Skip to main content

Full text of "History and Proceedings of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

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

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

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

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 

•us I 'do U.I 


l^acbarb College Ittrrars 


Delcendanli of HenrT Bright, jr.. who died U VVater- 
Uiwn. Mus.. in i<J%, art en Jtled to hold tchnIanliiM in 
Hirrard College, eitabliihed in iSSo under the will of 

riT WilUiem, Mui., wilh one half the income of thii 
L^fin, Such desceDdantB rBilingi other penons are 
eligible to the gchnlnrships. The will requira Ihit 

" Id the Ubnry uni^t [U provliioni. 




PocuMTucK Valley 

Memorial Association 






I » 


•'>■ -nv'r.tvt .{ 



Volume IV of the History and Proceedings of the Pocumtuck 
Valley Memorial Association is herewith submitted to your 
charitable consideration. It has been edited and published 
under a vote of the Association at the Annual Meeting of 1904. 

The material for these volumes grows more abimdant with 
the passing years. Vol. I covered ten years, 1870-79; Vol. II 
from 1880 to 1889, ten years; Vol. Ill eight years, 1890-98; 
Vol. IV six years, 1899-1904. 

This volume will be found uniform in character with the pre- 
ceding, and the set makes a very creditable appearance. We 
have not been idle during our thirty-four years of life, and we 
are willing to place our volumes on the shelves of the great li- 
braries, beside the best historical literature in New England. 
Every article is original, written for the Association and read 
before its members. 

The edition is limited to 300 copies. 

Respectfully submitted, 

George Sheldon, 

J. M. Arms Sheldon, ) 


Debrfield, February, 1906. 



! L Annual Meeting, 1899, 1-57 

I Biograpbioal Sketch of Robert Orawford, D. D., Craw- 

I ford — ^Poem, Starr — ^Messengers of War and Peace, 

I Thompson — New Tracks in an Old Trail, Sheldon — 

, Ethan Allen and His Daughter, Baker. 

II. Field Meeting, 1899, Charlemont, 58-79 

J Address of Welcome, Clark — Response, Sheldon — Ad- 

dress, Whiting — Address, Eellogg — ^Poem, Maxwell. 
I m. Annual Meeting, 1900, 80-114 

Letter, Alexander — ^Report of Curator, Sheldon — ^A 
j Puritan Foremother, Smith — Poem, Snow — Capt. 

Agrippa Wells, Thompson — Broom Com Industry, 
Jones — Reminiscent Letter, Sheldon. 
IV. Field Meeting, 1900, Gill, 115-151 

Address of Welcome and Presentation of Land, 
Stoughton — ^Response, Capt. William Turner, Shel- 
don — Indian War Conditions, Buell — Addresses, Law- 
rence, Holton, Parsons. 
V. Annual Meeting, 1901, 152-191 

Report of Treasurer, John Sheldon — ^Reports of Pub- 
lishing Committee and Curator, Sheldon — Extracts 
from the Diary of Gen. Epaphras Hoyt, Williams — 
' Hoosac Tunnel, Parsons — Necrology, Jonathan John- 

son, Thompson — Nathaniel Hitchcock, Finch — Eben 
A. Hall, Fessenden — Franklin J. Pratt, Potter — Mary 
P. Wentworth, Stebbins. 
VL Field Meeting— Old Home Week, 1901, 192-231 

' (Sunday, a. m.), Address, SoDey — Letter, Starr — Dedi- 

cation of Willard Tablet— Hymn, Willard— Dr. Sam- 
f uel Willard, Park. 

1 (Sunday, p. k.), The Old Meetinghouses of Deerfield, 

I Sheldon — Hymn, Mary Willard — life of Edward 

Hitchcock, Hitchcock — New England's History, Bar- 
ber — The Old Home Spirit, Pratt — Indian Trails, 
Charles Barnard — Address, SoUey. 


iy Contents. 

(Tnesday), Historic Bide and Dedication of Barnard 
Monument; Address^ William L. Barnard — Poem, 
Ghampney — Address, Starr — ^Lamentable Ballad of 
Bloody Brook, Hale — Address, A His, 
Vn. (Wednesday,) Field Meeting, 232-271 

Address of Welcome, Thompson — ^Report of the Com- 
mittee on Memorial Stones, J. M. Arms Sheldon — 
Address, Barber — Pocomtuck Valley in the World's 
Arena, Winship. Dedication of the Jonathan Wells 
Monument by the Ohildren ; Beport^ John P. Ashley 
— Ode, Sheldon — ^Address, Smith — ^Ballad, Arms ; Let- 
ters, Hoar, Sazton — Addresses, Barnard, Orawford, 
Exhibition of Arts and drafts — ^Three Deerfield Even- 

ings, 272-282 

Vm. Annual Meeting, 1902, 283-829 

Report of Curator, Sheldon — Necrology, Solon L. 
Newton, Lamb— P. Voorhees Finch, Beid — ^Address, 
Baker — Address, Thompson. 
IX. Annual Meeting, 1903, 830-378 

Beport of Treasurer, John Sheldon — ^Beport of Cura- 
tor, Sheldon — Necrology, Albert C. Parsons and Jar- 
yis B. Bardwell, Parsons — Charles Jones and Luther 
Joshua Barker Lincoln, Sheldon — Parson Leavitt Vin- 
dicated, William H. Leavitt — Adventures of Baptiste, 
Baker— Journal of Capt. Nathaniel Dwight, Sheldon. 
X. Field Meeting, 1903, Deerfield, 379-423 

Keynote of the Day, Sheldon — Address of Welcome, 
Parsons — ^Historical Address, Grosvenor — ^Dedicatory 
Address, Whiting — ^Inscriptions — Address in the Old 
Graveyard, Baker — Addresses, Boe, Lord, Denio, Ap- 
pleton, Corss, Bolton, Bauer, Haskins. 
XI. Annual Meeting, 1904, 424r-483 

Beport of Curator, Sheldon — ^Necrology, John E. Rus- 
sell, Sheldon — J. W. Champney, Coleman — James M. 
Crafts, Crafts — ^Zeri Smith, Haskell — A. B. Stebbins, 
Stebbins — John M. Smith, Montague — Adventures of 
Baptiste, Baker — The Teachings of American History 
Applied to the Present, Atkins. 
XII. Officers and Members of the Association, 485 

XIII. Index, 498 



It was the same picturesque, quaint, interesting event — ^the 
annual meeting of the Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial Association, 
which was held at Old Deerfield, Tuesday afternoon, Febru- 
ary 28. The same in general characteristics, as the twenty-nine 
preceding meetings — the same in the olden-time flavor and 
antiquarian charm that makes these meetings unique. Both in the 
old Idtchen of Memorial Hall where the veritable and venerable 
antiquarians, with their gray, or graying heads, and their goodly, 
quiet cheer, assemble during the afternoon, and in the town- 
hall where supper and papers fill in the time from early candle- 
light until along towards night's meridian — ^there were the 
familiar, &scinating scenes. Interest in these meetings seems 
not to wane. This is, doubtless, owing much to the personality 
of Yice-President Francis M. Thompson who, foUowing in the 
lines of the older generation of Hon. Geo. Sheldon and Nathan- 
iel Hitchcock, is yet cementing, as must needs be, the old and 
the new, so that the interest will not die out in the period which 
is just now at hand when some of the founders are fading, a bit, 
from the possibility of their one-time activity. 

That Deerfield people have unchanging interest in this, their 
memorial institution, is shown by their unchanging hospitality 
to all those who attend from out of the town, and, also, by the 
excellent supper provided and served by the women. The sup- 
per has never been better than this year, and from the notably 
good coffee to Mrs. Ball's sponge cake, it was calculated to con- 
flict somewhat with the prime purpose of the meeting — ^in mak- 
ing one think intently of the present instead of the past. 

^Tha *' Reports,** as Id YoIb. 1-111, are generally those of the news- 
papers of the day. These show the spirit of the times and the drift <^ 
pabUo sentiment.— Bditob. 

1 (1) 

S Ammt4d Meeting— 1899. 

A pTticolariy plenrint put <rf the ereoiiig i iiaf i Ung wis ^be 
msme by angers in oostome <tf the olden time — ^men, womea 
and girls. They all became tbear oostomes — and the cnrtaBias 
became theoL They comi^eted a most interesting andi^easing 
stage picture. Back of the jiBtlonn was hong the cid, old 
battle-flag. In front were straight-bad^ <dd diairB wb^re sat 
thesing^v, before whom was an aged little taUe on which wore 
two candles in antiquated stidcs. They wore, {vesoitly, trim- 
med by one of the bonneted visitors from the past One in 
costume presided at the piano. The mnsic was very pleasant 
and «i joyed by alL The songs were ^ New Jerosalem," ^ Old 
Hundred " and Sharbume's ^ Cousin Jedediah." 

The venerable GeOTge Sheldcm, president of the society, was 
not present, though he almost seemed to be there, — so integral 
a part of all that is Deerfieklian and antiquarian have his figure 
and personality become. But the aged Nathaniel Hitchoodc, 
the society's recording secretary, was there, and had many 
greetings from his friends. 

At the business meeting held in the old kitchai in the after- 
noon, Yioe-President Thompson presiding, the following oflKoers 
were elected : 

President : Oeorge Sheldon of Deerfield. 

Yice-Presidents : Francis M. Thompson of Ghreenfield ; J<dm 
M. Smith of Sund^land. 

Beccmiing Secretary : Nathaniel Hitchcock of Deerfield. 

Corresponding Secretary : Herbert C. Parsons of Greenfield. 

Treasurer : Nathaniel Hitchcock. 

Assistant Treasurer : John Sheldon of Greenfield. 

Members of Council: Chaiies Jones, Almon C. Williams, 
Robert Childs, Eunice E. Huntington, Mary P. Wentworth, 
Deerfield ; Eugene A. Newcomb, Avice S. Arms, Eben A. Hall, 
Greenfield; G. W. Horr, Athol; John E. Russell, Leicester; 
Henry M. Phillips, Springfield; John W. Hoyt, Cincinnati^ 
Ohio ; Charles Corss, Lock Haven, Pa. ; Henry W. Taft, Pitts- 
field ; Samuel Carter, Brooklyn, N. T. 

A committee of arrangements for the next field day, which 
will probably be held in Charlemont, was elected as follows : — 
Mrs. Kate Upson Clark of Brooklyn, N. T., Rev. Dr. Lyman 
Whiting of Charlemont, Mrs. Lucy Cutler Kellogg, Jonathan 
Johnson and E. A. Newcomb of Greenfield, W. L. Harris and 
J. H. Stebbins of Deerfield. The committee of publication was 

Annual Meeting — 1899. 8 

authorized to publish the third volmne of the proceedings of 
the Association. A number of gifts were made, among them a 
piece of wood from the old Stone house at Greenfield, a copy 
of the address by Whiting Oriswold at the opening of court 
in the remodeled courthouse in Greenfield, March 18, 1873; 
a copy of the trial of Prof. John W. Webster for the murder of 
Dr. George Parkman, presented by Major H. Tyler of Green- 
field ; a letter written in 1845 by President Hitchcock of Am- 
herst College to a lyceum committee of Quaboag Seminary at 
Warren, of which George W. Horr, now of Athol, was chair- 
man. The letter, which was presented by Mr. Horr, is the 
quaint old kind of those days before stamps or envelopes had 
come into being. Mr. Horr also presented a business letter he 
received in 1854, while he had his office in Brooklyn, N. T., 
from William H. Seward. Kev. Lyndon S. Crawford of Tre- 
bizond, Turkey, read a paper giving extracts of the story of the 
life of his father, Eev. Dr. Bobert Crawford, for many years 
pastor of the White church in Deerfield. 

After the supper by early candlelight had ended, the evening 
meeting was opened with prayer by Bev. Andrew Campbell. 
The first paper was one on " Old-time Advertising," by Edward 
Branch Lyman of Greenfield. The old-time singers, under the 
charge of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Ashley, then gave one of their 
selections and Bev. Lyndon S. Crawford read the poem which 
had been written for the occasion by Eliza A. Starr. Vice- 
President Thompson, introducing Miss C. Alice Baker of Cam- 
bridge, who read an interesting paper on ^^ Ethan Allen and his 
Daughter," gave a short, well turned, paper on ^^ Messengers of 
War and Messengers of Peace." The last paper of the evening 
was one by President George Sheldon, entitled " New Tracks 
in an Old TraiL" It was read by his son, John Sheldon of Green- 

An/ntuU Meeiinff — 1899. 


Dr. Robert Crawford was bom on November 24, 1804, at 
Paisley, Scotland. He was the third child of James and Jane 
(Eennedy) Crawford, she being the daughter of Douglass Ken- 
nedy, from the isle of Arran. His early life was spent in Scot- 
land and his memories of the European wars, and especially of 
the battle of Waterloo, are interesting. From his grandmother 
he learned the feeling of many of the people there in regard to 
the American Revolution, and of the sharp reproof she gave to 
one of the soldiers who exclaimed, as he was marching away : 
^^ I will never come back from that war till I wash my hands in 
Washington's heart's blood." She, who was a sympathizer with 
the Americans, immediately retorted : ^^ Then, lad, you will never 
come back." It was the custom among the Paisley weavers to 
possess themselves of all the new books and papers they could 
find, and as they sat at their looms weaving, to appoint a reader 
while the others listened and discussed the religious or political 
questions of the hour. As a result of this discussion and thought, 
it is not surprising that boys, brought up in this atmosphere, 
developed into scholars and men of literary note. 

When young Robert was sixteen his fainily, with a number of 
their neighbors, emigrated to Canada. They were assisted by 
the British government in this undertaking. Theirs was a 
pioneer life in the new world, entering and clearing the primeval 
forest and building their log huts and so establishing the town 
of Lanark, upper Canada. 

Near the close of that year (1821) his oldest sister Marrion 
was married to Archibald McTaggart. The journal records 
the wedding as follows : 

"There was no minister nearer than Perth, twenty miles 
from us, and my father, the two McTaggart brothers, my sister 
and myself went there to the marriage, going on foot one day, 
and coming back the next." 

The journal tells of the meetings held from house to house 
until " after some considerable time a small log church building 
was erected. ... I may here state that the first formal ser- 
mon I preached was in that little log building. When Mr. 
Smith, the minister, invited me, I hesitated saying, ^ O I I cannot 

Address hy JS&o. Lyndon 8. Orawford. 6 

preach.' I was then a sophomore m college, and was there on a 
Tisit to my family. After I had preached, and the service was 
over, I remember he said to me— ^ Noo Bobert^ ye manna say 
again ye canna preach.' 

My text on that occasion was 1 John 4: 19, ^ We love ELim 
because He first loved us.' " 

It was after they had become somewhat settled and young 
Robert could be spared from home that two opportunities offered 
themselves to him, one of becoming derk and liquor-seller on a 
river steamer, or that of a common workman in digging a canal 
around the Long Sault rapids. He chose the latter, a fact which 
gave him great pleasure and satisfaction in later years as he re- 
viewed his life. It was while on his way home from this canal 
that he and his companion saw at a farmhouse a very old man 
whom they afterwards learned was the great explorer McEenzie, 
whose name is preserved in the McKenzie river. In May, 1826, 
he said good-by to his Canada home and family, and though 
he had the pleasure of seeing other members of his family, this 
was his final good-by to his father, who died before he visited 
Canada again. 

From that time till 1832 he was employed as a weaver in the 
cotton mills of Hoosick Falls, I^. Y., and North Bennington, 
Vt. The son of the owner of the mill, young Thomas Gordon, 
a student in Williams College, revived in young Crawford's soul 
the thirst for knowledge which as a smaU boy he had imbibed 
in the little schools in Scotland. A visit to his mother about 
this time, in which she reminded him that he had been dedicated 
to the gospel ministry when he was born, resulted in his leaving 
the factories and, after preparing himself by studying nights 
and mornings, he was able to enter Williams College, where he 
was graduated in 1836, when he was nearly 32 years of age. 
During his college course he taught several terms in Bennington, 
North Adams, Charlemont and Zoar, and had his first ride on a 
railroad from Albany to Saratoga. This was during the summer 
of 1833. The journal says : ^' The cars seemed to be the bodies 
of the old stages set on car wheels." It was in 1834, during the 
visit to Canada referred to above that he interested a number 
of young men in the matter of an education, and six of these 
afterwards became ministers. His theological course was taken 
in Princeton (N. J.) Seminary and in the Union Seminary at 
Kew York^ It was while a tutor in Williams College that he 

6 Annual MeeUng— 1699. 

became engaged to Hiss Ellen Griflbi, daughter of his former 
ooUege president, to whom he was married September 30, 1840. 
He had been ordained at North Adams, August 20 preceding, 
and continued for 15 years the pastor of the Congregational 
church of that place. It was there that their seven children 
were born, and it is there that three of them died. Two years 
were spent in a parish near Chester, Pa. A northern minister 
was not welcome there at that time, but when he came to look 
for a northern parish some doors were shut against him because 
he was hailing from the South. Old Deerfield, however, was 
glad to welcome him, and he was settled over the Orthodox 
Congr^ational church January 12, 1858, where he remained 
in active service until the death of his wife in 1881. He re- 
mained pastor emeritus until his death in 1896, and was very 
thankful to be able to preach frequently up to very near the end 
of his life. 

He was upon the school committee of Deerfield for many 
years. In July, 1861, he succeeded Bev. J. F. Moors, on the 
removal of the latter to Greenfield as President of the Board of 
Trustees of Deerfield Academy and was successively elected to 
that office until 1888. He was the chief agent in the recovery 
of the ** Old Indian House Door," from Dr. Slade of Newton, 
its holder and owner. On its return to Deerfield a board of 
trustees was organized for its care, of which he was president. 
When the P. Y. M. Association was formed and an act of in- 
corporation asked for, the five trustees signed the petition and 
bec^one charter members. Soon after, the old door was form- 
ally transferred to the new Association. It is now a great cen- 
ter of attraction in your ^^ Indian Boom." He was a member 
of most of the important committees engaged in the prelimi- 
nary work of settUng the Association in its present quarters. 
He was the first corresponding secretary and continued in that 
. office thirteen years ; he was a member of the council for six 


In the fall of 1862 he was nominated for the state senate. 
No one was more surprised than he when the nomination came 
to him, for apparently there had been no previous mention of 
his name. When his young daughter told him that he had been 
nominated, ^^ I answered her rather sharply, thinking that for 
some cause or other she was, as the children say, ' fooling me.' " 

At this period one wrote of him : ^^ He is a good Christian, 

Address by Bev, Lyndon S. Oravrford. 7 

kind-hearted, intelligent, trusty, affable man, just what every 
legislator ought to be. We intend to vote for him and be 
thankful we have so good a man to receive our vote." 

Commenting on this in his diary, Dr. Crawford writes : ^^ This 
is a pretty good set-off, rather fulsome for a man to read about 
himself, but just such things politicians like and are accustomed 
to." He talked of declining, but his deacons and parishioners 
requested him to remain in the field. After the election Dr. 
Crawford made this entry in his diary : ^^ Well, the ordeal is 
past. Election came Tuesday of this week and I was elected a 
Massachusetts senator for this district, a high honor many 
would doubtless esteem it ; and I feel grateful certainly, yet 
humbled. In the common phrase, I ran far ahead of my ticket, 
showing that I had more than my own party votes ; and it is 
pleasant to feel that one stands well, not only as a party man, 
but with others also. But I mean to keep in mind Uiat I am a 
minister of the gospel and must maintain my character as such, 
if I am a senator. Gkxi give me grace to do so always." 

Dr. Crawford then gives a description of a reception in Deer- 
field, when Sev. Mr. Hosmer, who had enlisted as a private in 
the Fifty-second, was presented with a silver-mounted pistoL 
The Fifty-second had been encamped on Potty's Plain. On Tues- 
day, November 20, 1862, Dr. Crawford made this entry : ** A 
drizzly, unpleasant day and a gloomy one for many of our people. 
Our boys in blue broke camp today at 2 o 'clock p. m., and 
marched to the depot, where a long train of cars awaited them 
and on which they made their start for the seat of war. With 
all the pageantry of the occasion, there were many tears shed, 
many hearts ached. With not a few of those brave fellows it 
was their last parting with friends here. They were never to 
return again from the cruel but patriotic errand on which they 
were going. Two days before I had visited them, and distrib- 
uted to each from our community, a copy of the New Testa- 
ment and Psalms." 

The following anecdote finely iUustrates a salient feature in 
his kindly character : 

During his last years, while in Clinton, Conn., at the home 
of his oldest daughter, Mrs. Emerson, on his daily walks he fre- 
quently met and chatted with two little girls. They never 
knew bis name but they knew that be must be ^' Somebody's 
Grandpapa." And when he died Oct. 26, 1896, and the " Colo- 

8 Anivual Meeting — 1899. 

nial Express," which did not usoally stop at Clinton, did stop 
(me day to take his body on to Newark, N. J., those little girls 
ran into the hoose and said '^ Somebody's Grandpapa is dead 
but he was such a good man, they did n't put him in the ground 
but the Express Train stopped and took him on and took him 
clear to Heaven." 



Where sunshine rests from dawn to set of sun, 
Where wilding roses bloom, not asking care, 

The ancient tomh-stones leaning, moss o'er grown, 
The story tell of town and village fair; 

Of town and village in the far-off time 
When copse and hedge held, oft, a wily foe, 

And stealthy feet would o'er the meadows glide 
Nor leave a trace upon the frozen snow; 

Of August days, ere morning dews were dry, 
And tender mists along the hillsides clung; 

Yet still the story is of death and blood. 
Of noble deeds by blazing firesides sung. 

And ours the fruitage, ours the sweet reward 
Of daimtless courage, patient aims that rose 

Above the tidal line of selfish gains. 
Above the loud laments o'er selfish woes. 

Lift not the sod upon those ancient graves; 

Raise not a stone a-lean with honored years; 
This is no place for renovating hand — 

A place, alone, for venerating tears. 

Agam I stand in this horizon's round 
Of melting loveliness; the August skies, 

That brought my birth, bend gently o'er the scene 
To memory sacred and long cherished ties; 

Its story of the village and the town 

Set to the music of the noble waves 
That flow beneath. Beloved Pocumtuck, guard, 

With your strong current, my ancestral graves. 

MessengeTB of War and Messengers of Peace. 9 




On the last Tuesday of February, 1703-04, there arrived be- 
fore the palisades of the little frontier hamlet of Deerfield, mes- 
sengers of war, sent forth by Vaudreuil, the governor of New 
France, under the command of Hertel de Rouville, consisting 
of 200 Frenchmen and 142 Indians. The people of Pocumtuck 
will ever remember the nature and the results of this message 
of war : — ^but let us forget for a moment, if we can, the devilish 
work of these messengers, who claimed to march under the 
banner of the Prince of Peace ; forget the fiendish murder of 
innocent women and children ; the scalping-knife and the bloody 
hatchet; the torch and the flame; — and think only of the 
daring bravery and the wonderful hardihood of these men who 
had undertaken and accomplished the long and perilous journey, 
in the midst of winter's snow and ice, through the pathless 
forests which then stretched unbroken from the Connecticut to 
the St. Lawrence river ; and imagine the depth of devotion of 
these fanatics to their country and their king, and their fren- 
zied zeal for their religion so often shown by their intense ha- 
tred of the detested English heretic. 

But brave and daring as were these messengers of war, their 
valor and courage was certainly equaled, if not excelled, by 
those messengers of peace. Ensign John Sheldon and John 
Wells, who, on their errand of mercy, started on the 20th day 
of the following December to traverse these unknown paths to 
Canada, by the way of Albany and the lakes, over that trail 
which 60 years later became the scene of the ^^ Bloody Morn- 
ing ScouV' long to be remembered, and which for a century 
was the great highway of slaughter and of death. 

"Well may the biographer of Ensign Sheldon say: — ^**We 
need not go back to the days of King Arthur for exploits of 
chivalry ; our Colonial history is full of them. This man, long 
past the daring impulses of youth : — this youth, — ^whose life is 
all before him : — show me two braver knights-errant, setting 
out for loftier purposes, or on more perilous pilgrimage." 

10 Annual Mdeting— 1699. 

** Three hundred miles of painful and nnaocnstomed tramp- 
ing on snowHshoes in mid- winter, over mountain and morass ; 
through tangled thickets and snow dogged forests, where with 
fell purpose the cruel savage lurked ; with gun in hand, and 
pack on back, now wading knee deep through some rapid 
stream, now in the face of the fierce north wind toiling over 
the slippery surface of the frozen lake, now shuffling tediously 
along in tiie sodden ice of some half thawed river, digging 
away the drifts at night for his camp ; wet, lame, half famished 
and chilled to the bone, hardly daring to build a fire, — a bit of 
dried meat from his pack for his supper, spruce boughs for his 
bed, crouching there in his blanket his head muffled in the 
hood of his capote, eye and ear alert, his mittened hand grasp- 
ing the hilt of his kiidf e at his belt ; up at daybreak and on 
again, through storm and sleet, pelted by pitiless rains or 
blinded by whirling snow : — what iron will and nerves of steel, 
sound mind and sound body, to dare and do what this man 

Three times did this old Puritan yeoman make this journey to 
search out and recover the English captives, and to a great ex- 
tent through his efforts, it is owing that within a period of 
about eight years, all but thirty of them had been restored to 
their English homes, and of those not accounted for. General 
Hoyt says, ^^They remained in Oanada, mixing with French 
and Indians and adopting their manners and customs, and were 
lost to their friends." 

Nearly two hundred years elapsed, and against the names of 
those almost forgotten ones, whose existence seemed like a 
dream, — stood the record, ^^ Taken captive to Canada, whence 
they came not back again ; ^ when a new messenger of peace, 
a woman, and a scion of that brave old first messenger, skilled 
by education and the art of diplomacy, and by her zeal and 
energy, ^^ iron vnll and nerves of sted, sound mind in sound 
body," in every way fully fitted for her delicate mission, started 
in mid-winter from Pocumtuck valley for Oanada, fully de- 
termined to learn something of the lives of the missing captives. 

Her route is nearly identical with that followed by the 
French army and its prisoners upon their homeward march 
after the sacking of Deerfield, but under what different condi- 
tions. In a palace car, inlaid with foreign woods, beautifully 
upholstered with rich and costly stuffs, heated with steam and 

New Tracks in an Old Trail. 11 

brilliantly lighted, she glides smoothly along, now through some 
beaatif ul village standing where once in the deep wilderness 
her captive relative had shivered in a winter camp ; now over 
some rapid frozen stream throogh whose icy waters the half- 
starved captives had been forced to wade ; then gliding over 
the shining rails in fall view of the long lake over the frozen 
surface of which the poor captives had been compelled to haul 
the loaded sleds of their masters in weakness and despair. She 
makes her journey from Deerfield to Montreal in about twelve 
hours, but the English captives on their memorable march were 
struggling through the wilderness for many weeks. 

The first messengers of peace were met upon their arrival 
with characteristic chivalry by the French governor, with sus- 
picion and jealousy by the Indians, who feared the loss of their 
captives without ransom, and by the Jesuit priests with ill- 
concealed treachery. Their steps were dogged by spies, and 
every obstruction which the government would allow, was placed 
in the way of the accomplishment of their humane mission. 
How different the reception of our later day messenger. Every 
facility for the accomplishment of her purpose was freely ac- 
corded her by priest and people ; the doors of the convents 
thrown open, and old records brought out by the parish priest 
and seardied for memoranda of those ^^ who were taken cap- 
tive to Canada and came not back again." What astonishing 
and wonderful success met the prolonged labor and keen scru- 
tiny of our modem messenger of peace and good will, and the 
good work still goes on, and by those means '^ eighteen of these 
exiles have been accounted for and the records of their lives 
identified." For this work, and for much other in antiquarian 
channels, what a debt of gratitude, love and honor this Associa- 
tion and the people of this valley owe to Charlotte Alice Baker. 



In threshing over old straw which has been a score of times 
under the persistent flail, no great results are to be expected. 
If here and there a few grains hidden away in odd comers, or 
enveloped in thick husks, be discovered, it satisfies any reason* 
able demand. 

12 Annual Meeting— 1899. 

When « The Eedeemed Captive " of Parson John WUliams 
and the ^^ Journal " of his son Stephen are subjected to this pro- 
cess, enough new pigment is found to paint quite an interesting 
little picture of events hitherto lying in the shadow. If nothing 
new of really historic importance appears on the canvas, I 
trust some obscure points have been cleared up and some new 
details of local interest brought to light. It is the purpose of 
this paper to give the results which this new scrutiny of old au- 
thorities has developed, relating to the sacking of Deerfield, 
February 29, 1704 ; to the capturing of Mr. Williams and his 
enforced journey over the snows to Canada, together with that 
of his ten-year old boy. As these narratives have been my 
principal authority, of course nothing can be found herein to 
militate against their contents, but a searching analysis will 
throw a few side lights upon their somewhat disconnected state- 
ments, while a new and interesting historical hypothesis will be 
more or less clearly established, from the words of those most 
nearly concerned, John and Stephen Williams. 

It is well known to careful students of the history of the 
times that the inroad upon Deerfield in 1704 was not a purely mil- 
itary affair. Its object was not to conquer territory to be held 
for France ; it was not to capture a fort which controlled a 
territory necessary for future military operations ; it was not to 
distract an enemy and keep him on the defensive ; it was not to 
reconquer for the valley Indians their old homes or avenge their 
old wrongs, or settle old scores ; it was not to recover prisoners 
taken in a successful foray. It was none of these, nor was it 
any other act of legitimate warfare. What, then, was the ani- 
mus and object of this assault upon peaceful Deerfield ? The 
result of the attack has been too often described to need here 
more than this simple statement: Canadian barbarians were 
brought three hundred miles through the wilderness under the 
conduct of a choice scion of the chivalry of France, and turned 
loose upon a sleeping village to satiate their native love of blood 
and plunder, not only without let or hindrance, but under the 
protection of the French soldiers, ^^ the greatest part standing 
to their Arms ... & killing all they could y* made any re- 
sistence." It nowhere appears that the French were directly 
engaged in breaking open the houses and in killing or taking 
captive the occupants. The French acted apparently only as a 
bodyguard for the Indians in their preliminary work. Later, 

New TraoJcB in a/n Old Trail. 13 

they joined in the attempt to reduce the Benoni Stebbins house, 
and in securing provisions for their homeward march. This ex- 
pedition was in purpose and fact a purely political measure with 
a military adjunct for its execution. 

In 1703 Philip de Rigaud, Marquis de Yaudreuil, became 
governor of Canada, and his earliest prominent act was to make 
the Eastern Indians violate the treaty of peace just made be- 
tween them and the English, with the consent of M. de Call- 
ieres, his predecessor. The new governor forced the Indians to 
surprise the English settlements in Maine with torch and toma- 
hawk. In return some of the Abenaki Indians were killed by 
the Maine settlers. The Abenaki Sachems went at once to 
Canada and asked the assistance of the French in taking their 
revenge. Yaudreuil in a letter to the home Oovemment ex- 
pressly declares that he was only too happy to comply with 
this request, and that the expedition against Deerfield was or- 
ganized at their solicitation, to show the Indians that the French 
were their friends, and to break up a talked-of treaty between 
the Abenakis and the English. The governor says the Indians 
called upon him in the following June to thank him formally 
for this assistance. 

At the time this expedition was set on foot, a French pris- 
oner of war was in the hands of the Massachusetts Governor 
Dudley, at Boston. He was called in the correspondence be- 
tween Dudley and Yaudreuil, Capt. Battis, or Baptiste. He was 
a man of some importance in Canada with a status not clearly 
defined. It has been stated that he was a relative of YaudreuiL 
Miss Baker finds no evidence of this relationship, but I cannot 
help suspecting that there were other than reasons of state 
for the extraordinary and persistent efforts of Yaudreuil for 
the recovery of this captive. There was much correspondence 
with Dudley on the subject, upon which it is unnecessary to 
dwell longer at this time. 

Thus far I have spoken by the book, plain documentary evi- 
dence. My next step will be an assumption founded on testimony 
satisfactory to me, although circumstantial and widely scattered. 
I shall later attempt to point out and concentrate the evidence 
on which this assumption is based. 

I assume that, independent of his declared object. Governor 
Yaudreuil attached to the expedition against Deerfield in 1704 
an important side issua I assume that for the purpose of ob- 

14 Annual MeeUng— 1899. 

taininga prisoner of safficient importance to secure the ex- 
change of Oapt. Baptiste, Yaudreoil made a special arrange- 
ment for secnring Mr. Williams. That he engaged two Macqua 
Sachems and one brave to go along with the army, whose es- 
pecial duty it was to capture and bring back safely to Canada 
the Minister of Deerfield, with a promise of a substantial re- 
ward in case of success. The capture was made and the pris- 
oner delivered to the Governor, and in due time we shall see 
that two of his agents received the promised reward, presum- 
ably in the coin of the realm, but the third, the leader, we shall 
also see had already received his reward, in the shape of an 
ounce of cold lead from the hand of one of the brave men de- 
fending the Benoni Stebbins house. 

We will now examine the foundations of my assumption and 
see what light we can get on the nyBthods of the emissaries in 
carrying their commission to a successful issue. Mr. Williams 
says, ^^ They came to my house in the beginning of the onset, 
and by their violent endeavours to break open doors and win- 
dows, with axes and hatchets, awaked me out of sleep.'' As 
Mr. Williams was to be the principal prize no risk was to be 
run. May it not be safe to conclude that after all the arrange- 
ments for the surprise were made, the attack on his house was 
to be the signal for the general assault? This supposition, 
however, presupposes a knowledge of the location of this 
house, which must be accounted for. There were Indians in 
Canada at this period well acquainted with Deerfield, who 
could be perfect guides. One was a woman named Ruth, who 
when a child had been taken by the English in Philip's War. 
She had lived in the family of the Reverend and Doctor 6er- 
shom Bulkley in Wethersfield, Ct., and had often been at the 
house of Mr. Williams in Deerfield. Somehow she found her 
way to Canada and had become a convert to Romanism. Ruth 
was one who could have drawn a rough outline of the fort, 
giving the location of Mr. Williams's house and even a plan of 
its interior. Whether or not Ruth did this, it is evident that 
both its location and the plan of its interior were known to the 
Macqua agents of YaudreuiL 

Once safely within the stockade, with not a symptom of alarm 
from the sleeping victims, doubtless parties of Indians were 
swiftly detailed for each house in the fort, that the attack might 
be simultaneous upon a given signaL It would seem at this 

New Traeks in an Old TrcnL 16 

sapreme moment the French were ^^ standing to their Arms'* 
on the training field, or common ; certainly none remained near 
the point of entrance, for nobody was there to interfere with 
the escape of those who jumped from the back windows of the 
Sheldon and Williams houses. It appears to have been a com- 
paratively large party that made the attack on the house of the 
minister, as the doors and windows were assaulted at the same 
instant. Evidently his doors were not so strong as that of the 
Old Indian House with which we are acquainted, for one door 
was broken down at once. Mr. Williams sajrs, when awakened 
by the noise, he ^^ leaped out of bed, and, running towards the 
door, perceived the enemy making their entrance into the 
house. . . . The enemy immediately brake into the p>ed] room, 
I judge to the number of twenty, with painted faces and 
hideous acclamations. . . . The enemy who entered the house 
were all of them Indians and Maquas," none being French- 
men. Besides the special agents, there was Wattanamon, 
and probably his kinsman, Sagamore Greorge of Pennicooke. 
As the enemy crowded into his bedroom, Mr Williams showed 
a daring that was reckless. ^^ Taking down my pistol," he 
says, ^^I cocked it and put it to the breast of the &*st Indian 
who came up." This, it wiU later appear, was the Macqua 
diief . Had the flint of Mr. Williams's pistol answered true, 
Yaudreuil's leading agent would then and there have had his ac- 
counts settled ; but ^^ My pistol missing fire, I was seized by 
three Indians, who disarmed me and bound me naked, as I was 
in my shirt, and so I stood for near the space of an hour." 
The chief prisoner being safe under a small guard, ^^ the enemy 
fell to rifling the house, and entered in great numbers into every 
room." Having secured what plunder they could carry, the 
captors returned to the bedroom, where, says Williams, ^^ they 
gave me liberty to put on my clothes ; " but so cautious were 
they with their prize, that, with all the crew about him, they 
were afraid to free the parson militant for one moment, but, he 
continues ^^ keeping me bound with a cord on one arm, till I 
put my clothes to the other, and then changing my cord, they 
let me dress myself, then pinioned me again." The savage 
who had captured Mrs. Williams, says her husband, ^^ gave lib- 
erty to my dear wife to dress herself, and our children." 

When " binding me," says Mr. WUliams, " they told me they 
would carry me to Quebea" These words were significant. 

16 Annual Meeting— 1899. 

but Mr. WilUams ooold not then see, as we now can, the full 
force of that declaration. All the other captives would of course 
be carried to Canada, but not to Quebec, for they would be 
held by their captors as private property, being personal chance 
captives, to be kept among themselves, or sold to the French at 
their pleasure. Not so Mr. Williams ; he was to be carried to 
Quebec as a prisoner of state. Had the miserable captive known 
this fact he would have been saved much subsequent anxiety 
and suffering on the journey. 

Generally, so fast as the captives were secured and provis- 
ions from the plundered houses packed for the homeward 
march, parties were dispatched to the rendezvous about Red 
Bocks, but the Williams family were kept in their own house. 
" About sun an hour high," says WiUiams, " we were all 
carried out of the house, for a march, and saw many of the 
houses of my neighbors in flames, perceiving the whole fort, 
one house excepted, to be taken.'' Circumstances had pre- 
vented his Macqua captors from leaving the house before, and 
Mr. Williams was too valuable a prize to be trusted to the or- 
dinary captives' guard. Therefore he was moved when the 
main army began its retreat, after being baffled in the assault on 
the Stebbins house. 

There are many notable points in the brief sentences which I 
have quoted from Mr. Williams. There were about fifteen or 
sixteen houses within the walls of the fort, and but 140 Indians 
in the army, so that only about nine would naturaUy be as- 
signed to each house. But we find as many as twenty or more 
attacking the house of Mr. Williams, and we note that so soon as 
the outer door gave way under their blows, the whole twenty, 
instead of scattering about in the other rooms, rushed directiy 
to Mr. Williams's bedroom, broke down the door and pushed 
in pell melL What was the reason for this concentration about 
this house and this particular room ? Apparentiy, it was evi- 
dent to all that that bedroom was the center of operations, that 
there was the chief prize. It may be that all hoped to share 
the honor, if not the reward, for the capture of the minister ; 
and not unlikely a portion of the assailants considered it open 
to competition. And so it would have been if the three Macquas 
had fidlen in the attempt. At any rate here was the chief 
family in the fort, and here would naturally be the best chance 
for plunder and other valuable captives. Of this opportunity 

Nem Tracks m an Old Trail. 17 

they availed themselves as soon as the first prize was seonred, 
entering ^^in great numbers into every room'' in the house, 
says the narrative. 

We have seen that one of the Macqua leaders escaped death 
by a narrow margin at the hands of Mr. Williams. Can we 
concdve of any other reason, except the strict charge to bring 
Mr. Williams back alive or forfeit the pay, why the savage did 
not instantly retaliate and deal his would-be slayer a deadly 
blow with his hatchet. That would seem to be the most nat- 
ural and justifiable thing to do. What else could have stayed 
his hot hand and prevented the instant sacrifice of Mr. Williams ? 
In the rest of the field of operations we read, ^^ they killed all 
they could y* made any resistance." 

Mr. Williams says that while he stood bound in his house, 
'^ the enemies ... all of them Indians and Macquas insulted 
over me awhile, threatening to bum all I had ;" he does not 
say they threatened to kill him, but " binding me, they told me 
they would carry me to Quebec." 

We may well repeat here that all of the twenty who assaulted 
Mr. Williams's house went inside, so that there was no one to 
prevent John Stoddard and another soldier, placed in the house 
for his protection, from jumping unobserved from the chamber 
windows and escaping unmolested. And this brings us to an- 
other link in the chain of evidence. 

In Gov. Winthrop's manuscript we find an item bearing upon 
our narrative at this point, and accounting for some matters al- 
ready canvassed : — " One house, viz. : Benoni Stebbins', they at- 
tacked later than some others, y^ those in it were well awak- 
ened, being 7 men ; besides woemen and children, who stood 
stoughtly to y*' armes, fireing upon y* Enemy & y« enemy upon 
y" causing sevll of the Enemy to fall, of w^ was one frentch- 
man, a Oentile man to appearance." Now, the Benoni Stebbins 
house, the Parson Williams house, and the Sheldon house stood 
at the northwest comer of the stockade, where it has always 
been said De Rouville scaled the palisades. These houses, with 
the temporary shelter of Sergt. John Hawks, formed an isolated 
group some dozen or fifteen rods from those on the east or south, 
and, as we have said, were right in the path of the invaders. 
In the attack on the Sheldon house we have no account of any 
attempt to force the windows or back door ; the marks on the 
front door bear evidence of only two or three assailants, who 
2 ' 

18 Annual Meetinff—1899. 

did not saoceed in breaking it down. Meanwhile two, at least, 
of its occupants jumped from its east windows unobserved. Why 
was this house so lightly assaulted and why was the Stebbins 
house entirely unmolested, while we have a score or more of the 
Indians breaking into the Williams house ? This is a pertinent 
enquiry to which there has been hitherto no reply, and no con- 
jecture has so far been hazarded. But are we not now ready to 
assume that the greater part of the squad assigned to the Shel- 
don house, and all of that assigned to the Stebbins house, joined 
that assigned to the Williams house ? Can a movement of this 
kind be accounted for ? Those assigned to attack this group 
of houses would naturally be the first to leave the main army. 
During the short time tliey were awaiting the posting of the 
others, and the signal for attack, the secret of the Maoquas may 
have leaked out. On learning which house contained the great 
prize and which of course would be the most hopeful place to 
look for other rich spoils, who can doubt that it was the com- 
bined contingent which swarmed mto the house of Mr. WU- 
Uams ? Is there any other explanation why the Benoni Steb- 
bins house was unmolested ? This being the case, the prudent 
arrangements for a simultaneous attack were frustrated. The 
result of this disarrangement of plan was disastrous to the 
enemy, resulting not only in the death of the officer second in 
command under Rouville, but of the leading Maoqua Sachem 
and others of less note, but it prevented further progress of the 
victors south of the fortified line. To the settlers it was a for- 
tunate happening ; the salvation of those in the late beleaguered 
Stebbins house and in many another house south of the fort. 
The occupants of the Stebbins house, " 7 men and some women 
and children, being well awakened " by the hellish tumult out- 
side, realized its full import, and were quickly prepared and on 
the defensive when the onset came. Doubtless the Macqua 
Sachem, leaving Mr. Williams safely bound in the hands of his 
two confederates and feeling some responsibility for the fatal 
delay, made daring efforts to retrieve it, and he lost his life in 
the desperate but vain fight against the Spartan defenders of 
the Stebbins house. ITor could all the red Indians and ail the 
king's men drive the brave seven and their helpful wives from 
their cover, either by fire or by sword. When the dawn came 
to their aid, the field within the range of their shot was soon 
cleared of their foes, who then poured in their bullets from the 

New TraolcB in an old Trail. 19 

shelter of the meetinghoase, the Sheldon house, and perhaps 
the house of the minister. Mr. Williams thus briefly tells the 
story: ^^The judgment of Ood did not long slumber against 
one of the three which took me, who was a captain, for by sun- 
rising he received a mortal shot from my next neighbor's house ; 
who opposed so great a number of French and Indians as three 
hundred, and yet were no more than seven men in an ungarri- 
soned house." Three hundred against seven ! More than forty 
to one! 

Where can this act of desperate valor be paralleled ? In 
the annals of New England warfare are found many cases 
where a small force successfully defends a fort or cabin against 
a horde of savages, but never against such odds and backed by 
a force of French soldiers under officers of the line. 

Many of the details given and to be given may seem trivial, 
but each item gives its bit of testimony in support of the as- 
sumption with which we set out. These details are scattered 
all through the pages of " The Redeemed Captive." 

On the march we find the greatest care was taken to prevent 
the escape of Mr. Williams. He says, ^^ I was pinioned and 
bound down that night and so I was every night while I was 
in the army. . . . He that took me was unwilling to let me 
speak with any of the prisoners as we marched," thus pre- 
venting any plotting to escape. ^^ But on the morning of the 
second day, he being appointed to guard the rear " of the re- 
treating army, ^^ I was put into the hands of my other master " 
who, feeling the responsibility less heavy, gave the captive leave 
to walk and talk with his wife when they overtook her. 

The fact that this Macqua was put in charge of the rear guard 
on the morning of the second day's march shows that he ranked 
high and probably took the command in place of the head Sa- 
chem who fell before the sharpshooters in the Stebbins house. 
His declining to keep Mr. Williams with him in the rear, where 
there would be danger of a rescue in case of pursuit, shows a 
wise care for the security of his prisoner. At the noon halt 
the chief was relieved of his command in the rear and sent to 
the head of the column where he took his prisoner, kept him 
under his direct charge, and made him his main care. When 
the van reached the top of the hill, Mr. Williams says, " I was 
permitted to sit down, and be unburthened of my padc, I . . . . 
intreated my master to let me go down, and help up my wife ; 

but he refused, and would not let me stir from him." The 
cautions savage would take no risks, there was too much at 
stake, and Mr. Williams never saw his wife again. That night 
one of the Sachems of the Abenakis, the tribe for whose benefit 
the expedition had been undertaken, feeling that he was short 
in the division of plunder and trophies of his prowess, coolly 
went to the Macqua camp, and, says Mr. Williams, ^^ spake to 
my master about killing of me, and taking off my scalp." Evi- 
dently the Abenaki was not in the secret, and he retired no 
richer or wiser than when he came. ITeither was Mr. WiUiams 
in the secret, and naturally objected to such a summary pro- 
ceeding, protesting to his master that it would be an act of bad 
faith after his surrender. ^^ I told my master if he intended to 
kill me, I desired he would let me know of it. . . . He told 
me he would not kill me." Doubtless the emissary smiled 
grimly when he gave that assurance. The Abenaki chief was 
not satisfied, however, and made complaint to De Rouville. The 
result was that : ^' In the morning we were all called before 
the chief Sachem of the Macquas and Indians, that a more equal 
distribution might be made of tiie prisoners among them. . . . 
But I was sent again to my two masters, who broaght me from 
my house." This movement for redistribution was a matter of 
policy, if not necessity, to quiet the savages. The question of a 
new disposition of Mr. Williams, however, was only a pretense, 
and De Bouville found no lack of reasons for restoring him to 
his captors. That the personal appearance of their captive 
might not enhance the value of the prize, Mr. Williams says, 
^^ at my going from the wigwam, my best clothing was taken 
away from me." This was sharp practice on the part of the 
Macquas, who chose to consider this clothing private plunder 
and refused to display it before the Abenakis. Later it was 
sold to the French in Canada. Stephen Williams says of this 
morning's affair : ^^ Some of us were Distributed for some had 
five or six Captives & others none. Then they called y« Cap- 
tives together to make a more Equal Distribution, but I re- 
mained w^ my former master. Here they searche me And 
took away my silver buttons & buckles w^*^ I had on my shirt." 
Such plunder was probably used for small change in making 
the new distribution. It would be interesting to know what 
the Abenaki Sachem secured in lieu of the scalp of Mr. Wil- 
liams, that escutcheon of honor with which he was ambitious to 

Neui Traok9 in an Old Tradl. 21 

adorn his belt. None of the Williams children appears to have 
changed masters at this time, and as none of the Deerfield cap- 
tives was ever found among the Abenakis, these Indians prob- 
ably received satisfaction for their share of the spoils in some 
other kind of personal property. It nowhere appears that the 
French soldiers ever laid claim to any of the captives or to the 
plunder. For their escort duty on this little trip, they were paid 
by the King of France. After this distribution the French ap- 
parently took no further concern for the captives. Their con- 
tract with the Indians was fulfilled. All parties made their 
way to Canada as best suited their will or convenience. 

Sunday, March 5, Mr. Williams was ^^ permitted to pray & 
preach to the captives," and he says, '^ When the Macquas and 
Indians were chief in power, we had this revival in our bond- 
age ; to join together in the worship of God, and encourage one 
another to a patient bearing the indignation of the Lord, till he 
should plead our cause. When we arrived at New France we 
were forbidden praying one with another or joining together in 
the service of God." It is well known to historians that there 
was an influence in Canada, which ruled not only the Indians 
but practically controlled the civil and military authorities. 

March 8. The Macqua Sachem withdrew his party from the 
main body. There was no apparent reasoa for this move un- 
less he feared losing his prize through some act of the Abena- 
kis. He may not always have been free to be a personal guard. 
Now, having left the main body, he was his own master, and 
his will law. It was on the very first day after the separation 
that the dramatic scene occurred which is thus described by Mr. 

^^ At night my master came to me, with my pistol in his hand, 
and put it to my breast, and said, now I wiU kill you, for (said 
he) at your house you would have killed me with it if you 
could. But by the Grace of God I was not much daunted ; 
and whatever his intentions might be, God prevented my 

We may now be sure that the intention of the savage was 
simply an attempt characteristic of his race, to sport with the 
fears of his prisoner for his own diversion. This was a game 
he did not dare to play before parting with the Abenakis ; it 
might encourage the sport, and they might carry the joke too 
far ; even now it was done under the cover of darkness, and 

22 Afmual Meeting— 1899. 

apparently with no spectators. From this time forward Mr. 
Williams was not bound down nights, as his captors could give 
their personal care to his security. The next Sunday one of 
the Indians kept guard over Mr. Williams while the rest went 
hunting. They soon came back, saying seven moose had been 
killed. This exploit shows the Macqua to be on his own 
ground, and his knowledge of the location of a ^^ moose yard.'' 
The next day the party moved up to the murdered moose. 
Three days were spent in roasting and drying the meat for 
their journey. " Here," says Mr. Williams, " my master made 
me a pair of snow shoes, for (said he) you cannot possibly travel 
without, the snow being knee deep." Mr. Williams was obliged 
to assist in the transportation of this provision, but he was bur- 
dened no longer than it was necessary, for, when they reached 
French Eiver : — " My master, at this place, took away my pack 
and drawed the whole load on the ice." Each night a wigwam 
was built to shelter the exhausted traveler, who was failing 
under the hardships. Mr. Williams says, " My master was very 
kind to me — would always give me the best he had to eat, and 
by the goodness of Ood, I never wanted a meal's meat during 
my captivity ; though some of my children and neighbors were 
greatly wounded (as I may say) with the arrows of famine and 
pinching want ; having for many days nothing but roots to live 
upon, and not much of them neither. My master gave me a 
piece of Bible ; never disturbed me in reading the scriptures, or 
in praying to God." Soon, however, Mr. Williams was called 
to an experience of this kindness which was a sore trial to his 
faith. . 

Spring came on apace. Hurry they must or their highway 
would melt under their feet. Mr. Williams says, " My march 
on French River was very sore ; for, fearing a thaw, we trav- 
elled a very great pace ; my feet were so bruised, and my joints 
so distorted by my travelling in snow shoes, that I thought it 
impossible to hold out. . . . Each night I wrung blood out of 
my stockins when I pulled them off." The Indian knew that 
a crisis in their march was at hand; delay was not to be 
thought of, and extraordinary measures must be adopted. 
Early one morning when his plans were matured, the chief 
awoke his charge, saying, ^^ arise, pray to God, and eat your 
breakfast, for we must go a great way today." But, Mr. Will- 
iams says, ^^ my feet were so tender, swoln, bruised, and full of 

New Tracki m an Old TraU. 23 

pain, that I ooold scarce stand upon them, without holding on 
to the wigwam, and when the Indian said, you must ran to- 
day ; I answered I could not run ; my master pointing out to 
his hatchet, said to me, then I must dash out your brains, and 
take off your scalp. I said, I suppose then you will do so, for 
I am not able to travel with speed. He sent me away alone 
. on the ice. About sun half an hour high, he over-took me, for 
I had gone very slowly, not thinking it possible to travel five 
miles. When he came up, he called me to run ; I told him I 
could go no faster. He passed by without saying one word 

The condition of the poor sufferer was now desperate. Death 
in another form stared him in the face. Starvation must surely 
follow desertion by the savage. Life was still sweet, and the 
knowledge that his fate depended upon his own exertion nerved 
him to that supreme effort of which the experienced Macqua 
judged him capable. The latter understood the power of man's 
endurance in an extremity. He skillfully kept just far enough 
in advance, and showed himself just often enough, to lure his 
follower on and keep the embers of hope from being buried in 
the ashes of despair. This heroic treatment was successful. 
Mr. Williams says, '^ I travelled from about break of day till 
dark ; never so much as sat down at noon to eat warm victuals ; 
eating frozen meat, which I had in coat pocket, as I travelled. 
We went that day two of their day's journey as they came 
down. I judge we went forty or forty-five miles that day 
.... in tJie afternoon I was stronger to travel than in the 
forenoon. My strength was restored and renewed to admira- 

Here was a striking exhibition of the power of mind over 
matter. The strong will of the fagged out minister alone car- 
ried him through. We may be sure the hurrying Sachem kept 
a wary eye on his captive and would have returned to him in 
case of extreme need. He knew, of course, that there was no 
possibility of an escape or of a rescue. In due time the party 
reached the place where the Sachem's family were, and after 
various moves they ^^ made a canoe of elm bark in one day," 
went down the Sorel river and arrived at the French town of 
Obambly, March 25. Soon after they went on to St. Frauds. 

As we have seen, Mr. Williams was always fully supplied 
with food, but he did not fare so well for clothing, ^^ having 

24 Annual Meetmg—1%99. 

lousy old clothes of soldiers pat upon me when they stripped 
me of mine to sell to the French soldiers in the army." Mr. 
Williams had otherwise been subjected to physical suffering 
only as a necessary consequence of his condition. He expresses 
gratitude for the personal care and consideration of his savage 
masters. It must, however, be questioned whether this kind- 
ness was prompted by a humane motive or by one less com- 
mendable. His masters were converts to Bomanism, but so 
catholic were they, that every opportunity was allowed for the 
devotions of their captive, and they had shown full respect to 
his religious views. But now Mr. Williams was to enter upon 
another chapter of experiences. He was not only to be well 
fed but well clothed and well housed ; he was also to be weU 
treated by the civil authorities and the common people of 
Canada. But he was denied every chance of religious converse 
with other captives, and was kept by the priests under the 
theological harrow from his arrival at Chambly until the hour 
he embarked for Boston. But this is rather beside our object. 

Gov. Vaudreuil, on receiving news that Mr. Williams had 
reached St. Francis, sent orders to have him brought forthwith 
up to Montreal. " Upon which," says Mr. Williams, " one of 
the Jesuits went with my two masters, and took me dong with 
them." Tuesday, April 25, Mr. Williams arrived at Montreal, 
where " the Governor de Vaudreuil redeemed me out of the 
hands of the Indians, gave me good clothing, took me to his 
table, gave me the use of a very good chamber, and was in all 
respects, relating to my outward man, courteous and charitable 
to admiration." 

Now let us examine the above transaction to see if there is 
any evidence to support my assumption. Mr. Williams simply 
says Vaudreuil ^^ redeemed me out of the hands of the Indians." 
For this and other acts of kindness, he was grateful to the 
governor. Had he known the facts, he might not have been 
less grateful, for he would doubtless have fared much worse 
had he been unprotected. But Mr. Williams never knew what 
he unconsciously reveals. Mark the manner in which this so- 
called ^^ redemption " was accomplished. Vaudreuil simply 
orders Mr. Williams to be brought to him, and it is done. 
There is not a moment's hesitation, and not a word about the 
conditions of delivering the carefully guarded prisoner. The 
two surviving Macquas simply hand over their prize, and secure 

New Tracks in an Old Trail. 35 

their reward, doubtless a generous one. Their mission is at an 
end, and nothing more is heard of them. In all other known 
oases of the redemption of English prisoners, there is much 
haggling about the price of the chattel We shall see, further^ 
more, that the governor had no power to take other prisoners 
from the hands of their owners. 

Contrast the foregoing case of the ^* redemption " of Mr. 
Williams with what follows. Yaudreuil, for some reason, is 
anxious to reclaim from savage hands all the children of Mr. 
Williams. Why does he not use the summary method which 
he did with the father ? For the simple reason that the father 
is a prisoner of state, while the children were private property. 

Hear Mr. Williams : — ''At my first entering into his house, 
he [Vaudreuil] sent for my two children, who were in the city, 
that I might see them ; and promised to do what he could to 
get all my children out of the hands of the savages." Of the 
redemption of the eldest daughter we have no particulars. But 
'' the governor gave orders to certain ofScers to get the rest of 
my children out of the hands of the Indians." After six weeks 
of ineffectual effort by these officers, '' a merchant of the city 
obtained my eldest son, who was taken to live with him. He 
took a great deal of pains to persuade the savages to part with 
him," and so accomplished what the agents of the governor had 
been unable to do. '' The govemour ordered a priest to go along 
with me to see my youngest daughter among the Macquas, 
and endeavour for her ransom. I went with him .... and 
from his parish, which was near the Macqua fort, he wrote a 
letter to the Jesuit [in the fort], to desire him to send my child 
to see me, and to speak with them who took her to come along 
with her. But the Jesuit wrote back a letter, ' That I should 
not be permitted to speak with, or see my child, and if I came, 
my labour would be lost ; and that the Macquas would as soon 
part with their hearts as my child.' " When the governor read 
this letter he '' was very angry and endeavoured to comfort me, 
assuring me I should see her, and speak with her." That was 
all he could promise. '' He would do his utmost endeavour for 
her ransom [and], after some days, he went with me in his own 
person to the fort." The governor was in dead earnest now. 
After talking a while to the Jesuits, '' My child was brought 
into the chamber where I was. I was told I might speak with 
her but should be permitted to speak to no other English person 

26 Annual Meeting— 1899. 

there." And Mr. Williams was guarded from the gate of the 
fort to his canoe. ^^ The govemour laboured much lor her re- 
demption ; at last he had the promise of it, in case he would 
procure for them an Indian girl in her stead." He procured 
one with great trouble, but she was refused. ^^ He offered them 
an hundred pieces of eight [Spanish dollars] for her redemption, 
but it was refused. His lady went over to beg her from them, 
but all in vain." The power and authority of the governor was 
exhausted. Neither he nor his wife could do more, and the 
child, Eunice Williams, spent her life among the Indians, to 
whom she belonged by right of capture. Omitting much more 
testimony which points in the same direction, I will cite only 
the case of Stephen Williams. 

While Stephen was at Cowass, in the spring of 1704, with 
his captor Wattanamon the Pennicook, the governor empow- 
ered Capt. Chambly, a brother of De Bouville, to obtain Stephen 
by purchase ; but the agent employed by Chambly proved a 
fraud, and the attempt came to nothing. In August, when the 
party from Cowass arrived at St. Francis, Wattanamon made 
over Stephen to his kinsman. Sagamore Ghdorge, of Pennicook, 
and Capt. Chambly renewed his attempt for his purchase ; but the 
Jesuits broke up the bargain. Yaudreuil now takes the matter 
in hand. " The French governor after he heard I was in y* 
country," says Stephen, ^^ was often sending to y^ Indians to 
buy me, who were quite wearied out because of y* many mes- 
sages he sent. Y^ governor was not willing to give above 80 
crowns whereas they stood for 40. At length," the Sagamore 
sent his ultimatum ; the governor must give 40 crowns for the 
boy and take him before spring, or he would not be sold at alL 
Yaudreuil was obliged to come to terms, and, at planting time, 
^^ the govemour came & bought me after a long parley for 40 

All these facts show the status of Mr. Williams as compared 
to that of his children, they being in the same condition as the 
rest of the captives, only private property over which the 
government had no control. 

^^ At my first coming to Montreal," says Mr. Williams, *^ the 
govemour told me, I should be sent home as soon as Captain 
Battis was retumed, and not before, and that I was taken in 
order to his redemption." Two years later he records that he 
had heard ^' that the Lord Intendant said if More retumed and 

Nefuo Traoka in an Old Trail. 27 

brought word that Battis was in prison, he would put me in 
prison and lay me in irons." 

These two extraots from ** The Eedeemed Captive " contain 
all that is found there relating to Capt. Baptiste. But we know 
from other sources that the negotiation for the exchange of 
prisoners was long and complicated. We do not find in them 
any proposition for a direct exchange of Baptiste for Mr. 
Williams, but Vaudreuil would agree to no exchange including 
Mr. Williams in which Baptiste was not also included. He 
held the trump card, and could play the game accordingly. 
He says little of Mr Williams ; does not exploit the mode of his 
capture, does not appear to be proud of the act. 

At length an agreement for a final exchange of prisoners 
was reached. Capt. Baptiste arrived in Canada, early in Oc- 
tober, 1706, and on the 21st of November Mr. Williams arrived 
in Boston. 

Now, it may be asked, why, with the above statement of Mr. 
Williams before me, I have gone about in such a lengthy 
fashion to prove what is so plainly stated. My reasons for 
writing this paper are three : 

First, to gratify my own inherent love for close investigation 
and the sifting of evidence. 

Secondly, to present a more detailed and personal view of 
some of the events of 1704 : Lest we forget. Minute details 
make a picture more vivid, more real, and, therefore, more 

Thirdly, and chiefly, because, although the story was told 
that Mr. Williams was taken for an exchange for Capt. Bap- 
tiste, so far as I know, no writer has ever taken the statement 
for a fact or other than an afterthought of the governor for 
convenient application. Mr. Williams makes no comments on 
the governor's statement and the Intendant's threat, and it 
nowhere appears they had any influence on his subsequent ac- 
tion. Nowhere in his narrative, or elsewhere, is there found 
the least intimation that Mr. Williams took Yaudreuil's words 
as a statement of fact. He nowhere urges the return of Bap- 
tiste, nowhere complains of delay. On the other hand, he freely 
records how the bishop, priests, and Jesuits often urged his 
stay among them, and what great rewards they offered as in- 
ducements. We note that no word of that kind is heard from 
the governor. Possibly the ecclesiastics were not in the secret. 

28 Antvual Meetinff— 1899. 

The goTernor may have played a lone hand. It is evident that 
neither Mr. Williams, nor any of his readers, took seriously the 
statement of YaudreoiL Certainly there has never been the 
slightest intimation by anybody that special agents were em- 
ployed by the governor for a specific purpose in the expedi- 
tion against Deerfield in 1704. 



The name of Allen, written at different periods as Allein, 
Alleyn, Alain, is doubtless of French origin. A certain Louis 
Alain figures in early Canadian and New England annals, as a 
spy. One Samuel Allen came in 1682 from Braintree, Eng., to 
Cambridge in New England, and thence went with Hooker's 
company to Windsor, Conn., in 1635. His son, Nehemiah, mar- 
ried Sarah Woodford, of Northampton, Mass., and died there. 
Their son, Samuel, a barber, in 1705 married Mercy, daughter 
of Judah Wright, of Northampton, and bought a homestead in 
Deerfield, Mass. 

Their son, Joseph, bom in Deerfield in 1708, when five years 
old removed with his parents to Coventry, Conn., where the 
father died. The widow, Mercy Allen, with her grown-up son 
and several other children, went west from Coventry fifty miles 
to Litchfield, where she died in 1728. In 1737, her son Joseph 
married Mary Baker, and ETHAN ALLEN, the eldest of 
their nine children, was bom in Litchfield in 1738. Semember 
Baker, later his companion in arms, was his own cousin. One 
of Allen's biographers pithily says, ^^ this year gave birth to 
three honest men : Ethan Allen, G^rge UL, and Benjamin 

According to the universal custom in those days, Ethan 
Allen was baptized while an infant. When he was two years 
old, the family removed to Cornwall, Conn., where his father 
died. Nothing in the boyhood or youth of Ethan Allen indi- 
cates that he wished to be or would become a soldier. His 
father's death put an end to his preparation for college, and as 
a farmer he went resolutely to work for the support of his 
widowed mother and her children. In 1762, we find him work- 

EOujm AUen and Sis DoMghUr. 29 

ing an iron mine, building a f umaoe, and casting iron-ware. In 
June of the same year, at the age of twenty-foar, he married 
Mary Bronson, who was five years his senior, paying sixty- 
seven cents as his marriage fee. By her he had five children, 
a son who died in boyhood and four daughters. Allen lived 
with his family for some time in Sheffield, Mass. 

During the formative period of Ethan Allen's life, the West- 
minster Catechism and Watts' hynms were used throughout 
New England. He seems to have escaped the influence of 
George Whitefleld's preaching, which during his youth elec- 
trified thousands in New England, and steering equally clear of 
Calvinism and Methodism, he was an Arminian in his early 

In that tiresome Latin-English characteristic of self-taught 
men, he says of himself, ^^ In my youth I was much disposed 
to contemplation, and at my commencement in manhood, I 
committed to manuscript, such sentiments and arguments as 
appeared most consonant to reason, less through the debility 
\dc\ of memory, my improvement should have been less grad- 
ual This method of scribbling I prax^tised many years, from 
which I experienced great advantages in the progression of 
learning and knowledge; the more so as I was deficient in 
education, and had to acquire the knowledge of grammar and 
language, as well as the art of reasoning, principally from a 
studious application to it, which, after all, I am sensible lays 
me under disadvantages, particularly in matters of composi- 
tion : however, to remedy this defect, I have substituted the 
most unwearied pains. . . . Ever since I arrived at manhood, 
and acquainted myself with the general history of mankind, I 
have felt a sincere passion for liberty. The history of nations 
doomed to perpetual slavery, in consequence of yielding up to 
tyrants their natural-bom liberties, I read with a sort of philo- 
sophical horror." This sounds like Marat, the French revolu- 
tionist, and in this his own statement of his early manhood, 
as well as in the story of his boyhood, we have the keynote to 
the later career of Ethan Allen. Deprived of the advice and 
discipline of a father, interrupted in his studies and burdened 
while a mere boy with the support of his widowed mother and 
her young family, he acquired a premature independence of 
thought and became early accustomed to believe in his own 
ability and to regard himself as a leader. To these circum- 

30 Annual Meeting— 1S99. 

stances add the liberality of his religious training, his inborn 
craving for justice, his hatred of oppression, his passionate love 
of liberty, and you have the man ready when the hour should 

Let us leave Ethan Allen in Connecticut in 1762, at the age 
of twenty-four fearlessly taking upon himself the burden of a 
family, hard at work by day carrying on his farm, casting iron 
and working a mine, meditating at night on the problem of 
human destiny and writing out his thoughts in ^' order to ac- 
quire the knowledge of grammar and language as well as the 
art of reasoning." Precisely at this period, there landed in 
New York an Irish lawyer, who, having borne a military com- 
mission in Dublin, was known in America as Colonel Crean 
Brush. Brush was a widower, and had left his only child, a 
baby girl, in Ireland. He soon married, in New York, Marga- 
ret Montr68or, widow of a colonel in the British service who 
was killed in the old French war. This widow Montr6sor had 
a daughter Frances. Colonel Brush was employed in the of- 
fice of the Secretary of New York and later was licensed to 
practice law in all the New York courts. Previous to this, in 
1749, Benning Went worth. Royal Governor of New Hampshire, 
by the King's orders had begun to grant lands on the west side 
of the Connecticut river (now Vermont) to such persons as 
would improve them, and actually settle thereon. Three tiers 
of townships were laid out on each side of the mountain, each 
township being six miles square; the Governor reserving for 
himself five hundred acres in each. The township adjoining 
the northwest comer of Massachusetts was the first town settled 
in Yermont west of the Green Mountains, and was named Ben- 
nington in honor of Governor Benning Wentworth. On the 
bonus of five hundred acres at the comer of each township and 
the fees and other perquisites received for the New Hampshire 
grants, Governor Wentworth grew rich, like honest John Hull 
on his percentage of pine-tree shillings, and lived in splendid 
style at Little Harbor, Newcastle, N. H. Who can forget 
Longfellow's picture of him, as he drove out of Portsmouth in 

His brilliant equipage that flashed and spun, 
The silver harness, glittering in the sun. 
Outriders, with red jackets, lithe and lank, 
Pounding the saddles as they rose and sank. 
While all alone, within the chariot, sat 

Ethan Allen and Bu Daughter. SI 

A portly person with three-oomered hat, 

A criinaon velvet coat, head high in air, 

Gold-headed cane, and nicely powdered hair, 

And diamond buckles sparkling at his knees. 

Dignified, stately, florid, much at ease. 

For this was Governor Wentworth driving down 

To Little Harbor, just beyond the town. 

Where his Great House stood looking out to sea. 

A goodly place, where it was good to be. 

It was a pleasant mansion, an abode 

Near, and yet hidden from the great high road. 

Sequestered among trees, a noble pile 

Baronial, and colonial, in its style. 

Gables and dormer windows every where, 

And stacks of chimneys rising high in air, 

Pandaean pipes, on which all winds that blew 

Made mournful music the whole winter through. 

Within, unwonted splendors met the eye, — 

Panels and floors of oak, and tapestry, 

Carved chimney pieces, where on brazen dogs 

Revelled and roared the Christmas fires of logs. 

Doors opening into darkness unawares, 

M3r8terious passages, and flights of stairs. 

And on the walls, in heavy gilded frames 

The ancestral Wentworths with old Scripture names. 

Governor Wentworth's prosperity was viewed with jealousy 
by his neighbors, and, in 1763, lientenant-Govemor Cadwallader 
Golden, of New York, proclaimed the Connecticut river to be 
the eastern boundary of that province, ordering " aU civil of- 
fleers holding commissions under the New York government, 
to exercise jurisdiction as far as to the banks of the Connecti- 
cut." In March, 1764, a counter-proclamation was issued by 
Governor Wentworth in assertion of the rights of the settlers 
under the New Hampshire Grants and exhorting them ^^ to be 
industrious in clearing and cultivating their lands." In 1765, a 
large part of the township of Bennington was occupied by 
hardy pioneers from Massachusetts and Connecticut, who had 
cleared the land, built houses and barns, made roads, and es- 
tablished schools. Just at this moment of prosperity the hard- 
working settiers were alarmed by another proclamation from 
lieutenant-Govemor Colden, reiterating his previous claim and 
this time by authority of the King and his Council, declaring 
the western bank of the Connecticut to be the boundary be- 
tween New Hampshire and New York, and ordering all His 
Majesty's subjects to conform thereto. 

32 Annual Meeting— 1S99. 

Having thus by proolamataon, indorsed by the King of Eng- 
landy claimed jurisdiction over the disputed territory, the New 
York government proceeded to allot the same, — ^in many in- 
stances granting to others the identical lands already occupied 
and improved by settlers who had paid for them to Governor 
Wentworth. About this time, Ethan Allen and his brothers, 
having invested in the New Hampshire Grants, made their home 
in Bennington. As may well be supposed, Allen was not the 
man tamely to submit to be dispossessed of his lawful property 
or to advise submission in others. Obtaining an able Connect- 
icut lawyer, he went to Albany to maintain the rights of the 
settlers. But it being soon evident that their case was prejudged, 
Allen went back to Bennington and stirred the people up to 
defend their rights and hold their property by force, since justice 
was denied them. Committees of Safety were appointed, and 
a military organization formed, afterward famous as ^^The 
Green Mountain Boys," with Ethan Allen as Colonel, and his 
cousin, Bemember Baker, Seth Warner, and others as captains 
under hiuL In July, 1771, an attempt was made by an armed 
force of three hundred men from Albany to eject James Break- 
enridge, one of the earliest settlers of Bennington. The at- 
tempt failed, but, says a writer, ^^ Here, in fact, on the farm of 
James BreiJienridge, was bom the future state of Vermont." 
The same year the Committee of Safety in General Council 
" Besolved, that no New York officer should be suffered to carry 
any person out of the New Hampshire Grants, without per- 
mission of the Committee of Safety, or the military Com- 
manders." New York surveyors were forbidden to run any 
lines within the Grants ; and finally no person should take out 
a grant under New York authority. Whereupon the New 
York Assembly authorized the sheriffs to call out a j>088e in 
case of opposition in executing their office : and a reward of £160 
was offered for the seizure of Ethan Allen, and £50 each for the 
other officers of the ^^ Green Mountain Boys." Thus it will be 
seen that Allen was regarded as the ringleader. It should also 
be noted that Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys were 
not like Bobin Hood and his fellows, a band of desperate out- 
laws, banded together without authority for the defense of their 
individual rights, but a regular organization legitimately ap- 
pointed by committees of the whole people to maintain justice 
and prevent intrusion upon their lawful rights. The ^^ Con- 

Ethcm Alien amd HU Daughter. 33 

necticat Courant " was the organ of the Green Mountain Boys 
at this period. Besides his contributions to this paper, pamphlets 
and placards flew fast from Ethan Allen's pen. His counter- 
blast against Governor Tryon's proclamation for his arrest, pro- 
vokes a smile to-day, though the gentlemen therein named would 
have found it no joke, had they fallen into the hands of the 
Green Mountain Boys at the Catamount Tavern in Benning- 

In this very year (1771) Orean Brush removed to Westmins- 
ter, Vermont. Doubtless he was influenced by his failure to 
obtain political power in New York and by his wish to realize 
money from his lands in the New Hampshire Grants, which in- 
cluded many acres of meadow land on the Connecticut. Brush's 
advent into this quiet country town, his display in dress, his glib 
tongue, his pompous manner, and his pretensions to gentility, at 
first profoundly impressed the simple villagers. But, as they 
came to know him better, they judged him more justiy. He 
soon found his level, and his only friends were a few arrogant 
loyalists of his own type, of whom every New England town at 
the beginning of the Bevolution had its quota. In answer to a 
petition of Cumberland County in 1772, the people were allowed 
to nominate two representatives to the General Assembly of 
New York. Crean Brush was one of the two elected. Weak 
and unprincipled as he appears. Brush had all the qualities 
which go to make a brilliant and successful party politidan. 
He soon became recognized as a conservative, wholly opposed 
to reform. His voluble speech, his grandiloquent oratory, and 
impassioned manner, compelled attention and gave him a cer- 
tain influence. In the dispute regarding the New Hampshire 
Grant, he was doubly interested, and from his knowledge ac- 
quired while in the office of the Secretary of State of New Ywk, 
he was able to present the case intelligently. Accordingly, we 
find him frequentiy on committees to draft statements of the 
rights of New York. It was he who prepared the bill to sup- 
press the riotous and disorderly proceedings of the '*' Benning- 
ton Mob," as the Green Mountain Boys were called, which 
was the origin of Governor Tryon's proclamation for the seizure 
ol Ethan Allen, Bemember Baker, and six otbwi. Brush also 
opposed the election of New York delegates to the Continental 
Congress. His career as a legisdator ended with the adjourn- 
ment of the New York Assembly on the 8d of April, 1775. 

34 AnntuU Meeting — 1899. 

He probably spent that summer in New York, working for the 
King's cause. In the autumn we find him in Boston, offering 
his services to General Gage, — who having reluctantly deter- 
mined to winter his army in Boston, and finding it necessary to 
remove the furniture from the houses that would be required, 
authorized Crean Brush to receive for safe keeping ^^ such goods 
as the people might voluntarily entrust to him .... to take due 
care thereof, and to deliver said Goods when called upon by 
those to whom he should have given his Receipts for the same." 
Mr. Brush's sun was near its setting. Shortly after this. Gage 
was superseded by Lord Howe, who, thinking discretion the 
better part of valor, determined to evacuate Boston, and when 
it became evident that this was no longer a matter of choice, 
the conduct of the British and their Tory adherents became 
more insolent. On Sunday, March 10, 1776, Howe privately 
ordered Brush to seize all goods which, if they should "fall 
into the hands of the rebels, would enable them to carry on 
War." At the same time a handbill was posted conspicuously 
in Boston, ordering the removal of linen and woolen goods 
from the town, and declaring that " any person who should se- 
crete such articles, would be treated as a Favourer of Rebels," 
and empowering Crean Brush to receive such goods on board 
the ship Minerva and the brigantine Elizabeth.* "The day 
following," says Mr. Frothingham, " was signalized by the op- 
erations of Crean Brush, a conceited New York tory, as igno- 
rant of the American character, as he was insolent in the 
discharge of his official duties." The following inventory of 
" sundry packages taken by Crean Brush, out of Mr. Cyrus 
Balwin's store, March 10, 1776, shows his indiscriminate plun- 
der of private property : 7 trunks. 9 boxes. 9 casks. 1 Coun- 
ter. 11 bales. 1 bag pepper. 1 bag allspice. 1 Cask indigo. 
3 quires small and 1 quire large Press paper. Sundry loose 
ones. 1 black walnut desk. 1 writing desk. 1 Pewter dish. 
1 small Organ in the chamber. 4 chairs." Abigail Adams's 
letters to her husband from Quincy during the first seventeen 
days of March, are of the most exciting interest. March 16, 1776, 
she writes, " There have been some movements among the minis- 
terial troops as if they meant to evacuate .... Boston. Be- 
tween seventy and eighty vessels of various sizes, are gone down, 
and lie in a row, in fair sight of this place, aU of which appear to 

* Frothingham, Si^ge of Boston, p. 306. 

Ethcm Alien and His Daughter, 35 

be loaded : and by what can be collected from our own observa- 
tions, and from deserters, they have been plundering the town." 
Smiday noon, March 17, Mrs. Adams writes : '^ Being quite sick 
with a violent cold, I have tarried at home today. I find the 
firing was occasioned by our people taking possession of Nook's 
Hill .... which has obliged our enemy to decamp this morn- 
ing, as I hear from a messenger just come from head-quarters 
.... they have carried away everything they could possibly 
take ; and what they could not, they have burnt, broke or hove 
into the water. Many articles of good household furniture 
having in the course of the week come ashore at Great Hill, 
both upon this, and Weymouth side ; — ^lids of desks, mahc^ny 
chairs, tables, &c. To what quarter of the world they are 
bound is wholly unknown. . . . From Penn's Hill we have a 
view of the largest fleet ever seen in America. Tou may count 
upwards of a hundred and seventy sail. They look like a for- 
est." A letter from a British officer's wife, on board a ship of 
this fleet, dated ^^ Kantasket Boads, March 25," gives us the 
other side of the picture. She says, " We know not where we 
are to go : We are in great distress. The spectacle is truly ter- 
rible." The Elizabeth, with Crean Brush on board, dropped 
down the harbor, and on the 29th of March, set sail for Halifax. 
She was overhauled on April 2d by Capt. John Manly in the 
^^ Hancock," and finding escape impossible, she struck her 
colors. All on board were made prisoners, and the brigantine 
anchored in Fiscataqua river, not far from the old homestead of 
Benning Wentworth. Brush with others was brought the 11th 
of April before the Massachusetts Council then sitting at Water- 
town. His testimony proved his share in the pillage of Boston. 
" I solemnly aver," he said, " that from the 5th to the 13th of 
March, I did not in any one night allow myself more than two 
hours' sleep." Brush was sent the next day to the jail in Boston, 
where he was kept a close prisoner, being placed in a cell by 
himself, heavily handcuffed, refused the use of pen, ink, paper, 
and candles, forbidden to talk with any one except in presence 
of the jailer. In January, 1777, his wife arrived in Boston, re- 
maining through the year. On the 5th of the following No- 
vember, she spent the day as usual with her husband in his cell, 
till the time for locking up, when she was told by the jailer 
that she must go. A tall figure, in a woman's dress, left 
the cell with apparent reluctance, passing slowly out of 

36 Annual MeeUng— 1899. 

the jail. The relieved turnkey shot the bolt and reported 
all safe, lifargaret Montr^sor passed a restless night in a felon's 
joelly while her husband, on a fleet horse provided by her, fled 
swiftly towards New York. The next morning, in answer to 
the turnkey's repeated summons to Mr. Brush to take his break- 
fast as usual at the loophole of his cell, a gentle voice at last replied 
with dignity, '^ I am not Mr. Brush's keeper," refusing to say 
more. Mr. Brush reached New York on the 16th of November. 
There he tried in vain to recover his New Hampshire grant, 
and to get redress for injuries sustained in the service of the 
£ing. A Boston paper of the period * gives the last act in the 
drama of his life. " From New York we learn that the noto- 
rious Crean Brush, who was sometime since released from con- 
finement in this town, after his arrival in that LOYAL city, 
applied to the Commander there, for a Consideration of the 
Insults ; and as he told his Story, the many Losses &c he met 
while here, he received for answer, ' Sir, your conduct merited 
them, and more ; ' which so enraged him, that he retired to bis 
Chamber, where with a Pistol, he besmeared the Boom with his 
Brains." While in Boston jail, Crean Brush had made his will, 
making his wife his Executrix, and leaving to her the whole of his 
property, as long as she should remain a widow. In case of 
her marrying again, she was to have one-third, her daughter, 
Frances Montr^sor, one-third, and his own daughter by his first 
wife, whom he had left an infant in Ireland, one-third. Mar- 
garet Montrteor seems to have had a penchant for Irishmen. 
We find her in 1783, as the wife of Patrick Wall, a New York 
tailor. Later they removed to the ertate in Westminster, Yt., 
inherited by her from Crean Brush, where they spent the rest of 
their lives. Her daughter, Frances Montr6sor, a gay and 
brilliant woman, then the widow of Captain Buchanan in the 
British service, lived with her in Westminster, attracting much 
attention among the plain village folk, by her imperious man- 

To follow the fortunes of Crean Brush we left Ethan Allen, 
in 1771, busy with his pamphlets and his placards. In the spring 
of 1772, Governor Tryon, through the Rev. Jedediah Dewey, 
minister of Bennington, proposed to the people of the Grants, 
to send agents to him with a view to the settlement of their 
troubles, promising protection to anyone sent by the minister 

* Hie Independent CSmmide, and Univereal Ad^iertiser, May 21, 1778. 

Ethan Aden and Bis De^hter. 87 

on this business, excepting Ethan Allen and the other leaders 
of the Green Mountain Boys. To this proposal a firm but re- 
spectful answer was sent, signed by Allen, Warner, Baker, and 
Cochran. This letter is a manly and dignified statement of 
their grievances and explanation of their conduct. They say, 
*^No consideration whatever, shall induce us to remit in the 
least our loyalty .... to our most Gracious Sovereign, and 
reasonably to you ; yet no tyranny shall deter us from assert- 
ing and vindicating our rights and privileges as Englishmen." 
Allen goes on to describe the assaults of the posse on unoffend- 
ing settlers, and says, '' The alteration of jurisdiction in 1764, 
could not effect [sic] private property, .... the transferring 
or alienating of property is a sacred prerogative of the true owner. 
Kings and Governors cannot intermeddle therewith. . . . Bight 
and wrong are eternally the same, to all periods of time, — 
places and nations ; and colouring a crime with a specious pre- 
tence of law, only adds to the criminality of it. . , . Can any 
man, in the exercise of reason, make himself believe, that a 
number of attorneys and other gentlemen with all their tackle 
to ornaments and compliments and French finesse .... have 
just rights to the lands, labors and fortunes of the New Hamp- 
shire settlers ? .... Our breasts glow with a martial fury to de- 
fend our persons and fortunes. . . . We choose Captain Stephen 
Fay, and Dr. Jonas Fay to treat with you in person. We en- 
tr^bt your aid to quiet us in our farms, till the King decides it." 
Pending this negotiation Governor Tryon privately sent a 
Scotch surveyor to lay out lands within the Grants, and at- 
tempted to establish there a colony of Scotch. Both these 
schemes were prevented by the prompt action of Ethan Allen 
and the Green Mountain Boys. Severe as their action was in 
some cases, it must be remembered that they had been greatly 
aggravated. We can smile at the penalty inflicted on a certain 
doctor, who had been blatant in his abuse of the Green Moun- 
tain Boys. They hoisted him in an armchair, twenty-five feet 
to the top of the sign-post of the tavern, and compelled him to 
sit for two mortal hours above the sign of the grinning cata- 
mount, exposed to the jeers of the mob below. By such acts 
the passions of both parties to the quarrel were inflamed. A 
bill was at once drafted by Crean Brush and enacted by New 
York, so cunning and so far-reaching as to blast all chance of 
peace. The Green Mountain Boys saw in it an attempt to ter- 

38 Annual Meeting— 1899. 

rify them into submission to injostioe. A coanter-blast was at 
once issued, by handbills and in the newspapers of Kew England, 
signed by Ethan Allen and his captains, declarmg their '^ cause 
good and equitable in the sight of God." They assert that New 
York jpoMes compelled them to join themselves into a military 
body. They say, " we will not be fooled or frightened out of 
our property. We flatter ourselves that upon occasion we can 
muster as good a regiment of marksmen and scalpers, as America 
can afford, and we now give the gentlemen, together with Mr. 
Brush and all the land-jobbers of New York an invitation to 
come and view the dexterity of our regiment. . . ." 

On the night of the 18th of April, 1775, a lantern was hung 
from the belfry of the old North Church in Boston. " Never," 
says Mr. Philip H. Smith,* " did the beams of a tallow dip go 
forth on more momentous errand." Few indeed realized at that 
moment, " how far that little candle " would " throw its beams." 
Mr. Frothingham says f of the Lexington and Concord fights, 
" Those events preface the history of a nation, and the beginning 
of an empire." These events found Bennington nominally 
under jurisdiction of New York, but substantially independent, 
— the people obeying only their own town-meetings, and the 
decrees of the Committees of Safety in convention. Their ir- 
ritation against the tyranny of King Gteorge, their sympathy 
with their friends in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and their 
contempt for a monarch who had allowed his grasping servants 
to seize their lands, and pursue his first grantees as felons and 
outlaws, made them eager to do their part in the war forced 
upon the colonies by England. From this moment Ethan Allen 
ceases to be a partisan leader, and becomes the broad-minded 
patriot. The wrongs of his state are merged in the wrongs of 
his country. 

Bennington people knew the importance of Ticonderoga. In 
March, 1775, their Committee of Safety had promised Joseph 
Warren and Samuel Adams, of the Massachusetts committee, 
that the Green Mountain Boys would be ready to seize that 
fort, whenever the king's forces should begin hostilities in Mass- 
achusetts. " On the 26th of April, 1775," says Mr. Sheldon,^ 
"Captain Samuel H. Parsons, journeying towards Hartford, 

* Green Mountain Bojrs, p. 51. 

t The Siege of Boston, p. 90. 

t History of Deerfieldy vol. II, p. 704 

Ethcm AU&th and His Daughter. 89 

met on the road Captain Benedict Arnold on his way from New 
London to Cambridge. They had a few words about the need 
of cannon for the army, the fact of a considerable number being 
at ^ Old Ti/ and the weakness of that fortress. This chance 
conversation bore fruit on both branches. Arnold pushed on 
to Watertown where the Provincial Congress was in session. 
He presented to the Committee of Safety a scheme for captur- 
ing Ticonderoga. May 3d this body and the Council of War 
laid the matter before Congress in secret session. The Com- 
mittee on Supplies was directed to furnish Arnold with 10 
horses, 200 pounds of powder, 200 pounds of ball, 1000 flints 
and £100 in money." On the 5th of May Arnold received his 
^* commission as Colonel, with authority to raise four hundred 
men and attack the fort." 

Meantime Parsons had '^ broached the project at Hartford," 
and Captain Edward Mott with five comrades left Hartford the 
29th of April, (joined later by Captain Easton and John Brown, 
^' with a few more picked men " ) and ^^ pushed on to rouse Ethan 
Allen and the Green Mountain Boys." ^' May 6th," says Mr. 
Sheldon, ^^ the newly made Colonel Arnold, resplendent in new 
uniform, bright epaulettes, gold lace and waving plumes, and 
attended by a servant, rode furiously up the street " in Deer- 
field, Mass., dismounting at the old tavern.^ Sending inmie- 
diately to the north end of the street for Thomas Wells Dickin- 
son, a young farmer of twenty-four, and recently married, he 
gave him ^' a commission as Assistant Commissary from the 
Commitee of Safety," with special orders to procure at once 
15,000 pounds of beef for the expedition to " Old TL" Pausing 
only for a social glass with Dickinson at the old tavern, " Arnold 
mounted his horse and pushed on over Hoosac Mountain, arriv- 
ing at Rupert, Vt., on the morning of May 8th .... Mott and 
Allen had already passed that point, Arnold followed, over- 
taking them at Castleton. The plan of the capture had been 
laid, and one party already sent to execute its share of the work, 
when Arnold appeared. He showed his commission and claimed 
the command. The Green Mountain Boys looked with con- 
tempt on the showy Colonel, .... flatly declaring that they 
would not serve under him. It was a terrible blow to the am- 
bitious Colonel to find that he was too late and that the laurels 
would be given to another," but, says Washington Irving, " he 

* Now owned and occupied as a summer residence l^ C. Alice Baker. 

40 Annual Meeting— 191^9. 

was fain to aoquiesoe and serve as a volonteer with the ranlcv 
but not the command of a Colonel." His disappointment may 
have been one of the causes of his pitiable end. On Sunday 
morning. May 7th, our young Deerfield commissary and his 
brother, Consider Dickinson, then a lad of fourteen, were on 
the road urging fifteen oxen as rapidly as possible towards 
Ticonderoga. They were met on the 12th day by Colonel Mott 
and others, returning from its capture. Though the story of the 
taking of Ticonderoga is familiar to every schoolboy, Ethan 
Allen's own relation has a special flavor. He says, ^^ The first 
systematic and bloody attempt at Lexington to enslave America^ 
thoroughly electrified my mind and fully determined me to take 
part with my country, and while I was wishing for an oppor- 
tunity to signalize myself in its behalf, directions were privately 
sent to me from the then colony of Connecticut, to raise the 
Green Mountain Boys, and, if possible, with them to surprise 
and take the fortress of Ticonderoga. This enterprise I cheer- 
fully undertook .... made a forced march from Bennington, 
and arrived at the lake opposite Ticonderoga on the evening of 
the ninth of May, 1775, with two hundred and thirty valiant 
Green Mountain Boys .... With the utmost difficulty I pro- 
cured boats to cross the lake. However, I landed eighty-three 
men near the garrison, and sent the boats back for the rear-guard 
commanded by Colonel 8eth Warner ; but the day began to 
dawn, and I found myself under the necessity to attack the fort 
before the rear could cross the lake, and as it was viewed haz- 
ardous, I harangued the officers and soldiers in the following 
manner. * Friends and fellow-soldiers, you have for a number 
of years past, been a scourge and terror, to arbitrary power. 
Your valor has been famed abroad and acknowledged, as ap- 
pears by the .... orders to me from the General Assembly 
of Connecticut to surprise and take the garrison now before us. 
I now propose to advance before you, and in person conduct 
you through the wicket-gate ; and inasmuch as it is a desperate 
attempt which none but the bravest of men dare undertake, I 
do not urge it on any, contrary to his will. You that will under- 
take voluntarily, poise your fire-locks ' . . . . Each poised his 
fire-lock : I marched them immediately to the wicket-gate, where 
I found a sentry posted, who instantly snapped his fusee at me. 
I ran .... towards him, and he retreated through the covered 
way into the parade within the garrison, gave a halloo, and ran 

Mhan Allen and His Daughter. 41 

under a bomb-proof. My party which followed me into the 
fort, I formed in the parade, in such a manner as to face the 
two barracks, which faced each other. The garrison being 
asleep, except the sentries, we gave three hozzas, which greatly 
surprised them. One of the sentries made a pass at one of my 
officers, with a charge bayonet, and slightly wounded him. My 
first thought was to kill him with my sword, but in an instant 
I altered the design and fury of the blow, to a slight cut on the 
side of his head : upon which he dropped his gun and asked 
quarter, which I readily granted him, and demanded of him the 
place where the commanding officer kept He showed me a 
pair of stairs in front of the west barrack, to which I immediately 
repaired, and ordered the conmiander. Captain de la Place, to 
come forth immediately, or I would sacrifice the whole garrison : 
at which the Captain came immediately to the door, with his 
breeches in his hand, when I ordered him to deliver me the fort 
instantly ; he asked me by what authority I demanded it. I 
answered him, ^ In the name of the great Jehovah and the Con- 
tinental Congress.' The authority of the Congress being very 
little known at that time, he began to speak again, but .... 
with my drawn sword over his head, I again demanded an im- 
mediate surrender of the garrison : with which he then complied 
and ordered his men to be forthwith paraded without arms 
as he had given up the garrison. This surprise was carried 
into execution in the gray of the morning of the 10th of May, 
1775. The sun seemed to rise that morning, with a superior 
lustre ; and Ticonderoga .... smiled on its conquerors, who 
tossed about the flowing bowl, and wished success to Congress, 
and the liberty and freedom of America.'' Seth Warner, who 
had now crossed the lake to Allen, was sent against Crown Point. 
The garrison there surrendered without firing a gun, and up- 
wards of a hundred cannon were taken. Arnold at once insisted 
on assuming the command at Ticonderoga, but was overborne 
by the popularity of Ethan Allen, whom the Connecticut com- 
mittee accompanying the expedition, invested with the command 
pending orders from Connecticut, or the Continental Congress. 
May 11th, 1775, Allen wrote as follows : 

To the Massachusetts CongreaB: 

I have to inform you with pleasure unfelt before, that on break of day of the 
10th of May, 1775, by the order of the Qeneral Assembly of the Colony of Con^ 

42 Annual JUeetmg— 1899. 

necticut, I took the fortress of Tioonderoga by storm. The soldiery was com- 
posed of about one hundred Green Mountain Boys, and near fifty veteran sol- 
diers from the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The latter was under the 
conmiand of Col. James Easton, who behaved with great seal and fortitude, 
not only in council, but in the assault ... I expect the Colonies will main- 
tain this fort. As to the cannon and warlike stores, I hope th^ may serve 
the cause of liberty instead of tyranny, and I humbly beg your assisting the 
Qovenm&ent of Connecticut, in establishing a garrison in the reduced prenuses. 

Yours most obedient servant, 

Ethan Allen. 

In another letter to the Massaohnsetts Connoil of War Allen 

Honorable Sirs, 

I make you a present of a major, a captain and two lieutenants in the regular 
establishment of Geoige the Third. I hope they may serve as ransomes for 
some of our firiends at Boston, and particularly for Capt. Brown of Rhode 

** Thus,*' says Mr. Irving,* " a partisan band, unpractised in the 
art of war, had by a series of daring exploits, and almost with- 
out the loss of a man, won for the patriots the command of Lakes 
George and Champlain, and thrown open the great highway to 

To lead an army into Canada now became the ambition of 
both Allen and Arnold. The latter wrote to the Governor 
of Connecticut on the subject, and Allen thus addressed the 
Continental Congress. *^The Canadians (all except the no- 
hlesse), and also the Indians appear at present to be very 
friendly to us : and it is my humble opinion that the more vig- 
orous the Colonies push the war against the King's troops in 
Canada, the more friends we shall find in that country. . . . 
Should the Colonies forthwith send an army .... to attack 
Montreal, we should have little to fear from the Canadians or 
Indians, and should easily make a conquest of that place. 
Striking such a blow would intimidate the Tory party in Can- 
ada. . . . They are a set of gentlemen that will not be converted 
by reason, but are easily wrought upon by fear." To the Pro- 
vincial Congress of New York, Allen wrote, '' Provided the Col- 
onies would suddenly push an army of two or three thousand 
men into Canada, they might make a conquest of all that would 
oppose them in the province of Quebec, except a re-inf oroement 

* life of Washington, vol. I, p. 407. 

EXhcm Allen and Sis J)(mffhter. 43 

from England should prevent it. I wish to Otod Amerioa 
would .... exert herself agreeably to the indignity offered her 
by a tyrannical ministry. Fame is now hovering over her head. 
A vast continent must now sink to slavery, poverty, horror and 
bondage, or rise to unconquerable freedom, immense wealth, 
inexpressible felicity and immortal fame. I will lay my life 
on it, with 1500 men, and a proper train of artillery I will take 
Montreal. Provided I could be thus furnished .... it would 
be no insuperable difficulty to take Quebec. This object 
should be pursued .... for England cannot spare but a cer- 
tain number of her troops .... and it is as long as it is broad, 
that the more that are sent to Quebec, the less they can send 
to Boston. ... At present, Canada is in a weak and helpless 

Allen also wrote to those Montreal merchants friendly to the 
cause of Liberty ; to the Canadian Indians and to the Canadian 
hdbitomts. These letters are interesting as showing his knowl- 
edge of human nature, his JmesBe^ his power to adapt himself 
to all sorts and conditions of men with whom he had to deaL 
Colonel Hinman with Connecticut troops being sent to relieve 
Allen at Ticonderoga, Allen and Seth Warner went to ask per- 
mission of the Congress to raise a regiment, and to get pay for 
their men. They were received with great honor ; their Green 
Mountain Boys were paid the same as the Continental troops, 
and it was recommended that a corps of Green Mountain Boys 
should be levied to serve in the war under officers of their own 
choosing. The people of the New Hampshire Grants were or- 
dered to raise a regiment of five hundred Green Mountain 
Boys. To the cruel disappointment of Allen, when the com- 
mittees of the several towns met at Dorset to choose the offi- 
cers for the new regiment, Seth Warner received forty-one votes 
to Allen's five, as Lieutenant-Colonel. Writing to Governor 
Trumbull on August 3, 1775, Allen says, " Notwithstanding my 
zeal and success in ray country's cause, the old farmers on 
the New Hampshire Grants have met, . . . and in their 
nomination of officers for the regiment of Green Mountain 
Boys, have wholly omitted me ... . I find myself in the 
favor of the officers of the army, and the young Green Moun- 
tain Boys. How the old men came to reject me, I cannot con- 
ceive, inasmuch as I saved them from the encroachments of 
New York. 

44 Armtud Meeting — 1899, 

To a meaner soul than Ethan Allen's this would have been 
a crushing blow. Not so with Allen. He returned to Ticoni- 
deroga, where he was " retained to act as pioneer on the Ca- 
nadian frontier." An expedition against Canada was deter- 
mined on^ and Arnold^ his more fortunate rival, received com* 
mand of a force to march against Canada by way of the Ken- 

Allen says, ^^ Early in the fall, the little army under the 
command of Generals Schuyler and Montgomery was or- 
dered to advance into Canada. I was at Ticonderoga when 
this order arrived, and the General with most of the field offi- 
cers requested me to attend them in the expedition : and 
though at that time I had no commission from Congress, yet 
they engaged me that I should be considered as an officer the 
same as though I had a commission, and should as occasion 
might require, command certain detachments of the army. 
This I considered an honorable offer, and did not hesitate to 
comply with it." From Isle aux Noix, Sept. 14, 1775, Allen 
writes to General Schuyler, " Arrived at Chambly ; found the 
Canadians in that vicinity friendly. They guarded me under 
arms night and day, escorted me through the woods, .... and 
showed me every courtesy. . . . Governor Carleton threatens 
the Canadians with fire and sword, except they assist him 
against the Colonies, and the Seigneurs urge them to it. . . . 
This is the situation of affairs in Canada, according to my 
most painful discovery." Illness compelling General Schuyler 
to return to Ticonderoga, Gteneral Bichard Montgomery assumed 
command, and the siege of St. Johns, so strenuously urged by 
Ethan Allen, began. On his way to assist in this siege, Allen 
wrote to General Montgomery from St. Ours, September 20, 
1775. "... I now have 250 Canadians underarms : as I march 
they gather fast. If this place be taken, the country is ours : if 
we miscarry in this, all other achievements will profit but little. 
... I shall join you in about 3 days, with 300 or more Cana- 
dian volunteers : . . . . those that used to be enemies to our 
cause, come up cap-in-hand to me, and I swear by the Lord I 
can raise three times the number of our army in Canada, pro- 
vided you continue the siege. . . . The eyes of all America, 
nay of Europe are or will be on the economy of this army, and 
the consequences attending it." If owhere better than in these 
letters of Allen is his sanguine temperament and his supera- 

EOum Allen and Sis Dattghter, 45 

bnndant self-confidence shown. On his march to St Johns, 
Allen met Major Brown with his detachment. By a casual re- 
mark of Brown's that Montreal was in a defenseless condition 
Allen's soul was fired to attempt another brilliant achievement. 
The two agreed to return to a point on the river opposite 
Montreal, — Brown with two hundred men to cross in canoes a 
little above the town, — Allen, similarly, a little below, in the 
night, — both at different points attacMng Montreal simultane- 
ously. They mutually agreed, that in case of the failure of 
either to arrive at the time fixed, early notice should be given 
to the other. Hearing nothing from Brown, Allen crossed the 
river as agreed upon, and found himself two hours after sunrise 
unsupported. The alarm had been given, and there was no re- 
treat without leaving a part of his force undefended, as only 
one third of his men could re-cross the river at a time. " This," 
says Allen, ^^ I could not reconcile to my own feelings as a man 
much less as an officer, and I concluded to maintain the ground 
if possible, and all to fare alike. . . . Montreal was in a great 
tumult. General Carleton made preparation to go on board 
their vessels, but the spy escaped from my guard to the town 
.... emboldened G^eral Carleton to send the force .... there 
oollected, out against me. . . ." The attack began between 
two and three o'clock in the afternoon. Deserted by most of 
his Canadian recruits, after a brave resistance of two hours, 
Allen surrendered on honorable terms, with about thirty Ca- 
nadians who had remained faithful to him. The prisoners were 
marched into Montreal, ^^ which was as I should guess," says 
Allen, ^^ more than two miles, a British officer walking at my 
right hand, and one of the French ncHease at my left .... no 
abuse was offered me till I met Oeneral Presoott. He asked 
me my name which I told him : he then asked me whether I 
was that Colonel Allen who to<^ Ticonderoga. I told him 
that I was the very man: then he shook his cane over my 
head, calling me many hard names, among which he frequently 
used the word rebel, and put himself in a great rage .... upon 
which Captain McCloud pulled him by the skirt and told him 
that it was inconsistent with his honor, to strike a prisoner. 
He then ordered a sergeant's command to kill thirteen Cana- 
dians, who were included in the treaty. It cut me to the 
heart to see the Canadians in so hard a case, in consequence of 
having been true to me .... I stepped between them and tbd 

46 AmmdL Meeting — 1899. 

exeoutionerSy and told General Presoott to thrust his bayonet 
into my breast, for I was the sole caase of the Canadians tak- 
ing up arms. . . . The general stood a minute, then said with an 
oath, ^ I will not hang you now, but you shall grace a halter at 
Tyburn.* ** Those of Allen's men who were not wounded were 
put on board vessels in the river, shackled together in pairs 
and ^Hreated as criminals." Allen thus describes his own 
irons. ^^ The hand-cuff was of common size and form, but my 
leg irons would weigh thirty pounds : the bar was eight feet 
long, .... the shackles which encompassed my ankles were 
very tight, .... I heard their officers say that it would 
weigh forty pounds weight. The irons were so close upon my 
ankles, that I could not lay down in any other manner than 
on my back." Allen was put into the hold of the vessel with 
a chest as his chair by day, and bed by night. Two soldiers 
with fixed bayonets guarded him day and night. They gave 
him some little blocks to lay under each end of his leg irons to 
keep them from galling his ankles. After sitting up for sev- 
eral days and nights, "having a desire to lie down on my 
side," he says, " which the closeness of my irons forbid, .... 
I desired the Captain to loosen them .... but was denied." 
The officers, ordered to use this severity to their prisoners, 
were personally kind to him, sending him food from their own 
mess, and " a good glass of grog daily." By letters to Generals 
Frescott and Carleton, Allen complained of the cruel treat- 
ment he was receiving, and reminding them of his own treat- 
ment of the prisoners taken at Ticonderoga, he demanded bet- 
ter usage, but got no answer. In this manner, Allen was 
confined six weeks on board the schooner Gaspee. Transferred 
to another vessel, his irons were removed, and he was treated 
like a gentleman by the commander. The latter, becoming in- 
volved in a prospective duel, accepted Allen's offer to be his 
second, Allen pledging his honor, in case of disaster to the com- 
mander, to return to the ship as a prisoner. After " 9 days 
happiness," on the arrival at Quebec of the advance of Ar- 
nold's army, Allen and his comrades were put on board the 
Adamant, in charge of Brook Watson, whose heart was as 
hard as the name of his ship, and whose treatment of the pris- 
oners was beastly. For forty days, from Quebec to Land's 
End, Allen and his men suffered unmentionable horrors, — ^in- 
sult and every conceivable indignity, from which they must 

JEthan Allen and Sis Daughter . 47 

have died, had they not been liberally fed daily on salt beef, 
and a gill of rum apiece. The ship reached Falmouth, a few 
days before Christmas, 1775. On learning that the hero of 
Ticonderoga was among the prisoners, the excitement of the 
people of Fahnouth was intense. Allen thus describes the 

"A few days before I was taken .... I shifted my 
clothes, by which I happened to be taken in a Canadian dress : 
— a short fawn-skin jacket double breasted, an undervest and 
breeches of sagathy,* worsted stockings, a decent pair of shoes, 
two plain shirts and a red worsted cap ; this was all the cloth- 
ing I had, in which I made my appearance in England 

Multitudes crowded to see us : I saw numbers on the house- 
tops, and the rising adjacent grounds were covered .... 
with both sexes." The throng was so great, that the king's 
officers had to force a passage with their swords, to Pendennis 
Castle a mile from the town, where by Carleton's orders they 
were confined. Great numbers, both gentle and simple, who 
came daily to gaze upon the caged lion of the Green Mountains, 
told him that he was to be hanged. " I could not but feel," 
says Allen, " extremely anxious for my fate. This I concealed 
from the enemy, .... and could conceive of nothing more 
in my power, but to keep up my spirits and behave in a soldier- 
like manner, that I might exhibit a good sample of American 
fortitude. The cause I was engaged in, I ever viewed worthy 
hazarding my life for, nor was I . . . . sorry that I engaged 
in it." It was a common thing for Allen to be taken out for 
exhibition on the parade ground of the Castle, where many 
people of both sexes were eager to see and talk with him. 
Allen's vanity and self-conceit are easily perceptible in his 
account of these scenes. On one occasion some gentlemen 
told him they had come fifty miles to see him, and one of them 
asked him what his occupation in life had been. Allen replied 
that when young, he had studied divinity, but that he was a 
conjuror by profession. To this the gentlemen replied that he 
had " conjured wrong when he was taken." " I was obliged to 
own," says AUen, " that I missed a figure then, but that I had 
conjured them out of Ticonderoga, — and this was the place of 
such notoriety in England, that the joke seemed to go in my 
favour." Allen seized the opportunity afforded him by such 

* A coarse woolen serge-like doth worn in the reign of Queen Anne. 

48 Annual Meedng— 1899. 

visits to harangue his audienoes on the futility of England's 
attempt to conquer the American Colonies. If his behavior 
on these occasions is offensive to us and seems undignified, his 
rhodomontade served at least to silence the insults offered him 
by beardless British braggarts. Some clergymen who behaved 
civilly in visiting him were agreeably surprised by his ability to 
discuss with them, moral philosophy and Christianity. Speak- 
ing of these visits, Allen says, ^^ I am apprehensive my Canadian 
dress contributed not a little to the excitement of curiosity. To 
see a gentleman in England, regularly dressed, and well be- 
haved, would be no sight at aU, but such a rebel, as they were 
pleased to call me, it is probable was never before seen in Eng- 
land." On the 8th of January, 1776, Allen was ordered on 
board the Solebay, a British man-of-war, to join the fleet at 
Cork. He was physically ill, and for the first time despondent, 
believing that he was to be secretly made way with. Some 
Irish gentlemen supplied him with clothing befitting a gentle- 
man and an abundance of sea stores. Sailing again, under a 
still more cruel commander, after touching at several ports, 
Allen reached Kew York, the first week in June, remaining 
there but three days, " in which time. Governor Tryon and 
others came on board." ^' What passed between them and the 
officers of the ship, I know not," says Allen, ^^ but this I know, 
that my treatment was more severe afterward." In mid-June 
Allen and his fellow prisoners lay scurvy-smitt^i at Halifax, 
^^ pinched with hunger," and shamefully treated. In Halifax 
jail Allen enjoyed the companionship of James Lord, also a 
prisoner. " I was happy that we were together," says Allen, 
^^ as a support to each other, and to the unfortunate prisoners 
with us. Our first attention was the preservation of ourselves, 
and injured little republic : the rest of our time we devoted in- 
terchangeably, to politics and philosophy." On the 3d of May, 
1778, having been a prisoner two years, seven months, and six 
days, Allen was exchanged at Kew York for Colonel Campbell,* 
being thus recognized as a colonel though he had no official 
rank. It must not be supposed that Ethan Allen's indiscretion 
and consequent suffering had been viewed with indifference by 
his superiors. Of his reckless dash at Montreal Schuyler had 
written, ^^ I always dreaded his impatience of subordination, and 

*Sir Archibald Campbell, captured in Boeton harbor, June 16, 1776. 

