresee that 
this picture will . . . occasion a revolution in art." 

The story of the scene pictured in the illustration is told in 
the text. The artist's grandfather was present at the making 
of this treaty, and is portrayed among the group of Friends 
standing near William Penn. 


himself for a council. His wisest men sat close behind 
him in a half-circle. Behind them sat the younger 
braves. Penn stood before them and told them about his 
colony. He said that he wished to be a good friend to 
the Indians and to treat them kindly. As each sentence 
was translated to them, they gave a shout of pleasure. 
At the end they said, "We will never do any wrong to 
you or your friends"; and Penn declared, "We will live 
in love as long as the sun gives light." Penn paid the 
Indians for their land just as the settlers of Massachu- 
setts, Rhode Island, and New Netherland had done. 
He gave them cloth, bells, guns, kettles, axes, scissors, 
knives, mirrors, shoes, beads, combs, and shirts. Of 
course all these things together would hardly buy a 
rod of land in Philadelphia to-day; but they were of 
great value to the Indians, and they were well pleased 
with the bargain. They were also well pleased with the 
governor. He was dignified and courtly in his bearing; 
but when he spoke to them, he was simple and friendly. 
He would sit with them and eat of their hominy and 
roasted acorns as if he were one of them. At college 
he had been fond of outdoor sports, and there is a story 
that once when the red men were leaping to show what 
they could do, he suddenly stepped out and leaped 
higher and farther than they. The Indians were de- 
lighted. "He is a great man," they said, "but when 
he comes among us, he is our brother." They called him 
" Onas," the Indian word for pen or quill. " Onas always 
does what he says he will do," they told the other tribes. 
Perm stayed two years in America, but not all the 
time in Philadelphia. Once he went to Maryland to 
have a talk with Lord Baltimore about boundaries. 



America was so large, and a few miles of wilderness 
seemed of so little value, that the English kings gave 
away broad slices of the country without taking much 
trouble to make sure that no two men had the same 
piece. Lord Baltimore claimed the very land on which 
Philadelphia had been settled. It became known that 
he was on his way to England to lay his claim before the 
king. Then Penn had to cross the ocean to defend his 
grant. He expected to return soon, but one trouble after 
another kept him in England for fifteen years. 

At last the time came when he and his wife and chil- 
dren could come to Philadelphia. He built a fine brick 
house at a place which he named Pennsbury, twenty 
miles up the river. It was handsomely furnished. There 
were dishes of silver and china, plush couches, embroid- 
ered chairs, satin curtains, and a heavy carpet — per- 
haps the first one that ever came across the ocean. There 
were gardens, made beautiful not only with plants 
brought from England, but with wild flowers of America. 
Lawns and terraces ran down to the river bank. There 
was a stable for twelve horses, there was a "coach and 
four," there was a barge to be rowed by six oarsmen. 
The Indians came freely to visit him, and he entertained 
them on his lawn or in the great hall of his handsome 
house. He roamed over the country on horseback, and 
was once lost in the woods near Valley Forge as com- 
pletely as if he had not been on his own ground. Once 
when he was riding to meeting, he came up with a child 
who was also going to the same place. The shy little 
barefoot girl must have been half-afraid but much 
delighted when the governor caught her up, set her be- 
hind him on his great horse, and trotted on to meeting 



with her. It would be pleasant if we could think of 
Penn as spending the rest of his days in the country life 
that he enjoyed; but he had been in America only two 
years when he was obliged to return to England. Never 
again did he see beautiful Pennsbury, his Indian friends, 
the city that he loved, or the smoothly flowing Delaware. 



"There are some who love to enumerate the singularities 
of the early Puritans. They were opposed to wigs; they could 
preach against veils; they denounced long hair; they dis- 
liked the cross in the banner, as much as the people of Paris 
disliked the liUes of the Bourbons, and for analogous reasons. 
They would not allow Christmas Day to be kept sacred; 
they called neither months, nor days, nor seasons, nor 
churches, nor inns, by the names common in England ; they 
revived Scripture names at christenings. The grave Romans 
legislated on the costume of men, and their senate could 
even stoop to interfere with the triumphs of the sex to which 
civic honors are denied; the fathers of New England pro- 
hibited frivolous fashions in their own dress; and their 
austerity, checking extravagance even in woman, frowned 
on her hoods of silk and her scarfs of tiffany, extended the 
length of her sleeve to the wrist, and limited its greatest 
width to half an ell. The Puritans were formal and precise 
in their manners; singular in the forms of their ^legislation; 
rigid in the observance of their principles. Every topic of 
the day found a place in their extemporaneous prayers, and 
infused a stirring interest into their long and frequent ser- 
mons. The courts of Massachusetts respected in practice 
the code of Moses; the island of Rhode Island enacted for a 
year or two a Jewish masquerade; in New Haven, the mem- 
bers of the constituent committee were called the seven 
pillars, hewn out for the house of wisdom. But these are 
only outward forms, which gave to the new sect its marked 
exterior. If from the outside peculiarities, which so easily 
excite the sneer of the superficial observer, we look to the 
genius of the sect itself, Puritanism was Religion struggling 
for the People." — George Bancroft. 


[Seventeenth century] 

The first building used as a church at the Plymouth 
colony was the fort, and to it the Pilgrim fathers and 
mothers and children walked on Sunday reverently and 
gravely, three in a row, the men fully armed with swords 
and guns, tUl they built a meeting-house in 1648. In 
other New England settlements, the first services were 
held in tents, under trees, or under any shelter. The 
settler who had a roomy house often had also the 
meeting. The first Boston meeting-house had mud walls, 
a thatched roof, and earthen floor. It was used till 1640, 
and some very thrilling and inspiring scenes were enacted 
within its humble waUs. Usually the earliest meeting- 
houses were log houses, witk clay-filled chinks, and roofs 
thatched with reeds and long grass, like the dwelling- 
houses. At Salem is still preserved one of the early 
churches. The second and more dignified form of New 
England meeting-houses was usually a square wooden 
building with a truncated pyramidal roof, surmounted 
often with a belfry, which served as a lookout station 
and held a bell, from which the bell-rope hung down 
to the floor in the center of the church aisle. The old 
church at Hingham, Massachusetts, still standing and 
still used, is a good specimen of this shape. It was built 
in 1681, and is known as the "Old Ship," and is a comely 
and dignified building. As more elegant and costly 



dwelling-houses were built, so were better meeting- 
houses; and the third form with lofty wooden steeple 
at one end, in the style of architecture invented by Sir 
Christopher Wren, after the great fire of London, multi- 
plied and increased until every town was graced with 
'an example. In all these the main body of the edifice 
remained as bare, prosaic, and imdecorated as were the 
preceding churches, while all the ambition of both 
builders and congregation spent itself in the steeple. 
These were so varied and at times so beautiful that a 
chapter might be written on New England steeples. 
The Old South Church of Boston is a good example of 
this school of ecclesiastical architecture, and is a well- 
known historic building as well. 

The earliest meeting-houses had oiled paper in the 
windows, and when glass came in it was not set with 
putty but was nailed in. The windows had what were 
termed "heavy current side-shutters." The outside of 
the meeting-house was not "colored," or "stained" as 
it was then termed, but was left to turn gray and 
weather-stained, and sometimes moss-covered with the 
dampness of the great shadowing hemlock and fir trees 
which were usually planted around New England 
churches. The first meeting-houses were often decorated 
in a very singular and grotesque manner. Rewards were 
paid by all the early towns for killing wolves; and any 
person who killed a wolf brought the head to the meeting- 
house and nailed it to the outer wall; the fierce grinning 
heads and splashes of blood made a grim and horrible 
decoration. All kinds of notices were also nailed to the 
meeting-house door where all of the congregation might 
readily see them, — notices of town-meetings, prohibi- 



tions from seUing guns to the Indians, notices of in- 
tended marriages, vendues, etc. It was the only meeting- 
place, the only method of advertisement. In front of the 
church was usually a row of stepping-stones or horse- 
blocks, for nearly all came on horseback; and often on 
the meeting-house green stood the stocks, pillory, and 
A verse from an old-fashioned h3Tnn reads thus: — ■ 

"New England's Sabbath day 

Is heaven-like, still, and pure, 
When Israel walks the way 

Up to the temple's door. 
The time we teU 

When there to come. 

By beat of drum, 
Or soimding shell." 

The first church at Jamestown, Virginia, gathered the 
congregation by beat of drum; but while attendants of 
the Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and Dutch Reformed 
churches in the New World were in general being sum- 
moned to divine service by the ringing of a bell hrmg 
either over the church or in the branches of a tree by its 
side. New England Puritans were summoned, as the 
hymn relates, by drvim, or horn, or shell. The shell was 
a great conch-shell, and a man was hired to blow it — 
a mournful sound — at the proper time, which was 
usually nine o'clock in the morning. In Stockbridge, 
Massachusetts, the church-shell was afterwards used 
for many years as a signal to begin and stop work in the 
haying-field. In Windsor, Connecticut, a man walked 
up and down on a platform on the top of the meeting- 
house and blew a trumpet to summon worshipers. Many 
churches had a church drummer, who stood on the roof 



or in the belfry and drummed, a few raised a flag as a 
summons, or fired a gun. 

Within the meeting-house all was simple enough: 
raftered walls, pimcheons and sanded or earthen floors, 
rows of benches, a few pews, all of unpainted wood, and 
a pulpit which was usually a high desk overhung by a 
heavy sounding-board, which was fastened to the roof 
by a slender metal rod. The pulpit was sometimes called 
a scaffold. When pews were built, they were square, 
with high partition walls, and had narrow, uncomfort- 
,able seats round three sides. The word was always 
spelled "pue"; and they were sometimes called "pits." 
A little girl in the middle of this century attended a 
service in an old church which still retained the old- 
fashioned square pews; she exclaimed, in a loud voice, 
"What! must I be shut in a closet and sit on a shelf?" 
These narrow, shelf-like seats were usually hung on 
hinges and could be turned up against the pew-walls 
during the long psalm- tunes and prayers; so the mem- 
bers of the congregation could lean against the pew- 
walls for support as they stood. When the seats were 
let down, they fell with a heavy slam that could be 
heard half a mile away in the summer time, when the 
windows of the meeting-house were open. Lines from 
an old poem read : — 

"And when at last the loud Amen 
Fell from aloft, how qiiickly then 
The seats came down with heavy rattle, 
Like Musketry in fiercest battle." 

A few of the old-time meeting-houses, with high pul- 
pit, square pews, and deacons' seats, still remain in 



New England and fully illustrate the words of the 
poet: — 

"Old house of Puritanic wood 
Through whose unpainted windows streamed 
On seats as primitive and rude 

As Jacob's pillow when he dreamed, 
The white and undiluted day — " 

The seats were carefully and thoughtfully assigned by 
a church committee called the Seating Committee, the 
best seats being given to older persons of wealth and 
dignity who attended the church. Whittier wrote of 
this custom : — 

"In the goodly house of worship, where in order due and fit. 
As by pubUc vote directed, classed and ranked the people sit. 
Mistress first and good wife after, clerkly squire before the clown. 
From the brave coat lace-embroidered to the gray coat shading 

Many of the plans for "seating the meeting-house" 
have been preserved; the pews and their assigned occu- 
pants are clearly designated. In the early meeting- 
houses men and women sat on separate sides of the 
meeting-house, as in Quaker meetings till our own time. 
Sometimes a group of young women or of young men 
were permitted to sit in the gallery together. Little 
girls sat beside their mothers or on footstools at their 
feet, or sometimes on the gallery stairs ; and I have heard 
of a Uttle cage or frame to hold Puritan babies in meet- 
ing. Boys did not sit with their families, but were in 
groups by themselves, usually on the pulpit and gallery 
stairs, where tithing-men watched over them. In Salem, 
in 1676, it was ordered by the town that "all ye boyes 
of ye towne are appointed to sitt upon ye three paire 



of stairs in ye meeting-house, and William Lord is ap- 
pointed to look after ye boys upon ye pulpitt stairs." 

In Stratford the tithing-man was ordered to "watch 
over youths of disorderly carriage, and see they behave 
themselves comeKe, and use such raps and blows as is 
in his discretion meet." In Durham any misbehaving 
boy was punished publicly after the service was over. 
We would nowadays scarcely seat twenty or thirty 
active boys together in church if we wished them to be 
models of attention and dignified behavior; but after 
the boys' seats were removed from the pulpit stairs they 
were all turned in together in a "boys' pew" in the 
gallery. There was a boys' pew in Windsor, Connecti- 
cut, as late as 1845, and pretty noisy it usually was. 
A certain small boy in Connecticut misbehaved himself 
on Sunday, and his wickedness was specified by the 
justice of peace as follows: "A Rude and Idel Behaver 
in the meeting hous. Such as Smiling and Larfing and 
Intiseing others to the Same Evil. Such as Larfing or 
Smiling or puling the hair of his nayber Benoni Simkins 
in the time of Publick Worship. Such as throwing Sister 
Penticost Perkins on the Ice, it being Saboth day, be- 
tween the meeting hous and his plaes of abode." 

I can picture well the wicked scene; poor, meek little 
Benoni Simpkins trying to behave well in meeting, and 
not cry out when the young "wanton gospeller" pulled 
her hair, and unfortunate Sister Perkins tripped up on 
the ice by the young rascal. 

Another vain youth in Andover, Massachusetts, was 
brought up before the magistrate, and it Was charged 
that he "sported and played, and by indecent gestures 
and wry faces caused laughter and misbehavior in the 



beholders." The girls were just as wicked; they slammed 
down the pew-seats. Tabatha Morgus of Norwich 
"prophaned the Lord's daye" by her "rude and inde- 
cent behavior in Laughing and playing in ye tyme of 
service." On Long Island godless boys "ran Raesses" 
on the Sabbath and "talked of vane things," and as for 
Albany children, they played hookey and coasted down 
hill on Sunday to the scandal of every one evidently, 
except their parents. When the boys were separated 
and families sat in pews together, all became orderly in 

The deacons sat in a "Deacons' Pue" just in front of 
the pulpit; sometimes also there was a "Deaf Pue" in 
front for those who were hard of hearing. After choirs 
were established, the singers' seats were usually in the 
gallery; and high up under the beams in a loft sat the 
negroes and Indians. 

If any person seated himself in any place which was 
not assigned to him, he had to pay a fine, usually of 
several shillings, for each offense. But in old Newbury 
men were fined as high as twenty-seven pounds each for 
persistent and unruly sitting in seats belonging to other 

The churches were all unheated. Few had stoves 
until the middle of this century. The chill of the damp 
buildings, never heated from autumn to spring, and 
closed and dark throughout the week, was hard for 
every one to bear. In some of the early log-bmlt 
meeting-houses, fur bags made of wolfskins were nailed 
to the seats; and in winter church attendants thrust 
their feet into them. Dogs, too, were permitted to enter 
the meeting-house and He on their masters' feet. Dog- 



whippers or dog-pelters were appointed to control and 
expel them when they became unruly or unbearable. 
Women and children usually carried foot-stoves, which 
were little pierced metal boxes that stood on wooden 
legs, and held hot coals. Durmg the noon intermission 
the half -frozen church attendants went to a neighboring 
house or tavern, or to a noon-house to get warm. A 
noon-house or "Sabba-day house," as it was often 
called, was a long low building built near the meeting- 
house, with horse-stalls at one end and a chimney at the 
other. In it the farmers kept, says one church record, 
"their duds and horses." A great fire of logs was built 
there each Sunday, and before its cheerful blaze noon- 
day luncheons of brown bread, doughnuts, or ginger- 
bread were eaten, and foot-stoves were filled. Boys and 
girls were not permitted to indulge in idle talk in those 
noon-houses, much less to play. Often two or three 
famihes built a noon-house together, or the church built 
a " Society house," and there the children had a sermon 
read to them by a deacon during the "nooning "; some- 
times the children had to explain aloud the notes they 
had taken during the sermon in the morning. Thus they 
throve, as a minister wrote, on the " Good Fare of brown 
Bread and the Gospel." There was no nearer approach 
to a Sunday School until this century. 

The services were not shortened because the churches 
were uncomfortable. By the side of the pulpit stood a 
brass-bound hour-glass which was turned by the tithing- 
man or clerk, but it did not hasten the closing of the 
sermon. Sermons two or three hours long were custom- 
ary, and prayers from one to two hours in length. When 
the first church in Woburn was dedicated, the minister 



preached a sermon nearly five hours long. A Dutch 
traveler recorded a prayer four hours long on a Fast 
Day. Many prayers were two hours long. The doors 
were closed and watched by the tithing-man, and none 
could leave even if tired or restless unless with good 
excuse. The singing of the psakns was tedious and 
unmusical, just as it was in churches of aU denominations 
both in America and England at that date. Singing was 
by ear and very uncertain, and the congregation had no 
notes, and many had no psalm-books, and hence no 
words. So the psalms were "lined " or " deaconed " ; that 
is, a line was read by the deacon, and then sung by the 
congregation. Some psalms when lined and sung occu- 
pied half an hour, during which the congregation stood. 
There were but eight or nine tunes in general use, and 
even these were often sung incorrectly. There were no 
church organs to help keep the singers together, but 
sometimes pitch-pipes were used to set the key. Bass- 
viols, clarinets, and flutes were played upon at a later 
date in meeting to help the singing. Violins were too 
associated with dance music to be thought decorous for 
church music. Still the New England churches clung 
to and loved their poor confused psahn-singing as 
one of their few delights, and whenever a Puritan, 
even in road or field, heard the distant sound of a 
■ psalm-tune, he removed his hat and bowed his head in 

Contributions at first were not collected by the 
deacons, but the entire congregation, one after another, 
walked up to the deacons' seat and placed gifts of money, 
goods, wampum, or promissory notes in a box. When 
the services were ended, all remained in the pews until 



the minister and his wife had walked up the aisle and 
out of the church. 

The strict observance of Sunday as a holy day was 
one of the characteristics of the Puritans. Any pro- 
fanation of the day was severely punished by fine or 
whipping. Citizens were forbidden to fish, shoot, sail, 
row, dance, jump, or ride, save to and from church, or 
to perform any work on the farm. An infinite number of 
examples might be given to show how rigidly the laws 
were enforced. The use of tobacco was forbidden near 
the meeting-house. These laws were held to extend from 
sunset on Saturday to sunset on Sunday; for in the first 
instructions given to Governor Endicott by the com- 
pany in England, it was ordered that all in the colony 
cease work at three o'clock in the afternoon on Satur- 
day. The Puritans found support of this belief in the 
Scriptural words, "The evening and the morning were 
the first day." 

A Sabbath day in the family of Rev. John Cotton was 
thus described by one of his fellow-ministers: "He began 
the Sabbath at evening, therefore then performed family 
duty after supper, being longer than ordinary in exposi- 
tion. After which he catechized his children and serv- 
ants, and then returned to his study. The morning 
following, family worship being ended, he retired into 
his study until the bell called him away. Upon his return 
from meeting (where he had preached and prayed some 
hours), he returned again into his study (the place of 
his labor and prayer) , unto his favorite devotion ; where 
having a small repast carried him up for his dinner, he 
continued until the tolling of the bell. The public 
service of the afternoon being over, he withdrew for 



a space to his pre-mentioned oratory for his sacred 
addresses to God, as in the forenoon, then came down, 
repeated the sermon in the family, prayed, after supper 
sang a Psahn, and toward bedtime betaking himself 
again to his study he closed the day with prayer. Thus 
he spent the Sabbath continually." 





In 1652, the Kttle church in Boston was in sore distress, 
for their beloved minister, John Cotton, was sick unto 
death, and who should take his place? Who was so 
learned, and, withal, so fervent in spirit as he? Who 
could so wisely instruct the elders, and yet remember 
the children, for had he not written "Milk for Babes," 
a little catechism well known in New England? 

The poor people knew not what to do, and so, as they 
had done with many a hard question, they carried this 
hardest and saddest of all to their pastor, and with 
heartfelt grief and many tears, asked him whom he 
would choose to teach them when he should be gone. 

This was a question upon which the weary, suffering 
man had pondered ever since he knew that he must 
leave his beloved people. Perhaps a dream which, as the 
old record says, gave no "encouragement unto this 
business," may yet have given him a thought; for he 
dreamed of seeing Mr. Norton, the minister of Ipswich, 
come into Boston riding on a white horse, and he at 
once advised his people to ask the church of Ipswich to 
give them Mr. Norton for their pastor. 

Now these simple people could not have been good 
financiers, for they made no effort to get a man to "fill 
the house." They did not even "hear candidates" a 



few months. They seemed anxious only to have a 
settled pastor and wise teacher as soon as possible; and 
so, after the death of their beloved minister, they went 
frankly to the Ipswich church, telling them what Mr. 
Cotton had said, and begging that they, "being accom- 
modated with such another eminent person as Mr. 
Rogers, would, out of respect unto the general good of 
all the people of God throughout the land, so far deny 
themselves as to dismiss him [Mr. Norton] from them- 

Now this same church in Ipswich had great regard for 
Mr. Rogers, and, too, they cared much for the good of 
the church in Boston; but Mr. Norton was very dear to 
them, for they loved him in the old-time way that would 
now be thought sadly out of fashion, and there was much 
question whether they ought to let him go. They were 
trying to love their neighbor as themselves, but to give 
up their dear pastor was to love their neighbor better 
than themselves, and that was more than was required, 
at least so thought some of the less spiritually-minded 
ones among them. 

Finally, one of the church said, "Brethren, a case in 
some things like this was once that way determined: 
'We will call the damsel and inquire at her mouth'; 
wherefore, I propose that our teacher himself be in- 
quired of whether he be inclined to go." 

And so they agreed to leave it to Mr. Norton himself; 
but when the matter was laid before him, he refused to 
make a choice, and would only say, "Rather than wound 
my conscience with unlawful comphances, I came to this 
country; and should you now judge that as good reasons 
call for my removal to Boston, then will I resign myself." 



I am afraid that these good people may seem to us a 
little "slow," for Mr. Norton does not seem to have at 
all considered the question of the rival advantages of 
Boston versus Ipswich, or whether the climate of the 
larger town might not better agree with his health, and 
so give him more years of usefulness ; and neither church 
seems to have thought of helping the question on to a 
settlement by offering a larger salary. The matter was 
slow to arrange itself, for the Boston people had no 
newer argument than that old one of Bible times, "Let 
him that hath two coats give to him that hath none"; 
and to that the church in Ipswich did reply, "But 
Boston hath one, it hath Mr. Wilson." Then said Mr. 
Wilson, "But I am old, my voice hath failed me. I can 
no longer minister publicly in the congregation. I am 

At length the Ipswich people agreed to let Mr. Norton 
sojourn at Boston for a time until the will of God should 
be discovered, and to content themselves with the min- 
istrations of Mr. Rogers, Mr. Norton's assistant; but 
they did not lose their old-fashioned love for their pas- 
tor, and when, not long after, Mr. Rogers died, they 
insisted that the church in Boston should give up Mr. 
Norton; and there was a council of all the churches 
called, and they did advise the Ipswich church to " grant 
Mr. Norton a fair dismission unto the service of Bos- 
ton," for, after taking prayerful thought of the matter, 
it had been borne upon their minds that Boston had 
greater need of this earnest man than Ipswich. 

But the spirit of rebellion had seized upon the church 
of Ipswich, and they said, "Nay, but we will not give 
Mr. Norton a dismission." 



Then was the strong arm of the law stretched forth, for 
there was no other authority to which these stiff-necked 
men of Ipswich would bow, and again was a council 
called, composed of the magistrates and the Governor of 
the colony, and they did order the church in Ipswich to 
let Mr. Norton go to Boston. And now must the rebel- 
lious church needs yield; which they did with a better 
grace, since the council had suggested that Mr. Norton 
had long wished to return to England, and that if the 
two churches should longer contend, they might so 
weary him with their strife that perchance they would 
both lose the profit of his presence. Then gave the 
church of Ipswich to Mr. Norton a "fair dismission 
to Boston," and took for their minister Mr. Cobbet, 
who, as the chronicle tells us, " continued a rich bless- 
ing unto them." 

Mr. Norton removed to Boston, where he remained 
many years, to the edification of his hearers. And thus 
it was that the little church of Boston called a minis- 
ter three centuries ago. 



Under the great hill sloping bare 

To cove and meadow and Common lot, 
In his council chamber and oaken chair, 
Sat the worshipful Governor Endicott. 
A grave, strong man, who knew no peer 
In the pilgrim land, where he ruled in fear 
Of God, not man, and for good or ill 
Held his trust with an iron wiU. 

He had shorn with his sword the cross from out 

The flag, and cloven the Maypole down. 
Harried the heathen round about, 

And whipped the Quakers from town to town. 
Earnest and honest, a man at need 
To burn like a torch for his own harsh creed, 
He kept with the flaming brand of his zeal 
The gate of the holy common weal. 

His brow was clouded, his eye was stern. 
With a look of mingled sorrow and wrath; 
"Woe's me!" he murmured: " at every turn 
The pestilent Quakers are in my path ! 
Some we have scourged, and banished some. 
Some hanged, more doomed, and still they come, 


Fast as the tide of yon bay sets in, 
Sowing their heresy's seed of sin. 

" Did we count on this? Did we leave behind 
The graves of our kin, the comfort and ease 
Of our EngUsh hearths and homes, to find 

Troublers of Israel such as these? 
Shall I spare? Shall I pity them? God forbid ! 
I will do as the prophet to Agag did : 
They come to poison the wells of the Word, 
I will hew them in pieces before the Lord!" 

The door swung open, and Rawson the clerk 
Entered, and whispered under breath, 
" There waits below for the hangman's work 
A fellow banished on pain of death — 
Shattuck of Salem, unhealed of the whip. 
Brought over in Master Goldsmith's ship 
At anchor here in a Christian port, 
With freight of the Devil and all his sort!" 

Twice and thrice on the chamber floor 
Striding fiercely from wall to wall, 
"The Lord do so to me and more," 

The governor cried, "if I hang not all! 
Bring hither the Quaker." Calm, sedate. 
With the look of a man at ease with fate, 
Into that presence grim and dread 
Came Samuel Shattuck, with hat on head. 

"Off with the knave's hat!" An angry hand 
Smote down the offense; but the wearer said, 



With a quiet smile, " By the king's command 
I bear his message and stand in his stead." 
In the governor's hand a missive he laid 
With royal arms on its seal displayed, 
And the proud man spake as he gazed thereat, 
Uncovering, " Give Mr. Shattuck his hat." 

He turned to the Quaker, bowing low, — 
"The king commandeth your friends' release; 
Doubt not he shall be obeyed, although 

To his subjects' sorrow and sin's increase. 
What he here enjoineth, John Endicott, 
His loyal servant, questioneth not. 
You are free! God grant the spirit you own 
May take you from us to parts unknown." 

So the door of the jail was open cast, 

And, like Daniel, out of the lion's den 
Tender youth and girlhood passed, 

With age-bowed women and gray-locked men. 
And the voice of one appointed to die 
Was Hfted in praise and thanks on high. 
And the little maid from New Netherlands 
Kissed in her joy, the doomed man's hands. 




Charles II dying in 1685, his brother, the Duke of 
York, ascended the English throne as James II. Avari- 
cious and fond of power, the new king hastened to exe- 
cute a scheme he seems to have long before concocted — 
the consoKdation, and complete subjection to royal au- 
thority, of all the New England colonies. Massachusetts 
having been already deprived of her charter, and Plym- 
outh never possessing one, it only remained to wrest 
away those of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Charged 
with certain misdemeanors, the former colony was pres- 
ently served with three successive writs of quo warranto. 
Alarm and hesitation for a while pervaded the councils 
of the commonwealth, but it was determined not to 
surrender the charter. Knowing that the cause was 
already prejudged against them, the assembly did not 
deem it worth while to employ counsel. Endeavoring 
more to elude than to repel the blow aimed at them, they 
threw themselves upon the king's clemency, and desired 
that, if their independence was to be taken away, they 
might be united to Massachusetts rather than to New 
York. This move eventually saved the charter; inas- 
much as James, hastily and erroneously construing it 
into a surrender of the coveted instrument, at once 
stayed proceedings on the quo warranto, and they were 
never afterward urged to a judicial decision. 

Acting upon the king's construction of the desire Con- 



necticut had expressed, Andros, lately appointed gov- 
ernor of New England, in the autumn of 1687, attended 
by seventy soldiers, set out from Boston, and traveled 
across the country to Hartford, to assume authority 
over the colony. Meeting the assembly which was then 
in session, he demanded the charter. After some parley, 
it was produced and laid on the clerk's table. A long 
and earnest debate ensued. The brave old Governor 
Treat plead feelingly for the liberties of his people, 
showing with what an outlay of labor, and treasure, 
and blood, they had been purchased; and how like partr 
ing with life it was to surrender the cherished instru- 
ment of their security. 

Evening came on while the debate was purposely 
protracted, and an excited throng of resolute farmers 
and townsmen gathered around the house where the 
council was assembled. It grew dark, and lights were 
brought, the charter still lying upon the table. The 
front windows of the council-chamber were low, and the 
heat of the weather rendered it necessary to keep them 
open. Of a sudden, some of the throng outside threw 
their jackets into the open windows, and thus extin- 
guished the lights. These were speedily rekindled; but 
the charter had disappeared. In the darkness, Captain 
Wadsworth, of Hartford, stealing noiselessly from the 
room, bore the precious document to the concealment of 
a hollow oak, fronting the house, where it was deposited, 
not to be brought to light again until happier times. 
Spared from the axe, on account of its great size, when 
the forest was first cleared, the "charter oak" long 
stood as the memento of an anxious period in the his- 
tory of Connecticut. 



Thwarted in all his efforts to recover the abstracted 
charter, Andres nevertheless assumed the chief author- 
ity; and appointing Treat and Fitz-John Winthrop 
members of his council, with his own hand closed the 
records of the colonial assembly in these words: "At 
a general court at Hartford, October 31st, 1687, His 
Excellency Sir Edmund Andros, captain-general and 
governor of His Majesty's dominions in New England, 
by order from His Majesty, took into his hands the 
government of the colony of Connecticut, it being 
annexed to Massachusetts, and other colonies under 
His Excellency's government. FINIS." 

But the existence of Connecticut as an independent 
commonwealth was not to be thus terminated. Yet, for 
nearly two years, the colonists mourned for their char- 
tered liberties as if they were forever lost. Much, too, 
they suffered, meanwhile, from the arbitrary measures 
of the new governor; but still far less than the people of 
Massachusetts, who were under his immediate super- 
vision. A great deal of the leniency thus shown toward 
Connecticut was undoubtedly due to the influence and 
affectionate interference of Treat and Winthrop, who, 
as members of Andros's council, had the principal man- 
agement of the colony's affairs. 

Yet, though borne with a kind of desponding acqui- 
escence, the administration of Andros was irksome and 
odious, and iiltimately might have aroused a violent out- 
break of colonial indignation. But events presently 
transpired in England, which brought it to a conclusion 
as abruptly as it had been unexpected. In April, 1689, 
immediately on receiving rumors that a bloodless revo- 
lution had driven James II from his throne, the people 



of Boston assembled in arms, and declared in favor of 
the new sovereign, William, Prince of Orange. The 
obnoxious Andros, deriving his authority from the de- 
posed James, was seized and confined. A few weeks 
afterward, the nrniors which had induced this action 
were fully confirmed. 

Meanwhile, the charter of Connecticut had been 
brought from its hiding-place, and Treat again chosen 
governor. The assembly, convening, on the 13th of 
June, proclaimed the new sovereign " with great joy and 
ceremony." "Great was that day" — thus ran their 
address to the king — "Great was that day when the 
Lord, who sitteth upon the floods, did divide his and 
your adversaries like the waters of Jordan, and did begin 
to magnify you like Joshua, by those great actions that 
were so much for the honor of God, and the deliverance 
of the English dominions from popery and slavery." 
Declaring they had been "surprised by Andros into an 
involimtary submission to an arbitrary power," they 
announced that they had "presumed, by the consent of 
a major part of the freemen, to resume the government," 
according to the rules of their charter. For this they 
entreated "His Majesty's most gracious pardon"; and 
besides, expressed a hope that their former Uberties 
would be confirmed. 

This address the king received favorably. With 
regard to the validity of the Connecticut charter, the 
opinions of several English lawyers were asked. Replies 
came, "that the charter, not being surrendered under 
the common seal, nor that surrender duly recorded," 
had never been invaUdated in any of its powers, and was 
still good in law. This being the case, William had no 



opportunity to renew it; a circumstance for which the 
Connecticut people could not have been otherwise than 
thankful, when they saw the charter of Massachusetts 
restored with many of its important democratic features 
obliterated or modified. 


[Latter part of the seventeenth century] 


Phips was born on the 2d of February, 1651, at Wool- 
wich, in Maine, a small settlement near the mouth of the 
river Kennebec. His father was a robust Englishman, 
a gunsmith by trade, and the parent of no fewer than 
twenty-six children, all by one mother. At an early age, 
William (who was one of the youngest) had to look out 
for himself. The death of his father placed him in the 
responsible position of head of the family. Until his 
eighteenth year he gained a scanty income by tending 
sheep, but his adventurous disposition was not content 
with the primeval simphcity of this occupation. He 
longed to become a sailor, and roam through the world. 
At first he was unable to change occupations with the 
facility he expected. He could not get a situation as a 
sailor, so he apprenticed himself to a shipbuilder. It is 
probable that he learned this lucrative trade in a very 
thorough manner, for we find him afterward in Boston 
pursuing it with success, and devoting his leisure hours 
to reading and writing. In addition to these accompUsh- 
ments, he found time to make love to a rich widow, and 
with such success that he married her, in spite of some 
disparity in age. Immediately after this he went into 
business as a shipbuilder, and constructed a vessel on 
Sheepscot River. Having in due time launched the 



craft, he engaged to procure a lading of lumber, and 
return to Boston. He consoled his wife with the assur- 
ance that he would some day get the command of a 
king's ship, and become the owner "of a fair brick house 
in the Green Lane of North Boston." In those days, 
brick houses were as aristocratic as marble palaces in 
our time. 

These magnificent visions were not to be immediately 
realized. Phips and his ship appear to have Kved an 
industrious, plodding sort of life for at least ten years, 
and without any particularly golden results. He did 
little jobs at his shipyard, and performed short coasting 
voyages, all the while dreaming of better times, and 
sighing that they were still so distant. One day, as he 
strolled through the crooked streets of Boston, he 
heard the somber-looking merchants talking to each 
other about a shipwreck that had occurred near the 
Bahamas. It was a Spanish vessel, and was known to 
have money on board. Phips walked straight down to 
his vessel, shipped a few hands, and sailed for the Ba- 
hamas without further delay. It was exactly the sort of 
enterprise for his ardent nature. He succeeded in find- 
ing the wreck, and in recovering a great deal of its cargo, 
but the value of it scarcely defrayed the expenses of the 
voyage. He was told, however, of another and more 
richly laden vessel which had been wrecked near Port 
de la Plata more than half a century before, and which 
was known to contain treasure to an enormous amount. 
Phips immediately conceived the idea of fishing up this 
wealth; but, as he was too poor to undertake the opera- 
tion without assistance, he proceeded to England, while 
the fame of his recent expedition was new in people's 



mouths, and succeeded in persuading the government to 
go into the matter. He arrived in London in 1684, and 
before the expiration of the year, was appointed to the 
command of the Rose-Algier, a ship of eighteen guns 
and ninety-five men. The first part of the destiny he 
had marked out for himself was now fulfilled — he was 
the commander of a king's ship. 

When you want to find a thing that has been lost, 
some knowledge of the locality where the loss occurred is 
certainly useful; but Phips started with very vague 
ideas on the subject, extending merely to a general indi- 
cation of the coast on which the ship had foundered. He 
was hght of heart, however, and full of hope. Perhaps 
he thought it was all right so long as he had ship and 
crew. The latter, however, began to grow dissatisfied, 
and, when they had fished in the depths of old ocean for 
some time without bringing up anything but seaweed 
and gravel and bits of rock, they mutinied outright, and 
demanded that the immediate object of the voyage 
should be rehnquished. They rushed upon the quarter- 
deck and bullied the commander, but they could not 
intimidate him. He got the better of them every time 
they attempted it. On one occasion the ship had been 
brought to anchor at a small and uninhabited island for 
the purpose of undergoing some repairs. It was found 
necessary to lighten the vessel by removing some of her 
stores to the shore. The ship was then brought down by 
the side of a rock stretching out from the land, and a 
bridgeway constructed, so that an easy communication 
from the shore was established. The crew had a good 
deal of time to spare while the carpenters were at work, 
and, hke all idle boys, they got into mischief. They 



plotted to overthrow Phips and the few men he had with 
him on board, seize the vessel, and start on a piratical 
cruise against Spanish vessels in the South Sea. Phips 
and his adherents, if they objected to this arrangement, 
were to be put to death. Only one man did they care 
about saving, and that was the principal ship-carpenter. 
They thought his services might be useful. To this 
worthy they imparted their design, informing him, 
moreover, that if he did not join in its execution, they 
would put him to instant death. The ship-carpenter was 
an honest fellow, and in his heart despised these mean 
traitors. It was necessary to be prudent, however, so he 
told them that he would give them an answer in half an 
hour, and, in the mean time, collect his tools. He re- 
turned to the ship, and, by pretending to be suddenly 
sick, found an opportunity of telling the captain what 
was brewing, in spite of the watchfulness of those 
around him. Phips was perfectly cool; bade him return 
with the others, and leave the rest to him. In a brief 
address he told the few men who were on board what 
was about to take place, and, finding them loyal, imme- 
diately commenced adopting measures of precaution 
and defense. A few of the ship's guns had been removed 
with the stores to the land, and planted in such a maimer 
as to defend them. He caused the charges to be drawn 
from these, and their position reversed, and then he 
removed aU the ammunition to the frigate. The bridge 
communicatuig with the land was taken up, and the 
ship's guns loaded and trained so as to command all 
approaches to the encampment. When the mutineers 
made their appearance, they were hailed by Phips, and 
warned that if they approached the stores they would be 



fired upon. Knowing the men, they respected this inti- 
mation, and kept at a respectful distance, while Phips 
and the few faithful fellows he could spare for the pur- 
pose removed the stores from the island to the ship 
under cover of the guns. The prospect of being left on 
the island with nothing to eat and drink soon brought 
the mutineers to terms, and they threw down their arms, 
and begged for permission to return to their duty. This 
request was granted when suitable precautions had been 
taken to deprive them of any future ability to do mis- 
chief. When Phips touched port, he thought it best for 
his own safety and for the welfare of the expedition to 
get rid of his troublesome crew, and ship another less 
disposed to piracy. 

Soon after this, Phips gained precise information of 
the spot where the Spanish treasure-ship had sunk. He 
proceeded to it, but, before his explorations were any 
way complete, he had to return to England for repairs. 
The English Admiralty pretended to be immensely 
pleased with his exertions, but would not again entrust 
him with the command of a national vessel. He had, 
therefore, to appeal to private individuals. In a short 
time he had secured the interest of the Duke of Albe- 
marle, who, with a few other gentlemen, fitted out a 
vessel and gave him the command. A patent was ob- 
tained from the king giving to the company an exclusive 
right to all the wrecks that might be discovered for a 
number of years. A tender was also provided for navi- 
gating shallow water where the ship could not venture. 
Having manned and equipped his vessel, he started once 
more for Port de la Plata, and arrived in safety at the 
reef of rocks where the Spanish vessel was supposed to 



lie. A number of Indian divers were employed to go 
down to the bottom, and the ship's crew dredged in 
every direction, but with no success. Just as they were 
leaving the reef one day in despair, a sailor observed a 
curious sea-plant growing in what appeared to be a 
crevice of the rock. He told a diver to fetch it for him, 
and, when the red gentleman came up again, he said 
that there were a number of ships' guns in the same 
place. The news was received with increduHty, but in a 
very Httle time it was ascertained to be substantially 
correct. Presently a diver returned with a bar of solid 
silver in his arms worth two or three hundred pounds 
sterling, and every one knew that the wreck had been 
discovered. "Thanks be to God, we are all made!" was 
all that Phips could say. In the course of a few days 
treasure was recovered to the amount of a milHon and 
a half of dollars. 

In 1687 Phips reached England, surrendered his 
treasure to his employers, paid the seamen their prom- 
ised gratuity, and took for his own share a nice little 
fortune of eighty thousand dollars. In consideration of 
his integrity. King James made the New England sea- 
captain a knight, and thenceforward he was known as 
Sir William Phips. He was desired, also, to remain in 
England, but his heart was on the other side of the 
Atlantic; so he shipped his fortune, and packed up a 
golden cup, worth five thousand dollars, which the Duke 
of Albemarle sent to his wife, and once more returned 
to his native land. Prior to his departure, he interested 
himself with the king to obtain a restitution of rights 
to his fellow countrymen, but without success. He suc- 
ceeded, however, in gaining a commission as high sheriff 



of New England, and returned with the patriotic object 
of exercising any power he might possess to the advan- 
tage of his fellow countrymen. 

The first thing he did on his return was to gratify his 
wife's ambition, and fulfill the other condition of his 
youthful prediction, namely, to build " a fair brick house 
in Green Lane." After this he tried to exercise his 
powers as sheriff, but the governor of the colony opposed 
him, and in spite of all his efforts, he was unable to enter 
upon a discharge of the duties entrusted to him by King 
James. Naturally indignant at this slight of a royal 
patent, he determined on undertaking another voyage 
to England, and in 1687 arrived in that country. He 
found things much changed. His old patron, King 
James, had been driven from the throne by an indignant 
people, and William and Mary reigned in his place. 
From politic motives, the latter were friendly to Phips, 
sympathized with him, and offered him the governor- 
ship of New England; but this he declined. Seeing that 
there was no other immediate prospect for him, and 
unwiUing to sacrifice his time in unavailing attendance 
at court, he returned to America in the summer of 1689. 
An Indian war, fomented by the French, was waging, 
and, although unfamiliar with military life, Phips 
volunteered his services. He was not immediately 
employed, but his patriotism was understood and appre- 
ciated. It became necessary to deal the French a severe 
blow, in order to put a stop to the encouragement they 
were constantly giving the Indians. For this purpose, 
the General Court, in January, 1690, issued the follow- 
ing order: "For the encouragement of such gentlemen 
and merchants of this colony as shall undertake to 



reduce Penobscot, St. John's, and Port Royal, it is 
ordered that they shall have two sloops of war for three 
or four months at free cost, and all the profits which 
they can make from our French enemies, and the trade 
of the places which they may take, till there be other 
orders given from Their Majesties." This offer was too 
tempting for Sir William; once more he offered himself, 
and was invested with the command of all the forces 
raised for the expedition, and of the shipping and sea- 
men employed therein. Sir Wilham's instructions were 
too curious to be omitted in this place. He was ordered 
"to take care that the worship of God be maintained 
and duly observed on board all the vessels; to offer the 
enemy fair terms upon summons, which if they obey, 
the said terms are to be duly observed; if not, you are to 
gain the best advantage you may, to assault, kill, and 
utterly extirpate the common enemy, and to burn and 
demolish their fortifications and shipping; having 
reduced that place, to proceed along the coast, for the 
reducing of the other places and plantations in the pos- 
session of the French to the obedience of the crown of 
England." One would scarcely suppose that the wor- 
ship of God was compatible with the kilUng and utterly 
extirpating his creatures. 

Phips reached Port Royal on the nth of May, and 
achieved an easy victory over the surprised and unpre- 
pared garrison. He took possession in the name of the 
English Government, demolished the fort, and adminis- 
tered the oath of allegiance to those who were prepared 
to take it. He then appointed a governor, left a small 
garrison, and set sail on his return, heavily laden with 
public and private spoils. On his way home he landed 



at the various settlements, and took formal possession 
of the seacoast from Port Royal to Penobscot. The 
entire province of Acadia was thus subdued, and 
remained in possession of the English until its restitu- 
tion in 1697. On his return Sir William was elected to 
the Board of Assistants. 

The extremely successful issue of this first undertak- 
ing against the French encouraged the colonists to 
pitch into their neighbors on a still larger scale; and, 
accordingly, an expedition against Quebec was fitted 
out, the command of which was entrusted to Sir William 
Phips. The fleet sailed on the 9th of August, 1690. It 
was divided into three squadrons, one of thirteen vessels, 
and two of niae each. They proceeded to the mouth of 
the St. Lawrence, and arrived there in safety, but, owing 
to ignorance of the stream, their progress was very slow, 
and calculated to afford the enemy every opportunity 
for preparing elaborate defenses. At length Phips ar- 
rived before Quebec, and a messenger was sent on shore 
with a summons to the governor to surrender. The 
messenger barely returned with his life. The governor, 
Frontenac, indignant at the request, flung the letter 
in his face, and shouted out fiercely that "Sir William 
Phips and those with him were heretics and traitors, and 
had taken up with that usurper, the Prince of Orange, 
and had made a revolution, which, if it had not been 
made. New England and the French had all been one; 
and that no other answer was to be expected from him 
but what should be from the mouth of his cannon." 

To attack a fortified city requires something more 
than mere physical bravery; it demands a high amount 
of military knowledge, and a thorough perception of 



accidental advantage. Phips was entirely ignorant of 
military tactics, and therefore gave the command of the 
land forces to an officer who boasted of greater knowl- 
edge, himself retaining command of the fleet. After 
innumerable delays a landing was effected, but the 
troops were badly supplied with ammunition and provi- 
sions, and were hemmed in and starved from the mo- 
ment they first set foot on the soil. The French, assisted 
by their Indian allies, harassed them on every side, and 
decimated their numbers by drawing them into skir- 
mishes which led to no result. Phips carried his ships 
up to the town, and blazed away at the stone walls; but 
the stone walls refused to tumble down, and all his pow- 
der was expended in vain. The enemy, on the contrary, 
poured in torrents of effective shot. For five days a 
state of confusion prevailed, every day making matters 
worse. The men were exhausted, and dispirited, for 
they saw that both their commanders were incapable. 
The cold weather began to freeze their limbs, and 
wound them more crueUy than the sword. Provisions 
and ammunitions were growing scarcer and scarcer, and 
everything save the enemy seemed to wear a look of 
despair. At length a violent storm arose; many of the 
vessels were driven from their anchorage, and the 
remainder availed themselves of the opportunity of 
getting out of the river as speedily as possible. Thus 
ended the expedition against Quebec. Misfortunes 
pursued the fleet even at sea. The weather was so 
stormy that the vessels could not be kept together. One 
ship was never heard of after the separation; another 
was wrecked; and another — a fire-ship — was burned 
at sea. Four other vessels were blown so far out of their 



course that they did not reach Boston for five or six 
weeks after the arrival of Phips. 

The failure of the expedition was a great blow to the 
Colonial Government. They had fitted it out on credit, 
depending on plunder for the payment of the soldiers 
and a nice Httle profit for themselves. To get out of the 
difficulty with the best grace possible, they issued paper 
notes on the faith of the colony. It was all they could do, 
for there was no money in the treasury. At first it was 
supposed this ingenious expedient would be successful; 
but every day the bills sank lower and lower in public 
credit, and the poor soldiers who had been paid with 
them could only get fourteen shillings for every pound 
on their face. 

The defeat before Quebec rankled in Phips's mind, 
and, as there seemed to be no immediate prospect of 
employment in the colony, he determined on another 
voyage to England, with the view of inducing the king 
to fit out a fresh expedition against the French. In this 
he was disappointed, but his voyage was not without a 
result. Increase Mather was at that time eagerly agitat- 
ing the matter of a new charter for the colony, the old 
one having been taken away in consequence of royal 
displeasure, and the colony being thus without any 
legal guaranty of its rights. After much vexatious delay, 
the king consented to the issuing of another charter on 
condition that the delegates should name a governor 
known to the Crown, and yet popular with the people of 
Massachusetts. If he had wished to nominate Phips, 
he could not have more accurately described the man. 
Notwithstanding his Canadian failure, he was still emi- 
nently popular at home, and his curious history was well 



known abroad. Increase Mather, on behalf of the other 
agents, consequently nominated Phips, and a commission 
was accordingly prepared under the great seal, by which 
Sir William Phips was appointed captain-general and 
governor-in-chief of the province of Massachusetts Bay 
in New England. With this document in his pocket, he 
returned to his native country in May, 1692. On the 
following Monday he was conducted from his own house 
to the town-house by a large escort of miUtary and a 
number of the principal gentlemen of Boston and the 

Sir WilHam Phips was a very unhappy governor. 
With every disposition in the world to be lenient, kind, 
and just, he found that he could not avoid making 
enemies. The new charter was not considered satisfac- 
tory, and Sir William Phips, the principal of&cer vmder 
it, had to bear all the odium it excited. His authority 
was disputed in the most vexatious way, and an opposi- 
tion sprung up which daily gained strength. There were 
other men, too, who wanted to be governor, and their 
hostility, having a direct object, was of the most active 
kind. Sir WilHam became cross with the world, and 
broke out into wUd fits of passion, all of which increased 
his unpopularity. At length the discontents went so far 
as to petition the Crown that he might be removed, and 
another governor appointed in his stead. Beside this, 
two gentlemen, whom Phips had thrashed for disputing 
his authority, preferred their complaints to the king, and 
the Lords of the Treasury, together with the Board of 
Trade, united in the request that the governor might be 
displaced. The king refused to condemn the governor 
imheard, but invited him to visit England and defend 



himself. Sir William accordingly left Boston on the 1 7th 
of November, 1694, and proceeded to London. It was 
the last time he ever crossed the Atlantic. 

On his arrival he Was subjected to fresh annoyances, 
such as being arrested by the assaulted gentlemen before 
mentioned, and held to heavy bail; but in spite of these, 
we are assured by Cotton Mather that he was triumph- 
ant in his vindication, and received assurances of being 
restored to office. While these things were going on, he 
amused himself with two new schemes: one for supplying 
the EngKsh navy with timber and naval stores from the 
eastern parts of New England, the other for going into 
the shipwreck-fishing business again. The prosecution 
of these designs was, however, brought to an unexpected 
termination. About the middle of February, 1695, he 
took cold, and was immediately confined to his chamber. 
Fever ensued, and on the i8th of the month he died. 
Few men in the world have had more experience than 
Sir William Phips; yet he was but forty-five years of age. 
In that brief period he had raised himself from the condi- 
tion of a ploughboy to the' highest ofl&ce recognized in 
his country, from poverty to wealth, from insignificance 
to esteem. 




[In the seventeenth century belief in witchcraft was univer- 
sal. Between 1645 and 1647, in two httle counties of Eng- 
land, more than one hundred persons were declared guilty 
of the crime. Twenty years after the days of the Salem 
excitement, a woman in England was legally convicted of 
being a witch. It would have been strange, indeed, if the 
colonists had not beheved in witchcraft. The only wonder is 
that the number of the accused at Salem was so small. 

The Editor.] 

In 1692, there were circumstances which favored the 
outbreak of an epidemic of witchcraft. In this ancient 
domain of Satan there were indications that Satan was 
begiiming again to claim his own. War had broken out 
with that Papist champion, Louis XIV, and it had so far 
been going badly with God's people in America. The 
shrieks of the victims at Schenectady and Salmon Falls 
and Fort Loyal still made men's blood run cold in their 
veins; and the great expedition against Quebec had come 
home crestfallen with defeat. Evidently the Devil was 
bestirring himself; it was a witching time; the fuel for an 
explosion was laid, and it needed but a spark to fire it. 
That spark was provided by servants and children in 
the household of Samuel Parris, minister of the church 
at Salem Village, a group of outlying farms from three to 
five miles out from the town of Salem. The place was 
sometimes called Salem Farms, and in later times was 



set off as a separate township under the name of Dan- 
vers. Any one who has ever visited a small New Eng- 
land village can form some idea of the looks of the place, 
for the type is strongly characteristic, and from the days 
of Cotton Mather to the introduction of railroads the 
changes were not great. On almost any country roadside 
in Massachusetts you may see to-day just such wooden 
houses as that in which Samuel Parris dwelt. This 
clergyman seems to have lived for some years in the 
West Indies, engaged in commercial pursuits, before he 
turned his attention to theology. Some special mercan- 
tile connection between Salem and Barbadoes seems to 
have brought him to Salem Village, where he was in- 
stalled as pastor in 1689. An entry in the church records, 
dated June 18 of that year, informs us that "it was 
agreed and voted by general concurrence, that for Mr. 
Parris his encouragement and settlement in the work of 
the ministry amongst us, we will give him sixty-six 
pounds for his yearly salary, — one third paid in 
money, the other two third parts for provisions, etc.; 
and Mr. Parris to find himself firewood, and Mr. Parris 
to keep the ministry-house in good repair; and that Mr. 
Parris shall also have the use of the ministry-pasture, 
and the inhabitants to keep the fence in repair; and that 
we will keep up our contributions ... so long as Mr. 
Parris continues in the work of the ministry amongst us, 
and all productions to be good and merchantable. And 
if it please God to bless the inhabitants, we shall be 
willing to give more; and to expect that, if God shall 
diminish the estates of the people, that then Mr. Parris 
do abate of his salary according to proportion." 
This arrangement was far from satisfying the new 


minister, for it only gave him the use of the parsonage 
and its pasture lands, whereas he was determined to get 
a fee simple of both. Another entry in the parish book 
says that it was voted to make over to him that real 
estate, but this entry is not duly signed by the clerk, and 
at the time there were parishioners who declared that it 
must have been put into the book by fraudulent means. 
Out of these circumstances there grew a quarrel which 
for utterly ruthless and truculent bitterness has scarcely 
been equaled even in the envenomed aimals of New 
England parishes. Many people refused to pay their 
church-rates till the meeting-house began to suffer for 
want of repairs, and complaints were made to the 
county court. Matters were made worse by Parris's 
coarse and arrogant manners, and his excessive severity 
in inflicting church discipline for trivial offenses. By 
1 69 1 the factions into which the village was divided 
were ready to fly at each other's throats. Christian 
charity and loving-kindness were well-nigh forgotten. 
It was a spectacle such as Old Nick must have con- 
templated with grim satisfaction. 

In the household at the parsonage were two colored 
servants whom- P arris had brought with him from the 
West Indies. The man was known as John Indian; the 
hag Tituba, who passed for his wife, was half-Indian 
and half-negro. Their intelligence was of a low grade, 
but it sufficed to make them experts in palmistry, for- 
tune-telling, magic, second-sight, and incantations. 
Such lore is always attractive to children, and in the 
winter of 1691-92 quite a little circle of young girls got 
into the habit of meeting at the parsonage to try their 
hands at the Black Art. Under the tuition of the Indian 



servants they soon learned how to go into trances, talk 
gibberish, and behave like pythonesses of the most 
approved sort. These girls were Parris's daughter 
Elizabeth, aged nine, and his niece Abigail Williams, 
aged eleven; Mary Walcott and Elizabeth Hubbard, 
each aged seventeen; Elizabeth Booth and Susaimah 
Sheldon, each aged eighteen; Mary Warren and Sarah 
Churchill, each aged twenty. Conspicuous above all in 
the mischief that followed were two girls of wonderful 
adroitness and hardihood, Ann Putnam, aged twelve, 
daughter of Sergeant Thomas Putnam, and Mercy 
Lewis, aged seventeen, a servant in his family. This 
Thomas Putnam, who had taken part in the great Nar- 
ragansett fight, was parish clerk and belonged to an 
aristocratic family. One of his nephews was Israel 
Putnam, of Revolutionary fame. Mistress Ann Putnam, 
the sergeant's wife, was a beautiful and well-educated 
woman of thirty, but so passionate and high-strung that 
in her best moments she was scarcely quite sane. She 
was deeply engaged in the village quarrels; she also 
played an important part in supporting her daughter 
Ann and her servant Mercy Lewis in some of the most 
shocking work of that year. Beside Mrs. Putnam, two 
other grown women, one Sarah Vibber and a certain 
Goody Pope, appeared among the sufferers, but were 
of no great account. The minister withdrew his own 
daughter early in the proceedings and sent her to stay 
with some friends in Salem town. The chief manager 
of the witchcraft business, then, were two barbarous 
Indians steeped to the marrow in demonolatry, the 
half-crazed and vindictive Mrs. Putnam, and nine girls 
between the ages of eleven and twenty. 



