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Full text of "John Gray, of Mount Vernon: The Last Soldier of the Revolution"

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TITUE PAO]B. 






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JOHN GRAY: 



'9 



Of Mount Vernon; 



THE 



Last Soldier of the Revolution. 



Born near Mount Vernon, Va., January 6, 1764; 
Died at HiramsWrg, Ohio, March 29, 1 868. 

Aged 104 Years. 



BY J. M. DALZELL. 



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Chap. LXVIII. — An act for the Reli^ of John Gray, a Revolutionary Soldier. 

*'5f it enacted b^tbe Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America^ in 
Congress assembledy Tiiat tbe Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, directed to place 
the name of John Gray, of Noble County, Ohio, upon the Pension Roll, and that there be 
paid to said John Gray, out of any money in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum 
of $500 per annum during his natural life, payable semi-annually, commencing on the ist day 
of July, 1866." 

f See Statutes at Large, XXXIX Congress, Sess. II, Chap. 58, p. 44..] 






Entered acccTrdiag to aot of Congrcfw, in th6 year 1£66, by J. M. Dalzkll and Wxuliam Wooobubn, 
in the Clerk's OfElc6 of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. 



1 » iW 



J 

^ 



■i 



Mailed-^ any iwrt of the Unitied States on i-e^'eipt of 50 cents. Adilrt^b*. 

Dalz^ll St WooDBURN, 326 Virginia Avenue, 

Washington, D. C. 



i 

f - 
J ' 



i 



^ 



JOHN GRAY 



OF 



Mount Ver n o n ; 



THE 



Last Soldier of the Revolution. 



Born near Mount Vernon, Va., January 6, 1764; 
Died at Hiramsburg, Ohio, March 29, 1 868. 

Aged 104 Years. 



(( 



Chap. LXVIII. — An act for the Relief of John Gray, a Revolutionary Soldier. 

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America^ in 
** Congress assembled^ That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, directed to place 
** the name of John Gray, of Noble County, Ohio, upon the Pension Roll, and that there be 
" paid to said John Gray, out of any money in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum 
'<of $500 per annum during his natural life, payable semi-annually, commencing on the ist day 
"of July, 1866." 

[See Statutes at Large, XXXIX Congress, Sess. II, Chap. 58, p. 44.] 



? 



WASHINGTON : 

iBSON Brothers, Printers. 

1868. 



V v^ rV^ , 



THENEWYORKl 

P 460-10 



TILOEN 



1900. 




DEDICATION. 



To the Old Dominion, the birth-place of John Gray, and to Ohio, where 

his sacred ashes rest, and to the American people, whom he loved, 

and for whom he fought, this memorial of the last Soldier 

of the Revolution is respectfully dedicated by 

JAMES M. DALZELL, the Author, 

and 
WM. WOODBURN, of Ohio, the Author's generous Friend. 



HISTORY OF JOHN OKAY, 

OP MOUNT VERNON, VA., 

THE LAST 80LDIEB OF THE SEVOLUTION. 



State of Ohio, Executive Department, 

Columbus, February 2, 1867. 

Dear Sir: Yours of 29th ultimo is received, and the letter to 
the State Journal has been delivered. My duties are inconsistent 
with my acting as the trustee of a fund for the benefit of any 
private citizen, and I must beg you to find some business man or 
firm of known character, in the vicinity of the residence of the 
veteran John Gray, of the Revolution, to do that work. It would 
involve a good deal of correspondence which could only be intelli- 
gently done by those who are near enough to be personally cogni- 
zant of the 'wants and necessities of the old patriot. 

Earnestly sympathizing with the spirit which induces your 
action, 

I am, very respectfully, yours, &c., 

J. D. COX, 

Governor of Ohio, 

J, M. Dalzell, Esq. 



»•» 



[We here acknowledge ourselves much indebted to Honorable Judges 
Welker and Spalding, and Capt. Baugh, of Ohio, the Librarians of Congress, 
Heads of Departments, and many other high officials at Washington, who 
have aided us in the laborious task of compiling from the records of Congress 
and the Departments tiie authentic statements of this book.] 



<•» 



For more than three-quarters of a century after the close of the 
war of the Revolution, John Gray lived a life of quiet and retiracy 
upon or near the banks of the beautiful Ohio. He left his native 
Virginia, the banks of the Potomac, the home of his childhood , 
the State for which he had done battle service in no less a cause 
than the independence of that State. He left her because she 
denied and refused the right of suffrage to those of her sons who 



had not ^'caught Dame Fortune's golden smile," and made his 
home where — 

I' An honest man, tho' e'er so poor, 
Is king of men for a' that." 

He wended his way over mountains and rivers, through the then 
almost unexplored wilderness of what is now West Virginia, and 
coming out on the borders of Western civilization, at Morgantown, 
Va., he constructed a rude craft, on which he descended the 
Monongahela to its junction with the Alleghany, and thence down 
the Ohio to the Flats of Grave Creek. Here he made his first 
settlement, and entered with ardor upon the duties of frontier life, 
having for his companions in toil, privation, hardship, and frontier 
warfare, such men as the Poes, Wetzel, Hughs, Wheeler, Boone, 
Kenton, and others, who have made their names conspicuous in 
the annals of the West. Time rolled on, and the beautiful region 
*^ north-west of the River Ohio" was, in the year 1802, erected 
into a State, and John Gray, after changing his residence once or 
twice, settled down on the waters of Duck Creek, a tributary of 
the Muskingum, within the present limits of Noble (then Wash- 
ington) county, in the new, free, and prosperous State of Ohio. 

Here, for nearly threescore years and ten, he lived and stud- 
ied. He lived to see the almost unbroken wilderness ^* blossom as 
the rose," and Ohio proudly take her position, the third State in the 
American Union. He lived to see men born upon the soil grow 
up and take the highest positions, military, civil, and ecclesiastic, 
in the land, men of whom any State or nation might well be 
proud. He lived to witness the most wonderful achievements of 
science of any age or any nation in his own country. He saw the 
majestic steamboat take the place of the frail canoe upon her lakes 
and rivers. He saw the giant locomotive drag thu ponderous 
train over the highest peaks of the AUeghanies, through tunnels 
under mountains, over rivers and plains, through forests and 
prairies, and to the very summit of the Rocky Mountains. He 
lived to see the inventions of Franklin and Morse distance'time 
in the transmission of intelligence from London to New York, and 
crossing the continent to San Francisco, return the answer to 
New York just as old Father Time reached the shores of America. 

During all this time John Gray had neither sought nor ob- 
tained from the Government any recognition of his services in the 
war of the Revolution. Never rich, indeed poor in purse, he was 



■V f 



yet too proud to ask a richly-merited annuity, and it was not till 
the frosts of a hundred winters had whitened his locks, and age, 
decrepitude, and want invaded his citadel, that he gave a reluc- 
tant consent for his friends to apply for a pension. 

On the first day of the second session of the Thirty-ninth Con- 
gress, December 3, 1866, Hon. John A. Bingham, a member of 
the House of Representatives from the 16th district, than whom 
Ohio has not a brighter star in her galaxy of living statesmen, 
arose in his place and introduced House bill No. 835, for the 
relief of John Gray, a soldier of the Revolution, which was read a 
first and second time, and referred to the Committee on Invalid 
Pensions. (See page 6, Congressional Globe, second session, 39th 
Congress.) 

On Thursday, December 13, 1866, ten days after the introduc- 
tion of the bill, Mr. Mclndoe, from the Committee on Revolution- 
ary Pensions, reported back, with a recommendation that it 
do not pass, House bill No. 835, for the relief of John Gray, and 
the bill was laid on the table. (See Congressional Globe, 2d 
session, 39th Congress, pa^3.) 

Nothing daunted, the patriotic and indefatigable Bingham, after 
introducing the most incontestable proofs of identity of which the 
case would admit after the lapse of so many years, in which the 
old patriot had *^ outlived the generation born with him," on 
Friday, January 26, 1867, succeeded in getting a bill reported 
(No. 1044) by Mr. Price, from the Committee on Revolutionary 
Pensions, *^ for the relief of John Gray, which was read a first 
and second time. It directed the Secretary of the Interior to place 
the name of John Gray on the pension roll at the rate of $200 per 
annum, payable semi-annually.'* ^^Mr. Delano, of Ohio, in- 
quired whether the bill had the approbation of any Committee." 
He was answered by Mr. Price ^' that it had the approbation of the 
Committee on Revolutionary Pensions." "This applicant," said 
Mr. Price, ''is one hundred and three years old, and I have another 
similar case to report, in which the applicant is one hundred and 
seven years old, (referring to the case of F. D. Bakeman, of New 
York, since deceased,) and both these men are supported by public 
charity." 

Mr. Spalding, of Ohio, moved to amend the bill by striking out 
*' two hundred dollars " and inserting in lieu thereof five hundred 
dollars, and the amendment was agreed to. The bill was then 



6 

ordered to be engrossed, and it was accordingly read a third time 
and passed. 

*' Mr. Bingham then moved to reconsider the vote by which the 
bill passed, and also moved to lay the motion to reconsider on the 
table. The latter motion was agreed to." (See Congressional 
Globe, 2d session, 39th Congress, page 754.) 

On the same day, January 25, 1867, a message was received in 
the Senate from the House of Representatives by its Chief Clerk, 
Mr. Lloyd, announcing among other things that the House had 
passed bill No. 1044, for the relief of John Gray, a Revolutionary 
soldier, which, with others, was twice read by its title and referred 
to the Committee on Pensions. (See Congressional Globe, 2d 
session, 39th Congress, page 730.) 

On Wednesday, January 30, 1867, in the Senate, Mr. Lane, from 
the Committee on Pensions, reported without amendment House 
bill No. 1044, for the relief of John Gray, a soldier of the Rev- 
olution. (See Congressional Globe, 2d session, 39th Congress, 
page 853.) 

On February 14, 1867, *^ in the Senate, on motion of Mr. Lane, 
the Senate, as in Committee of the Whole, proceeded to consider 
House bill, No. 1044, for the relief of John Gray. The bill di- 
rects the Commissioners of Pensions to place the name of John 
Gray, of Noble county, Ohio, upon the pension roll, and that 
there be paid him the sum of five hundred dollars, payable semi- 
annually during his natural life, commencing on July 1, 1866. 

Mr. Lane said '^ the bill, as it passed the House, was wrongfully 
drawn. I move to amend it by striking out the words 'Com- 
missioner of Pensions,' and insert Secretary of the Interior, so as 
to make it conform to our legislation." The amendment was agreed 
to. (See Congressional Globe, 2d session, 39th Congress, page 
1309, et. seq,) 

The bill was reported to the Senate as amended ; the amend- 
ment concurred in, and ordered to be engrossed and read a third 
time. The bill was then read a third time and passed. 

On the 15th of February, 1867, the bill as amended and passed 
in the Senate was sent to the House, where, on the motion of Mr. 
Price, the amendment of the Senate was concurred in. (See 
Congressional Globe, 2d session 39th Congress; pages 1262 and 
1275. 



A motion to reconsider the vote concurring in the Senate amend- 
ment was laid on the table, and a message sent to the Senate^ 
announcing that the House had passed bill No. 1044, for the 
relief of John Gray, a Revolutionary soldier. 

In the House of Representatives, on the 16th of February, 1867, 
Mr. Trowbridge, from the Committee on Enrolled Bills, reported 
that the committee had found, npon examination, bill No. 
1044, for the relief of John Gray, a Revolutionary soldier, truly 
enrolled by its proper title, whereupon the Speaker signed the 
same. (See Congressional Globe, 2d session, 39th Congress, 
page 1285.) 

On the same day, a message was received in the Senate, an- 
nouncing that the Speaker of the House of Representatives had 
signed the bill as engrossed, and thereupon it was signed by the 
President 2>^o tem, of the Senate. Thus John Gray was placed on 
the pension roll at the rate of five hundred dollars per annum. 

Two days after, February 18, 1867, Samuel Downing, of New 
York, was placed on the Revolutionary pension roll. From the 
report of the Commissioner of Pensions for the year 1867, it 
appears that the names of John Gray and Samuel Downing only 
remained upon the roll ; the rest were dead. Of that noble band 
of patriots, they alone survived. Late in the fall of 1867, Samuel 
Downing died at Edinburgh, Saratoga county. New York. John 
Gray still lived, unquestionably the last soldier of the Revolution, 
till the 29th of March, 1868, when he died. The soldiers of the 
Revolution are extinct. 

'' This was the noblest Roman of them all ; 
The last of all the Romans — fare thee well." 

It is time to prove the leading statement of this history, namely 
that John Gray was the last soldier of the Revolution. That he 
was a Revolutionary soldier is proved elsewhere in this book ; but 
here we are to show that he was the last Revolutionary soldier. 

I wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions at Washington, D. C, 
to settle this. He replied by an endorsement on my letter, stating 
that *' John Gray, of Ohio, and Samuel Downing were the only 
two soldiers remaining on the pension rolls of the Revolution, 
and that they were both alive in September last." Then I saw 
there were only two left. The question came up, is Samuel Down- 
ing dead ? If he is, then John Gray is the last soldier of the 



8 

Revolution, beyond a doubt. So I wrote, and received the follow- 
ing letter, which settles the question forever : 

Post Office, Saratoga Springs, 

AprU 16, 1868. 
Sir : In answer to your letter of the 12th instant, I have to say 
that Samuel Downing died last fall at his home in Edinburgh, 
this county. Yours, respectfully, 

M. A. PIKE, P. M. 

[Note.— It wiU be remembered that John Gray died afterwardSj March 29, 1868, and 
WAS THEBBPORE THE LA8T BUBTivoB OF THE Rbyolution. Aod thus the question is Settled 
forever.] 

A bright day in June, 1867, I visited John Gray, of Mount 
Vernon, Va., for the last time. I felt a deep interest in the old 
hero, because I knew him long and well, but chiefly because I 
knew he was the last living man who could say of a truth — 

'^I HAVE SHAKEN HANDS WITH WASHINGTON AND. FOUGHT UNDER 
HIM. I WAS BORN AT MoUNT VeRNON AND WAS HIS WARM PERSONAL 
FRIEND." 

I knew no mortal man except John Gray could say these words. 
I sought for his history. He had a history worth knowing. To 
fill out the volume of our Colonial and Revolutionary history only 
one name more was left — it was the name of John Gray, of Mount 
Vernon. But to get his history was no easy task. He had been 
a common man. His deeds were not in print. Only from his 
lips could I gather up the ravelled thread of his life. To him, 
therefore, I went, and to his neighbors ; and from them gleaned 
the fragmentary points presented in this volume. If the reader 
will read as patiently as I have written, he will lay down this 
book satisfied that John Gray was the last survivor of Washing- 
ton's army. If the reader finds any discrepancies or contradic- 
tions, let him remember that the field from which I glean is one 
a hundred years old, grown over thickly with the weeds of for- 
getfulness, and covered, for the most part, with the fog of oblivion. 
John Gray did not figure in public life. He was a plain man, 
like Lincoln. From such a life it is hard to gather strange inci- 
dents. I give the facts as I got them from time to time, from an 
old man, nearly in his grave. He had no writings. He had no 
records. And I make no comments, as is the fashion of prosy 
historians. I enter a new domain of history, and do not repeat 
the familiar story of the Revolution. You know all that history. 



^ 



9 

You can see John Gray's humble connection with great events, 
without putting on my glasses. So I merely drop the facts. You 
may elaborate. I deal with points. You may detail. I profess 
to tell the world a new and wonderful story of a wonderful old 
man. This is all I claim. I point to the Evidence in the acts of 
Congress, and in the letter of the Governor of Ohio. A vast 
crowd of witnesses attest the truth of this history. The proof is 
plain. It is given in fragments. You can pick them out. It 
will interest you as story never interested you before. Such is the 
plan of this history of the last man of the Revolution — a plain 
tale of truth. If I take my own way of telling the old man's story, 
you cannot blame me after you have read it. 

*' Washington is in the clear upper sky," and John Gray, his 
last soldier, has joined him in the land of spirits. Sixty-eight 
years ago Washington died. John Gray died March 29, 1868. 
Washington was the first soldier of the Revolution. John Gray 
was the last soldier of the Revolution. The whole army had died 
before John Gray died. Alone John Gray remained as a venera- 
ble monument of that noble generation. Washington was a Vir- 
ginian. John Gray was a Virginian, too. Washington was a 
patriot and a Christian ; so was John Gray. Washington fought 
for our liberty and independence; so did John Gray. One after 
another the Rev6lutionary soldiers dropped off, until John Gray 
alone survived. Like the sentinel of Pompeii, John Gray remained 
sublimely resolute at his post of duty until God had removed all 
his companions in arms by death, and then he folded his hands 
quietly over his patriotic heart and fell asleep in Jesus, in his 
105th year. Washington's home was Mount Vernon. John 
Gray's birth-place was Mount Vernon. It would seem as if this 
coincidence worked a charm to preserve John Gray alive. It 
would seem as if to be born at Mount Vernon were to inherit 
immortality, as of one bathed in the fabled stream whose waters 
were said to confer immortality. It seemed as if born at Mount 
Vernon he could not die. 