Ethan Alien (md Hia Domghter. 49 

it was not until after a solemn promise that he would demean 
himself with propriety, that I would permit him to attend the 
army, nor would I have consented then, had not his soldiers 
been backed by several officers." Said Washington, ^' His mis- 
fortune wm I hope teach a lesson of prudence and subordina- 
tion to others who may be ambitious to outshine their general 
officers, and regardless of order and duty rush into enterprises 
which have unfavourable effects on the public and are destruc- 
tive to themselves." Doubtless, as Mr. Irving remarks,* " Par- 
tisan exploit had inflated the vanity, and bewildered the 
imagination of Allen ; " yet as '^ nothing succeeds like success," 
bad Allen's attack on Montreal been crowned with success, his 
achievements would probably have elicited far different expres- 
sions from his superiors in command. Nevertheless, Washing- 
ton, having learned of the sufferings of Ethan AUen by orders 
of General Prescott, now himself a prisoner, wrote as follows to 
liord Howe : " Sir, we have just been informed .... that 
Colonel Allen has been treated without regard to decency, 
humanity or the rules of war : . . • . that he has been throvni 
into irons, and suffers all the hardships inflicted upon common 
felons. I think it is my duty to demand, and do expect from 

you, an SdaircissemetU on this subject I must take 

tiie liberty also of informing you, that I shall consider your 
silence as a confirmation of this report, and of assuring you 
that whatever treatment Colonel Allen receives, whatever fate 
he undergoes, such exactly shall be the fate of Brigadier Pres- 
cott now in our hands." Immediately upon Allen's release, he 
visited General Washington at VaUey Forge. There he saw 
Gates and Putnam and La Fayette and Steuben. There he 
wrote to Congress a letter which Washington inclosed with his 
own, recommending Allen for promotion. " There is an original 
something about him," writes Washington of Allen, " that com- 
mands admiration, and his long captivity and his sufferings have 
only served if possible, to increase his enthusiastic zeal. He 
appears very desirous of rendering his services to the States 
.... and at the same time he does not discover any ambition 
for high rank." On this recommendation Congress gave Allen 
a brevet-commission as colonel. Allen reached his home in 
Bennington four weeks after his release. More than one effort 
was made by the British to seduce him from his loyalty to the 

* Life of Waahingtooy vol. 11, p. 63. 

50 Annual Meeting— 1899. 

American cause. In February, 1781, the independence of Yer- 
mont being still unacknowledged by Congress, and New York 
being still grasping, — the British general tried to corrupt Allen 
by promising to make Yermont a British province. Allen, 
without reply, inclosed their offers to Congress, at the same 
time fearlessly asserting the right of Yermont to agree upon 
terms with Great Britain, if denied her independence among 
the Colonies. ^^ I am as resolutely determined," he says, ^^ to 
defend the independence of Yermont, as Congress, that of the 
United States; and rather than fail, I will retire with the 
hardy Green Mountain Boys into the desolate caverns of the 
mountains, and wage war with the devil, hell and human 
nature at large." 

Ethan Allen's first wife died in 1788. In frequent visits to 
Westminster, Yt., he became acquainted with Mrs. Wall, of 
whom I have spoken, and her daughter, Mrs. Buchanan, who 
boarded at the house of his friend. General Bradley. The 
young widow was attracted by Allen's original views, and much 
flattered by the attentions of a man twenty-five years her senior, 
whom everybody feared, and they became warm friends, 
though she stood somewhat in awe of his rough manners and 
indomitable wilL John Norton, the tavern-keeper, a man of 
importance in town affairs, evidently a privileged person, said 
to her, " Fanny, if you marry General Allen, you will be the 
queen of a new state." " Yes," she replied impetuously, " if I 
i^ould marry the devil, I should be queen of hell." This from 
a refined and accomplished society woman, one who was usually 
of elegant manners and gentle speech, shows that she was 
already balancing her chances of happiness, with a man 
whose character she had carefully studied, — ^a character which 
at once attracted and repelled her. But, as we have seen, Allen 
never permitted any obstacles in his path. On the morning of 
the 9th of February, 1784, while the judges of the Supreme 
Court were breakfasting with lawyer Bradley, Colonel Allen 
dashed up to the door in a sleigh drawn by a fine span of black 
horses, driven by his negro. Alighting and entering, Allen de- 
clined an invitation to sit down at table with the gentlemen, 
saying that he had breakfasted and would go up and chat with 
the ladies, till his friends should finish. Passing through the 
breakfast room, he found Mrs. Wall and her daughter. The 
latter, becomingly dressed in her morning gown, was standing 

Mhan Allen and Sis Da/ughter. 51 

in a chair and arranging the china and glass on the upper shelves 
of a cupboard she was dusting. After some joking about a 
broken decanter which she held in her hand, the Colonel said, 
" Well, Fanny, if we are ever to be married, now is the time, 
for I am on my way to Arlington." The abruptness of Allen's 
proposal reminds one of his demand for the surrender of Ticon- 
deroga, and proved as successful. "Very well,'* replied the 
young widow, submissively, " but give me time to put on my 
Joseph." Drawing her arm through his, Allen led her to the 
breakfast room, where the lawyers were smoking, and address- 
ing his old friend the Chief Justice, said, " Judge Eobinson, 
this young woman and I have concluded to marry, and to have 
you perform the ceremony." " When ? " asked the astonished 
judge. "Now," said Allen. "For myself I have no great 
opinion of such forms, and I think she cares as little for them 
as I do, — ^but as a decent regard for other people's opinions 
seems to require it, you may proceed." " But, General," stam- 
mered the Judge, " this is a very important matter, and should 
have serious consideration." " Certainly," replied Allen, draw- 
ing himself up with his usual self-esteem and glancing fondly 
at his handsome bride-elect, " but I don't think it requires much 
deliberation in this particular case." Seeing argument useless 
the Judge proceeded. " Do you, Ethan, promise to live with 
Frances, agreeably to the law of God — ^" " Halt ! " cried Allen, 
turning and looking out of the window. After a moment's 
pause, he said, " Yes, according to the law of Gk>d as written in 
the great book of nature, — ^go on, my team is at the door." 
The ceremony ended, Frances Montr6sor Buchanan donned her 
Joseph, a garment much affected by women of the period, — ^a 
great coat, with a broad cape, buttoned down the front. Her 
guitar and trunk were tucked under the front seat of the sleigh, 
jingle, jingle went the bells, and Ethan Allen, again victorious, 
drove rapidly towards the west with his captured bride. 

Thus in 1784, the step-daughter of Crean Brush married the 
man on whose head a price had been set exactly ten years be- 
fore by Governor Tryon at Brush's instigation. In 1787 Ethan 
Allen removed with his family to Burlington, Vt. Hay being 
scarce, in the winter of 1789, an intimate friend who lived on 
the island of South Hero told Allen he would give him a load 
of hay if he would come and get it. On the 11th of January 
Colonel AIIqu with a sled and span of horses and his negro serv- 

52 Annual MeeHng—lS99. 

ant crossed on the ice to the island, remaining there all night. 
On nearing home the neict day, his servant having spoken to 
him several times without reply, saw that his master had died 
on the load. 

It is not for me to eulogize or defend Ethan Allen. He was 
the man for the hour if ever there were one. Much has been 
written about his conceit, his coarseness, his profanity, his 
blasphemy, and his infidelity. These things seem to me to be 
but straws on the surface of his character, and to me it matters 
little what a man believes in comparison with what he is. Es- 
sentially an American, Ethan Allen was yet a cosmopolitan. 
^^Manldnd are naturally too national, even to bigotry," he 
says. ^Commercial intercourse with foreign nations, has a 
tendency to improve mankind, and erase the superstition of the 
Blind, by acquainting them that human nature, policy and in- 
terest, are the same in all nations, — and at the same time they 
are bartering commodities for the convenience and happmess 
of each nation, they may reciprocally exchange such part of 
their customs and manners, as may be beneficial, and learn to 
extend charity and goodwill to the whole of mankind." Grant 
him conceited, — ^most people of ability are. He was impulsive, 
but how generous were his impulses ! He was brave, loyal and 
patriotic ; just, honest, upright, and affectionate : a good son, a 
good father, a good citizen. He did not believe in the inspira- 
tion of the Bible ; no more do some of us. With us he believed 
in God and in the immortality of the souL 

That all roads lead to Rome is a trite saying, but to reach 
Kome by way of Ethan Allen is a surprise. Ethan Allen left one 
daughter and two sons by his second wife. His widow, Frances 
Montr^sor Buchanan, married Dr. Jabez Penniman of Burling- 
ton, Vt. Frances, or Fanny, the eldest child of Ethan and 
Frances Montr6sor Allen, inherited many of her father's dis- 
tinguishing qualities, especially his independence of thought 
and action* She was five years old at his death and but six 
when her mother married again. It is fair to suppose that she 
was left pretty much to her own devices during these all- 
engrossing events. We may think of her rambling about Dr. 
Penniman's fine old colonial house, perhaps exploring the re- 
cesses of the garret or perched on some broad window seat ab- 
sorbed in such books as " The Children of the Abbey," " Thad- 
deus of Warsaw," and " The Mysteries of Udolpho." She may 

Ethan AUen and IIU DcMghter, 68 

have played at keepii^ a coontry store, as some of us have 
done, with pins for money, selling currant and raspberry juioe 
as drugs and wine, and thistle down and com silk and plantain 
cord and birchpaper, — weighing out with the Doctor's scales 
sand sugar, and bean coffee to imaginary customers. Our first 
glimpse of Fanny is at the age of twelve, when, breathless and 
beside herself with fear, she ran shrieking home from the river 
bank, her favorite resort, declaring when questioned by her 
anxious mother that she had seen the river lashed into billows, 
from which at last a monstrous serpent raised itself, winding 
rapidly toward the shore where she stood paralyzed with fear, 
when an old man suddenly appeared at her side, with a staff in his 
hand, and wearing a brown cloak. " What are you doing here, 
little girl, — run," he cried, and gently pushed her away. She 
fled as on the wings of the wind, but soon looking back, was 
surprised that her protector was nowhere to be seen. Her 
mother sent everywhere to learn if anyone answering to 
Fanny's description of her preserver had been seen in the neigh- 
borhood, but tJie old man and the ^^ menstruum horrendum " 
had vanished together. Is not this the earliest record of our 
New England sea-serpent ? All this might have happened to 
any little country girl, and the story would have been sum- 
marily dismissed by a busy and practical mother as a child's 
fancy, but in the annals of Catholicism, which delight in alle- 
gories, this experience of Fanny Allen's plays an important 
part. After this incident we have no account of Fanny's life 
until 1807, when she would have been about twenty-one years' 
old. This interval was a period of great intellectual activity, 
of inquiry and theological discussion. Freedom of thought was 
awakening in New England. Men began to dare to question 
the divinity of Christ, the original sin and total depravity of 
man, and tiie doctrines of election and predestination. It could 
scarcely be expected that Fanny AUen, ^^her father's own 
child," as we should say, would accept anything on tradition. 
Her common sense and subtle instinct were quick to discover 
weak doctrinal points, but to her thoughtful and searching 
questions she received only evasive answers. She seems to me 
to have been at this time in a state of mind common to all in- 
telligent young people (and praiseworthy up to a certain 
point), of unwillingness to accept ready-made opinions from hw 
elders. Doubtless, too, for it waa the spirit of that intolerant 

64 AnnikU Meeting — 1899. 

age, she beard the Boman Catholic church denounced. So in a 
half revolt a^inst the bififoted Presbyterianism of her time, 
with a vain-^rious oonfidSce in her own superior judgment; 
quite consistent with her inherited character, this remarkable 
young person determined to find out for herself what Oatholi- 
cism was and especially to find out for herself whether there was 
any foundation in fact for certain calumnies concerning convent 
life which had come to her through a bad book of the period. 
Priding herself on simply chiiming her right to independent 
judgment, when in fact she was unconsciously dominated by a 
spirit of opposition, and delighting in surprising her family, she 
informed her mother that she wished to go to Montreal to study 
French, having in fact previously wished to perfect herself in 
that language. There is a tradition of her engagement at some 
period of her life to a rich Boston gentleman. A disappoint- 
ment in this connection may have been one of the motives im- 
pelling her to this step. To an unprejudiced person, especially 
to one familiar with the quips and cranks of young girls, Fanny 
Allen's conduct up to this point in her life shows an intolerable 
self-esteem and childish perversity; an unbridled imagination 
and an undisciplined will. The picture of the weak, volatile 
mother and the over-indulgent stepfather, powerless to control 
the audacious headstrong girl is not pleasing. As might be ex- 
pected, for nothing is so apt to be misguided as religious zeal, 
the Pennimans did the worst thing they could have done under 
the circumstances. They yielded a reluctant consent to her 
plan, on condition that she would first be baptized. Accordingly 
she submitted to this rite in the Presbyterian meetinghouse, 
shocking everyone who witnessed the ceremony by laughing 
in the face of good Parson Barber, when he sprinkled her with 

Soon to Montreal went Miss Fanny, and a sad life she led 
the gentle sisters of the Congregation, with her gibes and 
sneers at everything they held most sacred ; so sad, indeed, that 
they were on the point of sending her home in disgrace, and 
would have done so, but for the entreaties of her special teacher 
who saw lovable qualities in the girl and had set her heart on 
her conversion. If this story is true, as told by her Catholic 
admirers, it adds color to my theory, that her over-weening 
self-confidence, her mistaken sense of her own importance, and 
her impatience of control, biased her judgment and made her 

Mhcm AUeii and His Daughter. 55 

delight to scoff at rites which others regarded aa sacred, 
whether Bomish or Presbyterian. As might have been ex- 
pected, her obdurate heart was conquered. By a miracle, so 
says her biographer, — ^more likely by her affection for the pa- 
tient nun who befriended and loved her and appreciated her 
nobler qualities. On the Feast of the Nativity of the Yirgin 
her teacher sent her to place flowers on the altar in the chapel. 
With her usual ridicule, Fanny started with the vase, but on 
opening the gate of the balustrade surrounding the holy place, 
she found herself paralyzed. ^^ An invisible force arrested her 
steps. Three times she tried in vain to proceed. Then her 
soul is illumined, she sees, she kneels, she adores," and fleeing 
back to the darkest recesses of the chapel ^^ she prostrates her- 
self for hours in tears and prayer." To us, this scene is an- 
other example of the emotional character and impulsive act of 
an impetuous girl influenced by an overwrought imagination. 
The joy of her teacher at seeing her hopes and prayers fulflUed 
by Fanny's demand for baptism and confirmation may be 
imagined. So, too, the feelings of her mother and father, when 
they heard of Fanny's conversion. Proceeding at once to Mon- 
treal, they demanded her immediate return with them to Yer- 
mont. Obedient and gentle as never before, Fanny yielded to 
their wishes and accompanied them to Burlington. There by 
festivities of every kind, — sleighrides, balls, and all the amuse- 
ments of country life in winter, and finally by sending her to 
enjoy city gayeties in Philadelphia, they tried to divert her 
from her purpose. Alas t the remedy came too late. When 
Lent came, she fasted even to exhaustion, reiterating her deter- 
mination to return to convent life. In the spring of 1809, 
Fanny Allen bade an eternal farewell to home and country. 
Her mother went with her to Canada. She had not decided 
what community to enter. Providence again directed her steps. 
Towards sunset of a bewitching spring day, Fanny and her 
motiier entered the chapel of the nuns of the Hdtel-Dieu. In 
the mysterious light of the late afternoon a painting of the 
Holy Family above the high altar riveted Fanny's attention. 
The hour, the scene, the approaching parting from her mother 
deeply affected the susceptible girL ^^ It is he I " she cried, 
^^ Saint Joseph wants me here. He saved me from the monster 
that would have devoured me. I must give my life to his serv- 
ice." Her immediate application for admission to the con- 

66 Anntcal Meeting — 1899. 

vent of the fldtel-Dieu was disoonraged. The Superior, Rev- 
erend Mother Cfeloron, advised her to return to the Ladies of 
the Congregation, resume her French lessons, and reflect before 
immuring herself within a cloister. She entered her novitiate 
at the H6tel-Dieu on the 29th of September, 1808, being then 
about twenty-four years old. Dr. and Mrs. Penniman visited 
her there the following spring. According to the annals of the 
convent, a great number of Fanny's American friends were 
present at the ceremony of her taking the veil. " They filled 
all the choir, and the church could hardly contain the crowd.** 
It is a most impressive scene, this New England girl to whom 
the earth and air and sky and water of her native land had 
been so free and precious, voluntarily renouncing her liberty, 
her judgment, and her hitherto indomitable and untrammeled 
will, to take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and 
seclude herself forever within the cold gray walls of a foreign 
convent. But " Sister Allen justified by her regularity, her 
zeal and all the other religious virtues the hopes which the com- 
munity had conceived of her." Amid her duties as nurse she 
assumed, as Adelaide Silver, another New England nun, had 
done before her, the special mission of converting the heretic 
patients. Her converts were numerous, and we are told that 
four in one week abjured Protestantism. After eleven years of 
her religious life, she was seized with an inflammation of the 
lungs. When her iUness became alarming, she asked that a 
Protestant Montreal physician, an American whom she re- 
spected, might be sent for. His devoted care of her was in vain. 
He was present at her death, and was so impressed by the scene 
that he wrote an account of it for the newspaper, expanding on 
the beatitudes which Catholicism afforded to the dying. A 
year and a half later he sold his worldly goods and disappeared 
from Montreal, saying that he should never see his friends on 
earth again but hoped to meet them in heaven ; and that he 
should never forget the ravishing spectacle of the pious death 
of Sister Allen. At Winooski near Burlington, Vt., the hospi- 
tal nuns of the H6tel-Dieu, the order to which Fanny Allen be- 
longed, have established a convent named in affectionate re- 
membrance of her. She has been celebrated in song and story, 
as " The Gray Nun of Montreal," and " The First American 
Nun.*' There is a drama in five acts bearing the latter title, 
written by the historian, Abby Maria Hemmenway, of Ver- 

Etkom Allen wnd HU Daughter. 57 

mont. Bat, as we have seen, Fanny Allen did not belong to 
the order of the " Gray Nuns ;" and a century before her, Mary, 
rebaptized Adelaide Silver, of Haverhill, Mass., and Tabitha, 
rebaptized Ang6liqae littlefield, of Wells, Me., became nans of 
the H6tel-Dieu in Canada. Mary Sayward of York, Me., was 
a nan of the Congregation in Montreal in 1698. Lydia Long- 
ley, of Groton, Mass., aboat the same date, and £sther Wheel- 
wright, of Wells, Me., took the black veil as an Ursuline sister 
at Qaebec in 1714. So that the honor of being the first Amer- 
ican nan mast be ref ased to Ethan Allen's daughter. 






Obdbb of Ezbroisb8. 

1. SlNQING. 

2. Pbater. Bev. E. A. Eobinson 

8. Bbpobt of Oommittee of the Town upon the erection of 

4. Addbbbs of Welcome to the Association. Eate Upson Clark 
6. Response. Hon. George Sheldon, President of Association 

6. Singing. Miss Annie Temple 

7. Poem. Miss Sadie Maxwell 

8. HisTOBioAL Address. Rev. Lyman Whiting, D. D. 

9. Social Hour — Collation. Basket Picnic. 

10. Unyeiling the Stone Marking the Rice Fort. 

11. Prater. Rev. Mr. Wriston 

12. Address. Hon. Herbert C. Parsons, Cor. Sec'y of Assn. 
18. Singing. 

14. Address. Lucy Cutler Kellogg 

15. Short Addresses. Hon. Samuel O. Lamb, Rev. Mr. P. Y. 

Finch, Charles E. Ward and Citizens of Charlemont and 
Guests of the Committee. 

16. A Processional Yisit to the Moses Rice Monuicent. Brief 

History of it. 

Field Meetinff—1899. 59 

17. Olosing W0BD6. Town Oommittee and others, with re- 

sponses by the Focnmtaok Gnests. 

18. Bbnbdiotion. 


For the Town, Rev. Lyman Whiting, D. D., Leonard B. Rice 
and C. P. C. Miner. 

For the Society, Eagene A. Newcomb, Jonathan Johnson, 
Lncy Cutler Kellogg, John H. Stebbins and W. L. Harris. 


The bit of meadow defined by the Deerfield river, — along 
whose farther bank thunders the traffic of the tunnel railroad, — 
and on the other side by the single street of Charlemont village, 
was adorned Wednesday of this week by a flagstaff rising al- 
most in the center of this vernal tract and floating the national 
colors. By the roadside, twenty rods away, " Old Glory " was 
performing another service, wrapped about and quite conceal- 
ing a block of granite, upon whose face, toward the highway, 
was inscribed a brief historical record. The floatmg flag in 
the meadow marked the exact location of the Rice fort, one of 
the cordon of rude but staunch defenses which were stretched 
across the northern Massachusetts frontier in French and Indian 
days to shelter the scattered pioneers and furnish resistance to 
the shock and strain of the savage occasional attack and con- 
stant meuaoe. The block of granite was erected as a memorial 
to this fortification and the tragic events which cluster about it 
in history, and was placed by the public way, rather than in the 
field, so that the passers-by should know of its existence and its 

It was the day for the dedication of this and other memorial 
stones, and the task was to be performed by the Historical Asso- 
ciation which had inspired the marking of the historic spots, in 
this as in other towns within its province, the Pocumtuck Yal- 
ley Memorial Association. 

This was not the first visit of the Association to Charlemont. 
The second Field Meeting in its history was held here August 2, 
1871. At no subsequent meeting has there been a larger con- 
course or more enthusiasm. The Association was invited here 
to dedicate a monument erected over the grave of Moses Rice 

60 Fidd MeeHng— 1899. 

and Phineos Arms. May it not be that we see to^ay the fruit 
of seed sown on that oocasion. 

At the suggestion of Charles E. Ward, President of the Oak 
Tree Association, Eev. Dr. Lyman Whiting and their associates, 
the town voted at the annuaJ meeting to raise money to mark 
the sites of Forts Rice, Hawks and Taylor. A committee con- 
sisting of Dr. Whiting, L. B. Rice and C. P. C. Miner, was given 
charge of the work and instructed to confer with a committee 
of the P. V. M. Association — Judge F. M. Thompson and Mrs. 
H. W. Kellogg. The sites of the forts were marked by granite 
boulders set into the ground with the simplest inscriptions : — 

Site of 


Site of 


1764:— 1899. 

Site of 


It was not practicable to visit Taylor Fort on the East, or Hawks 
Fort on the West, and the dedicatory exercises of the day cen- 
tered at Rice's Fort. It was here that the concluding exercises 
of a very full day were held. 

To accommodate the throng of people from down the valley 
and up the hills who drove in over the dusty roads, and to make 
easy tiie task of providing a dinner for the official visitors, the 
principal exercises were held at the fair grounds of the Deer- 
field Yalley Agricultural Society, a mile away from the scene 
of the unveiling, a ceremony which occupied a half hour late 
in the afternoon. The historical exercises covered about two 
hours in the morning, and precisely two hours in the afternoon 
— ^between the two an hour of delightful sociability and a 
generous luncheon for those who had come without their bas- 

The morning was chiefly marked by Mrs. Clark's address of 

Field Meeting— 1S99. 61 

welcome, a spirited, enlivening, entertaining speech; tbe re- 
q)onse by President Sheldon which was in keeping with the 
long series of his similar addresses in which the solid facts of 
local history are dressed in a literary form and an adornment 
of happy personal observations that make them entertaining to 
tbe least antiquarian of hearers ; and Eev. Dr. Whiting's his* 
torical address, a production notably appreciative of tbe spirit 
of tbe men and women of pioneer days and appreciative of the 
spirits of their descendants who like to take their history in 
moderate portions and well seasoned. It was a touching narra- 
tive Dr. Whiting gave and the story was so clothed with the 
good divine's eloquent language that it brought tears to tbe 
eyes and cheeks of many to whom the pathetic incident's of the 
early stru^le became real and present. 

Mr. Charles E. Ward opened the day with a few words in gen- 
eral Prayer was offered by Rev. E. A. Robinson of Buckland. 
The committee on the monuments, through Dr. Whiting, reported 
the marking of the sites of the three forts as a result of the Old 
Oak Tree Association's efforts and the financial help of the town 
of Charlemont. The audience sang ^^ America" with much 
earnestness and more than the usual correctness. Mr. Ward in- 
troduced Mrs. Eate Upson Clark to deliver the address of wel- 
come. She was received with applause, which was frequently 
repeated after her vigorous sentences. 

Mrs. Clark welcomed the Pocnmtuck Association and com- 
mended its work. She welcomed particularly its president, 
saying she was proud, they who were gathered were "all 
proud of what he has done for this county and for the 
country as an historian, combining with his faculty for re- 
search a fine literary ability which makes his work delightful." 
She paid a pleasant personal compliment to Senator H. C. Par- 
sons. She honored Charles Dudley Warner as one whose pres- 
ence greatly honored the occasion, a man who has been placed 
by the best critics at the head of American men of letters, and 
who has done much to make our valley a place in literary clas- 
sics by his story of " Being a Boy " — ^in Charlemont. She wel- 
comed the aged people present and urged that their recollections 
of the earlier days should be written down — they are invalu- 
able. She recalled the Association's field day in Colrain last 
year as one of the most interesting occasions she had ever at- 
tended and hoped the one of this day would rival it in spirit. 

62 Fidd Meeting— 1S99. 

The flower of the countryside had been brought together here 
as there and it was delightful to have it gathered. Mrs. Olark 
then paid tribute to the women of the early days whose deeds 
were almost forgotten, ^^ the short and simple annals of the un- 
recorded/' as she paraphrased Gray. Dinah Rice, who shot 
the savage, was almost alone in being remembered — and all be- 
cause the men kept the records. The women did as much to 
save the country as the men. They now want the men to 
make the country worth saving. They want something to say 
who is going to be king, whether Mr. Croker or some of the 
other bosses— or rather they are going to see to it that we do 
not have any king. The schools are trjring to teach both men 
and women to think and the vast power which women have 
been storing up in the years of their repression is going to be 
used to help the men to govern the country. The Pocumtuck 
Yalley Memorial Association, she declared in closing, is one of 
our helpful institutions because it is exerting an ennobling and 
dignifying influence upon our lives, and women share equally 
with men in it. The institutions which the fathers handed down 
to us are better understood by its help, and these institutions 
must be preserved with unceasing vigilance if our country is to 
be what it should be. 

Mr. Sheldon's response and Dr. Whiting's address followed. 
These, with a song by Miss Annie Temple, "The Deserted 
Homestead," which was pleasingly sung, and a poem written 
by Miss Sadie Maxwell and read by Mrs. C. H. Leavitt, com- 
pleted the morning's programme. 

On the opening in the afternoon, with the seats of the grand- 
stand well filled. President Sheldon turned the task of presiding 
over to H. C. Parsons of Greenfield. He spoke for about ten 
minutes upon the duty Americans owe to the men and women 
who laid the foundations of the nation. It is not possible to 
add glory to their deeds ; in building monuments to them we 
must feel as Lincoln said in the cemetery at Gettysburg. " In 
a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we can- 
not hallow this ground. The brave men who struggled here have 
consecrated it far above our power to add or to detract." We 
can, in the spirit of that address, dedicate ourselves to the task of 
perpetuating the institutions they founded and applying the 
principles which marked their sturdy lives to the tasks of our 
citizenship. Mr. Parsons referred to a letter of regret received 

Fidd Meeting— 1S99. 68 

from Oongressman Lawrenoe, who spoke of the Oolrain day of 
last year with enthusiasm ; he also regretted the absence of 
Jndge Thompson, the vice-president of the Association. After 
some story-telling he introduced the succession of speakers 
whom he declared constituted the most notable display of 
grandstand attractions ever presented even on this notable fair 

Mrs. Lucy Cutler Kellogg of Greenfield, whose address was 
the one formal feature of the afternoon, introduced it with a little 
genealogical talk and referred to the presence in the audience of 
four generations of her family. Mrs. Kellogg's speech was 
well received. 

Then came the informal speaking. Samuel O. Lamb of 
Greenfield made a delightful reminiscent talk, with reference 
to his early Charlemont acquaintance and especially to the 
Leavitt family. 0. H. McClellan of Troy, N. Y., who was the 
historian of the Colrain meeting, paid a fitting tribute to the 
early settlers. Arthur A. Smith of Colrain made a charac- 
teristic, rousing speech, winding up with the declaration that the 
nation had started on the right track and would keep right on 
even if it took in the Philippine Islands. This was followed by 
Charles E. Ward of Buckland, who, after some bright and taking 
comments on the proceedings of the day, scored that other re- 
cent meeting at Ashfield as unpatriotic and argued for uphold- 
ing the government in its Philippine undertaking. The same 
arguments now used by the Anti-Imperialists would have ap- 
plied in our early days to prevent killing the Indians or taking 
this country without their consent and would have made King 
Philip another G^rge Washington. Mr. Ward spoke vigor- 
ously and well and was roundly applauded. The cballenge of 
his speech to a discussion of modem political questions was not 
taken up. 

Mrs. Kate Upson Clark gave a bright five-minute speech and 
was followed by Mrs. Dawes of Boston, the author of child his- 
tories, who gave an interesting story of her ancestor's expe- 
riences at Bennington and Bunker Hill. John M. Smith of 
Sunderland spoke interestingly on the value of local history to 
the people who live on the soil which their fathers defended. 
H. A. Howard, the Charlemont superintendent of schools, made 
a well-rounded speech on the value of history in schools and 
commended the Association's work. Mutual votes of thanks 

64 Fidd MeOing— 1899. 

were passed and the meeting adjourned to the Kice Fort monu- 
ment for the unveiling. 

Mr. Sheldon having exhausted his strength the task of presi- 
ding here again fell to Mr. Parsons. Dr. Whiting told the 
story of the forts and of the effort to mark their sites. Mr. 
Bice read the deed which reserves to the public the ground 
where stands the monument over the grave of Capt. Moses 
Bice. Then the Fort Bice marker was unveiled^ Mrs. A. M. 
D. Alexander of Northfield, who gave the five memorial stones 
that have been placed on the historic spots there, and Mrs. 
Goodrich of North Adams, one of a delegation from the Fort 
Massachusetts Historical Society, being appointed as proper 
persons to lift the flag from the granite block it had covered. 
Bev. Mr. Wriston made an eloquent dedicatory {nrayer. Bev. 
Dr. Whiting pronounced the benediction. 


If I feel embarrassed on rising to respond to this royal wel- 
come, it is not from youth or inexperience, nor is it because a 
woman was your chosen vehicle for its presentation. It is that 
the occasion brings back with a more vivid tone and color a 
crowd of memories of bygone events, which come to the front 
and demand recognition : — memories of departed friends and 
oo-laborers who were a tower of strength to our infant Associa- 
tion and gave us strong meat for sustenance. 

I hope to be pardoned if my response takes on a somewhat 
personal coloring, personal to myself and to yourselves. 

When the historian of Franklin county comes to characterize 
Charlemont, he will no doubt write her down as an enterprising 
and progressive town. He will find her Alpigene population 
has always been abreast of the rising tide of progress, and often 
at the high water mark. But without waiting for the dictum 
of the said historian, it may be well here and now to note one 
evidence of her onward march, even though it be patent to you 
all. Our Association in the course of our peregrinations has 
been welcomed from the platform by the representatives of the 
major part of the towns in Franklin county, but you, Madam 
Upson Clark, are the first of your sex to fill that office ; and I 
confidently call upon my fellows to witness if we have ever been 

Mr. SkddorCs JSeaponse to the Wdoame. 65 

the recipient of a more graceful, eloquent or more hearty greet- 
ing. For all this, in behalf of tiie Pocumtuck Valley Memorial 
Association, I thank, first, progressive Charlemont, and again, 
you. Madam, her selected representative. 

Your venerable historian will note, to-day, the steady push 
of your ancestors up the valley of the Pocumtuck into the 
wilderness, taking all chances against its perils and hardships 
through wild beast and savage man. He will dwell upon the 
tenacity with which they clung to the soil they had subdued, 
and their abiding and sustaining faith in their Ood, in them- 
selves, and in the forts erected for defense under the towering 
Alps about them — those arks of refuge whose sites we to-day 
mark and make sure for all time. 

These men and women who came and tarried here seem to 
have lifted up their eyes to the mountains, and from thence ob- 
tained strength for the high resolve, that whatever woe betide, 
to live and die in this valley of their choice. We find no signs 
of their being quitters even in the face of the tomahawk and 
bullet. Although the maternal arms of Deerfield were ever 
open to receive her children home again, she was also ready to 
encourage and back them in the plucky determination to re- 
main and defy all adverse fortune. As years rolled on, both 
Deerfield and Charlemont wrought together for their own weal 
and their country's good. Together they pushed back the 
northern avalanche put in motion by the powers of France. 
Together, defying the power of England, shoulder to shoulder 
their patriotic sons toiled the livelong night with pick and 
spade, and when the dawn brought about their heads the plung- 
ing shot and screaming shell, they faltered not one whit, and 
when their task was done fought to the finish the glorious day 
of Bunker Hill. Such were our ancestors. You, the descend- 
ants of CoL Hugh Maxwell, and we, the descendants of Col. 
Joseph Stebbins, may rival each other in honor and fame and 
every good work, but we must see to it, and never forget our 
common obligation to keep free from stain the blood of those 
heroes of the 16th and 17tii of June, 1775. 

As I have said, my position here to-day must of necessity 
lead to personal reminiscence. My first visit to Charlemont as 
an antiquary was with a plan of Fort Taylor in my hand which 
I had found in the State Archives in Boston ; my mission was, 
in company with CoL Leavitt and Deacon Field, to connect this 

66 Fidd Mee^ff—1899. 

plan with the face of the earth in this valley^to discover the 
very spot on which the fort was planted by the pioneer settlers. 
In this effort we were successful at all points, excepting in lo- 
cating the well. In this we failed. I understand since coming 
here that your present committee has been more fortunate. 

The second visit to your town is encircled with a radiance 
that surrounds no other public event of my experience, and I 
should be recreant to my opportunity did I fail in speaking to 
you of some of the glories thereof, inasmuch as it was a reflec- 
tion of your generous enthusiasm. 

I have said Charlemont was a progressive town. Proof of 
this is found all along her career. If I modestly, but filially 
put the mother town first, the daughter was very sure to be a 
second in all things. Accordingly Charlemont followed the ex- 
ample set by Deerfield in the Lothrop monument at Bloody 
Brook, and set up in 1871 a memorial in memory of your slain 
of June 11, 1755. Discerning Charlemont had recognized the 
mission of our Association, and the yearling Pocumtuck Yalley 
Memorial Association was honored and exalted by an invitation 
to take charge of the services of dedication. We gladly re- 
sponded to the call and set about the preparations with the con- 
fidence born of appreciation. So much confidence, indeed, that 
we surprised ourselves by the number of extra cars we engaged 
to carry the Connecticut valley people up the valley of the Po- 
cumtuck. But not too soon or too many, for the cry of " On to 
Charlemont " filled the air. A second call for cars could not 
be fully filled, and in consequence the train that bore us up the 
valley was so overfilled that even standing room in the aisles 
was at a premium, and the platforms were black with the cling- 
ing crowds from the upper stations who would not be left be- 
hind. They were willing to risk their lives, but not willing to 
miss our Field Meeting at Charlemont, which was a new thing 
under the sun. On to Charlemont at all hazards I On to Charle- 

The same cry went up at Deerfield one June day in 1755 
when her bold rough riders urged their panting steeds to the 
reUef of your stricken settlers. On to Charlemont ! On to the 
rescue of our kindred who may be even now at the last gasp, 
and only sustained against the beleaguering savages by the 
hope of our coming. We ride with them today, and cry, " Spur 
on, heroic men t Your horses like yourselves are inured to 

Mr. SheldorCs JSesponae to the Wdcome, 67 

hardness. Lay your compass due northwest and ride straight 
through the wilderness to the goal I On to the rescue I " 

To their intense relief the end of their ride showed no added 
disaster. The savages satisfied with their first success had 
retreated to their lair, the home of their French masters in 

It was also to our intense relief that our dangerous trip in 
1871 ended with no saddening disaster. We also found no 
enemy but an unexpected multitude of friends who welcomed 
us with music and banners and cheers. Who can tell of the 
satisfaction as well as the anxiety of our officers, all unused to 
such an experience at this great awakening of the people. 

But when the speakers and the officers were seated upon the 
platform the crisis came. In the hush of silence which followed 
the blare of sounding trumpets and the rolling drums ; before 
the gathered thousands with all eyes upon him, how shaU the 
President of the Day meet his untried duties. He was now for 
the first time to face an audience and make his maiden address. 
How shall he pass the ordeal ? He will now for the first time 
confess, — however lamentable the shortcomings and crude the 
performance appears in the retrospect — not Edward Everett at 
Bloody Brook, not Daniel Webster at Bunker Hill, not Abra- 
ham Lincoln at Gettysburg could have felt more confidence in 
his cause, his audience or himself. He had been thinking of 
the crowded cars, the stirring enthusiasm shown on the arrival, 
the impressive ceremonial at the monimient, the imposing pro- 
cession to the grove, the earnest faces of the waiting men and 
women before him, and his heart became filled and his hands 
upheld with a spirit of inspiration and of prophecy. He saw as 
in a vision a new force arise in the land, new reapers in a ripen* 
ing field, and fair before him in the sunshine gleamed the golden 
shocks of the first harvest As the chosen official leader of the 
new movement he felt the responsibility and realized the op- 
portunity. He became then and there filled to the brim with 
faith in the mission of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Associa- 
tion. Then and there was engendered in him that belief in its 
success which has never since faltered for one moment. 

Men and women of Charlemont, speaking broadly for myself 
and my fellows, whatever measure of usefulness has attended 
our labors ; whatever we have done to preserve the memories 
and embalm the deeds of heroic sires, it is largely due to your 

68 Field JUeetinff— 1899. 

judgment of our infant Association and your generous enthu- 
siasm on the occasion of our Field Day with you, August 2, 
1871. I feel that I shall be excused if, with my present knowl- 
edge, I single out three of your citizens, officers of our organiza- 
tion, as the leading movers in the arrangements for that notaUe 
meeting, and the insurers of its triumphant success. You will 
respond when I namo Hon. Joseph White, Hon. Boger H. Lea- 
vitt and Deacon Phinehas Field. May you and may we ever 
hold them in respectful and honorable memory. 

The invitation to our Association to assist in the dedication 
of a monument at the graves of Moses Bice and Phineas Arms 
seems to have set the pace and pointed out our mission. The 
next year we were called upon to perform the same service at 
Northfield, Potter of New York having inspired Dickinson of 
Fitchburg to follow his example, and place a memorial on the 
spot where his ancestor, Nathaniel Dickinson, with Asahel 
Burt, his companion, was shot from a savage ambush. 

A quarter of a century passed and Northfield stole a march 
on Charlemont. Through the persistent patriotism of Mrs. 
Alexander, Northfield opened up a new field for our action. We 
were called upon to dedicate memorial stones to mark the sites 
of her ancient strongholds and other historical places. West- 
ward the contagion spread, Colrain first in 1898, and next 
Charlemont in 1899 caught the patriotic fever. 

Charlemont, enterprising as she is, should not expect to be 
first in everything. She ought to be content in being the first 
to establish an Old Folk's Association ; the first to have a cattle 
show all to itself ; the first to have an Old Oak Tree Association ; 
the first in the monument renaissance ; the first with a woman 
representative to grace its platform ; and, if I may be allowed 
the fancy, the first town to establish a Bice plantation in the 
Valley of the Pocumtuck ; and last but not least she has the 
honor of being the first town to discover the merits and the 
mission of our august body. What more can Charlemont ask ? 

JButarioal Address. 69 



Cover these hills with forests, sheathe these brooks with thick 
bushes, give to the river and its tributary streams fuller, swifter 
currents than now they have ; blot out all roadways, leaving 
only a few winding paths marked by blazed trees ; tiien spread 
over all a silence broken only by some wild beast or by the 
screech of as wild a fowl ; then plant here and there a rude cabin, 
^^ with at least seven stud and eighteen feet square," — ^as said 
the law — ^and spread between these few lone homes a wilderness 
20 miles deep to the nearest settlement — Deerfield — and un- 
imaginable spaces westward, and you have reason for setting 
up timbers and sharpened logs, making a kind of pen around a 
few houses, called a fort. No, not all the reasons. In those 
lone homes are men, women and children, poorly fed, poorly 
clad, careworn, toilwom, silent as to talk, with seldom a strain 
of song or a gleeful laugh, and often and anxious listening with 
startled look this way and that, and, at times the swift lisp — 
" What's that ? " — at some unusual noise in the dark woods, and 
then paleness upon many faces, for there's one dreadful, fright- 
ful foe ever hovering near. The tremulously spoken word — 
Indian — ^told it alL 

The hideous stories which had come down from a hundred 
years of the tomahawk and scalping knife and the sight now 
and then of one of those wild, bloody men, were reasons enough 
for that quick alarm. Fathers, husbands and sons, going a little 
way from the door for wood or water, to plow or plant or har- 
vest, taking the loaded gun with the tools, the women and chil- 
dren knowing that meant danger of ambush or of deadly fight 
— Ah ! did not such days and nights of dread and of sore peril 
upon the lone dwellers along these valleys and up the ravines 
make needful strong refuges into which they could fly from the 
swift arrow and merciless tomahawk of the savage. Forts they 
called them ; log or timber inclosures with battened doors and 
sentry boxes on the comers from which the men could watch 
and give the alarm, or fire upon the foe creeping toward them. 

It is now 1754 — one hundred and thirty-four years since the 

70 Fidd Mee(mg—1%99. 

pilgrims got to Plymouth, and 8 or 10 years sinoe Moses Bioe 
and after him Othniel and Jonathan Taylor, then G^rshom, 
Joshua and Seth Hawks, and probably others, thinking that the 
new town upon the Deerfield was safe for settlers, had brought 
their families and built homes here. In 1748 the peace of ^' Aix 
la Chapelle " pretended to end the French and Indian war be- 
gun in 1744 or four years before this time. But, says the ven- 
erable annalist of this valley in his history of Deerfield, ^^ The 
ink with which this treaty was signed was hardly dry before 
it became evident to close observers that the design of the French 
was to keep the peace only so long as their interests required. 
France never for a moment ceased encroaching on territory 
claimed by the English, nor for a moment forgot her subtle 
policy of aiding and abetting the border Indians in making 
forays on the English frontiers." 

So they began a chain of fortresses from the St. Lawrence by 
the Oreat Lakes to the Mississippi which would pen the Eng- 
lish between these and the Atlantic coast and with the help of 
the Indians drive them from the continent, and so blot the 
Protestants from the land and make it as was Canada, a Eoman 
Catholic country. It was a grand Jesuit scheme, with France 
to carry it out. So Crown Point, Oswego, Niagara and Du- 
quesne were quietly seized and made fortresses in the face of 
tiie solemn treaties of 1748. 

The colonies soon saw the perfidious plan. The French won 
the Indians from their friendships with the English by basest 
allurements and soon the settlers got startling hints of coming 
dangers from the alienated savages, whose greed for war and 
the glory of bloody trophies soon changed them from friends to 
deadly foes. Their memories of King Philip's war 75 years 
before and of the French and English struggle only 10 years 
before, roused their savage lusts to frenzy. Massachusetts fore- 
saw the dread breach this treacherous plotting was bringing on. 
Already raids and murders terrified the frontiers. As local de- 
fenses, a line of forts was planned from the Connecticut river 
along the northwestern border of the State. The blockhouses 
in Falltown and Colrain and the Forts Dummer and Massachu- 
setts were repaired and garrisoned. The families in the Deer- 
field valley were advised to build stockades around their houses 
or to join them close together for mutual defense. G^rshom, 
Seth and Joshua Hawks so moved their houses and built pickets 

historical Addre&a. 71 

of logs around them. That made the Hawks fort on Tea street. 
The well with its stone cover and round hole, 22 inches across, 
IS yet there. We place the stone marker on a line with the well. 

Under the hill by the old cottonwood tree Moses Rice and 
sons fortified their house which was the Rice fort of the mas- 
sacre, but after that bloody day it was moved into the meadow 
near the river, for, from the hill above where it first stood, the 
savages could shoot down into it. The site of the latter fort is 
shown to-day by a staff and fiag 25 rods south of the stone we 
set to mark it. Othniel and Jonathan Taylor joined their houses 
and built a stockade around them, down the river about five 
miles from Rice's fort, and that was the Taylor fort. This 
work was mostly done in the summer of 1754 and so on Char- 
lemont soil upon a Une of about seven miles stood three so-called 
forts whose positions we hope so to certify to-day that those 
who come siter us may not only knpw that they were, but 
where they were. 

The early summer of 1755 brought to these settlers a sorrow- 
ful use for them. All through the spring after the snow was 
melted, rumors and signs kept the inhabitants through the valley 
in dread alarm. Alast reason for it soon came. June 11, 
Wednesday forenoon, Capt. Moses Rice, his son Artemas, his 
grandson, Asa Rice, a boy of nine years, Titus King, Phineas 
Arms and others, with plow, hoes and guns, went into the com 
field (the quite exact boundaries of which Mr. Hart Rice will 
by and by point out to us) to hoe the com. 

One man, Phineas Arms, gun in hand walked up and down 
as sentinel, between the two brooks along the edge of the field, 
next to the present road. Mr. Rice plowed, the boy Asa riding 
the horse. Strangely as it seems to us, their loaded guns were 
left by a pile of logs on the east corner of the field. Six Indians 
crept to the top of the hill above the field and after watching 
the men until they were farthest away from their guns, stole 
down the brook, seizM their guns, fired them and mshed upon 
the unarmed, helpless men. Phineas Arms was shot dead, Capt. 
Rice wounded in the thigh and Titus King, a young relative of 
Capt. Rice, were seized as prisoners. The horse, frightened by 
the shooting, ran, and the boy Asa hid but the Indians found 
him and took him, with the others named, prisoners to the up- 
land back of the present hotel. Artemas Rice fled, chased by 
the Indians, down the river to Taylor's fort, which he reached 

73 Vidd Meeting— VHHi. 

about noon ; of course all the women and children hearing the 
firing and whoops fled into the fort 

The Indians did not stop to do more. They knew they were 
between Hawks's fort jnst above them and Taylor's just below 
them. They left the womided Capt. Rice with an Indian, by 
whom after a terrible straggle he was tomahawked, scalped and 
left to die. Toward evening he was found yet alive and carried 
to the house of his son where he soon expired. The Indians 
with their captives, King and the lad Asa, went back to Canada. 
Asa returned after six years, a ransomed captive. King was 
taken to France and to England and came at last to Korthamp- 
ton, his native place. As said, Artemas Eice got to Tayloi^s 
fort at noon. Mr. Taylor at once by a swift run went to Deer- 
field and returned with 25 men the same night The next 
morning they came up to the Kice fort. Think friends ; of that 
Thursday morning over by yon cotton wood tree 144 years ago ; 
the two dead men in the fort with the terrified, weary, weeping 
women and children. Capt. Kioe, the venerated father, l^ider 
and chief stay of the settlement, mangled, scalped and dead ! 
Phineas Arms, a young man of 25 years, and much is told of 
him in the account that five weeks before he had publicly con- 
fessed Christ by joining the church in Deerfield. What a morn- 
ing was this t What a first funeral t with no minister to con- 
sole or pray ; none to sing a hynm, two of their number carried 
away if not already slain by their captors. Oh I that first funeral 
in Charlemont I Think of the two first graves upon yon hill- 
side ; of the sorrowing procession, the 25 soldiers carrying the 
shattered corpses up the steep, and of the gloom the stoutest 
heart must have felt as they looked in each other's faces and told 
one another of the awful shooting and whoops and yells of the 
Indians, and cries of the men in the field and shrieks of the 
women and children and then the question ^' What shall be done 
now ? Who can dare to stay or to live here now t " This sim- 
ple stone we unveil to-day, recalls a mourning no tongue or pen 
can fully portray. 

We would Unger as if to comfort these stricken ones, but 
other duties calL 

Of the Hawks Fort there are no traditions of tragedies or of 
special events. It no doubt served as an outpost for protection 
to all the valley this side of the tunnel mountain. The French 
with their Indian allies were so pressed by the English forces in 

Historical Addreis. 78 

Canada, that this was their last stroke upon the settlement in this 
valley. The Bice Fort under the hill as before said, was so ex- 
posed that the General Court promised a garrison of eight sol- 
diers to Mr. Samuel, son of Capt. Bice, if he would build a fort 
in the meadow. This was built during the summer after the 
father's death. After the June massacre 25 men were kept in 
Charlemont, but none of them was at the Bice Fort because of 
its exposure from the hill above it. These soldiers were there- 
fore in the two other forts. 

Although the Taylor Fort as the Hawks garrison has no 
legend of bloody fray or heroic siege yet it has one tender tra- 
dition and four little stones to verify it In the gloomy days 
of that summer when the ever bodeful shadow upon woman- 
hood—childbirth — was near, Mrs. Donelson of Colrain sought 
refuge in the shielded house for the hour of nature's pangs. 
List a moment at the barred door. The soft wail of a babe 
steals through the grim timbers, an unwonted sound there ! 
And again you listen, for it seems a twofold cry. Yes, it is so, 
— ^for the joyful mother hears one cry answering to another. 
Test twins are hers and every one of the few inhabitants 
hastens to joy in it, for two more lives are added to the little 
company they count We can but rejoice with them, for an 
added l^e among them was increase of help to live and of com- 
fort in Uving. 

But as in so many human joys tears mingle with and often 
change them to griefs and the song turns to sighing. Have you 
ever noticed the two pairs of low, dark stones upon a little ridge 
a few paces from the roadway just beyond the site of the Tay- 
lor Fort? They are only rude stones of 12x9 or 12 inches but 
they lisp to you that they are there to mark and guard the dust 
of the twin babes bom in the dark days when a stem timber 
wall was needed to give safety to the mother in her pains and 
to the babes in their helpless birth hours. 

So this trinity of little fortresses which spread their sheltering 
arms around our fathers and mothers and their little ones, which 
hide the bloody tragedy of the Patriarch pioneer's death in one ; 
and the tender scenes of birth and burial of babes in another, 
are now to be happily rescued from ungrateful oblivion by en- 
during sculptures. The identity of the places and the remem- 
brance of the sorrows endured therein are thus united by these 
simple erections. 

74 Fidd Meetinff— 1899. 

So ended for this settlement the bloody days of the Indian 
and the French and Indian wars. But nntil the capture of 
Canada by Great Britain in 1760, in Cohuin, Korthfield and 
other border towns, the implacable foe from time to time struck 
down or captured persons and families. 

One hundred and twenty-four years had passed since the first 
settlement at Springfield ; years in which ceaseless fears, dan- 
gers and deaths in appalling forms, had been the lot of the in- 
habitants of the old Hampshire county. Children had been bom 
and had grown to old age and passed all their lives under the 
dread and danger from the treacherous foe. Hundreds of men, 
women and children had been slain or dragged into captivity. 
Says the historian of Western Massachusetts, ^^ There is hardly 
a square acre, certainly not a square mile in the Connecticut 
valley that has not been tracked by the flying feet of fear or 
drunk the blood of the dead or served as the scene of toils 
made doubly toilsome by an apprehension of danger that never 

To the God of our fathers who led them through that century 
and more of sorrows and sacrifices in this to them ^^ great and 
terrible wilderness" we owe the thanksgiving of grateful chil- 
dren who possess as a heritage the lands and homes bought for 
us at such woeful cost. 

And as Joshua to the children of Israel in Gilgal, we may 
say, ^^ When your children shall ask their fathers in time to 
come, saying, What mean these stones t Then ye shall let your 
children know. That all the peoples of the earth may know the 
hand of the Lord, that it is mighty and that they may fear the 
Lord your Gkxi forever.'* 



Dug from the quarries of the earth, the white and spotless 
marble or the huge granite bowlders have been taken by the 
hand of man, shaped in accordance with his designs and placed 
in enduring strength, as monuments to those gone before, men — 
aye and women — who lived, loved and died, for it is a recognized 
truism that, in this, the pages of the present read much the 
same as the pages of the past. The book lies before us, the 

1£t%. Lucy OuUer KeUogg^B Uwoeilvng Speech. 75 

seals are broken, and for ns it remains to open and read. And 
as we read, give we heed to the injunction of Holy Writ, " Re- 
member the days of old, consider the days of many generations ; 
ask thy Father and He will show thee, thy elders and they will 
tell thee." Having gained our knowledge, comes to ns a second 
scriptoral message, franght with earnestness of purpose, and 
which is so often borne upon a close student of history with an 
overwhelming sense of its utmost importance. ^' Tell ye your 
children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their 
children another generation." Had this been done, easy would 
have been the yoke, light the burden of the historian of to^lay, 
and the mists which now and then shroud the scenes have been 
rolled away. But it is ever thus, '^ The great eventful present 
hides the past, but thro' the din of its loud life, hints and echoes 
of the Ufe behind steal in." 

This day marks an important event in the records of this 
town's annals. As you, citizens of Charlemont, have dug with 
no uncertain hand, from the quarries of history, as with hearts 
filled with loving tenderness, you have placed here these appro- 
priate markers, as you have caused the knowledge of this hidden, 
I might almost say lost life, to be brought forward and diffused, 
so upon that spotless page of history which you are now causing 
to be written, will the homage you thus render those ^^not dead 
but gone before " stand forth preeminently, and the saying of 
Joel be fulfilled that future generations be possessed with a 
knowledge of this past. 

It has been said that History is the great looking-glass through 
which we may behold not merely the deeds of past ages but the 
different types of man. Little did Moses Rice, on that spring 
day in 1743, wot of what was before him, or think for an in- 
stant of the important part he was to be in the settlement of 
the then wild wood. Still more incomprehensible would have 
been the fact that one hundred and fifty-six years later the 
citizens of this Pocumtuck Valley, many descendants from him 
and his neighbors, would meet to do honor to him and them, 
and rehearse the valorous deeds which they, in the daily routine 
of duty, then performed. 

We are told that after their arduous journey from the far 
distant township of Rutland, Mass., Captain Rice and his sons 
found their first shelter beneath the spreading sycamore tree, 
and from thence we may presume them to have surveyed their 

76 Fidd Meeting— 1S99. 

pofisesdons. Their eyes may— doubtless did — ^rest upon limit- 
less forest land stretching away in unbroken solitude. Tall 
oaks, spreading elms, luxuriant maples, tough hickories and 
sturdy pines, through whose interwoven branches the music of 
the wind breathed ^^ a song from the beautiful trees, a song for 
the forest grand, the garden of God's own hand, the pride of 
His centuries." Surely no more perfect garden of God could 
have been found for the true lover of Nature, and these men of 
old were in many ways — unknown or unthought of by us — 
** near to Nature's heart." Theirs was a daily communion with 
Nature and her handiworks. No harsh notes were sounded on 
that spring morning of long ago. No minor chord wailed 
through the forest, filling the heart with dismal forebodings of 
the swiftly approaching tragedy. Eather Hope whispered of 
the longed-for prosperity, the home built and the happy, united, 
family life, and the realization of the day-dreams which we may 
safely suppose to have been Captain Eice's ; that of the early 
completion of his first home in Charlemont, rude in construction, 
crude in its appointments, yet the home for which he had ex- 
pended so much time and energy, and regarded with all the 
sacred tenderness of a deeply impressible nature. 

All the details and incidents of this picture of the long ago 
have been ably presented to you to-day. How the savage war- 
fare waged caused the settlers to flee to more protected locali- 
ties, the subsequent destruction of the home of Capt. Bice, and 
his rebuilding, for a second, and yet a third time his house, 
which then partook of the character of a fort, and the strategy 
by which the Indians finally lured him to his death, to all of 
these things you have already listened. Yet here on the spot 
of their occurrence it is but fitting that they should once more 
be brought to mind. 

And these stones here to-day unveiled I What are they? 
Not mere dumb pieces of granite. To the members of the 
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and, because of the 
work which that Association has for nearly 30 years been striv- 
ing to do, to you, friends and citizens of Charlemont, they 
will henceforth prove themselves mute, sacred reminders of the 
life that has been, the more eloquent because of their silence. 
Hereafter those who have been present with us to-day, will, as 
they pass, gaze upon these stones and read, not that which is 
apparent to the superficial observer, but that page in history 

Poem. 77 

which reoords the tragedy of those early mhabitants of this 
place. And with us it rests a sacred duty, that we each and 
all do what we can to perpetuate this knowledge, to instill into 
the minds of the children the love of ancestral lore. While all 
may not seek to become perpetual gleaners in this especial field 
of research, the truly golden harvest will only be reached when 
the tiny grains of Imowledge scattered throughout the length 
and br^idth of the land have been garnered. It is to those of 
coming generations that we must look for this result. 

Whether as citizens of Charlemont, as members of this Memo- 
rial Association, or as friends from far away, do we not all 
rejoice together that this day's record has been such that these 
enduring memorials will hereafter have the power to thus turn 
our thoughts to those brave men who sternly faithful to duty, 
in peril and suffering and denial, wrought out the noblest of 
historical epics on the rough soil of New England. 



Hifltcnio vale! So pure, bo fresh, so fairl 

So richly set, it seems with special care 
That nature's sculpturing hand both carved and wrought, 

Till perfect in rdief stood what she sought. 

Girt 'round by rugged, wood-crowned, granite hillSy 
Midway the Deerfield, fed by brooks and rills. 

To west the gateway of the sunset light; 
AU these, — grand gifts of a Creator's might. 

Primeval forest covered hill and dale; 

Primeval forest weathered many a gale; 
Course upon course of wild beast life was run, 

Ere ringing axe exposed the soil to sun. 

Here, 'neath this sun which shines for you to-day. 

The Indian hunter sped upon his way. 
'Neath the same moon which sheds her beams so wide. 

The Indian lover wooed his dusky bride. 

Full many a tribe the path of war pursued. 
Full many a chief with eloquence imbued. 

Swayed at his will those 'round the council-fire. 
Soothed into peace, or roused to savage ire. 

78 Fidd Meetifig—lS99. 

Ere to this vale came daring pioneers, 
Undaunted by remoteness, dangers, fears; 

Cleared the wild woodland for a space, and laid 
Foundation for the fort, and strong stockade. 

Th^ worked by day with flintlocks dose at hand; 

By night the sentry overlooked the land: 
Lest prowling savage should marauding be. 

To torture, kill, and scalp in fiendish glee. 

Their nimibers grew, their strength and sway increased; 

But long y^ars passed ere yet the warfare ceased. 
For y^ars the red-men raided, harassed, fought: — 

To guard sweet life, the pioneers' chief thought. 

Yet near, and ever nearer drew the hour 
Of victory, won by steady growing power; 

When savage tribes, so crafty, treacherous, wild, 
Must flee, before the Anglo-Saxon child. 

Back were they pressed, back toward the setting sun; 

Their prestige lost, extinguishment begim. 
Now "reservation'' is the red-men's home. 

Whose fathers o'er a continent could roam. 

Life made secure, land waiting to be tilled. 
Ere long the vale with willing hands was filled. 

Grateful to God, the edifice they raised 
Wherein they met for worship— prayer and praise. 

few years of tranquil life had pioneer. 
Before the drum-beat fell upon his ear; 

A summons to the men of iron will. 
Who labored, fought, and died at Bunker Hill. 

From Lexington to Yorktown — ^weaiy years! 

Years of defeat, of victory, tears and cheers. 
Outnumbered by the foe, still staunch and true. 

They served the Fabius who brought them through, 

Made weakness prove their strength, proved to the king. 
How futile his attempts such men to bring 

To any terms of settlement or peace. 
Except from his control a full release. 

A few decades, — then war again held sway; 

Two armies of one soil, — the Blue, the Gray. 
The pioneers long since were laid to rest. 

But sons and grandsons to the service pressed. 

Poem. 79 

The same strong will, bent to a different cause, 

Bent to enforce the oonsiitution's laws. 
Bent to retrieve, to free the task-bound slave, 

For these the South is seamed with soldiers' graves. 

No need again to tell the well-known tale 

Again no need to say they did not fail. 
To these— our heroes — ^men so true and tried, 

All hcmor give, they were our country's pride. 

The ''Old Bay State" may weU extol each scm 

Those of the century past, and those of '61. 
Seek where you will, all history has to give, 

No nobler sons than hers can ever live. 

Her eariy sons — to history often turn, 

Breathe heartfelt thanks — those men of virtues stem. 
Who ne'er turned back, to ideals ever true, 

Who bought with blood sweet liberty for you. 

Recorded history gives not all the tale 

Not men alone did strive that right prevail. 
Frail, tender women acted well their part: 

Yield them true reverence from the grateful heart. 

Ye of to-day, just pass the ideal on 

In wellHspent lives. As generations gone 
Gave of their best to hew a broader way, 

So give of yours, give toward a future day. 

Forget not midst the business ebb and flow. 

The lives spent here so many jrears ago. 
Revere this soil, 3rour fathers' feet have trod, 

RevOTe their toil, for their success thank God. 



The annual meeting of the Pocamtuok Valley Memorial As- 
sociation, held at Deerfield Tuesday, Feb. 27, was marked by 
the reading of particularly interesting papers by Mrs. Mary P. 
Wells Smith, Charles Jones, George Sheldon and Judge F. M. 
Thompson. The annual meeting was held in the quaint old 
kitchen in which the furnishings provide an admirable back- 
ground for the transaction of the business of the Association. 

The pilgrims to the old Memorial Hall were more than ever 
impressed with the crowded condition of the building, and the 
need that more room be provided. The constant increase of 
the treasures of the Association will make some kind of provi- 
sion for the growth of the coUections imperative in the near 
future. Members hope that some generous friend may be in- 
clined some day to provide money for a fireproof addition, in 
which the more valuable parts of the collection may be stored, 
leaving more room in the present building. 

The Association is expected to go to Biverside in Qill this 
year for its field day, to mark the site of the battle between 
Capt Turner and the Indians. There has been some informal 
talk with T. M. Stoughton of Gill and others about this matter, 
and it is believed that money can be raised to place a monument 
there. It is planned to use an old bowlder that has recently been 
exhumed. This committee on the field day was named : Judge 
F. M. Thompson, Mary P. Wells Smith, Greenfield; T. M. 
Stoughton, Gill ; Rev. G. W. SoUey and E. A. Hawks, of Deer- 
field. This spot, perhaps of the most historic interest in the 
valley, is as yet unmarked. 

In the absence of President George Sheldon and Vice-Presi- 
dent F. M. Thompson, the business meeting was presided over 
by Vice-President John M. Smith, of Sunderland. John Shel- 
don was secretary pro tern. The thirtieth annual report of Sec- 
retary Nathaniel Hitchcock said that the prosperity of the As- 

An/muU Meeting — 1900. 81 

sodation is shown by the many visitors and the gifts of books. 
Three members have died, Frederick Hawks, of Greenfield, who 
was a descendant of Col. Hawks, the old Indian hunter of Deer- 
field, and who was the owner of the Colonel's old sword and 
the source of much information regarding old Indian days; 
WiUiam A. Hawks, his son, and Miss Avice S. Arms. Five new 
members have joined. S. O. Lamb gave reminiscences of Fred- 
erick Hawks. The latter and he used to have some discussion 
as to who delivered an address at Deerfield in 1832, at the cen- 
tennial anniversary of the birth of Washington. Mr. Hawks 
maintained it was George Bancroft, but Judge Aiken and others 
said Benjamin B. Curtis delivered it, and his printed address 
found in the library of this Association proves that Judge Aiken 
was correct. Mr. Lamb referred to Mr. Hawks as a character- 
istic Puritan, positive, but very intelligent. He then offered 
these resolutions, which were adopted : Reaohed^ that we place 
on onr record an expression of our high appreciation of onr late 
associates and life members, Frederick Hawks of Greenfield, 
and his son, William A. Hawks of Boston, of their devotion to 
and services in behalf of the Association and of our respect for 
their memory. 

A letter was then read from Nathaniel Hitchcock resigning 
his offices of secretary and treasurer, which he has held for 
thirty years. Bev. G. W. Solley suggested that some way should 
be devised whereby he might still retain connection with the 
work of the Association, and suggested that he be elected as 
secretary only. This suggestion was afterward acted upon, with 
the understanding that Mr. Sheldon, as secretary pro tem^ would 
be practically assistant secretary, to help Mr. Hitchcock as far 
as should be necessary. These officers were then chosen : 

President, George Sheldon, of Deerfield; vice-presidents, 
Francis M. Thompson, of Greenfield, John M. Smidi, of Sun- 
derland; recording secretary, Nathaniel Hitchcock, of Deer- 
field ; corresponding secretary, Herbert C. Parsons, of Green- 
field ; treasurer, John Sheldon, of Greenfield ; members of the 
council, Charles Jones, Mary P. Wentworth, Bobert Childs, 
Charles E. Williams, Zeri Smith, George W. Solley, of Deer- 
field; Eugene A. Newcomb, P. Voorhees Finch, Samuel O. 
Lamb, Ellen L. Sheldon, Caroline Furbush, of Greenfield; 
George W. Horr, of Athol ; George D. Crittenden, of Buck- 
land, and James M. Crafts, of Orange. 

82 Annual Meeting— 1900. 

A letter was read from George W. Hon*, of Athol, express- 
ing regret that he could not be present, and speaking of a paper 
that he had prepared which could be read at some future meet- 
ing. This letter was read from Mrs. A. M. D. Alexander, of 
Northfield, presenting some photographs of the monuments that 
the Association assisted in dedicating in 1897 : 

^^ I do not forget that on one pleasant day in September, 1897, 
many of you journeyed to Northfield, and by your personal 
presence, united with historic narratives of great inter^ aided 
the village improvement society to dedicate memorial stones. 
As on that day it was not convenient to see them I venture to 
send pictures to the Memorial Hall, trusting they will be ac- 
cepted as mementos to yourselves of your own kindness and also 
of our gratitude to you for interest shown in our efforts to pre- 
serve the early history of the town. The very name of Deer- 
field rings with history, but after her trials and victories North- 
field became the ground coveted by the white men. Striving, 
losing, and for the third time returning, her people secured their 
desired home, which to their descendants proved a rich heritage. 
Your society has done a noble work, the influence of which 
will not be confined to this narrow valley in New England. I 
think the^ study of early history is increasing, and that 100 years 
from now the question. What mean ye by these stones scattered 
here and there ? will not be asked. Instead a new generation 
will arise and be glad that friends, by the erection of memorial 
haUs, Ubraries and even simple boulders, have striven to preserve 
the history of loved and honored towns from oblivion." 

Eev. G. W. SoUey suggested that a committee be appointed 
to draw up resolutions of appreciation of Secretary Hitchcock's 
work. He and S. O. Lamb were appointed and drew up reso- 
lutions, which were adopted, expressing appreciation of Mr. 
Hitchcock's work, and asking that he continue as secretary. 
The report of the treasurer showed the funds of the Association 
to be $1,912. 

The following is the report of George Sheldon as curator : 

" I would report a year of advance in the condition of our 
library and general collection, more largely in the former. 
There have been added 360 books and pamphlets, one of which is 
another volume of the ' Soldiers and Sailors of the Bevolution.' 
This is the fifth volume, and it brings the alphabet of names 
only down to Foy. Those looking up revolutionary ancestors 

Anmud Meeting— 1900. 83 

whose names come before Foy, can find here all that there is 
known about them at the State Hoase in Boston. There has 
been a suspicion that the work at the State House is not hur- 
ried, because certificates to inquiries all over the Union bring 
the Secretaiy of State quite a little income in official fees which 
is lessened as the book is laid before the public. I mention this 
only to give my judgment that the rumor is false. One thing 
I am sure of, tiiat the antiquaries will rejoice when they can 
refer correspondents to Ubraries instead of hunting up answers 
to their queries. 

Several valuable genealogies have been added in way of ex- 
change for our publications, and I am in negotiation for others. 
I have made arrangements for publishing the material of the 
Field genealogy, contained in the manuscript volume of Eodney 
B. Field, in accordance with the conditions of the gift, with a 
gentleman of Chicago who will embody it in a larger work of 
the Field family. We shall be furnished with fifty copies of 
the book for exchange ; I suppose it will be out within six 

The library is already crowded and I see no room to place 
shelves for the steady stream of books that is sure to continue. 
The library contains a vast amount of valuable matter relating 
to our early history. It would, of course, be of greater use to 
students with a limited knowledge of book-lore if we had a card 
catalogue. That, however, would be a very expensive luxury, 
I fancy. Your curator spent considerable time last summer in 
cataloging, arranging, imd, to some extent, rearranging the 
pamphlets, and in making a more complete classification. The 
pictures in the memorial room were put in a better condition. 
We are also cramped here by the abundance of our treasures. 
We have had applications for wall-room for two marble tablets, 
one of which, that to Sergt. John PUmpton, I expected to see 
in place before now. 

I am receiving inquiries from all over the land for old books 
and pamphlets. Even Boston collectors are asking for some of 
their own city publications. I have been able to supply to the 
congressional library at Washington, to the New York Histor- 
ical Society, and the great Union Library of New York city, 
some of their wants. Of course, I have sold nothing but dupli- 
cates and books not deposited here for safe keeping, but from 
my own loose pickings from garret and closet. There seems to 

84 Annual Meeting— \9Q0. 

be a widespread impression that here is the place to look for 
anything strange and rare. A man from London wrote to know 
if I had a Horn-book. 

Congressman Lawrence has promised to send us the reports 
of the American Historical Society, which may be looked for 
at any time. You may be glad to know that our society was 
represented on the reception committee when this distinguished 
body visited Boston last December. I only mention these things 
to show that we are not hidden in a comer. 

The amount received from entrance fees appears in the report 
of the treasurer. I have received for books sold, $54.69 ; from 
contributions, $2.70. I have paid for small, miscellaneous ex- 
penses, $8.92. Among the visitors at the hall this year have 
been many organized bodies, societies, schools, and the like. 
The Palmer Historical Society voted and arranged to spend 
Washington's birthday here, but I discouraged the visit, as I do 
all winter visiting, and they postponed the trip until warmer 
weather. A contract has been made for publishing YoL III of 
our proceedings, preparations for which have been delayed by 
an unexpected obstacle — the difficulty of procuring copy." 

The Deerfield women served as usual an excellent supper in 
the town hall, and at 6:30 the literary exercises began. They 
consisted of papers by Mrs. Mary P. Wells Smith on Mehitable 
Hinsdale, her foremother and the first white woman in Deer- 
field ; by Charles Jones, of Deerfield, on the broom com in- 
dustry ; by George Sheldon, giving reminiscences on the same 
subject; and by Judge F. M. Thompson, on Capt. Agrippa 
Wells, of Greenfield, who went with his company the day 
after the battle of Lexington. Eev. H. E. Morrow offered 
prayer. A choir led by Charles H. Ashley sang some of the old 
fugue tunes to the great enjoyment of the audience. The sing- 
ers were dressed in old-fashioned costumes drawn from the 
heirlooms of Deerfield. Miss Julia Whiting sang an old ballad, 
accompanying herself on the old piano that stands in the hall. 
She explained that this old ballad had been sung at the funeral 
of a young man, by six young women dressed in white, of whom 
her grandmother was one. An interesting poem was read by 
Mrs. Lucius Nims, written by Mrs. Sophia P. Snow, of Meriden, 
Conn. Judge Thompson gave some interesting reminiscences 
of Mehuman Hinsdale, to whom Mrs. Smith referred at length. 
Mr. Hinsdale was a great land getter, he said, and kept applying 

A Puritcm Foremoiher. 86 

for grants until he owned more than anyone else in these parts. 
Finally, when he applied to the town for one more such grant, 
some one made the motion that he be given the land provided 
he would never ask for any more. 



It is but proper to preface this paper with some expression 
of my indebtedness to your venerable president, the Hon. 
Oeorge Sheldon, to whose patient research and untiring la- 
bors, as embodied in his excellent history of Deerfield, so 
abounding in the materials for romance, I am largely indebted 
for the facts here brought together. 

The virtues of our Puritan forefathers have not lacked chron- 
iclers. Their praises are familiar to us in song and story, as 
well as in history's solid pages. But it sometimes seems that 
justice has hardly been done to the worth of the Puritan fore- 
mothers. What would the forefathers have done, pray, but 
for the staunch English helpmeets who said to them, like Ruth, 
" Whither thou goest, I wiU go ; and where thou lodgest, I will 
lodge ; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God ; 
where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried ; the 
Lord do so to me and more also, if aught but death part thee 
and me ; " the women who cheerfully, for conscience sake, but 
also for love sake, renounced the home of youth, and native 
land, even civilization itself, often with a tiny brood of children 
clinging to them, to face the weary months of voyage over 
stormy seas, the discomforts and perils of founding a new home 
in the savage wilderness ? The women who were wives and 
mothers, and manufacturers, too ; who not only cooked and 
brewed and nursed, but who also made and mended, wove and 
knit and spun, and, if need were, moulded the bullets and loaded 
the guns, were a power in the early history of this country not 
to be ignored. Privations severe for men to bear were doubly 
hard for women. When, to all the inevitable hardships of their 
lot, we add the strain of anxiety and terror often suffered, we 
wonder at their endurance and fortitude. They seem made of 
stronger stuff than the human beings of to-day. 

86 Anntuxl MeeUng— 1900. 

Occasionally we get a glimpse of one of these foremothers 
in the old records, as in SewaU's touching tribate to his aged 
mother at her grave, given in his diary. 

^^ When, about four p. m., Kathl. Brackett taking in hand the 
filling of the grave, I said : 

^ Forbear a little, and suffer me to say that amidst our be- 
reaving sorrows we have the comfort of beholding this Saint 
put into the rightful possession of that Happiness of Living de- 
sired and dying Lamented. She lived commendably Four and 
Fifty years with her dear Husband, my dear Father. And she 
could not well brook the being divided from him at her death ; 
which is the cause of our taking leave of her at this place. She 
was a true and constant Lover of God's Word, Worship, and 
Saints. And she always, with a patient cheerfulness, submit- 
ted to the Decree of providing Bread for herself and others in 
the sweat of her brows. And now her infinitely Gracious and 
Bountiful Master has promoted her, to the honor of higher em- 
ployments, fully and absolutely discharged from all manner of 
Toil and Sweat. My honored and beloved Friends and Neigh- 
bors! My dear Mother never thought much of doing the 
most frequent and homely offices of love for me ; and lavished 
away many Thousands of Words upon me, before I could return 
one word in answer ; and therefore I ask and hope that none 
will be offended that I have now ventured to speak one word 
in her behalf when she herself is become speechless.' 

" Made a motion with my hand for the filling of the Grave. 
J^ote. I could hardly speak for passion and Tears." 

Have we not known other New England mothers of whom 
these words were true ? 

Rev. John Norton of Hingham, in his " Dirge for the Tenth 
Muse," says of Anne Bradstreet, wife of Gov. Bradstreet, mar- 
ried at sixteen and the mother of eight children, but who wrote 
the first volume of verse published in New England : 

Her breast was a brave palace, a Broad-street, 
Where all heroic thoughts did meet, 
Where nature such a tenement had ta'en, 
That our souls, to hers, dwelt in a lane. 

But in this mention of their virtues, Mistresses Bradstreet 
and Sewall were almost the exceptions. History takes little 
note of the faithful lives of the everyday wives and mothers. 

Mehitable Johnson, wife of Samuel Hinsdale, has been chosen 

A Pttritan Faremother. 87 

as the subject of this paper for these reasons : she seems to have 
been the first white woman living in Deerfield ; I cherish for 
her the personal interest one feels in an ancestress, even of two 
hundred years ago ; and hers may fairly be considered a typi- 
cal woman's life of her period. Not exceptional, for many 
women were called to undergo even greater hardships than hers ; 
but simply a typical life of one among the Puritan f oremothers. 
To briefly consider its incidents will perhaps make real to us 
their day. 

Mehitable Johnson came from good Puritan stock, being 
probably daughter of Humphrey Johnson of Koxbury. Her 
grandfather was John Johnson, who is supposed to have come 
from England in the fleet with Gov. Winthrop in 1630. We 
are told that the little fleet which sailed with the Arbella, was 
nine weeks crossing the Atlantic, but the devout passengers be- 
guiled the tedium of the voyage by ^^ preaching and catechiz- 
ing, fasting and thanksgiving." No doubt Humphrey, Mehita- 
ble's father, then a young boy, was one of the victims of the 
^^ catechizing." Palfrey, in a note, quotes the learned English 
antiquary, Hunter, as saying of the emigration which foUowed 
Winthrop from England, that it " consisted very much of per- 
sons who, though not of the very first rank, were yet men of 
substance and good alliances, — will-making families, families 
high in the subsidy books, while some of them, as the Win- 
throps, were among the principal gentry of the country." This 
honorable description seems true of John Johnson, for Savage 
says he was '^ a man of estate and distinction," a representa- 
tive to the first General Court in 1634, and for many years fol- 
lowing ; ako a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery 
Company, and surveyor general of arms and ammunition. 

John's oldest son, Mehitable's uncle, Isaac Johnson, was a 
captain in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, and 
was killed by the Indians at the head of his men, during the 
great fight at the Narragansett Fort, December 19, 1675. Pal- 
frey says of this skillfully constructed fort, in the heart of a 
hideous swamp, that its only entrance was " over a rude bridge 
consisting of a feUed tree, four or five feet from the ground, 
the bridge being protected by a block house." Over this treach- 
erous bridge, slippery with ice and snow, rushed the English 
troops to the attack, after a march of eighteen miles in deep 
snow through the pathless forest. Palfrey says, " The foremost 

88 Anntud Meetmff — 1900. 

of the assailants were received with a well-directed fire. Cap- 
tain Johnson of Boxbury was shot dead on the bridge, as he was 
rushing over it at the head of his company." Well may Sav- 
age allude to him as " the brave Captain Johnson of Eoxbury." 

Humphrey, second son of John, although he lived for a time 
at Scituate and Hingham, made Boxbury his chief home. Here 
he married March 20, 1643, Ellen Cheney, and here their eldest 
child, Mehitable, was bom in September, 1644. On October 31, 
1660, when only sixteen years old, she married Samuel Hinsdale 
of Dedham, he being aged about eighteen. 

We know nothing of Mehitable's personal appearance. Fancy 
is therefore free to make its own picture of her. We are safe 
in ascribing to her more than usual attractiveness of person, and 
many sterling qualities of character. A woman who married 
three times, twice when a widow with a large family of young 
children, was certainly not devoid of fascinations. I picture 
her large, strong, vigorous, her face radiant with the combined 
charms of good health and good sense. She was not only fair 
to look upon, but of the sturdy stuff in mind and body fit for 
a pioneer's wife, or she could not long have borne up under the 
hardships of her life. We may imagine her to resemble the 
second wife of Cotton Mather, of whom his son Samuel wrote : 

" She was one of finished Piety and Probity, and of an un- 
spotted Reputation, one of good sense, and blessed with a com- 
pleat Discretion in ordering a Household ; one of singular Good 
Humor and incomparable Sweetness of Temper ; one with a 
very handsome, engaging Countenance;" and no doubt it could 
be said of Samuel Hinsdale, as his son adds of Cotton Mather : 
^^ He rejoiced in her as having great spoil, and in finding her 
found great Favour of the Lord." Certainly Mehitable's life 
furnished opportunity for the use of all these virtues. And the 
forceful Samuel Hinsdale probably knew what he was about, 
when he selected a life partner for pioneer wilderness life. 

The HinsdaJes were a family of good birth, having a coat of 
arms, as we learn by the will of the widow of Col. Ebenezer 
Hinsdale, who is buried in Hinsdale, N. H. She left by will to 
her niece " a silver cup with Coat of Arms of Hinsdale family 
engraved upon it ; " and to the church in Hinsdale " my great 
Silver Tankard with Hinsdale Coat of Arms." 

Great energy, what in modem phrase is called ^^ push," seems 
to have characterized the EUnsdales. Bobert, father of Sam- 

A Puritan Foremother. 89 

uel, came from England in 1638^ as one of the first settlers of 
Dedbam, and was one of the eight men who founded the Ded- 
ham church ; he moved thence to Medfield as a pioneer, being 
one of the founders of the Medfield church in 1650, and in 1673 
we find him, with four stalwart sons, again a pioneer, this time 
in the remote wilderness settlement at Pocumtuck. But his 
son Samuel, apparently endowed with more than his share of 
the family energy and courage, had preceded his father to the 
Connecticut Valley several years, going first to Hadley. How 
little can we imagine what this journey of several days on 
horseback, through primeval forest whose only denizens were 
wild beasts and still more savage Indians, with three or four 
little children on the pillions behind the parents or in their 
arms, must have been for the young vrife and mother ; what 
high-hearted courage, what strong common sense, above all, 
what firm trust in God and his leading must have been hers, 
to carry her through it. 

In May, 1669, Dedham records tell us " Samuel Hinsdale of 
Hadley in the County of Hampshire ^ appeared before the se- 
lectmen of Dedham, stating that having ^^ purchased some 
propriety in Pocumtucke," and made improvement " by plough- 
ing land there," he demanded " the laying out " of the rights 
so purchased '^ that he might settle himself upon it, .... or if 
it could not yet be layed out, that then some parcell of upland 
might be granted and laid out to build a house upon." Alone 
had he come up here into the wilderness, twelve miles north of 
any habitation, and his ploughshare was the first to turn up the 
virgin soil of Deerfield meadows. 

The town street and highways were not laid out until two years 
later, in 1671, when the conmiittee in charge of the work al- 
lowed Samuel Hinsdale to " injoy the peroell of land — on which 
at present he is resident." Hence we may assume that some 
sort of house was already built cm said ^^ perceU of land," that 
his family were here vnth him, and that, consequently, Mehita- 
ble Hinsdale was the first woman living under the shadow of 
old Pocumtuck, a worthy forerunner of all the many " desira- 
ble " women who have, since her day, walked Old Deerfield 
Street, and borne conspicuous and honorable share in her history. 

She had at this time four children ; three little girls, Mehita- 
ble, about seven, Mary five, Sarah about three, and a baby boy, 
Samuel. The site of the first land occupied by Samuel Hins- 

90 Annual MeeHnff— 1900. 

dale is unknown. The Dedham records say the pieoe of land 
thus taken up not being over three or four acres, and not 
" prejudicing any man's lott or lotts/* he was allowed to " In- 
joy it, — considering his expense on the same," probably in the 
erection of his house and other improvements. A little later, 
by some trade, doubtless, Samuel Hinsdale became owner of 
Lot 14. Moving his family hither, here he was residing at the 
time of his death. 

Lot 14 is that now owned and occupied by Mrs. Whiting and 

How priceless would be one letter from Mehitable EQnsdale's 
quill, giving us a glimpse of her life in the solitary little cabin, 
around whose doors played the sturdy children, while the young 
mother, alert and cheerful, stepped briskly to and fro at her 
spinning wheel, or plied the flying shuttle at her loom. We 
can see the little ones scampering to the safe shelter of mother's 
linsey-woolsey gown, when dusky Mashilisk or her son Wuttaw- 
waluncksin, or Masseamet came striding out of the forest on 
the mountain side, coming to the cabin perhaps to barter In- 
dian brooms for a taste of Mehitable's savory bean porridge. 
But as Mehitable, like most women of her period, probably 
could not write, we can only infer her life from the conditions 
then prevailing. 

Samuel Hinsdale was a large proprietor, in 1670, owning one- 
twelfth of the original 8,000 acre grant. With his indomitable 
energy, he would no doubt have been eminent in the settle- 
ment's early history, but for his untimely death. Several 
times during these earliest years of settlement, from 1670 to 
1678, he was sent as a deputy to Dedham with petitions from 
^'tbe inhabitants at Pecomtick." What anxiety Mehitable 
must have suffered, during her husband's absence on these 
long, hazardous journeys to the Bay ! He was also appointed 
on a committee with such leading men as Lieut. Samuel Smith 
and Peter Tilton of Hadley, and Lieut. Wm. Allis of Hatfield, 
to supervise the affairs of the new settlement, to have charge 
of the sale of lands, the admission of new settlers, and the pro- 
curing ^^an orthodox Minister to dispone the word of Ood 
among them." 

In the fall of 1673, Samuel's father and three brothers cast 
in their lot with the promising settlement at Pocum'tuck. In 
this year, too, was bom Mehitable's fifth child, and the first 

A Pwritcm Foremother. 91 

white child bom in Deerfield, Mehnman Hinsdale. Deerfield, 
as the settlement began to be called, had now about one hun- 
dred and twenty-five inhabitants, thirty of whom were men. 
All was happy and prosperous in the little plantation until 
the outbreak of King Philip's war. The events of that war 
are too familiar to need recapitulation here. Even the most 
vivid fancy must fail to depict the constant anxiety and terror 
filling the hearts of the women in this isolated frontier settle- 
ment during the summer of 1675, the marching to and fro of 
soldiers, the discomfort of living, inhabitants and soldiers being 
huddled within the few palisaded houses, the Indians in Septem- 
ber having burned all houses outside the stockade. Then came 
the morning of the fatal 18th of September, when Captain 
Lothrop and his gallant soldiers marched out of Deerfield escort- 
ing a train of loaded wheat carts to Hadley. Samuel Hinsdale 
was one of the seventeen Deerfield men chosen by lot to drive 
these carts. Elsewhere I have thus pictured his adieu to his wife. 

^' Mehitable Hinsdale stood there holding little Mehuman by 
the hand, smiling bravely through the tears shining in her eyes, 
tears stoatly held back, as her husband, after lifting little Mehu- 
man and kissing him with unwonted tenderness, turned to her, 
and taking her hand, said : 

"*6ood-by, Mehitable. Keep up thy courage, good wife. 
Thou hast soldiers here in plenty to guard thee. And it be Gkxl's 
will, I trust soon to come safely back.' 

'^^God be with thee, Samuel,' said Mehitable, from a full 
heart.' " 

No doubt she stood in front of her house, so near where we 
are to-night assembled, her little brood around her, watching 
her husband and father go down the hill and out upon the mea- 
dow till the long train disappeared to the south. 

Her eyes never again rested on the husband of her youth. 
Samuel Hinsdale, his father and three brothers, slain that bloody 
day by the Indians, not, we may believe, without the stout re- 
sistance of brave men fighting for their lives, were buried 
by Moseley's and Treat's soldiers in the huge grave under the 
shadow of Mt. Wequamps. A few days more, and Mehitable vnth 
her little ones, mounted behind Major Treat's troopers, with 
wet eyes looked her last on what had been her happy home, 
and rode with grief unutterable over the still bloody battle 
ground, past the dreadful mound, to take refuge with kind 

92 Anntuil Meeting — 1900. 

relatives, probably in Hatfield. Deerfield was abandoned to 
Indian ravage and destruction, and was soon burned. A few 
blackened cellar holes and ravaged and trampled fields, and one 
melancholy frame, left unbumed, through whose bare timbers 
the desolate winds howled mockingly, were all the traces left of 
the settlement. ^^ The small remnant that were left of Deer- 
field's poor inhabitants " scattered through several towns below, 
pathetically said, in a petition to the General Court for aid (in 
1678), ^^ our houses have been rifled and burnt, our estates 
wasted, our flocks and herds consumed, the ablest of our in- 
habitants killed ; our plantation has become a wildemesse, a 
dwelling for owls." 

Mehitable, now thirty-one years old, was left a widow with 
five little children, the oldest a girl of barely twelve. Samud 
Hinsdale's personal estate of forty-five pounds, a much larger 
sum relatively then than now, was by his will " given his widow 
to bring up lieir children," while " the Land at Deerfield alias 
Pocuratuck, not being valued in regard to the present Indian 
war rendering it at present of little worth, but being hopeful to 
prove a Beal Estate hereafter," was given to his sons, Samuel 
and Mehuman, ^^ the Eldest to have a double share." 

In those days of war, death, uncertainty, there was little time 
for mourning. Broken families and lives must be patched up 
somehow, and the duties and business of life must go on. 
Mehitable with her little flock needing a father's care, soon 
married John Eoot of Northampton, aged thirty-one, son of 
Thomas Root, one of the founders of Northampton, one of the 
** eight pillars of the church " there, a selectman, etc. The rec- 
ords give John Eoot but one child. Thankful, bom in February, 
1677. He probably married Mehitable in the spring of 1676, 
and Thankful Eoot was her sixth child, perhaps so named from 
the sense of gratitude to God filling the mother's heart that 
life, which had looked so dreary, began to smile again with love 
and hope. 

The General Court, in answer to Mehitable's petition, had 
given her as her own. Lot 14, and in the spring of 1677 John 
Eoot, with Quintin Stockwell and a few others, returned to Deer- 
field full of hope and courage, to begin rebuilding the ruined 
settlement, feeling themselves entirely safe now that Philip 
was slain, and the war ended, while no hostilities had recently 
beeii committed. Eoot was building a house for Mehitable 

A PttrUan JFbremother. 93 

and her fiunily on Lot 14 when on the evening of September 
19, 1677, exactly one day over two years since the slaughter at 
Bloody Brook, a band of 26 Indians from Canada, led by Ash- 
pelon, fell upon the workers. All were taken captive, and Boot 
soon slain, perhaps because of his desperate resistance. Again 
was Mehitable widowed by the cruel hands of Indians. Truly 
could she echo the words of Deerfield's desolate ^^ remnant " to 
the G^eral Court, ^^ We find it hard work to live in this Iron 
age.'' She was probably living either with her father-in-law, 
Thomas Boot at Northampton, or with Hatfield friends. Her 
first husband's fourth brother, Ephraim Hinsdale, had settled at 
Hatfield after King PhiUp's war, and there were other relations 
living there. Among these various friends the family were 
doubtless scattered. Hearts were warm and hospitable in those 
troubled days, and those as yet uninjured shared freely with 
their suffering friends. 

A prominent man in Hatfield was Deacon John Coleman, son 
of Thomas Coleman from Wethersfield, Ct, one of the ^^en- 
gagers " who settled Hadley . Deacon Coleman married Hannah 
Porter of Windsor, and by her had six children. This family 
were living on a lot in the heart of the present village of Hat- 
field, just north of the stockade. Ashpelon and his Indians 
suddenly fell upon peaceful Hatfield about eleven o'clock in the 
forenoon of Sept. 19, 1677, killing twelve persons, wounding 
four, burning several buildings, then retreating northward in 
haste, bearing seventeen captives. Those captives were con- 
cealed in the woods east of Mt. Pocumtuck until dusk, when the 
deadly assault already described was made upon the men re- 
building at Deerfield. 

Deacon John Coleman's house, as has been stated, was with- 
out the stockade. He himself, with most of the men of the 
settlement, was at work on the meadows when this unexpected 
blow fell He left home in the morning, everything seeming 
serene and secure. He returned ere noon to find his wife and 
baby Bethiah slain, another child wounded, his bam with all 
his summer's crops burned, and two children carried off into 
captivity, one being Sarah Coleman, but four years old, whose 
little shoe worn during her eight months of captivity, now rests 
in Memorial HalL The same day Mehitable Boot had lost her 
second husband. 

It is not strange that these two fellow-sufferers, probably old 

94 Annual Meetmg— 1900. 

acqnaintances and fellow charoh members, were drawn to each 
other by their common sorrow and common need. We can 
fancy good Deacon Coleman seated in the " fore room " with 
the comely and capable Widow Root, pleading his suit some- 
thing in this wise, while the firelight shone out on his earnest 
face, on Mehitable's, still pleasmg, thoagh the shocks of sadden 
sorrows had somewhat dimmed its girlhood beauty. 

" Good wife Root, the hand of the Lord hath verily been laid 
heavily upon us twain. In the same dread day, thou didst lose 
thy staff and stay, and I my sweet and comfortable spouse, by 
the hands of the same murderous savages, whom, doubtless be- 
cause our sins called down His just wrath, the Lord suffered to 
fall upon us to desolate our pleasant places and destroy our 
goodly heritage. In this bereavement so strangely befalling us, 
methinks I discern a leading of the Lord, that we widowed ones 
who are left desolate to mourn shall comfort each other under 
these sore distresses. Thy little flock needeth a father's protec- 
tion and guidance, and my poor desolate children a loving 
mother's care. Shall we not join hands in the sweet estate of 
wedlock, and walk together, comforting each other, during the 
days that remain of our earthly pilgrimage ? " 

And so, eighteen months after the deaths of Hannah Coleman 
and John Root, on March 11, 1679, Mehitable, now thirty-five 
years old, became the second wife of Deacon John Coleman of 
Hatfield. The deacon moved within the palisade soon after the 
assault. Mehitable bore him two sons, Ebenezer and Nathaniel. 
At the time of the marriage. Deacon Coleman had five children 
living, the oldest a boy of thirteen. The two little captives 
had returned in safety early in June, 1678, thanks to the heroic 
efforts of Benjamin Waite and Stephen Jennings. Mehitable 
had six children, the eldest a girl of 16. With the two sons 
born to Deacon Coleman, she was thus the maternal head of a 
household of thirteen young children. Did she not need all the 
virtues I have ascribed to her and would she have been chosen 
to fill so difficult a position by a '^ grave, judicious " elder of the 
church, had she not possessed the rare qualities of head and 
heart enabling her to fulfill its duties faithfully and wisely t 
She lived ten years with Deacon John Coleman, probably years 
of domestic peace, though there was still a constant apprehen- 
sion of Indian raids, not baseless as was shown by the assault 
on Northfield in August, 1688, when six persons were slain. A 

A Puritan Foremoiher. 95 

year after this raid on Northfield, when her yonngest child, 
Nathaniel, was bat five years old, August 4th, 1689, she died, 
at the early age of 45. 

She had borne eight children, had lost two husbands as well 
as relatives, neighbors and friends innumerable by the sudden 
and horrible shock of Indian butchery, and, in addition to the 
care and toil inevitable to the mother of so large a family amid 
the hardships and privations of the period, she had lived most 
of her life under such a nervous strain and apprehension as are 
inconceivable to us more fortunate ones, — the impending dread 
of Indian assaults. Small wonder is it that her vitality was 
exhausted, and that she early laid down the life so full of use- 
fulness, but also of turmoil and sorrow. 

She was undoubtedly buried in the old burying ground at 
Hatfield, beautiful for situation then as now, where the clear 
waters of Mill Biver glide by under the bank to-day as peace- 
fully as when mourning husband and children lowered to quiet 
rest at last the worn body which had housed Mehitsible Cole- 
man's brave soul. But I find there no gravestone, or even trace 
of an unmarked grave near her husband's. Perhaps this is not 
strange, after the lapse of two hundred and eleven years* At 
the time she died, few graves were marked with stones. The 
mound has long since sunk down into a grassy hollow, and the 
body Mehitable wore has blossomed again in grass and flowers. 
Little it all troubles Mehitable now ! A stone, large for the 
time, in fact probably erected later, marks her husband's grave, 
its partly effaced inscription stating, ^^ Deacon John Coleman 
dyed on Jan. 21, 1711, Aged 76 years, and here byred." 

Through her children Mehitable was still further connected 
with the Indian troubles. Indeed, her early death seems merci* 
ful, in view of the agony she was thus spared, for the sorrows of 
one's children are more grievous to a mother's heart than her 
own. Her oldest daughter, Mehitable, became the second wife 
of Obadiah Dickinson, who, with his child was carried away 
captive to Canada from Hatfield in the assault of 1677. Her 
third daughter, Sarah, married Samuel Janes, son of Elder 
William Janes of Northfield, who during the firat settlement at 
Korthfield preached to the settlers under the spreading branches 
of a huge oak tree. Samuel returned to Northfield at the time 
of the second settlement, taking up his father's lot. Samuel 
Janes seems to have been a brave man, for it was he who with 

96 Annual Meeting— 1900. 


one garrison soldier went to Springfield the day after the 
assault bearing a letter with the news to Major Fynchon. 
When the settlers were again obliged by the Indian assault in 
1688 to abandon Korthfield, Samuel, with his brother Benjamin 
and three other families^ settled on a fertile tract in North- 
ampton, at the northeast foot of Mt. Tom, called Pascommuck. 
Here they no doubt felt themselves entirely safe, in the heart 
of the old settlements. But in May, 1704, a party of French 
and Indians feU on Pascommuck. Thirty-three persons were 
killed or captured. Samuel Janes, his wife, Sarah, and three 
children were slain (daughter and grandchildren of Mehitable), 
and two young sons of Samuel Janes were knocked on the head 
and left for dead, but were found alive and recovered. Mehita- 
ble's son, Af ehuman Hinsdale, was twice taken captive. In 1704 
he was living on his mother's old lot in Deerfield, No. 14, when, 
in that terrible night in February, which we are here met to 
commemojrate, he and his wife were captured, and taken to 
Canada, and their only child (another grandchild of Mehitable) 
was slain before the parents' eyes. On the passage back from 
Oanada in 1706, another son, Ebenezer, was bom to the Hins- 
dales. Mehuman returned to Deerfield to live, but in 1709, 
when driving an ox cart from Northampton, he was again cap- 
tured, and carried to Oanada, returning only after three years' 
absence, by way of France and England. Would he had kept 
a diary of his experiences daring these three years 1 

Mehitable's grandson, Ebenezer Hinsdale, born almost in 
captivity, was prominent in the settlement of Southern Ver- 
mont and New Hampshire, founding the town of Hinsdale, 
N. H. Mehitable's second daughter, Mary, married Deacon 
Thomas Sheldon of Northampton, brother of Ensign John Shel- 
don, so prominent in Deerfield's early history. Deacon Thomas 
gave the first church in Northampton a communion service of 
massive silver, still in use, says Sheldon's genealogy. So we 
may infer that Mary, as the phrase goes, "married welL" 
Thankful Boot married Thomas Wells of Wethersfield, Ct. 
Ebenezer Ooleman also settled in Connecticut, in Colchester. 
The ties with Connecticut, where many of the families in this 
region had originated, and where many relatives still lived, 
were strong in those days. Samuel Hinsdale settled in Medf ord. 

Mehitable's youngest child, Captain Nathaniel Coleman, lived 
and died in Hatfield, as did his son Elijah. His grandson, 

A Puritan JFbremotAer. 97 

EUjahy Mehitable's greatrgrandson, married Tabitha Meekins, a 
descendant of Ooodman Thomas Meekins, the miller of Hat* 
field, and of his son, Thomas, Jr., slain by the Indians in King 
Philip's war, when out as a scout north of Hatfield, Oct. 19, 
1675. Through her mother, Martha Smith, Tabitha Meeldns 
was also directly descended from Lieutenant Samuel Smith of 
Hadley. Soon after the Bevolutionary War, Elijah Coleman 
moved from Hatfield to Greenfield, purchasing a part of the old 
Allen farm in the upper meadows, confiscated and sold, as 
family tradition has always recounted, because the owners were 
Tories, the farm now called " Clover Nook Farm." I remember 
as a child of four, going into this old house, a black frame house 
with a long roof sloping to the ground in the rear, then used as 
a store and tool house. Elijah was my mother's grandfather. 
Had he lived a few years longer, it pleases fancy to believe he 
might have told my mother family stories or traditions about 
the momentous experiences of his great-grandmother, Mehitable, 
and so I should have had, as it were, personal touch SLcross the 
centuries with this Puritan foremother. But he died in 1818, 
when my mother was two years old, and his body was taken 
back to the old burying ground in Hatfield, and laid beside his 
ancestors. Captain Nathaniel and Deacon John. His stone 
bears the familiar words : 

Preaent useful. Absent wanted, 
lived desiied, Died lamented. 

An obituary in the Greenfield paper of the period says of 
him that he was ^^ a worthy and respectable citizen, and dear 
to his circle of friends, who cannot but reflect with the high- 
est satisfaction upon his Christian resignation under the infirm- 
ities he has long endured, and particularly upon the almost un- 
paralleled consolations he enjoyed during his last illness, nor 
fail to indulge the joyful assurance that with him death is 
swallowed up in victory." 

Most of the audience here assembled are descended from 
Puritan ancestors who helped bear the brunt of the old Indian 
wars. While we may hope that we have inherited from them 
some touch at least, of high-hearted faith, of devotion to duty, of 
interest in religion, of patriotic love of country, is it wholly fancy 
which causes us to believe that some mark also of the terrible 
nervous strain they bore, the shocks they endured, stiU rests 

98 Amvual Meeting— 1900. 

upon us t When we shudder in the dark at nameless, sense- 
less terrors, we know not what ; when, in spite of reason, we 
would rather not go down cellar in the dark, feel that a vague, 
lurking Something is about to pounoe upon us from the shad- 
ows, when we prefer to shut out the blackness of the night by 
drawing close the curtains, lest a dreadful unknown Something 
peer in at us ; are not these vague, nervous apprehensions which 
we despise, but still feel, deep down in the subconscious self relics 
of the impress left by Indian horrors on oar ancestors, so inef- 
faceable as still to be transmitted to their descendants ! 



Loved Deerfield; Franklin's oldest child. 
What memories round thee cling, 

What daring deeds of pioneers 
Adown the oenturies ring. 

This peaceful vale was once the home 

Of a relentless foe 
Who ranged, at will, in these retreats. 

Back in the long ago. 

They roamed Connecticut's fair banks. 

And loved its waters too, 
Upon its crystal bosom fished. 

Borne by the birch canoe. 

But when the white man came to tiU 

The long neglected soil, 
Tliey saw in him a rival, who 

Their hunting ground, would spdL 

And then a savage war began 

That lasted many 3rears; 
A bloody age on history's page 

Bedewed with scalding tears. 

Bold Sugar Loaf was Philip's throne,* 

Where he his sieges planned. 
And then went forth to execute, 

Assisted by his band. 

Near by there flows a little stream 

Of which historians tell. 
Where in a struggle, short but fierce, 

"The flower of Essex" fell. 

* A mere poetic fancy. — Ed. 

Poem. 99 

For what the early settlers bore 

At cruel, Indian hands, 
Allied with the Canadian French^ 

The name of "Williams" standsl 

Around the dwelling's midnight blan 
The savage danced and screamed. 

And here the deadly tomahawk 
Above the captive gleamed. 

Then came the long and dreary march 
O'er drifted N<nthem snows; 

No pen, tho' dipped in ink of Uood, 
Its suffering could disclose. 

How many deeds could be rehearsed 
At which the heart would quail, 

But with the softening hand of time. 
O'er them, we draw a veil. 

To-day, peace o'er this valley broods. 
The white man reigns supreme. 

Instead of war whoops, can be heard 
Resoimding blasts of steam. 

The tiller of the soil works not 

In fear of danger now, — 
One hand upon the musket laid, 

The other, on the plow. 

AH traces of the dusky foe 
Have vanished with the years, 

And children immoleeted play 
Where died the pioneers. 

Where the untutored savage dwelt. 

Now, halls of learning rise. 
And churches with their tapering Q>ireB 

Point upward to the skies. 

These things are possible to you 
Because your fathers fought 

To win for their descendants homes, 
Whose soil with blood was bou^t. 

No crumbling stone can ever tell 

The debt to them you owe. 
But generations yet to come. 

Through you tiieir deeds shall know. 

With growing zeal, you meet each year, 

Around the festal board, 
To trace some hero's brave career, 

In history's pages stored. 

100 Annual Meetmg — 1900. 

Your fathers toiled for you with gun. 
You toil for them with pen. 

And delve in records old and dim, 
To show their deeds to men. 

Memorial Hall — Old Deerfield's pride — 
Was christened at your hands. 

Erected first as learning's seat, 
For learning still it stands. 

Tis filled with heirlooms of the past. 
With relics old and rare. 

And eveiy room within it shows 
A guardian's faithful care. 

P. V. M. A., performs a work 
Praise-worthy and sublime, 

Whose good effects will reach far down 
The corridors of time. 

The names of Sheldon, Hitchcock, Arms, 
Of Crawford, Wells and Wright, 

With Thompson, Baker, Lincoln, Smith, 
Blaze with a brilliant light. 

Ere long the silver cord will break. 
The thread of life be spun. 

And you will leave to other hands 
The work that you've b^un. 

And when dear, faithful, Mother Earth, 
Your sleeping dust shall claim. 

Your children's children will revere 
Each member's honored namel 



Among all the names of the old patriots of the Bevolation- 
ary period, who resided in Greenfield, none stands out in bolder 
letters, or in stronger light, than the name of that sturdy old 
hero. Captain Agrippa Wells. 

Captain '' Grip," as he was familiarly called by om* grand- 
fathers, seemed to have a firm hold upon the affections of those 
who were children about the time of the close of the Eevolu- 
tionary War. Three generations ago, whatever other afflictions 
the people suffered, they were not troubled with a daily paper 

Capkdn Agrijppa WetU. 101 

with its scare-head news columns, filled with disgnsting twad- 
dle about " Imperialism^'' " Goebelism," and other " isms," fur- 
nished by paid reporters, serving to distract the public mind, 
and occupy the time and attention of the people ; and when in 
the long winter evenings the rural family had gathered about 
the light-stand upon which stood the tallow dip, shedding its 
soft light upon the sweet and placid face of the good wife, as 
with the yam carefully wound around her little finger she 
knitted the woolen mitten for the youngster who nestled on the 
hearth at her feet, putting up his hand now and then to ^ try 
it on," while he teased his grandfather, who sat by the glowing 
fire, for a story ; the stirring events of the life and times of 
" Oaptain Grip," often became the thread of that evening's story. 

Agrippa Wells was born in Deerfield, November 27, 1738. 
He was the son of Thomas Wells, a doctor, and his mother was 
Sarah, daughter of Deacon Eliezer Hawks, who was with Oap- 
tain Turner at the ^' Falls fight," and sister of Sergeant John 
Hawks, the ^' Hero of Fort Massachusetts." His grandfather, 
Ebenezer Wells, was one of the first to receive a grant of land 
" on Green river," and his grandmother was Mary, a daughter 
of fighting old Sergeant Ben Waite, who laid down his life in 
the " Meadow fight." Very many of the descendants of Hugh 
Wells, the emigrant, bom in Essex County, England, and who 
was settled in Hartford in 1636, had become celebrated and re- 
nowned as men of note and influence in Colony affairs, and by 
their brave deeds in Indian warfare. Jonathan Wells, the boy 
hero of the Turners Falls fight, was of this blood ; also Captain 
Thomas Wells, a renowned partisan in the Indian wars, as well 
as Colonel David Wells of Shelbume, of Revolutionary fame. 
A large oak ^^ chest and dmws," now in our Memorial Hall, was 
a portion of "the setting out" of Agrippa's mother, Sarah 
Hawks. The marriage of her father and mother, Eliezer 
Hawks and Judith, daughter of William Smead, is the first 
recorded in the Deerfield records, April 30th, 1689. 

Inheriting such blood, bom when the people were in the 
midst of the turmoil of Indian warfare, and raised to manhood 
during the exciting years of the old French war, it is not strange 
that we find Agrippa Wells, before he is twenty years old, a 
member of Captain Burk's company of Massachusetts Bangers, 
under the command of that celebrated border chief. Major Eog- 
ers, scouting upon the borders of Lake Champlain. 

102 Annual Meeting— 1900. 

On the 35ih of June, 1757, while on a soont near Sabbath 
Day Point, he, with Martin and Matthew Severanoe of Deer- 
field, and William Clark, of Colrain, were made prisoners by the 
Indians, and taken to Canada. As was customary with the 
savages, the prisoners upon their arrival at the Indian villages, 
were compelled to run the gauntlet. 

All the Indians of the village, forming in two rows, armed 
with dubs, whips, and other weapons, stand ready, and the 
prisoner is compdled to run between the lines and receive 
such punishment as he is unable to escape. Wells was greatly 
enraged because the Indians stripped him of his own dothes, 
and compelled him to wear the cast-ofF chemise of an old 
squaw, and being an athletic and robust youth, he deter- 
mined to do his best, and with a jump and a whoop, started 
down the line with such a bold dash that he so much surprised 
the mob that before they knew it he had nearly reached the 
goal, without receiving much punishment, but nearing the end 
an old squaw gave him a terrible blow, which Wells returned 
with such a vigorous kick in the stomach, that she was sent 
sprawling, much to the edification of the Indians, who thought 
it a fine show of pluck, and Wells was at once taken into favor. 
He was redeemed from the Indians, taken to France as a pris- 
oner of war, and after some delay exchanged, and reached 
home by the way of England. He became a resident of 8hel- 
bume, at one time owning the ^^ Wells farm " and selling it to 
that CoL David Wells who came from Connecticut in 1770. 
He was one of the selectmen of Shelbume in 1770-'71, and was 
captain of a company of minutemen formed from men resid- 
ing in Shelbume, Greenfield and Bemardston. He soon after 
removed to Greenfield, his house being upon the lot where now 
stands the Franklin County Bank building, and his blacksmith 
shop stood upon the lot now occupied by Sanborn's block. 

There were two military companies in Greenfield in 1775, one 
with its headquarters in the village, the other located at the 
meetinghouse, now known as " The Four Corners." When " the 
shot heard round the world " was fired at Lexington, April 19th, 
the news reached Worcester before night, and early on the fol- 
lowing day the excited messenger, on foaming horse, rode 
through Greenfield, shouting ^^ to arms," ^^ to arms," ^ meet in 
Cambridge," as he urged his jaded steed onward to other 

CaptcMn Agrippa Welle. lOS 

The setting son saw Oaptain Wells and fifty men hastUy 
gathered from Greenfield, Bemardston and Deerfield, on their 
way to Cambridge, their sools fall of revenge for the death of 
their fellow patriots. 

