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Copyright, 1903 


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First Edition. 


OME three weeks ago a Chapter of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution 
dedicated at Worcester, Mass., a tablet 
commemorative of the site of the original 
Worcester schoolhouse, — the site upon 
which, if not the house in which, John 
Adams taught immediately after his graduation from 
Harvard College, in 1755. It proved an occasion of 
interest, President G. Stanley Hall, of Clark University, 
and Senator George F. Hoar both contributing dis- 
criminating addresses of a character highly suggestive. 
Among the most interested of those present on this 
occasion was Miss Elizabeth Porter Gould, who sub- 
sequently called my attention to a paper she had prepared 
relating to the experiences of John Adams during his 
Worcester school-teaching, and of Daniel Webster during 
a similar experience at Fryeburg, in the State of Maine. 
This paper she asked me to read over, and I have since 
complied with her request. 

Prepared as a labor of love, but with great thor- 
oughness, I found that Miss Gould's sketch had an 
unquestionable interest of its own. The youthful 
school-teaching of two such very eminent men in New 
England history as John Adams and Daniel Webster 
could not but well repay any reasonable amount of 
investigation ; and that given to it by Miss Gould has 
been fruitful of results. 

It is, of course, much to be regretted that both John 
Adams and Daniel Webster should not have put on 


record more concerning the surroundings and condi- 
tions under which they taught, in the one case a cen- 
tury and a half, and in the other a little over a century 
ago. Every educational condition has since changed. 
When the two men, freshly graduated from college, 
but afterwards so famous, presided over village schools, 
those schools were frequented by children of both sexes 
and all ages. The offspring of the vicinage there gath- 
ered. The "three R's," as they were called, only, 
were taught; but from the alphabet up to reading, 
writing, and arithmetic, the whole work of instruction 
devolved on the single teacher. Schools of this sort are 
now rarely found, and only in the most remote districts. 
Then, and indeed down to a time within the easy recol- 
lection of those now living, they existed everywhere. 
Unfortunately, it never occurred to either President 
Adams or Mr. Webster that the time could possibly 
come when the commonplace, every-day, humdrum ex- 
perience they were going through would be of the 
deepest interest to great numbers of the most highly 
educated men and women of the succeeding centuries, 
— men and women who make a life-long profession of 
what was to those others a temporary bread-earning 
expedient. All that the most thorough investigation 
can now disclose are the general outlines of a system 
then universal, but which has since ceased to exist. 

These outlines Miss Gould has traced with indefati- 
gable patience. Meanwhile, studying the subsequent 
career of the two statesmen in the light of her narra- 
tive, it might afford another subject of curious inquiry 


to endeavor to portion out the educational advantage 
each of them himself derived from that close contact 
with the material out of which the New England com- 
munity of their later careers was composed, as compared 
with the degree of learning it was given them to impart 
to others. It is probably not unsafe to conclude that 
the balance of benefit was distinctly and largely on their 
side. They both got more than they gave. 

Charles Francis Adams. 
Boston, June 16, 1903. 

part ©ne 

John Hbams 

as a 


5obn Hfcams 

CCORDING to an ordinance of the Gen- 
eral Court of Massachusetts in 1647 that 
a town of fifty householders should have 
a school, Worcester, four years after its 
incorporation in 1722, had hired its first 
schoolmaster. Five years later, "whereas 
many small children cannot attend ye School in ye centre 
of ye Town by Reason of ye remoteness of their Dwell- 
ings, and to ye intent that all Children may have ye 
benefite of Education," the town voted a suitable 
number of " schoole Dames," or " Gentlewomen, to be 
placed in ye Several parts of ye town as ye Selectmen 
may think most convenient." 

Upon the town's increase to one hundred families or 
householders, a grammar school according to law became 
a necessity ; and in 1755 the clergyman of the town, Rev. 
Thaddeus Maccarty, was empowered by the selectmen 
to provide a schoolmaster. Naturally turning to Har- 
vard College, at the commencement exercises of that 
year he was especially impressed with one of the gradu- 
ates, John Adams, of Braintree, Mass. The good 
scholarship, bold thought, strong language and evident 
sincerity of the young man, not quite twenty years of 
age, seemed to him a good recommendation for the 
teaching career. His standing in social life was learned 
from the fact that he was number fourteen in a class of 
twenty-four ; for pupils were then placed in the order 
of the supposed rank or dignity of parents, the alpha- 
betical order in their names and places not being in use 
■until nearly twenty years later. 

io 3obn Hfcams 

Before the return of the clergyman John Adams was 
engaged to teach the school. Three weeks later a horse 
and an attendant were sent from Worcester to Braintree 
to take him to the new field of labor. He was then 
living with his parents on the Adams farm, his birth- 
place. The old house is now (1903) the headquarters 
of the Adams Chapter of the Daughters of the Revo- 
lution, — Mrs. Nelson V. Titus, Regent, — through whose 
efforts it was restored in 1897. 

Among his friends was John Hancock, also a native 
of Quincy, who, then about eighteen years of age r 
had graduated from Harvard College the year before. 
Dorothy Q. was still alive in the old Quincy mansion 
on Hancock Street we visit to-day ; and living with her 
was her niece, Dorothy Quincy, who afterwards became 
the wife of John Hancock. Abigail Smith, whose 
home was in the neighboring town of Weymouth, was 
often a guest with relatives in Quincy. But John 
Adams left all these associations to go away to teach 

Worcester at that time, with its fifteen hundred inhab- 
itants, was not what it was even at the end of the cen- 
tury. Twenty-eight years were to elapse before the 
running of the first regular stage from Boston to 
Worcester, and nearly twenty before even the stage 
should pass through the town from Boston to New 
York. Many more years were to pass before the first 
passenger train should run over the Boston and Worcester 

Upon arriving in the town John Adams went to board,. 

as a Scbooimaster u 

at the town's expense, at Major Nathaniel Greene's, who 
had been one of the three to carry into effect the town 
vote to maintain a grammar school. Private subscrip- 
tions of Hon. James Putnam, Judge John Chandler and 
other prominent citizens of the town aided in the work. 
The little schoolhouse — sixteen by twenty-four feet — to 
which he came stood in what is now Lincoln Square, 
having been built some seventeen years before, 1738, as 
the first schoolhouse of Worcester. The salary could not 
have been large, for the sum appropriated for the sup- 
port of the schools was only seventy-five pounds, having 
been that year increased from sixty pounds. 

Thus, as the town schoolmaster, this brave young 
man of nearly twenty began his work. It was not long 
before he was writing a promised account of the " situa- 
tion of his mind." But the " natural state of his facul- 
ties being insufficient for the task," he felt obliged to 
invoke the "muse or goddess who inspired Milton's 
pen" to help him " sing things unattempted yet in prose 
or rhyme." The result of this in a letter to his college 
friend, Richard Cranch, dated Sept. 2, 1755, is as 
interesting to-day as when it was written, for it reveals 
a poetic tendency of the man which later circumstances 
did not tend to develop. 

When the nimble hours have tackled Apollo's coursers, and 
the gay deity mounts the eastern sky, the gloomy pedagogue 
arises, frowning and lowering like a black cloud begrimmed 
with uncommon wrath to blast a devoted land. When the 
destined time arrives he enters upon action, and as a haughty 
monarch ascends his throne, the pedagogue mounts his awful 
great chair, and dispenses right and justice through his whole 

i2 3obn Hfcams 

empire. His obsequious subjects execute the imperial mandates 
with cheerfulness, and think it their high happiness to be 
employed in the service of the emperor. Sometimes paper, 
sometimes his penknife, now birch, now arithmetic, now a 
ferule, then A, B, C, then scolding, then flattering, then 
thwacking, calls for the pedagogue's attention. At length, 
his spirits all exhausted, down comes pedagogue from his 
throne, and walks out in awful solemnity through a cringing 
multitude. In the afternoon he passes through the same dread- 
ful scenes, smokes his pipe, and goes to bed. Exit muse. 

Considerable uneasiness was manifest in the beginning 
of this school experience. John Adams craved a larger 
sphere. The large number of " little runtlings, just 
capable of lisping A, B, C, and troubling the master," 
made the school to him a "school of affliction." In 
spite of Dr. Savil telling him for his comfort that by 
" cultivating and pruning these tender plants in the 
garden of Worcester" he would make some of them 
44 plants of renown and cedars of Lebanon," he was 
certain that keeping it any length of time would make 
a " base weed and ignoble shrub " of him. 

There was for him comparatively little knowledge of 
the outside world, since it was twenty years before the 
Massachusetts Spy, the first publication in Worcester, 
was published, and seventy before a daily paper was 
issued there. In this lonely life among strangers the 
new school-teacher turned to the friends who had 
cheered his college days, particularly to Charles Cush- 
ing and Richard Cranch. Absence from them pained 
his heart while his philosophical mind cried, " But 
thus it is, and I must submit." At one time he longed 

as a Schoolmaster 13 

for a letter from Richard Cranch " to balance the in- 
quietude of school keeping." " Pray write me the first 
time- you are at leisure/' he implored. He requested 
him to see his friend Quincy, — the Hon. Josiah Quincy, 
who afterwards bought and lived in the Hancock house 
in Quincy, — " and conjure him, by all the muses," to 
write him a letter. " Tell him that all the conversation 
I have had since I left Braintree is dry disputes upon 
politics and rural obscene wit. That, therefore, a letter 
written with that elegance of style and delicacy of 
humor which characterize all his performances would 
come recommended with the additional charm of rarity, 
and contribute more than anything (except one from 
you) towards making a happy being of me once more." 

All correspondence was effected with difficulties, since 
it was twenty years before the establishment of a post 
office in Worcester. But, after all, this new life, instead 
of suppressing, stimulated his native energies. This is 
seen in the prophetic thought of a letter written after he 
had been in Worcester about six weeks to his friend and 
kinsman, Nathan Webb, beginning thus: "All that 
part of creation which lies within our observation is 
liable to change. Even mighty states and kingdoms 
are not exempted." 

It was evident that he was moved by the existing state 
of affairs. George II was then King of England, and 
Shirley, as Governor, was leading the Massachusetts 
Colony under its second charter. George Washington, 
then a young man of twenty-three, had made himself 
felt in the war against the French and Indians. This 

H 3obn H&ams 

was the year of the expulsion of the French from Nova 
Scotia and of Braddock's defeat. Louisburg had been 
taken. Regimental headquarters were at Worcester, 
causing tents to whiten the surrounding country. " Be 
not surprised," wrote the young schoolmaster, "that I 
am turned politician. This whole town is immersed in 
politics. The interests of nations and of the dira of 
war make the subject of every conversation. I sit and 
hear, and after having been led through a maze of sage 
observations, I sometimes retire, and by laying things 
together, form some reflections pleasing to myself." 

In this letter he showed a clear perception of the na- 
ture of friendship, which he calls "one of the distin- 
guishing glories of man," when he declared, "In this, 
perhaps, we bear a nearer resemblance to unembodied 
intelligence than to anything else. From this I expect 
to receive the chief happiness of my future life." 

His capacity for friendship was somewhat satisfied in 
the Worcester people, whom he soon found to be "so- 
ciable, generous, and hospitable." He often dined, 
drank tea, or spent an evening with Major Chandler, 
Major Gardiner, Mr. Welman, and others. One even- 
ing he was discussing with Major Greene the "divinity 
and satisfaction of Jesus Christ" ; another, he was won- 
dering with Major Gardiner whether it was not the 
design of Christianity to make "good men, good mag- 
istrates, good subjects, good children, good masters, 
and good servants," rather than "good riddle-mongers 
and mystery-mongers" ; another time he was making 
observations with his friends concerning the "prodi- 

as a Schoolmaster 15 

gious genius, cultivated with prodigious industry," of 
Mr. Franklin, — then about fifty years of age, — who was 
coming back from Europe with a reputation enlarged 
on account of electrical experiments. He doubtless was 
familiar with the sayings of Poor Richard in the 
almanacks then making their appearance. He may 
have discussed them with his first Worcester friend, the 
Rev. Mr. Maccarty, as they supped together. Doubt- 
less they discussed Jonathan Edwards as preacher at 
Northampton, or as president of Princeton College. 
One wonders if they even heard of the name of Swe- 
denborg, then coming before the world with his writ- 
ings ; or of Handel, then old and blind ; or of Bach, 
who had died only a few years before. Had Pope's 
new edition of Shakespeare reached them? or his 
translation of the Iliad and Odyssey? It is possible 
they knew of Dryden's metrical translation of Virgil. 
But whether or not they discussed these classics, we do 
know they dwelt on religious subjects ; that the young 
teacher revealed the same line of thought that was seen 
in a letter he wrote in his old age, at eighty-five, to 
Prof. John Gorham when he said, "I believe with 
Father Abraham and Sir Isaac Newton in the existence 
of spirit distinct from matter, and resign to the Uni- 
versal Spirit the government of his heavens and earth." 
In spite, however, of growing convictions on religious 
subjects, the young schoolmaster attended Mr. Mac- 
carty' s church, the only one in town; for it was not 
until after the death of this minister, in 1784, that an- 
other church — the Unitarian — was organized. Years 

16 3obn Bbame 

afterwards in a letter to Dr. Aaron Bancroft, its pastor for 
over fifty years, John Adams, in referring to the old 
days, said: "Mr. Maccarty, though a Calvinist, was 
not a bigot ; but the town was a scene of dispute all the 
time I lived there. When I left I entered into a scene 
of other disputations at the bar, and not long afterwards 
disputations of another kind in politics." So he felt he 
had had his share of controversy. But, after all, he de- 
clared, upon acknowledging the receipt of Dr. Ban- 
croft's sermons, that they were most satisfactory in 
expressing the result of his "reading, experience, and 
reflection." "How different," he concluded, "from 
the sermons I heard and read in the town of Worcester 
from 1755 to 1758." 

Although Mr. Maccarty' s successful ministry of thirty- 
seven years in Worcester was effective and appreciated 
by the people, yet human nature was such that while he 
was there a warrant for town meeting was announced, 
" For ye Town to Come into Some method that People 
may sit in ye Seats (in the meeting-house) assigned to 
prevent disorders, and that they don't put themselves 
too forward." 