And here we submit material for a grander history of John 
Gray ; for this history .is an unhewn Boulder of Truth, 

Whoever may hereafter visit Mount Vernon, let him remember 
that Washington's last soldier was born upon its ample acres. 
Let him remember, too, that John Gray was a dear personal friend 
of Washington. That hand crumbling to dust in that whitel 



10 

coffin there has often pressed the hand of John Gray. Wherever 
hereafter you go about the dear shades of Mount Vernon, remem- 
ber that John Gray's sturdy arm felled trees here, and his skUful 
hands helped to adorn Mount Vernon for his Chieftain's eye. 
Washington little thought, when last he pressed the hand of his 
soldier John Gray, that John Gray was to outlive him by nearly 
three generations, and speak his fame to.another century. Wash- 
ington was only thirty years older than John Gray. His chances 
to live as long as John Gray seemed fair and flattering. But 
John Gray outlived his chief well nigh three-quarters of a cen- 
tury. It is of this wonderful old man this book speaks. His 
fame should keep company with the venerable fame of Washing- 
ton forever. Washington the first soldier — John Gray the last 
soldier. Worthy every way is John Gray of a place beside the 
name of Washington, for his life was pure and good. The volume 
of the history of the Eevolution remained open till John Gray 
died. The* volume now closes. This book finishes the history of 
the Eevolution. Nothing more remains, but that we forever 
revere the memory and imitate the virtues of such men as Wash- 
ington and John Gray. 

Mr. Gray narrated to me the following anecdote of General 
Washington, in June last. I believe it has never before been 
published, and as it gives a new view of General Washington's 
characteristic kindness, it is worth preserving. 

^* At this time (after Mr. Gray had returned from the Continental 
Army) he lived near Mount Vernon. There was then a saw-mill, 
running by water-power, of course, on a stream called Dog Run. 
The General's negroes came there with whip-saws in their hands 
one bright May morning, and with them also came John Gray, 
with a whip-saw, too. Sawing was tt slow business then. What 
could not, however, be sawed with the large saw, Mr. Gray and 
the slaves easily sawed with the whip-saws. As he was busily 
sawing one day, and musing over his Revolutionary experience, 
who should ride up but General Washington himself. With 
characteristic kindness the great man called to John Gray, for he 
knew him well. John dropped his saw, and in a twinkling was 
shaking hands with the General. The General inquired kindly 
for his health, and telling him not to work too hard, bade him 
good bye and rode away." It did me good to hear the old veteran 
tell it. I might fill a volume with similar anecdotes, for Mr, Gray 
never tired of speaking of General Washington. 



11 

a 

EULOGY ON JOHN GRAY. 

*' Eulogies turn into elegies." Indeed, the eulogy and elegy 
corae properly at one and the same time. The final judgment 
cannot be pronounced, either in this world or the next, until the 
man is dead. ''Well done, good and faithful servant" has already 
welcomed John Gray to Heaven. The welcome of the skies may 
'well find an echo here. A life of virtue, in its fullest sense, was 
the life of this grand old man. Listen. John Gray was a citizen 
of Ohio for threescore years and ten, and you cannot find in that 
State one man, woman, or child who can recall one evil word he 
ever said, or one bad act he ever did. Nay, more. Not one man, 
woman, or child in Ohio has ever so much as said that such a 
rumor ever was heard. This would be great praise. But we can 
go further. Until stricken by the infirmities of age he labored 
hard with his hands, and led a life of noble usefulness, prayer, 
and virtue. Because he was inoffensive, it does not follow that 
he lacked mental capacity. By no means. But he sought to do 
good and be good, and he accomplished it. What an example to 
hold out to the rising generation. This man was a patriot — he 
fought for your liberty. This man was a Christian during a long, 
long life. He never injured his neighbors in thought, word, or 
deed. Was he not worthy to be Washington's last soldier? He 
was not as great, but he was as good as Washington. And are 
there not purposes of God plainly seen in his life? Did God pro- 
long John Gray's life until John Gray alone remained of all the 
Revolutionists, and this without a purpose? Verily, no. God 
had a purpose in it. Might it not be that by his pure life he 
might forever stand as an example to coming generations? 

And has not Labor her heroes? There are heroes who marshal 
armies and rule nations. Are there not heroes, too, in humble 
life? To be good as John Gray was, and do his whole duty to his 
God and his fellow-man, is such heroism as stands high above 
that of Napoleon. Therefore, I honor John Gray. Therefore, I 
gather up what I can of his life and write it here, that coming 
generations may see and admire the pure and unpretending vir- 
tues of Washington's last soldier. 

In June last, when I visited him at his home, he was sitting by 
the fireside. The day was hot, but the old man had quite a fire 
burning, and he sat up close to it, for, as I have elsewhere said, 

"His blood had lost the fervor 
Of a hundred years ago." 



12 

I came in. The old man looked up, and hardly knew me at 
first. My friend, Matthew McClary, Esq., called to the old man, 
and told him who I was. Instantly he recognized me, and reached 
out that hand which had so often grasped the hand of Washing- 
ton. I seized his hand and kissed it, and felt that I was blessed 
to have the privilege. The old man's hearing was quite dull, and 
his eyesight very dim. But he could both see and hear a little.. 
He told me he was five feet eight inches high, though as he sat 
doubled up in an old man's way, he appeared much shorter. He 
was grown heavy, but by no means corpulent. He laughed as I 
remarked that he was not much fatter than he was the last time I 
had met him. ^^0, no," said he, laughingly, *' we old men don't 
fatten much on hog and hominy, and the poor tobacco we get 
now-a-days." He had a large spittoon by his side, a wooden box 
that would hold half a bushel — contents thereof better imagined 
than described. But we pass it by with a forgiving smile. It 
was his only fault. He had chewed tobacco for about a hundred 
years, and could not leave it off. 



— ♦- 



THE ARMY IN HEAVEN. 

The Army in Heaven to-night, 
With garments twice covered with blood, 
Once washed by the dear Crucified, 
Once rolled in the battle's red flood ; 
The Army in Heaven to-night 
Are calling to ns o'er the wave, 
And bidding us stand for the Right 
Till we triumph like they o'er the^rave. 

Over our flag they are keeping 
As faithful a guard as of yore ; 
No sentinel spirit is sleeping 
That pickets the line of the shore ; 
The voices of music are ringing. 
And anthems are gushing abroad — 
The Army in Heaven are singing 
The praise of America's God. 

The River of Death intervenes 
Between us and angels to-night; 
We dwell in humanity's scenes, 
They soar up in heaven's pure light ; 
The sentinels pacing each side 
Of that dark and fathomless stream, 
Conversing as sweet o'er the tide 
As Heaven and earth in a dream. 



J. M. Dalzell. 



13 

Mr. Gray's religious principles were firm and immovable. But 
he was not one to accept a dogma or creed without a good reason 
therefor. In his earlier years he had some doubts as to the truth 
and inspiration of the Bible. But upon examination his reason was 
fully satisfied of its blessed truth, and his heart fully converted to 
its holy teachings. He told me that in his boyhood he read the 
quibbles of the infidel Paine, whom he had often seen. ''You 
know," said he to me, ''St. Luke asserts that Jesus ascended to 
heaven from Bethany, and St. Matthew says that it was from G-ali- 
lee, and there are also some other things hard to reconcile. But of 
the truth of the Bible I now have no doubt. Passages there are 
which I cannot explain or understand, but there is enough for me 
that I can understand. I know that ' my Eedeemer liveth.' I know 
that Christ died for me, and that through Him I hope for life eternal; 
and that makes me happy, and is enough for me. I can't explain 
everything in the Bible. Neither can I explain how corn grows. 
No man can. But I can understand enough of the Bible that is 
plain. I know corn grows, even if I can't tell how it grows. I 
know the sun shines, but I don't know what it is made of. These 
hard things I leave to wl'se men. I have not much learning. 
Bless God! I can read the Bible, and understand what I must do 
to be saved. That is enough. It makes me happy. God has 
been good to me. I love Him, and try to serve Him, and hope to 
see Him yet in heaven. That is my religion." And in that 
religion John Gray lived and died. 

Let it be borne in mind that John Gray was not illiterate. His 
parents were poor, and lived with much difficulty by their daily 
labor ; but they took pains to give John the best education at 
their command. John could read and write when he went into 
the army. He said about the greatest pleasure he had while in 
the army was in writing home to his poor old widowed mother. 
He told me that he went to school two winters to Joseph Boss, a 
gentleman who kept school at his own house, about four miles 
from where John lived. He used to be up bright and early, chop 
wood, kindle the fires, feed the stock, and be off on his four miles 
of a morning walk to school, before seven o'clock in the winter 
time. Little did he or his teacher then think that these humble 
studies he then pursued were to be useful to him for well nigh a 
hundred years of after life. Certain it is, that, for the last ninety 
years of John Gray's life, the little reading and writing which he 



r 



14 

learned of Joseph Boss were John Gray's greatest comforts. He 
read but few books, but with great care, and remembered almost 
every word. The Bible, Pilgrim's Progress, The Plain Man's 
Pathway, and the Constitution, he could repeat off the book, 
almost word for word. 

His want of property excluded him from voting in Virginia for 
his beloved Washington. And he often said, had it not been for 
that, he might have lived and died in Virginia. But he was a 
Bepublican at heart, and could not well get over the insult thus 
levelled by aristocratic distinctions against his proud manhood. 
Saving this, John Gray was a true lover of Virginia. He often 
mourned and even wept over Virginia's wayward course in the 
Eebellion — for John Gray was loyal ; but when the war was over 
all his feeling against Virginia left him. He remembered that 
Washington and he were born in Virginia, had fought a common 
foe in Virginia, and had returned in triumph from a war that 
closed so grandly in Virginia. No Virginian need ever blush to 
acknowledge John Gray's fame. He was a true Virginian, proud 
of the Old Dominion — with all her faults loving her still. 

I asked him last June if he would hftng Jeff. Davis. *'0, no," 
said the old man, *' that would do no good. The war is over. It 
would only raise bad feelings against us. He can't do us any 
harm. Let him live." I asked him if he thought the South 
would come back all right. ''0, yes, I guess so," responded the 
old soldier, *' when she cools off a little. You know those South- 
ern folks are pretty hot-blooded ; but they'll come around all 
right by and by." I asked his opinion of Grant. *' Well," said 
he, musingly, *^ he is a great General ; but I can't see into him 
very well. Btit he will be our next President, though," 



JOHN GEAT'S IDEA OF WAB. 

In my conversations with the last soldier of the Bevolution, I 
was careful to get his opinions upon all kinds of subjects. He 
thought deeply and spoke slowly at first, but kindling with his 
subject, he would sometimes pour, forth torrents of eloquence — 
never shall I forget his earnest manner as he spoke to me about 
war. He had been a soldier for his country. Of this he was 
grandly proud. He had been one of Washington's favorite 



1 



15 

soldiers. Of this he was doubly proud. His eyes had first opened 
to see the light of day near Mount Vernon, Va. As the old man 
recalled his memories of the Bevolution, its hardships and trials, 
his bosom swelled, his eyes filled, and his voice trembled with 
emotion. 0, how he loved Washington I The name was music 
to John Gray. He had never got done speaking of Washington, 
and Mount Vernon was dear to him. Often did he wish he might 
once more see his own dear Mount Vernon, the home of his hon- 
ored General. Washington was well when John Gray left 
Mount Vernon.. Sixty-eight years afterwards John Gray was still 
living, but Washington had been in heaven sixty-eight years. It 
seems like a miracle, but it is all true. But I was speaking of 
John Gray's idea of war. He detested war, except in defence of 
our flag ; he knew what war was. I cannot better give you John 
Gray's idea of war than by quoting the following from him, 
nearly as he uttered it to me : 

Here is John Gray's idea of war — 

'* The muses crown the gory head of Mars with gay fantastic 
laurels ; the graces follow in his train ; the Fauni come leaping 
from the woods, and the Nereids dancing from the waters, and all 
the arts of poesy, painting, and sculpture, combine their magic 
efforts to adorn his bloody temple, into which the millions of a 
continent are crowding to do him homage. 

^* The new Juggernaut is hailed with more than Hindoo pride 
and enthusiasm by prostrate millions. 

^^ Up go the shouts, and songs, and incense from the altars of the 
great temple, where thousands are daily immolated, and on rolls 
the relentless car, while the people dance and shout, and the vic- 
tims die. 

^' Poetry ought to be true, humane and rational, to be beautiful. 
We may, however, admire the rhythm and pathos of the poetry 
without approving those things it celebrates. The poet may 
describe well what he detests at heart, and so I think of all this fine 
writing, and fine singing, and fine talking about war. War is 
cruel, and repulsive, and hideous, and yet we admire it ; we glory 
in it. To have killed a man in time of peace brands one with the 
mark of Cain forever ; but in time of war, the man who kills or 
attempts to kill is held up as a paragon of all good. Use what 
pretty words you please to express it, but we are become a nation 
of assassins. Blood used to make the beholder shudder and shrink 



r 



1 



16 

away ; but now the more that he sees shed the more he is pleased. 
It provokes a song, a great picture, or a speech, to do it honor. 
Implements of war are more highly honored by us than the most 
sacred elements of the sacraments. A cannon outshines a Bible ; 
the * school of the battalion' laughs at the universities ; the 
implements of the agriculturalist are deemed useless and fit only 
to be handled by old women and cowards, and the ' councils of 
war' sneer at the councils of law and religion. The common 
citizen of yesterday is the strutting tyrant of to-day, and the one 
time independent man is his involuntary slave. The law of the 
Modes and Persians was not more irrevocable and relentless than 
the thoughtless edicts of the man of ' brief authority ' who glories 
in his rank. The humble soldier has no right that an officer is 
bound to respect, while the officer can give no command that the 
private is not bound to obey. An officer is as sinless as Jesus^ 
and a common soldier as fallible as Adam. Rank is everything. 
You must wait till you receive its commands, as if you were a 
condemned galley slave. 

*^The 'Grand Lama,' or the Emperor of China are not more 
absolute tyrants than many who wear the uniform of officers in 
the army. Crowd men together, and vice will as surely be the 
result as that this massing of mixed classes in an unwholesome 
place will produce disease. 

*^ Language becomes polluted as well as thought and action. It 
is the devil's rarest, choicest school. If you doubt me, go and 
stay as long among the soldiers as I was, and you will not quarrel 
with me for all this plain truthing. And yet you praise war, the 
cloud of battle. And the figures of contending men look well on 
paper. 

'^ You cannot hear the groans, and the thunder of battle is far 
from your hearing. The wounded dying uncared for ; the hungry, 
weary thousands lying in the snow ; the groans and cries of strong 
men, who never murmur till the agony of disease or wounds makes 
them cry aloud. Are all these pretty, fascinating things to 
contemplate ? 

*^ The soldiers in the field only laugh, as I well know, at the 
thought that such pictures are beautiful, and while they see 
through all the hollow poetry of the war, they only take a simple 
prose view of it." 



17 



Our Fathers were on the Right Side. 

As our youDg world grows older, 

And wiser, and better with time, 

So men, with the care of a miser, 

Will hoard up their glory sublime ; 
Forth to their children showing 
Its beauty and honor, and pride, 
The patriot pages still glowing, 
''Our fathers were on the right side." 

Heroes will haste to the altar. 

And swear the American youth, 

Firm as the base of Gibraltar, 

To stand for the cause of the truth. 
Tide of secession still beating. 
Shall find them too strong for the tide, 
Lips with a quiver repeating, 
* ' Our fathers were on the right side." 



Cumberland, 0., April 8, 1868. 
J. M. Dalzell : 

Dear Sir — You have doubtless heard ere this of the death of 
John Gray. He died Sabbath eve, March 29th, aged 104 years, 
2 months and 23 days. I have his photograph and autograph 
copyrighted ; they will be ready for delivery soon. I want you 
to send me the precise date of the act of Congress making him a 
pensioner, as I wish to place a few items of the old man's history 
on the back of the pictures. How would you like to secure a pic- 
ture of the Gray residence for your history? Please reply by 
return mail. Yours, trulv, 

I. N. KNOWLTON. 



HiRAMSBURO, Noble County, 0., April 1, 1868. 
Mr. Jambs Dalzell : 

Bear Friend : The last Revolutionary Hero is gone. Those 
eyes that saw the infant colonies engaged in deadly conflict with 
the nnother country are now closed. The tongue that helped to 
swell the notes of victory is now dumb. The heart that for more 
than one hundred and four years kept the blood coursing through 
the veins has ceased to beat — John Gray is dead, Sunday, March 
29, A. D. 1868, at fifteen minutes before nine o'clock, the spirit 
took its flight. The mortal remains now repose in the family 
vault. 