In his roll call for Angost Ist, 1775, Captain Wells gives the 
names of 28 men from Greenfield, 22 from Shelbume, 17 from 
Bemardston, three from If orthfield and one eaoh from Haver- 
hill and Hampton Falls. 

Attached to this roU is a memorandum, that Noah Wells of 
Shelbome, died May 21st, 1775, and in a letter written home 
he mentions that ^^Noah Wells was bnried with regimental 
honors." His roU also says that Tobe Porter of Shelburne, 
died Jane 16th. Coald it be that the date given is an error, and 
that he was one of the victims of the battle of Banker Hill, the 

It is not known whether this company was engaged at the 
battle of Banker Hill or not, bat it is certain that the command 
was in the immediate vicinity that day and with faU ranks. 
The second Greenfield company ander the command of Captain 
Timothy Childs, a prominent citizen of the town, then living 
on the farm now owned by Timothy M. Stoaghton, Esq., near 
Biverside, marched for Cambridge a few days later. Both 
Captain Wells and Captain Childs received their commissions 
from the Provincial government May 8d, 1776. 

While Captain Wells was with hk company at the siege of 
Boston, he received a farloagh for a visit home. Bev. Boger 
Kewton, the minister of the town at that time, was not con* 
sidered a zealoas patriot, to say the least, and men of the stamp 
of Captain Wells were not well satisfied with his position in re- 
gard to pabhc affairs. When it came to Mr. Newton's ears 
that Captain Wells had arrived, he walked over to get the news 
from Boston. He foand the Captain at tea and during the 
conversation which followed, he asked, "What do they in- 
tend to do with the Tories i '' " Do with 'em, do with 'em," 
said the pagnacions Captain, bringing his fist down apon the 
table so hard as to make the parson jump; "do with 'em, 
damn 'em, we intend to hang the devils." Calling apon an 
old friend in the western part of the town he was invited to 
drink tea ; " No," he said, " I wonld as soon drink my chil- 
dren's blood." 

Captain Wells and his command were present at the battle 

104 Anmud MeeHng— 1900. 

of Bennington andalso at the surrender of Bnrgoyne. He was 
a bold, blnff man, bat an intense patriot, and he rendered most 
▼aloable service to his coontry, in the '^ time which tried men's 
souls " to the utmost. 

After his return from the war he removed to that part of 
Bemardston soon established as the District of Leyden, where 
were settled so many of his old command. He was select- 
man of Bemardston for several years between 1784 and 1791 
and was also a member of the Constitutional Convention in 
1788. At the close of the Bevolutionary War, great distress 
and actual want existed in the country, especially in Western 
Itfassachusetts, and the people complained bitterly of taxes, the 
refusal of the government to issue paper money, the high salary 
of the governor, and especially the specific taxes levied to pay 
the interest upon the state debt. 

After years of unrest and vain appeals to the government for 
relief, provoked beyond measure, a large number of the returned 
soldiers of the Bevolutionary army and younger men assem- 
bled in arms and, placing themselves under the leadership of 
Daniel Shays, a distinguished officer and patriot, gathered at 
the places fixed for holding sessions of the courts, and by threats 
prevented their sitting, thus delaying the collection of taxes 
and other debts. With hundreds of others of his old compa- 
triots in arms. Captain Wells was convinced that he was called 
upon to fight a second war tot independence. When the 
rebel army assembled before the United States Arsenal, on 
Springfield Hill, it is not at all strange to find the command of 
Captain Wells in the front ranks. When after all efforts by 
the government officers to prevent slaughter had failed, and 
the rebels dared the government forces to fire. General Lin- 
coln gave the word and one volley burst forth in the faces of the 
rebel ranks, as the smoke of battle cleared away, there stood 
Captain ^^ Grip," almost alone, waving his sword and in a voice 
of thunder, cursing his men — who had run away — for their 
cowardice and shama 

It speaks loudly for the popularity of the rebel cause in this 
vicinity, that there was also in the rebel ranks that day upon 
the hill, another company from Oreenfield, under the command 
of Captain Moses Arms, composed of many of the very best 
men of the town. It is a singular fact that all of the four men 
killed that day, and Challoner, the man who lost both his arms. 

The Broom Com Industry. 105 

were from Greenfield, Leyden, Shelbnme and Oolrain, and they 
were all thought to be members of Captain Wells's company. 
The writer is in no position to criticise the rebel position, as 
one of his grandfathers was with General Lincoln and one with 
Daniel Shays. 

In 1793, Captain Wells again became a citizen of Greenfield, 
living for a time upon the farm now the homestead of Mr. 
Charles W. Smead, where he had a blacksmith 3hop. He 
married, September 17th, 1761, Mehitable, daughter of Jona- 
than Smead, of Greenfield, and eleven children were bom to 

Captain Wells died in Greenfield, March 24th, 1809, and was, 
it is supposed, buried in Greenfield, but where sleeps the dust 
of this brave old patriot, no man knoweth. 





The Franklin Herald and Public Advertiser says in its issue 
of January 2d, 1827, that in 1827 seventeen hundred acres of 
broom com were raised in Hampshire County, of which fifteen 
hundred acres were raised in Hatfield and Hadley. The price 
of broom com at this time varied from three and a half to six 
cents per pound. According to the Hampshire Gfizette, Samuel 
Hopkins of Hadley was the first to raise broom com in this vi- 
cinity, about 1778. It became a staple crop about 1825 in these 
river towns, and the amount raised increased steadily until 
about 1842, after which time it became unprofitable, and since 
1855 but little has been raised in Deerfield. It was at one 
time a leading crop in the towns of Deerfield, Whately, Hatfield, 
Hadley, North Hadley, Sunderland, and to some extent raised 
in Northfield and Montague, and was largely depended upon as 
a ready money crop. 

The brush was manufactured into brooms and brushes, and 
sold in the Boston and New York markets. But the enter- 
prising farmers often peddled the brooms in the neighboring 

106 Annual MeeUng— 1900. 

towns, in New Hampshire and Yermont, some even taking their 
products so far as Canada, and Cheny Yalley in the state of 
New York. 

Ahnost every farmer raised more or less of the crop, and very- 
many manufactured the brooms. It was grown upon the very 
best meadow land, and produced from six hundred to one 
thousand pounds of brush to the acre, and sometimes even ex- 
ceeded the half ton to the acre. When the seed was allowed to 
fully ripen, from forty to eighty bushels were produced to 
the acre— or eight bushels of seed to every hundred pounds of 
cleaned brush. 

In order to raise a good crop of broom com it was necessary 
that the land be in a high state of cultivation, well plowed and 
pulverized, then holed out in hills about twenty inches apart, 
in rows three feet distant from each other, manured in the hill 
with about seven cart-loads of good manure to the acre, usually 
compost, which when loaded into the cart — ^for all farm work 
was then done with cattle — was taken to the field and much 
care taken to avoid driving across the rows, one or two men 
distributing the compost with shovels from the tail end of the 
cart, to the hills, taking six rows at each crossing of the field, 
as being a more convenient number of rows, each shovelful be- 
ing sufficient for two or three hills. When the field was ma- 
nured, men foUowed with hoes and planting bags filled with 
seed, and with the hoe covering with earth the compost and 
smoothing down the earth, scattered thereon fifteen or twenty 
seeds and covering the same about one-half inch in depth with 
fine earth free from grass or weeds, leaving the result with 

It took a good smart man to plant one acre of broom com in 
a day. When the young plants were about two inches high, 
hoeing began. The horse and small harrow went back and 
forward between the rows of tender com, and " the man with 
the hoe " followed cutting out all weeds and putting a little 
fine dirt among the small blades of com, but not at this time 
thinning the number very much. This work was in ordinary 
seasons done about the first of June, and about the middle of 
the month came the second hoeing. Sometimes an old-fashioned 
cultivator was now used between the rows, and the number of 
stalks left in the hill were not more than seven to ten, and the 
earth was slightly hilled about the com. Early in July the 

The Broom Com Indvstry. 107 

onltiyator was again put through the field, and the dirt hilled 
aboat the now fast-growing com, which by the first of Septem- 
ber had reached an average height of nine or ten feet, each 
stalk crowned with its long tassel of brash richly laden with 
seed, a most beantifnl sight. If the seed ripens before the frost 
comes, it is ready to be harvested, bnt this must be done before 
frost touches it, whether the cane is ripe or not, or its virtues 
have departed. 

A field of broom com is harvested by breaking down the 
stalks of each hill about three feet from the ground, and laying 
the tops diagonally across upon the opposite row about tiiree 
hills in the rear, thus making a continuous table of each two 
rows. This is called ^^ tabling," and the next operation in the 
harvest is cutting off the brush, which is accomplished by hold- 
ing the brush in one hand and with a knife in the other giving 
just the right drawing cut, severing the brush and leaving the 
husk upon the stalk, a part of the table. About ten inches of 
the stalk is left on the brush, and it is spread evenly, the butts 
all one way, upon the table to dry. If good weather prevails, 
the brush will be ready to cart in three or four days, and is 
then bound in small bundles, or piled loosely upon the cart and 
taken to the sheds where it is spread upon poles, or piled upon 
some open scaffold about ten inches thick, where if in proper 
condition when brought from the field, it will cure without 
further trouble or care, except perhaps a turning now and then 
to keep it from moalding in case of muggy weather. 

When the crop is thoroughly dry, the brush is hetcheled or 
scraped to remove the seed, which operation is sometimes done 
by hand and sometimes by a machine, and the brush bound in 
bundles of about ten or twelve pounds in weight, and is then 
ready for market, or to manufacture into brooms or brushes. 
If destined for shipment, the bundles are made up into suitable 
large bales, and sometimes sewed up in sacking, to prevent loss 
in transportation and waste. 

After the seed is removed it is a slippery mass fuU of chaff 
and dirt, and is usually threshed with a flail, and run through a 
fanning mill, to make it clean and marketable. If the seed is 
ripe and good it should weigh from thirty-five to forty-two 
pounds to the bushel, and under those conditions is thought by 
some farmers to be about equal in value to oats, for feeding 
purposes. I well remember William Boss, who then lived in 

108 Annual Meeting— 1900. 

what was known as ^^ Little Hope '' but which locality is now 
known by the dignified name of West Deerfield, as always 
having large, fat hogs, and they were always fed on broom 
seed ; this was nearly seventy years ago, and men differed much 
as to the value of broom seed for feeding purposes. Uncle Seth 
Sheldon, David Sheldon, Uncle Balph and hosts of the best 
cattle feeders of Deerfield Street would not permit its being fed 
in their barns, and Uncle Seth would not even let the miller 
grind his grist of provender the first after he had ground in the 
mill a grist of broom seed. Horatio Hoyt, Sr., experimented 
with broom seed as food for hogs and neat stock without satis- 
factory results. He said he fed broom seed to his hens until 
they ever after grew their feathers pointing toward their heads. 

The market price of broom brush has like every other crop 
produced upon our farms, had its ups and downs, and seasons of 
speculation. In 1835 the crops were many of them sold stand- 
ing in the field for from seventy to one hundred dollars an acre, 
and as the frost came early that year, the crop was nearly 
ruined and consequently large amounts of money were lost in 
the speculation. 

When the brush is to be manufactured into brooms and 
brushes, it is usual to bleach it with brimstone. This is done 
by preparing a box about eight feet long by five feet in width 
and five feet in depth, inside of which is a rack about fif- 
teen inches above the ground. Each bundle of brush is then 
soaked in a tub of water and then set in the box upon the rack 
and unbound, with the butts downward, the box lid shut down 
as nearly air-tight as is possible, when an old fashioned skillet 
is heated red-hot and introduced under the rack through a hole 
in the side of the box, and a roll of brimstone dropped into the 
skillet, immediately stopping the hole. After remaining in this 
sulphur bath for twenty-four hours, the box is opened and the 
brush removed and it is now ready for use. Taken to the 
broom shop, the brush is assorted, the long fine colored brush 
selected for the outside of the broom, and the short and crooked 
brush used for filling. 

It was considered a day's work to bleach and prepare the 
brush and tie and sew twenty pound and three-quarter brooms, 
twenty-five pound and a half brooms, thirty pound or pound 
and a quarter brooms, or fifty clothes brushes, or fifteen half 
handle fancy brushes. 

The Broom Com lnd/u9try. 109 

Wire was generally used for tying the brooms, but a cheaper 
quality was tied with twine. While being tied the broom is 
nearly round or oval, but is pressed into shape by a strong 
screw, and made flat by pressing them in a screwing machine 
where the broom is sewed with twine, first winding two different 
strands around the brush and sewing with a needle and twine 
through and through with stitches about an inch apart. 

The broom is then trimmed by cutting the brush evenly to 
complete its shape, and any remaining seed is removed with a 
comb. The ordinary broom is now ready for market, but a 
few of the very best are selected, the handles polished with 
sandpaper, varnished and fancy striped, and are for sale to 
those who can afford to pay the extra expense. 

Sixty years ago there were a good many expert broom makers 
in Deerfield, among others, a colored man, deaf and dumb, 
named Calvin Salisbury, who lived with Ifajor Stebbins, a 
wonderful broom maker who could make a thousand brooms 
which all seemed just alike, and No. 1 brooms. Clet Leverage 
was another, who could tie two day's work in one day, and kept 
it up for months. Philander Dickinson was one of the best 
broom makers I ever knew. Most farmers raising broom com 
had shops, and the brooms made here went into all the large 
markets, and were sold all over the country. Many went to 
Canada ; I took a load of brooms myself to Canada in 1834^ 
which I sold on Stanstead Plains, near the home of that Mr. 
Allen who married the daughter of C. T. Arms of this town 
and was proprietor of a brick shoe-shop located there. I have 
also taken brooms to Springfield and Palmer, before the rail- 
roads came nearer to us, for shipment to the city markets. 
Nearly all the brooms manufactured in Deerfield found a 
market in New York City, and were generally sent to commis- 
sion houses for sale for the benefit of the shippers. 

It was the custom in those days for the villagers to meet at the 
tavern and talk over the beef and broom markets, settle to their 
own satisfaction all national questions troubling the public mind, 
and incidentally take a little flip before retiring to their homes. 

Among others there was Elisha Wells, living in the Street, 
who was a large raiser of broom com and manufacturer of 
brooms. He had at one time sent a large lot of brooms to New 
York for sale on commission, and the trade being dull, the 
agent wrote to Mr. Wells that he thought that if he would have 

110 Annual MeeUng— 1900. 

his brooms overhanled and stain and varnish the handles, that 
he wonld get a quicker sale at better prices. Mr. Wells con- 
cluded to go down to the city and do the job himself, although 
it was unusual to put any finish upon the broom handles. When 
he reached the city, he found his brooms stored in a large ware- 
house on the top of a large number of hogsheads of molasses. 
He procured his sandpaper and varnish, mounted upon the bead 
of a molasses hogshead and commenced his work, moving along 
on the hogsheads as his work proceeded. One day while busy at 
work, his foundation gave way and he found himself up to his 
neck in West India molasses. Getting cleaned up, he wrote to 
Major Stebbins ^^ that he had been in a sweet pickle " and giv- 
ing him a graphic account of the affair, and asked him to call 
up all who were at the hotel meeting ^' to take something " and 
he would pay the bill when he got home. 

The manufacture of brooms stimulated other business, and 
especially the manufacturing of broom handles. Almost every 
day loads of broom handles would pass through the lower towns 
to supply the demands, much to the benefit of Ashfield, Col- 
rain, Wilmington and other towns. Broom wire was manufac- 
tured at Hadley Mills as early as 1825, and the industry con- 
tinued until about 1850, this being the only wire mill in the 
valley of which I have any knowledge. There was a wire used 
more largely than that made in Hadley, which was I think of 
English make, and worked well. Sewing machines, pounders 
and needles for use m broom making were made in Hadley, and 
sold all through the valley. 

The Shakers at Enfield, Oonnecticut, began broom making as 
early as 1830 and continued until about 1855, making a broom 
tied with twine and with narrow shoulders, which has always 
been known as ^^ the Shaker broom." 

About 1850 the farmers upon the western prairies began the 
raising of broom com, exclusively for the brush. It was of 
larger growth, long and straight, cut while green, and kiln- 
dried, and was much better than the brush raised in this valley, 
and soon occupied the market. The brooms made from the 
western brush were of handsome color, the brush having been 
cut before ripening, they were a stronger and a better broom 
in every way, the outside being covered with the hurls of the 
brush and no broom made from native brush could compete 
with them. 

Reminisoenoe : Oeorge Sheldon. Ill 

Sixty years has made a great ohange ; the broom com indus- 
try has left the Connecticut Yalley, never to return, and the 
raising of tobacco and onions seems to have taken the place of 
broom com, as the crops relied upon by the farmer for bringing 
him ready money. 

Whether the changes during the next sixty years relating to 
the industries of this valley shall equal or exceed those of the 
last period, time alone will determine. 


Mr. President : — In the reports which our friends of the press 
always give of our annual meetings a statement is found to this 
effect — that after the heavy guns had been discharged there 
followed a fusillade of small arms in the shape of short speeches, 
stories, sharp shooting at short range, or comments on the 
papers of the evening given by Messrs. ^^ Jones, Smith and Rob- 
inson." These performances are usually characterized as bright 
and witty. 

Among these postprandial speakers we all recall that young, 
jovial octogenarian of blessed memory. Deacon Phinehas Field. 
He was the right-hand sta£F of the presiding officer, to whom 
he unconditionally gave his services to fill any pause or acci- 
dental gap, from five minutes to an hour on demand. Drafts 
were often made upon him at such times, and they were al- 
ways honored and were always received with satisfaction. His 
reservoir of local lore and anecdote seemed inexhaustible. He 
usually brought down the house with some funny story which 
we all saw twinkling in his eye long before the climax. 

Then there were the sallies and stories of Brother Finch, grave 
and serious as befitted his cloth, whose remarks were always 
received with a corresponding gravity. Sometimes pointed re- 
marks or detestable puns from the chair brought stirring re- 
sults. There was one man whom it became the fashion to 
roast by allusion to the innocent little emblem of peace occupy- 
ing the same bed with the king of beasts, varied occasionally 
by the introduction of a wolf ; until the persecuted man in spite 
of his Lamb-like disposition, called a halt and declared that if 
this was not stopped he would leave the fold, no, the field ; no, 
I mean the hall. A final stop was made, and it was found that 

112 AnmMl MeeHnff—^^QOO. 

he had other qualifications than his name on which to be 
called up. 

There were a score of others in the same class — Judge Conant, 
Buckingham, Crawford, Crafts, Crittenden, Childs, Hawks, 
Hazen, Hosmer, Hall, Leavitt, Barney, Wells, Felton, Field, 
Stebbins, Porter, Phillips, Bryant, Delano, Tilton, Champney, 

Alas, how many of these names are now marked with a star, 
and on the mounds of some the brown has not yet turned to 
green. Do not let us here to-night forget the faces of those of 
our band who have passed the screen, but keep their memory 
green in the true spirit of the occasion. 

Mr. President, I have at length reached the point for which 
I set out. I do not see here " Bobinson ; " " Smith '* will be 
commented on by others ; so I devote my remarks to ^' Jones," 
and reminisce a while on things called to mind by the clear and 
practical account of the rise, progress and culmination of the 
Broom to which we have listened with so much interest. The 
broom shop especially wakens memories of the long, long ago. 
There were, some three score and ten years since, about half a 
dozen of these shops on the Street To some of these I was a 
constant visitor. There were several strong attractions : One 
was a fine market for the molasses candy, of home manufac- 
ture, which was sold at one cent a roll, with a piece of the 
newspaper in which the rolls were wrapped thrown in for a 
handle. This paper, by the way, was taken from old files in 
the garret which would now be worth many times its weight 
in candy. 

Another attraction, far stronger, which outlived the candy 
season, and held me fast, was the singing which generally 
accompanied the various manipulations of the broom tyers. 
Hour after hour the stifling brimstone atmosphere peculiar to 
the broom shop would be cheerfully endured while drinking in 
the old songs and ballads poured forth by the tuneful workmen. 
In that school I acquired a love for the ballad which still domi- 
nates all other kinds of music, albeit the drum and fife is a 
strong rival. John Trask, some of whose descendants I hope 
now hear me, I considered the very embodiment of vocal musia 
Beethoven, Mozart, etc., of whom I have heard later, have 
never in my mind been able to hold a candle to John Trask. 
It must be confessed that the selections were not all of the 

Reminiscence: Oeorge Sheldon. 113 

highest order — ^not all would be tolerated in the modem conoert 
— and some would be tolerated only in the last stages of a 
Greenfield dub banquet or a stag supper. 

The main charm to me was the plidntive melodies which told 
the affecting tales of the woes and sorrows of the forlorn maidens 
and lovelorn youths ; the hair-raising lays of love and murder, 
the songs of war and the rollicking songs of the sea. Another 
phase was the medley of joke and fun when parts of the songs 
were ^^ spoken." Some that I recall are : A Life on the Ocean 
Wave, AU in the Downs, The Battle of Lake Erie, The Peacock 
and Hornet, Exile of Erin, Poor Susan, Crazy Jane, Billy Boy, 
Lord Lovell, Poor Old Horse, Dame Derden, Betsy Baker, Over 
the Water to Charlie, The Blue Bonnets are Over the Border, 
Cease Bude Boreas, The Bride's Farewell, The Isle of St. Helena, 
and so on. 

This shop was on the home lot of ^^ Uncle Baxter," in these 
later years my own delightful home. At the shop of '^ Uncle 
Dennis," the chief attraction besides the profit on candy, was 
to watch the deft workmanship and the mimicry of deaf and 
dumb black ^^ Cab." * His manual dexterity in fitting on the 
^^ outside " of a broom seemed marvelous. The lightning-like 
stroke of his sharp broom-knife with which he trimmed a hand- 
ful of the stalks for the fine braiding on the handle, three cuts 
to a stalk, each one of which it seemed must take off a finger, 
then a swift turn of the wrist, and the whole was in place under 
the binding wire in a trice. Of this we never tired. His talk 
with his fingers and his work with his fingers were alike 

I recall another attractive scene in another department of the 
business, the process of separating the seed from the husk, or 
hetcheling. It was rather a rude parting, and a sort of subtle, 
plaintive fragrance arose from the bruised haulms, and filled 
the bam as with incense. The pungent broom-dust also per- 
vaded the air with its itch-provoking sensation, but this did not 
bar us out. 

Lance Loveridge and Nels Bumham made a business of 
hetcheling broom com in its season, and they were a curiously 
assorted firm. Lance wore no hat and his dark, bushy hair was 
always covered with a coat of gray dust. Nels wore a hat of 
coarse braided rye straw, the top usually gone and the brim in 

* Calvin Salisbury. See ante p. 109. 


114 Annual MeeUnff— 1900. 

tatteors. No dost ever settled on that— his head was never 
still enough. His motions were as quick as a oat's, and as 
jerl^ as — ^well, more jerl^ than anything I can think of, unless 
it be an old-fashioned fanning mill or Charles Jones driving his 
team. The seed flew to the rafters, and his tongue kept pace 
with his motions; he talked incessantly the livelong day. 
Lance, on the contrary, was the personification of moderation ; 
his strokes were as regular as the swing of the pendulum, every 
pull told, and the seed fell gently on the pile. His motions 
never varied except to turn his head occasionally to discharge 
a jiU or two of tobacco juice from his mouth. As for the rest. 
Lance rarely spoke a single word from sun to sun, and took no 
more notice of his chattering companion than if he had been in 
the moon. When enough brush was cleaned to make a bundle 
it was bound tightly with brush that had grown crooked. I 
can hear the chuck when the bundle was dropped on the bam 
floor to even the butts. 

Thinking of the broom era always brings up another picture. 
It is of the wide area of the growing plant in North Meadows. 
A bird's-eye view in August showed broad expanses of waving 
green turning to a reddish brown with here and there dark, 
narrow ditches. These ditches were highways. We cultivated 
the land by general consent dear up to the wheel ruts. If 
teams met care was taken to pass with as little damage as 

The particular event that comes uppermost is the carting of 
rowen from the Neck and Pogues Hole through Great Bottom 
where the serried rows of this com were in their prime. The 
driver of the ox team must walk beside the yoke in the rat or 
be tripped, while the load of hay brushed the caps of the tall 
grenadier-like ranks on either side. While riding on the ten- 
foot high loads your President has often pulled up a stalk with 
with which to brush flies from the oxen. 

But I must stop this stream of talk for fear you may compare 
it to Tennyson's Brook and wish it might be dammed. 






MosjsnNo Pboosammb, 10 ▲. m. 

1. Pbaybb. Rev. L3nman Whiting 

2. Music. Turners Falls Quartette 
8. Addbsss of Wsloomb, and Presentation of Title Deed. 

Timothy M. Stoughton, of GiU 

4. Rbsponsb, and Aoobptanob of Gift. Hon. George Shel- 

don, President of P. V. M. A. 

5. Papbb. By Miss Rowena Buell, of Marietta, Ohio ; read 

by Mrs. Laura B. Wells, of Deerfield. 

6. HisTOBioAL Addbess. Ralph M. Stoughton, of Riverside 

7. Collation — Basket picnic style. Coffee furnished. 

Aftbbnoon Pboobaiocb, 2 p. m« 

8. Music. Turners Falls Quartette 

9. Addbbss. Hon. George P. Lawrence, M. C, of North 


10. Music. 

11. Addbbss. Hon. Herbert C. Parsons, of Greenfield 

12. Spbakino by M^xibers of the Association and others. 

13. Smemo of Ambbica. All join. 


116 Field MeeUnff—1900. 


The &moii8 old ground of the battle between Captain Wil- 
liam Tomer and the Indians, 224 years ago, has been the soene 
to-day of a most interesting historical meeting, under the di- 
rection of the Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial Association* The 
special occasion is the dedication of a monument built under 
the encouragement of the Association to mark the scene of the 
battle, and the delivery and acceptance of land given by Timo> 
thy M. Stoughton, which has the same historic value. 

To the activity and enthusiasm of Mr. Stoughton we largely 
owe the placing of this massive memorial The inscription is 
also his. 

The monument is a rectangular shaft of granite three feet 
square and five feet high, cut only on the comers and on the 
ftice, which bears the inscription. It stands in a triangle formed 
by crossing roads, and it is a fitting and enduring mark of the 
scene of a most tragic event in Indian days. The inscription 
reads as follows : 

" Captain William Turner, with 145 men, surprised and de- 
stroyed over 300 Indians, encamped at this place, May 19, 

The land on which the monument stands has become by to- 
day's formal presentation and acceptance, a reservation forever. 
It is given the Association by Mr. Stoughton, being a part 
of the large tract of land owned by him. Mr. Stoughton 
has had a lifelong interest in the development of the early his- 
tory of the region, and this contribution to the public, as repre- 
sented by the Association, is regarded as generous and appreda- 
tive of the society's work. 

The exercises began shortly after 10 this morning. The 
physical comfort of the people attending was marred some- 
what by the terrific wind, carrying a burden of dust as it 
swept over the plain. The picturesqueness of the place suffered 
somewhat, too, by the river having ceased to flow over the falls 
where it carried the helpless Indians, frightened to their death 
by Captain Turner's onslaught. The bed of the river is dry, 
only pools of lifeless water relieving the stretch of ragged 
rocks. But these conditions did not destroy interest in the ex- 

Field Meeting— 1900. 117 

A temporary platform had been erected on land near tiie 
monument, and it was draped with bunting. Here were seated 
the speakers, and from this rostram they addressed the audi- 
ence, which numbered about 300 at the opening, and steadily 
increased through the morning. The venerable president, Hon. 
Oeorge Sheldon, was present and able to direct the morning 
proceedings, but at noon turned over the presiding task for 
the rest of the day to Hon. F. M. Thompson, the Association's 
vice-president. Mr. Sheldon made a short opening speech. 
Then there was music, a quartette consisting of Mrs. F. E. 
Briggs, Mrs. Leal Fales, Miss Esther Gilmore and Miss Jose- 
phine Coyne, singing ^^ Kerry Dance " in opening and other 
songs at times during the exercises. 

T. M. Stoughton, in presenting the deed of the land, made an 
interesting address, enriched by anecdote and the dry humor 
of which he is a master. Mr. Stoughton expressed great pleas- 
ure in turning over to the Association the land which had a 
value chiefly in its connection with the early history of the 
valley frontier. Mr. Sheldon accepted the gift for die Asso- 
ciation and read an extended paper, going over the historical 
bearings of the event of 1676. 

A valuable paper by Miss Eowena Buell of Marietta, Ohio, 
was read by Mrs. Laura B. Wells of Deerfield. Then followed 
the historical address by the orator of the day, Kalph M. 
Stoughton, a grandson of the donor of the land. Mr. Stoughton 
proved himself a thorough student of the history of the Indian 
war, which the event commemorated, and presented the story 
in a most attractive form. 

The people who attended brought their lunch baskets after the 
established fashion of the Pocumtuck field days, but the women 
of Biverside displayed their hospitality by providing an attrac- 
tive hall for the dhiers and adding hot coffee to their refresh- 

After the luncheon, at 2 o'clock, the historic exercises were 
resumed. Judge Thompson presiding. 

Congressman George P. Lawrence of North Adams delivered 
the principal address of the afternoon. He said in part : 

^^ Such memorials as you are dedicating are an inspiration to 
good citizenship. They commemorate the struggles of the 
pioneer, the heroic devotion which makes the New England of 
to-day a reality. There is one bright particular spot on the 

118 Meld Meeting— 1900. 

miiyerse to be bom in, and that is among the hills and valleys 
of Massachusetts, and espeoiaUy that part of Massachusetts 
which lies west of the Connecticut Biver. 

^^A short time ago I visited the shores of the great lakes and 
was impressed with the marvelous growth of that region from 
Buffalo to Duluth. But what impressed me more than any- 
thing else was the reverence in which the people of the West 
hold New England and how proud they are to trace their 
ancestry or birth to her soil. The pilgrim from the West when 
he visits Massachusetts seeks out her historic places. He loves 
to visit Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill and Concord Bridge. He loves 
to gaze upon the monuments which mark the spots where scenes 
in the early history of America were enacted. 

^^ It is a duty to mark with monuments these sacred places. 
On such spots we pledge ourselves to be true to our great 
heritage, that we will suffer if need be in the cause of citizen- 
ship that the Stars and Stripes may never be lowered in dis- 

Mr. Lawrence in his speech, which was particularly happy, 
expressed his delight in renewing his Pocumtuck Yalley Memo- 
rial Association acquaintance and referred to the pleasure given 
him at previous field meetings. Following him, there was a suo- 
cession of short speeches, with music interspersed. 

Dr. Holton made an interesting address. He is gratefully 
remembered by all the friends of the Association for his work 
when the Association field day was held at Fort Dummer, near 
Brattleboro, some years ago. Dr. Holton claims descent from 
the fighting stock of Massachusetts pioneers. He said that we 
live in an age when the young pay little attention to some of 
the important matters of the past. This is to be greatly re- 
gretted. It is wise to commemorate the virtues, courage and 
deeds of our ancestors. Dr. Holton created considerable amuse- 
ment by a story that he told at the expense of Judge Thompson, 
the presiding officer of the afternoon. 

Hon. H. C. Parsons said : " We stand on one of the places 
where men displayed the valor that made possible our New 
England life of to-day. The men who lay down their lives 
in such a struggle as this, did it, not simply for the mere 
immediate achievement, but to make possible the realization of 
some great truth. They played a part in the great, tragic story 
of the making of New England. In such deeds as this whidi 

CofpUm/a WiUiam Turner. 119 

we commemorate, the f omidations of New England were laid 
gare and deep. The principle of free government was defended 
here by these men, even if unconsciously. This Association re- 
gards as a sacred trust every such memorial placed in its care, 
and may many other historic spots in this section be also suitably 
marked and may this Association frequently meet to pay its 
tribute to such men as those commemorated here." 

He told several stories which greatly pleased the audience. 
He said that ^* the monument erected at Eiverside, like that at 
Bunker Hill, marked a defeat. But it was a defeat which led 
to grand results. It is because of the results which followed 
that battle that it is worthy of being commemorated. On the 
battlefields of colonial days, the struggles of the Revolution, 
the conflicts of the Civil War made possible the American nation 
of to^y. When the census tells us that 80 per cent of the 
population of Massachusetts are of foreign birth, we do not 
shudder ; we know that the people of Massachusetts will remain 
true to her ideals, and that the heroic events of her early history 
have stamped for all time the character of her people." 

The exercises closed with the singing of " America." 



Mr. Chairmcm and FeUow-Citizena of OiU : — As the repre- 
sentative of the Focumtuck Valley Memorial Association, I 
thank you for your invitation to join in the duties of this day, 
and for your cordial welcome. We thank you for your kindly 
mention of Deerfield, the grandmother of GilL It is in accord- 
ance with nature and custom that the grandmother and grand- 
daughter should be in closer connection than the mother and 
daughter. There is more leisure in the extremes than in the 
stress of life, and I hope the daughters of Deerfield, — Greenfield, 
Conway and Shelburne, — will not feel slighted if the hospitalities 
of OiU are more often accepted. 

This is our fourth visit. I hope each has been as agreeable 
to you as it has been profitable to us ; to you, sir, personally, 
thimks are due for especial favors, and this deed is the culmina- 
tion of many good acts. 

130 Fidd Meeting— 1900. 

Yea live on classic groand. Nowhere in New England was 
there a more vital question of the seventeenth century finally 
settled : — Should the Indian or the Englishman dominate the 
valley of the Connecticut ? Two thoughts are naturally engen- 
dered when one stands upon this spot. Your soil drank the 
blood, and from it you turn up the bones and the belongings of 
an extinct people ; and the name of Turner persistently smites 
the ear from your thundering waters. The two ideas thus 
brought to the front will find some brief expression in what I 
shall say in introducing the exercises of the occasion. 

First, I will touch upon the events which led up to the tragedy 
enacted here in the dim light of a May morning, two and a 
quarter centuries ago, the culminating point of the antagonistic 
elements of the two races in contact ; the land seeking forces from 
crowded Europe, and the native land holding forces, scattered 
up and down the banks of this noble river. 

Once planted on the soil of New England, the Pilgrim and 
Puritan alike recognized the landed rights of the copper-colored 
occupant and passed laws protecting him from encroachment. 
No white man could take possession of any tract of land with- 
out the written consent of the native owner. And, more, a 
heavy penalty was imposed upon any who should buy, or even 
accept as a gift any territory without the consent of the colonial 
authorities. Even long leases were forbidden, thus guarding 
against the well known tendency of civilized men to acquire 
land without too closely scrutinizing the method. These laws 
were by no means a dead letter. We nowhere find, before the 
Indian wars any colony settling a new plantation without ex- 
tinguishing the Indian title. To be sure in our eyes the con- 
sideration was small, and we have the right to think the native 
did not fully realize the result of his act. That the Indian knew 
the general effect of the bargain is proved by the simple fact 
that the Sachem who made the sale claimed the tract conveyed 
as his own against all others of his race. The right of conquest 
was also fully understood and acted upon. 

When we come to consider then how came about the bloody 
conflict of arms, we must seek other causes than landed ag- 
gression. But we can point to no one event, no one act, no par- 
ticular time and say here lies the cause. The inevitable colli- 
sion came from the contact of the unsophisticated native with 
the avaricious, unscrupulous frontiersman, half scout and half 

Cafiaw WWAamh Tu/mer. 121 

trader. The entioing Are-water was exchanged for the furs of 
the native hunter, and the more befaddled the Indian, the bet- 
ter the bargain for the white man. The simple child of nature 
could not retain his manhood before the temptations and vices 
of the so-called civilization, and he became debased in his own 
eyes. The contempt of the dominant race for these ^^ children 
of the devil" was but thinly veiled, and the thousand and one 
acts by which it was manifested, were felt by the recipients, 
and they were galled by their own acknowledged inferiority 
until the fires of enmity began to take the place of the feeling 
of awe and admiration with which the stranger was first 

The blundering attempt to enforce the civil laws of the 
colony upon the f reebom child of the wild-woods, even to the 
keeping of the Puritan Sabbath, was sadly out of place, and 
only added little by little fuel to the concealed volcano. The 
feeling of hatred for the white man kept pace with their own 
degradation, and as the years went by, the desire for vengeance 
on the intruder gradually became a smoldering fire, awaiting 
but an opportunity to become a withering flame. As you all 
know, the far-sighted Philip of Pokanoket grasped the situation 
and applied the incendiary torch to this fuel of discontent, and 
the fires of vengeance burst forth at Swansea in June, 1675. 
The dreadful scenes enacted in the Connecticut valley later in 
that year are familiar to you all. The spring campaign of 1676 
was opened by the Nipmucks at Lancaster, February 10. The 
fire of destruction blazed aU along the towns circling about Bos- 
ton, and its light reflected consternation if not despair from the 
faces of our rulers, — the Indians fairly terrorized that region. 
A panic seized Boston, and active measures were taken to save 
the head of the colony, though it be at the sacrifice of its west- 
em towns. — ^But I anticipate. 

Philip from his winter quarters, "towards Albany," had 
crossed the Green Mountains, and was at Northfield before the 
flrst of March, 1676. Hostilities in the Connecticut valley be- 
gan March 14, with a fruitless attempt on Northampton and 
Hatfield, by a force from the camp of Philip. As the spring 
advanced, insulting positions were occupied by the boastful 
Indians on the Pocumtuck at Cheapside, and at this place. 
Hundreds of acres of com were planted on the meadows, and a 
year's stock of salmon and shad was being cured and stored in 

122 Mdd Meetinff^lQOO. 

convenient underground bams. When their spring work was 
done, the hated white man was to be swept from the valley, 
and as we shall see the governor and council, were practically, 
if unwittingly, aiding and abetting Philip in his plans. A dark 
shadow loomed over the settlements below. 

It was at this juncture that Capt. William Turner appeared 
on the scene as commander-in-chief of the forces in this part of 
the colony to frustrate the well laid plans of the enemy, save 
the settlements, and impress his name on the spot we this day 
commemorate so long as grass grows and water runs. 

Who was this Capt. Turner who gave his life to save our 
fathers with their wives and children from the tomahawk and 
scalping knife { This is a fit question to be asked, and I will 
hastily outline such answer as I may, oonoeming this true pa. 
triot and soldier, this man of the hour ! 

Capt. Turner is first heard of at Dartmouth, England. His 
name does not appear in Drake's or Bouton's lists of inmii- 
grants ; he was doubtless in the great rush of the thousands 
who crowded the west-bound ships from 1630 to 1640. He is 
found at Dorchester in 1642; was freeman and of course a 
member of the Puritan Church there, in 1643 ; he is in 1646 a 
landowner in a certain inclosed meadow and in a dispute con- 
cerning lines and fences he is one of those who agree to leave 
its settlement to arbitration ; in 1652 he was elected on a board 
of town officers with Major General Humphrey Atherton. 
This connection with the Atherton family was continued when 
Bev. Hope, son of Humphrey, minister of Hatfield, was made 
chaplain of the expedition to this place. You will recall the 
pathetic story of the chaplain, relating to the disasters and suf- 
ferings which befell him on the retreat. In 1661 Turner was 
chosen " Bayliflfe," an office answering, I suppose, to our deputy 
sheriff, and reelected in 1662. It appears from the offices he 
held that Turner was a man of some note in Dorchester ; by 
his submission of a dispute to arbitration he seems to be a man 
of peace ; judging from subsequent events we conclude he was 
active in military affairs. A large number of Turners appear 
early in the colony but I do not connect our subject with any 
of theuL He married after 1647, Mary, widow of John Pratt of 
Dorchester ; in 1671 he had a wife named Frances ; a third wife 
was the young widow of Key Alsop, of Boston, who is named in 
his will of February 16, 1676. In this will he also mentions sons 

Captain WWAwin Turner. 123 

and daughters, but we have a meager aoooiint of his children. 
His son William was with him in the army, but was not in the 
action here. A grandson, William Turner, inherited his share 
of the grant at Falltown. No reason appears for the removal 
of Capt. Turner from Dorchester, but he is found in Boston in 
1665, where a few years later he is put on trial in the courts, is 
convicted, fined and for many long months he languished in 
Boston jail. As we are not in the habit of thinking of our hero 
as a ^' jail bird," let us take some time to consider the circum- 
stances of his imprisonment. 

AU agree that our fathers were driven from England because 
they insisted on thinking for themselves, and they established 
themselves where they could worship God after the dictates of 
their own consciences. But — 

Aye, call it holy ground, 

The spot where first they trod. 
They left unstidned what there they found, 

Freedom to worship Qod: — 

was not, alas, written of the Puritan at Boston, but of the Pil- 
grim at Plymouth. The Puritan was for freedom of thought, 
with only this proviso, that all thoughts and acts must be in 
exact accord with the established creed and the ecclesiastical 
laws which were the work of the ministers. To state it broadly, 
but truly, John Cotton ruled the ministers, the ministers ruled 
the magistrates and the magistrates made and enforced the law, 
ecclesiastical as well as civiL 

Now it happened that some men, who did their own think- 
ing and saw things not seen through the spectacles of, say, John 
Cotton, came to the front with the question of the true form of 
baptism. All agreed upon the necessity of the rite, but the 
form of it, there was the rub ! Should it be sprinkling or dip- 
ping ? The Puritans said sprinkling for all, infants and adults. 
Others said dipping, and for adults only ; both finding sufficient 
Scripture warrant to back them. On this thin, watery line the 
battle raged. According to the regulars the newborn babe 
must be carried to the fireless meetinghouse the first Sunday of 
its earthly career, be it summer or winter, to receive the seal 
of salvation. The protestant stood up and turned his back 
when the rite was administered or walked quietly out of the 
house. This was the extent of the protest. They did not, like 
some Quakers, appear in the broad aisle clothed in sackcloth 

124 Fidd Mee^—1900. 

and ashes, or in no cloth at all, to denounoe tiie minister to hk 
face ; but their acts were called a " prophane trick," " unrever- 
ent carriage," a " disturbance of wordiip," and Capt. Turner 
and the others were called to account therefor. To settle the 
matter quietly the dissenters concluded to not only walk out of 
the meetinghouse but out of the church communion. From 
bad to worse, they were summoned before the church and 
solemnly ^^ admonished." This being ineffectual to deter them 
from their purpose the offenders were haled before a civil court 
and fined for nonattendance on divine service. The fines were 
paid, but they found their attempted secession easier to contem- 
plate than to execute. They were not allowed to live quietly 
in the church or peaceably withdraw from it. 

However, May 25, 1665, Thomas Gould, William Turner, 
Edward Drinker and six others organized a Baptist church in 

They were not disturbed while the King's commissioners were 
in Boston, ready to hear any complaints against the civil or ec- 
clesiastical authorities ; but it became noised about that the Bap- 
tists had organized a church, and ^^ Set up a Lecture at Edward 
Drinker's house once a fortnight." August 21, the constable 
was ordered to search out the place where these people met, 
and order them to attend the established worship, although 
they had already been excommunicated from the church in 
Charlestown. These measures having no effect, in September, 
1665, they were brought before the Court of Assistants. They 
offered in their defense, a passage from a letter written by 
Bev. John Robinson, pastor of the famous church of Leyden, 
— who gave chapter and verse — as the charge of Christ to the 
Apostles : — ^^ The Sacrement of Baptism is to be administered 
by Christ's appointment, and the apostles example, only to such 
as are, externally, so far as men can judge, taught and made 
dedples ; do receive the word gladly ; believe and so profess. — 
Baptism administered to any other is so far from investing 
them with any saintship in that estate, that it makes guilty 
both the giver and receiver of sacrilidge and is the taking of 
God's name in vain." — This hard "nut" from the Pilgrim 
armory was cracked at a blow by declaring them guilty " of a 
schismaticall rending from the communion of the churches 
heere & setting up a public meeting in opposition to the ordi- 
nances of Christ here publicly exercised " and the magistrates 

Ocyptwin William Tamer. 125 

« solemly " charged ^^ tiie aoonsed " not to persist in sndi ^^per- 
nitious practices " ^^ as they would answer the contrary at their 

Disregarding this admonition the wicked distorbers of the 
peace were called before the great and general court at its 
session, October 11, 1665, ^^ and by their owne acknowledgment 
doe stand convicted of non observance & submission unto the 
sentence & charge of the Court of Assistants," and further de- 
clared their determination to continue the same course. ^^ The 
Court doe judge it meet to declare that said Gould & company 
are no orderly church assembly, and that they stand justly con- 

ments, as also the peace of this government" Sentence was 
therefore pronounced, that ^^ such of them as are free men, to 
be disfranchised & all of them vpon conviction before any one 
magistrate or court of their further proceeding herein, to be 
committed to prison vntil the General Court shall take further 
order w^ them." Their assertions of a right to free thought 
and free practice in religion fell upon deaf ears. One ^^ Zecka* 
ryah Boads," evidently a sympathizer with Capt. Turner, being 
present, said : " The Court had not to doe wtb matters of re- 
ligion." This was bearding the lion in his den, and Zachary was 
promptly clapped into jail for his pains. 

The Church, the Court of Assistants, and the General Court 
had each tried its haad upon the dissenters in vain ; they wonld 
not bend and had not yet been broken ; and April 17, 1666, the 
civil court took a fourth hand, and they were presented to the 
County Court at Cambridge, for ^^ absenting tiiemselves from 
public worship." To their plea that they did attend public wor- 
ship regularly, they were answered that the Gleneral Court had 
declared their assembly unlawful in its edict of October, 1665, 
and each was fined £4 and ordered to give bail in the sum of 
£20. Bef using to do either they were sent to jail. An appeal 
was made to the Court of Assistants ; after a hearing the jury 
brought in a verdict in favor of the accused. The court would 
not accept the verdict, but sent them out again for their further 
consideration, with proper instructions. Even under this stress, 
the honest jury found only a special, conditional verdict which 
the court interpreted to its own taste, and of course the lower 
court was sustained. 

This persecution of the Baptists was not> let us be thankful* 

126 Field Meetmg—19W>. 

a popular movement, and the authorities though hard and firm 
in their aotion, were anxious and troubled at the possible out- 
come. A special session of the General Court was called for 
September 11, 1666. The acting governor, at the opening, gave 
the deputies the grounds for calling them together, and the next 
action was to order '^ that some of the reverend elders that are 
or may be in towne be desired to be present with the Generall 
Court on the morrow morning & to beginn the Court & spend 
the fomoone in prayer." Doubtless this was for effect on the 
popular branch. It was a troublous matter and for fear that 
opportunity would be lost by delay, it was : 

^^ Ordered that the Elders now in towne be desired to be 
present wth the Court presently after the lecture to afford their 
advice in the weighty matter now in hand." 

This call upon the ministers for advice was no new thing for 
the General Court. A few years before when the question of 
baptism was up, but in a less acute form, the Elders were called 
to assemble in Boston — ^^ Then and there to discourse & declare 
what they shall judge to be the mind of God " on the subject 
What they reported as to the preference of the Deity, may be 
evidenced, I suppose, in the proceeding we are now narrating. 
Even if the results did not manifest it, there can be no doubt 
what the ministers would advise when their supremacy was 
threatened. The only comfort Gould and the others got from 
the General Court was, that if they would pay their fines ac- 
cording to the sentence and the costs of courts they should be 
let out of jaiL 

This persecution, continued in varying forms, had no effect in 
reducing Capt Turner and other advocates of free thought to 
subjugation, so another grand scheme was devised in which the 
biggest guns of the established order were trained on the here- 
tics, and the largest doses of the true doctrine were to be forced 
down their throats, all out of the good grace and mercy of the 
General Court. They say, March, 1668, " Being willing by all 
Christian candor to endeavour the reducing of the said persons 
from the error of their way, and their return to the Lord and 
the communion of his people, from whence they are fallen, do 
judge meete to grant — an opportunity of a fuU and free debate of 
their grounds for their practice— in the meetinghouse in Boston 
—on April 11th." Six of the ablest orthodox ministers were 
selected to meet with the governor and magistrates — ^^ before 

Ca/ptain William Turner. 127 

whom — with any other reverend £lders and ministers as shall 
there assemble/' the free and full debate was to be had, and 
** Thomas Qtold & Company were ordered in his majesty's name 
to appear and, in an orderly debate to answer the question, 
whether what they are doing is justifiable by the word of God, 
and whether sach a practice is to be allowed by the govern- 
ment." Upon these abstmse questions in debate, all the p6- 
lemio talent of the colony was arrayed against half a dozen 
men spoken of as a few ^^ honest mechanics," and these ^^ plow- 
men & taylors." Oapt. Turner was a tailor. 

The official report of this meeting in the court records, says 
it ^^ was held here in Boston with a great concourse of people, 
the effect whereof hath not been prevalent with them as wee 
could have desired." The authorities profess to be disappointed. 
I doubt if they expected other result ; I doubt if tiiie whole 
spectacular performance was not intended to produce an effect 
on the popular mind, rather than on that of Turner and his 
party. If another report of this meeting be true, these ^^ honest 
mechanics," these advocates for free thought, received anything 
but fair and Christian treatment in this debate. From first to 
last they were looked upon as ^^ vile persons," who ^^ stood con- 
demned by the court." They were denounced as ^^ obstinate 
and turbulent Annabaptists," ^^ combined in a pretended church 
state," ^^ in contempt of our civil order and the authority here 
established," ^^ to the great grief and offence of the Godly 

To find out from themselves what effect this gentle and per- 
suasive ^^ debate " had upon the callow minds of the culprits, 
they were ordered to appear before the General Court, May 27, 
1668. ^^ That the court might understand what effect the en- 
deavours of the Elders had with them." It did not take long 
to find out. ^^ The said persons did in open Court assert their 
former practice to have been according to the mind of God, and 
that nothing they had heard had convinced them to the con- 
trary." They did also declare their purpose to continue their 
own course regardless of consequences. 

The next action of the Goneial Court was to pass an act of 
banishment, and the grand result was an increase of the number 
of dissenters. The court say to allow this ** would be the setting 
up a free school for seduction into wayes of error & casting off 
the government of Christ Jesus in his owne appointments w^ 

128 Fidd Meeting— ViW^. 

a high hand, and threaten the disolution & roine both of the 
peace & order of the Churches & the authority of this govern- 
ment." To prevent all this desolation, three of the leaders — 
Gould, Turner and Farnum, were banished, ^' and if found after 
the 20th of July in any part of this jurisdiction," they shall be 
committed to prison — without bayle or majne-prise." As the 
offenders refused to budge they were lodged in jail. 

November 7, 1668, Capt. Edward Hutchinson, Capt. James Oli- 
ver and 65 others, citizens of Boston and Charlestown, presented 
the General Court a petition "asking the Courts fevor" to 
Turner and others. Instead of granting the petition the prin- 
cipal signers were ordered to appear before the Court to give 
account for this " scandalous " action. Some made a retraction, 
others with more pluck, were fined. Our good forefathers must 
have been utterly lost to a sense of humor when they gravely 
passed the following order, allowing the prisoners three days of 
grace, in which to learn the error of their ways. 

March 2, 1669, the governor and council ordered that Thomas 
Gould and William Turner may have " libberty for three days 
to visit their families, as also to apply themselves to any that 
are able and orthodox for the further convincment of their 
many irregularities in those practices for which they were 

It does not appear when this order took effect, but, unless I 
misjudge these men, they were of those who attended the 
" schismaticaU assembly of Annabaptists at Thomas Gould's 
house on the Lord's day the 7th of March," at any rate, Edward 
Drinker, Turner's lieutenant in 1676, was there, and for the 
offense was shut up in jail. 

Capt. Turner was feeling seriously the effects of his prison 
life. Drinker writes, " Brother Turner's family is very weakly, 
and himself too. I fear he will not trouble them long." It 
was in this condition of affairs that Turner sent the following 
petition to the General Court. This shows the situation and 
the man. 

^^ To the honored General Court now sitting at boston the 
humble address of Will : Turner now prisoner at boston humbly 

That whereas it hath pleased some of the honored magistrates 
to issue out a warrant for the apprehending of my body and Com- 

Captain William Twmer. 129 

mitting mee to prison, and there to remayne aocording to a sen- 
tence of a General Court the 29th of April 1668 your poore peti- 
tioner doth therefore humbly beseech you to consider that by 
virtue of that sentence I have already suffered about thirty 
weekes imprisonment and that a whole winter season which was 
a greate prejudice to my health and distraction to my poore 
family & which I hope this honored Court will consider with 
the weakness of my body and the extremity of lying in prison 
in a cold winter which may be to the utter mine of my headless 

^*And Withal to Consider my readiness to serve this Country 
to the uttermost of my ability in all Civill things : The maine 
difference being only in faith and order, of which God only can 
satisfie a poore soul : Thus hoping this honored Court will take 
it into their Serious Consideration and extend their mercy as 
becomes the Servants of Christ I shal leave both my state and 
condition and honored Court to the wise disposing of the 
Almighty, remaining Yours to Serve you in all faithfulness to 
my power, boston prison this 27th of 8th Mo. 1670. 

" Will : Ttjbnbb.'' 

Capt. Turner had yet to learn that an appeal for justice or 
mercy to the man or body of men who set themselves up as the 
standard of all right opinion and all excellence must be in vain, 
in such a case as this. The popular branch voted almost unan- 
imously in favor of the petitioner, but they were overruled by 
the Governor and Council. This condition in the law-making 
power continued until the death of Gov. Bellingham. 

The next great attempt to subdue these sturdy independents 
was a public appeal to tihe Lord. June 16, 1670, was appointed 
'^ as a day of humiliation and fasting to find out the cause of 
God's displeasure against the country." We may be sure the 
ministers took the occasion to make the people understand that 
the principal cause was the breaking away from the established 
churches, and the advancement of free thought. At any rate 
this was a great cause of anger with them, if not with the Deity. 
May 16, 1671, fifteen of them write in a long address to the 
General Court lauding the magistrates, and complaining of the 
deputies as not showing them proper respect ; the result was 
that the court apologized for this ^^ anti ministerial spirit, and 
that the papers by the deputies referred to in the Complaint are 

130 Fidd MeeUng— 1900. 

to be considered vslesse." The ministers oame ont ahead as 

Some of the difficulties and inconsistencies of the General 
Court may be seen in its action May 17, 1672. They say 
^^ Although no human power be Lord over the faith and con- 
sciences of Men — ^yet any who shall openly oppose the baptizing 
of infants, or shall purposely depart from the congregation at 
the administration of that ordinance — ^after due means of Cor- 
rection shall be sentenced to banishment." 

Lest I should unwittingly, my friends, give the impression 
that the spirit of persecution was confined to the bigoted clergy 
in and about Boston, I will say that this was the one thing they 
held in common with the ecclesiastics in England. I do not 
know that young William Turner was driven from his Dart- 
mouth home by ecclesiastical persecution. Probably he was. 
The new power grown up in the West only did what ecclesi- 
astical power has always been prone to do. Are we sure that 
no form of it is to be found among us to-day ? But to go back 
to England. A pamphlet, the title of which would put to blush 
the yellowist of our dime novels, was issued under the patron- 
age of the Archbishop of England. His name was Sheldon, 
and I am sorry to say he is said to belong to my ancestral line. 
This was the delectable thing : 

" Mr. Baxter baptized in blood : or, a sad history of the un- 
parrelled cruelty of the Annabaptists in New England ; faith- 
f uUy relating the cruel, barberous, and bloody murder of Mr. 
Josiah Baxter, an orthodox minister who was killed by the 
Annabaptists, and his skin most cruelly flead off from his body. 
Published by his mournful brother, Benjamin Baxter." 

This was hawked about the streets of London and a second 
edition was issued in a few weeks. 

It may have been unwise to dwell so long upon this miserable 
business, but perhaps it will not be altogether bootless to trace 
the same spirit in another line, where it again touches the man 
we to-day commemorate. Capt. Turner was accused amongst 
his other frailties of " disobedience to government and especially 
in the point of a defensive war." On the breaking out of Philip's 
war he bestirred himself to prove the falsity of this charge. He 
at once raised a company for the service of the colony, but be- 
cause many of the men were Baptists his offer was refused. 
This sets the bigotry of the magistrates in a notable contrast 

Captain WUUam Twmer. 181 

with the patriotism of Capt Turner. Bat the war had reached 
that stage to which I earlier called your attention, and the au- 
thorities so far humbled themselves as to beg the service of 
Capt. Turner and his men. After demurring awhile because 
his company had scattered, Turner offered the remains of his 
prison-weakened body to the service of his imperilled country- 
men. He was commissioned captain with his fellow sufferer, 
Edward Drinker, as bis lieutenant. This action gives evidence 
that Turner must have had military experience, but no record 
of such service has been found. One says of him, ^^ He was a 
very worthy man for soldiery,*' and I find him called " ser- 
geant " in 1665. February 21, 1676, Turner, with 63 men, in- 
cluding his son, William, and two servants or apprentices, 
marched out of Boston. 

A foot company under lieut. Gilman and a troop of horse 
under Capt. Whipple were in company, all under Major Thomas 
Savage. In due time Turner was in ^Northampton, in season to 
repel the attack on that town by a band from Philip's camp at 
Northfield. With the force under Savage and the Connecticut 
troops under Major Treat, the valley towns were now safe from 
any emergency. But trouble increased in the eastern towns 
and the alarm in Boston became almost, if not quite, a panic. 
Orders were posted to Savage to give over Northampton and 
Hatfield to the Indians, concentrate the inhabitants at Hadley 
and Springfield, leave them small garrisons and move his 
forces eastward. Nothing but an* indignant storm of protest 
from the doomed towns saved the colony from that humilia- 
tion ; a step which would have insured tiie success of Philip's 

April 1, 1676, the council wrote Major Savage : " Wee re- 
ceved your letter [of Mch 28] and perceve .... that the Con- 
eticut forces are drawne of & that by the numerousnes of the 
enimy (according to yo' information) you are not in a capacity 
to persue y™, also you intimate y fears of the people of those 
towns y* in case you bee drawne of w**^ yo' forces, y they wilbe 
in danger to be destroyed by the enimy." They complain that 
the towns do not heed the directions to concentrate. The lan- 
guage of the council appears to show that they had little or no 
hopes of saving the west side of the Connecticut valley. To 
remain in such a scattered state they say, ^^ is no less than tempt- 
ing divine providence." To remove tUs temptation the council 

132 Meld MeeUnff—1900. 

insists on oonoentrating and fortifying on the east side, ^ or all 
wiU be lost 1 '' 

As I have said, the order was not obeyed, and thanks to Capt 
Turner, all was not lost. The council continue : " Wee are willing 
for the present that you leave .... not exceeding 150 men, all 
single men, leaving Capt. Turner in Capt. Poole's place ; with 
the Rest of the Army we expressly command you to draw home- 
ward.'* They then speak of the sad condition of Lancaster, Gro- 
ton, Chelmsford, Medfield, etc., '^ these things considered you 
may see the Necessity of having o' Army nearer to us .... to 
kepe the heart in any competent Safety." In other words, we 
must look out for ourselves, and the devil take the hindermost. 

In obedience to his orders Major Savage marched away with 
the army, April 7, 1676, even taking the company of Capt. 
Turner under his Ueutenant, Edward Drinker, who was his right 
arm, leaving only 15 of the boys and " single men," three from 
his own family, with 136 of the same class picked from the 
other companies, with no officer above a sergeant to assist him. 

And so Capt. Turner, the contemned heretic, was left to com- 
mand in the Connecticut valley, evidently considered by the 
authorities a forlorn hope. Is it possible that the magistrates 
had a method not appearing on the surface in thus honoring 
Capt. Turner ? Nine valiant captains had fallen in the war. 
Could they have reasoned that : If another is to be sacrificed, 
whom can we spare better than this arch-disturber of our peace t 

Deserted by the government the men of the valley rallied 
around their commander-in-chief. He had already earned their 
confidence and he nerved them to action. They shook off their 
apathy and fears and gave themselves up to his guidance. 
Turner had been ordered to act strictly on the defensive, that 
possibly some of the towns might be saved, but as we have seen 
he had little awe of the governor and council, and less faith in 
their wisdom. He now took counsel of his own judgment and 
being backed by sturdy John Russell and perhaps — who knows 
— ^by Gten. Gtotle himself, certainly by the elders and chief men, 
he took the responsibility of disobejdng orders. Ton all know 
the result. His bold action saved the towns and practically 
closed the war in the Connecticut valley. 

One more point and I am done. Each of three eminent 
ministers wrote a history of Philip's war. In neither of them 
do we find a hint of the circumstances under which Turner ap- 

Captain WiOiam Turner. 133 

peared in it The scantiest notice is found of the part he played, 
and not one iota of credit is given for his great service in the 
valley. Hubbard's first mention of the name of Turner in any 
way, was to indirectly charge him with mismanagement and 
want of foresight, in the attack of May 19, and that he was 
responsible for the principal loss on the retreat. Capt. Holyoke 
is given full notice and the praise justly his due. Cotton Ma- 
ther's only mention of Oapt. Turner's name is a four- word notice 
of his death. Increase Mather in describing the battle also 
charges lack of foresight on the part of Turner, whose name 
appears in his history for the first time in the following passage. 
He is speaking of the retreat : ^^ In this disorder, he that was 
at this time chief Captain, whose name was Turner, lost his life 
.... within a few days after, Capt. Turner's dead Corps was 
found a short distance from the Biver." This, and nothing 
more, from beginning to end of his book, save a quotation from 
another writer. 

Can it be only accident that these three reverend authors, 
contemporaries of the dead patriot, give him such slight and 
contemptuous notice, or did bigotry still blind their eyes to 
honor and justice 1 Who shall say ! A lay writer, also a con- 
temporary, sees things differently. He says of him : ^^ Capt. 
Turner by Trade a Taylor, but one that for his Valour, hath 
left behinde him an Honorable Memory." 

Capt. Turner was physically unfit for the task of leading the 
expedition from Hatfield on tiie night of May 18. He was well 
on in years and was enfeebled by his persecutions and prison 
life in Boston. He writes to the council April 25, 1676, modestly 
suggesting that another be appointed to take his place. '' For 
I much doubt," he says, " my weakness of body and my often 
infirmaties will hardly Suffer mee to doe my duty as I ought 
in this imployment : And it would grieve me to be negligent 
in anything that might be for the good of this Country in this 
day of their distress." Here spoke the man and the patriot, 
regardless of what he had suffered at the hands of the rulers, 
and he gave his life as the last sacrifice, that our fathers' lives 
and our heritage might be preserved. 

And so to-day we reverently gather to dedicate a monument 
to the Honored Memory of the Champion of Free Thought, the 
Christian Patriot, the wise and brave Soldier, Captain William 

134 Fidd MeeUng— 1900. 



So soon after the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers as the spring 
of 1621, Governor Carver made a treaty with the great Indian 
chief Massasoit, which endured, broadly speaking, for 50 years. 
It was Philip, the son of Massasoit, you will remember, who 
instigated and fostered the first general Indian war in New 
England. For us who are to-day gathered to consider only 
one of the most important battles in that war, the fight at 
Turner's Falls, it is not necessary to recall Philip's initiatory 
steps toward open hostilities. It is sufficient for us to know that 
after six weeks of skirmishing in the east, and of skulking am- 
buscades, Philip, in the early summer of 1675, was forced to 
fiee to the interior, to the country of the Nipmucks. This tribe, 
though nominally friendly to the English, had murderously 
fallen upon an official messenger from the colonists and had also 
burned the town of Brookfield. Having gone thus far in their 
depredations, they needed scant encouragement from Philip to 
join his notoriously hostile band. The news of this alliance 
caused widespread alarm throughout New England. As yet no 
general uprising of the Indians had been feared but now the ap- 
prehensive colonists lost no time in sending troops to the new 
field of action. 

From the headquarters at Hadley numerous parties went forth 
on extended scouts only to return without tidings of Philip and 
his Nipmuck allies, and with grave doubts of the fidelity of a 
motley gathering of Indians on the west bank of the Connecti- 
cut River at Hatfield. That their fears were well grounded these 
Indians soon proved by attacking a party marching to treat with 
them concerning the relinquishment of their arms. 

Convinced that a war of races had now begun in earnest, the 
frontier colonists in this valley had no time to ponder upon their 
perilous situation. Just one week after this first armed conflict 
in the west, the Indians made a vigorous attack upon the stock- 
ades of Deerfield, retiring only after they had burned and de- 
stroyed all perishable property outside of the forts. A similar 
attack upon Northfield, followed by the almost total extermina- 
tion of the rescuing party, resulted in the abandonment of that 

Indian War Conditions. 185 

settlement and in the withdrawal of the troops from field opera- 
tions to strengthen the garrisons of the towns. This fruitless 
policy soon caused the concentration in the valley of a larger 
force for the carrying on of a more vigorous campaign. The 
second attack upon Deerfield and its subsequent abandonment, 
the terrible massacre of Lothrop and his men at Bloody Brook, 
and the burning of Brookfleld, Swampfield and Northfield were 
all disheartening reverses which crowded the frontier line south 
as far as Hatfield and Hadley. Emboldened by such success, 
the Indians now attacked Springfield so openly and insolently 
as to force upon the Connecticut council of war the tardy con- 
viction that it was ^^ high time for New England to stir up all 
their strength and make war their trade .... to suppress the 
enemy before they grow too much for us." The subsequent in- 
creased efforts of both colonies resulted in the south in the de- 
struction of the Narragansett stronghold, while in the west a 
fierce attack of 800 Indians upon Hatfield was repulsed and the 
assailants driven into winter quarters on the Hoosick Eiver. 

Early in the following March the English began the new 
campaign by an expedition against the Indian rendezvous at 
Wenimisset whence winter war parties had rallied to spread 
destruction and death among the Bay towns. The eastern tribes 
warily retreating toward their allies in the western wilderness, 
the English hastily garrisoned the Connecticut valley. As was 
expected, the Indians promptly attacked Northampton and Hat- 
field, only to be gallantly repulsed. They succeeded, however, 
in raiding Windsor and Longmeadow, in burning Simsbury and 
Marlboro, and in destroying a force of 60 men on the Pawtucket 
Eiver, an accumulation of disasters for the English which filled 
them with despair in that they all occurred upon one fatal day. 

The weeks that followed were indecisive ones for both sides. 
The recent deluge of reverses caused the recall of the main body 
of the Massachusetts troops from the frontier for the better 
protection of the constantly ravaged Bay towns, while the re- 
maining troops under a strictly defensive policy, were ordered 
upon garrison duty in the valley. Meanwhile, in the shifting 
body of 3000 Indians gathered on Pocumtuck and Squakheag 
territory a peace party had sprung into being ; the repulse at 
Northampton, a scarcity of food and ammunition, the strong de- 
fenses of the valley towns, together with tribal jealousies had 
resulted in a desire upon the part of the less hostile Nipmucks 

186 Mdd MeeUnff— 1900. 

and PocomtQoks to oonsider the overtures of peaoe made by the 
colonists of Conneoticat. Even the untimely death of the great 
Karragansett chief, Canonchet, and with him 40 sachems, might 
have gone unavenged had not the near approach of summer with 
its abundance of food strengthened their courage by allaying 
their anxieties for daily sustenance. 

Under the leadership of the provident Pessacus a fort to be 
used in case of retreat was established by them 40 miles up the 
river, and camps were placed at the best fishing places, the 
principal one being at these falls on the right bank. While the 
fishermen were engaged in storing their barns with dried salmon 
and shad for the campaign, other Indians were hopefully sow- 
ing the fertile meadows of Pocumtuck and Squakheag with com 
that was to be garnered long after the white encroachers had 
been driven from the valley. With fears lulled by continued 
non-interference, the Indians ventured as far south as the Hat- 
field meadows where they procured 80 head of cattle to add to 
their already abundant supplies. Men far less savage than these 
Indians would have given themselves up to a gluttonous cele- 
bration of such a success ; small wonder is it that these half- 
starved confederates, men, women and children, fell recklessly 
upon the unwonted abundance of fish, beef and milk. On the 
night of the 18th of May, having gorged themselves to repletion, 
they sank into a heavy sleep so forgetful of their enemies that 
no sentinel was posted to guard their slumbers. A better hour 
could not have been chosen by the English for a sudden attack 
upon the Indian camp. 

The quiet of the month following the withdrawal of the 
Massachusetts and Connecticut forces did not deceive the set- 
tlers ; the small garrisons left in the valley towns gave them 
cause for fear, and a petition was sent to Boston asking for more 
men with an offer to pay and ration them. The appeal was 
vain. Left more to their own resources, and knowing full well 
that the Indians' present devotion to the gathering of supplies 
presaged a second vigorous campaign, their inherent bravery 
manifested itself in a ^^ growing spirit to be out against the 
enemy." To the General Court, the citizens of Hadley wrote : 

^^ A great part of the inhabitants here, would our committees 
of militia but permitt, would be going forth. . . . The enemy 
is now come so near us, that we count we might goe forth in 
the evening, and come upon them in the darknesse of the samie 

Indian War CondiUana. 137 

night. ... It is the general! voyce of the people here, now is 
the time to distresse the enemy, and that could we drive them 
from thair fishing, and keep out though but lesser parties agamst 
them, famine would subdue them." 

Though the authorities cautiously withheld action in the hope 
that certain peace overtures with Pessacus might yet bear fruit, 
the settlers only needed the news of the raid upon the Hatfield 
cattle to spur them into a decisive move. On May 18 there 
gathered at Hatfield, a zealous force of 141 men, 85 of them 
being volunteers from Hadley, Hatfield, Northampton, Spring- 
field and Westfield ; the remainder, soldiers from tiie garrisons, 
all under the command of Captain William Turner of Boston. 
No pen can so well describe the night advance of these brave 
men as that of your tireless historian, the Hon. G^rge Sheldon. 

^' After sunset, Thursday," he says, ^^ this little army set out 
on a memorable march — memorable for its material, for its 
good and bad fortune, and for the results achieved. After a fer- 
vent prayer by the chaplain, and a tearful Godspeed from their 
friends, the cavalcade passed out from Hatfield street with high 
hopes and determined hearts. Crossing the meadows to the 
north, vowing vengeance for the stolen cattle, they wended their 
way slowly up the Pocumtuck path. Tall Wequamps loomed 
up before them like a pillar of cloud against the dim northern 
sky. They followed the exact route which had led Beers and 
Lothrop into an ambush nine months before. Thoughtful eyes 
peered mto the fatal swamp as they passed. Over the Wee- 
quioannuck and through the hushed woods as darkness was 
closing down, to Bloody Brook. Guided by Hinsdell, the 
troops floundered through the black morass, which drank the 
blood of his father and three brothers eight months before ; 
they passed with bated breath and clinched firelock, the mound 
under which slept Lothrop and his three score men. As they 
left this gloomy spot and marched up the road, down which the 
heedless Lothrop had led his men into the fatal snare, the stout- 
est must have quailed at the uncertainty beyond. Was their 
own leader wise ? Did he consider the danger t Did not they all 
know that if Towcanchasson was treacherous or any swift footed 
friend of Pessacus had revealed to him their plans, that they 
were marching to sure destruction ) Was it prudent to neglect 
precautions against surprise ? What if the information of Beed 
should prove incorrect? Burdened with thoughts like these, 

138 Fidd Meefmg—\W^. 

the command made its way to Poomntuok, guarding with closed 
ranks against the gaping cellars of our rained village. More 
than one of these men, by toil and frugality, had there built their 
homes and gathered their families. As they passed the deso- 
late hearthstones, what but faith in the Most High could raise 
their sinking hearts t Onward across North Meadows, where 
one of the guides, Benjamin Waite, was later to end his event- 
ful life in the brave attempt to rescue the captives of 1704, and 
where the boy hero of this expedition, famous later as Captain 
Jonathan Wells, tried vainly to temper his rash zeal. Over the 
Pocumtuck Biver, at the mouth of Sheldon's brook, to avoid the 
ford guarded by an Indian fort, and up the steep side hill to 
Petty's Plain. Even with this precaution, the wading of the 
horses was heard, and the Indian sentinel gave the alarm. 
With lighted torches the party examined the crossing-place, but 
finding no track, concluded that the noise was made by moose 
crossing the river. So narrowly did the party escape discovery. 
Following the Indian trail at the foot of Shelbume hills, the 
adventurers entered the mysterious and unexplored wilderness 
stretching away to Canada. Full of boding fancies, they 
marched on under the fi:loomy arches of a primeval forest, the 
a.rk.e«,n«ie more in^nse iy the gl«» of lightning, »d toe 
silence occasionally broken by a peal of thunder, the bark of 
the startled wolf, or raccoon, the ghostly flitting of the won- 
dering owl. What wonder if these brave men and boys, super- 
stitious as they were, and worn by fatigue and excitement, lost 
their self-possession a few hours later. Marching two miles 
northward, then crossing Green Biver at the mouth of MiU 
brook, to the eastward, skirting the great swamp, Turner 
reached the plateau south of Mount Adams before the break of 
day, tired and drenched with the shower. 

Leaving their horses with a small guard, the main party 
forded Fall Biver, ascended a steep incline and came out in 
the rear of the slumbering Indian camp. As day broke, the 
English stole down among the wigwams, and at a given signal 
poured a deadly fire upon the stupefied inhabitants. The wild- 
est confusion followed. The Indians who survived the first 
volley, supposing that their old Mohawk enemies were upon 
them, rushed for their canoes, but only to be shot or upset and 
drowned. So slight was the resistance that only one of the 
assailants was wounded. On the other hand, the Indian loss 

Indicm Wa^ Conditions. 139 

was estimated to be between 300 and 400 ; the English also 
destroyed their provisions and ammunition, thus giving a death 
blow to their plans for a summer campaign." 

One oannot read the story of this fight without wishing that 
it ended here. The sequel is by no means so fuU of the joy of 
victory. By delaying too long upon the battlefield the English 
gave time to their aroused enemies from the adjacent camps 
to gather about them in an avenging horde. Wearied by their 
long march and the heat of conflict, they must now retreat 
through the dense forest, their every step dogged by Indians, 
until they had passed through Deerfield Street and reached the 
Bars. In their frantic retreat the men became so separated 
that at sundown there was a mournful mustering of but two- 
thirds of the command at Hatfield. Captain Turner himself 
had fallen and 41 of his men. 

A terrible loss was this when the life of every man that could 
bear arms was incalculably precious, but these men, unlike the 
64 so fruitlessly sacrificed at Bloody Brook, had helped to secure 
the safety of hundreds. The brave attack upon the camp at 
Peskeompskut, quickly followed as it was by a vigorous repulse 
of the Indians at Hatfield, convinced the councils of war of the 
efficacy of an aggressive policy. From the east and south troops 
simultaneously advanced, killing and capturing detached parties 
of Indians, and finaUy combining at Hadley to make a formida- 
ble army of 1000 men. A band of 700 Indians having been 
driven back from Hadley two days before the union of the 
troops, the main body of savages withdrew to such a distance 
that scouts searched the woods for them in vain. Disheartened 
by their reverses, the western tribes became further convinced, 
by a sudden attack from the hostile Mohawks, that the Connect- 
icut valley was no longer tenable, and finally withdrew to the 
protection of their Mohican allies on the Hudson. 

The story of the movements of the eastern tribes during that 
summer of 1676 is similar. In spite of Philip's insidious plans 
for the prolongation of the war. Governor Leverett's friendly 
negotiations for the redemption of captives, being followed by 
an aggressive raiding of the enemies' camps, resulted in Indian 
disorganization and dispute. The death, in August, of Philip, 
slain by the hand of one of his own tribe, removed the chief 
advocate of further hostilities, the other leaders being apparently 
quite ready for peace. 

140 Field Meeting— 1900. 

So ended a war whioh, insignificant though it may seem to 
us, had terrorized the New England settlements for 14 months ; 
600 colonists had lost their lives, 13 towns were totally and 11 
partially destroyed. A heavy debt had been incurred. Surely 
in the face of these facts no one can fail to do honor to Captain 
Turner and his brave men who, on this spot, did so much to 
end the conflict. 


We have assembled here to-day upon historic ground. We 
have come to dedicate a lasting monument to the men who sur- 
prised and destroyed the Indians encamped at this place on 
May 19, 1676. It is with many misgivings and with a con- 
sciousness of my own inexperience, that I undertake a task like 
the historical address for such an occasion, especially since I 
know how complete have been the historical investigations of 
Mr. Sheldon and his colleagues of the Pocumtuck Association. 
Montaigne, in speaking of his own writings, said : ^^ I have 
gathered me a posie of other men's flowers, and naught but the 
cord that binds them is mine own." So if I also to a large de- 
gree have been necessarily dependent upon the fruits of other 
men's investigations, the cord that binds them into one, at least, 
is mine. 

Less than 300 years have elapsed since the time when the 
red man held undisputed sway over this great valley. Here by 
the river below us, the Norwottuck, the Agawam and the 
Squakheag, the Indian of the Pocumtuck pitched his wigwam 
while from the depth of the stream he drew his store of fish ; 
in the wilderness along its banks were his hunting grounds, and 
below in the fertile fields his harvest of com and beans was 
planted. But all this has changed. Soon, as a historian says, 
^^ across the ocean came a pilgrim bark bewlng the seeds of life 
and death. The former were sown for us, while the latter 
sprang up in the path of the native." The result, however, did 
not take place at once, but came about gradually. The idea we 
generally derive from the reading of history, through our con- 
fusion of dates, leads us to suppose that our ancestors spent 
their time unintermittently in bloody wars with the Indian. 
Such was not the case. For the most part the early colonists 
lived at peace with the savage. 

Address of Rol/ph M. 8ta%igkton. 141 

Soon after the Pilgrims laoded at Pljrmoath in the fall of 
1620, an Indian chief, Samoset by name, came to them with 
words of hearty welcome. Later they were visited by Massa- 
soit, the great chief of the Wampanoags, who readily entered 
into a treaty of friendship with the English and a promise of 
perpetaal peace ; this leagae of ^^ friendship, commerce and 
mutual defence " was kept inviolate for more than half a cen- 
tury. During this period from 1620 to 1675, the red man and 
the white man lived side by side. Hoyt in his Indian Wars 
remarks : " On a review of the incidents connected with the 
first settlement of Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies, it can 
not but appear on the first view extraordinary that the planters 
met with so little interruption from the natives. For the na- 
tives generally evinced a peaceable disposition and admitted the 
English among them with apparent satisfaction." 

There were several causes which gave rise to this state of 
affairs. One of the principal reasons was the small number of 
Indians in the vicinity of the colonies. Shortly before the arri- 
val of the settlers, a fatal plague had stricken the natives, deso- 
lating the coast and nearly extirpating the tribes of that region. 
Thus, as it were, had been prepared a way for the Pilgrims to 
settle on land claimed by no owner, and thus had they been 
shielded from attacks of the savage. Soon afterward, small- 
pox broke out among them, still further decreasing their people, 
until the Indian population, never very large, was reduced to a 
small number. Another important factor in the peace of this 
period, was the great pains which the English took to conciliate 
the natives. Express instructions regarding this had been given 
to the colonists by the English company. The pioneers acquired 
all their land by fair purchase from the rightful claimants, and 
though the price paid was often small, it was equal to the value 
of the land at that time. The Indian, retaining the rights of 
hunting and fishing, was satisfied that the best of the bargain 
was his. 

In this manner the colonists passed their first 60 years ; and 
during these years of fostering ^and prosperityf the Un. 
of emigrants from England to New England was great. New 
villages were constantly springing up. The enterprising settlers 
threaded their way inland, reclaimed the wilderness to the use 
of agriculture, and founded their settlements. Haverhill was a 
northern frontier town on the Merrimao ; Lancaster and Brook- 

142 Fidd MeeUng— 1900. 

field were isolated villages, while Springfield, Deerfield and 
Westfield were settlements farthest to the west. In the first 
25 years after the Pilgrims landed, the colonists had settled 50 
towns and villages, had reared 40 chorohes, several forts and 
prisons, and the Massachusetts colony had established Harvard 
College. The Connecticut valley with its rich alluvial intervals 
at an early time attracted the pioneer, and the towns of North- 
ampton, Hadley and Deerfield sprang up. 

For 50 years the English lived peacefully in these scattered 
villages, and then came that darker chapter in our colonial his- 
tory, when the red man with all the unique savagery of his 
Indian nature brought death and destruction upon the settle- 
ments. The time when the war whoop of the merciless savage, 
and the shrieks of defenseless families, arose to heaven together, 
amid the smoke and flames of burning villapfes and towns : when 

desolation everywhere. Yet out of the carnage of battle and 
massacre, out of the heavy trials of captivity, appeare many a 
scene picturesque amid the surrounding horror. 

King Philip's War, as this sanguinary struggle is called in 
history, broke out in 1675. Philip was the son of Massasoit, 
the firm ally of the English, and after the brief reign of his elder 
brother, succeeded to the supreme control of that powerful 
tribe, the Wampanoags, or Pokanokets, as they are also called. 
Philip possessed an innate hostility to the white man and from 
the very beginning of his power, his conduct was such as to ex- 
cite the English to suspicion. How well founded these suspi- 
cions were, was proved later only too thoroughly. 

The omnipresent sentimentalist has idealized Philip as a mag- 
nificent example of Indian leadership, and has endowed him 
with all the qualities of a romance hero. Early historians have 
given him credit for a grand scheme, conceived with the deep 
foresight of a discerning statesman, and carried out with the 
cunning of a skilled strategist ; a brilliant scheme to allay the 
fears of the English by a continuous show of friendship, until 
at a given time all the Indian tribes should unite in a simultane- 
ous attack upon the settiers and thus annihilate them at a 
single blow. In reality there was probably no such systematic 
plotting, for later historians like Palfrey and Bancroft, found 
^' no evidence of a deliberate conspiracy on the part of all the 
Indian tribes." Kor can we attribute the war to injustice on 

Address qf RaipK M, SUmghtan. 143 

the part of the settler. It cannot be said that they drove the 
Indian from his inherited possessions and thus goaded them on 
to a war of revenge. It is not tme. When almost the first of 
the colonists arrived, they came with instructions '^ to do no 
harm to the heathen people. If they pretend any right of in- 
heritance to any part of the land, to purchase their title." These 
instructions were obeyed, and at the time of the war, Governor 
Winslow, in a letter dated Marshfield, May 1, 1676, declared 
that '^ before the present troubles broke out, the English did 
not possess one foot of land but what was fairly obtained by 
honest purchase from the Indian proprietors." That the set- 
tlers had their faults and that they probably made hard bar- 
gains with the simple savage is not to be denied ; but I do deny 
that they were cruel and unjust to the Indian to such an extent 
that he was compelled to war in order to free himself from the 
oppressor's yoke. 

The trouble lay far deeper. It was a gradual development, 
an inevitable necessity. For that a war must ultimately arise 
between the two peoples, is to be conceded by every student of 
our early history. A deep gulf separated the Indian from the 
stranger, an irreconcilable difference which the Indian year 
by year more strongly realized. The missionary and the teacher 
who went forth to enlighten the ignorant native, made him see 
only the more clearly the vast contrast between the white man 
and the red man, and the Indian's proud heart burned within 
him. Kor was he so blind as not to see how the English were 
yearly increasing in strength and number, while the power of 
his own people decreased. The hunting ground of the savage 
became the fertile field of the indefatigable farmer ; his fishing 
grounds were invaded and his favorite resorts were reclaimed 
to civilized cultivation. This still more forcibly contrasted the 
idle savage with the progressive settler. The Indian felt the 
antagonism and a frenzy seized him. The strife was not for 
the possession of land ; it was for supremacy. With the knowl- 
edge that he was the weaker party, the savage, irascible, vindic- 
tive, and impetuous, went to war without hope and fought without 
mercy. It was this war, which grew out of pure antagonism, the 
antagonism between civilization and barbarism, a war which 
raged with all the revolting horror and fury of a warfare only 
waged by a desperate savage ; it was this war which for more than 
a year threatened destruction to New England, and which abated 

144 mdd MeelAng—WM. 

neither beneath the blaze of sommer nor amid the snow of win- 
ter, — ^it was this war, I say, which was King Philip's war. 

The threatening cloud suddenly broke upon the colonists in 
an attack by Philip's men on Swansea the 24th of June, 1675. 
The dormant passions of the savage had been awakened and 
the war went on. With amazing rapidity it spread throughout 
the colony. Hardly had Swansea and Taunton been attacked, 
and Dartmouth and Brookfield been burned, when the war was 
turned toward this region. Deerfield was assailed and was 
soon after the scene of a memorable slaughter. The awful 
story of Bloody Brook is too well known to need recounting. 
No part of western Massachusetts is so fraught with the brutish 
atrocities of Indian warfare as the valley of the Connecticut 
from Korthfield to Springfield. It became the theater of a 
fiendish drama unique in barbarity. Nowhere have the con- 
flicts between the native and the settler of this valley been ex- 
ceeded for the relentless brutality of the one and the indomitable 
fortitude of the other ; and some of the bloodiest struggles that 
crimson this period were fought along the banks of this river. 

The winter of 1675-76 was a sad and gloomy one for the 
colonists. So far victory for the most part had been on the 
side of the Indian. Dark indeed was the prospect. Many of 
the settlers had been killed and their villages burned, and this 
only tended to increase the danger of the solitary settlements 
in the interior. Their enemy was an enemy whose only war- 
fare was one of stealth and ambuscades ; who never met them 
in the open, but lurking in secret fired upon them with fatal 
effect. As the Indian in peace was an idler, so in war he was 
a marauder. Divided into innumerable prowling bands, he at- 
tacked the lonely farmhouses and distant settlements, disap- 
pearing as suddenly as he came, yet leaving murder, fire and 
desolation behind. Under cover of the night he furtively crept 
upon his victims. Often he concealed himself before their very 
doors, and the first warning of his presence was the ring of 
musketry, as the settler dropped dead upon his own threshold ; 
the house was then fired, the mother and her children scalped, 
and the work of destruction was accomplished. While the 
English pursued in one direction, he burned and plundered in 
another. " His mode of warfare," writes an historian, " was 
secret and terrible. He seemed like the demon of destruction, 
hurling his bolts in darkness. Shrouded by the deep shade of 

Address of Ralph M. Stoughtan. 146 

the midnight, he stole apon the villages and settlements of New 
England, like the pestilence, unseen and unheard. His pathway 
could be traced by the horrible desolation of its progress, by 
its crimson prints upon the sands and snows, by smoke and fire, 
by the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants and the groans 
of the wounded and dying." 

During this winter occurred the " Swamp Fight," terrible in 
its disaster for the Indian. The colonists, regarding the Narra- 
gansetts, who were the most powerful of the New England 
tribes, as their most dangerous enemy, invaded the winter 
quarters of the Indians with a force 1000 strong. In a stealthy 
march they approached the Narragansetts, stormed their forti- 
fications, set fire to their wigwams, and in the confusion a scene 
of awful carnage ensued, in which the Indians, irrespective of 
age or sex, perished by hundreds. Though the English can 
hardly be commended for this cruel massacre, equal in barbarity 
to any Indian slaughter, it must be remembered that the war 
was now to the death ; a war of extermination for the one or 
the other. Mercy could not be shown to a merciless foe ; he 
must be met with the weapons of his own warfare. The 
^^ Swamp Fight " excited the Indians to new violence and in the 
spring the war was renewed with redoubled ferocity. Lancaster, 
Medfield, Weymouth and Oroton were laid in ruins ; then early 
in the spring the war was again transferred to this valley, and 
we come at length to the incident which to-day claims our in- 

In those early days when first our ancestors explored this 
valley, no liver in all New England afforded a greater abundance 
of fish than the Connecticut, and no spot along its banks pre- 
sented a more favorable station for their capture than this very 
spot In the spring of the year, immense qaantities of shad 
and salmon came up the river until the rapids and the falls close 
by obstructed their course. Here the river narrowed by the 
girting hills, furnished a place remarkably adapted by nature 
for a fishing ground. Such was the case in the spring of 1676. 
A large camp of several hundred Indians was situated on this 
side of the liver, a smaller camp was on the opposite bank, and 
a third on what is known as ^' Smead's Island," some distance 
below here. The Indians, fearing no danger from the valley 
settlements, camped here in careless security ; the daytime they 
spent in catching and drying fish to fill their bams for the win- 

146 Fidd Meeting— 1900. 

tor's stock, and the night-time was passed in feasting and rev- 
elry, while no military vigilance was kept. 

This state of affairs in the Indian camp was reported by two 
boys, Gilbert and Stebbins, who had been held as captives, but 
who on account of the negligence of the Indians, escaped and 
found their way to Hatfield. Soon after, Thomas Reed, a sol- 
dier who had been taken prisoner m the April previous, made 
his escape and came to Hadley. He, too, informed the English 
of the Indians' carelessness and neglect of precautions against 
surprise; and how, secure and scornful, they boasted of the 
great things they had done aud would do. When all this was 
known, the English, urged on by the beginning of renewed in- 
cursions upon them, decided that the time had come when a 
decisive blow must be dealt for the masterdom of this great 
valley. No longer could the red man and white man live here 
as neighbors. One must yield to the other; one must pass 
away while the other remained. 

In accordance with this resolution, a force of about 145 men 
gathered at Hatfield for an expedition against the Indian camp. 
Rev. Hope Atherton, ^^ who was a courageous man and willing 
to expose himself for the public good," was the chaplain ; Ben- 
jamin Waite and Experience HinsdeU were the guides, and the 
whole was under the command of Captain William Turner of 
Boston. Each man was furnished with provisions for three 
meals and nearly all were mounted men. Just after sunset on 
Thursday, May 18, after a " fervent prayer by the chaplain and 
a tearful Godspeed from their friends," the little army with 
stout hearts and set purpose, passed out from Hatfield for a 
memorable night march of more than 20 miles. Across the 
meadows to Sugar Loaf, up the Pocumtuck path, past Bloody 
Brook, where on that very day eight months before, the heed- 
less Lothrop and his three score men had dyed red the ground 
with the best blood of Essex ; past Deerfield in ruins, recently 
burned ; onward across North Meadows, over the Deerfield and 
up the steep hillside to Betty's Plain. Then turning to the east, 
following the Indian trail at the foot of Shelbume hills, cross- 
ing Green River and skirting the swamp, the party finally 
reached the plateau just northwest of Factory Village. Leaving 
the horses here under a small guard, Turner led his men noise- 
lessly down into the " hoUow," forded Fall River above the upper 
bridge, scaled the steep ascent of the opposite bank and came 

Address of Balph M, Stoughtan. 147 

out on the sommit just above us. On the slope he drew up his 
men mto line ; his objective point, the Indian oamp, was spread 
out before him. 

Save for the monotonous roar of the cataract, silence reigned in 
the camp by the river side. Not a sentinel was posted ; the 
dusky warrior was wrapped in profound slumber. At the very 
time when Turner and his adventurous men were making their 
stealthy advance, a grand feast was being held here at Feske- 
ompskut. Warrior and squaw, the young and the old alike, 
gorged themselves with the salmon drawn from the river and 
with beef gained by a recent raid on the valley settlements, 
and then filled to repletion the whole camp slept in unguarded, 
unsuspecting security. Little did the Indian dream of danger, 
yet the end was near at hand. 

Impatiently the soldiers awaited the lights and in the gray 
of the early dawn, they stole silently down among the un- 
guarded foe ; the word of command was given, and a crash of 
musketry aroused the stupefied sleepers. Many were killed at 
the first fire, while the terrified survivors, believing their furious 
enemy, the Mohawks, were upon them, rushed madly to the 
river, and pushed off in paddleless canoes, only to be engulfed 
in the tumultuous waters of the cataract. Others, hiding about 
the banks, were hunted out and slain, and we read that Captain 
Holyoke with his own sword, killed five under a bank. Be- 
sistance was slight, and only one of the assailants was wounded 
by the enemy. The camp and wigwams were immediately set 
on fire, and all was entirely destroyed. As to the number of 
Indians that perished in this slaughter, no intelligent estimate 
can be made as contemporary accounts differ widely. It must 
have been, however, at least 300, for Indians themselves after- 
ward admitted that loss ; whatever the number was, doubtless 
many were women and children, for we know there was no dis- 
tinction of age or sex. 

The firing quickly aroused the camp on the shore opposite, 
and a party soon crossed to bring assistance. About 20 of 
Turner's men volunteered to meet these, while the main body 
returned to their horses and began to march back. The small 
detachment that had gone to attack the Indians from the other 
camp, proved insufficient ; they were forced to retreat and with 
great difficulty reached their horses, only to meet with attacks 
from all sides. One of the number, Jonathan Wells, a boy of 

148 Fidd MeeMnff— 1900. 

16, though wounded, managed to reaoh Tnmer and begged him 
to return to the relief ; but Turner, believing that it was " bet- 
ter to save some than lose all," pushed on. 

Unfortunately for Captain Turner, he was very feeble, scarcely 
able to sustain the excitement and fatigue of such service. 
As the sun came up and the day grew warm and sultry. Cap- 
tain Turner's weakness increased until it became evident to his 
troops that he must soon be unable to guide them. At this un- 
fortunate time, attacks from various quarters and the baseless 
rumor that Philip was approaching with a thousand warriors, 
caused a sudden panic among the troops. Order and discipline 
were lost and the retreat became a rout. The force divided 
into separate squads, each bent only on self-preservation, and 
during the passage through the dense morass, one party was 
captured and the tradition is that they met death at the 
stake. The main body at length reached Oreen Eiver, 
and there Captain Turner fell beneath the enemy's fatal 
fire. Captain Holyoke, upon whom the command now 
devolved, was a man equal to the emergency. Exposing him- 
self to every danger, his own dauntless courage was infused into 
the spirits of his men and he incited them to redoubled exer- 
tions. Hour by hour they struggled on harassed continually 
by the infuriated foe, until at length, exhausted, wounded and 
bleeding, the survivors of the shattered troop arrived at Hat- 
field, with a loss of 41 men killed. 

The panic that assailed the troops in the early part of the 
retreat gave rise to several instances of individual experience 
and suffering worthy of being again recounted. Jonathan 
Wells of Hatfield, the youth whom I have already mentioned, 
was among the first to be wounded. Barely able to keep seat 
upon his horse, he soon became separated from the others ; 
and bewildered in the woods, he turned to the north instead of 
the south, and followed Green River up above what is known 
as the Country Farms. There he fell from his horse exhausted, 
and soon fell into a sound sleep. And while he slept, be dreamed 
that his grandfather came to him and told him he was lost be- 
cause he was traveling in the wrong direction. In the morning 
his horse was gone, and with his gun as a staff, weak and faint 
from loss of blood and from hunger, he followed the direction 
of his dream and started homeward. With great difficulty on 
account of his wound and because of the swiftness of the current^ 

Address of Ralph M. Stoughtan. 149 

he forded the Deerfield, and while lying down to rest, he fiaw an 
Indian approaching him in a canoe. Leveling his gun at him, the 
Indian fled, and Wells knowing that others must be near at hand, 
thought how to elude, them. Finding two logs near together 
that projected out over the river nearly level with the stream, 
he waded out and stood between them. In this way he escaped 
the Indians, who, as he anticipated, soon came to hunt for him. 
When they had departed. Wells slowly pursued his journey, 
sometimes giving up in despair, often overcome by fatigue and 
all the time racked with pain. Finally he reached Hatfield on 
Sunday, at noon, 48 hours after the retreat from these grounds. 

The Eev. Hope Atherton, first pastor of the Hatfield church 
and the chaplain of the expedition, on his return gave an ac- 
count of his experiences in a sermon to his people on Sunday the 
28th of May, in which he said : " When I was separated from 
the army, none pursued me. The night following I wandered 
up and down, but none discovered me. The next day I tend- 
ered myself to the enemy as a prisoner, for no way of escape 
appeared and I had long been without food, but notwithstanding 
I offered myself to them, they accepted not my offer ; when I 
spoke, they answered not ; when I moved toward them they 
fled. Finding they would not accept me as a prisoner, I de- 
termined, if possible, to find my way home, and after several 
days of hunger, fatigue and danger, I reached Hatfield." Some 
historical commentators have been inclined to think that the 
Bev. Atherton's mind became bewildered by his exposures, and 
that the incidents of his story were merely the fancies of a dis- 
ordered imagination. More likely, however, there was some- 
thing in the appearance of the chaplain by which the Indians 
recognized him as a minister, and with superstitious fear, left 
him unmolested 

The ^' Falls Fight" has ever been memorable among the 
events of that Indian war. It was more than merely a bloody 
slaughter ; here, about this very ground upon which we now 
stand, took place the final struggle between the Indian and the 
settler of this valley, and here the Indian lost forever his tribal 
power over this region. Here beside the waters of the river 
below us, the men of Hatfield, the men of Hadley, the men of the 
Pocumtuck valley, wrote in bloody characters the concluding 
chapter in the history of the Pocumtucks as a nation. Save for 
feeble and ineffectual attacks on Hadley and Hatfield a few days 

160 Fidd Meettnff—1900. 

later, the Indian as a tribal power, never after beset these settle- 
ments. All their later depredations were made at the instigation 
of the French, and nnder their leadership for the most part. From 
this time and place the Pocumtuck tribes pass into oblivion. 

The fight here on the 19th of May, 1676, was a serious blow 
to Philip, for it destroyed the fisheries on which he so largely 
depended for supplies. His power soon ebbed away ; hunted 
backward and forward the monarch of the Wampanoags be- 
came a fugitive, abandoned by most of his confederates, and 
he finally fell by one of his own people. It is probable that 
you would gladly doubt, if you could, the recorded fact that 
Philip's head was sent to Plymouth and was there long exposed 
on a gibbet. Before you too harshly condemn this act of shock- 
ing barbarity recollect that in London, nearly a century later, 
the heads of the Scotch rebels were exhibited on Temple Bar. 

Few characters in history have had such conflicting judg- 
ments passed upon them as the Indian warrior, Philip. Early 
chroniclers were wont to heap upon him the most opprobrious 
epithets, while later he was looked upon as a true patriot, 
whose enmity was national, not individual, an heroic — ^martyr. 
Modem historians, however, agree in representing him with all 
the vices and instincts of his race. ^^ The title of King," says 
Palfrey, " disguises and transfigures to the view, the form of a 
squalid savage whose royal robe was a coarse blanket alive 
with vermin ; whose nature possessed what might be expected 
from such a race and such habits of life. To royalty belong as- 
sociations of dignity and magnificence. The Indian King 
Philip is at all events a mythical character." 

My task is done ; the sad and fearful story is told, — the story 
of King Philip's War. But the men who met the brunt of 
those fierce conflicts, who were they ? We are rather wont to 
look with scorn and ridicule upon our Puritan ancestors, for 
their austere manners, their rigorous principles of stem piety, 
and their antipathy to the diversions of society. But study, I 
ask you, the history of the colonies from 1620 to 1675, and then 
scoff at the men and women who endured the hardships and ex- 
posures of that early time. Our Puritan forefathers may have 
been harsh and severe, but their code of laws was the law di- 
rected by their own conscience ; they may have detested mer- 
riment and festivity ; the pioneer looks not for a life of ease and 
amusement : they doubtless had their faults and failings, but 

Address of Ralph M. SUmgkton. 151 

that they were selfish, that they were deliberately oroel, 
that they were intentionally unjust to the Indian, I find 
no proof. I little accord with the sentimentalist who 
portrays the Indian as a noble being, endowed with vir- 
tues unnatural to his race, while he decries the Puritan as harsh 
and uncompromising, narrow and arrogant. I read of the un- 
tiring efforts of Eliot and the May hews ; I read how the Eng- 
lish ministered to the plague-stricken Indian when his own 
people forsook him ; I read of countless instances of magna- 
nimity to the perfidious native. There are exceptions in all 
things but as a whole the Indian was defective both mentally 
and morally, incapable of the larger instincts of humanity, as 
inspired by Christian influences. Amid all the uplifting as- 
sociations of civilization, the Indian was an Indian still. 

Bead the convincing facts of history and your sympathies 
will be with the early settlers. They were plain men of com- 
mon sense and strong convictions, full of courage and patient 
in toil ; men as stanch and upright as the primeval pines they 
felled to clear their farm. They were men of action who real- 
ized the supreme importance of seizing the hour. They were 
men in voluntary exile for the sake of religious and civil 
liberty. They knew only that it was theirs to labor with pa- 
tience and hope, to hand down the heritage finally purchased 
with their own blood. Search the pages of history and tell me 
where you find nobler examples of manly virtues. And when 
you have seen the unfaltering fortitude of the men of 1676, look 
at the calm courage and marvellous hardihood of the farmer 
soldier a century later at Bunker Hill, at Concord and Lexing- 
ton, at Bennington and Saratoga, and tell me whence came the 
spirit of 1776. From whom but those early settlers, to whose 
blood and traditions the American patriots were heirs t ^^ Four 
score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this 
continent a new nation," said Lincoln at Gettysburg. To-day 
I say two centuries and more ago, the men of 1676 laid the 
foundations for the very principles of that new nation. And so 
I claim that it is highly fitting that we to-day honor the mem- 
ory of the men of that early day, who over 200 years ago came 
with shot and sword and fire, and from this very ground, swept 
the Indians to the river below, ground their cabins to the dust 
and sent their wigwams to the clouds above, and freed forever 
our valley from the thraldom of barbarism. 



The annual meeting of the Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial As- 
sociation, which was held in the old kitchen at Memorial Hall 
yesterday afternoon, was of peculiar interest for the members 
of the society and others interested in antiquarian pursuits. A 
noteworthy feature of the meeting was the quality of the 
papers prepared for the occasion. In the afternoon there were 
short sketches of the well known members who had passed 
away in the year. S. O. Lamb spoke briefly on James S. Grin- 
nell and submitted the following resolution which was adopted : 

Resolved, That the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association deeply feels 
the great loss which it has suffered in the death of the Hon. James S. 
Giinnell, late of Greenfield, and hereby places upon its records an expres- 
sion of its cordial appreciation of his constant friendship and faithful devo- 
tion to the interests and work of the Association; also an expression of its 
sincere sympathy with the bereaved family and friends of the deceased. 

Mr. Lamb confined himself principally to Mr. GriDnell as a 
young man at the time of his admission to the bar in 1846, and 
incidentally alluded to some of his contemporaries. Mrs. Lucius 
Nims read a sketch of Eben A. Hall, which was prepared by 
Judge Fessenden ; a tribute to Charles H. McClellan was given 
by Frank J. Hosmer ; Rev. P. V. Finch contributed a sketch on 
Deacon Hitchcock, and Mrs. Charles Stebbins one on Mrs. 
Mary P. Wentworth. 

Judge F. M. Thompson, vice-president of the Association, 
presided. It was voted to hold the next field meeting at Deer^ 
field, July 81. The president, vice-presidents and Treasurer, 
with William L. Harris, E. A. Newcomb, Mrs. Samuel Childs, 
Augustus Y. Tack and Miss A. C. Putnam, were authorized 
to act in conjunction with the committee on the " Old Home 
Week" chosen by the citizens of the town last October. 
Some of the historic places in town will be marked by suitable 
monuments. The committee on memorials are : Mr. and Mrs. 
George Sheldon, Judge F. M. Thompson and George A. Shel- 
don. These officers were elected : — 

President, George Sheldon of Deerfield ; vice-presidents, 
Francis M. Thompson of Greenfield, C. Alice Baker of Cam- 
bridge ; recording secretary, Margaret Miller of Deerfield ; cor- 

ArmualL Meeting — 1901. 163 

responding seoretaiy, Mary Elizabeth Stebbins of Deerfteld ; 
treasurer, John Sheldon of Greenfield ; members of the council, 
Charles Jones, Bobert Childs, Edward A. Hawks, Samuel Childs, 
Frances W. Ball, Madeline T. Wynne, George W. SoUey, Laura 
B. Wells, and Edward J. Everett of Deerfield ; P. Voorhees 
Finch, Samuel O. Lamb, Herbert 0. Parsons, Caroline C. Fur- 
bush, Ellen L. Sheldon and Eugene A. Newcomb of Greenfield. 

John Sheldon, treasurer of the committee on the publication 
of the History of Deerfield, submitted the following report : 
" Your committee would report that during the past year they 
have sold fourteen sets of the History of Deerfield for $127. 
There was an edition of 600 bound copies and in addition we 
have 300 unbound sets. A few complimentary copies have 
been given away at the request of the author. Two sets were 
sent to Washington to secure the copyright, some have been 
used in exchange for other books to the advantage of the Asso- 
ciation. There have been sold 385 sets, and we have now some- 
thing over 100 sets on hand. The sales have extended over a 
large part of the United States, and a few copies have gone 
abroad. The price has been collected for all books sent out 
to date, with the exception of one copy of Volume I sent to 
Philadelphia. We have paid all costs of publishing, delivering 
and all other expenses. You now own what books we have on 
hand clear, and we have paid to your treasurer $1067." 

The report from George Sheldon, chairman of the publishing 
committee, was submitted. 

" The Committee on the Publication of our Proceedings would 
report, that Yol. Ill has been issued from the press of T. Morey 
& Son, in an acceptable form and satisfactory manner ; although 
unfortunate circumstances caused unexpected delays. It is 
herewith submitted. Experience has demonstrated that the cash 
demand for these volumes hajs been much smaller than was an- 
ticipated, therefore the edition has been limited to 300 copies. 

^' The work is useful as a medium of exchange, making our As- 
sociation better known, and bringing valuable additions to our 
library. Our field in this direction is enlarging as the years 
go by, and I would recommend the continuance of the series." 

For the labor of editing, proofreading, and for the incidental 
expenses of getting the volume through the press, there has 
been no charge to the Association. This has been a labor, in- 
deed, but a labor of love, by the Ohairman of the Committee. 

154 Anmuxl Meeting — 1901. 


Your curator would repeat his words of last year, that the 
future of our Association never looked brighter. We are estab- 
lished in our place, and are acknowledged by all to hold a char- 
acteristic collection unequalled in our broad land. 

One of the state commissioners for the Pan-American Expo- 
sition at Buffalo told me a few weeks ago that he had traveled 
far and wide, visiting museums in this and other states without 
finding anything to compare with ours. We may certainly con- 
gratulate ourselves on what we have accomplished when such 
men give us such a rank. 

Our collection is gradually enlarging, but as our schedules 
year by year fill up, our accretions are materially less than in 
the full tide of our earlier growth. Still the past year has 
brought us large additions, chiefiy, however, to our hbrary. To 
this 45 books, 180 pamphlets and other papers have been added 
since our last report, and our shelves have become uncomfort- 
ably crowded. To our miscellaneous collection 158 articles 
have been added. 

Owing to ciroumstances the work in the Ubrary has faUen 
behind for a year or two past, but last summer with an active 
assistant I spent considerable time in cataloguing and arranging 
accumulated material Much, however, remains to be done. 
We have a large number of old manuscripts, historic and family 
papers, which should be catalogued and arranged to be available 
to the public. This work was well begun by Mrs. Wentworth, 
when through weakness, she was obliged to give it up. We 
have devoted a box to each family name, and all manuscript 
papers relating to this name are deposited therein ; when these 
are catalogued and numbered they become available for public 
use. Another and better way to preserve family papers is to 
secure them in large scrapbooks, prepared for the purpose. 
When arranged chronologically and indexed any paper is easily 
found. If any family will provide such a book we will under^ 
take to arrange the papers. The Sheldon family papers already 
so arranged can now be shown. I commend this scheme to all 
old families and hope for fruitful results. 

For consultation in historic Unes there is nothing in the Oon- 
necticut valley to compare with this library. The question now 
is. How shall we increase its capacity ? It is a question how 

Ov/rato^B Report. 155 

mach more the floor will sustain. The original eonstmction of 
this story has been changed and perhaps an expert examination 
should be made to determine its condition. 

Death has been busy among our fellows during the past 
year, coming very near to us in taking Nathaniel Hitchcock, a 
charter member of our Association and our faithful secretary 
and treasurer from the first. He was one of the noted twenty- 
four babies bom here in 1812, and at his death, March 3, was 
nearly eighty-eight. 

Jonathan Johnson, to whom we must credit the first idea of 
associated action in local fields of history, out of which our As- 
sociation ultimately grew, was an invaluable member. In our 
early years it was to him, more than to all others, that our 
field meetings were such great successes. He had a genius for 
initiating such affairs. 

The faithful, able and earnest assistant curator, MraMary P. 
Wentworth, who so satisfactorily filled the office for sixteen 
years, is another who will be sorely missed by us and the visit- 
ing public. She so closely identified herself with the place, that 
in our correspondence the burden of her hope was that some 
arrangement might be made whereby her last days might be 
spent within the walls she loved so well. However strongly I 
strove for this it was not to be. She survived her removal but 
a few weeks, dying January 25, 1901. 

It may be esteemed fortunate for the Association that I have 
secured for her successor, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Stebbins, who 
will be herself in evidence to-day. 

Others who have fallen by the way, this fateful year, are 
James S. Orinnell and Eben A. Hall of Greenfield, Miss Maria 
Marshall of Weston, Franklin J. Pratt of Greenfield, Chauncey 
B. Tilton of South Deerfield, Deacon Almon C. Williams and 
Mrs. Oatherine B. Yale of Deerfield. 