In Worcester, as in college, John Adams lived up to 
his determination to sow no wild oats. The thought of 
marriage then, as ever before, was, according to his 
own confession, a stimulant to make himself worthy of 
the finest woman the world could offer him. And those 
who know the story of his wedded life of fifty-four 
years with Abigail Smith, of Weymouth, know that 
he was fully rewarded for his determination. 

as a Schoolmaster 17 

Some of the schoolmaster's observations concerning 
the affairs at friendly gatherings must have been scattered 
among the people. In a letter written to his friend 
dishing in April, 1756, he said, "There is a story 
about town that I am an Arminian." This, however, 
did not trouble him, for he then, as later, believed 
in a free discussion of all subjects. Meanwhile he suc- 
ceeded in his school work, and became by springtime 
quite k ' contented in the place of a schoolmaster. " In 
the diary which he began while in Worcester, he gives 
us a pleasant picture of his school at this time. He 
invokes no muse, however, but trusts to the natural 
strength of his faculties, which it will be remembered 
he dared not do before. " I sometimes, in my sprightly 
moments, consider myself in my great chair at school 
as some dictator at the head of a commonwealth. In 
this little state I can discover all the geniuses, all the 
surprising actions and revolutions of the great world in 
miniature. I have several renowned generals but three 
feet high, and several deep, projecting politicians in 
petticoats. I have others catching and dissecting flies, 
accumulating remarkable pebbles, cockle shells, etc., 
with as ardent curiosity as any virtuoso in the Royal 
Society. Some rattle and thunder out A, B, C, with as 
much fire and impetuosity as Alexander fought, and 
very often sit down and cry as heartily upon being out- 
spelt as Cassar did when at Alexander's sepulchre he 
recollected that the Macedonian hero had conquered the 
world before his age. At one table sits Mr. Insipid, 
foppling and fluttering, spinning his whirligig, or play- 

is 3obn Hbams 

ing with his fingers as gaily and wittily as any Frenchi- 
fied coxcomb brandishes his cane or rattles his snuff- 
box. At another sits the polemical divine, plodding 
and wrangling in his mind about ' Adam's fall, in which 
we sinned all,' as his Primer has it. In short, my little 
school, like the great world, is made up of prigs, poli- 
ticians, divines, LL.D's, fops, buffoons, fiddlers, syco- 
phants, fools, coxcombs, chimney sweepers, and every 
other character drawn in history, or seen in the world." 
He revealed the secret of his success as a teacher when 
he asked if it is not the " highest pleasure to preside in 
this little world, to bestow the proper applause upon 
virtuous and generous actions, to blame and punish 
every vicious and contracted trick, to wear out of the 
tender mind everything that is mean or little, and fire 
the new-born soul with a noble ardor and emulation. 
The world affords no greater pleasure." He found by 
repeated experiment and observation in his school, that 
human nature was more easily wrought upon and 
governed by "promises, encouragement, and praise, 
than by punishment, threatening, and blame." He 
was, however, cautious and sparing of praise, " lest it 
become too familiar and cheap, and so contemptible." 
He observed that "corporal as well as disgraceful 
punishments" depressed the spirits, while "commen- 
dation enlivened and stimulated them to a noble ardor 
and emulation." 

Outside of school hours, when not with his friends, 
he was absorbed in reading and study. His mind dwelt 
much upon "religious themes and miracles." When 

as a Scbooimaeter 19 

he first went to Worcester he was inclined to the minis- 
terial profession. To this end he copied large extracts 
from the works of Tillotson and others. One morning 
he rose at half past four and wrote Boli?igbroke's Let- 
ter on retirement and duty ; another time he wrote his 
Reflections on Exile. A volume still remains in a 
very minute hand filled with passages from the works 
of various authors. But how limited the reading matter 
compared to that of to-day ! Walter Scott, Jane Aus- 
ten, Thackeray, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, 
Carlyle, Tennyson, the Brownings, Emerson, Whitman, 
and a host of modern poets were not born. Goethe was 
only a child. But there was Milton, with whom he was 
greatly impressed ; and there was Addison, with whom 
he was charmed. He had Shakespeare, and, best of all, 
the Holy Scriptures, which he studied for their literary 
as well as spiritual value. His aspiration of soul indi- 
cates unusual moral attainment for so young a man. 
" Oh," he cries, in a moment of self-examination, 
4 'that I could wear out of my mind every mean and 
base affection ; conquer my natural pride and self- 
conceit ; expect no more deference from my fellows 
than I deserve ; acquire that meekness and humility 
which are the sure mark and character of a great and 
generous soul ; subdue every unworthy passion, and 
treat all men as I wish to be treated by all ! How happy 
should I then be in the favor and good will of all honest 
men and the sure prospect of a happy immortality ! " 

Like all noble, sensitive natures, he had his moments 
of discouragement. One time, alone in his chamber 

2o 3obn H&ame 

after the day's teaching, longing for knowledge, he wrote 
in his diary, " But I have no books, no time, no friends ; 
I must therefore be contented to live and die an ignorant, 
obscure fellow." 

Possessing, however^ what he esteemed the essential 
marks of a good mind, — "honesty, sincerity and open- 
ness," — he overcame such moods, and read all the books 
that came in his way. He also found time for social 
enjoyment. When at Major Greene's he came across 
Morgan" s Moral Philosopher, which he found was 
being circulated with some freedom in the town. In the 
library of Dr. Nahun Willard, at whose house he went 
to board after leaving Major Greene's, he found Dr. 
Cheyne's works, Sydenham and others, and Van Swie- 
ten's Commentaries on Boerhaave. This general read- 
ing, as well as the reputation and skill of Dr. Willard, 
suggested the thought of his being a physician and sur- 
geon. But on attending the courts of justice and hear- 
ing Worthington, Hawley, Trowbridge, Putnam and 
others, he was drawn more strongly to the study of law. 
This desire grew more and more upon him, especially 
since he could not conquer his serious objections to the 
profession of the ministry. He finally went to talk the 
matter over with Mr. James Putnam. The result was a 
contract to study law with him for two years. He 
agreed to the proposal to board with Mr. and Mrs. Put- 
nam at the rate the town allowed for his lodgings. He 
also agreed to pay Mr. Putnam one hundred dollars 
when he should find it convenient. This plan involved 
keeping the school two years longer to pay expenses ; for 

as a Scboolmaster 21 

he had taken up teaching in the first place not so much 
from choice, as from a desire to lighten the pecuniary 
burden his education had laid upon his father. "It 
will be hard work," he wrote his friend Cranch within 
a week after the contract, " but the more dangerous and 
difficult the enterprise, a brighter crown of laurel is 
bestowed upon the conquerer." His decision to take 
up the legal profession was not approved by his friends 
Cranch and Cushing. The former even advised him to 
reconsider his resolution and take up the ministry. His 
father's general expectation was for him to be a divine. 
His mother, although a religious woman, had no special 
desire for him in that direction. His uncles and rela- 
tives were bitterly prejudiced against the law, as was 
public sentiment at that time. But John Adams had 
made up his mind. He went at once to work in Mr. 
Putnam's office with the firm resolution " never to com- 
mit any meanness or injustice in the practice of law," 
and to endeavor to " oblige and please everybody, but Mr. 
and Mrs. Putnam in particular." In his diary for Au- 
gust 22, 1756, he said of this important move in his life : 
"Necessity drove me to this determination, but my in- 
clination, I think, was to preach. However, that would 
not do. The study and practise of law, I am sure, does 
not dissolve the obligations of morality or of religion. 
And although the reason of my quitting divinity was 
my opinion concerning some disputed points, I hope I 
shall not give reason of offense to any in that profession 
by imprudent warmth." A month before writing this 
he had begun his second year at school. In order that 

22 3obn Hfcams 

he might not lose any time, and do more than the year 
before, he had resolved then to rise with the sun and to 
study the Scriptures on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and 
Sunday mornings, and to study some Latin author the 
other three mornings. Noons and nights he intended to 
read English authors. This resolution was crowned 
with a determination to "stand collected' ' within him- 
self, and to " think upon what he read and saw." The 
very day after he wrote this resolution in his diary it so 
happened that it was seven o'clock when he arose in- 
stead of sunrise. This for a July morning seemed inex- 
cusable. But he grimly said, "This is the usual fate of 
my resolutions." 

During the succeeding two years, in which six hours 
a day were devoted to school work, John Adams made 
good use of Mr. Putnam's library, particularly the 
"handsome addition of law books" and the works of 
Lord Bacon, which Mr. Putnam had sent to England 
for immediately after receiving into his office the new 
student. Upon his adding later Bolingbroke's works, 
as a result of reading the Study and Use of History 
and his Patriot King, which the schoolmaster had 
brought from his Braintree home, an opportunity was 
given to read the posthumous works of that writer in 
five volumes. Mr. Burke once asked who ever read 
Bolingbroke through. John Adams read him through 
then, and at least twice after that. But he confessed 
that he did it without much good or harm. He con- 
sidered his ideas of the English Constitution correct, and 
his political writings worth something, " although there 

as a Schoolmaster 23 

was more of fiction than of truth." He thought his 
style original, " resembling more the oratory of the 
ancients than any writings or speeches he ever read in 
English," but his religion was a "pompous folly, his 
abuse of the Christian religion as superficial as it was 

Among the multitudes of law books which John 
Adams read while teaching school in Worcester were 
Wood, Coke, two volumes of Lime's Abridgment, two 
volumes of Salkeld's Reports, Swinburne, Hawkins' 
Pleas of the Crown, JFortescue, Fitzgibbon, ten vol- 
umes in folio, besides octavos and lesser volumes, and 
many of all sizes that he consulted occasionally without 
special study. 

But law was not always the subject of conversation. 
At breakfast, dinner and tea Mr. Putnam was commonly 
disputing with him upon some question of religion. 
Although he would agree to the extent of his learning 
and ingenuity to destroy or invalidate the evidences of 
a future state and the principles of a natural and revealed 
religion, yet he could not convince himself that death 
was an endless sleep. An earnest spirit ever pervaded 
his discussions as well as his actions. He wrote friend 
Cushing while there: "Upon the stage of life while 
conscience claps let the world hiss. On the contrary, 
if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the 
world are of little value." 

Colonel Putnam and his pupil often conversed on 
other subjects as they walked around the farm or went 
shooting together. In all his life in Worcester the 

24 3obn H&ams 

young schoolmaster found time to commune with Nature. 
He took great pleasure in " viewing and examining the 
magnificent prospects of Nature" that lay before him 
in the town. One lovely May day he " rambled about 
all day, gaping and gazing." He enjoyed the country 
drives to Braintree and back which his vacation visits 
afforded. He looked a little into agriculture and horti- 
culture, in which in his last years he showed his con- 
tinued interest by writing a bookseller, Joseph Milligan, 
on receiving a book on gardening, that he hoped he 
was not mistaken in his countrymen if they did not 
" carry the science and practice to greater perfection 
than there ever had been since this globe sprang out 
of nothing." He longed to assist in the work, but 
" Nature is exhausted and the lamp quivers." 

The sessions of the Superior Court at Worcester 
brought to Colonel Putnam's office men whom John 
Adams delighted to meet. Here began the friendship 
with Jonathan Sewall, subsequently shadowed by the 
different sides they took in the Revolution of Independ- 
ence. Years after, in spite of the broken friendship, 
Jonathan Sewall said of his old friend: "He has a 
heart formed for friendship, and susceptible of its finest 
feelings. He is humane, generous and open ; warm 
in his friendly attachments, though, perhaps, rather 
implacable to those whom he thinks his enemies." 

When John Adams' studies with Mr. Putnam were 
over, he was sworn as an attorney in the Superior Court 
in Boston, at the recommendation of the lawyer, Jeremy 
Grid ley, then the attorney-general of the province. 

as a Schoolmaster 25 

The Worcester people having recognized the natural 
ability and scholarship of their successful school-teacher 
for three years, invited him to settle in their town. But, 
•desiring a change for his health, he accepted his parents' 
invitation to live with them at the old home in Brain- 
tree, now Quincy. His father, the great-grandson of 
John and Priscilla Alden, of Mayflower fame, whose 
name for nearly forty years regularly appeared in the 
town records, died after he had been home two years. 
But he remained with his mother and his two younger 
brothers until his marriage in 1764. Then he went to 
live in the adjoining house, — now the home of the Quincy 
Historical Society, — where his son John Quincy was 

In these waiting, wondering years he wrote in his 
journal : "Let no trifling diversion or amusement or com- 
pany decoy you from your books ; i. e., no girl, no gun, 
no cards, no flutes, no violins, no dress, no tobacco, no 
laziness. Labor to get distinct ideas of law, right, 
wrong, justice, equity ; search for them in your own 
mind, in Roman, Grecian, French, English treatises of 
natural, civil, common, statute law. Aim at the exact 
knowledge of the nature, end, and means of govern- 

In these growing years he did not forget his Worcester 
friends. In less than a year after he left the place he 
was spending a week in the town, dining and drinking 
tea as of old with Colonel Chandler, Doctor Willard, 
Major Gardiner, Colonel Putnam, and others. He 
occasionally attended Superior Court there, when he 

26 3obn a&ame 

would visit the office where he "formerly trimmed the 
midnight lamp." 

Thirteen years after he had lived there, while spend- 
ing a day with Mr. Putnam, he found the " pleasure of 
revisiting old haunts very great." He saw little altera- 
tion in Dr. Willard or his wife. His sons were grown 
up. He met Colonel Chandler and other old friends. 
Doubtless he was interested to see the second school- 
house built in the center of the town some seven years 
after he had taught there. He went to church and saw 
"many faces altered, and many new faces." He was 
especially pleased to meet many young gentlemen who 
had been Latin pupils in his school, — "John Chandler, 
Esq., of Petersham; Rufus Chandler, the lawyer; Dr. 
William Paine, who studied physic with Dr. Holyoke, 
of Salem ; Nat. Chandler, who was studying law with 
Mr. Putnam, and Dr. Thaddeus Maccarty, a physician 
at Dudley." Would that this diary had also preserved 
some of the interesting reminiscences of teacher and 
pupils which that day must have heard ! 

In 1795, forty years after John Adams had entered 
Worcester as its unknown schoolmaster, he visited the 
town as Vice President of the United States, George 
Washington being President. Though now crowned 
with honor and fame, the heart of the teacher, seeking 
old faces and old scenes, must, for the moment at least, 
have been master. Doubtless he missed the personal,, 
friendly greeting of his old teacher-in-the-law, the Hon. 
James Putnam, who, years before, had gone as a refu- 
gee to Halifax, to become later a Justice of the Supreme- 

as a Scboolmaster 27 

Court of New Brunswick. Now another element was 
in the air; that which a contemporary saw, who, in 
writing to Jeremiah Mason later of the visit to Boston, 
said: "But among the many great little events which 
agitate this puddle called Boston, the arrival of John 
Adams is one. People here tell me it is wise to make 
my rustic bow to the great man." 