These girls came to be known as the "Afflicted Chil- 
dren." Their proceedings began at the parsonage about 
Christmas time, 1691. They would get down on all 
fours, crawl under chairs and tables, go off into fits, and 
speak an uninteUigible jargon. All this may have been 
begun in sport. It would doubtless tickle them to find 
how well they could imitate Indian medicine, and the 
temptation to show o£E their accomplishments would be 
too great to be resisted. Then if they found their elders 
taking the affair too seriously, if they suddenly saw 
themselves in danger of getting whipped for meddling 
with such uncanny matters, what could be more natural 
than for them to seek an avenue of escape by declaring 
that they were bewitched and could not help doing as 
they did? As to these first steps the records leave us in 
the dark, but somewhat such, I suspect, they must have 
been. The next thing would be to ask them who be- 
witched them ; and here the road to mischief was thrown 
open by Mr. Parris taking the affair into his own hands 
with a great flourish of trumpets, and making it as 
public as possible. Such was this man's way, as differ- 
ent as possible from Cotton Mather's. Physicians and 
clergymen, who came from all quarters to see the girls, 
agreed that they must be suffering from witchcraft. 
When commanded to point out their tormentors, they 
first named the Indian hag Tituba, and then Sarah Good 
and Sarah Osburn, two forlorn old women of the village, 
who were not held in high esteem. On the last day of 
February, 1692, these three were arrested, and the ex- 
aminations began next day. . . . The chief accusations 
against Sarah Good were that after she had spoken 
angrily to some neighbors their cattle sickened and died; 



that she threw Mary Walcott and other children into 
convulsions; and that she tried to persuade Ann Putnam 
to sign her name in a book. It was supposed that such 
signatures were equivalent to a quitclaim deed surren- 
dering the signer's soul to the Devil; and his agents, the 
witches, were supposed to go about with that infernal 
autograph book soHciting signatures. Similar charges 
were brought against the other prisoners. In their 
presence the aflBicted children raved and screamed. At 
the indignant denials of the two old white women the 
violence of these paroxysms became frightful, but when 
Tituba confessed that she was an adept in witchcraft 
and had enchanted the girls, their symptoms vanished 
and perfect calm ensued. As the result of the examina- 
tion the three prisoners were sent to jail in Boston to 
await their trial. 

The country was now getting alarmed, and the girls 
began to feel their power. Their next blow was aimed at 
victims of far higher sort. The wretched Tituba knew 
human nature well enough to consult her own safety by 
acting as king's evidence, and in her examination she 
testified that four women of the village tormented the 
girls; two of them were Good and Osburn, but the faces 
of the other two she said she could not see. After Tituba 
had gone to prison, the girls were urged to give up the 
names of these other two tormentors. At first they 
refused, but shortly it began to be whispered in bated 
breath that some of the most respected and godly per- 
sons in the village were leagued with Satan in this hor- 
rible conspiracy. About the middle of March the whole 
community was thunderstruck by the arrest of Martha 
Corey and Rebecca Nurse. Of these two ladies the for- 



mer was about sixty years of age, the latter more than 
seventy. As they were addressed not as "Mrs.," but as 
" Goodwife," their position was not exactly aristocratic. 
It was nevertheless most respectable. They were thor- 
oughly well-bred and well-educated ladies, full of sweet 
courtesy and simple-hearted kindliness, like the best of 
farmers' wives in New England villages of to-day. 
Martha Corey was third wife of Giles Corey, a farmer 
eighty years old, a man of herculean stature and 
strength, proud, self-willed, and contentious, but frank 
and noble, with a rash, unruly tongue. He had been in 
many a quarrel, and had made enemies. His wife, so far 
as we know, had not. She was a woman of deep and 
sincere piety, with as clear and sound a head as could be 
found anywhere between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. She 
disbelieved in witchcraft, was inclined to regard it as a 
mere delusion, and had no sjTnpathy with the excite- 
ment which was beginning to turn the village topsy- 
turvy. She did not flock with the multitude to see the 
accusing girls, but she reproved her more credulous hus- 
band for giving heed to such tomfoolery, and he, with 
that uncurbed tongue of his, was heard to utter indis- 
creet jests about his good wife's skepticism. It was 
probably this that caused her to be selected as a victim. 
Skeptics must be made to feel the danger of impugning 
the authority of the accusers and the truth of their tales. 
Accordingly, Martha Corey, accused by Httle Aim Put- 
nam, was soon in jaU awaiting trial. 

The next was Rebecca Nurse. She was one of three 
sisters, daughters of William Towne of Yarmouth, in 
England. Her two sisters, who were arrested soon after 
her, were Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyse. With their 



husbands they were all persons held in highest esteem, 
but an ancient village feud had left a grudge against 
them in some revengeful bosoms. Half a century before 
there had been a fierce dispute between parties from 
Salem and from Topsfield who had settled in the border 
region between the two townships. The dispute related 
to the possession of certain lots of land; it had grown 
more and more complicated, and it had engendered hard 
feelings between the Putnams on one side and the Eastys 
and Townes on the other. Besides this, Rebecca Nurse 
and her husband had become obnoxious to the Putnams 
and to the Rev. Mr. Parris from reasons connected with 
the church dispute. There was evidently a method in 
the madness of the accusing girls. Rebecca Nurse was 
arrested two days after the committal of Martha Corey, 
The appearance of this venerable and venerated lady 
before the magistrates caused most profound sensation. 
Her numerous children and grandchildren stood high in 
public esteem, her husband was one of the most honored 
persons in the community, herself a model of every vir- 
tue. As she stood there, delicate and fragile in figure, 
with those honest eyes that looked one full in the face, 
that soft gray hair and dainty white muslin kerchief, 
one marvels what fiend can have possessed those young 
girls that they did not shamefastly hold their peace. In 
the intervals of question and answer they went into fits 
as usual. When the magistrate Hathorne became visibly 
affected by the lady's clear and straightforward answers, 
the relentless Mrs. Putnam broke out with a violence 
dreadful to behold: "Did you not bring the black man 
with you? Did you not bid me tempt God and die? How 
oft have you eaten and drunk your own damnation?" 



At this outburst, like the horrible snarl of a lioness, the 
poor old lady raised her hands toward heaven and 
cried, "O Lord, help me!" Whereupon all the afficted 
girls "were grievously vexed." Hathorne thought that 
their spasms were caused by a mysterious influence 
emanating from Goodwife Nurse's lifted hands, and so 
his heart was hardened toward her. Mary Walcott 
cried out that the prisoner was biting her, and then 
showed marks of teeth upon her wrist. Thus the 
abominable scene went on till Rebecca Nurse was 
remanded to jail to await her trial. 

That was on a Thursday morning. The Reverend 
Deodat Lawson, a fine scholar and powerful preacher, 
had arrived in the village a few days before, and it was 
known that he was to preach the afternoon sermon 
famUiar in those days as the Thursday lecture. He had 
scarcely arrived when two or three of the girls called 
upon him and drove him nearly out of his wits with their 
performances. Their victory over him was complete, 
and the result was seen in that Thursday lecture, which 
was afterwards printed, and is a literary production of 
great intensity and power. The arrests of Martha 
Corey and Rebecca Nurse had destroyed all confidence, 
everybody distrusted his neighbor, and that impassioned 
sermon goaded the whole community to madness. If 
the Devil could use such "gospel women" for his instru- 
ments, what safety was there for anybody? Arrests 
went on with increasing rapidity during the spring and 
svunmer, until at least 126 persons, of whom we know 
the names and something of the family history, were 
lodged in jail; and these names do not exhaust the 
number. Among them — to mention only such as were 



executed — we may note that John Procter and the 
venerable George Jacobs had each had one of the accus- 
ing girls in his family as a domestic servant, and in both 
cases personal malice was visibly at work. In the case of 
George Jacobs it may also be observed that his own 
granddaughter, to save her own Hfe, confessed herself a 
witch, and testified against him; afterward she confessed 
this horrible wickedness. Some, such as Susannah 
Martin, seem to have owed their fate to mere supersti- 
tion of the lowest sort. On a rainy day she walked over 
a good bit of country road without getting her hose or 
skirts muddy, and it was sagely concluded that such 
neatness could only have been attained through the aid 
of the Devil. She was mother of the Mabel Martin 
about whom Whittier wrote his beautiful poem, "The 
Witch's Daughter." John Willard incurred his doom 
for having said it was the accusing girls who were the 
real witches worthy of the gallows, and John Procter in a 
similar spirit had said that by the judicious application 
of a cudgel he could effect a prompt and thorough cure 
for all the little hussies. People who ventured such 
remarks took their Kves in their hands. 

[After nineteen persons had been hanged and one pressed 
to death under heavy weights, the frenzy abated. "Some 
high-spirited persons in Andover, on being accused of witch- 
craft, retorted by bringing an action for defamation of char- 
acter, with heavy damages. This marked the end of the 
panic, and from that time people began to be quick in 
throwing off the whole witchcraft delusion."] 

We may suppose that the minister's West Indian 
servants began by talking Indian medicine and teaching 
its tricks to his daughter and niece; then the girls of 



their acquaintance would naturally become interested, 
and would seek to relieve the monotony of the winter 
evenings by taking part in the performances. Their 
first motives are most likely to have been playful, but 
there was probably a half-shuddering sense of wicked- 
ness, a slight aroma of brimstone, about the affair, 
which may have made it the more attractive. I feel sure 
that sooner or later some of those girls would find them- 
selves losing control over their spasms, and thus, getting 
more than they had bargained for, would deem them- 
selves bewitched by Tituba and John Indian. But, 
especially if they found themselves taken to task by 
their parents, the dread of punishment — perhaps of 
church discipline, wherein Parris was notably severe — 
would be sure to make them blame the Indians in order 
to screen themselves. If Cotton Mather's methods had 
now been followed, the affair would have been hushed, 
and the girls isolated from each other would have been 
subjected to quiet and soothing treatment; and thus, no 
doubt it would all have ended. But when Parris made 
the affair as public as possibfe, when learned doctors of 
divinity and medicine came and watched those girls, 
and declared them bewitched, what more was needed to 
convince their young minds that they were really in that 
dreadful pUght? Such a behef must, of course, have 
added to their hysterical condition. Naturally they 
accused Tituba, and as for the two old women. Good 
and Osburn, very likely some of the girls may really 
have been afraid of them as evil-eyed or otherwise 

For the rest of the story a guiding influence is needed, 
and I think we may find it in Mrs. Putnam. She was 



one of the Cans of Salisbury, a family which for several 
generations had been known as extremely nervous and 
excitable. There had been cases of insanity among her 
near relatives. The deaths of some of her own children 
and of a beloved sister, with other distressing events, 
had clouded her mind. She had once been the most 
sparkling and brilliant of women, but was sinking into 
melancholia at the time when the first stories of witch- 
craft came from the parsonage and she learned that her 
little daughter Ann, a precocious and imaginative child, 
was one of the afflicted. Mrs. Putnam and her husband 
were both firm believers in witchcraft. I do not think it 
strange that her diseased mind should have conjured up 
horrible fancies about Goodwife Nurse, member of a 
family which she probably hated all the more bitterly 
for the high esteem in which it was generally held. Mrs. 
Putnam fell into violent hysterical fits like her daugh- 
ter, and their bright and active servant Mercy Lewis 
was afflicted likewise. These three, with the minister's 
niece, Abigail Williams, and her friend Mary Walcott, 
were the most aggressive and driving agents in the 
whole tragedy. I presume Mrs. Putnam may have 
exercised something like what it is now fashionable to 
call hypnotic influence over the young girls. She hon- 
estly believed that witches were hurting them all, and 
she naturally suspected foes rather than friends. I see 
no good reason for doubting that she fully believed her 
own ghost stories, or that the children believed theirs. 
In their exalted state of mind they could not distinguish 
between what they really saw and what they vividly 
fancied. It was analogous to what often occurs in 



Such an explanation of the witchcraft in Salem Village 
accounts for the facts much better than any such violent 
supposition as that of conscious conspiracy. Our fit 
attitude of mind toward it is pity for all concerned, yet 
the feelings of horror and disgust are quite legitimate, 
for the course of the affair was practically the same as if 
it had been shaped by dehberate and conscious malice. 
It is on the whole the most gruesome episode in Amer- 
ican history, and it sheds back a lurid light upon the 
long tale of witchcraft in the past. Few instances of the 
delusion have attracted so much attention as this at 
Salem, and few have had the details so fully and 
minutely preserved. It was the last witch epidemic 
recorded in the history of fully civilized nations. 



"As a rule, the settlers [of New England] treated the natives 
with justice and kindness. The learned John Eliot trans- 
lated the Bible into their language, and converted many by 
his preaching. In 1674, there were four thousand Indians in 
New England who professed to be Christians. Schools were 
introduced among them, and many learned to read and 
write. The Enghsh always paid for the land which they 
occupied. But the Indians hated them none the less for that. 
They felt that the white men were there as masters; they 
dreaded them, and keenly watched for a chance to destroy 
them." ... 

[By 1670, the red men had acquired a good many firearms, 
and became expert in the use of them, so that they were not 
so unequal a match for the white men as formerly. About 
this time, there seems to have been some kind of an under- 
standing on the part of three tribes that at the first oppor- 
tunity the Enghsh should be attacked. The first attack was 
made by the Wampanoags under their sachem called Philip, 
a son of Massasoit; and the war has always been known as 
"King Philip's War." The struggle was not ended until] 
"there had been for three years a reign of terror in New 
England and terrible havoc had been wrought among the 
English, chiefly in Massachusetts and Plymouth. Of ninety 
towns, twelve had been utterly destroyed, while more than 
forty others had been the scene of fire and massacre. More 
than a thousand men had been killed, and a great many 
women and children. 

"But while King Philip's War wrought such fearful dam- 
age to the English, it was for the Indians themselves utter 
destruction. Most of the warriors were slain, and to the 
survivors, as we have seen, the conquerors showed but scant 
mercy. The Puritan, who conned his Bible so earnestly, had 
taken his hint from the wars of the Jews, and swept his New 
EngUsh Canaan with a broom that was pitiless and searching. 
Henceforth the red man figures no more in the history of 
New England, except as an ally of the French in bloody 
raids upon the frontier. — " John Fiske. 




[During King Philip's War the little town of Hadley was 
surprised and attacked. In the following extract from 
"Peveril of the Peak," Bridgenorth, one of the charac- 
ters, tells the traditional story of the appearance of the 
mysterious leader. 

The Editor.] 

"There I remained for a time, during the wars which 
the colony maintained with Philip, a great Indian chief, 
or sachem, as they were called, who seemed a messenger 
sent from Satan to buffet them. His cruelty was great — 
his dissimulation^ profound; and the skill and prompti- 
tude with which he maintained a destructive, and des- 
ultory warfare inflicted many dreadful calamities on 
the settlement. I was, by chance, at a small village ^ in 
the woods, more than thirty miles from Boston, and in 
its situation exceedingly lonely, and surrounded with 
thickets. Nevertheless, there was no idea of any danger 
from the Indians at that time, for men trusted to the 
protection of a considerable body of troops who had 
taken the field for protection of the frontiers, and who 
lay, or were supposed to lie, betwixt the hamlet and the 
enemy's country. But they had to do with a foe whom 
the Devil himself had inspired at once with cunning and 
crueltyi It was on a Sabbath morning, when we had 

1 Hadley. 


assembled to take sweet counsel together in the Lord's 
house. Our temple was but constructed of wooden logs; 
but when shall the chant of trained hireliags, or the 
sounding of tin and brass tubes amid the aisles of a 
minster, arise so sweetly to Heaven as did the psalm in 
which we united at once our voices and our hearts ! An 
excellent worthy, who now sleeps in the Lord, Nehemiah 
Solsgrace, long the companion of my pDgrimage, had 
just begun to wrestle in prayer, when a woman, with 
disordered locks and disheveled hair, entered our chapel 
in a distracted manner, screaming incessantly, 'The 
Indians! The Indians!' 

" In that country no man dares separate himself from 
his means of defense, and whether in the city or in the 
field, in the ploughed land or the forest, men keep beside 
them their weapons, as did the Jews at the rebuilding 
of the Temple. So we sallied forth with our guns and 
pikes, and heard the whoop of these, incarnate devUs, 
already in possession of a part of the town, and exercis- 
ing their cruelty on the few whom weighty causes or 
indisposition had withheld from public worship; and it 
was remarked as a judgment that, upon that bloody 
Sabbath, Adrian Hanson, a Dutchman, a man well 
enough disposed towards man, but whose mind was 
altogether given to worldly gain, was shot and scalped 
as he was summing his weekly gains in his warehouse. 
In fine, there was much damage done; and although our 
arrival and entrance into combat did in some sort put 
them back, yet being surprised and confused, and having 
no appointed leader of our band, the devilish enemy shot 
hard at us, and had some advantage. It was pitiful to 
hear the screams of women and children amid the report 



of guns and the whistling of bullets, mixed with the fero- 
cious yells of these savages, which they term their war- 
whoop. Several houses in the upper part of the village 
were soon on fire; and the roaring of the flames, and 
crackling of the great beams as they blazed, added to the 
horrible confusion, while the smoke which the wind 
drove against us gave farther advantage to the enemy, 
who fought, as it were, invisible, and imder cover, whilst 
we fell fast by their unerring fire. 

"In this state of confusion, and while we were about 
to adopt the desperate project of evacuating the village, 
and, placing the women and children in the center, of at- 
tempting a retreat to the nearest settlement, it pleased 
Heaven to send us unexpected assistance. A tall man 
of a reverend appearance, whom no one of us had ever 
seen before, suddenly was in the midst of us, as we hastily 
agitated the resolution of retreating. His garments were 
of the skin of the elk, and he wore sword and carried 
gun; I never saw anything more august than his features, 
overshadowed by locks of gray hair, which mingled with 
a long beard of the same color. ' Men and brethren,' he 
said, in a voice like that which turns back the flight, ' why 
sink your hearts? and why are you thus disquieted? 
Fear ye that the God we serve will give you up to yonder 
heathen dogs? Follow me, and you shall see this day 
that there is a captain in Israel ! ' He uttered a few brief 
but distinct orders, in the tone of one who was accus- 
tomed to command; and such was the influence of his 
appearance, his mien, his language, and his presence of 
mind, that he was implicitly obeyed by men who had 
never seen him until that moment. We were hastily 
divided, by his orders, into two bodies; one of which 



maintained the defense of the village with more courage 
than ever, convinced that the Unknown was sent by 
God to our rescue. At his command they assumed the 
best and most sheltered positions for exchanging their 
deadly fire with the Indians; while, under cover of the 
smoke, the stranger sallied from the town, at the head of 
the other division of the New England men, and, fetching 
a circuit, attacked the red warriors in the rear. The sur- 
prise, as is usual amongst savages, had complete effect; 
for they doubted not that they were assailed in their 
turn, and placed betwixt two hostile parties by the re- 
turn of a detachment from the provincial army. The 
heathen fled in confusion, abandoning the half-won vil- 
lage, and leaving behind them such a number of their 
warriors that the tribe hath never recovered its loss. 

" Never shall I forget the figure of our venerable leader, 
when our men, and not they only but the women and 
children of the village, rescued from the tomahawk and 
scalping-knif e, stood crowded around him, yet scarce ven- 
turing to approach his person, and more minded, per- 
haps, to worship him as a descended angel than to thank 
him as a fellow mortal. 'Not unto me be the glory,' 
he said: 'I am but an implement, frail as yourselves, 
in the hand of Him who is strong to deliver. Bring me 
a cup of water, that I may allay my parched throat, 
ere I essay the task of offering thanks where they are 
most due.' I was nearest to him as he spoke, and I gave 
into his hand the water he requested. At that moment 
we exchanged glances, and it seemed to me that I recog- 
nized a noble friend whom I had long since deemed in 
glory; but he gave me no time to speak, had speech been 
prudent. Sinking on his knees and signing us to obey 





The story of this illustration is told in the preceding 
extract. Hawthorne has taken the same subject, but has 
changed the place to Boston, and the time to the last days of 
James II on the throne of England. James had taken away 
the charters of the New England colonies and had sent for 
their governor the tyrannical Sir Edmund Andros. Rumors 
were abroad that the Roman Catholic Church was to be 
established in the colonies, and still wilder ones that all 
Protestant pastors were to be imprisoned, if not burned at 
the stake. Andros chose this moment to make a display of 
his power by a procession of his guard through the streets of 
Boston. Suddenly a mysterious " ancient man," wearing the 
garb of some fifty years before, raises his staff and bids the 
procession "Stand!" "There is no longer a Popish tyrant 
on the throne of England," he declares, "and by to-morrow 
noon, his name shall be a byword in this very street, where 
ye would make it a word of terror." 

Then says Hawthorne: "And who was the Gray Cham- 
pion? Perhaps his name might be foimd in the records of that 
stern Court of Justice which passed a sentence, too mighty 
for the age, but glorious in all after-times, for its humbling 
lesson to the monarch and its high example to the subject. 
I have heard that, whenever the descendants of the Puritans 
are to show the spirit of their sires, the old man appears 
again. When eighty years had passed, he walked once more 
in King Street. Five years later, in the twilight of an April 
morning, he stood on the green, beside the meeting-house, at 
Lexington, where now the obehsk of granite, with a slab of 
slate inlaid, commemorates the first fallen of the Revolution. 
And when our fathers were toiling at the breastwork on 
Bunker's Hill, all through that night the old warrior walked 
his rounds. Long, long may it be, ere he comes again! His 
hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. But should 
domestic tyranny oppress us, or the invader's step pollute our 
soil, still may the Gray Champion come, for he is the very 
type of New England's hereditary spirit; and his shadowy 
march, on the eve of danger, must ever be the pledge, that 
New England's sons will vindicate their ancestry." 


him, he poured forth a strong and energetic thanksgiv- 
ing for the turning back of the battle, which, pronounced 
with a voice loud and clear as a war-trumpet, thrilled 
through the joints and marrow of the hearers. I have 
heard many an act of devotion in my life, had Heaven 
vouchsafed me grace to profit by them; but such a prayer 
as this, uttered amid the dead and the dying, with a 
rich tone of mingled triumph and adoration, was beyond 
them all: it was like the song of the inspired prophetess 
who dwelt beneath the palm tree between Ramah and 
Bethel. He was silent; and for a brief space we remained 
with our heads bent to the earth, no man daring to hft 
his head. At length we looked up, but our deliverer was 
no longer amongst us; nor was he ever again seen in the 
land which he had, rescued." 

Here Bridgenorth, who had told this singular story 
with an eloquence and vivacity of detail very contrary 
to the usual dryness of his conversation, paused for an 
instant, and then resumed — "Thou seest, young man, 
that men of valor and discretion are called forth to com- 
mand in circumstances of national exigence, though their 
very existence is unknown in the land which they are 
predestined to deliver." 

"But what thought the people of the mysterious 
stranger?" said Julian, who had hstened with eagerness, 
for the story was of a kind interesting to the youthful 
and the brave. 

"Many things," answered Bridgenorth, "and, as 
usual, little to the purpose. The prevailing opinion was, 
notwithstanding his own disclamation, that the stranger 
was really a supernatural being; others believed him an 
inspired champion, transported in the body from some 



distant climate, to show us the way to safety; others, 
again, concluded that he was a recluse, who, either from 
motives of piety or other cogent reasons, had become a 
dweller in the wilderness, and shunned the face of man." 
• "And, if I may presume to ask," said Julian, "to 
which of these opinions were you disposed to adhere?" 

"The last suited best with the transient though close 
view with which I had perused the stranger's features," 
replied Bridgenorth; "for although I dispute not that it 
may please Heaven, on high occasions, even to raise one 
from the dead in defense of his country, yet I doubted 
not then, as I doubt not now, that I looked on the living 
form of one who had indeed powerful reasons to conceal 
him in the cleft of the rock." 

"Are these reasons a secret?" asked Julian Peveril. 

"Not properly a secret," repUed Bridgenorth; "for I 
fear not thy betraying what I might tell thee in private 
discourse; and besides, wert thou so base, the prey lies 
too distant for any hunters to whom thou couldst point 
out its traces. But the name of this worthy will sound 
harsh in thy ear, on account of one action of his life — 
being his accession to a great measure which made the 
extreme isles of the earth to tremble. Have you never 
heard of Richard Whalley?" 

"Of the regicide?" exclaimed Peveril, starting. 

" Call his act what thou wilt," said Bridgenorth; "he 
was not less the rescuer of that devoted village, that, 
with other leading spirits of the age, he sat in the judg- 
ment-seat when Charles Stuart was arraigned at the bar, 
and subscribed the sentence that went forth upon him." 

"I have ever heard," said Julian, in an altered voice, 
and coloring deeply, "that you, Master Bridgenorth, 



with the other Presbyterians, were totally averse to that 
detestable crime, and were ready to have made joint 
cause with the Cavahers in preventing so horrible a 

"If it were so," repKed Bridgenorth, "we have been 
richly rewarded by his successor!" 

"Rewarded!" exclaimed JuHan. "Does the distrac- 
tion of good and evil, and our obligation to do the one 
and forbear the other, depend on the reward which may 
attach to our actions?" 

" God forbid!" answered Bridgenorth; "yet those who 
view the havoc which this house of Stuart have made in 
the Church and State — the tyranny which they exer- 
cise over men's persons and consciences — may well 
doubt whether it be lawful to use weapons in their de- 
fense. Yet you hear me not praise, or even vindicate, 
the death of the king, though so far deserved, as he was 
false to his oath as a prince and magistrate. I only teU 
you what you desired to know, that Richard Whalley, 
one of the late king's judges, was he of whom I have just 
been speaking. I knew his lofty brow, though time had 
made it balder and higher; his gray eye retained all its 
luster; and though the grizzled beard covered the lower 
part of his face, it prevented me not from recognizing 
him. The scent was hot after him for his blood; but by 
the assistance of those friends whom Heaven had raised 
up for his preservation, he was concealed carefully, and 
emerged only to do the will of Providence in the matter 
of that battle. Perhaps his voice may be heard in the 
field once more, should England need one of her noblest 

"Now, God forbid!" said JuUan. 





[The home of Mrs. Rowlandson, in Lancaster, Massachu- 
setts, was destroyed by Indians during King Philip's War, 
and a number of its inmates were slain. She herself was taken 
captive, but was finally given up for a ransom. The following 
is her own accoxmt of the first few days of her captivity. 

The Editor.] 

I HAD often said before this, that if the Indians should 
come, I should choose rather to be killed by them than 
taken alive, but when it came to the trial my mind 
changed; their glittering weapons so daunted my spirit 
that I chose rather to go along with those (as I may 
say) ravenous bears, than that moment to end my days. 
And that I may the better declare what happened to me 
during that grievous captivity, I shall particularly speak 
of the several removes we had up and down the wilder- 

The First Remove. — Now away we must go with 
those barbarous creatures, with our bodies wounded and 
bleeding, and our hearts no less than our bodies. About 
a mile we went that night, up upon a hill within sight of 
the town where we intended to lodge. There was hard 
by a vacant house, deserted by the EngUsh before, for 
fear of the Indians; I asked them whether I might not 
lodge in the house that night; to which they answered, 



"What, will you love the Englishmen still?" This was 
the dolefulest night that ever my eyes saw. Oh, the 
roaring and singing and dancing and yelling of those 
black creatures in the night, which made the place a 
Hvely resemblance of hell. And miserable was the waste 
that was there made of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, calves, 
lambs, roasting pigs, and fowls (which they had plun- 
dered in the town) , some roasting, some lying and burn- 
ing, and some boiling, to feed our merciless enemies; 
who were joyful enough, though we were disconsolate. 
To add to the dolefulness of the former day, and the 
dismalness of the present night, my thoughts ran upon 
my losses and sad, bereaved condition. All was gone, my 
husband gone (at least separated from me, he being in 
the Bay; and, to add to my grief, the Indians told me 
they would kill him as he came homeward), my children 
gone, my relations and friends gone, our house and 
home, and all our comforts within door and without, all 
was gone except my life, and I knew not but the next 
moment that might go too. 

There remained nothing to me but one poor, wounded 
babe, and it seemed at present worse than death, that it 
was in such a pitiful condition, bespeaking compassion, 
and I had no refreshing for it, nof suitable things to 
revive it. Little do many think what is the savageness 
and brutishness of this barbarous enemy, those even 
that seem to profess more than others among them, 
when the English have fallen into their hands. 

The Second Remove. — But now [the next morning] 
I must turn my back upon the town, and travel with 
them into the vast and desolate wilderness, I know not 
whither. It is not my tongue or pen can express the 



sorrows of my heart, and bitterness of my spirit, that I 
had at this departure; but God was with me in a wonder- 
ful maimer, carrying me along and bearing up my spirit, 
that it did not quite fail. One of the Indians carried my 
poor wounded babe upon a horse: it went moaning all 
along, "I shall die, I shall die!" I went on foot after it 
with sorrow that cannot be expressed. At length I took 
it off the horse, and carried it in my arms, till my 
strength failed, and I fell down with it. Then they set 
me upon a horse with my wounded child in my lap, and 
there being no furniture on the horse's back, as we were 
going down a steep hill we both fell over the horse's head, 
at which they, like inhuman creatures, laughed, and re- 
joiced to see it, though I thought we should there have 
ended our days, overcome with so many difl&culties. 
But the Lord renewed my strength still, and carried me 
along, that I might see more of his power, yea, so much 
that I could never have thought of had I not experienced 

After this it quickly began to snow, and when night 
came on they stopped. And now down I must sit in the 
snow, by a Httle fire, and a few boughs behind me, with 
my sick child in my lap, and calling much for water, be- 
ing now, through the wound, fallen into a violent fever ; 
my own wound also growing so stiff that I could scarce 
sit down or rise up. 

The Third Remove. — The morning being come, 
they prepared to go on their way; one'of the Indians got 
upon a horse, and they sat me up behind him, with my 
poor sick babe in my lap. A very wearisome and tedious 
day I had of it; what with my own wound, and my child 
being so exceedingly sick, and in a lamentable condi- 



tion with her wound, it may easily be judged what a 
poor, feeble condition we were in, there being not the 
least crumb of refreshing that came within either of our 
mouths from Wednesday night to Saturday night, except 
only a Uttle cold water. This day in the afternoon, about 
an hour by sun, we came to the place where they in- 
tended, namely, an Indian town called Wenimesset 
[New Braintree], northward of Quabaug [BrookjB.eld]. 
This day there came to me one Robert Pepper, a man 
belonging to Roxbury, who was taken at Captain Beers's 
fight, and had been now a considerable time with the 
Indians, and up with them almost as far as Albany, to 
see King Philip, as he told me, and was now. very lately 
come into these parts. Hearing, I say, that I was in this 
Indian town, he obtained leave to come and see me. He 
told me he himself was woimded in the leg at Captain 
Beers's fight, and was not able some time to go but as 
they carried him, and that he took oak leaves and laid 
to his woimd, and by the blessing of God he was able to 
travel again. Then took I oak leaves and laid to my side, 
and with the blessing of God it cured me also. I sat 
much alone with my poor woxmded child in my lap, 
which moaned night and day, having nothing to revive 
the body or cheer the spirits of her; but instead of that, 
one Indian would come and tell me one hour, "Your 
master will knock your child on the head," and then a 
second, and then a third, "Your master will quickly 
knock your child on the head." 

This was the comfort I had from them ; miserable com- 
forters were they all. Thus nine days I sat upon my 
knees, my babe in my lap, till my flesh was raw again. 
My child being even ready to depart this sorrowful world, 



they bade me carry it to another wigwam, I suppose 
because they would not be troubled with such specta- 
cles; whither I went with a very heavy heart, and down 
I sat with the picture of death in my lap. About two 
hours in the night, my sweet babe, like a lamb, departed 
this life, on February i8, 1676, it being about six years 
and five months old. In the morning, when they under- 
stood that my child was dead, they sent me home to my 
master's wigwam. By my master in this writing must be 
understood Quannopin, who was a sagamore, and mar- 
ried King Philip's wife's sister; not that he first took me, 
but I was sold to him by a Narragansett Indian, who 
took me when I first came out of the garrison. I went to 
take up my dead child in my arms to carry it with me, 
but they bid me let it alone. There was no resisting, but 
go I must, and leave it. When I had been a while at my 
master's wigwam, I took the first opportunity I could get 
to look after my dead child. When I came I asked them 
what they had done with it. They told me it was on the 
hill. Then they went and showed me where it was, where 
I saw the ground was newly digged, and where they told 
me they had buried it. There I left that child in the 
wilderness, and must commit it and myself also in this 
wilderness condition to Him who is above all. God hav- 
ing taken away this dear child, I went to see my daugh- 
ter Mary, who was at the same Indian town, at a wig- 
wam not very far off, though we had httle liberty or 
opportunity to see one another; she was about ten years 
of age, and taken from the door at first' by a praying 
Indian, and afterwards sold for a gun. When I came in 
sight she would fall a-weeping, at which they were pro- 
voked, and would not let me come near her, but bid me 



begone, which was a heart-cutting word to me. I could 
not sit still in this condition, but kept walking from one 
place to another; and as I was going along, my heart was 
even overwhelmed with the thoughts of my condition, 
and that I should have children, and a nation that I 
knew not ruled over them. Whereupon I earnestly en- 
treated the Lord that he would consider my low estate, 
and show me a token for good, and if it were his blessed 
will, some sign and hope of some relief. And, indeed, 
quickly the Lord answered in some measure my poor 
prayer; for as I was going up and down mourning and 
lamenting my condition, my son (Joseph) came to me 
and asked how I did. I had not seen him before since 
the destruction of the town; and I knew not where he 
was, till I was informed by himself that he was among 
a smaller parcel of Indians, whose place was about six 
miles off. With tears in his eyes he asked me whether 
his sister Sarah was dead, and told me he had seen his 
sister Mary, and prayed me that I would not be troubled 
in reference to himself. The occasion of his coming to see 
me at this time was this: there was, as I said, about six 
miles from us, a small plantation of Indians, where it 
seems he had been during his captivity; and at this time 
there were some forces of the Indians gathered out of 
our company, and some also from them, among whom 
was my son's master, to go to assault and burn Medfield. 
In this time of his master's absence his dame brought 
him to see me. 

Now the Indians began to talk about removing from 
this place, some one way and some another. There were 
now besides myself nine English captives in this place, 
all of them children except one woman. I got an oppor- 



tunity to go and take my leave of them, they being to go 
one way and I another. They told me they did as they 
were able, and it was some comfort to me that the Lord 
stirred up children to look to him. The woman, namely, 
Goodwif e Joslin, told me she should never see me again, 
and that she could not. find it in her heart to run away 
by any means, for we were near thirty miles from any 
English town, and she with a child two years old; and 
bad rivers there were to go over, and we were feeble with 
our poor and coarse entertairmient. I had my Bible 
with me. I pulled it out, and asked her whether she 
would read. We opened the Bible, and lighted on Psalm 
xxvn, in which psalm we especially took notice of that 
verse, "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he 
shall strengthen thine heart; wait I say on the Lord." 

The Fourth Remove. — And now I must part with 
the Httle company I had. Here I parted with my daugh- 
ter Mary, whom I never saw again till I saw her in Dor- 
chester, returned from captivity, and from four Uttle 
cousins and neighbors, some of which I never saw after- 
wards; the Lord only knows the end of them. We trav- 
eled about half a day or a little more, and came to a 
desolate place in the wilderness, where there were no 
wigwams or inhabitants before. We came about the 
middle of the afternoon to this place, cold, wet, and 
snowy, and hungry and weary, and no refreshing for man, 
but the cold ground to sit on, and our poor Indian cheer. 

The Fifth Remove. — The occasion, as I thought, of 
their removing at this time was the English army's being 
near and following them; for they went as if they had 
gone for their hves for some considerable way; and then 
they made a stop, and chose out some of their stoutest 



men, and sent them back to hold the EngKsh army in 
play while the rest escaped; and then, like Jehu, they 
marched on furiously with their old and young; some 
carried their old, decrepit mothers; some carried one, 
and some another. Four of them carried a great Indian 
upon a bier; but, going through a thick wood with him, 
they were hindered, and could make no haste; where- 
upon they took him upon their backs, and carried him, 
one at a time, till we came to Bacquag River. Upon 
Friday, a httle after noon, we came to this river. When 
all the company was come up and were gathered to- 
gether I thought to count the number of them, but they 
were so many, and being somewhat in motion, it was 
beyond my skill. In this travel, because of my wound, I 
was somewhat favored in my load. I carried only my 
knitting-work and two quarts of parched meal. Being 
very faint, I asked my mistress to give me one spoonful 
of the meal, but she would not give me a taste. They 
quickly fell to cutting dry trees to make rafts to carry 
them over the river, and soon my turn came to go over. 
By the advantage of some brush which they had laid 
upon the raft to sit on, I did not wet my foot, while 
many of themselves, at the other end, were mid-leg 
deep, which cannot but be acknowledged as a favor of 
God to my weakened body, it being a very cold time. I 
was not before acquainted with such kind of doings or 
dangers. A certain number of us got over the river that 
night, but it was the night after the Sabbath before all 
the company was got over. On the Saturday they boiled 
an old horse's leg which they had got, and so we drank of 
the broth as soon as they thought it was ready, and 
when it was almost all gone they filled it up again. 



The first week of my being among them I hardly eat 
anything; the second week I found my stomach grow 
very faint for want of something, and yet it was very 
hard to get down their filthy trash; but the third week, 
though I could think how formerly my stomach would 
turn against this or that, and I could starve and die 
before I could eat such things, yet they were pleasant 
and savory to my taste. I was at this time knitting a 
pair of cotton stockings for my mistress, and I had not 
yet wrought upon the Sabbath day. When the Sabbath 
came they bid me go to work. I told them it was Sab- 
bath day, and desired them to let me rest, and told them 
I would do as much more work to-morrow; to which 
they answered me they would break my face. And here 
I carmot but take notice of the strange providence of 
God in preserving the heathen. They were many hvm- 
dreds, old and young, some sick, and some lame; many 
had papooses at their backs; the greatest number at this 
time with us were squaws, and yet they traveled with 
all they had, bag and baggage, and they got over this 
river aforesaid; and on Monday they set their wigwams 
on fire, and away they went. On that very day came the 
English army after them to this river, and saw the 
smoke of their wigwams, and yet this river put a stop to 
them. God did not give them courage or activity to go 
over after us. We were not ready for so great a mercy 
as victory and deliverance; if we had been, God would 
have found out a way for the English to have passed this 
river as well as for the Indians, with their squaws and 
children and all their luggage. 

The Sixth Remove. — On Monday, as I said, they 
set their wigwams on fire and went away. It was a cold 



morning, and before us there was a great brook with ice 
on it. Some waded through it up to the knees and 
higher, but others went till they came to a beaver-dam, 
and I among them, where, through the good providence 
of God, I did not wet my foot. I went along that day 
mourning and lamenting, leaving farther my own coun- 
try, and traveling farther into the vast and howling 
wilderness, and I understood something of Lot's wife's 
temptation when she looked back. We came that day 
to a great swamp, by the side of which we took up our 
lodging that night. When we came to the brow of the 
hill that looked towards the swamp I thought we had 
been come to a great Indian town, though there were 
none but our own company; the Indians were as thick 
as the trees; it seemed as if there had been a thousand 
hatchets going at once. 

The Seventh Remove. — After a restless and hun- 
gry night there we had a wearisome time of it the next 
day. The swamp by which we lay was, as it were, a 
deep dungeon, and an exceeding high and steep hill 
before it. Before I got to the top of the hill I thought 
my heart and legs and all would have broken and failed 
me. What with faintness and soreness of body, it was a 
grievous day of travel to me. As we went along, I saw a 
place where EngUsh cattle had been. That was a com- 
fort to me, such as it was. Quickly after that we came 
to an EngUsh path, which so took me that I thought I 
could there have freely lain down and died. That day, 
a Httle after noon, we came to Squaheag [Northfield], 
where the Indians quickly spread themselves over the 
deserted English fields, gleaning what they could find. 
Some picked up ears of wheat that were crickled down, 



some found ears of Indian corn, some found ground- 
nuts, and others sheaves of wheat that were frozen 
together m the shock, and went to threshing of them 
out. Myself got two ears of Indian corn, and, whilst I 
did but turn my back, one of them was stole from me, 
which much troubled me. There came an Indian to them 
at that time with a basket of horse-liver. I asked him 
to give me a piece. "What," says he, "can you eat 
horse-liver? " I told him I would try, if he would give me 
a piece, which he did; and I laid it on the coals to roast; 
but, before it was half ready, they got half of it away 
from me; so that I was forced to take the rest and eat it 
as it was, with the blood about my mouth, and yet a 
savory bit it was to me; for to the hungry soul every 
bitter thing was sweet. A solemn sight methought it 
was to see whole fields of wheat and Indian corn for- 
saken and spoiled, and the remainder of them to be food 
for our merciless enemies. That night we had a mess of 
wheat for our supper. 

The Eighth Remove. — On the morrow morning 
we must go over Connecticut River to meet with King 
Philip. Two canoes full they had carried over; the next 
turn myself was to go; but, as my foot was upon' the 
canoe to step in, there was a sudden outcry among 
them, and I must step back; and, instead of going over 
the river, I must go four or five miles up the river far- 
ther northward. Some of the Indians ran one way, and 
some another. The cause of this rout was, as I thought, 
their espying some English scouts, who were there- 
abouts. In this travel up the river, about noon the 
company made a stop and sat down, some to eat, and 
others to rest them. As I sat amongst them, musing on 



things past, my son Joseph unexpectedly came to me. 
We asked of each other's welfare, bemoaning our dole- 
ful condition, and the change that had come upon us. I 
gave him my Bible, and he Hghted upon that comfort- 
able Scripture, Psahn cxviii, 17, 18, " I shall not die, but 
Uve, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath 
chastened me sore, yet he hath not given me over to 
death." "Look here, mother," says he, "did you read 
this ? " 

We traveled on till night, and in the morning we must 
go over the river to Philip's crew. When I was in the 
canoe I could not but be amazed at the numerous crew of 
pagans that were on the bank on the other side. When 
I came ashore they gathered all about me, I sitting 
alone in the midst. I observed that they asked one an- 
other questions, and laughed, and rejoiced over their 
gains and victories. Then my heart began to fail, and 
I fell a-weeping; which was the first time, to my re- 
membrance, that I wept before them. Then one of them 
asked me why I wept. I could hardly tell what to say; 
yet I answered, they would kill me. "No," said he, 
"none will hurt you." Then came one of them and gave 
me two spoonfuls of meal to comfort me, and another 
gave me half a pint of peas, which was worth more than 
many bushels at another time. Then I went to see King 
Philip. He bade me come in and sit down, and asked 
me whether I would smoke it — a usual compliment 
nowadays among the saints and sinners; but this no way 
suited me; for though I had formerly used tobacco, yet 
I had left it ever since I was first taken. It seems to be 
a bait the Devil lays to make men lose their precious 
time. I remember with shame how, formerly, when I 



had taken two or three pipes, I was presently ready for 
another, such a bewitching thing it is; but I thank God 
he has now given me power over it. Surely there are 
many who may be better employed than to sit sucking 
a stinking tobacco-pipe. 

Now the Indians gathered their forces to go against 
Northampton. Overnight one went about yelling and 
hooting to give notice of the design. Whereupon they 
went to boiling of ground-nuts and parching corn — as 
many as had it — for their provision; and in the morn- 
ing away they went. During my abode in this place 
PhiHp spoke to me to make a shirt for his boy, which I 
did; for which he gave me a shilling. I offered the money 
to my mistress, but she bid me keep it, and with it I 
bought a piece of horseflesh. Afterwards he asked me to 
make a cap for his boy, for which he invited me to din- 
ner. I went, and he gave me a pancake about as big as 
two fingers; it was made of parched wheat, beaten and 
fried in bear's grease, but I thought I never tasted 
pleasanter meat in my life. There was a squaw who 
spake to me to make a shirt for her sarmup; for which 
she gave me a piece of beef. Another asked me to knit a 
pair of stockings, for which she gave me a quart of peas. 
I boiled my peas and beef together, and invited my 
master and mistress to dinner; but the proud gossip, 
because I served them both in one dish, would eat 
nothing, except one bit that he gave her upon the point 
of his knife. Hearing that my son was come to this 
place, I went to see him, and found him lying flat on the 
ground. I asked him how he could sleep so. He an- 
swered me that he was not asleep, but at prayer, and 
that he lay so that they might not observe what he was 



doing. I pray God he may remember these things now 
he is returned in safety. At this place, the sun now 
getting higher, what with the beams and heat of the sun 
and smoke of the wigwams, I thought I should have 
been blinded. I eould scarce discern one wigwam from 
another. There was one Mary Thurston, of Medfield, 
who, seeing how it was with me, lent me a hat to wear; 
but as soon as I was gone the squaw that owned that 
Mary Thurston came running after me and got it away 
.again. Here was a squaw who gave me a spoonful of 
meal; I put it in my pocket to keep it safe, yet, notwith- 
standing somebody stole it, but put five Indian corns in 
the room of it; which corns were the greatest provision 
I had in my travel for one day. 

The Indians, returning from Northampton, brought 
with them some horses and sheep and other things 
which they had taken. I desired them that they would 
carry me to Albany upon one of those horses, and sell me 
for powder; for so they had sometimes discoursed. I 
was utterly helpless of getting home on foot, the way 
that I came. I could hardly bear to think of the many 
weary steps I had taken to this place. 

But, instead of either going to Albany or homeward, 
we must go five miles up the river, and then go over it. 
Here we abode awhile. 




[The wife and son of Philip were sold as slaves in the 
Bermudas. The story of their siiicide as here told is apoc- 

The Editor.] 

Philip had returned early in the spring from his visit to 
the Mohawk and Canada Indians, having met with but 
faint success in soliciting aid from the tribes of the in- 
terior. Not discouraged at this disappointment, he had 
kept up the contest with astonishing vigor and activity, 
as the smoking villages of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island, and the dead bodies of their inhabitants bore 
testimony appalling in the last degree to the Enghsh. 
No aboriginal chief had ever gained, during his whole 
life, so many and such signal victories over the superior 
discipHne and numbers of the white population of the 
colonies, as he had done. But his forces had been grad- 
ually diminished by the exertions of Moseley and 
Church, who had scoured the whole Indian country; 
his chiefs in whom he reposed most confidence had been, 
many of them, cut off; and, to crown all, his beautiful 
queen and the young prince had both recently fallen 
into the hands of his enemies. Many of the tribes who 
had allied themselves to his enterprise had deserted his 
falling fortunes, and gone over to the English. Indeed, it 



could no longer be doubted what must be, ere long, the 
result of the struggle. But in the midst of all these ca- 
lamities, whatever ideas he may have entertained of 
the fate of his plans, his deep-seated resolution never 
for a moment forsook him: he remained the same indom- 
itable son of the woods as when he had first dug up the 
hatchet from beneath the shade where his father had 
buried it. No overtures of peace made him by the 
colonists received any favor from him : he spurned alike 
their pardons and their threats. He rejected all pro- 
posals on their part to enter into any engagement by 
treaty; and when asked to make peace, and embrace the 
reHgion of his enemies, he instantly killed the Indian 
who had made the proposition. 

The English, on all former occasions of war with any 
one of the tribes, had either crushed them at once, or 
been able to bring about a reconciliation by negotiating 
with their chief. But this systematic prosecution of a 
war that had now lasted fourteen months with unabated 
fury, bespoke the existence of an enemy who united all 
the vindictiveness of the savage with the fruitful intel- 
lectual resources and unwavering strength of purpose of 
the European — a mind which, under more favorable 
circumstances, might have ruled empires, or commanded 
the mightiest armies. 

They saw that Philip was the soul and arm of the war, 
and that nothing short of his death could put an end to 
its wasting and widespread devastation. A result that 
many would at first gladly have avoided, had now be- 
come an imperious necessity, that absorbed all other 
considerations in the one first law of nature — self- 



Never was a charge so important committed to more 
skillful hands than those of the brave Captain Church. 

Abandoned by many of his subjects, and bereft of 
others by the fortune of the war, Philip had retired to 
his hereditary seat, Pokanoket, the place where the first 
flames of battle had been kindled, and where the chief 
seems to have been resolved that its last sparks should 
be quenched. 

Early on the evening of the i ith of August he repaired 
alone to the spring that sparkled beneath the poplar tree, 
and drank for the last time of its waters. From that he 
visited the grave above it, listened to the murmurs of the 
waves as they broke upon the beach in mournful dirges 
that seemed prophetic of the doom that treachery was 
preparing for him. The Indians are, perhaps, more 
watchful over the ashes of their dead than more civilized 
nations; and guard them with a tender soUcitude that 
seems so much at variance with the cold, passive exterior 
of the warrior, when called upon either to witness or 
suffer the extremest tortures that the human frame 
can endure, that we should scarcely credit the existence 
of such a sentiment in them, were not the fact so indis- 
putably estabHshed by the testimony of the best writers. 
From the grave of his father he went to the summit of 
Mount Hope, and looked far over the wide expanse of 
woods and waters, searching out with his keen eye the 
far-off blaze of the distant watch-fire that looked, as it 
gleamed faintly from the foliage, dim and indistinct as 
the light of the firefly that hovered over the winding 
margin of the bay. 

Having satisfied himself that there was nothing to 
fear from the appearance of the English, he retired to his 



lodge that had been erected in the swamp near Mount 
Hope, and spent several hours in consultation with his 
faithful old counselor, Anawan, before betaking himself 
to his rest. 

Meanwhile, an Indian, named Alderman by the Eng- 
Ush, a brother of the warrior who had Just before been 
killed by Philip, for advising him to make what he 
termed an inglorious peace with the enemy, deserted, 
sought out the camp of Captain Church, and discovered 
to him the hiding-place of his sachem. 

The encampment of Church was not more than five 
miles distant, so that he was aware of the near prox- 
imity of the enemy before midnight. 

He immediately set his army in motion, and arrived 
at Pokanoket at daybreak. Before he was discovered, 
he had placed a guard around the swamp where Philip 
was encamped, so that it was entirely surrounded, with 
the exception of a single outlet. 

He then directed Captain Golding, who served under 
him, to scour the swamp, and fall upon the encampment 
of PhUip. Golding rushed into the swamp with a strong 
body of forces under his command; but the crackling of 
the bushes betrayed his approach, and Philip, who now 
saw that his only chance was in a precipitate flight, 
sprang from his wigwam, and ran, nearly naked, with 
the hope of escaping through the line of English soldiers 
that lay in ambush around the borders of the swamp. 
Golding and his men gave instant chase; but they might, 
with equal chance of success, have attempted to follow 
the track of a bird of passage through the air. The 
sachem, who knew every inch of ground over which he 
passed, fled over fallen trunks of trees, and through 



dense alders, until he was out of sight of his pursuers. 
He had already run nearly a hundred rods, and could 
see the open plain just before him, when he perceived an 
Englishman and an Indian, each with a musket raised 
to his shoulder, and brought to bear upon him. He 
darted aside, just as the Englishman snapped his gun, 
which missed fire. 

The Indian was more successful; for before Philip 
could escape beyond the reach of his shot, the deadly 
contents of the rifle were lodged in his breast, and he 
fell lifeless on his face — the momentum imparted to 
his body by the speed with which he ran almost bury- 
ing it in the mud and water. The fatal shot was fired by 
the traitor Alderman, who had spent the night in con- 
summating his vindictive purposes. 

Alderman immediately ran and told Church that he 
had killed Philip; the captain commanded him to keep 
it a profound secret, xmtil, to use his own expression, 
"They had driven the swamp clean." 

The Indians, finding that they were waylaid, faced 
suddenly about, and stood on the defensive for a mo- 
ment; but the news of the death of Philip was soon 
spread among their ranks, and then they broke and fled. 
It was all to no purpose that the old sagamore, Anawan, 
shouted his accustomed war-cry, "I-oo-tash! I-oo- 
tash!" The spirit of the warriors was broken by the 
dreadful intelhgence, and the voice of his subaltern only 
seemed to augfnent their flight. 

When the battle was over, the English hurried to the 
place where the chief had fallen. Church ordered that 
the body should be taken out of the mud, and placed 
upon the upland. When this was done, it was found, 



upon examining the body, that one of the two balls with 
which the rifle was charged had passed directly through 
his heart, and the other a Httle above it, so that either 
must have proved fatal. . . . 

The war ended with the death of Philip. In accord- 
ance with a custom that dates from the times of the 
Hebrews, but which has happily fallen into disuse, the 
victors had now to dispose of their captives. This was 
done in part by distributing them among the con- 
querors and in part by sending them by shiploads to 
Spain and the West Indies. Hundreds of these freeborn 
men were thus transported to a climate which, accus- 
tomed as they were to the winds and snows of the rough 
coast of New England, they could ill endure, and to a 
servitude which corroded the spirit, as it enervated the 
strong limbs that had chased the deer and the otter over 
ice-covered lakes and broad-sweeping rivers. Many died 
ere they reached the port of their destination, and none 
arrived at old age. There was no Indian summer, no 
sweet southwest with its " Spirit Lake " in the dead level 
of the ocean horizon which circumscribed the islands of 
the west. 

One bright September evening, a ship with all her 
canvas spread to catch the freshly springing breeze, 
swept briskly through the waters that dash against the 
coast of Rhode Island. She was a Spanish slaver, 
freighted with Indian captives. As she approached the 
wood-skirted shore of Pokanoket, an Indian woman — 
beautiful, but wild and haggard in her look — led a little 
boy to the rail of the ship, and looked wistfully toward 
the shore. It was the queen of the Wampanoags. The 
blue and violet wampum, the otter's fur, no longer 



adorned her slender neck, nor hung gracefully from her 
shoulders. The long black hair, no longer decorated with 
flowers, floated negUgently in the chill breeze that 
swelled the sail, and hurried the httle billows against 
the shore that she loved. Though not a tear glistened in 
her eye, yet she looked the very embodiment of unutter- 
able sorrow, as she gazed now at the coast, and now 
in the face of the boy. He, too, was sadly changed: he 
looked thin and wasted almost to a shadow. He had 
been robbed of the solitary feather that had been, from 
his birth till now, the mark of the royalty he was one 
day expected to put on; but the proud soul of Pome- 
tacom still flashed from his eye. 

As the ship rode gayly on, the white flint rock that 
crowned the summit of Mount Hope rose huge and 
ghastly against the black clouds that lay beyond it. 

"Where is the king of the Wampanoags?" asked the 
boy, fixing his eye upon the promontory. "Let his 
queen and his son go to seek the chief. Look — the 
clouds do not settle on the southwest." 

The mother turned her eye in the direction indicated 
by his httle hand; then grasped him firmly in her arms, 
and, mounting the rail of the ship, just as a flash of 
Ughtning lit up the summit of the rock, plunged silently 
into the waters. 

The ship ghded on; and long before the foam had 
ceased to whiten her wake, the queen and the son of 
Philip, secure from the bondage to which their proud 
spirits could never submit, were sleeping side by side in 
the embraces of the ocean. 




[The following event took place during what was known as 
Queen Anne's War. Deerfield was a little village of some 
three hundred inhabitants, situated on what was then the 
northwestern frontier of Massachusetts. The attack upon 
it by French and Indians was planned by the governor of 
Canada and served no military purpose. 

The Editor.] 

As the afternoon waned, the sights and sounds of the 
little border hamlet were, no doubt, like those of any 
other rustic New England village at the end of a winter 
day, — an ox-sledge creaking on the frosty snow as it 
brought in the last load of firewood, boys in homespim 
snowballing each other in the village street, farmers 
feeding their horses and cattle in the barns, a matron 
drawing a pail of water with the help of one of those 
long well-sweeps stiU used in some remote districts, or a 
girl bringing a pail of milk from the cow-shed. In the 
houses, where one room served as kitchen, dining-room, 
and parlor, the housewife cooked the evening meal, 
children sat at their bowls of mush and milk, and the 
men of the family, their day's work over, gathered about 
the fire, while perhaps some village coquette sat in the 
corner with fingers busy at the spinning-wheel, and ears 

1 From A Half-Century of Conflict. Copyright (U.S.A.), 1892, by 
Little, Brown & Company. 



intent on the stammered wooings of her rustic lover. 
Deerfield kept early hours, and it is likely that by nine 
o'clock all were in their beds. There was a patrol inside 
the palisade, but there was little discipline among these 
extemporized soldiers; the watchers grew careless as the 
frosty night went on; and it is said that towards morning 
they, like the villagers, betook themselves to their beds. 
Rouville and his men, savage with hunger, lay shiver- 
ing under the pines till about two hours before dawn; 
then, leaving their packs and their snowshoes behind, 
they moved cautiously towards their prey. There was 
a crust on the snow strong enough to bear their weight, 
though not to prevent a rustling noise as it crunched 
under the feet of so many men. It is said that from time 
to time Rouville commanded a halt, in order that the 
sentinels, if such there were, might mistake the distant 
sound for rising and falUng gusts of wind. In any case, 
no alarm was given till they had mounted the paKsade 
and dropped silently into the unconscious village. Then 
with one accord they screeched the war-whoop, and 
assailed the doors of the houses with axes and hatchets. 
The hideous din startled the minister, Williams, from 
his sleep. Half-wakened, he sprang out of bed, and saw 
dimly a crowd of savages bursting through the shattered 
door. He shouted to two soldiers who were lodged in the 
house; and then, with more valor than discretion, 
snatched a pistol that hung at the head of the bed, 
cocked it, and snapped it at the breast of the foremost 
Indian, who proved to be a Caughnawaga chief. It 
missed fire, or Williams would, no doubt, have been 
killed on the spot. Amid the screams of his terrified 
children, three of the party seized him and bound him 



fast; for they came well provided with cords, since 
prisoners had a market value. Nevertheless, in the first 
fury of their attack they dragged to the door and mur- 
dered two of the children and a negro woman called 
Parthena, who was probably their nurse. In an upper 
room lodged a young man named Stoddard, who had 
time to snatch a cloak, throw himself out of the window, 
climb the palisade, and escape in the darkness. Half- 
naked as he was, he made his way over the snow to 
Hatfield, binding his bare feet with strips torn from the 

They kept Williams shivering in his shirt for an hour 
while a frightful uproar of yells, shrieks, and gunshots 
sounded from without. At length they permitted him, 
his wife, and five remaining children to dress themselves. 
Meanwhile the Indians and their allies burst into most 
of the houses, killed such of the men as resisted, butch- 
ered some of the women and children, and seized and 
bound the rest. Some of the villagers escaped in the 
confusion, like Stoddard, and either fled half-dead with 
cold towards Hatfield, or sought refuge in the fortified 
house of Jonathan Wells. 

