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Full text of "Cap'n Chadwick, Marblehead skipper and shoemaker"

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CAP'N CHADWICK 

MARBLEHEAD SKIPPER 
AND SHOEMAKER 



''TRUE AMERICAN TYPES'" 



Vol.1. JOHN GILLEY: Maine Farmer and 
Fisherman, by Charles W. Eliot. 

Vol. II. AUGUSTUS CONANT : Illinois 
Pioneer and Preacher, by Robert Coll- 

YER. 

Vol. III. CAP'N CHADWICK: Marble- 
head Skipper and Shoemaker, by John 
W. Chadwick. 



Price, each, 60 cents, net ; by mail, 65 cents. 



AMERICAN UNITARIAN ASSOCIATION 

Publishers, IJoston, Massachusetts 



CAP N CHADWICK 

MARBLEHEAD SKIPPER 
AND SHOEMAKER 



BY 

JOHN WHITE CHADWICK 

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B0 3T:6,'t^K' ,■'', ';:'' ' 
AMERICAN UNITARIAN ASSOCIATION 
1906 



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Copyright 1906 
American Unitarian Association 



T'^S NE'.V YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

474338A 

ASTOR, L"NO^'. AN"^ 
TILDLN FO'J i>J Cat- ":'-.:i 



Published October, 1906 



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THE UNIVERSITY PRESS 



CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A. 



CAP'N CHADWICK 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

CAPTAIN CHADWICK was 
born Nov. i8, 1809, truly a 
year of grace, seeing that it was the 
birth year of Lincoln and Darwin, 
Tennyson, Holmes, and Gladstone. 
My father had no public reputation 
whatsoever, but 1 dare believe he 
was as good as even the best of these. 
He was born in Marblehead, Mass., 
in the house which sets back from 
the street, opposite the Unitarian 
meeting-house. The old meeting- 
house was standing then. It gave 
place to the new one in 1832, the 
first year of my father's skippership, 
and, if he was not the youngest of 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

the contributors to the building fund, 
he outlived all the others. His 
father, Charles Chadwick, was born 
in 1774 to Benjamin Chadwick and 
Joanna Coombs. There was con- 
siderable intermarriage between the 
Coombs family and the Whites and 
Haskells, from whom my father drew 
his lineage on his mother's side ; and 
it so happened that her grandmother, 
Ruth Coombs, was a half-sister to 
Joanna Coombs, her husband's 
mother. "Aunt Smith," Mary 
Coombs Smith (1770-1860), the 
sister of my grandfather, Charles 
Chadwick, outlived her brother forty- 
five years ; and she was a great 
authority on the Coombs branch of 
the family, at once proud of its aris- 
tocracy and ashamed of certain blots 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

upon the scutcheon ; for Michael 
Coombs, her uncle, had been a Tory 
in the Revolutionary War, had fled 
the town, and his property had been 
confiscated. This to Aunt Smith 
was terrible as the sin against the 
Holy Ghost, so ardent was her pa- 
triotic zeal. She was never able to 
do any political thinking except in 
the terms of Revolutionary politics. 
Republicans and Democrats she knew 
not, but demanded, " Which are the 
Whigs and which are the Tories?" 
as the rival processions went by with 
their flambeaux in 1856. There are 
so many of the Smiths that her fre- 
quent boast " Five good sea-captains 
in that one family ! " was not extrava- 
gant. In an upper chamber of her 
house, which stood close by the sea 
3 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

at Swampscott, she had in various 
drawers and cabinets a great many- 
things her husband and her son had 
brought home from the East Indies, 
— woods and spices, fabrics as rare 
as Desdemona's handkerchief, — and 
she told them over as reverently as a 
nun her beads, intoxicating a boy*s 
imagination with the mysterious scent 
her trophies breathed, and with the 
strangeness of her tale. There were 
in her companionship elements of a 
liberal education which the colleges 
do not possess. 

My father*s maternal grandparents 
were John White (i 756-1 833) and 
Ruth Haskell (1757-1808). It was 
a nice way they had of calling the 
family patriarch " Sir ; " and " Sir 
White " always had for me a pleasant 

4 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

old-world sound, and invested my 
ancestor, who was so called, with a 
peculiar dignity, as if he " drew his 
blood from men of royal siege.** In 
fact, he was a man of modest force 
and humble occupations. He was a 
Revolutionary pensioner, and when 
a little boy my father sometimes 
walked to Salem with him to draw 
his pension. Sir White had tales to 
tell : he had seen Washington so 
many times in Cambridge, crossing 
the Delaware and in the affair at 
Trenton and Princeton, and in the 
bitter days at Valley Forge. In def- 
erence to the safety of Washington, 
so necessary to the remainder of his 
personal history, I have conceded the 
doubtfulness of the family tradition 
that Sir White crossed the Delaware 

5 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

in the same boat with him, and it be- 
hooves many others to be as self- 
denying as I am. In 1777 he was 
discharged, and walked all the way 
home from Pennsylvania, falling sick 
upon the way, and being carefully 
tended by the good Samaritans into 
whose hands he fell. Later in the 
war he was a privateersman on the 
" Tyrannicide," but before the war 
was over he was married to Ruth 
Haskell (Oct. i, 1780), and the 
following September, on the first day 
of the month their first child, Ruth, 
my beloved grandmother, was born. 
Good trees must Sir White and 
Ruth his wife have been, judged 
by their fruit. And it was plenti- 
ful. After Ruth came Philip, Mary, 
John, Remember, Susannah, Jane, 

6 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

Ambrose. Three of these, Mary, 
Jane, and Susannah, lived for me 
only as Polly, Jinny, and Sukey, in 
my grandmother's memory and twi- 
light talk, two of them having died 
in childhood, and Susannah when 
she was only twenty-five years old, 
leaving an infant son, John Peach, 
for my grandmother to bring up, 
she being then (1819) a widow with 
six small children of her own, and 
her youngest brother in her care. 
Susannah and Remember, whom 
we always called "Aunt Member," 
married Frenchmen, who were, I 
imagine, refugees who had no taste 
for the Napoleonic wars. 

My father's uncles, John and 
Philip White, were men of great 
physical energy and endurance, and 

7 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

of large experience as fishermen and 
master mariners. I had a standing 
difference with my father as to their 
relative merits, my father inclining 
to Uncle Philip's superiority, and 
I to Uncle John's. The fact was 
that Uncle John was one of the 
most ardent lovers of children I 
have ever known, and he let them 
know how much he thought of 
them. He was always doing them 
some kindness or showing them 
some pleasing attention, and he was 
very confidential with them about 
his own sad losses, which had, 
indeed, been many. He was a 
goodly sight at any time, so kindly 
was his face and so beautifully 
bronzed, contrasting with his snowy 
hair, and on Sundays with his broad 
8 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

white neckcloth semi-Directoire, 
which was his daughter's special 
pride. He was, of course, a pri- 
vateersman in the War of 1812, 
and was captured, as nearly all the 
brave adventurers from Marblehead 
must have been, seeing that fiVQ 
hundred of them were in Dartmoor 
Prison at the end of the war, and 
many in other prisons in England 
and In Halifax. 