While the places made vacant may not be filled, there have 
been good accessions to the ranks of our membership: one 
life Councilor, Mrs. J. M. Arms Sheldon of Deerfield, four 
Life Members, Mr. Charles Herbert Watson of Boston, Mr. 
George Arms Sheldon, and Mrs. Jennie Edith Sheldon of 
Greenfield, and twenty yearly members. 

The flow of visitors to the hall has not ebbed. Our register 
shows the names of 2198 visitors from all over the country. 

Little has been done in the way of repairs on the tenement in 

156 Annual Meeting— IWi. 

late years, and this year it became necessary to do something 
towards its renovation. The sum of $58.70 has been spent in 
paper and paint under the supervision of your treasurer, which 
was money well laid out. 

If I have in this report spoken on matters not strictly within 
my province as curator it is because Miss Miller, our secretary 
pro terriy could not be expected to cover the field this year. 

In the absence of President Sheldon, Yice-President Judge 
F. M. Thompson presided at the evening exercises, which began 
by a selection of old-time music by the Deerfield choir dressed 
in ancient costumes. The singers were: Charles H. Ashley, 
conductor; Mrs. Ashley, Mrs. Edward WeUs, Mrs. George 
Everett, Miss Julia Brown, Miss Mary Stebbins, Miss Pomeroy, 
Eev. Mr. Solley Mr. Sibley and Merrill Childs. Prayer was 
offered by Mr. Howard. 

Judge Thompson then introduced Miss H. Isabella Williams 
of Deerfield, a teacher at Smith College, who read very interest- 
ing extracts from the diary of General Epaphras Hoyt. 

The principal paper of the evening was by Hon. Herbert C. 
Parsons, upon " The History of the Hoosac Tunnel." 

At the conclusion of Mr. Parsons' paper Judge Thompson told 
how he as a boy had helped to draw part of the boring machine 
over the hills to the place of operation. He also stated that he 
saw the machine when it began work. He then called upon 
Edwin Stratton and S. O. Lamb for personal reminiscences of 
that time. Mr. Stratton said that the machine bored into the 
rock about twenty feet at the bottom but only about six at the 
top where the whole bigness of the drill cut. Mr. Lamb said he 
could add but little to what had been said, but alluded to the 
good work done in favor of the tunnel by Wendell T. Davis 
and Horatio G. Packard, who were in the legislature at that 
time. He also said that in politics a man's position on the tun- 
nel question made a great difference in his chance of election to 
legi^tive office. Many statesmen were made and unmade by 
the tunnel question. 

Judge Thompson called for a vote of thanks to the Deer- 
field women and the singers, which was unanimously given. 
He then asked the singers to render a touching ballad about a 
young man who went out to mow and was bitten by a " pizen 
sarpi-ent," which they did with much feeling. The meeting 

Necrology. 157 

closed by the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" by all. There 
were abcmt forty present from Greenfield. The Pocumtuck Val- 
ley Memorial Association is doing a grand work in marking his- 
toric spots in our valley and otherwise commemorating events 
of the past for the benefit of future generations, and the interest 
taken in the meeting shows that their work is being appreciated 
and new enthusiasm being aroused. 


JONATHAN Johnson's sbbviob as told by judgb Thompson. 

The first meeting of the Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial Associa- 
tion was held at the town house in Deerfield, May 26, 1870. 
None of the officers elected at that meeting now survive, ex- 
cepting our venerable president, vice-president James M. Crafts, 
and Rev. P. Voorhees Finch, who was at that time elected a 
member of the council. 

Jonathan Johnson, then of Montague, was elected at that 
meeting a member of the coundl, and his labors for the success 
of the Association, thus early begun, only ended with his life, 
August 16, 1900. 

Mr. Johnson was well known throughout the length and 
breadth of this county and the towns of southern Vermont and 
New Hampshire. Almost his whole business life was spent in 
traveling over the hills and valleys of this vicinity, and for the 
last twenty years, at least, his journeying was mostly on foot, for 
which mode of locomotion nature had peculiarly fitted him, 
with his height of six feet five inches, and not an ounce of spare 
flesh to overburden his long limbs. 

He was by nature a most observant man, and there was no 
nook or cranny of all this section, which he did not know, and 
he had a personal acquaintance with a large majority of the 
people of this county, who had reached the age of maturity. 
He was born in Petersham, in 1826, and lived at times in Athol, 
Montague, Sunderland, Deerfield, Whately and in Greenfield. 
In early years he was by occupation a tin peddler, traveling 
over the country, stopping at every house, and early began mak- 
ing collections of Lidian relics, antiquarian papers and ancient 
bric-a-brac ; and without doubt gathered more of these articles 
than any other person in this county. 

158 Anmud Meeting — ^1901. 

Always harassed by poverty, he was f oroed to part with many 
of his most precious coUections, in order to protect his family 
from want. This Association has in its collection very many 
precious articles which came to it through the ceaseless diligence 
of Mr. Johnson, who was always so much interested in its 
prosperity. In view of his many donations to the Association, 
its members made him a life councilor in 1878 ; one of the high- 
est honors within the gift of the society. 

Mr. Johnson in his joumeyings about the county, was ever 
on the lookout for details concerning each historic spot, and was 
thus an invaluable member of the committees appointed by the 
Association to look out places for the annual field meetings of 
the society ; a duty which he faithfully performed for many 
years. He had more knowledge of the Indian names of rivers, 
mountains, meadows and streams, than any other member of 
the Association, and used to talk interestingly and intelligently 
upon these subjects at the meetings of the society. 

Mr. Johnson took great satisfaction in having been a member 
of the old free soil party, and was instrumental in the forming 
of the association of the surviving members of that party, whose 
meetings he always attended. 

In later years he had been greatly weakened by an affection 
of the heart, which caused a shortness of breath, and he was 
reluctantly compelled to give up his business of canvassing for 
newspapers, and consequently his gathering in of the ancient 
specimens of an earlier civilization, and of the savages that once 
inhabited this valley. 

In the death of Mr. Johnson this Association has lost the serv- 
ice of an intelligent and successful collector, and the constant 
assistance of a person who had unusual means of helping the 
society in its work, and these means were always used to their 
fullest extent for its good. 


Since the last annual meeting of the Pocumtuck Yalley 
Memorial Association, Deacon Nathaniel Hitchcock has been 
gathered to his fathers. The mention of his name recalls the 
man. He was a type of the sturdy New England Puritan 
stock, loyal to the traditions and faith of his ancestors. 

Bom in Deerfield, June 22, 1812, he always lived in the quiet 
old village; and died in the same house in which he was 

Necrology. 159 

bom, and had passed the many years of his unobtrusive life. 
This house was built by his grandfather in 1779, and had always 
been occupied by a Hitchcock. He was the son of Deacon 
Henry Hitchcock, who was son of Justin, and brother of Presi- 
dent Edward Hitchcock of Amherst College. A sister, living in 
Cleveland, Ohio, survives the deacon. He left no children, his 
son having died in AndersonviUe in 1864. 

Deacon Hitchcock was one of the original members of the 
P. Y. M. A., and held the office of recording secretary and 
treasurer from the date of its organization to the day of his 
death. He discharged the duties which devolved upon him 
with promptness and efficiency, and to the entire satis&ction of 
his associates. 

He was greatly interested in all that concerned the wel&re of 
our institution, was always present on the occasions of its field 
days, and annual and special meetings, and contributed largely 
to the interest of the meeting held in this hall in the winter of 
1887, by reading a paper describing his visit to Ridgeway, 
N. Y., in the year 1834. The peculiar modes of traveling at 
that time, by canal boats, stage coach, and by cars drawn by 
horses, were graphically portrayed. 

He died at the age of 88 years, on March 8, 1900, having 
lived a just and upright life, loving the Lord his Gk>d, with 
heart, soul, mind and strengtJi, and his neighbor as himself. 


Judge Fessenden in his sketch of Eben A. Hall reviewed 
his early life and paid high tribute to the sterling virtues of 
the man. 

Mr. Hall received his education in the district schools and 
academy of Taunton. He did not have the advantages of a col- 
lege education. This lack of collegiate training, however, 
seemed to spur him on to greater effort. He had Franklin's 
example in mind. By dint of painstaking study and practice, 
he trained himself so that he acquired a plain and direct style 
of writing, and an accurate estimation of the writings of others 
which was of inestimable service to him later on. 

While thus laboring in the preparation for his chosen profes- 
sion, he was not forgetful that a knowledge of his fellow-men 
was absolutely necessary to success. As a young man he min- 
gled with others and became acquainted with their natures, 

160 AnntuU Meeting— 1901. 

ways and thoughts. He learned that a correct judgment of 
men could only be had by patient observation ; that a quickly 
formed opinion was often wrong. The men are few who knew 
others as well as he ; and so we are not surprised that he was 
able to have around him, when he was publishing his journal, 
persons of skill and talent. 

He studied public events, past and present ; could recognize 
and appreciate great movements, and distinguish short-lived, 
spasmodic disturbances, and was able to, and did, direct the 
policy of his sheet accordingly. Its standard was high and 
firmly maintained. 

He came to Greenfield with his steadfast purpose and high 
ideals. It was only a question of time when his merit should 
be recognized. In less than three years he became a part owner 
of the Gazette and Courier. In 1876 he became sole owner. 
This paper is a lasting monument of his work. 

Although he gave his greatest energies to his newspaper, we 
should not lose sight of what he did in other ways. His train* 
ing had given him good judgment. His nature was sincere and 
honest. And so he was asked to give the benefit of his experi- 
ence and judgment to many institutions and enterprises, private 
and public, and was called to public and representative office. 
The list is too long to give in detail It is enough to say that 
he rendered valuable and unselfish service. 

For this Association of ours he always had a feeling of fond 
solicitude. One of the first members, for several terms a coun- 
cilor, vice-president for two years, his labors were timely and 
of assistance to us. The object of our organization appealed 
most strongly to him. He was never found wanting when bis 
help was needed. 

It is a loss when such a man dies. But it is a gain that 
such a man was given to be with us. 


Franklin Josiah Pratt was for many years a member of our 
Association. His genial, warm-hearted and stimulating person- 
ality created for him a wide circle of friends, while his breadth 
of view and degree of intelligence with a capacity for leadership 
made him a prominent figure in any circle. 

The son of Josiah and Catherine Hall Pratt he was bom in 
East Charlemont in 1829. He removed with his family in 1843 

Necrology. 161 

to Shelbnme Falls where he attended the then f amoos school, 
Franklm Academy. He was afterwards associated with his 
father in the manuf actore of axes, then in the hardware business 
in New York. Ever on the alert for active business enterprises, 
his interests embraced a wide stretch of territory in the north, 
south, east and west. His broadening interests in localities far 
removed from New England never affected his affection for his 
native heath and in Franklin county he always had a home. 

In politics he was identified with the Democratic party and 
at one time held the office of collector of internal revenue. He 
was a Mason and instrumental in founding the Mountain Lodge 
of Shelbume Falls and he was its first master. 

The last six years of his life were years of patient suffering 
during which his brave spirit overmastered the sublunary 
things of life and it seemed as if his setting sun suffused his 
spirit and all things around him with a beautiful radiance. In 
the retirement of home, surrounded by those near to him, his 
life wore gently to its close and he departed this earth on the 
24th day of September, 1900. 


Mary P. Wentworth died at the home of her sister, Mrs. 
Henry S. Childs, January 18, 1901. She was born in the town of 
Hawley sixty-five years ago and was educated in the public 
schools of that place and at the Deerfield Academy when By- 
land Warriner was its principal. At the close of the Civil War, 
while teaching in Maryland, she met and married Benjamin 
Wentworth, who was a soldier there on duty. After her mar- 
riage, she with her husband went to Bromfield, Maine, and from 
there to Kansas, where they took up some government land. 
This did not prove prosperous and soon they returned to South 
Deerfield where they lived for a time before coming to Deer- 

For nearly sixteen years Mrs. Wentworth has had a home at 
Memorial Hall as assistant curator, her labor and faithfulness 
in this office, and as a member and coworker in the Pocum- 
tuck Yalley Memorial Association will keep her in memory for 
many years, to those who knew her love and devotion for its 
every interest. Although for many years, her health has been 
frail, her spirit of hope and patience often prevailed over 
bodily weakness. 

162 Aimual Meeting— 1901. 

She was always a cordial, estimable woman with much 
knowledge of the world, gained by her travels in early life, her 
love of reading and a retentive memory — these combined to 
make her an interesting and intelligent companion. 

Since the death of her hnsband last October she has gradually 
failed, and her last days were spent with her two sisters, who 
ministered to her every comfort and attention that affection 
and devotion could bestow. 


Epaphras, son of David Hoy t, bom 1765 ; maj. gen. Mass. Mili- 
tia, surveyor, student, antiquary, author, and man of affairs ; 
postmaster, justice of the peace, reg. of deeds for Franklin Co. 
1811-14, high sheriff 1814-31, member of the Constitutional 
Convention 1820 ; was deeply interested in military science and 
was offered by Washington an appointment in the U. S. Army; 
he published in 1798 a " Treatise on the Military Art," for the 
use of the army, which passed through several editions ; a more 
elaborate work on the movement of armies in the field was pub- 
lished in 1816 ; he was a student of natural science and con- 
tributed papers to SUUmcm^a Jov/mal and other publications ; 
in 1813 he published an elaborate paper on astronomy, of 100 
pages, as an introduction to Dickinson's geography ; he is best 
known, however, by his "Antiquarian Eesearches " ; he left an 
unpublished work on Burgoyne's campaign, and copious notes 
on the French and Indian wars, of which he made an especial 
study. He died Feb. 8, 1850. He m. Nov. 4, 1792, Experi- 
ence, dau. Simeon Harvey. Children. Fanny, May 29, 1794 ; 
Adeline, b. Mch. 26, 1798 : Isabella, b. Nov. 10, 1804 ; Arthur 
WeUesley, b. Oct. 6, 1812 ; the latter in the Little Brown House 
on the Albany Boad. 

Gen. Hoyt's manuscript runs : "A Journal of a voyage (by 
Gk)d's permission) on board of Capt. Sweet's Fall-Boat begun 
July 17th, 1790, Saturday 17th July 12 o'clock a. m." 

"I entered on board Capt. Sweet's Boat at Cheapside in 
company with my friend Mr. Solomon Williams. Wind N. E. 
Sailed down Deerfield Eiver about 2 miles where it enters the 
Connecticut Eiver. About 2 o'clock p. m. (having some busi- 
ness with Mr. Bardwell of Montague) went on shore — ^had but 
just got into quarters when we had a prodigeous Thunder storm 
attended with Hail-stones as large as musquet-balls — the stones 

Oen. HoyfB Jov/mal. 168 

were in general nearly spherical, but some of them were Poly- 
gones — the violent explosions of Thunder were equal to any I 
ever heard — the rain having abated we set out for our Boat — 
which to our great surprise we found had got loose and gone 
adrift down the river with all our bagage — but drifting verry 
near the shore her Mast fortunately catched in the top of a Tree 
which secured it. We got on board, proceded down the River, 
— ^f ound the wind against us from the South but soon lulld away 
— the storm by this time had almost ceased but the violent ex- 
plosions of thunder continued — We were now moving on slowly 
— I happened to be looking at some trees on the E. side of the 
Kiver — had the pleasure to see 1 of them sustain the electrical 
shock of lightning not more than 80 rods from us — ^it struck off 
some of longest limbs from the body of the tree but did not 
shiver the body as it frequently does — We proceeded down the 
River, arrived at Mr. Newtons Tavern at N. End of Hadley 
when we put up for Lodgings about 12 o'clock at Night — 

" Sunday 18th. Went on board our Boat about 6 o'clock sailed 
round Hadley-meddows to the S. End of the Town — went on 
shore and took breakfast at Mr. GkK)dmans — ^in this run round 
Hadley meddows which is 5 miles we gained but 1 mile from 
our lodgings — ^the turn of the River includes a pretty large 
meddow in form of a Semicircle— on the E. its bounded by 
Hadley Street which with [the ] River completely invelopes it 
— After breakfast set sail — ^found the wind in the S. sailed very 
slow — went on shore in Northampton meddows to see the crops 
— ^f ound excellent long grass in old RaMvJ>ov) like to our Poges- 
hole — proceeded on our voyage arrived at the head of Spring- 
field falls about 9 o'clock — ^marched about 2 miles put up at Mr. 
Millers Tavern. 

" Monday 19th. Rainy Morning. Wind N. E. set out from 
Mr. Millers marched to the Landing below the Falls took break- 
fast at Days left Capt. Sweet to bring on the loading which ar- 
rived at the landing about 3 o'clock p. m. Dined — set sail with 
brisk gale which increased attended with rain — ^about six o'clock 
rain ceased — had a very pleasant run from Springfield to the 
head of Endfield-falls — put up at Abby's Tavern — ^We saw this 
day a great Number of Sturgeon leaping out of the water — some 
of them would project themselves a foot perpendicular into the 
air then bring themselves into a horizontal direction and fall 
into the water — they may be heard at a distance of 100 rods, we 

164 Annual Meeting— 1901. 

had more or less of these fish throughout oar ran from Cheap- 
side to Hartford — 

" Tuesday 20th. Secured a Pilot. Sailed over the falls with- 
out any accident — these falls are called Endfield-falls from the 
adjacent town of Endfield — are from the uppermost to the low- 
ermost Bar about 6 miles in length — these falls are not very re- 
markable for the rufness of the water but they are very singular 
on account of a remarkable channel near the middle of the 
river about 1^ rods in width which the Boats are to keep 
within or they are immediately upon the breakers — ^the water 
on each side of this Channel is very shallow not so deep but a 
man might wade the greatest part of the way up the faJls — we 
had a very quick passage from the falls to Hartford arrived about 
11 o'clock with wind N. took breakfast at Mrs. Enoxes — 
found a sloop for N. York Capt. Butler Commander. Agreed 
for a passage to sail next day — spend the afternoon m visiting 
the different parts of Hartford — the Cyty is a considerable 
place of trade. — Vessels come up here in low water but above 
the Cyty the water is too shallow to admit of any but flat bot- 
tomed Boats — ^the main street is about 2 miles in length — it is 
about half a mild from the river rising parrallel to it — ^lies on 
the W. side, the soil is of a redish colour produces fine crops 
the Houses are chiefly built of wood but there are some brick 
— ^but 2 meeting-houses with spires — A little S. of the center of 
the Cyty there is a fine small river running across the main 
street at right L's. About 8 or 10 rods wide over which there 
is a bridge at a considerable height from the water — they have 
excellent Mills on the river which make it very convenient for 
the inhabitants — there are some farmers in the Cyty but the 
greatest part of the inhabitants follow trading — We put up at 
Mr. Butlers over night — ^I had this day an extreme pain in my 
head — ^but our quarters were so good that it quite cured my 
head before I went to bed. This Tavern is just on the S. bank 
of the little river above mentioned a few rods from the Bridge. 
— ^We parted with Capt. Sweet this Day — which ends the Jour- 
nal on board his Boat. — 

" Wednesday 21st. Walking the city — ^paid a visit to Mr. 
Bliss — took dinner with him — Afternoon wrote a letter to Mr. 
John Russell — went on board our Sloop at 6 o'clock — fell down 
the river — wind S. by W. sailed down as far as the town front 
of Wetherfield. Capt. anchored till morning. 

O^n. HoyiB Journal. 166 

^^ The sloop we are aboard of is about 60 tons Burthem, an 
excellent fine vessel — She has very good acoomidations for pas- 
sengers, her cabbin is an elegant room completely painted in the 
neatest manner — She has every convenience that could be 
wanted — In her stem between her 4 cabbin windows there 
hangs a looking glass — on each sid6 of the room are the beds 
with small beautiful curtains — ^some Windsor Chairs, besides 
sects — a small square table and Cupboard richly furnished with 
Crockery — She is called the Hartford. 

^^ Thursday 22nd. weighed anchor sailed slowly not much 
wind passing over a shoal of sand our vessel struck which with 
a little trouble we got off — met with old companion Capt 
Sweet from Middletovni vdth his Boat loaded — ^got aboard our 
Long-boat sailed out to him took some grog and parted — ^he 
informed us that on Tuesday night a sailor belonging to an 
English Brig lying at Middl** fell over board and was drowned. 
We cast anchor off K Haddam about Sun set — went on 
shore took in fresh water drank some punch &o. returned on 
board — spent the Evening on Deck it being very warm — ^in 
sailing down the River the scene was very romantick — when we 
view'd the shores from the Cabbin windows sometimes whirl- 
ing round with great velocity at other times seeming to be in 
full chase up the river we in the Cabbin could percieve no mo- 
tion of the vesselL 

^^ Friday 23. the Mosquitoes drove us passengers out of the 
Cabbin before Sun rise — ^found the ship 10 miles ahead from 
where we anchored — ^the tide setting out the Capt. thought best 
to tide it out of the river — sailed till we met it again cast anchor 
waited till it was in our favor then with brisk gaJe set sail 
again. About 1 o'clock p. h. got sight of Land — tide setting 
very rapid came up with Capt. Bumham Sloop belonging to 
Hartford bound for N. York — who set sail from Hartford 
about 24 hours before us. Cast anchor along side of him — 
here we had the long wished for sight of the ocean, it appeared 
grand beyond description: Long Island was very plain to 
be seen in some parts, in others, it was so low that we could 
scarcely discern it appeared like a cloud at the very edge of the 
Horizon. About 4 o'clock weighed anchor sailed over Sea- 
brock bar into the Sound — ^here we saw a great Number of 
Porpoises leaping out of the water or rather rolling out, they 
made a similar appearance to a large wheel under water that 

166 AnrnkU Meeting— 1901. 

in its rotatknis diew'd its drcnmf eranoe now and ih^i — they 
made a noise when on the sarfaoe like the snorting of a H<»rse 
— Capt. Bomham kept company with as thoogh we rather oat- 
sailed him in a brisk gale, the wind lalled away aboat 8 
o'clock he came ap with as — ^the Evening was very pleasant 
the Moon shone in fall laster the appearance was majestick 
and solemn — ^nothing bat the wide extended Horizon aroand 
OS. We kept on Deck till aboat 9 o'clock then retired to oar 
hanmiocks to rock to sleep— the sailors kept the Deck. 

^^ Satnrday 24th. Foggy Morning light wind — no land to be 
seen. Wind diing away and tide against as. Cast anchor in 
12 fathoms of water — About 2 o'clock wind sprang ap hoisted 
anchor bore away S. W. in company with Capt. Barnham — 
About Sun set we had like to have got on to a shole of sand — 
this shole lies off Stratford point about the middle of the 
Sound — not more than 3 feet at low water — ^it is conjectured 
that formerly there was a small Island where this shole lies 
and being of a Sandy Soil was worn away by the tides which 
frequently run very rapid. We tack'd bore away to the S. 
stood over to long Island tack'd a 2nd time passed by the shole 
— we had about this time a small squall of rain with lighten- 
ing and Thunder saw a couple of 2 mast Boats pass us — We 
saw this day several shark swimming about our vessell and a 
number of schools of sprats, the water appeared to be alive 
with them. 

" Sunday 25th. Foggy morning, light wind — about 7 o'clock 
fog cleared off found ourselves close under Long Island tacked 
stood away to the Northward — Saw Vessels on all sides of us 
counted 18 sail — about Noon a fresh gale spnmgup from N. W. 
bore down through the Sound very swift — about Sun set pas- 
sed the Boston and Rhode Island Packets — ten o'clock took in 
a Pilot sailed through the celebrated Hell-gate — saw a number 
of fine Seats on shore — ^arrived at N. York about 2 o'clock. 
Cast anchor — the Sea run so high this day that the water 
dash'd over her bow carried her low so that the water came 
into her scuttle holes but felt nothing of the sickness which 
usually attends the rocking of a vesseU. 

" Monday 26th. Hailed in alongside Tankey- wharf (as the 
inhabitants call it) on the S. E. side of the Cyty — we now un- 
dertook to visit the different parts of the Cyty travel'd all most 
every part of it — the Houses are built Chiefly with Brick — ^it 

Oen. HoyfB Jov/mal. 167 

is surrounded by water on the S. E. and W. on the North of 
the Cyty we find a beautiful country interspersed with Field 
and groves — ^here are a great number of gentlemans Seats with 
fine orchards of fruit trees — ^f rom a hill on the N. side of the 
Cyty the scene is very pleasing, to the S. we have a full view 
of the City with the shipping on the E. and S. side of it — to 
the N. we have a prospect of the above described country 
which at once excites in us admiration and delight — there are 
to be f oimd here people of most all nations — On the S. side of 
the City there are 13 Cannon upon a platform Completely 
mounted — ^1 of them is a 24 pounder — the others are nines be- 
side these there are great Numbers dismounted lying upon the 
ground — ^the Old Battery's almost demolished (which stood on 
the W. side of the City) there is a wharf a building along the 
N. River the W. side of the City from the remains of the Bat- 
tery — .Went about 11 oclock to the Federal Hall heard the 
debates of Congress — ^Mr. Sedgwick, Mr. Livermore, Mr. Maddi- 
son, Mr. Smith S. C, Mr. Smith Abany, Mr. Jackson Georgia, 
Mr. Bansler, Mr. Bloodworth a member from N. C. and others 
spoke while we were there — About one third of the members 
appear to be what I call Pretty Men the bigest part of them 
sett with hats on their heads and canes in their hands. There 
is generally a pretty large Number of spectators in the Gallery 
— some of them females. I heard that McGiUivary [?] with the 
Indian chiefs had been in the city a few days before we ar- 
rived — ^that they had gone out a little way into the country 
that they were to be back tomorrow, that the independent com- 
panys of Militia would parade took a walk in the evening 
with my friend and Capt. Butler, came acrost a gang of fel- 
lows who after we had past them undertook to stone us, we 
returned them the stones back again with as great velocity as 
we were able. Whether we did any execution among them I 
cannot determine — ^but they came after us and we got out of 
their way & went on board our vessell. 

Tuesday 27. determined to attend upon the parade to see the 
troops — were told that they would be on it in the afternoon — 
took Dinner sett out for the parade — to our great disappoint- 
ment met the troops returning back into the city — the Presi- 
dent, Governor and the Indian Chiefs had been upon the parade 
to see the troops. We followed the troops into the Cyty where 
we saw a company of Infantry preform the firings by platoon 

168 Annual Me^mg—lWi. 

and DiTision. The troops were dressed in a complete uniform 
— ^their arms were also very neat — but in their Manoevres they 
were not very exact — ^the Position of a Soldier on the parade 
was very little attended to— looking about in every direction, 
moving their feet, no attention to dressing the line, laughing 
and talking (fee. After being dismissed they kept their Mus- 
quets constantly a going amongst a numerous gang of specta- 
tors — held them level when they discharged them — ^f or my own 
part I thought myself in eminent danger of having my head 
shot off — this in the County of Hampshire would be called very 
unmilitary indeed — if our troops could be dressed in the same 
manner that these were they would by military judges be called 
disciplined troops when compared to these, the following is a 
list of the corps that paraded — 1 Company of Artillery with 2 
pieces, 1 Troop of Horse (these I did not see) 1 Company of 
Light-infantry with hair caps 1 Company of Infantry with 
round hats one side turned up, 1 Company of Granideers with 
high Beaver skin Caps. After the troops had got through their 
firings 7 of the Indians pass'd by toward the Presidents House. 
I now was somewhat gratified in my desire— followed them till 
they entered the Presidents House, they had a new suit of 
Regimentals given them by Congress — blue with red facings, 
hats with red feathers Indian trousers and shoes — returned to 
our vessell very much disappointed at the luck of the Day. 

Wednesday 28th. Entered on board of Sloop Julia of Hart- 
ford Capt. Webb Commander sailed out of N. York about 11 
o'clock for S. Amboy had a very quick passage arrived about 
3 o'clock put up for ^NTight — ^this place lies on the S. side of 
Baretan Eiver — at the Meritts is the place that the Stage from 
N. York put in at where the Land stage mett them. On the 
N. side of the River lies Perth Amboy very pleasantly situated 
— ^from this place we have a fine prospect of the Ocean to the 
E. with the Light House on Sandy Hook. Clams are caught 
in the Bay which lies of this place in great plenty. 

Thursday 29th. At 2 o'clock morning set out from Amboy 
in the Bordington Stage, arrived atBonUngton about 11 o'clock 
— this place lies on the E. side Delaware River, is the place 
where the passengers go on board the Stage Boats, about 30 
miles above Philadelphia — New Jersey is a very level country, 
we never saw a mountain nor a hill promentory to Bordington 
except now and then a little uneven ground not more than we 

Qen. E<yiffB Journal. 169 

find in paasdng through Deerfleld Stoeet though the distance 
is not less than 60 miles — the soil is rich inclined to clay — ^the 
roads are very hard (though free from stones) which made it 
very uncomfortable riding in the stage — ^the traveller in passing 
through this state on the Stage road meets with no large towns 
built like ours compact but finds here and there a House sur- 
rounded with large spacious Fields of Com and other crops^ 
excellent fruit trees — ^the Com was some of it excellent some 
small — ^but with manure the Land produces fine crops — we had 
a gentleman and Lady from Ireland with us in the stage besides 
4 more women with 4 children and ourselves making in the 
whole 12 souls exclusive of the Coachman — about 12 o'clock got 
a board the Packet Boat sailed down the Delaware with little 
wind which lulled away, cast anchor several times to prevent 
being taken back by the Tide— our women passengers were 
very uneasy on account of Delay, particularly 2 of them whose 
Husbands were in Philadelphia — ^We saw 2 very fine built towns 
in our passage down the Biver — 1 of them on the Jersey side 
called Burlington very pleasantly situated. — ^I observed a great 
Number of fine orchards at this place as well as in every other 
part of Jersey — the other was on the Pensilvania side called 
Bristol — One of our passengers an Irishman that entered at 
Boardington having made to free use of a Bottle he had on 
board grew very troublesome challenging every person on board 
to takea bot [?] with him &c. we put him in the hole and bared 
him down, which stiUed him awhile, but soon after being set at 
liberty he began his old pranks, went so far as to strike a hand 
belonging to the Packet — ^but we soon brot him to reason by 
threatening to shut him up again — About four a breeze sprung 
up our 2 women above mentioned began to feel themselves al- 
most incWd in their Husbands arms but to their sad disap- 
pointment had to lie on board the Packet till the next morning 
— arrived at Philadelphia about 1 o'clock morning — ^the Houses 
were all shut so that we could not have got in if we had at- 
tempted it — ^besides the streets were full of Patroles crying the 
time of night — they take up all straglers found at that time—' 
the women kept the Cabbin as did the Europeans — ^hands went 
into the forecastle. Mr. Williams and I waJked the wharf till 
about 3 o'clock when we went on board rolled ourselves up in 
the Main Sail upon the deck rather than go into a Cabbin that 
had been crowded all most full for 18 hours. 

170 Annual Meeting— 1901. 

^' Friday 80th. Gtot out of our very uncomfortable beds about 
4 o'clock, took breakfast at the Crooked-billet Tavern with our 
2 Europeans — ^thej were going to Baltimore the Lady having a 
husband there — ^They were 42 days in the passage from lime- 
rick to N. York the lady appeared to be very polite indeed 
waited on us at the tablo— when we had drunk a sufficiency the 
woman insists upon our taking another dish — ^take her own 
words " Sir shall I help you to another cup of coffee '' " Not any 
more " '* Sir please to have another cup you had better." ^^ Suffi- 
cient Marm" ^^ Take half a dish with you " &c. went on board of 
the packet to see our trunk but no trunk was to be found — very 
much surprised — concluded it stolen — but we were relieved in 
our fears. One of the women passengers sent a man after her 
trunk but he took ours by mistake. Soon found the House where 
she was — ^rectified the mistake — ^this House is a Tavern it stands 
in the L made by the intersection of Second and Bace streets E. 
side Sign Franklins Head — i Stories high built with brick is 
very handsomely furnished with furniture— owners name Ham- 
burg — here we took lodgings while we tarried in the city. 
Visited the different parts of the Cyty. 

^^ Saturday Slst. got up very late in the morning — after 
Breakfast visited the Market — fine one, everything that is 
wanted may be had excepting fish which are not very plenty — 
attended a Yendue — articles very Cheap — Calicoes that in Deer- 
field are sold 4 & 5 shillings might be bought for 2 or 2/6 Pen- 
sylvania currency — went to Mr. Prichards & Mr. Siddons Book- 
stores in Market street between first and second streets S. side 
— ^Mr. Prichard keeps a Circulating Library — has a very large 
Collection of Books — ^there is as much as 2762 Yolumes — ^has 
great numbers of second hand books which may be bought very 
low. Mr. Prichard gave us a Catalogue of the whole — here a 
man may have Books to read at anytime (if he is no subscriber) 
by leaving a Deposit and paying sizpense (Pensilvania money) 
for a Duodecimo, which may not be kept more than four Days, 
a shilling for an Octavo not longer than 7 Days under penalty 
of paying for the same. Yearly subscribers — ^before their 
names can be inserted in the Library Book pay 20 shillings. 
No Book or set of Books to be kept longer than 8 days. If a 
transfer is desired the Librarian must be consulted. In the 
edge of the evening we saw several Sky-rockets thrown in Bose 
Street — they made a very beautiful appearance. 

Chn. Hoyt^s Jowmdl. 171 

Angusty Sunday Ist. Mr. Williams was very unwell, we spent 
forenoon in our chamber which is the third story, observed the 
different sects going to worship — ^the Quakers might be distin- 
guished from the others by their manner of dressing which 
is very plain — Old fashioned Bonnets of various colours some of 
near white others black ones. A Capt. Green that was in this 
Cy ty (with his wife) came to see us at our quarters — ^this gentle- 
man we first got acquainted with at Amboy — ^he formerly be- 
longed to N. York — was an Adjutant in the British Service in 
Gtenl Burgoyne's army — ^he is an American bom, well ac- 
quainted in the Northern States — ^knew Major Catlin, Mr. 
Munn &c. — ^he informed us that a British vessell arrived at this 
place last night who had been captured by a Spaniard — that 
the Spaniard fired several shot at him before he struck — that 
they put hands on board his vessell to take her into a Spanish 
port but being a slow sailor could not keep up with the Spanish 
Yessell and not having much value on board dismissed her to go 
at her pleasure. Afternoon I went to Christ Church with Our 
Betsy — took a book looked over at the Bishop rose up set down 
with the rest, looked wise in short was a complete Churchman 
— ^but amdst my zeal I could not withhold from making some 
observations upon the many objects that surrounded me par- 
ticularly a couple of Ladies Bonnets who sat in the gallery 
opposite for the information of our Deerfield Ladies (who are 
not backward in embracing the newest mode of dress) I shall 
give as accurate a description of them as I am able. The 
lower part of the Bonnet i. e. the rim is in form of the Lower 
frustem of a Cone — the Diameter of the Base about = to the 
Bonnets our Ladies wore when I left Deerfield, open behind, 
above this was a piece of white silk with blue spots, somewhat 
like my Cotton Stockings, in form of a Parabola except the lower 
part which went almost or quite round the Bonnet, this was 
made fast to the first piece, it represented the trap front piece 
on our Helmets — from the Vertical point of this piece hung a 
loose piece of Blue Sarsnet with wire to keep it up 5 or 6 inches 
back on the level with the vertical point — After passing over 
these wires it hung down loose behind fio wing gracefully in the 
air — the trimming about the bottom was wide lace which hung 
down over their eyes ; the appearance of the Bonnet was not 
much xmlike the Bonnets worn by our ladies when 1 came away — 
except the front piece which represented a Grenideers Cap. The 

172 Annual Jfeeimg— 1901. 

Leghorn hats are worn here trimed much like om^the rims not 
quite so large— the other part of their dress which is most worn is 
white— but their dress in gajness is by no means = to the N. 
York Ladies, nor do the Men equal those of N. York. I this day 
went to see the famous Steam Boat but had not an opportunity 
of exammining it — enough to give a full description — ^the Machin- 
ery is in the middle of the Boat — ^f rom which there is two small 
Irin chains running back to her stem in loops where they go 
round each end of an Iron crank like a band to which are fast- 
ened 3 large paddles — ^this crank with one rotation dips the 
paddle alternately into the water which after they are in are 
carried back with a considerable force and shoves the Boat for- 
ward — ^At the time one paddle comes out of the water another 
enters so that 1 paddle is kept constantly in the water — I could 
not see what the primary cause of this motion was but was told 
it was produced by fire, the Boat was to sail down the river 
in the morning — the Wind and tide was very strong down but 
the machinery would not perform its office because of the wind 
(as they told me). 

Monday 2nd. This Day 3 independent Companies of Militia 
were out upon the Common we attended upon them to see 
their Maneuvres ; they performed tolarably well for Militia — 1 
company practised the slow step kept very good time — In their 
Manual Exercise the motions were middling well timed but 
wanted that life and spirit in them which greatly contribute 
to the beauty of the performance — ^their dress was neat and 
convenient — ^the following were the corps that paraded 1 Com- 
pany of Artilery 1 Company of Infantry with hair caps, 1 Com- 
pany of Infantry with small round hats covered with Bear 
Skin— one side turned up — ^the Artillery were dressed much 
like Maj. Steven's each man carried a sword — the Infantry 
were dressed in short Blue Coats turned up with read. 1 
Company wore Cartridge Boxes and Bayonets — scabbards — 
their belts white, the other Cartridge Boxes only — ^We returned 
to our quarters with our old friend Green who had been to see 
the troops — he thought 40 or 60 of the British Infantry would 
clear the Field of them — This day heard of the death of Gov- 
ernor Mifflin's Lady who is to be interred tomorrow morning. 

Tuesday 3rd. Making preparations for our return home by 
N. London — about noon took leave of our Landlady Mrs. Ham- 
birg (Mr. H. being at Baltimore) and Family — went on board 

Gen. Hoyfs Jowmal. 178 

a Barlington Packet W. North — which is right down the river 
— ^tide of flood in onr favor — sailed up to Burlington by tack- 
ing arrived at 9 o'clock — ^this river is about = to Con. River for 
Magnitude — ^the Banks very low — ^Land level the water seldom 
overflows the land adjoining the river (as the Boatmen told 
me) though they are not more than 5 or 6 feet above high 
water mark which is a Demonstration that but little snow 
falls in the country about the river — ^banks are interspersed 
with fine crops of com — excellent orchards with beautiful 
country seats belonging to gentlemen in Philaf. it appears 
that there is but very little trade carried on up the river when 
compared with Con. River — ^here we see but a very few ship- 
ping in the river at Burlington was a vessel upon the stockEH- 
the place is an town, has a market Houses good buildings. I 
shall not undertake to describe the city of Philadelphia in full 
for it would be needless to perform what is already done in so 
many authors. The river where it passes by the City runs a 
little E. of S. the streets running paraUel to it are numbered 
from the river after Front street 1, 2, 8 &c the streets cross- 
ing these have particular names, such as Market, Rose, Arch, 
Chesnut, Walnut Streets &c. from the water there is an ad- 
jacent ground back from the water the width of 1 street 
They are paved very handsomely rising in the middle on each 
side there is a row of Lamps which are kept running every 
evening un till 11 d or later if it is very dark — a watch is kept 
in every street from 11 tiU day who cry the time of night and 
take up all straglers — ^it is very curious for a stranger to hear 
the different cries. 

^ Wednesday 5th. Gh>t on board the stage Waggon — set out 
for S. Amboy arrived about 2 o'clock, here we had to wait for 
the Boardington Stage which arrived about Sun half hour high 
— ^while we lay here we had a number of religious disputes — 
had a couple of Methodists and a Doct. — All of N. York with 
one or two Philadelphian — ^the Methodists were against the 
Doct. among many other topicks this dispute was introduced — 
the Doct. thought a man had no right to give his assent to a 
proposition that he could not comprehend, or could not see 
anything to make it appear to be so— the Methodists thought 
differently because there were many things contained in Scrip- 
ture that we could not comprehend nor see any reason for 
but because it was written in that Book we must believe it. 

174 Anntud JfeeHng—lQOl. 

the Doct urged that it oould not be said that we believed a 
proposition that we oonld not see anything to make this be- 
lief in OS, for it might or might not be so ; but was no belief 
in us &c. A Man I think might believe a proposition that he 
could not comprehend or tell why it was so, but then he would 
believe it for the reason perhaps that the agent who asserted it 
was capable of knowing whether it was so or not — A Man, for 
instance, who never studied Mathematicks might believe that 
the < s of a A were = to 2 L when a Mathematician who (he be- 
lieved) understood geometry asserted it — ^but here he has a 
reason to believe it because he supposes the asserter perfectly 
understands the proposition but for him to believe it when he 
knows nothing of the atribute of the asserter, nor has other 
reason to believe it and understands nothing of the proposi- 
tion, it all is absurd and no belief, to return from this Digres- 
sion — we got on board the Amboy Packet, weighed anchor W. 
Southerly stood out of the Bay — ^this Bay which lies at the 
Mouth of the Raretan is famous for Clams and oysters — here 
may be seen a great number of boats almost at any time fish- 
ing for they use long rakes to take them — ^here also the ship- 
ping from Connecticut River comes for clay to glaze their 
Earthen wares which is excellent — we were pretty soon over- 
taken by the dark evening there being no Moon — ^I now ob- 
served that common though very singular appearance of the 
water appearing luminous around the Yessell especially where 
a swell broke against her bow — it appeared like potash when 
ignited — ^I put out an oar which as soon as it struck the surface 
of the water seemed to be all on fire — took up a Bucket of it 
which when agitated appeared like small coals of fire — when 
turned on the deck it had the same appearance — I took some of 
it into my mouth which when spit out resembled Liquid fire — 
this differs from rotten wood, for that shines when at rest, con- 
stantly but there is no appearance of light in water unless it is 
aggitated — ^what can be the cause of this I revolved in my 
mind ? is it the electrical fluid which is known to exist in the 
air, or owing to the particles of Salt which reflect the rays of 
light from their several surfaces ? We arrived at N. York about 
1 o'clock in the Morning. 

" Thursday 6th. Went to Federal Hall— the House went into 
a commiti of the whole upon several bills while I was present, 
I believe 1/3 of the Members were absent when I first went 

Oen, Hoyta Jovmal. 175 

into the House but about 2 o'clock p. m. Numbers of them re- 
turned and being soon very much fatigued I suppose by reason 
of their very hard Labour Mr. Jackson moved that the House 
adjourn till tomorrow which was 2nded and put to vote and 
negatived — there was but 3 of the Members that had tired 
themselves so badly. Mr. Eansler, Mr. Jackson and another 
Southern Buck were for the adjournment, but the other part of 
the House I suppose thought 6 Dollars were not earned in S 
Hours therefore the above members were obliged to submit to 
the disagreeable task of keeping their Seats, found the Lady 
Washington Packet of Norwich lying at Cranes Wharf, to sdl 
tomorrow about noon — agreed for a passage to give him 2 Dol- 
lars for the passage 1 Dollar for Boarding — she has very good 
accommodations for passingers, is a clean neat Yessell of 50 
Tons Burthen, we lay aboard her this night — 

"Friday 6th got up about 5 o'clock took a walk up into 
Broadway in hopes of having a sight of the President who we 
were informed commonly Eoad out in the Morning through the 
Street (his House is in this street) We walked with a slow 
pace expecting to come across him in the street. But finding 
a Tavern we went in, placed ourselves by a front Window took 
some sherry sling, almost dispared of seeing him, the Landlord 
told us it was not likely he would be out so late as it was 6 
o'clock — We determined to wait untill we were sure of his not 
coming — ^had not set long before an old gentleman at the door 
cry'd out " there he comes now." We now went very quick to 
the Door to see the Great Washington — who was upon a white 
Horse with Colo. Humphrey at his left hand — wore a Blue Coat 
— ^they were a riding out of the Cyty to the N — ^We from 
there walked down near the President's House, went into a 
Tavern intended to get a nearer view of him when he returned, 
in about an hour he came back. I had now got right against 
his House when he dismounted — ^had a fair view of him — he is 
of a tall and noble Stature, well proportioned, of a mild coun- 
tenance, his body very slim, to give an adequate discription of 
him is to say Tie is Genl Washington. I now felt as though I 
could leave N. York contented, that my business in this city 
was accomplished." 

After this portrait the rest of the Journal seems almost an 
anticlimax yet it is full of observation and incident. For in- 
stance, next day after setting sail they drink ^' a bowl of Punch 

176 Anntud Meeting— 1901. 

made with Ice which a Mr. Yates^ a Passenger had took on 
board " and he finds it ^' very oorions to see Ice at this season 
of the year." They meet a little bad weather and one notices 
the growth of the writer's nautical vocabulary in his descrip- 
tions. At New London he saw ^' acquaintances and took some 
letters for Cheapside." Entering the Thames he describes Fort 
Trumbull which they passed. They then continued their jour- 
ney to Norwich where they took lodgings at Mr. Leffingwells 
and the next day ^^ went Huckleberrjring on the hill behind 
Mr. Lefflngwell's House." From Norwich they sent their bag- 
gage to Hartford by stage and continued on foot in order to 
nudce a detour to visit friends. At Windsor they took the stage 
but at W. Springfield " the stage," says the writer, " having 
got to the Boad that left our course we took shanks Mare." 
Traveling thus they reach Northampton, " our run this day 
in the Stage and on foot was 65 miles." The following day, 
Thursday, August 19th, after dining at Mr. Partridge's in Hat- 
field, '^ about five o'clock got sight of the Steeple of the Meet* 
ing House, sup'd at Capt Locks at the Bars arrived at My 
Fathers about 7 o'clock, found my Friends welL" 

To-day it takes less hours than it then took days to reach 
New York and Philadelphia, but we descendants of these earlier 
travelers still rejoice, returning from afar, when ^^ the Steeple 
of the Meeting House " teUs us that we are nearing the* old 



The legislature of 1826 confronted what was regarded as a 
serious situation. The western portion of the Conmionwealth 
which had been bound to it by tiie closest ties of kindred was 
thought to be losing something of that intimacy of relation 
through trade which was essential as a foundation for continued 
social and political peace. The development of lines of commu- 
nication between Berkshire and New York was found to be 
diverting the trade of the western county away from Boston. 
Something of the same sort was true of the Connecticut valley. 
The building of canals and locks had made possible the naviga- 

The Hoosao Tunnd. 17T 

tion of the river by rough boats of commeroe, which slow and 
di£Bcalt as was their passage, were serious rivals of the stage 
ooach lumbering over the hills that lay between the valley and 
Boston. It was urged that something must be done to pre- 
serve the unity of the state and to keep Boston from losing its 
rightful trade. The same ambition which now leads Boston to 
bid for the commerce of the Mississippi valley then saw its 
limitation in that of the Hudson. But that it was regarded 
with as great seriousness is evident by the sober turn the dis- 
cussion in the legislature of this and the subsequent years took. 

Let the Hall of Bepresentatives in the then new State House 
be the first scene in our story. The time, 1826. A body of 
more than five hundred members, the chosen representatives of 
Massachusetts towns, is crowded into the chamber whose dimen- 
sions are now considered no more than sufficient for forty mod- 
em senators. Not only are they crowded like schoolboys on 
the benches of the floor, but the galleries are packed, not a few 
of the incipient statesmen being condemned to obscurity in 
corners beyond the range of the Speaker's eye. A member of 
the western portion of the state arises and offering a motion 
that the legislature inquire into the means of better communica- 
tion between the remote ends of the state, sets forth the possible 
breaking away of the western towns because of the loss of trade 
relationship. So moving is his speech that the House authorizes 
the Governor of the Commonwealth to appoint a commission to 
inquire into the public needs and to make reports as to how the 
calamity may be avoided. 

As a result of the legislature's action, its successor of 1828 has 
laid before it the survey of the commission appointed, accom- 
panied by a solemn message from Governor Levi Lincoln de- 
livered January 29th. The dream which these commissioners 
had strained their imaginations to produce was that of a horse 
railroad extending all the way from Boston to the Hudson. 
They submitted a survey of the southern of several proposed 
routes. In making this they had discovered the two obstacles 
to be the high ridge which crosses the state through the center 
of Worcester county and the higher one between the Connecti- 
cut and Hudson. The most favorable crossing point here they 
found to be in the town of Washington where the elevation was 
1440 feet above the Connecticut. The incline by which this 
was to be reached would not exceed eighty feet in a mile. But 

178 Anntial Mee^inff— 1901. 

they did not regard this difficulty as overwhehning. Gh>vemor 
Liiux>ln snmmarizes their conclusion in these words : 

^^ The Commissioners are of the opinion that upon this degree 
of elevation the power of two horses working the usual time in 
a day and at the ordinary rate of travel will be equal to the 
draft of eight tons' weight, and that on every other part of the 
road, one horse will be fully competent to such load." 

He added his own solemn conclusion that the commission 
could be ^^ considered as fully establishing the practicability 
within the reasonable application of means of the construction 
of the road, strengthening every conviction and anticipation of 
its vast utility." 

This commission appears not to have gone deeply into the 
question of construction. It mildly suggested the building of a 
stone track, but left the elaboration of the scheme to its succes- 
sors. It went deeply, however, into the question of motive 
power. It made a scientific observation of the horse with the 
thoroughness which suggests the preparation of the commis- 
sioners in the school of Yankee horse trading. They say : 

"The exploration and survey have been conducted exclu- 
sively with reference to the use of animal power, which is 
thought to be better adapted to the accommodation of the com- 
munity in the transportation of that endless variety of loading 
which a dense and industrious population required." 

It foresaw that "the introduction of incHned planes with 
mechanical power may hereafter present an important ques- 
tion " and admitted that there were places where this device 
might afford a great saving in distance and expense and per- 
haps in time, where the location was favorable. But it laid 
down as a rule for conduct in any progressive movement that 
" While investigating the practicability of this project it was 
thought best to proceed on the most simple system, and that 
which in practice will be found to comport with the common 
habits and opinions of the people." It was the horse that com< 
ported with the common habits and opinions of the people. And 
anything so revolutionary as an inclined plane would be too 
violent an intrusion upon their mode of life. 

The commission found that the weight of 11 pounds was 
sufficient to overcome the friction of a ton weight on rails. 
And that another 11 pounds would overcome the gravity on a 
grade of 26 feet to the mile ; and that in moving the load in 

The Hooaao Tunnel. 179 

the downward direction the gravity of a ton on this grade will 
be just sufficient to overcome the friction. The value of this 
wise conclusion is to be found in the observation which follows 
^^ that the only power necessary to be exerted by the horse at- 
tached to the load will be to regulate its motion at the most 
convenient pace to itself. What that most convenient pace for 
the horse from the horse's standpoint was expected to be will 
be revealed farther on. There was the most intricate calcula- 
tion as to what the horse could do in the way of a draft, how 
much he could endure to work in a day, how often he would 
need to be relieved and how many would be required between 
Boston and the Hudson. Then the commission swung off into 
a learned discussion of the comparative value of canals and a 
road built of rails as to cost and utility, and came to the con- 
clusion that double the speed could be attained on a railroad 
that was reached from the canaL* 

What was hoped of the horse railroad is suggested in the 
commission's discovery that the trade of the western counties 
was going away from the state, and that in consequence ^^ Those 
moral influences which give harmony and effect to all efforts 
for the public welfare will be diminished." With the road built 
it was hoped ^^ To place the whole commonwealth if possible in 
a condition of more intimate and cordial union." 

This tarrying with the commission of 1828 gives us the back- 
ground for the development of the project which gave to Mass- 
achusetts that achievement of engineering skill and persistent 
enterprise, the Hoosac Tunnel. We are led in their report di- 
rectly to the foot of the mountain which presented the great 
obstacle to the western traffic. There were those who believed 
that a more northern route was feasible, coming from Boston 
on the course now occupied by the Massachusetts Central Bail- 
road, crossing the Connecticut at Northampton, and turning 
northerly to follow the valley of the Deerfield, or perhaps 
reaching the Connecticut by the line of a proposed canal, the 
survey for which had been made some years earlier. The 
commission of 1828 spoke of the possibility of using for the rail- 
road '^ The route of the canal survey by Millers and the Deer- 

* It may be worth while to stick a pin in the commission's discovery of 
raibroad dates: That wooden railways were first used in the 16th century, 
the first iron rail in 1767; the first public railway opened in 1789; the first 
plate nil made in 1799; the first malleable iron rail in 1811. 

180 Annual Me$tmjh-1901. 

field river on which it has been suggested the passage across 
the mountain to Hoosac Biver might be affected by stationary 
engines." But this appears not to have been regarded very 

What has later become the tunnel route was first drawn 
upon the map of Massachusetts by Loammi Baldwin. It was 
he who developed the idea of a canal running the length of the 
state and to him appears to belong the credit of first suggesting 
a tunnel under the Hoosac mountain. He was enthusiastic as 
to its feasibility, and he estimated that the tunnel would cost a 
million dollars. He was a high authority in engineering, had 
traveled and studied engineering feats in Europe, and was in- 
trusted by the government with the construction of its dry 
docks. The sort of a man he was and the sort of cabinet offi- 
cers we must have had in the early days is shown by the in- 
structions which are recorded as having been given to him by 
an early Secretary of the Navy of name and date unknown. 
" We will furnish you," he said in answer to Baldwin's request 
for instructions, " with sub-engineers, with men, with money to 
the amount of millions, but we have no instructions to give you. 
Use your own judgment." It is safe to say in passing, that 
that method of awarding government contracts belonged to an- 
other period and to another race of men than the present. It 
may also be remarked that the legislature did well not to place 
a million dollars in Engineer Baldwin's hands with expectation 
that he would return a completed tunnel under Hoosac. 

By another year, 1829, there had come into being a state 
board of directors of internal improvements. Its report on the 
proposed horse railway, is a fine specimen of elaboration of 
English, possible only to officials whose literary productions are 
printed at the expense of the government. First it discussed 
the rails. It waved aside the suggestion of iron rails which it 
found were in use in England on the ground that the high cost 
of iron in this country and the great abundance and cheapness 
of fine granite made a stone railroad the necessary kind for 
America. It proposed parallel stone walls laid so deep as to be 
below frost, surmounted by a rail of split granite of a foot 
thickness and breadth with a thin bar of iron placed on the 
top. These were to be laid five feet apart with a space filled 
in with earth and gravel so as to form a path for horses. 

Next, it took another view of the horse. By careful study it 

The HooMG Tunnd. 181 

waa found ^ that a steady and long oontinued exertion by a 
horse is more fatiguing to him than even the greater exertion 
occasionally remitted. And so it proposed to reward the mo- 
tive power for a hard pnll up an incline by providing a platform 
placed on small wheels on the long descents on which tiie horse 
himself may ride. As a further economy^ it suggested that 
with this provision, the horses might eat their provender while 
returning to a point where their labor was resumed. To help 
up the inclined planes stationary water or horse power might 
be employed. 

The conmiission was exact in its calculation as to cost Find- 
ing that a mile of the stone road would cost $14,940.70 and 
allowing 10^ for possible error, $16,434.77. From Boston to 
the state line, the road would cost $2,638,628.64. To Albany, 
$3,254,876.46. Ko calculation was made of land damages, and 
it was apparently expected that a patriotic people would gladly 
give the land to promote the scheme of rapid transit 

Just how rapid the transit was to be, the commission investi- 
gated and reached the conclusion that ^^ the most easy and con- 
venient rate of travelling would perhaps average about three 
miles an hour and the journey may be accomplished in 
four days.'* 

The cost of operating the railroad was accurately ascertained. 
It was to include the wages and subsistence of a man to con- 
duct the teams, one dollar a day. The horse, including inter- 
est, depreciation, hay and keeping, 50c. The daily cost of a 
carriage, six of which in a train were to carry sixteen tons, 75c. 
Thus, the cost of carrying a ton of freight from Boston to the 
Hudson was to be $1.59, provided some stationary powers were 
to be used, or an unassisted haul, $1.97. The cost of carrying 
a passenger from Boston to Albany, using the stationary 
powers, was to be 82jc. Without the stationary powers, $1.05. 

By this time, the suggestion had come of a steam locomotive. 
But it appears not to have been harbored by the commissioners 
longer than was necessary to demonstrate that this device 
would be of no use in America. Their words on this point are 
graphic. ^*0n railroads recentiy built and now building in 
England and France it is proposed to make use almost exclu- 
sively of locomotive engines ; or (by way of explanation) car- 
riages moved by a steam engine placed within them, of a suffi- 
cient force to draw after them without the aid of animal power 

182 Annual Meetinff— 1900. 

a successioii of 20 or 25 loaded wagons. These engines are in 
operation with entire suooess on several railroads in England. 
Where coal is abundant and cheap and where the subsistence 
of horses is dear, steam power may be advantageously used for 
many purposes in which it can not be economicaUy employed 
in a country where coal is dear. For the purpose of determin- 
ing whether locomotive engines can be advantageously employed 
by Bail Eoads in this country, we have examined the cost of 
maintaining these engines in England where [note this obser- 
vation] they have been brought to a high degree of perfection. 
And where the cost of coal for fuel which constitutes a fourth 
part of the expense does not exceed a third part of its cost here. 
We find that by the lowest of these estimates the cost of the 
effective power of these engines is greater with the advantages 
there possessed than that of maintaining horses to produce 
the same power in this country. . . . The cost of oats and 
other food for horses in England in general is nearly double its 
cost in this country, and the cost of this description of animal 
power must therefore be greater in nearly the same proportion." 

By this circumlocution the commission reached the conclu- 
sion which they evidently regarded as good for all time, that in 
England, where coal was cheap and oats were high, coal was 
the fuel for railroad purposes. But in America where oats 
were cheap and coal was high, oats were the available base of 

Some additional surveys appear in this report. One takes 
the course west of the Connecticut through Williamsburg to 
the north branch of Mill Eiver to Conway, thence along a high 
range of land through the southerly part of Ashfield and the 
northerly part of Plainfield to the height of land in Savoy ; 
thence to the Hoosic and the south village of Adams. 

But Franklin county had its vigorous spokesman of this 
period in General Hoyt who insisted that Deerfield should be 
on the line of the proposed horse road. He had his scheme 
well worked up. It was to cross the Connecticut at Wilson*s a 
mile below the mouth of the Deerfield ; thence to the Deerfield 
Biver at Stebbins' milldam ; thence to the head of Shelbume 
Falls, to Cold Biver, to Gulf Stream ; then to the summit by 
Haskins Tavern, near the old glass works on Hoosac Mountain, 
a rise of 1886 feet 

Here must fall the curtain on the first act of the Hoosao 

The Hoosac Twnnd. 183 

Tunnel story. It shows the infancy of the railroad idea, the 
childish miscalculation of natural forces and the lack of any 
grasp of the cost either of constructing or operating such a novel 
institution as a raUroad. 

Between scenes there is a lapse of 20 years. Meanwhile we 
must imagine the decline of the horse railroad idea, the sub- 
merging of the prejudice against so unnatural a thing as a steam 
engine, and a demonstration that on the whole coal was a less 
costly fuel than provender. Ko horse ever came to enjoy the 
delights of coasting down the slopes of the Hoosac Bange on a 
low-wheeled car in the quiet enjoyment of his meal at a cost of 
two shillings a day, making up for what it lacked in enjoyment 
of its placid scenery. No passenger ever experienced the thrill- 
ing sensation of being transported at a speed somewhere be- 
tween twice that obtained on a canal and three miles an hour. 
Nor up to this time has living man found the draft upon his 
purse for a trip from the capital of Massachusetts to the capital 
of New York to fall within 82^. But in the pioneer calcu- 
lations of these commissions, we find the first promise of over- 
coming by some engineering undertaking, the barrier between 
east and west on the border of Massachusetts. It was the pro- 
jector of a two hundred mile canal who first rapped at the stony 
gate of the Hoosac region, and if his calculation of the cost of 
penetrating the great wall was woefully small, it was hardly 
less than that of tihe later day promoters of the tunnel enterprise. 

The time now is 1848. The curtain rises again upon the 
legislature before whom appear as humble petitioners George 
Grenell and others, praying for a charter to build a railroad 
from Greenfield to the state line in Williamstown. They pro- 
posed two routes, one of them tunneling Hoosac Mountahi, the 
other turning northward at the base of the mountain and get- 
ting around it through the towns of Monroe, Beedsboro, Stam- 
ford, Clarksburg, Adams and Williamstown. The tunnel route 
is estimated to cost $3,000,000, the other $2,585,000. The com- 
mittee of the legislature sees no merit in the scheme, and to 
appease the petitioners, reports the bill, giving them a right to 
build a road from Greenfield to Shelbume Falls. The com- 
mittee says it is unable to discover any exigency in the local 
wants of Franklin county for undertaking the Herculean task 
of piercing this barrier, while the gain of 20 miles in distance as 
compared with the Western, now the Boston & Albany Bailroad, 

184 Annual Jfe&Ung—lQOl. 

was not worth considering when distance is so readily annihi- 
lated by railroads. There was another serious reason; it 
might be that the new road would have advantages over the 
Western in point of grade, and if it did, reasoned the commit- 
tee, it would take away all the through business of the Western 
and two-thirds of the entire capital of that railroad would be 
jeopardised and probably be rendered worthless. The legisla- 
ture of 1848 had progressed far enough toward the modem view 
of the uses of corporations to make its calculation on what was 
for the advantage and security of the corporation, rather than 
on the profit and convenience of the public. 

Moreover, went on the committee, competition between the 
two roads would not lower rates to maintain even a sickly ex- 
istence for the two roads, the rates would have to be kept up. 
These are the opening guns of the great tunnel debate. The 
great talk was not confined to the legislature nor limited by 
fewer than twenty years. It entered into the politics of the 
state as a violent disturber. It made statesmen and wrought 
their ruin. It developed ardent promoters into persuasive ora- 
tors. It aroused contending factions in the town meetings. It 
gave the newspapers a burning topic. Every citizen of ordi- 
nary wit made his own calculation as to the cost of puncturing 
the Hoosac Eange and the length of time the operation would 
require. And as the scheme with its varied fortunes advanced 
into reality, the incapacity for calculation as to the cost of an 
engineering work was revealed the most strikingly in those who 
undertook to look the wisest. Perhaps the earliest of the news- 
papers to develop high heat in its editorial columns over this 
topic, was the Boston Advertiser ^ although we must cautiously 
give it precedence over the Springfield RepubUccmy which for a 
quarter century fulminated with the most effective editorial 
explosives against " the great bore." The phrase which passed 
into common speech as descriptive of the tunnel and the discus- 
sion over it, is credited to Samuel Bowles, and whether origi- 
nated with him or not was kept standing in editorial type in 
his office for use in every new combination of denunciatory Eng- 
lish he could devise. The Advertiser in the early days under 
discussion, showed its grasp of the problem by estimating on 
the basis of English experience that the length of time neces- 
sary to build the tunnel would be seventy-three and a half years. 

The dramatis personam of the controversy is rich in interest- 

The EooBOO Turmel. 186 

ing figares and crowded with minor actors, induding in its last 
line the whole body of the legislature, which on successive years 
found diversion in the journey to the tunnel at the cost of the 
admiring populace. Perhaps no figure stands out more in relief 
than that of CoL Alvah Crocker. A boyhood recollection of 
this man, heard rather than seen, when in a crowded hotel din- 
ing room, his voice in ordinary conversation rose far above the 
combined noises of others' talk and feasting, will go with me 
through life. He was a strong, persistent character. The tun- 
nel was his early dream and into bringing it to pass, he threw 
all the energy of a most determined and invincible will. 

The real legislative controversy began in 1851, with a petition 
for state aid in the construction of the tunnel The Troy and 
Gi*eenfield Sailroad had been incorporated. It had quickly 
found itself unequal to the task of building the tunnel by private 
enterprise and in 1851, it threw into the legislature the bomb 
of Hoosac Tunnel dispute which might be more graphically 
described as a mine of high explosives so arranged as to keep up 
a recurring discharge. The discussion was violent at the outset. 
The committee of the petitioners estimated the cost at $1,948,557, 
and that the time for construction would be 1556 working days, 
if no shaft were sunk, or 1054 days if a shaft were used. One 
engineer, Mr. Parrett, estimated the cost at $2,856,000, and the 
time of building at sixty-three and a half years, with the length 
of time reduced and the cost increased on a regular schedule by 
multiplying the number of shafts to divide the work. What 
was asked was the loan of the state credit. It was proposed 
that the money should all be returned to the treasury, even by 
the time that the tunnel was completed. It was a new propo- 
sition that the state should embark upon such a project and 
nothing short of a revolution could have precipitated a more 
flaming discussion in the newspapers. After fierce debate the 
proposition was defeated by a vote of 108 to 237. 

In 1853 the project reappeared. The newspapers reawoke. 
The pamphleteers came to their aid with highly wrought argu- 
ments, pro and con. A commission was appointed to investigate 
the project and a bill giving the required loan at first passed, 
but was later rejected. 

The legislature of 1864 yielded to the petition, and $2,000,000 
was voted to be loaned. Never was the interest of the lender 
more thoroughly guarded in the terms of the contract. Before it 

186 Anntutl Meeting— 1901. 

could reoeive any of this money, the Boston and Troy Bailroad 
was to seoure a stock subscription of $600,000. It was to con- 
struct in one or two sections, seven miles of road. It was to 
complete and make ready for single or double track one thous- 
and lineal feet of tunnel. It could then have $100,000. For 
each successive $100,000 up to $700,000, a like amount of work 
was to be done, so that at this point the road would be completed 
and the mountain pierced for 70,000 feet. The final payment 
was to be made when the road and tunnel were completed and 
in operation. Within three months after each payment, $10,000 
was to be paid back to the state to constitute a sinking fund. 
The entire property was to be mortgaged to the state for the 
fulfillment of the contract. 

This was regarded as a victory for the tunnel, but no sooner 
was the legislation secured than signs appeared of anxiety on the 
part of the promoters as to the elephant on their hands, and on the 
part of the public as to the probable end of the money it had 
invested. The public was given an opportunity to subscribe to 
the stock, but stupidly declined to do so. Nevertheless, in 1855, 
a contract was awarded to E. E. Sewell and Ciompany of Phil- 
adelphia to build the tunnel and the railroad for three and a 
half million dollars. The work was begun in 1855 and carried 
on for a few months and until the treasury of the railroad was 
depleted. The promoters again took the journey to Boston, 
this time to ask the legislature of 1856 to subscribe $150,000 
for stock, which was summarily refused. The Sewell contract 
was broken and the lapse of time left to bring forth new prom- 
ises and new funds. In July, 1856, there appears a man whose 
name will remain long associated with the enterprise, Herman 
Haupt. First, he comes in the rdle of a contractor, but later, 
by a curious turn in affairs, he takes upon himself the task of 
promoting the entire tunnel scheme. The contract binds him 
to build the road and tunnel for $3,880,000, — the common- 
wealth's $2,000,000, with but $382,000 in cash from the railroad 
company. Haupt was to take 6000 shares of the stock. The 
towns stolidly refused to subscribe for the stock, and the famil- 
iar road to the State House was again traveled in pursuit of 

The year 1857 witnessed a tremendous struggle in the legis- 
lature over the tunnel project. A special committee was sent 
to inspect the work done, and reported the tunnel worked to a 

Ths Hoo9ao Tunnel. 187 

depth of 621 feet at the east and 185 feet at the west end. 
After one of the stormiest experiences the State House ever went 
through, the bill granting easier terms was passed, only to be 
vetoed by Governor Gardner, whose message denounced the 
whole projeot. The House was persuaded to pass the bill over 
the governor's veto, but the Senate failed to do so by a single 
vote. These were dark days for the tunnel and work was prac- 
tically in suspense. It was due to the Haupts, father and son, 
that it was given new life, they agreeing to a contract in which 
the cost of completing the work was marked up to four millions, 
but they were to receive no cash payment from the railroad 
company. The contractors now assumed the novel responsibil- 
ity of cajoling the towns into subscribing for the stock. Haupt, 
Sr., engineer, contractor, builder, now became campaigner and 
organized the line of attack upon the towns within the Hoosac 
Tunnel region. The most extreme exertions brought but a few 
of these to the subscription roll, their total promise being 

The work was resumed in 1858, and enough of the tunnel dug 
out and of the road built to win the first 1100,000 from the 
state. A new ray of hope was created by the invention of a 
rock-cutting machine to take the place of the hand-drilling. 
The legislative committee looked upon this and approved it, but 
the tough rock of Hoosac met it and proved it worthless. 

The legislature of 1859 good naturedly modified the terms of 
the state's grant, confidence returned and the belief became gen- 
eral that the tunnel would be completed for the $2,000,000. It 
occurred to the legislature of 1860, however, to investigate the 
work. It was moved to do so by one stroke of Haupt's man- 
agement, which was not regarded as altogether sound. It was 
required that the stock should be paid for in cash, Haupt's six 
thousand shares being no exception. One day in July, 1858, 
Haupt borrowed $600,000 at a bank, handed it to the treasurer 
of the railroad, received it back from his hand, and returned it 
to the bank, all within the limits of a banking day, — common 
practice now. Thus meeting the letter of the requirement as 
to the stock subscription. The investigators found the road 
built represented to be of so many miles' length, to be varied 
by gaps between its several sections with rivers unbridged and 
cuts and fills postponed in the attempt to draw out as many 
miles as possible to meet the state's requirements with the least 

188 AnmuU MeeHng— 1901. 

possible outlay. The road was discredited and kept up a strug- 
gling attempt only at continuing the work until July, 1861, when 
the state engineer refused longer to certify to the contractors' 
bill and the Troy and Greenfield Bailroad laid down its work. 

The next period is that of the state's undertaking to build and 
operate the road and tunnel on its own account. Induced by 
Governor Andrews' favorable message, the legislature placed 
the tunnel and road in the state's possession and committed the 
commonwealth to its completion. The successive years give an 
interesting picture of the state in the socialistic business of 
carrying on the construction of a public work by the direct em- 
ployment of men and the liberal appropriation of the people's 
money. At the outset, it was found that serious mistakes had 
been made in the tunnel construction. It is highly desirable, as 
even the unprofessional in tunnel construction can appreciate, 
that in tunneling from the two sides of the mountain tie work 
should be directed to a common point, but it was found in this 
case that the contractors had not paid heed to this requirement 
The holes penetrating from the east and west ends were not 
pointed toward each other. Their continuance would have re- 
sulted in two tunnels under the mountain, and the trouble at- 
tending the digging of one were quite sufficient. The western 
entrance was being pushed at least ten feet north of the eastern. 
In consequence, the western end was entirely abandoned and 
the line of the eastern section corrected at no Uttle cost. Work 
was begun on the shaft in December. The entire work thus far 
had been done with only hand power and the state immediately 
set about supplying a motive power. For this purpose the 
Deerfield Biver was dammed and a fall of thirty feet secured 
with a view to supplying compressed air for the drills. This 
move aroused a new volume of ridicule and the critics set down 
the commonwealth as incompetent in tunnel making. Events, 
however, justified the proceeding and the working at the eastern 
end was expedited greatly although the scheme to run the com- 
pressed air in pipes over the mountain to be used at the western 
end was never undertaken. Compressed air was not actually 
used until June, 1866, but meanwhile the hand drilling had ac- 
complished a considerable lengthening of the eastern entrance. 

Nature, as if jealous of the attempt to break down its barrier, 
now threw in a new obstacle. The drilling had struck the hid- 
den fountains and a flood of water and mud put the work to a 

The Hooaac Tunnd. 189 

sadden end. The opponents who stood ready to hold their sides 
at every new disoomfitore of the project, now enjoyed another 
hearty langh at the state's expense. Their amusement was 
farther aided by the action of the laborers at the western end, 
who interrapted the work by a strike, and in their violence, 
bamed the shaft hoase and destroyed machinery. Bat this was 
by the discovery of a new explosive dynamite, first ased here 
in 1866. It was in this year that the contract was made with 
B. N. Farren who shouldered the task of carrying on the work 
of the western section. Decided progress was made daring 1867, 
bat the opponents of the scheme rallied in the legislature of 
1868, and made an attempt to have the state entirely abandon 
the work. Here occurred one of the most memorable of the 
great debates in which George Walker of Springfield and Bich- 
ard H. Dana, Jr., of Cambridge, led with great vigor the forces 
of the opposition. Its upshot was only that the state gave up 
its direct supervision, the governor and council being authorized 
to make contracts for the completion of the entire work at a 
cost not exoeediug $5,000,000. Under this provision the &mous 
Shanly contract was made in December, 1868, and the work 
again resumed, March 29, 1869. The central shaft had now 
sunk to the level of the tunnel, and from it the arms were reached 
out in the mountain depths to both east and west. The subse- 
quent years are stories of the great progress of the work and 
by December 12, 1872, the junction was made of the east end 
and the workings from the central shaft. Yariation of only 
5/16 of an inch was found to have occurred and the careful en- 
gineering which had proceeded on entirely new Unes, was 
grandly justified. 

November 27, 1873, will remam one of the great historic 
dates in the story of this undertaking. For a few days previous 
it had been possible for the workers in approaching excavations 
to hear through the intervening wall of rock, the tapping of the 
drills on the other side. It was a dismal Sunday morning when 
groups of newspaper men and others curious to witness the final 
opening were lowered through the central shaft or pushed in on 
flat cars from the eastern portal. A heavy charge of nitro- 
glycerine, 150 pounds, had been placed in the drill holes and 
the electrical connections only awaited the completion of a cir- 
cuit for the final blast. It was at 8 : 20 in the afternoon that 
the discharge was made. The observers rose from their position 

190 Annual Meetmg— 1901. 

lying flat in the tunnel's bed, to feel the first draft of air to find 
its free course through the oompleted hole. As the smoke was 
driven away, they rushed forward over the fallen rocks to ex- 
change greetings through the aperture with their fellow ob- 
servers from the other side. The first man privileged to pass 
through the opening was Robert Johnson, who in his official 
capacity as the chairman of the railroad committee of the legis- 
lature, proclaimed that the great bore had come to its comple- 

It was nearly two years after that the people entered into 
the full enjoyment of the tunnel. Meanwhile there was avast 
amount of work accomplished in perfecting the structure and 
completing the approaching railroad. 

Running aU through the history of the project, we find a 
discussion of the use to be made of it when it should be com- 
pleted if it ever was. Originally undertaken for public rea- 
sons and such a profound public reason as the preservation of 
a united commonwealth, it was constantly held out by its ad- 
vocates as a public work, undertaken for the benefit of the 
people of the state. For a season, after it entered into actual 
use, the state undertook to employ it in accordance with this 
idea. It was operated, tunnel and road, on the state's account 
and by state officials. No particular encouragement is given 
to the theory of state management of railroads by the results 
of this experiment. On the other hand, the limitations in the 
connections for its western freight business, were such as to 
prevent a fair test of the policy of a railroad being run on pub- 
lic account. The state, at all events, found it wise to dispose 
of its property, receiving in return for it, the common stock of 
the Fitchburg Railroad which for a series of years was regarded 
as an interesting souvenir of the tunnel enterprise without any 
particular cash value. The recent revival of value in this 
scrap of paper under the business touch of the present governor 
is familiar beyond need of more than a mention. 

The great tunnel, the second longest in the world, has ceased 
to have interest as a curiosity. It has come into the common 
daily use of the millions who travel through it, and is accepted 
with the calm indifference with which all great improvements 
are accepted after the momentary gasp of surprise. It has ful- 
filled the predictions of its most ardent promoters as a means 
of giving commercial life to its neighborhood and furnishing 

The Eooaac Turmd. 191 

an avenue for the commerce of the west and the coast. That 
it has passed into the ownership and control of a single cor- 
poration, so defeating the promises that it shoold be an open 
gateway for whatever competing lines should approach it from 
the west, is perhaps an unavoidable consequence of the condi- 
tions which for the present give to private control and private 
enterprise the responsibility and the profits of public service. 
But the tunnel is permanent Its usefulness is for all time, 
and it must stand as a monument to the foresight and enterprise 
and pluck of the men associated with its beginnings while it 
also serves as a mausoleum of the departed millions of unwisely 
spent money. 







Old Home Week will open Sunday July 28, at 10 a. m. with 
an Historical Service in the Old Brick Meetinghouse, to ded- 
icate the Willard Memorial tablet. 

At 4 p. M. Oeorge Sheldon will extend a hearty welcome 
from the town, and will give briefly the pedigree of the old 
meetinghouse. Other speakers are: Dr. Edward Hitchcock, 
dean of Amherst College, on the life of his father. President 
Hitchcock ; Prof. Henry H. Barber on New England General 
History ; Rev. Gleorge "W. Solley on the Forefathers' Parish ; 
Rev. Frank W. Pratt on Home Coming. It is hoped that 
Bishop Huntington and Dr. Lyman Whiting will also be 

On Tuesday, July 30, at 2 p. m., there will be an historical 
ride to the scene of the First Encounter between the Indians and 
the whites in the Counecticut Yalley. The route will be that 
taken by Capt. Lothrop in 1675, and by Joseph Barnard in 
1695, leading both into fatal ambush. The scene of the Bars 
Fight in 1746, will be noted. Near by is the memorial stone 
to Joseph Barnard placed by a descendant, James M. Barnard 
of Boston. Here a brief dedicatory service will be held. An 
original poem vrill be read by Elizabeth W. Champney, and a 
short address given by William Lambert Barnard of Boston, 
the representative of his uncle, James M. Barnard. 

Continuing, we pass the home of ^' The Last Indian," thence 
to Bloody Brook, where stands the monument to the ^^ Flower 

* The Old Home Week was planned and carried out by our Aasociation; 
therefore, it \b fitting that all the proceedings of the week should be in- 
cluded in this chapter. 

Old H(yme Week. 198 

of Essex." Here Dexter F. Hager will note some of the facts 
connected with the massacre. 

Onward again mider the guidance of James M. Crafts, past 
Wequamps and over the Weekioannack to the place of the 
First Encoonter, where incidents will be related concerning 
this epoch in our history, and seed planted, we hope, for a mon- 
ument to mark the site. This ride will be under the direction 
of William L. Harris. 







1. Musio. Dram and fife. 

2. Invocation. Rev. Geobob W. Sollex, Ohaplain. 

8. WoBDs OF Welcome. Geoboe Sheldon, Fbancis M. Thomp- 

4. SiNoiNo by the choir, under the direction of Chablbs H. 


5. Rbpobt of Committee on Memorial Stones, J. M. Abmb 


6. Singing by the choir. 

7. HisTOBioAL Addbbss. Db. a. E. Winship of Boston. 

8. Intebmission — Basket Picnic Lunch. 

9. March of the children to the Jonathan Wells MemoriaL 

Ode, Geoboe Sheldon, sung by the children. Report, 
Jonathan P. Ashley. Address, Maby P. Wells Smith. 
Ballad, Eleanob M. Abms, sung by Maby Field Fulleb. 
10. At 2:30 p. m. Remarks may be expected from Senatob 
Gboboe F. Hoab, Db. Hbnby D. Holton, Pbbs. G. Stan- 
ley Hall, Hon. H. 0. Pabsons, Pbof. Chablbs Eliot 
Nobton, William Lambebt Babnabd, Esq., Sabcubl O. 
Lamb, Esq., Geobgb P. Lawbbnob, M. C, and others. 

Programme. 196 

The exhibition of Deerfield Arts and Crafts will be held at 
the Martha Pratt Memorial Boom every week day excepting 
Wednesday from 10 to 12 in the morning, and from 2:30 to 6 in 
the afternoon. This exhibit will include the work of Mrs. 
Wynne and Miss Patnam in metals ; photographs by Miss Oole- 
man and the Misses Allen ; the products of the badcet makers, 
rug makers, and, most prominent of aU, of the Blue and White 
Society, with some interesting pieces of furniture, and other ex- 
amples of village handicraft. 

On Wednesday evening at 8, Mrs. Elizabeth W. Champney 
will give a reception at her home. 

On Thursday evening, August 1, there will be a dance and song 
party at the bam of President and Mrs. Sheldon from 7:30 to 11. 

On Friday evening, August 2, Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Ash- 
ley will give a musical at their home beginning at 8 o'clock. 
They will be assisted by Mrs. Bogers, Miss Orr and Miss Oowles. 

A few rare paintings of George Fuller will be brought to his 
old studio at the Bars, still kept as he left it by his family. 
These wiU be exhibited on the afternoons of August 1, 2, 8. 

At the studio of Augustus Vincent Tack will be shown dur- 
ing the week a few of his recent portraits, with some good 
specimens of the work of J. Wells Champney, Bruce Crane and 
others who are identified with the Old Town. 

During the week walks to historic and picturesque places will 
be in charge of John Sheldon. 

Committee of arrangements, Mr. and Mrs. George Sheldon, 
Francis M. Thompson, C. Alice Baker, John Sheldon, Annie 0. 
Putnam, M. Anna Y. Childs, Augustus Y. Tack, Eugene A. 
Newcomb, Charles Jones, Edward J. Everett^ Mary K Aliens 
William L. Harris. 

196 Old Home Week— 1901. 


Deerfield's Old Home Week had a fitting beginning in the serv- 
ice Sunday morning at the old meetinghouse which was de- 
voted to the unveiling of a memorial tablet and portrait of 
Rev. Samuel WiUard, D. D., a minister of the church of hon- 
ored memory. The tablet is a handsome one of mahogany, in 
colonial style, conforming with the pulpit, with a (»*ayon por- 
trait of Dr. WiUard which is a remarkable reproduction of the 
face of the distinguished clergyman. The portrait is by Mrs. 
Richard Hildreth, wife of the historiajo. 

The tablet is designed by Clarence Hoyt. It is provided by 
the Willard &mily, friends and citizens of Deerfield. There 
have also been erected two tablets in the vestibule, designed by 
Mr. Solley. One of these gives the list of ministers of the 
church and some general facts relating to its organization. 
The other gives the covenant of the church. These came from 
wood in the old Boyden house, probably 100 years old, and the 
pieces were too large to go into any wood plajier in Greenfield. 
The Willard tablet was unveiled by Susan Barker Willard of 
Hingham, a granddaughter of Dr. Willard. There was music 
by the choir and the Sunday school. Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop 
Rogers of New York, assisted in the musical service, Mrs. 
Rogers singing a solo. The Fortieth Chapter of Isaiah was 
read, this one being the last that Dr. Willard ever read in the 
pulpit. The dosing hymn was one written by Dr. WiUard. 


Composed by Rev. Samuel Willard, D. D., lot the laying of 
the comer stone of the Unitarian Meetinghouse, June 1st, 1824 : 


On this foundation, Lord, we raise 
A house of prayer, — a house of praise; 
Where hiunble Souls may seek their Qod, 
And find with thee a blest abode. 

AsGost us, Lord, with power divine; 
Let Christian love and zeal combine 
To rear a temple strong and fair. 
To Him who makes the Church his care. 

Samud WiUiPrd. 197 

Ab Zion's hOl to Judah'fl race, 

To U8 — ^be this a joyful place; 

Our children's joy,— our children's home. 

For years and ages long to come. 

And while of wood and brick we build, 
Let every mind with grace be filled. 
Diviner temples thou oan'st rear. 
OhI make each heart a house of prayer. 


It is very fitting that Deerfield should begin its Old Home 
Week celebration, on that day which our New England fore- 
fathers set apart as the first day of the week, and made sacred 
to religion. It is also equally fitting that the services should 
be held in the old parish meetinghouse, which was built 
by the town. This house was erected during the ministry of 
Rev. Samuel WiUard, D. D., in 1824, and was Hie fifth of the 
five meetinghouses which have graced the Common, since the 
settlement of the town, and was dedicated with religious cere- 
monies. It is also particularly fitting that the services for this 
morning, while conmiemorating all the other ministers of the 
first parish, should center about the name of the great blind 
preacher of Deerfield, who, more than all the ministers of the 
past two hundred and thirteen years, is the best representative 
of all that is sacred in Kew England life. 

Dr. WiUard came to Deerfield as a young man, and threw 
his whole soul into the work of the Christian ministry. He 
was installed here by the town, and the whole town became 
his parish, nay more, he was like one of the ancient MetropoU- 
tan Bishops of the early church, for his ministrations reached 
to other towns within a radius of fifteen or twenty miles from 
the old parish church. Everything of interest to the fellow- 
citizens of Deerfield became of deepest interest to him. 

He found the public schools in a weak and unsettled condi- 
tion ; this engaged his earnest attention. He not only saperin- 
tended their work, and secured a better grade of teachers, but the 
text-books in use being found unsuitable, he wrote new and 
better ones. The influence of such a public spirit as Dr. Wil- 
lard's could not be confined to any one town. Next, the schools 

198 Old Home Week— 1901. 

of Franklin oountj demanded his attention. He called together 
all interested in education, and soon a revival of edacation 
sprang up throaghoat the towns of the valley, as a result of the 
work which he started here in Deerfield. It is said that Dr. 
Willard, like other ministers of his time, was one of the most 
prominent tutors of college lads. We are told that the third 
story of the old " Manse " was always full of boys studjdng 
under the old doctor ; and as in the story of the famous Master 
of Drumtochty, the grass was never allowed to grow in the 
pathway which led from the Deerfield ^^ Manse " to Harvard 
College. During Dr. Willard's ministry, our famous old Acad- 
emy was at the height of its power, and his son-in-law, Luther 
B. Lincoln, became its most noted principal. 

The church music of the day became of absorbing interest to 
Dr. Willard. We are told it was in a very low state. He 
began the movement for a more worshipful order of music in 
the meetinghouses, and in 1830 published his collection of five 
hundred and eighteen hynms, which were used here for twenty 
years. To-day no collector of ancient church music considers 
his library complete, without Dr. Willard's famous "Deer- 
field Collection." 

The first attempt to beautify " The Street ." of the town, is 
connected with Dr. WiUard's name. There are those still liv- 
ing who point out the magnificent maples at the " South End " 
as having been planted under his direction. We are told that, 
although he was blind, the grounds of the " Manse " were kept 
in beautiful order by his own hands ; that its northern terrace 
ornamented with shrubbery, and the fish pond were his own 
design ; and to-day in front of the " Manse " may still be seena 
little patch of mosaic walk of round stones, which he brought 
from the river and laid himself in place. 

Although Dr. Willard was the leader of the liberal forces of 
religion in the western part of New England, the townspeople 
stood by him, and the parish was not divided by theological 
diflferences. The most conservative members were his warmest 
friends and supporters. He himself knew neither friends nor 
enemies; everyone was his parishioner. He took men and 
women as they were, and ministered to their needs ; he looked 
upon life with the same generous fatherly spirit as his Creator. 
All mankind were children of God to him. And although the 
period of his ministry from 1807 to 1829 was that of the most 

Scmud WiUard. 199 

heated theolc^oal oontroversy throughout New England, it 
seems to have affected his own parish bat little. Here he was 
respected, loved and followed by all ; and the day of his resig- 
nation, September 23, 1829, was one of great solemnity and re- 
gret for the town. 

We are told of his long jonmeys, by night and by day, 
throughout all the valley, to minister to the sick and dying ; 
and even, when his blindness came upon him, we are told of 
how he found his way across the ice of the turbulent Deerfield 
Biver with its many dangerous holes, to visit families in the 
western part of the town. Later he continued these ministra- 
tions, led either by the hand of a friend or driven from place to 
place. The epitaph of one of the country's most famous minis- 
ters we can well apply to him : — " The whole city was his parish 
and every one in need his parishioner." 

Although Dr. WiUard moved his family from Deerfield to 
Hingham, upon his resigning his ministry here in 1829, and be- 
came very actively engaged in educational work there, still his 
heart remained in Deerfield, and in 1836 he moved back here again. 
The old ^^ Manse " became once more a center of power and in- 
fluence for good. He lived to help select and install four other 
ministers over this parish ; and for the remainder of his life 
was moderator of the church and kept its records. It was not 
until the ministry of the Bev. John Fessenden in 1839, that any 
trouble arose relating to theology. Then twelve persons, men 
and women, addressed a respectful letter to the church asking 
that they be allowed to withdraw and form a separate orthodox 
society. This movement was carried out in the same year, and 
the orthodox society was formed. 

The most perfect fellowship always prevailed between Dr. 
WiUard and his successors in the old parish church. As long 
as he lived he used to occupy a seat in this pulpit and frequently 
took part in its services. When vacancies occurred, it was Dr. 
WiUsid who fiUed the gap. 

Dr. WiUard became the organizer and prime mover of the 
FrankUn Evangelical Association in 1819, which was composed 
of the Uberal or Unitarian ministers of this section of the countiy. 
Here we find associated with him such noted leaders of his day 
as Eev. Preserved Smith of Eowe, Alpheus Harding of New 
Salem, Dan Huntington of Hadley, and Dr. Peabody of Spring- 
field. He preached at Shelburne gratuitously for a year, and 

200 Old Home Fie*— 1901. 

then on every fourth Sunday until 1840. He also preached at 
Heath, Leverett, Greenfield and Charlemont, where Unitarian 
societies had been formed. 

Each reform or forward moyement, as they followed each 
other in torn down the century, received his attention and com- 
manded his services. If it was temperance, he was at the front, 
writing and speaking in behalf of a purer and better life. If it 
was anti-slavery, he was joining hands, and voice, and pen 
with the greatest leaders of his day. During the Kansas-Ke- 
braska troubles, he had an illness caused by overwork and ex- 
citement, which his wife called the ^' Nebraska Fever.'' One 
of the most dramatic incidents in Dr. Willard's life was at the 
famous Springfield meeting of the American Unitarian Associ- 
ation in 1850, shortly after the passage by Congress of the Fu- 
gitive Slave Act, when a resolution denouncing the act was 
brought before the meeting. Excitement ran high, and as the 
house was equally divided, an attempt was made to table the 
resolutions. We are told that the aged minister passed a sleep- 
less night, and on the first opportunity after the opening of the 
morning session he was on his feet calling for a reconsideration 
of the resolutions, and, after a speech of twenty or thirty min- 
utes, he had the satisfaction of seeing it passed. We are told 
that as the aged minister stood there in his bUndness, surrounded 
by the young men of the Oonference, who all sympathized with 
him as he pleaded for the slave and for his nation's honor, there 
was scarcely a dry eye in the large assembly. This remarkable 
scene has been preserved in some verses wrftten by Be v. George 
Osgood for the " Christian RegisterP 

Oh! when, amid the gathered throng, 
We saw his aged form arise, 
We thought that naught could ever dim 
The truth, that lit his sightless eyes. 

Like an old prophet in his might 
His noble form arose sublime. 
When in the cause of truth and right, 
He dared denounce a nation's crime. 

Dr. Willard's life is a record of accomplishment in the face 
of obstacles. The charge of heresy, the severe trial, the ex- 
communication which he underwent at the opening of his min- 
istry here, would have killed a man less devoted to his ideal, 
but this trial made him the leader of the Unitarian movement 

Scmmd WiUard. 201 

in Western New England. The blindness which came npon 
him in 1818 would have incapacitated some men, but with Dr. 
WiUard it only diversified and multiplied his employments. 
His son, upon whom he leaned, became blind also early in his 
life, and the noble doctor had to see his wife pass on to higher 
things before himself ; but even with all these sorrows, in his 
eightieth year, we find him writing that ^^ he still had ten years 
of work laid out before him." One of the noblest tributes 
which we can give to his life to^iay, after forty-two years, is 
this ; hard things never daunted him. 

Dr. Willard lives before us to-day, although his ashes rest in 
the bosom of yonder hill, overlooking the town which he loved. 
Ko such life can ever pass away. It remains ever a challenge 
to future generations to choose the highest, and to live the 
noblest. And this fine old meetinghouse, so symmetrical, so dig- 
nified, one of the best in New England, built by his inspiration, 
and dedicated with his prayer, with its white spire ever point- 
ing upward, is an enduring memorial to him who, ^^ Being dead 
yet speaketh." 

The following letter from Miss Eliza Starr of Chicago was 
read: — 

"It is gratifying to be lemembered by our Deerfield friendB on oooasions 
of special interest as if we still were among them, with the same grateful 
sentiments toward those who have done, not only so much for the town but 
for us individually as Rev. Samuel Willard. 

No one who was bom in Deerfield during Dr. Willard's pastorate can dis- 
claim an indebtedness to him; but while many works, like the church, the 
pulpit, church music and hymns, the beautifying of the Street, as well as his 
own grand personality are often spoken of, no one refers to his admirable set 
of readers — ^The Fnmklin Primer, Improved Reader, General Class Book, 
Popular Reader — ^no one could go through this set of readers without acquir- 
ing a taste for pure literature, and I do not recall any instance in which he 
was not historically, as I now realize, eminently candid. I have often spoken 
of these readers, as having had a great deal to do with my own literary taste, 
and have more than once expressed a wish that I had a fuU set of them, how- 
ever worn or thumbed. 

It was a happy thought, we all considered, to place BIrs. Hildreth's charao- 
teristic portrait of him in the church which he built, presided over and embel- 
lished by the wonderful pulpit, which I admired as a child, and which I have 
since learned was of remarkable beauty. His portrait at its side was well 
placed, and now the additional honor of an architectural frame by a son of 
Old Deerfield is fuU of significance, as a proof of the veneration in which 
' Dr. Willard' is held in this generation. To my own mind, it is, also, an honor 
paid to a veritable work of art by my dear Mend, Mrs. Hildreth; thus, you 
see yoiu" scheme has a daim, a token of good will to your fund with eveiy 
best wish for my beloved friends in Old Deerfield." 

202 Old Home Weeh— 1901. 

The following is the inscription on the tablet : — 



Pioneer of the Unitarian Movement in 

Western Massachusetts. 

Minister of this Church 1807-1829. 

Organizer of the Franklin Evangelical 

Association 1819. 
One of the Founders of the American 

Unitarian Association 1825. 
Harvard College 1803, A. A. S., D. D. 
Scholar, Author, Patriot, and although blind, a Leader for fifty yean in Educa- 
tional, Temperance, Peace and Anti-Slaveiy Reforms. 
His life ever remains a challenge to future generations. 

Li Memoriam, 1901. 

The sketch of the life of Dr. Willard by Kev. Charles E. 
Park spoke of him as a great man, his greatness not of the flag- 
waving and horn-blowing sort, nor comparatively speaking, in 
native talent and abilities, but the sort indigenous to the New 
England country community, and peculiar to the old-school 
New England country parson, a greatness compacted of diligence 
and honesty, of sympathy and consecration, of fidelity and 
impregnable serenity and greatness that does not seek to be 
ministered unto but to minister. His mental power and 
thoughtful temperament were the direct inheritance of at least 
four generations. The first Willard of this line bom in this 
country was Dr. Samuel Willard, great-great-grandfather of our 
Samued Willard, a minister of the old South Church in Boston, 
and virtually president of Harvard College. His grandfather, 
another Samuel Willard, was minister of the church in Bidde- 
ford. Me. His own uncle, one of the brothers of the Peter- 
sham farmer, William Willard, was the Kev. Dr. Joseph Wil- 
lard, also president of Harvard College. 

The story of Samuel WiUard's education is a story familiar 
enough in tJie farming towns of Massachusetts. He was one 
of eleven children. His father's income depended upon the prod- 
ucts of the farm. Surely these facts are sufficient to set the 
imagination vividly at work picturing the perseverance, the 
pinching struggle, the self-sacrifice and determination which 
had to be exercised before that education was at last acquired. 
How many a New England statesman, a prophet, a seer, of 
whom the country is proud, has had to go Uirough that same 

Samud Willard. 203 

experience, and pay that same exorbitant price 1 On some ac- 
counts it is a good thing that a liberal education should cost so 
much and come so hard. It is a guarantee that none will get 
it save those who really appreciate its worth and are determined 
to have it, and use it, and make the most of it after it has been 

Samuel Willard, when a child of but five or six, began his at- 
tendance at a school in Petersham taught by Ensign Mann, 
Esq., who had graduated from Harvard in 1764. It was the 
beginning of a boy's haphazard and desultory schooUng, contin- 
ually interrupted by hard times and changing teachers and 
the constant demand of farm chores. The Bible, Dilworth's 
spelling book, and the New England Primer, were his text- 
books until he was nine or ten years old. When about fourteen^ 
he ^^was exercised," as he himself states it, ^^in declamation 
and arithmetic." He was the best speller in the school, and 
very fine in arithmetic. 

It was at about this age also that he began his education in 
one of the branches of culture, in which he was destined later to 
shine as an authority — that is, music. It is very evident that 
he was a passionate lover of good music, and possessed nat- 
urally of a very keen and discriminating taste. 

After describing his struggle to secure an education and his 
early supply of pulpits near Boston, the farthest away being at 
Montague, the sketch took up his Deerfield life. 

The invitation to assume charge of the church at Deerfield 
came in March of 1807. After long and prayerful deliberation, 
after visiting the church and preaching repeatedly on trial, he 
decided to accept the call. The first council caUed to ordain 
him, refused to do so on the ground that be did not admit the 
divinity of Christ. But on September 22 a second council con- 
vened and voted unanimously to ordain him, and after im- 
pressive services held next day. Dr. Samuel Willard found him- 
self a settled minister, settled in his first and only regular parish. 

His career in Deerfield, with the persecutions he had to un- 
dergo on the score of heresy, the years of hard labor and loving 
service and vigorous growth, must be treated by another hand. 

Upon one occasion he was obliged to take a journey by stage 
from Deerfield to the eastern part of the state. The stage 
reached New Salem very late, and a young man came out of 
the hotel to embark, in a boiling rage at having been kept 

204 Old Home Week— 1901. 

waiting so long. Taming to the pix^nietor he ponred forth 
a volley of oaths and abuse in his chagrin. But as he was 
about to get into the stage, Dr. Willard called out to the pro- 
prietor that if that profane young man got in he would get 
out, for he would not ride witJi such a foul tongue. The result 
was that the young man rode with the driver. How many 
persons to-day would have suffered and said nothing ! Not so, 
Dr. Wiilard. He would not countenance, even by a noncom- 
mittal silence, what he considered wrong. It would have been 
easy to turn a deaf ear to the young man's profanity. But by 
doing this he would be giving tacit consent to it, and that he 
could not do. 

Dr. Wiilard was the kind of a man who not only would do 
no wrong himself, he would not allow another to do it if he 
could help it. His morality was of the aggressive sort, that re- 
joices to pick out a foe and do him up. In a supine and eai^* 
going generation, this kind of a man is most uncomfortable to 
live with. But every bit of good work that was ever done in 
this world of ours has been done by just such fighting Puritans 
as Dr. Samuel Wiilard. 


The fine old-time interior of the brick meetinghouse in Deer- 
field, an interior happily preserved in its architecture of a cen- 
tury ago, gave an impressive setting for a service, Sunday after- 
noon, in which the claims of a historic New England town upon 
the affections of her sons and daughters was the central theme. 
The succession of addresses then given presented with perfect 
balance the historic and sentimental tie, and furnished the broad 
foundation for the observance of the Old Home Week which runs 
through the days that follow. 

The services of that afternoon are not likely soon to fade from 
the memory of those who shared in them. The service was not 
religious in any exclusive sense. Neither was it alone historical 
The historic past was not indeed neglected, nor was the rever- 
ential tone missed. But there was room for the lighter vein 
and ample play for the personal reminiscence. 

Over it all there presided the representative historian of the 
town, the man who more than any other or all others, has made 

Old Meetmghouaee. 205 

seoore the links of the old and the new. Mr. Sheldon's presence 
and his characteristic treatment of a historical theme was the 
essential to its completeness. But he was not alone. The broad 
import of the New England history had a deeply thoughtful and 
happy treatment at the hands of Bev. and Prof. Henry H. Bar- 
ber. The personal reminiscence was furnished in a bright and 
witty contribution by Br. Edward Hitchcock, who, speaking of 
his father's notable career, kept clearly in view the impression of 
the Deerfield formative influence upon him. The worth of the 
historic background and the environment of natural beauty upon 
the youth of the present generation was tenderly acknowledged 
by a junior member of the household, Bev. Frank Pratt, now of 
WoUaston. A word of historic interest on the Indian, who 
stands for all that is evil in the Deerfield pioneer annals, was 
added by Charles Barnard of New York, whose ancestor fell a 
victim to the savage. And the final word for the church itself 
was weU spoken by the present pastor of the old parish, Eev. 
G. W. Solley. 

The music of the afternoon kept in the same lines, with not 
only the ancient hymn, accompanied by the organ in the loft, 
but as well the secular songs, ^^Home Again," and ^^ The Break- 
ing Waves Dashed High." Mrs. Charles H. Ashley and Miss 
Susan B. Hawks, a granddaughter of G^rge Sheldon, gave a 
pleasing organ and piano duet. 



In the genesis of New England the earliest organizations, 
after that of the colony, were bodies of men to whom were 
granted authority to make settlements on certain tracts of land, 
where the title was to be obtained by them from the native 
owners. These organizations were known as "The Proprie- 
tors ; " as the Proprietors of Hadley, the Proprietors of Pocum- 
tuck, as the case might be. These settlements were merely 
colonies under the direct care and guidance of the General 
Court in all important matters. As a rule their earlier meet- 
ings were held elsewhere than on the place of settlement^ 
as there would be on the spot no house in which to meet As 

206 Old Home Week— 1901. 

soon as such places were provided, frequent meetings were held 
for the allotment of land and the ordering of their prudential 

Gradually, by successive steps, the colony was endowed with 
authority to set up the machinery of a town organization, and 
hold meetings to choose officers, lay out highways, raise money 
by general tax, and make orders and rules necessary for the 
well-being of the community. 

The second organization in the settlement was the church. 
This was usually enjoined by the power which granted the right 
of settlement and made one of the conditions of the grant. In 
perfecting this organization frequent meetings also became 

These meetings of the Proprietors, the church and the town, 
were necessarily held in such of the cabins as were most avail- 
able, and must have been a great tax on the householders. Add 
to this the gathering of the whole population, young and old, 
for public worship on Sundays and Lecture days, and the neces- 
sity of a building for a common place of meeting is too obvious 
to need mention. Out of this necessity grew the meetinghouse 
in every town. The town and the church were practically one, 
and the meetinghouse was built by a general tax, and it was 
used alike for civil action and religious observances. It was 
never dedicated to divine service, never considered a sacred edi- 
fice. It was never called a " church " and never a town house. 
It was, and should continue to be, written of and spoken of as 
a meetinghouse. It is therefore advisedly, and in accordance 
with the customs of the Fathers, that I have called you together 
on this occasion, in the old meetinghouse of 1824, and it is with 
no ordinary feeling of pleasure, that, as the representative of 
the Old Home Week committee, I welcome you within its walls. 
It is by name and in fact the fifth in lineal descent from the one 
in which Parson Samuel Mather preached more than two and 
three quarters of a century ago. 

Come you as pilgrims come 

Back to ancestral home, 
To grove or plain, 
Where memory's seed was sown. 
Where brook and tree and stone 
Bear fruitage all your own — 

For joy or pain. 

Meetmghcmae. 207 

Or, where in olence deep, 
What earth will ever keep, 

A sacred trust; 
What forms your fathers wore. 
What sorrowing mothers bore 
Were laid in anguish sore. 

Alike now dust. 

In 1668 the Worshipful Major John Pynohon of Springfield 
was the owner of 38 cow commons of kmd at Poonmtack, and 
in his aoooont book are entries giving the tax levied on it for 
the support of public worship here. In December, 1675, he 
enters the amounts of his rates. One item is : 

" To ye httle house for a Meetinghouse y* ye Meet in." 

This is aU that has yet been found referring to the first meeting- 
house. A single scratch of a quill, a blot or crack in the time- 
stained leaf, and every jot of evidence that this building had 
ever existed would have been forever lost. During that year 
Philip's war fiashed out, and not only this little meetinghouse, 
but every dwelling of those for whom it was raised, went up in 
fiames. All that was left of the prospering village were here 
and there a bit of charcoal and a pile of ashes. 

The evidence of the existence of the second meetinghouse is 
not much more extended but is equally sure. 

^^ March, 1693, the town voted that the Meetinghouse shall 
be reseated : That Deacon David Hoy t and Deacon John Shel- 
don shall be 2 of ye persons to doe it, and Benoni Stebbins be 
with ym in s* work. " 

At this date the town had been resettled about a dozen years, 
and either the limited accommodations, or some discontent at 
the new seating brought matters to a head. A new building 
was thought necessary. It was doubtless a poor affair, but no 
other word comes to enlighten us thereon. We must make the 
most of that sbgle line. 

The wonder of it all is that March 8, three days before this 
vote on seating was discussed and settled, Capt. John Pynchon 
had written a long and impassioned letter to Gov. Pbips, im- 
ploring military aid for distressed Deerfield. He says provis- 
ions are scant and can only be had from other towns, the com 
last year being destroyed by worms. He had heard of plans 
in Canada for pouncing upon poor Deerfield, and he ordered a 
stockade to fortify Meetinghouse HilL June 3, 1693, the blow 
fell upon the Broughton and Wells families at the north end of 
the Street. 

208 Old Home Week— 1901. 

Two days before the vote upon seating the meetinghouse, the 
(General Court of Connecticut had agreed to send soldiers for 
the protection of Deerfield. The accession of William of Orange 
to the throne of England had brought on a war with France 
which was now raging in their colonies in America. 

October 6, 1693, Capt. Jonathan Wells for the militia, Joseph 
Barnard for the selectmen, and November 6, Bev. John Wil- 
liams for the inhabitants, sent appeals to the General Court for 
aid, ^^ without which we must of necessity forsake our habita- 
tions and draw off to some neighboring town. " Capt Fynchon 
indorses these appeals. But not danger, famine or death could 
turn aside the demand for proper and orderly meetinghouse 

Of the next meetinghouse we shall be permitted to know 
more. September 15, 1694, Baron Castine made an assault on 
the fort with an army of French and Indians. He was driven 
off with a loss to the settlers of one killed and two wounded. 

At a legal meeting in Deerfield, October 80, only six weeks 
after this assault, ^^ Ens. John Sheldon, Moderator, voted that 
there shall be a meetinghouse Built in deerfield upon the Town 
Charge," that David Hoyt, Sergt. John Hawkes, Henry White, 
Thomas French and Ens. John Sheldon ^^ be a committee chosen 
and empowered to agree with workmen to begin said building 
forthwith and carry it on as may be." It was to be ^^ y^ bigness 
of Hatfield Meeting House" [80x80]. 

^^ For carrying on s^ work there was chosen as a Committee 
Ltt David Hoyt, Serg. John Hawks, Henry White, Thomas 
French and Ens. John Sheldon. To supply means a Bate was 
made of one hundred and forty pounds payable this present 
year in pork and Indian com in equal porportions." 

The committee were given '^ full power to Bargain with, and 
let out unto particular persons y • severall parsalls of work for the 
carrying out and completing sd Building as, y« falling, hewing, 
framing, shingling, dobording, etc." 

The contemplated building was then standing and growing 
in Ood's great temple on East mountain, and even with this 
provision for division of labor and contemporaneous action the 
progress was slow. November 32, 1695, Godfrey Nims was 
chosen to gather the meetinghouse rate laid the year before. 

June 15, 1696, another meetinghouse rate was voted, payable 
the next January in pork and Indian com. The seats were to 

Meetinghouse. 909 

be of plain pine boards, not wainsoot. The meetinghonse was 
used in 1696, but was not fully finished before 1701. The seats 
were long benches on each side of an aisle leading from the 
entrance to the pulpit The men sat on one side of this aisle, 
the women on the other. This house was one of the buildings 
which escaped destruction February 29, 1704. 

In 1709 a pew was built for the minister's family. Another 
accident has given us all that is known concerning the form of 
this meetinghouse of 1694. In 1729 two Harvard students left 
Cambridge, after commencement, on a horseback tour to the far 
West — Deerfield being the ultimatum. One of them kept a 
journal of adventures and sights. The fly leaf of this journal 
was covered with rough pen and ink sketches of various kinds, 
the meetinghouses on the route being prominent. Only one is 
located ; over that is written, ^* Deerfield Meetinghouse." It 
appears square, as voted, two stories high, the four-sided roof 
running up to a belfry surmounted by a turret. The picture is 
a mere skeleton in straight lines, but it gives a clear idea of the 
building. The myth of the ^Bell of St Begis" grew up 
around a supposed bell in the steeple of this meetinghouse. 

From time to time this house was repaired to ^^ make it some- 
thing comfortable," but November 25,1728,a committee reported 
it could not be made ** something comfortable " any longer, and 
a vote was passed to build a new meetinghouse 40x50. Oapt 
Thomas Wells, John Catlin, Sr., Deacon Samuel Childs and 
Dr. Thomas Wells were chosen a committee to see it done sea- 
sonably. It was voted to set the meetinghouse ^'on y^ highest 
part of that nolo between y^ sine poet and Deacon ChUds, his 
shop, y* east side of it to Bange with y« front of y* West teer 
of home lots." The original minutes of this meeting have been 
found in a fairly good condition. By these it is seen that pro- 
vision was made for buying a bell for the steeple. These min- 
utes are signed by the moderator. The action of this meeting 
is a matter of record on the town book, but the part relating to 
the bell is not found there. The last written word of the meet- 
inghouse of 1694, is a vote November 20, 1730, " to sell y* old 
meetinghouse this night to the highest bidder, reserving only 
y^ benches and liberty to meet in it until next March." Its site 
was discovered a few years ago, some six rods northwest of the 
soldiers' monument. 