The house of Stebbins, the minister's next neighbor, 
had not been attacked so soon as the rest, and the in- 
mates had a little time for preparation. They consisted 
of Stebbins himself, with his wife and five children, 
David Hoyt, Joseph Catlin, Benjamin Church, a name- 
sake of the old Indian fighter of Philip's War, and three 
other men, — probably refugees who had brought their 
wives and families within the palisaded inclosure for 
safety. Thus the house contained seven men, four or 
five women, and a considerable number of children. 



Though the walls were bullet-proof, it was not built for 
defense. The men, however, were well supplied with 
guns, powder, and lead, and they seem to have found 
some means of barricading the windows. When the 
enemy tried to break in, they drove them back with 
loss. On this, the French and Indians gathered in great 
numbers before the house, showered bullets upon it, and 
tried to set it pn fire. They were again repulsed, with 
the loss of several killed and wounded; among the former 
a Caughnawaga chief, and among the latter a French 
oQicer. Still the firing continued. If the assailants had 
made a resolute assault, the defenders must have been 
overpowered; but to risk lives in open attack was con- 
trary to every maxim of forest warfare. The women in 
the house behaved with great courage, and moulded 
bullets, which the men shot at the enemy. Stebbins was 
killed outright, and Church was wounded, as was also 
the wife of David Hoyt. At length most of the French 
and Indians, disgusted with the obstinacy of the defense, 
turned their attention to other quarters; though some 
kept up their fire under cover of the meeting-house and 
another building within easy range of gunshot. 

This building was the house of one Ensign John. 
Sheldon. The Indians had had some difficulty in mas- 
tering it; for the door being of thick oak plank, stud- 
ded with nails of wrought iron and well barred, they 
could not break it open. After a time, however, they 
hacked a hole in it, through which they fired and killed 
Mrs. Sheldon as she sat on the edge of a bed in a lower 
room. Her husband, a man of great resolution, seems to 
have been absent. Their son John, with Harmah his 
wife, jumped from an upper chamber window. The 



young woman sprained her ankle in the fall, and lay 
helpless, but begged her husband to run to Hatfield for 
aid, which he did, while she remained a prisoner. The 
Indians soon got in at a back door, seized Marcy Shel- 
don, a little girl of two years, and dashed out her brains 
on the door-stone. Her two brothers and her sister 
Mary, a girl of sixteen, were captured. The house was 
used for a short time as a depot for prisoners, and here 
also was brought the French ofl&cer wounded in the 
attack on the Stebbins house. A family tradition re- 
lates that as he lay in great torment he begged for 
water, and that it was brought him by one of the pris- 
oners, Mrs. John Catlin, whose husband, son, and infant 
grandson had been killed, and who, nevertheless, did all 
in her power to relieve the sufferings of the wounded 
man. Probably it was in recognition of this charity that 
when the other prisoners were led away, Mrs. Catlin was 
left behind. She died of grief a few weeks later. 

The sun was scarcely an hour high when the miserable 
drove of captives was conducted across the river to the 
foot of a mountain or high hill. Wilhams and his family 
were soon compelled to follow, and his house was set on 
fire. As they led him off, he saw that other houses inside 
the paHsade were burning, and that all were in the 
power of the enemy except his neighbor Stebbins', 
where the gallant defenders still kept their assailants at 
bay. Having collected all their prisoners, the main 
body of the French and Indians began to withdraw 
towards the pine forest, where they had left their packs 
and snowshoes, and to prepare for a retreat before the 
country should be roused, first murdering in cold blood 
Marah Carter, a little girl of five years, whom they prob- 



ably thought unequal to the march. Several parties, 
however, still lingered in the village, firing on the 
Stebbins house, killing cattle, hogs, and sheep, and 
gathering such plunder as the place afforded. 

Early in the attack, and while it was yet dark, the 
light of burning houses, reflected from the fields of snow, 
had been seen at Hatfield, Hadley, and Northampton. 
The alarm was sounded through the slumbering ham- 
lets, and parties of men moxmted on farm-horses, with 
saddles or without, hastened to the rescue, not doubting 
that the fires were kindled by Indians. When the sun 
was about two hours high, between thirty and forty of 
them were gathered at the fortified house of Jonathan 
Wells, at the southern end of the village. The houses of 
this neighborhood were still standing, and seem not to 
have been attacked; the stubborn defense of the Stebbins 
house having apparently prevented the enemy from 
pushing much beyond the palisaded inclosure. The 
house of Wells was full of refugee families. A few Deer- 
field men here joined the horsemen from the lower 
towns, as also did four or five of the yeoman soldiers 
who had escaped the fate of most of their comrades. 
The horsemen left their horses within Wells's fence; he 
himself took the lead, and the whole party rushed in 
together at the southern gate of the paUsaded inclosure, 
drove out the plunderers, and retook a part of their 
plunder. The assailants of the Stebbins house, after 
firing at it for three hours, were put to flight, and those 
of its male occupants who were still alive joined their 
countr3anen, while the women and children ran back 
for harborage to the house of Wells. 

Wells and his men, now upwards of fifty, drove the 



flying enemy more than a mile across the river meadows, 
and ran in headlong pursuit over the crusted snow, kill- 
ing a considerable number. In the eagerness of the 
chase many threw off their overcoats, and even their 
jackets. Wells saw the danger, and vainly called on 
them to stop. Their blood was up, and most of them 
were yoimg and inexperienced. 

Meanwhile the firing at the village had been heard by 
Rouville's main body, who had already begun their 
retreat northward. They turned back to support their 
comrades, and hid themselves under the bank of the 
river till the pursuers drew near, when they gave them a 
close volley and rushed upon them with the war-whoop. 
Some of the English were shot down, and the rest driven 
back. There was no panic. "We retreated," says Wells, 
"facing about and firing." When they reached the 
palisade they made a final stand, covering by their fire 
such of their comrades as had fallen within range of 
musket-shot, and saving them from the scalping-knife. 
The French did not try to dislodge them. Nine of them 
were killed, several wounded, and one captured. 

The number of English carried off prisoners was one 
hundred and eleven, and the number killed was accord- 
ing to one list forty-seven, and according to another 
fifty-three, the latter including some who were smoth- 
ered in the cellars of their burning houses. The names, 
and in most cases the ages, of both captives and slain 
are preserved. Those who escaped with life and freedom 
were, by the best account, one hundred and thirty- 
seven. An ofi&cial tabular statement, drawn up on the 
spot, sets the number of houses burned at seventeen. 
The house of the town clerk, Thomas French, escaped, 



and the town records, with other papers in his charge, 
were saved. The meeting-house also was left standing. 
The house of Sheldon was hastily set on fire by the 
French and Indians when their rear was driven out of 
the village by Wells and his men; but the fire was ex- 
tinguished, and "the old Indian House," as it was 
called, stood till the year 1849. Its door, deeply scarred 
with hatchets, and with a hole cut near the middle, 
is still preserved in the Memorial Hall at Deerfield. 

Vaudreuil wrote to the minister, Pontchartrain, that 
the French lost two or three killed, and twenty or twenty- 
one wounded, Rouville himself being among the latter. 
This cannot include the Indians, since there is proof 
that the enemy left behind a considerable number of 
their dead. Wherever resistance was possible, it had 
been of the most prompt and determined character. 

Long before noon the French and Indians were on 
their northward march with their train of captives. 
More armed men came up from the settlements below, 
and by midnight about eighty were gathered at the 
ruined village. Couriers had been sent to rouse the 
coimtry, and before evening of March i, the force at 
Deerfield was increased to two hundred and fifty; but 
a thaw and a warm rain had set in, and as few of the 
men had snowshoes, pursuit was out of the question. 
Even could the agile savages and their allies have been 
overtaken, the probable consequence would have been 
the murdering of the captives to prevent their escape. 

[About half of the captives were finally, after terrible 
sufiferings, ransomed or exchanged and succeeded in return- 
ing to their homes. Seventeen of the weaker ones were killed 
by their captors on the journey.] 




In April, 1725, John Lovewell, a hardy and experienced 
ranger of Dunstable, whose exploits had already noised 
his fame abroad, marched with forty-six men for the 
Indian village at Pigwacket, now Fryeburg, Maine. At 
Ossipee he built a small fort, designed as a refuge in case 
of disaster. This precaution undoubtedly saved the 
lives of some of his men. He was now within two short 
marches of the enemy's village. The scouts having 
found Indian tracks in the neighborhood, Lovewell 
resumed his route, leaving one of his men who had 
fallen sick, his surgeon, and eight men, to guard the 
fort. His command was now reduced to thirty-four 
ofl&cers and men. 

The rangers reached the shores of the beautiful lake 
which bears Lovewell's name, and bivouacked for the 

The night passed without an alarm; but the sentinels, 
who watched the encampment reported hearing strange 
noises in the woods. Lovewell scented the presence of 
his enemy. 

In fact, on the morning of the 8th of May, while his 
band were on their knees, seeking Divine favor in the 
approaching conflict, the report of a gun brought every 

' From The Heart of the White Mountains. Copyright (U.S.A.), 1881, 
by Harper and Brothers; copyright, 1909, by Alice Gardner Drake. 



man to his feet. Upon reconnoitering, a solitary Indian 
was discovered on a point of land about a mile from the 

The leader immediately called his men about him, 
and told them that they must now quickly decide 
whether to fight or retreat. The men, with one accord, 
replied that they had not come so far in search of the 
enemy to beat a shameful retreat the moment he was 
found. Seeing his band possessed with this spirit, 
Lovewell then prepared for battle. The rangers threw 
off their knapsacks and blankets, looked to their prim- 
ings, and loosened their knives and axes. The order was 
then given, and they moved cautiously out of their 
camp. Believing the enemy was in his front, Lovewell 
neglected to place a guard over his baggage. 

Instead of plunging into the woods, the Indian who 
had alarmed the camp stood where he was first seen 
until the scouts fired upon him, when he returned the 
fire, wounding Lovewell and one other. Ensign Wyman 
then leveled his musket and shot him dead. The day 
began thus unfortunately for the English. Lovewell was 
mortally wounded in the abdomen, but continued to give 
his orders. 

After clearing the woods in their front without finding 
any more Indians, the rangers fell back toward the 
spot where they had deposited their packs. This was a 
sandy plain, thinly covered with pines, at the northeast 
end of the lake. 

During their absence, the Indians, led by the old 
chief, Paugus, whose name was a terror throughout the 
length and breadth of the English frontiers, stumbled 
upon the deserted encampment. Paugus counted the 



packs, and finding his warriors outnumbered the rang- 
ers, the wily chief placed them in ambush; he divined 
that the Enghsh would return from their unsuccessful 
scout sooner or later, and he prepared to repeat the 
tactics used with such fatal effect at Bloody Brook, and 
at the defeat of Wadsworth. This consisted in arranging 
his savages in a semicircle, the two wings of which, 
enveloping the rangers, would expose them to a mur- 
derous cross-fire at short musket-range. 

Without suspecting their danger, Lovewell's men fell 
into the fatal snare which the crafty Paugus had thus 
spread for them. Hardly had they entered it when the 
grove blazed with a deadly volley, and resounded with 
the yells of the Indians. As if confident of their prey, 
they even left their coverts, and flung themselves upon 
the English with a fury nothing could withstand. 

In this onset Lovewell who, notwithstanding his 
wound, bravely encouraged his men with voice and 
example, received a second wound, and fell. Two of his 
lieutenants were killed at his side; but with desperate 
valor the rangers charged up to the muzzles of the ene- 
my's guns, killing nine, and sweeping the others before 
them. This gallant charge cost them eight killed, besides 
their captain; two more were badly wounded. 

Twenty-three men had now to maintain the conflict 
with the whole Sokosis tribe. Their situation was, 
indeed, desperate. Relief was impossible ; for they were 
fifty miles from the nearest English settlements. Their 
packs and provisions were in the enemy's hands, and 
the woods swarmed with foes. To conquer or die was the 
only alternative. These devoted Englishmen despaired 
of conquering, but they prepared to die bravely. 



Ensign Wyman, upon whom the command devolved 
after the death of Lovewell, was his worthy successor. 
Seeing the enemy stealing upon his flanks as if to sur- 
round him, he ordered his men to fall back to the shore 
of the lake, where their right was protected by a brook, 
and their left by a rocky point extending into the lake. 
A few large pines stood on the beach between. 

This maneuver was executed under a hot fire, which 
still further thinned the ranks of the English. The 
Indians closed in upon them, filling the air with de- 
moniac yells whenever a victim fell. Assailing the whites 
with taunts, and shaking ropes in their faces, they cried 
out to them to yield. But to the repeated demands to 
surrender, the rangers replied only with bullets. They 
thought of the fort and its ten defenders, and hoped, or 
rather prayed, for night. This hope, forlorn as it seemed, 
encouraged them to fight on, and they delivered their 
fire with fatal precision whenever an Indian showed 
himself. The English were in a trap, but the Indians 
dared not approach within reach of the lion's claws. 

While this long combat was proceeding, one of the 
English went to the lake to wash his gun, and, on emerg- 
ing at the shore, descried an Indian in the act of cleans- 
ing his own. This Indian was Paugus. 

The ranger went to work Hke a man who comprehends 
that his life depends upon a second. The chief followed 
him in every movement. Both charged their guns at 
the same instant. The Englishman threw his ramrod on 
the sand; the Indian dropped his. 

" Me kill you," said Paugus, priming his weapon from 
his powder-horn. 

"The chief lies," retorted the undaunted ranger, 



striking the breech of his firelock upon the ground with 
such force that it primed itself. An instant later Paugus 
fell, shot through the heart. 

"I said I should kill you," muttered the victor, spurn- 
ing the dead body of his enemy, and plunging into the 
thickest of the fight. 

Darkness closed the conflict, which had continued 
without cessation since ten in the morning. Little by 
little the shouts of the enemy grew feebler, and finally 
ceased. The EngUsh stood to their arms until midnight, 
when, convinced that the savages had abandoned the 
sanguinary field of battle, they began their retreat 
toward the fort. Only nine were unhurt. Eleven were 
badly wounded, but were resolved to march' with their 
comrades, though they died by the way. Three more 
were alive, but had received their death-wounds. One 
of these was Lieutenant Robbins, of Chelmsford. 
Knowing that he must be left behind, he begged his 
comrades to load his gun, in order that he might sell his 
Ufe as dearly as possible when the savages returned to 
wreak their vengeance upon the wounded. 

I have said that twenty-three men continued the fight 
after the bloody repulse in which Lovewell was killed. 
There were only twenty-two. The other, whose name 
the reader will excuse me from mentioning, fled from the 
field and gained the fort, where he spread the report that 
Lovewell was cut to pieces, himself being the sole sur- 
vivor. This intelligence, striking terror, decided the little 
garrison to abandon the fort, which was immediately 
done, and in haste. 

This was the crowning misfortune of the expedition. 
The rangers now became a band of panic-stricken 



fugitives. After incredible hardship, less than twenty 
starving, emaciated, and footsore men, half of them 
badly wovmded, straggled into the nearest English 

The loss of the Indians could only be guessed; but 
the battle led to the immediate abandonment of their 
village, from which so many war parties had formerly 
harassed the English. Paugus, the savage wolf, the 
implacable foe of the whites, was dead. His tribe for- 
sook the graves of their fathers, nor rested tiU they had 
put many long leagues between them and their pursuers. 




When the middle of the eighteenth century had come, the 
colonies of England were scattered along the Atlantic Coast; 
while those of France were in Canada and Nova Scotia. 
France also claimed all the region to the westward of the 
Enghsh colonies, and in order to hold on to it, built forts 
and established trading-posts. Young George Washington 
was sent by the Governor of Virginia to the French com- 
mander on the Ohio River to remonstrate; but the French 
continued to build forts. The English attempted to do the 
same thing, and soon there was war on the Ohio. English 
regulars, under General Braddock, were sent against the 
French and were driven back with great loss. The struggle 
continued until the capture of Quebec by the Enghsh under 
General Wolfe, in 1759, practically settled the question who 
should rule in America. 

Of the struggle between the French and the Enghsh for 
supremacy on the North American continent, John Fiske 
says, "On the one hand, there was the steadily advancing 
front of the self-governing and greatly thriving agricultural 
community; on the other hand, there was the httle group of 
French noblemen and priests governing a mere handful of 
settlers, and striving to keep back the advancing English 
by means of diplomatic control over barbarous Indians. It 
was a struggle which could really have but one issue. It 
was a struggle, moreover, that was conducted without pity 
or mercy, with scarcely a pretense of regard for the ameni- 
ties of civilized warfare. From that day to this Enghsh 
writers have held up their hands in holy horror at the atro- 
cious conduct of the French in sending savages to burn 
villages and massacre women and children on the English 
border. Yet was it not an English Governor of New York 
who in 1689 launched the Iroquois thunderbolt against 
Canada, one of the most frightful Indian incursions known 
to history? It does not appear that the conscience of either 
Puritan or Catholic was in the slightest degree disturbed by 
these horrors. Each felt sure that he was fighting the Devil, 
and thought it quite proper to fight him with his own 



While England was more leisurely exploring the bays 
and rivers of the Atlantic Coast, and searching for gold 
and peltry, the chevaliers and priests of France were 
chasing their dreams in the North, and telling the mys- 
tery of the Cross to the Indian tribes of the Far West. 
Coasting northward, her bold navigators discovered the 
mouth of the St. Lawrence; and in 1525 Cartier sailed 
up its broad current to the rocky heights of Quebec, and 
to the rapids above Montreal, which were afterward 
named La Chine, in derision of the belief that the ad- 
venturers were about to find China. 

In 1609 Champlain pushed above the rapids, and dis- 
covered the beautiful lake that bears his name. In 1615 
Priest La Caron pushed northward and westward 
through the wilderness, and discovered Lake Huron. 

In 1635 the Jesuit missionaries founded the Mission 
St. Mary. In 1654 another priest had entered the wilder- 
ness of northern New York, and foimd the salt springs 
of Onondaga. In 1659-60 French traders and priests 
passed the winter on Lake Superior, and estabhshed 
missions along its shores. 

Among the earlier discoverers, no name shines out 
with more brilliancy than that of the ChevaUer La 
Salle. The story of his explorations can scarcely be 
equaled in romantic interest by any of the stirring tales 



of the crusaders. Born of a proud and wealthy family 
in the north of France, he was destined for the service 
of the Church and of the Jesuit Order. But his restless 
spirit, fired with the love of adventure, broke away from 
the ecclesiastical restraints to confront the dangers of 
the New World, and to extend the empire of Louis XIV. 
From the best evidence accessible, it appears that he 
was the first white man that saw the Ohio River. At 
twenty-six years of age, we find him with a small party, 
near the western extremity of Lake Ontario, boldly 
entering the domain of the dreaded Iroquois, traveling 
southward and westward through the wintry wilderness 
until he reached a branch of the Ohio, probably the 
Allegheny. He followed it to the main stream, and 
descended that, until in the winter of 1669 and 1670 he 
reached the Falls of the Ohio, near the present site of 
Louisville. His companions refusing to go farther, he 
returned to Quebec, and prepared for still greater un- 

In the mean time the Jesuit missionaries had been 
pushing their discoveries on the Northern Lakes. In 
1673 Joliet and Marquette started from Green Bay, 
dragging their canoes up the rapids of Fox River; 
crossed Lake Winnebago; found Indian guides to con- 
duct them to the waters of the Wisconsin; descended 
that stream to the westward, and on the i6th of June 
reached the Mississippi near the spot where now stands 
the city of Prairie du Chien. One hundred and thirty- 
two years before that time De Soto had seen the same 
river more than a thousand miles below; but during that 
interval it is not known that any white man had looked 
upon its waters. 



Turning southward, these brave priests descended the 
great river, amid the awful solitudes. The stories of 
demons and monsters of the wilderness which abounded 
among the Indian tribes did not deter them from push- 
ing their discoveries. They continued their journey 
southward to the mouth of the Arkansas River, telling 
as best they could the story of the Cross to the wild 
tribes along the shores. Returning from the Kaskaskias 
and traveling thence to Lake Michigan, they reached 
Green Bay at the end of September, 1673, having on 
their journey paddled their canoes more than twenty- 
five hundred miles. Marquette remained to estabHsh 
missions among the Indians, and to die, three years 
later, on the western shore of Lake Michigan, while 
Joliet returned to Quebec to report his discoveries. 

In the mean time Count Frontenac, a noble of France, 
had been made Governor of Canada, and found in La 
Salle a fit counselor and assistant in his vast schemes of 
discovery. La Salle was sent to France, to enlist the 
court and the ministers of Louis; and in 1677-78 re- 
turned to Canada, with full power under Frontenac to 
carry forward his grand enterprises. He had developed 
three great purposes: first, to realize the old plan of 
Champlain, the finding of a pathway to China across the 
American Continent; second, to occupy and develop the 
regions of the Northern Lakes; and, third, to descend 
the Mississippi and establish a fortified post at its mouth, 
thus securing an outlet for the trade of the interior and 
checking the progress of Spain on the Gulf of Mexico. 

In pursuance of this plan, we find La Salle and his 
companions, in January, 1679, dragging their cannon 
and materials for shipbuilding around the Falls of 



Niagara, and la3dng the keel of a vessel two leagues above 
the cataract, at the mouth of Cayuga Creek. She was a 
schooner of forty-five tons' burden, and was named the 
Grifl&n. On the 7th of August, 1679, with an armament 
of five cannon, and a crew and company of thirty-four 
men, she started on her voyage up Lake Erie, the first 
sail ever spread over the waters of our lake. On the 
fourth day she entered Detroit River; and, after encoun- 
tering a terrible storm on Lake Huron, passed the straits 
and reached Green Bay early in September. A few weeks 
later she started back for Niagara, laden with furs, and 
was never heard from. 

While awaiting the suppUes which the GriflSn was 
expected to bring, La Salle explored Lake Michigan to 
its southern extremity, ascended the St. Joseph, crossed 
the portage to the Kankakee, descended the Illinois, 
and, landing at an Indian village on the site of the pres- 
ent village of Utica, Illinois, celebrated mass on New 
Year's Day, 1680. Before the winter was ended he be- 
came certain that the GriflSn was lost. But undaimted 
by his disasters, on the 3d of March, with five compan- 
ions, he began the incredible feat of making the journey 
to Quebec on foot, in the dead of winter. This he accom- 
pHshed. He reorganized his expedition, conquered every 
difiiculty, and on the 21st of December, 1681, with a 
party of fifty-four- Frenchmen and friendly Indians, set 
out for the present site of Chicago, and by way of the 
Illinois River reached the Mississippi February 6, 1682. 
He descended its stream, and on the 9th of April, 1682, 
standing on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, solemnly 
proclaimed to his companions and to the wilderness that, 
in the name of Louis the Great, he took possession of the 



Great Valley watered by the Mississippi River. He set 
up a colxunn, and inscribed upon it the arms of France, 
and named the country Louisiana. Upon this act rested 
the claim of France to the vast region stretching from 
the AUeghany to the Rocky Mountains, from the Rio 
Grande and the Gulf to the farthest springs of the 

I wiU not foUow further the career of the great ex- 
plorers. Enough has been said to exhibit the spirit and 
character of their work. I would I were able to inspire 
the young men of this country with a desire to read the 
history of these stirring days of discovery that opened 
up to Europe the mysteries of this New World. 

As Irving has well said of their work: "It was poetry 
put into action; it was the knight-errantry of the Old 
World carried into the depths of the American wilder- 
ness. The personal adventures; the feats of individual 
prowess; the picturesque descriptions of steel-clad cava- 
hers, with lance and helm and prancing steed, glittering 
through the wilderness of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, 
and the prairies of the Far West, — would seem to us 
mere fictions of romance, did they not come to us in the 
matter-of-fact narratives of those who were eye-wit- 
nesses, and who recorded minute memoranda of every 




Sanctioned by the orders from the king, Dinwiddie, of 
Virginia, resolved to send "a person of distinction to 
the commander of the French forces on the Ohio River, 
to know his reasons for invading the British dominions, 
while a sohd peace subsisted." The envoy whom he se- 
lected was George Washington. The young man, then 
just twenty-one, a pupil of the wilderness, and as heroic 
as La SaUe, entered with alacrity on the perilous win- 
ter's journey from Williamsburg to the streams of Lake 

In the middle of November, with an interpreter and 
four attendants, and Christopher Gist as a guide, he left 
Will's Creek, and following the Indian trail through for- 
est soUtudes, gloomy with the fallen leaves and solemn 
sadness of late autumn, across mountains, rocky ra- 
vines, and streams, through sleet and snows, he rode in 
nine days to the fork of the Ohio. How lonely was the 
spot, where, so long unheeded of men, the rapid Alle- 
gheny met nearly at right angles "the deep and still" 
water of the Monongahela! At once Washington fore- 
saw the destiny of the place. "I spent some time," said 
he, "in viewing the rivers"; "the land in the Fork has 
the absolute command of both." "The flat, well-tim- 
bered land all around the point lies very convenient for 
building." After creating in imagination a fortress and a 



city, he and his party swam their horses across the Alle- 
gheny, and wrapped their blankets around them for the 
night, on its northwest bank. 

From the Fork the chief of the Delawares conducted 
Washington through rich alluvial fields to the pleasing 
valley at Logstown. There deserters from Louisiana 
discovursed of the route from New Orleans to Quebec, 
by way of the Wabash and the Maumee, and of a de- 
tachment from the lower province on its way to meet the 
French troop from Lake Erie, while Washington held 
close colloquy with the Half-King; the one anxious to 
gain the West as a part of the territory of the Ancient 
Dominion, the other to preserve it for the red men. "We 
are brothers," said the Half-King in council; " we are one 
people; I will send back the French speech-belt, and wUl 
make the Shawnees and the Delawares do the same." 

On the night of the 2gth of November, the council-iire 
was kindled; an aged orator was selected to address the 
French; the speech which he was to deliver was debated 
and rehearsed; it was agreed that, unless the French 
would heed this third warning to quit the land, the Dela- 
wares also would be their enemies; and a very large 
string of black and white wampum was sent to the Six 
Nations as a prayer for aid. 

After these preparations the party of Washington, 
attended by the Half-King, and envoys of the Delaware, 
moved onwards to the post of the French at Venango. 
The of&cers there avowed the purpose of taking posses- 
sion of the Ohio; and they mingled the praises of La 
SaUe with boasts of their forts at Le Boeuf and Erie, at 
Niagara, Toronto, and Frontenac. "The English," said 
they, "can raise two men to our one; but they are too 



dilatory to prevent any enterprise of ours." The Dela- 
wares were intimidated or debauched; but the Half -King 
clung to Washington like a brother, and delivered up his 
belt as he had promised. 

The rains of December had swollen the creeks. The 
messengers could pass them only by felling trees for 
bridges. Thus they proceeded, now killing a buck and 
now a bear, delayed by excessive rains and snows, by 
mire and swamps, while Washington's quick eye dis- 
cerned all the richness of the meadows. 

At Waterford, the limit of his journey, he found Fort 
Le Bceuf defended by cannon. Around it stood the bar- 
racks of the soldiers, rude log cabins, roofed with bark. 
Fifty birch-bark canoes, and one himdred and seventy 
boats of pine were already prepared for the descent of 
the river, and materials were collected for building more. 
The commander, Gardeur de Saint-Pierre, an officer of 
integrity and experience, and, for his dauntless courage, 
both feared and beloved by the red men, refused to dis- 
cuss questions of right. "I am here," said he, "by the 
orders of my general, to which I shall conform with 
exactness and resolution." And he avowed his purpose 
of seizing every Englishman within the Ohio Valley. 
France was resolved on possessing the great territory 
which her missionaries and travelers had revealed to the 

Breaking away from courtesies, Washington hastened 
homewards to Virginia. The rapid current of French 
Creek dashed his party against rocks; in shallow places 
they waded, the water congealing on their clothes; 
where the ice had lodged in the bend of the rivers, they 
carried their canoe across the neck. At Venango, they 



found their horses, but so weak the travelers went stiU 
on foot, heedless of the storm. The cold increased very 
fast; the paths grew "worse by a deep snow continually 
freezing." Impatient to get back with his dispatches, 
the yoimg envoy, wrapping himself in an Indian dress, 
with gun in hand and pack on his back, the day after 
Christmas quitted the usual path, and, with Gist for his 
sole companion, by aid of the compass, steered the near- 
est way across the country for the Fork. An Indian, who 
had lain in wait for him, fired at him from not fifteen 
steps' distance, but, missing him, became his prisoner. 
"I would have killed him," wrote Gist, "but Washing- 
ton forbade." Dismissing their captive at night, they 
walked about half a mile, then kindled a fire, fixed their 
course by the compass, and continued traveling all night, 
and all the next day, till quite dark. Not till then did the 
weary wanderers "think themselves safe enough to 
sleep," and then encamped, with no shelter but the 
leafless forest tree. 

On reaching the Allegheny, with one poor hatchet and 
a whole day's work, a raft was constructed and launched. 
But before they were half over the river, they were 
caught in the miming ice, expecting every moment to be 
crushed, unable to reach either shore. Putting out the 
setting-pole to stop the raft, Washington was jerked into 
the deep water, and saved himself only by grasping at 
the raft-logs. They were obliged to make for an island. 
There lay Washington, imprisoned by the elements ; but 
the late December night was intensely cold, and in the 
morning he foxmd the river frozen. Not tiU he reached 
Gist's Settlement, in January, 1754, were his toils light- 




It was in February, 1755, that General Braddock ar- 
rived at Governor Dinwiddie's house at Williamsburg. 
The spring was spent in preparations for the campaign 
that was to wrest Fort Duquesne from the enemy and 
recover the Gateway of the West. The figure of Brad- 
dock has long been well known to all Americans, — a 
British bulldog, brave, obstinate, and honest, but more 
than ordinarily dull in appreciating an enemy's methods, 
or in freeing himself from the precise traditions in which 
he had been educated. His first and gravest mistake, 
however, — that of underrating his Indian foe, — is one 
that has been shared by many commanders, to their con- 
fusion, and by many writers. The fighting qualities of 
the red man have often been ill appreciated, and in par- 
ticular he has been ignorantly accused of cowardice 
because of his stealthy methods and unwillingness to 
fight in the open. In point of fact, his method of fight- 
ing was closely adapted to the physical conditions of the 
American wilderness, and it was just what was produced 
by surviyal of the fittest during thousands of years of 
warfare under such conditions. When white men came 
to America, they were at first able to wreak whole- 
sale destruction upon the natives without regard to 
numbers or conditions. Such was the case when the 
Pequots, the Stamford Indians, and the Narragansetts 



were swept out of existence. This was largely because of 
the European superiority in arms, but in later days, when 
this disparity had been done away with, white men were 
apt to find Indians qmte as formidable enemies as they 
cared to deal with ; and in order to achieve success it was 
found necessary to adopt the Indian methods, abandon- 
ing solid columns and lines of battle, so as to fight in 
loose order and behind trees or earthworks. It is inter- 
esting to see that in these later days when the increase 
in the power and precision of death-dealing weapons has 
greatly increased the dangerousness of the battle-field, 
there has been a tendency to recur to Indian methods in 
so far as concerns looseness of order and the use of vari- 
ous kinds of cover. In the eighteenth century there was 
nobody so ill fitted to fight with Indians as a European 
regular, trained in European manuals of war and inured 
to European discipline. Braddock's fatuity was well 
illustrated in his reply to Dr. Franklin, when the latter 
informed him that the Indians, as antagonists, were by 
no means to be despised: "These savages may, indeed," 
said Braddock, "be a formidable enemy to your raw 
American militia, but upon the king's regular and disci- 
plined troops, sir, it is impossible that they should make 
any impression." 

Many stories of Braddock's arrogance and ill-temper 
have come down to us, but if we consider the obstacles 
that were thrown in the way of mihtary promptness, by 
which zealous men like Shirley and Dinwiddle were so 
often goaded to anger, we need not wonder that Brad- 
dock's temper was sometimes not altogether at its best. 
He scolded a good deal about the legislatures, and some- 
times let fall exasperating remarks about the lack of zeal 



and rectitude in public servants. For such insinuations 
there was sometimes apparent ground, especially when 
the member of a legislature showed himself more intent 
upon annoying the governor than upon attacking the 

The energetic Shirley made a visit to Braddock's camp 
at Alexandria, in the course of which a comprehensive 
plan of procedure was agreed upon, which involved 
operations on the Niagara River and Lake Champlain 
and the northeastern frontier as well as in the Alleghany 
Mountains. For the present we will confine our story to 
the latter. 

At the outset a mistake was made in the choice of a 
route. For a force like Braddock's, wagons were indis- 
pensable, and wagons were far more common in Pennsyl- 
vania than in Virginia. A route corresponding with the 
general direction of the Permsylvania Railroad would 
not only have been much shorter than the route through 
Virginia, but it would have been, at least in its earlier 
stages, a route through a population which could furnish 
wagons. By adopting this route Braddock would have 
made the Pennsylvanians feel some personal interest in 
the acquisition of Fort Duquesne; whereas, when he de- 
cided to march through Virginia, it only tended to con- 
firm Pennsylvanians in the impression that Fort Du- 
quesne, if conquered, was to pass into Virginian hands. 
After a while Benjamin Franklin went about among the 
farmers, and by pledging his own personal credit ob- 
tained a fair supply of horses and wagons. 

Braddock's force at length set out in detachments and 
marched along the banks of the Potomac River to the 
old trading station of the Ohio Company known as Will's 



Creek. It had lately been fortified, and received -the 
name of. Fort Cumberland. This was the rendezvous of 
the army. The two regiments from England had been 
increased by further enlistments ui Virginia of nine 
companies of mihtia of fifty men each to a total of four- 
teen hundred men. Braddock despised these militia, 
and had small respect either for partisan guerrilla forces 
or for Indian auxiliaries. The services of the chief Scar- 
royaddy, or of the noted frontiersman Black Jack, were 
at his disposal at the cost of a few civil words only, but 
he treated these worthies so superciKously that they 
went off on business of their own. 

In spite of these instances of indiscretion, however, it 
is not correct to say, as has often been said, that Brad- 
dock neglected all precaution and was drawn into an 
ambuscade. Such statements are samples of the kind of 
exaggeration that is apt to grow up about events that 
create great public excitement. Braddock made mis- 
takes enough, but he was not absolutely a fool. During 
the whole of the march flanking parties were kept out 
on each side of the creeping column, while scouts in all 
directions ranged through the depths of the woods. The 
column, which consisted of about twenty-two hundred 
men, sometimes extended for four miles along a road 
hardly fit to be called a bridle-path, on the average 
scarcely four yards in width. The march began on June 
lo, and eight days later the force had advanced only 
thirty miles from Fort Cumberland. By that time the 
rear of the column was so heavily encumbered with sick 
men that its power of marching had almost come to an 
end. It was therefore decided to leave with the rear 
column of about one thousand men, most of the heavier 



wagons and other impedimenta, and to proceed some- 
what more quickly toward Fort Duquesne with an 
advance guard of twelve hundred. But in spite of this 
diminution of labor, the difficulties of the road were such 
that the yth of July had arrived when the advance col- 
umn approached Turtle Creek, a stream that flows into 
the Monongahela about eight miles south of Fort Du- 
quesne. Meanwhile, its progress had been detected and 
watched, as was to have been expected, by French and 
Indian scouts. At the fortress Contrecoeur still governed, 
with Beaujeu second in command. The force consisted 
of five or six hundred Frenchmen, partly regulars and 
partly Canadian militia, with eight hundred Indians, 
some of them baptized converts from the northeast, some 
of them wild Ojibways led by Charles de Langlade, the 
conqueror of the Demoiselle, and the rest, Ottawas under 
their renowned chieftain, the long-headed and ferocious 
Pontiac. When the approach of Braddock's column to 
the mouth of Turtle Creek was announced at the French 
fortress. Captain Beaujeu volunteered to go out with 
a strong party and lay an ambuscade for the EngUsh. 
With this end in view he took some two hundred and 
fifty Frenchmen and over six hundred Indians and stole 
through the woods between the fortress and Turtle 
Creek, but he never succeeded in preparing the desired 
ambuscade, nor did Braddock's force march into an am- 
buscade, in any proper sense of the word. So sensible 
was Braddock of the great danger of the road between 
Turtle Creek and Fort Duquesne, on the right bank of 
the Monongahela, that he forded the latter stream and 
proceeded down the opposite bank for five or six miles, 
when he again crossed the river and brought his column 



on to a rising ground along which the narrow road ran 
toward the fortress. His column was then in its usual 
condition: a few Virginian guides in front, then the ad- 
vance under Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Gage, among 
whose men were two lieutenants destined in later days 
to play inglorious parts, — Horatio Gates and Charles 
Lee. Behind Gage came Sir John St. Clair with the 
working party, followed by a couple of cannon, and these, 
in turn, by the wagons with powder and tools. Behind 
these came the principal part of the column, while both 
flanks and rear were very strongly guarded with flanking 
parties. The situation would not have been particularly 
dangerous if the British regulars had known how to sepa- 
rate and fight under cover. It was owing to this internal 
faultiness, and not to any ambush, that Braddock's 
colimin came to grief. 

When the opposing forces met, it was simply the meet- 
ing of the two heads of columns in a narrow woodland 
road. Who can ever forget that moment when Gage's 
light horsemen quickly fled back and those behind could 
catch a gHmpse through the trees of a young Frenchman 
wearing a brilliant red gorget and bounding Kghtly 
along the road, till, on seeing his enemy, he turned and 
waved his hand? That brief glimpse of Captain Beaujeu 
at the moment of his death will forever live in history. 
At the third volley he dropped dead. Gage's men deliv- 
ered fire with admirable coolness, but its effect was 
slight, for the enemy, in two bifurcating columns, passed 
to right and to left of the English, all the time pouring 
in a galling fire from behind trees and bushes. Never 
were the conditions of a battle more simple. The Eng- 
lish were torn to pieces because they stood in solid line 



where they could be seen; and if anything were needed 
to make it impossible to miss them, it was their bright 
scarlet coats. On the other hand, no matter how dili- 
gently the British loaded and fired, they could see 
nothing to aim at. One officer who had been in the 
thickest of the fight, literally wedged in among falling 
bodies, said after the battle that he had not caught sight 
of an Indian during the whole of the battle. They were 
fighting simply against puffs of smoke which seemed to 
come from all points of the compass. For a time the 
cannon were diligently plied and split many tree-trunks. 
Many of the regulars fired wildly and hit their own 
comrades. The Virginians, who scattered and fought in 
Indian fashion, suffered but Kttle and did more than 
their share of execution. Some of the regulars tried to 
imitate these tactics, but wherever Braddock saw any- 
thing of the sort going on he would strike them with the 
flat of his sword and force them back into the ranks. As 
for the general himself, he performed prodigies of valor, 
and was forever in the most exposed places, while he 
had four horses shot under him and at last fell from the 
fifth with one of his lungs badly torn by a bullet. Wash- 
ington's fighting was equally desperate. Two horses 
were killed under him and his clothes were partly torn 
from his back by bullets. He seemed to bear a charmed 
life. It is needless to enlarge further upon such a scene. 
Let it suffice to say, that out of a total force of thirteen 
hundred and seventy- three all but four hundred and fifty- 
nine were killed or wounded; and in addition to these, 
out of eighty-six officers only twenty-three escaped 
unhurt. The whole affair was as thickly fraught with 
horror as anything that is likely to happen in modern 



warfare. The utter fatuity of the affair, the hopeless 
feeKng of brave men drawn up for slaughter without 
understanding the means of defense, has in it something 
pecuUarly intolerable. The gallant Braddock, as he lay 
half-dazed upon his death-bed, was heard to murmur, 
"Who would ever have thought it?" and again, after an 
interval, "We shall know better how to do it next time." 

The skillful retreat from this field of blood added 
much to the credit of the youthful Washington, and 
marked him out as an officer likely to have a brilliant 
future. As for the rear column, which had been left 
under command of Colonel Dunbar, it retreated to Fort 
Cumberland, and presently abandoned the campaign, 
a most ill-judged and reprehensible proceeding which 
threw open the frontier to all the horrors of Indian 
invasion. The events of the past twelve months had done 
all that twelve months could do in destroying the influ- 
ence of the Enghsh among the Ohio tribes. Washing- 
ton's disaster at Great Meadows had gone far toward 
imdermining their allegiance, Braddock's insolence had 
seasoned their contempt with a spice of anger, and now 
at last this headlong overthrow of an English army had 
convinced the red men that good medicine was all on the 
side of the Great White Father on the St. Lawrence. 

Thus inauspiciously for the English began the mighty 
war that was to put an end to the dominion of French- 
men in America, yet it must be remembered that no 
declaration of war had as yet been made public. These 
deeds of blood were the deeds of a time of so-called 





In the month of August, Major Putnam was deserted 
by the fortune which had hitherto attended him, and 
encountered some of the most remarkable of those 
perils, which give a character of romance to his personal 
history. A corps of five hundred men, under the com- 
mand of Major Rogers and himself, was detached to 
watch the enemy in the neighborhood of Ticonderoga. 
When the party reached South Bay, it was separated 
into two divisions, which were stationed at a consider- 
able distance from each other; but being discovered by 
the enemy, it was deemed expedient to reunite them, 
and to return without delay to headquarters at Fort 

They were arranged for this purpose in three divisions. 
Rogers headed the right, Putnam the left, and the cen- 
tral one was led by Captain Dalzell. At the close of the 
first day's march, they halted on the borders of Clear 
River. Early the next morning. Major Rogers, with a 
strange disregard of those precautions to which the 
Rangers ^ere so often indebted for security, amused 
himself by a trial of skill with a British officer in firing 
at a mark; and this signal act of imprudence was fol- 
lowed by the loss of many lives. 



Molang, the French partisan, had been sent out with 
five hundred men to intercept the party, and was at 
this moment lying scarce a mile from their encampment. 
The soimd of the firing guided him at once to their posi- 
tion; and he posted his men in ambush along the out- 
skirts of the forest, near the paths through which they 
were to pass. Soon after sunrise the Americans resumed 
their march through a thicket of shrubs and brushwood, 
over land from which the timber had been partially 
cleared some years before; and, owing to the difl&culty 
of forcing their way through these obstructions, they 
moved in close columns, Putnam leading the way, 
Dalzell being stationed in the center, and Rogers in the 
rear. Just as they had traversed the thicket and were 
about to penetrate the forest, they were furiously at- 
tacked by the French and savages. 

The assault, however unexpected, was sustained with 
gallantry and coolness; Putnam ordered his men to halt, 
returned the fire, and called upon Dalzell and Rogers to 
support him. Dalzell came immediately up ; but Rogers, 
instead of advancing to the aid of his associates, sta- 
tioned his men between the combatants and Wood 
Creek, in order, as he affirmed, to guard against an 
attack in the rear; or, as was suspected by others, to 
relieve himself from the necessity of making one in an 
opposite direction. The action began to assume a des- 
perate character. Putnam was determined to maintain 
his ground; his soldiers, as occasion required, fought in 
ranks in the open spaces of the forest, or fired from 
behind the shelter of the trees. But his own fusee 
chanced to miss fire, while he held its muzzle against 
the breast of an athletic savage; thus defenseless, he was 



compelled to surrender; and his antagonist, having 
bound him securely to a tree, returned to the battle. 

Captain Dalzell, who now commanded, maintained 
the fight with signal intrepidity; but the Provincials 
were compelled to retreat for a little distance, closely 
followed by the savages, exulting in their fancied 
triumph, and rushing forward with shouts of victory. 
The Provincials rallied and drove them back beyond 
their former position, and the battle here grew warmer 
than before. The tree to which Putnam was secured 
was thus brought midway between the combatants, in 
the center of the hottest fire of both; and he stood, 
wholly unable to move his body, or even to incline his 
head, in the midst of a shower of balls, of which many 
lodged in the tree above him, and several passed through 
the sleeves and skirts of his coat. 

In this position, than which it would be difficult for 
the imagination to conceive one more appalling, he 
remained for more than an hour; each of the parties 
meanwhile giving ground several times in succession, 
but not so far as to place him beyond the field of con- 
test. Once, when the Provincials had retired a Uttle 
and the savages were near him, a young Indian amused 
himself by throwing his tomahawk at the tree, appar- 
ently to ascertain how nearly he could cast it to the body 
of the prisoner without striking him; and the weapon 
more than once lodged in the tree, within a hair's 
breadth of the mark. When this barbarian grew weary 
of his sport, a French subaltern drew near, and leveled 
his musket at Putnam's breast. Fortunately it missed 
fire. It was in vain that the latter claimed the treat- 
ment due to him as a prisoner of war. The Frenchman, 



instead of desisting, pushed him violently with his mus- 
ket,- and after dealing him a severe blow upon the cheek 
with the butt-end of his piece, left him to his fate. 

After a long and gallant contest, the Provincials 
remained in possession of the field; the enemy were 
routed with the loss of ninety of their number, and 
retired, taking with them their prisoner, who was 
destined to undergo stiU greater suffering. 

When the Indians had retreated to a considerable 
distance from the field of the battle, they deprived 
Major Putnam of his coat, vest, stockings, and shoes, 
bound his hands tightly together, and piled the packs of 
a number of the wounded on his back. In this wretched 
condition, exhausted by fatigue, and severely suffering 
from the injuries he had received, he was forced to 
march for many miles through a mountainous and 
rugged tract; untU the party, overcome with weariness, 
at length halted to rest themselves. Meantime, the 
tightness of the cords around his wrists had caused his 
hands to swell, and made them exquisitely painful; the 
blood was flowing from his torn and naked feet; the 
weight of his burden became intolerable to his exhausted 
frame; and he entreated the savages to loose his hands 
or to release him from his sufferings by death. 

A French officer interposed, removed the Hgatures, 
and relieved him of a portion of his burden; the Indian 
who had made him captive and who had remained be- 
hind to attend to the wounded, also came up, provided 
him with moccasins, and expressed much indignation 
at the treatment which he had received; but soon went 
back, without taking measures to secure him against its 



A spot for the evening's encampment was selected, 
and the Indians, taking with them Major Putnam, went 
thither in advance of the rest of the party. On the way 
he experienced fresh outrages, and was deeply wounded 
on the cheek by a blow from a tomahawk. He had been 
thus far spared for a darker purpose ; it had been resolved 
that he should perish at the stake, with all those refine- 
ments of torture by which the savages know how to 
enhance the bitterness of death. The depths of the 
forest were chosen as the scene of sacrifice. The victim 
was bound entirely naked to a tree, large piles of fuel 
were laid in a circle around him; and, while these fearful 
preparations were in progress, they were rendered more 
appalling by the wild songs and exultations of the 

When all was ready and their victim was awaiting 
the hour of death with the fortitude which never failed 
him, the fire was set to the fuel about him; but a sudden 
shower extinguished the flames. After repeated efforts, 
the blaze began to rise from every portion of the circle. 
Putnam's hands were closely bound, but he was still 
able to move his body; and his convulsive writhing to 
avoid the flame gave infinite diversion to his tormentors, 
who accompanied their orgies with songs and dances, 
and their usual terrific expressions of delight. 

All hope of relief was now at an end, and nature was 
beginning to yield to the excess of suffering, when a 
French officer rushed through the throng, dashed aside 
the blazing brands, and cut the cords of the prisoner. 
A savage, touched by some sudden impulse of humanity, 
had hurried to inform Molang of the proceedings of his 
fellows, and it was this brave partisan himself, who had 



thus, at the last extremity, redeemed from the most 
horrible of deaths a gallant foe. After sternly repri- 
manding the Indians for their cruelty, he took Putnam 
under his protection, untU he could restore him to his 
savage master. 

The kindness of this master (for so the Indian who 
captured Putnam was considered) bore some resem- 
blance to the tender mercies of the wicked. He appeared 
to feel for the sufferings of his prisoner; and, finding that 
he was unable to eat the hard bread set before him, in 
consequence of the injury inflicted by the Frenchman, 
moistened it with water for his relief. Apprehensive, 
however, that Putnam might take advantage of the 
darkness to escape, he removed his moccasins, and tied 
them to his wrists; then placed him on the ground upon 
his back, and, extending his arms as far asunder as pos- 
sible, secured them to two young trees. His legs were 
next secured in the same ingenious manner. Several 
long and slender poles were next cut, and laid, together 
with bushes, transversely across Putnam's body; on the 
extremities of these lay several Indians, in such a manner 
that the slightest effort to escape must awaken them. 

Having completed this singular cage, the Indians 
were content with the provision they had made for his 
safe-keeping; and in this particularly inconvenient 
prison Putnam spent the dreary night that followed his 
release from death. He was accustomed to relate that, 
even while thus reposing, he could not refrain from smil- 
ing as he thought of the odd subject for the canvas 
which was presented by the group, of which he consti- 
tuted the most prominent figure; but his merriment 
was probably of short duration. 



Next morning he was released from durance and pro- 
vided with a blanket; some bear's meat was given him to 
allay his hunger, and he was permitted to resume his 
march without a burden. Some vexation was occasion- 
ally shown by the savages, by menacing signs and ges- 
tures, on account of the loss of their expected entertain- 
ment; but they were no longer suffered to molest him, 
and he reached Ticonderoga the same night, without 
experiencing further violence. On his arrival there he 
was placed in the custody of a French guard. 

After havmg been examined by Montcalm, Major 
Putnam was transferred to Montreal. He was conducted 
thither by a French officer, from whom he received a 
courtesy and kindness which were the more welcome 
from the indignities he had so lately suffered. Several 
American prisoners were in that city at the time; among 
the number was Colonel Peter Schuyler. When he heard 
of the arrival of Putnam, Colonel Schuyler hastened to 
ascertain the place of his abode. The Provincial major 
had been suffered to remain without a coat, vest, or 
stockings; the remnant of his clothing was miserably 
tattered, and his body exhibited serious marks of the 
violence he had endured. Colonel Schuyler, when he 
came into his presence, was so affected by the sight that 
he could hardly, in the language of Humphreys, "con- 
tain his speech within limit consistent with the prudence 
of a prisoner, and the meekness of a Christian." 

He immediately supplied his countryman with all 
that his necessities required; and, after securing to him, 
by the most active intercession, the treatment to which 
his rank entitled him, found means to render him a more 
important service. The capture of Frontenac by the 



British occasioned an exchange of prisoners, of which 
Putnam reaped the benefit by a stratagem of Colonel 
Schuyler. There were several officers among the pris- 
oners, whose claim to be exchanged was superior to his; 
and Schuyler, fearing that the opportunity might be 
lost if the character of the prisoner should be known, 
prevailed upon the Governor to permit him to name an 
ofi&cer to be included in the cartel. He then assured His 
Excellency that he should name an old Provincial major, 
who was of no service there or elsewhere, but was very 
anxious to return to his wife and family, in preference 
to the young men, who had no families to care for. 



The sound of the Indian drum was heard on the Detroit 
River, and the humid May night air carried it a league 
or more to the fort. All the Pottawatomies and Wyan- 
dots were gathered from their own villages on opposite 
shores to the Ottawas on the south bank, facing Isle 
Cochon. Their women and children squatted about 
huge fires to see the war dance. The river strait, so lim- 
pidly and transparently blue in daytime, that dipping a 
pailful of it was like dipping a pailful of the sky, scarcely 
glinted betwixt darkened woods. 

In the center of an open space, which the camp-fires 
were built to illuminate, a painted post was driven into 
the ground, and the warriors formed a large ring around 
it. Their moccasined feet kept time to the booming of 
the drums. With a flourish of his hatchet around his 
head, a chief leaped into the ring and began to chase an 
imaginary foe, chanting his own deeds and those of his 
forefathers. He was a muscular rather than a tall 
Indian, with high, striking features. His dark skin was 
colored by war paint, and he had stripped himself of 
everything but ornaments. Ottawa Indians usually 
wore brilliant blankets, while Wyandots of Sandusky 
and Detroit paraded in painted shirts, their heads 
crowned with Httle bells. The Ojibwas, or Chippewas, 
of the north carried quivers slung on their backs, hold- 
ing their arrows. 



The dancer in the ring was the Ottawa chief, Pontiac, 
a man at that time fifty years old, who had brought 
eighteen savage nations under his dominion, so that they 
obeyed his sHghtest word. With majestic sweep of the 
limbs he whirled through the pantomime of capturing 
and scalping an enemy, struck the painted post with his 
tomahawk, and raised the awful war whoop. His young 
braves stamped and yelled with him. Another leaped 
into the ring, sung his deeds, and struck the painted 
post, warrior after warrior following, until a wild maze of 
sinewy figures swam and shrieked around it. Blazing 
pine knots stuck in the ground helped to show this mad- 
dened whirl, the very opposite of the peaceful, floating 
calumet dance. Boy papooses, watching it, yelled also, 
their black eyes kindling with full desire to shed blood. 

Perhaps no Indian there, except Pontiac, understood 
what was beginning with the war dance on that May 
night of the year 1763. He had been laying his plans all 
winter, and sending huge black and purple wampum 
belts of war, and hatchets dipped in red, to rouse every 
native tribe. All the Algonquin stock and the Senecas 
of the Iroquois were united with him. From the small 
oven-shaped hut on Isle' Cochon, where he lived with 
his squaws and children, to Machilimackinac, from 
Machilimackinac to the lower Mississippi, and from the 
eastern end of Lake Erie down to the Ohio, the messen- 
gers of this self-made emperor had secretly carried and 
unfolded his plan, which was to rise and attack all the 
EngUsh forts on the same day, and then to destroy all 
the EngUsh settlers, sparing no white people but the 

Two years before, an English army had come over to 



Canada and conquered it. That was a deathblow to 
French settlements in the Middle West. They dared no 
longer resist English colonists pushing on them from the 
east. All that chain of forts stretching from Lake Erie 
down to the Ohio — Presqu' Isle, Le Bceuf, Venango, 
Ligonier, — had been given up to the English, as well 
as western posts — Detroit, Fort Miami, Ouatanon on 
the Wabash, and Machilimackinac. The settlements on 
the Mississippi, however, still displayed the white flag 
of France. So large was the dominion in the New World 
which England now had the right to claim, that she was 
unable to grasp it all at once. 

The Indians did not like the Enghsh, who treated 
them with contempt, would not offer them presents, 
and put them in danger of starvation by holding back 
the guns and ammunition, on which they had learned 
to depend instead of their bows and arrows. For two 
years they had borne the rapid spread of Enghsh settle- 
ments on land which they still regarded as their own. 
These intruders were not like the French, who cared 
nothing about claiming land, and were always ready to 
hiuit or dance with their red brethren. 

All the tribes were, therefore, eager to rise against the 
Enghsh, whom they wanted to drive back into the sea. 
Pontiac himself knew this could not be done; but he 
thought it possible, by striking the Enghsh forts all at 
once, to restore the French power and so get the French 
to help him in fighting back their common foe from 
spreading into the west. 

Pontiac was the only Indian who ever seemed to 
realize all the dangers which threatened his race, or to 
have the miUtary skill for organizing against them. His 



work had been secret, and he had taken pains to appear 
very friendly to the garrison of Detroit, who were used 
to the noise of Indian yelling and dancing. This fort 
was the central point of his operations, and he intended 
to take it next morning by surprise. 

Though La Motte Cadillac was the founder of a per- 
manent settlement on the west shore of Detroit River, 
it is said that Greysolon de Lhut set up the first pali- 
sades there. About a hundred houses stood crowded 
together within the wooden wall of these tall log pickets, 
which were twenty-five feet high. The houses were 
roofed with bark or thatched with straw. The streets 
were mere paths, but a wide road went all around the 
town next to the palisades. Detroit was almost square 
in shape, with a bastion, or fortified projection, at each 
comer, and a blockhouse built over each gate. The river 
almost washed the front palisades, and two schooners 
usually anchored near to protect the fort and give it 
conununication with other points. Besides the homes 
of settlers, it contained barracks for soldiers, a council- 
house, and a Uttle church. 

About a hundred and twenty soldiers, besides fur 
traders and Canadian settlers, were in this inclosure, 
which was called the fort, to distinguish it from the 
village of French houses up and down the shore. Dwell- 
ers outside had their own gardens and orchards, also 
surrounded by pickets. These French people, who tried 
to live comfortably among the English, whom they hked 
no better than the Indians did, raised fine pears and 
apples and made wine of the wild grapes. 

The river, emptying the water of the upper lakes into 
Lake Erie, was about half a mile wide. Sunlight next 



morning showed this blue strait sparkling from the pal- 
isades to the other shore, and trees and gardens moist 
with that dewy breath which seems to exhale from fresh- 
water seas. Indians swarmed early around the fort, 
pretending that the young men were that day going to 
play a game of ball in the fields, while Pontiac and sixty 
old chiefs came to hold a council with the EngHsh. 
More than a thousand of them lounged about, ready for 
action. The braves were blanketed, each carrying a gun 
with its barrel filed off short enough to be concealed 
under his blanket. 