With Uncle Philip I had none 
of the delights I had with Uncle 
John. He had domestic ties, while 
Uncle John, wifeless for many years, 
went "wandering on from home to 
home." Moreover, Uncle Philip 
went to the Old North, the Ortho- 
dox church, and so was not one of 
those who foregathered on Sundays 

9 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

at my grandmother's. He was a 
man of yeas and nays, as if any- 
thing more than these came of evil, 
or would come to it. I could not 
resist the impression that Aunt 
White had kept the strong seafarer 
under, and brought him into sub- 
iection. She was a terror to such 
evil-doers as my cousin Sidney 
Herrick and myself, and some- 
thing in her voice sent tremors 
down my spine. I have been as- 
sured, however, that her forbidding 
manner masked a disposition gen- 
erally kind. Without children of 
their own she and Uncle Philip 
had " the spirit of adoption," and 
exercised it for the benefit of this 
one and that, reaping in one in- 
stance an unspeakable reward of 

lO 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

tireless care. Aunt White was one 
of the Savages of Northeast Har- 
bor, Mount Desert, — not an indig- 
enous tribe, but a family of that 
name which is still flourishing in 
those lovely parts ; and I have 
sometimes wondered if my qualified 
regard for her was not the merest 
nominis umhray some early miscon- 
ception of an expression common 
in the family, — " the Savages of 
Mount Desert/* 

No man ever had warmer ad- 
miration than Uncle Philip had 
from his brother Ambrose and my 
father. He was, they told me, as 
good a seaman as ever trod a deck, 
absolutely fearless, and with a spice 
of daring in his composition. He 
was one of the five hundred Mar- 
II 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

bleheaders who were liberated from 
Dartmoor Prison in 1815. Before 
his final capture his experience was 
an interesting one. He was prize- 
master on board the ships " Alfred " 
and " Alexander," and in the latter 
met the " Invincible Napoleon," a 
French corvette of sixteen guns, 
which had been captured by the 
British. She surrendered to the 
" Alexander," and Uncle Philip was 
put in command of her. Off 
Cape Ann one fine Sunday morn- 
ing he was chased by the frigates 
" Tenedos " and "Shannon," and 
ran his prize on Norman's Woe, 
escaping with his crew. The cor- 
vette was got off by the frigates' 
boats, but she was again captured 
by another privateer before reach- 
12 



CAP^N CHADWICK 

ing Halifax. Uncle Philip was 
soon off again upon the dangerous 
seas, and was finally captured, as I 
have said, and sent to Dartmoor 
Prison, where, with nearly or quite 
half of all the privateersmen hail- 
ing from Marblehead, he awaited 
the end of the war. 

Ambrose Haskell White, my 
father's youngest uncle, was born 
Dec. 17, 1800, and died June 3, 
1 88 1. He followed the sea for 
thirty years, and for twelve of these 
the Batavia and China trade. Af- 
terward, for many years, he was a 
commission merchant in Boston. 
He was the only member of our 
family to acquire wealth to even a 
moderate extent. He was a perfect 
gentleman of the old school, with 
13 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

something of the reserve that often 
came from the habit of the ship- 
master sailing on long voyages and 
on no footing of equality with the 
ship*s crew. Blair's sermons were 
his delight, and the ideal they set 
for him was perhaps in his mind 
when he advised me frankly against 
entering the ministry. For Daniel 
Webster he had a boundless rever- 
ence, and probably never believed 
one allegation against his personal 
character. There never was a bet- 
ter brother, and in my grandmoth- 
er's imagination he was a kind of 
friendly deity. His wife, Harriet 
Spaulding, of Newburyport, was a 
lady of such lovely manners and 
such kindly heart that she " made 
human nature seem beautiful" to 

14 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

all who had the privilege of her 
acquaintance. 

One of my father's earliest rec- 
ollections was of the frigate " Con- 
stitution's " successful escape from 
three British men-of-war. This 
was Sunday, April 3, 18 14. The 
" Constitution " ran into Marble- 
head Harbor, and there was great 
excitement, the people watching 
the chase from the roofs and stee- 
ples, and expecting the bombardment 
of the town. In an earlier and 
much more tragical event my father 
had taken a not dishonorable part. 
He had gone " down on the head " 
to see the terrible fight between 
the " Chesapeake " and " Shannon," 
which resulted so disastrously for the 
"Chesapeake." One of her crew 
IS 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

was " Uncle Frederick ; " that is, 
William Frederick who married my 
father's aunt. Remember White. He 
was " the mildest-mannered man" that 
ever was engaged in such a monstrous 
business ; but when the "Chesapeake '* 
was boarded, and he was cornered 
between decks by a British tar, he 
opened his head with his board- 
ing hatchet, and ever afterward had 
the burden of that act upon his soul. 
My grandmother was washing that 
day, and when Charles, my father's 
oldest brother (i 802-1 846), came 
home, and she asked, " Where 's 
John ? " and he made answer, 
" Down on the head with Ben 
(i 807-1 857) seein' the foight," she 
dried her arms, rolled down her 
sleeves, and went in search of them. 
16 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

In February, 1815, the town was 
illuminated for the peace of that 
year, and father had a lively recol- 
lection of going round with one of 
his brothers to see the windows all 
ablaze. The next August and Sep- 
tember were months of fearful storm, 
a hailstorm in August being long re- 
membered for the destruction which 
it brought upon the town. Septem- 
ber 23 came the September Gale, 
which figured so importantly in the 
recollections of all persons who were 
then living on the New England 
coast. Garrison, who was then liv- 
ing in Lynn, never forgot it ; Whit- 
tier made it the subject of his first 
literary eflFort in a manuscript-book 
his mother made for him ; and 

Holmes embalmed his memory of 
2 17 



CAP^N CHADWICK 

it in his verses, " The September 
Gale." But it was a storm of Sep- 
tember 2 or September 3 which 
wrought my father's greatest woe. 
His father sailed for Grand Bank 
September i, and was sighted the 
next day, but never again. For 
years my grandmother cherished 
the fond hope that he would come 
again, but she was solitary in her 
vain imagination. 

The loss of her husband left 
Mother Chadwick, as we always 
called her, with six children to care 
for, the youngest but eighteen 
months old. The oldest boy was 
thirteen, and he and the others soon 
found ways of helping their mother, 
who was desperately poor. Parson 
Bartlett, who was her minister from 
18 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

1811 until 1849, was a friend and 
an adviser whom she could ill have 
spared. When my father was seven 
he used to go up to the Ferry, the 
Marblehead side of Salem Harbor, 
with his brother, and get, time after 
time, a peck of corn, the gift of 
Uncle Mike Haskell, carry it up to 
Forest Mills and have it ground, 
and then carry home the meal. The 
round trip was some seven miles. 
Sometimes the growing boy had for 
his supper a single baked potato. 
His early schooling was but slight, 
but after he began to go to sea he 
studied navigation. When he was 
ten years old Uncle Tom Haskell 
gave him a wood-horse and saw, and 
a sled to drag them on. He was 
my grandmother's uncle, and I well 
19 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

remember him, — a man of violent 
temper and benignant face, with 
silver hair that was a glorious crown, 
and every way most good to see. 
He was one of the many who gath- 
ered before church at my grand- 
mother's, where dried flag-root, dried 
orange-peel, and peppermints were 
portioned out with much discrimina- 
tion. There was always a cloud 
upon his reputation, because in 1817 
he was accessory to the breaking of 
Uncle Mike Haskell's will which 
gave Mother Chadwick six hundred 
dollars, which to her would have 
meant being " rich beyond the 
dreams of avarice ; " and even the 
sixty that she got was something 
wonderful. But, for all that, he 
showed much kindness to her and 
20 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

her boys. For two years, when he 
was ten and eleven, my father helped 
his mother a good deal with his 
wood-sawing. At the best he could 
saw a cord a day, and earn fifty cents. 
This he often did when he was saw- 
ing wood for the fishermen to take 
on their vessels. During these ten- 
der years he also worked on fish, 
carrying them to the " flakes " to 
dry, and off again, working some- 
times ten hours a day, and getting 
eight cents an hour because he did 
so well, when only six had been 
agreed upon, — a man getting ten 
cents ; and he was a little fellow for 
his years. 