John Adams was not then the schoolmaster, receiving 
the homage of personal friends; he was the "great 
man," receiving the "rustic bow" of the people. One 
cannot but ask which was the dearer to the honored 

If the spirits of just men made perfect know the fruits 
of their best endeavor on the earth, that of the noble 
statesman must have rejoiced at the recognition of the 
people of Worcester nearly one hundred and fifty years 
after his life among them ; for on a beautiful May day 
of 1903, under the auspices of the Colonel Timothy 
Bigelow Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion, a bronze tablet in a setting of Quincy granite was 
unveiled on Main Street between the Court House and 
the Antiquarian Hall, on the site of the first schoolhouse. 
The Hon. Stephen Salisbury, and others prominent in 
city and state, honored the occasion. Mrs. Annie 
Russell Marble, Chairman of the Committee (consisting 
of the Vice-Regent, Mrs. William T. Forbes, and 
others) , whose researches through a pamphlet published 
by the Chapter had helped to positive knowledge, lifted 
the Stars and Stripes, assisted by Mr. Ellery B. Crane, 
Librarian of the Society of Antiquity. The great crowd 

23 3obn H&ams 

of people flanked by the Worcester Continental Guards, 
and led by the singing of " America, " was then priv- 
ileged to read the following inscription : — 








TAUGHT i755~ I 75 8 - 




Preceding the unveiling an appropriate ceremony was 
held in the adjoining Unitarian Church, — the church 
bearing a tablet to the memory of its time-honored pas- 
tor, Aaron Bancroft, the friend of John Adams. Mrs. 
Daniel Kent, as Regent of the Chapter, presided, while 
state and national officers of the Daughters of the Amer- 
ican Revolution paid their tribute. Senator George F. 
Hoar, Worcester's "most honored and best loved citi- 
zen," as he was introduced, made an effective address, 
as did the President of Clark University, G. Stanley 
Hall. Charles Francis Adams, President of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, and a great-grandson of 
John Adams, then read his ancestor's account of the 
little school from the original diary he held in his hand 
(now printed in the works of John Adams, Volume II., 
page 9) , every line of which was written in Worcester. 
Mr. Adams said he felt the manuscript belonged there. 

as a Schoolmaster 29 

A reception at the woman's clubhouse in charge of 
Mrs. C. C. Baldwin, closed the interesting occasion. 

John Adams' three years of school teaching left a 
lasting impression on his mind and character. When 
he was an old man in the retirement of his Quincy 
home, looking back over a life honored even with the 
presidency of the nation, he said that while he kept 
school he acquired more knowledge of human nature 
than while he was " at the bar, in the world of politics, 
or at the courts of Europe." He certainly illustrated a 
warm, personal feeling at this time in a letter he wrote, 
over fifty years after his teacher life, to Amos J. Cook, 
the master who succeeded Daniel Webster as teacher of 
the Fryeburg Academy in Maine. After thanking him 
for the ''elegant Translation of the Spanish Latin 
verses," — the work of an eighteen-year-old pupil which 
he had sent him, — he said, "The sense and spirit of that 
morsel of purer morality than elegant Latinity is very 
well preserved in the Translation into English Rhyme, 
while the easy, natural air of an original Composition 
is given to it." He declared the young man certainly 
deserved "applause and encouragement." He was 
pleased to add that having showed the translation to 
his "Brother Cranch and to the Ladies of our Fami- 
lies who are all Lovers of Poetry, and some of them 
good Judges, they all applauded the Composition as 
having great merit." 

While in this retirement John Adams was surprised to 
see the publication of his youthful Worcester letters to 
Charles Cushing in a Nantucket newspaper. Their ap- 

30 3obn H&ams 

pearance was to him a " riddle, a mystery beyond all 
comprehension." Upon receiving an explanation and 
apology from the son, who published them, the old pa- 
triot responded that while they had afforded some 
amusement to his friends, they had excited some tender 
reflections in himself. "I was like a boy," he wrote, 
"in a country fair, in a wilderness, in a strange country, 
with half a dozen roads before him, groping in a dark 
night to find which he ought to take." He then said 
that had he been obliged to tell his father the whole 
truth, he should have mentioned several other pursuits, 
such as "farming, merchandise, law, and, above all, 
war." He declared that "nothing but want of interest 
and patronage" prevented him from enlisting in the 
army. "Could I have obtained a troop of horse," 
wrote this old man of over eighty, "or a company of 
foot, I should infallibly have been a soldier. It is a 
problem in my mind to this day whether I should have 
been a coward or a hero." 

In thinking over this Worcester life, he even went so 
far as to advise " every young man to keep school," for 
it was "the best method of acquiring patience, self- 
command, and a knowledge of character." 

But a practical result of school work on John 
Adams was his gift to his native town of land for the 
purpose of establishing there a "school for the teach- 
ing of the Greek and Latin languages and any other lan- 
guages, arts and sciences, which a majority of the 
ministers, magistrates, lawyers and physicians inhabiting 
in the said town may advise." Many years, it is true, 

as a Schoolmaster 3 1 

elapsed before a "stone schoolhouse" could be built 
from the profits of the land. But it was at last erected — 
in 1872 — on the site designated by the founder, over the 
cellar of the house in which Gov. John Hancock was 

In this deed of land, dated July 25, 1822, the aged 
ex-President showed his appreciation of Governor Han- 
cock (whose reverend father built the house) when he 
called him that "great, generous, disinterested, bounti- 
ful benefactor of his country, once President of Con- 
gress, and afterwards Governor of the state, to whose 
great exertions and unlimited sacrifices this nation is so 
deeply indebted for her independence and present pros- 
perity." The following suggestion in the deed, given 
after the condition that the schoolmaster be " learned in 
the Greek and Roman languages, etc," was doubtless 
born of his own experience as a teacher when the 
methods of education were not so practical as now. 

"But I hope the future masters will not think me too 
presumptuous if I advise them to begin their lessons in 
Greek and Hebrew by compelling their pupils to take 
their pens and write, over and over again, copies of the 
Greek and Hebrew alphabets in all their variety of 
characters. This will be as good an exercise in chirog- 
raphy as any they can use, and will stamp those char- 
acters and alphabets upon their tender minds and vigorous 
memories so deeply that the impression will never wear 

It will always be a pleasant thought that this Adams 
School in Quincy is a legitimate outcome of John 

32 3obn Hbame 

Adams' successful three years' life as the grammar 
school master in Worcester. And it will ever compli- 
ment the honest patriot that its influence became more 
than local ; for, as its faithful principal for many years, 
Dr. William Everett said in 1890 (at a Forefathers' 
Day dinner speech in New York), " This school, 
founded by John Adams' fellow-citizens, had from its 
opening been attended by pupils from every part of the 
Union." He declared that out of every text-book, from 
the first year to the last, from the history of England to 
the orations of Cicero, a chance had been found to draw 
the lesson that " the name United States takes a verb in 
the singular," and that they were, "as long as the 
Mississippi runs to the sea, many and yet one." That, 
he affirmed, was the patriotism of John Adams ; that 
was the patriotism of New England scholars, her school- 
masters and her university men. If ever it had seemed 
otherwise, if ever the sister states had fancied that 
Massachusetts was sectional and not national, it had 
all been "a momentary cloud, a passing error." Her 
scholars saw the truth which John Adams taught, that 
" devotion to the Union was a moral duty; . . . and 
they would rather the Mayflower had never sailed than 
that the children of her company, spread as they were 
all over the Union, should have a love of country less 
wide than its limits." 


(AT AGE OF 20.) 

part Gwo 

Daniel Ifflebster 

as a 


Not firmer on its base for ages past 
Hath granite Jockey Cap withstood the blast, 
Nor longer shall its memory remain 

Than that which has been wrought on Fryeburg's plain. 

— Colby's Centennial Poem. 

Daniel Webster 

EARLY fifty years after John Adams 
was teaching school in Worcester, another 
youth of twenty, Daniel Webster, is sign- 
ing himself at the close of a letter to 
his friend Fuller, "The Schoolmaster." 
"I cannot now address you as a brother- 
student-in-law," he wrote, " f or I am neither more nor 
less than a schoolmaster.' ' This was in February, 
1802, some six weeks after he had become principal 
of the Academy in Fryeburg, Maine, then a " Province 
of Massachusetts.' ' Immediately after graduating from 
Dartmouth College the August before, he had entered 
the office in Salisbury of a next-door neighbor of his 
father, Thomas W. Thompson, to study law. But he 
could not conscientiously pursue his studies while his 
brother Ezekiel, whom he had been instrumental in 
getting into college, was in need of funds to remain 
there; so, after four months of study, he decided "to 
earn money " by accepting an offer to teach for some 
months the Fryeburg Academy at a salary of three 
hundred and fifty dollars a year. The school was in 
good condition, having been since its incorporation some 
ten years before in the charge of Paul Langdon, a Har- 
vard graduate and son of a Harvard president. Soon 
after, in January, 1802, a few days before he was 
twenty, the young law student left on horseback for 
his new field of labor, nearly one hundred miles away. 
He took with him his wardrobe (might not that have 
included the clothes and mittens of his college life, 

36 ©aniei Mebster 

which his mother spun, wove, dyed and made with 
her own hands?) and such books as he could carry in 
his saddlebags. He had not then attained to the full 
development of manhood. He was of slender frame, 
weighing less than one hundred and twenty pounds. 
His cheek bones were prominent in the thin face, 
especially noticeable for the full, large, searching eyes, 
which led to one of the townspeople calling him 
''All-eyes." Being once questioned as to his personal 
appearance when a pedagogue, he replied, " Long, 
slender, pale and all eyes ; indeed, I went by the name 
of 'All-eyes' the country round." 

Fryeburg at this time was a growing village of the 
White Mountain district, some fifty miles from Port- 
land. For several years it had indulged in a post office, 
and had seen published (in 1798-99) a paper called 
Russell 's Echo, or the North Star. It was noted 
for its activities, the young Daniel finding it, as he wrote 
soon after his arrival, " crowded with merchants, doctors 
and lawyers." He is visiting without ceremony "a 
good number of men of information and conversable 
manners," and calling, "with great pleasure and little 
ceremony," upon Judge Dana and his wife. But he 
did not find Pequawket — or Fryeburg — abounding " in 
extraordinary occurrences." "Yet nothing here is un- 
pleasant," he adds. "There is a pretty little society. 
The people treat me with kindness, and I have the for- 
tune to find myself in a very good family." This was in 
the new home (built in 1S01 and burned in 1S87) of 
James Osgood, Esquire, the Register of Deeds, who 

as a Scboolmaeter 37 

showed a practical interest in the young man by offering 
him a shilling and sixpence — he himself received two 
shillings and threepence — for every deed he would copy 
in " a large, fair hand, and with the requisite care to 
avoid errors." 

Daniel gladly accepted the offer ; for since he could 
copy two deeds in a winter evening, and so earn his 
board — two dollars a week — in four evenings, he would 
have about all his salary to give to his brother. This 
inspiring thought led to a faithful discharge of this duty, 
as seen to-day in a portion of two volumes of deeds in 
the Register's Office in Fryeburg. 

But this outside work did not lessen in the least his 
success as a teacher. In the schoolroom, as well as in 
the town, he won the good will of all. The small one- 
story building in which he taught, built some eleven 
years before (1791), stood at the foot of Pine Hill. 
Upon its removal several years later (1809) to the site 
of the new schoolhouse, it is interesting to know that the 
ground on which it stood was purchased by a college 
friend, Col. Samuel A. Bradley, then settled as a lawyer 
in the town, and consecrated to the statesman's memory. 
Upon discovering one day that his hired man when sent 
to plough his adjoining land had ploughed into the Acad- 
emy lot, Mr. Bradley ordered him to turn back every 
furrow in the consecrated place. The vacant lot, owned 
to-day by a Bradley— a niece of Samuel— is still conse- 
crated to the schoolmaster's memory. This seems emi- 
nently appropriate, since it was through Webster's early 
intimacy with the Bradley family at Concord, N. H., 

3§ Daniel Webster 

that Webster was led to go to Fryeburg. But while 
Fryeburg holds so pleasantly in remembrance the site of 
the schoolhouse (which it is hoped will yet be adorned 
with a memorial building worthy of it), who does not 
love to picture the youth himself in the little building 
reciting to his pupils Pope's Essay on Man, which he 
had learned from beginning to end when a boy ; or re- 
peating one of the many Watts hymns he had learned 
before he was twelve years old ; or telling some thrilling 
experience of his own boyish school days and struggles ? 
It is possible he showed them the jackknife that his old 
teacher in the district school, Master Tappan, had given 
him for committing to memory the largest number of 
Bible verses learned between " a Sunday and a Monday.'' 
"Many of the boys did well," says the master in refer- 
ring to it, "but when it came Daniel's turn to recite, I 
found that he had committed so much that after hearing 
him repeat some sixty or seventy verses, I was obliged 
to give up ; he telling me that there were several chap- 
ters yet that he had learned.'* 

Of course the future statesman told his pupils of the 
handkerchief with the Constitution of the United States 
on it, which he had bought in a shop in his native town 
when only eight years old. How could he help repeat- 
ing parts which he had then learned ? Doubtless he told 
them of Thomas Jefferson, then President of the United 
States, as a signer of the Declaration of Independence ; 
of Washington, who had died but a few years before ; or 
of John Adams, who, after his term as President, had 
retired to his Quincy home. He must have referred to 

as a Scboolmaster 39 

the stories his father had told him of his youthful life in 
the French and Indian War, or in the War of the Revo- 
lution, with Stark and Putnam. 

The custom of this youth of twenty to open and close 
his school with extemporaneous prayer made a great im- 
pression. Years afterwards one of his pupils, Thomas 
P. Hill, wrote Professor Sanborn, of Dartmouth College, 
that he could never forget the "solemnity of manner 
with which that duty was performed. " Perhaps there 
is only one other occasion in his life to be compared to 
it, — the repetition of the Lord' s Prayer on his deathbed ; 
when, having recited the first sentence, a feeling of 
faintness coming over him, he paused and exclaimed, 
earnestly, "Hold me up ; I do not wish to pray with 
a fainting voice." Being raised, he repeated with won- 
derful distinctness the whole prayer, ending with these 
words : " And now unto God the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost be praise forever and forever. Peace on earth and 
good will to men, — that is the happiness, the essence, 
— good will toward nien" 

After Webster had been teaching four months, an ex- 
hibition of the school so pleased the trustees that they 
passed a vote of thanks to "Preceptor Webster,'' with 
the request that he "accept five dollars as a small 
acknowledgment of their sense of his service this day 
performed." In referring to this, Webster calls it a 
" small extraordinary gratuity." 