About ten o'clock Pontiac and his chiefs crossed the 
river in birch canoes and stalked in Indian file, every 
man stepping in the tracks of the man before him, to the 
fort gates. The gates on the water side usually stood 
open until evening, for the English, contemptuously 
careless of savages, let squaws and warriors come and 
go at pleasure. They did not that morning open until 
Pontiac entered. He foimd himself and his chiefs walk- 
ing betwixt files of armed soldiers. The gates were shut 
behind him. 

Pontiac was startled as if by a sting. He saw that 
some one had betrayed his plan to the officers. Even 
fur traders were standing under arms. To this day it is 
not known who secretly warned the fort of Pontiac's 
conspiracy; but the most reliable tradition declares it to 
have been a young squaw named Catherine, who could 
not endure to see friends whom she loved put to death. 

It flashed through Pontiac's mind that he and his 
followers were now really prisoners. The captain of De- 
troit was afterwards blamed for not holding the chief 
when he had him. The tribes could not rush through 



the closed gates at Pontiac's signal, which was to be the 
lifting of a wampum belt upside down, with all its 
figures reversed. But the cunning savage put on a look 
of iimocence and inquired : — 

"My father," using the Indian term of respect, "why- 
are so many of your young men standing in the street 
with their guns?" 

"They have been ordered out for exercise and disci- 
pline," answered the ofl5cer. 

A slight clash of arms and the rolling of drums were 
heard by the surprised tribes waiting in suspense around 
the palisades. They did not know whether they would 
ever see their leader appear again. But he came out, 
after going through the form of a council, mortified by 
his failure to seize the fort, and sulkily crossed the river 
to his lodge. All his plans to bring warriors inside the 
paUsades were treated with contempt by the captain of 
Detroit. Pontiac wanted his braves to smoke the calu- 
met with his English father. 

"You may come in yourself," said the officer, "but 
the crowd you have with you must remain outside." 

"I want all my young men," argued Pontiac, "to 
enjoy the fragrance of the friendly calumet." 

"I will have none of your rabble in the fort," said the 

Raging like a wild beast Pontiac then led his people in 
assault. He threw off every pretense of friendliness, and 
from all directions the tribes closed around Detroit in a 
general attack. Though it had wooden walls, it was well 
defended. The Indians, after their first fierce onset, 
fighting in their own way, behind trees and sheltered by 
buildings outside the fort, were able to besiege the place 



indefinitely with comparatively small loss to them- 
selves; while the garrison, shut in almost without warn- 
ing, looked forward to scarcity of provisions. 

All English people caught beyond the walls were 
instantly murdered. But the French settlers were 
allowed to go about their usual affairs unhurt. Queer 
traditions have come down from them of the pious burial 
they gave to English victims of the Indians. One old 
man stuck his hands out of his grave. The French 
covered them with earth. But next time they passed 
that way they saw the stiff, entreating hands, like pale 
fungi, again thrust into view. At this the horrified 
French settlers hurried to their priest, who said the 
neglected burial service over the grave, and so put the 
poor Englishman- to rest, for his hands protruded no 

One of the absent schooners kept for the use of the 
fort had gone down river with letters and dispatches. 
Her crew knew nothing of the siege, and she narrowly 
escaped capture. A convoy of boats, bringing the usual 
spring supplies, was taken, leaving Detroit to face 
famine. Yet it refused to surrender, and, in spite of 
Pontiac's rage and his continual investment of the place, 
the red flag of England floated over that fortress all 

Other posts were not so fortunate in resisting Ponti- 
ac's conspiracy. Fort Sandusky, at the west end of Lake 
Erie; Fort Ouatanon, on the Wabash, a little south of 
where Lafayette, in the state of Indiana, now stands; 
Fort Miami, Presqu' Isle, Le Bceuf, Venango, on the 
eastern border, and Machilimackinac, on the straits, 
were all taken by the Indians. 



At Presqu' Isle the twenty-seven soldiers went into 
the blockhouse of the fort and prepared to hold it, 
lining and making it bullet-proof. 

A blockhouse was built of logs, or very thick timber, 
and had no windows, and but one door in the lower 
story. The upper story projected several feet all around, 
and had loopholes in the overhanging floor, through 
which the men could shoot down. Loopholes were also 
fixed in the upper walls, wide within, but closing to 
narrow slits on the outside. A sentry box or lookout 
was sometimes put at the top of the roof. With the door 
barred by iron or great beams of wood, and food and 
ammunition stored in the lower room, men could ascend 
a ladder to the second story of a blockhouse and hold it 
against great odds, if the besiegers did not succeed in 
burning them out. 

Presqu' Isle was at the edge of Lake Erie, and the 
soldiers brought in all the water they could store. But 
the attacking Indians made breastworks of logs, and 
shot burning arrows on the shingle roof. All the water 
barrels were emptied putting out fires. While some men 
defended the loopholes, others dug under the floor of the 
blockhouse and mined a way below ground to the well 
in the fort where Indians swarmed. Buildings in the 
inclosure were set on fire, but the defenders of the 
blockhouse kept it from catching the flames by tearing 
off shingles from the roof when they began to burn. The 
mining party reached the well, and buckets of water 
were drawn up and passed through the tunnel to the 
blockhouse. Greatly exhausted, the soldiers held out 
until next day, when, having surrendered honorably, 
they were all taken prisoners as they left the scorched 



and battered log tower, for savages were such capri- 
cious and cruel victors that they could rarely be depended 
upon to keep faith. Pqntiac himself was superior to his 
people in such matters. If he had been at Presqu' Isle, 
the garrison would not have been seized after surrender- 
ing on honorable terms. However, these soldiers were 
not instantly massacred, as other prisoners had been in 
war betwixt French and English, when savage aUies 
could not be restrained. 

Next to Detroit the most important post was 

This was not the island in the straits bearing that 
name, but a stockaded fort on the south shore of Michi- 
gan, directly across the strait from St. Ignace. To this 
day, searching along a beach of deep, yielding sand, 
so different from the rocky strands of the islands, you 
may find at the forest edge a cellar where the powder 
house stood, and fruit trees and gooseberry bushes from 
gardens planted there rtiore than two hundred years 

Machilimackinac, succeeding St. Ignace, had grown 
in importance, and was now a stockaded fort, having 
French houses both within and outside it, Uke Detroit. 
After Father Marquette's old mission had been aban- 
doned and the buildings burned, another small mission 
was begun at L'Arbre Croche, not far west of Fort 
Machilimackinac, such of his Ottawas as were not scat- 
tered being gathered here. The region around also was 
full of Chippewas or Ojibwas. 

All these Indians hated the EngUsh. Some came to 
the fort and said to a young Enghsh trader named 
Alexander Henry, who arrived after the white flag was 



hauled down and the red one was hoisted: "Englishmen, 
although you have conquered the French, you have not 
conquered us. We are not your slaves. These lakes, 
these woods and mountains were left to us by our 
ancestors. They are our inheritance, and we will part 
with them to none!" 

Though these Ottawas and Chippewas were independ- 
ent of those about Detroit, they had eagerly taken hold 
of Pontiac's war belt. The missionary priest was able 
for a while to restrain the Ottawas. The Chippewas, 
gathered in from their winter's hunting, determined to 
strike the first blow. 

On the 4th day of June, which was the EngHsh king's 
birthday, they came and invited the garrison to look at 
a game of ball, or baggattaway, which they were going 
to play on the long sandy beach, against some Sac 
Indians. The fortress gates stood open. The day was 
very warm and discipline was relaxed. Nobody noticed 
that squaws, flocking inside the fort, had tomahawks 
and scalping-knives hidden under their blankets, though 
a few EngHshmen afterwards remembered that the 
squaws were strangely huddled in wrappings on a day 
hot for that climate. 

The young English trader, Alexander Henry, has left 
a careful account of the massacre at Fort Machilimacki- 
nac. He did not go out to see the ball game, because he 
had important letters to write and send by a canoe just 
starting to Canada. Officers and men, believing the red 
tribes friendly, lounged about unarmed. Whitewashed 
French houses shone in the sun, and the surge of the 
straits sounded peacefully on the beach. Nobody could 
dream that when the shouting Indians drove the ball 



back from the farthest stake, their cries would suddenly 
change to war whoops. . . . 

[The capture of Machilimackinac is described in the 
next selection.] 

The Indians were not guilty of all the cruelties prac- 
ticed in this war. Bounties were offered for savage 
scalps. One renegade Englishman, named David Owen, 
came back from adoption and marriage into a tribe, 
bringing the scalps of his squaw wife and her friends. 

Through the entire summer Pontiac was successful 
in everything except the taking of Detroit. He besieged 
it from May until October. With autumn his hopes 
began to dwindle. He had asked the French to help 
him, and refused to believe that their king had made a 
treaty at Paris, giving up to the Enghsh all French 
claims in the New World east of the Mississippi. His 
cause was lost. He could band unstable warriors to- 
gether for a common good, but he could not control pol- 
itics in Europe, nor defend a people given up by their 
sovereign, against the soUdly advancing English race. 

But he was unwilling to own himself defeated while 
the French flag waved over a foot of American ground. 
This clever Indian, needing supplies to carry on his war, 
used civilized methods to get them on credit. 

He gave promissory notes written on birch bark, 
signed with his own totem, or tribe-mark — a picture 
of the otter. These notes were faithfully paid. 

When he saw his struggle becoming hopeless east- 
ward, he drew off to the Illinois settlements to fight 
back the Enghsh from taking possession of Fort 
Chartres, the last French post. They might come up 



the Mississippi from New Orleans, or they might come 
down the Ohio. The Iroquois had always called the 
Mississippi the Ohio, considering that river which rose 
near their own country the great river, and the north- 
ern branch merely a tributary. 

Pontiac ordered the Illinois Indians to take up arms 
and stand by him. 

"Hesitate not," he said, "or I will destroy you as fire 
does the prairie grass ! These are the words of Pontiac." 

They obeyed him. He sent more messengers down as 
far as New Orleans, keeping the tribes stirred against 
the English. He camped with his forces around Fort 
Chartres, cherishing it and urging the last French com- 
mandant, Saint-Ange de Bellerive, to take up arms with 
him, until that poor captain, tormented by the savage 
mob, and only holding the place until its English owners 
received it, was ready to march out with his few soldiers 
and abandon it. 

It is told that while Pontiac was leading his forlorn 
hope, he made his conquerors ridiculous. Major Lof- 
tus with a detachment of troops came up the Missis- 
sippi to take possession according to treaty. Pontiac 
turned him back. Captain Pittman came up the river. 
Pontiac turned him back. Captain Morris started from 
Detroit, and Pontiac squatted defiantly in his way. 
Lieutenant Frazer descended the Ohio. Pontiac caught 
him and shipped him to New Orleans by canoe. Cap- 
tain Croghan was also stopped near Detroit. Both 
French and Spanish people roared with laughter at the 
many failures of the coming race to seize what had so 
easily been obtained by treaty. 

Two years and a half passed between Pontiac's 



attack on Detroit and the formal surrender of Fort 
Chartres. The great war chief's heart, with a gradual 
breaking, finally yielded before the steadily advancing 
and all-conquering people that were to dominate this 

The second day of winter, late in the afternoon, 
Pontiac went into the fort unattended by any warrior, 
and without a word sat down near Saint-Ange de BeUe- 
rive in the officer's quarters. Both veteran soldier and 
old chief knew that Major Farmar, with a large body of 
troops, was almost in sight of Fort Chartres, coming 
from New Orleans. Perhaps before the low winter sun 
was out of sight, cannon mounted on one of the bastions 
would have to salute the new commandant. Sentinels 
on the mound of Fort Chartres could see a frosty valley, 
reaching to the Mississippi, glinting in the distance. 
That alluvial stretch was, in the course of years, to be 
eaten away by the river even to the bastions. The fort 
itself, built at such expense, would soon be abandoned 
by its conquerors, to sink, piecemeal, a noble and mas- 
sive ruin. The dome-shaped powder house and stone 
quarters would be put to ignoble uses, and forest trees, 
spreading the spice of walnut fragrance, or the dense 
shadow of oaks, would grow through the very room 
where Saint-Ange and Pontiac sat. Indians, passing by, 
would camp in the old place, forgetting how the last 
hope of their race had clung to it. 

The Frenchman partly foresaw these changes, and it 
was a bitter hour to him. He wanted to have it over and 
to cross the Mississippi, to a town recently founded 
northward on the west shore, where many French set- 
tlers had collected, called St. Louis. This was then con- 



sidered Spanish ground. But if the French king deserted 
his American colonies, why should not his American 
colonies desert him? 

"Father," spoke out Pontiac, with the usual Indian 
term of respect, "I have always loved the French. We 
have often smoked the calumet together, and we have 
fought battles together against misguided Indians and 
the English dogs." 

Saint-Ange de Bellerive looked at the dejected chief 
and thought of Le Moyne de Bienville, now an old man 
living in France, who was said to have wept and implored 
King Loms on his knees not to give up to the English 
that rich western domain which Marquette and Joliet 
and La Salle and Tonty and many another Frenchman 
had suffered to gain, and to secure which he himself had 
given his best years. 

"The chief must now bury the hatchet,^" he answered 

"I have buried it," said Pontiac. "I shall lift it no 

"The English are willing to make peace with hun, if 
he recalls all his wampvim belts of war." 

Pontiac griimed. "The belts are more than one man 
can carry." 

"Where does the chief intend to go when he leaves 
this post?" 

Pontiac lifted his hand and pointed east, west, north, 
south. He would have no settled abode. It was a sign 
that he relinquished the inheritance of his fathers to an 
invader he hated. His race could not live under the civ- 
ilization of the Anglo-Saxon. He would have struck out 
to the remotest wilderness had he foreseen to what a 



burial-place his continual clinging to the French would 
bring him. For Pontiac was assassinated by an Illinois 
Indian, whom an English trader had bribed, and his body 
lies somewhere to-day under the pavement of St. Louis, 
English-speaking men treading constantly over him. 
But if the dead chief's ears could hear, he would catch 
also the sound of the beloved French tongue lingering 

A cannon thundered from one of the bastions. Saint- 
Ange stood up, and Pontiac stood up with him. 

"The Enghsh are in sight," said Saint- Ange de Belle- 
rive. "That salute is the signal for the flag of France 
to be lowered on Fort Chartres." 




[A YOUNG English trader, Alexander Henry, escaped from 
the general massacre at Fort Machilimackinac. The follow- 
ing is his own account of his adventures until he was rescued 
because of his previous adoption by one of the Indians as a 
brother. He finally made his way to Montreal. 

The Editor l\ 

I HEARD an Indian war cry and a noise of general con- 
fusion. Going instantly to my window, I saw a crowd of 
Indians within the fort, furiously cutting down and scalp- 
ing every Englishman they found. I had' in the room in 
which I was a fowling-piece loaded with swan-shot. This 
I immediately seized, and held it for a few minutes, wait- 
ing to hear the drum beat to arms. In this dreadful 
interval, I saw several of my countrymen fall, and more 
than one struggling between the knees of an Indian, who, 
holding him in this manner, scalped him, while yet living. 
At length, disappointed in the hope of seeing resist- 
ance made to the enemy, and sensible, of course, that no 
effort of my own unassisted arm could avail against four 
hundred Indians, I thought only of seeking shelter. Amid 
the slaughter which was raging, I observed many of the 
Canadian inhabitants of the fort, calmly looking on, 
neither opposing the Indians nor suffering injury; and 
from this circumstance, I conceived a hope of finding 
security in their houses. 



Between the yard door of my own house and that of 
M. Langlade, my next neighbor, there was only a low 
fence, over which I easily climbed. At my entrance, I 
found the whole family at the windows, gazing at the 
scene of blood before them. I addressed myself immedi- 
ately to M. Langlade, begging that he would put me into 
some place of safety until the heat of the affair should 
be over; an act of charity by' which he might perhaps 
preserve me from the general massacre; but, while 1 
uttered my petition, M. Langlade, who had looked for a 
moment at me, turned again to the window, shrugging 
his shoulders, and intimating that he could do nothing 
for me; — "Que voudriez-vous quej'enferais?" ^ 

This was a moment for despair; but the next, a Pani ^ 
woman, a slave of M. Langlade's, beckoned to me to fol- 
low her. She brought me to a door, which she opened, 
desiring me to enter, and telling me that it led to the 
garret, where I must go and conceal myself. I joyfully 
obeyed her directions; and she, having followed me up 
to the garret door, locked it after me, and with great 
presence of mind took away the key. 

This shelter obtained, if shelter I could hope to find it, 
I was naturally anxious to know what might be passing 
without. Through an aperture which afforded me a view 
of the area of the fort I beheld, in shapes the foulest and 
most terrible, the ferocious triumphs of barbarian con- 
querors. The dead were scalped and mangled; the dying 
were writhing and shrieking, under the unsatiated knife 
and tomahawk; and from the bodies of some ripped 
open, their butchers were drinking the blood, scooped up 
in the hollow of joined hands, and quaffed amid shouts 
• What do you want me to do about it ? ^ Pawnee. 



of rage and victory. I was shaken, not only with horror 
but with fear. The sufferings which T witnessed, I 
seemed on the point of experiencing. No long time 
elapsed before every one being destroyed who could be 
found, there was a general cry of "All is finished!" At 
the same instant, I heard some of the Indians enter the 
house in which I was. 

The garret was separated from the room below only 
by a layer of single boards, at once the flooring of the one 
and the ceiling of the other. I could, therefore, hear 
everything that passed; and the Indians were no sooner 
in than they inquired whether or not any EngHshman 
were in the house. M. Langlade replied that he could 
not say — he did not know of any; answers in wjiich he 
did not exceed the truth; for the Pani woman had not 
only hidden me by stealth, but kept my secret and her 
own. M. Langlade was, therefore, as I presume, as far 
from a wish to destroy me as he was careless about sav- 
ing me when he added to these ans.wers that they might 
examine for themselves, and would soon be satisfied as 
to the object of their question. Saying this, he brought 
them to the garret door. 

The state of my mind will be imagined. Arrived at 
the door, some delay was occasioned by the absence of 
the key, and a few moments were thus allowed me in 
which to look around for a hiding-place. In one corner 
of the garret was a heap of those vessels of birch bark, 
used in maple-sugar making. The door was unlocked 
and opening and the Indians ascending the stairs before 
I had completely crept into a small opening, which pre- 
sented itself at one end of the heap. An instant after, 
four Indians entered the room, all armed with toma- 



hawks and all besmeared with blood, upon every part of 
their body. 

The die appeared to be cast. I could scarcely breathe; 
but I thought that the throbbing of my heart occasioned 
a noise loud enough to betray me. The Indians walked 
in every direction about the garret, and one of them 
approached me so closely that at a particular moment 
had he put out his hand he must have touched me. Still 
I remained undiscovered; a circumstance to which the 
dark color of my clothes and the want of Ught, in a room 
which had no window, and in the comer in which I was, 
must have contributed. In a word, after taking several 
turns in the room, during which they told M. Langlade 
how many they had killed and how many scalps they 
had taken, they returned downstairs, and I, with sensa- 
tions not to be expressed, heard the door, which was the 
barrier between me and my fate, locked for the second 

There was a feather bed on the floor; and on this, ex- 
hausted as I was by the agitation of my mind, I threw 
myself down and fell asleep. In this state I remained 
till the dusk of the evening, when I was awakened by a 
second opening of the door. The person that now en- 
tered was M. Langlade's wife, who was much surprised 
at finding me, but advised me not to be uneasy, observ- 
ing that the Indians had killed most of the English, but 
that she hoped I might myself escape. A shower of rain 
having begun to fall, she had come to stop a hole in the 
roof. On her going away, I begged her to send me a Uttle 
water to drink, which she did. 

As night was now advancing, I continued to lie on the 
bed, ruminating on my condition, but unable to discover 



a resource from which I could hope for life. A flight to 
Detroit had no probable chance of success. The distance 
from Machilimackinac was four hundred miles; I was 
without provisions; and the whole length of the road lay 
through Indian countries, countries of an enemy in arms, 
where the first man whom I should meet would kill me. 
To stay where I was threatened nearly the same issue. 
As before, fatigue of mind, and not tranquiUity, sus- 
pended my cares and procured me further sleep. 

The respite which sleep afforded me during the night 
was put an end to by the return of morning. I was again 
on 'the rack of apprehension. At sunrise I heard the 
family stirring, and, presently after, Indian voices, in- 
forming M. Langlade that they had not found my hap- 
less self among the dead, and that they supposed me to 
be somewhere concealed. M. Langlade appeared from 
what followed to be by this time acquainted with the 
place of my retreat, of which no doubt he had been in- 
formed by his wife. The poor woman, as soon as the 
Indians mentioned me, declared to her husband, in the 
French tongue, that he should no longer keep me in his 
house but dehver me up to my pursuers, giving as a 
reason for this measure that should the Indians discover 
his instrumentality in my concealment, they might re- 
venge it on her children, and that it was better that I 
should die than they. M. Langlade resisted at first this 
sentence of his wife's; but soon suffered her to prevail, 
informiiig the Indians that he had been told I was in his 
house, that I had come there without his knowledge, and 
that he would put me into their hands. This was no 
sooner expressed than be began to ascend the stairs, the 
Indians following upon his heels. I now resigned myself 



to the fate with which I was menaced; and regarding 
every attempt at concealment as vain, I arose from the 
bed and presented myself full in view to the Indians 
who were entering the room. They were all in a state 
of intoxication, and entirely naked, except about the 
middle. One of them, named Wenniway, whom I had 
previously known, and who was upward of six feet in 
height, had his entire face and body covered with char- 
coal and grease, only that a white spot, of two inches in 
diameter, encircled either eye. This man walking up to 
me, seized me with one hand by the collar of the coat, 
while in the other he held a large carving-knife, as if to 
plunge it into my breast; his eyes, meanwhile, were fixed 
steadfastly on mine. At length, after some seconds of the 
most anxious suspense, he dropped his arm, sajong, "I 
won't kill you!" To this he added that he had been 
frequently engaged in wars against the EngUsh, and 
had brought away many scalps; that on a certain occa- 
sion he had lost a brother, whose name was Musinigon, 
and that I should be called after him. 

A reprieve upon any terms placed me among the liv- 
ing, and gave me back the sustaining voice of hope; but 
Wenniway ordered me downstairs, and there informing 
me that I was to be taken to his cabin, where, and indeed 
everywhere else, the Indians were all mad with liquor, 
death again was threatened, and not as possible only, 
but as certain. I mentioned my fears on this subject to 
M. Langlade, begging him to represent the danger to my 
master. M. Langlade, in this instance, did not withhold 
his compassion, and Wenniway immediately consented 
that I should remain where I was until he found another 
opportunity to take me away. 



Thus far secure, I re-ascended my garret stairs, in 
order to place myself the farthest possible out of the 
reach of insult from drunken Indians; but I had not re- 
mained there more than an hour when I was called to 
the room below, in which was an Indian who said that 
1 must go with him out of the fort, Wenniway having 
sent him to fetch me. This man, as well as Wenniway 
himself, I had seen before. In the preceding year, I had 
allowed him to take goods on credit, for which he was 
still in my debt; and some short time previous to the 
surprise of the fort he had said, upon my upbraiding 
him with want of honesty, that he would pay me " before 
long." This speech now came fresh into my memory, 
and led me to suspect that the fellow had formed a de- 
sign against my life. I communicated the suspicion to 
M. Langlade; but he gave for answer that I was not 
now my own master and must do as I was ordered. 

The Indian, on his part, directed that before I left the 
house I should undress myself, declaring that my coat 
and shirt would become him better than they did me. 
His pleasure, in this respect, being complied with, no 
other alternative was left me than either to go out naked, 
or to put on the clothes of the Indian, which he freely 
gave me in exchange. His motive for thus stripping me 
of my own apparel was no other, as I afterward learned, 
than this, that it might not be stained with blood when 
he should kill me. 

I was now told to proceed ; and my driver followed me 
close until I had passed the gate of the fort, when I 
turned toward the spot where I knew the Indians to be 
encamped. This, however, did not suit the purpose of 
my enemy, who seized me by the arm, and drew me vio- 



lently in the opposite direction to the distance of fifty 
yards above the fort. Here, finding that I was approach- 
ing the bushes and sand-hills, I determined to proceed no 
farther, but told the Indian that I beUeved he meant to 
murder me, and that if so he might as well strike where I 
was as at any greater distance. He replied with coolness 
that my suspicions were just, and that he meant to pay 
me in this manner for my goods. At the same time he 
produced a knife, and held me in a position to receive the 
intended blow. Both this and that which followed were 
necessarily the affair of a moment. By some effort, too 
sudden and too little dependent on thought to be ex- 
plained or remembered, I was enabled to arrest his arm, 
and give him a sudden push, by which I turned him from 
me, and released myself from his grasp. This was no 
sooner done than I ran toward the fort with all the swift- 
ness in my power, the Indian following me, and I expect- 
ing every moment to feel his knife. 

I succeeded in my flight, and on entering the fort I 
saw Wenniway standing in the midst of the area, and to 
him I hastened for protection. Wenniway desired the 
Indian to desist; but the latter pursued me round him, 
making several strokes at me with his knife, and foaming 
at the mouth with rage at the repeated failure of his pur- 
pose. At length, Wenniway drew near to M. Langlade's 
house, and, the door being open, I ran into it. The 
Indian followed me, but on my entering the house, he 
voluntarily abandoned the pursuit. 

[Henry and several other prisoners were put into canoes 
and taken to one of the Beaver Islands, in Lake Michigan. 
Here, after considerable discussion between the Chippewas 
and the Ottawas, they were given to the former.] 



The Ottawas, who now gave us into the hands of the 
Chippewas, had themselves declared that the latter de- 
signed no other than to kill us and "make broth" of us. 
The Chippewas, as soon as we were restored to them, 
marched us to a village of their own, situate on the point 
which is below the fort, and put us into a lodge, already 
the prison of fourteen soldiers, tied two and two, with 
each a rope about his neck, and made fast to a pole 
which might be called the supporter of the building. I 
was left untied, but I passed a night sleepless and full of 
wretchedness. My bed was the bare ground, and I was 
again reduced to an old shirt as my entire apparel. I 
was, besides, in want of food, having for two days eaten 
nothing. I confess that in the canoe with the Chippe- 
was I was offered bread — but bread with what accom- 
paniment! They had a loaf which they cut with the 
same knives that they had employed in the massacre — 
knives still covered with blood. The blood they mois- 
tened with spittle, and rubbing it on the bread, offered 
this for food to their prisoners, telling them to eat the 
blood of their countrymen. 

Such was my situation, on the morning of the seventh 
of June, in the year one thousand seven hundred and 
sixty-three; but a few hours produced an event which 
gave still a new color to my lot. 

Toward noon, when the great war-chief, in company 
with Wenniway, was seated at the opposite end of the 
lodge, my friend and brother, Wawatam, suddenly came 
in. During the four days preceding, I had often won- 
dered what had become of him. In passing by he gave 
me his hand, but went immediately toward the great 
chief, by the side of whom and Wenniway, he sat him- 



self down. The most uninterrupted silence prevailed; 
each smoked his pipe, and this done, Wawatam arose 
and left the lodge, saying to me as he passed, "Take 

An hour elapsed, during which several chiefs entered, 
and preparations appeared to be making for a council. 
At length, Wawatam reentered the lodge, followed by 
his wife, and both loaded with merchandise, which they 
carried up to the chiefs and laid in a heap before them. 
Some moments of silence followed, at the end of which 
Wawatam pronounced a speech, every word of which, 
to me, was of extraordinary interest. 

"Friends and relations," he began, "what is it that I 
shall say? You know what I feel. You all have friends 
and brothers and children, whom as yourselves you love; 
and you — what would you experience, did you, like 
me, behold your dearest friend — your brother — in 
the condition of a slave ; a slave, exposed every moment 
to insult, and to menaces of death? This case, as you 
all know, is mine. See there {pointing to myself) my 
friend and brother among slaves — himself a slave! 

"You all well know that long before the war began 
I adopted him as my brother. From that moment, he 
became one of my family, so that no change of circum- 
stances could break the cord which fastened us together. 

"He is my brother, and, because I am your relation, 
he is therefore your relation too : — and how, being your 
relation, can he be your slave? 

" On the day on which the war began, you were fearful 
lest, on this very account, I should reveal your secret. 
You requested, therefore, that I would leave the fort, 
and even cross the lake. I did so ; but I did it with reluc- 



tance, notwithstanding that you, Menehwehna, who had 
the command in this enterprise, gave me your promise 
that you would protect my friend, dehvering him from 
all danger and giving him safely to me. 

"The performance of this promise I come now to 
claim. I come not with empty hands to ask it. You, 
Menehwehna, best know whether or not, as it respects 
yourself, you have kept your word, but I bring these 
goods, to buy off every claim which any man among 
you all may have on my brother as his prisoner." 

Wawatam having ceased, the pipes were again filled; 
and after they were finished, a further period of silence 
followed. At the end of this, Menehwehna arose and 
gave his reply: — 

"My relation and brother," said he, "what you have 
spoken is the truth. We were acquainted with the 
friendship which subsisted between yourself and the 
EngHshman, in whose behalf you have now addressed 
us. We knew the danger of having our secret discovered, 
and the consequences which must follow; and you say 
truly that we requested you to leave the fort. This we 
did out of regard for you and your family; for, if a dis- 
covery of our design had been made, you would have 
been blamed, whether guilty or not; and you would thus 
have been involved in difficulties from which you could 
not have extricated yourself. 

"It is also true that I promised you to take care of 
your friend; and this promise I performed, by desiring 
my son, at the moment of assault, to seek him out and 
bring him to my lodge. He went accordingly, but could 
not find him. The day after, I sent him to Langlade's, 
when he was informed that your friend was safe; and 



had it not been that the Indians were then drinking the 
rum which had been found in the fort, he would have 
brought him home with him according to my orders. 

"T am very glad to find that your friend has escaped. 
We accept your present; and you may take him home 
with you." 

Wawatam thanked the assembled chiefs, and taking 
me by the hand, led me to his lodge, which was at the 
distance of a few yards only from the prison-lodge. My 
entrance appeared to give joy to the whole family; food 
was immediately prepared for me; and I now ate the 
first hearty meal which I had made since my capture. 
I found myself one of the family; and but that I had still 
my fears as to the other Indians, I felt as happy as the 
situation could allow. 




" Each of the thirteen [colonies] had something peculiar in 
its history to distinguish it from the rest. To begin with, 
they were established by several different nations. Most of 
them, it is true, were founded by Enghshmen; but New York 
and New Jersey were settled by the Dutch, and Delaware by 
the Swedes; while the Carolinas were first explored and 
named by a French colony. Most of them were founded by 
small parties of settlers, among whom no great distinctions 
of rank existed; but two of them, Pennsylvania and Mary- 
land, were founded by a single proprietor in each case, who 
owned the whole soil; while New York had its 'patroons,' 
or large landholders with tenants under them. Most of them 
were founded by those who fled from religious persecution 
in Emrope; yet one of them, Rhode Island, was made up 
largely from those persecuted in another colony; and another, 
Maryland, was founded by Roman CathoUcs. Some had 
charter governments; some had royal governments without 
charters; and others were governed by the original proprie- 
tors, or those who represented them. 

"But, however differently the thirteen colonies may have 
been founded, or governed, they were all alike in some 
things. For instance, they all had something of local self- 
government; that is, each community, to a greater or less 
extent, made and administered its own laws. Moreover, 
they all became subject to Great Britain at last, even if they 
had not been first settled by Englishmen; and, finally they 
all grew gradually discontented with the British Govern- 
ment, because they thought themselves ill-treated." 

Thomas Wentworth Higginson. 



Up to the end of the seventeenth century life and man- 
ners in all the colonies were exceedingly simple. Even 
the families of those who were best-to-do lived in a 
fashion far ruder and simpler than that which prevails 
in our time in the remotest farming districts. They had 
horses and cattle now with many a flock of sheep, but 
as they had no roads much better than woodland trails, 
the settlements still clung closely to the coasts and the 
water-courses which furnished convenient highways. 

Because of the lack of land highways, and especially 
of bridges across streams, there were scarcely any vehi- 
cles of any kind in use in the colonies imtil nearly the 
end of that century. When a few light carriages did at 
last come into use they had to be taken to pieces every 
time a stream was to be crossed. The separate parts 
were then packed into the rowboats that carried the 
passengers, while the horses swam at the side or behind 
the boats. 

The problem of the colonists still was to produce grain 
enough and meat enough to Hve upon, and so farming 
was the chief industry of all the colonies, except that 
in New England fishing, shipbuilding, and commerce 
oversea supplemented it. The farming implements of 
that time were of the very rudest character, and most 
of them were imported at high cost from Europe. 

The firearms of the colonists were rude and clumsy. 



They were such as we should now deem unfit for use, 
either in attack or defense. Most of the guns in use 
were matchlocks. That is to say, they were guns which 
could be shot off only by touching a coal of fire to the 
powder in what was called the pan of the gun. Such a 
gun could be fired only once in a minute or two and 
seldom so often if the soldier's fuse happened to burn 
out. For in that case he must run to the nearest fire and 
relight it before he could again discharge his matchlock. 
Moreover, the gun itself, instead of being brought to the 
shoulder as gun§ are nowadays, was rested in some 
crotched sticks, and was fired with far greater slowness 
and difficulty than even large cannon are to-day. 

After a while a new kind of gun came into use which 
was distinctly superior to the matchlock. This was a 
gun in which there was a spring lock armed with a flint 
so placed that when the trigger was pulled the flint 
scraped down over a piece of roughened steel, created a 
shower of sparks, and ignited the powder in the gun. 
These flintlock guns continued in use until well into the 
nineteenth century. The American Revolution and the 
War of 1812 were fought with flintlocks. 

But even such weapons as these were costly and very 
scarce among the colonists. A good deal of their fighting 
was, therefore, done with pikes and half-pikes, two 
forms of spears that were effective only at close quarters. 
Such weapons were the less effective in fighting Indians 
for the reason that the Indians rarely allowed themselves 
to be brought into close quarters. Even in our own day 
it is the habit of the Indians to fight from a distance, to 
retreat firing when pressed, and never for one moment to 
come into hand-to-hand conflict if it is possible to avoid it. 



Of course the advantage of the colonists in having 
firearms while the Indians had only bows, arrows, 
spears, tomahawks, and battle-axes, was soon lost to 
them. Laws were made forbidding the sale of firearms 
to the Indians, but ever3rwhere in the world the greed 
of gain has always overridden the most wholesome and 
necessary laws, wherever profit might result from their 
violation. Even at a time when the very life of the 
colonists hung in the balance of Indian warfare, there 
were base traders who gladly made money by selling 
to the Indians the weapons they needed for the slaughter 
of the whites, — men, women, and children. 

Among the Indians it was the custom to regard the 
tribe rather than the individual as the unit of society. 
If any man of one tribe injured any man of any other 
tribe, the injured man's tribe felt that it had a right to 
hold that other tribe responsible for the wrong. The 
Indians appHed this rule in their dealings with white 
men. If a white man cheated an Indian, or killed an 
Indian, or wronged him in any way, the Indian idea was 
not to hunt out the offender and punish him, but to 
make the wrong a cause for war between the tribe to 
which the injured Indian belonged and all the white 
men in the region roimdabout. It is this pecuKarity of 
the Indian point of view which chiefly accounts for the 
frequency of Indian wars in those earlier times and for 
their merciless savagery. 

Under such conditions it was necessary for the Eng- 
lishmen in America to stand always upon their defense. 
They carried their guns with them always and they 
fortified their settlements with palisades and in other 
ways. Among these other methods of defense was the 



building of what were called blockhouses. These were 
made of hewn logs laid closely together and built up in 
such fashion that the upper story projected beyond the 
plumb-line of the lower by a foot or two. This prevented 
scaling by those who might assault the blockhouse. In 
times of trouble all the settlers gathered in these block- 
houses and used them as fortifications from which to 
fight off the Indian attacks by firing from slits in the 
walls. If the Indians had been determined war-makers, 
of course no blockhouse could long have stood their 
assault. They might have forced their way up to it, 
and built fires around its base, thus driving its occupants 
out of it into the open where they might be slaughtered 
without difficulty. But at no time in American history 
have the Indians shown themselves to be determined 
fighters. Their method of warfare has always been to 
make a dash. If the dash were successful, they slaugh- 
tered their victims; if it were unsuccessful, they retired 
and gave up the fight. The colonists early learned this 
by experience, and they arranged their defensive works 
in full recognition of the Indian habit of mind. 

One other great difficulty that the early colonists 
encountered was their total lack of knowledge concern- 
ing the climate and soil of the regions in which they had 
settled. After they had quit hunting for gold and for a 
northwest passage through the continent, they at last 
set themselves to farming. They did so, however, with 
a degree of ignorance which in many cases proved dis- 
astrous. They did not know what crops could be suc- 
cessfully cultivated in this country, and so they tried 
practically everything of which they had ever heard — 
but chiefly such crops as grow only in warm climates. 



In New England they could grow com, potatoes, tur- 
nips, pumpkins, squashes, beans, peas, and the hke; but 
instead of that they tried the cultivation of sUk, wine, 
madder, olives, tea, coffee, cacao — the bean from which 
chocolate and cocoa are prepared — and many other 
things that can be grown only in tropical or low sub- 
tropical regions. 

These attempts, of course, resulted in failures and 
sometimes even in the impoverishment of those who 
made them. It was only Kttle by little that such mis- 
takes were corrected and that the colonists learned what 
crops they could grow with profit upon such lands and 
in such climates as they had. 

Little by little, at the same time, they learned how to 
live in their new surroundings. The New Englanders 
learned the use of sleds in winter and of snowshoes. Both 
they and the Virginians learned how to make the abun- 
dant fish and game a profitable food-supply. 

In the mean while all the colonists learned much that 
aided them to live comfortably in the regions in which 
they had settled. One important thing that they had 
learned by the middle of the century was how to build 
houses somewhat, though not very well, suited to the 
conditions in which they were living. At first they had 
put up bush shelters or dug holes in the ground. A Httle 
later they had built bark wigwams, which did not and 
could not keep out the cold of winter. A httle later still 
they learned how to build log cabins which they could 
chink and daub with mud so as to make them fairly 
comfortable habitations. 

There were few sawmills in America in those days. 
Boards and planks were therefore exceedingly scarce 



and costly. Yet with growing prosperity the colonists 
desired something better than logs with which to build 
their houses. They had acquired expertness in hew- 
ing out planks with a broadax and still more in riv- 
ing out shingles and clapboards with a frow. Many of 
their houses, therefore, were built of these rough-hewn 
planks, and still more of them — some of which are 
standing even unto this day — were covered with 

About the middle of the century they began to saw 
out boards and planks with what were known as whip- 
saws. In order to do this they placed a log upon two 
high trestles, and with one man standing on top and one 
below, they sawed out such lumber as they needed. It 
was a slow and costly method of manufacture, but it 
was the best and cheapest then known. 

There was no such thing as a stove in existence at 
that time, and of course there was no such thing as a 
furnace or a steam radiator with which to warm houses. 
The use of coal as fuel had not yet begun. The only 
means of domestic heating, and even of cooking, was the 
great cavernous fireplace, into which large backlogs were 
rolled and fires built upon and in front of them. These 
fireplaces were often so large as to admit of settles being 
placed within them at the sides of the fire for the sake 
of greater warmth and comfort. In each of them there 
was hung a crane. This was a bar, sometimes of green 
wood and sometimes of iron, hung upon hinges, which 
could be swung outward and inward at pleasure. Pots 
and kettles were hung upon it over the fire by hooks of 
varying lengths, while skillets, ovens, and the like, were 
set upon the vast hearths where live coals were shoveled 



under them and upon their lids for purposes of baking. 
Frying-pans were used simply by setting them upon hot 
coals in front of the fire. Coffee pots and the like were 
set upon little three-legged iron rings called trivets, 
under which coals were placed. 

In some houses the fireplaces were built without 
jambs. There was simply a wall with a broad hearth in 
front, over which was a hood, leading to the chimney 
above. Fire was built upon the hearth, and settles 
surrounded it. 

The fire was a fierce one, for wood was plentiful, but 
it did not warm the room except for a few feet in front 
of it. There were two reasons for this: First of all, the 
houses were so ill buUt as to let the wintry blasts into 
them freely; in the second place, the chimneys them- 
selves had upward openings so vast that the cold air 
came down as fast as the hot air rose. As a consequence 
of these conditions water froze even near the fire, and 
we have records showing that distinguished New Eng- 
land divines sometimes had to suspend the writing of 
their sermons because the ink froze in their pens, even 
when they sat within the fireplace. 

As another consequence, all the beds of that time 
were closely and unwholesomely curtained to keep out 
draughts, as was the case in England also, and every bed 
was warmed before it was used by passing a warming- 
pan filled with hot coals between the sheets. This 
necessity endured in England till the middle of the 
nineteenth century, as we learn from Dickens's account 
of the trial of Bardell vs. Pickwick. 

Roasting was done in two ways. Sometimes the fowl 
or the pig or cut of meat to be roasted was thrust 



through with an iron rod called a spit, so arranged that 
it could be turned by a crank. A reflector was placed 
behind it on the side opposite the fire so as to keep all 
of the heat within. 

Another, a simpler and a more generally employed 
way of roasting, was by hanging the meats to strings 
which depended from the ceiling. Under each roast a 
dripping-pan was placed, and it was usually the task of 
the boys and girls of the household to twist the strings 
so that the roasts should continually revolve. The boys 
and girls were also required to baste the meats as they 
cooked, with the juices that feU from them into the 

Many houses of that time in New England consisted 
only of a kitchen, which served also as a living-room, 
with some sleeping-rooms above it, and in practically 
all the houses the large kitchen was the family room for 
all purposes. In Virginia the kitchen was always in a 
detached building and was occupied by negro servants. 

Lack of spaciousness in the rude dwellings of that 
time led to the invention of devices for making the most 
of such room as was available. The beds for grown 
people were raised on long legs, high above the floor, 
and under each there was a little trundle-bed, on wheels, 
which could be drawn out at night for the use of the 
children. There were also beds that folded up against 
the wall when not in use. 

For light, the best of all appliances in use at that time 
was the ordinary tallow candle of domestic manufac- 
ture. In Virginia and the region south of that, torches 
were often used, made of fat pine sticks which were set 
up in iron frames or sconces. 



In New Amsterdam, later New York, many of the 
chimneys were built of sticks and mud, and the result 
was that many fires occurred, until at last this source of 
danger was removed by an ordinance forbidding the 
use of wood in the construction of chimneys. 

Another precaution against fire in the towns was the 
emplo3Tnent of chimney sweeps; without their services, 
which were compelled by law in New York, there was 
always danger of a conflagration resulting from the 
ignition of the soot in chimneys. In New England and 
Virginia this danger was often averted by another and 
simpler device. When the roofs were deeply covered 
with snow, or when a drenching rain was falling, great 
sheaves of straw were thrust up the chimney and set on 
fire. Thus the accumulated soot in the flues was safely 
burned away. But in New York and in Charleston, 
South Carolina, chimneys were swept at regular inter- 
vals by those who made a business of the matter. In 
Charleston, even up to the time of the Civil War of 
1861-65, the little negro chimney sweep, with his 
brooms and bags, was seen, and his musical cry was 
heard in aU the streets. 

As there were no such things as friction matches in 
those days, or for two centuries later, the keeping of 
"seed fire," by covering the coals with ashes, was an 
important concern, and when by any accident the seed 
fire was lost, colonial boys were sent to the nearest 
neighbor's house — often many miles distant — to 
borrow a brand with which to rekindle the hearth. 

There were very few blankets, s^ch as we now use, 
in those days. Quilts, stuffed with moss, tow, wool, or 
whatever else might be available, were generally used 



instead. Everybody slept upon feather beds, and the 
Dutch in New Netherland also used hghter feather beds 
for a covering, precisely as many French and German 
people do to this day. 

In all the colonies there was a certain kindly neigh- 
borliness which in many ways ameliorated and improved 
the conditions of life. If there was illness in any house, 
the neighbors volunteered to sit up with the ill person. 
If there was a death, the neighbors came in, not only to 
"sit up with the corpse," but to provide a coffin and to 
take off the shoulders of the stricken family the work of 
arranging for the funeral. Kindly women went into the 
house and took charge of all the housekeeping affairs. 
Kindly men looked after the cattle and horses and did 
the woodchopping and whatever else there was to be 

In other and less distressing affairs of life, a like spirit 
of neighborly kindness lent cheer to existence. If a man 
was building a house or a barn, he got the timbers ready, 
and then his neighbors came to help him in the "raising" 
of the framework. If he had cut the timber from a piece 
of ground that he wished to cultivate, his neighbors aU 
came to help him burn the brush and the logs. 

If a woman had painfully sewed scraps of cloth 
together to make a quilt, all the women of the neighbor- 
hood came joyously to her to help in the "quilting." 
When the farmer had gathered in his corn, he gave a 
"husking bee," and all his neighbors worked by torch- 
light at the corn pile until the last ear was husked. 

All these neighborly cooperations were made the occa- 
sions of social frolics. When night came after the women 
had finished the quilting, the beaux came also. There 



was a supper and a dance. Kissing games were played 
and the jollity was unembarrassed by any fooKsh con- 

When the time of the corn-husking came, the women 
as well as the men took part, and whenever a red ear was 
found, the finder — woman or man — was entitled to a 
kiss from the nearest one of the opposite sex. The corn- 
pile was carefully divided into two equal parts. There 
was a " choosing-up " between two chiefs so that the 
number of huskers on the two sides should be equal. 
Then there was a race to see which side should first 
finish the husking of its share of the corn. The struggle 
was often exciting and always interesting. After it was 
over, there was a supper, and after that a dance. There 
were apt to be plentiful potations of hard cider or some- 
thing stronger as an accompaniment to these frolics. 

In these and a score of other ways, there was neigh- 
borly cooperation, which at once eased the work of the 
colonists and gave to them the advantage of an enjoy- 
able social intercourse. 




Among these corsairs one of the boldest was a fellow 
whose name appears in court records as Robert Thatch, 
though some historians write it Teach. He was a native 
of Bristol in England, and his real name seems to have 
been Drummond. But the sobriquet by which he was 
most widely known was "Blackbeard." It was a name 
with which mothers and nurses were wont to tame fro- 
ward children. This man was a ruffian guilty of all 
crimes known to the law, a desperate character who 
would stick at nothing. For many years he had been a 
terror to the coast. In Jxme, 17 18, he appeared before 
Charleston harbor in command of a forty-gun frigate, 
with three attendant sloops, manned in all by more than 
four hundred men. Eight or ten vessels, rashly ventur- 
ing out, were captured by him, one after another, and in 
one of them were several prominent citizens of Charles- 
ton, including a highly respected member of the council, 
all bound for London. When Blackbeard learned the 
quaUty of his prisoners, his fertile brain conceived a 
brilliant scheme. His ships were in need of sundry medi- 
cines and other provisions, whereof a Hst was duly made 
out and entrusted to a mate named Richards and a 
party of sailors, who went up to Charleston in a boat, 
taking along one of the prisoners with a message to 
Governor Johnson. The message was briefly this, that, 



if the supplies mentioned were not delivered to Black- 
beard within eight-and-forty hours, that eminent com- 
mander would forthwith send to Governor Johnson, 
with his compliments, the heads of all his prisoners. 

It was a terrible humiliation, but the pirate had cal- 
culated correctly. Governor and council saw that he had 
them completely at his mercy. They knew better than 
he how defenseless the town was; they knew that his 
ships could batter it to pieces without effective resist- 
ance. Not a minute must be lost, for Richards and his 
ruffians were strutting airUy about the streets amid 
fierce uproar, and, if the mob should venture to assault 
them, woe to Blackbeard's captives. The supplies were 
dehvered with all possible haste, and Blackbeard 
released the prisoners, after robbing them of everything 
th^ had, even to their clothing, so that they went 
ashore nearly naked. From one of them he took six 
thousand dollars in coin. After this exploit Blackbeard 
retired to North Carolina, where it is said that he 
bought the coimivance of Charles Eden, the governor, 
who is further said to have been present at the ceremony 
of the pirate's marriage to his fourteenth wife. 

While the arch-villain, thus befriended, was roaming 
the coast as far as Philadelphia and bringing his prizes 
into Pamlico Sound, another rover was making trouble 
for Charleston. Major Stede Bonnet, of Barbadoes, had 
taken up the business of piracy scarcely two years be- 
fore. He had served with credit in the army and was 
now past middle hfe, with a good reputation and 
plenty of money, when all at once he must needs take 
the short road to the gaUows. Some say it was because 
his wife was a vixen, a droll reason for turning pirate. 



But in truth there was a moral contagion in this business. 
The case of WiUiam Kidd, a few years before Bonnet, is 
an illustration. Kidd was an able merchant, with a 
reputation for integrity, when William III sent him with 
a swift and powerful ship to chase pirates; and, lo! when 
with this fine accouterment, he brings down less game 
than he had hoped, he thinks it will pay better to turn pi- 
rate himself. In this new walk of Hf e he goes on achieving 
eminence, until on a summer day he rashly steps ashore 
in Boston, is arrested, sent to London, and hanged. 
Evidently there was a spirit of buccaneering in the air, 
as in the twelfth century there was a spirit of crusading. 
And even as children once went on a crusade, so we find 
women climbing the shrouds and tending the guns of 
pirate ships. Major Bonnet soon became distinguished 
in his profession, and committed depredations all the 
way from Barbadoes to the coast of Maine. Late in the 
summer of 1718 Governor Johnson learned that there 
was a pirate active in his neighborhood, and he sent 
Colonel William Rhett, with two armed ships, to chase 
him. The affair ended in an obstinate fight at the mouth 
of Cape Fear River, in the course of which all the ships 
got agroimd on sandbars. It was clear that whichever 
combatant should first be set free by the rising tide 
would have the other at his mercy, and we can fancy 
the dreadful eagerness with which every ripple was 
watched. One of Rhett's ships was first to float, and just 
as she was preparing to board the pirate, he surrendered. 
Then it was learned that he was none other than the 
famous Stede Bonnet. At the last his brute courage 
deserted him, and the ecstasy of terror with which he 
begged for life reminds one of the captive in " Rob Roy" 



who was hurled into I^och Lomond. But entreaty fell 
upon deaf ears. It was a gala day at Execution Dock 
when Bonnet and all his crew were hung in chains. 

A few weeks later, while Blackbeard was lurking in 
Ocracoke Inlet, with ship weU armed and ready for 
some fresh errand, he was overhauled by two stout 
cmisers sent after him by Governor Spotswood, of 
Virginia. In a desperate and bloody fight the "Last of 
the Pirates" was killed. All the survivors of his crew 
were hanged, and his severed head decorated the bow- 
sprit of the leading ship as she returned in triumph to 
James River. 

Such forceful measures went on till the waters of 
Carolina were cleared of the enemy, and by 1730 the 
fear of pirates was extinguished. For year after year 
the deeds of Kidd and Blackbeard were rehearsed at 
village firesides, and tales of buried treasures caused 
many a greedy spade to delve in vain, until with the 
lapse of time the memory of aU these things grew dim 
and faded away. 




[Judge Sewall lived in Boston during the last quarter of 
the seventeenth century and the first quarter of the eight- 
eenth. It was much the fashion to keep diaries, and the 
judge kept one, from which the following extract is taken. 
His diary was written for himself alone, and it reveals with 
a fascinating frankness and a deUghtful egotism the details 
of Boston life in his day. 

The Editor i\ 

8r. 21. Friday, My Son, the Minister, came to me 
p. in. by apointment and we pray one for another in the 
Old Chamber; more especially respecting my Courtship. 
About 6. a-clock I go to Madam Winthrop's; Sarah told 
me her Mistress was gon out, but did not tell me whither 
she went. She presently order'd me a Fire; so I went in, 
having Dr. Sibb's Bowels with me to read. I read the 
two first Sermons, still no body came in; at last about 
9. a-clock Mr. Jn°. Eyre came in; I took the oportunity 
to say to him as I had done to Mrs Noyes before, that I 
hoped my Visiting his Mother would not be disagreeable 
to him ; He answered me with much Respect. When 
twas after 9. a-clock He of himself said he would go and 
call her, she was but at one of his Brothers: A while 
after I heard Madam Winthrop's voice, enquiring 
something about John. After a good while and Claping 
the Garden door twice or thrice, she came in. I men- 



tion'd something of the lateness; she banter 'd me, and 
said I was later. She receiv'd me Courteously. I ask'd 
when our proceedings should be made publick: She 
said They were like to be no more publick than they 
were already. Offer'd me no Wine that I remember. I 
rose up at II a-clock to come away, saying I would put 
on my Coat, She offer'd not to help me. I pray'd her 
that J\mo might light me home, she open'd the Shutter, 
and said twas pretty light abroad; Juno was weary and 
gon to bed. So I came hom by Star-Kght as well as I 
could. At my first coming in, I gave Sarah five Shillings. 
I writ Mr. Eyre his Name in his book with the date 
Octob'. 21. 1720. It cost me 8^. Jehovah jireh! Madam 
toldme she hadvisitedM. Mico, Wendell, and W" Clark 
of the South [Church]. 

Octob^ 22. Dater Cooper visited me before my going 
out of Town, staid till about Sun set. I brought her 
going near as far as the Orange Tree. Coming back, near 
Leg's Comer, Little David Jeffries saw me, and looking 
upon me very lovingly, ask'd me if I was going to see his 
Grandmother? I said. Not to-night. Gave him a peny, 
and bid him present my Service to his Grandmother. 

Octob"^. 24. I went in the Hackny Coach through the 
Coinon, stop'd at Madam Winthrop's (had told her I 
would take my departure from thence). Sarah came to 
the door with Katee in her Arms: but I did not think to 
take notice of the Child. Call'd her Mistress. I told her, 
being encourag'd by David Jeffries loving eyes, and 
sweet Words, I was come to enquire whether she could 
find in her heart to leave that House and Neighbour- 
hood, and go and dwell with me at the South-end; I 
think she said softly, Not yet. I told her It did not ly in 



my Lands to keep a Coach. If I should, I should be in 
danger to be brought to keep company with her Neigh- 
bour Brooker, (he was a Uttle before sent to prison for 
Debt). Told her I had an Antipathy against those who 
would pretend to give themselves; but nothing of their 
Estate. I would a proportion of my Estate with my self. 
And I suposed she would do so. As to a Perriwig, My 
best and greatest Friend, I could not possibly have a 
greater, began to find me with Hair before I was born, 
and had continued to do so ever since; and I could not 
find it in my heart to go to another. She coinended the 
book I gave her. Dr. Preston, the Church Marriage; 
quoted him saying 'twas inconvenient keeping out of a 
Fashion coiiionly used. I said the Time and Tide did 
circumscribe my Visit. She gave me a Dram of Black- 
Cherry Brandy, and gave me a lump of the Sugar that 
was in it. She wish'd me a good Journy. I pray'd God to 
keep her, and came away. Had a very pleasant Journy 
to Salem. . . . 

31.2. At night I visited Madam Winthrop about 
6. p.iii. They told me she was gon to Madam Mico's. I 
went thither and found she was gon; so return'd to her 
house, read the Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians in 
Mr. Eure's Latin Bible. After the clock struck 8. I 
began to read the 103. Psalm. Mr. Wendell came in 
from his Warehouse. Ask'd me if I were alone: Spake 
very kindly to me, offer'd me to call Madam Winthrop. 
I told him. She would be angry, had been at Mrs. 
Mico's; he help'd me on with my Coat and I came home; 
left the Gazett in the Bible, which told Sarah of, bid her 
present my Service to Mrs. Winthrop, and tell her I had 
been to wait on her if she had been at home. 



Nov'. I. I was so taken up that I could not go if I 

Nov'. Midweek, went again, and found Mrs Alden 
there, who quickly went out. Gave her about ^ pound 
of Sugar Ahnonds, cost 3^ per £. Carried them on 
Monday. She seem'd pleas'd with them, ask'd what 
they cost. Spake of giving her a Hundred pounds per 
aiium if I dy'd before her. Ask'd her what sum she 
would give me, if she should dy first? Said I would give 
her time to Consider of it. She said she heard as if I had 
given all to my Children by Deeds of Gift, told her 
'twas a mistake. Point- Judith was mine &c. That in 
England I own'd, my Father's desire was that it should 
go to my eldest Son; 'twas 2o£ per aimum; she thought 
'twas forty. I think, when I seem'd to excuse pressing 
this, she seemed to think twas best to speak of it; a long 
winter was coming on. Gave me a Glass or two of 

Nov'. 4**". Friday, Went again, about 7. a-clock; 
found there Mr. John Walley and his wife: sat discours- 
ing pleasantly. I shew'd them Isaac Moses's [an Indian] 
Writing. Madam W. served Comfeits to us. After 
a-while a Table was spread, and Supper was set. I 
urg'd Mr. Walley to Crave a Blessing; but he put it upon 
me. About 9. they went away. I ask'd Madam what 
fashioned Neck-lace I should present her with. She said, 
None at all. I ask'd her Whereabout we left off last 
time; mention'd what I had offer'd to give her; Ask'd 
her what she would give me; She said she could not 
Change her Condition: She had said so from the begin- 
ning; could not be so far from her Children, the Lecture. 
Quoted the Apostle Paul affirming that a single Life was 



better than a Married. I answer'd That was for the pres- 
ent Distress. Said she had not pleasure in things of that 
nature as formerly: I said, you are the fitter to make me 
a Wife. If she held in that mind, I must go home and 
bewail my Rashness in making more haste than good 
Speed. However, considering the Super, I desired her 
to be within next Monday night, if we liv'd so long. 
Assented. She charg'd me with saying, that she must 
put away Juno, if she came to me: I utterly deny'd it, 
it never came into my heart; yet she insisted upon it; 
saying it came in upon discourse about the Indian 
woman that obtained her Freedom this Court. About 
lo. I said I would not disturb the good orders of her 
House, and came away. She not seeming pleas'd with 
my Coming away. Spake to her about David Jeffries, 
had not seen him. 

