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Earlu Social Life in Eflgecomfie
^ARLY HISTORY OF EDGECOMBE, AND
A TARBOREAN'S EXPERIENCE
Reprinted from The Tarborough Southerner, Tarboro, N. C.
WM. ELLIS JONES, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER.
Early Social Life In EflgecomlDe,
EARLY HISTORY OF EDGECOMBE. AND
A TARBOREAN'S EXPERIENCE
Reprinted from The Tarborough Southerner, Tarboro, N. C.
WM. ELLIS JONES, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER.
1 *^ 7'
• < ' v
Earlu Social Life In Edgecomhe.
Physical Prowess the Standard of Greatness One Hundred
and Fifty Years Ag^o.
Socially and religiously the early inhabitants of Edgecombe
were in a deplorable condition.
Dr. Battle savs: ^^The first settlers in this coimtv lived in a
state of society not far better than the Indians. If we may
divide the state of society into the savage, the barbarous and
the civilized, we might place them in the second class. So late
as fifty years ago (circa 1762) there were only a few neighbor-
hoods on the water courses that enjoyed the blessings of a social
life. Plantations were few and small, and men would go seven
or eight miles to assist each other in heaping logs. These
log-heapings were viewed as mere frolics, where the robust and
athletic could meet together and show their manhood. This
labor was then performed without the assistance of negroes. A
perfect state of equality can well be imagined pervaded the
community. Almost the only distinction known or sought after
consisted in corporeal exertion. This circumstance led to many
a fight between men who had no enmity toward each other.
Some champions would travel many miles to meet with a com-
batant who had been celebrated as a fighter. Their mode of
Avarfare was called 'fist and skull,' but was too frequently accom-
panied with a biting and a gouging, and we are still reproached
by foreigners for retaining, as they erroneously suppose, this
Throughout the Colony matters came to the pass that on
Thursday, April 2, 1752, .a message from the Governor was
read to both Houses of Assemblv, to-wit : "Gentlemen, I must
recommend to you in particular to take the most effectual
measures for promoting Religion and Virtue and suppressing
Vice and Immorality, which are come to such a dreadful height
in this Province. I desire you in a special manner to take into
your consideration the barbarous and inhuman Manner of
Boxing which so much prevails among the lower sort of People ;
this Practice is attended with circumstances of Crueltv and
Horror, and is really shocking to human nature; and I have
been informed of no less than four persons who, within these
two years, have come to a violent Death by this atrocious
Custom. I am afraid the Laws now in Being are defective in
this affair, and so you are the Guardian of the Lives and
Properties of his Majesty's Subjects, it is in my opinion, your
Duty, by a Particular Law, to put a stop to such bloody and
Rev. James Moir, who spent some time among these people
doing missionary work, has the following to say :
Edgecombe Co., Xov. 22, 1748.
Rev. Sir (To the Secretary) :
When I was preparing to leave this Province in the Spring,
many of our communion told me they thought it my duty to
continue, not only because they were pleased with my labours,
but more especially because a gi'eat number in the county had
turned Baptists for want of a clergyman, and for encourage-
ment they assured me that next Easter Monday a Vestry was
to be chosen that would do me justice; they performed their
promise ; for ye new Vestry called the Tax gatherers to account
and paid my Salary faithfully, and withal gave me to know that
they would slip no opportunity of purchasing a Glebe and
making conveniences for me, and that in acting thus, they did
nothing but was very agreeable to the body of the People.
They also allowed me more time to officiate in remote places
than the former Vestry had done. These considerations pre-
vailed with me to agree for another year. By riding through
the upper parts I plainly see they require three missionaries,
one to the South near ye Branches of Pedee river, another upon
the Neuse 120 miles above Xewbern and the third in the Xorth
towards Virginia. The people seem much inclined to en-
courage Missionaries and often complain of their being pestered
with sermons of Baptist Teachers, whom I have always found
to be as grossly ignorant as those they pretend to teach. I
should be under no doubt of a Missionarys doing very well in
those parts had not the rulers of this Province passed a Law last
April for issuing paper Bills to the value of £23,000 Procla-
mation money — when T was at Cape Fear, the beginning of this
month, I had some of my Salaries paid in these new Bills, and
offered tliem at 10 per cent. Discount for cash but can goi
nothing for them.