I take the liberty of writing to you to inform you of his death, 
knowing that you have felt a great interest in the old hero. 

I am sorry to inform you, and I know that you will be sorry to 
hear, of the death of Dr. N. P. Cope. Ho was buried on the 
12th of March last. 

These things speak for themselves. I will make no comments. 

We have had no mail to pass through here for the last ten days. 
You will see the difliculties under which we are laboring, but I 



\ ' 



18 

suppose we cannot look for any change for the better for the next 
four years. Truly, yours, 

P. BURLINGAME, P. M. 



[Paraphrased ftom the Oonstitutional tJnion, Mr. Florence's paper.] 

Birthday Ode on the Last Soldier of the Revolution. 

Nearly a hundred years ago — 

A hundred years to-day, 
Our fathers met the British foe, 

In that immortal fray. 
At Yorktown then old John Gray stood, 

Gave Britain her last blow. 
And struck to drive the British off, 

A hundred years ago. 

Nearly a hundred years ago, 

Our hero in his prime; 
But now his head is white as snow, 
His limbs grown weak with time ; 

But let us gather round John Gray, 
The last man now alivej 

And not forget this glorious day 
Makes him one hundrad and fire. 

Jimmary 6^ 1868. Jamss M. Dalzell. 



HiRAMSBURGH, Ohio, February 1, 1868. 
Mr. J. M. Dalzell, Washington^ D, (7.; 

Well do I remember what you have done to make old John 
Gray's name and fame known to the world. When you were 
living here, I remember that you did all you could to stir our peo- 
ple up to do something for the old man, in his poverty and his 
old age. John Gray speaks of it kindly, and remembers you for 
it. Last Saturday I went over — you know it is only a little way 
from here — and saw him. I read him Mr. Jackson's poem, and 
your poems too. He liked them very much. He says, as indeed 
all our people do, that you deserve to be remembered with a 
kindly remembrance, at least, for interesting yourself so mu^h for 
him, in spreading his fame abroad throughout the land. The old 
man is a little ambitious. He is proud of being the last man of 
the Revolution. When he heard of Mr. Downing's death, he shed 
tears. "Ah," said he, **we two only remained. Now Mr. 
Downing is dead. And as the prophet said once, well may I say 
now, ' I only am left,' " and the old man wept. His mind wanders 
a little at times, and he often imagines himself talking to the 
" Ginral," as he always calls Washington. Alas, he will soon 
talk with Washington "in the clear, upper sky." Mr. Gray's 
dog still guards the old man's chair. The old man still chews as 
much tobacco as ever. I believe he could not live without his 
tobacco. Just think of a man chewing tobacco for a century ? It 
is the only fault the old man has. We all love him. Thanks to 
the 39th Congress, and to Judge Bingham, especially, the old 



19 

man has a good pension. He wants you to write his history when 
he is gone. Will you do it? I know you will find it a hard job, 
for the old man's life has been very quiet. 

Yours, truly, N. P. COPE, M. D. 

Note. — Doctor Cope has since died. Sic (ramU gloria mundi. 



Mr. Gray was very fond of dogs. He said he had always owned 
a dog or two. *' Though," said he, with a merry laugh, ** I 
sometimes have had nothing else but a dog ;" and musing a mo- 
ment he added, '* a plug of tobacco, of course, for without a dog 
or tobacco I should feel lost." A little white dog lay coiled up 
near his chair. ** What is the name of your dog, Mr. Gray," I 
inquired. **Nice," responded he; " is not that a mc6 name," 
he naively inquired, while his sides shook at the witticism. He 
told me the biographies of several of his canine friends. I remem- 
ber one only. When Mr. Gray's father first went into the army, 
John was but thirteen years of age; but being the eldest of eight 
children, the care of the family devolved upon him. They had no 
meat. They had nothing but a little cornmeal — rather a spare 
larder, my fair reader of the nineteenth century's fulness. So 
John went out and caught rabbits to feed the family. His dog 
^' Lade" always was his companion upon these expeditions. What 
John's gun failed to bring down. Lade's flying feet soon brought 
low. I am glad that Mr. Gray has left us a picture of Lade. She 
was a red .female hound, with a white ring around her neck. He 
told me that he never cried harder than he did the day he last 
saw Lade, except when he was leaving home to enter the Conti- 
nental army. He told me that she died t)ld and full of years, and 
he laid her down gently to sleep in the deep recesses of the woods 
of Mount Vernon. 



LINES ADDRESSED TO JOHN GRAY, 

The frosts of iiTe score, 
And man J years more, 

Have whitened your blessed old hair; 
Of glory a crown, 
By HeaTen sent down, 

Now, father, you solemnly wear. 

0, this is a crown. 
By Heayen seat down, 

More beautiful far than a king's ; 
For angels in glory 
Hare made it io hoary, 

And kissed aU its silvery strings. 



20 

Then wear the white crown 
Bjr Heaven sent down, 

For your feet shall soon press the bright shore ; 
When yonder in glory 
Your hair no more hoary, 

Will wave in the skies evermore. 

0, fair is the crown 
By Heaven sent down. 

For righteous old fathers in age ; 
A promised reward 
From hands of the Lord, 

Laid down in the Bible's sweet page. 

February 22, 1868. James M. Dalzbll. 



Office of Chief Contractor, 
St. Louis, Vandalia, and Terre Haute Railroad, 

St. Louis, Mo., February 10, 1868. 

My Dear Dalzell : Eecollecting with unaffected pleasure the 
many intellectual bouts we have had, and preserving a lively 
recollection of a few of your amusing idiosyncracies, such as '* no 
man who wears a good coat and is educated can be hung in the 
United States ;'' and ** the rising young man of the present gen- 
eration conceals his drinking from the public eye, while the * old 
stager' drinks all around the circle, ana a nation jokes about it." 
^^It's a queer loay they have.'' I am to-day forcibly reminded of 
your enthusiastic admiration for ^^OldJohn Gray^'' by seeing a 
notice of that veteran pensioner in the Cincinnati Commercial, of 
the 8th inst. I grieve to add that my memory always has been 
painfully impressed, when it recurs to the ^^bouts" above referred 
to. Let me, in calling your attention to a bad habit of ''Old 
John Gray" — viz : tobacco-chewing — ask you to draw therefrom a 
useful lesson. He chewed tobacco, and now at the premature age 
of 104 years, is about to sink into an early grave. How deep and 
yet unavailing must his remorse be? Take warning I My dear 
fellow, 'tis nine months (by the clock) since we parted, and I 
trust in that period that your happiness has been uninterrupted 
and your prosperity unbroken. May Fortune and Fame smile 
upon your future. Permit me to send this under cover to Charlie, 
and believe me to be really and truly, now and ever. 

Abstemiously, your friend, 
C. W. GARDINER. 

The notice referred to above is as follows : 

The '* last man " of the Revolutionary War is John Gray, who 
lives with his step-daughter, Mrs. McElroy, in Brookfield town- 
ship. Noble county, Ohio. He is 104 years of age, having been 
born in Virginia, a few miles from Mount Vernon, January 6, 
1764. He was at the siege of Yorktown when in his 18th year, 
but never obtained a pension until a year or two since, when it 
was granted to him by a special act of Congress, through the 



21 

efforts of Hon. John A. Bingham. He is now nearly helpless, 
his hearing bad, and his eyesight nearly gone, yet he can walk on 
crutches. He has been a great tobacco-chewer all his life, to 
which his premature decay is probably attributable. 



From the Waverlby, of December, 1866. 

THE LAST MAN OF THE REVOLUTION. 

By the report of the Commissioner of Pensions, but one of the 
Revolutionists is now living. The immortal army of Washing- 
ton, all but one solitary veteran, has gone to the grave ! The 
honor of the old guard has been sung by more than two billions 
of human tongues that long since have gone to the dust. And 
yet this old hero lives on to hear a new billion of tongues trum- 
peting the fame of the army of which he is the only living repre- 
sentative. In the third generation he is still living to see the 
glory .which Washington and his comrades achieved by valor and 
patience. But the writer knows of one Revolutionary soldier 
whose name was never on the pension rolls of the United States ; 
John Gray, now 103 years of age, who resides with his daughter, 
in Noble county, Ohio. He was born at Mount Vernon, Virginia, 
January 6, 1764. He was but a mere boy whea the war began, 
and his father being in the army, he, the oldest of eight children, 
remained at home to help support the family. He says that he 
and his brother would go to the forest and fields to catch rabbits, 
and that was all the meat they had. At one time he worked a 
whole week at ploughing for two bushels and one*half of corn. 
His father fell at White Plains^ and he^ then only about 16 years 
of age, promptly volunteered, took up the musket that had fallen 
from his father's hands, and carried it until the war was over. 
He w^as in a skirmish at Williamsburgh, and was one of the one 
hundred and fifty men on that dangerous but successful expedi- 
tion of Major Ramsay. 

He was mustered out at Richmond, Virginia, at the close of the 
war, and returned to field labor near Mount Vernon. Mr. Gray 
married twice in Virginia, and once in Ohio, He survived his 
three wives and all his children, except one daughter, who is now 
nearly eighty years of age, and with whom he resides in Noble 
county, Ohio. 

He has always been a poor man and a Christian. He never 
attempted any kind of speculation or business ; but has literally 
earned his bread by the labor of his hands as a farmer.all his life. 
For seventy-eight years he has been a consistent member of the 
Methodist Church, and never missed a single Sabbath from church 
when it was possible to attend. He joined church at twenty-five. 
He has lived a sober, regular, and industrious life ; insomuch that 
he is now, and has been for half a century and more, a model of 



22 

piety to his church in a decree not excelled by any of his brethren 
in Christ. His hours of rising, working, and sleeping are regular 
as the clock. He retires early, and rises before the sun. Seldom 
is any Christian permitted so long and so well to be a ^Miving 
epistle, known and read of all men.'' More than threescore and 
ten years'has he lived to adorn the doctrine of the Saviour, by a 
daily walk with God. Schooled as he was in that pure and honest 
school which made Washington a good man, learning his lessons 
from the fathers of the church and State who formed that beauti- 
ful system of government under which we live, John Gray has 
ever been a model man. Not one man ever was heard to doubt 
John Gray's sincerity as a Christian and as a patriot. On visiting 
the old man recently he said to us, in reply to the question ''why 
he enlisted so young," '' I lived and was born near Mount Ver- 
non, the home of Washington ; how ooold I do otherwise ?' ' Such 
an answer speaks volumes for the old patriot. 

Jambs M. Dalzell. 



In a conversation with Mr. Gray one was often surprised at his 
wonderful power* of description. We shall have occasion more 
than once to notioe this in the course of his history. He was a 
great admirer of Mr. Lincoln, and in speaking of him often be- 
came eloquent. We have room for only one of these fine passages. 
The following is «abstantially as it fell from the old man's lips, 
and in point of trath and beauty is the finest eulogy we ever read. 
It is doubtful if a finer passage occurs in the works of any living 
man. Here is Lincoln's eulogy by John Gray, only slightly 
changed : 

Where the clear waters of the Shenandoah join the turbid 
current of the Potomac, are three great peaks of the Blue Bidge 
Mountains ; three mighty granite columns, from w)iose lofty 
summits the eye can see an area of more than three thousand 
square miles of mountain, plain and valley. These three spurs of 
the Blue Bidge are Bolivar Heights, Loudon Heights, and Mary- 
land Heights. 

Approach the traveller as he stands upon the bridge below, and 
ask him which he deems the greatest of the three, and he will tell 
you that in height, breadth, and all mountain majesty, the 
heights of Maryland leads off the palm of superiority over its 
other mighty brothers. Ascend Maryland Heights, and look up 
the Valley of the Shenandoah, or the beautiful Valley of the 
Cumberland, and from this height you can see further than from 



23 

Loudon or Bolivar. And after you have turned your eyes back 
upon Maryland Heights, and gone twenty miles away, still it 
looms up in full view high above Bolivar or Loudon. Bolivar is 
grand, Loudon is beautiful, but Maryland is sublime. The sun- 
shine of summer, the rain of ailtumn, and the frost of winter have 
pressed against its granite brow for sixty centuries, and yet it 
stands firm, unchanged, and full of grandeur as when it rolled 
out of the smooth right hand of Gh)d. Emblem of beauty and 
sublimity, an everlasting monument of Almighty power and 
wisdom. The lightnings of heaven have spent their fiery passions 
in fruitless rage against its flinty brow, and the iron hail of battle 
has been shattered often against its rocky breast, but still it stands 
mocking the artillery of heaven and earth, frowning grandly 
evermore at all the chance and change of its servant, Time. 
Twin brother with Eternity, unchanged and unchangeable, there 
it shall stand forever. How this mountain came to be here, we 
cannot tell, for we were not present when the foundations of the 
earth were laid ; how long it shall stand, we cannot tell, for we 
have no access to the counsels of the Eternal. Enough to know 
that there stands the lofty mountain peak, lifting its rooky crest 
high up into the blue sky, away up to the region of the clouds, 
crowned with garments of sublimity, and mute and solemn as 
eternity. 

At the commencement of this decade, three of the most promi- 
nent public men, perhaps, were Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. 
Douglas, and Jefferson Davis. The name of Jefferson Daris is 
mentioned here, perhaps, not in good taste, but with a view to 
contrast the fair fame of Lincoln and Douglas with the bla<;k 
damnation of Jeff. Davis. 

Davis was before the people for office. The Charleston conven- 
tion was a failure, and Davis^ determined rather to reign in the 
Confederacy than to serve in the Union, became the chief conspir- 
ator — the President of the Confederate States. The great heart 
of Douglas was broken by defeat, and he died of disappointed 
ambition. Lincoln outlived the war. So did Davis. Lincoln 
fell a martyr; Davis lives in dread of the rope of the traitor; lives 
with the deep curses of a nation on his head, and in his dreams 
is forever haunted with the gibbering ghosts of his victims, and 
lives on in torture looking forward to, a death on the scaffold as a 
traitor. But high above the names of Douglas and Davis, as 



24 . 

Maryland above Bolivar and Loudon^ stands the immortal name 
o{ Li.ncoln. 

Pure as snow is the character of Abraham Lincoln. The na- 
tions revere him as their benefactor. The poor black man, as he 
))rays daily to the Eternal Father of us all, prays that God may 
make him as good as Lincoln. Lincoln was the redeemer of the 
negro ; Lincoln is deified in the nogro's soul, for did he not break 
off his chains and set him free ? 

Accustomed as we are to try to account for the final causes of 
every great man's success, we naturally ask how did Abraham 
Lincoln attain that high position among men ? We shall seek in 
vain for a satisfactory answer. He was great. He made for 
himself a name that shall never die. How he did it we cannot 
tell. The sibyl of fate has the secret in her own keeping, and her 
dumb lips will never open to tell us how the destinies of Abraham 
Lincoln were shaped to make him what he was. 

A book might be written on the schools and schoolmasters of 
AWaham Lincoln. It almost moves a smile to speak of his schools 
and schoolmasters. His biographers tell us that he never went 
to school more than twelve months in his life. His advantages 
were small for gaining book learning. In fact, he never knew 
much about books, that is the most of books. In the school of 
experience, and not in academic schools was this mighty genius 
reared. G-enius Lincoln undoubtedly had. It was not the genius 
that can write an Iliad, or .Sneid, or Paradise Lost ; it was not a 
genius, perhaps, that could invent like that of Franklin, or Morse, 
or Fulton ; it was not a genius like that of Napoleon or Grant, 
but it was a greater genius than any of these ; at least so it seems, 
loved and worshipped almost as Lincoln is above all who have 
lived or died. 

He knew more of men than of books. Webster and Sumner — 
Calhoun and Davis were masters of arts — but Lincoln master of 
hearts. The learned and erudite teachings of the schools were 
mysteries to Lincoln. He never translated Thucydides, or Ter- 
tuUian, Homer, or Virgil — he knew nothing of fluxions or equa- 
tions. Lincoln was no scholar — he might have been a great one — 
but of books he was indeed ignorant. 