Monday, Nov'. 7"". My Son pray'd in the Old Cham- 
ber. Our time had been taken up by Son and Daughter 
Cooper's Visit; so that I only read the 130*''. and 143. 
Psalm. Twas on the Account of my Courtship. I went 
to Mad. Winthrop ; found her rocking her Httle Katee in 
the Cradle. I excus'd my Coming so late (near Eight). 
She set me an arm'd Chair and Cusheon; and so the 
Cradle was between her arm'd Chair and mine. Gave 
her the remnant of my Almonds ; She did not eat of them 
as before; but laid them away; I said I came to enquire 
whether she had alter'd her mind since Friday, or re- 
mained of the same mind still. She said. Thereabouts. I 
told her I loved her, and was so fond as to thirik that she 
loved me; she said she had a great respect for me. I told 
her, I had made her an offer, without asking any advice; 
she had so many to advise with, that twas an hindrance. 



The Fire was come to one short Brand besides the Block, 
which Brand was set up in end; at last it fell to pieces, 
and no Recruit was made: She gave me a Glass of Wine. 
I think I repeated again that I would go home and be- 
wail my Rashness in making more haste than good 
Speed. I would endeavour to contain myself, and not go 
on to solicit her to do that which she could not Consent 
to. Took leave of her. As came down the steps she bid 
me have a Care. Treated me Courteously. Told her she 
had enter'd the 4th year of her Widowhood. I had given 
her the News-Letter before : 1 did not bid her draw off her 
Glove as sometime I had done. Her Dress was not so 
clean as somtime it had been. Jehovah jireh ! 

Midweek, 9'. 9' . Dine at Bro^ Stoddard's: were so 
kind as to enquire of me if they should invite M". Win- 
throp; I answere'd No. 



Catalina, accompanied by her father, embarked on 
board of the good sloop WatervUet, whereof was com- 
mander Captain Baltus Van Slingerland, a most experi- 
enced, dehberative, and circumspect skipper. This ves- 
sel was noted for making quick passages, wherein she 
excelled the much- vaunted Liverpool packets; seldom 
being more than three weeks in going from Albany to 
New York, unless when she chanced to run on the flats, 
for which, like her worthy owners, she seemed to have 
an instinctive preference. Captain Baltus was a naviga- 
tor of great sagacity and courage, having been the first 
man that ever undertook the dangerous voyage between 
the two cities without asking the prayers of the church 
and making his will. Moreover, he was so cautious in all 
his proceedings that he took nothing for granted, and 
would never be convinced that his vessel was near a 
shoal or a sand-bank until she was high and dry aground. 
When properly certified by ocular demonstration, he 
became perfectly satisfied, and set himself to smoking 
till it pleased the waters to rise and float him off again. 
His patience under an accident of this kind was exem- 
plary; his pipe was his consolation — more effectual 
than all the precepts of philosophy. 

It was a fine autumnal morning, calm, still, clear, and 



beautiful. The forests, as they nodded or slept quietly 
on the borders of the pure river, reflected upon its bosom 
a varied carpet, adorned with every shade of every color. 
The bright yellow poplar, the still brighter scarlet 
maple, the dark-brown oak, and the yet more somber 
evergreen pine and hemlock, together with a thousand 
various trees and shrubs, of a thousand varied tints, all 
mingled in one rich, inexpressibly rich garment, with 
which nature seemed desirous of hiding her faded beau- 
ties and approaching decay. The vessel glided slowly 
with the current, now and then assisted by a little breeze, 
that for a moment rippled the surface and filled the 
sails, and then died away again. In this marmer they 
approached the Overslaugh, a place infamous in all past 
time for its narrow, crooked channel, and the sand-banks 
with which it is infested. The vigilant Van Slingerland, 
in view of possible contingencies, replenished his pipe 
and inserted it in the buttonholes of his Dutch pea- 
jacket, to be ready on an emergency. 

"Boss," said the ebony Palinurus, who presided over 
the destinies of the good sloop Watervliet — "boss, 
don't you tink I'd better put about? I tink we'reclose 
to the Overslaugh now." 

Captain Baltus very leisurely walked to the bow of the 
vessel, and, after looking about a little, replied, " A leetle 
furder, a leetle furder, Brom; no occasion to pe in zuch a 
hurry pefore you are zure of a ting." 

Brom kept on his course, grumbhng a little in an 
undertone, until the sloop came to a sudden stop. The 
captain then bestirred himself to let go the anchor. 

"No fear, boss, she won't run away." ' 

"Very well," quoth Captain Baltus, "I'm zatisfied 



now, berfectly zatisfied. We are certainly on de Over- 

"As clear as mud," answered Brom. 

The captain then proceeded to light his pipe, and 
Brom followed his example. Every quarter of an hour a 
sloop would glide past in perfect safety, warned of the 
precise situation of the bar by the position of the Water- 
vliet, and adding to the vexation of our travelers at being 
thus left behind. But Captain Baltus smoked away, now 
and then ejaculating, "Aye, aye, de more hashte de lesch 
shpeed; we shall see py and py." 

As the tide ebbed, the vessel, which had grounded on 
the extremity of the sand-bank, gradually heeled on one 
side, until it was difficult to keep the deck, and Colonel 
Vancour suggested the propriety of going on shore until 
she righted again. 

"Why, Where's de uze, den," replied Captain Baltus, 
" of daking all tis drouble, boss? We shall pe off in dwo or 
dree tays at most. It will pe vull-moon tay after do- 

"Two or three days!" exclaimed the colonel. "If I 
thought so, I would go home and wait for you." 

"Why, Where's de uze den of daking zo much drouble, 
Colonel? You'd only have to gome pack again." 

"But why don't you lighten your vessel, or carry out 
an anchor? She seems just on the edge of the bank, 
almost ready to slide into the deep water." 

'.'Why, Where's de uze of daking zo much drouble, 
den? She'll get off herzelf one of deze days, Colonel. 
You are well off here; netting to do, and de young wo- 
man dare can knid you a bair of stogings to bass de 



"But she can't knit stockings," said the colonel, smil- 

"Not knid stogings! Py main zoul den what is zhe 
goot vor? Den zhe must zmoke a bipe; dat is de next 
pest way of bassing de dime." 

"But she don't smoke either, captain." 

" Not zmoke, nor knid stogings? Christus ! where was 
zhe prought ub den? I would n't have her vor my wife iv 
zhe had a whole zloop vor her vortune. I don't know 
what zhe gan do to bass de dime dill next vuU-moon, put 
go to zleep; dat is de next pest ding to knidding and 

CataHna was highly amused at Captain Baltus's enu- 
meration of the sum total of her resources for passing 
the time. Fortunately, however, the next rising of the 
tide floated them off, and the vessel proceeded gallantly 
on her way, with a fine northwest breeze, which carried 
her on with almost the speed of a steamboat. In the 
course of a few miles they overtook and passed several 
sloops that had left the WatervUet aground on the Over- 

"You zee, Golonel," said Captain Baltus complacently 
-^ "you zee — where 's de uze of peing in a hurry, den? 
Dey have peen at anghor, and we have peen on a zand- 
panli. What's de difference, den, Golonel?" 

"But it is easier to get up an anchor. Captain, than 
to get off a sand-bank." 

"Well, zubbose it is; if a man is not in a hurry, what 
den?" replied Captain Baltus. 

At the period of which we are writing, a large portion 
of the banks of the river, now gemmed with white vil- 
lages and delightful retreats, was still in a state of na- 



ture. The little settlements were " few and far between," 
and some scattered Indians yet lingered in those abodes 
which were soon to pass away from them and their pos- 
terity forever. The river alone was in the entire occupa- 
tion of the white man; the shores were still, in many 
places, inhabited by remnants of the Indian tribes. But 
they were not the savages of the free wild woods; they 
had in some degree lost their habits of war and hunting, 
and seldom committed hostilities upon the whites, from 
an instinctive perception that they were now at their 

Still, though the banks of the river were for the most 
part wild, they were not the less grand and beautiful; 
and Catalina, as she sat on the deck in the evening, when 
the landscape, bronzed with twilight, presented one un- 
varied appearance of lonely pomp and majestic repose, 
could not resist its holy influence. On the evening of the 
sixth day the vessel was becalmed in the heart of the 
Highlands, just opposite where West Point now rears its 
gray stone seminaries, consecrated to science, to patriot- 
ism, and glory. It was then a solitary rock, where the 
eagle made his abode, and from which a lonely Indian 
sometimes looked down on the vessels gHding past fat 
below, and cursed them as the usurpers of his ancient 

The tide ran neither up nor down the river, and there 
was not a breath of air stirring. The dusky pilot pro- 
posed to Captain Baltus to let go the anchor, but the 
captain saw "no use in being in such a hurry." So the 
vessel lay still as a sleeping halcyon upon the unmoving 
mirror of the waters. Baltus drew forth his trusty pipe, 
and the negro pilot selected a soft plank on the forecas- 



tie, on which he, in a few minutes, found that blessed 
repose which is the prize of labor, and which a thousand 
times outweighs the suicide luxuries of the lazy glutton, 
whose sleep is the struggle, not the relaxation, of nature. 

[The captain now strove to. entertain his passengers by 
a ghost-story; but was interrupted by the attempts of an 
owl to steal the chickens from a coop on the deck, and got no 
further than "Onze tere was an olt woman."] 

A hoUow murmur among the mountains suddenly 
interrupted him. "There is the old woman again," said 
the colonel. " 'T is de olt Tuyvel ! " said Baltus, starting 
up and calling all hands to let go the halyards. But, 
before this could be accomplished, one of those' sudden 
squalls, so common in the highlands in autumn, struck 
the vessel and threw her almost on her beam ends. The 
violence of the motion carried Colonel Vancour and 
CataKna with it, and had they not been arrested by the 
railings of the quarter-deck, they must inevitably have 
gone overboard. The WatervHet was, however, an hon- 
est Dutch vessel, of a most convenient breadth of beam, 
and it was no easy matter to capsize her entirely. For a 
minute or two she lay quivering and struggling with the 
fury of the squall that roared among the mountains and 
whistled through the shrouds, until, acquiring a little 
headway, she slowly luffed up in the wind, righted, and 
flapped her sails in defiance. The next minute all was 
calm again. The cloud passed over, the moon shone 
bright, and the waters slept as if they had never been 
disturbed. Whereupon Captain Baltus, b'ke a prudent 
skipper as he was, ordered aU sail to be lowered, and the 
anchor to be let go, sagely observing that it was " high 
time to look out for squalls." 



" Such an accident at sea would have been rather seri- 
ous," observed the colonel. 

"I ton't know what you dink, Golonel," said Baltus, 
"put, in my opinion, it ton't make much odts wedder a 
man is trownet in te zea or in a river." 

The colonel could not well gainsay this, and soon after 
retired with his daughter to the cabin. 

Bright and early the next morning, Captain Baltus, 
having looked round in every direction, east, west, 
north, and south, to see if there were any squalls brew- 
ing, and perceiving not a cloud in the sky, cautiously 
ordered half the jib and mainsail to be hoisted, to catch 
the little land-breeze that just rippled the surface of the 
river. In a few hours they emerged from the pass at the 
foot of the great Donderberg, and slowly opened upon 
that beautiful amphitheater into which Natiire has 
thrown all her treasures and all her beauties. Nothing 
material occurred during the rest of the passage. True 
it is that Skipper Baltus ran the good sloop WatervUet 
two or three times upon the oyster-banks of the since 
renowned Tappan Bay; but this was so common a cir- 
cumstance, that it scarcely deserved commemoration, 
nor would I have recorded it here but for the apprehen- 
sion that its omission might at a future period, perad- 
venture, seduce some industrious scribe to write an 
entirely new history of these adventures, solely to rescue 
such an important matter from oblivion. Suffice it to 
say, that at the expiration of ten days from the com- 
mencement of the voyage, the good sloop Watervliet 
arrived safe at Coenties Slip, where all the Albany sloops 
congregated at that time. This extraordinary passage 
was much talked of in both cities, and finally found its 



way into the "Weekly News-Letter," then the only 
paper published in the whole New World, as may be 
seen by a copy now, or lately, in the possession of the 
worthy Mr. Dustan, of the Narrows. It is further re- 
corded, that some of the vessels which passed the Water- 
vliet as she lay aground on the Overslaugh, did not arrive 
till nearly a fortnight after her ; owing, as Captain Baltus 
observed, ''to der peing in zuch a hurry." After so fa- 
mous an exploit the Watervliet had always a full freight, 
and as many passengers as she could accommodate; so 
that, in good time, this adventurous navigator gave up 
following the water, and built himself a fine brick house, 
with the gable end to the street, and the edges of the 
roof projecting like the teeth of a saw, where he sat on 
his stoop and smoked his pipe, time out of mind. 

GIRL IN 1772 


[Anna Green Winslow, from whose journal the following 
extracts are taken, was a little girl of twelve years who had 
been sent from Nova Scotia to Boston to complete her 

The Editor.] 

I. THE "HEDDUS roll" 

Apter making a short visit with my Aunt at Mrs 
Green's, over the way, yesterday towards evening, I 
took a walk with cousin Sally to see the good folks in 
Sudbury Street, & found them aU well. I had my HED- 
DUS roll on, aunt Storer said it ought to be made less, 
Aunt Deming said it ought not to be made at all. It 
makes my head itch, & ach, & burn like anything Mam- 
ma. This famous roll is not made wholly of a red Cow 
Tail, but is a mixture of that, & horsehair (very course) 
& a little human hair of yellow hue, that I suppose was 

taken out of the back part of an old wig. But D 

made it (our head) all carded together and twisted up. 
When it first came home, aunt put it on, & my new cap 
on it, she then took up her apron & mesur'd me, & from 
the roots of my hair on my forehead to the top of my no- 
tions, I mesur'd above an inch longer than I did down- 
wards from the roots of my hair to the end of my chin. 
Nothing renders a young person more amiable than vir- 
tue & modesty without the help of fals hair, red Cow 



tail, or D (the barber). Now all this mamma, I have 

just been reading over to my aunt. She is pleas'd with 
my whimsical description & grave (half grave) improve- 
ment, & hopes a little f als English will not spoil the whole 
with Mamma. Rome was not built in a day. 


I was dress'd in my yellow coat, black bib & apron, 
black feathers on my head, my past comb, &l all my 
past garnet marquesett & jet pins, together with my 
silver plume — my loket, rings, black collar rovmd my 
neck, black mitts & 2 or 3 yards of blue ribbin, (black 
and blue is high tast) striped tucker and ruffels (not my 
best) & my silk shoes compleated my dress. 


The black Hatt I gratefully receive as your present, 
but if Captain Jarvise had arrived here with it about the 
time he sail'd from this place for Cumberland it would 
have been of more service to me, for I have been oblig'd 
to borrow. I wore Miss Griswold's Boimet on my jour- 
ney to Portsmouth, & my cousin Sallys Hatt ever since 
I came home, & now I am to leave ofE my black ribbins 
tomorrow, & am to put on my red cloak & black hatt — 
I hope aunt wont let me wear the black hatt with the 
red Dominie — for the people will ask me what I have 
got to sell as I go along street if I do, or, how the folk at 
New giiinie do? Dear mamma, you dont know the fation 
here — I beg to look like other folk. You dont know 
what a stir woxrld be made in sudbury street, were I to 
make my appearance there in my red Dominie & black 
Hatt. But the old cloak & bonnett together will make 



me a decent bonnett for common ocation (I like that) 
aunt says, its a pitty some of the ribbins you sent wont 
do for the Bonnet. — I must now close up this Journal. 
With Duty, Love, & Compliments as due, pertiailarly to 
my Dear little brother (I long to see him) & Mrs. Law, 
I wiU write to her soon. 
I am Hon'^ Papa & mama, 

Yr ever Dutiful Daughter 

Anna Green Winslow 

N.B. My aunt Deming dont approve of my EngHsh 
& has not the fear that you will think her concerned in 
the Diction. 



In the eighteenth century, the general feeling in European 
countries was that colonies were established for the benefit 
of the mother country. Few people had dreamed of the 
possibiUty of religious freedom, and just as few, perhaps, had 
thought of a colony being established and ruled for the 
benefit of the colonists. England, like other mother countries, 
governed her American colonies for the benefit of the English- 
men who remained at home. For instance, she forbade the 
colonists to settle too far from the coast; for if they were 
crowded together, it was thought that they would buy 
greater quantities of British manufactures. 

To defend the colonies from the Indians, England planned 
to send over soldiers, who were to be paid in part by the 
colonists; and to raise this money, the colonists were to pay 
taxes. But the colonists declared that they were not repre- 
sented in Parliament, and therefore should not be taxed, and 
they refused to buy British goods. A wail rose from the 
manufacturers and merchants, and the law was repealed. 
Next year, however, another law was passed, taxing a few 
things; and finally tea alone was taxed The result of this 
was the Boston Tea-Party and the destruction of tea by 
other colonies. In March, 1775, a convention was held at 
Richmond, where Patrick Henry made his famous speech 
ending with the words, "Give me liberty, or give me 





[In 1766 Franklin was in England as the leading representa- 
tive for the colonies. In this capacity he was called before 
the House of Commons for an examination on the condition 
of the colonies and colonists. Burke said that this scene 
always reminded him of "a master examined by a parcel of 

The Editor.] 

This celebrated examination was by no means the 
impromptu affair which it seemed to be. Among the 
Liberal members of Parliament Dr. Franklin had a 
large number of friends, with whom, as we know, he had 
many times conversed upon all the subjects in dispute 
between the colonies and the ministry. These gentle- 
men, knowing precisely what FrankUn had to offer on 
every topic, kept proposing to him the very questions 
which they were aware would bring him out in his great- 
est force. All their leading questions, moreover, he 
expected, and was prepared for. The questions are, 
therefore, to be divided into two classes, those put by 
the opponents of the Stamp Act, and those proposed by 
its advocates. The object of one party was to give the 
American philosopher the best opportunity to serve his 
cause; the object of the other, to puzzle, entrap, and con- 



found him. One set of questions enabled him to display 
his knowledge, and the other set, his acuteness. 

The first thirteen questions, all proposed by two of 
Dr. Franklin's friends, were designed to elicit certain 
facts, generally unknown in England, which being 
known the whole argument for the Stamp Act was un- 
tenable. These facts were, first, that the colonies were 
then struggling under a load of debt and taxation caused 
by the very war which it was alleged Britain had waged 
solely for their defense and aggrandizement; and, sec- 
ondly, that the enforcement of the Stamp Act, owing to 
the vast extent of the country, the thinness of the popu- 
lation, and the poverty of the frontier inhabitants, was 
impossible. ' ' A man in the back country, ' ' said Franklin, 
" who happened to want a stamp for a deed or a receipt, 
would have to take a month's journey to get it, spending 
perhaps three or four pounds that the Crown might get 

When these points had been brought out with the 
utmost clearness (Franklin citing his knowledge of the 
country gained by his connection with the post-office), 
the concerted game between himself and his friends was 
stopped for a moment by three questions from an adver- 
sary. "Are not the colonies able to pay the stamp 
duty?" asked this gentleman. Their mere ability could 
not be denied, and the question was, therefore, answered 
thus : " In my opinion, there is not gold and silver enough 
in the colonies to pay the stamp duty for one year." 
This ingenious evasion did not throw the enemy off the 
scent. "Don't you know," continued the member, 
" that all the money arising from the stamps is to be laid 
out in America?" "True," replied the witness, "but it 



is to be spent in the conquered colonies, in Canada, where 
the soldiers are, not in the colonies that pay it." The 
member then asked if there was not a balance of trade 
against Canada that would bring the money back to the 
old colonies. Franklin thought not. "The money," he 
said, "would go to England for goods, as colonial money 
was only too apt to do." 

At this point the enemy desisted, and a friend of Dr. 
Franklin succeeded in getting in nine questions, which 
drew from the witness a statement of the population and 
resources of the colonies, designed to show the folly 
of estranging them. He told Parliament that North 
America contained three hundred thousand men ca- 
pable of taking the field, and that the colonies imported 
every year from Great Britain five hundred thousand 
pounds' worth of goods. This information was brought 
out with great force. 

The friendly questioner then tried to get Dr. Franklin 
to repeat before the High Court of Parliament a httle 
joke with which he had amused a Tory member a few 
days before. They were talking over the various plans 
that had been suggested for making the Stamp Act 
palatable to the Americans. The Tory, who was a most 
strenuous advocate of the Stamp Act, told Dr. Franklin 
that if he would but assist the ministry a little, the Act 
could easily be amended so as to make it, at least, toler- 
able to the colonists. "I must confess," the doctor 
gravely replied, " I have thought of one amendment. If 
you will make it, the Act may remain, and yet the Ameri- 
cans will be quieted. It is a very small amendment, too; 
it is only the change of a single word." The Tory was 
all attention. " It is in that clause," continued Franklin, 



"where it is said that 'from and after the first day of 
November, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-five, 
there shall be paid, etc' The amendment I would pro- 
pose is for one, read two, and then all the rest of the Act 
may stand as it does." The examining member endeav- 
ored to bring out this piece of nonsense by asking the 
witness whether he could not propose "a small amend- 
ment" that would make the Act acceptable. The wit- 
ness, however, evaded the question, and explained 
afterwards that he thought the answer expected of 
him " too light and ludicrous for the House." 

Mr. George Grenville, the proposer of the Stamp Act, 
now recurred to his fixed idea. "Do you think it right," 
he asked, "that America should be protected by this 
country and pay no part of the expense?" To this 
Franklin rephed that the colonies during the last war 
had raised, clothed, and sent to the field twenty-five 
thousand men, and spent milhons of pounds. "Were 
you not reimbursed by ParHament?" asked Grenville. 
Franklin explained that the colonies were reimbursed 
only to the amount which Parliament thought they had 
exceeded their just proportion of the expense! Penn- 
sylvania, for instance, had expended five himdred 
thousand pounds, and received back sixty thousand. 

The advocates of the Act continued the examination. 
One asked if the Americans would pay the Stamp Act 
if the rate of duty was reduced. "No," rephed the 
American, "never, unless compelled by force of arms." 
Another asked: "Does not the Assembly of Permsyl- 
vania, the majority of whom are landowners, lay the 
taxes so as to impose the heaviest burdens upon trade, 
and spare the land? " Franklin's reply to this was very 



ingenious and Adam-Smithian: "If unequal burdens 
are laid on trade, the tradesman puts an additional price 
on his goods; and the consumers, who are chiefly land- 
owners, finally pay the greatest part, if not the whole." 
Besides this, he denied that the Assembly did impose 
imequal burdens. The enemy plied him with a dozen 
questions more, but extracted small comfort from him. 

Then his friends had an inning, and gave him several 
opportunities, which he improved in the most telling 
manner. Nothing that he said produced such an im- 
pression, either in the House or out of doors, as his next 
few replies. "What," asked a friendly member, "was 
the temper of America towards Great Britain before the 
year 1763?" "The best in the world," said the witness. 
"They submitted willingly to the government of the 
Crown, and paid in their courts obedience to acts of 
Parliament. Numerous as the people are in the old 
provinces, they cost you nothing in forts, citadels, 
garrisons, or armies, to keep them in subjection. They 
were governed by this country at the expense only of a 
little pen, ink, and paper: they were led by a thread. 
They had not only a respect, but an affection for Great 
Britain; for its laws, its customs, and manners; and even 
a fondness for its fashions, that greatly increased the 
commerce. Natives of Britain were always treated with 
particular regard; to be an Old England man was, of 
itself, a character of some respect, and gave a kind of 
rank among us." 

"What is their temper now?" asked the same friend. 
"Oh, very much altered," was the reply. "In what 
light," continued the friendly member, "did the people 
of America use to consider the Pariiament of Great 



Britain?" Franklin replied: "They considered the 
Parliament as the great bulwark and security of their 
liberties and privileges, and always spoke of it with the 
utmost respect and veneration. Arbitrary ministers, 
they thought, might possibly, at times, attempt to 
oppress them ; but they relied on it that the Parliament, 
on appHcation, would always give redress." He added, 
in reply to another question, that this feeling was greatly 
lessened by the recent measures. 

The Stamp Act men then asked several questions, 
which were intended to draw forth an admission that 
the colonies were abundantly able to pay an additional 
tax. One question was, why the people in America 
increased faster than the English at home. "Because 
they marry younger, and because more of them marry," 
repHed this unrelenting political economist. " Why so? " 
"Because any young couple, if they are industrious, can 
get land and support a family." "Then are not the 
lower ranks of people more at their ease in America than 
in England?" "They may be so if they are sober and 
diligent, as they are better paid for their labor." "How 
would the Americans receive a future tax, imposed on 
the same principle as the Stamp Act?" "Just as they 
do the Stamp Act; they would not pay it." 

The friends of the Act then tried to corner the acute 
American, by asking him whether, in case an Assembly 
should refuse to vote the supplies necessary to the sup- 
port of colonial government. Parliament would not be 
justified in taxing the people. He thought not; for, "if 
an Assembly could possibly be so absurd, the disorders 
that would arise in the province would soon bring them 
to reason." "But," persisted the questioner, "suppose 



they should not, ought there not to be a remedy in the 
power of the Home Government?" Frankhn said he 
would not object to the interference of Parliament in 
such a case, provided its interference was merely for the 
good of the people. "But who is the judge of that, 
Britain or the colony?" This was rather a home thrust. 
The witness parried it thus: "Those who feel can best 

The Tory members affected to be incapable of per- 
ceiving any difference in principle between the duties 
laid upon imports from foreign countries, which the 
colonists paid without a murmur, and the Stamp Act, 
which with one voice they resisted. "The difference is 
very great," said Dr. Franklin; "the duty is added to 
the first cost and other charges on the commodity, and 
when it is offered for sale, makes a part of the price. If 
the people do not like it at that price, they refuse it; 
they are not obliged to pay it. But an internal tax is 
forced from the people without their consent, if not laid 
by their own representatives." "But," asked a member, 
" supposing the external tax to be laid on the necessaries 
of life?" Franklin astonished Parliament by replying 
that the colonists imported no article which they could 
not dispense with or supply the place of. "Cloth?" 
asked one. "Yes, they could make all their cloth." 
"But would it not take long to establish the manufac- 
ture?" "Before their old clothes are worn out, they will 
have new ones of their own making." "But is there wool 
enough in America? " "The people have taken measures 
to increase their supply of wool. They combined to eat 
no lamb last year, and very few lambs were killed. In 
three years we shall have wool in abundance." "But is 



not the American wool very inferior in quality, a kind of 
hair merely?" "No; it is very fine and good." 

A Liberal member asked whether anything less than 
a military force could carry the Stamp Act into execu- 
tion. Franklin said that a military force could not do it. 
"Suppose," said he, " a mihtary force sent into America; 
they will find nobody in arms; what are they then to do? 
They cannot force a man to take stamps who chooses 
to do without them. They will not find a rebelUon : they 
may, indeed, make one." "If the Act is not repealed," 
asked one of Dr. Franklin's particular friends, "what do 
you think will be the consequence?" He replied: "A 
total loss of the respect and affection the people of 
America bear to this country, and of all the commerce 
that depends on that respect and affection." "How 
can the commerce be affected?" "The goods," said 
Franklin, "which the Americans take from Britain are 
either necessaries, mere conveniences, or superfluities. 
The first, as cloth, with a little industry they can imake 
at home; the second, they can do without till they are 
able to provide them among themselves; and the last, 
which are much the greatest part, they wiU strike off 
immediately. They are mere articles of fashion, pur- 
chased and consumed because the fashion in a respected 
country; but will now be detested and rejected. The 
people have already struck off, by general agreement, 
the use of all goods fashionable in mournings, and many 
thousand pounds' worth are sent back as unsalable." 

Mr. Grenville returned to the charge. He asked 
whether postage, to which the Americans did not object, 
was not a tax. "No," replied the deputy postmaster- 
general; "it is payment for service rendered; nor is it 



even compulsory, since no man is obliged by law to 
employ the post-office." Having thus displayed his 
incapacity, Mr. Grenville next proceeded to exhibit his 
ignorance. "Do not the Americans," he asked, "con- 
sider the regulations of the post-office, by the Act of last 
year, as a tax?" Frankhn informed him that the Act 
of last year reduced the rate of postage thirty per cent 
throughout America; which abatement, he added, the 
Americans certainly did not regard in the Kght of a tax. 
Mr. Grenville was silent for a while. 

In reply to other Tory questioners, Dr. Franklin gave 
another point of difference between an external and an 
internal tax. "The sea is yours," he said; "you main- 
tain, by your fleets, the safety of navigation in it, and 
keep it clear of pirates: you may have, therefore, a 
natural and equitable right to some toll or duty on 
merchandise carried through that part of your domin- 
ions, towards defraying the expense you are at in ships 
to maintain the safety of that carriage." To the ques- 
tions of friends he gave answer after answer, demon- 
strating the impossibihty of enforcing the odious Act in 
America. When asked if the colonists would prefer to 
forego the collection of debts by legal process rather 
than use stamped paper, he repUed: "I can only judge 
what other people will think and how they will act by 
what I feel within myself. I have a great many debts 
due to me in America, and I had rather they should 
remain unrecoverable by any law than submit to the 
Stamp Act. They wiU be debts of honor." 

The leading advocates of the Stamp Act tried by a 
variety of questions to extort from Dr. Franklin an 
intimation that, in case the Act were repealed, the colo- 



nists would not object to pay a small internal tax, 
imposed merely to assert the right to tax. The Tory 
members would not understand that the opposition to 
the Stamp Act was an opposition to the principle in- 
volved in it. They kept insinuating that it was merely 
a mean begrudging of the sixpence. They supposed that, 
if the amount of the tax were reduced, the warmth of 
the opposition would be abated. To one of the questions 
founded upon this opinion, Dr. Franklin made a reply 
that was long enough for a speech. Reviewing the his- 
tory of the two French wars, he showed that the colo- 
nists, so far from being parsimonious, had lavished both 
men and treasure in aiding the Home Government to 
execute its projects. They had done far more than their 
part. They had involved themselves so deeply that 
twenty years of peace and prosperity would be necessary 
to set them free from debt. He quoted from a King's 
Speech in which the zeal and liberaHty of the colonists 
had been handsomely acknowledged. He reminded 
Parliament that the wars, of which the colonies had borne 
the burden and suffered the calamities, had not been 
waged chiefly for their own sake; it was for the honor 
and advancement of the British Empire that they had 
spent their substance and shed their blood. And all 
they had done for their country, they had done with 
eager willingness, and asked no reward but the appro- 
bation of their king and of that House. 

When he had finished this long harangue, a friend 
asked him whether the colonies would help the mother 
country in a war purely European. This question gave 
him an opportunity to expatiate further on the same 
theme. He answered that they would do so beyond ques- 



tion. They considered themselves part of the British 
Empire. Its honor was their honor; its welfare their 
welfare. He took occasion, also, to show that such 
expeditions as that of General Braddock were not a 
benefit to the colonies; for it was not imtil Braddock 
had been defeated that the Indians had been trouble- 
some. To show the wiUingness of the colonies to grant 
money to the Crown, he said he had been specially 
instructed to assure the ministry that they were ready 
to vote all the aid they could afford whenever their aid 
was sohcited in a constitutional manner. 

The Stamp Act members appeared stiU to find great 
difficulty in discerning the difference between an exter- 
nal and an internal tax, and seemed to think that, to be 
consistent, the Americans ought to object equally to 
both. Dr. Franklin gave an exquisite reply to one who 
insinuated such an opinion. " Many arguments," said 
he, "have been used to show the Americans that there is 
no difference between an internal and an external tax. 
At present, they do not reason so; but in time, they may 
possibly be convinced by these arguments." 

A rattling fire of short questions and answers brought 
to a conclusion this long examination. A friend asked 
at length, "What used to be the pride of the Ameri- 
cans? " " To indulge," said the witness, "in the fashions 
and manufactures of Great Britain." "What is now 
their pride?" "To wear their old clothes over again, till 
they can make new ones." 

Dr. Franklin withdrew, and the committee rose. 




It was now the 3d of March, 1770. The sunset music 
of the British regiments was heard as usual throughout 
the town. The shrill fife and rattling drum awoke the 
echoes in King Street, while the last ray of sunshine was 
lingering on the cupola of the Town House. And now all 
the sentinels were posted. One of them marched up and 
down before the Custom House, treading a short path 
through the snow, and longing for the time when he 
would be dismissed to the warm fireside of the guard- 
room. Meanwhile Captain Preston was, perhaps, sit- 
ting in our great chair before the hearth of the British 
Coffee-House. In the course of the evening there were 
two or three shght commotions, which seemed to indi- 
cate that trouble was at hand. Small parties of young 
men stood at the corners of the streets or walked along 
the narrow pavements. Squads of soldiers who were dis- 
missed from duty passed by them, shoulder to shoulder, 
with the regular step which they had learned at the 
drill. Whenever these encounters took place, it ap- 
peared to be the object of the young men to treat the 
soldiers with as much incivility as possible. 

"Turn out, you lobsterbacks ! " one would say. 
"Crowd them off the sidewalks!" another would cry. 
"A redcoat has no right in Boston streets!" 

"O, you rebel rascals!" perhaps the soldiers would 


reply, glaring fiercely at the young men. "Some day or 
other we'll make our way through Boston streets at the 
point of the bayonet!" 

Once or twice such disputes as these brought on a 
scuffle; which passed off, however, without attracting 
much notice. About eight o'clock, for some unknown 
cause, an alarm beU rang loudly and hurriedly. 

At the sound many people ran out of their houses, 
supposing it to be an alarm of fire. But there were no 
flames to be seen, nor was there any smell of smoke in 
the clear, frosty air; so that most of the townsmen went 
back to their own firesides, and sat talking with their 
wives and children about the calamities of the times. 
Others who were younger and less prudent remained in 
the streets; for there seems to have been a presentiment 
that some strange event was on the eve of taking place. 

Later in the evening, not far from nine o'clock, several 
young men passed by the Town House and walked down 
King Street. The sentinel was still on his post in front 
of the Custom House, pacing to and fro; while, as he 
turned, a gleam of light from some neighboring window 
glittered on the barrel of his musket. At no great dis- 
tance were the barracks and the guardhouse, where his 
comrades were probably telHng stories of battle and 

Down towards the Custom House, as I told you, came 
a party of wild young men. When they drew near the 
sentinel he halted on his post, and took his musket from 
his shoulder, ready to present the bayonet at their 

"Who goes there?" he cried, in the gruff, peremptory 
tones of a soldier's challenge. 



The young men, being Boston boys, felt as if they had 
a right to walk their own streets without being account- 
able to a British redcoat, even though he challenged 
them in King George's name. They made some rude 
answer to the sentinel. There was a dispute, or perhaps 
a scuffle. Other soldiers heard the noise, and ran hastily 
from the barracks to assist their comrades. At the same 
time many of the townspeople rushed into King Street 
by various avenues, and gathered in a crowd round 
about the Custom House. It seemed wonderful how 
such a multitude had started Up all of a sudden. 

The wrongs and insults which the people had been 
suffering for many months now kindled them into a 
rage. They threw snowballs and lumps of ice at the 
soldiers. As the tumult grew louder it reached the ears 
of Captain Preston, the officer of the day. He immedi- 
ately ordered eight soldiers of the main guard to take 
their muskets and follow him. They marched across the 
street, forcing their way roughly through the crowd, 
and pricking the townspeople with their bayonets. 

A gentleman (it was Henry Kjiox, afterwards general 
of the American artillery) caught Captain Preston's arm. 

"For Heaven's sake, sir," exclaimed he, "take heed 
what you do, or there will be bloodshed." 

"Stand aside!" answered Captain Preston haughtily. 
"Do not interfere, sir. Leave me to manage the affair." 

Arriving at the sentinel's post, Captain Preston drew 
up his men in a semicircle, with their faces to the crowd 
and their rear to the Custom House. When the people 
saw the officer and beheld the threatening attitude with 
which the soldiers confronted them, their rage became 
almost uncontrollable. 



"Fire, you lobsterbacks ! " bellowed some. 

"You dare not fire, you cowardly redcoats!" cried 

"Rush upon them!" shouted many voices. "Drive 
the rascals to their barracks ! Down with them ! Down 
with them! Let them fire if they dare!" 

Amid the uproar, the soldiers stood gazing at the 
people with the fierceness of men whose trade was to 
shed blood. 

Oh, what a crisis had now arrived! Up to this very 
moment, the angry feelings between England and 
America might have been pacified. England had but to 
stretch out the hand of reconciliation, and acknowledge 
that she had hitherto mistaken her rights, but would 
do so no more. Then the ancient bonds of brotherhood 
would again have been knit together as firmly as in old 
times. The habit of loyalty, which had grown as strong 
as instinct, was not utterly overcome. The perils shared, 
the victories won, in the old French War, when the sol- 
diers of the colonies fought side by side with their com- 
rades from beyond the sea, were not forgotten yet. 
England was still that beloved country which the colo- 
nists called their home. King George, though he had 
frowned upon America, was still reverenced as a father. 

But should the king's soldiers shed one drop of Ameri- 
can blood, then it was a quarrel to the death. Never, 
never would America rest satisfied until she had torn 
down the royal authority and trampled it in the dust. 

"Fire, if you dare, villains!" hoarsely shouted the 
people, while the muzzles of the muskets were turned 
upon them. " You dare not fire ! " 

They appeared ready to rush upon the leveled bayo- 



nets. Captain Preston waved his sword, and uttered a 
command which could not be distinctly heard amid the 
uproar of shouts that issued from a hundred throats. 
But his soldiers deemed that he had spoken the fatal 
mandate, " Fire ! " The flash of their muskets lighted up 
the streets, and the report rang loudly between the edi- 
fices. It was said, too, that the figure of a man, with a 
cloth hanging down over his face, was seen to step into 
the balcony of the Custom House and discharge a 
musket at the crowd. 

A gush of smoke had overspread the scene. It rose 
heavily, as if it were loath to reveal the dreadful spec- 
tacle beneath it. Eleven of the sons of New England lay 
stretched upon the street. Some, sorely wounded, were 
struggling to rise again. Others stirred not nor groaned; 
for they were past all pain. Blood was streaming upon 
the snow; and that purple stain in the midst of King 
Street, though it melted away in the next day's sun, 
was never forgotten nor forgiven by the people. 

[To this account Hawthorne adds the following: "The 
town drums beat to arms, the alarm bells rang, and an 
immense multitude rushed into King Street. Many of them 
had weapons in their hands. The British prepared to defend 
themselves. A whole regiment was drawn up in the street, 
expecting an attack; for the townsmen appeared ready to 
throw themselves upon the bayonets. Governor Hutchinson 
hurried to the spot, and besought the people to have patience, 
promising that strict justice should be done. A day or two 
afterward the British troops were withdrawn from town and 
stationed at Castle William. Captain Preston and the eight 
soldiers were tried for murder. But none of them were found 
guilty. The judges told the jury that the insults and violence 
which had been offered to the soldiers justified them in fir- 
ing at the mob."] 




The duty on tea had been retained simply as a matter 
of principle. It did not bring three hundred pounds a 
year into the British exchequer. But the king thought 
this a favorable time for asserting the obnoxious prin- 
ciple which the tax involved. 

Thus, as in Mrs. Gamp's case, a teapot became the 
cause or occasion of a division between friends. The 
measures now taken by the Government brought mat- 
ters at once to a crisis. None of the colonies would take 
tea on its terms. Lord Hillsborough had lately been 
superseded as Colonial Secretary by Lord Dartmouth, 
an amiable man like the Prime Minister, but like him 
wholly under the influence of the king. Lord Dart- 
mouth's appointment was made the occasion of intro- 
ducing a series of new measures. The affairs of the East 
India Company were in a bad condition, and it was 
thought that the trouble was partly due to the loss of 
the American trade in tea. The Americans would not 
buy tea shipped from England, but they smuggled it 
freely from Holland, and the smuggling could not be 
stopped by mere force. The best way to obviate the 
dif&culty, it was thought, would be to make English tea 
cheaper in America than foreign tea, while still retain- 
ing the duty of threepence on a pound. If this could be 
achieved, it was supposed that the Americans would be 



sure to buy English tea by reason of its cheapness, and 
would thus be ensnared into admitting the principle 
involved in the duty. This ingenious scheme shows how 
unable the king and his ministers were to imagine that 
the Americans could take a higher view of the matter 
than that of pounds, shillings, and pence. In order to 
enable the East India Company to sell its tea cheap in 
America, a drawback was allowed of all the duties which 
such tea had been wont to pay on entering England on 
its way from China. In this way, the Americans would 
now find it actually cheaper to buy the English tea with 
the duty on it than to smuggle their tea from Holland. 
To this scheme. Lord North said, it was of no use for 
any one to offer objections, for the king would have it so. 
"The king meant to try the question with America." 
In accordance with this poHcy, several ships loaded 
with tea set sail in the autumn of 1773 for the four 
principal ports, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and 
Charleston. Agents or consignees of the East India 
Company were appointed by letter to receive the tea in 
these four towns. 

As soon as the details of this scheme were known in 
America, the whole country was in a blaze, from Maine 
to Georgia. Nevertheless, only legal measures of resist- 
ance were contemplated. In Philadelphia, a great meet- 
ing was held in October at the State House, and it was 
voted that whosoever should lend countenance to the 
receiving or unloading of the tea would be regarded as 
an enemy to his country. The consignees were then 
requested to resign their commissions, and did so. In 
New York and Charleston, also, the consignees threw 
up their commissions. In Boston, a similar demand was 



made, but the consignees doggedly, refused to resign; 
and thus the eyes of the whole country were directed 
toward Boston as the battle-field on which the great issue 
was to be tried. 

During the month of November many town meetings 
were held in Faneuil Hall. On the 17th, authentic intel- 
ligence was brought that the tea-ships would soon arrive. 
The next day, a committee, headed by Samuel Adams, 
waited upon the consignees, and again asked them to 
resign. Upon their refusal, the town meeting instantly 
dissolved itself, without a word of comment or debate; 
and at this ominous silence the consignees and the 
governor were filled with a vague sense of alarm, as if 
some storm were brewing whereof none could foresee 
the results. All felt that the decision now rested with 
the Committees of Correspondence. Four days after- 
ward, the Committees of Cambridge, Brookline, Rox- 
bury, and Dorchester met the Boston Committee at 
Faneuil Hall, and it was unanimously resolved that on 
no account should the tea be landed. The five towns 
also sent a letter to all the other towns in the colony, 
saying, "Brethren, we are reduced to this dilemma: 
either to sit down quiet under this and every other 
burden that our enemies shall see fit to lay upon us, or 
to rise up and resist this and every plan laid for our 
destruction, as becomes wise freemen. In this extremity 
we earnestly request your advice." There was nothing 
weak or doubtful in the response. From Petersham and 
Lenox, perched on their lofty hilltops, from the valleys 
of the Connecticut and the Merrimack, from Chatham 
on the bleak peninsula of Cape Cod, there came but one 
message, — to give up life and all that makes life dear, 



rather than submit like slaves to this great wrong. 
Similar words of encouragement came from other colo- 
nies. In Philadelphia, at the news of the bold stand 
Massachusetts was about to take, the church bells were 
rung, and there was general rejoicing about the streets. 
A letter from the men of Philadelphia to the men of 
Boston said, "Our only fear is lest you may shrink. May 
God give you virtue enough to save the liberties of yo\ir 

On Sunday, the 28th, the Dartmouth, first of the tea- 
ships, arrived in the harbor. The urgency of the busi- 
ness in hand overcame the Sabbatarian scruples of the 
people. The Committee of Correspondence met at once, 
and obtained from Francis Rotch, the owner of the 
vessel, a promise that the ship should not be entered 
before Tuesday. Samuel Adams then invited the com- 
mittees of the five towns, to which Charlestown was 
now added, to hold a mass meeting the next morning at 
Faneuil Hall. More than five thousand people assem- 
bled, but as the Cradle of Liberty could not hold so 
many, the meeting was adjourned to the Old South 
Meeting-House. It was voted, without a single dissent- 
ing voice, that the tea should be sent back to England 
in the ship which had brought it. Rotch was forbidden 
to enter the ship at the custom house, and Captain Hall, 
the ship's master, was notified that "it was at his peril 
if he suffered any of the tea brought by him to be 
landed." A night-watch of twenty-five citizens was set 
to guard the vessel, and so the meeting adjourned till 
next day, when it was understood that the consignees 
would be ready to make some proposals in the matter. 
Next day, the message was brought from the consignees 



that it was out of their power to send back the tea; but 
if it should be landed, they declared themselves willing 
to store it, and not expose any of it for sale until word 
could be had from England. Before action could be 
taken upon this message, the sheriff of Suffolk County 
entered the church and read a proclamation from the 
governor, warning the people to disperse and "surcease 
all further unlawful proceedings at their utmost peril." 
A storm of hisses was the only reply, and the business 
of the meeting went on. The proposal of the consignees 
was rejected, and Rotch and Hall, being present, were 
made to promise that the tea should go back to England 
in the Dartmouth,- without being landed or paying duty. 
Resolutions were then passed, forbidding all owners or 
masters of ships to bring any tea from Great Britain to 
any part of Massachusetts, so long as the act imposing 
a duty on it remained unrepealed. Whoever should dis- 
regard this injunction would be treated as an enemy to 
his country, his ships would be prevented from landing, 
■ — by force if necessary, — and his tea would be sent 
back to the place whence it came. It was further voted 
that the citizens of Boston and the other towns here 
assembled would see that these resolutions were carried 
into effect, "at the risk of their lives and property." 
Notice of these resolutions was sent to the owners of the 
other ships, now daily expected. And, to crown all, 
a committee, of which Adams was chairman, was ap- 
pointed to send a printed copy of these proceedings to 
New York and Philadelphia, to every seaport in Massa- 
chusetts, and to the British Government. 

Two or three days after this meeting, the other two 
ships arrived, and, tmder orders from the Committee of 



Correspondence, were anchored by the side of the Dart- 
mouth, at Griffin's Wharf, near the foot of Pearl Street. 
A mihtary watch was kept at the wharf day and night, 
sentinels were placed in the church belfries, chosen post- 
riders, with horses saddled and bridled, were ready to 
alarm the neighboring towns, beacon-fires were piled all 
ready for lighting upon every hilltop, and any attempt 
to land the tea forcibly would have been the signal for 
an instant uprising throughout at least four counties. 
Now, in accordance with the laws providing for the en- 
try and clearance of shipping at custom houses, it was 
necessary that every ship should land its cargo within 
twenty days from its arrival. In case this was not done, 
the revenue officers were authorized to seize the ship 
and land its cargo themselves. In the case of the Dart- 
mouth, the captain had promised to take her back to 
England without unloading; but still, before she could 
legally start, she must obtain a clearance from the 
collector of customs, or, in default of this, a pass from 
the governor. At sunrise of Friday, the 17th of Decem- 
ber, the twenty days would have expired. 

On Saturday, the nth, Rotch was summoned before 
the Committee of Correspondence, and Samuel Adams 
asked him why he had not kept his promise, and started 
his ship off for England. He sought to excuse himself on 
the ground that he had not the power to do so, where- 
upon he was told that he must apply to the collector for 
a clearance. Hearing of these things, the governor gave 
strict orders at the Castle to fire upon any vessel trying 
to get out to sea without a proper permit; and two 
ships from Montagu's fleet, which had been laid up for 
the winter, were stationed at the entrance of the harbor, 



to make sure against the Dartmouth's going out. 
Tuesday came, and Rotch, having done nothing, was 
summoned before the town meeting, and peremptorily 
ordered to apply for a clearance. Samuel Adams and 
nine other gentlemen accompanied him to the custom 
house to witness the proceedings, but the collector re- 
fused to give an answer until the next day. The meet- 
ing then adjourned till Thursday, the last of the twenty 
days. On Wednesday morning, Rotch was again escorted 
to the custom house, and the collector refused to give a 
clearance unless the tea should first be landed. 

On the morning of Thursday, December i6, the as- 
sembly which was gathered in the Old South Meeting- 
House, and in the streets about it, numbered more than 
seven thousand people. It was to be one of the most 
momentous days in the history of the world. The clear- 
ance having been refused, nothing now remained but to 
order Rotch to request a pass for his ship from the gov- 
ernor. But the wary Hutchinson, well knowing what 
was about to be required of him, had gone out to his 
country house at Milton, so as to foil the proceedings 
by his absence. But the meeting was not so to be trifled 
with. Rotch was enjoined, on his peril, to repair to the 
governor at Milton, and ask for his pass; and while he 
was gone, the meeting considered what was to be done 
in case of a refusal. Without a pass it would be impossi- 
ble for the ship to clear the harbor under the guns of the 
Castle; and by sunrise, next morning, the revenue of- 
ficers would be empowered to seize the ship, and save 
by a violent assault upon them it would be impossible 
to prevent the landing of the tea. "Who knows," said 
John Rowe, "how tea will mingle with salt water?" 

45 1 


And great applause followed the suggestion. Yet the 
plan which was to serve as a last resort had unquestion- 
ably been adopted in secret committee long before this. 
It appears to have been worked out in detail in a little 
back room at the ofl&ce of the "Boston Gazette," and 
there is no doubt that Samuel Adams, with some others 
of the popular leaders, had a share in devising it. But 
among the thousands present at the town meeting, it is 
probable that very few knew just what it was designed 
to do. At five in the afternoon, it was unanimously 
voted that, come what would, the tea should not be 
landed. It had now grown dark, and the church was 
dimly lighted with candles. Determined not to act until 
the last legal method of reHef should have been tried 
and f oxmd wanting, the great assembly was still waiting 
quietly in and about the church when, an hour after 
nightfall, Rotch returned from Milton with the gover- 
nor's refusal. Then, amid profound stillness, Samuel 
Adams arose and said, quietly but distinctly, "This 
meeting can do nothing more to save the country." It 
was the declaration of war; the law had shown itself 
unequal to the occasion, and nothing now remained but 
a direct appeal to force. Scarcely had the watchword 
left his mouth when a war whoop answered from out- 
side the door, and fifty men in the guise of Mohawk In- 
dians passed quickly by the entrance, and hastened to 
Grif&n's Wharf. Before the nine o'clock bell rang, the 
three hundred and forty-two chests of tea laden upon 
the three ships had been cut open, and their contents 
emptied into the sea. Not a person was harmed; no 
other property was injured; and the vast crowd, looking 
upon the scene from the wharf in the clear frosty moon- 



light, was so still that the click of the hatchets could be 
distinctly heard. Next morning, the salted tea, as driven 
by wind and wave, lay in long rows on Dorchester beach, 
while Paul Revere, booted and spurred, was riding 
post-haste to Philadelphia, with the glorious news that 
Boston had at last thrown down the gauntlet for the 
King of England to pick up. 

This heroic action of Boston was greeted with public 
rejoicing throughout aU the thirteen colonies, and the 
other principal seaports were not slow to follow the ex- 
ample. A ship laden with two hundred and fifty-seven 
chests of tea had arrived at Charleston on the 2d of 
December; but the consignees had resigned, and after 
twenty days the ship's cargo was seized and landed; and 
so, as there was no one to receive it, or pay the duty, 
it was thrown into a damp cellar, where it spoiled. In 
Philadelphia, on the 25th, a ship arrived with tea; but 
a meeting of five thousand men forced the consignees to 
resign, and the captain straightway set sail for England, 
the ship having been stopped before it had come within 
the jurisdiction of the custom house. 

In Massachusetts, the exultation knew no bounds. 
"This," said John Adams, "is the most magnificent 
movement of aU. There is a dignity, a majesty, a sub- 
Hmity, in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly 
admire." Indeed, often as it has been cited and de- 
scribed, the Boston Tea-Party was an event so great 
that even American historians have generally failed to 
do it justice. This supreme assertion by a New England 
town meeting of the most fundamental principle of po- 
litical freedom has been curiously misunderstood by 
British writers, of whatever party. The most recent 



Tory historian, Mr. Lecky, speaks of "the Tea-Riot at 
Boston," and characterizes it as an "outrage." The 
most recent Liberal historian, Mr. Green, alludes to it 
as "a trivial riot." Such expressions betray most pro- 
found misapprehension alike of the significance of this 
noble scene and of the political conditions in which it 
originated. There is no difl&culty in defining a riot. The 
pages of history teem with accounts of popular tiunults, 
wherein passion breaks loose and wreaks its fell purpose, 
unguided and unrestrained by reason. No definition 
could be further from describing the colossal event which 
occurred in Boston on the i6th of December, 1773. Here 
passion was guided and curbed by sound reason at every 
step, down to the last moment, in the dim candle-light 
of the old church, when the noble Puritan statesman 
quietly told his hearers that the moment for using force 
had at last, and through nofatilt of theirs, arrived. They 
had reached a point where the written law had failed 
them; and in their effort to defend the eternal princi- 
ples of natural justice, they were now most reluctantly 
compelled to fall back upon the paramount law of self- 
preservation. It was the one supreme moment in a con- 
troversy supremely important to mankind, and in 
which the common sense of the world has since acknowl- 
edged that they were wholly in the right. It was the one 
moment of all that troubled time in which no compro- 
mise was possible. " Had the tea been landed," says the 
contemporary historian, WilUam Gordon, "the union 
of the colonies in opposing the ministerial scheme would 
have been dissolved; and it would have been extremely 
difficult ever after to have restored it." In view of the 
stupendous issues at stake, the patience of the men of 



Boston was far more remarkable than their boldness. 
For the quiet subHmity of reasonable but dauntless 
moral purpose, the heroic aimals of Greece and Rome 
can show us no greater scene than that which the Old 
South Meeting-House witnessed on the day when the 
tea was destroyed. 




It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. 
We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and 
listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into 
beasts. Is it the part of wise men, engaged in the great 
and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be 
of the number of those who, having eyes see not, and 
having ears hear not, the things which so nearly con- 
cern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever 
anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the 
whole truth, and to provide for it. 

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and 
that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of 
judging of the future but by the past. And, judging by 
the past, I wish to know what there has been in the 
conduct of the British ministry, for the last ten years, 
to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been 
pleased to solace themselves and the house? Is it that 
insidious smile with which our petition has been lately 
received? Trust it not, sir! it wiU prove a snare to your 
feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. 
Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our peti- 
tion comports with those warlike preparations which 
cover our waters and darken our land. 

Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and 
reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling 




(American artist, 1817-1895) 

"The place of meeting was the old church in Richmond. 
The proceedings of the Continental Congress were ap- 
proved, and the delegates of the colony in Congress were 
applauded with perfect imanimity . . . and the convention 
of the Old Dominion renewed their assurances, ' that it was 
the most ardent wish of their colony and of the whole con- 
tinent of North America to see a speedy return of those 
halcyon days when they lived a free and happy people.' 

"To Patrick Henry this language seemed likely to lull the 
public mind into confidence, at a time when the interrup- 
tion of the sessions of the General Assembly left them 'no 
opportunity, in their legislative capacity, of making any 
provision to secure their rights from the further violations 
with which they were threatened.' He therefore proposed 
' that this colony be immediately put into a posture of de- 
fense, and that a committee prepare a plan for the embody- 
ing, arming, and disciplining such a number of men, as may 
be sufficient for that purpose.' The resolution was opposed 
by Bland, Harrison, and Pendleton, three of the delegates 
of Virginia in Congress, and by Nicholas, who had been 
among the most resolute in the preceding May. The thought 
of an actual conflict in arms with England was new; they 
counted on the influence of the friends of liberty in the 
parent country, the interposition of the manufacturing in- 
terests, or the relenting of the sovereign himself. 'Are we 
ready for war? ' they asked ; ' are we a military people? 
Where are our stores, our soldiers, our generals, our money? 
We are defenseless; yet we talk of war against one of the most 
formidable nations in the world. It will be time enough to 
resort to measures of despair when every well-founded hope 
has vanished.'" Then it was that Patrick Henry made the 
speech which follows. 

1 -■^•^pR^!^!,^^ y^' ■ ' 




to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back 
our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are 
the implements of war and subjugation, the last argu- 
ments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what 
means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us 
to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other motive 
for it? 

Has Great Britain any other enemy in this quarter of 
the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and 
armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; 
they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to 
bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British 
ministers have been so long forging. 

And what have we to oppose them? Shall we try 
argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten 
years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? 
Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of 
which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we 
resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms 
shall we find which have not been already exhausted? 
Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. 
Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to 
avert the storm which is now coming on. We have peti- 
tioned, we have remonstrated, we have supplicated, we 
have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have 
implored its interposition to arrest the tyraimical hands 
of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been 
slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional 
violence and insult; our supplications have been disre- 
garded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from 
the foot of the throne. 