He had intended to devote the short vacation that 
followed to the reading of Sallust, but upon receiving 
on the day of the exhibition the news of his brother 

4 o Baniel Webster 

" Zeke's" illness at college, he decided to go to him ; so, 
mounting a horse, he took his first quarter's salary — 
the first earnings of his life, he says — and went to 
Hanover to give it to his brother. He afterwards says 
of this act, " Having enjoyed this sincere and high 
pleasure, I hied me back again to my school and my 
copying of deeds." 

Besides copying his deeds, Daniel Webster wrote 
poetry, writing to a friend concerning it, "I do it by 
myself, not from any wish to show my productions to 
the world, but for amusement, and to keep alive some 
taste for the belles-lettres." One letter to his friend 
Fuller (Habijah W.) he begins by writing the following 
twenty-five lines on Memory : — 

Once more to prattle on her darling theme, 

Once more to wake the soft, mellifluous stream, 

That brings us all our blessings as it flows, 

Those currents Friendship's golden ore disclose, 

The Muse essays her little skill ; 

And tho' her lightsome lay 

No master's hand display, 

Tho' loose her lyre and wild her song, 

Tho' Seraph fire tip not her tongue, 

The friend — oh ! such a friend — will hear her still. 

O Memory ! thou Protean friend or foe, 

Parent of half our joy and half our woe ! 

Thou dost the rapture which I feel impart, 

And thou the griefs that press around my heart. 

Thine is a motley train, — 

Despondence there is seen, 

And Sorrow, pale-faced queen, 

And Gladness there, with merry face, 

as a Schoolmaster 

That ne'er did wear a sad grimace, 

And buxom Pleasure sporting o'er the plain. 

Next moment, lo ! appears 

Some plenteous cause of tears : 

Some pleasure fled, — for pleasure flies, — 

Or Symonds, sped beyond the skies, 

And Memory cancels all the good she grants. 

Here he suddenly stops and says, " But if I poetize 
further upon Memory I shall not have room to tell you 
half what I wish ; so, sweet Miss Muse, we will dismiss 

But every little while he called upon the Muse, con- 
fessing to his friend Fuller that he " rattled in as many 
as twenty rhymes while in that Province Fryeburg." 
Tnis he considered a "pretty large number for him." 
The longest one seems to be that addressed to Mr. John 
Porter, which as given here may illustrate his style. 

Health to my friends ! began my earliest song; 
Health to my friends ! my latest shall prolong. 
Nor health alone; be four more blessings thine, — 
Cash and the Fair One, Friendship and the Nine. 
Are these too little? Dost thou pant for fame? 
Give him, ye Powers, the bubble of a name ! 
Ask all of Heaven an honest man should dare, 
And Heaven will grant it, if it hear my prayer. 
'Tis true — let Locke deny it to the last — 
Man has three beings, — Present, Future, Past. 
We are, we were, we shall be ; this contains 
The field of all our pleasures and our pains. 
Enjoyment makes the present hour its own. 
And Hope looks forward into worlds unknown ; 
While backward turned, our thoughts incessant stray, 

42 2)aniel Webster 

And 'mid the fairy forms of Memory play. 

Say, does the present ill affect thee more 

Than that impending o'er a future hour? 

Or does this moment's blessing more delight 

Than Hope's gay vision fluttering in thy sight? 

Call now the events of former years to view, 

And live in fancy all thy life anew. 

Do not the things that many years ago 

Gave woe or joy, now give thee joy or woe? 

In this review, as former times pass by, 

Dost thou not laugh again, or weep, or sigh? 

Dost thou not change, as changing scenes advance,- 

Mourn with a friend, or frolic at the dance? 

Think when thy worth attracted Symonds first, 

And with new sorrow give him to the dust ! 

With present time thus Hope and Memory join, 

This to bear back, and that to extend the line ; 

And all must own, except some learned dunce, 

That every man lives three times and at once. 

I'll state a case; but Vanity, the elf, 

Obliges me to state it of myself. 

In latitude some more than forty-three, 

And longitude, say seventy-first degree, 

Where Saco rolls (a name so rough and fierce 

It frights the Muse to bring it into verse), 

Tied to my school, like cuckold to his wife, 

Whom God knows he'd be rid of, runs my life. 

Six hours to yonder little dome a day, 

The rest to books, to friendship and my tea; 

And now and then, as varying fancies choose, 

To trifle with young Mary or the Muse. 

This life, though pleasant of its kind, is yet 

Much too inactive ; I'm resolved to quit. 

Now Spring comes on, her milder sceptre yields, 

And fairly fights stern Winter from our fields. 

Yon grassy glade with gaudiest tulip dressed, 

as a Schoolmaster 43 

Where the Muse wanders, " willing to be pressed," 

Where " doves " gay frolicking on ulmar " boughs," 

Force one to instant rhyme of "Loves " and "Vows," 

Would be delightful, were that thing called mind 

Pleased with the present and to fate resigned ; 

But on the soul, if wild ambition seize, 

Farewell, as Horace sings, I think, to peace ! 

Our college life, whate'er the proud may say, 

To our existence is the month of May. 

O then I knew not, or I felt not, care ; 

Thoughts free as nature, and as light as air. 

Yet even then,— ingratitude how base !— 

We thought we lived in quite a piteous case, 

E'en then we deemed our fates were much to blame, 

And called Miss Fortune many a saucy name. 

Though life's gay stream ran dimpling all along, 

Smooth as the numbers of a tuneful song, 

There we had friends enough, and books a score, 

Appointments some, and disappointments more ; 

Could count the Muse, and, as you know, dispense, 

For pretty little rhymes, with all our sense; 

Could sit down sociable as Mother Bunch, 

And " dip in sentiment," or " dip in punch." 

May Heaven forgive the man who with all these 

Cannot find cause enough to be at ease ! 

God gave me pride— I thank him ; if he choose 

To give me what shall make that pride of use, 

Chance and the talent, I'll adore his will ; 

If he deny them, I'll adore it still. 

Now Hope leans forward on Life's slender line, — 

Shows me a doctor, lawyer, or divine ; 

Ardent springs forward to the distant goal, 

But indecision clogs the eager soul. 

Heaven bless my friend, and when he marks his way, 

And takes his blessings o'er life's troubled sea, 

In that important moment may he find 

44 Baniel Mebster 

Choice and his friends and duty all combined ! 
And Heaven grant me, whatever luck betide, 
Be fame or fortune given or denied, 
Some cordial friend to meet my warm desire, 
Honest as John and good as Nehemiah. 

D. Webster. 

From the first of Daniel Webster's coming to this 
mountain village, so prettily situated above the broad 
intervales of the Saco River, he inclined to be poetic. 
" If J had an engagement of love," he wrote his friend 
Samuel A. Bradley, on one of the fine spring days, " I 
should certainly arrange my thoughts of this morning for 
a romantic epistle. How fine it would be to point out a 
resemblance between the clear lustre of the sun and a pair 
of bright eyes ! The snow, too, instead of embarrassing, 
would much assist me. What fitter emblem of virgin 
purity ! A pair of pigeons that enjoy the morning on 
the ridge of the barn might be easily transformed into 
turtle-doves breathing reciprocal vows." Then feeling 
that perhaps he was becoming too sentimental, he ex- 
claims, " But how shall I resist this temptation to be a 
little romantic and poetical ? * Loves' and ' doves ' this 
moment chime in my fancy in spite of me. ' Spark- 
ling eyes ' and ' mournful sighs,' ' constancy of soul,' 
1 like needle to the pole,' and a whole retinue of poetic 
and languishing expressions are now ready to pour from 
my pen." The cui bono of the New England nature 
seeming then to shadow his fancy, he pauses to say : 
" But what a pity that all this inspiration should be lost 
for want of an object ! But so it is. Nobody will hear 

as a Scbcolmaeter 45 

my pretty ditties unless, forsooth, I should turn gravely 
about and declaim them to the maid who is set- 
ting the table for breakfast ; but what an indelicate idea ! 
A maid to be the subject of a ballad ! ' Twere blasphemy. 
Apollo would never forgive me. Well, then, I will 
turn about and drink down all my poetry with my coffee. 
'Yes, ma'am, I will come to breakfast.' " 

Three months later, after tea, a lovely June evening, 
as he wrote his friend Fuller, he " lighted a cigar and 
took a turn among the meadows. . . . Nature was all 
smiling, and by a kind of sympathy she drew me in to 
laugh with her, and my resentments all went off in fume. 
. . . Were I a devotee to Cupid, I should improve this 
morning in penning something which I have heard 
called a love-letter. A romantic imagination might find, 
as I think, ample scope among meadows and dales, and 
4 moss-crowned banks,' and ' purling rills,' and ' songsters 
of the grove,' and ' morning breezes,' and other appara- 
tus of love-poetry. How unfortunate that I neither am, 
nor can feign myself to be, in love with some Dulcinea 
of such beauty as l paragons description,' such charms 
as force mankind to ' worship where they dare not love,' 
of such dignity and command in her aspect, and such un- 
affected modesty and reserve, that even 4 her shadow dare 
not follow her when she goes to dress ! ' All those 
pretty sayings, picked up at the expense of so much 
time, must all be useless for lack of some one to address 
them to. Alas! Alas!" 

But this poetic, romantic feeling did not distract the 
mind of the schoolmaster from more weighty matters. 

4 6 Daniel Webster 

He tells his friend of Mr. Fessenden's mother " having 
departed to the bourne whence no traveler returns," when, 
"with bright prospects of future felicity, she attended 
the summons without a murmur, and, full of years, sunk 
to repose on the bosom of her Maker." He speaks of 
having quite a lonely week because his friends — Dana 
and McGaw — had gone to Haverhill court. After 
wishing he could have a cup of coffee with his friend 
Samuel, — but even he is away, — he declares that this 
letter shall tell him that he is remembered "with much 
tenderness and esteem." * 

Like John Adams in his schoolmaster days in Worces- 
ter, Daniel Webster longed for companionship of friends. 
If he could not see them he would have correspondence, 
though the mail came but once a fortnight. Yet friends, 
even the " misses," did not always satisfy. In referring 
once to an intended afternoon ride to Conway, which 
had been a topic of that day's conversation, he declared 
to Samuel Bradley that the " misses enjoyed it finely in 
prospect," and no doubt "the retrospect would be 
equally pleasant." But as for him, ut ad me revertor, 
such things were " most charming while future," and it 
was his object, therefore, to keep them future as much 
as possible. 

But this youth of twenty rather enjoyed the " Maine 
misses." Speaking of them to his friend Merrill 

* This letter to Samuel A. Bradley, framed in wood taken from 
the little schoolhouse in which Webster taught, is now— 1903— 
a valued possession of the Hon. George B. Barrows, of Frye- 
burg, one of the Academy's most honored trustees. 

as a Scboolmaster 47 

(Thomas A.), he writes June 7, 1802: "In point of 
beauty I do not feel competent to decide. I cannot 
calculate the precise value of a dimple, nor estimate the 
charm of an eyebrow, yet I see nothing repulsive in the 
appearance of these Maine misses. When Mr. McGaw 
told me he would introduce me to the Pequawket con- 
stellation, it sounded so odd that I could not tell whether 
he was going to show me Virgo or Ursa Major ; yet I 
had charity to put it down for the former, and have 
found no reason to alter my decision." He then says 
that being a pedagogue, and having many of the ladies 
in the school, he could not " set out in a bold progress of 
gallantry," but only now and then make one of them 
" his best bow " and say a few things " piano," as the 
musicians have it. Feeling, however, that " new towns 
had usually more males that females, and old commercial 
towns the reverse "(he was told that in Salem and New- 
buryport the majority of females was " immense "), he 
hoped that in Fryeburg his sex would " continue the 
mastery, though the female squadron was by no means 
contemptible." To another friend — H. W. Fuller — he 
wrote he had heard no "complaint of scarcity" con- 
cerning the misses. To his question as to how many 
misses were there he could not tell. " I forgot to bring 
a stick to cut a notch, like the Indian, for every one I 
see." He then tells of one passing that moment by his 
table who had given her opinion that " Mr. Webster 
was a very bashful man." Upon which he declared that 
he would " never give her reason to think otherwise. 
But these things are all vanity." 

4 s 2>antet Webster 

So concluded this staid schoolmaster of twenty. He 
had an eye, however, for the " nearly thirty white mus- 
lin trails across a ballroom on an evening," referring, 
doubtless to the balls held in the third story of Mr. 
Osgood's house, when "lighted candles and smiling 
faces" made all gay and joyous. Young ladies came 
on horseback through forests a long day's journey to 
attend the great ball of the year, — that which closed the 
annual exhibition of the academy. After hearing that 
his friend Fuller had enjoyed one of these pleasant 
dances, his serious nature asserted itself by declaring 
that dancing was a good, and, as he supposed, an inno- 
cent amusement, but " we never need go to halls and 
assembly rooms to enjoy it. The world is nothing but 
a contra-dance, and every one, volens, nole?is, has a 
part in it. Some are sinking, others rising, others 
balancing, some gradually ascending towards the top, 
others flamingly leading down ; some cast off from 
Fame and Fortune, and some again in a comfortable 
allema?ide with both. If you should ask me what 
station I should allot myself in this dance of life I should 
be staggered to tell you, though I believe, by some con- 
founded ill luck, I have slipped a foot, and am fairly on 
the knee here in Pequawket." 

While in Fryeburg the young teacher made good use 
of the Social Library which the town afforded, finding 
books there he had not been able to find in Hanover. 
He and his roommate read aloud alternately the Spec- 
tator and Tatler, and had discussions upon English 
literature. At one time, as an amusement, he says, he 

as a Schoolmaster 49 

is perusing the Pursuits of Literature ; a book which 
" had exerted so much curiosity among the learned, and 
called down so much condemnation from the Democ- 
racy.' ' He declared that "the scantiness of the poem 
itself and the abundance of notes " brought to his mind 
Sheridan's elegant metaphor of a neat rivulet of text 
meandering through a meadow of margin." Among 
other books he read while there he mentions Adams' 
Defence of the America7t Constitution, Mosheim's 
Ecclesiastical History, two or three volumes of Black- 
stone's Commentaries, and Mr. Ames' celebrated speech 
on the British treaty, which he committed to memory. 
He made it an object to investigate facts concerning 
the political history of the United States, taking up 
for one thing Williams' Vermont. He watched the 
political horizon, daring even to criticise President Jef- 
ferson ; as, for instance, report having reached him that 
the marshal of New Hampshire had been removed, he 
confessed he did not much expect it. " But these are 
Jefferson's doings, and they are marvelous in our eyes." 
In this same letter (to Thomas A. Merrill, June 7, 
1S02) he says "the waning orb of Democracy must 
soon be eclipsed. The penumbra begins to come on 
already." He revealed an interest in leading men of 
the day, which he had shown in the following lines he 
wrote on Washington when a senior at college. 