In his school days, playing truant 
with his brother Ben "up to the 
Ferry," Ben got a serious hurt dim b- 

21 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

ing into a wagon by the wheel. My 
father had to be the bearer of ill tid- 
ings to his mother, and it was more 
than one bad quarter of an hour he 
had about it, then and for months 
after when Ben could n't walk. To 
go to meeting Sundays was inexor- 
able law, and the boys must go to 
bed early Saturday nights to have 
their one suit washed and mended. 
The Ferry was a magnet that drew 
my father powerfully. When Presi- 
dent Monroe came to town, July 8, 
1817, he spent most of the day going 
to the Ferry and returning several 
times, after getting a bad hurt from 
a peaked fence, which he was climb- 
ing to see the President. But he 
saw him, and therein was more fortu- 
nate than Whittier, who set out in 
22 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

search of him in Haverhill, and mis- 
took for his footprints those of an 
elephant which had disputed with 
him the honors of the day. To make 
a sure thing of it, my grandmother 
kept both Saturday and Sunday even- 
ings sacredly, and her children were 
subjected to close confinement from 
sundown at Saturday until Monday 
morning, except for going to church 
and Sunday-school. My father 
never kept back a cent of his earn- 
ings for his private uses. They all 
went to his mother ; and when one 
day the family was in sore distress, 
he went into pitch-penny " down to 
wharf" with two cents, to see what 
he could do. He had a dangerous 
run of luck, and took home his win- 
nings, forty cents, to his mother. 
23 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

She at first refused to touch the un- 
clean thing ; but her children were 
hungry, and there was not a cent in 
the house to buy bread, and she suc- 
cumbed to the insistence of her boy. 
It was not at all like her to do so, 
but with her Puritan conscience she 
had a wondrous heart of mother- 
hood. 

Her own children did not exhaust 
its fount of kindliness. Her mother 
dying in 1808, she took her brother 
Ambrose, then seven years old, into 
her family, and mothered him until 
he reached maturity. In 18 19 her 
sister Susannah died, her husband 
went to " the Far Indies," and 
Mother Chadwick adopted her only 
child, John Peach, a baby some 
eighteen months old. To her.he was 
24 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

as one of her own children, living 
with her until his marriage in 1846, 
and amply repaying all her early sac- 
rifice and care. Somewhat later, 
Uncle John White losing his wife, 
she took him and his children into 
her little house, and did for them as 
best she could. When I began to 
know her in the forties, — and she 
was going on from sixty to seventy 
years of age, — she was so placid that 
it seemed as if she never could have 
known the burden of anxiety, the 
touch of care. She helped her 
daughter's tailoring, always, with sur- 
prising prodigality for one whose res 
angusta domi had been so extremely 
narrow, demanding an extra quarter 
of a yard for my trousers to avoid an 
unseemly gore in the waistband. She 
25 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

braided and ^^ drew in " Innumerable 
mats, making a yellow dye for her 
pieces from lichens which — kind 
Heaven forgive ! — I scraped for her 
from the pasture rocks; but she al- 
ways had time for any one of her 
several favorite books, of which 
" Moses His Choice " was her pe- 
culiar joy. That, like some of the 
others, had lost its covers and a few 
of the opening pages. At her death 
in 1870, in her ninetieth year, her 
widowhood had been fifty-five years 
long; and under her name and her 
husband's on the stone on " the old 
hill " it is written, " And there was 
no more sea." 

In his thirteenth year my father 
began that seafaring life which, with 
brief interruptions, he followed until 
26 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

i860. Until the last days of his life 
he could remember on what day he 
sailed each time, and on what days 
he set out for home and got there, 
how much salt he carried, and how 
much of it he wet, how many quin- 
tals of fish he got, and how the wind 
veered on such and such day. His 
first fishing was with Uncle Tom 
Haskell for mackerel around Block 
Island, and on the Jersey coast. 
One catch was brought into New 
York, and packed upon the Brooklyn 
side. He got in a little more school- 
ing, and March 20, 1824, he sailed 
for the first time for the Grand Bank 
of Newfoundland in the schooner 
" Mary," with Skipper John Good- 
win. The name, the same as that 
borne by the ill-fated vessel in which 
27 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

his father had been lost, must have 
chilled his mother's heart with sad 
foreboding. It was a hard beginning. 
The first night it blew a heavy gale, 
so that a two-reef foresail was ail the 
vessel could bear. It was bitter cold, 
and the smoke blew back into the 
forecastle, so that they could have no 
fire. In those days the fire was made 
in the companion-way. Seasick and 
homesick, the poor boy lay in his 
berth, — a contracted one in the fore- 
peak, the cook's usual place, — nib- 
bling a loaf of bread his mother had 
made for him, and salting it with 
tears. The next morning there w^re 
two feet of ice on deck. A few days 
after getting to the Bank my father 
was thrown down the main hatch by 
a sudden lurch of the vessel, and dis- 
28 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

abled for some days. This was one 
of several accidents that would have 
broken a less knotted strength. A 
year or two before, a sixteen-foot oar 
had pulled him off the wharf into the 
bottom of a " Moses boat," and he 
was taken up for dead. He was 
home again on the ist of August, 
twenty-five thousand fish in the good 
" Mary's " hold, which meant a splen- 
did fare. Looking back on those 
one hundred and thirty days, it 
seemed strange to him that he ever 
went upon another trip. The cook 
was generally the butt of endless 
ridicule and of practical jokes, which 
were sometimes extremely cruel, be- 
sides general abuse. Crews varied in 
the degree of their brutality. That 
of the " Mary " was one of the worst, 
29 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

and my father told me that he should 
not have survived the ordeal if it had 
not been for the kindness of Dick 
Ireson,a nephew of Old Flood," the 
hero of Whittier's ballad, who stood 
between him and the worst devices of 
his enemies. Nevertheless he sailed 
again in the same vessel September 
3, the skipper delaying sailing for a 
day that he and his crew might see 
General Lafayette, who was then 
making his triumphal progress 
through the country. All day there 
was a pouring rain. Some three 
weeks out, a barrel of mackerel fell 
upon his back and nearly finished 
him. Getting home December 3, 
still seriously ailing from the crush- 
ing blow he had received, he went to 
school again until the time came for 
30 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

fitting out for the spring fare. This 
time he sailed with his Uncle John 
White in the schooner " Hope," and 
in the same vessel with the same 
skipper until 1831, two fares each 
year, making at the best |200 a year. 
It was easy in those times to hire a 
man for one fare for $75 to ^loo, but 
my father always went " on shares." 