But how high does. his name loom above those of Webster and 
Sumner, of Calhoun and Davis. They knew more of books. They 
were great scholars. He knew more of men. He was more 



\ 



25 

earnest, more honest and persistent in his opinions. He read the 
great rough heart of the American people till he could repeat it 
easily. He sympathized with the poor, for he was poor. He 
sympathized with the oppressed, for he was oppressed. He sym- 
pathized with the ignorant, for he was ignorant. He had thought 
deeply. Just as soon as he learned anything he put it into 
instant practice. He did not theorize and dream. He was neither 
poet nor philosopher. He knew nothing of the rhetorician's rules, 
but he knew how to talk plainly, and sometimes with wonderful 
effect, as witness his great short ispeech at Gettysburg. He hardly 
ever trimmed up his speeches and rounded off his periods. He 
was no orator, as Charles Sumner is — but he was greater. He 
saw all that was in a question — dug down to the roots of things, 
and applied common sense to the explanation. He cared for 
Truth and'Justice. He was ^ Republican from his heart. He 
loved men, even as a man loves the woman of his choice. He 
would do anything he could for the poor. He loved mercy. 
God made him so. He followed these natural instincts when he 
spoke against slavery. He hated wrong. He tried to make 
wrong appear wrong, and right appear right. This inherent love 
of right came from God — and it was the strongest power in Abra- 
ham Lincoln, for he was thrice armed, having his quarrel just. 
He had no care for forms or formality. It was little matter to him 
about ornaments, either in clothes or speech. He was a plain 
man — so plain people loved him. He was an humble man — so 
humble people loved him. He was a poor man — so poor people 
loved him. He was a friend of the downtrodden and they loved 
him. He was loyal to his heart's core — so his loyal countrymen 
loved him. He dived to the bottom of the questions of the day, 
and the people loved to hear his wisdom and behold his familiar 
look. He never could '' put on airs." The words of his lips were 
*'like apples of gold " — all precious, and therefore beautiful. He 
was too busy to trifle with men. He was honest and feared God. 
He never said fine speeches. He acted and talked the same way. 
He spoke to one poor man, in his office at Springfield, just the 
same as to fen thousand poor men in a crowd, or to the richest in 
the land at the White House. He only had one face — it was a 
plain one. He had been brought up poor. He had mingled with 
the poor. He thus learned his lessons from the poor. He raised 
himself up by dint of studying human nature — human wants — 



26 

human necessities, and adapting himself to them. If a man 
wanted to know Abraham Lincoln's views on the slavery ques- 
tion, if he would listen he would soon be told. He used parables 
as Jesus did. This made his style simple and plain. This made 
his words go home to the people's hearts. They understood 
him, and he understood them altogether. There was no double- 
dealing. What Mr. Lincoln learned from books never made hina 
pedantic. He seldom went to Virgil or Horace ; to Tupper or 
Tennyson. He had plainer and better words than theirs, and so 
he used his own words. His college had a large faculty. Every 
man he met taught him. In school he learned of Dorsey, the 
country school-teacher. At the grave of his mother the poor old 
illiterate preacher taught him. At the legislature Trumbull 
taught him, and Douglas ianght him on the stump ; of everybody 
and everything he learned, and then he turned around and taught 
the whole world, by example and precept, a lesson that they had 
never known, at least never so fully practiced before. 

''And so I close as I began," said Mr. Gray, ''the three 
mountain peaks of Maryland, Bolivar, and Loudon, shall stand 
together forever in mute and solemn majesty, and even so the 
three names of Lincoln, Davis, and Douglas, close together, shall 
endure through all the coming ages, high above all men of these 
times. But high up in the blue sky of an everlasting and glorious 
fame, infinitely above the majesty of Douglas, and the infamy of 
Davis, will ever stand the peerless name of the Martyr President, 
Abraham Lincoln." 



From the Noble County (Ohio) Republican, of May, 1867. 

OLD JOHN GRAY'S PENSION AS A REVOLUTIONARY 

SOLDIER. 

Wm. H. Frazier, Esq., of this place, received on Saturday 
evening last, the Pension Certificate of Old John Gray, the old 
Revolutionary soldier, 103 years of age, and who resides in Brook- 
field township, Noble (this) county. Congress passed a special 
act, February 22, 1866, giving him a pension of $500 per annum, 
to be paid semi-annually ; said act taking effect July 1, 1866. 
When he receives this money, it will be the first he has ever 
received from the Government which he so long and faithfully 
served, since he received his last pay under General Washington . 

We hope that the old veteran may yet live to enjoy many pay- 
ments of the bounty that has been provided for him by Congress, 



/ 



\ 



' 27 

through the kind interposition of our noble representative, Hon. 
John A. Bingham, of Ohio. The old man greatly needed this 
bounty. The people with whom he lives are very poor, and now 
that Mr. Gray's health is declining he is quite a charge upon 
them. The pension will be no less welcome to these poor people 
than to poor old John himself. It will come like a welcome bless- 
ing from heaven to their poor cabin. The Bible promises to the 
righteous are herein verified: ''When father and mother leave 
thee the Lord will take thee up." ^^ Lo I am with you always." 
'* I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Truly, it would be a 
pitiful commentary on public justice, if Washington's last soldier 
should be left to starve in the United States. His pension came 
late, but, thank God ! not too late. 



From the Ohio Republican, of March, 1867. 

THE LAST MAN OF THE REVOLUTION. 

In the chill and snow of winter, 

A dark aiid bitter night. 

While the wind is mourning sadly, 

Like a lone and ruined sprite. 

In a cottage in Ohio 

A poor and lonely man 

Sits counting o'er the hundred years 

Since first his life began. 

, In that cabin is one window 

With many a broken pane, 
Through which the snow keeps drifting 
With all its might and main ; 
And the old man sits and shivers, 
For his fire is very low, 
And his blood has lost the (ervor 
Of a hundred years ago. 

PI is grey head bows in sadness, 
His prayer is murmured low, 
i . But God can hear him now as well 

As a hundred years ago. 

Call the roll of the noble old heroes 

Who battled at Washington's side, 

And only this voice in the cabin 

Will answer^— for all the rest died ; 

In poverty, sick, in distress, and alone, 

Forgotten, neglected, yet he 

Adores the fair banner he fought for of yore, 

And prays for the ** Flag of the Free." 

J. M. Dalzsll. 



Meagre as it is, what I give of John Gray's history is all that 
can ever be stated with truth by any man, although poets, histo- 
rians, and novelists will repeat my story through all coming 
ages. 



28 

My last visit to Mr. Gray, as before intimated, was in June, 
1867. At this interview I was determined, if possible, to get 
more definite information in regard to his parentage and early 
life. My friend Matthew McClary, of Noble county, Ohio, was 
with me. I transcribe the notes which I then and there made of 
that interview. I am sorry I could not make them more full and 
accurate. Let future historians do so. It is my duty to give these 
facts just as John G-ray gave them to me, without addition. Mr. 
Gray had grown quite infirm, and could hardly hear us speaking. 
His memory, of course, had somewhat failed. So this may account 
for some discrepancies in this book. I will not try to explain 
them. In the main they are not such as to give the reader any 
trouble, satisfied as his mind must now be of the general truth of 
my story. So here are the fragmeAtary facts elicited by that last 
interview. Mr. Gray's father enlisted in 1777, and fell at White 
Plains. Mr. Gray belonged to the militia under Captain Sanford, 
and they were called out in the fall, in October prior to the year 
the war closed. 

I now give his words : *' I was a mighty tough kind of a boy in 
them days, I tell you. I saw big, heavy men give out, but I 
never lagged a foot behind. We started from Fairfax C. H. and 
went to Fredericksburg, and from there to Yorktown. When we 
were near Williamsburg orders came to send out a scouting party 
to feel of the British, who were then trying to come up to Wil- 
liamsburg. We were too weak to fight them. But our captain 
called for volunteers to go out on a skrimmagey and I volunteered 
with sixty others. We had gone only two or three miles when 
we came upon the red-coats, in large force. Just as we got near 
enough to fire I could see day-break. It was pretty hot for a little 
while, I tell you. They had cannon — ^we had none. They fired 
grape shot at us ; but it was on rising ground, and they fired over 
us. But we had to fall back, and so we then marched to Rich- 
mond. In the next year Cornwallis surrendered. Our time was 
out the day we came in sight of Yorktown. I went back to hard 
work near Mount Vernon when the war was over. My people 
was mighty poor, and there was a big family of us; so as I was 
the oldest of a large family, I had to go to work to support them. 
There was eight children of us. I used to take my dog and go 
out and catch rabbits. It was about all we had to eat sometimes. 
I was married to Nancy Do well when I was twenty years old. I 



29 

first moved to Morgantown, Virginia. We had all our things in 
a wagon. I took a notion I would go down to Kentucky. So I 
built a boat, and put ray family and horses aboard, and went down 
as far as Dilly's Bottom. There I stopped for nine years. From 
there I went to Fish Creek, took a lease to clear some land, and 
stayed there seven years. I often came up through these parts in 
them days. There was a salt-lick up on Duck Greek, and we used 
to come up and hunt of winters. I saw Indians, a plenty of them. 
I remember the year of Wayne's defeat. I tell you the settle- 
ments was badly skeered then. I may have shot one or two red- 
skins — no matter. I was married to my second wife at the Flats 
of Grave Creek. Her name was Mary Eagan. I don't know 
where my children is now — I am afeerd they are all gone, except 
my step-daughter. I have my crutches and a pension to support 
me. I am very well satisfied. God bless Judge Bingham for 
getting that pension he got for me. He was always kind to me. 
I alyrays voted for him, because I have always known him to be a 
good man. I tell you we hav'nt many more such men. He is 
the soldier's friend. I saw that all through the war. He is 
always ready to do a good turn for a soldier. No wonder the 
boys all like him." 

Thus closed the old man's story. There he sat alone. He had 
outlived his generation. His white hair, still abundant, flowing 
down over his bent form, made him seem a patriarchal hero. We 
bade him good bye. 

For the guidance of future historians, who shall better perform 
the task of writing this old man's biography, I would refer them 
to Howe's history of Ohio, and also to a similar work on Virginia. 
Doubtless the names of some of Mr. Gray's freinds may be found 
there. The descendents of his early friends around Mountain 
Vernon^ Morgantown, Wheeling, Fish Creek, Dilly's Bottom, 
and Flats of Grave Creek, may have some curious legends of his 
early life. The history of Virginia does give the names of many 
who knew John Gray of yore. So does the history of Ohio. To 
those fond of the antiquarian task of searching old chronicles, 
much of interest there would undoubtedly be in such researches 
after the early history of John Gray. Noah Zane, the Wetzels, 
Frakeses, Gossetts, Hipsleys, Boneys,Thrapps, Morrisons, Fosters, 
Knoxes, Pipers, Stonekings, Scotts, Gearys, Peterses, Goodrichs, 
Harmans, Wileys, Parrishes, Nobles, and a multitude of other 



30 

pioneer families of Ohio, must have^kaown John Gray. So with 
many old families in Virginia, much may yet be gleaned from 
these. I have made no researches of that kind ; I have con- 
tented myself with taking the few grains of fact, and leaving 
others to beat the old bundles of dry straw for their amusement. 
I suppose John Gray knew his own history, that is, the history 
which I give you. One might dilate much and digress more, and 
paraphrase infinitely. The field is inviting, but it is left for 
others. Think of the events which have occurred since John 
Gray was born. Think of the events his life outlived. Is there 
not a field for comment? When Bancroft, Headley, or Motley 
come to write up the history of John Gray, in what stately peri- 
ods, with what abundant metaphor they will recount these mighty 
parallelisms. It will afford them an opportunity to rewrite what 
everybody knows. We will not try it. Our task is to gather up 
here a little, there a little of John Gray's history. We are not 
writing an old history ; we are not rehearsing American history, 
we are finishing the history of the revolution with the history of 
its last soldier. The rejected stone has become the head of the 
corner. One niche only remained, in that we reverently write 
John Gray ; and thus is finisKed, at last, the beautiful temple of 
the history of the Revolution. 

It may seem strange, that from the beginning, I have taken 
such an interest in John Gray's history, I explain this by saying 
that John Gray was my neighbor in Ohio for well nigh twenty 
years, and that I loved the old man as if he had been my father. 
I admired him — who could help it? — for his rare and excellent 
qualities of mind and heart. I loved him because he had fought 
for the same flag that I had, and I loved him because he was so 
much like Washington — plain, simple, honest, and good. I bow 
down not to genius and rank, I worship only the heroes of the 
true and the good. He was such a hero. His name should not 
and cannot rot in oblivion. Through all coming time his name will 
be named with that of Washington. I look upon him as preserved 
through four generations to show his children and his children's 
children what a noble type of men were our revolutionary fathers. 
He was a worthy sample of that good old stock. Ask the people 
of Ohio, and they will tell you there never lived in Ohio a better 
man than old John Gray. 



I 



31 

Iq the midst of a meadow is a cabin, in front of the door is 
an old-fashioned well, on the hill just above, and in full view, 
perhaps two hundred yards off, is a little enclosure grown over 
with weeds, where sleep the remains of John Gray's people. As 
I approached the cabin, the old man's dog ran out and barked 
fiercely at me. As I entered the cabin, a sweet girl^ of perhaps 
fourteen years, met me with a smile and invited me in. There 
before me stood John Gray on his crutches, an old, old man, the 
oldest I ever saw, and the most reverend. On his crutches leaning, 
his hair falling in snowy showers about his shoulders ; his hands 
large, for Jj^e had lived by hard labor ; his feet small as a woman's ; 
he was five feet eight inches high, broad, very broad of chest, and 
with a massive head of perfect symmetry. He looked up at me 
with his two sweet blue eyes and smiled. He was not ugly. His 
smile made him look handsome ; his voice trembled a little, but 
was pleasant ; a subdued and musical treble like that of a child: 
I expected him to sit down exhausted ; he had been moving about 
on his crutches, and was indeed tired. But, on sitting down, he 
at once began to talk to us. His dog walked around and lay down 
quietly beside Mr. Gray, the sentinel of the old revolutionist. 
Thus appeared John Gray in his 105th year, in his home in Noble 
county, Ohio. Doubtless artists will yet set the picture in a beau- 
tiful frame in the Capitol of the nation, and thus for the first time 
do honor to a poor man. 



[From the Gubbmsst Timis, Ohio.] 

THE LAST SOLDIER OP THE REVOLUTION. 

Washington, D. C, April 10, 1868. 
Dear Bepuhlican Friends and Brothers of the Times : 

I have just learned by a private letter, from my sister, Miss M. 
A. Dalzell, that John Gray, the last of Washington's army, is 
dead. The Sixteenth Congressional District will sincerely mourn 
the departure of this wonderful old hero. I knew the old man 
well. He was born at Mt. Vernon, Va., January 6^ 1764, and 
was in the one hundred and fifth year of age at the time of his 
death. His father fell at White Plains, in the Revolutionary 
army. Like a true patriot, John Gray took up the musket which 
had fallen from the hands of his father, and carried it like a hero 
throughout the war till the surrender of Corn wallis. He was 
present at that memorable event. Mr. Gray returned home to 
field labor after the war. 



32 

He told me himself that the first day he ever worked out was at 
Mount Vernon, for General Washington* Just think of that! 

John Gray moved to the Territory of the Northwest soon after 
Wayne's defeat. He has lived in Ohio ever since, till his death. 
Washington was born in Virginia — *' first in peace." John Gray 
was born in Virginia — last soldier of the Revolution. Historic 
honor enough for *'the Old Dominion." Alas, the fair escutcheon 
of Virginian glory has been darkened by treason, since. John 
Gray belonged to the Methodist Church for eighty yoftrs — cer- 
tainly the longest membership ever held in that great popular 
church. No one ever said a word against him. His character 
throughout life was as pure as that of a mortal can be. Imbued 
with strong religious feelings and deep patriotic instincts, he was 
the truest, highest type of the Christian patriot. Forgetful of 
self, Christ and country were all in all to him. A better, braver 
heart never beat. It is impossible to be extravagant in his praise. 
John A. Bingham, who knew him well, almost adored the glori- 
ous old hero. You remember Judge Bingham found the old man 
in poverty and distress, gave him money out of his private purse 
and procured a magnificent pension for him. 

Strangely enough, on the 22d day of February, 1867, the bill 
was approved granting John Gray $600 per annum — a fitting 
tribute to the last soldier of the Revolution — on Washington's 
birth-day. 

Herald it to the world that the last soldier of the Revolution 
died in Ohio. Rear a marble column to tell coming generations 
that John Gray, Washington's last soldier sleeps in Ohio. Men 
of the Sixteenth District of Ohio, aye, of the whole great Com- 
monwealth of Ohio, bestir yourselves to honor Washington's last 
soldier. Strike some plan by various and early subscription to 
raise a marble column to his memory. Washington's last soldier 
died in Ohio. GoTernor Cox wrote me last year that he sympa- 
thized deeply with a scheme to rear a monument to John Gray's 
memory. All good citizens of Ohio will contribute to it. Set me 
down for a dollar. Are there not ten thousand other dollars ? 