I cannot give a particular account of the persons I have bap-
tized since Michaelmas, 1747, it frequently happening that I
am not so well acquainted as to desire any to take the number.
Several spectators have told me I baptized above a hundred in
one day. Two white adults I baptized by dipping. Last
Whitsunday I had 95 communicants. I received your favour
of February 4th, 1747, and purpose to draw in Bills till the
Venerable Society sees fit to appoint me their Missionary for
the Northern District in the upper parts. If I can obtain
leave of the Parish I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you
next Summer and am in the meantime Reverend Sir,
Your most, etc., .
Before reproducing a second letter from the able writer I
shall quote from Rev. Clement Hall, another missionary of the
Church of England, who informs his superiors: "Our chiych
at Edenton is yet unfinished, but one is lately built in Edge-
combe county where Mr. Moir resides." Extract written in
My object in quoting freely is to bring the readers directly,
as it were, in contact with the lives and times of those whom
we are seeking to know better, their religion, customs, laws, etc.
Xow we come to the second letter of James Moir, written in
Edgecombe county. May 2, 1749: "This vestry met yesterday
and notwithstanding I promised, if they gave me leave to go
to London this Summer, to return wdth all convenient speed,
they would not agree to it for the reasons mentioned in my
letter of the 22nd Xovember. I then considered how forward
they were to get things in order for the publick w^orship. The
church is almost finished (completed before Sept., 1749, ac-
cording to Clement Hall), and perceiving my absence might
discourage them, I dropt my resolution of going to Sea this
Summer, upon which they instantly laid a tax for building two
new chapels. After all I am apprehensive the new paper Bills
emitted last year, will frustrate all attempts to settle Mission-
aries among even the upper inhabitants. I can get nothing
for the Bills in which they paid my Salaries at Cape Fear, and
if such payments are made here (which this vestry hitherto
presented as much as ever tliey could) I must leave the Pro-
vince; Because creditors in Time of War are paid in com-
modities that cannot be sold, and in time of peace in paper
Bills of no real value."
Section 17, Dr. Battle's article on Edgecombe reads thus:
"The only religious denominations in the county are the Meth-
odist and Baptist. The former are not numerous, but they
have several places of worship in the county, and frequently
hold meetings in town. The number of their communicants
is not ascertained.
The Baptist had eight meeting houses in the year 1810 and
about five hundred and twentv communicants, since which
there have been about two hundred and fifty added (anno
(lomini 1812), and another meeting house is building near the
place called Shell-Banks, and is to bear its name under this
head. The following biographical sketch is added, as a tribute
to the memorv of a deceased ancestor.
Elisha Battle was born in Xansemond county, Virginin, the
9th of January, 1723. In the year 1748 he moved to Tat
river, Edgecombe county, Xorth Carolina. About the year
1764 he joined the Baptist church at the Falls of Tar river,
and continued in full fellowship until his death. He was chosen
Deacon of the church, and served in that office about twenty-
eight years. He usually attended the associations, at which
he sometimes acted as moderator, and was well suited to the
first office. It is well known he was a remarkably pious, zeal-
ous member of the society, and was always plain and candid
in censuring and reproving vice or folly in all their shapes,
From another source I am enabled to give the history of the
second Baptist settlement in Xorth Carolina. The first com-
pany arrived in the Colony too early to be connected with
Edgecombe history, but there is an immediate bond of union
between the second company and the present native Baptists.