Mr. Williams died in 1729, and his successor, Jonathan Ash- 

210 Old Home Weeh—l^Ol. 

ley, was installed in the new meetinghouse in 1732. This was 
a fine building of two stories ; the belfry, over the center of the 
roof, open, with eight pillars supporting a tall, graceful spire 
above it. Its site covered the spot on which the soldiers' mon- 
ument stands. It was never dedicated to religious service, and 
for 94 years was the conmion meeting place for the Pro- 
prietors, the town, the congregation, and lesser bodies of the 

In 1765, following the fashion of that period, the steeple was 
removed from the roof and planted on the ground at the north 
end of the building, copying the steeple at Northfield. Oapt. 
Jonas Lodce, who 17 years later led the Deerfield minutemen 
to Boston on the Lexington Alarm, was the architect. The old 
weathercock was taken down, regilded, furnished with " new 
globe eyes " by Shem Drowne of Boston, and returned to his 
new perch, where until 1824, he kept faithful watch and ward 
over the going and coming generations of men. On the grace- 
ful spire crowning the edifice in which we are met, he still ful- 
fills the duty assigned him in 1729. 

February 17, 1828, the town voted to build a new meeting- 
house on certain conditions. The site was bought for $530 by 
people who wished the common might be open and clear; 
$4,500 was raised for a building fund by interested townsmen. 

The comer stone was laid with ceremony, June 1, 1824. The 
work was pushed, and the new meetinghouse, the fifth in de- 
scent, was dedicated December 22, 1824. 

My friends, whatever brings you here to-day ; whether it be 
the name or the fame of Deerfield's sons and daughters ; whether 
you find here kith or kin, our hearts are open to welcome you 
all to our fields and hills and waters. Whether you come the 
arts and crafts to view, memorial stones, old or new ; our an- 
cient trees and houses brown, you are welcome guests to our 
dear old town. 

Mr. Sheldon then turned the conduct of the afternoon serv- 
ices over to Prof. Henry H. Barber of Meadville. 

Prof. Barber speaking of the exercises of the morning, in dedi- 
cation of the tablet to Eev. Dr. Willard, said that the talent in 
the Willard family was by no means confined to the doctor, 
and referred to the poems written by his daughter Mary. He 
then introduced her niece, Susan Bsurker Willard, who read the 
following unpublished lines : — 

Poem hy Samud WiUard. 211 

Lovely home of eariy 3rears, 
Shrined in memory's jojrB and tearsy 
Linked by many a tender tie 
With the loved of days gone by. 

Beauty, without stint or bound, 
Glows above me and aroimd, 
Breathes through all and every part. 
Stamps its impress on my heart. 

On the mountain's 'solenm graoe/ 
On the meadow's smiling face, 
Broods a Presence, holier far, 
Than these forms of nature are. 

Dear and saintly ones, who made 
Sunshine in life's joy and shade. 
Sure they watch aroimd me yet; — 
Loving hearts can ne'er forget. 

I below and they above, 
Interchanging love for love; 
While my inmost being lies 
Open to ihekt tender eyes. 

In these paths their feet have trod, 
Walked with man, and walked with Qod. 
Peace that passeth words to tell 
Falls upon me like a spell. 

And I bow in faith and trust 
That the Holy One and Just, 
Calling home a child from earth 
To the spirit's higher birth. 

Purified and cleansed from sin, 
Peace without and peace within, 
Will the lost of earth restore 
To my longing heart once more. 

Prof. Barber then referred to the wide scientific reputation 
acquired by President Edward Hitchcock, and introduced his 
son, Dr. Edward Hitchcock, dean of Amherst College, to speak 
of his father. Dr. Hitchcock said in part: The old hymn 
'*Where, O Where are the Hebrew Children ? " has been running 
in my mind ever since I struck the platform at Deerfield station, 
and I have been asking myself " Where, O Where, are the good 
Old Deerfield people ? " Where are the pretty Dickinson girls, 

212 Old Some Weeh—1901. 

where is Miss Pratt, where Ephraim Williams and his pretty 
girls, and all the rest of the good people ? They are safe in the 
promised land, I am glad to say, and do we not rejoice that they 
are not here with us worrying over the infelicities of this life. 
As to my father, I don't know much about him as a boy, for I was 
not there. I think he was an ordinary boy, with some deviltry, 
wide awake, with an ambition to learn. You know that big 
tree not far from the old place ; well, my father put up some big 
sticks in the crotch and there he would climb up in the early 
evening to read until the stars came out. That showed his 
studious disposition. He had other tricks, but I won't speak of 
these, as it might bring our family into reproach. 

My father was greatly indebted to G^n. Epaphras Hoyt, who 
interested him particularly in astronomy and military affairs. 
He had a commission as aid-de-camp from G^n. Hoyt. My 
father took a deep interest in astronomy, and at a time when a 
comet was to be seen knew all the facts about it, and had to 
make his own instruments to make his observations. He had 
literary tastes. That was the time when Napoleon was in his 
glory, and he wrote a tragedy on the downfall of Napoleon, the 
first book printed in Deerfield. He used to calculate eclipses. 
These studies occupied three or four years, and for that time he 
had made remarkable progress in astronomy. He made Deer- 
field widely known by some errors he had found in a nautical 
almanac, published by a Philadelphia man. Errors in such an 
almanac might well be fatal to a ship in finding its reckoning. 
My father got hold of this almanac, and with a boy-like desire 
to punch some one between the ribs, he began to go over the 
calculations and found some mistakes. He wrote to the pub- 
lisher about it, who ridiculed the claim, and said he would give 
$10 for every error found. My father went to work and found 
thirty, and though he never got the $800 to which he was entitled, 
the matter attracted a good deal of attention, and the publisher 
had to admit that he was wrong. My father was very anxious 
to go to college but the poverty of the family placed difficulties 
in the way. He had however gotten nearly ready to go, when 
his eyesight gave out, which proved a severe blow. He could 
do nothing with his eyes for years. The result was to set him 
out to work along another line of scientific study. He began 
to study flowers and rocks, and became a geologist. Thus in 
losing an ordinary minister, we gained a scientific mian. He 

New England's Mstary. 213 

disoovered the reptile tracks in the Connecticat valley, like 
which nothing else in the world has ever been found, enormous 
prehistoric reptiles, toads as big as an ox, and creatures at the 
sight of which you would run for the house. Tracks of 130 to 
140 different animals were found. 

The religious feeling was very prominent with him. He 
dared preach the harmony of science and religion at a time when 
every scientific man was supposed to be in league with the deviL 
He held that God was the author of both science and religion. 
He tried to show nature in the cross, the cross in nature. He 
saw the highest thing in everything ; saw some religious end in 
reptile tracks and all else. And now all the scientific men are 
coming around to his point of view. I am sure that a revival 
of religion is coming ; not the old fashioned revival, not a revival 
of man made theology, but the religious life, serving God and 
serving man. 



Prof. Barber then gave an address on the history of New 
England, treating in a comprehensive way its relations to 
American civilization. Treating the saying that ^^ history is 
philosophy, teaching by example," Prof. Barber said it seemed 
to him that in this old home and memorial week, history itself 
was being taught by example. Something of the kindergarten 
method is being followed, pleasure and science, — ^the science of 
history, — ^being combined, and we shall find our minds and 
hearts filled with the spirit of the old times. This is the best 
way history can be taught. The human element in it is more 
thsji the array of names and dates. Our best historians to-day 
are writing histories of the people, and their work haa a new 
power and inspiration. I wish you to join me, he continued, 
in special thanks to Mr. Sheldon. It is by his laborious and 
fruitful work in bringing forth the details of the early days 
that we are made familiar with the heroism, sacrifice and God 
fearing and man loving service of the pioneers of this valley. 

There are two errors in the regard for history which should 
be avoided. One is in making it the standard of life and truth, 
our creed in thought and pattern in life. The other appearing 
in the transcendentalism of the early part of the last century, 

214 Old Home TTe^?*— 1901. 

and in the rationalism of the century before, is the notion that 
the individual is sufficient, so severing relationship with the 
past. Both extremes are pernicious, the one giving us a Chinese 
view of life, the other giving us a truncated manhood, without 
foundation, and without continuity. New England history is 
surely not to be subjected to either view, because it sets out 
great principles, not to bind us to the past but as inspiration 
and instruction for the Christian commonwealth. 

Those who underrate the history of New England by dwell- 
ing on the treatment of witchcraft, and the extermination of the 
Indians, and religious intolerance, do it an absolute injustice. In 
the hanging of the witches, — ^not the burning, for no witch was 
ever burned in New England, — ^her people yielded to one of the 
delusions of the time which spread over Europe and was actually 
shorter lived here than there. It was only about half the time 
of the Indian struggles that our fathers were combatting the 
Indians ; for the rest they were feeling the effect of the hostile 
interests of England and France. Nor was their intolerance so 
marked a development. 

They lived in an age of intolerance and yet there were many 
among them who were most tolerant. They came here that 
they might exercise their own religion, and they were not able 
to get on with the man who said their church was no church. 
Their treatment of Boger Williams was tolerant for its time. 
It was a mild sentence when they said to him that he must go. 
The same was true of the treatment of the Quakers ; it was only 
after they had been sent away and come back, were implored 
to go away in peace and refused, that they were hung. In our 
day Mary Dyer and others like her, would have been put in a 
lunatic asylum for such conduct, but there were no lunatic asy- 
lums then. They believed the devil possessed them and only 
so could they be rid of him. John Endicott and John Wilson 
were the narrow men among them, but there was Sir Harry 
Vane, and there were John Winthrop, John Cotton, and John 
Eliot, peers in culture and tolerance of Cromwell and Milton. 
They were tolerant as far as men could be by the circumstances 
of their time. The Puritan clergymen were true leaders of the 
people. Peter Bulkley went into the wilderness with his flock 
and was a father to his people. Thomas Hooker, who led his 
company from Newtown to Connecticut, was a father to his 
people. John Williams, here in Deerfield was the father and 

Neu) Englomd^s History. 215 

helper of his people, guiding them through the years of dark- 
ness in the history of this settlement and coming back from his 
captivity to help plant anew the town as a Christian community. 
We shall fail to understand them if we do not regard them as 
forward-looking, energetic, earnest, progressive men. John 
Bobinson spoke of greater light to come, and asked his people 
not to follow him further than they saw he followed Gk)d. 

In Massachusetts and Connecticut the rights of citizenship were 
restricted to the church members, and here the halfway cove- 
nant, extending these rights to men of upright conduct, followed, 
later to give way to perfect freedom. There may have been 
blots on the early history of New England, but we can only 
think of the pioneers with profound reverence, and honor the 
men whose ideal in the planting of the colony was the bringing 
forth of a higher civilization. 

Prof. Barber paid a high tribute to John Fiske for his service 
in reconciling science and faith. There has been, he said, an 
unbroken succession of men who have served this great end 
from the earliest days down. We find in it the names of Ben- 
jamin Franklin, the greatest embodiment of common sense; 
Samuel Adams, the herald of liberty and lifelong crusader of 
independence ; Jonathan Edwards, whom we are apt to think 
of as the preacher of terrible sermons, but who was a scientific 
thinker, a poet, a saint of the Lord, a Christian philosopher ; 
William Ellery Channing, who corrected Edwards' error in ex- 
alting God so high as to lose sight of man. 

The Puritan spirit has been growing and broadening. The 
history of New England is to be read large in the lives of these 
men and their children. It is pervasive and permanent and it 
will yet bring back the people from the new Napoleonism, 
which has swept over Christendom, and developed the denial of 
the old truths in South Africa and China and the Philippine 
Islands, back to the ideals of John Bobinson and Samuel Adams. 

The Pilgrim spirit is not fled; 

It walks in noon's broad light; 
And it watches the bed of the glorious dead 

By the silent stars at night. 
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled, 
And shall guard this rock-bound shore, 
Till the waves of the bay 
Where the Mayflower lay 
ShaU foam and freeze no more. 

216 Old Home Week— 1901. 



We come as loyal children of Deerfield, gladly bringing oar 
gratitude and love. At this time it is easy to awaJcen precious 
memories, and to stir the fires of affection into a glowing flame. 
We rejoice together in all that this old town of ours has been 
to us, and during the coming week as we gather upon spots 
made sacred by brave deeds done, and the blood of martyrs 
spilled, we shall Uve in the consciousness of the larger and 
deeper meaning of the life of a " frontier town." 

I like that title — " a frontier town." It tells of energy and 
push, and plenty of New England fortitude and perseverance. 
It speaks of that progressive manhood which knows how to turn 
forest trees into habitations and wildernesses into gardens. 

We are not surprised that the same spirit which led Samuel 
Hinsdale and his followers to come up the river and ^' beare the 
venture of the place," also made them chafe under the govern- 
ment of the Proprietors of the ^' Dedham Grant," and caused 
them to hasten to petition for the rights of an independent town- 
ship. Twice deserted and twice reclaimed ; those words tell of 
the hardships endured and the price which was paid that our 
town might take its place among the townships of old Mass- 

But during our reunion and memorial week we would not re- 
call only scenes of suffering and bloodshed and death, inspiring 
as they are when consecrated by the greatest acts of heroism 
and self-sacrifice. But we would also remember the many 
peaceful periods — ^those months which immediately followed the 
coming of Hinsdale, when our first cabins were built without 
molestation, when the men tilled the virgin soil without fear 
of the Indian war whoop, and our little village nestled among 
the trees amidst all the peace and beauty of a Garden of Eden. 

We have had within our borders many periods like this. 
When the men raised their crops, and the women looked after 
their household cares, and all the family gathered together after 
supper — ^in the summer upon the steps, in the winter before the 
great fire— illustrating a happy family Ufe. Bloody Brook did 

The Old Home Spirit. 217 

not always nm red with blood. The underbrush did not al- 
ways conoeal red men. The hills did not always echo with the 
sound of Indian warfare. There were times, although often in 
earlier days they were brief, when the sun came over the moun- 
tain and looked into our dear valley when it was as quiet and 
peaceful as upon summer days we have known. We would re- 
member these times, too, when between the rude shock of warfare 
came the daily pursuits of village and family life, lighting up the 
shadows by peaceful industries and happy companionships. 

And yet we would not have those early days freed from hard- 
ship and privation. I think we are all thankful that the Pil- 
grims did not land upon a shore where all was balmy and at- 
tractive. Tom Beed has said that he trembled to think what 
the fate of this country would have been if the Pilgrim Fathers 
had landed on the fertile soil of California, where the reward 
of the husbandman comes without effort, instead of upon Ply. 
mouth Kock, where the surroundings demanded the work that 
develops the best that is in the man. 

It was the meeting face to face of the sterner aspects of na- 
ture and life which kept alive in our forefathers the same spirit 
which fought the battles of Naseby and Marston Moor, and led 
them to cross the water that their ideal Commonwealth should 
be built, although it might cost suffering and death. And so 
they braved the dangers of the new land, and planted com over 
the bodies of their rapidly increasing dead that there should be 
no tell-tale graves. It is manhood and womanhood like unto 
this moulded in the very fire of adversity, which has been in- 
carnated into the bone and fiber of our national life. 

This nation of ours has had a stupendous task before it — the 
turning of the immense stream of foreign blood which has flowed 
across the water like a great ocean current — the turning of this 
stream into something like the blood of our own land. There 
has often been the danger, in some sections of our country, that 
instead of that foreign element being transformed into the char- 
acteristics of American citizens, that the foreign element should 
transform our national life. 

Here is where the great work of New England has been done. 
Her influence has gone forth throughout the length and breadth 
of our land, emphasizing the principles of civilization which have 
always been dear to her heart. The experiences of New Eng- 
land created a type of manhood so permanent that it refuses to 

218 Old Home Week— 19QI. 

be warped and changed by the influences of foreign immigra- 
tion. Go out into the far west and you see by the census re- 
turns that a large percentage of the population of some of the 
states is of foreign birth. But when you investigate as to who 
the men are who hold the positions of influence — who it is who 
are interested in schools and good government and clean streets 
you find that they are almost to a man Kew England bom or 
closely related to New England stock. 

Our old town of Deerfield has done her share in this great 
work of spreading abroad that best American spirit which is 
the native product of New England. Her boys and girls have 
gone forth as living testimonies to the principles for which New 
England has ever stood. 

As we walk up and down our old Street, and feel its dignity 
and peace creep into our souls, I think we are all filled with a 
deep gratitude that we passed our youth in the country. The 
early years of life are the most receptive ones, and there are 
some things, which if we do not get when we are young, are 
lost to us forever. There is a spirit of friendliness to nature, 
which one learns best before the coming of the years of maturity. 
Thus Deerfield gave us an education, not only by teaching us 
reading and writing and the multiplication table, but she also 
gave us a knowledge and appreciation of the varying moods of 
€k)d's world. 

Tint of mountain, gleam of sinuous river, the overarching 
elms, the call of flicker and cry of whip-poor-will, the smell of 
new mown hay, the view from old Pocumtuck — these are come 
of the subtle influences which have become permanent factors 
in our lives. They came to us as naturally as the sunlight 
comes in the morning, but they became instilled into our very 
natures and exist now as a perpetual inbred memory. 

Thus we must gratefully recognize this education which Old 
Deerfield gave to us almost unconsciously, but which perhaps 
was the best education of alL 

At this time the country and country life is being appreciated 
as never before. Educators are beginning to understand its im- 
portant influence upon child development. The bookstores of 
our great cities are filled with books upon nature and outdoor 
life. A great desire is springing up in our people to get closer 
to this old earth of ours and into better sympathy with her in- 
numerable moods and her innumerable children. 

CJumtUs Ba/nukrd on the Indians. 219 

The mad rash for the city is being partly equalized by a 
growing love for the country. Every year abandoned farms in 
Kew England are becoming fewer and as time goes on the city 
will grow more and more to be a place, not to live in, but to 
work in. And we may well imagine that before our opening 
century draws to a close the problem of rapid transit will have 
been so solved that it will be an easy matter for a man to live 
here in Old Deerfield Street and go to his business in Boston 
every morning. That indeed will be an ideal adjustment and 
will help to give to a greater number the blessings of country 
life which we have received. 

But the depth of the springs of affection cannot be measured 
by words. Our love for Old Deerfield is something too subtle 
to be so easily explained. We only know we have as children 
sat in her lap and felt her arms around us, and looked up into 
her face and seen her smiles and her tears, and we love her. 
And we come back to her from our wanderings and are glad. 
And our thoughts turn to her in our absence and we wish her 
well. In our greatest griefs we bring our dead and give them 
into her keeping. And when our time shall come we too shall 
be brought and laid to rest within her protecting care. All be- 
cause we love her. 


Charles Barnard of Boston was the next speaker. After one 
of Prof. Barber's felicitous introductions he spoke on the evo- 
lution of modem transportation from the old Indian trails. 
The Indian, he said, occupied too much land. It was neces- 
sary to economy that he should go. But the Indian influence 
stiU survives, and the teachers in our schools should impress 
this fact upon their scholars. Matthew Arnold made fun of 
the names of American cities and towns. The earliest explor- 
ers gave names to their discoveries in their own language. 
Lake George was discovered by a Frenchman who gave it the 
name of the ^^ Lake of the Holy Spirit" and the speaker re- 
gretted that this name had not been retained. French names 
are found in the north and west, Dutch names in New York 
and Spanish in the south. Those classical names in the Mo- 

220 Old Home Weeh-1901. 

hawk valley — Utica, Troy, Syraoose, Ilion and others — were 
given by the surveyors, who were graduates of Harvard Col- 
lege. Teachers should learn the meaning of the old Indian 
names and teach them. Many of them have beautiful mean- 

The Indians were great traders. They built the first roads. 
One of their trails extended from Montreal to New Haven and 
another from Massachusetts Bay to the headwaters of the 
Hudson. These lines of travel avoided the mountains and ran 
direct to the water courses, for the Indians took advantage of 
every opportunity to use their canoes. The white man fol- 
lowed Uie Indian trails. They became bridle paths, then fol- 
lowed the cart, then came roads, highways and turnpikes, and 
the railroad of to-day follows the old In(Uan trail. 

Eev. Gteorge W. SoUey of Deerfield was then introduced as 
one who had been faithful to the best ideals of New England 
life. He spoke briefly of the old Puritan parish. The meet- 
inghouse was the center of all that was holiest, the home of 
all, from poorest to ridiest. The old Puritan parish, until we 
came into the habit of thinking that because there were differ- 
ences of opinion there must be division, meant the inclusion of 
the whole community. Every man felt an obligation to the 
parish, and the parish felt an obligation to every one that 
needed help. Why should there not be room for people who 
think differently in the same parish t There used to be 100 
years ago. The old spirit is coming again, when the limits 
of the town and the parish will be the same. 

If anyone wants to believe Mohammedanism or any other 'ism, 
why should he not have a place in the pews. We have wrongly 
come to think that the church will never be filled again. But 
there is more brain and muscle in these old towns than there 
ever was. It is not an impossibility to fill these old hill town 
meetinghouses, and they will be filled some day again, when 
this broader conception of the parish is realized. 

The exercises dosed with tiie benediction pronounced by 
Bev. Mr. Solley. 

Deerfidd 's Historical Ride. 221 


The histcMric ride at Deerfield, Tuesday, was the most novel 
feature of the Home Week, and in many ways the most pictur* 
esque and interesting. Old Deerfield Street presented at 2 
o'clock, the hour for the starting, a most unusual sight, the Street 
being filled with carriages for a long distance. The turnout 
was much larger than any one had expected, and about seventy 
teams were counted, besides a number of bicyclists. A barge 
from Nims's stable brought a party from Greenfield, and a score 
of young women and girls from Deerfield made a pretty pic- 
ture in a cart partly filled with hay. A general air of festiv- 
ity pervaded the scene, children waved their little flags, and 
at 2:15 the party started out ably marshaled by Spencer Ful- 
ler, who was assisted by William P. Saxton, both on horse- 

The long procession took up its winding way to the Bars, 
and it may be asserted as probable that Deerfield never saw 
another such line of carriages. It reminded one who had lived 
near the sea shore of the almost endless line of teams that go 
to make up what is called a ^^ beach party," when all the in- 
habitants of a town turn out to visit the ocean. Others com- 
pared it to a cattle show crowd, but whatever one likened it 
to, it is safe to say that no procession of Bamum's, Forepaugh's 
and Eingliug's circuses combined could attract so much inter- 
est among the dwellers along the line of the afternoon's traveL 
The}"^ gazed long and earnestly at each carriage and wondered 
what had gotten into the sober minded Franklin county people, 
for the party, from the fun and jollity that prevailed was cer- 
tainly not a funeral procession. The horses from that love of 
comradeship which appeals to dumb animals as well as to hu- 
mans, seemed to enter into the spirit of the afternoon, and 
made the trip in what seemed a remarkably short time, consid- 
ering the distance traveled and the exercises that were car- 
ried out. Gtoorge Sheldon was in the van of the procession, 
and the cavalcade followed on his trail in Indian file most 
of the time, better than ever the Israelites followed their 

As a party passed the Barnard Monument, Spencer Fuller 

222 Old Home Weeh-ASQl. 

took up his stand by the side of the road, and pointed out to 
every carriage load how the Indians hid in the bushes overgrow- 
ing the banks of a brook, thus securing a very effective ambush. 
A halt was made on the lawn in front of the late George Ful- 
ler's studio, the carriages gathered in a compact mass. Mrs. 
Champney read her poem, and William Lambert Barnard of Bos- 
ton, grandnephew of James M. Barnard, the giver of the Bar- 
nard Monument, made an able address on the Barnard mas- 
sacre and its lessons. Mr. Barnard is quite a young man, but 
he made a most creditable appearance. 




I am fortunate indeed in being able to be with you to-day 
and to assist in these exercises commemorative of Deerfield's 
past. But my good fortune is your loss, for Mr. James M. 
Barnard, of Boston, the donor of this stone, which we have 
come to dedicate, is unable to be here himself and to express to 
you in person his interest in this occasion. I come, therefore, 
as his representative, — as his substitute, I may say. The situa- 
tion is very much akin to that in which an old lady, on being 
asked by a neighbor to ^^ lend " a half-pound of well-seasoned 
and valuable herbs, regretted her inability to do so, and prof- 
fered as a substitute ^^ a small parcel of greens." 

Joseph Barnard, to honor whose memory we are gathered 
together, was bom in the year 1641, and moved to Deerfield 
with his parents when but a mere lad. Deerfield was then in 
the first days of its infancy. 

Young Barnard grew up in the midst of its hard, character- 
building life and became one of the foremost in the permanent 
settlement of the town. He was, by turns, a tailor, a surveyor, 
and a farmer. In those strenuous days one must needs be 
something of a jack-of -all-trades or else fall by the wayside. 
We are forced to assume that he was a man of some popularity, 
and one to be trusted by his superiors, for he held at various 
times the positions of Recorder for the Proprietors, Clerk of 

Address by William Lambert Bama/rd. 228 

the Writs, and Town Clerk. He was elected to this last office 
soon after the b^inning of what we know as ^^ £ing William's 

The French, jealous of the snocesses of William of Orange, 
were fighting tooth and nail to retain their supremacy in Europe 
and to extend their dominion in America. In pursuit of the 
latter, they strove to harass the English Colonies. As a means 
toward tUs end, they did not hesitate to incite the Canadian 
Indians against our sturdy forefathers, and thus turned upon 
their devoted heads a terrible and relentless weapon. 

Deerfield and the regions hereabout were peculiarly suscepti- 
ble to these Indian attacks, owing to the ahnost unbroken chain 
of waterways to the north of us, which made easy communica- 
tion with Quebec and Montreal. 

Beginning with the massacre at Schenectady in 1690, the 
inhabitants of Deerfield, about sixty families in all, were con- 
stantly exposed to calamity at the hands of the red men. At- 
tacks were made in 1693 and 1694. 

On a bright August morning in 1695, five Deerfield men 
starts together for mutual protection, to go to the mill, three 
miles away, at Mill River. They were all mounted on horses, 
each with his gun on his saddle-bow and his bag of grain be- 
neath or behind him. 

By some mysterious and subtle influence, Capt. Wells, at that 
time the Commander of the town, had the night previous felt 
a premonition of impending disaster from the Indians, passing 
in consequence a sleepless and watchful night. On seeing the 
little cavalcade the next morning, he went out and stopped the 
men to forbid their trip. But he could give no reason fordoing 
so. Perhaps the cheering summer sun had weakened his noc- 
turnal impression, and seeing Mr. Barnard, whom he deemed a 
careful and prudent man, let the party proceed. 

With Joseph Barnard were Henry White, Philip Mattoon, 
Godfrey Nims and another whose name has not come down to 
us. They rode on soberly enough until they reached the spot 
where we now stand. Here their horses began to snuff and 
became frightened. At this moment one of the party gave the 
alarm — '^ Indians ! Indians ! " and at the same moment eight 
Indians, who were ambushed in the underbrush on both sides 
of the road, fired a volley. 

Joseph Barnard was shot through the hand and his wrist 

224 Old Home Weeh^liOl. 

broken to bits. He was also dislodged from his horse. While 
the others hastily returned the fire of their unseen foe, Nims 
assisted Barnard to remount, all the time shouting lustily as if 
calling up expected reinforcements. It may be that this ruse 
deceived the Indians, — in any event they providentially re- 
frained from rushing in on the little party. 

The five men, however, had hardly begun a well-ordered 
retreat before a second volley was fired upon them. Again 
Joseph Barnard was the only one injured. He was shot through 
the body and his horse was killed under him. But Nims helped 
him to a seat on his own horse and all got back to Deerfield 
without further misadventure. 

Once back in the little town the usual precautions were taken 
against an attack. Barnard, however, never recovered and 
died from the effects of his wounds on the sixth of the follow- 
ing month, — September, 1695. 

The times in which he lived were hard and exacting. They 
were days of strife, warfare, and mortal combat. No man could 
safely till his fields unarmed, and he might rise any night to 
see his neighbor's cabin in flames and to hear the dreaded war- 
whoop at his own door. Not even five men, as we have seen, 
could safely ride forth on that ordinarily most peaceful of mis- 
sions, — to go to miU to have one's com ground. From sunrise 
to sunset a gun was as much a part of a man's self as his very 
hand, while from sunset to sunrise every door and window was 
double barred and locked, — ^the settlers almost took their 
weapons to bed with them. 

Think then of the change wrought by three centuries ! We 
live in a country that basks in the smile of peace. Over the 
whole vast extent of these United States quiet and kindliness 
reign omnipotent. 

What may not the next three centuries bring forth ? Is it 
not reasonable to hope, — to believe, — ^that another such period 
of time may see univereal peace an actual fact t I feel assured 
of it. I believe that future generations will reap, from the seed 
now being sown, a harvest of peace ; that nations will no longer 
consider war a means by which to settle their disputes, but that 
international law will have so grown, and the principles of arbi- 
tration become so extended, that the clash of arms will have 
vanished forever from the face of the earth. 

And the donor of this little monument has erected it not only 

Address of Caleb AUm Sta/rr. 225 

as a memorial of Joseph Barnard's life, but also as a lesson to 
ns and our suocessors, that war is giving way to peace, and that 
it may point out the path to a state of supreme and universal 
brotherhood among all men. 

The party then rode out on the edge of the bluff overlooking 
the scene of the Bars Fight. Here Caleb Allen Starr of Illinois 
spoke of the death of his great-grandfather Allen in the fight, 
and he told how the bloody catastrophe occurred, how the 
farmers had gone off haying, and were set upon by the savages, 
how some of them escaped to secure the safety of the women 
and children, and the rest, including Mr. Allen, stayed to en- 
gage the savages. 


Friends : You may think it strange that I should be called 
upon to tell the story of any part of the early history of Deer- 
field when the name of Starr does not appear in any of its early 
annals. But my mother was an AUen and the Aliens were 
among the early settlers. Samuel Allen, son of Edward — the 
founder of the Allen family of Deerfield — ^built the house you 
see and in front of which you listened to the eloquent paper by 
Mr. Barnard — and which has sheltered five generations of 
Aliens. It was transformed into a studio by my dear friend 
and early schoolmate, George Fuller, and is now occupied by 
his artist sons. 

The scene of the fight which is the subject of this halt, is just 
northwest of us on the flat below this bluff, on what in my 
boyhood days was called The Island, but I note is now referred 
to as Stebbins Meadow. The AUen family with some of their 
Amsden neighbors were haying and were necessarily scattered 
over the field, apart from their arms. The Indians were in 
ambush in the forest to the southwest waiting for a favorable 
opportunity to spring upon the workers. Eleizer Hawks, a 
brother of Mrs. AUen, not feeling well enough to work had 
taken his gun to hunt for game near the lair of the Indians ; 
the discharge of his gun at a partridge was taken by the In- 

226 Old Home Week— 1901. 

dians to be an aLarm ; he was shot down, and they at once 
charged upon the defenseless people, who fled in dismay, some 
fighting as they retreated ; but Samuel Allen stood his ground 
to hold the savages in check, while his children fled. He was 
killed, scalped, and otherwise mutilated.^ One daughter, 
Eunice, a child of thirteen, was overtaken by an Indian who 
split her head with his hatchet and left her for dead, but did not 
scalp her. She recovered, and lived to be 85 years old. The 
later part of her life she was a living encyclopedia of Indian 
lore. She was found just southwest of the place now owned 
by Mr. Charles H. Stebbins, and west of the canal. The site 
of the old road from the Meadow where it was cut through the 
bluff was plain in my boyhood days. Towards this gap Eunice 
was running ; and you must remember that instead of a canal 
with its abrupt bank, it was only a brook which drained the Boggy 
Meadow swamp south of the Stebbins' house. One son, Caleb, 
nine years old and small for bis age, taking refuge in an adja- 
cent cornfield, was not discovered by the Indians. One son 
of eight, Samuel, Jr., was taken prisoner and carried to Canada. 
He was afterward redeemed by his uncle, Colonel, then Sergeant 
John Hawks. And thereby hangs a very interesting tale. 
Just north of the Allen home which we see, on the edge of the 
bluff lived in her wigwam, an Indian woman with her son 
who was slowly fading away with consumption, and many 
were the kindnesses bestowed upon the sick boy by the Allen 
family. The son died, and was buried near the mother's wig- 
wam. In the spring of 1746 the children of the Allen family 
reported that the Indian mother had dug up the bones of her 
son and was cleansing them, and drying them in the sun. One 
morning soon after, she was missing without giving any warn, 
ing or leaving any sign, and whither she went no one could 
guess. While Col. John Hawks was in Canada, negotiating for 

* Since that notable ^'Historical Ride/' July 30, 1901, a Bowlder Monu- 
ment with suitable inscription has been placed by his descendants to mark 
the site of the tragic death of Samuel Allen. [C. A. S.] 

Others slain on the same occasion, were Adonijah Gillet, Oliver Amsden, 
and his l»x>ther Simeon. The assailants were a smaU detachment from the 
army of De Vaudreuil, who had captured Fort Massachusetts and its heroic 
garrison five days before, and taken the commander, Sergt. John Hawks, 
the ''Hero of Fort lilassachusetts,'' and his men to Canada. Here his poor 
sister, Mrs. Allen, lost her husband and a nephew killed, had a brother and a 
son captured, and a daughter apparently wounded unto death. [Editor.] 


Poem ly Mrs. Chwnypney. 227 

the exohange or redemption of prisoners in 1748, he was unable 
to get any traoe of little Sam Allen, and had almost despaired 
of finding him. One morning an old squaw attracted his at- 
tention by her singular behavior— peering into his door and 
quickly disappearing; this she repeated several times, and 
he finally addressed her, inquiring what she wanted. She said, 
" You find Sammy Allen ? '' " No," said he, " I can't find him." 
— She answered, " Indian know." She finally gave him all the 
information he needed. The colonel procured his release and 
returned him to his mother. A curious question arises here. 
Did this old Indian woman know that this attack was contem- 
plated? And if so would not all the kindness she had 
received from the Allen family have prompted her to warn 
them } But as has often been said, '^ blood is thicker than 
water," and she must be true to her tribe. But when the op- 
portunity came to do something directly for the family, she 
was true to the Indian code, viz., reciprocity of favors. 

The wife of Samuel Allen was the sister of Col. John Hawks, 
who was an intrepid soldier and pioneer and a natural diplo- 
mat. The attraction of the Aliens and Hawkses did not end 
here, for I find that six times have the scions of the two fami- 
lies been united in marriage. 

The party made a picturesque sight as they gathered under 
the magnificent maples that dignify the scene. 
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Champney's poem : 

Do you ask, Why this stone by the brookside, 

Since with heroes your fame-roil is fiUed, 
Why honor this plain Joseph Barnard 

Who amply went out and was killed? 

He was warned by the guard at the stockade, 

He was certainly rash or self-willed, 
It was worse than a crime, 'twas a blunder, 

To go out, and to get himself killed. 

Stout Jonathan Wells had a vision, 

That leader unused to affright, 
"The Indians skulk by the highway: 

I saw them in dreams of the night." 

Brave Barnard smiled at the warning, 

"In danger our meadows were tilled. 
Our loved ones would surely go hungiy 

If their bread-winners feared to be killed. 

328 Old HofM Weeh—\^^\. 

"They are worth every risk, our good womeny 
And our children's mouths we must fill, 
So in spite of all possible danger 
There is one grist will go to the milL" 

The hand of the leader saluted, 

The man was so cheerful and calm, 
And as Barnard rode through the meadows 

His heart was repeating a psalm: 

"Thou leadest me by the still waters. 

My home in green pastures is blest, 
Tis a man's part to dare for his dearest. 

And humUy trust God for the rest." 

So we grave the brave name on this tablet. 
For our hearts by the story are thriUed — 

Of the hero who flinched not in danger, 
But who loved, and who dared, and was killed. 

After a brief stop during which the beautifol view into 
the meadows was fully enjoyed, the party got into line again 
and proceeded over the hill, enjoying as they went the lovely 
prospect of Mt. Tom and the other hills to the southward. Ar- 
rived at South Deerfield a halt was made at the Bloody Brook 
monument. The carriages lined up two or three deep about 
the little park, and Prof. Barber of Meadville introduced Dexter 
F. Hager to tell the story of the famous fight. Mr. Hager re- 
cited the facts of the heroic struggle made by the whites with 
a band of Indians greatly outnumbering them. Prof. Barber 
then referred to the number of historic speeches that had been 
made at this place, and said it was not generally known that 
about fifteen years ago, Edward Everett Hale when in Deerfield 
had written a poem on the subject. This poem was then read 
by Eev. Frank W. Pratt. 



Come liften to the Story of brave Lathrop and his Men, 

How they fought — how they died, 
When th^ marched againft the Redfkins, in the Autumn Days, and then* 

How they fell, — in their Pride, 

By Pocumtuok Side. 

* This ballad was written by Mr. Hale for the bi-oentennial of the founding 
of the First Church of Deerfield, October 17, 1688. 

Poem, hy JSdward Everett Hale. 229 

"Who will go to Deerfield Meadows and bring the ripened QrainT" 

Said old Mofdy to his men in array. 
''Take the Wagons and the Horfes and bring it back again. 

Be f ure that no Man f tray 

All the Day,— on the way." 

Then the Flower of Eilez ftarted, witii Lathrop at their head. 

Wife and brave, bold and true. 
He had fought the Pequote long ago, and now to Mofely faid, 

"Be there many, be there few, 

I wiU bring the Grain to you.'' 

They gathered all the Harveft, and th^ marched on the Way 

Through the Woods which blazed like Fire. 
No Soldier left the Line of march to wander or to f tray. 

Till the Wagons were f tailed in the Mire, 

And the Men began to tire. 

The Wagons have all forded the Brook as it flows. 

And then the Rear-Guard ftays 
To pick the purple Grapes that are hanging from the Boughs, 

When crack 1 — to their Amaze — 

A hundred Ilrdocks blazel 

Brave Lathrop he lay dyiog, but as he fell he cried, 

"Each Man to his Tree," faid he, 
"Let no one yield an Lich," and fo the Soldier died: — 

And not a Man of all can fee 

Where the Foe can be. 

And Philip and his Devils pour in their Shot f o faft. 

From behind and before, 
That Man after Man is fhot down and breathes his laft: 

Every Man lies dead in his Gore 

To fight no more, — ^no more. 

Oh, weep, ye Maids of ElTex, for the Lads who have died, — 

The Flower of ElTez they! 
The Bloody Brook ftiU ripples by the black Mountain-fide, 
But never fhall they come again to fee the Ocean-tide, 
And never fhall the Bridegroom return to his Bride 

From that dark and cruel Day— cruel Dayl 

The party then took the old road to East Whately, that rans 
alongside the Boston & Maine tracks for some distance, and 
then strikes ofF into the woods. This road runs for nearly a 
half mile through sand so deep that one would imagine one's 
self on some of the sand dunes near the seashore. 

Great was the astonishment of a carriage load of people going 

280 Old Borne WeeJh— 1901. 

in the opposite direction, to have to torn out for a oavalcade of 
people down in that apparently little nsed road. This road is 
still a publio highway, and the Whately people say it used to 
be called the Great Boad, because it was one of the old stage 
routes. On the procession went, brushing up against bushes 
and low growing trees, until they struck off to the left through 
an old cart path by the side of a field of tall corn. Over a sand 
bank they proceeded and off into a kind of clearing in pretty 
rough ground, where the primroses came up above the wagon 

Here a stop was made at the scene of the first hostile encounter 
between the whites and Indians in the valley. This has been 
hitherto a little known spot and it is only recently that the precise 
place has been definitely located. It lies just over the line in 
Whately, and is on the old Indian path from Deerfield to Hat- 
field. Here, on a bluff, in 1675, Capt. Lothrop and 100 men 
were ambushed by Indians, losing six men on the field and 
three dying later from their wounds. James M. Crafts of 
Orange, formerly of Whately, whose age almost takes him back 
to the time of the fight, was in charge of the trip from Bloody 
Brook to this place. The Indians concealed themselves in the 
swamp that borders on this bluff, now an almost impenetrable 

A large part of the excursionists alighted from their car- 
riages and penetrated the thicket, clambered down the edge of 
the bluff to an old spring of delightfully cool water, where the 
thirst of the multitude was assuaged by means of a tin pail bor- 
rowed from some member of the party. Afterward Hubbard 
S. AUis of Whately spoke briefly upon the clearing as follows : 

^' It gives me great pleasure, as a lineal descendant of CoL 
Wm. AUis, one of the first 25 settlers and Proprietors of Hadley 
Plantation, to welcome the officers and members of the Pocum- 
tuck Valley Memorial Association, in their visit to the ground 
in Whately where our ancestors fought their first battle with 
the Indians in this valley. Their descendants owe much to the 
indefatigable efforts of your society, and especially to Mr. 
George Sheldon, your venerable president, for locating and re- 
cording the trials of our fathers when this valley was a wilder- 
ness 240 years ago, and now clothed with a landscape beauty 
from Greenfield to Springfield, far exceeding any view I have 
seen during a long life of 82 years. 

Rema/rJcs of Hubba/rd S. AUU. 231 

^^ History shows that our ancestors, who settled Hadley Plan- 
tation in 1659, had resided there in peace with all the world 
for 15 years (and the Indians too) until 1675. The settlers in 
Hadley had erected no fortification and lived in peace with the 
Indians surrounding them, who came and went as they pleased. ' 
It was upon this spot where the settiers of the Connecticut val- 
ley had their first fight, which lasted three hours, with the In- 
dians in 1675, fighting them from tree to tree, Indian fashion, 
resulting in the defeat of the Indians, the settiers losing six men 
killed, and three died of their wounds afterward. Blessed is 
our lot in life that we do not exist in daily fear of the scalping 
knife and tomahawk, but dwell here in peace and safety, sur- 
rounded by all the comforts of life in this beautiful valley of 
the Connecticut Eiver, where from the surrounding hills you 
can view Mt. Holyoke, Mt. Toby, Sugar Loaf, and the towns of 
Amherst, Shutesbury, Hadley, North Hadley, Hatfield, North- 
ampton, Sunderland, South Deerfield, Deerfield and Greenfield. 
These all can be seen from Whately Street where I now reside. 

" It would give me great pleasure if on your route home, you 
would visit my residence and partake of my hospitality, and 
have a view of the valley, from Oreenfield to Mt. Holyoke, 20 
miles, which is very grand to behold and appreciated by lovers 
of rural scenery." 

James M. Crafts was then introduced and spoke of the work 
of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. He hoped 
that in the near future the Association would erect a suitable 
marker for this spot. This was the " seed-planting " for a monu- 
ment, referred to in the programme. This met with general ap- 
proval, and it is rather to be expected that this task will be one 
of the duties to be assumed by the Association in coming 

The party then resumed their carriages, went out to the old 
road, and continued between fields of com and tobacco closely 
bordering the highway, then turning eastward near the Maple- 
wood house on the Eiver Koad they proceeded homeward, get- 
ting a beautiful view of Sugar Loaf, much finer than that which 
one has from any other point. A delightful afternoon had 
passed, and the ride could not fail to make clearer to every one 
the historical events which were commemorated. 

232 Field MeeHng—ldOl. 


The culmination of the Old Home Week at Deerfield came 
to-day with the annual field meeting of the Pocnmtuck 
Yalley Memorial Association. Ten memorial stones, marking 
places of interest in the village, were dedicated. The exercises 
through the week, beginning with Sunday, when a service was 
held in the meetinghouse and continuing Tuesday with the his- 
toric ride, have been of exceptional interest and value. Many 
of the sons and daughters of the town have come back to help 
make the week a success. Altogether it has been a great week 
for the old town, one that will be long remembered and one 
that will leave its impress. 



A striking feature of the week's observances is the use of pla- 
cards to indicate the historical events connected with the old 
houses, and to mark other historic spots. Houses in which a 
soldier or soldiers of the colonial wars lived, are marked also by 
flags. Black flags indicate houses burned by Indians ; white 
flags, soldiers in King Philip's war ; orange flags, soldiers in 
King William's war ; red flags, soldiers in Queen Anne's war ; 
yellow flags, soldiers in Father Basic's war ; blue flags, soldiers 
in the French and Indian war ; United States flags, soldiers in 
the Revolutionary war. These planted on the grassy lawns 
and grouped in various colors gave to the Old Street a pecu- 
liarly attractive appearance. 

The following houses and other historic places are marked by 
placards indicating historic events ; the dates after names indi- 
cating, unless otherwise specified, the year of the first occupation 
of the spot by the settler : 

Beginning at the north end of the Old Street, on the 
west side: 

Amidon place — Thomas Weller killed at Bloody Brook, 1675. 

Historic Spots. 233 

ThomaB Broughton, wife and f oar children killed here by In- 
dians, June 6, 1693. 

Ashley place — ^Thomas Wells, commander of the fort, died 
1690 ; widow and three children killed or wounded by Indians, 
1693 ; home of the second minister, Mr. Ashley ; house fortified 
in old French war. 

Sheldon place — Sheldon homestead, 1708 ; longest holding in 
one family of any estate in the county. 

Henry Stebbins place — ^Ebenezer and Nathaniel Brooks ; house 
burned 1704; David Dickinson, major in Bevolutionary War. 

John Stebbins place— Gov. Belcher's treaty with Indians, 
1735 ; Jonathan Hoyt captured 1704, commander of the gar- 
rison in the old French war. 

Charles Jones place — Joseph Barnard, first town clerk, 1685 ; 
brother John killed at Bloody Brook ; Thomas WeUs, soldier 
in Philip's war ; Thomas Wells, captain in Father Basle's war ; 
Thomas Dickinson, captain in Bevolutionary War. 

BiUings place — ^Barnabas Hinsdale, killed at Bloody Brook, 
1675 ; Samuel Hinsdale, killed at Bloody Brook, 1675 ; Thomas 
Williams, 1746; lieutenant colonel and surgeon in the last 
French war. 

Joseph Stebbins place— Daniel Belden, 1686 ; self, wife and 
seven children killed, wounded or captured, 1696 ; Joseph Steb- 
bins, captain at Bunker Hill, 1775. 

Site of the third meetinghouse, 1696— (on the common). 

Site of the fourth meetinghouse, 1729^near soldiers' monu- 

Site of the fifth meetinghouse, 1824 ; weather vane, old roos- 
ter, 1729. 

Old Fort well, 1689 ; on the common. 

Old Street laid out, 1671. 

Laura Wells place — ensign John Sheldon, 1687 ; Old Indian 
House, torn down, 1848. 

Lincoln Wells place — ^Benoni Stebbins, 1677 ; house defended 
by seven men and a few women against the French and Indians, 
February 29, 1703-4. 

Home lot Rev. John Williams, 1686. 

Old corner store, military headquarters for Korthem Hamp* 
shire county in French wars (on academy lot). 

Old Hitchcock place — ^Birthplace of Edwwl Hitchcock, bom 
1793 ; died 1864, a leading scientist of America. 

234 Fidd Meeting— 1901. 

Whiting place— Mehuman Hinsdale, bom 1673 ; first white 
man bom in Deerfield ; Samuel Hinsdale killed with Lothrop, 

Champney place— Timothy Childs, 1718, soldier in Queen 
Anne's war, captain in Father Basle's war ; his son, Timothy, 
captain in French war. 

Fogg place— Jonathan Wells, 1686 ; boy hero of the Con- 
necticut valley, 1676 ; commander of garrison, 1704 ; house 
fortified and not captured, February 29, 1704. 

Horatio Hoyt sen., place — Sergt. John Hawks, the hero of 
Fort Massachusetts, 1746 ; lieutenant colonel in the last French 

Abercrombie place — Dedham church lot, 1671. 

Arms corner — William Arms, 1698, head of Arms family 
in America. 

Barnard place — John Arms, 1712 ; house fortified, 1744. 

Elizabeth Wells place — John Catlin, served in Father Basle's 
war ; captain in French wars ; died in the service, 1758. 

Cyrus Brown place — John Plympton, 1672, captured and 
burned at the stake, 1677 ; son Jonathan killed with Loth- 
rop, 1675. 

Site of the old Smead place — William Smead, 1671, head of 
the Smead family in America; son William killed with 
Lothrop, 1676. 

Miller place — Qodtrej Nims, 1692 ; founder of Nims family 
in America. House burned 1694. 

C. Alice Baker place— Samson Frary, 1686, killed, 1704 ; north 
part of house standing, 1698 ; oldest house in Franklin county. 

Site of Old Pocumtuck tavern opposite the common — ^William 
Williams, 1743 ; lieutenant colonel at Louisburg, 1746 ; commis- 
sary store for northern Hampshire, 1748. 

Orthodox parsonage — Quintin Stock well, 1673, house forti- 
fied, 1676 ; he was captured and carried to Canada, 1677. 

Yale place — two original lots — Bobert Hinsdale, 1671 ; head of 
Hinsdale family in America ; killed with three sons at Bloody 
Brook, 1676 ; Joseph Gillett, 1672, killed with Lothrop, 1676 ;son 
Joseph captured, 1696 ; Ethan Allen's father born here, 1708 ; 
Samuel Barnard, 1711, captain in Father Basle's War. 

Samuel Childs place — John Allen killed at Bloody Brook, 
1676 ; David Field, colonel in the Bevolutionary War ; liberty 
pole and headquarters of the Sons of Liberty, 1774. 

Hutoric Spots. 235 

William Sheldon place — Joshua Carter, killed at Bloody 
Brook, 1675 ; Daniel Severance killed here, 1694 ; Martin and 
Joseph Eellogg, captains in Father Basle's war, and Province 
interpreters to the Indians. 

Alien place — Hannah Beaman, 1687; first known school 
dame; pupils attacked by Indians under Baron St. Oastine, 
1694 ; left estate by will to publi6 schools. 

Fort Hill, east of Unitarian parsonage — ^Bluff where stood 
the stronghold of the Pocumtucks, which was stormed and taken 
by the Mohawks, 1665. 

Unitarian parsonage— Joseph Clesson, served in King Wil- 
liam's and Queen Anne's wars ; lieutenant in Father Basle's 
war ; captain in French war ; died in service, 1753 ; son Matthew 
served in Father Basle's war ; lieutenant in last French war ; 
died in service, 1756. 

Cowles place— Ebenezer Hinsdale, 1738 ; chaplain and colonel 
in French wars ; builder of Fort Hinsdale, and founder of the 
town of Hinsdale N. H. 

Lydia Stebbins place— Nathaniel Sutliffe, 1672; killed at 
Turners Falls, 1676. 

This is Deerfield's day, one of the great days in the history of 
the most historic of western Massachusetts towns, and great 
because it is devoted to the fitting establishment of permanent 
memorials of the days of her trial and heroism. The work of 
her venerable historian is rounded out in the placing of the stones 
which shall indicate for time to come the exact sites of her most 
notable places and events, which he has largely devoted 
his life to making familiar to the present generation. Should 
the Pocumtuck Association carry no further its work of arousing 
an interest in the heroic deeds of the fathers, should it end to- 
day its attempt to place these events and the brave actors in 
them rightly and familiarly before the world, it would have 
grandly served the purpose of its founder, and richly justified 
all that has been expended of effort and money in its undertak- 
ings. Fortunately, it is not to-day reaching its completion. As 
town after town has felt the impulse of its memorializing and 
preserving spirit, there has developed a widening field for such 
endeavor. There are still memorials to be raised, and every 
stone erected offers suggestions of the good yet to be wrought. 

Of the significance of the memorials dedicated to-day in the 
mother town of our region, there could be no better statement 

236 Fidd Meeting— 1901. 

than is contained in the report of the monument committee, in 
which a devoted daughter of the old families has set forth in 
remarkable comprehensiveness the signal facts of the tragic and 
romantic story of the town. It is not Deerfield's fortune alone, 
but that of every person everywhere, who has any care for the 
preservation of the old Kew England character, that these 
memorials are so fittingly presented. The sacrifices and the 
personal quality of the pioneers could not be forgotten without 
a positive loss to the present and the future. So it is that this 
is to be reckoned among the great days in the annals of the 
town and of Kew England. 

The exercises began in the morning with fife and drum music 
by Hiram Willard and Albert M. Thompson of Greenfield. 
Prayer was offered by Rev. G. "W. Solley, the chaplain of the 
day. George Sheldon, the venerable president of the Associa- 
tion, whose idea it was to have an Old Home Week, made a 
brief address of welcome, and turned the meeting over to Judge 
Francis M. Thompson, vice-president. 


The commander-in-chief has bid you all welcome to the fes- 
tivities of this " Old Home Week," in old Deerfield. I know 
that the welcome is sincere, and tiiat ^' it is good to be here." 
I shall speak as a stranger, and not as an officer of this Associa- 
tion. We, of Greenfield, know what a welcome to old Deer- 
field means. It is a welcome to beautiful scenery, to happy 
homes, to good society, highly appreciative of art and literature, 
and to all the creature comforts which are good for man. 
Deerfield has been welcoming some one to the enjoyment of 
her garnered stores for many years. Before even the child 
was named, she welcomed the agents of Pynchon, in 1637, when 
they visited her to purchase succor for the starving settlers in 
Connecticut, and the Pocumtuck chiefs sent fifty canoe loads of 
corn to their relief. In 1666 she welcomed Lieutenant Fisher 
and the land hunters of Dedham, who coveted her rich lands. 
In 1707 she welcomed back Rev. John Williams, " The Re- 
deemed Captive " upon " his return to Zion." In 1736 she wel- 
comed Governor Belcher, the Colonial council, the committee 

Address ly Judge Thompson. 237 

of the L^islature, many other fine gentlemen, and several hun- 
dred Indians of the Caoghnawaga, St. Francis, Moheag, Scauta- 
cook and Honsatonic tribes while they held a seven days' con- 
ference and negotiated a treaty of peace. From 1744 to 1760 
when the strife was ended by the victory of Amherst at Mont- 
real, she welcomed to this, the headquarters of the frontier, the 
oiBcers and men who risked their lives in the straggle against 
Canada. In 1746 she welcomed Dr. Thomas Williams and his 
band of thirteen men who were sent out by John Hawks from Fort 
Massachusetts, to bring relief to his brave Uttle garrison. Little 
they dreamed that they had marched unmolested within a few 
feet of the muzzles of the guns of seven hundred ambushed 
French and Indians. In 1755, she welcomed and entertained 
Col. Ephraim Williams, while he formed his regiment which 
was decimated at Lake Gleorge on the morning of ^^ the bloody 
scout." In 1767 she met and welcomed her trespassing children 
from Greenfield, with pitchforks, rakes and cudgels, as they at- 
tempted to remove the hay from the disputed sequestered lands. 
But one hundred and fifty years later, Greenfield had her re- 
venge, and perhaps Deerfield is not disconsolate. In 1775 she 
welcomed Benedict Arnold and entertained him at Frary 
house as he sped on his way hoping to surprise ^^ Old Ti." 

For thirty years the good people of the town have been wel- 
coming the Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial Association, and freely 
providing entertainment fit for the gods ; and now she bids all 
her children, uncles and aunts, welcome to the festivities of this 
happy occasion. 

Let me take up a few minutes more of the precious hours of 
this day, as I bear, by their special request, a message from the 
women of Deerfield. 

When I read the story of the many deeds of valor performed 
by the sturdy men of this Pocumtuck Valley, in their struggle 
for the possession of this beautiful land, I sometimes wonder if 
there were any women in those days ; so little has been written 
concerning them, and of their lives, and so little credit has been 
given them for the important share they bore in laying broad 
and deep the foundations of our beloved Commonwealth. The 
..ritere in those early days seem not to have had the experience 
of Lady Mary Wortley Montague, who, being asked upon her 
return from a voyage around the world, " what kind of people 
she had seen " replied, ^^ I met two kinds, Men and Women." I 

238 Held Meeting— 1901. 

think it better, on an oooasion like this, that the old Boman 
maxim, ^^ say nothing bat good of the dead," should be para- 
phrased to, '^ speak nothing but good of woman, or keep silence." 

But happily, in this case silence is not needed, for had one the 
eloquence of a Beecher, not half the due credit could be given 
to those mothers of old, who, perhaps when the mind and con- 
science were yet tender, moulded the thoughts of their sons to 
high ideals, and implanted therein the seeds of upright life 
which in after years made them strong to do a brave man's 
work in the world, and be of service to their day and generation. 

The constant guard, the ranging of the forest trails, done by 
our fathers in summer's heat and winter's cold, the surprise and 
the fight with the ambushed foe, were not the only battles 
fought in this now happy valley, in those old days. By the 
ancient hearthstones, in the humble home, went on a struggle 
more fierce, more bitter, more heartrending than that known 
upon the battlefield, from day to day and in the silent watches 
of the night ; where women bereft of their protectors, bravely 
did their work without complaint, even when loved ones were 
brought home the bleeding victims of some ambushed foe. 

The bravest battle that was ever fought, 

Shall I teU you where and when? 
On the maps of the world you will find it not, 

Twas fought by the mothers of men. 

The spirit of the generation in which they lived, is well ex- 
pressed in Cromwell's declaration in regard to his army : " They 
had the fear of God before them, and made conscience of what 
they did." So with our New England mothers ; they drilled 
and instilled into the minds of their sons and daughters the 
principles of piety, industry and frugality, the result of which 
has caused an able writer to say : ^^ History has given us no 
record of a people so eminently intelligent, thrifty, energetic 
and frugal, who have submitted these qualities so absolutely to 
the control of a strong religious faith, and allowed the distinc- 
tion between right and wrong, as they saw and felt it, to domi- 
nate every interest in life." 

It is said that the lot of the woman in the olden time was 
hard, that ^' the woman's heart constantly longed for a kindlier 
and tenderer civilization, and, turning away from the stern 
days in which she lived, prayed that her children, in the years 

Address by Judge Thompson. 239 

to oome, might find a better life and a gentler lot ; " and a Bos- 
ton woman has been cmel enough to say that the women of 
those days ^^ not only had to endure the same trials and hard- 
ships which the fathers did, but they also had to endure the 
fathers to boot." 

n those old mothers were anything, they were religious; 
they believed the Bible; they had fuU faith that what was 
written there meant what it said. They believed in the provi- 
dences of God, and their faith gave them enduring courage. 

One of the fathers departing one day on a journey to a dis- 
tant field, took his long rifle from the rack, and starting for the 
door, his wife said, " My dear, why do you take that gun when 
you go out ; don't you know that the time and manner of 
your taking oflf was fixed from the beginning of the world, and 
that the rifle can 't vary the decree one hair's breadth ? " " That 
is true, my dear wife ; I don 't take my rifle to vary^ but to 
execute the decree. What if I should meet an Indian whose 
time had come, according to the decree, and I didn't have my 
rifle with me ? " The pious woman acknowledged her short- 

Since my active connection with our beloved society, I have 
had occasion to study the wonderful resources of the women of 
Deerfield. The shelves of our libraries, the pages of our peri- 
odicals and magazines, and our library tables, all attest the 
merit of the daughters of the old town in art and literature. 
The extensive and beautiful collection of handiwork now on 
exhibition at the Pratt Memorial, is a most wonderful confir- 
mation of the recognized merit of the ^^ Arts and Crafts " of the 
town, while the building itself is not only a deserved monument 
to a noble and beloved woman, but it is as well an enduring 
token of the loyalty of the women of Deerfield, who caused 
its erection. Neither can I forget the steady devotion of these 
women to the interests of our Association. I can well say, that 
the women of this generation are the worthy daughters of 
noble mothers. 

Long before Samuel Hinsdale had turned the first sod in 
these fertile meadows, this had been the home of the Pocum- 
tucks. Here their wily Sachems planned the subjugation of 
the Pequots, which they would have accomplished but for the 
intervention of the English. Near by stood their fort ; they 
were swelled by their prowess and importance, and murdered 

240 Fidd Meeting— 1901. 

the embassy sent to them by the Mohawks. The Mohawks 
planned revenge. Secreting a large body of warriors upon 
Pine Hill, they made a furious attack upon the Pocumtuck 
fort. Boutedy they withdrew across the meadow toward their 
ambushed friends, closely followed by the eager Pocumtucks, 
who fell into the trap set for them and suffered a crushing de- 
feat Comparatively few were left at the time of the coming 
of the English settlers.* 

The story of the tragic events which took place on this ground 
February 29, 1703-4 has often been told by abler pens than 
mine. I have to do with one actor in that scene, John Sheldon, 
a member of the first board of selectmen of Deerfield, and a 
principal man of the town. 

On that fearful night, his house stood within the palisaded 
walls, and was one of the few so standing which was not de- 
stroyed. This, ** The Old Indian House," being the largest 
in town, together with the meetinghouse was used as a depot 
for the collection of the captives, and their preparation for 
the march to Canada. Three of John Sheldon's children and 
his son's wife were captured, and his wife, Hannah, and one 
child kiUed. 

On the 20th of December, 1704, Capt. John Livingston of 
Albany, John Sheldon and John Wells of Deerfield were com- 
missioned by Gh>vemor Dudley to proceed to Canada and secure, 
if possible, the release of the captives. Hannah Belding, the 
mother of John Wells, was taken captive, but, unknown to her 
son, she had been killed upon the march. 

Armed with conciliatory letters to Yaudreuil, the Gk>vemor 
of Canada, these brave men set forth in the middle of winter, 
in their journey by unknown paths, over Hoosac mountain and 
by the lakes, for Canada. Miss Baker has depicted in chaste 
and glowing words, in a paper upon the life of this John Shel- 
don, read before our society, the terrible hardships endured by 
these daring men. Three times did this noble man make th^ 
terrible journey to the frozen north for the rescue of his fellow 
townsmen, and he was instrumental in the return of Rev. John 
Williams and one hundred and twelve others from their savage 

Through the blood of this old hero, mixed with the blood of 

* The storj of the final catastrophe as read by some, differs slightly 
from the abore. pSDrroB.] 

Address by Judge Thompson. 241 

Stebbins, Chapin, Arms and Hoyt, comes our honored president, 
George Sheldon, and it is in his honor that I am invited to 
speak. Like begets like. Deerfield owes great honor to the 
memory of old Ensign John Sheldon, and his virtues have been 
most charmingly inscribed upon the roU of fame. The people 
of the Connecticut valley owe to Gteorge Sheldon a debt of 
gratitude as deep as everlasting, for the great work he has 
accomplished in rescuing from oblivion so much of the story of 
the olden times. As the years roll on those who come after us 
will more and more appreciate the work of his hands. Practi- 
cally his life has been spent in this labor of love. He has 
builded to himself a more enduring monument than granite, 
and more worthy the praises of men. By his enthusiasm Mr. 
Sheldon created a sentiment which demanded the publication 
of a reliable history of the old mother town of Deerfield. He 
instituted a systematic search for the necessary information; 
family traditions were sifted and compared, the records of the 
town, the courts, the churches, and the voluminous archives of 
the state were examined and transcribed with wonderful fidelity. 
The attics of old homesteads were searched, and old newspapers, 
old diaries, family letters, account books of business men and 
miscellaneous papers of all kinds sought out and examined ; 
dates and statistics compared, and data from every conceivable 
source which bore upon the early history of the town, were 
made use of to complete the story of the upbuilding of Deerfield. 
His history of Deerfield is a most wonderful work. 

Having had occasion recently to examine the records and files 
in the Massachusetts Archives, I was struck with the knowledge 
of the faithful manner in which Mr. Sheldon had covered the 
whole ground, leaving little for his successors to tell. None 
but a master hand could do the work, and no master hand has 
done better work in local history than George Sheldon. The 
work of all these years has been a labor of love, for it has been 
wholly without pecuniary reward, all the profits of the publica- 
tion having been donated to the treasury of our Association. 

The antiquarian collection in Memorial HaU is to a large ex- 
tent the result of Mr. Sheldon's personal efforts. 

When aided by others, it was work done under his inspira- 
tion. The financial interests of our Association have been ad- 
mirably managed, and although almost without endowment, it 
is on solid ground, and well equipped for the work it is intended 

242 Fidd MeeUnji— 1901. 

to do. Mr. Sheldon has written many papers of great historic 
value, and some, which have been published in the three volumes 
of the Proceedings of our Association, have attracted the atten- 
tion of celebrated antiquarians. 

His work, and the success of his work, has added much to the 
celebrity of the old town, and the unique antiquarian collection 
at Memorial Hall, attracts the attention of many people from 
afar, who are surprised at its extent and value. 

With a vivid conception of the high honor conferred upon me 
by the women of Deerfield, I take great pleasure in tendering 
to you, Mr. President, in their name, their deepest and most 
sincere thanks for the noble work which you have performed 
for the enduring good of the people of this grand old town, and 
to express for them, their love and devotion and the hope that 
your years may yet be many, and that you may fully realize 
that your labors have not been in vain, and that your work is 
fully appreciated by your fellow townsmen. 

At the conclusion of Judge Thompson's remarks, there was 
singing by a choir under Charles H. Ashley. The report of the 
committee on memorial stones was then presented. 



It is fitting that this opening year of the twentieth century 
should set an indelible seal upon the worthy deeds of our fathers. 
We, as a people, are waking to the truth that it is our impera- 
tive duty to preserve the history of early New England life. 
And why is this duty imperative ? Because the history of our 
forefathers, rightly interpreted is an inspiration to both young 
and old ; because the present can be read clearly and intelligibly 
only by the light of the past ; and, more than this, because it is 
only by preserving all that is pure and heroic in the past and 
the present that the future will be able to realize its largest and 
best possibilities. Therefore, it is not a matter of sentiment 
only, but it is the highest wisdom, in accordance with the most 
far-reaching utilitarian policy that leads us to engrave on en- 
during stone the annals of an earlier time. 

Report of the OommUtee on JUontmhonts. 243 

For these reasons, we, to-day, pledge ourselves anew to guard 
well these ancient hearthstones, to protect these grand old trees, 
and to treasure the homely implements of husbandry and the 
household, the time-stained manuscripts, the relics of every kind 
that tell us of Pocumtuck and the Deerfield of old. 

When we contemplate the events occurring in this town dur- 
ing the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a few pictures 
stand out in bold relief. Let us look at these in the order of 
their chronology that we may thus preserve the sequence of 
events from 1676 to 1788. 

The first picture is of a lad of 16 years who in Philip^s War 
was a soldier under Captain Turner at the Falls of Peskeompskut. 
Strong and clear-headed in battle, full of resources in extremest 
peril, Jonathan WeUs may truly be called a " Boy Hero." No 
one can read his story without noting his ^^ bravery and cool- 
ness when attacked ; his knightly courtesy in stopping in his 
flight to rescue Belding ; his thoughtfulness for those behind, 
and judgment in pleading with Captain Turner to keep his 
command in a body ; his humanity in releasing his horse ; his 
resignation when lying down to die ; his forethought in putting 
out of the reach of the foe his powder horn and bullets ; his 
courage in preparing for one more shot; his expedient for 
lighting a fire to keep off the insects; his self-possession in 
building a fire to lie down by after his narrow escape from be- 
ing burned to death .... his persistent care for his gun and 
ammunition ; his ingenuity in saving himself when in the very 
jaws of the enemy ; his fortitude under the discouragements by 
the way, and his expedients for overcoming them ; his rever- 
ence and care for the dead at Bloody Brook. Here stand clearly 
revealed traits of the noblest character in a lad ripened to self- 
reliance by the exigencies of frontier life." As we shall learn 
later, the sequel of the boy's story was written in fire, Febru- 
ary 29, 1703-4. 

In 1695, nineteen years after the Falls Fight, Joseph Barnard, 
a public-spirited citizen, was serving Deerfield as town clerk. 
This was his eighth year in office. He had also been elected 
townsman in 1689, and a representative to the General Court 
in 1692 and 1693. Nineteen times he had acted as moderator in 
town meeting. Other important duties had devolved upon him. 
With Joshua Pomroy he had been sent to Ipswich in search of 
a minister for the ^^ plantation," and his name appears on a pe- 

244 Fitld Meeiinff— 1901. 

tdtion to the Gleneral Oourt, ^' In y^ name & behalf of y^ In- 
habitants of DearfcL" 

On a summer morning in 1695, Barnard, with three compan- 
ions, rode down the Street on horsebaok, sitting astride the 
bags of com which was to be ground at Mill Biver, three miles 
away. At the house of Captain Jonathan WeUs, whom as a 
boy we ahready know, they halted, for the captain was already 
out to greet them. ^^ By some subtle and mysterious influence," 
says our historian, ^^ Captain Wells, the commander of the town, 
had the night before been warned of impending danger from 
the Indians, and had passed a sleepless and watchful night in 
consequence. On seeing the mill party riding down the Street, 
he went out to stop them. He could give no substantial reason 
for his order. The bright morning sunshine may have weak- 
ened his nocturnal impressions, and seeing Mr. Barnard, whom 
he thought to be a prudent man, he let them go on. The 
stone at Indian Bridge, which we dedicate to-day tells the story 
of the tragic event that followed : 

Joseph Barnard, 
Godfrey Nims, Henry White 

and Philip Mattoon, 

going to mill on horseback, 

were here fired upon 

by Indians in ambush 

Aug. 21, 1696. 

Barnard was mortally wotmded 

and died Sept. 6. 

He was the first Town Clerk and 

"A veiy vseful & helpful man in y« place." 

These words of appreciation are quoted from a letter of John 
PynchoD, written September 13, seven days after the death of 
Joseph Barnard. 

It is in honor of good citizenship that this memorial stone is 
erected by a descendant of Joseph Barnard, James M. Barnard 
of Boston, a gentleman who takes keen delight in advancing 
good causes. 

In 1698, three years after Joseph Barnard was killed, Wil- 
liam Arms, the first by the name in this country, came to Deer- 
field and built a house on the east corner lot at the south end 
of the Street. Here were born five sons (three of whom grew 
to manhood) and four daughters. Excepting the years from 
1828 to 1841 that part of this old homestead on which the house 

Meport of the CommiUee on MowumenU. 245 

stood has been in the hands of the descendants who hold it to- 
day as a predoas heirloom. The memorial stone nutrlring this 
home lot bears the inscription : 

Homestead of William Arms 


Founder of the 

Arms Family in America. 

This stone is erected by Mrs. Ellen Arms Sheldon and Miss 
Avice S. Arms, direct descendants of William Arms through his 
son DanieL 

We now come to the blackest page in the history of our old 
town. We shudder at the horror of that awful night of Feb- 
ruary 29, 1703-4. The tragic tale is well known to you all. 
Those within our borders have heard it from childhood, and 
strangers have learned it from their school books. You know 
of the little settlement of about 300 souls ; of the stealthy ap- 
proach of the barbarous French and Indians across the river 
and meadows on our west ; of the ladder of drifted snow against 
the palisades ; of the sleeping sentinel ; the fiendish carnage ; 
the slaughter of infants ; the capture of 111 men, women and 
children ; the burning houses and the 48 left dead. 

Amidst this wreckage of human homes and human hearts the 
sturdy house of Ensign John Sheldon stood firm — it would not 
yidd, neither would it bum. A wave of sorrow sweeps over us 
when we are forced to accept the unwelcome truth that this 
resolute old veteran was ruthlessly laid low in 1848. But to- 
day we do all that is left us to do— we honor its memory and 
place a memorial with this inscription : 


Old Indian Houbb 

Built by Ensign John Sheldon, 1008. 

It stood for 144 yean 

testifying to the tragedy of 

Feb. 29, 1703-4. 

Its stout door which kept at bay 

the French and Indians 

is now safe in Memorial Hall 

where its hatchet-hewn face 

still tells the tale of 

that fateful ni^t. 

346 Fidd Meeting— 1901. 

Contributions to this stone have been received from Ellen 
Chase, Margaret Marshall, Anna C. Kenyon, S. Willard Sax- 
ton, Ellen L. Sheldon, John Sheldon and others. 

Close by the Old Indian House on that dread night the mag- 
nificent pluck of our forefathers and foremothers was proving 
itself equal to the appalhng emergency. Proudly we dedicate 
the stone which will tell to future generations liiis marvelous 
tale of valor : 

Feb. 29, 1703-4. 

The unfortified house of Benoni Stebbiii8» 
standing on this lot, was held by 

"7 men, besides women and children" 

for three hours 

against the assault of 200 soldiers 

and the wiles of 140 Indians 

under a French officer of the line. 

Stebbins was killed 

Mary Hoyt and one man wounded. 

When forced to draw off 

The French had lost their lieutenant 

and the Indians their chief. 

How we exult in this gallant defense of a mere handful of 
men and women against a horde of savages ! Less brave souls 
would have said, ^' It is useless, it is folly to oppose Fate." Kot 
so with our fathers. They were made of a different mettle, and 
the ring of that mettle resounds through time, quickening us, 
their descendants, to ceaseless and courageous action, as neces- 
sary in times of peace as of war. 

Already the home of Rev. John Williams, the beloved pastor, 
" guide, counselor and friend," had been pillaged, two of his 
little ones murdered, and he with his wife and five children cap- 
tured. Through the heartrending agony of these scenes, and 
of his long captivity in Canada, it may truly be said of John 
Williams that " By faith he endured as seeing Him who is in- 
visible." On his return to Deerfield his people built him an- 
other house which — ^let us rejoice with exceeding great joy — 
is still standing. The memorial on the Williams homestead 
gives this interesting history : 

Report of the OommitUe on Monutnenta. 817 

This lot with a houBe 42 l^ 20 

ma given by the settlers in 1686 to 

Rev. John Williams 

the first settled minister. 

Family captured and house burned 

l^ De RouviUe, 1704. 

Present house built in 1707 for 

"The Redeemed Captive." 

Here he died, 1729. 

Erected by the 

Pocumtuok Valley Memorial Assodation 

July 31, 1901. 

Although ^^ The Great Fort " was in the hands of the French 
and Indians, the fortified house or fort of Captain Jonathan 
Wells towards the south end of the Street, was not taken, and 
this served as a refuge for the survivors. The memorial stone 
is erected by the children of Deerfield in honor of the ^^ Boj 
Hero " of Philip's War, and also to mark the site of the fort 
The inscription reads thus : 

Here stood the palisaded house 


Captain Jonathan Wells 

to which those 

esoi^ing the fury of the savages 

fled for safety, Feb. 29, 1703-4. 

Jonathan was the 

**Boy Hero of the Connecticut VaUey'' 

1676 and 
Commanded in the Meadow H^t, 


Erected l^ 

The Children of Deerfield. 


It is peculiarly fitting that the enthusiasm of the youth 
of this old town which, be it said, reaches out beyond our 
territorial limits, should find lasting expression in a memo- 
rial stone ; and who can tell what inspirations shall be born this 
day that shall lead to strong, efficient action in future years. 

Only the silence that is too profound for spoken word can ad- 

248 Fidd MeeHnff— 1901. 

eqoately portray the soene when the beloved dead of that crael 
massacre were laid to rest in yonder burial ground. Well nigh 
200 years have passed since then. To-day the grassy monnd is 
reared, and on its summit is placed the monumental stone, hewn 
from the very foundation rock of our valley. On one of the 
faces of this memorial are engraved the simple, impressive 

The Dead of 1704. 

On the opposite face : 

The Gnve of 

48 Men Women and 

Children, yiotini0 

of the French and 

Indian Raid on 


February 29, 1704. 

The list of the slain includes the names of families that were 
prominent in the early history of New England, whose descend- 
ants have filled places of trust and honor in the state and nation. 
These names are Alexander, Boltwood, Carter, Catlin, Field, 
Frary, French, Hawks, Hoy t, Hinsdale, Ingersol, Kellogg, Mat- 
toon, Nims, Price, Boot, Sheldon, Smead, Smith, Stebbins, 
Wells, Williams. This monument is erected by Miss 0. Alice 
Baker of Deerfield and Cambridge, a descendant of Joseph Cat- 
lin, one of the seven brave defenders of the Benoni Stebbins 
house, who, pursuing the enemy, was killed in the Meadow 
Fight^ and was buried with the 48 in the common grave. 

Scenes of utter woe must change — Nature has so decreed. 
The dauntless settlers in time picked up the broken threads of 
their lives, and again they sowed and reaped. In 1708 Ensign 
John Sheldon bought a home lot near the north end of the Street 
for his son John. Before 1743 the house now standing was 
built. It is indeed rare when a homestead remains in the pos- 
session of a family for nearly 200 years, and such a homestead, 
wherever found, deserves to be appropriately marked. 

It is with the strong conviction that this memorial will help 
on the good cause of the preservation of ancestral homes that 
it is erected and engraved with this inscription : 

Beport of the Committee on Monuments. 249 

Sheldon Homestead. 
Bought by John Sheldon, 1708. 
Handed down from sire to son 
to the present owner. 

Longest holding of any estate in 
Franklin County. 

Erected 1901. 

The pilgrim seeking historic landmarks, who pauses to read 
this inscription, will feel a deeper love for the home of his fathers, 
and a stronger desire to preserve that home from the hands of 
the spoiler. 

Of the pre-Eevolutionary families who occupied homesteads on 
Old Deerfield Street six still hold their ancestral acres. Of the 
21 pre-Kevolutionary houses now standing on the Street two are 
owned and occupied by the descendants of the builders. These 
are the homesteads of John Sheldon and Joseph Stebbins. Steb- 
bins was a young man of twenty-five when Samuel Adams 
breathed into this American people the breath of a new life. 
It was a time when the question for prompt decision lay be- 
tween righteous war and unrighteous peace. Though more 
than a century has passed we have not yet reached a stage in 
the evolutionary history of the race when arbitration, the 
cherished ideal of individuals, has become a national realiza- 
tion. The men of the Revolution knew that it is only by 
granting the largest freedom that the fullest development is 
possible. Therefore they fought till freedom was won for 
themselves and for us, their descendants. 

As we walk toward the north end of the Old Street we pass 
on the right a bowlder upon which we read : 

Liberty Pole 

Planted here by the Patriots 

July 29, 1774. 

This appropriate bowlder was found and drawn to its present 
position by Edward J. Everett. 

Nearly opposite is the homestead of Joseph Stebbins, a leader 
of the Patriots. His grand old house still stands in all its prim- 
itive simplicity — a spacious and restful home. How the blood 

250 Fidd Meeting— 1901. 

quickens in my veins as I read this tribute to my great grand- 
father : 

Home of Joeeph Stebbins 

bom 1749, died 1816. 

A lover of liberty 

and a servant of hia country. 

Lieutenant of Minute Men 

who marched on the Lexington alarm. 

Captain at the battle of Bunker HilL 

Fought at Stillwater and Bemis Heights. 

He led a force of volunteers 

across the Hudson 

near Fort Bfiller and captured an outpost 

in the rear of Buigoyne. 

CommiBwioned Colonel of Bfilitia, 1788. 

His descendants honor his memory 
and cherish his old home. 

Mr. President) it is with gladness I submit this report. It is 
indeed fortnnate that yon who have lived, as you say, 200 years 
in Deerfieldy who have written its history, and kept its b^t in- 
terests close to your heart, should be able with the cooperation 
of friends, of townspeople and 'Uhe children" to ere^^ these 
memorial stones which shall hand down to generations yet un- 
born the name and the fame of dear, historic Old Deerfield. 

Prof. Henry H. Barber was introduced and said in part: The 
Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial Association holds its Field Meet- 
ing tliis year in this old town of its inception and central his- 
toric interest. For several years past its summer meetings have 
been held at points that mark the sites of Indian fights or mas- 
sacres at Northfield, Charlemont, Colrain, Greenfield or Turners 
Falls, where suitable memorial stones have from time to time 
been erected and dedicated. 

To-day, the wishes and labors of this Society, and of its founder 
are fulfilled in the erection of monuments at points of special 
interest in this vicinity. The descendants of those who had 
part in the tragic scenes of the early days have loyally and gen- 
erously joined to make this notable and permanent record, on 
the spots made historic by the brave deeds and bitter sufferings 

PocunUuck Valley in, the World ^8 Arena. 251 

of their anoestors. Yesterday's beautiful ride took us to the 
outlying places of early Indian fight or massacre, where we 
dedicated memorial stones, or visited anew the spots already 
dedicated to the memory of those who fell by slaughter or sur- 
prise. Kow, we give a day in the midst of the delightful in- 
tercourse and associations of Home Week to the memories and 
inspirations connected with the monuments that have just been 
erected in this Street and its neighborhood. Their story has 
been adequately and beautifully told in our hearing this morn- 
ing. As we dedicate these stones, we are summoned to the fel- 
lowship of heroic worth, and strenuous deeds of courage and 
sacrifice, and high service of our country and our time. These 
memorial tablets stand here to speak to us of manful work and 
womanly endurance in this valley long generations before we 
came. They will stand to tell the story of old-time enterprise, 
character and religious purpose to other generations after we 
are gone. May the lessons they teach be well learned by us ; 
and, joined with the later lessons the instructive centuries are 
brining, of . larger )«.««. .mo« eoUghteoed Wth, . h,m»er 
social and civic order, help to inspire us, and our posterity, for 
a sweeter and purer home life, a nobler ideal of social and polit- 
ical duty and a higher and truly Christian civilization. 

After singing by the choir, the following eloquent historical 
address was given by Dr. Albert £. Winship of Boston. 



Nearly seventy years ago Edward Everett delivered his most 
oft-recited oration on such an occasion as this under the inspi- 
ration of Sugar Loaf. Other historical addresses were de- 
livered occasionally up to 1870, since which time one generation 
has annually assembled in midsummer to kindle anew historic 
pride and patriotic devotion at the embers which have been so 
tenderly cherished by George Sheldon in his exhaustive and in- 
teresting "History of Deerfield." Thirty men suspected of 
being specialists or experts have fanned these embers in the 
morning, and more than 100 more brilliant orators have swung 
their flaming after-dinner torches, kindled by the morning 
effort Thus, before and after the lunch baskets, for 80 years 

252 Fidd Meeting— 1901. 

some 200 men have talked upon the same subjeot, using the 
same material, expecting the same audience to appear to won- 
der and admire. These addresses have all been published and 
more or less read by the same persons who heard them. It is 
no enviable task assigned one to start a new generation of 
speeches with the same old generation of listeners, thereby set- 
ting the pace for a new century of celebrations with only one 
advantage. I am not a native of the valley and have never 
before attended these historical festivities. 

A supreme demand which the twentieth century makes upon 
those who were unfortunate enough to pass the meridian of life 
in the nineteenth is that we shall appreciate the fact that every 
important event is a part of the movement that is eternal as 
well as universal. It took the Pocumtuck valley more than a 
century to realize its citizens were being scalped, its houses 
burned, and its crops laid waste for the amusement of kings 
and queens, of weak men and bad women in European courts 
who never so much as inquired whether there was such a val- 
ley on the face of the globe. Then it took more than another 
century for the valley to understand that it had any responsi- 
bility for the starving of reconcentrados or for the massacres 
by the Boxers. How can the century be more fittingly initi- 
ated into Pocumtuck mysteries than by studying the eternal 
and universal sweep of all important and local actions ? Where 
can such a study be more appropriately suggested than in this 
loveliest of valleys, where a larger percentage of the population 
was killed or captured, and the homes and crops oftener de- 
stroyed than in any equal area in the New World? What 
people could famish as good an illustration as your fathers, who 
were merely pawns for kings and queens, knights and bishops 
of the Old World, being massacred or taken into captivity until 
that noble hour in 1759, when they realized that their history 
had not been written upon Sugar Loaf, but in the Pyrenees ; 
that their battle ground was not in the Pocumtuck valley, but 
on the Heights of Abraham. The world's progress is by the 
majestic strides of great events, which are largely the result of 
the impulse, the imitative spirit, or the purpose of peoples. Noth- 
ing is more irresistible than the impulsiveness of a peerless 
nation. From the time when the first Palm Sunday was soon 
followed by the cracifixion, by the change of the impulse of an 
intense people, to the day when the American Congress forgot 

Pooumtuck VaJley in, the World ^8 Arena. 253 

all partisan prejadioes and sectional strife in one wild unani- 
mous vote for the Cuban war, impulse has been a prominent 
factor in human history. 

The imitative tendency of human nature is as uncontrollable 
as impulse. At the Twentieth Century Club, recentiy, a schol- 
arly gentieman argued, with exhaustless data, that the proposed 
charter for Greater New York was all wrong because it intro- 
duced features not provided for in the original charter of Lon- 
don, granted by "William the Conqueror in 1067. And this is 
but the exaggeration of what one finds continually in history 
and in some who are not as yet historic characters. 

Occasionally one discovers a people that has moved between 
the dangers of impulse and the humiliation of imitators of the 
fathers, and such we find in the history of the Pocumtuck val- 
ley. The story of this people in 1670 and 1759 is one of the 
noblest exemplifications of exalted purpose in distinction from 
impulsive and imitative tendencies. The settiement of this 
valley was one of the most interesting in the experiences of 
American pioneers. The Connecticut valley was America's 
first attempt at expansion. The motives which have always 
actuated people in their expanding tendencies are rivalry, hope 
of better material conditions, religious dissensions, or some 
noble purpose. All of these in time inspired the English of 
Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay to expand into the Connecti- 
cut valley. Rivalry was the first cause of activity. There 
was not the slightest desire to go from the bay to the valley 
until, in 1633, some one brought word that the Dutch of New 
York had erected a fort on the west bank of the river, and then 
William Holmes of Plymouth could not sleep peacefully until 
he had framed a building, loaded it upon a sloop and sailed de- 
fiantly above the fort and established a trading post near Wind- 
sor. Soon it was reported that the valley lands were in strik- 
ing contrast with the sands of Cape Cod, and in 1635, there 
were 60 men, women and children, with cattle and household 
goods on the move to Windsor in search of better material con- 
ditions for a home. It was only about 100 miles, and yet it 
took them 14 days, three times as long as it now takes to go to 
the Golden Gate. Of course their ideals of better condition 
required navigation, and the charming, fertile valleys above 
Holyoke had no interest for them. The church dissensions 
came to the assistance of the valley. There was a popular pastor 

254 Fidd MeeHng— 1901. 

at Wethersfield who aroused much opposition in his own ohorch, 
and possibly some jealousy in neighboring churches, so that in 
1659 he had to leave his church, but many loyal men and more 
loyal women went with him, and braved the non-commercial 
conditions above navigation, and the beautiful valley was set- 
tled as far as, and in Hadley. Even now the lovely Pocumtuck 
valley had no charms. One man who had come into posses- 
sion of 450 acres offered to sell it for six pence an acre, and 
agreed to take two-fifths of his pay in com, and three-fifths in 
cows, but even this was no temptation. It remained unim- 
proved until through complications resulting from the philan- 
thropic purpose of the apostle John Eliot, 8000 acres came into 
the possession of the town of Dedham. 

The friends who rallied about Eliot felt keenly the limitations 
at Boxbury and moved to Nonantum (Newton), and even here 
the conditions were not satisfactorjr and the Indian colony was 
removed to Natick. After a time Dedham claimed this as a 
part of their town and were unwilling that they should remain. 
An appeal to state authorities was taken and the decision made 
that Dedham should have in exchange 8000 acres iu the Pocum- 
tuck valley ; an '^ artiste " was employed to come here and make 
a plan of the town with streets and farms, after which Dedham 
men drew lots for farms in the Pocumtuck valley, and, by 1675, 
25 families had erected houses and barns and put in their crops. 
Friendship for the Indians had dictated the home-makiug of 
this people at Newton and Natick by the English, and now the 
resultant events have brought the English to Deerfield. Two 
hundred and fifty years have come and gone since those noble 
men, women and children, and aU their belongings settied at 
Pocumtuck, and time and again were the houses burned by the 
merciless red man, and season after season were their crops 
destroyed by this same foe just as they were ready for harvest^ 
leaving them more than once without seed for the next sowing, 
and yet never in 230 years have these men, their children and 
their children's children failed to maintain the beauty of Old 
Deerfield Street or to have pride in the work of that " artiste *' 
in 1670. Scarcely has one line laid out by him been changed 
through eight generations. 

Why should a settlement under such conditions have suffered 
more at the hands of the Indians than any other in all this broad 
land { Why could not these noble men and women have lived 

Pooumtfuoh YaUey in the WorWs Arena. 256 

as peacefully with the Indians they sought to befriend on the 
banks of the Pooumtuck as did the followers of Penn on the 
banks of the Delaware? Unfortunately Pooumtuck was the 
skirmish line, was the point nearest the Mohawks on the west 
and the French of Canada. The English unfortunately were 
the only rivals of France's political power in Europe and the 
French were the only rivals of England's commercial power in 
the Old World and the New. France held the St Lawrence 
and the Mississippi valleys and looked with envious eyes upon 
every English colonist that dwelt in any valley near by. 

In 1604, before either Jamestown or Pljnnouth was settled, 
the French king had made a grant to one of his subjects from 
the Atlantic to the farthest west of all lands between the points 
now occupied by Montreal and Philadelphia, but failures to 
settle it lost most of this region to the French and every new 
English settlement towards the north was fresh cause for griev- 
ance. The 25 families from Natick had not been in their new 
homes five years before their intrusion was resented and nearly 
half the families, all who had drawn lots on Old Deerfield 
Street, and near the center, were either killed or captured, their 
houses burned and their crops destroyed. 

Two of the most significant Indian massacres must suffice to 
illustrate the way Pooumtuck figured in the world's arena. Feb- 
ruary 28, 1703-4, was one of those days which Whittier has 
immortalized in " Snow Bound." Three feet of snow had fallen 
the past few days and had gathered in great drifts about the 
houses and the fort, for which they expected no further use as 
they were at peace with all the Indians. Time and again in 
80 years they had been forced from this beautiful valley and 
each time peace had been made with the Indians, but this was 
a permanent peace they thought. After a quiet evening in 
their homes the families had retired leaving one of the citizens, 
as was their wont, to patrol the streets more from habit than 
necessity, and in the fort, as usual, a few men slept by their 
muskets in case of need, a custom that they hoped soon to 
abandon. The next morning the 17 houses in the heart of the 
town were in ashes, 48 men and women were cold in death and 
111 men, women and children were being marched through the 
snows and forests to a long captivity in Canada. Look out 
upon this lovely valley to-day, walk through beautiful Old 
Deerfield Street, the " artiste " laid out 230 years ago, draw 

256 FidA MeeHng— 1901. 

a picture of those quiet firesides on the night of Febroary 
28, 1703-4) and then as jour blood curdles at the view of 
the scene at the dawning of another day ask yourselves why 
it happened. For that answer we must go back a long 
way, but first we may ask, Who did it t In that murderous 
band were 200 French soldiers and 140 Canadian Indians who 
were unacquainted with these colonists and without interest 
in them. War between France and England was inevitable, 
and as usual the French sought the assistance of the Indians, 
who could send terror into the hearts of the English colonists 
as no army of French soldiers could. The Indians wearied 
of these wars and hesitated, giving as an excuse that the 
French never joined them or did aught for them, but always 
sought their aid in their own distress. As an evidence of the 
fallacy of this the French offered to furnish the larger part 
of an army for a march whose object should be the secur- 
ing of captives in large numbers for the Canadian Indians. 
Hardship t Yes, beyond description when we consider what 
such captivity meant. The story of those 111 captives, or as 
many of them as were not killed outright in that 32 days' 
march, is too blood curdling for such an hour as this. It is 
enough to say that the pastor of the Deerfield church, who, 
with most of his family, was among the captives, not only had 
his pet daughter separated from the family in captivity to rear 
children for an Indian in Canada, but saw her so enamored 
with that savage life that she positively refused to come back 
to him or to civilization. 

Another horror of that captivity was the determination of the 
Indians to get a money ransom for these captives. The English 
were inexorable. Not one cent would they pay or allow to be 
paid. Take an incident, Mr. Arms, a respected citizen, was per- 
mitted to come from his Canadian captivity to Deerfield to 
secure the money for his ransom on condition that he should 
return if he did not get it. He walked into Deerfield with mes- 
sages from their loved ones with the privilege of freedom, home 
and family if he could send back to them the price of his ran- 
som, but his neighbors and nearest friends said " No," the town 
and the state said ^^ No," and Mr. Arms, true to his word, bade 
his friends a sad adieu and returned to captivity. What a pic- 
ture for men and angels to look upon. " Pay one dollar ran- 
som and no woman or child will be safe from that minute. 

Poeumt'uck VdUey in the Wcrld^a Arena. 867 

Eldnappiiig will be the chief emidoymeiit of the Indiaiuu Go 
bock to your captivity." Fathers would not pay one dollar for 
the ransom of a child. This eyentoally coded the Indian craze 
t(x captives. England was easily the commercial mistress of 
the world as France was as eacdly the political and military 
master. Each denied the prestige of the other without sacrific- 
ing aoght of its own. France commanded the valleys of the 
St Lawrence and the Mississippi. This advantage promised 
much commercially that was displeasing to England, but all 
that she dared suggest in view of Louis XIY's military power 
and political sagacity was that the Maritime Provinces were not 
in the valley of the St. Lawrence, and that the Ohio valley was 
Bot a part of the Mississippi. 

While these issues were undetermined Charles II, the weak 
and vicious ruler of Spain, was about to die childless. By a 
move that was more brilliant than creditable Louis XIY at- 
tached Spain to France with all the military and commercial 
advantage which it carried with it. William, Prince of Orange, 
as his dying bequest, provided for a war between the two nations 
which should not end until the alliance between France and 
Spain was broken. It took ten long years, and New England 
was made to bleed incessantly all that time with everything to 
lose and nothing to gain. When at length the death of Uie 
claimant to the Spanish throne transferred Spain's alliance to 
Austria^ the treaty of Utrecht was signed and the citizens of 
Deerfield were allowed to come back to these pleasant &rms, 
rebuild their homes and live at peace with the Indians because 
the Pyrenees were once more a wall between France and Spain. 
Incidentally it is interesting to note that apparently the term 
^ John Bull " was bom at this time. A humorist drew a daz- 
zling picture of Lord Strutt (Spain) being prepared for burial 
by his ancient enemy, Lewis Baboon, France's tailor, while his 
servant, Nick Frog (Holland and big foeman, John Bull) took 
a lively interest in the proceedings. 

After this, wars came and went until the treaty of Ait la 
Chapelle (1748) was supposed to give permanent peace to the 
world. Instead it merely gave England an opportunity to force 
upon Louis XY, who was as weak as Louis XIY was strong, a 
war which he did not desire and for which he was wholly un- 
prepared. Without warning, without a pretext of cause, Eng- 
land in 1761 captured more than 800 French vessels on the high 

258 Field Meeting— 1901. 

seas, confiscated more than $5,000,000 worth of cargoes and im- 
prettied more than 10,000 sailors into the British naval service. 
She vras having everything her own way nntil the women 
mixed in the affair. Madame Pompadour, beaatiful and vile, 
the evil genius of Louis XY, had long been enraged because 
Frederick of Prussia — ^afterward " the Great *' had applied a 
vile epithet to her, and she enlisted the friendship of Maria 
Theresa and Elizabeth of Russia, which led to an alliance 
against Frederick, whose sympathies were with England. 

It is 150 years, almost to a day, since Joseph Pynchon, 
Josiah D wight and John Ashley took dinner in Old Deerfield. 
They were delegates from the General Court at Boston to the 
Mohawk Indians to whom they were sent to insure peace in 
case of war between England and France. They conferred 
with the leading citizens as to what they should carry with 
them as a peace offering and as a result of the conference de- 
cided to purchase in the country store of Deerfield about $25 
worth of calico and garlic. With these they went on their 
way. The Indians accepted calico and garlic and shed no blood 
until opportunity offered, which came all too soon. 

In less than three years war was at their doors and Governor 
William Shirley issued orders that a depot for military stores 
for the Northwest frontier should be at Deerfield. North- 
western frontier ? Think of it, ye much travelled people ! What 
would the men of Oregon and Washington and Alaska think 
should they hear us say, almost within sound of the waves of 
the Atlantic, that this had been officially designated as the . 
headquarters for the Northwest frontier ! The most cruel of 
wars was developed. England soon saw that she had gone too 
far. Montcalm had won a great victory at Fort William 
Henry, and France, Bussia and Saxony had raised an army 
large enough to paralyze even Pitt and Frederick. England 
practically withdrew from her alliance with Prussia and Fred- 
erick sought peace with France in 1757, but Madame Pompa- 
dour was inexorable and Frederick was forced in very despera- 
tion to hurl an army of 20,000 against one of 50,000, but he did 
it with such fierceness that with a loss of less than 400 men he 
slew 8,000, captured 7,000, together with much ordnance, and 
the whole face of Europe was changed. Pitt exclaimed when 
he heard of it : — " Yesterday I would have been content to see 
France humbled, but now I will see her lying in the dust." 

PootwUuok Valley in the World ^e Arena. 259 

Now the oolonies suddenly awoke. Stung to the quick by 
Montoalm's action at Fort William Henry and seeing that this 
time the defeat of France must mean her expulsion from the 
New World they rose in their might. That was an hour for 
the gods to look upon when the men of Deerfield, as of all the 
settlements of New England, decided to leave their wives and 
children to the mercy of the Indians with the protection of the 
youth, the aged and the invalids, and go to the very walls of 
Quebec and deal a fatal blow to Montcalm and to the French 
cause in America. Forty thousand strong they traversed the 
forests of Northern New England, and you know the story of 
that battle in 1759. It was the end. 

America has made three moves on the chessboard of the ages. 
The first was in 1620, the second in 1759, the third in 1898. 

Beautiful indeed for situation is Old Deerfield Street with its 
interlacing elms. The purple dawn has no cheerier welcome 
for Cape Ann or Cape Norm than the sweet caress of Deerfield 
waters. The angel of peace has no more tempting resting place 
than at the foot of Sugar Loaf, and yet for almost one hundred 
years she left the primeval forests and rich intervale to the god 
of war and to unholy devastation. For about one hundred 
years no man built a house or bam with assurance that it would 
not be a bonfire for the Indians, none sowed in the spring time 
without a suspicion that the red men would harvest it ; none 
even went out of one door without a lurking dread that the foe 
might enter the other with a scalping knife. It was a lovely 
July morning that five men took sickle in one hand and musket 
in the other and went out into yonder meadows to harvest fiax. 
They leaned their muskets against a stack of fiax and went on 
with their reaping. On yonder hillside some alert savages were 
walking. They saw the situation, sped down to the meadow, 
crept along until they were between the men and their muskets, 
sprang out upon them, shot and scalped one and took the other 
four captives, but as one of these was lame and could not go 
fast enough to get beyond danger of recapture they shot and 
scalped him in the view of the other three whom they rushed 
off. All this at the general instigation of Montcalm, who in an 
official report to the French government, said with a glow of 
triumph, that he was making the Indians scatter the consterna- 
tion and missives of war throughout the New England colonies. 

What had the men who removed from Natick done to merit 

260 FidA Meeting— \Wl. 

ill this t Kothing. Absolutely nothing. This settlement was 
merely a pawn upon the world's chessboard. The kings and 
queens, knights and bishops were in European courts, and the 
colonial pawns were moved forward lor defense or surrendw 
according to some man or woman in European court circles. 
Cromwell decided upon some policy and the tomahawk was the 
response* The Stuart dynasty was set aside and the scalping 
knife in the Pocumtuck valley was given a keener edge. 
Charles II was about to die childless, and hundreds of mothers 
in the colonies must live childless. Madame Pompadour was 
living a disreputable life at the French court and virtuous girls 
were taken into captivity by conscienceless savages. Even the 
little country grocery store up yonder sold $25 worth of calico 
and garlic 150 years ago because Pitt was goading the British 
government to take advantage of the voluptuousness and weak- 
ness of the French court. 

All this changed in 1759, when literally every able bodied 
man, who was not of the Catholic faith, left all for one great 
effort against the French at Quebea From that hour the 
eolonists prepared to say to England and to all the rest of 
Europe, " Henceforth we make our own moves." Until that 
hour America had been dominated by Europe, from that hour 
she was practically independent, though it required the strenu- 
ous war of the Revolution to convince Europe of the fact In- 
cidentally it is interesting to note that f'rance that had been 
her bane for a century became her ally, without whose timely 
assistance the issues of war might have been doubtful. Such 
is always the chance of war. From that day until 1898, America 
maintained her entire independence of European affairs. 

Suddenly, as if by magic, borne on the wings of impulse, 
America entered the world's arena and there she will remain 
for good or ill, and henceforth there will be no political, finan- 
cial, industrial or commercial crisis on the globe in which 
America will not be a prominent if not a controlling factor. 
Far be it from me, who am neither a prophet nor the son of a 
prophet, to venture to foretell the consequences to the United 
States or to the world, of the new life upon which we have 
entered, nor is this the occasion to venture a Yankee guess, but 
it is interesting to trace the history of the Pocumtuck valley 
from the day when the friends of John Eliot, moved on at the 
]deaipire pf Pedham, hired an ^^ artiste " to lay out the village 

Jonathan WMi MonuhieM Pedieated. 961 

and draw lots for their houses, through th^ generation of mas- 
saore and captivity to the hoar, when, with righteons indigna- 
tion they ignored the Indians and struck a &ital blow at Mont- 
calm and the French cause in Ammca ; interesting to follow 
the celebrations accompanying the placing of tablets and 
memorials to mark the cruel events for which Europe was re- 
sponsible ; &scinating to look out upon and contemplate the 
possibilities of the Pocumtuck valley in its relation to the in- 
dustry and commerce, the civilization and Ohristianity from the 
farthest east to the farthest west. 


A pleasing feature of the afternoon was the procession of 
about 100 children to the Jonathan Wells memorial, marching 
to the music of a drum and fife and led by the marshall of the 
day and his assistant on horseback. Hundreds of people fol- 
lowed the procession. On arriving at the monument, the chil- 
dren sang, to ^^ America,'' the following ode by George Sheldon : 

Hero of tender age 
High on historio page 

Thy name we write. 
Of did when through the land 
Ran dread of torch and brand. 
With Turner's valiant band 

Dared thou the fight. 

Wisdom beyond thy yean 
On storied page appears 

Attained by few. 
In manhood's prime thy fame 
Glows like a brilliant flame 
And gilds a noble name 

With honors due. 

As slowly furled life's sails 
Stood thou with balanced scales 

To justice wed. 
With civic h<mors crowned. 
Rest at four-score was found 
In our Old Burial Ground 

With kindred dead. 

262 Fidd Meeting— 1901. 

We come to mark the site 
Where on that fatal night 

The helpless fled; 
Home of a hero brave, 
Strong were tl^ gates to save, 
Thy name whidi here we grave 

Fot aye be read. 

The exercises in connection with the dedication of the memo- 
rial stone erected to the memory of Jonathan Wells, were of 
special interest, from the fact that the children of the town 
raised the money for the stone, and one of their number, Jona- 
than P. Ashley, gave a report, telling how the money was 
provided. The monument cost $60.33. The sum of $55 was 
secured by an entertainment, and $20.40 by subscription. 

A ballad by Eleanor M. Arms was sung by Mary Field 

The following address was given by Mrs. Mary P. Wells 
Smith : — 


As we stand here to-day, under Deerfield's grand old trees, 
some of which shone red in the glare of the burning homes of 
1704, their young branches quivering to Indian war whoop and 
the screams of the terror-stricken settlers, whose brave remnant 
fled to this spot for refuge, we may well believe that the little 
company clustered around this stone stands not alone. The 
summer breeze whispering in the elms has a certain solemn 
significance as we feel about us the unseen presence of those 
who here so bravely lived and died, and who, even amid the 
joys that the heart of man has not imagined, cannot be wholly 
unmindful of the pious reverence of their descendants. 

Whv should the children of Deerfield erect a memorial stone 
to Jonathan Wells t What do we know of this man whose 
body so long ago returned to its native earth in Deerfield's old 
burying ground, and why do we call him a hero ? 

First, he unmistakably possessed in large measure that chief 
essential of a hero's character, bravery. A boy of only sixteen, 
lame from a partly healed wound, yet he volunteered with the 
forces under Capt. Turner, marching 20 miles in the night 
through an unknown, unbroken wilderness, to attack a superior 
number of the much dreaded savage foe. Another quality of 

Jonathan Wells. 263 

the genuine hero was his, a great and tender heart that oonld 
saorifioe itself for others. His impulses were noble. It is in 
great emergencies that a man's true nature is revealed. 
Wounded, fleeing, yet fighting as he fled, amid the panic- 
stricken crowd he drew rein, risking his own slender chance of 
escape, to take up on his wounded horse his boy friend, Stephen 
Belding. It is pleasant to note in genealogical records, often 
so rich in hints of romance, the marriage in after years of Ste- 
phen to his friend's younger sister, Mary Wells. Jonathan's 
tender thoughtfuhiess is shown when, despairing of regaining 
home himself, he released his horse, hoping thus to save the 
poor beast's life. We are glad to know that the wounded 
horse found its way safely back to Hadley. Again, when half 
fainting, suffering incredible torture, dragging himself painfully 
along by inches, Jonathan yet stopped to bury the head which 
some wild beast had dug out from the tragic mound under 
Wequamp's shadow. 

Another of our hero's traits must have been an indomitable 
will and persistence; otherwise his body would have fallen 
somewhere in the wilderness, unknown and uncared for, a prey 
to ravages of wild beast and bird, and his name have been 
simply one more in the list of the dead, slain at Turners Falls, 
merely a name, with no savor of individuality or meaning, after 
all these 226 years with their many happenings that have 
passed since that battle day. Indeed, the almost incredible 
story of the brave struggle of the sorely wounded boy to reach 
home through an unknown ^region, still in all its primeval wild- 
ness save for the blackened cellar holes marking the vain 
attempt to settle this fertile Pocumtuck valley, is one of the 
most striking among the many ^^ Tragedies of the Wilderness" 
marking the early history of our country. Familiar to me 
from earliest childhood, often recounted by my father, it 
is not strange that a drive through the pleasant Greenfield 
Meadows, when 

I hie me away to the woodland scene. 
Where wanders the stream with waters green. 

is quite prone to bring Jonathan Wells to mind. 

That fairy mnsio I never hear, 

Nor gaze on those waters, so green and clear, 

And mark them winding away from sight, 

S64 Fidi Meetinff—lMl. 

Darkened with shade or flashing with Uf^if 
While o'er them the vine to its thicket dings, 
And the sephyr stoops to freshen his wings, 

without seeing in fancy the pathetic figure of the wounded bojr 
struggling alone along the river's bank. Our Oreen Biver ii 
not Bryant's Green Biver, as I loved to think in childhood ; 
but it will be forever associated with this early story of the 
heroic Puritan boy. 

Especially as the road begins to descend the steep hillside to- 
wardis the bridge near the Eunice Williams' monument, crossing 
the river where that pitiful band of captives forded the wintry 
stream in 1704, does Jonathan Wells come to mind, because 
this must have been the critical turning point in his wanderings, 
the scene of his remarkable dream, the spot where, as the quaint 
old narrative recounts, he, having ** f oUowd y^ Green river up 
to y* place called y* Country Farms & passd over Green river 
& attemptd to go up y* mountain, as he assend'd the hill he 
fainted & fell from his horse." — ^^ At length he grew so weak 
y^ he c^ not get upon his horse & concluded he must dye there 
himself & so pitying his horse he dismissd him." This is the 
first point where the western mountain bends in towards the 
river, becoming the river bank, and must have been the scene 
of the dream, one of those wonderful visions beyond human ex- 
planation, which makes us reali^ how close lies the surrounding 
spirit world to this visible world of flesh and blood. As the 
old narrative says — ^^ when asleep, he dreamt y^ his grandfather 
came to him & told him he was lost, but y^ he must go down 
y^ river till he came to the end of the mountain & then turn 
away upon y* plain & y* was the way home." Following the 
advice of this dream, he succeeded at last in reaching home. 

Fancy brings before us the pathetic picture of the wounded^ 
famished boy as he slowly limped through the desolate ruins of 
Focumtuck settlement. The sun had sunk behind the Shelbume 
hills. In the gathering shadows of the silent evening the 
densely wooded steep of Mt. Focumtuck loomed up above him 
grand and wild, in the dim light seeming not unlike some huge 
monster couched beside the way. Past blackened cellar holes, 
where the scorched skeletons of trees stretched out their bare, 
black arms threateningly above him, the pale, suffering boy 
hobbled on, alone in this deserted, gloomy spot, alone in the 
vast surrounding wilderness; the croaking of frogs in the 

Jonathan WelU. B65 

swampSy the gnsri of wild beast or moan of pined borne by the 
erening wind from the mountain side only making more keen 
his sense of utter desolation and forlornness. 