Let a column rise to Heaven 

'TiU skj and marbld mett, 
And sonUght of the morning 

All its pallid beauty greet. 

Yours, truly, 

Dalzell. 



The question may arise, have I a right to write and publish a 
history of John Gray. The following will settle that question in 
a constitutional way — for now-a-days, you know, a man must 
show his constitutional right to do anything he may do : 



33 

At this point it may not be amiss to look back to the first pro- 
visions made by the fathers of the Constitution for the advance- 
ment of learning in the United States. 

Their intention was to begin our Government on the principle 
of universal human equality, and so in all things to give all men 
an equal chance in the race of life. This is the dominant idea of 
our Constitution. George Washington, Eoger Sherman, Alex- 
ander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Charles 
Pinckney, were all literary gentlemen^ and in framing the Con- 
stitution they carefully provided for the interests of literature, not 
less than for the interests of commerce and civil government gen- 
erally. It would have been strange indeed, if gentlemen so 
eminently skilled in the use of our language had neglected to 
make the fullest and fairest provisions for art, science, and litera- 
ture. But posterity has to thank the fathers for an early and 
wise legislation in behalf of learning. The Constitution says but 
little about literature, but the little it does say is ample enough 
to meet the case, in all points. 

The rights and privileges of authorship are strongly chalked 
out in the Constitution. All legislation since had on the subject 
has found full authority in that instrument. The Constitution 
recognizes no graduation of human rights other than that writ- 
ten by the finger of God in the heart of man. An equal chance 
is given to all to compete for the prizes of honor, wealth and 
official dignity. No caste is recognized. The pen of the poorest 
boy in Ohio is as free and untrammeled by any constitutional 
law, as is the pen of a Governor or a President. You, whoever 
you are, my reader, have the same right, and as much right to 
trace your opinions on paper as has the greatest man in 
America. If the people care to read your thoughts, you are 
at perfect liberty to publish them broad cast over the land. 
Your hands are not fettered. Your tongue is not tied. Your 
thought that is in you may be freely and fearlessly proclaimed 
wherever you please. This is liberty of the press. This 
is liberty of speech. And to oppose you by force in the exer- 
cise of this undoubted right is a crime, punishable by law. Every 
one knows these things are so. And they are so because our Con- 
stitution makes them so. We are not left to guess what are our 
rights to print and speak. Let us read the words of the Consti- 
tution itself, and see what guarantees it contrains for authors and 
inventors. Article first, section eight, enumerating the powers 
of Congress gives to that body the power *' to promote the pro- 
gress of science and useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to 
authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective 
writings and discoveries." Three years afterwards, at the second 
session of the First Congress, ''an act for the encouragement of 
learning" was passed in conformity with the foregoing provisions 



34 

of the Constitution. The sole right of publication was thereby 
secured to authors for fourteen years only, with a privilege of con- 
tinuing for a second term of fourteen years upon certain condi- 
tions. At the same time special provisions were made to so secure 
the exclusive right to the author tliat he might proceed against 
and punish others printing his work without his consent. In this 
alone does our country differ from despotic kingdoms. 

The Constitution puts no chains or fetters on any tongue or pen. 
The points to which your attention is called are, that the First 
Congress fully appreciated the interests of literature and took the 
first and earliest opportunity to make the most wise and liberal 
laws to promote and encourage all kinds of literature. The rights 
of citizens as such, the rights of States, too, were all provided for ; 
but still the great absorbing interests of literature were not over- 
looked or passed in silence by the framers. of our great organic 
laws. The aim was two-fold — to furnish the people with useful 
books, and to secure the right of selling the books to those whose 
brains had made them. That section of the Constitution which 
we have quoted, refers also to all kinds of inventions and discove- 
ries which are of public use ; but we pass them by for the present 
to consider the provisions made in the interests of literature alone. 
At present let us see what are our laws about printing and 
speaking. 

American liberty is emphatically freedom of speech and of the 
press. Not only are the rights of publishing and selling the 
books confined to the authors, but the Constitution goes further, 
and leaves the field open for universal competition in the matter 
of originating and publishing one's thoughts. Authorship is not 
limited to any class of citizens : all who have the mental power 
and culture to do so may write and publish books, and secure 
to themselves alone the copy-right thereof. No class privilege in 
that. No monopoly in that. No man can write a book, publish it 
and say to you or me, ^' there is my book, write one at your peril ; 
I have the right, you have not." No, sir. Brain and culture, 
sense and education, these are all the requirements for author- 
ship. No man is born to it. Any one who has genius may write. 
No man dare stop him. That is what we mean when we say 
*' freedom of the press." It means I have as good a right to go 
into print as the President has. No man has a better right to 
write than I have. There is and can be no monopoly of letters. 
No monopoly of printing or speaking is given to any American 
citizen. In the eighth section of the first article of the Constitu- 
tion, I read these words : '' No title of nobility shall be granted 
by the United States." That means something ; I think it is like 
all the rest of the Constitution, plain and easy to see. It means 
just that, and nothing else. So then we see that we are to have 
no poet laureates who shall live on government salaries and 



35 

goverumeDt honors. An equal chance is held out to you and me 
to write and publish, precisely as we please, as much as any other 
man can. That is all of it. Away with this nonsense about Tom, 
Dick, or Harry having a better right to publish his opinions than 
you or I have. You and I are the judges of the whole matter. 
We will write and publish if we please, and ask no man. We 
run the risk. If we please to publish, no man can prohibit us 
from so doing. 

You will observe that all citizens are perfectly equal herein. In 
the second -section of the fourth article of the Constitution : '* The 
, citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immu- 
' nities of citizens in the several States." Wnen I want to go into 
print in Arkansas or Maine, in California or Texas, all I have to 
do is to settle these questions. 1st. Am I a citizen of any State ? 
2d. Does any man in any State publish a book, a newspaper, or a 
speech? If the answer to these questions is, '* Yes," then all I 
have to do is to go on and enjoy my Constitutional right of pub- 
lishing freely any opinion I may have. Of course this freedom 
has some restrictions, as every political privilege has. Everybody 
sees that. Of course, no man ought to appear in print until his 
education and his genius warrant it. These things need hardly 
be said. But vet let it be remembered, the laws of the United 
States do not deny to any man the right of freedom of speech and 
freedom, with all proper legal restraints, of the press. 

It is absurd to say any man has other rights tlian I have. 
Chas. Sumner has a right to speak. So have I. Horace Greely 
has a right to publish a paper. So have I. I have the same 
right, and as much right, to speak and write as Chas. Sumner 
and Horace Greely. Precisely the same. Let us hear no more of 
this monopolizing the press in America. One has the same right 
another has. Let this be impressed on every mind — that no 
writer in America has any more privilege under our Constitution 
^ than you or I may have. We have no Princes of the Pen. We 
have no Dukes of the Tongue. No man has the exclusive right 
to speech or of printing. No, no, the field is open for all. AH 
may enter, and contend for the honors. The people are the judges. 
Every candidate for literary honors will stand or fall by the 
amount of talent, tact, and learning that he has. No man dare 
to exclude him from the area. The President has no more free- 
dom of press or freedom of speech than has 

Yours, truly, 

DALZELL. 



36 

[From Chronicle of April 5th, 1868.] 

THE LAST SOLDIER OP THE REVOLUTION. 

To the Editor of the Chronide : 

I have just learned through a private letter from Ohio, that 
John Gray, the last soldier of the Revolution, expired at his resi- 
dence in Noble county, Ohio, on the 29th of March. I knew the 
old man well, having lived for nearly twenty years within sight 
of his house, and frequently met and conversed with him. There 
never lived a purer or better man. During the twenty years that 
I knew him, I never heard one word against his character. 
Greater praise than that is impossible. Every citizen of Noble 
county, Ohio, knew and loved the old man. 

John Gray was born at Mount Vernon, January 6, 1764, 
and was consequently in his one hundred and fifth year when he 
died. He told me that he worked many a day on the Mount 
Vernon estate for General Washington. At sixteen years of age, 
John Gray entered the Continental army, and served till the 
close of the war for our independence. He was at the surrender 
of Yorktown. Mr. Gray removed to Ohio before it was a State, 
and remained there till his death. His history will be written, 
but I give these few facts as they come to my mind to-day. 

Hon. John A. Bingham, of Ohio, knew old John Gray well, 
and did much to help the old hero in his declining years. 

The last soldier of the Revolution was an earnest friend of Mr. 
Bingham. Mr. Bingham found the old man in very destitute 
circumstances a few years ago, and determined to do all he could 
for him. For some reason, Mr. Gray had never received any 
pension. So Mr. Bingham gave the old man some money to 
relieve his most urgent necessities, and afterward prevailed upon 
Congress to grant him a pension of $500 per annum. This act of 
generosity and patriotism to Washington's last soldier was re- 
membered greatly by old John Gray to the last hour of his life. 
The people of the 16th district of Ohio will never forget it. 

Yours, &c., J. M. D. 

Washington, D. C, April 4, 1868. 



^ 



87 

From Soldiers' Friend. 

THE BLUE AND THE GRAY, 



BT JAMBS M. DALZELL. 



You may sing of the Blue and the Gray, 
And mingle their hues in your rhyme, 
But the Blue that we wore in the fray 
Is covered with glory sublime. 
So, no more let us hear of the Gray, 

The symbol of treason and shame — 
We pierced it with bullets — away ! 
Or we'll pierce it with bullets again. 
Then up with the Blue, and down with the Gray, 
And hurrah for the Blue that won us the day ! 

Of the rebels who sleep in the Gray, 

Our silei^ce is fitting alone, 
We cannot afford them a bay, 
A sorrow, a tear, or a moan. 
Let oblivion seal up their graves 

Of treason, disgrace and defeat ; 
Had they triumphed, the Blue had been slaves, 
And the Union been lost in retreat. 
Then up with the Blue and down with the Gray, 
And hurrah for the Blue that won us the day ! 

Of the rebels whom our mercy still spares 

To boast of the traitorous fray. 
No boy in the Blue thinks or cares. 
For the struggle is ended to-day. 

Let them come as they promised to come. 

Under Union and Loyalty too ; 
And we'll hail them with fife and with drum, 
And forget that they fired on the Blue. 
Then up with the Blue and down with the Gray, 
And hurrah for the Blue that won us the day. ' 

As they carried your flag through the fray. 

Ye Northmen, ye promised the Blue 
That ye'd never disgrace with the Gray 
The colors so gallant and true. 

Will ye trace on the leaves of your souls 

The Blue and the Gray in one line, 
And mingle their hues on the scrolls 
Which glorify Victory's shrine, 
And cheer for the false, and hiss at the true, 
And up with the Gray and down with the Blue? 

Let the traitors all go if you"*may, 

(Your heroes would punish the head, ) ' 
But never confound with the Gray 
The Blue, whether living or dead. 
Oh ! remember the price that was paid — 
The blood of the brave and the true — 
And you can never suffer to fade 
The laurels that cover the Blue. 
Then up with the Blue and down with the Gray, 
And hurrah for the Blue that won us the day ! 



38 



From The Soldier's Friend. 

THE VETERANS BEGGING. 



BY JAMES H. DALZELL, 

Of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Ohio Vol, Inf. 



Oh ! 'tis a piteous sight to see 

An aged father come 
And beg for bread, and be denied 

By haughty sons at home. 
Ingratitude of darkest dye, 

More piteous far than that, 
To see the wounded soldier hold 

For alms his slouching hat. 

Oh ! see him stand for hours and days, 

Where wealth and pride are near, 
Lean on his crutch, and beg for bread, 

With many a burning tear. 
His proud heart pulses crimson pride 

O'er manly cheek and brow, 
But hunger mutters through his soul — 

'* In battle brave^ he now^ 

Again he feels the battle-shock, 

The bullets whistling by. 
The whizzing shell, the blinding smoke, 

The demon rebel cry : 
Again he feels, oh ! ten-fold more — 

More sore because afresh — 
The bullets tearing through his limbs, 

And crushing bone and flesh. 

lie wakes, but not a rebel yell 

Nor rebel host is there ; 
But Peace sits smiling on the scene, 

While Plenty hoards with care. 
He feels his wounds anew again — 

God ! can this be so ? 
The soldier wounded by his friends 

As well as by the foe ! 

Let Peace still smile upon the scene, 

And Plenty pass him by, 
And all the promised gifts of these 

Pass into wordt and die ; 
But tell me not a grateful land 

Can suffer this to be. 
Till erery star in Freedom's Flag 

Is quenched in Treason's sea. 

Washington, D. C, 1868. 



JOHN GRAY'S OPINIONS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS. 



INTROSPECTA. 

Two pair of ej'es to see, 

One pair without, and one 

To scan the world within, 
By man are seldom won. 

The ox has eyes to see 

The straw on which he tramps, 
But in that mammoth bulk 

There burn no spirit lamps. 

I 
Man alone has power to gaze — 

And few men even this — 
On Beauty's charms, and feel 

Electric romance, bliss ! 

This is the eyne I love, 

The power to look within, 

To fill the ^mpty air 

With visions bright akin. 

To the higher forms and moulds 
So transubstantial broad ; 

The glowing bust divine 
Of Beauty, Music, God . 

To hear anthems pealing 

The spirit aisles all through, 

Till the heart quakes with joy, 
Stirring, sublime, and true. 

I see shapes in the night 

No other eyes can see ; 
I hear strange voices ring 

In accents full of glee. 

And 'pale groups of ghosts 

Around my pillow flit, 
And I wake from ghostly dreams 

"To many a musing fit." 

I feel the touch of hands 

No other mortals feel ; 
And fight, with demon arms, 

Hosts mailed in more than steel. 

« 

I talk familiar with 

The spirit of Perfect Life, 
And see her footsteps strike 

From earth, its toil and strife. 



' 



40 



I touch haods, as if friends, 
With Beautj ranging all 

Nature's pure and sweet domains, * 
And feel her blessings full. 

This is a high joy to me, 

And I love to live in 
Creations thus illumed 

With lamps just lit in heaven. 

The dusty toil and drag 

Of a weary life, and poor, 

I would not lengthen out a day, 
Were I compelled to live a boor. 

Bu( sometimes it seems to me 
'Twere better I were dead, 

Than drink at founts of joy 

By the heart's red current fed. 

For these passion lamps must drink 

The being's ripest oil, 
And end its flickerings all 

With life of aimless toil. 

Burn on ye lamps within, burn 
Till ye burn the spirits down ; 

Then ashes fly in Fate's cold face, 
And tell her I was not a clown ! 

Come, ye cold eternal winds, 

And flap your wings into my face. 

For sooner shall it cool not 

In time's tempestuous chase ! 

J. M. Dalzell. 
Washington, D. C, April 29, 1868. 

. ♦ . 



Where did our Bible come from ? God handed it down to his 
people in the country. He addressed his meek servant from a 
burning bush ; He opened the heavens and descended in thunder- 
ings and lightnings upon trembling Sinai ; He sent his people to 
dwell in a land flowing with milk and honey ; He hid his prophet 
in a rock ; He sent the ravens to feed another holy man ; He sent 
Samuel to annoint a country-boy as the king of Israel ; and in a 
thousand places, and in diverse ways showed his will and pleasure 
in the country. The reader of revelation need not be reminded 
that almost every inspired writer lived in the sacred solitudes, 
away from the city. Some were shepherds, some were farmers, in 
a certain sense ; and nearly all lived in the country. And then 
the sweet poetry of every age ; where did it Spring from ? As the 
shell sings of the sea, so genuine poetry sings of the scenes that 



41 

gave it birth ; and hence read your poetry, and see how much of 
it was produced in rural scenes. The poetry of the Bible, the 
sublimest songs, because from the sublimest source, the poetry of 
the Bible, came from the simple children of nature. Go read 
that first song of emancipation, sung on the bloody shores of the 
Red sea, after the *' bubbling death groan " of the Egyptian host 
had died away forever ; read the tender, touching story of Ruth ; 
follow the sweet singer of Israel through his heavenly flights ; go 
then to the '^Song of Songs," and as you read there the tender 
address of the Redeemer to his redeemed people, inhale that holy 
enthusiasm that will qualify you for joining with Isaiah, to sing 
strains of divine music. The Bible, the, poetry of the Bible, the 
celestial imagery of inspiration, as if too pure and holy for the 
city, were first poured down in rural scenes. 