They tell us, sir, that we are weak — unable to cope 



with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be 
stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? 
Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a 
British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall 
we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall 
we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying su- 
pinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom 
of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand 
and foot? 

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those 
means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. 
Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of 
liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, 
are invincible by any force which our enemy can send 
against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight alone. There 
is a just God who presides over the destinies of na- 
tions, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles 
for us. 

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the 
active, the vigilant, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no 
election ! If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too 
late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat — but 
in submission and slavery ! Our chains are forged ! Their 
clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston. The 
war is inevitable; — and let it come! I repeat it, sir; let 
it come! 

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen 
may cry Peace ! peace I — but there is no peace. The 
war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from 
the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding 
arms! Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand 
we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What 

45 8 


would they have? Is life so dead, or peace so sweet, as to 
be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid 
it, Heaven! I know not what course others may take; 
but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! 




The people of Massachusetts had begun to prepare for 
armed resistance, and had stored powder in Concord. Brit- 
ish soldiers were sent to seize this; but were opposed by- 
little bands of the colonists at Lexington and Concord, and 
were forced to retreat. This was the beginning of the war. 
It was followed in June by the battle of Bunker HUl, a de- 
feat, but yet a victory; for the colonists found that they, 
untrained as they were, were only kept from repulsing the 
famous British regulars by the lack of powder. Washington 
had been appointed commander-in-chief, and was already on 
his way to take command of the army in Boston. 

The British sent a fleet to attack Charleston, South 
CaroHna; but their balls were met by two rows of palmetto 
logs with sand between, and did little damage. On July 2, 
1776, Congress passed a resolution "That these United 
Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent 
States." To adopt the famous Declaration of Independence 
two days later was easy, but to force Great Britain to admit 
their independence was another matter. 

In August, New York was occupied by the British, and 
Washington retreated into Pennsylvania. The British 
thought that resistance was at an end, but on December 26, 
Washington crossed the Delaware, captured a large force of 
Hessians at Trenton, and defeated the British in the battle 
of Princeton. But in spite of these successes and of the 
arrival of the Marquis de Lafayette and other noble volun- 
teers, affairs at the close of 1776 looked black for the 

The following year saw a change of fortune. The British 
planned to cut off New England by sending an expedition 
under Burgoyne from Canada down to Albany, where it 
would be met by an army from New York. The Americans 
had no available force strong enough to oppose Burgoyne, 
but by delaying his advance and cutting off his detachments, 
they wore down his force until at Saratoga he was obliged 
on October 17, to surrender his entire army. 




"On the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven 
hundred and seventy-five, a day to be remembered by 
all Americans of the present generation, and which 
ought and doubtless wiU be, handed down to ages yet 
unborn, the troops of Britain, unprovoked, shed the 
blood of sundry of the loyal American subjects of the 
British king in the field of Lexington." 

These words are the prophetic introduction of the 
" Narrative of the Excursion of the King's Troops under 
the Command of General Gage," which the Provincial 
Congress of Massachusetts sent to England. With infi- 
nite care the Congress drew up depositions, which were 
sworn to before "His Majesty's justices of the peace," 
that, with all legal form, they might show to aU the world 
who were the aggressors, now that the crisis had come. 
Then they entrusted the precious volume of these depo- 
sitions to Richard Derby of Salem, who sent John Derby 
with them to England. The vessel made a good run, 
arriving on the 29th of May with these official papers, 
and the "Essex Gazette," which had the published ac- 
counts. The Sukey, Captain Brown, with the govern- 
ment accounts forwarded by General Gage, did not 
arrive till eleven days after. Meanwhile Arthur Lee and 
all the friends of America in London were steadily pub- 
lishing the news of the "ministerial" attack on the peo- 
ple, and the people's repulse of the army. The public 



charged the Government with concealing the news. 
Thus was it that, when 

"the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the world," 

they told their own story. 

All parties had fair notice that the crisis was coming, 
and they had a good chance to guess how it was coming. 
On the 30th of March, by way of seeing how people 
would bear the presence of an army, and how the army 
would march after a winter's rest and rust, Earl Percy 
with five regiments marched out over Boston Neck, into 
the country. Boston people can trace him by walking 
out on Washington Street, where the sea-water then 
flowed on both sides, up the hill at Roxbury, on the 
right of the church, and heeding Governor Dudley's 
parting-stone which still stands, let them take Center 
Street, "to Dedham and Rhode Island." Along that 
road to Jamaica Plain, Earl Percy marched, his drums 
andfifes plajdng" Yankee Doodle." The spring was very 
early. Some soldiers straggled, and trampled down gar- 
dens and fields that had been planted, perhaps the fall 
before. From Jamaica Plain, Earl Percy led them across 
to Dorchester; and by the Dorchester Road they came 
home. Very indignant was the Provincial Congress and 
the Committee of Safety at this first "invasion" of the 
country; and all people guessed that Concord would be 
the point of the next "excursion," because at Concord 
was one of the largest deposits of stores which the Prov- 
ince of Massachusetts had collected in its preparation 
against the British Empire. 

As early as February 9, the Provincial Congress had 
intimated their intention of stopping such "excursions," 



They had appointed the celebrated "Committee of 
Safety," with the express purpose of checking them. 
Of this committee: — 

"The business and duty it shall be, most carefully and 
diligently to inspect and observe all and every such per- 
son or persons as shall at any time attempt to carry into 
execution, by force, an act of the British parliament, en- 
titled' An Act for the better Regxdating the Government 
of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, in New England ' 
. . . which said committee, or any five of them, provided 
always that not more than one of the said five shall be an 
inhabitant of the town of Boston, shall have power, and 
they are hereby empowered and directed, when they 
shall judge that such attempt or attempts are made, 
to alarm, muster, and cause to be assembled with the 
utmost expedition, and completely armed, accoutered, 
and supplied with provisions sufficient for their support 
in their march to the place of rendezvous, such and so 
many of the mihtia of this Province as they shall judge 
necessary for the end and purpose of opposing such 
attempt or attempts, and at such place or places as 
they shall judge proper, and them to discharge as the 
safety .of the Province shall permit." 

This, it will be observed, was fuU preparation for war, 
only the Provincial Congress meant that General Gage 
should strike the first blow. 

Meanwhile, Ensign Berniere of the loth Royal Infan- 
try, with a companion. Captain Brown, was sent to see 
what there was at Concord. They left their journal 
behind them, when, the next year, the Enghsh army 
evacuated Boston; and so we are able to trace their 
march to-day. 



And so it happened that late in the evening of the i8th 
of April, when it was supposed most of the Boston peo- 
ple were in bed, about eight hundred soldiers — grena- 
diers, light-infantry and marines — were embarked in 
the boats of the navy, very near the place where the old 
Providence Station stood, where then the tide rose and 
fell. Remember that there was no bridge at that time 
from Boston to any side. The little army was ferried 
across to Lechmere's Point, not far from the Court House 
to-day; it lost two hours in going so far, and then took 
up its silent line of march through Cambridge, by what is 
stiU remembered as Milk Row. At the tavern in Menot- 
omy, now West Cambridge, the rebel Committee of 
Safety had been in session the day before. Dear Old 
General Heath, till then only "our colonel," whose 
memoirs come in the most entertaining reading of the 
time, had been there. But he had gone home to Rox- 

Here, in the garrulous old eighteenth-century style, is 
his account of what happened to those who stayed : — 

"On the nineteenth, at daybreak, our general was 
awoke, called from his bed, and informed that a detach- 
ment of the British army were out, that they had crossed 
from Boston to Phipp's Farm in boats, and had gone to- 
wards Concord, as was supposed, with intent to destroy 
the public stores. They probably had notice that the 
committees had met the preceding day at Wetherby's 
Tavern, at Menotomy; for, when they came opposite 
the house, they halted. Several of the gentlemen slept 
there during the night. Among them were Colonel Orne, 
Colonel Lee, and Mr. Gerry. One of them awoke and 
informed the others that a body of the British were 



before the house. They immediately made their escape, 
without time to dress themselves, at the back door, re- 
ceiving some injury from obstacles in the way, in their 
imdressed state. They made their way into the fields." 
Heath had met on his way home officers who tried to 
keep the news of the ' ' excursion ' ' from reaching Concord ; 
but the country was alarmed, and Colonel Smith sent 
back to Boston for a reinforcement. General Gage had 
expected the request, and had ordered the first brigade 
imder arms at four that morning. These orders were 
carried to the first brigade-major's. He was not at home; 
and when he came home, his servant forgot to tell of the 
letter. At four o'clock no brigade appeared. At five 
o'clock Colonel Smith's express came, asking the rein- 
forcement. On inquiry, it proved that no orders were 
given; and it was not till six that a part of the brigade 
paraded. They waited till seven for the marines. Is not 
aU this like a village muster to-day? At seven, there 
being still no marines, it proved that the order for them 
had been addressed to Major Pitcairn, who was by this 
time far away, and had indeed begun the war already, 
without knowing it, by firing his pistol on Lexington 
Common. So the half of the brigade waited, and waited, 
till the marines could be got ready, and when they were 
ready at nine o'clock, started over Boston Neck; for 
now they had no boats: so that they must e'en go six 
miles round by land, as every Bostonian will see, for 
there were then no bridges. So they came to Dudley's 
parting-stone playing "Yankee Doodle " again; but 
when they reached the stone this time, they took the 
right-hand road "to Cambridge and Watertown." A 
Roxbury boy who sat on a stone wall to see them pass 



prophesied thus to Percy, referring to the history of 
his noble house: "You go out by 'Yankee Doodle'; 
but you will come back by 'Chevy Chase. '" 

While the half -brigade was waiting for the marines on 
what is now Tremont Street, its line crossing the head of 
Beacon Street, a little boy nine years old, named Harri- 
son Gray Otis, was on his way to the old school in School 
Street, where Parker's Hotel stands to-day. Here is his 
account of it. It is, so far as I know, the only glimpse we 
have of Boston life on that memorable morning: — 

"On the nineteenth of April, 1775, 1 went to school for 
the last time. In the morning, about seven, Percy's 
brigade was drawn up, extending from ScoUay's build- 
ings, through Tremont Street, and nearly to the bot- 
tom of the mall, preparing to take up their march for 
Lexington. A corporal came up to me as 1 was going to 
school, and turned me off to pass down Court Street; 
which I did, and came up School Street to the school- 
house. It may well be imagined that great agitation pre- 
vailed, the British line being drawn up a few yards only 
from the schoolhouse-door. As I entered school, I heard 
the announcement of 'deponite libros,' and ran home for 
fear of the regulars. Here ended my connection with 
Mr. Lovell's administration of the school. Soon after- 
wards I left town, and did not return until after the 
evacuation by the British, in March, 1776." 

Colonel Smith and his eight hundred had pressed on 
meanwhile. The alarm had been so thoroughly given in 
Lexington that at two o'clock the militia had assembled 
(one hundred and thirty in number) ; and John Parker 
their captain had ordered them to load with powder and 
ball. This John is the grandfather of one Theodore, who 



will appear two generations afterwards. No sign of any 
troops; and the men were dismissed with orders to 
assemble again at the beat of drum. Most of them 
thought that the whole was a false alarm. But Gage's 
officers in the advance of the English colimin, came 
back to it on its march, and reported that five hundred 
men were in arms. Major Pitcairn of the marines had 
command of six companies of hght infantry in advance. 
He caught all of Parker's scouts except Thaddeus 
Bowman, who galloped back to Lexington Common and 
gave to Parker tidings of the approach of the column. 

Parker ordered the drum to beat; and his men began 
to collect. He ordered Sergeant WilHam Munroe to 
form them in two ranks, a few rods north of the meeting- 
house. The EngHsh officers hearing the drum, halted 
their troops, bade them prime and load, and then 
marched forward at double-quick. Sixty or seventy of 
the mihtia had assembled. The tradition is, that Parker 
had bidden the men not to fire till they were fired upon, 
but added, "if they mean to have a war, let it begin 
here." Double-quick on one side; on the other. Sergeant 
Munroe forming his men as well as he can. Major Pit- 
cairn is in the advance. "Ye villains, ye rebels, dis- 
perse! Lay down your arms! Why don't ye lay down 
your arms?" He saw a gun flash in the pan. The men 
did not disperse. Pitcairn declared, till the day he died 
at Bunker HiU, that he gave no order to fire, that he 
commanded not to fire; and it seems to be admitted that 
he struck his staff or sword downward, as a signal to 
forbear firing. But some men in his party fired irregu- 
larly, and hurt no one. Then came a general discharge 
from the English line, and many men were killed or 



wounded. The militia returned the fire — some before 
leaving their line, some after — and the war was begun. 
Here is Captain John Parker's account of the fight, one 
of the papers which Captain Derby carried to London : — 

"I, John Parker, of lawful age, and commander of the 
militia at Lexington, do testify and declare, that on 
the nineteenth instant, in the morning, about one of the 
clock, being informed that there were a number of the 
regular of&cers riding up and down the road, stopping 
and insulting people as they passed the road, and also 
informed that a number of the regular troops were on 
their march from Boston, in order to take the Province 
stores at Concord, I ordered our militia to meet on the 
common in said Lexington, to consult what to do; and 
concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle, nor make 
with said regular troops, if they should approach, xmless 
they should insult or molest us; and, upon their sudden 
approach, I immediately ordered our mUitia to disperse, 
and not to fire. Lnmediately said troops made their 
appearance, and rushing furiously on, fired upon and 
killed eight of our party, without receiving any provo- 
cation therefor from us." 

Middlesex, ss., April 25, 1775. 
"The above-named John Parker personally appeared, 
and, after being duly cautioned to tell the whole truth, 
made solemn Oath to the truth of the above deposition 
by him subscribed before us. 

"William Reed, 
"Joshua Johnson, 
"William Stickney, 
"Justices of the Peace." 



That is the way those people went to war. They 
fought one day; and then they made depositions to 
secure the truth of history. Henry Clay was greatly 
amused when Dr. Palfrey, our New England historian, 
told him of these depositions. He heard the story in 
some detail, and then said, "Tell me that again." 

But they did not stop for depositions then. The rmli- 
tia retired: some here, some there. The EngHsh troops 
fired a volley on the Common, and gave three cheers. 
Colonel Smith came up with the main party; and they 
all pressed on to Concord. Two of their party had been 
wounded. Major Pitcairn's horse was struck by a ball; 
and, after the column left Lexington, six of the regulars 
were taken prisoners. The musket of one of them is in 
the State House to-day. 

Meanwhile the Concord militia had the alarm, and 
had formed. The minute-men and some of the militia 
from Lincoln, the next town, had joined them. Some of 
the companies marched down the Lexington road tiU 
they saw the approaching column. They saw they were 
outnumbered; and they fell back to a lull about eighty 
rods' distance back of the town, where they formed. 
Colonel Barrett, their commander, joined them here. 
He had been at work that day executing such commands 
as these, given by the Committee of Safety the day 
before. They are worth looking back upon as illustra- 
tions of the preparations of these days : — 

"April i8, 1775. 
" Voted, That part of the provisions be removed from 
Concord; viz., fifty barrels of beef from thence to Sud- 
bury, with Deacon Plympton, a hundred barrels of 



flour (of which what is in the malt-house in Concord be 
part) twenty casks of rice, fifteen hogsheads of molasses, 
ten hogsheads of rum, five hundred candles. 

"Voted, That the musket-balls under the care of 
Colonel Barrett be buried under ground in some safe 
place; that he be desired to do it, and to let the commis- 
sary only be informed thereof." 

Still finding himself outniimbered. Colonel Barrett 
then withdrew his force over the North Bridge to the 
other side of Concord River; and the little English army 
marched into the town. 

Three of their companies were stationed at the bridge: 
three companies were sent to Colonel Barrett's house, 
two miles distant, to destroy the magazine. Did they 
find the musket bullets? No. Another party was sent to 
the South Bridge. In the center of the town they broke 
off the trunnions of three new cannon, destroyed what 
stores they could find, among others some wooden 
spoons and trenchers, which appear quite conspicuously 
in all the accounts. But from all such work all parties 
were called by firing at the North Bridge. 

All this time, minute-men from all parts of Middlesex 
County had been pouring in on the high grounds where 
Colonel Barrett had formed his men. They saw at last 
that the troops had fired the town, in one place and 
another. The court-house was on fire. Captain WiUiam 
Smith, of Lincoln, volunteered to take his company and 
dislodge the guard at the bridge. Isaac Davis, of the 
Acton company, made the remark, which has become a 
proverb, "There is not a man of my company that is 



afraid to go." Colonel Barrett ordered the attack, bade 
the column pass the bridge, but not to fire unless they 
were fired upon. Again the passion for law appeared: 
"It is the king's highway, and we have a right to march 
upon it, if we march to Boston. Forward, march!" 
They marched to the air of the "White Cockade," the 
quickest step their fifes could play. 

Laurie, in command of the English party, crossed 
back on the bridge, and began to take up the planks. 
Major Buttrick, who commanded the attacking party, 
hurried his men. When they were within a few rods, the 
English fired, in three several discharges. Mr. Emerson, 
the minister of Concord (the grandfather of Ralph 
Waldo Emerson), watched the scene, and made his rec- 
ord on that day. Three several discharges were made 
by the EngHsh; and Mr. Emerson "was very uneasy tiU 
the fire was returned." Isaac Davis, the Acton captain, 
and Abner Hosmer were killed; and then Major Buttrick 
gave the order to fire. The English retired. The Pro- 
vincials crossed the bridge and part of them ascended 
the bold hiU, which visitors to Concord remember behind 
the meeting-house on the right of the town. The EngHsh 
party imder Parsons returned from Barrett's, and 
crossed the bridge again; but they were left to join the 
main body without offense. 

One English soldier had been killed and several 
wounded. Colonel Smith delayed his return till he could 
find carriages for his wounded; and it was noon before he 
began his return. Meanwhile, north, south, east, and 
west, couriers had been speeding, announcing that the 
Lexington militia had been fired on. The minute-men, 
the county through, had started on their march. They 



did not know what point to strike. They did not know 
what they were to do when they came there. But they 
marched: they were determined to be in time; and in 
time they were. The populous country between Boston 
and Concord was in arms. The men knew every inch of 
ground, and, after they had had their shot at the regu- 
lars in one place, ran across country and tried them in 
another. "They are trained to protect themselves 
behind stone walls," wrote General Gage to the ministry. 
"They seemed to drop from the clouds," says an English 
soldier. Poor Smith and his party, after thirty miles of 
tramping, came back to Lexington Common, in no mood 
for giAang three huzzas there. They made quick march- 
ing of it, and were there by two in the afternoon. They 
left Concord at noon. 

"A number of our officers were wounded," says 
Bemiere; "so that we began to run rather than retreat 
in order. The whole behaved with amazing bravery, but 
Httle order." 

Here Percy met them with his late reinforcement; 
here they rested, and then resumed the retreat, to 
receive just the same treatment in every defile. At West 
Cambridge, the Danvers company, the flank company 
of the Essex regiment, had come up. Fifteen miles they 
had marched in four hours, across Essex County. It was 
sunset before the head of such of the column as was left 
crossed Charlestown Neck. All Boston was on Beacon 
Hill, watching for their return. Through the gathering 
twihght, men could see from the hill the flashes of the 
muskets on Milk Row; and Percy had to unlimber his 
field-pieces, and bring them into use again. It was at 
West Cambridge that Dr. Warren so exposed himself 



that a pin was struck out of the hair of his earlock. 
General Heath was by this time exercising some sort of 
command. Late in the afternoon, when the head of the 
English column had arrived at Bunker HiU, an aide of 
Pickering's rode up to Heath, to announce that the 
Essex regiment was close behind him. Danvers had gone 
across country: the rest of the regiment had marched 
direct to Boston. Heath judged that it was too late for 
any further attack. The English, on their side, planted 
sentries at the Neck. Heath planted them on the other 
side, and ordered the mihtia to lie on their arms at 

But, long before this, the news of the march had 
traveled north and west and south. The memory of the 
rider "on the white horse" is still told in tradition, 
reminding one, as Governor Washburn has said, of the 
white horse in the Revelation. The march and retreat 
were on Wednesday. On Sunday morning they had a 
rumor of it in New York; and on Tuesday they had a 
second express from New England with quite a con- 
nected story. This story was so definite that they ven- 
tured to send it south by express as they received it 
from New Haven. To EKzabethtown, to Woodbridge, 
to New Brunswick, to Princeton, it flew as fast as horses 
could carry it. The indorsements by the different com- 
mittees show their eager haste. It was in Baltimore on 
the 27th. It was in Georgetown, South Carolina, on the 
loth of May. 

It told how the king's troops were besieged on Winter 
Hill; how Lord Percy was killed, and another general 
officer of the EngHsh, on the first fire. "To counterbal- 
ance this good news, the story is, that our first man in 



command (who he is, I know not) is also killed." No 
man has since known who "our first man in command" 
was. There was no commander all day long. 

The dispatch was all imtrue. But it told of war, and it 
fired the whole country. On the 20th of April an army 
was around Boston, and the siege had begun. 




'Tis like stirring living embers when, at eighty, one 

All the achings and the quakings of " the times that tried 

men's souls;" 
When I talk of Whig and Tory, when I tell the Rebel 

To you the words are ashes, but to me they're burning 


I had heard the muskets' rattle of the April rumiing 

Lord Percy's hunted soldiers, I can see their red coats still; 
But a deadly chill comes o'er me, as the day looms.up 

before me, 
When a thousand men lay bleeding on the slopes of 

B;mker's Hill. 

'T was a peaceful summer's morning, when the first 

thing gave us warning 
Was the booming of the cannon from the river and the 

shore : 
"Child," says grandma, "what 's the matter, what is all 

this noise and clatter? 
Have those scalping Lidian devils come to murder us 

once more?" 



Poor old soul ! my sides were shaking in the midst of all 

my quaking, 
To hear her talk of Indians when the guns began to roar: 
She had seen the burning village, and the slaughter and 

the pillage. 
When the Mohawks killed her father with their bullets 

through his door. 

Then I said, "Now, dear old granny, don't you fret and 

worry any, 
For I '11 soon come back and tell you whether this is work 

or play; 
There can't be mischief in it, so I won't be gone a 

minute" — 
For a minute then I started. I was gone the hvelong day. 

No time for bodice-lacing or for looking-glass grimacing; 
Down my hair went as I hurried, tumbling half-way to 

my heels; 
God forbid your ever knowing, when there 's blood 

around her flowing. 
How the lonely, helpless daughter of a quiet household 


In the street I heard a thumping; and I knew it was the 

Of the Corporal, our old neighbor, on that wooden leg he 

With a knot of women round him, — it was lucky I had 

found him. 
So I followed with the others, and the Corporal marched 




They were making for the steeple, — the old soldier and 

his people; 
The pigeons circled round us as we climbed the creaking 

Just across the narrow river — O, so close it made me 

shiver ! — 
Stood a f ortresson the hilltop that but yesterday was bare. 

Not slow our eyes to find it; well we knew who stood 
behind it, 

Though the earthwork hid them from us, and the stub- 
born walls were dumb: 

Here were sister, wife, and mother, looking wild upon 
each other. 

And their lips were white with terror as they said. The 

HOUR HAS come! 

The morning slowly wasted, not a morsel had we tasted, 
And our heads were almost sphtting with the cannons' 

deafening thriU, 
When a figure tall and stately round the rampart strode 

It was Prescott, one since told me; he commanded on 

the hill. 

Every woman's heart grew bigger when we saw his 

manly figure. 
With the banyan buckled round it, standing up so 

straight and tall; 
Like a gentleman of leisure who is strolling out for 

Through the storm of shells and cannon-shot he walked 

around the wall. 



At eleven the streets were swarming, for the red-coats' 

ranks were forming; 
At noon in marching order they were moving to the piers; 
How the bayonets gleamed and glistened, as we looked 

far down, and hstened 
To the trampling and the drum-beat of the belted 

grenadiers ! 

At length the men have started, with a cheer (it seemed 

In their scarlet regimentals, with their knapsacks on 

their backs. 
And the reddening, rippling water, as after a sea-fight's 

Round the barges gliding onward blushed like blood 

along their tracks. 

So they crossed to the other border, and again they 

formed in order; 
And the boats came back for soldiers, came for soldiers, 

soldiers still: 
The time seemed everlasting to us women faint and 

fasting, — 
At last they 're moving, marching, marching proudly up 

the hill. 

We can see the bright steel glancing all along the lines 

advancing — 
Now the front rank fires a volley — they have thrown 

away their shot; 
For behind their earthwork lying, all the baUs above 

them flying, 
Our people need not hurry; so they wait and answer not, 



Then the Corporal, our old cripple (he would swear 

sometimes and tipple), — 
He had heard the bullets whistle (in the old French war) 

before, — 
Calls out in words of jeering, just as if they aU were 

hearing, — 
And his wooden leg thumps fiercely on the dusty belfry 

floor : — 

"O! fire away, ye villains, and earn King George's 

But ye 'U waste a ton of powder afore a 'rebel' faUs; 
You may bang the dirt and welcome, they 're as safe as 

Dan'l Malcohn 
Ten foot beneath the gravestone that you've splintered 

with your balls!" 

In the hush of expectation, in the awe and trepidation 
Of the dread approaching moment, we are weUnigh 

breathless aU; 
Though the rotten bars are failing on the rickety belfry 

We are crowding up against them like the waves against 

a wall. 

Just a glimpse (the air is clearer), they are nearer, — 

nearer, — nearer, 
When a flash — a curling smoke wreath — then a 

crash — the steeple shakes — 
The deadly truce is ended; the tempest's shroud is 

Like a morning mist it gathered, like a thunder-cloud it 




■ O the sight our eyes discover as the blue-black smoke 

blows over! 
The red-coats stretched in windrows as a mower rakes 

his hay; 
Here a scarlet heap is lying, there a headlong crowd is flying 
Like a billow that has broken and is shivered into spray. 

Then we cried, "The troops are routed! they are beat — 

it can't be doubted! 
God be thanked, the iight is over!" — Ah! the grim old 

soldier's smile! 
"Tell us, tell us why you look so?" (we could hardly 

speak, we shook so), — 
"Are they beaten? Are they beaten? Are they 

beaten?" — "Wait a while." 

O the trembling and the terror ! for too soon we saw our 

error ; 
They are baffled, not defeated; we have driven them 

back in vain; 
And the columns that were scattered, round the colors 

that were tattered, 
Toward the sullen silent fortress turn their belted 

breasts again. 

All at once, as we are gazing, lo, the roofs of Charlestown 

blazing ! 
They have fired the harmless vUlage ; in an hour it will be 

The Lord in heaven confound them, rain his fire and 

brimstone round them, — • 
The robbing, murdering red-coats, that would burn a 

peaceful town! 



They are marching, stern and solemn! we can see each 

massive column 
As they near the naked earth-mound with the slanting 

walls so steep. 
Have our soldiers got faint-hearted, and in noiseless 

haste departed? 
Are they panic-struck and helpless? Are they palsied or 


Now! the walls they're almost under! scarce a rod the 
foes asunder! 

Not a firelock flashed against them! up the earthwork 
they will swarm ! 

But the words have scarce been spoken, when the omi- 
nous calm is broken. 

And a bellowing crash has emptied all the vengeance of 
the storm! 

So again, with murderous slaughter, pelted backwards to 

the water. 
Fly Pigot's running heroes and the frightened braves of 

And we shout, "Af last they're done for, it's their 

barges they have run for : 
They are beaten, beaten, beaten; and the battle's over 


And we looked, poor timid creatures, on the rough old 

soldier's features, 
Our Hps afraid to question, but he knew what we would 




"Not sure," he said; "keep quiet, — once more, I guess, 

they'll try it — 
Here's damnation to the cut-throats!" — then he 

handed me his flask. 

Saying, " Gal, you're looking shaky; have a drop of old 

I 'm af eard there '11 be more trouble afore the job is 

So I took one scorching swallow; dreadful faint I felt and 

Standing there from early morning when the firing was 


All through those hours of trial I had watched a calm 

clock dial. 
As the hands kept creeping, creeping, — they were 

creeping round to four, 
When the old man said, "They 're forming with their 

bagonets fixed for storming: 
It's the death-grip that's a coming, — they will try the 

works once more." 

With brazen trumpets blaring, the flames behind them 

The deadly wall before them, in close array they 

Still onward, upward toiUng, like a dragon's fold uncoil- 
ing, — 

Like the rattlesnake's shrill warning the reverberating 



Over heaps all torn and gory — shall I tell the fearful 

How they surged above the breastwork, as a sea breaks 

over a deck; 
How, driven, yet scarce defeated, our worn-out men 

With their powder-horns all emptied, like the swunmers 

from a wreck? 

It has all been told and painted; as for me, they say I 

And the wooden-legged old Corporal stiunped with me 

down the stair: 
When I woke from dreams affrighted the evening lamps 

were hghted, — 
On the floor a youth was lying; his bleeding breast was 


And I heard through all the flurry, "Send for Warren! 

hurry! hurry! 
Tell him here's a soldier bleeding, and he'll come and 

dress his wound!" 
Ah, we knew not till the morrow told its tale of death 

and sorrow, 
How the starHght found him stiffened on the dark and 

bloody ground. 

Who the youth was, what his name was, where the place 

from which he came was. 
Who had brought him from the battle and had left him 

at our door, 



He could not speak to tell us; but 't was one of our brave 

As the homespun plainly showed us which the dying 

soldier wore. 

For they all thought he was dying, as they gathered 

round him crying, — 
And they said, "O how they '11 miss him!" and, "What 

will his mother do?" 
Then, his eyelids just unclosing like a child's that has 

been dozing. 
He faintly murmured, "Mother!" — and — I saw his 

eyes were blue. 

— "Why, grandma, how you're winking!" — Ah, my 

child, it sets me thinking 
Of a story not like this one. Well, he somehow lived 

So we came to know each other, and I nursed him like a 

— mother, 
Till at last he stood before me, tall, and rosy-cheeked, 

and strong. 

And we sometimes walked together in the pleasant 
summer weather; 

— "Please to tell us what his name was?" — Just your 

own, my little dear, — 
There's his picture Copley painted: we became so well 

That — in short, that 's why I 'm grandma, and you 

children all are here! 




["Without any serious opposition, in the name of the 
'United Colonies,' the Congress adopted the army of New 
England men besieging Boston as the ' Continental Army,' 
and proceeded to appoint a commander-in-chief to direct 
its operations. Practically, this was the most important step 
taken in the whole course of the War of Independence. 
Nothing less than the whole issue of the struggle, for ulti- 
mate defeat or for ultimate victory, turned upon the selec- 
tion to be made at this crisis. . . . The choice of Washing- 
ton for commander-in-chief was suggested and strongly 
urged by John Adams, and when, on the 15th of June, the 
nomination was formally made by Thomas Johnson, of 
Maryland, it was imanimously confirmed. Then Washing- 
ton, rising, said with great earnestness : ' Since the Congress 
desire, I wiU enter upon the momentous duty, and exert 
every power I possess in their service and for the support 
of the glorious cause. But I beg it may be remembered by 
every gentleman in the room that I this day declare, with 
the utmost sincerity, T do not think myself equal to the 
command I am honored with.' He refused to take any pay 
for his services, but said he would keep an accurate account 
of his personal expenses, which Congress might reimburse, 
should it see fit, after the close of the war." 

John Fiske.\ 

On June 21, he set forth accompanied by Lee and 
Schuyler, and with a brilliant escort. He had ridden but 
twenty miles when he was met by the news of Bunker 
Hill. "Did the militia fight?" was the immediate and 



characteristic question; and being told that they did 
fight, he exclaimed, "Then the liberties of the country 
are safe." Given the fighting spirit, Washington felt he 
could do anything. Full of this important intelligence, 
he pressed forward to Newark, where he was received by 
a committee of the Provincial Congress, sent to conduct 
the commander-in-chief to New York. There he tarried 
long enough to appoint Schuyler to the charge of the 
miUtary affairs in that colony, having mastered on the 
the journey its compHcated social and political condi- 
tions. Pushing on through Coimecticut he reached 
Watertown, where he was received by the Provincial 
Congress of Massachusetts, on July 2, with every ex- 
pression of attachment and confidence. Lingering less 
than an hour for this ceremony, he rode on to the head- 
quarters at Cambridge, and when he came within the 
lines the shouts of the soldiers and the booming of can- 
non announced his arrival to the English in Boston. 

The next day he rode forth in the presence of a great 
multitude, and the troops having been drawn up before 
him, he drew his sword beneath the historical elm tree, 
and took command of the first American army. "His 
Excellency," wrote Dr. Thatcher in his journal, "was 
on horseback in company with several mihtary gentle- 
men. It was not difficult to distinguish him from all 
others. He is tall and well-proportioned, and his per- 
sonal appearance truly noble and majestic." "He is tall 
and of easy and agreeable address," the Loyalist Curwen 
had remarked a few weeks before; while Mrs. John 
Adams, warm-hearted and clever, wrote to her husband 
after the general's arrival: "Dignity, ease, and compla- 
cency, the gentleman and the soldier, look agreeably 



blended in him. Modesty marks every line and feature 
of his face. Those lines of Dryden instantly occurred 
to me, — 

'Mark his majestic fabric! He's a temple 
Sacred by birth, and built by hands divine; 
His soul's the deity that lodges there; 
Nor is the pile unworthy of the God.' " 

Lady, lawyer, and surgeon, patriot, and Tory, all 
speak alike, "and as they wrote so New England felt. 
A slave-owner, an aristocrat, and a Churchman, Wash- 
ington came to Cambridge to pass over the heads of na- 
tive generals to the command of a New England army, 
among a democratic people, hard-working and simple 
in their Hves, and dissenters to the backbone, who re- 
garded Episcopacy as something little short of Papis- 
try and quite equivalent to Toryism. Yet the shout 
that went up from soldiers and people in Cambridge 
Common on that pleasant July morning came from the 
heart and had no jarring note. A few of the political 
chiefs growled a Httle in later days at Washington, but 
the soldiers and the people, high and low, rich and poor, 
gave him an unstinted loyalty. On the fields of battle 
and throughout eight years of political strife the men 
of New England stood by the great Virginian with a 
devotion and truth in which was no shadow of turning. 
Here again we see exhibited most conspicuously the 
powerful persorfality of the man who was able thus to 
command immediately the allegiance of this naturally 
cold and reserved people. What was it that they saw 
that inspired them at once with so much confidence? 
They looked upon a tail, handsome man, dressed in 
plain uniform, wearing across his breast a broad blue 



band of silk, which some may have noticed as the badge 
and symbol of a certain solemn league and covenant 
once very momentous in the EngUsh-speaking world. 
They saw his calm, high bearing, and in every line of 
face and figure they beheld the signs of force and cour- 
age. Yet there must have been something more to call 
forth the confidence then so quickly given, and which no 
one ever long withheld. All felt dimly, but none the less 
surely, that here was a strong, able man; capable of 
rising to the emergency, whatever it might be, capable 
of continued growth and development, clear of head 
and warm of heart; and so the New England people 
gave to hun instinctively their sympathy and their faith, 
and never took them back. 

The shouts and cheers died away, and then Wash- 
ington returned to his temporary quarters in the 
Wadsworth House, to master the task before him. The 
first great test of his courage and ability had come, 
and he faced it quietly as the excitement caused by his 
arrival passed by. He saw before him, to use his own 
words, "a mixed multitude of people, under very little 
discipline, order, or government." In the language of 
one of his aides: "The entire army, if it deserved the 
name, was but an assemblage of brave, enthusiastic, 
undisciplined, country lads; the ofi&cers in general quite 
as ignorant of miUtary life as the troops, excepting a few 
elderly men, who had seen some irregular service among 
the Provincials under Lord Amherst." With this force, 
ill-posted and very insecurely fortified, Washington was 
to drive the British from Boston. His first step was to 
count his men, and it took eight days to get the neces- 
sary returns, which in an ordinary army would have been 



furnished in an hour. When he had them, he found that 
instead of twenty thousand, as had been represented, 
but fourteen thousand soldiers were actually present 
for duty. In a short time, however, Mr. Emerson, the 
chaplain, noted in his diary that it was surprising how 
much had been done, and that the lines had been so 
extended, and the works so shrewdly built, that it was 
morally impossible for the enemy to get out except in 
one place purposely left open. A little later the same 
observer remarked: "There is a great overturning in the 
camp as to order and regularity; new lords, new laws. 
The Generals Washington and Lee are upon the lines 
every day. The strictest government is taking place, 
and great distinction is made between ofhcers and sol- 
diers." Bodies of troops scattered here and there by 
chance were replaced by well-distributed forces, posted 
wisely and effectively in strong intrenchments. It is 
little wonder that the worthy chaplain was impressed, 
and now, seeing it all from every side, we too can watch 
order come out of chaos and mark the growth of an army 
under the guidance of a master-mind and the steady 
pressure of an unbending will. 

Then too there was no discipline, for the army was 
composed of raw militia, who elected their officers and 
carried on war as they pleased. In a passage suppressed 
by Mr. Sparks, Washington said: "There is no such 
thing as getting officers of this stamp to carry orders 
into execution — to curry favor with the men (by whom 
they were chosen, and on whose smile they may possibly 
think that they may again rely) seems to be one of the 
principal objects of their attention. I have made a 
pretty good slam amongst such kind of officers as the 



Massachusetts Government abounds in, since I came 
into this camp, having broke one colonel and two cap- 
tains for cowardly behavior in the action on Bunker 
Hill, two captains for drawing more pay and provisions 
than they had men in their company, and one for being 
absent from his post when the enemy appeared there and 
burnt a house just by it. Besides these I have at this 
time one colonel, one major, one captain, and two sub- 
alterns under arrest for trial. In short, I spare none, and 
yet fear it will not all do, as these people seem to be too 
attentive to everything but their own interests." This 
may be plain and homely in phrase, but it is not stilted, 
and the quick energy of the words shows how the New 
England farmers and fishermen were being rapidly 
brought to discipline. Bringing the army into order, 
however, was but a small part of his duties. It is 
necessary to run over all his difi&culties, great and small, 
at this time, and count them up, in order to gain a just 
idea of the force and capacity of the man who overcame 

Washington, moreover, was obhged to deal not only 
with his army, but with the General Congress and the 
Congress of the Province. He had to teach them, 
utterly ignorant as they were of the needs and details 
of war, how to organize and supply their armies. There 
was no commissary department, there were no uniforms, 
no arrangements for ammunition, no small arms, no 
cannon, no resources to draw upon for all these neces- 
saries of war. Little by little he taught Congress to pro- 
vide after a fashion for these things, Uttle by httle he 
developed what he needed, and by his own ingenuity, 
and by seizing alertly every suggestion from others, he 



supplied for better or worse one deficiency after another. 
He had to deal with various governors and various colo- 
nies, each with its prejudices, jealousies, and shortcom- 
ings. He had to arrange for new levies from a people 
unused to war, and to settle with infinite anxiety and 
much wear and tear of mind and body, the conflict as to 
rank among officers to whom he could apply no test but 
his own insight. He had to organize and stimulate the 
arming of privateers, which, by preying on British com- 
merce, were destined to exercise such a powerful influ- 
ence on the fate of the war. It was neither showy nor 
attractive, such work as this, but it was very vital, and 
it was done. 




On the morning of the 28th [of June, 1776] a gentle sea- 
breeze prognosticated the attack. Lee, from Charleston, 
for the tenth or eleventh time, charged Moultrie to 
finish the bridge for his retreat, promised him reinforce- 
ments, which were never sent, and still meditated re- 
moving him from his command; while Moultrie, whose 
faculties, under the outward show of imperturbable and 
even indolent calm, were strained to their utmost ten- 
sion, rode to visit his advanced guard on the east. Here 
the commander, William Thomson, of Orangeburg, of 
Irish descent, a native of Permsylvania, but from child- 
hood a citizen of South Carolina, a man of rare worth 
in private life, brave and intelHgent as an officer, had, 
at the extreme point, posted fifty of the militia behind 
sand-hills and myrtle bushes. A few hundred yards in 
the rear breastworks had been thrown up, which he 
guarded with three hundred riflemen of his own regi- 
ment from Orangeburg and its neighborhood, with two 
hundred of Clark's North Carolina [regiment] under 
Horry; and the raccoon company of riflemen. On his 
left he was protected by a morass; on his right by 
one eighteen-pounder and one brass six-pounder, which 
overlooked the spot where Clinton woulu wish to land. 
Seeing the enemy's boats already in motion on the 




(American artist, 1862) 

In the autumn of 1775, King George himself set to work to 
plan a campaign, which Sir Henry Clinton was to carry out. 
It seemed very easy — on paper. General CUnton was to 
issue a proclamation pardoning all but the leaders of the 
rebels, provided they did not "refuse to give satisfactory 
tests of their obedience." He was to go from North Caro- 
lina to either South Carolina or Virginia, conquering as he 
went. He heard that the colonists were putting up some 
fortifications on Sullivan's Island, and he decided to attack 
these. It was written in the king's plan that the British land 
forces were to aid him; but they failed utterly, and the fleet 
was shattered. The defense of the fort was steady and bril- 
liant, and the fort stood. 

The story of the illustration, the exploit of Sergeant Wil- 
liam Jasper, is told in the following selection. 

The value to the colonists of this repulse of the British was 
very great. As Bancroft says: "It kept seven regiments 
away from New York for two months; it gave security to 
Georgia, and three years' peace to Carolina; it dispelled 
throughout the South the dread of British superiority; it 
drove the loyalists into shameful obscurity. It was an an- 
nouncement to the other colonies of the existence of South 
Carolina as a self-directing republic; a message of brother- 
hood and union." 


beach of Long Island, and, the men-of-war loosing their 
topsails, Moultrie hurried back to his fort at full speed. 
He ordered the long roU to beat, and officers and men 
to their posts. His whole number, including himself and 
ofl&cers, was four hundred and thirty-five; of whom 
twenty-two were of the artillery, the rest of his own 
regiment; men who were bound to each other, to their 
officers, and to him, by personal affection and confidence. 
Next to him in command was Isaac Motte; his major 
was the fearless and faultless Francis Marion. The fort 
was a square, with a bastion at each angle; built of 
palmetto logs, dove-tailed and bolted together, and laid 
in parallel rows sixteen feet asunder, with sand filled in 
between the rows. On the eastern and northern sides 
the palmetto wall was only seven feet high, but it was 
surmounted by thick plank, so as to be tenable against 
a scaling party; a traverse of sand extended from east to 
west. The southern and western curtains were finished 
with their platforms, on which cannon were mounted. 
The standard which was advanced to the southeast 
bastion, displayed a flag of blue with a white crescent, 
on which was emblazoned LIBERTY. The whole 
number of cannon in the fort, the bastions, and the two 
cavaliers, was but thirty-one, of which no more than 
twenty-one could at the same time be brought into use; 
of ammunition there were but twenty-eight rounds for 
twenty-six cannon. At Haddrell's Point across the bay 
Armstrong had about fifteen hundred men. The first 
regular South Carolina regiment, under Christopher 
Gadsden, occupied Fort Johnson, which stood on the 
most northerly part of James Island, about three miles 
from Charleston, and within point-blank shot of the 



channel. Charleston was protected by more than two 
thousand men. 

Half an hour after nine in the morning, the commo- 
dore gave signal to Clinton that he should go on the 
attack. An hour later the ships-of-war were under 
way. Gadsden, Cotesworth Pinckney, and the rest 
at Fort Johnson watched all their movements; in 
Charleston the wharfs and waterside along the bay were 
crowded with troops under arms and lookers-on. Their 
adversary must be foiled, or their city may perish; their 
houses be sacked and burned; and the savages on the 
frontier start from their lurking-places. No grievous 
oppressions weighed down the industry of South Caro- 
hna; she came forth to the struggle from generous sym- 
pathy; and now the battle is to be fought for her chief 
city and the province. 

The Thunderbomb, covered by the Friendship, began 
the action by throwing shells, which it continued, till 
more than sixty were discharged; of these some burst in 
the air; one lighted on the magazine without doing in- 
jury; the rest sank in the morass, or were buried in the 
sand within the fort. At about a quarter to eleven, the 
Active, of twenty-eight guns, disregarding four or five 
shots fired at her while imder sail; the Bristol, with fifty 
guns, having on board Sir Peter Parker and Lord 
William Campbell, the governor; the Experiment, also 
of fifty guns; and the Solebay, of twenty-eight, brought 
up within about three hundred and fifty yards of the 
fort, let go their anchors with springs upon their cables, 
and began a most furious cannonade. Every sailor 
expected that two broadsides would end the strife; but 
the soft, fibrous, spongy wood of the palmetto withstood 



the rapid fire, and neither split, nor splintered, nor 
started; and the parapet was high enough to protect the 
men on the platforms. When broadsides from three or 
four of the men-of-war struck the logs at the same 
instant, the shock gave the merlons a tremor, but the 
pile remained iminjured. Moultrie had but one tenth 
as many guns as were brought to bear on him, and was 
moreover obliged to stint the use of powder. His guns 
accordingly were fired very slowly, the officers taking 
aim, and waiting always for the smoke to clear away, 
that they might point with more precision. "Mind the 
commodore, mind the fifty-gun ships," were the words 
that passed along the platform from officers and men. 

" Shall I send for more powder?" asked Moultrie of 

"To be sure," said Motte. 

And Moultrie wrote to Lee: " I believe we shall want 
more powder. At the rate we go on, I think we shall; 
but you can see that. Pray send us more, if you think 

More vessels were seen coming up, and cannon were 
heard from the northeast. Clinton had promised sup- 
port; not knowing what else to do, he directed the bat- 
teries on Long Island to open a carmonade; and several 
shells were thrown into Thomson's intrenchments, doing 
no damage beyond wounding one soldier. The fixing 
was returned by Thomson with his one eighteen- 
poimder; but, from the distance, with little effect. 

At twelve o'clock the Hght infantry, grenadiers, and 
the Fifteenth Regiment embarked in boats, while float- 
ing batteries and armed craft got under way to cover 
the landing; but the troops never so much as once 



attempted to land. The detachments had hardly left 
Long Island before it was ordered to disembark, for it 
was seen that " the landing was impracticable, and would 
have been the destruction of many brave men without 
the least probability of success." The American de- 
fenses were so well constructed, the approach so diffi- 
cult, Thomson so vigilant, his men such skillful sharp- 
shooters, that had the British landed, they would have 
been cut to pieces. "It was impossible," says Clinton, 
"to decide positively upon any plan"; and he did 

An attack on Haddrell's Point would have been still 
more desperate; though the commodore, at Clinton's 
request, sent three frigates to cooperate with him in that 
design. The people of Charleston, as they looked from 
the battery with senses quickened by the nearness of 
danger, beheld the Sphinx, the Acteon, and the Syren, 
each of twenty-eight guns, sailing as if to get between 
Haddrell's Point and the fort, so as to enfilade the works, 
and when the rebels should be driven from them, to cut 
off their retreat. It was a moment of danger, for the fort 
on that side was unfinished; but the pilots kept too far 
to the south, so that they ran all the three upon a bank 
of sand, known as the Lower Middle Ground. Glad- 
dened by seeing the frigates thus entangled, the behold- 
ers in the town were swayed alternately by fears and 
hopes; the armed inhabitants stood every one at his post, 
uncertain but that they might be called to immediate 
action, hardly daring to believe that Moultrie's small 
and ill-furnished garrison could beat off the squadron, 
when behold ! his flag disappears from their eyes. Fear- 
ing that his colors had been struck, they prepared to 



meet the invaders at the water's edge, trusting ia 
Providence and preferring death to slavery. 

In the fort, William Jasper, a sergeant, perceived that 
the flag had been cut down by a ball from the enemy, 
and had fallen over the ramparts. 

"Colonel," said he to Moultrie, "don't let us fight 
without a flag." 

"What can you do?" asked Moultrie; "the staff is 
broken off." 

"Then," said Jasper, "I'll fix it on a halberd, and 
place it on the merlon of the bastion next the enemy." 
And leaping through an embrasure, and braving the 
thickest fire from the ship, he took up the flag, returned 
with it safely and planted it, as he had promised, on the 
summit of the merlon. 

The calm sea gleamed with Hght; the almost vertical 
Sim of midsummer glared from a cloudless sky; and the 
intense heat was increased by the blaze from the cannon 
on the platform. AU of the garrison threw off their coats 
during the action, and some were nearly naked. Moul- 
trie and several of the officers smoked their pipes as they 
gave their orders. The defense was conducted within 
sight of those whose watchfulness was to them the most 
animating: they knew that their movements were 
observed from the house-tops of Charleston; by the 
veteran Armstrong, and the little army at Haddrell's 
Point; by Gadsden at Fort Johnson, who was almost 
near enough to take part in the engagement, and was 
chafing with discontent at not being himself ia the 
center of danger. Exposed to an incessant cannonade, 
which seemed sufficient to daunt the bravest veterans, 
they stuck to their g\ms with the greatest constancy. 



Hit by a ball which entered through an embrasure, 
Macdaniel cried out to his brother soldiers : " I am dying, 
but don't let the cause of liberty expire with me this day." 

The slow, intermittent fire which was skillfully di- 
rected against the commodore and the brave seamen 
on board the Bristol, shattered that ship and carried 
wounds and death. Never had a British squadron 
"experienced so rude an encounter." Neither the tide 
nor the wind suffered them to retire. Once the springs on 
the cables of the Bristol were swept away; as she swung 
round with her stern toward the fort, she drew upon her- 
self the fire of all the guns that could be brought to bear 
upon her. The slaughter was dreadful; of all who in the 
begirming of the action were stationed on her quarter- 
deck, not one escaped being killed or wounded. At one 
moment, it is said, the commodore stood there alone, 
an example of unsurpassed intrepidity and firmness. 
Morris, his captain, having his forearm shattered by a 
chainshot, and also receiving a wound in his neck, was 
taken into the cockpit; but after submitting to ampu- 
tation, he insisted on being carried on the quarter-deck 
once more, where he resumed the command, and con- 
tinued it, till he was shot through the body, when, feel- 
ing dissolution near, he commended his family to the 
providence of God, and the generosity of his country. 
Meanwhile the eyes of the commodore and of all on 
board his fleet were "frequently and impatiently" and 
vainly turned toward the army. If the troops would but 
cooperate, he was sure of gaining the island ; for at about 
one o'clock he believed that he had silenced the guns of 
the rebels, and that the fort was on the point of being 
evacuated. "If this were so," Clinton afterward asked 



him, "why did you not take possession of the fort, with 
the seamen and marines whom you practiced for the 
purpose? " And Parker's rejoinder was, that he had no 
prospect of speedy support from CUnton. But the pause 
was owing to the scarcity of powder, of which the little 
that remained to Moultrie was reserved for the musketry 
as a defense against an expected attack from the land 
forces. Lee should have replenished his stock; but in 
the heat of the action Moultrie received from him this 
letter: "If you should unfortxmately expend your am- 
munition without beating off the enemy or driving them 
on groimd, spike yoiur guns and retreat." 

A little later, a better gift and a better message came 
from Rutledge, now at Charleston: "I send you five 
hundred pounds of powder. You know our collection is 
not very great. Honor and victory to you and our 
worthy countrymen with you. Do not make too free 
with your cannon. Be cool and do mischief." These 
five hundred pounds of powder, with two hundred 
pounds from a schooner lying at the back of the fort, 
were all the supplies that Moultrie received. At three 
in the afternoon, Lee, on a report from his aide-de-camp 
Byrd, sent Muhlenberg's Virguiia riflemen to reinforce 
Thomson. A little before five, Moiiltrie was able to 
renew his fire. At about five, the marines in the ships' 
tops, seeing a Heutenant with eight or ten men remove 
the heavy barricade from the gateway to the fort, 
thought that Moultrie and his party were about to 
retreat; but the gateway was unbarred to receive a visit 
from Lee. The officers half-naked, and begrimed with 
the day's work, respectfully laid down their pipes as he 
drew near. The general himself pointed two or three 



guns, after which he said to Moultrie, " Colonel, I see you 
are doing very well here, you have no occasion for me, I 
will go up to town again." And thus he left the fort. 

When at a few minutes past seven the sun went down 
in a blaze of hght, the battle was still raging, though the 
British showed signs of weariness. The inhabitants of 
Charleston, whom the evening sea-breeze collected on 
the battery, could behold the flag of crescent liberty 
stiU proudly waving; and they continued gazing anx- 
iously, till the short twiUght was suddenly merged in 
the deep darkness of a Southern night, when nothing 
was seen but continued flashes, followed by peals as it 
were of thunder coming out from a heavy cloud. Many 
thousand shot were fired from the shipping, and hardly 
a hut or a tree on the island remained unh\u:t; but the 
works were very Httle damaged, and only one gun was 
silenced. The firing from the fort continued slowly; 
and the few shot they were able to send were heard to 
strike against the ships' timbers. Just after nine o'clock, 
a great part of his ammmiition being expended in a 
cannonade of about ten hours, his people fatigued, the 
Bristol and the Experiment nearly wrecks, the tide of 
ebb almost done, with no prospect of help from the army 
at the eastward, and no possibility of being of any 
further service. Sir Peter Parker resolved to withdraw. 
At half-past nine his ships slipped their cables, and 
dropped down with the tide to their previous moorings. 

Of the four hundred and thirty-five Americans in the 
fort, who took part in this action, all but eleven remained 
alive, and of these but twenty-six were wounded. At so 
small a cost of Hfe had Charleston been defended and a 
province saved. 




When the patriots in Congress looked back upon the 
few battles that had yet taken place, they could feel 
that the Americans had begun well. Dr. Franklin, who 
was always cheerful and hopeful, described their situa- 
tion in this way, in a letter to a friend in England: 
" Britain, at the expense of three milUons, has killed a 
hvindred and fifty Yankees in this campaign, which is 
twenty thousand pounds a head; and at Bunker Hill she 
gained a mile of ground, half of which she lost again by 
our taking post on Ploughed Hill. During the same 
time, sixty thousand children have been born in 
America. From these data, Dr. Price's mathematical 
head will easily calculate the time and expense necessary 
to kin us all, and conquer our whole territory." This 
remark was printed in aU the American papers, and was 
very encouraging. But Dr. Franklin and all the wise 
men knew in their hearts that the Americans were 
unaccustomed to mihtary disciphne, that there was 
great jealousy between the different colonies, and that 
many of the richest and most influential men were en- 
tirely opposed to separating from the mother-country. 
Washington himself said, "When I first took command 
of the army, I abhorred the idea of independence; but 
I am fully convinced that nothing else wiU save us." 
That was the feeling with which the Continental 



Congress came together to consider whether independ- 
ence should be declared. And the people at large were 
becoming gradually prepared to support such a declara- 
tion, especially those who had read a book called 
"Common Sense," by Thomas Paine, which had been 
circulated very widely through the country, and im- 
doubtedly did more than any other book toward con- 
vincing the Americans that the time for separation had 

The leading colony at that time was Virginia; while 
Massachusetts and Pennsylvania came next in order. 
So it was thought best that the first proposal of inde- 
pendence should come from Virginia, and that it shoxild 
be seconded from Massachusetts. On the 7 th of June, 
1776, Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, moved these 
resolutions: — 

"That these united colonies are, and of right ought to 
be, free and independent States; that they are absolved 
from all allegiance to the British crown; and that all 
political connection between them and the State of 
Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved. 

" That it is expedient forthwith to take the most ef- 
fectual measures for forming foreign alliances. 

" That a plan of confederation be prepared, and trans- 
mitted to the respective colonies for their consideration 
and approbation." 

They were seconded by John Adams, of Massachu- 
setts. The first discussion of them showed that though 
the members generally were in favor of independence, 
yet there were some who thought the nation not ready 
for it. So it was decided to postpone further discussion 
to the I St of July. In the mean while, it was thought, the 



people of the colonies would show whether they were 
ready for independence or not. And show it very 
clearly they did. Before the end of that, month, the 
people of every colony but one had either held meet- 
ings, and voted that they wished for independence, or else 
had instructed their delegates to vote for it; and, when 
the subject came up on the appointed day, New York 
was the only colony that did not vote to declare inde- 
pendence; and even New York did not vote against it. 
During this time of delay, a committee had been 
appointed to draw up a Declaration of Independence, 
to be used, if necessary. This committee consisted of 
Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, John Adams, of Massa- 
chusetts, Benjamin Franklin, of Pennsylvania, Roger 
Sherman, of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston, 
of New York. The Declaration was written by Thomas 
Jefferson; though a very few verbal changes were made 
by Adams and Franklin, which may still be seen, in 
their handwriting, on the original document. There 
was a long discussion in the Congress; and the Declara- 
tion was debated and criticized, word by word, and 
sometimes very severely attacked. During this attack, 
John Adams was its chief defender; while Jefferson, who 
had written it, did not say a word. He says in his jour- 
nal, "During the debate I was sitting by Dr. FranMin, 
who observed that I was writhing a httle imder the 
acrimonious criticism of some of its parts; and it was on 
that occasion, that, by way of comfort, he told me the 
story of John Thompson the hatter, and his new sign." 
This was a story — told, also, by Dr. Franklin in his 
" Autobiography" — in regard to a man who was about 
opening a shop for hats, and who proposed to have a 


sign-board with a hat painted on it, and the inscription, 
"John Thompson, hatter, makes and sells hats." But 
almost every word of this inscription met with objection 
from somebody, as being imnecessary; and at last it 
was reduced to "John Thompson," with the figure of a 
hat. It was thus that FrankJin amused Jefferson during 
the anxious hours when this most important measure 
was under discussion. 