The year 1830 was a memorable 
one in my father's life. Then he 
for the first time met my mother, 
Jane Stanley (born April 28, 18 12; 
died February 18, 1874). His first 
sight of her was not auspicious, for 
she was sitting in the chimney-corner 
crying with the toothache. Her 
brothers were plaguing her, and my 
father's sympathy was the beginning 
of the happy end. She had just 
31 



CAP'N CHAD WICK 

come back to the old home from 
Oxford, Mass., where, since 1827, 
she had been a factory girl in Slater's 
mills. The town had been ruined 
by the embargo and the war, and 
Father Stanley had taken his whole 
family and gone to Oxford, in order 
that the children might work in the 
factory. The Stanley house in 
Marblehead was one of the oldest 
in the town, with the upper story 
jutting out over the lower for con- 
venience (at least so they said) in 
shooting Indians in case of siege. 
The chimney was of vast propor- 
tions, and, sitting in the corner, one 
could look up and see the wandering 
stars. Father Stanley, publicly known 
as " Master Alec," was a cripple 
from his birth. In our time such a 
32 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

trouble would have surgical remedy 
at once ; then it was suffered to go 
on and increase. But he was an 
active boy, and one year went to the 
Banks. He was an inveterate 
smoker, and one of the minor pleas- 
ures of my childhood was to see 
him light his pipe with his burning- 
glass. His physical limitation was 
turned to intellectual account. He 
was the champion checker player of 
the town. You would think you 
were doing finely, taking piece after 
piece, and suddenly you were com- 
pletely done for. He always in- 
sisted that Benjamin Greenleaf, whose 
famous arithmetic lasted for two 
generations of New England boys 
and girls, had treated him dishon- 
estly. Greenleaf was teaching in the 
3 33 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

town, and Father Stanley's story was 
that they made the arithmetic to- 
gether, and then came the war, and 
they could not get a publisher ; and 
Greenleaf went off with the manu- 
script, and ultimately published it, 
and made himself comfortable for 
life. Father Stanley particularly 
claimed all those tremendous prob- 
lems concerning the woman who 
" went to market with a basket of 
eggs," and others of that sort. One 
thing is sure : he had all those prob- 
lems at his tongue's end, and a pri- 
vate repertory of others like unto 
them. I always fancied that he 
looked very much like Benjamin 
Franklin. His wife, Jane Wills, 
died in 1837, so that I never knew 
her. 

34 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

It was between the spring and fall 
fares of 183 1 that father and mother 
were engaged to each other. They 
were married by Parson Bartlett, 
Jan. 19, 1834. Parson Bartlett was 
very anxious for some years that 
they should join the church, but 
mother thought she " was not good 
enough," and father felt sure that, 
if she was n't, he was n't ; and so 
they never did it. My father would 
plague my mother sometimes about 
their courting days, and she would 
say, blushing like a rose in June, 
" Father, how can you be so silly ? " 
Or I would do the plaguing, beg her 
to tell me all about it, and then she 
would say, " Father, how can you sit 
there and let that boy go on in such 
a way?" But in truth they were 
35 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

both very reticent about their love 
affairs. Not until the night when 
mother was " fading away from the 
land of the leal/' and father and I 
were waiting in another room for her 
last awakening, were his lips unsealed. 
That story I may not confide to any 
other, but it was very beautiful in its 
frank simplicity. I cannot conceive 
of a more tender and unselfish love 
than theirs, yet there was no outward 
demonstration. Even when father 
went to sea or came home again, I 
think there was no mutual embrace 
before the children's eyes. When 
he was coming in, some one would 
rush in and say, " Mrs. Chadwick," 
or " Aunt Jane," " your husband 's 
coming up the harbor." I can see 
her now going about her work with 
36 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

wilful steadiness ; and when father 
came in how her color heightened as 
he took her hand and said, " How 
are you, Jane ? '* and she answered 
in some simple fashion. 

When he came home in 1834, 
Nov. 25, he found a little daughter 
two days old awaiting him. She was 
named Jane Elizabeth, but we called 
her Jennie in her maturer years. 
Father had now come to be himself 
the master of a vessel, and was 
" Skipper Chadwick," or " Cap'n 
Chadwick,*' to his friends for the re- 
mainder of his life. The first vessel 
which he sailed as skipper was the 
" Ploughboy " in 1832, when he was 
only twenty-two years old. But he 
let no man despise his youth. Drink 
was one of the dangers with which he 
37 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

had to contend, his own temperance 
being always strict without being 
total abstinence. Once a drunken 
hand grew mutinous, but was brought 
to terms when the young skipper 
took up a windlass-bar, and with 
a strong expression threatened to 
knock out his brains. At another 
time the offending keg of liquor — 
" kag '* was the usual pronunciation 
— was poured into the sea. His 
profanity had none of Andrew Jack- 
son's genial latitude, and it was 
instinctively reserved for great occa- 
sions. But he frequently in middle 
life strengthened his speech with 
terms which were undoubtedly cor- 
ruptions of profane usage. "'Od 
dast you ! " was the worst of these, 
and I remember that I once invited 
38 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

it by throwing a bean-bag (one used 
in a delightful game) and knocking 
his pipe, which he had just filled and 
lighted, out of his mouth, and break- 
ing it into pieces. It came back 
with a vehemence that would have 
hurt me a good deal if I had not 
dodged behind a door. He dearly 
loved his pipe, and when times were 
hard in 1857, and we were all of us 
on short rations, he said he would 
give up anything else sooner than his 
tobacco. He had given it up in 
1837, but he would never make the 
sacrifice again. He avoided unclean- 
ness in his speech even more com- 
pletely than profanity. He not only 
avoided it absolutely, but he would 
not tolerate it in others. Many a 
time in the shoemaker's shop I have 
39 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

seen him blush at some questionable 
narration ; and, when his own back- 
shop was polluted, he would say, 
though the offender were some 
valued customer, " Stop that, or get 
out of here." At the same time he 
could not bear to have the ancient 
landmarks removed or misnamed ; 
and there was a half-sunken rock in 
the harbor, which in ruder times had 
been given a name not fit for ears 
polite. Some one, with the best in- 
tentions in the world, had given it a 
new name, and once, when my father 
was taking out a sailing party, the 
new name was given in answer to a 
question as to what rock it was. 
Instantly my father flashed out in- 
dignantly the traditional name ; and 
the dovecotes were fluttered visibly. 
40 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

In 1834, the year of his mar- 
riage, my father's schooner was the 
" Statesman ; " and he owned one- 
third of her. One of his hands 
died on the first trip, the only time 
he met with this misfortune. The 

winter of '34.- 3 S ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ 
happiest of his life. There was a 
baby in the house, and he was now 
adding some I50 a winter to his 
clear gains, by making shoes be- 
tween his return in the late au- 
tumn and his beginning to fit out 
for the spring fare. He had been 
doing this since 1825. He was not 
a rapid workman on the bench, but 
few workmen could make a better 
shoe. The stitch was never length- 
ened, even in the shank, to hurry up 
the work. It was this winter or the 
41 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

next that he had an amusing experi- 
ence. He was living at the foot of 
Orne Street, in the Lawrence house, 
and he started for Mother Stanley's 
with little Jane in his arms. Idler's 
Hill (so called because it was a fav- 
orite loafing place) one of the long- 
est and steepest in the town, was 
very slippery, and near the top he 
began to slip backward with his 
precious freight. Afraid of injur- 
ing that, his hands were, as it were, 
tied, and he kept on slipping and 
slipping until he brought up with 
his back against Hawkes's store at 
the foot of the hill. The small 
boys coasting on the hill enjoyed 
his discomfiture exceedingly. So 
did not he. 