Painting and sculpture were at least commenced away from the 
clamor and smoke of crowded cities. You can easily imagine 
some shepherd, sitting on a green bank, looking down into a quiet 
stream, and there seeing his own image reflected, starting up to 
make an imitation of it on some smooth rock, with his shepherd's 
crook ; or marking with blood, or the juice of the red-mountain 
berries upon the great leaves that he has plucked from the palms 
below. And again you behold him stooping down to collect some 
red clay, with which he is to form a rude image of his dog or his 
sheep. Here may have been the commencement of those fine 
arts that since have engaged the genius of a Wren, a Reynolds, a 
Parr, and a West. In fine, we see the peasant or the shepherd at 
one time a philosopher, reasoning on the causes and effects of rain, 
sunshine and darkness ; at another, a poet singing the praises of 
Pad, or faithful Ceres, upon an oatstraw pipe, invoking the aid 
of his imaginary muse ; at another time, the subject of a power- 
ful inspiration, writing '' what man is to believe concerning God, 
and what duty God requires of man ;" at another time we hear 
him uttering strange sounds, and see him writing on bark and 
leaves and skins, always inventing or discoursing, always begin- 
ning the work of civilization, reformation, and general education. 
All honor, then, to the farmer ! — that he is always found in the 
vanguard of every noble and effective work. Just as the sons of 
the soil, the men of stalwart form and giant limbs are first to 
clear our forests and prepare our roads, they are first to polish the 
rude, unclassic mind, and elevate the race. He sits no longer, like 



42 

the simple aacients, on towers and cliffs to catch the shadow of 
coming events from the flight of birds, or listen to the sound of 
their wings, or burning laurel, or star-gazing ; but in the clear, 
plain sunshine of intelligence he thinks, reads, and thinks, and 
judges with a clear head and a pure heart. No longer does he 
stand, like Andromache, pouring out milk and blood on the hono- 
rary tomb of a hero, but near the real tomb of his patriot fathers 
he swears eternal vengeance to tyranny, and eternal allegiance to 
freedom. He goes to no Helicon and Parnassus to drink inspira- 
tion from fabled muses, gods, and fountains, but he hurries to 
Mount Vernon, the Delphian vale of America, and stands anon 
on Bunker Hill with enthusiasm, and a desire to make America 
worth the blood that was there poured out for her redemption — 
and to make her thus great and noble by cultivating her generous 
soil, and improving her extensive lands. He remembers the time 
when a devastating army wasted and impoverished his country so 
that a cartload of continental money would not buy a wisp of hay, 
and he determines to make his country rich and strong, so that if 
a warlike force should invade his land, it will have the power to 
repel his violence and drive him away with speed. He is an 
upright, honest man, the '' noblest work of God," ^' eyes nature's 
walks, shoots folly as it flies, and catches the living manners as 
they rise." God has appointed him to be his treasurer, and he 
feels it ! t 

There are persons who, as Halleck says, ** Are too proud to 
weep," and too polite to swear, who imagine that the honors of 
the peasant are very humble and mean. Would such a one hear 
an illustration of the principle that contentment, not station, im- 
parts happiness ? A Roman general was once passing the Alps, 
and stopping at a little village of simple mountaineers, he was 
praised, and one asked him if he were not very happy. He 
replied, '* Indeed I am not I I would rather be the chief of this 
village than the proudest general of Rome ! ' ' 

No one knew how heavy his honors pressed upon his proud 
heart, as he vainly strove to satisfy that unholy ambition which is 
so common to the high and noble, and so seldom found among the 
inhabitants of the country. A certain woman observing Aristo- 
zones weaving a splendid diadem, expressed her opinion that he 
must be happy. '^ 0, mother," returned he, '* if you knew how I 
I feel. If you saw a diadem lying on a dung-hill you would not 



43 

pick it up." 0, the simple joys of the country. How far they 
transcend the pleasures of the camp, the city, or the great emjpori- 
uins of trade. 

Survey now the history of departed ages ; call the roll of the 
mighty dead, the dead that are yet, like Webster, livings and as 
you call their names, ask them where they were born, and tell me 
how many hoarse voices reply, in the country. Is it not a multi- 
tude that no man can number ? Those who were born in the city 
are the exceptions ! Geometry, that pure, natural science ; 
algebra, that system of signs and symbols, and surveying, all 
were born in the country. The whole system of circles, curves, 
plains, triangles, and lines, is mapped out in the fields and on the 
shores of every land, and from things so simple as the curve of a 
river, or the angles of lands and stones, men proceeded by imita- 
tion, copying nature and reducing her laws and forms to rules 
and systems. 

It is a matter of history, that only for the inundations of the 
Nile we should probably yet have to write that "Things which 
are equal to the same thing are equal to each other;" or that 
other law, that, "The square described on the hypothenuse of a 
right-angled triangle is equivalent to the sum of the squares 
described on the other two sides." 

To Arabia we owe the discovery of arithmetic — to a country 
where towns are rare. 

What in science do we not owe to the country ? 

But Son of Science, will you acknowledge that the simple chil- 
dren of nature — the peasant and the shepherd have given you 
your dearest themes ? 

You say Homer, the rich old bard of Scio's isle was a country- 
man. Undoubtedly he drank his inspiration from the classic 
shores, from the pleasant hills and vales of blooming Greece. 
But was not the mother of Demosthenes a root-gatherer? what 
a contrast ; one day to see the boy following his mother to the 
fields to dig herbs and roots in the hills of Greece, and another to 
see him standing up before thousands of his assembled country- 
men,Jmaking the very throne of Philip rock and tremble. Brutus, 
Cincinnatus, Scipio, Cato I What a constellation of country- 
men I Virgil himself cultivated a farm near Mantua, as is evident 
from the fact that after the lands around about that place were 
divided among the Eoman soldiery, Virgil's lands were restored 



44 

to him by Augustus. Compare Antony, raised and pampered in 
luxury, to plain unassuming Brutus, willing only to die for or 
free fiis country. How often is the contrast between the proud 
citizen and the humble peasant as great. As we pass, notice 
Jerome afad Augustine, the sterling fathers of Christianity, and 
tell me did they spend their lives in bestial Rome or haughty 
Athens ? Newton was not in a city when he discovered the law 
of gravitation — he was sitting in an orchard ! Gassendi was 
travelling through the country when he proved to his boyish com- 
panions that they saw the clouds and not the moon moving. Gold- 
smith and Burns were nearly always in the country. Byron and 
Scott and Moore spent much of their time in the fields. 

It seems reasonable for man communing with nature to rise in 
his thoughts to the Author. " If there is design, there must have 
been a designer ; and that designer was God." Thus, Thomp- 
son, speaking of the Seasons, says : 

" These, as they change, are but the varied God." 

The drift of all these remarks is to show that it requires Chris- 
tianity to make even the farmer happy. I believe it is easier for 
the farmer to be a Christian than any other man, merely because 
he has fewer cares and simpler joys and less temptation. I don't 
believe they are the only happy men, but they are the most gene- 
rally happy of any other class of men . 

But, as I am to speak about the country without coloring too 
highly the picture of rural felicity, let us leave the poet's fiction 
and fancy and ask first, what do we owe to the joouatry ? We all 
love music. It was born among the hills and valleys. The 
'^ morning stars sang together*' — ^' the sons of God shouted for 
joy." We read about ''the music of the spheres," and how 
'' when music, heavenly maid, was young, first in early Greece she 
sung." We have listened to the old legend that a shepherd attend- 
ing his flocks on the mountains broke off a reed and was rejoiced 
to hear the sweet sounds he could produce upon it. Nature gave 
us music, but yet she retained eternal volumes of it for the country. 
She has placed a pipe in the mouth of every member of the 
feathered choir, and among the branches of her leafy children 
they delight to make music all the year. Break your pianos, 
melodeons, and dulcimers, and every stringed instrument of 
music, and come with me to the mountains and listen to the 
music of the waterfalls, and the perpetual base of the ocean below, 



4S 

or the deeper base of the thunderg above, and the wild soprano of 
the winds and think you, can we not reproduce those instruments 
again ? 

The fanner searches causes and effects among the elements. 
He remembers the time when the sea-weed was counted useless, 
but now hears that iodine is useful in daguerrotyping and more 
useful in curing scrofula ; he knows the crocus yields a most 
effective cure for the gout ; he knows the potato in Peru was 
once thought useless, and he laughs as he smokes his evening 
pipe to read about a certain king writing a great book against 
tobacco ; he know^ the use of the twisted leaf of China, the cane 
of the Indies, and the fragrant gums of Arabia. All these 
things the true farmer knows, and by them he is encouraged to 
study everything and see what use it can be put to. He believes — 

' ' That they whom truth and science lead, 
May gather honey from a weed ;" 

He ''reads sermons in stones, books in running brooks^ good 
in everything." The zephyr, the harebell, the hyacinth, 
the rose that blooms in his garden, and the eglantine and 
myrtle that circle round his '' old hoUHe at home ;" the thunder, 
the storm, the calm, the seasons, the fields — everything teaches 
him some useful lesson. He is a student of Nature. Only one 
great slur has ever been put upon the peasant. It is his 
want of refinement and breeding. If refinement is to dissimu- 
late and act the hypocrite, then the farmer has not much refine- 
ment. He is usually a plain man. He tells a man he thinks that 
he is honest, that he is dishonest, that he is a wise man or a fool — 
just what bethinks, plainly. Refinement says '^ don't speak your 
mind, be cunning I" 

that those who charge clownishness and impoliteness on the 
peasantry, would remember the time they must spend in the sun- 
shine and the shade, and the rough labors of the fields and forests. 
Fops and useless dandies in cities and towns, good for nothing 
and burdens to community, should never be allowed to say any- 
thing against the honest farmer. 

The farmer has no time for travel and reading, says another. 
He has little time I admit, but in this little time his mind is fresh 
and clear and active^ and hence we find many farmers who are 
well acquainted with politics, science and religion. Lord Burleigh 
advised his son Robert Cecil, afterward Earl of Salisbury, '^ Not 



46 

to suffer his sons to cross the Alps, for they shall learn nothing 
there but pride, blasphemy, and atheism ; and if by travel they 
get a few broken languages, that shall profit them nothing more 
than to have one meat served in diverse dishes." We know this 
is true. How often have we seen our young men go out like the 
prodigal son and spend all their substance in riotous living, and 
then return and settle down in a rented cabin to starve them- 
selves and families. We do not expect farmers to be travellers 
and readef s, like Taylor and Benjamin, any more than we expect 
stage actors and tailors to be expert at making rails and driving 
oxen. ''Act well your part," says some one, ''for there the 
honor lies." Cicero affirmed that it was not the part that we 
have in the play, but the way that we act our part that gives us 
the honor. 

^% ^p ^^ ^^ ^* ^^ ^^ ^p 

Slavery was the mother of treason and adultery in a thousand 
forms, the prolific parent, too, of rapine, murder, and a thousand 
forms of oppression. 

Slavery ignored human rights. The cry was not against the 
black man alone, it was against all the poor. 

Slavery loved to live in dark places, concocting and executiug 
hellish crimes. 

When the slave system was shattered to pieces with Union bul- 
lets the cry of vengeance rose from the black lips of treason as it 
stood shivering over the bloody remains. Then Booth fired, and 
Lincoln fell. Then the traitors banded together to renew the con- 
flict. Then innocent blacks were shot and hung, and Union men 
murdered in their beds. Following this came the riots at the 
South. Then the miserable rebel governments came insolently 
knocking at the doors of Congress. Blatant blackguards and 
traitors, with hearts like devils and faces of brass, dared to parade 
Pennsylvania avenue in rebel uniform. They dared even to pro- 
fane Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, with shouts of treason 
at the Convention in August. Here was born the Ku-Klux-Klan. 

Alarmed at these signs of reviving treason, the friends of the 
country rallied once more to save the Government. Thank God, 
by the ballot they have succeeded well. Thanks to Boys in Blue. 

The men who murdered unoffending negroes at the South, and 
the men who incited riots there, and the men who preached a 
crusade against the Thirty-Ninth Congress, called themselves 



47 

'^ Conservatives." A mild name, indeed, that is for men who could 
fire on the star-spangled banner. Conservatives — Conservatives ; 
yes, these same Conservatives fired on the flag at Fort Sumter, and 
never ceased their fiendish efforts to destroy the Union, till Grant 
compelled them at Appomattox to surrender up themselves and 
their arms. How were the mighty fallen then I Then they prom- 
ised, aye swore to submit to the Government of the United States. 
How well they have kept these oaths history shall tell. Their his- 
tory since 1860 will be comprised under the heads of Perjury and 
Treason, when the new Encyclopaedia American comes out. 

Grant compelled them once to surrender. 

Grant will compel them to surrender again in November. 

But what do you call the men who oppose all these rebels ? Why, 
they are Union men. None of them ever fired on the flag. These 
men are the Republican Party, the only Union party in the land. 
These are the men who fought your battles at Bull Run, at Shi- 
loh. Stone River, Antietam, Gettysburg, Atlanta, and the Wil- 
derness. This party always said slavery was wrong. This party 
killed slavery. This party saved the Constitution of the United 
States. The Conservative party tried to destroy the Constitution. 
But some call the Union party Radicals. Radical indeed they 
are. Earnest men are always Radical. Good men are always 
Radical. Bad men are always Conservative. A Conservative 
winks at one man, and then at the other. A Radical has one 
face only. A Conservative has two faces, and can smile on one 
side, and frown on the other at the same time. A Radical believes 
all men have rights, and tries to secure these rights to all. A 
Conservative thinks Rights are all bosh, and he thinks no one but 
himself has rights. 

A Conservative begins his prayers with "0, good God," or 
''Good devil." The Radical, knowing he is right, looks up man- 
fully to God, and says '^ Our Father." The Conservative kisses 
like Judas, and denies like Peter. The Conservative trembles lest 
he offend somebody. The Radical knows offences will come to 
every one who endeavors to free and enfranchise his fellow men. 

The better impulses of our nature are radical. When I see a 
man strike a woman or a child, I feel like knocking the rascal 
down. That is radicalism working. But next I reflect that I 
may get myself in trouble, and then I do nothing to save the 
defenceless. That is conservatism. Conservatism thinks one 



48 

thing and says another. A fat office will make a conservative 
still more conservative, that is make him afraid to squeak. I 
know men who are so scary about position^ that they would swear 
that Andrew Johnson is the Tycoon of Japan if they thought 
that would keep them in office. A real guilty rebel hates a man 
who has so many tongues. 

The spirit of the age is intensely radical. Majorities at the 
ballot-box show it. The increase of schools and churches proves 
it. Our people are not so bad, after all. The majority are good 
people, and Radicals. The minority will soon succumb. When 
a majority is so good, and so strong, too, it must prevail. Surely 
all men will soon learn that all others have rights as well as 
themselves — and that is all the Radical party preaches. Radical- 
ism will advance over the ruins of slavery and treason. The peo- 
ple will learn to do right between man and man, and peace and 
prosperity, secured by wise and wholesome laws, and not by the 
thunder of battle, will follow — and that right soon. And, con- 
cludes Mr. Gray : 

** Men are growing tired of fighting against Right — the spirit of 
the age. . Wrong and Oppression have marshaled their hosts, and 
their battle has been fought and lost. Right and Freedom are 
triumphant to-day. Men will learn how dearly tyrants pay for 
trying to oppress their fellow men. A sense of those higher 
Christian duties which each owes to the other will soon dawn on 
the yet darkened intellect of our race, and all men, moved by a 
good impulse, will yet ^ do unto others as they would have others 
do unto them.'" 



MR. GRAY'S NOTION OF A HOG IS VERY AMUSING. 

The hog thinks a heap of himself, and hates you. A hog is a 
man that wants his own share of everything, and your share, too. 
He is generally a sole corporation without a soul. If he goes into 
business, he goes it by himself. If the hog takes anybody into 
partnership with him, he takes him in. He never studied gram- 
mar any further than "mine" — he left school before he got to 
^Hhine," He is full of parables. You never heard a better 
preacher than the hog. To hear the hog talk you would consider 
him a saint disguised in flesh, consenting to be a man for a while 
just to teach men how to live. But just wait till he acts once, and 



J 



49 

you will see he is a real swine, with the devil inside and a man's 
coat on the outside. The hog eats all he can reach. The hog 
does all the talking in the company. The hog never listens. The 
hog is always rooting the dirty mud up, and putting it on some- 
body's clean character with his ugly black snout, add goes along 
rooting and stinking, and grunting as he roots, 

I want to be a hog, 

And with the hoggies dwelL 



OLD MEN VERSUS YOUNG MEN. 

The prevailing idea is that old men are better than young men. 
It is false in fact, entirely false. Youth is full of fire and energy. 
Old age is stupid, cold, and slow of movement. Why could not 
old Halleck or old Scott do as well as young Grant or young 
Sheridan ? The answer is simple — they were too old for use. 