Ah! Washington, thou once didst guide the helm, 

And point each danger to our infant realm ; 

Didst show the gulf where faction's tempests sweep, 

And the big thunders frolic o'er the deep ; 

Through the red wave didst lead our bark, nor stood, 

50 Daniel Webster 

Like ancient Moses, the other side the flood. 

But thou art gone, — yes, gone, and we deplore 

The man, the Washington, we knew before; 

But, when thj spirit mounted to the sky, 

And scarce beneath thee left a tearless eye, 

Tell what Elisha then thy mantle caught, 

Warmed with thy virtue, with thy wisdom fraught. 

Say, was it Adams? was it he who bare 

His country's toils, nor knew a separate care ; 

Whose bosom heaved indignant as he saw 

Columbia groan beneath oppression's law; 

Who stood and spurned corruption at his feet, 

Firm as "the rock on which the storm shall beat." 

Or was it he whose votaries now disclaim 

Thy godlike deeds, and sully all thy fame? 

Spirit of Washington ! oh, grant reply, 

And let thy country know thee from the sky. 

Break through the clouds, and be thine accents heard, — 

Accents that oft mid war's rude onset cheered. 

Thy voice shall hush again our mad alarms, 

Lull monster faction with thy potent charms, 

And grant to whosoe'er ascends thy seat 

Worth half like thine, and virtues half as great. 

At this time of his life his roommate declared that 
" Mr. Webster did not entertain any adequate expecta- 
tions of his future eminence, or, if he had them, he con- 
cealed them." But the secretary of the trustees of the 
Academy prophesied that if " Mr. Webster should live 
and have health, and pursue a straightforward course of 
industry and virtue, he would become one of the great- 
est men his country had produced," — a prophecy which 
has been richly fulfilled. 

His pupils in their reminiscences of him all speak of 

as a Schoolmaster 

his modest and dignified manner. Rev. Dr. Samuel 
Osgood — a son of the man with whom he boarded — 
remembers him as " usually serious, but often facetious 
and pleasant." " He was an agreeable companion,'' 
he adds, "and eminently social with all who shared 
his friendship. He was greatly beloved by all who 
knew him. His habits were strictly abstemious, and 
he neither took wine nor strong drink. He was punc- 
tual in his attendance upon public worship. I never 
heard him use a profane word, and never saw him lose 
his temper." This " remarkable unanimity of temper" 
which he ever manifested in school was a "matter of 
common observation," according to the testimony of an- 
other pupil, — Thomas P. Hill. 

While in Fryeburg, Webster enjoyed fishing and gun- 
ning, although one of his pupils tells us that even when 
off on an excursion he would take a volume of poetry 
from his pocket to read. He often went to the fields 
and hills for recitation and study. 

The following store account for the time he was in 
the town, copied from an old ledger of John and Robert 
Bradley (brothers of Samuel) , suggests a practical side 
of the life there : — 

Daniel Webster, Dr. 

Jan. 9. To soap 6d (12) Ribbon 8d Comb 6d (30) Quills 

is 6d 

Feb. 2. Pencil 7d (6) Ring 5s ( 10) Silk 5d 
Feb. 12. Book 4s 6d (13) Segars od (20) Raisins od 
Feb. 23. Sundries 3s 3d (March 1) Segars 9d . 
March 4. Raisins etc. (10) Wafers \]/ z (16) Paper 2s 4d 

' -53 
1. 00 

1. 00 


©aniel Mebster 

Raisins 5d (Apr. 7) 1 sq. Glass 6d Watch Key 

March 19 


Apr. 10. Hose 7s 6d (17) 3 1-8 yds. velvet, 8s 6d per yd 

Apr. 17. l / 2 yard B. hollon is 2d 2 skeins silk is 2d 

Apr. 17. Buttons is (29) 20 cents lent is 2d . 

Apr. 29. 1 best whip 9s May 18th 1 Quire paper is 6d 

May 18. 1 bunch quills is 4d y z bushel corn is 9d . 

June 1. 1 box wafers 5d June 5 one powder flask is 9d 

June 5. % lb. powder is 2d June 7 one quire paper is 6d 

June 8. One bunch segars 9d, June 9th cash lent 30s 

June 12. Pair silk hose 14s 6d (17) 1 paper ink powder 9d 

July 1. % lb. raisins 5d (3) one skein silk 5d . 

July 5. To cash 18s (6th) ]i m Quills is 6d . 

July 19. 1 penknife 4s l /z quire letter paper iod 

July 29. 1 yd. ribband 6d (31st) 1 pair gloves 4s 

Aug. 2. Two dozen quills is 4d 2 yds. cassimere 14s 6d 

per yd. silk is 2d twist is 2d 
Aug. 2. Yq, yd. linen is 2d ferret 3d buttons 7d 4 small 

buttons 4d 
Sept. 3. One trunk 13s 

l> -32 





•5 2 











June. By cash 24s Sept. 3d Cash 120s 


Apr. 29th. By cash of Samuel A. Bradley 

. $24.00 

. 9.64 

As the schoolmaster went from home to home, the 
children were attracted to him. Indeed, this power of 
drawing children was great through all his after years. 
One cannot forget in this connection his little grand- 
child who, on failing to see him as he stopped at the 
door for a moment, answered the offer of a glittering 
list of Christmas presents as a pacifier by saying, 'midst 
deep sobs, "All I want is grandpa in my stocking." 

as a Schoolmaster 53 

This power that Webster had upon the young was 
doubtless one reason why, when he was teaching in 
Fryeburg, he was chosen to deliver the Fourth of July 
oration. Through the Rev. H. Bernard Carpenter, 
who lived in Fryeburg some two years ere becoming 
the pastor of the Hollis Street Church in Boston, we can 
see this youth of twenty as he stood in the little town 
meeting house that memorable Independence Day of 

'Twas Magna Charta's morning in July 

When, in that temple reared of old to truth, 

He rose in the bronze bloom of blood-bright youth 

To speak what he re-spoke when death was nigh. 

Strongly he stood, Olympian-framed, with front 

Like some carved crag where sleeps the lightning's brunt ; 

Black, thunderous brows, and thunderous, deep-toned speech, 

Like Pericles, of whom the people said 

That when he spoke it thundered ; round him spread 

The calm of summer nights, when the stars teach 

In music overhead. 

The whole audience must have been aroused even at 
the close of the first paragraph : " Illustrious spectacle ! 
Six millions of people this day surround their altars and 
unite in an address to Heaven for the preservation of 
their rights. Every rank and every age imbibe the 
general spirit. From the lisping inhabitant of the 
cradle to the aged warrior whose gray hairs are fast 
sinking in the western horizon of life, every voice is 
this day tuned to the accents of liberty ! Washington ! 
My country! " etc. (see Appendix, i). In it he dwelt 
upon the Constitution and the necessity of being true to 

54 2>aniel Webster 

it; indeed, it was but the forerunner of the thought 
expressed some fifty years later when acknowledging a 
substantial gift from American citizens in appreciation 
of his public service, he wrote: "Yes, gentlemen, the 
Constitution and the Union ! I place them together. 
If they stand, they must stand together. If they fall, 
they must fall together. They are the images which 
present to every American his surest reliance and his 
brightest hopes." This thought must have been upper- 
most in his oration, since a pupil who heard it (Thomas 
P. Hill) said, years afterward, that the only sentence 
which had not escaped his memory related to the Con- 
stitution. It is a noteworthy fact that the last speech 
the great statesman made in the Senate (July 17, 1S50) 
closed with the same peroration as this youthful venture. 
But this was not his first experience; for two years 
before, when a junior in college, he had delivered a 
Fourth of July oration before the college faculty and 
citizens of Hanover, at the unanimous request of the 
citizens, which has been published these later years. 

After having slept in oblivion for some eighty years, 
the original manuscript of the Fryeburg oration was 
found, with others of Webster's private papers, in an 
old junk shop in Boston. It came into the hands of 
Mr. A. F. Lewis, of Fryeburg, who now owns it as a 
valued possession. In the Preface to his publication of 
it, in a pamphlet called The Illustrated Fryebtirg 
Webster Memorial, it is said that one enthusiastic 
farmer who heard the oration ventured the bold remark 
that Daniel might some day even attain the lofty position 

as a Schoolmaster 55 

of governor of New Hampshire. Mr. Lewis himself, 
after saying that it seemed almost incredible that such a 
production could have emanated from a young man of 
only twenty years, declares that for " beauty of style, 
profound thought, logical reasoning and statesmanlike 
wisdom, the early history of the world's greatest masters 
may be challenged to produce anything which will bear 
comparison with this Fryeburg effort." Dr. Samuel 
Osgood recalled it as having "great merit, " and being 
" a finished production." 

Upon the discovery of the long-lost, clearly written 
manuscript, Whittier, who, as an occasional visitor to 
Fryeburg, loved the pretty town, wrote Mr. Lewis : " I 
am heartily glad at the discovery of the oration of the 
great orator and statesman. It is a very pleasant thing 
for your beautiful village, which cherishes the memory 
of its illustrious resident and teacher as one of its most 
valuable treasures." 

When the time of Webster's engagement as principal 
of the Academy was up, he was earnestly pressed to 
remain on an increased salary. He had even given the 
subject a thought in a letter which he signed, Daniel 
Webster, Fed. "What shall I do? Shall I say, 'Yes, 
gentlemen,' and sit down here and spend my days in a 
kind of comfortable privacy, or shall I relinquish these 
prospects and enter into a profession where my feelings 
will be constantly harassed by objects, either of dis- 
honesty or misfortune, where my living must be squeezed 
from penury (for rich folks seldom go to law), and my 
moral principle continually be at hazard ? I agree with 

56 ©aniel Mebster 

you that the law is well calculated to draw forth the 
powers of the mind ; but what are its effects on the 
heart? Are they equally propitious? Does it inspire 
benevolence and awake tenderness? or does it, by a 
frequent repetition of wretched objects, blunt sensibility 
and stifle the still, small voice of mercy? The talent 
with which heaven has intrusted me is small, very 
small ; yet I feel responsible for the use of it, and am 
not willing to pervert it to purposes reproachful or un- 
just, nor hide it, like a slothful servant, in a napkin." 
He then tells what draws him to the law. First, it is 
his father's wish. "He does not dictate, it is true; 
but how much short of dictation is the mere wish of a 
parent whose labors of life are wasted on favors to his 
children ? " Secondly, it is the wish of his friends. 
"They are urgent and pressing." Mr. Thompson, 
with whom he had studied those four months, even 
offered his tuition gratis, and to relinquish his stand to 
him. " If I prosecute the profession," he concludes, 
" I pray God to fortify me against its temptations. 
To the winds I dismiss those light hopes of eminence 
which ambition inspired and vanity fostered. To be 
honest, to be capable, to be faithful to my client and my 
conscience, I earnestly hope will be my first endeavor. 
But let us not rely too much on ourselves ; let us look 
to some less fallible guide to direct us among the temp- 
tations that surround us." 

Years afterward this serious look at law study was 
seen in what he wrote his son Edward (September, 
1838) : " If you intend yourself for the bar you must 

as a Scboolmaeter 57 

begin early to contract a habit of diligent and ambitious 
study. You must be emulous of excellence. An ordi- 
nary lawyer is not an enviable character." 

He finally decided to continue the study of law with 
Mr. Thompson in Salisbury. Before leaving Fryeburg 
in September, he tells us in his autobiography that his 
brother Ezekiel came to visit him, and that they made a 
journey together to the lower part of Maine ere returning 
to Salisbury. During his life in Fryeburg — not a year 
in all — he gained, as his pupil Thomas Hill has declared, 
the "universal respect of both scholars and villagers." 
On his departure the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, 
Rev. William Fessenden, whose son Samuel had been 
one of his pupils, sent him the thanks of the board for 
his "faithful services while preceptor of Fryeburg 
Academy." While one of the trustees predicted that 
he would become the first man in the country, all were 
impressed with his abilities during his residence there. 

Webster did not forget the little school. A few 
months later, January, 1803, he is writing a friendly 
letter to his successor, Amos J. Cook, who for more 
than thirty years was its master. He wondered why he 
had not heard from him. " But I will pardon you," he 
writes. " Your entire devotion to business would render 
you excusable if you should neglect to write even to 
your sweetheart." After telling pleasant things of mu- 
tual friends, Bingham and others, he asks him if he 
doesn't suppose that he must be "a little envious" of 
the lustre of his "pedagogical fame." He then writes 
of his experience in the study of law. " First," he says, 

5 s ©aniel Mebster 

"you must bid adieu to all hopes of meeting with a 
single author who pretends to elegance of style or sweet- 
ness of observation. The language of the law is dry, 
hard and stubborn as an old maid. Wounded Latin 
bleeds through every page, and if Tully and Virgil could 
rise from their graves they would soon be at fisticuffs 
with Coke, Hale and Blackstone for massacring their 
language. As to the practice, I believe it a settled mat- 
ter that the business of an office is conducted with the 
very refuse and remnant of mankind. However, I will 
not too far abuse my own profession. It is sometimes 
lucrative, and if one can keep up an acquaintance with 
general literature in the meantime, the law may help to 
invigorate and unfold the powers of the mind." 

When in 1806, and again in 1S31, Daniel visited the 
town, he much enjoyed a call on this schoolmaster friend. 
Doubtless Mr. Cook showed him the letter he had re- 
ceived from Jefferson, in which he had enclosed not only 
a letter of Washington's announcing the adoption of the 
Constitution of the United States by the Federal Conven- 
tion (it was offered merely for what he asked, a speci- 
men of his handwriting), but had expressed his "every 
wish for the prosperity of your institution.' ' Must he 
not also have showed the letter of John Adams, which 
had praised one of his pupils? 