His first year on the " States- 
42 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

man '' was a prosperous one, but 
his second one (1835) ^^^ ^^ only 
in part. His fall fare was one of 
the meanest that he ever got, only 
5.40 quintals. Before sailing in 
the spring of 1836 he exchanged 
his third of the " Statesman " for 
a third of the " Hero,'* paying 
t333'33 ^^^ ^^^ bargain. The 
" Hero " was fourteen tons larger 
than the " Statesman," which was 
only seventy-two. My father trod 
her deck for eleven successive sea- 
sons, twenty-one fares in all, only 
one fare in 1841. To his mem- 
ory in after years she was more a 
living creature, a beloved friend, 
than an inanimate thing. He dwelt 
upon her virtues as upon those of a 
dear child that he had lost. But his 
43 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

first trip on her, though he brought 
home twenty-two thousand fish, was 
one of the most miserable he ever 
sailed. It was on this trip that his 
crew were mutinous. The offenders 
were got rid of on his return, and in 
the fall everything went smoothly 
until November 8, when in a very 
heavy gale he lost a shot of cable, 
one hundred and eighty fathoms, 
and shipped a sea that knocked off 
the stern a good bit, and made it 
every way desirable to get home as 
soon as possible. On his return, 
August I, 1837, he found a second 
daughter in the house, Sarah, born 
May 17, and destined to be his care- 
taker for twenty-two years after her 
mother's death in 1874. How lit- 
tle could he imagine when he came 
44 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

home in 1837, and found the help- 
less child upon its mother's breast, 
that he would find in hers for many 
years a mother's patient heart ! The 
year 1838 — which was, for many per- 
sons, because of the crash of 1837, 
one of the blackest on the list — 
was for my father the most success- 
ful of his life. On his spring fare he 
got 750 quintals, and on both fares 
cleared $joo. His happiest day 
was ever that on which he sailed 
again into the harbor, whether he 
had wet all his salt or only half of 
it. He always protested that a man 
did n't know what happiness was who 
did not have the joy of coming back 
to weans and wife from a sea-voy- 
age. What blessed times those 
weeks between the end of the first 
45 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

fare and the beginning of the second 
always were for me, when I was old 
enough to go alone or with one of 
my sisters to the '' washing-out," or 
to carry around the tokens of good 
will that were expected as religiously 
as wedding-cards in good society. 
" Washing-out " meant the washing 
of the fish which had been packed 
in salt in the schooner's hold. This 
was sometimes done in a pound 
lashed to the side of the schooner, a 
little off from the beach, and some- 
times on the beach. Once washed, 
the fish were carried to the flakes 
and dried, and then packed in the 
warehouse. Father's dinner was 
always sent to him in two tin pails, 
one of them full of tea. How those 
tin pails did shine ! It would have 
46 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

made my mother sick to discover 
that hers were not the brightest on 
the scene. As for the tokens of 
good will we carried round, it was 
a nice business who should have 
only crackers, much prized for their 
sea savor, and who should have in 
addition a piece of smoked halibut 
or some " tongues and sounds," or 
a smoked hagdon, gamiest of the 
game that is not quite inedible. 
Hardly less interesting was the 
packing of my father's chest; and 
nothing could exceed the neatness 
and the carefulness with which my 
mother bent above this sacred task, 
and with the haunting fear each 
time that it might be the last. 

In 1839 ^^^ profit on the two 
fares fell off Jjoo from the previous 
47 



CAP^N CHADWICK 

year. In 1840 his fortune was still 
worse. That spring he had bought 
a new, small two-story house on 
Stacey Street. It was a very cosey 
little house, with a bit of meadow 
at the rear, where the frogs and 
crickets had full orchestras. It was 
just at the foot of Elbridge Gerry *s 
garden, and " the New Road," a nar- 
row footpath leading to " Allen's 
stile" and the sea-front, was only 
a few steps away. 

On his first fare in 1840 my 
father lost $50, and on his second 
did not much more than make this 
up. This was the more discourag- 
ing because on his arrival, Novem- 
ber 20, he found a boy awaiting 
him, the boy who writes this story, 
born October 19, when the unspeak- 
43 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

ably inane enthusiasm for hard cider 
and William Henry Harrison was 
filling all the air. He was hard put 
to it for money to meet current ex- 
penses, having put all he could rake 
together into the little house. He 
took what " lumping " he could 
get ; that is, helping others to wash 
out and handle their fish. In 1841 
he went only one fare, one hundred 
and forty-five days, from April 27 
to September 19. Twenty-two 
thousand fish meant a good catch; 
but he did not get a cent for his 
share till the next April ; and so 
again it was close pickings. The 
bounty money (paid by the United 
States Government to encourage sea- 
faring) was never so welcome as this 
year. The amount was $;^6, The 
4 49 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

next year the fish brought only 
$1.75 a quintal, whereas at the best 
they brought $3.00. "A man had 
to cut his rashers thin to live " 
was my father's comment on the 
situation. For two good trips he 
got only $250. In 1843 ^^^ ^^^^ 
fare was " a regular Bonanza," one 
thousand quintals! — and his net 
gains for the season amounted to 
I500. The next year was less for- 
tunate, and the fall fare had an inci- 
dent that entailed for my father 
countless hours of miserable pain, 
and this for many years. Four 
days out, in bad weather, a block 
somewhere aloft was split, and the 
shive and pin, following with hor- 
rible momentum, struck him on the 
head. When he came to, he imag- 
50 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

ined that the vessel had been struck 
by lightning, and his first question 
was for her safety. He would not 
have the vessel put about for home, 
and the men did what they could for 
him. Their remedies were drastic, 
but they were measurably effective. 
All that winter, however. Parson 
Bartlett was a frequent visitor, tend- 
ing the ugly wound ; for Parson 
Bartlett was a physician literally, as 
well as a physician of souls. Even 
the orthodox did not object to his 
gratuitous treatment of their bodies. 
His face was rubicund, and he was 
a goodly man to see. 

The year 1845 ^^^ ^ tolerably 

good year; but the year 1846 was 

an annus mirabilis^ a wonderful year 

of sorrow both for my father and the 

SI 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

town. The spring fare was so un- 
profitable that my father moored the 
" Hero " in the harbor after washing 
out his fish, resolved not to try his 
luck again that year. Later he got 
another skipper for her, who backed 
out; and my father, recovering his 
spirits, got a good crew, and sailed 
September 3. Ten days after his 
arrival on the Bank came the great 
gale of September 19, which since 
then has been for Marblehead " the 
September Gale" par excellence; also 
" the gale of '46." Out of twenty- 
six schooners that sailed for a fall fare 
only sixteen returned ; and one on a 
long fare made the whole number 
lost eleven, with sixty-seven men and 
boys. I never tired of hearing my 
father's story. Hardly ever did I 
52 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

go home during the last years of his 
life without encouraging him to tell 
it ; and he was not unwilling, though 
he would say, " What do you want 
to hear about that again for?" 