The Declaration of Independence was adopted 
July 4, 1776, though it was not signed until some weeks 
later. When the members of Congress came up to sign, 
Dr. Franklin was still ready with his cheerful wit. John 
Hancock, who headed it, said to the others, "We must 
be unanimous: there must be no pulling different ways: 
we must all hang together." ^ — "Yes," said Franklin, 
"we must all hang together, or else we shall all hang 
separately." We can imagine how they all may have 
laughed at this. But it was really a dangerous respon- 
sibiHty that they were taking; and no doubt there were 
some anxious hearts even among those who laughed. 

But at last the great Declaration was adopted, with- 
out being much altered. The principal change was in 
striking out a passage which condemned the King of 
England for his support of the slave trade more severely 
than some of the Southern members approved. In its 
final form it was adopted by twelve colonies; New York 
still declining to vote. It had been privately resolved, 
that, when it was passed, the beU of the old State House 
should be rung. This was a bell which had been put up 
some twenty years before, and which bore the inscrip- 
tion, "Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the 
inhabitants thereof." So the old bell-ringer placed his 



little boy at the hall door to await the signal of the door- 
keeper; and, when independence was declared at last, 
the doorkeeper gave the signal, and the boy ran out, 
exclaiming, "Ring, ring, ring!" Then the bell rang out 
joyfully; proclaiming Hberty to all the land. There were 
rejoicings everywhere; and the Declaration was read to 
each brigade in the army. This is the way the "Penn- 
sylvania Journal" described the excitement: — 

"This afternoon [July lo] the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence was read at the head of each brigade of the 
Continental Army posted at and in the vicinity of New 
York. It was received everywhere with loud huzzas, 
and the utmost demonstrations of joy; and to-night the 
equestrian statue of George III, which Tory pride and 
folly raised in the year 1770, has, by the Sons of Free- 
dom, been laid prostrate in the dirt, — the just desert 
of an ungrateful tyrant." 

This was the courageous feeling with which the Decla- 
ration of Independence was received. Yet at this very 
time the enterprise seemed so daring and the condition 
of the American army was so poor, that Adjutant- 
General Reed, who, from his position, knew the state of 
military affairs better than any one else, had written 
this a few days before, "Every man, from the general 
to the private, acquainted with our true situation, is 
exceedingly discouraged. Had I known the true position 
of affairs, no consideration would have tempted me to 
take an active part in this scene." 




[In September, 1776, the British forces were encamped near 
Brooklyn, and it was of the utmost importance to Washing- 
ton to get information about their numbers and the arrange- 
ment of their camp. Captain Nathan Hale, a young man 
of twenty-one, volunteered to enter their lines. He disguised 
himself as a Loyalist schoolmaster and got the information; 
but when about to return, he was captured and hanged 
under circumstances of peculiar cruelty. His last words 
were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my 

The Editor.] 

To drum-beat and heart-beat, 

A soldier marches by; 
There is color in his cheek, 

There is courage in his eye, 
Yet to drum-beat and heart-beat 

In a moment he must die. 

By the starlight and moonlight. 
He seeks the Briton's camp ; 

He hears the rustling flag 
And the arm^d sentry's tramp; 

And the starlight and moonlight 
His silent wanderings lamp. 

With slow tread and still tread, 
He scans the tented line; 




And he counts the battery guns, 
By the gaunt and shadowy pine; 

And his slow tread and still tread 
Gives no warning sign. 

The dark wave, the plumed wave, 

It meets his eager glance; 
And it sparkles 'neath the stars, 

Like the glimmer of a lance — ■ 
A dark wave, a plumed wave, 

On an emerald expanse. 

A sharp clang, a still clang, 

And terror in the sound ! 
For the sentry, falcon-eyed, 

In the camp a spy hath found; 
With a sharp clang, a steel clang. 

The patriot is bound. 

With calm brow and steady brow, 

He listens to his doom; 
In his look there is no fear, 

Nor a shadow-trace of gloom; 
But with calm brow and steady brow, 

He robes him for the tomb. 

In the long night, the still night. 

He kneels upon the sod; 
And the brutal guards withhold 

E'en the solemn word of God! 
In the long night, the still night. 

He walks where Christ hath trod. 


'Neath the blue mom, the sunny morn, 

He dies upon the tree; 
And he mourns that he can lose 

But one life for Liberty; 
And in the blue morn, the sunny mom, 

His spirit wings are free. 

But his last words, his message-words 
They burn, lest friendly eye 

Should read how proud and calm 
A patriot could die. 

With his last words, his dying words, 
A soldier's battle-cry. 

From Fame-leaf and Angel-leaf, 

From monument and urn, 
The sad of earth, the glad of heaven, 

His tragic fate shall learn; 
But on Fame-leaf and Angel-leaf 

The name of HALE shall burn ! 




In the summer of 1776, and just after the American 
Declaration of Independence, Lafayette was stationed 
at Metz, a garrisoned town on the road from Paris to 
the German frontier, with the regiment to which he was 
attached, as a captain of dragoons, not then nineteen 
years of age. The Duke of Gloucester, the brother of 
the Eang of England, happened to be on a visit to Metz, 
and a dinner was given to him by the commandant of the 
garrison. Lafayette was invited, with other officers, to 
the entertainment. Dispatches had just been received 
by the Duke from England, relating to American 
affairs, — the resistance of the colonists, and the strong 
measures adopted by the ministers to crush the rebellion. 
Among the details stated by the Duke of Gloucester 
was the extraordinary fact, that these remote, scattered, 
and unprotected settlers of the wilderness had solemnly 
declared themselves an Independent People. That word 
decided the fortunes of the enthusiastic listener; and not 
more distinctly was the great Declaration a charter of 
poUtical liberty to the rising states, than it was a com- 
mission to their youthful champion to devote his life 
to the sacred cause. 

The details which he heard were new to him. The 
American contest was known to him before, but as a 
rebellion, — a tumultuary affair in a remote trans- 



atlantic colony. He now, with a promptness of percep- 
tion, which, even at this distance of time, strikes us as 
little less than miraculous, addressed a multitude of in- 
quiries to the Duke of Gloucester on the subject of the 
contest. His imagination was kindled at the idea of a 
civilized people struggling for political liberty. His heart 
was warmed with the possibility of drawing his sword 
in a good cause. Before he left the table, his course was 
mentally resolved on; and the brother of the King of 
England (unconsciously, no doubt), had the singular for- 
tune to enlist, from the French court and the French 
army, this gallant and fortunate champion in the then 
unpromising cause of the Colonial Congress. 

He immediately repaired to Paris, to make further 
inquiries and arrangements toward the execution of his 
great plan. He confided it to two young friends, officers 
like himself, the Count Segur and Viscount de Noailles, 
and proposed to them to join him. They shared his 
enthusiasm and determined to accompany him, but on 
consulting their families, they were refused permission. 
But they faithfully kept Lafayette's secret. Happily, 
shall I say, he was an orphan — independent of control, 
and master of his own fortune, amounting to near forty 
thousand dollars per annum. 

He next opened his heart to Count de Broglie, a mar- 
shal in the French army. To the experienced warrior, 
accustomed to the regular campaigns of European serv- 
ice, the project seemed rash and quixotic, and one which 
he could not countenance. Lafayette begged the coxmt 
at least not to betray him; ■ — as he was resolved (not- 
withstanding his disapproval of the project) — to go 
to America. This the count promised, adding, however, 



"I saw your uncle fall in Italy, and I witnessed your 
father's death, at the battle of Minden, and I will not be 
accessory to the ruin of the only remaining branch of the 
family." He then used all the powers of argument which 
his age and experience suggested to him to dissuade 
Lafayette from the enterprise, but in vain. Finding his 
determination unalterable, he made him acquainted 
with the Baron de Kalb, who — the count knew — was 
about to embark for America, — an officer of experience 
and merit, who, as is well known, fell at the battle of 

The Baron de Kalb introduced Lafayette to Silas 
Deane. then agent of the United States in France, who 
explained to him the state of affairs in America, and 
encouraged him in his project. Deane was but imper- 
fectly acquainted with the French language, and of man- 
ners somewhat repulsive. A less enthusiastic temper than 
that of Lafayette might have been somewhat chilled by 
the style of his intercourse. He had as yet not been 
acknowledged in any public capacity; and was beset by 
the spies of the British Ambassador. For these reasons, 
it was judged expedient that the visit of Lafayette should 
not be repeated, and their further negotiations were 
conducted through the intervention of Mr. Carmichael, 
an American gentleman, at that time in Paris. The ar- 
rangement was at length concluded, in virtue of which 
Deane took upon himself, without authority, but by a 
happy exercise of discretion, to engage Lafayette to 
enter the American service, with the rank of major- 
general. A vessel was about to be dispatched with arms, 
and other supplies for the American army, and in this 
vessel it was settled that he should take passage, 



At this juncture the news reached France of the evac- 
uation of New York, the loss of Fort Washington, the 
calamitous retreat through New Jersey, and the other 
disasters of the campaign of 1776. The friends of Amer- 
ica in France were in despair. The tidings, bad in 
themselves, were greatly exaggerated in the British 
gazettes. The plan of sending an armed vessel with 
munitions was abandoned. The cause, always doubtful, 
was now pronounced desperate; and Lafayette was urged 
by all who were privy to his project to give up an enter- 
prise so wild and hopeless. Even our commissioners (for 
Deane had been joined by Dr. Frankhn and Arthur Lee) 
told him they could not in conscience urge him to pro- 
ceed. His answer was, "My zeal and love of liberty have 
perhaps hitherto been the prevailing motive with me, 
but now I see a chance of usefulness which I had not 
anticipated. These supplies I know are greatly wanted 
by Congress. I have money; I will purchase a vessel to 
convey them to America, and in this vessel my com- 
panions and myself will take passage." 

Yes, fellow citizens, that I may repeat an exclama- 
tion, uttered ten years ago by him who has now the 
honor to address you, in the presence of an immense 
multitude, who welcomed "the Nation's Guest" to the 
academic shades of Harvard, and by them received with 
acclamations of approval and tears of gratitude; — 
when he was told by our commissioners, — "that they 
did not possess the means nor the credit of procuring a 
single vessel in all the ports of France, then exclaimed 
the gallant and generous youth, "I will provide my 
own"; and it is a literal fact, that when our beloved 
country was too poor to offer him so much as a passage 



to her shores, he left, in his tender youth, the bosom of 
home, of happiness, of wealth, and of rank, to plunge in 
the dust and blood of our inauspicious struggle. 

In pursuance of the generous purpose thus conceived, 
the secretary of the Count de Broglie was employed by 
Lafayette, to purchase and fit out a vessel at Bordeaux; 
and while these preparations were in train, with a view 
of averting suspicion from his movements, and passing 
the tedious interval of delay, he made a visit with a rela- 
tive, to his kinsman, the Marquis de Noailles, then the 
French Ambassador in London. During their stay in 
Great Britain, they were treated with kindness by the 
king and persons of rank; but having, after a lapse of 
three weeks, learned that his vessel was ready at Bor- 
deaux, Lafayette suddenly returned to France. This 
visit was of service to the youthful adventurer, in fur- 
nishing him an opportunity to improve himself in the 
English language; but beyond this, a nice sense of honor 
forbade him from making use of the opportunity, which 
it afforded, for obtaining military information that could 
be of utility to the American army. So far did he carry 
this scruple that he decUned visiting the naval estabhsh- 
ment at Portsmouth. 

On his return to France, he did not even visit Paris; 
but after three days passed at Passy, the residence of 
Dr. Franklin, he hastened to Bordeaux. Arrived at this 
place, he found that his vessel was not yet ready; and 
had the still greater mortification to learn, that the spies 
of the British Ambassador had penetrated his designs, 
and made them known to the family of Lafayette, and 
to the king, from whom an order for his arrest was daily 
expected. Unprepared as his ship was, he instantly sailed 



in her to Passage, the nearest port in Spain, where he 
proposed to wait for the vessel's papers. Scarcely had he 
arrived in that harbor, when he was encountered by two 
officers, with letters from his family, and from the minis- 
ters, and a royal order directing him to join his father- 
in-law at Marseilles. The ministers' letters reprimanded 
him for violating his oath of allegiance and failing in 
his duty to his king. Lafayette, in some of his letters 
to his friends about court, replied to this remark that 
the ministers might chide him with failing in his duty to 
the king when they learned to discharge theirs to the peo- 
ple. His family censured him for his desertion of his 
domestic duties; — but his heroic wife, instead of join- 
ing in the reproach, shared his enthusiasm and encour- 
aged his enterprise. He was obliged to return with the 
officers to Bordeaux, and report himself to the com- 
mandant. While there, and engaged in communicating 
with his family and the court, in explanation and defense 
of his conduct, he learned from a friend at Paris that a 
positive prohibition of his departure might be expected 
from the king. No further time was to be lost, and no 
middle course pursued. He feigned a willingness to yield 
to the wishes of his family, and started as for Marseilles 
with one of the officers who was to accompany him to 
America. Scarcely had they left the city of Bordeaux 
when he assumed the dress of a courier, mounted a horse, 
and rode forward to procure relays. They soon quitted 
the road to Marseilles, and struck into that which leads 
to Spain. On reaching Bayorme, they were detained two 
or three hours. While the companion of Lafayette was 
employed in some important commission in the city, he 
himself lay on the straw in the stable. At Saint- Jean de 



Luz he was recognized by the daughter of the person who 
kept the post-house; — she had observed him a few days 
before, as he passed from Spain to Bordeaux. Perceiving 
that he was discovered, and not daring to speak to her, 
he made her a signal to keep silence. She complied with 
the intimation; and when, shortly after he had passed on, 
his pursuers came up, she gave them an answer which 
baffled their penetration, and enabled Lafayette to es- 
cape into Spain. He was instantly on board his ship 
and at sea, with eleven officers in his train. 

It would take one beyond the limits of the occasion, to 
repeat the various casualties and exposures of his pass- 
age, which lasted sixty days. His vessel had cleared out 
for the West Indies, but Lafayette directed the captain 
to steer for the United States, which, especially as he had 
a large pecuniary adventure of his own on board, he de- 
chned doing. By threats to remove him from his com- 
mand and promises to indemnify him for the loss of his 
property, should they be captured, Lafayette prevailed 
upon the captain to steer his course for the American 
coast, where at last they happily arrived, having nar- 
rowly escaped two British vessels of war, which were 
criiising in that quarter. They made the coast near 
Georgetown, South Carolina. It was late in the day 
before they could approach so near land as to leave the 
vessel. Anxious to tread the American soil, Lafayette, 
with some of his feUow'-officers, entered the ship's boat 
and was rowed at nightfall to shore. A distant light 
giiided them in their landing and advance into the coun- 
try. Arriving near the house from which the light pro- 
ceeded, an alarm was given by the watchdogs, and they 
were mistaken by those within for a marauding party 



from the enemy's vessels hovering on the coast. The 
Baron de Kalb, however, had a good knowledge of the 
English language, acquired on a previous visit to Amer- 
ica, and was soon able to make known who they were and 
what was their errand. On this they were of course 
readily admitted and cordially welcomed. The house in 
which they found themselves was that of Major Huger, 
a citizen of worth, hospitahty, and patriotism, by whom 
every good office was performed to the adventurous 
strangers. He provided the next day the means of con- 
veying Lafayette and his companions to Charleston, 
where they were received with enthusiasm by the magis- 
trates and the people. 

As soon-as possible, they proceeded by land to Phila- 
delphia. On his arrival there, with the eagerness of a 
youth anxious to be employed upon his errand, he sent 
his letters to our townsman, Mr. Lovell, chairman of the 
committee of foreign relations. He called the next day 
at the hall of Congress, and asked to see this gentleman. 
Mr. Lovell came out to him, — stated that so many 
foreigners offered themselves for employment in the 
American army that Congress was greatly embarrassed 
to find them commands, — that the finances of the 
country required the most rigid economy; and that he 
feared, in the present case, there was little hope of suc- 
cess. Lafayette perceived that the worthy chairman had 
made up his report without looking at the papers; — he 
explained to him that his application, if granted, would 
lay no burden upon the finances of Congress, and ad- 
dressed a letter to the President, in which he expressed 
a wish to enter the American army, on the condition of 
serving without pay or emolument and on the footing of 



a volunteer. These conditions removed the chief obsta- 
cles alluded to in reference to the appointment of foreign 
officers; — the letters brought by Lafayette made known 
to Congress his high connections and his large ro.eans of 
usefulness, and without an hour's delay he received from 
them a commission of major-general in the American 
army, a month before he was twenty years of age. 




[In December, 1776, Cornwallis thought the war was prac- 
tically over, and had packed his baggage ready to sail for 
England when he learned that Washington — who always 
made the move that no one expected — had crossed the 
Delaware River in the midst of floating ice and had captured 
a thousand Hessian soldiers at Trenton. 

The Editor.] 

Cornwallis rode post-haste to Princeton, where he 
found Donop throwing up earthworks. On the morning 
of January 2, Cornwallis advanced, with eight thousand 
men, upon Trenton, but his march was slow and painful. 
He was exposed during most of the day to a galling fire 
from parties of riflemen hidden in the woods by the road- 
side, and Greene, with a force of six hundred men and 
two field-pieces, contrived so to harass and delay him 
that he did not reach Trenton till late in the afternoon. 
By that time Washington had withdrawn his whole 
force beyond the Assunpink, a small river which flows 
into the Delaware just south of Trenton, and had 
guarded the bridge and the fords by batteries admirably 
placed. The British made several attempts to cross, but 
were repulsed with some slaughter; and as their day's 
work had sorely fatigued them, Cornwallis thought best 
to wait until to-morrow, while he sent his messenger 



post-haste back to Princeton to bring up a force of 
nearly two thousand men which he had left behind 
there. With this added strength he felt sure that he 
could force the passage of the stream above the Amer- 
ican position, when by turning Washington's right flank 
he could fold him back against the Delaware, and thus 
compel him to surrender. Cornwallis accordingly went 
to bed in high spirits. "Atlast we have run down the 
old fox," said he, "and we will bag him in the morning." 
The situation was, indeed, a very dangerous one ; but 
when the British general called his antagonist an old 
fox, he did him no more than justice. In its union of 
slyness with audacity, the movement which Washington 
now executed strongly reminds one of "Stonewall" 
Jackson. He understood perfectly well what Cornwallis 
intended to do; but he knew at the same time that de- 
tachments of the British army must have been left 
behind at Princeton and New Brunswick to guard the 
stores. From the size of the army before him he rightly 
judged that these rear detachments must be too small to 
withstand his own force. By overwhelming one or both 
of them, he could compel Cornwallis to retreat upon New 
York, while he himself might take up an impregnable 
position on the heights about Morristown, from which 
he might threaten the British line and hold their whole 
army in check, — a most brilliant and daring scheme for 
a commander to entertain while in such a perilous posi- 
tion as Washington was that night! But the manner in 
which he began by extricating himself was not the least 
brilliant part of the maneuver. All night long the Amer- 
ican camp fires were kept burning brightly, and small 
parties were busily engaged in throwing up intrench- 



ments so near the Assunpink that the British sentinels 
could plainly hear the murmur of their voices and the 
thud of the spade and pickaxe. While this was going on, 
the whole American army marched swiftly up the south 
bank of the little stream, passed around Cornwallis's 
left wing to his rear, and gained the road to Princeton. 
Toward sunrise, as the British detachment was coming 
down the road from Princeton to Trenton, in obedience 
to Cornwallis's order, its van, under Colonel Mawhood, 
met the foremost column of Americans approaching, un- 
der General Mercer. As he caught sight of the Ameri- 
cans, Mawhood thought that they must be a party of 
fugitives, and hastened to intercept them; but he was 
soon undeceived. The Americans attacked with vigor, 
and a sharp fight was sustained, with varying fortunes, 
until Mercer was pierced by a bayonet, and his men be- 
gan to fall back in some confusion. Just at this critical 
moment Washington came galloping upon the field and 
rallied the troops, and as the entire forces on both sides 
had now come up the fight became general. In a few 
minutes the British were routed and their line was cut 
in two; one half fleeing toward Trenton, the other half 
toward New Brunswick. There was little slaughter, as 
the whole fight did not occupy more than twenty min- 
utes. The British lost about two hundred in killed and 
wounded, with three hundred prisoners and their can- 
non; the American loss was less than one hundred. 

Shortly before sunrise, the men who had been left in 
the camp on the Assunpink to feed the fires and make a 
noise beat a hasty retreat, and found their way to Prince- 
ton by circuitous paths. When CornwaUis got up, he 
could hardly believe his eyes. Here was nothing before 



him but an empty camp : the American army had van- 
ished, and whither it had gone he could not imagine. 
But his perplexity was soon relieved by the booming of. 
distant cannon on the Princeton road, and the game 
which the " old fox" had played him all at once became 
apparent. Nothing was to be done but to retreat upon 
New Brunswick with all possible haste, and save the 
stores there. His road led back through Princeton, and 
from Mawhood's fugitives he soon heard the story of 
the morning's disaster. His march was hindered by 
various impediments. A thaw had set in, so that the 
little streams had swelled into roaring torrents, difl&cult 
to ford, and the American army, which had passed over 
the road before daybreak, had not forgotten to destroy 
the bridges. By the time that CornwaUis and his men 
reached Princeton, wet and weary, the Americans had 
already left it, but they had not gone on to New Bruns- 
wick. Washington had hoped to seize the stores there, 
but the distance was eighteen miles, his men were 
wretchedly shod and too tired to march rapidly, and it 
would not be prudent to risk a general engagement when 
his main purpose could be secured without one. For 
these reasons, Washington turned northward to the 
heights of Morristown, while Cornwallis continued his 
retreat to New Brunswick. 

[Frederick the Great felt a hearty admiration for Wash- 
ington's maneuvers in New Jersey, and three years later 
sent his own portrait to the American soldier with the 
inscription, " From the oldest general in Europe to the great- 
est general on earth."] 




[In August, 1777, Burgoyne's advance from the North was 
stopped for want of horses and provisions. Hearing that the 
Provincials had collected supplies at the little village of 
Bennington, Vermont, Burgoyne sent out a strong detach- 
ment of Germans to seize them. When Colonel Stark, a 
veteran of the Seven Years' War, heard of their advance, 
he hastily collected a body of farmers and backwoodsmen 
and by forced marches caught and engaged the enemy at 
Bennington. Of the German force of one thousand men, less 
than a hundred escaped to tell their comrades of their dis- 
astrous encounter with the Yankee farmers. 

The Editor \ 

March! March! March! from sunrise till it's dark. 

And let no man straggle on the way! 
March! March! March! as we follow old John Stark, 

For the old man needs us all to-day. 

Load! Load! Load! Three buckshot and a ball. 
With a hymn- tune for a wad to make them stay! 

But let no man dare to fire till he gives the word to all, 
Let no man let the buckshot go astray. 

Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire all along the line, 
When we meet those bloody Hessians in array! 

They shall have every grain from this pow;der-horn of 
Unless the cowards turn and run away. 



Home! Home! Home! When the fight is fought and won, 
To the home where the women watch and pray ! 

To tell them how John Stark finished what he had begun 
And to hear them thank our God for the day. 


[1777] ■ 


On the morning of October 7, leaving the rest of his 
army in camp, Burgoyne advanced with fifteen hundred 
picked men to turn the American left. Small as the force 
was, its quality was superb, and with it were the best 
commanders, — Phillips, Riedesel, Eraser, Balcarras, 
and Ackland. Such a compact force, so ably led, might 
maneuver quickly. If, on sounding the American posi- 
tion on the left, they should find it too strong to be 
forced, they might swiftly retreat. At all events, the 
movement would cover a foraging party which Bur- 
goyne had sent out, — and this was no small matter. 
Arnold, too, the fighting general, it was reported, held 
no command; and Gates was known to be a sluggard. 
Such thoughts may have helped to shape the conduct of 
the British commander on this critical morning. But 
the scheme was swiftly overturned. As the British 
came on, their right was suddenly attacked by Morgan, 
while the New England regulars with three thousand 
New York militia assailed them in front. After a short, 
sharp fight against overwhelming numbers, their whole 
line was broken, and Eraser sought to form a second line 
a little farther back, on the west border of Freeman's 
Farm, though the ranks were badly disordered and all 
their cannon were lost. At this moment, Arnold, who 
had been watching from the heights, saw that a well- 



directed blow might not only ruin this retreating col- 
umn, but also shatter the whole British army. Quick as 
thought he sprang upon his horse, and galloped to the 
scene of action. He was greeted with deafening hurrahs, 
and the men, leaping with exultation at sight of their 
beloved commander, rushed upon Eraser's half-formed 
line. At the same moment, while Morgan was still 
pressing on the British right, one of his marksmen shot 
General Eraser, who fell, mortally wounded, just as 
Arnold charged with mad fury upon his line. The 
British, thus assailed in front and flank, were soon 
pushed off the field. Arnold next attacked Lord 
Balcarras, who had retired behind intrenchments at the 
north of Ereeman's Earm; but finding the resistance 
here too strong, he swept by, and charged upon the 
Canadian auxiliaries, who occupied a position just north 
of Balcarras, and covered the left wing of Breymann's 
forces at the extreme right of the British camp. The 
Canadians soon fled, leaving Breymann uncovered; and 
Arnold forthwith rushed against Breyinann on the left, 
just as Morgan, who had prolonged his flanking march, 
assailed him on the right. Breymann was slain and his 
force routed; the British right wing was crushed, and 
their whole position taken in reverse and made unten- 
able. Just at this moment, a wounded German soldier, 
lying on the ground, took aim at Arnold, and slew his 
horse, while the ball passed through the general's left 
leg, that had been wounded at Quebec, and fractured 
the bone a little above the knee. As Arnold fell, one of 
his men rushed up to bayonet the wounded soldier who 
had shot him, when the prostrate general cried, "Eor 
God's sake, don't hurt him; he's a fine fellow!" The 



poor German was saved, and this was the hour when 
Benedict Arnold should have died. His fall and the 
gathering twilight stopped the progress of the battle, 
but the American victory was complete and decisive. 
Nothing was left for Burgoyne but to get the wreck of 
his army out of the way as quickly as possible, and the 
next day he did so, making a slow retreat upon Saratoga, 
in the course of which his soldiers burned General 
Schuyler's princely country-house, with its barns and 

As the British retreated. General Gates steadily 
closed in upon them with his overwhelming forces, 
which now numbered twenty thousand. Gates — to 
give him due credit — knew how to be active after the 
victory, although, when fighting was going on, he was 
a general of sedentary habits. When Arnold rushed 
down, at the critical moment, to complete the victory of 
Saratoga, Gates sent out Major Armstrong to stop him, 
" Call back that fellow," said Gates, " or he will be doing 
something rash ! " But the eager Arnold had outgalloped 
the messenger, and came back only when his leg was 
broken and the victory won. In the mean time Gates 
sat at his headquarters, forgetful of the battle that was 
raging below, while he argued the merits of the American 
Revolution with a wounded British officer. Sir Francis 
Gierke, who had been brought in and laid upon the com- 
mander's bed to die. And this seems to have been all 
that the commanding general contributed to the crown- 
ing victory of Saratoga. 

When Burgoyne reached the place where he had 
crossed the Hudson, he found a force of three thousand 
Americans, with several batteries of cannon occupjdng 



the hills on the other side, so that it was now impossible 
to cross. A council of war decided to abandon all the 
artillery and baggage, push through the woods by night, 
and effect a crossing higher up, by Fort Edward, where 
the great river begins to be fordable. But no sooner had 
this plan been made than word was brought that the 
Americans were guarding all the fords, and had also 
planted detachments in a strong position to the north- 
ward, between Fort Edward and Fort George. The 
British army, in short, was surrounded. A brisk cannon- 
ade was opened upon it from the east and south, while 
Morgan's sharpshooters kept up a galling fire in the 
rear. Some of the women and wounded men were sent 
for safety to a large house in the neighborhood, where 
they took refuge in the cellar; and there the Baroness 
Riedesel tells us how she passed six dismal nights and 
days, crouching in a corner near the doorway, with her 
three little children clinging about her, while every now 
and then, with hideous crashing, a heavy cannon-ball 
passed through the room overhead. The cellar became 
crowded with crippled and dying men. But little food 
could be obtained, and the suffering from thirst was 
dreadful. It was only a few steps to the river, but every 
man who ventured out with a bucket was shot dead by 
Virginia rifles that never missed their aim. At last the 
brave wife of a British soldier volunteered to go; and 
thus the water was brought again and again, for the 
Americans would not fire at a woman. 

And now, while Burgoyne's last ray of hope was 
dying, and while the veteran Phillips declared himself 
heartbroken at the misery which he could not relieve, 
where was Sir Henry Clinton? He had not thought it 



prudent to leave New York until after the arrival of 
three thousand soldiers whom he expected from Eng- 
land. These men arrived on the 2gth of September, but 
six days more elapsed before Sir Henry had taken them 
up the river and landed them near Putnam's head- 
quarters at Peekskill. In a campaign of three days he 
outwitted that general, carried two of the forts after 
obstinate resistance, and compelled the Americans to 
abandon the others ; and thus laid open the river so that 
British ships might go up to Albany. On the 8th of 
October, Sir Henry wrote to Burgoyne from Fort 
Montgomery: "Nous y void, and nothing between us 
and Gates. I sincerely hope this little success of ours 
will facilitate your operations." This dispatch was 
written on a scrap of very thin paper, and encased in an 
oval silver bullet, which opened with a tiny screw in the 
middle. Sir Henry then sent General Vaughan, with sev- 
eral frigates and the greater part of his force, to make 
all haste for Albany. As they passed up the river, the 
next day, they could not resist the temptation to land 
and set fire to the pretty village of Kingston, then the 
seat of the state legislature. George Chnton, governor 
of the State, just retreating from his able defense of the 
captured forts, hastened to protect the village, but came 
up only in time to see it in flames from one end to the 
other. Just then Sir Henry's messenger, as he skulked 
by the roadside, was caught and taken to the governor. 
He had been seen swallowing something, so they gave 
him an emetic, and obtained the silver bullet. The dis- 
patch was read; the bearer was hanged to an apple 
tree; and Burgoyne, weary with waiting for the news 
that never came, at last sent a flag of truce to General 



Gates, inquiring what terms of surrender would be ac- 

Gates first demanded an unconditional surrender, 
but on Burgoyne's indignant refusal he consented to 
make terms, and the more readily, no doubt, since he 
knew what had just happened in the Highlands, though 
his adversary did not. After three days of discussion 
the terms of surrender were agreed upon. Just as 
Burgoyne was about to sign the articles, a Tory made 
his way into camp with hearsay news that part of 
CHnton's army was approaching Albany. The subject 
was then anxiously reconsidered by the British officers, 
and an interesting discussion ensued as to whether they 
had so far pledged their faith to the surrender that they 
could not in honor draw back. The majority of the 
council decided that their faith was irrevocably pledged, 
and Burgoyne yielded to this opinion, though he did not 
share it, for he did not feel quite clear that the rumored 
advance of Clinton could now avail to save him in any 
case. In this he was undoubtedly right. The American 
army, with its daily accretions of mihtia, had now grown 
to more than twenty thousand, and armed yeomanry 
were still pouring in by the hundred. A diversion threat- 
ened by less than three thousand men, who were still 
more than fifty miles distant, could hardly have averted 
the doom of the British army. The only effect which it 
did produce was, perhaps, to work upon the timid 
Gates, and induce him to offer easy terms in order to 
hasten the surrender. On the 17 th of October, accord- 
ingly, the articles were signed, exchanged, and put in 
execution. It was agreed that the British army should 
march out of camp with the honors of war, and pile 



their arms at an appointed place ; they should then march 
through Massachusetts to Boston, from which port 
they might sail for Europe, it being understood that 
none of them should serve again in America during the 
war; all the ofl&cers might retain their small arms, and 
no one's private luggage should be searched or molested. 
At Burgoyne's earnest solicitation the American general 
consented that these proceedings should be styled a 
"convention," instead of a surrender, in imitation of the 
famous Convention of Kloster-Seven, by which the 
Duke of Cumberland, twenty years before, had sought 
to save his feelings while losing his army, beleaguered 
by the French in Hanover. The soothing phrase has 
been well remembered by British historians, who to this 
day continue to speak of Burgoyne's surrender as the 
"Convention of Saratoga." 

In carrying out the terms of the convention both 
Gates and his soldiers showed praiseworthy delicacy. 
As the British marched off to a meadow by the riverside 
and laid down their arms, the Americans remained 
within their Hnes, refusing to add to the himiihation of a 
gallant enemy by standing and looking on. As the dis- 
armed soldiers then passed by the American lines, says 
Lieutenant Anbury, one of the captured ofl&cers, "I 
did not observe the least disrespect or even a taunting 
look, but all was mute astonishment and pity." Bm- 
goyne stepped up and handed his sword to Gates, simply 
saying, "The fortune of war. General Gates, has made 
me your prisoner." The American general instantly 
returned the sword, replying, " I shall always be ready 
to testify that it has not been through any fault of Your 
Excellency." When Baron Riedesel had been presented 



to Gates and the other generals, he sent for his wife and 
children. Set free at last from the dreadful cellar, the 
baroness came with some trepidation into the enemy's 
camp; but the only look she saw upon any face was one 
of sympathy. "As I approached the tents," she says, 
" a noble-looking gentleman came toward me, and took 
the children out of the wagon; embraced and kissed 
them; and then, with tears in his eyes, helped me also 
to ahght. . . . Presently he said, ' It may be embarrass- 
ing to you to dine with so many gentlemen. If you will 
come with your children to my tent, I will give you a 
frugal meal, but one that will at least be seasoned with 
good wishes.' 'Oh, sir,' I cried, 'you must surely be a 
husband and a father, since you show me so much 
kindness ! ' I then learned that it was General Schuyler." 
Schuyler had indeed come, with unruffled soul, to look 
on while the fruit which he had sown, with the gallant 
aid of Stark and Herkimer, Arnold and Morgan, was 
plucked by an unworthy rival. He now met Burgoyne, 
who was naturally pained and embarrassed at the 
recollection of the beautiful house which his men had 
burned a few days before. In a speech in the House of 
Commons, some months later, Burgoyne told how 
Schuyler received him. "I expressed to General 
Schuyler," says Burgoyne, "my regret at the event 
which had happened, and the reasons which had occa- 
sioned it. He desired me to think no more of it, sajang 
that the occasion justified it, according to the rules of 
war. . . . He did more: he sent an aide-de-camp to 
conduct me to Albany, in order, as he expressed it, to 
procure me better quarters than a stranger might be able 
to find. This gentleman conducted me to a very elegant 



house, and, to my great surprise, presented me to Mrs. 
Schuyler and her family; and in this general's house I 
remained during my whole stay at Albany, with a ta- 
ble of more than twenty covers for me and my friends, 
and every other possible demonstration of hospitality." 
Madame Riedesel was also invited to stay with the 
Schuylers; and when first she arrived in the house, one 
of her Httle girls exclaimed, " Oh, mamma ! Is this the 
palace that papa was to have when he came to Amer- 
ica?" As the Schuylers understood German, the bar- 
oness colored, but all laughed pleasantly, and put her 
at ease. 

The captured army was never sent home. The officers- 
were treated as prisoners of war, and from tirrie to time 
were exchanged. Burgoyne was allowed to go to England 
in the spring, and while still a prisoner on parole he took 
his seat in Parliament, and became conspicuous among 
the defenders of the American cause. The troops were 
detained in the neighborhood of Boston until the 
autumn of 1778, when they were all transferred to 
Charlottesville in Virginia. Here a rude village was 
built on the brow of a pleasant ridge of hills, and gardens 
were laid out and planted. Much kind assistance was 
rendered in all this work by Thomas Jefferson, who was 
then living close by, on his estate at Monticello, and 
did everything in his power to make things comfortable 
for soldiers and officers. Two years afterward, when 
Virginia became the seat of war, some of them were 
removed to Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley, to 
Frederick in Maryland, and to Lancaster in Peimsyl- 
vania. Those who wished to return to Europe were 



exchanged or allowed to escape. The greater number, 
especially of the Germans, preferred to stay in this 
country and become American citizens. Before the end . 
of 1783 they had dispersed in aU directions. 

Such was the strange sequel of a campaign which, 
whether we consider the picturesqueness of its incidents 
or the magnitude of its results, was one of the most 
memorable in the history of mankind. Its varied scenes, 
framed in landscapes of grand and stirring beauty, had 
brought together such types of manhood as the feathered 
Mohawk sachem, the helmeted Brunswick dragoon, 
and the blue-frocked yeoman of New England, — types 
of ancient barbarism, of the militancy bequeathed from 
the Middle Ages, and of the industrial democracy that is 
to possess and control the future of the world. These 
men had mingled in a deadly struggle for the strategic 
center of the Atlantic Coast of North America, and now 
the fight had ended in the complete and overwhelming 
defeat of the forces of George III. Four years, indeed, — ■ 
four years of sore distress and hope deferred, — were 
yet to pass before the fruits of this great victory could 
be gathered. The independence of the United States 
was not yet won; but the triumph at Saratoga set in 
motion a train of events from which the winning of in- 
dependence was destined surely to follow. 





During the Revolution the border warfare in the West was 
constant and pitiless, and from Kentucky to the Great Lakes 
the outlying settlements were devastated by the Tories and 
their Indian allies. In 1778 the border villages of New York 
and Pennsylvania were so cruelly harried by Chief Brant 
and Colonel Butler that in the following year General 
Sullivan led an army into the country of the Six Nations, 
the most powerful of the Indian tribes, and avenged the 
massacres so sternly that this great tribe never recovered 
its former position. 

In 1778 the British planned to unite the Indian tribes and 
destroy the Uttle settlements in what was then the "Far 
West," or what is now Indiana and Illinois. This might well 
have come to pass if, through the efforts of a young Virgin- 
ian surveyor named George Rogers Clark, they had not been 
driven back and Vincennes and other places captured. This 
one man saved the vast expanse of country between the 
Ohio and the Great Lakes, and as far west as the Mississippi. 

At the time of the Revolution the colonies had, of course, 
no navy of their own, and in consequence the coast was 
practically at the mercy of the English. Congress felt this 
handicap early in the war, but little was done except the 
equipment of privateers and cruisers for the destruction of 
British commerce. During the first half of the war more than 
six himdred British vessels were taken by these privateers, 
but during the same period nine himdred American vessels 
were captured by British cfuisers, and the fisheries and 
coasting trade of New England were almost destroyed. 

There was one captain who, more than all others, terror- 
ized British shipping and spread the fame of American sea- 
men throughout Europe — John Paul Jones, a Scotch sailor 
who had settled in Virginia shortly before the outbreak of 
hostilities. As commander of the Ranger in 1778 and the 
Bon Homme Richard in 1779, he wrought havoc along the 
British coast, burned the shipping in British ports, and 
finally captured the man-of-war Serapis after one of the 
most desperate sea-fights in history. 




In the spring of the year 1775, Boone was employed by 
a company of land speculators (who imagined they had 
secured a valid title to the land in Kentucky by virtue 
of a deed of purchase from the Cherokees) to survey and 
lay out roads in Kentucky. He was placed at the head 
of a body of well-armed men, and proceeded to his work 
with great willingness. The party had arrived within 
fifteen miles of Boonesborough, when they were fired on 
by Indians, and suffered a loss of two killed and two 
wounded. Three days later they were again attacked, 
and had two killed and three wounded. Boone was not 
the sort of man to be deterred by a calamity even of 
this severe kind. He pressed forward, and on a favorable 
site erected a fort (called Boonesborough), sufl&ciently 
strong and large to afford protection against any further 
attack. He was so well satisfied with its security, that, 
shortly afterward, he returned to Clinch River for his 
wife and family. They arrived safely, his "wife and 
daughters being the first white women that ever stood 
on the banks of the Kentucky River." A number of 
famiUes followed their example, and the little place soon 
became cheerful and populated. 

The Indians did not venture to attack the settlers so 
long as they remained within sight of the fort, but it was 



very well known that they hovered about the outskirts, 
ready for a descent on any unhappy wight who might 
expose himself unguardedly to their vengeance. The 
men were suspicious and careful and never went out 
without their rifles. In spite of these precautions, a 
most thrilling and tragic incident occurred. On the 14th 
of July, 1776, three young girls belonging to the fort 
(one of them was Boone's daughter) heedlessly crossed 
the river in a canoe late in the afternoon. When they 
got to the other side they commenced playing and 
splashing with the paddles, as gay young girls, uncon- 
scious of danger, might naturally do, until the canoe, 
floating with the current, drifted close to the shore, 
which at this part was thickly covered with trees and 
shrubs. Concealed in this natural ambuscade lay three 
savage Indians. They had been watching every motion 
of the girls, and were prepared now to seize their oppor- 
tunity. One of the coppery rascals dropped stealthily 
into the stream, caught hold of the rope that hung from 
the bow of the canoe, and drew it out of view of the fort. 
The girls, aroused to a sense of their danger, screamed 
as loud as they could, and were heard at the fort; but, 
before assistance could come, their captors hurried them 
on shore and bore them to the interior. 

"Next morning by daylight," says Colonel Floyd, 
who was one of the actors in what he describes, "we 
were on the track, but found they had totally prevented 
our following them by walking some distance apart 
through the thickest canes they could find. We observed 
their course, and on which side they had left their sign, 
and traveled upward of thirty miles. We then imagined 
that they would be less cautious in traveUng, and made 



a turn in order to cross their trace, and had gone but a 
few miles before we found their tracks in a buffalo path; 
pursued and overtook them on going about ten miles, 
just as they were kindling a fire to cook. Our study had 
been more to get the prisoners, without giving the 
Indians time to murder them, after they discovered 
us, than to kill them. 

"We discovered each other nearly at the same time. 
Four of us fired, and all rushed on them, which pre- 
vented them from carrying away anything except one 
shotgun without ammunition. Mr. Boone and myself 
had a pretty fair shot just as they began to move off. 
I am well convinced I shot one through, and the one he 
shot dropped his gun; mine had none. The place was 
very thick with canes, and being so much elated on re- 
covering the three little broken-hearted girls prevented 
our making further search. We sent them off without 
their moccasins, and not one of them with so much as a 
knife or a tomahawk." 

The simpHcity of this narrative exceeds its clearness, 
but, with all its involutions, is it not graphic, and does it 
not convey an excellent idea of the rough indifference 
to danger so characteristic of true pioneer life? 

After this it was necessary to be doubly watchful, for 
the Indians became more aggressive, and apprehensions 
were felt that a general attack would be made on the 
fortified stations. These fears appeared to be so well 
founded, that it was only the oldest and bravest of the 
pioneers who could withstand their influence. The land 
speculators and other adventurers, to the number of 
nearly three hundred, left the country, and newcomers, 
although prepared for danger, were with difficulty pre- 



vailed upon to remain. The year 1777 passed in this 
gloomy way, marked only by frequent attacks on the 
various stations by the Indians. Two attempts were 
made on the fort, but each time the besiegers were 
beaten off. The brave little garrison lost two men killed 
and five wounded. With all means of transit cut off by 
their wary foes, great privations were necessarily suf- 
fered by the Httle band. The immediate necessaries of 
life they could of course procure, but some articles 
which were essential to the preservation of health they 
were without. This was especially the case with regard 
to salt. Boone, while in the wilderness, could do without 
this article of luxury, but the families in the fort sorely 
felt its need, and all kinds of efforts were made to 
obtain a supply. At length it was determined to fit out 
an expedition, consisting of thirty men, with Boone at 
its head, to effect this desirable object. It was necessary 
to proceed to the Lower Blue Licks, on Licking River, 
and there manufacture the article, which, in due course, 
was to be forwarded by pack-horses to the fort. 

The enterprise, which seemed at first to promise suc- 
cess, cost Boone and his companions their liberty. One 
day, while hunting a short distance from his comrades, 
he was surprised by a party of Indians, one hundred and 
two in number. He attempted to escape, but their 
swiftest runners were put on his trail, and he soon 
abandoned all idea of doing so. The sagacity and pres- 
ence of mind of the old hunter had now to be exercised. 
He parleyed with the Indians, professed all sorts of 
friendship for them, succeeded in gaining their confi- 
dence, and finally made honorable terms for the surren- 
der of his men, who became prisoners of war. Boone 



has been blamed for not offering resistance, but a 
moment's reflection will demonstrate that the course he 
pursued was the wisest and safest. Had he offered re- 
sistance, his little band would have been overpowered, 
and the next point of attack would have been the fort, 
which, from the absence of the garrison, would have 
been entirely at the mercy of the savages. To avert a 
certain massacre, he surrendered his men, after having 
made excellent conditions for the safety of their lives. 
" The generous usage the Indians had promised before, 
in my capitulation," says Boone, "was afterward fully 
complied with, and we proceeded with them as prisoners 
to Old Chillicothe, the principal Indian town on Little 
Miami, where we arrived, after an uncomfortable jour- 
ney in very severe weather, on the i8th of February, 
and received as good treatment as prisoners could expect 
from savages. On the loth day of March following, I 
and ten of my men were conducted by forty Indians to 
Detroit, where we arrived on the 30th day, and were 
treated by Governor Hamilton, the British commander 
at that post, with great humanity." The governor 
endeavored to obtain Boone's liberation by purchase, 
but his captors were not willing to part with him. He 
had so ingratiated himself in their good grac^es that they 
were determined to have him for a chief, and insisted on 
carrying him back to their town for the purpose of 
adoption. He bade farewell to his friends in Detroit, 
and under the friendly escort of his pertinacious ad- 
mirers, returned to Chillicothe, where he was adopted 
by an illustrious individual of the name of Blackfiish, to 
supply the place of a deceased son and warrior. He was 
treated with great kindness, and in a short time became 



universally popular. He was careful to avoid all cause 
for suspicion, and to appear constantly happy, although, 
of course, he was forever dreaming of his wife and fam- 
ily, and praying for the happy day that should enable 
him to escape to them. 

Early in the following June he was taken to the Salt 
Springs, on the Scioto, to assist in making salt. On his 
return, he was alarmed to see a fearful array of four 
hundred and fifty warriors, and still more so when he 
discovered that they were bound on an expedition 
against Boonesborough. He determined to effect his es- 
cape, and, on the following morning, the i6th of June, 
1778, he arose and went forth as usual without exciting 
suspicion. He never returned, and Blackfish had to adopt 
another son. Boone succeeded in reaching the fort in 
safety. His sudden appearance greatly astonished the 
people there, for they had given him up, and his wife, 
with some of the children, had actually departed for 
North Carolina. Not a moment was to be lost in making 
the necessary preparations for the defense of the settle- 
ment. The fort, which had fallen into a very rickety 
condition, was put in thorough repair, and the garrison 
mustered and drilled so as to be in perfect readiness. 
The Indians, however, changed their minds. Alarmed, 
probably, at the escape of Boone, they postponed their 
expedition for three weeks, but, in the mean time, they 
made some additions to their strength in the shape of 
French and Canadian officers. 

On the 7 th of September, the Indian army, numbering 
four hundred and forty-four, with Captain Duquesne 
and eleven other Canadians, appeared before Boones- 
borough, The Indians were commanded by Boone's 



would-be adopted father, Mr. Blackfish, and the Canadi- 
ans by Captain Duquesne. When this alarming foe had 
assembled before the unhappy Uttle fort, a summons was 
issued to "surrender, in the name of His Britannic 
Majesty." The garrison consisted of between sixty and 
seventy men, and a large number of women and chil- 
dren. If they had surrendered, it would have been noth- 
ing remarkable, but they did not even think of doing 
such a thing. Boone expected reinforcements from Hol- 
ston, and it became necessary, therefore, to procure as 
much delay as possible. For this purpose, he desired 
that he might have two days to consider the proposition 
of His Britannic Majesty. Strange as it may appear, 
this proposition was acceded to. About five minutes 
were sufl&cient for the garrison to arrive at a determina- 
tion, and this was that they would fight it out to the last. 
All the cows and horses were collected within the fort, 
and every vessel filled with water from the spring, the 
latter task being performed by the ladies. When the 
hour arrived for giving an answer to bold Captain 
Duquesne, it was done in this wise by Boone: "We 
laugh at your formidable preparations, but thank you 
for giving notice and time to prepare for defense." 
Captain Duquesne was not incensed at this reply, but 
still insisted on a capitulation. He declared his orders 
from Colonel Hamilton were to take the garrison cap- 
tives, to treat them as prisoners of war, and not to 
injure, much less to murder them; and that they had 
horses to take the women and children, and all others 
who could not bear the fatigue of traveling on foot. He 
then proposed that, if the garrison would depute nine 
persons to come out of the fort and hold a treaty, the 



terms should be liberal. It is impossible at this time, 
after the demise of every person concerned in the affair, 
to account for the singular course of Captain Duquesne 
and his Indian allies. 

Although Duquesne's affectionate course savored of 
treachery, Boone thought it desirable to accede to his 
proposition, as it would at least secure a Httle more 
delay. Nine commissioners were selected for the purpose 
of discussing the treaty, Boone being one of the number. 
A plot of ground in front of the fort was selected for the 
conference, all parties to go unarmed. Before leaving 
for this hazardous interview, Boone took the precaution 
to place a number of experienced riflemen in advan- 
tageous positions, so that, if the commissioners re- 
treated hastily, they might be protected. The parties 
met, and the treaty proposed was of the most hberal 
kind. It simply demanded that the residents and garri- 
son of the fort should acknowledge the British authori- 
ties, and take the oath of allegiance to the king; in re- 
turn for which they were to remain unmolested. After 
these points had been settled, the Indians proposed that, 
as a commemoration of the joyous occasion, they should 
revive an ancient custom of their tribe, which consisted 
of two Indians shaking hands with one white man at the 
same moment. Boone and his companions knew exactly 
what this meant, but they did not betray any uneasi- 
ness. Eighteen stalwart, muscular Indians now ad- 
vanced, and, in the way prescribed by the very ancient 
custom before mentioned, endeavored to drag off the 
white men. But the iron frames of the pioneers were 
braced for a struggle. Being without weapons, they 
appealed to their Anglo-Saxon knowledge of fisticuffs, 



and in a very little while had tumbled the jed villains in 
the dust. In the excitement which followed they made 
good their retreat to the fort, and the riflemen immedi- 
ately opened a murderous fire to keep off the pursuers. 
Hostilities now commenced on both sides. The Indians 
kept up a brisk fire at the fort, but owing to its favorable 
situation, could not effect much mischief. The garrison, 
on the contrary, never fired a charge without an especial 
object. A regular siege, conducted in the usual Indian 
style, was kept up for nine days, but with no result. The 
Kentuckians never flinched for a moment. Even the 
women assisted in the defense, for they loaded the rifles, 
moulded bullets, and supplied refreshments. On one 
occasion the fort was fired by the enemy, but a heroic 
young man extinguished the flames, in spite of a 
shower of bullets which greeted his appearance with the 
buckets on the roof. Foiled in this, the Indians, under 
the direction of the Canadians, commenced digging a 
mine ; but Boone was equal to this emergency. He began 
a counter-mine, and threw all the dirt into their works, 
so that they had the pleasure of shoveling it away before 
they could make the shghtest progress. On the 20th 
of September they raised the siege and took their 
departure, after having suffered a loss of thirty-seven 
killed and many more wounded. The loss on the pioneer 
side was two killed and four wounded: it would not 
have been so great but for the desertion of a vagabond 
negro who went over to the enemy, carrying with him 
an excellent rifle. During the siege, this rascal placed 
himself in a tree on the other side of the river, and was 
able, owing to the excellence of his weapon, to fire into 
the fort. He had killed one and wounded another, wh^n 



Boone caught a glimpse of his woolly head. It was sufl&- 
cient; the next moment Sambo rolled from the tree. 
After the retreat his body was found, and in the center 
of the forehead an explanatory hole told the story of his 
death. The old hunter brought him down at a distance 
of one hundred and seventy-five yards. 




[By means of the two bold campaigns of George Rogers 
Clark, the United States was, at the close of the Revolution, 
in possession of the land west of the Ohio, and so was able 
to secure the Mississippi instead of the Ohio as a western 

The Editor.] 

Everything being ready, on the 5th of February, after 
receiving a lecture and absolution from the priest, we 
crossed the Kaskaskia River with one hundred and 
seventy men, marched about three miles and encamped, 
where we lay until the 7th, and set out. The weather wet 
(but fortunately not cold for the season) and a great part 
of the plains tmder water several inches deep. It was 
difficult and very fatiguing marching. My object was 
now to keep the men in spirits. I suffered them to shoot 
game on all occasions, and feast on it like Indian war- 
dancers, each company by turns inviting the others to 
their feasts, which was the case every night, as the com- 
pany that was to give the feast was always supplied with 
horses to lay up a sufficient store of wild meat in the 
course of the day, myself and principal ofiicers putting 
on the woodsmen, shouting now and then, and running 
as much through the mud and water as any of them. 
Thus, insensibly, without a murmur, were those men 
led on to the banks of the Little Wabash, which we 

549 ■ 


reached on the 13th, through incredible difficulties, far 
surpassing anything that any of us had ever experienced. 
Frequently the diversions of the night wore off the 
thoughts of the preceding day. We formed a camp on 
a height which we found on the bank of the river, and 
suffered our troops to amuse themselves. I viewed this 
sheet of water for some time with distrust; but, accusing 
myself of doubting, I immediately set to work, without 
holding any consultation about it, or suffering anybody 
else to do so in my presence; ordered a pirogue to be 
built immediately, and acted as though crossing the 
water would be only a piece of diversion. As but few 
could work at the pirogue at a time, pains were taken to 
find diversion for the rest to keep them in high spirits. 
... In the evening of the 14th, our vessel was finished, 
manned, and sent to explore the drowned lands on the 
opposite side of the Little Wabash, with private instruc- 
tions what report to make, and, if possible, to find some 
spot of dry land. They found about half an acre, and 
marked the trees from thence back to the camp, and 
made a very favorable report. 

Fortunately, the 15th happened to be a warm, moist 
day for the season. The channel of the river where we 
lay was about thirty yards wide. A scaffold was built 
on the opposite shore (which was about three feet under 
water), and our baggage ferried across, and put on it. 
Our horses swam across, and received their loads at the 
scaffold, by which time the troops were also brought 
across, and we began our march through the water. . . 

By evening we found ourselves encamped on a pretty 
height, in high spirits, each party laughing at the other, 
in consequence of something that had happened in the 


course of this ferrying business, as they called it. A 
little antic drummer afforded them great diversion by 
floating on his drum, etc. All this was greatly encour- 
aged; and they reaUy began to think themselves superior 
to other men, and that neither the rivers nor the seasons 
could stop their progress. Their whole conversation now 
was concerning what they would do when they got 
about the enemy. They now began to view the main 
Wabash as a creek, and made no doubt but such men as 
they were could find a way to cross it. They wound 
themselves up to such a pitch that they soon took Post 
Vincennes, divided the spoil, and before bedtime were 
far advanced on their route to Detroit. All this was, no 
doubt, pleasing to those of us who had more serious 
thoughts. . . . We were now convinced that the whole of 
the low country on the Wabash was drowned, and that 
the enemy could easily get to us, if they discovered us, 
and wished to risk an action; if they did not, we made 
no doubt of crossing the river by some means or other. 
Even if Captain Rogers, with our galley, did not get to 
his station agreeable to his appointment, we flattered 
ourselves that all would be well, and marched on in high 
spirits. . . . 

The last day's march through the water was far supe- 
rior to anything the Frenchmen had an idea of. They 
were backward in speaking; said that the nearest land to 
us was a small league called the Sugar Camp on the bank 
of the river. A canoe was sent off, and returned without 
finding that we could pass. I went in her myself, and 
sounded the water; found it deep as to my neck. I re- 
turned with a design to have the men transported on 
board the canoes to the Sugar Camp, which I knew 



would spend the whole day and ensuing night, as the 
vessels would pass slowly through the bushes. The loss 
of so much time, to men half-starved, was a matter of 
consequence. I would have given now a great deal for a 
day's provision or for one of our horses. I returned but 
slowly to the troops, giving myself time to think. On 
our arrival, all ran to hear what was the report. Every 
eye was fixed on me. I unfortunately spoke in a serious 
manner to one of the officers. The whole were alarmed 
without knowing what I said. I viewed their confusion 
for about one minute, whispered to those near me to do 
as I did: immediately put some water in my hand, 
poured on powder, blackened my face, gave the war 
whoop, and marched into the water without saying a 
word. The party gazed, and fell in, one after another, 
without saying a word, like a flock of sheep. I ordered 
those near me to begin a favorite song of theirs. It soon 
passed through the fine, and the whole went on cheer- 
fully. I now intended to have them transported across 
the deepest part of the water; but, when about waist 
deep, one of the men informed me that he thought he 
felt a path. We examined and found it so, and concluded 
that it kept on the highest ground, which it did; and, by 
taking pains to follow it, we got to the Sugar Camp 
without the least difficulty, where there was about half 
an acre of dry ground, at least not under water, where we 
took up our lodging. The Frenchmen that we had taken 
on the river appeared to be uneasy at our situation. 
They begged that they might be permitted to go in the 
two canoes to town in the night. They said that they 
would bring from their own houses provisions, without 
a possibility of any persons knowing it; that some of our 



men should go with them as a surety of their good con- 
duct; that it was impossible we could march from that 
place till the water fell, for the plain was too deep to 
march. Some of the officers believed that it might be 
done. I would not suffer it. I never could well account 
for this piece of obstinacy, and give satisfactory reasons 
to myself or anybody else why I denied a proposition 
apparently so easy to execute and of so much advantage; 
but something seemed to teU me that it should not be 
done, and it was not done. 