In this visit of 1831 the little schoolhouse was still 
standing by the new one, although the following year it 
was taken down by Jasper Pingree (father of Governor 
Pingree, of Michigan) and moved to another place for 
other use. There it remained until destroyed by fire in 

as a Schoolmaster 59 

1S63. Dr. Andrew P. Peabody, of Cambridge, Mass., 
tells of seeing the little building on wheels, or rollers, 
ready to be moved on a Monday when he was asked to 
hold a service in it the preceding Sunday afternoon. We 
are told that Emerson preached in the little building when 
in the village. All this must have interested the great 
statesman in this leisure hour from his public duties. 
Since his life there he had known great honors and great 
sorrow. He had written more poetry, but it was of a 
different order, as seen in the verses written in 1825 on 
the death of his infant son Charles. (See Appendix, 2.) 
In this visit Webster's thought turned much to the 
natural scenery of the region round about. Being at 
Dr. Griswold's to tea, he exclaimed all at once, "Your 
Fryeburg scenery is striking, grand and beautiful ; when 
I was here acting as pedagogue, I suppose I was ambi- 
tious, and didn't notice it 1 " Yet the nature that had 
then reached the height of its fame— having just made 
the great reply to Hayne's speech— must have felt in youth 
the beautiful, inspiring view from old Jockey Cap and 
Pine Hill, must have watched the flow of the Saco River 
as it wound through the town, and have dreamed by the 
historic banks of Lovewell's pond. He could not have 
been insensible to beauties which Longfellow, Whittier 
and Enoch Lincoln have put in verse, which William 
D. Howells has expressed in prose (in A Modern In- 
stance), and which Arlo Bates— once a teacher in the 
Academy,— John Colby, Kate Putnam Osgood, Caroline 
Dana Howe, Rebecca Perley Reed and others have re- 
flected in their writings. But whether he loved nature 

6o Daniel Webster 

as fervently as in the later years, we know that he always 
loved Fryeburg. 

Upon being invited to the Centennial Anniversary of 
LovewelPs Fight, which the town celebrated in May, 
1825, he expressed regret that his engagements in Wash- 
ington would prevent his attendance ; but he added, "I 
always hear with much satisfaction of the prosperity of 
your interesting village, and am gratified at this proof 
that I am not forgotten by those for whom I retain, on 
my part, an undiminished regard." He then declared 
that they were " very right" in supposing that a visit to 
their town would give him pleasure. For several years 
he said he had intended to make such a visit, and still 
hoped to do so. " I pray you," he concluded, " to make 
my remembrance and respects acceptable to friends and 
neighbors, and allow me to offer to yourselves as to old 
and well-remembered friends, the assurance of my sin- 
cere esteem" (from a letter to Eben Fessenden, Jr., and 
Robert Bradley, Esq.) . Had he been at the celebration 
he would have heard sung to the air of " Bruce' s Ad- 
dress" a poem of six verses, written for the occasion by 
a youth of eighteen, afterwards known to the world as 
Henry W. Longfellow, which ended thus : — 

And the story of that day 
Shall not pass from earth away, 
Nor the blighting of decay 

Waste our liberty ; 
But, within the river's sweep, 
Long in peace our vale shall sleep, 
And free hearts the record keep 

Of this Jubilee. 

as a Scboolmaster 61 

He doubtless would have met this young poet at the 
social levee at Judge Dana's if not at the ball, which he 
is said to have attended at the Oxford House. Perhaps 
he had read in the Portland Gazette what he had 
written five years before on " The Battle of Lovewell's 
Pond," which, so far as known, were his first verses 
(Appendix, 3). 

At the Semi-centennial Anniversary of the Academy 
in August 1842, Webster again sent from Washington 
cordial words of remembrance and friendly greetings : 
"Long may your Institution flourish in usefulness, and 
long may health and peace, prosperity and happiness, be 
the lot of the village." Referring to his " attempt at 
instructing youth" there, he said : " However successful 
or unsuccessful I may have been in teaching others, it 
was not lost time in regard to my own progress. I 
found in Fryeburg, even at that early day, most of the 
elements of a happy New England village, which Dr. 
Belknap has described, — a learned, amiable and excel- 
lent minister of the gospel, educated and respectable 
gentlemen of the other professions, a small but well- 
selected library, with which I cultivated a useful acquaint- 
ance, and a general circle of friendly and agreeable 
acquaintances." He confessed that to the recollection 
of such things and such scenes it was impossible to 
revert without feelings both of gratitude and pleasure. 
"To all who may remember me," he concludes, "I 
pray you to give my cordial salutations, and if there be 
among you any of those who sought to learn Latin or 
Greek, or to read or cipher, under my veteran tuition, 

62 Baniel Webster 

please say to them that I trust their children have had 
better instruction than their fathers." 

On that occasion Rev. Samuel Souther, in his original 
poem on Memory, thus referred to the school and its 
master : — 

Not few can doubtless well remember when 

The school first met, though fifty years since then 

Have blanched their locks, and on their cheeks which glowed 

Erstwhile with ruddy youth, time's wrinkle strowed ; 

With them let's turn our eyes, and, as we can, 

Recall the time when first the school began. 

And through remembrance, viewed as through a glass, 

See years long gone again before us pass. 

The humble building stands near yonder hill, 

Whose pines above, around, the prospect fill ; 

But can that edifice, so humble, be 

The starting point of our Academy? 

* * * * * * 
Turn round the glass ; another teacher now, 
Far younger, fills the chair. Ah ! mark that brow. 
That eagle eye, — have you not seen it flash 
In scenes of later life, when, 'mid the clash 
Of high and fierce debate, he met his foe 
In mighty conflict? Then indeed you know 
That this is Webster, yet unknown to fame, 
Before the dawn of his illustrious name. 

This reminds one of what H. Bernard Carpenter has 
said of the schoolmaster in one of his verses on Frye- 
burg, as found in the Lewis Memorial : — 

Twenty rich summers glowed along his veins, 
When from New Hampshire's high-born hills a youth 
Came down — a seeker and a sayer of sooth — 
To stand beneath these elms, and shake the reins 

as a Schoolmaster 6 3 

That guide the heart of boyhood's fiery prime. 

They called him Daniel Webster ; and the chime 

Measured the sliding hours with smooth, slow stroke, 

While he sat registering the deed, and wrought 

As though the wide world watched him, swift in thought, 

But slow in speech ; and yet when once he spoke, 

Then an archangel taught. 

At the Centennial Celebration of the settlement of the 
town, held in the Chautauqua grounds in 1863, Webster's 
voice was silent in death ; but among the toasts of the 
evening levee held by the Webster Association of the 
Academy was, " The memory of Webster — it still lives." 
Upon his death, eleven years before, the trustees had 
showed their appreciation of their early teacher by calling 
a special meeting to express publicly the sense of loss the 
world had sustained. 

Being in Conway the year before he died, Webster 
had turned to the old town and its people. In a letter 
to Robert Bradley, Esq., August 17, 1851 (now in 
the possession of his daughter), he is introducing his 
son Fletcher and a New York friend, R. M. Blatchford, 
Esq. " They drive down to Fryeburg," he wrote, 
"this afternoon to see a place where I lived for some 
time and the good people who remain who were then 
my friends.' ' While he was there several of the Board 
of Trustees of the Academy went to call on him. Upon 
hearing of an effort to build a new school building, he 
said that if his official duties would allow he would be 
present at the dedication to give the opening address, 
but death prevented. At this time he made inquiries 
for citizens of the village he had known, among them 

6 4 2)aniel Mebeter 

being Lieutenant James Walker, to whom he had sold 
the horse that had borne him first to Fryeburg. 

While studying with Mr. Thompson, the young 
Daniel often despaired of ever making himself a lawyer ; 
he even thought seriously of going back to school-teach- 
ing. But he persevered, even though he was " put to 
study in the old way, — that is, the hardest books first, " — 
and at last in July, 1804, he found himself in the office 
of Christopher Gore, in Boston, laying further founda- 
tion for his great career. He never taught school again ; 
but it is safe to presume that he ever had a great 
sympathy for all school-teachers for what he had experi- 
enced. Once, in referring to his old teachers, he 
mentions Mr. Joseph S. Buckminster, of the Exeter 
Academy, where, when a boy of fourteen, he had spent 
nine months. He refers especially to his patience with 
him in the difficulty he had in speaking before the 
school. " The kind and excellent Buckminster," he 
says, especially sought to persuade him to perform the 
exercise of declamation like other boys, but he could 
not do it. Many a piece did he say over and over 
again in his own room, but when all eyes were turned 
upon him in school as his name was called he could 
not raise himself from his seat. " Sometimes the 
masters frowned, sometimes they smiled," he says, " but 
Mr. Buckminster always pressed and entreated with the 
most winning kindness " for him " to venture only once ;" 
but he could not command sufficient resolution, and 
when the occasion was over he went home and " wept 
tears of bitter mortification." At another time he is 

as a Scboolmaster 6 5 

writing from Marshfield — 1851 — to William Sweatt of 
his early schoolmasters. The thought makes him phil- 
osophical. " We belong to the past and to the future 
as well as to the present," he concludes. ... " God 
has given me much to enjoy in this life, and holden out 
hopes of a better life to come." 

It is possible he could not have written that touching 
letter to his old teacher, Master Tappan, only three 
months before his death (July, 1852) if he had not 
known the joy of a teacher's heart in being loved and 
appreciated. He had learned through the public press 
that his "old schoolmaster," as he calls him, still en- 
joyed life, with his u mental faculties bright and vivid." 
Having just returned from the scenes of his boyhood 
days, " from the very spot in which he had taught him," 
where the river and the hills were as beautiful as ever, 
but where the graves of his father and mother, brothers, 
sisters and early friends gave it, to him, "something of 
the appearance of a city of the dead," his letter is tinged 
with sadness ; yet hope arises, and he continues : " But 
let us not repine. You have lived long and my life 
already is not shorthand we have both much to be thank- 
ful for. Two or three persons are still living who, like 
myself, were brought up sub tua ferula. They remem- 
ber Master Tappan." Then he closes in a strain all the 
more tender, we are sure, for his own experience. 
" And now, my good old master, receive a renewed trib- 
ute of affectionate regard from your grateful pupil ; with 
his wishes and prayers for your happiness in all that 
remains to you of this life, and more especially for your 

ee Daniel Webster 

rich participation hereafter, in the more durable riches 
of righteousness." 

And so through this Fryeburg experience, Daniel 
Webster, whom America loves to honor as her great 
expounder of the Constitution, has linked himself to the 
universal brotherhood of teachers. 

That this has become more than a local recognition, 
was manifested in the centennial observance of the 
schoolmastership at Fryeburg, as held in the old town 
in 1902. Prominent public speakers, members of the 
Academy Alumni of national reputation, honored trus- 
tees and pupils from the town and from abroad, all con- 
tributed to the fine results obtained. Senator George 
F. Hoar, in his letter of regret that he could not be pres- 
ent, voiced the opinion of all when he said that no man 
could recall the noble story of Webster's youth "with- 
out a little mist gathering in his eyes." "It lends a 
dignity to the streets of your town," he wrote, "that 
his feet have been familiar to them." 




Tjsr ffiB> cmmw m mum me 
emr/oH was act/vs/tea. 

©ration i 

Delivered in Fryeburg, Maine, July 4, ^02. 

Fellow-Citizens :— 

It is at the season when Nature hath assumed her loveliest 
apparel that the American people assemble in their several 
temples to celebrate the birthday of their nation. Arrayed in 
all the beauties of the year, the Fourth of July once more visits 
us Green fields and a ripening harvest proclaim it, a bright 
sun cheers it, and the hearts of freemen bid it welcome. Illus- 
trious spectacle ! Six millions of people this day surround their 
altars, and unite in an address to Heaven for the preservation 
of their rights. Every rank and every age imbibes the general 
spirit. From the lisping inhabitant of the cradle to the aged 
warrior whose gray hairs are fast sinking in the western 
horizon of life, every voice is, this day, tuned to the accents of 
Liberty! Washington! My Country! 

Festivals established by the world have been numerous. The 
coronation of a king, the birth of a prince, the marriage of a 
princess, have often called wondering crowds together. Cities 
and nations agree to celebrate the event which raises one mortal 
man above their heads, and beings called men stand astonished 
and aghast while the pageantry of a monarch or the jewelled 
grandeur of a queen poses before them. Such a festival, how- 
ever, as the Fourth of July is to America, is not found in his- 
tory : a festival designed for solemn reflection on the great 
events that have happened to us; a festival in which freedom 
receives a nation's homage, and Heaven is greeted with incense 
from ten thousand hearts. 

In the present situation of our country, it is, my respected 
fellow-citizens, matter of high joy and congratulation that 
there is one day in the year on which men of different princi- 
ples and different opinions can associate together. The Fourth 
of Tuly is not an occasion to compass sea and land to make 
proselytes. The good sense and the good nature which yet 
remain among us will, we trust, prevail on this day, and be 
sufficient to chain, at least for a season, that untamed monster, 
Party Spirit : and would to God that it might be chained tor- 

70 Bppenfcii 

ever, that, as* we have but one interest, we might have but one 
heart and one mind ! 

You have hitherto, fellow-citizens, on occasions of this kind, 
been entertained with the discussion of national questions ; with 
inquiries into the true principles of government ; with recapitu- 
lations of the War ; with speculations on the causes of our 
Revolution, and on its consequences- to ourselves and to the 
world. Leaving these subjects, it shall be the ambition of the 
speaker of this day to present such a view of your Constitution 
and your Union as shall convince you that you have nothing to 
hope from a change. 

This age has been correctly denominated an age of experi- 
ments. Innovation is the idol of the times. The human mind 
seems to have burst its ancient limits, and to be traveling over 
the face of the material and intellectual creation in search of 
improvement. The world hath become like a fickle lover, in 
whom every new face inspires a new passion. In this rage for 
novelty many things are made better, and many things are 
made worse. Old errors are discarded, and new errors are 
embraced. Governments feel the same effects from this spirit 
as everything else. Some, like our own, grow into beauty and 
excellence, while others sink still deeper into deformity and 
wretchedness. The experience of all ages will bear us out in 
saying, that alterations of political systems are always attended 
with a greater or less degree of danger. They ought, therefore, 
never to be undertaken unless the evil complained of be really 
felt, and the prospect of a remedy clearly seen. The politician 
that undertakes to improve a Constitution with as little thought 
as a farmer sets about mending his plow, is no master of his 
trade. If that Constitution be a systematic one, if it be a free 
one, its parts are so necessarily connected that an alteration in 
one will work an alteration in all ; and this cobbler, however 
pure and honest his intentions, will, in the end, find that what 
came to his hands a fair and lovely fabric goes from them a 
miserable piece of patchwork. 

Nor are great and striking alterations alone to be shunned. 

Hppen&ti 71 

A succession of small changes, a perpetual tampering with 
minute parts, steal away the breath though they leave the body ; 
for it is true that a government may lose all its real character, 
its genius and its temper, without losing its appearance. You 
may have a despotism under the name of a republic. You 
may look on a government and see it possess all the external 
essential modes of freedom, and yet see nothing of the essence, 
the vitality, of freedom in it : just as you may behold Wash- 
ington or Franklin in waxwork; the form is perfect, but the 
spirit, the life, is not there. 