Is it not so in official positions here, too? Old fossils usurp the 
places of young blood and young brains. Of course, we would 
avoid extremes. Too young a man is zero. Too old a man is 
zero. But old age is venerable. True, it is and ought to be ven- 
erable, but old age should charge no money for being venera- 
ble. Old age is time for rest. Youth time for action. Decrepit 
age should make way for young blood and brains. When old 
fossils hang on too long, death, the friend and ally of human pro- 
gress, sweeps old age into oblivion. 



A THOUGHT. 

Thought moves the world. Thought is God. Matter is the 
universe. Thought set it going, and keeps it. going still. A 
thought of a man is a throb of his spirit. When spirits think 
they live. When spirits think not they are dormant, dead for the 
time. Thought springs from the brain, as the goddess sprung 
from the sea. Thought controls men. Thought makes watches 
and pins. Thought uses the steam and electricity which God 
made. It flows out of the brain, and makes the material world 
dance again. It leaps like lightning out of mind. A thought 
never dies. Immortality is stamped on every real thought, and 
it cannot die till God dies. To find out one of God's thoughts is 
to discover an island beautiful and grand in the boundless God- 
head. 



50 

EXHAUSTION VERSUS SUGGESTION— PREACHERS. 

I used to hear a very pious, but very simple old preacher preach 
every Sunday. The old man was very exhaustive. He was very 
learned and very diffuse. He never for a moment supposed his 
congregation knew anything except what he told them in his ser- 
mons. He would use up two hours of a hot summer Sunday 
proving that sin is wrong, that man is mortal, that God is good, 
or that hell is hot — just Its if the merest child in the congregation 
was not already fully convinced, before he said a word. His ser- 
mons were exhaustive ; they exhausted me, for many and many a 
long snooze I took under the awning of his preaching. And they 
exhausted the old man, too ; for he took the sore throat, or some- 
thing that way, and died, and now sleeps in the old church-yard, 
a victim to exhaustive preaching. 

There are multitudes of preachers just like him — yes, and 
writers, too. They take up a subject and consider it objectively, 
and subjectively, and mentally, and morally, and physically, and 
proximately, and absolutely, and practically, and emblematically, 
and horizontally, and latitudinarily, and every other way, until 
they exhaust themselves and you. And so they think by bursting 
one of these learned bomshells over you to terify you with their 
mental power, but after all it's only smoke and dust, just like the 
bursting of a puff-ball. 

We like suggestive writing and speaking. We love to be left 
to think for ourselves. We want no writer or speaker to do all 
our thinking for us. To touch and go, and sip the foam of many 
themes — this is our idea of agreeable and useful writing and 
speaking. Franklin is full of hints. Solomon is full of suggest- 
ions. Ton can take up Solomon's suggestions, or Franklin's 
hints, and think and think about them. Yes, the perfection of 
writing and speaking alike is to be full of suggestions. 

HUE AND CRY. 

The old common law process of pursuing with horn and with 
voice all felons, was adapted well to the day and age in which it 
was used. No sooner was a crime known to have been committed 
than pursuit was made from town to town, and from county to 
county, until the felon was taken and delivered to the sheriff. 
All the people were commanded to join in this hue and cry by 
voice and honr, and to follow the criminal on foot and on horses. 



51 

blowing horns and crying aloud until the criminal was overtaken, 
apprehended, or killed. If the town or hundred failed to join in 
this public outcry and pursuit, action lay against the hundred. 

Bailroads, steamboats, and telegraphs have rendered this old- 
fashioned method useless, for now the hue and cry after the fleeing 
felon is made by the whistle of the steamer^ the scream of the loco- 
motive, and the lightning click of the telegraph. No man can 
outrun the steam or the lightning, and the public press simulta- 
neously raises the hue and cry all over the land. Wherever the 
criminal flees, the hue and cry is around him, and he cannot 

escape it. 

« 

GOD. 

Do you know what God is ? I do not ; I can comprehend a 
little of anything, but not much, for my capacity is very small. 
I could understand 2, 4, or 6, may be 99 or 100 ; but when it 
comes to a 1,000 or 1,000,000 at once, it is too much for my little 
mind. We are finite, but we can't comprehend all finite things. 
The national debt of billions I can say over, but I cannot compre- 
hend it, and yet it is finite, that is, it is limited. My eyes can see 
a big picture, but not the whole sky, nor the whole sea, and yet 
these are finite. But there are God's thoughts more numerous 
than the dollars of our national debt ; there is God's presence 
covering sea and sky, and more. If I had God's mind I could 
understand all his infinite and eternal attributes, but with my 
feeble powers, I can only view the infinitude of God, as a man 
born blind sees space. 

SLEEP AND DREAMS. 

Sitting alone in my room, I reasoned thus of sleep and dreams : 
Philosophy, in vain, attempts to explain the mystery of sleep 
and dreams. They lie away beyond the boundaries of human 
reason. The waking mind seems to be one, and the sleeping mind 
another. The waking body seems to be one, and the sleeping 
body another. But it is the same mind, and it is the same body 
whether awake or asleep. But in sleep, the powers of the body 
are no longer obedient to the volitions of the mind. The form 
seems to be for a time divorced from its spiritual mate. The mind 
wanders off and forgets the body. The body breathes the air, 
circulates the blood, and passively awaits the return of the 



52 

wandering spirit. When the spirit returns from its aerial flights, 
the body shakes off its slumbers, and arises. For a moment time 
and place seem strange. The awakened eye looks wonderingly for 
a little time at the real world before it; and it is only after an effort 
of the will, now master of soul and body again, that the clouds of 
the spiritual world are lifted from the vision, and one sees the 
tangible forms as they exist. With these half-formed views in 
my mind, I fell asleep. Sleep fell gently upon me, and my ears 
were closed to all terrestial sounds, and my eyes blind to all sub- 
lunary scenes, and my hand lay familiarly in the hand of the 
Invisible, while my spiritual eyes saw new intangible creations, 
and my ears dranK in the very essence of music. I trod the soft 
floor of the infinite, while a blue sky, not round, spread itself, 
like an illimitable sea, before my view. I was no more *' of the 
earth earthy," but purely spiritual. Corporeal things had van- 
ished forever from me. The incorporeal essence of things, thought, 
and being, rolled its thin gauze around my soul. I was all soul. 
Body had perished, and lived not even in memory. The universe 
was no more a hard thing upon which to fall was to be crushed. 
It was soft, spiritual, light as air. One could drop through mil- 
lions of miles of this canopy of spirituality and feel no more shock 
than he would from the act of breathing. There were no wings. 
The child's idea of cherubs and angels having wings seemed gross 
and absurd. All was thought. Thought needs no feathered 
wings, no more than light needs wings. To wish was to will, and 
to will to accomplish. One volition of the will transported one, 
quick as lightning, just as far as the soul would wish to go. This ^ 

was sleep and dreams. 

James M. Dalzell. 



THE MOTHER'S PRAYER FOR HER SOLDIER BOYS. 

An old man sits in bis easy x^air, 

His eyes grown dim with years, 
And the frosts of age are on his hair ; 

His cheeks are wet with tears. 

The old man sits in his lonely chair, 

His wife is long since dead ; 
His heart is full of an echoing prayer, 

The last on earth she said ! 

* * My two braye boys in thy mercy spare, 
God, if it be thy will, 
Wherever they may be to-night, there 
Thy goodness guard them still.'' 



53 

Her spirit fled to the far sweet land — 
Her boys had gone before ; 

Up from the battle reaching a hand 
To greet her on that shore. 

The old man sits in his lonely chair, 
His wife is long since dead ; 

His heart is full as it echoes the prayer 
The dying mother said. 



J. M. Dalzell. 



Contrast is what regulates our estimate of things. When this 
contrast is strongly marked, we call it novel. A long succession 
of occurrences of the same kind wearies us. But let the scenes be 
shifted, and we are somehow delighted at the change^ let it be 
what it maj. This is the leaven that keeps the world working — 
the desire of change is what makes change, as the desire for heirs 
causes their procreation. 

But what we most desire to look at now is this reality of life. 
Whatever costs us labor, soon becomes irksome, for we naturally 
love ease. The real duties of life will often be found to conflict 
with our own wishes. *' Necessity knows no law," and by the 
sweat of our brows must we earn our bread. This is the rule that 
governs mankind — whether they will love it or not, they must 
obey it. 

Physical man needs exercise to keep the vital machinery in 
healthful play, and this exercise in some way or another must be 
employed in gaining subsistence for the body — the feeding of the 
stomach is at last the grand ultimatum of human labor. Some 
preconceit of the thing destroys our capacity for investigating and 
understanding its essence. We will carry a kaleidescope and see 
things all discolored and distorted, when, if we would look at them 
with the clear eyes God has given us, we could see them just as 
they are. Every one designs and projects plans and purposes for- 
eign to his taste or his abilities. It was well for Alexander to be 
Alexander, because he could be nothing else; but we, in attempt- 
ing to be Alexanders shall probably be nothings. And it is not 
improper to plan and purpose early and well, and to these to 
adhere with diligent perseverance, but this mapping out of a 
future course in life should be the legitimate offspring of a careful 
and thorough self-examination, and a correct knowledge of our 
own powers and possibilities. If the unreasoning hap-hazard 
self will have me do the thing, I shall ask judgment to show me 



54 

why, and how, first of all, the end shall be attained. No more 
commoa error besets our paths than this, tbat my strongest desire 
is the index of my ability to do. But we shall not forget that the 
critics show us that the mistakes arising from this is what makes 
the lowest comedy. A man of eighty, by some hallucination, is 
led to imagine that he is strong, agile, and handsome. Under 
this delusion goes into society to play the gallant, and the poor, 
deluded old fool becomes the by-word and the sport .of the rosy 
young damsels, who tolerate his ridiculous attentions for the 
amusement that he affords them. My desires and my abilities 
may be as widely separated as those of the old man just cited. 
No, this is not the rule. Put him at what he likes best, is a.fossil- 
ized adage that nine times in ten puts the man out of the way of 
doing the only one thing he can do well. Universal genius is like 
the diamond — it is scarce and precious, and easily detected. But 
the most of us have but limited minds. We must not attempt too 
much, or we shall do nothing. For this reason the old temple 
had written above its doors, ''Know thyself." To know this is 
to know our whole power and duty. My bowels will listen to no 
sophistry, and as Emerson says, *'the belly will not be reasoned 
down." 0, Stoics, how have ye failed, inasmuch as all your false 
formulas could never make a starving wretch think he had been 
well fed. Epicureans, tugging at the other extreme of Error's 
lengthened chain, how have the gross vessels of the animal man 
discomfited you, and vomited back in your very teeth the super- 
fluous trash with which your philosophy had burdened them. 
'' The last feather breaks the camel's back," says the proverb, and 
the moral of this, as applied to the wants of men, would seem to 
be, that more than enough is as bad as less than enough, 
and that breaks down the system by its superfluous weight, 
as the other suffers it to decay by reason of its insufficiency. 
What we want is a golden mean in all the economics. 

Most of us see nature through a glass darkly; I mean most of us do 
not allow our mental eyes to look at the naked principles of nature. 

What should we think of the mariner who would leave a good, 
sound ship, his accustomed track upon the sea, and embark on 
unknown waters in a crazy old vessel, and without a compass, 
and all this merely to gratify a whim ? And yet, thousands do 
precisely this on the sea of life, without consulting age and experi- 
ence as well as their own minds, hearts, nerves, blood, and limbs— 



55 

without standing face to face honestly with self, and trying to 
see if the means and the end are in any rational relation to each 
other, we rush into things either to gratify our own wrong preju- 
dices and had passions, or otherwise to gratify cunning or foolish 
counsellors. If a man should advise me to fly, I would laugh at 
his gratuitous folly, hut should be very sorry to make the attempt 
of flying from the church steeple. And so if he should advise me 
to undertake some mission for which I had no matiner of fltness, 
or to enter tome office or profession which was either dishonor- 
able^ worthless or hazardous, would I not be quite as foolish to 
take that advice as the other ? 

If we take cool and judicious glances at the things that sur- 
round us, and measure with a careful eye the forces that are in 
us, we shall generally find scope for all we can do of any given 
work. First comes the survey of the land, marking out the metes 
and boundaries of the field in which our short life is to be spent ; 
then comes the preparation for the work, then the work, and last 
of all the results. The agriculturalist, standing face to face with 
nature's stern truths all the time, more nearly follows her bidding 
than any other man. He prepares the ground in due season and 
with great care, sows good seed in good ground, and cultivates 
the ground while the tender corn is growing, and leaves the rest 
to God until the harvest time. If in other things there were such 
method in our labor, what grand results could be attained. Some 
begin at the wrong end. Expect a harvest before any labor is 
done. 



ROMANCE AND REALITY. 
Reality may be fitly compared to the broad, blue sky ; and 
romance to the occasional clouds that flit across it. Reality is 
oftener found than romance. Indeed this is the chief excellence 
of romance, that it is rarely seen. I have not much notion that 
life would afford us much pleasure in the aggregate^ if all sorrow 
and pain were banished from the world. We would then never, 
it is true, be tormented with any mental or physical suffering ; 
but life would be one unvaried succession of insipid pleasures. 
Constituted as our frames now are, a more desirable state of things 
than that we now live in cannot be conceived. We are planed, 
mortised, and built in with the rest of God's works. We may 
mourn over the wants and weakness of humanity, struggle on 



I 



56 

vigorously among the waves that we know shall at last swallow 
us ; and with eyes almost blinded and hands almost palsied, hope 
against hope, and fight against fate — ^this is the reality of life. 

Romance rears palaces in the clouds, opens cooling £9Untains 
in the Sahara, and makes things seetn other than they are. Ro- 
mance throws enchantment around everything that the heart may 
desire, and almost uniformly deceives its infatuated followers. 
Attachments the most sacred in name, but the most vile in essence, 
are often formed through the magic influence of romance. Would 
it not be romantic ? Then, by the gods, I will attempt it. This 
is the philosophy of unphilosophic youth. It is the tempter and 
destroyer of virtue, truth, and happiness. Youth does not ask 
what is ^' the true, the beautiful, and the good," but what is the 
strange and wonderful. The stern truths of history, the mild 
teachings of philosophy, the abstract reasonings of pure mathe- 
matics — ^how quickly are these left for the ^^ Lamp of Aladdin," 
'' Jack the Giant Killer," or '' Goody Two Shoes." This is the 
period of memory and imagination, of staring wonder and marvel- 
lous fancy. It runs on into manhood, too, sometimes, and when 
indulged merely as a pastime, and not entertained with earnest- 
ness and avidity, and pursued with unreasoning diligence, 
romance has its uses. It is a beautiful pastime. It is a painter 
that frescoes as well the cottage of the peasant as the palace of th6 
king. It fills the sky, the sea, the ^trth, and even the illimita- 
ble region of mind with pictures sublimer and grander far than 
any of Apelles or Raphael. 

For, if eighteen hours out of the twenty-four the black clouds 
frown upon us, and the other six arie illumed with sunshine or 
gemmed with stars, or crowned with rainbows, we shall love these 
six hours the more, and enjoy them the better. 

At times all is quiet in nature, scarce a leaf moves in all the 
forest, and the greatest sound we hear is the chirp of the cricket, 
or, perhaps, the cheerful warbling of the thrush. But on comes 
the storm apace ; the zephyr at first gently rustling the myriad 
leaves of the forest, growing into a gale, swelling into a storm, 
and mounting at last into a terrific hurricane, screaming and 
howling to the wild accompaniment of the sublime thunders that 
burst peal upon peal from the great batteries of heaven. The scene 
thus presented suddenly to us awakes the most sublime and the 
noblest feelings. We are filled with wonder, and stand in mute 



67 

and sacred astonishment in the presence of the unveiled forces of 
nature. * * * * Young men, scarcely out 

of college, grasp at positions designed alone for age and experi- 
ence. Of course they fail. Others see fitness in themselves for 
things that they cannot do ; others see in themselves a capacity 
that no other man can see. In short, a great multitude elect 
themselves to places where GK)d never designed they should be, 
and where they never will he. 