"About the year 1742, one Wm. Sojourner, who is said to
have been a most excellent man and useful minister, removed,
with many of his brethren, from Berkley, in Virginia, and set-
tled on Kehukee Creek, in the county of Halifax (then part
of Edgecombe), about one hundred and twenty miles North-
east of Xewbern, and the same year planted a church in that
place, which continues to the present day. This church has
seen prosperous days, and has been a mother to many others,
the number and names of which I am not able to give."
Most of the Baptists in Xorth Carolina are said to have
emigrated from the church of Burley, in Virginia, but by the
labours of Palmer (founder of the first church about the year
1727, at a place called Perquimans, on Chowan river), Parker,
and Sojourner, and other preachers who were raised up in
•the parts, so many were brought to embrace their sentiments
that they, by about the year 1752, had increased to sixteen
These churches had an annual interview, or yearly meeting,
in which they inspected or regulated the general concern of
their community. These people were all General Baptists,
and those of them who emigrated from England came out
from that community there.
Although this people maintained a strict adherence to Bap-
tist principles, so far as baptism was concerned, yet in process
of time they fell into a loose and neglectful manner as to their
rules of church discipline, and so continued until more ortho-
dox opinions and a more rigid economy in their ecclesiastical
affairs were introduced among them, etc."
Kev. John Gano was sent into the Southern States, in the
year 1754, by the Philadelphia Association, to instruct and
reform the people who had fallen into the undesirable condi-
tion mentioned above. There were other gentlemen who as-
sisted him, but I here intend to refer only to one particular
On Mr. Gano's arrival he sent to the ministers, requesting
an interview with them, which they declined, and appointed a
meeting among themselves to consult what to do. Mr. Gano,
hearing of it, went to their meeting, and addressed them in
words to this effect: ^I have desired a visit from you, which,
as a brother and a stranger, I had a right to expect, but as
ye have refused, I give up my claim and come to pay you a
visit.' With that, he ascended into the pulpit and read for his
text the following words: ^ Jesus, I know, and Paul, I know,
but who are ye V This text he managed in such a manner as
to make some afraid of him, and others ashamed of their shy-
ness. Many were convinced of errors touching faith and con-
version, and submitted to examination, etc.
By the labors of Mr. Gano and others a great work was
effected among this people, which consisted not merely in the
important business of reforming their creed and purifying their
churches, but also in reviving the power of Godliness amongst
the erroneous and lukewarm professors, and in the conviction
and conversion of others.
The Kehukee Association, which bears the date of 1765,
was organized at Kehukee Creek and from there spread over
the country. The churches of which this Association was first
composed, according to Burket and Kead, who wrote its his-
tory in 1803, were, besides the one from which it was named,
those called Toisnot, Falls of Tar River, Fishing Creek, Eeedy
Creek, Sandy Kun, and Camden. For many years this was a
very efficient and prosperous community; a considerable num-
ber of its ministers were among the most able and active in
ISTorth Carolina, and its bounds were so greatly enlarged that
in twenty-five years it had increased to sixty-one churches, and
upward of 5,000 members. The churches were situated in the
counties of Halifax, Edgecombe, Martin, Washington, Pitt,
Beaufort, Carteret, Hyde, Tyrrell, Currituck, Camden, etc.,
according to the Minutes of this ancient body which bears the
date of 1842.
Very few Presbyterians lived in Edgecombe during the
early days and the evidences I have on this point are parts of
the Journal, or diary, of Eev. Hugh McAden (sometimes
spelled McCadden) : * * *
"Being sent for, and very earnestly entreated to go to Tar
Kiver, I took my journey the same evening, with my guide,
and rode to Bogan's, on Tar River, twenty miles. Next morn-
ing, set off again, and rode to old Sherman's, on Tar River,
and preached that afternoon to a small company, who seemed
generally attentive, and some affected."