The first thing to be said in favor of our system of govern- 
ment is that it is truly and genuinely free, and the man has a 
base and slavish heart that will call any government good that 
is not free. If there be, at this day, any advocate for arbitrary 
power, we wish him the happiness of living under a govern- 
ment of his choice. If he is in love with chains, we would not 
deny him the gratification of his passion. Despotism is the 
point where everything bad centers, and from which everything 
good departs. As far as a government is distant from this 
point, so far it is good ; in proportion as it approaches towards 
this, in the same proportion it is detestable. In all other 
forms there is something tolerable to be found ; in despotism 
there is nothing. Other systems have some amiable features, 
some right principles, mingled with their errors ; despotism is 
all error. It is a dark and cheerless void, over which the eye 
wanders in vain in search of anything lovely or attractive. 

The true definition of despotism is government without law. 
It may exist, therefore, in the hands of many as well as of one. 
Rebellions are despotisms ; factions are despotisms ; loose 
democracies are despotism*. These are a thousand times more 
dreadful than the concentration of all power in the hands of a 
single tyrant. The despotism of one man is like the thunder- 
bolt, which falls here and there, scorching and consuming the 
individual on whom it lights ; but popular commotion, the des- 
potism of a mob, is an earthquake, which in one moment 
swallows up everything. It is the excellence of our govern- 

72 Hppenbir 

ment that it is placed in a proper medium between these two 
extremes, — that it is equally distant from mobs and from 

In the next place our government is good because it is prac- 
tical. It is not the sick offspring of closet philosophy. It did 
not rise, vaporous and evanescent, from the brains of Rousseau 
and Godwin, like a mist from the ocean. It is the production 
of men of business, of experience, and of wisdom. It is suited 
to what man is, and what it is in the power of good laws to 
make him. Its object — the just object of all governments — is 
to secure and protect the weak against the strong, to unite the 
force of the whole community against the violence of oppres- 
sors. Its power is the power of the nation ; its will is the will 
of the people. It is not an awkward, unshapely machine 
which the people cannot use when they have made it, nor is it 
so dark and complicated that it is the labor of one's life to in- 
vestigate and understand it. All are capable of comprehending 
its principles and its operations. It admits, too, of a change 
of men and of measures. At the will of a majority, we have 
seen the government of the nation pass from the hands of one 
description of men into those of another. Of the comparative 
merits of those different men, of their honesty, their talents, 
their patriotism, we have here nothing to say. That subject 
we leave to be decided before the impartial tribunal of pos- 
terity. The fact of a change of rulers, however, proves that the 
government is manageable, that it can in all cases be made to 
comply with the public will. It is, too, an equal government. 
It rejects principalities and powers. It demolishes all the arti- 
ficial distinctions which pride and ambition create. It is en- 
cumbered with no lazy load of hereditary aristocracy. It 
clothes no one with the attributes of God ; it sinks no one to a 
level with brutes : yet it admits those distinctions in society 
which are natural and necessary. The correct expression of 
our Bill of Rights is that men are born equal. It then rests 
with themselves to maintain their equality by their worth. 
The illustrious framers of our system, in all the sternness of 

BppenMi 73 

republicanism, rejected all nobility but the nobility of talents, 
all majority but the majority of virtue. 

Lastly, the government is one of our choice ; not dictated to 
us by an imperious Chief Consul, like the government of Hol- 
land and Switzerland ; not taught us by the philosophers, nor 
graciously brought to us on the bayonets of our magnanimous 
sister republic on the other side the ocean. It was framed by 
our fathers for themselves and for their children. Far the 
greater portion of mankind submit to usurped authority, and 
pay humble obedience to self-created law-givers : not that obe- 
dience of the heart which a good citizen will yield to good 
laws, but the obedience which a harnessed horse pays his 
driver, — an obedience begotten by correction and stripes. 

The American Constitution is the purchase of American 
valor. It is the rich prize that rewards the toil of eight years 
of war and of blood : and what is all the pomp of military 
glory, what are victories, what are armies subdued, fleets cap- 
tured, colors taken, unless they end in the establishment of 
wise laws and national happiness ? Our Revolution is not more 
renowned for the brilliancy of its scenes than for the benefit of 
its consequences. The Constitution is the great memorial of 
the deeds of our ancestors. On the pillars and on the arches 
of that dome their names are written and their achievements 
recorded. While that lasts, while a single page or a single 
article can be found, it will carry down the record to futm-e 
ages. It will teach mankind that glory, empty, tinkling glory, 
was not the object for which Americans fought. Great Britain 
had carried the fame of her arms far and wide. She had 
humbled France and Spain ; she had reached her arm across the 
Eastern Continent, and given laws on the banks of the Ganges. 
A few scattered colonists did not rise up to contend with such 
a nation for mere renown. They had a nobler object, and in 
pursuit of that object they manifested a courage, constancy, 
and union, that deserve to be celebrated by poets and historians 
while language lasts. 

The valor of America was not a transient, glimmering ray 

74 Bppenbii 

shot forth from the impulse of momentary resentment. Against 
unjust and arbitrary laws she rose with determined, unalterable 
spirit. Like the rising sun, clouds and mists hung around her, 
but her course, like his, brightened as she proceeded. Valor, 
however, displayed in combat, is a less remarkable trait in the 
character of our countrymen than the wisdom manifested when 
the combat was over. All countries and all ages produce 
warriors, but rare are the instances in which men sit down 
coolly at the close of their labors to enjoy the fruits of them. 
Having destroyed one despotism, nations generally create 
another; having rejected the dominion of one tyrant, they 
make another for themselves. England beheaded her Charles, 
but crowned her Cromwell. France guillotined her Louises, 
but obeys her Bonapartes. Thanks to God, neither foreign 
nor domestic usurpation nourishes on our soil! 

Having thus, fellow-citizens, surveyed the principal features 
of our excellent Constitution, and paid an inadequate tribute to 
the wisdom which produced it, let us consider seriously the 
means of its preservation. To perpetuate the government we 
must cherish the love of it. One chief pillar in the repub- 
lican fabric is the spirit of patriotism. But patriotism hath, in 
these days, become a good deal questionable. It hath been so 
often counterfeited that even the genuine coin doth not pass 
without suspicion. If one proclaims himself a patriot, this un- 
charitable, misjudging world is pretty likely to set him down 
for a knave, and it is pretty likely to be right in this opinion. 
The rage for being patriots hath really so much of the ridicu- 
lous in it that it is difficult to treat it seriously. The preach- 
ing of politics hath become a trade, and there are many who 
leave all other trades to follow it. Benevolent, disinterested 
men ! With Scriptural devotion they forsake houses and lands, 
father and mother, wife and children, and wander up and down 
the community to teach mankind that their rulers oppress 
them ! About the time when it was fashionable in France to 
cut off men's heads as we lop away superfluous sprouts from 
our apple trees, the public attention was excited by a certain 

HppenMx 75 

monkey that had been taught to act the part of a patriot to 
great perfection. If you pointed at him, says the historian, 
and called him an aristocrat or a monarchist, he would fly at 
you with great rage and violence ; but if you would do him the 
justice to call him a good patriot, he manifested every mark of 
joy and satisfaction. But, though the whole French nation 
gazed at this animal as a miracle, he was, after all, no very 
strange sight. There are, in all countries, a great many 
monkeys who wish to be thought patriots, and a great many 
others who believe them such. But, because we are often de- 
ceived by appearances, let us not believe that the reality does 
not exist. If our faith is ever shaken, if the crowd of hypo- 
critical demagogues lead us to doubt, we will remember Wash- 
ington and be convinced ; we will cast our eyes around us on 
those who have toiled and fought and bled for their country, 
and we will be persuaded that there is such a thing as real 
patriotism, and that it is one of the purest and noblest senti- 
ments that can warm the heart of man. 

To preserve the government we must also preserve a correct 
and energetic tone of morals. After all that can be said, the 
truth is that liberty consists more in the habits of the people 
than in anything else. When the public mind becomes vitiated 
and depraved, every attempt to preserve it is vain. Laws are 
then a nullity, and Constitutions waste paper. There are 
always men wicked enough to go any length in the pursuit of 
power, if they can find others wicked enough to support them. 
They regard not paper and parchment. Can you stop the prog- 
ress of a usurper by opposing to him the laws of his country? 
then you may check the careering winds or stay the lightning 
with a song. No. Ambitious men must be restrained by the 
public morality : when they rise up to do evil, they must find 
themselves standing alone. Morality rests on religion. If 
you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. In 
a world of error, of temptation, of seduction ; in a world 
where crimes often triumph, and virtue is scourged with scor- 
pions, — in such a world, certainly, the hope of an hereafter is 

76 Hppenbii 

necessary to cheer and to animate. Leave us, then, the con- 
solations of religion. Leave to man, to frail and feeble man, 
the comfort of knowing that, when he gratifies his immortal 
soul with deeds of justice, of kindness, and of mercy, he is 
rescuing his happiness from final dissolution and laying it up in 
Heaven . 

Our duty as citizens is not a solitary one. It is connected 
with all the duties that belong to us as men. The civil, the 
social, the Christian virtues are requisite to render us worthy 
the continuation of that government which is the freest on 
earth. Yes, though the world should hear me, though I could 
fancy myself standing in the congregation of all nations, I 
would say : Americans, you are the most privileged people 
that the sun shines on. The salutary influences of your climate 
are inferior to the salutary influences of your laws. Your soil, 
rich to a proverb, is less rich than your Constitution. Your 
rivers, large as the oceans of the Old World, are less copious 
than the streams of social happiness which flow around you. 
Your air is not purer than your civil liberty, and your hills, 
though high as heaven and deep as the foundations of the earth, 
are less exalted and less firmly founded than that benign and 
everlasting religion which blesses you and shall bless your off- 
spring. Amidst these profuse blessings of nature and of 
Providence, beware ! Standing in this place, sacred to truth, 
I dare not undertake to assure you that your liberties and your 
happiness may not be lost. Men are subject to men's misfor- 
tunes. If an angel should be winged from Heaven on an 
errand of mercy to our country, the first accents that would 
glow on his lips would be, Beware ! be cautious ! you have 
everything to lose; you have nothing to gain. We live under 
the only government that ever existed which was framed by 
the unrestrained and deliberate consultations of the people. 
Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in 
six thousand years cannot be expected to happen often. Such 
a government, once gone, might leave a void to be filled, for 
ages, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism. The 

Hppen&ti 77 

history of the world is before us. It rises like an immense 
column, on which we may see inscribed the soundest maxims 
of political experience. These maxims should be treasured in 
our memories and written on our hearts. Man, in all countries, 
resembles man. Wherever you find him, you find human 
nature in him and human frailties about him. He is, therefore, 
a proper pupil for the school of experience. He should draw 
wisdom from the example of others,— encouragement from 
their success, caution from their misfortunes. Nations should 
diligently keep their eye on the nations that have gone before 
them. They should mark and avoid their errors, not travel on 
heedlessly in the path of danger and of death while the bones 
of their perished predecessors whiten around them. Our own 
times afford us lessons that admonish us both of our duty and 
our danger. We have seen mighty nations miserable in their 
chains, more miserable when they attempted to shake them off. 
Tortured and distracted beneath the lash of servitude, we have 
seen them rise up in indignation to assert the rights of human 
nature; but, deceived by hypocrites, cajoled by demagogues, 
ruined by false patriots, overpowered by a resistless mixed 
multitude of knaves and fools, we have wept at the wretched 
end of all their labors. Tossed for ten years in the crazy 
dreams of revolutionary liberty, we have seen them at last 
awake, and, like the slave who slumbers on his oar and dreams 
of the happiness of his own blessed home, they awake to find 
themselves still in bondage. Let it not be thought that we 
advert to other nations to triumph in their sufferings or mock at 
their calamities. Would to God the whole earth enjoyed pure 
and rational liberty, that every realm that the human eye sur- 
veys or the human foot treads, were free! Wherever men 
soberly and prudently engage in the pursuit of this object, our 
prayers in their behalf shall ascend unto the Heavens and unto 
the ear of Him who filleth them. Be they powerful or be 
they weak, in such a cause they deserve success. Yes, "The 
poorest being that crawls on earth, contending to save itself 
from injustice and oppression, is an object respectable in the 

7S Hppen&ii 

eyes of God and man." Our purpose is only to draw lessons 
of prudence from the imprudence of others, to argue the neces- 
sity of virtue from the consequences of their vices. 

Unhappy Europe ! the judgment of God rests hard upon 
thee. Thy sufferings would deserve an angel's pity, if an 
angel's tears could wash away thy crimes ! The Eastern Con- 
tinent seems trembling on the brink of some great catastrophe. 
Convulsions shake and terrors alarm it. Ancient systems are 
falling; works reared by ages are crumbling into atoms. Let 
us humbly implore Heaven that the wide-spreading desolation 
may never reach the shores of our native land, but let us de- 
voutly make up our minds to do our duty in events that may 
happen to us. Let us cherish genuine patriotism. In that, 
there is a sort of inspiration that gives strength and energy 
almost more than human. When the mind is attached to a 
great object, it grows to the magnitude of its undertaking. A 
true patriot, with his eye and his heart on the honor and happi- 
ness of his country, hath an elevation of soul that lifts him 
above the rank of ordinary men. To common occurrences he 
is indifferent. Personal considerations dwindle into nothing, in 
comparison with his high sense of public duty. In all the 
vicissitudes of fortune, he leans with pleasure on the protection 
of Providence and on the dignity and composure of his own 
mind. While his country enjoys peace, he rejoices and is 
thankful ; and, if it be in the counsel of Heaven to send the 
storm and the tempest, his bosom proudly swells against the 
rage that assaults it. Above fear, above danger, he feels that 
the last end ivhich can happen to any man never comes too soon, 
if he falls in defense of the lazus and liberties of his country. 

HppenMi 79 

Webster's poem n. 


[Written in 1S25.] 

My son, thou wast my heart's delight, 

Thy morn of life was gay and cheery ; 
That morn has rushed to sudden night, 

Thy father's house is sad and dreary. 

I held thee on my knee, my son, 

And kissed thee laughing, kissed thee weeping. 
But, ah ! thy little day is done ; 

Thou'rt with thine angel sister sleeping. 

The staff on which my years should lean 
Is broken ere those years come o'er me. 

My funeral rites thou shouldst have seen, 
But thou art in the tomb before me. 

Thou rear'st to me no filial stone, 

No parent's grave with tears beholdest. 
Thou art my ancestor, my son, 

And stand'st in Heaven's account the oldest. 

On earth my lot was soonest cast, 

Thy generation after mine. 
Thou hast thy predecessor passed ; 

Earlier eternity is thine. 