Romance lies at the bottom of all these fatal delusions. What 
^ Fancy produces that the hand attempts to grasp, but too often 
finds, when it is too late for amendmtot, that the glittering toy is 
filled with ashes. I could wish myself such a man as he, the hero 
of the story that I have just read. I get the fancy into my brain 
somehow, that I can equal or surpass him. Following my ideal 
of perfect manhood with diligent imitation for years, I at length 
find that I am upon the wrong track ; I have some things which 
he had and some which he had not, but I finally discover that that 
one thing which I lack, was just the very means by which he suc- 
ceeded — so I stop short discouraged. In vain I try to work after 
some other model. My young, fresh ardor is lost, and I do not, 
if I can, attain to any measure of success at anything. So my will 
is puzzled, my hands and my brain paralyzed, my ambition and 
self-confidence gone, and I settle down, thinking I have tried hard 
my best powers, and if they can do no good, why then it is of no 
use to fall back upon my second rate talents. Useful lives are 
i thus lost, as battles are lost by rash and ill-planned attacks. Can 
I another point out the exact mathematical measure of my abilities ? 
) Or must I judge all about it myself? Others, to be sure, and 
j especially my enemies will mark my blunders as they fall, and 
hold them up to the derisions of the mob. I can learn much by 
hearing what my enemies say of my blunders, and what my circle 
of friends tell about my merits. Putting these together, letting 
judicious and calm thought try all their opinions by the best rules 
within my reach, I can learn much that I ought to know. What 
others advise me to do, if judgment approves, that I should at- 
tempt. But if a man fails in a thing for a long time, is he to 
persevere in it, or turn to something else? There is another 
momentous question. Failures will often attend the wisest and 
noblest efforts. ''There is no such word as fail in the vocabulary 
of man." **What man has done man can do." — These two 
aphorisms, however clothed in words, always come up to the mind of 



58 

the determined but unfortunate adventurer. But there is much 
falsehood, ruinous counsel in both^ inasmuch as the one encour- 
ages a blind perseverance, even to inevitable ruin, while the other 
is nothing but a lie. Man cannot do whatever man has done. 
Thousands of men stand out as heroes in history, whose lives and 
actions have been parodied by herds of unsuccessful imitators in 
all ages. No, no, if you can perform some great feat, which it is 
out of my power to do, I can never do it, and that is all of it. 
But how shall I know before I try ? Very well — one should know 
his own capacity, and then judge, if it be in his power, to accom- 
plish the required task ; and if it be worthy of him, and not an 
idle whim, he should attempt it, and he will accomplish it. The 
old by-the-way of the Latins, the qualifying word for almost any 
proposed possibility, is a good thing to remember ^^ cceteris 
paribus »'* This done^ let the critics hiss while I whistle ! 

We are indebted to Hon. D. S. Gibbs, Probate Judge of Noble 

county, Ohio, for a copy of the will of John Gray. The will, as 

every one knows, could not be probated until after the death of 

the testator. The will was probated April 16, 1868, and reads as 

follows : 

COPY OF JOHN GEAY'S WILL. 

In the name of the Benevolent Father of all, I, John Gray, of 
the county of Noble, and State of Ohio, being now in the 104th 
year of ray age, of sound mind and memory, though my limbs 
are feeble, and I am the last survivor of the Revolutionary war. 

Item 1. I give and devise to my only daughter, Nancy McElroy, 
and heirs, forever, all the moneys, goods, chattels, and effects, of 
whatsoever kind or nature, that may be in my possession at the 
time of my decease, only asking that she, the beloved Nancy, will 
still continue to take care of me while I live, as she has done here- 
tofore. And the above devise is made to compensate so far as I 
am able the said Nancy McElroy for the care, kindness, and atten- 
tion that I. always have received at her hands. 

Item 2. I do hereby revoke all former wills by me made. In 
testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 14th day 
of February, 1867. JOHN GRAY, [sbal.] 

Signed and acknowledged by said John Gray, as his last will 
and testament, in our presence, and signed by us in his presence. 

PHILIP BURLING AME, 
JOHN W. SCOTT. 

A true copy from the records of the court. 

D. S. GIBBS, 
[seal.] Probate Judge, Noble county ^ Ohio. 



69 



The following . beautiful poem is from the pen of an esteemed 
brother Sigma Chi — J. Wickliffe Jackson, the poet. When I 
was returning from my visit to John Gray last summer, I met 
brother Jackson at Wheeling, and we came through together to 
Washington. I had met this kind brother before on the occasion 
of the last Biennial Oonyenti9n of the Sigma Chi at Dr. Samson's. 
It will be remembered that on that occasion he was the*poet of 
the day. When I met brother Jackson at Wheeling, he was 
returning from the commencement of Indiana State University, 
where he had delivered a poem at the request of our brothers 
Sigma Chi. He is, perhaps, the most distinguished poet in our 
fraternity, and one of whom we are justly proud. Brothers Samson, 
Wahl, Devol, Dixon, Murray, Meredith, Weills, and all the rest 
of my brothers will bear me out in this assertion : 

On our way to Washington, I related John Gray's story to 
brother Jackson, and he promptly transformed it by the talisman ic 
touch of genius into the following '* rhythmical creation of 
beauty," which I here insert alike in honor of John Gray and the 
Sigma Chi : 

[From the Noble County, Ohio, Republican.] 

JOHN GRAY. 



BT J. WICKLIFFB JACKSQN, OF WILMINGTON, DEL. 



[John Geay, the subject of this Poem is, according to the records of the War Depart- 
ment, the last man of the Revolution. He now resides in Brookfield township, this 
county, and will be 104 years of age next January. — Ed. Republican.] 

I. 

One by one the severed links have started 
I Bonds that bound us to the sacred past ; 

One by one, our patriot sires departea, 

Time hath brought us to behold the last ; 
Last of all who won our early glory, 

Lonely traveller of the weary way. 
Poor, unknown, unnamed in song or story, 

In his western cabin, lives John Gray. 

Deign to stoop to rural shades, sweet Clio ! 

Sing the hero of the sword and plow ; 
On the borders of his own Ohio, 

Weave a laurel for the veteran's brow. 
While attuned until the murmuring waters 

Flows the burden of th^ pastorid lay, 
Bid the fairest of Columbia's daughters, 

O'er his locks of silver, crown John Gray. 



60 



Slaves of self and serfs of vain ambition, — 

Toilful strivers of the city's mart, 
Turn awhile, and bless the sweet transition, 

Unto scenes that soothe the careworn heart ; 
Turn with me, to yonder moss thatched dwelling, 

Wreathed in woodbine and the wild-rose spray ; 
While the muse his simple tale is telling. 

Tottering on his crutches, see John Gray. 

I 



II. 

When defeat had pressed his bitter chalice 

To the lips of England's haughty lord, — 
Bowed in shame the brow of stern Cornwallis, 

And at Torktown claimed his bloody sword ; 
At the crowning of the seige laborious — 

At the triumph of the glorious day, 
Near his chieftain, in the ranks victorious, 

Stood the youthful soldier, brave John Grayt 

While he vowed through peace their love should burn on- 

While he bade his tearful troops farewell. 
One alone unto thy shades. Mount Yernon, 

Called the Chieftain with himself, to dwell. 
Proud to serve the Father of the Nation, 

Glad to hear the voice that bade him stay, 
Year by year upon the broad plantation, 

Unto ripened manhood, toiled John Gray. 

Sowed and reaped and gathered to the garner 

All the Summer plenty's golden sheaves, — 
Sowed and reaped, till Time the ruthless warner 

Whispered through the dreary autumn leaves : 
'* Wherefore tarry ? Freedom's skies are o'er thee ; 

Winter frownetb ere the blush of May : 
Lo ! Is not a goodly land before thee ? 

Up! and choose thee now a home, John Gray." 



\ 



III. 

Thus he heard the words of duty's warning. 

And he saw the rising Empire-star 
Dawning dimly on the nation's morning — 

Guiding westward Emigration's car : 
Heard and saw and quickly rose to follow. 

Bore his rifle for the savage prey. 
Bore his axe, that soon in greenwood hollow 

Timed thy sylvan ballads, bold John Gray. 

Blessed with love, his lonely labors cheering, 

Blithe the hearthstones of that forest nook. 
Where arose his cabin in the *' clearing," 

Near the meadow with its purling brook : 
Where his children from their noonday laughter 

Turned at eve and left their joyous play, 
Hushed and still, when the great hereafter 

Spake the Christian father, meek John Gray. 



61 



IV. 

Oh, the jears of mingled joy and sadness ! 

Oh, the hoars — the countless hours of toil, 
Shared alike through sorrow and through gladness 

By loved hands now mouldering in the soil ; 
Ob. the anguish stifled in the shadow 

Of the gloom that bore her form away I 
'Neath yon mound she slumbers in the meadow, 

Waiting, meekly waiting thee, John Gray. 

All day long upon the threshold sitting, 

Where the sunbeams through the bright leaves shine- 
Where the zephyrs, through his white locks flitting, 

Softly whispers of ** the days lang syne." 
How ha loves on holy thoughts to ponder ; 

How his eyes the azure heaven survey. 
Or toward yon meadow dimly wander ; — 

Yes, beside her thou shalt sleep, John Gray ! 

In the tomb thy comrades' bodies slumber, — 

Unto heaven theij* souls have flown before ; 
Only one is '* missing " of their number, — 

Only one to win the radiant shore ;-~i 
Only one to join the sacred chorus, — 

Only one to burst the bounds of clay: 
Soon the sentry's trumpet sounding o'er us, 

To their ranks shall summon thee, John Gray. 



V. 

Peace be with thee — gentle spirits guard thee, 

Noble type of heroes now no more ! 
In thine age may gratitude reward thee, 

In thy need may bounty bless thy store ; 
Care of woman, gentle, true, and tender, 

Strength of manhood be thy guide and stay ; 
Let not those who roll in idle splendor, 

To their shame, forget thee, lone John Gray. 

Five-score winters on thy head have whitened — 

Five-score summers o'er thy brow have passed ; 
All the sunshine that thy pathway brightened, 

Clouds of want and care have overcast, 
Thus the last of those who won our glory, 

Lonely traveller of the weary way. 
Poor, unknown, unnamed in song or story, 

In his western cabin, lives John Gray. 

Wilmington, Dbl., SepL 11, 186*7. 



7 



WASHINGTON AND GRANT. 

A Birth-day Ode, delivered before the Irving Lyceum, at City 
Hall, Washington, D. C, February 22, 1868, by James M. Dal- 
zell, a member of the Lyceum : 

INVOCATION. 

Ye spirits that around the Rocky mountains roam, i 

And on the Blue Ridge summits rear your cloudy dome, ^ 

Or in the deepest shades of western forests keep, , 

Or rock the storms upon " the cradle of the deep*;" 

Ye genii dwelling in the cis-Atlantic caves, 

Or waving golden banners o'er Pacific's waves, 

Or singing down the Mississippi's silver line, 

Or musing sweetly where the great lakes' waters shine ; 

Ye children of the far prairie's floral plain. 

Where Beauty, Mirth, and Harmony forever reign — 

Ye guardian angels of my dear, my native land, 

Some noble inspiration give — 0, guide this trembling hand, 

On this the natal day of him whose valor won 

Our Freedom — this the natal day of Washington. 

PROEM. 

Washington ! a name familiar to us all 

As that our mother called us by ; a name 

As oft repeated 'round the family hearth 

As that of mother, home, and heaven. 

Washington 1 familiar is the grand old name. 

The sweetest name the world hath learned, and still 

Wherever floats fair freedom's flag there swells 

From patriot tongues the name of Washington. 

The child just risen from it's mother's knee, 

And standing first upon the sacred soil. 

First learns to lisp with reverent awe 

The awful Name above all names — and then . 

The next name learned is that of Washington. ^ 

The old man, folding up his meek pale hands, 

And making ready for the sleep of Death, 

In acceats trembling with his dying breath, 

His weeping children bids to serve the Lord, 

And still be true to that bright banner 

Which first became the cherished symbol of 

A people's freedom in the hands ^of Washington. 

In every cabin in the western wilds, 

In every palace in the eastern world — 

By every tongue, in every land beneath the sun, 

Where human hearts are fond of liberty. 

Evermore resounds the name of Washington. 

Familiar as the name is grown to men, 

They love to hear it sounding yet, and still 

As ages pass, and kingdoms fall, and right prevails. 

And nations grow more free, and proud, and glad, 

The airs of freedom to the echoes joined 

Will cover all the earth with one sweet sound 

In harmonies combined, repeating Washington. 

'Tis fitting, then, that we, on this his natal day, 

Should celebrate the birth of Washington. 

Recalling what he did and dared for us 



1 



63 



And all the heirs of thai bright heritage 
Carved from despot hands by his bright sword, 
'Tis fitting that we here recall his virtues, 
And record, though with imperfect muse, 
Our love for our own Washington. 

0, come, 
Ye lofty spirits from the fields of song, 
In all your "singing robes" and flowing trains. 
And voices chanting out melodeous verse. 
And us inspire with fitting thought, and words 
Aglow with some of that seraphic fire 
Which made such glowing harmony on the lips 
Of Otis, Henry, Adams, Jefferson, 
When they with fervent praise of Washington, 
With kindling eloquence, in Freedom's name 
Proclaimed him leader of their glorious cause. 
And there is one, another Washington, 
Whose fame with his the hands of fate have joined, 
And while the name of Washington is named 
By patriot tongues, another mighty name 
Shall ring with grandeur thro' our fair domain ; 
And Freedom's sons can ne'er forget the chief 
Who saved the flag from rebel hands, and now 
Is still defending with a hero's might 
The flag of Washington, of you and me. 
Need I repeat in blind and staggering verse, 
And accents rude, and numbers illy tuned 
That chieftain's name which echoes now 
In verse and prose throughout the land ! 
Need my imperfect muse lepeat the name 
6f him who flung our banner to the breeze of War, 
And by it stood through all the fiery storm, 
Thundering with the might of Jove at Treason's gates 
Far down the Mississippi's bloody stream; 
Or turning to the East when Vicksburg fell, 
To drive the traitor from his last foul den. 
And wrest the bloody sword from Traitor hands 
At Appamattox, and so close the war ! 
Ah, no ,* that name is written In the nation's heart, 
That name is sacred to the army yet, 
And Freedom stands with Victory now. 
And, smiling, both are crowning him with fame, 
And all the loyal land repeat Grant's name. 

FIRST IN WAR. 

Foremost among the mighty names that make 
The times of Revolution brilliant yet. 
Chief of all that patriot host that won 
For us our freedom, and our glorious flag. 
" First in War," the brightest spirit of them all- 
Behold the Chieftain, Washington ; 
A man not moulded in a lordly hall, 
Nor reared in splendor near a kingly throne, 
Nor taught to jabber in a classic shade. 
Nor trained for War b}^ printed rules ; 
But in the wilderness of this far land, 
Born and nurtured in the plainest scenes 
That plain and rugged Nature can provide, 
To manly independence every thought attuned, 
And every act conformed to Nature's plan. 
And all the man controlled by love of Right, 
His great heart full of love to God, and man, 
He grew up strong in body, strong in mind. 
In purpose strong, and armed with right, 



64 



God and.the people holding up his hands, 
And guiding and supporting him through all, 
He took the Array, and Victory loved 
To leave the tyrant and to come to him. ' 

FIRST IN PEACE. 

And when the war-clouds rolled away, 
And all the Nation's sky was bright with Peace, 
He, the *' First in War," the conquering chief, 
The brave, resistless General became 
Again the First, the "First in Peace," 
And at the Nation's helm, in Peace again, 
^aul-like, with head and shoulders over all. 
The grandest, greatest President he stood, 
And words of wisdom from the cherished chief 
Still guided our young nation's early plans, 
A nd every danger he foresaw and turned 
The Ship of State around ere she had touched 
The rocks of discord lying near. 
Flis Farewell to the peot)le whom he loved, 
His Farewell words still linger yet, and oft 
With tender memories rushing though the mind 
Do millions read those Farewell words- 
Words of counsel caught from heaven. 
Words of hope and words of cheer, 
The last words of the great immortal chief, 
While Americans still love the land he loved, 
And still revere the flag to him so dear. 
Will his words linger in the peopU's hearts, 
And guide the people's hands, and keep 
Still sacred and secure, the liberties 
Wrung for us from tyrants' hands. 
And first made safe by Washington. 

FIRST IN THE HEARTS OP HIS COUNTRYMEN. 

Millions have lived and died since the tomb 

Closed first upon the corpse of Washington. 

That corpse in marble wastes, and dries to common dust, 

And ashes now are all we have of Washington. 

Though he is dead and gone to the dust, 

His spirit lives, and breathes in all our laws, 

And is the talismanic word that makes these States 

In harmony and Union ever one. 

The Declaration, Constitution, Laws, 

ThQ Union, Flag, and Nation's Arms, 

Are bound in volumes with a golden thread 

That reaches through the people's hearts, 

Is fastened to the throne of God, and runs 

All through the frame of Washington. 

Let marble blush if it would tell 

How dear is Washington to every heart ; 

His memory is not encased in stolid stone. 

Nor pent up in your marble monument — 

It lives in living men, and every tide 

Of warm life-blood in every heart 

Still murmurs sweetly as it courses on, 

And all its crimson streams are vocal 

With the praise of Washington. 



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