The 1 8th was a lowering day, and 
ominous of storm. On the morning 
of the 19th the wind began to blow 
at seven o'clock, and by ten o'clock 
it was blowing a gale. There was no 
rain, but the air was thick with 
" wind-food," not fog, but a dry mist, 
which lifted about noon. Until this 
lifted you could not see a quarter of 
a mile. As soon as the wind began 
to blow hard, father hove up, and ran 
to speak with John White, his cousin, 
son of his Uncle John (schooner 
" Clinton "), but could n*t find him. 
He had already hoisted his anchor, 
53 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

and gone to the westward. The 
" Hero " was then laid under a bal- 
ance mainsail (a small mainsail kept 
set while fishing) and head-of-jib till 
twelve o'clock. Only one vessel was 
sighted during the whole gale, and 
that was the " Hezron," skipper. 
Uncle Sam Blackler, and she was 
riding at anchor. At twelve o'clock 
the balance mainsail was taken in and 
the jib handed, and a three-reef fore- 
sail set, the vessel's head being to 
westward all the time. As the after- 
noon advanced the wind began to 
haul to west-northwest, blowing as 
hard as ever. At fiVQ o'clock the 
foresail blew away "like an old 
pocket handkerchief," and the gaff 
was hauled down. The sea was then 
taking the " Hero " on the quarter, 
54 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

and threatening to " pitch-poll her 
over ; " that is, first stand her on her 
nose, and then throw her upside down. 
The seas ran half-mast high and a 
full half-mile long. They seemed 
to break from the bottom as if the 
Bank were one great reef or shoal. 
This was the critical moment, and 
father determined to wear the vessel 
round. The chances were against 
success, but to take the sea on the 
quarter meant sure destruction. His 
men begged him not to do it, but she 
had good headway, — about three 
miles an hour, — and he told them 
he must do what he thought best. 
They could go below if they liked. 
The helm was put hard up, and the 
vessel came round, and put her nose 
"to the old sea" (that which the 
55 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

wind made before It changed), and in 
five minutes she was " riding the 
water like a bird." For my father 
the " Hero " was " named and known 
by that hour's feat." A big lantern 
was set in the main rigging, but not 
a light of any other vessel was to be 
seen. About half-past nine the stars 
came out, but the heaviest squalls 
were between that time and half-past 
ten. Then it began to moderate. 

At daybreak it was as moderate as 
you could ask, and one vessel was in 
sight, the " James Mugford," skipper, 
Richard Dixey. A heavy swell was 
rolling. After breakfast a new fore- 
sail was set with balance-mainsail and 
jib, and they stood westward, having 
been blown a good piece off the 
Bank's southeastern edge. Sailing 
56 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

three or four hours, they came on a 
lot of deck-plank, then a lot more, 
then a mast, then a boat, which 
proved to be the " Sabine's," Samuel 
Dodd, and finally water barrels, and 
everything imaginable belonging to a 
vessel that could float. For the next 
two days they kept on sailing through 
an ocean wilderness, where tokens of 
destruction greeted them on either 
hand. They spoke with a Province- 
town vessel which was going home, 
and another that had thrown over 
three hundred quintals of fish. Sad- 
dest of all was a big schooner, her 
tonnage nearly twice that of the 
" Hero," on her beam-ends, her 
masts lifting up twenty feet out of the 
water, and then plunging down again. 
The " Clinton " also was encountered, 
57 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

abandoned by her crew. Her deck 
had been lifted, and her skipper, 
John White, and one of his men 
had been swept overboard and lost. 
He was a genial soul. How well do 
I remember him on the eve of his 
departure, and others who came not 
back ! They made a merry group 
about the door of Samuel Sparhawk's 
shop, where they were getting their 
supplies. My father's brother Charles 
was one of these. He was skipper 
of the " Senator," one of the eleven 
vessels that were lost. 

The Provincetown vessel which 
my father spoke on the morning 
after the storm brought home the 
news of his safety, and that of some 
others ; but we were long in doubt 
as to the limits of the disaster. My 
58 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

mother was hardly less anxious than 
she would have been if the " Hero '* 
had not been spoken. My uncle 
George, her brother, haunted the 
Old North steeple and the headlands 
of the town, straining his eyes to 
make out each approaching vessel, 
if haply she might be one of the sur- 
vivors of the storm. My father's 
crew were sick at heart, and begged 
him to go home, and his own incli- 
nation was strong enough to do so, 
but he held on into November, and 
then sailed, arriving on the i8th of 
the month. He was thirty-seven 
years old that day, but I doubt if 
he or mother had a thought of that. 
It stands out from all others of my 
boyhood with an awful vividness. 
I went to the wharf with " Bedo ** 
59 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

Frost, whose father was on board 
the " Hero." Appleton's Wharf 
was packed with people, but the 
crowd made a passageway for the 
crew to pass along, each with some 
silent friend, all silent. On one side 
of my father as we moved homeward 
was his shoresman, and I walked on 
the other, the crowd making a kind 
of hollow square about us, and I not 
insensible of the dignity of the situ- 
ation. I can hear now the dull plod 
of my father's heavy boots and feel 
the nervous pressure of his hand. I 
remember, too, that as we came out 
on Stacey Street I looked back, and 
saw the crowd defiling all the way 
through the New Road. All day 
long my father sat in the neat cellar- 
kitchen, pleasantest of little rooms, 
60 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

and answered with low voice the 
questions of the wives and mothers, 
the brothers and the friends, who 
came inquiring for the living and 
the dead, his own heart breaking 
all the time with helpless sympathy. 
I remember only one passionate 
outbreak: "John Chadwick, do 
you dare to tell me I shall never 
see my husband again ? " 

The fishing business of the town 
never recovered from that blow. 
Father had little heart for it, and 
my mother begged him not to go 
again. Moreover, she got Parson 
Bartlett, who always had great in- 
fluence with my father, to intercede 
for her. There was something stolid 
in his make, and they would not 
have moved him if his will had 
6i 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

not been already undermined. The 
"Hero" was sold in January, 1847. 
As the years went on he blamed his 
foolishness. Selling the "Hero" 
and not buying the " Hezron," were 
two regrets to which he frequently 
recurred as he grew old ; and with 
good reason, for in 1 847 he entered 
on a period of ups and downs, — 
the downs, if I may say so, in 
the ascendant, — which lasted twenty 
years. In 1847 ^^ fished for mack- 
erel In the Bay and off Mount 
Desert. At Mount Desert he met 
the Stanleys, who are so numer- 
ous on the Cranberry Islands, and 
who all descended from one of my 
mother's people. " Uncle Peter " 
and the stalwart brothers of his 
generation, so well known to early 
62 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

visitors to Mount Desert, were the 
sons of that first settler. In 1848 
my father became part owner of a 
new and handsome fishing smack, 
the "Cabinet," forty-four tons, and 
for two years went bay fishing in 
her and to Brown's Bank. There 
was not much in it; and in 1850, 
mother's birthday, April 28, found 
him off for Grand Bank again in 
the schooner " Rose." This birth- 
day gift my mother the more pain- 
fully appreciated, because, for the 
time being, having sold the little 
house in Stacey Street, pending the 
completion of another on Reed's 
Hill, we were living in a house on 
Little Harbor close by " the Fount- 
ain Yard," as we then called the 
space about my Uncle Bowden's 
63 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

carpenter shop, quite ignorant of 
the reason why it was so called, 
and of Agnes Surriage's delightful 
story. Soon after my father's sail- 
ing there was a fearful storm, a 
match for that of the next follow- 
ing spring, in which Minot's Ledge 
lighthouse was destroyed. Our house 
stood on a cliff, at the foot of which 
was a narrow garden. There has 
been no garden since that storm. 
The storm annexed it to the beach, 
and the sea, breaking against the 
cliff, so shook the house that my 
mother took down her china from 
the shelves, lest it should fall. That 
storm may not have reached Grand 
Bank, but it did so for my dear 
mother's vivid imagination and her 
anxious heart; and so did every 
64 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

storm that blew that year, until her 
husband came again upon the wings 
of the most mighty of them all, 
August 25. How it did rain and 
blow ! We had been ten days in 
the new house, and the good fare 
of fish nearly half paid for it above 
the cellar wall. We were " the first 
that ever burst" into that quarter 
of the town. There were bars to 
let down, and pastures not far off, 
and old John Gregory's fish fences 
and warehouses just beyond us up 
the hill. Father and mother lived 
and loved there twenty-four years, 
and for twenty-two more father lived 
there without mother. 