Next day he went to Grassy Creek, sixteen miles, where was
a Baptist meeting house, and preached to a people Vho seemed
very inquisitive about the way of Zion.' The next day he
accompanied his host, old Mr. Lawrence, to Fishing Creek, to
the Baptist Yearly Meeting; and on Saturday and Sunday
preached to large and deeply interested audiences. * * *
On Tuesday, April 13th, 1755, he set out homeward, and rode
twenty miles, to Mr. Toole's, on Tar River, etc.
No Jews are mentioned in the different sources and Roman
Catholics would have found the district unwelcome, to say the
least, because the Papists, as they are called in the Colonial
Records, were intensely hated by the Protestant denominations
One can easily imagine the narrowness and bigotry of the
early settlers by reading the many stories of cruelty contained
in the sources.
Quakers were declared undesirable citizens because they re-
fused to bear arms, their very peaceable ways appeared to affect
their neighbors most unpleasantly, and the very qualities a
citizen to-day most admires in a fellowman were frowned down
upon by the spirit of the age.
Gradually, intolerance gave way to tolerance, and unenlight-
enment to enlightenment, under the steady advance of the
school teacher, who has done more than any one else for the
progress of North Carolina. He has prepared the way for the
newspaper which now reaches the remotest corners of the
State, and which, year by year, raises its readers to an intel-
lectual height undreamed of by our ancestors.
The present day citizen of Edgecombe sits in happiness and
peace "under his own vine and fig tree," and on the Sabbath
worships God in his own way.
"Equal rights to all, special privileges to none," stands as the
Palladium of every true American, and how feelingly do the
public school children of all denominations unite in singing:
"My country, 'tis of thee.
Sweet land of Liberty."
EarlB History of Edgecomhe.
Dr. Jeremiah Battle, a native of Edgecombe, prepared in the
year 1812, a full and interesting, statistical and historical, ac-
count of the county, which he presented first to the local "Agri-
cultural Society," and then sent to the "Editors of the Star."
In this article, entitled "The County of Edgecombe in 1810,"
the writer gives the following opinion as to the advent of the
"When the county was first settled cannot be well ascertained
from any documents here, but it was probably prior to the year
1726, the oldest land patents we have met with bearing this
date, as the first settlement of the continent commenced at the
mouth's of rivers, so these interior settlements commenced at
the mouths of creeks, progressing upwards as the natives gave
ground. At the mouth of Town creek, it is believed, was the
first settlement of the county. The site of Tarboro and its
vicinity were settled at an early period.''
In the Colonial Records 1 find that several patents were
issued for grants of land in Edgecombe precinct during the
year 1735, and a few during the preceding year, but one must
not infer that these were issued to the first settlers, for prior
to 1733, Edgecombe was a part of Bertie, and whatever grants
were made to those who lived in this district before the latter
date received their lands as residents of Bertie, so it is extremely
difficult, if not impossible, to determine when and where the
pioneers of our county located their initial settlement.
At a Council held at the Court House in Bertie Precinct on
Friday, October 17th, 1735, matters which may throw light
on our early history came up for deliberation before the Hon-
orable Board of the Royal Colony of North Carolina, namely:
* * ^ * * * ^ ^^ReadthePetitionof the Inhabitants of Tar
River, setting forth that they are 20 families in number. That
Simon Jeffries, Dec'ed, obtained in his own and in his son
Osborn's name three Patents for 1,000 Acres of Land on said
River, the Warrants for which have been so run out as to take
in 15 miles on the said River.
"That the Orphan of one Boyd hath a purchase Patent for
7,000 Acres of Land beginning on Town Creek, which will
take in most of their Settlements.
"That one of the Pollocks has purchased patents for 5 Sur-
veys and Town Creek and several others lay claim thereto tho
they never made any settlements.
"That your Petitioners have been at great charge in culti-
vating and improving the aforesaid Lands and have the late
Governor Burrington's Warrants for the Lands whereon they
"Therefore most humbly pray that the aforesaid Jeffrys'
Land and the Lands held bv Purchase Patents be resurveved.
"Whereupon his Excellency, the Governor, by and with the
advice of his Majesty's Council, was pleased to order that Mr.