His arrival at Hadley was followed by years of acutest suffer- 
ingj which only a strong inherited store of vitality enabled him 
to survive. The old narrative tells us, ^^ He lay lame under Dr. 
Locke for some time, and was under Mrs. Allen and Mr. Buck- 
ley [in Connecticut] four years and two montlis in all ; he lay at 
one time half a year in one spot on a bed, without being turned 
once, or once token out ; often dispared of his life." Hadley 
had no resident physician. Dr. Locke, who had come with 
Oapt. Lothrop and his troops, only remained one year. It was 
probably at his departure, tiiat Jonathan was taken to Hartford, 
Connecticut for the medical care so greatly needed. Mrs. 
Allen was a forerunner of the women doctors of to-day. Judd 
Hays, "At the close of Philip's War, the Council of Conn, al- 
lowed Mrs. AUyn 20 lbs. for attending and curing sick and 
wounded soldiers." Hadley's old town records give us glimpses 
of Jonathan's history at this period. Li March 1677, it was 
" voted that the Towne doe approve of what the Townsmen 
Ingaged for Jonathan Wells as to the cure of his wound. Ll 
case the Countrie do not paie the sama" In January 1681, 
appears this record : 

" Mr Jonathan Oilbert of Hartford claimed of this Town to 
the value of 11 pounds odd moneys or thereabouts expended 
upon maintaining of Jonathan Wells, a wounded man, in the 
time of his cure of his wounds, the which the Towne considering 
and concluding some care remains upon them about the said 
matter, notwithstanding what is allowed by our Honored Gen- 
eral Court " — ^it was voted that " the accounts of said debt be 
viewed by Left Smith or Baml Partrigg, one or both, and 
what they find legal and just to be paid said Gilbert." The 
town had previously voted that in case any person ^^ goeing up 
to the fall fight against the enemie should come to real damage 
& expence in person & estate, he should, if the Countrye fail of 
paiment, be paid by the Towne." Jonathan's expenses in ill- 
ness were a just due from the town in return for his valiant 

Little did Jonathan dream, as, in despair, he hobbled dovni 
the grassy Indian trail where now runs Deerfield Street, that 
seven years later, restored once more to life and activity, he 

266 Field Meeting— 1901. 

was to return here with the permanent settlement, here to live 
an honored, useful and prominent citizen for fif ty-seven years, 
serving the town in both civil and military affairs, notably as 
Captain of the militia. All through those troubled times, the 
name of Captain Jonathan Wells constantly appears on the 
town records, prominent in all the alarms so often befolling this be- 
leaguered frontier settlement. In February, 1704, as military com- 
mander of the town, he led in pursuit the remnant of Deerfield 
men, and the thirty who had hurried up from Hadley and Hat- 
field when the smoke and blaze of burning buildings to the 
north gave notice of Deerfield's calamity. To his picketed 
house, standing on this spot marked by this stone to-day, fled 
the women and children escaped from Benoni Stebbins' house 
and other survivors, as out of the palisade's north gate marched 
the little band of 45 men led by Capt. Wells, to make one 
desperate effort in face of overwhelmingly superior numbers of 
the enemy, to rescue their wives, children, pastor and friends. 
They gave hot chase to the French and Indians, slajdng many. 
When about a mile and a half above Deerfield, Capt. Wells, 
who had not forgotten the reverses following the battle of 
Turners Falls, knowing the vast superiority of the enemy's 
forces, ordered a retreat The excited men did not heed Uie 
order, but pressed on, to be ambushed by a fresh body of Indians 
lying in wait for them on the river bank. The men, though 
spent and breathless from the ardor of their pursuit, showed 
that courage in face of superior numbers, which indicates a cool, 
brave leader, retreating in good order, facing about and firing 
as they went. 

In spite of his early wound and prolonged suffering, his fre- 
quent exposure in later years in Indian battle and skirmish, his 
many journeys through the wilderness as representative to the 
General Court at Boston, Capt. Wells lived to the ripe age of 
eighty, his body resting peacefully at last in the old burying 
ground, his memory and story an abiding influence all up and 
down the Connecticut valley, but especially here in his old 
Deerfield home. To-day we have striking evidence of the 
reverence for his memory here, where he would especially love 
to be remembered, when the children of Deerfield proudly 
dedicate this stone erected by their own efforts, to the boy hero 
of long ago. To-day, children, you are not called upon like 
young Jonathan Wells to serve in the train band, to walk the 

Jonathan Wells Monument Dedicated. 267 

Street under the stars in the night-watch, to fight Indians, or 
risk your lives in battle. But there is still room and need to- 
day for all the qualities that adorned his character. You can 
still be, like him, ^^ tender and trusty and true." If, like him, 
you cherish high ideals, if you are filled with a spirit of heroic 
courage, of helpfulness, of self-sacrifice and devotion, this twen- 
tieth century will furnish you ample opportunity for the exer- 
cise of all these high qualities. There are still giants and 
dragons to be slain, — ^^The cause that needs assistance, the 
wrongs that need resistance," still cry aloud for the hero spirit. 
In erecting this stone, you have done a most fitting and beauti- 
ful act, giving us strong reason to hope that when those — shall 
I not rather say, when he, who has done so much to preserve 
the history of Deerfield and all this region, the priceless tradi- 
tions, customs and memories, of the olden time, shall rest from 
his labors, others will arise from among the children of his loved 
Deerfield to continue those labors and preserve their fruits. 

In this audience must be many descendants from the old 
Wells family, collateral relatives of Jonathan. His father, 
Thomas WeUs, one of the engagers who settled Hadley, had thir- 
teen children, of whom ten were sons. From him are descended 
most of the Wellses not only in our vicinity or in Massachu- 
setts, but largely the Wellses scattered all over our land. 
Wellses have played an honourable part in the country's history, 
from the time of Jonathan down. The old Puritan stock was 
good stock, none better, and it has left a deep and lasting im- 
press on our nation. Proud of our Puritan ancestors, let us, 
as in years to come we gaze upon the memorial stones here 
erected to-day in memory of their worthy deeds and lives, hope 
to be not unworthy of these brave, faithful forefathers and fore- 
mothers. Let these stones be perpetual reminders pointing to 
the upward path, the higher life. 

Read, sweet, how others strove, 
TUl we are stouter; 
What they renounced. 
Till we are lees afraid; 
How many times they bore 
The faithful witness, 
Till we are helped, 
As if a kingdom caredl 

Read then of faith 

* ^^ 

That shone above the fagot; 

266 Fidd Meetmg— 1901. 

dear strains of hjmn. 
The river could not drowH; 
Brave names of men 
And celestial women. 
P as sed out of record 
Into renownl 

President Sheldon, in opening the afternoon ezercises on the 
village green, said he had rashly promised in the morning to 
be here 25 years hence, and therefore he found it necessary to 
save himself and rely on the help of others. He then introduced 
H. C. Parsons as the presiding officer. Mr. Parsons, in taking 
the chair, said that the usual fortune in regard to the failure c^ 
speakers to be present had been experienced. Letters of regret 
at inability to be present were read by Prof. Barber from 
two men of national reputation, Senator George F. Hoar and 
Oen. Bufus Saxton. 

''Committee on the Judidaiy, 

United States Senate, 

Washington, D. C. 

Mar. 15, 1001. 
Mj dear Mr. Sheldon: 

I cannot think of anylliing in this world miom attractive than the thought 

of visiting Old Deerfield Street, and seeing the elms and the old houses, and 

more especially and above all of seeing the Deerfield people and hearing the 

old stories. I cannot now say what my engagements will be at the time. 

So I must ask you to permit me to postpone an answer imtU the time draws 

I am faithfully yours, 

Geo. F. Hoar.»' 

''Worcester, Mass., July 17, 1901. 
My dear Mr. Sheldon: 

1 am very sorry that it is unlikely that I can attaul the fidd meeting of 
your Association. You may be quite sure that, if I can, I shall do so, without 
money and without price, and be abundantly compensated by the delight <rf 
seeing the people in the old town. I have made in my lifetime a good many 
pilgrimages there, simply for the pleasure of going through Deerfield Street, 
and generally taking in Hadley <m the way. 

But I have been laid up in bed for about a week, and am still imder the 
doctor's care. He is quite peremptory in his orders that I keep absolutely 
quiet. There is not much tibe matter with me, but I have had no vacation 
since the autimm of 1899, and during that time I have been through a great 
deal of hard work and a great deal of anxiety, which for me is worse than hard 
work. So I have been obliged to refuse some very attractive invitations for 
the next two or three weeks, and have given up pretty much everything 
that can be called woik. 

If, when the time approaches, it should turn out that I can go iq> and 

Letters: Senaior Moor— Gen. Saaton. 269 

Baton to wk»H ntfaer paop^ a^y, I dMMild likf yeiy mueh to 4o i^ fyit J cimo- 
not uAdertake to Q)eak, 

I am, with high regard, faithfully touts, 

Geo. F. Hoar." 

''Intenrale, N. H., July 16. 
My dear Mr. Sheldon: 

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful note which with its enclosures 
brings to mind coimtless memories of boyhood in the fair fields of Deerfield, 
where I toiled and grew to manhood, where mountains, hill, valley, wood- 
land, meadow, brook and bird were photographed on my brain. 

The lists of names too, contains those who were comrades, friends, and 
sweethearts. I was christened in the old brick church where Dr. Willard 
preached a pure and liberal gospel, and I was present when Edward Everett 
dedicated the monument at Bloody Brook to the "Flower of Essex," in an 
oration of matchless power, eloquence and beauty. 

I regret extremely that circumstances prevent my wife and I from aocq>t- 
ing the hoq)italities of Mrs. Sheldon and yourself. If I could consult my own 
inclinations, nothing would give me more satisfaction than to make a pious 
pilgrimage to my old home, reviving there dear and hallowed memories. 
But especially would it bring an exaltal^on of the spirit to recall the heroic 
days of the early settiera— the sturdy men and the t^ider women, who not 
only braved the hardships and perils of the untrodden wilderness but also 
conquered in the c<mflicts of the soul with loneliness, homesickness, exile, 
disease, and death. 

Yet from all this what grand results were achieved — fertile valley redeemed 
from stem nature, a community of settlers, self reliant, resourceful, coura- 
geous, who laid the foimdations of a broad and intelligent civilisation. 

Fit themes, these men and women for song and stoiy, and their deeds to 
be 'gathered into Hiatoiy'a Sacred Urn.' 

Cordially your friend, 

Rufua Saxton." 

A letter from Joseph Stebbina, written from the constitutional 
convention of Virginia^ expressed his wish that he might be 
present to meet the descendants of those who at great peril had 
planted the settlements. Dr. Henry D. Holton of Brattleboro 
was called upon for a short speech. Rev. Frank Pratt followed 
Dr. Holton. He obeyed the injunction of Mr. Parsons not to 
be dull or uninteresting. Prof. Barber responded briefly. Dr. 
Edward Hitchcock of Amherst made a rattling speech in the 
first part, and then paid a grateful tribute to the memory of 
Luther B. Lincoln, an old-time principal of Deerfield Academy. 
Dr. A. £. Winship was introduced as being at his best in after- 
dinner speeches. Rev. Dr. George E. Piper of North field was 
called upon as a representative of the historical enthusiasm of 
his town. Rev. E. P. Pressey of Montague contributed a few 

270 Mdd Me^Hnff— 1901. 

words, and then called oat Oharles Barnard of Kew York, a 
desoendant of Joseph Barnard of colonial days, who said that 
the motto of the Bamards is ^^ The truth without fear," and he 
said he would proceed to illustrate it by reporting some things he 
had heard that morning of great historical importance. He was 
at the Memorial Hall, looking at the old door of the Indian house, 
when a young man and young woman came in, and the fellow 
told the girl that he was in the old house when the Indians made 
their attack on it. Mr. Barnard questioned the young man, who 
said that he was upstairs when the attack began, that he rushed 
downstairs with a kodak, and saw an Indian's gun muzzle com- 
ing through the door. He pulled on the muzzle, and the Indian 
came in, all but his moccasins. He went out and saw the cap- 
tain of the French forces, who was about to kill him. The 
yonng man took a snap shot of the Frenchman, with the 
consequence that the latter fell dead. He telephoned the 
Springfield RepubUoan to send up a reporter to write up 
a story, but instead the New York Journal was called 
up by mistake, which sent up a full force of writers and 
artists and had the thing in print before it had happened. 
He picked up a frog out of a bog, and put it on the head of a 
wounded man, who immediately got well on being treated with 
Pond's Extract. The Indians rode oflf in their automobiles for 
Montreal. But the Frenchmen stayed to bury the man killed 
by the snap shot. They talked French with the Journal re- 
porter, who talked back so rank that they all fell dead in ranks. 
Thereupon the brass cockerel crowed three times, and has been 
crowing for Deerfield ever since. This valuable bit of history, 
overlooked by Mr. Sheldon in the mass of historical material 
which he has had to sift, was received with great applause. 

Kev. Lyndon A. Crawford spoke first in a jovial vein, and then 
urged the gathering together of the splendid spirit of the fathers, 
and that it be poured into the coming years. Let us believe 
that Deerfield has a future as well as a past. He had been very 
much pleased to see a baby in Deerfield, for he had been afraid 
there were not going to be any more, and he was still afraid it 
might prove by accident to have been bom in New York or 
Chicago. We want to see more energetic life here, he said. 
These monuments will mean a great deal in the instruction of 
the rising generation. 

Prof. Grosvenor of Amherst College made one of the best 

Dt. O-roBvenof^s Bema/rka. 271 

speeches of the afternoon. He claimed some relationship with 
Deerfield, for his first ancestor in this coantry had been tpma- 
hawked, and one of his daughters married one of the sons of 
Deerfleld. He paid a fine tribute to Mr. Sheldon for his work 
as an historian. He said it had been his privilege to stady many 
histories of New England towns, all instinct with battle and 
struggle of the early years. But he did not know one that 
showed the broad, comprehensive research that characterized 
the work of Mr. Sheldon. If I was a member of the school 
committee here I would make it my study to see that the young 
people of Deerfield knew about this history. There was some- 
thing grand about the way the settlers came into this vnlderness. 
They heard the voice of long ago saying, "Prepare ye the 
way of the Lord," and they did prepare the way of civilization, 
of a broader religion at a time when men were bound by iron 
creeds ; they prepared the way of modern knowledge and free- 
dom. I wonder what some of these great men of old would 
say could they come back and look down on us. I believe that 
the splendid vine of years ago has brought forth good fruit. 
As I reverence the past I reverence the present. The men of 
to-day are true to their lineage. 

Eev. George W. SoUey of Deerfield was the last speaker. He 
spoke in an optimistic vein of the future of Deerfield. The work 
is going on, and will go on in Deerfield for the next 25 centuries. 
Babies ? Yes, there will be thousands of them. We have got 
the best possible sort of young people here to-day. These com- 
memorations are having their impression on our children. My 
little boy was disappointed down in the thicket yesterday be- 
cause the Indians did not come out. I am glad I came to Deer- 
field. It has been a delightful place to live in. I shall be glad 
to be near our historian, Mr. Sheldon, and thus have the Pocum- 
tuck Yalley Memorial Association with me for six months in 
the year. What Deerfield sets out to do she always accom- 

The meeting closed by three cheers for Mr. Sheldon, led by 
Mr. Saxton. 

S79 Old JBbme Week— 1901. 


One who knows Deerfleld is quite used to the habit of the 
place of doing original and attractive things sooiallyi and the 
saooess of Home Week has been no sort of surprise. It has 
been a picturesque occasion all the way ; with its processions 
of the historic ride and of the children, with its speaking on the 
Tillage green beneath the elms and button woods ; with its ram- 
bling people, women without hats and in gay, light summer 
gowns, nrnking lively the wide, shaded streets, the green, the 
yards and the fields. The treasures of Memorial Hall have been 
visited and there have been sundry social features. 

The special art exhibit at the studio of Augustus Vincent 
Tack on the Whiting place, is of much interest and value be- 
cause of several of Mr. Tack's recent portraits, and landscapes 
by George Spencer Fuller, son of the great artist Gteorge Fuller, 
and some others. Mr. Tack, whose two portraits of George 
Sheld(»i the historian, have made his power in portraiture 
known, this year exhibits his painting of Cardinal Gibbons, one 
of CoL Thomas W. Higginson, one of Elizabeth, the little 
daughter of Spencer Fuller, a sketch of a young girl, Betty, 
some drawings and his remarkable portrait of his wife, G^rge 
Fuller's daughter, besides a ^^ Moonrise " and another landscape. 
The portrait of Mrs. Tack is one of extraordinary charm, the 
unusual and poetic beauty of the countenance being rendered 
not merely with skill of technic, which Mr. Tack possesses in 
high degree, but with an imaginative thought which gives the 
canvas a place with that work which lasts — with the work of 
Reynolds and Lawrence and Bomney. The whole treatment 
of the accessories, the tone of the gown, the lace, the background, 
these make a simple and serious harmony which satisfies the 
eye. The portraits of CoL Higginson and Cardinal Gibbons 
have each their own interest, but the delightful picture of little 
Elizabeth is one that the visitor dwells on longest It is a really 
ideal picture of childhood, ^^ moving about in worlds not real- 
ized," as Wordsworth says in his great ideal poem of the child. 

Spencer Fuller, like his father, is both farmer and painter, 
and also like him, he is working out in his own way his own 
mode of expression. It was on the farm at The Bars that 
Gtoorge Fuller found himself. The schools had failed him, and 

JSMbUion i(f PiUntings. 373 

yet he had a restless genius whioh deioanded expression. Here 
he found it by oommunion with Natnrey and developed those 
marvelous veiled idealizations which have placed him at the 
head of American art as our greatest painter. No one can pos- 
sibly imitate or copy his unique work. It would have be^i 
impossible to gather here for Deerfield's Home Week even a few 
of the great paintings which have placed him among the im- 
mortals. The "Nydia," "The Romany Girl," "Lorette," 
** Winifred Dysart," "And She Was a Witch 1'^ "The Herb 
Gatherer,'* " The Turkey Pasture," " The Girl With a Calf "— 
these and others are treasures of public or private galleries. 
But in the studio at Tbe Bars are grouped some family por- 
traits which were opened to the public to-day, and wbich in- 
clude a lovely portrait of his wife— who to-day retains the 
beauty which distinguished her when she was Agnes Higgin- 
son ; and other family portraits. Besides, there were to be seen 
photographic reproductions of several of his paintings. The 
old house whose north side he transformed into a lofty studio 
is in itself of much interest, and his palettes hanging on the 
walls, the ancient clock and the great fireplace, the easels, and 
all those appurtenances of the artist's occupation, give to ttus 
room a fascination which belongs to the home of a great 

To return to the exhibit at Mr. Tack's studio, and to Spencer 
Fuller's beautiful winter landscape, which would undoubtedly 
make a serious impression if shown in New York or in Boston. 
The son's work in no respect recalls his father's, and he can 
stand upon his own merits in this fine rendering of tbe winter 
day, as one looks upon a winding country road in a young for- 
est, — surveying from a higher plain the long, sinuous trail, seen 
in the tender roseate-golden light of the sun. The scene is in- 
fused with delicate and subtle magic, and the sky lifts from 
the woodland in that gentle beauty which belongs to the mo* 
ment. This landscape, showing him in his character as lover 
of and familiar with Nature, as well as painter, warrants Mr. 
Fuller's calling of artist. Besides, one should notice in this 
exhibit the excellent pastels of J. Wells Champney. His copy 
of Giovanni Bellini's portrait of a young Venetian noble is one 
of the most competent interpretations that have been made of 
the very spirit of the renaissance artist. The treatment of the 
high patrician features and the curiously dressed hair could not 

874 Old Home Fi^*— 1901. 

beexoelled in technioal exoellenoe. Hisoopyof the '^ Daughter 
of Louis XIY " is very genial and clever. Besides these, there 
are still life pictures by Miss Lane, a landscape by Miss Eleanor 
M. Arms and some others. There should also be mentioned an 
agreeable example of the skill as miniaturist of Mrs. Marie 
Champney Humphreys, in the portrait of her father in the vil- 
lage room, with the arts and crafts exhibit. 

The picture of the meetinghouse in Deerfield, built in 
the early days, is from a photograph by the Misses Allen of a 
painting by Mrs. Eels, elaborated from the sketch of some un- 
known artist. The old meetinghouse stood on the village green, 
and behind it may be seen the so-called ^^ Indian House," which, 
built about 1698, was torn down in 1848, the town then losing 
an inestimable historic monument. There are now but few who 
remember the house, but its door, with the marks of the Indian 
tomahawks which cut the hole through which the shot was 
fired that killed the wife of Ensign John Sheldon in the de- 
structive assault of 1704, is in the museum of Memorial Hall, 
and as Josiah D. Canning wrote in his poem other towns may 
boast of various treasures, but as for Deerfield : 

She has the Door of History, — here's the One. 



Deerfield once again exemplified her claim as an art center 
to be a serious one by the brilliant show of local handicrafts in 
the Village Room. Here are gathered a display of objects of 
decorative art that a much larger community might feel a pride 
in showing ; all products of the village people, and all made in 
the year that has passed since the last exhibit of work. In 
standard of merit it ranks favorably with the large shows of 
city Arts and Grafts societies, which draw upon large areas for 
contributions, and in variety, also, it is equally noteworthy. 
To bring together such excellent examples of the use of wood, 
iron, metals, enamels and semi-precious stones, of basketry, of 
embroidery and kindred materials, is an achievement that 
marks the movement toward a wider artistic appreciation and 

ATt8 and OraftB. 275 

capacity that has lately become evident in America. It is not 
too much to say that Deerfield has become a considerable fac- 
tor in the progress of art in this country. The spirit of fellow- 
ship in aim, which only makes such results possible, is shown 
in the fact that these yearly exhibitions in the town are under 
no formal management. Deerfield has no organized '^ society 
of arts and crafts " to control and encumber the individuality 
of the craftsmen, but with mutual helpfulness the producers 
unite to display their best, animated with a single desire to 
keep the standard high. 

The work of Mrs. Madeline Yale Wynne and Miss Annie C. 
Putnam in metals is as different as possible from that shown 
by them last year, but since such is what they have taught the 
public to expect of their work, it occasions no surprise. Mrs. 
Wynne has taken to setting stones,— opals, moonstones and 
common pebbles, — with unique success. Here are brooches and 
clasps, made of silver, with pendants of milky opals and clear 
moonstones forming strange and unexpected designs ; a buckle 
with blue and green enamels surrounding an opal which shows 
those iridescent hues ; another of red-bronze copper, holding a 
pebble from Monterey beach ; one of gray-toned copper and 
pink enamel that defines a charming design of single tur- 
quoises ; a brooch of silver, with orange and ruby-colored opals 
from Mexico, hanging on little silver chains, and still another, 
whose pendant is formed of a single water-stone. There are 
but two bowls in Mrs. Wynne's collection this year, one of sil- 
ver, of a very pleasing shape, and the other, made of copper, 
mottled and streaked with darker color, like a strange shell, is 
supported upon three legs. The most original example of Mrs. 
Wynne's work is a small box, dull blue and green and bronze 
in color, bearing on its lid an inset ornament of silver, the de- 
sign being a rabbit, in the moon, surrounded by flowers, set 
with moonstones ; the comer pieces of the box are oxidized 
metal, set with dull green pebbles. On the inside of the lid 
the legend which the device illustrates is carved. Miss Put- 
nam's work, very different in style, light and fantastic in design 
often, is equally interesting. She shows a hairpin of silver 
enameled with delicate turquoise hues that run into ruby by a 
delicate gradation, fashioned in a flower form ; a charming 
stock-fastener, with hanging pendants, ornamented with many- 
colored enamels ; a large silver belt buckle bearing a design of 

276 OU Mame W$eh^l901. 

coyotes against a suggested landsoape that is a beautifal har- 
mony of blae and green enamels^ and a belt and bag oi wine- 
colored leather, ornamented by many devices of highly decorar 
tive fishes done in copper. 

The bride's chest of oak and soft wood made by Edwin C. 
Thorn and Caleb Allen, and decorated in low rcdief by Dr. 
Thorn, with old iron hinges matched by the village blacksmith 
with iron draw-handles and key-plate, ocoapies the place of 
honor in front of the chimney. It is a beantif ul specimen of 
true craft, made in the same spirit of honest thoroughness that 
belonged to the maker of the chest now in the Memorial Hall 
of Deerfield, in the style of which this chest is made ; standing 
squarely on its strong supports, with a drawer that slides as 
though it were on oiled runners, with a heavy lid, and admiral 
ble ornamentation it is one of the most successful specimens oi 
work in the exhibit Close beside it are a splint-bottomed chair 
and small square stand, both made of cherry, the latter article 
showing how bits of several broken pieces of old furniture may 
be remodeled into pleasing shape, and these are also the work 
of Dr. Thorn. In the same class is a hanging smoker's cabinet 
of two drawers admirably made of cherry, which is sent by 
Caleb Allen. Over the chest, depending from the ceiling, is a 
wrought-iron lantern designed and made by the blacksmith, 
Cornelius Eelley. This is boldly simple in form, without omar 
ment, but so well proportioned and excellently true in workman* 
ship that it is satisfactory to the eye. 

In quite another sort of material, but kindred in aim, is the 
work of the basket-makers, the associated gronp who work in 
palm leaf. With them perfection is not too high a goal, and 
the exquisite nicety of their plaiting is worth study, while the 
shapes they evolve in their little and big baskets, trays and 
cases, from the simple material, is testimony to their ingenuity. 
With them this year are shown for the first time some ex- 
periments in other basket materials; reed baskets in the old- 
&shioned shapes that are associated in our minds with mending 
stockings or doing patchwork ; flat flower baskets copied from 
those peculiar to the Fayal islanders, made by Miss Sarah and 
Miss Catherine Wells, and raflSa baskets, strong in color, dar- 
ing in shape and altogether interesting, which are contributed 
by Mrs. Wynne, Miss Miller, Miss Whiting and Miss Brown. 

The rugs this year are of considerable variety and show whafc 

Arts and Orqfta. 277 

ddll and a sMte of color can make oat of the ordinary rag- 
carpeting of oar f oremothers ; it is a large exhibit The d» 
play of the Blae and White Society is varied and fresh. A 
bedspread in blaes is a carefal reprodnction of one worked by 
Eetarah Baldwin of Dorset, Yt, about 1750, which was burned 
last year ; the society possessed a drawing of it and as an act 
of picas duty has made this copy, lest so beaatifal a design 
shoold cease to exist. A bold excursion into colors is shown in 
a three-fold screen loaned by its owner, Mrs. 0. C. Furbush of 
Greenfield, which shows the tree of life springing on the cen- 
tral panel from a grassy field of fiowers, which with its spread- 
ing floral branches forms the top and bottom decoration of the 
side panels ; this is executed in blues and greens, so combined 
as often to produce a peacock hue, pink and orange colors with 
a great variety of textures produced by the different stitches 
employed. For the bookcase is shown a set of curtains on coarse 
gray crash, decorated with flower baskets in several colors. A 
table square with a blue design of bachelor's buttons according 
to the curious conventions of the colonial period, another of 
shells in colors, a ^^ bleeding heart " design for a sofa pillow, a 
good variety of center-pieces and doilies, a number of quaint 
sampler designs in cross*stitch, complete a large show of this 
society. Each worker of the society is represented by a piece 
of embroidery bearing her name, to show how even is the ex- 
cellence of the several craftswomen. 

Closely allied to both art and craftsmanship, as photography 
now is, the work of Miss Frances Allen and Miss Mary Allen 
and of Miss Coleman would be equaUy at home in this room or 
next door to the small gallery of paintings which Mr. Tack has 
hung in his studio. The Misses Allen use their camera in the 
same spirit with which a painter uses his brush, and their sense 
of composition, of the drwiatic moment, is as eminent a qual- 
ification for their art as for his. How greatly they improve in 
their craft is shown by their present exhibit of new work Here 
are groups of portraits which are character studies, of figure 
compositions that are pictures, and of landscapes that are poetia 
The extraordinary piotare of a coming ^^ Storm on the North 
Meadows," where the black sky throws a row of comstacks into 
almost tragic relief ; the fortunate fiower studies, particularly 
of blooming laurel bushes in the fresh early sunlight of spring; 
the single figure of a little girl sewing in a porch comer, 

278 Old Home Weeh-1901. 

which is fall of old-fashioned sobriety ; the remarkable series of 
character pictures which they call ^^ Miss Fidelia's Story,^ that 
is fall of New England humor ; the portrait of a woman in her 
grandmother's wedding gown, and that head of a little dark- 
skinned boy in profile, are all brilliant examples of the variety 
of their artistic perceptions. Miss Emma L. Coleman, exhibits 
only a small number of her photographs, but these are of high 
quality. The subjects are chosen in the South, except for two 
views of the Niagara Bapids, which are remarkable pictures and 
beautiful studies of light and shade ; the negro pictures are also 
full of character, particularly that of an old woman in a turban 
walking over plowed ground ; another is of a single figure of a 
woman hoeing; there are two groups of pickaninnies that are 
delightfully conceived. One seldom sees photographs of negroes 
that are so dignified, one may even say respectful, in treatment ; 
this trait, so conspicuous in Miss Ooleman's pictures, forms a very 
component part of the merit of her work as art Best of sdl 
her contribution is the magnificent portrait of a turkey gobbler, 
with every feather spread to the sun ; it is full of color and life. 

Clarence Hoyt, the Boston architect, has sent in as a con- 
tribution from a son of Deerfield, three drawings of buildings he 
has lately designed, the most important being a handsome high 
school for Georgetown, Mass., recently finished. This exhibit 
is particularly appropriate to the village room, which Mr. Hoyt 
designed, and which was built by his father, Horatio Hoyt, a 
lifelong resident of the Street. 

In one of the showcases is placed a miniature by Mrs. Marie 
Champney Humphreys — an admirable portrait of her artist 
father, J. Wells Champney. It is the one which has attracted 
much &.vorable comment in larger exhibitions, and would have 
been put in Mr. Tack's studio if the delicate nature of the paint- 
ing had not made protection necessary. 

By way of these interesting pictures the distance between 
handiwork and literature is deftly bridged. Thus we find a 
reason beyond that of commendable pride in two books by 
Deerfield authors which have been printed since the exhibit two 
years ago, when a dozen volumes were shown. These 
books are Mrs. Elizabeth W. Champney 's beautifully il- 
lustrated ^^ Bomance of the Feudal Chateaux," which was re- 
cently published by the Putnams; and the monograph on 
^^ Claystones," which Mrs. Jennie Arms Sheldon brought out 

Three Dewfidd Ihemnffs. 279 

last winter. In conneotion with the latter volnme a showcase 
displays a small collection of Mrs. Sheldon's concretions to 
show what Deerfield itself, unaided by the arts or crafts of man, 
can produce. 


One evening Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Ashley opened their 
pleasant home for a musical. They were assisted by Mrs. 
Rogers, Miss Orr and Miss Cowles. The following programme 
was rendered : 

BoLBBo, Moszkowski 

Mrs. Ashley, Miss Orr. 


Mrs. Rogers. 
Duo, Andante from major Concerto, . . Beethoven 

Miss Orr, Mrs. Ashley. 

Mrs. Rogers. 

" Tannhabusbb " overture, .... Wagner 

Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Ashley, Miss Orr, Miss Cowles. 

Among the pleasant occasions of the most delightful week 
that ever has come to Old Deerfield was the reception given by 
Mrs. Elizabeth Williams Champney to all Deerfield and its 
many guests. The avenues to this charming home, where 
Judge Williams lived, were lighted by many Chinese lanterns. 
The gracious hostess received her guests at the door, while the 
daughter of artistic fame, Mrs. Marie Humphreys, had a kindly 
greeting for all within. 

The charm of the evening was when Mrs. Madeline Yaii^ 
Wynne was asked by Mrs. Champney to say a few words. 
With great grace of nmnner and wonderful clearness of voice 
and enunciation she said : 

^^ Nature is very subtle and clever at the Crafts, but when she 
made the laurel leaf she herself was surprised at its beauty. 
Never before had such a satis&ctory green come from her dye- 
pot, — a color that would not fade in summer's heat or winter's 

380 Old Home Week— 1901. 

snow. And the texture of the leaf was to her liking. She 
said : ^ This bush must be dedicated to the hi^est of purposes. 
It shall not grow tall enough to yield mast for ship, or beam for 
house, or frame for church ; neither shall the limbs so spread as 
to become a shade for the street ; nor shall the verdure serve as 
food for cattle. The blossoms shall be of exquisite shape, and in 
their abundance shall be as a torrent of pink down the moun- 
tain side, and its leaves shaU be woven into wreaths for the 
hero.' In Deerfield, Nature waited long for a hero to her mind. 
She was not willing to crown the Bed man, for she liked not 
his ways, nor would she give the crown to our ancestors, whose 
praises we have sung to-day, for their ways were not the wajrs 
of Peace. She waited for one to come who was to be a link be- 
tween the Past and the Future, who should select all that was 
admirable from out the Past, that it might become an inspira- 
tion to the Future. And so it is that I stand here to-night 
with this laurel wreath in my hand, with which to crown the 
hero of this day — the Hon. George Sheldon. In his absence I 
give it to Mrs. Sheldon, who not only represents him here to- 
night, but who in all his honorable work is his most able and 
loving coadjutor.'' The receptions in Deerfield are charming 
in their novelty, and this was no exception. 

The hum of many voices, like the waves of a singing sea, 
ceased when Mrs. Champney announced that her guest, Mr. 
Charles Barnard of New York, would repeat a story he told 
her once, and it was the funniest she ever heard. With a very 
severe manner Mr. Barnard, who called everybody cousin that 
spent that week in Deerfield, told the story of a man, retired 
from business with a fortune, who promised his wife that she 
should have anything she wished. The model husband heard 
her request, made with great simplicity, for she asked a seeming 
impossibility. She wished a bouse vdth the sun in every room, 
morning and afternoon. Architects of renown were sought, 
but all failed to satisfy this grasping woman. The amiable 
husband at last evolved a plan for her gratification. He saw 
a house near a railroad which had failed and was no longer 
used. He took his wife to see the prize, and he told her he had 
evolved a solar system so novel but unique that at last she 
oould have the sun in every room. With the trust of woman, 
she simply believed her lord and master, and the house was 
bought. Time fails to tell how this man accomplished the 

Boftn Pwrty. 281 

hnpofisible, but Mr. Barnard told us how this genius of a maa 
gratified his wife. It is a connndram which the reader may 
gaess. If this man had only been bom in Deerfield, a stone 
would have been erected to his memory by the aspiring wives 
of to-day, who would worship his character. 

The festivities of Deerfield's ^^ Home Week " culminated with 
the ^^ Bam Party '' of Hon. and Mrs. Gtoorge Sheldon on Thurs- 
day evening. Everybody between the ages of 17 and 9Y was 
invited to " come promptly vnthout frills or trains," and every- 
body came. The long bam floor was swept, and garnished 
with forest greens ; the long scaffold and hay terraced bay were 
transformed into balconies, locomotive headlights and Japanese 
lanterns lit up the scene ; and Deerfield's old and young, with 
multitudes of her returned children and visitors, crowded this 
new Sheldonian theatre, or overflowed the lawn where music 
and moonlight lent enchantment to the perfect night. 

Various old-time songs were announced during the evening, 
" The Old Oaken Bucket" and " Auld Lang Syne" were well 
rendered by a quartette under the charge of Mr. Ashley. Then 
came a charming Scotch ballad, sung by Mrs. George Spencer 
Fuller, so sweet in word and tone it was entrancing. 

The singing of " The Sword of Bunker Hill " by the sympa- 
thetic voice of Mr. Hough roused the whole audience and made 
the hero blood tingle as the notes rolled up through the loft 
to heaven. 

Soon after eight o'clock the familiar strains of Si Ball's violin 
were heard. The floor was soon cleared for dancing, and Mrs. 
Sheldon led off in the Virginia reeL Hull's Victory, Money 
Musk, Speed the Plow, etc., followed, and in contra dances, in- 
spired by the music of the violins, the merry feet flew : 

The pastor, the deacon, the proud one, the meek one, 
All merrily joined in the brisk promenade, — 

Then the big barn doors at the back opened, and martial 
music was heard ; down the long aisle, thickly fringed with 
evergreen and vine, swept a column in scarlet and gold, marched 
out under the lanterns and the moon to the iQuminated orchard. 
Our minds were filled with wonder, what surprise could come 
next ! Then came surprise number two, in the shape of a most 
grateful entertainment of refreshing nature, and young men 
and maidens brought it to the elders seated in the loft, who 
were served first, — a relic of ancient day custom. 

282 Old Home WeekH-1901. 

The music on the lawn, and the full moon above the noble 
trees, joined with the many delightful associations of the week 
to make the occasion one to be long remembered. Mr. and 
Mrs. Sheldon were happy with their guests in the unbroken 
success of the social and historical function they so laigely 
planned, and have been unwearied in carrying out ; and when 
at eleven o'clock, ^^Home, Sweet Home" was sung, all present 
joined in it with a deep sense that something very beautiful and 
inspiring had come into their Uves. 

B ut pleasures must end, and vrith the singing of ^^ Home, Sweet 
Home," adieus were said to the host and hostess. We walked 
down the shaded streets by the light of the glorious moon, and 
entered into dreamland with visions and memories that time 
can never efface. Who will not say after this week of weeks, 
that Old Deerfield is a paradise t 



The annaal meeting of the Pocumtack Valley If emorial As- 
sociation was held at Deerfield yesterday afternoon and even- 
ing. The business meeting was held in the old kitchen in 
Memorial Hall. Yice-president F. M. Thompson presided in the 
absence of the president, George Sheldon. After the business 
meeting there were short papers read on Rev. P. Y. Finch and 
Solon L. Newton by Rev. J. D. Reid and S. O. Lamb of Green- 
field. The exercises of the evening were held in the town halL 
Rev. R. E. Birks offered the invocation and the old fashioned 
choir, under the lead of Oharles H. Ashley, sang old-time tunes 
and songs. Miss 0. Alice Baker of Boston read the first paper 
on " The Story of Joseph Fry, a Kittery captive, carried to 
Oanada in 1694-5.'' These officers were elected at the business 
meeting : 

President, George Sheldon of Deerfield. 

Yice-presidents, Francis M. Thompson of Greenfield ; 0. Alice 
Baker of Boston. 

Recording secretary, Margaret Miller of Deerfield. 

Corresponding secretary, Mary Elizabeth Stebbins of Deer- 

Treasurer, John Sheldon of Greenfield. 

Councilors, Charles Jones, Robert Childs, Edward A. Hawks, 
Samuel Childs, Laura B. Wells, Madeline Yale Wynne, Spencer 
Fuller, all of Deerfield ; Emma L. Coleman, and Herbert C. Wat- 
son, of Boston ; Rev. G. W. SoUey of Dorchester ; Samuel O. 
Lamb, H. C. Parsons, Caroline C. Furbush, E. A. Newcomb 
and Mrs. Ellen L. Sheldon, all of Greenfield. 

The report of the curator, George Sheldon, showed receipts 
from admission to the hall, sale of books and pictures, $273. 
The register shows that 2366 persons visited the hall during the 
year, coming from all over the United States, from the British 
Isles, most of the European countries, and even from China. 

284 Annual Meetinff— 1902. 

^ It is not supposed^" says the report, ^^that cUl the visitors left 
home with the purpose of visiting the collections in the mnseom." 
There have been added during the year 160 titles to the library, 
among them being valuable town and family histories. The 
library shelves are overcrowded, and it is recommended that 
provision be made for securing additional quarters. The report 
pays a tribute to Solon L. Newton of Greenfield, who, although 
not a member of the Association, had taken an interest in its 
work and left a large share of his collection to the Association. 
It speaks feelingly of the death of Bev. P. Y. Finch, who was 
<< one of us from the start," and on the list of the first five 
councilors. Appreciative mention is made of a set of broom- 
making machinery given to the Association by the late Albert 
Smith of Biverside. In closing, Mr. Sheldon alludes to the 
crowded condition of the hall and expresses the hope that some- 
thing will be done to relieve the congested condition. 

The report of John Sheldon, treasurer, showed that the total 
receipts had been $544 for the year and expenses $228. The 
balance on hand is $2103. 

A committee was appointed to make provision for the exten- 
sion of the collections, and to provide quarters for the caretaker, 
who has always occupied a part of the building. It is likely 
that a house will be built east of the Hall for the caretaker. 
Then the northwest wing of the present building can be devoted 
to displaying the collections. One room will probably be set 
apart for the collection given to the Association by Solon L. 
Newton of Greenfield. The committee consists of the presi- 
dent, vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer, and S. O. Lamb. 

A committee consisting of Judge Thompson, E. A. Newcombi 
Spencer Fuller, and W. L. Harris with power to enlarge their 
number, was chosen to plan for a field day. No arrangements 
have yet been made as to where the field meeting shall be held. 

S. O. Lamb read the following tribute to the late S. L. 


Solon L. Newton was bom in Greenfield, March 9, 1841. 
With the exception of several years in the city of Holyoke, in 
the service of his brother as bookkeeper, he lived all his life in 
Greenfield. He died June 27, 1901. In his last will and testa* 

Skeioh of Solan L. Newton. 285 

ment he remembered the Pocamtuek Valley Memorial Asaoeiar 
tion in a manner whioh deserves something more than a mere 
passing acknowledgment 

He was the youngest of seven sons of the late James Newton, 
a man of estimable character and sterling worth. His brothersi 
except one who died at the age of 16, have occapied various 
positions, all responsible and many of more than ordinary im- 
portance and responsibility in social, economic and business 
circles. I do not propose to speak further of them on this oc- 

My acquaintance with Solon L. Newton began in the days of 
his boyhood and continued to the day of his death. His char> 
acter as a youth was marked by that regard for precision, ac- 
curacy and dignity which distinguished it in later years. When 
asked his age, he invariably with the same accent and emphasis 
gave bis full name with a statement of his age. He retained 
this habit of full, accurate and dignified expression in all the 
social relations and business transactions of life. 

It was my fortune to take part with him at different times in 
matters, some of them of much importance, including the man- 
agement and settlement of the estate of his &ther and mother, 
in all of which he displayed the most careful attention to de> 
tails, regard for method and fullness and accuracy of statement, 
with entire dignity of deportment. 

He was not an ambitious man, he was not an enterprising 
man, he never sought position or preferment He was a quiet, 
self-possessed, conscientious man, seeking for no great thing to 
do, but aiming to do faithfully and well such work as came to 
his bands. 

Two prominent features in the character of Mr. Newton, both 
arising from the same source, deserve particular mention. One 
was his passion, I think it may be properly styled passion, for 
and his industry in the collection of old fadiioned furniture and 
domestic utensQs of every description. In this respect his zeal 
and enthusiasm show a feeling near akin to devotion in the best 
sense of the term. And his taste, judgment and success are well 
attested by the generous bequest above mentioned, to the Pocum- 
tnck Yalley Memorial Association. 

Another, and perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the 
character of Mr. Newton was his intense and undeviating devo- 
tion to the Second Congregational Church and Society of Green- 

286 Armtial Meetinff— 1902. 

field. This sprang partly no doubt from his early training, bat 
mainly from his own deep and strong religions convictions. He 
devoutly believed in the doctrines of the church and gave freely 
of his time, labor and substance to promote its interest and ex- 
tend its influence. The bequest in his will shows that his care 
for the church did not cease with this mortal life. For some 
years he served the church as its clerk, and his name will ever 
retain its place in the list of its most faithful, competent and 
worthy members. 

The legacies given by Mr. Newton to the American Board of 
Commissioners of Foreign Missions, the Home Missionary 
Society and the Seaman's Friend Society, show that his inter- 
est in and sympathy with Christian work were not confined 
within narrow limits, but extended to all the world. 

Kev. J. D. Beid of Greenfield than gave a study of the life 
of the late P. V. Finch. 


In the death of the Rev. Peter Yoorhees Finch which took 
place the 3d of May, 1901, the Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial As- 
sociation lost one of its first members, whose name has been 
associated with its history since the earliest days of its organiza- 

Mr. Finch was bom the 19th of March, 1836, at Shrewsbury, 
New Jersey. He graduated from Burlington College, New 
Jersey, in 1854, when he had the honor of making the Greek 
oration. From the same institution, in 1858, he received his 
master's degree. In 1860, he was further honored by Trinity 
College. In the years 1855, 1866, he was a clerk in the Metro- 
politan Bank of New York City. He then entered the General 
Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1859. 
On the 4tb of July of that year, he took the order of deacon, 
being ordained to that ofSce in Trinity Church, New York, by 
the Right Rev. Horatio Potter, then Bishop of New York. He 
received ordination to the priesthood at the hands of Bishop 
Williams of Connecticut, on the 3d of July, 1860. His residence 
for the following three years and a half was in Connecticut, 
but for part of that time he was chaplain of the 16th Connecti- 
cut Yolunteers, and saw much real service in the field and 
under fire. He was present at the battles of Antietam and 

Memoir of Reo. P. V. Finch. 287 

Frederioksburg. He came to Greenfield in late December^ 1868, 
and supplied the pulpit of St James Church from Christmas 
until Easter of the following spring, when he became rector of 
the parish. Here he stayed until October, 1871. He then went 
to Pittsburg to become rector of St. John's Church in that city. 
In 1873 he made another remove, this time to Denver, and for 
the next six years he was rector of St. John's Church there. 
The year 1879 saw him back in Oreenfield, once more installed 
as rector of St. James, and here he stayed until the end. The 
renewal of an old pastorate is an experiment seldom made ; 
and still more seldom does it prove successful when made. But 
in this case the unexpected happened. That the result was so 
entirely fortunate is highly creditable to both rector and parish. 

By this record it appears that for a period of over forty 
years, including an absence of eight years, Mr. Finch made his 
home in New England. As we have seen, he was not a New 
Englander by birth. But there can be no doubt that he be- 
came one by adoption and aflbiity. That is a very good plan 
to foUow. Better late than never. I have seen a young man 
of unimpeachable New England antecedents, who himself had 
been educated in Boston and was thoroughly imbued with the 
New England spirit, refused membership in the New England 
Society of a far western state, because he happened to have 
been bom in Ohio. To his huge disgust he had to stand by 
and see the coveted privilege to which he had thus been de- 
clared ineligible, bestowed on a youth of French-Canadian par- 
entage, who knew no more of New England traditions than he 
did of the Elgin Marbles, for the very suflScient reason that his 
parents had migrated to New Hampshire shortly before his 
birth, so that he bad first opened his eyes among the hiUs of 
that indubitably New England state. 

By long years of endearing association Mr. Finch made this 
beautiful region of the Connecticut and Deerfield valleys his 
home. Here the most enthusiastic and vigorous years of his 
still youthful manhood were passed. And hither he returned 
to gamer the full sheaf of his matured wisdom and experi- 

Mr. Finch married Miss Harriet Bronson of Hartford, in that 
city, the 38th of April, 1864. Mrs. Finch is now living in 
Oreenfield. Of the three children bom of this marriage, one 
survives : Dr. Edward Bronson Finch of New York city. 

388 AnntuU Meeting— 1902. 

To his aotiTities as rector of St. James, Mr. Finoh added 
those of a public spirited citizen and of a nature that included a 
wide range of interests. In 1866 he was chosen as one of the 
school committee, and for twelve consecutive years, beginning 
in 1880, he held tlie same position. He was a Mason and in the 
circles of that order he held honorable and influential posts. 

He was P. M. E. High Priest of Franklin B. A. Chapter ; Past 
Thrice Illustrious Master of Titos Strong Council, B. & S. 
Masters ; Past Eminent Commander of the Connecticut Yalloy 
Commandery; Grand Prelate of the Grand Commanderj of 
Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Bhode Island ; and at 
the time of his death he was Worshipful Master in Bepublican 
Lodge, A. F. and A. M., Greenfield. 

He was an interested member of the Fortnightly Club of 
Greenfield, and in the last year of his life he was the presi- 
dent of that society. 

His bent for historical matters appears in his connection with 
the Pocumtuck Yalley Memorial Association. He was one of 
its first councilors, an oflSoe to which he was elected many 
times. At different times he served as vice-president. At 
field meetings he occasionally acted as president of the day. 
On various occasions he read papers and gave addresses before 
the Association. These contributions were always welcome, and 
always interesting. 

like the poet, the after-dinner speaker is bom, not made. 
Mr. Finch had this gift, and his good nature in accepting the 
invitations that frequently came to him to exercise it, made it a 
source of great pleasure to those who had the good fortune to 
hear him. He was exceedingly happy and entertaining as a 
public speaker, and on occasions when speaking was the order 
of the day he was sure to be in demand. 

Looked on as a whole this life that we are considering was 
a very even Ufe, and a very transparent one. Such a life, I 
take it, is worth more than the generality of those that present 
more striking contrasts and conspicuous traits. It means so 
much as a quiet, unobtrusive influence for good ; an influence 
imperceptibly diffused, as it were, throughout the circle of its 
acquaintance. It is not a slight achievement just to live for 
over a generation in one village and win and hold the respect 
and affection of the community. Another country parson who 
had lived in and near Greenfield a matter of forty years, was 

Memoir of Rev. P. V. Finch. 289 

driving alcmg one of our beautiful roads one day with a friend 
from another place, who was visiting him. A party of pio- 
niokers at a little distance to one side of the road, recc^ized 
the minister as he passed, and hats were raised and handker- 
chiefs waved in salute. The greeting was returned, and as 
they left the party behind, this minister turned to his guest and 
said : ^^ I can't tell who those people were, but it seems they all 
know me. I teU you it's a dreadful thing to live forty years in 
one place. You can't be wicked, if you want to." 

Now in the guise of a jest, that expresses a bit of shrewd and 
profound wisdom. The test of the years is a test of character, 
and it is the most searching test to which one can be put. He 
who stands it is as gold tried by the fire. And how revealing 
of the true measure of human and spiritual values is such a test 
It shows as dear as noonday how infinitely worth more than 
anything that a man does or can do is the man himself. In 
himself, and not in any performance of his, is summed up both 
his inherent worth and his worth as an influence on the lives 
he has touched. 

It was Mr. Finch's distinction that he met this supreme test 
and that it set upon him the ineffaceable stamp of a worth 
and genuineness which cannot be counterfeited. 

In all the relations of his life and of his calling he bore him- 
Belf with credit. He was the good shepherd of his flock, and 
the good friend of all who came in contact with him. To be 
good and do good was as natural for him as it is for the grass 
to grow. He knew how to rejoice with them that rejoice, and 
to weep with them that weep. He was a man of large public 
spirit, sterling common sense and broadly tolerant vision and 
attitude. He believed thoroughly that his way was for him 
the right way, but he never sought to impose his way on others 
against their will and judgment. He was a man of moderate 
and sensible views, absolutely devoid of fanaticism. He had an 
ample flow of good spirits, and an unfailing sense of humor 
which, properly balanced, as it was in him, is a sure mark of 
mental and moral soundness. His exhaustless fund of anec- 
dotes and pleasantry made him at all times an entertaining 
converser and a congenial companion. 

It was in his personal bearing that the true quality of the 
man was revealed. In his case surely the style was the man. 
It has been said of him that he was ^^ a gentleman of the old 

290 Armual Meeting— 190% 

school." As that expression is usually meant, it fitted him very 
welL But to speak precisely, it was not an apt characterization. 
A gentleman of the old school, and especially a clergyman of 
the old school, was a personage to be dreaded. He did not 
bring joy with him, but rather clouds of darkness. His bearing 
and conversation were such as to cause an immediate drop of 
the barometer in the atmosphere surcharged with his porten- 
tous presence. Were a clergyman strictly of the old school to 
appear among us to-day, doubtless we should hail him as an ob- 
ject of curious interest. But as far as the ordinary intercourse 
of life is concerned, we should presently find it expedient to 
avoid him as much as possible. Quite the reverse of this awe- 
inspiring type was Mr. Finch. He had none of that stiffness, 
that preternatural gravity, that demeanor as of a peripatetic 
judgment-day. He met dl alike with quiet dignity, a tact that 
disarmed suspicion, and unaffected sincerity that put one at 
one's ease, a gentleness that had nothing of the effeminate in it, 
a kindliness that was not forced, and a grace of self-possession 
at the farthest remove from assurance, that would instantly 
have made him at home in any circle, from the humblest to 
the most exalted. 

Equally was he removed from all the various sorts of attitud- 
inizing, mannerisms, and professional airs that characterize cer- 
tain modem types of clergymen. He was not fiippant. He 
did not belittle himself or his office. He indulged in none of 
the kinds of familiarity that breed contempt. The ingratiating 
manner was utterly foreign to his nature. He did not stoop to 
make bids for a cheap popularity. As Eipling says of Lord 
Eoberts, ^^ He did not advertise." His greeting had in it no 
taint of artificiality, no pompousness, no supernal gush. You 
did not have to be on your guard with him against that abom- 
inable mixture of condescending amiability and pious palavering 
which comes from, I know not where, and serves, I know not 
what purpose, save to make the now happily diminishing num- 
ber of those who affect it, the shiny objects of a kind of regard 
that no right-minded person in his senses would for a moment 

He kept always the golden mean. He neither protested too 
much, nor was he of the churlish manner of those who are so 
fearful lest their dignity be called in question, that, watch-dog 
fashion, they mount perpetual guard over it. He was natural. 

JItemoir of JR&o. P. V. Finch. 291 

easy, cordial. He met you in frank, hnman fashion, and on a 
worthy level of humanity. In a word, his bearing was always 
that of a man and a gentleman ; and this did not belie his in- 
most nature. 

^^ The place thereof shall know it no more," is not a true 
word concerning any human life that has had real meaning, 
that has been a real life. There are men, it may be, who come 
and go like shadows. They have no substance, no presence, no 
personality, no vital human touch. They are apparitions, phe- 
nomena, not warm living personalities. No mere brilliance of 
achievement can save them from their fate. 

But of such as these was not our friend. Eather was he of 
the company of those who, whether they be widely known or 
not, yet wherever they are known are known. We feel the 
presence while it is in our midst. We miss the presence with- 
drawn. And then again we do not miss it ; for in a finer, truer 
sense it cannot be withdrawn. 

Ko one, susceptible to a great personal influence, can visit Mt. 
Yemon and not feel that somehow the mighty dead still inhabits 
there. A great spirit broods over the place and hallows it. 
You go there and you speak with hushed voice and walk as in a 
waking dream. Thus potent is a real human presence to perpet- 
uate itself. And lesser lives, so they too be real, do in their meas- 
ure share this potentiality. And so every community becomes 
in a sense a shrine of the departed. We speak of the burying- 
ground as the " city of the dead." But the true earthly city of 
those we call dead is the place where they lived and wrought 
and loved and sufiFered and achieved. I went to Concord and 
visited the tomb of Emerson. But he was not there. He never 
had been there. Then I was permitted to visit his home, his 
library ; and there I found him. They who have wrought them- 
selves into the life of a community, live on in that life. 

There are those whose forms grow to seem as truly land- 
marks as the rocks and hills. To call to mind the scenes amid 
which they lived is to call them to mind. They are as much a 
part of the landscape, as really help to make it, as the elms 
that gave them shade. Those out of whom virtue went while 
they walked the village streets do not, cannot so pass away, 
but that they still walk those streets with us who remain. 

To the many who knew and loved him our friend is not dead ; 
he is not even away. Being dead, he yet speaketh. 

292 Ami^uxl MeeHnff— 1902. 

And for our own speaking, we may best end it so : 

His life was gentle, and the elements 

So mixed in him that Nature mig^t stand up 

And say to all the worid, '"This was a manl" 



That this story may have its proper setting, we most go back 
for a moment, to Devonshire in old England. There, on the 
records of Dartmouth* Mr. Alexander Shapleigh appears, as a 
merchant of Eingsweare, a town on the river Dart, directly 
opposite Dartmouth. 

In that part of Kingsweare known as Eittery Point, there still 
stands, as it stood in 1620, the manor house of the Shapleigh 
family. At that period, Alexander Shapleigh was profitably 
cUspatching ships with merchandise to Lisbon, to Newfoundland 
and a little later to New England. 

In 1635, James Treworgy, as agent for his father-in-law, 
Alexander Shapleigh, bought a large tract of land in the 
Province of Maine extending half way from Piscataquaf to 
Agamenticus river. :f 

In 1642, this whole estate was conveyed to Treworgy, wh6 
b^ore 1650 made it over to his brother-in-law, Nicholas 
Shapleigh, the third son of Alexander. 

This tract of land the Shapleighs named Kittery Point, in 
memory of their home in Kingsweare ; and a deposition is extant, 
to the effect that Alexander himself came over ^^ and did peace- 
ably enjoy his domain at Kittery Point, except the farthest 
point of all, which as long as his father lived, (and after his 
death), was possessed by his son Major Nicholas Shapleigh, 
w%o built the warehouse at the point, and sold several lots of 
land.^ § 

Nicholas Shapleigh held many ofllces of trust and honor in 

♦ N. E. -Gen. lUg., Vol. 60, p. 210. 

t Portsmouth, N. H. 

t York, Me. 

{ Gen. Reg., Vol 50, p. 219. 

Jo^h ^ of Kituvy^ aea 

Eitterj. The glimpses of him that we get through the old 
records, warrant our belief that he was a man of strong char- 
acter and liberal opinions. A rare old volame concerning the 
early Quakers in K. £. entitled ^^ New England Judged," gives 
us the following : 

" In the year 1662, Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose, who 
came from Old England with Gleorge Preston, and Edward 
Wharton of Salem, came to Piscataqua Biver and landed at the 
town of Dover, whither to go, it was with them from the Lord, 
— ^where they had a good opportunity in the Inn with the 
People that resorted to them, who reasoned with them concern- 
ing their Faith and Hope which to the People being made 
manifest, some to the Truth thereof Confessed, and others not 
able to gainsay the Truth, ran to Bayner their Priest, and told 
him that such a People were come to town, and that they had 
much Discourse with them about their Beligion, and were not 
able to contradict what they said, and therefore desired him to 
come forth and help them, ^ or else ' said they ^ we are like to 
be run on ground.' " 

At this the Priest chafed and fretted, and asked his people 
why they went among them. To which they answered, " Sir 
it is so, we have been amongst them, and if you come not forth 
to help us we are on ground." And said the Priest's wife, 
" Which do you like best, my Husband, or the Quakers ? " 

Said one of them, ^' We shall tell you that after your Husband 
hath been with them." Whereupon in a fretting and forward 
manner, Bayner came among them, saying ^^What came ye 
here for ? seeing the Laws of the Country are against such as 
you are ? " 

^^What hast thou against us?" replied Mary Tomkins. 
^ You deny Majesties and Ministers and Churches of Christ." 
** Thou sayst so," said Mary. " And you deny the three Per- 
sons in the Trinity," said the Priest. To which Mary answered, 
— " Take notice People, this man falsely accuses us, — ^for godly 
Magistrates, and the Ministers of Christ we own, and the churches 
of Christ we own, and there are three that bear Becord in 
Heaven, which three are the Father, Word and Spirit, — 
that we own, but for the Three Persons in the Trinity that's 
for thee to prove." " I will prove it " said Bayner. " Thou 
sayst so," said George Preston, ^^but prove it by the Scrip- 

394 Annual MeeUnjf— 1902. 

^^ I will prove it,'' said Bayner, ^^ where it is said he is the ex- 
press Image of his Father's Person." *^ That is falsely trans- 
lated " said one. 

<< Yes " replied the learned man in the aadience, ^^ for in the 
Greek it is not Person, bat substance." ^^ But " said the Priest 
^^ It is a Person." 

" Thou sayst so," said Gteorge, " but prove the other two if 
thou canst." ^^ There are three Somethings," cried the Priest, 
and in a rs^ flung away, calling to his people at the window to 
go from amongst them ; but Mary soon got after him, and spake 
to him to come back and not leave his people, amongst them he 
called wolves. But away packt the Priest, whereupon she said 
unto the people, ** Is not this the Hireling that flees and leaves 
the Flock ? So truth came over them all ... . and many were 
oonvinc'd that Day." 

We may imagine that it was long before Parson Bayner heard 
the last of his ^^ three Somethings." ^^ When they had had this 
good meeting at Dover for the Lord, they passed into the Prov- 
ince of Maine, being invited to Major Shapleigh's who was 
magistrate for that part of the country, who kept a Priest in 
his house, and allowed him and the people a room in his house 
to do their worship ; and being an inquiring man after the 
truth, desired the Priest that he and the Quakers might have 
some Dispute together, unto which the Priest seemed willing, 
but soon after that he got away by which his Deceit was mani- 

Shapleigh turned the Priest and his meetings out of his house. 
. . . . " He and his wife were convinced of the Truth," says the 
chronicler, " and in great measitre of obedience game up to itP 
The sympathy of Nicholas Shapleigh with the Quakers at this 
time cannot be gainsaid. The Massachusetts authorities believed 
him to be a Quaker ; he was accused of harboring them, and 
the constable of Kittery was ordered to go to his house on 
successive Sundays to prevent their meeting there. 

In 1669, on the charge of being a Quaker, he was deposed 
from his office as selectman ; but in 1677 his Quakerism did not 
prevent his fellow citizens from giving him the command of the 
militia in time of danger from the Indians, — nor did it overrule 
his common sense in accepting the commission. With the name 
of Nicholas Shapleigh that of Adrian Fry, appears often on 
Eittery records. He also was a Quaker. His mark often with 

Jowph Fry of KUtery, 296 

that of his wife Sarah, (both in rude initials) is aflbed to many 
legal papers from 1664 to 1692 inolosive. 

In 1664, Adrian witnesses a receipt given by one EUingham 
to his father, for ^^ a Negro Boy named Mingoe, and a Sorrell 
Horse." July 15, 1690, " At a Court of Sessions held at York, 
Adrian Fry and family were p'sented for not Comeing to Hit- 
ting." During this period he appears as grantor and grantee of 
various tracts of land in old Kittery. In one of these deeds, he 
is called Adrian Fry Planter.* 

About 1680, Nicholas Shapleigh and Adrian Fry with 116 
others whose names are well known to students of early New 
England history, signed a petitionf to Charles II for protection 
against the intrusion of the Massachusetts government upon the 
Province of Maine. It is a dignified statement of facts. They 
say that ^^ Upon the invitations and incouradgements, granted to 
Sir Ferdinando Grorges, the petitioners had settled in the said 
Province, and had increased to several townships .... having 
general courts of judicature .... and were for several yeares, 
governed by laws made by the Commissioners of Sir Ferdinando 
.... but the Bostoners, under pretence of an imaginary patent 
had invaded their rights and privileges, and later, Walderne 
and Major Leverett .... with force of arms entered upon the 
Province and disturbed the Inhabitants then at a Court holden* 
at Yorke .... in His Majesty's Province of Maine, command- 
ing all Proceedings for the future to be managed by their own 
authority .... since which time " they say " notwithstanding 
the greate loss sustained by the late Indian war, we are still op- 
pressed with heavy rates and taxes." They beg his Majesty to 
reestablish them under His Royal authority. 

On the 12th of October, 1692, Adrian Fry executed the 
following paper.:( ^^Know all men by these presents, that 
I, Adrian flfry of Kittery in y* County of York and 
Province of y^ Massachusetts bay in New England, planter, 
for many good Causes and Considerations me moving here 
unto. Especially for the Naturall love and affection I bear 
unto my loving son William ffry, as also for y* Comfort- 
able provision for my self and my wife Sarah during our Nat- 
urall lives, have granted. Demised and do farm letten unto 

* The word Planter so used, means a first settler, 
t CoU. Me. Hist. Soc., Vol. I, p. 400. 
X Book VI, Folio 87, York Deeds. 

396 Anmud Meetmg—190i. 

mj foresaid loving son William ff ry a certain tract of land lying 
in Kittery aforsd joyning to Creek's mouth on y« south side of 
8^ Creek, containing about nine acres .... with y^ Orchard 
upon it And twenty-seven acres more of land lying on or near 
horsidown hilL" .... This land William Fry and his heirs 
are to have and hold during the lives of his father and mother, 
on certain conditions, and after their death, William is to have 
absolute ownership of the said property. 

As rent for the same during the life of his parents, William 
is to keep up good fences, and well improve the land, and to give 
to Adrian, half of the grain grown thereon and ^^ one halfe of 
the Cyder and Perry that the orchard shall yield." Adrian is 
also to have the use of an acre of ^^ land lying next the great 
river," and in case Sarah outlives Adrian, son William is to pay 
her the same rent. Adrian and Sarah or the ^' longest liver," is to 
have '^ the free use of the now Dwelling house, and a quarter of 
an acre of land for a garden, with libertie to cutt and carry off, 
such firewood or building timber as they shall have occation for 
.... and when their abilities shall fail, and need be, William 
shall help his father and mother, or either of them, in cutting and 
carrying s^ timber and firewood and shall pay both or either \ of 
whatsoever grain the land shall yield." 

William shall have two cows from his father, and keep them 
till they with their increase amount to six, when he shall divide 
with his father or mother, always allowing them all the milk of 
two cows, and after this division William shall ^' carefully keep 
4 neate Cattle .... with sufficient winter meat for his father 
and mother .... and if they shall procure any sheep, William 
shall always keep ten, summer and winter for half y^ increase 
of y® lambs and wool .... If any controversie arises between 
William and his parents as to these conditions, it shall be deter- 
mined by Indifferent men, mutually chosen." The old couple 
set their hands and Seals to this paper, and a little less than 
three years later, Bobert Allen made oath before Justice Frost 
that he saw Adrian sign and seal the above said Instrument. 

From this paper it would seem that Adrian Fry, though still 
strong in mind and body, was yet so far advanced in years, as 
to feel the need of making due provision for himself and wife, 
when the weakness of age should overtake them. At this 
point Adrian Fry planter and wife Sarah, disappear from Kit- 
tery records. 

J(mph Fry of Eiiimy. 297 

June 8, 17QS, an Adrian Fry married Mercy Chapman. 
From that date to 1714 their names appear on varions legal 
papers. In these records this Adrian is called ^^ weaver '' and 
<< glazer." He is not mentioned as Adrian Fry, junior. In 1724 
he is spoken of as ^^ late of Eittery.'^ If this Adrian were the 
son of Adrian the ^^ planter," the latter most have died before 
1705. In the paper quoted above, he mentions no child bat 
William. He made no will. 

It does not seem probable that Adrian the ^^ planter " would 
after 1692 become Adrian the " weaver " and " glazer," — ^marry 
a second wife and live thirty-two years after he had made over 
his property to his son WiUiam. Nevertheless stranger things 
have happened. Suppose Adrian the planter to have been at 
least twenty-one in 1664, when he first appears on the records 
a witness to a deed, — ^then in 1724 when an Adrian is spoken 
of as " late of Kittery," he would have been about eighty-one. 
His wife Sarah may have died before 1705. His son William's 
wife may not have been kind to her father-in-law, and he may 
have yielded to the charms of Mercy Chapman. Some facts 
point this way, but I leave this for future study .^ 

William Fry was also a Quaker. 

From 1688 to the peace of Ryswick, our frontier suffered ter- 
ribly from frequent and unprovoked attacks by the Indians. 

Kittery, then including Eliot, Berwick, Spruce Creek and 
Sturgeon Creek, was more than once attacked, buildings burned, 
cattle killed and the frightened people, unable to cultivate their 
fields, fled to the garrison houses. In 1694-1695 many in this vi- 
cinity were killed or captured. April 8, 1697, the selectmen of 
Eittery petitioned for abatement of taxes, saying that they ^^ are 
overcome and discouraged by the tediousness of the war." 

The strait to which the Ejttery people had been reduced 
appears in a later petitionf from their selectmen. ^ They say 
. . . . ^^ We have tried to raise it by all lawful means, but the 
People are utterly unable to pay it in money .... we have 

* Rev. £. S. Staokpole of Bradford, who is writing the history of Eittery, 
and has been very hdpful to me in my searoh for the Fry family, sends me 
the names of Adrian's children as follows:— Vniliam, Elisabeth, Sarah, 
Joanna and perhaps Thomas. 

t Mass. Archives, Deo. 28, 1704. 

I William Peppmll, John Shapleigh, John Leighton, John Hill and Charles 

298 Annual Jieeeinff—1902. 

offered their GKx)ds and Chattels at an outcry* aooording to di- 
rections in the Treasurer's warrant, but find none of abilitie 
to buy .... Considering the seat of Warr is with us, and y^ 
Burden exceeding heavy as we are a poor Scattering People 
Kessesitated to watch, ward Scout build Garrisons and fortifica- 
tions, and one half e of us to be furnished with Snowshoos and 
Mogginsons and all at our own Charge .... and at every 
alarm Driven from our Imployment.*' 

This appeal signed by the foremost men of Kittery, was 
heeded by the Government at Boston.t " June 80, 1705. The 
following Eesolve passed in the House upon the Petition of the 
Representatives of Kittery for abatement of the Arrearages of 
their Taxes, and was sent up for Concurrence." "Resolved, 
that the Sum of Thirty-eight pounds be abated to the poor of 
the town of Kittery, according to the Disposition of y^ Select- 
men and Representatives of s^ Town — ^they being most capable 
to relieve such as they Know have met with most sufferings by 
the Heathen. Provided that the names of P'sons, and Sums 
respectively abated to them, be by the Selectmen and Represen- 
tatives laid before this Court at their next Session." 

Among the names is that of William Fry, whose abatement 
was 8s. 

In 1711, on a list of freeholders of Kittery, the value of the 
year's income of William Fry's estate is 7£ 

The youngest child of William Fry and his wife Hannah Hill 
was Joseph, bom March 12, 1704. Whatever he may have been 
to his parents, this Joseph Fry, has made me no end of trouble. 

Just fourteen years ago, shortly after the publication in the 
Gazette and Cotiriery of my paper called " My Hunt for the 
Captives," a pleasant notice of it appeared in the Montreal Go- 
zeUe written, as I learned, by an Irish Roman Catholic gentle- 
man of Montreal. Soon after this I received a letter from a 
Catholic lady of high position in Canada, demanding rather im- 
periously, why in my account of the Deerfield captives, I had 
omitted the name of Andr£, son of Deacon Thomas French, 
who had remained and married in Canada and whose descen- 
dants could still be easily found there. 

The facts which I had stated concerning Deacon French and 
his family, being well authenticated, both by Deerfield and Ca- 

* Public Auction. 

t Mass. Archives, Vol. 3, p. 416. 

Joseph Fry of Kittery. 299 

nadian reoords, I felt perfeotlj seoure in my position, — ^bnt what 
of that ? Was I to follow my impulse and reiterate my state- 
ments with proof of their correctness, thereby to incur the in- 
dignation of my correspondent ? I remember to have reflected 
that it was a pretty serious business to cut ofF the parent stock 
of six generations, and to have felt i^dX I should hardly endure 
to have anyone make a similar attempt upon my family tree. 
So I wrote politely to my correspondent, asking for proof of her 
statement, giving her Deacon French's connection with my own 
family, and assuring her of my wish to make honorable amends 
if I had erred. My letter was as politely answered by another, 
my reply, by stiU another, and after some months of the most 
interesting experience on my part, a direct correspondence was 
opened with this supposed descendant of Andr6 French. She 
told me that French was her family name, and that her direct 
ancestor was the youngest son of Deacon Thomas French of 
Deerfield, named Andr6, carried captive in 1704 and remaining 
in Canada. 

From January 1882 to 1894 my new relative, a bom anti- 
quary and historian, left no stone unturned to prove her kin- 
ship to me, whom she affectionately called cousin. We wrote 
frequently to each other, she in French and in the most beauti- 
ful handwriting, — I in bald English. During those years I 
went often to Canada to see her. 

My first visit was in the autumn of 1889. Early in the after- 
noon of a beautiful September day, we presented ourselves at 
the door of the convent, a massive pile of granite, crowning the 
summit of a lofty hill about two miles out of the city. It was 
evident from the air and manner of the nun who admitted us, 
and of those who were passing hither and thither about the 
halls, that there was a flutter of excitement in the community, 
relative to the visit of these Boston heretics. We were ushered 
into the ^^ parloir," simply a ^^ speaking place " as the name im- 
plies, an enormous room chilly but well lighted, a row of wooden 
chairs against the wall, bare floors as scrupulously white as pen- 
itent nuns on their hands and knees could scrub them, — and 
scantily adorned with rag rugs made by the sisters. 

After some delay, in which we spoke in awed whispers, — my 
correspondent entered, walking with difficulty, and supported 
by two nuns. After mutual introductions she courteously dis- 
missed her attendants, and taking our hands, welcomed us with 

300 Annual Meeting— 1902. 

a grace possible only to a French woman, but scarcely to be ex- 
pected from a recluse. She was a well proportioned woman of 
more than medium height, erect in carriage. A face of ineffabkt 
sadness, whose deathly pallor was enhanced by the stiff white 
cornet enveloping the forehead, cheeks, and throat; — sur- 
mounted by the long black veil. Large, dark eyes, a beautiful 
smile, the whole face quickly responsive in expression from grave 
to gay, according to the subject of conversation. She talked in 
French, which I could understand, my friend translating my 
English into French for her. As we all became more at our 
ease, many were her arch side glances, many her hearty laughs 
and witty sallies, as quickly followed by tears, when our con- 
versation turned on serious themes. Once when she dropped 
an expression in English, having declared that she could not 
speak our language, my companion laughingly called her a 
" humbug." Turning to me she asked deprecatingly " what is 
a humbug } " Now and then when we talked English together, 
the nun's expressive eyes glanced from one to the other, with a 
half -suspicious intensity, quickly relieved by our translation. So 
the afternoon glided too quickly away. My new cousin insisted 
on accompanying us to the outer door where, repeatedly kissing 
us ^^ au revoir," she turned with the air of a queen, summoning 
the lay sister in waiting to take her back in her wheeled chair 
to her room. With mingled emotions of pity and admiration, 
we turned away, smiling through tears, and walked briskly back 
to our hotel. All these years I had been trying my best to find 
among our unredeemed captives an ancestor for her, in place of 
that Andr6 French she held so dear, but who never had a real 

Just before we met, she had sent me some ^^ Notes sur la 
f amille French," given her many years before, by an ecclesiastic 
then and now justly regarded as a historical authority. Ac- 
cording to these notes Andr6 was married in 1713, at Pointe 
Claire, on the Island of Montreal, as Andr6 Laframboise of Bos- 
ton, son of Andr6 Laframboise and Marie Fraim, both of Bos- 
ton. My common sense showed me that here was a muddle of 
names at the start. I found by these notes that in due time 
there were bom to Andr6 Laframboise and his wife, Marie 
Louise Bigras, twelve children. In the records of these births, 
the father is mentioned successively as Andr6 Laframboise, 
Andr6 Piret dit Laframboise, And[r6 Fray dit Laframboisa, 

Joseph Fry of Mttery. 801 

Andr6 Fraye, Andr6 Frem French dit Laf ramboise, and finally 
seven times in snooession as Andr6 Fraye. 

In the marriages of these children, and the births of grand- 
children they are designated as Frinche dit Laframboise, Frem 
dit Laframboise, Frte dite Laframboise, Frange, Franche, La- 
framboise, Frey dit Laframboise, making in all ten varia- 
tions. My absolute knowledge that my nan was not descended 
from a Deerfield French ; these ten variations in Andre's sor- 
name, and the fact that of all the variations Andr6 Fray or 
Fraye was the most constant, led me to believe that Andr6 lSray> 
anglicized Andrew Fry, was the captive ancestor, of her whd 
had become my friend and helper. 

Together we worked : she in her seclusion miles away, and I 
nearly twenty years younger than I am to-day, poring over 
Archives in the State House at Boston, faring in queer convey- 
ances up and down the St. Lawrence river, in winter cold and 
summer heat, studying the records of many a hamlet, until bit 
by bit we had collected the disjointed fragments I bring you 

A family tradition confirming their belief in their Deerfield 
descent is still cherished by my nun's relatives. It runs as fol- 
lows : — Andr6 French, a young son of Deacon Thomas French 
was playing on the sandy shore by the river near his father's 
house, when he was seized and carried off by savages. They 
treated him with great cruelty cutting ten strips of flesh from 
the fattest part of his body. A squaw of the tribe, moved by 
compassion on hearing his cries under torture, offered his cap- 
tors a sheep in exchange for the boy. They gave her the child. 
She fed him on wild raspberries, and thanks to her care, he re- 
covered from his terrible wounds. When full grown, he married 
and settled at Pointe Claire. A year after his marriage two of 
his uncles visited him, urging him to return with them to New 
England. At last he consented on condition that he might re- 
turn to Canada after seeing his relatives, and receiving his in- 

Embarking with his uncles in a sloop, they were not out of 
hailing distance, when Andre's young wife standing on the shore, 
and holding their baby aloft in her arms cried " Andr6, Andr6, 
you are abandoning your wife, but can you desert your own 
child." Unable to withstand this appeal, the poor fellow threw 
himself into the water and swam quickly to shore. His uncles, 

302 Annual MeeHng— 1902. 

convinced that farther attempts to induce him to return would 
be useless, continued their homeward voyage. 

The incongruity of this tradition with the theory of Andr6's 
descent from Deacon Thomas French is evident. It, however, 
gives us the clew to the name Za Framboise under which Andr6 
so often appears. Whether this name which means '^ the rasp- 
herry " was given him because of the tradition, or the tradition 
was made to fit the name, I cannot say. I do know that up to 
recent times such nicknames have been so common in Canada, 
as often to supplant the original name, and sometimes to make 
the task of the genealogist hopeless. 

A family still lives near Montreal named French-Laframboise, 
a strange mingling of fact and fancy, wrongly applied to the 
actual descendants of Andr6 Fry. Having decided that my 
friend's family name was Fry, the next thing to do was to find 
an unredeemed captive by that name ! 

In 1888, in hunting for the captive Samuel Gill, I had found 
the following petition : * 

"May 29, 1701. 
To the right honorable the Leftenant Qovemor, with the Reet of His 
Majeetie's Council of this Provinoe of the Massajuciks by (bay) in New Eng- 
land the humble petition of Samuel Gill of Salsbeiy and of benieman hutchins 
of the town of Citterie, sheweth that whereas it pleased the Honorable the 
great and generall assembly in May 1700, to grant that ther should be ussed 
to recover the captives from the French and Indins at Canida and left it with 
your honouers to be put in execution: we humbly entreat that it may be put 
in execution with all speed which will much obUdg your poor pettitioners 

Samuel Gill 

Here is an account of captives tacken from Salsbeiy newberj 
Amesbery Kittery yorck which are not returned. 

Samuel gill taken from sabbry jun 10th, 1697 agged nine 
yeres. John or Joseph goodaridg taken from newbery about 
October in : 92 about eight yeares old. 

ann white takene from amesbery at the same time. 

Jonathan hutchins taken from Kettery May 9th 1698 agged 
about fifteen yeres. 

Charles Traffton taken from york about 1695 agged about IS 
yeres, and one Bobert Winchester about July in : 96 agged about 
14 years and Joseph Frey of Kittery taken about 1695 agged 
about 15 or 16 yeres." 

* Biaas. Archives, Vol. 70, p. 626. 

Joseph Fry of Exttery. 803 

All these captives except the last two I later traced and ac- 
counted for. Could not this Joseph Frey of Ejtterj be the 
Andr6 Fry I wanted, — the missing link in my friend's ancestry ? 

Clearly this Joseph was neither the Joseph, son of William 
Fry born as we have seen March 12, 1704 ; nor of Adrian and 
Mercy Chapman, married in 1705. As there was no other 
family named Fry in Elittery or in that region, nearer than 
Andover, Mass., except that of Adrian Fry the ^^pUmter^^ I as- 
sume that Joseph the Captive was Adrian's son, a younger 
brother of William. 

During the period from 1705 to 1712, strenuous efforts were 
made by both the French and English governments, for an ex- 
change of captives. Among others we had ^^ JBapUste " and 
Beauvenire de Yerchdres, whom the French were most anxious 
to recover. They had Eunice Williams and John Arms of 
Deerfield, the Hills from Maine, Esther Wheelwright and many 
more from New England. 

Samuel Hill, bringing the first news of the Wells captives 
was in Kittery May 10th, 1705, having been sent down on parole 
as Interpreter, with an embassy concerning exchange, returning 
to Canada with Courtemanche who had escorted Ensign Shel- 
don home. 

In February 1709-10, Messieurs de la Peridre and Dupuis, 
with six men were sent to Albany with John Arms and Barent 

To demand Beauvenire (or Boveney) as he is known in our 
archives, and Le Feorcf The name of Joseph Fry, is neither in 
a " List of captives brot home in the Province Galley," nor 
of " those yett in the Indians Hands y* 24 January 1698-9 " X 
though there are Kittery captives in both. Hutchings and 
Gill are in the latter list as already carried to Canada ; also 
'^an Eastard Boy, his name is Bobart, cannot speak one word 
of English, is att the Fort cald Norrockeomegog." § 

* Lieut. Barent Staats married Peter Schuyler's niece and John Schuyler 
married B. S.'s aunt so ''he is connected in 2 ways/' captured Oct. 12, 1709, 
N. Y. CoL Doc, Vol IX, 1838. 

t Beauvenire de Verch^ree, youngest brother of the heroine Madefleine de 
Verch^res, captured at Haverhill, had been held in the hopes of getting 
Eunice Williams in exchange. 

I Vol. 70, p. 398, Mass. Archives. 

S This is doubtless the Robert Winchester mentioned in Qill's petition. The 
fort is Noirridgewock. 

804 Afmfual Meeting— 190^. 

From this I judge tkat Joseph Fry was beyond the ken of 
the French authorities, held by his savage captors, in some In- 
dian village, in the hope of obtaining money for his release. 

Mean while, in the early autunm of 1710, Port Boyal was taken 
by the English fleet. Its captors were jubilant. Major Philip 
livingston, who had served in the expedition, was sent at onoe 
with St Castine the younger, who had been one of the garrison 
at Port Boyal, to De Yaudreuil the news of the surrender, 
and the terms agreed upon by Nicholson and Subercase, the 
late Governor of Acadia. It was about the middle of October. 
They stopped at Biguyduoe at the mouth of the Penobscot* 
to see Castine's family, who treated Livingstone kindly. After 
resting there, they went as far as Indian Old Town. There, 
but for Castine, Livingston would have been killed by a sav- 
age, maddened by the theft of his boat by some English cap- 

After some delay, they started again, but their canoes were 
so broken by the ice, that they had to finish their journey on 

Six days, they travelled by compass, over hiU and dale, 
through dense and almost impenetrable forests. 

Before they reached a French settlement their {nrovisions 
gave out, and they lived on such leaves, roots and berries as 
they could find.f Arriving at Quebec on the 16th of Decem- 
ber, 1710, they delivered the following letter from Nicholson 
to De Vaudreuil.:|: 

"Annapoub, Rotalb, 11, Oct 1710. 

It having pleaaed God to bless with success the just and royal enterprise 

of Her Majesty Anne, by the grace of God Queen of England, France and 

Ireland, ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ by reducing to her obedience the Fort of Port Rojral, 

and the adjacent country, as the articles of capitulation wiU inform you in 

detail, * * * * we deem it proper to inform you that as you have made 

many incursions on several of her majesty's frontiers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ your 

cruel and barbarous savages and French having inhumanly killed many poor 

people and children, we warn you, that in case the French, after this reaches 

you, continue these atrocities, on the first information we have, we wiU im> 

mediately retaliate upon your principal people of Acadia, now at our mercy. 

But, as we abhor the cruelty of your savages in war, we hope that you wiU 

give us no occasion to imitate it; and as we are correctly informed that you 

have under your command, a great nimiber of prisoners, and especially a 

♦ Now Castine. 

t N. Y. Col. Doc., W6L vi., p. 60. 

X 2 Doc. Rel. It la Nouvdle, France, Vol. n., p. 524. 

Joseph Fry of EUtery. 305 

young girl, daughter of the Rever^id Mr. WiUiams, minister of Dearfield, 

we expect you to have all the said captives ready to be delivered to the first 

flag of truce which will be sent for that purpose next May. Otherwise you 

must expect the same number of the inhabitants of this country will be put 

in bondage among our savages, until there is complete restitution of Her 

Majesty's subjects under your domination, whether in the possession of the 

French or the Savages. 

But if you agree to our just and reasonable demand, we assure you that 

your pec^le wUl be treated with all the civility that the laws of war permit. 
« * « « 

Signed.) F. Nicholbon, 

Samuel Vetch and 6 others." 

Mr. Livingston on his retam, escorted by Hertel de Bonville, 
and the Sieur Dupuis, arrived in Boston, Friday, Feb. 23, 
1710-11,* with De Vaudreuil's answer.f 

They went to the Sun Tavern, kept by Samuel Mears, in 
Com Court, near Dock Square. The next day, Gk>vemor 
Dudley sent Mr. Commissary General, and Mr. Sheriff Dyer, 
to help them settle there, to tell them that he '^ will take care 
that they be not imposed upon by excessive rates for their ex- 
pences," and that he will receive them with their credentials, 
in Council the following Monday. 

It would be worth one's while to stand to-day in the Council 
Chamber of the old State House at the head of State street 
in Boston, and picture the session of the Council on the day ap- 
pointed, just 192 years ago to-morrow. The governor in his 
robes of state ; the councillors on his left hand, Sewall jotting 
down his records, Colonel Vetch, Mr. Livingston, the French 
ambassadors, Mr. Secretary and Mr. Commissary General at 
his right. A somewhat stormy session, according to SewaU's 
private record of it.X Mr. Weaver, the interpreter, reads the 
Credentials of the Frenchmen ; Antony Oliver is reprimanded 
for visiting them at Mears' and made to take the oaths and 
subscribe to the Declaration. § The Governor ^^ told the mcEh 
sengers that they should depart that day sennight, as he had 
told the Council with some spirit last Satterday." 

* Council Records, vol. 5, pp. 350 to 355. 

t In his report to the French minister of this whole affair, De Vaudreuil says 
that he "sent these two officers in order that they might spy out the land, 
and obtain information of the movements of the enemy." 

X Sewall's Diary, Vol. 11., p. 301. 

§ Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, Declaration against Transubstantii^ 


306 Anwaal Meeting— 1902. 

There were, however, the usual delays, and it was the 17th 
of March, when they left Boston for New London on their 
homeward way, arriving at Chambly, the 15th of April.* They 
carried a ^' Boll of English Prisoners in the Hands of the French 
and Indians at Canada." On the back of the list is the follow- 
ing letter to Colonel Schuyler : 

"Boston, 5th Maroh, 1710. t 

This comes to your hand by MesBn. DHouviUe and Dupuis, MeoBengera 

from Mr. D'Voucbiiille. I have to thank your kind Discreation in wwiding 

them the Round Way, that they might not Know our Albany Road, upon 

the Same Consideration I have Returned them the same way, and am (^ad 

we have had no News from Europe dureing their stay here and hope to have 

them Dispatch before anything Arrive. They have shewed themselves good 

men here, have signed articles with me for the Rendition of all Prisoners in 

June next, I pray you to speed them away as soon as possiUe. 

I am sir your very 

humble Serv't 


A duplicate of the list carried by De Rouville and Dupuis is 
in our Archiyes.:^ ^^ bears the names of 113 New England 
captives, with a few repetitions. Among them, the minister's 
daughter of Deerfield, Johnson Harmon of York, Maine, and 
Joseph Fry of Kittery. This is his last appearance in our Ar- 
chives : indeed his last as Joseph anywhere. During this pe- 
riod of exchange between the two goyernments, an epidemic 
of baptism and naturalization was raging among the English 
captives in Canada. 

I have formerly described my first encounter with a list of 
English captives in Canada, — a scrap of paper, (evidently the 
first draft) containing the names of a few English, Dutch, and 
Flemish boys and girk who ^^ besought His Majesty Louis XIV., 
to be pleased to grant them naturalization in Canada, they be- 
ing already established there."§ 

The tug of war came later, when I was seeking such Usts in 
Canadian archives. Here and there, among scores of other 

* Letter from De Vaudreuil to the MiniBter, dated Quebec, 25th April, 1711. 

t Evidently this should be 1710-11. 

t Vol. 71, p. 765. 

S Among theee names were Andr6 fray, Matthiew Claude Famet, Pierre 
Augustin Letrefills, Louis Marie Strafton, which prop^y read would stand 
as follows: Joseph Fry, Matthew Famsworth, Aaron Littlefield, Charles 

Joseph Fry of KUtery. 307 

doouments, with no sequence, written in old French, in gran- 
diloquent phrase, and encumbered with formalities, I found 
them. Made by those who had no knowledge of English 
names or places, and no interest in the sabject, they were 
Greek to me. I copied them mechanically from the huge vol- 
umes in which they were bound, written on paper yellowed by 
time, with no margins, no capitals and no punctuation. To-day 
there is hardly a captive on those lists whose story I do not 

The name of Joseph Frye is not on these lists. 

On that date. May, 1710, the period of the embassies, is 
Andr6 Fray, with no comment. 

As no captive was naturalized without re-baptism in Canada, 
and as the original Christian name was often omitted in the 
new baptism, I believe that Andr6 Fray was our Joseph Fry 
of Kittery, and that sometime his baptism will be foand on the 
records of some Indian mission far from Quebec or Montreal. 

If this Andr6 were our Joseph, he would have been about 
thirty years old when naturalized. As baptism was the first 
step towards naturalization, so marriage soon followed natural- 
ization among the captives. 

One beautiful afternoon, about the middle of October, 1713, 
Fran9ois Bigras and his wife, Marie Brunet, with their daughter, 
Marie Louise, all in holiday attire, wended their way to Mon- 
treal, where the betrothal of Andr6 Fray and Marie Louise 
Bigras was to take place. There at the house of Jacques La- 
Celle, master carpenter, they found Andr6 with another friend, 
Etienne Gibault, also a carpenter, and Michel Brunet, uncle of 
the bride's mother, waiting for them, with other friends of 
both parties. Soon came Le Pailleur the notary. 

Bent like a laboring oar that toils in the surf of the ocean, — 

Bent, but not broken by age was the form of the Notaiy public; 

Shocks of yellow hair like the silken floss of the maize, hung 

Over his shoulders, his forehead was high, and glasses with horn bows 

Sat astride on his nose with a look of wisdom supernal. 

Father of twenty children was he, and more than a hundred 

Children's children rode on his knee and heard his great watch tick. 

Then from his pocket the notaiy drew his papers and inkhom; 
Wrote with a steady hand the date and the age of the parties: — 

Andr6, aged about thirty-six, Marie Louise about nineteen. The 
friends and relatives of the bride and groom agreeing for them, 

308 Aimual Meeting!— 1902. 

and they reoiprooally promising that they will take each other 
for husband and wife under the name and laws of marriage^ 
hereafter as soon as possible ; the said marriage ^' to be solem- 
nized according to the rites of our Holy Mother Church." Mut- 
ually they promise, from their wedding day, to hold in common 
all the goods and chattels, all their property real and personal^ 
of which they are now possessed, or which they shall hereafter 
acquire, ^ according to the Custom of Paris, followed in Canada," 
with this saving clause for Marie, ^^even though they may 
hereafter dwell and acquire property in a country where the 
Mstoms are different." Neither can be held for the debts of 
the other contracted before marriage. The future husband en- 
dows the future wife with the customary marriage portion of 
500 livres* to be paid at her option without her being obliged 
to sue him for it Upon the death of either, the survivor is to 
have 200 livres of their common property after an inventory 
and an estimate made of the whole. 

They take each other with all the rights they now have, and 
which may fall to them or become due them either by gift or 
inheritance, and for the affection they bear to each other, they 
make, while yet living, this present reciprocal gift to each other, 
of all and several of their goods and chattels, both what they 
now have, and what they may acquire, to be enjoyed by the 
survivor in full ownership as his or her lawful possession, pro- 
vided always that no children are bom of this marriage. And 
if this marriage be dissolved by the death of said husband, it 
shall be lawful for the said wife to reject or accept the said 
community of goods herein agreed upon and to reclaim and 
take back freely without mortgage for the payment of debts, 
all that she may have brought as her said dowry, — such as her 
household goods, her wearing apparel, her jewels and orna- 
ments, her bed and bedding, and in general all that may have 
fallen to her by gift or inheritance ; without her being held for 
the debts of said community, even though she may have said 
that she was so bound. Thus it is agreed and stipulated ; with- 
out which agreement the said marriage could not be consum- 
mated. Done in the city of Yille Marie at the house of Jacques 
La Celle, on the afternoon of the 12th of October, 1718, in 
the presence of Messrs. Jean Petit, royal bailiff, and Pierre 

* $83.33. 


Ja8y>h Fry of KiMery. 309 

Cresp6 as witnesses ; who with Messrs. Bigras, La Celle and 
Oibaolt have signed : the said future bridegroom and bride, and 
her mother and uncle, declaring that they could not sign thm 

Orderly all things proceeded and duly and well were completed; 
And the great seal of the law was set like a sun in the maigin. 

And the notaiy rising and blessing the bride and the bridegroom. 

Lifted aloft a tankard of ale, and drank to their welfare, 

Wiping the foam from his lips he sotonmly bowed and departed. 

Four days later on the 16th of October, 1713, at the parish 
church of St. Joachim, at Pointe Claire, Andr6 Fray and Marie 
Louise Bigras were married. Theirs is the first marriage on the 
register. On this record, the couple appear as Andr6 Lafram- 
boise of Boston, son of Andr6 Laf ramboise and Marie Fraim of 
the same town ; and Marie Louise Bigras, daughter of Frangois 
Bigras of La Bochelle, France, and Marie Brunet of Montreal, 
living in this parish. Elizabeth, their first child, was born Au- 
gust 28 th, 1714. Others followed in rapid succession. 

The epidemic of exchange having somewhat abated at this 
period, it was thought best to establish Andr6 Fry more firmly 
in Canada. Accordingly, Monsieur de Belmont, the Superior 
of the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, who were then the feudal 
lords of the island of Montreal, granted him land in the island. 
By this deed, dated April 14, 1716, under the usual conditions 
of the Canadian feudal system, Andr6 became the nominal 
owner of a strip of land three arpents front, by twenty arpents 
deep at Grande Anse au haut de Cetis ide.* 

The Seigneurs thus parcelled out their domain to their feudal 
tenants, in long narrow strips adjoining each other, with a front- 
age on the river, and sloping back for a mile or more to a high 
horizon line. This gave the tenant both tillage and woodland. 
Naturally, he built his house on the front of his lot, the river 
being then his only highway. This single row of dwellings not 
very far apart, formed what to this day is called a c6te. 

There is no more interesting study than that of the old regime 
in Canada. ^^ Canadian feudalism," says Mr. Parkman, ^^ was 
an offshoot of the feudalism of France, modified by the lapse 

* One arpent is 180 feet. Qnnde Anse is b e t w ee n Pointe CSaire and La 

810 Afmual Meetrng-^liQi. 

of centaries and further modified by the royal will.'' . . . . 
^^ It was Bicheliea who first planted feudalism in Canada. The 
King would preserve it there, because with its teeth drawn, he 
was fond of it. He continued as Bichelieu had begun, and 
moulded it to the form that pleased him. Nothing was left 
which could threaten his absolute and undivided authority over 
the colony. Thus retrenched, Canadian feudalism was made to 
serve a double end ; to produce a harmless reflection of French 
aristocracy, and to supply agencies for distributing the land 
among the settlers.'' Its distinctive feature was the condition 
imposed upon the Seigneur of clearing his land within a lim- 
ited time on pain of forfeiture. The often penniless Seigneur 
could not afford to clear the whole of a tract " three or four feet 
wide and proportionably deep." His title forbade him to sell 
any uncleared portion. He was therefore compelled to grant 
it without price, "on condition of a small perpetual rent." 
This brings us to the Censitaire as he is called in the law.* 

Briefly summed up, Louis XIY gave the land directly and 
gratuitously to the Seigneur. He in turn granted it in smaller 
lots to bis tenants. The habitant Cenaitairey or tenant, held his 
land in perpetuity of the Seigneur en oensivdy — that is, he 
bound himself to pay annually a nominal rent in money, or 
produce, or both, besides other obligations. In the case we are 
considering, the Seminary Priests of Montreal were the Seign- 
eurs of the island ; Andr6 Fray, one of their many Censitadres 
or perpetual tenants. 

The deed of land at Orand Anse, given him in 1716, was can- 
celled by a later one, that of the 16th of November, 1718, from 
which I cannot forbear quoting, as it contains all the interesting 
features of Canadian feudalism. 

" Monsieur Fran9ois Yachon de Belmont, priest of the Semi- 
nary of Saint-Sulpice at Paris, acting Superior of the same or- 
der in Yille-Marie, who are the Seigneurs of the island of Mon- 
treal and of other places in Canada, hereby acknowledges that 
he has granted by a title jt cens,t from now henceforth and for- 

* Cenaiiaire: A tenant, holding under a Seigneur, by virtue of payment of 

Cens: An annual payment by a tenant to the Sdgneur in recognition of the 
latter's feudal Buperiority. 

t Tide d cens: A legal title, on condition of certain annual pajrments by the 

Joseph Fry of Kittery. 811 

ever to Andr^ Freincb, English by nation now habitant, and 
accepting this title as lessee, for himself, his heirs and as- 
signs, a domain, situated at the Cote St. B6my, in this island, of 
four arpents front, by twenty-three arpents deep to be enjoyed, 
improved and laid out by the lessee, his heirs and assigns, on the 
following conditions, namely : He is to pay every year to my 
said Messieurs Seigneurs, at theu* Seigniorial mansion, or wher- 
ever they receive it in the said Yille Marie, ten sous, and a half 
minot * of the finest, whitest wheat, clean, marketable and law- 
ful weight, for every twenty arpents of the superficial contents 
of the said domain. 

" The first year for payment shall expire on the 11th of No- 
vember, 1719. The said cens f bearing the right of loda et ventesj 
seizmj etc." 

Andr6's annual rent was therefore about fifty cents and two 
bushels and a half of wheat. 

^^ He is to sow the said land, to build and have a house and 
home upon it within a year from to-day at the latest, to clear 
the adjacent wilderness as shall be necessary, to grind his 
grain at the mill of said Messieurs Seigneurs and nowhere else, 
on pain of confiscation of the said grain, an arbitrary fine, and 
of payment for the right to transport the grain which he has 
had ground elsewhere. He is to permit such roads as Mes- 
sieurs les Seigneurs shall think necessary, and among others a 
cart road, which the said lessee, his heirs and assigns shall make 
and keep in good order.:^ Messieurs les Seigneurs shall have the 
right to take on the said land, all the timber which they may 
need for their buildings and fences ; with an arpent of standing 
wood, the nearest, to the cultivated land, where the woods 

* Minot: An old measure vaiying according to the commodity. In grain 
a minot equals 39 litres. A litre is a little less than one quart. Therefore a 
half a minot eqiials a little less than 19 qts. or 2^ pks. or \ bushel. 

t The ceru, or title h cens, reserved to the grantor many rights such as: 

Lod8 et ventes, or mutations fines by which if the grantee sold any part of 
his grant, one twelfth of the purchase money must go to the Seigneur. 

Saisines or Seinn, the right of the Seigneur to seize the land in case the 
tenant fails to comply with the conditions of the deed or grant. 

Deffauia et Amendes: Fines to which the tenant was liaUe if he failed to 
comply with the conditions of his deed or grant. 

Qutn<: A fifth. 

Requint: A twenty-fifth of the purchase money mutation fines which the 
Seigneur had to pay to his feudal superior if he sold his Seignisfiy. 

t N^ect to do this rendered him UaUe to forfeiture. 

312 Annual Meeting— 1902. 

shall not have been conva * to all, which wood my said Seigneurs 
shall cut and carry off, whenever they shall see fit withoat pay- 
ing anything for it ... " 

'^ And my said Sieur de Belmont reserves for my said Seig- 
neurs the right to withdraw the said land from the purchaser 
by preference by reimbursing [indemnifying] the holder at tiie 
time of the withdrawal, with the sum paid for the same and 
legal costs, the said lessee, his heirs and assigns being precluded 
from selling, bartering, giving, or otherwise alienating the same 
to any mmn morUj or community f in so far as such bargaining 
may injure, or prejudice the rights of my said Seigneurs. 

^^ To all which clauses and conditions, liabilities and reserva- 
tions, the said lessee submits and is bound, for himself, his heixs 
and assigns, and has promised to observe and perform them alL 
In case of failure to keep his agreement, the said lands conceded 
by these presents, shall return of right to the Domain of the 
said Messieurs Seigneurs, to dispose of at their pleasure, with- 
out any legal formalities. Given at the said Yille Marie at the 
office of the said Notary, on the 15th of November, of the year 
1718, in the presence of Messieurs Ignace Gamelin, and Jean 
Baptiste Hervieux, merchants; The lessee being duly called 
upon after the reading of this enqtdte declares that he cannot 
sign and Andre Friench as the deed names him, departs with 

A year passes. 

It is Martinmas day, the 11th of November, 1719, the day 
named in the deed for Andre's first payment. A noisy crowd 
of habitants tenants, each laden with his annual tribute to the 
Seigneurs, is gathering in the great barnyard of the Gentlemen 
of the Seminary at Montreal, awaiting their turn for payment. 
Some with grain, some with eggs, and some with live poultry, 
ducks, fat capons, hens and chickens, tied together by the legs 
and slung over their shoulders. Geese quacking, turkeys gob- 
bling, cocks crowing lustily ; — the habitants chattering volubly 
between theirs puffs of rank tobacco. 

In his boots of untanned deerskin, his blue homespun belted 
with a scarlet sash, his long red woollen cap with its tasseUed 
peak, his bag of the best wheat across his shoulder, and his big 

* /. e., shall not have been tramped over or beaten for game, 
t Main marte. No F^nglmH equivalent. It means here a religious com- 
munity whose hands are dead to give back whatever they have once acquired. 

Peter a/nd John Schuyler. 813 

copper coins jingling in his hand ; — Andrg is easily distingoished 
bj his English face, and stolid manner. 

In a few hours it is all over and the crowd disperses. One 
by one they drop in at the church door to say their evening 
prayer. Then Andr6 unties his boat at the river side, and 
slowly paddles homeward in the early twilight of St. Martin's 

How far, far away he seems from his childhood's home among 
the staid Quakers of old Kittery. With a sense of relief from 
debt, and of real ownership, he draws near his thatched cottage 
where his wife and children are watching for his return. His 
little four-year-old Elizabeth, hearing the splash of the big stone 
that serves him for an anchor, runs down to the shore to meet 
him. He takes her by the band, and with a pail of water in 
the other, enters his humble dwelling. 

Does he then for a moment remember his father and mother, 
Adrian and Sarah Frye, and his boyhood among his brothers 
and sisters in New England ? The door closes and we see him 
no more. We only know that he was living, when his little 
Elizabeth married in 1785, at the age of twenty-one, — and that 
he was dead, when his tenth child Jacques was married, in 1757. 
His great-great-granddaughter, third in descent from this 
Jacques, was my friend and co-worker, the dear nun, Marie 
Philomene Claire French. 




Jamestown, the first English settlement in North America, 
had been in existence two years, when in 1609, Hendrick Hud- 
son, in the little Dutch ship, Half Moon, had made his way up 
the great river which now bears his name, to the vicinity of the 
present city of Albany, in his vain search for a north-west pas- 
sage. Almost at the same time, within twenty leagues of the 
Hudson, that illustrious Frenchman, Samuel de Champlain, at 
the solicitations of the Canadian Algonquins, was upon the shore 
of the beautiful lake which now bears hie name, giving aid to 

814 Annual Meeting — 1901. 

sixty red savages in their attack upon two hundred Iroquois, 
and giving these famous warriors their first lesson in the use of 
fire arms ; the volleys from the French muskets causing them 
to fiee in terror and dismay. But in after years the French 
paid dearly for this attack, as the haughty Iroquois never for- 
got their wrong, and held a Frenchman to be their natural 
enemy. Who knows but that the whole destiny of North 
America hinged upon the shots which echoed across the waters 
of the beautiful lake on that fall day of 1609 ? 

The English settlement at Jamestown ; the forlorn attempt 
to establish a colony near the mouth of the Kennebec; the 
building of the Dutch trading house, called Beverwyc, on the 
upper Hudson ; and the permanent occupation of the St. Law- 
rence by the French, all took place at about the same time ; 
and from this seed, planted by three distinct nations came about 
the fierce and bloody struggle which continued for one hundred 
and fifty years, for the control of the North American continent. 
In 1664 the English by the capture of New Netherlands, suc- 
ceeded to the quarrel of the Dutch settlements. Year after 
year expeditions were sent out by the Dutch and their succes- 
sors, the English, in aid of the Indians of the Six Nations, 
against their enemies in Canada ; the object of the Dutch and 
English being the control of the trade of the Six Nations, and 
to prevent the interference of the French therein. 

When Hendrick Hudson returned to Holland, the Dutch were 
not in condition to colonize the newly discovered territory, but 
the East India Company under whose auspices he made the 
voyage, immediately established three trading posts, and opened 
trade with the river Indians ; taking possession of an old fort built 
by the French in 1540 [?] on an island just below the present 
site of Albany. Here they were flooded out in 1617, and moved 
down the river about four miles to " Tawasentha Grove," where 
they built Fort Nashua, where was held the great treaty be- 
tween the Dutch and the Five Nations, which continued un- 
broken until the Revolutionary war, when the Mohawks, under 
the leadership of Brant, sided with the British, and at its close 
removed to Canada. In 1728 the Dutch moved up the river, 
and built Fort Orange, where Albany now stands. Great ri- 
valry grew up between the French and the Dutch and their 
English successors, for the control of the fur trade of the Five 
Nations and their western allies. The Dutch, secure in their 

Peter and John Schuyler. 316 

alliance with the Five Kations, supplied them with fire arms 
and ammunition and every article necessary to enable them to 
maintain an unrelenting warfare against all tribes which were 
under French influence. The willing savages yearly poured 
forth their swarms upon the Hurons and Algonquins dwelling 
in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa valleys, nearly wiping out the 
great Huron nation, killing men, women and children, not even 
sparing the resident Jesuit priests. A small remnant of the 
Hurons escaped to an island lying in the great lake which mem- 
orizes their name, but their power was forever broken. 

All those savages who would bring their barter to the Hud- 
son, were to the Iroquois, friends and brothers ; all others were 
their enemies, and were made to feel the weight of their en- 

The Dutch, and their successors the English, gave better 
prices for furs than the French, and furnished better goods in 
return, which together with the great fear with which the 
neighboring tribes held the domineering Iroquois, greatly in- 
jured the trade of the French ; and as a consequence their hatred 
of these heretics, and their allies, the Iroquois was very strong 
and deep. Long before the arrival of the French in New France, 
or the Dutch in New Netherlands, war had existed between 
the Five Nations and the Huron and Algonquin tribes inhabit- 
ing the valleys of the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa, and the 
rivers and the lakes lying between New York and Canada 
had been the scene of many bloody battles ere the muskets 
of Champlain and his two companions awoke the echoes in 

Large numbers of Canadian captives taken by the Iroquois, 
and held by them as slaves, were converts of the Jesuit priests, 
who, seemingly denying themselves of all the comforts of civil- 
ized life, for the hope of a glorious martyrdom, daily put their 
lives in jeopardy in their efforts to save souls. The world's his- 
tory contains no record to compare with the zeal, heroism and 
devotion of these Jesuit priests. The lives of several of these 
brave and devoted men were sacrificed in their persistent efforts 
to extend their religion among the people of the Five Nations, 
and by 1670 they had succeeded in establishing several missions 
among the Onondagas, and had converted a large portion of the 
Mohawks, as many as seven hundred catholic converts having 
taken up their residence in Canada. This increase of the French 

816 Annual Meetinff— 1902. 

influence was miKdi feared by the Dutch at Scheneotadj and 
Fort Orange. 

In 1664 the goTemment of New Netherlands fell mto the 
hands of the English, and their policy was to retain the trade 
of the great Iroquois nation, and constant effort was made to 
keep the chain of their friendship, bright and shining, so that 
the Five Nations might remain a solid bulwark between the 
English and the ever pushing and aggressive French. The pol- 
icy of the French was to dominate the Five Nations, and by 
their commanding influence control the trade and barter of idl 
the western tribes, so that they might safely erect forts and 
trading stations along the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, as they 
laid claim to all the country west of the Appalachian chain of 
mountains, including the great lakes and all the country east of 
the Kennebec. 

As for the English, 

The soil they demanded, or threatened the worst. 
Insisting that Cabot, had looked on it first. 

The Indian policy was to receive all the presents offered by 
either party, their habit being to dally with the French when 
they seemed to be in the ascendency, to call them their ^^ fathers," 
and in turn pledge themselves to " Corlear ^' their " brother," as 
they called the English governors, if they were temporarily the 
more successful. But the French, notwithstanding the secret 
influence of the subtile Jesuit priests, never obtained more than 
a passive neutrality from the proud and crafty Iroquois, and the 
Five Nations were upon the whole fairly loyal to the Englidi 

Such, at a glance, was the real situation of affairs between 
New France and New Netherland, at the commencement of 
my story. 

In the family records of Philip Peterse Schuyler, of Bens- 
selaerswyc, written in good black Dutch, will be found these 
entries : 

Bom ; September 17, 1657, Peter Von Schuyler ; and April 
5, 1668, Johannes Yon Schuyler ; and written after the name 
of each, these words : May tiie good Lord God let him grow 
up in virtues to his salvation ; Amen ! 

But little is known of the early life of these Schuylers, who^ 
when they arrived to manhood's estate, each bore so conspico^ 

Peter and John Schuyler. 817 

oQsa part in the management of the affairs of their native state, 
and gained prominence to the family name. But it so hap- 
pened, in the providence of God, that for nearly sixty years 
these two brothers, or the sorvivor, were of the utmost service 
to the pioneers of the Connecticut valley, and the remainder of 
the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Deerfield, being for the 
greater period, the nearest frontier town to their home, was the 
recipient of many favors, and it is well that their services 
should not be forgotten. 