The most of the weather that we had on this march 
was moist and warm for the season. This was the coldest 
night we had. The ice, in the morning, was from one half 
to three quarters of an inch thick near the shores and 
in still water. The morning was the finest we had on our 
march. A little after sunrise I lectured the whole. What 
I said to them I forget, but it may easily be imagined by 
a person that could possess my affections for them at that 
time. I concluded by informing them that passing the 
plain that was then in full view and reaching the oppo- 
site woods would put an end to their fatigue, that in a 
few hours they would have a sight of their long-wished- 
f or object, and immediately stepped into the water with- 
out waiting for any reply. A huzza took place. As we 
generally marched through the water in a line, before 
the third entered I halted, and called to Major Bowman, 
ordering him to fall to the rear with twenty-five men, 
and put to death any man who refused to march, as we 
wished to have no such person among us. The whole 
gave a cry of approbation, and on we went. This was 
the most trying of all the difficulties we had experienced. 
I generally kept fifteen or twenty of the strongest men 



next myself, and judged from my own feelings what must 
be that of others. Getting about the middle of the plain, 
the water about mid-deep, I found myself sensibly fail- 
ing; and, as there were no trees nor bushes for the men 
to support themselves by, I feared that many of the 
most weak would be drowned. I ordered the canoes to 
make the land, discharge their loading, and play back- 
ward and forward with all diligence, and pick up the 
men; and, to encourage the party, sent some of the 
strongest men forward, with orders, when they got to a 
certain distance, to pass the word back that the water 
was getting shallow, and when getting near the woods to 
cry out, "Land!" This stratagem had its desired effect. 
The men, encouraged by it, exerted themselves almost 
beyond their abilities ; the weak holding by the stronger. 
. . . The water never got shallower, but continued deep- 
ening. Getting to the woods, where the men expected 
land, the water was up to my shoulders; but gaining the 
woods was of great consequence. All the low men and 
the weakly hung to the trees, and floated on the old logs 
until they were taken off by the canoes. The strong and 
tall got ashore and built fires. Many would reach the 
shore, and fall with their bodies half in the water, not 
being able to support themselves without it. 

This was a delightful dry spot of ground of about ten 
acres. We soon found that the fires answered no purpose, 
but that two strong men taking a weaker one by the 
arms was the only way to recover him; and, being a 
delightful day, it soon did. But, fortunately, as if de- 
signed by Providence, a canoe of Indian squaws and 
children was coming up to town, and took through part 
of this plain as a nigh way. It was discovered by our 



canoes as they were out after the men. They gave chase, 
and took the Indian canoe, on board of which was near 
half a quarter of a buffalo, some corn, tallow, kettles, 
etc. This was a grand prize, and was invaluable. Broth 
was immediately made, and served out to the most 
weakly with great care. Most of the whole got a little; 
but a great many gave their part to the weakly, jocosely 
saying something cheering to their comrades. This little 
refreshment and fine weather by the afternoon gave new 
life to the whole. Crossing a narrow deep lake in the 
canoes, and marching some distance, we came to a copse 
of timber called the Warrior's Island. We were now in 
full view of the fort and town, not a shrub between us, 
at about two miles' distance. Every man now feasted his 
eyes, and forgot that he had suffered anything, saying, 
that all that had passed was owing to good policy and 
nothing but what a man could bear; and that a soldier 
had no right to think, etc., — passing from one extreme 
to another, which is common in such cases. It was now 
we had to display our abihties. The plain between us 
and the town was not a perfect level. The sunken 
grounds were covered with water full of ducks. We ob- 
served several men out on horseback, shooting them, 
within a half mile of us, and sent out as many of our 
active young Frenchmen to decoy and take one of these 
men prisoner in such a manner as not to alarm the 
others, which they did. The information we got from 
this person was similar to that which we got from those 
we took on the river, except that of the British having 
that evening completed the wall of the fort, and that 
there were a good many Indians in town. 
Our situation was now truly critical, — no possibility 



of retreating in case of defeat, and in full view of a town 
that had, at this time, upward of six hundred men in it, 
— troops, inhabitants, and Indians. The crew of the 
galley, though not fifty men, would have been now a re- 
enforcement of immense magnitude to our little arm.y 
(if I may so call it), but we would not think of them. We 
were now in the situation that I had labored to get our- 
selves in. The idea of being made prisoner was foreign 
to almost every man, as they expected nothing but tor- 
ture from the savages, if they fell into their hands. Our 
fate was now to be determined, probably in a few hours. 
We knew that nothing but the most daring conduct 
would insure success. I knew that a number of the in- 
habitants wished us well, that many were lukewarm to 
the interest of either, and I also learned that the grand 
chief, the Tobacco's son, had but a few days before 
openly declared, in council with the British, that he was 
a brother and friend to the Big Knives. These were 
favorable circumstances; and, as there was but little 
probability of our remaining until dark undiscovered, 
I determined to begin the career immediately, and 
wrote the following placard to the inhabitants : — 
To THE Inhabitants of Fort Vincennes: 

Gentlemen, — Being now within two miles of your 
village, with my army, determined to take your fort this 
night, and not being willing to surprise you, I take this 
method to request such of you as are true citizens and 
willing to enjoy the Hberty I bring you to remain still in 
your houses; and those, if any there be, that are friends 
to the king will instantly repair to the fort, and join the 
hair-buyer general,^ and fight like men. And if any such 
' Hamilton ofifered rewards for American scalps. 



as do not go to the fort shall be discovered afterward, 
they may depend on severe punishment. On the con- 
trary, those who are true friends to liberty may de- 
pend on being well treated; and I once more request 
them to keep out of the streets. For every one I find 
in arms on my arrival I shall treat him as an enemy. 

G. R. Clark. 

I had various ideas on the supposed result of this 
letter. I knew that it would do us no damage, but that it 
would cause the lukewarm to be decided, encourage our 
friends, and astonish our enemies. . . . We anxiously 
viewed this messenger until he entered the town, and in 
a few minutes could discover by our glasses some stir 
in every street that we could penetrate into, and great 
numbers running or riding out into the commons, we 
supposed, to view us, which was the case. But what sur- 
prised us was that nothing had yet happened that had 
the appearance of the garrison being alarmed, — no 
drum nor gun. We began to suppose that the informa- 
tion we got from our prisoners was false, and that the 
enemy already knew of us, and were prepared. ... A 
little before sunset we moved, and displayed ourselves 
in full view of the town, crowds gazing at us. We were 
plunging ourselves into certain destruction or success. 
There was no midway thought of. We had but Uttle to 
say to our men, except inculcating an idea of the neces- 
sity of obedience, etc. We knew they did not want en- 
couraging, and that anything might be attempted with 
them that was possible for such a number, — perfectly 
cool, under proper subordination, pleased with the pros- 



pect before them, and much attached to their officers. 
They all declared that they were convinced that an im- 
plicit obedience to orders was the only thing that would 
insure success, and hoped that no mercy would be shown 
the person that should violate them. Such language as 
this from soldiers to persons in our station must have 
been exceedingly agreeable. We moved on slowly in full 
view of the town; but, as it was a point of some conse- 
quence to us to make ourselves appear as formidable, 
we in leaving the covert that we were in, marched and 
countermarched in such a manner that we appeared 
numerous. In raising volunteers in the Illinois, every 
person that set about the business had a set of colors 
given him, which they brought with them to the amount 
of ten or twelve pairs. These were displayed to the best 
advantage; and, as the low plain we marched through 
was not a perfect level, but had frequent risings in it 
seven or eight feet higher than the common level (which 
was covered with water), and as these risings generally 
ran in an oblique direction to the town, we took the ad- 
vantage of one of them, marching through the water 
under it, which completely prevented our being num- 
bered. But our colors showed considerably above the 
heights, as they were fixed on long poles procured for the 
purpose, and at a distance made no despicable appear- 
ance; and, as our young Frenchmen had, while we lay on 
the Warrior's Island, decoyed and taken several fowlers 
with their horses, officers were mounted on these horses, 
and rode about, more completely to deceive the enemy. 
In this manner we moved, and directed our march in 
such a way as to suffer it to be dark before we had 
advanced rnore than half-way to the town. We then 

55? ■ 


suddenly altered our direction, and crossed ponds where 
they could not have suspected us, and about eight o'clock 
gained the heights back of the town. As there was yet no 
hostile appearance, we were impatient to have the cause 
unriddled. Lieutenant Bayley was ordered, with four- 
teen men, to march and fire on the fort. The main body 
moved in a different direction, and took possession of 
the strongest part of the town. 

[The attack upon the town continued for some thirty-six 
hours. Then the audacious young leader sent a demand for 
surrender. It was promptly refused; nevertheless, the sur- 
render took place before the close of the day.] 





There had been terrible doings on the frontier during 
the spring and summer of 1782. The British and Indians 
had made raid after raid through the land. Two years 
before a certain Colonel William Byrd of Westover, Vir- 
ginia, a Tory, who seems to have been a gentleman and a 
soldier, led some eight hundred Indians with a detach- 
ment of soldiers and some artillery into Kentucky. None 
of the forts was proof against artillery, nor was there any 
in the territory except that in the possession of George 
Rogers Clark, which was not available. Two stations, 
Martin's and Ruddle's, were attacked in succession and 
easily captured. Their garrisons and inhabitants were 
murdered and tortured with shocking barbarity. It is 
to the eternal credit of Colonel Byrd, that, finding him- 
self unable to control the Indians, he abandoned his ex- 
pedition and withdrew, otherwise the whole land would 
have been desolated. The bulk of the invading Indians 
were Wyandots, who were easily first among the sav- 
ages of the northwest for ferocious valor and military 
skill. The opposing forces being exactly equal, a detach- 
ment of them defeated a certain Captain Estill by a 
series of brilliant military maneuvers which would have 
done credit to a great captain, being indeed upon a 



small scale Napoleonic in their conception and execu- 

Two years after Byrd had withdrawn, William Camp- 
bell and Alexander McKee, notorious renegades, with 
the infamous Simon Girty, whose name has been a 
hissing and a byword ever since he lived, led a formid- 
able war party consisting of a few Canadians and four 
hundred Indians into Kentucky. The lirst place they 
attacked was Bryan's Station. Another place called 
Hoy's Station was menaced by a different party of 
Indians, and express messengers had ridden to Bryan's 
Station to seek aid, which the settlers were ready to 

The American party was being made up to go to Hoy's 
Station early in the morning of the i6th of August, 1 782, 
when as they approached the gate to ride out of it, a 
party of Indians was discovered on the edge of the woods 
in full view. The party was small in number, compara- 
tively speaking, yet its members exposed themselves, 
out of rifle range, of course, with such careless indiffer- 
ence to consequences or to a possible attack, as inevit- 
ably to suggest to the mind of Captain John Craig, who 
commanded the fort at the time, that they were desirous 
of attracting the attention of the garrison in the hope 
that their small numbers might induce the men of the 
station to leave the fort and pursue them. 

Craig was an old Indian fighter who had been trained 
in Daniel B6one's own school. He was suspicious of any 
maneuver of that kind. Checking the departure of the 
relief party, he called his brother and the principal men 
of the station into a council and they concluded at once 
that the demonstration in the front of the fort was a 



mere feint, that the Indians were anxious to be pursued 
and that the main attack would come from the other 

The surmise was correct. With cunning adroitness 
Campbell had massed the main body of his forces in the 
woods back of the fort with strict instructions for them 
to remain concealed and not show themselves on any 
account until they heard the fire coming from the front 
of the station, which would convince them that their 
ruse had succeeded. Then they were to break from cover 
and rush for the back wall of the fort, which they sup- 
posed would be undefended, scale it, and have the little 
garrison at their mercy. It so happened that the spring, 
from which the fort got its water supply, lay within 
a short distance of the main body concealed in the 
thick woods which surrounded the clearing with the 
fort in the center. The situation was perfectly plain to 
Craig and his men. They determined to meet ruse 
with ruse and if possible to defeat the Indians at their 
own game. 

Before they could do anything, however, they must 
have a supply of water. On that hot August day life in 
that stockade, especially when engaged in furious battle, 
would become unsupportable without water. Only the 
ordinary amount sufficiejit for the night had been 
brought in the day before. The receptacles were now 
empty. After swift deliberations the commandant 
turned to the women and children crowded around the 
officers, and explained the situation plainly to them. 
He proposed that the women, and children who were 
large enough to carry water, should go down to the 
spring with every vessel they could carry and bring back 



the water upon which their Hves depended. He also 
explained to them that the spring was probably covered 
by concealed masses of the enemy who were waiting for 
the success of the demonstration in front of the fort to 
begin the attack. 

He said further that it was the opinion of those in 
command, that if the women would go to the spring as 
they did under ordinary circumstances, as was their 
custom every morning that is, the Indians would not 
molest them, not being desirous of breaking up the plan 
by which they hoped to take the fort and have every- 
thing at their mercy. The men in the fort would cover 
the women with their rifles so far as they could. It would 
be impossible for them to go and get water; as it was not 
the habit of the men to do that, the unusual proceeding 
would awaken the suspicions of the Indians, and the men 
would be shot down, and the fort and all its inmates 
would be at the mercy of the savages. 

Every woman there was able to see the situation. 
The theory upon which they were proceeding might be 
all wrong. The Indians might be satisfied with the cer- 
tainty of capturing the women thus presented, and the 
women and children might be taken away under the 
very eyes of the helpless men. On the other hand, it was 
probable, though by no means certain, that Craig's 
reasoning was correct and that the Indians would not 
discover themselves, and the women and children would 
be allowed to return unmolested. Still nobody could tell 
what the Indians would do and the situation was a ter- 
rible one. Capture at the very best meant death by tor- 
ture. The women in the fort had not Kved on the fron- 
tier in vain. They realized the dilemma instantly. A 



shudder of terror and apprehension went through the 
crowd. What would they do? They must have the 
water; the men could not get it, the women did! 

Mrs. Jemima Suggett Johnson, the wife of an intrepid 
pioneer and the daughter and sister of others, instantly 
volunteered for the task. She was the mother of five 
little children and her husband happened to be away in 
Virginia at the time. Leaving her two little boys and 
her daughter Sally to look after the baby in his dug-out 
cradle, she offered to go for the water. This baby was 
that Richard Mentor Johnson, who afterward became 
so celebrated at the battle of the Thames where Tecum- 
seh was killed, and who was subsequently Vice-President 
of the United States. 

Taking her little daughter Betsy, aged ten, her eldest 
child, by the hand, the fearless woman headed a little 
band of twelve women and sixteen children, who had 
agreed to follow where she led; among them were the 
wives and children of the Craig brothers. The Kttle ones 
carried wooden piggins, and the women noggins and 
buckets. The piggin was a small bucket with one up- 
right stave for a handle — a large wooden dipper as it 
were — while the larger noggin had two upright staves 
for handles. 

Carefully avoiding any suspicious demonstration of 
force on the part of his men. Captain Craig opened the 
gate and the women marched out. Chatting and laugh- 
ing in spite of the fact that they were nearly perishing 
from apprehension and terror, they tramped down the 
hill to the spring near the creek some sixty yards away, 
with as much coolness and indifference as they could 
muster. It was indeed a fearful moment for the women, 



and no wonder that some of the younger ones and the" 
older children found it difficult to control their agitation; 
but the composed manner of those valiant and heroic 
matrons like Mrs. Johnson somewhat reassured the 
others and completely deluded the Indians. Probably 
the younger children did not reahze their frightful dan- 
ger, and their unconsciousness helped to deceive the 
foes in ambush. 

It took some time to fill the various receptacles from 
the small spring, but, by the direction of Mrs. Johnson, 
no one left the vicinity until all were ready to return. 
This little party then marched deliberately back to the 
fort as they had come. Not a shot was fired. The 
Indians concealed within a stone's throw in the under- 
brush had looked at them with covetous eyes, but such 
was the unwonted discipline in which they were held 
that they refrained from betraying themselves, in the 
hope of afterward carrying out their stratagem. As they 
neared the gate some of the younger ones broke into a 
run crowding into the door of the stockade which never 
looked so hospitable as on that sunny summer morning, 
and some of the precious water was spilled, but most of 
it was carried safe into the inclosure. 

With what feeHngs of relief the fifty-odd men in the 
station saw their wives and children come back again 
can scarcely be imagined. Dispatching two daring men 
on horseback to break through the besiegers and rouse 
the country, Craig immediately laid a trap for the In- 
dians. Selecting a small body he sent them out to the 
front of the fort to engage the Indians there, instructing 
them to make as much noise and confusion as possible. 
Then he posted the main body of his men at the loop- 



holes back of the fort, instructing them not to make a 
move, nor fire a gun, until he gave the order. 

The ruse was completely successful. Deceived by the 
hullabaloo in front, the Indians in the rear, imagining 
that their plan had succeeded, broke from cover and 
instantly dashed up to the stockade, shouting their war 
cries, and expecting an easy victory. What was their 
surprise to find it suddenly bristling with rifles as 
Craig and his men poured a steady withering fire into 
the mass crowded before them, fairly decimating them. 
They ran back instantly, and concealment being at an 
end, returned the fire ineffectually. Immediately there- 
after from every side a furious fire from four hundred 
rifles burst upon the defenders. All day long the siege 
was maintained. Once in a while a bullet ploughing 
through a crevice in the stockade struck down one of 
the brave garrison, but the casualties in the station 
were very few. 

On the other hand, when an Indian exposed himself 
he was sure to be killed by a shot from some unerring 
rifle. One or two Indians climbed a tree seeking to com- 
mand the fort therefrom, but they were quickly detected 
and shot before they had time to descend. At last they 
attempted to burn the fort by shooting flaming arrows 
up in the air to fall perpendicularly upon the buildings. 
The children, the httle boys, that is, and some of the 
older girls, were lifted up on the inclined roofs, where 
they were safe from direct rifle fire, though in imminent 
danger of being pierced by the dropping arrows, with 
instructions to put out the fires as fast as the arrows 
kindled them, which they succeeded in doing. Mean- 
while, the women were busy moulding bullets and load- 



ing rifles for the men, and many of them took their 
places on the walls and aided in the defense. 

"The mothers of our forest land, 

Their bosoms pillowed men; 
And proud were they by such to stand 

In hammock, fort, or glen; 
To load the sure old rifle, 

To run the leaden ball. 
To watch a battling husband's place, 

And fill it should he fall." 

Finding their efforts unavailing, the Indians ravaged 
the surrounding country. They killed all the cattle 
belonging to the pioneers, burned and destroyed the 
fields of grain, and turned the environment into a bloody 
desert. In the afternoon a succoring party from Boone's 
Station appeared, but without Boone, for he was absent 
at the time, and succeeded in entering the fort. 




Lsr midwinter something happened that lifted every true 
heart on board. There had been dull and dreary weeks 
on board the Ranger, with plots for desertion among the 
crew, and a general look of surKness and reproach on all 
faces. The captain was eagerly impatient in sending his 
messengers to Nantes when the Paris post might be 
expected, and was ever disappointed at their return. 
The discipline of the ship became more strict than 
before, now that there was little else to command or 
insist upon. The officers grew tired of one another's 
company, and kept to their own quarters, or passed each 
other without speaking. It was easy, indeed, to be dis- 
pleased with such a situation, and to fret at such an 
apparently needless loss of time, even if there were 
nothing else to fret about. 

At last there was some comfort in leaving Nantes, and 
making even so short a voyage as to the neighboring port 
of L'Orient, where the Ranger was overhauled and re- 
fitted for sea; yet even here the men grumbled at their 
temporary discomforts, and above all regretted Nantes, 
where they could amuse themselves better ashore. It 
was a hard, stormy winter, but there were plenty of rich 
English ships almost within hand's reach. Nobody 
could well understand why they had done nothing, while 
such easy prey came and went in those waters, from 



Bordeaux and the coast of Spain, even from Nantes 

On a certain Friday orders were given to set sail, and 
the Ranger made her way along the coast to Quiberon, 
and anchored there at sunset, before the bay's entrance, 
facing the great curve of the shores. She had much 
shipping for company: farther in there lay a fine show of 
French frigates with a convoy, and four ships of the line. 
The captain scanned these through his glass, and wel- 
comed a great opportunity : he had come upon a division 
of the French navy, and one of the frigates flew the flag 
of a rear admiral. La Motte Pique. 

The wind had not fallen at sundown. All night the 
Ranger tossed about and tugged at her anchor chains, 
as if she were impatient to continue her adventures, like 
the men between her sides. All the next day she rode 
uneasily, and clapped her sailcloth and thrummed her 
rigging in the squally winter blast, until the sea grew 
quieter toward sundown. Then Captain Paul Jones sent 
a boat to the king's fleet to carry a letter. 

The boat was long gone. The distance was little, but 
difficult in such a sea, yet some of the boats of the coun- 
try came out in hope of trading with the Ranger's men. 
The poor peasants would venture anything, and a 
strange-looking, swarthy little man who got aboard 
nobody knew how, suddenly approached the captain 
where he stood, ablaze with impatience, on the quarter. 
At his first word Paul Jones burst with startling readi- 
ness into Spanish invective, and then, with a look of pity 
at the man's poverty of dress in that icy weather, took a 
bit of gold from his pocket. "Barcelona?" said he. "1 
have had good days in Barcelona, myself," and bade 



the Spaniard begone. Then he called him back -and 
asked a few questions, and, summoning a quartermaster, 
gave orders that he should take the sailor's poor gear, 
and give him a warm coat and cap from the slop chests. 

"He has lost his ship, and got stranded here," said the 
captain, with compassion, and then turned again to 
watch for the boat. "You may roll the coat and cap into 
a bundle; they are quaint-fashioned things," he added 
carelessly, as the quartermaster went away. 

The bay was now alive with small Breton traders, and 
at a short distance away there was a droll Httle potato 
fleet making hopefully for the Ranger. The headmost 
boat, however, was the Ranger's own, with an answer 
to the captain's letter. He gave an anxious sigh and laid 
down his glass. He had sent to say frankly to the rear 
admiral that he flew the new American flag, and that no 
foreign power had yet saluted it, and to ask if his own 
salute to the Royal Navy of France would be properly 
returned. It was already in the last fluster of the Febru- 
ary wind, and the sea was going down; there was ho time 
to be lost. He broke the great seal of his answer with a 
trembling hand, and at the first glance pressed the letter 
to his breast. 

The French frigates were a little apart from their 
convoy, and rolled sullenly in a solemn company, their 
tall masts swaying hke time-keepers against the pale 
winter sky. The low land lay behind them, its hne 
broken here and there by strange mounds, and by 
ancient altars of the druids, like clumsy, heavy-legged 
beasts standing against the winter sunset. The cap- 
tain gave orders to hoist the anchor, nobody knew why, 
and to spread the sails, when it was no time to put to sea. 



He stood like a king until all was done, and then passed 
the word for his gunners to be ready, and steered 
straight in toward the French fleet. 

They all understood now. The little Ranger ran 
slowly between the frowning ships, looking as warlike as 
they; her men swarmed like bees into the rigging; her 
colors ran up to salute the flag of his most Christian 
Majesty of France, and she fired one by one her salute 
of thirteen gims. 

There was a moment of suspense. The wind was very 
light now; the powder smoke drifted away, and the 
flapping sails sounded loud overhead. Would the ad- 
miral answer, or would he treat this bold challenge like a 
handkerchief waved at him from a pleasure boat? Some 
of the officers on the Ranger looked incredulous, but 
Paul Jones stiU held his letter in his hand. There was a 
puff of white smoke, and the great guns of the French 
flagship began to shake the air, — one, two, three, four, 
five, six, seven, eight, nine; and then were still, save for 
their echoes from the low hills about Carnac and the 
great druid mount of St. Michael. 

"Gardner, you may tell the men that this was the 
salute of the King of France to our Republic, and the 
first high honor to our colors," said the captain proudly 
to his steersman. But they were all huzzaing now along 
the Ranger's decks, — that little ship whose name shall 
never be forgotten while her country lives. 

"We hardly know what this day means, gentlemen," 
he said soberly to his officers, who came about him. "I 
believe that we are at the christening of the greatest 
nation that was ever born into the world." 

He lifted his hat, and stood looking up at the flag. 




In 177s, when the American Revolution broke out, the 
young Scotchman commenced his brilliant career. His 
offer to Congress, to serve in the navy, was accepted, 
and he was appointed first Heutenant in the Alfred. As 
the commander-in-chief of the squadron came on board, 
Jones unfurled the national flag — the first time its 
folds were ever given to the breeze. What that flag was, 
strange as it may seem, no record or tradition can cer- 
tainly tell. It was not the stars and the stripes, for they 
were not generally adopted till two years after. The 
generally received opinion is that it was a pine tree, with 
a rattlesnake coiled at the roots, as if about to spring, 
and underneath, the motto, "Don't tread on me." At 
all events, it unrolled to the breeze, and waved over as 
gallant a young ofiicer as ever trod a quarter-deck. If 
the flag bore such a symbol, it was most appropriate to 
Jones, for no serpent was ever more ready to strike than 
he. Fairly afloat — twenty-nine years of age — healthy 
— well knit, though of light and slender frame, — a 
commissioned officer in the American navy — the young 
gardener saw, with joy, the shores receding as the fleet 
steered for the Bahama Isles. A skillful seaman — at 
home on the deck, and a bold and daring man — he 
could not but distinguish himself, in whatever circum-' 
stances he might be placed. The result of this expedition 



was the capture of New Providence, with a hundred can- 
non, and an abundance of military stores. It came near 
failing, through the bungling management of the com- 
mander-in-chief, and would have done so but for the 
perseverance and daring of Paul Jones. 

As the fleet was returning home, he had an opportu- 
nity to try himself in battle. The Glasgow, an English 
ship, was chased by the whole squadron, yet escaped. 
During the running fight, Jones commanded the lower 
battery of the Alfred, and exhibited that coolness and 
daring which afterwards so characterized him. 

Soon after, he was transferred to the sloop Providence, 
and ordered to put to sea on a six weeks' cruise. It 
required no ordinary skill or boldness to keep this little 
sloop hovering amid the enemy's cruisers, and yet avoid 
capture. Indeed, his short career seemed about to end, 
for he found himself one day chased by the English frig- 
ate Solebay; and despite of every exertion overhauled, 
so that at the end of four hours his vessel was brought 
within musket-shot of the enemy, whose heavy cannon 
kept thundering against him. Gallantly returning the 
fire with his light guns, Jones, though there seemed no 
chance of escape, still kept his flag flying, and saved 
himself by his extraordinary seamanship. Finding him- 
self lost in the course he was pursuing, he gradually 
worked his little vessel off till he got the Solebay on his 
weather quarter, when he suddenly exclaimed, "Up 
helm," to the steersman, and setting every sail that 
would draw, stood dead before the wind, bearing 
straight down on the EngHsh frigate, and passing within 
pistol-shot of her. Before the enemy could recover his 
surprise at this bold and unexpected maneuver, or 



bring his ship into the same position, Jones was showing 
him a clean pair of heels. His little sloop could outsail 
the frigate before the wind, and he bore proudly away. 

He soon after had another encounter with the English 
frigate Milford. He was lying to near the Isle of Sable, 
fishing, when the Milford hove in sight. Immediately 
putting his ship in trim, he tried the relative speed of the 
two vessels, and finding that he could outsail his antag- 
onist, let him approach. The Englishman kept rounding 
to as he advanced, and pouring his broadsides on the 
sloop, but at such a distance that not a shot told. Thus 
Jones kept irritating his more powerful enemy, keeping 
him at just such a distance as to make his firing ridicu- 
lous. Still it was a hazardous experiment, for a single 
chance shot, crashing through his rigging, might have 
reduced his speed so much as to prevent his escape. 
But to provoke the Englishman still more, Jones, as he 
walked quietly away, ordered one of his men to return 
each of the enemy's broadsides with a single musket- 
shot. This insulting treatment made a perfect farce of 
the whole chase, and must have enraged the commander 
of the Milford beyond measure. 

He continued cruising about, and at the end of forty- 
seven days sailed into Newport with sixteen prizes. He 
next planned an expedition against Cape Breton, to 
break up the fisheries; and, though he did not wholly suc- 
ceed, he returned to Boston in about a month, with four 
prizes and a hundred and fifty prisoners. The clothing 
on its way to the Canada troops, which he captured, 
came very opportunely for the destitute soldiers of the 
American army. During this expedition, Jones had com- 
mand of the Alfred, but was superseded on his return, 



and put on board his old sloop, the Providence. This 
was the commencement of a series of unjust acts on the 
part of our Government towards him, which as yet 
could not break away from English example, and make 
brave deeds the only road to rank. It insisted, according 
to the old Continental rule, with which Bonaparte made 
such wild work, on giving the places of trust to the sons 
of distinguished gentlemen. Jones remonstrated against 
this injustice, and pressed the Government so closely 
with his importunities and complaints, that, to get rid 
of him, it sent him to Boston to select and fit out a ship 
for himself. In the mean time, he recommended meas- 
ures to the Government, respecting the organizing and 
strengthening of the navy, which show him to have been 
the most enhghtened naval officer in our service, and 
that his sound and comprehensive views were equal to 
his bravery. Most of his suggestions were adopted, and 
the foundation of the American navy laid. 

Soon after (June, 1777), he was given command of the 
Ranger, and informed in his commission that the flag of 
the United States was to be thirteen stripes, and the 
union thirteen stars on a blue field, representing a new 
constellation in the heavens. With joy he hoisted this 
new flag and put to sea in his badly equipped vessel — 
steering for France, where he was, by order of his Gov- 
ernment, to take charge of a large vessel, there to be 
purchased for him by the American Commissioners. 
Failing in this enterprise, he again set sail in the Ranger, 
and steered for Quiberon Bay. Here, passing through 
the French fleet with his brig, he obtained a national 
salute, the first ever given our colors. Having had the 
honor first to hoist our flag on the water, and the first to 



hear the guns of a powerful nation thunder forth their 
recognition of it, he again put to sea, and boldly entered 
the Irish Channel, capturing several prizes. 

Steering for the Isle of Man, he planned an expedition 
which illustrates the boldness and daring that charac- 
terized him. He determined to burn the shipping in 
Whitehaven, in retaliation for the injuries inflicted on 
our coast by English ships. More than three hundred 
vessels lay in this port, protected by two batteries, com- 
posed of thirty pieces of artillery, while eighty rods dis- 
tant was a strong fort. To enter a port so protected and 
filled with shipping, with a single brig, and apply the 
torch, under the very muzzles of the cannon, was an act 
unrivaled in daring. But Jones seemed to delight in 
these reckless deeds — there appeared to be a sort of 
witchery about danger to him, and the greater it was, 
the more enticing it became. Once, when Government 
was making arrangements to furnish him with a ship, he 
urged the necessity of giving him a good one, "for," said 
he, "/ intend to go in harm's way." This was true, and 
he generally managed to carry out his intentions. 

It was about midnight, on the 22d of April, 1778, 
when Jones stood boldly in to the port of Whitehaven. 
Having got sufficiently near, he took two boats and 
thirty-one men, and rowed noiselessly away from his 
gaUant little ship. He commanded one boat in person, 
and took upon himself the task of securing the batteries. 
With a mere handful of men he scaled the breastwork, 
seized the sentinel on duty before he could give the 
alarm, and rushing forward took the astonished soldiers 
prisoners and spiked the cannon. Then leaving Lieuten- 
ant Wallingsford to fire the shipping, he hastened for- 



ward with only one man to take the fort. All was silent 
as he approached, and boldly entering, he spiked every 
cannon, and then hurried back to his little band. He 
was surprised, as he approached, not to see the shipping 
in a blaze; and demanded of his lieutenant why he had 
not fulfilled his orders. The latter replied that his Hght 
had gone out; but he evidently did not like his mission, 
and purposely neglected to obey orders. Everything 
had been managed badly, and to his mortification he 
saw the day beginning to dawn, and his whole plan, at 
the moment when it promised complete success, over- 
turned. The people, rousing from their slumbers, saw 
with alarm a band of men with half-burnt candles in 
their hands standing on the pier — and assembled in 
crowds. Jones, however, refused to depart, and indig- 
nant at the failure of the expedition, entered alone a 
large ship, and coolly sat down and kindled a fire in the 
steerage. He then hunted about for a barrel of tar, 
which having found, he poured it over the flames. The 
blaze shot up aroimd the lofty spars, and wreathed the 
rigging in their spiral folds, casting a baleful light over 
the town. The terrified inhabitants, seeing the flames 
shoot heavenward, rushed toward the wharves; but Jones 
posted himself by the entrance to the ship, with a cocked 
pistol in his hand, threatening to shoot the first who 
should approach. They hesitated a moment and then 
turned and fled. Gazing a moment on the burning ship 
and the panic-struck multitude, he entered his boat, and 
leisurely rowed back to the Ranger, that sat like a sea 
guU on the water. The bright sun had now risen, and 
was bathing the land and sea in its light, revealing to the 
inhabitants the little craft that had so boldly entered 



their waters; and they hastened to their fort to open 
their cannon upon it. To their astonishment they found 
them spiked. They, however, got possession of two 
guns, which they began to fire; but the shot fell so wide 
of the mark, that the sailors, in contempt, fired back 
their pistols. 

The expedition had failed through the inefficiency 
of his men, and especially one deserter, who remained 
behind to be called the "savior of Whitehaven"; but it 
showed to England that her own coast was not safe from 
the hands of the spoiler; and that the torch she carried 
into our ports might be hurled into hers also. In carry- 
ing it out, Jones exhibited a daring and coolness never 
surpassed by any man. The only drawback to it was, 
that it occurred in the neighborhood of his birthplace, 
and amid the hallowed associations of his childhood. 
One would think that the familiar hilltops and moim- 
tain ranges, and the thronging memories they would 
bring back on the bold rover, would have sent hiTn to 
other portions of the coast to inflict distress. It speaks 
badly for the man's sensibihties, though so well for bis 

He next entered Kirkcudbright Bay in a single boat, 
for the purpose of taking Lord Selkirk prisoner. The 
absence of the nobleman alone prevented his success. 

The next day, as he was off Carrickf ergus, he saw the 
Drake, an Enghsh ship of war, working slowly out of 
harbor to go in pursuit of his vessel, that was sending 
such consternation along the Scottish coast. Five small 
vessels, filled with citizens, accompanied her part of the 
way. A heavy tide was setting landward, and the vessel 
made feeble headway; but at length she made her last 



tack, and stretched boldly out into the channel. The 
Ranger, when she first saw the Drake coming out of the 
harbor, ran down to meet her, and then lay to till the 
latter had cleared the port. She then filled away, and 
stood out into the center of the charmel. The Drake 
had, in volunteers and all, a crew of a hundred and sixty 
men, besides carrying two gims more than the Ranger. 
She also belonged to the regular British navy, while 
Jones had a crew imperfectly organized, and but par- 
tially used to the discipline of a vessel of war. He, how- 
ever, saw with delight his formidable enemy approach, 
and when the latter hailed him, asking what ship it was, 
he replied: "The American Continental ship Ranger! 
We are waiting for you — come on!" 

Alarm fires were burning along both shores, and the 
hilltops were covered with spectators, witnessing the 
meeting of these two ships. The sxm was only an hour 
high, and as the blazing fire-ball stooped to the western 
wave, Jones commenced the attack. Steering directly 
across the enemy's bow, he poured in a deadly broad- 
side, which was promptly returned; the two ships moved 
gallantly away, side by side, while broadside after 
broadside thundered over the deep. Within close 
musket-shot they continued to sweep slowly and sternly 
onward for an hour, wreathed in smoke, while the inces- 
sant crash of timbers on board the Drake told how ter- 
rible was the American's fire. First, her fore- and main- 
topsails were carried away — then the yards began to 
tumble, one after another; until at length her ensign, 
fallen also, draggled in the water. Jones kept pouring in 
his destructive broadsides, which the Drake answered, 
but with less effect; while the topmen of the Ranger 



made fearful havoc amid the dense crew of the enemy. 
As the last sunlight was leaving its farewell on the dis- 
tant mountain-tops, the commander of the Drake fell, 
shot through the head with a musket-baU, and the 
British flag was lowered to the Stripes and Stars — a 
ceremony which, in after years, became quite com- 

Jones returned with his prizes to Paris, and offered his 
services to France. In hopes of getting command of a 
larger vessel he gave up the Ranger, but soon had cause 
to regret it, for he was left for a long time without em- 
ployment. He had been promised the Indian; and the 
Prince of Nassau, pleased by the daring of Jones, had 
promised to accompany him as a volimteer. But this 
fell through, together with many other projects, and but 
for the firm friendship of Franklin, he would have fared 
but poorly in the French capital. After a long series of 
annoyances and disappointments, he at length obtained 
command of a vessel, which, out of respect to Franklin, 
he named the Bon Homme Richard, the" Poor Richard." 
With seven ships in all — a snug Uttle squadron for 
Jones, had the different commanders been subordinate 
— he set sail from France, and steered for the coast of 
Ireland. The want of proper subordination was soon 
made manifest, for in a week's time the vessels, one after 
another, parted company, to cruise by themselves, till 
Jones had with him but the Alhance, Pallas, and Venge- 
ance. In a tremendous storm he bore away, and after 
several days of gales and heavy seas, approached the 
shore of Scotland. Taking several prizes near the Firth 
of Forth, he ascertained that a twenty-four-gun ship, 
and two cutters were in the roads. These he determined 



to cut out, and; landing at Leith, lay the town under 
contribution. The inhabitants supposed his little fleet to 
be English vessels in pursuit of Paul Jones; and a mem- 
ber of Parliament, a wealthy man in the place, sent off a 
boat, requesting powder and balls to defend himself, as 
he said, against the "pirate Paul Jones." Jones very 
poHtely sent back the bearer with a barrel of powder, ex- 
pressing his regrets that he had no shot to spare. Soon 
after, in his pompous, inflated manner, he summoned 
the town to surrender ; but the wind blowing steadily off 
the land, he could not approach with his vessel. 

At length, however, the wind changed, and the Rich- 
ard stood boldly in for the shore. The inhabitants, as 
they saw her bearing steadily up towards the place, 
were filled with terror, and ran hither and thither in 
affright; but the good minister, Rev. Mr. Shirra, assem- 
bled his flock on the beach, to pray the Lord to deliver 
them from their enemies. He was an eccentric man, one 
of the quaintest of the quaint Scotch divines, so that his 
prayers, even in those days, were often quoted for their 
oddity and even roughness. 

Whether the following prayer is literally true or not, 
it is difficult to tell, but there is little doubt that the 
invocation of the excited, eccentric old man was suffi- 
ciently odd. It is said that, having gathered his con- 
gregation on the beach in fuU sight of the vessel, which, 
under a press of canvas, was making a long tack that 
brought her close to the town, he knelt down on the 
sand, and thus began: "Now, dear Lord, diima ye think 
it a shame for ye to send this vile pirate to rob our folk 
o' Kirkaldy; for ye ken they're puir enow already, and 
hae naething to spare. The way the wind blaws he'll 



be here in a jiffy, and wha kens what he may do; he's 
nae too good for onything. Mickle 's the mischief he has 
done already. He'll bum their houses, tak their very 
claes, and tirl them to the sark. And waes me! wha kens 
but the bluidy villain might take their lives ! The puir 
weemen are maist frightened out o' their wits, and the 
bairns skirling after them. I carma think of it! I canna 
think of it! I hae been long a faithful servant to ye. 
Lord; but gin ye diima turn the wind about, and blaw 
the scoundrel out of our gate, I'll nae stir a foot: but 
will just sit here till the tide comes. Sae tak ye'r will 
o't." To the no little astonishment of the good people, 
a fierce gale at that moment began to blow, which sent 
one of Jones's prizes ashore, and forced him to stand out 
to sea. This fixed forever the reputation of good Mr. 
Shirra; and he did not himself wholly deny that he be- 
lieved his intercessions brought on the gale, for when- 
ever his parishioners spoke of it to him, he always 
repHed, "I prayed, but the Lord sent the wind." 

Stretching from thence along the English coast, Jones 
cruised about for a while, and at length fell in with the 
Alhance, which had parted company with him a short 
time previous. With this vessel, the Pallas and Venge- 
ance, — ■ making, with the Richard, four ships, — he 
stood to the north; when, on the afternoon of Septem- 
ber 23d, 1779, he saw a fleet of forty-one sail hugging 
the coast. This was the Baltic fleet, under the convoy 
of the Serapis, of forty-one guns, and the Countess of 
Scarborough, of twenty guns. Jones immediately issued 
his orders to form line of battle, while with his ship he 
gave chase. The convoy scattered like wild pigeons, and 
ran for the shore, to place themselves under the protec- 



tion of a fort, but the two warships advanced to the 

It was a beautiful day, the wind was light, so that 
not a wave broke the smooth surface of the sea — and all 
was smiling and tranquil on land, as the hostile forces 
slowly approached each other. The piers of Scarborough 
were crowded with spectators, and the old promontory 
of Flamborough, over three miles distant, was black 
with the multitude assembled to witness the engage- 
ment. The breeze was so light that the vessels ap- 
proached each other slowly, as if reluctant to come to 
the mortal struggle, and mar that placid scene and that 
beautiful evening with the soimd of battle. It was a 
thriUing spectacle, those bold ships with their sails all 
set, moving sternly up to each other. At length the 
cloudless sim sank behind the bills, and twihght deep- 
ened over the waters. The next moment the full roxmd 
moon pushed its broad disk over the tranquil waters, 
bathing in her soft beams the white sails that now 
seemed like gentle moving clouds on the deep. 

The Pallas stood for the Countess of Scarborough, 
while the Alliance, after having also come within range, 
withdrew and took up a position where she could safely 
contemplate the fight. Paul Jones, now in his element, 
paced the deck to and fro, impatient for the contest; 
and at length approached within pistol-shot of the 
Serapis. The latter was a new ship, with an excellent 
crew, and throwing, with every broadside, seventy-five 
pounds more than the Richard. Jones, however, rated 
this lightly, and with his old, half-worn-out merchant- 
man, closed fearlessly with his powerful antagonist. 
As he approached the latter, Captain Pearson hailed 



him with "What ship is that?" "I can't hear what you 
say," was the reply. "What ship is that?" rang back. 
"Answer immediately, or I shall fire into you." A shot 
from the Richard was the significant answer, and imme- 
diately both vessels opened their broadsides. Two of the 
three old eighteen-pounders of the Richard burst at the 
first fire, and Jones was compelled to close the lower 
deck ports, which were not opened again during the 
action. This was an ominous beginning, for it reduced 
the force of the Richard to one third below that of the 
Serapis. The broadsides now became more rapid, pre- 
senting a strange spectacle to the people on shore, the 
flashes of the guns amid the cloud of smoke, followed by 
the roar that shook the coast, the dim moonUght, serv- 
ing to but half-reveal the struggling vessels, conspired 
to render it one of terror and of dread. The two vessels 
kept moving alongside, constantly crossing each other's 
track; now passing each other's bow, and now the stern; 
pouring in such terrific broadsides as made both friend 
and foe stagger. Thus fighting and maneuvering, they 
swept onward, until at length the Richard got foul of 
the Serapis, and Jones gave the orders to board. His 
men were repulsed, and Captain Pearson hailed him to 
know if he had struck. "I have not yet begun to fight," 
was the short and stern reply of Jones; and backing his 
topsails, while the Serapis kept full, the vessels parted, 
and again came alongside, and broadside answered broad- 
side with fearful effect. But Jones soon saw that this 
mode of fighting would not answer. The superiority in 
weight of metal gave them great advantage in this heavy 
cannonading; especially as his vessel was old and rotten, 
while every timber in that of his antagonist was new 



and stanch; and so he determined to throw himself 
aboard of the enemy: In doing this, he fell farther than 
he intended, and his vessel catching a moment by the 
jib boom of the Serapis, carried it away, and the two 
ships swung close alongside of each other, head and 
stern, the muzzles of the guns touching. Jones immedi- 
ately ordered them to be lashed together; and in his 
eagerness to secure them, helped with his own hands to 
tie the lashings. Captain Pearson did not like this close 
fighting, for it destroyed aU the advantage his superior 
sailing and heavier guns gave him, and so let drop an 
anchor to swing his ship apart. But the two vessels were 
firmly clenched in the embrace of death; for, added to 
all the lashings, a spare anchor of the Serapis had hooked 
the quarter of the Richard, so that when the former 
obeyed her cable, and swung round to the tide, the latter 
swung also. Finding that he could not unlock the des- 
perate embrace in which his foe had clasped him, the 
Englishman again opened his broadsides. The action 
then became terrific; the guns touched muzzles, and the 
gunners, in ramming home their cartridges, were com- 
pelled frequently to thrust their ramrods into the enemy's 
ports. Never before had an English commander met 
such a foeman nor fought such a battle. The timbers 
rent at every explosion; and huge gaps opened in the 
sides of each vessel, while they trembled at each dis- 
charge as if in the mouth of a volcano. With his heaviest 
guns burst, and part of his deck blown up, Jones still 
kept up this unequal fight, with a bravery unparalleled' 
in naval warfare. He, with his own hands, helped to 
work the guns; and blackened with powder and smoke, 
moved about among his men with the stern expression 



never to yield, written on his delicate features in lines 
not to be mistaken. To compensate for the superiority 
of the enemy's gims, he had to discharge his own with 
greater rapidity, so that after a short time they became 
so hot that they bounded hke mad creatures in their 
fastenings; and at every discharge the gallant ship 
trembled like a smitten ox, from kelson to crosstrees, 
and heeled over till her yardarms almost swept the 
water. In the mean time his topmen did terrible execu- 
tion. Hanging amid the rigging, they dropped hand 
grenades on the enemy's decks with fatal precision. One 
daring fellow walked out on the end of the yard with a 
bucket full of these missiles in his hand, and hurling 
them below, finally set fire to a heap of cartridges. The 
blaze and explosion which followed were terrific — arms 
and legs went heavenward together, and nearly sixty 
men were killed or wounded by this sudden blow. They 
succeeded at length in driving most of the enemy below 
decks. The battle then presented a singular aspect ■ — 
Jones made the upper deck of the Serapis too hot for her 
crew, while the latter tore his lower decks so dreadfuUy 
with her broadsides that his men could not remain 
there a moment. Thus they fought, one above and the 
other beneath, the blood in the mean time flowing in 
rills over the decks of both. Ten times was the Serapis 
on fire, and as often were the flames extinguished. 
Never did a man struggle braver than the English com- 
mander, but a still braver heart opposed him. At this 
juncture the Alliance came up, and instead of pouring 
her broadsides into the Serapis, hurled them against 
the Poor Richard! — now poor, indeed! Jones was in a 
transport of rage, but he could not help himself. 



In this awful crisis, fighting by the light of the guns, 
for the smoke had shut out that of the moon, the gunner 
and carpenter both rushed up, declaring the ship was 
sinking. The shot-holes which had pierced the huU of 
the Richard between wind and water had already sunk 
below the surface, and the water was pouring in like a 
torrent. The carpenter ran to pull down the colors, 
which were still flying amid the smoke of battle, while 
the gunner cried, "Quarter, for God's sake, quarter!" 
Still keeping up this cry, Jones hurled a pistol, which he 
had just fired at the enemy, at his head, which fractured 
his skull, and sent him headlong down the hatchway. 
Captain Pearson hailed to know if he had struck, and 
was answered by Jones with a "No," accompanied by 
an oath, that told that, if he could do no better, he would 
go down, with his colors flying. The master-at-arms, 
hearing the gunner's cry, and thinking the ship was going 
to the bottom, released a hundred English prisoners 
into the midst of the confusion. One of these, passing 
through the fire to his own ship, told Captain Pearson 
that the Richard was sinking, and if he would hold out 
a few moments longer, she must go down. Imagine the 
condition of Jones at this moment — with every battery 
silenced, except the one at which he still stood unshaken, 
his ship gradually settling beneath him, a hundred pris- 
oners swarming his deck, and his own consort raking 
him with her broadsides, his last hope seemed about to 
expire. Still he would not yield. His ofl&cers urged him 
to surrender, while cries of quarter arose on every side. 
Undismayed and resolute to the last, he ordered the 
prisoners to the pumps, declaring if they refused to 
work he would take them to the bottom with him. Thus 



making panic fight panic, he continued the conflict. The 
spectacle at this moment was awful — both vessels 
looked like wrecks, and both were on fire. The flames 
shot heavenward around the mast of the Serapis, and 
at length, at half-past ten, she struck. For a time, the 
inferior officers did not know which had yielded, such a 
perfect tumult had the fight become. For three hours 
and a half had this incessant cannonade, within yard- 
arm and yardarm of each other, continued, pUing three 
hundred dead and wounded men on those shattered 
decks. Nothing but the courage and stem resolution of 
Jones never to surrender saved him from defeat. 

When the morning dawned, the Bon Homme Richard 
presented a most deplorable appearance — she lay a 
complete wreck on the sea, riddled through, and liter- 
ally stove to pieces. There were six feet of water in the 
hold, while above she was on fire in two places. Jones 
had put forth every effort to save the vessel in which he 
had won such renown, but in vain. He kept her afloat 
all the following day and night, but next morning she 
was found to be going. The waves rolled through her — 
she swayed from side to side, like a dying man — then 
gave a lurch forward, and went down head foremost. 
Jones stood on the deck of the English ship, and watched 
her as he would a dying friend, and finally, with a swell- 
ing heart, saw her last mast disappear, and the eddy- 
ing waves close, with a rushing sound, over her as she 
sank with the dead, who had so nobly fallen on her 
decks. They could have wished no better coffin or 

Captain Pearson was made a knight, for the bravery 
with which he had defended his ship. When it was told 





"Ten o'clock at night, and the full moon shining, and the 
leaks on the gain, and five feet of water reported. 

The master-at-arms loosing the prisoners confined in the 
after-hold, to give them a chance for themselves. 

" The transit to and from the magazine was now stopped by 

the sentinels, 
They saw so many strange faces, they did not know whom to 


" Our frigate was afire, 

The other asked if we demanded quarter? 

If our colors were struck, and the fighting done? 

"I laughed content when I heard the voice of my little 

'We have not struck,' he composedly cried. ' We have just 

begun our part of the fighting.' 

" Only three guns were in use, 

One was directed by the captain himself against the ene- 
my's mainmast. 

Two, well-served with grape and canister, silenced his 
musketry and cleared his decks. 

"The tops alone seconded the fire of this little battery, 

especially the main-top. 
They all held out bravely during the whole of the action. 

"Not a moment's cease, 

The leaks gained fast on the pumps — the fire eat toward 

the powder-magazine, 
One of the pumps was shot away — it was generally thought 

we were sinking. 

" Serene stood the little captain. 

He was not hurried — his voice was neither high nor low, 

His eyes gave more light to us than our battle-lanterns. 

" Toward twelve at night, there in the beams of the moon, 
they surrendered to us." 

Walt Whitman. 


harbor. With his usual good luck, he escaped the vigil- 
ance of the English squadron, cleared the Channel, and 
with all his sails set, and under a "staggering breeze," 
stretched away toward the Spanish coast. Nothing of 
consequence occurred during this cruise, and the next 
year we find him again in Paris, and in hot water respect- 
ing the infamous Landais, whom Arthur Lee, one of the 
American Commissioners at Paris, presumed to favor. 
At length, however, he was appointed to the Ariel, and 
ordered to leave for America with military stores. In 
the mean time, however, the French king had presented 
him with a magnificent sword, and bestowed on him the 
cross of military merit. 

On the 7 th of September he finally put to sea, but had 
hardly left the coast when the wind changed, and began 
to blow a hurricane. Jones attempted to stretch north- 
ward and clear the land, but in vain. He found himself 
close on a reef of rocks, and unable to carry a rag of 
canvas. So fierce was the wind, that, although blowing 
simply on the naked spars and deck, it buried the ship 
waist-deep in the sea, and she rolled so heavily that her 
yards would frequently be under water. Added to all 
the horrors of his position, she began to leak badly, 
while the pumps would not work. Jones heaved the 
lead with his own hand, and found that he was rapidly 
shoaling water. There seemed now no way of escape; 
yet as a last feeble hope he let go an anchor; but so 
fierce and wild were the wind and sea, that it did not 
even bring the ship's head to, and she kept driving 
broadside toward the rocks. Cable after cable was 
spliced on, yet still she surged heavily landward. He 
then cut away the foremast, when the anchor, probably 



catching in a rock, brought the ship round. That good 
anchor held like the hand of Fate, and though the vessel 
jerked at every blow of the billows, as if she would 
wrench everything apart, yet still she lay chained amid 
the chaos of waters. At length the mainmast fell with a 
crash against the mizzenmast, carrying that away also, 
and the poor Ariel, swept to her decks, lay a complete 
wreck on the waves. In this position she acted like a 
mad creature chained by the head to a ring that no 
power can sunder. She leaped, and plunged, and roUed 
from side to side, as if striving with all her untamed 
energy to irend the link that bound her, and madly rush 
on the rocks, over which the foam rose like the spray 
from the foot of a cataract. For two days and three 
nights did Jones thus meet the fuU terror of the tempest. 
At last it abated, and he was enabled to return to port. 
The coast was strewed with wrecks, and the escape of 
the Ariel seemed almost a miracle. But Jones was one 
of those fortunate beings, who, though ever seeking the 
storm and the tumult, are destined finally to die in their 

Early the next year he reached Philadelphia, and 
received a vote of thanks from Congress. After vexa- 
tious delays in his attempts to get the command of a 
large vessel he at length joined the French fleet in its 
expedition to the West Indies. Peace soon after being 
proclaimed, he returned to France, and failing in a pro- 
jected expedition to the Northwest coast, sailed again 
for the United States. Congress voted him a gold medal, 
and he was treated with distinction wherever he went. 
Failing again in his efforts to get command of a large 
vessel, he returned to France. Years had now passed 



away, and Jones was forty years of age. He had won an 
imperishable name, and the renown of his deeds been 
spread throughout the world. The title of chevalier 
had been given him by the French king, and he was at 
an age when it might be supposed he would repose on his 

But Russia, then at war with Turkey, sought his serv- 
ices, and made brilliant offers, which he at last accepted, 
and prepared to depart for St. Petersburg. On reaching 
Stockholm he found the Gulf of Bothnia so blocked 
with ice that it was impossible to cross it; but impatient 
to be on his way, he determined to sail round the ice, 
to the southward, in the open Baltic. Hiring an open 
boat, about thirty feet long, he started on his perilous 
expedition. Knowing that the boatmen would refuse to 
accompany him, if made acquainted with his desperate 
plan, he kept them in ignorance until he got fairly out 
to sea, then drew his pistol, and told them to stretch 
away into the Baltic. The poor fellows, placed between 
Scylla and Charybdis, obeyed, and the frail craft was 
soon tossing in the darkness. Escaping every danger, he 
at length on the fourth day reached Revel, and set off 
for St. Petersburg, amid the astonishment of the people, 
who looked upon his escape as almost miraculous. He 
was received with honor by the Empress, who immedi- 
ately conferred on him the rank of rear admiral. A 
brilliant career now seemed before him. Nobles and 
foreign ambassadors thronged his residence, and there 
appeared no end to the wonder his adventurous Ufe had 
created. He soon after departed for the Black Sea, and 
took command of a squadron under the direction of 
Prince Potemkin, the former lover of the Empress, and 



the real Czar of Russia. Jones fought gallantly under 
this haughty prince, but at length, disgusted with the 
annoyances to which he was subjected, he came to an 
open quarrel, and finally returned to St. Petersburg. 
Here he for a while fell into disgrace, on account of some 
unjust accusations against his moral character; but 
finally, through Count Segur, the French ambassador, 
was restored to favor. 

In 1792 he was taken sick at Paris, and gradually 
declined. He had been making strenuous efforts in 
behalf of the American prisoners in Algiers, but never 
lived to see his benevolent plans carried out. On the 
i8th of July, 1792, he made his will, and his friends, after 
witnessing it, bade him good-evening and departed. 
His physician coming soon after, perceived his chair 
vacant; and, going to his bed, found him stretched upon 
it dead. A few days after, a dispatch was received from 
the United States, appointing him commissioner to 
treat with Algiers for the ransom of the American pris- 
oners in captivity there. The National Assembly of 
France decreed that twelve of its members should assist 
at the funeral ceremonies of "Admiral Paul Jones," and 
a eulogium was pronounced over his tomb. 

Thus died Paul Jones, at the age of forty-five — leav- 
ing a name that shall live as long as the American navy 
rides the sea. 


U . S . A