.\ttorney-General doth forthwith Enter a Prosecution against
the several patentees mentioned in the aforesaid Petition in
his Majesty's Court of Exchequer."
North Carolina was inundated with a steady stream of immi-
grants during the pre-Revolutionary period and Edgecombe re-
ceived her full share of the newcomers, many of whom came
To quote again from Dr. Battle: "The princii)al ^object of
the first settlers' appears to have been the enjoyment of ease
and idleness; and there is not, perhaps, a spot in the State
where a mere subsistance was, and still is, more easily procured
than here. The chief, and almost entire occupation was hunt-
ing and rearing stock, which consisted principally of horses and
cattle. The former ran wild, and were pursued and taken by
stratagem when necessity required ; cattle were esteemed of
more value, and were kept gentle, but subsisted through the
year without feeding, except cows and calves. Agriculture was
scarcely thought of. The settlers were much of their time un-
der the necessity of eating meat without bread; a horse and
plow served a whole neighborhood."
Although the colonists were, by nature, ^'docile, peaceable,
and easily governed," still they did not hesitate to assert their
rights, as evidenced by their boldness in resisting royal au-
thority on several occasions.
A case in point happened soon after Governor Johnston put
an end to the Legislature for its failure to uphold him in the
collection of Quit Rents at unlawful places.
Some months thereafter, in 1737, according to \Vm. L. Saun-
ders, Col. Rec, Vol. IV., Prefatory Xotes, pp. xvi and
xvii, at the General Court at Edenton, a man was im-
prisoned for insulting the marshal in the execution of his
office during the sitting of the Court, and the people of Bertie
and Edgecombe precincts, hearing that he was imprisoned about
his quit rents, rose in arms to the number of 500, and marched
within five miles of the town, intending to rescue him by force,
in the meantime cursing the King and uttering a great many
rebellious speeches. By this time the man had made his peace
with the Court, and the crowd learning the truth, dispersed
without doing any mischief, tlireatening, however, ^^the most
cruel usage to such persons as durst come to demand any quit
lents of them for the future," and the Governor goes on to say
further, "how to quell them I cannot tell if they should at-
tempt an insurrection against next collection."
It may interest the present citizens of Edgecombe to kno^v
what Johnston's estimate of their ancestors amounted to, and
I, therefore, add two more sentences from his pen : "The people
seem here to be persuaded that they may do what they
please, and that they are below the notice of the King and
his ministers, which makes them highly insolent. They never
were of any service to the Lords Proprietors, and if something
is not speedily done to convince them that his Majesty will
not be so used, I am afraid they will be of as little profit to the
It was my purpose, at the outset, to confine myself strictly
to earliest settlers of our county, but in the course of this
article I found that a somewhat general presentation of colonial
affairs was necessary. I have, however, succeeded in connect-
ing Edgecombe directly with all the events mentioned and my
readers can rest assured that the above facts were taken from
unimpeachable sources, so far as I have been able to learn.
In my opinion the history of our county should be taught
in the local public schools. For this reason it is imperative that
a good, readable account of our past should be prepared by one
of our older citizens, many of whom are capable of the task, and
who ever undertakes this laudable work will earn the everlast-
ing gratitude of posterity.
A Tarborean's Experience Abroad.
ExiN^ Province Posen^ Prussia, July 20, 1899.
To THE Editor of the Southerner:
For the benefit of your readers who have not had the pleasure
of crossing the ocean, I will tell some of the chief incidents
of our trip from the morning we left ISTew York harbor up to
the present writing.
We sailed from the Iforth German Lloyd pier on July 4th.
Our ship. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, the largest and fastest
boat in the world, had nineteen hundred persons on board.