At the time of Peter Schuyler's entrance in public life, 
Albany was but a frontier town. No other Dutch settlement 
existed to the west but Schenectady, where a few burghers had 
purchased lands in order to escape the serfdom of the Patroons^ 
these being under the guidance of Aren Yan Corlear, in whom 
the Indians had the utmost confidence, and because of their 
love for him, they called all the governors of New York 
« Corlear.'' 

To the north of Albany stretched the great wilderness ; the 
lakes, George and Champlain ; and beyond, the wicked French. 
On the east the nearest settlements were Springfield and Deer- 
field, and no town but Kingston existed between Albany and 
New York. The Mohawks, a strong and warlike people in- 
habited the lower valley of the Mohawk river and the country 
about Albany. 

Remnants of the scattered tribes who had been dispersed 
from the Connecticut valley when King Philip's war ended, 
were gathered about the mouth of the Hoosick river, and collec- 
tively called Schaghticookes. The Mohawks kept up constant 
communication with their relatives at Caughnawaga, where the 
Jesuit priests had gathered their converts. Peter Schuyler, by 
virtue of his oflSce as Mayor of Albany, and commander of the 
fort, became chief commissioner of Indian affairs for the Colony. 
To him the Indians of the Five Nations had become greatly 
attached, and he was known and beloved by all the tribes who 
called him " Quidor," (Keedor, the Indians' friend,) that word 
being the nearest approach the Indians could make to pro- 
nouncing " Peter." 

By means of his great influence with the savages, and their 
boundless love and respect for him, no act of the French govern- 
ment in Canada which became at all public ; no secret move- 
ment of war parties against the English frontiers by instigation 

318 Annual Meeti/ng—lWi. 

of the French, or by ambitioos chiefs and no covert embassy 
could be sent ont to the Iroquois, without some inkling or 
knowledge of these things soon reaching the ^' Quidor's " ears. 

In the fall of 1689, it became known to the people of Albany, 
through these friends of ^' Quidor," that Frontenac was organ- 
izing an expedition to attack the town ; so its garrison was 
strengthened and all available means used to make Fort Orange 
impregnable. Men and money were scarce, but an arrange- 
ment was made to keep upon the frontiers a scout of forty Mo- 
hawk warriors, who should carefully watch every avenue by 
which the French and Indians could approach, and give imme- 
diate alarm. But the red warriors having already drawn their 
allowances, found it much more comfortable and far less dan- 
gerous to hang around the outskirts of Schenectady, trusting 
to the great depth of snow and the severe winter weather, as 
preventive to the advance of the enemy. 

As the French commander approached the English settle- 
ments, his Indian allies began to fear to attack so strong a place 
as Albany, and finally prevailed upon him to turn his attack 
upon Schenectady, which appeared to offer much more certain 

Upon reaching the settlement, late upon a stormy night, they 
found it unguarded, with gates wide open ; and setting fire to 
the houses, the inhabitants were murdered as they rushed from 
their beds. Peter Schuyler teUs the horrid story in a letter 
addressed to the Massachusetts government. 

" Albany the 15th. day of Feb. 1689-90. Honoured Gentle- 
men : To our Great Greefe and Sorrow, we must acquaint you 
with our deplorable condition, there having never the like 
massacre and murthur been Committed in these parts of Amer- 
ica, as hath been acted by the French and their Indians at 
Schenectady, 20 miles from Albanie, betwixt Saturday and 
Sunday last at 11 a clock at night. A companie of Two hun- 
dred French and Indians fell upon said village and murthured 
sixty men women and children most barbarously ; burning the 
Place and carried 27 along with them Prisoners, among which 
leftenant of Capt. Bull ; Enos Tallmadge : and 4 more of said 
companie were killed and 5 taken prisoners, the rest being In- 
habitants; and above 25 persons their limbs frozen in the 
flight. The cruelties committed at said Place no Penn can 
write or tongue express." 

Peter and John Schuyler. 319 

His letter was long and enters into the fullest details of the 
horrible story, and with all his power he urges the Massachu- 
setts government to aid in the invasion of Canada during the 
coming season, and concludes in these words : ^^ We have writ to 
CoL Pjnchon to warn the upper towns to be on their guarde, 
fearing that some French and Indians might be out and Destroy 

During the next season, Peter Schuyler received notice from 
his agents, that an embassy had arrived from Frontenao to the 
Onondagas, but that the Indians would not receive or hear them 
until a full council should be called. Schuyler, with some others 
named by the city council, taking with them two resident 
Frenchmen as interpreters, attended at the long house of the 
Onondagas, being full of indignation that these French spies 
should steal into English territory, and offer presents to their 
friends and allies. After long parleying, the French derived no 
satisfaction from this council. 

The Indians remained firm in their friendship for ^^ Quidor " 
and his people. As soon as the following spring opened an- 
other and larger delegation was sent from Quebec, and again 
runners summoned '^ Quidor " and his friends to an Onondaga 
council ; the result being that the French emissaries were seized 
and distributed among the several sachems, some doubtless to 
suffer death, but the chief of the embassy, Chevalier D' Auz, 
was given to Schuyler, who took him to Albany and sent him 

Schuyler immediately collected a force of Mohawk warriors, 
and marching them to Wood creek, at the head of Lake Cham- 
plain, set them at work building bark canoes, which he felt 
would be needed in a campaign against Canada during the com- 
ing season. The next season a campaign was organized to in- 
vade Canada, but General Winthrop and his army got no far- 
ther than the head of the lakes, his soldiers suffering from small- 
pox, and having no suflScient commissary organized, it proved 
fruitless. Sir William Phipps attacked Quebec with a fleet of 
thirty vessels, but without effect. Schuyler's Mohawks were 
much chagrined at the failure of the expedition, and a party of 
forty Dutch and English and one hundred Indians placed them- 
selves under the command of Capt. Johannes Schuyler, (the 
young brother of Peter), then 22 years old, and set out down 
the lake, to show themselves to the enemy. The young captain 

320 Annual Jieetinff—ldOi. 

kept a diary during this expedition (which may be found in 
YoL 2, page 285 of the Documentary History of York) which 
ift interesting, bat too long for this paper. They entered the 
Bichelien or ^^Ohambly" river, and came near the fort La 
Prairie, within fifteen miles of Montreal Captain Schayler 
says ^^ We christians resolved to fall upon the fort ; bat could 
not move the savages to give their consent to help us to attack 
the fort ; the fort fired alarms when Montryal and Ghamble 
answered, so we resolved to depart with the prisoners to Al- 
bany," where they arrived after an absence of seventeen days, 
bringing nineteen prisoners and six scalps. 

The failure of the Winslow expedition was largely due to the 
anomalous condition of affairs, caused by the usurpation of the 
Colonial government of New York, by Jacob Leisler, to whom 
Albany would not submit. Leisler was the sworn enemy of 
Schuyler, and when he obtained control of the dty, he removed 
him from oflSce, and appointed more pliable men as agents. 

Upon the arrival in New York of the Royal governor, Slough- 
ter, Leisler and bis son-in-law, Jacob Milbourne bis right hand 
man, were arrested and tried on a charge of treason, condemned, 
and were hanged. The hasty action of the new governor has 
always been heartily condemned by unprejudiced historians. 
Peter Schuyler was at once restored to his office of Mayor, made 
a member of the Colonial Council, and a justice of the Court of 
Common Pleas. 

In 1692, a Great Council consisting of forty sachems, the gov- 
ernor of the Colony, his Council, the Mayor, alderman, and the 
chief military officers of the Province, was held at Albany, and 
an agreement entered into with the Five Nations to undertake 
another expedition against Canada. Governor Sloughter wrote 
the other Colonies urging them to aid in this movement, using 
the sound argument, that, ^^ all the Colonies would be endangered 
by the loss of Albany." 

Major Peter Schuyler was given the conmiand of the expe- 
dition, which was to consist of two hundred Dutch and English, 
and three hundred Mohawk and Biver Indians. The Seneca 
sachems agreed to send five hundred warriors to join and aid 
them, as they reached the St. Lawrence river. 

June 22nd, 1691, Schuyler began his march, with only one 
hundred whites, eighty Mohawks and sixty Biver Indians. 
With this little army he made a spirited attack upon the French 

Peter and John Sehuyler. 321 

fort, La Prairie, sitaate within fifteen miles of Montreal, and de- 
fended by four hundred and sixty men. During the attack he 
learned from some prisoners, that the French had plaoed three 
hundred French and forty Indians between his men and their 
canoes, which they had concealed upon the Ohambly or Sorel 
river ; so he drew off from the fort and marching eight miles, 
attacked this ambuscading party, which made a most desperate 
resistance, but were at last compelled to retire ; and Schuyler 
laconically says in his report, ^^ to say the truth, we were all 
glad to see them retreate." In his report to Gov. Sloughter, he 
says, ^^ We lost in this expedition twenty one christians, sixteen 
Mohauges, six River Indians & the wounded, in all twenty-five," 
and afterwards adds ; ^^ Memorandum : since the first date of 
this journal, six christians and Indians, thought to be killed 
have returned." The historian, Colden, always an enemy of 
Schuyler, in his history of the Five Nations, says, " The French 
by their own account lost six lieutenants, five ensigns, and three 
hundred men ; so that the slain were more in number than Major 
Schuyler had with him." 

This expedition resulted in giving the Indians the greatest 
confidence in the English ; it renewed their war spirit and they 
kept the French in constant alarm, killing, burning and capturing 
all along the St. Lawrence, between Montreal and Quebec ; so 
that few French soldiers could be spared for attacking the Five 
Nations ; but small parties under French officers raided the New 
England frontiers from Maine to New York. 

In every emergency " Quidor " was called upon by the In- 
dians, and long journeys had to be taken, without regard to 
weather or means of transportation, to aid the Indians in devis- 
ing means to repel the invading hordes from Canada. Golden 
says that Schuyler told him that at one time he was invited by 
some Indians to eat broth with them, which they had already 
cooked, which he did with a relish, until dipping in the ladle to 
take out more, he fished out a Frenchman's hand, which put an 
end to his appetite. 

Oouncil after council was held, at which Schuyler was the 
chief agent of the Colony, endeavouring by all the means in his 
power to encourage and retain the wavering loyalty of the 
frightened Iroquois. February 14th, 1704, he writes to Gover- 
nor Fletcher, ^^ I have struggled with the sachems of the Five 
Nations for ten days ; they are awed and weary of war and dis- 

322 AnntKU Meetinff— 1902. 

trust oar ability to support them against the French. I would 
not for anything, I had gone to Onondaga to have been there 
at their meeting ; that I should have quite despaired of ever ef- 
fecting what I have done now ; for I never found them speak 
with more hesitation ; yet I have gained that point, to win time 
until your Excellency comes up, when they all engage to be 
here, and Dekanissora in person, who is the man the governor 
of Canada so much longs for." 

But in spite of all the efforts of Schuyler, and the presents 
and blandishments of the governor, Dekanissora and his sachems 
went to Quebec, where Frontenac received him with the great- 
est honors, and a great exhibition of the power and strength of 
the Canadian forces. Dekanissora with great eloquence sued 
for a treaty of peace which should include the governor of New 
York, and Peter Schuyler, ^^ Mayor and Commandant of Al- 

The ensuing May the council which the Indians had agreed 
to with Schuyler was held at Albany, and there Dekanissora 
reported that Frontenac would ms^e peace with the Five 
Nations, but would not include the governor of New York, 
and he declared that the Indians must have peace at all 

Governor Fletcher was at last compelled to permit the Five 
Nations to conclude a treaty of peace with Frontenac, always 
provided they kept their covenant with the English. Unfor- 
tunately for the French, before the treaty had been fully con- 
cluded, the Indians learned that Frontenac was making prepa- 
rations to rebuild his fort at Cadaraquie, which the IndiaoB 
refused to permit upon any terms, and they rejected all his prop- 
ositions. One of the chiefs said to Frontenac, ^^ You call us 
* children * what father are you ? You deal with us whom you 
call ^ children ' as with hogs, which are called home from the 
woods by Indian com, and then put in prison until they are 

But the conclusion of the Five Nations was not final, and 
after much negotiation a peace was agreed upon with the French, 
in spite of all the influence which the English could bring to 
bear upon them, to keep up the fight. 

In 1693 a large party of French and Indians came down and 
attacked the Mohawks, destroying their castles, killing many 
and taking some three hundred captives, with whom they started 


Peter and John Schuyler. 323 

on their return to Oanada. Major Peter Schuyler hastily 
gathered three hundred whites and as many savages, and being 
joined by Major Ingoldsby from Albany with quite a force, 
they entrenched themselves near Mt. McGregor, on the ^^ old 
trail " intending to rescue the prisoners. The French discovered 
their presence and made a furious attack upon their position in 
the night, but being beaten off three times, they retreated and 
continued their flight. The battle place is known as ^^ the old 
Indian burying ground." 

Queen Anne in 1709 issued letters to the governors of New 
York, Pennsylvania and the New England provinces, inviting 
them to unite with the home government in the invasion of 
Canada, with an overwhelming force. Fifteen hundred men 
were to march by way of Ohamplain, while five regiments of 
regulars and twelve hundred Massachusetts men were to sail in 
ships to attack Quebec. Ool. Nicholson was placed in command 
of the forces which were to attack Montreal, with CoL Peter 
Schuyler as his chief officer, and he was to have command of 
the Indian allies. 

As usual, preparations were delayed, but in June, Major Jo- 
hannes Schuyler was pushed forward with 228 English and In- 
dians, down the lake to Otter Creek, in order to intercept a war 
party of French and Indians who were known to have started 
for the Connecticut river. At the same time fifteen hundred 
men had been gathered by the French to surprise and capture 
the English forts and stores at Wood Creek, at the south end 
of Lake Champlain. 

Major Schuyler discovered the enemy at Crown Point, and 
after a lively skirmish, the French retreated. CoL Nicholson 
returned to Albany leaving the army under the conmiand of 
CoL Peter Schuyler, who waited for some report from the Que- 
bec forces (which in fact never sailed) until the season was so 
far spent, that the expedition, much to Schuyler's disgost, had 
to be abandoned. 

In order to keep the Mohawk chie& from dwelling upon their 
disappointment, and to create an interest in the fate of the Five 
Nations in Europe, Major Schuyler selected five Mohawk chiefs, 
and with Captain Abram Schuyler, a relative, as interpreter, at 
his own expense, took the whole party to England, where they 
spent several months in impressing upon the minds of these un- 
tutored savages the great strength and power of the English 

824 Annual Meeting— 190^. 

government One chief died upon the voyage, bat the othen 
safely returned in December, 1710. 

The Queen, in acknowledgment of the generosity and great 
services of CoL Schuyler, offered to confer knighthood upon 
him, but he modestly declined the distinction, and she then 
ordered his portrait painted and presented to him, which picture 
his descendants still possess. 

Col. Schuyler was acting governor of New York from 1719 
to 1720. Time and your patience will not permit the following 
of the personal history of Peter and John Schuyler, or further 
illustrate the honorable parts they performed in the building 
up of the Empire State, or to give any sketch of the life of 
General Philip Schuyler, a grandson of John, who was a trusted 
lieutenant of Washington. 

During the raids of the French and Indians in King Wil- 
liam's war, many prisoners had been taken by them and car- 
ried away to Canada. Among others were John Gillett, MaJ^ 
tin Smith, and Daniel Belding and several of his children, from 
Deerfield. In 1697, CoL Peter Schuyler, taking with him the 
Dutch Dominie and others, went to Canada, and after much 
negotiation they succeeded in obtaining the release of these 
prisoners and about twenty others, whom they took to Albany, 
where they were treated with the greatest kindness, and later 
dispatched homeward by the way of New York city and the 
Sound. John Gillett returned by the way of France and Eng- 
land. From 1697 to 1702 there was an interval of peace, and 
then commenced Queen Anne's war, and once more the gov- 
ernor of Canada turned loose his savages to wage cruel warfare 
against the English borders. In 1703 Governor Yaudreuil 
writes to the French king that his armies had laid waste more 
than fifteen leagues of territory, and that they had taken or 
killed more than three hundred people. 

This year Schuyler sent word that his Mohawk spies reported 
that a large expedition was setting out for Deerfield. Once 
when sending warning words, he wrote, " Do be on your guard, 
to prevent your people from falling into the hands of these 
bloody savages ; but I cannot enlarge for I will have the mes- 
senger ride this night, and it is now ten o'clock." Thus faithful 
was he to forward the news of any movement of the common 

The Council allowed Deerfield a guard of twenty men, two 

P^ter and John Sohuyler. 8S6 

1 of whom were quartered in the house of Ber. Mr. Williams ; 

and those people who had settled in the more remote and ex- 

1 posed places were gathered into the palisades ; but the garri- 

I son grew weary of watching, the sentinel slept, and we, this 

I night, meet in memory of their neglect. 

! During the season Zebediah Williams and John Mms, while 

in the meadows looking after cattle, were ambushed by Indians 

) lying in the ditch just beyond Frary's bridge, captured and taken 

I to Canada. Williams died in captivity, but Nims, Joseph Petty, 

Thomas Baker and Martin Eellogg escaped, and after great suf- 
fering reached Deerfield. Peter and John Schuyler were most 
earnest and active in warning the frontier settlers of approach- 
ing danger, and so far as possible aided in preventing surprises 
of the scattered settlers upon the Massachusetts frontiers. They 
were well known and honored and respected by the French gov- 
ernors, and their influence went very far in procuring the re- 
lease of captives from their Indian masters, and they protested 
in strong language against every effort made by the French to 
induce the Five Nations to depart from the strict rule of neu- 
trality which had been agreed upon, and without doubt pre- 
vented in several instances the invasion of the territory of the 
Five Nations by the Indians under French controL They aided 
in every possible way in the efforts of Ensign Sheldon and his 
oompanions in their endeavors to secure the return of the Deer- 
field captives. Major John wrote to Col. Partridge that he saw 
Deacon Sheldon at Montreal, ^^ who had liberty to walk the 
streets, but was detained, and had not liberty to go home." 

In all the efforts of Kev. John Williams for the recovery of 
his children the Schuylers were most energetic and deeply sym- 
pathetic in their aid. The father's discouraging and unsuccess- 
ful work for the recovery of little Eunice, was ably seconded by 
the Schuylers. Major John, in a letter to Gk>vemor Dudley, 
dated December 12th, 1712, says : 

" As to what your Excellency mentions relating to Mr. Wil- 
liams, his daughter and the squaw, she is not come here yet, nor 
have I heard anything of her coming, although I shall be very 
glad to see them and to advise your Excellency if they come 
together, or the squaw alone. I shall use all possible means to 
get the child exchanged, either as your Excellency or what 
other way the squaw will be most willing to comply with. 
<< Meanwhile I shall inform myself by all opportunities, 

326 Annual Meetinff— 1902. 

whether the said squaw and child be coming here, or if tiiey be 
anywhere nearby. Your Excellency may depend that whatever 
I can do, for ye obtaining y^ said child, shall at no time be 
wanting, and so I shall take leave to subscribe myself ; Your 
Excellency's most humble servant ; John Schuyler.'' 

Under date of June 13th, 1713, John Schuyler wrote Gov. 
Dudley, of his journey to Montreal, and of his failure, after a 
personal interview with Eunice Williams, (then married to an 
Indian) to induce her to return to her Deei^eld relatives. His 
story of his interview with the historic Eunice, the Jesuit priest 
and the Indian relatives. Miss Baker, in her story of Eunice 
Williams, declares the most touching state paper which she ever 
read. Rev. Mr. Williams was for a considerable time the guest 
of Col. Schuyler at Albany, and, during his stay, he caused hia 
portrait to be painted. 

In 1707, CoL Schuyler writes to Col. Partridge that he has 
rescued from the Indians, Ebenezer Carter, ^^ and when his friends 
come to redeem him, shall be delivered up." Under date of 
August lltb, the same year, he writes to Col. Partridge that his 
spies report that twenty-seven French and Indians were at the 
mouth of Otter Creek on the 6th bound for the New England 
frontiers. In February, 1708, the Schuylers reported that a 
large war party had left Canada about the middle of January, 
and when the raiders reached the frontier they found the settlers 
on their guard, and the party broke up into small detachments, 
which hovered around the settlements all summer, surprising 
and killing two sons of Capt. John Parsons and some others, 
and capturing several prisoners at Chicopee. 

The next August Schuyler informed Governor Dudley that 
eight hundred French and Indians had marched for New Eng- 
land. In order to conceal his movements as much as possible 
as to his destination, De Eouville, the French commande'r, di- 
vided his forces, marching one party by the St. Francis river, 
and sending the other by Lake Champlain. The latter party 
was made up from the Canadian Mohawks, over whom Schuyler 
had much influence ; he caused his messengers to meet them 
on the lake, and under plea of danger from small-pox, induced 
the Indians to turn back, thus saving our frontiers from 
their depredations. The main body under De Rouville laid 
HaverhUl in waste, and killed forty persons and took many 


Peter and John Schuyler. 827 

July ISth, 1712, twenty Indians under Graylook, left Canada, 
V intending to attack oar settlements ; Schuyler heard of it the 

s 28thy and immediately sent an express to Col. Partridge ; but 

I he was too late ; the Indians captured men belonging to Spring- 

field, Deerfield, Sunderland and Hartford, escaping with their 
prisoners to Canada, this being the last raid during Queen 
Anne's war. 

The Massachusetts government fully trusted the Schuylers, 
and relied upon their faithful services, as will appear by the fol- 
lowing letter : 

^^ Gentlemen : This encloses a vote of the General Assembly 
of this Province, desiring that one of you gentlemen, as will best 
suit your convenience, will please favor us with a visit, that we 
may confer with you upon the Present situation of our Capital 
affairs respecting the Maquois & the Eastern Indians ; which 
will also oblige; Gentlemen, Yr. Most Humble Serv't Wm. 
Dummer. Boston, Aug. 13th. 1723. To the Hon. ColL Peter 
& ColL John Skiler." 

In September of the same year the Schuylers sent word that 
fifty Indians were then on their way, at Otter Creek, to attack 
our settlements ; and Governor Dummer writes the Schuylers 
under date of September 13th, ^^ Gentlemen ; I have received 
yr. advice in a Letter Directed to Coll. Partridge, of a party of 
fifty Indians come over the lake to attack our frontiers. I hope 
the seasonable arrival of this Intelligence will be the means to 
disappoint the Enemy. I do for myself & in Behalf and at the 
desire of his Majesties Council of this Province, give you thanks 
for your good offices to this Gov't from Time to Time ; espe- 
cially in advising us so opportunely of the Motions of the Enemy 
& other matters that so nearly conceam this Province, and pray 
the continuance of yo'r. care & Friendship to us in this respect ; 
and we shall punctually pay y'r expenses." 

CoL John attended the conference in Boston, and in a letter 
announcing his safe arrival at Albany, he says ; ^^ On the 2nd. 
day of this inst. I sent my son and two others towards Can- 
ada, with instructions y* if they met vnth any news of any par- 
ties of Ind's designed for New England, they would dispatch 
an express directly, and also to enquire respecting Captives & 
any other news which may be servicable." 

The Schuylers were instrumental in enlisting several Mo- 
hawks and Schaghticooke Indians for service scouts for the 

338 Annual Meetmf^l902. 

Oolony^ at Fort Dammer, bat they only proved of use when 
drawing their pay and sabsistence. The next Aagast he sends 
word to CoL Stoddard, ^' There is now again fourty Indians 
Gk>ne Against your Gk>v't.; but I know not where they will 
make their attempt" 

Col. John Schuyler with oommissioners sent from New Hamp- 
shire and Massachusetts arrived in Montreal, March Sd, 1725, 
diarged with the endeavor to make peace with the Eastern In- 
dians, but their efforts were vrithout avaiL 

Col. John Schuyler was also charged by Governor Belcher 
to summon the Kew York Indians to hold the Great Council at 
Deerfield in 1736, but the official journal does not mention his 
presence at that celebrated Conference. 

Peter Schuyler died February 19th, 1724, and John Schuyler 
died in February 1747, neither of them being spared to see the 
humbling of the French, against whom they both had spent 
their lives in contention. 

At the decease of CoL John Schuyler the control of Indian 
affairs passed into the hands of Sir William Johnson, whose 
great tact and ability in this respect made him their acknowl- 
edged leader. He was the commanding officer at Lake George, 
upon the day when CoL Ephraim WiUiams led forth his little 
army to slaughter ; an occasion long remembered in this valley, 
as the " Bloody Morning Scout." In the battle which followed 
the same day, Johnson was wounded and CoL Lyman of Mas- 
sachusetts the second in command gained a victory, taking 
Baron Dieskau, the French commander, prisoner ; but Johnson 
got all the glory and the honor of knighthood. 

On the 25th of November, 1758, Gteorge Washington, a young 
lieutenant of Gen. Forbes, planted the British banners upon the 
Walls of Fort DuQuesne, and in honor of William Pitt, named 
it Pittsburg. Gen. Amherst, on the 26th of July, received the 
surrender of the great fortress of Louisbourg, and Isle BoyaL 
and St. John became British possessions. Lord Abercrombie 
swept up the lakes, with a flotiUa of a thousand boats, but made 
an ill advised attack upon the walls of old Ticonderoga, losing 
two thousand men in front of the fortification. Massachusetts 
raised seven thousand men for the ensuing campaign, and the 
other colonies put forth their best efforts. By the 25th of July, 
1769, Sir William Johnson had possession of all the French 
posts as far west as Erie ; and upon the 1st of August, G^en. 


Peter and John Sohvyler. 329 

Amherst had taken Crown Point and Tioonderoga^ which had 
been abandoned by die French, who fled to the lower end of 
the lake. At the same time Gen. Wolfe was hammering at 
the gates of Quebec, and on the 13th of September, 1759, at the 
great battle upon the Plains of Abraham, Uie victor Wolfe, and 
the vanquished Montcalm, had proved ^^ the path to glory a 
short one to the grave." 

England and the Colonies were wild with delight. 

Sept. 9, 1760, Lord Amherst received the surrender of Mont- 
real, and with it went the submission of Canada, henceforward 
to be a British Province. 



The annual meeting of the Pocnmtnck Yalley Memorial As- 
sociation was held in Memorial Hall at Deerfield yesterday 
afternoon and evening. Instead of the business meeting being 
held in the old kitchen, where it has been held for many years, 
the Association met in an adjoining room, formerly a part of the 
tenement occupied by the caretaker, and which will henceforth 
be used for exhibition purposes, since a handsome colonial cot- 
tage has been erected for the caretaker just east of the hall, 
within the past year. Judge F. M. Thompson of Greenfield, 
vice-president of the Association, presided, in the absence of Mr. 
Sheldon, who is wintering in Boston. By the report of the 
treasurer, John Sheldon of Greenfield, it appears that the 
number of paid admissions to the hall was largely increased 
over that of preceding years, the receipts from that source 
being $332.80. Other items of income are : Sales of History 
of Deerfield, $1 14 ; sales of photographs, pamphlets, etc., $55.93 ; 
annual dues, $21, and new members, $9. In the expense ac- 
count the heaviest item, $414.88, is for repairs on the L formerly 
used as a dwelling. The balance on deposit is $2072. 

George Sheldon, the curator, in his report says that the chief 
event of the year, and indeed of our history since acquiring 
Memorial Hall, has been the erection of the beautiful cottage 
on the grounds, a structure in perfect harmony with the place 
where it is located, and the purpose for which it was built. The 
cottage was the gift of Mrs. Sheldon, although the report does 
not mention her by name. " On the very evening of the day 
on which we organized under our charter," says Curator Shel- 
don, ^' the great and wise Agassiz invited me to his room in the 
Pocumtuck house, where he was an invalid. He was greatly 
interested in the movement, and he impressed upon me the im- 
portance of distinguishing in our collections, between the relics, 
and the setting in which they are to be exhibited. He could 

Annual Meetinff—IQOS. 331 

speak only in a whisper, bat the whole matter was summed up 
in his last intensely emphasized words, ^ Mr. Sheldon, put yonr 
money on the inside.' This advice has been the keynote from 
the first start. Ton all know that not a dollar of your slowly 
gathered money has been spent for mere show. Our horizontal 
cases were made from lumber picked up about the building ; 
the Ubrary fixtures were mostly improvised in the same way, 
or obtained by gift, all old and second-hand. In utilizing our 
added quarters, great judgment will be required in the expan- 
sion, that the result be a harmonious whole. As Peter Sprague 
used to say, ^ There's a thousand things to everything.' " Mr. 
Sheldon refers to the repairs in the north wing. ^^ It follows, 
of course, that a new catalogue for the library will be necessary. 
This means large expense. It will be at once seen that with any 
considerable change in the location of our relics our old cata- 
logue wiU become useless. Probably a printed book, with blank 
leaves, or additions would be better than a card catalogue." 
Mr. Sheldon roughly estimates the cost at about $900. 

Mrs. M. E. Stebbins gave the assistant's report, which showed 
that the number of visitors for the year had been 3,432. There 
had been many requests for Sunday opening, but it had been 
thought best not to take this step. Visitors come from remote 
sections of the country and from foreign lands. One California 
man said he would like to spend the summer in Deerfield and 
visit the collection every day. 

Brief sketches were read of Albert C. Parsons and Jarvis B. 
Bardwell, written by Herbert C. Parsons, and of Charles Jones 
and Luther Joshua Barker Lincoln, written by George Sheldon, 
all being members who have died within the year. Of Mr. 
Parsons it was said that he was closely identified with the 
affairs of the town of Northfield, that he was attached to the 
town and believed it to have been very specially favored. He 
was interested in the movement for the preservation of historical 
traditions, and gave the project of publishing the town history 
his cordial support. He was an early member and councillor 
of the P. Y. M. A. He stoutly defended the old boundary line 
of Deerfield in the Legislature of '61, arguing against what he 
believed to be an injustice to the old town. He was an early 
free soiler, a Republican at the formation of the party, and af tear 
the nomination of Blaine a political dissenter. He showed 
moral fearlessness, unselfishness in every good cause. 

882 Annual J£eetinji—190S. 

The sketch of Janris B. Bardwell briefly reviewed the life of 
tiie oentenarian, speaking of his life as one of activity, publio 
spirit and unfailing good nature, and with a precious store of 
memories of the olden days. 

The sketch of Charles Jones spoke of his response to all calls 
for services for the Association and the town. He was a hard 
worker in early life, beginning for the wages of $15 a month. 
He steadily made his way, showing sturdy industry, and through 
this industry came to possess one of the finest old provincial 
homes in the Street He was opposed to idleness, and a man 
for youth to pattern after. 

Regarding Mr. Lincoln it was recalled that he was employed 
in 1886 in making a catalogue for the Association, a task for 
which he was admirably equipped. While engaged in this 
work he considered the feasibility of having a local history 
class in connection with the library. His fertile brain evolved 
the idea of a summer school of history and romance, which 
drew to Deerfield a brilliant galaxy of men and women of the 
front ranks of American literature. Mr. Lincoln was a brilliant 
after-dinner speaker and writer. 

Samuel O. Lamb was then asked to speak concerning these 
men. He recalled some legal business in which he had been 
concerned with Mr. Parsons and remembered him well as a 
man of high character and public spirit. Regarding Mr. Bard- 
well, Mr. Lamb gave a reminiscence of the old log cabin and 
hard cider campaign. Democrats were scarce in Shelburne 
at that time, but the few there were enterprising. They had a 
public meeting which Mr. Lamb attended, addressed by two of 
that faith. A group of young men made considerable distur- 
bance, and Mr. Bardwell rebuked them, speaking of the im- 
propriety of interrupting a public meeting. He said that 
they could afford to hear these remarks, that they did them no 
harm, even if they did not believe them. Mr. Lamb did not 
remember Mr. Lincoln well, but knew him as being talented 
and possessing public spirit He paid a high tribute to Mr. 
Jones. Mr. Lamb told of litigation with the old Cheapside 
bridge corporation. A judgment was secured after a good 
while, but it was then found that the corporation had quietly 
dissolved and disposed of its property. Mr. Jones consulted 
him to learn if they could not recover from the stockholders. 
Mr. Lamb said not. The selectmen of Deerfield decided to 

AnniuU Meeting— 1908. 333 

parsae the matter farther^ bat were finally beaten in the Su- 
preme Court Mr. Jones was a man of good, sonnd judgment, 
safe to follow. Mr. Lamb remarked that he was of the same 
elass politicallj as himself, marohing in the same troop and to 
the same musia A. L. Wing spoke of Mr. Jones' unquestioned 
honesty, and spoke of Mr. Bardwell's sociability. Judge 
Thompson recalled a controversy between Mr. Bardwell and 
D. O. Fisk of Shelbume. 

The fascinating subject of the old Deerfield cannon was 
brought up by Spencer Fuller, who was recalling Mr. Jones' 
sympathy with young people. He said that in 1876 Mr. Jones 
had given the boys liberty to use the cannon, which had been 
hidden in his cellar. The South Deerfield boys made up their 
minds to steal it. The Deerfield boys got it up Fort hill, but 
were in consternation when they heard that the South Deer- 
field boys were after it. They called in Mr. Jones to help 
them. The latter started out heading a company of boys 
but when they came in sight of their opponents, many turned 
faint-hearted and fied. But Mr. Jones was not daunted, grab- 
bed a fence stake, and scattered the South Deerfield invaders. 

E. A. Newcomb then told of his experiences with the cannon. 
He remembered how the boys dug it up at the time of the fall 
of Richmond, and how they fired it all night. Lacking amuse- 
ment one day, he had fiUed it up with earth, and the South 
Deerfield boys who afterward stole it had a hard job to clean 
it out. 

Spencer Fuller told of the difficulty the boys had in han- 
dling the cannon and transporting it between the two villages. 
They got it on a car, but could not get it off the track. An 
express train was due at about that time, and he said that 
John Sheldon, who was left in charge, went to sleep in the 
bushes when he should have been watching for the train. This 
was denied by Mr. Sheldon. A. W. Root of Wapping told of 
the troubles over the draft in Greenfield, and said that fears 
were expressed lest some disorderly element get hold of the 
cannon and make trouble. It was then buried to keep it out 
of sight. 

Mr. Sheldon recollected how at the time of a dinner at the 
Pocumtuck tavern the cannon was fired. The wadding fell 
short, and some one stole a bale of dried codfish from the 
grocery store for that purpose. The cannon was once taken up 

334 Annual Meeti/ng—lWZ. 

to the oemeterjy and it was decided to salute a coming train. 
It was decided to fire ahead of the train, bat the gan held fire, 
and almost blew off the end of the rear car. The boys who 
were firing it scattered in all directions, two jumping into a new- 
made grave, and others dodging behind tombstones and one 
went to Shutesbury and staid eight months. 

The talk then drifted back to Mr. Jones. His industry was 
spoken of, and it was recalled that he generally got to work 
dX 3 o'clock. His acquaintance with Gk>T. Andrew was men- 

The chairman here called attention to the fact that the sesqui- 
centennial of Greenfield is to be celebrated June 9, and it was 
understood that the society would be invited to join in a celebra- 
tion. Provision was made for the appointment of a com- 
mittee to act with the town. 

These ofScers were elected ; Pres., George Sheldon of Deer- 
field ; vice-pres., Francis M. Thompson of Greenfield, 0. Alice 
Baker of Boston ; rec. sec., Margaret Miller of Deerfield ; cor. 
sec. Mary Elizabeth Stebbins of Deerfield ; treasurer, John Shel- 
don of Greenfield ; councilors Robert Childs, Frances S. Ball, 
Edward A. Hawks, Rev. Richard E. Birks, Laura B. Wells, 
Spencer Fuller, Edward J. Everett, all of Deerfield, Emma L. 
Coleman and Annie C. Putnam of Boston, Herbert C. Parsons, 
Charles R. Lowell, Samuel O. Lamb, Ellen L. Sheldon, Caro- 
line C. Furbush, Eugene A. Newcomb, all of Greenfield. 

The evening session was held in the town haU and was pre- 
ceded by a supper served by the women of the village in ai^ of 
the lighting fund. The papers were of interest, especially the 
one on Rev. Jonathan Leavitt of Charlemont and Heath, which 
was prepared by his great-grandson, William H. Leavitt of 
Minneapolis, Minn. In this Mr. Leavitt takes up the cudgels in 
defense of the memory of his ancestor and challenges, if he does 
not wholly succeed in refuting, some of the stories concerning 
the doughty old minister that have been handed down to pos- 
terity. This was read by Rev. Richard E. Birks of Deerfield. * 
The other paperis were on the adventures of Baptiste, by Miss 
C. Alice Baker, and a review of the journal of Capt. Nathaniel 
Dwigbt, by George Sheldon, read by John Sheldon. The ex- 
ercises began with prayer by Rev. Richard E. Birks. Music 
was furnished by a quartet consisting of A. J. Mealand, C. J. 
Day, W. S. Allen and Jacob H. Sauter of Greenfield. 

Parwn Zeavitt Vindicated. 886 

The journal of Capt Nathaniel Dwight of Belchertown 
during the Grown Point expedition, 1775, which was reviewed 
by Mr. Sheldon, was printed last year in Kew York, and through 
the courtesy of Kev. M. E. Dwight of New York the library of 
the Association at Deerfield was supplied with a copy. 

Dr. Henry D. Holton and C. F. B. Jennie of Brattleboro at- 
tended the evening meeting. 



Mr. Sheldon, our honored president, has said, ^^ No human 
action is too trivial to be interesting." Who will say that the 
lives of our ancestors, the pioneers of our New England hiUs 
and valleys, who, in the performance of their duties uncon- 
sciously builded the foundations of a mighty nation, are not 
better worth our study than the bloody deeds of the profligate 
rulers of the old world. 

The subject of this paper is the life and character of the first 
minister of Oharlemont, his one daughter and eleven sons. 

Jonathan Leavitt was bom in Suffield, Ot., in 1731. Before 
he was two years old his father, a brother and a sister, all died 
within three consecutive days. The character of the family is 
best inferred from the fact that three of the sons were educated 
at Yale. Two of them became ministers and a daughter be- 
came the mother of Chief Justice Ellsworth of the United 
States Supreme Court. Jonathan was graduated from Yale 
and ordained at Walpole, N. H., in 1761, (his brother Freegrace, 
of Somers, Ct., preaching the ordination sermon, an apprecia- 
tive and interesting discourse worthy the care with which it 
has been preserved). 

The custom of the New England fathers, to plant first the 
home, then the schoolhouse, and later the church, was carried 
out by the people of Charlemont, but for the first 25 years 
their efforts to form a church were unavailing because of the 
oontinuoas Indian warfare. In March, 1767, David White was 
chosen by the town to go to Walpole and invite Mr. Leavitt to 

386 Annual Meetmg—l^QZ. 

preach as a candidate. Negotiations were not completed until 
September first, when the town voted ^^ to accept the proposals 
of Mr. Leavitt to become their minister," and a committee was 
iq>pointed to prepare for the installation. 

The installation, however, was postponed nntil October of the 
fdlowing year, (1768), probably for lack of a soitable place for 
the exercises. 

Mr. Leavitt was living in Oharlemont in November, 1767. 
Although no records of the organization of the church have 
been found it is probable, from the best evidence obtainable, 
that during the year the church was organized, the meeting- 
house constructed, and Mr. Leavitt's residence built for him by 
the town, as agreed upon the terms of the settlement. For 135 
years this house has withstood the gales which swept over the 
top of Greylock and Hoosac mountains, and at the present 
time is connected with the outside world by that modem in- 
vention the telephone. The timbers of the frame are very 
large, and including the studs and braces, were hewn from the 
primeval forest. The clapboards are split and shaved and are 
less than six feet in length. The boards used in the floors are 
very wide, some of them measuring three feet across. 

The amount of labor represented by the construction in the 
wilderness of two such substantial buildings in one season by a 
small handful of men well illustrates the intelligent industry and 
determination characteristic of the New England pioneer. 

It is said of Mr. Leavitt that ^^ be was endowed with good 
talents, a gentleman in his manner, hospitable and very social 
in his ample home, and a Christian in his deportment at home 
and abroad. 

^' He dressed in the costume of the day, wearing a powdered 
wig and cocked hat, and made a dignified appearance. The 
congregation were accustomed to rise and salute their minister 
upon his entrance to the meetinghouse for the Sabbath service. 

^^ His sermons are sound in theology and manifest a mind able 
to work with profound subjects." 

Since the death of Mr. Leavitt, a hundred years ago, a tradi- 
tion has prevailed that he favored the mother country during 
the Revolutionary period, but the following incident would seem 
to disprove such a theory, and establish beyond question the 
fact that bis sympathies were with the patriots in their strag- 
gle for independence. 

Penrsan Leamtt Vindicated. 387 

On Thanksgiving day in 1777 Mr. Leavitt prrached a sermon 
to his congregation in Oharlemont whioh bears on the title 
page, in his own handwriting, the following inscription : ^^ A 
Thanksgiving anniversary discourse in commemoration of the 
glorious victory of the American troops over a whole British 
army under General Burgoyne, resulting in the surrender of 
the whole army to the Americans under General Gates on Oc- 
tober 17th, 1777/' Eighty-eight years later Eev. William S. 
Leavitt, (then a pastor at Hudson, N. Y., a great-grandson of 
Bev. Jonathan Leavitt), preached a Thanksgiving sermon in 
commemoration of the close of the war of the Rebellion. At 
the beginning of his discourse he held up to the view of his 
audience this ancient manuscript, read to them the title page, 
and used the same text as the subject of his sermon. 

In common with other ministers of the period, Mr. Leavitt 
found it difficult to collect his salary. The tradition that he 
personally took from two of his poorer parishioners (without 
their consent) their only cow in payment for taxes due the 
town for his salary, is doubtless another fabrication. It was no 
part of the duties of the minister to collect taxes. Mr. Leavitt 
was a man of more than common business sagacity, and certainly 
would not have been guilty of so gross a violation of the rights 
of an individual and the laws of the Commonwealth, nor is it 
reasonable to suppose that such an outrage would have been 
tolerated in a New England community. 

Eev. Moses Miller, who was pastor of the church in Heath 
for 40 years closely following the death of Mr. Leavitt, has left 
the following references to these reports. ^' In Oharlemont in 
former days there existed something of the spirit of mobocracy, 
especially in reference to their first minister, Rev. Mr. Leavitt. 
With this spirit very few of the inhabitants of Heath sympa- 
thized, though they had the same grounds of dissatisfaction. 

^^ How much provocation there was to this state of feeling and 
action (for some of it was quite outrageous), I am not able to 
state, but whether more or less, it did not justify the course 

A life-long resident of Heath and Oharlemont, and a careful 
student of these times, gives it as his opinion that these calum- 
nies originated with the patrons of the two rum taverns that 
wrecked the fortunes and character of a large class of other- 
wise useful citizens of Oharlemont. Some of these men were 

388 Annual MeeUnff—190Z. 

of more than usual intelligenoe and gained a reputation as nar- 
rators of marvelous stories. One acquainted with the localities 
and customs of the times will detect in these tales such ele- 
ments of untruthf uhiess as lead to the conviction that they were 
originated for the entertainment of bar-room companions, with 
no expectation that they would be taken seriously. The theory 
is weU illustrated by the story recently published in the Green- 
field Gazette that Mr. Leavitt's farm was included in Heath be- 
cause of the enmity of the people of Charlemont. Whatever 
may have been the reason, the north boundary line of Oharle- 
mont its entire length of 14 miles is perfectly natural, con- 
forming to the topography of the country, with special refer- 
ence to the convenience of people living north or south of the 
line in their attendance at school and meetings. Two reasons 
may be assigned for the two farms adjoining Mr. Leavitt's on 
the south remaining in Charlemont First, the town at this 
point is only about one mile wide; with these farms in 
Heath the width would be reduced to half a mile. The second 
reason is probably the correct one, viz. : These families were 
closely related to a number of other Charlemont families and 
for that reason doubtless preferred to remain in the old town. 

The legend that Mr. Giles refused to assist Mr. Leavitt to 
rescue his horse, which had fallen through the ice in crossing 
the Deerfield river, and the conversation reported to have taken 
place as Mr. Giles stood at the door of his residence and Mr. 
Leavitt on the ice, is refuted by the fact that the river could not 
be seen from Mr. Giles' home, and the conversation as related 
could not have taken place at so great a distance. 

Mr. Leavitt's pastorate in Charlemont covered a period of 
18 years, and terminated with the organization of the new town 
of Heath (which included Mr. Leavitt's residence,) in 1785. 
At the same time a new church was formed in Heath, but for 
five years they had no settled pastor. A part of this time Mr. 
Leavitt officiated as their minister. 

But few newspapers were taken in Heath at that time and 
consequently the voters were not weU informed on political 
subjects. The following incident illustrates the confidence Mr. 
Leavitt's townsmen placed in his judgment. 

At a town meeting in Heath the people voted for Samuel 
Adams for governor. Mr. Leavitt arrived at the meeting after 
the vote had been taken, and informed the voters that Mr. 

Pa/raon Leavitt Vindicated. 839 

Adams was a Democrat and that they should have voted for 
the Whig candidate. The people became excited at this in- 
formation and decided to ballot a second time, with the result 
that the Whig candidate received the vote of the town. 

That he possessed the confidence and esteem of his ministerial 
associates is illustrated in too many ways to mention in detail 
in this paper. 

He was active in business affairs and acquired considerable 
property. His home from the time of his settlement in Charle- 
mont in 1768 until his death in 1802 was the house built for him 
at the time of his settlement. 

Mr. Leavitt married in 1761 Sarah Hooker, a great-grand- 
daughter of Bev. Samuel Hooker, a noted New England divine. 
She died in 1791, and Rev. John Emerson of Conway in the 
funeral sermon says : ^^ In addition to good natural talents Mrs. 
Leavitt possessed an unaffected and most engaging temper and 
deportment, which gave a luster to the beauty of her person far 
superior to what it could have derived from the most brilliant 
ornaments of art." 

Mr. Leavitt has said of the oldest child : ^^ My dear and only 
daughter Clarissa died in 1798. She was a professor of the 
faith and in the judgment of charity died in the Lord." 

Jonathan, the oldest son, was graduated from Yale and be- 
came a successful lawyer at Greenfield. He was appointed 
judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1812, and judge of 
Probate in 1814, which office he held until 1821. 

The family home in Greenfield is now known as the Hovey 
residence and is still a prominent feature in Greenfield archi- 
tecture. The west wing was used as a business office. His 
wife was a daughter of President Stiles of Yale, and his family 
of daughters were conspicuous in the social life of the period in 

Hart, the second son, was also a resident of Greenfield. He 
kept an old-fashioned store of general merchandise located just 
west of the residence of his brother Jonathan. His home was 
on the same side of Main Street a little farther east. The follow- 
ing account of his marriage is taken from the ^^ Boston Gazette 
and Centwry Magazine^^ dated Feb. 11, 1793. "Marriages at 
Deerfield, Mass., Capt. Joshua Clapp of Burlington, Vt., to Miss 
Abigal Barnard of Deerfield. Mr. Hart Leavitt of Greenfield 
to Miss Rachael Barnard. Dr. Stone of Greenfield to Miss 

340 Annual Meetinff—190i. 

Sally Barnard." It is worthy of remark that the three brides 
were sisters and one matrimonial eve made wives of them all. 

Joshua^ the third son, left Kew England for the West Indies 
in 1791. The ship was wrecked on a desert island, where he 
Hved for several years, subsisting principaUy upon crawfish. 
After his rescae he established a business in Charleston, S. C, 
but did not communicate with his New England friends. 

In the summer of 1802 some bales of cotton were seen on a 
wharf in New York marked ^^ Joshua Leavitt." In Augast 
Mt. Leavitt made a journey on horseback to New York to 
trace this clue. The fatigue and excitement of the journey 
resulted in his death soon after his return and before tidings 
had been received from the absent son. A few weeks later a 
letter was received from him dated at Charleston, S. C, express- 
ing pleasure at hearing again from his relatives at home and his 
sorrow at the death of his parents and sister. His letters show 
a genial and loving character. The reason of his absence is 
not known, although tradition has it that it was a love affair. 
At his invitation four of his brothers settled at various points in 
the South. They seem to have succeeded fairly well in business, 
but the average length of life of the five brothers who settled 
in the South was less by eighteen years than of the six who 
remained in their native climate. 

David, the fourth son, lived for a series of years in Putney, 
Yt., and kept a general store. He was active in church and 
military affairs. His last years were spent in Boston, and his 
last Sabbath in teaching (as was his usual custom) a Bible class 
in the state's prison at Charlestown. 

Boger, the fifth son, lived on the homestead in Heath. He 
removed to Charlemont in 1835, which was his home until his 
death in 1840. He acquired a large fortune for the period and 
locaUty. His intelligence, integrity and uprightness commanded 
the confidence of his associates. He held perhaps every ofBice 
in the gift of the town, and was active in church and military 
affairs, holding the several grades of office in the local militia, 
including the command of a regiment noted for its superior 
drill and equipment. He was also active in educational and 
political reforms of the period, and in company with Miss Lyon 
canvassed the town of Heath and raised $1200 for the first sem- 
inary building at South Hadley. ^ A remarkable record of 
benevolence for a small agricultural town. 

PoTBon Lsamtt YindicaUd. 841 

He helped to locate and btdld the new county boildingfli at 
Greenfield at the organization of the new coanty, and on tli^ 
day before his death, June 1, 1840, was nominated by the new 
Liberty party of Massachusetts as their candidate for Ueutenant^ 

His wife was a daughter of CoL Hugh Maxwell of Heath. 
The oldest son, Joshua, was graduated from Yale, and so far as 
known was the only man who ever ventured to open a law 
office in Heath. Later he became a minister, and active in the 
temperance and anti-slavery movements, but is better known as 
editor of the Emancipator and New York Independent. 

In the early anti-slavery period he spent several winters in 
Washington reporting the proceedings of Congress for his 
paper. He was present when John Quincy Adams presented a 
petition from the people of his district for the abolition of 
slavery in the District of Columbia. The Southern members 
were opposing the reception of petitions upon the subject of 
slavery. Mr. Adams, in his defense of the right of petition, 
requested the clerk to read the constitution. 

The clerk read a few sentences and stopped. Mr. Adams 
said, ^^ read on.'' The clerk read again and stopped. After 
several repetitions Mr. Adams said : ^^ Bead on until I tell you 
to stop." When he reached the words, ^^ Congress shall make 
no law abridging the right of the people to petition the govern- 
ment for a redress of grievances," Mr. Adams said, ^^ that will 
do." And without previous special preparation spoke for three 
days in defense of the right of petition. Mr. Leavitt reported 
the speech in full, but by some means the Southern sympathizers 
obtained possession of it and in consequence it has never been 
printed. Mr. Leavitt often said it was the most eloquent 
speech he ever heard from the lips of the ^^old mim elo- 

Boswell was a successful physician and a respected and useful 
citizen of Cornish, K H. !ffis wife was a granddaughter of 
Bev. Jonathan Ashley, the second minister of Deerfield, and a 
daughter of Tirzah (Field) Ashley, the second wife of Rev. 
Jonathan Leavitt. Their first son, Jonathan, was for twenty- 
five years pastor of the Richmond Street church of Providence, 
R. I. A daughter was the wife of Rev. Aaron Foster, for 
twenty years the honored pastor of the little church in East 
Gharlemont. Mrs. Foster lived a beautiful and quiet life. She 

842 Annual MeeUng— 1903. 

had a lively interest in each individoality and her influence 
became a power in the community. 

Hooker, the youngest of the eleven sons, was a resident of 
Greenfield, an attorney, and held the offices of county treasurer 
and clerk of the court from 1815 until his death in 1842. 

This family received the usual excellent New England social 
and religious training, and also did their full share of the work 
of clearing the wilderness of the native forest and reducing to 
ashes the magnificent growth of timber at the time on the soiL 
Beoalling these youthful experiences, a brother in Charleston, 
S. 0., wrote to the brother on the homestead in Heath as follows : 
^^ I rejoice in your prosperity and successful pursuit of agricnl- 
ture on the soil which gave the most of us birth and all of us a 
happy subsistence. Our pleasures were many and great The 
refiection is highly animating, but our labors and fatigues were 
extreme and excessive and would strike a Oarolinian with hor- 

This in brief is the history of one of a multitude of New Eng- 
land families which, by industry, thrift, and above all a con- 
scientious performance of life's daily duties, have helped to build 
the Bepublic. 



In the stories of the captives carried to Canada during the 
old wars, both the reader and the writer have a sort of personal 
interest. These captives were the friends and neighbors of our 
forbears. They went from surroundings with which we our- 
selves are familiar. Snatched from homes desolated by their 
loss, they have naturally a claim on our sympathy. Their kins- 
men and townsfolk, in great peril of their own lives, sought 
their redemption. They found them scattered up and down the 
beautiful Canadian rivers, and by unwearied perseverance res- ! 

cued many. The writer of these stories of heroism and endur- | 

ance has all the help that local color can give. He can tread I 

the paths they trod, can live the lives they lived. He can go j 

with them to their betrothals and their buriaL 

He may pore over the very records to which, with trembling 

TJi6 AdverUurea of Baptiste. 343 

hands, they signed their names or made their mark ; and writer 
and reader must be doll indeed who does not make it or find it 
of intense interest. 

But when it comes to writing and reading the story of a 
renegade Acadian Frenchman, whose life under ordinary circum- 
stances would be scarcely worth considering, it becomes quite 
a different thing, and one would feel almost like apologizing for 
wasting words on a daredevil, without honor, and without 
patriotism, except that his career involved the lives and liber- 
ties of so many better people, and that he was the prisoner for 
whose retention or deliverance the diplomatists of two govern- 
ments intrigued and contended. 

For many years I have been trying to run to cover that sly 
fox who figures in New England and Canadian annals as 
" Baptiste." While I have been now following the scent, anon 
losing the trail, the years have sped, until I can no longer delay 
giving you the fruits of my chase. 

From the beginning of my research in the archives of New 
France and New England I have not believed Baptiste to be 
the surname of the individual in question, and I hope to be able 
to justify my unbelief. I must, however, frankly admit that in 
the official correspondence between the two governments he is 
rarely mentioned by any other name. Governor Dudley invari- 
ably speaking of him as Baptiste, and De Yaudreuil almost as 
persistently naming him as Captain Baptiste, or more cautiously 
as " the one called Baptiste." We all know, however, that a 
man may be known, and ordinarily spoken of among his fellows 
by another name than his true surname. One who for any 
reason is prominent in a community often goes down to pos- 
terity witJiout his surname. Of this Deerfield gives us many 
examples : Captain Dave, Colonel Jo., Uncle Ep., are familiar 
to us all as household words, not to speak of Uncle Bob, Colonel 
Scope, and others. The name Baptiste does not appear as a 
surname on old Canadian records. John the Baptist is a saint 
in the Bomish calendar for whom children of Roman Catholics 
have been, and to this day are, frequently named. In some in- 
stances Jean Baptiste appears as Saint Baptiste, which latter 
more than once occurs in New England history, corrupted by 
our captives to Sabatis. 

Different and contemporaneous French accounts mention 
Dion-D'Young-Guyon and Baptiste each as a noted pilot. A 

844 Aimual MeeHng—lWZ. 

oai6M oompariion of facts and dates shows me timt in several in- 
stances one and the same act at one and the same date is attrib- 
uted by different authors of the two nationalities to Dion, to 
D' Young, to Gujon and to Baptiste, the logical sequence bdng 
that no matter under which of these names the hero appears^ 
he must have been one and the same man. 

Thus having found Guyon as a well known surname in Can- 
ada — not finding Baptiste ever used as a surname — and finally 
finding Guyon and Baptiste used synonymously as the hero of 
the same exploit, and assuming that Jean Baptiste was simply 
the Christian name of the one called Baptiste, I have sought in 
Tanguay's Genealogical Dictionary* for a Jean Baptiste Guyon 
or Dion. I find there one Michel de Bouvray Guion, a ship car- 
penter, with son, Jean Baptiste Guion, bom 1673. It will be for 
you to decide upon the evidence adduced whether this is he 
whom we have hitherto known as Baptiste. The careful stud^it 
must, however, honestly admit that other Guyons appear in our 
archives, but there is ample proof that certain experiences of our 
Baptiste are credited to Guion, the two names being more than 
once used indiscriminately. His career is most romantic, and 
one of its most interesting episodes is his introduction to us in 
Boston two hundred years ago. 

The General Court adjourned on Friday, the 21st of Febru- 
ary, 1689-90. Towards six o'clock in the afternoon of the follow- 
ing Monday f guests began to arrive at the hospitable mansion 
of Judge Samuel Sewall, then one of the governor's council, and 
the richest man in Boston. On foot, on pillions, in sedan chairs^ 
— Governor Bradstreet and his wife in their great hackney coach 
— ^tbey came. The house was at the north end of 'what is now 
Pemberton Square, fronting on what is now Treraont Kow, " dis- 
tant from other buildings and standing very bleak, '' says Sew- 
all, j: there was a keen east wind, and the guests as they alighted 
were grateful for the shelter of the " smale porch of wood, 
which the General Court had given Sewall liberty to build '' to 
^^ breake of the winde from the fore doore." It was a notable 
assembly that gathered there. 

^^ Governor Bradstreet and Lady, Mr. Stoughton, Major 
Hutchinson and wife, Mrs Mather, Maria, Mr. Allen and wi£e^ 

* Tanguay is to Canada what Savage is to New England, 
t Sewall'0 Diary, Vol. 1, p. 311. 
X Diary, Vol. 1, p. 60. 

The Adventures of Baptiste. 345 

Oonsin Dnmer and wife, Ooas. Quinsy and wife, Mr. Ootton 
Mather, Mr. Thomas Brattle, who with Mother, Wife and Self, 
made Twenty. Sat all weU at the Table. Marshall Green 

We cannot doubt that the dinner was equal to the occasion. 

^^The bitterness in our Oup," continues Sewall, ^^was the 
massacre at Schenectady by the French : the amazing news 
on't was by Post brought to town this Day : Gov' Bradstreet 
brought the papers and read them before Dinner. 

Dinner being over, Mr. Cotton Mather returned thanks in 
an Excellent manner : Sung part of the Six and Fiftieth Psalm 
in Mr. Miles Smith's Version .... Mr. Mather was minded 
to have that .... I set it to Windsor Tune." .... 

While the Governor again read the papers sent post haste 
from Albany, and the guests discussed the dreadful news, 
Mrs. Sewall, as was her custom, was doubtless sending 
^^ tastes " of her sumptuous dinner to her friends in the neigh- 

^^ At last Mr. Danf orth. Major Bichards, Major General Win- 
throp, Col. Shrimpton, Mr. Addington came in, and dispatcht 
Orders to the Majors to stand upon their Guard." .... 

Just about dinner time Mr. Kelson* had come in, and got 
Sewall ^^ to subscribe 100 to the Proposals against the French. I 
thought 'twas time to Doe something, now we're thus destroy'd 
by Land too. Mr. Danforth looks very sorrowfully. Mr. 
Stoughton thinks best to prosecute vigorously the business 
against the Eastern French." .... 

After this exciting»evening the guests took their leave punc- 
tually at nine of the clock. 

News of the attack at Salmon Falls reached Boston the 21st 
of March, 1689-90, and the following day Sir William Phips 
offered to lead the expedition against Port Royal. Sewall says, 

^ The Governor sends for me and tells me of it. I tell the 
Court ; they send for Sir William who accepts to goe .... Sir 
William had been sent to at first ; but some feared he would 
not goe ; others thought his Lady could not consent." 

Drums were beaten through the streets for volunteers, and 
on the 28th of April a fleet of seven or eight vessels, with about 

* John Nelaon of Boston, nephew and heir to Sir William Temple, in 
whose right he claimed the proprietorship of Acadia under ah old grant from 

346 Annual Meeting— 1903. 

seyen hundred men, sailed from Nantasket Gov. Bradstreet's 
instniotions to Phips were to ** take care that the worship of 
God be duly observed on board all the vessels : to offer the 
enemy fair terms upon summons to surrender, which if they obey 
the said terms are to be duly observed. If not, you are to gain 
the best advantage you may, to assault Kill and utterly extirpate 
the common £nemy, and to bum aud demolish their fortifica- 
tions and shipping." 

In the library of Harvard College there is a MS. journal of 
this expedition against Port Boyal. We have also, in various 
forms, De Meneval's own account of his surrender, written in 
French on the spot and immediately after. The following is a 
free translation. See for the original. Doc. BeL & Fhistoire de 
la Nouvelle France, Vol. 2, p. 6. 

<< On the 19tb of May 1690, the coastguard at the mouth of 
the river ran to inform Monsieur de Meneval, Governor of 
Acadia, that an English fleet of three large and five or six smal- 
ler ships, filled with soldiers, was preparing to enter the river. 

The next day at dawn, the ships anchored a half league from 
here and a boat was at once dispatched to the town. It was 
received by ten French musketeers, who, bandaging the eyes of 
the messenger, led him to the (Governor to whom he presented 
a written summons from the Commander of the fleet, for the 
immediate surrender of Port Boyal, with a promise of quarter, 
provided no defence of the place were attempted. 

Under pretext of answering this letter, the Governor had 
the messenger put under guard, and for lack of a suitable mili- 
tary ofScer to act as his envoy, sent Father Petit, cur6 of Port 
Boyal, with a letter to the English Commander, with orders to 
acquaint him with the Governor's intention to defend himself, 
but also with discretionary power to negotiate, if need be, the 
best possible conditions for a surrender. 

Father Petit, too well aware of the Governor's helpless con- 
dition, disabled as he was, with gout in both legs, with no prom- 
ise of support from the inhabitants, three only offering him 
help at this crisis, with no fortifications whatever, and less than 
seventy wretched, badly armed and worse-intentioned soldiers, — 
as soon as. he saw that the enemy could land in a half-hour 
more than eight hundred soldiers concluded discretion to be the 
better part of valor, and after long discussion, the following 
terms'were agreed upon : 

The AcheffUxurea of Baptiste. 947 

That De Meneyal and the garrison should march out as sol- 
diers with all their arms, accoutrements and belongings, and be 
safely transported to Quebec by the shortest route, in a vessel 
provided by Phips : The people of Port Koyal should be left 
in peaceable possession of their property, without pillage, or 
harm to the women and children: that liberty of conscience 
should be left them, the free exercise of the Boman Catholic 
religion, and the preservation of their church edifice. 

To Father Petit's request that this should be put in writing 
and signed by the English commander, Phips replied that there 
was no need of that, — that his word was as good as his bond, 
and in fact worth more than all the writing^ in the world. 

The cur6 returned with this answer. The Governor, un- 
able to do otherwise, accepted the conditions, and the next day 
went on board the English ship where the terms were ratified 
in presence of the priest and others. Promising to return the 
Governor and his garrison to Quebec, or to France as he might 
prefer, the English commander disembarked his troops and re- 
turned to Port Boyal with De Meneval, who surrendered as 
agreed upon. 

On reaching the town and seeing its defenceless condition, 
Phips was much chagrined, and through some quibble declaring 
himself not bound to abide by the terms agreed upon, he dis- 
armed the little garrison, shut them ap in the church as prison- 
ers of war, confined De Meneval under guard in his own house, 
taking away his clothes and his money ; allowed his troops to 
pillage the inhabitants and finally to ruin the church and the 
priest's house. In short, it may be said that except they killed 
nobody, they behaved as if the place had been taken by assault, 
without regard to the capitulation." 

This is the story as it stands on the French records,* certi- 
fied by the principal sufferers as 

" the just and true statement of things that happened within our Knowledge 
from the arrival of the English at Port Royal up to to-day May 27th, 1690. 



Then Phips sailed away to Boston with much booty and 59 
prisoners, 49 of whom were received into custody by John 

* Doc. Rel., VoL 2,p,7et aeq. 

348 AnMMl Mee^—1908. 

Arnold, the jailer in Boston, on the 30th of May, 1690.* Thej 
were not all regular soldiers, bat a rabble of the yoong men of 
the town, acting at the time as a sort of home gaard. Side 
by side on the list of these prisoners are the names Baptiste and 
Jasmin, boon companions, whom we shaU meet later in on 
annals as famous pilots and privateers. This is our introduc- 
tion to Baptiste, then about 17 years old. 

The names of De Meneval, those who signed the above 
^^ Belation '' with him, and others do not appear on the jail lists. 
They were not imprisoned with the rank and file, but were 
carefully guarded in the houses of Boston citizens. Later, 
Monsieur de Meneval lodged with Mr. Nelson, ^^ where he had 
great freedom, and saw and examined everything." f Immedi- 
ately after Phips' return from Port Eoyal a conmiittee was ap> 
pointed by the Oouncil to sell all the plunder to pay the ex- 
penses of the expedition, the surplus to be divided between the 
colony and soldiers, and Sewall tells us:|: that ^^on Monday, 
June 16, 1690, notice was given by beat of drum of the sale of 
the soldiers' part of the plunder taken at Port Eoyal, to be 
made next Wednesday between 3 and 4 p. m.'' 

In vain did De Meneval represent to the authorities at Boston 
the injustice done him by Phips, and demand reparation. In- 
flated by success, they were too busy in preparing for an attack 
upon Quebec to heed these complaints. A little money and the 
poorest of his clothes were the only personal result of his im- 
portunities. At length, after nearly seven months' detention, 
upon Phips' return from his fruitless invasion of Canada, Be 
Meneval obtained a hearing before the Oouncil.§ As to the 
money he had entrusted to Phips for safe keeping at the time 
of his surrender, Sewall says there were 

"veiy fierie words between Sir William and Mr. Nelson. When Sir William 
went out, seemed to say would never come there more, had been so abus'd 
by said NeLson, and if Council would not right him, he would right himself." 

Just a week later the following order was issued :§§ 

"These may Certify any whom it may concern, that monsr De Meneval 

* Acts and Reedves of the province of Mass. Bay, V<^. VII, p. 628. 
t Plan of enterprise against Boston and N. Y. l^ M. de Lagny, Doe. Rel., 
Vol. II, p. 263; also N. Y. Col. Doc., Vol. EX, p. 659j. 
X SewaU's Diary Vol. I, p. 323. 
i Nov. 29, 1690. 
{{ Mass. Archives, Vol. XXXVI, p. 233. 

The Advenl/urea of BaptUte. 849 

Iftte Got. of Port Royml in Lacada or Nova Sootia, who was brought hither 
to Boston hj Sir William Phippe the last Spring when those Pts were sub- 
dued and surrendered to their Maties of great Brittaine, hath free liberty to 
transport himselfe with two servts and other necessar^rs to En^and or any 
other pt of Europe, without any Lett or interruption of any of his liaties 
Subjects of this Colony ^diatsoever. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto 
Sett my hand and Seal this 6th of Deobr 1600. 

Sim Bradstreet Govt." 

Phips' anger on this oooadon probably found vent in the fol- 

"To the Keeper of their Maties Qoale of Boston. 

These are in their Maties name to will and require you to take into yor 
Custody the Body, which I do herewith send you, of Monsieur Demeneval 
late Qovemor of Port Ro3raI, who is now Prisoner of Warre taken by their 
Maties forces under my Command in the late Expedition agt the ffrench 
King's Subjects at Port Royal aforesd. for that he the sd Monsieur Do- 
meneval hath acted contemptuously agt our Soveraigne Lord and Lady the 
King and Queens Matys, and broken the Articles of Treaty by him agreed to, 
and for several other high misdemeanors, by him ye same Prisoner of Warre 
Comitted and done. You are therefore his Body in sure and safe Custody to 
keep, until he shall be tiyed by ft Council of Warre or Delivered by myselfe 
or other lawful authority according to Law; and for yor so doing this shall 
be your Warrant. Given under my hand and Scale this 25th day of Do- 
eembr Anno Domini 1690 Annoque RRs of Ra Gul. et Marie Secunda 

William Phips." 

The Ooonoil evidently considering this too great an outrage, 
after they had given the French governor liberty to return to 
any European port, issued an order for the immediate delivery to 
him of his chest and clothes in Phips' custody. This order being 
disregarded, after another week's delay Governor Bradstreet 
wrote personally to Phips as following :* 

''The Council, at their meeting upon the SOth of Deoembr ult made an 
Order for the delivering of Mons de Meneval's chest and cloths that were 
taken into custody by yor order when he was brought up from on board the 
vessel, and that they should be delivered without charge to him, which Mr. 
Deputy and Major Phillips were desired to Acquaint yor Selfe with that 
Evening and suppose ihay accordin^y did. But being yesterday informed 
that he had not as yet received Ins dothing dec of which he is in great want, 
I have given you the trouble of these lines to signify the same unto you, and 
hope upon receipt hereof, you will take effectual care for the speedy execu- 
tion of the Council order in that behalfe with the tender of my Service I am 

Yor Humble Servt 

(Signed) S. B. 
Boskm January 1600." 

♦ Mass. Archives, V<rf. XXXVI, p. 262. 

850 Annual Meetmg—19QZ. 

Although for reasons of his own Phips still continued to pat 
obstacles in the way of his departure, De Meneval was probably 
released not long after this. I find him in Paris the 6th of 
April, 1691, issuing a '^memorial" to the minister concerning 
his capture and the details of his imprisonment.* As to his 
soldiers, the following is on the Council records, June 14, 1690.t 

"Whereas the French soldiers lately brou^t .... from Port Royal, 
did surrender on capitulation, liberty is granted them to diepoee themadves 
in such families as shall be willing to receive them, until there be opportunity 
to transport themselves to some of the French King's dominions in Europe 
. . . . to demean themselves peaceably and orderly keeping themadves 
within the limits appointed unto them by the Committee chosen for this pur- 
pose, and not to depart from those limits." 

In pursuance of this order the French soldiers were distrib- 
uted among the citizens of Boston and vicinity to work for 
their own support. Baptiste, after three weeks and one day in 
jail, wai3 allotted to Henry Mare of Boston ; Jasmin after three 
weeks and three days, to Jno. Gordale of Dorchester.^: 

The date of the return of the Port Boyal soldiers is uncertain. 

Much correspondence in relation to it may be found in the 
archives of both nations. 

When or how Baptiste got back to Port Boyal I have not 
learned. Probably by way of France, the order of the council 
above mentioned being explicit that the soldiers should ^^ trans- 
port themselves to some of the French King's dominions in 
Europe." Aside from the fact that the habitant takes to the 
water ais naturally as a duck, if his father were Guyon the ship 
builder, the son would be quite familiar with the handling of a 
boat, and the somewhat venturesome youth might easily be- 
come a sea-rover. 

Be this as it may, Baptiste's first appearance in French annals 
is at the age of twenty-one, when he is given command of a frig- 
ate to engage in privateering in New England waters. 

After Phips' expedition against Quebec, Canada wais in a state 
of constant apprehension. To forestall an expected attack, 
France prepared to take the offensive. 

In the spring of 1694 the ship Bretonne was fitted out, under 

♦ Doc. Rel., Vol. n, p. 40, et neq, 

t Vol. VI, p. 192. 

X See list in Mass. Acts and Resolves, Vol. VII, p. 628. 

The AdverUtires of Bctptiite. 851 

the oommand of the Sienr Bonaventure, whose avowed purpose 

^' To carry aid to Acadia, and all that M. de Yillebon has 
asked for the defence and maintenance of Fort Maxonat [M]* 
and to make war on the English." ^^ Captain Baptiste having 
obtained a corvette f from his Majesty, armed to make war on 
the enemy, particularly in Acadian and New England waters, 
pledges himself to be at the places indicated to him by the said 
Sieur Yillebon at the time ordered. 

Aside from proceeding to the river St. John with the Bre- 
tonne shoold the Sieur de Bonaventure need him at Pentagoet, 
his Majesty has given M. de Bonaventure permission to take 
him with him under his orders to scout and act as guard while he 
[i. e. Bonaventure] is obliged to anchor there ; — after which, 
and when the said Sieur de Bonaventure shall have left Penta- 
goet, the said Sieur Baptiste will do what he shall think best for 
the carrying out his own private designs against the enemy, of 
which he will inform the said Sieur de Yillebon in order that 
he, Yillebon, may render an account of it to his Majesty." X 

The following extract from a letter to Frontenac shows that 
the former had recommended Baptiste to the King. 

"Vereailles, Hay 8, 1092. 
Beoauae of your good report of Captain Baptiste, his Majesty has given 
him a brigantine armed and equipped with which he permits him to do much 
damage to the English on the Acadian and New England coasts, and after- 
wards to winter in Flaisanoe, thence to make war on the English of New- 

Here is Baptiste's own account of his adventures :§ from 
which it appears that our hero soon found an excuse to cast loose 
from his superior in command. 

^^ I, Captain Baptiste commanding the King's corvette, named 
the Bonne, set out from La Kochelle the 8th of April, 1694, with 
M. de Bonaventure conmianding the ^ Bretonne ' for Acadia, 
from whom I was separated the 16th of the said month, by bad 
weather and fog, and continued my voyage to Acadia, which 

* Naxouat, a fort built by Yillebon on the St. John's riyer. 
t A wooden ship-of-war, frigate rigged with one tier of guns. 
t Doc. Rel., Vol. II, p. 146. Instruction to ViUebon 13th Bfaroh. 1004. 
i Doc. Rel., Vol. II, p. 151 ei seq. Relation des combats entre le Oap- 
itaine Baptiste, et les Bostonnais. 

852 Annual JHeeUng—190S. 

land I toaolied the first of June, of the said year abreast of 
Gape Sable, where I encountered several English ships fishing, 
to which I gave chase and captured five of them and took them 
to the St. John's river, and drove the others off the coast The 
25th of the said month I careened my boat, in order to continue 
my course, and went out of the said river the 8th of the month 
of July, to cruise about Boston, when I fell in with a small 
fishing boat, and sunk her, so as not to be discovered, she not 
being of great consequence. 

The 12th of July at 10 o'clock in the morning I took a Eetch 
sailing from Boston with provisions for the Isbinds of America.* 
Then about 8 o'clock in the afternoon I encountered another 
ship coming from the Islands loaded with sugar and molasses, 
which I also took. The same afternoon I fell in with another 
vessel coming from old England to Boston, loaded with stuffs 
and salt, which I took. The next morning about 8 o'clock hav- 
ing fallen in with a fishing Eetch, I took her also, and as I was 
convoying my prizes to the St. John's river I met quite near 
the said river, an English frigate of 44 guns that took from me 
the Ketch laden with provisions of which I have before spoken 
and also the Ketch, so that I could take but two prizes to the St. 
John's river.f 

The 29th of July I left the river St. John to go to Minas for 
provisions in order to continue my cruise, but as the summer 
was very dry this year I had much difficulty in procuring even 
fifteen barrels of flour. 

From there I ventured to the St. John's river to get bread 
baked so that it was the 2d of October when I put out of the 
said river to return to my cruising, and after having reoonnoi- 
tered for three weeks without meeting anything, I finally fell 
in with a ship from the Islands laden with sugar for Boston, 
which I took. As my corvette leaked badly, I was forced to 
make sail for the St. John's river, and being unable to enter be- 
cause of the ice, I was obliged to put into another harbor called 
Nisgascorf three leagues from the St. John's, where the corvette 
wintered from the 24th of December, 1694 to the 20th of April, 

♦ The West Indies. 

t Baptiste's first 5 priies he had left in the St. John's river. Sailing thence 
tofwards Boston he had taken 5 more, of which he had sunk 1, and the frigate 
of 44 guns had taken 2 more from him, so that he oould take but 2 prises to 
the St. John's river. 

The Adoentwres of Ba/piAsie. 353 

1695, when I set out to omise along Kew England. The 7th 
of May I met a small boat coming oat from Boston laden with 
provisions for the Islands, whioh I took and carried to Nisgascorf . 

I was ready to leave the said port on the 24th of the said 
month to go back to my croising, bat as I was setting sail to go 
out, I encountered an English frigate named the Sorlings,* carry- 
ing 32 guns with a Brigantine of 4 guns, and being unable either 
to go out or to go back I was forced to run aground. Having 
landed three cannon, I defended myself from eight o'clock in 
the morning till six in the evemng, when in spite of my resist- 
ance my ship was taken from me. Having put all of the 
King's property that I could save into the hands of his secre- 
tary, Sieur de Saint Goutin, I embarked the 22d of July on the 
vessel, L'Envieux, to go to France to render an account of my 
King's ship. Arriving at Plaisance on the 12th of August and 
finding that the L'Envieux, which was ordered to convoy the 
fishing fieet, f usually stayed there till the end of September I 
embarked on a frigate of St. Jean de Luz % of 20 guns, named 
La Charmante, Captain Durachoux, which I took to cruise during 
this time near Boston. We took two prizes ; one a ship of 8 
guns carrying provisions to St. Johns in Newfoundland, the 
other a Brigantine with the same cargo for Saint John, both 
from Boston. By these we learned that two vessels of 40 and 32 
guns § had gone 15 days ago to seek the ship L'Envieux at the 
St. John's river, and that the new Governor had arrived at 
Boston in a frigate of 50 guns, which was to remain there. 

We then returned to Plaisance and I embarked on L' En- 
vieux, and proceeded to Versailles to report to Monseigneur and 
await his orders. 

Monseigneur will have the goodness to remember that I in- 
formed him last year that this corvette was so old, and that I 
had run so great a risk while taking her to Acadia, that it would 

* The Newport and the Sorling, two Engliah frigates, constantly occupied 
in protecting New England merchant vessels from French privateers that in- 
fested our coast. These being too bulky to pursue small crafts into the shoal 
water of our bays and inlets, an appropriation was made by our general court 
for building and equipping a small vessel mounting 10 guns. This is known 
in our annab as the Province Galley. 

t From Newfoundland to France. 

X Formerly an important port 11 m. S. W. of Bayonne. Dept. of Baaso- 

S The Newport and the Soriings. 

354 Annual Meeting— 190Z. 

be endangering a crew to tryto take her back to France: and 
in fact 12 hoars after she was taken from me she sank with eight 
Englishmen who had been put aboard her to take her to Bos- 

In the above we have Baptiste's own account of his exploits 
from April 1694 to October 1695. 

In addition to this diffuse account which, though written in 
the first person is not signed by Baptiste, but seems to be a jour- 
nal kept by him, we have his " Proces- Verbal " or official re- 
port to the government, a shorter, and more formal document 
signed by himself and his second mate. The latter paper is 
most interesting, inasmuch as it is a f ao-simile of the original, 
which is in the French archives in Paris. 

While Baptiste was thus engaged the Sieur de Yillieu, captain 
of a detachment of the marines, had been sent to supersede 
Portneuf, a brother of Villebon, with orders to raise a war 
party against the English. 

We have his journal of his achievements, during that memor- 
able summer so disastrous to New England both on land and 

" It was the end of June," says Mr. Parkman, who follows 
exactly Villieu's account, " when Villieu and Father Thury 
with one Frenchman and a hundred and five Indians began 
their long canoe voyage to the English border. The savages 
were directed to give no quarter." 

The party, reinforced later by Father Bigot's Indians, 
amounting in all to 230, held a council to decide on the point 
of attack. 

On the 23d of July, Yillieu and others who were exhausted 
by hunger and fatigue, determined to strike at the nearest set- 
tlement, that of Oyster river, now Durham, N. H. Scouts re- 
ported the little settlement unguarded. You know the rest 

The village of farmhouses scattered along the stream — the silver 
moon wending silent to her setting — the calm, still air — ^the 
sleeping people— the savages in separate squads creeping stealth- 
ily nearer — the sudden dash, the yell, the shrieks, the anguish and 
horrible carnage. One hundred and four (mostly women and 
children) slaughtered, and twenty-seven captives. But the lit- 
tle settlement was not lacking in heroes. At the lower end of 
the village, Thomas Bickford, roused by the firing, hurried his 

♦ Doc. Rd., Vd. n, p. 135. 

TTie Adventures of Bofptivte. 355 

wife and children to his boat in the stream behind his house 
sent them down the river and went back alone to defend his 
hard-earned home. Mad with viotory the savage crew ap- 
proached. Undaunted, he fired at them, now from one loophole, 
then from another, shouting commands as if to a garrison, and 
fearlessly showing himself in a different hat, cap or coat success- 
ively in different parts of his house, in this way saving his fam- 
ily and his home. Some of the attaddng psurty, not yet satis- 
fied, set out on another ^^ excursion." 

" They mean," says Villieu in his relation, " to divide into 
bands of four or five, and knock people in the head by surprise, 
which cannot fail to produce a good effect." 

In the massacre of forty people at Groton they had their sat- 
isfaction. Yillieu, after what Mr. Parkman calls his detestable 
exploit, hastened to Quebec to warn Frontenao of a probable at- 
tack on that place. 

Thus we have from the principal actors, Baptiste and Yillieu, 
an account of their achievements by sea and land against Kew 
England at the same period — ^namdy from the spring of 1694 
through the summer of 1695. 

This success made Yillebon urge upon the home government 
an expedition against Pemaquid, under command of Bonaven- 
ture. He goes so far as to make a list of presents for the In- 
dians who may be employed in this service. Among them are 
^' 200 tufts of white feathers to designate them during the night 
in case of attack, and which will cost at most only 6 or 7 cen- 
times : to be selected in Paris by M. de Bonaventure." One 
smiles at the picture of that amiable gentleman selecting them 
in Paris at the Bon March6 of the period. Yillieu goes on to 
say that Pemaquid being captured, attacks could be made along 
the coast, and Baptiste and others could pilot the ship safely 
within sight of Boston. Commenting later on the massacre at 
Oyster river.* 

"This blow is very advantageous, because it breaks up all peace parleys, 
and we can count upon there being no end of resentment between our Indians 
and the English, who are in despair because they have slain even infants in 
the cradle. . . . The captures of the Sieur Baptiste are not only in them- 
selves advantageous, but they occupy nearly four hundred of the enemy in 
different boats to guard the coast, and as they are obliged to have a much 
larger number on land, because of the savages, they must succumb if the court 
will make any efforts to that end." 

* Doo. Rel., Yd. H, p. 158, letter of VOlebcm 19 Sept 1604. 

866 Annual Meeting— 190S. 

As to BonaveDtore's adventures after parting company with 
Baptiste, I know nothing. A letter from Champigny to the 
minister* states that the Bretonne did not touch at Pentagoet, 
much to the distress of the savages who thus failed of their im- 
mediate supplies, and that next year one may be sent who 
will better execute the king's orders. That the minister him- 
self was satisfied is proved by his appointing Bonaventure the 
next year to the command of the Envieux dispatched on similar 
service to Pentagoet and the river St John with orders to cruise 
later at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, to keep it clear of priva- 
teers for vessels bound for Quebec. 

In his instructions to Bonaventure the minister expresses 
the hope that the Sieur Baptiste will this time be more fortu- 
nate in keeping the prizes he may take, especially if Bonaven- 
ture has been able to set him right with his crew, which should 
be his duty. He also enquires whether Baptiste's corvette, 
given him last year by the king, is actually unfit to cross the 
ocean to France, as Baptiste has informed him, and finally he 
orders Bonaventure to continue to watch Baptiste, and inform 
him whether he is worthy of confidence, so that he may decide 
upon a proposition which those interested in the company have 
made to give Baptiste a frigate of 16 or 18 guns, and to share 
the expense. This was done. 

It would seem that about this time his fellow countrymen 
were beginning to observe Mr. Baptiste. Frontenac, vmting 
to M. de Lagny in November, 1695, says: 

"In former years on the testimony of M. de Vfllebon, I recommended the 
Sieur Baptiste to you. But within two or three months I have heard of some 
discourse of his a little before he pased into France which show his bad inten- 
lions. Moreover, I have been told that he has wives in several places in France 
and in HoUand, besides the one he has now in Port Royal. M. de Vaudreuil 
has assured me that he is acquainted with the one whom he married in France 
who is near his home in Languedoc." 

In the interval between his return to France after his release 
from Boston jail, and his appointment to the command of the 
Corvette, it is probable that Baptiste married the wife whom 
Vaudreuil knew in Languedoo. He must have left her in France 
when he sailed from La Kochelle, in the springtime of the year 
and of his life, to seek his fortune as a filibuster. 

* Doc. Rel. p. 162, Quebec, 24 Oct. 1694. 


Tht Adv&fitfures of Baptiste. 357 

Whether, as Frontenao declared, he married another wife in 
Port Boyal, thus verifying the adage that the sailor has a wife 
in every port, I cannot say. 

About to return to Acadia after reporting in France the loss 
of his ship ^^ Captain Baptiste, Acadian corsair, is granted his 
passage on one of His Majesty's vessels, with his wife, his 
daughter and two servants." * 

The Envieux and the Profond, on one of which Baptiste re- 
turned to Acadia in 1696, were a part of the fleet against Fort 
Pemaquid under the command of D'Iberville, one of the brav- 
est of the French commanders. On their way, D'Iberville and 
Bonaventure encountered the two English warships, the New- 
port, Capt. Paxton, and the Sorlings, Capt. Eames. 

Baptiste may have had a hand in this sea fight, in which the 
Newport was captured, — the Sorlings escaping in a fog. 

At Pentagoet [now Castine] they added to their forces Cas- 
tine and 240 of his Indians, together with the Sieur Yillieu, his 
lieutenant Montigny and twenty-five soldiers. With them and 
their prize, the Newport, they proceeded to Pemaquid, of which 
fort Yillieu had secretly made a plan on his memorable expe- 
dition ending in the tragedy at Oyster River. 

Immediately after the surrender of Pemaquid, D'Iberville 
sent a sloop to Boston to carry some of the soldiers of the fort, 
with Capt. Paxton and the sick men of his crew, under charge 
of seven of his own men, who were ordered not to stay over 
two days in Boston, Yillieu being left at Pentagoet with sixteen 
of the captured garrison, to attend to the expected exchange. 

As his messengers did not return, D'Iberville wrote to our 
governor, reproaching him for theu- detention. 

"I might have gone into your roads with my vessel and near 400 Indians, 
and had satisfaction for this injury, to the cost and Ruin of your colonies, but 
for the future, the slowness of your Council in determining affairs, shall be 
a reason for the French to take different measures. I have left Mr. Yillieu 
with 16 of your men, of whom Shute is one, as surety for the others. I have 
hastened this way for them to get out of prison, that soe they might not goe 
to Canada, .... and to give you roome to repair the injuries you have 
done yourself in delaying my men. It lyes only on you to doe it which is to 
lett them and the Guyons depart from you forthwith. I have ordered the 
Captain not to wait for your answer longer than the 17th of this month, after 
which they will be given to the Indians, who I do not doubt will treat them 
better than the English treat their prisoners.'' .... 

* Doc. Eel. II, p. 202, letter of the minister to M. de Begon, 22 Feb. 1606. 

358 Annual Meeting— 190S. 

While awaiting the return of D'lberville^s envoys, Villieu M 
in with Cyprian Sonthack with the Province Galley, to whom 
he wrote some spicy letters concerning the exchange. The first, 
dated the 7th of September (1696) and addressed to, — 

"M. Ciprien Comm 

La proyinoe de QaDe 

a son bold. 

I am veiy sony that we oamiot midentand one another, for I am permiaded 
that as we have returned to you fifty-five or six prisoners first I ought not to 
go any further to return the others, before you send back to me all the French- 
men that are on board your ships and this is my Resolution. But you may 
be assured that .... I shall not faile sending you your Englishmen 
as I promised Mr. Sayre. I also pray you to give a passport for Mr. Guyon 
and his ketch, that so he may go safely to some place belonging to the general 
government of Canada at his own choice. 

Be persuaded that I am your veiy humble and obedient servant, 


7th Sept 1096. At the Mount deserts." 

Southack's terms in reply, not being satisfactory to Yillieu, he 
writes again during the day, and again at 7 o'clock in the even- 
ing giving his vltimatum. 

He demands a passport for 40 days at least for Mr. Guyon to 
go with his ketch to the General Government of Canada, to 
any place he chooses. He demands also a man of Southack's 
crew named Louis, the restitution of some provisions, some can- 
dles and an hour-glass. 

The matter ended by the seizure of Yillieu and his men, 
among whom was one Pr^mond. 

The following statement made to the Gheneral Court by 
Caleb Ray, keeper of Boston Gaol, Nov. 28, 1696, explains 

"Among the said Prisoners there is one Capn Value a person of note con- 
cerning whose treatment the said Ray had a verball ordr from some of yor 
Honors that it should be very handsom and in a Generous way, which hithcoio 
has been accordingly attended with such Entertainement as cannot be af- 
forded und' Eight Shillings per weeke. The other of y« prisoners of warr 
-TT^ are more closely Confined then y® sd Valew, makes their Complaint that 
they want some fireing in this hard Season to render their Lives Comfortable 
amidst the hardships of prison Entertainment. . . . Ray in their behalf 
humbly desires that their Condition may be considered .... and that 
their weekly allowance may be stated .... woh the said Ray humbly 
conceives .... that in this Deare season of provisions it cannot in 

* Acts and Resolves, Mass. Bay, Vol. Vn, p. 546^ 

The AdverUi^es of Bo/pUste. 859 

any Tolerable way be done under f oure shillings per weeke for y^ meanest of 
ye prisoners and Eight shillings per wk for ye Captain." 

It appears that the Boston government remembering perhaps 
ViUieu's exploits at Oyster Eiver, was not inclined to treat him 
with undue distinction. Five shillings a week was allowed for 
his maintenance and 4 shillings for the French and Indian sol- 

The French account of Villieu's experiences is that " the Com- 
mander of the frigate .... made himself master of Sieurs 
Yillieu .... who is not to be accused of being taken by his 
own fault; for though he should have accepted the English 
Commander's offer of a passport for eight days, he would 
have required many more to go coastwise .... to the river 
St. John .... his passport would be useless to him after the 
expiration of that term .... they have detained him in a very 
confined prison, allowing him no communication with anyone. 
.... Pr6mond says that his prison was narrower and ruder 
than could be imagined ; in fact Pr6mond brought from him a 
sort of letter of credit written on a wretched scrap of paper with 
blood for want of ink." 

While these things were being done, our Major Church, then 
on his fourth expedition to the eastward was superseded by Colo- 
nel John Hathorne and ordered to assist E[athorne in attacking 
Villebon's fort at Nachouak* on the river St. John. An amusing 
and minute account of the siege of Naxouat, written by Ville- 
bon is among the Paris documents. He began his prepara- 
tions to receive the enemy on the 4th of October, 1696. On 
the 16th our whaleboats having proceeded up the river as far 
as Jemsec, he strengthens his defences, removes his powder 
magazine, and plies his men with plenty of food, and wine and 
brandy. On the morning of the 17th, he says, " I found we 
had nothing more to do but to enjoy ourselves and await the 
attack." At evening, while he was addressing his men, Bap- 
tiste appeared, and putting himself under Villebon's orders, 
was told to take command of the savages, and keep them at 
whatever points the English should attempt an attack, — not 
failing to send daily to headquarters for fresh orders. 

* Naxouat, opposite the present city of Fredericton. Villebon in the be- 
ginning of his government of Acadia built a fort at Naxouat, thinking that 
Port Royal might be retaken by the English and he might have there a re- 
treat inaccessible to the ''Boetonnais." 

360 Annttal Mee^in^— 1903. 

The attack began about 9 o'clock on the morning of the 18th, 
when Hathome's men landed on the opposite side of the liver, 
shouting "Long live our King" in answer to the " Vive le Eoi " 
of the French. A little way down the river Baptiste and his 
savages were fiercely fighting the English and their Indian allies. 
Though the night of the 18th was bitterly cold, the English raked 
by merciless grape-shot, were forced to put out their fires. The 
French began cannonading again at daybreak, the English lamely 
returning their fire at eight or nine o'clock. About seven 
o'clock that evening Yillebon heard them loading their boats, 
and if Baptiste could have made his Indians cross the river 
with him above Naxouat a complete victory would have resulted 
for the French. The English fled down the river, destroying 
scattered dwellings as they went, and the wind being in their 
favor, they took to their ships, and sailed out to the bay. 

We hear nothing more of Baptiste till his name appears on 
a list of men who at one time or another have been at Boston. 

A great attack on Canada was expected in the summer of 1697 
and the Minister warns Yillebon to be on his guard and ordered 
him " to keep Baptiste with him till further orders." This let- 
ter from Tibierge, the company's agent at Naxouat, gives us our 
last glimpse of Baptiste for the present. 

"Fort St Jean, 
Hay 5, 1697. 
Madame Baptiste arrived home yesterday evening. She came from down 
the river, where she had been to see her husband and this morning she brought 
letters to M. de Yillebon. . . . Sieur Baptiste set out from the mouth of 
the river the first of this mcmth to go privateering. He has one of the fishing 
boats which he formeriy took, and a crew of twenty-five men.'' 




That I may not be wholly absent from yon, my friends, on 
this, to me, day of days, I have found this Journal a convenient 
peg on which to hang a little free and easy, and, it may turn 
out, a personal converse with old companions assembled to cele- 
brate the anniversary we call Memorial Day. On such occar 

Dwighfs Journal a/nd Its Leadings, 361 

sions we are wont to gather ap scattered threads of experienoe 
or discovery, dark with sadness or bright with cheer; the 
tragic tale of witch or wizard ; the tradition or evidence of 
Indian inroad ; the early trials and sufferings of the widows 
and the fatherless, and their strong trust through it all in the 
God of Isaac and Jacob. And withal the lighter shades, the 
laughter and wit, the games and gayeties of blithesome youth, 
careless and free ; the common every-day incidents of home life, 
and every-day industries. These tiiousand and one things in 
the lives of our forbears are the very material needed for the 
pattern of the woof, as we are weaving the web of history — 
not yet adequately portrayed— of the heroes and heroines of 
the Connecticut valley. 

It is with such thoughts in mind that I come to you to-night. 
I shall have no definite theme or thesis other than the before- 
mentioned peg, but shall wander at will in highway or by-way, 
where any chance thread may appear to lead. The start will 
be from Memorial Hall, that storehouse wherein we gather the 
fruits of our industry for the benefit of our children and our 
children's children ; — for it is no selfish labor in which we are 

Through the thoughtful kindness of the Eeverend Melatiah 
E. Dwight, of New York, our library is the richer for the pos- 
session of a copy of Dwight's Journal. Mr. Dwight has rev- 
erently preserved this journal of his anoeetor in a fine quarto 
edition of twenty-five numbered copies, of which ours is the 
fifth. It was printed last year in New York. The value of 
this book to students in Provincial history may be guessed at 
from its published title : — 

" The Journal of Captain Nathaniel Dwight, of Belchertown, 
Mass., during the Crown Point Expedition, 1755. 

Containing an Account of the Battle of Lake Oeorge and of 
the Crown Point Expedition, of his Journey to Lake Greorge, 
and his services while stationed there, the men of his Company, 
the building of Fort William Henry and its dimensions; to 
which has been added a New Plan of that Fort." 

A large portico, you may say, for a small structure of only 
twenty-one pages. It is ; but, in addition, we will on this occa- 
sion read between the lines. Fort William Henry, on the dark 
debatable ground at the head of Lake George, every rood of 
which has witnessed a conflict between civilization and savagery, 

862 Annual Meeting— \90Z. 

if not actually planned and laid out by Oaptain Dwight, was 
certainly built with the assistance of himself and company, in 
October and November, 1755. Besides its historical importance 
as a military post, Fort William Henry will always be sur- 
rounded with the glamour of romance, which was thrown over 
it by the fascinating pen of J. Fenimore Cooper. Who that 
has read ^^ The Last of the Mohicans," in his Leather StockiDg 
Series, can ever forget the scenes at this fort, notably the 
truthfully told tragedy which befell the occupants, August 9, 
1757. It was an event which shocked the civilized world. How 
many Deerfield men were involved cannot be certainly told. 
At least eight were in the jaws of death in that ferocious 
butchery by the Indian allies of France, which followed the 
surrender of the fort. Honorable terms had been given, after 
a gallant defence against a superior power ; the massacre was 
in base violation of these terms. Sad stories long lingered 
around many a New England hearthstone concerning the hor- 
rors of that barbarous massacre, perpetrated under the very 
eyes of Montcalm and his French army. Not even the heroic 
death of Montcalm on the Heights of Abraham can wipe out 
this red stain upon his escutcheon. 

Captain Nathaniel D wight, like his father and grandfather, 
was a civil engineer. His name is often met with on old plans 
as the surveyor, and he was on occasions employed by Massa- 
chusetts and Connecticut in making official surveys and maps. 
In this journal Captain Dwight gives full field notes, all tiie 
metes and bounds from which the plan of the fortification here 
given was plotted, and also all the details of the interior works. 
Have we not, therefore, good reason to suppose that the fort 
was originally designed and laid out by our journalist ? He 
was at work upon it as early as October 9, and he says : ^^ Sun- 
day, November 9, 1 still work at the fort." Would a captain 
and an experienced engineer be set to work on the fort of a 
Sunday unless in some official capacity ? I doubt if the editor 
of this journal makes this claim in behalf of his ancestor as 
strongly as the facts warrant. 

Captain Dwight had in his make-up not only the blood of 
the engineer, but also that of the soldier. His grandfather, 
Captain Timothy Dwight, was comet of the " Three County 
Troop," at the Bay, and later a captain of foot, serving in 
Philip's war. On ten occasions he was out against the enemy, 

DwigMa Jowmal wad lU Leadings. 363 

and if tradition be trae, he killed or captured nine of the In- 
dians in that war. Captain Timothy was also prominent in 
civil life , ho ™ per«.Ly ^^U with Kl»| PhiUp, h... 
ing been twice commissioned by the town of Dedham to nego- 
tiate with him for the purchase of land ; he was also, as we 
shall see, prominently employed by Dedham in the settlement 
of Pocumtuck. 

Captain Nathaniel Dwight was bom and brought up in a 
family of military men ; his brother Timothy was a colonel ; 
Samuel, another brother, was a captain. Among the sons of 
his uncle Henry Dwight, were Brigadier-General Joseph; 
Colonel Josiah ; Colonel Simeon and Captain Edward. Their 
sister Lydia was the wife of Major Elijah Williams, the com- 
missary at Deerfield, when Captain Nathaniel Dwight marched 
there in September, 1765. Of Captain Dwight's children, 
Justice became a captain and Elijah a colonel His maternal 
grandfather. Colonel Samuel Partridge, was also of a distin- 
guished Massachusetts family. Through him Nathaniel in- 
herited the blood of the Rev. John Williams family. 

We learn by the journal that Captain Nathaniel Dwight left 
his home in Belchertown, September 22, 1755, with his com- 
pany, raised in Eastern Hampshire County, in order to rein- 
force the army under Sir William Johnson at Lake Gleorge. 
He marched " with a Desine to Dearefleld that Day, but went 
to Hatfield, there being some Difficulties by reason of some 
News from the Army." 

A few words about the war then in progress. In 1755 three 
grand movements were made against the enemy ; one to Pitts- 
burg, under Oeneral Braddock, with an army from England. 
Braddock was killed with most of his command. One to Os- 
wego, under Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, which ended 
in disaster. The third was against Crown Point, under Sir 
William Johnson. Late in August, Johnson learned from spies 
that a large army was on the march from Canada, and he 
called for reinforcements. September 6, the Massachusetts 
government responded, and ordered a levy of two thousand 
men for Johnson's army. The companies under Captain 
Dwight, and Captain William Lyman, were the quota from the 
regiment of Colonel Israel Williams, of Hampshire County. 

But the French did not wait for this reinforcement. They 
were heard from as marching on Fort Edward ; and September 

364 Annual Meeting— 190S. 

8, Johnson sent Colonel Ephndm Williams to find oat what 
they were about. He foond out. His ^lumn of one thousand 
men marched into an ambush, where the colonel fell, and his 
regiment was cut to pieces by the French and Indians under 
Bsuron de Dieakau. This was the ^^ Bloody Morning Scout" 
Dieskau, over-elated, pushed on against Johnson, attacked his 
camp at Lake George, was defeated, and was himself wounded 
and captured. Johnson was also wounded. September 25, 
Governor Shirley writes Johnson from Osw^o, urging him to 
push on to Crown Point ; if unable, by reason of his wound, to 
put Brigadier-General Phineas Lyman at the head of the army. 
This was the condition of affairs when Captain Dwight was 
diverted from his march to Deerfield, and went, as he says, to 
Hatfield on account of ^^ Difficulties by reason of some News 
from the Army.'* This difficulty may be inferred by the fol- 
lowing letter from Colonel Williams to Acting-Go vemor Phips: 

"Hathbld, Sept. 23, 1756. 
Sm, — Pursuant to y' Honors Orders, I have raised the Number of men 
appointed me to raise out of my Regiment to reinf oice the Army destined for 
Crown Point, who are ready, and here, would have been a Day forward on 
their March, had not some unexpected Difficulties appeared. Notwithstand- 
ing which, they will be on their March to-morrow. I am well assured from 
the Army that their provision is very short, some sorts entirely ap^it, and of 
those not quite gone, they have only from Hand to Mouth. 

Their Enemies are very numerous at Crown Point, and I nmke no Doubt 
will be well prepared for their Reception. The Event of these things, I leave 
to the Wise Govemour of the World. 

I am, in utmost Distress, 

Your Hcmor's most humble servt 

!«• WnuAMB." 

P. S. Some of the Officers in the County now going in the Exped ag* 
Crown Pt are very desirous y' Honour would appoint Mess" Moses Graves 
&.Elisha Pomroy, to aid and assist in getting Provisions from Albany, to 
Lake George. '^ 

I have fonnd a copy of a letter which was undoubtedly ex- 
pressed to Colonel WUliams, and it explains his assurance : 

''Manor LnrmasTONB, Sept. 22, 1755. 
Mr. Em [m^ble]. 

Sir, — I just received a letter from Colo Wendell, desiring me to supi^ 
you with a peroell of Bread for your Forces & with other necessaries you might 
want for them that your Government was sending 2,000 men. This I would 
willingly do, but at present not in my power, having sent all my Bread to 
Gov. Shirley & 320 head of Cattle, & am to send him 130 head more, w^ will 
be very difficult for me to git, so that I can neither assist you with Bread or 

DwighVs J(ywrnal and Its Leadmgs. 365 

Beef at this time, but sh^ you want Bread next spring I would supply you 
with a Quantity of it, on timely notice. 

I heartily wish our troops all the desired success, but I fear its too late 
in the season to do any great matters this year. I remain with reepect, sir. 

Your most humble ser^, 


Bat even with this supply, Governor Shirley writes from 
Oswego September 24, that he is ^^ hindered by want of provi- 

The distress of Colonel Williams, expressed in his letter, was 
shared by the community. The French were working with 
energy and success for the conquest of the country. A dark 
cloud was settling over New England ; the only bright spot on 
the horizon this year was the success of Sir William Johnson at 
Lake George, September 8. This, however, was in eclipse here 
by reason of the great local loss. Fear rather than hope con- 
trolled, as a new consignment of our young men went forth to 
the bloody arena. 

After a day's delay at Hatfield, Captain D wight and his men 
marched to Deerfield, September 24. They had passed through 
Hadley, but the myth of the repulse of the Indians by the regi- 
cide Gk>ffe had not then been invented. They had been shown 
the scenes of the Indian attacks on Hatfield, and had looked 
upon the swelling mounds over many a victim. With varying 
emotions they traversed the line of Lothrop's fatal march, and 
the scene of the First Encounter ; they passed at Bloody Brook 
a monument marking the site of the Lothrop massacre ; and at 
the Bars, the field where ten years before Samuel Allen died 
the death of a hero in the defense of his young children against 
savage ferocity. When they reached Deerfield in the gloaming, 
the air was tUck with stories of the horrors of February 29, 
1704. This was a day of experience to daunt the weak and 
nerve the daring. 

At Deerfield four men, at least, joined the company of Cap- 
tain Dwight, raising the number to sixty-five. One of them. 
Sergeant John Hawks, the hero of Fort Massachusetts, was 
his lieutenant. Dwight's company was billeted in Deerfield 
Street ; the captain lodged that night with Major Elijah Wil- 
liams, a son of the "Redeemed Captive," in the house now 
standing on the Old Albany Boad. Here supplies awaited 
them, powder, lead, and flints, which had been carted 
from Boston; blankets, knapsacks, bullet bags, worms and 

866 Annual Meeting— 190Z. 

wires, tin oamp kettles and hatchets, which came np the Con- 
necticut by boat. These were landed at Sunderland, and were 
forwarded to Deerfield, September 23. On the 25th, the soldiers 
drew their marching outfit from the commissary at the ^' Old 
Comer Store " which stood on the southeast comer of the old 
Parson Williams lot. Captain Dwight drew for himself five 
extra kettles. 

In the meantime, Captain William Lyman, of Northampton, 
with a company raised in western Hampshire, had arrived to 
join Captain Dwight in the same service. He was supplied by 
the commissary at the same time and place. Fourteen men 
were here added to this company by Major Williams, from his 
own command, raising it to fifty-nine men. The names of these 
fourteen men are : Samuel Smith, Daniel Kellogg, John East- 
man, John Clary, Elisha Hubbard, Joseph Lyman, Jr., Jonathan 
Russell, Charles Wright, David Smith, Nathaniel Coleman, Eben- 
ezer Marsh, Jr., Jonathan Warner, John MiUer, Peter Smith. 
At the close of a busy day. Captain Dwight went over to Green- 
field and spent the night with his old Belchertown pastor, Bev. 
Edward Billings, who had recently been settled there in the 
ministry. In the morning Mr. Billings rode over to Deerfield 
with his guest, to bid him godspeed on his perilous way. 
Thereby hangs a tale. 

September 26, 1755, was a day of high excitement in Deer- 
field. Early in the morning 124 men in marching order, armed 
and equipped for conflict with the French and Indians, were 
paraded on the Street near the meetinghouse. Captain Dwight 
makes record that " after prayer to almighty God for preserva- 
tion in our journeying through the wilderness and success and 
victory over the Enemies, and a Safe return. Performed by 
Mr. Billings in Deerfield Street, I marched out of Deerfield.'' 
Dwight does not tell us why this service of prayer was not held 
in the meetinghouse instead of the Street, and why it was not 
conducted by Mr. Ashley, the minister of Deerfield, as we might 
naturally expect. But that is a story which must be read be- 
tween the lines. 

The imminent danger from the united French and Indians 
did not weld the community, as it should have done, into 
a solid harmonious whole. There was another war raging 
in the Province. The foreign war ended with the conquest of 
Canada ; the other conflict, like the poor, we have always with 

IhoigkPB Jowmal a/nd Its Zeadmga. 867 

us. It was a theological war. There were intrioate, fine-drawn, 
metaphysical knots to be tied, or untied ; time-hallowed super- 
stitions to be cherished or combated. The fire and sword of the 
enemy was to many of comparatively small importance, being 
but temporary ; while in the other matter consequences of eter- 
nal import were supposed to be involved. At this time the 
storm center was at Northampton ; the Jonathan Edwards con- 
troversy was at its height. Mr. Ashley was a leader in the 
ranks of those opposing Mr. Edwards, and he had even dared, 
not long before, to preach a sermon against him in his own pulpit 
in Northampton. This sermon was published and can be found 
in our library. On the other hand, Eev. Mr. Billings had been 
all along a warm defender of Edwards. Captain Dwight had 
joined the church of Mr. Edwards at the age of twenty-one. 
When Dwight removed from Northampton to Belchertown, he 
was transferred to the fold of Mr. Billings, with whom he was 
in full sympathy. Here, then, is the explanation of the im- 
ported chaplain and the service in the Street. 

Mr. Ashley was at that time comparatively popular in Deer- 
field, and a guard of three soldiers had recently been detailed 
to garrison his house. On the occasion in question, the pastor 
was doubtless conspicuous by his absence, and we may imagine 
Deacon Childs and Deacon Field, aghast at the boldness of 
Captain Dwight in bearding the lion at the very mouth of his 
den, standing aloof, or perchance prolonging their morning 
prayers beyond the hour for the march, to testify against the 
affront put upon their pastor. If tradition may be trusted, 
we may think of Major Williams as secretly enjoying the 

Aside from all this, however, we may be sure that many 
another petition for Divine protection, beside that of Mr. Bil- 
Ungs, must have gone up as these young men, of the choicest 
blood of the valley, went forth into the wilderness to meet and 
drive back an enemy then drenching the frontiers with the 
blood of men, women, and children. Many had gathered to 
bid a tearful farewell — it may be a last one — ^to sons, brothers, 
or lovers. Captain Dwight cannot look unmoved upon these 
partings. He must call to mind his wife and family of young 
children, — the youngest a boy of two years, — and a feeble 
mother of eighty. We see lieutenant H^wks passing from 
group to group bidding them be hopeful and of good cheer. 

368 Aminal MeeUnff— 1908. 

He had met the savage hordes face to face, aye, and the French- 
men, too, and is eager to do the same agam and pay off old 
scores, as he eventually does. His cousin, Zadock Hawks, 
whose sister Submit was torn from her home three months be- 
fore and is now a captive in savage hands, bravely responds, is 
erect, alert, manly, while young Mary Bardwell turns timor- 
ously away to hide her emotions and her maidenly tears. Abi- 
gail Bardwell, her cousin, is taking a tender and solemn farewell 
of Samuel llAttoon, the young surgeon, whose bride fortune 
wiUs her to be within the year. But Dorothy Stebbins openly 
clings with convulsive sobs to Lawrence Kemp, until her father, 
who had himself borne for years the bitterness of an Indian 
captivity, takes her away and comforts her as best he can, when 
the drum beats the march. Abner Arms is the center of an- 
other group. Phineas Arms, his cousin and daily companion 
from infancy, had fallen by a bullet from an Indian ambush at 
Charlemont three months before. We see William and Doro- 
thy Arms look upon Abner with yearning eyes and pained 
hearts, as they commend him to the care of the Most High, 
praying that he may be spared the fate of their lost one whose 
grave he will pass before the setting sun. 