In 1 85 1 the Saturnian days re- 
turned. Mr. William Humphreys, 
the shoresman whom my father 
5 65 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

honored above all the rest of those 
for whom he sailed, built the fine big 
schooner " Emmeline," one hundred 
and eight tons burthen, the old 
measurement. She was launched 
June 8, — a happy boy, who shall be 
nameless, on her deck. But he had 
a bad quarter of a minute when, soon 
after the first delightful sensation 
when the crowd cried, " There she 
goes ! ** the ways spread and she 
struck heavily, careened a good deal, 
seemed in doubt for a moment 
whether to stop or go on, but at last 
found her true element. She had 
started some of her trunnels, but had 
sustained no serious injury. The 
schooner" Ariel " was launched about 
the same time, and the two vessels 
sailed for Boston the same day to get 
66 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

their salt. They made a race of it. 
There was a throng upon each jut- 
ting headland of the town and Neck ; 
and when the " Emmeline " left the 
" Ariel " way, way behind, I was like 
Dr. Holland's hero who " felt the bud 
of being in him burst." The ensuing 
trip was phenomenal in my father's 
experience. Sailing June 19 he " got 
in " September 25 with one thousand 
two hundred and twenty quintals of 
fish. He was off again October 6 to 
get his bounty, which required four 
months at sea. November 6 he 
started for home, after three weeks 
of good fishing. The return passage 
proved to be the worst he ever knew. 
For nearly a month he was buffeted 
by incessant storms ; and only when 
it seemed that the vessel could not 
67 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

live another hour, Provincetown light 
sent forth its cheerful gleam and she 
was soon riding at anchor safe and 
sound. In 1853 he sailed in another 
new schooner, the " Sarah Jane," one 
hundred and twenty tons burthen, 
nearly half as large again as the 
" Hero." But my father always de- 
clared that neither the " Emmeline " 
nor the " Sarah Jane " was so good a 
sea-boat as the vessel to whose sur- 
passing excellence he was as true as 
was Leander to the Hero of old 
days. 

" Home-staying hearts are happiest," 

and his was a home-staying heart. 
He loved the sea, but more and 
more he dreaded the long separations 
from his wife and children. In 1854 
68 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

the " Cadet *' — a smaller boat than 
the " Cabinet," which he had bought 
a part of for the peace and comfort 
of his uncles, Philip and John 
White, who must still be fishing in 
some sort — went ashore on Skinner's 
Head in a big storm that dragged 
almost every vessel in the harbor 
from her anchorage, but imbedded 
the others safely in the sand of River 
Head Beach. The "Cadet** was 
repaired and lengthened out at great 
and vain expense, and the oversight 
which this business required had 
much to do with my father's staying 
at home in 1854. He built a little 
shop, and for a few years endeavored 
to combine shoemaking with the sell- 
ing of West India goods. The ven- 
ture was unprofitable, and went under 
69 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

in the crash of 1857. But it is an ill 
wind that blows nobody good. The 
hard times blew to me the oppor- 
tunity of my life. Working with my 
father, I sewing and he lasting and 
finishing, we made twenty-five pairs 
of first rate slick-bottomed ankle-ties 
a day at four cents a pair. In good 
times they brought seven cents. 
Here was a dollar for the joint day's 
work. My father could not stand 
it. He gave up the shop and the 
shoemaking and went to sea again in 
the "Emmeline;" and when he 
came back and found me anxious to 
go to the Normal School at Bridge- 
water and my sister Jennie more 
anxious for me to do so than I was 
myself, and glad to pay the way in 
part out of her slender salary (she 
70 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

was a primary school teacher, her 
salary $150 a year, then the regular 
amount), he said that I might as 
well be getting a better education as 
"working for nothing and finding my 
own thread ; " and so to school I 
went, " the difference to me " not 
measurable in current coin. 

The next ten years were for my 
father years of much anxiety. His 
slender savings shrank from year to 
year, until he had only a few hundred 
dollars left. My sister Jennie, who 
was the apple of his eye, fell sick 
with a terrible brain fever, after which 
came a long, slow convalescence, with 
a whole year of speechless melancholy 
for its most painful incident. Mother 
was aging rapidly under this dreadful 
dispensation. In 1859 he made his 
71 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

last trip to the Grand Bank, sailing 
the " Sarah Jane," and getting a most 
miserable fare. Steaming across the 
Bank in 1887 in the " Fulda," I 
thought how he had spent more than 
twenty solid years upon that waste of 
waters ; and when the thick fog 
settled down upon us I thought 
how, from out such a fog, he had 
seen the great ships looming up as 
they went driving on. " Thank 
God, my good fellows, that we cleared 
you ! " cried one captain from his 
deck as his ship's quarter almost 
grazed the " Hero's " stern. From 
out the fog there grew for us a 
mighty wind, and our four thousand 
tons seemed like a chip tossed on the 
waves ; and so I had a better chance 
to understand what it had meant for 
72 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

the " Hero," eighty-four tons bur- 
then, to encounter such a storm as 
that of 1 846, — ours but a zephyr in 
comparison with its awful stress. 

From i860 to 1868 my father 
worked at shoemaking. My sis- 
ter's health had never been re-es- 
tablished, and in 1869, August 20, 
she died ; but not until she had en- 
couraged my father to resume his 
shop-keeping. Hers was a most 
indomitable spirit, and from out the 
dying embers of her life flashed 
many a spark to kindle hope again 
in her dear father's heart. The 
new venture was an assured success 
before she died, — a modest one, 
and that was threatened with de- 
struction in the hard times of 1873 
and the next following years, when 
73 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

it was quite impossible for my father 
to refuse credit to the poor fellows 
who were out of work and had no 
money. Some of them justified his 
confidence in their integrity, and 
after many years paid up their old 
accounts. Others, and these his 
heaviest debtors, lived comfortably 
enough and made no sign. Alto- 
gether, he lost several thousand dol- 
lars, more than half of his lifelong 
accumulation. This loss would have 
been borne less patiently if his life's 
greatest sorrow had not at the same 
time befallen him, — my mother's 
death, Feb. i8, 1874. We have 
been told that a majestic grief 
should be " strong to consume small 
troubles." His were by no means 
small ; but my mother's death made 
74 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

them, in comparison with that, a 
matter of indifference. Her sick- 
ness was of short duration. It 
found her busy, after the customary 
manner of her life, doing a kindly 
service to some one who needed 
mothering. From that time for- 
ward my father's life was always 
tender with the glow of memory 
and hope. 