Thousands stood on the wharf to witness the departure, and, as
the boat slowly backed out into mid-stream, a mighty shout
a[ went up from the assembled hosts on shore, which was answered
by those on board, the ship's band adding spice to this outburst
of American enthusiasm by playing one of Sousa's stirring
marches. Even after the shouting could no longer be heard we
could see the crowd waving their handkerchiefs and small
uimerican flags until we lost sight of them. The scene was one
never to be forgotten and one which has to be seen in order to be
appreciated fully. After passing out of the harbor the pilot
left us and then began the voyage across the broad Atlantic.
No one in our party was seasick at any time during the seven
days we spent on the water. The trip was most remarkable, as
there was not a single rough day, and the boat succeeded in
breaking her own record from shore to shore. She arrived,
however, several hours late at her first port, Cherbourg, France,
on account of a fog in the English Channel which caused the
ship to go one hundred miles out of its course and spoiled our
chances of becoming famous, because, under favorable condi-
tions, the fastest record eastward would have been broken by
five hours. The fog came near causing our vessel to share the
fate of the Paris. The ofiicers of the ship had lost their bear-
ings and were surprised all of a sudden by seeing rocks ahead.
The boat immediately turned around and put off as quickly as
possible. In four minutes more we would have been wrecked.
Very few of the passengers learned of this imtil some hours
afterward, and all the excitement had then passed away.
France was the first country of Europe whose shores I be-
held. The picture before me was the most beautiful that I had
ever seen or have seen since. Instead of the low-lying, barren
lands along the coast of the United States, the country is ele-
vated and cultivated down to the water's edge. The farms are
regular and hedged off from one another by bushes. In a cove
lies the city of Cherbourg. Oldtime fortifications with old-
fashioned cannon protect the harbor. Some of the fortifications
are built on surrounding islands and, as the ship passed them,
we could see French soldiers on the breast-works. The placid
bay dotted with small sails, the blue sky overhead, the old city
with its fortifications, with a background of perfect green
made up the picture. After we left Cherbourg, we touched at
Southampton, but it was too dark to make any observations.
The trip from Southampton to Bremen was a lonesome day, be-
cause so many passengers had disembarked that the big ship
seemed deserted. After a great deal of trouble we arrived in
Bremen at ten minutes to one A. M. ^o one on the ship
seemed to be able to give us any information whether we could
get accommodations the night of our arrival. We took chances
on receiving our baggage and went ashore. Our hand-satchels
were examined at the wharf. The custom-house ofScers were
not rigid with us, but the preparation for the examination was
trying, as so many pieces of baggage had to be inspected. We
went to a hotel with the crowd and found that there were no
rooms to be had, so other quarters had to be sought after, al-
though the night was far gone. We saw a hotel called Eng-
lische Hof and went in. The clerk seemed very excited because
he had some patrons and moved about like a busy man. We
told him what we wanted and he immediately ran to a black-
board. Then he drew chalk marks through some figures which
were the numbers of our rooms to be, and arrangements were
There is no such thing as a hotel register in Germany. All
one has to do is to come into a hotel, ask for a room and the
next minute he is ascending the steps, that is, if there are rooms
to be had. We asked the clerk why the hotel was called an
English Hotel w^hen no one gpoke English. He replied that it
was the head w^aiter who spoke English. Next morning we dis-
covered that the head waiter knew three English words. Our
trunks w^ere found soon after breakfast We had them in-
spected and sent by express to Berlin. If they had gone by
freight, I don't believe we ever would have received them. My
advice to a tourist in Europe is not to take a trunk along. The
Germans are slow and good-natured people. One must let them
take their time.
After attending to our baggage w^e took a drive through Bre-
men. The first part of the drive was spent inspecting a large
park, the ^^legend'' of which w^as related to us by the coachman.
He was our guide, so we had to take his word for everything.
He spoke in German, but translated into English, his words
were about as follows : "There was once a man who had both
legs cut off, he crawled over this ground and died, and all tlie
ground that he crawled over was made into a park." You can
take both the story and the wording for what it is worth. T
will say, however, that we saw^ in this park a statue of the legles*
man. Bremen is an ancient looking town, but some of the new
buildings would do honor to our large cities.