Light sketches like these shed but a faint gleam upon the 
reality of scenes enacted all along the frontiers by our fore- 
fathers and foremothers during the days and years of French 
and Indian warfare-— scenes which will wring the heart and 
blanch the cheek of woman so long as hell-bom war poUutes 
God's earth. 

Captain Dwight calls, " Attention I " The resounding drum- 
beat stirs the air ; the piercing note of the fife stirs the blood. 
" March 1 " and the two companies file past the Old Comer 
Store, down the Albany Boad, and wade the Pocumtuck River 
at the " Old Ford." The measured throb of the drum grows 
fainter and more faint, and is lost on the listening ear as the 
soldiers climb the hill and disappear on the heights beyond 
"Little Hope." With these ominous words on their hearts, 
those who had followed to the river for a very last word joined 
those who had lingered about the Comer Store, and all soon 
scattered to attend, as best they could, the imperative call of 
duty to labor and to wait. 

Meanwhile Captain Dwight pushed rapidly on through the 
woods northwest by the compass, and striking the Pocumtuck 

Dwighiffs Jottmal wnd Its Lecbdings. 869 

at the Falls, the soldiers receive a cheering welcome from its 
dashing waters, with a promise to guide them on their winding 
way. So with the gleaming river on their left they march up 
the valley ; greet Deerfield friends at Taylor's Fort, but do not 
bide ; pass Rice's Fort, and the not yet grass-grown graves of 
Moses Rice and Phineas Arms ; onward, until darkness falls 
upon them at Hawks's Fort, where more Deerfield friends gladly 
welcome the weary soldiers, and, as best they may, entertain 
them for the night. The second day's march takes the band 
over the Hoosac Mountain to Fort Massachusetts, where nine 
years before, that man of heroic mold, John Hawks their 
lieutenant, had won an imperishable fame. 

A word of this in passing. In August, 1746, Sergeant 
Hawks was in charge of the fort with twenty-one men, three 
women, and six children. Eleven of the men were on the sick 
list, and, writes Chaplain John !(Torton, '^ scarcely one of us in 
perfect health." With this force and thus handicapped the 
brave and resourceful sergeant defied and fought seven hundred 
and fifty French and Indians — ^more than thirty against one — 
repelling all assaults of the infuriated foe for twenty-eight 
hours, and until their ammunition gave out. They then capitu- 
lated on honorable terms. This was also familiar ground to 
Captain Lyman, for he had been in command here after the 
fort had been rebuilt in 1748. 

As this talk is largely of Deerfield and the D wights, we will 
turn the leaves backward, and we shall see that Captain Na- 
thaniel was by no means the first of his name to make connec- 
tion between the two. In the spring of 1664, one Dwight, 
Henry by name, was sent out by Dedham to find a place where 
she could locate her " 8,000- Acre Grant." He reported 
nothing satisfactory, but he was the first Dwight connecting 
Deerfield with the Dedham Grant. In September of the same 
year a party of four men was despatched on the same errand. 
Timothy Dwight was one of the four. They came to the 
Pocumtuck valley, returned with a favorable report, and were 
sent back with a compass and chain. In May, 1665, they re- 
port the Grant located, and present a plan of the same to the 
General Court. So early was Surveyor Dwight, the grandsire 
of Captain Nathaniel, linked with our town. As you know. 
Major John Pynchon bought the tract so laid out, of the In- 
dians who laid claim to it, in 1666. The deeds to show this 

370 Annual Meeting— 1908. 

transaction are in onr library. The pay waa almost equal to 
the real estate price current among the English. Of this tract 
Timothy Dwight was granted 150 acres in payment for his 
services in the preliminary work of the settlement of Pocum- 
tuck. Here I beg your indulgence in introducing a personal 
matter, — my interest in this grant. Captain Timothy Dwight 
sold this land to Rev. John Russell, the fearless and true-hearted 
protector of the regicides Gk>ffe, Whalley and Dix well at Hadley. 
From Mr. Russell it passed to one of my ancestors two hundred 
years ago, and I take pride in saying that a part of it has never 
been alienated from the blood, and is now in my hands. But I 
have even a more lively sense of connection with Captain 
Dwight. By virtue of his being a citizen of Dedham he drew a 
homestead on the town plot in 1671. This he sold, with the 
above-mentioned 150-acre grant, to Mr. Russell, and it has come 
down to me in the same line as the above. It is the old Shel- 
don lot at the North End, where I was bom and lived for more 
than threescore years and ten. Captain Timothy also owned 
another home lot with which I have personal interest. It is that 
where my very great-grandfather, David Hoyt, lived on that 
disastrous day in Feb., 1704, and whence he was led to a death 
by starvation in the wilderness. I hope you will consider these 
associations a fair excuse for bringing in this personal equation. 

In July, 1698, there was in Deerfield another Henry Dwi^t, 
a brother of Captain Timothy, and later himself a captain. He 
was one of the troopers who made the night march from Deer- 
field to Pomroy's Island, and rescued Samuel Dickinson from 
his Indian captors. 

When Father Rasle's war broke out, Deerfield was on the 
exposed northwest frontier, and a just sense of fear pervaded the 
air; it was a glad sight when another Captain Timothy Dwight 
marched into the Street, February 8, 1724, with a party of sol- 
diers, and workmen with teams. He was on his way to build 
a fortification for the protection of the frontier, right in the 
path of northern invasion. This was later named Fort Dam- 
mer. Captain Dwight, while in command of this fort, was in 
close touch with our town. Part of his stores were kept here 
by Captain Jonathan Wells — the same, by the way, to whom 
the children of Deerfield placed a granite monument in the 
memorable Old Home Week of 1901, thus linking themselves 
to the historic past. 

Dwigh£% Journal and Its Leadmga. 871 

Captain Nathaniel Dwight was not the first of his name to 
visit the Old Comer Store on official business. Three years 
before, his ooasin, Colonel Josiah Dwight, of Northampton, com- 
missioned by the governor, called upon his brother-in-law. Major 
Williams, ^e commissary. He was a messenger sent to make 
a friendly visit to the Mohawks and bear them a present He 
and his fellow commissioner here bought a large bill of calico, 
garlic, and other dry goods to bestow upon their dusky allies to 
keep them neutral, during the impending war. Largess flowed 
lavishly from either side, and the shrewd Mohawks valued the 
friend^p of their English or French '^brothers" according to 
which had the longest purse. Finding they could get more 
goods by deceiving both sides, they remained neutral through 
the war. So the calico and the garUc from the Old Comer Store 
served for a good end. 

The first wife of Major Elijah Williams was Lydia Dwight, a 
cousin germain to Captain Nathaniel. The Mrs. Williams by 
whom he was entertained September 24, 1755, was a sister-in-law 
to his cousin Joseph Dwight. The wife of Captain Jonas Locke, 
who led the Deerfield Minute Men to Boston on the Lexington 
alarm, April 20, 1775, was Mary, the daughter of Colonel Joseph 
Dwight of Brookfield. Captain Locke lived at the Bars, in tike 
house later the home of one whom Deerfield delights to honor, 
George Fuller, the artist. We may think of Jonas, not yet 
Captain, and Mary, his wife, as going up to the Street to greet 
cousin Nathaniel, and talk over family matters and the military 
affairs of the country. 

As Captain Dwight and his men, with faces set sternly west- 
ward, marched down the Albany Eoad, they were watched by 
Anna Williams, a Deerfield lass of twelve years, with more 
than general interest. They were bound to the very field where 
her uncle. Colonel Ephraim Williams, had fallen in the Bloody 
Morning Scout, eighteen days before. Her father, who was a 
surgeon in the ill-fated regiment of his brother, escaped unhurt, 
and it was he who had dressed the wounds of the captured French 
general. Baron de Dieskau. Zadock Hawks, a neighbor across 
the way, was doubtless burdened with messages of affection and 
solicitude from the wife and daughter. Anna's interest would 
have been more intense had she known that Elijah Dwight, a 
kinsman of the stalwart leader, would become her husband, and 
that the twain would found a distinguished family in the very 

872 Annual Meeting— 190B. 

region towards which he was then faring, and that in the ooorse 
of events, she, as Madam Dwight, would have the satisfaction 
of entertaining the captive General Burgoyne, while on his 
march over the Berkshire hills from Saratoga^ where he had been 
intercepted by General Gates. 

Diana Hinsdale, another young girl whose home overlooked 
the Common, saw the departure of the soldiers. Can it be that 
the bearing of the gallant leader impressed her young head with 
the idea that he would make an ideal father-in-law ? Hardly, 
at her age ; but her fortune was so shaped that she became the 
the wife of his son, another Elijah D wight, of Belchertown. 

The bride was a granddaughter of Mehuman Hinsdell, the 
first white man bom in Deerfield. The ring which was the 
pledge of their union is now back in the home of her childhood. 
That, and her father's silver watch, are among our choice treas- 
ures in Memorial Hall. 

In the years following the date of this journal, the name of 
Dwight, borne by men and women, is often met with in the 
social circles of Deerfield. In one of the strenuous events of 
the Eevolution, the dismission of the Tory parson, William 
Dwight, appears on the council Within two or three years a 
young Timothy Dwight was engaged to preach in the South 
precinct. Later he was evolved into the distinguished theo- 
logian, author, and president of Tale College. He was of the 
same Northampton stock as Captain Nathaniel, the journalist. 

Thomas Asa Gates, a minuteman under Captain Jonas Locke, 
married Margaret Dwight, of Belchertown, probably daughter 
of Captain Nathaniel, although she may have been a sister of 
Mary Dwight, wife of Captain Locke. 

In the revival of business that followed the dose of the 
Eevolutionary War, when Conway was the largest town in 
Western Massachusetts, Deerfield was in the fore front of bus- 
iness for the Connecticut valley. A deep felt want was for better 
facilities for transportation, and a movement was here started 
for an improvement in the navigation of the Connecticut River, 
the main channel of communication with the commercial world. 

John Williams, a son of Major Elijah the commissary, and 
Jonathan Dwight, a kinsman of Captain Nathaniel, were two 
of a commission of three men who built two of the earliest canals 
in the country — those at South Hadley and Turners Falls. 

In another important and lasting enterprise, Deerfield was 

Dwighfa Jov/mal and lU Leadinga. 873 

agaiii in tonoh with the Dwights. In 1824, the town voted 
that the new meetinghouse to be erected should be patterned 
after that ^^ recently built at Springfield by Jonathan D wight, 
Esq. " Among the judicial officers of Franklin County, in 1853, 
is found the name of William Dwight of Deerfield. Last, but 
not least, we note that William Dwight, M. D., of Amherst, be- 
comes a member of our Association in 1889. And so at last) 
the peg on which I have hung my line of Dwights to-night, is 
driven home in Memorial Hall. 

^^ But there are others," and there is another word to be said 
about the soldiers mustered on Deerfield Street, September 26, 
1755, for the march to Lake George. I have before said that 
Captain William Lyman, a brother-in-law of Captain Dwight, 
with his conmiand, was of that force. Like Captain Dwight, 
he, too, was of a fighting stock. And no more than Captain 
Dwight was Captain Lyman, the first to connect his name with 
Deerfield, or the first of his name to walk Deerfield Street in 
martial array. On the memorable night of May 18, 1676, his 
grandfather, John Lyman, led a company of volunteers from 
Northampton over the very ground where Captain William 
paraded. He was under Captain William Turner on that seem- 
ingly reckless enterprise when the fated leader resolutely 
marched through the black woods and the midnight storm, 
and in the dawning light snatched victory out of danger at 
Turners Falls. Eighteen years later Richard Lyman, a garrison 
soldier, another ancestor, was wounded in repelling an assault 
made on this very acre, by Baron Castine and his Canadian 

About the 6th of June, 1704, while Deerfield Street was still 
clothed in garments of sackcloth and ashes, Caleb Lyman, of 
Northampton, uncle of Captain William, followed the trail his 
father John made through Deerfield, twenty-eight years be- 
fore, and out into the lone forest still stretching away to 

He was on that famous scout to Cowass with his Mohegans, 
which created such a sensation in Canada, and which was such 
a prominent factor in shaping for years the events of the frontier 
warfare. Caleb tarried in desolate Deerfield only long enough 
to receive the blessings of Captain Jonathan Wells, and his ensign 
John Sheldon, and to draw marching rations of raw salt pork 
at the fort. The scout had hardly disappeared in the north 

874 Annual Jieeting— 1908. 

when Wells learned that the woods were fall of Indian war par- 
ties, and he feared that Lyman was sorel J marohing to his doom. 
Lyman learned it, too, but thanks to his knowledge of wood- 
craft and to his trusty aUies, his mission was executed and he 
returned in safety. At Oowass, Lyman might have seen the 
bleaching bones of my great-great-grandfather, David Hoy t, a 
victim of February 29, who had died there of starvation, a 
month before. 

Here I again beg once more to introduce the personal element 
Brave Caleb Lyman was connected by marriage with the 
Sheldons; the ^e of his oldest brother, John Lyman, was 
Mindwell, sister to Ensign John Sheldon. Moses Lyman, his 
nephew, married another Mindwell Sheldon, a niece of Ensign 
John, all of Northampton. At the time of this scout. Ensign 
Sheldon was meditating a journey through the wilderness to 
Canada in the coming winter, in search of his captive children, 
and it is easy to imagine his eager inquiries of Caleb, on his 
return, concerning woodcraft and the wiles of the Indians, 
gaining from him information which was soon to be of vitally 
practical importance in his knightly quest. 

I like to think of these two hard-headed, hard-working 
farmers, talking over the chances of life or death on sach an 
adventurous journey. Caleb had barely escaped starvation in 
summer weather ; what were the odds against John in the cold 
and snow of winter I But as they sat by the desolate hearth 
stone in the Old Indian house, and only silence answered the 
listening ear, the bereaved husband and father felt that no odds 
were too great to be attempted in the effort to bring back his 
scattered, motherless children. He could but lose that whidi 
was of little value to him else, and his purpose held him fast. 
You all know the results. 

During Father Basle's war, Joseph Lyman, an older brother 
of Captain William, was employed by the government as a Post 
Bider. This occupation, if less conspicuous and less blazoned 
than that of the soldier, was not less hazardous. While on his 
lonely trips over the long trails stretching through the dark 
forests and bosky swamps, to and from the Bay, with news of 
the latest Indian raid, or orders from the governor to the fron- 
tier posts, he was liable at any time to meet a band of prowling 
savages. It happened in September, 1725, just thirty years 
before the advent of his brother, he rode through De^eld 

DwighPs Journal cmd It$ Leadings. 375 

Street with 800 pounds in bis custody^ sent by tbe governor to 
Captain Timotby Dwight at Fort Dammer to pay off bis men. 
Josepb doubtless stopped to bait his horse and see his cousins 
at the Old Indian house. He executed his trust and returned 
to its shelter in safety. 

Joseph Lyman, Jr., who enlisted at Deerfield and marched 
under Captain William Lyman, in 1755, was doubtless son of 
tbe post rider. Whatever of romance may have attended this 
affair is hopelessly lost. 

Captain William Lyman of the journal was a nephew of one 
Mind well Sheldon, mentioned above, and cousin to the other. 
His wife, Jemima Sheldon, was connected with both. Un- 
doubtedly Captain Lyman, while waiting for supplies at Deer- 
field, called to see his relatives in the Old Indian house. One of 
these was my grandmother Sheldon. Seventy-four years ago 
she might have told me about this visit, seventy-four years before 
that, and the impression made on her young life by the appear- 
ance of Captains Lyman and Dwight and their men. She was 
then eight years old. So near do I come in contact with the 
special event round which my remarks are revolving. She may 
have seen her grandfather, lieutenant Jonathan Hoyt, shoulder 
his crutch and tell how fields were won, or, in more homely 
phrase, give the boys points about fighting the Indians, amongst 
whom he had been a captive for years. 

Captain William Lyman, bom in 1715, was son of lieuten- 
ant Benjamin, of Northampton. His mother was Thankful 
Pomroy, of the family of Medad Pomroy, the first recorder of 
Pocumtuck. One of his sisters, Hannah Lyman, was the wife of 
his comrade, Captain Nathaniel Dwight The Lymans, 
Dwights, Pomroys, and Sheldons of the Connecticut valley are 
mixed up in almost innumerable marriages. I will notice only 
the issue of Captain William. 

Captain Dwight says in his journal that at the end of the 
campaign the Massachusetts forces marched home under Major- 
Gen. Phineas Lyman, — a second cousin of Captain William, — i 
and that they left Fort William Henry Nov. 27, and reached 
Deerfield Dec. 8, at noon. So this march from the head of 
Lake George to Deerfield was made in six and a half days ; the 
half day was from Taylor's fort in Charlemont. Dwight says 
of one day : " It was the worst of all traviling." The next 
day he says : ** We came Down to Saritogo Eiver Striped and 

876 Atmual JUeeUng— 1908. 

waded throagh in Ice and Water." Nine miles more and they 
were in the midst of a winter rain. Dec. 1 was a ^' cold Sower 
Snowblast Day/' '^ anker Ice in the river and Brooks, " and 
more of the like. But what recked these hardy men for cold, 
or ice, or snow 1 They were homeward bonnd. We find no 
delay at Deerfield, and so Captain Lyman would be at home 
the same night, and his steps would grow lighter at the end of 
each of the sixteen miles. We must imagine how welcome he 
was to the eyes of Jemima, who within the week gave birth 
to William, their first boy. 

Captain William Lyman and Jemima Sheldon raised a notable 
family. Their first son became prominent in both the military 
and the civil life of the country. He was a general in the 
United States army and was a member of Congress. He was 
also in the United States diplomatic service in England. 

He died in London about 1810, and was buried in Gloucester 

Cornelius, the second son, ranked high among his f ellovTs and 
was a captain in the Continental line, or the United States army, 
or both. 

Samuel, another son, also bore the title of captain, but in 
what service I cannot say. He married Mary, the only child 
of General Joseph Warren, of Bunker Hill renown and lament 
Captain Samuel Lyman was living in Greenfield at the time of 
his death, but his grave is in Northampton. His widow mar- 
ried Judge Bichard £. Newcomb, a predecessor of Judge 
Thompson. Their only child was Joseph Warren Newcomb, 
who married Sarah Wells Alvord, of Greenfield. Their only 
son bore the name of his father. A few years ago the news- 
papers were telling the romantic story of his marriage to a 
great-granddaughter of General Israel Putnam, the commander 
at Bunker HUL 

As all roads lead to Bome, so, as you know, all roads that I 
travel, like this among the Lymans and the D wights are very 
apt to lead to our Memorial HalL It will therefore be no sur* 
prise to hear that among our treasures are several pieces of In- 
dia china that were a part of the household goods of Captain 
Samuel and Mary Warren Lyman. And I may here note that 
from our collection can be grouped, in pleasant association 
with the above china, a carving knife and fork which belonged 
to Captain Seth Lyman of Bevolutionary fame, and a punch 

D\mgh£% Journal wad lU Leadings. 877 

bowl from the family of Caleb Lyman, out of the oapacious 
depth of which many a Eevolutionary veteran has been re- 
freshed. Seth and Caleb were both cousins of Captain SamneL 

November 3, 1774, in the times when men were tried as in a 
famaoe, a Fast was ordered by the Massachusetts ^^Committee of 
safety.'' Parson Ashley, of Deerfield, would have none of it, 
and another Joseph Lyman, a true Whig, appeared in the meet- 
inghouse on the old Common and conducted the service of that 
day. Six years later he was again in Deerfield; he was then 
concerned in the council called to dismiss Parson Ashley, in 
May, 1780. Ashley died before the matter came to a conclusion, 
and Parson John Taylor was installed in his place. 

Deerfield Academy had been organized, a building erected, 
and January 1, 1799, it was dedicated; the same Joseph Lyman 
preached the dedication sermon and the academy was formally 
opened. And here we are again at home. The preacher was 
one of the trustees, and later Benjamin Lyman was made precep- 

In 1806 Parson Taylor asked a dismissal on account of fail- 
ing health, and Dr. Lyman was called to take part in the ofBicial 
action for dissolving his connection with the church. Once 
more, when Samuel Willard was called to fill the vacant pulpit, 
Dr. Lyman was one of the council for ordination. 

Other Lymans also have their names connected with Deerfield. 
When Cheapside was the head of river navigation for this 
region, and John Williams, son of Major Elijah the commissary^ 
with David Saxton, General Epaphras Hoyt, Captain Elisha 
Mack, Captain Jonas Locke, and other Deerfield men, were 
struggling to increase the traffic on the Connecticut by dams 
and canals, Elias Lyman and his brother, Justice Lyman of the 
Northampton tribe, just in the nick of time, were active in send- 
ing fall boats to trade at Cheapside, the Deerfield port of entry, 
exchanging foreign goods for the productions of our farms and 
shops, one of the latter being that of Augustus Lyman, the 
blacksmith, on the Dr. Porter lot. 

On our beautiful and historic Common stands an impressive 
pile. It is elegant in design, artistic in execution, fitting for its 
purpose. It is eloquent in its teaching — a memorial for service 
and sacrifice erected by a grateful people. Upon its sides are 
emblazoned, as upon their country's shield, the names of those 
from Deerfield who fell in the late Civil War. 

378 Annual MeeHng— 1903. 

Standing where Oaptain Lyman stood when calling the roD 
of his sturdy men in line, awaiting the order to march for the 
defense of threatened New England, September 26, 1755, one 
might read the names and call the roll of those sons of Deerfield 
who died that the Union might live, one and indivisible. 
Among the unheard voices responding to the call would be 
that of young Henry Lyman. 

The grave of Oaptain William Lyman is at Northampton. 
On the gray slab at its head one may read : — 

The wife and the Just, the pious and the braTe» 
Lire in their death, and flourieh in the grave. 






1903, 9.80 A. M. 

Servioes in oommemoration of the Bi-Centennial of the Mas- 
sacre at Deerfield by the French and Indians, Febroary 29th, 



President of the Day, Hon. Obobob Shbldon. 
Assistant, Judob F&anois M. Thompson. 
Chief Marshal, Euobnb A. Nbwcomb. 
Assistant Marshal, William P. Saxton. 
Chairman Entertainment Committee, John H. Stbbbinb. 

Obdbb of Exbboisbs. 

1. Mnsio. 

2. Ebynotb of THB Dat. Hon. Gtoorge Sheldon 

3. Invocation. Bev. Bichard E. Birks 

4. Addbbss of Wbloomx. Hon. Herbert C. Parsons 

5. Singing under the direction of Charles H. Ashley. 

6. Historical Addbbss — The Colonial Conquest. Dr. Edwin A* 



880 Fidd Meeting— 190S. 

7. Dedioatioh of Memorials. Lyman Whiting, D. D. 

Tablets in Memorial Hall ; 

to Zbohariah Fibld, by Marshall Field of Chicago 

to Nathaniel Sutoliffe, by B. H. Sutliflfe of Conn. 

to Godfrey Nims, by Franklin A. Nims of Colo. 

to Sampson Feaey, by Levi P. Morton of New Tort 
Bowlder at the Bars 

to Samuel Allen, by his descendants. 

8. CoBNET Solo. Maj. Frank Hntchins 


Basket Picnic. Coffee provided for alL 

9. The Deerfield members of the Grand Army will lead the 

march to the Old Burying Ground, where, at the grave 
of The Dead of 1704, there will be music and an address 
by Miss C. Alice Baker. 
Betum to the stockade and assemble at the roll of the 

10. Addresses by Hon. Alfred S. Koe of Worcester. 

John B. White, Pres. Ohio Historical Society. 
Arthur Lord, Pres. Pilgrim Society of Plymouth. 

11. Music. 

12. Addresses by Gen. Francis H. Appleton, Boston, Yice- 

Pres. Essex Institute. 
Dr. Henry D. Holton, Brattleboro, Yt. 
Dr. Edward Hitchcock, Dean of Amherst College. 
Prof. Francis B. Denio, Bangor, Me. 
Frederick G. Bauer, Old South Historical Society. 
Hon. Kittredge Haskins, M. C, Brattleboro, Yt 
Dr. Frederic Corss, Kingston, Pa. 
B. H. Sutliffe, Plymouth, Conn., and members of the As- 

The Martha Pratt Memorial Building will be open for the use 
of visitors. 

Committbe of Asrangements : 
Mb. and Mbs. George Sheldon, Mbs. Madeline Y. Wynne, 
Mb. John J. Gbeenouoh, Mb. John Sheldon, Mb. William 
L. Habbis. 

Mdd Meeting— 190S. 381 


To^ay, Deerfield has had a worthy exposition of its history 
and its hospitality, each of the typical New England sort The 
historic event celebrated was one of the few which in the 
long range are sure of permanence in the common mind, for 
the Deerfield massacre will never be forgotten so long as the 
story of the New England frontier has interest. To-day's hos- 
pitality was a part of the observance of Old Home Week, and 
no town has better claim upon widely scattered sons and 

The celebration may be said to have begnn with the first 
hours of the week, as the Sunday services in the old church, 
with its much older weather cock and its still more ancient 
traditions, took on a special character. To-day the Pocumtuck 
Yalley Memorial Association in its annual field day commemo- 
rating the sacking of the town in 1703-4, brought an array of 
speakers of even unusual number and quality. 

The center of the site of the old stockade was the scene of 
the principal exercises, with an interesting departure from it to 
the old burying ground, where the mound that marks the 
graves of the victims of the massacre was the center of impres- 
sive services. There might have been other pilgrimages to 
Memorial Hall, for the dedication of the tablets recently placed 
there, and to the Bars to see the bowlder just now taken there 
and inscribed to the memory of Samuel Allen by his descend- 
ants, but the dedicatory journey was taken only in imagina- 
tion, the service of blessing the stones being made a part of the 
exercises on the common with Dr. Lyman Whiting very fit- 
tingly filling the place of dedicator. 

The sound of the fife and drum called the people together 
around the speakers' stand which had been erected on the com- 
mon. Here near a fiag raised for the day was a placard an- 
nouncing that it stood at about the center of the palisaded fort 
of 1703-4 and that the inclosure was about 60 rods north and 
south and 40 rods wide. With this to guide them and the 
speaking of the day to portray the conditions and events of the 
day commemorated, the people were both physically and in 
spirit at the very heart of Deerfield's most tragic event. 

382 Meld 

The ^^ keynote of the day " was straok by George Sheldon, 
who proveB that he has no small measore left to sapport him 
in carrying out the designs his mind is still fertile in, by mak- 
ing the arrangements for the day in detail, and then presiding 
over a considerable part of the exercises. Mr. Sheldon did not 
venture far into the history of the day but with the mastery of 
it which he above all others possesses gave it its proper setting in 
the wide sweep of the period's events. 

Mr. Sheldon continued to preside throughout the morning, 
turning the task over to Judge F. M. Thompson for the Httm- 
noon. After his ^^ keynote " he called upon Bev. R K Birks, 
the present minister of the old church, to make the invoca- 
tion. It was a prayer for the continued interest of the 
people in the days and deeds of the fathers and the blessing of 
Ood on the town whose beginnings were so costly and so 

The formal address of welcome was given by H. 0. Parsons 
of Oreenfield, one of the councilors of the Association. He con- 
trasted the conditions in Deerfield on the most tragic night in 
New England history and at the present time, and assured a 
hearty welcome to all who had come through the open gates 
of the palisades to-day. He sketched the Association's work 
and paid a tribute to Mr. Sheldon. 

Following this a choir under the direction of Charles H. 
Ashley sang with spirit, Longfellow's ^' Ship of State." 

The address by Prof. Edwin A. Orosvenor of Amherst, the 
principal one of the day, was a stirring speech on the Colonial 
Conquest, a subject which he treated with strength and elo- 

Then followed the dedication of the new memorials. Dr. 
Whiting speaking eloquently of their teaching. They included 
four tablets in MemorLekl Hall, one presented by Ez-Yioe Presi- 
dent Morton in memory of his ancestor, Samson Frary; one 
from Marshall Field of Chicago, to Zechariah Field; one to 
Nathaniel Sutcliffe, by B. H. Sutliffe (as now spelled) of Con- 
necticut, and one to Gk)dfrey Kims, by Franklin A. Nims of 
Colorado. A bowlder at the Bars, erected to honor Samuel 
Allen was included in the dedication. The audience was made 
up in very large part by visitors from the towns up and down 
the valley. 

The comet playing by Major Frank Hutchins was a feature 

JPiOd MeeHng—190S. 888 

of the morning. He played patriotic airs from an upper win- 
dow of the academy building, at the back of the common and 
they were very effective and romidly cheered. 

After loncheon, served under the trees, the line of march was 
formed to the old burying ground, where there was music and 
brief exercises. Miss C. Alice Baker's paper was a r6sum6 of 
the lives of some of the eariy planters, buried there, the his- 
toric events that led to the sacking of Deerfield, and of the 
persons killed or captured February 29, 1703-4. She described 
in her graphic style the old Street and its inhabitants and the 
massacre and succeeding days. In closing she made a stirring 
plea for peace, in town and church and state. 

Thb Aftbbnoon'b Spbakino. 

The rain which began soon after noon turned the audience 
into a congregation — ^from the open air to the pews of the old 
brick meetinghouse. Here Judge F. M. Thompson presided 
and called from an unusually rich list of speakers ; among these 
was Hon. Alfred S. Eoe of Worcester. 

Arthur Lord, president of the Pilgrim Society of Plymouth, 
gave a deeply impressive address. He pictured the scene in the 
" common house " at Plymouth when Governor Carver and 
Massasoit met there for treaty-making and noted that from 
that time until King Philip's War, 54 years later, the English 
did not possess a foot of land in the colony that was not fairly 
obtained. Mr. Lord linked the Plymouth days with the early 
days of Deerfield. 

Bev. Francis B. Denio of the Bangor Theological Seminary, 
and a descendant of Aaron Denio of Oreenfield, then spoke. He 
asked permission to speak for the many descendants of Deerfield, 
who had never seen the place or its people, and whose knowl- 
edge of it is confined to second-hand information. He was 
proud of his ancestry, and he brought a message of gratitude 
jbo the historical workers of Deerfield for their preservation of 
all this mass of historic information, which enabled many de- 
scendants like himself to learn their own &mily traditions. He 
was thankful for the work that had kept bright and glowing 
the memory of the early heroism and tragedy. 

Judge Thompson then introduced General Francis Appleton 
of the State Board of Agriculture as a representative of the 
^^ Flower of Essex " and a descendant of the Capt Samuel Apple- 

884 Fidd MeetixLg—\WiZ. 

ton who came up to the Deerfield valley as a oommander of the 
pioneer forces. Gten. Appleton spoke of the rnral surroundings 
of historic places and paid an eloquent tribute to President 
Sheldon. He brought the greeting of the old Essex Institute, 
which is engaged in much the same w<H*k as the P. Y. M. A. 

Dr. H. D. Holton of Brattleboro, who has been a frequent 
attendant at the field meetings, was called upon to speak for 
Yermont. He spoke of his home town as the base of opera- 
tions of the French and Indians against Deerfield. The prin- 
ciples of our fathers sometimes leave an impression of bigotry, 
but in reality their lives were founded on llie teachings of the 
great Master. Children were brought up to obey God and 
their parents, to be useful and to perform the duties of life. He 
referred to the Smith charities as a fine example of the Puritan 
spirit manifested by a descendant of the Puritans. He thought 
modem life has so many distractions as to interfere with true 
home life. There is too much reading of newspapers, too little 
time for instruction of the children. He spoke of the boy 
who said that when he was bom his mother had gone to the 
club, and there was no one at home but grandmother. 

Dr. Edward Hitchcock made a characteristic address in which 
he proved himself a loyal grandson of Deerfield, and a true son 
of his father, Edward Hitchcock, the eminent scientist and Presi- 
dent of Amherst college. 

B H. Sutlifle, who gave one of the memorial tablets, was 
on the platform, but declined to speak. 

Frederick G. Bauer of the Old South Historical Society paid 
a tribute to the Puritans. He disliked the patronizing tone com- 
mon to-day of those who say that the Puritans must be judged 
in the light of their own times, and he declared that the Puri- 
tans need no apology and will stand high judged by the stand- 
ards of any time. The notion that they ill-treated the Indians 
had been shown to be so thoroughly false by the speakers of 
the morning, that he need not refer to it. It is also charged 
that the Puritans were intolerant. One has said that the schis- 
matics whom they expelled sought the overthrow of the colony 
and were only expelled because they had been guilty of seditious 
utterances. Mr. Bauer urged the study of history, not merely 
because it is a pleasant and instmctive avocation, but because 
history is the chart and compass of life and enables us to 
breathe in the spirit of the pioneers. He eulogized the Puri- 

Keynote of the Day. 385 

tans of Cromwell's time, showing that a large part of the prog- 
ress in English political life for the past 200 years had been 
merely the realizing in permanent constitutional form the prin- 
ciples laid down by Cromwell and his followers. 

Col. Kittredge Haskins of Brattleboro spoke of the changes 
since he had passed through Old Deerfield Street, and expressed 
his pleasure in visiting the old historic spots. He then spoke 
of the spirit of enterprise and discovery that had been charac 
teristic of the Anglo-Saxon race. Had they been content to 
stay in Deerfield there would have never been the nation of 
to^y. But they pushed on conquering the West, spreading to 
the Pacific, acquiring Hawaii, freeing Cuba from Spain's yoke, 
and lastly spreading to the Philippines, where they would give 
the people a freer government than they had ever known before. 
Dr. Frederic Corss of Kingston, Pa., then spoke briefly. A 
telegram was read from Franklin Asa Nims of Greeley, Colo. 

Among the many visitors to Deerfield, special mention may 
be made of Mrs. Taft, mother of Judge Taf t, the president of 
the Philippines Commission. Her home is now in Millbury and 
she accompanied Mrs. Grosvenor, her cousin, to Deerfield for 
the day. Bev. Thomas A. Emerson of the Wakefield Histori- 
cal society. Miss Ellen Chase of Brookline, one of the Founders 
of the association known as the Trustees of Public Besarva- 
tions of Massachusetts, Mrs. Kittredge Haskins of Brattleboro 
and Mrs. Gk)odrich of Korth Adams of the Fort Massachusetts 
Historical Society. 

J. H. Burdaldn of the Dedham Historical Society and 
Sheriff Capen of Norfolk county were companion visitors. 


Ladiee and gentlemen^ friends a/iid ei/rangere^ fellow memhera 
of the Pocumtuch VaUey Memorial Association : — We meet 
this day in the valley from which we take our name, and upon 
the very rood where occurred, two centuries ago, the tragic 
event upon which was founded our Memorial Association. Just 
ono-third of a century ago we adopted measures to give this 
Association a habitation and a name. Our declared object was 
the keeping in remembrance the lives and the deeds of our fore- 
fathers and our foremothers. The day fixed for our annual 

886 Fidd Meeting— 190Z. 

meeting was the anniversaiy of the most memorable event ever 
enacted in the Pocumtuck valley, the fateful day of February 29, 
1703--4 which has now become familiar to us all as Memc»rial 
Day, and the bi-oentennial of which we now conmiemorate. 

This is not a day for rejoicing, and, save for our heritage, we 
do not rejoice. It is not a day for sadness. Time has softened 
the horrors of that terrible day, and we are not sad. 

We gather quietly in the shade of these beautiful trees, know- 
ing that their roots penetrate the blood-soaked soil, and try to 
recall dimly the shocking scenes of 200 years ago, contrasting 
then and now, while we draw lessons for our own guidance. 

The founders of Pocumtuck were of the second and third 
generation from the Puritan. Spreading westward over the 
vast extent of virgin soil and interminable forest it was inevit^ 
able that their minds should expand. They were less austere 
than the emigrants. They were an honest yeomanry who came 
to this fertile valley to better their estate and to found a church 
in the wilderness. Ko glamour of romance shines about their 
coming. They claimed to wear no crown of martyrdom. They 
were 6od-f earing men, filled with a faith and a trust that never 
&iled them. When the hour of trial came, their manliness was 
put to the test and was not found wanting. 

We honor our ancestors for their bravery and steadfastness ; 
we sympathize with them in their sufferings, and are grateful to 
them for the results — which are ours. They filled that measure 
which the world of to-day demands as the price of its homage 
— ^they were successful. 

We meet here to-day in vain if we are not stronger for their 
strength, and more faithful, persevering, industrious and eco- 
nomical for their example. 

Say that the Pilgrim and Puritan were bigots, bound in 
chains of superstition, seeking expansion for themselves only, 
and intolerant of others. This cannot be denied. But speak- 
ing broadly in the perspective of the centuries, this otber fact 
remains : we see in them a people sifted out from the deeper 
darkness and despotism which they left behind them in Old 
England : we see them as the pioneers and the vanguard of 
civil and religious freedom for the nations. 

It is no less trite than true to say they planted better than 
they knew ; that for them the harvest never ripened. It is 
eqtially true that : 

Address of Welcome. 887 

But for the woes and tolls our fathers bore 
In the stem, sad centuries gone before, 

not for us would the tree of liberty be growing broadcast in the 
land, not for us would the clouds of superstition have become 
so thin, not for us the horizon be so bright with the promise of 
free speech and untrammeled thought. 

I welcome you all to this historic spot, but the formal wel- 
come of the hour will be given by another. 



Human fancy can picture no more unwelcome visitor than he 
whose tomahawk beat upon the stout door of the Sheldon house 
on the night of February 29, 1703-4. It would be daring, in 
even this hospitable moment, to say that the guest who passes 
through the open gate of the palisades we rebuild in memory 
to-day, were welcome in the same measure that the savage in- 
truder was abhorrent. 

But this is a day of tremendous contrasts. Against the darkest 
background the history of New England frontier can furnish 
we assemble to-day, a group of people whose faces tell the story 
of content and joy in the blessed conditions of our modem life. 
The choice of this fair midsummer day for the study and com- 
memoration of the occurrences of the night when the severities 
of deep winter were to add to the torture of its hateful business 
itself deepens the lines of contrast. To another and master hand 
is left the task of drawing the picture of that hideous night and 
placing against it the calm, the peace, the security and the hap- 
piness of this bright day. But let me use the sombre back- 
ground for the cordial greeting to Deerfield. 

For more than thirty years the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial 
Association has been going about its annual visits to the towns 
of the old frontier and receiving the salutations of the people. 
Its procedure has kept singularly close to the programme of its 
first open-air meeting, but there is one change which has a clear 
significance. For years the form was adhered to of impressing 
into the act of extending a welcome some resident of the neigh- 
borhood visited. To his always cordial words, a chosen official 

888 Udd Meeting— 190i. 

of the society would respond. It was always a cheering and 
edifying spectacle. 

But now the Association has been so many times assured of 
its w^comeness that it takes it for granted and commits to one 
speaker both the extending of the cordial hand and the return- 
ing grasp of gratefulness. The dialogue has become a soliloquy. 
In one voice is spoken the ^^Come in, we are glad to see you " 
of the old Kew England style of greeting and the ^^ Thank you, 
we will ; how kind and how good you are.'' It is the Associa- 
tion taking itself by the hand or, not waiting for the flattering 
word of approval it has learned to expect, patting itself on the 
back as altogether the worthiest guest to pull the municipal 

Ko one will arise, I am sure, to deny that this self -pride 
is warranted. The Association has come to be regarded as the 
conservator of the history and traditions of this fruitful portion 
of New England. In the first year of its being it went to the 
field where Capt. Turner gave the Indians their historic sur- 
prise. Presently it raised its first memorial on a spot closely 
associated with the event we recall to-day, the scene of the 
death of Eunice Williams. It nobly celebrated the valor of 
Capt. Lothrop and his men and their fall at Bloody Brook. It 
helped Northfield to celebrate fittingly her two hundredth birth- 
day. And so, in annual pilgrimages, it has visited one after an- 
other the scenes of memorable frontier events. It has touched 
the soil of the earlier towns and left its impress — perhaps in 
memorials of stone, always in a revival of interest in their his- 
tory, and, best of all, in the permanent form of the printed page 
bearing liie researches of the students it has raised up. Shel- 
bume and Charlemont, Montague, Sunderland, Erving, Bernards- 
ton, Ashfield, Gill, Leverett, Whately and Oolerain have felt its 
awakening presence. It has ventured once over the border into 
Vermont to help define the bounds of Fort Dummer, and it has 
gone down into Hampshire to link the history of Hatfield with 
that of the towns in younger Franklin. Its path is marked 
by the memorial stones it has raised. It has inspired the his- 
toric pen and noble histories of the towns that have come forth 
to testify to its work. 

And now it returns to Old Deerfield. This is its home. Here 
is its treasure house. Here it gathers by the hearthstone of the 
man who was its founder, has been its strong inspiring, oft- 

Addre$B of Weloome. 889 

times oorreotiiig bat always leading and enoonraging guide. It 
has a right to welcome itself and its gaests here, if anywhere. 
If the Association owes a debt to Mr. Sheldon — ^the debt for its 
very existence — ^it owes a greater one as trustee for the people, 
to whom he has given priceless work. 

Looking back to the beginnings of the Association's life we find 
that of the men who constituted its numerous first corps of offi- 
cers, but two survive, — ^Mr. Sheldon and James M. Crafts. Mr. 
Sheldon, we insist, is not older now than then. The proof ! 
Let it be found in the fact that this celebration to-day is his 
work. He planned it, he framed its programme, he carried on 
the correspondence which has brought here such an array of 
gifted men laden with gems which they shall presently display 
for your delight, as perhaps, never before gathered at his call, 
and he is here presiding, directing and inspiring. 

When the worthy president reaches his one hundredth birth- 
day and proves by his alertness and soundness that he belongs 
to that minority of this earth's being which Dr. Holmes de- 
scribed as 

Little we have and value here 
Wakes on the mom of its hundredth year 
Without looking and feeling queer, — 

when Mr. Sheldon reaches that point, and concludes that the 
remainder of his Uf e must be free from the burden of making 
plans for field days for himself to execute, I can imagine that 
the presidency of the P. V. M. A. will be so generally recog- 
nized as the assurance of longevity that there will be nothing 
less than a stupendous struggle for the distinction — and the ad- 
vantage — of being his successor. The campaign is not now 
open — we have our ever young president for years of service 

The Association has wrought richly. It has wrought perma- 
nently. It has illumined the fading pages of the past and re- 
written them with truth. It has taught the youth of the pres- 
ent a lesson of humility and gratitude. It has put a new value 
on citizenship in these towns of painful birth. It has held up 
the sturdy manhood of the early days as both a lesson and an 
inspiration. And it is impossible that it shall not have taught 
a sounder patriotism. 

Visitors to Old Deerfield, from near and far, you are heartily 

390 FiOd Meeting— 19QZ. 

weloome here to-day, to this historic ground, to the aocamih 
lated stores of the Association's work, to the evidences of Deer- 
field's new birth of industry and enterprise. For you, [taming 
now to Mr. Sheldon] yon will grant me the privilege of extend- 
ing our congratulations upon your achievements and your per- 
manent youth. 



The Old Home Week is the most precious period in the life of 
a historic town. In the decking of a Thanksgiving board the 
brightest ornaments are the faces of children and children's 
children. The mother counts no flowers fairer than her chil- 
dren's forms ; she knows no music sweeter than their voices. 
Those whose daily life is cast in other scenes, and those who 
still abide beneath the &mily roof-tree, are alike dear and weir 
come in her sight. 

From widely sundered fields of thought and action, the sons 
and daughters of Deerfield gather here to-day at their mother's 
call. Many of them bear the old names, f aniiliar in the records 
of the town and of New England. In the veins of all of them 
courses blood, transmitted from pioneers and builders of the 
state and nation. Nor do they come as merely passive heirs of 
a proud inheritance. The old, homebred virtues of industry, 
of honesty, of integrity, were well taught here, have been since 
transmitted, and are still maintained. In philanthropy, in art, 
in poetry, in belles lettres, in romance, in the noblest spheres of 
human culture and activity, in the home life and the life outside 
the home, the children of Deerfield are doing their work as 
faithfully and as well as their grandfathers and grandmothers 
performed theirs in the battle and the siege. Fidelity of service 
on the part of descendants is the grandest and most eloquent 
monument to the character and influence of progenitors. 

Deerfield, moreover, has given birth to towns. Greenfield, 
celebrating a few weeks since its hundred and fifty years of 
prosperous maturity, is her child. So too are Conway and Shel- 
bume. Deerfield, Greenfield, Conway and Sbelburne, animated 
by the same initial spirit and united in the tradition of many 
ties, are partakers in a common renown. Still at the center of 

Address of Edwin A. Chosvenor. 891 

the four, Deerfield sits as queen. On the soil she still retains, 
she was working out her immortality during the eighty-four 
years before any of her township offspring were bom. 

It is not my purpose to extol or even to name the living. Or- 
dinary words of praise, however well deserved, for the men and 
women on whose faces we are gazing, would be inappropriate 
on this occasion. Yet there is one, without whose presence— 
though all the rest of us were here — ^this memorial celebration 
would be incomplete. Upon the Honorable George Sheldon 
this company looks with admiring gratitude and reverent affec- 
tion. As long as the name of Deerfield lasts, so long will his 
fame and the memory of his services endure. By book and pen, 
preserver and custodian of the past ; author of a monumental 
history ; himself adding new lustre to his illustrious ancestral 
line; venerable in learning, vigorous in intellect, warm and 
youthful in heart ; we hail him as patriot and sage, as the 
teacher and inspirer of us alL 

We commemorate to-day the most tragic event in the history 
of Kew England. Yet for one hundred and fifty years that 
history was one continuous tragedy. It differed from and sur- 
passed any tragedy ever presented upon the stage. 

The tn^gedy of New England began before 1620. It went 
on until 1760. It ceased only when the last Indian within its 
borders had been rendered powerless for harm, and when the 
last Canadian foe had been subdued. It was limited to no sin- 
gle hamlet or river or shore. Let some one of the schoolgirls 
or schoolboys hang up here before us a large map of New Eng- 
land. At each point, wherever in the early days there was 
famine or outrage or distress, wherever there was midnight as- 
sault or massacre, wherever smoke arose from burning homes 
or moaning of captured survivors was heard over butchered 
dead, wherever in forest or harvest field, at spring or hearth- 
stone, man, woman or child was stricken down remorseless — 
let him mark a star. Beginning from the east and proceeding 
westward, those marks will crowd upon one another, grow co- 
terminous, and the map itself become one eloquent, appealing 
blur. Let those marks be made in red. The lakes and the 
ponds will be crimsoned. The Penobscot, the Kennebec, the 
Merrimac, the Nashua, the Quaboag, the Westfield, the Deer- 
field rivers, all of them will seem like larger Bloody Brooks, 
carrying ensanguined waters toward the sea. 

398 Fidd Meetimg—VWl. 

Our bmti giov eoid: 

We tigjid^ hold 
Ths ri^itB wliieli bn^e moi cfiod to 

The Aze, the evonl. 

The eteke, the eavd, 
Qrim mue e e a4 the birth of pern. 

We flit here t<Hlay in elegant ease. The rustle of benigmiift 
trees^ the note of gladsome birds, the whir of the electiic car 
— ^its rush procdaiming that the most titanic of Natore's f ovoeB 
has been harnessed for oar coQTenience and comfort — alone 
disturb the stillness. No danger Inrics in the woods or threat- 
ens from the hills. Onr streams ^de crystal and clear. Xo 
fOTeign enemy desires to make the trial of oor ma jestic strength. 
O^er OS stretches the shield of equal and universal law. In 
a bounteous land, which the children of the East call ^ God^ 
country,^ we dwell serena 

The overflowing price of it all was paid in that tragedy 
of one hundred and forty years. The Bevolutionary War bat 
affixed the seal to what was already won. The myths and 
legends, wrapped around the founding of other states — Athens, 
Carthage, Bome — ^fade to insignificance in comparison. The 
wide earth over, there has been no fairy tale of any political 
birth since time began, to rival the authentic record of the 
birth of New England. 

The story of Deerfield is at once typical and unique. Typi- 
cal, in that it represents every politick phase in the planting 
and establishment of an early New England town. Typical, 
in that its founders endured every experience of self-sacri- 
fice, hardship, suffering, agony, that hallows the memory of 
onr colonial settlements and makes their names holy. Typical, 
in that those founders, living or dying, were faithful and tri- 
umphant, alike in life or death, and have built the principles 
for which they lived and died into the permanent fabric of our 
national estate. Typical, in that we may turn to old, heroic 
Deerfield and ask and receive an answer as to why the Ameri- 
can people are strong and Ood-fearing to-day. 

But, while typical, the story is no less unique. 

Unique, because the tale of that one town, which was thrust 
farthest into the unknown, wild territory of the northwest and 
which was more exposed than any other in Massachusetts in 
the warpath of the Indian and the Frenchman. Unique, in 

Address of £dwin A. Gfrosvenor. 393 

that during more than fifty years it was the often desolated, 
the sometimes destroyed, and yet the always resurrected, the 
always enduring bulwark of the Commonwealth. Unique, in 
the intensity and long continuance of its people's suffering and 
of their dauntless endurance. Unique, in the quenchless reso- 
lution of the survivors, that, however their numbers shrank and 
however the death-roll lengthened, they, the living, would not 
desert the spot which their fellow-colonists and God had trusted 
them to guard. 

The history of Massachusetts has always been packed full of 
heroisms. All over her tormented soil. 

Great deeds and feelings find a home, 
That put in shadow ail the golden lore 
Of classic Greece and Rome. 

The Old Home Week in Deerfield in 1901, whoever was pres- 
ent never can forget. Nature conspired with man to render 
the scene both memorable and beautiful. One might roam over 
the world in vain for a spectacle more entrancing than the 
spacious street, over which the giant elms bent their outstretched 
arms in blessing. At the formal exercises there were glowing 
utterances from orators and poets but the spirit of the occasion 
in its unspoken eloquence transcended words. 

In the funeral hymn of a dead American president, a Oala- 
had in virtue and a Launcelot in valor, who never fought save 
in a righteous cause, occurs the line. ^^ Let him pass with his 
sword to the presence of God." And so from the lonely grave 
at Bloody Brook and from the swelling mound in the graveyard, 
but a few rods away, their long-rusted weapons in their still 
clutching fingers, may our colonist soldiers who fought the 
savage pass to the presence of God. For nowhere on the 
earth's surface did men ever strive harder to act justly and to 
do right than, during the first 100 years of Massachusetts his- 
tory, did the colonists of Massachusetts by the Indian. 

Their scrupulous, even excessive care, to treat the savage as a 
man, to avoid an infringement upon his rights, or a shock to 
his prejudices, or a wound to his pride, often provokes a smile 
as one reads the early colonial records. 

Beligious fervor spurred the Puritans on. Apostles no less 
than pioneers, they deemed it their mission to Christianize the 
native tribes. Even where they could not convert they sought 

394 FiOd Meeting— 1903. 

to foroe the oatward life of the Indian into conformity with 
their own rigid code of morals and Ufa In the mind of the 
nnregenerate savage, each proselyte to Christianity was a 
traitor to his people. Often, when about to sign a treaty, he 
begged for the insertion of a promise that all further effort at 
his conversion should be renounced. The iron conscience of the 
time could answer only with a relentless ^^ No". Statecraft would 
have prompted a different reply. Having regard solely to their 
own temporal advantage and perhaps to the temporal advantage 
of the savage, it would have been better for the colonists had 
they left the primitive forest faith unassailed. 

However honestly and kindly treated, in the savage breast 
there was certain to rankle suspicion of the stranger and jeal- 
ousy at bis growing strength. Distrust and aversion might 
smoulder for a time. At last they were sure to burst into those 
consuming flames, which we call Indian wars. Perfect justice, 
forbearance, long endurance on the part of the colonist^ could 
not have prevented or even have delayed the explosion. 
And after all, the colonists were but men, highminded yet 

One cannot too strongly emphasize the fact that the early 
colonists respected the territorial claims of the Indian, dealt 
justly with him, and sought what they believed his good. 

We must always lament that self-preservation forced the 
earlier colonists into treaties, not merely of peace but of alli- 
ance, offensive and defensive, with certain native tribes. 

Little less repulsive was the Indian as an ally than as an 
enemy. Fellowship with him in fight must have seemed as 
odious then as it now seems to us. Indian warfare meant all 
that is cowardly and treacherous and merciless. It mattered 
not whether the scalps, his proudest badges of honor, were torn 
from the head of the babe or the maiden or from a festering 
corpse or from a still resisting warrior. A scalp from whatever 
source was equally token of Indian nature and trophy of 
Indian prowess. In the darkness, with the creep of a panther 
rather than the step of a man, he stole to the attack. In vic- 
tory he submitted to no restraint. No bounds could be set to 
his inhuman ferocity. 

Yet with such aid Captain Mason crushed the Pequods and 
secured partial peace for a generation. With such aid Edward 
Winslow and l^jor Appleton and Major Treat broke the might 

Address of Edvsin A. Orosvenor. 396 

of the Narragansetts and blotted the Indian as an independent 
factor from the life of New England. 

Necessity knows no law. Alliance with the Indian against 
the Indian was at the start an absolute bat a most deplorable 
necessity of the tuna Between snch alliance and extermina- 
tion the choice lay. Oar fathers chose as in their places we 
woald choose oarselves. 

Bat the practice no less to be lamented becaase inevitable, 
was afterward continued for the sake of mere advantage. In 
subsequent wars in America the odious help of the savage was 
sought and employed without reserve by the Europeans against 
one another. This was done by all, by the English and French 
colonists, by the English and Americans after 1776, by each 
no more, no less, according as opportunity permitted. 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, between the 41st 
and 50th parallels of north latitude, beside the Atlantic coast, 
two political figures stood forth distinct. These were New 
England and New France. They were the protagonists in the 
combat, which was to decide whether English or French ideas 
should dominate North America. Both had been set up by men 
of high ideals and lofty purposes. Upon the fathers of Quebec 
and Montreal rests a halo no less saintly than gilds the fathers 
of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Lsuiguage, creed, outward 
sign — minor distinctions— differed, but in each there was the 
same sincerity and intensity of conviction and the same devotion 
to duty. 

Yet in the character of the two colonies the first 100 years 
had already developed an essential difference. Favorites of the 
mother country, in entire sympathy with its government and 
national church, under their direct control, the initiative and 
dependence of the French colonist was in the court at Ver- 
sailles. Self-government he had never undertaken or desired. 
The initiative of the English colonist was in himself. Upon 
himself alone was his actual dependence. The real government, 
that which concerned and touched him, was of his own mak- 

In 1700 the accession of a Bourbon king to the throne of 
Spain and the arrogant folly of Louis XIY convulsed the Old 
World with war. The leading European states took part. 
William III of England and Louis XIY of France headed the 
respective sides. This conflict is known in Europe as the War 

896 Field Mee^g—19QZ. 

of the Spanish Suooession, aud in Amerioa aa the Old French 
and Indian war. It lasted a dozen years. It drew into ito 
Yortez New England and Kew France and hurled them against 
each other. 

We come now to February 28, 1704, 200 years ago. The 
darkness gathering as the sun of that winter day goes down is 
to shroud the most tragic event in the history of Kew England. 
Yet the two-score and one houses, which make up the village 
of Deerfield, are tranquil and stilL Ominous sounds, a few 
days before, had been imagined in the night. A sort of tramp- 
ling noise seemed heard, as if the stockade were beset by In- 
dians. But the fancied omens may well be forgotten. The 
stealthy foe has given no sign of possible approach. Montreal, 
whence alone danger may be apprehended, is almost 300 miles 
away and there are no hostile posts between. 

Moreover, Deerfield, bulwark of the northwest, is strongly 
fortified and easy of defense. The 26 houses outside the stock- 
ade are fortresses no less than dwellings. The stockade itself 
is well-nigh impregnable to any conceivable attack. The in- 
habitants are veterans, versed in all manner of Indian warfare. 

Meanwhile for weeks 200 French soldiers and 140 Indians 
have been pushing their laborious march against every natural 
obstacle toward the village. 

On the watch at Deerfield, surely faithful in the ceaseless 
vigil, hang all the issues of this night. Nearer and nearer creep 
the sinuous forms, and yet no warning gun is fired, no warning 
shout rings out. Over the drifted snow the palisade is scaled. 
The sudden hideous yell startles the night Two hours before 
morning breaks the foe has reached the center of the town. 

No resistance could be more hopeless or more heroic than that 
in which the suddenly wakened men and women engaged. 

Everywhere there was the same determined stand but almost 
nowhere else the same success. For three hours the savage 
reaped his demoniac harvest of captives and scalps. Then the 
victors turned to their triumphant homeward way. At sunset, 
February 28, Deerfield sheltered 291 souls beneath her roof- 
trees. When the next sun went down, 44 of that little com- 
pany were lying slain, 111 being dragged in captivity to Can- 
ada— 19 of them to be butchered along the way — while only 
136 remained to ransom the living and bewail and bury the 

Address of DedicoiUon. 397 

It has been my purpose to attempt only tbe bare outline of a 
heartrending story. Nor have I sought to describe the pursuit 
of the enemy by a handful of desperate survivors, nor to trace 
the various after-fate of the captives, nor to set forth the gallant 
efforts at their rescue. 

The sack of Deerfield, with its attendant and subsequent 
horrors, looms in lurid preeminence above all kindred events in 
the life of Massachusetts. Here the utmost limit of human 
capacity for suffering was reached. Imagination can conceive 
no agony which was not endured here. Nowhere else in New 
England in such acme of pain and anguish were so many human 
beings involved. 

It is that event, in accumulated tragedy without peer, which 
we commemorate. No words of any living speaker can do 
justice to the spirit of this occasion. What I have said is uttered 
with a sense of diffidence and awe which I cannot express. One 
may well hesitate attempting in the presence of children to touch 
upon the crowning event in the life^3tory of their parents. Ton 
are the living representatives, the lineal descendants of those 
who died, or were led into captivity, or remained in bereave- 
ment here. On your faces, in the strange heredity of human 
nature, exist the lineaments of your distant sires. 

Over this spot hover now and to all time will hover figures 
we call departed. Feet in silence shod glide over this consecrated 
soil. Unseen hands are stretched to us in blessing and welcome. 
Invisible listeners in the viewless air catch the words we utter. 
Tread lightly ; speak softly. Our feet are pressing ground that 
quivers still. In the heart of the old stockade we are in the very 
presence of the living dead. 



Mr. President^ Members of the Poaamtuck Valley Memorial 
Association, and Friends: — We to-day assemble to trace a 
few sentences of our tragic history in a form unused be- 
fore in our varied memorials. Back from first historic times, 
memorial tablets have had a place. They are a simple, brief 
lettering upon disks or plates of clay, of stone or metal, mov 
able or fastened upon walls, for keeping in the knowledge of 

398 FiM MeeUnff— 1908. 

men those who have done something worth remembering, or 
of precepts or events which deserve record. The two tables 
given upon Mt. Sinai are an early example. To the prophet 
Habakkuky 600 b. o., Jehovah directs — ^^ Write the vision and 
make it plain upon tablets that he may run that readeth 
it." They are thus keepsake epitomes of lives and of deeds, 
which are the initials of human history. When aflBb^ed to a 
building, as are these, they are termed ^^ mural tablets?^ 

Three special forms of service may be found in them : First, 
they give to living generations a reality of the persons and events 
named upon them. The hazy, empty spaces between the living 
and the long departed become peopled with fellow beings in 
the realities of life, through them. And not this alone. They 
transmit something of the life forces they tell of, into the souk of 
those who preserve and peruse them. The poet's line, " They 
in example live," is verified through them. 

Second, they thus enlarge and enrich the lives of those who cher- 
ish them by recalling the virtues and worth of those they keep in 
mind. Our lives are fuller and stronger when the story of those 
gone before us comes into our conversation, and we recount the 
benefits their lives and deeds have won for us. The traditions 
and history they have left us are a schooling for us in the annals 
and records of our homes and customs which it is a disgrace not 
to know. These four Tablets and yon stones in the town are 
so many primers, or school books, if you choose, out of which 
the rudiments of our valley history are to be learned. Boys 
and girls through years to come will take from them names and 
dates, and go to search behind them for the fuller and contem- 
porary history to which they point and which make up the 
thrilling chronicles of these valley towns. 

Upon the four TcMets and yon Bowlder^ to-day dedicated, are 
the names of above a score of men, women and locations, and 
of year dates a like number, and let us remember, each one of 
these is in itself historic and will ever guide in any search for 
lines of kindred and for homes of early settlers. And how know 
we but some gifted soul may have birth here, who shall frame 
a Deerfield lUad, which will match the marvelous thesaurus 
of the times and lives in our iN'estor's town history I 

Third, these memorial erections affirm a lasting merit to 
those who bestow them and to those giving them honorable 
place in the Memorial HaU. These donors prove by their gifts 

Address of Dedication, 399 

a true descent from their worthy anoestry, which in torn ap- 
proves them worthy of the esteem of a grateful posterity. They 
do a service to those now living, as before shown, and to those 
who come after us, by keepmg in memory the men and women 
whose courage, virtues and sacrifices are united in a priceless in- 
heritance to us and to those who may follow in the possession. 

The occasion neither caUs nor permits me to recite one by one 
the heroic names and deeds traced upon these stones. That 
would be a task for hours, while we have only minutes. Other 
observances and other eulogists will in future time make the 
fitting tributes. 

And now, Mr. President and Associate Members of the 
Pocumtuck Memorial Association and friends ; with gratitude to 
the God of our fathers for an ancestry so brave in peril, so 
faithful in trusts, so blameless in life and so true to God and to 
each other, and also for a piety in these their descendants which 
has moved them to set here these impressive sculptured Tablets 
and yonder Stone for the durable commemoration of their pro- 
genitors, we do now declare them dedicated as memorials of 
worthy exemplars to this and to generations to come. 

The inscriptions for the tablets are as follows : 

Zechariah Field 


A settler at Pocumtuck 

Before Philip's War. 

remains lie in an imknown grave 

In the old burying ground. 

Many of his descendants 

Have attained international fame. 

In his honor 

This tablet is placed in 1903 


Marshall Field of 


In honor of 

Nathaniel Sutdifife, 

of Dedham before 1661, 

Medfield in 1663, 

A settler at Pocimituck in 1673 

"With his wife, Hannah Hympton, 

A soldier in Philip's War, 

Killed with Capt. Turner 

May 19, 1676. 

Erected by B. H. Sutliffe 

Of Hymouth, Conn., 


400 Fidd Meeting— 190S. 

SftmsoQ Fniy 

Son of John of Medfidd, 

Married there Maiy Danid. 

He was at Hatfield in 1668. 

Was one of two {danters at Deei^d in 1670. 

Driven off by the savages, he came back 

At the final settlement, 

And was slain at the sacking of the town 

Feb. 29, 1703-4. 

Bdd, brave, persistent. 

Line of descent, from Samaon Fraiy. 

Nathaniel Fraiy 1675, 

Nathan Frary 1719-1794, 

Electa Frary Parsons, 1759-1824, 

Lucretia Parsons Morton 1789-1862, 

Levi Parsons Morton, by whom 

This stone is placed. 

(Godfrey Nims 

Ancestor of the Nims family in America, 

Settler at Pocumtuck before Philip's War, 

A soldier under Capt. Turner at the FsiUa Fight 1676, 

Prominent in the civil affairs of Deerfidd. 

In 1692 he bought the home lot 
Where his life's tragedies were enacted. 
And upon which stands this Memorial Hall. 
In honor of Godfrey Nims and Mary Miller his wife. 
This marble Ls jdaoed here by Franklin Asa Nims, 

Gredey, Colcnrado, 


Every foot of this old burial ground is sacred to ns from a 
thousand tender recollections. All about us lie the graves of 
our ancestry, who by their fortitude, courage and endurance, 
earned for us the heritage we here enjoy. Here lie buried 
Mehuman Hinsdell, the first male child bom in Deerfield, 
" twice captivated by the Indian salvages ; " Mrs. Eunice Wil- 
liams, killed on the second day of the retreat to Canada and rev- 
erently buried here by loving neighbors ; Rev. John Williams, 
with his son Samuel, Deacon Thomas French and his son 
Thomas, — all redeemed captives. Nor can we to-day forget, 
those here sleeping who in later days, stood bravely for lib- 
erty and a united country. 

Address of C. AUce Baker. 401 

Standing on this hallowed spot, we cannot help reoaUing the 
events that led up to the tragedy at Deerfield. 

After the horrible carnage at Oyster Kiver,* under the lead- 
ership of YiUieu and Father Thory, mass having been said, the 
victors retreated in a body to the river bank where their canoes 
were hidden. " Here," says Villieu in his diary, the savages 
of Pentagoetf under Taxous and Madockawando, piqued at the 
little booty, and the few captives they had taken, resolved to 
strike another blow. Some of the bravest of the Kennebec In- 
dians joined them to go above Boston, " where" contmues Villieu 
^^ they mean to divide into bands of four or five and knock 
people on the head, which cannot fail of having a good effect." 
A few days later they fell upon the settlements near Groton 
and killed some forty persons ; Yillebon writing to the French 
minister September 19, of that year (1694), speaks of this party 
under Taxous and Madockawando, as ^' important because of the 
blows they will strike, but they have not yet been heard from." 
Let us go back to Deerfield as it was four days before the date 
of Yillebon's letter. The old street lay basking in the sunshine 
of a warm September day. The people were doubtless busy 
about their fall work. On the soft air came the droning voices 
of the children in Hannah Seaman's school, where is now the 
home of the Misses Allen. Unseen by the scouts who were 
ranging the woods, a party of savages led by Castine came 
down from the ravine east of the William Sheldon home lot, 
stealthily creeping towards the rear of what is now our village 
store. Prematurely discovered by the son of Joseph Severance, 
who lived on this lot, they fired, killing him, thus giving the 
alarm. Then Hannah Beaman fled with her flock for the north 
gate of the fort, at the foot of meetinghouse hill. ^^ It was a 
race for life," says Mr. Sheldon, ^^ the dame with her charge 
up the street," the enemy up the swamp, " expecting to cut her 
off before she should reach the gate." Inside the fort, well 
trained for such a surprise, each man snatched his firelock, and 
rushed towards the gate ready to sally out to the rescue of the 
children, — ^but they amid a shower of bullets reached the fort 
in safety and the gate was shut. As Castine, who commanded 
this attack, was the son-in-law of Madockawando, why may 
not this have been the very blow struck by Taxous and 

♦ Now Durham, N. H. 

t Now Castine. 

402 Field Meeting— IWZ. 

Madockawando, foretold by Yillebon in his letter above 

There are petitions in our urohives for allowances for ex- 
pense of chirargeons by Zebediah Williams and John Beaman 
wounded, — the former ^^ having lately come of age, having 
little to begin with all.^ The latter exhibited his wounds in the 
House of Bepresentatives, and ^^ cals .... for a due considera- 
tion of his hurt, — .... besides y^ misery and Paine hath dis- 
abled him from Labor for now neire eight months .... whei^e- 
f ore he prays for Oompashun and speedy ordering of just re- 
lief e, that he may not stay in Boston where it is too expensive 
for him y* hath noe Money." 

The repulse of Oastine gave the people fresh courage. In 
1695, GK>vernor Stoughton asks Oonnecticut for men and pro- 
visions. He says, ^^ Our interests cannot be divided. It is a 
common Enemy, we are engaged agt, and tho y« Seat of War 
dos prudentially lye nearer to our doors, yet it is y« over 
Turning and Exterpation of y« whole y^ is sought and En- 
deavoured and if we be necessitated to give way and draw in 
you may not expect to stand." Sharp correspondence (be- 
tween the two colonies) follows. 

While no serious attack was made on our frontiers this year, 
small bands of Indians prowled about the English towns keep- 
ing the settlers in continual alarm. A party of friendly 
Indians, under one Strawberry, was surprised near the mouth 
of the Ashuelot Biver. Strawberry's son, severely wounded, 
escaped to Deerfield, bringing the news. Captain Wells sent 
to f^nchon for help. He was called out of bed an hour before 
day on August 12, and summoned Captain Colton, who had 
24 troopers ^^ well mounted and fixed " by eight o'clock who 
left Springfield for the north, a little after the first bell rang 
for meeting. Before Colton had got up the river, the enemy 
was well up towards Canada. The danger to Deerfield, averted 
for a while, still threatened. March 1,1694-5, Joseph Barnard 
was chosen town clerk for the year ensuing. Six months later, 
Thomas French was elected to the same office. Between these 
two dates one may read the tragedy known in the annals of 
Deerfield as the massacre at Indian Bridge. On the morning 
of August 21st, Joseph Barnard, living on the Charles Jones 
lot, mounted his horse to go to mill, three miles below. His 
bag of grain was slung over his horse and his gun lay across 

Address of C. Mice Baker. 403 

his saddle. As he rode on, he was joined by Henry White, 
Gkxlfrey Nims and Philip Mattoon. Captain Wells, having 
been warned of impending danger, came out of his stockade at 
the foot of the street to stop them, but trusting to Barnard's 
prudence, let them go on. They had jogged on about a mile, 
when one of them cried out ^^ Indians, Indians," and they turned 
about. Barnard's arm was shattered, his body pierced by a 
bullet and his horse was shot under him. Godfrey Nims ^^ took 
him up, but his horse was shot down and then he was mounted 
behind Mattoon and came of home." He died Sept. 6, ^^a 
humbling providence," says the chronicler, " he being a very 
vseful and helpful man in y^ place." His gravestone bears 
the earliest date in this old burial ground. After Barnard's 
death the garrison was reenforced, but the year 1696 was one 
of great anxiety. September 16, John Smead and John Gillett 
being in the woods tracking bees, were beset by French Mo- 
hawks; Smead escaped. Gillett being taken, was left in charge 
of three savages, while the rest ^^ hastened towards the town." 
It being Lecture Day the people had left the meadows ^^ so that 
y^ enemy came as far as Mr. Daniel Belding's house within 
gun-shot of the fort and captured Belding and some of his 
family." When Belding and company came to the fort called 
Oso,* they were forced to run the gauntlet. Belding being a 
very nimble or light-footed man received but few blows. The 
next summer he was sold to the Seminary priests to ^^ wait upon 
them, cutt wood, make fires and tend the garden." He ac- 
counted himself favorably dealt with. The 27th of December 
1698, the town ^^ voted that Daniel Belding and Martin Smith 
being new returned out of captivity, their heads, together with 
what Eatable estate was on their hands, were freed from Town 

The peace of Byswick was of short duration. When in 1702 
Dudley left England to become governor of Massachusetts, it 
was evident that war between England and France was immi- 
nent. As ever since the peace of 1698, the Canadian government 
had lost no opportunity to excite the eastern Indians to hostility 
under the pretext of protecting them from the encroachments 
of the English, it was inevitable that war between the two nations 
in the Old World, must be followed by a renewal of atrocities 
in New England. As a precautionary measure, Dudley ap. 

*Au Sault or Sault au RecoUet near Montreal. 

404 Field MeeUng— 1908. 

pointed a conferenoe with the sachems at Casoo in Jane, 1703. 
There, after brilliant oratory on both sides, the &roe was en- 
acted of heaping fresh stones on the pillar called The Two 
Brothers, set up at the last treaty. Tmly did Penhallow say, 
^^ Their voice was like the voice of Jacob, but their hands like 
those of Esao,'' for six weeks after, they with their Canadian 
allies set the whole country in flames. In the antmnn follow- 
ing, Zebediah Williams and his half-brother, John Nims, look- 
ing for their cows in the North Meadows were seized and carried 
to Canada. The alarm at Deerfield increased, and the people 
began to make ready to meet the impending tempest from the 
north. The fort was righted up. The schoolmaster, Mr. 
Bichards, was asked to help the selectmen in wording a petitioa 
to the governor for help. Such was the alarm and distress of 
the people that they besought their minister to write to the gov- 
ernment in their behalf. His letter is a credit to pastor and 
people. ** Strangers tell us,'* he says, " that they would not 
live where we do for twenty times as much, — ^the enemy have 
such an advantage of the river to come down upon us. Several 
say they would freely leave all they have, and go away were 
it not disobedience to authority, and a discouraging their 
brethren." He asks for help in repairing the palisade. He 
says, ^^ we have mended it, it is in vain to mend. We must 
make it all new and fetch timber for 206 rods, three or four 
miles if we get oak. . . . The sorrowful parents and distressed 
widows of the poor captives taken from us request your Excel- 
lency to Endeavour that there maybe an exchange of prisoners 
to their release. The blessings of y™ y* are ready to perish 
will surely come upon you in Endeavours of this kind." Later, 
Mr. Williams set apart a day of prayer to ask Qod " either to 
spare and save us from the hands of our enemies, or prepare us 
to sanctify and honor Him in what way soever He should 
come forth towards us." 

Let us rebuild the little hamlet as it was at that time. North 
of Meeting House hill on the west side of the Street, lived Dan- 
iel Belding, in the old Stebbins place ; Deacon David Hoyt, on 
the John Stebbins lot ; Ebenezer Brooks then held the home- 
stead of our Antiquary. John Stebbins and his wife Dorothy 
dwelt where Mr. Samuel Childs now lives ; Martin Kellogg next 
north, and Hannah Beaman next. The fortification inclosed 
the whole of Meeting House hill, including the sites of both 

Address of O. AUce Baker. 406 

meetinghoTises. Towards the northwest comer of the palisade 
was the well-built house of Ensign John Sheldon, and at a right 
angle south, Benoni Stebbins. iN'ext south the home of Parson 
Williams. The well that stood in his yard is still in use. From 
the minister's to Mehuman HinsdelPs now Miss Whiting's, there 
were no houses except a few temporary structures for those who 
in time of danger fled for shelter within the palisades. Next 
south of Hinsdell lived the schoolmaster, opposite was Godfrey 
Nims, and next north Samson Frary in 1698 built the house 
which is still standing. Still to the north within the palisade 
Mr. John Catlin, then Thomas French, and in the Willard 
house Samuel Carter. A little to the northwest of our Sol- 
diers' Monument stood the meetinghouse, a square two-story 
bailding with pyramidal roof surmounted by a turret, tipped 
with a weather-cock. At the south end of the street were 
Jonathan Wells' stockade, Philip Mattoon and the Widow 

Notwithstanding the general uneasiness, private affairs went 
on as usual Birth, marriage, death, like time and tide, stay 
for naught. Winter wore to spring. Soldiers were still billeted 
in the homes of the people. The minds of all were tense with 
anxiety. The air was thick with omens, March came in like a 
lion. The village lay buried in snow, — the people in sleep. In 
that hour before dawn when night is darkest and slumber deep- 
est, the long-dreaded storm burst, unexpected at the last, like 
all long-expected events. '^ Not long before break of day, the 
enemy came in like a flood." Pouring over the palisade, the 
frightful tide swept on, overwhelming with destruction all that 
lay in its path. On what a wreck the morning broke ! The 
meetinghouse that so lately had echoed with psalm and prayer 
now resounded with groans of anguish. There lay the captives, 
ignorant of the fate of friends and kindred. There too, stretched 
upon the hard benches, were the enemies' wounded. There 
Hertel de Bouville himself, smarting under his hurt, rushed in 
for a moment to cheer his wounded brother. There were those 
whom we saw but late so happy. Hannah Chapin listening 
eagerly for every sound while her husband, young John Shel- 
don, to whom love lent wings, was flying for aid to Hatfield. 
Elizabeth Price, mute with woe, for Andrew had been slain at 
her side. Abigail Stebbins not utterly cast down, for De Noyon, 
her father and mother and brothers and sisters were all with 

406 Fidd Meetinff—1908. 

her, aitd De Noyon had told her that his home was near Mon- 
treal and they wonld soon be released. 

A few hours completed the devastation. The sun as it rose 
above the mountain, looked down on a dreadful sight. Benoni 
Stebbins, after fighting for hours like a tiger at bay, lay dead 
in his house while his valiant comrades, supported by the cour- 
age of women as brave, still fought on. Godfrey Nims' house 
was still burning, three of his little girls somewhere dead among 
the embers, his daughter Bebecca Mattoon and her baby slain, 
with his wife and other of his children, — and little Abi^dl, the 
darling of his heart, among the captives. His opposite neigh- 
bor, Mehimian Hinsdell, bereft of wife and child, — also a cap- 
tive with his little cousin, Josiah Rising. John Catlin with his 
son Jonathan dead among the ashes of their ruined home. 

Boused by the hoarse cries of young John Sheldon as he sped 
on bare and bleeding feet through the hamlets below, thirty 
men guided by the light of our burning village were riding fast 
to the rescue. As they entered the stockade the foe fled pre- 
cipitately from the north gate across the frozen meadows reach- 
ing the river at the Bed Bocks. Captain Wells at once took 
command of the rescuing party, reinforced by fifteen of his 
neighbors and five garrison soldiers ^^ pursued the enemy vigor- 
ously, causing many to fall .... but p'rsued to farr impru- 
dently .... not for want of conduct, for Captain Wells caJled 
for a retreate which they Litle mynded .... hotly pursuing 
the Enemy for a mile." Then ambushed, eleven of our men 
fell, fiercely fighting. The enemy went six miles that nighty 
camping in Greenfield meadows. 

Then the scanty remnant of the townsfolk cautiously creep 
from their hiding places and gather in groups asking for tidings. 
As the dreadful tale is told, they know not whether most to re- 
joice or lament that they have been left behind. Among them 
is Mary Baldwin Catlin. While waiting with her children and 
children's children, the order to march into captivity, she had 
ministered to the needs and soothed the sorrows of her friends 
and neighbors. Nor had she turned a deaf ear to the cry of 
her enemy for help. She had held the cup of cold water to the 
parched lips of the wounded French oflicer, craving it with pit- 
eous appeal. In the hurry of the retreat none had claimed her 
as his captive. Her neighbors look upon her as one risen from 
the dead. They go with her to the ruins of her home, where 

Address of C. AUoe Baker, 407 

t she learns the fate of her husband and seoond son. They find 

her little grandson dead on the threshold of his father's empty 

i: house. Then some one says that Captain Wells has been re- 

i pulsed and that Joseph, her eldest son, has fallen in the meadow 

\ fight, — and her heart breaks. 

I Meantime, men eager to pursue the foe were coming in by 

squads from the towns below until about midnight.^ I quote 

• from one of them, '^ were gathered neer about 80 men which 

had thought with that number to have assaulted the Enemy 
that night, but y^ snow being at least three foot deep and 
impassable without snow-shoes we being in a oapacitie to 
follow y°^ but in their path they in a capacitie to flank 
us ... . being fitted with snow-shoes and with treble our 
number and some were much concerned for the captives 
.... whome y« Enemy would kill if we come on, it was con- 
cluded we should too much Expose our men. The next day 
.... Coniticut men began to come in, and by parties till 
within night, at w<^ tyme we were Baised to 250 men in 
Deref d, but the aforesd objections and the weather very Warme 
.... we judge it impossible to travill but .... to utter- 
most disadvantage .... we judge we should Expose o'rselves 
to y^ loss of men and not be able .... to offend the Enemy 
or Rescue our Captives which was y^ End we aimed at in all, 
therefore desisted." 

Nothing was now left but to bury the dead, which was done. 
Here, in one grave, equal in death, they lie together. Infants 
and children of tender years, young men and maidens. An- 
drew, the Indian, Parthena, the slave, faithful unto death to her 
charge, Martin Smith freed from the sorrow and shame that 
beset his life, Benoni Stebbins, the hero, Samson Frary, the 
pioneer, the dauntless nine slain in the Meadow fight, and the 
rest of the 48 as if named, who fell that day all victims of hor- 
rid war. 

It was the greed of territory, on both sides, backed by reli- 
gious bigotry, that desolated our frontier 200 years ago. Con- 
trasting the storm and stress of that February morning with 
the calm and peace of this midsummer day, it behooves us to 
consider whether we have really progressed in a true civilization 
as far as we are apt to believe ; to resolve to cultivate hence- 
forth the things that make for peace, — ^peace in town and church 

* L e., March 1. 

408 Meld Meeting— 1908. 

and state; to do our best to check the desire for expaDsion of 
territory regardless of the rights of others, and cease to be domi- 
nated, either as individuals or a nation, by the lost of power. 

Let us remember that ^^ War is utterly and irreconcilably in- 
consistent with true greatness," and that ^^ Peace is the longing 
and aspiration of the noblest souls, whether for themselves (h* 
for country."! 




While we regret the weather exigency which drives us from 
the platform reared beneath yonder trees, we do enjoy the com- 
pensation of a view of the interior of this ancient edifice, next 
to the site of the Stockade itself, the most fitting place for the 
continuation of these exercises, and it becomes my fortune to 
open the afternoon proceedings from this lofty and circum- 
scribed pulpit, so far away from the people that I fear that my 
friend, the Pastor, will some day here freeze to death. 

I know of no reason why I should have a part in the observ- 
ance of this day, save the invitation of your revered President, 
Mr. Sheldon, whose presence is a continued benediction, for I 
have no Deerfield affiliations. I am not Massachusetts bom, 
nor even a native of New England, for just one half the way 
back to the events commemorated today or one hundred years 
ago, my ancestors were driving ox teams from this eastern 
country by the aid of blazed trees to that, then, remote West, 
known as the Genesee country of New York, given to them for 
services in the Revolutionary War, whose refluent waves had 
not even then altogether subsided. That journey took more 
time and caused vastly more discomfort than would be required 
to^y for a trip to the Philippines. 

I would that other than the lineal descendants of the ear- 
liest settlers were here to at least witness the exercises of this 
day. We are daily taking into our body politic a vast array of 
humanity that has little or no notion of the sacrifices made in 
the long ago that this might truly be the *^ Land of the Free," 

t Charles Sumner, True Grandeur of Nations, and other Addresses. 

Address of Alfred S. Hoe. 409 

and the address under the trees this morning and that in the 
burial ground this afternoon would do much to waken in them 
a proper appreciation of what the fathers did and suffered. I 
would have them hear the strains as they came from the bugle 
in the schoolhouse window, strains which recalled other and 
later days, patriotic airs we call them, every one, laden with 
suggestions of times when the lives of men were lost in the 
grand struggles for national independence. In a way these les- 
sons are being imparted all through this glorious New England 
of ours. Foreign born are taught to speak plain the word coun- 
try, and they learn it early. Why only last winter, in one of 
our evening schools, where in addition to the common branches 
of school, are taught the songs of our land, I heard a class re- 
peat the words of ^^ America," and when the recitation was 
over a young man, not yet nine months this side the sea, said 
with childish self-consciousness, " I can sing that," " Sing it then " 
came the response, and in his broken English, this man bom in 
Poland of the nationality that furnished the assassin of mar- 
tyred McEinley, as well as Washington's friend, Kosciusko, sang : 

Land where my fathers died, 
Land of the Pilgrim's pride, 
From eveiy mountain side, 
Let Freedom ring. 

When I saw the rapt attention given by swarthy Italians, 
dark-browed Jews, Bussian bom. Frenchmen, Syrians and 
Turks, and marked their evident appreciation, however fierce 
the storms that may break upon us, I will not despair of the 

I had hoped and expected that certain of the members and 
officers of our Worcester local society would accompany me on 
this excursion, so well worth the time of all interested, but 
other engagements seem to have held them, hence I find myself 
the only representative of the heart of the Commonwealth on 
this significant occasion. Worcester has a story to tell of Indian 
depredations, of her settlements broken up and of her early set- 
tlers killed, but nothing like the misfortunes which befell this 
sentinel hamlet along the western borders of two centuries since. 

Those were sad days for the fathers, when leaving behind 
them their ruined homes they started on the long and trying 
joumey to Oanada, but what unlimited material for subsequent 

410 mdd MeeUng—190Z. 

story they thus left to their children. In both local and gen- 
eral history, the privations and snfferings of the pioneers have 
been told o'er and o'er, yet never does the ear weary at the re- 
cital. This hamlet by the waters of the Connecticut has beeai 
specially fortunate in her story tellers. From ^' The Eedeemed 
Oaptive " of the Eev. John Williams to the " History of Deer- 
field/' by Gtoorge Sheldon, reciters of fact and tradition pertain- 
ing to this ancient township, have been such as to merit and 
receive the highest praise from every direction. 

Little did I think in my boyhood that it would ever be my 
lot to view the scenes which in legend and story were presented 
to my childish mind of the devastation wrought in this beauti- 
ful valley by the hands of the savage. Hundreds of miles to 
the westward we read the heartrending tales of hardship 
and death ; in fancy we saw the blazing homes and heard the 
screams of slaughtered innocence as depicted in the books of 
adventure which the migrants bore with them to the newer 
homes in the unsettled regions of western New York. The 
greater number of those who thus read and dreamed have taken 
up their line of march to stiU remoter lands in the illimitable 
West ; a few, a very few, have reversed the advice of Horace 
Greeley, " Go West, young man. Go West,*' and as a conse- 
quence one of their ranks appears here with you in this village 
so fragrant with history and rich in associations. 

As Achilles was happy in his Homer, so may we congratu- 
late Deerfield on having a historian whose work, appreciated 
though it be to-day, will grow brighter and brighter as the 
years advance. For many a day the antiquarian and genealo- 
gist have sought Bond's Watertown, Paige's Hardwick and 
Oambridge, Coffin's Newbury, Barry's Framingham, Jackson's 
Newton as veritable treasure houses. To them and others of 
equal note, ever since its publication, has been added Mr. Shel- 
don's labor of love, his result of a lifetime of devotion and work. 

Raleigh, BoUins, Bidpath and the many who have essayed 
to write the history of the world undertook a task far too great 
for any one mortal and too far away from the individual to be 
really entertaining. The nearer we keep our story to the per- 
sonality and the place the greater will be the interest excited. 
Hence it is that we welcome the biography of the good man, 
even if his deeds were not so glorious, the pen-pictures of places 
though they are not battlefields. We doze over the pages of 

Address of Alfred S. Jioe. 411 

a general writer whose figures are nameless, but we follow with 
breathless zeal the steps of a poor captive whose fortunes really 
have little or no bearing on the sequence of events. 

For such reasons we gather here to-day to recall an incident 
in the early existence of a settlement, then remote from the 
older portions of the colony. Thanks to the painstaking dili- 
gence of Mr. Sheldon and those who wrought before him, we 
may draw a mental picture of each and every one who suffered 
in those far away days. Indeed, as I have read the story it 
required no great stretch of the imagination, especially, here 
where so many memorials continue, to hear the ydl of the sav- 
age and to see the gleam of his tomahawk. 

When in yonder cemetery, where rest the mortal remains 
of so many who fell in defending their homes, I esteemed it a 
great privilege to hear the words of one who has given many 
years of her life to the unearthing of facts pertaining to those 
far-away days. So real have the faces and forms of those 
ancient worthies become to her that I fancied, as she was read- 
ing, there was a tremulousness in her voice as in fancy she 
came back to the burning house and there found on the thresh- 
old the dead forms of loved ones ; to her it was not history, 
the story of far-off penl, but an actual, dread reality of the 
present. The near by mound seems to give up its dead of these 
twice one hundred years and they teem with life in our very 

After all, had there been no detennined, tireless enthusiasts 
to seek out and to mark these suggestive spots there would be 
no gathering here to-day, no society devoted to the mainte- 
nance of legend and story, no museum filled with the choicest 
relics of interesting and tempestuous past. Deerfield has sent 
forth from her homes, Kichard Hildreth, the historian of the 
nation, John Williams, the bishop of Connecticut, Hitchcock, 
the college president and Saxton, the soldier, but her giving has 
not impoverished her. She still retains her ineradicable history, 
her unrivaled scenery, her heirlooms whose price is above rubies. 
Fortunate the people who rise equal to their privileges and hav- 
ing a pardonable pride in themselves are not averse to giving 
the world the reasons for the faith that is in them. 

Justiy proud may the dweUers in this village be over their 
antiquity and its incidents. Happy too should they be that the 
fathers also had an adequate sense of the value of the part they 

412 Fidd Meeting— 1903. 

and their posseBsions bore in the trying time of long aga 
Happily they allowed to remain so many of the stractores oon- 
neoted with the stirring history of Deerfield till to-day it would 
seem that the average citizen of this hamlet would be ashamed 
to live in a house less than a hundred and fifty years old and 
so ancient do many of your residences look. We should not 
say you "Kay" did you aver that all of them had survived 
that terrible night of two hundred years since ? Every one has 
a deep interest in your museum where you have gathered the 
reminders of a sad yet precious past, relics that, in all this wide 
world, cannot be duplicated, constituting wonderful illustrations 
on the pages of a history too vivid for other portrayal 

Kor did your story end when the deeds of 1704 were done. 
To them you have piously added those of the Bevolutionary 
struggle and that sturdy soldier in freestone, on the site of your 
early church, teUs us how you remember the dark Bebellion 
days and whatever perils coming years may bring, such care 
as you manifest to-day and have ever shown, will make sure 
the record of Deerfield. 


Among the stirring scenes of Pilgrim History there is no 
more striking picture than that in the Common House of Plym- 
outh when the treaty between the Pilgrims and Massassoit 
was made. On the morning of that March day, in 1621, from 
out the woods upon the slope of the hill and separated from the 
little settlement by a narrow stream, known as Town Brook^ 
comes Massassoit with his train of sixty warriors. In person 
the Indian chief was ^^ a very lusty man, in his best years, an 
able body, grave of countenance, spare of speech." In dress he 
differs slightly from the warriors who gather round him ; bis 
face was painted with a dark red, while the faces of his follow- 
ers were painted, some yellow, some red, or black, or white. A 
great chain of white bone beads seems the only insignia of the 
chieftain's rank. With the aid of Squanto, the interpreter, who 
spoke English and who was familiar not only with the woods 
and shores of Plymouth Bay, but with the streets of London, an 
interchange of hostages was arranged, and also that Massassoit 
with twenty of his braves should meet the governor and the 

Add/reBB of Arihv/r Lord. 413 

leaders of the little colony, whose nmnbers had been so sadly 
redaoed by the deaths in the first winter. 

Massassoit and his twenty followers, all strong men in ap- 
pearance, cross the brook and are met by Captain Miles Stand- 
ish with his musketeers behind him, and in formal order they 
march down the first street to the house then building where 
Carver, the first governor, whose early death the Pilgrim Com- 
pany are soon to mourn, appears with drum and trumpet and 
escorted by guards. And now in the Common House they 
assemble, on one side the painted savages, armed only with 
bows and arrows and dressed in skins ; on the other side the 
little band of Englishmen, armed with sword and gun, and 
still wearing pieces of ancient armor. In the center stand 
forth the two leaders, the Pilgrim Governor and the Indian 
Chief, fit types of the two races who in the future and for long 
years to come were to contend in deadly rivalry for the posses- 
sion of the soil of the new world. The treaty was concluded. 
It was a compact of offense and defense. The Pilgrims were 
to receive his support and assistance, and were in turn to render 
aid to him in case of unjust war. It secured that protection to 
the Pilgrim Company which was vital to its safety, and enabled 
it to acquire peaceful possession and title to the lands to be 
occupied by the Plymouth Colony. For more than half a cen- 
tury the provisions of the treaty were faithfully kept. It is a 
significant fact that until the breaking out of King Philip's War, 
fifty-four years later, it could be fairly said by Governor Wins- 
low that ^^ the English did not possess one foot of land in this 
colony but what was fairly obtained by honest purchase of the 
Indian proprietors. We first made a law that none should pur- 
chase or receive of gift any land of the Indian without the 
knowledge of our Court.'* 

King Philip's War, though begun in plain violation of recent 
treaty stipulations, was the inevitable result of an irrepressible 
conflict for race supremacy which was to determine the fate of 
the English settlements and the right of the aboriginal owner 
to remain in secure and undisputed possession of the soil over 
which he and his ancestors had roamed and hunted and fought 
for countless generations. The immediate causes of the out- 
break are no longer important. The details of the conflict, 
which only ended when the head of Philip was carried in tri- 
umph through the streets of Plymouth, need not now be re- 

414 Fidd MeeUnff— 1903. 

corded. The whole frontier was in a blaze, from Plymoath 
on the southeast, where, in March, 1676, a garrison house was 
attacked on the Sabbath when most of the men had gone to 
church and eleven persons were killed and the house con- 
sumed, to the then distant western line on the banks of the 
Connecticut. The attacks on Deerfield are a part of the history 
of New England, and Bloody Brook, where the flower of Elssex 
was carelessly led into that fatal ambush, flows on forever, 
eloquent with the story of the tragedy, the anguish and the 
despair of that disastrous day. The resistless tide of emigration 
sweeps ever on, delayed for a brief moment at this point or 
that, it is only to gain a fresh impetus for its onward flow. 

The Border wars of New England hereafter are not the vain 
and fruitless efforts of a weaker race to resist the tide of emi- 
gration, but are to be inspired, directed and aided by the wily 
agents of a foreign foe. King William's War, or the Lamenta- 
ble Decade, as C!otton Mather terms it, marks the closing years 
of the seventeenth century, and Queen Anne's War, proclaimed 
at Westminster, May, 1702, brings into the quarrel over the 
Spanish succession French and English settlers in the new 

It is said there were a hundred and twenty thousand persons 
of all ages in New England at the beginning of the war of the 
Spanish succession. Differing widely in temperament and train- 
ing from the French Canadian, they were citizens by choice 
and soldiers by necessity, they lacked leaders of military edu- 
cation, though they were not without men qualified by expe- 
rience in border warfare to command the small detachments. 

The alarm gun and the beacon's blaze called them reluctantly 
from peaceful pursuits. A standing army always in readings 
for possible wars, was not only impracticable in these scattered 
and distant colonies, but was one of the dangers which they 
deemed it important to avoid, a burden alike perilous and un- 
necessary. The forays along the frontier line of New Hamp- 
shire and Maine were soon followed by attacks on the settle- 
ments of Western Massachusetts. 

The French Canadian hunters and trappers with their Indian 
allies, undismayed by the winter's cold and snow, passed rap- 
idly over the border. The attack on Deerfield was typical of 
these incursions. It would be unnecessary in this company, 
even if the limits of time permitted, to repeat the minute de- 

Address of Arthwr Lard. 416 

tails of that fatal night in February, 1704. But to the atten- 
tive ear and listening mind the scene which greets us to-day for 
a moment disappears. The stillness of a summer's noon becomes 
the silence of a winter's night The soft summer's breeze 
changes into an icy blast These well-tilled fields, green with 
the summer's bounty, are covered with snow. The street, 
where arching trees furnish a grateful shade and happy homes 
extend their hospitable welcome, changes into an inclosed 
stockade. Within are the simple houses of a frontier town, 
and without, like a winding sheet, the snowdrifts pile up to 
the level of the rude palisade. Two miles away De Bouville 
with his French soldiers and their Indian allies are waiting for 
the moment of attack. Here the peaceful villagers are sleep- 
ing soundly and the unsuspicious sentinel neglects his post. In 
the hour before daybreak, so often in history the chosen time 
of attack, the invading force sweeps over the palisades and 
through the street. The silence is broken by the rattle of 
musketry and the blood-curdling war-whoop, the darkness is 
dispelled by the light of burning homes. Resistance seems 
impossible, so complete the surprise, yet the story of the gal- 
lant defense of Sergt. Stebbins' house by seven determined 
men and a few brave women against the main force of French 
and Indians will long live in the annals of New England, illus- 
trative of those stirring qualities of fortitude and valor which 
have made New England strong. Where has the morning sun 
looked down upon a sadder sight . Smouldering heaps mark 
the spots where yesterday's sun beheld the happy homes. The 
wounded and the dead lie on every hand ; and there the long 
line of weary and saddened captives, men, women and children 
are taking up their toilsome march to distant Canada. 

I saw in the naked forest 

Our scattered remnant cast 
A screen of shivering branches 

Between them and the blast. 
The snow was falling round them. 

The dying feU as fast, 
I looked to see them perish, 

When, lol the vision passed. 

It is a scene which has too often marked our frontier line. 
Whether that frontier was on the seaboard, or on its western 
way the blazing homes of the sturdy emigrant have been a pil- 

416 Fidd MeeUng—190S. 

lar of smoke by day and of fire by night to mark its steady and 
resistless advance. What stories of valor, of suffering and of eor 
terprise have been inseparably woven into this nation's history 
from the day of the landing at Plymouth in 1620 till 

From Eastern Rock to sunset wave 
The continent is ours. 

In grateful recognition of those brave days of old, in loviog 
memory of those early settlers whose names you bear and 
whose blood runs in your veins you gather on ^ese recurring 
anniversaries to pay your tribute of admiration and respect to 
their indomitable courage, their unfailing fortitude and their 
sublime faith. 

I noticed a fine inscription as I passed along your street : 

His descendants honor his memory, and cherish his old Home. 

It is here and in towns like this, these ancient towns, either 
upon the shores of some bay, no longer whitened by the sails of 
commerce, or upon some quiet hillside, or on the banks of some 
winding river, where wealth, nor power, nor fame among the 
cities of the earth has ever come, that men will most sorely 
find the ideal home. The word ^^home" has no equivalent 
and no synonym in our language, and no single line can define 
it. It has a deeper and broader meaning than that merely of 
the place where one lives or dwells. The student who lives at 
Amherst during his entire four years' course still keeps his 
home on the distant shores of the Pa:cific ; there need even be 
no continuous occupancy of a place and yet still it is defined as 
a home. The sailor pursuing adventurous voyages in distant 
seas may never dwell for more than a few months in a long 
life on that wind-swept hillside on Cape Cod which he calls his 
home. Judge Bradley, late of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, sought to define the word ^^home" in these 
words : " The house where a family permanently dwells, col- 
lects its comforts and forms its attachments and memories." 

The stronger these attachments and memories the clearer and 
more perfect the meaning to its possessors of the word home. 
Here, in the valley of the Connecticut, in those homes which 
for generations the same family has kept, where men still till 
the same fields that their fathers have tilled, and pass along the 
same streets, scarcely changed in the lapse of time, which their 

Address of Francis B. Denio. 417 

ancestors have trod before them, and especially where the 
memories of heroic deeds still linger, and the traditions of 
valor and suffering and enterprise are tenderly cherished, 
there is found the true significance and the real meaning of 
the word home. Thrice fortunate that community whose 
history and traditions, whose associations and memories are 
indissolubly bound with great events and heroic deeds. 



Mr. President wad Members of Hie Pocumtuck Valley Associa- 
tion: — At this time I shall venture to take it upon myself to repre- 
sent the many and widely scattered sons and daughters of Deer- 
field who have never seen this home of ancestors, and most of 
whom will never see it. On their behalf I wish to thank you 
for what you have done and are still doing to keep alive the 
memory of the courage, the endurance and the worth of our 
common ancestors. 

It is very fitting that I represent these unknown children of 
Deerfield. Few can have so good a right to do so. Nowhere 
have I found so many ancestral roots as here in old Deerfield. 
Not only do I count among my forbears John Stebbins whose 
daughter Abigail was the wife of James Denoyon and the 
mother of Ren6 Denoyon, better known as Aaron Denio, but 
also I derive descent from Godfrey Nims and Edward Allen 
among the first settlers of Deerfield. 

We should know little of the worth, and scarcely the names, 
of our Deerfield ancestors but for your labors. My own imme- 
diate branch of our family was widely sundered from Deerfield 
more than a century ago. Communication was difficult, letter- 
writing an unpracticed art. A vague tradition of descent from 
Deerfield, of connection with the events commemorated to-day 
was a part of my childhood inheritance. As I came to ma- 
turity I wondered and questioned about our family, its name, 
its origin, in short, about the race from which I sprang. To 
your President, Hon. George Sheldon, and to Miss Baker I 
owe the fact that for me the vague tradition has been replaced 
by a measure of definite knowledge. The debt which I owe 
to you, officers and members, is a debt which a great many 

418 FMd Meeti/ng—XWZ. 

others share with me. The pages of Sheldon's History of 
Deerfield contain records which must have made known to 
many others, as to me, the lineage to which they might trace 
their origin. For the means of attaining this knowledge we 
thank the writer of this history, and all those whose support 
made possible the publication of these invaluable volumes. 

This debt we owe has been recognized in some degree in the 
past, and future generations will gladly recognize it in increas- 
ing measure. They, as I, your kin, whom you know not, who 
will never know you, will learn more and more to take pride 
in our common ancestry. This power to trace our ancestry so 
as to connect ourselves with the early life of Deerfield is but 
one part of our debt. We owe it to you that we are able in 
some degree to realize properly the courage and heroism of our 
Deerfield forbears. This realization comes to us while we read 
the History of Deerfield and the narratives given us by Miss 
Baker. To-day as I heard her story of the years in whioh 
Deerfield's most famous tragedy occurred, a story with epic 
simplicity and vividness, I felt more deeply than ever before the 
meaning of the life in this town two hundred years ago. It is 
by means of Deerfield's history thus given to us that we learn 
to honor our ancestors more and more for the days and weeks 
and months and years of steadfast endurance of the privations 
and incessant perils of this frontier life. This steadfastness 
seems to me even more worthy of honor than the successful 
endurance of the tragedy of the night of February 29th, 1703-4, 
prolonged as it was into months and years. 

For myseU I thank Gkxi that I may number myself among 
the descendants of such men and women. So must also the 
numerous and increasing circle of your kin and mine. 

To you in this beautiful valley the task of perpetuating the 
memory of our common ancestors, by the printed page and by 
the erection of local memorials has been a work of filial piety, 
and the fruit of an imagination kindled by the constant pres* 
ence of scenes and reminders of a past rich in historic fact and 
discipline of worthy character. For these works by which you 
have made a multitude of remote kin your debtors, and for 
which I feel sure many fed indebted to you from whom you 
have received no message of thanks, and from whom you will 
receive none in person — I on their behalf now express to you 
our hearty and sincere gratitude. 

AddreM of Francis H. Ajppletan. 419 



Mr. Chmvman: — ^First of all I wish to thank my fellow 
Trustee and our honored Yioe-President, of the Board of Trus- 
tees of Public Reservations, Hon. George Sheldon, for having 
invited me to participate in these interesting exercises, and to 
meet your people here ; at a place where an ancestor of mine, 
Captain, and later Major, Samuel Appleton, led brave and true 
men from Essex County — ^my beloved county — ^in defense of the 
principle of establishing a stable form of government, under 
which life and property might be respected, and be safe against 
savage or lawless attack. 

The incentive of your invitation led me to collect a few books 
upon the subjects that to-day engage our attention, more than 
I have been able to fully read, including Mr. Sheldon's complete 
work, but with great interest to myself so far as I have done 
so ; and to learn of your brave ancestry. And I have been quite 
at a loss as to what I should select, to refer to now, relating to 
those early days. 

I knew, with your programme before me, that the historic 
ground would be admirably covered by scholarly addresses, 
such as I have been privileged to listen to already, and which 
we shall hear this afternoon. 

I shall ask your attention very briefly to a few matters bear- 
ing more upon our natural surroundings of the present time, 
which are the same lands as of those early days. 

A word only, before doing so, of that man of action from 
whom I am descended, and through whose acts I am enabled 
to wear the button of the Society of Colonial Wars of Massa- 
chusetts ; which society, by its winter monthly lectures, by its 
excursions to historic spots, and by its memorial markings is 
doing much towards bringing to the front unfamiliar and his- 
toric facts of the colonial period, that redound to the glory of 
our ancestry, and intensify the interest throughout our Nation, 
in this old Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Captain Samuel Appleton appears to have been a participant 
in civil as well as military duties. He died at Ipswich, and was 
a brave and true man, like his men, worthy of coming under 
that honorable phrase '^ The Flower of Essex." 

420 Fidd JTM^tn^— 1903. 

It has been my agreeable duty to have been more or less oon- 
nected with the promotion of agricoltoral interests in our state 
for many years — as our lives mn — in several of its branohee. 

And I wonld remind you that arboriculture, f orestiy, farming, 
horticulture, good roads, etc., come under that heading. 

I would appeal, to such an audience as is now preset, for all 
such encouragement (wherever may be their homes) on these 
lines, as shall make all parts of the sur&ce of this state of to- 
day to flourish, and increase in productiveness and beauty; 
towards which ends Mr. Sheldon has contributed so mucdi en- 
couragement so that the cultivated part of our landscape, and 
the natural beauty, shall be continued, a beautiful frameworic 
to glorious deeds. 

In this quiet valley, with its surrounding hills of grandeur, 
where near-by scenes of bloodiest strife have been vividly recalled 
to us to-day, let those branches of agriculture, that will best 
suit its soil and climate, be encouraged by the application of 
scientific knowledge to prevail, and, in the state at large, may 
such intelligent care be fully applied on those lines of arbori- 
culture, and the proper development of Public Beservations, 
that you, Mr. Sheldon, so much love to promote and care for, 
in the interest of the state and her people. 

May the locations of the heroic deeds that especially mark 
the stepping-stones in the gradual founding of this, now power- 
ful Nation, be preserved as object lessons, and as places of 
healthful recreation and rest for present and future generations. 

While we sacredly strive to preserve the grand old trees that 
our ancestors so thoughtfully planted to make prominent and 
comfortable many a Massachusetts and New England village, 
town or city, let us not forget that tree life is prolonged and 
promoted by the wise use of saw and pruning hatchet, but only 
under most expert guidance. 

Let the wounds made by limbs torn off during storms be 
early mended by proper filling, and may the insect pest be kept 
at a minimum. 

May such beautiful towns as this be perpetuated. 

I bring to you and the citizens of this beautiful inland terri- 
tory of Deenfield, the greetings of the descendants of ^^the 
Flower of Essex." 

We of the seacoast, and of a denser population, are endeav- 
oring to promote conditions to favor business on land and 8ea» 

Memarka of Hen/ry D. HoUon. 421 

which are promoting markets for inland products ; while for re- 
freshment from the wear and tear of city toil, the more quiet 
and restful beauty of such inland lands as you have here, are 
what are essential to the well-being in mind and body of hu- 

May this valuable work of building up collections of historic 
things grow, and may the bond of union among such societies 
increase to their mutual good ; and may the village improve- 
ment idea be alive within their membership, as has been found 
a useful combination. 

I assure you that I fully appreciate your courtesy in asking 
me here from old Essex County to old Deerfield's County and 
Township, as a descendant of one who so long ago aided your 
people for the public good. 



Mr. Chai/rmcm^ Friends and Neighbors: — ^Although we now 
meet for the first time, I may be permitted to say that I feel 
very much at home here. My father was bom near by a little 
more than a hundred years ago and spent his boyhood here. 
Many of my kindred are buried in the cemeteries hereabout. 
My boyhood's ears were delighted with stories of the fish caught 
in Deerfield River which were much larger and finer than any 
found in the streams of Pennsylvania ; and there was the bee 
tree on Shelburne hills where they shot the bear. 

An occasion such as this does much to promote patriotism 
especially among the young people, who are so numerous on the 
grounds to-day. All this helps to confirm our early motto, B 
FluriJyue Tlrmra^ which really meant but little until it had been 
established in a fearful struggle, many of whose heroes are here 



It gives me pleasure to unite with you to-day, oflfering an 
obligation to the memory of the sturdy, Gk)d-fearing patriots 
who first pushed into the then primeval wilderness and founded 

422 Mdd I£eetwg—\^^Z. 

a town endowed with civil and religions liberty. It is perhaps 
espeoially appropriate that I should do this as onr own town of 
Brattleboro, then unknown, was made the base of the invading 
army of the French and Indians when they made their cnielly 
morderons assault upon this settlement. They left their dogs 
and sledges in the care of some of their number at the mouth 
of West River where they cut on the rocks various sym- 
bols which remain to this day, undoubtedly intended to be a 
record of their expedition. 

It is not only a duty but a privilege for all the people of 
this valley to meet from time to time and keep fragrant the 
memory of the victims who gave their lives or endured suffe^ 
ings, privations and tortures worse than death itself. Pos- 
sessed of courage, fortitude and unfailing faith in God, by perse- 
verance, industry and economy they subdued the wild soil and 
their savage foes and left a heritage of productive beauty, a 
government in which each of us are sovereigns, only so circum- 
scribed and bound, that while we engage in what ever legiti- 
mate pursuit we vnll, we shall not in any way interfere with 
the same right of our neighbors. 

They wrought out this glorious legacy by the exhibition of 
certain traits of character which grew and expanded in suc- 
ceeding generations, becoming the broad foundations upon 
which this nation was founded. First was the strong religions 
faith, which from a cursory view might to-day seem narrow 
bigotry, but which, when we carefully analyze, we find con- 
tained the true teachings of the Oreat Master, which have 
gradually broadened out into a catholicity of spirit as the gene- 
rations have studied the principles expounded in the valleys of 
Judea twenty centuries ago. 

Second to this was the home, the most sacred place in all 
the world, where the children were taught to love God, respect 
their elders, obey implicitly their parents, and industriously 
use their time in useful pursuits ; in fact to perform the duties of 
life because those duties were for them and could only be