I should have set before thine eyes 
The road to Heaven, and shown it clear; 

But thou untaught spring'st to the skies, 
And leav'st thy teacher lingering here. 

Sweet seraph, I would learn of thee, 

And hasten to partake thy bliss ; 
And, oh ! to thy world welcome me, 

As first I welcomed thee to this. 

8o Hppenfcii 

Dear angel, thou art safe in Heaven ; 

No prayers for thee need more be said. 
Oh ! let thy prayers for those be given 

Who oft have blessed thine infant head. 

My father, I beheld thee born, 

And led thy tottering steps with care. 
Before me risen to Heaven's bright morn, 

My son, my father, guide me there. 

XovewelFs Jfigbt m. 


Many a day and wasted year, 
Bright has left its footsteps here 
Since was broke the warrior's spear, 

And our fathers bled ; 
Still the tall trees arching shake 
Where the fleet deer by the lake, 
As he dashed through bush and brake, 

From the hunter fled. 

In these ancient woods so bright, 
That are full of life and light, 
Many a dark, mysterious rite 

The stern warriors kept ; 
But their altars are bereft, 
Fallen to earth and strewn and cleft, 
And to holier faith is left 

Where their fathers slept. 

From their ancient sepulchres, 
Where, amid the giant firs, 
Moaning loud the high wind stirs, 
Have the red men gone. 

HppenMx 81 

Towards the setting sun that makes 
Bright our western hills and lakes, 
Faint and few the remnant takes 
Its sad journey on. 

Where the Indian hamlet stood, 
In the interminable wood, 
Battle broke the solitude, 

And the war-cry rose ; 
Sudden came the straggling shot 
Where the sun looked on the spot 
That the trace of war would blot 

Ere the day's faint close. 

Low the smoke of battle hung, 
Heavy down the lake it swung, 
Till the death-wail loud was sung, 

When the night-shades fell; 
And the gren pine, waving dark, 
Held within its shattered bark 
Many a lasting scath and mark 

That a tale could tell. 

And the glory of that day 
Shall not pass from earth away, 
Nor the blighting of decay 

Waste our liberty ; 
But, within the river's sweep, 
Long in peace our vale shall sleep, 
And free hearts the record keep 

Of this jubilee. 

82 Hppen&ii 

poem iv. 

(Written and read by Elizabeth Porter Gould, at Fryeburg, August 14, 1902.) 
Preluded with some extemporaneous words leading to the introductory 
lines of "Webster. 

"Health to my friends! began my earliest song, 
Health to my friends ! my latest shall prolong; 
Nor health alone — be four more blessings thine, 
Cash and the Fair One, Friendship and the Nine. 
Are these too little? Dost thou pant for fame? 
Give him, ye Powers, the bubble of a name ! 
Ask all of Heaven an honest man should dare, 
And Heaven will grant it, if it hear my prayer." 

Thus wrote a youth of twenty, 
In 1802. 
I think it's worth our reading now — 
Don't you? 

And this was not the ending 
Of what he said that day ; 
This one of many rhymes he wrote — 

His say 
On how the world did look to him, 
Whose eye of faith had not grown dim, 
Whose ear still heard the cherubim. 

I think 'twill give him honor, 

This 1902, 
If we a moment give it now, — 

Don't you? 

" 'Tis true, let Locke deny it to the last, 
Man has three beings, Present, Future, Past. 
We are, we were, we shall be; this contains 
The field of all our pleasures and our pains. 
Enjoyment makes the present hour its own, 
And Hope looks forward into worlds unknown ; 

Hppen&ii s 3 

While backward turned, our thoughts incessant stray 

And 'mid the fairy forms of memory play. 

Say, does the present ill affect thee more 

Than that impending o'er a future hour? 

Or does this moment's blessing more delight 

Than Hope's gay vision fluttering in thy sight? 

Call now the events of former years to view, 

And live in fancy all thy life anew, 

Do not the things that many years ago 

Gave woe or joy, now give thee joy or woe? 

In this review as former times pass by, 

Dost thou not laugh again, or weep or sigh? 

Dost thou not change, as changing scenes advance, 

Mourn with a friend, or frolic at the dance? 

With present time thus Hope and Memory join, 
This to bear back, and that to extend the line." 

Thus wrote our Daniel Webster, 
In 1802. 
I think it's worth our hearing now — 
Don't you? 

This slender youth of twenty, 
So earnest and so wise, 
Who, when he lived here someone called 

Did not forget to put in rhyme 
The little school which took his time, 
That Wisdom's hill his " Zeke" might climb. 

He saw in this loved brother, 
A personality rare, 
Which he must bring, at any cost, 

To share 
The education he had won 
Through father-love to seeking son ; 
Reward to him was in Well Do?ie. 

8 4 HppenMi 

To be yet still more helpful, 
He wrote in his own hand, 
Some County Deeds we see to-day, 

That stand 
As monuments of labor spent 
In evenings which more oft are lent 
To friendship's cheer or frolic's bent. 

Who can forget the story 
As told in his own name, 
When later years had brought him wealth, 

And fame, 
How blest he was that day in spring, 
When his first earnings he did bring, 
That " Zeke" might Wisdom's anthems sing! 

Three hundred fifty dollars 
Was salary for the year, 
With now and then a present given 

For cheer ; 
But though the teaching was success, 
And added to his happiness, 
His vision soared. Hear what he says : 

" Six hours to yonder little dome a day, 
The rest to books, to friendship, and my tea; 
And now and then, as varying fancies choose, 
To trifle with young Mary or the Muse. 
This life, though pleasant of its kind, is yet 
Much too inactive; I'm resolved to quit. 

God gave me pride. I thank Him ; if He choose 

To give me what shall make that pride of use, 

Chance and the talent, I'll adore His will; 

If he deny them, I'll adore it still. 

Now Hope leans forward on Life's slender line, 

Shows me a doctor, lawyer or divine, 

Bppenbii §5 

Ardent springs forward to the distant goal, 
But indecision clogs the eager soul." 

Thus wrote the Fryeburg teacher 
In 1802, 
I'm glad his soul was thus revealed — 
Aren't you? 

For in this revelation, 

Faith shows her blessed face, 
While Prophecy, with Doubt and Hope, 

Has place, 
For us to see to-day fulfilled 
In act and speech, as lawyer willed, 
Or in Congressional halls instilled. 

But though this deep-souled nature 
Had not yet found its own, 
He walked these streets with joyful heart, 

Or with "Maine misses" fair and gay, 
Who joined him in the "balls" and play, 
And felt his calm, majestic sway. 

But could they understand him? 
This serious, high-born youth, 
In wonder oft as to life's way, 

In truth, 
One who could open school with prayer, 
And lift a soul profound to share 
The atmosphere of those who dare. 

His own deep joy in Nature, 
As he these hills did roam, 
Was tinged with thought of college life, 
Of home, 

S6 Hppen&ti 

Of worldly honor, gift and name, 
Which in the after years became 
A hidden power for praise or blame. 

'Twas here his Alma Mater, 
His Dartmouth life so rich, 
Became a temple of his mind, 

In which 
Was held the fire to burst in flame 
In its own time and make his name 
To rank with Dartmouth and her fame. 

'Twas here this youth of twenty, 
On Independence Day, 
Held in the little meeting-house 

Full sway, 
Expounding truth which not before 
Had come so near the nation's door. 
'Tis read to-day as classic lore. 

His plea for Constitution 

To which his thought did bow, 
For yeai;s did linger in the town, 

Till now 
As "Great Expounder" of its laws, 
We claim him without price or flaws, 
Whenever we his name applause. 

With Jefferson as President, 
And Washington at rest ; 
John Adams in his Quincy home, 

How good to have a teacher say 
The thought we know as truth to-day, 
A hundred years cannot gainsay! 

Hppen&ii s 7 

For then, as now, a teacher 
Was called to be a guide 
To lift the soul to higher life, 

Or tide 
The waves of feeling and of thought 
Which bound the shores of mind when fraught 
With depths of life unknown, unsought. 

Thus taught our Daniel Webster, 
In 1S02. 
I think he's worth remembering here— 
Don't you? 



s 9 



Academy, Adams ..... 


Academy, Fryeburg, Maine 

. 29 

35, 66 

Adams Chapter, Daughters of the Revolution 


Adams Farm, Quincy, Mass. 

10, 25 

Adams, John ...... 9, 

28, 35, 3S 


Adams, Hon. Charles Francis . 


Alden, John ...... 


Alden, Priscilla 




Ames' Speech 


Antiquarian Hall 



Baldwin, Mrs. C. C 


Bancroft, Dr. Aaron 

16, 28 

Barrows, George B 


Bates, Arlo 


Belknap, Dr. ....... 


Bingham, Mr. ...... 


Blackstone's " Commentaries " . 



19, 22 

Boston ........ 


53. 54 

Boston and Worcester Railroad . 


Braddock's Defeat ..... 


Bradley, John 


Bradley, Miss ...... 


Bradley, Robert 

• 51. 63 

Bradley, Samuel A. .... 

• 37 

» 44' 4 6 

Braintree, Mass 

9. IO > l 3 

. 2 4> 25 

Bronze Tablet 


" Bruce's Address " 


Buckminster, Joseph S. 

• 64 


Carpenter, H. Bernard .... 

• 53. 62 

Chandler, John (Judge) .... 

. n, 26 

90 1Int>ei 

Chandler, Nat 26 

Chandler, Rufus .26 

Chapter, Timothy Bigelow, D. A. R 27, 28 

" Chautauqua Grounds " ....... 63 

Cheyne's Works ......... 20 

Clark University, Worcester 28 

Coke 23 

Conway, N. H. . . . . . . . . . 46, 63 

Cook, Amos J 29,57,58 

Court House, Worcester 27 

Cranch, Richard n, 12, 13, 21, 29 

Crane, E. B 27 

Cushing, Charles 12, 17, 21, 23, 29 


Dana, Judge 36, 46, 61 

Dartmouth College 35, 39 

Daughters of the American Revolution . . . 27, 28 
" Defence of the American Constitution " ... 49 
Diary (John Adams) 2S 

Edwards, Jonathan 15 

Emerson, R. W 59 

Everett, Dr. William 32 


Fessenden, Eben, Jr 60 

Fessenden, Rev. William 57 

First Schoolhouse in Worcester 27, 28 

Fitzgibbon .......... 23 

Forbes, Mrs. William T .27 

Fortescue 23 

" Fourth of July Oration " ..... . 53, 54 

Franklin, Benjamin 15 

Fryeburg, Maine 36, 37, 47, 59, 66 

Fuller, Habijah W 35, 40, 41, 47, 48 

fln&ei 91 


Gardiner, Major 14, 25 

General Court 9 

George II 13 

Gore, Christopher 64 

Gorham, John 15 

Gould, E. P 82 

Greene, Nathaniel 11, 14, 20 

Gridley, Jeremy ......... 24 

Griswold, Dr -59 


Halifax 26 

Hall, G. Stanley 2S 

Hancock, John 10, 31 

Hancock Street, Quincy 10 

Harvard College 9' 10 

Hawkins' " Pleas of the Crown " 23 

Hawley ^o 

Hill, Thomas P 39> 5 1 . 54> 57 

Hoar, Senator George F . 28, 66 

Holyoke, Dr 26 

Howe, Caroline Dana -59 

Howells, William D 59 


Jefferson, Thomas • 3$* 49» 5$ 

Jockey Cap 59 

Kent, Mrs. Daniel, Regent D. A. R. Chapter ... 28 

Langdon, Paul ......•• 35 

Lewis, A. F 54> 55. 62 

" Lillie's Abridgment " 2 3 

Lincoln, Enoch ......••• 59 

Longfellow, Henry W 59» 60 

9 2 

If n&ex 

Louisburg . 
Lovewell's Fight 
Love-well's Pond 


Maccarty, Rev. Thaddeus . 
Main Street, Worcester 
" Maine Misses " ... 

Marble, Annie Russell 
Mason, Jeremiah 
Massachusetts Colony 
Massachusetts Historical Society 

McGaw, Mr 

Merrill, Thomas A. 

Morgan's " Moral Philosopher " 

Mosheim's "Ecclesiastical History 


New Brunswick . 
Newburyport, Mass. 
New York . 
Northampton, Mass. 


Oration of Webster 
Osgood, James 
Osgood, Kate Putnam 
Osgood, Rev. Dr. Samuel 
Oxford House 


9> 15: 

4 6. 

48, 5i» 













Paine, Dr. William 26 

Pamphlet of Timothy Bigelow Chapter, D. A. R. (" The 

First Schoolhouse in Worcester ") .... 27 

Peabody, Andrew P 59 

Pequawket .......... 36, 47 

Pine Hill • 37» 59 



Pingree, Jasper 


Poem on the Death of Son Charles (Webster) . 


" Poor Richard's Almanack" 


Porter, John 


Portland, Maine 


Princeton College .... 


" Province of Massachusetts " . 


Putnam, James .... 11,20,21,22,23,24 

25. 26 

Putnam, Mrs 

20, 21 


Quincy, Mass 


Quincy Granite .... 


Q, Dorothy .... 


Quincy, Dorothy (Hancock) 


Quincy, Hon. Josiah . 


Quincy Historical Society . 


Quincy Mansion, Hancock Street 



Reed, Rebecca Perley 


11 Russell's Echo, or The North Star " 


Salem, Mass 



Salisbury, N. H. 

• 35. 57 

Salisbury, Stephen 


" Salkeld's Reports" 


Sanborn, Professor 


Savil, Dr. . 


Sewall, Jonathan 


Shirley, Governor 


Smith, Abigail . 

. 10, 16 

" Social Library " 


Souther, Rev. Samuel 


" Spy," Massachusetts 




Stage .... 


" Store Account " of Daniel Webster 




Swinburne ......... 


Sydenham ......... 



• 33, 65 

Thompson, Thomas W 35 

. 5 6 > 57 



Titus, Mrs. Nelson V. 


Trowbridge ........ 


Unitarian Church, Worcester ..... 

. 15, 28 


Van Swieten's Commentaries ..... 


" Vermont," Williams' .... 


Verses written for Webster Centennial, E. P. Gould 



Walker, James 


Washington, George ..... 


Webb, Nathan 


Webster, Daniel 

Webster, Ezekiel ..... 


. 4° ; 57 

Webster, Fletcher ..... 


Webster Memorial . . • 


Welman, Mr. ...... 


Weymouth ....... 

10, 16 

Whittier, John G 

55> 59 

Willard, Dr. Nahun 


25, 26 



Woman's Clubhouse, Worcester 


Worcester, Mass. . - .9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 

27> 35 

Worcester Continental Guards ...... 


Worthington ...... 




JUL 8 1903