His success in business was bound 
to be a modest one, even in the best 
of times, for he could never find it 
in his heart to take advantage of a 
rising market when he had stock in 
hand. Sheer foolishness, of course ; 
but I am glad he had that kindly 
disposition. And, nevertheless, — 
perhaps not entirely so, — he did a 
thriving little business until Octo- 
75 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

ber, 1885, when, being seventy-six 
years old, he gave over his busi- 
ness to another and settled down to 
the enjoyment of a pleasant and se- 
rene old age. Easily it might have 
been that, had not the gods seen 
otherwise ; for he was a faithful 
reader of good books and papers 
all his days, and he had many 
friends. In the early fifties he 
took the National Era, when " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin " was coming out in it, 
and it was a penal offence for any 
one to open the paper until " the tea 
things " were put away. All the 
great stories of actual adventure 
both by land and sea that appeared 
in the last years of his life he read 
until his eyes grew dim. Besides, 
he had the various and rich experi- 
76 



CAP^N CHADWICK 

ence of his own life to draw upon, 
and that of many old seamates and 
companions. Some of these he 
prized immeasurably, and they re- 
sponded generously to his loving 
trust. He did not so much ideal- 
ize them as he appreciated their 
essential worth. It was better than 
a university degree or a royal decora- 
tion, I often thought, to be spoken 
of as he spoke of Andrew Paine 
and Frank Hiller and Captain Chis- 
holm and some others. The habit 
of his middle life was reticent ; but 
as he grew old he was both talka- 
tive and affable, and, what was the 
most surprising thing of all, he did 
a little quiet boasting now and 
then. There was one story tend- 
ing to this complexion which he 
77 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

told me several times in the last 
years. It was about a time when 
he and his brother Charles were 
sailing with their Uncle John, who 
fell sick on the home passage and put 
Charles, as the older, in charge of 
the vessel. On one occasion he had 
told my father, "John, you know 
nothing and fear nothing ; " and 
the sharp speech was too well re- 
membered when, as he drew near 
the coast, Charles could not quite 
make out his bearings. Appealing 
to my father he was reminded of 
his former saying ; but, the situa- 
tion growing desperate, my father 
came down from his high horse 
and helped his brother out. That 
was the time when such a sea was 
running that the channel between 
78 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

Marblehead Light and Cat Island 
Rock broke from the bottom, and 
throuorh that furious welter of the 
waves the " Hope " came tearing 
home. 

The hope of a long evening rest 
was rudely broken when, in Janu- 
ary, 1888, he was overtaken by a 
dangerous illness which was of long 
continuance and left him but the 
shadow of his former self. A mere 
accident had induced a cold, and 
this ended in pneumonia or some 
profound bronchial inflammation. 
The vigor of his constitution de- 
clared itself in the wonderful rally 
that he made from such a blow. 
But his old strength did not re- 
turn. No one could have more 
tender care than my sister lavished 
79 



/§ -fcW M t>s. 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

on him during the years of waver- 
ing hope and gradual decline ; and 
no one could have had more lov- 
ing and intelligent assistance than 
she had from her cousin, Jennie 
Stanley, who now for many years 
had been one of the little family. 
He had a stubborn streak in him, 
and could not be kept from over- 
work sometimes, especially when 
the fruit of his fine orchard was 
being gathered, and he was making 
sure that the best went to his son 
John. Except when kept in doors 
by special ailments or by stress of 
weather he went hither and thither, 
well nigh to the end, often making 
a half-mile or more in good time. 
A few months before his death he 
gave me his quadrant. When he 
80 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

bought it in 1830, it had served 
another fisherman some fifty years. 
On his eighty-sixth birthday, No- 
vember 18, 1895, I sent him the 
following verses ; and he did not 
resent their praise as he would 
have done a few years earlier. 
Either the expression of affection 
had become more sweet to him or 
he had grown more perfectly sin- 
cere and knew that he deserved it 
all. 

TO MY FATHER^S QUADRANT 

Poor homesick thing, I fear I do you 
wrong, 
Far from the smiting of the eastern 
seas, 
Here in my city house to hang you up. 
My pride to flatter and mine eyes to 
please. 
6 81 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

If you were conscious, you would ache 
and moan 
Through every fibre of your mystic 
frame, 
In this dull place to find yourself bestowed, 
Nor hold me clear of treachery and 
blame. 

How would you long to find yourself 
once more 
Where the great waves go rolling up 
and down, 
And the loud winds that spur their steam- 
ing flanks 
The sailors buffet and their voices 
drown ! 

How would you wonder if the honest 
hand 
That held you sunward on the heaving 
main 
Had quite forgot the trick it knew of old. 
And never so would manage you again ! 
82 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

Yea, verily, it was an honest hand, 

Warm with the beating of an honest 
heart ; 
Never from stouter did good courage 
come, 
Never from truer the good impulse 
start. 

You vii^ere his guide on many a dangerous 
sea, 
Through storm and darkness led him 
safely home ; 
As you to him, so he shall be to me. 
Whatever seas I sail or lands I roam. 

So onward sped, I cannot steer amiss. 
Whatever darkness gathers round my 
way : 
Let night come down, — I set the faithful 
watch. 
And wait it out until another day. 

It was my great good fortune to be 
at the old home a few days in March, 
83 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

1896, before his last sickness began. 
Friday, the thirteenth, was his last 
day downstairs. But he was up 
again, and making his waning strength 
self-serviceable the Sunday following. 
The end came on Saturday, the 
twenty-first, at 1.43 a.m. He faced 
it with clear-eyed intelligence, and 
we said to one another how good it 
was that we had loved each other 
so much and had had such a good 
time together. His body lies beside 
my mother's in the Waterside bury- 
ing-ground. The sea is not far off; 
but it is the quiet side of Salem 
Harbor, and not, as I would like, the 
Atlantic's unimpeded rush and roar. 
Yet the great tides forever come and 
go and make a pleasant music on the 
shore. The stone that marks his 
84 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

grave tells that he "went down to 
the sea in ships and did business on 
great waters." It further tells that, 
" In the good schooner ' Hero/ he 
weathered the September Gale of 
1846." 

He was a good man. It was in- 
conceivable that he could do any de- 
liberate wrong, or vary by a hair*s 
breadth from the line of perfect 
honesty and truth. He bothered the 
Boston merchants a good deal by his 
anxiety to pay his bills at once. His 
most serious fault that I remember 
was some drawback after he had 
granted to our urgency a favor which 
dulled the sweetness of its taste ; or 
he would shut the door upon his last 
remark, leaving us uncertain as to 
that, and the debate hanging in mid- 
85 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

air. Such things were slight deduc- 
tions from a life of constant probity 
and a temper of unvarying kindliness. 
No man allowed himself more freely 
the " delights of admiration " in his 
relations with his friends. His faith 
in the Eternal Goodness was as sim- 
ple and entire as a child's faith in its 
mother when it is lying snug and 
warm upon her breast. 

Who will has heard my father's 
story told. It is a very simple one ; 
so simple, possibly, that it was not 
worth the telling. I have written 
mainly for the joy of my own heart. 
So doing I have rescued from a busy 
time some days of sweet companion- 
ship with one whose love enriched 
my life unspeakably, and whose char- 
acter was to me a quite invaluable 
86 



CAP'N CHADWICK 

assurance of an innumerable multi- 
tude of men and women of his sim- 
ple, steadfast kind, whose quiet service 
is the saving salt of all communities 
and states. It must be well with 
him wherever he is sailing now, be- 
low the line of our horizon, upon the 
open sea, or to what port soever he 
has come. 



87