From Bremen we went to Berlin on the Express. In German
it is called the Schnell Zug. We were shut up into a compart-
ment, but it is an advantage over an American train, in that
you can make yourself as comfortable as if you were in your
o^^^l room. 'Ko one else can get into your compartment ex-
cept through the door on the side of the car. Every com-
partment has a door on each side, so that a train can be
emptied three times as fast as it is in America. At every
station the passengers jumped out, drank a glass of beer, ate a
sandwich, and waited for the conductor's whistle to get on
board again. To me this kind of railroad traveling seemed
like child's play. In fact, the whole train, engine and cars, are
midgets beside ours. But, as I said before, the German leads
a life of ease. If he couldn't eat and drink all day, life would
not be worth living. Six hours' traveling put us in Berlin. We
hired a cab and drove to the hotel. At the door we were received
in state by a number of hotel officials. It afterwards turned out
that their extreme goodness resulted from the anticipation of a
large tip. The greatest evil is the desire among the employees
in any kind of business to get all they can out of a person, espe-
cially if he is an American. I would call it a failing, because
at heart no one is better than a German. Their best quality
is extreme politeness. Mark Twain taught me a lesson which
I put in practice the night after I arrived in Berlin. In his
Tramp Abroad he mentions the following custom prevalent
throughout Germany : "When one sits at a table and a German
wishes to take a seat at the same table, he bows to the one
seated, although they have never seen each other before. Which-
ever person leaves the table first bows to the other, who returns
the courtesy." To return to myself, I will say that the night
following my arrival in Berlin, I was seated at a table in one
of the large beer gardens. (Perhaps the good people of Tarboro
may be shocked at the idea of a beer garden, but custom favors
it, and a German experiences no feeling of impropriety bv
taking his wife and children there to enjoy a pleasant evening.)
Two gentlemen sat down beside me, but not before they had
tipped their hats and wished me good evening. I was not ex-
pecting it, but my quick American mind took in the situation.
so I immediately returned their greeting. I determined to
leave the table when they were busily engaged in conversation^
to see if they would notice it. I waited, arose, and made my
bow. It was very pleasantly returned. A German will go out
of his way to do you a favor. We asked a number of them for
certain streets and the situation of buildings, all of which
questions were not only verbally answered, but in deed, as far
as they could spare the time.
The most interesting palace that we have visited is Sans
Souci. It was here that Frederick the Great spent his summers.
We were shown Voltaire's room, Frederick's library, his art gal-
lery, and the room in which he died. The clock which stopped
at twenty minutes past two, the moment of his death, is in the
room. His death scene is preserved in marble. We also visited
tlie vault in which he lies buried, and stood beside his coffin. We
were then on historic ground, for it was over the ashes of the
Great Frederick that Queen Louisa, her husband. King Fred-
erick William III., of Prussia, and Alexander I., Czar of
Kussia, swore eternal enmity to Xapoleon Bonaparte.
From Berlin we went to Exin, the birthplace of my grand-
mother, where we are at present. It is a small town and a fine
])lace to study Polish -Prussian peasant life. I found that the
Polish-Prussian peasant is as ignorant and slovenly as the
Southern negro. A number of peasants of both sexes were
gathered at the depot on our arrival and blocked our exit from
the train. I shall never forget the rough way in which the
conductor handled one of the women. He gave her a terrible
Mow on the head. My spirit of humanity revolted at the sight,
but I, nevertheless, knew that he was justified, because the only
way to handle the peasants is to treat them like brutes. The
small children looked at us as if we were gods, and examined
our satchels to see where we were from. They caught sight of
our steamer tags and their curiosity was satisfied. The poor
wear wooden shoes and in walking on paved streets they make
a sound like the clattering of horses. On entering my aunt's
house the servant kissed my gramhnother's hand, which is the
custom in this part of Prussia.
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